Friday, January 31, 2014

Lets get muurrriiieed!

The weekend is finally here! Becca is getting married! Which means tonight, we get our nails done, we eat cheesecake, and I get to have a fun sleepover with the other bridesmaids...two of which happen to be two of my best friends! You could say I'm excited.
Me, Becca, Angie, Lyndsie.
Becca, I am so excited for you girl. I have a few tips & thoughts for your wedding day and for your new marriage!

1. Don't stress day-of. Things will screw up, its inevitable. Just brush it off. This is your big day!! You've been waiting for this day your whole life...don't let a busted light, or sweaty armpits get in the way of your joy...trust me, I speak from experience.

2. Look into that man's eyes and make that promise of forever during those vows. That's the moment you've been waiting for your whole life...remember his face while he speaks to you in front of everyone...and don't be afraid to cry in front of your guests, its a beautiful thing to wear your heart on your sleeve.

3. Don't blink too much. This will be the fastest day of your life...SOAK IT UP, and most importantly, have fun! Ask family members to record things so you can HEAR the moments again months and years later (if you don't have a professional already doing this!)...those moments are so special!

Now for after your big day...once the hype of your big day is over, and the married life is finally sinking in;

1. Your husband will make mistakes...but so will you. Always be patient, and slow to anger. Be forgiving and always be honest with each other. It's the only way to be.

2. Being a newlywed is a really busy time, so many people want to chat about every detail and get together with you. You'll have lots of church, work and social obligations...but please, block out intentional time to be together through the busy schedules. It's so important!

3. Love your husband. I know it sounds silly, and so obvious...but be sure to tell him every single day how much you love him. I recently heard a friend say that her wedding day was the day she loved her husband the least...and at first I questioned it, but it makes great sense now. I love Caleb now more than I ever have, and I can only hope the love you and Breck have for each other grows every single day!

Happy wedding weekend, Bec!

PS - thanks for all your prayers on my Grandpa. I was having trouble with details, but apparently they only removed a portion of the voice box, he has a trach for breathing, and a tube in his stomach for feeding. Caleb and I are visiting him in the hospital today before heading to the rehearsal dinner, even though he won't be able to physically speak to us, my mom thinks "his eyes will be happy" :) I'm hoping it will mean a lot that we stopped by. He needs your happy thoughts, so thanks, friends!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

What the heck are snow days?!

I've got a lot on my mind right now...so this brain dump I call a blog post will have to do for today!

I have one incredible husband. I recently found out my Grandpa has cancer in his throat...again. Last time they removed the cancerous cells off of his voice box, and that was that. Since it's come back again, they have decided to remove his voice box completely. This absolutely destroyed me on Sunday. I don't know why it affected me so badly, as this Grandpa and I aren't very close...but still. The thought of never getting to have an actual conversation with him again, broke my heart. As I flopped on the couch in tears, Caleb just held me through it all. Even better? As I cried, he started to pray for my Grandpa. What a man I have.

One of my best friends from college is getting married in two little days!! Tomorrow I'll be driving up to her town to be a part of the rehearsal, then all of us bridesmaid's are getting our nails done and hitting up the Cheesecake Factory, per the bride-to-be's request! Then headed back to her parents for a sleepover.

I'm extremely excited to be getting my nails done, as I haven't had them done since my WEDDING, LAST YEAR! If you know me at all, you know I don't really take care of my nails. They are always plain Jane...but I'm okay with that.

I took a pretty hard fall on Sunday night and rolled my ankle. I thought nothing of it until a day or two later, it was swollen and bruised. Not fun. I've taken it super easy this week and probably won't run until the weekend. I don't want to risk anything before the REAL 12 week training program begins.

Speaking of this half marathon training. I technically started...but really right now, I'm just trying to train for the training...if that makes sense. I'm scared out of my mind to run 13.1 miles...but I know I can do this. I'm excited and terrified all at once!

I can't believe that I live in the tundra that is Ohio...I'm lucky if its even -3 out in the morning, my car hardly starts...yet I've gotten no "snow days" that all you from the south speak of. I want one, and I want it now. I'll just sit here in my desk cubicle, pretending I'm curled up under my multiple blankets with hot chocolate whenever I want some.

To say I'm reader for warmer weather would be the understatement of the year.

Stay warm this week my friends!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My silly little smart phone.

My husband recently told me something that's been bothering him lately, something that I've been doing...and instead of being a good wife, and listening...I immediately got defensive, put up my guard and began to cry. Yeah, sometimes I'm 7 years old.

What was it he was just so bothered over?
My cell phone...and not just that I'm using it...but how often I use it.

He claimed that every time we get in the car, or watch TV, or anything really, its like a habit, I take my phone out of my pocket and search my endless social media feeds. I still speak, or laugh, or whatever is appropriate, but with few words and I look dis-interested. I got so defensive when he approached me about it, but I think its because I knew I was in the wrong.

Now don't get me wrong...I don't think smart phones are bad. Heck, I have every social media app known to mankind. I just think as a society we all need to step back when we're with others and focus more on being present. It's so easy to talk/listen to someone and search our phones at the same time. I know how irritating it can be when friends do it, so why did I think I was any exception to this rule when it came to alone time with my husband?


As a kid, I grew up with very little technology. The most I was exposed too was a weekly episode of Barney on VHS! I actually went outside and played make believe games with my friends, and I'd like to think I had a pretty great childhood. It makes me sick when I see parents who let their children have their phones for hours on end...and then I think, well, isn't that kind of what I'm doing to myself now?

So I started thinking... I should set some guidelines for myself. When Caleb and I eat dinner, my phone doesn't come with me to the table. When we decide to turn on a movie, my phone stays in the bedroom...and when we decide to have a long conversation, I don't need to be double tapping all my bestie's IG pictures from that day. Sure, its fine to have my phone here and there in front of my husband, but for the most part, I just want to be with him. I want to be PRESENT. I hadn't realized how selfish I was being. I wasn't giving him my full attention, and that isn't fair at all. I think the point of writing this post was for me to be more aware of how dependent I am on it....and I really don't like that feeling.

So, here's to new beginnings.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Too much fun not to share!

Yeah, I didn't post yesterday. It kind of felt good though. So, now I'm back today!

Friday I got to spend the most fabulous night in with my Erin and we got to relax, eat whatever we wanted, watch too many movies, and chat until we couldn't keep our eyelids open! It was exactly what I'd been needing! The next morning we got snowed in so I didn't even get home until nearly 2PM. I barely got to kiss my husband before I had to hit the road and head up to the most adorable intimate bridal shower I was able to help throw for our friend Becca, who is getting married this weekend! I can't believe how fast it got here!!











Becca was lucky to get a lot of beautiful things, and I'm so happy I was able to be a part of it!!

After her shower was over, it was getting late, but I wanted to hang with my girl Angie still! I don't get to see her often enough and when she invited me to hang at her apartment, of course I said yes. Little did I know she had a surprise for me!

She handed me this adorable mini postage holder with a note asking...
Will you be my Bridesmaid?
!!!!!! I was so beyond excited!! I squeezed the crap out of her and said yes, obviously!

She is my friend who got engaged on New Years Eve...and guess what? They are now planning their new years eve for THIS YEAR! I am beyond happy for her and her man, Tyler, and know they will have an amazing, Christ centered marriage.

Hope your weekend was as good as mine!

Friday, January 24, 2014

ITS LADIES NIGHT!

scratch that...its ladies WEEKEND.
I've been waiting for this for a while now!


Those up there are my favorite ladies ever.

The one holding the yellow glasses in the back? That would be the beautiful Bride-to-be, Becca...and we are having an intimate bridal shower with her this weekend. I CANNOT wait to see her and some old college friends, and hang out with my besties, while embarrassing the nearly-wed ;)

Lynds, that hottie with the black mustache, is baking a cake for Becca's shower. I'm so excited, she's been taking classes and I can't wait to see what she whips up! I know its going to be delish and I'm going to have 15 thousand pictures come Monday of it!

Miss Erin, front left with the adorable face...invited me over to have the ultimate ladies night tonight. I'm bringing mountain dew, snacks, nail polish, and a chick flick of my choice...yes, were 17. I kind of love it.

My girl Angie, with the pink glasses and bow tie... is the one who got engaged on New Years Eve. I am so excited for her and can't even WAIT for her big day!!

Marie, in the red glasses, and I have been hitting up the gym 3 times a week before work...she is, without even knowing it, keeping me SO motivated. This week, the crazy Ohio weather put a damper on our Thursday morning plans but we hit the gym this morning and I'm feeling good because of it!!

Last but not least, miss Ashley, with the orange mustache ;) she recently landed herself a HUGE job in NYC with a big law firm...to say I'm extremely proud of her would be an understatement! I cannot believe how smart this gal is and can't wait to watch her become a real New Yorker!!

Weekends are way better when you get to spend them with at least a few of your favorite people!! Hope you have a great one!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Our little lady crush.

If you're around Erin and I for more than a few minutes, you'll probably find out one of our little secrets......we're slightly obsessed with Katy Perry.

...slightly as in, we buy her tour tickets, make shirts, listen to her 24/7, see her movie in theater, pre-order the DVD just for a chance at an autograph, stand with cut out posters of her, sing her songs all day, stalk her twitter feed, you know... the usual.
...we wish we were rich so we could buy a meet & greet.
Erin was so amazing and gave me two tickets to her show for my birthday a couple years ago! So what did we do? Naturally, dedicated two nights to making our bright pink cupcake t-shirts for it. We got their early to party it up with her staff...and I may or may not have won a free T shirt (that I sleep in a lot...and wear to the grocery store...and, well, you get the point...).



We even talked about things we could sell just to afford tickets to her tour.....


Some would call us crazy, we call it dedication ;)
Bottom line...we love her.

...but this post isn't ALL about Katy Perry, why we love her (and why we think she should invite us up on stage this summer to dance with her....), its also about one of my favorite friendships!

I don't know how I got so lucky to have the coolest sister in law, but goodness I owe God a big one. He blessed me with another incredible friend that I can chat with at all hours of the night, drink mountain dew with, and laugh hysterically for hours with. I swear, she and I can talk about nothing all night and we will have the time of our lives. Which is why I'm more than pumped that we get to have a MUCH NEEDED ladies night tomorrow. Did I mention that includes chick flicks, a possible music video in the making, singing at the top of our lungs, some serious venting, and drinking unlimited mountain dew? Well, it does...and yeah, maybe we sound like were 18, but that's fine! I can't wait...and yes, KP's "Part of Me" will be in the DVD player all night.

Is it tomorrow yet!? Hoping all my ladies out there have a "ladies night" on the calendar soon!! They are good for the soul!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

If we had coffee...

So many good conversations can happen over a cup of coffee (or tea...or anything, really).
It got me thinking...if I were to be put in a room with a perfect stranger, and a good cup of Joe...what would they find out about me?


They would find out I really am not a big "coffee person", I prefer sweet tea, or mountain dew. I'm a big risk taker, an adrenaline junkie. When I'm behind my camera, I feel inspired by anything and everything around me. The world is so beautiful through my viewfinder. They would find out I love my husband with all my heart, but I love my God more, and I'm happy to say that my husband would say the same about me. I sadly am on my phone too much, and its a daily chore of mine to remind myself to let it go. I'd much prefer getting a handwritten letter once a month, than a text every day. Polka dots and glitter make me happy. Dolphins are my favorite animal, and yellow would always be my color of choice. They would learn that my parents split up when I was 9 years old, but that it made me into who I am today. I've faced hardships and loss, but have grown from every heartache by choosing to find the silver lining. I'm a chick flick and Disney movie gal but could watch any given action movie on repeat all night. Breakfast on a Saturday is my jam and french toast is acceptable no matter the time of day. I'm a lover, and care about my relationships with others like crazy. They would find out I over analyze every single aspect of my life, and its a constant battle I have with myself. I'm learning to be less sensitive, and to not take everything so personally. I love fresh fruit with marshmallow cream, and could eat sweets all day. They would find out I sing really loud when I'm alone, and bust out in random dance moves in my cubicle (yes, it happens more than you'd think). I compare myself to others all too often, only to remind myself, again, that I'm beautiful just how I was made.

Overall, I'd like to think I would be viewed as a really happy girl. A girl who loves life and the silly things that fill her day. A girl who has her crap together, but knows its okay to ask for help when she needs it. A girl who radiates God's love on a daily basis, even when she wonders if SHE alone could make a difference. One who is quick to rejoice and slow to anger, one who is happy for others accomplishments in life.
A girl who has her moments, her insecurities, her quirks, and that it all adds up to make her, her.

How are you viewing yourself today? I hope its positive. :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Good weekend, even better friends.

So any of you know a little band called Parachute?! My gal Lyndsie and I have been mildly obsessed for years...and Sunday night, not only did we get to see them perform, but also got to meet and chat with the lead singer!!!


They are an amazing band and their lyrics are full with meaning and I'm slightly obsessed. If you haven't already, check them out. That song is old, but the meaning behind it is so awesome. If you remember, I talked about them two Septembers ago when they opened for my favorite band (Needtobreathe)!

Anywaaayyy... it was so sweet of Lynds to buy me a ticket to the show as part of my Christmas present. I'm so thankful for her! We had a blast freaking out together when they came on stage, and more than that, it was just a blast getting to spend some much needed time with her!

The night before that, we had our besties over and we had MORE PUZZLE RACES! Y'all, when you start doing these with your favorite couples, you can't stop. You can thank us later ;)

You may think we're total weirdo's, but being on a budget...this stuff is fun.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. It's always the best when you can fill your time with those you love the most. I'm so thankful for these incredible friendships. Make sure you tell your people how much you love them, today!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Letters to my week.

Dear Becca, your wedding is in two weeks! It was so good seeing you and the ladies last night. Can't wait for your more intimate shower next weekend, though!!

Dear legs, thanks for waking up before work a few times this week to get my butt in gear (I'm so not a morning person, so this is a flippin' miracle). Somehow, what you're doing is working. I'm actually beginning to see real results.

Dear stationary, I found a ton of you in my closet this week and I'm beyond pumped to use it!

Dear Miss Becky, you booked your flight!!!! Cannot wait to greet you at the airport like a crazy with a big sign and devour a Mexican dinner with you and my Erin that night! Is it March, yet?!
Dear generic diet root beer, thanks for tasting better than the real thing...and costing half the price.

Dear lunches this week, you rocked. I didn't spend a dime on you!

Dear soulmate, thanks for planning us a ladies night in next Friday....seriously, it is here yet!?

Dear Friday, I love you.

{so in love}

My old college roommate got engaged over the holiday season and her fiance' was returning to basic for the US Marine Corps that following weekend...so she needed pictures, and fast.

So how did I spend the very first morning of 2014?!
Shooting people, what else?!








I've been doing photo shoots like crazy lately...and it stinks that we're budgeting so hard because I've got the itch to buy a ridiculously priced lens (not good for the ole wallet)! Here's to working my tail off in photography so I can afford my dream lens and not pull from our normal income!

Tonight I'm heading to a friends bridal shower! Her wedding is in two weeks!! Cannot believe it! I'm so excited to be a part of her big day, along with a few other best friends of mine! This will be the first wedding I'll ever be in (aside from my own, hehe)!

PS - ITS ALMOST FRIDAY! Have a dance party.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It went well.

This gal started half marathon training Monday...and this gal is tired.
I forced myself to hit the gym last night and run 3 miles straight (thanks a lot, Hal Higdon). Then, this morning, I went before work and ran a couple more (who am I turning into!?). As excited as I am that I ran those distances, I'm wondering how in the world people can actually run marathons!? I've only signed up for 13.1 and last night I was jumping for joy when I reached the halfway point of my 5K distance.

I know, I know...mind over matter... but its tough!
Those 3 miles last night were really hard. I wanted to give up a lot. Trying to finish in under 29 minutes was difficult, but boy I did it...and I'm pretty proud.

Lately I've been feeling more like myself. I know its because I'm hitting the gym a lot more like I was before Christmas, I'm also making healthier choices...and it feels weirdly good to not be spending any money. It's like a game...how long can I go without breaking this $20 bill?!


I'm spending more time with people that I love, having real conversations with my husband, digging deeper into my Bible, volunteering my time more, learning new things, accepting compliments, even asking the receptionist at work how she is and truly caring...and its all working together to make me into a happier person. 

Generally, I'd say I'm already a joyful person...but there is something about this new year that has me excited.

2014, you better watch it. You're mine.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Doin the debt talk.

If you've been reading for a while, you might remember a post about Caleb and I getting serious about our debt right after we got married. Well, we kind of fell off the wagon because we thought "we're only young once...lets spend some cash", oh how naive we were. January is full of expenses, I'll just say it. Between the weddings I'm in, oil changes, Caleb's last college course, and BM dress alterations, we didn't have much room to budge this month.

So, we're finally hopping back on the wagon that is Dave Ramsey...and it makes us weirdly excited. I'm going to write this here so that I feel like we're held accountable...
Our goal in 2014 is to pay off between $15,000-$20,000 in debt.

Phew. That is a lot of cash...but our big goal is to be debt free in 2ish years. I know that we can do this...every other Friday we'll be hitting up the ATM to pull out the budgeted cash; we are only giving ourselves $20/month each to do whatever we want with, our tithe to church, our gas fund and grocery fund. Caleb and I fell off the wagon because we stopped using cash. A lot of people with discipline can just use their debit cards, but I just can't....swipe swipe swipe. $5 here, $12 there, $7 here...it all adds up, and fast.

So we're back to our cash envelopes, and couldn't be happier. We didn't spend a dime this weekend. It was incredible.

Also, if you read that post a while back, I talked about starting a "Date on a dime" series, and I think I'll actually do it this time. Since we have so little to spend on ourselves/each other, we have to keep things interesting, as our budget will be slim since we're paying off a lot of debt.

So what did we do this weekend?
Visited our BFF's Sallie & Perkins and had a mega game night! We're talkin, Bananagrams, a heated round of Monopoly, puzzle races, and more Banangrams...oh and I tried perfecting Erin's Sallie's braid.


So, all you crazy folks out there...what do YOU do to save a few bucks or earn extra cash!?
Thanks for all your encouragement, we're ready for this next chapter in life!

Friday, January 10, 2014

What makes me happy.

This week has been really slow, but really great. Ever have one of those weeks where nothing is really going wrong, but you're just SO ready for the work week to be over? Yeah, well, I'm there. So in random times like these, I have to focus on what keeps me happy.

Making homemade ornaments just because.

Capturing funny, adorable moments at birthday parties, like this.

New running shoes that I got on SUPER sale right after Christmas. My friend gave me a 6:15AM wake up call to hit the gym with her...and you bet these bad boys got put to use.

Singing sweet Nora happy birthday, for the third year in a row. She's the cutest. Seriously, haayyy Baby Gap. Oh and that's her gorgeous momma, Marie...you know, that friend who made me wake up at the crack of dawn to go running today ;)

When a teenager can do my hair better than I can.

Finding out an awesome blogger friend, miss Becky, is coming to stay with me for a quick weekend soon!!! It was totally out of the blue after we'd been casually chatting about it for so long and we are finally planning lots of fun things (including Mexican food and marathon training) and I can't wait to squeeze her!

An encouraging note from a sweet friend yesterday. Made me tear up (Hiiii Betsy!)

What's making you happy this week!? Seriously, I want to know!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

25 before 25.

Everyone's got em. Whether you've actually written them out or not.
You know, that list. That list of stuff you want to get done before that one big date.


Most people choose to do a 30 before 30...well, seeing as I'm only 22, I'm going to start with a 25 before 25 list first, and see how this goes. I have a TON of stuff I want to accomplish in this little life of mine, but I tried to be realistic as this is under 3 years away now.

This list is to be completed by August 9th, 2016.

1. Be debt free.
2. Once we're debt free, begin my 401K and aggressively save.
3. Run a half marathon.
4. Meet more blog friends.
5. Be vegetarian for a week.
6. Give a very generous, and anonymous gift.
7. 
8. Zip-line.
9. Learn how to sew or knit.
10. Take a cake decorating class.
11. Go out west somewhere.
12. Finish my Bible cover to cover.
13. Donate my hair.
14. Grow my blog to 1,000 readers.
15. Break a 28 minute 5K.
16. Donate blood for the first time.
17.Visit a historical US city with Caleb.
18. Read 50 new books.
19. Plan an incredible trip with our best friends.
20. Update my DSLR/lens collection.
21. Be confident in my cooking.
22. Get a professional massage.
23. Be up to date on all my photo books.
24. Take a ballet class to rekindle my love for it.
25. Learn calligraphy.

I hope I can do all of this, and I'm determined to make it happen!
What's on your list?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Unresolutions.

Happy Monday. I started this morning off horribly...its in the single digits here lately in Ohio and guess whose car doors were frozen shut this morning!!? .... if you guessed me...DING DING DING! I was late for work, didn't grab my gym bag...gahh. To say I'm a hot mess right now is an understatement. Aside from all that, I had a wonderful, relaxing weekend...until the Bengals crushed my soul with their loss. Seriously, I may have formed tears. So much anger...but luckily, my husband came home and we ordered a pizza to drown our sorrows in. Woops. Anyway, hope you all had a great weekend.

One of my sweet readers and also an awesome blogger friend, Kalyn, did a post on UNresolutions...I didn't know what the heck it even meant, but when I started reading her post I couldn't stop. I literally nodded my head along with everything she said. She essentially made a list of things she WON'T do in this new year, and I thought it was so clever. So I thought, why not join in on the fun?!

In 2014 I will not...

Stress myself to tears. This happened a little too often in 2013. I have this habit of holding things in until they make me burst...and I never really noticed it until Caleb pointed it out to me. I want to be a better wife, and that means talking through my problems as they occur, not once I've hit my breaking point.

Treat my body like crap. Of course, I'll have the occasional treat...but I want to be sure I hit the gym as often as possible. I really took control of my health in September of 2013 and have realized that exercising is more than just working towards a better body for me...it makes me feel good. It gives me confidence, and lowers my stress. I once saw a quote that said "you are just one work out away from a better mood"...and now, I totally get that!

Forget to do random acts of kindness. I truly believe this is what would make our world a happier place. If I'm intentional about my actions towards friends, family, and even strangers...I will, in turn, be a happier person.

Be so mean to myself. I find myself having a hard time accepting compliments lately...like I have to refuse them or say "oh thaaanks, but you're crazy", as if its impossible to just say thank you to someone when they say something nice about my appearance. Or if I'm looking at myself in the mirror and not being happy with what I see... I've realized that its hard to be happy when someone is always mean to you...and that someone was myself. So, I want to be nicer to myself, and realize...we are all uniquely made, and all wonderful in our own ways.

Insert random, happy photo here.
If you have no big goal(s) for 2014...just make sure you're happy with wherever you are...and if you aren't, change something. We all deserve happiness :)