Just Catching Up!

I should be shunned for Blog neglect. It has been nearly 4 months since my last post. I’m feeling pretty guilty about leaving this beautiful space untouched for so long. So many things have happened since I fell out of the Blogosphere. So, let me update you a little. We’ll start where I left off…

-I did successfully finish the Lurong Paleo Challenge. I lost 6 pounds and lost a few on my measurements but not a lot. As I thought I would I went back to my carbby ways, but in the New Year I am planning to make better choices. I am also planning on staying mainly Paleo with a little looser guidelines. I’ll call it Kelleo? Sounds good right?

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– I ran my first 10k and I did rather well! I placed 69th with a pace of 9:06 and finished with a 56:31 time.

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Hard to admit but I haven’t really run and focused on running since October…

-Husband surprised me with a trip to Chicago for our 2 year anniversary!

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-We went home for our Cash Family Annual Pumpkin Carving Party (BYOP(umpkin))

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…drum roll please…

-We finally bought a HOUSE on Halloween!

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-I turned the big 2-6 and threw a Gatsby party… I have always wanted a roaring 20’s party and when better to do it when you are a roaring 26 year old?

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-I had to say goodbye to my cousin from afar… RIP sweet Bryan.

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-I was blessed to go home for both Thanksgiving AND Christmas.

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-I celebrated the New Year with friends.

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-and I began the New Year 2014 with a traditional Southern style New Years Day dinner cooked by ME 🙂

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-Oh, and tonight I did my first WOD with Toe to Bar! (Big deal, I couldn’t even hang on the bar much less pull my feet up to my hands at the beginning of last year).

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As you can see, I have been a very busy bee! And that is basically what you missed in a nut shell. For my New Years Resolution I will not abandon my Blog for more than 2 weeks. I hope I can keep ’em coming! Have a wonderful 2014 friends!

Ten Things I’ve Learned as a Trailing Spouse

For those of you who have been the trailing spouse, you may have different experiences than me. However, us trailing spouses all know it is very difficult and one of the most stressful things a couple could/will go through. Let me start by defining what makes a “trailing spouse”… it is pretty much exactly as it sounds. One who follows their husband/wife to a new place/state/country in lieu of that spouses career(or other) opportunities. I’m not about to glorify it either. It is tough stuff. I have only moved to a new state, I can’t imagine moving to a new country. Now, everyone’s situation is different. Sometimes both people in the couple think that moving would be the best thing ever. I’m not going to lie, Daniel had to do a lot of convincing to get me to leave the familiarity of my beautiful Southern city. I finally thought that it might be a good idea to experience something new and we high-fived on moving ourselves out to St. Louis. Then it began happening. My favorite apartment I have ever lived in was bare and before I knew it I was waving goodbye to my Chattahoochee River bank. It was all so exciting at first. I felt like a grown up spreading my wings and flying. I am still making some major adjustments in this move, but so far I have experienced and discovered so much.

Ten Things I have discovered in my experience as a ‘trailing spouse’

1.) There is a “honeymoon” phase with your new city.

-Yeah, it was all fine and dandy until it was cold like…. all the time. We have had a blast though. We have gone to carnivals and festivals, made new friends, and explored a lot. Luckily, we still have SO MUCH to explore here. I will say I am extremely happy that winter is over so the real fun can begin. Like a relighting of the Honeymoon Phase!

2.) Getting a job is 100 times harder without the connections and networks you had back home.

-Trust me on this one. The fact that I am somewhat floundering my way through life is a little depressing. I have applied and applied and applied but no one seems to be biting at the bait. Apparently, I need explore some other opportunities and maybe try to really find out what I want in life.

3.) You will compare your new state to your old/”home” state.

-I have looked and looked and FINALLY I have found some acceptable (by my southern standards) chicken wings. They still aren’t as good at the ones back home, but the Italian here is definitely better than Italian in Atlanta (sorry I’m not sorry).

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4.) Finding friends can actually be easier than you thought.

-I was lucky enough to know people who knew people who lived here before we moved (thank god). BUT. There is also this awesome site called Meetup.com. Yes, its like online dating for friends but it has been so worth it and there is always some kind of “Meetup” going on. There are of course specific categories as well such as, a running group, volleyball group, anime groups, rock climbing groups, book junkie groups etc. etc. usually if you name it, there is probably a group for it and if there is not… you can create your own. 🙂

5.) Being a housewife is neat… that is, until people start frowning upon the fact that all you do is laundry, cook, and clean.

-Umm, yeah. I have enjoyed my time away from the workplace. My house is always sparkly, my bed is always made, my laundry is always clean (and folded), dishes are always done, my dinners are planned, my kitchen is always stocked, wine isn’t needed (as much) anymore, I’m thinner from extra time spent working out, all in all I do a damn good job at being a housewife. I definitely don’t want it to go unnoticed, but there comes a time when people start asking “what do you do” and that’s when I start to feel inadequate. All I really want to say is I’M WORKING ON IT, PEOPLE. All I ask is that you give me a break. I am doing the best I can with what I have (in the job searching department).

6.) It challenges you and your spouse; positively and some times not-so-positively.

-You have your ups and downs. As the trailing spouse it is so hard to control the “Well, if we hadn’t moved…” argument at times. AVOID THROWING THIS NUGGET AT YOUR SPOUSE. I’m learning now that it hurts your spouse to be resentful and use it as leverage. I am guilty of it, and honestly there probably isn’t a trailing spouse out there that hasn’t said something along the lines of that sentence (or insinuated it). As far as the “ups” go, you really, REALLY have to rely on each other. For everything. And it is a good thing. Daniel and I have done an awesome job of spending time together, exploring new things together, learning new things together, trying new things together. We are all we have and it has brought us closer as a couple.

7.) Gives you a chance to reinvent yourself.

-Thinking about it I haven’t actively changed myself. I just AM myself, here and now. Who I was at 16 doesn’t matter to anyone I have met here because I’m not that person anymore. I am stripped of anyone knowing my pointless past dramas or having “history” in a  friendship. That, in itself will reinvent YOU.

8.) You will appreciate the “comfort” of/gain pride for your home state.

-I love the city of Atlanta more than I ever have, because I have been given the beautiful/not-so-beautiful gift of missing it. I miss everything about that city from the red Coca Cola glasses you get in EVERY restaurant, to the banks of the Chattahoochee, to the beauty of a spring day in Piedmont Park. I was meant for that city and it was meant for me. I have no doubt in my mind that one day we will reunite.

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9.) Embracing new places is refreshing. 

-The Arch is possibly the COOLEST structure I have ever seen. I honestly can’t get enough of it. I love taking pictures of it and I seeing it all lit up at night. It reminds me of why I decided moving would be a good idea. To explore life in new places. To get to know a new city and fall in love with a new place. I’m still in the very VERY early stages of “falling in love” with St. Louis (mostly because I’m still pretty homesick). However, walking through Soulard the other day I couldn’t help but adore the old timey feel of the city. It gave me the same feeling I get when I see the skyscrapers of Midtown Atlanta towering over Piedmont Park.

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10.) It has cured me of shyness (I think).

-I have found that I have A LOT to say these days. I will talk to almost ANYONE. I can’t decide if it is because I am hungry for human interaction or if I really have always been this outgoing/friendly and just never noticed. Anyway, making friends has been relatively easy for me. I suppose I am one of the lucky ones because I could just talk all day if you let me and really not about anything specific.

Moving is extremely difficult but it is also fun, confusing, exciting, new, and challenging. It puts you in situations you never would have dreamed of, you experience different people, cultures, ways of life. You find that relying only on your spouse is hard and awesome all at the same time. It’s all a growing/learning experience and while it’s been tough, I’m glad we’ve experienced it together.

One thing that will FOR SURE never change: I will ALWAYS be a serious ATLANTA BRAVES fan. ❤

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A Face Lift

I thought it was time for me to give my blog a mini face lift! A new name, a new feel, a new purpose? Not much a difference, I just thought that since we are no longer really considered newly weds it was time to take my blog name and feel to a different place. Certainly all of my past posts from “Life after I Do” are still attached to this blog, but future posts might be less focused specifically on life after marriage and more focused on hobbies, running, my new adventures with CrossFit, exploring this new city of ours, and my new found love for cooking (so technically, it’s still about life after ‘The Wedding’ on a more watered down level). Don’t expect topics and writing to change too drastically, I am still ‘me’ after all and I don’t mind blabbing about our new couch or washer or how much I absolutely adore and appreciate my Husband every now and then (he deserves it). I guess the newest thing going on in life is the fact that we moved. It has been tough so far. The Midwest is definitely a different place. When we first moved here I felt like it was going to be pretty much the same, but then after a while I began to realize differences.

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But mostly I have realized that I truly am a Southern Girl and I always will be. I like wearing big jewelry, curling my hair, wearing make up to the grocery store, there is noting like red nails and red lipstick with a Braves ballcap. Oh, yeah and rhinestones, lots of rhinestones and pearls. I like my tea sweet and my chicken fried.

Southern Girls LOVE Their Pearls

Southern Girls LOVE Their Pearls

But.

I don’t mind dirt, I love to camp and fish, sports are my favorite, I will fight to the finish when I run a race. I can’t wait to plant my first garden. I don’t mind working hard and getting sweaty and I absolutely adore a good hike or a swim in the river. I love my high heels but I also LOVE my cowgirls boots.

That’s the beauty of Southern girls. We like to get pretty most the time, but we can be tough as a bull.

Welcome to Glitz & Grit

Bless your hear! Hang up your boots and stay a while….

I’m a ‘Cold Weather’ Wimp

So, I haven’t been progressing much on the running front. Let me tell you why….

It’s cold. Yes, this is totally the worst excuse ever. Ever. Most people like running in 40 degree weather. Me? No. I absolutely hate it. My thin southern skin isn’t use to cold for such a prolonged amount of time. I could do a 40 degree day every now and then back home, but every day? It’s just  not for me, at all. I need that crisp 60 degrees. I yearn for it, actually. I have never been so effected by weather before. I want to go outside but then once I get out there I just want to come back in the house and curl up. It’s starting to frustrate me and I can tell the dog feels the same way. Today is the last day of winter and you wouldn’t know it, but at least I can start looking forward to warmer days.

The treadmill is a bore. So, since I haven’t been running outside I have been running on the dreadmill. At first I could handle it. I would close my eyes and think of my beautiful riverside running trail, but it’s starting to really get to me. I don’t know how people do it. Run and look at the same thing for 30 minutes. It nearly makes me go insane. I have been at least running 1-3 miles every other day on the treadmill, but lately I have been running only one. Simply because I get so bored that I’d rather mope around the grocery store just to get some human interaction.

Progress. It’s hard for me to want to train on the treadmill. Not only is it boring but it’s hard to get your pace right. I could sit there and change it constantly but, yuck. I don’t know how fast my body feels like going. Sometimes my body feels like running 7 mins/mile and sometimes it feels like running 11 mins/mile throughout my run. Its not something that I can really detect, when running outside my body just does it.

Once it starts to get warm I will start training again. As of right now, I’ll just stick to my 20 minute 2 miles on the dreadmill.

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Lately homesickness has been really bad. I think of things I could/would be doing back home. Walking Molly by the river, going to the farmers market with Dan and Molly at Piedmont every Saturday, cooking lessons with my grandmother, focusing on my career, having lunch with mom on her off days, eating endless amounts of King of Pops, running outside, drinking Sweetwater on a patio, venturing up to the mountains for some boiled peanuts, home grown peaches, tomatoes, and corn. Publix fried Chicken. Sunday night game nights with the family. Hiking Kennesaw mountain. Walking around Atlanta. The food truck park. Newtown (FREE) dog park (I think I speak for Molly on this one too). Braves opening day (I can’t imagine how sad I am going to be come GATech football season). I could probably go on and on and on and I’m sure I will in my head. I just wish it hasn’t been so hard on me. Daniel seems to be getting along just fine. I just kinda feel alone in it a little bit. I just hope that it warms up soon so that I’ll be somewhat cured from missing home so much.

From the Outside Looking In.

I guess I never thought about how much I would actually miss my home. I was told I would, but I have gained more pride about my roots than I ever thought I would. Most people who live in/around the metro area of Atlanta are transplants, and sure, I grew up outside of the perimeter but I am a true blue Georgia Peach. I made small trips to Atlanta with my parents for sporting events/the Olympics and explored Atlanta before I even had a license thanks to my older boyfriend at the time. I remember falling in love with it. Specifically Piedmont Park, in which  my love affair will never end. I knew I would miss the people, but I also knew I was happy to be leaving some people behind. As a whole, I miss that city and I have more Atlanta pride than I ever did when I lived there. I don’t specifically know why. I suppose that with most things you don’t really know what you’ve got until its gone. I love Atlanta, and I want to eventually end up back there but if given the chance to go back home and stay right now, I probably wouldn’t take it. Not because I don’t love my city, but because I get the chance to see something else and explore different places, meet different people, see different cultures. I may seem slightly miserable at times, and yes Atlanta will always be the best city in the world to me, but I am actually quite happy. St. Louis is so very different. It’s got old town charm and some killer parties. The neighborhoods here are just incredibly interesting. Every one specializes in something, it seems. I still haven’t explored enough of St. Louis to sing about it’s wonderful offerings, but I know that I will like it here. It’s just such a different way of living. Wide open spaces are definitely hard to come by unless you go way outside the city. Houses are built right on top of each other. It’s like Virginia Highlands but EVERYWHERE and much older. I still really haven’t gained enough confidence to just go out and drive around by myself. If I go anywhere alone it is usually the mall or the grocery store. I imagine this will change once I get a job or finally get use to the multiple highways. St. Louis is surely growing on me, but I won’t ever miss the chance to proudly sport my Braves hat, do the chop, and represent my city.

Piedmont Park

Piedmont Park

aquarium

Olympic Park Bricks

Olympic Park Bricks

and the hommme of the BRAAAAVES! lol

and the hommme of the BRAAAAVES! lol

Exploring

We have been so lucky to be able to take full advantage of our weekends to explore the city. It has been such a blast so far! Friday we spent it exploring a couple different restaurants in Maplewood as well as deciding on a living social deal to go to Jumpin’ Jupiter. Which was pretty fun and last minute so it was all spontaneous. For those of you who don’t know, St. Louis is FULL of different neighborhoods and restaurants. For my Georgia friends It’s like Old Roswell/Virginia Highlands but EVERYWHERE and all of them are different in their own ways.

The pretty bar at Jumpin Jupiter

The pretty bar at Jumpin Jupiter

Saturday our awesome new friends invited us out to the Delmar Loop to enjoy the Ice Carnival and Festival. We had a blast! There was so much to see and do and we even got lucky with the 60-65 degree weather! They had a bar crawl that was putt putt themed and a lot of the bars crafted putt putt holes which formed a course of 12 holes. We only got to like 7 or 8, but it was really fun and relaxed. We also got to visit the roof top of the Moonrise Hotel. Complete with a bar, a skateboard ramp, and an awesome view of St. Louis and the human dog sled races going on below. We really had an amazing time and I can’t wait to explore more neighborhoods around here.

Roof top of the Moonrise Hotel

Roof top of the Moonrise Hotel

Tonight we have been invited to a wine club meeting by our friends. It is going to be held in a 135 year old building displaying works of art from local artist. Everyone either brings a bottle of wine or an appetizer that everyone can try. Since its our first time we have decided we should bring both. I’m really excited and after my work out today I have to get out and get our groceries so I can make our appetizer.

We bought a Groupon with our friends for a fancy Brazilian restaurant and will be doing that this Friday. I’m really excited! We’re just living it up out here!

I have gotten homesick. I knew it was coming eventually. Yesterday I had a little moment. I just wanted to go home so bad and I really missed my mom and dad. Today isn’t as bad but I’m definitely missing my family. Hopefully our new friends and the anticipation of a busy, exciting weekend will help. Hope you are all feeling fine and having a lovely Tuesday!

Resolution Fail

Ok, so lets be honest here. Some of you know that Husband and I had made a New Years Resolution to run at least a mile everyday of 2013 if not more. Well, we did so well up until the day we moved. Daniel was so hellbent on doing it the day we drove. He could have done it if his lady counterpart (being me) didn’t wimp out and want to rest after driving so far. Between driving that long 9 hours, getting unpacked, entertaining our parents and showing them our new city, and Husband starting his new job immediately, we completely failed. Time was so precious those 4 days my parents were here. I wanted to spend every waking moment with them while showing them my new cool place to live. As a jobless stay at home wife, I have been able to keep it up since then. I took the dog with me on reasonably warmer days and I run a mile or two on the treadmill every week day. This weekend I am going to try and encourage Husband to jump back on the wagon with me.

St. Louis has so far been so good to us. We’ve already met some really cool people. There are so many things to do and places to see that I haven’t really been able to get homesick because I still feel like this is somewhat of a vacation. It still feels like I could hop in the car and drive 30 minutes to see my parents. My most feared part about this whole feeling is when it ends. Another scary part about this is when I get a job I can’t just get up and go home whenever I need or want to. I guess I have to get over that soon because I cannot keep my career on track by sitting around in a housecoat cleaning all day. Anyway, I have had fun being a stay at home wife for now. My house is always clean, my laundry always done, my dog has become my best friend. I’m only ever stressed when I try new things for dinner. I will say that it is pretty dang cold up here. We have had some stray warm days that reached 50’s and 60’s which was nice but everyday since those have gone, we have woken up to 19 degree weather. As a lot of you know, cold weather like that makes the motivation level drop VERY low. Today, I am getting out of the apartment for a little while. I have some Loft gift cards that need to be spent and some accumulated Christmas money that Francesca’s is begging me to spend.

Bundled up for a walk!

Bundled up for a walk!

 

Hope Y’all are having a HAPPY Thursday!