Wednesday, November 14, 2012

health scare.

I'm going through somewhat of a health crisis right now. and I really could use some prayers.

it started on Saturday.  My right quad was a little sore, but I attributed it to running and tried to stop thing about it.  I was still able to walk on it at that point.  I did notice a little zit looking spot on my thigh, and I kinda picked at it to see if it was an ingrown hair, and it looked liked it was.  Nothing to worrisome.  Sunday morning i woke up and couldn't get out of bed.  My leg hurt so bad i couldn't bend it, bare weigh on it, straighten it.  I noticed it was starting to swell too.  felt kinda hard underneath the skin too.  I went along my day, but was starting to feel pretty crappy.  By the time i went to work Sun night, I was shivering cold, and could not get warm.  I was covered in blankets camped out at the nurses station only to get up to go into my patient's rooms when they needed something, and that was a struggle.  I was fatigued, nauseous and had a headache.  I forced myself to finish out the shift, but by 5:30 am, I was puking in the bathroom, had a 101 fever and the swelling was double the size.  Luckily, my lovely charge nurse Laura grabbed the first nurse who walked through to door on day shift and forced her to take my patient quickly so I could get out of there.  I crawled home, shivering and wanting to die.  I rechecked my temp at home and it was now 103.  I started taking ibuprofen and aleve every few hours, pushed fluids, tried to sleep.  I did sleep on/off for about 18 hours.

Since Monday, I"m still bedridden.  Takes everything in me to stand up so that mady can go out.  I've been in and out of the bathtub about a million times.  I've ice'd it, heated it, killed my poor stomach with ibuprofen and aleve.

I finally called my doctor this morning and said that I needed to be seen right now, so they were able to fit me in at 6 tonight.  I'm praying that they'll give me a bag of antibiotics and let me go ,because I cannot afford a self-pay hospital visit.  I am uninsured right now by accident.  Last year I started a new job, and I signed up for insurance.  2 months after  I started, open enrollment started, which I thought meant making changes to insurance, not re-signing up for insurance.  (that's how it was at my other job and this was not explained to me in orientation).  So I didn't re-sign up for insurance and lost my benefits.  Although I wrote letters to HR and the insurance company explaining the misunderstanding and the fact that I cannot afford insurance on my own and would therefore be uninsured, they refused to allow me to sign up for benefits.  So basically I'm uninsured until January 1st.  Please pray for healing and quick recovery, relief from the pain and swelling.  i'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I really need to get better about posting.  I started this blog as a kind of online diary, where I could look back for years and read exactly what I was feeling at each of those moments.

Lately, life seems to be consumed by wedding.  Dresses, flowers, music, church, candles, mason jars (so many FREAKING mason Jars).  Engagement pics are this weekend.  Getting closer to deciding what we're going to wear, but still trying to nail all of that down.  I looked at the forecast and I was not particularly says it will rain in the a.m. but then hopefully clear up by the afternoon.   Which will leave for a big muddy mess for Jon and I to play in and try to look cute doing.  eeeeek.  i'll just keep praying on that one.

Our marriage classes finish up this week-- cannot believe it's already been 8 long grueling weeks of therapy.  We really have learned a lot.  We learned that we have different love languages, and completely different personalities, but we also learned the tools to make it work.  We really, really love each other.  I never go a day without being told how much he loves me, how beautiful I am, and how he can't wait to marry me.  I mean what more can you ask for??

Now, onto the fitness portion of the update.

I've been doing myfitnesspal for 34 days now and I'm finally seeing big results.  i still refuse to weigh myself-- but all of my clothes are loose and my SKINNY skinny jeans are too big.  My scrub pants are falling off at work.  I feel great--- it's been a lot of hard work, a lot of crazy running and learning how to eat just enough, but it's working.  I want to look beautiful for my husband on our wedding day.  Coincidentally, Jon loves me the way I am and tells me everyday to not lose another pound, i'm too skinny already, but really, I want to feel good for ME.  When a woman FEELS good, she looks that much better to her man.  I'm getting there.  I have a dress appointment next week, which I'm actually going to KEEP this time.  I'm fierce and ready to get at it.  Bring them on!

Monday, September 17, 2012


I have to share something with you.  Lately, I have found a new blog.  It's called Momastery.  People, I'm obsessed with this blog.  This women, Glennon, is the most beautiful writer I've ever read.  Her heart is bigger than anyone I know.  She FEELS things.  She FEELS things like me.  I've never related to someone so much in my life, and I don't even know this woman.

Anyways, lately I've been saying that I feel like things are harder for me than for other people.  I was born a little broken, maybe.  So I was reading her post from today and it hit me, and it all made sense.  here is a modified exerpt...

Some of us are born with an otherness that we feel right away . . . awareness of our otherness is often our first memory. We have this feeling that maybe we were dropped off in the wrong place, because nothing seems familiar. The people in this strange and harsh and  require us to play role after exhausting role. We are afraid of things that don’t seem to scare other people. Friendship, love, commitment . . . these things seem so big, so important, so murky and confusing and dangerous…how could we dare enter into them? We decide it would safer not to. We see that other people seem comfortable taking these risks, but we feel different. We feel more aware, and less capable. We rationalize that maybe others take all of these risks because they don’t foresee the pitfalls that we see. We decide, subconsciously or not, that we are different. And we are so full of this knowledge of our difference that we must find a way to relieve our fullness. We are like volcanoes with no exit for our hot lava.

OMG.  That is brilliant.   I remember as a little girl, thinking I was different.  I felt a certain awareness, even as a tiny blonde perfectionist.  I felt like I knew things about the world, about people, about myself....and I wondered- do other people feel this same awareness?  As I've gotten older, a little anxiety has crept in and there is a fear that comes with this awareness.  I now WORRY.  I worry about  others....loved ones and ones I don't know.  I worry about myself.  

I'm working on it.  J is so bothered by it that I have to work on it.  He hates to see me worry.  He hates to see me look at the world in all of its brokenness and only see dark, forgetting the light.  He accepts me for who I am, but I know it bothers him to see me worry so much.  And God doesn't want me to worry so much.  Sometimes I think I take the verse "break my heart for what breaks yours" too literally.  After all, He also told us, "Be anxious about nothing..." 

Just had to share that today.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I turned 29 yesterday.

Next year, I'll be 30.  That's insane.  Ew.

Needless to say, it wasn't THAT happy of a birthday.  I finally understand what people meant when they said birthdays aren't fun anymore when you're old.  I'm old.  I may or may not have scanned my entire head for gray hairs yesterday.  (Thank you, Jesus, I did not find any).  I would've totally lost it if I had.

I don't like getting old... and honestly, it's not really the vanity.  I feel my body getting older.  When I do a double digit run, I feel more sore the next day than I used to.  My back bothers me most days.  It's harder to get my body out of bed in the morning.  Granted, I should be happy I can still do double digit runs.  My back pain has never bothered me enough to have to take meds....and I HAVE a bed.  I'm pretty damn lucky.  But still...

I feel like I'm a little behind the 8-ball.  I'm 29 and not married yet (...8 more months!)  I'm not preggo.  I don't have little ones running around.  I don't yet own a house.

Lucky for me, my fiancé is amazing.  He puts everything into perspective.  Who cares that we aren't the youngest out of our friends to get married, he says... we'll have a better marriage (not better than them, just better for us) because we waited until it was right for US.  We got to enjoy our twenties without much responsibility.  We're happy.... Amy, you're more beautiful now than you were 5 years ago.  We can still have a bunch of little ones....heck, we'll start on our honeymoon if you want.

 He really is wonderful.

So, I'll stop my whining and embrace my 29th year.  It's likely going to be the biggest year of my life, so I'm going to try to enjoy every minute of it.  I'm going to have a beautiful wedding to the love of my life.  I'm going to get to see my little adopted girl Dashi grow a year older, start preschool, and drink clean water.  I'm going to travel to Hawaii, Virginia, Houston, and California.  I'm going to run more miles this year than I ever have before.  And next year, when I'm celebrating #30, I might be celebrating with a third little Nilles in tow.  (you never know :) )

Happy 29th to me.  It's going to be a brutiful year.

Friday, September 7, 2012



Is planning a wedding this hard for everyone?

Sometimes I think I was born a little broken....just to be brutally honest with ya'll.  Everything just seems HARDER for me... I stress, I worry, I stress some more.  i'm a perfectionist of the worst kind.  This does not bode well for a little girl planning a wedding.  Every piece of this thing just seems SO HARD.

And trust me, I know, there are monkees out there with worse problems.  My close friend is 8.5 months pregnant, trying to fix up a new house, and trying to take care of her sick mom through months and months of hospitalizations, heart surgeries, amputation, rehab, more surgery, potential heart transplant, repeat.  Her mom will likely have to move in with her and her husband and their brand new baby so that she can take care of her mom and her newborn at the same time....and work full time....night shift. And I feel like I complain a lot more than she does sometimes.  Why is is SO HARD for me sometimes?

I worry that it won't be perfect.  I worry that I won't find a dress I love.  I worry that we won't be able to pay for it all.  I worry....etc.  One thing I don't worry about is who I'm marrying.  Lucky for me, that is the easiest part.  I'm smitten with my fiancé and he does everything he can to make it better.  He always tells me.... Tell me what I can do to make it easier... I'll take care of it...stop worrying.   One night amidst a breakdown he made me repeat over and over again...."life is too short.  God made me this way..."  over and over again until I was calm.  then we took a lipstick and I wrote it on my standing mirror so I can look at it everyday.

It's not just the wedding.... I worry about much more than that.  I worry about my friends who are hurting.... I worry about my adopted little girl Dashi in Sri Lanka and what she's going through and who might be hurting her.  I worry that I may have problems having my own little girl someday.

When it gets really rough, God always seems to send me a message to calm me down. This morning, I was driving home from a night at work (unscheduled, I was just there to help the girls since it was crazy-busy and I ended up staying all night....after not sleep-preparing for it, I was DEAD at the end of the shift--- I digress).... anyways, I started worrying that we won't find a church in time to have our wedding (Willow doesn't do weddings on Sundays so we're looking for plan B).  Just then, my mom texted me....7:45 in the morning.... "How are you doing today! Be anxious about nothing.  But in everything with thanksgiving give your requests to the Lord."  Thank you Mama.  thank you Jesus.

And I drove home in peace.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

to Jonny..happy birthday!

What to do at 4:30 in the morning when your body is completely screwed up due to working nights and you can't sleep?  Blog of course...

Today is my fiancé's birthday...the big 27.  Little I am turning 29 in a few months and I've robbed the cradle with a younger man.  I remember when we first started dating--- it took me MONTHS to finally give into my crush on him because I was so against dating someone younger than me... he's only a grade younger than me in school, but I was always dating older guys, chasing my brother's friends around and god forbid I'd stoop so low as to date a JUNIOR when I was a SENIOR....

Eventually he won me over with his humor and dark good looks.... hahaha.  Seriously though, he took me out one night and I was actually just trying to get over a boyfriend I'd recently broken up with.... he made me laugh harder than I ever have in my life.  I was intrigued...  then a month or so later, he asked me to homecoming.  Reluctantly I said yes... and it just happened that I fell in love with him the week of the dance.

There was a high school talent show during homecoming week.  He and his friend Brett were signed up to perform an act called "Precision Aerial Grape Spectacular."  Basically they had a routine where they did stunts that involved throwing grapes into each other's mouths.... sounds insanely stupid, but it was beyond hilarious and AWESOME to watch! When the song "Regulators" by Warren G came on and he and Brett got on that stage, the crowd went INSANE.  I fell in love with Jon that might have been his humor....his quirkiness....or maybe it was his confidence.  But I was hooked.  We kissed for the first time that night.  And a few days later, we had a blast at our first of many high school dances together.

We dated for a year before I had to leave to go away to college at U of I in Champaign.  Leaving him was honestly one of the worst days of my life.  by then, I was completely head over heels for this guy.  That first year we dated turned out to be one of my favorite of the 11 years we've spent together.  I ended up spending a lot of weekends of my freshman year at college coming back to see him, coming to his football games and cherishing every second we spent together.  I would so look forward to the weekends when I'd finally get to cuddle up to him again.  I realized that year that this man would one day be my future husband.

The next year, he joined me at U of I and we had a million great memories there.

11 years later, we're engaged and getting married in 10 months.  I CANNOT WAIT!  I am so incredibly lucky.  Sometimes I look at him and just can't believe how richly God has blessed me with this man.  My parents prayed for my future husband from the time I was born-- that He'd give me the kind of man He wants for me... and God couldn't have been more right on.  Jon is the most caring, loving, affectionate, sweet, funny, genuine person I've ever known.  Most importantly, he loves me for me... I never, ever feel judged or feel like I have to be perfect....he loves my imperfections.  And for someone like me who is the ultimate perfectionist, he's exactly what I need.  He makes me laugh on a daily basis.  He ALWAYS makes me feel loved.  He tells me he loves me a million times a day, and that I'm beautiful 2 million times a day.  What more can you ask for?

He's gonna be such a great husband and dad to our future kids.  I can't wait to be able to wake up next to him every morning, make dinner with him, go to bed with him every night, holding hands under the covers while we pray together for our marriage and our babies.  We can't wait to have our own family next year.  May 26, 2013 will be the best day of my life and I know it will only get better, because it always has, everyday for the last 11 years.

Happy birthday baby!  I love you so much!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Log Off. Shut down. Go Run.

Thought of a few more notes to add to my Runner's Tale post.

One of the most important things you can do for yourself if you want to be a runner is get yourself the right equipment.  You NEED a pair of shoes that work for your feet.  The first 3 or 4 marathons I ran, I was running in Nike running shoes.  I couldn't figure out why I was icing my knees constantly and had pain at the bottoms of my feet.  My Uncle Ron (an avid Marathoner himself) recommended Asics, so I headed to the local running store to check them out.  This is one of the best pieces of advice I'll give you.... GO TO A RUNNING STORE for your shoes.  Don't go to the mall, or to Dick's, or Footlocker.  Go to a speciality running store where they'll (for free) study your feet and your form and fit you for the RIGHT shoe.  Some brands that I've found good are Asics, Brooks, and Saucony.  I will ONLY wear Asics however.  Here are my babies that I'm wearing now:

BEST RUNNING SHOES EVER.  I'd only trust Asics for my marathoning.  #AsicsGelKinsel4

They weren't cheap (reg 190 but I think I got them for 130 with a marathon discount). but they feel like HEAVEN.  Specialty running stores will measure and study your feet, fit you in different brands, and even watch you run to figure out exactly what shoes you need.  Make the investment.  Trust me, it's worth it.

Second.... invest in a good pair of running shorts, running tights, and Under Armour.  That way you have no excuse-- it's too cold, it's too hot, etc.  My fav running shorts:
Nike Tempo Track Women's Running Shorts

I literally own these in every single color.  They're soo comfortable. they wick away moisture and they even have built in underwear (that don't ride up your butt).  If it's cold I throw on a pair of running tights under them.  One thing I wouldn't recommend for the serious runner is substituting yoga pants for shorts/tights or specialty running pants.  Yoga pants are made specifically for yoga and don't tend to have the breathability of running tights/pants/shorts.  You end up shortening your stride and slowing yourself down.  My running coach taught me this a few years ago and it's made a world of difference for me since I focus a lot on speed and extreme long distance.

<em>Nike</em> Cushioned No-Show <em>Running Socks</em> White One SizeFinally, get yourself some good running socks.  You need something that is gonna cushion your foot and let them breathe.  These are my absolute favs. Notice how there is a left and right sock.  These guys are so awesome that they realize your left foot is shaped different than your right foot- thus your sock should also be.  The dry fit wicks away moisture and those side panels shape and support your foot.  These socks are soo great.

Now.... get out there and go.  And thank you so much for the emails/messages you've sent me about your progress.  It is so motivating for me to hear that someone caught running fever by reading this blog.  I am so in love with the sport and it warms my heart that anyone could possibly be motivated by my ramblings.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why I lived on juice for 3 days (& will do it again)

Let me start this off by saying, I didn't do this to lose weight.  I'm really not a fan of fad dieting.  I'm actually quite opinionated about that actually....this carb free, gluten free, HCG crap is so ridiculous.  I'm sorry, people, you can't live the rest of your life without a piece of birthday cake, a sandwich, a cookie.  please.  So what happens is you lose some weight on a crazy diet, you eventually break, you gain everything back + more.  I've maintained my weight over the last decade by one method--- run, eat healthy, run some more.  There's times when I may knock off a few cals here and there, cut out the sweets  for a bit to get in shape for a vacay or event....and trust me, now that my wedding is in viewing distance, you better believe I'll be back on my veggie burgers and salad full time (a girl's gotta look good in her wedding dress).  I digress....

I started reading about juice cleanses a few months ago in my Runner's World magazine.  Apparently, it's supposed to keep a runner's stomach a little more steady.  Did you know that runners have naturally uneasy stomachs and problems keeping things moving?  I found this out years ago when I couldn't figure out why I had a constant stomachache.  Juicing is also supposed to help with energy, stamina, sore muscles, speed, and shin splints.  It's a great way to clear up constipation and kick start a diet.  Lately I'd had some problems with shin splints due to training on lots of different surfaces (sidewalk, road, treadmill, trail) and instead of rest and bananas like the normal person, I decided to do a juice cleanse.  Also, I've been stressed since I lost my g-ma a few weeks ago to cancer, and this didn't help my stomach problems.  I researched my butt off and finally found a cleanse that seemed to fit-- Juice Rx out of Chicago-- they deliver to your house, it's 3 days (the max I wanted to do) and I had a group-on.  One morning while icing my shins after an 8-miler, I picked up my macbook pro, my debit card, and went for it.  Here we go.

Day 1:  Woke up at 4 a.m.  Didn't look at the clock, just happily raced to the fridge to grab my first juice. I couldn't wait to try it (plus I had a late run the night before and was hungry at 4 a.m.)  First up-- spicy lemonade.  I can't lie...I was disappointed.  Something about the cayenne in the lemonade just didn't sit well with me.  I was a little nervous.  After all, I'm not gonna drink something I hate for 3 days, not worth it.   Luckily, the next 5 juices of the day were YUMMY.  Even the green juice at dinnertime and especially the strawberries & cream cashew milk.  That one tastes like a milkshake.  More importantly, I was FULL all day and felt good-- energetic and my mind felt sharp.  The only thing I missed was actually putting something in my mouth to actually chew.  Kinda just weird to break that habit the first day.  Skipped my run on day 1 since I read that you should cut back a little cardio when doing the cleanse.  Slept great night #1.

Day 2:  Woke up feeling energetic.  Muscles felt loose, even my shins, which usually tend to be a little sore.  Run went great.  A little hungry after the run but fulfilled after the juice and forced myself to drink a little more water to keep full.  I felt FOCUSED, which is awesome considering I'm a night nurse and half the time my brain is mush on my days working/off.

Day 3:  Almost done!  NO HUNGER at all first thing in the morning.  my stomach felt better than it had in months.  Skipped the spicy lemonade day 3 because I figured I'd rather be a little hungry than have to choke that one down again.  However, around lunchtime even though I'd had my citrus juice by then, I felt hungry.  I honestly think it was the missed breakfast juice- so I'd recommend drinking every single juice if you're gonna do the cleanse.  They work together and if you miss one, it's like missing a piece to the puzzle and it just doesn't work as well.

Weighed myself before and after the cleanse and lost 5 lbs (all water weight plus clean intestines and I was just curious as to how much it would fluid shift).  Energy level was great....mind/body focus awesome.  Felt lighter and brighter was how I'd describe it.  I will totally do another one, probably as soon as I can get my hands on another groupon (these cleanses aren't cheap).  Worth it!


A Runner's Tale.

Alright I've been meaning to write this post for awhile....many, many people have been asking me the same question.... "How do I start running?"

Let me just be completely honest with you.  It sucks..........

  to start.  Once you are into it, it will become such a part of you that you won't be able to stop.  Then just when your love/hate relationship is really starting to get the best of you, you'll join your first organized race.  During said race, you'll fight with yourself the whole time, you'll curse yourself for your stupidity (why did I sign up for this????) and then when it's over....your obsession will only worsen.  That high that you'll get from finishing that race, that "hurt so good" pain in your hips and legs, heck, that fake gold medal they'll put around your neck.... it will take you over, and you'll be proud to be the craziest of all crazies....."the RUNNER!"

Marathoning is another story.....another 40 or so blog posts that I've yet to write about.  That's for the craziest of runners....aka...MOI.  I digress.

Alright, so you want to run?  Really??  Alright.  First thing you have to do.  RUN.  That's it.  It's simple. Trust me, getting out the door and actually starting is going to be the worst part.  It's gonna hurt like hell those first few runs, but soon your trots will lengthen and pretty soon, you're gonna be like me, and your day won't be complete without getting your Asics on and hitting the pavement (or treadmill).  Running is the BEST workout in the world.  I've done a million different workouts, worked with trainers, suffered through the hell of P90x, but the best shape I've ever been in is always a result of cutting out the elliptical, the spinning class, the weights, and just lengthening my runs.  If you have never been a runner, or don't work out for that matter.....the best way to start is a walk/run method.  Basically you alternate running and walking, gradually speeding up and lengthening the "running" portion until you are solely running and cutting out the running altogether.  Here is a great program to start with:  (I've had friends with great success using this program).,7120,s6-238-520--9397-0,00.html  (copy and paste into your browser or google runner's world walk to run program).

Not gonna lie, it's not easy.  But it's addicting.  Stick it out for 9 days and you'll develop a habit (maybe even sooner if you're already athletic).  Get a partner if it makes it easier for you to get out the door.  I don't partner, however.  I'm pretty decent at challenging myself and competing against my own times.  I got a running coach 2 years ago and cut 2 minutes off my time per mile.  On average for short runs 5-8 miles, I'm at around a 7 to 7.2 min mile pace.  I was at a 9 min mile pace before I was coached.  So needless to say, a trainer is always helpful, if you can afford it.  If not, go to Runner's and read the stories of fellow runners-- it will be motivating enough.  Also-- get some GOOD music on your iPod. Everytime I dose up on new music, I have an AMAZING week of runs.  My suggestion for this week is Goodie Mob ft. Cee Lo "Fight to Win"..soo motivating.  I ran 8 miles in just under 50 minutes yesterday after downloading that one (a little over 6 min/mile).  Vision Quest soundtrack is also awesome.  don't forget to throw some Rocky in there and a few good gangster rap songs.  I'm also obsessed with 80s music but I realize not everyone will be motivated by Genesis.

Alright.....  GO!!  (let me know how it goes, I love to hear stories, it motivates me).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Take me away.....

I soo want to be here!  Lately I've had 2 things on my mind.... the wedding....and SAILING.  I have NO idea why.  It actually all started with this picture.  I saw it on pinterest and instantly felt myself transported into the image and had to go there!  I would die to take a few months off everything, grab my fiancé, a bikini, some Sperry's and sunscreen and get on a sailboat to nowhere.  We could catch our dinner, count stars, read books at night with the stars as a nightlight of course.  Instead...... 

We're planning a wedding, we're working crazy hours, trying to see each other as often as possible despite the distance, and anxious figuring out what our next plan is.  J's next job is still to be decided....  we've talked about moving downtown and that would really be fun-- or who knows? maybe we'll end up on the East or West coast (Maine or Cali are my dreams right now)...  I want to be by the water right now for some reason.  I'm sure I'll grow out of it soon and feel a little more content in the midwest and I love being close to our families, but I certainly wouldn't be opposed to being a "Nor'easter" as I told J the other day.  (Keep in mind, this is totally something that's captivated my mind in recent months....prior to this, I've always wanted to stay right here in the Chicago burbs)..  But right now, I feel totally antsy where I am.  Please pray that we'll have an answer on J's job and the next chapter of our lives soon.  I know that God is good, and He's gonna put us where we're supposed to be....but I've never been good at not knowing.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Sorry!  Haven't posted in awhile.  Frankly, I've thought about it but just haven't had a lot to say.  In a nutshell, I'm working nights, living in the burbs, Jon is still contracted at NBC in Decatur for the next few months and is looking for a new job up here or a career change.  We're still doing this crazy long-distance thing.....which has tested this relationship more than anything EVER has, in 10 years.  It is HARD.  but I have to visits with my future Hubs are so amazing and wonderful.  When we're comfortable and married, I think I'll miss those visits when we held on to each other like 16 year olds, afraid that if we let go, we'd lose each other forever.  I fall in love with my handsome fiancé over and over again during every visit.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  It sure as hell does.  It also makes arguments a little more explosive, let me tell you.  Distance is not for the faint of heart.  And the distance means nothing when someone means everything.

Moving on.... started a bible study a few weeks ago with my sweet, funny friend Jaci whom I met at work. I knew the instant I met her that we'd connect, and during our first coffee/study, we totally clicked and figured out that many of our trials, happys, funnys, frustrations, loves, all kinda matched up.  I think we'll be lifelong friends.  The first book we're studying is about Joy (choosing joy by choosing God).  It's a little light to be honest, but it sparks some good conversations and we plan on delving into something a little deeper once we get our studies going strong and regular.  My favorite part of our last study was telling each other our deepest secrets--- what we were worried about and what we needed PRAYER for.  We vowed to pray for the other throughout the next week until we met again (which is tomorrow for lunch in the Nordstroms' Cafe---YUM).   I look forward to growing in our friendship, as sisters in Christ, and closer to our God.

Finally, workout central.  Getting a little antsy after 6 months of treadmill running.  We're starting to see little glimpses of spring here and there and I CANNOT WAIT to get out there and get some of these double digit runs done on the pavement.  I've also upped my workouts to 6-7 days a week instead of 5-6 and I'm definitely seeing a difference.  This will only increase as the wedding gets closer.  I foresee some 2-a-days in the near future.

Alright have a great weekend ya'll!  hope you're enjoying the snow/rain at home this weekend and not at work like me!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


My parents prayed for my future husband starting from the day I was born and God sure did outdo himself!

I am such a lucky girl.  Not only am I marrying the perfect man for me (&hottest guy I know), but I know he was picked out for me especially by God long before I ever knew him.  My parents (the BEST, most GODLY, and IN LOVE couple I know) prayed for my brother, sister, and my future spouses since we were born.  I know this, because they tell me this all the time.  When I called my parents and screamed (well, sobbed) the news that I WAS GETTING MARRIED!!, they laughed, cried, pretended it was a surprise (although they knew for a while, since he had asked my dad permission), and the best part was?  They assured me that our marriage was going to be blessed, since they had been praying that I would meet & marry the right man, the man that God wanted me to be with.  Sometimes in the craziness of work, dealing with this long-distance, & planning the wedding, I forget how exciting it is that I GET TO MARRY THE GUY OF MY DREAMS in a short time.  I am so excited for our life that we are going to start together and the adventures we'll have.  I can't wait to revisit Hawaii with my husband and celebrate our wedding & marriage....laugh, share a bottle of wine watching the sunset, snorkle, cuddle, and make everyone uncomfortable with how in love we are.  

Hopefully I didn't make anyone too squimish with this post, but I feel lucky, thankful, and blessed to have found the  man God made for ME and the man my parents prayed for.   

Honeymoon. Kauai.

We cannot WAIT to honeymoon here!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


I am obsessed with candles!!  These Tyler candles are the BEST.  Unbelievable scent, last a long time, reasonably priced (compared to other "good" candle companies).  One great thing about starting a new year is starting a new batch of candles.  I always put away all my vanilla/cinnamon/food smells and bust out some cleaner, lighter scents for the new year.  Here are some of my favs...

Candles you HAVE to try. Trust me, I'm a candle freak and I've tried them ALL:
1. Tyler  (you can buy them online & usually get a good deal.  Best scent? 24K.  It is amazing! clean & so pretty)
2. Anthropologie- Aloha Orchid
3. Anthropologie- Currant Blossom
4. Yankee Candle- Baby Powder (sounds strange but smells so clean & light. fabulous)
5. Yankee Candle- Fluffy Towels (similar to Clean Cotton but BETTER)
6. Woodwick Candles- Cashmire
7. Yankee Candle- Soft Blanket (great for a bathroom)
8. Restoration Hardware- Green Tea
9. Tyler- Fleur de Lys

Happy smelling!  

Wedding updates.

Wedding Updates:

We have a venue!!  FINALLY.  We actually signed our contract and paid our deposit before Xmas, but haven't really announced it yet.  Our wedding is going to be at the Hyatt Lodge at the McDonalds Corporation Building in Oakbrook.  It is BEAUTIFUL.  Floor to ceiling windows, backed up to a lake and forest, so you feel like you're in a treehouse.  Huge outdoor terrace where we'll have some live music during our cocktail hour, outdoor lanterns, and some fun vintage DIY touches.  The feel is very rustic, but still very formal.  It's perfect and I couldn't be happier.

We also have a photag!  Nessa Hendrickson.  She is amazing.  She also happens to be a family friend, so we are really looking forward to having someone fun & talented, who will really make our day personal.  We're planning on doing our engagement pics in the fall, outdoors somewhere where I can incorporate my love of the autumn season into this wedding.  I would've loved to have a fall wedding, but with logistics & planning, it just worked out better that our wedding would be in the spring.  which brings us to... OUR DATE!  May 26, 2013.

The coolest part about this date besides the fact that its memorial day weekend, so our guests will have all weekend to relax & celebrate with us.... It's Jon's parents 40th wedding anniversary!  Totally and completely unplanned.  After we had already chosen the date & signed the contract, Jon told his mom the date and she gasped....40 years ago to the date, his parents had been married.  This is going to make our date even more special.  I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to incorporate this into our day, but I'm excited to do something cool to honor them that day.

Wedding party!
We have that done too.  Well, my part is done.  Jon has his figured out but hasn't officially asked his guys yet, so I won't announce his side.  But mine have all been asked already so here they are! (great idea for future brides-- I got them each handmade bracelets with their initials and handmade a jewelry box transcribed with a personalized poem that basically asked "will you be my bridesmaid?")  They came out so cute and it was a great way to honor my girls who I'm soo excited to have by my side.  (And my MAN of honor, who got a "man of honor" fancy flask)

Maid of honor: Jessica Bahr
Matron of honor: Liz Fox
Man of honor: Bryan Bahr
Bridesmaid: Anne Bahr
Bridesmaid: Christina Bahr
Bridesmaid: Erum Mohammed
Bridesmaid: Nicole Bensko
Junior bridesmaid: Nikki Bahr
Flower girl: Anderson Nilles
Ring bearer: Maxwell Nilles

Next up: Getting our church (Willow Creek in Barrington) marriage classes & mentoring done so we can book our date there, and dresses this spring!

Monday, January 2, 2012

I need to look at this quote EVERYDAY.



Well, it's that time of year again.  Resolutions.  I actually hate resolutions.  Maybe it's because I never really keep them.  Maybe it's because I have the same resolutions every year...lose weight, read my bible more, spend more time with friends.  This year, in attempt to keep said resolutions, I'm going to make my resolutions more specific.  Maybe that way I'll hold myself to them.  I'd like to say that this is going to be the "BEST YEAR EVER" but frankly, I know it's not.  It's going to be crazy and a little stressful. Figuring out J's next job, us saving money, planning this wedding.  I wish I could fast-forward this year and get straight to 2013...the year of our WEDDING!  We cannot wait.  2013 will be our year.

But, in the spirit of my resolution to be more positive, I'm going to attempt to enjoy this year, as crazy-stressful as it will be.  That said....

Resolution #1:  Be more positive.  More happy.  Try to enjoy something EVERY DAY.  Something that isn't just getting my workout in or watching my favorite Monday show or Tuesday show.  Even if it's as simple as a butterfly-in-the-tummy kiss from J.  Playtime with Madison.  Or...gasp...planning this wedding.  Everyday, I'm going to write said thing down so I can remember it & cherish that memory.

Resolution #2:  Spend more time with girlfriends.  Specifically, once-a-month girls night with my college besties Erum & Nicole.  Erum and I are both resoluting to do hot-yoga together once a week or every other week, so I'll get to see her more, but Nic has a baby, so I'll take what I can get with her.  Once a month may be pushing it for a busy mama.  Need to see my best friend Liz more too.  She's also a busy mama, but we gotta just make those dates, even if its just for Bachelor Monday with some champagne.  Along with spending more time with girlfriends is weekly or every-other-weekly bible study/girl talk with my new buddy Jaci.  I'm excited to get to know that awesome girl more and on a deeper level and hopefully between our vent-fests about love, life & husbands, we'll get some good old-fashioned bible work in there.

Resolution #3:  Lose a few lbs & tone it up.  (there is a specific # but only Erum is allowed to know that one.) Come on.  gotta throw that in there.  Gotta look good in that wedding dress and that honeymoon bikini.

Resolution #4:  Spend more time with family.  This means seeing Matt, Anne, & Jess at least once a month, J's parents at least once a month, niece/nephew/bro-in-law/sis-in-law at least once a month, a trip to Virginia this spring to see my 'rents.  Love my family, would spend everyday with them if I could, but work & life get in the way, and before you realize it, a month has gone by.

Resolution #5:  Get to church every week.  It's tough working nights...but no excuses, I gotta get there.  I honestly love my church & love going, but I gotta get over there whether it be on Sat night before I work or getting out of bed on my Sunday off.  Along with that, J & I need to get our pre-marital classes/mentoring done this year.  Add that to the resolutions list.

Resolution #6:  Walk Mady more.  Poor girl.  she'd do anything to get outside.  I gotta suck it up after a night of work and just do it before I go to bed in the morning.  I'd have a much happier hound on my hands.

Resolution #7:  Spend less money.  No use of the credit card.  Cash only for purchases and if I don't have the cash that week, I don't buy it.  May have to cut out Anthropologie for awhile, but hey, we have a wedding, honeymoon, house coming up.  The girl at the Anthropologie counter does not need to know my name and size anymore.  Enough said.

Alright, that's a pretty good list.  Any more and I'd completely be setting myself up for failure.  Although I have to say, it's much more fun to write about resolutions than keep them.  We'll see how this goes.  I'll keep you updated.

Happy, Happy New Year!  May God bless you this year and draw you closer to Him.