It’s hard to believe that my dear friends Jeff and Courtney are now finally a married couple! Last weekend was a whirlwind of emotion for the happy couple and as their Maid of Honor, I was honored and thrilled to be part of their big day. But as any wedding party member or married couple knows, a wedding is not just a one day event ;)
Thursday evening I arrived in State College around 10:30 and already felt the butterflies of excitement! It seemed like only yesterday that I received a phone call from Jeff saying he was going to propose. As I arrived in town, I headed right over to the bride’s house to help in any way possible. After an hour or so, I said my goodbyes, and headed to see my sister and hang with her before some much needed sleep.
With an early wakeup call at 7 am, I headed out the door to Starbucks to start our day with a little fuel!
After an hour of coffee catch-up with the beautiful bride and a little time of arts and crafts, it was time for part one of my wedding gift aka pamper the bride. We headed off to Designer’s Denn in downtown State College. They are the go- to spot in Centre County for all pampering! They really know how to treat a girl!
We were both booked for hour massages to ‘work out the pre-wedding stress’. I think Courtney enjoyed herself! :)
The massage was the kickoff to Operation Beautiful Bride. We then hurried out for a waxing appointment followed by manicures with the rest of the bridal party!
Sister In Laws
The day was over before we knew it and we were off to the Bridal Suite to get ready for the rehearsal dinner at the Nittany Lion Inn. Friday nights at the NLI are famously known for their seafood spectacular dinner. Spectacular it was! With the exception of a flying pick n’ peel shrimp (think pretty woman) dinner was wonderful!
The Happy Couple
Saturday- WEDDING DAY!
Saturday was amazingly smooth and beautiful! Courtney, Kait and I got up at 7:45 to get a quick shower and pick up breakfast for the salon. At 8:00 we were ready to be all dolled up. My brother’s amazing GF Liz came to do my hair and makeup as well as Kait’s hair.
The coolest thing about Courtney’s hair was how the stylist actually kept the hair together. She sewed the hair in. And it looked so beautiful and intricate when it was done!
Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of their actual ceremony (if anyone has them and could send them to me that would be great!) The bride and groom wrote their own vows that showed so much of their personality and love for one another. I was so touched. The night before, Courtney shared hers with me, in a moment I will ALWAYS cherish with her. As she read, “You are my favorite” a stream of tears fell off my cheeks.
After many portrait shots around campus we headed off to General Potter Farm for the celebration of the newly wedded couple!
The venue was beautiful with very unique qualities that reflected Jeff and Courtney, the food was amazing (I had lamb kebobs that were delicious!) and the entertainment was hysterical. (They had rented a photo booth that we enjoyed more and more throughout the night.)
It was an amazing day for a truly wonderful couple! Congratulations to the new Mr. & Mrs. Jeff and Courtney Witmer! To your Love. Laughter. And happy ever after.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope everyone enjoys lots of turkey, stuffing and good company. Today for many people is getting in-touch with what they are grateful for. Thanksgiving always has a special meaning for my family and me.
Three years ago today was a Monday and my younger sister called me at work telling me that Dad thought he was having a heart attack and was driving himself to the hospital. In that moment my world stopped. I raced into my bosses office, told him I was leaving and took off for the hospital. As I raced home, I kept praying aloud to God and to my grandparents, begging them not to take my dad. It was too soon.
By the time I reached the hospital, my mom and aunt had arrived to meet him and were with him in the ER talking to the doctors. His tests had turned out fairly normal and the doctor was ready to discharge him to go home. My mom (being an RN) asked that they do a cardiac catherization, to check for any blockages (just in case). The doctor reluctantly agreed and prepped him for the procedure.
An hour later a team of doctors came out to meet our family and close friends. My dad had not one, not two, but 5 major blockages. 5. Wow. And the one blockage was in the widow maker’s artery, so they needed to insert a balloon to keep blood flow pumping. If he had waited 20 minutes more, my dad would no longer be with us.
Needless to say, the team of cardiac surgeons prepped him for open heart surgery the next morning. Those two days of limbo waiting for the surgery to complete were some of the worst in my life. My family had always discussed “what if” situations for life, to say that we were prepared for anything. But really what could prepare someone for something so grave.
The morning of surgery, we each went into my dad’s hospital room to say our goodbyes. The thought that he might not make it out of the surgery was a very real and scary possibility. I will feel forever grateful for the team of doctors and nurses that kept him alive.
Thanksgiving for me is a time of reflection, but my thankfulness to have my dad in my life happens every day for me. It reminds me every time I watch a father/daughter dance at a wedding, it happens with every passing birthday and Father’s Day. Today, I am thankful for my dad and the rest of my family and loved ones in my life.
Question of the day: What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
Well hello there! I feel like it has been forever since I posted and that's because its been well over a week! My apologies friends, I have been in full MOH mode for the wedding of my dear friends Courtney and Jeff! And I PROMISE to provide a full recap later today, but in the meantime, I will leave you with a little 'wedding snack' of photos from the big day. Enjoy!
The STUNNING bride and groom!
MOH and Bridesmaid with the bride
This week I have tried to refrain from using twitter and facebook. I’ve tried not to read or watch the headline news, because everywhere I turn, there is more “developing” on the incidents that occurred at Penn State and every account, added opinion and media jab only upsets and confuses me further.
Today is Saturday, and in Happy Valley during the fall, that means a time of fellowship in the tailgating fields and stadium. It’s a time of pride for Penn State and excitement for our athletes. There are a lot of mixed and hostile feelings about today. Many have said the game should have been cancelled. There are others saying students should boycott the game. Instead they are all wearing dark blue to raise awareness about sex abuse. And all of the proceeds from the t-shirts will be going to RAINN. As a Penn Stater, I say this is a step in the right direction for the student body.
Below is a video from the candle light vigil held in front of Old Main last night. This vigil had been scheduled since the news broke.
THIS is my Penn State. For the students of Penn State, keep showing the country that you are compassionate and concerned for the victims and their families. May no act of ours bring shame. We Are…
With all of the controversy swirling around Happy Valley, every Penn Stater has had an opinion. Some are outraged, all of us are saddened and many wondering how an athletic department that prides themselves on ‘Success with Honor’ could turn into the lead story of the nightly news for such heinous, unforgivable acts.
Well, here’s what I know and believe.
Penn State is more than its coaching staff, more than the administration and more than a salacious news story. Penn State is the chill that runs up your spine and pride in your heart when We Are echos in Beaver Stadium on football Saturdays. Penn State is smile that spreads across your face every time you look upon Old Main. Penn State is the belief in tradition. Penn State is about raising $9 million dollars in a year for children with cancer. Penn State is about being a part of something bigger than you. Penn State is family.
If you’re questioning your pride for the Alma mater, look inward to what Penn State means to you. For me, Penn State is warm memories, friends, family and a sense of belonging. Sandusky has taken away so many things from so many people, but he can’t steal my PRIDE.
Forever and Always For the Glory.
Congratulations to everyone who raced this weekend!!
Relaxing and Re-energizing was the name of the game today. I took today off knowing the long car ride home would not allow for much rest if I went back to work today. The time change certainly helped as well, I was up and at em’ at 7:00 feeling like it was 8.
The day began with unpacking. I can never leave my bags sit when returning from a trip.
Then it was off to run errands for my friend Courtney’s wedding next weekend! Followed up by a little yoga.
It felt so good to stretch my legs and hips today. My body has been craving this class since Saturday. Because of the strain on my IT band, I decided to take a few weeks off from running and instead try to mix-up my workout routine with spinning, yoga and body pump. Here’s hoping I’ll be lacing up again before Christmas.
Speaking of lacing up….
Told ya I needed new shoes! That is also on my ‘to do’ list before hitting the open road again.
Question of the night: How do you recover after a race?
What do you get when you combine great runners, beautiful weather and a town steeped in deep southern tradition? A heck of good race! :)
When I set my alarm for 4:30, I thought for sure I’d be groaning to get out of bed, instead the opposite happened. I was staring at the clock at 4:27 deciding not to wait the extra three minutes to get fuled and suit up!
After getting dressed, I went to catch the shuttle busses parked outside the hotel. The Rock N Roll team was very organized from my experience. I know Meghann
, Dani and Ben had their busses get lost, but I’m hoping they were part of the minority. As the busses dropped us off a few blocks from the race start, the wind was whipping pretty strong so I met Meghann
, Ben and Danielle at the Hyatt for warmth and company. Thanks to them I wasn’t alone before the race :) Thanks guys for being so welcoming and friendly!
Thanks to Meals and Miles for the photo
After the group went to check bags, we said our goodbyes and I went to my corral to wait. The view from Bull Street was beautiful as the sun rose. And everyone was so friendly! Part of the reason I love running races alone is because of the people you meet along the way.
The start of the race was well done. Each corral release was well timed allowing runners to have open road, there was no bobbing and weaving which totally helped my pace and energy level.
I have to admit that I was concerned about the start of the race since it was supposed to be a ‘rough’ neighborhood of Savannah, however the residents were outside, excited and cheering us on! It was awesome to see the community come out to support the runners!
I was pretty pumped through mile 6, my splits were coming in about 9:40 (which is AWESOME for me!) and I was positive I would hit my goal (and then some) of a 2:20 half. My legs were a little achy, I definitely should have bought new shoes about two weeks ago, but decided running this race was 80% mental and 20% physical and I was going to ignore that nagging thought.
But as mile 10-11 rolled around the pain in my left IT band worsened around my knee. The sharp pain I haven’t felt in 2 years was back with a vengeance, but I was more determined than ever. Mile 11 was a huge wall for me, partly because of the tremendous pain I was in and partly because I knew if I wasn’t in pain, I’d be flying through, not limping along.
I finally stopped at the medic tent and popped a couple Tylenol. At this point the pain was bad enough, that it became sharp and caused me to limp. After a text from my sister saying they were close to the finish, I knew I had to push through.
Official finish time of 2:28:35, not too shabby for needing to walk mile 11 and 12 :) And I still beat my Disney time by almost 15 minutes!
Thanks to my sister Lauren coming out to support me!
Besides, I don’t care what anyone says, running 6 miles, 13.1 or 26.2 miles is a gift, and today I am relishing in that :)
The last 72 hours have been a glorious whirlwind of family time, beautiful weather and Rockin’ and Rolling for 13.1 miles. But first the buildup.
The BF and I drove to Savannah Thursday morning (and when I say morning I mean 3 am). 13 hours in the car left us with a lot of bonding time, and a lot of napping time for me ;) After about 9 hours, we started to become a little restless
The BF was a great pilot for the trip :) And I tried to copilot when I wasn't sleeping ;)
Once we arrived in South Carolina, the road seemed to be never ending, but billboards for South of the Border kept us entertained. Has anyone else seen these?!
We stopped for lunch at Mellow Mushroom and continued on our way, bellies full, ready to put the pedal to the metal.
I don't think we could have ordered a more filling pizza if we tried. Half loaded baked potato and half mushroom with special sauce!
After arriving in Savannah at 5:00 we arrived to my sister’s and her bf’s house and got to visit with my fur niece for a little while before heading out for dinner and drinks.
I'm so pumped you're here. I've been waiting all week to play ball with you!
Best part about Savannah… traveling drinks. We had beers at the social club and took them on the road to enjoy live music at City Market.
Sisters :) Missed you Megzie!
Social Club, Savannah
Nevermind the creepy face
That pumpkin is real
Friday was a little more low key. The BF and I had the morning to ourselves so we headed to the Expo before things got really crazy and came back for more hang-out and play time with Nittany.
Its Nittany's world and we're just living in it
Isn’t she a ham? Around 5pm we went to our hotel to check in. Now before you all start scratching your heads (yes we got a hotel room down the street from my sister) there was good reason for this. The hotel was cheaaaappppp and they offered a round trip shuttle to the start and finish for runners. Win, win.
We then headed out to downtown Savannah for a failed fro-yo attempt (next time ladies!!) and a little grub. After calling around for dinner, we came to realize one restaurant had 47 pasta orders placed with at least an hour wait. UMMMM pass. I was lucky to use Lauren’s kitchen, but if I were here alone, I would have headed to Walmart for a healthy choice steamer pasta meal.
After dinner and a little Always Sunny (you can take the girl outa Philly, but you can’t take the Philly out of the girl) we headed home to get some shut eye! A 4:30 race wake up call was on the books!!
Stay tuned for my race recap of the Savannah Rock N Roll Half Marathon!