Our Wedding Day

Wow! The day that we have wished and worked so hard for has finally come and gone. I had been told many, many times that the time would fly, but for some reason it was so hard for me to believe. I know better now.

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Our wedding day was absolutely magical. It was stocked full with excitement, nerves and raw emotion. Never in my life have I cried so many happy tears than I did on that day. I cried the night before, at our rehearsal, when Josh gifted me an absolutely breathtaking jewelry box complete with a personalized engraving. I cried the morning of the wedding, both when my hair stylist fastened in my veil and when I saw all of the gorgeous flower arrangements. I nearly cried due to nerves, as I waited in the room with my personal attendant, watching the time tick by so quickly and so slowly all at the same time. I nearly cried as my bridesmaids surrounded me and offered last minute well wishes and compliments just moments before the ceremony began. I cried just two steps down the aisle, with by Dad and Step-dad on each side of me and my now-husband watching and waiting for me at the end of the aisle.

The excitement continued after we said our vows and shared our first kiss (which is more amazing than people let on,) and had the chance to start the celebration with all of the people we love. We had an incredible dinner, a few tear-inducing toasts, and lively music to keep the party flowing. Everyone was so energetic and so seemingly happy, that we felt so blessed to have such wonderful people engulfing us on our special day. It felt as though we had everything we could ever want or need, right in that very moment.

After the chaos that was the wedding day, we celebrated our new lives as husband and wife by ourselves at our shared apartment. We changed into pajamas and ordered the largest pizza we could find (people aren’t fooling you when they tell you that you will hardly eat all day.) We reminsced at how remarkable all aspects of the day ended up to be and how surreal everything had felt. Neither of us could actually believe that the perfect wedding we had just departed was actually our own. Never in a million years could we have believed that our day would work itself out to be so seamless and flow so well.  Honestly, nothing major happened, minus the instances I became ill from all of the stimulation.

We feel so incredibly blessed to everyone who took the time out of their busy lives to attend the most amazing day of our lives. We had friends and family whom travled both near and far to be there to support us and to witness our love and commitment to eachother. We have never been more grateful and could never repay anyone for the way they made us feel.

We would also like to thank our venders for helping making the planning process a breeze!

 Drugan’s Castle Mound – I cannot even begin to explain the amazement I have of Mary Drugan. She was so friendly and accomodating that we felt as though she was part of the family. She made the planning process and both the ceremony and reception everything that we had ever hoped that we would have. Their ceremony space is utterly breathtaking and the reception space is so open and warm. We had many, many compliments on the food, service and atmosphere. If we had to do it all over again, I would undoubtedly book with Drugan’s again. Absolutely AMAZING.

Charlotte’s Bridal – The staff was so amazing and helpful. Every time I walked into their door, I felt as though I was their most important client. They were so friendly and genuine that I would absolutely recommend them to anyone who is looking for beautiful gowns for great deals. I found my wedding gown, the bridesmaid dresses, the mother of the bride dress and the mother of the groom dress all at Charlotte’s. They understood my taste and style and were able to help me to select the perfect dresses without a hitch!

Men’s Wearhouse – The staff was friendly and so approachable. Our first visit was a total learning experience for us because we weren’t exactly sure just what we were looking for yet, but they were very patient and kind to us. They were so quick to any changes that we needed along the way. We had ordered the wrong coat size for my now-husband, and they fixed it for us within 24 hours. We were relieved and incredibly impressed.

Cottage Garden Floral – The ladies here are absolute saints. Marcie sat with us through many appointments and helped us create all of our bouquets and boutonnieres from scrath. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to flowers, but she was so easygoing with her explanations that I felt confident and happy with my final selections. I’ve come to really appreciate and love this little floral shop and their staff and I will definitely be back for any other occasion. I will recommend them to every and anyone!

Boxcar Photography – Ben, the owner of Boxcar Photography, is an expert at keeping photos fun, lively and yet professional. He was so thoughtful and helpful throughout the entire process and always made us feel confident and comfortable. After one meeting with Ben, he is your best friend! We love him and his work so much and would be happy to tell that to anyone who asks us. We are so excited to see how our photos turned out, his sneak peeks are so amazing!

Festival Bakery – They did an outstanding job with our cupcakes and groom’s cake! They looked exactly how we pictured that they would look. We even proviced them with our own cupcake liners (they looked like lace) to be put around each cupcake, and Festival even took care of that for us! The week prior to the wedding, I decided to add a groom’s cake to the intial cupcake order, Stephanie made up a sketch of what she thought I was imagining and the final result was WAY more that I had every expected. If anyone is looking for a reasonable alternative to the expensive wedding bakers, I would happily suggest Festival.

Abster’s Dj Service – Abby is a total gem. She was so fun, professional, and helpful in bringing our celebration to it’s highest potential. She played a wide variety of genres, and she had people of all ages constantly on the dance floor. She’s amazing!

My Photomatic – Booking this photo booth provider was probably the best decision that we made for the reception. Everyone had such a great time and the gentleman running the booth (Kurt, I believe) was so much fun and kept the line moving. I don’t think our celebration could have been as exciting without him!

25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

I found this fun survey while I was browsing around some blogs and thought it may be a fun post to type up while I have some free time.

25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

1. I’m happiest when… 1.) I spend the evenings on the couch with Josh 2.) I’m cooking or baking

2. …Especially if it… 1.) is a Friday night and we don’t have any early Saturday morning plans 2.) is being made for my friends and family

3. I’ve always wanted to… swim with dolphins and learn how to scuba dive.

4. My family and I… have an unconditional love. We understand each other and take each other just as we are.

5. I was a terrible… cheerleader. I tried out for the high school team twice, but could never remember the routines.

6. My first job was… working at my drivers education school. I got the job just two weeks after I finished my course.

7. I could probably eat sweets everyday. 

8. I stole… a pencil off the supply cart in elementary school. Don’t worry, the guilt hit me so quickly that after 5 whole minutes I returned it.

9. I was born on the same day as… Kenny Rogers and Kim Cattrall (Samantha from Sex and the City)

10. My all-time favorite film is… A Walk to Remember

11. I do a pretty mean… chicken dance.

12. I’m still mad… 1.)that I never took the chance to live in another city 2.) finished college

13. I met my husband… at work. (He worked in the store beside mine in our mini-mall complex)

14. I always knew I wanted… children. From the very beginning, I knew that my life long dream was to be a mother.

15. I’m not afraid to… hop on a roller coaster on any given day.

16. I make the best… protein pancakes. My family eats them right up!

17. I have almost no… self control when it comes to sweets. 

18. I always cry when… 1.) I watch a romantic movie  2.) I see pet or child sponsorship commercials.

19. I’m (now) an advocate for healthy eating, but I will never be able to completely rid myself of sweets.

20. I spent 12 years… learning and playing the violin through all of elementary and high school.

21. I wish my folks… could understand how much I’ve learned from them.

22. At 5, I was deeply in love with dolphins and The Sword and the Stone

23. I believe if everyone tried on a more understanding attitude, the world would be a better place.

24. I can’t stand… a messy house.

25. Whenever Sex and the City is on, I’ll watch it.

Our Predestined Journey

Life is short. Life is sweet. Life is an everlasting rollercoaster of priceless moments and unforgettable memories. 

The only thing that I am absolutely sure of in life, is that our lives are predestined. Our journey is laid out for us even before our Earthly arrival. We have always and will always be given a myriad of choices to choose from. Although, now it seems that the path we choose is always the path we were meant to travel.

Thinking deeply about this makes my brain swim and revisit the mistakes, choices, and milestones that I have surpassed and overcome. Just knowing that, every single choice (whether they be good or bad) that I have ever made in my life’s entirety was always meant for me to learn from.

Being the person that I want to be while simultaneously being the person I was created to be, is what life is all about. Each day, I strive to be a better person.. to lend my hand (or shoulder, or heart) to people who need/deserve it.. to help influence others to live their happiest life possible.. to help create a beautiful world to live in for generations to come. I have forgotten how to be unhappy and miserable because I am too invested in living my life to the fullest capacity. I refuse to let my well-being suffer, even during the darkest times. I let my journey guide me out of dark waters, towards the white light that always seems to shine a little bit brighter.

This is where my faith grows stronger. It becomes more palpable and I can almost grasp it with my bare hands. I will always try to make the right decision, and lead myself (and others) down the right path, but I know that whatever direction I may go, I will consistently travel towards my final destination.  It is a refreshing thought and it makes me want to dance with joy, because when it comes down to it.. I know that I will always survive, I will always conquer, and most importantly, I will always find that bright light.

Inspiration vs. Intimidation

I am in a place in my life where I know exactly who I am and exactly how I want to live my life. I want to lead a life full of positivity, compassion and inspiration: whether that be to myself or towards others. I want to try my very best to be a better person each and every day.

Growing up, I was shy, quiet and simply moved with the flow that we call life. I certainly worked hard at my schooling, work and athletics but I never really knew who I was. Pretty girls made me nervous, smart girls made me self-aware, and the confident girls scared me senseless. I was always timid towards them because I had wished that I had myself figured out, like they seemed to already have done.

I knew that if I got into stellar shape, I would boost my self-esteem along with my confidence. Genetics had blessed me with a slender frame, but I wanted the muscles and toned physique that some girls dreamed to have. I knew that doing that for myself would give me goals, newfound positivity and happiness that everyone needs and yearns for.

When I first started learning about healthy living and fitness regimens, I became aware of the people around me who were already submerged in this lifestyle. The people I had met and known of intimidated me from head to toe. I now know that these were not the people I should have been looking to for guidance, and I should not have considered them as examples of how to achieve the life I wanted. These people were condescending, harsh, and were the epitome of intimidation and led me to quickly run in the other direction of what I wanted, because of how they made me feel.

I did not want to be picked on or judged, and I certainly refused to do that to people trying to accomplish the same things that I was.

Fast forward a couple of years from the exact moment that I gave up. I met my now-fiancé, who completely changed my outlook on what I had thought I knew about people who were doing the same things that I wanted to be doing. He brought me to the gym and introduced me to the most inspiring and motivating people that I had ever met. I learned that there were people, whether beginners or professionals, that were so very different than the people that I had come to associate with fitness. Meeting these people and having the extra boost of support, I finally made that change for myself. I was finally inspired enough to push myself towards my goals I wanted to achieve and the lifestyle I wanted maintain.

I then gave myself the positivity, happiness, compassion, and the self-acceptance that I had been in search of. Having that one person to open my eyes and help guide me in the right direction was all that I had needed. Once I was happy with myself, I could be happy with everything else. It was the first time that I had felt that I was in the right place in my life and ever since then, I was finally comfortable being who I was.

If I could do one thing in my life, it would be t0 inspire just one person to push towards their goals and to find their happiness. I would want to motivate any person that I could, and also help to guide them to a happy, healthy, and peaceful place. I would only want the chance to do the things for someone, that my fiancé did to help me.

My Bridal Fitness Bucket List

The first five months of our engagement have absolutely FLOWN by and now that we are a little less than seven months until the big day, it’s time to get my butt into gear.

I’ve come up with a list of pre-wedding goals that I would like to accomplish before I walk down the aisle, so here we go:

-run at least one 5k
run my first half marathon
-do 25 (non girly) push-ups in a row
-do 5 pull-ups
-tone my arms so that they are defined.. even when it isn’t arm day
-start (&complete) a 12 week bodybuilding program
-work my abs hard to get my dream six pack
-squat 150lbs

I’m sure there will be additions to that list in the next seven months, but this sounds like a fun starting point to me!

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted and I’ve recently taken a updated progress photo I wanted to share:

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And here is my fiancé’s progress photo:

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I’m so thankful that I have such a motivating gym partner. He pushes me, keeps me focused and I just know we will have fun training for the biggest day of our lives together!

First half marathon

You’ve read that right my friends, I will be running my first ever half marathon at the end of this month!

This has always been seated right at the top of my bucket list and I finally gained the courage to sign up and just do it. However, I am a wee bit nervous… okay, much more than just a wee bit. I began my training about six-eight weeks out from the race day BUT last week I neglected my Brooks due to health issues and now I fear that I won’t have the appropriate amount of training.

I must admit that I am not running for time in this race. Because this is my first half marathon, I just want to cross the finish line and be happy with that!

This will be step #1 in my Pre-bride fitness checklist (coming to you guys soon)!

Does anyone have any advice to calm my nerves?! How did your first half marathon go?

Wedding Motivation

A month ago, today, I got engaged! It was a wonderful surprise and life has been a whirlwind ever since the big day.

ENGAGED

We picked our wedding date as August 9, 2014, which means I have 11 months to get into the shape that I would like to be on one of the most important days of my life! Are there any other bride-to-be’s out there trying to tone it up before the big day? What fitness plans are you getting the most progress from?

I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me but… yipee! I cannot wait to marry this man.

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abc’s of me

Happy Sunday! Instead of my regular post, today I’d like to do a survey I’ve seen floating around the blogging world. Maybe you’ll learn a new thing or two about me!

The ABC’s of Me

Attached or Single?
Attached. My boyfriend’s name is Josh and we’ve been together for a little over a year now. He’s a great guy and the perfect boyfriend!

Best Friend?
I have three!

My mom has been my very best friend since birth. She knows my imperfections like nobody’s business, but she has always accepted all of my decisions and has been there rooting for me since day one.Mom

My best friend since elementary school, Amanda, has been the one girlfriend I have remained friends with all of these years. We can go months without seeing each other and then get together again, just like we never skipped a beat!.facebook_-838639690

My boyfriend, Josh, has been my best friend since I met him. He gave me good advice (about other guys) and was always there to support me. We have always had a lot in common and we can always have a good time.
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Cake or Pie?

Cake! Would you believe me if I said that I’m not much of a pie lover? There is something about baked fruit that just doesn’t sit right with me. Now, if we’re talking French silk… I’m game!

Day of Choice?
Sunday. I love how laidback and relaxing Sunday’s are. I usually revolve the last day of the week (or first, however you look at it) solely around family time and relaxation.

Essential item?
My phone! That thing is my life. I have my schedules, workouts, contacts, grocery lists, reminders, etc. on there.

Favorite color?
I don’t think I have a favorite. I guess if you took one look at my house, you would assume that I love the color brown, but I’ve always considered coral or green to be my favorites.

Gummy bears or worms?
Gummy bears! Unless, we are talking sour gummies, then worms all the way.

Hometown?
The beautiful La Crosse, Wisconsin. I was born and raised here and don’t know if I’ll ever leave. It’s a beautiful city!

LaCrosse

Indulgence?
If you put ice cream, cookies or cake in my face.. I will never say no. Sweets are my weakness and I have a hard time passing them up when they are available.

January or July?
July! I feel as though once it is warm outside there is always fun to be had. July is full of family time and events in mine and Josh’s families.

Kids?
I don’t have any children myself, however Josh does have one son named Jordan. He’s 11 and awesome! Hopefully there will be an addition to our little family in the next 2-3 years though.. We’d like to have 2 more!

Life Isn’t Complete Without?
Family, food and fitness!! Those three words are basically my life in a nutshell.

Marriage date?
Next Spring/Summer. I’m waiting for an official proposal.. so, we will get an exact date once that happens! (wink, wink)

Number of brothers and sisters?
I have one brother. His name is Tyler and he is 19. Him and I have always been polar opposites, but that doesn’t make me love him any less that I do! He always has my back and is very protective…even though he’s my younger brother.

Tyler

Oranges or Apples?
Apples, hands down!

Phobias?
Will you laugh if I say that I’m afraid of the dark? I’ve always been freaked out about it.. probably more so than kids are nowadays.

Quote?

”Even
After
All this time
The Sun never says
To the Earth,
”You owe me.”
Look
What happens
With a love like that.
It lights the
Whole
Sky.”
-Hafiz

Reasons to Smile?
God, My boyfriend, my health, my family, my good fortune.. I could keep going!

Season of Choice
I’m lucky enough to get the experience of all 4 seasons each year. I would have to say that my favorite season would have to be fall. I love the colors of the trees changing and I love the anticipation of the late fall and winter holiday celebrations. It’s my absolute favorite time of year.

Tag 5 People
I don’t really have blogger friends yet… hopefully I’ll make some soon though!

Unknown Fact About Me
When I was 7, I won a tractor pull! I was first place against all boys. It was a very proud moment for my parents and I grew up believing I was as strong as one of the boys!

Vegetable
I will have to go with peppers for this one. Any kind of peppers! They make their way into almost every single dinner that I make and I could never get sick of them.

Worst Habit?
I like things done my way. Especially when it comes to cleaning the house.. I complain if I don’t get enough help, but I complain if it isn’t done the way that I would do it.. so I just end up doing it myself. I need to learn to count on others to do the job right!

X-ray or Ultrasound?
I have had 1 x-ray and multiple ultrasounds. I think either are fascinating!

Your Favorite Food?
I make this simple spicy sausage and peppers skillet. It’s easy and absolutely delicious. I end up making it at least once a week.

Zodiac Sign
I’m a leo! Fiesty and independent, however I don’t look at my horoscope on a regular basis.

Your turn to fill out the abc’s!

beautiful you

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you starting your day off well.

Like I had mentioned yesterday, I had a lot to do. After a full shift at work I met up with my best friend Amanda and we had a late lunch/early dinner date. It was so good to catch up with her! As we were talking she was telling me a little bit about her weight loss goals; how she had never thought she would be where she was and she wanted to kick it into gear and reach her goal.

Then it dawned on me… every person sees themselves differently and every person carries their weight differently. Have you seen the photo floating around the internet?

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Each one of these beautiful women weight 150lbs. Would you be able to tell that by looking at them? No way! Everyone carries their weight differently. Do not be a victim to the scale. The scale tells you a number that will not break you. I stopped weighing myself last year because I wanted to base my fitness goals solely on the way I look and feel.

So many women fall victim to the number on the scale and feel as though that is what dictates your health/weight loss/fitness goals. I’m here to tell you that these women are incorrect and have been falsely mislead by the media. Let your renewed energy, your enhanced mood, or your sore body dictate how well you are defeating your goals… not a lousy number.

I hope all of you ladies realize how beautiful you are and how amazing your bodies are. Think of everything your body can do! Now, imagine molding your body into the body you’ve always wanted. Start by making your body a healthy body and keeping your mind focused on how well you are doing. Keep up your positivity and confidence ladies!!!

Stay focused on your goals today and remember you are beautiful!