My Husband And I Are Searching For Our Happiness

“It’s about $1,000 plus for an apartment in the north, so why don’t we look for places in the south?” my then-boyfriend asked me years ago.

We were searching for jobs in Tennessee – because I always wanted to live there.

So, he applied to a few jobs and boom, one day he got contacted, had two more interviews and obtained the job. We were off to embark on a new adventure.

Conveniently, we found an apartment, took all of our belongings and moved to Tennessee. It was a huge risk we took, but I think I was looking for happiness. Well, I think I was searching for several things.

I never did find them though.

I never felt like I belonged, there wasn’t much to do, my then-boyfriend and I constantly got into arguments and I didn’t make friends. People in the area kept telling me we’ll get used to living there, but we never did.

“You’ll be okay. It took me 6 months to feel settled. You’ll get there,” someone told me.

But, we lived there for a year and it still didn’t feel home to us.

Last April, my then-fiance lost his job and we were left with the decision to either ride it out or move back home.

We decided to temporarily move home because our wedding was taking place at the end of the year plus we needed to get back on our feet. However, both of us knew we wanted to be in the South. It was cheaper and the people were nicer.

I googled beautiful states in the South and landed on Charleston, SC.

Then, in December, he got a call about a job interview in Asheville, NC. The area was too expensive and we couldn’t find too many apartments. So, we rode around to see if there were other cities nearby we could live.

You should have seen us.

It was a sad story. 

We drove around Raleigh, Charlotte, Columbia, SC. We figured one of these cities would bring us a homey feeling. But, we never felt it. 

Then, we remembered Greenville, SC. We visited last April when one of my good friends offered to do our engagement shoot. We recalled feeling comfortable walking around the city, liking our surroundings and plus, we had a couple we knew!

Therefore, we’ve decided to choose Greenville.

Am I scared the same thing will happen again like Tennessee? Am I afraid to move away from everything I ever knew? Am I frightened to leave my family behind? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. But, in life, you must take chances.

I just want to be happy. Is that so much to ask for?

I want to live in an inexpensive state that I don’t have to worry paying 1,000+ for an apartment. I want to make friends with people who are similar to me. I want us to enjoy ourselves.

Heck, I want us to really start our life together. We haven’t been able to enjoy our life as newlyweds because we’ve been too concerned with finding jobs and stressing about money.

So, it’s time to find our happiness and we’re going to great lengths to search for it.

Via Mogul

Corey Stevens: The True Inspiration

I walked into Starbucks to meet a 24-year-old battling cancer for the 8th time. With a smile on his face, he said, “Hey!” His mentality remained upbeat, which made me completely envious. He has a positive outlook despite his illness.

At 13, everyone thought the lump in Corey Stevens’ arm was a fracture. No one knew it was really a tumor growing inside of him. He knew nothing about cancer, so he had no reaction when he found out.

“I didn’t know what cancer was, so I was just kind of there playing my Gameboy,” says Corey. “I’m glad I had that ignorance just because it helped with going through chemo.”

Corey is battling a type of bone cancer called osteosarcoma for the 8th time! Just picture going through chemo hoping and praying your cancer won’t return. Then, a few months later, it’s back again. It’s a vicious cycle that is on Corey’s mind daily, but that doesn’t stop him from living his life.

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Regardless of his illness, he is just your average 24-year-old. He loves to workout, photography, working on his 1990 Celica GT and a 1990 240sx and works at Papa John’s Pizza as a driver.

“On a daily basis, I like to work out, free-write and read some motivational speeches,” says Corey.

His two main goals in life are to become a motivational speaker and travel the world. With some persistence and dedication, I know Corey can and will reach those goals.

When it comes to alcohol, he’s not really a fan of drinking though because he’s more of an outdoorsy guy and likes to go to the park, hike and take plenty of photos.

“I find [taking pictures] fun,” says Corey. “I think I got that from my mom because she loved taking pictures. I take pictures of just whatever comes to mind.”

He says of his friends, “For the most part, my friends treat me like everybody else, which is the way I want to be treated,” says Corey.

Corey’s mentality is all about making people laugh. And, if you’re around him long enough, you’ll instantly be in a better mood because his personality shines and he truly lights up a room with his 100-watt smile. Another aspect of Corey is he doesn’t care about others think about him.

“I’ll laugh at myself,” says Corey. “And, you won’t ever see those people again.”

Throughout our 50-minute conversation, not once did he show pity for himself. If he does feel sad, he often calls a friend, who will cheer him up in an instant. But, something tells me that rarely occurs because of his positive demeanor.

“I just keep on fighting and keep on going,” says Corey. “There’s a reason why I’m still here.”

I could be a bit bias, but I’d have to say that this kid is pretty spectacular. To battle cancer 8 times, work and live life to the fullest and not complain is just so inspirational.

In May, Corey will fly to Maryland to receive gene therapy. This test will hopefully get rid of his cancer for good! He’s scared, but hopes that it will work in his favor.

“I may not get cancer after this again—if it works, so finger crossed!” says Corey enthusiastically.

To The Guys Who Don’t Like To Cuddle

Whenever my boyfriend and I lounge around at night, I see it as an opportunity to cuddle. I love the sense of his big and strong arms around me. I feel protected and loved at the same time. And, at times, it can be too much for him on those nights he’s dead tired; he desires nothing more than to sleep. But, then I complain that I just want to feel his touch and lay on his chest.

The thing I must learn is we cannot and will not always have cuddle sessions. Sure, he likes to snuggle once in a while, but unlike me, he doesn’t want to do it every night. Like other girls, I like to feel safe and wanted. But, how much is too much?

According to the Huffington Post article titled Men Value Cuddling, Women Value Sex, Says New Research On Relationship Satisfaction, Aline Zoldbrod, a psychologist in Lexington, Mass., told ABC News that touch in general is very important and, “touch from a person you love and trust is a major emotional resource and a way that people can regulate their emotions when they are upset. Couples who use touch to comfort, to compliment, and yes, to seduce and arouse, are bound to be happier.”

I feel happier when I’m near him because my emotional need is being met. When he’s not exhausted, he’s usually the one who mentions it first. Most times, he’s the one hugging, kissing and poking me. He’s more so the affectionate one in our relationship. But, when it comes to cuddling, I’m the one who needs it more.

But, the strange thing is I don’t need to cuddle after sex in order to feel fully satisfied. Instead, after a long day of him and I working, I just like to lay on him. Is that so wrong? And, I know when he’s not interested it has nothing to do with me. Instead, since he’s been up since 6:30 a.m. I can understand his want to head to bed. But, that doesn’t stop me from wanting to be close to him. We’re still in the honeymoon stage of our relationship, so I think I still crave physical touch. If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.

I know once I get older, have kids and take on more responsibility , cuddling will be limited and rare. I’m just preparing myself for that, so let me get all the cuddle seshs in now before my life completely changes

Getting Accustomed To New Surroundings

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Being new in town can be quite frightening. Knowing that you cannot confide in anyone besides your significant other is frustrating, but you must work with what you have.

My boyfriend and I moved to Tennessee a few days ago and we’re still get settled. Our parents, my brother and his friend joined us for the 15-hour ride. It was miserable, long and exhausting, but we finally arrived at an apartment we only saw photos of.

We were nervous that the apartment  wouldn’t live up to our expectations. I wasn’t able to see his reaction to the apartment since we in separate cars, but I know mine was star-struck!

After we signed the lease, we all made our way over to our brand new apartment to carry our items inside. Even though we were tired after the ride, everyone pitched in and we were done in no time.

My boyfriend and I were mentally drained. We’d been planning, getting our items together and packing for weeks and finally everything was coming together. When we drove around, we saw everything and anything a person could need and want.  There were restaurants, grocery stores, clothing stores scattered about 5-10 minutes from our apartment.

On Sunday, I was dreading everyone leaving. I still hadn’t thought about not seeing friends and family for months, so I put my feelings aside and thought about how excited I felt.  His parents were first and they both hugged us tightly and wished us luck.

My mother is very emotional, so I figured once my parents and brother left, she would breakdown. I prepared myself to see her cry, but she held it together. When they left, I felt this air of loneliness I never felt before. I wanted his parents and mine back because I’ve never lived without parents.

They were always around the corner or in another town.  Family and friends were always a car drive away. They weren’t 15 hours away in another state and I needed to learn how to do things on my own. I no longer had protection or a shield around me and I was scared shitless.

Driving around and settling will allow me to get more accustomed to my surroundings. I must get used to this town and not be afraid.

I Met My Boyfriend On OkCupid, And I Am Proud Of It

By Hope Kumor

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Most people seem to think that logging online to find someone is downright pathetic. And, guess what? I used to be one of those people. I refused to believe I could meet “the one” or anyone worthwhile over the internet. I mean, who knows what lays behind that screen? You could be chatting with a fat and perverted man while his pictures display otherwise.

Regardless, you fear for your life because you hear so many stories of guys and girls being murdered after meeting face-to-face . But, you just have to trust your gut and feel the other person out. I believe you’ll just know if you have a connection and know if it’s someone worth meeting. I know what you’re going to say though– Cat-fishing. There could come a time where everything adds up, but in the end, the person was being untruthful. I get the concerns and hesitation, but I believe you should at least try it out!

In October 2013, I logged on OkCupid and saw a message from my now-boyfriend regarding health & fitness. From there, we decided to meet face-to-face. But, when we went on our second date, I decided to just be friends because I was still reeling from my previous break-up. I couldn’t handle another guy in my life.

The same week, my best friend asked me if I wanted to join her and her boyfriend at the Penn Hurst Asylum. So, I decided to ask OkCupid guy to come along. He agreed and we all went together. That night, while in one of the buildings, I really looked at this man and decided that I was being silly. I did really like him and want to be more than friends.

I think I sensed something about this guy. I just knew there was something special about him. From the moment we started talking, I knew he was different from any other guy I’ve ever met. He was an attractive, nice, sweet and funny guy. He knew how to have a conversation and how to make me laugh.

I’ve never been in love, but I ended up falling for him within 4 months; while he fell for me after 3 months. We were each other’s firsts. I know you may say we’re more drawn to each other because of that and you’re right, but even before I knew anything about him, I had a very good feeling when it came to him.

We’ve been together for 15 months and are now taking a huge step in our relationship. We’ve mutually decided to move to Tennessee. We’re both nervous, but know it’s a stepping stone in our relationship.

I just never thought I would actually meet the guy of my dreams online. This just shows that it can be done, so why not try it out?

Circa Thought Catalog

Which Would You Choose As Your Afternoon Snack? Cherries or Oreos?

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(Which would you choose as your afternoon snack?)

By Hope Kumor

Cherries or Oreos? 

So, your mouth is probably watering just eyeing this photo. You love oreos and could eat them every single day if possible. Sure, those puppies look great at first glance, but do you know how truly horrible oreos are for you?

Um. First off, do you know how freekin processed this snack is? I mean, sure, I sort of like oreos, but I wouldn’t constantly consume this chocolatey cookie.

Before I begin telling you about this cookie, I need to do my research. I can’t give you false info now, can I?

According to LiveStrong, in one six-cookie package of Oreos, there is 270 calories. Each cookie in that package contains 45 calories. Of those 45 calories, 27 are from carbohydrates. Fat contributes 16.5 calories to each cookie. Only 1.5 calories in each cookie come from protein.

Instead of eating an oreo, you can consume something better for you at 45 calories! Come on. Your health could be in jeopardy. I’m not saying not to indulge. I’m just simply stating if you chump on these one after another, it’s an issue.

Oreos are known as America’s favorite cookie. Well, you and oreos should probably break up soon. Or, at least have a little break because this cookie could be costing you more trouble than its worth. You gain weight and become addicted because evidently, these cookies are as addictive as cocaine.

No, I didn’t make that up.  Connecticut college conducted a study on this. I was blown away when I heard that yummy white stuff us Americas can’t get enough of in the center could rightfully be cocaine. You’re probably scratching your head. I know, I did the same actually. How could a cookie be laced with cocaine?

Well, Huffington Post suggests, Several studies have shown sugar itself is just as addictive as drugs like cocaine and often cause deadly diseases like obesity, diabetes and cancer. Health professionals are particularly concerned about our daily sugar consumption because it’s in almost everything we eat.

Argh! What do you think about this?

I know most people will choose oreos because they taste better. However, do you know how healthy cherries are for you? Not to mention, they are delish!

Just to give you an idea, Livestrong says, cherries are full of antioxidants, are made up of 75 percent water and are a healthy substitute for cookies and candy.

See, now, with all this information in mind, look at the photo once more and tell me which you’d choose.

Happy eating!

Inspiration.

So, are you in need of some inspiration and encouraging words?

Are you having a hard time coping with what’s occurring in your life? Are you sad, unhappy and depressed and need some UPLIFTING? Well, I’m here to lift your spirits.

Path

If you need anything, e-mail: hopeandlove89@gmail.com

I’d be more than happy to chat with you!

Everything In Life Is Connected

Have you ever thought of life being intertwined? Everything you do somehow comes back to you. Everything in life is connected in some form.

Maybe everything that I’m doing right now is relevant. Maybe my job is supposed to lead me into something bigger and greater. Maybe I’m supposed to learn and grow from this job. Maybe the knowledge I’m getting will help me in the long run.

BIG NEWS: My boyfriend had 2 over-the-phone interviews in with a company in Tennessee and now, they’ve asked him to come on down to scope out the place. It’s not a huge deal, but I could be re-locating to Tennessee. I’m trying not to think too hard about it because then it won’t happen. But, at the same time, this company has been pursuing him a great deal and I have no clue why they wouldn’t hire him.

I’m telling you this because last month, he & I went to Tennessee. I was very persistent on us going there just to check it out. I wanted him to see how beautiful & gorgeous it was. At the time, he asked if there was any other place I desired to go. We searched other spots, but I kept going back to the Tennessee idea. So, it was set.

He absolutely loved Tennessee. When we got back, his dad asked him, “So, what did you think?” My boyfriend turns to his father and says, “Find me a job.”

Weird!

So, isn’t it strange how things work? But, again, he may not even get it. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime, we’re going to scope out some apartments down there– just in case.

So, the question I ask is: Do you think everything in life is somehow tied together?

Everything you do has a meaning behind it. There’s a lesson to be learned. You become stronger from out-of-your-comfort-zone experiences. Sometimes, you must take a huge risk in order to become happy. Maybe I won’t ever know if it’s truly the right thing. No one can predict the future. But, if you never take the leap then how will you ever know?

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(Us in Tennessee visiting Vanderbilt University)

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(And standing by the Christmas decorations)

Embrace Who You Are!

It’s time to feel comfortable in your own skin. Stop putting yourself down so much. What do you like about yourself?

Embrace Who You Are!

Let’s be honest, not all of us can be a size two or look like Jillian Michaels (hello muscles!). But what we can do is accept who we are instead of trying to alter ourselves or beating ourselves up.

Try this on for size – embracing who you are despite your weight can score you some serious happiness points. Truth is, the most confident girl in the room, despite her size or appearance, is usually the most fun to be around.

“Being heavy and being thin does not really matter all that much, as long as it is the body you just naturally have, it is perfect for you,” Ceena Ford, an English major says. “As long as you are treating your body right, loving it and keeping it healthy, you are perfect.”

It’s in front of us all the time, magazines, reality shows, and the media telling us how to dress and look. It’s no wonder girls lack self-confidence.

But, instead of listening to what everyone says, let’s focus on how truly beautiful our own individual flaws are. That freckle on the tip of your nose? It’s actually quite adorable. And that semi-crooked smile is so totally endearing.

Ask yourself this: other than having a thin frame, what’s the difference between skinny and heavier women? When it comes to studies, morals, skills and personality, weight is clearly not a factor. And after a while, looks fade and bodies start to sag (sorry ladies). If you have a 4.0 GPA or an outstanding personality, it doesn’t matter what numbers show on the scale.

“The people that will stick with you through your life don’t care in the least if you are a size 4 or a 14.” Ford says. “Girls get so hung up on pleasing or attracting the people that will care; they forget that it is far easier to just be.”

Most of the time, we wear makeup, attractive clothes and work-out to fit in or find love, but we forget to work on impressing ourselves. We create this persona of who we’re told to be instead of listening to our real self. And just face it – the real you is pretty freaking awesome.

You’re going to be you for, well, forever, so embrace it because darlings, we’re all fabulous!

I Gave Online Dating A Second Chance

Hello dolls–

So, if you haven’t noticed, what I’ve been doing lately is digging up old posts to share with you. I wanted to publish my favorite articles I previously wrote. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them!

My next one is:

I Gave Online Dating A Second Chance

Have you ever tried any online dating sites? If not, I encourage you to do so just once in your life to see what happens… Check out my experience.

I promised myself that I would never try online dating. I told myself how pathetic it was and how shitty I felt about meeting someone online. I didn’t want anything to do with meeting a guy online. I felt desperate and stupid in the eyes of others as well as myself. I was sure I’d never put myself through that shit.

I’ve heard about online relationships and knew I shouldn’t touch that demon. It was for people who didn’t mind talking online, people who didn’t get out a lot due to work or people who were too afraid to speak to the opposite sex. None of the above was me.

Then, my best friend tried it and she convinced me that it wasn’t so bad and that I shouldn’t be afraid of it. I fought with the idea for a while before giving in.

I signed up for Plentyoffish.com for fun. I wasn’t being serious about it. I just did it to meet guys. I didn’t tell anyone except for my best friend. I was embarrassed and mortified that I resorted to this.

But then I met a guy. He seemed pretty cool and I hung out with him twice before I deciding to stop seeing him. He was all about his appearance and just wanted sex. He wasn’t special enough and didn’t deserve that from me. I never spoke to him after that. I had a weird, strange feeling about him afterward.

I decided I was done with guys. I deleted my account and enjoyed my single life with my best friend. She was in a relationship around the time I gave up on guys. Then, her and her boyfriend broke up and she was back on the market.

She was part of the reason I signed up for another site– Okcupid.com. I did that without telling anyone. My best friend didn’t even know I made an account. I just made it one night. I seriously did not want to, but I figured why not? I quickly typed in my info while no one was around and felt like shit afterward. I would only occasionally check it. I spoke with one guy I began to like on the Website, but he wasn’t really educated and never typed sentences correctly. Ever. As a former English major, that mattered to me and it bothered me. He was in the Navy and was heading to Cuba for a few days. I gave him my number to text me, but I never heard from him.

In October a new guy messaged me about health and fitness, which is my true passion. We exchanged a few messages back and forth. I thought he was cute. I didn’t tell anyone that we were talking. Finally, after the third day of talking, I gave him my number.

My man
Happy ending? Maybe.

For some reason, I had a strong connection with this guy and I couldn’t explain it. I was drawn to him. We spoke about deep topics and exchanged stories we wouldn’t normally share. It was weird to me to be so connected with someone else. He began saying things like, “I feel as if I’m talking to the female version of myself” and “You’ve had me living in a dream.” I really loved our conversations. We had long, elaborate conversations and they were heavy topics.

The following Wednesday we met at my gym. The plan was to work-out and then grab some dinner. I was sweating bullets that morning for some odd reason. I felt as if I was going on an interview. I questioned if I could do it. But, if I say I’m going to do something, I don’t bail. I was going even if I had to literally push myself.

After 15 minutes of hiding in my car, I went out into the gym and met this man. He was tall, dark and handsome. He greeted me with a hug and said, “Wow, you are really cute.” To my surprise, it wasn’t awkward. We went on the treadmill and began walking. We exchanged stories, just like in text messages, and there were only a few brief pauses. He showed me some exercises and I showed him others. We were there for two hours before we went to TGIFridays and ordered salads. Both of us didn’t want to go home, but it was after 6:00 p.m. We said our goodbyes and left.

For our second date, we went miniature golfing. He picked me up, but I didn’t want him to meet my family (whom I live with). My mom knew the whole story, but my dad didn’t. I only told my best friend and my two brothers.

Then, for some odd reason, I got weird. I felt like this guy, who seemed so confident on our first date, wasn’t as sure of himself as I thought. It turned me off. I tried to push it out of my mind and focus on our date, but I was bothered by that.

At the golf course, he didn’t appear as attractive as he was before. I believe it went with the confidence aspect. I was scared too. I suggested we go to this by park right by my house. As we began walking around, I became weird and unsociable. I knew it and I hoped he didn’t notice. I was a rude bitch and I didn’t care. I sort of wanted to leave, making an excuse that I had to go home for dinner. We hugged for a brief moment when he dropped me off and that was that.

I didn’t want to have anything to do with him. I immediately placed him in “the friend zone” because I was terrified. I didn’t ask myself “Why?” I just didn’t want to deal with my emotions. I told my family I didn’t want to be with him and that I wasn’t that into him. He was the first guy I had strong feelings for since my ex.

I didn’t know how to handle my emotions and immediately jumped to, “I don’t want, need or desire a boyfriend right now.” Deep down, I was scared to get close to someone again. I questioned if I was truly ready to have another boyfriend. I remember asking him, “Why would you want to be with someone who is so indecisive?”

I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but I knew I did. Instead of taking the time to let him know all of this, I shut down. It was an immature way of handling it, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t willing to deal with my emotions, so I brushed them off like a frightened coward.

But then my best friend invited me to go on a double date with her and her boy, and I invited the guy. The night of the date when he picked me up, I told him he could meet my parents. He seemed really cute and nice. We flirted on the way over to my best friends.

The rest of the night went superb. Eventually, I held his hand and we got closer. I initiated physical contact with him. Later that night, he asked me, “So, what’s going on here?” I was confused and I knew I was confusing the hell out of him because I just stated days before I only wanted to be friends. I knew something was happening and said, “If we’re going to do this, I want to take it really slow. I mean, like really, really slow.” He said it was fine and after that, we went on a few dates and had a nice time.

After that, things went very smoothly. I met his family. We got closer. We got intimate and are crazy about each other. In November, this sexy, cute, nice, smart, intelligent, generous and sweet guy asked me to be his girlfriend at Longwood Gardens with note reading, “Will you be my girlfriend?” With a huge smile on my face, I replied, “Yes!”

The note he gave me
The note. So adorable.

So, here’s the thing, sometimes, online websites do in fact work. You might feel embarrassed and literally dumb for resorting to them, but I’m a prime example of how it worked. I don’t know what I would do without this guy by my side. I’m the luckiest gal in the world to have found such an incredible man. He’s very supportive and I believe he would do anything for me. It’s a shame more guys aren’t like him. He’s like the perfect guy for me and I’m still amused at how similar we are. Seriously, I could go on and on about this man for days. And, just thinking about him gets me excited.

I just want to say, thank you Brett for being the best guy in the world!