Happy Anniversary, Ryan!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Four years ago today, Ryan took me to Buca di Beppo for our second date.  I remember nervously sitting across from him at dinner wondering if he liked me as much as I liked him.  We went to dinner and laughed and talked about our families for what seemed like hours.  Then we made it to a birthday party for friends of his and in the elevator I will never forget him nervously asking me what he should introduce me as to his friends, and if he could call me his girlfriend.  My stomach was a mess!  That was the first of many Ryan surprises. 

In the past four years, we have been through countless adventures.  Some moments were so incredibly hard.  Our mothers were sick, our friends passed away, and we never thought things would turn around.  But, every sad and hard moment has one hundred joyful moments outshining it.  We have moved across the country, become stronger people, gotten engaged, brought out the absolute best in each other, and laughed until we couldn't stand it.  Ryan has taught me to stand up for myself, how to skip stones, that bread pudding is delicious, and that it's okay to relax.  He has made me more comfortable in my skin than I have ever been before.  And the best part of it all, is that the next anniversary we celebrate will be of our marriage.

This year is about to be the best one yet.  Happy Anniversary, Ryan Matthew! I love you!

Visiting Milwaukee

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

This past weekend Ryan and I were in Milwaukee (we left DC right before Jonas hit) for all things wedding and marriage prep.  We were lucky enough to fit in some family and friend time too.  Being back in Milwaukee is surreal.  I was worried that I would be sad during my visit (sometimes I tend to get too carried away to enjoy the moment) and mope about not living there anymore.  However, Ryan and I were both pretty surprised that that wasn't the case. 

We flew in early on Friday morning (we landed at 7:00am...) and just barely made it through security in time to make our flights.  We spent the first part of Friday relaxing and procrastinating our looming to do list.   And ended our day with the G's aka our Milwaukee family. 

On Saturday, we had a marriage prep meeting at our church with all of the other couple's getting married there this year.  During the meeting, our priest joined us and we completed the ever stressful survey/questionnaire individually about our relationship and values.  Our priest is truly a gem and walked us through the entire thing at the end of the 4 hour meeting.  We left feeling strong, refreshed, and with a handful of things still needed to be talked about :)

Afterwards, we met with a real estate agent and my future father-in-law to discuss putting their condo on the market.  I am feeling so bittersweet about this because Ryan has lived there ever since I have known him and I moved in when he went to DC.  I will miss that condo so much, but he keeps reminding me that home is where he is and that helps.  After that, we had our tasting! So far, definitely one of my favorite parts of the wedding planning! The menu has been officially chosen and we can't wait.

That night, Ryan and I split up to meet up with friends and I had a great and much needed girls dinner downtown.  I talked their ears off, but had missed girl talk!  Later, I met up with Ryan to say hi to his friends and end the evening at our favorite german beer hall.

On Sunday, we had breakfast with his dad and then relaxed until lunch with the G's at AJ bombers...one of my favorite places in MKE.  We felt extra lucky that we got to see them twice over the weekend!  Then we spent time putting away personal items in the condo and preparing it to be photographed for the listing.  I ended the evening with froyo with one of Ryan and I's very dear friends, Sam! 

Monday rolled around and we were so grateful our Sunday night flight had been cancelled due to snow.  With the storm, I didn't have to work and Ryan didn't have to go to class so we were able to relax and not unpack one thing...

Right before bed on Monday I read that the federal government was closed for Tuesday too so we were able to enjoy one last snow day before the real world starts again tomorrow!  We spent the day being equal parts lazy and productive and ended our evening with my grandma's spaghetti sauce recipe---perfect meal for a snow day!

If only I could actually unpack the suitcases...


Monday, January 18, 2016

This past weekend was another great one.  We have been seriously loving our time together in DC and have squeezed as many fun things to do in as possible.  Ryan's classes start tomorrow so we took full advantage this weekend.  Other than my phone experiencing death by toilet, we had the best time.
We had briefly been to Georgetown to have dinner with my cousin and decided to dedicate our entire weekend to the area.  We took the metro down (over? up? I have no idea where anything is) and explored all afternoon and evening.  Our stops included Baked and Wired, the Georgetown campus, Filomena, and spending a LOT of time at Patagonia (Ryan tried on everything and bought nothing--story of his shopping life).  Every single bite of food I had this weekend was amazing. 
Baked and Wired totally lived up to the hype and was absolutely worth the cold wait outside.  We each got two--one for then and one for the next day and still need to go back to try more flavors!  The flavor names were half the fun.  And after having Georgetown Cupcakes and Baked and Wired--Baked and Wired definitely won.  Although, cupcakes are a lot like pizza.  Even bad cupcakes are still good cupcakes!

Filomena was an amazing experience that I will not soon forget.  It was loud and bursting with energy.  I have never eaten at a restaurant like this.  Let alone a place that lists the celebrity who likes the dish best under each item.  Ryan and I didn't even finish half our meals.  He got some delicious pesto pasta pillows (who knew that was a thing? I just thought it was a cute way to talk about ravioli) and I got the penne alla vodka--even though my dad was insistent on me ordering Clint Eastwood's favorite.  Filomena was full of life and watching the women in the window make the pasta when you walk by isn't a bad touch either!
On Sunday, we decided to round out our DC tasting weekend by stopping by the Old Ebbitt Grill.  I am so grateful for his sweet aunt and uncle that got us a gift card to this place.  It is such a historical restaurant and I had just as much fun eating there as I did reading about the history before we went.  Again, the vibe was almost better than the food!  We may have been dining in the presence of politicians or other important people, but we were tucked away in the corner and I only had eyes for--my dessert!
And on Monday--we detoxed!  But, really! Tomorrow, with Ryan's break ending, our ridiculous DC indulgent diet is also adjusting back to a much healthier place!  With only the occasional restaurant outing!  But, we sure had fun with our, essentially, food tours through DC this month! 

Happy four day week!!

Love and ridiculous cupcakes!


7QT: School, Chobani, and Coloring

Friday, January 15, 2016

Linking up with Kelly today for 7QT!  This week has been an odd one.  The family I nanny for's grandma was visiting so she has been helping me every day with the girls--which is such a blessing, but kind of throws the flow off.  Ryan and I did a lot of nothing after work this week which I am grateful for!

1. Ryan's class schedule starting Tuesday--I better prepare for a lot of solo dinners in my future!

2. This is what a nanny lunch on the go looks like!  The parents so kindly offered to always have lunch food for me and I requested PB sandwiches--why not!  I eat like a child.
I love ALL the cuties!

3. There was another particularly rough day with the babies this week when everyone refused to nap so I spent my evening shamefully watching Teen Mom and proudly coloring to relax.
Few things top new markers and a new coloring book!
the finished product

4. And obviously on Wednesday we needed Chick Fil A.  Ryan has a lot of crazy stuff going on work/future job wise and this is his version of coloring to relax--spicy chicken sandwich with extra chick fil a sauce.

5. Obviously, I love Chobani Flip.  I have talked about it on here almost an embarrassing amount (key word: almost).  And I had been on the hunt for this Christmas flavor! Our roommate Willie so kindly let me have his and it did not disappoint!

6. Look at these beauties!  These are the only thing on my birthday list this year (other than some Aveda shampoo) and I hope I get them :)
7. Last night, I met Ryan's college roommate for the first time!  She came over for tacos and we tossed all wine norms out the window and enjoyed a red from Maryland that she brought over with our tacos and nachos :)
Have a great weekend and thank you for reading! Hopefully, next week's post will be filled with my engagement pictures!


Filling my Bucket

Monday, January 11, 2016

This past weekend completely filled the bucket.  During the past few months in Milwaukee, I was rejuvenated over the weekend by relaxing and an overwhelming amount of self love(painting my nails, coloring, occasional cardio, guzzling diet coke, seeing my pals) and so far in DC my bucket has been filled with adventures with Ryan.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

And with Georgetown classes starting up again in a week, I need to fill my bucket as much as possible to last a while!  Law school tends to leave me without quality fiancĂ© time pretty regularly.  Only slightly exaggerating when I say it feels like a long distance relationship all over again!  I do a pretty good job (key word: pretty) staying rational and understanding, but probably twice a month (coughweekcough) I get a little pouty *Fingers crossed* that this is our last semester of school as a couple, ever.  We have promised each other at least a few years off after this one!  But, with the anticipation/dread of the semester, we have decided to do as much as possible on Saturdays and Sundays.

Last Friday, we did our favorite activity, grocery shopping.  No joke.  We love doing that together and we always both got so sad during the fall when we would do it alone.  So, we hit up the grocery store and Chipotle and possibly Baskin Robbins (yea okay, we went to BR). 

On Saturday, we had tickets to see Star Wars at 2:30 so we bummed around until it was time to leave.  Which, now that we take the metro every where, needs to be incredibly early because apparently it can be a little unpredictable.  I wasn't totally jazzed about seeing the new Star Wars movie, but when I saw that you could see it at the National Air and Space Museum at the IMAX I was singing a different tune.  Other than being in the fifthish row and having both sore eyes and a sore head afterwards, it was amazing.  I can honestly say that I can't wait for the next one. 
Outside the IMAX post movie!
We had planned to go to Old Ebbitt Grill afterwards but on the metro ride there we decided to cancel our reservation and play it by ear.  We decided to save our gift card for next weekend instead!  After the movie, we went to Five Guys (my favorite place ever. two words. Cajun. Fries.) and then, because I apparently need dessert constantly, we went to an amazing candy store that is conveniently right on Ryan's way home every day. 
Evidence of said candy store having everything!
If you were wondering, the wedding diet is obviously going very well for everyone over here.

On Sunday, we took the metro into Chinatown to run some errands and explore.  We went to Loft for a return (and I quietly drooled over everything I loved) and to Allen Edmonds for Ryan to treat himself to his first pair of their shoes.  It was so much fun to go with him and pick out such a big "treat yo self" item that he had been wanting and wishing for for a while.  We kept walking for a while (I had no idea where we were) and stumbled upon Dolcezza.  Dolcezza is a coffee and gelato place (our two loves combined) and we popped in because I had recently been introduced to Bridget's blog that morning by her SIL Amy.  I remembered reading that she worked there (ps I'm a creeper) and figured we would take a chance to see if that was the one and, I mean, gelato.  And low and behold, she was there! And Ryan encouraged me to introduce myself.  Luckily, she is so incredibly kind and lovely and I don't think we freaked her out.

After Dolcezza, we walked our way down to Astro Doughnuts because it was on our "list" and close by.  We got doughnuts to go while I talked/guilted Ryan into seeing Sisters with me before we went home.  He said yes (have I mentioned how lucky I am?) and we went to Georgetown Law to drop some stuff off before making our way to the movie. 

Sisters was hilarious if you love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as much as I do.  But, it was also vulgar and had a no-so-great story line.  But, Ryan and I both agreed that we loved the movie because it was clear that they were just two best friends having a great time making a movie together...and I also had to agree to seeing Deadpol on Valentine's Day (incredibly romantic).  And with a Smoothie King right outside the theatre, we, of course, had to make one more stop before going home!
Don't tell Ryan, but Jamba still wins.
See?  Even typing this all up filled my bucket a little bit more!  We are cramming DC memories in left and right and I couldn't be happier.  Who knew I would love this city so much (well, a lot of people.  Just not me)?

Love and buckets of happiness!


7QT: DC, Bull Durham, and New Recipes

Friday, January 8, 2016

Hey pals! Linking up today with Kelly for 7QT--finally! It's been a while.  Prepping for this post has really helped me focus on so many highlights of the past week.

1. Ryan and I have been able to fit in quite a few fun DC activities this past week considering we have both been back to working full time.  I am trying to take full advantage of his free time before his semester starts after MLK day!  We walked around the National Mall on NYE day and made a mental list of the top places we really wanted to go back to explore.  On Tuesday, we had dinner with one of my cousins in Georgetown because he had a residency interview that next morning on campus.  Many people had told me I would love the Georgetown area and they were right!  If only I could afford to shop in that neighborhood :)  While killing time before the dinner, we stumbled upon Georgetown Cupcake!  I have wanted to go, but also didn't know if the line wasn't necessarily worth it--apparently there are "better" cupcakes in the area.  However, they were delicious and there was NO line! So that was awesome.
I definitely need to go back to try more flavors!
Nothing beats quality cousin time--here's hoping his residency and wherever we live next year match up!
2. I also watched Ryan's favorite movie with him for the first time this week.  Bull Durham.  And while the racy scenes were a little much, it was such a good movie.  I actually couldn't sleep that night because I was so excited about it!

3.  When I started the draft for this post, I had big expectations that tonight would be my new recipe night for the week.  However, I was feeling L A Z Y and we decided to go to Chipotle (thank you Christmas gift cards) before hitting up the grocery store (we are wild on Friday nights). So, I will finally be making the Chicken Teriyaki recipe (thank you Pinterest) on Sunday night! 

4. Wedding Planning.  I am ANXIOUSLY and impatiently awaiting the rest of our engagement photos which are supposed to be finished by Sunday.  I seriously can't wait.  I also was finally in touch with a florist today and we have finished our wedding registry!!  Ryan and I were in Bed, Bath, and Beyond for three hours straight so I did the Macy's and other odds and ends from Amazon on my own online (and that's why it's only fiesta ware and kate spade stuff). 

5. Ryan deserves a shout out today!  First, he got a phone call from his boss today (who is also his professor) to tell him that he got the highest grade in the class on one of his hardest finals.  Grades aren't due for a week and he has been so stressed--I am so proud of him!  He also has been such a champ since I've gotten here about my happiness and doing anything to make the move easier.  Yesterday, I had had a hard day at work and may or may not have cried about missing Milwaukee (for the record, I thought it would have happened sooner--and even though I miss the memories and the friends, I wouldn't trade it to be there without him again) and he stopped doing what he was doing and asked me exactly what I needed.  That's how we ended up spending our evening at Dickey's BBQ and Target :)  I am a lucky girl and I really appreciate how he always puts my needs and happiness first.  I really try to be intentional each day in living to make his life easier, too, but neither of us are perfect and we don't always get it right.  But, even more than normal, I have been feeling extra lucky lately!
Ryan in his element--he would kill me if he saw this!
6. Tomorrow we are going to see the new Star Wars movie at the National Air and Space Museum IMAX...and even though I don't really want to see the movie, that sounds like the best way to watch it.  We are then going to a restaurant that his aunt's got us a gift card to located right by the White House--apparently it is the top grossing restaurant in the country!  So that should be an awesome adventure...and who knows, maybe an important politician will be there that I will 99% for sure not recognize. 

7. Lastly, I am officially on the hunt for the right parish for me in DC.  My friend that I had brunch with last week recommended a few, but also told me that a lot of them in the area don't have music which is an important part for me in finding the right fit...if you have any recommendations I would love to hear them!  Hopefully, this Sunday I have luck!

I feel like I have hit a total lull in terms of blogging.  I have lost my stride...but I am working my way back! Even though my readers are made up of all family members, I really enjoy the blogging experience and have no plans of stopping even if that means said family members have to read less entertaining posts every once in a while...I guess I need another woman empowerment toilet to fix!

Love and adventures!


Adventures in Resolutions

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Hi pals! 
I love a good resolution.  I am all about fresh starts.  And I have spend the past few days trying to come up with goals for the new year.  But, I can't stop thinking about this past year first.  2015 was amazing, exciting, scary, and pushed me outside of my comfort zone.  A year ago I was telling Ryan to apply to Georgetown and what has felt like a blink of an eye--boom!  We are here.  And 2016 isn't slowing down!  I am so excited that this year will be filled with our wedding, new jobs, moving, and possibly a new city.  Ryan is applying to jobs all over and even though we're only a week into this move, I can't help but think, "bring it on, I'm totally a pro."  I guess my new book club, a couple of plans with friends in DC, and some exploring with Ryan has me convinced that things are going to be just fine.  It doesn't hurt that the two little girls (K and C) I started nannying this week are absolutely perfect.  They are three months old and so incredibly precious. 

But, back to resolutions and goals!  I have a little list that I am feeling very determined about right now.
  1. Read one non-fiction book a month.  I love to read but, my books are usually chick lit or YA and I really want to widen my reading!  This new book club is proving to be very helpful so far---I am currently reading Brain on Fire for the January meeting and I am really enjoying it.  Even though it is making me incredibly paranoid!
  2. Feel better.  This year was really up in down in terms of my personal health and working out.  I lost a lot of weight, gained some back, worked out every day, took months off at a time.  This year I don't have any specific goals other than make at least one healthy and active choice a day.  (Including hot Cheetos only on Sunday....) I am going to work the gym into my schedule starting next week (the adjustment to full time work again is taking it out of me--wah wah).
  3. Live intentionally.  More on this next week :) I am still solidifying what I want this to look like for the year.
  4. Self care.  This past year I spent a lot of time identifying the most effective forms of self care for myself.  They pretty much include coloring, painting my nails, unwinding with a diet coke, quality time with Ryan, and sometimes it means a Netflix binge. 
So, here we go!  Bring it on 2016.  I am ready for you (especially for the craziness that's coming with it)!

Love and coloring!


Adventures in 2016

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The past few days have been C R A Z Y.  Luckily, the good kind of crazy though! 

First, my second sweet nephew was born!  Stephen Mark III was born on Monday and was five weeks early to the party.  He is so handsome and strong!  Mom and baby will hopefully get to go home soon!  My aunt-crazy has now doubled and I can't believe I have two of the most handsome little boys I've ever seen as my nephews.  I am so lucky!
So handsome!
The move went as smooth as could be (even though I have unpacked 0 boxes and suitcases).  My first few days in DC have been so much better than I anticipated.  I was excited to move but I was sad and anxious and devastated to leave my friends.  But, being in the same city as my fiancĂ© is about as wonderful as it sounds!  It has been so nice to finally spend time together without the dreaded thought in the back of my mind that we would be saying goodbye soon. 

Like I said, the past few days have been crazy!  The day after I got here, Ryan's friends from college (and now my friends, too), Trent and Laura, came to visit for New Year's Eve.  We spent NYE with them two years ago and had the best time.  Having guests the first few days I was here was perfect because it got us out and site seeing.  We went to Founding Farmers for brunch/lunch and it did not disappoint.  We then walked around the National Mall.  I knew hardly anything about DC before the move so I was so pleasantly surprised to find out that all of the museums are free!  We walked around the entire area soaking in the site and then made sure to snap a pick in front (actually behind) of the white house and spent a little time in the Air and Space Museum.  We also rode the National Mall Carousel (definitely the highlight).  We had so much fun enjoying the barely chilly weather and each other's company.  That night, we went to a NYE gala at a Hilton downtown and had a blast.  There was henna, caricatures, a balloon drop---you name it! 
Behind the White House (Hey, Obama!)
The National Carousel
at the NYE gala
Dancing at Midnight
the four of us
On Friday, we took them to the airport (it was so sad to say goodbye) and spent a LARGE chunk of time at Staples and Target--best way to start 2016!  And today we registered at Bed, Bath, and Beyond which was stressful/fun/crazy/overwhelming/long/fun.  When we got home, I made a Macy's registry online (Ryan would not enjoy being put through even more time staring at fiesta ware) and it is embarrassing how much fiesta ware and kate spade cuteness I have on there!

I have been thinking a LOT about the new year and reflecting on 2015.  It is crazy that a year ago from this very week I was encouraging Ryan to apply to Georgetown "just" to see what would happen.  And here we are a year later living in DC.  I have no idea what the upcoming year has in store for us, but I know that it will be the best one yet. 

My "resolutions" are simple: seek help, stay happy, sweat more.  I realized my anxiety levels are a little high while I was home and know that I have a lot of self care and possible help in my future. I also want to continue and work on living intentionally.  And, as always, I am ready to really work hard at the gym.  I lost 20 lbs before last Christmas, gained a little back over the course of 2015, and am ready to lose that little bit again.  My wedding dress fits perfectly right now so the main goal is just to feel better, not necessarily look different! 

Tomorrow I meet the parents I will be working for and then Monday is my first day at my new job!  The craziness continues!

Love and Resolutions!

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