Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Story Behind Our Engagement


In case you didn't figure it out from my post a couple of weeks ago... I have some big news to share with you guys. Last month Todd and I got engaged! I thought it would be fun to share our love story with you all from both of our perspectives, so today we are sharing with you how we met and our engagement story.


How we met:

Her version:
Before I give you the story behind the engagement, I want to provide you with a little bit of a back story.  We met in 2010.  I was a Junior and he was a Senior in high school.  We ran in similar social circles but our paths never actually crossed.  It was Labor Day Weekend, and I was playing in the annual season opener tournament for field hockey.  Our school always hosted the tournament, so we usually had a decent amount of fans (friends from school) present/taunting the other teams and referees. In between games the boys thought it was funny to try to play field hockey. Being the competitive athlete I was, I was slightly peeved that a stranger was using my equipment. Although, I did think the stranger was pretty cute. 

Disclaimer- it was a big recruiting season for me and I was just getting back to playing after a major concussion. I was very serious about getting recruited and I was worried what would happen if my stick was damaged. 

Looking back, I still laugh at this! Later that night my best friend and I went to our local grocery store to pick up a sweet treat.  We opted for what we thought would be the quick check out option, self check out, because we did not want our ice-cream to melt.  Well, the quick option was not so quick.  We continuously tried to scan our items, but each time we did our lane was closed.  We thought the machine was malfunctioning, but several minutes later we found out it was the stranger from our game earlier. He confessed to playing a joke on us and chatted for several minutes.  Later that night we became friends on Facebook. Within the week we started to talk on messenger and in the halls in between classes.

The following weekend we had our first "date".  He came over on a Sunday morning to make breakfast with me.  We made pancakes and bacon.  He was disappointed to find out that my parents house did not have a coffee maker. (Anyone who knows Todd knows his obsession with coffee. He drinks it morning, day, and night) At the time my culinary skills were sub par, so let's just say I was not a expert pancake flipper.  To this day he still makes fun of me for flipping the pancake onto the stovetop rather than the griddle. I guess my cooking skills didn't scare him away because a week later we officially started dating.


At the time I thought he would be a cute date for the annual Homecoming dance and somebody fun to hangout with, but I didn't have high expectations for a relationship with longevity as I was a junior and he was a senior.  He was Mr. Popular (homecoming king, junior prom prince, athlete) and I was just another junior girl crushing on him (honors student, athlete with hopes of being recruited for college, and a girl filled with goals).  I thought we would last through the school year if we were lucky, but clearly we were made to last much longer than that.

Fast forward a bit.. We have been together for seven years now.  During this time we endured going to college at separate universities, a kidney transplant, breast cancer, field hockey games, conference tennis matches, many weddings, tons of family functions, beach trips, nights out with friends, and our fair share of growing pains.  We have been able to grow individually and as a couple, which is one of my favorite things about us.  



His version:

As I entered my Senior year of high school, all I wanted to do was have fun and not worry about any drama. The first three years of high school I played football, and for my last year of high school I decided not to play (We were not very good at the time...). So one Saturday morning I decided to volunteer to record the big east coast wrestling tournament. Our school was hosting the tournament, and I got extra credit in my TV and Video class for volunteering. We stood there with video cameras on a tripod and recorded guys wrestling in tights. Not how I imagined spending my Saturday morning, but like I said it was for extra credit. I got bored very easily, and my friend told me to leave the camera on record so we could go to the field hockey tournament. We walked down there and talked to some of the girls we knew on the team. I never thought that day would be the one that I was going to meet the love of my life. I had work that night. I spent the shift on the self checkout lane. I noticed two girls, who went to my school and who were on the field hockey team, were checking out in one of my lanes. I wanted to prank them, so I closed their lane anytime they tried scanning their items. They realized I was closing their lane on purpose, and I was laughing at them. Later that night, I received a Facebook request from one of those girls... after tons of messages we exchanged phone numbers and started talking more. Little did I know, seven years later, I would become engaged to this girl and my life could not be better.


The engagement story

Her version:
This past October we celebrated our seven year anniversary.  It felt surreal that we are actually so much closer to being together for ten years than we are to year one.  Over the years our celebrations have changed from gifts to the gift of experience.  My gift to Todd was tickets to the Eagles game on our actual anniversary, and his gift to me was a photo shoot with a professional photographer. I was honestly less than impressed, but I was a good sport while he assured me that "it would be fun because it's something we haven't done out of all the years we have been together." Plus we are the worst at remembering to take pictures together, so I guess the thought of having actual pictures wasn't so bad. I was a little surprised that he picked out a date, time, and location without consulting me, but I honestly thought nothing of it.  As the time got closer and closer, I began to get more irritated at the thought of doing this photoshoot.  I shared quite openly that I was not a fan of the whole outing as our dog was not allowed to come, work was at a stressful high for me, and we needed to save the money. I also pointed out that it was dumb to get pictures taken when we would just have to do the same thing in the hopefully near future once we got engaged.  Well..while I was busy vocalizing this to my closest friends, Todd was secretly busy showing them all pictures of the ring he bought me and sharing every detail in his engagement game plan.

The day of our photoshoot, I slept in like really slept in for the first time since school started.  I woke up at 11:00 am to a flurry of text messages from him about what time I would be ready, what I was planning to wear, and other silly things.  I cooked breakfast had some coffee, and finally woke up enough to begin to think about the day.  I had no idea what I would wear and was oddly not stressed about finding the perfect outfit.  Eventually, I managed to come up with three possible outfits.  I sent some lovely mirror pictures to Todd and my friends of my outfit options.  After several votes, I finally picked out my favorite outfit.  It was a chilly fall afternoon, so I opted for jeans, riding boots, a plaid shirt, and a black quilted vest. I spent longer than usual doing my hair and makeup simply because I did not have to rush off to work like usual.  I enjoyed taking my time, and was quite pleased with how my look turned out.  Part of me was actually getting excited for our date.

Todd picked me up and we were on our way to the park.  He was smily and pleasant as always.  He assured me once again that we would have a fun afternoon. On the way we chatted about what we wanted to dinner, but we never figured it out.  We got to the park and met up with our photographers. We walked around, posed awkwardly, and laughed for the first half hour.  I realized that I was actually having fun! About mid way through I looked over and thought I saw a dog that looked like ours, but my attention was quickly changed by getting set for our next picture.  A minute later my brother came around the corner with our dog.  I was so confused, and when I asked what they were doing. My brother told me he was bored and decided to come see us. Still I thought nothing of it even though we lived an hour away from the park.  I then turned to see Todd reaching for something tied around Brody's neck as he was getting down on one knee! I was so surprised. Todd said some things that neither of us honestly don't really remember.  I do know he said my full name and asked if I would marry him. .. the two key things in a proposal. We then spent the next half hour taking more photographs. Todd was so prepared that he brought signs with cute but corny sayings on them.  We took some pictures with our dog and of just us.




The photo shoot ended, and my brother said he was taking the dog home because Todd was taking me out to dinner.  We parted ways and headed to the restaurant Todd made reservations at.  I tried to call my both of my parents and neither of them answered! Todd offered that they were probably sleeping. We got to the restaurant where I was greeted by my second surprise of the day. We walked in to find both of our families seated waiting for our arrival.  It was so nice to be able to share our night with the people that are closest to us.  I was even lucky enough to have my aunt (who is a jeweler) join us and put the ring guard on my ring since it was too big.   At the end of dinner, the restaurant's manager kindly provided us with complementary champagne (my favorite) for a toast.  Before heading home, I was provided with surprise number three of the day.  Todd arranged for my brother's best friend to dress up and be our driver.  It was so funny! Plus after a few drinks neither one of us were in any shape to drive home.  My parents were generous enough to keep the celebration going by having everyone to their house after dinner. We kept the champagne flowing, had dessert, and continued to share our excitement as a big family.  Once we got home, Todd surprised me again.  He gave me three bottles of wine each with my new monogram on the label.  By the end of the night I was exhausted and over joyed.  The day could not have been more perfect from the weather to how awesome our photographers were to the little details that Todd thought of.

I am so excited to begin planning our big day and to be able to spend the rest of my life with someone who has such a big heart.

His version:
The day we got engaged was on a beautiful November afternoon and she had no idea it was coming. I hired a professional photographer to take pictures of us. Mich thought it was just for fun because we never had them done before. Prior to that day, I told Mich our son (dog) Brody was not aloud to come because the photographers were not "dog people". She was not pleased with that one bit. 

Little did she know, I had a plan in place. She and I were going to go the park, and mid way through the shoot I'd have her brother bring Brody with him to the park so he could deliver the ring. As we were getting pictures taken of us, her brother showed up with Brody and she was so confused. Her brother walked Brody up to us, and I had a pouch on his collar. As I knelt down to get the ring out of the pouch, I asked my best friend to marry me. 

After she said yes, I told her we had dinner arrangements at a restaurant for the two of us.
She tried calling her parents on our way to dinner, but they didn't answer. Thats because I surprised her by having her family and my family meet us at the restaurant! 

Lastly, so we didn't have to worry about driving home, I asked her brother's friend if he could drive us home...after a few celebratory drinks it's never a good idea to drive. As we were leaving, I gave the keys to her brother's friend and he pulled the car around. As we walked outside, her brother's friend had a chauffeur's hat, white gloves, and a bow tie on. We got home that night and made a toast to our engagement. That is my side of the story of how I asked my best friend of seven years to marry me.


We would like to give a big thank you to our wonderful photographers! They did an amazing job. If you live in our area and need someone to snap your important moments, contact us for their information and a referral!
(No this is not an advertisement..just genuine appreciation)

We hope you enjoyed reading our sappy story!
xoxo

Monday, December 4, 2017

Wishlisted

I have never had so much trouble coming up with a Christmas list.  This year it has been such a struggle to create my list.  Usually, I'm able to write it within a half hour or so.  This year it has taken me several weeks to come up with just a small list. I'm not sure if it is because I am getting older, I'm working so I can purchase what I want, or if I'm just so content with life right now.  I'm thinking it is a combination of these three things. For probably the first time ever, my mom had to ask me for my wish list on multiple occasions.  I generally have it made and shared by mid November. 

Each year that I get older I find greater joy in giving gifts rather than receiving them. I take a decent amount of time to pick out thoughtful gifts rather than giving something meaningless out of obligation.  I enjoy watching the joy that is brought to my friends and family when they open something that was picked out special for them.  It makes me feel good when I can make others smile.  While this should be the reason that the holidays are considered the season of giving, I think the true meaning behind giving gets lost in the commercial shuffle. 

After lots of thinking I finally created my list. I consulted my Pinterest boards, some of my favorite online shopping sites, and thought about some practical items that I could use.  


Keep in mind that this is a true wish list. By no means do I expect to find all of these items wrapped under the tree Christmas day.  It is a true wish list- a list of things that I would like to have.  I do have to say I am a fan of the element of surprise, so I always enjoy a surprise gift or two! My mom is always the best at knowing what I want without me even realizing I wanted the item.

I'd love to hear what's on your wish list this holiday season.  Wishlist posts are one of my favorite to read! Feel free to comment with the item(s) your hoping to unwrap this year!

XOXO


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thankful Thursday

It's hard to believe that it's been a week since we were all sitting around the table enjoying time with our families.  I look back to last year and Thanksgiving seemed no different than the years before.. we got together with friends and family, ate and drank too much, and enjoyed some football.  This year Thanksgiving seems a bit different. The true meaning of the holiday is definitely resonating with me.  It's more than a time to just eat delicious food around the table with family. It's more than competing in the local 5k.  It's more than watching a parade filled smiling souls march by.  

This time of year is a time to express gratitude for all of life's blessings. This past year has been one filled with ups and downs for my family and me, so needless to say I feel like I have more blessings to count than ever before.  

 Launching my career as a young professional #Blessed
In the matter of a year I have began my life as a young professional.  This time last year I was embracing the last month of my college career while wondering what in the world I would do next.  My next adventure was a combination of day to day substitute teaching followed by a three month stint as a math long term substitute teacher.  The summer was was a frenzy of filling out job applications and attending interviews.  I think at one point I attended ten interviews within a fourteen day span.  With only a couple of weeks left in the summer, I was hired for my current position.  The past three months I have had the opportunity to teach in my own classroom. I've learned so much in such a short amount of time.  I feel lucky to be so young and have the opportunity to begin the career that I have dreamed about for so long. I am blessed to be surrounded with co-workers who support me, children who crave more knowledge, and the chance to make a difference. 

A new chapter of life is starting #Blessed
In case you haven't found out.. Todd and I got engaged the first weekend in November.  It is an exciting time as we begin this new chapter of life together.  I couldn't be happier to take our relationship to the next level.  We are in the very early stages of planning, but so far it has been lots of figuring out how and with who we want to share our special day with.  More details on all of this will come very soon!

Being able to make big girl purchases #blessed
My professional experiences have also allowed me to make my first "big girl purchase".  This time last year I was recovering from my first anxiety attack, and grieving the loss of my first car. It had broken down on my way home from student teaching.  
Disclaimer: it was the car my parents kindly gave me when I turned sixteen. It was the car that held many high school and college memories. 
It was also my source of transportation to Student Teaching and work.  Thankfully, my parents let me use their spare car for the following few months.  I am grateful to have saved enough money to purchase my own car.  With a rather long commute to work, I am reminded every day how lucky I am to be able to drive a reliable vehicle. 

My family  healthy #Blessed
The number one reason to be thankful this year...good health.
In January 2017, my mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  You can read about where things were in March/April here. As a family we have gone through quite the number of ups and downs, and her diagnosis has truly put life into perspective for us.  On March 1st, my mom finalized her treatment plan. Her surgery was scheduled for March 17th. The first two weeks of the month were filled with more doctor appointments and preparations for her to be out of commission for awhile. I helped her shop for items she would need after surgery and prep some food that we could freeze for future meals. March 17th came, and she endured a six hour surgery. Her surgery went beautifully! A few days later she came home from the hospital and her road to recovery began. Her spirits were high considering everything that had happened. Less than a week after her surgery, we found out that they had successfully removed all of her cancer (insert happy tears here). The month didn't end as she had hoped. Complications from surgery forced her to return back to the hospital. The second half of the month my dad and I took over all house responsibilities (cooking, cleaning, taking care of the dogs, taking care of my mom, grocery shopping, etc.). I didn't realize how much my mom actually did for us until she wasn't able to do these things anymore. The following eight months she patiently awaited to have her exchange surgery.  Two weeks ago she finally has her last surgery.  The process was not as easy as we had imagined, but she is now feeling much better and on the road to survivorship.  Through all of this I have definitely learned to appreciate the little things in life, cherish relationships, and not to sweat the small stuff in life.  It has also taught me who my real friends are too.  The amount of support my family has gotten this year has been overwhelming.  This a big thank you to those of you reading who have helped us. We are looking forward to starting the upcoming year healthy and filled with more gratitude than ever before. 

I think it is important to take the time to step back and count our blessings.  With the hustle and bustle of life it can be easy to forget what is important.  When life gets stressful, I encourage you to take a deep breath and remember how blessed you are.  I always enjoy reading what people are grateful for, so feel free to share a comment with your blessings! Think about it-what are your current reasons to be blessed right now?

XOXO







Monday, November 27, 2017

Life Lately

If you haven't noticed, I took a bit of a break from blogging. The past few months have been filled with transitions for me.  I shared with you back in August that I was finally hired as a middle school teacher.  (Check it out here!) While the transition to having my own classroom has not been as overwhelming as I thought it would be, I definitely have had very little free time.  I have been working to balance life, but clearly I'm not the best at that.  Now that the first quarter has ended, I am just beginning to feel like I have a grasp on life again.  Which brings me back to blogging!  It has been something I have missed and thought greatly about.  At one point, I debated whether or not to continue writing.  However..after a few kind words from friends and family, I was quickly reminded of all the reasons why I should continue to write.  

I'm excited to get back to writing, and share everything that has gone on with all of you.  While I have lots of exciting updates to come, I thought I would give you a preview with a few pictures.  










I'm hoping to post two to three times a week moving forward, but I would love to hear what posts you're hoping to read this upcoming month. 

XOXO
 


Monday, September 11, 2017

September 2017 Playlist


We are closer to mid September than I realized. Time is truly flying by.  The past few weeks I have been spending up to two hours a day in my car thanks to my commute to work.  Back in early August I was officially hired to teach middle school Language Arts at a fabulous school district.  The school I work at is about 50 minutes away from my house without traffic.  After a little bit of thought, I decided to suck it up and make the drive twice a day.  I thought it would better to stay at home with my parents for another year until I can bank enough money to purchase a house.  Plus I only have a one year contract, so I want to be positive that I'm staying there before I commit to up and moving. You're probably catching my drift by now, but I spend a lot of time in my car.  One of the essentials to a successful commute is a great playlist. I absolutely despise radio commercials, so you can usually find me scanning through the Sirius Radio stations or listening to my newest playlist on Spotify. 


What's on your current playlist?
XOXO

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Bye-Bye Summer, See You Next Year

And that's a wrap!  I doughnut want summer to end. Although summer doesn't officially end for another few weeks, I think most of us can agree that Labor Day is really the end of the season. After Labor Day we seemed to be bombarded with everything related to Fall, back to school shenanigans, and the weather begins to change. Our summer vacations have come and gone, and before we know it we will be preparing for the holiday season.

The past few months seemed to fly by.  When I look back at it, the Summer seems like a blur. It was filled with lots of fun and a little bit of stress (aka the job hunt). I was able to have a girls' beach weekend, spend a week in Charleston, discovered my love for spin class, found out how great yoga can be for the mind and body, read some great books, play field hockey, truly live and learn how things happen for a reason, and spent time with the people that I love. I'm sad to see the Summer go, but I'm excited to see what's to come.
...

Anyone else get the Sunday scaries yesterday and realize that it wasn't actually Sunday? Yesterday I spent half the day shopping and the other half conquering my to do list.  Somewhere in between these tasks, I began thinking how Labor Day Monday is really like the Sunday of Summer. It symbolizes the season coming to an end and school beginning again.  It's a time of transition filled with endless possibilities. 

This year the "Sunday of Summer" had my head spinning. Today is the day that essentially everything I've been so hard to achieve comes true.  Today is my first day of school as a teacher. It's honestly unreal when I actually take a minute to think about it.  As I get ready this morning, I am filled with so many emotions- excitement, a little anxiety, and pure joy!
...

Wishing you a fabulous work week!

XOXO


Friday, August 25, 2017

Let's Have Coffee


Happy Friday my friends! It's been two months since we've had a coffee date, so I thought it was time we schedule another one.  If you missed my last coffee date, then you can check it out here. Lots has happened this summer and I'm sure y'all have a lot to share as we transition into a new season. Grab your favorite go-to beverage right now and have a seat. Read a little bit, then participate by commenting or tweeting with your responses.  

What's your current go-to beverage?
While I was away on vacation a couple weeks ago, I found the most perfect coffee shop.  They had great breakfast/lunch foods and beverages. I actually drank their coffee black not once but twice.  Their iced coffee was so amazing that I didn't even feel the need to add cream nor sugar.  This is seriously big deal if you've ever seen me make my cream and sugar with coffee.... I mean coffee with cream and sugar. If you're ever in Charleston, South Carolina check it out! 

Do you have any last minute plans for the last little bit of summer?
Next week, I'll be working four days at my big girl job. We start our teacher in-service days... full days filled with meetings, curriculum planing, and a chance to meet some of my students. I'll be spending the most of the last bit of summer by working and making sure everything is ready to go for the first day of school.  However, I do have some fun plans too. I'll be going to the Zac Brown Band Concert Labor Day Weekend. I'm looking forward to the last hoorah before school officially starts. 

Have you cooked anything good lately?
This summer my family seemed to have developed a slight obsession with penne all vodka. I highly recommend this recipe! It's really tasty plus way easier than you'd think to make. I would suggest adding a veggie to the dish- spinach, broccoli, or squash to the mixture. 

What are your current obsessions?
I'm currently loving La Croix Grapefruit water, fresh tomatoes from the garden, coaching field hockey, and my guilty pleasure has become watching Siesta Key. Anyone else shamelessly watching this downgraded version of The Hills?

Have you set any goals lately?
As I start a new school year filled with new opportunities and experiences, I am focused on setting goals that I can actually achieve. My goals are 100% centered around living a balanced life. I think it can be so easy for first year teachers to make their job their life. I really am trying to make sure this doesn't happen. Sure I'm passionate about what I will be doing, but I also recognize that balance is needed to avoid burnout. My goals are to eat breakfast everyday, workout at least three times each week, and make time for fun. 

Don't forget to participate by answering my questions via twitter or by commenting.  I can't wait to hear what y'all have to say and any questions you may have for me!

Enjoy your weekend! 
XOXO