Monday, July 25, 2011

Fitness Update!

I'll be quick this time, but only because I'm excited.  Since February, I've lost 14 pounds.  

For me, this is huge!  I still have 5 pounds to be my "goal" weight (when I graduated from college) and honestly, could probably lose another 10 after that to be at my "healthiest" weight (...from when I was around 21...I wonder if achieving legal drinking age had anything to do with weight gain *wink*).

Okay, so that means that's taken seemingly forever and I'm only half way there.  However, I plan to keep myself pepped up and excited by going shopping for each 5 pounds I lose (my husband is not aware of this plan...yet). 

Just kidding, honey! 

The exciting part about this is that I've actually continued to keep myself motivated and go to the gym and GET RESULTS on my own!  I finished with my training program in early June and in the past few weeks, I've managed to lose another 4 pounds on my own.  I'm sorry - this is super exciting to me!

Unfortunately, I don't remember all the numbers from my final fit-test, but the number that was most important to me was body fat %.  I had only lost 1% and was down to 29%.  Still have quite a ways to go before I reach my realistic goal of 22%, but at least the number went down instead of up, right?

However, that was 4 pounds ago...sooo who knows!  I think I'm just going to pay my current gym to do a body fat assessment every couple of months to see where I am (they charge for it...lame).  But as long as clothes continue to fall off me and the scale continues to go down, I'll be a happy little bumble bee =)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  I sure did (more on that later!!!).  Byeee!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Whirlwind of May

Here it is!  The second (ooh wait...third if you count Easter) installment of my update series.  Hope you enjoy!

Early May
Atlanta Wedding Weekend(s) Extravaganza / 1 Year Anniversary / High School Girls Night / Extreme Exhaustion...

Okay, the extreme exhaustion set in from trying to remember and type up all the events! May was CRAZY BUSY but it was so amazing and so worth it.  Lots of family, lots of friends (which are basically family) and lots and LOTS of food.  Always a recipe for success =)

Marc and I headed to Atlanta for 10 days since we had back-to-back wedding weekends and Marc and I were each in one. I love coming "home" to Atlanta anyway since there are so many people to see - but slap on our 1 year anniversary and Mothers Day and you get an even more epic trip that tops the charts of awesome =)

Here's our day by day itinerary - I will try to not make this a novel:
  • Thursday - Arrival and midnight-ish showing of Fast Five with the boys
      • - Epic fight scene between Vin Diesel and The Rock - concrete wall? No match for my fist or my crazy tank-like car!
  • Friday - Rehearsal Dinner Numero Uno!
      •   - Pre-wedding lunch and nail salon with Bride, then the rehearsal dinner - so fun!  I love rehearsal dinners!
      • - Since we sat at the bride and grooms table, Marc and I felt it our obligation to tell them all about marriage and compromise...I'm not sure Blair and Luke appreciated it but we definitely had fun with them!
  • Saturday - Blair and Luke's Wedding Day!!
      •   - Blair's aunt and family friends threw her an amazing bridal luncheon at Cafe Intermezzo and it was so delish. It really started off our day the right way and her family is just an absolute HOOT! I was pretty much obsessed with them =)
      •   - Wedding was beautiful - I was so incredibly thankful to be a part of their special day. Blair looked absolutely stunning (and girly!!) and it was just so wonderful to see friends we hadn't seen in a long time. Ahhh I love weddings!  Some pics for ya =)
Seriously - doesn't she look stunning???
Blair and her ladies =)
The whole bridal party - I must say - we had a Blasty Blast =)
  • Sunday - Mother's Day:
      •   - Started off the day with 4am post-wedding trip to Waffle House...
      •  ...this was
    • - Mothers Day at mom's house! 
      • - The oldest little brother, Vince, surprised my mom by driving down to West Georgia to pick up the littlest bro, Chris, then took a swing past Atlanta and to pick up me and Marc so we could all be together. We had a wonderful Mother's Day dinner with our whole little family at Mom's house and it was awesome. I didn't want to leave!
    •   - 1 Year Old Cake Anniversary Celebration at mom's house! 
      • - We decided that since my mom had our wedding cake in her freezer, and we were all there anyway for Mother's Day, that we could celebrate and do the "One Year Old Cake" tradition thing together. It was actually still quite delicious, but my brother said it wasn't quite as good as back in Augus.
      • he didn't realize it was our wedding cake and accidentally cut a piece for himself...and was apparently quite nervous to tell me - I guess big sisters can be scary but I didn't care!
      • - My mom also got me and Marc a pretty hilarious "paper" gift - the highlight being a roll of toilet paper with about 30 $1 bills taped to the inside.  Very of that on the book  =) 
  •   Monday - Catch-up time with Peaky.  
      • - A trip to Borders and driving around looking for cute houses to rent...and spending some QT with one of my favorite-est people ever =)
  •   Tuesday - Visit with my girlfriend, Rachael, and her precious new baby girl, Ansley! 
      • - Holy cow - this was such a blessing and SO much fun. Little Ansley is just so darn cute and I was so thankful I had time to see her and Rachael.  
      • - We went to dinner in Decatur and then got some Yogli Mogli for was my first time doing the "self serve" yogurt thing and I was nervous that I had to pay $10 for my yogurt...but then realized it was the weight -10oz - not the price =)
      • - Overall, a super fun evening and I was so thankful to spend the time with Rach - I heart the Allens!
  •   Wednesday Morning - Girls breakfast with Sarah, Anna, Kirby and Felicity. 
      • - SO much fun!!   We did breakfast at a place up by the Perimeter with their two little girls and it was such a treat for me!
      • - I had such a great time sitting with my girlfriends and their cutie patootie little daughters and talking about life and being a mom...and just catching up in general! I am so thankful everyone was flexible enough to make this work - I've realized how truly hectic and difficult it can be to get out the door with little ones.
      • - We had a great time and I was in absolute heaven the rest of the day...despite all the  minor chaos that comes with eating out with babies =)  At one point there was a syrup spill, crying and a near-parfait-catastrophe all in a matter of about 5 seconds...and I loved every second =) 
  • Wednesday Night - Dinner with Jill and Gord!
      • - This was a super last minute plan and I'm SO GLAD we pulled this together!  I can't even begin to explain how much I love these two and how much fun we have together.  We headed out to dinner in Roswell and "cheated" our diets a bit with some guacamole and chips...but had lots of protein for dinner so it's all good!  (we're all on super health kicks right now...)
      • - You know how you have relationships with some people are just plain goofy and awesome?  I think we got stared at quite a bit at dinner since all we did was laugh...and laugh LOUDLY...and Jill and I proceeded to make Gord super jealous with talk of our upcoming beach vacation (post on that coming soon too!).  Maybe next year, Gord!
  •   Thursday - Pope Girls Night Out!!  
      • -  You've heard me brag about these ladies, and I loved the fact that we got everyone together for dinner!  We hit up a tapas place and had SO much fun catching up and hanging out - this was one of those nights that I seriously didn't want to have end.
      • - Allow me to be mushy for a second - I am so incredibly grateful that I met these amazing girls back in high school and we've managed to stay so close. People can bash facebook and blogging and electronic communication all they want - but I love the fact that we're truly using this technology the way it was meant to be used - for maintaining relationships and connecting people. I heart ya'll and I wish this dinner could have lasted for days =)  And I'm so MAD we didn't get a picture!!!
  •   Friday -  Rehearsal dinner number two! 
      • - Lunch with Carly-B!  I got to see my old roomie and super fun friend, Caroline, right before we had to leave Atlanta - I'm so glad we made this work!
      • - After that, we headed up to Cartersville for Ryan and Lainey's rehearsal dinner and I must confess...I think this was one of the best meals I've had in a looong time. And, of course, we had a blast celebrating Ryan and Lainey (they had an adorable slide show) and it really kicked off the wedding weekend in a fabulous way.
  •   Saturday - Ryan and Lainey's Wedding Day!!
      • - Marc started the day doing groomsman stuff...he went golfing and I'm sure he had fun...he had the sunburn to prove it =)
      •   - I was very graciously invited to the bridesmaid luncheon even though I wasn't in the wedding party and it was such a special treat! Lainey was so sweet and actually took the time to get me and Marc a 1 year anniversary gift (our actual anniversary was the next day). I was slightly overwhelmed with emotion (this was HER wedding day, after all) and it just shows what kind of amazing people we have in our life =)
      •   - Also, I have to call this out - Lainey is a rock star and made her own flower arrangements THAT DAY! Seriously, after we ate, they pulled out a few huge buckets of flowers and everyone started making their bouquets - it was amazing and such a neat, personal touch to the wedding.
      •   - After that - it was wedding time! Again, we had SO much fun...the bride looked fabulous and the wedding was beautiful (and her dad was the pastor at our wedding!). 
      • - Some pics for ya =)
Breathtaking.  Waiting with her sweet dad before walking down the aisle =)
The newly-weds!  I LOVE this shot of =)

The wedding party - yes - she MADE those bouquets =)
Love this.
    •   Sunday - May 15, 2011- Our One Year Anniversary =)
        • - The next morning was our actual anniversary - and we "celebrated" by eating breakfast in the hotel lobby =)  But this was special...even with all the hustle and bustle of his daughter just getting married, Lainey's dad came up to us and wished us happy many people are lucky enough to have the pastor that married them join them for breakfast on their first anniversary? 
        • - Not only that, but we were surrounded by about 45% of the people that were at our own wedding and had them all come up to us and say happy anniversary - it was awesome and our friends rock...I was a teeny bit emotional =) 
        • Here are some flashback pics =)
    Us with Mr. Mathison =)

    Some kissy pics =)

    Newly-weds at our wedding last year!  They got engaged about a month after this was taken =)
    Hey!  More pre-newly-weds at our wedding!
    My beautiful bridesmaids!  I got to see everyone this week =)
    Happy Anniversary!!
        • - After breakfast and hotel check-out, we had a few hours to kill before having to hop on the plane to go home.  Kirby lives really close to the airport so we headed to their house to 1) spend some time together and 2) see the new house they had JUST closed on Thursday! The house is adorable and it definitely sparked the "nesting" bug inside of me =)
        •   - Then it was off the airport and time to go home. We missed our little Polly and was worried she wouldn't recognize us!  But she did...and I think she was happy to see us =)

    Phew!!!  Sorry that was so long - I wasn't kidding when I said May was jam-packed...and I'm not even finished yet =)

    End of May
    Many Boys Visiting - Brothers and Bikers =) we got back from Atlanta on Sunday, did some laundry, cleaned the house, and had some boy visitors join us on Wednesday =)  One of Marc's fraternity brothers, Matt, was on a cross-country mountain biking trip with two other dudes and made a swing past Denver to stay with us for a few days. Apparently they were thankful to have a shower, a roof over their heads and a bed to sleep in (it was yucky weather and they were stuck camping in a the rain...after riding mountain bikes...for several days). 

    We took them to a few fun places to eat and rode our bikes whenever possible - the culinary highlights (in my opinion) were breakfast at Waffle Brothers (we'll have to take you there if you come's a-may-zing!), dinner at this Czech restaurant, and ice cream at Sweet Action.  We figured the Czech restaurant would be a hit since one of the boys, Max, is from Germany - he claimed the schnitzel was good, but not as good as his moms =)

    Porcheddu Boys do Colorado!
    After those boys left, my brothers came to town for Memorial Day Weekend!  It's the first time they'd been out to visit us since we moved, and I wanted to show them a fun time in Colorado =)

    We started by hitting up the Coors Brewery tour (pictures on the book) on Friday.

    On Saturday, we hosted a little Memorial Day cookout at our house and had so much fun.  A bunch of friends came over and we just grilled out all day - so much fun!

    Sunday was what I like to call "Colorado Day".  We drove into the mountains to Summit Lake - close to the top of Mount Evans, elevation 12,836 feet.  Mount Evans has a road that goes all the way to the top and is considered the "highest paved road in North America".  The summit elevation is just over 14,000 feet and the views are AMAZING!  Again, if you visit us, we will probably take you here =)

    On this particular day, we couldn't make it all the way to the top since there was still danger of avalanche (nope, we're not in Georgia anymore!) so we had to stop at Summit Lake for pictures.  It was still beautiful, though!

    Some pics (more on the book!)
    Me and my little bros on the way up to Summit Lake.  That's Echo Lake in the background.

    We made it!  A very frozen Summit Lake is behind us =)
    Marc and the boys staring out at the view.
    The whole goal of the trip was to make my brothers 1) want to come back and 2) try to convince my mom to move out here =)  I think we did a pretty decent job.  My mom called me when they got home and was like "What did you do to them?  The won't stop talking about how "awesome" it is out there!"

    Nothing, mom!  We just showed them the state that has captured my heart, that's all =)

    And there you have it! a nut-shell?  I'm not sure you'd call that a nut-shell...

    If anyone was questioning why I desperately needed a relaxing beach vacation in June...well...there you have it.  But more on that next time =)

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Oops! I forgot Easter!

    My bad!  I can't believe I left out the story of how we hosted Easter supper for the first time!

    Basically...we decided to have people over for Easter and we did =) 

    In a nutshell, last year Marc and I started a tradition of trying a yummy new recipe for Easter that was not only appropriate, but also delicious.  I'm happy to say that year 1 and 2 of this tradition have proven to be successful!

    Since we're really far away from family, and we're living in a house that has lots of space, we decided to invite a couple friends who are also Denver transplants to spend Easter with us (plus it was an excuse to use our new china!)
    Yes!  We used our china and the food tasted better because of it!
     I love inviting "out of town" people over for holidays because we've been lucky to have others do it for really is nice to spend holidays with a family even if they're not your own.

    (quick shout out to the Kuhns / Johnsons!  I'm talking about YOU!  They included me and Marc in not only their Thanksgiving this past year, but also Christmas.  We are so incredibly thankful for our awesome "Denver Family" - we can't even describe!!  THANK YOU for being so wonderful.  Now we're hoping to do the same for others)

    I'll spare you all the details, but I believe we did a relatively decent job of creating a fun and festive Easter spread, and everyone contributed!  And I made nerdy little Easter baskets for everyone to take home (thanks to the $1 section at Target) complete with bubbles and candy-filled eggs =)

    Here's a sample of our menu (because honestly, that's really what everyone cares about, right??):
    • Appetizers:
    • - Stuffed mushrooms
    • these little guys are always a hit!  I made them for the first time at our ornament exchange this year and they have made many appearances since then due to popular demand!  Recipe to follow  in another post...if you want it (I don't know - maybe people are sick of my recipes!).
    • - Cheese platter with crackers
    • obvi - you have to have cheese!
    •  - Hummus?  I think I had hummus...I always have hummus...
    • First Course:
    • - Spinach salad with strawberries, gorgonzola, sunflower seeds and balsamic vinaigrette
    • yes, that's right!  I made a salad with fruit in it and I liked it!
    • Main Course:
    • - Roasted fingerling potatoes and baby artichoke quarters
    • I'm a little obsessed with artichoke
    • Roasted asparagus
    • - And the main attraction - Roasted leg of lamb stuffed with artichoke, pancetta and parmasean
    • I recognize this may sound gross to some people but was delish
    • Dessert:
    • - Chocolate covered strawberries
    • - HOME-MADE peanut-butter chocolate eggs
    • yes - Val is fancy like that
    • - Strawberry-stuffed lime cupcakes!
    • thank, Val, for providing the sweet goodies!! 
    • And lots and lots of mimosas =)
    • - You gotta have mimosas!  We had both traditional orange juice and fun grapefruit juice mimosas...all made cooking quite exhausting!
    And there you have it - our Easter Supper in a nutshell.  We're very thankful that Val and Dan, and Kelsa and Nate were able to join us this year.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter (even though it's July...).

    April in Review =)

    Holy goodness!  What a crazy few months it's been.  I would like you to know that I've had this in "draft" since mid-May...and it's now July.  Sheesh!

    I got majorly inspired when my fellow-blogger-girlfriend provided 2 months of updates done in a single post!  Crystal - it's on!  I'm totally copying you and going to try to get totally caught up in one fell swoop =) 

    Alrighty - the above was written in late June/early July and I really thought I could do it.  It's now getting to be mid-July and I have decided I will provide updates of a single month in each post.  I think it would be way overwhelming to read April, May, and June all at the same time - because a lot happened in those months!

    Here I go - I hope this works!

    San Diego / Birthday / Journey through Culinary Joys:
    In mid-April I was extremely fortunate to get to take a trip to San Diego on the company dollar =)  I was there managing our tradeshow booth for a nursing convention which also happened to be the same week as my birthday!  AND I had wonderful friends who lived in town - double bonus!

    The convention ended on a Friday, so I decided to stay the weekend and take advantage of being in a new city plus celebrating my birthday plus visiting Crystal and Joey :)  I have to say, San Diego is an amazing town and I could totally see myself living there someday.  One super neat thing about the city is that each "micro-town" has a big neon sign in the entrance (like how Atlanta has Midtown, Buckhead, Brookhaven and Denver has Congress Park, Capitol Hill, Uptown...).  It was so cute and such a fun little quirk of the city!
    The sign for "Little Italy" - were our friends, Joey and Crystal, live
    I ate an absurd amount of seafood (the goal was seafood with every meal...and I practically did that with the exception of a protein shake here and there) and got to see some incredible sites!  Some highlights: 
    • - Visiting the San Diego Zoo (bucket-list check!!)  
    • *and getting pooped on by a bird for the first time ever*
    • - Birthday celebration drinks at The Prado in Balboa Park 
    • **
    • - Running around the San Diego Bay to the USS Midway
    • - Little Italy Farmers Market 
    • *I ate crazy amounts of food and bought the cutest apron and coasters!*
    • - Hiking in Torrey Pines and walking on the beach
    • - Birthday Dessert at Extraordinary Desserts
    • *if I remember correctly, we had the Dulce de Leche...whatever it was was ah-may-zing and you must go if you're in San Diego*
    • - Birthday Breakfast at Pappalecco
    • *to.die.for...I had the Mare breakfast and it was ever...Crystal deserves major props for this one!*
    • - Seeing seals on the beaches in La Jolla!
    • *and eating the "best fish tacos in San Diego" at George's Ocean Terrace*
    Overall, I was incredibly impressed with San Diego and I want to go back with Marc.  He would love it - and I really want to try some surfing!  More pictures on the Book but here's a couple for ya =)
    My birthday breakfast - SO yummy!
    Seals on the beach in La Jolla!  I loved this and wish I could have gone swimming with them =)
    I got home super late on Sunday (which was my actual birthday) and was surprised with a cute card, gift and mini-birthday cake from Marc (pictures available on the Book).  The next day he cooked me the most amazing steak dinner with chimichurri and, again, it was to.die.for.  If you come visit us, we (Marc) will definitely make you something with chimichurri since he's mastered it now!  And we ate my mini-cake which was delish.  Overall, an awesome birthday!

    Visit to Virginia and D.C.
    After San Diego, we had about a week in Denver and then we were off to Virginia to visit Marc's cousins, Kathy and Goody, and their adorable little boys, Sean and Justin.  Not only was it a great weekend because little Sean was celebrating his First Holy Communion, but it was also my first time getting to visit Washington D.C.!  We were only in town for 3 full days, and they were quite jam-packed.

    First of all - we had a BLAST at Sean's party and I have to say, the party planners pulled everything off without a hitch =)  First Holy Communions are a big deal, and Kathy threw Sean a party with upwards of almost 80 people at their house!  It was so fun to meet everyone and see the family and friends come to support them during this huge milestone.

    One funny story from the weekend - it was my first time really being surrounded by lots and LOTS of children under the age of 10 (there were about 30 at the party).  I learned very quickly that motherhood is one point I went upstairs to fix my makeup (I had gotten a little sweaty from setting up food and running around helping get the party off the ground) and I accidentally fell asleep for 3 HOURS!  I swear to you, it was an accident.  Marc finally came to get me and was like uh...where have you been?  Thankfully no one else really noticed I was missing since there were so many people there, but I was so embarrassed!

    Apparently I'm not ready to be a mom just yet =)

    After the party was over, Marc and I headed up to the Nations Capital for my inaugural visit =)  Yes, that's right.  Before this trip, I had never been to D.C - not even for a class trip!  I was so excited - everything I saw I wanted to take a picture of.

    We only had a few hours but caught most of the basics:
    • - WWII Memorial outside the Lincoln Memorial
    • - Lincoln Memorial sans reflecting pool
    • Why was the Second Inaugural Address a big deal? I know the Gettysburg Address, but I didn't understand why the other one was there...I'm not a history buff.
    • - Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian
    • This was a must-see for Marc.
    • - Nature and Science Museum at the Smithsonian
    • This was a must-see for me - we got to see the two Giant Squids that were captured recently!  Very neato.
    • Vietnam Memorial Wall
    • - Visiting Arlington and seeing the Changing of the Guards
    • incredibly moving...
    • - Quick walk by of the White House
    • I'm pretty sure I saw Michelle cooking dinner =)
    And the biggest highlight of all...that night, after we'd gone back to the Goodhart's house, we were watching TV and saw there was going to be a special announcement from the President.  That was the night President Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden had been killed...and I had literally been standing in front of the White House just hours before!!!  It was insanity...I was so incredibly emotional and couldn't believe all this was happening just miles from where I was sitting.  (check the Book for more pictures!)
    Our reflection in the Vietnam Memorial wall

    Standing at the Lincoln Memorial looking over the "Reflection Pond" (they were rebuilding it - so bummed!).  I was standing where Forrest Gump and Martin Luther King, Jr. gave their speeches =)

    Needless to say, it was an AMAZING trip.  We had a great time and I can't wait to go back!  But first, we have to get the Goodharts to come visit us in Colorado =)

    And there you have it!  April in a nutshell.  Stay tuned for May and June.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!
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