Tis the season!

Wrapping up one year and looking forward to the next. What an interesting process. I remember many years where I couldn’t wait for the fresh start that a new year would bring. Funny how optimistic I always am at this time of year considering I live in Wisconsin and the new year just means 4 more months of cold weather. 

This year however I am just truly thankful and blessed to have experienced all the days in this year so far. I’ve experienced so much growth in so many areas. 

This year marked 5 years of togetherness with my husband and 2 years of marriage. It has seriously flown by.  I’m so thankful for us and hope we continue to share many more trips around the sun together. 

I attended a life and business coaching group for 9 months out of the year that totally changed my perspective on many areas of my life. It’s helped me declutter, repriorotize, rediscover and challenge my thoughts and beliefs. 

I enjoyed my 2nd full year of consulting on my own. It’s been such a rewarding experience and opportunity to work on different projects with different people. Definitely a different kind of education. I’ve really started to appreciate and acknowledge what I can add to a team and project. Being my own cheerleader has been such a blessing. 

My step-son turned 14 and watching him grow and discover himself is something I’m thankful to be a part of every day. He’s such a blessing and gives me perspective and many learning experiences. 

We spent the year focusing on our finances and now find ourselves debt free (except for our home). This is such a freeing accomplishment and it takes so much pressure of our career choices and really allows us to enjoy our 9-5’s more since we don’t feel trapped by them. 

I was diagnosed with Ménière’s disease in August. An inner ear disorder that causes ear ringing, vertigo and nausea. By cutting out caffeine and sodium I’ve managed to control the symptoms (and my anxiety around the sparadic nature of the episodes). So, yay. 

I traveled to Napa (CA), Orlando (FL), Mexico, Lake Placid (NY), Door County (WI), Rockville (MD) and of course Cleveland and Cincinnati for work. I enjoyed every trip and was lucky enough to spend time with great people and make wonderful memories at each location. Not to mention some good food too. 

We took down a wall (thanks HGTV for the words “open concept”, repainted most of the main level, filled a dumpster of crap to declutter the house, and put in new vinyl wood planks instead of the old carpet. 

I started and cancelled a wine club. I started and cancelled a fitness subscription. I gave up giving up Nutella. 

And so many other wonderful things… with wonderful people. 

With only two weeks left in this year, I have nothing but gratitude and love for 2016 and can only imagine what 2017 will bring… and I look forward to finding out. 

Awesome Wedding Schedule/Tips Find!

I found the following article here: http://photosbyjennaleigh.com/blog/wedding-scheduling-101/

and more here: http://photosbyjennaleigh.com/blog/timelines/

Awesome ideas and things to consider while planning your (my) big day.  Trying to think of the schedule has been on the back burner until recently when I realized that people making travel plans would like to know that stuff sooner rather than later :)  Our photographer we had picked didn’t quite work out so we are back to the drawing board on that one.  A little lost for what is likely a lot gained.  The wedding expenses have finally become a little overwhelming.  It’s hard to live our lives every day and save for one of the most expensive days of our lives.  We were really good in the begining… less good lately… hopefully it’s ciclical and we will be more good(er) soon!  <– look at all that college paying off ;)

More wedding stuff… ideas, whimsy and florals

Just look at the floral arrangements on this page.  Holy amazing!!  Dear close friends, some of you have about 1 year to perfect this… then do it for me for free.  Is that a lot to ask?  I would love to get all my girlfriends together and start a wedding business making beautiful stuff like this because…

1) brides are always getting married

2) anything with the word “wedding” in it is marked up 7,328%

3) i’ve been looking at a 30,000 line spreadsheet and this is way more pretty to look at.

This little color board is awesome.  Love all of it.

I love all these ideas I have found for wedding parties! Too cute!

Venue sneak peaks

It is tough to find pictures of my venue out there… so when I come across some that I can share… i get pretty excited!!

Decorated for another wedding, but simple and beautiful.

Decorated for another wedding, but simple and beautiful.

The fireplace, once again decorated for another wedding.. but I still love the warmth of it.

The fireplace, once again decorated for another wedding.. but I still love the warmth of it.

In love with these colors…

and this wedding…

 

Since we have our venue and date… and I have my dress… I’ve been taking some time to just enjoy being engaged.  I picked up a couple things from Joanne Fabrics and Target for the wedding/engagement party… and random stuff for myself.  I love thinking about getting married, planning for it… I just don’t like BUYING for it.  I think I need a second job just to pay for all the little things I’d like to have in my wedding.  I see some crucial… “is this a WANT or a NEED” conversations with myself happening in my future.

So far we have paid for everything in full… hence my lack of moolah at the moment.  I got to see my tax return for about a minute before I transferred it towards the barn rental.  Totally worth it though to be able to think about being debt free (in regards to the wedding) as it approaches.  Then we can focus on saving for our Italian honeymoon :)  Hellooooo wine, cheese and pasta!

 

Well this was a pleasant wedding break… back to work.  Big promotion at work = YAY!  Working all weekend to keep my sanity = less yay… but still worth it :)

 

Ya get what ya give… so give good!

 

Sparkles and decisions…

I don’t know about other engaged people, but the hardest thing for me to conquer to start with is the battle between what is practical, and what is wonderfully wedding whimsical.  I’d love to have the perfect venue with yummy food and music to die for.  However, all that adds up to frankly just too much money.  This dilemma of money vs. wedding wants leaves me constantly trying to decide what is necessary versus what is unnecessary, however still nice to have versus what I don’t need at all.

I have obviously been following too many blogs where people have either saved for a LONG time or have family money, or have maxed out their credit cards.  I don’t want to be the later of that list.  I do however want to make the event something that people are grateful they traveled for.  I have family that will be traveling great distances to wish me luck in this journey of marital bliss.

Honestly we’ve had a recent loss in the family that has made it hard to think about all this stuff without feeling petty or like I was focusing on the wrong things.  I lost my Aunt Mary un-expectantly last week and on one hand it makes me appreciate what I have, life, love, my physical experiences… so much.  However, I also feel like deciding what colors to choose seems so menial in the grand scheme of things when family members have lost their sister, mother, grandmother, etc.

I’m so thankful to have recently started going to church and renewing my faith.  Honestly, if I hadn’t felt closer to God than I have… well ever… this would have probably pushed me over the edge and I wouldn’t have been able to cope at all.  Having a renewed faith and true belief that I will see Aunt Mary again and all my other family… has helped.  I have “talked” to Aunt Mary daily since she left us.  I have asked her to be with those who are hurting the most, I have asked her what’s it’s like up there, and asked God to look over those who are still here and hurting very much.

She didn’t answer me, not in a “I hear voices” kind of way anyways.  I do know that I feel better every time I “talk” to her and God about everything that’s going on and it makes me feel closer to her and everyone.

So, from shallow thoughts of weddings and sparkles to deeper thoughts of family and forever.  What a Monday!