Thursday, April 3, 2014

Holy Shiz, My Brother Got Married

Where did March go?! I feel like I haven't slept since February, and every weekend has been crazy busy. 

So one tiny big detail I left out from my Colorado trip is that my older brother casually told me mid-car ride that he was proposing to his girlfriend of 5 years. Yea, nbd, I'm just getting a sister-in-law, ya know. Well, actually, I should say I now have a sister-in-law, officially speaking and such. Unfortunately they had to move up their wedding date to say, a week to the day after they got engaged (they picked the wedding date 2 days before the actual wedding) since she's from Hong Kong and doesn't yet have a visa. Crazy, right?! But also super exciting. Nate and I had 2 years to plan a wedding, and here we were, 72 hours before the big day and trying to put together a small but beautiful wedding for them.

My dad and I (being the most A type personalities in the family) immediately started playing wedding planner. I ordered the cake and bouquet, my dad found a beautiful venue, and my brother and his fiance got everything worked out with a photographer and pastor. Nate also stepped up as husband of the year and made some kickass cake pops that the bride had always wanted (since I was knee-deep in wedding projects). Seriously, I think there's nothing that kid can't do. 

 Last Saturday was a blur of us getting pampered for the wedding with appointments for hair, nails and makeup. Finally the time rolled around, and I have to say, it went off beautifully. Her dress was gorgeous, they were surrounded by friends and family, and the food/drink/cake was delicious. It still hasn't sunk in that my brother is now married (I was the first one to take the plunge in our family), but I'm super happy for him and his new wife.
Nate's magnificent cake pops

Ready to go to the wedding!
All of the most important men in my life
The happy couple!

So March 2014 in a nutshell: went on vacation, brother got engaged, brother got married, got a new job, and begun the backyard patio project for our house (more to come on that last one later). 

I'm now going to take a nap for the remainder of April. Wake me up when it's May :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Colorado recap and photo dump

What a crazy couple of weeks! Between going to Colorado and accepting a new job life has been anything but dull.

The Colorado trip started with a 9+ hour car ride with my 2 brothers, my husband and my 8 year old nephew. If you've never driven across western Kansas, you can safely say you're not missing anything. After miles of tumbleweeds, brown dead grass and the occasional rest stop, we finally reached the mountains. We immediately checked in at the condo and grabbed our lift tickets/rentals at the ski shop before making a little dinner and calling it a night. 

The next 3 days filled with beautiful.scenery, great food, and of course, skiing. We skied all day every day, and even hit up the terrain park the last day to see my brothers go off some jumps (I attempted once, only to chicken out at the last minute). It was our first time at Copper mountain (usually Breck or Winter Park are our regular choices), and after going once I can 150% say we'll be back next year (I may have already bought the lift tickets...). The people that worked there were so friendly, it was an easy mountain to navigate and it's close enough to Breck/Frisco in case you want to check out some other fun ski towns.

First day of skiing and taking a rest break outside one of the mountain lodges.

Top O' the mountain on St. Patrick's Day.

Giant Hamster ball they stuck my nephew in that my older brother (left) and Nate (right) pushed him around in.

Kids in ski gear = I die.

Get it?

S'mores after a long day of skiing!

I can't wait to go back. For now I'll take the spring weather, but I'll still be counting down the months I can see those beautiful mountains again. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The End of an Era

So last week was absolutely amazing (I could ski every day of my life and never get tired of it), but a post-vacation recap will have to wait. I have some big news.

Because it's work-official, I can now say that I've accepted a job at a different company. Since college graduation I've worked at the same company, have loved my coworkers, and have really grown both personally and professionally. I never thought I'd be taking the next step and moving to another company to get more experience, but it's happened.

I can honestly say it's bittersweet. Don't get me wrong, I am so so so excited to start a new adventure at a new job, but leaving behind what I've known and who I've known is tough. I've made some amazing friends, and telling them this week was hard. I know we'll still keep in touch (it's not like I'm moving), but it'll be weird not seeing their faces everyday. Professionally, this is a great move for me, and I'm so grateful to have the opportunity. Realizing this in my heart helped me make the decision that it was time to move on.

So here's to new adventures, new scenery, and loving the future while not forgetting the past.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone! I'm super excited this week is almost over, especially since most of next week I'll be on vacation! At the last minute we threw together a ski trip to Colorado with my husband, brothers and nephew. I do have to admit I'll miss the spring weather we've been having recently, but I'm sure as soon as my skis hit the slopes I won't mind the winter weather as much :)

So ending this week on a high note, let's get through some of my favorites from this week!

1. I laughed for at least 5 minutes straight when I saw this. Reddit always knows how to keep me entertained at night while lounging on the couch. How has no one thought of doing this before?!

2. Lunches outside the office. This week I've been enjoying the beautiful weather by getting out of the office at lunch and soaking up some vitamin D. Getting in a needed break while also enjoying some time with friends is a win/win. 

3. Yard projects. I think what makes me feel like actual adult is the fact that I like doing yard work/projects now. Last weekend Nate and I went to the HD to browse some patio stones (we'll be ripping out our decrepit deck next month and replacing it with a patio) as well as grab materials to make some raised garden beds. I'm a big veggie/fruit eater, so I'm pretty excited to have our own garden this year. We're also hosting a good friend's graduation party as well as my sister-in-law's baby shower in our backyard this spring, so that provides even more incentive to get to work on making our yard beautiful!

I've come to the realization that this is verbatim what we said to some friends last weekend. Nice lil' Saturday planned at Home Depot!

4. Forever 21 Jewelry. I'm not a huge fan of their clothing (being 5'9" provides some challenges when you're not a huge fan of mid-drift shirts or bottoms that barely cover your tush), but I love their jewelry. It's so inexpensive that you don't mind if an earring goes MIA, and they basically run the gamete of jewelry styles so you can always find what you're looking for. I picked up some bib necklaces, basic earrings and fun new rings and my total was still less than $30. Score!

5. All of the fun new flowers popping up in our yard. Last year, Nate and I scored some flower bulbs on sale. At first we planted them very strategically, but after awhile we just decided to abandon that route and threw the rest of them in a 5 gallon bucket. We mixed them up, planted them in random spots, and called it good. When it was nice last Sunday we were working in the yard and saw these beauties greeting us. I can hardly wait to see what other fun flowers come up! 

Hello little baby crocuses!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sunshine to start off this beautiful week!

So with 2014 I made a comeback to blogging, and have been nominated for a Sunshine Award by one of my favorite blogs to read, A Redhead's Guide. What is it, you ask? Well, it's just a fun lil' exercise for some blogging friends to do. The rules are as follows:

1. Post 11 random facts about yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the nominating blogger
3. Nominate 11 bloggers you think bring sunshine into the world (I might only have 1 or 2 here as I am fairly new to this whole blogging deal :-))
4. Come up with 11 questions to ask them

Okay so now for #1 - 11 random facts about myself

1. I have never broken any bones in my body, like, ever. I was a pretty active kid (and still am, as an adult), but the only time I've been to the hospital was when I got 8 stitches in my chin when I fell on the ice during ice skating  figure skating practice. Yup, that's right, figure skating. That's what happens when the first part of your childhood is spent just minutes from the Canadian border.

2. I can bend the last knuckle on all of my fingers.

3. I was 22 when I got married, and my husband was 27. The judgment I got from complete strangers about my husband and I being young when we were getting married really bummed me out. Yes, I understand my husband looks younger than he is and I really was young when we got married, but 1. If you knew me, you'd know I've always been mature 2. I knew my husband was the one and 3. it's our life, we're not hurting anyone else, so why do you care?. 4 years married and 9 dating, and we're as strong as ever.

4. I frequently have conversations with my dogs, as if they could answer me back.

5. Speaking of the pigs, I used some of the money I got from High School graduation to buy my first dog, Max. Yes, I know you're supposed to use it for college textbooks, but a pug seemed like a better choice. I still stand by this decision :).

6. If I had a ton of money and could drive any car, it would be a Range Rover. Despite the awful reviews and fuel economy, it's my dream car.

7. My best friend is the exact opposite of me. She's in a band, currently has teal hair, is covered in tattoos and is a bit of a wild child. I went to business school, am blonde, have no tattoos, and work a 8-5. It works though, and even after 17 years we have just as much fun as when we were kids.

8. I'm 1/4 Russian. My grandpa immigrated to the US in his 20s, and thanks to him I know maybe 20 words of Russian.

9. My least favorite house chore is ironing. I can never get the shirts 100% perfect and it drives me nuts, so lately I've just been having a dry cleaners launder my button-ups :)

10. I'm not a concert person. I've never really seen the appeal of standing for 3 hours surrounded by a bunch of other sweaty people as your favorite band plays live (but never sounds as good as the record). I'd rather just buy their album, and then listen to it in the car.

11. I was always the kid that fell asleep first at sleepover parties. I've always been a sleeper, and even now I still need 8-9 hours of sleep (or more if I can get it) in order to function the next day.

#2 Answer the questions from the nominating blogger:

1: Do you like to cook? What is your favorite dish to make, and do you just make it up or do you follow a recipe? I'm definitely more of a baker than a cooker. I can make a decent meal, but 9 times out of 10 I'd rather bake something than cook. I mostly just grill/bake some kind of protein for dinner, and then serve it with a side of veggies and rice (we have a rice cooker so it's easier to have rice as a starch than say, a potato). My favorite dish to make is lasagna because it's easy, you can make it up as you go along, and it's pretty fool-proof.

2. Cats or dogs? DOGS! I grew up with cats as a kid, and I definitely love all animals, but as soon as I got my dogs I realized how much of a dog person I actually am.

3. If you could pick any place in the world to live, where would it be and why? Definitely have to give this one to Denver/Breck/WinterPark in Colorado. I'm a mountain person vs. a beach person, and I love Colorado no matter what time of year it is. The area is just so beautiful, and if I could wake up every day and go on a hike or ski, I'd be one happy lady :).

4. Are you a parent? Do you want to have (more) kids? Nope, I am definitely not a parent! I do want kids though, just not today.

5. Porch swing or hammock? Well, we have actually have a porch swing, and since it's not very comfortable, I'd have to go with hammock.

6. Margarita or wine? Or do you prefer the brew? I'm actually not a big drinker, but if I had to choose, I'd go with a glass of wine.I also like a good mojito. Over everything though I'd go with a chocolate bar over a sugary cocktail.

7. What's your favorite Tom Hanks movie? Oh man, this is so hard! I really liked Road to Perdition.

8. The greatest life lesson you've ever learned? I think for me, it's just that family is important and every day you should always try to be a good person. It takes 2 seconds to ask someone how they are, and that just might make the difference in someone's life.

9. What's your favorite quote? "Background and circumstance may influence who we are, but we are responsible for who we become." I can't remember who it's from.

10. Favorite color? Oh gosh, this changes probably daily. Right now I'm digging mint, but ask me again in a day and I'll give you a different answer.

11. If you won the lottery, how would you spend it? I think I'd donate a lot of it to charity (mostly pediatric cancer research), but I'd also make sure I'd take care of my family and maybe would buy a couple of houses and some expensive handbags :)

My nominated bloggers:

Just Jenny Lynne

The Life of a Running Momma

Fleming's First

My questions:
1. What would your perfect night consist of?
2. If you could meet any person (living or dead) who would it be?
3. What do you do for a living, and what do you like most about it?
4. Do you have pets, and if so, what are their name(s)/age(s) (give us a pic if you have it too!).
5. What's your favorite food?
6. Have you ever won anything? What was it?
7. What's the most exciting thing that's happened to you in the past year (or two)?
8. What's one place you haven't visited but would like to?
9. What's your favorite space (can be a place you like to go, an area in your house, etc).
10. If you had unlimited store credit to any one store, which store would it be and why?
11. What's some good advice?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Valentine's Weekend Recap

This year I can honestly say Valentine's day was done right in our household. While (most) couples were hitting up the fancy schmancy restaurants and dropping $100+ on dinner, Nate and I celebrated Valentine's day in the best way we knew how: a night of margs, mexican food, and lounging. The couple next to us even gave us a $5 coupon that they weren't using. And while we didn't totally skip out on the holiday (he got me the prettiest bouquet of roses AND cleaned the house while I got him a 6 pack and a hoodie from his favorite brewery), we definitely kept it more low-key.

I could never have enough margs with chips and salsa. 
A low-key Friday was then filled with a jam-packed Saturday as my friend came down from Minnesota, bringing her beau and a couple of friends. We all had tickets to go to the KU basketball game, and it being my first I was pretty pumped. Being a KU alum I'm sort of ashamed to admit I've actually never seen a game in person, but with tickets not being cheap and students having to camp out to get tickets, I've just never gotten around to it. Alas, 3 years after graduating I finally made it to one, and it was amazing. The energy from the student section is unreal, and being surrounded by a full house of KU fans was so much fun.

The photobomber to the left of me had us laughing for at least 5 minutes straight.

The view from our seats. We showed up an hour before the game to snag them as we were in general admission :)
So after dominating the other team by 30 points, we had to celebrate our victory by going out. By 1 am I was spent, and the next day I woke up and (no surprise) was feeling a little rough. After breakfast, a shower, and saying goodbye to my friend, I headed straight to the couch for much needed recovery time. I found enough energy to get in a run just before dinner, and then we took it easy the rest of the night. All in all it was a great weekend, and the perfect way (in my opinion) to celebrate V-day.

What did you do for Valentine's day?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday Training

Over the past few weeks my training has been pretty consistent, with 3-4 workouts per week. The whole healthy eating thing is working as well, although I do still let myself cheat a little too much when it comes to the weekends. I'm still seeing progress, however slow it may be, which is good. Now I just got to keep it up, and with this week being Valentine's Day week I can already feel my motivation being challenged.

Last Saturday I got in my 4th workout for the week by hitting up the local ski place with my bros about an hour away. I figured this would be a way to curb our craving for Colorado skiing. Fail. Epic fail. I loved it so much that I'm now determined to go to Colorado next month. Fake snow is great, but I need the mountains and fresh powder. We'll see what we can put together last minute, but I'm hoping we can all come together and agree on a condo to rent and a place to ski. Skiing to me is the equivalent to a beach vacation, but without the pain of coming back and having to diet (hello, 8+ hours of activity per day).

Me and my lil bro taking a break for lunch inside the lodge. 

So while my head may already be in the mountains, I'm still going to try to stay grounded by making some goals this week.

Goal 1: Get in at least 3 workouts this week. 1 down, at least 2 more to go.
Goal 2: Take tape measurements so I can check progress with something other than the scale.
Goal 3: Find items I'd like to buy (new running shoes/cute workout tops/etc) that are motivational that I can reward myself with once I've reached certain stepping stones. Looks like I'll be binge-pinning to my boards this week.

Linking up for Move it Monday!