• August Goals:

    100 miles on pedometer

    To Date: 24 miles

    Gym x8, Walk x4

    To Date: Gym - 2

    Drop 5 lbs

    To Date: no change

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Getting Crazier

15It’s turning into one of those times in life where you are double-checking every little thing you do because your mind has so many lists and to-dos going on that you can’t remember where you are. Last night I went downstairs twice to shut the patio door. :) Noodle brain!

Ben seemed to tweak his back earlier this week – he’s has some lingering on-again / off-again pain ever since one of our first boot camp classes months ago where he was doing a burpee and over-extended his back. Not good. That required a last minute stop at the chiropractor and luckily she was able to squeeze him in. I’ve gotta tell you, I don’t have a good doctor or hairdresser but I’m so thankful for my chiropractor. She’s amazing. <3

Last night Ben got home, we raced over for his adjustment, and then we were driving to our wedding locale to meet with our officiate for the last time. We have most of the final ceremony details ironed out and I can cross that off the list. By the time we got home I was starving – and our fantasy football draft had already begun. I didn’t have time to join in and let the computer auto-draft for me. We’ll see how I do…

I finally got a good night’s sleep last night and my brain is starting to feel less foggy. Posts may be sporadic these next couple weeks. Tomorrow I’m having my final dress fitting and getting some highlights in my hair. My hair loss has definitely slowed down but I’m still losing more than normal. I’m hoping some highlights will help give the illusion of more fullness. Plus, I didn’t want to go the fake hair route. We’ll see how it turns out.

Looking like a nice night tonight – hopefully I can get outside for a walk. The exercise has been painfully low these past couple weeks. I’m trying to go easy on myself with my leg pain but I’m itching to take advantage of the last weeks of nice evening weather (when it’s light enough TO walk after work!).

Off and running – happy Thursday!!!

The Humid Packer Game

I almost titled today’s post “The Hunger Games” but couldn’t figure out how to make that work into the post at all. Ha!

So the weekend of humidity and window-fogging has come to a close. Today it’s supposed to be less humid with a high of 76. Umm yes please! My uncle sent us 4 tickets to last Friday’s pre-season game and since it was the 3rd game where the starters play a bit longer, we thought that was worth the heat/humidity. I’m not sure why but every time we go to an August game, it’s always super hot and sticky. :)

Since the new rules not allowing purses larger than a wallet, I opted to leave everything at home and have Ben be the official photographer on his phone. It’s pretty amazing how the quality has improved over time. Makes me amazed regular cameras are still so pricey.

This was Ben’s panoramic shot. I love the guy in the blue hat with half of his body missing. ;)


Don’t ask me to take a self-portrait. My arms are too short and the button on the phone made it harder to get a normal shot.


It was a fun game though. We invited one of Ben’s co-workers and he and his wife were fun and laid back. There always is so much more excitement and energy when you are AT a game versus watching from home. Of course, getting a beverage or using the bathroom is more convenient at home. ;)


The first quarter was pretty sticky and humid but after the sun started to go down we picked up a little breeze and all felt much, much better. Plus, it’s hard to have too much of a problem when the Packers were rolling over the Raiders. Feels good to win – even in preseason!


We left after the third quarter and began the trek back to find the car. We parked in some guy’s front yard and had to remember which street it was on. It was a bit of an adventure and luckily no other cars were parked next or in front of us. A lot of times people try and cram as many cars into their front and side lawns as possible and you are stuck waiting for the drivers to come back so you can get home. Not this time – plus cheap parking ($10). Overall win.

Wouldn’t you know, we also have tickets to the Jets game on Sept 14th – but we decided early on that trying to take on another game the same weekend as the wedding was biting a bit too much off. Since we don’t know who will still be in town or how the wedding will go, Ben and I thought it might be better to use Sunday to wind down a bit.

I am all signed up for my fantasy football team. I’m 100% positive I’ll do better than last year *dead last*. Can’t wait for the start of regular season!!


Into the teens


Hello and happy Monday everyone! I hope the weekend was restful, relaxing, and maybe even a bit exciting. I’m coming off of one of those nights where your brain won’t shut off and you spend most of the night wide awake tossing and turning. I think maybe I got close to 2 hours of sleep – and I feel it this morning. Need coffee ASAP!

Today is the “hot” day – one of the hottest this summer in fact. All weekend has been really thick and humid but today is the worst yet. Luckily it’s also the last day before the front pushes through cooler weather. How about 20 degrees cooler by Thursday:

20 degree drop

That might feel downright chilly – but I’m looking forward to it. I love the range of temps from 60-75 the most, so this will be wonderful. Lots of rain lately though… and that’s making me nervous. As long as it stays away on wedding day I’ll be OK.

Now that we’re under the 3-week mark, I’m starting to panic and make lists of everything that’s left to do. The trouble is, I keep thinking I’m forgetting stuff. That’s probably typical I’d imagine. This week we need to pick up our wedding bands (they are here!!), meet with the pastor for the final time, and get down to City Hall to pick up our marriage license.

We’ve been swimming in zucchini and bell peppers right now and they manifest themselves at dinner almost every night. Last night Ben grilled chicken breasts and then we used a veggie grill pan to cook up zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and green pepper – all from the garden! I can’t get enough of the garden produce and I really have loved using the grill pan to cook the vegetables. It’s definitely a delicious new way to eat them.


Ok, I am beat. Time to wrap this up, grab a cup of coffee and head to work. Hopefully I don’t need to take a lunchtime power nap to stay functioning! :)

Just 3 Weeks

21Three weeks now folks. Can you believe it? I’ve definitely maxed out on my share of sweat and tears during the planning but in the end I have to keep reminding myself that it is a mere blip on the radar. There are so many articles, books, planning guides, and magazines about how to have the perfect wedding – “the most important day of your life” – but what about all the days after that? Shouldn’t even more focus and energy be on having a good, solid marriage?

Like any clueless person searching for wedding ideas, I occasionally come across a little gem. I loved this so much that I thought I would use today’s post to share with you. Maybe some of you aren’t married yet, maybe some of you are married but struggling with some day-to-day stuff that feels overwhelming. I think there’s value here and even for people not working on creating their perfect day, the thing to remember is that it’s just a day. Life shouldn’t be so defined by that one moment – no life should be. Read on from a snippet of the article Anne Almasy wrote for the huffingtonpost:

“If your wedding day is the most important day of your life, you are bound for a future of insignificance and monotony.

Yes, your wedding day marks the start of a new journey, the establishment of a new family. But it is just one important day in your life.

You will have other parties. You will make new friends. Your family will grow with the addition of cats and dogs and maybe even real human children. You will buy a house, travel to amazing places, get your dream job.

Your life will be full of so many wonderful, terrible, important days, that eventually your wedding will fade to a sweet haze of a memory, with only your photographs to recall your dad’s mismatched socks or your cake with the very definite lean to the left.

When you find yourself panicking because your invitations look more purple than eggplant, it’s time to stop, take a deep breath, and remember that this isn’t the most important day. Your wedding day is one very important day in a series of important days that will make up all the days of your very full, very rich, very wonderful life.”

wedding ring
I wish all of you a rich, wonderful, and happy life! (And a happy weekend too!!) :-)

The Countdown has begun


For the longest time people have been stopping me in the hallways at work and asking what the countdown was before the wedding. To be honest, I have known it’s been getting closer but I wasn’t really watching the exact days. Well, that’s changed now. I’m starting to think I need a day-by-day planner so I am sure I’ll have time to get all the remaining things done. After feeling like I had scads of time, tomorrow will be the 3-week mark. Holy, holy macaroni.

After the past couple of rain storms, the weeds are now flourishing in the yard. The grass isn’t 100% but Ben went out last night and gave everything a quick cut. After that, we got called over to my family’s house for an impromptu birthday meal!

What a feast! My mom made several of my favorite dishes and we loaded up on awesome goodness.

I grabbed some caprese salad – with fresh mozzarella and garden tomatoes.


My grandma used to make calico beans with brown sugar and bacon. My brother Matt adores this recipe and it was delicious!


Ironically, we haven’t had melon much this year – so Ben was excited to load up on fruit. :)


Mom also made her sweet and sour cucumbers. They have a bit of sugar and vinegar in them.


But the star of the show were one of my favorite summer dishes: homemade BBQ spare ribs. These are absolutely to die for. You boil them the night before and make a homemade sauce that they marinade in overnight. The result are these tender, juicy, and flavorful chunks of deliciousness.


My plate (she also made homemade potato wedge fries. they were sooooo good!):


My birthday cake was an orange gelatin cake:


It looked and smelled beautiful but we all agreed that probably wasn’t one we’d make again. (I know, right, how can I say that about CAKE??!!) But the spongy bits of cake had a weird texture alongside the more gelatin pieces. It was just a weird and not appetizing mouth feel.


But who cares after a meal like that?

Somehow, I didn’t manage to get a picture of ME in front of my cake! That might be the first time that’s ever happened. I’ll have to hope the folks snagged a picture. :) What can I say, I’m a sucker for tradition.

So a possible dinner date with a girlfriend tonight, dress fitting #3 tomorrow, and then over the weekend we have a few things we need to get done and crossed off the wedding list. Slowly but surely folks!

Laid-Back Celebrating

First off – thanks to all of my wonderful blog friends who sent emails and posted happy birthday wishes on Facebook yesterday. You guys are so awesome! <3

We didn’t have too much planned this year, probably because mid-week birthdays don’t lend themselves to a lot of fuss and muss. That, and you get to an age where birthdays are really NBD. But still, it’s nice when someone you love does something a little special on your birthday, right?

So yesterday I was at work, drowning myself in spreadsheets and status updates, when I got called that someone sent me flowers. Who doesn’t love flowers at work!?

I didn’t have my camera at work, so this was taken with my tablet. Two dozen beautiful, sweet-smelling roses to brighten up my cubicle. It also came with a fluffy bear (un-pictured) which is funny because my *ahem* secret flower gifter knows I’m pretty much past the random stuffed animal phase in my life. Now I have two little bears in my cube keeping each other company alongside the “Friends” book about caring and sharing that also was included in the bouquet. We had a pretty good laugh about it too. If you’re sending someone two dozen long-stemmed roses, why would you send them a book about how nice it is to have friends? Random?

2014 bday flowers

I said it was a secret admirer gifter because someone forgot to put their name on the card. <3

The day was low-key with the regular work meetings and such. I got home and waited for Ben and then he took me out for dinner. I wanted to go back to the Machine Shed in Appleton to try the brisket.


We had a really sweet waitress whose birthday is coming up on Saturday. Ironically, a family of 4 sat close to us and the little girl was celebrating her 6th birthday as well. We had a laugh and I said I wasn’t 6 – I was just 16. (I wish!)

We placed our orders and then got our basket of fix’ins: coleslaw, cottage cheese, and a bread basket with fluffy rolls and applesauce sweet bread.


Ben always goes nuts over their bread, which is hilarious because most of the time we go out he tends to avoid the bread.

I ordered the BBQ beef brisket. Total home-style meal with mashed potatoes and baked beans:


Ben went with the sirloin tips on a bed of stuffing:


Ben’s meal wasn’t one he’d repeat. My brisket was excellent but I only sampled the beans and ate half of the potatoes.

The birthday girl got free dessert though and I gleefully rubbed my hands together at the gigantic brownie sundae in front of me. You can’t beat fresh and chewy brownies with ice cream and ample whipped cream with caramel and fudge drizzle.


Considering how full I was, this would have been more than enough to share, but Ben spotted the warm apple dumpling on the menu and wanted to try that too. One of the best things about having a fiancé has got to be having someone to swap bites of food so you get to try twice as many things. Luckily we both like the same kinds of food.


That dumpling was pretty magnificent!

So here we are, just over 3 weeks before the wedding. I flipped my calendar a couple times and BOOM – there it is. I admit, I’m still getting that bit of anxiety when I think about how close it is. It’s been surprisingly challenging planning because certain family members of ours have had specific ideas about what they want – which don’t often (ok ever) align with what we want. It’s hard planning a supposed “dream day” when you’re wondering/anxious if you’ll be getting flack or passive comments on the choices you make. It’s a good thing I’m not a wedding planner!! :)

So here I am, another year older but not necessarily wiser. All I know is I am blessed with love, family, and good friends. What more can you ask for?



Thunder & Lightning


Last night we had a full-blown, bon-a-fide thunder and lightning storm. We’ve had such a lack of rain this summer and I was talking to Ben last night and we couldn’t even recall the last time there was a thunder storm. Usually we get a few decent ones each year. But there was lots of great wind, rain, and action. I love summer rain storms.

My BFF Kari was in town from NY and we met up for a little shopping and catch-up. Our first stop was Barnes & Noble so she could find a book to keep her company on the plane ride back. We passed up on this gem in the clearance rack:


Are you surprised I didn’t even bother to flip it over and read the back? Maybe at the rock-bottom price of $2.98 it will fly off the shelf soon.

Last night’s bounty before the rain kicked in:


Food you grow yourself just tastes better. :)

I cracked open the windows to let the noise and a bit of air in and then settled down for another 2 hours of horror (otherwise known as Bachelor in Paradise). It’s a trainwreck and now that I’m watching, I can’t turn away. The nice thing is at all the commercials I do some kind of exercise. Some times I’d walk 3 loops around the downstairs of the house, or work my triceps, deltoids, or abs. There were crunches and leg raises, and it felt pretty good to keep moving with the nice breaks in between, Plus, when all was said and done, I added another 3,000 steps to my pedometer. I’ll take it!

Ben’s taking me out for dinner tonight and I’m excited! Maybe I’ll try and find the menu online over lunch and figure out what I want to order ahead of time. Does anyone else do that??

24 days to go!



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