April Cara Box - Going Green

I don't know if you've heard of the Cara Box round-robin, started by Kaitlyn at Wifessionals, but it has been such a fun month putting together a box for my partner and getting to know my sender and my receiver. :) If you have a few spare dollars and want to put together an encouraging box of goodies for a new bloggy friend, go check out the Cara Box details.

Cara Box

My sender was Vicki. She and I have emailed a few times and she is such a sweet woman! She's a loving grandmother and has a heart for other people. Check out her blog! :)

This month's Cara Box theme was "Going Green," since Earth Day is celebrated in April. Vicki sent me all of these cute goodies!

Vicki's niece colored in the reusable tote for me!
A green candle to save electricity, toothbrushes and toothpaste so my teeth don't turn green.
"Even a green girl needs a little bling," natural hand soap, and a Goody Quickstyle brush to save energy when drying my hair. 

Thank you so much for all of my fun gifts, Vicki! I'm so glad to have met you. :)

Don't forget to check out my receiver's package, Kelly at Hoppy Bottoms!


A Follow-Up

*Originally posted 2.26.13 - the day after our 2 year anniversary.*

Earlier this month I posted about something pretty rough that's happening in my life right now (here and here), but I kind of left you hanging. 

I don't owe you an explanation, but I only feel it's fair considering that I'm an honest blogger and plan to be one until the end. 

However, to respect Josh's privacy and to protect his character what I'm about to tell you will be short, sweet, and to the point - no details included. He is a kind, compassionate, and incredible man and I pray that this news won't negatively affect your view of the man I love. I hope you can understand. 

In December, exactly one week before Christmas, Josh told me that he wanted a divorce. I was absolutely devastated and blindsided. I knew things had been tense between us for a while, but I had no idea it was that bad. A divorce was the last thing on my mind. The next day I quit the job I had only worked at for one day (as I honestly thought I would be moving back home with my parents) and that weekend we sat down with both sets of parents and they urged us to keep trying. 

After suffering through a Christmas of faked happiness and many arguments with our parents, Josh agreed to stick it out until the end of the summer, before the fall semester starts. We have since found a new marriage counselor, as I mentioned before, who has already set us on a new path and I've had my nose in marriage self-help books day in and day out (I also started 2 new jobs). Don't get me wrong - we're no where near having our ideal marriage - but we've begun a terribly painful and slow healing process that will hopefully get us there one day. 

As for now, I'm focusing on myself. I'm doing my own work apart from my marriage, as well as working with Josh for our marriage. There's much I have yet to learn, but I'm taking each day moment by moment and doing my best to stay positive. 

I am hopeful for our future and I will do my best to survive these next six months so I can see the day that we are truly, genuinely in bliss together.

*UPDATE as of 4.14.13*

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, what I'm about to tell you is old news, but for those that don't, I am sorry that I didn't/couldn't tell you sooner.

Soon after I originally published the above post, things took a turn for the worst. We had only had about 4 sessions with our second marriage counselor when he told us that, unless Josh was truly committed to working on us and unless we were both willing to compromise on our core values, there was nothing more he could do for us.

I was devastated. Again. It was like my heart was torn to pieces - again. Those monumental meltdowns I had in December resurfaced and I honestly had no idea how I would make it into the next day, let alone the rest of my life, without Josh by my side.

Our divorce is imminent. By the end of June it'll be official and the sliver of a life we have left together will disappear. I know it sounds like I've given up or given in for the sake of peace, but honestly, I'm NOT willing to compromise my beliefs for anyone...not even Josh...and who wants to be married to someone who doesn't love them in return?

I still love the man I married, but Josh is far from that man. He admits it too. There are things he needs to figure out about himself that he feels he can't within the boundaries of marriage and he doesn't love me anymore, so staying married makes no sense. While we're trying to end things as amicably as possible, I'm not going to lie to you and say it's easy watching the life you built be thrown away, shard by shard. It's the most painful thing I've ever experienced and it only gets harder from here.

But there is hope. Somewhere.
It's a daily struggle to choose happiness over depression, but I can mourn later - when we've signed those ugly papers and said our goodbyes for good. In the meantime, I'm deliberately going out of my way to make myself happy and hold onto my sanity.

I greatly appreciate the love, support, and encouragement I've received from so many of you. You make this bitter cross much easier to bear. Thank you.


The Death and Rebirth of Local At Last

This blog started out as Long-Distance Love when Josh and I were dating from across the country and changed to Local At Last when we closed the gap, supposedly for good. Unfortunately, forever means different things to different people and that gap has been opened wider than ever before and it will never be closed again.

As my life evolves, so does the blog. That's just the way it goes. It's a part of who I am, even during the weeks when I neglect my web home, so giving it up isn't an option.

Considering the circumstances, Local At Last will no longer be Local At Last. It will no longer be about my life as a newlywed. It will no longer be colored with lavender and tangerine. It will no longer be a place to share pictures and stories of our life together. 

Instead, Local At Last will pass away and my new blog home will progressively come together as I do the same. It's going to take significant time to recover, but it'll be a worthwhile journey in the end. I will have good days and I will have bad days (and I plan to be frank with you on all of them), but I'm choosing to approach my new life as a great adventure - a chance to reinvent myself and live the life I haven't planned for.

I'm uncertain what The Universe has in store for me in the months and years to come, but I'm giving up my aggressive planning ways and opening my heart and mind to the unknown life that lays ahead of me. I can be whoever I want to be. I can do whatever I want to do. And I plan to do just that. My life and this blog will probably be sporadic and unorganized, but as I set sail on this scary, empowering journey I hope you'll join me. 

*Today I mourn the loss of my former life and rejoice in the opportunity to be reborn, exactly the way I choose.*

Spread the word and follow my new social media accounts!
New Name: Out With The Map
New URL: owtmblog.com
New Email: owtmblog@gmail.com