The Year of You

learning to live without limits

18 in 2018 — December 15, 2017

18 in 2018

The New Year is quickly approaching, and this year I will be setting goals in a new way. Instead of setting one big goal, I will be working towards 18 things that I want to accomplish in 2018. My 18 in 18. I recently heard this idea on the podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin and loved it. As we get closer to January 1, I will be sharing some of these 18 mini goals, but wanted to get this out sooner for anyone who wants to join me and come up with their own list of 18. There are no real guidelines except that these should be things that you want to build into your life or accomplish this year. They can be as simple as learning to iron a dress shirt (this one is seriously on my rough draft list) or preparing to run a marathon. Be true to yourself and make sure to build in a little challenge.

Enjoying The Holidays —

Enjoying The Holidays

I love the holidays…the traditions, the time with family…and the food. Oh, the food. The holidays can be a particularly tough time when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s a busy time and fitting in regular activity can be tough. Food is everywhere, and cookies seem to appear out of nowhere every day in my office. It’s just a really hard time of the year to stay on track. To help provide myself some sanity, I have devised a few helpful tools and tricks to use this holiday season.

  • First, you must set reasonable expectations. It is a joyous time of year and let’s be honest you will eat some of those cookies…and that’s okay! Don’t expect to hold strong at all times. You need to enjoy your life and sometimes that means eating several of your mom’s homemade oatmeal cookies. Give yourself the freedom to make these choices by establishing guidelines and structure for health in other areas.
  • Schedule your workouts. Scheduling workouts allows you to plan your exercise for the week. Sure these plans may have to be adjusted, but try to make a commitment to yourself to stick with what you have scheduled as best as you can. By taking the guesswork out, you will have fewer decisions to make and will be more likely to follow your plan.
  • Attend a classe. Sometimes I just don’t feel like preparing my own workouts and keeping myself focused in that workout. For those days, I find it much more successful to join a class at my gym where all I have to do is follow someone else’s instruction.
  • Try a new class. I use this time of year to try out new classes to keep myself motivated. Last week, I took a Barre class for the first time. It was a great workout and brought me back to my years of ballet. A few weeks ago I started taking a HIIT spin class. Both of these classes kicked my butt and have helped keep my workouts fresh.
  • Never leave home without a snack. You will likely be doing some shopping this holiday season, and don’t let yourself shop on an empty stomach! Either eat before or bring a small snack with you. When I get really hungry, I am much more likely to cave and eat something that is terrible for me.
  • When you do decide to indulge in something, make sure the second and third bites are just as good as the first bite. If they aren’t…you are not obligated to continue eating whatever it is.

 Have a great holiday season and I hope you enjoy a cookie or two or three!

Food and Stuff Part 2 —

Food and Stuff Part 2

Today we continue (finally) on my multi-series post and talk about nutrition. While exercise is a huge component of living a healthy lifestyle, I firmly believe that nutrition is the foundation. What you put into your body impacts what you are able to get out of your body (and your mind). The topic of nutrition and diet can be overwhelming and sometimes downright confusing. The important thing is to find a nutrition plan that works for you, your lifestyle and your family.  Below I provide some tips to improve on what you are currently doing or help you to start improving your nutrition based on strategies I have used for myself.

Let’s start by all agreeing that there is no one diet that works for every person. There are so many options promoted that it’s hard to really understand what works and doesn’t work. In one diet you can eat fruit. In others, fruit is the enemy. In another plan you can eat carbs, but only an hour after exercising and if it happens to be on a Tuesday. In other diets fats are good and protein is bad. It. Is. Just. Too. Much. Because of this, I am not going to recommend any one named diet plan. What I will recommend is getting back to basics.

  • Eat more whole foods like fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, and lean proteins.
  • Do try to limit the number of processed foods you consume each day. I like to measure this by the number of food packages I open in a day.
  • Try to minimize sugary drinks. If this seems too difficult try phasing them out. Move from soda to tea to flavored water them finally to water with lemon.
  • This next one seems like common sense, but only eat when you are hungry. Just because it happens to be noon doesn’t mean you have to eat lunch if you aren’t hungry.
  • Portion control can be made easier by using smaller plates and bowls. You can also portion out snacks in advance to help minimize binge eating.
  • Meal prep is also a great way to keep yourself on track. Set a weekly meal plan and get your family involved with what you will be eating. For lunches, you can prepare these over the prior weekend. Not only will you have better control over your weekday lunches, but you will save time during the week when you don’t have to pull something together each day.
  • Along these lines, get your family on board. It is really difficult to make changes if those who live with you aren’t willing to do the same. Make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to any changes and get everyone involved.
  • Finally, if you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it! Monitor the snacks you purchase and don’t buy them if you don’t think you can resist them.

When it comes to changes, make them small to get big results. You may decide to eliminate cereal from your household or limit going out to eat once per week. Whatever small changes you decide to make, they will be easier to stick with if they feel reasonable and then you can continue to layer on additional changes over time. Nothing works for every single person, but by trying to make a few changes, it will feel more manageable.

 

Tis the Season — November 26, 2017

Tis the Season

Holy cow, this has been one busy Fall. With work, the kids’ school and sports events, weddings and all our annual Fall traditions…we have been non-stop. I am so ready for Christmas time, to spend time with family and relax. Thanksgiving weekend marks the start of our Christmas holiday traditions. Once the last dish is washed on Thanksgiving night…it’s Christmas time in my house. Friday is for decorating the house, Saturday is for putting up lights on the house and our town’s annual lighted Christmas parade (which was better than ever this year!), and Sunday we relax and start watching Christmas movies. I just love traditions.

This year we decided to start a new tradition and cut our own Christmas tree. Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good “pick your own” fruit/vegetable, but getting a real tree for Christmas was new for me. The boys loved going to pick the perfect tree. We spent a good 15 minutes searching, and there it was. We all agreed instantly.  Getting the tree home felt a little like Clark Griswold. We did have a saw, but instead of tying it to the hood of our SUV, we put in the way back of the car…a 6 1/2 foot tree in the back of MY car. Good news is my car now smells great.

We got the tree home safely, it is now up and decorated and I have to admit…I really do love it. It makes the whole house smell like Christmas AND I didn’t have to fluff it like I would a fake tree. I cant wait to see what the rest of this holiday season brings because it is sure off to a great start. I know one thing is for certain…it will be a season filled with family and tradition.

And one last thing….because I know the question will come up…it has several times in the past…..the fifth stocking on the mantle is for the dogs to share…not a third baby on the way.

The Year of Weddings —

The Year of Weddings

This year, Jason and I had four of our really close friends get married, and for three of these weddings one of us was in the wedding party. With bridal showers, bachelorette/bachelor parties and the weddings ceremonies and receptions, this year made us realize just how blessed we are to have such great friends. This past weekend, our good friends The Nicks got married and it marked the final wedding of the year.  We couldn’t be happier for this awesome couple. The weather was pretty crappy, but the day was perfect.

As I reflect on this year of weddings, I have realized that it was a gift that I never expected to receive.  Jason and I spent more time with friends, we had the opportunity to celebrate these momentous days in their lives,  we got to dress-up and get fancy (which I really do love),  and we got to dance the night away like we never had before…… not once but four times. I am thankful for the year of weddings.

Part 1…it’s all about the journey. — November 8, 2017

Part 1…it’s all about the journey.

I write a lot about running on this blog, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret….I don’t love running. When I think about what I do in a week, running makes up less than 10% of my weekly activity and  in the words of my three year old son “it’s not my favorite”. What I do enjoy is a good challenge which on most days means strength and high intensity cardio…and lately boxing (which I will get into in one of the later posts). Over the next several weeks I am going to post a series on what I really spend my time doing…and its not running. The series will be broken into several parts including the journey thus far, the nutrition, the work/activity, tips, tricks and lessons learned and thoughts about what is next for 2018. As always, each post will include a summary of what I’m doing/have done and key lessons I’ve learned….so let’s jump in.

For those of you who have read my earlier blog posts, you are pretty familiar with what got  me started on this fitness journey, but for the sake of any new readers I’ll do a brief recap. For 2016, I set a goal to run a 5k each month. I set this goal in December of 2015 when I was doing nothing…and I mean absolutely nothing.  No exercise or really any effort at any physical activity. I wanted to be fit and healthy (who doesn’t) but my actions did nothing to support this desire. To get myself motivated towards this goal and to keep myself accountable, I decided to take it public. Once I professed my 2016 goal on Facebook….there was no turning back. I was not going to give up. There are a lot of strategies you can use to hold yourself accountable, and broadcasting to the masses is one of them.

Since my goal started in the winter, most of my weekday runs were on a treadmill at my work fitness center. This was fine for awhile and then I started to get seriously bored on that damn treadmill. One day, I decided to venture into a class that was offered at my gym to try something new and it pretty much changed my life. While I made the decision to take that class and each subsequent class and training session since, I credit a lot of what I have been able to do to the convenience of my work fitness center and the amazing instruction of our fitness center superhero Stephanie. She makes learning to build a healthier lifestyle enjoyable and attainable. I started taking her classes and haven’t looked back. She opened up a whole new world of health and fitness for me.  Fast forward two years and 5 million burpees later, training and working out is the best part of my day. If I could, I would spend most my day training. The key for me and this lifestyle come from a few basic concepts that I have outlined below.

1.) Make it fun….i.e. enjoy the process. If you find working out a dread, find a way to keep it interesting. This may be working out with a friend and using it as a time to catch-up. This may be taking a Zumba class which is a seriously good cardio workout that doesn’t feel like you are working out. It may be doing strength training while listening to an audio book and using it as a time to “read” more books while building your strength. Find a crafty way to trick yourself. Personally, I think group fitness classes are a great way to start. I like the atmosphere of a group class, and a good instructor will explain modifications that can be performed to make the exercises harder or easier depending on where you are at.

2.) Hold yourself accountable, set goals and track progress. As I mentioned earlier I typically build accountability for myself by making my goals public. This is not for everyone but there are endless books on building good habits. To get you started, I recommend anything by Gretchen Rubin. Another key way to hold yourself accountable is to set measurable goals. My goals are always evolving with what I have going on in my life, but I’m always setting small goals and then tracking my progress.

3.) Make it convenient. This is a big one. I don’t want to gloss over the point I made earlier about having a fitness center at work. I realize that this is a huge luxury and that it isn’t easy for everyone to use their lunch hour to workout. What you can do to make it easier is to take out some of the guesswork. Plan your workouts for the week in advance so that you don’t even have to think about it. While you are at it, plan what you will do in each workout. Unless I am taking a class or have a training session, I always know exactly what I am going to do before I workout. Another tip to get you going, set out your clothes the night before so that you don’t have to fumble around in the dark looking for your socks. Take out the barriers preventing you from getting to that workout and you will find that it becomes less of a task and more of a habit.

4.) Finally, make small incremental changes to see sustainable results. I really believe in making small incremental changes rather than big bold sweeping changes. I was recently discussing an approach to start working out with a few colleagues at work and challenged them to consider starting small.  Making small changes makes the process seem manageable and eventually these small changes become easy and then you layer on more small changes. These small changes get you closer and closer to your bigger goals. Small changes are where it is at and it has helped me sustain and maintain all of the positive changes that I have made.

5.) It’s a journey without a destination. What took me the longest to learn is that being fit is a journey with no end. What happens on the day you reach your ultimate fitness goal? You either start a new fitness journey or you stop…and I’m guessing that after all that work and effort that you aren’t going to stop.

Next time, we talk nutrition.

I Just Felt Like Running  — November 3, 2017

I Just Felt Like Running 

It’s been almost a month since I participated in my first half marathon. Not only was it my first organized half marathon, but it was the first and only time that I have ever run more than eleven consecutive miles. All things considered, the race itself went better than I could have anticipated. I performed better than I expected coming in just under the two-hour goal that I had for myself (1:59:28) and had no major issues. I walked away with all of my toenails and no chaffing and I consider that a success. This was a bucket list item for me and while I’m not sure I will sign-up for another half marathon, I am glad that I participated. Being the half marathon novice that I am, I wanted to share some of the things that I’ve learned through this experience.

Pre- Race

  1. Training plan: optional. There are tons of half marathon training plans available, just search Pinterest and you will be overwhelmed. Personally, I didn’t follow a plan. I only like to run one day a week and most plans called for multiple running days.  Instead, I decided to focus on building distance on my once a week run. Each week I either added a mile or worked to improve speed of the mileage that I had built up. Once I hit ten miles, I stopped adding distance. Probably a fail on my part, but the ten miles was long enough. My plan for the last three miles was to rely on the energy of the other runners and the finish line…and it worked.
  2. Closely monitor all water, activity and nutrition on the days leading up to the run. Running for two hours will leave you feeling pretty crappy towards the end if you aren’t careful. To avoid dehydration during the race, I started increasing my water consumption three days before. In addition, I tried to keep my workouts pretty standard. I didn’t add anything new or unexpected to prevent any muscle tightness or soreness leading up to the race. That being said, I didn’t stop working out. Keep things as normal as possible.  This includes food too. Don’t eat anything new on race morning…you don’t want to deal with any unexpected side effects.
  3. Run a dress rehearsal. Make sure you do a fairly long distance run in the clothing you intend to wear to the half. This will prevent any unpleasant wardrobe malfunctions, think leggings that don’t stay up, chaffing  or uncomfortable socks. I am super sensitive to these kind of things, and will fixate on anything that feels out-of-place so I keep a pretty standard uniform when running.
  4. Plan your entertainment. It was surprising to me how many people on the course weren’t listening to music. This would kill me. I know it is generally recommended not to use earbuds for safety reasons, but if I didn’t have something to listen too I am not sure that I could complete the course. Make sure you pick something that will keep you motivated. I’ve found that when I run to audio books or podcasts, my pace is significantly slower than when I run to music. For the half, I used music only to help with motivation. Rock My Run is my go-to.
  5. Establish Coping Strategies.  I knew this would be a challenging physical activity for me. Knowing this, I established some tactics in advance to help me through it. First, create a mantra for yourself and use that mantra during the really tough parts of the race. I used my family motto which is “we can do hard things”. I adapted it to “you can do hard things” and would repeat this to myself during the tough times. It helped….a lot. Do not underestimate the power of a mantra. Another strategy I used was to come to an agreement with myself (ie my body) that I would go as fast as I could go in that moment. This gave me the freedom to slow down or speed up if need be, but always to keep pushing myself to do my best.

During the Race

  1. Find Motivation on the Course.   You will find motivation in unexpected places. I had no idea how much the spectators would impact my motivation. It was reflected in my pace too. The areas where there were more people watching the race resulted in a slightly faster pace. Also keep an eye out for the posters. The posters for these larger organized races are fantastic. My personal favorite posters included: “Smile, If you aren’t wearing underwear” and “Worst parade, ever”.  It seems small, but having something to make you laugh on mile 9 can really save you.
  2. Save a little juice for the last two miles. I knew that I would need to conserve a little energy to really push myself those last two miles. I wanted to cross the finish line strong. I had come that far and there was no way that I was going to shuffle across the finish line.

Post Race

The best way that I can describe my post race experience (once I came down off the high of completing a half marathon) was the feeling of being hung over. I was dehydrated, I was exhausted, my brain felt foggy, I had a headache from lack of caffeine (I skipped the coffee that morning) and I. Was. Hungry. Two recommendations….have a game plan for brunch after the race. We ended up bouncing between three restaurants because we didn’t want to wait 20 minutes to eat and ultimately wasted too much damn time. Also, keep moving. You will feel inclined to sit on your butt the rest of the day and don’t get me wrong you deserve rest…but don’t stop moving all together. Your body will tighten up. Finally, Jason and I wobbled into Denny’s like two 90 year olds who just had hip replacement surgery. It was painful. Final note about post race, expect to be somewhat sore the next several days. Make sure to stretch and foam roll as soon as you can. The million dollar question right now is will I do another half?  The answer…probably yes, but I’ve got a few other things that I am going to work on first and one of those just required me to buy a mouth guard.  Until next time.

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Preparing For Battle — September 26, 2017

Preparing For Battle

 

I wrote about The Battlegrounds obstacle course run in an earlier post, but I love it so much that I am writing about it again. This past weekend Jason and I participated in the Battlegrounds for the second time, the first being this past May. It is a 5 mile, 30+ military style obstacle course mud run. It is challenging, but it is such an awesome event.

Jason and I signed-up for a morning wave this time because we wanted to participate in the timed competitive waves, and this decision had its pros and cons. Both the competitive and  the non-competitive waves do the same course, but the untimed afternoon waves definitely draw a larger crowd. The smaller crowds in the morning meant that Jason and I never had to wait for an obstacle.  We also never felt like we were held up waiting to pass people in front of us and there were no lines for the showers once we had finished. Cons, there was only Jason and I to help each other out and the caliber of athlete competing at our same time was much higher which isn’t necessarily a con, but intimidating nonetheless. All in all, I would definitely stick with the morning waves if we decide to do this a third time.

As our start timed neared, I did my usual three bathroom breaks (I’ve got a ridiculously anxious birthed two children kind of mom bladder) followed by pacing. I’m not the most fun person to be around before any type of competition. Our 10am wave was upon us and before I knew it we were off. Although we had run this course in May, it was so different this time. The four inches of mud that we had run in May (that we thought was normal) was nowhere to be seen.  The running paths were a typical cross-country grassy trail and it was fantastic. No more sliding around cautiously navigating each step. Once we got going, we hit our stride.

 It was hot, so very hot for a late September day and every disgusting mud pool felt refreshing. As each obstacle arrived, we cleared them together.  There were a few obstacles that gave me concern and I was beyond thrilled to clear both of them by myself. The first being the quarter pipe wall and the second being the gauntlet. The gauntlet had the chain link fence that left me with no feeling in my pointer finger for over a week the last time. In May, I didn’t make it through the gauntlet. This time I scaled the fence and cleared to the other side. I was not letting go of that fence….and no matter what I was not going into that water. I have never been as impressed with my strength as I was holding on to the fence with only my upper body strength as my feet lost their footing. Once the gauntlet was past us we knew we were close to the finish line. We crossed together, muddy, legs cramping and exhausted but it felt so good. So what can I share with you about my experience with an obstacle course run?

1. Decide in advance how you want to approach the event. Are you going in super competitive or are you doing it for the experience(keep in mind this is a spectrum and both can be achieved simultaneously). For me, being competitive is having fun so I was going in for the competition. My competition was not with others though…it was with myself. I knew that some of the obstacles would be damn near impossible for me, but I was going to use everything that I had to overcome them. I let myself pass by only two obstacles and they were the type of obstacles that I hate. I hate them not because they are overly challenging but because they are dangerous. They involve throwing yourself up over a fairly high wall (which isn’t really that terrible) and then essentially falling to the ground on the other side of the wall (this is the bad part). I am not about to blow my knees jumping over a 6 foot wall only to fall 6 feet down on the other side. That’s just stupid.

2. Acknowledge that no matter how fit you are, you will feel like you have the body of a 90 year-old within three hours of completing the course. You do not want to schedule anything major the rest of the day because you will be walking around like Betty White by dinner time. Your bed will never feel as good as it does that night when your head hits the pillow. I’ve also come to realize that since I do not have access to an obstacle training course, there is no real way for me to practically train for this other than to build endurance and strength and just go for it. No matter how fit you are…it will be challenging and sometimes it is just challenging because the pool of water you just slid into is freezing cold and your muddy shoes are making it really difficult to swim.

3. Do not wear your best shoes or really any shoes that you want to keep. Both times I have left my shoes behind. They served me well during the event and went out on a high note.  Even more important, make sure your shoes have decent grip and tie them tight! I almost lost one of my shoes during the very first obstacle. Luckily, both of my shoes completed the Battlegrounds with me.

4. Expect strangers to be super encouraging and supportive.  While it is competitive, you are really only competing against yourself. The last race, I had strangers helping me over walls. Everyone is struggling together towards the same mission of completing the obstacle and crossing the finish line.

5. Finally and most importantly, you will feel an amazing high once you cross that finish line, and will immediately want to sign-up for the next one.  You will be beyond impressed with your abilities and wonder how in the heck you managed to achieve what you just did. No matter what I write, you really wont appreciate how amazing it is until you experience it. It’s kind of like childbirth in that sense, but instead of leaving with a baby you leave with a t-shirt and legs covered in bruises.

The next Battlegrounds is on May 19, 2018….it’s only one hour from the St. Louis area, includes free parking, pictures, bag check, shirt and post finish beer. I am not getting paid to write these things, but it really is a great value for the experience and you don’t have to drive that far. Hope to see you there!  Battlegrounds Website

 

(I feel like I need to include a sixth lesson that you will expect your pictures to come out really badass and then these will be the gems that you get….)

 

The Five Reasons I’ve Stopped Posting on My Blog and Other Excuses I Tell Myself — September 22, 2017

The Five Reasons I’ve Stopped Posting on My Blog and Other Excuses I Tell Myself

As you may (or may not) have noticed, I’ve stopped updating my blog. I think about my blog regularly, but I just haven’t been able to get myself to post anything. In the true spirit of blogging, I’ve decided to evaluate this resistance in the form of a list because bloggers love lists.

The five reasons I’ve stopped posting to my blog:

  1. In the words of my three year old son “I don’t wanna and you can’t make me”: I’ve stopped posting because I haven’t felt like doing it. I no longer aim to do things just because I feel like I have to. I have to want to do it.
  2. I felt like an imposter: I’ve really struggled with imposter syndrome. Who am I to write anything about any topic? I’m not a writer…I’m not a health professional…what do I know?
  3. Life’s been busy: I know everyone says this and its true, but writing takes time.
  4. I felt exposed: Blogging means putting yourself out there. Anytime you share your thoughts or ideas with the world you are opening yourself up, and this truly freaked me out (especially when my blog started receiving followers that I didn’t know).
  5. Go big or go home, right?: I will never be the blogger who has 1000’s of followers or one who includes professional pictures with every post. It’s not my goal for this blog. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with this, but my “all in or all out” mindset had me questioning the point of even continuing.

So there they are…the five excuses that I have been repeating to myself every week when I think about posting. That’s right…I said excuses. When I started looking at this list as a list of excuses instead of reasons, it changed my view. I hate excuses. I hate making them and I hate hearing them. As I thought about this, I decided it was time for a rebranding. Shift the blog to what I want it to be now.

So what am I really trying to accomplish with this blog? The answer to this question is this…my life is a work in progress. I am on an endless journey of growth and through this journey I like to push myself and try new things and at times I obsess over these things. I strive to become the most skilled novice you will ever meet. I jump in, I research, I ask questions and I work at it. I am the tenacious novice….the passionate nonprofessional. Going forward, what I aim to do is share what I find through throwing myself into whatever I am obsessing over in that minute. I will never be the authority on any topic, but I will give real honest feedback and insight into my experiences in hopes that you too will gain something from what I learn.

 

 

75 and Sunny with a 100% Chance of a Shower — August 6, 2017

75 and Sunny with a 100% Chance of a Shower

 

How about this weather? What a beautiful weekend. On Friday, The fam loaded up the car and headed north making the same trek that Jason and I have made more times than we could count. This trip was different though. It was the first time we took the boys to the Chicago area for fun. Usually we have some family event and don’t usually have time to do anything on our own. This trip we had all day Saturday to show the kids around the area where Jason and I learned how to be adults….where we both went to college. Everytime we are up north, it still feels like home. I know all of the streets better than our true home and can navigate around with minimal GPS guidance. It is also the land of my kind of drivers.  A no nonsense group of aggressive drivers who reside in the suburbs of chicago. I love these people and I love this place.

We decided to venture to the city on Saturday splitting our day between the Museum of Science and Indusry (MSI) and the Shedd Aquarium. The MSI was so much fun. We spent 4 hours there and could have easily spent the whole day. The boys were a great age to explore MSI. Shedd was way to crowded for my liking and after losing Shane for a terribly long 60 seconds, I was done with Shedd for the day. Don’t get me wrong, great aquarium just not on the day we went.

A stranger offered to take our picture after seeing our selfie struggle
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The selfie struggle…

We ended the day in Naperville where Jason went to school. I love downtown Naperville and after dinner we took the boys to the Riverwalk where Jason and I would go for after dinner walks when we lived there.  I’m not sure if it was the beautiful 75 degree weather, the live music or the frozen yogurt, but we chatted about what it would be like to live in the area and both agreed that we would consider moving there under the right circumstances. We shall see. We have a pretty nice gig in the St Louis area.

The weekend ended celebrating one of my very best friends in the entire world who is getting married this October. It was an absolutely beautiful shower for the most deserving person. Jorie may be the single most caring person that I know and she always has a special place in my heart no matter how far apart we are or how long it’s been since I’ve seen her (but hopefully not too long between visits). I can’t wait for the wedding in just two short months.

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Jorie and her maids

 

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The Loft girls

Three and a half hours left on the trek back home….until next time.