Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Couple Portraits

After we had our first look, we wandered around Winter Park and got some really great photos of us. I'm so glad we did this before our ceremony because we were able to take our time and find some really good spots for photo opps, rather than rushing to get some photos before heading in for our reception.

You probably can't tell from the photos (thank goodness), but it was a very unexpected 4o degrees outside at this point in the day. I know that is nothing to most of you northerners, but we live in Orlando. We'd gone all winter without having any really cold days like this and I was pretty shocked to wake up on our wedding day to such cool temps. Needless to say, I was freezing cold as we took these photos. I remember looking at Jonathan at one point, teeth chattering, saying "We don't need this photos! It's too cold!" I'm obviously really glad I sucked it up and continued on, because I absolutely love how these turned out!

P.S. I apologize in advance for the photo overload, but I just couldn't narrow it down!

I absolutely love reliving our special day and I know we will cherish these photos even more down the road. The amount of love I feel for this husband of mine is absolutely overwhelming. 

All photos by Lora Rodgers Photography.
Linking up for Wedding Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Gone Country

I had to stop and laugh on Saturday as we drove to pick up some friends and head to the Silver Spurs Arena for the rodeo that evening. Earlier that day, we met my in-laws at the gun range for a little target practice and I was really entertained by the fact that we started our day at the gun range and would be ending it at the rodeo. I told Jonathan our life was a country song that day. We had a blast.

I'm still not super comfortable with a gun, but I wish I had taken a picture of the target because I didn't do too bad if I do say so myself.

I was pretty psyched for the rodeo because I went last year for the first time ever and I loved it! We had great company this year and it's just fun to watch the competitions. Not to mention that our fun started by my silly husband convincing the parking attendants that we were making a hay delivery so we ended up with a pretty sweet parking spot! 

I also finished Breaking Bad this weekend and there is now a void in my life. I'm really late to the Breaking Bad party and I'm wondering what took me so long to see what all the fuss was about. If you haven't experienced this show yet, you are missing out. Simple as that.

I hope you all have a great week!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

blessings, they just keep on coming

2014 has certainly been a year of big life changes and we've hardly made it to March. Just as things were starting to settle down after our wedding in January, February brings more blessings in the form of a big career change for me. 

I don't talk about my job on here often because I try to keep that separate, but I have been at the same company since I graduated college in 2008 and while I've grown within the company and enjoyed my time there, I've been ready to move on for quite some time. After many months of job searching, last week I was offered a great position with a consulting firm and was absolutely thrilled to accept. I start a week from Friday and I absolutely can't wait to start this new chapter!

I had become so unhappy in my previous job and I'm not proud to say it really brought me down. I knew eventually the right opportunity would come along and it absolutely did. I was at the point where I would really take any position just to get out of my job and I'm glad to say I didn't have to make that compromise with this one. This position is in my field and it's certainly a step up in regards to the work load, job responsibilities and even in salary.

I'm feeling all sorts of things. I'm relieved. Quitting my job and knowing that it was the right thing to do left me feeling like a huge weight was lifted. I'm excited for a change, for new challenges and new responsibilities. I'm thankful. I'm thankful because God continues to remind me that he is in control and his plan is always right on time. I'm overwhelmed because the blessings just keep on coming and somehow right when I think things couldn't get any better, they do. 

I can't help but wonder what blessings the rest of 2014 will bring us. I sure can't wait to see and I absolutely will be soaking in every joyful moment. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: First Look

Happy Wedding Wednesday! I'm excited to share our First Look photos with you today. We decided pretty early on in our wedding planning that we would have a First Look. It seems couples are either totally for this or totally against it and it really just depends on the couple. 

A big factor came down to the fact that our wedding started at 5 p.m. and by the time our ceremony was over, it would be too dark outside to take our bridal party and couple portraits. We also didn't love the idea of making our guests wait for us to join the reception while we took photos. Most importantly, though, I knew seeing my groom before our ceremony would help calm me down a bit. I was surprisingly calm on our wedding day, but I'm not a huge fan of being the center of attention and was pretty nervous about my saying my vows. I knew that no matter how overwhelmed, stressed or nervous I was, having this moment with my man would help calm me down and remind me what our day is really all about: us.

Did you decide to have a First Look on your big day? I know many couples feel like it might take away from the excitement of your groom seeing you walk down the aisle and after experiencing this for myself, I feel that having a First Look was absolutely perfect for us. Me walking down the aisle was a whole different kind of moment and I honestly don't think Jonathan seeing me beforehand took anything away from that. Again, you have to do what's right for you as a couple, but I have only good things to say about it.

All photos by Lora Rodgers Photography.
Linking up for Wedding Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Weekend in Photos

We spent our weekend in Destin visiting Jonathan's sister and her husband. It was our first time in Destin and we absolutely loved it. We had a blast and soaked up every minute with our niece and nephew. Hopefully we can get back up there for another visit soon!

In the meantime, here are a few snapshots from our weekend:

That sunset is just too much. I'll be back tomorrow for Wedding Wednesday to share our First Look photos. Have a happy Tuesday!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

This is Adulthood

I'm 27 years young and judging from how often people ask me what college I attend, I look even younger than that. I'm not at a point where I'm freaking out about getting older or anything and Jonathan and I have both been through of fair share of adult experiences, but it has been funny lately how now that we are married, Jonathan and I are experiencing so many new "welcome to adulthood" moments...moments where it really hits us that we are big kids now.

Family Planning. We've had lots of conversations about starting a family and speculated how long we'd want to wait and whatnot, but now that we are officially married, these conversations have become much more specific and while I want to keep our specific plans to ourselves, it's so surreal to be having these conversations with my husband. 

Life insurance. Earlier this week, we we met with one of Jonathan's clients, a financial adviser to discuss life insurance options. Neither one of us have had any life insurance in place and we want to change that as soon as possible. We spent the evening discusses our goals for retirement, our finances and different options for investing and planned to meet again next week to go over his recommendations. As we chatted about the meeting on our way home, I couldn't help but smile to myself because there we were in the car on a Tuesday evening having a discussion about life insurance....woah. This is adulthood. 

Hosting meals. Jonathan and I have hosted a handful of parties, bonfires, barbecues and whatnot since we met, but since the wedding we've loved hosting friends and family for meals at our house. You already heard all about the awesome brunch we hosted last weekend, but we've even also been the hosts with the most for dinner. This is kind of a big deal for me because I wasn't much of a cook before Jonathan and I started dating. It's crazy to think that a year ago I was nervous about cooking just about anything and now I'm putting together entire meals for others. There's something about inviting your in-laws over for dinner, planning the meal and cooking the whole thing yourselves that makes you realize you're adults now.

Canceling cable. I'm so glad we made the decision to combine our finances a few months before our wedding. At the time, I was selling my house and it felt like we were making it rain spending so much on our wedding that it made sense for us to go ahead and make the move then. I can't imagine having to do all that now that we are settling into married life and trying to get other things in order. With that being said, we are still working on adjusting our monthly budget and searching for ways to save money and cut costs. Earlier this week, we made the decision to cancel cable. We're keeping our Internet, obviously, but getting rid of cable and DVR and all that nonsense is going to save us a ton of money and saving money is FUN. With Netflix, Hulu and AppleTV, I honestly don't think we'll miss cable a bit. But making decisions like this is so grown up, huh?

Meal planning. My grocery store visits as a single girl were much, much different than they are today. As a lady who didn't do much cooking, my trips to Publix consisted of me toeing the line between healthy food but also food that didn't take much preparation. This resulted in me eating a lot of fruits, oatmeal, Special K protein bars and bagged salad. Now that I'm the lady of our house and quite the chef (if I do say so myself), my grocery shopping a bit more strategic. I am absolutely not a fan of going to the grocery store multiple times a week. I like to go into our week knowing what I'm going to cook each night and make one big trip to Publix to shop for the week. These days, Sunday mornings I typically sit down and plan our meals and try to get the grocery shopping done that afternoon. This feels so responsible and adult-like...and even mom-ish of me...haha. 

Sure, sure, sure, being an adult is certainly not what we thought it would be when we were in middle school, but I'm still a fan. Making difficult decisions about life insurance is certainly not one of the things I looked forward to when I was young and I can't help but laugh when I realize Jonathan and I are having a 10 minute conversation about how great our new Tupperware is, but I really do love where we are at in life. We are getting older, but I know there is always something to look forward to and things we still haven't experienced. Adulthood isn't always easy and isn't always fun, but I'm going in this with a pretty damn good partner, so it's all good to me. 

What kind of "This is Adulthood" moments have you experienced? Do you find yourself laughing at how grown up you are all of a sudden? 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Getting Ready

I mentioned last week that we got our professional wedding photos back and I'm so excited to start sharing them today! I told my MOH early on that I really wanted to have my bridesmaids stay with me the night before our wedding and it didn't take her long to find a really cute house in Winter Park, just miles from our wedding venue, to rent for a few days. We planned to have all the bridesmaids and our flower girl stay there with me the night before the wedding and I'm so so glad we planned it this way!

After our rehearsal dinner, Jonathan and a few of his groomsmen escorted me and the girls to the house and after slamming back a shot of Patron with all of us, they headed back to our home to continue their party.Things didn't get too crazy at our place since I was concerned about making sure we were all up and ready for hair and make up to begin at 7:30 a.m. We sat around chatting for a bit, I read the girls my vows and we attempted to play cards before we all decided it was time for bed. Waking up with all my favorite girls with me on our wedding day was the best feeling and it wasn't too long before my parents joined us. My dad prepared breakfast for us and hung around to work on his speech while the hair and make up fun began. 

I'm so glad we planned for our photographer to get there so early because she got some really great shots of us getting ready. Here are a few of my favorites!

All of these amaaaaaazing photos are by our dear photographer, Lora Rodgers Photography. Are you planning on or did you have a bridal party sleepover the night before your wedding? I'm so glad I did...nothing like waking up surrounded by your favorite girls on your big day! Next week I'll be back sharing our first look photos!

Linking up for Wedding Wednesday

Monday, February 10, 2014

This Post is Bad for Your Diet

Just last week as I vowed to be a better blogger, it struck me that I should probably give this space a little face lift while I'm being ambitious. I wanted to simplify things a bit and change up the color scheme. I'm no blog designer, but I have to say I'm pretty happy with how this thing turned out! I've made a few updates to my About page and promise to get better about sharing my favorite recipes with you all again. There are already a few of my favorites under the Recipes tab, but I've been cooking and baking like crazy lately, so there is a lot more to come!

In addition to giving a little TLC to this happy space, our weekend was pretty great. Saturday we spent the afternoon with my new father-in-law and went to see Lone Survivor. You guessed it, the boys definitely picked the movie and even though some of the war scenes were hard for me to watch, I thought the movie was great. After the movie, we grabbed a bite to eat and went grocery shopping to stock up on everything we needed to host brunch at our house after church on Sunday. I also spent Saturday night baking these babies...

Those are Orange Creamsicle cupcakes...with a marshmellow cream filling. I can't put into words how magical our house smelled while these were in the oven. The recipe is here if you want to experience this for yourself. They are currently hiding out in our freezer so they don't disappear before I have chance to bring them to my brother-in-law this weekend for his birthday.

...and then there was Sunday, which was basically the best day ever. It was one of those days you have a goofy smile plastered across your face and you don't even realize it. We woke up bright and early to meet our friends for the early service at church. After church, we all met back at our house for brunch and I have to say, my husband and I did a damn good job putting it together. Jonathan's parents came over too, and we all spent the morning eating and drinking and laughing...there was lots of laughing. We made eggs, bacon, fruit salad, corn muffins and I tried this awesome recipe for Cinnamon Crescent Rolls. Between that and all the necessities for mimosas and the perfect bloody mary, we had quite the spread. 

Yes, that is bacon in my bloody mary. Yes, it was amazing. 

We were all having just way too much fun with this brunch business. After a few drinks, we decided to take our party on the road and walked/biked up the street to the bar. I have to add that while my mother-in-law and I road bikes, most of our group walked, but my husband, he roller bladed choosing not to bring a change of shoes. It was quite the scene watching him roll into and around the bar. We all had an absolute blast and our simple little brunch turned into a long day of fun. 

I'm not going to lie, though, we were pretty hungover (already) by the time everyone left around 5:00. We spent the rest of our weekend watching several episodes of Breaking Bad. Jonathan's already watched the series, but he's watching it again with me. We just finished season 4 and well, I just wish we weren't adults so we could still be watching right now. Instead, it's Monday and we're back to work, but only for a few days, then we're off to Destin for the weekend! 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!