Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: The Reception

Hello and happy Wedding Wednesday! I have to say, I'm not great about showing up here every Wednesday to recap our wedding, but when I take the time to go through photos and prepare a post, it always puts my heart in such a happy place. When I say the wedding day flew by, it's difficult to get across just how true that statement is. Taking some time every few weeks to peek at our photos again and choose some of my favorites takes me right back to that particular part of our day and I really love that about blogging in general. So let's get to it, shall we? Here are some I mean lots of my favorites from our reception.

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Snyder for the first time ever!

For our first dance, we twirled around to "Baby I'm  Yours" by "The Arctic Monkeys."

Jonathan and his momma danced to "A Song for my Son" by Sarah Connor.

My daddy and I danced to "Dance Baby Dance" by Chris Cagle. I've never been able to listen to this song without crying and the first time I heard it, I knew it was the one we'd dance to. This is just one of the many moments of our day I shared with my father that I will never ever forget.

Trying to keep my tears under control which was a constant the whole day.

My dad was a nervous nelly about his speech and I have to say he was so amazing. Watching him up there welcoming Jonathan into our family and being genuinely over the moon about it was more than I could ever ask for.

This photo kills me! I don't even need to show you the photo that came after this for you to tell that Jonathan's cousin, Bree (the one diving in the blue dress) caught my bouquet! I love this one!

This photo of my mom makes me so happy.

This next photo requires a story because it is too amazing not to share. My father has never been much of a
dancer. Whether we've all been at another wedding or just a night on the town, we've never been able to convince him to get on the dance floor and just dance. Quite a while back, I found a funny pin on Pinterest that said, "The secret to dancing: Pretend you have a wedgie and try to get it out without using your hands." I sent it to my dad because I knew it would make him laugh and didn't really think about it again. During our reception as people started hitting the dance floor, I was so pleasantly surprised to see my dad not only on the dance floor, but he was tearing it up! I obviously had to rush over there and celebrate his new-found dance moves when he caught my eyes, leaned in and said these three words:

"I'm doing it!" 

I knew exactly what he was referring to (my little piece of advice I had texted him probably over a year before this) and I know I will never forget how unexpected and hilarious this moment was! My dad proceeded to spend the remainder of the night on the dance floor and even grabbed the microphone for some karaoke at one point! I don't think I'd ever seen my dad have such a genuinely good time before. I love that man!

Our wedding reception was an absolute blast! I'm glad we kept things fairly simple and focused on making sure everyone just had a really good time. I knew the night was going to fly by and I tried to stop every now and then and simply take it all in. Even still, the DJ announced our last song and I was shocked that our night was coming to an end. I'll never forget dancing with Jonathan to the last song with the happiest tears in our eyes as we watched our loved ones dance and celebrate around us in complete awe and appreciation. It was truly an unforgettable night.

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

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Telling Self Doubt to Get Out

Happy Wednesday, friends! I'm taking the week off from Wedding Wednesday mostly because I opted to drink wine and proceeded to take 3 hours to cook dinner last night, which left no time for me to choose which photos from our reception I wanted to share. It works out because I have a bit of exciting news and not a whole lot of time to write about it.

I got a bit of a promotion at my new job! I started working here at the end of February and since then I've been in more of a support/administrative role than I was expecting. I was approached a few weeks ago about another opportunity with the company as they were thinking about hiring from outside and instead, wanted to see if I would be interested. As of this week, I'm officially our Business Development Coordinator and I'm pretty psyched. It's a lot more responsibility and much better fit for my experience so things couldn't have worked out better. 

I guess you could say yesterday was my first official day in my new role and I went home feeling less than thrilled ...and for no particular reason. I'll admit that while I'm really excited about this opportunity, I'm a little intimidated and a lot overwhelmed. Instead of letting the intimidation empower me to dive in and do my thing, I let self doubt rush over me and take control. 

The thing is, when I calm down and really think about it, I know I can totally do this. I can totally handle the pressure and responsibility that come with this role. What I don't know, I will learn and I have a network of people that will help me figure it out. 

I got this. 

So why is my first instinct to start doubting myself? Because change is always a little bit scary? Because I don't want to fail? Because I am too hard on myself at times? Probably all of the above. But I want to be the confident woman who takes on challenges without thinking twice, who has faith in herself and who doesn't let her thoughts get the best of her. 

It's amazing what a difference a day makes. Here I am on day #2 of my new role and today, I have a new perspective. I feel like I am rocking it. I'm energized and motivated. I'm still a little intimidated and a lot overwhelmed, but I am in control of how I deal with that. With the amount of work I have, I'm just diving in and figuring it out as I go. I'm not allowing myself to take the time for self doubt because I am too busy just doing what I have to do. 

I need to make this my default from here on out because asking myself, "Can I do this?" is just taking time away from when I could just be saying, "I got this."

Monday, May 19, 2014

Recap: Random Acts of Kindness for my 28th Birthday

Happy Monday! I can't say I'm thrilled to see the weekend come to an end, but alas, here we are so we should just go ahead and make the best of it.

As promised, I want to recap my birthday week challenge of performing 28 Random Acts of Kindness today. I'm a little disappointed to say that while I'm really happy with what I did do, I didn't even make it close to reaching my goal. I'm going to focus on the positive though, and share with you the few things I did throughout the week:

1. Used a gift card to buy a coffee at Starbucks and gave it to the person behind me in line
2. Donated my old glasses at Lenscrafters when I picked up my new pair
3. Made an extra effort to compliment coworkers
4. Donated $1 to the American Cancer Society at Walgreens
5. Spent time commenting on blog posts I normally wouldn't take the time to comment on. Everyone loves blog comments!
6. After doing some shopping, I taped a $10 gift card to a cart at Target to help with someone's shopping
7. Baked a batch of Snickerdoodle cookies and delivered them to the local police station with a note thanking the officers for what they do

While I didn't make it anywhere near my goal of 28 RAKs this week, I'm still feeling pretty satisfied! These few simple acts felt really good and it reminded me how much more satisfied I am when I am making a conscious effort to bring joy to others. I may not have made it to 28 in a week, but I'm feeling more motivated than ever to seek out opportunities for RAKs on a daily basis.

I know it would take a lot more than a few simple things like this to change the world, but knowing I can spread joy through a simple act of kindness makes me feel better about what I'm putting out into the world. I may not have reached my goal for the week, but I'm certainly going to make an effort to keep this up!

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Few Things on Friday

Hello and happy Friday! It's been quite a week! My birthday dinner on Monday evening was so much fun! For a sort of last minute decision, I was thrilled so many of our friends and family were able to join us. I've been feeling more grateful than ever for the network of caring and supportive people we've been blessed with! This week has been busy and a little all the best ways, of course. A few things on this Friday...

A Few Thoughts from This Week
  • To be honest, doing 28 Random Acts of Kindness to celebrate my 28th birthday this week has proved a little easier said than done. I've done a few here and there, but I have a long way to go this weekend if I want to reach my goal. Again, if any of you have suggestions, I'd love to hear your ideas!
  • Work has been challenging and exciting lately. It's taken me a few months to get settled in and it's still a work in progress, but I'm feeling more comfortable lately and I'm pretty happy about that. There is an exciting work-related development in the works, too and I can't wait to fill you in that when it's official!
  • I've reached a point in my adult life where I genuinely look forward to a free Saturday so I can give our house a good cleaning. Life seems to get so hectic during the week and we always seem to have fun stuff planned for the weekend. Unfortunately, this means our little home gets neglected and I start to feel like it's out of control. This Saturday morning is all about regaining some control over our lives. #adulthood
  • I've had this on my mind after reading a post yesterday on the topic of religion and while it was well written and I completely respect her opinion, it's been on my mind ever since. The writer was commenting on how she doesn't believe God has anyone's life planned out for them, that anything happens because of him or that their destiny is out of their control. I respect her opinion and her choice to were about it and the whole post was actually interesting to read despite the fact that I don't share her views, but this specific comment stuck with me all day. See, I think there is a disconnect here. She kinda paints a picture and brings up an image I think a lot of nonbelievers have of a lazy individual sitting back thinking God is going to give them what they want whether they put in the effort or not. I can't speak for all Christians, obviously, but I'm certainly not sitting back making zero effort in my life saying that God will give me this or give me that or not working my ass off trying to accomplish things because God will make sure I reach my goals. When I pray to God, I'm not praying for him to take care of it all, although I do have faith that on his time, he will provide the answers in some form. When I say that I have faith and trust in God's timing and his grace, I'm not leaving it all up to him to provide for me. On the contrary, when I pray to God, I'm praying for his guidance to help me find my way through, I'm praying to him for his love to bring me strength, patience or peace through whatever I'm facing or to give others guidance, strength, patience or peace through their trials. I do this all knowing that his timing is always right and that he will provide in his way. Having faith in God doesn't mean we are standing by waiting for him to put the pieces into place for us, it just means we are relying on his wisdom to guide us through and that it's his will and his timing we can trust in.
I didn't mean to go on a rant, but hey, this is what's on my mind at the moment. I hope you can understand where I'm coming from. What are your thoughts on this?

A Few Snapshots of Our Weekend in St. Augustine

Our Bed & Breakfast! I can't say enough about how wonderful this was. If you're ever planning a visit to St. Augustine, I highly recommend this place. The service was phenomenal and the rooms were super cozy!

Our first night in we went out for a few drinks and were craving a late night snack. This place was just about to close down and they invited us in and made us each an individual slice of pizza (not even something they offer on the menu). I can't get over how kind these people were to us for absolutely no reason other than "we looked like a really nice couple." 

A Few Plans for This Weekend

  • Get my butt to the bank and change my last name on our bank accounts and whatnot
  • Clean our house for goodness sake
  • Knock out a bunch of wedding thank you cards
  • Get myself a pedicure while my hubby works on Saturday (this was his sweet suggestion and after some convincing, I just can't say no)
What's on your mind this week? What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Reception Details

Details, details, details! We tried and I believe we succeeded at keeping things fairly simple when it came to our reception decor. I have to admit that while I obviously enjoyed planning our big day, making decisions on all these little details was a little overwhelming. I mean, there is so  much to think about and the little things add up so quickly. We wanted it to look nice and fit with our theme and of course, our personalities but we also weren't about to spend time and money on things we honestly didn't feel were super important at the end of the day.

My favorites were obviously the navy and white striped straws and the coasters, which Jonathan made from tree branches he cut himself...he even ordered a custom brand and personally branded each coaster with our initials. I love, love, love that he thought of this idea and did it all added such a sweet personal touch to our decor!

It was pretty awesome walking into our reception and seeing all of our ideas and planning come together!

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

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cheers to 28 Years! Annual Blog Birthday List

Hello and happy Monday! Today is my 28th birthday and I'm feeling quite content after a wonderful weekend with my love. We spent the weekend in St. Augustine and I'll absolutely be filling you in our trip a little later in the week. In the meantime, it's time to celebrate my birthday in blog style, which means I'm sharing my annual blog birthday list with you all today.

Since I started blogging 3+ years ago, each year I’ve come up with a new theme for a blog birthday list. For example, last year I wrote a list of 27 things I still didn’t know how to do yet. I’ve also done a birthday bucket list of 26 things I wanted to do on my birthday and for my 25th birthday, I wrote a list of things I’d learned in my 25 years.

This year, I wasn’t sure what to do but I wanted to switch it up again. Jonathan took me away for the weekend and I thought it would be fun to come up with a list of 28 random acts of kindness for us to perform throughout the weekend. His response? “Only you would give yourself work on your birthday.” He loved the idea of trying to perform RAKs throughout the weekend, but he didn’t loooove giving ourselves a list and focusing on checking things off that list instead of relaxing and enjoying our time together. He makes a good point. I tend to get a little ahead of myself and I can imagine I would have ended up stressing about the list instead of enjoying every moment with my love.

Don’t you worry though, I think I came up with a plan that still accomplishes what I want to do without taking over our weekend away together. I’m doing a reversed birthday list of sorts this year. Instead of writing a list of RAKs to perform in advance, I’m challenging myself to perform 28 of them throughout my birthday week and share them with you all once it’s over! It'll be fun to keep an eye out for opportunities throughout the day where I can do something small for someone else, rather than coming up with my list of things to do in advance. Needless to say, I'm excited to kick off my 28th year this way.

After spending a relaxing weekend in St. Augustine with Jonathan, I'm feeling so at peace and so grateful for this time in my life. My 27th year was full of joy and so many reasons to be thankful...I can only imagine the blessings 28 will bring. Cheers!

If you have any suggestions for Random Acts of Kindness I can perform this week, I'd love to hear your ideas! Share them in the comments or tweet them to me @AmandaLSnyder13 on Twitter!

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Few Things about my Momma

Hello and happy Friday! I'm full of energy this morning and it feels really good. It could have something to do with the fact that I rocked in the diet department this week and just discovered I fit into 3 pairs of shorts comfortably again. I also proceeded to pack all of them for our trip to St. Augustine this weekend (along with several other wardrobe options) which is quite unnecessary for a 2 day trip but I just couldn't help myself. Someday I will pack lightly for a weekend trip. That day is not today. Have I mentioned how excited I am to be going away for the weekend with that adorable husband of mine? Because I am. 

I'm also pretty psyched about turning 28 and celebrating my birthday with friends on Monday night. I didn't want to make a big ordeal out of my birthday, but I'm glad we ended up planning a casual dinner out with friends and family.

I'm loving what Jonathan helped me come up with for my annual blog birthday list and can't wait to share it with you all on Monday. Let's just say I'll be quite the busy bee all week long! You should go ahead and check out my blog birthday lists for birthdays 25, 26 and 27 if you're new here!

Anyway, in honor of Mother's Day, today's few things are all about this lovely lady right here -

Photo by Billy Goble

I love how just this morning, she called me while we were both on our way to work. She does this sometimes and it is always makes my day. Our morning chats are usually short, but they stick with me all day long. 

I love that her and I are alike in nearly every way and I'm so grateful for our shared love of books, sunshine and rainbows, baking and Ann Taylor LOFT. 

I love how she understands why I'm crying when I make a toast at the dinner table, or when I have a lot on my mind or when I'm crying for no real reason at all. She understands because she cries a lot, too. We both feel and embrace our emotions to the max and we just get that about each other.

I love her for her patience and for reminding me, her very impatient daughter to breathe, relax and be patient when I am anxious or feeling like things aren't going my way.

I love her for giving me four lifelong best friends. Not only did she bring these wonderful people into the world, but she taught us to be loving, supportive and understanding toward each other. 

I love her guidance and support, her advice and how she is always cheering for me. If I'm excited about something, she is excited and I can always count on her cheering with me and for me. 

I love her for setting such an example of how to be a good wife and mother.

I love that she chooses joy every day, that she has a grateful heart and I love her for her faith in God.

I love her for being such a wonderful mother and friend to me always.

I love knowing that soon enough, she'll become a Nana to our children and they'll be so lucky to have her as theirs. 

I love that I could go on and on about this super star mother of mine, but I'll leave it a these few things today. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: The Ceremony

Hello and happy Wednesday! I thought I'd switch things up with a Wedding Wednesday post today seeing my last wedding post was about 2 months ago. Oops! The thing is, I really want to share the rest of our day with you all, so I'm back! I think we left off after our family and bridal party photos, so today I'm sharing a few shots from our ceremony. 

My brother walking my beautiful momma down the aisle

I still can't get over how awesome Dean (Jonathan's nephew) did as our ring bearer. He carried this adorable sign and made it all the way down the aisle. We weren't sure what to expect and he did so great! There's my niece and our flower girl, Alyssa speeding down the aisle. She took her job very seriously ;) 

If I remember correctly, It felt as if we sped down the aisle. Sure, it didn't make for great photos of the bridal party walking down or opportunities for many photos of my dad and I walking down, but it was coooold, I was nervous and honestly, I had a hunk waiting for me at the other end. Why not rush down the aisle?

That smile on my dad's face! There are no words.

One of the first decisions we made was to write our own vows and I'm so glad we did. It goes without saying that exchanging our vows was my absolute favorite part of the day. Jonathan's vows were so well written and beautifully spoken and mine, well at the least they were perfectly written. The delivery on the other hand? Despite practicing so many times, my emotions got the best of me on our day and while I think you could still understand what I was saying and I made it through them (and it could have been worse), I was hoping to avoid being such a blubbering mess up there.

My new husband and I with our bridal party before heading inside for the reception!

Every moment of our ceremony was perfect. We wanted it to be simple and a reflection of our personalities and relationship. I truly think we achieved that and it was everything we'd hoped for.

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