A very merry 2012

2012 was a good year. Tomorrow we head to Chapel Hill to celebrate Christmas with my fiance’s family. We’ve already started the alternating schedule that so many couples do for the holidays. Next year, we’ll spend our first married Christmas with his family and visit mine either before or after. We’re going to ring in 2013 at an Avett Brothers concert in Greensboro, NC and enter the year that we are going to get MARRIED. Top 5 things that happened in 2012:

5. I ran 12 races in 12 (well, 11) months.

This was an accomplishment for me, considering I was deep in grad school all year as well. I also got a new 5k PR (Turkey Trot). We ran the Cooper River Bridge Run, I placed third in the Jekyll Island Turtle Crawl, I ran my first 8k, first 4-miler and first 5-miler. It was a good year for running. In 2013, I’m going to run my first 10-miler, my second 1/2 marathon and maybe a handful of other “long-distance” races to get in shape for MY WEDDING.

4th of July 4-Miler
4th of July 4-Miler

4. I paid off my first car

It was my first “big girl” purchase. I bought my Jeep the day I moved to Charlotte for my first job. Drove it off the lot. Packed up and moved. And in less than 4 years, I paid it off. It’s mine, all mine. And I still love it as much as the day I bought it.

3. I got promoted & I finished 3 more semesters of grad school 

In a very scary economy, and scary time full of lay-offs at work, I found out I was safe. And was being promoted. I am excited to go on this new journey with a very good company that I’ve been able to move up in over the past 5 years. My brother and my fiance work for the same company. We feel very blessed and thankful for this new opportunity.

Yes, THREE. I finished 7 classes this year. Whew! Stressful? Yes. But I am one semester away from graduating… from walking across that stage with my Masters of Arts in Communication. What will I do? I don’t know. I’m already in my career field, and moving up in it. But having that degree will only help me in life! (Also, my fiance started grad school this year – and made all A’s. So proud!).

2. I got a new nephew

On May 30, the sweetest little boy known to Earth was born and I love him so stinkin’ much. Seriously, he’s the happiest baby you’ll EVER meet. He’s the cutest little guy.

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1. I GOT ENGAGED

I got engaged to my best friend on September 30, 2012. I could not be happier as we go about planning our big day.. and the rest of our lives. I am a very lucky girl to get to have this man by my side forever and ever.

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What’s the best thing that happened to you in 2012?

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White Dress Diet

In the wake of the eating-frenzy that happened over Christmas, I am feeling the need to work out super hardcore (and maybe avoid biscuits & gravy, mac & cheese , and any other delicious “Christmas” foods that were had). The “diet” part of the title is slightly misleading because I physically cannot diet. I LOVE FOOD.

My mom got me FlyBarre classes for Christmas, and I already had a 3-class pass for FlyWheel. So I am super excited for trying those – I’ve only heard good things about these classes. And no mom, I won’t be “flying” through the air to do them.

I also considered P90x or Insanity – but home workouts are never as good as going somewhere (in my opinion) – partially because I have 180 lbs of dog that like to kiss my face during sit ups, think I’m playing during push-ups, etc. Crossfit is another option but I’m slightly scared. I HATE being sore. Which is probably why I’m not in as good of shape as I could be… I tend to do things lighter than I technically could for fear of being sore if I actually do it to the max.

I still have a Groupon for 20 hot yoga classes and I’ve already signed up for the Tarheel 10-mile race (April) and a 1/2 Marathon (Alston Bird – March). Running is definitely my “go-to” work out – and I enjoy yoga. But I need to do more this year so I’m not one of those brides who looks back and hates the way her arms look in her wedding pictures.

I came across these workout DVDs but haven’t made any purchases yet:

Bridalicious® Boot Camp by The Knot

But again, the home workout deal… it’s so easy to get side tracked. What’s your favorite workout? Or better yet, if there are any brides out there… tell me how you got in shape for your big day!

PS – a BIG congrats to my grad school friend, Valerie, on her engagement! I am so excited for you and David – you are going to be one BEAUTIFUL bride! xox

Congratulations amy!

My sweet BFF from high school (one of my BMs) is engaged to her long-time love (7+ years!), Clay! I am SO incredibly excited for the two of them to start their engagement journey and experience this exciting time in life. I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling for them and I’m sure the bride-to-be hasn’t either! Take a second to leave a comment & wish the sweet couple congratulations!

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Stolen from Amy’s Facebook*

 

Also – Merry Christmas Eve! I’m excited to celebrate my first (and last) Christmas as an engaged woman! ❤

Baby in a Bowtie

Yesterday, amidst my last minute Christmas shopping, I stumbled over the most adorable dress for our three beautiful attendants to wear. Personally, if it came in my size, I’d be wearing it (probably not at the wedding, but at some function!).
jason_wu_dot-dress-433x650jason_wu_dot_dress_back

Seriously, is that not the cutest thing ever? I LOVE the lace collar and the big bow in the back! Plus, the beige color is perfect for matching with the guys suits. Unfortunately, after many internet searches, I discovered that this dress only runs up to a 5T – and all of our girls are older (and larger) than that. Bummer – but at least now I have an idea of what I’d like for them to wear, so the search is on.

I also came upon this piece of adorableness yesterday:

bowtie

How stinkin’ cute is my nephew going to be decked out in a bowtie? And how perfect is it that it’s our colors for the wedding? Ahh, love it! His mommy loved it too. So game on, the bowtie has been purchased and put in a special “wedding items” container where I’m collecting things as I come across them.

We’re working on our save-the-dates and wedding website now… so stay tuned for more gorgeousness coming soon!

PS… 4 sleeps til Christmas!

Puppy love

When I was five, my mom took me to pick out my very own puppy. It was right after my pre-school graduation, at which we walked across the stage to “Love Can Build a Bridge” – still not sure why that was the song of choice, but I haven’t forgotten it. Here I am with my pre-school class (that’s me, front & center).
blog204As we drove t0 the house with the puppies, I informed my family “If he’s black, I’m going to name him ‘Blackie’, if he’s brown, I’m going to name him ‘Brownie’, if he’s grey, I’ll name him ‘Grey’, and if he’s white, he should have blue eyes and we’ll call him ‘Blue.'” He was a rusty shade of reddish, brown and the cutest mixture I had ever seen with my puppy dog loving eyes. I scooped him up with both of my 5-year old teeny-tiny hands and proclaimed, “His name is Brutus!”
blog203He was THE BEST DOG. He followed us around and let us hold him like a baby. He ran through the fields with us, never leaving our sides. He slept with us each night (or at least laid there until we fell asleep). We loved him, whole-heartedly. On December 10th of my 8th grade year, Brutus disappeared.  We looked for him through tear-filled eyes for days, weeks, months. We wonder if someone shot him because he looked like a fox. If someone stole him because he looked like a puppy. We never wondered if he found a better home, because he couldn’t have found people that would have loved him more. He was ours. He was mine.

Everyone knows that I am a dog lover. That’s probably an understatement. I have a slight obsession when it comes to dogs and most dogs seem to have an equal affection for me. On June 20th of 2007, I found the next dog that would truly be mine. A beautiful 11-week old yellow lab puppy that I have fallen head-over-heels in love with.
tuckWe affectionately call him “Baby Tuck” because he is the world’s biggest baby. He 100% believes he is a lap dog and does not understand why all 108 lbs. of him cannot sleep in the bed with mommy. He’s my running partner, my cuddler, my people-pleasing puppy. And it just so happens that I share the same anniversary with him as I do with my soon-to-be hubby.

Tucker was involved in the proposal (melt my heart!) so it’s only appropriate that he be involved in the wedding. While I haven’t quite figured out the details of this yet – I know that both Tucker and our sweet, Bud (Landon’s pre-relationship dog) will be part of our big day, because they are a big part of our lives. And this folks, is our happy little family!
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Also, if you’re looking to give back this holiday season – consider “Operation Christmas Pet” at the animal shelter. It breaks my heart to say this and know it’s true, but the animals at the shelter don’t have anyone to love them and snuggle them on Christmas. They don’t get to open stockings and stay in a warm house. All donations are appreciated.

Always supportive, always together

Tonight, we had a goodbye dinner for my boss. To date, he’s been my favorite boss. He gave me my first real job in the Communications arena, and always supported me, backed me up when anyone had questions and made me seem like a rockstar to everyone else.

On December 5th of 2012, I accepted a position with this man, within a regional company. I never knew I could learn so much in a year. And in July, we found out about the realignment, in August we found out about more major changes, and November, we found out our beloved boss was departing. I cried.

I am not a fan of change, although I do believe it’s a good thing. However, I also lost my favorite co-worker in the same week and I was still reeling from that. But my boss, he not only told the new boss that they had to do whatever they could to keep me, he encouraged them to promote me. I knew what an impact he had on me over the past year, but I didn’t realize that he thought so highly of me until then. (I cried again). And apparently now I have A LOT to live up to -but I’ve got one heck of a group of supporters cheering me on!

So… as promised a while back, more details about my new job. I am now a Senior Communications Specialist for the whole Southeast region – and I have a new boss and a partially new team (which I’m excited about), but I am also still sad to let go of the best boss I’ve ever had. In late November, I accepted the position and withdrew from interviewing for a position in Seattle.

While we’re talking about the support I was given, my fiance, has 100% backed me up during this. Always telling me to do what is the best move for me – career wise, school wise, and sanity wise. Of course, we had our future in mind, but not once did he say “I don’t want to do that” — even when it came to Seattle.

I couldn’t be more grateful for the overwhelming support from our families and friends over the past few months. I know I’ve been a big ball of stress with school, wedding planning and work but it’s unraveling now and I’m relaxing, and settling into a new pattern.  I owe a big thank you to all of those that wished us well, said prayers and made wishes that things would work out for us. They did. And we’re happy. But most importantly, we have each other – and that’s really all that matters, no matter where we are in life.

Hair ye, Hair ye!

Everyone has been asking me what I’m going to do with my hair for the wedding. Frankly, I DON’T KNOW. I chopped my hair off about a year ago from long locks to a medium-bob and although I haven’t had it cut since August, it’s just now touching my shoulders. I don’t know how long my hair will be for the wedding – and everyone goes into panic mode when I tell them I might just wear it short. So I actually looked at a few styles that meet my only requirement for a hairstyle: covering my ears.

hair 1I like this one… minus the flower that is the size of my head. Maybe something smaller?

hair 2This one is simple and chic, and serves the purpose of getting my hair off my back in August while simultaneously covering my ears…

hair 3I semi-like this one. Not sure about the band around the head or the big ball of hair on the side, but anyone that knows me knows I don’t have enough hair to make a big ball anyway. And if all else fails, we have this gem which I believe was titled “birds nest.”

hair 4

And for my beautiful bridesmaids, I also want simple hair… loved this group photo found on Pinterest:

hair 5

Would love to hear any ideas on wedding hair for an outdoor August wedding – I’m contemplating no veil so keep that in mind. Also, any stylists in the Charlotte/Fort Mill area that are amazing that you know of  – please share!

*all images collected from a Bing search for wedding hairstyles