Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mr. & Mrs. Ward

What a wonderful three-day weekend I've had!  I'm kinda sad it's all over since I really don't have another wedding to be a part of till probably my sister's.  I do, however, have a wedding in June that I've been looking forward to since high school!  Lanis and Bre are finally getting married!! :)  But back to the wedding at hand!

Friday was a wonderful day of relaxation and getting errands done.  I absolutely love being off and acting like a "lady of leisure."  I was able to go to a doctor's appointment, drop off a Scentsy basket party bag, get my car washed, go to Target, and head to the nail salon all before 10:30 a.m.  We had 12 o'clock pedicure appointments at The Nail Lounge, but I wanted to get my nails done too so I got there early.  I got a Gelish French-tip manicure and I love it!  It's supposed to last at least 14 days, so I'll let you know how that goes!

Gelish French Manicure
 After mani/pedis, we went to lunch at Lex's favorite sushi spot and location of her and Dakota's first date - Fuji.  I then went home, packed some more, and me and Ethan headed to NAS for the rehearsal.  The weather forecast was actually terrible for the wedding and with it being an outside wedding we had to practice the entrance/exit both inside and outside.  After at least an hour of practicing in the cold, wet, windy weather, Lex made the best decision of the entire wedding - move the wedding inside permanently, no matter what the weather! Hallelujah!!  The only downside to having it indoors was that the girls would now be entering by a staircase.  We all hoped and prayed we weren't the lucky one to trip and fall down a flight of stairs in front of 200+ guests. (Spoiler alert:  no one fell!)


Rehearsal Hair & Makeup
  
Bride & her Bridesmaids at Rehearsal

The rehearsal dinner was at Franco's and I had the Eggplant Parmesan.  As me and Moe would say, "CHEAT MEAL!"  I swear the past two weeks have been nothing but cheat meals.  Back on the grind starting today (Monday).  Lex's parents were kind enough and rented us a couple of rooms on base for the girls to stay at and get ready in for the big day!  It was a beautiful place with high ceilings and all antique looking fixtures and decor, surrounded by tall, mossy trees near the water.  I can't wait to see the professional photographers pictures of all of us outside.  It made for such a gorgeous backdrop!


Me & Hannah after Makeup by Rylee
Me & Moe
Bridesmaids Getting Ready
Moe, Me, Hannah, Melanie, & Brittnee
According to Lex we were supposed to sleep in on Saturday since hair and makeup weren't arriving till 11.  Right.. so the Bride was up at 5:00 a.m. followed by the rest of us about 7:30/8:00.  So much for sleeping in!  Moe (Lex's Maid of Honor) collected letters for Lex to read while getting ready.  It was such a sweet thing and definitely started the water works early!  Blair, one of the wedding planners from Nancy's Haute Affairs brought us a platter of finger sandwiches and cookies for lunch.  I highly highly recommend them for wedding planning.  Everything was gorgeous and they seemed to really aim to please! When Lex's bouquets weren't wrapped right, she had them fixed in 10 minutes flat to please the bride!  Hair and makeup started about 11 and Michael Newman arrived about 3 to start taking pics.  The weather was rainy on and off, but luckily we were able to get some pre-wedding shots outside and make it to the Officer's Club without any rain! 
Waiting in the Loft


My New Sister
 Lex and her Dad did a "first-look" since he hadn't seen anything about her wedding day look.  It was really a sweet moment.  Around 5:15 it was finally time for the bridal party to head over to the Officer's Club to hang out until the wedding started at 6!  I did manage to trip down the stairs at the house we stayed at which was about 5 or 6 stairs high to the driveway, but thanks to my many years of cheerleading experience, I was able to land like a pro.  No bloody knees and ripped bridesmaid dress on my part!

1st Dance - "And I Thought I Loved You Then"
Mr. & Mrs. Dakota & Alexis Ward
The ballroom looked so pretty!  Lex's centerpieces were square vases with lemon slices and baby's breath with white linens and grey bows.  I really didn't think I would cry, but once I saw my baby brother standing next to the preacher, my water works started!  I managed to pull it together, but definitely didn't see that coming!  The ceremony was beautiful and was over before I knew it!  The bridal party was directed to go straight outside once the ceremony was over for pictures while it was still daylight.  I think the funniest part of it all was when we were all outside and Dakota and Lex were on the beach and it started sprinkling, then bigger drops, then bigger drops, and then you see all of us sprinting to the door as the rain was pouring down!  Best part was seeing Lex with her hightailing it with her dress pulled up high! I really wish someone had a picture of that!

Grandma & Grandpa Ward
Grandma & Grandpa Pitts
Me, Marissa, Taylor, & Katie
My Handsome Hubs
Reception was great. Food was yummy, decorations were cute, dancing was fun, and it was nice seeing all my family and friends there!  Highlight of the dancing was seeing Lex drop it a little too hot and fall on the dance floor!  I think there is a picture of that somewhere! ;) 

The Macarthurs & The Wards

..::Sparklers::..
The bride and groom left with a sparkler exit and are now enjoying their honeymoon in Orlando.  I still can't believe it's been eight months since he proposed and now the weddings over, but I do look forward to many years and memories with my new sister-in-law!  I love you both, Alexis and Dakota, and I'm so so happy for you guys!






Monday, March 18, 2013

Shake It for the Bachelorette

Early November '12, Alexis decided she wanted to go the Luke Bryan concert at the Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama, for her Bachelorette Party.  We purchase the tickets and four looooong months later, it was the most awesomest concert I've been to!!  Mr. Luke Bryan is a very, very sexy man! Haha!

After getting off work early on the concert day, I headed over to Alexis' apartment to get ready with her and her other bridesmaids.  From there, me, Alexis, Melanie, Taylor, and Brittnee met Moe at Chili's for an early pre-concert dinner!

Me, the Bachelorette, Melanie, and Brittnee

The Wharf is a good hour drive away so we left early so we could get in line early for the "first-come-first-served" floor seats we were so so so excited about.  Long story short.. we bought the wrong tickets and were denied access to the floor. :(  In reality our tickets were nosebleed seats way up in section 304 with all of us spread out since we didn't buy the tickets together.  We tried to make the best of the situation and sit together as long as possible and tell anyone that would listen our sob story about how we were supposed to on the floor. 

I love our photobombers in the back! ;)


The best part of our sob-story was when Moe decided this was Alexis' Bachelorette Party and we were NOT sitting in the nosebleed section.  She and Alexis went down and found awesome seats *right* behind the floor section and that's where we stayed the rest of the concert.  It was great!  Florida Georgia Line were the first opening act, followed by Thompson Square.  Then finally the moment we had been waiting for...


He was such a great performer!  I wasn't such a huge Luke Bryan fan until his concert.  Man.. that man can move!  Before the concert, Moe had ordered Alexis a 8-foot long banner that said "Shake it for me Luke!  Tonight's my Bachelorette Party and I'm getting hitched next week!"  We were so worried that he wouldn't be able to see our banner, but he did and he totally shook it for us!  Best moment of our lives!  You could tell he was trying to read it while he was performing some other songs, but when it got to "Country Girl (Shake it for Me)" we really held the banner high so he would see it!  At the end of the song, he pointed to us, blew us kisses, and then shook it!!  I think Alexis literally almost passed out!  He also wished her congratulations!


Me and Taylor freezing our butts off in our "new" seats.


I'd say it was a pretty successful Bachelorette Party!  I'm so thankful I was able to go into work late on Friday because we didn't get home till 2am!  I had to run a last minute surprise wedding errand too!  Friday night we had a Ladies' Night at Ms. Tina's house and we were able to finish the last 80 of the wedding programs! Woo-hoo!  Then Saturday was the Bridal Luncheon at Shark Fin.  We got these super cute burlap and lace bracelets as our gifts to wear with our bridesmaid dresses.  I can't believe the wedding is THIS WEEK!  I've got a super busy week filled with work dreadlines deadlines, hair appointments, nail appointments, doctor appointments, and on and on.. this week probable will just fly by!!

Me, Mom, Hannah, Kelley, Alexis, Moe, Laila, Melanie, Brittnee, and Chris

Hannah, Alexis, and Me - Soon-to-Be Sisters!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ethan's New Job

Oh my goodness!  So much has happened in such little time!  I can't even begin to express how blessed we are by God and how great and awesome He is to us.  I have so much to be thankful for and watch in amazement and awe as more blessings from God unfold around me, my family, my church, etc. everyday!

After many months of waiting, Ethan finally has a job!  He finally received a call on Monday from the company saying he got the job and the official offer would be sent on Wednesday!  This has been such a long time coming.  Ethan applied for this job back in early December '12, heard back from them that they were interested about late January '13, had a couple phone interviews in February '13, and finally March 14, 2013, had his first day of work at his brand-new, full-time, grown-up job!  There's been so many ups and downs with this process though!  It was stressful because there was so much paperwork and background checks and just uncertainty.  BUT.. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28"  Best part of it is that it's actually about $2.50 more an hour than we were originally expecting!  Such such such a God-send!  For those wondering, Ethan is now a Chiropractic Assistant on the Navy Base!  He's in charge of patient scheduling, check-ins, and I'm pretty sure will eventually be assisting with actual patient care.  He's got a great schedule, gets a lunch break, and even gets to have a half day every Friday.  Sometimes I swear he is just so stinking lucky! ;) The people seem nice and are way excited for him to start!  I'm so excited for him and can't wait to see how God will use him in this new position.

And yes, we have decided how to spend his first paycheck about 1,000 times over!  When you live on just one paycheck for so long, it's a very exciting thing to think about!  First on the list is paint and bedroom furniture for our guest room!  It's almost summer time and I know we're going to have company this year!  Next on the list is paying things off!  I want to be 100% debt free!  When this happens, we are probably going to buy me a new car since mine is getting up there on mileage.  I love my girl and she's been faithful for 8 years.  Tear will be shed the day I actually have to give her up!  But, hopefully we can get a good deal when it comes "End-of-Year" sales times!  Right now I've got my eye on a Mazda CX 7, Volkswagon Tiguan, and a Toyota Rav4... Decisions decisions!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weddings and Workouts

Weekends seem to go by soo fast these days!  Since February 9th, I've had a bridal shower every Saturday to attend for Alexis.  This past weekend was one that Aunt Terri threw for her at the Yacht Club.  It was beautiful and the food was so yummy! 

Family Pic - (back row L to R) Aunt Doris, Aunt Terri, Grandma Ward, Kelley, Mom, Jen, Chris
(front row L to R) Hannah, Alexis, Me

We had a chicken salad with walnuts, some sort of spring salad with lemon dressing, an assorted fruit salad, and some sort of banana bread.  Absolutely yummy brunch!  And for dessert, Kate of Kate's.Cakes made her fabulous champagne cupcakes!  Seriously, how cute is this cake?!  So delicious and so worth the 20-minute sprint intervals I did Saturday morning on my off-day so I could enjoy one (or two)!



This was the last of the bridal showers and now the fun starts for the last two weeks of hectic-ness before the wedding on the 23rd!  I can't believe it's almost here! Eek!

Me, Mom, and Hannah

This week we have the Luke Bryan concert on Thursday, a girl's craft night on Friday to finish making the wedding programs, and then the Bridesmaid Luncheon on Saturday at Shark Fin!  Top that off with a super busy week at work and it should be the weekend before I know it!

Now on to some diet-related stuff:  Ethan has found a super yummy, super healthy smoothie that makes an excellent post-workout meal.  It literally has over 45 grams of protein!  I personally think it's a bit high on the calories/carb side, but post-workout it's good to replenish and as long as I'm using it as a meal replacement, I don't feel so bad about drinking 450-ish calories.

Behold - The Green Monster


Recipe for The Green Monster

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 C. almond milk or skim milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
  • 2 T. reduced fat peanut butter
  • large handful fresh spinach
  • 2 handfuls ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender, mix well, and enjoy!

Honestly, the color kinda freaked me out the first time I drank it, but once you get past that it's wonderful!  I use unsweetened almond milk in mine, while Ethan uses skim milk.  Almond milk has fewer calories (30 vs. 86), carbs (<1 g. vs. 12 g.), and sugar (0 g. vs. 12 g.) per serving than milk does.  Skim milk, on the other hand, has less fat (0 g. vs. 2.5 g.) and more protein (1 vs. 8), so really use what works for you.  I've adopted a low-carb, low-calorie diet for myself, so the almond milk is for me!

Last Friday I finally hit a BIG goal of mine in my weight loss journey.. FINALLY back in the 140s! Granted it was 149.6, but I'll take it!  I want to be 145.0 by the wedding.  That's two weeks and about 5 lbs.  I know I can do it!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

First Post - Here We Go

Hi. My name is Katie and I'm a blog stalker. Good, now that that's taken care of I can get started. Actually the whole reason I'm starting this blog is because of my stalkerness. I love the idea of being able to look back at something and remember the good times and sometimes the bad times. I want to use this as a way to share life experiences, express joy and sorrow, vent and rant, and maybe just my never ending flow of thoughts. I also love how many of the blogs I follow stalk are baby blogs and how the blogger was able to track her pregnancy through it. Not that I'm pregnant or anything, or really plan to be in the next couple years, I just figure it'd probably be a good thing to have before it actually gets here. I'm just thinking ahead! ;)

Right now I've got some good blog material for ya! Ethan and I have started our fitness journey again and I'd like to keep track of my goals and accomplishment of said goals here. We've also been trying new diet-friendly recipes and some are so delicious I'd love to share them. I want to be a jack-of-all-trade blogger. A little motivation, a little life story time, and maybe a recipe or two. That being said, I'll try to be good about blogging. I promise! This is something that I've attempted to start before, but this time I feel different about it.

Anyways, current stats as followed: working full-time for the County, exercising/eating right to finally get my dream body, "mommy" to my sweet boys - Jinxy and Jerry, and obviously a doting wife to Ethan.

Let's see where this takes us...
Katie