Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Warning: Common Side Effects of Becoming Engaged

As the first couple weeks of becoming an engaged couple have passed, I've come to realize a few things have changed. I'm experiencing a few "side effects" over here and although I wish someone had warned me, I'm kind of enjoying discovering these things as they come. 

Inability to concentrate. Mainly at work. Sorry, I'm not sorry- I have other things on my mind.

Uncontrollable urge to stare at my hand. There's something sparkly there that wasn't there a couple weeks ago. And it's gorgeous.

Overuse of the word "fiance". "Oh hey, fiance!", "Good morning, fiance!", "How is my fiance doing?" Yep, it's nauseating. However, we only have a few months to call each other this so it's kind of fun.

Need to have nails painted at all times. You never know when someone may be asking to stare at your left hand. Plus, I need to make up for the ugly greige polish I was wearing when he proposed.

Extra daydreaming and extreme excitement when thinking about getting married. This goes along with the "inability to concentrate", however when I daydream I tend to show emotion on my face. So, I'm finding myself smiling like a goofball while driving, in between sessions, and pretty much anytime I think about getting married.

Desire to watch wedding shows, peruse Pinterest, and browse wedding websites. Let's be honest, I did the first two things before becoming engaged, but it's different now. It's real and I feel like I'm actually planning for an event instead of an idea.

Irritation at being asked, "Have you picked a date?". I'm trying to be patient and nice about this one. I understand it's a natural question that people don't even think about, but let's be serious. We literally just got engaged and although we have an idea of when we'd like to get married, we have done no planning and would just like to enjoy this engagement for a little while. 

I promise I'll post about something else... eventually. :)
Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Our Proposal Story

I'm so excited to share our proposal story today. I've tried to hit the highlights and already feel there are details I don't remember and some that I'd like to stay between the two of us. I'm sure Chris would have a different perspective and I'm going to see if I can get his side of the story up here in the near future. Enjoy!

October 26, 2013 was a beautiful, crisp, sunny Saturday. Chris suggested that we go on a hike to Sugarloaf Mountain, a nearby "mountain" (more like a hill, but the best that this side of Maryland has). We'd done this before and one of our favorite pictures together was taken there at the beginning of our relationship. We accidentally picked the harder trail, which I was fine with because I was in the mood for a work-out! Little did I know it would be much more than that.

We got to the top of the mountain and no one was around. Chris thought we should find the area we took the picture at before, and we agreed that we should take another picture just like it. I stood there peering out onto the beautiful land below, full of yellow and orange- a perfect October day. I turned around and Chris said a few words, unzipped his jacket pocket and pulled out a little black box. 

I'm pretty sure my heart stopped for a second. At first, I thought he was joking and then quickly realized this was real. He got down on one knee and asked, "Will you marry me?" I was in shock. I realized I hadn't said anything, instead my eyes filled with tears, and I cried said "Yes!". In the moment, we weren't too sure which finger the ring went on which was hilarious, but we figured that out and of course I started crying more. 

After spending a few minutes at the top of the mountain taking everything in (and me shaking, crying and almost falling off a rock because that's how I roll), we decided to walk down the mountain. We must have had perfect timing because as we were leaving, tons of people started walking up. Chris knew that I didn't want to be proposed to in front of people, so having no one around during our special moment was perfect. I decided I should stop ugly crying so my face wouldn't look puffy for the rest of the day- a day that took a drastic turn I could have never expected. We made our way down the mountain and started making phone calls. 

Chris revealed that he'd been busy that week- although he had been looking for rings for months, if not a year, he finally found one earlier in the week. The jeweler happened to have everything in stock and was able to make the ring quickly. Chris picked up the ring on Friday and sneakily visited my dad to ask him permission to marry me. That part was so important to me and I couldn't be happier that Chris talked to my dad. I like "traditional" and my dad was so honored and happy.

After leaving the mountain, I decided my chipping, greige nail polish wasn't going to cut it (I would have gotten a manicure if I'd known, obviously!) so we went home to change clothes and my nail polish. We headed down to the jewelry store- Chris didn't get the ring sized because they can do it in a few minutes at the jeweler and wanted it to be the perfect size. The car ride consisted of more phone calls, at which point we'd called everyone we needed to. We stopped at Starbucks to get some much needed caffeine and then decided to update the inevitable Facebook status. We picked up the ring and headed over to see my parents- first, my Dad and Jake and then to my Mom. It was so much fun to share this excitement with them...I wouldn't trade those moments for the world and will remember them forever. Chris' parents then took us out to dinner to celebrate with lots of wine and Italian food. 

it's not really pink- that's the reflection of my phone case. I'll get better pictures soon!

I should also add that he picked a great location- not only can we go back to the mountain year after year, we can see the mountain from where we live. It was the perfect day. Neither of us slept that night... we were just so overwhelmed, excited and in a dream. I still feel like I'm in a dream and never want to wake up! Even though we've been dating almost 7 years, this just feels different. In an amazing way. I never would have understood this a couple weeks ago but if you're engaged/married, I'm sure you know what I mean. We're so excited to finally get married and can't wait for this new chapter to begin. 2014 is going to be a great year!

Monday, October 28, 2013


More details are coming soon, but I'm so excited to announce that Chris and I are engaged! 
I couldn't be happier and have been floating on a cloud the past couple days.

I can't wait to write out the full "story", I literally haven't even had time to sleep since Saturday. We are so excited for everything that's to come!

Friday, October 25, 2013

High Five for Friday + 10 Years Since...

Happy Friday! It's getting chilly here in Maryland... there was actually frost last night. I'm not sure how I feel about that... I'm ready for the holidays but not ready to be freezing all the time! 

This week was a busy one and I managed to squeeze 5 days of work into 4 because I'm off work today. The downside of living an hour away from work is that when you have a dentist appointment smack dab in the middle of the day, you really don't feel like driving back and forth to work twice. Or only working for 2 hours... so you take the entire day off. I'm not complaining.

Exactly 10 years ago, on October 25, 2003, I went to homecoming with this guy. I kept him waiting while I got ready and I still do to this day. Somehow, he still puts up with me. I couldn't have asked for a more patient, intelligent, hilarious and loving man to build a life with.
I can't believe it's been 10 years since this night! Chris and I didn't start dating until a few years later, but this definitely "sparked" something in us. It wasn't the right timing (I mean, hello, we were 16/17) but we remained best friends and I always knew we would end up together.

I joked to Chris that we should re-enact this photo today. I still have the dress!
On another "love" note, I went wedding dress shopping with my friend/former roomie Katie for her upcoming wedding. It was so much fun, we always talked about being bridesmaids in each others weddings and I'm so happy for her and excited for this whole process! Not to mention, she looked gorgeous and found a couple pretty amazing options.

She didn't try on any of these! No spoiling allowed {I'm too superstitious!}
Today is also my beautiful grandmother's birthday! Her example of unconditional love and support is one that I will cherish and follow for the rest of my life. I love you, Bubbe!

a few years ago...

more than a few years ago ;)

I don't really have any other pictures from the week because I was so busy with work that I would literally come home and collapse. That should make this weekend even sweeter :) Have a great one!

Linking up with Lauren

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gotta Start Somewhere

Last night was Day 1 of Couch to 5k for me. I decided it was time to get off my lazy butt and do something. A couple months ago, I started to get into shape by running. I noticed my weight go down and my muscles become more toned.
Then we moved, I lost my convenient apartment gym and I got lazy again. Not to mention having an hour commute, leaving minimal time for leisure activities.
Then I realized... those are just lame excuses.
I'm doing this.

I am blessed to not need to lose much weight, but I need to get healthy. I need to improve my mental and physical health and there's no better way than exercise. 

Last night I ran straight out my front door for 2 miles and I feel so good. Yeah, my muscles are sore but I am doing this!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Weekend in Pictures

This weekend was an eventful one. We had no time to work on the vanity, so there it sits in the garage, still. Is it just me, or are weekends too short?  I think we need 3 days. I could totally cram my work into 4 days!

Here's our weekend in pictures...

loving these orange dyed (and regular) sunflowers

this combination is so yum!

our first try at making indian food. wow it was so spicy! we're learning :)

Renaissance fair! Food, shows, and lots of interestingly dressed people. Fun!

sword swollower. insane.

My mom's Belle sitting like a lady... too cute.
Not pictured, we also saw Gravity in 3d Imax. Oh my gosh... if you see one movie, go see this one. In 3d. I was a little on the fence about seeing it, but it was incredible.

Now it's time for another Monday. Thankfully it's a four day week for me as I took Friday off! What did you do this weekend? 

Friday, October 18, 2013

8 Inches and Friday Randoms

Happy Friday!
It's been a pretty eventful week and getting back into blogging is just what I've been needing.

1) I cut 8 inches off my hair! I feel so much lighter and probably even lost a couple pounds as a result. I've been wavering between loving and hating it, but I'm leaning towards the "loving" side now. It's an adjustment for sure.

don't mind the awkward selfie 

2) Chris and I decided to refinish my old vanity. My dad and I refinished it once five years ago and after a few burn marks and peeling paint, I decided it was a good time to tackle it again. This project is a tricky one for sure, but I can't wait for the finished product.

3) Have you checked out my broccoli and cheese soup? It's seriously so good. This recipe makes ton, I currently have the rest sitting in my freezer just waiting for a busy work night to be heated up easily. Yum yum yum

4) We're planning on a fun weekend of (hopefully) finishing up the vanity, seeing Gravity (I heard it's one of the best movies ever, has anyone seen it?) and going to the Renaissance fair. Probably some more picture-hanging and setting things up thrown in there, too. 

5) I'm so so excited to be blogging again. I've missed the interactions with you all. I haven't stopped reading everyone else's blogs over the past couple months but I find it so therapeutic to write my own. Having somewhere to keep track of my happenings is pretty amazing. When I look at posts from a year ago, I realize how much my life has changed. When I get to write out my honest, raw feelings about my relationship or anything else, that's therapeutic.

Have a great weekend!
Linking up with Lauren for High Five for Friday

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"You Don't Understand Yet"

Recently, someone asked if I was married. I replied, "No". Since this was someone I couldn't go into personal details with, I couldn't reply with my usual "No, but we've been dating almost 7 years, lived together 5 of those years" so I left it at that. To which the person tells me "you don't understand yet- you will when you get married".

Wait a minute. What don't I understand? It really got me thinking. Sure, we aren't married yet- I get that. There is a whole other level of commitment and I don't mean to devalue marriage in any way. But to assume I don't "understand it"? I'm not sure what that means. 

photo credit: Michael Maiatico

So, here's what I do understand.
I understand faithfulness and loyalty. 
I understand making my boyfriend a priority.
I understand the need for communication.
I understand compromise.
I understand caring for each other when one is sick.
I understand the balance of spending time together vs. spending time with others.
I understand the difficulties of managing several households on holidays.
I understand having inside jokes that no one else in the world would ever understand. 
I understand the desire to want to start a family with this person.
I understand wanting to be with this person for the rest of my life.
I understand being so mad at someone and loving them so much at the same time.
I understand what it's like to go through some of the most difficult times imaginable and have this person by my side, supporting me no matter what. I understand that I do the same for him.

I'm sure I (we) have a lot to learn. I know marriage will open up a whole new set of doors. 
But I would say that I think I understand pretty well.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Broccoli & Cheese Soup

*If you're here from Pinterest, Welcome! Please check out my other recipes here.

I feel this soup needs no introduction.
Basically, I'm obsessed with Panera's broccoli and cheddar soup so I tried to duplicate it. The only thing missing was the bread bowl, which you bet I'll be trying to make soon. 

2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper
3 oz (or about 2/3 stick) butter
1 small onion, finely diced
1 cup carrot, shredded
1 cup flour
5 cups milk (I used 2%, use whatever you prefer)
1 cup light cream
1 tsp nutmeg
3 cups grated cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 400F. Place broccoli on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake 20 minutes (careful so the broccoli does not cook too much and turn brown). 
Melt butter in large pan over medium heat, cook onions until translucent. Add carrots. Mix in flour until absorbed, cooking about a minute. Add milk, cream, nutmeg, as well as salt and pepper (to taste). Add roasted broccoli. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 25 minutes. Stir in cheese, add additional salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a crusty bread and enjoy!

Monday, October 14, 2013


We moved about a month ago now, so I feel it's the perfect time to get back into blogging! We were without internet until the end of September so I finally feel like I'm joining the 21st century again. 

Chris and I are so happy in our new home. We're still decorating and buying furniture so I haven't taken many pictures. I realized that while we're in our home now, my online home is here and I've been neglecting this little space for so long. I've missed it so much.

So, lately I've been cooking, baking, decorating, diy-ing and mainly working. My hour/plus commute has been pretty grueling and has been an say the least. It's worth it to come home to a place we love and be only 10 minutes away from both of our families (although we still don't see them as much as I'd like).

I have some recipes to share soon and also a pretty big (for me) DIY project, so stay tuned!

I'll leave you with some pictures of our house before we moved in and will hopefully have the decorating done soon....

Huge deck. There's construction going on all around but it's just about finished now.


Dining/Living room before move-in

Cute little window from the master bathroom. Soon, all that land will be built on...enjoying the view now.

New Fall Wreath. Refer to this post if you'd like instructions!

Ok, I lied... we did decorate one room completely. Our new dining table!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Life Lately

I sit here after over a month of being away from this little space of mine, looking at a once familiar text box. So much has happened in the past few months, and so much is yet to happen. I miss the interactions I had over blogging, but know I'm not quite ready to return. Here's a little life update, mainly for my own use (because hey, who doesn't like looking back at what they've been up to?). Hopefully soon I'll be back on the blogging train!

In July I finally earned my clinical license! This was a long time coming and I'm so proud of myself for this achievement. I studied day and night for weeks, and it definitely paid off. As a result, I got a promotion at work and I don't have to worry about getting formal supervision or counting my client contact hours. It's a huge relief.

Chris started his new job, which has been an adjustment for both of us. We're both so busy with our work schedules and he's had a long commute, so the time we've been able to spend together becomes even more precious.

Also, we're moving. We'll be living about an hour away from where we currently live, which is actually near where we grew up. Our families are there and once Chris got his new job, it was clear that we wanted to move back. It wasn't a question in our minds. I'll have an extra 30 minutes added onto my commute, so that will be an adjustment but I'll get used to it.

So right now I'm sitting in the midst of moving boxes waiting for our next adventure to begin. It's an exciting time! Our new house is actually brand new, which unfortunately means we won't have cable or internet until the end of September. I don't know how I'll survive....that will be interesting. Maybe it will give me time to bake and have some yummy recipes posted for the fall. 

In the meantime, you can follow along on Instagram to see how our move goes and if I go crazy from being disconnected for a month. Stay tuned! :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lemonade Pie

I'm all for easy pies. So when I ran across this Lemonade Pie from Lulu the Baker via Pinterest, I knew it was the perfect 4th of July recipe to throw together. It was definitely a hit and isn't just for the 4th! It's the perfect summer pie. Here it is, and there are only 4 main ingredients!

Graham cracker crust (you can make your own but I just bought one, reduced fat)
Frozen lemonade concentrate (thawed)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz, I used reduced fat)
2 containers Cool Whip (1 for recipe, 1 for topping)
Sliced strawberries and blueberries, for topping

Mix sweetened condensed milk. A whisk works best. Add cool whip carefully- don't over-mix! Pour into crust. Freeze until solid (I froze overnight). Serve immediately out of the freezer- add sliced strawberries, blueberries, and Cool Whip if you'd like. Do this right after the pie comes out of the freezer, trust me- it will melt! Especially if it's 4th of July and hot

It's kind of like a tart-er key lime pie, according to Chris. Everyone loved it and it was the perfect refreshing, sweet treat after a day of swimming, drinking, and soaking up the sun. Enjoy!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Bits of July

Long time, no blog, huh? It'll be like this for a couple more weeks before I take my exam {right now I'm in procrastinate study mode} but I guess I should do a quick update so I can remember that I did, in fact, have a fun summer in 2013. I really miss interacting with everyone, and am quite positive this little blog has cobwebs growing on it from no one visiting. 

We had a great, long July 4th weekend. Chris' brother and sister-in-law came into town and stayed with us for a night {we're the best for picking them up at the airport at 1am}. We had a low key 4th including Strawbeeritas, swimming, and lots of good food and fun. Did I mention Strawberritas? Yum.

empty 1am airport walk. Am I the only one obsessed with moving sidewalks?

Lemonade pie! Recipe coming soon...

Night swimming is the best kind. Especially when you can see fireworks from the pool!

A morning is best spent by the pool. Actually, sitting by the pool makes anything better

If it walks like a duck, then it probably is a duck? After a couple glasses of wine at Macaroni grill, I was obsessed with the ducks. By the way, wine is half off at Macaroni Grill in July. You can even bag it up if you don't finish the bottle. You're welcome.
So obsessed with this necklace from Fancy Frills via Very Jane. SO disappointed 2 of the gems are missing and I have to exchange it, though!

Impromptu watermelon sorbet! This recipe's also coming soon.  This stuff is amazing!
Other than all that, Chris and I have been busy at work, I've been trying to study, and we've been figuring out what are next move will be. Literally.. we're moving. I don't know where or when, but it's happening and I'm trying not to think about it until my test is over. But house-hunting is so much more fun than studying! Right?! Chris had his first week at his new job so we're settling into a new schedule. I have a feeling things won't seem "normal" for quite a while. It's all for the better, though, so I am so not complaining.

What are you doing this weekend? I'll be cooped up studying so I need to live vicariously through others' plans! :)

I counted more than "five", but linking up with Lauren for High Five for Friday!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Getaway and Good News

This weekend, although extremely busy, will go down in the books as one of the best. On Friday, we found out that Chris got a long-anticipated and amazing job. We've been waiting patiently, hoping, and praying for some good news and we finally got it. I'm so so proud of him! 

We already had a weekend trip to Virginia Beach planned, so off we went to relax and celebrate. What was supposed to be a 4 hour drive ended up being 6 hours. It was a little rainy at the beach but that didn't stop us from relaxing and having a good time.

We headed to dinner at a restaurant called Freemason Abbey in Norfolk (where we stayed) where I drank yummy wine, of course, and ate a pretty darn good crab cake. 

We found a nearby bar and drank beers and downed shots of Fireball. Yes it was amazing.  I can't remember the last time we went out, just the two of us. We people watched, laughed, and celebrated the good job news. We stumbled back to the hotel and passed out- I'm seriously too old for that, but we had so much fun!

We decided to drive back sooner rather than later (traffic was inevitable) but stopped at Colonial Williamsburg on the way back. It was fun, but hot and honestly it kind of freaked me out. Just like I don't like clowns, or mimes, I don't think I like people dressed in period clothing. is that weird? It definitely was cool to see the town and how it looked hundreds of years ago.

Pretty stream flowing next to the foot path


There they go, about to shoot cannons. They were loud.
Now I'm just looking forward to the upcoming 4 day weekend. There's a lot of change coming up, but I'm trying to take things one step at a time. It's all happy changes, for sure... just changes. :)

What did you do this weekend? 

Linking up with Sami for the first time in a while!


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