How Wine and Country Music Led to My Run-In with the Law

By Maggie Reimherr

I’m still a little rusty on this blogging thing post-hiatus. But doesn’t the old adage go, “Write what you know”? Well, what I know is that once, not very long ago, a real live cop showed up at my doorstep, and I had a run-in with the law… for singing Shania Twain songs too loudly.  

For anyone who knows me as a rule follower, this revelation might be shocking. But for anyone who REALLY knows me, getting the cops called to my apartment for loud singing is just about the Maggiest thing to ever happen.

The story goes like this: my lifelong friend Sydney came from DC to Atlanta to visit me on a nice October weekend. We were friends in elementary school, the awkward days of junior high, and were also roommates freshman year of college.

Everyone knows the best reminiscing with old friends happens in someone's living room while splitting a box of wine, right? Don’t worry, it wasn’t Franzia. We’re classy Bota Box people here.

We started chatting about our Christian elementary school days, and that evolved into us watching old Stephen Curtis Chapman music videos. In the meantime, we were *diving in* deeper to that box of wine. (Props to anyone who gets that reference - you are my people.)

Eventually, our YouTube adventure led us down the path of late 90s/early 2000s girl country, unquestionably a golden age of music. We fell down the rabbit hole of “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “This Kiss” and “The Way You Love Me” and “Independence Day,” paying homage to Shania and Martina and Faith with exceedingly larger glasses of wine. By the time we reached the pinnacle of girl power country anthems, “Man, I Feel Like a Woman,” we were LIT.

I don’t know how long this went on because tbh, wine skews the concept of time. What I do know is that my patient husband was in the vicinity the whole night, trying to have a peaceful Friday evening playing his way through a video game. As a sober witness, he attests that the more wine we consumed, the louder we got.

Suddenly, around 10:20 PM, there was a BANGING at the door. Sydney, channeling her 17 year old self, ran into a bedroom to hide from the cops as if we were throwing an illegal high school party. Derek, being the mature adult in the situation, answered the door. I, the consummate rule follower, immediately grabbed the remote to turn down the volume. Somewhere in my intoxicated, singing soul, I knew what was up.

Sure enough, an actual police officer stood at the door. And he was laughing at me because it appeared that ONE five foot tall woman was producing the entirety of the noise. Amidst his chuckles, he managed to get out the words "noise complaint."

Derek assured him that we’d keep the noise down, and off went the cop, presumably to laugh at my expense with the fellow officers at his precinct.

I went through several stages of shock and grief at this point.

Shock - “Oh my gosh, were we really being that loud?”

Denial - "We couldn't POSSIBLY have been creating such a disturbance to justify a call to the police!" 

Anger - “WHO THE HELL CALLS THE COPS ABOUT NOISE ON A FRIDAY NIGHT AT 10:00? IT'S NOT EVEN LATE. THIS IS AN INJUSTICE. DO THEY NOT KNOW THAT THERE IS *REAL CRIME* HAPPENING AS WE SPEAK? WHAT A WASTE OF POLICE RESOURCES!”

Depression - "I am deeply ashamed of my raucous behavior."

And finally, acceptance - “We were really loud. And this situation is HILARIOUS.”  

On one hand, it’s kind of embarrassing that several years out of college, I had the cops called on me and one other person for singing. On the other hand, it’s maybe my favorite story of all time. Either way, it’s resulted in me being the self-appointed noise police every time we have people over.

I’m deeply sorry to the neighbors who were personally victimized by having to endure the sounds of two happy women singing empowering country music. However, I would like to request that if you don’t like my singing voice, SAY IT TO MY FACE. 

Never again will I be a public nuisance by singing in my apartment. If you want to sing Shania with me, I will gladly join you at a local karaoke bar for sanctioned musical outbursts. Otherwise, you can catch my nightly performance in my car at rush hour.

My Married Life Has Never Been So Boring

 Photo by  Shanon Bell

Photo by Shanon Bell

By Maggie Reimherr

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this blog has been silent for a while. We didn’t plan a 7 month hiatus, but at some point I had a strange realization. You know, for two highly dramatic individuals, Derek and I have become... sort of boring.

It first hit me when I found myself planning one on one hang outs with my girlfriends less and less often, more like every 6 weeks or so. My boring life wasn’t exciting enough to generate enough topics of conversation to make higher frequencies of hangs a necessity. For example, I have a friend who’s also happily married. We go on a walk together every so often, catch up on absolutely everything of note that’s happened since the last time we hung out, and wrap things up in less than 2 hours. Is every married person like this?

Don’t get me wrong. I love our life. Derek and I love each other. We go on fun dates, plan great adventures, and spend plenty of time with the people with love. But where is the drama? The intrigue?

 via giphy

via giphy

As someone who has been an avid consumer of romance novels since I read my first Nicholas Sparks book long before it was age-appropriate, I always anticipated that my life would include romantic gestures and dramatic spectacles. Where are my expensive candlelit dinners at sunset follow by stargazing on a sexy pile of blankets and pillows on the beach? (Maggie, you don’t even live near a beach.) Where is the evil ex-husband because of whom I had to change my identity to avoid him tracking me down and trying to keep us apart? (Again, Maggie, you got married at 23. You don’t have an ex-husband.)

Sure, Derek and I occasionally do romantic things for each other. Usually, these things involve cooking or trying out a new, fancy restaurant. Food is one of the greatest joys of life, let’s be honest. But there is no drama. I don’t have romantic feelings exploding out of me at all times (only sometimes). We’re not facing any major relational obstacles at the moment, and we really haven’t since we got married.

Could it be that real love isn’t chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne or fighting bad guys to be together? Could it be like snuggling on the couch, eating frozen pizza and drinking beer, and watching a movie? Especially when one of us is super reluctant about watching *another* action movie but gives in to because the other person reeeeeeally wants to watch it?

I think, probably, yes. And I’ve never been happier. Is this “boring” we’ve been experiencing actually a sign of a healthy relationship?

But anyway, as a blogger, when your life is boring, you’re a little hard pressed to create content. So we took a writing break.

Yes, our life is overall steady and fulfilling. But after several months off, I now realize that we are still bumbling idiots approximately (and generously) 50% of the time. I mean, not too long ago ago Derek had to teach me how to properly do laundry because apparently when you wash everything on warm, that’s, like, bad for your clothes? RIP Derek’s shrunken pants.

Even though we’ve settled into our married life and routine, we still have stories and lessons to share. So we’ve decided to come back!

I’m wary about making promises, but here’s what we’re aiming for: 1 new post a week guaranteed to be filled with either helpful advice or stories about how I’m sometimes a dumbass.

Also, we’re bringing back the good ol’ ‘gram. Follow us on Instagram at @millennialmarriage. Insta-stories of Derek teaching me how to do basic household chores are probably to come.

It feels good to be back.

I Don't Miss College

 Photo by  Alex Jones  on  Unsplash

Photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash

By Derek Reimherr

I’ve been watching all the Facebook announcements about school kicking back up. People are moving into dorms and new apartments, talking about football season, and lamenting the cost of books.

So I’m just gonna come right out and say it: I don’t miss college.

Sure, I got a pang of nostalgia thinking about moving into my dorm for the first time. But my envy ends there.

Don’t get me wrong, my four….and a half….years at The University of Georgia were amazing.

I met some of my best friends, people whose weddings I was in and who were in my weddings. Oh yeah, and I met my wife at school.

I developed a slight obsession with college football. I traveled to almost a dozen away football games, notably going to the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail party (Google it) three times where UGA won all three years. I was also at every single heartbreaking loss (yes, all of them) between the 2009 and 2013 seasons. I even played NCAA Football 2013 so often that I developed a legit win steak playing as Michigan (sorry for all the butt kicking, Tyler).

I was part of an amazing fraternity where I developed lifelong friendships. I planned a formal event in Charleston with several other chapters. I got to participate in Greek life and collect enough date night t-shirts for a quilt. RIP frocket t-shirt collection, it did not survive my transition to adulthood.

I played flag football, ultimate frisbee, and volleyball rec sports. Our flag football team even went to the championship. I’m sure I’ll be reminiscing about that over Yuenglings at Chile’s for years. I even officiated several of those sports as a referee.

Academically speaking, since you know that’s what college is about, I received two degrees. I worked in a psychology research lab for a year and literally carried out the scientific method. I genuinely learned a ton of new, cool things in my time at school. *Nerd alert*

I joined a leadership development program at my church for a year. Including that, I worked 6 internships while I was in college that helped set me up for where I am now vocationally. Plus, I held a number of other part-time jobs which helped me work on my time management skills.

But it’s easy to look back at college with rose colored glasses. Turn over the rock and all of the sudden, you notice all the bugs. They probably came from under the dresser in your dorm. Honestly, there are a bunch of things about college that really sucked.

  1. Not having money really sucked.

    I’m extremely blessed that my parents supported me with food and rent money. Nevertheless, at the end of the semester, I was literally eating baked potatoes and baked beans 5 or 6 meals a week. Have you ever used a coupon book to pay for dates? I did, multiple times. #NoShame

    No matter how many Papa John’s pizzas I delivered, there was no way I could take 16 hours of classes and pay for the university meal plan and rent at the same time. Thanks for the $100 tip that one time Tri Delt girl, but that’s not gonna cover the cost of my $250 economics textbook which will suddenly be worth $3.47 at the bookstore in 3 months.

     

  2. Taking tests every week really sucked.

    I’ll be the first one to admit I hate studying. I was all about some shared Google docs with a student-created study guide. There were a few semesters I barely skated by. And to be honest, do I really need to know the science behind low pressure air systems and how they contribute to weather systems? According to my Geology 1103 tests, I did.

    Forgot about those tests, didn’t you?
     

  3. Dealing with academic pressure to keep financial aid really sucked.

    Did everyone forget how stressful it was to constantly click refresh on their college academic portal, praying you made that B+ on your final you needed to get the right grade to keep your multi-thousand dollar grant or scholarship? Just me?
     

  4. Lab classes really sucked.

    Everyone knows what I’m talking about. Whether it was a Spanish lab or Biology lab, those 3-4 hour classes once a week were the worst. In my biology 1104 lab, I had to go to grow an ecosystem in a jar and then write a 15 page peer-reviewed backed research paper based on my observations. Because the scientific community desperately needed my 19 years of life-science-hating wisdom on the subject. Speaking of…
     

  5. Writing 10+ page research papers really sucked.

    I recently found my Dropbox file from college with all of my research papers. There were dozens of them. And each one required hours of research, hours invested into a rough draft, hours into a final draft, and then hours of proofreading. I’m not mad that I don’t have to write them anymore.
     

  6. Having people constantly ask you what you’re doing after college really sucked.

    Whether it was peers, friends, fraternity/sorority members, parents, relatives, co-workers...someone was always inquiring about your vocational direction. That in of itself isn’t a big deal. It was the judgment or comparison that came after it. No one cares that you think being counselor, financial planner, marketer, or educator is inferior to a science or law-based track. Go away Karen, you’re the worst. And Uncle Rick, yes, you CAN make money with a communications degree and no, your son is not better than me because he has a marketing degree. Come off it.
     

  7. Deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life after college really sucked.

    Some people come into college knowing exactly what they want to do. Some people have a subject they’re really good at, like math, and know they want to use that in some way. Some people had no idea and just kind of figured it out. Like me. So while you’re racking up thousands of dollars in debt, trying out various internships, and fielding questions about your life choices from literally everyone, the countdown to graduation is another week closer. But I was definitely doing okay.
     

  8. The search for internships really sucked.

    Basically every entry level job requires 2-3 years of experience (advanced degree preferred) these days. The only way you can stand out is with internship experience. Some companies offer unpaid internships which is just a cute way of saying vocational volunteering aka working for free. But it’s a great opportunity to build your resume, right? And the internships that actually do pay are rarer than unicorns. Plus, you’re fighting dozens and dozens of other people for the job. Easy peasy.
     

  9. Student loans really suck.

    On a serious note, this is real life, no past tense here. Leaving college with thousands in debt is just tough, especially considering how much entry level jobs pay. The past 30 years have seen a 400% increase in college tuition. As it stands, college tuition increases are continuing to outpace inflation and financial aid isn’t pacing with those increases. So like yeah totally take that semester abroad, it’s NBD.

--

My time at The University of Georgia was fantastic, life-changing, and foundational to who I am today. But do I miss college? Nah. I’ll take my DINK life living in downtown Atlanta any day.

Athens, GA, on the other hand, will always have my heart.

Happy Friday! (And a Jord Watches Giveaway!)

By Maggie Reimherr

Happy Friday, y'all! We are Oxford, MS bound for my sister’s college graduation. A college graduation that comes with an adventure to a cool little Southern town? Yes, please. We’re excited to eat some delicious Southern food, attend a graduation at Ole Miss’s famous Grove, drink cocktails (and, since it's a college town, light beer) at the local watering holes, and maybe even go on a literary adventure - William Faulkner’s old home, Rowan Oak, is in town!

And I know y'all know Mother’s Day is this weekend, too. I hope you have your gifts ready. Your mom deserves better than Kroger flowers.

Finally - shameless plug to myself - my birthday is on Mother's Day. I'm turning 25, which I feel like legitimizes me as an adult. Derek seems to have some birthday surprises up his sleeve, and I'm also super happy that on the morning of my birthday, I'll be with my family before we head back to Atlanta after the weekend in Mississippi.

With a graduation, a Mother’s Day, and a birthday this weekend, there are a ton of gift-giving occasions set before us. If Jord Watches hadn't been so generous to send me one of their gorgeous wood watches, one of these bad boys would definitely be on my birthday wish list. I love the Frankie Zebrawood and Navy women's watch they sent me!

I'll admit, we weren't the best planners for Mother's Day and my sister’s graduation so we couldn't get this unique Mother's Day gift (shout out to Williams Sonoma and checkbooks for saving us). But guess what? In two weeks, we have another graduation - my baby brother’s all grown up and graduating from high school - and Father's Day is just around the corner. Jord has super trendy men’s watch styles too! The best part? You can make it an engraved gift and personalize it however you like!

If you know me, you know my style has been more preppy than hip. I've been rocking J Crew cardigans since I was 17. But this cool watch has made me want to turn over a new, more fashionable leaf. So I'm wearing my wood watch to graduation this weekend with a trendy jumpsuit!

Derek and I are partnering with Jord to give away a $100 gift card toward their beautiful watches. You can enter below!

What are y'all up to this weekend?! And how cute are Jord's watches?! Leave us a note in the comments or on social media - and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

So We Moved to Atlanta: A Recap

By Maggie Reimherr

I don't know if y'all have noticed, but things have slowed down on the blog over this past month. We have a pretty decent excuse - we moved across the country. But now that we’re settled, it's time to pick it back up. So let's play catch up.

First up: the big move. It didn’t exactly go as planned. You see what happened was…

Derek's license expired about 2 weeks before the move. He planned to get a new one in MA even though it would’ve cost upwards of $150 (total ripoff). But then the day before we packed up, he tripped and sprained his ankle on the cobblestone streets of Boston. In true Boston fashion, the city’s infrastructure gave him a big “f you.”

Did y'all know moving trucks don’t have cruise control? We didn’t. With him in some serious pain and no cruise control to help, it was left to little 5’1” Maggie to drive the truck.

Another question: Did y'all know moving trucks were classified as commercial vehicles and are subject to height clearance rules? Well, I didn't. And this time, it was my turn to receive a big “f you” from a New York State trooper in the form of a ticket. As a lifelong rule follower, I was so embarrassed for not knowing this particular rule. I was also outraged that the cop decided to fill his February ticket quota by pulling over and being extremely rude to a 20-something girl who was already in a very stressful situation. And now I'm avoiding the consequences… I’ve yet to make the phone call to the local courts to find out how much I owe. Luckily we just got our security deposit back from our Boston landlord. So hello and goodbye, money.

So We Moved.png

We made it to Durham, NC in one day as we planned...technically. We rolled into the Holiday Inn Express parking lot at 2:30 am after stopping nearby to “get some fresh air” and “grab a snack.” Quotations used because we were exhausted and needed breaks to wake up. Driving that late at night was extremely unsafe and I wouldn't recommend it. But I'd already booked and paid for the hotel room so we felt obligated to get there. (P.S. Don’t do that either.)

After 1,000 miles on the road, Atlanta was finally in sight. We double checked with the apartment complex to make sure we were good to move in. Of course, we weren’t. We had to set up an account with the utility company to transfer over payment responsibilities. Oh, and we also needed money orders for our move-in fees. So after several frantic phone calls and a stop by Walmart, we finally rolled up to our new home in Atlanta, vowing never to do an out of state move (at least on our own) again.

When we got to Atlanta, we were greeted by friends and family to help move us in (#blessed #thankyou). Beer and pizza are always great motivators for friends. We wasted absolutely no time decorating the place and making it feel like home (one of Derek’s rules - he’s the interior decorator in this relationship). A few days later, I started my new job and Derek started working remotely.

So what've we been up to since? Settling in. Enjoying time with friends and family. Eating at a lot of restaurants in the neighborhood and drinking a lot of local beer. Exploring. Learning how to get around the city… and now, conveniently, as we just learned the routes, without using I-85. We’re walking distance to several parks, walking trails, shopping districts, and restaurants and bars galore, so we’ve taken the time to breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy it.

The whole moving ourselves thing was...rather chaotic. But we are unbelievably thrilled to be here. Shout out to everyone who helped us move - we couldn't have done it without y'all!

And now, back to your regularly scheduled Millennial Marriage programming. New content is coming your way!

The Reimherrs Are Moving

By Derek Reimherr

The Reimherrs have a big announcement...

And no, we’re not pregnant (thank God).

This weekend, we’re packing up our Boston life and moving to Atlanta, Georgia! How we’re currently feeling:

But we wouldn’t be surprised if you’re reading this going, “Hold up…”

We get it, we’ve got some explaining to do. Buckle up for a story.

I moved to Boston when Toyota relocated me here from California. About a year later, Maggie and I got married and she moved here. It wasn’t too long after that when I decided to make a career change. For about the past year, I’ve been working for a marketing agency in downtown Boston. And since I left Toyota, we started thinking, “Why are we in Boston?” In truth, we didn’t have a great answer.

While we love Boston as a city, we don’t have any ties here. I’ve really enjoyed the past 2 years of living in such a historic place with weekend trips to Vermont, Maine, and New York. We’ve loved our church home at Reality Church in the Boston South End. It’s been awesome being Georgia transplants with a couple that we’re close with there (and we're going to miss them a ton). And it’s been really cool living a “city” life.

 I mean, Boston is a really beautiful city.

I mean, Boston is a really beautiful city.

But at the end of the day, we weren’t *in love* enough with the city to stay here. So we started thinking about our next location. We tossed around the ideas of moving to Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, DC, and Raleigh. We came really close to making the move to Austin, TX.

Maggie kept poking at me, though. “What if we moved back to Atlanta?” I resisted the idea at first; I wasn’t ready to move back yet. I’ve got some serious wanderlust thanks to my two relocations and going back somewhere I spent 22 years of my life wasn’t appealing. But as we were praying through the process, all of our options just kept leading us back to Atlanta.

 Then again, atlanta isn't half bad.

Then again, atlanta isn't half bad.

We consider Atlanta home, though neither of us has actually lived in the city limits. Maggie’s family has been in Atlanta for the last 5 years, so she’s spent a lot of time there. I’m from Cumming, GA, about 45 minutes north of Atlanta (or like 2 hours if you're trying to get there at rush hour), and my parents still live there. So while our knowledge of actually living “in town” is limited, we’ve been in the area enough to know what we’re getting ourselves into.

Boston has been lonely at times, especially for me before Maggie moved. Though we have a small group of close friends here, we’ve often had to rely on each other for our social life. This has been amazing for our first year of marriage. We’ve grown a lot closer because we’ve had fewer distractions during rough patches. But we miss having our broader social circle - our larger community of friends and family. Most of our college friends are in Atlanta and almost all of our family is in the South, with a huge percentage being in or near Atlanta. Last year alone, we spent about $4000 on plane tickets traveling to Georgia for friends and family (mostly weddings, but still). That’s dumb. We’re done with that.

A big puzzle piece for us moving to Atlanta was living in a **cool** part of the city. I grew up in the suburbs and want nothing to do with living there again. No downtown life = no Derek moving to Georgia. Enter our dream apartment.

When we were visiting some friends in October, we ate dinner at a restaurant on the east side of town in Poncey Highland. We fell in love with the neighborhood. When Maggie was down south for final job interviews, she toured said dream apartment in what has become our dream neighborhood. Admittedly, her commute is going to be a bit of a mess. That’s the ATL, y’all. But for the time being, it’s completely worth it for weekends on the Beltline (a several mile long paved walking trail through parts of downtown) and being walking distance from yuppie...I mean cool areas in town like Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market, and Little Five Points. I’ll be working remotely with my current company walking to aforementioned locales.

So there you have it: the long story of why we’re moving back to Atlanta. It’s still surreal. We’ve held off announcing until all of the paperwork and conversations were finalized. Honestly, it’s kind of a relief because we’ve been talking about it for months. We’re incredibly stoked to be coming back.

Also, quick PSA for those of y’all not from Georgia: no one calls it HOTlanta. Get that mess out of here. If anything, it’s the “ATL.” Additionally, don’t hit those hard Ts like AT-lan-Ta. No. Wrong. Various acceptable prounciations include “Idlanna,” “Uhlanna,” and “Adlanna.” I’m an “Idlanna” guy myself.

Atlanta friends and family: see y’all soon!

The Bachelor, A Husband's Commentary: Episode 8

By Derek Reimherr

*Sigh*, time to jump back into this circus again. The Reimherrs have had a crazy few weeks (more to come soon). Sorry if you wanted any commentary on Corrine’s antics. I had the apartment to myself and played video games instead of watching Nick cry a bunch.

This week was all about hometown dates. Let’s do this.

 Photo: ABC

Photo: ABC


Raven

Scene opens in Hoxie, Arkansas - small town, Southern life. This is what awful country songs are inspired by. Except in real life it’s quaint and nice and those country songs are still awful. Looking at you Florida-Georgia Line.

Raven and Nick go muddin’, because of course they do. And they make out in the mud because...wait, no that’s not an “of course” moment. Y’all ever been in a marsh/swamp/mud pit? I have. There are bugs everywhere and it sucks. I once got pinned underneath a 4-wheeler in a mud pit for about 30 mins, but that’s a different story for a different time.

They walk up to the top of a grain bin and the local sheriff’s department busts them for trespassing. JK, surprise (not)! Raven’s brother is a local cop and apparent prankster. Gooooood one.

On to Raven’s parents’ house, adorned with a GO HOGS wreath on the front door. Woo Pig Sooie. Welcome to Arkansas!

Here we see Nick get to awkwardly be a part of some personal family moments. Her parents share that after a tough few years battling lung cancer, her Dad is cancer free. My only choice at this point is to be Team Raven. I would’ve lost my Bachelor Fantasy League because obviously Danielle vs Danielle didn’t happen.


Rachel

Next up: Dallas, TX for Rachel’s hometown date. We already know where this is going because Rachel’s the next Bachelorette. (Spoiler alert, there were leaks. If you missed them, your fault. I’m a dude who barely gets through the show and I even know about that.) So this feels like kind of a waste of time knowing that in the end, there’s no happy ending for Rachel and Nick.

Rachel takes Nick out of his element and takes him to her church - a black church. Nick really needs to work on his rhythm game. I’ve seen more rhythm in a middle school kid’s game room playing Rock Band.

The church segment makes way for the discussions about race and interracial dating that are central to this date. It’s nice to see ABC not shying away from that.

We head to meet Rachel’s family. Her sister is married to a white guy, so they chat with her sister and brother-in-law about their interracial relationship - and the challenges they might face in that. All of the conversations about race really tee things up nicely for Rachel to head into being the first black Bachelorette.

After seeing this hometown date and knowing Rachel is the new Bachelorette, I think we’re all curious - what the heck goes wrong with these two? Things have seemed to be great for them since the beginning. I guess we’ll find out soon.


Corrine

Miami, FL: home of beautiful beaches and culture and Corrine. And what do you know? A day in the life of Corrine is full of...shopping.

Some quotes sum this date up better than I can:

“Corrine is on a first name basis with everyone in a store. It’s like Christmas morning to the people at the store.”

“An ordinary day to Corrine is an unordinary day to literally everyone else.”

“Nick was a little in shock about how much everything costs. I wasn’t. Hehehehehe.”

Their day ends up being an $8,000 shopping trip. More than the value of my entire wardrobe probably.

Next, we meet Corrine’s family and the now-famous Raquel. Corrine’s family is actually very nice? Is that the word I’m looking for?

She and her dad chat about Nick: “I told him I loved him. What? We’ve been dating for a month and a half.” I want to make fun of this, but Maggie and I only dated for 2 months before we said, “I love you.” So I can’t talk.

Corrine’s dad and Nick have a chance to chat:
“What are your intentions with her?”
“Uh, um, urrrr.” Super reassuring.

Oh, and Nick also obtains Raquel’s blessing. Very important. Quick note on this. She shouldn’t be called a nanny. She’s clearly more of an Alfred from Batman. So caretaker? Housekeeper? Just feels a bit demeaning to call her a nanny.

Our friend Kara has this theory: Corrine’s going to win. Nick clearly likes her, and also, they kind of deserve each other. We’ll see.


Vanessa

To Montreal we go. Vanessa takes Nick to meet her students since she’s a teacher for adults with special needs. These students are so sweet. Vanessa is a champ. She’s clearly a great teacher with a big heart for her students.

Next, we meet Vanessa’s mom’s side of the family. I want to be a part of this Sunday lunch. The Italian food looks out of this world. Molto bene.

Vanessa’s family expresses concerns about the logistics of their relationship: is Nick moving to Montreal? What are their plans for the future? Have you guys even talked about this? Answer: no.

These people seem to be very sane about relationships. But they don’t seem to understand how The Bachelor works.

Then we go to meet Vanessa’s dad. He also has concerns. Nick asks if he’d be okay with an engagement. Vanessa’s dad asks the tough questions: “Have you asked the other parents the same question?” “Ummm errr yes in a way?” It’s a yes or no question, buddy. And the answer is yes.

Vanessa finds out that Nick asked the other parents for their blessing, and she’s upset. Reminder: YOU ARE ON THE BACHELOR. What do you expect?!


Of course, we don’t get to find out what happens at the rose ceremony until next week. And in the meantime, Andi will show up to presumably ruin Nick’s life (again).

We’ll see what happens on the next dramatic episode of The Bachelor. Thank God this is almost over.


More Bachelor Recaps on Millennial Marriage:

Self-Care Isn't Selfish: 11 Ways to Take Care of You

By Maggie Reimherr

I recently came home from work one day to find Derek in a different state than his usual, vibrant self. He was quiet and withdrawn. I asked him what was wrong, and he said he was just tired. I continued to prod. Turns out, he’d had a minor allergic reaction to an apple and had taken a couple of Benadryl. He was a walking zombie, but it was medically induced. NBD. But it got me thinking. The quiet withdrawal? That must be what it’s like to live with me sometimes.

He’s a happy go lucky kind of guy. I’m a weight of the world on my shoulders kind of gal. That’s just how we roll. I tend to get in emotional ruts. However, seeing what it was like to be on the other side of me made me get serious about taking care of myself. When I’m intentional about self-care, I’m easier to be around.

Here are 11 ways I recommend to relax, unwind, and take care of yourself:

1. Wake up early to enjoy a cup of coffee and read a devotional.

Here’s the truth: when I’m spiritually healthy, I’m emotionally healthy. My best time with Jesus is spent during quiet mornings before Derek wakes up. I make my yuppy French press coffee, curl up on the sofa, and open the She Reads Truth app. I’ll read through the scripture and devotional for the day, jotting a few notes in my journal as I go. Then I pray. Starting my day with God gets my mind right for what lies ahead. The tough commute, tedious work, or stressful project is easier when I’m rooted in God’s truth.

When my routine’s interrupted, I tend to let this fall by the wayside. We spent a lot of time traveling in November and December, and it took me awhile to get back to a normal schedule. Luckily, I’m back in the swing of things with my 6:30 am alarm set.

 PJs  here  // Journal  here

PJs here // Journal here

2. Take a long bubble bath.

Baths are the best. Unfortunately, our bathtub situation in the apartment is not. The tub is tiny. The water doesn’t get hot enough for a good bath, and every ounce of this semi-hot water gets used up to fill up the tub once - refills don’t work. I’m looking forward to getting out of this apartment so I can enjoy my baths again. Derek even gave me a bath tray for Christmas that holds a glass of wine and a book. I’m ready to put it to good use.

3. Buy flowers for yourself.

This is a new one for me. I used to be terrible about not changing the flower water and just letting them die. No more! I’ll see what flowers are on sale at the grocery store when I’m doing my regular shopping for the week and buy myself a bouquet. It’s so nice to have something bright and cheery in the apartment.

4. Journal.

I have a blog, so you know I’m a writer. I’ve been a journaler on and off my whole life. As a kid, I had diaries. As a teen, I had notebooks of angsty poems and songs I’d written. As a college kid, I treated Tumblr as my journal (very cringe-worthy). During the second half of my junior year of college, I stepped away from blasting my problems on the internet. Since then, I’ve filled up probably 10 journals with thoughts, prayers, notes, and whatever’s on my mind. The other day, I cracked open my journal and made a list of everything that was making me anxious. Then I reflected on it and prayed about it. I’m a big-purse gal, so I carry my journal with me everywhere.

5. Put on a really cute outfit, do your hair and makeup, get your nails done, etc.

The saying holds true: when you look good, you feel good. My friend Emma justifies her regular manicures by categorizing them in her self-care budget - pretty nails make her happy. You can set aside $20 every few weeks to do this - it’s worth it if it makes you feel good.

6. Get productive.

During my worst boughts with sadness, I kinda act like a sloth. I shirk cooking and cleaning and real activities and lie on the couch bingeing Netflix. This blog has been a huge source of productivity and creative output for me, and it’s really helping me combat ruts. Find your productive activity. Volunteering, exercising, cooking a new meal? Whatever it is, get up and go for it.

7. Make the bed.

TBH, I just feel better about life when the bed is made.

8. Plan something fun.

I was in a M-A-J-O-R rut over the summer, and it resulted in my booking a vacation to Mexico 9 months in advance. I’m a little dramatic and kind of an extremist. You don’t have to be like this. It can be as simple as planning a weekend outing to your favorite restaurant or brewery, and it gives you something exciting to look forward to.

9. Talk it out.

I’m really grateful to be married to a guy who’s no stranger to feelings and gets the need to process things externally. Whenever I’m feeling really bad, I vent/talk about it with Derek. Here’s a disclaimer though: I put a warning label on the subject before I start to vent. I label a topic as serious or no big deal, and we talk from there. If I don’t tell him that something’s NBD, he treats everything as a major issue and starts to grow weary of carrying the weight of my burdens. I never want to dump my problems on him, so the warning label works well for us.

10. Figure out what’s at the heart of your sadness and deal with it.

If you’re regularly crying about your job, maybe it’s time to find a new job. If you feel like a relationship isn’t going right, it’s probably time to have an honest conversation about it. If you’re feeling lonely, jump on Bumble BFF or Hey! Vina and start swiping your way to friendship. Or check out a Meetup in your area. Or go to church and join a Bible study. Once you figure out what the issue is, you can begin the process of coming out of your rut.

11. See a therapist or doctor if it’s more serious than a rut.

We’ve mentioned therapy before. I’ve done it, Derek’s done it, and we believe in it. If there’s a serious issue going on, the ways I listed above might just be a band-aid for your problems. And if you’re clinically depressed, self-care should include talking to your doctor and finding a medication that’s right for you to treat it.

So now we want to hear from you: how do you take care of yourself when you’re in a rut? Leave us a note in the comments or on social. I’d love to add more self-care tips to my routine!

The Bachelor, A Husband's Commentary: Episode 5

By Derek Reimherr

It's Tuesday again, so y'all know what that means. I put myself through another episode of The Bachelor. I'm beginning to regret agreeing to write about this. But since I'm doing it anyway, get caught up on last week's episode here. Now let's dive in.


WWE SUPERSLAM: NANNY’S GIRL VS. PSYCHIC PSYCHO

Tale of the tape:

  • Corrine, 23-year-old “business owner” who likes to get naked and LOVES her nanny, Raquel. Possibly an alcoholic. Best lines:
    • “Come at me, I’ll getcha”
    • “She’s a big, mean, nasty, swamp monster.”
  • Taylor, 23-year-old mental health counselor who “literally can’t” and thinks she better than other people. But dang, her posture is good. Best lines:
    • “Do you know what emotional intelligence is?”
    • That’s it. She’s not as entertainingly dramatic.

This is my first Bachelor catfight. Also, they’re drunk, at least tipsy. This feud is giving me a headache, though.

Who made the cut:

  • Whitney - WHO ARE YOU MYSTERY WOMAN. Literally they don’t show her ever.
  • Danielle M - my girl.
  • Jasmine
  • Rachel - Maggie totally called this one with all the dramatic interviewing.
  • Jamie
  • Danielle L
  • Josephine
  • Vanessa
  • Corrine
  • Alexis
  • Taylor

Who already had a rose:

  • Raven
  • Kristina

Who went home:

  • Sarah - noooooooooo
  • Astrid

Down to NOLA

My new goal is “Spot the Whitney.” This woman is a freaking chameleon. I will discover her secrets.

What we’re looking at:

  • 1-on-1
  • Group date
  • 2-on-1

Okay, 2-on-1 date sounds hilarious and awkward. But apparently that’s just par for the course with this show.


1-on-1 Date: Rachel

  PHOTO: MARK COFFEY

PHOTO: MARK COFFEY

Rachel and Nick gallivant around New Orleans shopping and goofing off and eating oysters. TBH they seem like a pretty normal couple here. Don’t be fooled. There are 10 other girls contending for his affection.

They eat beignets, which is decidedly unsexy. Have y’all ever eaten one of these? Powdered sugar gets all over your pants and then you walk around with white powder stains for the rest of the day. And they make your hands sticky.

They dance and lead a parade and THIS WAS TOTALLY SPONTANEOUS, right guys?! The other girls watch them from the window of their tall tower (hotel). Everybody’s jealous.

They go to a bar and dance to some live music. Me: “Is this musician famous?” Maggie: “I’m sure her agent got her on the show and now we have to listen to her for 30 seconds.”

As per usual, their date leads to dinner at some undisclosed private location. Rachel and Nick share some heartfelt moments. Rachel talks about the last time she was in New Orleans - for a funeral - and how being back in the city for a new beginning feels like coming full circle. Nick shares his concerns that when he asks his future wife’s dad for her hand in marriage, he’s worried that his words won’t carry much weight because he’s asked 2 dads before (Andi’s and Kaitlyn’s).

These two are definitely clicking. I ship it. Unsurprisingly, Rachel gets the rose.

Meanwhile at the hotel… the other girls get a date card. Corinne and Taylor are going on the 2-on-1. DRAMA.


Group Date

“I didn’t sign up to be a ghostbuster. I’m gonna rebuke that thing in the name of Jesus.” Raven is a southerner. Everyone should be like Raven.

The group goes to a haunted mansion. Once again, drinking is a focal point of the show. Bring on the mint juleps!...aaaand now I want one.

I swear, Whitney is on this date and they aren’t showing her. OH I lied. They just showed her. But I still haven’t heard her speak. Maybe she’s the ghost…

This is by far my favorite date so far. I’m enjoying watching the ladies flip the eff out.

Y’ALL THEY SHOWED A VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH WHITNEY. SHE’S NOT A GHOST.

Aaaaaand now we’re back to weirdness with the stupid Oujia board. Okay but forreal, I have to be honest with y’all....I effing hate dolls. They freak the hell out of me.

Meanwhile, Jasmine's over here like:

MAJOR KEY: WHITNEY AND NICK ARE TALKING. Guys, sorry, but this is big. This. is. Big.

So I had this thought: wouldn’t you get tired of kissing constantly? I don’t know. Kissing is pretty fun, but maybe not like 8 different people a day?

HOLD. UP. Raven...is in love...with Nick? After 3 weeks? His reaction (along with mine):

Great job, Danielle M. I’m starting to think you’re too good for this show. But I’m happy to see her win the group date rose.


2-on-1: Corrine vs. Rachel

BORN ON THE BAYOU, y’all. There should be Creedence Clearwater Revival playing in the background. And the fact that it’s not makes me really upset.

“I’m a voodoo priestess.” Things you run far, far away from when you hear on a first date. Swipe left.

The tarot cards were pretty on the nose. A ouija board AND voodoo in the same episode? This just is too much for me. The worst part? NIck is going to send Taylor home. When Corrine is the literal worst.

“The relationship will be built off of whip cream and lies.” Dang straight, Taylor.

But I called it. He’s such a douchebag to pick Corrine, but it’s good to know she won’t make it very far.


And of course, Alexis brings it home for us: “If I saw a ghost that looked like Nicholas Cage, I would sprint outta here...I kissed Nicholas Cage anyway.”

Do I get a medal for surviving another episode of this madness? See y'all next week for more Corrine/Taylor drama and apparently Nick's first tears of the season. 

Interview with Alissa Musto, Miss Massachusetts 2016

By Derek Reimherr

Whenever you move to a new city, one of the most important things you can do is find a few “spots” and become a regular. For us, we love a couple restaurants called Saus and The Tap Trailhouse, an improv theatre called Improv Asylum, and Harpoon Brewery.

Our most recent addition to the list came by way of our friends Collin (who’s guest posted on Millennial Marriage here and here) and Kate. After a dinner out in the city one Saturday night, they suggested we head to a German-style beer hall called Jacob Wirth in Boston’s theatre district, right on the edge of Chinatown.

This place is great. There are banners and beer everywhere, and it really has a nice pub feel. Plus, there was a live performer playing piano and singing who was hilarious. So we kept coming back.

After a few visits, we got to know that Saturday night performer as Alissa and became regulars of hers (at least in our eyes). We started following her on Instagram and learned she was Miss Massachusetts. Finally, after a few draughts of liquid courage, I decided to ask her for an interview. Because who doesn’t want a woman as cool as Alissa featured on your blog?

Read on to learn all about Alissa’s journey juggling school, pageants, Miss America, and performing music all around the New England area.

 Photo cred: Miss Massachusetts Organization

Photo cred: Miss Massachusetts Organization


Maggie: Thanks for talking with us, Alissa! Before we get into who you are now, tell us a little bit about yourself growing up.
Alissa: Well, I was actually born in Rhode Island and moved to Massachusetts where I lived for most of my childhood. I’ve been playing the piano since I was 4 years old and I actually grew up in a family of professional musicians. There was absolutely no way I was getting out of it.

When you’re 5 years old, you don’t want to practice. I was very lucky to have a patient dad who was willing to sit with me and practice, even when I was whining. Obviously, it’s the greatest gift he could’ve given me.

Maggie: Did he teach you how to play?
A: Yeah, for the most part. He did take me to a teacher because when you’re that age, you’re more likely to listen to an official teacher. But he was still the one sitting down with me every night for practice.

Derek: Now for an important question...where were you on the awkward-popular spectrum growing up?
A: It’s actually funny - you’re not the first person to ask me this. I went to a really small high school. There were only 40 kids in my graduating class, so there weren’t the normal cliques. My high school was really competitive actually. All the kids were major overachievers participating in sports, drama, or whatever.

Derek: So what were you? What did you do?
A: I did pretty well in school. I had two claims to fame - I was the captain of the mock trial team.

Derek: Watch out!
A: No really, though! We won the state championship one year and were a finalist every year. I was also really good at tennis. I was the #2 player my freshman year and by senior year, I was first team all-state.

Maggie: So after high school, you went to Harvard for undergrad. What was that like?
A: So the weirdest thing was going from 40 kids to 20,000 students that were just as competitive as I was accustomed to. It was an adjustment. There were a lot of times where I’d look around in my classes (my concentration was government) and think, “Wow, there’s a pretty good chance some of these kids will be senators or congressman, maybe really jerky lawyers. Statistically, maybe even presidents.”

On the weekends, I was performing. I didn’t go to many parties or football games. Sometimes, kids from class - people I sat next to - would come in some place I was performing and not recognize me. They’d be like, “Who are you?” I was basically Hannah Montana.

Derek: It’s funny you mentioned being at Harvard and feeling like everyone is normal people...Maggie experienced the same thing working there.

So we read on your blog that you really just started doing pageants not long ago. Can you tell us more about your decision to give it a shot?
A: Yeah, it was about a year and a half ago. One day at work - I worked at a music shop - this woman came in and confused me for a girl that competes locally. She goes, “Oh, you should look into it! You might be interested.” I was pretty hesitant, but I did a Google search and read more about it. I learned the Miss America organization is the largest scholarship provider in the world. Even though it felt out of character for me, I thought it would just be a great opportunity to perform.

So I tried it and I won my first title as Miss Tri-County (area southwest of Boston). After that, I went for Miss Massachusetts and got 4th runner up. Good, but I could do better. So the next year, I entered and won the Miss Cambridge pageant. From there, I went for the Miss Massachusetts pageant again in the summer of 2016. And I won! A few months later, I was shipped off to Miss America.

Derek: What did your family and friends think of you entering the pageant world?
A: They definitely thought it was weird at first. Like I said, it was out of character. I was always a tomboy growing up. You guys have seen me perform before - it doesn’t seem very pageant-like. By the end of it, though, they were all on board. No one was saying, “This is a bad idea.”

Maggie: Tell us about the Miss America process. How did it feet participating and making Top 15?
A: We went to Atlantic City two weeks before the competition began. Rehearsals, outings, appearances, publicity. Sometimes we were up at 5am and not back at the hotel until 10pm at night. But I had a great roommate in Miss Montana. I definitely lucked out in that area.

Anyway, Massachusetts isn’t known for it’s good track record with pageants. It’s usually southern states. So when I made the Top 15, it was really exciting for me and anyone else who wasn’t watching the Patriots game.

Maggie: Wait, so do you find out before you make the Top 15?
A: No, no! You find out live on TV. Nothing is faked, totally real.

Derek: What is life like post Miss America?
Alissa: The biggest thing was, “Now what?” I spent all this time preparing and now I just...wasn’t. It was also the first time in my life where I wasn’t in school. I keep busy as Miss Massachusetts, though. I have parades, appearances at schools, performing, speaking. Solving world peace. You get the idea.

Derek: So this might be awkward...Does winning the title pay? We have no idea.  
A: In Massachusetts, it’s not as lucrative as other states. But I did win a $12,000 scholarship to go back to school, I get paid for appearances, and I have some sponsors as well - haircuts, clothes, gas paid for the year. It’s pretty cool!

Maggie: When you’re not being Miss Massachusetts, what do you do in your spare time?
A: As you know, I’m a professional musician. I perform 3 or 4 nights a week. I’m also a music teacher. So there’s always lesson plans, new songs to learn, and emails to respond to. It can be mentally draining, but I really love performing and I love music. I also do a lot of volunteer work.

Derek: Can you tell us more? We read somewhere you were involved in a non profit related to music and pianos. What organizations do you volunteer with?
A: There’s Girls Rock which provides programs and camps for girls in at-risk community to help empower them through music. I also volunteer as a weekly music teacher at a school that doesn’t have a music program. It’s really important to me to always have a way to give back to the community.

Regarding the other question, Changing Keys is the name of my organization. After a semester of volunteering at a school, I would ask, “Now what? How are these kids going to progress after I’m not coming every week?” I started Changing Keys with the idea that one piano can create a thousands musicians and a thousand possibilities. So I find unused pianos and connect them with communities - churches, schools, community programs, anywhere that helps kids improve.

I find a lot of pianos through word of mouth, but nowadays I actually have more pianos than I have places to put them. It’s a great problem to have.

Maggie: So cool. Back to your musical career. What else do you play? Do you write and record any of your own music?
A: I mostly stick to the rhythm section: bass, some drums, and piano. No wind instruments for me. My sister is actually really involved in music production, but it’s not as much my thing. I do some basic stuff in Garage Band just so I can hear how I’m progressing. But when I write my own music, I’ll go to a studio.

Derek: *Changing keys* a little bit…what’s next? We saw on your blog, you mentioned law school.
A: I’ve thought about this a lot recently. Law school initially made sense; I was a mock trial champion after all. But it just didn’t seem like the right decision for me now. Eventually, I’ll go back and pursue copyright law working on behalf of entertainers using my Miss Massachusetts scholarship.

That being said, I really love performing. I don’t want to look back and feel like I didn’t pursue this fully in my 20s because I rushed back into school. Law school isn’t going anywhere, but my performing opportunities may not always be available.

Derek: Absolutely. It’s always best to take time and make sure you’re doing what you really like. We feel you.
A: Real quick, I have to say, it is so strange talking to you guys during the day. It’s like the first time you saw a teacher outside of school.

Maggie: Yeah...we typically aren’t drinking liter sized beers during the day. You’re getting normal Maggie and Derek. So to wrap things up, you’ve really seem to have accomplished a lot in a short time. How old are you again?
A: I’m 21.

Maggie: Wait, really? We thought you were at least 23 or so. Wow...so at 21, do you feel like you have a badass resumé? Do you feel like you have awesome icebreakers at parties?
A: Huh, that’s a good way to put. I’ve never thought about it that way. I have done a lot of cool stuff, but I have had to sacrifice a lot of social opportunities. I’ve missed weddings and events with friends. It definitely comes with a price that most people don’t see.

Derek: Yeah, that’s big! I think there’s a tendency as Millennials to not have a firm grasp on what life is really like when you’re working full-time.
A: Right, even things as silly as New Year’s Eve. I miss out on that with friends, but it’s worth it for what I love.

So true. Well thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us Alissa. We’ve really enjoyed it!
A: Definitely! This officially makes us best friends.

--

If you want to learn more about Alissa’s journey, you can follow her blog or check her out on Instagram (@alissamustomusic). For more information about her nonprofit, Changing Keys, check out its website or follow along on Instagram (@changingkeys).

For our part, we’ll be seeing her at our favorite stop in downtown Boston real soon.

 I'm sorry Maggie's late night photography skills aren't great.

I'm sorry Maggie's late night photography skills aren't great.

In Defense of New Year's Resolutions

By Collin Woodard

These days, New Year’s resolutions are more of a joke than anything else. Even if you’re one of those people who adopts a new diet for January or joins a gym, you probably don’t expect it to last. And even if you do manage to turn down an invite to the all-you-can-eat night at the Macaroni and Bread Castle, you’re going to do so with a half-hearted joke about how you’re on a juice cleanse that week.

Even professionals look down on the New Year’s resolution. Doctors and therapists will tell you to make small, incremental changes instead. And I get that. I really do. Ideally, you’d work throughout the year to improve your life here and there until it looks the way you want it. But, unfortunately, real life is far from ideal. And that’s where New Year’s resolutions come in.

For a lot of people, the holiday season completely upends their schedule. Between the end of November and the beginning of the year, you’re traveling all over the place, attending a string of endless parties, spending too much time with family, and eating dishes you’d never eat any time of year. The chaos can be exciting, but it also makes it difficult to maintain a set schedule.

Even if you avoid overdoing it, you likely find yourself holding on for January. If you can just make it to January, things will finally get back to normal. Once January comes, you’ll have control over your schedule again. So while there’s nothing magical about the calendar turning from 2016 to 2017, it does mark the end of a long holiday season. If you want to make a few changes in your life, what better time is there?

There are, however, some resolutions that are better than others. A vague and probably impossible goal only sets you up for failure. You’re not going to stick perfectly to Whole30 for a year. You just aren’t. And you’re not going to go the gym before work every single day for the rest of the year. You might make it a month. Tops.

You also want to make sure you’re actually doing something effective. That means making actual changes to your diet, not hoping some nonsense cleanse can atone for 12 months of Taco Bell and Tito’s. Sorry, but if your liver can’t handle the toxins in your body, drinking nothing but juice for a few days won’t do much good, either. Go to the hospital. Now.

In the same vein, doing something healthy is only worthwhile if you stick to it. Giving up alcohol for a month only to go right back to drinking like normal only lowers your tolerance. And in 11 months, those four weeks you spent at the gym won’t be visible in the slightest.

If you can set reasonable, clear goals, however, go ahead. Make your New Year’s resolutions. The new year is the perfect time to make a few changes.

And if not now, when? When are you finally going to change what needs to be changed? It would be great if problems would problems would solve themselves, but they don’t. I’m never going to wake up with Ryan Reynolds’ body, and neither are you. Unless you already are Ryan Reynolds. That’s something you and I have (and even he has) to work for.

Don’t let the fact that you missed January 1st stop you, either. You can start anytime. Pick a goal, make a plan, choose a start date, and do it. It’s that simple. Sure, people may poke fun at your New Year’s resolution, but so what? If it’s the first step towards achieving goals that are important to you, their lame jokes are irrelevant.

Unless you join a multi-level marketing scheme. All gloves are off if you sign up for one of those. 

The Bachelor, A Husband's Commentary: Episode 3

Last week on THE BACHELOR (caps for dramatic effect): Corinne stole the show and Liz’ secret got revealed. Get caught up!

Just so you know the frame of mind that I’m in while writing this, we just went to the movie theater and saw Rogue One. I’m gonna go ahead and guess that I will have gotten more enjoyment out of those 2 hours than any 2 hours of The Bachelor combined.

Sorry, y’all. Actually, not sorry. I freakin’ love Star Wars.

Let’s get into it.

Rose Ceremony:

Wow, so right off the bat, we’re going to dive into the big news. Can I just point out that Nick should probably not smile when delivering news about having had sex with one of the contestants? Feels super weird. What wasn’t weird was his floral tie. Style points +100.

Who made it through:

  • Astrid
  • Taylor
  • Christina
  • Danielle L
  • Rachel
  • Vanessa
  • Raven
  • Jamie
  • Dominique
  • Sarah
  • Alexis (nice, “Move, bitches” btw. She consistently has me lol’ing)
  • Brittany
  • Josephine
  • Here we go, cue the overly deliberate Chris Harrison “final rose” line….Jasmine

And of course, the women who already got a rose:

  • Corinne
  • Danielle M

Group Date

BACKSTREET’S BACK, Y’ALL. But let’s remind ourselves that they’re kinda old at this point. This clearly doesn’t matter to the contestants because the Hype Train was going full steam.

 

Let me just say that if I was the Bachelor, dancing skills would be important. I love my wife, but Maggie’s are...existent and not dissimilar to Corinne’s (not great).

Good for Danielle getting that dance. But was it as awkward for you as it was for me? Because it was super awkward for me. It must have worked for Nick, though, as he served up that rose up real quick. Should we ship a Danielle vs. Danielle finale?

Vanessa 1-on-1

What a freaking cool date. Zero G astronaut experience - well done. But poor Vanessa, she had the same reaction Maggie would have: nausea.

“You know, it would be kinda nice if you rubbed my leg while I was puking. You know, hold me in comfort.” - my wife, as if on cue. My reaction:

Hold up. Kissing after puking???? I can’t believe it either, Vanessa. That makes ME want to vomit. No. Thank. You.

Anyway, how sick was that view of LA? Good way to set the stage for a romantic night. As an aside, I have a quick question: do other people kiss while talking as often as Nick does with these women? Not a great way to have good conversation flow if you ask me.

Great job on getting that rose, V. I don't know why, but Vanessa doesn’t jive with me. There’s nothing particularly wrong or bad with her, she just isn’t as great as Danielle M. Sorry ‘bout it.

Group Date 2:

Olympians? Badass. Nick-athalon? Not so much. Great excuse for the ladies to break out their Lululemon, Fabletics, whatever. I’ve only been a husband for 10 months, so I'm still learning about “athleisure."

So the reward for advancing in the competition is hot tub time with Nick. Is it just me, or do these Bachelor dates include a lot of time in bikinis and water?

Astrid, having won the last event, just jumps right into the hot tub with Nick…still in her workout clothes. I know they're are water resistant, but no way Lululemon is made for hot tubbing. Y’all tell me - does it seem comfortable to hang out in the water in super tight leggings? My hunch is a big fat no.

As per usual, after the main event of the group date, they’re off to a cocktail party (also seems to be hella drinking on this show). Drama ensues. Dominique cries. Alexis and Nick make out (Left Shark ftw). Rachel and Nick make out which in turn leads to a group date rose. Dominique lurks.

Her lurking leads to confrontation. Dominique’s expectations are way too high for this group date. I don’t know why anyone expects quality time with Nick when there are like 8 other women there. Nick agrees and gives her the boot. Can't blame you bro. 

 

Pool Party:

Scene opens. Beautiful view, well decorated poolside area. Cut to...wait, these girls are doing squats by the pool. Why? 

Alexis speaking all of our minds: “There’s a lot of horny girls in this house.”

Here’s Corinne again. Where the heck did this bouncy castle come from? Maybe Corinne had something to do with it as she immediately tries to storm Nick's castle. 


We need to have a quick chat, though. Can we hear from someone besides Corinne? Between the trench coat and heels, not showing up to the rose ceremony...it’s getting old hearing her whining all the time, ABC. We get it - she’s a big baby. I don’t need 20-30 minutes of Corinne-centric screen time every week.

Like Jasmine said: “I’m sick of talking about Corinne, Corinne, Corinne.” Yes, thank you. Also Jasmine, “Are you a child?” My thoughts exactly. 


Sometimes a guy just needs a sassy Southern woman to tell him what's what. Raven comes to the rescue which starts a domino effect of everyone voicing their concerns about Corinne directly to Nick. FINALLY. 

Vanessa confronts Nick really openly about his intentions: “I’m not judging Corinne. I’m judging your actions. Are you looking for a wife or just someone to mess around with?”

S*** just got real.

Naturally, we have to wait until next week to find out what happens. I’m only 3 weeks in, and I already know that this is “typical Bachelor.” Until next time…

Other Bachelor Posts:

 

 

The Bachelor, A Husband's Commentary: Episode 2

This is coming to you a little late. Why? I watched the College Football National Championship Game on Monday. I don’t care how many page views this blog gets, college football will always come first. Also, Go Tigers!

Before we start, I need to get something off my chest before we dive in.

I feel betrayed.
Cheated.
Hurt.

The night this blog idea was conceived, I asked Maggie, “How long is this first episode going to be?”

“2 hours long.”
“Are they always this long?"
“Nope!”

YOU STINKIN’ LIAR. They’re ALWAYS 2 hours long. She said it wasn’t technically a lie because some episodes are longer.

Anyway, I guess I’ll recap the episode now that I realized I’ve been trapped. Sorry, Admiral Ackbar. I didn’t listen.


First Group Date:

Wedding photos? Sure why not. I have so many things to say about this, but it’s better to just show you my reactions in GIF form.

“Wow, I can’t believe we’re going to take wedding photos on the first date. That’s a big deal.” - Jasmine

“You always wonder what you’ll look like on your wedding day on your first date.” - Corinne

Let’s talk about the outfits real quick. Most of them were just silly. Gotta love the preggo shotgun bride. 10/10 laughing on my couch. But I want to meet the ABC person who was like, “Hey, let’s put one in a bikini and let’s make the other topless.” Must be a classy (I assume) guy. Sex sells, I guess.

The “bridesmaids” were prepared to jump off a bridge. Especially when the brides just started making out with Nick in from of them. Can’t blame em.


And now Corinne. Wow, what a &%^! show. I was stoked for karma to hit her in the face when Brittany came out in the Eve costume. “If she steals my thunder, I’m literally going to punch him in the face.”

But then she took her top off on TV. Probably while wine drunk. Okay, definitely while wine drunk. And apparently she gets nasally when she’s drunk? “Nick held my boobs today. Like he HELD MY BOOBS. No one will ever hold them like that again.”

“So weird.” Yeah, no joke.

This chunk of the show is why I don’t like The Bachelor. It’s obnoxious, Corinne is obnoxious. The women didn’t stand up for themselves as she proceeded to make a fool of herself and then them all when she got that freaking rose.

This gif is literally the only good thing to come from her antics.


First Solo Date

“I’m happy for her. I really am.” - Liz  

Shout out to my girl, Danielle M. You da real MVP. Isn’t she just the sweetest? Their date was pretty cool, but to be fair, I would go on a date with Nick to freakin’ land on a yacht in Newport Beach in a helicopter.

About half way through the date (at least on our end), we get the saddest, most touching story this season may see. Holy smokes. I’m not crying, you’re crying. Whether or not this “works out” for Danielle, I’m glad she was able to have what seemed like a good conversation about it.

And she got a rose out of it. Like I said, the real MVP.


2nd Group Date/Liz tells all

Liz can’t handle a secret. She’s jealous because she had a booty call and no one knows?

The Museum of Broken Relationships was pretty weird, though the breakups afterward were pretty funny. Unnnntil we got to Liz. But first, my highlight:

*SLAP*
“How many more bottles will I have to pick up before you realize you’re losing me?!”
“NO MORE.”

^^^ Got me good.

Kristen’s face throughout Liz’s “breakup” had me weak. “Playa say what?” The bug eyes, the looks around...are you sure you’re good at keeping secrets?

And of course, Nick is on the other side like “I’m living my nightmare.” Hammer, meet nail. Maybe don’t have one night stands, bro.


Unfortunately (can’t believe I just used that word), we have to wait until next week to see how the women react to Nick’s sleeping around. At least he sent Liz home. She was pretty annoying.

Oh boy. Can't wait 'til next week...


Other Bachelor Posts:

The Bachelor, A Husband's Commentary: Episode 1

By Derek Reimherr

Let's set the stage.

I'm minding my own business playing video games on my computer when Maggie walks over to me with the most mischievous grin.

“You're going to hate this idea, but hear me out.”

Okay...

“What if you watched The Bachelor this season and wrote about it? Whatever you want. I won't edit it.”

*Audibly groans*

For those of you who don't know me, I HATE this show. Maggie knows this. And she just gave me a clean slate. Y'all, it took some real consideration but I gave in. I remember my Mom watching this show like 10 years ago, but I really don't know anything about how the show works.

So think of this post as a test drive. You reading this will tell me if this is a good idea or not.

And without further ado, may I present: A Husband’s Bachelor Commentary.

Initial impressions:

  • Okay, so this guy has been on the show how many times? At some point, you’ve gotta be honest with yourself.
  • “I’ve learned I’m not perfect.” Good one.
  • Yes, Nick, sticking your whole hand in your mouth and talking is not attractive. I’m glad your teenage little sister was able to open your eyes to this.
  • Nothing like a couple of guys drinking neat scotch/bourbon around a table talking about their feelings. Happens everyday.
  • Okay, so apparently people hated this guy on “The Bachelorette?” PERFECT pick for another season of The Bachelor.
  • Didn’t Andi pick Josh Murray (I only know this because his brother was the quarterback at my alma mater)? And didn’t they divorce? It kinda feels like he dodged a bullet there, tbh.
  • “The Nick I saw in Andi’s season isn’t the Nick I know now. I like you and I think you’re a great dude.” Totally how I talk to my guy friends.
  • Oh, it got worse. A toast: “To Nick starting his own love story.”
  • I will say, though...I would live in the Bachelor house RIGHT NOW. Sick.

Bumper Videos:

  • Rachel: Her vacuum-dancing game is aight.
  • Danielle L : Nail salon entrepreneur? I guess I can respect that.
  • Vanessa: Speaking French right off the start SCREAMS extra to me. Girl, chill.
  • Josephine: Oh lord, a cat woman. Meow. Meow. Meo-out of here right now.
  • Raven: Let’s see how much I get to say “That’s SO Raven” this season.
  • Corinne: Her world is G-L-A-M….I can’t do it. She has a nanny. I’m done.
  • Alexis: She is doing the most. Sumo suit? Dolphins? Just….stop. Please.
  • Danielle M: She’s adorable. Soft spoken and sweet. Plus, she loves babies. Who doesn’t love babies?
  • Taylor: Who in their right mind wants a mental health counselor on The Bachelor??? Why? Like you’re gonna try to help someone with their daddy issues after hookin’ up on National TV??
  • Liz: Uh oh. She’s tryin’ to be that hollaback girl. Yikes.

Nick meets the ladies:

  • No kidding people are skeptical about Nick. He’s getting way too many free Twitter followers out of all these seasons.
  • Contestants arrive in the limo. *Commence screaming* My ears.
  • Danielle L : Bro, your eye contact game is AWFUL. How many times you gonna check out her cleavage in 30 seconds?
  • Elizabeth: Is she wearing a freaking wedding dress?
  • Rachel: Oh, she used a Fantasy Football pickup line. He didn’t seem that impressed. I’m not either.
  • Taylor: She called him a piece of **** and then paused for WAY too long. Good.
  • Lauren: Bonding over awful last names and calling each other sluts. Smoooooth.
  • Ida Marie: Yep, they did a trust fall. Team building, 2017, y’all!
  • Sarah: I respect the sneaker game. Not a bad pickup line. Great smile, too.
  • Jasmine G: Who is Neil? Neil Lane? What...why is she....did she hire him?
  • Hailey: Did she just use a “no-underwear” pickup line? Have some self-respect, ma’am.
  • Astrid: Asked him in German if she’s looked at her boobs. The deeper we go, the more scared I become.
  • Liz: Oh, here’s Liz. He’s like, “Have I seen this woman naked before? Uh….” and she keeps waiting for him to remember her. Wait, maybe he does. OH!!!
  • I can’t stand Chris Harrison. Let that be known from the beginning.
  • The white wine is FLOWING, y'all.
  • Corinne: What in the hell is a hug token? No, that’s not cute.
  • Vanessa: Astrid already used German on him, sorry. I hope this show doesn’t need subtitles.
  • Danielle M: Homemade maple syrup? She makes bomb french toast? Def my favorite. Don’t let me down.
  • Raven: She called the Hogs...now they’re calling the Hogs. SEC, SEC?
  • Missed-her-name: “I have balls.” Yeah, I wouldn't ever recommend saying that to a dude.
  • Susannah: Nick, you’re not the only one who’s never had a beard massage before.
  • Josephine: Yep. They’re eating a raw weiner Lady and the Tramp style on national TV.
  • “OMG Sistas in RED!!!!” Sistahood of the Traveling Red Dress?
  • Brittany: What...bend over? That is something guys have to endure once a year at the doctor. Don’t make him do it twice this year.
  • I missed a few. More red dresses, probably.
  • Lacey: “I hear you like a good hump. And so do I!” NO. BOOOOOO.
  • “Why didn’t I come out in a camel?” Things no one should say ever.
  • Alexis: Is she in a Left Shark costume? Swell. Oh, dolphin puns. Charming. And she’s in heels, too?

Small talk Pt. 1:

  • I wish people cheered for me when I entered a room.
  • Dying laughing every time the camera pans to Left Shark Girl.
  • Rachel is smooooooth. Everyone needs to get like Rachel.
  • “Tell me something you wouldn’t tell most people after you literally met me 3 mins ago.”

Small Talk Pt. 2:

  • First Impression Rose: Apparently this is intimidating af to these women. It’s a flower, y’all.
  • Corinne has more tokens. Did her nanny make these for her, too?
  • Here comes Corinne to steal Nick away from Vanessa before she has a chance to “speak French” with him. 10/10 for kissing first - Maggie did.
  • But apparently the ladies don’t agree: “Ohhhh what a hoe.” LOL
  • The banter might end up being the one redeeming (?) part of this show.

Small talk Pt. 3:

  • Apparently, a lot of women haven’t had a chance to talk with Nick yet. Step ya game up.
  • “I’ve never had to deal with fighting for a guy’s attention.” Sureeeeeeee.
  • First meltdown already? Come on.
  • *Sips wine*
  • WHO ARE YOU: LEFT SHARK OR A DOLPHIN? I NEED TO KNOW.
  • Liz and Nick are talking. It’s weird. They’re reminiscing on their one night stand and he called her OUT. Guess that didn't go as planned.

First Impression Rose:

  • If Corinne gets the First Impression Rose, are these women going to start manspreading when they talk to Nick to get his attention?
  • Danielle M is talking to Nick and I'll be honest, I like her. Genuine as all get out.
  • HE PICKED UP THE ROSE. Commence freak outs.
  • Is he giving it to Rachel? I knew her small talk was 100.
  • LOL at Corinne’s reaction.

Rose Ceremony:

  • Knees weak, arms are sweaty. Vomit on my red dress already.
  • Corinne got her rose. Be bold, y’all.
  • Surprised that cat girl didn’t start purring when she got her rose.
  • Wait, drunk Left Shark got a rose? Whatever.
  • “Ladies, the final rose tonight.” Much gravitas. Such drama. Very wow.
  • Liz got her rose. So maybe she will get to be a hollaback girl after all.
  • Cue the dashing of all these contestants' unrealistic expectations.

Post-thoughts

I did it. I think a little bit less of myself now. But this is for you, dear readers, not me.

So what'd you think? Do you want more? Let me know by commenting and liking/sharing this post on Facebook.

Reflecting on 2016

By Maggie Reimherr

2016 has been quite a year. It seems like everywhere I go on the Internet, people are blaming the year itself for all of our problems and trying to forget it ever happened. Cool your jets, my fellow Millennials and all you Generation Z kids creating 2016 memes like they’re going out of style. (I guess they are going out of style. It’s 2017 tomorrow.) Although we all faced some ups and downs, we have to look at the good of this year too. Like Hannah Montana once said, “Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock.”

But before we move forward into 2017 and the great unknown that’s to come, I’m reflecting on my own 2016 - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good:

  • First and foremost, DEREK AND I GOT MARRIED!!!
  • We’re learning how to be married. I would link to a specific post detailing this, but that’s literally this entire blog.
  • Speaking of this blog… we started Millennial Marriage, creating a space to share about life and marriage and hone our writing skills.
  • I moved to Boston. No more long distance. #Blessed.
  • My dad and I had a wonderful trip up the East Coast to get me to Boston. I will never forget this time I got to spend with him during my last months as a Carter.
  • I started a job at an Ivy League university. 
  • Derek changed careers and now works in marketing - a perfect fit for him.
  • My best gals were all in one place at my bachelorette party in Nashville.
  • I traveled out of the US for the first time for our honeymoon.
  • I watched every single Marvel movie.
  • We purchased every imaginable type of liquor for our bar cart.
  • I learned how to make a really good mojito.
  • I learned how to make really good short ribs.
  • I learned how to make really good iced coffee. No, Starbucks, you cannot have my money anymore. JK, you can still have some of my money because I still don’t have a milk frother to make cappuccinos.
  • We watched fireworks over the Boston Harbor for the Fourth of July. How American is that?
  • A lot of our friends got married, so we were back and forth to Georgia a ton. It was great to be able to see our loved ones so frequently. That’s not the norm when you live a thousand miles away, so we’re grateful.
  • Derek and I found a church and joined a great community group.
  • I figured out how to be a blogger on Instagram. (Hashtag game on point)
  • I read 51 books, and only 16 of them were bad romance novels!
  • We went to so. many. improv. shows.
  • Discovered Chinese hot pot. Now I think about hot pot on at least a weekly basis.
  • Derek and I joined the University of Georgia Boston Alumni Chapter Board.
  • We didn’t get scammed when trying to rent an apartment in Boston because I am so wise.
  • I planned our 2017 vacation, and we got a really good deal.
  • The world was graced with Westworld, Stranger Things, and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
  • I went to New York twice.
  • I’ve learned more about Jesus.
  • I decided to write a book.
  • We found a bar in Boston where we’re now considered regulars enough that the talented, fantastic girl who plays the piano and sings there on Saturday nights knows us by name, lets me sing with her, and *spoiler alert* will be featured on this very blog in the coming weeks. Did I mention that she’s Miss Massachusetts? Yeah, this is exciting.

The Bad:

  • I haven’t started writing the book I decided to write.
  • Due to all of the back and forth to Georgia for weddings and things of that nature, I feel like we didn’t allow ourselves to bloom where we’re planted in Boston.
  • The election was a tough season. I really allowed it to affect my moods in the days, weeks, and months leading up to November 8. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that there are still a lot of unknowns and justified concerns with our president-elect (just check out Twitter from the last few days, folks). I don’t have the answers for how to combat those concerns. So I just pray.

The Ugly:

  • Since this is a marriage blog and we’re talking about both the triumphs and tribulations of being young marrieds… I switched birth controls and spent the entire month of October crying due to hormone overload. Pro tip: if your medication makes you have wild mood swings, get a different medication. (But the good: I switched again and became emotionally stable once more.) ((I’m sorry if this is TMI, but hello, I’m a married woman who is only 24 years old.))
  • I cut my hand and bled profusely on the first night of our honeymoon. *So romantic.*
  • I gained 15 pounds. Working on that.


In writing this, here’s what I’ve discovered: the good outweighs the bad if you let it. I couldn’t think of much bad to spell out here when reflecting on the year because although there were some dark spots, those were overshadowed by so many good things. So bring on 2017, whatever may come. I’m excited for the unknown and love the fresh start that a new year always brings. 

You Should Binge Watch Westworld

By Derek Reimherr

We haven’t done one of these in awhile because life is busy and stuff. But this one was worth the wait.

WESTWORLD, Y’ALL.

All my conspiracy theorists out there, can I get an AMEN??

As you’ll read in the coming months, I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan. I’ve been reading (and re-reading) the books since 2010, back before it was mainstream.

But when this season ended, there was a void. What the heck are we going to watch on Sunday evenings now? This is when God reminds me how beautiful of a medium Twitter is.

It might have been Buzzfeed, or it could’ve been IGN. Either way, I saw a tweet about this show “Westworld” that was driving people crazy. Lo and behold, it comes on at 9pm on Sundays on HBO.

So we checked it out. The 3rd episode was already out, so we had a mini-binge.

Y’all, this show totally wrecks ya brain.

The premise is this: In the near future, artificial intelligence has advanced considerably and been applied not to the improvement of the human race, but to the pleasure of the wealthy elite. A man named Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) opened a park called Westworld that was essentially a western themed amusement park.

All of the park’s inhabitants are called hosts and are advanced AI robots. All of the humans are referred to as guests. Hosts are there to entertain guests in fun and interesting (and less savory) ways, called storylines. Remember how I mentioned it was only for the wealthy elite? The park’s admission costs $40k per day.

The show follows a development in the AI programming where the hosts start seeing things, experiencing cognition, and acting in ways they shouldn’t. The park operators and parent company have to figure out how to react to this development. And that’s just the first episode. I can’t say anymore without giving away spoilers, but I hope it has your interest.

Season 1 finale was just this past weekend and I can guarantee the show is worth your time. Now, for disclaimers:

There is nudity, heavy violence, and lots of swearing. If you’re not comfortable with that, please pass on Westworld. But if you can tolerate these things that are almost standard on an HBO show (and less intense than Game of Thrones, I would assert), you’re in for a real treat.

Westworld is a thought-provoking, suspenseful, well-directed and written sci-fi thriller. The show’s main cast features some absolute stand out performances, in particular from the first four:

  • Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores Abernathy (Across the Universe, The Ides of March)
  • Thandie Newton as Maeve Millay (Pursuit of Happyness, Mission Impossible 2)
  • Anthony Hopkins as Robert Ford (Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal)
  • Jeffrey Wright as Bernard Lowe (Casino Royale, Hunger Games)
  • Ed Harris as the Man in Black (A Beautiful Mind, The Rock)
  • James Marsden as Teddy Flood (X-Men)
  • Jimmi Simpson as William (House of Cards, Date Night)
  • Luke Hemsworth as Ashley Stubbs (yes, there’s a 3rd one)

Are you a fan like us? Let us know your thoughts on the show in the comments or on social.

Read more on #MillennialMarriage:

Our First Married Holiday

Saturday Mornings With Us

How to Fail Successfully Without Even Trying

Losing It

By Maggie Reimherr

A few days after Thanksgiving, I stepped on the scale to see the largest number I’ve ever weighed. I knew it was bad. My workout routine was non-existent. My cute fall skirts don’t fit, and my preferred clothing item is stretchy pants. My favorite weekend activity is eating lots of food and drinking lots of beer. I’ve known for months that changes needed to be made, but I never started.

Part of the problem is that I haven’t adjusted well to the demands of city life and the limited free time that comes with that. When I lived in Athens, GA, I was able to drive home every day for my lunch break because I worked 5 minutes from my house. Since I got home from work at approximately 5:10 every day, I was able to change and head to 5:30 barre classes. I had a routine. My work-life balance was ~on fleek~.

Now, I commute an hour each way on the train every day. I also work a 9-6 job. So that means 11 hours of my day are inflexible time devoted to commuting and working. In my struggle to cope, exercise moved to the back burner. Beer and pizza and movie nights and laziness took its place. The number on the scale was a wake up call.

So last week we began a weight loss journey. Derek and I are doing this together because we both need it. We bought a notebook and started writing out goals and checkpoints and meal plans. We use My Fitness Pal on our phones to log calories, and at the end of the day, we write them in the notebook and discuss.

Do y'all know how great it is when two motivated people join forces to reach a goal? By working together, we’re held accountable to the achievements we’ve set out to attain. We’re only one week in, but I really feel like this is working. I'm down 4 pounds already (to be fair, that might have been Thanksgiving casserole weight). And the best way to stay on top of your goals is to put them on the Internet, right?

I've learned a few things in the past week about weight loss and goal setting and working together as a team.

  1. Find a routine that works for you. Like I mentioned above, I'm not off the train until 7:00 pm, and by then, I'm drained. Morning workouts are best for me because there's no room for excuses like “I’m tired” or “I have a headache.” The 5:30 am alarm is an adjustment, but it's a worthwhile one.

  2. Water is your best friend. Over the past week, I've already had about 48 ounces of water by the time I'm done with my workout around 6:45 am. I read somewhere that Miss America contestants drink a gallon of water a day. That’s about what I’m currently doing, so look for me on your televisions next fall.

  3. Listen to your body. I've been fighting a cold for the past week. My alarm went off on Friday morning for a 6:00 am kickboxing class. My body, like a Ryan Gosling meme, said, “Hey girl, I think you need some rest to get better.” So I went back to sleep for an hour, and I went on a long walk during my lunch break to get a little bit of exercise that day. This also applies to food. My Fitness Pal tells me that to achieve my goal weight, I can only eat 1200 net calories a day (food calories - workout calories = net calories). Some days, that works. Some days, that's absurd. If I hunger, I eat whole, healthy foods. I tend to keep it under 1400 net, and that fills me up just fine.

  4. Calorie counting is a necessary evil for me. I am a short person, so a few pounds make a big difference on my frame. Even when I hit my goal weight, I'm going to have to eat mostly healthy and exercise regularly to maintain. Really, we should all be doing this - we’re only given one body for our time on earth, so we better take care of them. Over the years, my weight has fluctuated a good bit, and the only way I've found that I can stay on track is by consciously (but not obsessively) taking account what I put in my body. I’ve gone through phases when I’ve gotten obsessed with the tracker though, and when that happens, it’s time to take a step back from counting and just feed your body healthy foods. We don’t want to toe the line between healthy and disordered eating.

  5. Total deprivation never works. This has been my downfall in staying healthy. I'll do a few solid weeks of exercise and healthy eating. Then I'll say, “Screw this! Let’s go to Cane’s! I'll take 6 chicken fingers, 2 pieces of Texas toast, 2 sauces, and a plate full of fries!” This is less likely to happen when allow yourself occasional indulgences in moderation. We’re doing 2 “cheat meals” per week instead of a full cheat day. I ate a cannoli on Saturday, and guess what? I’m still on track for my goals.

  6. Working together is good for your marriage. I can’t imagine the temptation I’d feel to get off track if Derek and I weren’t in this together. But since we are, the process is strengthening our relationship by giving us a common goal to encourage each other toward.

Why, you ask, are we starting this journey in the middle of the holidays? Why not just make it a New Year’s Resolution? Because we didn't want to wake up on December 26th and realize we’re both 5 more pounds heavier. Also, we’re going back to Mexico in April, and I’d prefer to not have to buy all new swimsuits to suit these extra pounds. Now’s the time to start. It's going to be a challenge to stay on track when we’re in the South for Christmas. But here's our plan: get moving every day, track what we’re eating, and indulge but don't over-indulge at Christmas events. We’re sticking with this, and as good bloggers do, we’ll share updates every step of the way.

Losing It.png

A Recovering Introvert?

By Maggie Reimherr

I had been looking forward to this past weekend for months. Derek was going to a bachelor party in Denver. For the first time in our nearly 8 months of marriage, I was getting the apartment to myself.

On Friday night, I went to a women’s conference (Belong Tour with my pretend best friends, Jen Hatmaker and Shauna Niequist), with some women from church. We stayed up late having girl talk in the hotel room, and it was a welcome change from having most of my conversations with a dude. Saturday evening, I dropped my friend Kate off at her apartment on the way home from the conference. She asked me if I wanted to come in and hang out, and I proudly declared, “No thanks, I'm going to head home and be an introvert. I'm so excited.”

I returned home with an excellent plan: Hallmark movies and decadent foods (okay, McDonalds and a slice of cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory). Then I found out we don't have the Hallmark Channel. Next, I realized I wasn't even hungry thanks to the buffalo chicken wrap I’d eaten for lunch. Undeterred, I settled in to watch the episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Crazy Ex Girlfriend I'd missed that week. 2 hours later, it was 8:00 pm, and I didn't know what to do with the rest of my night.

The next day, I never changed out of my pajamas and watched 3 movies and approximately 8 episodes of The Mindy Project. I texted my friends a lot. I texted Derek, “I miss you! Please come home!” I was lonely. I was bored.

And then I had a thought: am I becoming...extroverted?

It checks out. I thought back to Friday night and the late night girl talk. I was so energized and refreshed by having honest conversations and lots of giggles with other ladies. I thought back on 8 months of marriage and sharing space with another person and realized, “I think I enjoy being around people more than I enjoy being alone now.”

This realization came from a girl whose biggest fear about marriage was the idea of not having my own time and space, who, as an engaged woman, frantically texted a married friend asking, “What do you do with your free time? Are you ever alone???”

I found myself wondering what I used to do with my alone time. I was a Netflix queen. I could finish shows at a pace no reasonable human should. While Netflix used to give me rest, it now leaves me feeling disconnected and alone.

Don't get me wrong: I still enjoy reading books and introspectively writing in my journal. I enjoy the 2 hours I have to myself on Saturday mornings while Derek sleeps in since my body has decided in my mid-20s that it won't sleep past 8:00 am. But anything beyond the quiet hours of a weekend morning, and I find myself craving human interaction.

I'm not ready for the label of extrovert. I'm just here to say that Maggie Carter was an introvert. But Maggie Reimherr is a connection-craving, people-loving, small talk-having, question-asking individual. I think it goes to show that as our lives change, so do we. Constant connection in marriage has made me hungry for more time with people. And I'm here for it.

So next time Derek goes out of town, please come visit me.

Jesus and the 2016 Election

By Maggie and Derek Reimherr

Today, we voted. They were prayerful votes, cast based on issues God has placed most heavily on our heart over the past year. This election season has led us to do a lot more reading and research than normal. Does that make us #woke? Whatever. Here's what we've learned throughout 2016:

1. Christians have to stop believing that God affiliates with a political party. There is no "Christian party." In fact, if you're a Christian who finds your ideology aligning perfectly with party politics, you should probably dive into the Gospel and ponder the words of Jesus. We're not "of the world," (John 17:16) so devotion to worldly institutions like political parties should give pause. There's been so much angst about the election because where does a Christian's vote fall? "Why isn’t there a party that agrees with everything I believe?" Because this earth is not our home, that’s why.

2. In fact, we don't live in a theocracy. This is something the both of us have wanted to say for a while. If you haven't noticed, the United States is a representative democracy with a president, not a pastor or Pope. Congress isn't made up of deacons. The Supreme Court isn't comprised of church elders. What does this mean? Christians cannot reasonably expect our beliefs to be forced onto millions and millions of people who do not accept or agree with our belief system. You can disagree with a practice, but that doesn't mean it should be illegal. Freedom of religion is a right everyone in America has, not just Christians. As Jesus followers, we're not called to force Christianity and Christian morality on a diverse nation. Acting like the morality police makes Christians seem a lot like Pharisees, don't you think?

3. We are so very privileged. We are white, straight, college-educated, middle class Christians. Policy changes from either side of the aisle probably won't affect our everyday life. Sure, we might pay a little more or a little less in taxes and insurance premiums, but the social issues will have little effect our day to day. This was a jarring realization. If you're in similar shoes, your privilege should make you pause. Think about the people in this country who aren't like you and listen to their voices and their concerns. If you're a Christian, you should genuinely care about the concerns of marginalized and underrepresented groups. That's what Paul and Timothy tell us to do in Philippians 2:4 - “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

4. Social justice should matter to Christians. Christians are called to care for orphans and widows (James 1:27). This doesn't just mean white, American orphans and widows. We should care about refugees and immigrants and American citizens living in poverty. We should stand with Black Lives Matter (and learn why All Lives Matter isn't helping). We should seek to understand that which we don't experience. Many Christians have wild fervor for the lives of the unborn but lack compassion for the already living and the ones taking care of those children. Does that truly represent who Jesus is?

5. A certain candidate's rhetoric has empowered vile words and actions. We're millennials and spend a lot of time on Twitter. We've both seen thread after thread where people have spewed racist and dangerous tweets, citing conspiracy theories as fact, threatening revolts, undermining the electoral process, and making us question whether or not a peaceful transfer of power will take place. This isn't a refreshing change from the corrupt political system. This is scary. Christians have to consider the implications of the candidate’s speech, which has often brought out the worst in people. Do we really want to communicate that an aspiring politician can say whatever they want and still have a shot at becoming president of the United States?

6. As Christians, our love for people should not change based on their vote. As Twitter famous RUF pastor Sammy Rhodes tweeted the other day, “You can love someone & totally disagree with them. If that wasn't true then Jesus couldn't love us at all.”

7. A lot of votes are misinformed. Consider the source of your news. Just because someone posted it on Facebook does not make it true. Partisan news sources are profiting from your deepest fears and base desires. Your clicks = money in their pockets. A lot of polarized news sources this year aren't even run by American citizens. They have no stake in our election except their own wallets. One of the candidates has attempted to delegitimize the media throughout the campaign, but reputable sources report on facts. Disreputable sources sensationalize. 

8. Do you believe God's Word when it says that every person is created in His image? If you do, racism, bigotry, and misogyny should concern you (these issues should concern you even if you aren't a Christian). There’s a lot of that going around these days. What have you done to stop it?

9. Everyone believes their opinion is the correct opinion. The truth is, we all have different belief systems that are built by our family backgrounds, where we're from and where we live, the people around us, and our religious convictions. It seems like human nature for us all to believe we’re right and in some ways, morally superior. If you’re a Christian, every political opinion that enters your head should be filtered through the Jesus lens. Does the Bible say anything about this? If not, what does the Bible tell us about God’s heart that will help us discern this opinion? 

10. Similarly, your words should be filtered through the Jesus lens. A common battle cry in this election season has been, “I’m not politically correct! Save us from living in a politically correct nation!” Most often, political correctness means, “It’s not okay to be prejudiced.” Yes, sometimes our quest to be inoffensive discourages discourse. But is it so wrong to think before we speak? If we love Jesus, we should consider these questions before speaking: "Do my words tear down or build up? Am I speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15)? Does my speech invoke the fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)?" Jesus says, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.” (Matthew 12:36) Loving people well often requires speaking in a way that wouldn't offend them.

11. Tomorrow, the church and the nation need to heal. Damage has been done to our witness as Christ followers during this election. There is division within the church, and church leaders have spoken out in favor of politics that don’t reflect who Jesus is. Where do we go from here? As we await the results of a contentious election today and wake up tomorrow with a newly elected president, let’s be the hands and feet of Jesus. Let’s speak out against injustice. Let’s put our faith not in politics but in God. Pray for healing, pray for a nonviolent transfer of power, and pray for our new president’s leadership.

“He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.” - Daniel 2:21

Please Invite Me to Your Karaoke Night

By Maggie Reimherr

All my life, I've been a performer. My parents said when I was little, I would call my aunts’ sorority house and leave messages on their answering machine of me singing. I’d put on productions in the living room for my parents, including musical numbers and dramatic readings from the Bible. I'm an introvert who loves an audience.

In high school, I was insanely shy, but I came alive on stage in musicals. Playing Rizzo in Grease my junior year of high school was my crowning achievement (Derek’s note: She still doesn’t stop talking about it). Looking back, it's hilarious how never-drank, never-been-kissed me was cast as Rizzo.

In college, I wasn't involved in theater. But I did have the occasional National Anthem performance (once at the Georgia Dome #humblebrag) or a Greek life philanthropy concert. Post-grad, I found an amazing theater group in Athens, GA. I performed in productions of Tarzan and Little Women and was fortunate enough to have an on-stage death (spoiler alert).

It's sad when adult responsibilities prevent you from pursuing hobbies you're passionate about. Musicals are no small time commitment, as some of you may know. You're often in rehearsals 5 days week. Between normal office hours and my commute, forget it. I just don’t have time. Theater companies are spread out all over the Boston area, none of which are actually near where we live, making it impossible for me to attend rehearsals. After one attempt at auditioning, I knew the trek wouldn’t work. I realized that night it was time for me to retire, at least for now.

Sacrificing hobbies is something I know most adults have become familiar with. Mine was performing in community theater. Imagine what former college athletes feels like when professional ambitions don’t pan out? That’s tough.

When there’s not enough time for that thing you love, then what? You persevere. Maybe you volunteer with a local kids sports league . Maybe you could join a rec soccer league or your church’s worship team. Less time doesn’t equal foregoing your hobby entirely. Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to carry on my theatrical and singing hobbies.

Instead of lamenting, I count how #blessed I am to be spending my time:

  • Investing in my husband and a new marriage
  • Working at one of the best universities in the world
  • Living in near a cool city
  • Exploring new places on the weekends
  • Reading lots of books on my commute and my free nights at home.

For now, my theater involvement consists of date nights with my good sport of a husband to see whatever show is in town. We’re going to see Wicked this weekend in Providence, RI, and I am beyond excited. (I may have neglected to tell Derek this will be my 3rd time seeing the show. But it’s been 8 years, cut me some slack. I have also neglected to tell him I will cry as soon as the first note is played by the orchestra.)

In the meantime, my only chance to perform is when we go to one of our favorite bars and I sing with the woman who plays the piano every Saturday night. So please invite me to your karaoke night. I promise I won't hog the mic too much.