#4weeksfit RESULTS

Anyone else glad this challenge is over??? I guess if it were easy it wouldn't have been much of a challenge though, right? The #4weeksfit challenge really was Kristin's idea and I'm so glad she got me on board with pushing ourselves this month and also making it a link-up to involve as many bloggy friends as we could. While I definitely didn't attain my goals 100%, I still kicked some butt, if I do say so myself.

My first goal was to get up and workout before work 3 times a week.
Week 1: Success! 3 Morning workouts.
Week 2: Success! 3 Morning workouts.
Week 3: Struggled, but still got 2 morning workouts in.
Week 4: Struggled again, and only got to the gym ONCE before work.

Ugh! I started out so dedicated and slipped a little bit as the month went on. I'm still proud though that I got into enough of a routine of going early, that it doesn't suck quite as much anymore. I plan to keep after it, and keep getting morning workouts in until it's 100% a habit. I love sweating it out early in the morning before I get to the office. It's so nice to have it done and out of the way, so I need to cling to that feeling and focus!

My second goal was to lose 5-7 pounds.
Well, I lost 4. I'll take it, although I definitely could have done better. Memorial Day weekend, traveling, anniversaries.... yikes, talk about a tough path to navigate when you're trying to eat right. This is another goal that will always be a work in progress, and after my grocery trip last night I'm set up for success as we head into another month. My fridge is full of healthy options and I'm hoping to just keep shaving off a pound or two here or there until I really have the body I want!

So overall, I feel like it was a win of a month for me. I pushed myself. Maybe not quite hard enough, but still rose to the challenges I set for myself. This month I tried to mix it up with my workouts too, and I know that helped a lot. I added in some Zumba again for the first time in months and it made working out a little more exciting and fun again. That, and new running shoes. New shoes always helps too ;)

I cannot thank you all enough for all the encouragement and motivation you gave me along the way. I loved searching our #4weeksfit hashtag and checking in on you guys working your butts off, too. It's so much more fun when we're all working hard on something. Even if you didn't quite get to your goal this month, I hope you all feel challenged and excited about getting fit after the past 30 days. I might not have succeeded 100% but I'm pumped about the small victories, and you should be too! :)

Link up with Kristin and I and share your challenge stories!!
Then be sure to hop around and congratulate EVERYONE on their hard work.

A Creative 3rd Anniversary Gift

***First off, Congrats to Sarah S for winning the medal holder!! Look for an email from the shop soon in regards to shipping!***

Jared and I decided we'd try to give our anniversary gifts each year based on what the 'traditional' item is supposed to be. You can find the full list of gifts by year here, if you are interested. Year three is leather, which I thought was a bit tricky. Jared had gotten a new wallet for Christmas, didn't need new shoes or a belt... and sorry, but a big, fancy leather gift like a duffel bag wasn't in our budget! We keep anniversary gifts simple because we'd rather spend money doing something fun together to celebrate, rather than buying elaborate gifts. Luckily, I thought of a cute way to give him a gift that incorporated leather and that he'd use.
We love to travel and hope to do plentyyy more of it in our lifetime, so I found a brown leather luggage tag via Etsy that I was able to have imprinted with his initials. It's classic and something he didn't have already, so I snatched it up and was so excited when it came in. For a relatively inexpensive item, it is really nice quality!
personalized luggage tag
I wanted to add a creative touch to the gift though, so I brainstormed a way to tie in travel a little more. I've mentioned countless times on this blog that Jared and I are so guilty of always eating at the same restaurants, going on the same dates and just not getting out enough in our own city. So in addition to his luggage tag for our "real" travel, I made him a one-of-a-kind passport for some "local" adventures.
3rd anniversary gift, passport
There are dozens and dozens of things we've talked about doing but haven't, so now we have no excuse. I printed out passport pages with different places to visit, eat at, explore and left a place for us to stamp and date them once we actually complete our adventures. I was going to make a cover out of cardstock, but then remembered I had my old passport with my maiden name that is no longer valid! I glued all my pages to the actual passport and added a few fun, personal touches as well. Obviously we needed an updated passport photo together...

3rd anniversary gift
I think doing the traditional gift item helps us be more creative with our gift-giving. It would be too easy for me to just go out and buy Jared a few things I know he'd love... I like having a theme to work with because it makes for a more fun gift-giving experience.

3 Years

I really feel like it was just a few weeks ago I was writing about celebrating our second wedding anniversary. And now here we are, celebrating 3 years of marriage today! May 28th, you are so special to me.
I'm not sure I can pinpoint when you stop being "newlyweds" or how long you're officially allowed to hold onto that title. Many days I still feel like a giggly, young newlywed, experiencing married life for the first time, and other days I feel like we've been married a decade or more because I just feel that closeness with Jared. I still walk in the front door every day, excited to be greeted with a hug and a kiss no matter what that day was like. And I also know whatever life throws us, we can handle together.
Of course we still face trials and struggles, as any normal couple does. But the way we struggle and deal with struggles is so different than the way we used to. We continue to grow and nurture our marriage each year and just when I think I couldn't possibly love Jared more? My heart expands just a little bit more for him. It's exciting to think of all the great things still to come in our relationship and life together.
It's been a year of ups and downs and new life experiences, -that's for sure- and I'm so thankful I've had Jared by my side through it all. The man is there for me in every high and every low and for that I know I am one lucky lady. I'm so looking forward to celebrating another year together and exchanging gifts tonight, too.

Cheers to another 80 anniversaries, Jared! I love you!

The Makings of a Roadtrip

Hey friends! I'm extending my long weekend just a bit longer, as I'm not at the office today! Don't be too jealous though, Jared and I are making the 8.5 hour drive home my sister's house. We got to spend the weekend with them and celebrate my niece with a belated birthday for her. I hadn't seen my niece since Christmas so I just about exploded with excitement when we got there. She is just as cute as ever and for any new readers that don't understand why I can't post her picture, you can read about that here.

Anyway- Jared and I are pretty great roadtrippers at this point in our lives. I mean, in just the past few years we've driven to Hilton Head, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Memphis, middle-of-nowhere Arkansas, Nashville... and more I know I've forgotten! so I thought I'd share our top 5 things that make a good roadtrip.

1. Snacks, snacks, snacks.
There is nothing worse than being on the road when hunger strikes and you just feel torn. You need food, in fact you're headed to the "hangry" zone, but you wanna' keep going. You need to be able to beat what the GPS says is your estimated arrival time. So stock up on the snacks before you leave. Easy, non-messy snacks work best and don't forget plenty of drink options. I always have my giant jug of water, but it's nice to have a juice or pop to mix it up!

2. Timing up your stops with great restaurants.
So you'll eventually have to stop somewhere. Maybe overnight! If this is the case, pick your hotel based on which one has the best restaurants around it. I'm serious. Jared and I always look for hotels near Mexican restaurants. What's up Old Mexico of Washington, PA?! We love you!

3. Print a hard copy of your directions.
Yes, this makes me sound like an old fart, but it has gotten us out of some sticky situations more than once. You never know when your phone or GPS will die or lose a signal, etc. It's nice to have map/back-up plan in case that happens or in case of an expected detour!

4. Pamper your car a bit.
Before any roadtrip, I always check to see if I'm due (ahem... or way overdue) for an oil change and take care of that before hitting the pavement. It's nice to know they'll check tire pressure and other odds and ends while I'm there too, so 'ole Emma will be ready to pound out a few hundred or so miles. I'm also guilty of having a dirty, disgusting car more often than not, so I use roadtrips as an excuse to clean her out on the inside, wipe down the dash and just make it a little less stinky since we'll be spending a lot of time together.

Lastly, and MOST importantly***
5. Have massive amounts of music available.
We love a good karaoke or even dance party session in the car, so it's important to have lots of variety in your music. Jared always makes a new mix CD of all kinds of fun stuff, new and old for any roadtrip we take. Then we make sure we've got a case of CDs at our fingertips to flip through and fit any mood. I always label my CDs so it's fun to pull one out that says "Spring Break 2007" and see what the heck I was jamming to then.

Flatts Friday

I always love country music, but the warm weather just makes me want to jam out to country and country alone. Is there any better feeling than rolling the windows down, cranking your favorite tune and singing at the top of your lungs? I think not. I've been a Rascal Flatts fan for over a decade now. I clearly remember watching the "GAC Countdown" on TV as a young teenager, probably back in eighth grade. My sister and I would get SO excited everytime "Prayin' for Daylight" by Rascal Flatts came on. Still, to this day, I love that song! 

I love all of their songs and yes, I'm even that person who still buys their physical CDs, not just a digital download. Their newest album "Rewind" just came out and YOU NEED TO PURCHASE IT. YOU SHOULD HAVE ALREADY PURCHASED AND MEMORIZED IT. Seriously, I am completely obsessed with every song on this new album, not that I'm surprised by that. I'm a Flatts Fan for life!

Jared took me to see them in concert back in 2008 and to this day that's the only time I've seen them live. They put one one incredible show, that's for sure! Fun story- Jared had bought us pretty good seats (especially considering we were still broke college kids) in the first level of the arena, probably 20 rows up, near the corner of the stage. We got there early, super pumped to be there… until we looked for our seats which basically didn't exist. We double checked our tickets and confirmed we were in the correct section and row, but those seat numbers just didn't exist! 
We calmly asked the nearby usher to help us and he instantly went in to panic mode. He told us not to worry, we would be assisted and just to come with him. Jared and I neither one were worried at all, so we snickered at the flustered employee and followed him. Followed him down from the first level to the floor level. And from the corner to the center. The usher called something in on his radio, scribbled something on a piece of paper for us and said, "Will floor seats here be okay?"
OKAY?!?! Jared and I looked at each other in disbelief and quickly told the man that yes, these row 5 floor seats would work great for us. We got the upgrade of a lifetime! The seats we got moved to had to easily be twice, maybe three times what we paid. When Rascal Flatts came on stage and I hear that first twang of the guitar it was so surreal. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I teared up a little and instantly had goosebumps!

Looking back now I'm impressed with the quality of these pics I was able to snap with my uhh, 7? megapixel camera at the time. It was a date I'll never, ever forget. Jared and I had only been officially dating for a few months and be took me to do something I'd always wanted to do. I don't know how he got those fake seat locations and a free upgrade, but I won't complain ;) PS- Check out baby Erin & Jared, both of us rockin' some shorrrrrt hair!

What's the best concert you've ever been too? I'd love to know who needs added to my must-see-live list!

One-Pan Mexican Quinoa Dish

I don't have a legit name for this dish, but I figured the whole "one-pan" thing was pretty important. It is to me anyway! A healthy, fulfilling meal that requires minimal cleaning afterwards? It's a winner, for sure.
one pan mexican

I was inspired by another recipe I found but I changed it up enough that I'm claiming it as my own now. This recipe will make about 4 servings. Here's what you'll need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1 can of rotel
1 cup corn kernels
2 bell peppers, diced
1-2 teaspoons chili powder (depending on how spicy you like things!)
Salt/Pepper to taste
Lime juice
Fresh chopped cilantro (I used a large handful, this is up to your taste buds as well!)

Heat the oil in a skillet (med-high) and add the garlic. Stir it a few minutes until your entire house smells of delicious garlic. Sidenote- Jared walked in while I was at this step and was SO excited about whatever I was making… I had to break it to him that it was only 2 ingredients so far ;)

Then dump in the quinoa, vegetable broth, rotel, corn, diced bell peppers and chili powder. Mix, mix, mix! Add the salt and pepper to taste. Resist sneaking a bite!
Bring your one-pan awesomness to a boil and then cover, reduce the heat and leave it alone until the quinoa is fully cooked. This should only be about 20ish minutes. Once the quinoa is cooked, stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Try not to go overboard on your lime juice and cilantro like I always do… but really, I can't get enough of those flavors. I mean, I could seriously just dive into this bag right now and be happy.

This was delicious by itself, and also served over a chopped up avocado for an even more filling meal! You really can't go wrong with this recipe and could substitute/add many things to make it fit your tastes! You could also add black beans, or diced jalapeno for an even spicier meal. While I'm trying my best to limit my dairy intake, I know a dollop of sour cream or some shredded cheese would taste delicious with this meal as well.

Save this recipe, make it soon and make it often!

Runners Tell All + Giveaway!

I missed a couple months of Amanda's fun running link-up, but this one pretty much just required a picture, so I figured I could handle that ;) I know that ever since I ran my first half-marathon a few weeks ago I've pretty much mentioned it daily weekly, but I kinda' can't help it. I'm still running (ha- pun intended!) on that high, I think.

And while I couldn't justify the ridiculous prices for the photos of me in my half-marathon, what better than to screenshot a few for you all? This is what I'd like to call "half-marathon series of emotions"

"Yes! This is so awesome, mile 6 and still feeling pretty good overall. There's a cute old man choir right there! Oh my gosh! They're so cute! and old!"

"Okay... why the HECK did I sign up for this? Mile 11 might as well be mile 317 because my legs cannot go another step. Must walk, must walk. Ooh, are they handing out twizzlers up there? I need a few of those"
"RUNNING IS MY FAVORITE THING EVER!! I just finished 13.1 miles!! Let's sign up for another one!! Well, right after my feet stop bleeding and my hip doesn't suck. I LOVE RUNNING!!!!"

And in other running news, I've got an AWESOME giveaway for you all that I'm super excited to share today!!! :) Tamara and Nate York are a husband/wife team working full-time at their owned/operated YorkSignShop! They left their jobs to pursue a dream and are now fortunate to work from home and spend more time with their two kiddos! They are both runners, and half-marathons are their main gig. Tamara is hoping to do a full and Nate plans to add some triathlons to his resume in the next year or so. Running is definitely a family-affair for them and their kids are doing their first race next month where they'll get to dress as super heroes!
Tamara and Nate have generously offered one of their awesome medal holders for one of my runner-readers. All you have to do is enter below and I'll pick a winner next week! :) Don't forget to check out their shop here to see all the awesome products they offer. Seriously- I'm obsessed. *BONUS-- even if you don't win, they are offering you all 20% off any item in their shop, just use promo code: BLOGGIVEAWAY20. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pacer Playoff Pandemonium!!

Ah, victory. Sweet victory experienced first-hand is not something to take lightly. It's no secret that Jared and I are sports fanatics, with football being our #1 love, but there is room in our hearts for others. Those others include the NBA… especially this time of year around the playoffs!

The Indiana Pacers became my team about four years ago when they picked up my tarheel, Tyler Hansbrough. He's not with the team anymore, but that doesn't matter. It didn't take me long to love the entire Pacers roster. Such a young, fun team to watch and I've got Jared hooked on them now as well. Although, his favorite team will always be OKC. The past few years we've been able to make it to at least one game a season, and now that I have a friend who works for them-- it makes it a bit easier on the budget ;)
We scored free tickets Sunday at the last minute to get our butts over to Indy and watch one heckuva' game. We got there in time to enjoy some festivities at the Fieldhouse and hit up the team shop before tip-off. To answer the question you all wanna know… yes, there is an actual person under there and yes, he comes to EVERY home game.

If you don't follow the NBA--- our Pacers won! They have struggled a little bit in the playoffs so far, somehow winning ugly games, but they ROCKED Sunday night. It was such an exciting game, we were on our feet cheering and screaming our heads off. Jared and I both woke up Monday hoarse as could be… totally worth it :)

Oh, and if you're not a fan of the NBA but need a team to root for? Pick the Pacers. You will not be disappointed. Plus- if you hate Lebron as much as we do- that gives you just all the more reason to root against him! ;)

A Lot to Be Thankful For

Can someone start a new Friday link-up? It seems all the ones I participate in or have done in the past are just getting huuuuuuge and I'm not sure how much actual clicking around/hopping is getting done. Anyone out there have any ideas? I'd love to get one started... or learn about a smaller one that maybe I haven't seen yet? :)

Nevertheless, it's Friday and I feel like I've got a lot to be thankful for this week. It was the same ole, same ole at the office all week, which can make the hours drag, but so many other things have brought me joy this week I just feel like I could bust! And I know you're all just dying to know what those things are so here we go:

1. This weekend! The obvious choice, of course. Jared and I get to hang with some family friends that we haven't seen in months and months and months. I truly think it might have been August when we saw them last! Unacceptable. I'm glad we're changing that tomorrow!

2. Blog-friend-turned-real-life-friend-Allison announcing her pregnancy with some of THE cutest pictures ever. I'm so happy for her and Drew and cannot wait to see her next week for (another) much overdue catch-up session. Fun fact- our last get together was in February and she was already pregnant but I didn't know it!!!!

3. New running shoes! I have been talking about needing new shoes forever now and last weekend I finally bit the bullet and got some. I accidentally fell in love with a $100 pair of Brooks, but even though they were like wearing comfy marshmallows on my feet, I couldn't justify the price. I'm glad I held off though because I found some babies on clearance at the Nike Outlet for dirt cheap and they were the last ones in my size. It was fate. I've run in them a few times already and they are PERFECT.

4. I worked out every single day this week! Mon-Fri! That is not something normal for me, but I'm hoping it becomes the new normal. Jared and I have been better about mixing up our workouts, some days cardio, some days weights and I even did Zumba once this week. How are everyone's goals going for the #4weeksfit challenge? Don't forget to use the hashtag- I've enjoyed checking in on you all! 

5. I get to see my one-and-only adorable niece SO soon. I've been counting down the days for awhile now and I know I'm just going to spoil her silly when I finally get my hands on her. I'm sorry in advance, sis! ;)

6. The blog design business is busy, busy, busy and I wouldn't have it any other way. I finally updated my page so if you haven't checked it out in awhile- please do.

7. I love when Jared and I's paydays fall on the same day. We're on different pay schedules, so it doesn't always work out this way, but this week it did. While I'd love to spend all that money in one place, you know we'll be putting it towards those pesky student loans. But still... for about 24 hours we feel "rich" and it's a fun feeling.

8. New delicious recipes. I made a mexican-style quinoa dish for our lunches this week. Bonus- it's a one pan dish! I'll share full details next week, promise! You're gonna' want it ;)

Well, I guess 8 things seems like a good number to stop at today. 
Happy Friday! What are you thankful for this week???

I Just Don't Understand

I've seen a few bloggy friends write these posts (Hi, Samantha!) and thought I'd join in the fun as well, as there are certainly dozens of things I just don't understand.

I don't understand people who work out in non workout clothes. It just looks so incredibly uncomfortable! I'm talking to you Mister Khaki-Cargo-Shorts-Treadmill-Man.

I don't understand why all the best foods in life are actually the worst for your body. It just doesn't seem fair that guacamole doesn't give you a six-pack and neither does pizza!

I don't understand why Disney continually tempts me with emails and snail mail that makes me want to sign my life away to them. They know my weaknesses and go after them!

I don't understand Starbucks. Sorry, never gonna' pay that much for any type of coffee (or non-coffee) drink.

I don't understand some of our NFL team's draft picks this year… Sigh. I know you other football-loving gals can relate, even if we are rooting for different teams. Ahem.

I don't understand where the heck my tan from Punta Cana went. Seriously- it faded entirely too fast. I mean, I've only been home a month, why is it gone?! And how can I possibly get it back with all this rain?

I don't understand the children out there who have more shoes than me. We're even talking about babies who can't even walk yet! How in the world is their closet full of so many amazing shoes?

I don't understand why the absolute best ideas and biggest creativity streaks happen as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep. Brain, get with the program and think of these things BEFORE 11pm, please!

I don't understand how in the world Jared and I are approaching our 3rd anniversary already?! They've been the best years of my life, that's for sure. I'm getting so excited to celebrate another year of marriage with this great man! :)

Anything you just DON'T understand?!

Sallie and Perkins: Do You Coupon?

Ahh, coupons. Shows like Extreme Couponing may have actually turned OFF some people to the idea of coupons over the past few years. The people on that show spend hours buying newspaper inserts, looking for coupons online, cutting coupons, organizing coupons, planning their trip to the store, the actual shopping trip itself… it seems INSANE. Not all of us have the time, energy or desire to become one of those people buying 82 boxes of Cheerios, but shows like EC have made people think that's the only good way to coupon.
Well this is Sallie and I have to disagree. We use coupons in this house, and we use them regularly. Sure, it takes some time to sort through the ads, clip them and be able to use them correctly- but no where near the time many seem to think it will. To me, spending an extra hour or so a week to save a lot of money is completely worth it. Plus, I clip coupons while we watch TV so it makes it go quicker.

We shop for the majority of our groceries and household items at Kroger. If you shop at Kroger- you MUST use the Kroger Plus card. Easiest way to save money, just by swiping that little card each time you check out. On top of that? Get on Kroger.com and check out their digital coupons. You can load them RIGHT to your card, and I get some of my absolute best deals by combining their coupons with a manufacturer coupon. In fact, I haven't bought laundry detergent in over a YEAR. I scored an amazing deal LAST January and stocked up.

That's key- looking for the deals and knowing price points. With the items we buy regularly, I know what's a good sale price and what's not. When you start combining coupons with sales? You'll save bundles! If you're overwhelmed by matching the sales to your coupons? Check out websites like The Krazy Coupon Lady who practically tells you what coupon to take to what store. She does so much of the legwork it really takes the pressure off me to figure out what the best deals are. She also lists weekly freebies/samples and I take advantage of those as much as I can.

Again, Perkins and I NOT extreme couponers, but when we put forth a little effort, the savings can be amazing. This week I scored 4-packs of toilet paper for just a DIME each. TEN TINY CENTS! We don't have a giant stockpile - or even room for one if we wanted it- but we do stock up on the things that won't go bad like TP, paper towels, shampoo, razors, etc. To me, there is nothing more annoying than running out of toiletries and having to pay full price for them because you're in a bind. 
My advice to people wanting to start couponing and saving money is simply to start small. Don't feel like you need to go out and conquer the world with your first coupon experience. I didn't! I started with toothpaste… I made that my focus, clipped a few coupons here and there, looked at deals at Kroger, CVS, Walgreens… Before I knew it, I'd snagged free toothpaste and I was hooked!

So get clippin' :)

Fun & Free

Jared and I are pretty much always saying we don't ever get out and DO anything together. Like, unique or different things anyway. We are so guilty of hitting up the same area, the same restaurants for date night, etc… while there is SO much of our city we never explore or venture out to. We have lived in the same general area our whole lives but there is so much we've never done. Well, I'm proud to say we did a fun, completely free thing on Saturday together!

We'd just hit the gym (#4weeksfit, baby!) and showered there because we'd planned to run a few errands afterwards. Our gym happens to be right next to Jungle Jim's. If you've followed my blog for a LONG time, you'll know I've written about my love for this grocery store before. Yes, I said grocery store. It's a huge mega-store with any type of food from any country you could ever imagine and this Saturday was their "Taste of the Jungle" event. More than 30 booths with free food samples? Um, hello lunch!
Jared and I had so much fun trying just about everything they had, and truly, we didn't need lunch afterward! Between the chili, pasta, gourmet crackers, sushi, granola, cheese and much much more, we were satisfied. That is until we got a mouthful of bleu cheese (yuck!) and decided we were officially done.

It was such a small, simple thing to do on a Saturday afternoon, but we had a lot of fun doing it. I've since been stalking all the local events and festivals and concerts that are going to be happening in the next few months. I'm determined to get away from our normal date nights and experience different things together!

Sunday we filled our day celebrating our moms. We met up for lunch with Jared's family at a local restaurant in our area. Then Jared and I went up to my parents house to hang out for a few hours and visit with them.

A throwback to Mother's Day 2013- since I didn't get a picture this year, oops.

It was a fun-filled day that went way too quickly-- as most of the weekends tend to do. Hope you all had a great weekend celebrating or remember all the mother's in your life.

If We Met For Coffee

I'd probably tell you I don't actually drink real coffee, first and foremost. Why I picked meeting for coffee, I don't know… but since we're here, I'll take some type of frozen beverage that doesn't taste like coffee, preferably with whipped cream on top. I had to dig through the archives of 2012 to even find a picture of me with a coffee cup. Pst- that's white hot chocolate in there!

I'd tell you that the past few weeks have been tough at my job, and I'm coming up on my five year anniversary of working there. I'd tell you I have no idea how five years have went by and I'd also tell you I have absolutely no idea where I plan to be five years in the future.

I'd probably talk too much during our get together and tell dumb stories, hopefully you'd pretend to be entertained. Then when I realized how much I was rambling on, I'd apologize for talking so much and try to slow down… but something about that cold non-coffee beverage just gets me excited, I can't help it!

You'd learn that I laugh a lot and I'd hope you would think I'm easy to get to know. I don't really hold back in life… whether it's with friendships, careers or just passions. I'm an all-in kinda' girl.

I'd share with you that Jared and I love our church and attend regularly. Our pastor is incredible and each week we feel uplifted and challenged when we leave. As great as it is, we've had a hard time making friends there. It seems we can't find those people in their late 20s that don't have kids yet… maybe it's because we're the only ones! I'd ask you if you know why it's so hard to make friends as an adult? I sure can't figure out why.

During our coffee session I'm sure the topic of football would come up, seeing as how I seem to eat, sleep and breathe it most days. I'd tell you I'm really excited to watch every single round of the NFL draft, and yes, I'm serious. I'd tell you my team's going all the way this year, just like I say every year about this time.

I'd probably show you my planner and the multiple pads of paper and notebooks I carry in my way-too-large purse and if you needed a pen or marker? I've got one in every single color in this "luggage" of mine too. I can't get through a day without lists and color-coded post-it's and to-do's. I'd admit that I try to over-plan my life and that I shouldn't, but I just can't stop myself. It's who I am.

I'd tell you I'm scared that those life plans won't turn out how I want them, and I'm scared of not accomplishing things in my life that are important to me. I'd tell you that there are a zillion things I want to do and see and can't find the time to balance them all. As organized as I try to be, I can't ever seem to find enough hours in the day… even though I know they are there.

At the end of our coffee date I'd hug you big, because I'm a big hugger type of person. I'd then probably immediately draw back and apologize for being a creepy over-hugging person and do some more of that laughing I tend to do in every situation. I'd be on my merry way then, leaving in my old car, driving too fast and listening to music too loud, but I'd be happy. I'd be happy and joyful because despite any negativity in my life, I choose to find the positive. And I hope you do too.

May Goals

Last month I checked off 4 of my 5 goals, which felt pretty good! The only one I didn't do was lose any weight... I maintained, but didn't lose. That's clearly my focus this month with the #4weeksfit challenge but I have some other personal goals and things I'd like to do in May as well!

1. Start on 2012 photo book.
No, that was not a typo, I mean 2012. I JUST finished my 2011 photobook a couple weeks ago which felt amazing to finally have done. It was a big year, our first year of marriage and tons of exciting things to cram into one photobook. I lost track of how many pages the photobook ended up being, but it's massive! Now I want to actually not wait another year to get started on my next one. Photobooks might take forever, but they are so worth it!

2. Finish a book.
Ever since vacation I've been hooked on reading again. It's so nice to make time for something that is truly just a hobby. Just something I enjoy doing and I try to set aside a little time for each day.
Currently reading; Also, my first ebook ever from the library. I am OBSESSED!

3. Have an AMAZING month of debt-payoff.
I mentioned last month that we'd recently reevaluated our financial situation and we're ready to step up our game and slash our remaining debt as soon as possible.

4. Pick something on my 30 before 30 list to work on/accomplish.
There's a lot on that 30 before 30 list that's a work in progress, but I'd like to pick something this month to get a start on or make progress toward. Not quite sure what that is yet, but I'll figure it out soon, I hope ;)

5. Try 3 new recipes.
I am totally guilty of making the same 'ole, same 'ole all the time for dinner. Don't get me wrong, those regular dishes are things we love, but its easy to forget that there are recipes and cookbooks just waiting for me to dive into them! If you've got a new favorite *healthy* recipe, send it my way!

**BONUS GOAL** Celebrate our 3rd anniversary on May 28th and come up with a creative gift idea for Jared!! :)
How was this an entire year ago?! #timeflies

What are you hoping to accomplish this month??