Health, Love & Fire: March 2014

Success, Failure, and Valiant Attempts

Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy Opening Day to all my former Atlanta Braves Fans! (sorry I had to start my post with that today) I can't wait to follow them this season and I hope for a better outcome come October than last year!

At the beginning of March I created a few goals for myself for the month, and since today is the last day of the month, I decided to share a recap of how I did at completing those goals :) 

One: Enjoy my vacation with Dan! - I definitely think I accomplished this goal! It was so nice to getaway and enjoy some time together relaxing, especially since our Christmas break was spent mostly in a hospital and just generally a sad time. So having 10 days together was truly a blessing and something we definitely needed. 

Two: Workout More – As my half marathon in May gets closer and closer I have been increasing my workouts, but I am definitely not where I would like to be. The last few weeks I have been working out with a trainer after work once a week and then trying to add in at least one or two more workouts in there. I haven't been as consistent as I'd like, but I am getting there. 

Three: Train for my half marathon –  I kind of explained this above. I really need to kick my butt in to shape! I'm planning on going for a run tonight and I ran this weekend . . . but getting my mileage up is key so anyone that wants to help motivate me and keep me accountable I'd gladly accept a partner to help motivate each other :)

Four: Complete 3 projects from pinterest – I'm not sure if I really did this or not. I have completed some projects that will also serve as decor for the Gender Reveal party and used some inspiration from pinterest to spruce up the house for spring, so I think I can say that this was a success :) 

Five: Plan Amy’s party – I have the party all planned out and now all I need to do is finish a few diy projects and buy the food. I put together the food table this weekend and planned out how it's all going to look. I'm really glad I got a head start on this and I can't wait to see it all come together and find out what those babies are! 

For the next month, I hope to workout more and continue to new diet/lifestyle plan Dan and I have been working on (we've been trying to eat paleo or at least cut out most grains from our diet), I want to finish all the projects for the Gender Reveal party and get that posted, and I want to get up to running at least 7 miles, and I want to keep saving money so that we can try to move into a bigger house. I don't want to set too many goals for this month so I can really focus on working out and eating healthy! As the weather starts to get nicer, being more active outside seems to get easier and easier :) 

Do you have any goals for April? How do you keep yourself accountable for your fitness and diet goals? 

Finding Love, Justin Timberlake Style

Friday, March 28, 2014

I shared a video earlier in the week of a Fire Drill Proposal, and apparently I am just on a sappy, romantic kick this week because I wanted to share another lovey dove video with you.

Have you seen Justin Timberlake's new video? He premiered it on Ellen and I've seen it floating around social media ever since. Now in my opinion he could post anything and I would love it because it's him, but this video is awesome.

"I think it's a very brave thing to look for love, fall in love and ask someone to love you back" - woman in the video
Putting yourself out there is never easy and letting your guard down puts you at risk for being hurt. I think we've probably all had those relationships that weren't the greatest, and after getting hurt, it can be hard to make yourself vulnerable again. I had been cheated on and lied to in the past, but for some reason when I met Dan it was easy for me to let him in to my life. I was ready to be brave and to love someone and be loved.

"You find love and then you loose love, and you have to work to find it again" - man in video
Dan and I met and started talking when I least expected it. Neither of us were looking for a relationship, and were honestly pretty content being single. It was natural and started as conversations getting to know each other and led to a relationship. Sometimes I think when you are looking too hard, it's more difficult to find.

"How about I be the last voice you hear tonight, and every other night, for the rest of nights that there are." - Justin Timberlake 
Honestly I think I love this the most about our relationship. Even on nights Dan's working, he's the last voice I get to hear at night.

How do you find love and what does it mean to you?

Waving goodbye to the Caribbean - San Juan & Grand Turk Style

Thursday, March 27, 2014

We've finally come to the last post from the recap of our trip. If you missed the first couple check here, here, or here. I decided to combine the last two ports into one post so that we can spare another vacay recap tomorrow and move on to new exciting and entertaining things (I'm not promising anything). So today's post is all about our final two stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos.

I didn't have a ton of expectations when it came to stopping in San Juan. We hadn't planned anything out before hand and decided we would just get off the ship and wander around. The only thing we knew before disembarking was that when we got out of the terminal, take a left. So what did we do, we left the cruise terminal and took a right. (smart huh?) But after realizing we had taken a wrong turn, we crossed the road and headed back towards the left.

The port in San Juan

We spent the day walking down the cobblestone roads, doing some shopping, admiring the beautiful architecture and colors of the buildings, and exploring the forts and old town San Juan. This city was truly breathtaking. I felt as if I was walking down a street in a small italian village. We also visited one of the old forts there. It was neat to take in a bit of history and culture as we walked through this new city.

It was extremely warm out that day so we spent a few hours exploring and then got back on the ship. We enjoyed not having any set plans and just getting to explore the city and take in all the beauty.

The last stop was Grand Turk in Turks and Caicos. This island is six miles long and only a mile wide, but the beauty is endless! Pulling in to port before even getting off the ship, I was pretty sure I could be content on living there and never moving from that beach! Since we had done quite a bit of sight seeing and activities in the other ports, we decided to find a spot on the beach and just relax.

View from our balcony of the island

We walked down past all of the tourist shopping, lounge chairs and Margaritaville and found a little place called Jack's Shack and claimed a couple beach chairs. We enjoyed some drinks, played in the water, and watched some dogs playing for a few hours. The water was so warm and the beach was so soft, it was the perfect last stop on the trip! Before getting back on the ship, we picked up a few souvenirs and grabbed some food at Margaritaville and said goodbye to the Caribbean. By the time we stepped back on land, we would be back in Florida and back in the US.

I am so glad that we picked this itinerary for our trip. Each port was so beautiful in its own way and all ended up being places we would definitely visit again!

Fire Drill Engagement

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Being married to a firefighter and a sucker for a sweet love story I just had to share this amazing proposal! I saw this video yesterday and I wanted to share it in case you hadn't seen it yet.

I know I've talked about this before, but when you marry a firefighter you get more than just in-laws, you also get an entire extended family in the fire department. And this video totally shows that. I love how not only was the department and the rest of his crew involved in this surprise, but so was the school she teaches at.

It got me thinking about the day we got engaged over five years ago. It was on our two year anniversary of dating. We had taken a trip to the beach for the weekend to celebrate and enjoy time together. Even though I was pretty sure he was going to propose while we were there, it wasn't until halfway through our walk on the beach one evening that it hit me that this could be the moment I had been hoping for!

We decided to take an afternoon walk before getting ready for dinner that night. We walked and talked about our future, holding hands and reminiscing about the last two years together. Dan kept mumbling his words and repeating how much he cared for an loved me. After standing for a while and listening to him repeat himself, I asked if we could go sit down on the rocks because my legs were getting tired of standing. Finally as we reached the rocks (not his plan, he wanted it to be on the beach), he found his words, and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. It was just us, and absolutely perfect.

That night we went out to a fancy dinner and celebrated two amazing years and a lifetime ahead. When we got back to our room, there were chocolates and two dozen red roses waiting for me (one for each month we had been together), along with a bottle of champagne. We drank wine and called our family and closest friends to share our exciting news. With all of the public engagements and youtube videos, it can be easy to wish you had it taped to watch forever or your friends and family could share that moment with you, but I love that it was just us, at our favorite place, and something that we could share just the two of us.

This video made me thankful for the firefighter I married and the fire department family I gained. I love how everyone was so excited for this sweet couple. With all the sad and scary stories you see on the news every day, it's videos like this that bring light to the love and happiness we are able to share with others.

How did you get engaged? I would love to hear your engagement story!

St Thomas Champagne Cruise

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Have you missed the vacation pictures? Sorry it’s been a few days between vacay posts, but I had other stuff on my mind and less time to go through all the pictures on my trip. But wait no longer, cause I’ll share the rest of the pictures the next few days.

St Thomas was our second port, and the stop I was probably most looking forward to. This is the only stopped we had planned an excursion for and it had been planned since we booked our trip, so I had waited long enough. You’d think being stuck on a cruise ship all week would make you want to do something off the boat, but not this girl! We decided to book a catamaran cruise from St Thomas to St John where we could see some of the other islands and also do some snorkeling and get some beach time in. It ended up being the best decision!

Arriving in port in St Thomas

When we got off the ship in St Thomas it was hot! The sun was shining, and with my already pre-burned skin from the day before at sea on the ship, I was enjoying every piece of shade I could find! We took an open air taxi to the marina where we boarded the ship. Our crew was awesome! There were three Americans who now live in St Thomas and work on the ship together. From the minute we stepped on board I felt like we were in great hands.

 So sunburnt but still loving the sun! 

It was a short 30-minute trip over to St John with gorgeous views, fun music, and a little history lesson of the islands by some of the crew. When we made it to St John we got to get off and snorkel and explore the island. The water was warm, the fish were gorgeous, and the beach was perfect! I felt like I was watching a live version of Finding Nemo! There were Blue Tang fish, sting rays, sea turtles, and tons of other fish to watch! 

 Our view for the afternoon

A perfect day in St Thomas & St John with my favorite guy! 

After exploring the water and beach, we were back on the boat for our sail back to St Thomas, which included rum punch, champagne and snacks of course! The perfect day with a gorgeous view and my favorite person! If you’re ever in St Thomas you should absolutely book the St Thomas Champagne Catamaran!

This area is definitely on my must go back to visit list!
Have you been to the Virgin Islands before? What was your favorite thing to do there? 

Cyber Bullying - The person on the other end

Monday, March 24, 2014

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day while in between meetings at work and something caught my attention.  The song lyrics by Brad Paisley that say “I’m so much cooler online” instantly popped into my head. I often wonder if people truly think that of themselves. I follow a few different news stations on different social media sites and I am honestly amazed and ashamed of some of the things people feel is okay to write behind the safety of their computer.

The feed that caught my eye was a news story about a man in need of a transplant who refused to take the organ of a man in prison for murder. The reason the story stated was because that man didn’t want the inmate to get any positive press or publicity for this act of kindness. Now I don’t necessarily agree with his decision, but I was appalled by the responses this post started to receive.

I’m not going to repost the comments that people made, because I don’t want to acknowledge or give any more publicity to their behavior. I will, for the sake of this post, explain a few of them. I saw several stating that they hope this man die before he receives a transplant since he must not need it all that badly. Others criticizing his decision and calling him a bad father because of it. The comments went on and on.  I had to stop reading them after a while because just when I thought I had seen the worst, another was posted.

What gives these individuals the right to make this decision for this man? Whether or not I agree with him, I would never wish that someone would die, or that he would never get a transplant based on this decision. These are grown adults commenting on a public news station’s Facebook page. If these same things were said about a teenager, especially their teenagers, I’m sure they would have a very different outlook on the comments. Does technology make us feel so disconnected from the people on the other side of the computer screen that we no longer think of them as individuals? Is that why grown adults think it’s okay to pass judgment publicly and posts horrible comments about individuals online?

I’ve read several articles that discuss the differences in communication styles today from twenty years ago. We’ve converted from snail mail to the instant gratification of emails, text messages, and tweets. We no longer have to wait hours or days for responses, but can have complete conversation over interwebs. Now I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but I think it has changed the way we process things, as well as our communication styles.

I think back to when I was a pre-teen. If I ever wanted to talk to a boy I liked or had any fights with a friend, it was much easier to write how I was feeling in a note than to say it to their face. Entire grade school relationships were had over passing notes in school and smiling at someone in the hallway. This same mentality is true with the growth of technology. Because we don’t have to look someone in the face to insult them, make fun of them or have an argument, we are much bolder and perhaps far more honest or mean than people used to be. With all of the press around cyber bulling, it seems to focus more on teenagers and the affects it has on youth. But it seems that adults may be just as guilty of bullying others are their teenagers.

The age-old idea, treat others as you wish to be treated seems to have been forgotten. When we post things on social media sites or comment on blogs, there are people at the other end that read what you’re writing. I urge you to remember that it doesn’t matter whether or not you will ever meet the individual on the other end, they have feelings and it isn’t our place to judge their decisions. How would you feel if you read the comment or response you are giving someone? While technology makes it easier to comment in seconds and minimizes the amount of face-to-face interaction, let us not forget that no matter the form, we are communicating with another person, not just a computer.

A little reminder to be happy

Friday, March 21, 2014

I know I'm breaking all the blogging rules and posting twice today, but I came across a little reminder this morning that I needed to help change my mood and I decided I wanted to share it with all of you.

I think if we were honest with ourselves there are certain things that we each need to be reminded of from time to time. Whether that's living in the moment, being thankful for what you have, or telling the people you love how much they mean to you, there are things we each need an occasional reminder of. For me, the last few days I have definitely been in that place where a little reminder can't hurt. So it was perfect timing when I came across this . . .

I haven't said much about some of the things Dan and I have been going through lately on this here blog, but in order for all of this to make sense I'll explain a little. For the last couple years we have been seriously considering moving in to a larger house. While what we have works fine for us for now, we know that when we start a family, we are going to want a bit more room. Both of us want to find a home that we can grow in to, raise our family in, and make our home for many years. After sitting down and taking a look at it all, there are some things we need to do before we can make that happen. It's not impossible, but it will just take time.

The emotional part of me felt instantly crushed. I have a tendency to build everything up in my mind and get so excited about it before it's all said and done, that I sometimes create situations where I'm bound to be disappointed. I left our meeting after discussing it all a bit heartbroken and defeated. Instead of feeling that way, I honestly should feel optimistic. Our house prices are going up and it's making it more and more feasible to make that move. But instead I had already been picking out colors, layouts, backsplashes, and home decor in my head for a house I haven't even laid eyes on! Really helpful Libby!

It can be difficult to feel like something you want so badly is just out of reach, especially when it feels like everyone around you is getting what you want. While we can definitely get there, it's just going to take some time. Both Dan and I have a tendency to rush into things and when we want something, we want it now, not in 6 months, or even 6 weeks. This is something we are constantly working on. It doesn't have to happen overnight! And just because other people are doing it, doesn't mean we have to. (Gosh I feel like I sound like my mom)

We've been through a lot these past few months, loosing Dan's Dad and having family members who are close to us that are sick. I need to not loose sight of what's important. I have an amazing husband, a job that pays well, great friends and family, and more love from all of them than I could ever ask for. I need to stop comparing myself to others and be happy with what I have right now. It's easy to look in on someone else's life from the outside and think it's perfect, when it might not be the reality. All you can do is be thankful for what you have today and work towards the possibilities of tomorrow. It doesn't matter how big our house is, what cars we drive, or what "stuff" we have, as long as I have the important people in my life . . . and this blog! What's something you need to remind yourself of?

Hosting Ideas - Gender Reveal Party Inspiration

I'm taking a break from recapping our fabulous vacation to share with you some of the photos and ideas that have been bombarding my mind lately! With all this talk about babies and all the soon-to-be mama's around blog land, I am pretty excited to be hosting one of my best friend's gender reveal party for their twins in a few weeks. Needless to say I have been scouring Pinterest, Etsy and every party store I can find. As a girl, but even more importantly as a blogger, I want this party to be perfect. Classy and pretty, while still laid back and fun. While our house isn't huge, I'm hoping that I can fit 30 people including several small children in our house and backyard (please pray for sunshine!)

So while I browse the 5 billion baby photos on Pinterest and day dream about having my own baby shower and gender reveal some day, I have come across several ideas and inspiration for the party. I have had a bit of a difficult time finding ideas for twins, and lets just say finding a invitation card that worked and was still appealing wasn't the easiest task. I've decided on a Navy Blue and Pink color scheme and have found several ideas for the decor that I hope to be able to replicate just as beautifully!

I hope I can pull all of these ideas into a beautiful, fun, and memorable afternoon for two of my favorite people!

Sunscreen, Beer, and Baseball Pants - Why I Can't Wait For Summer

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Summer time is one of my favorite times of year for the obvious reasons of sunshine, warm weather, and lots of time outdoors. Coming back from 9 days in warm 90-degree weather has made me long for those summer days even more than normal! So when I saw this linkup going around yesterday with The Daily Tay and Helen in Between I knew I wanted to share some of the things I’m excited to do this summer!

Floats on the lake . . .

But I'm pretty sure I need this float first . . . 

4th of July Rodeo . . .

BBQ’s and Drinks outside with friends and family . . .

Outdoor Concerts.  . .

 Love me some Hunter Hayes :) 

Baseball, baseball pants, and baseball games!

Gardening which equals fresh fruits and vegetables, which equals lots of canning and yummy recipes!

Lot’s of running and fun/difficult races!

What are you looking forward to most about summer?

Helene In Between