Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thankful Thursday 2010

This is the last Thankful Thursday post of the year! I can't believe that in two days it will be 2011.

This year, I have been most thankful for...
  • Finding a home church that we feel comfortable in.
  • God. Of course.
  • Meeting new friends.
  • Completing and earning my Bachelor's degree!
  • Being able to visit family and friends in California.
  • Vacations. North Carolina and California were great!
  • Starting my teaching career.
  • Family and friends that are supportive and loving.
  • Phil finally proposing!
  • Being able to plan a wedding. It is so much fun!
  • Moving to a bigger and nicer apartment.
  • Philip. He is the most caring and supportive man.
  • Being able to take a month off of work during my job transition.
  • Losing 11 pounds. Not as much as I was hoping, but it's still a good start!
  • Feeling blessed beyond measure.
This is just a short-list of what I could think of. 2010 has been such an amazing year! What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Engagement Pics Part 2

It's been long overdue, but we finally ordered and downloaded some of our favorite engagement pictures from our amazing photographer. We were so happy to be able to have the opportunity to take pictures with her before the wedding, so we would know how she operates and she would know how unphotogenic we are.

I love how happy he looks



I just love this one!

Isn't he adorable?!

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Growing Up

I feel like I've grown up a lot since moving. The summer of 2007 was when I made the life-changing decision to leave my family in California and move to Virginia. I was completely unaware of where my life was going to take me and what that decision would lead me to, but in order for me to grow up, I needed to figure things out for myself.

It was a hard adjustment at first, but it got better when I was able to visit my family and see how much I had grown. I left what was comfortable and familiar behind with my family in California and I was making a life for myself out on the East Coast. It was different, but I had a great support system and I learned a lot about who I was and who I wanted to become....and so, the transformation began!

When I stop to think about it, I notice how different I am now. I value different things and want different things. Instead of throwing any "extra" money I get into something that I want, I would rather put it into savings or towards something that I need. I absolutely love finding good deals and ways to save money. I'm learning when to spend more money on something upfront and when it's ok to take the cheaper route. I would much rather watch a movie on Netflix then spend the extra money it costs to go to a theater...plus, I hate movie theater popcorn!

The best thing about growing up is finding the man that God has for me and accepting him the way he is. God has opened my heart and my mind and has blessed me with such an amazing man who inspires me to constantly strive to be a better person and who supports me every step of the way.

Growing up isn't always fun. There's bills to pay, jobs to work, and a home to take care of, but it has led me to a better place and a great man.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Break!

Christmas break is finally upon us! I am so excited to have some time off and be able to unpack and relax. In fact, I can't wait to go home, vacuum, and finish things up for Christmas. Phil is coming over after work and we are having dinner with some friends tonight. We're pretty much done with our shopping, except for a couple of little things, and I can't wait to give Phil his present!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wedding Wednesdays



Response cards are sent out for people to respond, right? It appears that with every wedding, there are a number of people who either respond late, or do not respond at all. This tends to make it incredibly difficult when it comes to planning out tables and giving the final head count to the caterer/reception site.

Originally, I was not going to do response cards because it felt like it would be a waste of postage when they weren't sent back, but I folded to the pressure of being "proper" and sent them anyways.

We were lucky to receive most of them back by the RSVP date on the card, but we still have a number of guests who have not responded. I have decided that I will wait until after the holidays and start contacting those who have forgotten to respond.

In the event that people just don't respond...what do you do?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Grocery Shopping

aka...the greatest grocery store ever (according to Philip)

Phil was able to come over this afternoon and help me get back into my apartment after the flea incident last week. We had to bring all of my clean clothes back in, wash my sheets and comforter, make the bed up with clean sheets, and run to the grocery store.

I decided to take Phil to Aldi's since he loves saving money and groceries get expensive. Aldi's can be significantly less expensive and their food is pretty good. The one downside...it's way smaller than most grocery stores so it doesn't offer everything at a larger store, but it does carry most of the things we need.

Let's just say that I've never seen Phil so happy and excited in a grocery store EVER. Usually, when we go grocery shopping, he's groaning at the cost of the ever growing list, but this time he was shocked when he saw the prices! He had no problem picking out what we needed and was scouring the aisles for great deals. When we left, he even said that we would have to do this again because he loves saving money and he loves that I picked Aldi's to go to and he loves when I save money! It was pretty awesome.


Monday, December 20, 2010

New Traditions

This year will be the only Christmas that Phil and I will be engaged. The last two Christmases, we were dating and next year we will be married! With this said, I've decided that it's time we start our own traditions.

Last year, on Christmas Eve, we exchanged the stockings that we filled for each other. We also went to our church's Christmas Eve service. This year, we decided not to do stockings (because of the move). We will still go to the Christmas Eve service, but I am hoping that we can watch a Christmas movie or something together.

Christmas day will be a little different this year. The past two years I have stayed with Phil's family and had Christmas morning at their house. Every year I get frustrated because they don't do anything in the mornings, in fact, they don't open Christmas presents until Noon! Oh the horror! Since they don't really do much in the mornings, I figured that Phil and I could spend the morning together and I would start the tradition of making this for breakfast...
Don't these just look so good?!

After breakfast, we'll head back to his parents house, open gifts, and have Christmas dinner.

This year will be awesome, but I can't wait until next year when we'll be Mr. & Mrs!

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Been a Crazy Week

This has been a very challenging week. I found out that the new apartment had fleas. It was a struggle to get an exterminator in to take care of the issue, but we were finally able to get it taken care of. The apartment complex wanted to use one of their contractors, but it would have taken them an entire week to get them in and they wanted to fog the apartment rather than use a non-toxic spray. We found out that fogging will only take care of the adults, but will leave the eggs unharmed resulting in more fleas two weeks later. We decided that the out of pocket cost of calling in our company was well worth it. There were enough fleas that I had to stay with Phil's family--that is how bad it was.

Phil and I both took off today to make sure we could get what we needed done before we head to Virginia this evening for a Christmas party at my friend's house. It has been too long since we've been down for a visit and I can't wait to see my friends down there.

Hope you all have a great weekend...I know we will!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Weekend Recap

This weekend was definitely a busy one! We had a lot going on and I must admit that I can't wait until things "settle down" a little bit.

On Friday it decided to snow! It was one of those unexpected snows which meant the roads were pretty bad and some of the kids couldn't go home right away. I was lucky enough to have a co-worker drive me home in her 4-wheel drive vehicle. Phil met me at my apartment and since the family dinner was cancelled, we were invited to play Texas Hold 'Em with some friends!

Saturday was a lot of fun. Some of the people from my church and I went to the Baltimore School of Massage and got massages. When we showed up, we found out they had a 2 for 1 special so it only cost $12.50 for a 50 minute massage! Once we left, we headed over to Red Robin for lunch where Phil met us. It was a lot of fun and Phil and I shared a Red Royal Burger...it was so good. After lunch, we met with Phil's parents and went to the Christmas tree farm. After walking around for a long time in the cold, we finally found our tree....I'll post some pics of it soon. We were able to get the tree set up and order this kitchen cart for extra prep space before we headed out to babysit for a friend.
Sunday morning was super interesting. I woke up to find out that the electricity was off. I was concerned since that meant no home phone or internet, but luckily, it was fixed within the hour. Phil and I managed to run to Homegoods and Walmart before meeting his dad to go through the apartment and do the checklist to turn into the leasing office. I was able to build the shelf-thing to go over the toilet and Phil hooked up the Wii, home theater system, and vcr so that I would have things to do this week!

My camera came in and I did take some pictures of the tree. I just need to download them onto the laptop and they should be posted soon!

Did anyone else do anything interesting this weekend?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fun Friday

This weekend I have a lot of things planned, as usual. I thought I was going to have a free afternoon today, but I was called last night and asked to sub for Kindergarten. Since I work part-time, I try to take all of the subbing I can get. After work, Phil is going to meet me at my new apartment and pick me up on his way home to meet with his family for "Friday night dinner."

Saturday is starting off with a much-needed massage! I seriously can not wait. My back has been screaming with pain and has been cramping on a regular basis. It will be nice for my back to feel better again. After the massage, I am meeting up with Phil and his parents to go to the Christmas tree farm and get a Christmas tree! I am hoping that he and I will decorate the tree and the apartment. Saturday evening, we are babysitting one of our friend's little boys and I am sooo excited. He is super cute and a lot of fun. Hopefully, my new camera will come and I will be able to take some pictures of the tree and the apartment.

Sunday was supposed to be a relaxing day, but is now a "clean the old apartment" day. Fun times. I am hoping to get it done in this one trip since we've already done some cleaning this week and it sucks.

Somewhere, in all of this busy-ness, we need to get more boxes unpacked, take a trip to the grocery store, and figure out some stuff in the apartment.

We're busy now, but it will be worth it when it is finally done.

What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am most thankful for...
  • Moving. Everything is over at the new apartment and it feels so cozy.
  • Family and friends that help move.
  • Having our first "dinner date" with friends tonight at the new place.
  • Working part-time. It's so nice to be able to have the extra time to figure things out, although I'm usually booked anyways.
  • Phil. He is more than I could have ever wanted and exactly what I needed.
  • Christmas. I love everything to do with the season...not to mention the fact that with out Christ, Christmas would be obsolete.
  • Yummy food. Enough said.
What are you most thankful for this week?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So What Wednesdays


So What If...
  • I have a million more boxes to unpack. I have a lot of stuff and putting it away can be a lot.
  • I haven't been to the gym consistently in months. Life has been hectic and I've been enjoying it.
  • I don't want to have kids right away when we are married. We want time to enjoy ourselves being married and save more money before we have a child.
  • I like real Christmas trees. They're better than fake ones!
  • I skip the morning devotionals every now and then. I've been exhausted and that extra half-hour of sleep really helps.
  • I change my lesson plans regularly. I really try to make the right decisions for what my classes need and sometimes that is a day off from learning and sometimes that's going over the same lessons to make sure they get it.
  • I haven't slept at my new apartment yet. We're still getting the basics unpacked and I refuse to stay there if I can't even shower.
What are you saying "So What" to this week?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekend Recap

Moving day was Saturday. We had a 15-foot moving truck, a pick-up truck, SUV, CRV, and a van to help move and we still have to go back today to get the rest of the boxes. Clearly, I have way too much stuff for one person.

The move went well and the furniture is where it needs to be. My job was to stay out of the way, pick up lunch, and point and tell people where things go. It was awesome!

The apartment looks great with all of the furniture in it and I can't wait to actually sleep there. I am in the process of trying to get internet and phone hooked up there after our horrific experience with Comcast on Saturday.

This afternoon, Phil's mom and I are going to get the rest of my stuff from the old apartment and move it in to the new one and continue the unpacking process. She is such a huge help because she has so much energy and is quick to unpack.

Last night was the Christmas tea at church. I have been pretty busy for a while now with selling tickets and the ticket sales starting in October and ending last night at the tea. I also hosted a table and my friend, Nikole, graciously stepped in to be the co-host kind of last minute. The tea was lovely, as usual, and it ended with Phil and I being Mary and Joseph for the reading of Christ's birth. It was great to be able to have so many women there having a great time and supporting Compassion and our church with the child-survival project we support.

I will post pictures soon...I have a new camera in the mail and plan on using it!

Friday, December 3, 2010

We Have a Full Day Ahead of Us

Moving day is tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited! There's still a few small things to pack, but all of the big things are packed away in boxes, labeled, and have a post-it on it with a color to show what room it belongs in. Yes, I am one of those people when it comes to moving.

I am also loving my job right now. It gives me so much flexibility and allows me to change things last minute. That's the great thing about being a teacher!
We still have a lot to do today that is not packing related, but that's ok. I welcome other things at this point. Some of the things we have to do today are:
  1. Go to the Circuit Court to get our marriage license (yay!)
  2. Go check out and decide on the tuxes the men are wearing.
  3. *Hopefully, pick up the key for the new apartment!!!
  4. Get Phil's desk and computer ready to move. It would be a lot easier to do now with the truck we're getting rather than waiting until February.
  5. Finish packing my apartment.
  6. Go to the bank to get the certified check for the first month's rent.
  7. Pay rent at my other apartment.
I'm sure there's tons more, but that's all I can think of right now.

ps...I'm also ecstatic that our wreaths came in and the bridesmaid's gifts came in today as well!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wedding Wednesdays

Figuring out the bridesmaids' gifts were easy. I knew exactly what I wanted to give them and it was just a matter of finding out where to get them from and buy them. Unfortunately, this was not the case with the groomsmens' gifts.

With Phil being the groom, I really wanted him to think of something to give the guys. I should have known better! Phil is such a great man, but when it comes to deciding on gifts for people, he tends to have no idea what he wants to get them and waits until the last.possible.minute.

I had been asking him for months what he would like to do for the guys, but he had no idea. None of the "traditional" gifts seemed to match any of the men. We even thought of doing individual gifts, but that was even harder to think of. We really wanted the gifts to be useful and not too cliche so, we sat there and thought about it again and again and finally came up with this...


A monogrammed leather wallet.

We figured that a wallet is something that every man uses. The website we ordered them from even had great reviews for these! The best part is that Phil really liked the idea and seemed happy and relieved to have finally found the gifts to give the guys.

What did you give your groomsmen?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So Not a Fasionista

I've come to realize that I'm probably never going to be that girl...you know, the fashionista. I can't imagine spending so much money on labels and so much time picking out the "perfect" look. Sure, I want to look nice, but the truth is that I don't really see myself putting in all of that effort. I'm the girl who spills things on myself while eating, loves flip flops and hates shoes, and would rather be comfy than stylish. I just can't see myself ever being that girl who can pull certain clothes off and take risks with what I wear.

I realized all of this as I walked out of my house today wearing a tank top, zip-up hoodie, Phil's work-out shorts, and ugg boots. And, yes, I really did that and I'm comfy.

Monday, November 29, 2010

How Much Is Too Much?

Every year Phil and I really make sure to do Christmas "right." We get each other great gifts and really put a lot of time and effort into picking gifts for our friends and family. Usually, we have a loose budget when it comes to giving gifts around the holiday season (mainly because I just have to get everyone the.perfect.gift), but this year we are sticking to a budget.

I must admit that it makes me happy to not go "overboard" this year with gifts. I love Phil and I don't really feel the need to buy him something extravagant. I would, honestly, rather give him a couple of small gifts and focus on spending time with him. After all, this will be our only Christmas being engaged :)

As for friends, I think a smaller budget than what we usually do will work out well too. It's more about the company and friendship anyways, so why should we insist on spending more than necessary? You can be just as thoughtful getting something small that means a lot to that person.

I guess what it comes down to isn't about just finances. It's about showing people other ways that you care. Sure, Phil still wants us to have a Christmas tree at the new apartment and I still want to put up our decorations there when I move in, but I'm not going to go all out buying new things every season.

This year, I would like to focus on the company of friends and family instead of seeing how much it will cost us to make them "happy."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

One Week to Go

In just one week, I will be moving! Things are coming along nicely and I can attribute that to lots of help from my friend, Amanda, Phil, and Phil's mom. In fact, my room is filled with boxes at the moment and I'm ok with that. Knowing that I have lots of love and support means the world to me and it makes the whole process less overwhelming.

I still have things to do, but it's looking like it's finally coming together.

Friday, November 26, 2010

In the Spirit of Giving...50 Free Christmas Photo Cards!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I can now, officially say that with Thanksgiving behind us. What I love about Christmas is the spirit of giving. Who doesn’t like the joy they get from giving something to someone and seeing how happy it makes them? Well, this year Shutterfly is offering 50 free photo Christmas cards to every blogger! How cool is that? I mean, I love free things and the fact that this is happening so close to a major spending time (you know, Christmas, moving, the wedding…) that I am so thankful to have this opportunity.


Here are a few of the photo cards I love…





I love the fact that they have so many different cards to choose from. I literally searched through pages and pages of cards…the options are endless! I’m looking forward to sending out Christmas cards this year with one of our engagement pictures on it. I think it will be a nice way for everyone to be able to share in this special time for me and Phil.

Shutterfly also has a lot of other great things that can be personalized. They have wall calendars, thank you cards (great for after Christmas), and birthday cards. To check these out you can click on the bold words :)

If you would like 50 free Christmas cards, it’s easy! All you have to do is click here: http://bit.ly/sfly2010 and follow the directions. Go…like, now and do it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Next Year...

This time next year...
  • I will be married.
  • My apartment will be unpacked and it will be "our home" together
  • I will have visited two countries outside of the US.
  • I will be even more thankful for family and friends.
  • I will be able to call Phil my husband :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stressed.

Stressed. Overwhelmed.

That is exactly how I feel. There's too much going on and everyone expects so much from me right now. I can't handle it. I feel like I'm drowning and there's no way out.

Phil has been super supportive and I thank God for him. I couldn't do this without him.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

I have around 6 personal training sessions left and three months until the wedding. My first thought was to buy more to get me through the wedding, but then what happens after the wedding? Personal training is expensive and I know that we won't be able to afford me to have a trainer for the rest of my life. I mean, I love the idea of having a trainer to motivate me and tell me what to do and talk to me the whole time to keep my mind off of working out, but seriously?

It's been no secret that I haven't been thrilled with my current gym. I've looked into other gyms in the past and decided that with the move, I should continue to look closer to my new place. So, I looked and you know what I realized? Unless I have someone holding my hand (aka a trainer), I probably won't go on a regular basis, so why pay for it? We don't really need to spend all of that money on a trainer or a gym membership, so why not just cancel it and figure something else out?

I've been thinking about this for weeks now and I finally have my conclusion. If I'm not going to go, then we shouldn't waste our money. Phil's parents have a perfectly good treadmill at home, they also have an exercise ball and Phil has some adjustable weights that I can use while being there and the new apartment has a fitness center I can use.

I've come to the realization that I can't have someone "holding my hand" through the weight-loss process. I need to take responsibility for myself and make it happen. I've had trainers before and I know what to do...now, it is up to me to make it happen. We have the equipment, so, let's use it!

I'm working with Phil on a goal for me to attain. We've been talking about our budget and establishing weekly allowances for all of the little "extras" we spend on. I was thinking that maybe, in the beginning, I could earn my allowance by working out. Each day would be a set dollar amount and we would set limitations. I'm also looking into a "workout planner/scheduler" where I can write down what I did each day or check off all of the days I've worked out.

Basically, I'm trying to figure a way to motivate myself to do what I need to. No one can make me do this, it has to be my decision. I'm tired of paying for people to tell me to do what I already know how to just because I don't want to do it by myself. It's time for me to get motivated and stop wasting money!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Let me be honest, I've been completely overwhelmed lately, so it's probably a good thing that it's Thankful Thursday. Hopefully, this will help remind me of all the good things in my life.

I am thankful for...
  • My fiance who is supportive of my at all times and lets me cry on his shoulder (or over the phone).
  • Netflix. I can now stream videos and have them delivered to my door and I don't have to drive to the store to get them.
  • This is the last day before Thanksgiving break! Tomorrow is conference day and we are going to an ACSI Convention for a couple of days, but it's still freedom!
  • Time to try to play catch up on my days off.
  • A new apartment that I will be moving into.
  • Phil's official confirmation that his job came through! It only took a few months, but it is here.
  • Family and friends.
  • Having a future Mother-in-Law who will help with getting addresses and field questions from family members about the wedding.
  • A new candle. Glade "Sugarplum Fantasies"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wedding Wednesdays--Funny Story

This past Sunday, Phil and I went with his parents to sign the lease on the new apartment! It was nice to have his parents there to make sure that everything in the lease was "standard" and there would be no red flags. We were reading the lease and got to the Animal Addendum which states that we are not bringing any pets. It also has breed restrictions for certain dogs. I was joking around and said that, because of the breed restrictions, he wasn't allowed in the apartment. Well, this prompted this conversation...

Dad R.: "Well, Philip, I didn't know you were an animal!"
Phil: "I guess you're just going to have to ask Kathleen about that after we get back from the honeymoon!"

Yes, my ultra-conservative fiance just said that to his even more ultra-conservative parents. My response...
"Well, at least then we'd be married!"

It was just the thing we needed to break up the boringness of reading the lease.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spoiled Much?

Last night, Phil came over to help me because I was incredibly overwhelmed with the move. My back has really been acting up lately, so I have to watch what I do and make sure to not over-do anything. This, of course, puts a huge damper on the situation.

Because he was coming over after work, he asked me to make dinner. I had been cleaning on and off all afternoon and had no meat thawed, so I decided to make spaghetti. Easy and simple. Phil likes spaghetti and I thought it would be the easiest thing to make at the moment.

After dinner, Phil cleans up the kitchen and is basically awesome...seriously. When he went to leave, I asked him what he thought about dinner and his response? "It was ok." What?! Ok, in my mind is not a good thing. It basically means...eh, whatever.  When I asked him why it was just ok, he told me that it's because he's used to me "Spicing things up," and giving things more flavor!

This, my friends, means I have spoiled him. I can no longer just make spaghetti with Ragu or something, I will always have to "add more spices and flavor." What have I done?

Monday, November 15, 2010

What I have to do...

I have a short list and a long list.

Today 
  1. Buy packaging tape.
  2. Get gas in my car.
  3. Buy a wreath hanger.
  4. Fill out the Compassion card to sponsor a child.
  5. Clean the kitchen.
  6. Clean the bathroom.
  7. Make dinner.
  8. Start packing.
The Long List
  1. Clean and pack the bedroom.
  2. Pack up the living room.
  3. Pack the kitchen.
  4. Go through the closet and donate "unwanted" items.
  5. Pack the closet.
  6. Call Comcast and get them to move our service to the new apartment.
  7. Switch over BGE.
  8. Switch renter's insurance to new address.
  9. Put in an address change form.
  10. Pack the bathroom.
  11. Talk to the gym, switch trainers, and buy more sessions.
  12. Actually go to the gym to work out.
  13. Go shopping for new clothes.
I'm sure that I have so much more to do, but that's all I can think of for now. I will be gone for an ACSI convention for school Sunday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon so that gives me even less time to get everything done.

And, I got an email from my landlord saying that she will let me know when/if she needs to show the apartment before I move out. How on earth am I supposed to keep the place looking ready to show when I will have boxes packed up all over the apartment?

Somebody help me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weekend Recap

This weekend was a nice mix between relaxing and getting things done.

Saturday
Saturday morning, Phil and I lounged around until almost noon! That is almost unheard of because I feel the need to get moving and get things done. It was great to be able to relax and know that this is what we needed to do at that time. After lunch, Phil and I headed out to Ikea to try to find a bed frame and just look around. Have you been to Ikea? It's awesome...just saying. We found out that the bed frame we liked wouldn't work with our mattress and box spring, but we did end up leaving with a mirror for the entryway and these...
These are the hangers we bought for the coat closet in the new apartment.

Once we left Ikea, we went to one of my other favorite stores--Homegoods! I absolutely love walking around there. It is kind of like Ross or TJMaxx for home decorating. I was able to find two canvas bins to put up in my bedroom closet.

Phil managed to run next door to Staples and got a wireless router for my apartment! Now, we can hook up the Wii to the internet to stream Netflix videos and have more than one laptop connected to the internet!

After shopping, we went to dinner with some friends at...


and had a blast!


Sunday
Today started off much like any other Sunday with church. I found out this morning that my uncle passed away in the middle of the night. My mom is pretty upset because it was her brother. He lived out-of-state most of my life so I didn't really know him well, so I'm doing well. It's just difficult hearing my mom so upset and knowing that there's not much I can do.

After church, Phil and I ate lunch at my apartment and headed over to the new apartment complex where his parents met us and we signed the lease! We were there for about two hours reading it over and asking a bunch of questions. It went well and we now have an official move-in date of December 4th!

Because of the extra space in the new apartment, I have been thinking of inexpensive ways to make sure that when everything is unpacked, it has a place and will look picked-up. This is a huge problem at my current place mainly due to the fact that there just isn't enough space for all of my things. So, we headed out to the "big" Target by the new apartments and bought some fabric storage bins to put on the top shelves of the closet.

As you can see, we did a lot this weekend! I feel so productive when we are able to get things done and Phil loves it when we take time to "slow down", so, this weekend was definitely a good compromise.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Deal Breakers

When looking for a new place to live, we all have our deal-breakers. Some things are smaller than others, but for me some bigger things are:
  • Not having enough space to live. I know this seems simple or petty, but if there isn't enough space for my furniture and belongings, what am I supposed to do?
  • Bedbugs. I haven't experienced them, but I have heard they are horrific.
  • Pesky neighbors. You may not be able to control this, but since I've had "crazy neighbors" before, I would like some decent ones.
  • Bad maintenance. My current place has no maintenance team and things are always done sub-par.
  • Unsafe environment. I don't want to be worried about being robbed on the way to/from my car.
  • Outrageous rent prices. I'm not willing to give up my future children in order to live there.
These are just a few of my deal-breakers. What are some of yours?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am most thankful for...
  • Our application for the new apartment being approved!
  • Future in-laws who will go with us to look at apartments and support our decisions.
  • That Phil's dad approved of the apartments and was able to get out all of his questions without it being too intense...lol.
  • Phil. He is so incredible, I don't know what I ever did without him.
  • Only 3 months and two weeks until the wedding!
  • Friends who will help with all of the crafty things for the wedding.
  • Friends who let me talk and obsess about the wedding, moving, and everything under the sun!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wedding Wednesdays...Kind of

It's official...we've put in our application for a new apartment! We find out tomorrow if we are approved. It's kind of nerve-wrecking because all we're able to do is wait and we all know how good at that I am...not!

Assuming everything goes through, we sign the lease tomorrow and we will move me in to the new place December 4th. Phil won't move in until after we're married, of course, but it will still be nice to be able to have a place that we can call "ours" soon enough.

The wedding is just over three months away at this point and luckily, November is going by much more quickly than the previous months. I tell you, October was pure torture! I think the holidays give me something else to focus on and it's a nice change of pace.

There's really not a lot left to do except finish the favors, centerpieces, and bridal party gifts. A good friend of mine is coming over tonight to work on part of the bridesmaids' gifts so I'm super excited!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Apartment Searching

I have lived at my current apartment for almost two years and I can honestly say that I am ready for a better place. My apartment is only one of eighteen and is owned by a couple, not a property management team. This can be both good and bad. Good because the rent is better than other places, but bad for so many other reasons. The apartment I live in does not have a maintenance team so that means that our landlord will try to do "DIY" projects to fix things. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it seems like more of a "cover-up" for the problem

With the wedding only a few months away, Phil and I have been looking into apartments that I can move into now and he could join me after we're married. That's the plan, but there seems to be one, big problem. Apartments where we live are expensive and small. Seriously, for 660 sq. feet you have to pay $745-$860 and that depends on what "upgrades" you do or don't want! I just can't believe how expensive it is with this economy.

 Phil and I are pretty set on wanting to move. We are both unhappy with my current place and, although we could live with it, we would really rather not. We can afford it and really want to start our lives together in a place where we can feel like we are at home.

For now, we'll have to see if we can find something that we'll be happy with.

Monday, November 8, 2010

McFatty Monday

It's Monday again, time to look at the scale and re-evaluate last week's weight loss efforts. In my case, they were pretty much non-existent. A week ago, I played four softball games in a two day period. My legs hurt, my stomach was sore, and my back was bad. I don't normally have too many back issues, but when it decides to hurt, it really does something to me and there is no sitting, standing, walking, or laying without some kind of pain. The pain was so intense that it was shooting down my leg and radiating from my lower back. It sucked.

Last week, the heating pad, painkillers, and a hot bath were my bff's. It was torture. So, I think it's safe to assume that the gym was not happening and the fact that I needed to go grocery shopping, but was physically unable to, meant that my diet consisted of a lot of take-out/fast food. Not so great.

The good news is that I only managed to gain one pound! I tried really hard to make sure to portion my fatty food-intake and tried to drink more water. Also, Phil and I went grocery shopping today so I have good food to eat at home and I will not be eating out this week!

My back is still very tempermental, but at least I can seem to sit and lay down without too much pain. Standing is still not-so-great, but as long as I make sure to limit my time, I'm fine. My goal for this week is to do some "light cardio" a few times this week and to start small....even if it's only for 10 minutes, that's something. I really just want to check on my back and see how it does with the cardio. I have a training session on Wednesday and will gauge how I feel at that point.

Overall, I'm happy with where the numbers came in this week and with better food and a better back, this week will definitely be better than last week!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Moving?

Moving has always been hard for me. As a child, I moved back and forth between my parents' houses a lot. It was my choice each time, but it was still hard. As a young adult, I moved 17 times in 2 years. It was rough and unstable and it sucked. Then, in 2007, I moved across the country and lived in Virginia for a year and a half before moving to Maryland in January of 2009. To say that I've moved a lot is an understatement.

Moving brings all sorts of emotions. Happy, sad, scared, anxious, excited...pretty much anything goes when I think about moving.

I mention this because the other day Phil mentioned that we might move this next year into a better apartment. We had discussed this many times and I really never thought it was an option...until yesterday. I was talking with another teacher from my school and she mentioned that her apartment complex is pretty decently priced for what you get. I immediately, looked on their website to view prices/floor plans and called Phil to tell him. He said we should book an appointment to view the apartments available and should look into it.

We were able to make an appointment for today and went with his mom to see the apartments. I must admit, they were much nicer than what I currently have. They also have great amenities (like a pool, fitness center, volleyball court, tennis court, etc.) and are priced at a really decent rate.

The thought of moving really excites me, because I seriously dislike my current apartment, but I still get nervous thinking about it. Moving is a whole lot of work and I would be living there without Phil for a month or two before we are married.

On the plus side, he would gain anywhere from a half an hour to forty-five minutes each day because the apartment is closer to his metro stop. That also means that I would have a half an hour commute each way (which is so not a big deal). Seeing as his commute is about two hours each way, I feel that if it is worth it to him to have a little bit of extra time each day, then I'm all for it....that's love right there!

The next step in the process is to have his dad go and look at the apartments with us to determine if there are any issues with the apartment itself (you have no idea how many things he has had to "fix" where I am now to make them work) and fill out an application. We also have to choose between a one or two bedroom apartment. Since there is only a $25 difference, his mom suggested the two bedroom "just in case" we have a baby while we are living there and still can't afford a house.

As you can see, we have a lot of decisions to make. We would like to have everything figured out (and moved if necessary) before the wedding so that is one less thing we have to worry about when we get back.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloween Recap

I know it's a bit late, but I was finally able to upload the pictures from Halloween.


Bridezilla and my Groom-to-Be

The angel and Bridezilla
The Professor, Groom-to-Be, Angel, and Death
This one was just for fun...lol

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

There are so many things to be thankful for every.single.day, but today I am most thankful for...
  • Phil's job! He just got an email that they are behind in the processing of his extension, but they are working on it and he was extended!
  • Home phone, Internet, and cable. I went without it at my apartment for almost two years and we finally got it installed a couple of days ago.
  • My future in-laws. They are so amazing, kind, and caring. 
  • Time spent with Phil. We don't get enough time during the week, so the weekends are great.
  • Weekends. Enough said.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wedding Wednesdays

A couple of weeks ago I shared what one of our favors were. If you missed it, you can check out this post to see the awesome coffee favors we chose.

Well, today I got a phone call from my future mother-in-law saying that the rest of our favors came in and that she would drop them off at my apartment! Have I ever mentioned how blessed I am to be marrying into this family?! So, she came by with the box and I immediately had to open it. She was able to stay with me just long enough to see what it was going to look like. Of course, I was thrilled with how cute they were and she agreed.

These favors are different than the other favors in that they will have minor "assembly" necessary to make them "work". Basically, the cookie cutters come separate from the card and you have to do something to make the cookie cutter stay in the cut-out part of the card. Luckily, I remembered how they did it in one of the pictures so I tried it out and this is what the end result looks like...

Thanks for sharing the magic of our special day...Kathleen and Philip...February 26, 2011

I am thinking that I might want to tie the ribbon off to the side more so that the guests can see the whole phrase, but I kind of like it the way it is. Plus, it will be difficult to get it to stay in the cut-out part of the card.

The inside has a sugar cookie recipe that translates all of the ingredients to ingredients of a good marriage (i.e. patience, hugs, kisses, etc.). It's super cute and something that I hope people will be able to use.

The goal is to make sure we incorporate both of us into the wedding, so what's better than cookies and coffee?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Connected

I can not believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually blogging at home...like, in my apartment...on my couch.

For most people this wouldn't be a big deal, but the fact of the matter is that I have not had internet, tv, or a home phone since moving to Maryland in January of 2009. Crazy, right? I managed to get by without it by having internet/cable access at work and over at Phil's house, but once I started teaching and my cell phone became less and less reliable we decided to go ahead and get me "connected." I must admit, I'm thrilled. It will be so nice to be able to look up a recipe at home for dinner and to be able to check my email, post blogs, watch tv, and just surf the web from the comfort of my own home.

 It is nice to sit here and have something to do and not dread being home because the only thing to do is to watch the same movies I've seen a bazillion times or to play Wii. It will be such a blessing to be able to sit and watch a show with Phil on the weekends and not have to run to the nearest RedBox to get something to watch. It is nice to have a "local" phone number so that I will get less strange looks when I say my Virginia cell phone number.

All in all I feel super blessed right now. Words can not describe the great feeling of being able to listen to the radio (via cable service), watch any kind of tv, and check my email after working hours at home. I am hoping that I will be much more comfortable here and so will my guests who come over.

Monday, November 1, 2010

McFatty Monday

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to not care about what others think? I struggle with this almost on a daily basis. Sure, there are things that I really don't care what others think, but there are a few that really get to me. My weight is one of them.

I get it, I know that I'm heavy and quite frankly, it's hard to lose weight! There. I said it. Ok, now, let's just be supportive and not comment on every little thing that I eat that might not be the "best choice." I've lost 4 pounds since August and I worked my butt off last week compared to the past few months. I worked out for an hour with my new trainer and played four softball games where I was actually trying to run the bases. Seriously, I was on base so much that by the end of the first night, my butt was sore.

I've been really trying to watch my portions, not overeat, and choose better foods as an overall thing. I don't want to start a "diet" that I can't stick with for the rest of my life. I strongly believe that it's ok for me to have a piece of pie, or a cookie, or some ice cream without ruining my weight loss, it just has to be in moderation.

I struggle so much with the comments that other people say to me. The reality is that my self-worth does not come from what they think, but from the Lord. I no longer need to feel like I'm not good enough or that if I eat something or don't go to the gym that I'm worthless. The weight loss is happening and I need to focus on the positives so it will continue.

I've lost 4 pounds since August and I think that's fantastic! I have an appointment with my trainer this week and I'm going to work my butt off while I'm there even though my shins are sore and my legs still hurt. I will make good decisions and will start thinking positively of myself. And you know what, I'm happy with that!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

What I'm thankful for today...
  • I'm just thankful that it's finally Thursday
  • I work 9-12 tomorrow
  • October is almost over...Bring on November!
  • Wedding invitations go out in November
  • Getting response cards back in the mail
  • Getting our favors and loving them
  • Phil
  • Finding out that the root word PHIL means "to love"
  • That being a teacher, I get to give tests and quizzes and not take them!
  • For sweet tea
  • Fall. For the fall colors and lovely weather.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wedding Wednesdays

I know, I know, I've been posting a lot about the wedding, but it's because there's so much to it and I love planning it. Today's post will be a little different. I will not be talking about favors, centerpieces, or snowflakes, but rather the ceremony itself.

The ceremony is the most important thing in my mind. It is Phil and I making a commitment to one another in front of God and our family and friends. It is when he sees me for the first time in my white dress, where we pledge our love and lives to one another, and where we finally get to kiss and be announced as "husband and wife." The ceremony is what does it all.

I've been thinking about the ceremony a lot lately, mainly because we are going to have to think and choose what we want incorporated in it. It's been difficult for me because I feel pressured to do what other people think we should, rather than what I really want. Phil seems to be on the same page with me and is open to different things, but ultimately says that it is our decision. We were able to talk last night and get on the same page about the ceremony. 

I am confident that the ceremony will be lovely and that it will be just what we want. I feel that whether or not we choose to have communion, a soloist, poems, etc. that it will still glorify God and show our commitment to one another and to God. I am not any less of a person because I don't feel comfortable with some of the suggestions that people are giving. It is our day and will be worth it because I am marrying the man I love!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What's Left for the Wedding

In just four months I will finally marry the man I love! To say that I am looking forward to it is an understatement. It feels like I've been waiting for this my whole life. The wedding has been planned and there are only a few minor details that need to be taken care of before the big day.

Here's what still needs to be done:
  • Order the other half of the favors
  • Take care of the tuxes
  • Have my dress altered (appt. in December)
  • Finish the centerpieces
  • Pick out specifics of the cake (in January)
  • Hair/make-up trials (in January)
  • Print programs (again...in January when we have our final guest count)
  • Send out invitations (early November!!!)
  • Order bridal party gifts
  • Final prep (nails, highlights, etc) the week before the wedding
As you can see, there really isn't a lot left to be done. We've got it under control and I'm just doing the extra things I can do whenever I think about it and have the time. There is no way I'm going to be a "Bridezilla"! Also, I'm letting people help as much as they would like to. In fact, today I am going over to Mike's house and he and Jason are going to help me punch snowflakes for the centerpieces! How awesome is that?! I think it's great that Phil's friends are willing to help with the wedding and get all crafty with me!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wedding Wednesdays

I am happy to report that our wedding photographer (and pastor's wife) just sent us the link for our engagement portraits! She did such an amazing job and we all had a lot of fun. Words can not express how happy I am with her work and the pictures. It seriously makes me want to buy a bazillion copies of them.

Here's the link if you would like to check it out:
reese.heirloomphotographybyjoan.com

Also, I finally figured out what I want to do for favors. We are having two different favors that are being alternated at each place setting.
 
Because who doesn't like coffee in the winter when it's freezing cold outside?

Phil absolutely loves coffee, so when I saw them I just had to order them!
 
The other favor is right up my alley. Since I love baking and we both love snowflakes we've decided on a snowflake cookie cutter with a sugar cookie recipe!
 
I think our wedding definitely represents both of us very well and I can't wait to see it all come together in February!
 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wedding Update

So far, the wedding planning has been easy. All of the big things are booked and we have sent out our "out-of-state" invitations and are waiting for the replies. Next month, we will send out our "local" invitations and hopefully have our guest count by the first of the year! It has been a great experience and so much fun, but there is one thing that is difficult when planning a wedding (or any other event)...

Other people's opinions.

There. I said it. Everyone has one and everyone wants to know what we are doing and has a comment they feel the need to share. Most of the time, they are positive and I have no problem answering questions from people who are interested, but every now and then there is a rude or negative comment that gets to me.

I do not understand why people feel the need to try to disagree with us on certain things. Everyone agrees that it is OUR wedding and we should have what WE want. If that's true, then why do people try to put us down for what we want? To that I say....too bad. It IS our wedding and it's our choice what we do and do not have. Phil and I agree on everything and he has just as much say in it as I do. We are making the decisions based on how we would like our wedding day to be celebrated. So what if it's not what you want...it's not your day. You have either had (or will have) your day to choose exactly what you want and I will be supportive of that.

We see our wedding as a day to celebrate the commitment we have made to each other. We do not want to be inebriated or have our guests drunk at the wedding so there is no alcohol. Now, some people might *gasp* at this fact and think that it is terrible, rude, or tacky, but our reception starts at NOON. There is really no need to drink that early. Also, we have chosen to have a "light lunch buffet" which includes deli sandwiches, salad, potato salad, fresh fruit and veggies, and a chocolate fountain. We are not fancy people and wanted something that wasn't going to be heavy while we were dancing in the early afternoon. Plus, our cake will be amazing! We have a great woman doing our cake and everyone loves her cakes. The one thing that is the biggest for us is that we are not inviting children under five to the wedding. This is not only for our sanity, but for the parents as well. By not having young children at the wedding, it gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate and not have to worry about a crying/tired/cranky/bored baby or child. Parents can enjoy themselves more and not have to be sitting with or chasing their children around the ceremony/reception.

We really have put a lot of thought and effort into our wedding and want everyone to have a great time. Not everyone is going to agree with our decisions or like what we have chosen and that's ok. You are entitled to your opinion, but at the end of the day--it's still our choice and you get to chose if you want to be a part of it or not. Either way, we are going to have a great wedding because the most important thing is that we are finally getting married and I am marrying the man that I love.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Superwoman? Nope, just me!

Days like today make me feel a little bit like Superwoman. It feels like I've accomplished so much today and it's not even 7pm! To help you understand, let me give you a little breakdown of my day:

6:22am- woke up and got ready for work
7:35am- arrived at work and started my day (including finishing my lesson plans for next week)
8:55am-12:30pm- work

After work I went to the local "teacher's store" to try to find a lesson guide for the novel Tom Sawyer that the 7th graders are starting next week. Then, I drove over to Chick-fil-a for a milkshake since I haven't had one in forever. After the drive-thru, I went to Phil's house and printed some response cards for the out-of-state wedding invitations. I've seriously been meaning to do this so that I can get them out in the mail this week. Then...

I subbed for 1st grade from 2:15-3:15pm. The kids were great and they were all so affectionate. Teaching Middle/High School, you don't see that, so it was a nice change of pace. Now, here's where it got a little crazy...

I went to the Reese's, made brownies for tonight/my 10th grade class tomorrow, finished my homework for pre-marital counseling, thawed the chicken for dinner, made dinner (chicken bruschetta, anyone?), watched tv, vacuumed the kitchen, living room, hallway, spare bedroom, guest bathroom, and Phil's room, oh, and I did all of the dishes that I used to make the brownies and dinner.

Now, I'm here, writing a blog. Dinner was really good...I had enough to make two batches and have decided that we're going to freeze the second one so that when Phil's mom comes home from vacation, she can have a quick meal to thaw and re-heat! Phil and I have to meet with the pastor tonight for pre-marital counseling, so we "multi-tasked" during dinner and discussed our answers with one another.

I only wish that I could feel this accomplished and driven every day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Balance

Balance.

Balance is something I struggle with on a daily basis.

How much is too much? What is too little? These are the thoughts that plague my mind.

Overtime, I have realized that I'm more of an "all or nothing" person. When I'm doing well with dieting and the gym, it's because I'm all in it. When I don't go for a while, I'm not at all into it. It's hard for me to find balance.

Unfortunately, this is becoming a problem. Our schedules seems to be taking on this role--we either have a packed week or nothing at all. How am I supposed to have balance when everything is all at once or there's nothing? Clearly, I need to learn to say "no" when life demands too much, but what about when people don't listen and respect me when I say no?

Over the years, I feel that my voice has been left unheard. I used to be much more confrontational and didn't let people push me around. If I said "no", it meant no! Lately, I will tell people that I can not/do not want to do things and they not only insist on getting their way, but they will even go as far as going behind my back to make it so that they get what they want. Ummm, hello...who even does that?

At the end, I'm left feeling frustrated and disrespected. I need to learn how to say no in a way that people won't push me to change my mind.

Balance is something I'm striving for and trying to achieve on a daily basis. But, for now, I need to learn to prioritize and say no to those things that aren't feasible.

Monday, October 4, 2010

McFatty Monday

This weekend I learned something valuable. I learned that if you continuously eat fatty food, it will catch up with you. Let's do a little recap of what went wrong, shall we?

Friday:
Lunch- Wendy's #1 combo. Yep, a cheeseburger and fries complete with soda.
Dinner- Hot Dog. Just plain in a bun. In my defense, I thought I had a softball game and needed something quick.
Late at night- McDonald's #1 combo. I was starving and we were running around getting things ready for a friend's party the next day. Not the best choice, but it was good (at the time).

Saturday:
Breakfast- Raspberry pop-tarts and ice cream. I don't want to even go there....
Lunch- Charley's Philly Cheesesteak sandwich
Dinner- Taco Bell

As you could imagine, Saturday, right after lunch, I was sick. It was awful. I don't usually do that much fatty food in such a small amount of time and let me tell you, I paid for it. I did, however, redeem myself yesterday to get back on track after the weekend mishap.

Sunday
Breakfast- Protein bar and water
Lunch- Subway roasted chicken breast sandwhich
Dinner- french toast

My snacking was ok, not too great and I did have one left-over from Taco Bell on Sunday, but with talking to Phil, I've learned why I binge on food. Most days, I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with little snacking in between. This is why I am constantly feeling like I am starving and shove food into my mouth without thinking about what I'm putting in my body.

As a result, Phil and I made it a point to go to the grocery store yesterday and shop for snack, lunch, and breakfast items that I can have during the week. We also came up with a menu for dinners this week. I haven't cooked in so long because his mom cooks every night and invites me over. This week, his parents are in Virginia, so I offered to cook for Phil and his brother this week!

I am definitely looking forward to having a set plan for food this week. I feel no need to go out and buy junk food because I am prepared and have everything I need to stay on track. I am still hungry this morning, but I'm snacking like crazy and drinking water to try to hold off until lunch. It will take time for my body to adjust, but for now, I'm making good choices and focusing on that.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to You

Today is Phil's 28th birthday. It is his last single birthday and we made sure that it was definitely special this year. We were able to have a surprise party for him this past Sunday and he had a blast! Unfortunately, today hasn't started off well for either of us. He was stuck on a "dead train" this morning trying to get into work, which ended in him starting late for his shift. Luckily, he has "credit time" and can use some of that to get the hours in for today that he missed, but that means he has to accrue more of it for another day off.

My morning started with a big tension headache. It followed with pouring rain, hives on my hand, and ants swarming around my classroom. Yep, it sucked. I am praying that it gets better, but for now--it's a venti pumpkin spice latte sort of day.

Our plans for this evening are simple: I'm making Phil dinner and brownies (his request) and we are going to pre-marital counseling this evening.

Even though today has sucked so far, I still love him and am so thankful that he is in my life. He is such an incredible man and I couldn't imagine life without him. Happy birthday, Phil. I love you more with each passing day :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wedding Day Hype...not so much

I was never that little girl who dreamed of her wedding day. In fact, I didn't start dreaming of my wedding day until I started dating. Even then, I didn't feel the need to have a big wedding.

I've always liked simplicity when it comes to weddings. I feel like the marriage is more important than the wedding. The wedding is just one day in your lives together while the marriage lasts for the rest of your lives.
It has been difficult for me when it comes to planning the wedding. It feels like we're wasting a lot of money just so everyone can "experience" our wedding with us. To be perfectly honest, I would be just as happy having a small ceremony with just the closest family and friends in attendance and a cook-out to celebrate. I still want the dress, a bouquet, cake, and pictures, but none of the fanciness is really needed.

Phil strongly feels that the wedding day is important, not just for us, but for others as well. I get it, really, I do, but the price tag is what gets to me....especially when we are still waiting to hear if his job will be extended past November.

Overall, I love planning the wedding and get excited when there are things to do for it. I'm sure that I'll look back and be so happy that we decided to have a traditional wedding, but for right now it's hard to wait. The wedding is pretty much planned and there's not much to do for a while. Despite it all, one thing is for certain...I can't wait to marry my best friend.

I'm wondering if anyone else felt this way or did they focus on the wedding day and look forward to all of the special events?

Monday, September 27, 2010

McFatty Monday

This past week has been crazy for me. It seemed to be one thing after another with school, open house, having a friend up for the weekend, going to a lunch-thing for a "pre-wedding lunch" with a friend, and Phil's birthday party. Yes, it was crazy and hectic and I'm definitely feeling it right about now.

I honestly can't remember how I did last week, but it wasn't great. I've been struggling with feeling like I'm starving all the time. No, really, it's pretty much constant, unless I stuff my face with fatty foods, then I just feel fatty. It's really a win-win situation, right?

At work I try really hard to at least do snacking and lunch right. I have tomato "soup at hand" cups in my desk drawer and bring a protein bar to eat. Let me tell you, this does nothing for me! Seriously, I might as well not even eat. Take today, for example: I had a soup at hand and protein bar at 1:30pm. At 3:30pm I'm starving and have some fruit and veggie pizza (not the "traditional" type pizza). It's now 4:16pm and I'm still starving.

This seems to be a daily thing for me. No matter what I eat lately, nothing really fills me up. I can drink water and it does nothing, except maybe upset my stomach.

The one good thing is that I've managed to maintain my weight from last week! I've been keeping portions in mind and trying to not eat unless I need to whether I'm hungry or not. Either way, I am still hoping to go grocery shopping soon and cook so that I have good food to take to work with me every day.

What do you do when you're starving and nothing seems to work?

Monday, September 20, 2010

McFatty Monday


Well, it's Monday again and y'all know what that means...McFatty Monday! I must admit that this week was better than the past weeks until the weekend. This weekend we were out and about for lunch and swung by McDonald's to grab a bite. Then Sunday brunch rolled around and since I hadn't eaten breakfast I was starving and ate a lot. To my defense, I still managed to watch my portions (except for the one donut) and could have done a lot worse.

I did manage to play in two double-headers for our softball team and quickly realized that my shins, once again hate me. Ever since high school cross-country, where I was the slowest person ever, my shins have ached due to the ever-so-lovely "shin splints." Oh yes, my shins ache on a daily basis while walking and going up and down stairs. This just so happens to make exercise super painful. On top of that, while sitting and reaching for something, I pulled a muscle in my thigh! I am the first to admit that I'm accident-prone, but really?!

Even with all of these things working against me, I managed to stay within the same pound I've been fluctuating back and forth with. Not too bad if I do say so myself.

And, as promised...here is my pic for this week.

I would really love to go out for a walk in the lovely fall weather, but with my shins hurting so much, it looks like I might have to hold off on that for a while and try to do a low-impact cardio machine. My trainer had to cancel for tomorrow, but maybe I'll make it in anyways.

Here's to better weeks and getting fit!
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday!!!

Words can not express how thankful I am that it is finally Friday! Just knowing that has given me a sense of renewal today. This past week has been so busy for me and being sick was just the icing on the cake! Since this week has been so crazy I am really looking forward to the weekend. Why? Well, because we are doing a whole bunch of this....

NOTHING!!!!

Ok, well I'm sure we'll be doing something, but overall there's only two things that we are planning on doing...going to see the kids I used to watch and bringing the oldest her birthday present and softball tonight. Yep, that's pretty much it! We're going to try to keep the running around to a minimum and just relax this weekend. Doesn't that sound lovely?

I must admit that even though I love to go out and about, I'm really looking forward to some time with my amazing fiance this weekend. He's pretty happy about the weekend too since he loves to just stay at home and relax after his two-hour-each-way commute Monday thru Friday. He works very hard and needs his time to unwind on the weekend which, unfortunately, he didn't get much of last weekend so, we're going to fix that this weekend.

Well, those are our weekend plans...What are yours?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Longings

Change.

It's inevitable, but sometimes I still long for the things that were once familiar no matter how good things are now.

I long for the time where I loved the little boy that I watched just like my own child. We would hang out and nothing made me happier. It was like he was mine and God was giving me a taste of motherhood. I loved him without regret and still do. It's been three years and I find myself thinking about him and wishing to spend time with the little boy who stole my heart.

I long for the time I had in Virginia with my "Life Group." It was such a great group of people that were able to come together and have the most incredible time serving God. The people I've met there have grown so much and are great people now. It's hard to go back and see how everyone and everything has changed and that I was not there to be a part of it all, but the changes are good and seeing how happy everyone is makes me feel blessed.

I long for the time when my sister and I were close. It was only for a moment, but it was great. I miss having my sister in my life, but she's married and lives across the country. Hopefully one day we will rekindle our friendship as it once was.

I miss having a best friend that I could see face-to-face and call for anything. I miss hanging out and knowing that no matter what we said or did, we accepted and loved one another. It's difficult living in different states from your best friend. People move on and friendships come and go. I hope to one day have that kind of relationship once again.

Most of all, I miss my relationship with my family. I long to see my siblings grow up and to help them through the awkward, teenage years. I pray that one day my parents and I can be on a level where they can see and accept me for the woman I have become.

Despite all of the things that I long for the most, I am still thankful and blessed to have this life that God has given me. I have the most incredibly amazing man anyone could ask for who loves me so much. I have a great group of friends and support system who have stuck with me through moving across the country and to another state. Even though I long for the things of the past, I long most for the things of the future and for the wonderful blessings that are yet to come.

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am thankful most for...
  • God. I know this is cliche, but without Him I don't know what I would do.
  • My fiance, Phil. He's so wonderful and I wouldn't want to live my life without him in it.
  • My job. Things have been better than expected!
  • My apartment. I may not love it, but with all of the decorations, it's starting to feel more like "home."
  • FALL...pumpkin spice candles, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pie, the colors, the cool, brisk weather...enough said.
  • Friends and family.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pictures say a thousand words...

I'll admit, I read a lot of blogs. I love reading blogs because they are like a little window into someone's life. It's kind of like when you go out and see someone and wonder what their life is like...well, blogging is kind of like that, but it's ok to stalk blogs.

One thing that has been motivating to me is seeing pictures of fellow weight-loss bloggers. It's great to be able to see the difference in a picture and not just to read about it. I think I'm going to join in on that bandwagon.

I've noticed that when there are pictures, it's easier to stay focused because you actually see what you look like instead of making up excuses (especially if you wear the same thing and use the same camera). Like this one time where I saw a picture of my mom and sister walking down the road. You could clearly tell it was them, but their was a third person that we could not identify. I remember us making comments like..."Who is that fat girl walking with you guys?" Oh, it was brutal, but after we thought about it forever, we realize that we knew that "fat girl." In fact, the fat girl was ME! Wow, you could imagine the shock and horror I felt at that moment. I was mortified!

Looking back on that moment really motivates me. I need to start documenting my progress weekly with pictures and see myself in a realistic way.

Monday, September 13, 2010

McFatty Monday--Making Plans

Blair is the original creator of McFatty Mondays. Each week she posts something inspirational to share from her own personal weight loss journey. This week she talked about making a plan for weight loss and you know what...I'm a little embarrassed to say I hadn't thought of that before. It's so simple, I love to plan every other area of my life so why not my weight loss?

Planning my weight loss isn't just about saying how many times I'm going to work out each week, it goes a lot farther than that. Planning weight loss means taking time to sit down and plan my meals. I need to plan what to make, when to make it, and remember to take it with me. I also need to come up with a back-up plan for when I get hungry unexpectedly.

This seems pretty easy, but when you are "on the go" so much it's hard to get on a schedule that will actually work. For example, today I was at work from 7:30am-2pm then at the staff meeting from 3:15pm-4pm. I had forgotten to bring my lunch and was starving because my breakfast didn't fill me up as much as expected.

Things like this happen all the time. I need to start setting aside some time to make dishes and get them ready to grab and go for days like today. I love cooking, but haven't been doing as much lately. It's been easier to go through a drive-thru on my way to the next thing instead of taking a few extra minutes in the mornings (or the night before) to pack a lunch.

It's about time I've planned my weight loss. It might be difficult in the beginning, but it's worth it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Taking today off

Days like today, I just want to sit around drinking a pumpkin spice latte and just do nothing. The weather is a little cool and the rain clouds are formed right outside my window. I feel calm and at peace sitting here and quietly thinking. No one is home and it's a very calm, peaceful feeling.

Everyone needs a little bit of time to just get away every now and then. There's been a lot of change happening and this time to recoup is just what I've been needing. That meant not going to church this morning and I'm ok with that because sometimes you just need some time away from all of the pressures around.

Teaching, wedding planning, and being blessed with friends has been wonderful, but the constant pressure of needing to be "on" can be too much. I now this afternoon is booked, but for right now I feel content in being who I am and loving that there's no pressure to do anything or go anywhere.

I'm taking a step back for a couple of hours so that tomorrow I will feel refreshed.

What do you do when you need to feel refreshed?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What NOT To Do

Finding people that you can trust can be very difficult, especially when planning your wedding! I've been very fortunate to find great vendors, but not everyone has had the same experience. Here's a list of a few things I've learned along the way that can not only help when it comes to planning your wedding, but with life in general.

  • ALWAYS trust your gut instinct! This has been especially important with every vendor/purchase we've made so far.
  • Never choose someone who is repeatedly late, makes excuses, and can't remember who you are.
  • You get what you pay for! Know what you can get for a bargain and what you should spend more on.
  • Use an expert for the most important things. When it comes to altering my dress, I want someone with experience who knows that they are doing!
  • Ask friends and family for help. Don't just rely on outside help when you have or know someone who can do that same or better job for a better price.
  • Be organized! I get a lot of comments and compliments for having the wedding planned already. Not only does it help the vendors, but you are less stressed overall.
  • Know what you want BEFORE you go to see the vendors. There have been countless times where the vendors were thrilled that I knew at least an idea of what I wanted. It makes it harder on everyone when you have no idea what you want and expect them to make the decision for you.
  • Don't be indecisive.
  • Trust the experts. You are paying them for their knowledge and expertise, so why don't you trust their judgement? If they say there's too much bling in the flowers trust them!
These are just a few of the things I've learned so far. They have helped me and I hope they can help you too!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

McFatty Monday....er, Tuesday?

As we all know by now, I've been majorly slacking in the weight loss department. I did make it to the gym last week to get my butt kicked by my trainer, but that was it. This week looks like it might work out the same way. I see my trainer today, but I'm not sure about going to the gym another time this week.

I am hoping to get into a routine where I go to the gym straight after work. I work part-time and can literally SEE the gym from the window of my classroom. There really is no excuse right now other than I don't want to.

I feel like this is a never ending cycle. At some point I need to step up and start a new cycle where I don't let things get in the way. It should be about my health, not just pounds lost. It's easier to sit here and reflect upon it rather than to get up and do it.

I need to stop wanting to make others proud of me and to do it all for myself. The wedding date should not be a day of reckoning, but a day to rejoice in how far I've come and to know that it doesn't just end there. This committment has to be life-long. It has to be there when we have kids, not just so that I won't be the "fat" mom, but to show our kids the right way to do things. Exercise can be fun and if I make it a habit now, it will be easier in the long run.

I'm going to try to work out 3 times this week. It will be hard to get back into the swing of things, but I need to. I need to get back to the place where it felt good to work out.

Is anyone with me?