The No. 1 Question to Ask to Ensure Your Success

There is nothing I read more about than mindset and habits. And though there are hundreds of thousands of different strategies out there, the majority of what I read share one basic guideline — a single question to ask yourself in order to ensure lasting success.

That question is: “Can I keep doing ______ forever?”

Continue reading “The No. 1 Question to Ask to Ensure Your Success”

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You – G&A

It is crazy to think I have been married for almost two weeks already. As most couples would say, the wedding day itself flew by and there is so many parts I wish I could go back to in order to snap more memory shots of them. Though the day was a humid, sunny day with temperatures into the lower-90’s, our wedding was absolutely perfect. There is not one thing I would change and everything flowed so incredibly well. Plus, we are still hearing from guests on how exceptional the ceremony and reception were. Family and friends have said it was the most meaningful, most beautiful, and best organized wedding they have ever attended. My heart is soaring! Yet there are some very key individuals I would like to thank because without them, the day would not have been half as amazing as it was:

G
First and foremost, I am so thankful for my wonderful husband. How many times have we looked at each other and wished we had just eloped? Far too many, right? Well, the Big Day has finally come and gone and I could not have been more excited at the prospect of walking down the aisle to you, even if it meant I was the center of attention. You have been my rock through this entire experience and I love our partnership in this planning because it has given me a secret look into what our marriage will be like. And I am ecstatic. You gave my dreams wings far before we even started talking about weddings, and you continue to do so every single day. XOXO

My Parents
Following close behind my groom are my parents. Mom and Dad, I cannot express how thankful I am to have you as my parents. I know I can be a handful of emotions and stubbornness, but I love you both so much and am so appreciative of all you have helped me get through up to this point. G and I would also like to thank you for going above and beyond in terms of catering for the wedding. The food was an absolute killer and I know that guests will be talking about this “Wall Party” for years to come. And lastly, I hope I’ve made you proud as a bride-to-be and will make you proud as I move forward as a wife.

My Parents-In-Law
It is only customary to thank my new parents-in-law for raising the man of my dreams which is exactly what G is to me. I am thankful you raised a man passionate for God, strong in his values, and fully invested in his relationships. G would not be who he is today without your nurturing, guidance, and love. Besides G, though, I am grateful for the love you have both shown me since the beginning of our relationship. You were my parents before this wedding, and now the government can attest to that sentiment as well!

My Godparents
What. A . God. Send. Seriously! My godparents were completely open to G and I hosting our reception at their farm from the very first message I sent. Even though I didn’t know much past “we want something rustic” and “we’re paying for this out-of-pocket, so inexpensive would be nice” when I first began researching venues, my godparents were more than happy to assist us. As the wedding grew closer, they also helped us with a number of projects to get the reception set-up which we could not be more grateful. Mowing, being present for the tent vendor, allowing us to barn-dive for decorations, etc. G and I could not have pulled our Big Day off remotely close to how wonderful it turned out without you two!

Luke & Leia
Luke and Leia not only stood up with G and I at the altar, but they were our best worker bees. No matter what new project I brought to the table — be it constructing invitations or building a DIY photo booth — these two never complained and only offered more help. As a couple, they’re amazing and as individuals even more so. Leia was the supportive girl friend I needed to get through all my planning breakdowns and to remind me to have fun during it all. Luke was my comic relief (#typical) and calming voice when the nerves finally hit the week-of the wedding. All in all, I don’t think I could have made it through the past few months without you two, so thank you from the very bottom of my heart. Next DQ visit is on me!

My bridesmaids
All of my girls were amazing. All were willing to give advice, share supplies, and provide support whenever it was necessary. I couldn’t have imagined the day without any of you standing beside me, and I am so thankful for your friendship and love.

Our Day-Of Coordinator
A friend from the Winery, our coordinator offered her services graciously the day she found out I was engaged. G and I were floored by her generosity, and honestly cannot imagine how the day would have flowed without her expertise. I’m a very organized woman and I know weddings, but being the bride at this wedding made for a very different experience. Obviously, I could not be at the reception venue early to be sure everything was set and ready for guests’ arrivals. Our coordinator went above and beyond in making sure the reception was absolutely perfect and that the itinerary for the day moved along at the right pace. When its your day, girl, you know I got your back — wine date soon!

Then there are those who helped in such amazingly large ways, and G and I just want to mention you all and how appreciative we are of you:

  • Aunt Patti for your delicious cupcakes — they were so good and the guests all want your recipes!
  • Saki for my “something borrowed”
  • Roxanne (and Bill) for all your help in and out of the kitchen
  • My House Girls for providing much-needed chatter while working on small (but necessary) projects
  • David and Crystal for your loving support and memorable counseling and mentoring
  • Cindy and Steadfast for all your musical abilities
  • All our guests from far and wide who journeyed into the Michigan heat and showed us your love and support

(I know I’m probably forgetting some very important individuals and I apologize — vacation brain is a real thing and I’m still reeling in how much has happened in less than two weeks.)

However, G and I could not be more thankful for everyone who suffered in the heat to make our day the very best ever. If there is one thing I will forever remember about June 16th it will be how loved and supported I felt being surrounded by those family members and friends who are most dear to us. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued encouragement and care as G and I move forward into newlywed life.

YOU are what made our day spectacular. 

xoxo,

2014 in Reflection

As this year winds down and the holidays demand more of my time, I have a feeling I may not be available to reflect on 2014 if I do not do so right now — so I have decided to post this a little bit early. This year has been one hell of a roller coaster ride with crazy lows and soaring highs. I cannot use my tagline enough: I am truly blessed to have loved, lost and gained so much!

January: I began the year with anticipation of continuing my running training by running at least one race every month. I started strong, partaking in the Niles Frigid 5k where the ice was plenty and the temperatures were under 0 degrees. I even had icicles hanging from my eyelashes when I crossed the finish line!

January also brought some of the best people I’ve ever met into my life: my two roommates. After hesitantly responding to a roommate ad on Facebook, I moved into our cozy apartment to bypass the two hour commute to school. This was a good decision for many reasons, but these girls are the biggest!jan

February: February was by far the hardest month of my whole life. You all know the story, I broke up with my best friend of eight years and my world shattered. I also began a new internship, focused on my 24 credits of study, and maintained two part-time jobs. I was beyond stressed; I was barely holding myself together. My greatest strength during that month were my parents, friends, and faith.

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March: March brought about a break from the mayhem of life when I went on a road trip during Spring Break. After spending the night in Nashville, three of my best girls and myself continued to Florida where we jumped on a Bahamian cruise. I don’t know if I have ever had so much fun! We soaked up the sun, drank some martinis, ate way too much food, and danced every night away. I never wanted the vacation to end.

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April: I achieved my greatest success to date in April: I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Business! After the toughest semester a person should ever have to handle, I was extremely proud of myself. To celebrate, my parents and I ventured to Traverse City, MI for a wine tasting weekend. I was in love.

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May: I joined the professional working world in May when I began as assistant manager for Shadowland on Silver Beach. My responsibilities escalated quickly, and I became the events assistant manager as well. We managed 60 weddings and over 30 business and special events in 2014. I guess my time management during school really paid off!may

June & July: The summer months kept me busy due to the wedding season. However, any free time I found was spent with friends. I met a lot of new people this summer, but I also built upon friendships I already had established. There is nothing better than being surrounded by people who care about you and who you care for back. (Somewhere along these two months I also decided to call off dating for awhile, and was all the more better.)

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August: How can I ever forget this craziness? In August I jumped from 10,000 feet in the air to free fall over 2,000 feet and then coast to a stop in a random Michigan field. Why? Just to say I have!

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September: Unlike most families, mine celebrates their Christmas during September. This is because my grandparents are snowbirds and migrate to Florida before the big Michigan freeze can occur. This year, the family hosted a family reunion. It was great to see my entire family, especially my cousins. We used to be close as children, always terrorizing my grandparent’s neighbors during the summers, but now we’re grown and running our own lives and starting our own families so time spent together is limited.

September also brought along the beginnings of my relationship to Army. On the same evening of the family reunion, we met on a blind date set up by our families. We clicked right away… and have been happy ever since.

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October: I became old in October. An old 23-year-old. I also assisted in hosting the fourth annual breast cancer awareness fundraiser at Shadowland: Little Black Dress Party. The party was a huge hit, bring in the most donations to date. Free carousel rides, delicious hor d’evours, live music and dancing, the opportunity to dress up, and the best photo booth ever were all present to help make the night one never to forget.

oct

November: I think I visited Chicago more in November than I have in any given year in the past. For Army’s birthday we ventured to the aquarium and my first Bull’s game, and on Black Friday a large group of us went yacht shopping (I was the buyer!) and to the Bean. There are plans to return to the city after Christmas as well, and I cannot wait!

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December: I was offered a new job at the beginning of December, which left me with a tough decision. I chose to take the offer, and end my position at Shadowland come the beginning of the year. For a girl who loves everything to do with weddings, and more importantly loved the people she works with at Shadowland, this decision broke my heart. However, it is one that I believe is for the best and will open numerous doors in my future.

December consisted of a lot of holiday joy. An employee party at the winery ended with Army and me saying the three big words to one another. Presents for friends were crafted, spurring on my Pinterest addiction. Gifts for family were bought during a shopping trip with my cousins. The Hobbit came out, and J. K. Rowling released a number of new stories on Pottermore.

Next up: the actual Christmas celebrations, trip to Chicago, last day at Shadowland, and New Years Party.

It has been a full year and I cannot wait to see what 2015 brings to my life!