The Fruit & Flowers Anniversary

According to the internet the 4th anniversary is traditionally the fruit/flowers anniversary.

(C)Ryan Armbrust Sniper Photo LLC

Every single anniversary blows my mind- half my brain can’t believe we’re been *married* so long and the other half thinks of the wedding as mere weeks ago. It’s weird but I imagine most people feel this way about big days/events (…right?).

When we got married I was transitioning between jobs. I’d just left my role as an administrative assistant and was due to start as a technical writer once we returned from our honeymoon.
Four years later I work for/with K at Pageantry Innovations ❤︎

When we got married K was working full time at Dr.Pepper/Snapple. Then he’d spend 3 to 5 to 8 more hours a night at the PI workshop (a.k.a. my dad’s truck garage). All weekends were spent at the shop.
Four years later K works full time for himself and he operates out of a 25,000 sq. ft. warehouse with five employees (including me!).

When we got married I still lived at home. The week after our honeymoon I moved all some of my stuff to our 475 sq. ft. apartment that K had been living in alone.
Four years later we’re very comfortable and happy in our two-story home.

When we got married we had one dog and zero children. We adopted Lylee the December before the wedding.
Four years later we are still human-childless, but we’ve added a wagging tail to the pack with Enzo. The dogs will be 6 (Ly) and 4 (Enzo) this year.

Taking our 4th pic sometime this week!

When we got married my hair was brown and I was a life-long nail-biter.
Four years later it’s blonde. Ha. And I’ve mostly quit biting my nails!

When we got married my brother was single and lived at home and K’s brother was dating a fabulous girl named Alice. I gained one sis-in-law (K’s sister Lori) at our wedding.
Four years later my brother is now married to Xtina and living two hours from home. K’s brother also got married (to Alice!) so I gained two additional sisters-in-law!

When we got married our best friends were either single and loving it, dating and loving it, or newly married and loving it.
Four years later a few of our friends have a child or two and some of our friends are engaged to be married this year or next!

Bridal Shower 2013 (inspiration below…)

When we got married K didn’t have a passport.
Four years later I’ve gotten that boy out of the country three times. Heck yeah!

So… regardless of the way four years feels, I’d argue quite a bit has changed. I’m a big advocate of doing life at the right pace for you, and I’d say Kyle and I are managing that. I feel very lucky to have spent the last 4 years as his wife and I am ridiculously excited to spend the next 100+ more right next to him.

Happy Anniversary, Kyle ❤︎

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Freddie Gets Married

I never talked much about my baby brother’s wedding so I figured I’d share a little bit today. Mostly it’s a photo dump with all untagged photos taken by Kylie Noelle Photography.

Fred & Christina got married on Saturday, July 23rd in Columbus, Ohio. They had a pretty large wedding party (8 and 8) but that made the set up and tear down a little easier. I’m sure it was different for other people, but I knew most of the groomsmen through Fred and I’d met all the bridesmaids during a shower or shopping trip, so the whole weekend was awesome. It’s way more enjoyable when you know the wedding group you’re a part of!

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*First Look* Christina’s girls included her two cousins, her sister, four of her closest friends, and me
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My handsome brother in the middle with the bow tie & my smokin’ hot husband to the left of him.

On Friday night all but one bridesmaid stayed at the hotel with Christina while the men crashed at Fred’s apartment. Our morning was laid back and included breakfast and primping. The music at the church didn’t start until 4:15pm so we had plenty of time to get (more) beautiful and excited!

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Christina is a fashion guru & she didn’t miss a single detail. We all picked out our own dresses and shoes but it came together perfectly under her direction & guidance. As avid F. Scott Fitzgerald fans and lovers of the Art Deco movement, Fred and Christina steered the style in a direction Daisy Buchanan herself would envy.

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The ceremony was spiritual and personal- a perfect balance that mirrors my brother & his wife’s relationship with one another and God. Apparently my family took bets as to if when I’d pass out in my heels. I’m happy to report I made it through the ceremony & out to the receiving line before I had to peel my shoes off. K was a sweaty mess in his heavy, burgundy tux… but damn he looked good 😉

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As much as I love a good wedding ceremony, I’m alllll about that party reception! A few weeks before the wedding Fred asked if I’d give a toast. I don’t shy away from public speaking and I am so proud of my little brother so I accepted and spent days perfecting and practicing.

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My favorite picture from the whole day!

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The reception was at a theatre/ballroom, originally built in 1896. (The Columbus Athenaeum.) It was pretty awesome. The head table was on the stage and then was taken down to allow for a large dance floor. Since my best friend lives in Columbus I told her to pull on a dress and crash the wedding. There are no pictures, but she showed up after the meal and danced all night with me, then came out with us!

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Not so flattering for me, but I love that this pic has my four cousins in it.

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The party ended for most of the guests after the gorgeous sparkler exit… except my crazy parents and their friends and my in-laws; they took the party back to their hotel bar lobby with R. Kelly. And since we can’t turn down an invite from my dad we ended up at the hotel bar and then a late night taco restaurant. We finally hit the sack at 3:30am. (And then I drove Fred & Christina to the airport at 6am. WOOF.)

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So there’s the recap of our crazy, fun, tiring, sleepless weekend at my brother & sister (in-law)’s wedding. Of course there are millions of little stories and funny moments from the day, but it’d take months to blog all that. Suffice it to say, if Fred & Christina’s wedding is any indication of their marriage it’s going to be long, fun, full of love, and total unpredictable. But only the best things are 🙂

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*Like I said, kudos to Kylie Noelle and her gorgeous photography skills!!

My Favorite Household Appliances

Happy Monday, ladies and gents!
Did y’all have a nice weekend? I hosted a party on Friday, cleaned my house on Saturday, and helped a friend move on Sunday. K had a business trip so it was one of those wine-&-popcorn-in-bed + books kind of weekends. Totally not mad about it 😉

Alright, on to today’s topic (which was slightly inspired by this post from Kristen).

Appliances

I don’t consider myself materialistic in the least. If our house caught fire the only non-living thing I’d try to save would be my stuffed bunny rabbit from childhood (appropriately named “Bunny”). That said, there are some things in our house that I really, really love.

(These are not affiliated links. I’m not tech-savvy enough to do that. I actually own & love this stuff!)
(If you use affiliated links in your posts I’m a-ok with that. I just don’t.)

Our Vacuum
We bought our vacuum with wedding giftcards/return credit from BB&B. When we walked in we thought we were going to walk out with a Dyson, but we ended up with a Shark because the sales woman told us that they constantly get returned Dysons but people love their Sharks. Yep, she was 100% right about loving the Shark vacuum. We have this one (I think) and it’s perfect for our daily dirt and dog hair collection. It’s my favorite cleaning tool!

Our Smart TV
We have two TVs in our house and the living room one is a smart TV. (I’m not sure of the brand and for the sake of this post, it doesn’t matter.) Most of the shows we watch together are on streaming platforms and it’s so amazing to access Netflix/Hulu/iHeartRadio/Amazon Prime with the touch of a button. I love it. In my opinion, if the choice should ever arise, a smart TV is worth it.

Our Blender
I am a firm believer in glass blenders. Not to be morbid and inappropriate, but I’ve told my grandma that I’d like to inherit her old-school glass blender “when she’s done with it.” (Ok, that’s totally morbid and inappropriate… I swear it’s a running joke now, though.)

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When we got married I registered for my own glass blender and we received it, and I’m soooo happy to have it. Honestly, things just taste better coming from a glass blender; it’s science.

Our Pots & Pans
We blindly registered for pots&pans before our wedding and by sheer luck we ended up with some absolute winners. I will recommend Calphalon to anyone that will listen. We received this set (I think) from some very generous guests. (Yes, I still remember who gifted us what.) They’re easy to clean and they’re durable. I also think they look classy- but that’s not what matters most, I guess. Honestly, I’m a mediocre cook and I let dirty dishes sit way too long, and these guys still hold up.

Things I’d like to own…

Shark Steam Mop
Our kitchen & dining room are hardwood. Someday we’d like to make the living room hardwood. Before that day come, I need a steam mop!

An electric griddle
For the love of everything, I have been asking for an electric griddle for yeaaars. Maybe it’s time to suck it up and buy myself one like an adult. Ha.

Food processor
I’m pretty sure owning a food processor is the only way to be a good chef. So I guess I need one. #logic

. . .

What household items do you love? Is there anything on your wishlist that you need 😉 ?

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My People

First of all, thank you to everyone who commented on and shared Wednesday’s post. You all totally reinforced my point about the blogging community. I honestly believe every single one of you is great and I’m so happy to know/”know” you! ❤︎

Onward with the good vibes (and Chelsea‘s Tell Me Something Good link-up)!

Last weekend K and I attended his cousin’s wedding. His entire paternal family came from Texas, Tennessee, and parts of Ohio to celebrate the bride. I also knew the groom’s family because his sister and I were really close in grade school. He was also friends with my brother. Plus we all went to the same church. #SmallTownVibes. Needless to say, I knew a lot of people at the wedding.

There was one point during the reception when I was off to the side, standing between K and his sister. On either side of them were my in-laws, as well as K’s brother (and maybe his wife? I can’t remember). For whatever reason, in that exact moment, as the group of us stood there watching the party around us, I became aware of how ridiculously fortunate I am to call those people my people. I felt so special to casually stand among them- like there was never a time that I didn’t fit into that group.

*I wanted to insert a ridiculously adorable throwback photo K’s family here, but I didn’t know if they’d be ok with that. Just trust me on this one- it’s an adorable picture!*

I enjoy weddings. They give my an excuse to drink a lot bit and dance. I get to see friends and family that I don’t normally see. And more than anything else, I love watching two people exchange vows while I sit next to the guy that I promised to love +3 years ago. Additionally, sometimes a wedding joins two families. I know that’s not always the case- it depends on the family dynamic- but that was the effect of our wedding. I honestly don’t believe there’s anything that my mother- or father-in-law wouldn’t do for me. I love splitting a glass of wine with all my siblings-in-laws. My heart flips inside my chest when I see my dad and K hanging out. I loved that Fred & Christina asked both K and me to be a part of their wedding party. I honestly try very hard not to take for granted the family that I was born into and the family that I was blessed with through marriage. I know I’m lucky.

And standing among that tribe at the reception with K and his my family just made me feel it 10xs over. Whether it’s friends or family, I hope everyone has a group like that. Remember to be grateful for them.

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Tell Me Something Good Friday!

Our Life in Numbers

Today is our third anniversary ❤︎ I don’t understand…. I swear we were doing shots and dancing to “22” just weeks ago.

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I love this picture more than I can ever put into words.

Our wedding day was one of the best days of my life. I was going to restrict this post to just “numbers”, but I can’t let April 27th go by without expressing how much I loved this day in 2013. Our friends are amazing. Our family is incredible. God gave us PERFECT weather. I flip through our wedding photos with a big, stupid grin on my face every time.

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(c) Sniper Photography

1,096 || days married to Kyle
2 || dog-children
4 || parental figures to look up to when it comes to love & family
12 || weddings attended since our own

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(c) Sniper Photography

3 || major vacations together since the wedding
83 || episodes of The Mindy Project watched together
4 || live NASCAR races attended
1 || house purchased
9 || concerts attended since the wedding

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(c) Sniper Photography

124 || episodes of The West Wing watched together (in 2016…)
4 || home maintenance calls made
83 || thank you notes sent after the wedding
3 || years married to Kyle

I am too blessed for words. What a crazy life. Happy Anniversary to my favorite human.

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Things I’d Have Done Differently

A few days ago I was watching The Newlyweds Game (I was killing time, waiting for K to come pick me up… I don’t normally watch The Newlyweds Game) and every time Sherri Shepherd asked the contestants a question I thought to myself, ‘What would K’s answer be? Could we win this game?’. I decided that we probably wouldn’t win it, but we wouldn’t be the losing couple either.

Anyway, one of the questions that Sherri asked the men was, “What detail or part or your wedding would your wife go back and change if she could?”

With our three year (!!!) anniversary coming up at the end of April, I’ve decided to address this question, too. (By the way, pretty much all the guys said something totally different than their wives.)

This is a picture of the wedding aftermath. I love this photo.
This is a picture of the wedding aftermath. I love this photo.

The Registry
I’m really happy with all the generous gifts we received… I just enjoyed the registering part 🙂 I love picking out kitchen appliances and dishware. We registered at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Amazon, and Sears… so in hindsight I’d have switched Crate & Barrel for Sears. And maybe not registered for the ice cream maker (which we got!!).

The Videographer
This is probably the only thing I’d really, truly go back & change. We hired a guy last minute from a large company in Cleveland and he cost way too much money, didn’t capture all the moments, and totally didn’t do the family interviews. He was a turd. Although I got this funny forced picture of K and our best man awkwardly shaking hands for the camera.

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The Guest List
I think most brides & grooms look back and think, “So-and-so didn’t need to be invited, but we definitely should’ve included so-and-so.” That happened to us. With my baby brother’s nuptials coming fast in July I tried to warn him about this.

My Type-A Craziness
While I do not think I was a bridezilla, I will admit that I was a control freak. I demanded to be kept in the loop on my bridal shower details and I wasn’t great at delegating tasks. I definitely could’ve taken a chill pill because my maid of honor & 5 other bridesmaids had everything covered.

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I wish Lylee-bear could’ve been at the wedding.

And now for the things I’d never change in a million years…

Just kidding- this list would take you days to read ❤︎ We had gorgeous weather, a beautiful venue, and our friends & family were literally the best ever. I’ll give you an example of how amazing our friends are…

K and I had our first dance to Keith Urban’s “Your Everything.” I love this song, especially now, but our song is actually “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain. We decided not to dance to that one because a lot of people use it and we wanted our first dance song to be unique. Well, my best friend Erica knew all that so at the end of the night she requested “I’ll Be” and I was so shocked to hear it and I cried when it came on. (I’m close to crying right now thinking about it. ) So we got to end the night dancing to our song.

Welp, now I need to go dry my eyes. (Thanks a lot, Erica.)

Really, I’d change nothing about our wedding day. It was perfection. What about you? Any trivial details you’d go back to your wedding or first date and alter if you could?

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Dear Sister

In exactly six month K and I will travel to Columbus, Ohio to kick off the wedding celebration for my brother & his fiancee. In six months we will run through the whole ceremony and laugh about tripping down the aisle or crying through the vows and toast to the lovebirds at their rehearsal dinner. And then the next day I will watch my baby brother become a “husband.” (Excuse me for just a moment… my eyes started sweating suddenly.)

Before I got married I had 0 sisters. Right now I’m sitting pretty with two beautiful women to call “sis” thanks to K’s side of the family. In July my family gets to add to our mix. My parents get to become “in-laws” again and I will gained another sibling. For 21 years it was me and Fred so all these “new” siblings are quite a change.

But this wedding will be a little different for all of us. Like I said… it’s always been me and Fred. Always. In 2013 I changed that by marrying Kyle but nothing changed for Fred (except the addition of a brother). He was still just my brother. My brother. I didn’t have to share him. But in July my brother- my mom and dad’s son… their last unwed child- is going to become a husband. And a son-in-law. And a brother-in-law. And two families are going to be interconnected by one young couple. And it’s just a little weird for this big sister. But weird in a good way.

And here’s what my newest sister needs to know:

Dear Sister,

For a long time I didn’t know your name. I didn’t know what you would look like or what your interests would be. I didn’t know if you were a dog person or a cat person. I had no idea if you enjoyed movies or reading or art or theater.

But then my baby brother met you and fell very, very hard for you. And I finally met you!  And now I know your name. And thank the heavens above:  You are, in fact, a dog person ❤︎

For whatever reason you’ve decided to marry my quirky brother. He’s an odd bird, but that’s what makes him so darn special. He puts all his energy into his projects and focuses on something until it’s done. His Halloween costumes, jack-o-lantern carvings, engineering projects, and artistic designs alway come out just as he imagined. It’s a little annoying how good he is at creating his vision.

My brother is much more sensitive than I am. He has my dad’s passion and my mom’s reactions. I do, too, but my personality comes across differently. He’s quick to anger but also quick to cool off… He’s a very forgiving soul. That’s pretty rare.

My brother has always been the dependent one. I mean that in a good, trusting way. He wants to help others and isn’t afraid to ask for help. When I was a kid I avoided hugs and flinched at the touch of others, but my brother would crawl on my mom’s lap and cuddle for hours. He’s loyal and trusting and dedicated- you really can’t ask for much more in a husband.

My brother is an amazing friend. He doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable situations and he’s bound and determined to do the right thing. I don’t need to tell you that he’s a God loving/fearing/worshiping man. You know that and you help him cultivate that love. He’s very, very fortunate to have a woman to grow with spiritually.

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Kylie Noelle Photography

When we were kids we weren’t allowed to bring friends on vacation because we “had each other to play with and hang out with.” Some of my parents’ rules were stupid (like leaving your cell phone on the mantel… psht), but that was a good one. My brother was my best friend growing up and he still is. I can’t imagine my childhood without Fred.

And now he’s going to marry you and you’re going to marry him. So here’s some unsolicited advice from the older sibling who’s married:

Make conscious choices. Choose to say gentle words. Choose your tone. Choose communication and choose to turn the TV off sometimes and entertain one another with stories and jokes and recaps from your day. Choose to put God first and choose prayer. Choose together which family to visit and which vacations to take. Choose a dog together and choose which battles to fight and which flames to extinguish. And above all else, choose one other. Always, always, always choose one another. Often you will be faced with that choice; choose each other.

I love my little brother and I’m very, very happy to know you do, too. Savor every single moment of life together. I’m so happy our family is growing with you!

 -Your newest sister! ❤︎

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