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the last few months in review...

The last few months of 2012 have flown by in a crazy whirlwind.  I've fallen off the blogging wagon.  More importantly I've fallen off the diet and exercise wagon.  Life has taken priority.  Which is a lame excuse I know, my health should be the priority at all times.  We've been dealing with other health issues in our home.  The diagnosis of a long-term chronic disease, rheumatoid arthritis, has had us reevaluating a lot of things about our health, but for the past few months the most important priority has been on dealing with the pain.  Now that he has the pain under control we can start in on the important things, following the healthy and active lifestyle we started up with earlier this year is going to become the priority, with the ultimate goal of healing through health.  It's been a rough road for us and I've been continually impressed, strengthened, and motivated by Ross' courage and perseverance through it all.  He has been dealing with a pain that I can't even begin to comprehend, but I can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice how absolutely unbearable it is.  It's been hard coming to the realization that it's something that will be a big part of how we learn to take on our future together, and something that we will likely always be dealing with.  His rheumatologist is throwing around the "R" word... remission... and is hopeful that since we have started treatment young, when there isn't evidence of joint damage yet, there may be a point when he is symptom-free.  We'll be starting a new medication, and are apprehensive about how it will turn out, but again hopeful.  We've been to the rock bottom and only in the last few weeks have we been able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But it's there and I'm so happy to see it.  So now that we know what's going on with him, the next thing to do is kick up the health into high gear!  We are so ready to start fighting this. 

Needless to say my mind has been on full-throttle lately.  I typically thrive under stress but I've been trying to mitigate my work load for my sanity lately.  My transition to Portland has been smooth from a work perspective, and I was excited to learn about a promotion right before Christmas.  My professional engineering test is looming in the distance, and I'm getting more and more nervous by the day about that career milestone I need to pass.  I've been debating on review courses, which run at over $1,000, and I've finally decided to study on my own... it'll be cheaper for me to retake the test if I don't pass than pay for the review course.  I just need to push through my procrastination and actually start studying.  For the last 4 months I've been saying that come January I was going to stop wedding planning and start studying.  Now that January is here, I don't really want to start studying.  I would like to keep wedding planning forever.  Time to draw on some will power... back to that prioritizing word I started this post with.

And that brings me to my real time sink lately... wedding planning.  I swear it's consuming every free particle of my brain right now.  I'm having more fun with it than I should admit, and getting things checked off the list by the day.  But I do feel like I've gotten enough done that I can take a small break now until I get this test out of my way.  And somehow with everything else that's going on we are starting to house hunt.  As much as we try to put it off (we both know that if we had wanted to buy a house this year, we should have eloped and forgotten about the wedding... but deposits are paid so there's no turning back now), I think we are both anxious to get out of this rental and find a place of our own.  Even though where we are renting is bigger than our place in Seattle by about 140 square feet, it doesn't feel much bigger, and it's really lacking in storage.  What I wouldn't give for a garage, or at least a place to store our bikes.  

With that ramble I think I'll bring this post to a close.  An adios to 2012 and a recommitment to keep this journal about my health, life, and love going into 2013.  With a renewed surge of energy and hope.  In our household we are entering this year with a much greater appreciation for what it really means to be healthy, a strengthened feeling of love for each other and our partnership in this crazy thing called life, and pure excitement about what the year holds for us.  2012 has been a year of challenges that we have faced head on, and I know that 2013 has amazing things in store for us.  Much love and happy new year. 

xo colette


project 26 / my body is {reset}

I’ve been waiting to write this post all day.  Mostly because I’m hoping it will hold me accountable, and keep me from diving into my fridge for food.  I faced the scale this morning.  Finally hit the reset button.  In the last month I have put BACK ON 6.4 pounds.  Ugh.  I’m accepting it and moving forward.  As I was updating my excel spreadsheet with today’s weight, I was looking forward and realized there are 48 weeks until THE day.  So that is what I am moving forward towards.  Mostly so that I can look better than all these damn wedding dress models in my dress, but also because I need to stay committed to the bigger picture, to keep getting healthy for ME.

I’m attempting to reset the last month of bad decisions and indulgences with a three day juice cleanse.  We bought a juicer about two months ago after watching the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”.  If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it.  It’s a very interesting watch.  More importantly, it motivated Ross to seriously consider the possibility that his diet could have a very large impact on the health issues he has been going through.  In the documentary, the main subject focus is on about 12 different prescription drugs, and after a 60 day juice diet he has more-or-less “cured” himself.  At the end of the documentary he is not only in shape, he is completely off of his prescription medications.  So we bought a juicer and started juicing.  The initial routine was juice for breakfast and lunch, then a healthy dinner.  Ross was feeling amazing in the mornings with the juice, and no matter how much of that might have been mental, he was feeling better, so I was happy.  I’ve been completely out of whack these last few weeks with him down in Oregon now full time for work.  My routine is just off, and I don’t like it.  On top of that, he has the juicer with him so I can’t make juices at home.  I have found a brand of fresh, cold pressed, organic juices that I’m really enjoying – evolution fresh.  What I’m trying to get at is that since we have “discovered” juice (and I’m talking vegetable juices mostly – cucumbers, peppers, carrots, spinach, kale, beets, tomatoes, and so on…) there have been about five mornings where I’ve woken up and said, today is the day that I am going to commit to a three day juice cleanse.  I can get through morning and afternoon just fine, but not one time have I been able to get through dinner on just juice.  The exact second that I tell myself I am doing this, all I can think about is food.  I know it’s all mind over matter, but it’s defeated me every single time.  I woke up this morning and told myself the same thing – today is the day I am starting, and actually finishing this task.  At this point it’s become less about any sort of weight loss or cleansing and more about just proving to myself that it’s something that I can do.  Plus I know I’ve eff’ed up on my diet over the last month, and I just feel like this is a way for me to mentally start fresh.  In the end I just can’t wait to be back with Ross and back in our routine.  I didn’t realize how much I depended on him for my motivation and support through all this until he was gone, I’m so looking forward to getting moved in to our new place and getting in the groove of things again.  In the mean time, I’m tackling this three day juice thing.  It might help me with a few of those 6.4 pounds I’ve gained in the last month, but what I’m really hoping it does is show me I can get through something I set my mind to.  I’ve almost made it through Day 1.  Here’s to a successful Day 2.  From there, it should be easy as pie. or cake. or juice.


[say yes sunday] taking on another job

I swear I could spend 80 hours a week planning this wedding.  Everytime I think I make a decision I change my mind.  I had so much that I needed to be getting done this weekend, I have to be completely moved out of my current home in TWO WEEKS.  And instead of packing, I somehow spent countless hours yesterday deciding on a host/theme template for our wedding website.  It started as a simple distraction from my afternoon packing efforts and before I knew it, it was 11pm and I still hadn't decided on a design, let alone accomplished any significant packing. Ugh.  Between the move, the wedding, and my actual full time job (you know, that one that pays the bills), my plate has been more than full over the last month, and yet despite that, I still find myself able to completely detach during the evenings and weekends, and can quickly find myself getting lost for hours focusing on tiny little wedding details.  And they are tiny.  Is anyone going to notice if the text on my save the dates, invitations, and wedding website don't match?  Maybe a couple of my girlfriends would notice, but even if they did they wouldn't care. I care!! Then why do I care?? 

Last night I eventually ended up on a site where I would be paying about $100 to get a fully customizable site, easy to use template interface, and personalized web address.  Thankfully I woke up this morning with a clearer mind.  As I was texting Jenna about the sites I realized how crazy I was being.  Why am I considering spending $100 on a wedding website?  The good news is that now, I'm not.  I was knocked to my financial senses and decided to go with another perfectly functional and simply designed site on  They have a ton of designs, and while none of them perfectly match my design vision, I found a clean and crisp one, simple and to the point that I think reflects both Ross and me.  Sure it's not the perfect shade of peach, it's grey, and grey is one of our colors too, so I'll take it.  And it met Ross' one request for the site design - no hearts.  And it's FREE!  I think it will be perfect, now I just need to get all the pages designed. 


Speaking of design, my other time consuming design of the weekend was designing save the dates!  Yes another activity that proved to me my inability to make decisions.  I'm a very particular person, I like things to be a certain way, but when I'm choosing between multiple items that fit my criteria, I am definitely indecisive.  I found myself in the midst of that indecision this morning with the save the dates.  I had grandeur ideas of actually making my save the dates and printing them on my own, but I quickly realized that I could (for similar costs) use online services for the design and printing and save myself some time and trouble.  I do still have high hopes to be designing my wedding invites, that will be the real money saver.  So through Shutterfly and Wedding Paper Divas I put together 5 templates, and I loved them all.  I solicited opinions, but everyone had their own favorites, which was encouraging but not helpful when it came to narrowing down the options.  So I decided to do the next logical thing, order some of each.  There are two photos of the engagement that I absolutely love, they show such genuine emotion, surprise, and happiness in my face, but they don't show Ross's face very well.  Which is fine for all of our friends who know us well, but I wanted an option that had a good close up of us for family in Michigan that hasn't been able to meet him yet.  So in the end I'm ordering four different save the dates.  I can choose specific designs based on the recipient.  And I love all four, I'm so excited to have a sample of each for my wedding scrapbook!  I think what I love most is that in their own way they all kind of go together, they don't look totally mismatched, and they all coordinate well enough with my simple website design.  I guess that's a good pro of going with the clean chevron design, they all kind of go with it.  So two things crossed off the list this weekend: wedding website and save the dates. I've made a few other decisions related to design and desserts that I'll save for next week's post.  And I'll leave you tonight with the sample of the 5th reject template.  I should note that this one was only rejected because after I put in the photo I realized that it was a postcard instead of a flat card.  I do like the idea of sending postcards and saving money on postage, but I've had some postcards mailed to me where the photo/card becomes smudged in the shipping.  And I will be sending these out in lieu of Christmas cards, so I wanted space to write personal notes to my recipients.  Long story long, post cards are out.  It's cute though, definitely worthy of this blog post :)  Until next Sunday, happy planning!

Design from Wedding Paper Divas   


project 26 / my body is {sabotaged}

I'm admitting it.  I've been sabotaged and it's all my fault.  In the past three weeks since the engagement, I have failed at maintaining my workouts, and even more devastatingly I have failed at maintaining my diet.  It really seems odd to me.  I'm getting married in a year, what better motivation will I ever have in my life to work out and lose weight?  But I've been so consumed with all of this initial planning, that phone calls with vendors and online brainstorming has taken precedence over getting my booty to my workouts, and when I'm not working out, it's so much easier for me to eat whatever I want to.  The last three weeks have been the longest stretch of sabotage I've inflicted on myself since we started this journey in April.  I haven't even done a weigh-in over the last three weeks because I've been so scared to see what the damage has been.  But I'm taking the first step today.  Admitting that you've effed up has to be at least 50% of the battle right?  And I feel like I have royally effed up.  This is my time, this next year is leading up to the most important day of my life, and I can't allow myself to get so overwhelmed and consumed with my obsessive planning that I let my health take backseat.  Because as I mentioned in my last post, now that the venue, caterer, and photographer are booked, I'm starting to become dress obsessed.  Literally.  And I don't know how much longer I can force myself to look at models posing in wedding dresses.  Seriously, who stands like that in their wedding dress??  So that means that I need to actually start trying on dresses.  And right now that terrifies me.  I want to be able to try on sample sizes, and feel beautiful.  I'm so apprehensive of having an experience where nothing fits, and I leave with a feeling of disappointment instead of a feeling of "I found the dress"!  So today is the day where I admit that I've gone off rail, and pick myself up and get back on!  Because let's be honest, for the next year, I'm not losing weight to get healthy, I'm losing weight for this dress!  I'm committing to losing 10 pounds before I start trying on dresses.  My next weigh-in is five days away, and after that I won't be missing a weigh-in again.  Time to recommit, in pursuit of saying yes to the dress!

By the way, did you know that the downtown Nordstrom store has a wedding department??  I stumbled upon it yesterday as I was out about town, and I was immediately carried away with the pretty sparkle and shine.  Before I knew it I was so caught up I was telling the sales associate my budget was $2,500 and I was wanting to try on $3,000 gowns.  I walked away laughing at myself.  My budget is NOT $2,500 for a wedding dress.  We've already in the first three weeks of planning spent more on this wedding than I ever imagined I would be spending, and I'm not spending that much on a dress that I will be wearing for one day.  This is why I need my mother with me, to keep me grounded and keep me on budget.  Or to cover the difference if I do fall in love with a $3,000 dress ;)  The next time I get carried away by sparkles and shine, mom will be there to drag me back down to reality.  In the mean time, a girl can dream!


[say yes sunday] and then everything changes!

So so many changes in the last month that I'm having a hard keeping track of everything, and I've been falling way behind on blogging.  Time to get caught up today!  To start with, we are officially moving back to Oregon.  I'm so excited for this next chapter in our lives.  Ross has had some great career opportunities open up for him in the Portland area, and I am transferring down to my company's Portland office.  I can't wait to be closer to family, and finally start the house hunt.  We've been renting for far too long, time to start putting that money where it counts!  My parents are over the moon thrilled that we will be making the move back down south, a 2 hour drive home is alot more manageable than a 5 hour drive home.  It's going to be a great change in our lives and I can't believe how everything has just fell into place.  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. 

Speaking of being the luckiest girl in the world, that brings me to my next bit of news... I'm ENGAGED!  Ross proposed to me in the absolutely most wonderful way I could have ever imagined.  Up on top of the Space Needle, on a beautiful August morning, with a photographer to capture every memory.  Just when I thought the surprises were over, we walked outside at the base of the Needle, and our families were there to greet us with hugs and cheers.  It was perfect.  Looking back on the day I realized that I never really had any expectations for my engagement.  I've spent so long fantasizing over what my wedding day is going to look like, that I really didn't spend much time thinking about how the ring would actually end up on my finger.  He went above and beyond any expectation I could have ever imagined.  There were tears, there were smiles, and we have every moment caught on film.  Stephanie Hightower (of Stephanie Hightower Photography) did such a fabulous job of sneaking around the top of the Needle waiting for us to arrive, I couldn't be happier with how the photos turned out.  And you better believe that planning is already underway!  It's been 3 weeks and we already have the date, the venue, the caterer, the photographer... the list goes on.  You might say that I'm slightly obsessed! (ok I'm full on obsessed!)  All of my years of brainstorming and secretly (or not so secretly) hoarding wedding design ideas are suddenly going full steam ahead, and I couldn't be more in my element.  Now that I have the venue, caterer, and photographer booked, my obsession is starting to turn to the dress, but I'll leave that for another post!  Annnnddd... speaking of other posts, I'll be starting an every-other-week wedding post series that I'm going to call "Say Yes Sundays".  Check back for updates on the wedding planning process, my DIY crafting endeavors, and all of my design inspirations for the big day.  I'm going to leave you with a few photos of that magical day when my best friend asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.  I can't imagine saying yes to anyone else.









All photos by Stephanie Hightower Photography