The Beginning Of A New Journey

Winter is the time of year where we all just want to stay inside by the fire, snuggling up to the person you love and then going to bed early and making the most of the extra hours of darkness and cold.

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Dapper AF GRRRLs in Vegas. We scrub up pretty good! Take me back to summer!

 

So I’m sitting here on the couch by the fire, a glass of wine on the side table while I watch a movie and I wait. I wait for 9:30pm to roll around, I wait for my wife to wake up in Chicago and wish me a good morning. I wait to hear how she slept, how she’s feeling today, I wait to see that beautiful sleepy snuggley morning face in a photo instead of next to me in bed. It’s been almost a year of this long distance life, that constant feeling that something is missing from me. We have been going back and fourth trying to decide the best way to finally be together. What is going to be best for us as a couple? For our family? How can we be together sooner rather than later?

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Damn we are the cutest

 

And so one day Suz messaged me and she said she wants our children to grow up somewhere beautiful, somewhere safe. We both have the fear if we had children in the U.S that we can’t insure their safety. I won’t lie, while there are many wonderful things about America, there are a lot of things that terrify me. Coming from rural New Zealand, it’s a lot to take in. Life for us in New Zealand would be a lot easier, we are a very progressive country so being a lesbian couple here would be easier than being in America. Having a child here and the medical bills and care that goes into that is financially achievable here. Housing is more affordable, the job market is better. I could go on.

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Cooking dinner together like a “real” couple 

 

So now the count down is on, while Suz is getting her stuff together and sorting out what shes bringing and leaving, I will be here getting a home ready for us and pacing back and fourth in it waiting for her! I can’t wait, I am so ready to have her with me every day. To share the weekends together, have a child together, buy a home together. I want the simple things with her, crawling in bed at night next to her and waking up with her by my side. I want to cook for her and go out on dates with her, watch a movie on the couch snuggled up with a blanket together.

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Selfie love

It’s going to be both a challenge and an adventure for us. We have been together a year, gotten married, and never spent more than 3 weeks together at one time. We are going to have to get used to living together and being in each others space all the time. When someone is grumpy we can’t just say “Text you later”. We will have to learn how to comfort each other in person. I actually can’t wait (Did I say that yet) I can’t wait to be able to wrap my arms around her when shes feeling down or having a bad day. I can’t wait to hear all about what she did at work in person, her work brings her so much joy, I can’t wait for that joy to be a part of my home.

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Laying in the grass in NZ after we got engaged

 

I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t waaaaaaait!

 

Hurry up Mrs Bracken-Stanek and get your butt to New Zealand! ❤

 

Lizzie xx

 

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I just put this in because it makes me laugh 😀

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Yes, I’m a lesbian.. But…

So recently I married my amazingly beautiful American girlfriend. So lucky me I now have a wife! And with that comes all the usual challenges of married life, especially since we are still doing the long distance jam for now. *Insert sad guy here*

But also with that apparently comes a new wave of having to explain myself and my sexuality. I guess now that I’m married it is more set in stone? Who knows. So after having to deal with two of these situations in just one day I decided I need to vent or have a release or something… So here I am.

Now, I have been out of the closet since I was 15. That’s 11 years. Admittedly in that time I also married a man and had that little disaster, but that is a tale for another time. Or never.  But never the less that is 11 years of dealing with peoples shit. Dealing with hetero human beings talk down to me, take my rights from me and tell me I don’t deserve the same life as they have, simply because I happen to be interested in the same sex. Not EVERYONE from the same sex, let me just clarify that super quickly because apparently some people think “Lesbian” means “will hump any woman in a 10 mile radius”. – Please get a grip if you are one of those people.

For the most part my life has been pretty amazing, I was blessed with two loving parents who didn’t bat an eyelid when I came out, who have always accepted me as I am. A sister who always wants the best for me and loves me unconditionally. And for the most part everyone else around me has been pretty accepting of the very boring fact that I like women. Growing up and living in New Zealand helps, I couldn’t be prouder of my accepting and loving little country.

I do totally understand and accept that not everyone is okay with who I am and who I love, and that’s fine, you do you and I’ll be over here doing me and that’s cool. I understand that for whatever reason you may not understand my life, be it your religion or upbringing, your culture, whatever. But you know what? None of that is my business, just as none of what I do in my private life is yours. I am a pretty open and sharing kind of person, sure. But it is your choice to read what I write on my social media or where ever, and I am 100% not offended if you unfollow or unfriend me or whatever it is because what I have to say offends or upsets you. We are all human. I have people I have unfriended because they offend me, welcome to the world, we generally have the luxury of picking and choosing who and what we see and interact with on a daily basis.

For the most part, however, you and I are mostly the same. You know what I want in the next five years? Here’s my list:

  • To buy a home – the majority of us want this in our lives, just because I am a lesbian doesn’t mean I don’t want or deserve this right
  • To start a family – Thankfully the world has come so far in this area and my beautiful wife and I can have a child of our own. Our child will be surrounded by family (Both male and female) and love and two loving bad ass parents.
  • To open my own business – No it will not be some adventurous sex club or a “Lesbian hang out”, not that there is anything at all wrong with that and to each their own. But I want a family business that I can pass on to my children, that can sponsor the local rugby team or donate goods to charity auctions, you know that kind of jam!
  • To spend each day reminding my wife how amazing she is, how beautiful she looks and how strong she is.

Aren’t those things we all want in life? The big goals and commitments we all have? That doesn’t change because my partner happens to have the same thing going on downstairs as I do – And what business is it of yours to be investigating that?

I consider myself a relatively interesting human, I am a chef, a powerlifter, a daughter and sister, I have incredible friends to spend time with, I love being outside in the sunshine or in the rain, I read like crazy, I am obsessed with my spotify app, I love Harry Potter and I take vitamins every day, and – oh yeah I’m married, and I happen to have married a woman, who loves me, and cherishes me. Who is NOT going to make out with me in front of your kids, who is NOT going to try to convince you to join us (Sorry ya’ll we are monogamous) Who just wants to hold my hand while we walk down the street or through the grocery store buying our food for the week, I have a wife who wants to share chores around the house, school pick up and drop off and who has to get up for the crying baby at 4am. We just want the same boring stuff that everybody else has without even considering it.

I am a very open and honest person, and I’ll always have time to talk about my life, or your life and help you understand that I am exactly the same as you.

But what I refuse to do is censor my life and my love to make somebody else more comfortable. I am not into PDA or “Flaunting my sexuality” but when I’m with my wife I’ll be holding her hand, and when she has to pop out for something I’ll be giving her a quick kiss goodbye because that is what you do when you love someone.

My marriage does not and should not be the focus point for any kind of relationship you have with me. I am my own person with interests and hobbies that I will happily talk your ear off about. And so if you are still struggling with my sexual orientation then please know that I will 100% support you in this time of growth and I will be here for you, but it is on you to change. I cannot do it for you. And if you find that it is too much and you cannot over come your negative feelings towards me, then that is fine, I understand, I even applaud you for admitting it. And I’ll send you away into the world with all the love and hope I can muster.

Lizzie x

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I finally met my girl!

Alright I know I know, ya’ll have waited a long time for this one, I have been.. busy with my beautiful girl!

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So here goes what is likely to be a somewhat long telling of the story of how this little kiwi girl found herself in America!

I already wrote about packing my bag, about my super aggressive bag squashing skills (at the airport it ended up being 0.3grams over weight! – Whoopsy)

So now onto the biggest journey I have ever made, America is not a place I ever really wanted to go, between the scary laws, guns, politics, homophones and just terrifying people in general, it was never really on the list. However, where-ever Suz goes I will go, and so off to Chicago I went.

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My first flight left Christchurch in the afternoon, the airport was packed, something to do with fashion week the nice girl who sat next to me on the plane shared. First flight was only an hour and 20 minutes so quick and easy. Bumpy coming into Auckland due to the crappy weather they were having  – Lucky me, I happen to hate flying at the best of times..

I RAN from the domestic terminal to the international terminal, flew through customs and then got to sit down (All of the sitting) for about 45 minutes before i boarded. The next flight through to L.A. was just over 12 hours (12 HOURS OF SITTING!!??) I am not about the sitting life, I stand all day at work and all day at school… So that was nice and uncomfortable. I couldn’t even drink myself to sleep (almost everyone had told me that drinking yourself to sleep was the way to go). The weather was so bad that they only did very sporadic drink service. The turbulence had me thinking I was about to die more than once, I feel like you know its bad when the pilot asks the attendants to sit down! I managed to get through 2 harry potter movies, Suicide Squad, a few episodes of Family Guy and some American Dad before we finally got to L.A. Customs was terrifying, I made friends with a fellow Kiwi girl also on her first trip so we made our way through the airport together until we had to part ways after customs, there is something to be said for the kindness of us Kiwis, we do stick together pretty well!

Finally after almost 14 hours traveling I was able to check in for my last flight!! BUT I had a 7 hour wait till boarding, I was exhausted, hungry, in a strange place and in desperate need of a shower. I did look for a shower, but ended up having to settle for a “Shower-A-La-Babywipe”! I felt disgusting but it was better than nothing and was nice to get changed into something more summery! I found somewhere to sit and called my mum who I can only imagine was worrying herself to death wondering if I was okay or not – Lets be honest mum, you worry. And I got to call my girl and tell her I was almost there! One 4 hour flight between us, we were almost in the same time zone, we were for the very first time in the same country at the same time! I was so exhausted all I wanted to do was sleep, but I was alone in an airport that I didn’t know, What if i overslept? What if someone stole my wallet while I slept? So i sat, I read my book, I stared longingly at the coffee board on which nothing made sense. All i wanted was a hot Flat White and a sandwich or some fresh fruit. So far this was actually the most terrifying thing, trying to get food. It sounds silly, but for one thing, America does food differently, and for another thing I wasn’t 100% sure my card was going to work here. Finally hunger won out and i went in search of something familiar, I found a ham sandwich and a bottle of water and a new place in the sun to sit down and demolish it!!! It’s the little things in life that make you happy.

Finally the time came to board my last flight, (Thank GOD), I was lucky enough to not have anyone sitting next to me for this last flight. I put my music on, and tried desperately to get some sleep, I dozed on and off and watched America fly by below me.

And then I was here! Chicago! I all but ran off the plane and through the terminal to Suz. I was so terrified that I wouldn’t be able to find her, but there she was. My beautiful girl, I don’t know how to describe the happiness i felt, also the “Thank god she is actually real” feeling – I haven’t ever met someone in real life that i had only known online before. It was the most amazing feeling to finally be in her arms, to be able to breathe her in and squeeze her tight in my arms.

And then we got lost in the airport. Suz couldn’t remember where the car was, I want to say its because she was so excited that I was finally here, but now that I know her better I know that she is the most adorable little lost birdy, who needs GPS to find everything. She is the sweetest.

So finally we figured out where the car was, and wandered our way there, and of course zero self control, in the elevator she pounced on me and kissed me, and I don’t think anyone has ever kissed me with so much love, I knew in that moment with her that I could kiss only her for the rest of my life and be the happiest girl in the world. In that moment I knew that I was home.                                                                                                  But as is the way with elevators, we arrived and had to stop kissing to get our butts to the car. The GRRRLS were waiting for us to go Live on Facebook!

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This is the first picture we ever took together, it’s a keeper! 😉

 

So we made it to get coffee and we did the “Live” Facebook thing. I am still amazed at how many GRRRLs stayed up late or got up stupid early just to see us finally together. The amount of love we have been receiving via messages on Facebook and Instagram, the love on the posts we share to and about each other is just unreal. Its love. It’s love for our little love story, two GRRRLs who met in the most random of ways, who just happened to fall in love from opposite sides of the world.

The first week I was here we got a beautiful surprise from the amazing GRRRLs at http://www.grrrl.com  – They sent us the most amazing care package of GRRRL gear and an adorable letter, if it wasn’t for GRRRL and all the amazing woman who make it what it is, Suz and I would have never met. So thanks GRRRL, for freaking everything! ❤

I am going home tomorrow.

Tomorrow.

And as much as my heart is breaking at the thought of having to leave Suz here while I go finish my study and tie up the loose ends I have at home. I’m not falling apart sad, I know I’ll see her in a few months when she comes out to NZ to see me. I know I’ll then see her again in Vegas for GRRRL LIVE in April, and hopefully after GL I’ll be coming home with her. For good.

This trip has been so incredible. We have been into the city and to the dunes, Suz has taken me to eat so many amazing things, and introduced me to such amazing people. I got to meet her family and so many of her friends. We got to lift together and FINALLY we have been able to hold hands walking down the street, we have been able to say goodnight with a kiss instead of goodbye and hanging up the phone. We have woken up in each others arms for the past 15 mornings. Suz took me to the Renaissance faire and we had the best day! Every day here has been the best day. Every day that I am with her is the best day of my life. I realize that we are both mushy soppy lovey whatever people, but I don’t care. I have always felt like I had to reign it in with relationships in the past, i couldn’t be all gooey and in love. But now I feel free to be that girl. And I couldn’t be happier. She makes me feel like I can just be me, no hiding the bad bits. I have been sick with a cold this week and she has taken care of me so well. She is everything.

So while I sit here packing my suitcase trying not to cry I’l leave you with some of my favorite photos of the past two weeks.

 

Lizzie xx

 

Many the miles – LDR and the things we do for love

I wanted to write about Suz, and i stared at a blank screen for a few days before i actually felt i could sit down and have something to say that would do her justice, to explain all this crazy long distance suffering and crazy online relationship stuff in one hit. I’ve realized that you cant do that, nothing i say will ever be enough to make anyone but me understand how i feel, or even how much i feel. For this girl that I’ve never met.

Right now its just after 8pm NZ time, just after 3am for Suz. I’m tired and i had a crappy day and i’m laying in bed all by myself, listening to a playlist we created together on Spotify (Because we are sappy like that ;)) I want to go to sleep, but i wont. Ill stay up for one more hour, just long enough to say good morning to her when she wakes, just long enough to make sure she slept okay, just long enough to remind myself that she’s there, that she’s real.

Long distance relationships are no joke. I have always avoided any kind of relationship that required me to fly anywhere to see the person, honestly even when i had the old Tinder in operation i had it set on 5km radius because i didn’t wanna go too far ;). I never believed that i had it in me to go to bed alone every night, and wake up alone in the morning, i enjoy that freedom when i’m single, but in a relationship i want to steal all of your body heat… and cuddles i guess. Most body heat. I WILL put my cold feet on you.

I think people romanticize LDR sometimes, and don’t get me wrong, there is something utterly romantic and beautiful about traveling to the other side of the world just to see the girl you love, just to hold her in your arms, just to do the things normal couples take for granted, hold hands walking down the street together, getting coffee, cooking dinner together (Lets be honest Suz, i’ll cook you’ll watch). It is such a painful thing to live in different time zones, sometimes i feel like we are moving through different worlds, separate space and time, trying so desperately to meet somewhere in the middle. Together at last. And we will, I leave in 8 days. Seems like nothing to everyone else, its next week, its dragging is what it is! I am impatient at the best of times so this is torture for me! I am so ready to be able to wake up and go to sleep at the same damn time.

My mum asked me something the other day that really got me thinking about my relationship a lot, and about who i am. She said “Don’t you feel like you want to take this really slow since you jumped into things with your husband and it failed so badly?”

No, actually i don’t. I have never hesitantly dipped my toe in the water to see if its cold. I run and leap and fly before splashing terrifically into the water, and if its cold you adapt, you move as fast as hell and get the F**k out of there. BUT what about when you leap and you land in the most beautiful warm blissful water, with soft white sand at your feet and you float there and it holds you up and you realize that this is what heaven must feel like. What about that?

That’s me. That is who i am. I leap.

Not because i’m reckless, and sure as hell not because i’m fearless because i am terrified. But because I feel everything, all at once or not at all, that’s how i have always been, i throw myself with wild abandon into life and love and i think my life has turned out pretty damn amazing, of course there have been some set backs but look at what i have learned. Look at how i have grown.

So no, from where i am sitting i’m not about to take this slow. I met the most incredible woman through the most random channel and had an instant connection with her. I’m not about to waste a second. I can still remember the stupid smile all over my face the very first time we spoke, I remember even then not wanting to go to sleep because i was scared we would never talk again if i said goodnight. How wrong i was.

I don’t even know how it happened, from the first day the conversation just didn’t ever stop, we slept and ate and worked and trained and lived our lives all the while continuing one very long conversation. And it turned from getting to know a new friend to falling madly in love with a girl from the other side of the damn world. We talk about our families, growing up, kids, marriage, work, we share goals, hopes and dreams for our lives, bootay pics ;), training videos, secrets and love. I feel like i have known her forever, when you take the physical part of a relationship away you talk a lot more, the communication grows and you get amazing at it, you truly get to know who somebody is. You also know how much someone loves you when you have never been able to feel their touch and they see every part of you inside and out and they stick around. There is zero doubt, no fear. I never realized a love like this could exist. I am such a physical person, and to have that taken away from the equation has made this such a different relationship for us both i think.

I have no idea what the future holds for us, but i cannot wait to spend it with my Suzy. I have so many plans and goals for my life and i couldn’t think of anyone else i would rather share it all with.

 

8 days and counting…

 

Why i am the God of packing…JK HELP ME!!

Hey ya’ll, i was asked to blog about my trip to Chicago to see my girl after i spent a few hours entertaining my friends with pictures and somewhat angry messages while i tried to fit everything into my bag!

So quick back story about WHY i am even going to Chicago…

A few months ago i met this amazing girl via GRRRL – Will post a link to find out more about GRRRL at the bottom 🙂 And we had an instant connection, our friendship very quickly grew into love and it became very clear to me that moving to Melbourne at the end of the year might be the wrong move when my future could be in Chicago with this girl. So after my friends very forcefully encouraged me, supported me and even went so far as to set up a give a little donation page, my flights were booked and the countdown was on. Just over two weeks of time with my love awaits me in just 12 days!

Now i love a good list, so i sat down a few nights ago and wrote myself a list of all the things i need to pack, all the basics like cute dresses, heels, make up.. tooth brush.. sexy lingerie.. LIFTING GEAR! Last night i decided i needed to make sure it all fits in my little suitcase, and well it was an experience.

I got everything i wanted to pack out, laid it on my bed like a child and ticked through my list, and then realized i have a lot of stuff and not much space in which to take it. Shit.

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Okay new plan, i sat on the floor with all of the clothing i wanted to take and very carefully and as neatly as my fat little fingers could, rolled all of my clothes into little tubes. Oh yes, look at me go! I am the master of packing right now! I started playing the most difficult game of tetris i have ever played in my life! wedging clothing into small little gaps made by other items of clothing, wedging clothes between heels and my make up bag and hair drier and all the other vital items i had packed.

Success pretty much everything was in!

And then i looked over and saw my lifting belt sitting on the bed looking all smug daring my to try and fit him in the suitcase that was now overflowing with clothing sausages. Game on buddy!

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I tried simply placing it on top and closing the lid but not even close, that was never going to happen. New plan, i laid it out flat, and tried to curve and shape it around the outside of the clothing sausages to fit snug to the wall of the suitcase. Success, apart from the lever now poking out the side and refusing to conform to the confines of suitcase prison. New New plan, i swapped it over, so the lever was on the other side of the suitcase, and jammed it with my fist until it fit under the lip of the zip. Success. i have made the belt and the suitcase my bitches! I am a triumphant warrior woman of packing! I am basically a packing God!

Now all i needed to be the most successful packing God that ever walked the earth was to close the zip, take a photo and be praised for my Godliness. The sides played the game with me, but the front was not having a bar of it, my fingers were shaking trying to pull the zips together, they were like an unhappily married couple that refuses to sit together. Some love was needed. And what says love like a good squat?!

So here i was, standing with one foot on either side of the top of my suitcase, in an ass to grass squat trying not to fall on my face, leaning forward like a squatting idiot trying to pull two zips back into a happy union. Nailed it!

The suitcase closed, and although it looked like it was going to burst at any moment, and it is quite likely overweight because i don’t know what “Packing light” means, it closed! And i call that a win!

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Trying to leave everything in there until tomorrow when i can weigh it to find out if my life is over and i need to sacrifice something, or if the airline baggage Gods will look down on me and all the shoes i packed in pity and allow my bag to rest comfortably under 23kg.

I feel like i did a good nights work last night and an achievement was unlocked. Now to count down my last 12 days and try to not freak out about how far New Zealand is from literally EVERYWHERE!!!!!

 

Love Lizzie xx

 

 

GRRRL >>> http://www.grrrl.com

For me Grrrl drew me in because the clothing line is FREAKING AMAZING, but what really pulls you is the genuine love and sisterhood you get from everyone, the support is something i have never found in another group, Esp in a group this size, there is no bullshit, no bitchiness no judgement. We are just doing our thing, together, trying to make the world better. ❤

You can find Grrrl on facebook.

“We want to break the cycle of competition, smash the fake realities of photoshop, and move into a new age. An age where acceptance and non-judgment is the new black, and Sisterhood is the new obama.”

 

 

Who even am I?

 

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Hello, I’m Lizzie.

Recently someone told me i should blog about my lifting and pastry life, i laughed. Who would give a crap about that? Well, apparently people do because everyone i mentioned it to got all excited about the idea and screamed YES! DO IT!

So here i am.

I’m trying to think of some interesting things to say about myself, i am 25 years old, born and bred in small town New Zealand, i have been a baker since 2010 and absolutely love the food industry. This year i decided i wanted to take that further and enrolled to get my Diploma in Advanced Patisserie and Kitchen Management. I love it, its challenging and interesting, i have learnt so many amazing skills both within the kitchen environment and in management, different ways to approach people and food and design. I am learning how to put things together to create not just a wonderful taste adventure but also fantastic art for your eyes as well. I have rediscovered my love of creating sweet, something i lost when i fell in love with bread baking, and i feel as though a whole new world as opened up to me. I have business plans that i want to put into action in the next year or two and this has changed and evolved those plans from ordinary to something out of this world and i am so excited to get cracking!

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Lifting wise, i am still a baby, i only started lifting seriously and passionately in the beginning of this year (2017). I have competed once, been in the paper twice and finally found something in the gym that makes me excited to get out of bed in the mornings. I love this sport, i love the community and the support that comes with it. I love feeling strong and powerful and i love those moments when you look down at your body and you are proud of what you see, it has been a damn long time coming for me to finally feel that way about myself. I’m nowhere near perfect or the size i want to be at, but i’m on the way and i’m loving the journey it is taking me on.

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Super personal stuff about me –

I have a sister, she is incredibly strong willed and smart, i look up to her in many ways. I also am lucky enough that i grew up in a very happy household with two parents who love each other like crazy and still do.

I am (Almost) divorced, i got married young and made a big mistake. We all mess up when we are young, and while i don’t regret it because i wouldn’t be who i am today without learning the lessons that i did, I do still hurt over it, i was hurt so badly by someone i thought i could believe in and trust and that kind of pain never really goes away.

Lucky for me however, i have met somebody new. Somebody who made me realize that there is no such thing as wanting too much. Somebody who loves me for all that i am, even on my bad days when all i want to do is curl up and cry, she is there, making my world go round. Unlucky for us though, we don’t live in the same country. She lives over in Chicago and i am stuck here in New Zealand for now. I’m sure ill do a big writing about this when it happens but i am headed over there in two weeks to spend some much needed time with her ❤

Other parts of my life that could be worth a mention, i live with some wonderful people, two guys and another girl, its like having more brothers and sisters to annoy and have fun with and i couldn’t wish for better people to share my space with.

I work part time as a baker in a supermarket, it pays my bills and my boss is lovely.

 

I’m not sure what else to tell you really, my plan for this blog is to try and check in once a week or so with how training is going, how pastry life is treating me and that kind of jazz! Ill be uploading pictures and bits and bobs to go along with this stuff and hopefully if you are still reading you come back and can take something away from my weird life of lifting and eating! ❤

 

Lizzie xx