The Year of Love, Loss, and Change

As I look back at 2016 it brings up so many emotions.  This year was a year of love, loss, and change.  2016 was by far the best year of my life yet the scariest with more change than I could have imagined.  It was a year of highs and lows and went something along the lines of this…began with my bachelorette party (high) followed by not completing a half marathon I had set out to accomplish (low) followed by our wedding (high) and so on and so forth.

They say that your first year of marriage is the toughest and if that’s the case then I think we’re set for the long haul.  A VERY quick recap of 2016…got married, Mike’s grandfather passed away, moved (within CA), moved again (to Arizona), my step-fatherpassed away, got a new job, bought a house (which meant moving yet again), adopted a puppy…goodness I’m pooped! Getting married, moving to a new state away from all your family and friends, and purchasing a home are more than enough changes and decisions for one year.  Throw in 5 or 6 other weddings, losing two very special people in our lives, getting a new job, and a puppy and I’d say our year was maxed out.

So much change within 9 months really takes a toll on your body and your mind! There’s been moments that I thought I was literally losing my mind, which obviously wasn’t the case.  My mental focus was not nearly as strong this year and I didn’t accomplish some of my goals I had set out to accomplish but overall it was a very successful and incredibly memorable year.  We never could have imagined what 2016 had in store for us but it definitely made our relationship even stronger and proved that we can handle anything life throws at us.  As awesome as 2016 was I am looking forward to a hopefully mellow 2017 which will allow me to focus more time on my health both physically and mentally.  I’m ready to enjoy the simplicity of life and embrace moments of doing nothing.

“As we come to the end of another year, don’t look back in regret or anger or disappointment. Instead, take the time to give yourself credit for all you’ve accomplished and use the rest to motivate you, to help you grow, to help you strive forward.” -Devon Yanko

As we close out the last few days of 2016 I have a mixture of emotions.  I don’t want this year to end because it was so good to me yet I’m hopeful that 2017 will bring as much joy and less loss.  This year more than ever I’m reminded that everything happens for a reason and life always ends up the way it’s meant to.  Embrace change yet enjoy the stillness.

Happy Almost New Year!

Year of Love

Have you ever had so much to do that you don’t know where to start and end up doing none of it? Well that’s been me except with so much to write about and share that I ended up not posting at all.  I guess the best place to start is at the beginning…

As you know, Mike and I got married on March 5th and went on a wonderful honeymoon in Maui. Then we came home to a whirlwind of events and changes.  Let’s just say that between May and June I was home for a total of two weekends out of the eight and April had it’s share of bridal showers and weddings as well.  I am not complaining, it was all FUN and exciting but boy was it exhausting.  With so many weddings this year I decided to name 2016 the Year of Love.

In the middle of the love fest we found out we were moving into Mike’s grandfathers house which we needed to clean top to bottom and somehow move all of his furniture so that we could move ours in.  The weekend that we needed to be out of our apartment I was in Vegas for a bachelorette party so poor Mike had to move most of it by himself with the help of a friend (thank you John!).  So between work, packing, cleaning, and attending parties galore I couldn’t wait for July when I thought I’d have a moment to breath.  Little did I know that a week or so after moving into the new house we’d make the decision to move out of state!

That’s right, we’re moving to Arizona!! A lot of reasons went into our decision to move to Arizona but basically it comes down to a cheaper cost of living and a good career opportunity for Mike.  We move August 12th and couldn’t be more excited.  As exciting as it is, it has been a little stressful and has consumed much of our brain power.  I will share more about Arizona next time 🙂

Needless to say, the 1st five months of our marriage have been crazy! They’ve also been super fun and and we’ve been able to spend so much time with our friends creating countless memories and laughter galore.  I know one day when we’re stuck at home with kids (not anytime soon) we’ll look back on the past few months and wish we could relive the bachelor/bachelorette parties, weddings, and birthday parties.  You’re only young once so you gotta live it up, right?! 😉

Here’s a few special moments from a few of our awesome weekends away.

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Honeymoon Maui Style

I’m back! After a two month hiatus to take care of life I’m so glad to say hello again! I’ve been married now for 3 months and boy has life been crazy!! We got married and jumped into a whirlwind of events and changes.  Before I get to that I wanted to share our AMAZING honeymoon with you.  We were lucky enough to go to Maui for 6 days and it was absolutely perfect. 

We flew out bright and early the day after our wedding via Hawaiian Airlines (highly recommend) and got to our hotel in Wailea in the afternoon.  We stayed at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa who so kindly greeted us with a bottle of champagne and chocolates when we arrived.  We explored the surrounding hotels that night and had fun in the warm water.

Monday we went ziplining which was sooo much fun!!  We did the Haleakala zipline tour through Skyline Eco Adventures.  It was a fairly short but a fun five lines and made me eager to go on a longer tour next time.  This was probably one of my favorite moments of the week because it was so different from anything I’d done before and honestly so much fun.

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The rest of the week was filled with DELICIOUS food, drinks, amazing views, swimming, and enjoying our time together.  One of the nights we attended the luau at our hotel put on by Te Au Moana and it was amazing.  I had always heard, “luau’s are a waste of money” and I couldn’t agree less.  This luau not only had great food but was very entertaining, had gorgeous sunset views, and just overall an outstanding experience.  I would definitely go back.   To me it captured the essence of Hawaii and reminded me how lucky we were to be on such a beautiful island.

Leaving Maui was tough and we cannot wait to go back.  Everyone was so nice and welcoming, the food was outstanding, the views unbeatable, and the stress free relaxed vibe was exactly what we needed.  It was the perfect.

Oh and we got tattoos on the last day of our wedding date 🙂

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Aloha.

You Can Call Me Mrs. Cook

Happy Sunday, I have so much to fill you in on!! First and most importantly…I’m married!!! Mike and I took the plunge on March 5th and it was by far the best day of my life.  To be able to share our love for each other in front of our closest friends and family was such an amazing experience.  Nerve racking, yes, but nevertheless amazing.  The moment of walking down the aisle seeing my teary eyed husband will always be one of my favorite moments.  It was a moment of genuine true love.  The whole night was filled with love, joy, and beauty.  My love and admiration for Mike grew even larger that night.  I am so happy to call him my husband.

When I started this blog the 3 major things happening in my life were a 10K and half-marathon that I was training for and planning my wedding.  Two of the 3 items I successfully accomplished.  The 10K and wedding went off without a hitch.  The half-marathon on the other hand not so much.  I didn’t end up running it.  In my previous post I discussed some of my struggles and at the end of the day decided it was a better idea not to run; my body and mind weren’t ready.  I was bummed of course but I tried not to beat myself up about it too much.  I’ve done it before and I can do it again when I’m ready, not when I’m trying to plan a wedding and prove something to myself.  And to be honest, if I don’t end up signing up for another race I am completely ok with that.  I’ll always run, not the furthest and definitely not the fastest, but I will never give it up.  I am a runner and I don’t need to finish 13.1 miles to prove that to myself or anyone else.  I run for the joy of it and I need to remind myself of that every once in awhile.

Planning a wedding was a lot more time consuming and exhausting than I had expected but in the end totally worth it.  Here’s a few pics from our special day.  Enjoy!

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Photography: Christine Bradshaw @cbradshawphoto

Hair & Makeup: Maegan @makeupbymaegan

Flowers: Sherry Hagen

Dress: Love Marley Wren Dress by Watters

Venue: The French Estate, Orange, CA

New Month, New Beginnings

Can you believe it’s already the last day of January?!? Where has the time gone?? What’s even more shocking is that I’m getting married in 34 days!!! I am so ready for the big day to finally be here.  13 month engagements are great for financial purposes but crappy for those of us that are impatient  🙂

How has your 2016 been so far? Did you stick to your new year’s resolutions?  I’ve done pretty great thus far and don’t plan on stopping! I fell off the wagon one week but promptly jumped back on.  If you have broken your resolution, don’t worry you can start over tomorrow! Pretend February 1st is January 1st, your body doesn’t know the difference.  I’m starting an online bridal bootcamp tomorrow for brides to-be, bridesmaids, and family/friends of the bride! It’s a free group to help motivate each other and provide extra accountability.  If you’d like to join comment with your email or shoot me over an email at lovecookrun@gmail.com.

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This weekend has been super productive yet relaxing and enjoyable.  Friday night Mike and I went out to one of our favorite restaurants and enjoyed oysters, wine, and charcuterie.  We had a gift card from Christmas so it was nice to have a little date night without spending a ton.

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Saturday morning Mike made me breakfast while I cleaned up the house a bit and got some work done.  He showed up with this when I got out of the shower…

He truly is the best! We headed over to Men’s Warehouse to get him fitted for his tux then went down to the beach for a nice long walk and lunch.  Since hurting my foot a few weeks ago when I fell down the stairs I haven’t been able to wear a shoe that covers the top of my foot.  Yesterday was the first day that my foot didn’t hurt and I was able to put tennis shoes on!! When we got down to Newport Back Bay it was sprinkling but we still got in a great walk and had some fun in the mud while we were at it.  I absolutely love being outdoors and was seriously craving fresh air and beautiful scenery.  Newport Back Bay has a few different trails you can choose from and is one of my favorite spots to stroll with Mike.

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We finished the day with dinner at home and a movie.  A perfect day in my books.  Today was less fun but more productive.  Four loads of laundry, grocery shopping, meal prep, work on my business, workout, and got a little reading done.  I’ve been reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and I highly recommend it!!  Today starts week 5 of Hammer & Chisel.  Halfway done with the program and I still love it as much as I did in the beginning.  I feel stronger, leaner, and accomplished.  4 weeks to go!