The Wedding!

I have been a bad blogging lady lately and I apologize for that! These next few weeks will be busy, as have the past couple, but there are exciting things on the horizon that I can only begin to explain at the moment. And I will be back to explaining them!

First things first, it has been one week since we celebrated my sister Lauren and her now HUSBAND Nick’s wedding! It was truly a spectacular weekend of fun, love, and celebration.

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Our entire family and friends went up to the White Mountains for the weekend of the wedding. While the bride and groom to-be went up Wednesday, I headed up Thursday morning with my parents and the dog in one car and myself, my brother, my Grandma, and my brother’s girlfriend in the other. Upon arrival, we located the bride and groom and went off to grab some lunch. After, it was crunch time. We spent a good amount of time putting together flowers and pouring hot sauce into little containers- that was their goodie for the night.

At some point during our work stations, a groundskeeper came in asking if someone had a silver car- which someone did- and he was advised to put the window up because there was a bear in the car! Apparently, bears are all for chocolate and potato chips- I agree, bear.

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After that scare, it was time to get ready for the rehearsal dinner, mind you there was no real rehearsal. It was a beautiful evening with good food, heartfelt speeches, and a small night of celebration before the big day. Once we headed back to the hotel, we sat out on the front porch, overlooking the mountains and the golf course, sharing some stories and drinks.

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We were all up early on Friday- the big day- as there was much to be done. Starting with breakfast, I made sure my sister ate a filling meal and drank a ton of water. After, we did some last touch finishes on the decorations before heading out to get our hair done. I didn’t have too much of an idea in mind, but my hairdresser was excellent and got the importance of being a sassy Maid of Honor. I was very happy with my hair, as well as the job she did on my eyebrows. They looked real!

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After a quick stop for lunch, Lauren and I headed back to the hotel to get her ready for the first look pictures! Lauren and Nick decided to do their pictures beforehand, which works really well as they can enjoy the cocktail reception along with the guests. They shared their beautiful moment on a bridge heading into town, then went down to the river and stood on rocks. I am certain that those pictures will be incredible, but I am also certain that I would have had a heart attack if she had fallen in her dress.

I had about a half an hour to finish getting ready, so I zoomed back to the hotel, threw on my dress, and did my make up. All I need is a little bit, though I suppose that will remain to be seen once the official pictures come out. The bridal party and the parents and grandparents headed down the golf course to a small bridge where we all took pictures. Once we got back up to the main part of the hotel, we watched as all the guests started to arrive and make their way down to the ceremony area.

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I stood with Lauren for a few minutes in the bar as she iced her flowers in a glass of water- I’m not kidding, until everyone was ready for her. After a few minutes, it was time.

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As Nick and the groomsman took their place in front, the bridesmaids started to walk. I gave one last hug to my sister before it was my time to walk down a pretty major hill and stairs. I was focused on not falling in my new heels as well as keeping a smile on my face- not an easy feat. I will thank whoever yelled out my name and started a smattering of applause because they just know my love of attention.

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I did not anticipate how emotional I would get and there are a few pictures of me up there crying. On top of that, I was worried I would fall off the cliff because my knees were knocking. I don’t think I have ever experienced that level of adrenaline before, but I focused on breathing and being in the moment.

photo 4It was truly a beautiful ceremony, one officiated nicely by my cousin Maura, and before we knew it, it was time to make our way up to the porch for the cocktail hour.

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It was at this point that I said hello to people, ditched my heels, and put on my Maid of Honor tiara. The bride did not have any such thing, but she didn’t want one. Don’t worry, I had her permission. In fact, my sister was such a calm bride, that when my mom accidentally spilled a little red wine on her DRESS, she just found someone with a tide stick and took care of it. I think it was better since the ceremony had already happened.

The cocktail hour ended in a flash and we all headed up to the Carriage House where we enjoyed the reception. It was fun to dance in as we were announced and to watch the first dance that Lauren and Nick had spent weeks practicing- very sweet!

photo 1Before dinner, however, came the speech.

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Both Nick’s brother and I did a great job of portraying our happy (and somewhat jokey) feelings for the bride and groom. We got the room laughing and yes, weeping, but I think everyone was ready for dinner once we finished. Shout out to my Uncle Mike for his “uncles’ speech” as well!

The food was a delicious barbecue spread of grilled chicken, steak tips, pulled pork, mashed potatoes, corn bread, salad, and potato chips. After everyone had their share, the DJ got us all up dancing. It was such a fun night of dancing, singing, and laughing and though it ended too soon- as it always does- it is a night that we will always remember, especially I hope, the Bride and Groom!

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The rest of the weekend whizzed by in a flash, but we had so much fun together and I’m so glad we could all spend such a fantastic weekend together!

Some Thoughts

Sometimes I feel like I have so much to say and don’t know how to say it. Other times, I have nothing to say and I still don’t know how to say it. I have not been a good blogger of late, but my fingers are itching to type and my mind is itching to expel some sort of nonsense into meaning.

It’s officially summertime. Warm, humid, buggy. The sun is shining. The air is fresh. There is so much to look forward to and so much that frightens me, but it’s all exciting in its own right. In time, maybe that last statement will make sense.

On my run today, my legs were aching. I’ve felt a little uninspired by my workouts lately, which I fixed with an updated exercise plan that I’m excited to use, but today it was soreness plain and simple. It was hot, but not in an uncomfortable way and things started out well enough. I knew it was going to be a struggle when my legs were shot running downhill. I allowed myself to walk when I needed and to run when I could. I completed five miles overall, probably 70-30 running-walking and I felt my strongest near the end. Had the pain been unbearable or damaging, I would have stopped, but I think it was more that I needed to stretch out my legs. I started my workout with some Yoga and core action and the first day of my squat challenge, which shouldn’t have left me so sore.

When I got home, I fixed myself a salad with leftover chicken and the rest of the macaroni and cheese on the side, while I played another episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I am seriously obsessed. It got to the point where I needed a shower desperately and once I finished, I planned to hole myself up in my air conditioned room to do some writing, particularly a special speech I will be making very soon. Too soon for comfort. This speech happens to be the one I’ll be making at my sister and her fiancee’s wedding and because it is one of the most important things I’ll write/say, it’s proving to be difficult. When you try too hard to be poignant and poetic, it’s turns out cliche and crappy.

I’m working on it.

I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic of late in a lot of ways. Before I opened up this document, I found a binder of all of these pictures my former kindergarten students made for me and it made me miss them and sad that they are no longer a prevalent part of my life, nor am I in their’s. I mean, they are going to be third graders, which just seems impossible. Next to it, I found a binder full of old papers and stories I wrote in college and my senior year of high school. I don’t miss high school so much and as much as I loved college, I was definitely ready to be done when I graduated, but it’s that realization that those times existed and you can never return to them. Everything is always romanticized once it’s in the past, but there has to be some merit to that feeling.

I know I need to make more of an effort to blog. Despite my best efforts, I am a creature of habit, and I feel like these past few weeks have been passing in a bit of a fog. I’m not so much in a funk as I’m feeling overwhelmed and things like blogging fall to the wayside. I also have felt uninspired by posting just what I’ve been eating and what exercises I’ve been doing and so I stopped. We live in a world where it’s too easy to share your opinion, but difficult to find the best words to express it.

I guess the best way to describe my mantra of these next few weeks/months/lifetime, is not to forget that while you’re living your life, appreciate the things that are currently happening. I find myself clinging onto the past and thinking about the future. I don’t want to be blurred.

Tomorrow is a new day, but I still have today to claim. <Poetic and poignant or cliche and crappy?>

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY BROTHER

Today is a special day because it’s my baby brother’s birthday! Jimmy is 20 today, which is believable and unbelievable all at once. I was five years old and entering into kindergarten the year he was born. I remember being excited to tell my pre-school teacher that I was going to have a baby brother and I brought him in for show-and-tell once I got to kindergarten.

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I didn’t take immediately to being an older sister. Punky Brewster was on at the time and if I remember correctly, the storyline was that her parents left her in a grocery store once they had another baby. This was a fear of mine and I guess one day after Jimmy was born, my mom found me standing in the doorway with a little backpack on and when she asked me what was up, I told her I was just waiting to be picked up by the adoption agency.

Yes, I’ve always been a drama princess.

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Anyways, back to the birthday boy. Life changed quickly when he was born. There were now three of us, an odd number, but somehow it all clicked.

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Though we tried, he did not let us dress him up, but I do remember putting his tuft of hair into pigtails once. He loved Elmo and superheroes, so much so that he only dressed in superhero costumes for the first five years of his life: Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Aquaman, Catwoman.

photo 5Okay, that last one was a joke that my Auntie Bea told his girlfriend the first time she met her. I’m not certain she knew she was joking.

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He loved to match his cape with a tie- and in one instance, his tie dropped in the bathroom and he stood crying in front of it because he didn’t want to touch the ground.

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There was also the Hawaiian shirt craze.

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For just two years of his life, he liked to vacuum. None of us could go to bed one Christmas Eve until he had fully vacuumed for Santa.

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Trips to Disney World were just funnier with Jimmy hopping around yelling, “NI,” because he had just seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail and was obsessed. He also liked telling people he liked their costumes until a London guard did not find this funny standing outside of the Tower of London. His all-American spirit also got us in trouble Harrods as he tried to swing his way down the escalator and outside our Parisian hotel when he climbed the building.

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At 14, he gave us all a scare when he fell during a hockey game and broke his back. He grew from it to become stronger, motivated to return to his normal self and even got back on the ice for his senior year of high school, a feat I’m not sure many could accomplish.

In college, he is only excelling. He has more ambition than I ever showed at that age, tackling jobs and internships and his studies and only going into his junior year after this summer.

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20 years later and he’s still my baby brother, despite the fact that he’s now taller and stronger and funnier than me. The funny thing about Jimmy, is that he appears to be this big tough guy on the outside, but really he’s sensitive mush- in a good way!

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To my funny, kind, smart, strong, brave brother. Happy birthday! Love ya!

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*He’s going to be furious when he reads this post.

It’s The Freakin’ Weekend

I’m obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It has it’s cheesy moments, but it is just so good and addicting. Good television does this. It’s silly to be thankful for Netflix, but I am so thankful and yet furious it exists all at once because all I want to do is watch!

I am ready for the weekend to begin, mostly because I want to sleep. I hope it rains, at least on Saturday or Sunday morning, so I can snuggle under my covers and enjoy it. It’s not fun waking up to the alarm with the pouring rain and knowing I have to go out in it.

It was, thankfully, not raining on Thursday morning when I got up and ready for my daily gym grind. I tried a different strength workout that incorporated body strength and kettlebell moves. I only had time to do two sets of twelve reps before I made it down to the pool for my mile swim. Like I always say, I’m obsessed with swimming. Since I’ve been doing it regularly again, I haven’t suffered from such joint or muscle pain.

I came home for a breakfast of Greek yogurt with blueberries and a bowl of raisin bran. I’ve been terrible at snapping pictures lately! I did remember to get one of this delicious omelet I made for myself for lunch. Along with a salad, it was divine!

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Dinner was something a little different. Tacos made with turkey meat, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, jalapeños, and shredded cheese. A dollop of sour cream and salsa accompanied it with a side of spinach. Tasty, yet light, satisfying meal!

When I got home from work, I went out for a long walk. It was refreshing to be back out in the sunshine! After, I sprayed this disgusting smelling spray around my garden that is harmLESS to animals, but keeps their little paws and jaws off my zucchini plants!

You guys, I was making a joke about rabbits being eaten by a fox earlier today- it’s funny if you were there- and I come home to find that some rabbits have helped themselves to my zucchini plants. That is a pure act of hatred. You may remember the time I chased a turkey away with a hockey stick. I will hold nothing back.

  
Anyways, it’s been rainy and cold around here, which makes for perfect sleeping weather. Tuesday, I tore myself out of bed for a body strength workout and a swim. On Wednesday, I started my day off with a walk that got my legs moving and followed with a run. I only had a few minutes left over for some Yoga, but it made for a good stretch!

Overnight oats made for a great breakfast after the gym. I did the usual base with mashed banana and dates soaked along with blueberries and strawberries. Very refreshing!

Wednesday’s breakfast included two eggs over easy with a slice of cheese, a piece of toast, a chicken sausage, and a bowl of fruit. Yum!

 
Lunches the past two days included a huge salad topped with tilapia and a stir fry with tons of veggies and chicken meatballs.

  
I enjoyed chicken with a creamy white sauce, lots of veggies, and a baked sweet potato that was fantastic. Tilapia with Brussels sprouts and pasta also made for a tasty dinner!

 
That’s all for now. Watch out for bunnies! 

Rainy Days

I can’t decide what is more painful, having to wake up on a rainy, cold day or having to be stuck inside on a warm, sunny day. Regardless, we don’t always have the chance, so I rolled myself out of end this morning and got my day started in the rain.

A strength workout was in the cards this morning. I performed ten moves in five sets of nine reps. My muscles were feeling the exertion by the end of it. For a hit of cardio, I did a few rounds of box jumps and jumping jacks and finished everything up on the bike for a few minutes.

I joined my mom for a rainy day walk after work. It was quite chilly, but I don’t think I’d have minded so much if we hadn’t just had a week in the nineties. It’s confusing!

Breakfast was quite delicious. I had an egg sandwich on an English muffin with a piece of pepperjack cheese and a chicken sausage patty that had a lot of flavor. A big bowl of berries sweetened the meal nicely.

  
It was quite a busy day and I needed a little jolt of happiness in the for, of this soup. I ate a homemade salad and quite frankly, I make the best salads. I also enjoyed an apricot for a little dessert and I had no signs of an allergic reaction! It was a plum the day before that and I was fine too! Maybe I should try apples and cherries to see if it affects me.

 
As I type this, I realize I forgot to snap a picture of my dinner. It had a little surf and turf flair with salmon and steak. A spinach salad with poppyseed dressing, walnuts, and raisins joined a stir fry of zucchini, peppers, carrots, and broccoli. Very tasty!

I should end with a hearty congratulations to my fave, Kristin Chenoweth, on hery Drama Desk Award win last night. Next, that second Tony. Boy, does she deserve it!

Checking In

Yes, I realize I’ve been a bad blogging lady lately, but I’ve been a busy writer. There are only so many hours in the day and the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a couple of exciting creative projects. 

I’m making an effort to check in more often. What’s been going on with you? Remember when it was bitingly cold and snowy? Now it’s bitterly hot. No mare transition seasons as I like to call fall and spring. Just one extreme to another. I won’t complain about the heat, yet, because it’s been lovely outside. Except of course for the allergies and the little black bugs that I think are different than Mosquitos but bite and leave an itch just the same.

I’ve still been exercising and trying to eat healthy. On Friday, I had my personal best in bench pressing: 120 pounds. It was a little scary and a little tough, but an awesome accomplishment!

It’s wedding month, so the countdown is on! I need to be in even more control of my eating the next few weeks as the day grows closer because I want to look my best in those pictures! More to come as it gets closer. Now I have to work on my speech…

Since I’ve been writing more consistently, I’ve found that my mind is swirling with possible stories. It can be difficult to focus on one idea at a time, but I write down anything new and try to focus on the present task. Exciting things are coming together.

Shout out to my cousin Mikey who is graduating from high school today! We celebrated the occasion over the weekend. There are plenty of exciting and inspiring things ahead for you and I’m so happy and proud to know that not only are we cousins, but we’re friends.

Other things I did this weekend? I ran outside on Saturday after the sun went down. It was super hot, so I wasn’t going to be happy out in the blaring sun and I wasn’t going to love it on Sunday in the pouring rain, so I buckled up and got moving Saturday night. I was excited to be done when I woke up on Sunday. I spent most of yesterday watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I watched it for a few seasons when I was younger, but I wanted to go back and rewatch the entire series. Loving it! While I lounged, I did a ton of writing. Rainy Sundays are good for both.

Have a happy Monday everyone!