When I was a teenager, up until I was about 21, I was in an abusive, codependent relationship. He was my first serious boyfriend, so I guess I didn’t know any better; I thought that’s just how guys behaved. He slowly chipped away at my self-esteem and everything I did for him and for us was taken for granted. He was extremely controlling and gave me absolutely no respect. I felt like I had to hide things that made me happy, lose weight before I would visit him, and just sit there and accept when he would get drunk and yell at me, call me nasty names, or brag about cheating.

After that relationship ended I was devastated, but I was also extremely relieved. I had alienated a lot of my friends and I was away at college, my family was two hours away. So I didn’t have a very strong support...

In the past year, I have gotten engaged, become a home owner, dealt with a death of a childhood pet, gotten married, managed the contractor with our home remodels, temporarily moved out of my home due to black mold, fought with the insurance company who wrongfully terminated our insurance and didn’t tell us about it until we tried to put in a claim, and struggled with the contractor who abandoned the job after he was paid in full. I have absolutely had the most stressful year of my life, I think the only thing that could possibly make it more stressful is finding out that I’m pregnant. These are the things I've done during my peak stress times to keep my composure.

Weddings these days can be so expensive! When I first got engaged and started looking at the prices for everything, my first thought was to elope or have a very small intimate wedding. But my family just would not allow that, so we banned together to pull off the most expensive looking budget wedding anyone had ever seen!

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