So how's married life, anyways?

Happy Snow Day, friends!

Lately, I’ve been a lot of the same questions over and over again (mostly, because I haven’t been talking about any of them on Social Media at all), so I thought now would be a good time for a little life update around here.

Because I just know you’ve been DYING to know all about my life. Probably just sitting around, twiddling your thumbs, waiting for me to post again…

Just kidding! If you’re reading, thank you. I’m sharing because ya’ll have been in this with me for a long time, and have followed along with all our craziness, and this week I wanted to fill you on how things are going.

Particularly, I’m going to answer the three big questions I keep getting (and rightfully so!):

  • How’s married life?

  • How’s Joe?

  • When are you moving to Colorado?

So let’s dive right in and I’ll spill all the deets.

HOW’S MARRIED LIFE?

Truth is, I wouldn’t really know! We haven’t lived together for more than a week or so at a time since we’ve been married. Granted, we lived together for a long time before we actually got married, so it’s not like I’m waiting for some big marriage secret to be revealed or anything. It was just unfortunate timing that as soon as we got married, Joe went right back into competition mode and I just don’t have much to compare this ‘married life’ to, other than we already felt married before we were actually married.

That said though, it’s been a long winter after a very long 2018…and we’ve still got a ways to go. I suppose the one thing I have learned about being married is that this year we’ve been having a much harder time being apart than we did last year. I can’t explain why it’s harder this year than last year, other than the fact that we are married this year? I suppose that is a pretty big thing… but I do know that I’m just ready to not be apart anymore.

HOW’S JOE?

Two weeks out from Canada, Joe had his follow up doctor appointment for his shoulder. We weren’t really sure what they were going to say. They were either going to say yes, you’re good to go, or no you’re not and you need more time. We were definitely mentally prepared for the latter (getting told no) and we had decided before that that Joe would be competing no matter what.

And before you make judgment on him competing regardless of his injury (unless you know Joe, in which case you wouldn’t be surprised at all), here’s why: Joe really had 3 options at that point: 1. he doesn’t compete at all and he essentially forfeits the rest of the season as you have to have a certain amount of points to qualify to compete in the remaining competitions this season. 2. He competes and falls and hurts himself again, and he’s out for the season anyways. 3. He competes, he doesn’t fall or hurt his shoulder, and he can move on!

Well, obviously, it didn’t matter because the doc gave the okay for him to compete, and he totally KILLED IT in Canada (see below…).

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Joe raced Boarder Cross in two World Cups, and got 5th in the first one and 6th in the second, which are his best finishes in Boarder Cross races to date! This also means that he got a good amount of points for those placements, and he is now ranked NINTH in the entire world for Adaptive Lower Limb 2 Category in Boarder Cross, which is just crazy incredible! AND this was after less than 2 weeks of training coming off his shoulder injury.

Just in case you were wondering about the ‘Lower Limb 2 Category,’ I’ll explain real quick. In the Paralympic World, they have 3 separate categories for men and for women: Upper Limb, Lower Limb 1, and Lower Limb 2. Upper Limb is missing or having an impairment in one or both arms. Lower Limb 1 is missing two joints in your legs, so either both feet or an above the knee amputee (missing one foot joint and one knee joint on one leg). Lower Limb 2 is missing one joint or having another type of impairment such as a club foot, cerebral palsy or MS, etc. No matter what the category they are, these ladies & gents are one word: BADASS. They ride and they rip and they shred it up. I’m completely in awe of all of them and find them to be the most inspiring community of people from all over the world I’ve ever met. Especially when we get to hang out after the competition is over and everyone is so down to earth and fun to be around. I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know this amazing community and feel lucky to be a small part of it.

That all said, Joe is amazing! And he qualified for the upcoming races in Spain, and that will hopefully be followed by Finland and Sweden. He leaves next week for 10 days in La Molina & Barcelona, Spain. No, unfortunately, I don’t get to go this time. But we’re hopeful that next year I’ll be able to join a few more places in his travels! I’ll just keep living vicariously through him and keep rooting for him from home!

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COLORADO UPDATE

So…Colorado. The BIGGEST of all the questions- when exactly am I moving?! I know, I know. I made this big exciting announcement last year, then I got married, and now, here I am, six months later still sitting around in Fredericksburg. Will she ever leave?

Yes! I am leaving! I swear. I’m getting there as fast as I can, and sometimes that doesn’t feel fast enough.

Joe has an apartment with his roommate/teammate, Dustin (a fellow below the knee amputee) and his sweet malamute/wolf dog, Allie, until April 15th. It’s a two bedroom apartment, so it’s not super big, and between three adults and two large dogs, it would be a lot if I headed out there right now. That said, between that and still tying up a lot of work items around Fredericksburg, it doesn’t make sense for me to move out there until we can get our own place, which will hopefully be in April or May. We’ve been told that the best rental months are May/June, but obviously we’d love to find something a little bit earlier than later for sure. A lot of factors go into finding a place to live: location, space, (and the biggest one) price. So fingers crossed we find something that works for us! Especially for our littlest Grohly Poly Oly. He is going to love it there!

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Am I ready to move out there? Absolutely. I’ve never been more ready for anything in my life…well, maybe my wedding :). I love my in-laws, and they’ve been amazing to live with, I couldn’t have made it through this winter without them. But they’re not Joe, and it’s not our little family or our own space. There’s just a difference, ya know? We are beyond ready to be past this transition phase and into our new home out in Colorado as a family.

And as my dear friend Amy Sides (she’s on the left in the photo) asked, ‘When you are coming home?’ And that’s exactly how I am starting to feel, like i’m ready to go home.

Leigh Ann & Ben | 718 Venue Wedding

This snowy, wintry day calls for a warm winter wedding full of emerald greens, faux furs, and greenery, don’t you think?

Back in December, I got an email from Meg Flores of Happy To Be Events about an urgent wedding request due to a family emergency. I was in Colorado at the time, but after hearing their story, I immediately knew I had to hep however I could.

You see, Leigh Ann’s father didn’t have a lot of time left. He was passing away from terminal brain cancer. Leigh Ann and Ben wanted to get married before he passed. Meg did an incredible job of planning this small wedding/elopement in just SIX DAYS. And let me tell you, these photos don’t look like it was planned in less than a week. They are gorgeous.

Meg and Leigh Ann just wanted one invitation. Something that matched the wedding and wouldn’t take too long to design or update. So I sent them over a few options of already designed pieces that we could just update with their information. The tricky part here was that I was in Colorado and not in Virginia. But after a few phone calls and emails to Meg to walk her through printing one sheet of invitations on her own, I’d say she pulled it off completely! She truly worked some magic for this entire wedding.

I was so honored to be just a small part of this beautiful wedding that was full of so much love.

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Vendor List

Coordination, Planning, and Styling: Happy to Be Events

Ceremony Venue: 718 Venue

Photography and Videography: Rowlands Photography 

Restaurant: Castiglia's Restaurant

Designer: Vagabond Co

Florist: Blushing Blooms

Bakery: Kadi Bakes

Stationer: Twila and Co

Rentals: Something Vintage

Makeup: Glamper Salon

Bridal Furs: Bash Boutique

Gown and Veil: Ava Laurenne

Alterations: C-talents

Jewelry: Fredericksburg Jewelers

Decor Elements: Fraser Wood Elements

DIY Wedding Card Frame Design

Last weekend, I took a little bit of time for myself; got off my phone and computer and crafted. I can’t tell you the last time I crafted without a…purpose, I guess you would say? I mean I do a lot of crafts for others, and did stuff for my wedding, but this was the first time I did it just for me and for fun. And it was really, really nice! I forgot how much I loved doing small little projects like that.

I shared a lot on my Instagram story and got tons of messages asking about it, so I decided to share it on this weeks blog!

If you’ve recently, or even not recently, gotten married, or maybe you like to keep birthday cards or christmas cards or all cards, basically, if you keep sentimental cards of any kind, you probably have the same question as me- what do you do with them? Do you just keep them in a box to wait until the next time you open them in 5 years? Do you display these huge honkin’ cards somewhere for everyone to see and for them to take up tons of space? I had mine sitting in a bag and box for the longest time.

While in the midst of wedding planning and researching on Pinterest I came across this idea. I can’t take it as my own, although I’m not sure who did it or where I saw it, I just have a random photo screenshotted on my phone, but it’s cutting your cards into tiles and arranging them into a frame.

So that’s what I did! And even though I can’t hang them quite yet, I just LOVE how they turned out. So here’s today’s little tutorial.

Because of what I do for a living, I already had all of the pieces I needed. I get all my crafting supplies at Hobby Lobby usually, but in case you don’t have time to go there, I’ve most of the items to Amazon. The frame is hard because you’ll have to measure and figure out what fits in your home.

Please note that I wasn’t doing this thinking I would be blogging, so some of the photos aren’t the best. I was just doing this for me and I got so many messages about it I wanted to share! And there are probably a lot of other ways to get the same result that I did, but I am not a craft expert, so this is what I had and how I did it.

What you’ll need:

  • Scissors

  • Small piece of Cardboard; at least 2 inches by 2 inches

  • Glue Stick, Rubber Cement or Crafters Tape (I used Crafters Tape)

  • Shadow Box or Frame (I went with frame, but waited until after Step 5 to choose)

  • Clear Tape (has to be clear/see-thru)

  • Staple Gun (For placing glass in frame if you’re not putting a back on it.

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STEP 1: Gather all of the cards you want to include. I used all of my bridal shower, bachelorette and wedding cards, but if you’re a keeper of things, you could also do birthday cards, anniversary cards, friendship cards, whatever cards you want!

STEP 2: Decide on what shape you want your tiles to be; just make sure it’s symmetrical and easily fits together. I chose a Hexagon, but you could do squares or rectangles. You could also do circles, but they won’t fit together quite as nicely. Then make a cardboard tile of that shape the size you want it. I did mine about 2 inches by 2 inches, and that made for a big enough size to use for most cards, but not too big.

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I printed my shape off on regular computer paper, cut it out and then traced it onto the cardboard rather than measure or eyeball it.

STEP 3: Trace the shapes on the front of the cards over the part you want to be included in the collage. I also traced on the inside of the where guests wrote a message. The pieces don’t necessarily cover everything guests wrote and cut off some parts of what is written, but you can get the gist of what it says. Any cards that had super long messages or something more sentimental, I didn’t end up cutting. So I did save about 5 or 6.

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*Side note: if the names of the guest didn’t make it onto the back of the card, I wrote in their names so I knew who wrote it.

STEP 4: Cut out the shapes, but do one card at a time. I only cut out the front and the inside one card at a time so I didn’t get them confused. Once both of them are cut, using my crafters tape (or glue stick or rubber cement), I glue them together- on the front of it is the front of the card, and then flipped over so you can still read it, the written words from guests on the back.

Front of the Card

Front of the Card

Inside of the card

Inside of the card

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STEP 5: Once all of the cards were cut and glued, I arranged them based on the color and design. One of the cards I got that I really loved was a champagne shaped bottle with glitter and water (or some solution) in it. I couldn’t cut it up, so it inspired me to make it look like a champagne bottle was being popped. And since the champagne card was gold, I used all my white and gold and then added in pink cards. I arranged them by color to give the overall feel a little more rhythm.

I did have extra colors, blacks, greys, blues, so I ended up making a few different frames and grouped like colors together: blacks/greys/silvers and then all the blues. When I hang them, I’ll either go for a gallery wall type thing or I’ll put them in different rooms.

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STEP 6: Once it’s arranged, measure the size of how you arranged it, that will determine the size of the frame. I bought a frame based on the arrangement, rather than the other way around. I just went to Hobby Lobby and bought a few options.

STEP 7: Once you have your frames and arrangement, I used the clear tape to tape them to the glass. I used small pieces and taped at the top and bottom.

STEP 8: Add the background of your choice! I am choosing to keep my frames open because I want to be able to see the backs of the cards if I want to, however, you may want to put a backing in there to help hold it in place.

For keeping the frames open, I used my staple gun to hold the glass in. To do this, I place the staple gun about a quarter of an inch away from where i wanted the staple to go, shooting the staple into the frame and then it would stick out about a quarter of an inch, therefor holding the glass in place. You could also use a small nail; just make sure you leave the nail head out enough to hold the glass in.

STEP 9: (I have yet to do this myself yet, but….) Hang them! You’re all done! Now, rather than having a random box of cards that will just sit there, you have a beautiful reminder of an amazing time in your life.

And voila!

Now you have a more fun way to display your wedding cards.

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Front

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Back

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Champagne | Poppin’ bottles

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It's A Wonderful Life Styled Shoot

Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary.

Definitely one of my favorite lines from a Christmas movie. And if you know me, you know I LOVE Christmas, like REALLY love Christmas, so when I was asked to participate in an ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ inspired styled shoot, we all knew my answer!

Ashley Link of Virginia Ashley Photography did an amazing job putting this together and taking gorgeous photos. I am just in awe and it makes me love Christmas even more and want to do MORE Christmas styled shoots!

And with that, enjoy the photos! I’m going to go enjoy come Colorado Snow.

Cross Stich: Earthologie
Makeup: Shasta Hypes
Hair: Elle Style Studio
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid
Wedding Dress: Tiffany’s Bridal
Photography: Virginia Ashley Photography
Calligraphy: Canary Lettering
Invitations: Twila & Co.
Planning: Chickadee Events
Floral Design: Courtney Inghram Florals
Cake: DIY
Wedding Venue: Paisley and Jade

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Kaitlin & Aubrey | Braehead Manor Wedding

So remember Hurricane Florence? And how it came to Virginia like a crazy, and made weddings all over the state and east coast just awful with it’s wrath?! Well, you wouldn’t even be able to tell with these incredible photos.

With all of the bad forecasts and weather leading up to Kaitlin and Aubrey’s wedding, they surprisingly had a beautiful in its own way day and the photos are just spectacular. In my {humble} opinion, the grey sky actually just accents the moody, bold colors of their wedding. Those deep greens, reds and navy’s match that cool grey sky, probably almost better than a bright blue sunny sky would have.

Kaitlin and Aubrey are so awesome. I just love them together. They are so much fun, such goofballs and they always make me laugh. I had so much fun working with Kaitlin on these invitations, especially when it meant doing a watercolor of my favorite venue. The wedding is at my favorite spot, Braehead Manor, and Kelsey Rae Photography totally killed it!

Enjoy!

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Photography | Kelsey Rae Photography

Dress | Ava Laurenne Bride

Stationery | Twila & Co.

Makeup | Kaley Pleban

Hair | Alia Sirch

Catering | Pifer Bros BBQ 

Flowers | Kelsey Manuel 

Venue | Braehead Manor

Band | Cabin Creek

Wedding Rings | Aubrey’s - Ulmans, Kaitlin - Elaine B Jewelry

Dessert | Sugar Shack Donuts