2012, A Year in Review

I never could have imagined all the amazing things that would happen in 2012.

 

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At the beginning of the year, I was inspired to make a vision or inspiration board of what I hope to achieve  or focus on during 2012, by The Fitnessista. I thought it was a great spin on the traditional New Years Resolutions;  the board allowed the ideas to actually be written down and displayed where I could see it daily, which seems more powerful to me. We all know all the studies talking about how resolutions are so frequently forgotten by February, and usually I couldn’t tell you my resolution from one year to the next. As a chronic lister, being able to look back on the year and go wow, I really did make some strides is a very cool feeling.

My goals for 2012, and how I did for each one:

1. lose 20 lbs

Not only did I not lose this weight, I actually gained a few extra lbs. I feel like I got caught up in so many of the other changes going on that I did not make my fitness a priority. I’ve also identified some of the bad habits that have contributed to weight gain or failure to lose weight. So even though I did not accomplish this, I am honing in on why I continue to struggle with my weight and what I need to  do to be successful in the future. 

2. complete 3 half marathons, one at a sub 2:30 pace –CHECK!

This year I ran the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in St. Pete, Disney Princess Half Marathon in Orlando, and recently the Women’s Half Marathon St. Pete. I also finished the Princess at 2:29, and probably would have run that one much faster but I stopped to take pictures and really enjoy the race.

3. maintain any weight loss

Since I failed to lose any weight this one is also still a work in progress. I usually can lose weight fairly easily but gain it back just as quickly. I tend to be all or nothing- all about exercise and healthy eating or none at all, striking the balance between health and enjoyment of life is something I’ll be working on this next year. 

4. Get engaged. –CHECK!

Now obviously this one is not in my control, but I was certainly ready for the next step, after 3 years of dating the same guy, living with him for 2 years, and really feeling I found my perfect match in this word. Including this was more of a putting it out in the universe and hoping it happened (and providing a hint for my man- ladies you know sometimes they just need a nudge in the right direction…) This one will also shape a lot of the fun in 2013. 

5. Figure out some direction in my career — sort of check?

I did make a change in my career. I moved schools so I was at a place much closer to my home, teaching higher level students and teaching only one subject, so basically not going crazy with stress like I was the last year. Most importantly, I moved to a school where my administration is much more supportive, so its an overall better climate. I do still want to pursue my Masters degree in something to allow for more career potential in the future, and this I still have not figured out, so I made some changes, but still have more soul searching to do. 

6. Begin steps toward career changes — again sort of check

7. Try to be less stressed– CHECK!

I took some steps to reduce the amount of stress in my career, and also saw a doctor about ways to decrease the stress in my life. 

8. Take vitamins to avoid colds. -CHECK!

I was having a lot of chronic sinus infections at the end of 2011, and was frustrated with this and determined to improve my daily health. Now this is a case where things got worse before they got better- chronic GERD, fatigue, etc, but I am on a course of both prescribed, OTC and vitamin remedies to deal with daily ailments. One goal for next year will be addressing these issues with more natural remedies. 

9. Be thankful–CHECK!

I feel as thought I always am rushing through life to the next goal, next task, next accomplishment, and sometimes fail to stop and smell the roses and appreciate the things around me. I think being able to deal with stress and anxiety in my life has allowed me to go a little slower. Realize I am not in a competition against myself, and I have time to accomplish things. As a result, I have felt an increased appreciation of the day to day things. 

10. Take a road trip.

This one unfortunately did not happen because of other financial decisions we made, but it is on the bucketlist before we have kids. 

Some of the other amazing things that happened this year:

1. We bought a house!!!

2. We adopted a new member of the family: Henry

henry

3. We have been planning a wedding, that is just over 2 months away.

I’m going to reflect on my goals for this year, work on an inspiration board and hopefully have it ready to post and discuss in the next day or so.

Are you going to make an inspiration board this year?

Tying the Knot: The Proposal

There are so many exciting wedding posts I would like to do, but I think it makes sense to start at the beginning and discuss the proposal.

Several months ago, toward the end of July, Ryan asked me if I would like to go look at rings with him. I was super excited that he seemed to finally be taking seriously my not so subtle hints that I was ready to “take the next step”. We have been together almost 4 years, live together 3 of those, bought a house together…you get the idea. We had all the elements of commitment to one another, just not the ring.

So we went to a local jewelry store, and I looked at a number of rings. I didn’t know what I wanted excepts I liked wider bands and either round or princess cut stones. I described this to the sales lady and gave her an idea of budget. She picked up this ring with 10 round channel cut stones in the band and a center stone that was 4 princess cut diamonds put together. The band was gorgeous, but I don’t like the small stones put together, and wanted just one center stone. I tried several other rings on, but the first kept capturing my eye. I kept seeing it on my finger, if only it had a different center stone.

The sales person could tell it was the one I truly loved, so she brought out 2 stones, a princess and round stone to replace the 4 small diamond in the center. As soon as she held the round stone up and showed me what it would look like, I was sold. I could only hope Ryan was as well. They asked me to go wait on the other side of the store so Ryan could do some negotiating. I proceeded to text all my close friends that OMG we were RING shopping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As Ryan came back over to where I was, the sales person sized my finger and told Ryan he could pick up the new ring with the center stone I picked, and sized for my finger tomorrow. At that point, the cat was out of the bag and I knew he had bought me a ring.

Now, I am not exactly known for my patient nature, and that following week was one of the longest waits of my life. I knew he had a ring, just didn’t know when the proposal would come. It was extra hard to wait since I was on summer break, and had little to do with my time. I thought surely I would be able to see the proposal coming when he finally did, because Ryan usually can’t keep a secret. I also assumed it would be on the weekend so he could do something special and not just a boring weeknight.

Friday comes around, and Ryan and my brother made plans for us to see The Dark Knight Rises. I was disappointed because, although I wanted to see the movie, I was hoping for a proposal to start the weekend, and was losing my patience waiting. A part of me was still hoping it was a ruse, but when my brother called to confirm the time with me, I accepted there would be no life changing ringtasticness that evening. I decided to drown my boredom in episodes of The Real Housewives, and lounge around in my summer “uniform”- yoga pants and a tank top.

At some point during the day, Ryan sent me a picture of a kitten that they found near his work playing with a ball they had. It was absolutely adorable and I jokingly told him to bring it home. He called me later in the day and told me he had a surprise for me, but it wasn’t the surprise I’ve been waiting for so not to get my hopes up. I immediately thought he was bringing the kitten home. I got super excited and nervous all at once. We were in the process of moving into our new house, and were cat sitting for my mom while she was on vacation. This did not seem like the ideal time to take in a stray cat.

As soon as he got home, he walks in the door with a squeakily meowing sound coming from a small cat carrier. I could not believe he’d brought the kitten home! Immediately I got excited and was like oooooo I want to see it! As I walked closer though, I saw Ryan’s iPhone was in the cat carrier. I became suspicious and asked, “Why is your iPhone in the carrier?” I also wasn’t seeing the cat. Ryan bent down and said, “Here, let me show you.” As he bent down, he got on one knee, and it clicked what was happening. He pulled out the ring from the cat carrier and asked me to marry him. I was in shock and could not believe he had pulled one over on me and still completely took me by surprise, even though I knew the ring was coming. My first response was “You douche, you tricked me!”, followed by an immediate “YES!!”

I asked are we still seeing the batman movie, and thankfully was told no. Instead, Ryan surprised me with a night at the nicest hotel downtown, the Vinoy, and dinner at one of their restaurants. I was so excited to go celebrate our engagement. We quckly packed our bags and headed to the hotel, which was only about 15 mins away. I could not stop looking at my sparkly ring. I of course texted about everyone I knew, called my mom, called my grandma, posted to Facebook, all but shouting it from the rooftops.

At the hotel, we told them we got engaged and were upgraded to a room with a hot tub. My brother came to the hotel with a bottle of champagne to celebrate and the three of us enjoyed a glass together in the room. When Blake left, Ryan and I headed down to the health club at the hotel to say hi to some of Ryan’s former coworkers and share the news (he had worked there about a year before.) They were all very excited for us. After, we went to dinner. We each had a celebratory cocktail before dinner, one of my favorite little indulgences, and enjoyed a tasty meal together. At the end of dinner, the waited brought us complementary champagne and a chocolate dessert. It was so fun being treated with little extras and having others recognize what a special night it was for Ryan and I.

After dinner, we decided to go for a walk downtown to enjoy the summer evening and stop in at our favorite bar, The Ale and the Witch. We played Jenga, and enjoyed a craft beer together. After a while, be both were feeling tired and walked back to the hotel. Ryan’s friends in the health club had sent up amazing cupcakes as a congratulatory surprise. We took a dip in the hot tub before calling it bedtime.

He takes his Jenga VERY seriously.

The next morning, we decided to have brunch before heading home, and went to Ceviche’s which has become one of our favorite brunch spots since then. Ryan had french toast and I had a breakfast sandwich on a croissant. As a lover of all things brunch, it was the perfect end to a wonderful engagement celebration. I couldn’t wait to begin the wedding planning, but most of all, I was so excited to finally marry my best friend. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many fun things!

Well, its certainly been a while since I have posted. In my defense, numerous major life changes, along with the regular monotony came together to make for a very busy end of summer, and fall. Some of them include:

1. Buying a House.

My last post was venting some of the stress and frustration of trying to purchase a home, which I suspect has become even more difficult after the whole housing bubble bursting/financial crisis business of 2008. The good news is, it was all worth the time, effort, stress, tears, excessive wine, etc. We moved into our new house August 3 of this year, and have spent the last couple of months since then doing projects around the house/yard. I can’t wait to share some of the things we have done and be able to document projects to come!

2. I got a new job.

While I am still teaching history, and actually one of the same subjects, I transferred to a new school in the same county. There were numerous reasons for wanting to leave my previous school, and it was a good time to be able to move on. I am very thankful that I found a position that I am greatly enjoying, which is much closer to home, less stressful because I am only teaching (and therefore preparing for) one subject, as opposed to 3, teaching higher level kids, and making more money in. Its a win all around!

3. Ryan proposed.

I plan to post separately on this one, as I think it deems a special post, but I was very excited that my boyfriend of 3+ years proposed, and in a way very suitable to us.

4. I’m planning a wedding!

Obviously now that Ryan proposed, I have been in full on wedding planning mode. That is actually part of why I have been itching to start posting again: there are a lot of fun projects and events coming up, that would be fun to chronicle, and have a way to remember and look back upon. We are getting married in March 2013, and therefore having a relatively short engagement. I knew I would probably get a little wedding crazy and figured it would be best to limit that by forcing myself to just plan quickly. So far so good. Famous last words, right?

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