Thursday, December 30, 2010

So Long 2010...Bring it 2011!

I cannot believe just last week I celebrated Christmas. Honestly, where has this year gone? Santa was really good to me this year. I got a Flip video cam from my parents, along with some B&N gift cards for my Nook, Lululemon gloves, and other little things. From my sister, I received a super cute apron and Julia Child's cookbook, 'Master the Art of French Cooking'. I can't wait to try it out. I've recently taken an interest in learning to cook different types of foods. I've also found that cooking relaxes me and it's something I'm good at, baking on the other hand, is a different story.

My grandparents live in Arkansas and they only come during Thanksgiving for deer hunting season. That is when we do our big family Christmas with my aunt, uncle and cousins. So this past weekend was very low-key filled with lots of good food, relaxing, and quality time with the parents and sister :-)

*my mom's gluten-free chocolate cake. Turned out sooo good!

As much as I enjoyed my time off and the holidays, I'm glad they're over. Christmas is one of my favorite times of year, but I wasn't feeling it so much with LC being gone, and my family knew it. I tried to be in good spirits but it was really difficult. But now that Christmas is behind us, this means I have about a month and a half until he's back home!

Tomorrow I'm going to a house party with my BFF, Dani (she's also one of my BM's). It's been a while since her and I have spent NYE together and I'm looking forward to it. I'm loving our plans because I hate going out for NYE. I think it's so over-rated, over-priced, and under served. Pass.

2010 wasn't the greatest of years and I'm looking forward to leaving it in the past. I have a lot to look forward to in 2011 and begin a new chapter in my life as a wife. I'm not one for making resolutions, but I do set goals for myself each year. Within in this past year, I participated in my first Bank of America 8k Shamrock Shuffle, two 1/2 marathons, visited New Orleans for the first time, and started planning a wedding. The first of my Best Friends got married and another one had a baby. On the flipside, I learned who my true friends really were which resulted in losing a bridesmaid and someone who I thought was a friend. My mother suffered from random neurological symptoms, was tested twice for multiple sclerosis, and remained a "medical mystery" for months. She was finally diagnosed with celiac disease, which was actually a relief considering what it could have been.

In 2011 I plan to: get married (I'm giving myself a freebie!), visit St. Lucia (another freebie), pay off a credit card, run another 1/2 marathon, talk myself into running the Chicago marathon in 2012, visit NYC during the Christmas season.

Have a safe and happy new year everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

So, I've been Thinking...

Since my semester ended a few weeks ago, I've been doing a lot of thinking. About the wedding and what I really want to accomplish in my life. The small wedding details are falling right into place. It's hard to make decisions about centerpieces and wedding decor when I've never really been one of those girls that's envisioned her wedding. There's so much to choose from and I'm an indecisive person as it is.

I've also been thinking a lot about school and what I really want to accomplish in my life. I really like what I went to school for. I can honestly say that I enjoyed all of my classes and I did well in them. I also enjoyed the experience I had in PRSSA and meeting the wonderful people that I did. I have no regrets about school and what I got my degree in. What I do regret is taking a job that I didn't really want to do in Chicago, just because it was in Chicago. The job I have now is the same job that I had directly out of undergrad. I hate it. I don't think I've given myself a fair chance to do what I really love doing; PR/Advertising. So, I've made the decision to not take anymore classes this semester. I want to take these next 6 months to focus on the wedding and look for a new job. Hopefully I will find something that I enjoy doing and then I will know for sure whether or not I want to continue on with school.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bar Method

A co-worker of mine has been talking about this fitness class she's been going to, the Bar Method. They have a couple of different studios located across the country. It's a fitness class that's meant to lean and sculpt your body. I've been wanting to try it out for awhile now but wanted to wait until I was done with my class. So, tonight I found it to be the perfect opportunity. It's a great class and the nice thing about the studio is that it's a 5 minute walk from my job.

When I got there, I filled out all the paperwork and they showed me around the studio. I went to the locker room and changed. They require you to wear yoga pants/capris and socks. We first worked on our arms, then our legs, and abs. Within the first 5 minutes of the class, I was thinking in my head, "I am no longer friends with H.D." (my co-worker who suggested it to me). I never knew you could get a workout just by using 2 and 3 lbs weights! It's a class that practices isometrics so you hold a lot of the poses for a long time and pulse up and down for many repetitions. It was hard but I loved the way it worked out my body, very low impact yet effective. I've worked out with a personal trainer a few times before and to be honest with you I'd rather spend my money on this. (It's $20 a class).

What Now?

I got a text message today from a co-worker of mine at the base. "Call Kenny ASAP". Right away I get sick feelings in my stomach. I HATE when people add ASAP to their text messages because I always think the worst. So I called Kenny and this how the conversation went:

Me: Hey, "A" told me to call you, what's up?

K: So you know how you were supposed to be going to the "Deid for a month??

Me: Yeah...(what's going through my head: they're sending me for longer and I won't be home when LC gets home and we will have to postpone our wedding!! Dramatic I know)

K: Well, you're not going anymore. They already have active duty crew com in place

Me: Okay. So the smallpox vaccine that's blistering and itching on my arm, that was for nothing?

K: Yep!

Military life is pretty sweet (sense the sarcasm). I called my mom and told her the news and she said to me, "Well don't unpack just yet, you never know!!" She definitely knows how this works. But for now, orders have been canceled and I have enrolled in an online Intro to Nutrution class that's required for the program I'm applying for.

What does this mean for me? Well, I pray that the holidays go by quickly. I hate being in Chicago when LC's not here during Christmas time and with this deployment I was supposed to be going back to WI this Saturday and staying until I left at the end of December. So I would have been with my family and friends. The city is utterly depressing and everything reminds me of him. There are certain Christmas songs that are off limits. This is the hardest part of the year. It also means that I will forced to make NYE plans, because it's simply not acceptable to sit home alone on NYE (wise words of my younger sister). So back to real life I go again. School, work and Oliver.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Well, I've made it through another semester of AP II. It would feel really great to be done, except for the fact that the program I'm interested in applying to next year requires Anatomy and Physiology with a Cadaver lab. FAIL!! I'm actually really excited about the cadaver part!!! Not so excited that I just took TWO classes that aren't required!!!!

Anyhoodle, I'm taking the next semester off. I'm deploying at the end of the month and will be gone until February and the new semester starts in the middle of January. I don't really want to put myself through the game of playing catch up and I have some big things I need to focus on, such as wedding planning people!! I'd also like to get some volunteering done to help strengthen my application and maybe look for a part-time/fun job for extra cash and for my sanity. The job I'm at now is just really unsatisfying and not very challenging. My boss is a whole other story...The other day he asked me if Christmas Day was on December 24th or December 25th. There were crickets. He also gets paid a lot more than I do.

So now that I'm free from school, I plan to spend my free time catching up on sleep, playing with Oliver, planning this wedding, and reading for fun along side a glass of vino :-)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

7 (ish) more months to go-The Dress...for my BM's

We just passed our 7 month marker! I feel like we've done a lot in the planning process but also that we have so much left to do.

Things we've checked off of our list:-Ceremony venue & reception hall
-photographer & e-pics (first session)-DJ
-Transportation (We're taking a trolley from the church to reception)
-My Dress & shoes :-)
-MOH Dress
-BM Dresses :-)-Flowers
-Honeymoon Booked! St. Lucia, here we come!!

Things we have left to do:
Too many to remember...

So, here's the scoop with the bridesmaid dresses. Awhile back, I wrote about shopping for BM dresses with 3 of my girls. After this shopping trip I was torn on what to do. It didn't help that the girls looked great in almost every single dress. I wanted the dresses to be knee-length and easily wearable again, either to another wedding or some sort of function. I fell in love with a few dresses from LulaKate, however the price was more than I wanted each girl to spend. So, I asked my bridesmaids how much they would feel comfortable spending on a dress. Most of them gave me a general answer of, "Whatever you like, it's your day we'll pay whatever." With the exception of one, which I appreciated for her honesty. She gave me an amount that was well under what I was asking them to pay. So I thought about it a little more and I decided to go with the nicest, best looking bridesmaid dresses. And the best part is that they got to pick their own skirt that would best flatter them.

I went with two different styles of LulaKate dresses. The Maggie and the Pearl. Each girl will be alternating styles. I let my sister pick which one she wanted to wear because she is going to be my maid of honor and I put my friend, Rachel, in the line up of where she would fall the wear the Maggie since I knew she would feel most comfortable in a one strap as opposed to a strapless. Everything else just fell into place.

The color of the dresses will be passion, which is a shade of purple. Each girl can pick out whatever shoes they want, as long as they're silver.

Above is an example of the color...

And here's an example of the two styles together...

The girls are very excited for their dresses and I can't wait to see how lovely they will all look in them.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Friday!

TGIF and ONE MORE WEEK OF SCHOOL!!!! The school thing has been kicking my butt this semester, but I think I've finally got it figured out after months of pondering my likes/dislikes and what makes me happiest. For the time being, I've decided to not take any classes next semester. I need to focus on wedding planning (7 more months today!!!) and this deployment will set me behind a few weeks in the semester...not really the best way to start out.
So, school's almost over and the weekend is here.

Plans for this weekend:
1. Playing war/being a weekend warrior for the Air Force

2. STUDY, STUDY, STUDY!! (And a Starbucks skinny vanilla latte!)

3. Spinning & Yoga Sculpt!

That concluded my weekend plans until I saw the commercial for this...

It releases Friday at midnight...and will be in my possession on Saturday! I can't wait! Eclipse was by far the best movie so far in the series.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What's For Dinner-Weeknight Edition

This week has been crazy busy for me. I've had to study for 3 tests in one week. Did I mention it's for the same class?? Our teacher is letting us retake two of our lowest tests so I should really be thankful to him. Tonight is the first night that I've been able to workout all week and it really helped. I also set aside some time for a quick trip to the grocery store and to make myself dinner. I've been craving something very flavorful. Something warm because winter is officially here in Chicago (and has no signs of leaving anytime soon) and something comforting and soothing to the soul. Tonight I bring you what I like to call a squash & turkey mashup bowl. It was so simple, quick and so so tasty that the first bite got an official, "Hmmm!"

There is no official recipe, I kind of just threw stuff together that sounded good. I baked a small butternut squash, cut it up and mash it in a bowl. Then I cut up an apple and some green beans, pecan halves, put a little bit of olive oil in a pan (just enough to coat it) and put the apple, green beans and pecans in the pan along with some cinnamon. I let it cook up and then added some left over turkey to the pan. Sprinkled some seasoned salt. After the turkey got warm, I poured a splash of red wine into the mix and a little bit more olive oil. Let it cook and then added pure maple syrup and poured the whole thing in with the squash. HEAVENLY!! And the whole thing probably took about 20 minutes tops.

Now, Oliver and I are sitting here watching Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. Our favorite thing to do on Thursday. He can be such a good t.v. watcher.

I saw this commercial and got really excited! Not because of the flawless models parading around in lingerie, but because this commercial was filmed at the Milwaukee Art Museum and in two fave places!!!

Good job VS marketing team! Didn't Adriana Lima just have a baby?? I will never understand.