A Year in Review

I work in the TV news business.

The week between Christmas and New Years is filled with "year in review" packages during the news.

"Local Education in 2010"
"2010 Scandals"
"Local Politics in 2010"
"Best Sports Plays of 2010"
"2010 in Health"

... and the list goes on.

So this will be my own little piece of 2010.

I call it: "Kelly's Life in 2010".


Ryan and I spent our first New Year's Eve together since we met.

In celebration of Ryan's 24th birthday, I surprised him with a trip to Cleveland exactly 2 years after we met there.

At the Applebee's where we had our first date.


Three of my roommates from college came to visit. They met Ryan for the first time, then the girls went out clubbing like old times.


Ryan proposed!

Along with our friends and our dogs, we walked around the 2-mile Indianapolis Speedway track in the pouring rain.

It was for charity!


Ryan, Maggie, and I moved into our new place.

I successfully ran my first half marathon.


I turned 25 years old. Mass amounts of flip cup ensued.


I found the dress and immediately purchased it.


I ran my first olympic-distance triathlon (and almost died in the 90 degree heat).


Ryan and I took a much needed vacation to Florida.


We attended our first wedding as an engaged couple.


Ryan and I spent our first Thanksgiving together in Philadelphia with his family.


We spent our first Christmas together in Illinois with my family.

As for tonight? We're being totally lame and staying in.

But for good reason!

I have to work until 10:30pm, and Ryan is sick. So no going out for us. It will probably be nachos, beer, and a movie to ring in the new year.

What are your plans for tonight? Hopefully more exciting than mine!


My Weight Watchers Welcome

I mentioned earlier this month how I'd really like to lose some weight.

I'm thinking 25-30 pounds.

After gaining and losing the same few pounds for the past few months, I finally did something real about it and joined Weight Watchers today.

Let me disclaimer this by saying it was not an easy thing for me to do.

A) Social situations where I don't know anyone make me extremely uncomfortable.
B) I thought the people there might judge me or think I'm too thin to join.
C) Saying goodbye to an additional $40 per month is hard.

But I sucked it up, put on my big girl pants and went to the meeting. The first thing they did was weigh me in.

My official weight was 171.0 (including my clothes and shoes). As I was getting my information packet, a lady behind me leaned in and whispered, "take your shoes off before you get on the scale!"

I blushed and replied, "Oh... well, I already weighed in." She smiled and said, "It's okay. It just means you'll be even lighter next week!"

Duly noted.

There were about 15 people there... all women... and at least half over the age of 70. Everyone seemed friendly, and our leader seemed very nice (and skinny... which is always a good thing!).

I faced my first Weight Watchers obstacle this afternoon. I thought, perhaps, since I had already wasted almost half of today's points with my on-the-go bagel and juice for breakfast this morning, that I should just scrap this day and start tomorrow.

But that's not what this is about. This isn't an "all or nothing" thing, which I need to remember. Every little effort counts. And even if I end up going over my points for the day, I'm going to try anyway.

So I had half a peanut butter sandwich and an apple for lunch.

I'm pretty excited about this whole thing. I think they have a really great program set up... especially with the new change to PointsPlus. All fresh fruit and most fresh vegetables are zero points. Hello, strawberries!

So here goes nothing! I'll be keeping track of my progress in the sidebar.


Popping the Question

One important wedding-related thing happened on Christmas day.

We got our second flower girl!

I mentioned early on in December that we had yet to ask my cousin to be our flower girl. Being that she lives about 3 1/2 hours away, Christmas was the only time we were able to see her.

I bought her this adorable book about a little girl who was a flower girl at her aunt's wedding...

Here she is opening it...

As soon as it was unwrapped, her mom read her the title of the book. Ryan and I asked her if she would be a flower girl at our wedding.

Despite the fact that she probably didn't even know what that was, she said "yes" and gave us both a hug.

What's totally adorable about this book is it comes with a little packet of "practice petals". Later that evening, my mom put the petals in a basket and my cousin practiced her flower girl walk up and down the hallway.

She was grinning from ear to ear the entire time. I'm sure she'll make a great flower girl!

How did you ask your flower girl?


Christmas According to Kelly

Welcome to my newest followers, Diana Lee and Sara. I hope everyone had a very merry holiday!

Christmas came and went. It was exciting, overwhelming, fun, and exhausting all rolled up into a little ball of wrapping paper.

Ryan and I started off the holiday with our own personal Christmas. We exchanged fun gifts like beer and space heaters.

Mmmm... spacey warmness...

After all my debating about whether or not to give Ryan his cufflinks, a funny thing happened. Ryan, too, gave me a present that is typical of a wedding day gift.

I was surprised by a gorgeous topaz and silver necklace from Rogers and Hollands. (I don't have photos because I'm dumb. You'll just have to wait!)

I wore it once on Christmas Eve, then left it at my parents house for safe-keeping until the big day.

While we were with my family, we received quite a few items off our registry... two sets of china, an electric griddle, a level, bannanagrams, a saucepan, and some mixing bowls to name a few. Looks like we need to add some more stuff to our registry!

My mom fulfilled a few items on my wedding wish list. She started by gifting me these beautiful hair combs...

We both commented how they were much smaller than we thought. I guess that's what happens when you skim over the description portion on Etsy. Woops!

But I definitely plan on working these into my 'do some how. They're just too adorable to let collect dust!

After that, Ryan and I opened a set of toasting flutes.

They aren't the ones I asked for, but my mom picked them out when she was in Germany... so I'm not complaining.

I'm so grateful for all the amazing presents people gave us. Ryan was welcomed to our family Christmas with open arms and a pile of gifts. Talk about spoiled!

It was the first Christmas Ryan and I have ever spent together... and it will be our last as a dating couple. Exactly 6 months from Christmas Day is our wedding. Let the real countdown begin!


The Gift that Almost Wasn't

I love giving gifts. Seriously. When I think of the joy of Christmas... seeing the looks on peoples' faces as they open their gifts is the best part. The fact that I too will be opening gifts is just a pleasant afterthought.

Christmas may still be two days away, but Ryan and I's personal Christmas was this morning!

I bought Ryan a bunch of things (he had at least 7 wrapped presents under our tree)... but there was one gift in particular that was my favorite.

...and it's wedding related!

The very last gift Ryan opened this morning was a small box with cufflinks inside. I ordered them from seller TomatoMade on Etsy.

Click to enlarge

Inside each cufflink is a vintage map. I ordered one to be Chicago and one to be Philadelphia... signifying our two hometowns and the long-distance hardships we endured for the first year+ of our relationship.

Click to enlarge

The funny thing about this gift is I almost didn't give it to him. When I originally ordered the cufflinks, my intention was to give them to Ryan on the morning of our wedding.

But there's one thing I'm not... and that's patient. Once I had these beautiful little cufflinks in my hand, I just couldn't bear to wait another 6 months to give them to him.

And that's how... just this past Tuesday... I ended up frantically wrapping the box with our very last scrap of wrapping paper and adding one final gift to the pile under the tree.

I don't think Christmas would have been complete without something from the heart. This fit the bill perfectly.

I will be taking a 3-day hiatus from blogging in order to spend un-interupted time with family. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, and I'll see you on Monday. Merry Christmas!


I Invite You to Judge Me

Ryan and I are pretty creative people. I've been doodling, creating and photographing since I was a kid. Ryan knows a lot about graphic design and layouts. Together, we're an unstoppable stationary-creating machine.

You may recall that we designed and printed our own Save the Dates back in August.

Sorry for the crappy photo... click to enlarge.

Well, the time has come where we need to start thinking about our invitation suite. Even though our wedding isn't until June, we plan on sending them out early... we're thinking March. That way, we can get an idea of how many people plan on attending early on... then send out more invitations as necessary in an attempt to reach that magical "200" number.

So I've been designing away. None of the ideas are particularly unique (being that I found my inspiration on the internet)... but we know they will be unique to our guests. We just didn't want something that was plain and boring. That's not "us".

The first invitation I designed was simple and chic. I love the little heart petals and how great the pink looks with the navy blue. This would be a fun one to Gocco...

Petals (click to enlarge)

The next invite uses real silhouettes of Ryan and I. After I was done creating it, we commented how we never knew his chin was so round or my nose was so pointy. It's creative and personal, but I feel like it's missing something...

Silhouette (click to enlarge)

The next invitation was a direct steal from one I saw on Weddingbee. The straight-to-the-point design lets the words speak for themselves...

Billboard (click to enlarge)

I thought I was done designing, until Ryan mentioned how the silhouette invite reminded him of the silhouettes on our Save the Date. That got me thinking. Dare I mention the word "theme" even?! So I created this one too...

Skyline (click to enlarge)

I normally wouldn't spoil the surprise by posting all our potential invites on here... but I'm pretty sure only four of our guests ever read this blog, so it'll be just fine.

What do you think? Which one is your favorite? Check out the poll on my sidebar and cast your vote!


To Buy or To DIY?

We booked our photographer last June. (Wow... it was that long ago?!) We signed the contract with David Bracho Photography, and paid the deposit... but we never actually decided on our package.

Being the overly-analytical, 10-page Excel spreadsheet, budget-wielding crazy that I am, it bothered me to have such a huge detail unfinished. So I sat down with the pricing information and got to work.

We have a budget of approximately $3,000 and need 8 hours of photography. A few of his specials are as follows...

A: 2 photographers, 8 hrs - $1,950
B: 2 photographers, 8 hrs, 20 pg. 8x10 album - $2,750
C: 2 photographers, 8 hrs, engagement session, 30 pg. 9x12 album - $3,250

Option A is basic and a good price. It's exactly what we need, and no more. So the big question is whether or not we'll want to purchase a wedding album from David. If so, then option B or C end up being a much better deal.

I've seen some gorgeous DIY wedding albums ordered online for much cheaper than what most photographers charge... but obviously, they aren't as high quality. I just don't know if making my own wedding album is something I'd going to want to tackle when all is said and done.

But on the other hand, perhaps a beautiful and expensive wedding album is something that really isn't all that important down the road. How much use will it really get? Plus, if we create our own, we could include photos leading up to the big day (rehearsal, rehearsal dinner), and photos after (morning-after brunch, honeymoon).

Decisions, decisions.

Will you be ordering a professional wedding album, or creating your own?


The Giving and Receiving of Gifts

It's inevitable that with the holiday season comes the purchasing of gifts. I buy gifts for Ryan, Ryan buys gifts for me... we both buy an awkward amount of gifts for our dog, Maggie... you get the picture.

But there's one gift we did not expect to receive this year.

It arrived one afternoon on our doorstep in a nondescript cardboard box, addressed to yours truly. I tore it open with reckless abandon with the assumption it was something I had purchased for a family member.

But inside that box was something far more glorious...

... our very first gift off our wedding registry!

The billing address revealed it was from Ryan's grandmother in Pennsylvania. There was no note included, so we are under the assumption it is a Christmas gift... instead of a very early wedding present.

And with that assumption out of the way, we decided to christen our new waffle maker with some delicious Saturday morning, pre-Christmas waffles.


In theory, the waffles were delicious. I mean, come on... they're waffles! And we made them in our own kitchen!

... in reality, they were slightly lacking. We don't have the logistics worked out yet of what setting we should cook them on... and my "just add water" pancake mix left much to be desired in the taste department.

But they will get better... and we were super excited to open our first Christmas gift.

I've been spending all weekend finishing up all my shopping and wrapping. It's hard to be sneaky about gifts when you live with the person you're gifting them to.

And I've noticed, in comparison to last year, how many more gifts we have under our tree.

I guess that's what happens when you get engaged and your family suddenly doubles.

What are you giving your significant other for Christmas?
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