PierceLove&Happiness – Our Wedding Story

PierceLoveHappiness

A girl’s wedding day is one she’s dreamt of her whole life. My dream wedding came true on November 6, 2016 to the sweetest man I could have ever imagined. I knew that when my wedding day came, it would be filled with all our families & friends and lots of love. It was nothing short of amazing. Now that our one year wedding anniversary is approaching, I wanted to share all the details of our wedding!

It all started Sunday, November 6, 2016 at the M Resort in Las Vegas. We had booked two suites for the both of us and our wedding party to get ready in. My girlfriends and I started with mimosas and breakfast. Once we had some bubbly, I gave the girls their gifts while we were getting our hair & makeup done! I had eight bridesmaids & two flower girls – three girls doing makeup and one doing our hair. To say the least, our suite looked like a fashion shoot and took hours to get ready!

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Meanwhile in the groom’s room – not a whole lot of activity going on. The boys hit the gym in the morning and got ready about an hour before we had to leave for the venue. Must be nice to be low maintenance!

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After we got all dolled up for the most important day of our lives, our photographer, who also happens to be my very talented cousin, was able to capture some amazing photos! SCEA7739MLEL3744EOGL5710

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Once we arrived at our wedding venue, Revere Golf Course, which overlooked the Las Vegas skyline, our photographer took photos of all the little details of our wedding. My husband and I love to read and love books so we turned our wedding into a literary themed wedding. I came up with the vision and with the help of my mother, mother-in-law and my girlfriends and sisters, we were able to pull off a grand wedding!

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Our ceremony took place hillside of the golf course during sunset which was absolutely breathtaking! We were able to say our vows just moments before the sun was setting which gave us the perfect opportunity for once in a lifetime wedding photos.

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After cocktail hour and pictures, we took the party inside the ballroom and the fun began as Mr. & Mrs. PMNJ3727YIUB5832RNBH9392

We had our first dance to Never Stop by Safety Suit (Wedding Edition). As I was dancing with the man of my dreams, I felt like I was on cloud nine. WBOR2161TKMS9012

After all the father/daughter, mother/son dances and all the speeches, we did the infamous money dance! We had so much fun dancing with all our loved ones and of course all the cash we got to spend paying off our honeymoon! We were so grateful for all our family & friends that danced with us and celebrated our special night. NQGN0644BSLW6355

Since we had a whole dessert table filled with donuts, cookies, cake pops, pretzel sticks, and cupcakes, the cutting of the cake was short and sweet. My sister baked three mini cakes for us, compliments of her makeshift bakery, Project Bakery LV. As much as we wanted to eat every last bit of it, we didn’t get a single slice because we were pressed for time 😦 MQFZ2790

I think we can all agree that the removal of the garter is the most awkward part of any wedding. I mean, what dad really wants to see their son-in-law hike up their daughter’s wedding dress?? It was totally awesome though because my husband is the life of the party, so he definitely made a show out of it which makes for a good laugh! The best part was having my cousin and his girlfriend of 12 years catch the garter & bouquet! IMFS7669CJNC9848MZDA3168YIOF6523BNXN8689NXRF5427

As the night grew, the dance floor was filled with everyone dancing to the latest track and having the best time! We literally have the best families and friends anyone could ask for! Regardless of the little things that happened during the day that would have stressed me out, I had girlfriends that kept the bubbly flowing through my system so I wouldn’t stress and a mom who handled everything without showing a sign of anxiety! AIJS9919HAQW2088CVNY2568

One year has gone by so fast and I couldn’t have asked for a better year with anyone else.  This past year we bought our very first house together & had our first baby girl together. Life is so great with a man like mine. Cheers to many more years, my love. IMG_6575

Confessions of a Racer’s Wife – Guide to being an Awesome Spectator

Racer's Wife

It’s no easy job running a marathon or an obstacle course race; it takes lots of training, hard work, and dedication. Whether it’s a full marathon, half marathon, or a mini 5K, you always need your best supporters pushing you to the finish line!

For as long as I’ve known my husband, he’s been a runner and extremely athletic. He loves obstacle course running and has his fair share of half marathons as well. He’s put in a lot of time and effort getting all the medals he owns and I couldn’t be any more proud.

As a professional spectator for the last four years and highly motivated cheerleader, comes great responsibility! Everyone praises the runner, rightfully so, but the spectators are just as important in any race. The spectators are the ones cheering you on in the sidelines and making sure you’re hydrated at every stop. We’re the people yelling “Keep Going! You’re Almost There!!” as you’re at the final stretch of your race. As much as I enjoy watching my husband run, it’s a tough job keeping up.

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This is my guide to being an awesome spectator:

  1. Be Prepared. Bring a towel to wipe down, plastic bag to put your wet/dirty clothes in, extra clothes, flip-flops (they’re just easier to pack vs. another pair of sneakers), sunblock, a few frozen water bottles, mobile phone charger (you may be waiting for hours so having a mobile charge comes in handy), and your choice of caffeine.
  2. Don’t Forget your Paperwork.  Yup, even as a spectator, you have paperwork! Print out your waivers at home and have them filled out prior to race day. Nothing is worse than arriving to the venue and having to wait in long lines to fill out a waiver. Also, print out the course map/spectator routes too! Some races don’t provide them so having them printed is huge help.
  3. Cheer on Other Runners. One of the coolest feelings is being able to see other runners on the course and cheering them on as they go! They’re working their butts off in the heat; running up and down hills and doing obstacles every few minutes. They love when people are cheering them on because there are times when there’s a long stretch and no one is there to tell them to keep going.
  4. Stay Hydrated and Bring Snacks. Depending on how long the race is, you could be outside for four to five hours. Make sure you’re staying hydrated. Lots of water & snacks!
  5. Bring a Folding Chair or Tripod Travel Chair. These things are so convenient! It beats standing for hours or sitting on dirt. I have a Tripod Travel Chair and it’s the best thing! It’s easy to carry and it’s light! Hooks right on to my backpack!
  6. Have Fun! I love making friends at races. If you’re alone, it could get boring waiting around so making friends is fun! You’re both there for the same reason, so why not talk about it right?

Our First Road Trip – Tips for Traveling with an Infant

Traveling

It’s been about a week since my last post, but I am back! California has always been my favorite place to take a quick trip for the weekend especially since we have family and friends out there. It’s been five months since we’ve been to California and this past weekend was our first road trip with our little babe! Needless to say she had a great time!

She was able to meet her Great Grandma for the first time and I swear it was the sweetest moment. Along with doing that, we took her to her very first Enchanted Pumpkin Patch and got to capture the best pictures!

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Although we had a blast in California, packing for a newborn was stressful! As first time parents, we had no idea what to expect nor how much to pack. Even though it was a weekend trip, I felt like I packed way more than I should have only because unexpected things could happen that we might not be prepared for.

On our drive back home to Las Vegas, I was able to come up with a few tips that will help on our next adventure and hopefully yours too.

  1.  It’s always better to overpack than under pack. I brought two swaddle blankets including the one we traveled with, multiple onesies/outfits in the event they throw up or get dirty, pjs, extra burp cloths, her bath towel, bath things, two cans of formula, extra diapers, extra wipes, and her bottles. In addition to all those items, we also brought her stroller, Boppy Pillow, and her Snuggle Me bed. My husband made fun of me, but they sure came in handy when we needed it!
  2. Drive during their bedtime. This was tricky for us because her bedtime starts at 8:30pm and we had left around 6pm. The instant we got on the road, she fell asleep and slept the whole way with the exception of making a quick stop to stretch her out. It threw off her entire bedtime routine all weekend which was stressful because she would be wide awake at 2am.
  3. Dress for comfort. No need to put your baby in a cute outfit or multiple layers. Throw a onside on, some socks and call it a night. With multiple stops to feed or change, the last thing you want is undressing your baby that’s wearing pants, a onesie, and a sweater.
  4. Always have the essentials handy.  We packed her things in a mini luggage, but kept her essentials in her diaper bag which was in the backseat with us the whole time. It was easy to make her bottles or change her diaper quickly.

I’m sure as we experience more road trips, it’ll get easier to pack! I thought I packed a lot, and then my daughter came and packed more than my husband & I combined!

What I Accomplished (Or Didn’t) While I Was on Maternity Leave

Women have this preconceived vision of what maternity leave is like.. It may be a life that some women want; to be a stay at home mom, but the reality of having a newborn can be a real wake up call. I thought I was going to do so much while I was on leave; pick up a new hobby, organize my closet, DIY projects, but no. Since being on maternity leave, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished a lot when I look at my day-to-day activities. My days have been spent in the house binge watching TV shows on Netflix & Hulu, hour-long naps throughout the day, and lazy meals. It’s a treat when people actually come to visit because it’s the only interaction I get with adults and the only reason I get ready.

It’s no vacation being on leave like people think it is. Yes, it’s been amazing being able to bond with my little lady all day, but I haven’t been out gallivanting the city showing off my child because lets face it; going anywhere in public with a newborn is so much work! Having to get her diaper bag ready, the car seat, the bottles, and the timing..Is she going to stay asleep long enough for me to get some grocery shopping done? Or is she going to cry once the cart stops moving? All these things are stressful to think about and maybe I just need to face the fear, go out and deal with it as it happens.

But when I do look at the bigger picture, I have accomplished a few things that I’m actually proud to admit.

  1. I’ve learned to be patient. This one will take some more time, but the first month I nearly cried every time she cried not because she was crying hysterically, but because I didn’t know what was wrong with her. Now when she cries, I’ve learned that if she is fed, cleaned, and there are no physical signs of pain, I need to let her self-soothe herself.
  2. I’ve taken the help. When they say it takes a village to raise a child, I now truly understand that. We are so blessed to have so much family offer help and I’ve finally learned to let them help us. We can’t take on parenthood alone, so the fact that we have a village to help is incredible!
  3. Daily walks around the neighborhood. I may not go out everyday with Rylee, but I’ve made an effort everyday to take a walk around the neighborhood just to get out of the house for a bit and get some fresh air. It can be tough to pull yourself together and walk outside for a bit, but it helps break up the day and gives us a reason to stretch our legs and expose Rylee to the outside.
  4. Learning not to worry about work. As a Meeting Planner I’m constantly juggling two phones, answering emails on my commute to work, and doing multiple things at once. I’ve learned that right now my only job is to be a mom and although it’s hard not worrying about work, the moment I stopped looking at emails, I found it a lot more enjoyable to spend time with my daughter.
  5. She’s alive & healthy! That’s the biggest thing here right? There’s no bigger fear than taking your baby home from the hospital not knowing what to do. It’s been two months and she’s growing and she’s healthy.

My time as a SAHM is quickly ending and the thought of leaving my daughter is making me sad. There is so much more to learn and it’s a bittersweet feeling having to go back to work in a few short weeks. I know these seem like little accomplishments, but for me, they’re maternity leave milestones! Every accomplishment I’ve done has somehow impacted my life and has taught me something new everyday.

Gather Here with Grateful Hearts; Fall Home Decor

Fall Decor

Growing up I lived in a house that was always decorated during the holidays. October – December were my favorite months of the year because the decorations at my parents house always made me feel warm and happy. It was a place that brought all our families together to eat, laugh, & enjoy the company quite often. Christmas time especially was like walking into a Winter Wonderland! Most families have one Christmas tree; my family had five! Safe to say that my mom wins at home decor.

I had some time yesterday to finally add some Fall touches to my little family’s first home.  I’ve always loved interior design but never had the patience to stand there and contemplate the placement of a picture frame. I live for simplicity and inexpensive home decor pieces!  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

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Why Mommy Friends are Important

Mommy Friends

I’ve had so many girlfriends this year that have gotten pregnant or have given birth and it’s such an exciting time in all our lives as we’re becoming first time mommies. It’s amazing to see the growth of our little ones day by day and share stories with each other, but the real MVP’s are the mommas! We are constantly on the go 24/7 and even with a little downtime for ourselves, we’re still thinking about our families at home.

Once you become a mother, your whole world shifts. You never thought you could worry so much until you left your baby for the first time or the fact that you probably wear mom jeans because they have the elastic belt and they’re much more comfier and easier to put on!

Before I continue, I wanted to say that all my friends, whether they are parents or not, are amazing. What I thought was a great friendship before has only become even stronger after seeing how incredible they are with our daughter. I found that having mommy friends are so important though because they can relate 100%! New moms especially. We’ve all been in the same shoes and have experienced the same thing (some more than others), but nonetheless, mommy friends get it.

  1. They don’t judge you. We all parent in different ways, but just because we’re doing things differently, doesn’t mean we’re doing it wrong. It’s great to exchange techniques and see what works well and what doesn’t. The great thing about mom friends is they don’t make you feel bad for making choices for you child.
  2. They cry with you during the hard times and laugh with you during the good times.  One of the best feelings is having mommy friends who understand your pain and suffering when you’re home alone with a crying baby. It’s not an easy job being a SAHM so it’s nice having other moms who understand what you’re going through; the good, the bad, and the ugly!
  3. Motherhood isn’t meant to be a solo gig. Having mom friends is essential in this role because they can relate to you in every way. Yes, we have partners, but they don’t understand the importance of how poop should look or the absolute pain of breastfeeding. My mommy friends are my lifeline because I know if I have any questions, who better to ask than them?

In the end, we all come from different cultures, religion, and backgrounds, but the one thing that brings us all together is we have the responsibility of raising our tiny humans and making sure they are growing up in a happy, healthy, & loving home.

 

 

 

Marriage after Baby – The Honest Truth

Marriage After BabyJXOY6323There’s no doubt that your relationship changes after you have a baby, but no one tells you how it’s really like after the baby arrives. When it was just the two of you, your Sunday mornings were for sleeping in, your lack of sleep was by choice, your schedule of events was free, and you had double income flowing into the bank. Life was good and your relationship was solid, but no matter how great you are, no relationship get untouched by the effects of a newborn baby.

Here are five things I’ve learned about my marriage after Little Ry was born that no one ever told me.

  1. The fighting is temporary. It’s easy to disagree on certain things and raise your voice which then leads to arguing about something that could have been avoided had we just communicated better. It’s hard enough trying to keep this tiny human healthy & alive, it’s another thing to do the same with your marriage, but I’ve learned that it’s only temporary. Fighting may come more often than it did before, but saying you’re sorry and truly meaning it goes a long way these days.
  2. Intimacy seems like a distant memory. Of course it takes time to heal, but keeping things in the bedroom sexy is important in any relationship… I just don’t know how some parents have time for that with a newborn. Trying to find time to do that between feedings, changings, and finding time to brush your teeth – I just don’t see how it’s possible!
  3. Feelings are like a rollercoaster. There are so many feelings on both ends once the baby arrives; joy, excitement, stress, nervousness, love, etc.. but each day your feelings are different towards each other. You’ll have many good days and many bad days and that’s okay.
  4. Small gestures make big impacts. Now that you have a newborn baby, there isn’t any time for grand gestures or big surprises anymore, but something I’ve learned to appreciate is the small things my husband does for me without me knowing or having to tell him. Like when he gets all of the baby’s bedtime things ready or gets me a coffee or a surprise snack when he runs to the store. Those things are a tremendous help and never go unnoticed.
  5. You sacrifice a lot. When it was just the two of you, you could be selfish with your time & money. Go on weekend trips and splurge on eating out, shopping, and going places. Now that you have a baby, every decision you make is revolved around the baby.  You sacrifice your time with friends because you have to, you sacrifice your truck because you know getting a family car is more practical, and you sacrifice taking care of yourself because your baby requires so much love & attention. Of course these are all great things to sacrifice because you have your little one in this world!

Everyone says the first year of having a baby is the hardest, but I think with communication, plenty of date nights, and a little extra love; you’ll be okay.