Our Wedding Day: The Details

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In honor of our two year wedding anniversary on August 19th I thought I would share a few posts about our wedding day! First up are all of the little details that made our wedding special.

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I spent two years planning our wedding and I love how everything turned out! I had time to consider every detail and put thought and energy into each and every aspect. Things did not turn out exactly the way I planned them but that’s alright! I’m so happy with the end result!

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First up is my dress which I bought at a cute shop called The White Dress in Brighton, MI. It’s a Stella York dress with amazing lace detail on the shoulder straps and back. We added the sparkly belt to add a bit of bling. I loved my dress!

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My ceremony shoes were from Nordstrom but I can’t find them online anymore. I wore Toms for the reception which was smart because my feet hurt so bad from standing in heels for hours. My cross necklace was a gift from my Grandparents for my confirmation in 2007. I always knew that I wanted to wear it for my wedding! My earrings were a last minute purchase from TJ Maxx.

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Our wedding theme was English Garden because we got engaged in London. We spent our two year engagement going to flea markets, antique shops, and estate sales looking for antique tea cups to use for our centerpieces. The lanterns were from IKEA and my dad made the wood slices and table numbers.

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We had our guests sign a photo mat and had it framed to hang in our house. I love walking past it and reading everyone’s notes. The Bailey sign was made by a family friend for my Bridal shower. Another friend made us the shadow box. My dad wood burned the B and H logs.

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Our head table consisted of fairy lights and our bouquets from the ceremony. My favorite part were these two vintage Bailey’s teacups. My mom found the female cup at an antique store and bought it for me as a gift because Brett’s last name is Bailey. We ended up finding the male cup and completing the set before the wedding! We also have the cream and sugar to go with them.

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Our ceremony and reception were at the same venue. However, there was a short walk from the reception hall to the outdoor chapel where the ceremony was. My dad built this sign for us and my sister painted the letters.

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I wanted a welcome sign for when guests first arrived. I bought the chalkboard at IKEA and had my family friend write the words for us. We still have the chalkboard in our house and it’s really cute!

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My Grandpa has a tradition where he makes the card box for each of his grandchildren’s wedding days. Mine was special because he was the landscape artist who designed our wedding venue so he knew exactly what flowers would match. This is one of my favorite pieces from our wedding day and it sits on our dresser in our bedroom so I can look at it everyday.

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Our flowers were one of my favorite parts of the wedding decor. We got married under Wisteria near a field of wildflowers. I wanted our flowers to look very whimsical and wild. My sister’s bouquet is pictured on the left. I asked that our florist put a sunflower in her bouquet because those are her favorite flower.

cake

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Our cake was made by a local bakery and each layer was a different flavor. I wanted our cake to look simple and then have our florist add the finishing touches. I loved how it turned out and it was delicious! Of course, when it came time to cut the cake I made sure to smash it in Brett’s face. He returned the favor and I laughed so hard my eyes were watering!

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Our wedding venue was beautiful! We got married under an arch of wisteria in the middle of the woods. The venue itself is a summer camp that I attended every summer for over 10 years with my sister and cousin. It’s one of my favorite places in the world and so special to our family!

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Our bridesmaid dresses were from David’s Bridal in the color Wisteria. I don’t believe that this current dress is still available. I liked using David’s Bridal because not all of my bridesmaids lived in our area so they could go to their own local store to buy the dress. It was super convenient!

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This picture of the groomsmen plus Brett is one of my all time favorite wedding photos! They are all so stinking handsome! The tuxedos were from Men’s Warehouse and were easy to order and pickup.

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Our wedding day was just so us. It was simple, colorful, and elegant. We were in one of my favorite places, surrounded by people that we love. I loved all of the little details and cherish the time I put into planning everything.

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I hope this brings you some inspiration if you are planning your own wedding! If you are, remember that your wedding day is only one day of your life while your marriage is everyday for the rest of your life. Your wedding day does not have to be perfect in order for your marriage to be perfect. Don’t stress about the little things and try to enjoy your day!

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Our Wedding Playlist – 100+ Must Play Wedding Songs

100+ Wedding Playlist Songs

Hey friends,

We are headed to a friend’s wedding this weekend so in honor of that I thought I would share our wedding playlist!

Music has always been my thing. I used to love making CDs of all of my favorite songs for my friends and family. Every single road trip or event had it’s own playlist and I would spend hours planning the order of each song.

Our wedding was the highlight of my playlist-creating career and I dedicated hours planning each and every song that I wanted to be played. I wanted the music before the ceremony to be very touching but still fun. We really didn’t want a super serious wedding but wanted every second to be heartfelt.

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I have a super clear memory of standing at the end of the path and watching through the trees as Brett walked my grandmas and our moms down the aisle. He couldn’t see me but I could see him. He had the biggest smile on his face! Then I watched as each member of our wedding party left ahead of me and my dad. I had so many butterflies!

When it was my turn to walk down the aisle with my dad I felt so lucky. My dad had foot surgery the week before the wedding so I knew he was in pain but he acted like there was no place he would rather be. I went into my marriage with no seconds thoughts, no cold feet.

I hope this list helps you plan the perfect songs for your big day!

Pre-Ceremony:

  • White Dress – Ben Rector
  • Lucky – Jason Mraz, Colbie Calliat
  • This – Darius Rucker
  • Grow Old With Me – John Lennon
  • Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
  • Everything – Michael Buble
  • Wouldn’t It Be Nice – Beach Boys

Ceremony:

  • Parent’s Entrance w/ Brett: I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
  • Bridal Party Entrance: Better Together – Jack Johnson
  • Bride’s Entrance: Forever Like That – Ben Rector

Recessional:

  • Waiting – Green Day
  • Brand New – Ben Rector
  • Ho Hey – The Lumineers

Wedding Party Entrance:

  • I’ll Be there for you – The Rembrandts

First Dance:

  • Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing – Aerosmith

Father-Daughter Dance:

  • Wildflowers -Tom Petty

Mother-Son Dance:

  • Forever Young – Rod Stewart

Mom and Dad Dance (25th Wedding Anniversary):

  • Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis

Cake Cutting:

  • Good Life – One Republic

Bouquet Toss:

  • Where Them Girls At – David Guetta

Garter Toss:

  • The Boys Are Back in Town – Thin Lizzy

Must Play:

  • Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
  • What I Like About You – The Romantics
  • Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
  • Drink Up – Train
  • First Date – Blink 182
  • Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars
  • American Girl – Tom Petty
  • Closing Time – Semisonic
  • Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus
  • Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
  • Cheap Thrills – Sia
  • YMCA – The Village People
  • Love Shack – B-52s
  • Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard
  • Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  • Footloose – Kenny Loggins
  • Sexyback – Justin Timberlake
  • What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction
  • (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) – Beastie Boys
  • All Summer Long – Kid Rock
  • You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
  • I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
  • Wanted – Hunter Hayes
  • Yeah! – Usher
  • God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton
  • Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield
  • Bailando – Enrique Iglesias
  • Starships – Nicki Manaj
  • The Nights – Avvici
  • Lighters – ft. Bruno Mars
  • Old Time Rockin Roll – Bob Seeger
  • Closer – Chainsmokers
  • Shut up and Dance – Walk the moon
  • Tik Tok – Ke$ha
  • Sexy And I Know It – LMFAO
  • Timber – Pitbull/Ke$ha
  • Something Just like This – Chainsmokers and Coldplay
  • Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
  • Wannabe – Spice Girls
  • Bye Bye Bye –NSYNC
  • Oops!… I did it Again – Britney Spears
  • Fancy – Iggy
  • Piano Man – Billy Joel
  • Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker
  • I Want Crazy – Hunter Hayes
  • Cruise – Florida Georgia Line
  • Lean On Me – Bill Withers
  • Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
  • Africa – Toto
  • Only Time – Enya
  • Kyrie – Mister Mister
  • It’s Tricky – Run DMC
  • Hey Ya – Outkast
  • Cupid’s Shuffle
  • Chicken dance
  • Cha Cha Slide
  • Once In A Lifetime – Landon Austin
  • Forever Like That – Ben Rector
  • Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  • Better Together – Jack Johnson
  • Die a Happy Man – Thomas Rhett
  • Best Day of my Life – American Authors
  • Brand New – Ben Rector

Last Song:

  • Good Riddance (Time of your Life) – Green Day

We also had our DJ play requests during the reception which was a lot of fun! If you can, take the time to meet with your DJ in person before the wedding to talk about your music taste and how you want the reception to feel. I found this meeting very helpful!

Let me know if there are any songs that you would add to your wedding playlist!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Our First Wedding Anniversary

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Today is the day! One year ago I was at the hair salon getting my makeup and hair done for our wedding. I was dressed in my getting ready robe and surrounded by my friends. We drank mimosas and ate bagels and fruit on the back deck of the salon. I felt a little anxious but mostly excited and SO ready to start the day.

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Meanwhile, Brett was back at our apartment with his friends. He won’t admit it but he was a little anxious too. He forgot his vows so our brother in law had to go back and grab them. Brett, the groomsmen, and my dad met at the venue in the morning to setup the centerpieces and other décor. They then went back to my parent’s house for lunch.

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I can’t believe it’s already been a year. I can still remember exactly how I felt during each moment of our day. I hope we never lose the newlywed feeling or forget how much we loved each other on this day.

 

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Our first year of marriage was full of changes. We lost Brett’s Grandma Emma in December which was devastating for both of us. We went to many, many airshows where Brett took on new roles such as Assistant Air Boss. Brett started a new job in event planning and has really excelled! We bought our first house and have loved getting settled in it. We traveled to London, Florida, New York, and many other places. We adopted Oscar and settled into life as a family of four.

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Marriage has been easy so far but I know it won’t always be that way. Brett and I are lucky because we are really good friends in addition to being husband and wife. I hope when it gets tough we can remember the love we felt on our wedding day and continue to fight for each other. I love him more today than I did on our wedding day and I know that love will keep growing.

It’s been a great year and I am looking forward to many more!

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Our Top Wedding Moments

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Hi friends!

Today I thought I would share some of my favorite moments from my wedding day in celebration of our one year wedding anniversary on Sunday! I married my husband on our 6th dating anniversary so August 19th is technically our 7th anniversary.

Wedding Planning - How to Plan Your Own Wedding

I loved waking up at a fancy hotel with my bridesmaids. I slept so well the night before my wedding in a huge king-sized bed with fluffy white pillows and blankets. I woke up before everyone else and just had a moment to look around and let it sink in that it was my wedding day! I sat down and wrote a note for our Anniversary Box. My Uncle made us a wooden box big enough for a bottle of wine and lots of letters. We each wrote each other a letter on our wedding day to place in the box during the ceremony. Each year on our anniversary we will open the box, drink the wine, and read the letters. I loved taking a moment on our wedding day to write a note to my future husband to express how excited I was for our future.


After I got my hair done, I left the hair salon with my friend and the flower girl. Our flower girl, Levi, was 11 months old at the time and needed a nap before we left for the venue. The hair salon was near my parent’s house so I volunteered to take Levi home for a nap while her mom, Hanna, got her hair done. It was so nice to have a quiet moment cuddling with Levi before checking to make sure everything in the “wedding room” had been taken to the venue. It was also really nice because the groomsmen were having lunch in my parent’s backyard so I got to see them for a few minutes which took some of the nerves away. I will always remember the moments where I just got to sit in my childhood bedroom and process the fact that I was getting married. My hair and makeup were done, I was in my getting ready robe, and I felt very little stress.

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I drove to the venue by myself, in my robe, with a car full of my stuff. It was so nice to arrive before my mom and the bridesmaids and just have a few moments to settle in. It was one of the best moments for me because I got to take the time to wander around and take pictures before anyone else got there. I got a few moments to just be present in the day and to notice all of the little details that I worked so hard on.

Our wedding venue was extra special for me because it was at a camp that I attended every summer of my childhood with my sister and cousin who were both members of my bridal party. My Grandpa was the landscape architect whose team designed the camp. He’s the one who suggested that we get married there so I know that it meant just as much to me as it did to him. Getting married at a place that held so many happy memories just made everything so much better!

Our first look was something that we debated on until a couple of weeks before the wedding. Brett didn’t want to have one because he wanted to see me for the first time as I walked down the aisle. But I knew I needed to see him before the ceremony to have any hope at all of not sobbing the whole ceremony. The first look was just us and our two photographers. There was no stress of standing in front of hundreds of people so we could just be ourselves. We chatted and laughed and even at one point I got my shoe stuck and Brett had to dig through the layers of my dress to find it. These moments were sweet and silly, just like us, and I will always cherish them.

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During the ceremony I made sure to take time to look around at all the people who surrounded us. Our friends, family, co-workers. All of these people had made an impact on our lives in some way or another. I made sure to take it all in. Brett’s sister shared a reading during the ceremony. Her words made me start crying and Brett just smiled at me and the moment felt so right. All of Brett’s friends, who are really my friends too, were facing me. They saw all of my emotions and it was a really special moment for our friendships. We both wrote our own vows and I sobbed the whole time. The ceremony just meant so much to us! My cousin, Lance, officiated our wedding which made it even more special.

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After the ceremony, I had a few moments to talk with my Grandparents before group pictures. I decided to wear a cross necklace that my Grandma and Grandpa had bought for me in the 7th grade for my confirmation. My Grandparents didn’t know ahead of time that I was going to wear it. My Grandma’s eyes watered when she saw it and she put her head on my shoulder and whispered how much it meant to her that I had worn it. That moment means the World to me now.

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Once we arrived at the reception we sat down and actually enjoyed dinner! I received the advice to make sure that we ate a lot before and after the ceremony. Because of this advice, Brett and I did not make the rounds to greet people during dinner (we greeted everyone in a line after the ceremony instead). We sat and chatted with our wedding party. We drank our fancy champagne and looked around the room that held all of our favorite people. It was a great moment.

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After our first dance and the father/daughter and mother/son dance we took a moment to thank our friends and family for all their help. We also surprised my parents by playing the first dance song from their wedding “Forever and Ever Amen by Randy Travis” in celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary. We invited everyone to come dance with us! Please note my sister in the background of the above picture. She was SO excited!

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The reception went by in a blur. Brett and I did take a few minutes to go out with the photographers to take some sunset pictures. Other than that, I just enjoyed dancing with all of my favorite people. It was special to dance with Brett’s junior groomsmen, Jordan, who I have known since he was born. He’s a teenager now but it meant the world to be able to dance with him at my wedding. His sister, Riley, was my Junior Bridesmaid. I put my veil on her head and we danced around together. All of my favorite songs were played and I just had the best time.

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Overall, our wedding day was more than I expected. It was more special, more emotional, and more memorable than I could have imagined. Your wedding is only one day of your life. It’s not worth stressing over but it is worth enjoying and remembering. There were some not so great moments and many things that I wish that I could go back and change. But at the end of the day, I was married to Brett, my best friend and life partner and that’s all that really matters.

I can’t wait to re-read this blog post in a few years and be able to remember all of these little moments that ended up being the big moments.

Thanks so much for reading!

 

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7 Things To Do After Getting Engaged

7 Things to do after getting engaged - wedding planning

Hey friends,

Welcome to Wedding Wednesday!

I don’t know about you, but the second I got engaged I was overwhelmed. I think a huge part of my anxiety was the fact that was transitioning back from studying abroad in London to life in Michigan. There were so many changes happening in my life that I couldn’t even begin the think about wedding planning.

Not only that, but I also felt very lonely. I was missing my study abroad friends and I was actually dreading telling family and friends about my engagement. I wanted people to be genuinely happy for us.

Brett and I waited a whole month before announcing our engagement to people other than our parents, grandparents, siblings, and our closest friends. We wanted to have time to celebrate together before being bombarded with questions.

 

7 Things to do after you get engaged

Here are a few of my suggestions for what to do right after you get engaged:

  1. Take a second to just enjoy the moment. For this one moment, it’s just the two of you who know that you have decided to spend the rest of your lives together (unless other people are there to witness your engagement). When we got engaged, Brett took me on a walk and videotaped my reaction. I am so glad that I can look back on that moment forever. I will always be able to remember my reaction, his words, and how I felt after I said “Yes!”
  2. Decide who you want to tell first and when. It all depends on your relationships, but I would recommend telling your parents, family, and close friends before announcing your engagement to the whole world. I personally don’t think that there’s a right or wrong way to do this. However, some of my extended family seemed a bit put off that I didn’t personally tell them the news before announcing it on Facebook. Only you can decide what is right for the two of you.
  3. Be ready for lots of different opinions. I struggled with this. I wanted everyone to be as excited and happy as I was! Instead, I felt lonely and let the lack on enthusiasm bring me down. So please take my advice on this one, if you are happy that is all that matters.
  4. Decide on a timeline. When do you want to get married? If you want to plan a wedding for some day in the very near future you will need to start planning right away. If you are like me and have over two years to plan, you can just sit back and enjoy at first.
  5. Think about your wedding at a very high level. In the beginning, don’t think too much about all of the details. Start by figuring out the basics like date and budget. From there, all of the other details will get figured out.
  6. Start saving. Weddings are expensive so the earlier you can start saving the better. Talk to your parents or any other family members or friends that have expressed the desire to help out paying for wedding expenses.
  7. Have fun! Enjoy the fun of being engaged because it won’t last forever! One of my biggest regrets is that I hated planning my own wedding. I would love to help plan someone else’s in the future because wedding planning should be fun!

Even though we were engaged for over two years the time still went incredibly fast. Try to enjoy the process as much as you can because hopefully you will only need to do it once! My biggest tip is to just have fun with each other.

Remember that at the end of the day you will be married to the love of your life. Not everything will go as planned and that’s okay! Some of my favorite memories from my own wedding happened because something didn’t go as planned. Enjoy the ride.

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know if you have any questions or ideas.

 

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Introducing Our Wedding Series

Wedding Planning Series - Planning Your Wedding, Step-By-Step Guide

 

Hey there!

I have been doing some serious blog post planning. 2018 is going to be a great year for Life of Hayley! I took a long look at the things I am interested in and the first thing that came to my mind was wedding planning.

Since wedding planning is still so fresh in my mind I thought I would do a blog series about all things wedding! I know not everyone is interested in this topic so I will be sure to post about a lot of other things too.

For this wedding series, I am thinking about breaking the posts up into two different categories:

 

  1. Wedding Planning. I spent SO much time on Pinterest and Google researching wedding planning as well as attending various wedding fairs. I figured that it would be fun to share some of my research in addition to my experiences during the wedding planning process. Posts could include dress shopping for the Bride and Bridesmaids, planning the ceremony (we wrote our ceremony ourselves), creating a wedding playlist, creating a guest list, etc.
  2. Our Wedding. I thought it would be fun to share all of the little moments leading up to our wedding in addition to our wedding day and honeymoon. The week leading up to our wedding was so much fun! I loved seeing everything come together and having all of our friends and family come to town to celebrate us. Maybe Brides-To-Be will be interested in reading about our wedding experiences but these posts will also be great for Brett and I to look back on one day.

 

Please let me know if there’s anything you would like me to talk about during this wedding series! I would love to know if you have any questions or concerns related to wedding planning. Brett and I were engaged for over two years so I had a lot of time to research wedding planning.

Thanks so much for reading and please stay tuned for more posts coming up soon!

 

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2018: First Quarter Goals

2018 First Quarter Goals

Hello again!

I am back with my goals for the first quarter of 2018! I like the idea of New Years resolutions. However, I have a hard time sticking to them because 365 days seems like a long time. I eventually forget my goals and by December I haven’t really accomplished anything.

That’s why I love setting quarterly goals. So much of what I do at work revolves around quarters so I have an easy time thinking this way. It’s a great way to break the year up into four manageable sections.

With that said, here are a few things that I am hoping to accomplish over the next couple of months:

  1. Pay Off One Credit Card. Brett and I are super lucky because I have no credit card debt and Brett has very little. We have been reading Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and it has given us the inspiration to start small and pay off our lowest balance credit card. I would love to go into 2019 with no credit card debt!
  2. Start House Hunting. I LOVE renting but the finance lover in me hates throwing our money away on something we don’t own. Brett and I sat down with a realtor this week and agreed to start taking baby steps towards purchasing our first home. We will start to look at houses in our price range and figure out what we like and dislike. We will shop around for different home loan lenders and find the best fit for us. We will not feel pressured into buying a house. We will buy when we are ready.
  3. Continue to make my health a priority. Guys, I have struggled for YEARS with migraines and daily headaches. I went almost two years with a constant headache and the pain has been debilitating. I made it a goal last quarter to really work with my Neurologist to find a solution that will work for me and my liver. The past month has been amazing. I still have headaches and the occasional migraine but the pain is finally manageable. I know I still have a long road ahead of me but this is the first time since 2011 that I have felt this good. *Knocks on wood*
  4. Being more productive after work. I am always exhausted after work. My days are stressful and I never feel like cooking or cleaning after work. I have made it my goal to meal plan and prep in order to make work nights easier. I will try to always go to bed with a clean kitchen, my lunch packed, and my outfit prepared for the next day.
  5. Focus on Healthy Living. I have gained a lot of weight since the wedding. I stopped eating healthy and working out. It was nice not to have to worry about fitting in an expensive wedding dress or looking good in pictures but it’s gotten bad. I am having a hard time looking in the mirror, fitting into my clothes, and having positive thoughts about myself. I just want to start eating healthier, walking more, and drinking more water. I don’t want to doing any extreme fad diet because they are bad for my mental health. I just want to respect my body again.
  6. Finish Our Wedding Thank You Notes. I am such a slacker and I hate myself for it. Writing all of these thank you notes stress me out. I am so grateful for everyone who helped us decorate, drive shuttle cars, and clean up after the wedding. I am thankful for everyone who brought us gifts or gave us money. It’s just so hard for me to convey how grateful I am in a note.

So there’s a few things that I am working on in the beginning of 2018. Financial freedom, healthy living, and future planning. It’s going to be a great year!

What are your goals for 2018?

Thanks for reading!

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