Connect with me!
Remember…"You never know how strong you are...until being strong is the only choice you have."
Author Archives: Kelly
So…I knew it was only a matter of time before it happened.
Lee and I got engaged in March of 2012 and, ever since that perfect night, anything that has anything to do with the wedding has gone perfectly. We found the perfect day, the venue that we wanted was available, I found my perfect dress (on clearance!!…and bought it before we were even engaged!), found the perfect tuxedos, booked a wonderful photographer and a musician who are also friends of ours, found perfect invitations, picked out perfect favors, and so on and so on.
Things feel like they have been magically falling into place. It has been totally stress-free…well, with the exception of some family drama…but that’s just expected, right? It just seems like everything has just been ‘meant-to-be.’
Before I explain, let me take a step back and say that in that paragraph above that describes all of the things that have been going well, I should include my centerpieces. My mom found these beautiful lighted branches that had tiny lavender beads and pearls on them. My mom found them and ordered one to see if we liked it. When it came, we fell in love with them! They were going to look perfect in the evening at our venue. We even found perfect vases for them – they were the perfect height and were actually tinted a shade of purple. After loving the one we received, I hopped online and ordered nineteen more for the rest of my tables. The website said they were on backorder and would be shipping by May 11, which was a little nerve-wracking since the wedding is June 1, but it was totally do-able.
Alright. This is where it gets scary.
Last night, I was looking through my email for a confirmation number for another order and I came across an email about the branches. How I missed it, I will never know. I get a million emails a day and I look at the subjects of every one. Anyway, apparently, I missed this one. It was an email telling me that as of May 4, the branches still were not in but would be sent within the next thirty days. I went to their website and tried to order the branches and the day listed had been moved from the 11th to the 28th. Panic had set in. I called the company and spoke with a woman who was wonderful but, alas, confirmed my fears and told me that they were set to ship one day shy of three weeks. The wedding is two and a half weeks away. No need to stress the math. It just wasn’t going to work.
So…I did what any logical bride-to-be would do and I called my mom and cried and then, immediately after, called Lee and cried. I had spent months figuring out what to do my centerpieces and, now, it was not going to happen and I had two weeks to figure something out. I fervently searched online for similar branches to no avail. Nothing came close to the ones that I had ordered. I slowly wandered back to their site and realized that they did have a color of branch that was in stock. They originally had the lavender, white, blue, and yellow. All were out except the yellow. Maybe it was the stress, maybe it was lack of sleep, maybe it was the fact that it’s crunch time but…I ordered them. My colors are charcoal, fuchsia, and eggplant and I just ordered centerpieces with yellow beads on them.
It’s going to be okay. The branches are brown and the lights are white. It’s just the beads. I can handle them. I’m going to see what they look like when they come in and I’m going to make them work…even if that means painting each little bead and pearl purple. I called my mom and we talked through the decision and then I called Lee and informed him that I was back down to a zero…and all the while, I was texting my bridesmaid, April, to get her input. I have trouble making decisions on my own, apparently.
Last night was my first bridal freak-out which I think it pretty good since I have been planning for over a year. It was just one little set-back and, honestly, they are just centerpieces. As perfect as I want everything to be, all that really matters is that fact that Lee and I will be there getting married. That is what really counts…which is why I know everything is going to be okay.
With much Love and Laughter,
Something to share: If you are married or planning a wedding, did you have a crisis to deal with? Do you tend to be a good decision maker or do you consult others for their opinions?
Good morning!! Happy Tuesday!
Recently, my schedule at work changed slightly and now, on Tuesdays, I am either off or I start late around one o’clock. Normally, I am an early riser and I enjoy getting my day started at the crack of dawn so I can be home in the early afternoon, however, I always welcome a little change to switch things up! I absolutely love mornings and, because I’m usually at work before the sun comes up, I don’t get to relax and enjoy them as much as I like….but, now, with my new schedule, I know I’ll have at one morning a week to savor!
We have been experiencing a cold front around here and actually experienced some snow flurries yesterday. I know. Doesn’t that sound just completely awful? I love all the seasons but I am more than ready for summer to be here! This morning was chilly but the sun was warm which made it bearable, but I decided to keep my workout inside with one of my favorites…
I decided to do the HIIT 20 class. I absolutely love the HIIT classes that are part of TurboFire…I am always short on time and they definitely always leave me short of breath! After completing the workout, I did a 12-minute standing ab circuit that found on YouTube. I wanted to get some core work in today and plan on doing another quick core workout when I get home tonight. My abs are definitely a part of my body that I want to work on more and there’s no time like the present!
Shortly after my sweat fest, I had to decide what to eat and I rolled with a bowl of cereal today. I thought about doing eggs and toast but, as I was searching through the cabinets, my Frosted Shredded Wheat called my name.
I paired my cereal with a cup of French vanilla coffee and and prepped myself to do a job that I have a love/hate relationship with…balancing our checkbooks.
I love love love doing math and having the balances of my book and the bank match down to the penny!….However, I hate hate hate watching money leave the accounts, which is all that has been happening because of the wedding! Oh well! I guess such is the life of an adult!!
I have a few other little wedding things to take care of this morning and then I’ll be hitting the shower and getting ready for work. Tonight, I’ll probably try to get in another quick workout and then unpack more of our shower gifts. Lee’s aunt bought us the shower curtain that we registered for and I cannot wait to hang it! Again…getting pumped over a shower curtain…such is the life of an adult!
Alright, friends, I hope you have a beautiful day! Enjoy it with a smile!
With much Love and Laughter,
Something to share: Who handles the finances in your house? You, your significant other, or do you work together? I do the majority of the bill paying but always consult with Lee on other financial decisions.
First, let me start by saying that I know we, as bloggers, should never apologize for not posting…but I feel like I have to! We are now less than three weeks away from the wedding (when did that happen!?) and it has totally consumed my life! I absolutely love it and wouldn’t have it any other way but, as I have noticed, if I’m not at work or teaching a Jazzercise class, I am making favors, making dinner tags, making programs, checking and rechecking my RSVP list, and all of that other fun stuff…all while trying to keep up with the house and keep my police officer happy with dinners every couple of nights. Anyway…my goal is to have everything done in the next two weeks so I can just chill out the week of the wedding. We shall see how that pans out!
Moving on…this Monday is particularly hard because I am coming off of a weekend that was full of love, friendship, family, laughter, and fun!! This past Saturday was my wedding shower and I cannot thank my bridesmaids enough for putting together the cutest little get-together! I tried to keep my shower small so it was not a big extravaganza but it included all of the people that mean the most to me and that is all that matters! I started off my morning with coffee in a ‘Love’ mug to get in the spirit!
The day was dark and rainy but that did not stop us from having a great time! I did, however, show up in wool clogs and a hooded sweatshirt that I had thrown over my dress…I refused to look like a drowned rat after I spent the time to get ready! Thankfully, I was there a couple of hours before the guests so I was able to make myself look presentable before they all arrived. Six out of my seven bridesmaids were there…with my friend, Meredith, at home in Florida. I always miss her terribly but she will be here in less than three weeks and I can’t wait to see her!
The shower really did not have a particular theme but it was pink and purple (my wedding colors…which sound hideous when you say them together…but I promise it will all work out!) and girly. We had little finger foods and desserts that included mini pulled pork sliders, crescent roll antipasta bites, buffalo chicken dip, antipasta salad, and mini melon kabobs drizzled with warm honey and fresh mint. In addition to the main bites, we had thumbprint cookies, mini fudge squares, and cupcakes.
…we also had a sangria bar, which was the best part of my shower! My MOH, Christa, made a “Pretty in Pink” sangria and had multiple choices of fresh fruit to add to it to customize the flavor. I swear I was drinking it like water! It was so delicious!…as I feel with every sangria!
We started with lunch soon after the guests arrived and spent a little time socializing before I opened the gifts. We did not play any games because I am not a ‘game at showers’ type of person. I really hate them all. Well, hate is strong word…let’s just say I’m not a fan. I opened the amazing gifts from my family and friends and ended the shower with a visit from Lee…who had worked the entire night before and morning and made it down without complaint after only a couple hours of sleep…just one of the many things I love about him!
When we were done, I expressed my deep gratitude to not only my guests but to my bridesmaids and their moms who made my shower possible. I honestly do not know what I would do without the amazing women that I have in my life. I feel very fortunate to have each and every one of them! I could not have asked for a better day with better people.
So…bridal shower down…wedding coming up next! I can’t believe it’s almost here!
With much Love and Laughter,
Something to share: If you had a bridal shower, did it have a theme? Do you like to play games at bridal or baby showers?
They always say that it’s ‘in the eye of the beholder.’ What exactly does that mean? To me, beauty can come in a number of ways…it can take any form, be any shape or size, and be either physical or emotional. I can see a beautiful face, wake up to a beautiful sunrise, or wipe the sweat from my brow after a beautiful run.
Another important thing about beauty?
It can be shared. It can be projected outward and bring joy to others, which is truly what makes it great.
Under Armour originally started this campaign to “redefine the female athlete by setting epic goals and pushing past where we’ve ever been and where we thought we could go.”
The concept of the campaign is simple….
1. Set a goal.
2. CRUSH IT!
You don’t have to be a blogger. You don’t have to be a professional athlete. You don’t even have to set a crazy fitness goal. All you have to be is a woman who wants to prove she has what it takes to achieve a goal. All you have to do is share the amazing journey that you take to get there.
Complete my second half marathon in under two hours and use it as a stepping stone to complete my first half marathon this year.
You can check out my personal journey toward my goal here.
Another wonderful thing about this campaign is the fact that we are able to work in teams and gain an amazing support system to help us all along the way! There are groups dedicated to running a marathon, participating in a triathlon, working on strength training, being a fit mom, sharing fitness knowledge with others, and the list goes on and on. There are so many teams and individuals out there and there is a niche for everyone…not to mention great prizes! What could be better?
We invite all of you to answer the calling to show us what you’re made of! Visit the Under Armour What’s Beautiful site and browse the profiles of the women who have chosen to take the challenge. Set up your own profile and declare your own goal. Find teams who have similar interests and dive it and take part!
The time is now to show off how much we can accomplish with hard work, dedication, and inspiration!!
With much Love and Laughter,
Hel-lo middle of the week! How nice to see you!
Excuse me while I freak out for one second…
MAY 1 = ONE MONTH UNTIL WEDDING!!!! YIIIIIIIKES!
Okay. I’m okay. Things are good. Things are coming along. I am going to remain calm.
Anyway. Today, I’m going to do a post that doesn’t require much thinking. I’m just going to share some photos that made their way onto my phone but never actually made their way into a blog post. I always take lots and lots of pictures but don’t always dedicate a post to them! No need to worry, though…because they always tend to make their way into some type of recap post like the one we have here today!
Such randomness, I know! Some good…some bad…all tasty!
I’ll see you all later with a ‘1 month to go’ wedding post! I hope you have a marvelous day!
With much Love and Laughter,
Something to share: Do you take a lot of photos with your phone? I do…I haven’t have an actual camera in my hands in forever!!
Hello! Welcome to Tuesday!
Every other Tuesday, I am able to go into work late and today is one of those Tuesdays. Also, the sun is shining. So far, I call the day a success.
I have not done a “What I’m Loving” post in awhile and today seemed like the perfect day to do so! I feel like I’ve been loving a lot lately so let’s get to it!
…my new blue running tights.
I bought these last Friday before my race on Saturday. I knew I wanted to wear blue and yellow to run, so I stopped by TJMaxx on my way home from work. I walked into the fitness apparel aisle and there they were. One pair of blue pants. In my size. It was meant to be. They had a front iPod pocket which actually held my phone without letting it bounce around too much…which is always important!
I am definitely loving the longer days. Brighter mornings and later nights? Perfect! I especially love the longer days because of Jazzercise. I always teach evening classes and I feel so much more energized when I’m teaching with some sunshine instead of the dark 5pm classes that I have to teach in the winter! I think the students seem to have more energy, too!
…my flower girl dress.
I was not exactly sure what kind of dress I wanted for my flower girl, but I knew I did not want a white one that looked like the bride’s. My mom and I went on a search last weekend and, after making a final decision on about three different dresses, I rounded the corner of the store and saw the perfect one. It blew every other one out of the water! I’m so excited to see her in it…she is going to look so adorable!!
I have seen this flavor plastered all over Instagram, Twitter, and blogs. Everyone raved about it and said it was ‘one of their favorites,’ so, of course, that meant that I had to run out and try it. The verdict? I love it! It’s now one of my favorites!
Lee and I went to Chili’s for dinner to celebrate his birthday and, when I’m there, I always get the chicken fajitas (without the onions!). However, I was feeling adventurous and decided to branch out and get something different. I chose the Mango-Chile Chicken, which was amazing! The chicken was spicy with a killer bite, but the mango salsa was sweet and the avocados were cool and the balance was simply perfect! I will definitely be trying to recreate this recipe at home!
…Maybelline EyeStudio gel eyeliner.
If there is one thing that you must know about me, it’s that I love eyeliner. I don’t like to leave the house without it on my eyes. I am all about going au natural sometimes but I just feel like life gets better with black eyeliner. i really don’t discriminate and will use pencil, liquid, gels, etc. I recently bought this new liner and absolutely love it! It goes on smoother than any liner I’ve tried and does not smudge throughout the day! Two important qualities!
…Pumpkin Flax granola.
I found this at one of our local grocery stores and decided to give it a whirl. I tried some on top of my yogurt for breakfast and it was great! The crunch added a nice texture and I could really taste the pumpkin seeds! No doubt that I will be snacking on it by the handfuls!
Alright, friends! There you have it! The things I’m loving! Now, get on board and share yours!!
With much Love and Laughter,
Something to share: What is something you are loving lately?
Hello, hello friends! Happy Monday to you!
This past weekend was pretty busy but everything I did was fun (yes, even the 4 hours of yard work!) and the days just flew by as they normally do. Friday evening was spent with my mom working on wedding favors and when I finally headed home, I got prepared for my first race of this season! I decided to jump right in and start with a 10K!
The Trooper Ken Iwaniec Memorial race is held every year at Saint Vincent College, which is my alma mater. Trooper Iwaniec was also an alumnus and, shortly after graduating from there and the Pennsylvania State Police academy, was killed by a drunk driver coming home from one of his shifts. Since the tragic accident, Trooper Iwaniec’s family has been crusading against drunk driving and holding this race every year is one part of their campaign. You can read all about the memorial foundation here.
I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning and was pleasantly surprised to see that the sun was already starting to light up the sky at 5:45am! I got myself ready, took care of the pups, and left to go pick up Lee from work. He is a saint and agreed to run the race with me after working a 12-hour shift overnight. We left the station around 7:15am, when his shift was over, and drove down to the college. The turnout was fantastic! It was crowded and there were a ton of people there, which I was happy to see! My former boss was working one of the pledge stations so, after registering and a picking up our packets, we headed over to chat with her and get ready for the race.
I don’t know how you all feel before races, but I am a total basket case. I always feel so nervous…and it stems from the notion that I’m going to do terrible and finish last. I’m not sure why I think that and I really need to stop psyching myself out like that!
Anyway, after hanging around for about an hour, we finally headed to the start line. The course is set up as a 5K distance and the 10K runners just do it twice. We started off at the main entrance to the campus and followed a big loop which took us past the gristmill (where monks still make bread!), past the Saint Vincent Wetlands project (where I spent much time as a bio major!), around the cemetery (the college is also a seminary and parish), and around the back of the dorms on the running trail back to the start/finish line. I loved the route and it brought back many memories as I ran which gave me something else to think about other than the hills!
Soon after our first mile, Lee stopped to grab a cup of water and use his inhaler. He has asthma and when he runs races, he is never sure how is body is going to react. I looked over at him and he gave the signal to “keep going without me” so I took off and continued. I felt great during the first loop and as I started the second but then I started to feel myself slow down about mile 4.5. I think it’s a mental block that I get right in the middle of a race…I feel like I’ve come far but that I also have quite a way to go! Unfortunately, mile 4.5 came right at the steepest hill in the race as well. I just put my head down, thought about anything but that hill, and, finally, reached the top! I knew I had one relatively flat loop around the cemetery, a completely flat run on the trail, and a downhill slope to the finish line left so I told myself to perk up and just finish!
Can I just tell you how much I love downhill finishes!?
My goal was to beat my last 10K time which was 55:40. As I crossed over the 5K finish line, half way through my race, my time was 27:17 so I knew I had pick it up or at least keep my pace steady to beat 55 minutes. As I approached the finish line I saw ‘53’ and I was pumped! My official end time was 53:25, finishing fifth in my age group. Success!!
Lee was waiting for me at the finish, obviously, since he snapped a picture, but I didn’t see him until a few minutes after I crossed. He made his way over to me and handed me a bottle of water. I was glad to see him! We recapped our runs with each other, chatted with my friend, Cindy, and her dog, Zieke (who is the cutest!), and headed inside to grab some fuel!
Smiley cookies for the win!
We hung around for an about an hour after the race and then headed home so Lee could finally get some sleep. He was such a trooper for staying up and running with me. Just one of the many reasons that I love him and he’s such a keeper!
Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day and the weather was absolutely perfect for running! I couldn’t have asked for a nicer way to start of my race season!
Have a wonderful Monday!
With much Love and Laughter,
Something to share: Have you had a favorite race this year so far or is there a particular one you are looking forward to running?
Hi Friends! I just wanted to pop in quickly today to say one thing… HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST GUY OUT THERE! I don’t know what I would do if Lee was not in my life and I am thankful for every minute that we get to spend together. I … Keep Reading….
Hello guys! Happy Wednesday! I’ve been a little behind on getting my posts up because we still have no internet at my house!! Seriously, this is becoming a problem. About two months ago, we switched our TV and internet providers and, with the exception of one week, our new internet … Keep Reading….
Good morning! I feel like it’s time to finally put a post together. After the events of last week, I just could not find myself sitting down to write a regular post about everyday life. I found myself completely wrapped up in the news coverage of the Boston tragedy and … Keep Reading….