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!

The Sugar Factory

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Guys. GUYS. Why didn’t anyone tell me about The SugarFactory?  JK.  It’s totally on me, not you. 

How did I not realize one opened up by Ryan and I just a few months ago??? I was finally able to go and check it out with my mom when she was visiting last week.  And I don’t care if it’s cheesy.  It was AMAZING.  We had so much fun! 

We shared the Lollipop Passion goblet.  The best part was that they offered us to go bags for our lollipops and the second best part was the dry ice, of course.

We then split the Strawberry Rainbow ice cream sandwich and O M G.  Best thing I have ever had.  Seriously.  Ever.  How is it even possible that the cookies are still so soft?  

After typing this, all I keep thinking is that Ryan better be ready to go with me this weekend!  If you have one in your area—you have to go!

Halloween Bark

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Hey guys!
This morning I thought I would whip up some cute Halloween bark that I saw on Pinterest earlier this week! It turned out so cute and I can’t make it again in the weeks to come before the holiday!

1lb of bittersweet chocolate chips
Lots of Halloween treat goodness

I melted the chocolate chips in 30 second increments in the microwave until smooth.  After lining a cookie sheet in parchment paper, I smoothed the chocolate out into an even layer and then put my treats on top.  Make sure to press them slightly into the chocolate so they don't easily pop off when breaking.  I found the eyes at my local grocery store!

I let the bark harden in the fridge for an hour before breaking/cutting apart.  Then Ryan and I ate just a little bit of it!  We are bringing it to a friend’s to watch some football later this afternoon!


Run Like Rocky

Sunday, September 10, 2017

People! People!

Guess what I did today? Ran a 5K!  And if you know me at all, you know that is equivalent to a freaking marathon!  But, in all seriousness, I do hope by now you think I am a tad more in shape than I had been my whole life up until this yearJ

Back in January, I decided I wanted to run a 5K every month of the year after completing (not necessarily running) two the September and November prior (2016).  And my main goal over time was just to run an entire one.  I figured if I ran 12 in a year it would be bound to eventually happen. 

Well, I ran the entire one in January and just decided the goal had been met so I was done (I am so determined and great at follow through).  Anyways, a couple months later I ended up hiring my trainer, Kevin, and have been working out extremely consistently since March.  And when my friend, Liz, offered to run a 5K with me in November—and then talked me into doing a 10K instead, we decided we should do a 5K midway through our training. 

The training program we’ve been using is just a basic 10K running app we downloaded and we have been pretty consistent.  And in turn, I managed to shave off 4 minutes of my January time!  This isn’t saying too much because in January I could have walked faster than I ran, but still!  Logistics aren’t important here!

I feel like a total rockstar today and I am so ready to take on the 10K in November.  Even though my feet are sore and I could sleep for a week and a half. 

Since I was never a runner and still wouldn’t necessary refer to myself as one, I think I am qualified to share some tips.  So here is what works for me.

Advil.  The only reason I think I can make it through my longer runs are because I pop two advil 30 minutes before I start.  This is probably unhealthy or something, but I do it anyways.  It might not actually help at all.  If that’s the case, do it for the placebo effect because it definitely is working for me.

Read Running Like a Girl by AlexandraHeminsley.  This book transformed my entire mentality about running.  It turns out when you see people running down the street (by choice) they aren’t necessarily pain free and straight up loving life like I thought you were always supposed to feel!  It will always be hard (ish).  I will always be tired!  But, it’s mental!  And realizing that totally transformed things for me.  And it was nice to read a book about a girl who also wasn’t a runner at all.  And, like, actually not a runner.  Not someone who says they aren’t a runner, but then can run 6 miles if they have to. 

Blast that Rocky theme song like a champ!  Or maybe play it on repeat the whole freaking time!  I did that in January.  Today I just played Pandora, but when I got to the last stretch, I pulled my head phones out and blasted Eye of the Tiger followed by the Rocky theme song so literally everyone around me could hear it.  Like, unplugged my headphones, and half ran/danced to the end.  Now, people around us totally sped up.  It just could have been because we either motivated them…or annoyed them.

Last, but not least, get yourself an awesome support system like Ryan!  When I am done with my 5Ks he acts as if I ran a freaking marathon and it makes me so happy.  He is my biggest cheerleader (read this post from January to see what I mean).  I love that man to death if you couldn’t tell already!

Okay, I am going to go enjoy my freshly made bed and snuggle with my pup!  Happy Sunday, friends!  And, as always, thank you for reading!

End of Summer Snippets

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hey babes!

I just wanted to give a quick update to sum up the end of summer! What better way to do that then with a few snippets.  You should be forewarned that the things I find really prominent about the end of summer will seem----- not prominent.  J

1.        Red Jolly Ranchers.  Let me just talk about this for a minute.  When I started my meal plan, I got Kevin (my trainer) to agree that I could have one a day and the red variety bag tops all other jolly ranchers.  And I’ll admit, it isn’t my favorite candy by any means, but I only want one and still feel satisfied—and that doesn’t happen to me in terms of sweets, or food in general, ever.  The love is so real that I woke up one morning with my mouth feeling weird only to have Ryan tell me I got one in the middle of the night when I was taking Murray out and fell asleep eating it—not my proudest moment.

2.       Moving on to more important matters!  I have found my brand new super favorite chapsticks!  I already own three of the scents and not only are they my favorite for their smells, I am also completely in love with their packaging and price.  I also feel like it is a little more moisturizing than the babylips or burt’s bees that I typically wear, but isn’t as goopy as the aquaphor that I put on my lips at night!

3.       Another total diet (ahem—lifestyle change) treat that has been a total game changer are RX bars.  I am a weird kind of picky so even though I was hesitant to try some of the flavors (I literally like all of them though) I was up to try all of them because the ingredients were so basic yet the flavor is so spot on.  It isn’t often that I like peanut butter flavored anything as much as I love just a good scoop of JIF or a pb milkshake from gillie’s, but this is a great health(ier) option.

4.       Before I start on about pumpkin flavored goodies (meet Megan, the most basic of basics), I have to note one of the best ways to end the summer was the Isom family picnic that I organized with my grandma.  I come from a fairly large family and everyone was there except for 4 people (who were so dearly missed).  There is a post to come about the reasons behind the picnic and how it came together!

All of the cousins (+significant others) that were there!

Right after my sweet cousin Hannah, in the middle, asked us all to be bridesmaids in her wedding next fall!

R and I being cute as usual

My cute mom and sister in the chambray!

5.       One last summer snippet.  The most important of all---what shows I fell in love with this summer!  I watch just about every sitcom and a handful of dramas every year.  So, when the summer comes around I try to find a new summer series and a fall series I didn’t watch to binge.  This summer, I watched all of Riverdale and LOVED every minute of it.  I read a lot of Archie comics as a kid and was so invested in the story line.  And how can you not love it when the show couple turns into a real life couple!  And for my summer series, I have fallen head over heels for The Bold Type.  I love the three main characters and also love how true to real life it seems to me.  I get that the actual jobs they have might not be the most realistic but the amount of drama in their daily lives/how it is resolved seems so much more reasonable to me than how a lot of shows go! 

6.       FALL CANDLES.  GUYS.  Luckily, I limited myself to only buying the glade pumpkin candles so I feel a lot less guilty about keeping them constantly lit.  And how convenient, I can pick a little one up everytime I go to Target!  I also grabbed some apple cinnamon pretzels and some pumpkin kind bars—they are great in small doses!  My favorite kinds of pumpkins are carved or little ones—not so much the lattes! 

Let's be friends!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Let’s be real.  Making new friends as an adult is hard.  And a year and a half ago when I moved to DC I felt incredibly helpless in that department.  But, lately I have found myself in a season of friendship.  And when I really reflect on this beautiful time in my life I realize that it isn’t just fate, it is me.  I am actively putting myself out there and the world is giving back in full force!  Because of this, my sister, Em, had the great idea for me to write about it.  So, here we are.

Let me start by saying I have always struggled in making real, true friends versus falling fast for someone and looking past all the flaws or their own personal crazy and finding myself in a mess of drama later.  And for every two or three amazing friends I have made in different chapters of my life, there have been people that I have fallen for a little too quickly (if you know about my love life before my wonderful husband, you are not surprised)!  I always seem to have “crazy” blinders on.  But, I think I have finally kicked this habit.

And this is how I have done it.  When I meet people now, I put it all out there (I think I used to just mirror other people’s behavior?  I don’t know—something to figure out in therapy one day I’m sure).  You will know in the first hour of meeting me that I love hot Cheetos, am a nanny, want to be a stay at home mom, that I am Catholic, that I am happily married, that I enjoy tequila nights and a trip to Target on a Friday equally,  that I am usually down for anything pending affordability (ha), that I will overshare and really listen, that I have anxiety and might need to cancel plans for no reason, that I think I am funnier than I really am, and that I am slightly ridiculous.  I have learned that sharing all of this seems to attract my same kind of crazy.  And guuuurl (or guy, hi guy!).  Let me tell you.  IT WORKS. 

Earlier in my 20s, when I think about my best friends I made in college, they are the people that saw this right away.  Typically by fluke, or they were just able to look past my annoying habits (I obviously have zero of those now—just ask my husband) and see that this was who I really was.  I give all the kudos to them.  They are also pretty much the only people who read this so thanks, guys!  And these wonderful college friends are still my best friends today.  And it is pure magic to have true, genuine friends who have known me for 10 years. 

But, when I moved to DC I didn’t have those friends within a drive able distance.  And even though texting and facetime is great, I needed DC friends, too.  I was really lucky when I moved here.  And that is because of my girl Becky.  Becky and I met through a mutual friend (my girl Liz who deserves a post all on her own) and hit it off right after college.  When you are twitter soulmates, diet coke fanatics, and literally watch every same (horrible) tv show, it is pure fate when you finally end up in the same city (and yes, we went to Marquette together, but sometimes you don’t realize that pure soulmate friendship until it’s too late)!  And she has been my lifeline ever since I got here.  We have conquered skeeball, attempting (and actually succeeding) at becoming runners, and she helped me overcome my fear of book club (a social anxiety nightmare).  And it only seemed fitting that our significant others also hit it off right away.

I could literally go on and on about how we are the same and how the differences we do have seem to have made me a stronger person, but that won’t help you make new friends, too and I’ll just save that for Becky’s birthday card next year--!  So here are my tips!

1.       Get a puppy.  No seriously.  Don’t do that unless you don’t want to sleep for 6 months.  However, when Ryan and I got Murray I met so many great people in our apartment building. 

2.       Get a hobby!  And I say that as a person who struggles with the idea of hobbies as an adult.  (How many hobbies should I have?  Is it weird that I don’t have any?  Does nail polish count as a hobby?  Do panic attacks count?  Does talking to my mom every day?—you get the point).  But, when I started regularly working out in our apartment gym, I started seeing the same girls in there.  And boom, new friendsà which leads toà

3.       Wear your college shirt to the gym!  This is so silly.  I used to notice that Ryan would wear his MMA/Emory/Pens/Marquette hoodie kind of based on where we were going and who he could potentially strike up a conversation with.  And me happening to have a Marquette sweatshirt on in the gym one day led me to make a great friend in the building! 

4.       Meet your friends’ friends!  This can be so intimidating.  It doesn’t always work out and sometimes that can be awkward, but sometimes the stars align and a girl group is formed (I promise I am aware of the cheesiness here). 

5.       Say yes! I have said yes to so many things this past year that I normally wouldn’t have and because of it, I have met a lot of new people.  A bocce ball team, joining a bachelorette bracket, going to the running of the Chihuahuas, running a 10K, getting together with other nannies, seeing a post in a fb group about someone’s daughter who just moved to DC for her husband’s job (and Georgetown LLM program) who is a new mom and needs friends---you get the idea!  And that last one is so spot on that Ryan thought someone was going to kidnap me because a person with that much in common just couldn’t be real J (I was not kidnapped, and now have another new friend ps).

6.       Be gracious! If you meet someone who is struggling with ANYTHING, they shared that struggle with you for a reason and help them!  Invite them for dinner, sympathize, empathize.  Share your struggles, too.  And just listen.

So many of these things are easier said than done.  I get that.  And this is just what has worked for me, but I truly believe that this combination has not only opened me up to new friendships, but has also made me a better and more well-rounded person.  I have learned so much from all of these wonderful new people!

And let’s be honest:

7.       Message me or leave a comment because obviously I am always down for a new friend! 


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I'm not going to lie.  I have been struggling with this post since I got back from the conference.  And that's not to say that I don't have, well, a lot to say about it.  Believe me.  If you know me in my personal life and you've asked about it, I've told you.  And if you haven't asked, I have most likely felt called to share with you something from one of the talks that I have found so helpful and that I hope to pass on.

Here's the thing.  I was hesitant.  My sister invited my mom, sister-in-law and I on this trip and the first reason I said yes was because Austin. aka BBQ and tacos and all that good stuff.  I didn't know anything about Edel and had only just heard of Jennifer Fulwiler through my mom and sister.  I was in for the weekend of what seems to be a lifetime.  Because during the weekend, while I really enjoyed myself for a number of reasons I wasn't aware of the lasting effects it was going to have on my day to day life.

I wanted to post about a breakdown of what/who Edel is and how the conference started a few years ago and the talks in great detail, but my heart couldn't do it.  And that has nothing to do with the amount I got out of it.  That is immeasurable.

Because what I really want to say is that if you are on the fence, if you shy away from maybe talking about your faith in some situations or on your blog (I've been there), if you feel like your faith isn't where you want it to be or is in a "working out" phase (see my faith is getting stronger but lasting progress takes time), you should go.  If you are overwhelmed by a room full of women that seem to all already know each other, if you and your own tribe walk in and try and get each other to go make new friends, if you want to win the shoe contest so badly, you should go.  If you are strong in your faith and want to share it, if you are looking for a group of women in a similar situation as you, if you are 28 and married and don't have multiple children yet, you should go.  If you don't think there will be a single person there that also has a tattoo, or their nose pierced, you should go.

Are you seeing the theme here?  You should go. Let me tell you about how I have been feeling.  As you know if you read almost any of my posts, I suffer from pretty significant anxiety.  And it effects everything from tackling apartment projects to keeping plans I've made with friends.  And I noticed that when I got back from Edel, these things that have seemed so big and have, for no reason other than my anxiety, felt heavy on my head and my heart, seemed a lot smaller.  This past week I accomplished more emotionally, personally, and in the apartment than I have in months.  I have this sense of peace in my heart and in my head that I have not had in such a long time, maybe ever.  And it is worth it's weight in gold.  Christina, over at The Evangelista gave a talk entitled The Waiting is the Cross that not only helped in the overwhelming desire I have to be a mother asap but also helped me realize that I have created an idol out of what a perfect marriage and wife should be.  And even though it will take more than this realization to really help in my desire to be a perfect wife (speaking of, went to a new therapist today!), this has helped me so much.  And in an alternate universe, I wish Christina and I could be the best of friends (because we totally would be). 

I am also really looking forward to learning about my Charisms (which was the focus of another talk), but just really felt that I needed to share this today!  Please read her talk!  Everyone I know could benefit from the read.  And you should also all be at #edel18 if you are a Catholic woman who is looking for her tribe, too!

Austin 2017

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

An overview post of Edel17 is coming to you soon, but I was just way too anxious to wait to get my Austin post up on the blog!  If you didn’t notice from all of my social media spamming, this past weekend I was in Austin with my mom, sisters, and niece at the Edel conference…which I am going to talk about on here later this week!  One of the MANY great parts of the weekend was that on top of wonderful talks, we got to spend a lot of time exploring the city—and it was new to all of us!  Wouldn’t you guess it, we managed to fit in so.much.amazing.food.  (Of course, the quality time was the most important though—except for the queso--)

Anyways!  Here is a little list of the places we went and a photo dump for your viewing pleasure!  I can’t wait to convince Ryan that we need a weekend away there, too! 

We went to Torchy’s Tacos (THE BEST TACOS), walked around South Congress, visited Big Top candy store multiple times (have I mentioned we were only there for 2.5 days?), had BBQ at Cooper’s Old Time, got acai bowls and Blenders and Bowls, had our first ModCloth shopping experience, got crepes at Le Café Crepe, and ate at Guero’s (margs and queso before our flight—crucial).

Let’s note that my trainer knows nothing about this wonderful weekend of tacos and BBQ---or that we then got The Salt Lick and Amys Ice Cream at the airport…

Miraculously, my clothes still fit!  Guys—AUSTIN IS SO MUCH FUN! I need to go back ASAP and after typing all of that up—I am starving!

site design by designer blogs