My other love…

This is going to sound terribly stereotypical, but I don’t just love bras + lingerie… I very much love jewelry. I don’t consider myself to be overly “girly” if you will (I think I identify more with high maintenance tomboy….which is probably an oxymoron). I don’t really like shoes and I’m not completely clued in to fashion…but oh goodness. Put something sparkly and diamond like in front of my face, and I will be happy.

I don’t know how much jewelry other 24 year olds have in their jewelry box, but I am quite smitten with my collection. I don’t – as a complete and utter rule – wear fashion jewelry (think jewelry from NY&C, Lane Bryant, Express, etc.). All of the jewelry I have has been given to me from other people, and I wear anywhere from 2-4 pieces of jewelry per day. I wanted to share the pieces I wear most often, and give the story behind them. Just like lingerie, I believe that the jewelry a woman has is a direct reflection of her personality and tastes.

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My wedding band and engagement ring

I think the story behind this is pretty standard. Get engaged, get an engagement ring. Get married, get a wedding band. But, my engagement ring is my single most favorite piece of jewelry that I have.

Before I met my husband, I had been in a long term relationship with someone in the National Guard. We had been together for about two years, and I was dropping hints left and right that I wanted to marry him. I remember stopping by a Kay Jewelers when out shopping with friends (I was a sophomore in college at the time), and I picked up one of their magazines. I sifted thru it when I got home and found this beauty. To me, the center diamond looks like it is surrounded by leaves and while somewhat ostentatious, I feel like this ring has some vintage charm. Well, needless to say, the ring was right but the man was not! When my boyfriend at the time got back from Iraq, he thought he was entitled to cheat on me – you know, he did go overseas for a year, so he should get whatever he wants </ sarcasm> – so we broke up in February of 2009. I held onto my hopes of one day finding the man to go with the ring that I knew fit me perfectly, and I did not wait that long!

I met my husband in December 2009, and we got engaged on Valentine’s day, 2010 (Yes, I know, after only being together for 2 months. My parents were SO thrilled….). The proposal was pretty spur of the moment, and my beau did not have a ring on hand. He was planning on proposing to me after my undergrad graduation in May 2010, but there we were. He asked me if I had any input on the kind of ring that I wanted and I said…. “UM…yes! Let me show you!”. While this is the single most expensive piece of jewelry I own, it is so priceless to me. I found a man who would give me the world if he could (which can be good and bad, mind you), and is my perfect match in every way, just like my engagement ring 🙂 He is my best friend and I love him dearly.

As for my wedding band, my husband and I actually have matching wedding bands. He was kind of leery about having a diamond band, but it has really grown on him.

**By the way, my perfect ring is also a pain in the butt. Because the side stones are so exposed, I have to have them reset almost every six months or they will fall out. High maintenance. Told you we are perfect for each other, haha

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My great grandmother’s locket, with photos of my grandmother (mother’s side – still living) and my grandfather (mother’s side, passed May 2009).

I actually just received this locket as a gift from my grandmother this passed Christmas. When I opened it up, I bawled, and I couldn’t bring myself to open the locket for about a week after getting it. I never actually met my great grandmother. She died the year I was born. My mother always likes to tell the story of how I was a terribly awful baby and would scream and not let other people hold me. The story goes that I let my great grandmother hold me – sans tears – a week before she passed. Everyone thinks that I knew and was making the most of my time with her before she passed away. I also have a simple pearl ring of my great grandmother’s. But on to the story of the locket…

My grandparents were divorced, and I always saw my grandmother more often than my grandpa while I was growing up. My grandfather had remarried and my family was not very fond of his new wife. That and my grandfather had quite a temper, and he always seemed to be at odds with my mother. It wasn’t until just after my high school graduation that I really began to appreciate my grandfather. When growing up, I always struggled to get along with my parents (that’s really the shortest way to explain how hard it was). To make a very long story short, my parents kicked me out of the house two days after my graduation. My grandmother let me stay with her, and my grandfather came to my defense. I was always surprised by this because he and I did not have the most developed relationship. But there he was, telling me to be strong, and teaching me how to cope with my mother’s strong personality (and the fact that her and I are so. much. alike). In that hard time, my grandparents were my source of strength.

As things go, I went off to college – only 2 hours from home – and did not see my grandfather much more. In January of 2009, my junior year of college – my mother called me to tell me that my grandfather had had some testing, and they found out that he had lung cancer. Unfortunately, my grandfather had smoked for much of his life – my life long cautionary tale, now. Sadly enough, they found the cancer pretty late in the game, and even with a few rounds of chemo, the cancer spread throughout much of his body. I can’t tell you how much it broke my heart – and still does to this day – that I was 2 hours away from my family, at school. I had trouble going to work, to classes, and sleeping even because I never knew if I would get the call to tell me that my grandfather had passed, before I was able to say goodbye. I’ll never forget the first time that I saw him in the hospital wearing an oxygen mask and 50 pounds lighter, or the time that I got the phone call that my grandfather was going to pass and I needed to get home right away….and then, a week later, him actually passing and me not being there.

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My grandpa with my brothers, my younger sister and myself. Easter 2009

Dealing with my grandfather’s passing has been tough for me. He was the first person in my family to pass whom I was close to. I wear this locket almost every single day to remind me of the enduring love that my grandfather has for me, and to always hold my family close to my heart. To me, family is the single most important thing in life. Friends come and go, pets come and go, but the love of family is forever.

Also, I might add that my grandmother helped to raise my brothers and I as my parents were always working. We spent every summer with her. She taught me to sew, crochet, bake, and to swear like a sailor….and I love her dearly 🙂

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My newest piece – Le Vian’s chocolate diamonds surrounding a gorgeous ocean blue topaz.

Okay, first thing….please excuse my ridiculously dry hands and cuticles. Winter is a tough mistress to my skin….and I work with children. Which means washing my hands constantly. And almost every day, my skin cracks so badly that it bleeds. It sucks. I cannot wait for spring and summer. I am so over the fact that it is 5 degrees outside today.

So this last ring is a mere testament to how completely and utterly generous my husband is. For the last two years, I have been obsessed with Le Vian’s chocolate diamonds. However, I was completely turned off by the price tag for what are – basically – sub par diamonds with catchy marketing. But, reason went completely out the window a few weeks ago when my husband and I stopped into Kay Jewelers (we have a great working relationship with one of the associates there…she’s the best!) just to get some beads for the Pandora bracelet my parents got me for Christmas… and I saw this beauty.

In my defense, our wedding colors were brown and blue. So to me, well, it’s meant to be, ya know? I actually wore a small necklace with blue topaz and champagne colored diamonds as my wedding jewelry (my something blue and new – a gift from my father), so I thought….How nice would it be to have a matching ring?! And, the layout of this ring is quite similar to my engagement ring. I think of this piece as ostentatious, beautiful, and classy. Basically, me 😛

In that first trip into Kay, we sat down, I put the ring on and we were going to buy it. But then I decided that we shouldn’t spend the money as I have three trips to take for school this year, and the extra money would be nice to have, versus spending it on jewelry. We walked out of the store and I regretted it instantly. A week later, we went back and got the ring. And I didn’t need it resized (another testament to weight loss….My engagement ring started out at a 9.5, and I have now sized down to a 7 in rings…yay!)….so it was perfect. This is definitely a piece that I will love and cherish and I can’t wait to be able to pass it down to a daughter some day.

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I’m looking back over this post and am realizing what an emotional journey the post has been. Happiness, sadness, and simple jewelry joy.

As I said, I truly believe that jewelry can hold such an important place in someone’s life. Also, jewelry always fits! My rings and necklaces don’t make me feel fat, or inadequate. They are just always there and fit and make me happy.

Do you have any pieces of jewelry that hold a lot of meaning in your life?? 

5 thoughts on “My other love…

  1. Such a beautiful post, so full of feelings! Love your jewelry too!. I also think that every piece of jewelry has a story behind it, at least the few I own all have a special meaning. I love my wedding band because it was actually made by my step-father with his own hands and designed by us.

  2. I have a bracelet, I inhereted with my mothers passing in 2000. I love it because we share the same birthstone and my father bought it for her. I have something from both of them.

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