Unpacking the Phrase: ‘I’m Dating My Best Friend’

Unpacking the Phrase I_m Dating My Best Friend

By Jillian Leslie

New age romance means being in love with your “best friend” …or does it? It seems like every month, this same narrative is being glorified and plastered somewhere between E! News and/or in a slew of celebrity magazines. All of which are cleverly titled, “I’m dating my best friend!” Admittedly, my initial thought upon seeing this is usually, “how sweet!” or “what a cool/idyllic romance!” But, in giving more thought to this phenomenon, it got me thinking, what exactly IS so appealing about calling your romantic partner your best friend?

While I have a lot of questions surrounding this topic, I know one thing is for sure: all opinions on this topic have to do with how one personally defines “best” friendship. Continue reading

Wives, I Implore You: Date Your Husband

Wives, I implore you Date your husband.jpg

By Dakota Burgess

I am one of those lucky women that can say her marriage is thriving, but it wasn’t always this way. I was 16 when my husband and I got together. I was young and head over heels in love, so when he proposed on Christmas Eve just after I turned 17, of course I said yes. A month later, we found out we were having a baby. All I’d ever wanted was to be a mama, and he afforded me that gift. When I was 18, we got married as a family of three. Our son was 8 months old at our wedding.

Through the years, we were “forced to grow up.” We knew what we were doing when we decided to have a baby and get married so young, but what we didn’t realize was the toll it takes on a relationship. Especially a relationship where we didn’t really get to know each other. We knew we loved each other and we were in it for the long haul, but I couldn’t have really told you what his hopes, dreams, and goals were. I don’t think I even really knew mine, except that they included him. Continue reading

5 Easy Ways To Declutter Your Home This Weekend

5 Easy Ways To Declutter Your Home This Weekend.jpg

By Becky Houdesheldt

After moving twice in 2 years, simplification is something I value more than I ever thought I would. Considering we’ve added an infant to our household, making room for his many toys, jumpers, mats and swings became a high priority for us. However, the introduction of a tiny human isn’t the only reason to declutter. Maybe home isn’t a place where you can feel relaxed. Maybe it’s full of memories of times better left in the past. Maybe it’s just become so crammed with things you love that it’s overwhelming to know where to start. Here’s my experience: Continue reading

Letting Go Of The Need To Be Liked And Loving Myself Instead

Letting Go Of The Need To Be Liked And Loving Myself Instead.jpg

By Becky Houdesheldt

First, let me say that it is not difficult to get me fired up about something, especially if I’m passionate about it. Here’s an example. Once, when my brand-new hand mixer broke after 2 uses, I went on a tirade about how my parents have had the same hand mixers since I was old enough to know what they were, and they’ve never had an issue, and how things aren’t made the way they used to be. Yep. I did.

Sometimes I’d get caught up before I had a chance to realize what I was doing, and then profusely apologize. It’s not in my nature to upset the apple cart, as they say. Often, I’d rather just be quiet and let everyone get along rather than speak my truth. The older I’ve gotten and the longer I’ve been sober, the more I recognize that fear has a way of dominating my life. When I am in fear, I make decisions that compromise my core values because I’m unwilling to deal with the potential unknown outcome. Continue reading

Self-Care Isn’t Just Nice, It’s Necessary

Self-Care Isn_t Just Nice, It_s Necessary

By Becky Houdesheldt

I honestly don’t care what it’s called. Me-time, down-time, alone-time, self-care, leave me the hell alone and let me do my thing time…the end goal is always the same. To recharge. To have my cup refilled. To feel refreshed and capable. To remind myself that I am, and always will be, an individual.

My fiancé, Andrew, and I are getting married in just over 2 weeks, and it has been a mad dash to get wedding plans confirmed. I was looking at scripts for the officiant, and a few things completely rubbed me the wrong way. One big one was the verbiage I kept finding for the unity ceremony. It all implied that the individuals ceased to be after the wedding ceremony, and only one couple remained.

I vehemently disagree. Here’s why. Continue reading

A Reminder For When You’re Feeling Lost

A Reminder For When You_re Feeling Lost

By Kate Kole

My first job out of college was working as a photographer assistant for a school portrait business. Our team of photographers and photographer assistants drove across our Iowa and Illinois region to take yearbook photos. In order to get to schools on the other side of the state before the day started, we regularly had to leave our office well before dawn. On one of our 3:30 a.m. wake-up call mornings, the photographer and I got lost. This was pre-cell phone apps and car GPS systems, so our earliest sign that we’d missed our exit wasn’t thanks to Alexa telling us to make our next legal U-turn, but instead was courtesy of a “Welcome to Missouri” billboard.

Luckily, the state trooper who pulled us over for driving well beyond the speed limit was kind enough to give us directions to where we were going (along with a hefty ticket). And miraculously, we weren’t far away. In our frazzled high-speed chase to capture middle school glamour shots, we’d simply overlooked our exit. Within minutes, we were back on the road and even made it to the school on time to take pictures. All’s well that ends well, I suppose. Continue reading

Stop Telling Me That ‘Breast Is Best’

Stop Telling Me That ‘Breast Is Best_

By Becky Houdesheldt

I had my first child 6 months ago and no one told me about the secret society of breastfeeding mothers that would shun me if I didn’t breastfeed my child.

Here’s the deal: When I found out I was pregnant, I had no doubt we’d breastfeed. I didn’t save any formula coupons, didn’t even know the difference between brands and types. I bought all the appropriate breastfeeding accessories (who knew there were so many) and had visions of happily feeding my sweet baby boy for at least the first 3 months of his life, thanks to an amazing maternity leave program with my work. I didn’t know a thing about bottle nipples or bottle cleaning, and I didn’t think I needed to. It seemed like a no-brainer to me. Why wouldn’t I breastfeed? Continue reading

When You Feel Like Running Away, Do This Instead

When You Feel Like Running Away, Do This Instead.jpeg

By Kate Kole

I ran away more than once as a kid. And by ‘ran away’ I mean I packed my bookbag with all the essentials for a one-night’s stay at a friend’s house, headed out the front door, walked half a block down the street, and remembered no friend had actually invited me to come sleep over, at which point I sheepishly began my journey back home to sit underneath the tree in our front yard. Until of course, I got hungry, cold, bored, or needed to use the restroom, eventually waving the white flag and going inside. As the youngest of 3 kids, I’m not sure my parents even noticed my half hour absences.

Sometimes that childhood fantasy of running away sneaks up again. Not in a ‘create a new identity and never look back’ Jason Bourne kind of way. Just in a stressed out, don’t know what to do next, wouldn’t it be nice to go live in a beach house and eat donuts in bed sort of sense. Continue reading

I’m Not The Enemy, You’re Not The Competition, We’re In This Together

I’m Not My Enemy, You're Not My Competition, We’re In This Together.jpg

By Becky Houdesheldt

Can I just say that I am tired? I am so tired. I’m tired of using other women as a barometer of how I feel about myself on any given day. I’m tired of constantly feeling as though I’m less than because I’m not as thin as I once was, and envying women who appear to be walking around without a care in the world. I’m tired of making assumptions about women that I don’t know because of my own insecurities. I’m tired of making other women competition in my mind.

I’m tired of wearing undergarments that physically hurt me in order to appear as though my physique is different than what it actually is. It’s exhausting. I am never equal, I’m always better than or less than. It is absurd. I’m tired of hating myself because I don’t fit into what society says is beautiful. I’m tired of basing my value on what I think I see in the mirror. Continue reading