My Hot Take: O.J. Simpson Isn’t A Murderer.

Hey, friends!

It’s been a minute – hasn’t it. A few weeks ago, I asked my Instagram friends what blog they’d want – and a majority of people were intrigued by my most controversial opinion.

An opinion that I won’t shut up about when I’ve been drinking.

I want to do this opinion some serious justice with loads of information and sources, but honestly, I’m swamped these days. Between the wedding being less than five weeks away, my trip to Nashville coming up, Christmas and New Year, my uterus problems, and all else life has to offer, I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off. That being said, there will likely be no blog next week. Monday, I have Dawson’s sisters Birthday; Tuesday, I have Chuck’s surgery and a shower; Wednesday, I have a meeting with the ceremony coordinator and the last meeting with our priest; Thursday, I have to call Aldi, meet with the DJ, and maybe attend a basketball game; Friday, I have a 21st Birthday; Saturday I have a wrapping party than a Friendsmas. Phew – what a week! On top of a crazy busy work week…give me all the coffee, stat!

Okay, my personal life aside (LOL), let’s get into it.

So the opinion, and please go easy on me, is that OJ Simpson did not kill his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

So, right when you hear about OJ Simpson, I’m sure you think of three things:

1.) He killed his ex-wife

2.) “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit!”

3.) The slow-speed chase between OJ and the police.

So, let’s debunk these.

Opposing Argument: He killed his wife.

On October 3, 1995, OJ Simpson was found not guilty of killing his wife and Ronald Goldman, the restaurant employee dropping off Nicole’s mother’s glasses.

So, why do you still think he did it?

Don’t we tend to believe in innocence until proven guilty?

If it’s because of his past of domestic violence against Nicole Brown Simpson and the many instances of it being caught on the phone, I would say you’re valid to think that. I am suggesting OJ Simpson isn’t a murderer; however, that doesn’t mean he isn’t an abuser or garbage human. It just means I don’t think he killed Nicole and Ronald. 

My argument against the alleged domestic violence claims is: psychology. The U.S. Sun reported (2020) on the horrific abuse that Nicole Brown Simpson recorded in her private journals – abuse she endured through her marriage and after they were separated. The article shows different entries where Nicole describes the genuinely horrific acts that OJ (source)

If I were to just read about this domestic abuse, I would 100% understand why someone would believe OJ murdered Nicole and had to kill Ronald, who was there, also. After all, intimate male partners killing their female partners is the highest domestic murder statistic (source). However, Nicole only wrote, told people, and called the police about abuse OJ did with his body – not a knife.

Nicole Brown Simpson was stabbed seven times. The psychology behind the two different cases of abuse is much different. While this would initially just make me turn my head, but I still think OJ could be guilty, it doesn’t. It doesn’t because there is someone who many people think should be looked at as a person of interest – me included. Someone who had a rage disorder and was triggered by Nicole the evening of her murder; someone who possibly had the murder weapon; someone who had attempted a knife attack on a female prior; someone who has no alibi; and someone who OJ would never throw under the bus – someone who OJ even hired a legal team for without the individual being accused.

To me, that seems pretty damning. It looks even more damning that there are fingerprints at the crime scene that couldn’t be identified but that were never compared to this individual. 

You know what is even more damning? The FBI reported that the bloody socks found in OJ Simpson’s house and collected for evidence were allegedly planted.

By who, you ask?

Well, detective Mark Fuhrman, who was filmed using racial slurs to put down black criminals, pleaded the fifth under oath when asked if it was him. Fuhrman had been caught planting evidence other times, and the FBI lab could confirm the socks had been planted. When OJ was taken into custody, samples of his blood were taken to compare to blood found at the crime scene. His samples were frozen – the FBI labs could tell the blood on the socks had been frozen, and OJ’s sample could not be accounted for. Fuhrman was the one who found the socks and at least one of the gloves. The discovery of the socks and at least one glove cannot be proven legit, as it could’ve been planted, so one detective got recognized for solving a massive crime (source). If you think this is far-fetched, I encourage you to read about the detectives with the West Memphis Three case…they utterly failed six boys just to try to close a case.

On the note about the gloves, let’s break down reason two for why you may think OJ killed Nicole and Ronald:

the infamous moment of OJ’s glove not fitting at trial.

According to a Crime Junkie Patreon episode (source), it is confirmed that the gloves were OJ’s, and Nicole Brown Simpson purchased them for him.

There are many theories around the gloves: that OJ didn’t take arthritis medication, so his hand swelled. That the blood caused it to be tighter, which valid. Honestly, I can’t really factually say too much one way or the other; however, I can say that I have not been able to find it confirmed that OJ ever wore the gloves. Even though Nicole Brown Simpson bought them, isn’t it possible they were too small? I wouldn’t know what size to buy Dawson, so I would assume it could happen. While I’m not saying that is what happened, I would ask you who you believe OJ would give the luxurious gloves to if they didn’t fit him? I don’t know about your dad, but mine would give my brother his gloves that didn’t fit.

We cannot confirm that OJ had these gloves in his possession. Someone else could have access to them, right? Like, maybe if he has a son?

I mean, isn’t that reasonable doubt?

Let’s go to the third and final point I’m going to debunk, even though I could write twenty blogs about this entire case.

The slow-speed chase in the white bronco. It’s infamous. It’s what I knew before I even knew about OJ Simpson or the case.

Have you ever watched the original footage? When OJ arrives to the mansion after the highway, and he has an emotional conversation, where the reporter says, “maybe he’s talking to his kid?” It was a man that they couldn’t identify (source). In the same Crime Junkie episode, Brit said that it is confirmed that he is talking to his son, Jason.

Then, an emotional OJ turns himself in.

So, why would an innocent man run? I get that question – it’s valid. But have you ever been accused of a horrible crime? I’d imagine I’d run, too. Especially with people knowing I committed domestic violence beforehand. 

But why don’t we ever talk about him turning himself in? Or the prior conversation? Why would he be so emotional, having a conversation, then turn himself in?

Because it’s his only choice?

Maybe…but I’m not convinced.

Maybe something he learned had him upset, and he was turning himself in to protect someone? Is it possible? I mean, OJ has always maintained his innocence but never pointed to another theory – something many guilty individuals tend to do.

But who could he be protecting? And why wouldn’t he fight to clear his name more? I mean, there was DNA under Nicole’s nails that didn’t match OJ, so why didn’t OJ try to get that tested against all men she knew since this was clearly a passion killing?

Well, I’m not going to name the individual I believe committed these crimes because ya girl doesn’t want to get sued over her little blog.

On an unrelated note, let’s talk about OJ’s son, Jason Simpson.

The article, “OJ Simpson Conspiracy Theory: Did OJ Simpson’s Son Kill Nicole Brown And Ronald Goldman,” (source), which is such a wild name that I didn’t come up with, goes over Jason Simpson’s life. According to the text, Jason abused alcohol and drugs since he was 14 and had 3 suicide attempts. Jason had been arrested four times before Nicole Brown’s killing – 2 for stabbings. One of his stabbing attacks nearly killed the victim, who had a close relationship with Jason.

Jason has a rage disorder, often called Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome. He had been committed to the hospital several times for having delusions. In his private journal, he also described how there were three of him, and at least one of him was violent and wanted to hurt individuals that wronged him and his loved ones.

He felt wronged the night of Nicole’s murder because she was supposed to bring her mother and daughter to his restaurant, as he was now a cook. He had reserved a chef’s table for them, but Nicole ditched, and they went to a different restaurant – without telling Jason. Weirdly enough, Jason didn’t clock out how he had every other time and instead wrote it in pencil. Therefore, no one could place him anywhere when she was murdered.

A baseball hat that Jason is photographed wearing on multiple occasions was found at the murder scene. The detectives had thought it was connected but could not link any fibers back to OJ Simpson.

Jason had costly chef’s knives that he took much pride in, but after the double homicide, one of his knives was missing. It was later found in his storage locker and was identical to a knife that made some of Nicole’s injuries.

Again, I have my theory on who did it. I’m not going to specifically say who I think did it, but I bet you can guess if you Google the case. 😉 Furthermore, I’m not the only person who believes this. There’s actually an abundance of people who believe this – there’s even a book that names which many thinks did it.

So, like, do you still think OJ did it?

Or could he have been protecting someone else and turned himself in because he knew it couldn’t be proven to be him?

Hmmm…much to think about!!

Sources

https://www.the-sun.com/news/1551259/nicole-brown-simpson-diaries-oj/

https://vawnet.org/sc/scope-problem-intimate-partner-homicide-statistics

https://oig.justice.gov/sites/default/files/archive/special/9704a/07simpso.htm#:~:text=Simpson%20and%20that%20blood%20found,Brown%20Simpson%20after%20the%20murders.

https://crimejunkiepodcast.com/?s=oj&et_pb_searchform_submit=et_search_proccess&et_pb_include_posts=yes

https://www.yourtango.com/2020339443/oj-simpson-conspiracy-theory-jason-simpson

Red Comes Out Friday, The Wedding Is In TWO Months, and It’s Christmas Time!! SLNW!?

Hey, friends!

Happy Monday! I apologize for being so spastic on here — life is just bananas! I’ll hit you with a couple of updates before we get to the sad beautiful tragic stuff! *wink wink*

Okay, let’s start with the wedding!

I know everyone is so interested because, as of today, we are two months out.

Like, what!

The 2+ year engagement is coming to an end?! How could it be?!

I know; I know. It’s wild!! And I’m still a little stressed! Almost everything is wrapped up except for a few minor things — meeting with the pianist (which is this Sunday!), our last meeting with our priest, meeting with the church counseling couple, finalizing the shot list with our photographer, finalizing the programs (which are so incredibly extra), altering my dress (which I have a fitting this week!), getting the dads outfits (which is this Friday), earning the liquor license, getting the marriage license, making the card box, doing a hair test run (in January!) and ordering flatware. So, not a crazy amount! But, a decent enough amount!

I dropped off the wedding invites at the post office on Saturday, and after how much time and money I put into those babies, I hope people see them and think,

“Wow! What a cute 55 cent stamp; I can tell she contemplated this stamp for days!”

“OMG! This envelope is so sturdy and strong! It’s a PERFECT envelope — it must be a wedding envelope!”

“Absolutely amazing! These stickers on the front are so centered! Look at her go!”

“Incredible spelling! I bet she proofread it dozens of times!”

“Look at this adorable font! I bet let’s of thought went into it!”

“OMG? Rounded corners?! What a great decision!”

I am only kidding!

Well, kind of.

Who would think all these decisions mean so much to the bride? But they do to me! And that’s okay!!

I also finalized the RSVP form online, finalized the website, finalized the timeline and ceremony readings; got my Nashville clothes in; designed the programs; and got pictures done for the programs…yes, you read that last part correctly. I’ve gone full-blown, “being a bride is my personality!!” I mean, we will only do this once!!

Okay! Now, some stomach updates if you’re curious?

I saw a specialist Friday and got lots of answers! We have a plan in place, and I finally feel validated knowing something is wrong, and we can treat it! Also, I’m frustrated that it would’ve been so easy to detect with three quick tests that I completed all in ONE appointment when I was finally listened to vs. being told it was just “period stuff.”

So, like, I feel relieved, kind of sad, and validated.

I’ll definitely take it, and I’m super thankful I found this specialist!! I did a lot of research and liked who I chose— even though it was a man, as I never really wanted a male OB (I’m just so awkward)! But I got there and was crazy comfortable! So, it’s a win! I also ordered a travel muscle stimulator thing for my ovaries when I’m on the go, got an XXXL heating pad to wrap around my back and stomach, and got icey hot patches! These should hold me over until the next steps with the doctor!!

Unfortunately, it won’t be fixed by the wedding. But I’m hoping God makes sure it’s a good day physically, and I know it’ll play out the way it’s supposed to! If there’s a little pain — that’s okay! However, I am slightly nervous about the appearance side of it. I heavily advocate for body positivity, but that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with my body image sometimes! I hope that even if I’m incredibly bloated in my dress, I don’t think about the negative things anyone may think or say, and I feel beautiful regardless! Having a stomach that isn’t flat is okay and normal, and if my stomach is heavily bloated at the wedding….

It’s literally the least important detail about the entire day,

and if anyone thinks badly about it, maybe they shouldn’t be there! (Can you hear my trying to convince myself? Haha!)

Lastly! Some house updates, of course! The garage is painted green, and it’s mainly all cleaned up. Dawson is PUMPED to hang movie posters and a lot of alien things (????), lol! I’m pumped not to walk in there and immediately feel like there are spiders staring me down!!

I also got the wedding room all organized and color coated for set up! YAY!

The guest bedroom is mainly clean and organized, but I still have a couple of boxes of random things to go through!

I got the house decked out in Christmas decor, and I’m mainly just going to go around and finish some projects before the wedding. I’m not feeling up to tackling a new one while everything is going on! The kitchen could be touched up; the outlet covers still have a couple that needs to be replaced; the board and batten wall could be sanded and hit with another coat of paint; the hallway trim could use another coat; the entryway light needs hung since the other one was faulty.

Okay, wow!

That all wasn’t even the point of the blog! I guess I just like talking about my life? Sorry about all that, haha! But I’d you’re reading this, odds are you know me personally and won’t mind!

So, Like, Now What!?

Let’s get to the good stuff — and no, it’s not sad beautiful tragic! That was just a T.Swift reference because IT’S RED RERELEASE WEEK! Eeeek!

There are 30 songs, and naturally, I’m most excited for All Too Well…WHICH IS OVER 10MIN LONG! *cue me crying on the shower floor chugging jolly juice straight from the bottle*

AND! She’s releasing a short film! Like Taylor, stop! What did we do to deserve your greatness?!?!

In honor of us being the lucky ones this week (see what I did there?!), I wanted to recreate Taylor’s tumbler post that she redid on Tik Tok, because quite frankly, I’m obsessed!!!! Only, I’m going to revolve mine around my all-time favorite thing: Christmas!

So, here it goes:

And hats and scarves and leg warmings and wearing ornaments as earrings for the first time in months and when the mornings are frosted and you forgot to preheat your car and cuss as your scrape in the cold and Christmas sweaters and PINE TREES and not caring when people make fun of sugary stuff cause you LOVE IT and are happy it’s all the rage and people who put up their garland before Thanksgiving and fires in fireplaces and gold/red/green color combos and baking your first winter batch of peppermint bark but you put too many candy canes in it because you’re TOO EXCITED BECAUSE IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME.

Haha, well, that was fun! I’m feeling all holly jolly, but don’t let me fool you. Oh, no. When Friday approaches, I will be acting like a heartbroken girl who has no idea what to do with her life but scream T. Swift’s lyrics, cry, and drink wine. It’s just what you do when it’s your T. Swift year #22.

Well, back to eating non-dairy ice cream and watching the royal Hallmark Christmas movie I taped…as I most definitely subscribed to FRNDLY TV and got a firestick to watch ALL the movies. I have my heating pad on, the Christmas trees are lit, I’m peaceful, and I can’t help but think,

“what a wonderful life.”

I Had My Bridal Shower Weekend!! SLNW!?

Hey, friends!

Happy Monday!

I am having stomach issues ~again~ and kind of just want to chill. But! I promised you a blog with all the bridal shower details, so here it is! If it’s not too fun – my stomach is why!

Also – I just want to clarify. I am absolutely not pregnant, lol.

I was asked if that’s why I’m having issues, and it is not. Here is TMI, so if you don’t like female talk, scroll down a bit until you see the big bridal shower heading. Otherwise, here is the deal!

 I have ovarian cysts and irregular periods (periods every two weeks!). The most common treatment for my ovarian cysts bursting is birth control, so my sophomore year of high school, I went on birth control for it. However, I started getting depressed from birth control in June, so I came off of it. Since then, I’ve had a heavy period every week to every two weeks, and I believe the cysts are bursting again. On top of that, my body is detoxing from over five years of birth control (they said it could take up to two years), so my doctor says it’s probably just a large mixture of sucky-ness. We are trying medication that is incredibly over-priced, but non-hormonal and it’ll work to stop some of the bleeding – it is being shipped to me from Indy. So, fingers crossed that my bloating gets regulated, my period gets regulated, and my stomach stops hurting so horribly.

So, like, no, I’m not pregnant, LOL! I didn’t even consider anyone thinking that. But, I like to keep it real, and this is the real-life situation of being a female sometimes, haha. As long as I don’t feel like this at my wedding, I can’t really complain.

Alright, let’s get to what you were waiting for!

Bridal Shower Details

Party Room at DeBrand Fine Chocolates on Auburn Rd in Fort Wayne!

I had a bridal shower weekend because I wanted to have them at DeBrand Fine Chocolate’s, and you can only have 36 people in the party room at once. We had 24 people come to Saturday’s shower, and about 34 come to Sunday’s, so we had to have 2 – the Hoeffel and Hinkle families are large + all the other family and friends I have! We decided to schedule both in 1 weekend so we could keep all the decorations and balloons at DeBrand – it made for a much easier set-up and teardown!

And before I go any further, let me assure you that I had the best weekend ever!

My future mother-in-law, Jonelle, and future sister-in-law, Reese, hosted the bridal showers! We were so thankful that DeBrand set up, cleaned up, and managed all food and beverages! It made our lives so easy and allowed us to enjoy the time before and after the showers together. I am very grateful that they will be in our family.

Okay, I loved my décor SO MUCH! I am a huge girly girl and love pink but didn’t want to use it for my Christmassy wedding. Therefore, we decided to do blush pink + rose gold for the bridal shower! We got blush sequin table runners from Amazon, rose gold double-sided frames from Amazon, milk jugs from Table Cloth Factory (TCF), wrapped in ribbon from TCF, with fake flowers from TCF. For games, we did bridal bingo + scratch-off cards, which were both from Amazon. Accompanying them were cute rose gold diamond pens from Amazon! Lastly were the adorable balloons bouquets, which were from Amazon and blown up by Kroger!

Did you know there is a helium shortage? LOL! Go figure – there is a shortage of everything!

As far as my looks!

On Saturday, my hair and makeup were done by Made Up by Celena Vada, who is doing my airbrush makeup for the wedding! The white romper, gold belt, gold heels, gold earrings, layered necklace, and “BRIDE” hairclip were all from Amazon!

On Sunday, the gold pants (which were a hit) were from Red Dress Boutique, the turtleneck and necklace were from Walmart, and the shoes, hairclip, and earrings were from Amazon! Then, I did my hair and makeup!

Okay, now for the most common question: my favorite gift!

Honestly, this question is so challenging. Plus, they were all great! A few stood out to me, though, so I guess I’d tell you about those.

My friend and bridesmaid, Makinnah, got me a pearl jean jacket that says “Mrs. Furnish” with our wedding date on the collar! I would say that surprised me the most and made me overjoyed to be a bride.

A gift that made me tear up was from my Grandma Julia. My Uncle David and Grandpa Carlas have both passed within the past year and a half, and they were both handy guys. My grandma wrote me a sweet card, including a picture of me with my uncle. Then, she gave me some of the tools that both of them would want me to have in a toolbox, and one was even my uncles. It felt very special! ❤

My Great Aunt Sara got my custom pillows that said mine and Dawson’s name, and together, they make a heart! She didn’t know which side of the bed we’d sleep on, so she based it off what side of the bed my great grandparents slept on. That is so, so special! Dawson’s Great Aunt Norma gave me a breakfast tray, which had a handkerchief on it that belonged to his great-grandma! How special!

My Grandma Cande knows that gift wrapping is my favorite thing ever, so she got me two containers filled with tons of wrapping paper for Birthdays, Christmas, etc. She also included ribbon, bows, tape, tissue paper, gnome bags, and so on!

I could go on and on and on, but those were some gifts that really stuck out to me! I also really enjoyed filling the kitchen, organizing, laying down our new dining room rug, getting Christmas stockings for the dogs, and so on. I seriously loved it all! I’m way too spoiled by the people in my life!

Now, I sent out all Saturday’s thank you cards (18) and am halfway done with Sunday’s (30). I am getting there for sure, haha! Honestly, I love writing thank you cards, and would it be weird to confess that I think I’m pretty good at it?? Haha!

As far as wedding planning, we met with our priest last week, confirmed the ceremony and reception time, confirmed our readings, bought all my bachelorette party outfits for Nashville (they are soooo extra!), and started preparing the wedding boxes.

This week, I will work on the liquor license (a must), finish + order the invites (I design all invites on Canva!), and finish my bridal shower thank you cards!

Thanks so much for supporting me by listening to me ramble about my issues, gush about how special I feel, and for tuning into these blogs! 🙂

Catch you on the flippity flip!

The Wedding Is Coming!! SLNW!?

We are less than 100 days away from the wedding!

So, like, now what!?

Well, there is still so much to do!

This weekend is my two bridal showers, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic – my next blog, I’ll share some info on those bridal showers!
Before the Saturday bridal shower, my makeup artist, Made Up By Celena Vada, is doing a trial run of airbrush makeup. Not necessarily my eyes, but just matching my incredibly pale skin tone. LOL! Trust me, it won’t change within the next 89 days.

But there is so much more to do than that!
I have to meet with people from church, meet with the pianist to pick music (HELP! I know nothing except that I want “Canon in the D” as the entrance song!), meet with our priest and photographer to finalize the timeline, update/print/send the invites, get my dress altered (which I have a feeling will take a while), have a hair trial run, get the liquor and marriage license, pick the rehearsal dinner menu, and more things!

However, I am cherishing and enjoying each step! A lot of my stress has gone away, and I’m enjoying being a bride.

A lot of other questions I get asked are about the fun trips!

Yes, I am going on a bachelorette party weekend – the new extravagant thing! We are going to Nashville the weekend of December 17th – partying our butts off, drinking way too many mimosas, and searching for the most perfect Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich! Woot woot!!!!

And, yes, we are going on a honeymoon! However, the honeymoon isn’t until July, as we didn’t want to mess with Dawson’s teaching schedule. When searching for the perfect cruise ship to board, there was one thing on my mind, “which one has a piano bar!” We cannot wait to drink all the tropical drinks (so, yes, we want to wait a while to have kids!!!), go to the piano bar, watch HGTV, and eat so much seafood!

I’m so thankful that I’m not planning a wedding and honeymoon all at once. I don’t think I could do it!

Now that I’ve given you a couple of fun details of what’s next…want a couple of hints at actual wedding details?

No? Well, then stop reading and peace out for the week!!!!

Yes? Okay, let me spill some tea!

My bridesmaids have trains! I’m pretty sure that’s unique, and I love unique.

The men’s outfits aren’t traditional at all, and I am obsessed.

Our reception entrance song has to do with finances, yet it’s a banger.

My flowers are ridiculous, and I couldn’t be happier about it!

The getting ready outfits are monochromatic for everyone and are different than any I’ve seen before!

Our drink of choice that morning – when my grandma found out, she was appalled!!

There are four different centerpieces, and ¾ have DIY aspects to them!

Okay, I feel like that’s a decent amount of hints!!

For the past year or so, I’ve been so worried about the money aspect of weddings. With COVID, prices got more expensive, and our guest list grew like the Grinch’s heart…something I’ve been grateful for! Yet, I was so worried about being too extra or spending too much.

Now, after embracing it completely, I am totally okay with however much we spend – knowing we still won’t go into debt for it. This has always been my dream, and if this is what I want, I deserve it!

Now that my mentality has shifted, I am so, so excited to be incredibly extra and make my Hallmark dreams come true.

And I am so, so, so excited for this weekend with all my family. Girl time is my fav time!!

Have a great week, friends! I think it’s the finale (or almost finale!) of Only Murders in The Building, so that’s already a great time!!

A Thursday Blog!! SLNW!?

Hey, there!

It’s been a minute – hasn’t it!?

I hope you are all doing well! I am doing pretty good! Nothing crazy has happened lately. I’ve been obsessed with Friday Night Lights, tried a pasta dish that I’m OBSESSED with, and have really been feeling fall! (Like really feeling it!)

Unfortunately, my anxiety levels have been pretty high lately – despite me finishing school. I’m hoping things settle soon – while all the changes in my life are great, I think they add anxiety and stress to my plate. I’m giving it to God, seeking help, and learning to relax. It’ll be a slow process, but I think I’ll be feeling better in no time! 🙂

On that note, I saw that anxiety and depression are higher than average lately, so if you’re struggling, I encourage you to take action…you deserve to feel your best always. You only have one life, and it’s best lived healthily – mentally, emotionally, and physically!

Anyways! Friday Night Lights is so good! How have I never seen this before!? I literally am glued to the T.V. and feel little guilt (#winning), which has been really nice! I am obsessed with Matt and Julie and love the coach/dad dynamic with it, haha! Only Murderers in The Building is another show that Dawson and I enjoy, and you can find it on Hulu!

The pasta that I made was so good, and it was inspired by Granite City’s brunch! It was a box of elbow pasta, eight peppers (yellow and red), spinach, a jar of diced tomatoes and habaneros (I would do two jars next time), half a jalapeno, half an onion, two smoked sausage links, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. It’s pretty much all to taste, and I’d strongly recommend it – some people include cheese, too!

Then, fall decor! Woo!!

My mom and I went to Mishawaka for my birthday. There was a ton to do there like Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Kirkland’s, Michaels, Bed Bath & Beyond, and tons of restaurants like Flat Top Grill! We listened to Crime Junkie on the way, which rounded the day out as the best!

My work bestie gave me a gift card to Home Goods, and I used Birthday money to pay for my spree. So, while I may have brought home $300 of stuff, I spent $0 of my money.

So, like, winning!?!?!?!?

While I don’t have pictures of the Home Good finds that I have, here is a link to all my Halloween haul: www.instagram.com/p/CTszDQyFoHI/

But, here are all the deets on the products that you can find at the big stores!

Bed Bath & Beyond

At BBBY, I snagged a plaid pumpkin pillow (ADORBS) and the cutest ghost pillow! I had to cut the tassels off, as Auggie didn’t understand that they weren’t made for tug-of-war.

Michaels

I had never been to Michaels, but I was a little disappointed in their selection. However, I found Dawson’s favorite pillow! I was shocked because I thought it would be his least fav!

Well, friends, that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this short lil update, and I’ll see you soon! ❤

I’m Done With School!! SLNW!?

Well, folks, as you likely know, I graduated college! I am officially done with my bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Indiana Tech!

Now that I’m done, so many people are asking me variations of the same question:

So, Like, Now What!?

Honestly, I was wondering the same thing for a while. What should my next big adventure be? I considered applying for the part-time writing position at Crime Junkie, as I love researching, writing, and true crime.

I contemplated getting a part-time job at DeBrand or Country Heritage, as I live for customer service!

I thought about joining some Zumba classes, learning how to make my own clay earrings, and so on.

But, as I kept thinking about what to do next, I stopped myself.

Why is there always something next? There were too many things on my plate when I was in college, so why don’t I dedicate more time to those things I am already devoted to?

Then, I can decide if I want another project to tackle in the future.

I am so thankful to be a bride, so it’s time to start enjoying the wedding planning process. Furthermore, I’ve let my extra-ness be tamed. But friends, we are four months and two days away from the big day. It’s time to go HAM! Dawson and I have talked extensively, and we only get this day once, let’s make it what I truly want! So, I’m going to start devoting more time to fun details and hopefully less stress.

I am so thankful to be a fiancé, but I’ve let the romantic side of our relationship lag with how busy I am. Some days, I miss just bingeing TV with Dawson, or going to a movie, or spending too much time eating at Applebee’s because we can’t stop talking. So, I want to dedicate more time to our romantic relationship – going out to bars, watching trashy TV, talking about how our days genuinely were, teaching each other about our perspectives and interests, and so on.

I am so thankful to be a friend, but I don’t get to see my friends enough. So, I want to dedicate more time to them and growing those relationships!

Seeing Ashtyn and Nikki in Muncie, dressing up with them for Halloween, having one of those cheap margaritas, and learning the ways of excellent fashion.

Going to Bloomington to see Makinnah and Hannah, maybe convincing them to stop at Cake Bake, talking about the old days, jamming to Thomas Rhett on our way to the winery.

I want to have more movie nights with Brooke, sipping wine, laughing, and enjoying the closest relationship to sisterhood I’ve ever had.

I want to text Grace more often, asking if she’s heard the newest Morbid and if she agrees with Ash and Alana’s perspective, planning our next wine night, and talking about home décor.

I want to do a girls’ night with Reese and the other Grace; grow closer to Caiah; grab coffee with Lindsay and Lindsey; see Delaney and Rachel over a marg; text Katie about décor; grab apps outside of work with coworkers; and so on.

I want to fuel the friendships that bring joy to my heart.

I am so thankful to be a daughter, but I feel like time is slipping away quicker than I hoped. Spending nights around the fire, hearing my dad make fun of how I baby my drinks, watching my mom stare at mosquitos. Having Sunday dinners where we rave about my dad’s entrée and my mom’s sides. Going to concerts, playing games, and hanging out. These are the things that I think of when I hear “family,” so I want to do them more.

Same with being a sister, granddaughter, almost daughter-in-law, cousin, and niece.

I am so thankful to be a homeowner and to have a house to do projects on – something I’ve always desired. So, I will finish the board and batten wall with my dad, build a fireplace with him, learn how to lay floors, hang wallpaper in the bathroom, paint the garage, build pantry shelves, and all the other projects in my heart! And, I’m going to decorate the shit out of the house – seasonal throw pillows, rugs, blankets, décor, candles, probably wines, and so on.

I am so thankful to be a dog mom! I want to dedicate more time to training Auggie, who is no way eight, learning how to groom Chuck, making liver treats for them (their fav – going to need a whole separate blender), taking them to the dog parks, and spoiling the crap out of them. Additionally, I’m going to cuddle Beasley near death and feed Bowser all the cheese that would make me blow a bathroom up.

I’m so thankful to know the Lord and have a love for Jesus, but I want to grow that relationship. I want to understand the Bible better, learn how faith has impacted others, hear other testimonies, and so on. Days where I dedicate my attention to the Lord are days where my soul thrives, and I need to give more to that.

So, like, I am a lucky person. All these hats that I wear are one’s I’m glad to have, so I need to give more to each of them (in no order in particular!) For now, I am just going to let these evolve, grow, and enjoy them.

For now, I’m going to take it week by week!

I have a marketing job at a company I’ve been with for two years. Outside of those forty hours, I’m going to wear my many other hats – and wear them well.

This week, that entails family time, watching Bachelor in Paradise (you have to fill your own cup first!), having a Tuesday night date with Dawson watching Only Murders in The Building, keep staining the fence, buying and planting shrubs for the front yard, going to Home Goods for décor on Saturday, and who knows what else. But, that’s the beauty of slowing down, enjoying life, and not always stressing over

So, Like, Now, What!?

Yeah, I should probably learn how to cook, too, but that’s not the moral of the blog!!!

5 Years In A Relationship!! So, Like, What is Love!?

Dawson and I have been together for five years!

In the past five years, we’ve both matured, grown, and changed as human beings so much. Along with our individual evolvement, our relationship has shifted, too. More than anything, my perception of love has altered.

In year one, I would’ve told you that love is flushed cheeks, shy smiles, warm hugs, and hundreds of dollars spent on buttered movie popcorn.

In year two, I would’ve demanded that love is trying to make it through long-distance – arguing most days, but spending every waking second together when you can, acting as you’ve never argued before.

In year three, I would’ve told you that love is skipping philosophy together to binge The Office in the school basement, that it’s cutting up potatoes every Friday for a fry-Friday, and it’s having date nights in a movie rental store.

In year four, I would’ve told you that love is still wanting to spend time together after long work and school days; that it’s quarantining together, watching Cold Case Files, and chowing down fried seafood. –And getting engaged, of course! ❤

In year five, I’d tell you that love is watching each other earn a degree, get full-time jobs, buy a home, adopt another dog, and deplete your savings. I’d also tell you that it’s understanding each other’s love languages, stressors, and favorite movie references.

But now, today, entering year six

– where we will get married, live together, experience our first solo vacay, and enjoy living as just the two of us – I’d say that love is no one thing. Like furbabe love, parental love, friendship love, and all the other beautiful kinds – romantic love is unique.

No love is one size fits all – because you and your partner aren’t generic. For some, love is texting them to ask if they’re home yet; it’s saying yes to the next home improvement project; it’s taking the grandkids to the zoo; it’s walking the dog; it’s watching True Blood; it’s being the DD when the other is getting rowdy; it’s showing up. 

I can’t define love, but I can describe the love that Dawson and I share and have shared – both healthy and unhealthy. But honestly, our love continually shifts, and it’s always a learning experience. With the various seasons of life that an individual and couple go through, change will always remain.

What I have learned about love is that it’s critical to understand yourself. I’m not suggesting that you need to know every detail about yourself and who you’ll be for the next two months, ten years, or fifty trips around the moon. That would be unrealistic.

What I am saying is that when you’re cranky, think about why. Was it because your boss’s email sounded demeaning; because the dishwasher has sat fully loaded but dirty for two days; because the dogs’ nails need clipping; because you didn’t sleep too well after finishing You late last night, etc. Whatever it is, that’s totally fine and valid! But take the time to understand why you feel that, so you can communicate that to your partner.

So many times as a young couple, we hear that we will grow apart because we don’t know who we are. I understand that perspective (and thanks for projecting your experiences onto me, all you pleasant Barbs), but I believe that as long as you effectively communicate, you’ll thrive! How am I, a twenty-one-year-old, barely-dated, optimistic girl so sure?

Wellllll, I could be way off!

But in our five years, we’ve stuck together through so much – more than I owe anyone to talk about – but some things that I’d share are long-distance, remission, jealousy, different beliefs, etc. All things that helped shape our love – I promise, Barb, it’s not just Friday night lights and college parties like you must think. 😉

Now, here, today, I have a lot more to learn about myself, Dawson, and love.

But what I’m sure of is our love will continue to grow and evolve as long as we communicate, prioritize ourselves and our relationship, and put Jesus in the center.

Communicating for us is taking the time every week to address how we’ve felt the past week – has work been too overwhelming; is there a house project that’s bothering one of us; did a new true crime case come up; was there a meal we were craving; etc. Sometimes we forget how powerful words are – I argue one of the most powerful tools we all have. No matter if that is through text, phone call, sign language, or speech. Everyone deserves to share their story, everyone deserves to be heard, and everyone deserves to be understood. Take the time to understand how your partner has hurt, grown, learned, and viewed the world lately!

Prioritizing ourselves is important to us. For Dawson, that’s playing computer games. For me, that’s sitting down every Monday night, wine in hand, Twitter pulled up, counting down to The Bachelor.

Prioritizing our relationship is something we’ve sometimes forgotten to do this year, as life has gotten chaotic. So often, we are constantly trying to keep up with our responsibilities, with our friends and family, etc., that we forget to spend time romanticizing our relationship – rather than just being besties. So, like, we decided to have Tuesday nights dedicated to us. Whatever we want that to entail for the week – sitting around the fire, bingeing New Girl, eating Flat Top, getting a drink, going shopping – Tuesday is our night to pick something and be that year one couple! …only hold the butter for this lactose intolerant gal. #DiherraIsn’tRomantic

Prioritizing our faith looks different for us, but we both find that having strong individual relationships with God helps our relationship. For Dawson, talking about our faith is a great way to worship. For me, it’s singing and dancing to Christian music [shocker] or praying before bed. Both are great for us overall, and our relationship with God has been stronger this year than ever before.

Yay!

The past half a decade has been a rollercoaster, and I wouldn’t change any of the lessons I’ve learned. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be the person I am, I wouldn’t have the relationship I do, and our love wouldn’t be what it is now.

In the next half a decade, I imagine we will have great adventures, learn valuable lessons, and change what our love looks like all over.

Whatever your [healthy] love looks like – it’s unique, it’s meant for you, and it can grow with you if you take the time to nurture it.

Happy Monday, friends! Happy Anniversary, Dawson! 🙂

I Have OCD! So, Like, What Is It?

I was contemplating what to write about for this week’s blog as I itched my hives. Hives that arise from stress, which primarily stems from my OCD.

I would like to clarify that my hives were not regarding blog stress but the past week of my life!

Then it hit me! So many people classify OCD as obsessive cleaning and have no idea how much goes into it.

So, like, let me give you some basics on OCD!

According to the International Foundation of OCD (2021), nearly 1/100 adults have OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. While OCD can reference cleaning, it is often belittled when used in terms of cleaning. While this doesn’t bother me personally, it does affect other people. Just be cautious and respectful of the things you say – especially if you aren’t too familiar with a topic! ❤

I believe that everyone is individual and has unique experiences. Therefore, I’d like to share my personal history with OCD and my basic knowledge of it to give a more comprehensive look at my perspective. If you’d like a more thorough understanding of OCD, I encourage you to ask me questions or research it!

Just to clarify: my experience isn’t everyone else’s. Everyone’s mental health and body is different, so this may vary from your experience with OCD! But here’s mine:

When I was little, I used to clean obsessively and be incredibly obedient – meaning I wouldn’t get out of bed unless someone told me to, I would eat all my food, etc. As I got older, I still felt like anything I wasn’t explicitly told to do would get me in trouble, and I would obsess over doing the wrong thing.

Additionally, I would wear myself down to reach perfectionism (or at least try). Through high school, I would spend every waking second thinking about how I needed to lose weight, get better grades, what yearbook designs I should try next, and how I could gain one more mile-per-hour for pitching.

Constantly, I was exhausting myself. I would obsess over being the best, not hurting people, and meeting all irrational needs – maintaining an unhealthy weight, keeping everyone in the whole damn world satisfied, being the hardest worker I could be, and so on.

Through these years, my constant obsession over yearbook and pitching helped me maintain my mental health rather than obsessing over every single thing in my life.

Then college and working full-time occurred, and my mind struggled.

So, Like, Now What!?

I wanted to maintain a 4.0 GPA while taking 18 credit hour classes (girl, chill), be the most productive intern ever, maintain a social life with my friends, be a great girlfriend, keep a spotless room, save every penny, and keep everyone pleased. That whole year, I obsessed and obsessed and obsessed.

Soon I began getting hot, sweating, and feeling stuck in small spaces – almost weekly. Whatever I was obsessing over would feel like the end of the world if it wasn’t going perfectly. After months of this getting worse due to COVID-19 taking away stability on things in my life, I decided to seek help.

After speaking with a doctor, he confirmed that I had OCD which is an anxiety disorder. Additionally, he told me that I was experiencing panic attacks and recommended walking away from whatever was causing them and having a positive activity to do instead. Now, whenever I encounter a panic attack, I walk away from what I’m doing, hop in the driver’s side of my car (driving relaxes me), and get a Wendy’s strawberry lemonade. Every time a panic attack starts, I calm myself down and rationalize with myself – whatever I’m obsessing over isn’t going to make or break me, and it isn’t worth all this anxiety that I’m enduring.

Now, I know how to work with my OCD. Yay!!!

Some things make me incredibly stressed and are extremely challenging for me to let go of; however, I understand why these things are happening, which is a significant first step! While I cannot fix my OCD or stop the panic attacks and stress hives, I can maintain my mental health.

Ultimately, my OCD makes it hard for me to let things go, say no, or realize when I’m obsessing too much.

For example, I think there is a very particular procedure to everything. If you do something wrong, I think you should apologize. I cannot let it go until there’s an apology on either end. Another example is if someone gives me a compliment…I will sit and think about it forever if I forget to thank them.

The only support I need from people when I’m going through these obsessions is to let me go through my moments of panic and not add any more stress or tasks onto me.

I hope this helps you understand OCD!

A lot of people have asked me about it, as I am pretty open about having it. To sum it up, I’d say it entails having irrational worries that you cannot let go, causing urges and obsessions, until you reach a point you’re happy with, leading to relief. It’s a bit intense, and I can’t say I love the panic attacks or stress hives, but I’m happy that there are resources to help me with it!

If you’re struggling with your mental health, I strongly recommend altering who you follow on social media, being patient with yourself, journaling, and seeking therapy or medical help.

Let’s take care of our minds, friends! After all, they are the best parts of us! ❤

I Keep Wearing Myself Out!! SLNW!?

When I started this blog, I remember obsessing over the idea of there always being something that’s next.

For example, we got engaged, I got a full-time job, we bought a house, Dawson graduated, we adopted a dog, I am graduating, and so on.

Sometimes, on days where I’m sitting on the couch, wine in hand, I wonder what I’ll do once I don’t have homework anymore. Yes, I’ll work full-time, cook and clean, continue to redo the house, keep planning the wedding, and play with the dogs. But, I wonder, what about those days where I get three 40-minute episodes of Netflix in?

Shouldn’t I pick up a hobby – I mean, everyone wants to know my hobby, and watching TV or cleaning with true crime blasting in my ears doesn’t sound like riveting answers.

But, still, I sit here and ponder

So, Like, Now What!?

I must be productive, and there must be something new coming around the corner – isn’t that what life is all about? 

Being busy, busy, busy, and busier until you die?

Wondering if maybe you can fit a jog in between your surgery and hair coloring?

Thinking you might get an episode of Schitt’s Creek in after cooking and cleaning, but only if you go on a walk after.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, viewing productivity as success is one of my biggest personal downfalls.

But, isn’t being happy successful – and productive? Why don’t we talk about the true success that is happiness?

I mean, truly, at the end of the day, isn’t life about sitting down, drink in hand, dogs at feet, smiling at the ones you love?

Sometimes you need to stop…not to smell the roses [ew, roses!], but to think about what you’re working towards.

Is it for the next thing? Because, while that’s okay for a while, it shouldn’t be all our lives are about.

They should also be about enjoying the things we have, resting in the places we call home, spending time drinking wine with our besties, laughing around bonfires with our parents, and stopping to chat after Sunday church.

This week, I want to spend more time enjoying the moments I’ve worked so hard to create because we take them for granted all too often and keep trucking toward the next thing.

Life shouldn’t always be a sprint, but a stroll, too!

Have a great week, friends!

It’s A House PAW-ty!! SLNW!?

Hey, pals!!

It has indeed been a minute! I apologize for the irregular and short blog posts lately. I feel like they are constant updates, but honestly, that’s about all I can manage to write about these days. Life has been busy and has my head spinning at moments – I’m exhausted but so happy. What’s better than writing about the things making your heat overpour? [true crime????] And if excitement isn’t something you want to stick around for…

Well, like, bye!

Dawson and I are getting a dog this Friday! AHHH! He is supposedly eight, yet everyone disagrees with this determination, he was surrendered, and he walks with a limp.

He is a corgi terrier mix with the name “Lefty;” however, he doesn’t know that name as it was recently given to him. I am between Lefty, Lenny, and Auggie. Ever since Girl Meets World came out, it has been my ultimate dream to have a best pal named Auggie…this one may be the one, you guys! ❤

As far as the house,

WE FOUND A MURDER WEAPON!

*dun dun DUNNNN*

Just kidding…maybe!? So, like, we were power-washing (yuck, don’t want to see that bill), and Dawson had to dig out old bushes and weeds in the corner. Then he found this, and we are convinced it was used to commit a murder!

Not a true crime fan? That’s okay – focus on this transformation instead! Now, we just need to stain it, which we will do as it gets cooler. Your girl doesn’t lie the heat or sun – clearly.

I 110% market water products and still didn’t think water could do this…..wow water is pretty cool lmao!

Today, as in 7/05/21, I am working with my dad to finish up the laundry closet. I painted 3/4 of the wall black (don’t look at the un-crisp line!! I used painter’s tape – OKAY!???) and the top 1/4 gray. Today, my dad is helping me make two shelves that we’ll hang with exposed black brackets.

I also made three 8×8 prints that I framed in 12×12 frames! There is one of Nick Miller from New Girl, one of David Rose from Schitt’s Creek, and a generic laundry one! Those will hang at the top for a little personalization – along with the $60+ I spent on decor to style the shelves.

…I know, I know! Totally worth it, and everyone thinks it’s an excellent investment. Thank you, and me too!

We are changing the outlet and adding a cover today – don’t panic!!

Lastly, have I shown you our black wall? I just cannot remember, so here it is again! Just need to lay the floor and add the crown molding!


Okay, friends! Well, I have a dog name to decide on, soup to heat up, pajamas to throw on, a sleepy Chuck to cuddle, and homework to do.

I hope your life is grooving – remember to stop and enjoy the little things, find purpose in your actions, and be open to new ideas!

Until next Monday (when more Bachelorette drama unfolds),

peace out!