SummerOfWeddings

6 Nov

Dan and I went to seven – yes seven – weddings this summer….

I have been with the man of my dreams for four years now; we have a home and a dog, so we are practically married. We just don’t wear the rings, or have the signed marriage license.  But I am 27, and Dan is 29 so as society has so kindly done for us, we are getting to the age where everyone is asking us, “When are you going to get married.” Dan always says three to five years, no matter when you ask. I always say we are in no rush to have kids, so why would there be a rush to get married. And that is the truth, we love each other, the house has already put us in a 30-year bond, and there is no rush- but there is that girly part of me that wants a wedding day and wants to put together a party to celebrate our love and so I went to Facebook and asked for advice. I just said to lay it out and tell me the good, the bad, the pretty and the ugly, and that I would make anything they tell me anonymous. So are you ready? Are you thinking you want to get married? Well take some of these tips from people who have already been through it. Here is the big fat list to help you out.

I wanted nothing to do with picking out my engagement ring.

If the woman picks out the ring it takes away from the surprise and fun.

We got his ring off Etsy for $30. After getting him sized and seeing what he liked at another jeweler, we ended up finding something he liked online for cheaper and we figured we could upgrade later.

At Shane Co. they have a sweet upgrade policy, but even after years and years of being married we have never upgraded.

Biggest thing to know for the guys is that the new, cool alternative metals (tungstun, cobalt, titantium, etc) will break if you drop them on a hard surface (tile, concrete, etc). The material is scratch resistant, but very fragile — and they can’t be resized…EVER. So if for whatever reason he ever needs a different size, you have to buy a brand new one. Be careful, because most jewelers will not tell you the truth about that.

We planned our wedding in five months and we wouldn’t change that for the world. Less time to change our mind.

From the time we got engaged to the date of our wedding will be 4 1/2 months and I’m SO thankful it’s short.

You have to enjoy the planning part. It should be exciting.

We got married out of state so we hired a wedding planner who would check out venues for us, and pretty much picked everything out for us perfectly.

A lot of things about the day you need to leave it up to the professionals as well. They do this for a living for a reason.

We chose October for our wedding because of the leaves changing colors, but also we didn’t want to get married during “wedding season.”

We chose a Thursday because on Fridays & Saturdays, the Venue we wanted holds two weddings a day and we wanted to pick a time and have it embed our day and not run into any other couples or feel rushed.

We picked our date because our boyfriend/girlfriend anniversary happened to be on a Saturday the year we were getting married. So our wedding anniversary is the same anniversary we celebrated as teenagers.

If you are planning an outdoor wedding, have a plan B.  We planned every little detail and the weather the day of didn’t allow for us to do half the stuff on the list. That being said, our wedding was still perfect.

Get married in the off season. We chose a Friday in the off season, and is saved us $5,000 for the venue.

Our venue allows us to bring our own alcohol which saves tons and tons of money since they don’t have a liquor license but have a serving license.

Choosing a venue that is naturally beautiful saves money as well as you don’t have to spend as much on decorations.

Addressing the invites are a pain in the butt.

Invitations typically cost anywhere between $500-$2000…especially when you factor in the cost of postage.

No one will remember what your invite looked like, because it will most likely end up in the trash after the wedding.

Usually a one person invite assumes a plus one. While someone else said: The only time I think it is fair to invite a guest is if it is addressed that way, for example: George Smith & Guest or +1.

We needed to control our guest list a little bit more, so people who didn’t have an OBVIOUS significant other were not allocated a +1. Not to be super rude, but if I’m choosing between guests, I’m not allocating for a complete RANDOM stranger to be at my wedding.

The outer envelope is for the formal Mr. George Smith, the inner envelope would be George Smith & Judy Routh. That is where you add the “and guest”, or family, or just for the single guest.

For our ceremony we told everyone it was a no kids wedding.

We have nieces and nephews, really young cousins, etc., but we still wanted our wedding to be a kid free zone to hang out, party, drink and just enjoy. We have been to PLENTY of weddings that there a crying child during the ceremony. Yes they are a part of the family but there is a time and place for little ones. We were at the point we did not care if we offended someone by saying no kids. It is our day and we wanted it to be just adults.

RSVP card has a space for their names, and then underneath it says “We have reserved ____ seats for you at our wedding.” That way a family of five, whose RSVP card says “2” in that blank, can kind of get the picture that it’s not everyone.

Our dinner was plated and the food was $47 per person including booze, food, service, charges, tip, etc.

Most all inclusive places will cut/serve your cake for free – but make sure, because we went to places that charged $1/slice (OBNOXIOUS)

We had a tight RSVP list because it cost $60 per guest to attend the wedding.

We invited 135 people including ourselves. Take a second. If you have 135 guests, at $60 per person that is $8,100.

We spent about $20 on dessert for the entire wedding. No joke. We did root-beer floats. Everyone loved it.

We love this taco food truck and normally get full spending $10 for both of us, so we figured we would contact them for our wedding. The minute we told them it was for a wedding, the prices drastically changed and it was going to be around $30 per person. We said screw it and found somewhere cheaper and it actually only ended up costing $13 per person and it was awesome.

Gooooood luck budgeting. Costs go up depending on your guest list, the alterations on the dress, the veil, jewelry, gifts, details, craft projects, party favors.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING is included, obvious, or free.

You can barter/negotiate on everything. It’s exhausting, but because it’s a service, and people want your business, they have flexibility…so ask!

Before you even start/think about looking at venues, vendors, dates, etc. I would make a list of EVERYTHING that you can think of that goes into a wedding (venue, invitations, dress, alcohol, pictures, flowers, honeymoon, etc) and then I would rank the items on that list as to what actually matters to you. That way you can put the most priority on what actually matters — this seems like extreme common sense, but as far as budget is concerned too it helps you stay on track for the stuff you actually care about and not overspend on things that are lower on the list.

Party favors, or gifts for the guests is such a big expense.

We are giving our guests a photo booth for their ‘gift’

We don’t want our party favors to be anything edible. We want it to be something they can have forever.

The best party favor I ever received at a wedding was a Cuban cigar and pink flip flops to dance in that we could take home at the end of the night. Both from the same wedding.

We paid for the bulk of the wedding, and that made for a lot less family drama. We could make our own decisions, because it was our money.

All the drama comes from your family and guests.

Don’t get too carried away with Pintrest. Be original.

Don’t have a groom’s cake. There will be more than enough dessert.

We didn’t even have a cake. We don’t eat cake normally – so why would we invest money into one. We had a few family members who didn’t agree with us and said that we were breaking tradition, but it was our wedding and the best advice I can give is to make it your own.

Centerpieces don’t matter, people won’t remember them. They are expensive and just get thrown away afterwards.

I think centerpieces are fun and some people think they’re a hassle. We’re making all of ours because it’s fun and less expensive. Some florists can do full centerpieces as a convenience if you’re interested. I’ve had three friends do it and had a super positive experience and they felt like it was worth the cost.

Spend your money on good photography. That is what you have to remember the day for the rest of your life.

Make sure that if you go over 150 guests that you get two photographers

Thank you cards are a must. They are common courtesy.

According to etiquette you have three months to send them out.

As a guest, I would like to receive a thank you card just as a reassurance that you got the gift. This seems silly, but with all of those cards lying around one could get misplaced, or heaven forbid; stolen. So I think thank you cards should be a priority.

All I can say, is go with it.

Expect for 10 things to go wrong, because then you can’t be disappointed. If only seven things go wrong, it’s a win. You can’t expect the day to be perfect.

Enjoy the process. It is hard at times, but it is worth it in the end.

Do what you think you and your fiancé want. What really matters at the end of the day is that you are married to your best friend.

10,000DoubleUnders

1 Oct

In September Dan and I celebrated our four year anniversary of being together, he turned 29 years old, and it was also the two year mark of owning our home. September is always a busy month for both of us and this past September I decided to add on one more task for the entire month. RPM Fitness put out a challenge to complete 10,000 double unders (DU) before the end of the month and so I decided to give it a whirl.

Day one, great. Day two, a little sore. Day three I had to take a break. I thought to myself, “Oh gosh, this is going be harder than I anticipated.” I didn’t really break it down before I started, but in order to get 10,000 DUs in the month of September, that means you must complete 333 DUs each day and 334 on the last day. So if you skip a day you better be prepared to do at least 666 DUs. At first 10K didn’t seem so bad, now I was second guessing myself for even starting.

September 15th: Half way mark. I hit 5,242 when the day ended and I felt like I was ahead of the game. My calves started to get used to the pain, I became best friends with the foam roller, and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I knew I had a work trip and that there would be nowhere to get any DUs done, and so before I left I made sure to get a few in, so that when I returned on Friday September 26 I would only have 2,848 left to do in 5 days, which means doing 570 per day. Well…. This was a weekend where something was going on at every minute of every day, but I squeezed in a few on the Friday before the busy weekend started and then on Sunday I was way too hung over to get off the couch let alone jump up and down 600 times.  Monday is when the realization sunk in and I had 2,448 left to do. In two days. Ah shit. So I tied my shoes, got my rope out and went to town on some doubles. Oh what a goal and some determination will do to someone. On Monday I got through 1,451 leaving me to only get through 997 by midnight (well really 9pm.. who am I kidding, midnight is way past my bed time) on Tuesday the 30th.

How could I come this far and not complete the challenge?! I had to complete it! So that is what I did. I got through 200 doubles in the morning, and then made up a workout to finish the rest on my lunch break. I would go on the elliptical for 2 minutes, and then do 100 DUs, and repeat until I was done. Until I was DONE with the #rpmchallenge. I am very happy with myself for getting through this and had a great time pushing myself, and reaching for new goals.

RopeClimbs

8 Aug

Oh hi Rope Climbs. Nice to meet you.

Sure- I have climbed a rope before in CrossFit, but this came from a lot of practice and a lot of confidence. As a kid, I could never climb the rope in gym class unless it had knots in it; I was always too scared to try the un-knotted rope, and thought I would fall off at the top. One day, maybe a year or so ago, I had Dan teach me how to climb a rope after watching some girls fail on them at a competition. I didn’t want to fail at them when I had to do them. I am sure I looked like a crazy person using most of my upper body to get up the rope and from then on, I knew I needed to get more proficient at rope climbs- using my legs, not just my arms.

Yesterday, after doing CrossFit for 20 months I did my first WOD with rope climbs. They have been programmed in the past, but I couldn’t get over my fear of coming down the rope when there is a “rounds for time” workout. I always thought I would freak out, trying to get the best time, and not know what to do when it came time to climb, or worse- fall from however many feet high. This fear is real guys. I am not making this up.

Anyways, back to yesterday. The workout was 10 rounds: 1 rope climb, 2 deadlifts at 205#, and a 100m run with a 20 minute time cap. I thought this was a generous cap. I was seeing times of 14 minutes, all the way up to 18 minutes. So in my head I thought I had this in the bag to finish before the time cap. Well, I was wrong. Yes.. I have practiced rope climbs one at a time on days that I am fresh. I have never felt or realized how hard it is to climb a rope when your grip is shot, you’re all sweaty, and after about 3 climbs, your inner thighs hurt like hell, but you know you still have a few more to go. I got through 8 rounds plus one rope climb and one dead lift (so nine rope climbs total in 20 minutes). For me, I did not like my final score, but still wrote it up on the white board, sat there for a minute and then smiled- because I pushed through a fear I have had my whole life. This is the part where I really just had to leave my ego at the door and realize that damn… I just did that workout Rx, it kicked my ass, but I was proud of myself for trying something new, and pushing through a fear.

I still need work on my descent. I still need work on using my legs, and which clamping style works best. I know that there will always be things to work on. But today- I feel like just getting up and down a rope nine times is an accomplishment and I will take that as a mental PR for sure.

CrossfitSouthDenver

25 Jul

It is this time, more than ever, that I have a reason to write about my gym, because in one week, my Network Affiliate: CrossFit Denver will close its doors for good.

 

CrossFit Denver (XFD) and CrossFit South Denver (XFSD) have been Network Affiliates for 2 years and just this week members found out that come August 1, XFD will be closing their doors, but memberships will be honored at XFSD. If you trained at XFD, this may be a time when you start to question if you want to continue crossfit, or if it is worth it to make the four mile drive south to XFSD. Let me be the first to tell you that as someone who has trained at both gyms- you will not be disappointed and should really give it a shot. Here is why—

 

For me, it all started at XFD. XFD was a small gym that wasn’t intimidating, the price was right for memberships, and Steve- the owner had been around for a while, and taught me the elements of CrossFit. I liked my small community. Then one day, after a few months of CrossFitting, I couldn’t make it to XFD and decided to try out XFSD since my membership allowed me to train at both gyms. I was intimidated, couldn’t believe how much bigger the space was, and there were some people in the front room making some big lifts to the point that I am sure my eyes got big, my mouth dropped open, and I wanted to avoid it like the plague. Although this all may sound like a bad experience- this was the best thing for me to take my training to the next level. I got comfortable at XFD— I may have even started to slack a little bit. At XFSD, there was some steep competition, and I knew who I wanted to catch, and that lit a fire under my ass. There were girls doing pull ups without bands, swinging 45lb kettlebells like that was the Rx weight, and at that time, could run circles around me. At XFSD, I got my first unassisted pull up, completed my first Rx WOD, and this was the first gym I was affiliated with as a CrossFit Games Open competitor- where although I didn’t contribute to the team score in 2013, the team was only a few spots away from being invited to Regionals.

 

If you were an avid XFD member, I am hoping you give XFSD a try because CrossFit isn’t CrossFit without the community you have surrounded yourself with. There are many of you that I hope to see at XFSD, because as Tom Borak said last night to me, “[The other gym] would have worked, but my family wasn’t there. My home is here [at CrossFit South Denver].” Home is where your family is and for me, my family is now joining in one home- CrossFit South Denver.

LeapsAndBounds

5 Jun

I feel like tooting my own horn today. I mean- when you’ve got something to gloat about, even though we have been taught not to flaunt it, or to be polite and not make others jealous, sometimes you just need some pick me ups and decided to gloat, talk about yourself, and really just boost your own self esteem. Try it sometime. But…. not all the time, people may get annoyed with you.

Anyways. What all started this is that a girl who was new to CrossFit recently asked me how long it takes to see results. My response to her was that you will see some pretty dramatic results right away, but looking back, over time I have seen the biggest results. I explained to her that before CrossFit I couldn’t do 1 pull up, and now I can say I have completed “Murph” which has 100 pull ups in the workout, or do 17 unbroken kipping pull ups, or 9 strict pull ups in a row. Pretty cool right?

Along those lines, I just pulled up a sheet I had created to track my progress from when I first started CrossFit and my lifts have gotten so much better and I have gotten SO much stronger. Check these numbers out:

 

1 Rep Maxes Then & Now

Back Squat:

Feb. 2013: 135LBS

June 2014: 175LBS

 

Clean & Jerk:

June 2013: 100LBS

June 2014: 135LBS

 

Deadlift:

January 2013: 130LBS

May 2014: 245LBS

 

Front Squat:

May 2013: 125LBS

May 2014: 160LBS

 

Overhead Squat:

August 2013: 105LBS

April 2014: 130LBS

 

Push Press:

April 2013: 75LBS

May 2014: 135LBS

 

Snatch:

January 2013: 75LBS

May 2014: 105LBS

 

 

BooYah.

Now go get strong. It’s sexy. I promise.

 

 

ShortHairDontCare

23 Apr

One day in January you are sitting there with your long, full head of hair and decide, “I am going to grow it out long enough to donate it.”

The patience game begins….

Summer months come and you are measuring your hair every day to see if it is long enough to chop off because it is SO hot, and you can’t stand this long hair anymore. You tell people that you cannot wait to donate it, and come December it should be long enough.

December rolls around and oh… you think it is a good idea to not cut your long hair to keep you warm during the winter months but then set  a firm date in Spring/Summer for the following year.

That date comes and on your calendar it is highlighted and colored in every possible marker you could find that reads “HAIR CUT” and all of your friends, family, coworkers and even your dog knows that by tomorrow, this hair will be gone.

You cut off just enough hair in order for it to pass for donation and you cannot believe you just donated 10” of your hair. It took so much time to grow it out and now poof- you went from #LongHairDontCare to #ShortHairAndLOVINGit.

This is not the last time you will be cutting your hair short. Believe me- it will get shorter. And shorter. And shorter.

I donated my hair in June of 2013 and the minute I cut if off there were so many things I loved about it, I used a quarter of the amount of shampoo and conditioner, it took me about half the time to blow dry it, and it was just long enough I could still put it in a ponytail. Then July rolled round and I decided, eh- let’s go even shorter. You only live once right? So we went so short that my hairstylist had to bring out the men’s shaver to “clean up my neck line” As a woman, you don’t hear those words very often or even hear the sound of the shaver turn on. Something about it got me excited and since then I have gone a little shorter, played with the neck line of having it be a “hard-line” a “soft-whispy-line” and right now I am rocking the “half moon” neck line. As a woman with short hair there are some things you need to know. And here they are:

-It is nerve wrecking coming home to show your boyfriend “how short you went this time.” He will learn to love it, but you never want him to feel he is dating another man.

-Having short hair as a woman is a little empowering. It will give you a lot of confidence. Maybe not at first, but as the months roll on, the confidence will grow.

-You cannot rock the flannel like you used to with long hair. Unless you like other women, then go right ahead.

-Girls will have hair envy of you and many of them will say, “I wish I could pull off that haircut, I am just too nervous to chop it off.”

-You will have hair envy of them and wish you could just put it in a ponytail or sock bun some days.

-Random people will want to touch your hair. Most of the time when they are drunk- but this will inevitably happen.

-After about 10 months of having it short, you get your hair cut and decide that this is the last time you go so short, and tell yourself that you’re going to start growing it back out.

-And then in 6 weeks you make an appointment and realize you love having your short hair and cut it again. And the cycle continues.

 

I am currently enjoying having short hair and encourage any woman to try it out. Hell, it is JUST hair. Some people are bald at your age; some people have gone through chemo and cannot grow hair.. It is just hair. It will grow back. But you will never know what you would look like with short hair unless you give it a shot. Some girls cannot pull it off. Just like some girls cannot pull of the platinum blonde hair, while others can. It is fun, and it’ll be awhile for me before I can put my hair in a sock bun, or even feel it brush my shoulders. And I am okay with that.

 

Hair:

hair1

When I first donated my hair

hair2

When I decided to go shorter. With Dan back in August 2013

hair3

My current hair cut. See I told you- it keeps getting shorter!

112Days

22 Apr

Guess what. 112 days ago millions of you set a New Year’s Resolution, or as I liked to call it – you made firm decisions to change something about what you do day to day and made goals for 2014. Do you even remember what you said you wanted to do? Do you remember what those goals were? Probably not. Lucky for me, I wrote them down in my January 2, 2014 post titled, “Year2014” and want to reflect how the first quarter of 2014 has gone and if I have even followed through with any of them.

 

  1. Do not drink alcohol for 30 days
    1. Did this and on day 31 I rewarded myself with a nice beer. It really was not that difficult and maybe I will try this again at some point this year.
  2. Add more vegetables to my diet
    1. I wouldn’t say I am adding more than I already did, but reading this reminded me to get on it and to replace some fruit with veggies to make it more balanced.
  3. Work on my muscle up progression with 9 strict pull ups and 9 strict ring dips for 8 weeks.
    1. I did this progression and still do not have a muscle up, but after watching The Outlaw Way’s Muscle Up progression video, I am going to start this.
  4. To participate in the 90 day YLE Nutrition Challenge
    1. I just completed this challenge and I did drop in body fat, but only by 0.2% and my weight stayed the same. Still happy with the results and this proved that I am doing everything right if I want to stay in the 20% body fat range.
  5. To participate in the 2014 CrossFit Games Open with CrossFit South Denver
    1. Done & Done. Please read any of my “recap” posts from each workout.
  6. Run a 7 minute mile and have a sub-7 minute Fran time
    1. I have run a mile on the treadmill in 6:58, but outside, the best time I have is 7:08. My best Fran time is 6:58 which I am very happy with and may wait awhile to retest that one.

Maybe look back at the past four months and ask if yourself if this is how you pictured your life to be when you were making new goals to better your life in 2014. If it is- then great! Keep at it. If it isn’t, treat today as DAY 1 and start checking those goals off of a list- you still have 8 months to make 2014 YOUR YEAR.

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