Friday, December 9, 2011

Giving up Control?

I have to be honest here, I'm a little bit of a control freak. I like things to go my way and know what is going to happen at all times. I like to have my expectations met and know that things are going to run the way that I have envisioned them.

Unfortunately, life is not that way. I can't be in control all of the time and there are many situations that there is nothing that I can do to change them. The thought of having chaos in my classroom makes me anxious and I have a hard time letting go of the control.

The truth is that middle schoolers need some time to be themselves and to express themselves in a way that I may not be thrilled with. Sometimes they talk too much or too loudly and don't follow rules....and you know what, that's ok. I need to learn to modify my expectations and work with them instead of against them. Middle school is a difficult time for so many kids and it's my job to educate and nurture them, not be a drill sergeant!

This is something that I will be working on. I need a lot of prayer and support to be able to look outside of myself and give the students what they need. I know that I can do this especially with God's help.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


It's incredible that I seriously thought that all of the pain that I experience on a regular basis was "normal". It's not uncommon for me to hurt if someone pokes me in the arm or for my back to hurt, but I just recently found out that this is not ok. It turns out that my body is incredibly inflammed and that is why I hurt so much all over. I seriously was beginning to think that I was just lazy and the weight that I have gained was the culprit itself. Fortunately, that's not true! Sure, the weight gain hasn't helped, but when I'm feeling good physically I actually enjoy doing things...go figure!

I am working with a chiropractor to get better. I see them three times a week and have changed my diet to eating gluten free and reducing my dairy intake to help the inflammation go down. I am hoping that soon enough I will feel up to working out again and be able to enjoy it. For now, I am taking it one day at a time.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I never thought that I would have to change my diet to manage my pain. Believe it or not, I thought that I was just sensitive to pain and that it was normal for my body to feel the way it does. It wasn't until recently that I even considered going gluten free. I read a blog about it and it sparked my interest, but even that want enough to make me try it full-time. It really wasn't until my chiropractor suggested it that I really wanted to give it a go.

The goal is to be gluten free for two weeks to see how my body reacts. Hopefully it will take down the inflammation and will help me heal completely. I have a positive attitude about it and am prepared with meal options for the next couple of days. If the inflammation does not go down very much, the next step is to remove dairy also. I am mentally prepared for that as a hopeful temporary solution, but you never know. Either way, I am going to give it my best and see how it turns out.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

On some recent good news...

This week has been a great week for me. I was able to make more clutches and decided to start sewing and selling the things that I make! It has been something that I have thought about for a while and with all of the positive feedback from family and friends, I've decided to take the plunge and just do it!

The other good news that was received this week was that after over a year and a half of dealing with pain in my right wrist, I am officially scheduled for surgery!

I have been waiting for the doctor to come to that conclusion FOREVER and after the failed cortisone injection, he decided to not make me go through it again and do the surgery!

The surgery is scheduled for this coming Thursday (Aug. 18) super early in the morning. It was a miracle to get it done before school starts as I was told that there was really no way that was going to happen!

So, this basically means that I have a little less than a week with the use of both of my hands! I am going to be sewing up a storm (hopefully) while I can enjoy doing it until I recover enough to be able to do it again. I was told that the recovery time is 90 days total, but many people feel much better in 3 weeks. I'm not sure where that will put me, but I'm happy to feel better nevertheless.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I'm sure the next few weeks/months will be challenging (and a blessing) both for myself and my husband.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I can tell my husband loves me when....

He puts on Glee radio just because he knows I like it.

He lets me spend too much on glasses because he knows it's so hard to find frames to fit right.

He does the dishes, laundry, and takes out the trash without complaining.

He listens to me go on and on and on about teaching, sewing, my cricut, and any and every show I watch.

He brings in all of the groceries every time we go shopping.

He changes the date on the calendar when I'm gone so that when I come back it's right.

He lets me use his iPod touch on a daily basis to play games instead of taking it to work with him.

He explains politics and the weather to me and puts them in terms I can understand.

He brings me ice cream when I'm not feeling well.

He takes off of work to go to the wrist doctor with me so I don't have to do it alone.

He puts gas in my car for me.

He drives so I can sit back and relax.

He sets his alarm on Sundays and sweetly wakes me up for church.

My husband is so incredible, it blows my mind every day. I thank God all.the.time for bringing him into my life!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer is Almost Over

Truth be told, I would love to be a stay-at-home wife. While that may not be in our best interest at the moment financially, I am fortunate enough to have a job that I love.

I started teaching last year after a five year stint of nannying. Teaching has been something I have wanted to do my entire life and I'm blessed to have this opportunity. When talking to most young people who want to teach, it's obvious that there is a favored age group that they want to teach. Usually, this falls into the elementary-age category.

When people ask me what I teach I happily tell them middle and high school English. This is the point where I usually get a groan! But, seriously, I love that age group. It's challenging, but  the great thing is that they are at the age where they can really think for themselves and are so insightful. Can they be a handful? Yes. However, so can any age. It's all about what you're comfortable with and how you relate with your students.

I have just under a month left until we go back to school and I'm already working on some things for my classroom. It's been nice to have the time off, but since I have to work right now, I am so grateful to have this job that allows me to grow and not be complacent. It's a good fit and I'm sure this year will be even better than the last.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Projects

One of the (many) perks of teaching is having the summers off. You work for most of the year and get an extended "break" to recover, get new ideas for next year, and have a little fun.

This summer marks the first summer where I have officially had off and let me tell you, it has been glorious! I have been doing a number of projects around the house that has been occupying a good part of my time. 

The first project that I did was to redecorate our apartment. Since Phil and I didn't live together until after we were married, it was a bit of a struggle to have to merge together all of our stuff. I mean, seriously, I have enough stuff to keep the apartment full on my own, but we had to bring some of his belongings over and we needed to make some space for it all. This project has really been more of an on-going task as new things come and go, but it has allowed me to not only go through and organize things, but to decorate as well. 

The next project was to cook more at home and eat out less. It's really unhealthy and expensive to eat out all the time and cooking is really something that I I was able to sign up at and have an affordable meal plan with recipes that we can choose from each night for dinner. Score!

The most recent project has been a favorite of mine. I am in the process of fixing up a chair for my sewing table. I found a cute chair for $8 at the Goodwill and was able to repaint it to a nicer color and I'm going to change the wicker seat to a cushion seat. I have everything I need except for the wood for the seat itself, which I plan to get *hopefully* this weekend.

As you can see, this summer has been great for getting things done around the house and I'm so happy to have another month until we go back to school. I've already started shopping and planning for my classroom, but I am thoroughly loving getting things done around the house.

What have you been up to this summer?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Growing Up

Sometimes in life you have to make hard decisions in order to grow.

When I was twenty-three I decided to leave my home of California and move to Virginia. My dad was moving to Texas and I had moved out from my mom's house. The decision to move to Virginia didn't come lightheartedly. I knew this was what God wanted for my life and when I had less than three days to get as much as I could into a suitcase and carry-on bag I took it as a new opportunity to grow.

I was a live-in nanny in Virginia for a year and a half. While living in Virginia I sent my fiance of almost three years packing. It was a life changing decision that I will never regret. Through the power and grace of God, it didn't take long to heal that wound. In fact, I began looking online at a couple of Christian dating websites to see if there was anyone out there worth pursuing. On April 15th, 2008 I "met" who is now my husband.

Six months into our relationship, God was nudging me to move up to Maryland. It was beyond scary as I found a new job, apartment, and got the first real taste of living on my own. I always had thought that when that day came, I would be closer to my parents and be able to go see them for support. With my parents both being across the country, it was a difficult transition.

I stayed in contact with my parents through phone calls and was able to visit my mom twice in California, but the reasons why I chose to move across the country had not changed. Both trips gave me a lot of clarity and for that I am very thankful.

I have been struggling with a very personal issue for years. It involves someone close to me and recently, I have had to make some difficult decisions. I love this person a lot, but in order for me to grow I need to put that relationship on hold for a while until trust can be regained.

It may cause tension between my family and I for a while, but I was very honest and have tried to work this out for a long time. Right now I need to focus on my relationship with God, myself, my marriage, and my career.

I am hoping this will work out over time and will be in prayer over the situation, but I can not allow someone to continue to tear me down. I can't control how the other person reacts, but I can control my reactions. At this point I am taking responsibility by doing the right thing to protect me and my marriage.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Perfection. That's what we all strive for, right? But trying to be perfect all of the time is exhausting and unattainable. It's so easy to think that if we just can do things perfectly, life would be great, however, how many times have you tried to do everything right and still managed to feel unhappy?

Perfection is something that I struggle with on a daily basis. I want everything to be perfect: my home, my marriage, work, family, ect., but at the end of the day I realize that I can't do it all. I can't control everything and things are not always perfect.

Right now I am struggling with a lot of pain in my back and wrist which affects my daily life. I can't do dishes without my back aching and I can't lift the laundry basket or change the sheets on the bed without having pain. I've done everything that I can to make it go away, but it's still here. Our apartment is in a constant state of disarray because it hurts too much for me to be bending and lifting to put things away.
I struggle with this because my parents taught me strive to do my best in all things and it feels like I'm settling for less because of the pain.

I have to let the need for perfection go. I don't need to be perfect. I need to be able to accept myself and my current limitations and look for the things that can still be done.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Going out to Eat

Going out to eat is one of the major things that Phil and I often disagree on. You see, I like to go out to eat and he prefers to stay at home and eat. It's a difficult thing, really.

I like going out to eat because it means that I don't have to rack my brain to figure out what's for dinner and there are no dishes to clean up. My husband, on the other hand, was brought up that going out to eat is a rare and special treat (so was I, but that clearly didn't stick).

When I was young, working three jobs, and living on my own, I often didn't have time to cook and clean up the dishes. My life was very much "on the go" and I found myself picking up something to eat for pretty much every meal. Of course, this would explain the weight gain, but I learned the dollar menus well and used that to my advantage.

Being married is a whole different ball game. Once we got married, I knew that I needed to have dinner ready for him when he came home. I could no longer just go through the drive-thru whenever I wanted. Feeding my husband became a priority.

Over the past four months we have tried different things, but there are too many times where we find ourselves going out to eat and that needs to stop.

A week ago I found myself nannying in Mexico. I ate off of the room service menu and from the groceries that the parents purchased and really missed eating at home. Last week, we were in Virginia and that always presents us with many opportunities to pick up food as well.

We have been back home for a few days now and (except for our date the night we came back) I am proud to say that we have been eating at home for every meal!

There is something nice about going grocery shopping and making the food that you know you like at home. Plus, it saves a lot of money.

I just printed out my weekly meal plan and grocery list and am excited to have some new recipes and ideas to try at home. I have a binder set up where I can store it all and have it set up for one of my husband's favorite grocery stores....

This store makes him so happy because of their low prices. We try to shop there as often as we can to get the best deals.

I am hoping that with this new plan and desire to eat at home more often that we will be able to save more money and make better choices overall. Plus, there's always the making my husband happy thing that's a benefit as well!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Last day

This is my last night here in Puerto Vallarta. This whole week has been a little crazy. I've had to get used to four kids ages 9, 7, 6, and 3. I feel like I finally have it all figured out and now it's time to go home.

I've learned so much this past week. I am not ready to have kids any time soon. They wake up too early and require a lot of attention. I am so glad that I'm not a nanny by profession anymore. It was great when I was, but I've moved on and like where I'm at now. Being a "vacation nanny" for a week is a lot harder than I thought it would be. There were set hours, but there were also late hours. I need to have regular adult conversations to stay sane. When you are a nanny almost verything revolves around the kids and so do your conversations. I'm sure my husband and I spent a little too much talking on the phone this week but it was greatly needed. I'm not sure that I would be up for another trip like this unless my husband or a close friend could come with me. The adult company and extra set of hands would be awesome.

It's so crazy how much I have missed my husband this week. Even the little things like holding hands or frequent communication that doesn't cost a bundle are missed. I can't wait to see him tomorrow when he picks me up at the airport.

Sorry for the funky format I'm typing this on an iPod.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Greetings from Puerto Vallarta

Hey! Well I've been in Mexico since Sunday afternoon and I am fortunate to have this opportunity. I am nannying for four kids ages nine, seven, six, and three. My previous bosses in California contacted me and asked me to accompany them on this trip. I have been to Mexico with them two times before, but this is the first time I've been to this resort. The place we are staying at is amazing. There are so many pools, a beach, and a separate kids area that we can walk to. We even have a mini pool on the deck where the kids can swim. I have to admit, watching four kids is a bit challenging at times, but every day is running more smoothly than the last.

Phil is still at home working and doing his thing and of course I miss him. Fortunately we are able to email throughout the day and we have had a couple of brief phone calls. He is so loving and supportive of me being on this trip but said that it's just not the same without me.

I can't wait to see what's in store for the rest of the trip. Every year there is something that we do that is a lot of fun. The kids might go swimming with the dolphins or n a canopy tour... depending on where the parents want to take them. So far it has worked out well. I don't start working until 3pm and they respect my privacy and do what they can to make me more than comfortable.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


There are a lot of things that I can do. I can cook, sew, crochet, and decorate, but I have yet to find that one thing that I'm fantastic at. You know, my niche. It would be great to find that one thing that I am exceptional at, but I'm not sure where to begin. I tend to go through each thing in phases and bounce around from one thing to the next. This makes it a little difficult to choose one. Honestly, I enjoy them all. How can I choose?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Preparing for Next School Year...

Every teacher needs to have a lesson planner. Unfortunately, the one I had last year did not work well for me. There wasn't enough space for me to write down what was needed and it made it difficult to read and fit everything in. Well, after looking through many plan books today I have come up with a solution...

I made my own! I have each grade color-coded and the best part is that there is plenty of space for me to write everything I need! Oh, and my husband loves the price too :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

One Year Down, Many More to Go...

Today was the last day of my first year of teaching. Phil's mom always reminds me that your first year teaching, you learn more than the kids do...and she is right!

This year brought with it so many positive things. I've learned so much and really can't wait to start planning for next year. Ok, maybe I do need a little break, but you know what I mean.

I went into this year with no professional experience and still came out alive! The students seemed to have learned things and I took away more than I can express. I love where my professional life is heading and am looking forward to seeing what next year brings.

Teaching can be a very difficult job. It's hard to just leave your work at work and not prepare at home for it. It's difficult to know what to say when a parent is upset with you and all you want to do is the right thing. It's difficult when your students don't seem to understand what you have put so much effort into teaching them or when they don't try and live up to their full potential.

Despite the difficulties, teaching is incredibly rewarding. Our staff is so supportive and really cares for each and every student. The parents go out of their way to say thank you when they realize that you have done all you could to help their child. And last, but not least, when you see a student learn something that they never thought that they could is rewarding, in and of itself.

Teaching may not be an easy job, but it is one that I have been called to and love. I will always remember my first year teaching and be able to look back upon it and see all of the lessons that were learned.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I've been thinking way too much lately....

Between editing 6th grade research papers, grading tests, quizzes, and homework and generally catching up from being gone for the wedding/ head hurts.

This has been a daily occurrence since I've been back. It feels like I'm constantly behind at work (and home) and that I will never get caught up! Of course, I'm almost there, but with papers mounting daily, it's a tough task.

I am so beyond thankful to work in a school where my largest class size is seven students. I do not know how I could have done it with a larger class size.

I am so happy to have taken tomorrow off. I'm taking my sister to the outlets so she and I can go shopping! It will be so nice to go during the week and hopefully miss the weekend crowd.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Crown Already?

The last couple of weeks leading up to the wedding were hectic to say the least.

-My car got broken into.
-I got really sick and had to go to the dr.
-My crown broke.

This last one was the one that got to me the most. I had a root canal while I still lived in California and after only a few years it broke. As many of you know, crowns are expensive. Hello to the $900 price-tag to get it fixed. Luckily, my dentist is awesome and said that we could wait until we got back from the honeymoon to take care of it and wait for me to get put on Phil's insurance plan that will cover 40% of the cost.

I am not a huge fan of big dental procedures. They always end up hurting for days. I went in Monday to get the impressions made and a temporary crown put on and I am still sore and I now bite my cheek in my sleep.

I am hoping that this is the last big dental procedure for a while. They are expensive and hurt a lot.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Learning to Become More Domestic

I am a big advocate for having "roles" in the house. My husband has certain duties and I have certain duties. Of course, they are interchangeable at any time, but it just keeps things flowing nicely. In order to get into a routine and for us to really feel settled I am working on a couple of things to make things run smoothly.

We used to do all of our laundry at his parent's house. Now that we are married (and he no longer lives there) we get to do our laundry on our own. I attempted to use the facilities that our apartment complex provides here, but that was a big, fat hassle! Not only do I have to find one of the two laundry rooms that have the special machine to load up our laundry card, but I then have to hope that one of the three machines are available. 
My solution: to find a laundromat in the area that is decently priced.

Grocery Shopping
I have to admit that I am terrible at making a running list. I will literally make a list the day we go to the store and will likely forget things and have to run out again a couple of days later. I am also notorious for buying too much of a couple of things thinking we ran out when we already have so much of it. Shredded cheese is my biggest culprit. 
My solution: Making a list of EVERY food item in the house. This includes how many of each specific item we have. The goal is to make a spreadsheet and update it weekly before we go to the grocery store. It will tell me what we already have, what we need, and how much of it we need. I will probably progress into how much we spend on the items over time, but for now...we'll stick to the basics.

These are my "big projects" for this week. Does anyone have any more suggestions?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am most thankful for...
  • My HUSBAND. I love being married. He is the sweetest man I know and I am so thankful for him.
  • My family. We don't see each other often, but I love them so much.
  • My in-laws. I have the best in-laws in the world. They are so supportive and helpful. I don't know how we could have gotten where we are today without them.
  • My friends. They rock.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Getting Settled

Our photographer did an amazing job with the pictures. I definitely understand why everyone says to never skimp out on photography for your big day. She was even able to have the link set up when we got back from the honeymoon and I may or may not be obsessed with checking them out.

So far, both of my parents have seen the pictures as well as my sisters, but one person has yet to see husband! He has been super busy working and when he comes home we are busy trying to settle into a routine. We were hoping to get him to see them this week, but I'm not so sure we'll have time! We are visiting with friends tonight, another friend is coming over tomorrow, friday night we have dinner with his family, and Saturday my sister is coming into town for a week. We are definitely  going to be super busy. I can't wait until we can settle into a routine. It seems that we have had something new or unexpected ever since we got back!

I can't wait to have our own system/routine set up. I think it will help determine what chores get done one what days and who has time to do them. I am so fortunate to have a husband who takes out the trash and will do the dishes when they need to be done. He is amazing and I am so happy to be able to spend the rest of my life with him.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Back from the honeymoon!

We are officially back from our honeymoon in Jamaica! We had so much fun and it was great to be able to start off our marriage with some time away from everyday life.

Being married has been so amazing so far. I feel so incredibly secure, confident, happy, and loved. The realization that he is my husband and that we get to spend every night together makes me so happy. Of course, there's some stress with knowing that I'm going to have to cook dinner every night and be more proactive on keeping up our apartment, but the benefits far out-weigh the stress of it all.

Yesterday was my first day back at work. It was nice to be able to ease into it since one of my classes is gone for the week. Phil had taken off yesterday so we were able to run a bunch of errands together. I started the name-change process (which I hope to finish today) and I can't wait for it to be official! We also went to the grocery store and stocked up so that I can start menu-planning for the week ahead and always know what's for dinner.

I have a lot on my plate this week, but it's great to be back and to be able to start our lives together. We're working on getting into a routine at night and I need to get back into the gym, but that will all happen in due time. For now, I'm just going to take it one moment at a time.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm Married...

I will work on changing my blog name when we come back from the honeymoon, but for now we are packing to head over to Jamaica tomorrow!

I will post more pics as soon as I get them....
My dad walking me down the aisle...

Mr. and Mrs. Philip Reese!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wedding Wednesdays

The wedding is in 3 days!!! The reality has yet to hit me, but I'm still looking forward to it.
The plan was to work this week Tuesday-Thursday, but with yesterday being a snow day (*yay) and me being sick, I've only worked one day this week.

I still have a couple of small things to get done, so tonight I started on the wedding programs. Most of our details were DIY and this was no exception. We managed to get our programs on clearance at Michaels for $12.99 for 30 programs. We picked up two packs.

Sorry for the bad picture, my cell phone was all I had at the moment...

I love how they came out and can't wait to finish them either tomorrow (on my unplanned day off) or Friday. Either way, things are coming together and I'm ready to get married!

Monday, February 21, 2011


This is how I've been feeling since Friday of last week. I have been in pretty good spirits, but the weather changed very quickly and my allergies came in full force and triggered my asthma. Fun times. The doctor was able to see me last Friday when I told them that my wedding is in a week and I can't be having all of these issues. They were fantastic and I am so thankful that they could squeeze me in last minute.

The prescriptions they gave me are working well and the allergies are under control. There is only one problem now...

My cough. I have this dry, barking cough that hurts my chest so much. I have tried ginger root tea, silver tablets, Emergen-C, Chloraseptic spray, Tylenol Sinus (day and night) and nothing has worked for more than a few minutes! My inhaler works to open up the airways, but the cough is persistent.

The wedding is in 5 short days and I really can't be coughing up a lung at the altar. Any suggestions? Please tell me what works and will stop this cough! The doctor is supposed to call in another prescription in the morning, but it can be difficult to fall asleep.

Other than that, things are going really well! We're having a good time with my sister in town and we're just finishing up the final touches.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bridal Shower #2

I have to admit that I love my job. I work part-time teaching English at a small Christian school to Middle/High School kids. Despite what many people think about this age group, I happen to love it. It's a great age to teach because you get them when they are at their most difficult stage and can really make a positive impact in their lives.

I guess I should have known something was up when one of my 7th grade girls started asking little details about the wedding or what my favorite dessert was. I figured that if they were going to do something, that it would probably be next week on my last day here before the wedding.

I had no idea what to expect when the Math teacher told me that she needed to talk to me and wouldn't let me leave the room to go to my next class. I was kind of freaking out a little bit. One of my students came to get me and she finally let me go. I walked to my class and there were the 7th graders saying "Surprise!" with the room decorated with balloons, decorations, cupcakes, cookies, chips, chocolate covered pretzels, and juice. It was so incredibly thoughtful and sweet. I even got a couple of presents!

The 6th grade was able to join us for the festivities and it was nice to have a day where both grades were together and we got to have fun as a group.

The party was so great and was much needed today. It really lifted my spirits and the kids had a good time hanging out!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Can't Wait!!!

My sister is on the plane AS WE SPEAK and will be here in a couple of hours! I can't wait to see her and to spend time with her. She is the first person in my family who has travelled to see me so it makes it that much more special.

Seeing as we don't have too much time to go sight-seeing (due to the last minute wedding details) Phil and I are going to try to take her to Washington DC this Sunday so she can experience that as well. I love DC and it holds a special place in my heart because that is where Phil and I had our first official "date."

I just can't wait to pick her up from the airport! Phil and I are taking her to dinner tonight and she is going to be hanging out with me until the wedding. I was told that I could take her to meet and help with my classes one day next week and I think that both she and my students will enjoy that.

Right now I'm just waiting for Phil's mom to get here so we can leave for the airport!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It's All About Perspective

In life things happen. Good things, bad things, weird name it, it can happen, but what I'm learning is that it's all about perspective.

Take Friday, for example. I woke up in a fantastic mood, ready to go about my day. As I was about to leave to go to work I noticed that something was different and that someone had, in fact, broken into my car! There was no damage and nothing was stolen.

In that moment I was not angry, but thankful. Thankful that I have a job with caring people who are understanding. Thankful that I have a fiance who is willing to let me call him at work and listen to me when I need it. Thankful that his parents are out here and are so helpful and supportive.

My car situation led to my alarm getting fixed (after months of it being broken) and the decision to get all of the doors working to be able to be locked with the alarm system (I had manual locks). It ended up being a blessing in disguise.

In life things happen and sometimes they can't be controlled, but it's all about how you view the situation and handle yourself. I think that I do a much better job at this now than I used to, but there are plenty of times where I do not handle myself well and let my emotions get the best of me.

Marriage fellowship tonight hit home to me. It's about trading places with your spouse (or soon-to-be) and being empathetic to their needs. It's about perspective and not assuming the worst possible thing and choosing to listen to them and try to understand where they are coming from and why. It's about love and what that really means and being their best friend.

I have a lot to work on when it comes to this, but I'm going to try to put things in perspective more often and think about how much it really matters in the grand scheme of things.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wedding Wednesdays (Bridal Shower)

I can't believe that the wedding is only 17 days away! I would love to say that it felt like time has flown by, but let's be hasn't. In fact, ever since we've been engaged, time has been moving so's ridiculous! Phil and I were talking last night about how surreal it is that the wedding is just a little over two weeks away. It's been 8 months of planning and preparing and there's still more to do. Not much, but a few little things.

I am so fortunate to have the BEST Maid of Honor and future Mother-In-Law on the planet! They attempted to surprise me with my shower a couple of weeks ago and it was so much fun. I seriously loved it! They even got our pastor involved to try to "trick" me, but unfortunately, my super-sleuth skills detected that something was up and I figured it out. Ha ha!

The shower's theme was Candy Land which is perfect with my future last name being Reese. They made a candy "Reese" tree with miniature Reeses and a cake that was made to look like a Candy Land board that you had to get to Reese Castle to win!

Talk about dedication...It took them THREE HOURS to make this masterpiece!

We played a couple of games...Pictionary (Wedding edition) and How well do you know the groom? For every wrong answer, I had to chew a piece of Bubble Yum. I think I ended up with SEVEN pieces in my mouth! I did really well for most of the questions!

All of the guests were good sports and a lot of fun. They even arrived early to make gingerbread houses for me to choose which one I would like as "our new home." I was blessed with such amazing gifts and had a lot of fun seeing what we got.

The Bridal Shower was definitely a highlight of the whole planning process and I couldn't be happier with how it all turned out.

Next week...the bachelorette party!

Monday, February 7, 2011

McFatty Monday

I almost didn't do a McFatty Monday post today because lately, I haven't been doing too well. 

The truth is... I'm an emotional eater. 

I eat when I'm happy, sad, stressed, tired, bored. It's sad, really. And the things that I crave the most? Ice cream, cookies, chocolate, hamburgers (particularly Big Macs), and all other sweet or fatty foods. Clearly, this is a problem.

I've been making more of an effort this past week. I went to my new gym and took Zumba last Monday and loved it! Unfortunately, it was a bit much for my back right now and I had to leave a little early due to the tightness and discomfort I was feeling, but it inspired me to go to the store to get more healthy things to eat!

I have a major issue with breakfast. There are few things that are healthy that really fill me up. I've tried cereal, english muffins with peanut butter, and peanut butter toast. Eggs just don't do it for me and more often than not I find myself driving through the McDonalds drive-thru ordering a bagel, egg, and cheese sandwich and a yogurt parfait. It's an issue.

This past week I decided to try something different. I bought some protein powder, non-fat frozen yogurt, and the Tropicana 50 juice to make a protein smoothie for breakfast. This worked a couple of times last week and really filled me up! I didn't even get hungry until lunch, but today was a different story. I got really stressed at work and was starving all morning. It sucked.

Even though last week wasn't perfect, I feel like I'm still making strides. Tonight I said no to just sitting on the couch with my back aching and yes to going to the gym to work out in the heated therapy pool. And you know what? I feel awesome. I also said no to the ice cream in the freezer and yes to a cut up cucumber and a little bit of dressing as a post work-out snack.

I feel like the big difference is that I'm trying. I may only make it to the gym once a week, but that's once a week more than I've gone in months and for the last three weeks I've been consistent. Sometimes it's about taking baby steps to get you where you want to be and I'm ok with that. You know what they say...

Slow and steady wins the race!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Planning a wedding with your family out of state can be a little difficult. Don't get me wrong, I love planning the wedding, but sometimes I wish that my mom and sisters could be here to experience it all with me. I am fortunate enough that Phil's mom has stepped in and has gone to every dress fitting and venue meeting with me and I am so thankful for her.

The fact is, my mom and sisters live almost 3,000 miles away and I miss them. My mom and one sister are coming out the morning of the wedding due to their work and school schedules, but my other sister is a bridesmaid so she has to be out here for the rehearsal the night before. We have been planning on having her come out the Thursday before the wedding, but we were both disappointed that she wouldn't be able to come to the bachelorette party and hang out.

Last week things changed. Her schedule opened up and has allowed for her to come out early! I just booked the flight and will get to pick her up on the 16th! I will have a week and a half to have "sister time" with her and she will be able to come to the bachelorette party, meet the girls, help out with the little odds and ends that are left! March, my other sister is coming for a week visit during her spring break from college! I am so excited to be able to see my sisters this year and have them visit. The past couple of years, Phil and I have been able to make it to California, but this year we won't be able to swing it with the wedding so I am really looking forward to them coming out. I am planning a couple of DC trips and to show them around. Who knows, maybe we'll go to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore and check that out...and while we're at it...Gettysburg is pretty close!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday At Last!

I haven't written a lot lately because I really haven't had much to write about. Things are progressing well with the wedding and there's only three weeks left! I am fortunate that there really is nothing that causing stress at this point wedding-related. Of course, there's still stress in other areas and that is what gets to me. I've been exhausted from it and have had a hard time the past couple of days. I am really looking forward to the weekend and being able to hang out and not have things to do. We don't have much planned for the weekend and that's just how we like it!

Monday, January 31, 2011

McFatty Monday

Let's see where we're at today...

I'm up by just over a pound from last week. This should come as no shock seeing as last week we had 3 snow days in a row giving me a 5 day weekend! Yes, I loved every minute of it, but I took advantage of it and ate too many things I shouldn't have.

Let's recap, shall we?
  • Oreos. I tend to polish them off pretty quickly. It's an issue.
  • Phil and I celebrated his news of a permanent job with steak, twice baked potatoes (with broccoli), and shrimp.
  • Lots of soda. Not enough water.
  • Friday night's dinner was laughable at best...corn dogs and shrimp. Enough said.
  • Saturday we ordered pizza and wings for lunch.
  • Sunday was a big mac combo. Once the pastor mentioned a big mac at the beginning of the service, I knew I was done for.
This week was horrible food-wise and I didn't get to the gym. Nope, not once. I am attempting to make this week better and try not to eat any fast food in the process. I was hoping to get to the gym today, but my back is really on the fritz since I did laundry and my wrist has been hurting all day.

I am starting to think that maybe changing my gym membership to include the pool might be worth it. I just bought a brace for my knee and with all of the back issues I've been having, it's starting to sound more appealing.

I am hoping to get things back on track and in order. I have just over three weeks until the wedding and I need to make sure that I can still fit into my dress since it's already been altered!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bargain Shopping

I love a good bargain, but do you know who loves a bargain even more than I do? Phil. He was raised, as was I, to shop around for the best price, use coupons, and wait until it is on sale to buy. These are great principles and we hope to be able to continue them in order to save money.

This week we were able to find a couple of good bargains at one of my favorite stores Target. I love going to Target. The store is always clean and it's pretty easy to find what you are looking for. Because I love Target so much, I also know that they put all of there clearance items on the end cap of the row. Often times, you will find me looking at things in the aisle and walking down the row of end caps looking at all of the clearance items.

Yesterday I was able to find this tablecloth on clearance. It is super cute and looks great with the color of wood we have in the dining room. We were able to find it for $10.48 and the listed price was $14.99!

I was also fortunate enough to find this duffel bag to be able to pack up a bag for the gym and have it ready to go! I'm hoping this will help to motivate me and get me there more often. This was a steal for only $7.48 and the listed price was $29.99!

I know it might not always be fun to wait for things to drop in price, but it can really pay off big-time. I'm still learning to exercise patience with waiting for certain things, but when we get great deals, it makes it that much easier for next time.

What you do bargain shop for the most?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

28 Days to Go...

There's exactly 4 weeks left until we are married! We have been able to get things in order so there is not that much left to do at this point. I have been blessed with support and help from so many family and friends and all I can say is thank you!

This week I was able to get the favors finished and packed up! We also went to the post office to pick up stamps for thank you cards and bills, paid off the florist and picked out the parents/grandparent's flowers, and had a friend help me almost finish the centerpieces! As you could imagine, it's definitely been a great week and I can contribute that to the insane amount of snow days we've had this week!

All in all things are moving along smoothly and I really have no complaints. I am enjoying these last few weeks of preparing for the wedding, but I can't wait to marry my best friend. He is such an amazing man and I love him so much.

Hopefully I can finish the centerpieces this week and be able to do a "test run" on the programs.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Being Productive

Let's just put it out there...I work part-time.

I feel so blessed that we are able to have me work part-time and that I get the opportunity to have more free time. It has been especially great with planning the wedding. I have great availability to be able to meet with vendors, go to dress fittings, and get all of our DIY wedding projects done.

There seems to be only one major problem....

I am exhausted at the end of my workday.

In fact, I am exhausted right now and I have been since 8 o'clock this morning! This leaves me wanting to go home, take a nap, and lounge around all afternoon and evening because I'm tired.

I get off of work every day at 12:30 pm. I go home, eat lunch, and run any errands that I can muster to do in the freezing cold (which usually isn't much).

We had a great sermon this past Sunday on being the best you can be to set a great example for everyone. This got me thinking that the best me is one that is productive and doesn't sit on the couch all.the.time.

Yesterday was the first day that I put this into practice. After work, I had my final dress fitting to go to. When I came home I allowed myself to go on the internet for a little while to catch-up on things, but made myself get up and get stuff done for a while.

I managed to get the gifts from the bridal shower out of the bags, threw away the mass amount of tissue paper that was there, folded up the gift bags, organized the gifts, spot cleaned the couch, vacuumed a bit, and worked on my centerpieces.

By seven o'clock, I was exhausted! It felt good to get things out of the way and not just wait until Phil comes over to help. I mean, he works over 40 hours a week and has a 2 hour commute each way to work!

I am hoping to be able to keep this up and organize my apartment and have it all ready for him to move in after the wedding.

Does anyone have any tips on staying productive and awake when you don't like coffee?

Monday, January 24, 2011

McFatty Monday

It's been a while since I've done a McFatty Monday post so I thought it might be nice to have an update.

I haven't done much in the way of exercising/dieting for months, so I didn't really have much to write about. The holidays did me in and just the fact that it's freezing outside does not make me want to eat right and go to the gym. I just want to stay inside, sleep, and eat.

After months of not going, we signed me up for the gym that's 5 minutes away from my new apartment and I finally went to the gym last week! Granted, it was only one time, but it felt good to get back into the gym and work out. I'm hoping to be able to make it a regular practice again.

Yesterday, Phil and I went to the mall and we walked so much. We ended up having to take a break because my knee started acting up, but I was still being more active. My goal is to take it all in stride and really try to enjoy this journey instead of dreading it. That's the only way to make it healthy and last.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wedding Wednesdays

If I have learned anything during the wedding planning process, it would be to be flexible.

Everyone goes into planning their wedding with at least one thing they have in mind that they think is a must, but with planning your wedding, so many things can change.

For example...
I thought that having a three tier wedding cake was the only thing that I wanted. Not two, not four, but three. After meeting with our cake lady, we've decided that a four tier might be our best option...depending on how many guests we have as the final count.

I also thought that my dress had to be strapless. Nothing else would do. Oh, and I didn't want a veil. Needless to say, this didn't work out and I'm ok with it!

I had always envisioned my groom standing at the altar with a black tux and white vest/tie/shirt. Phil didn't want to wear all white, so he's going to be wearing an aqua tie, no vest, with a white shirt.

These are all things that I'm happy about and was thrilled that I was able to accept these changes as they came along. Being flexible has made planning the wedding fun, rewarding, and mostly stress-free!

My constant thought is that no matter what, the most important thing is that I am marrying my best friend. All other things are secondary. As long as the pastor, my groom, and a couple of witnesses show up and we are able to get married, I will be happy with that. Our marriage is more important than any one day. The wedding is just a big, fun day to show our love and commitment and we will be able to look back and say that it turned out perfectly because we love each other and got married...even if things don't go as planned.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow Day...again!

Today we were fortunate enough to have another snow day. This is the second of the year and I must admit that with the wedding coming up, I absolutely love snow days!

I was super busy yesterday with appointments for the wedding (hair trial, make up trial, and picking out the cake) so I didn't get around to actually finish picking the wording for our ceremony. Since it started snowing right as we were finishing up with our cake appointment, Phil's mom suggested that I stay over at their house so that I didn't have to drive home in the snowy conditions.

I woke up this morning and school had been cancelled! I was able to leave Phil's parents' house around 11am and got home safely. After making and receiving a number of phone calls, I was able to sit down with the binders the pastor gave us, and pick out the wording for our ceremony. I couldn't believe how many choices there were or how we would like part of one and part of another. So, I sat there piecing things together until I got something I knew we would both like and emailed it to our pastor.

I think the best thing about snow days is that I feel like I can have time to lounge around, but also get things done all in the same day without having to rush anything. I made all of the phone calls I needed to make and was able to take care of things in a relaxed mode instead of trying to get through things while being stressed.

 I know tomorrow won't be another snow day, but I am thankful to only have to work two days this week since Friday is the ski trip for the grades I teach and I was able to "opt out." I'm hoping to go next year, but I didn't want to chance any injuries with the wedding 5 1/2 weeks away.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wedding Wednesday

DIY Unity Candle

Phil and I debated whether to have a unity candle or unity sand as part of our ceremony. At first, we thought that unity sand was better, but after a lot of research we decided on a unity candle. Once we had decided to have a unity candle, the next step was to find one that we could both agree on. Phil had set a budget of $30 for a unity candle set and was less than thrilled to find out that we would have to spend even more money on a unity candle holder. So, I decided that there must be something I could do to make it less expensive...I'd make one myself!

I saw this one online and wanted to imitate it.

After looking online on how to personalize candles. I came up with this...

And the close-up...

I am thrilled with how it came out! The same unity candle online would have been $30 and I spent a total of $5.50 to make this one! I can't wait until Phil can see it. I love being able to personalize things especially when we can save money doing it ourselves!

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

To Do List

I feel like I've been so busy lately. The wedding is less than 7 weeks away and I've been running around taking care of errands, teaching, and trying to hang out with friends when there's a chance. It just feels like it's been non-stop even when I have time to relax. I still have a list a mile long of to-do's that is constantly in the back of my mind.

I need to...
  1. Go to the gym. Seriously, I feel like crap lately with the lack of exercise. I want to feel great and not be winded walking up the stairs at work.
  2. Finish the centerpieces. They've been sitting in my guest room for a month now and need to be done.
  3. Tie ribbons to the favors. Again, in the guest room...
  4. Finish organizing the apartment. This is something that needs to be done preferably before the shower (that's coming up soon!) and before we get more stuff!
  5. Meet with all of my vendors. We have appointments to meet with the pastor for the ceremony and with the lady making our cake, but I need to meet with the reception coordinator again.
  6. Make the programs. This can't be done just yet, but once the ceremony is finalized, we can make it happen!
  7. Read. I need to read the novels my classes are reading 4th quarter ahead of time. Three classes equals three books.
That's just the short list. I'm going to take it all one at a time and knock them out!

What is on your to do list?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

48 Days and Counting...

Oh my gosh...only 48 days until the wedding! There's still somethings that need to be done, but overall, everything is pretty much taken care of.

I was on today and decided to read the message know, just for fun...and realized how many women are planning their weddings and are so stressed. I always thought planning your wedding was supposed to be fun. Sure, there will be some stress involved because not everything is going to go your way, but these women were writing as though this is the worst thing that has happened to them! Ummm...seriously? This is your wedding--at the end of the day, it's all about you and your fiance getting married. Flowers, the guest list, music, invitations, programs, etc., are all secondary. No one is really going to look back 20 years from now and say..."Wow, her food really sucked!" People don't remember the details years from now, instead, they remember the memories they created of that day.

I love the fact that the wedding is getting closer. Yes, there are still things to do, but at the end of the day, I can not wait to leave the wedding and reception with my husband. That will mean more to me than any amount of money we could spend to make the day "special."

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 Rocks!

Despite the days seeming to pass by slowly, this week has been awesome! I've accomplished a lot this week and have been blessed in so many ways.

This week...
  • My classes went back to their regular routines!
  • My hair and make up trials are scheduled.
  • We also scheduled a meeting with our pastor to do the ceremony details.
  • I found the base for the pillar candle used in the unity candle part of the ceremony.
  • I went to my dress fitting with my future MIL.
  • We paid off our wedding bands and picked Phil's up from the store.
  • I get to pick up my wedding ring today!
  • I found a new jacket that I can wear when I'm more dressed up.
  • We won a tv!
Today, we were also lucky enough to have a 2 hour delay because of snow which means I only worked 2 hours! I'm going to find my dad a tie to wear to the wedding, pay off the honeymoon, and pick up around my apartment.

I can't wait to see what unfolds this weekend!

Monday, January 3, 2011

It's Coming Soon!

I must admit that I loved every second of our winter break from school. Phil was able to take a couple of days off to have an extended holiday and it was nice to be able to spend that extra time with him.

The wedding is officially less than two months away! Of course, I am ecstatic and couldn't be happier. Things are coming along well and planning the wedding is still fun. Unfortunately, I am having one major problem. I am so excited that the wedding is almost here that I can't seem to get to sleep! I lay there thinking about the wedding so excited and all of the things that need to get done soon that my mind is racing and keeping me up. I try to get to bed and get some rest, but I lay there wide awake and am exhausted the next morning.

I'm hoping to be able to wind down a bit more before bed. Today I made sure to relax a little more and not put things away right before bed so that I will not be distracted with thoughts of "what more can I get done?" Hopefully, that will help.

I'm off to try to get some much needed sleep so I can be awake and alert tomorrow in the classroom. Have a good night!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bring on 2011!

2011 is finally here! Last year, I thought 2010 was going to be the year, but I have a feeling that this year is going to kick last year's butt!

2010 was a great year. I earned my bachelor's degree, got ENGAGED, started my teaching career, and moved. I grew spiritually, emotionally, and lost 11 pounds. I learned more about myself and my relationship than ever before and was able to better handle the ups and downs of life.

I'm going to miss 2010, but I know that God has so many blessings for 2011...starting with getting married in just 56 days! I seriously can not wait!

Here's to 2011. May there be plenty of laughter, faith, and love this year and may God bless every single one of you.