Holy cow we’re getting married!

With wedding planning well underway and these little guys *hopefully* landing in mailboxes in the next week if I can get my act together, I figured it was about time to ink our engagement story from December to paper a blog post. A little overdue, yes, but just as fun. save the date

Maybe it was trying on my wedding dress for a second time today that just has me in the mood for a little love. I could twirl in that thing all day, every day for the record. So here ya go, the story nearly four months overdue and seven years in the making of how P popped the question.

Always after a good adventure, The Great Urban Race National Championships took us to Puerto Rico this past December. It sounded like the perfect excuse to do a little exploring and a little vacationing not too far from home. When Patrick strained his ACL (again) we cancelled the race, but kept the trip.

Not to be completely sidelined, we found our way to renting a car for a drive to El Yunque National Rainforest. Not ones for plans, we didn’t have a trail picked out, opted out of the $2 entry fee (we’re known to be a little “thrifty”) for a map and we wound our way through the mountains, simply on the lookout for what might look like a good trail. When the rain picked up (who knew it rained in the rainforest?), we pulled over and settled for a less crowded route.

El Ynque

The trail we picked just so happened to connect to the main trail, leading us to the rainforest summit in a little less than two hours – much less than we had read online – our “give in” trail ended up being a rather sweet shortcut.

Soaking wet, in the clouds, without a darn thing to see, I insisted on a photo from the top of one of the rainforest’s many stone lookout towers (this one just so happened to look like a miniature castle which was even cooler). When it turned out terrible (perhaps it foreshadowed some nerves), I turned around to find Patrick on one knee.el ynuque castle

After several “are you serious’s”, a “I think I might throw up” and a “yes” later, we were making phone calls, marching ourselves through the mud, avoiding slipping off of ledges held together with branches and heading for a dinner in a small seaside town. It couldn’t have been a more perfect moment, and trip, to represent everything we’ve loved most about our relationship over the past seven years.

engagement puerto rico

While the last four months have been a whirlwind, it’s so exciting to see things getting crossed off the list and the vision coming together. The countdown to November is on!

A special thank you to Miss Lauren Carnes for the beautiful engagement photos, we cannot wait to have you capture our big day!

Sipping tea with the bride to be

Hosting friends and family over might just be my favorite part of this whole living in a space larger than an apartment thing, so when my best friend since middle school asked if I would be interested in hosting her bridal shower, I’m certain I squealed with a yes.

I’ve known Kristen since the sixth grade and we’ve always been quite the girly duo, so a tea party seemed like the perfect excuse to wear big hats and drink frilly things – all while surrounded by some of her favorite people.

Tea Party

While we didn’t drink any actual hot tea, it just didn’t seem fitting to have a bridal shower we made do with Arnold Palmers and  a fun champagne cocktail that also happened to be insanely easy to make.

Tea Party Cocktails

 

Thanks to the occasion and C Wonder, I finally had an excuse to purchase a cute little tea pot I’d had my eye on for quite some time, because if there’s anything that makes tea taste even better, it’s a decorative tea pot.

Tea Pot

 

I simply cannot wait for this little lady’s big day in just more than five weeks – FIVE. Thankful doesn’t begin to describe how much love I share for her, Rian and the friendship we’ve been able to share over the years.

In the theme of something sweet, here’s the recipe to the “Blushing Bride” cocktail, which seemed to be quite a hit for a spring afternoon.

Wherever You Are, Be All There

Confession: it’s been quite some time since I’ve been back on the blogging train. I have quite a few things to catch up on over here, as even though the stories have been told, they have yet to be written. From an engagement to buying a new car (not by choice), planning a wedding and welcoming a new kitten into the family…we’ve had quite the busy end of 2013/beginning of 2014.

In the mantra of starting fresh, I felt it was best to dive back in through Lent. The Lenten season has always held a special place in my heart, not only does it bring with it the return of Peeps, but with it also a sense of community and renewal – in both the spiritual and physical definitions.

Each year, I try my best to give up at least one thing I could do without for forty days and add one thing that I could use more of beyond that. As I’ve had some pretty big life changes in the last six months (i.e. saying goodbye to living with one of my best friends and moving in with a boy) it feels like a more appropriate time than ever to adopt a phrase I’ve grown to love over the last year or so.

whereveryouarebeallthere

I’m not quite sure where I first heard that one, but it’s stuck in my mind for quite some time. I’m definitely guilty of Pinteresting while watching a movie, answering emails while in a meeting or scrolling through an Instagram feed while waiting on the elevator. While some of those distractions also double as enjoyment (who doesn’t love a great wedding Pinterest board) they can also very easily take away from the most precious moments of our days.

Living with a significant other, I’ve certainly become much more aware of my habits – one of those being making sure the time we get to spend together on the week nights is as meaningful as possible. With packed personal schedules, even sitting at a quiet dinner table or watching Modern Family together sans distraction is the “be all there” moment that I can put within reach.

The little moments can quickly become big moments, if only we take the time to pause and enjoy them. With little reminders each day, I hope this is a Lenten practice that will carry on far beyond the last marshmallow Peep.