Belong

I don’t feel like I belong. My relationship with my mother is non existent. After years of daydreaming about what our reunion would be like I was crushed when she told me our encounter was fake. My relationship with my stepmom is strained and only goes as deep as my efforts and my heart has grown weary of the many failed attempts to re-establish a connection. My best friend shared her family with me very openly initially but after a very tough but necessary conversation about boundaries I find myself straddling those lines and relationships cautiously for fear of offending once more. My siblings are off in different places building lives and families with their significant others, as they should. Within my small circle of girlfriends I feel like the odd woman out. Partly because I’m in another city and often hear significant stories seemingly only as a courtesy when I’m physically present. My love doesn’t facilitate relationships between myself and his family and my own efforts to build a deeper bond are often stifled.

I long for that mother-daughter relationship. I long for a family bond without secrets or boundaries. I long for transparent friendships. I long to truly belong to someone, anyone.

Love Talks: Home 

Jamaal and Brandy Boone met in the dormitory of Anderson Hall during their freshman year of college and have now been together 17 years! According to Brandy, Jamaal was standing in the lobby staring at her. He says he was doing no such thing but told her his name when she approached him nonetheless. Every time the two saw each other after that encounter she’d make sure to say, “Heyyy Jamaal!” Their mutual love of watching WWE led to them eventually falling in love. Over the years their palpable bond, genuine friendship and commitment to family set the strong foundation needed to withstand the usual ups and downs of marriage. For this couple, there is nothing better than family.

When did you know that you loved your spouse?

Brandy: “There is no specific time that I can pinpoint but what made me say for the rest of my life this is who I want to be with was the fact the we liked the same things and we did the same things. When we were around each other we always had fun just doing nothing together. We use to go play uno together, watch wrestling together, all that stuff. We had a lot in common so I was like, ‘Yep, I can be with him for the rest of my life.’”

Jamaal: “I don’t know the exact point but I know that I loved her wayyyyy sooner than she loved me. My thing was, I’m just not Continue reading “Love Talks: Home “

Love Talks: Teamwork 

James and Alaina Crawford first met in high school when their siblings tried to play match makers and failed. Three years later, they decided to go out to a movie and ice cream to catch up and have been together ever since. They’ve now been married 5 years but together 10 years and counting. They have two children and a pet fish. When career aspirations took them to a new state and away from family and sometimes each other, their love, transparency and partnership held them tight together. Teamwork makes the marriage work!

When did you know that you loved your spouse?

James: “I knew I loved Laina when I would take weeks off from work just to spend time with her. Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t like to take time off from work! I used to spend every dime I had on rental cars, new clothes, etc…. just to go see her.”

Alaina: “I knew I loved James fairly early in the relationship. We spent the whole summer together before heading back to junior year of college and whenever I was with him I just felt complete. I felt like I could be myself and I loved Continue reading “Love Talks: Teamwork “

Love Talks: Completely 

Meet Donnie and Tanya. They’ve been married 3 years and have a beautiful baby girl together. Their love story is one for the books but not one of fairytales. It is one of two people finding a great thing in each other despite circumstances and deciding to hold on to each other for dear life when every aspect of their vows were tested in such a short period of time. I hope their love gives you hope, inspiration and the courage to hold on tight no matter the obstacles.

When did you know that you loved your spouse?

Tanya: “When he would go out of the way to get to me because he didn’t have transportation when we began dating. He made sure there was always a way to come see me.”

Donnie: “For me it was more instantaneous. I knew off the bat when we met for the first time. I just looked at her and knew Continue reading “Love Talks: Completely “