{girl} you should see the view from here

0001

this journal is locked not locked anymore

all backlogged entries are friends only, but they don't matter much anyway

what matters is my future with my husband

and this is where I write about that
{girl} you should see the view from here

(no subject)

We got divorced and I am an atheist now and the entire marriage thing makes me laugh but it almost made me die.

This isn't a random spammer, it's me. Natalie. I just had to set the record straight as I peruse my past. I miss my friends, the friends I knew on Livejournal... you all were lovely. But my life married to Mike was hell, and I just barely escaped it alive.

My email is my name: natalie [dot] gail [dot] sowa [at] gmail [dot] com.

That's all, I guess. I'm so happy now, everyone. I'm so happy and I'm so glad my life is my own.
{girl} you should see the view from here

0586 [personally...]



Day 7 - Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality.

I'm a gemini. Here's a summary of a gemini's personality, taken from Associated Content:


Gemini is an intellectual sign. You are at your best when occupied with tasks of mental stimulation. You love to learn, solve problems, travel and communicate with others. You get on well with people and you probably have many friends and social contacts. Your witty, talkative, charming nature is capable of melting the cool barriers that some people tend to erect when in the company of others.

Your light-hearted, vivacious, free and easy personality makes it easy for you to "get others talking". People open up to you and this is how you learn so much about what is going on around you. You like to gossip too, but do be careful about what you say and who you say things too. For you have been known, now and again, to put your foot in it!

You aren't an overly emotional person. You are generally quite frank and to the point in your speech though this sometimes unnerves the more sensitive types such as Cancerians and Pisceans.
In your friendships you probably won't want to get too close to people. You love freedom, change and variety.

In fact variety in life is your main aim. New interests stimulate your restless mind. You love books: fiction, fact, instructive, humorous cartoons. Just about any subject which will provide a few hours of mental stimulation. While travel also provides a welcome chance to positively channel your whirlwind mental and physical energies.

You love solving puzzles, communicating and pursuing anything that is mentally stimulating. To be truly satisfied in life you need to be eternally finding things out and will need to feel you are making good use of your skills and knowledge.

You love to experiment and will try anything once, if it interests you. Being the third sign of the zodiac, Gemini is related to the 3rd astrological house. Key associations of Gemini and the third house include: communication, short distance travel, siblings, neighbours, everyday matters, writing and transport.


I emboldened the parts of the description that I agreed with. I also read that geminis "However, as the sign of the Twins, there is a dual aspect to the Gemini personality, making it difficult for these individuals to stick with any one thing in order to master it, and often making it difficult for bystanders to figure out which side their Gemini friend is really on. Gemini has more than one personality, which can change in a flash, and those near to them would do well to learn them both. On and off, up and down, back and forth, black and white, day and night, ying and yang - this is the essence of the Gemini personality." (citation)

I guess I am fairly like my astrological sign. I don't believe in these things as far as predicting the future goes, but I do believe that they might be linked to biological factors in my conception and birth that have, physically, affected my personality.
{tv} Tina Fey's genius is enviable

0585 [29 and some big news]








Day 6 - Write 30 random facts about yourself.


1. I have a very difficult time maintaining consistency.
2. I love the technology that has allowed frozen food companies to replicate the taste and texture of deep-fried foods in frozen, bake-able foods like onion rings and General Tso's Chicken.
3. I read Confessions of a Pioneer Woman regularly and absolutely adore Ree Drummond's narrative and photography style(s). I read her blogs so much that I sometimes hear her "voice" narrating things that happen in my life. Or, sometimes she talks to me. Is that weird?
4. I inherited my bone structure, my assertiveness, and my bi-monthly migraines from my mother.
5. Also, we (my mother and I) have a very similar haircut (short and spiky) and our voices sound very much the same.
6. From my dad I inherited my stubbornness, my bluntness, and my blue eyes.
7. I think the best movies were made in black and white, and that many of them were made outside of the United States.
8. I'm a non-political philosophical/theoretical Marxist (with the clause that any successful implementation of Marxist theory must take place within a theocracy).
9. I like to use big words and technical jargon.
10. I have a special adoration for the beauty of words; even when writing, I consider it of great importance that the words I'm stringing together have a good sound and rhythm to them.
11. Ever since I was a toddler, I've found it very difficult to not move my body to the rhythm of a song.
12. I have only been really physically attracted to my husband since we have been married. When we were engaged, I was attracted to other men, but after we said our vows, Mike is the only one who makes my blood pressure rise. And I didn't set out to do that; it just happened to me.
13. I believe in God, the Father, the Almighty Maker of Heaven and the Maker of Earth, and Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son, our Lord.
14. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic (that means complete / whole, not just one denomination) church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.
15. I love reading the words of texts like The Apostles' Creed and agreeing emphatically with their words. I like that connection to the people who came before me.
16. My main educational goal is to read Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment in its original language (Russian), and to write some sort of dissertation on it.
17. I dropped out of school one semester before I graduated with my Bachelor's degree so that I could adjust to being married and get my priorities of God and my marriage to the forefront of my life.
18. I don't regret #17 at all.
19. I dislike being in a room that does not have adequate lighting unless I am sleeping in it (this includes movie theaters / home theaters).
20. I have never wanted to be drunk. I probably never will be drunk. I'm okay with that.
21. Knowing my own selfish and wretched tendencies, I try never to judge anyone that I know. Instead I put a lot of effort into loving people and making them feel good about the good things about themselves (i.e. if I hang with a murderer, I'll try to bring up his vast agricultural knowledge or his good relationship with his mom).
22. I have a very difficult time lying; whenever I say anything that is good, it has got to be the truth. I just try to speak good things as often as I notice them.
23. I really do not like the majority of the music / books / movies that my husband does.
24. My husband really does not enjoy the majority of the music / books / movies that I do.
25. I'm sure that the rest of my life will be spent trying to live with #23 and #24 and asking God why on earth He put us together.
26. I like beer. Moreover, I like being known as someone who loves Jesus and likes beer.
27. The thing I miss most about college is the discussion of theoretical and philosophical texts. I still read things with the same critical mindset, but I have no one to talk to!
28. I like the person I am today a whole lot more than the person I was a year ago.
29. I love Landon Vitarelli like a little brother; we have a special bond that I will always treasure. He's pictured above. I also have a special love and bond with Gabriel, his older brother who is so much like I was as a child (!!), and Angelina, his older sister who is so creative and lovely and fun to be with, and Sofia, his younger sister who gurgles and has the biggest blue eyes and is adorable.
30. My husband and I are moving to California in March, if God wills. We're selling our house and selling our cars and moving to the land of medical marijuana and temperate climates to be near San Francisco and weather that won't make my husband suffer as much. (we pray!)
{girl} you should see the view from here

0584 [let's play catch-up]



Okay, so I'm going to try to do a few of these posts a night, because I've missed so many. To be honest, I rarely get on my computer any more. I use my iPhone to check Facebooken and my Twitter (I update the Twitter more regularly... mrshotch is my handle).


Day 04 - Your views on religion.

I believe that my life is nothing without my religion, my faith, what have you. In my dictionary, religion is defined as the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God. I dislike it when Christians try to distance themselves from the idea of "religion," and instead make Christianity a "relationship with Jesus." Fuck, it's not a relationship. Well, you are relating to Him as your intercessor to God, as the vehicle of your justification and holiness and salvation. But it's not simply having a BFF4EVAR. He is Lord. God is wholly unlike us, and yet He desires our worship and our love and our existence, which is baffling. And He expects nothing from us, but freely supplies us our faith and through grace gives us means to desire Him as we ought, and not to be submerged in the sin of our own stupid selfishness. My religion, my worship of that superhuman power who is God and Jesus and, yes, even the Holy Spirit in a united but distinct Trinity is my life. Apart from that I am nothing, and I am proud beyond words to find all of my hope and worth in this great love. A few verses that illustrate my hope in paradise, in an eternal life of worshiping God, and of the essence of faith as a gift of grace from God:

If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1st Corinthians 15:19).

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God... (Ephesians 2:8)


Day 05 - A time you thought about ending your own life.

I think about this often. I say this not to worry anyone, but simply to be honest. I am plagued by doubt, especially when I struggle in my marriage to be a good wife and to have grace for a flawed husband who's just confused and imperfect as I am. I think, in my own desperation, that it would be peaceful to call it quits and simply offer my hands up to God in paradise, saying, "I couldn't hack it. I just want to worship You." But I know that this isn't possible. As often as I think about suicide, I have never come anywhere close to harming myself physically. I credit it to God, that not one hair can fall from my head unless He ordains it.


(I am planning to answer the questions you've left in comments... and will do so in a short while. I'm formulating my answers. ;))
{go} this wasn't entirely unexpected

0583 [back, late, excuses...]

First thing's first.

damnshesfeisty, when I saw this movie poster, I thought of you (because the chick has red hair!). I love anti-weed propaganda. It makes me chuckle.

Second...

I am going to be brief about why I haven't been posting. Mike and I were having really rough times, arguing about everything, and throwing the "d" word around at our most intense moments. It was terrifying. It was heartbreaking. I think I lost ten pounds from sheer stress. But because everything came to a head, we sought counsel from our pastor, who is wise and a true godly leader. It was the best thing that we could have done. After two sessions, and some serious straight talk from Pastor B. and the Bible (mostly Pastor B. telling us what the Bible says and how to apply it to our situation), our marriage is no longer a source of pain and arguments. We are both doing so much better; Mike is understanding his role as the leader of our family and the protector of my emotions (two things he was not doing), and I am understanding my role as helper and encourager (two things I was not doing). My pride and critical spirit were huge issues that caused an untold number of fights between us. His frustration at a lack of direction regarding his role as a husband and his lack of initiative made our first six months of marriage difficult. We both were immature and confused and extremely selfish. Now we know better what marriage means (being a team) and what it does not (living a single life with a roommate).


I am so happy now. Those things that I said about marriage previously are exactly what selfish, immature people make a marriage. But I sincerely believe that with good counseling and both partners devoted to creating a marriage that glorifies God, marriage can be really amazing. It's the best thing I've ever done. So, loves, don't be afraid. Just be prepared. And sign up for counseling from someone you trust as soon as you get married. Pre-marriage counseling does very nearly nothing. You've got to live in the reality before the theory can be adequately understood and applied.

(I cannot recommend enough this book on marriage by John Piper called This Momentary Marriage (it's free in .pdf on Piper's website!!) It is incredibly easy to read aloud, as Mike and I have done, and great for sparking discussion and, most importantly, illuminating the principles behind biblical marriage. Mostly, Piper quotes his wife, who told him that "you cannot say too often that marriage is an image of Christ and the church." To be honest, I know some of you dear friends aren't Christians. That's okay. I cannot downplay how helpful this book, the Bible, and my Christian family were in helping my marriage. That's all.)


Third...



(my parents are the best, and my in-laws are the best. how did I get all of the awesome in my one, tiny life? I don't know. but they are all my favorites.)

Fourth...

Day 4 - Your views on drugs and alcohol.

Honestly, I believe that everything is permissible. Everything can be beneficial in moderation. I don't pass any judgment on people who snort coke and I pass no judgment on those who abstain from even drinking coffee. I don't set rules for anyone but myself. I know what I can't handle, and really have no desire to ever be drunk or high. I do think that marijuana would make a huge difference in my husband's health and quality of life, and I'm frankly very pissed that it's illegal in New York. That's one reason why we're moving to California in March. Also, I like drinking craft beer. I am Reformed. I think it's cool. ;)
{girl} you should see the view from here

0582 [in ten years]

Day three... phew.




(This was the first time Mike saw me in my dress. I saw him that morning when he arrived at the church, but I wasn't dressed yet. I'm so glad we decided to see each other before the ceremony. It was great to be with him and sit and talk for a bit, to do the pictures before we were all wiped out... it made me quite happy.)


Oddly enough, today's prompt for me is the same as the writing prompt paid for by ABC on the LJ homepage. Huh.


Day 02 - Where you’d like to be in 10 years.

I have no idea. I honestly don't! I'd like to be happy, that's all. I'd like to know God more than I do now. I'd like to be with my husband. I'd like my husband to be well. I'd like him to be able to walk and work at a 9-5 job. That's my prayer, anyway. I have no idea if it will happen. Maybe God will do something better. ;)
{girl} you should see the view from here

0581 [relationships]

No, your eyes don't deceive you.

I promised, didn't I?

Well, this time I mean it.




(Sorry about all of the BEWBS. I got the dress because I knew Mike likes my, ahem, chest. (AND ALSO BECAUSE THE DRESS IS FREAKING GORGEOUS!) But I gained a bit of weight before the actual wedding date, and the seamstress lied to me and told me that the dress could be altered to fit me, and after lots of angst and sewing and seam-ripping I just looked nearly excessively voluptuous. You will see a shit ton of cleavage in the coming days.)

There's the first part, and here's the second:


Day 01 - Discuss your current relationship, if single discuss how single life is.


In a word, my marriage is: hard.

In two words, my marriage is: fucking difficult.

In many words, my marriage is nothing like what I thought it would be. This is a cliche, and a horrible one, but I am speaking honestly when I tell you that I was as unprepared for the realities of sharing my life with Mike Hotchkiss as the safety patrol of the Titanic were for that iceberg. I am realizing that I am an incredibly selfish person, and that while I am capable of selflessness this selflessness tends to be coupled with a taciturn requirement for reciprocation on my husband's part. That is, when he's not selfless towards me in the ways that I desire, I get pissed at him.

We have had probably 20 or 30 really significant arguments lasting longer than an hour. We've been married for 6 months, exactly, today. (I just realized this. Should I shout "Happy Six Months baby!" to my husband, who's on the front porch playing guitar and sipping a Bud in the dark?) I have had to leave the house four times in the midst of those arguments. Two times I came right back. One time I drove to Cleveland. One time, the earliest fight, or one of the earliest fights, I ended up making a quick trip to Michigan to visit the Reverend and Jody with my family. They gave me guidance. I returned from the weekend with a renewed sense of humility and the realization that not everything in my life was Mike's fault.

And that Michigan trip was within one month of our wedding day.

Phew.

While marriage has undoubtedly been the most confusing and frustrating and difficult thing I've ever had to do, it is also the most rewarding and beautiful and magical thing I've ever been a part of. I love being Mike's wife. He is a rock of stability even when we're raising our voices in argument. I know that he will never leave me, or end our marriage, and I have resolved to do the same. (Okay, I may leave for a day, but I never leave him. Even when I drove away, on the road to Ohio he was always with me, sticking in my heart and consuming my thoughts.)

I am so very happy. Marriage is not easy, and I would not ever dream of getting married again, but my marriage to Mike is the best thing about my life. I praise God for it. Sincerely. :)
{girl} you should see the view from here

0580 [reboot]

Hello! It's me.

Don't remember me? Natalie Hotchkiss? Well, Natalie Gail to you... that was my maiden nom de plum. But now I'm a Hotchkiss, married to Michael.

Still don't remember me?


How about a picture or two to jog your memory?







Does that help? Are you willing to forgive my lack of posting / responding / existing? I have thought of you all, and read your journals randomly throughout these past months, but really haven't been here (that is, online, with you). But that's all going to change, with silent_orange_'s inspiration. She's doing 30 days of posts under various topics, and I'm going to follow her lead! Here's the list: Collapse )


I'm also going to post at least one photo from my wedding every day. I don't have an online album up yet, and while I've been wanting to for some time... there are over 800 photos from my wedding. And they're all gorgeous. I weeded them down to 300, so that I could begin to think about putting together a scrapbook for my parents and in-laws and the Reverend's family, but I need to take a quick breather. That is, I need to not look at them for any significant length of time until at least next week.


I'm also going to try to make my entries shorter, and more punchy, because people like damnshesfeisty and silent_orange_ do this and I love reading their entries. I have a short attention span, like a squirrel. And my hair is very poofy , too. :) And that is all for now!
{girl} you should see the view from here

0577 [it bears repeating]

I just found this chunk of Scripture in my user info... how strange that I happen to find this at the perfect time, in such an ordinary place. If I ever get a tattoo, can I just have this entire passage written on my body?


So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened--not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

2 Corinthians 4:16-5:5