Thursday, May 2, 2013

National Day of Prayer

Wow! I've got some blogging to do! My home page needs an update since I'm now officially married and I can't wait to share our wedding photos and the stories behind them. But today's post is not about that. Today's post is just allowing me to get my feelings in the open and a thankful praise to our God for being there for us.

After a long discussion with Andy last night about the power of prayer and challenging ourselves to turn to God first and to pray about our issues more than we talk about them, I get online today to see that it's the National Day of Prayer! I take this and the fact that we've already seen progress on some of our prayers that we prayed last night as a sign that He is most definitely listening!

I have never felt such a release of anxiety as I do when I pray with my whole heart. Today, I'm just so thankful for this channel of communication we're privileged to partake in whenever we want. Nobody can take prayer away from us!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

8 years...what????

March 6 marks the day Andy asked a question that started it all. My dad came in to tell me it was time to get off the phone (we had a strict no phone after 10 p.m. rule that I totally did not obey). As we were saying our goodbyes that night, he said: "Hey, before you get off I have a question. Will you go out with me?" "Sure" I said. Calm and collected on the outside but I was doing a happy dance on the inside. He then teased me for pronouncing it "shore" and we got off the phone. I remember falling asleep with such a peace that night but I didn't realize in exactly 8 years and 1 month I'd be falling asleep with his last name. So in celebration, here's a blog post especially for you, Andy. I "shore" am glad I get to marry you!

My Andy,
Can you believe we've been together 8 years today? And in exactly ONE MONTH we'll be husband and wife! It's kind of hard to believe but at the same time, we knew we'd get here someday.

I love that our wedding isn't the end of our 8 year's the beginning of the journey of a lifetime. And there is nobody I'd rather share life's journey with. You make my heart smile.

I think the only thing that would make me happier is if I woke up with Olivia Palermo's wardrobe! (I know you don't know who that is but I'll teach you so many things like that when we live together--I know you can't wait).

I love that some days we are responsible, decision making adults and others we are jumping on the bed to Backstreet Boys or running through the grocery store like children.

You're probably embarrassed I just said that. You're probably embarrassed that I even wrote this blog post but consider it the modern day version of "shouting it from the mountaintops." I had to express my love for you in the "permanent ink" that comes from sharing something on the scary world wide web.

Speaking of bout this picture of us from year 1? We look like babies! This was our first picture together and you have braces but you can't even tell! We've come a long way...and one day we'll look back at how young we are in our present day photos. So weird but so exciting!
I hate we can't go to dinner tonight but I'll see you this weekend! Signing off on my cheesy, "happy 8 year", love letter blog post now :)
Have a gr8t day (see what I did there?)
I Love you (and our puppy we've yet to meet),

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Challenge Updates!

Just because I haven't updated my Blog doesn't mean I haven't stayed committed to the 24-Day Challenge! I'm 14 days in and feeling better than ever. On the 9th day, the day before my last day of the cleanse, Casie (my trainer and adviser through all of this) measured me and I've lost 1.5 inches in my waist, an inch in my thighs and inch in my hips! Wahoo! At that point, I'd actually gained a pound but it must be muscle since I've lost some inches.

I've noticed I'm not quite as "soft" as before and I've also seen some non-weight related differences in myself, too. Anyone who knows me well knows I turn into a dinosaur that can only be tamed with food the instant my "shakes" hit. This is something I inherited from my mother and can be quite embarrassing at times. I used to not take care of myself and my eating habits were out of control. It was no big deal for me to eat a pack of Zours (my favorite candy) and a Dr. Pepper for breakfast. THEN, the shakes would strike before lunch and I'd have to make a run to the vending machine for another dose of equally unhealthy potato chips. 

I was nervous about starting this challenge because the thought of supplements and a chocolate meal replacement shake made me think I'd for sure suffer the hypoglycemic attacks I have become accustomed to; however, the opposite has been true. In 14 days, I haven't gotten the shakes once! And when I get hungry, I just get hungry. Not shaky, irritable and anxious. I don't think I've ever gone two weeks without getting the shakes. And I KNOW I've never gone 2 weeks without any sodas or coffee! Really proud of myself for that one. 

The SPARK powder that mixes with water to create an energizing, healthy drink has kept me from needing a caffeine fix everyday. I used to get headaches every other day and I've only had ONE headache this whole time. And it stemmed from forgetting to eat on a long day of travel. After eating a banana and a rice cake, my headache went away!

I've also noticed that my skin has cleared up. My face hasn't broken out and the rest of my skin feels softer. I think it's because of the Omegaplex vitamins I take with dinner every night. They're filled with fish oils and other good things :)

My diet is filled with lean meats, lots of fruits and lots of veggies. I try to stay away from preservatives and eat as much "real" foods as possible. I'm actually eating more food than I normally do but that is important so your body doesn't go into starvation mode and store all your fats. 

I haven't worked out as much as I should. I train with Casie two mornings a week for 30 minutes and I try to go to the gym on my own about every other day but sometimes I get lazy. Pure Barre has finally opened in Montgomery so I'm excited about adding that to my healthy kick. I'm definitely in the transformation stage and I know that I only get out of it what I put into it so I'm gonna step it up. More workouts and less "cheating" at meals!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Challenge Accepted

Brown paper packages tied up with strings....these are a few of my favorite things! The mailman is one of my favorite people because I love getting packages! And today, I received a big one....the Advocare 24-Day Challenge. Now, it wasn't delivered in brown paper and tied up with a string (although it was in a brown box) but I'm still hoping its contents become some of my favorite things. 

It's a pretty in depth process with several supplements but there are many resources online that breaks it down and makes it easy for you. I've outlined what I'm supposed to take each day in my planner and have even given each day a ziploc bag filled that day's supplements. I'm going to do better about planning my grocery trips and each day's meals so I don't get in a crunch and head straight for fast food.

I'm not one to jump on fad diets but I've been hearing a lot of buzz about this 24 Day Challenge and I knew Advocare was a reputable source for healthy supplements. So when one of my sweet advertisers, Casie Scott of NShape, started talking to me about it, I thought I would give it a try!

When I research it online, there are several before and after pictures that look genuine. The results are noticeable but not so extreme that it seems too good to be true. I'm excited about starting and plan to blog my progress! I'm going to start eating better too. Lots of raw veggies and fruits and lean meats :)

Casie is going to take all my measurements in the morning so I'll be able to track my inches lost. I'm not really looking to lose weight, but I could definitely use some toning up. I don't want to look back at my honeymoon pictures in a bikini wishing I had taken getting fit a little more serious before the wedding!

I always thought getting engaged would be enough motivation to have me hit the gym everyday but it just didn't work out that way. It's also so hard to eat healthy when I'm in a rush all the time and am either in Selma, Linden or Jackson every weekend.

So, here I go. No excuses. 24 Day Challege accepted, Advocare :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lots of Lemonade...Lots of Laughter!

I've already established that I have great friends. This past Saturday, at my first Bridal Shower hosted by my Troy Bridesmaids and a past boss of mine (Julie Sanders Hopper- Owner of Glow), I was reminded of that fact.

I told my mom it was going to be hard to leave Troy after seeing all my friends that afternoon and I was right. I had the most perfect day! 

The Laughter & Lemonade theme was so cute and the blue willow china, white roses and yellow accents worked together beautifully! Kudos to Morgan Nall and her great style! Driving to Troy with my mom, grandmother, {aunt} Mary Anne and my cousin and MOH, Catherine was icing on the cake. I don't get to see any of them often enough. And I'm especially glad my future mother and sisters-in-law were able to attend!

The fun games were an exciting element that I wasn't expecting! Andy and I were blessed with some much needed and thoughtful gifts to help us start our first home together. I'm trying to decide if I can wait until after the wedding to use them. Thank you to everyone who came, hosted and helped with my shower!

Here's a sneak peak of some photos....make sure to check out the awesome favors (Surprise Balls by TOPS Malibu) found at Glow. They each have 11+ mini fun gifts inside. I had a freshwater pearl in mine!
Cake by: Old Enzor Lane
Flowers by: Jean's Flowers

Monday, January 7, 2013

Meet my Maids!

Soon after we got engaged, my parents and I discussed what was most important to Andy and me for the wedding. Other than the obvious--getting MARRIED--I basically wanted two things...good pictures and all my friends in attendance.

Selecting who to ask to stand next to me as Bridesmaids was no easy task. I didn't want to hurt any feelings or leave anyone out but I also have always thought it was crazy to have several people in your bridal party. I stressed about it for weeks. But when I really thought about it, there was a group of girls whom I wanted to tell I was engaged, as soon as it happened. They were my best friends and I'm honored they agreed to be a part of my special day.

I'm excited to introduce you to them so read below to Meet my Maids!

 Catherine Gordon is my Maid of Honor, my cousin and my lifelong friend. I wouldn't have made it through Jr. High without this girl. I always looked up to her and was amazed at how she could run around barefoot outside when we were kids without fear of getting dirty or cut. She thought I was a sissy and she was right. Nevertheless, she was my protector and I am so thankful for her. There aren't too many memories of mine without this wild child in it.
 My Jr. Bridesmaids and future sisters-in-law, Emily and Hannah Freeman, are my true loves. I have watched them grow up from sweet kindergarten and first graders who would run and greet me at the door with a hug to now teenagers from which a simple picture text can make my day. In the 6th grade, when I found out my youngest brother was not going to be a girl, I thought my dream of having a sister was over. I was devastated but didn't realize God had a plan to bring me a man with such sweet younger sisters who I can claim. I can't wait for future memories with these two (if Andy doesn't lock them in a room to keep them away from boys)!

I, Peyton, take you Erin Bankert, to be my Little...Erin now knows that I picked her out from the beginning. I was buying gifts for her with an "E" initial before she even pledged Kappa Delta. She had no chance of not joining our KD Family (sorry, Erin!). Over the past four years, I've made such great memories with her and she doesn't know how glad I am she's in my life. We literally have an award-winning friendship: Best Big/Little '09 and Big/Little with the Highest GPA '12. Booyah!
 Krista Parker has taught me that dreams can come true! She set a goal of getting into Dentistry school and we all worried with her and prayed for her through the interview process. Of course we all celebrated with her when she was accepted to UAB! I'm thankful for our friendship because she'll tell you how it is...even if it's that she thinks you're a weirdo. I met Krista when we were freshman and both pledged KD. Bonding over our Junior Miss titles, love of stripes and dinners at Rodeo, Krista and I became good friends. I can't wait until she graduates and becomes Dr. P!
 Ashley Harrison has been in my life for a really long time. From our Selma Somies gymnastics team days to being roommates our last semester of college, Ashley has always been there.  As a nervous freshman at Troy, Ashley was always who I turned to when I had questions and she is the reason I joined KD. It was only natural that she is who I wanted for my Big sister! I'm thankful she let me make cookies literally everyday that we lived together and that she trusted me with the beautiful Lola Belle Harrison Fuller, only the smartest dog in the world.
 Lauren Stephens is my sweet friend who got me through classes at the Hall School of Journalism. Always reminding me of quizzes and assignments, I am forever thankful for her. But I'm mainly thankful for our friendship because it has taught me that you don't have to talk everyday for it to be real. I first met her when I pledged KD and we became friends when we served on council together. Never forgetting to answer a text and always calling you when she says she will, Lauren is one of the most thoughtful people I know. I only wished she lived closer to me so that we would've have to wait so long to catch up! 

 Jessica Harris is sort of the one that started this all! As one of my first friends at Morgan and Andy's cousin, I couldn't be happier that she will stand with us on our big day. She introduced Andy and I over 7 years ago and she actually introduced me to my first college roommate, Kash Forrester, too! It's easy to say say I'm forever grateful for her! I can't wait for future family gatherings with her! So proud of her smart self for getting a grant and going to grad school! I know her students love her!
 I met sweet Melissa Moreman my freshman year of college in KD. She is one of the most optimistic and fun people I know. I could tell her anything and trust that I'd suffer no judgment or fear that she'd share my secrets. She's proven to be superwoman in her first year teaching first grade (and coaching numerous sports while maintaing a life). I am so happy that she is now engaged to her prince charming and excited that I have her during the wedding planning craziness! A big thanks goes to her for helping Andy make the scrapbook he used to propose. She is a good secret keeper, for sure!

Sara Porter is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. I remember wanting to be friends with her when she went through recruitment and was so excited when she pledged KD and eventually became President! She has a heart of gold and I'm lucky to know her. Andy and I have so enjoyed double-dating with her and Mark and I'm excited that both of them will be a part of our wedding! Here's to many more memories and New Year's Eves with all of us together!

Three girls sharing one small room and one bathroom in the KD house will either make for immediate conflict or immediate friendship. Thankfully, Kayla Cook and I experienced the latter. Too many buenas noches in that room to count and the fun continued the next year when we lived together in B3 (which is the bee's knees, duh!). Kayla is a mean cook and is going to be even better in the insurance field. As one of my besties, I am so thankful for her friendship and the laughter we've shared.

 You know when you're sitting in church as a little kid and someone makes you laugh so hard that you can't fight it for the rest of the service? Yeah, that's Emily Rhyne and me. I don't know what it is about her that brings out my goofy side but I'm so thankful she's been my friend since High School and even more thankful she's let me live with her in Montgomery. Whether we're discussing our long term relationships, attempting Pilates in the apartment or stressing over low batteries in the fire alarm, Emily can always make me laugh!

Last but definitely not least, Morgan Nall was one of my very first friends at Troy. I saw her in the parking lot on move-in day and immediately became nervous for that day's recruitment activities because she was so beautiful I just knew none of the sororities would want me. Lo and behold, she was my suite mate, became my pledge sister and one of my best friends. The shenanigans she has talked me into will remain some of my favorite memories. Always lured by glitter and sparkles, Morgan has taught me to live a life of whimsy and not take things so seriously. Andy calls us "kindred spirits" and I think I can agree with him.

Writing this blog post has nearly brought me to tears thinking how blessed I am to have such amazing friends. Love is what life is all about and I've learned that from these girls. Thank you for making me who I am today and I can't wait to be with you all on April 6, 2013!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


So much has happened since my last post! I've enjoyed Thanksgiving in Birmingham with my family, a fun trip to Troy to see all my friends, and we've crossed a lot of things off our Wedding To Do list.

We've booked a band (yay!), found mom a Mother of the Bride dress, ordered invitations, met with our travel agent, almost selected wedding bands, ordered all the bridesmaid dresses and more!

It's a good thing too, because the nuptial nightmares have already begun. Last night, I had a dream that it was 30 minutes before the ceremony and we still had not printed wedding programs or finalized the ceremony details with my preacher. My dress wasn't ready for the ceremony so I had to wait wear it to the reception and to top it all off, there were several hours between our ceremony and our reception so all our guests ended up hanging out at Burger King (wHaT?). It definitely put me in the working mood when I woke up this morning!

On a side note, I recently learned that Chicken drumsticks cannot be treated and cooked as buffalo wing drumettes when bought accidentally and your fiance doesn't like it when you vacuum while College Gameday is on the morning of the SEC Championship. I also learned that if you show up to Dunkin Donuts about 15 minutes before closing, you MIGHT just get a free hot donut :)

A visit to see A Christmas Carol at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival this past weekend really has me in the Christmas Spirit. I just ate a whole pan of Christmas Tree cookies for dinner and I watched Eloise at Christmastime on TV. Possibly because last week's episode of American Horror Story is a little too off the wall for me to catch up on my DVR, but mainly because I'm in the holiday spirit. 

That's just me. Lately...