It will never end. No matter how many days pass, no matter how many hours separate us- the hole in my heart will never be healed. I know this now.

I thought I was stronger, I thought I was ready. I thought I was able to hold myself together. I know I am not.

I can only hope to make it through each day with my head held high, no one knowing the struggle simmering just below the surface. I can only hope to be strong on the days I feel weak. I can only hope for people in my life who understand when things are difficult are days I need them the most. Hope that tomorrow will be a better day, that someday I will have the strength to believe. Believe that I will make it through, that I am deserving, in hope.

It is all I have. It is all I am not.

Made to thrive

In the last year, I have spent a great deal of time getting to know myself.  I mean really know myself.  I have come to see my strengths and my faults; I have learned what it means to have a solid support system around you; I have learned what it means to let go and have faith; I have learned what it feels like to be in a room full of people and feel loved instead of alone.  I am no where near finished with my journey, but I have certainly come a long way.  I have found my own voice in difficult situations.  I have been open and honest about my feelings and concerns.  I have allowed myself to be vulnerable and afraid, and I have allowed myself to ask for help.

While I stumble along my journey of self-discovery, I have realized I spend far too much time and energy worrying about things that do not really matter, and not enough time and energy on the people and things in life that do.  I am embarrassed to admit, I have let other voices sway my opinions and alter my actions.  I have not stayed true to my own thoughts and feelings, and as such – I have not stayed true to myself.  It is time I forgive myself and move forward.

At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I have come to realize that we all have that friend who is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing.  With a sorrow in our voice, we tell ourselves it is time to move on.  It is time to let go of the false prophet and the illusion which has been created.  It is time to take the energy once spent on this wolf and spread it amongst your fellow sheep.  It is time for a new beginning.

As I look around I see so many people who I am thankful to have as part of my life.  I do not remember the last time I felt so blessed to have such a great network of family and friends surround me.  A year ago I dreaded turning 30, although as I now approach my 31st birthday I realize that I am exactly where I always wanted be in life.  I am surrounded by friends and family who love me and a new sense of faith that allows me to love myself, faults and all.


We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive

Casting Crowns – “Thrive”



Captain Phillips

When previews first started rolling out for the blockbuster Captain Phillips I was intrigued.  Although I do remember the many news reports and video footage that seemed to dominate the airwaves, my memories of the events from April 2009 are a bit fuzzy.  I hate to admit that following this piece of worldwide news was not high on my list of priorities.

So here I am, four years later, faced with the decision to see this movie about the heroic captain’s journey.  Until I read the now infamous New York Post article, dated October 13, 2013. For those that have not read the article, here’s a brief overview.  According to the crew, as told to the New York Post, the movie is a grave exaggeration of the events that truly happened.  It is claimed that the Captain Phillips not only ignored repeated warnings of Somali pirate attacks, but he arrogantly ignored Somali pirates as their boats came dangerously close to the Maersk, as well as purposefully sailed closer to shore than he should have.  Many of the crew filed suit shortly after their safe return, two of which have already settled and others that go to trial this December.  Their suit alleges a purposeful disregard for their safety on the part of Captain Phillips.

With my curiosity piqued, I further researched recent articles concerning the movie and Captain Phillips.  I came across an article from the Boston Globe, dated October 8, 2013.  This article appears to be written based on a recent interview Captain Phillips had with the offices of Vermont Public Radio.  In this interview, Phillips vaguely discussed the incident and also talks about his lack emotional distress following the ordeal and what it was like to watch the movie twice.  Phillips talks about his lack of emotional response, stating that the ordeal did not have a great effect on him.

While I am not an expert, nor do I personally know Captain Phillips, I find it hard to believe that after everything he went through (being taken hostage, being held at gunpoint, spending days not knowing if it would be your last , etc.), Phillips was able to watch the movie twice without any emotional response.

Unless of course, the crew members are speaking a bit of truth.  I am torn on watching this movie.  While I believe Tom Hanks has done a wonderful job with the role, I do not feel right supporting a story that may be so misguided.

So have any of you seen the movie?  Do you plan on seeing it, or has this new controversy changed your opinion on going?

New York Post Article

Boston Globe Article

What to expect

I realize that a majority of blogs are themed, so you may be asking yourself what my blog will be about.  You are not alone, as I have given this a great deal of thought as well.  I decided that I do not want to limit myself to one specific topic.  As an overall theme, I will be writing about life, mine to be exact.  I plan on posting various tidbits including, but not limited to: being a new wife, my cooking adventures, book reviews, traveling with my husband, and general observations about the community I live in.

I also plan on using this blog for personal growth.  Each week, I will challenge myself in different aspects of my life by trying something new.  In addition to my other posts, I will write a recap about the previous week’s challenge.  Feel free to suggest things for me to try – a new food, activity, way of thinking, habit, etc.  I want to use this challenge as a way to push past my comfort zone.

I already have a few things in mind to write about.  Be on the look out for the following posts (in random order):

  1. A review on a book I read recently which inspired a lot of change in my life.
  2. My first weekly challenge (it was harder than I thought it would be).
  3. What renovations of our first home has taught me.
  4. Postcards.

To quote the late Ernie Harwell, “It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.”  So until we meet again, hello. 🙂

My inaugural tidbit.

I have been thinking about, over-analyzing, agonizing over how to begin.  Where do I start?  What should I say?  What is the perfect blog name?  What do you want to read about?  Then it hit me like the first ray of sun peeking out from the clouds after a summer storm.  A glimmer of an answer to what I had been wrestling with.  I have been looking at this completely wrong.  For the last several weeks (54 days and 14 unfinished intros to be exact) I have sat down at my computer and tried to force out something clever that will pique your interest.   Trying to discover that perfect combination of words that will have you occasionally (hopefully) stopping by for a tidbit or two.  I was so wrong.

I am beginning this journey for me.  I did not start this for you (sorry).  If you are interested in hanging around, or just stopping by now and again, that would be wonderful, although that’s not why I’m doing this.  Even if I only have one reader (Hi Mom!) I will continue on this path and see where it takes me.

So without further ado:

Welcome to The Vintage Spruce.