Friday, July 11, 2014

June 28, 2014

It's hard to believe that this time two weeks ago I was loading up my car with all of our decor and booze to drop off at our wedding venue. June 28 was such a spectacular day and I can't wait to share all of the details with you! There will be much more to share as I start to collect my thoughts on the day, and as we get our pictures and video back from our vendors.

But for now, I'll indulge you...

Photo by Sean DeWitt Photography
To kick off the weekend we had absolutely perfect weather for being crazy enough to do an all outdoor wedding the last weekend in June in Virginia. I mean, killer weather! We had highs in the high 80s with good breeze and just enough sunshine to be pretty but not melt you. We also had amazing friends and family come into town from around the country and world to be with us. It would be fun now to map out where everyone did come in from--we couldn't have felt more blessed. I had the absolute best group of gals, and my favorite guy besides Mr. Young, to spend my wedding day with and I couldn't have picked a better bridal party.

Photo by Sean DeWitt Photography
In addition to actually getting married it was so overwhelming to have all of our favorite people in one place. We had a welcome gathering on Friday night after our rehearsal dinner and it may have been one of the highlights of the weekend to see a new friend coming in every five minutes. Sometimes the hard part of having so many great chapters in your life is having good friends spread across the country and not being able to see them regularly. I couldn't have been luckier to have them all there: my best friends growing up, my sorority sisters and college friends, the gals I worked and traveled with at Tri Sigma, my grad school friends, and now our friends that we have made here in Richmond.

To top that off, I couldn't have been more lucky than getting to say "I do" to this stud. Man he cleans up well!

Photo by Sean DeWitt Photography
Mr. Young gave me the most thoughtful and sweet wedding gifts and wrote me words that were unimaginable. We opted to write our own vows (more on crafting our own ceremony later), and funny enough said pretty much all of the exact same things to each other.

It was all absolutely magical and a blur at the same time. As much as people tell you it will go fast, I really couldn't believe it. It almost felt like we left the hotel for the ceremony and then I woke up Sunday morning and it was all over. However, we were able to truly enjoy our wedding and hope that all of our guests did as well. We couldn't have loved our wedding site, Historic Tredegar, anymore--it was the perfect spot for us. It also made some pretty amazing pictures possible!

Photo by Sean DeWitt Photography
This is just the beginning of wedding recaps, I can't wait to share the whole weekend and all of our details. After working on something for so long there's now plenty of time back on my calendar to get back to blogging. More to come, and now one week until our honeymoon on the Mediterranean!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: 490 Days

490 days is the length of my engagement to Mr. Young. 490 days of wedding planning. 490 days of being asked about wedding planning. 490 days of researching vendors, making decisions, and having a few of them back out last minute. 490 days of countless stamps, thank you notes, and trips to the post office. 490 days of incredible family and friends who have helped to pull everything together. 490 days of attempting to "get in shape", realizing that I'm fine the way I am, gaining five pounds in the month leading up to the big day, and not caring one bit.

Engagement pictures. Three showers. A bachelorette. And cake, so much cake.

Photo by Sean DeWitt Photography
About 90 days of being asked if I'm getting excited. Which by the way, what do you expect a bride to be to say when you ask that question? And why does it need to be asked so frequently? I think I'm more excited to no longer hear this question than I am to get married. Just kidding...maybe.

After sleeping, eating, and breathing this wedding for just about 490 days we have three days left. And I really couldn't be more excited for it be here and just be married. I can't wait to read some books for pleasure again and start training for my second half marathon. And I really can't wait to have some money back in my bank account.

But I promise I'm not wishing it away, I'm just so ready for it be here. I'd like to compare engagement to purgatory--and I have just been waiting so patiently to get to the other side and be married. As excited as I am to see 490 days of my blood, sweat, and tears (literally, all three have been present in this endeavor) come to fruition on Saturday, I still often have fleeting dreams of a simple and sweet elopement in a little white dress with our closest family and friends nearby. Focusing on what really is important when it comes to a wedding and not the nitty gritty details that I can't wait to stop thinking about.

However, it's going to be so worth it because every bone in my body knows that Saturday is going to be the best day. All of our best friends and family in the same place, our favorite foods, our favorite drinks, and our favorite music to celebrate spending the rest of my life with my favorite person. And I don't think it gets any better than that.

490 long days, all for one big day. It's time to get married y'all!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Powerful Beyond Measure

Keeping these words close to me lately and excited to have time for some projects after this wedding...

Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure! It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a Child Of God: your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

– Marianne Williamson

Thursday, May 8, 2014

To Me, I am Perfect

This post is a long time coming.

Yesterday evening I went to a group exercise class called Fit Fusion (similar to Body Pump) and afterwards went for a mile jog around the track in the gym. I didn't have my headphones and you can't hear the gym's music up on the track so it was one of those rare moments of the day where I am completely unplugged and alone with my thoughts.

Lately I've been trying all kinds of new tricks like the juice diet (overall thoughts coming soon) and getting back in tune with the nutrition plan from Tone It Up (love me some K&K!) as we get closer and closer to the wedding. I've always known that my wedding would be the one thing to "get me in shape". I really out of shape?

I work out at least three times a week and stay pretty active. Usually I'm pretty good about what I eat, though my sweet tooth can catch me sometimes. I never order french fries (always a side salad or veggies), rarely eat fried food, and never drink soda or sugary drinks. I have all of the knowledge I need about eating healthy and working out, but sometimes I completely disregard it.

With a 16 month engagement it finally hit me...if "getting in shape" (whatever that idea is in my head) was that much of a priority, I would have done it already. I can definitely tend to be a procrastinator but when I set my mind to a goal I reach it. I wanted to run a half marathon so I did. I had a setback with my hip stress fracture and worked hard to run a 10k while recovering. I ran my heart out my last semester of grad school and finally shed the 15-20 lbs that was lingering from college. If I want it, I will get it.

What's funny is I actually made this image the background on the home screen of my phone in early January. I wanted a healthy message to be reminded of for 2014, and I have completely disregarded it and instead have been counting calories, trying crash diets, and mad when numbers on the scale don't drop. And we all know I should have tossed that scale out the window months ago.

So I think that I have come to terms with accepting my body, yet still succumb to the societal messages that are out there. Everytime I hear about a "bridal bootcamp" or see the hashtag #sweatingforthewedding I continue to think about how I should be perfecting myself for the big day. What do I have to sweat for? I have a partner who knows what I look like and rather than running away he put a beautiful ring on my finger and asked if I would be his for the rest of time. It's certainly not for him.

Would I love it if I could slip into a size six rather than an eight? Heck yes! But considering I spent 2009-2012 anywhere from size 10 to 14, it's still a sweet little victory every time I pull on a size eight dress. I've also gotten past the point of sizing. I own items size small through extra large and I just buy clothes that fit me, no matter what the label might say.

I've come to terms with the fact that my hips will always be significantly larger than my waist, and know that some gals would kill for an hourglass shape. Healthy is my goal: continuing to be active, maintaining good nutrition, while also letting myself indulge sometimes, is really all that I need to reach what I'm looking for.

To me, I am perfect. And who's approval is more important than my own? I hope you'll take this journey back towards being healthy and away from "perfection".