Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Today is a Great Day!

As most of you know, I am trying to lose weight before the "BIG DAY" on May 28th!  I have been noticing suttle changes as the now 22 lbs. have began to fade away.  My pants fit looser, shirts not as tight, and there is the proof in the scale.  However, until today, I have not really felt like I accomplished much. 

About 4 years ago I lost about 30 lbs due to stress and a stomach condition.  The weight came off so quickly, with hardly any effort at all.  However, I was at that time the thinnest I had been in my life.    So I did what any girl would do, I WENT SHOPPING! The result was two dresses. 

This is the dress that I wore to my friend, Michelle Burniston's Wedding. Size 6!

This is the dress I wore to Neil's Boys State Ball, Size 8 - The first single digit item of clothing I have ever owned!

I wore each of these dresses only once! Once! Can you believe that? And do you know why I wore them only once....Because slowly but surely, the weight started coming back.  I got healthier, stopped working out, and stopped watching what I ate.  So they hang in my closet, with no place to go.

So why is today such a GREAT DAY?  Because today is the day I got brave.  I got the dresses out of my closet, and tried them on.  The result - THEY FIT!  22 lbs. gone and they fit again.  This time it has been a lot harder.  It has taken a complete psychological transformation, changing they way I look at food all together.  I also, workout and do ZUMBA!   Now, by no means am I finished.  Fitting back into those dresses was not the goal, just an added bonus. 

So that's is where I am now, 22 lbs. down 20 more to go.  But as of now, I am not concerned with the actual number, just with toning and staying healthy.  Wish me luck!  To all of you out there who may be trying to lose weight, keep it up!  And if you ever get discouraged, think of this.  There will come a day when all of your hard work has paid off, and you can confidently look in the mirror again!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Our Wedding Registry

 So last Saturday, January 29th, Neil and I set out to register for wedding gifts.  I was very excited about this, because it kind of made all of this wedding stuff real!  Plus, we would be picking out things that would be used in our home for the next 50 or 60 years, so this day was kind of a big deal. 

So we began.  Kohl's was our first stop, and I quickly learned this was going to be a long day.  Everything we were picking up had to be analyzed by me.  Like cloth napkins for example, they were not just any cloth napkins, they were the napkins that would be at our table for Thanksgiving dinner or family gatherings for years to come.  So needless to say anxiety kept me from having fun.  Eventually, I stopped the over analyzing behavior and just started grabbing things, and began to have fun.  Neil, of course was the ruler of the scanner gun, but he did let me scan a few things for giggles.

It took about 5 hours to register for everything.  The places we have registered are, Kohl's, Bed Bath and Beyond, Macy's, and Target.  Here are a few pictures that captured the weekend.
The Happy Couple

This was the first thing he scanned...Needless to say he was excited to use the gun.

Neil, trying to be all 007

Monday, January 17, 2011

Girls Weekend! Plus 2 Boys!

Ok, so I had so much to say about purchasing my dress that I wanted to write separately about my girls weekend! So here it goes!

After leaving the bridal store, Melissa and I had lunch at Zaxby's! Having my newly found motivation in hand, I chose a Grilled Chicken House Salad.  I did have ranch dressing, but I did not put that much on there and I DID NOT eat the piece of texas toast it came with! Yay for me! Bread is my weakness.  After lunch Melissa and I headed to Murfreesboro to look for ribbon and jewelry.  The color green I have chosen for my wedding has got to be the most difficult, hard to find color EVER! It is kind a mixture between a lime green and sage.  I like to call it OLIVINE! Back in October, we went to Michaels and found the perfect shade in a satin ribbon.  I needed a swatch for shoe company to dye our shoes.  So we were back to see if they had the ribbon in another size.  But of course they didn't! Next we went to Charming Charlie's to look for bridesmaid jewelry.  Again NO LUCK! I am telling you I picked the most difficult color ever!!!

Ok now on to the best part! Melissa and I were going to McMinnville to see our friend Rachael.  I actually went to high school with Rachael, and all of us girls lived together in college.  Rachael and I always make a tradition for us to see each other when I go to FFA Camp every year.  I did get to see her at camp this past year.  She was about 5 months pregnant with her now 2 month old son, Jacob and she had her daughter, Ashlynn who was just a little over a year old.  When I was in town in October, Melissa and I had dinner with Rachael who was about 8.5 months pregnant with Jacob.  But now we were going to Rachael and Caleb's house for dinner and it would be the first time I got to meet Jacob in person. 

So we made it to McMinnville, that obviously got A LOT of snow because you still could not see the ground in some areas.  When we got to their house Rachael and Caleb came out to greet us.  Rachael was holding Ashlynn (who has gotten so big and looking just like her Momma!)  Ashlynn was talking so much too.  She said "Hey Melissa" and then when she got to me, she got a little confused.  She just could not understand that her name was AshLYNN and my name was AshLEY.  But she eventually got the hang of it and was saying "Hi Ashley" in no time.  Ashlynn took us around her playroom, she quickly started making us cookies and ice cream cones in her new pink kitchen that Santa Claus brought her. Rachael and Caleb also have a dog named Sadie, who is feeling a little left out these days with a 22 month old running around and a new baby in the picture, so when new people come she was excited to have someone to get their attention.

Enter Jacob.  About 20 minutes after we got there, Jacob woke up from his nap! And oh my how he has changed.  I saw a newborn picture of him, a christmas picture, and now a 2 month old baby in real life.  It is amazing how quickly they change.  I wish I had my camera that day (another New Year Resolution - Take more pictures!), because his hair was standing straight up and it stayed that way for the entire time.  Rachael says it has been that way lately and whenever it decides to come down, he is going to look like a different child.  Right now Jacob looks just like his daddy.  I said the same thing about Ashlynn, but now she looks like Rachael.  Later, I saw Jacob's nursery.  I plan on getting him a monogrammable bear like I got Ashlynn.  We went and saw Ashlynn's BIG GIRL room, where she she hid in the closet, she and I had a tea party and read books.  She is so much fun!

Rachael and Caleb were working on dinner which gave Melissa and I plenty of opportunity to play with the babies.  Melissa and I took turns with Jacob.  I just love holding babies! Especially when they are sleeping.  After dinner, we just sat at the table talking.  Caleb actually started putting the dishes away and cleaning, which reminded me a lot of Neil.  He was very kind to let us girls visit and he did the things that needed to be done.  Rachael teaches Middle School science, which is something I could see myself doing, so we talked a lot about her grant project and the new technology she has gotten for her classroom.  Caleb mentioned that there was a Dave Ramsey seminar in Nashville Feb. 5 and he and Rachael were wanting to go.  I think Neil and I are going to go with them.  It would be good for us before getting married. 

Before I knew it, it was 7:00 p.m. and Melissa and I were going to head back to her house.  We said our goodbyes, but I hope another 3 months go by before I get to see them again.  I was always really close to Rachael and I miss seeing her, epecially now since she has children.  Melissa and I listened to the Packers game on the way home.  Rachael and Melissa both are big Packers fans.  When we got to her house we finished watching the game.  Luckily they won!  I was even excited, because I learned that Matt Flynn, who is their 2nd string quarterback plays for them.  He even played the last 4 minutes of the game.  He was LSU's quarterback in 2007 when they won the National Championship.  Geaux Tigers!

Sunday came quickly and it was time for me to leave.  I had a fabulous time with my girls, as well as the two boys!  Rachael and Melissa are such good friends and seeing them more would be so nice.  If God ever leads me to teach in Middle Tennessee, I won't be too upset.=)  Friends are an important thing to have.  Hang on to the ones you have that are close.  Good one's are hard to come by. 

Purchasing "THE DRESS" Extravaganza

This past Friday, January 14th, I headed to Spring Hill, TN for a much needed girls weekend.  However I did have an agenda, to purchase my wedding dress.  One of my best friends, Melissa lives in Spring Hill and the boutique I am buying my dress from is in the neighboring town of Columbia.  So it gives me an excuse to get to see her and other friends I rarely get to see.  BONUS!

I arrived around 5:30 and we decided to eat Japanese! I love sushi, so it was so nice to go eat something I rarely get to.  I tried to keep it healthy and I think I did pretty well.  Melissa and I always have a lot to talk about since months go by before I get to see her.

Ok, so the next morning we were going to the boutique around 10:00 a.m.  As I was getting ready I started to panic.  The dress I am buying has lots of choices of colors.  Without giving too many details basically I was having trouble deciding white or ivory.  I had been debating over this for months, but today was the day! I had to make a decision in an hour! AHHH! It's sad, but I think that is one of the toughest decisions I have ever made! But its made now! No turning back! When we got to the store, they were super busy! Luckily, when you mention that you are here to PURCHASE a dress and not just try on, they are definitely at your service! Because I live 3 hours away, I had to make this appointment count! I had to 1. Order the dress, which a lot goes into.  I had to get measured your normal ways and then do a hem to hollow measurement.  My dress can not be altered length wise so my hope is that it is right! 2. Order shoes. I had to order my shoes along with my attendants shoes.  They had to be ordered at the same time, because they are being dyed a custom color.  Dyeing them all at the same time prevents color mistakes.  3. Pick out jewelry and 4. Pick out a veil.  I completed most of that! I actually have to go back and order my veil because they did not have one in the store to try on that I liked.  I did try the dress back on to look at jewelry and veil options.  This was my favorite part because the last time I was there it was October and I had lost about 10 more pounds since the last time I had tried it on.  Melissa took pictures the last time and we took pictures this time and compared them.  I was so thankful I could tell the difference.  It gave me so much motivation to get these last 20-30lbs off before May! I wish I could post pictures of the experience, but it would spoil the surprise! You will just have to be there May 28th to see the final result!

So that's it! My dress is ordered and I will see her in about 12 weeks! It is a surreal feeling when you purchase your wedding dress.  It finally feels real! You are getting married! For most girls it is the dress you have dreamed of your entire life and although the image may have changed, the feeling you want to have when you put it on sure doesn't.  I can't wait to see Neil's face!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Beginning of a New Life!

Hi! I'm Ashley and this is a documentation of my life in action.  I have often thought about starting a blog, but to be honest I never thought I had much to offer the world.  But then it hit me...I am not blogging for "you".  Sure I would love for you to read and feel free to comment on my thoughts.  But ultimately I am starting this for me.  The purpose of this blog is to document my thoughts, feelings, and the beginning of a new life becoming a wife.  I think of this as the 21st century journal or diary.  Although I am giving access for the entire world to read it, what fun would it be if we didn't!

One of my new year's resolutions was to start a blog and I am proud to say that I am actually completing it! The hard part is yet to come, actually writing daily or weekly. So where did this motivation come from?  Well from Grandmomma.  She was actually Neil's Grandmother, but to be honest in the last four years I have thought of her as my own, and she didn't treat me any different.  Sadly we lost her just a few days before Christmas this past year.  One thing I admired about her was her dedication to journaling.  She always knew details from past events because of this.  After reading some of her journals it made me want to start so I can preserve some of my most precious memories and also made me realize how much I missed writing. So here is to you Grandmomma! Thanks for inspiring me!

As I mentioned earlier I am beginning a new chapter in my life, becoming a wife.  As Neil and I are getting married in May, the next four months I will probably be covering wedding plans, maybe even some of how I cope with being a new teacher as well, but I hope to include what Neil and I have learned on how to make a marriage work.  Now, by no means am I an expert on the subject.  But by reading a lot of books and personal experiences, I have many thoughts that I want to remember and maybe you will get some use out of as well. 

Well there it is my first post! Not sure it was what I was going for, but I do like to sit down and see where my mind takes me.  Thanks for all who "tuned in."  As you probably already figured out I write how I speak.  So grammer will not be a priority in this blog =).