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.

A Little More Wedding...

Well, I have a little more to show you from the wedding…aka, OUR WEDDING VIDEO IS HERE!

And oh my gosh, it’s incredible. Nic, Amanda and the rest of the NuGen Media team did a phenomenal job. I’ve watched this video too many times to count now and get teary eyed/cry every time. It doesn’t help that I’m really missing Joe I suppose.

And because we had the little snafu of the gunshots (apparently, the neighbor of the venue enjoys shooting their guns around the ceremony time, but I like to call it a 99 Gun Salute to our marriage), I’m sharing some of the readings from our ceremony. After watching the video back again, I remembered how amazing our officiant’s speech was, so I wanted to share it because I think it says so much about life.

If you’re like me, after reading the officiant’s message and the letter from my Grandma, you’ll savor each moment a little more, hug your family a little tighter, and kiss your loved one a little harder, because life is too short.

*Video is at the end of the blog.


Officiant’s Message

As I think back to having first met you two, I’m awed at how you have bloomed as a couple and how your lives as individuals have been enriched by the other. Over the years I have watched you two have the times of your lives together. I’ve seen you travel this earth together and I have been there to see you stand by each other and face all the ups and downs that life could throw at you. Just as you have been there with me and watched my own love story unfold. As you have been there to welcome our new baby boy. We’ve shared this life together. As I think back I will always remember the day you announced that you two were starting a family of your own, as you snuck a tiny fur baby named Grohl into my bar. Look at him now. Look at us now. Our families bigger, Grohl much much bigger and our lives even richer. When I think back to all the time we’ve shared, I’m blown away at how fast it all happens. As I held my son and thought about just how fast this day too, will go so fast,  I had this thought…

As we grow older, we measure time in a different way than when we are a child.

For a child, an hour or a day seems an eternity

As we get older we begin to measure time in months… then years

And we begin to understand that they move quite rapidly

There comes a time in your life when you begin to measure time in terms of decades

And when you look back upon them

You realize that your time upon this earth is very short

And so each moment that you’re given on this earth

Is a time to celebrate.



A letter from my Grandma

When Johnna was born – she was the very first grandchild on my side of the family & she had a very special place in my mother’s heart. Before she passed away – she gifted Johnna with a Memory Book and while she prayed that she could dance at Johnna’s wedding that just wasn’t meant to be. So today – I’d like to read an excerpt from that Memory Book and invite her to join us on this special day:

In order for me to become a Gramma, of course I had to be a ‘mama’ first. I’ve always considered myself very blessed to have had six children. They and Papa Jere were my life. Those years were so busy but so much fun too – watching everyone grow and blossom into ‘real people.’ Sometimes you’re asked the question, if you could go back in years, would you do things differently. If I would ever have that chance (you don’t but lets pretend), the only thing I would change is how I spent my time. I would have spent more time with all my children and not be as concerned about how clean the house should be. Time is all we have and it goes by much too quickly and children grow up and leave home and there’s plenty of time to chase dust balls and cobwebs.

My wish for the future is your good health, happiness, and a contentment in who you are. Enjoy life’s experiences as they come along – there’s something to be learned from all of them. I wish for you a wonderful life. I love you.

Gramma P.


Our Vows

I promise to be faithful to you, honest with you, patient with you and to trust, respect and protect you.

I promise to hold your hand and always take care of you, through one foot or two

I promise to be there when our love is simple and easy but also when its challenging and hard?

I promise to be the strongest supporter of your dreams, your biggest fan, and to always help you stand back up if you fall down

I promise to grow with you and encourage you to be a better person because you bring out the best in me

I promise to challenge you, laugh with you, leap with you, be your refuge and follow you to the ends of the earth

I promise to be your home, your partner, your soulmate and your best friend

I promise to update our vows as we grow because one set of vows cant possibly cover a lifetime of growing and changing together

I promise to love you with everything I have and to continue falling more and more in love with you every day

You are the family you both get to choose. Do you promise to go on choosing one another from this day forward through all of the uncertainties of the future.


A Little Update | We've Moved!

You've probably seen the Instagram stories and maybe wondered what's going on. We've been working on a lot of stuff behind the scenes around here between the wedding and business stuff, but what I'm sure you're all wondering about is...

We're moving.

Well, technically now we have moved. But there's a little more to it than that...

We LOVED our house. If you've purchased anything from me over the past 3 years and picked it up, you've probably stopped by my house and home office across from the river. This little house on the river has become my sanctuary and my home these past 3 years. The place where Joe and I became a family with the little Grohly Poly Oly; where we got engaged; where we've held so many get-togethers with family and friends. 

Last summer, we tried to buy it. At an early point in our lease, the landlord had mentioned that we may want to buy it one day, so we researched what we thought it might be worth, what we could afford and perhaps some upgrades. We took it to our land lady to start the discussion, feeling pretty confident. 

Unfortunately, she had other plans. She said she didn't think she was ready to sell, but would think about it. A few months after not hearing anything, we found out she sold it to a friend, and we were...well, we obviously weren't very happy. It took us a while to really get over it, honestly. We were almost angry. This was our home. And for someone whom had never even lived there or perhaps been there to take it away from us seemed very unfair.

But everything happens for a reason. 

In the last month, the dishwasher had to be replaced, the AC and Oven stopped working, etc. etc. If that house had been ours, we would have had to replace it all on top of paying for the wedding. While it's an amazing house and even better location, it's old and needs a lot of upgrades. Upgrades that we just don't have time or money for right now. 

As most of you know, Joe spent the last winter season in Colorado to train with a professional adaptive snowboard team. His goal is to make it to the 2022 Paralympics. And in order to do that, he has to go back to Colorado again this winter. 

So for now, we are moving into Joe's parents house through the wedding, and I'll stay there through the winter season while he is in Colorado training. Twila & Co. will have a new home with Darling D's and Vintage is for Lovers on Lafayette Boulevard, and you can (and should!) come absolutely come visit. I wanted to be here for the holidays as I have exciting new skyline products coming and can't wait to share! 

But next spring, things will definitely be changing even more around here.

Have you guessed our big news yet? 

Joe and I will be moving to Silverthorne, Colorado together full time from the spring of 2019 until the 2022 Paralympics. He has an amazing opportunity to follow his dream and he would be stupid not to go for it. And as hard as it will be to redirect my business for a bit and test out some new waters by moving out there, I think I'm ready for the challenge. It's taken me a while to get on the excited train for this; Fredericksburg and Virginia has been my home my entire life. But I'm finally feeling excited for this next chapter. 

Don't worry though! The Skyline products aren't going away and neither are wedding invitations or any other services! Catherine at Monkee's has agreed to continue to sell my skyline products even when I'm gone, and of course, the website will have them as well. We'll be visiting a lot and that will definitely include lots of skyline trunk shows! Maybe I'll even get some new ideas and products while I'm out there. 

And of course, if you're ever near Denver or in the mountains, PLEASE reach out! We'll be about an hour and a half outside of Denver in the mountains. Grohl doesn't know it yet, but he is going to LOVE that mountain life and he already has buddies out there waiting for him; and so do we. 

I could go on and on about this move and how much I will miss Fredericksburg and everything I have built here, but I'm going to save that until I actually leave. Until then, I'll just live in a little bubble of all things wedding and Fredericksburg as the wedding gets closer and so do the holidays. 

But I will say this, I love you all more than words can say! And I am so thankful for everyone that is a part of this journey. 

As if you needed more convincing to come visit us when we're out there...

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My Fredericksburg Bachelorette Party

I bet you're totally surprised that I had my Bachelorette party in Fredericksburg, right?!

Honestly, I just couldn't think of a better place to have it. I LOVE Fredericksburg and I wanted the chance to show it off a little to all of my out of town friends. And between the amazing food, things to do and history, it definitely did not disappoint!

Thank Yous

Before I get into what we did, I just wanted to take a second to thank you. First, I want to thank my amazing sister and best friend Jeri for all of the planning and organizing she helped with, as well as two of my bridesmaids, Courtney & Whitney for their help as well. Without their help, this weekend would not have been so smooth and fun. I had a vision and they all made it happen! 

Second, I want to thank everyone who came out this weekend to celebrate with me. I continue to walk away from these wedding-related events just realizing how lucky I am to have such amazing people in my life. I had friends from High School, College, my Sorority, work, Fredericksburg, and even friends I knew in Elementary School that came. I am still riding the high of this weekend and how many people came to celebrate and have fun! It was everything I could have wanted and more and I only wish it hadn't gone by so quickly! So thank you to every person who was there this weekend; you made my weekend so incredibly special!

And last, but most certainly not least, thank you to the small businesses that made this weekend so incredible (I'll be talking about them later in the post!). Every business we used this weekend was a local biz that is special to Fredericksburg and it made me so happy to be able to give back a little bit to my community by having my Bachelorette here. And they did an incredible job taking care of us and made me look really good in front of my friends! hahaha

What We Did

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For the entire weekend, we rented out Braehead Manor, which is about 10 minutes from downtown. Mary, the innkeeper and one of my good friends, did the most incredible job all weekend. She had everything set up for us, was the best host and everyone felt right at home! I had a large group of over 15, so it was really nice to be able to all stay in one place together. It makes it much more fun! 

Friday we had a spa day at Skin Touch Therapy + Spa, which was incredibly relaxing. They did an amazing job scheduling 10 girls manis, pedis and massages flawlessly and everyone left feeling relaxed and ready for the weekend. They did such a good job that we finished right on time and were able to swing by everyone's favorite shop, Monkee's

Kybecca Wine Bar

Kybecca Wine Bar

That evening, we scheduled a two course dinner with wine pairings at Kybecca Wine Bar.  Because we had 15+ ladies, we were able to reserve their wine cellar downstairs, which gave us some privacy. The food was delicious, the wine was perfect and we had a really enjoyable dinner that wasn't rushed or busy so we could enjoy each others company. And after dinner, we just had a pajama party at the manor with champagne and popsicles in wine glasses that I decorated.

Ready for the wine tour!

Ready for the wine tour!

Saturday was a Wine Trolley Tour with the Trolley Tours of Fredericksburg! We didn't actually get to ride in a trolley, but we had a really nice bus that took us from place to place. Because of the large group, we only did three wineries. We started at Wilderness Run Vineyards, then stopped at Harvest Market to pick up some snacks, then to Lake Anna Winery and then a final stop at Mattaponi Winery.  It was the perfect afternoon and I had so much fun surrounded by some of my favorite people!

Bride's Babes

Bride's Babes

And of course, we had matching T-shirts with the Fredericksburg Skyline. What else did you expect? I had 'Bride's Babes' on all of my friends shirts in the mint green; my shirt said 'Bride to Be;' my sister and maid of honor's said 'Babe of Honor;' my moms said 'She got it from her mama;' and Mrs. Pleban's said 'the O.G. Mrs. Pleban.' They were so much fun and I definitely have to make a point to get better photos taken of them because they are so stinkin' cute. 

By the time we got back to the Manor, the pizza was delivered for dinner and everyone ate and had free time to nap, relax or (as requested by some of my friends) visit the Popcorn Bag. It was just the recovery we needed before a night out on the town. 

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If you've ever seen The Wedding Date with Debra Messing & Dermot Mulroney, you'll understand my bar crawl theme...which was golf and you have to order a different drink at each bar. It was so cute in the movie, and even more fun in real life because we got to wear skorts, tennis shoes, and sports bras, making it cute and comfy to  be out on the dance floor all night. We started at Sky Bar, which is the new rooftop bar above Castiglia's, then moved to Jay's Sports Bar, then to the Bourbon Room for some dancing and finished up at Capital Ale House for some french fries before heading home...although a few girls went back to the Bourbon Room for a little more dancing. 

My biggest planning tip

Planning ahead and including all pricing for EVERYTHING. When I sent out the cost for the weekend to my friends, I included the hotel/manor (which included breakfast both days), the dinner at Kybecca (a preset menu & wine pairing including gluten free and vegetarian options), the trolley tour with t-shirts, pizza for dinner on Saturday and snacks and wine at the manor all weekend, as well as spa treatments pending what people wanted. I paid everything the week before the bachelorette, so when showed up for all of the activities everything was completely paid for including tax and tip. No splitting checks, no adding tip or tax, nothing. The only additional fee was if you wanted to purchase wine on the tour or drinks out on Saturday night. It literally took so much stress out of the entire weekend and I highly recommend it. Plus, people are budgets and money can be tight! If you can plan ahead how much you'll be spending, it makes it so much easier to account for. 

BEST WEEKEND EVER

This past weekend was seriously everything I could have ever wanted in a bachelorette. I had the BEST time ever, and am mostly just sad it's over. I already wanna do it all over again! Thank you so so much to everyone involved and for making my weekend so incredibly special!

THE SET-UP

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friday night

Most of the Gang for Friday Night Dinner

Most of the Gang for Friday Night Dinner

Me & Brittany

Me & Brittany

Me & Jael

Me & Jael

The CNU Crew

The CNU Crew

Whitney, a Bridesmaid, myself, Jeri, my maid of honor, and Courtney, A Bridesmaid

Whitney, a Bridesmaid, myself, Jeri, my maid of honor, and Courtney, A Bridesmaid

Kaley, Joe's Sister and a Bridesmaid

Kaley, Joe's Sister and a Bridesmaid

Phi Mus

Phi Mus

My High School Besties

My High School Besties

Of course we had to add an order of oysters because they are the BEST!

Of course we had to add an order of oysters because they are the BEST!

Everyone after Dinner at Kybecca

Everyone after Dinner at Kybecca

Popsicles & Champagne

Popsicles & Champagne

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Wine Trolley Tour

Because who doesn't hang out in a beautiful porcelain tub with balloons?!

Because who doesn't hang out in a beautiful porcelain tub with balloons?!

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Wilderness Run Winery

Wilderness Run Winery

My Future Sister-In-Law, me and My sister/Maid of Honor!

My Future Sister-In-Law, me and My sister/Maid of Honor!

Celebrating two engagements in our family!

Celebrating two engagements in our family!

Hanging with Pierre at Lake Anna Winery

Hanging with Pierre at Lake Anna Winery

My Mom & Mrs. Pleban

My Mom & Mrs. Pleban

Golf Themed Bar Crawl

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My Work Wife and My Work Bestie

My Work Wife and My Work Bestie

High School Friends!

High School Friends!

Floral Crown Workshop

Two weeks ago I took a {much needed} break to visit my work wife, Caitlin of Third Clover, and attend a Floral Crown Workshop in Maryland. It was so nice to get out of town a little bit and do something different yet still creative. Lately, I've been in a bit of a creative slump and I was having a really hard time pulling myself out of it, so doing something different was just what I needed!

It was a really cool event out at M&M Plants & Flower Garden. When we got there, they had a potluck and wine waiting, buckets and buckets of gorgeous flowers and all the fixins' to make a flower crown. 

To start out, we had some instruction on the basics of creating the crown and there were some awesome florists and floral designers there to help. Once you picked out your flowers, you just kind of went for it! I started with the basis of the crown part, basically a few pieces of metal wrapped in the green floral tape. Then I added in greenery to fluff the whole thing up, and the final step i took was adding in small bouquets of flowers all along the crown. Now, by no means did I do this 'right' but I think it turned out okay!

There were lots of different ways to do the crowns, wire, floral tape, floral glue, so it was nice to see how the different mediums work and how people used them (especially since I'm doing my own florals for the wedding).

I had a ton of fun getting to know some new lovely ladies that also work in the wedding industry, and of course spending lots of quality time with Caitlin. Supporting local vendors by attending their workshops is so much fun because not only am I helping them out, but I'm also learning something new! 

So if you're looking for something new and different to do, I would definitely check out your local area for a floral workshops, or maybe a cake class or calligraphy- even if you're nervous like I can get, it's totally worth it and so much fun! 

VENDORS INCLUDED

Petals by the shore

M&M Plants & Flower Garden 

Petal Patch Flower Farm

Belle Blooms Farm

Hidden Ridge

Rose Gold Events & Styling

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the flower selection was amazing

the flower selection was amazing

teaching us how to do it

teaching us how to do it

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