i am the luckiest

This time of year never fails to remind me just how very lucky I am. 
I have two amazing sisters and the kindest, most generous, most loving parents in the world.
I have a man whom I love with all my heart and who truly completes me.

^^^ My family on Nikki's wedding day...Ryan on the day we got engaged

Ryan flies in tomorrow morning, and I'm so excited to be able to spend the holiday with him.
The only one missing will be my baby sis, Kristina, because law school finals are kicking her butt.

I am so thankful for a family that is close-knit and loves one another dearly.
I am so thankful for my almost-husband who has perfectly become an extension of a family we love.
I am thankful for the amazing food we're going to gorge ourselves on tomorrow.
And, truly, I am thankful for all of YOU

I started this personal blog, not really expecting much, but I've met so many wonderful people from all walks of life. 
I have met many MilSO's with whom I can relate and identify, 
and I've met people that I'm absolutely certain would be my best friends in real life.
I'll be MIA tomorrow stuffing my face, but I just wanted to say...

Happy Thanksgiving! 
I love all your faces. A lot.

that time i scored a free couch

At this time in two days, Ryan will finally, finally be in New Hampshire, and we'll be starting our trek up North to spend the holiday with my parents, my sister and her husband.
It's crazy to think that we got engaged 6 weeks ago, and I haven't seen him since.

We know that after Thanksgiving though, time is going to fly.
Ryan's leave starts on December 20th, and he'll be staying up here from then through the honeymoon!
Then it's just a few more weeks before my momma and I pack up my little life in New Hampshire,
and I finally, finally get to move out to be with my man.
Is it just me, or is the waiting game the worst?

In good news though, I've been looking for a new couch worth taking out to Arizona with me for a while,
but I knew I didn't want to pay a pretty penny. 
Well, I was perusing good ol' Craigslist the other day, and I saw the most perfect couch ever...FREE.
You guys, I'm a bargain hunter if there ever was one, and I pleaded with the owner to hold it for me until I could arrange transport. 

Say hello to our new couch! This baby is coming to Arizona :)

I spent Sunday scrubbing and steam cleaning the couch (just in case) because it had been sitting in storage.
Now, however, it's replaced my old Victorian couch that just wasn't comfortable anymore.
Lovely when things work out, isn't it?

I didn't spend much time decorating our little apartment because I knew I wouldn't be here long, 
but I really can't wait to have a home that Ryan and I can make our own...
even if it will only be our home for 11 months.

one night in boston

I've lived in southern New Hampshire for almost two full years now. Actually, you know what? It has been two years, and I'm ashamed to say that I haven't spent nearly enough time in Boston - which is a shame, because I lived 35 minutes outside the city. In a desperate attempt to rectify this situation before I move to Arizona in 2 months, a few of my friends and I decided to embark on an epic food truck festival in the city this past weekend. It was shaping up to be absolutely perfect.

And then, suddenly, the weather decided to play a cruel joke on us. My friends, by the time we got into the city at 3 PM on Saturday afternoon, it was 21 degrees out. I was unprepared for the vicious, vicious wind, and we had to quickly readjust our expectations. Walking 45 minutes to Bon Me? No bueno. Walking 30 minutes to Roxy's Gourmet Grilled Cheese? HA.

We walked 3 minutes from my sister's apartment by Fenway to the Yard House where we drowned our sorrows in appetizers and pity (and Angry Orchard...on tap!) But then, as the night went on, we knew we couldn't just give up. We had to succeed at something! And so, we bundled up and decided to hit up the Cookie Monstah, which we tracked over at Copley. Eating ice cream in freezing temperatures? Why not?

^^^ homemade cookies and ice cream, which I tried in vain to finish...jess and I conquering the temps. 

We walked around the city like a bunch of frozen idiots just nomming on our ice cream and what was briefly a warm cookie...just whining about how cold we were. 
^^^ These pics are blurry because I was shivering so dang bad. Photography fail.

But seriously, this city is amazing. I love it. It's historic, it's inviting, it's friendly and there is so much pride here. I'm gonna miss you, Boston.

This post is linked with Sami's Shenanigans

calling all guest bloggers

I am sure you are all more than aware by now that I'm getting married. 
Because I actually really enjoy this lil' blog, and I don't want to neglect it while I'm missing in action
during the wedding and honeymoon,
I'm humbly requesting a few guest bloggers during my absence!

We're getting married on January 4, 2014,
and I've scheduled posts through the 3rd, but we'll be gone from the 4th through the 11th.
I've had a couple volunteers already (Ashley, you rock), and it looks like I need 6-8 more guest bloggers,
or my blog will die, and my face will look like this:
If you're interested in doing a guest blog for me, all I'm requesting is a post about relationships, or love.
You don't have to be married, or engaged, or even in a relationship to volunteer!
Help a sister out? Pretty please?

If you're interested, feel free to email me at iswimforoceans(at)gmail(dot)com.
I'll be forever in your debt. xo

weekly giggles and a roundup

I don't know about you guys, but sometimes I just need a good giggle to get through a long week.
And, on a rainy morning when I wake up on the wrong side of the bed (yes, today),
you'd better believe I'm going to be searching out all the giggles in the whole world.
In the off chance you need a little pick-me-up, these funnies from around the interwebs are for you, too:

In other news, most of you have probably noticed my new blog design!
This fun new facelift is courtesy of the lovely Brianna, who blogs over at Endlessly Beloved.
She recently started her own little blog design biz called Beloved Designs.
Yeah, she did this beautiful layout fast, affordable and, hey, it's quality work! 
I definitely recommend checking her blog design site out.

This weekend, a couple friends and I are doing a tour de food trucks in Boston.
I've been wanting to try the food trucks for months.
Now that I'm preparing to move, it's a necessity.

We whittled it down to, I believe, four different food trucks to try.
Clearly, we're going to gorge ourselves and regret it later.
I'm nothing if not classy.
Hey, YOLO, right? (Ps...I will never ever say that I again. I hatez it.)
Regardless, I shall chronicle the madness on Monday.

In one final giggle-worthy note for this Friday,
I urge you all to seek out and discover the hilarity that is Bieber's new song, PYD.
For the record, the entire time on the radio the other day, I was pretty sure he was singing about puberty.
I will never be a Belieber.
Oops. #sorrynotsorry

guest post: meet lauren

I'm SO excited to introduce to you all today the lovely Lauren from Going Green: Our Army Adventure! We were paired up together through the Chaotic Goddess guest post swap, and I have to say...I couldn't have been dealt a better partner. Lauren is a fellow military spouse, and this girl has some serious insight into my future as an Army wife. So, without further ado...meet Lauren!


Hello all lovely readers of Ms. Melissa. I’m glad to be getting the chance to guest post for her today, just as she is for me over on Going Green: Our Army Adventure (definitely go read it after you explore Melissa’s blog!)

We were paired up through the Chaotic Goddess Guest Swap this month and I’m so glad I got the chance to stalk her a bit (both blogs that is) and check out her transition as she gets ready to marry into the military in just a few short months! AH! (By the way, welcome to the family!)

I am a military wife myself as of a few months ago, currently on the home front in the US, while my husband is in South Korea. Before this dramatic change in life’s course I never knew what it took, the fortitude and stamina it required, to be a military spouse. And let me tell you, I have quickly learned a ridiculous amount about what this job actually entails over the past nine months that I think are more than worth sharing. So here’s a few of my favorites…

Military spouses are some of the strongest people I have EVER met. We deal with deployments, hardship tours, and moving around the world constantly, all while raising children and/or trying to start a career/education in the midst of it all.

We are selfless. We often give up many of our own personal goals or dreams in order to support our soldiers, and we do so with grace and understanding (for the most part) because we know that they do not choose when they receive orders.

We spend a lot of time waiting. Orders don’t come fast, neither do moves. You spend a lot of time stressing out about dates, times, and possible outcomes, and then it all comes down to last minute prep and coping with the reality that you have ZERO control over a good portion of your life. It’s just how it is, no matter how frustrating you think it may be (and trust me, I am SO not okay with this).

Most of us did not choose this life. We chose our soldier, they chose this position. We simply fell in love and decided to face the challenge rather than run in fear.

This life is not easy. For all the above mentioned reasons, this life is not easy, but if nothing else, it is inspiring and it is a service. We serve our soldier as they serve our country, and I find very few things that can be nobler than that service!

The milSO (military spouse/significant other) community is uh-may-zing. I started blogging because I didn’t have a base-full of fellow spouses to lean in on. This amazing blogging community of milSOs that I have fallen into is just that, AMAZING! They are wonderful, great, awesome people that are more than willing to help a novice newbie make their way through the confusing sea of camouflage, ACUs, and dress blues.

So a big hats off to Melissa for being a tough and strong lady, and future military spouse. You so got this girl! And if ever you don’t, you’ve got a ton of us fellow spouses and future spouses to rely on for help! Same goes for the rest of you out there in the milSO family! And be sure to thank a military member next time you see them, maybe give their spouse a hug too!!

All the best,



Isn't she the sweetest?! As an aside, yes, there was a design change overnight, and I sure hope you love it as much as I do! More info on that tomorrow. If you'd like to read my post on Lauren's blog today, click HERE.

a hairy story

I have a problem.
I go through this vicious cycle with my hair in which I cut it, hate it,
swear that I'm going to grow it out and never cut it again, grow it out, 
then chop it all off and start the cycle all over again.

Ask any friends of mine whether they like my hair long or short, and you'll hear mixed answers.
That's why I always end up changing it.
I get bored. 
Once upon a time, I thought that changing the color would solve this dilemma. 
Needless to say, it didn't, I hated the color after about a month after getting it, 
and I got back to the cycle of cutting and growing all over again.

In the first picture, I thought it would be cool to have John Frieda hair.
 It didn't work out well.
I spent the next five years growing out my hair until it reached the length of the middle picture.
It reached to my lower back, and I loved it, but it was such a hassle.
I knew I wanted to cut it, but I tried to resist, 
so I dyed it dark brown instead. 

I was super traumatized by the dark hair, so I lightened it back to a reddish blonde to avoid damage.
I wasn't satisfied though, so I decided it was time to chop it off.
I requested shoulder-length, but it was about an inch below my ear and still reddish.
Finally, I stripped my hair back to as close to my natural blonde (really white blonde) as possible,
and I've been growing it ever since.

It's now about two inches past my shoulders,
and I recently got bit by the change bug again, but I'm resisting.

I'm getting married.
I need my hair! Ryan loves my hair!
Say a little prayer that my hair survives this craving for a hair change, please ;)

the nicest landlord from hell

My roommate and I have what we affectionately refer to as "the landlord from hell."
Now, here's the thing…he's a really nice guy.
Like, really, really nice.
He's got this adorable little Irish brogue, and he's totally genuine.
And, hey, he gets things done…
We just never really know when the things that need to be done will actually get done.

For example, when Patrice and I moved in, we discovered that our place had a few issues.
Our bathroom door has four distinct and very large holes in it, 
which have been conspicuously taped over.
Shockingly, they resemble a head, a fist, a knee and a foot. 
In other fun news, we also discovered our faucet has a hole in the side of it. A hole.

^^^ That is not cheese on our faucet. That's tape to stop it from spraying. Ugh.

We pay next to nothing for this place, which is a rarity in southern New Hampshire, so we don't want to complain too much…
but seriously. 
We moved into this apartment in May and were promised a brand new door.
I received a call from our landlord last night that said we are finally getting a new door today, 
as well as repairs to the, y'know, the electrical shorts that keep happening in the kitchen?

The faucet?
Yeah, that can't be fixed today. That has to be another day, so it will probably remain as is until I move.

Anyway, when he called last night, he informed me that one of us has to be home all day.
Because we don't have jobs or anything.
Luckily enough, I can work remotely, so now I'm cuddling with my kittens,
watching a strange man replace a door in my apartment and hoping that nothing else breaks before I move.

a little weekend recap

Right now, I'm lucky enough to live about 2.5 hours from my parents, as they're right up on the border of Canada. 
My little sister's boyfriend was spending the weekend at their house while preparing for med school residency interviews in Maine, so I figured it would be a great time to go up North and meet this kid my sister is so very, very fond of.
As an aside, I'm a very protective older sister, so I think Kristina was nervous.
She shouldn't have been. 
He's adorable.

My older sister, Nikki, and her husband came up, as well, and we all did dinner with my parents in Portland on Saturday night.
We found this little sushi place hidden right by the wharf, and let me just tell you...it is to die for.
We helped ourselves to oodles of the freshest ceviche and sushi and then topped it off with maple lattes.

^^^ I could eat this ceviche all day long. So fresh and delicious that I'm totally going to recreate it.

We spent the rest of the weekend being lazy and getting to know Kristina's boyfriend, Josh.
It poured most of Sunday, so I went for a quick run in the rain, then we played board games by the fire and generally did nothing productive but snuggle with puppies all day. 
Tell me you wish your weekend didn't look like this:

^^^ Panda, my mother's dog. Kasha, my dog, and Josh.

I accomplished a bunch of wedding stuff, too, including my hair trial (LOVE), decorations and preliminary cake trial (SO GOOD).
Things are falling into place, and Ryan is going to be here for Thanksgiving in just 10 days!
I am the happiest girl in the world :)

learning to love myself

I actually debated posting this because putting it down in words and funneling it out to the interweb means I can't hide behind it anymore. Like many girls, I've struggled with body image and my weight for much of my life. I grew up competitively swimming, and I trained twice a day, burning up to 5,000 calories each day. Basically, I could eat whatever I want (within reason) and not gain weight. Throughout high school, I had a complex about my weight that was kindly given to me by a coach who felt that telling 14 year old girls that they were fat was a good thing. For the record...this was his definition of "fat":

^^^ I'm on the far left. And yes, we are petting a goat. We were in the Netherlands.

My mother clued into the fact that this coach was messing with young girls' body images, and we left that team pretty fast, but his words stuck, and I officially had a complex that was going to stay with me whether I liked it or not. My weight pretty much stayed the same until college, when I discovered that, yes, you can gain the freshman 15 35 even if you do work out twice a day. 

Needless to say, I've pretty much rid myself of every image from that time period because I really did hate it so much. I lost it all again when I transferred to Utah for my Junior year, and I remained the same, healthy weight until I finished my NCAA eligibility, at which point, I went through I stint of  pretty significant depression. I didn't know how to identify myself as anything but a competitive athlete. I ate my feelings, and it just got worse. I gained everything back that I'd lost from the previous weight gain.

I wasn't happy though, and I certainly wasn't healthy, so I worked hard, and I lost it all again. This time though, I continued losing it. I got thin, and I got a lot of compliments, and I was healthy, happy and focused on me. I was running a lot, doing light weights, swimming open water races, and I'd really found my stride.

^^^ My thinnest since college...just 10 lbs more than I weighed going into college.

 It remained that way for a good year and a half until I met my ex and fell into a horrible relationship that really just ate away at my confidence, and I turned to the comfort of food again. I don't have any pictures of that time period left again because A) they bring back horrible memories, B) I can't look at them without cringing and C) just no.

I found CrossFit after I ended my engagement with my ex. It became an outlet for that frustration and anger that I had, plus I really enjoyed the competitive nature of the sport. But here's the thing. My body was not made to be a lifter, and I started getting injuries one after the other, all the while gaining about 20 lbs in muscle mass. I finally had to quit CrossFit after blowing out my knee during a max-height box jump and, while I miss my friends and the sport, I think it's good for me to find a balance with my body again.

^^^ All taken within a 1-year window. I gained almost 20 lbs of muscle, plus I ate poorly for my body type.

These days, I'm lucky to be in a healthy, happy and positive relationship. Ryan loves me for me, and he supports me in wanting to be better, but he always makes certain that he loves me regardless. He supports my need and desire to be fit and maintain my muscles, but he teaches me that I don't have to go to extremes, either. I can be a balance of both and they is that I need to love myself regardless. I need to be kind to myself and patient with my progress.

If anything, my body image issues  have taught me that words can make a serious, life-long impact on one's psyche. I'm not sure I'll ever be entirely comfortable with my body, as that nagging voice of doubt was implanted so long ago. I can say one thing though...if I have daughters in the future, you'd better believe I will make certain they know that their value is not in the least bit based upon their weight. 

a little wedding inspiration

As pretty much everyone knows by now, Ryan and I are getting married on January 4, 2014.
Not that I'm counting or anything, but that's 51 days from now. 
You'll all probably be sick of wedding posts by the time I get married.
I kind of apologize for that.
But let's be honest...I'm really not all that sorry.

We're at the stage where our venue, photographer and honeymoon are booked.
Our invitations are out, and most of our RSVPs are in.
My dress arrived yesterday (!!!!), and Ryan's new uniform is hanging up all snazzy in his closet.
Now we're looking at the little things that are occupying my brain:
Wedding favors. Decorations. Cake. Music.

I have a secret board on my Pinterest where I hide all of my wedding stuff.
Mostly because I'm just sneaky like that.
We're sticking to our original color palette of silvers, golds and neutral colors.
Here are some of our decor ideas:

As an aside, I've already made a bunting garland out of an old copy of Pride & Prejudice. 
I'll be sure to post evidence of that later.

Our venue has a pretty set color palette, too, being an old manor, so we don't want any bright color contrasts.
We'll be marrying in front of the fire and utilizing the last vestiges of Christmas decor to complement what we provide.

And yes, I am making my own cake. 
I've thought about it for a long time, and my mother is a fantastic baker, so we'll come up with something simple and perfect for our day. 
Here are some of our ideas thus far:

The original idea was to make a simple layer cake a la the first image.
Now, however, I've really been leaning towards the naked cake.
It's rustic. It's charming. It's unpretentious, and it's everything we want this wedding to be.
And yes, I'll be DIYing pretty much everything at our wedding.

Now, because we won't be having a videographer at our wedding,
If you'd like to listen to the song I'll be walking out to, just click HERE.

We're anxious, we're excited and we are so, so ready to be married...but not before the planning is done :)

a lesson in (im)patience

I lack patience. Hardcore. It's a severe character flaw, really. With everything in my life changing now, I'm impatient for it to just get started. I know once it happens though, I'm going to wish I could slow things back down. When Ryan and I first started dating, we made a commitment, and we agreed that we would not live together until we were married.

With our religious values, the military not recognizing me in any capacity and having a stable career on the East coast, it didn't make sense for us. Now that we're getting married though, I'm ready for this distance to be done. I sound like a broken record. I know. Not only that though, I'm ready to be married. Sometimes I'm not entirely convinced that I'm a girl because I've never wanted the big wedding...rather, I just want the marriage.

And so, I'm ridiculously impatient; for the wedding, for the  honeymoon, for the move (though I'd love to skip over the actual moving part, if that were possible). I know that good things come to those who wait. Heck, I even know that the best things are worth waiting for. It doesn't matter how many of the old adages you give me, I'm still going to be caught twiddling my fingers and sulking...waiting for time to pass.

I am trying, trying, trying to keep busy, and I know everyone keeps telling me that, yes, time is passing slowly now, but I'm going to wish it would slow down soon. I think my newfound insane impatience comes from the fact that the end is finally in sight. But f'reals. Does anybody have any advice on how to occupy myself and/or learn the art of patience? Because I, my friends, am failing miserably in that department.

^^^ If someone can teach me to take this to heart, I'll pay them in candy and hugs. 

on being lazy

I have a confession to make.
Guys, I'm a good cook.
No, like, really. I'm a really good cook.
I love cooking, and I love trying out new recipes.
(I think it's one of the reasons Ryan is excited to marry me, frankly.)

I know, that doesn't sound like much of a confession.
That was just the backstory.
Yes, I love cooking.
But no, I do not love cooking for one.
In fact, I try not cook just for myself because I have leftovers for years.

I generally food-prep all my lunches for the week because I go to the gym in the morning,
but when it comes to dinner, I either eat the same thing for days or,
well, I just eat like a bachelor(ette).
For example, last night was a pb & j night...plus wine. 
Why wine? Well, I need the wine bottles for centerpieces for my wedding.

Such a chore it is to drink that tasty wine ;)
But f'reals...I can cook.
I'm just too lazy and to stubborn to cook for just myself.
I'll be cooking the Thanksgiving feast for the family again this year per tradition.
And yes, all that feasting you see up there? 

I made that.
That was my plate.
I devoured it, and then I passed out.
Yay for gluttony! (and laziness)

i am thankful

Today, I am simply thankful.
When Ryan and I first started dating, he was entertaining the idea of getting out of the Army.
His contract was nearing its end,
and he wasn't feeling very inspired in his current position.
But he had a thought...what if I change my career path, stay in and truly make a difference?

And so, he re-enlisted to serve another six years.
He was accepted into Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCs),
and he knows he has a purpose with his job.
It's for us. 
It's for our country.

He is one of a kind,
and I am so, so proud and thankful for him, for his character, for his service, and his commitment to our country.
To all our men and women in uniform - past and present - thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Happy Veteran's Day

favorites on a friday

This week has been one of running around like a chicken without its head. With one writer out of the office for a full week, we've been covering her brands (mainly BJs), and I have to say I was playing catch-up from Monday on. Needless to say, I'm really, really ready for Friday. Looking back though, it definitely wasn't a bad week, annnnddd a couple things really made this week better!

1. A new work computer(!!!) - Seriously, this might seem a little trivial, but my work computer has been shutting itself down lately...like, three times a day. I know my company's IT department is always working their butts off, so I didn't make a big deal out of it until my boss walked by and asked why my computer was having seizures. Anyway, she clearly put her foot down, and all four of the writers now have fast-running, fantastic new computers. Hallelujah!

2. Poshmark - With a big cross-country move coming up in a couple months, I've been getting rid of a lot of excess clothes. I donated a ton to Goodwill, but some pieces were really expensive (and stupid purchases), and I decided to list them on Poshmark on a friends' advice. I might not have gotten everything back, but I got about 60% of the money returned, which was a pleasant and welcome surprise!

3. Warby Parker - I've been needing new glasses for a while. Sitting in front of a computer every day has done a number on my eyes and, while I'm content to go blind most of the time, the fact of the matter is that my glasses are in bad shape for driving - and the prescription is most definitely out of date. So, I finally got my new prescription, and I ordered the Nedwin glasses in Amber Holy love. Did you know they send you five pairs to try on at home - for free - before you buy?! Not only that, but most glasses are only $95 for lenses and frames combined! And, for every pair bought, they donate a pair. Amazing.

I tell you people...it's the little things. And, speaking of the little things, I've just started the process in getting a new little design for this blog. I'll be switching from "A Little's Enough" to using the actual URL name "Loving Life Moore," too, but definitely not buying my own domain yet. Soon. We'll see. Happy weekend, lovelies! :)

*these thoughts are not sponsored - they are simply my own

making long-distance work

If I've only learned one thing this past year, it's easy to pinpoint exactly what it is.
Long distance relationships take work.
Yeah, I know. Most people probably think that's a given, but seriously, there's so much more to it.

When you're in a long-distance relationship, you have to learn very quickly how to communicate well.
Texts can be misconstrued. Facebook is shallow. And, the lack of face time can really hurt.
But, if you learn to transcend those obstacles, you'll be stronger than ever.

You've probably heard of the "honeymoon phase" of a relationship.
Both parties are blissfully unaware of the others' faults, and everything is kosher.
Eventually though, we discover those little details, and we decided whether we can move past them.
With long distance rearing its ugly head,
Ryan and I hit the end of that honeymoon phase within a few months.

We definitely had something, but having come out of a failed relationship before, I was guarded.
Ryan and I actually broke up for a few weeks at that point.
Now, for some, that's a warning sign.
For me, it was a wakeup call.

Not having someone to call in the wee hours of the morning hurt my heart.
Missing those funny Facetime conversations that left me laughing for hours hurt my soul.
I quickly discovered something amazing:
 I missed my best friend

Those few weeks made Ryan and I really re-evaluate what we were looking for.
It made me look within myself and find out why I was so guarded.
It made us learn to communicate more effectively.
It taught us to validate each other more than we might have in person.
Most of all though, it taught us that we could make this work because we wanted it to.

I'd be lying if I said that long distance relationships don't suck.
Because they really, really do.
But here's the thing.

You can make your long distance relationship work FOR you.

Every relationship takes work, passion, commitment and caring. 
Without having your loved one in person means you need to commit yourself tenfold.
If you can do that, and you can do so willingly and happily,
You, as a couple, can do anything.
And, in that way, long distance relationships can actually bring you closer.

arizona vs. snow

I'm really hoping that Arizona has some charm.
I've lived in a bunch of places in my 27 years, and I can tell you that Arizona is one of those states I never wanted to live. 
I love me some seasons, and fall is my favorite.
The thought of living in a place that Ryan describes as "hotter than satan's bum" does not appeal to me.
However, it's inevitable, so I'm doing my best to find a little charm in the idea of being there.

Here's the thing:
Guys, I love snow. Like...I love snow.
There's a reason Ryan and I are spending our honeymoon in Quebec City in January. COLD!
As an aside, we booked our honeymoon yesterday.
It's only the most amazing hotel ever, and my work in travel affords us the chance to experience it...Le Chateau Frontenac.

image via 

But I digress.
The point is, I'm absolutely thrilled to finally be with Ryan all the time.
However, we are less than thrilled that our first year is going to be, y'know, five minutes from Mexico...
And hotter than all get out.
I guess there's some comfort in the fact that it's going to be just less than a year?

I'm sure i'll be dreaming of doing handstands in the snow all the while.


guest posting and whatnot

As a new blogger in the world of lifestyle blogs, I have to say that I really admire you ladies for seemingly always having something interesting going on. I, on the other hand, do not. Sometimes I've struggled to come up with a good post for the day because right now, my blog doesn't fit into any sort of special mold. Yes, I'm getting married, but I don't have a year of planning to feature. I don't have babies, and I haven't actually gone through a PCS with the soon-to-be hubs yet. So, for now, I inundate you lovelies with my innermost thoughts. (You're welcome.)

The point is, it's hard to gain a big following! It took me almost four years with my book blog, and I imagine that it's even harder with a personal blog. Regardless, I'm doing this because I want to meet people and kind of expand my range, if that makes sense. So, long story short(ish), I signed up for the Chaotic Goddess Guest Post Swap! It's a really fun little feature in which we get paired with another blogger and take over their blog for the day...boost viewership and helps you meet new people! 

Awesome, right? Signups for this sweet gig end tomorrow though, so make sure you sign up today. I can't wait to see more of the blogosphere, and I hope you guys will take advantage of this fun swap, too! Just pop on over to Chaotic Goddess, submit your link, and you'll be well on your way :)

the art of making memories

There's something about taking family photos that speaks to me.
I did a little session with a friend, her husband and their sweet baby this past weekend, and it got my baby fever going hardcore.
We're not planning on having littles until after our first PCS, so we've got some time.
But seriously...this family just embodied love and happiness.
Doesn't this just make you crave your own little family? 

When Ryan and I decided to have a really intimate wedding, we knew we wanted it to be about the memories.
That, in a nutshell, is why I'm so focused on the little details.
We're putting our heart and soul into this day -- laying it all out there for our families to see and experience.
And so, the details are important for me, but the moment when I stand across from Ryan, that's what I'm most looking forward to. 
That will be pure magic.

I worked on my vows this past weekend, and I couldn't even write them without crying.
Clearly, I'm going to need waterproof mascara.
I also ordered Ryan's wedding ring, and it has a little something special inside...something I'll make sure the photographer captures.
I also bought my wedding dress.
It's the exact opposite of what I thought I wanted, but it is perfect. 

Time seems to be inching along at a snail's pace leading up to January 4th, but it's flying, too.
I don't know how to better explain it.
There is subtle magic to these memories we're making leading up to our wedding.
It's a magic that I don't want to forget, or rush, or miss out on.
So, for now, I'm trying my best to be patient and enjoy the little things. (good luck, self.)

when wedding planning is too much

My wedding is fast-approaching. Like, it's in 64 days. 
Not that I'm counting or anything, of course.
Because Ryan and I are still doing the long distance, I'm pretty much in charge of all wedding prep.
We have our venue, we've secured our photographer, I got my dress, we've bought our rings and our invites are out.
However, it seems like everywhere I turn, there is more to do.

We have not nailed down decorations.
We haven't decided whether or not we'll have a cake (mostly because I'll have to bake it).
We haven't done a seating chart because, well, I absolutely dread the idea of doing it.
 We have not booked our honeymoon because I haven't found the perfect hotel. 
We don't have have Ryan's leave secured for the wedding and honeymoon yet, though we're sure it won't be a problem.

And yet, I don't care about any of these things, really. 
If the day comes and there is no cake, it's sleeting and guests have to choose their own seats, so be it.
January 4, 2014 is the day that I get to marry my best friend...the man who makes me laugh harder than I should...the man who can comfortably go to brunch with all my girlfriends and totally enjoy himself...the man who is willing to get allergy shots because I won't part with my furbabies despite his allergies.

I love my man, and that's enough.