Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wedding Day Linkup...

It's been a while, but so much going on that eventually I'll get around to blogging again, maybe...

Today, though, I thought it would be fun to put our wedding all down so I could remember it in detail just like Melanie and Holly with the Wedding Linkup today.


{October 15, 2011}
Atchison, Kan. and Tracy, Mo.

As you may of read here Todd and I met on eHarmony in 2009. He proposed on July 16, 2010 (albeit his best attempt to make it happen on my actual birthday, July 12th). 

I always wanted a fall wedding because it is my favorite time of year. Todd didn't really care about the timing as long as it didn't interfere with hunting seasons (oh, yah, he said that!). I am Catholic so I knew it was not going to just happen in three months, so we planned for a long engagement of 15 months. 

We scoped out a few churches in our area and talked to the priests about their requirements for marriage and how long we had to be members before we could get married, too. Some churches are down right absurd over this technical issue, in my opinion. At the end of the day, I would say just charge people more money if they want to get married in a specific church. We were told by some that we had to be members for six months, others were over a year. Another church actually asked how many people attending our wedding would be Catholic because that determined if we would have a full mass or not (really?! That matters if the groom and bride are Catholic and want the sacrament of marriage?!).

The last church we checked into was St. Joseph's in Atchison, Kan. My hometown priest was a new priest for the parish so the good news was we knew him. We spoke to the retiring priest as soon as we became engaged about our intentions of an October wedding and to start the paperwork to be approved by the diocese. It took about a month and a half to actually narrow down a wedding day. Thankfully, we had time on our side.

One of the biggest decisions I made for my wedding was the photographer. Being that I know a thing or two about photography because of my degree, I wanted pictures that were above and beyond what anything I could or my classmates could do from a photography standpoint. I would NEVER regret spending a lot of money on photography. A lot of people I know have skimped on that aspect and fully regretted it. I contacted Laura right away to say I wanted her to do the photos and to bear with us while we had to get a date set. She has become a great friend and I still look at my pictures almost two years later and think how wonderful she did. 

My mom and I went to the large Kansas City bridal show the week after we became engaged to just "look around" at some ideas. I know better than that. We set up an appointment with David's Bridal to check out dresses that day after the bridal show because they gave a nice discount from the show. I wasn't prepared to buy my wedding dress that day. I was afraid I would regret getting it so early. I also had a specific budget in mind for what I was going to pay, but turns out my mom had other intentions. I tried on a few lower budget dresses and my mom was not impressed. The attendant mentioned they had a new Oleg Cassini gown that just came in the night before. It was vintage, kind of country, yet still very ornate and classy. Sold! I also wanted the elegance of a cathedral length veil because we were having a traditional church ceremony. My veil was very ornate with the same lace as my dress. I didn't cry or have that moment trying it on, but I was very happy with my dress. It would take about six months to come in so I figured at that point I wouldn't be able to really change my mind, which was good. 

So I got the dress, photographer, and church. Todd decided on his own to become Catholic so we started RCIA classes in September 2010. He attended classes every week until Easter where he was the baptized and confirmed in the church. It was a pretty happy day for me that we would have a full mass, we really could appreciate the meaningfulness together of holy communion at our wedding ceremony and raise our
children in the church.

Throughout the rest of my "planning time" I knew we wanted to do as my on our own as possible and look for the best deals we could find. My mom made all of the flowers for the wedding and we purchased a lot of real mums for decor at the reception site. She did an incredible job on the flowers!

Todd wanted a duck band for his wedding band, so I searched high and low for it for a few months. It was hard to have one made without seeing one in person. We instead had a custom ring done from a jewelry shop in Illinois and I couldn't be happier about his ring. I think it is unique to him and exactly what he wanted. 

I was adamant about not seeing Todd before our ceremony because I wanted the "look" on his face to be priceless. Needless to say, he didn't have much of a reaction, but I sure did. 

Wedding party:
Our wedding party consisted of our closest friends and family. We both don't come from very large families so we had a few friends stand up with us. Actually, my entire side were my friends. I am happy to stay that every single one of them (even though we have only been married for a little over a year and a half) are my best friends, still. We make it a point to talk and see each other. I knew I picked the right ladies! 

We had our reception at the historic Platte County Fairgrounds in Tracy, Mo. I found most of my table decor from a sweet lady in Leavenworth who had a wedding a year before in Weston. My dad made the barnwood boxes that were on each table and the wedding signs out near the drive to the reception. I wanted a very rustic, fall theme so we went with purple, burnt orange and brown as our main colors. I wanted elegant, not country bumpkin even though we are country people. Here are a few photos from our reception:

I pretty much planned 100% of everything. I had help from some amazing vendors though. I wouldn't change anything about who we used for our wedding. They all went above and beyond for us. From our DJ, caterer, baker, reception site, etc. I would highly recommend them to anyone.

One of the highlights of our wedding was our photo booth. I was hesitant to do it, but I went with it because a friend owned the service and I wanted to help her. I was afraid no one would use, but it turned out that EVERY single person did. And multiple times! They loved it. We look at our scrapbook and laugh every time because it truly had everyone having a good time.

First Dance:
We danced to an acoustic version of Wade Bowe's "Who I Am". It is a phenomenal song and still makes me tear up thinking of how much I love being with Todd, for his laugh, smile, and making exactly who I am. 

The only thing I would change about my wedding is that my brother could not be there. He is my only sibling, and it was a sad day for us to not have him join in the celebration. Honestly, most of the tears from that day were because he was not there. He was serving our country in Afghanistan so we made sure and include him over the phone and with a photo. He held a special place that day right up front!

All in all, we had the best day. It was the most beautiful, clear blue sky day. Everything was on time, it went off without a hitch, nothing happened that wasn't expected. And we had a great breakfast the next morning with close family and opened our gifts. We then spent a few days in Mexico Beach, Florida, on our honeymoon where we now try to go every year because it is such an awesome place for us. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

High Five For Friday, v1...

Many of my blogging friends post a top five list for Friday and I'd like to do a little more blogging so I'm going to join and make myself take more pictures and such during the week.

{It's finally Friday!!!!! insert tune and dance}

1. We ended our Junior League year Monday with a fabulous dinner at Ground Round in StJoMo. Lots of recognition, good food, good drinks, great friends...good times. 

2. I earned a $996 commission check from Mary Kay this week! Thanks to a pretty awesome Mary Kay team in April, I was able to pay off another student loan. I love free money!

3. We are spoiled at work with goodies, all the time. Hence why I gained 20 lbs. the first time I worked at Second Harvest and why I struggle to say no to any kind of food. The Amish from Jamesport brought in these goodies to share from the apples we shared with our Members. Todd and I have yet to try it, but I'm thinking it might be on the menu tonight. It's Friday after all!

4. I received the email from Mary Kay that I was officially on-target to finish Queen's Court of Sales this year. That is $36,000 in retail sales, which I have never done before. I am beyond excited to pick out a prize, walk across stage at Seminar like a celebrity, and celebrate another amazing year!

5. I don't have a photo for this one yet, but I get to go hang out at Shatto Milk Company in Osborn, Mo., all day. We are taking a farm tour and having lunch there. I am pretty stoked to have on my boots and casual clothes today. While most of my farm tours before have really equaled getting dirty, I don't forsee that happening today, but I do have my boots on for good measure! :)

Hope ya'll have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

On to the next thing...

After my marathon, I already had plans to take a break from hard running training. I walked on Tuesday after my marathon and ran on Thursday and was still a bit tender, but I made it through. I've been talking up a new weight training program for weeks with my husband. I think we should do something together. La, la, la, know us women.

He has been less than thrilled to be as gung ho about it as I am. I said in my fitness goals that I would step up the strength training because I've hit a plateau with my weight loss and body changes. I am happy with the way I am, but want to keep pushing for a more toned, smaller-sized body. Yes, I am gunning for the size 4 clothes (all the while in the back of my mind I know that's not going to stick around long if I have a baby)!

I have followed Skinny Meg and Mama Laughlin for over a year now, and I LOVE them. I mean, like some of their other followers, I am a bit stalkerish. I read their blog daily, laugh hysterically at their Keeks, follow them on Instagram, look for their posts on Facebook, etc. They are moms I aspire to be. They both have struggled much more than I have with weight, but have busted it out to lose after children AND look better than me now for it. Such an inspiration  truly among the many other things they are awesome at while being working mothers.

So with a little bit of their inspiration to lift hard or go home, I have developed a little weight training program for Todd and I. We started on Sunday, woke up as part of the 5 am club on Tuesday and have another round of the 5 am club tomorrow. I plan to run as my cardio to keep that going, and try a longer run on the weekends (5-10 miles). I am posting our weight plan below, but feel free to add any ideas to mix it up. We would love that as we are sticking it out for 8 weeks. I'll also post measurements and updates we we go through it.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


My official time was 5:12:57. 
Showing off my first marathon medal. 
I put one foot in front of the other 138,336 times on Sunday. I can't help but be a little emotional about it.

  • I don't know what made me sign up in December for this race. But I did it. 
  • I don't know what kept me from making excuses every time I didn't want to run. But I ran.
  • I don't know how many days I wished I would have never signed up for it because I didn't know if I could do it. But I did it.
  • I don't know how many times people said I can't believe you're doing this. You don't have to. But I did it. 
  • I don't know what caused me to get sick multiple times during training. But I pushed through.
  • I don't know how many times I saw people pass me and think why even try. But I put one foot in front of the other. 

There are hundreds of reasons I could think of why I didn't want to do it, but I can also think of a hundred reasons why I wanted to do it.

  • I want to do something hard. 
  • I want to do something others can only dream of doing. 
  • I want to feel alive. 
  • I want to feel like an athlete for one of the only times in my life. 
  • I want to prove to others you can do anything you set your mind to. 
  • I want to be proud of walking in my first 5K two years ago to running a full marathon.  
  • I want to prove to myself that I can do anything. 
  • I want to put all my trust in Him because there were times I wasn't sure how I'd do it. 
  • I want to beat my genetics. 
  • I want to be my best self ever to have a baby. 
  • I want to love doing something for life. 

And a hundred other reasons why I did it. I finished. I ran my own race.

I wasn't fast. I was disappointed in my time. Hundreds of people were ahead of me. But I have to remember I put one in front of the other, not just 138,336 times but 1,943,040 times throughout the training of 20 weeks to get to hold up that finisher's medal with pride.

I teared up running into Memorial Stadium. I just couldn't believe I was done. Done with the race I never thought would actually happen.

As far as the actual marathon, I'll get into that in another post this week, but I wanted to capture my thoughts just a few days after the race so I can look back on how I felt.

Monday, April 29, 2013

What keeps me falling in love...

One of the pictures from his eHarmony profile. Look at his arms. Can you say, rawr!?!
That might be one reason I love him! He is pretty good looking. 
Remember how I posted our Love Story Part 1 a few months ago? Well with this blog post, I wanted to share a few reasons why I fell in love with Todd. Yes, if you're not into being sappy this morning, you can skip on...

Sometimes I catch myself thinking how blessed I am to STILL get butterfly feelings around him and thinking about him. For example, last week I was filling my car with gas across the street from Todd's work, and I caught myself being truly humbled in that moment to be so thankful for someone who provides for me and for the amazing company that takes care of him. So with that, I love that he is dedicated to his job and tries his best each day.

We spent quite a bit of time this weekend with each other which is a rarity as we both are coming and going most of the time between his hunting and my volunteer/MK stuff. Yet, when we are together, we are constantly joking. He can be a serious person, yet 85% of the time he has to pull a funny. He keeps life fun and shows me, who takes things all-too-seriously, to lighten up.

Todd does his best to help me in whatever it is I need him to do. He runs errands, cooks, cleans a little when pestered, and is my biggest cheerleader. He would kill me for telling this but he has even helped with a few Mary Kay things like loading my car or putting stickers on my books.

He is one of the best gift-givers, ever. I don't know how he does it, but he pulls off big surprises most of the time. He conjures up great stories to go along with the gifts, too. He took me on a trip, redid our kitchen, bought Willie, bought a "pool", ie. engagement ring, and countless other great gifts for Valentine's Day and Christmas.

Finally, for this post anyway, I adore that he is so passionate about something. This guy has spent thousands of hours perfecting his ability to hunt. He doesn't half-ass it at all. He even made it his career for a little while. I bet if he could make a decent living at it, he would. I cuss a lot about the constant dump of gear that lives in our kitchen, no matter the season. I always trip over boots and have to "hide when company is coming" the camo, guns, bullets, special deodorant and spray, arrows, gun cleaning supplies, magazines, calls, socks, you name it. Yet, this is what he absolutely loves. He spends 90% of his days working on something related to hunting from food plots to scouting to taxidermy. There was a time in my life that I resented all-things hunting, but I've grown up. I decided if I want to enjoy time with him, then I better like it. He is at a place in hunting where he enjoys helping others, too. He has taken numerous friends and family on hunts when he himself didn't get anything. This turkey season has been no different. He has talked about it for a long time. In February, he made sure everything was ready, even though turkey season doesn't start until April here in Missouri. He got his bird this weekend and was happy about that. I think he has been more happy, though, watching and helping his friends get their birds.

And for a million other reasons, I love him to pieces...

Todd's Missouri Spring 2013 Turkey

Monday, April 15, 2013

Belief barrier...

I have been truly blessed this month of April with a lot of things. I already live an incredibly blessed life, but this month has been off the charts. 

First, my Mary Kay team has grown by 1,484% (yes, you read that right!) and it's only the 15th of the month! That is a HUGE belief thing I have worked on this year. I know if I want to be a work-from-home mom and still have a great income, I have to work hard in the coming year to become a Director. I have personally added five new team members in a three week span. I know because of the hard work I have done and continue to do, God will bless my team and I with finishing Director in Qualification and our FREE Mary Kay car by July 1st. I'll keep you updated on all the other things Mary Kay as they progress for our Firecracker team in the coming months. 

Second, I was dreading my long run, like most weeks, this weekend. Yet, Saturday was so incredibly busy and blissful with my MK business that I knew it would be a good day to run. And it was! Temps were in the low 60s, overcast, a bit windy, but I'll take that. I was supposed to run 18 miles, but I felt great and pushed through to 20 miles. Now it's just a down hill slide into the actual marathon on May 5th! I never thought almost two years ago to the day that I raced for the first time a 5K and had to walk, that I'd be finishing a marathon!!!

You bet I was listening to Eric Church on my final half mile!!
Finally, look at this little lady! My niece, Hadley, came with her mom to spend some time with us while the boys were turkey hunting in Nebraska. Although they didn't have the best of time up there, we had a blast hanging out each day. She is such the little miracle baby, and I am in total awe of how good God is to bring this beautiful, smart, bubbly little girl into our lives. 

She lights up my world when she smiles like that! So cute!

Monday, April 8, 2013

A little Brew to Brew recap...

Yesterday, I ran the Brew to Brew race with a few fellow Saturday Morning Runners from the St. Joe area. There were three teams from our SMR group and ours by far was the most eclectic I think. We had young and older, guys and gals, all different abilities.

The race starts at Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City and ends at Free State Brewery in Lawrence. It is a 44.4-mile relay race. Our team consisted of Mike, Matt, Christi, Rebecca, Jennifer and me. Here is a little recap of our race day:

Our "Hamm it Up til You Schlitz" B2B relay team.
6:00 am--Pickup in St. Joe
6:15 am--Pick me up in Dearborn
7 am--Arrive at Boulevard, bathroom break, shot gun a few beers (the guys did this!), divide leg assignments
7:35 am--Decide we probably should head over to the starting line for Mike to kick our team off
7:40 am--Mike starts our team off and runs legs 1 and 2
8:00 am--Drive to what we thought was the first stop
8:20 am--Realize we completely missed the end of leg one/start of leg 2 and realize we're at the end of leg 2! Mike had to run 9 miles with no water!! So sorry!
9:00 am--I start leg 3. Ran 8 miles at an 11-minute mile pace. Burned 900 calories! *Wasn't my best race day, but I was there to have fun, and not mess up my stomach any more than it already is by trying too push myself
10 am--Arrive at the start of leg 4 where Jennifer ran with me the short 2.3 miles
10:20 am--Jennifer kicks off leg 5, pushes through to leg 7
11:30 am--Mike and Matt kick off leg 6. It is the most hilly of all the legs. Poor guys. We drove the Durango and kept cussing it ourselves, and we didn't even have to run it. We pick up Mike after leg 6. Matt continues on to leg 7 where he has to ride a boat over the river to then run to Linwood
12:15 pm--Travel to Linwood. Fun little town with the "Linwood Cafe" where they offer air conditioning. Ha!! It was a window unit
12:30 pm--Christi and her mom kick off the dusty legs 8 and 9. They have to run 8 miles on nothing but a country, gravel road. I don't mind it so much as that is what I have to do at home, but some runners are totally not prepared for that kind of hilly terrain
1:45 pm--Drop Jennifer off at the end of leg 9/start of leg 10 and pick up a runner. We weren't allowed to pick up our two runners. Bummer!
2 pm--Drive into Lawrence and find parking, head over to the Liberty Hall for lunch
2:30 pm--Wait for the girls at the finish line. Finally eat lunch and drink one beer

The girls of the team at the Linwood pit stop.
I am being a little anticlimactic about the whole event in my description, but I liken this race to a Missouri float trip! If you've ever been on one you know how different every "party" can be from young people totally drunk off their ass to old timers just pushing through for the best time. It was a lot of fun. We spent more time trying to figure out where we needed to be and taking pit stops for bathroom breaks. All in all, the best part was finishing as a team of people who have never ran together before and the people watching. Oh my!

Actually come to think of it, the best part, honestly, was seeing my second cousin, Megan, after not seeing each other for five years! She sends me a text asking if I was at the same table as her. Who would have thought?!?!? Of all places! So glad I go to to see her and catch up, no matter how brief it was.

My long lost cousin, Megan, and I at the finishers meal! 
*~* What has been one of your favorite races? What made it fun?*~*