The video is here!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Hey guys!  The long awaited day arrived this past week—we got our wedding video!  If you are a Milwaukee bride, I highly recommend using Character D Films.  We were blown away by their videos when I first started to look for videographers and we were truly awe struck when we saw ours.  Check it out!  The password is: session2016.

When planning our wedding, I felt like a videographer was one of the first things that could potentially be cut from the list of vendors and I think a lot of brides feel that way.  But, if you have the room in the budget, there will never be a time when you regret having that video.  Initially, I didn’t plan on having a videographer.  My sister had one and her video was gorgeous, but I convinced myself that it was the right decision and tried not to think about it too much (because I knew I would want one if I did).

And then during one of my many wedding planning conversations with my mom, it came up how hard it was  that my brother and sister-in-law didn’t have a video because due to health issues, she was actually unable to attend their wedding (My brother and SIL got married during my mom’s chemo treatments and she fainted the day of their rehearsal (in New Jersey) and then ended up not leaving the hospital there for 2-3 weeks).

And then that just sealed the deal.  Ryan and I worked hard with our planning (and my generous in law’s) to figure out a way to work the videographer into the budget and I cannot recommend it enough.

Not only do we now have a gorgeous keepsake that will last forever, but we were also able to see so many from elements of the day that you miss throughout your special day.  I will forever treasure getting to see Ryan get ready for the day and to watch him coach me through not sobbing throughout our entire vows.  The amount of times I have already watched this is semi embarrassing, but I can’t help it!  Check it out and let me know what you think! And if you are a Milwaukee bride (or groom), please check out Character D Films!  Their work is straight up magic!

The Perfect Wife

Saturday, November 4, 2017

So this is what I struggle with.  I have this desire to be an absolute perfect wife.  And what does that even mean?  If I knew, then maybe I would actually have less panic attacks.  But, what I do know is that (my therapist) and I can’t figure out where this desire to be perfect is coming from.  It wasn’t instilled in me as a child and we don’t have a moment when we clearly can see when it started.  We have talked a lot about it and we will definitely continue to do so.  It is just—so much fun of course.  Therapy isn’t exhausting at all—HA. 

Anyways, there was finally some sort of revelation when I realized I couldn’t define what a perfect wife was.  I didn’t have a definition.  I just knew that I was never going to be one.  And then I realized that the entire desire for this perfect wife is because I just love Ryan so much that it is what I think he deserves.  SO I very specifically decided that I would ask Ryan exactly what his top priorities were in what I could do to be his ‘perfect’ wife.  And let me tell you, that boy is easy.  1. We all knew he was a winner already. 2. Do you know how much nicer it has been moving forward that on Sundays I sit on the couch and relax with Ryan and Murray rather than running around doing laundry and cleaning bathrooms? --Because by having that insanely open conversation with Ryan that is what he told me he wanted.  3. OPEN CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR SPOUSE CAN ONLY HELP.  

Ryan and I are always working on our communication.  And it has continually gotten so much stronger.  Put it down.  Communication can be hard and I am an extremely sensitive person—I have worked on it continuously and try to keep an open mind as much as possible.

I don’t know why I have put off writing this.  It is just so hard to put these thoughts down on paper because I am struggling with how much I HATE the way I feel and want it to change.  As much as therapy is incredibly exhausting, it has really been worth every penny.  If you are struggling, I am obviously a major advocate for therapy.  Everyone can benefit from trying it at least once!  

Our First Anniversary

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Hey guys!  I have excitedly been awaiting today—it’s our first anniversary!  And an even more extra special treat is that Ryan agreed to write a blog post with me!  I found 10 great questions to reflect on with each anniversary and I thought we could each answer them for you!  Enjoy! And thank you for reading along with us during our first year as husband and wife!

What has brought you closer together this year?

M: Honestly, the crazy work hours that Ryan has have made our time together even more special. So even though it means we spend less time together, the time we get is so much more quality and we spend a lot of that time checking in and laughing about anything we had been missing out on with each other.

R: Our improved communication, in general.
 What is your favorite memory of this first year together?

M: It's hard to think of just one.  But, they are usually little moments together that are unexpected.  Any small moments of quality time are my favorite.  Things as little as a holiday bazaar with his aunt and uncle or sitting at home laughing and snuggling with him and Murr.

R: Us coming back from picking up Murray
 Did you have a wedding or honeymoon disaster that you are already laughing about?  What?

M: We were at a happy hour where we had way too many cocktails and I was so convinced that everyone around us would want to play Jenga with us.  I literally asked every table around us and they almost all claimed to NOT EVEN KNOW HOW TO PLAY JENGA.  It was mortifying.  I was just trying to be nice hahahaha. We are still laughing about this.  And I am still embarrassed about it.  Story of my life.

R: Your aunts got me drunk before the reception—I don’t know if you’re laughing about that yet.
 What has surprised you most about being married?

M: I didn’t realize how different it would still feel once we were officially married since we had been living together in DC for 9 months when we got married.  But it really did.  I was so incredibly happy when we got married and I have been even happier since.  I have no shame in my cheesiness.  Today I am embracing ALL THE CHEESE. So, I knew I would be incredibly happy about marriage and my life with Ryan, but I was surprised by just how much happier I have been than I was before.

R: I want to say the lack of surprises. I don’t feel like anything has drastically changed—I mean, you’re still awesome. I mean, you fart more. You fart louder.

M: For the record, that is not true.
 Anything shocking you’ve learned about your spouse?

M: Alright, I'm not going to lie. The most shocking thing I learned about Ryan--he didn't know that The Nutcracker was a ballet.  This sounds like something ridiculous BUT I died.  He agreed to go, which was the best case scenario since the ballet revelation wasn't made until he saw the cover of the program (I'm still laughing about this).

R: Uhh another food like tater tots that I couldn’t believe you had never had before.
 What is a bonus quality you recieved in your spouse that you didn’t know about until married?

M: Ryan is REALLY good at having a puppy.  I am not very good at having a puppy.  Ryan is patient and caring with Murray and he is always willing to give him baths (that make the bathroom look like a hurricane hit).  He also brushes him every night and was so incredibly patient with me when I finally stepped it up so that Murray would stop jumping and chewing on me.  ---So…hmm…if Ryan is so good being with Murray….someone might be a pretty good dad, too J

Ryan literally had 0 answer for this. So, I guess I just had showed him how amazing I was from the get go!
 If you could do anything different what would you do?

M: Those many moments when Ryan asked me to sit with him on the couch with Murray on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and I was too preoccupied with laundry and cleaning, I would go back in time and sit on that couch and leave those chores for another day!  That is something I really want to work on during year 2!   

R: I don't think I would.  I mean we had some times during the year that weren't the most fun but I don't think I would change any of it.

What have you learned from your spouse this year?

R: You are equally as nuts as I thought.

M: That Ryan is rude.  And also nuts himself!

How have your feelings changed in just one year together?

M: This past year, Ryan has helped me R E L A X.  I still hardly am able to do it, but I am able to do it a lot more than I could before!  One other big emotional change that happened in this past year for us is that Alexandria has started to really feel like home.  Ever since we left Milwaukee, I don’t think we started feeling like we were really home until earlier this year.

R: Same feelings but with a different appreciation.

What is something you’ve done that has worked, and really made a difference in your marriage, that you would give as advice to be successful to others on their wedding day?

M:  Not so much something I’ve done, but something I was told on my wedding day that has helped us so much throughout the year, is that even though Ryan is working those long hours, he would much rather be at home.  And that I am not the only one that is sad/miserable about those long work hours.  Both my brother and sister-in-law shared that with me and it has really been a godsend this year.

R: Try to pay attention to the little things--even off hand comments.  And always try to better yourself for your partner.  Especially if they say something repeatedly, that you ignore (i.e. Ryan is referring to me asking to take selfies)!

As you can see, Ryan is a man of many words!  But, we had fun answering this together!  I hope you enjoy it, too :)

Planner Obsessed

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Here’s the deal.  I freakin’ LOVE planners.  I love them so much that I often do not make it through an entire year with the same one because I accidently stumble upon one that I cannot live without and then I love transferring all the new information on to those fresh pages—especially with a brand new pen.  Do I sound crazy or can you relate?

Lilly Pulitzer planners are my go to.  I love a cute monogrammed sticker that matches the print and the stickers that come with it are always my favorite.  I always switch between medium and large and they are just my favorite—they are gorgeous and my love for Lilly is real.

Erin Condren are a quick second favorite—I just extremely wish the pages were lined!  I have had a variety of personalized planners from Erin Condren and my favorite are definitely the ones that can be personalized with photos! I haven’t gotten an Erin Condren planner in quite a while and am definitely itching to try their new hardbook version.

In college, Vera Bradley planners were my favorite.  I will always be a sucker for a gorgeous Vera print and before they switched to the new material for their covers, I absolutely adored their paper quality!  I love a nice thick paper that my go-to pens won’t bleed through.

Recently, while using my Lilly planners I found myself only using the calendar portion rather than the week layouts.  These days, my weeks are fairly consistent and I found myself keeping my to-do lists on my phone rather than using the daily pages instead.  Around the same time, I got an email from papersource that they were having a sale!  So, I picked up the 2016-2017 yearly calendar and this adorable 2017-2018 calendar.  For the past month, that’s what I have been using and I really like it.  I know I will stay just as noncommittal in the future—but for now this is doing the trick!

What is your favorite go to planner?  I am always on the hunt for one that I just might like a little bit more.  And I have always considered planners a staple in my life so I AM willing to invest in them!

Thank you so SO so much!

Special Wedding Details

Thursday, October 12, 2017

With our anniversary over a little over a week away, I wanted to take a minute to talk about my favorite personal touches from our wedding day!  Our wedding day was pure magic.  As cheesy as it sounds, this past year combined has been more magical than that wonderful day---really I am sorry for the cheesiness.  But, we really are just so freaking happy.  And every element of this year was exciting, even with all the puppy messes and chaos!  The icing on the cake is definitely that Ryan has agreed to do a joint post with me for our anniversary—so you know he’s excited for it, too! 

We are going away to Tilghman Island in Maryland  next weekend and even though there are at least 2 reasons we can worry about the location (there are only 3 restaurants and no one around here has heard of it)…I am super excited! 

Back to my favorite personal touches!  The first wedding decision I ever made was the summer after my freshman year of college when I was living with my grandma.  She was showing me everything she had saved from her wedding and pulled out a gorgeous scalloped pearl crown that she wore on her wedding day.  I immediately told her I wanted to wear it and knew right when Ryan proposed that I was going to get my chance J  It was one of my favorite details of the day and it also was a wonderful way to have my grandpa’s memory included on our special day.

Speaking of my grandpa, it was important to me that he would be as present as possible on our special day.  I know he was with us in spirit during the wedding celebration (and every time I smell a cigar or snuggle with Murr—dogs were his favorite).  To remember him throughout the day, I had bracelets made in our wedding colors for all of us Isom girl cousins.  We used to have yearly sleepovers at my grandparent’s house just for us girls and would have ice cream sundaes and we always always made bracelets for ourselves, my grandma, and my grandpa.  And he would always wear it. 

When my sister got married, she had bracelets made for all of us to wear and it was important to me to include that aspect as well.  It means so much to continue the tradition of those cousin bracelets while being able to keep the memory of my grandpa Larry so close.

Another special element of our wedding and marriage is my wedding band.  I always loved my mom’s original band and engagement ring (which was upgraded on one of their anniversaries) and when I thought about the band I wanted to wear with my engagement ring, I couldn’t help but think of hers.  Although we are best friends, I was nervous to ask because that felt like a humongous favor.  But, both my mom and dad were excited and so sweet when they said yes!  So, my wedding band is my mom’s original wedding band and Ryan got one to match!  It was so important to me to have elements of two marriages that have really shaped Ryan and I’s relationship already and will continue to shape our marriage!  We have been so lucky to have my parent’s, ryan’s parent’s and our grandparents’ marriages and relationships as examples of unconditional love.

And to end on a really fun note!  Originally, we were going to replace our champagne toast all together with a tequila shot, but then our venue totally pulled through and included the champagne toast as well.  So, for sure the most fun moment of our wedding was the tequila (other than the dancing of course)

Tequila is significant to both my dad and Ryan.  When I was in college, my dad and I started a long term taste test to compare tequilas—we would take a shot of a different tequila every time I was going back to Milwaukee after a visit home.  And now, anytime we have a reason to cheers, or want a reason to cheers, we have a shot of tequila together.  My dad and I thought it would be a really great and special way for him to end his toast—by having every single wedding guest join us in our shot! 
Tequila is also the first drink Ryan and I ever had together—which is insanely ironic because not only does Ryan rarely drink—we also are not cool enough for that to be ‘our’drink (HA). 

Oh!  All the feels!  After this post, I am feeling even more cheesiness than before.  I am so excited to celebrate this first year of marriage with Ryan next weekend.  And I truly cannot wait to see what’s to come!

Old Town Alexandria Favorites

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

One of my favorite things about Ryan and I’s life right now is where we live.  We are currently right outside of Old Town Alexandria and it is my dream come true neighborhood.  Since the first time I visited Ryan two (two? already?) years ago and he took me to old town, I knew that was where I wanted to live [forever].  So when we moved to our apartment a year ago, I was such a happy girl!  

And in the past 365ish days, I’ve only gotten happier!

So, I knew that I wanted to post my top favorite places in old town to celebrate Ryan and I’s first full year living here.

Shop Penny Post is my newest favorite spot.  The paper products are hilarious and super cute (just like me—I kid) and I could spend all the moneys there.  They should really just take it now!  If you live in the area, you have to check it out! 

My OG favorite spot is The Old Town Shop.  I discovered it a few months ago and it has become my go to for gifts and cute décor in our apartment.  I highly recommend it for both tourists and old town residents!  I know it’ll be where R and I get a lot of Christmas gifts for our loved ones!

Pops is my absolute favorite ice cream spot on King Street.  First off, I just love how many ice cream places there are to choose from AND how hard it was to choose a favorite.  Not only do I love the vibe and décor, but I am also planning on celebrating my 29th birthday party there!

The Christmas Attic is also a favorite.  In my opinion, the best part about old town is the charm of the row houses and the Christmas Attic is where I bought my favorite ornament—a little row of rowhouses decorated for Christmas!  It is also the perfect place to shop when you wish it could be Christmas all year round like myself! 

The Lucky Knot is the last of my favorite places to shop in old town (although there are so many great stores) because it makes all of my preppy high school dreams come true!

Chadwick’s is my favorite place for food, a view, and a beer!  Murray seems to like it, too!  The atmosphere is my absolute favorite.  Especially because it has incredibly different feels depending on the part of the restaurant you’re sitting in! And any bar that I can order onion straws at at midnight is a winner for me!

Check out all of my favorite spots and let me know if you think I missed any crucial ones!

Health and Exercise Update!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Currently typing this post while drinking a pumpkin beer and eating some Halloween candy so things are going great over here.  Okay, okay.  But, really.  Things are staying balanced over here.  I am still eating way too many chips…but I am not drinking nearly as much diet coke?  So—that’s a win!  Monday is a new little start for some goals I just made for myself thanks to YOU and everyone else that responded to my insta story this week asking for goal ideas. 

I wanted to revisit my goals because the last time I made them they were as vague as “lose weight” and actually run.  Both of those things have happened, but I kind of hate the scale because it super doesn’t sync up with my progress in NSV (non scale victories) and so I am over it.  I also have stuck to the running plan!  Which is such an accomplishment in itself.

I was watching Julie Taylor’s Instagram stories not that long ago when she was talking about how often it isn’t what were actually doing that is important, but that we are following through on what we said we were going to do----she said it so much more eloquently!  But, it deeply resonated with me.  I had no idea that when I hired my trainer, Kevin, that this would be a time I really stuck with it…because I have tried in the past and failed.  And then when I decided to start running again, I had no idea if I would stick with it, again because I have so easily quit before.  But, here I am!  Surprisingly actually doing (most) of the things I set out to do in March/April when I hired Kevin.

So, I am focusing so much on accomplishing my daily goals so that it is just assumed (in my self talk) that if it’s on the list of course it’s going to get done.  Because I’m a boss and I am getting shit done---obviously.  Anyways, I hope that made sense.  It made sense to me! 

So, other than getting rid of the scale (mostly) my goals are to: lower my BMI, work on my body control/balance so that I can do a headstand(!!!!), be able to do 5 real push-ups well---and have it not be ugly, run a 5K in 30 minutes or less, and follow my meal plan 80%.  That 80% will hopefully look like healthy eating throughout the day during the week with a halloween size treat or two at the end of day and then indulging on Saturday/Sunday—ish!  

Now that it is written down, it’s go time!  Wish me luck this week and I go one step further in bettering myself!

PS.  Check out my etsy shop under the tab “shop” on the blog!  Earrings are $8 with free shipping and they are the cutest—if I do say so myself!
site design by designer blogs