Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 In Review

I am so excited for 2010.... it is going to be a fun and eventful year! But I can't forget how exciting 2009 has been too!

The year started off with a wonderful family vacation to Keystone, Colorado. It was such a beautiful place to be. I had a good time relaxing and spending time with my family. Skiing was not exactly my thing but I improved and would even consider another ski trip.

I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Arizona over spring break. My cousins and sister live there not and it is a fantastic place to visit. There is great shopping, awesome weather, and a beautiful landscape. We decided to go on a hike in Sabino Canyon in Tucson one day. It started off as a long hike on a big sidewalk. Mom got adventurous, took us off the sidewalk, and we trekked down the long and winding way. It was a great trip..... we definitely earned our lunch that day!

Luckily when I was in Arizona, Brandon was shopping for a gorgeous diamond ring. He found one and propsed on April 11. We have spent a great deal of time in 2009 planning our wedding for July 24, 2010!

The summer months were BUSY months... as I tried to tackle three graduate courses, move (TWICE), and work on wedding plans. It was very stressful at times but I learned a very important lesson. For a teacher... the summer should be the best time of year! It was not for me and I made it my goal to make sure to take time out to enjoy life. I went into the school year with a new motto and goal of just getting through the work so that I could take time to play. This has been an important life lesson for me and I feel that it has allowed me to get back to my normal self.
We finished out the year with a busy Christmas season... trying to make visits to both sides of our families. We had such a good time and are thankful for a very supportive families. 2009 was such a great year and I can't wait until next year! It will be a memorable year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wedding Wednesday: Flowers and Topiaries

Hardest part of the wedding yet...... FLOWERS!!! I met with a great florist last week and she did a wonderful job helping me decide on the different things and types of flowers that I liked. It was not an easy job because this was one avenue where I was the most indecisive. I was also struggling because I was not able to visualize exactly what it was she was talking about. She as very patient, informative, and she was gracious enough to give me a small bouquet of the different types of flowers we discussed. I really like hydrageas-- green and white, roses, and other greenery. Here are the flowers that she gave me to play around with a little. Here is what my bouquet could look like (except more full). I also made a sample boutineer. I think that looks really nice.

I have begun to think about centerpiece ideas and what I might like. I really like the idea of using a topiary. See below in case you are like me and did not know what one was. This picture looks incredibly fake.... but I like the shape of the flowers and the types and color of the flowers. I could go for a different base though.

Two more days of school until a two week break. I sat down to write a list of everything I would like to accomplish for the wedding so hopefully by this time next week there will be quite a few things to update you on.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I am so glad to have just finished up my BSU course for this semester. 8 down and only 2 to go until I graduate!! It has been a really busy semester so I am glad to have almost a full month before I begin my next class. What will I be up to???

  • Wedding-- lots to do including register for gifts, shop for wedding bands, gather ideas for centerpieces, figure out flowers, work on planning our honeymoon, finalize detials for bridesmaid dresses
  • Christmas shopping-- LOTS of this to do still!
  • Read a good book-- I just started Shopahalic Ties the Knot and am looking for a second book to read over break
  • Catch up on any Reality TV marathons that might be on
  • Anything else that includes relaxation

4 schools days left until break!! OBVIOUSLY I am excited! :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wedding Wednesday!

We have had spent a lot of time and energy working on wedding stuff lately. Here are just a few details. First.... the most exciting part was getting our engagement photos back!!!!! As you can tell in the picture we had so much fun getting them done.
The above picture was taken about two seconds after the photographer asked for a serious face..... not gonna happen with this girl!!! Below is one of my favorite pictures from the session.
All of them turned out really well. I included a link to a slideshow in Saturday's post. Feel free to check them out if you have not already seen them.
We have also spent a great deal of time getting a save the date put together so hopefully we can send those out soon. There are so many great websites out there to help customize save the dateswith our own gorgeous pictures.
The honeymoon planning is also in its preliminary stage. We have narrowed down to a few locations that we like. I think my the time July 24th comes around we will both be ready for a relaxing vacation.
We also had our first pre-marital counseling meeting. We enjoyed getting to know our pastor and talking with her about her philosophies on marriage and life. We also are getting married in a church that we had never been to before so we got to see the sanctuary for the first time. It is a beautiful church and I think it will be perfect!
It is all starting to come together. There are still lots of decisions to be made but I feel really good about the progress.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I have never been much of a Black Friday shopper but last Friday I made it out for a little shopping. Here is the best purchase I made.........
Walmart had some great deals on games that I wanted to buy for my classroom. While in the game aisle I saw that Partini was on sale for only $10!!!! I have had my eye on the game for a long time and it was such a great deal that I had to get it!

We got together with some friends last night to play and it was so fun! It is a mix of catch phrase, cranium, and loaded questions. This would be a great gift idea of those game lovers out there!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Engagement Photos Slideshow

We received our engagement photo slideshow today!!! Follow the link to see the slideshow. We are very happy with how the photos turned out! :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Details Details Details!!!

We are beginning to get to the finer details in wedding planning. We have been looking at flowers, centerpieces, and cake designs. This weekend we will be going to Heavenly Sweets in Noblesville to design our cake. We visited once before and loved all of the cake and filling options. The cake flavor is one thing that Brandon and I will absolutely not compromise on. Luckily we don't have to!! I get to have my piece of chocolate cake (which if you know me well..... is VERY important) and Brandon gets to have white cake. Earlier in the week I spent some time on It is a great site but can be overwhelming. After hours of research and narrowing down, we found a cake that is similar to what we want for our own.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Greek and Roman Day

Greek and Roman Day is my favorite day of the school year!!! I think it is better than field day... better than the day right before Winter Break... better than the last day of school!! We have been studying the geography, history, and culture of the Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans since September. We capped off our studies by celebrating the contributions that the Greek and Romans made to our culture today. Here we are getting in the mood for the day by dressing up in togas! SO FUN!!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wedding Wednesday

Well sorry that it has been a few Wednesdays since I last posted. I have been working feverishly on my action research project for that last few weeks. I have it in the near final stages and am just waiting on feedback from my group members. It has been such a freeing feeling. I don't feel that I have to make every moment in the evening count. I feel like I have had time to relax, work out, enjoy time with friends. All of this I have been able to do without my project hanging over my head. It will be nice to have close to two months without a ton of homework to do. Then back to the grind from January until July.

The end of October and the beginning of November were busy months for us for wedding planning.... another reason for not posting in a while. We hired a DJ and photographer for the day. As part of our photography package we had an engagement photoshoot. The shoot was the weekend before last. We took pictures in downtown Zionsville and at Coxhall gardens. I had a lot of fun and I hope that the pictures are good too. I will make sure to put some up when we get them back. We also tested cakes... which was a lot of fun. We are in the final stages of getting that together. Bridesmaid dresses are just about finalized too.

All in all, I am enjoying the wedding planning process more than I thought I would. It has been stressful at times, especially when I already have such a full plate. Luckily many of my girlfriends have already planned their own weddings so they have been a great help too!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wedding... Thursday!

This edition of Wedding Wednesday is coming one day late. I apologize for the delay. As promised in the last post, I will tell you about April 11, 2009.

Well, I'm sure you guessed it so I will just come right out and tell you! Brandon asked me to marry him on April 11. It was such a wonderful and special day. Brandon and I spent most of the day running errands and seperate from each other. We had made dinner plans that night to go to Ambrosia, a restaurant we had wanted to try for a while. We have spent quite a bit of time in the park pictured below and decided to go for a walk since it was one of first nice, spring days.

We walked around a few laps just to get out and get some exercise. On our last lap, Brandon popped the question right underneath the huge rotunda. I immediately said yes. Afterwards we talked about how excited we both are for the life we have ahead of ourselves. We did not have a camera that day, but when back the next day to snatch a picture right where it all happend.
And for those that don't see me that often.... here is a shot of the ring.
We enjoyed a magical dinner at Ambrosia. It was such an exciting feeling that we had official plans to spend the rest of our lives together. The wedding will take place on July 24, 2010!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wedding Wednesday: Dating

I thought it would be neat to allow pictures tell the story of how Brandon and I got where we are today.

In this picture, Brandon and I are visiting the Jack Daniel's Distillery. We took a trip to Memphis and Nashville over Spring Break one year. We discovered we had similar vacationing styles. We both are super curious and love to just to roam around museums, take tours, and just explore new places. In five days we visited Graceland, the Gibson guitar factory, The Civil Rights Museum, and The Country Music Hall of Fame. I might be missing something but it was a jam packed, fun filled trip.

Brandon and I also discovered a passion for food. Throughout our childhood our moms cooked for us and during college we both lived in Greek houses. After college we began to cook for ourselves for the first time. We researched new recipes to make for each other. To this day it is something we enjoy doing together. Too bad neither of us like doing the dishes! Pictured below is the best food found at the Indiana State Fair. We always eat healthier than this, but the picture makes both of us laugh so I thought I had to include it.
Brandon and I both share a love for the Colts. When the Colts play away games we like to throw our own tailgate parties with football food. It is such a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Brandon and I also share a love of country music. Brandon got me tickets to see Kenney Chesney, Keith Urban, and some others last summer for my birthday. It was so fun to see Keith Urban because he is one of my favorites. Here we are at the concert.

There are many mixed emotions from the last picture. Over Christmas break last year, Brandon joined my family on their annual vacation. We usually go to Hawaii but traded that in for Keystone, Colorado. Keystone was beautiful in its own way, but Hawaii is definitely more up my alley. It was a great time for Brandon to get to know my extended family better and it meant the world for me that he wanted to go. I think he had a blast skiing and I am proud of myself for at least attempting. The best part of the trip was that he spent over a week with my family and we all got along great. The village where we stayed had the cutest statue of a ski bum couple... still in love. So Brandon and I had to get our picture taken with it!

The last four years are filled with many more memories that are special to me. Check back next week to find out what happened on April 11, 2009.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wedding Wednesday: How We Met

I thought I would liven up the blog with a weekly wedding update on Wednesday. So look forward to a wedding update every Wednesday. I will start with one of the most important details... how we met!

It was the summer of 2005 and I had just moved back to the Indy area after graduating from Purdue. One of my best friends from college was marrying one of Brandon's best friends from college. There were several social events that we both attended. I secretly admired Brandon from a distance. He does not admit that I had caught his eye... but I know I did. ;) Finally it was the weekend of our friends' wedding and Brandon and I really hit it off. That night he noticed me for sure. Here is a picture of us at our friends' wedding.

Now there are different renditions of what our first date actually was, how it happened, and how it went. After much discussion, we decided that our first official date took place at Bazbeaux's in Broadripple in August 2005.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Indiana State Cross Country Meet

Today the Z'West Cross Country team had the opportunity to take part in the largest Middle School Cross Country meet in America. (According to the website!) There are easily close to 1,000 runners in the races throughout the day.

It was a chilly day, but luckily it was a little warmer than in this picture (taken from the meet in the past). All of the kids have been working so hard this year. Our girls team is very talented and ended up finishing second! I was a proud little coach. :) It is always so exciting and rewarding to see their hard work pay off. We will finish up our season next Saturday at the conference meet.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Say Yes to the Dress

My dress came in! I went to the store to check to be sure that the dress is the one I ordered and the size I ordered. It was so fun to try on MY dress. I had tried the same style on several times as I was searching for the dress I wanted but this time it was the one I will actually wear 10 months and 2 days from now! Sorry... no pics ;)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Zionsville's Fall Festival

I had the opportunity to relive a childhood memory this weekend. My mom mentioned to me that she would be taking part in our town's annual Fall Festival Parade. Her church is celebrating its 175th anniversary and celebrated by creating a float that is a replica of what the church looks like. Of course when she mentioned this I jumped at the chance to attend the parade. I had not been in years but thought it would be so much fun.

Here is what the church ended up looking like.

The weather was beautiful and I enjoyed the parade with Brandon and Brandi. (Thanks Brandi for taking the picture!)

Monday, September 7, 2009

What a Beautiful Ride

Welcome to my blog! I have been wanting to blog for a while now, but have been too busy to get it started up.

The name for the blog was difficult to come up with, but I decided on What a Beautiful Ride. It is inspired by a song by Gary Allan called Life Ain't Always Beautiful. The lyrics tell a story about how the struggles in life make us who we are today. The song tells me that we can choose to focus on the struggles or we can be thankful for all of the blessings in life. I have many things in my life to be thankful for and hope to share them with you through this blog. Thanks for reading!