Monday, November 19, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

Happy Thanksgiving week all!  I am thankful for each and every one of you who stop by my little corner or the internet and support me and my blog.  I hope everyone gets to enjoy some time with family and loved ones this week. 

But before the cranberry fluff coma I am fully preparing to enter into in a few days, I wanted to share a little project I finished up this week with all of you.  I think it goes without saying that I can get a lil crafty from time to time.  However, my crafty side is typically limited to finding ways to trick my husband into rubbing my feet or watching the latest Twilight movie in theaters. 

This week, however, I pulled out the Martha Stewart in me once again and gave an antique mirror in my garage a little makeover.  About a month ago, husband and I, along with our parents travelled up to a huge antique show near Cincinnati and my mom bought a giant mirror while she was there.  As it turned out, there wasn't enough room for it in her car, so in our truck it went and in my garage it sat. 

After a few weeks of housing it in our garage, I decided the mirror now belonged to me and I got to work on making it a usable piece for our living room.  I painted the frame a blue color that matched fabric in our throw pillows and picked up some stencil letters and frosted glass spray paint and went to town.  A little brown glaze over the bright blue, gave it more of a rustic look I was going for.

The mirror before.

I put painters tape around the edge and then cut open trader joe's paper bags to cover the glass while I spray painted the frame.

We measured and centered the letters and then cut a hole in the paper bags to make room for them.  We had to wait until they dried and then move the duplicate letters.

The finished product with our fall decor up.  I had a different mirror there before but this one looked so much better!

I bit the bullet and put up some of my Christmas decor on Saturday.  I love my new mirror!

So there you have it!  I am getting craftier by the day!  I debated a bit on what words to put on the mirror and thought about doing our last name or monogram, but decided against it.  As the focal point in the room, I wanted the mirror to really say something which is why I felt like "blessed" was the perfect word for the mirror.

I am feeling particularly blessed this holiday season for a wonderful husband, family I adore, and a great career.  What are you feeling blessed for right now?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I'm Loving Today

Good morning readers!  I'm just sitting here tonight smelling yummy smells in my house and watching Taylor Swift Storytellers on DVR and waiting for my husband to get home, and I am smiling because I am blessed.  What a great day for a link up for WILW, don't you think?

To begin, I am loving that Thanksgiving is in 8 days.  My aunts and uncles and cousins and my sweet nephews will all be in one place, and that is my favorite thing on earth.  It doesn't happen often.  Plus, this is the first Thanksgiving I will get to spend with my man, so that's a double bonus.  Here's a look at Thanksgivings past and our "girls photo"...





Secondly, I am loving that I got to have brunch with two of my best friends on Sunday.  I hate when life gets in the way of making time for those we love.  That's the big huge bummer about getting older (that and all the bills...I hate those).  I love being able to catch up and just do a pulse check to make sure we are all still alive.  Sorry no pics from brunch...sometimes it's just not the time and place :-)

I am loving kind of sort of figuring out what I am getting everyone for Christmas!  I have been making a list for about a month, and figuring out what to get everyone is frankly the hardest part.  I really feel like I've got a jump on the game this year!  Cross your fingers that I will be halfway done by the end of November (that's my goal).

Also loving that my Pottery Barn stockings came in yesterday and they match our living room and decor perfectly.  I can't wait to hang them and decorate!

I'm loving that I get to kiss all over these guys in just over a week.  They melt my heart.

I'm loving that after a year of living together, my dogs within the last month have become total cuddle buddies.  Although, I find this completely bizarre that for  11 months they slept on their own dog beds and now they just sleep on the one....

Lastly...and this is the best one...I am LOVING that my husband starts a new job on Monday. It's very gratifying to see him so happy and excited about new opportunities that have come his way. More importantly, I am excited that for the first time in our relationship, we will have the same work schedule. Huge bonus. I just like hanging out with him... :-)

Happy Wednesday Y'all!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I'll admit, hearing Christmas music on the radio the other day completely caught me off guard.  I had to stop and remember what day was for a minute, and then it dawned on's November.  Where the hell did the year go??  Realizing that the world is officially in "holiday mode" reminded me of two things...I really need to get a head start on my Christmas shopping this year, and secondly...this is my favorite time of the year.

Why is it my favorite time of the year?  Well, for obvious reasons...time with family, being thankful, warm fires, and all things Christmas...but there is also another reason I love this time of year.  It's when I fell in love. 

Growing up I always assumed I would fall in love one day, imagined what it would be like and who it would be with.  I actually thought I would fall in love many times...knew I would have my heart broken too, but I looked forward to experiencing those feelings that I have read about, seen in movies, and heard stories of all my life. 

But having gone through all of my college years with only minor flings and certainly no boys to write home about (why are boys such idiots around this age??), I started to get a little worried.  In the years after college, I dated everyone.  Everyone.  I kept my hopes up that my person was out there still and eventually the timing would be right for us.  Most of the men I dated were nice guys, some of them even great guys who I had strong feelings for.  But I knew even during my best days with them that it was not love.  That didn't stop me from being devastated when things ended with some of them...and it certainly didn't stop me from being annoyed to jump back into the dating pool either. 

By my mid-20s, I started to wonder...What if I NEVER fall in love?  Or more specifically...How will I KNOW I'm in love?  Has anyone else wondered that? 

By the fall of 2010, something happened.  This boy who had been in and out of my life for years...who at one time I could almost picture my life with him....who had broken my heart many times...was trying to find a way back into my life.  I tread carefully...very carefully...through the fall.  It was filled with late night text messages, (second) first dates, and lots of answers to questions about our past and what went wrong.  By November, I knew things were different with this boy than they ever had been before, and even though I had feelings for him since the day I met him, I still worried about whether I would know if this was love.

Call me crazy, but I always thought falling in love would be fireworks and hot pink, and undeniable, and without a doubt...and I thought I would know the second it happened.  I think that's what we've been taught.

But by November of 2010, all I knew is that this guy made me really happy.  After agreeing that we would not be seeing anyone else but each other (a first for us in our 3 years), I immediately left for New York City on a girls trip in mid-November.  In one of the most amazing cities in the world, I longed for Lexington, KY and more time with him.  Funny how that happens.  When I turned on my phone after our plane landed on our return flight, I had a video from my was of him playing a Jason Mraz song that still resonates with me to this day.

It's funny how sometimes a song or a lyric can perfectly capture a feeling..."All I really wanna do is love you, a kind much closer than friends use...but I still can't say it after all we've been through..."  Maybe he was wondering the same thing as me.

I was only home for a week before I promptly left for Atlanta for Thanksgiving...another week apart.  I longed for home again, even surrounded by the people I love most in the world.  Maybe that was a small clue.  But I still wasn't sure.  I made the drive from Atlanta to Lexington in near record time after Thanksgiving and spent the next day with him, running errands and putting up my Christmas tree together...another first.

I helped him pick out Christmas gifts for his family and he begrudgingly watched Love Actually, and It's a Wonderful Life and The Holiday with me.  And he agreed to spend Christmas day with me at my parents' house...which in the land of relationships is a big freakin' deal.  With his job being the way it is, he had to work Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas, which meant we couldn't drive up together. 

We decided that he would drive up on Christmas Eve after spending some time with his Aunt and Uncle after work.  Unfortunately, mother nature was not cooperative with our plans and it snowed furiously that evening.  I sat with my family wondering what time he would leave his aunt and uncle's house, and if it would be early enough.  I worried about the weather and if he would change his mind about coming and I'll admit, I was already planning on yelling at him if he called to say he wasn't coming.  That night, the hour and 15 minute drive to my parents house took him over two hours.  I waited up for him long after the rest of my family had gone to sleep and greeted him when he arrived after 1:00am.

Later that morning, we opened presents, and he got to know my family (he had already met my parents) and take part in our holiday traditions.  Having him there felt right to me.  He later admitted that he had never been so scared driving before as he was driving through the winter storm that Christmas Eve to see me.  On Christmas night, we ate dinner and relaxed together and around 9:00, he said he had to drive back.  I watched him pack his things and begged him to stay the night (he had to work early the next morning), but he couldn't.  Even though I would be home in another day or two, I felt devastated that he had to head back so soon. 

After he left, he sent me a text message that said, "I think I'm crazy about you" and I cried. 

It wasn't fireworks, and time did not stop, but that was the moment I can trace back and vividly know that I was in love.  It didn't happen overnight or in that one moment.  It was a collection of things...going to a basketball game, eating dinner together, watching a movie, opening his poorly wrapped Christmas gifts, greeting him at the door on Christmas Eve and watching him introduce himself to my sister and brother-in-law for the first time in his pajamas. 

It's a bunch of silly moments like that which stick out in my head and remind me why I love this time of year more than ever...I get to relive our love story.  This year I am more thankful than ever though, because after 5 years of friendship, dating, not dating, being engaged, and now married...we will finally get to spend out first Thanksgiving together.  A long time overdue, don't you think?

Our second "first date" to a UK basketball game

Out for drinks with friends a few weeks before Christmas

At my grandparents' house on Christmas day

New Year's Eve

Do you have a holiday love story?  Did you struggle to realize what love was and recognize the difference? 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Halfway There

I am a week into my 14-day journey on the South Beach Phase 1 diet and I have mixed feelings at this point.  At 3 days in last week, I was pretty stoked to step on the scale and find myself down 1.5 lbs.  Then things got a little weird on both Thursday and Friday when I saw that I had gained weight both days.  Not cool.

Even less cool...when my husband stepped on the scale on Friday and he was down 5 lbs.  Kind of a dick move on his part.  Especially since his version of this diet apparently includes soft drinks.  You can imagine my feelings of wanting to slap the smile off his face after seeing his surprising weight loss.  That combined with the 2 hours I spent sitting on my front porch freezing my ass off on Wednesday night passing out candy to little kids....without alcohol I might add....has left me somewhat unsure of this whole diet thing.

On the one hand, I haven't really seen any weight loss (I'm only looking to shave off about 5 that so much to ask??), but I do feel like my body is appreciative of my conscious effort to put good things into it.  In the last week, I haven't felt hungry during the day or at night, and I haven't felt any remorse about anything I've eaten either.  Definitely a plus on both fronts.  I'm also realizing that what I am eating on SBD isn't altogether different than what I eat normally.  Which may explain my lack of tangible results. 

So what do I miss most?  Fruit.  Since sugar is a strict no-no during these 14 days, fruit is off limits because of all the natural sugars in it.  I'm a firm believer that Honeycrisp apples are a gift from the Baby Jesus himself around this time of year and I have not been able to enjoy my normal go-to fall snack the last 7 days.  I miss it.  Something else I easy breakfast.  Maybe I'm not creative enough, but I am having a hard time finding protein other than eggs to eat in the morning.  And eggs are something I actually have to cook.  And I HATE having to spend the extra time doing that in the morning.  My go to breakfast during the work week has been eggs scrambled with veggies (usually spinach or zucchini) and turkey bacon.  It's a bit harder to eat in my car on my way to work than toast or oatmeal, but I manage.  Sort of.

Other than that, it's pretty easy to stay on track.  I've always brought my lunch to work, and I've always packed healthy, so that's nothing new to me.  I've had to be a little more on top of things as far as meal-planning goes, but that's fine by me.  Planning meals into the second week has been a little tougher since I'm trying not to be repetitive, but it's actually helping me to branch out a little from my normal "go-to" meals.

Just to give you an idea, here is a breakdown of what I made for dinner last week:

Monday: Blackened Salmon w/ Roast veggies (squash, zucchini, sweet onion, bell pepper)
Tuesday: Chicken stuffed with sauteed spinach & goat cheese, side of seasoned green beans
Wednesday: Grilled chicken salad (husband had to work, and salad is my go-to meal when I'm cooking for 1)
Thursday: Taco salad with avocado & pico de gallo (I use ground turkey instead of ground beef and spicy taco seasoning for a kick)
Friday: Turkey sausage & sauerkraut
Saturday: Steaks on the grill and roasted veggies on the side

Truth be told, these are all recipes I've done many times...just with a more conscious effort to keep them as healthy as possible.  I'm no Martha Stewart, but I think I do okay and husband doesn't complain (only compliments from him!)

So, we'll see how the next 7 days turn out.  I have been keeping up with my running in combination with all of this (I really feel repulsive when I don't work out), and I do feel good.  No regrets so far, just a bit of disappointment that I haven't shed more (or any) weight thus far.  Depending on how I feel after day 14, I may keep the diet into effect until Thanksgiving just for good measure...that is if the bucket of leftover Halloween candy in our entry way stops taunting me.  I've not given in yet, but I'm worried some of those M&Ms might accidentally fall into my mouth if I'm not careful.  Moreover I'm worried my husband will wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of candy wrappers in the living room only to find me passed out with an empty Halloween bucket in my hand and a face covered in chocolate and shame.  I think he's legitimately worried about that too.

Life, Love and the Pursuit of Chocolate

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