Planning the Races

Good morning!

I feel like it’s time to finally put a post together.  After the events of last week, I just could not find myself sitting down to write a regular post about everyday life.  I found myself completely wrapped up in the news coverage of the Boston tragedy and had a hard time thinking about anything else.  Maybe it was because some of my blogging friends were there.  Maybe it was because my closest friends and I run races and it could have happened to us.  Whatever the reason, I just felt like life was on hold for a minute…and that’s okay.

I had a lot of fun things happen in the past week that I will sum up in few upcoming posts, including driving across the state to pick up my wedding favors!  It was cheaper to drive 8 hours than pay for shipping!  My mom and I made a great day of it, but, more on that later!

Races

Running and racing season has officially begun!  I am constantly reading posts and tweets about all the races that everyone is running during the weekends!  Every year, I get a packet of registration forms from our local running club and it takes all I have to not immediately fill out the forms and register for each one!   A few of them fall close to our wedding, so I’m going to play those by ear and decide how much time I have on my side to dedicate to a race.  I’m trying to stay on top of the wedding projects, but things don’t always go as planned!

However, there is one race that is happening this upcoming weekend that, I think, Lee and I are both going to run.  The race is taking place at my alma mater, Saint Vincent College, and is in honor of an alum that became a Pennsylvania State Trooper after graduation and, unfortunately, was killed by a drunk driver while he was driving home from one of his shifts.   Anything honoring a fallen police officer is near and dear to my heart and I am more than honored to participate.  The race is both a 5K and a 10K and I believe that Lee is going to go with the 5, while I’m going to attempt the 10.

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I thought it might be a little over-zealous to think I could go and crank out six miles after running outside for the first time in months a couple of weekends ago, so I decided to test out my stamina this past weekend instead of being surprised by a lack thereof next weekend!

Yesterday was a chilly but sunny and beautiful day!  I put on some lightweight running clothes (and gloves because my fingers are always freeeezing) and headed out with five miles in my head.  I took a GU right before because I was feeling a little sluggish before I actually laced up my shoes.

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I decided to do a big five-mile loop around my neighborhood.  I wasn’t in the mood to repeat the smaller routes and wanted to keep my scenery different for the entire run.  I struggled a little in the beginning because I had a belt on for my phone and keys and it was not cooperating with my shirt.  Also, my ear buds kept falling out for some reason!  So, after starting and stopping a few times during my first run around the block, I finally got everything situated and settled in to my pace.

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I ended up doing 5.5 miles (because I can never stop on a distance that isn’t a full or half mile!) and felt great!  So, now, at least I know I can make it through this weekend if I decide to do the 10K!

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My night ended with some beef lentil stew that I had thrown together earlier in the crockpot and some snuggling with my police officer and our pups.  All in all, a nice Sunday!

Alright, friends…I hope you all have a great Monday and the week eases in for you!

With much Love and Laughter,
Kelly

Something to share: Do you like to plan your races ahead of time (obviously, yes, if you have to train) or do you sometimes decide on a whim to run one? 

Grab Your Gear!

Hola!  T.G.I.F., right!?

I hope you all have a long weekend to look forward to!  I do, however, my police officer has to work every.single.day for next six days, so boo for that.  I am going to make the best out of the situation and spend the weekend with my Bestie, lounging around her pool.  That seems to be the best way to deal with the situation, don’t you think!?

Before we embark on our long weekend, I wanted to share one of my favorite pieces of workout gear and my favorite moves with you!  I figured that a fitness post would fit in nicely with the holiday weekend so we can all put together our plans to work off all of those goodies that we are going to be devouring!

Helll-looo BOSU!  I love my BOSU!  I mainly love it because of the way it works my muscles, but I must confess that a small part of me also loves the way it looks like a spaceship.  Did that just make me super weird?  Sorry if I scared you away.  The best thing about the BOSU is that it creates an unsteady workout area that requires you to keep most of your muscles tight the entire time you are using it.  So, even though you may be using it to do a push-up to work your upper body, your core and legs have to tighten to keep you stable.  Total body workout?  Yes, please!  The BOSU is great because it can be used to work both your upper and lower body, as well as your core.  Here are some of my favorite BOSU exercises:

Upper Body:

1.  Push-Up – this takes your push-ups to another level.  I am pretty horrible at doing push-ups and I can only do a few on here, but it really works my arms, chest, and especially, my core.

2.  One-Armed Row – the row is one of my favorite moves to do because my shoulders and back are my favorite things to work when it comes to my upper body.

3.  Fly – using the Bosu to do flys is great because you have to keep your chest muscles contracted the entire time to stop yourself from wobbling on the ball.

Lower Body

1.  Power Lunges – lunges are one of my favorite lower body moves and the Bosu makes them ten times harder than they normally are!

2.  Squats – this move is my favorite move on the Bosu.  My legs shake the entire time and it feels great!

3.  Hamstring Tilts – this exercise is great for not only your hamstrings, but your glutes too!

Abdominals/Core

1.  Regular crunch – it’s important during these crunches to make sure you are centered and not tipping forward or back.

2.  V-sit – this exercise is really tough because your abs have to stay contracted to keep your back flat.

3.  Plank – this is a killer for the abs!

There are a ton of other exercise that can be done on the BOSU but these are definitely some of my favorites!  I really like using it because it gives an interesting spin on common moves that can be boring, such as lunges and crunches.  Using the ball is a great way to kick up your workout!

I hope you all have an amazing 4th of July weekend and get the chance to enjoy good food, fireworks, friends, and family!  :-D

Do you have or have you used a BOSU trainer?
What are your 4th of July plans?  Do you have any traditions?

Mini Italian Frittatas

I have the perfect breakfast or brunch for you.

I guess they can be lunch, too, since I brought two with me to work today.

The only thing ‘mini’ about these frittatas is the size.  These are packed with so much flavor, you won’t even believe it!  I don’t think I have ever made something so small with so many ingredients.  Don’t let the ingredient list scare you.  Everything is necessary and everything makes these little fluffs absolutely delicious!

I have to say…if I would ever decide to go to culinary school it would be for one reason – to learn how to chop/mince/slice efficiently.  I feel like it took me forever to get these ready to go in the oven because I am the absolute worst at prep work! I am the slowest chopper and I never know which knife to use and I think I always end up using one that is too big or too small.  Speaking of which, every time I pick up a knife to use it and I’m around my parents, my dad heads for hills.  He has witnessed too many knife accidents…like that time I sliced my finger while carving a pumpkin.  Or that time I sliced a chunk out of my knuckle while cutting a watermelon.  Or those multiple times when I was slicing tomatoes in the palm of my hand and didn’t stop at the tomato.  I wish I was better at it.  However, I’m not, so I guess I will just have to continue living dangerously in my kitchen.

These frittatas are full of the good stuff…

…like prosciutto.

…and sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, basil…

…and two kinds of cheese.  Anything with more than one type of cheese has be to be best, right!?  Well, maybe not as good as something with three types of cheese!

You just pour all of that goodness into little muffin cups.  This was completed after I spent my entire morning chopping everything!  It’s a good thing I got out of bed early to start this breakfast!  Don’t let that scare you.  I’m sure all of you out there can chop and dice and mince much faster than I can!

Mini Italian Fritattas

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), chopped

1/2 cup boiling water

2 slices thinly-sliced prosciutto, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon butter

1/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat)

1-1/2 cups fat-free milk

2 eggs

4 egg whites

1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped or 2 teaspoons dried basil

1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

Place tomatoes in a small bowl; add boiling water.  Let sit 5 minutes, drain and set aside.

In a small nonstick skillet, saute prosciutto in butter about 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk flour and milk until smooth; whisk in the egg whites and eggs until blended. Stir in the artichokes, basil, cheeses, salt, pepper, and reserved tomatoes and prosciutto mixture.

Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray; fill with egg mixture. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Carefully run a knife around edges to loosen; remove from pan. Serve warm. 

Yield: 1 dozen.

I had three of these as soon as they came out of the oven.  I had one more when the police officer woke up an hour later and ate his.  I also had one with my mom when I took her one to try.  I just ate two at work right now.  I need help.

There have been a lot of bloggers out there talking about breakfast for lunch/dinner recently.  These fit into that category perfectly!  I may even have the last ones for dinner when I get home tonight.

I hope you are all having a good Monday.  Mondays are just so hard, aren’t they!?

Cold Hands

Good Tuesday morning to you, friends!  Rolling on the floor laughing

So, I know that I’ve been lacking in the recipe department around here, lately.  I really have no excuse for it, except that I’ve been crazy busy and a little bit lazy.  As I sit here and think about what we have eaten for the past week for dinner, I can’t even think of one meal.  Obviously, we have eaten…but, obviously, the meals have been nothing to write home about.  I think there were some grilled cheese sandwiches and a Mexican rice bowl thrown in there somewhere, but that’s just a guess.   I can tell you that we had tacos on Sunday night…but you already knew that since I mentioned it yesterday.

Anyway.  Recipes will be coming up soon.  I promise.

Even though I can’t remember my dinners, I do remember my lunch from yesterday.  My co-worker, Christie, and I had a coupon to a local restaurant for BOGO entrees.  We decided to use the coupon for lunch and order take-out.

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Grilled lime shrimp skewers, a baked potato, steamed broccoli, and a breadstick.  It was definitely delicious and was the perfect filling lunch!

As soon as I got home from work last night, I changed into workout clothes and headed out to our gym to start on a new workout plan that I am going to try.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how I think I have “workout ADD” because I always start plans and never stick with them!  This one, however, seems really great and I like the way it is set up with both upper and lower body circuits mixed with cardio.

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The plan is from Muscle and Fitness Hers and this is what the workout looked like last night:

Upper Body Circuit

Circuit 1 (reps)

Circuit 2 (reps)

Circuit 3 (reps)

Circuit 4 (reps)

Barbell Bentover Row

12

10

8

8

Seated Cable Row

12

10

8

8

Barbell Bench Press

12

10

8

8

Seated Overhead Barbell Press

12

10

8

8

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

12

10

8

8

Triceps Press-Down

12

10

8

8

Barbell Curl

12

10

8

8

The above circuit of moves is repeated four times.  You have 15 seconds to complete each set of reps for each exercise.  The first circuit is set up for 12 reps, the second circuit for 10, and the third and fourth circuits for 8.  The idea is to increase the weight during each successive circuit, so you start out doing light weights with more reps and end doing heavier weights with less reps.  To keep your heart rate up, you do 5 minutes of cardio between each circuit, working in your target heart rate range.  I ran on the treadmill at a speed of 7.2 mph between each circuit.

(Remember…if you decide to try this workout, please check with your doc or a fitness professional before making any fitness changes or starting a new routine)

I really liked the workout because of all the different moves and the mixture of cardio in the middle.  I think the more I do it, the quicker it will go.  It took me a while last night to know what move was coming next and for me to move my plates around on our weight equipment.

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Yes…I am wearing lifting gloves in this picture (and sporting what looks like a faux-hawk?).  Even though it was almost 50 degrees here yesterday, it was still a little chilly in our garage and the barbells and weights were FREEZING!  I spotted Lee’s gloves on the wall and thought, “Why not!?”  Plus…it made me feel like I was a little more tough that I actually am!

Ridiculous.

Tonight, the workout will be a lower body circuit, which is set up the same way as the upper body circuit.  It looks pretty tough and I’m really excited to test it out!

I hope you guys have a wonderful day.  We’re almost done with the beginning on the week!

Have you had any note-worthy dinners lately?
If you strength train, what is your favorite upper-body move?

Quick Holiday Ab Kicker

Good morning!

How are we all on this Tuesday?  I’m hoping that I am a little bit more awake today than I was yesterday.   My Monday was very rainy and dreary and it was one of those days that make you just want to cuddle up in bed under a blanket all day.  Unfortunately, my job does not allow me to do that, so out into the puddles I went.  I survived and felt sleepy all day!

Lately, my blog has been on my mind.  I love it and I can’t imagine my days without either writing my posts or reading those posts from the many other wonderful bloggers out there!  I enjoy sharing my favorite foods, my favorite workouts, and my daily happenings.  I have been doing a lot of thinking and I am planning on making some changes around here.  Nothing too major.  I will still share recipes, workouts, and my daily life…I just think it will be done in a more organized fashion, which will, hopefully, make it better for all of you!  The year is coming to an end and I think the blog is going to start out the new year on a fresh foot!  Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I’ll still be here.  Sharing my ramblings.

Today, the rambling that will be rambling from my mouth is a killer workout routine for your abs.  The workout consists of five moves and is done in circuit format.

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(As always, check with your doctor or a health and fitness professional before doing any new workout!  I am not a pro and only share what works for me!  Make sure you are doing things that work for you!)

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This is a great workout to throw in when you are short on time and looking for a quick burner that will make you sweat!  Remember…the quicker the workout…the more time you have to do other things…like shop!

Enjoy your day, friends!

Wedding DIY 101

Hi friends!

So…here we are – under the two-month mark until we tie the knot!  Yikes!  Things have been pretty much wedding, wedding, and all wedding around here. Usually, on the weekends, I’m with my mom running around to various craft stores picking up the odds and ends that I need for all of my projects and, during the week, I’m thinking about the things that I need to pick up during the next weekend.  My spare bedroom and dining room have become storage spaces for baskets, boxes, and bags that are full of paper, vases, branches, glasses, tulle, ribbon, lights, table runners, cookie trays, floral tape, and well, I could go on and on.  I’ll catch you up on some things that I either am or will be working on for the big day!

My brooch bouquet

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It’s finally done!  It was a long process from finding my first brooch to pinning the final ribbon end in place, but it was such a fun project!  I had a couple set-backs while I was trying to put it together but, between me and my mom, we finally got it right!  The best part of the project was finding the brooches!  I spent a lot of time with my parents in antique stores and at flea markets and I also received many as gifts.  Each pin has a special meaning or memory associated with it and I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out!

My centerpieces

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I knew from the beginning that I always wanted to use some type of branch in my centerpieces.  I had ideas of using plain branches, silver branches, and large branches with candles hanging off of them.  Before I could make a final decision, my mom found lighted branches that had little purple (one of my wedding colors) beads on them.  She ordered one so we could see what it looked like and ended up loving them!  They have a battery pack that controls the lights and, by some miracle, we found vases that were the perfect size and actually narrowed to allow the pack to sit in the center so they can turned on with ease before the ceremony!  The bottoms of the branches will be wrapped in tulle so they are covered along with the battery pack!

My favors

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(just a small jar I bought to test out the glass etching process…it’s SO easy!)

I am planning on giving out mason jar mugs etched with each guest’s initials as favors.  The mugs will be placed at the entrance to the reception room on a table with bowls of punch so the guests can grab a refreshing drink as they enter!  On each mug will be a tag with each guest’s name, table, and dinner choice.  I’m also sticking cute striped straws in each one!  I’m excited to see how they all turn out!

My table numbers

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(obviously, not going on a table…but just a pic of us!)

I am planning on giving each table the name of a local attraction from the town where we are having the wedding.  When we get some great weather, Lee and I are going to head to each locale and have our picture taken there…and those photos will be our ‘numbers’ on the tables so the guest’s can find their way to their seats.  I just hope my hair decides to cooperate on the day we decide to take the photos!

Alright, friends!  I think that’s all I have for now!  I have to finish up my programs (which are another project), finish the gifts for my bridesmaids, and make my girls’ bouquets (which will obviously be the day before the wedding).  It’s a DIY extravaganza over here!!

With much Love and Laughter,
Kelly

Something to share:  Are you crafty?  Do you have a favorite hobby or project?  I used to crochet but I haven’t in a long time…maybe I need to start again!

Project #1: The Bouquet

Hello hello friends!

Here I am with the first wedding project to be getting underway!  I am a big ‘do-it-yourself’er and have about a million projects planned for our upcoming wedding.  Among these projects are my centerpieces, my programs, my favors, my girls’ bouquets, and my bouquet.  The girls will be carrying regular flower bouquets that will be made with hot pink roses.  A couple of months ago, my maid-of-honor and I got together and bought the supplies to make a bouquet.  I wanted to make sure that it was feasible and would not turn out to be a huge disaster.

We bought a dozen roses, floral tape, ribbon, and pins.  We lounged by the pool and put together a bouquet that turned out really well!  Fingers crossed that I will be able to replicate seven of them the day before the wedding.  Yikes!

While making my bridesmaid bouquets seem like a piece of cake, my bouquet is a little on the different side and, therefore, will probably prove to be a more difficult.  If you are on Pinterest, or even if you are not, I’m sure you have the seen the idea of a bride carrying a bouquet made out of brooches.  No flowers, just jewelry.

Having a brooch bouquet has always been something I wanted.  I think they are absolutely stunning and add such a unique touch to a bride’s ensemble!  I think a this type of bouquet will go great with my dress, too…which is a surprise that I’ll talk about later!!!

I am starting to put my brooches together by using craft floral wire to make stems on each one of them.  Right now, I have about forty of them and I am hoping to get a few more before it is completed.  My mom and dad are obsessed with antique stores and flea markets and they are always on the lookout for any piece I can use in my bouquet!  I am thankful for their hard work and the time they are taking to find the beautiful pins!

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I still have a lot to do but I’m hoping it turns out the way it looks in my head!

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Wish me luck!

Something to share:
If you are married and had a wedding, did you do many ‘do-it-yourself’ projects?
If you are not married or didn’t have wedding, are you a crafty or ‘do-it-yourself’ type of person?

My Registry Wish List

One of the best things about planning a wedding?

Registering for gifts!

Now, I do not mean that statement to come across as selfish and as if all I care about is gifts.  I just want our wedding day to be full of love and fun with our family and friends…but, you have to admit, it’s fun to make a wish list and pick out anything you want for your house and your future!!  Lee and I registered at Macy’s and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  My original plan was Macy’s and Target, but both of those stores are in the same towns…neither of which is close to us, so I changed to Bed, Bath, and Beyond so there was a local option for Lee’s family and our friends.

Here are some of my favorite items on our list:

KitchenAid Artisan Mixer in Pistachio

KitchenAid makes their mixers in the most amazing colors and it was so hard to decide which one to choose!  I eventually went with Pistachio because of the retro feel.  My style is not at all retro, but for the kitchen, I envision my grandmother using a mixer of that color back in the day…probably because she still has pots that are that color!!

Hotel Collection Bedding in the new Gates pattern

 

Our bedroom walls are a dark blue-green color and I wasn’t sure how this bedding would look next to them, but the more I studied it (Lee loved that I stood in front of the bedding just staring at it for more than a few minutes), I think it’s going to look great!  I can’t wait to freshen up our bedroom!

Martha Stewart Cutlery

 

These knives are colored and are coded with little pictures on them so you know their purpose.  How cute and fun is that!?

Cuisinart Pizzelle Press

 

My grandma has made pizzelles for as long as I can remember and they are always a family favorite during the holidays.  I’m hoping someday to be like my grandma and make all of those delicious things that she forces on us!  Getting this press is step 1!

Silpat Baking Mat

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Apparently, I plan on spending a lot of time in my kitchen?

Rosette Shower Curtain

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I think this shower curtain is so girly and pretty.  It’s a little hard to see is this picture, but it actually reminds me of a wedding dress.  There are raised rosette textures on the top and bottom.  I just painted our bathroom a couple of months ago and I think it would be a great addition!

Mr. and Mrs. Leather Luggage Tags

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These are just for fun!

Obviously, there is a lot more on our lists…but these are just a few of the things that I am obsessing over!

If you are married, where did you register for gifts?  What was your favorite gift you received?
If you are not married, do you buy gifts from a couple’s registry when you go to weddings or do you do gift cards/cash? –
I have done both…it depends on my relationship with the couple. 

One Year Ago Today…

…I bought my wedding dress.

Yes.  One year ago, I got out my wallet and put money down on a dress.  There was only one problem…

…I didn’t have a fiancé.

If you guys read my blog, you know that Lee and I got engaged this past March and are getting married next June.  This is the story of why I got a dress before I even knew I was going to get married.

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My childhood friend, Amy, works at Sister II, the bridal salon where I got my dress, which also happens to be right across the street from our Jazzercise center.  I told Amy that I would stop in and see her one night after I was done teaching if I saw her car there.  Well, November 16, 2011, I left Jazzercise and saw her car parked in the lot.  There was only one other car there so I figured they weren’t busy and ran across the street to stop in and say hi.  Amy was with a bride and her mother and told me that she was just wrapping up and I could just stroll around and look at the dresses while I waited.

Look at wedding dresses?  Sure.  Twist my arm.

I started at one corner of the store and slowly went through each dress, trying to get a good idea of what it looked like through the plastic bags they were in.  Amy walked by and told me that they had just put some great ones on the sale rack and pointed to where it was.  Sale rack?  Again…twist my arm.  I walked over and as I approached the rack, it caught my eye.  A dress that was different, that looked a little wacky, and that was the most gorgeous thing I had ever seen.

Amy walked by again and I held it up and said, “Do you think this is ugly?”
She smiled and said it was one of her and the owner’s favorites and that no one ever tried it on and now it was discontinued so they had to send it out.  She told me to try it on.  I told her that was a completely ridiculous idea since i wasn’t even engaged.  She took the dress out of my hand and put it in a room…and told me to go put it on.

I gave in and put it on.  The rest is history…

I fell in love.  They say you have a moment with the right dress and I can say that I definitely had that moment!

(If you know and follow me, you know I was married before and did the whole wedding thing a few years ago…and I can say that I did NOT have a dress moment with my first dress)

I came out and stood in front of the mirror and Amy had the same moment I had.  Looking back, it was such a special minute…we have been friends since we were nine years old…and there I was…just me, my absolute best friend…and my dress.  We knew it was it.  The owner walked over and said I could make a down payment and the dress would be mine and I could keep it there until I was ready to use it.  You know…when I was actually getting married?

I called my mom and told her I was doing something crazy and had her come and see the dress the next night.  She also fell in love and was 100% on board!  I wrote that check and can say it was one of my best decisions!  I cannot wait to actually wear it!

P.S. This post became much more lengthy that I planned but just to clarify….Lee knew I bought the dress and knew there was no crazy expectation of an engagement.  We knew we would most likely get engaged at some point and he knows how I am when I find something I like!  Thankfully, four months later, he did pop the question!

If you are engaged or married, did you have a ‘moment’ when you found your dress?

One Year

Morning Friends!  TGIF!!!  :-)

It’s the first day of June and I couldn’t be happier!  I’m ignoring the fact that I woke up to skies that looked like this…

…and being excited for the fact that in exactly one year, Lee and I will be getting married!!

I have most of my major planning done.  I have a venue, a photographer, a DJ, a dress, and bridesmaid dresses.  I feel like I have most of the big stuff done and I have been waiting to get started on all of the other smaller details.  Now that I have hit the one year mark, I feel like I can get started and I won’t be planning things too far in advance.

I’m so excited!!  I hate to rush time, but I just want next year to be here!

I just wanted to pop in quickly to say hi and share my excitement!  I have a busy morning at work to attend to, but I’ll be back later with my goal list for June.  I plan on making it a great month!

I’ll catch you all later!!

Some Chemistry Cat humor for your Friday:

(Being a science nerd in college, I love Chemistry Cat and this is, honestly, the best one I’ve seen yet!)

If you are married or getting married, how long was/is your engagement?