Hawaii

So Long 2014!

What a year it has been!

This has also been one of the worst years for my health. It seemed like I was ALWAYS sick this year. Getting a cold every other month, multiple sinus infections and also bronchitis. In that aspect I’d say I’m disappointed and hoping that 2015 is an improvement. Other than that, it was a pretty good year full of big events and lots of traveling.

Vegas

I got to go on a girl’s adventure! Going to Vegas with my cousin Anna was so great. It had been way too long since we’d traveled together and it turned out that one of my work friends was also in Vegas during the same time so we all got together for a great show. 😉

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It was a trip that I really needed and I love Vegas so much. The weather was fantastic and lounging poolside with drinks was a dream come true. Vegas is a place I could easily go to every single year. Maybe this is the winter weather speaking here but damn, I need to be back in Vegas poolside SOON. I never get sick of that city.

Trying New Things

Kayaking the Willamette River had been on my “to do list” for so long and I finally got to do it! It went well and I got more experience kayaking in Hawaii on our honeymoon. I am determined to make 2015 a year of kayaking! Michael is on board with this, too.

Canning Salsa had been on my “to do list” for several years, too. Ever since we started planting our own vegetable garden. Well this year I finally CANNED the stuff I grew! And it turned out well. I was surprised at how much fun it was canning stuff. I canned salsa, tomato sauce, raw tomatoes, I even made jalapeno jelly. All of those creations were a hit with people I gave them to as well. Next year will include a lot of new canning adventures.

Ran a 5K

After years of battling various injuries and flare-ups, I was able to run a race again. It took me pretty much all winter/spring to train for it. I know that 5k’s are pretty easy for most people but after being “out of it” for so long and not doing much running on a consistent basis, it was a really happy moment for me to be able to run another race.

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I did have to take a few walking breaks, but my time wasn’t too bad and I finished it! I felt strong and was able to keep running the rest of the year injury free!

Wedding

Yep! After a year and a half of planning, the wedding was finally here. (You can see the Engagement Pictures if you missed them.) And that of course included the Bachelorette Party! The Bachelorette Party was amazing and just perfect for me. I was really happy my close friends planned such a fantastic day and everyone could participate. Lots of happy memories there.

The wedding finally arrived and it was even more wonderful than I had fantasized about. We are STILL getting rave reviews from guests who loved the food and music and said it was the best wedding they’d been to. That kind of positive feedback makes me happy–all the stress of planning was worth it. (You can read the wedding posts here: The Wedding Details – Part 1The Wedding Details – Part 2The Wedding Details – Part 3, and Professional Pictures are Here!.)

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It’s nice because I still love looking at our beautiful wedding pictures and when I hear certain songs on the radio that were played at the ceremony/reception I do get a little teary-eyed. I’m a softy, what can I say. So yeah, I’d say the wedding and honeymoon was the “big deal” for 2014!

Hawaii

What can I say about Hawaii? It’s paradise, of course. The weather was hot and sunny but not so humid you felt stinky. The flowers were aromatic and gorgeous. The sound of the ocean waves hitting beach while we enjoyed our breakfast on the lanai every morning is something I missed the second we returned home.

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We did so many amazing things in Hawaii and one of the happiest memories I have is Michael actually running with me! Like, wow, that’s a huge deal. He is not a runner, has never expressed any desire to start running, but he joined me a few times on the honeymoon for a run along the ocean. How great is that? And of course, swimming and snorkeling in the warm ocean rates pretty high on my list.

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After spending 9 days on a beach in Hawaii all I want to do is go on tropical vacations. Beach life is necessary!

2015 Goals

Get back to 145 pounds. That was my weight for many, many years. Then shit happened, including a glorious honeymoon where I ate and drank everything in sight, and gained a bit. When I got back I had about 15 pounds to lose. It was a hard road and I lost a bit, gained a bit, lost a bit. 2015 is going to be an easy, low-key year, I know it. I will focus on losing those extra pounds and get back down under my goal weight. I know I can do it. I did it a few times before. I just need to buckle down. Here comes the

Do more kayaking. I got the kayaking bug! It was so much fun the few times I’ve done it and now all I want to do is do it more. Of course I’m a wuss when it comes to weather so this goal will have to wait until summer time. I’m just not willing to spend hours out in the rain for this!

Travel. I have a trip planned to Tucson in the spring for my friend’s wedding. Other than that there are no major trips planned for me yet. Michael and I have been talking about where to go for our wedding anniversary in September. We talked about visiting the East Coast. I’ve always wanted to explore the historical towns and go to museums. We were originally planning a trip to Philly, Boston and New York but I think that might be a little too much–too much money, too much time away from home. We are currently discussing making a mini-trip and going to Philly (to see my brother and his wife) and then exploring Washington DC. The other destination discussed was Mexico and New Orleans. I have to admit, I am leaning more towards sunny, warm places! Stay tuned!

What were your 2014 highlights? Any New Year’s Resolutions?

Does It Feel Different?

Before we got married I had a lot of friends tell me their experiences of the whole wedding thing (because the wedding is very different than the marriage and I feel like in this day and age with the wedding business and pinterest we sometimes forget that). I would say that it was about 60-40 on people who told me that they felt different after tying the knot. I was surprised by the friends who said it didn’t feel any different, but yet at the same time I wondered if I would fall into that category. I mean, let’s be real — Michael and I have been together for 6.5 years, we’ve lived together for over 5 of those years. We had a honeymoon phase, we had a rocky phase, we had the “we’ve been together for a long time now” phase. Then it was the wedding phase.

The wedding phase was the planning part (which was 14 months after we got engaged) and the wedding instead. I would have liked a shorter engagement but C’est la Vie….This was a strange time because it was all very new, it was VERY stressful, there was a lot of anticipation and just a lot of unknowns.

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The wedding day itself was very surreal and mostly a blur of chaos and a roller coaster of emotions (which also surprised me – again, we’ve been together for so long already!). Did I feel any different after we said “I Do”? Nope, not really. I guess I felt calmer and more relaxed. I could stop PLANNING everything. That was a huge relief.

Then we went on our honeymoon. It still didn’t really feel “real.” Basically it was like we were on a really nice, long vacation. A dream vacation, really. But we were so busy splashing in the ocean, laying on the beach, and exploring Maui (and eating A LOT) that I don’t think either of us really put much thought into the fact that we were now married or that anything should feel any differently.

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(He slept on the beach a lot. I read and swam.:) )

Maui was great, don’t get me wrong. But I started to get a little homesick for my fur-babies. We both missed Bella terribly! She was staying with her foster mom and having a great time, especially with her dog Kona, Bella’s BFF. Bella was on a puppy vacation!

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Now that we are home I’ve been kind of taking it easy and trying not to plan or do too much (trying to hold onto that Maui bliss as long as possible). I am starting to ruminate on what I want to do, though. Now that I don’t have to do ANY wedding planning anymore (YAY) I can get a hobby! It was astounding just how much time the wedding planning took. Between meeting vendors and just all the details, any free evening or weekend was booked with that stuff. It really does take over your whole life, even if you try to avoid it.

I’d like to get back to Bella’s training. Sadly we didn’t have tons of extra time to work on tricks and training for her. Now that we have more time I want to get back at that. I especially want to get her to the dog park at least once a week to get more socialized. She’s doing so much better than when we first got her but she still gets skittish and nervous with a lot of other dogs.

I’d like to get into gardening. Specifically I think I want to try growing succulents. I saw so many amazing succulents in Hawaii and that’s something that we CAN actually grow here in Oregon (wish I could grow some plumeria and palm trees but I guess I’ll settle for this…).

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A friend has actually started growing succulents and offered to give me some of her cuttings and I really want to try it. I hope I can make it work. I’m okay with growing vegetables but not really flowers…time will tell!

Another goal for this winter: Michael has agreed to take a dance class! I am super excited about it and will be looking for classes soon. I took a ballroom dancing class ages ago and learned all the basics! I definitely need to re-learn it. I’m more interested in learning maybe salsa dancing or something along those lines.

Yoga. I need to get back into the groove of that and I’d like check out some local studios. I take yoga at my gym and it’s not quite the same experience as doing it at a yoga studio where that’s the only thing they do. I never really get that blissful, enlightened feeling while people are dropping weights and grunting and talking loudly right outside the yoga room at the gym…

Volunteering. I miss it! I used to do it a lot. Before I met Michael, in fact, I volunteered at a cat shelter every weekend. Michael and I volunteered together at The Pixie Project and it was a lot of fun. Now that I have some free time I’m going to start up again.

After being back for a bit I went out with my cousin Anna for a beer. We saw a band at an Irish pub here in Portland and then met up with some of her friends. This was the first time it kind of felt DIFFERENT. I was talking to someone that didn’t know me or Michael and I had a moment of pause when I almost said “my boyfriend Michael” then corrected myself and said “my husband”. And it felt WEIRD. Very weird. I am not used to it yet. 🙂

Okay married folks, did you feel any different?