21 candles for my Valentine

Valentine’s Day is such a happy, sweet day! No matter if you’re in a relationship or single, it’s a day to spread love to those you hold close to your heart (it’s also when like THE best chocolate is out). The month of February became very special to me after I met my boyfriend of almost six years, Konner. It’s the month I get to celebrate with him two days in a row and I’m super excited about this February in particular! Konner finally turns twenty-one on the 15th, the day after Valentine’s Day!! Can you say chocolate wasted…

This year will be the sixth Valentine’s Day I’ve spent with Konner – seems crazy actually seeing that typed out. Time flies! In this time we have grown immensely as individuals and as a couple. We started out as two fifteen-year-olds flirting in biology, literally cracking jokes about the frogs we were dissecting (ew but aww). As years passed we both got our licenses to drive, I was a cheerleader and he was a football player for the Graham Steers, he brought me roses after my first pageant ever, we danced the night away at our junior and senior prom, we graduated high school together, we went to the same university for almost a year, we vacationed in beautiful places together, I supported him as he took a great job opportunity. And now? Though we are currently in a long-distance relationship – the love is ever-growing.

While going through these chapters in our lives I’ve learned a lot about love; crazy, self-less love. It’s understanding, compromise, and forgiveness. It’s caring about someone else’s needs and happiness more than your own. It’s kind and it’s passionate, always. It’s sleeping better next to them. It’s the feeling of a piece of you missing when you’re apart. It’s a text and a phone call that still excites you when their name pops up. It’s a kiss on the forehead and working harder because they believe in you. Some days it’s like a fairy tale and others, orchestrated chaos. It’s a best friend who always has your back and best interest at heart. It’s the smooth move of a thumb as they wipe your bad-day tears away. It’s staying up too late watching documentaries together. It’s tackling issues as a team. It’s listening, really listening. It’s seeing each other’s flaws, habits, bad temperament, insecurities, fears, hopes, dreams, and goals, and loving them blindly.

Love bears all things. Believes all things. Hopes all things. Endures all things. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:7

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(lol the time he grew out a mustache)

I’m a lucky girl to have a guy by my side like Konner. He’s always made me feel special, loved, beautiful, and like the only girl he sees. I had no idea what young, in love, high school, me was getting myself into. I never anticipated a love that runs as deep as this. The last six years have been an adventure and the rest of our lives are only just beginning to start. We are so blessed to be celebrating a sixth Valentine’s Day together and a twenty-first birthday! Konner, thank you for loving me the way you do. I love you bunches, happy Valentine’s Day, and cheers to twenty-one!!

As Always,

Ara

Valentine’s Day outfit details:
Two-peice set: Urban Outfitters top & bottoms | Heart-shaped coin purse: Urban outfitters | Wedge sandals: Target | Yellow sunglasses: Target

g r l p w r

I knew it the minute I saw this shirt, I had to have it! ‘Babes support babes’ is a motion I encourage. For those of you who have been following me for some time, you may even remember a blog I devoted and even named after the phrase — click the link to read babes support babes. In that post I spoke a lot on self-confidence, as it goes hand in hand with supporting others. But, I’ve said it before, ‘babes support babes’ is a cute motto with a whole lotta meaning behind it. Theres a bigger message we can all take away and understand.

I wanna take a moment to address the recent decision made in the case of Dr. Larry Nassar vs. his victims. This story of a man finally getting the punishment he deserves for his sexual actions against more than 150 women made headlines around the country, as it should. His victims waited a long time for their reckoning, but justice was served. Nassar received 175 years in prison for his decades of sexual abuse on young girls. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this case where so many brave young women stood together against their attacker and made a difference. They made a difference in millions of other young girls lives, and I know that this court decision will make a difference in a country where sexual abuse has been made a mockery by even our highest authorities. Kyle Stephens was a victim of Nassar’s. She addressed the abuse she experienced as a six year-old child in court and looked Nassar directly in the eye when she said, “Little girls don’t stay little forever. They turn into strong women that return to destroy your world.” What a powerful message, and coming from experience. Just, wow.

The case should prove to all of us women that when we come together and support one another, we achieve things – we make things happen. We are living in a free world where our voices have been silenced by oppressors and our rights are have been overlooked by executives. Ladies, the way to change this starts with us!! Why do we as girls, who know how hard it can be to be a girl, hurt each other/stand against each other? We are all equal, we are on the same side.

For this reason, I will never never never never understand a woman who doesn’t support feminism in its most general form. I say this because whether you’re an extremest or average feminist, every woman should support their rights over their body and their hard work. I didn’t use to consider myself a feminist because I thought that meant I had to support even the most extreme of opinions on the topic if I labeled myself. Just like any other organization, this is not the case to be a supporter; there are always outliers. I support their mission to empower young girls; to make them brave enough to decide that the age of sitting quiet is over. I support having a choice over my own body and I support equal pay in the work-field.

‘Babes support babes’ goes so beyond liking each others Insta pictures and complimenting each other in the bathroom. Truthfully, it’s as big a message as we make it. Everyday, more and more girls are empowered by the message that is feminism. Girls are gonna change this world, and change is coming! The cliche truth? – we have the power to have a say. There will be more sad days for men such as Nassar when justice is served. There will be a day when we don’t have to fight over our body’s health and a day when our hard work is recognized and worthy of equal pay. I do believe these things will happen in my lifetime and I encourage women to support other women in these goals. Imagine, if we truly stood together, held each other accountable and supported each other — what all could we accomplish?

As always,

Ara

‘Babes support babes’ tee: Shopriffraff | Skirt: Gianni Bini | Wedge sandals: Target | Sunglasses: Target | Necklace: Kendra Scott