From Ms. to Mrs. // 2018

“Oh you got married?! Congratulations MRS!

Hello MRS. Curran!

How’s married life MRS?!”

Yes! I got married! Yes I am now Mrs. Curran!  This was absolutely the highlight of my 2018, but it was not just a single event or instant change. This transformation has been such a rich journey!

As we wrap up this year & begin to set goals & dream for 2019, I’ve been looking back on what I learned this year and these are just a few things that have stood out and helped me grow.

So this is my initial journal entry of what’s it’s like to go from Ms. to Mrs. and what it’s taught me thus far.

On April 7th, 2018, I married Mr. Michael Curran; my best friend, my greatest blessing, and especially lately, my greatest comforter. He’s also the FIRST to laugh at me when I mispronounce words or get a joke punchline wrong, but he’s the first to pick me up when I’m down, to wipe my tears away, and encourage me in things I can’t see in myself.

Being married has taught me some priceless lessons about Michael, about myself, and about how we function in our life together. There’s a lot I still have to learn and experience, but I’m taking these nuggets with me as we continue our adventure.

Lesson #1 // My identity has changed.

Not only have I gone from Ms. to Mrs. but from Ms. Alibrandi George to Mrs. Alibrandi Curran. I have a new drivers license to prove it!  I am learning to embrace the title of Wife and know that my goals & dreams are now blended with supporting my husband’s.

This new filter has changed my intentions & actions in everything, from job decisions, to ministry decisions, to scheduling decisions, all the way down to my  choice of words.  My words usually affect my husbands’ feelings directly or his reputation indirectly, & with the identity of wife I have to consider how my words, whether to him or about him, support & build him up.

Lesson #2 // Patience is key, especially with myself

When I say patience is key, I mean it pretty literally. Patience is like a key that we carry and can choose to utilize or ignore & waste time and energy pounding on doors and never actually getting anywhere.

I initially set all the bars way too high for myself. The meal prepping bar, the homemaking bar, the working two jobs while being the homemaker bar, & the do over the top thoughtful things to serve and surprise my husband bar. By my own expectations, I have failed every single one. I expected too much of myself and I haven’t had the ability to do all the things I wanted and have failed some of the ones I’ve tried.

But, when pouring out all this failure (mingled with some tears) to Michael, (enter my comforting husband yet again) he didn’t see failure because he didn’t see the bars. He simply saw his wife doing her best and absolutely loved & appreciated it. So when it comes to those imaginary bars of unrealistic expectations, confront them. Do your best, take the time to learn what your husband needs or wants first, and then you’ll still mess up.

When you find that your spouse just wants to have fun & enjoy the adventure of life with you, the bars disappear and you have a lot more fun laughing at your mistakes, learning from them, and finding new ways to embrace your new identity.

It also takes patience to merge two lifestyles.  Your practical habits will collide; no doubt about it.  In marriage, the habits themselves are truly small and typically unimportant.  It’s the communication concerning them that will turn into nagging, frustration, bitterness, or neglect when not handled well.  I’ve found it’s important for me to communicate in all gentleness and love why some habits bother me so I don’t harbor any afore mentioned negativity and so I can receive communication about habits I should strive to change.

Lesson #3 // I’m the most selfish person I know.

When you’re a ‘Ms.’ (or a single Mr. for that matter, just writing my perspective) your daily, practical focuses really do revolve around you.

When you become a ‘Mrs.’ those focuses and goals change even if you haven’t caught on to them yet.  Your ‘I’ is now ‘We’ and that sounds easy enough when it’s, ‘What do we want to cook tonight and what movie do we want to see?’ but it’s the topics that are a lot more subtle where this gets deeper.

Having to stop and merge some very different expectations & desires has made me realize just how much my flesh really cares about it’s own desires and just how sacrificial love needs to be.  I may not always want to do whatever the task or event at hand is, I may not even feel that I need to, but if it’s something that my husband wants, I have to consider how we are going to proceed, not just how I am.

Lesson #4 // I’m not perfect, I need to be constantly humbled

I recently heard this lesson worded best this way,

“marriage is the nicest way to confront your own inadequacies on a daily basis”

Y’all this is so true.

Beyond false expectations or unrealistic goals, there are some ways we just downright fail. I have had to acknowledge that I need help. I need to help my husband however I can, but I have to accept his help too. He has the best role in my life to say, “I know you can, but I’m here so you don’t have to.”

I had lots of help & preparation going into marriage, from family, mentors, friends, scripture, books, etc. but there are things that you have to experience to truly understand and failures only a spouse could point out for you to truly accept & that has been so enlightening for me.  Marriage is humbling and this has been extremely fruitful for me.

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In addition to sharing these more difficult lessons I’ve learned, I must close by sharing that marrying my best friend is the best decision I’ve ever made aside from accepting God as my Lord & Savior.  Amidst all challenges, marriage has been a blast!  Living, traveling, & learning with my husband brings me joy every single day!

I’m only 8 months in, but the amount that I’ve learned in this time has only made me that much more excited for all the lessons and growth to come!  With all the challenges, joys, & growth we’ve seen in 2018, I know God will do even more marvelous things in 2019 and we are striving to pursue Him together.

~ Mrs. Curran
12.31.2018

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Summer Photos // Jenna

2016 is proving to be an exciting year for Jenna!  She recently graduated from 5th grade, got her first horse, and is preparing to begin middle school.

Naturally such a time in life calls for a photoshoot to capture memories!

Not only is Jenna a dear friend & one of my piano students, she is a little reflection of myself at her age.  From her joy and determination, to her love for music and horses, the more time I spend with  Jenna the more I experience snippets of déjà vu.

At her age, I spent my days either riding horses or behind a piano, & I see the same passion mirrored in her soul that has grown in mine.  I’m honored to have a window into Jenna’s life, the opportunity to capture the love between her and her horse Bob (with a special appearance from her rodeo horse, JD), and to have her as a friend.  She is a joyful soul, a hard worker, and a true cowgirl.

“I don’t show, I rodeo!”


Jenna Heywang
2016

 

6.4.2016

Key Biscayne Photo Journal

Rain or shine, there is nothing as sweet as a family day.  Adventure, fresh air, and no static distraction from electronics, with the exception of camera’s of course.

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On the salty shoreline, in the post-rain breeze, with my five favorite smiles strolling alongside me, I admired the concept of a lighthouse.  Not only is it a permanent structure meant to give peace and guidance to ships in the night, but lighthouses were full-time, exhausting commitments.

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A lighthouse keeper gave up his/her entire life to pour all their energy into keeping this single structure running for the sake of sailors they had never met.  Little social life, long nights, tiring climbs, relentless weather, and still one must keep attention to detail in order to maintain and protect a lighthouse.

If you’ve read my blog for any period of time, you know I’m extremely fond of metaphors and analogies.  So who does the lighthouse keeper represent?

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Well, parents are awake for many long nights, endure tiring days on the heels of their children, social lives often revolve around kids, and despite life’s relentless storms, they must keep careful attention to detail in order to raise and protect a child.

My parents have spent their lives building into me, making me stronger, and protecting me so that I may serve as a light of Christ to people they may never meet.  I am a lighthouse that does not stand alone, but stands because of the lighthouse keepers who fueled and sustained me.

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Every lighthouse has a keeper who deserves a vast amount of thanks.

Thank you to my lighthouse keepers.  I love you beyond words any blog post could possibly contain and am so grateful for your sacrifices in raising, training, sustaining, and protecting me.  You’ve ignited a light in me an kept it burning through many storms.  You have been the greatest and most hardworking lighthouse keepers.  I love you!

5.31.2016