October 2011

I absolutely love being active.  I love doing things like mountain biking, hiking, walking the dog, and cross county skiing.  Unfortunately, I have a lazy streak as well.  That means if I don’t push myself, my natural default is couch potato.  Embarrassing but true.  This has been a big problem for me lately.  I haven’t been going to the gym regularly for at least six months (probably longer), and it was glaringly obvious the other day when my brother and I went biking.  I couldn’t ride as long as I used to be able to, and I was so tired that I was starting to feel nauseous.   I was so frustrated with myself that I wasn’t able to do the activities I love because of my laziness.  Then the other day when I was trying on wedding dresses, I looked in the mirror and wasn’t happy with the weight I’d put on.  I realized that’s going to be a problem since I want to look my absolute best on my wedding day in less than 10 months.  I decided I need to make a commitment to myself to workout more consistently.

One of my biggest problems is staying motivated.  I’m fine for the first month of a new workout, but it takes a lot to keep me motivated.  I was looking online for helpful tips, and I found this article that inspired me.  I agree with everything the author wrote, but I know I have more personal motivators that will work even better for me, so I want to write my own list.  Hopefully this will help keep me accountable as well 🙂

  1. I want to look good for my wedding!  I don’t want to look back at pictures and be embarrassed.  I want to be able to be proud of the hard work I put in to looking good.
  2. I want to feel good.  There have been many periods of my life where I made working out a priority.  And I have never felt better physically.
  3. I want to be able to do my favorite activities without hating them.  When I’m out of shape, I hate my favorite activities because when I do them, I’m in pain!  There’s nothing worse than getting back into shape.
  4. I want to run a 5K next summer.  I’ve done it before, I can do it again.  My brother will probably make fun of this one.  I’ve signed myself up for the Heart and Sole 5K for the past two summers with the intention of getting in shape, but I never put in enough effort to actually do it.
  5. I won’t have to “get in shape” ever again.  Getting in shape sucks.  Big time.  Staying in shape is so much easier.
  6. I want the health benefits.  I finally found the man I love more than anyone in this world, and I’d like to have a long, happy, and healthy life with him.  I want to be able to play with my grandkids someday.  I want to be able to sleep better.   I want less stress and more energy.  I could go on forever…
  7. I want to remember how blessed I am.  I’m taking this one from the article I linked to previously because it’s so true.  God blessed me with a body that can move easily and has no major problems or injuries.  It feels like I’m being ungrateful if I don’t take good care of it and use it to the fullest extent that I’m able.

I will probably have to refer to back to this post often when I’m feeling lazy.  Does anyone have any motivators they use in their own lives?

Just for funzies, I’ll leave you with this picture.  It makes me laugh every time.


Brooke is another good friend of mine who will be my bridesmaid next year.

Brooke with her husband Rob and daughter Addyson

I met her my freshman year in the dorms.   I was feeling all those scared, nervous, shaky feelings you get when you leave home for the first time, and all the sudden this loud tall blonde came bouncing into my room and asked if I wanted to go grab some dinner with her.   She turned out to be hilarious and fun, as well as real, which can sometimes be hard to find.  I felt so lucky to have found such a good friend so quickly.  We were inseparable that year, and she’s been a great friend ever since.  She is one of those friends I know I can call whether it’s good news or a cry-fest, and I love that about her!  We decided to make a pact that first year that whenever we got married (which , in our minds, was probably not going to happen for another 15 years, at least), we would be each other’s bridesmaids.  Brooke got married a few years ago in South Dakota.

Brooke, Jeni and I

She kept her side of the bargain, so now it’s my turn!

I took the plunge and put the down payment on my dress today! I’m really excited about it.  It’s actually a custom design, so it’s going to take a little longer to make.  I loved the top of one dress and the bottom of another, so I’m going to have them combine the two (nothing too outrageous or bridezilla-y).  Luckily, they were both by the same designer, and they love doing custom work like this.  I’m slightly nervous but mostly excited to see the result in 5-6 months. Sorry, there will be no pictures to show you what it looks like.  The dress is going to be my little secret (well, mine and my mom’s and probably my bridesmaids’ little secret).  But I can tell you it won’t look like this:

Octo-dress. Good stuff.

Next we’ll need to start figuring out what my bridesmaids will be wearing, and what Eric and his groomsmen will be wearing.  We have a few ideas, but that’s about as far as we’ve gotten.  But that’s ok, we still have 10 months to go!

Yes, I just quoted the Golden Girls theme.  You’re humming it now, aren’t you?  🙂

Bridesmaids have been chosen!  I am lucky enough to have five amazing women stand up with me next August.  I’m going to do a little post on each of them, just because I think they’re all so dang great.

My favorite cowgirl 🙂

I asked Erika to be my maid of honor for a few reasons:  she is about as loyal as they come, she’s one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet, she’s honest and real, and she is an amazing, God-loving friend.  Not to mention she can make some of the most delicious cake you’ll ever eat (she’s pulling double duty as our pastry chef).  There are so many more reasons why she’s my MOH, but I don’t want this post to start dripping with sugar.  Erika is currently in the process of getting her master’s in education, and she helps out quite a bit on her family’s ranch.  She tutors students, substitute teaches, and manages an office building, so she’s a busy gal.  I actually met her years and years ago (before my 1st birthday) because our parents are family friends, but we didn’t actually start hanging out until I moved back to Billings a couple of years ago.  Since then, we’ve had some good times: Super Bowl parties (Go Pack Go!), brandings, shooting my first gun, farmer’s markets, game nights, ’80’s rock concerts, baseball games, and just all around good times.  Needless to say, she’s always up for a good time and tons of fun to be around 🙂

Erika & I at the Mustangs game

Thank you, Erika, for being my maid of honor!  Love you, friend!

We started making our guest list the other day.  We went into this knowing we had a very specific amount of people we could invite due to the space limitations of our venue.  We’re not done yet, and we’re already well over our limit.  Ahhhhh!  How frustrating!  I hate the idea of having to cut some people that we would love to celebrate with us from the list.  It would be a little easier if I knew people wouldn’t get their feelings hurt, but that’s rarely the case.  Does anyone have some good advice on how they handled this situation (I’m sure we’re not the first ones to feel this frustration)?  Am I making too big of a deal about this?  Maybe…

One of my favorite things we’re doing for our wedding is showcasing family and friends’ various talents.  In my opinion, our wedding should be a very personal celebration of our marriage and the people who have helped us get to this point.  Because of this, I’m so excited that so many people have already agreed to help us out with various aspects of the wedding.

For instance, my mom is making bunting to hang up for decoration.

The bunting will look something like this

Mom is my go-to if I ever need any help with sewing.  She has done everything from making adorable decorations to mending my pants (I still have her help me, is that bad?)  She is much more talented with a sewing machine than I could hope to be.  Really, the last time I used one was in 7th grade home-ec class.  That didn’t go so well, either.

My grandmother has agreed to make a guestbook quilt for us.  We’ll have strips of cloth for people to sign, and she’ll make us a blanket that we can enjoy for years to come, instead of having a book we’ll put away and forget about.  Her quilts are beautiful!  I don’t have pictures of the quilt or wall hangings she’s done for me, so I took a picture from my cousin’s Facebook page of the quilt Grandma made for her.   (Thanks, Kaitlin!)

Kaitlin's quilt

My friend and maid of honor Erika will be making our cake(s).  She is currently an aspiring teacher and an incredible amateur baker.  She has made many beautiful and delicious cakes for weddings, baby showers, birthdays, and just because.  I like to find excuses to “help” her try out new recipes (see: taste testing).

A baby shower cake by Erika

Eric’s sister and one of my bridesmaids Tara is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades.  She has her own company called Cate & Ava’s where she sells hand painted glasses, handmade ornaments, magnets, etc that she has created (for some reason I can’t get the link to work…the website is http://www.cateandavas.com).  She also does some stuff with weddings, some interior design, and some graphic design (whew!).  She’ll be helping us with some of the paper goods, like the programs and possibly more.

A picture of Tara's "Chocolate Berkshire-tini" (photo by Dennis Jones)

I’m really excited about and appreciative of all these loved ones helping us out.  I think it will make our wedding more personal and meaningful.  Everyone is so talented and our wedding is going to be gorgeous!  This is just the beginning of our planning…I’m sure we’ll be hitting up more loved ones for help in the near future.  I hate to imagine any talent being wasted out there! 🙂


Today we went up to Livingston to finish up our engagement pictures with Melanie Nashan.  Our wedding photographer, Keegan Nashan, is away at school so Melanie was gracious enough to take our pictures instead.  She is an incredible photographer and was so fun to work with.  We took some pictures at a cute little church in Pine Creek and then in some fields nearby.  I think they’re going to be gorgeous and I absolutely can’t wait to see them.  They should be up on her website in two or three weeks, so I will make sure to put the link up as soon as they’re available!  If you would like to see some of her work, click here.