Tag Archives: wedding

Our Wedding: Part 5

20 May

Hi friends!  Long time no see… more on that later.  But I’ve had some spare time and wanted to finally, finally get down the last bit of the wedding posts.  Hope all is well with everyone! Enjoy! :)

The Reception

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Making our grand entrance!

The song started Usher’s “Without You” and we all individually entered.  We actually ended up doing our pairings differently so people could be announced as a couple.  We had the best man (Adam’s brother) and fiancé, then my brother and his wife, and finally my sister and the flower girls.  I loved it.


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My sister and the girls!

After our entrance we made our way to our seats, and I finally had the chance to look around.  I looked and looked and almost laughed/cried.  It was SO beautiful!  It lookedSOOOO classy.  I was in shock.  Not that my expectations were low, but I certainly was okay with having a less than regal celebration.  But with all the hundreds of candles and decorations, it just looked perfect. Just goes to show you that tons of candles and a few flowers can really make it look like something special!  It was such a beautiful moment to look around with Adam at what we had created.  Seeing all of our friends and family smiling and chatting.  Pure magic.


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Our lovely buffet tables and extra flowers my florist threw in!

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The delicious cupcakes.

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My stinking sticks that were such a pain turned out beautifully!

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Pinecone instructions for the guest book. My Grandpa found this monster pinecone!

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My biggest project – finding tons of pinecones and turning them into name cards.

The Dads opened up the reception with a couple quick welcome speeches.  We wanted both of our Dads to say a few words, as for us this was the joining of two families.  Adam and I were also contributing a good portion of the costs, so we wanted it to feel like a joint endeavor (not hosted by one person per say).  They said some wonderful short words of welcome, followed by a sung prayer.  About 40 of our guests were friends from a singing group we were in during college.  They sang a beautiful blessing and salads were served!


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My Dad starting off the welcome.

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Sitting with Adam at our modified Sweetheart table – you can see my grandparents to the left of Adam.

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Adam’s Dad giving a welcome.

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Our friends singing the blessing.

The food and wine was delicious and we soon went up to the buffet to get our food.  We went with plated salads and rolls, but a hot buffet for the entrée.  I loved it.  Adam and I have performed at many banquets, and honestly our favorite was buffets – hot food and you get what you want.  It made for an easy choice.

We managed to eat a full dinner and chatted with our family.  For our seating we did sort of a modified sweetheart table.  Adam and I sat at a sweetheart table, flanked by two large tables.  One held all of our siblings, and the other held the parents and grandparents.  We wanted them in a place of honor and close to us, but we wanted to be alone as well.  It was just awesome.

After we ate our food, Adam and I got up to start greeting tables.  I was super proud that we made our way all the way around to the “adult” tables, aka family friends or family members.  On the other side of the room was our “under 30” section and we didn’t get a chance to formally greet the tables – but we saw a whole lot more of them on the dance floor.  Plus we greeted them at the church.

Once we greeted tables and the buffet line was winding down, we wanted to get going right away on the rest of the “official” reception duties.  We ended up switching our order because of some reason that I honestly can’t remember (maybe something about clearing the buffet?).  But we knew we wanted to power ahead, so we just went with the change.  Up first was cutting the cake.  Our song came on “Hit me with You Best Shot” and we started the cut.  I couldn’t believe how much Adam took charge.  He meant business!  He put his hand on top of mine and cut that stinking cake!  And here I was thinking I’d be the lead ;)  We cut our two small bites and Adam sweetly fed it to me.  I was surprised.  Not that I thought he would smash me, I thought he might give me a little bit of a hard time.  I took my bite and as carefully as I could smeared it on his lower cheek and lips.  Success!  I didn’t make a hug mess, but I managed to give him a little bit of trouble.  In turn, Adam grabbed me and sloppily kissed me, smearing frosting on my lips. There’s the Adam I know and love.  It was super cute and playful, with no mess to clean up.  Perfect.

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Cutting our cake!

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In the aftermath :)

Up next, the speeches from our siblings.  My sister gave the most incredible speech.  To say she blew me away was an understatement.  It was touching, fun, loving, and FUNNY.  Not that I wouldn’t say my sister isn’t funny, but the speech was laugh out loud funny.  It was so great.  Adam’s brother did an amazing job as well – funny and heartfelt.  The two speeches complimented each other perfectly.  I was so so touched by them both.  Perfection.


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My beautiful sister giving her hilarious speech.

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We really enjoyed it.

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Kyle’s speech was pretty amazing as well.

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Adam lost it a couple times.

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Grandma enjoying the speeches.

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Next up – the scary part.  Our first dance.  We danced to our song “Where You Are.” It was an easy choice as that song has just always been the song of our relationship.  The big catch though – we had secretly choreographed part of our dance.  2 minutes of the song we did the typical slow dance mush gush middle school style, and then BAM at 2:14 we broke out into a Viennese waltz!  The reaction of our friends and family was priceless!  The surprise effect was awesome.  But in the moments leading up to the bridge and our cue, I kept hugging Adam tighter and tighter.  I was SO nervous.  We had practiced as best we could, but we had never done the full thing in my dress!  We made it through successfully and had such a blast.  The cheering from everyone at the end was amazing.  Totally worth all those extra rehearsals ;)


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I love these photos.

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Checking out Adam’s new ring.

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The nervousness starting – it was almost waltz time!

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Onto our ‘fabulous’ waltz – we had a lot of fun.

Adam and his Mom did a sweettwo minute version of Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me.”  It was touching and sweet.  Though I was a bit nervous through it, because my Dad and I had something a bit unconventional up our sleeves.  We chose the song “Danger Zone.” Yeah… the song from Top Gun.  Backstory: My dad flew fighter jets and that was the song of our childhood.  I have such happy memories running around pretending to be an airplane BLASTING that song. When I sent my Dad a list of 5 or 6 songs as contenders I was hoping he’d pick it.  And sure enough he did.  :) We “choreographed” running at each other from opposite ends of the long dance floor as planes (clearly I have no shame) and then danced atwo step of sorts.  It was so ridiculous and I loved it.  Our flower girls joined us, wanting to get in on the fun and we all just danced around in a circle.  The band leader told me it was his strangest father daughter request in all his years in the biz.  Haha.  I take it as a compliment ;)


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Adam and his lovely Mom.

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Something funny happened!

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My Dad and I being goof balls.

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I bite my lip when I dance. It’s a problem.

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The girls joined us on the dance floor!

With the dances, speeches, and cake over – it was time to just relax!  The band started playing their open set and the magic began.  We danced our socks off AND so did everyone else!!  We couldn’t believe how many people were on the dance floor the whole night.  It was incredible.  Our decision to base our wedding date around a band was confirmed as we saw our guests have an incredible night.  We were complimented ENDLESSLY about the band.  Adam said at one point he went to the bathroom and sort of forgot it was a band, they sounded so much like the original songs.  Best. decision. ever.


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As the night wore on we were amazed by how many people were still at the reception.  With the snow, we really thought people might bail a bit early.

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Before everything was over the band leader made an announcement and called Adam up to the stage.  A few months before I asked the band if Adam could sing with them.  I told them Adam is a phenomenal singer and Jessie’s Girl is his go-to Karaoke song.  I knew he wouldn’t disappoint.  But I knew if I asked Adam in advance he’d say no and be mad.  But…. I also knew he would have a blast if it just “happened.”  The band loved my idea, and I kept my secret from everyone.  I knew what was happening as they called him up.  Adam looked at me with wide eyes and I just smiled coyly. He went up and the band started giving him a hard time, explaining that they heard he was a singer and wanted him to join in, but they weren’t going to tell him the song.  The crowd was pulled in, and we all started cheering.  I was SO happy as the opening chords to Jessie’s Girls started.  Adam owned the stage and if he was feeling any reservations he hid it – he rocked that song like a professional.  And let me tell you, we all LOVED it.  Adam eventually pulled me up to join him on stage and I danced around with my rockstar.  It was perfect.
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As the night wore on, the dance floor remained packed and I danced like I never knew a bride could dance in a wedding gown.  I LOVE dancing and once I get going, I just can’t stop! (Seriously, it’s a problem…) It was so much fun.  The final song came on as planned, a 60’s medley.  It ended with “Ain’t No Mountain” and it started sinking in that this was it!  The band made a quick announcement that we were going to take a group picture and our sparkler exit was about to begin.

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You like these moves?

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The whole group together!

There was just one problem.  When we planned a sparkler exit it was because we thought there would be about 50 people left behind…. we probably had 125-150 people left behind.  It was a bit of madness to get out and we sort of ended up doing a receiving line while we waited to sign the bill (yeah, odd we had to sign the bill at the end of the night).  It was awesome to greet people but I know it really slowed things up.  This was probably the biggest thing we didn’t anticipate, but eventually we made it out and to our SUV.  Allie tucked us in the car, along with our cake and my bag. She closed the door and we opened the window waving at everyone standing outside.


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As we pulled away, I sat back in my seat and turned to look at Adam.  The happiness of the day sunk in.  We were married.


Our Wedding: Part 2

17 Feb

Check out Part 1

Our First Look

Once Adam and I were ready to go for the day and had taken a couple of solo pictures, it was time for our first look.  We decided to see each other before the ceremony because it made sense for us, our timeline, and our personalities.  Honestly, Adam has a very calming influence on me – the idea of spending more time with him on our wedding day seemed like a perfect way to relax and enjoy the day (our ceremony wasn’t until 4:30).  Another big factor: we love efficiency…and the efficiency of doing all the pictures ahead of time is pretty hard to beat.  And another big thing – I cry.  Like.  A lot.  We needed to do our nice pictures before I got all emotional and mush gush during the ceremony.

We did our first look outside in the courtyard across from the inn.  This worked out perfectly as it allowed for family members to watch the first look from the windows.  It allowed them to be involved, while giving us an intimate moment together.  Adam went outside first (brave soul – it was about 25 degrees out).  I made my way down with Allie, and my sisters.  We crossed the street toward the courtyard with Adam and our paparazi.  He had his eyes closed and back towards my direction.  We started getting closer and I was just so excited to finally see him.  It had been hard keeping all the secrets about my dress, I was excited to officially start our wedding day together.

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Aww poor cold Adam waiting on me.

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With my entourage making my way to the first look!

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Almost ready!

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Okay Julie, now count to three!

My plan for the first look was to walk toward him, instead of the usual tap on the shoulder thing you often see.  I wanted to emulate walking down the aisle, since he will already have seen me at that point.  My sister called out 1….2….3… and Adam opened his eyes.  I started laughing and walked toward him, my dress dragging in the snow.  I remember thinking “man, I shouldn’t have stood so far away from him!  This is a long way to walk.”  Finally I reached him and we hugged and kissed.  I think it was starting to sink in that we made it to our wedding day.

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No peeking :)

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I think he’s showing some emotion!

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Don’t sob. don’t sob. don’t sob.

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Hellllooooo there!

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Oh hey family creepers.


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Showing Adam the full look!

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Happy and together.

Despite the cold, we took several pictures at this point while waiting for the limo to show up.  It was freeeeeezing, but everyone was really a trooper as we took a couple of different combinations of pictures.  I ended up switching into my winter boots, and I must say… those were LIFE SAVERS.  They made the day so comfortable and really helped me feel very toasty warm.  I LOVED having them.  I can’t recommend having warm feet enough if you’re going the winter wedding route.

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My boots rocked my world. So warm!

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Hey let’s hide under my veil. Like you do.

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With my ladies!

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Wearing our gloves Adam’s grandmother made for us!

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Hey let’s hide behind these balloons and kiss.

Eventually we saw a small janky looking bus pull up to the Inn.  “How funny, someone else must have an event!” Well… turns out that crazy looking old bus was for us.  Dreams of our lovely limo vanished as we all piled into the bus (that also had a bathroom with no door).  We were all laughing at the change of plans, and honestly it worked out kind of great having all that space.  It wasn’t that nice, but it was spacious.  And it gave us something to laugh hysterically about – for some reason that day we all thought it was really funny.  Plus, it was a vehicle that was on time so we didn’t even think about fighting it.  Not worth it.

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Enjoying our spacious vehicle.

We made our way to our one photo location.  Initially in the planning stages we wanted to stop by a couple places around downtown Indy.  But the more Adam and I discussed it, the more sense it made to stick to one location.  It would cut down on wasted time and make for a more stress-free time.  It turned out to be a brilliant decision as we had a lovely time, never felt rushed, and still got a variety of pictures.

We chose to have our photos at the downtown library for a few reasons.  One, it has a ton of variety – it was renovated and has a really neat old-fashioned looking part and a stark modern area as well.  Two, Adam and I are big dorks that love to read.  Three, we went on one of our first “dates” at the library for Adam’s med school prom (yes, that is really a thing).  Honestly if we had a big budget, we would’ve chosen the library as our venue – it’s just GORGEOUS.

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With my ladies again!

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The whole group looking fancy.

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The handsome gentlemen.

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Getting ready to go in the library. There may have been a bit of heckling by random people hahah.

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Completely fancy people. I mean right??

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Ooooo… so handsome!

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A little “Beauty and the Beast” no??

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Let’s snuggle on the stairs in the library.

Once we had our fill of the inside library… we realized it was SNOWING.  So we just HAD to go outside and capture all that glorious snow.  My dream was coming true.  Snow on our wedding day.  Pinch me!

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Pretend like you’re not cold and cheer!

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Let’s be all dreamy and kissy… and freezing.

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Both of us were on cloud 9 with all this snow.

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Cuddly almost spouses.

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Just giddy!

After about 45 minutes at the library we piled back in our silly bus and made our way to the church.  It had just started to snow, so it was a good thing we were making our way.  Once we got to the church we did all of our family pictures.  We had another 45 minutes or so to do all of the combinations of family members.  It ran like clockwork as we spent a lot of time coming up with an order that would be extremely efficient.

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Family photo fun!

Once all the photos were complete I made my way back into the children’s nursery to hide out.  At this point I was starting to feel a bit of a headache/light headed.  I pounded some water and advil, and ate about 4 cookies from our cookie bar.  Hahah, it worked out perfectly :)  

I was very surprised how nervous I was getting.  It seemed like the morning and photos were all fun and games… and it finally was dawning on me what was happening.  I started thinking about all of the people out there and got a little overwhelmed.  Honestly these feelings caught me a bit off guard.  I perform and am used to doing things in crowds… but for some reason I was just anxious.  I sat down in one of the rocking chairs and just tried to calm down/zen out.  I think all of the busy-ness of the day and emotions were catching up with me.  I was happy that there were no photographers or videographers with me.  It was very welcome to just have a bit of time alone.  Everyone did a good job of giving me space without me even asking for it.  I think having a bit of downtime on such a busy day made for a much more successful rest of the evening.

It reached 4:30 and I knew we were getting close.  Due to the snow I knew we’d delay start until 4:35, but no later (we told them to only delay 5 minutes in case of snow).  The clock seemed to be counting down incredibly slowly, but quickly at the same time.  Eventually I heard the music of our singers start.  This was it.  Time to go become Adam’s wife.

Our Wedding: Part 1

14 Feb

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Happy Valentine’s Day!  Adam and I are planning a perfect evening of Olympics-watching and writing thank you notes.  Ahh perfection!  Things around here have been surprisingly busy: lots and lots of writing.  Of the thank you note variety.  I must admit….somehow it doesn’t seem fair to write blog posts when I have so many thank you notes I should be writing.  But we’re making excellent progress on those.  Plus new job prep (did I mention I need a whole new wardrobe for it?? Yeah a whole other post for a whole other time), and all the stuff that goes along with moving…I somehow feel busier unemployed than I did with my job.  With my last few days of ‘freedom’ looming before starting my job next week, I figured I should finish up a couple wedding posts! Especially now that I have the professional shots back! Can I get a woot??!

Wedding Morning

When I woke up on January 18th I distinctly remember thinking

“I really don’t want to wake up…”

Despite it being my wedding day, I just couldn’t muster the desire to get out of the warm, warm cozy bed. To be honest I was a little surprised…aren’t you supposed to be pooping rainbows, sunshine, and happiness on your wedding day??  Was something wrong with me?? After about 10 minutes of battling waking up in my head, my ‘bridal coordinator’ Allie arrived.  With Starbucks.

photo (26)

Allie and I have been friends for 7 years and have planned on being each other’s ‘person’ for weddings.  Essentially you need a run around person that isn’t needed for pictures that can just do stuff for you.  A grunt, if you will.  Having Allie around to just help keep the timeline on track, answer my phone, and make sure I ate/drank in the morning was priceless.

Allie wasted no time accessing the situation (of me grumpily clinging to the bed).  She ordered me off to the shower, and what a difference a shower can make.  I soon got out of my sleepy fog and realized IT’S WEDDING DAY!  We all got some breakfast and drank our Starbucks, making sure everything was ready to begin.  We rented an adorable inn (with 11 rooms) for all family and had all the make-up/hair gals coming our way to get ready.  This made for a relaxing morning logistically – all we had to do was stay put!  With the winter/snow aspect of it, I really didn’t want us driving around from place to place.  Right before the make-up folks arrived, the nerves set it.  I don’t know if it was drinking coffee (not a usual coffee drinker) or what… but my stomach was churning.  I took some tums, chugged some water, and sat down to get my hair done.

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My lovely shoes! (Found these puppies on sale for 30 bucks!)

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The dress!

While I tried to soak in the morning and relax, Allie was buzzing around making sure things were moving according to schedule.  I had created  several documents in advance that she essentially just had to execute – it worked out perfectly.  She executed my vision while I could focus on getting ready and being a happy and sweet bride :)  While getting dolled up I invited several close friends over for a “bridal luncheon” – essentially eat lunch, drink mimosas, and giggle was the plan.  It was awesome getting to see them all in the morning before all the madness began.  I created a “getting ready for wedding” playlist to help set the mood. Allie made sure that everyone arrived and found their way to the right place.  Again, it was awesome not thinking about all that myself.

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Allie keeping things on task.

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Who doesn’t love a mimosa?

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The yummy spread.

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Look at all that healthy stuff!

The getting-ready process went pretty smoothly as I had already done trials, and pretty much knew what to expect.  Though I must admit, we did have a little bit of a hair panic.  And by we, I mean me.  My hair initially ended up looking a bit differently than we had settled in the trial.  I looked in the mirror and just about cried. We had already eaten up our time buffer at this point, so I was starting to sweat.  I told my hair gal that I needed to move on and get my make-up done, but there were a few things I wanted to adjust after to look more like the trial.  I sat down to get my make-up done and my stomach was now a little churn machine.  Inside I was borderline panicking about my hair.  I put on my best actress face to hide any frustration, as I really didn’t want any negative energy to spoil the morning.  Afterward my sister told me she had no idea I was upset – success!! Once my make-up was complete, my hair was touched up.  Pretty soon I was feeling much better.  It still wasn’t perfect to what I had envisioned, but my stomach no longer hurt about it…good enough for me!  And honestly we didn’t really have time to fiddle with it anymore.  At that point, it just needed to work.  I tried hard to shake the internal stress of the morning and just let it go.  Again, I really didn’t want any outward stress or negative actions to affect the mood.

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One of my adorable flower girls getting ready.

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Carolina getting all dolled up.

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Make-up time!

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Are they not the cutest??

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My beautiful sister.

Once we were all dolled up and ready to go, Adam and I exchanged little gifts.  Honestly we viewed “throwing each other a wedding” as our gift, but wanted to do something small and sentimental.  Allie ran mine over to his room and collected mine.  At this point the videographers arrived to capture the rest of the day moving forward.  Adam gave me the sweetest letter that instantly had me crying (he even put ‘P.S. stop crying’ at the bottom) and a picture frame with a few sentimental tokens/pictures in it.  It was perfect.

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Reading Adam’s letter.

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He’s so sweet.

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Must. Stop. Crying.

I gave Adam a journal that I kept since we went to dating long distance in July.  It was full of pictures and words of excitement about the wedding and our life together.  Later Adam told me I managed to squeeze a tear out of him, which completely shocked me.  Prior to that I’d only seen him cry once.  Ever.  And it was maybe a tear.  I do all the crying for the two of us ;)

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So cute!

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Adam reading his gift.

Once we opened our gifts (in separate rooms in the Inn), we each got dressed and took some pictures solo.  Adam got ready in his room with his Best Man (brother) and Best Groomsmen (my brother) and his parents.

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Tying his shoes. He’s so talented.

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The guys getting ready.

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Adam with his lovely mama.

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All 3 ready to go!

I’m glad we had this time built in, as it also helped me calm down from the morning. Putting on my dress was a magical feeling.  It was really happening.  This was it.  I was so so happy.  I made sure to have my mom zip me up. As I kept adding the different details (veil, shoes, etc) I just kept feeling more and more bridal.  The stress of the morning washed away – it was time to be a bride.

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With my sisters!

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Saying goodbye to friends after the “Bridal Luncheon”

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Getting ready!

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Mom zipping me up!

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With my Dad.

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My Grandparents looking at the final result!

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Future sister-in-law Katie helping me with the veil.

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Grandma helping me with my bolero.

We grabbed about 30 minutes of ‘bridal portraits’ before heading out to see Adam.  We wandered from room to room in the adorable Inn grabbing shots.  It was a lot of fun and the perfect way to sort of calm down before the day REALLY began.

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With my bouquet.

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Hello, I am a bride.

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Looking all fancy.

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In the hallway of the inn.

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Touching my veil. Like you do.

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Looking all old-fashioned.

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Funny fact: this photo was taken in a bathroom (with awesome light), but still a bathroom.

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Also taken in a bathroom.

Adam and I settled on a “First Look” in order to expedite our picture-taking and have a smoother timeline for guests (since we weren’t having a cocktail hour).  We did one final check to make sure we had everything ready to go before heading out to see Adam and really get this day started…

And here I feel like I should say “Stay tuned for the next wedding installment!”  ;)

Happy Friday!!




We’re Married!

27 Jan
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The teaser pic from our photographer.

Hellllooooo!!!  A big hello from the new Mrs!  We did it – we officially got married!  And I’m happy to report everything went off without a hitch.  Well, we did get hitched… har har har.  The day was lovely and we’re just so excited to be married.  Le sigh.

Anyways, we just got back from our honeymoon in Key West and I’m in packing overdrive mode  lazily packing things while watching TV to get ready to join my husband in Nashville, TN.  Lots of excitement to report.  :)

I’ve got some more wedding thoughts/tips/details posts coming up once things settle down.  But in the meantime… some proof that it happened!!  Note: Settling for iphone pictures until the official photos are back!  Enjoy :)

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Friday started with getting pretty nails.

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My sister and I at the rehearsal dinner.

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Saturday morning started with Starbucks!! A very close friend was my “bridal coordinator” which meant she managed my timeline. She’s a boss.

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Getting all dolled up.

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Once I was dressed we did some solo bridal portraits and pictures with my family.

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We went to the public library to take most of our pictures because it’s gorgeous and offered great indoor and outdoor spaces. Yep… needed for a January wedding.

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So excited to see how the video and photos turn out!

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We did all of our formal and family photos before the ceremony.

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You may kiss the bride!

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We did it! Officially married!

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Hooray :)

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Touching up before the reception.

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With my Matron of Honor, Carolina.

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Getting ready to cut our cake!

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Can you see the devious thoughts on my face?? ;)

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My beautiful sister gave an awesome speech. Who knew she was so funny???

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On the stage with the band!

It feels pretty awesome to be married, and it was just such a lovely day.  More later…hope all is going fabulously!!

– Mrs. Kelly


Make-up and Hair Trials!

8 Jan

Today is the LAST double digit countdown day before our wedding.  Did you read that!?  Just TEN days to go.  Seriously, where did the time fly?  I feel like it has gone by in an instant, yet also has slowly and painfully crawled by…  if that’s possible.  On the wedding front things are feeling fairly under control (winning).  My new full time job is the wedding/moving/packing, and my days have been very full.  It’s a nice full though.  I’m plenty busy, but I’m working toward an awesome and exciting deadline.  (and the incentive prize is a week in Key West!)

Today and yesterday I’ve spent labeling, boxing, and organizing all of our reception decorations.  Adam and I have been doing them all ourselves, and borrowed most of the them from a close friend.  We are having family/friends set it all up the morning before the wedding  so I’m working meticulously to make things as clear and as organized as possible (gosh I wish I could set it all up myself on Friday, grrr).  My boxes include labels with table numbers, pictures of the final setup look, and room layout.  Essentially, I’m trying to make it fool proof.  And more importantly, easy on our helpers.  We are SO appreciative of them helping that we want the setup process to be as stress free and “fun” as possible.

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Ooo the start of fun wintery centerpieces!

Another big task this week is sending out individual timelines to all involved parties.  Which in our case, is a lot of people.  I haven’t completed this task, but I’ve made a good dent and should have them all out by Friday.  I’ve helped out with many weddings, and there is nothing more stressful than not knowing what is expected of you.  These timelines should help people understand the key points where they are needed (ie. alerting family of family photos, alerting singers of rehearsal times).  Here’s to an easy day!

Who knew there were SO many logistics in planning a wedding!?  I do a lot of organization and planning in my work-life, so I feel skilled to handle the job… but holy moly, I can TOTALLY see why people hire wedding planners.  I honestly thought they were a frivolous luxury, but if you aren’t an organizer or don’t have a lot of helpers, it really would be a huge, huge help.  Especially if you have a lot of moving pieces like ours has turned out to have…oops.

We are hiring a day-off coordinator (different than a planner turns out) who will help us set up/tear down the reception and be there to put out any fires.  We found our gal through a friend of a friend.  She’s super sweet and is in college working to build her wedding experience portfolio.  It’s a win/win for both of us (not super expensive for us, and lots of experience for her!).  Best money spent, I feel so relieved I don’t have to bark orders in my wedding gown.  Nicely bark.  Efficiency people.  But even sweetly barking brides in a wedding dress somehow come off as a Bridezilla.  We definitely don’t want people to think I’m cray – I’m just passionate about organization!


My 3rd most important task this week: checking for wedding blizzards.

Anyways, it’s been a fun week, and I’ve truthfully been so busy it hasn’t really sunk in that my last day of work was Friday.  I still feel full-time!   Full-time WEDDING!

One exciting piece of the wedding process recently came together and I’m just thrilled with the outcome.  I had my hair and make-up trials!  WOOT!  Now I know what I’m going to look like.  That’s a pretty fun feeling to be able to picture the day with those details.


Because I’m a make-up snob I went with the highly rated (with the highly corresponding price) make-up place here in Indy.  And after my make-up trial, I’m thrilled that I did.  I’ve always felt like I could do a pretty solid job on my make-up, but when I walked out of my trial I felt like royalty (WAY better than I could’ve done).  She did a super job and really focused on the things I wanted: strong brows, even fresh skin, a deep lip, fabulous lashes (individual lashes, not the strip).  I can’t wait to see the final product on W-day!


Oh. my. brows. I love eyebrows.


Surprisingly, I ended up being pickier on my hair trial than I was for my make-up trial.  I think this is because I didn’t have a 100% clear vision on the look.  I knew roughly how I wanted, but couldn’t articulate the exact hairstyle.  I ended up having two hair trials because my lady is so sweet and accommodating.  The first trial went well, but I ended up thinking it was a bit too simple.  I wanted something with a bit of “Wow” factor without screaming “hey I’m going to prom!”  My thinking was old hollywood glamour.  The vintage look is very popular now and I’ve always styled my hair in vintagey swoops, that I knew it would be  a good fit.  Plus a lot of those hair styles are very classic and elegant which is exactly the adjectives I’m going for!

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Side! oooo look at all that lovely swoopage.

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Some soft details that hopefully don’t scream PROM!

So what do you think??  (Note: it’s too late to have a bad opinion, if you hate it lie like you’ve never lied before.  IT’S STUNNING KELLY, would work quite well).

Excited to see the final combined result??  Hard to believe it’s just around the corner!  My vision of “classic, elegant” bride is coming together and I’m so happy with the results so far!


My final detail that I just finished up today is a hair clip made from pieces of my Mom’s veil/headpiece.  I’m so happy with my handiwork and it will be SO special wearing a bit of the SAME thing she wore down the aisle. Oh gosh, the tears are already coming.  I’m going to be a mess.  This puppy will tuck into the back of my hair and peek out.

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I’m a crafty lady.

Anyways, wedding progress is great and I’m still alive! :)  More later and hope you’re having an awesome week!


Happy Holidays!

30 Dec

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and almost Happy New Year!  Can you believe it’s almost the end of 2013?  Hard to imagine!  Where has this year gone??  I’ve just returned from an awesome week of relaxation with Adam and my family/his family.  It was perfection!  The right bit of relaxing before things start to get crazy (wedding countdown: 19 days).  We did a little of this:


The future husband and I (holy craziness).


Adam and my brother relaxing (we did a lot of relaxing).


Christmas morning! Too many presents!


The girls baking cookies with Grandma.


I napped a record number of places.


The three “kids” together.


Hooray for ice skating! The lake finally froze over enough to skate. It was fabulous.


Getting our workout on.

Back to the schedule!

Between all the cookies, candy, and other various forms of junk food – I must admit it feels pretty good to be back at home and in the swing of my routine again.  It’s fun to enjoy those treats, but dang, it always feels good to get back to normal!  Let’s just say I ate my wedding stress this past weekend and enjoyed more than my fair share of sweets.  So much for “slow and steady wedding prep.”  Fingers crossed that all my weight lifting has upped my metabolism so I don’t have to frantically work to burn all the cookie weight off!


Oh how could I resist!? I never knew my will power was so weak.


Made by little cute hands. I just HAD to eat their cookies! :)

I’m back in my workout routine of a P90X/ChaLean hybrid.  I’m mixing workouts from each program and crossing them off on my super fancy schedule.  One technique that I have always found incredibly helpful (and MOTIVATING!) throughout the years is printing off an actual workout schedule and physically crossing off the workouts.  I did this a lot for marathon training and applied the same principle to the “month before the wedding” training.  I laid out all my workouts and all I have to do is check the schedule and cross it off.  There is something so incredibly satisfying about putting a big X through a completed workout.  It also helps because some mornings I may think “hmm what am I going to do this morning??” and choose the same workouts I like instead of forcing myself to do some variety and even those stinky workouts I don’t like (hello push-ups and ab ripper, I’m talking to you).  I missed a few workouts over the holidays, but did a solid effort and all the ice skating was a nice cardio filler (AND it didn’t hurt my knees, BONUS!).  If you’ve never tried a good old fashioned printed workout schedule, it’s a huge help in motivating and setting a routine.

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My lovely schedule. Can’t wait to keep counting down the days!

Pre-Wedding Relaxation

I also spent a few days down in Nashville with Adam right before coming home.  We used this time to just lay low and enjoy some quiet time together before the madness hits.  We went on daily hour walks (I know, right?!), worked out, grocery shopped, did some light wedding planning, and just took it easy.  We watched movies together and just enjoyed some bonding time.  The last 7 months haven’t been the easiest in terms of spending quality time together.  Between his residency, White Christmas for me, and wedding planning… it’s been a lot on both of our plates.  We’re both really looking forward to the first few weeks of married life just to be together (for more than a day or two at a time) and really reconnect (with no time constraints!).  Le sigh.  It will be great.  I know we’ll definitely have some growing pains as we re-adjust to one another and live together for the first time, but we both can’t WAIT to annoy each other.


Adam made me this beautiful salad!


And I took annoying pictures of him. Fair trade.

Coming Up

This is my last week of work, which is pretty bittersweet.  I love my company and co-workers, and it feels so surreal to say goodbye.  BUT saying goodbye also means it’s time for the wedding and time to be with Adam again.  Both awesome things.  After this week I’m going to go into full on wedding mode.  I am purposefully ending my position two weeks before the wedding in order to complete wedding tasks/pack/etc.  My new full time job will be the wedding!  I’m happy to have some time to do some planning and I know I’m super fortunate to be able to really soak it up and tolerate enjoy it.  I’m excited about the wedding, but I have to admit I’m sort of excited for it to be over (shhh don’t tell anyone).  Eek.  Yeah, wedding planning has never been the most relaxing thing for me so it will be nice to have hobbies and other activities again.  Hallelujah for some free brain space!!  And for having a new husband and lovely memories of a happy day!


Oh yeah, that’s a candy bar mock-up. All the supplies were free (okay borrowed) and I just have to buy the candy.  Sounds good to me! Any reason to have candy is a good one.


Adam got an awesome Christmas present this year!  Come February we’ll start tackling P90X 3 together!!   Can I get a woot!?  We loved our experience with P90X and can’t wait to give this puppy a try.  It’s brand new to beachbody and I’m excited to see how it compares.  It will also be awesome motivation post-wedding to keep active together  …After I enjoy a few weeks of Chipotle lunches and being a total blob of laziness.  Because that just has to happen.  Life has been go, go, go and honestly a few quiet weeks of being lazy and eating more pizza than I probably should, sound like just what the doctor ordered.  Everything in moderation, I say! :)

Hello Tony, excited to see you again too.

Hope you all had a WONDERFUL end of December!


The Great Name Change Debate

18 Dec

So I’m getting married.  And when a woman gets married in the US, generally there are a few choices on what she does with her last name.  These are probably the most popular.

  • Take the husband’s last name in place of her maiden name. Susie Leigh Smith becomes Susie Leigh Brown
  • Take the husband’s last name and move her maiden name to her middle name. Susie Leigh Smith becomes Susie Smith Brown
  • Take the husband’s last name and keep all other names (so have 2 middle names). Susie Leigh Smith becomes Susie Leigh Smith Brown
  • Hyphenate your last name.  Kelly HusbandLastName-MaidenName or is it the other way around? Haha. Susie Leigh Smith becomes Susie Leigh Brown-Smith or Smith-Brown?
  • Keep your original name. Susie Leigh Smith 4Life.

For the longest time I have been in camp 2. Kelly MaidenName Adam’sLastName. Done, easy.  Decision made.  I want to keep my identity that my last name brings, but I also want to create a new baby family with Adam.  I like the idea of us sharing a last name.  But… lately I’ve been re-evaluating all of my options and I’ve been more and more unsure on what I want to do.  Argh… all the thinking… causing trouble!! Here are some of my pros/cons to changing to option two (Kelly MaidenName Adam’sLastName).

The Pro’s of Kelly MaidenName Adam’sLastName

  • We share a last name and though yes, a bit sexist that I take his name, we still are more easily recognized as a unit. (And honestly I don’t know if I’m willing to fight something that has been done for centuries. I’m keeping my Dad’s last name, who is also a man…so I guess that’s also sexist? So confusing!  I guess we could make up our own last name?).
  • I’m recognizing this big life change by adopting Adam’s Name.
  • People will associate us with one another…hope Adam builds us a good reputation! ;)
  • I get to keep the name I’ve had for almost 27 years and holds a lot of family value to me (I’ve never met any non-family member with my last name).
  • I’ll only have 3 names which is more traditional in the US.  More traditional = easier paperwork in the future
  • I love the idea of starting our baby family together, with the shared name!

The Cons of Kelly MaidenName Adam’sLastName

  • I would have to give up my middle name.  It’s a family name, it’s nice, I would be sad to see it go.
  • My Maiden name isn’t as ‘pretty’ as Kelly MiddleName Adam’sLastName.  My last name isn’t ‘ugly’ per say.  But it’s Dutch, hard to spell/pronounce, and not particularly beautiful.
  • I will REALLY miss signing my middle initial of L.  Have you seen how pretty a cursive L is??  Pretty AND fun to write.  Sigh.
  • I’m changing my identity by giving my my last name as my last name.  Good thing?  Bad thing?  Jury is still out for me.

The good news is that I have time…at least a little bit of time :)  I could just keep all my names, having my cake and eating it too.  But is having 4 names hard?  So… what have you all done out there?  Or what are you planning to do?  Help a sister out!  Perspective please!


Wedding Workout Prep

16 Dec

Sickness strikes… and with it, no motivation for health and fitness.  I’m talking zero, zilch, nada.  Funny how that works huh?  All I want to do is sleep, eat, and hibernate.  I have had a cold for about 3 weeks now (brilliant timing right?)… and let me tell you – no fun at all. I’ve sort of been taking it easy fitness wise just to get through the shows with what knee/vocal/sick strength I have…but with White Christmas finally over (tear), my attention now is turning to the event just under a month away!

Goodbye White Christmas!

Here’s our last White Christmas promo – from the TV station.  It was so fun, I was like a fancy person!! Hard to believe that our 4 weekends of shows have come to a close.  It was such a wonderful opportunity and seriously the time of my life. Such sweet memories. Though  I must say, I definitely feel the need to recover. I am le tired.


Wedding Plan!

Alright folks, I’ve got a confession.  With 32 days until the wedding… I feel like 85% of my posts over the next 6 weeks will be wedding related in some way, shape, or form.  For this I deeply apologize, BUT it’s pretty much the only thing on my brain.  I’m just SO focused on it that it’s really hard to work up some passion about my usual topics!  And let’s be serious… weddings are fun.  And soon it will be over and then you’ll NEVER have to see a wedding post again*  Cue the celebrating or sadness.

One of the best decisions I’ve ever made in terms of “Wedding Workout Prep” is starting my road to healthier habits and fitness long before I was even engaged. Adam and I had a priority of getting healthier and using each other as accountability partners.  We went through the growing pains of learning those new habits and getting used to working out on a daily (or at least weekly ;)) basis.  This process occurred while we WEREN’T under the stress of wedding planning.   Which meant… by the time we were engaged we were more in maintenance mode vs. “Oh crud, I really want to love these pictures… time to tone up” mode.


Can’t wait to wear this in a month!

I now have realized I need a plan– mainly because I’ll no longer be tapping/dancing/sweating to death every night AND the holidays will hit here soon.  The sickness has also bumped me off my fitness bandwagon a bit, time to get back at it.  I want to enjoy some delicious holiday food, but people I have to fit in that dress! For the past few weeks this is what I’ve been up to:

Due to knee issues I’ve sort of given up on completing a full round of P90X (the plyo/legs workouts are just not possible).  So I’ve been doing sort of a P90X/ChaLean/Yoga hybrid.  Very fancy, right? Between the sickness and shows I’ve been getting in my workouts a solid 4 times a week (except this last week when the sickness was ridiculous… I did nothing.  Yep no working out.  At all. Strange).  I won’t complain, but it is a bit strange after being a bit more regimented.  I want to up my workouts to feel my best going into the wedding, and help with any pre-wedding anxiety or stress that may hit.  I just always feel better when I’m working out.  Fact.

I’ve done a pretty good job overall sticking to my “Eat What’s in the Bag” diet.  This fancy ‘diet’ was sort of coined by Adam.  I pack my lunch box in the morning full of everything to eat the whole day: veggies, fruit, lunch, snacks etc. Everything in there is good for me, and if I just eat what’s in there and don’t stray… I’m good to go.  It’s incredibly easy to follow, and prepping my food once a week (usually Sunday evening) means I just throw the bag together in about 15 minutes each morning. It’s amazing. I’m planning to keep this going (well indefinitely because I really like it).  But my biggest hurdle will be not gorging over the holidays.  Must be (sort of) strong.

For a little fun, let’s compare the MONTH BEFORE wedding prep for Adam and Kelly:

Kelly’s Plan (or Goals ;))

  • Workout 6 days a week (continue P90X/ChaLean/Yoga).
  • Bring my videos/equipment to keep up my schedule during the holidays (SO hard!)
  • Prioritizing healthy eating.  Enjoy holiday treats in moderation. (Can that even be done!?)
  • Making Adam work out with me when he’s with me for my own accountability :)
  • Keep doing the habits I have learned, don’t panic or do anything extreme!

Adam’s Plan

  • Work 14 hours a day 6 days a week
  • Try not to kill patients
  •  Sleep when possible
  • Work on wedding stuff in any remaining free time
  • Eat as much food as possible to gain weight.  Operation Make Adam Not Super Skinny has begun.

It’s so cute, when we first got engaged Adam had all these goals about us both getting into great shape for the wedding… and then reality hit.  He’s in his intern year of residency, so working out just isn’t really a priority.  I keep telling Adam that he’s just wearing a suit so honestly it doesn’t matter.  As long as the suit fits!!  Adam has the terrible luck that when he doesn’t workout – he loses weight.  What a poor dear.  So I’ve been reminding him weekly to eat up!  The last time I saw him he had a small pudge, so efforts are working :)

My big takeaway: Keep on keeping on.  I really don’t want to put pressure on myself to do anything extreme or unhealthy, because let’s face it – a wedding is a lot of pressure.  And especially our 300 person (fingers crossed it will be less) wedding… that’s a lot of eyes on me.  I don’t want to let this pressure manifest itself to something unhealthy.  Just take every day as a chance to be healthy and active.

Wish me luck!


What did you do in preparation for your wedding?  Any tips?  HELP!

Wedding Friday: My Bridal Shower!

13 Dec

This week has been a cold one here in Indianapolis.  Cold weather AND I have a cold.  Just ridiculous.  I’ve been in full on sickness-hibernation mode between the two.  Send me some healing vibes as I get ready for the last 4 shows of White Christmas!  I’m on the up-swing for sure but my life has pretty much been sleeping, working, sleeping.  And a bit of wedding planning and thank you notes too.  Just for fun.

This past weekend was a happy, happy one for me.  I celebrated another wedding milestone with my bridal shower!  Woot!  My shower was thrown by my moms (my mother and my future mother-in-law) and they did such a fabulous job.  When bridal shower discussions first happened we decided on one joint shower.   I know that with many friend/family groups it can often be easier to throw multiple showers… but with the holidays, White Christmas, and general busy-ness of the season I just figured it might be easier on all parties to just have one joint shower.  It worked out perfectly!  And I must admit, one was the right amount for me!


My sister and I at the shower.

The Moms split up tasks with my mom taking games and half the food and my MIL taking on decorations/favors and the other half of the food.  I’m glad the shower gave them an opportunity to work together on something before the wedding.  I know traditionally the shower is thrown by the bridal party, but with my two sisters spread across the country they didn’t even know if they’d be able to fly here, let alone be available to throw it.  Having Team Mom step in was perfect.  My sister was able to make it and she helped out once she arrived, but it allowed the two retired Moms (aka have a little time on their hands) to have a little fun project to work on together.

The Schedule:

  • 1-1:30: General mingling, getting a plate of food, everyone getting settled.
  • 1:30-2: Games! (with prizes, huzzah)
  • 2-2:30: Gifts
  • 2:30-3:00: Tear down and mingling

I loved the timeline because we had enough time on each activity, but we didn’t have a lot of dead time.  I’ve been to showers that really seem to drag on and I wanted to be respectful of peoples’ time. The Moms did a terrific job planning this out.

The Food!

Team Mom did a great job with a variety of sweet treats and finger food.  It was perfect. Yum, yum.

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With the whole spread!

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Wedding dress cookies! So cute :)

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My yummy cake (from Costco!)

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Mints and nuts on the table to munch on.

The group going to town.

The Games!

  • Memory: Adam made a special appearance for this bridal version of “Memory”.  We introduced it as ‘sharing the full story of how we met’  but it was really a game. :)  Adam and I have spent months working on “Our Story” which is a booklet a couple pages long and alternates between Adam and I telling the story of how we met.  We plan to have it in the pews for people to read if they are early to the wedding. At the shower Adam and I stood at the front of the group alternating reading our respective sections.  At the end my Mom announced it was a game and created a quiz based on some of the events in the story.  I couldn’t believe how well people paid attention, it was so cool.
  • Door Prize: All the chairs had an envelope taped to the back with one lucky prize winner.  It was fun seeing everyone open their envelopes looking for the winning ticket ;)
  • Bride Survey: My mom emailed me earlier in the week a basic ‘getting to know you’ survey.  Then we handed it out and whoever got the most points won.  Very fun, though lots of the questions were hard!
  • Bride Bingo: This one was great.  Your typical bingo except with words like “groom, rings, vows” etc.  Lots of fun and very themed.

The whole group!

Door prize envelopes on the backs of chairs.

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Reading “Our Story” together

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Apparently we had fun.

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I really don’t remember laughing this hard. Don’t tell Adam. I’m always trying to convince him that his corniness just isn’t funny. Apparently it is…

The Gifts!

Honestly, I tried to open my gifts as quickly as one reasonably could.  Two reasons… one, I felt a bit awkward.  It’s like a birthday party, except it’s not your birthday so I felt a bit weird getting all these gifts!  And two… is it really ever THAT fun watching someone open lots of presents?  I mean it’s fun for a little while, but it can get a bit tiring.  So I kept it snappy, but appropriate and had a great time.  I got some wonderful gifts from my registry and a few things that were a bit more rogue.  It was great.

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Hello! I am the queen of gifts!

My sister taking record of all the goodies!

The Unexpected

There was only one sort of strange aspect to the shower…I was a little caught off guard by the couple of comments about me needing to cook or pop out babies (Adam and I want to eventually have 3 or 4 kids, so I got plenty of “You better get going!”  Wait… are you not only asking me about my sex life and uterus plans, but you’re also calling me old??  All in one comment.  Lovely).  I had to remind myself several times to just smile and laugh along with it… people really mean well.  But inside I was thinking “PEOPLE YOU ARE NOT GONNA SEE ANY BABIES IN AT LEAST 5 YEARS!!  AND IF YOU DON’T BEHAVE, MAKE THAT 10!!!”  Okay maybe I’m being a little dramatic.  Just not used to people wanting the happenings on my uterus. And the kitchen slave comments were almost more unsettling… “Adam also knows how to cook.  Why is this my sole, lone responsibility??”  Adam and I are a great equal team when it comes to household things, so it was a bit disgruntling to hear those ‘expectations’ thrown down on me.  Especially expectations that aren’t even from Adam!! I had a mini freak out that night asking Adam if things like that were going to change once we got married.  His response? “Kelly, who do you think I am??  We’ve already discussed all of this and we’re an equal team. Getting married isn’t going to change this at all.” I felt a bit better :)  But definitely be prepared that you may get some well-meaning comments from older women if you have a few outspoken ones in the group!


All in all, it was a pretty fantastic shower.  Great friends and family, awesome food, fun games.  Just terrific!  I even managed to walk away with a pretty awesome bow bouquet (which we almost forgot to do!).

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Smiling with some family.

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The cute favors and decorations (that will also be at the wedding…resourceful :))

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The whole room!

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With my dear friend Katie!

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Little wedding dress favors full of candy.

My bouquet for the rehearsal!

I had a lovely shower and it makes me that much more excited to marry Adam.  Hard to believe just 37 days.  Not that I’m counting,  or that I’m out of my mind excited.  But maybe I am.  Gush gush mush mush gross.. you get the idea.

Happy Friday!


White Christmas Opens!

3 Dec

… and other non-fitness related stuff!

Holy moly kids!  The show has opened!!  It’s hard to believe after all the hours and hours of rehearsals it’s finally up and running.  And so far, so good!  Last week we had super full shows and one sell-out.  I can’t wait to see what this weekend will bring.  And because things are a tad bit on the crazy side…enjoy these dressing room selfies and photo dump while I recover enough to blog about something interesting :)


Mom and I after a show!


Oh hey there! I’m Judy!

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‘Sisters’ ready to go onstage :)

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Can you tell I only have time backstage for pictures in this outfit??

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My lovely sister Betty!

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Lots and lots of wigs.

I promise I’ll try and hunt down some more in a new outfit!  This morning we were on the news so hopefully we’ll have a new little TV promo coming out soon!  Woot!!

Here’s the current promo if you promise not to freak out about hearing my voice and seeing me in moving action – I know it’s really weird when I see or hear bloggers that I’ve only ever seen photos of.  Okay, promise to stay calm?  Cool – here it is:


And in other news (okay yes the wedding… just 46 days to go!)… some more fun.

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My bridal shower is this weekend! Some cute little favors! :)

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Completing some mock-ups of the table decorations. Can you say snow??

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My mismatch of votives. I’m hoping people think the differences are purposeful and ‘rustic’, when in actuality it is due to my cheap nature. Wahaha.

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I couldn’t find 1 inch votive candles anywhere (try I dare you, well don’t because if you succeed I will be sad)…so I put some glitter and snow in the bottom and used a tea light. Again, hoping people think it’s because I’m ‘creative’ and not because I’m cheap and was going to use those votive glasses if it killed me (my venue requires candles in glass).

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And in the MOST delightful news, Adam managed to surprise me by coming home for Thanksgiving! I was so so surprised. Tears, hugging, and happiness ensued.

Ch ch ch changes!

And finally… the most exciting news: I have officially submitted notice at my current job and will be relocating to Nashville after the wedding!!  It’s bittersweet, but I’m beyond elated to be reunited with Adam.  Hooray for that. Let the job hunt begin.  In January I will change jobs, homes, names, and cities.  Talk about change.  Should be exciting!  You’ll get to hear about adjusting to married life and FINALLY working out with Adam again.  Can’t wait.  It’s so much easier with a partner.  AND hills – holy moly are there hills.  That should be an interesting running challenge.

Hope you’re all having an awesome week!!