Tuesday, December 31, 2013


{for the majority of the year Max and I were engaged... I'll never forgot how much fun it was being a fiance}

2013. What can I say… it was a very emotional year to say the least. While Max and my wedding day was the best day of my life, I’d be lying if I said this wasn't one of the most difficult years to date as well.

I can not wait for a new year to start and look towards fresh beginnings in 2014. 

Here’s to looking ahead!
See you next year!

{had a blast attending the Wolverine Fashion Night Out hosted by Tieka; P.S. I'm actually wearing these shoes today to kick off New Years Eve!}

{celebrated as Maryjo & Dallas tied the knot!}

{surprised the boy with champagne waiting at our table on Valentines Day}

{so many celebrations with so many good people!}

{we bought a HOUSE!}

{ran some 5k races with co-workers on lunch breaks}

{all over goofy... all the time!}

{had an AMAZING bachelorette party with the best friends a girl could ask for}

{awesome weekend in St. Joe and Chicago celebrated MJ's last fling before the ring!}

{visited Court and Hector in NOLA!}

{did minimal home renovation this year, but can't wait to do more of this ASAP}

{stood in the wedding for my cousin!}

{take me out to the ball game!}

{JENNY IS MARRIED! Had the honor of being the Maid of Honor to this beaut!}

{had the best time kicking off MSU football season with MOM!}

{said goodbye to an amazing man who was taken from us to soon}

{icicles outside our apartment}

{engagement photo session on the campus of MSU}

{attended an event at a local Holland boutique, also hosted by Tieka of Selective Potential}

{celebrated 5 years with my company!}

{won a fitness challenge with my team and co-workers}

{Grandpa is already so missed! But he had an amazing life and we are forever grateful that were lucky enough to have him in our lives}

{City and Colour live in Detroit!}

{Granny & Grandpa are together and happy and always watching over us}

{Grand Rapids Art Prize always exceeds expectations}

{our Save the Date taken by the lovely Maureen Elizabeth}


Monday, December 30, 2013

Instagram Life – December Edition

This month FLEW! Seriously! I don’t believe it’s truly been a whole month since Thanksgiving! We weren’t entirely busy either, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but still 2014 is upon us so quickly. We celebrated my company’s annual meeting, had some fun at our favorite local pubs, and simply enjoyed down time and being together at our home. A home that continues to get more and more filled with personalized pieces, pictures, and love. I’m so excited for 2014. 2013 was amazing in so many ways, but I am craving that fresh start. To start a year that has not been defined yet. Not defined by a wedding. Not defined by family members that are no longer with us. The only thing defining 2014 is the word “newlywed”. I would have it no other way.

1. Spritz cookie making

2. Cards against humanity

3. More Founders fun

4. Floating mimosa to kick off annual meeting day

5. Frozen world we live in here in the Mitten

6. Frances Jaye tights

7. A little blurry... Christmas Eve downtown by Candy Cane Lane (check)

8. Preparing for Rose Bowl ridiculousness

9. Final wedding of 2013!

10. Ending an amazing weekend with one final hoorah at one of our favorite East Lansing spots!

Sunday, December 29, 2013


A few Saturdays ago, I woke up and strapped on my running shoes, half-intending to run the 5K I had signed up for. 

Then a friend's voice entered my mind. She's a colleague and fellow NOLA runner, and the day before, we were at a holiday potluck together, mowing away at heavy, rich holiday dishes, commenting how many would make great "pre-race" meals rather than what they really were: high sugar, high fat excess

Anyhoo...she said that she actually was running a race the next day: The Ole Man River Half Marathon. This is the same one I ran last year--my first half marathon. She said, "yea...my friend, Anne and I decided that it would be fun and, what the hell, we need something to motivate us to get a long run in as we train for next February's Rock and Roll Half" (which I'm also doing). 

Instantly jealous, I started to calculate how I'd change my evening in order to be rested, fueled and ready to run 13.1 miles rather than 3.1. I'd need to skip happy hour, eat only one more light meal and get to bed EARLY. 

Excited and nervous--and questioning whether I'd really trained enough to pull this off without injury--I tossed and turned all night. My husband came home and I told him there was a good chance I'd be running a half marathon in the morning. 

Concerned Husband: "Do whatever you want, hon. I know I can't talk you out of this...you probably can't even talk yourself out of it now either. Have you honestly trained enough for this, hon? Please don't hurt yourself...."

And off he went to sleep as I continued to weigh the factors in my head.

Fast forward to 7:50 am Saturday, literally 10 minutes before gun time: I was at the registration table, switching my name to the list of female runners in the longer race. Then I let my husband know there was no turning back. 

Well, I may not have wanted to stand for this picture, taken about 5 minutes after I crossed the finish line, but I was immensely proud of my decision to upgrade my race status from 5K to half. 

Part of my strategy on long runs is to NOT listen to music because it makes me run faster than I should, causing me to get tired. I like to save a few songs for the final mile or two. 
So, odd as it may seem, this song was the one that made me feel the happiest and the most motivated. Try it some time...you'll find yourself grinning by the end of the song. 

[Friend, coworker, motivator. Thanks, Lisa (left), for making me do this!]

Yes, I was laughing in this picture. 
I was amazed that I did it. I was thrilled (and a tiny bit surprised) at how great I felt. 
My husband called it: Once I get my mind set on something, it's pretty much over.

As I reached my car, I settled into the driver's seat with a happy, exhausted thump. I pulled out my phone to find this text from my husband. 

The bling.

Last year, inexperience and pain caused me to take 2  hours and 27 minutes to finish the half marathon. This year, I crossed the finish line after only 2 hours and 7 minutes of running. It's amazing how great something can turn out when you don't allow time to over-stress about it ahead of time.

So, now I know I can finish a half marathon without limping across the finish line. I can do it and actually feel GOOD afterward. (Even knocked out 3 hours of yard work when I got home). 

 Now my jitters about the February half are gone and am left with only excitement. Next road race: Jackson Day 9K, in two weeks.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Five!

{one year ago today Max proposed… and we already have wedding memories filling our first home!}  

December 27, 2012, everything was different. Max proposed to me, right when I got home from hot yoga. It was the most unexpected moment and one of the best of my life. It would have fallen on my Grandmothers 96th birthday (happy 97th Grandma Helen!).

Tonight we’re going out and celebrating the one year anniversary of our engagement (he insisted it be on since he spent the big bucks on last years bling). Then tomorrow we’re heading to a WEDDING! And you thought we were done… HA. No but, in all seriousness, I’m looking forward to this wedding immensely. In fact, I've been looking forward to this weeding since before Max and I were engaged! Yeah, they have been engaged a while. Neither of us are in this wedding, so we can sit back, relax, and enjoy cocktails, food and good company sans obligations! It’s going to be an excellent way to continue the long weekend.

Friday Forte: Tomorrow – Daughter

{Christmas Love}

{we live in a frozen tundra}

{letting Max’s niece hold on to Frosty until we’re ready for him back… her reaction was priceless!}

{dart board!}