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Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I'm very excited, its our first Thanksgiving as a married couple! Although I won't be doing ANY of the cooking this year (thank goodness), I'm excited to finally be celebrating as a married couple. Ever since I was 9 years old, we've celebrated with my Dad's side of the family. I'm so looking forward to it, its an opportunity to spend time with family I hardly get to see. My Dad, his fiance and my brother (whom I see regularly!), my great aunt/uncle, my great grandma Agnes, and a few cousins, too. It's a blast. I'm so glad Caleb gets to be a part of it as my husband this year.

Speaking of that hunk, have I mentioned lately how thankful I am for him? Well, I am. He's truly the greatest guy I've ever met. I'm thankful that when I'm feeling sick, he pulls up Dexter (our newest addiction since we finished The Walking Dead) and we watch episode after episode while snuggling on the couch with me. He makes me laugh when I have a bad day, and I'm just so happy that at the end of the day tomorrow, when we feel crazy full and just want to crash, that we can do JUST that. We don't have to go our separate ways at the end of the night anymore, and I love that.

We don't have any huge traditions on Thanksgiving, besides stuffing our faces and enjoying each others company...but I'm truly excited for Christmas and starting our own traditions.

Any fun traditions you and your family have??

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Falling down happens, but getting back up is necessary.

Sometimes, life just happens. Today marks the start of week 9 since I've officially been on my "fitness journey". I've seriously been proud of myself thus far. Up until last week I had been hitting the gym an average of 4 times a week. Up until last week I packed my lunches daily, and wasn't giving in to the holiday treats as much. Like I said...that was UP UNTIL last week.

As you can imagine, the holidays came closer, life became more hectic, family was in town, things came Monday was the ONLY day I was able to get in a really good workout. Sure, I took a few short walks throughout the week, but nothing like my normal workout routines.

So it had been a FULL WEEK since I'd been in the gym, and boy was it good to be back. I could've spent those few days away from the gym beating myself up, getting angry that I "didn't make time" for it, but instead I'm choosing to accept that sometimes, life just HAPPENS...and that's okay. It's not about the number of times you fall down, or if you do at all, its about getting back up...and going back at it even harder (and having fun with it when you do).

After my first (and only) official 5K!
I learned a lot about my body in the week I was away from the gym.
I ate like crap.
I felt like crap.
I slept like crap.

So, did I go to the gym last night? You betcha, and it was awesome.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friends, friends, friendsgiving!

What a fun weekend. Friday night Caleb and I just spent some time together at the house! His parents were in town for a couple days and stayed with us, so when they came back from dinner we all watched a fun Disney movie together, and then crashed.

Saturday was the busiest day ever, but was so wonderful. We had two engagement shoots that morning, and then went to my brother's birthday party at the bowling alley and even carpooled some kids around. Ha! That evening, Erin and Jared were having their first Friendsgiving! It was a blast, to say the least. Great food, amazing people, what more could you ask for?!

We had a blast playing Catch Phrase (of course, things got heated), taking silly pictures, eating too much, and enjoying each other's company WELL into the night talking about everything and nothing at all.

My hair looks psycho here!
Sunday was amazing. We just relaxed all day, and I got some serious editing done on the weekends photo shoots. It was a much needed day of nothing. That evening we had youth group and it was a blast hanging with all the kids.

Hope your weekend was fantastic!

Friday, November 22, 2013



1. Being able to have the apartment to myself all day Sunday. Most girls would probably take that opportunity to relax and take a long bath or something. Me? Completely engulfed in the Bengals game, lit candles, and peppermint candies. That's my kinda day.

2. Getting back in the gym. This week has been a complete whirlwind. If you read my honest post from yesterday, you'd know I've been a little hard on myself lately. With too many life demands, the gym has been on the back burner for the last 3 days. I'm excited to go back tonight and kick my own butt into shape. It's so weird to me, I never thought I'd MISS the gym! But ohhhh I do!

3. This adorable face. Hiiiii Sophie!!!

4. Who knew a four and a half our power outage would be so good for the soul? It really gave Caleb and I an opportunity for our phones to die, TV to be off, and just be able to really talk. We laughed so hard, and even made a hilarious home movie.

5. My camera. I have two engagement shoots downtown tomorrow, and I'm so excited about them. I love being challenged, and I definitely think I will be tomorrow.

Happy Friday everyone. Remember, YOU ARE AWESOME.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My silly little meltdown.

Can I be honest here for a hot second?
When Caleb and I got engaged...I remember so many things flashing through my mind that next week before we really started to plan. I kind of just assumed the title of "wife" came with great cooking skills, organizational skills, and planning skills beyond belief. I figured I'd have an adorable apartment made with DIY-faux Anthropologie decor, and I honestly assumed I would be able to prepare meals for my husband at LEAST 4 nights a week, keep a clean house, and manage an awesome social calendar.

Boy was I wrong.
Some of you may have seen my tweet asking for good vibes to be sent my way on Monday evening. After we went to the gym, Caleb casually asked "what meat did you lay out to thaw for dinner?" -- oh....I didn't...? To which he kindly replied I needed to start remembering in the mornings before I leave for work...which is 100% true. I truly do, but for some stupid reason it was more than that to me...we got home, I stormed in, hardly holding the door open for him just to get a second alone so I could cry.

I know, I'm pathetic, but please hang in there.
I cried because we've been married nearly six months and I've actually PREPPED and cooked two meals (frozen dinners don't count). I looked around and our apartment was a filthy mess, clothes were everywhere, empty glasses still on the table, nearly empty fridge, and the sink full of dishes. Why don't I have the time I thought I would?! Why can't I cook like my grandma can?! Why can't the laundry do itself?!

Then it hit me...when Caleb was holding me while I cried in our tiny little kitchen...I was doing the exact thing I always tell myself  not too; letting comparison steal my joy.

I was letting the adorable DIYers I follow on Instagram who can sand and paint an old antique dresser all by herself, steal my joy. I was letting the stay at home mom who packs perfect little lunches for her kiddos, steal my joy. I was allowing the fitness guru with the perfect body, to steal my joy.

I really had to step back and realize that sometimes, people only post the good moments, and we expect that our lives should be that way, too. We think that because she can cook perfect, I must learn how. Oh she has the cutest clothes, how can she afford that? I guess I need to work harder. I need to remember that I was made the way I am for a purpose. I may not be the next Top Chef, but I'm learning. Yeah, maybe I just made my very first grilled cheese last week...but I was dang proud of myself. One day, I will be the great cook I know I can be...but for now, I'm fine with being mediocre, and I'm fine with asking my grandma questions about what the difference between margarine and butter, and I'm fine with learning and soaking in all I can for now. I'll get there one day.

We must remember that we cannot compare our entire diaries to someone else's highlight reel.

We are all UNIQUELY made. We all have our own quirks. Who knows? Maybe someone looks at YOUR life and wishes they had your skills, or your situation. We all have a purpose. Do not compare yourself to others around you. You are made to be YOU, not anybody else.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

SWEET 16...I mean...

My brother did NOT want us to call his sixteenth his "sweet 16" and celebrate like we did for mine. We had a low key dinner at my grandparents with our awesome family and my grandparents got CREATIVE with making my brothers cake. Backstory -- he is a lead drummer in his high school's drumline -- boys got talent. So, what did they make? A freakin Pearl Drum. AMAZING.

My Nanny made amazing sweet and sour chicken with grilled pineapple and everything. They are both amazing at cooking and baking and hope to have even HALF of the skills they do once I'm their age.

 Seeing this next shot makes my heart so happy. I love the relationship Caleb and my brother have. It's so sweet, they are hilarious together, and they truly act like brothers. I couldn't ask for a better brotherly figure for my baby brother, than my husband.

and beautiful is Sophie?!

The night was just great. Being able to celebrate the young man my baby brother is becoming makes my heart swell. So once again, happy 16th Brandon, we are so proud of you!!

Sunday was fun...I got the house to myself while Caleb went to the Bengals game with his brother (its his birthday today -- happyyyy birthday Jared!!). I cleaned, relaxed, and did absolutely nothing. I loved it. Later on when Caleb got home, I went out and grabbed our dinner, and before I got back home Caleb was frantically texting me to "get home quick!". As you probably know by now, the mid-west was hit pretty hard with storms/tornadoes Sunday evening. Luckily, we are safe, but our power went out for about 4 hours. Which meant it was time to cue the candles and snuggles. It was so awesome, like I said yesterday, spending some uninterrupted time with Caleb, no phones, no distractions. Love it.

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The small things.

Welcome to Monday, where Kayla didn't have time last night to write a weekend recap post because her power was out. So, I give you a fun fall picture, instead.
Whaaat? ;)

I was going through pictures during mine and Caleb's engagement and this one just made me stop in my tracks and smile so big. Honestly, I remember this whole day like it was yesterday. It was Caleb's 24th birthday and I took the day off work to celebrate. I remember us leaving our phones inside most of the day, and just being with each other. We even headed outside to play in the gorgeous fall leaves.

I can find joy in the smallest of things when Caleb is around.
Like last night, when the power was out, he lit all the candles and we reclined together on the new couches. We ended up just talking about life, laughing so hard, making silly home videos because we got so slap happy, and eating way too many candy cane kisses (those things will be the death of me this Christmas season)!!

It's moments like this I want to remember most when I'm old and gray. He makes my life happy. I promise, when you choose to surround yourself with happy people, you have a better life.

Just a fun thought to leave you with for this Monday.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Once a bride...finally a bridesmaid.

Yes you read that right. I've never been IN a wedding, other than my own. I was a bride before a bridesmaid. So, imagine my excitement when over the course of 9 months I was asked to be in TWO!

The first wedding I'm in is in February, and you bet I was excited to pick up that bridesmaid dress. My MOH from my wedding is also in this bridal party, so we picked up our dresses together and made an impromptu ladies night out of it. Don't mind the frumpy top, I need to get it taken it, but this truly is a gorgeous gown and I cannot wait to wear it all day! 

oh, also...don't mind the length. It came fit for like a 5'8" girl...I'm gonna need about 6" easy cut off (this is where I hashtag how much it stinks being so short sometimes...)

Anyway. She and I definitely danced in this room for like 30 minutes. We even made our very own to come... JUST KIDDING.

Also, since beautiful dresses are my hot topic this Friday, can we talk about IF I had a ton of money to blow? I would buy this. Without blinking. Literally one of the most gorgeous dresses I've ever laid eyes on.

It's too bad I care about my wallets well being and won't drop the $298 on it that Anthro thinks it deserves.

I hope your Friday is as beautiful as these gowns! Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hitting a milestone.

This past weekend I hit a very exciting milestone. I ran a 5K distance. I haven't done this in forever and it may not be very impressive to some of you avid runners...but dangit I am proud of myself.

I can officially run for 30 minutes straight. A year and a half ago when I ran my first 5K (that I was not very prepared for), I ran it in 36 minutes and a few seconds. I am so proud to say I shaved close to 8 minutes off. However, there were a couple huge hills in that 5K that slowed me down, so I'm trying to remember that...but regardless. I'm just stinking excited.

This healthier lifestyle has completely stuck with me for over 7 weeks now...and I'm just so happy I've began making exercise a regular part of my life. I honestly feel like something is missing if I go even two days without hitting the gym. Lifting weights has turned into a hobby, rather than just a small dream I once had. My go-to breakfast is my chocolate protein shake, and I eat greens for fun. Of course I still let myself have treats, but in moderation. I'm just so excited to be healthy again. I may not see HUGE changes in my body yet, but I feel better and am beginning to see small ones. So excited to continue training for this half marathon and see where this fit journey takes me.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Remember that rehearsal dinner?

Oh don't mind me...I'm only 5ish months late to the party. I somehow realized the other day I hadn't yet talked about our rehearsal dinner and I must say, it was a night to be remembered. Caleb and I were surrounded by our favorite people in the world, stuffing our faces with amazing food and watching everyone get to know each other.
Can we do it again!?

Our pastor had us recite just a few words from the standard vows so we'd know what to expect for the following day, and oh boy...I was a hot mess. Literally! I kept having to turn away from Caleb so I didn't get overwhelmed. I am such a lucky gal!

& yeah, we had to practice...ok? ;)

I got to the church with super curly hair... and by dinner? Gone. Limp. Hardly wavy at all. Gag.

Caleb & his groosmen had a 9AM tee time that morning, and when I saw him I couldn't help but laugh. I asked Jared to remind him to put that sunscreen on his face, because I knew he wouldn't do it himself. Waddya know? They both forgot ;) but then I got over it, because he was still hot, and he was still going to be my husband the very next day!

It was such a blast just hanging out with our favorite people!!

This little gal (Nora) has Caleb wrapped around her little finger. Cannot even imagine what will happen if WE have a little girl one day!

I meaaaan, seriously.
Great grandma Agnes!
My grandparents from Florida!
My Grandpa Phil! Look at his blue eyes!!
Most of you know the story with my mom, so you know it meant the world to me that she could make it to be a part of my week!

Dads side of the family!
My MOH! She introduced Caleb and I back in 7th grade!
This gal.... I LOVE YOU ERIN!

 Then we gave our bridal party their gifts! Little Finley loved his Avengers action heroes and coloring books!

& Maddie loved her pretty floral crown!

Thanks to my in-laws for the amazing dinner!
So us!

AMAZING siblings.

My goofy family.

Giving my ladies their gifts!
oh, hey Jared. ;)
To put it simply, the night before our wedding was just incredible.
I spent the night in my bedroom for the last time. Erin came back with me to help unload our cars, and we had a blast together for a little while just like we did the night before her wedding. I tried on my dress, and just danced around...and it was just magical. I have the best friends in the world, those girls up there did AMAZING things for me during our engagement and I am excited to repay them all for the rest of forever. Love their friendships.

This man is just the best. I remember the feeling waking up on my wedding day. I couldn't believe I got to marry my BEST FRIEND! This is the man who (before we started even dating) knew I had a bad day, left work, just to buy and bring me my favorite pint of Snickers ice cream. The man who listened to me cry when things didn't go right in life. The guy to make me laugh until my stomach hurt. The man who would make me the happiest wife ever.

I love you, Caleb!

Better late than never, right?