Category Archives: Love

Miss this guy.

I’m currently living 4 hours away from my husband. It’s been this way for almost a month, and it’s tough.

When I got the job in Philly it was a no-brainer that we would move. We’ve always wanted to raise a family here, but never had the right reason to leave. And now, that reason is here. It’s always seemed like such a dream, such a far off wish, that I never really thought about what it would be like. Bri couldn’t up and leave as quickly as we’d hoped since he was in the middle of a huge project at work. It just wouldn’t be right for him to quit like that, and we didn’t want to lose his salary when he didn’t have something else lined up in Philly.

So now he’s on a perpetual job hunt while I live with his parents up in PA. It’s SO great to have a free place to live while we get things figured out, but it is tough. I miss him dearly. It’s weird how much you miss someone when you’re suddenly taken away, even if you know it’s only temporary. And we’re still “newlyweds” to boot. We should be living up this time of our lives together.

The plan at this point is for me to go on a crazy packing spree in our Richmond house in the week between Christmas and NYE (I have the week off from work, thank God). We’ll get it ready to list in early February, so it HOPEFULLY sells first thing in the spring. Bri will move up to Philly as soon as the house sells, or he gets a job up here, whichever happens first. I’m going balls to the walls getting that house ready to sell, because at least I have SOME control over that.

If we do sell and he hasn’t found something up here yet, we’ll live with his parents until he’s firmly on his feel. Luckily he works in a field that is in high demand, so we’re hoping the process isn’t too painful…

In the mean time, I’m thankful that I miss him like I do. It solidifies my love for him, and the fact that he really is my best friend (soooo sickeningly sappy, but true, and I don’t want to ever forget it). These next weeks and months are going to be HARD (holy hell I’m in a brand new city, in a new job, living with the in-laws, don’t know my way around, am trying to adjust, am taking grad school classes, am trying to stay in good running shape, and am doing it all without my husband), but I know it will all be awesome in the end…

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Get Up and Go

I had a horrible night’s sleep last night.

I woke up multiple times for no apparent reason and was also so kindly visited by Aunt Flo (TMI ugg). I was SO tempted to stay in bed when 7:30am rolled around, but my dad and I had plans to hit up the gym. They offer an 8:30am BodyPump class that I really didn’t want to pass up. I SERIOUSLY considered bailing on our excursion, but it’s not like the option of a nap is entirely out of the picture on vacation…so I got my butt outta bed.

This couldn’t be any more true…

I really wish I had the willpower to work out in the mornings before work. It’s so hard to get motivated! Why can’t I just get it through my head that I will ALWAYS feel better after a workout?!

I digress. So the BodyPump class had exactly 3 students and was quite fabulous. The instructor was German and was blasting techno tracks the entire time. However, I was completely thrown off by the fact that their weights were in kilograms instead of pounds. I have no idea how much I was lifting. It’s interesting to see how another gym handles their BodyPumping.

After sufficiently burning out my muscles, I hopped on the treadmill for a brisk 4 miler. I recently discovered (thanks DailyMile) that I’m only 12 miles shy of running 500 miles for the year! So now I must accomplish that goal…4 miles today, 4 tomorrow, and 4 on NYE. It will be done. I finished today’s 4 in 35:30 – a great run for me!

I forgot to mention another of my fav Christmas presents: a new Under Armour running top. It’s heavenly. Kind of fleecy on the inside and comes complete with thumb holes. Swoon.

I look haggard, but the top is cute.

Time to tackle some wedding thank yous! Oh and happy 2 months of marriage to me and the hubster!!

Epic

Stole this idea directly from Pinterest. Which is totally the point…

 

The only bar on campus…many, many a good time was had here.

A Hairstyle Worth Sharing

I am not very creative when it comes to my hair.

It’s naturally curly and somewhat hard to be creative with. I can blowdry it straight pretty easily, but usually I’m not bothered. I feel like I’m lucky to be able to wash it, add a little de-frizz stuff and be on my way.

However I don’t always think my natural hair is that “professional.” Yes I can pull it into a messy bun, but even that isn’t so “I’m-27-and-mature.”

My natural do - very old pic (2006?)

So, imagine my excitement when, while reading Capitol Hill Style, I discovered the “Gibson Roll” – perfect and stylish, especially for people with curly hair.

Seriously, this is the EASIEST and PRETTIEST hairstyle ever. I’ve gotten SO many compliments on it…people ask if I had it done professionally! My mom even asked why the heck we were spending so much $ on a wedding updo when I could just do this.

Check it…

So purdy.

 

Side view.

It's hard taking pictures of your own head...

Basically you just pull your hair into a low tight pony tail, create a little “nest” for it above the elastic (imagine half-way doing a topsy tail), and then pin it in.

There is a super excellent and easy to follow tutorial here.

I’ve definitely found my go-to professional look. Love.

 

Watermelon Beer and a Good Run

I think I found my beer calling…

 

Heaven in a can?

At the beerfest last week I tasted this gem (tasted it probably 10 times before I felt like the people serving the beer started to recognize me) and I was instantly smitten. When I saw it in Kroger I almost did a happy dance right then and there. Instead I scooped up a six pack and bolted through the self check out. Forget waiting in the damn deli cheese line…mama needs her watermelon beer.

It’s a wheat beer with a subtle watermelon flavor. No crazy sweetness going on here. Love. Love. Love.

In running news, I accomplished the best 6 miler of my life. For the Saturday long run, my “team” with the Half Marathon Training Team, the Falcons, is supposed to start running at 7:15am. I had some last minute bathroom needs to take care of before I left the house (sorry, TMI), so I ended up arriving at the meeting point at 7:10, a little later than I’d hoped. I figured I still had 5 minutes to spare, that I was early. But NO. Our leaders decided to leave early and the late comers were left standing there a bit clueless. Luckily there were several other teams leaving at the time so I jumped in with the Zebras. I spent the entire run attempting to find my friend with the Falcons so the time passed quite quickly. It was also pretty awesome to pass EVERYONE…something I’m definitely not used to. I didn’t end up reaching my friend until mile 5.98, but the run was pretty awesome in my eyes.

9:12?! I’ll take that any day. I felt strong the entire time and loved every minute. It looks like running in the morning may be possible for me after all…at least if I’m chasing people the entire time.

I’ve got a watermelon beer calling my name – over and out!

 

 

Happiness in a Photo

Fresh flowers ($3.99 at Trader Joes…hell yes).

Wine.

Watermelon.

Happy Hump Day to me.

The Story of Us, Part Deux

We left off this little love story at a very important moment…the moment/day/event that changed everything: KARAOKE.

Back in the day (2007), a little bar near my apartment had karaoke every Wednesday night. It was a great opportunity to relax after work and make a fool of ourselves, so my roommate Em and I went quite often.  On one particular Wednesday evening in August 2007 Quinn and Brian decided to join us. As the summer progressed we were becoming better friends and our little group was hanging out more and more.

Awkward "we're just friends, but there's clearly chemistry" photo.

So on this fateful night, the four of us were gathered around the song book when someone had the brilliant idea (the jury is still out on whether it was me or Brian) that Brian should FAKE PROPOSE to me on stage after signing a song. I thought it was a hilarious idea, although I was super nervous about actually getting away with it. We decided to go for it and I gave Brian my sapphire “you-just-turned-16-congrats” ring to use as the engagement ring.

Brian chose to sing “You’ll Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey and he was pretty horrifically bad. But that is the point of karaoke after all. When he finished the song, he stayed on the mic and told the crowd he had an announcement and then proceeded to call me up to the stage. I was BEYOND nervous so I actually looked pretty legit as an “I’m about to be engaged” chick.

He then proceeded to blab on about how much he loved me and how the past 5 years had been the best of his life and then he got down on one knee and proposed. Of course I said yes and acted all sheepish and nervous and excited. In a way it was kind of awkward because Brian and I had NEVER even hugged or touched or kissed or anything, and now we were supposed to act like a newly engaged couple. We kind of awkwardly hugged and the bar crowd was LOVING IT.

Em then proceeded to get up and sing, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from the Lion King so we could have our “first dance.” I’m not sure why we decided to do this, but in retrospect I’m glad we did, because the photos are fabulous (Quinn took them).

Our first dance...already in love and we didn't even know it.

I believe as the photo above was being taken, we were discussing whether or not we should kiss…to make it more legit. We had NEVER kissed at this point, but it was obvious that we needed to turn on the lip action to keep the crowd happy. And honestly the adrenaline rush made we want to kiss him quite badly. We decided to go for it, and by some miracle Quinn captured the moment perfectly. We now have the most fabulous photo of our very first kiss.

Bow chica wow wow...our FIRST KISS.

We then proceeded to get a slew of free alcohol. People were sending over bottles of champagne and shots – it was quite glorious. TONS of girls kept coming up to me to ask to see the ring. This was super weird because the ring was just a tiny little sapphire with a few diamonds around it…not engagement ring bling.

Enjoying our free drinks and our love.

Words can’t really accurately describe how my feelings towards Brian changed that night. He was fun, bold, exciting, handsome, and a phenomenal kisser, not to mention already a solid friend. I definitely became more smitten with him.

His mom has always claimed we’ve been engaged for almost 4 years now, and in a way she’s right..

Stay tuned for Part III!

The Story of Us, Part 1

One particularly wonderful development of my “adult” life is my relationship with Brian, my fiance. We attended the same university, and even graduated the same year, but never actually met our entire 4 years of college. Brian  had classes with several of my closest friends and even worked 20 feet away from me in the library –  he worked behind the desk and I worked in the coffee shop – but we never met.

We graduated in May 2007 and both ended up living in Richmond. Our paths crossed for the first time that summer. My bff and roomie at the time, Em, and I were out at a bar when she started talking to two guys. One of those two guys was Brian – Em had a few classes with him and knew him that way. She introduced us and I instantly recognized him as someone I had seen before from school. We chatted for a few minutes and then Brian and his friend Quinn left to go out somewhere else. I was immediately in to Brian and asked Em if she had his number (I’m forward like that).  She didn’t and I was bummed. I can CLEARLY picture Brian walking out of the bar…it was sad!! However, my sadness didn’t last too long thanks to a few more gin and tonics and the fact that I was currently smitten with another boy at the time (single and ready to mingle…what can I say).

Summer 2007. Epic in every sense of the word.

A few weeks later my roommates and I hosted a housewarming party to show off our new digs. We did what any self respecting group of still-in-denial-college-girls would do and invited EVERYONE we knew on Facebook. Lo and behold one of our invitees (Quinn, who is now in our wedding, and was friends with our 3rd roomie) was good friends with Brian and decided to bring him along. I remember looking out the window of our house and seeing them walk up. They were two of the first people to arrive and I was completely shocked to see Brian.

The first picture of Brian I ever took. Housewarming 2007 yo.

We didn’t really hang out at the housewarming…I was kind of seeing another dude and he was there too. It wasn’t weird at all though, we were all just becoming friends. I don’t remember too much from the party, but I do enjoy having this one totally awkward picture of Brian that was taken about 2 minutes after he arrived. We had interacted all of 5 minutes TOTAL at that point (3 minutes in a bar and 2 at the party. Yay math!).

August came around and I found myself hanging out with Quinn and Brian more and more. Em and I liked to go out a lot and so did they, so it was a logical friendship. It really was one of the best summers ever.

Lots of fun was had in 2007.

Those Civil War soldiers were a staple of our fun. What could make for a better photoshoot? I digress…

At this point Brian and I hung out in a group setting on several occasions. We mostly all met up on weekends, but we were both seeing other people so our hangouts weren’t really a regular occurance. Brian was definitely on my radar though – he was (and still is) a hottie!

We were trucking along all fine and dandy, until one night literally changed everything.

At this very moment, everything was changing!

Cliffhanger!! Part 2 to come!

6 Months and…

A whole lotta stuff to do.

We’re getting hitched in exactly 6 months. Where did the time go?! Here are the things I still need to do:

  • Send save the dates (although I’m pretty sure EVERYONE already knows the date)
  • Find a florist
  • Taste some food
  • Book the photographer (found her, just need to make it official!)
  • Book the band (Brian’s taking this one on)
  • Figure out hotels and transportation (also on Brian’s plate)
  • Book the honeymoon (so close on this one…more deets to come)
  • Send out invites
  • Do ALL the little stuff, whatever that may be.

According to theknot.com I actually have 154 “things to do”. Um what?! I find theknot to be a bit overkill.

No matter how much is left to do, I’m super excited for October 29th. SO PUMPED TO CELEBRATE!

Next year that'll say WIFE.

We're in love.

We're gonna party like it's 2008.

Celebrations and Crappy Runs

Brian and I spent the weekend in Staunton, VA – probably one of our favorite places to visit for a weekend trip. We got a PHENOMENAL deal on our hotel and some other sweet stuff and decided to use the weekend as our Engagement/Valentine’s Day celebration.

Let me break down this deal for you. It was really just that kick ass.

$99 ($108 after taxes, etc) got us:

  • 1 night at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel (right in the middle of town and an overall nice place)
  • Free breakfast for 2 (nice buffet normally priced $12.95 pp)
  • $20 gift card to Shenandoah Pizza (our FAVORITE pizza place in all the land)
  • 2 tickets to the local movie theater (a 3 minute walk from our hotel…normally $8.50pp)
  • Free parking (normally a few bucks a day)

Oh and the hotel had a wine festival IN IT on Saturday…so we definitely hit that up.

I got in my 5 mile run on Saturday AM then we hit the road. As a thank-you-for-proposing-and-happy-Valentine’s-Day-gift I took Brian to three breweries that were all on the way to Staunton.

Heaven.

Three breweries may have been a bit too much…he barely made it through the wine fest. We ended up touring Starr Hill Brewery and sampling all their beers, scoring a quick lunch at Blue Mountain Brewery, and then rounding out the beer intake at Queen City Brewery. I tasted most of the beers along the way, but left the actual consumption to Brian since someone had to drive.

I got my kicks at the Winter Wine Festival in our hotel that we promptly entered as soon as our bags hit the floor of our hotel room. Between Queen City and the wine fest I ended up walking away 5 bottles of wine richer 🙂

I can often be seen with a wine glass in my hand, so this isn’t too crazy or unusual.

Yum, fermented grapes.

But I like (good) beer too.

Oktoberfest...Munich 2007. I had 5 liters cause I'm hardcore.

And bubbly champagne.

Perfect for celebrations (and putting out cupcake fires)

Anyways, now that I seem like a total lush (which, sad to say, I’m really not…I can’t party like a rockstar like I used to), back to our weekend.

We spent an hour or so after the wine fest in the room to recoop (I watched E! and Brian took a much needed nap) and then we headed to dinner at our favorite restaurant in town, Zynodoah. I had a yummy ricotta gnocchi. Then we saw “Unknown” at the cute little theater. It was surprisingly entertaining and I’m proud of myself for staying up till 11:30 to watch it. Go me!

Sunday we lazed around, ate our free breakfast, lazed around some more, then hit up Shenandoah Pizza for garlic bread and a yummy pizza pie. All in all, a FABULOUS weekend with my husband-to-be.

After all this fun and relaxation I decided to check out a yoga class at our gym on Sunday afternoon. I contemplated not going, but I had it in my calendar and didn’t want to feel guilty about not going. Is that weird? It ended up being a great class and I’m super glad I went. I plan to go again on Wednesday night.

On to crappy runs. I had one today. I’ve been feeling pretty great the last few weeks, so I imagine it was about time for a crappy run to come my way. I intended to whack out 5 miles (which is what my training plan called for) but I ended up only making it through 3.3. I literally had no will to continue on and my legs were just DONE. I felt pretty defeated.

Blah. I think I need to focus more on what I’m eating, how much water I’m drinking, and how much stress I’m under. I tend to to A LOT better when all these things are in check. I thought wearing my fun pink Nike shorts and pink socks would make me feel like running with the wind, but they didn’t do a damn thing.

So much for looking the part. Sometimes that can help (yay for new running clothes!), but I should have know from the look on my face that this run was going to suck.

I’m officially resting up like crazy tomorrow (i.e. not doing anything active AT ALL), drinking a boatload of water, eating a balanced diet and grasping my trusty stressball furiously. No more crappy runs please!