Wedding Recap: The Ceremony

Note:  All of the pictures with watermarks are taken by our photographer, Nathan Peel.

So now that we’ve walked down the aisle (ugly crying face and all), it was time for the actual reason to be there:  THE CEREMONY! 

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The entire time that my dad was up there he was shaking.  I couldn’t believe it. We said our “I do’s” and it was time to pray.

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My cousin Ellen read from the Old Testament Song of Solomon 2:10-17 (yup, it was RACY!).  I felt like it was a joyful verse declaring love.  Our friend, Theo, read from the New Testament Romans 12:1-2,9-18, which was about being a good person (Matt is such a good person!)

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During the readings, I kept thinking “Did I choose the longest verses in the Bible?”  I was also staring at the altar wondering where my expensive flower arrangements were. (They were on the lower railing).  I also kept looking at my Aunt Mary (who was the organist), but then looking away when I saw the tears in her eyes.

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Clearly everyone was paying attention to the sermon.  I honestly had no idea what he was saying.  I was wondering how long it was until the reception.

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We then moved up to the altar to say our vows (we did NOT write our own). 

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Wow!  Matt looks so happy in that picture!

We exchanged rings.

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And lit our unity candle.  I couldn’t find the wick on the candle lighter, so I whispered “Let’s just pick up the candles”.

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A quick prayer and then, I pronounce you husband and wife!

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Matt surprised me by taking a nice long kiss.

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Back down the aisle and one more quick kiss.

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One of our ring bearers, Colin, was given a raccoon for doing such a great job!

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YAY!!!  We got hitched!!  Everyone looks so relieved during the Recessional! (The Wedding March by Mendelssohn) Doesn’t that just make you think of a happy wedding?

Homemade Gnocchi

So I have been scouring Pinterest and the internet for recipes to use up random things in our pantry.  I have this random can of pumpkin and had no idea what to make with it.  After my fingers did the walking . . .



I found it on simply recipes.  It took a little longer than I was planning, and I actually forgot to include the parmesan cheese. But still delicious.

It’s amazing that I can take these random foods that I don’t think that I like, put ‘em together, and DELICIOUS!! See, most pumpkin dishes also involve cinnamon (yuck) and I’m still not sure about ricotta outside of cannolis.  But this was really tasty!  I think it’s the sauted parts in butter.  Crispy and delicious!


Maybe next time I’ll include a bed of sauteed spinach.

Tried any new recipes lately?  What’s randomly in your pantry?

Purdue Alumni in Boston

Tonight we attended a Purdue Alumni Association event by going to the Celtics vs. Magic game.  After the game, there was a meet and greet with the Purdue Alumni.  And I mean ALL of the Purdue alumni in Boston!

(hint hint . . . JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore)

A while back, Matt and I discussed going to a Celtics game.  When I received an e-mail from the PAA about this opportunity, I couldn’t click fast enough!  We sat way up in the nose bleeds of the TD Banknorth Garden (or is it the Gaaaa-den?).

While JaJuan has seen more playing time, he actually never got on the floor against the Magic.  However, Rajon Rondo was out, so E’Twaun got to go be a back up point guard!  Here are a few of my pics of him on the floor (he’s number 55):



JaJuan is actually sitting all the way on the right of the bench.

After the game (which the Celtics won!), we got to do the meet and greet.  Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to do autographs.  I don’t think they understand the disappointment felt by my BFF, Kathleen.  I was going to surprise her with a signed pennant (since they don’t have any programs due to the lock-out.  Yeah figure that out.)  Anyways, it was fun chatting with these guys.  They’re so down to earth.




JaJuan first said he had a question for us:  “Are you guys Patriots fans?”  We all laughed and said “HELL NO!” In case you didn’t know, Purdue is an hour from Indianapolis, so we’re mostly Colts fans (thus the Pats hatred).

Here are a few other highlights:

  • What’s the best part about the NBA?
    • JJ:  The way they treat you.  We get to ride in private jets and stay at fancy hotels. It’s pretty sweet.
  • What do you want to do the most in Boston?
    • EM: Go shopping!
  • What the Tippecanoe Mall wasn’t good enough?
    • EM: chuckles (everyone chuckled)
  • Do you guys get to talk to Matt Painter often?
    • EM: Yup, I just spoke to him a few days ago.
  • Does he still call you “Smooge”?
    • EM: Yeah.
  • Who have you met in the NBA that made you the most starstruck?
    • JJ:  Probably our teammates.  The first few days our mouths were just open.  We couldn’t believe we were playing with these guys.
  • Is Kevin Garnett as crazy in practice as he is on the court?
    • JJ:  He’s very detail oriented.  These guys are very professional and work really hard.

I also asked them if they’ve told Doc Rivers to draft Robbie.  They laughed and said that it would be really cool.  They both said that they’re happy for Robbie and hope he gets drafted and does well in the NBA.

I also learned that JJ and E’Twaun live in the same town that I work.  On the way home, we joked that I should go sit outside the grocery stores of the town and wait for them.  “Oh . . . look, I just happen to have this Celtics pennant.  No I haven’t been waiting here for 8 hours!!”  I think in the picture below I almost look like Creepy McCreeperson.


Hee heee . . . I will fiiiiind yoooooooooouuuuuu

After the meet and greet, we did a few Boiler Ups, which naturally lead into a singing of the fight song!  SCHOOL SPIRIT!! YEAH!  There were some Duke alumni down there as well to meet JJ Redick and Chris Duhon of the Orlando Magic.  There was no singing or cheering over there!

It was pretty awesome to meet these guys.  I only wish that I had figured out how to do a video on Matt’s camera BEFORE it was over.  Oh well.


(P.S.  Anyone else notice that the seats of the Garden and black and gold?  I think it’s for Purdue.  Although it could be for the Bruins . . . .)

April Randomness

Well the calendar has turned to the month of April.


Who is that cute dog?  Smile with tongue out

I’ve been doing the 30 Day Shred, however it hasn’t been so easy to find 20 minutes in the evening.  Last week I worked really late several days, and didn’t want to work out at 10pm, even if it was for 20 minutes.  So this week, I’m challenging myself to get up and do it in the morning.  (Confession: tonight I did it while I dinner was in the oven and not in the morning).

So how is it going?  CHALLENGING!  The workout is made up of (3) 6 minute circuits, with 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs.  For me, the first circuit kicks my butt!  It’s 30 seconds of push-ups and then 1 minute of squat and presses, then repeat.  The combination of those two make my arms jell-o by the second round of pushups.  I used to be so good at pushups; I don’t know what happened.  Oh wait, I trained for a half marathon and stopped doing strength training.  The other part that kills me in the first circuit is the cardio.  It’s not that I get tired.  It’s that my feet hurt.  Constantly jumping really hurts the bottom of my feet.  This is something that’s always happened to me.  I even made sure to buy cross-training shoes, and they still hurt.  Anyone else have this issue?  Since they really hurt today, I’m wondering if it’s the heels that I wear all the time.  Hmmmmmm . . . .

In other news, here’s to making food at home this week!  We went to the grocery last night (which apparently were almost all closed early due to the holiday.  The third one we tried at 8:30pm was only open for more minutes.  UGH!).  Tonight’s dinner was a pasta bake based on this recipe:


I used whole wheat penne and ground turkey and added a random can of olives.  It was pretty darn tasty. 

Anybody else get their butt kicked with 30 Day Shred?  What’s on your weekly menu?  Don’t you hate when you live in New England and grocery stores aren’t 24 hours!?!

Let’s Get Physical


HA!  Okay, seriously.  Until tonight I hadn’t done anything more physical than walk the dog (oh there was that tap class and recital) since the Mini Heart 15K a week and a half ago.  I’ve been trying to brainstorm what to do with running and other ways of physical activities.  See, I want to run another half marathon, but the timing doesn’t work out until the fall.  That gives me about 5-6 months to “train”.  I have been corresponding with my friend (and sorority big sister), Marnie, who’s a professional runner!  Well not really, but she runs marathons and is pregnant with her third kid, so she must have some clue about where to go.  She sent me a novel about running bunch of suggestions, especially talking about speedwork to get faster!



( Insert incriminating picture of Marnie from college.  Maybe it’s good that digital cameras weren’t so prevalent when we lived together in 2001.  Let’s just say Marnie couldn’t sit on chairs without arms!)

Finally today I sat down with the internet and came across the Smart Coach on Runners World.  I put in my current half marathon pace (2:40) and how many miles I wanted to run and the intensity, and it spit out a training schedule for 24 weeks.  The schedule is full of tempo runs, speed runs, easy runs, and long runs.  Here’s my week 1:


Tonight I was supposed to do a 5 mile run with 3 miles @ 11:57 min/mile tempo.  Well, apparently a big bowl of pasta with Cincinnati chili and beans (aka a version of a “three-way”) is not the right thing to eat.  I did do the 3 miles @ tempo, but I didn’t do the warm up and cool down.

Has anyone ever used Smart Coach?  I find it very strange that it asks us to run at such a slow pace.   I mean, 13:36 min/mile is 4.4 mph??  What if I run faster than that?  It felt strange putting the treadmill on 5.0 mph.  I felt like a turtle.  It was not “easy”, but I wasn’t pushing myself.  In looking at the weeks, many, many weeks to come, these times do decrease, but it feels strange at first.

Advice on Smart Coach?

In other news . . . I’m also adding a fun “strength training / cardio” workout!  Inspired by my wedding planner who just did Jillian’s 30 Day Shred, I downloaded it to my Tivo ($5 on Amazon for a direct download!)  I downloaded it about a week ago, but I didn’t have any hand weights.  Finally made it to Target tonight!  So starting tomorrow and continuing for 30 days (perhaps with two days off when I go to Vegas) I’ll be spending quality 20 minutes with Jillian Michaels!


So there are my plans for staying physical!  Are you embarking on any new exercise plans?  Completed anything that you loved?

Mini Heart 15K in Cincinnati

This past weekend was pretty awesome!  I flew to Cincinnati to accomplish a multitude of items.  I needed to see my nephew and Grandma.


(that is my nephew and not my grandma!)

I attended my friend’s bridal shower (I’m a bridesmaid in her wedding in May!)


Since it was St. Patrick’s Day, there were some themed cookies.



(Sarah has an announcement!  Not really, we were just having fun with the super cute banner!)

And I ran a 15K through the hills of Cincinnati with my BFF, Kathleen.  Running a 15K on the Sunday morning after St. Patrick’s Day means no boozing (well limited boozing) the night before, and also requires a  5:45am wake up call.  Boo!!  Since the Disney Princess Half Marathon three weeks earlier, I’d only run a few times 4-5 miles each.  I was nervous about running, although I realized that I had run this distance twice in the last month.  So I should have known that I could at least complete it.

The 15K course runs from downtown Cincinnati out Columbia Parkway and back.


Thinking about it later, I didn’t even realize at the time how awesome it was to run on Columbia Parkway.  This is one of the main roads from downtown to the East side (where I grew up), and it is a winding, hilly road with narrow lanes.  It follows the Ohio River and offers magnificent views.  I kept thinking about beautiful it was as I was running.  The views looked something like this:


How did the run go?  Well, a few things . . . first, I peed right when we got downtown.  Then right before the race started, I felt like I had to pee again (I was downing water before the race, because it was hot and I was afraid of dehydration.)  Usually me having to pee before stuff is just nerves.  In fact, if I don’t have to pee before going on stage or giving a presentation, I should probably be more nervous.  Unfortunately, this urge was real.  I stopped in the second mile (and waited about 3 minutes) to go in the port-a-potty.  YAY!

Something else that I wasn’t prepared for?  Hills!  I’ve heard all about the hills around Cincinnati.  I mean I grew up there, I’m well aware of the topography.  Of course the my usually running route along the Charles River is pretty darn flat.  There were lots of walking breaks.  Especially when I turned up Torrence.  I turned the corner to do the dipsy-doodle of 0.20 miles up and back along that street and thought “WHAT THE EFFF!?!”  There was no way that I was running that.  I did run the last 0.3 miles, a nice downhill part!  And even gave a smile and a thumbs up to the camera man.


I think that’s actually a decent photo.  Sporting my Half Marathon shirt!  I wish that the Half Marathon part wasn’t in yellow text.  I wore this shirt to tap class, and they were all laughing at me being a princess!  READ THE REST OF THE SHIRT!

Mile Splits:


See my awesome 15 minute Mile #2?  Stupid pee!  I also like my randomness of my pace.  I had a freaking 10:51 minute mile (along with my 10:42 jog downhill to the finish)!!!!  Those rolling hills were just killer!  See the elevation below?


and that lovely spike around Mile #6.  That was Torrence.  What grade is that?  (as an engineer, I should be able to calculate it).  Let’s see you gain 123 ft in elevation over 0.22 miles which is 1161.6 ft.  That is a 10.5% incline!  HOLY SCHNIKES!

Anyway, I finished in 1:53, and felt pretty good.


Doggy 5k

I finally found my camera cord, so I can post some pictures from the fall!

Back in November we ran in the 2nd Annual Doggy 5k at Castle Island to benefit MSPCA-Angell.  I would highly recommend this race to anyone in the Boston area who love dogs and 5ks.  It was so much fun!

We were out at Castle Island, which is in Southie (that’s South Boston to the rest of the world).  It was a beautiful day, if only a bit windy out on the ocean.


Over three hundred people (176 of which brought dogs) showed up.  There were tons of dogs of all shapes and sizes.



Matt ran with April and I just tried to run the whole thing (didn’t work).  Matt and April finished in 29:42, and that was with a break to lay down!  April got worn out for a second.  I ran it in 39:40 (this was about a month before I started half marathon training, I’m much faster now).   The winning dog, named Murdoch, was a white Westie who ran it in 17:13!!  Doesn’t he look like he’s having fun!?!


There were tons of great pictures of Matt and April running.  See if you can spot them coming around the corner!


And here they come to the finish line:


At the end, I got some good kisses and snuggles from the best little runner (oh, and Matt, too)


It was a great day!  I hope we find another doggy 5k to run this spring or summer!

Kettlebell Pinterest

Oh, Pinterest.  It’s an incredible resource.  Men just don’t understand.

A few weeks ago I went searching for some more kettlebell workouts.  I’ve been really good at continuing my “ritual” of doing some kettlebells while watching “The Biggest Loser”.   I mean, I see them working out, why should I do it, too?  So I went to my fitness board on Pinterest to switch things up.

4 Kettlebell Full Body Moves from Women’s Health Magazine

Phew!  I was sweating by the end.  I topped it off with 3 one minute planks.  Gotta get those abs back in shape!

On another note, let’s talk about one of my favorite activities: SLEEPING!

So, a friend of mine recommended the app called “Sleep Cycle”.  You place your iPhone on your bed near your pillow, and the accelerometer in the phone tracks motion.  The less you move, the more likely that you are in deep sleep.  You can either just use it for statistics, or use it as an alarm.  You give it a window of when you’d like to wake up, and it waits until you’re lightly sleeping to wake up.  I tried to do that last night, but it might not have worked.  I’ll try again tonight.

What did my phone capture?  My Yeti nightmare!  I had a dream that I was on the phone with someone, when they screamed “OH NO! HERE COMES A YETI!”  Then all I heard was growling noises, and I knew that my friend had been eaten.  I woke up, but the growling noise wouldn’t stop.  I was scared until I realized that the “growling” was actually Matt (who has a cold) snoring.  I pushed him to make him shift and stop snoring.

Anyway, here’s my stats from sleeping last night:


You can see my Yeti dream waking me up at 6am.  I’m interested to see how it works tonight!

Do you remember your dreams?  Any fun kettlebell workouts?  Are you also obsessed with Pinterest?  Follow me and I’ll follow you!

More Princess Stuff

So, the pictures and video are in!!  There are two videos at this link.

First a video of me crossing the finish line.  When the announcer starts saying names, my name is like the third one (hint, it’s “Anne”)  HA!!  And I cross the finish line around 2:59:20.  Pink shirt, black pants, skirt.  Then in the second is right after going through the castle.  I’m the one who stops and decides to wait in line for a picture! 

Then there are the pictures:


That one that I waited for in front of the castle.  That grimace after going under Spaceship Earth.  I was so ready to be finished by that point.  The big smile with my medal.  Oh, and the “Wait, are we taking a picutre?” with Meeko.

Speaking of princesses, who watches the Real Housewives series? (hangs head in shame, just started getting sucked into Atlanta . . it’s the last hold out for me). Check out this clip from SNL over the weekend:  The Real Housewives of Disney

So of course everyone’s question is, what’s next?

Well first, I’m running a 15K on March 18th in Cincinnati.  Then, I’m trying to figure out how to run another half marathon before the end of the year.  The logistics of finding one in a place that I am or want to go along with other plans for the year is a big difficult.  If I wasn’t in a wedding the weekend after, I’d seriously consider doing the Flying Pig.  It’s supposed to be a great hometown race, even better since it’s MY hometown!  Alas, the timing isn’t great.  Maybe another year.  So now I’m looking at some this fall.  Maybe the Chicago Half Marathon or the Air Force Half Marathon at Wright-Patt (my cousin is running her first half at this one.  Does anyone have any recommendations?  I feel that I’ve been spoiled with running Disney first.  I just want a fun-ish, flat race, where I can run a bit faster, but not be the last person over the finish line.

The Rest of Disney

When I decided to run the Princess Half Marathon at Disney World, I chose it for two reasons: one being the wonderful things that I’d heard about the race, and two I GET TO VISIT MY FRIEND!  One of my best friends from college works for Disney, so I’ve been meaning to visit her for years.

Our day flying down to Orlando started out bright and early.  I didn’t really sleep the night before, so I’d hoped to get some shut eye on the 7am flight.  I think that I dozed a bit, but apparently there are lots of kids on direct flights to Orlando and they are way too energetic that early in the morning.

After landing in Orlando, we made our way to meet up with Kathleen and Mellissa for lunch and picking up a few things at the Sports Authority before going to the Expo.










There were some characters at the expo.











That is a man.  And it’s a bit difficult to see, but he is wearing skinny jeans, high heels, a pink leopard print shrug, and Hellraiser hair.  We followed him into the expo and had fun with all of the attention.  The footmen at the carriage outside even asked “Why doesn’t Cinderella let us do our hair like that?”  CRAZINESS!

After the expo, we checked into our Port Orleans Resort.



Our first park we hit up was Epcot.  While Mellissa and Kathleen were enjoying the beer of Germany,


Matt and I were enjoying the 7 Dwarfs, like Dopey


And Sleepy (didn’t have to act that much)


We walked over to the ESPN Wide World of Sports to watch Purdue beat #13 Michigan (YAY!) and then came back for our fast pass on Test Track.

We parted ways so that I could set everything out for the race and get to bed at a reasonable time.  Alas, I have not gone to sleep before 11pm since I was 12 years old and being exhausted made no difference.

Sunday morning, I woke up and, ya know, ran 13.1 miles.  After the race, I made my friends ask me “Anne, you just ran a half marathon, what are you going to do next?”  I screamed “I’M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!”

After a brief amount of stretching, a shower, and some beignets, we made our way to the Animal Kingdom.


The last time that I was in Animal Kingdom was 2000, and there was only a few attractions.  Of course, we still had to go on the Safari again. Here are a few of the fun pictures from that.


We also took a picture with King Louie and Baloo (prompting a rendition of “Bare Necessities” while waiting in line).


King Louie tried to come over and congratulate me on my medal.  Although we were all confused what he was gesturing at and thought that he was groping me.  Okay, not really. We figured it out, and he gave me a round of applause. I wonder how frustrating it must be to be in one of those costumes and not be able to speak.

We also rode the highlights of Animal Kingdom including the Dinosaur ride, Bug’s life, and Expedition Everest.











Clearly Matt was excited about the roller coaster!  (Kathleen has a pretty good face, too).

Funny story: as we were leaving the park, we were approached by a Disney researcher to take a survey on dining.  Mellissa initially agreed, but couldn’t partake, since she works there.  So we took it instead.  While we were back in the computer alcove, there was a family also participating.  The 8 year old son kept bothering his dad “DAD!  ARE YOU FINISHED!?!  GO FASTER!?!  I’M READ TO GOOOOO!!!!”.  The dad finally told his kid to “Shut up!”, to which the kid responded “You fu*king shut up!”  We snapped our heads around and the kid was dragged away by his mom!!  TROUBLE!

Anyway, after the park, we returned to our hotel to take a nap (all of us had been up since ‘o’ dark hundred hours).  Then we went out to dinner.  My left ankle stiffened up while I was sleeping, and getting up and down stairs started to hurt a bit more, but I managed.  Next door to the restaurant, was a Menchi’s.  After hearing all about it in the blog world, I knew that I had to try a bit.


Chocolate, vanilla, and cake batter with reese’s pieces, nonpareils, and mini pb cups.  DELICIOUS!  Maybe it’s good that this doesn’t exist in Boston.

Monday, after a very nice sleep, we made our way to Hollywood Studios (formerly known as MGM Studios).  I don’t have too many pictures, but we rode the Aerosmith Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror (did you know that it’s different now?  It doesn’t just drop twice, but there are 900 different combinations of ups and downs!?!), Muppets, The Great Movie Ride, and the newest attraction MIDWAY MANIA!  If you go, get a fast-pass for it right away.  It’s a new ride based on Toy Story where you get to shoot things and play against your car partner!  SO MUCH FUN!  Our only picture from Hollywood Studios is of Matt and a Mickey cookie.  Mellissa knows the way to his heart.


We then hopped on the monorail to get over to the Magic Kingdom.


Oh yeah, so I wore my medal all over the parks on Sunday and Monday.  Heck yeah I was showing that thing off!!  Plus it helped explain why I might have had a hitch in my step.  Truthfully though, I was walking fine on Monday.  Just felt a bit sore, as if I’d worked my legs out hard.

We got to ride the renovated Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain (which went way faster than I remembered), Splash Mountain (apparently a full car of 8 adults makes a lot of splash, we were soaked!), and probably some others that I can’t remember.  We also rode a Buzz Lightyear ride that was the poor man’s Midway Mania (it was the prototype).














I have a really strange look on my face, because I was trying to figure out why I was winning by so much.  Immediately when the ride started, my laser jumped up to 300000 points.  It was perplexing.

Kathleen bought a Jessie hat.


See how wet we were?

On Tuesday, we had all day to kill.  Kathleen left that morning, and we had to meet up with Mellissa to return her toll transponder.  So we decided to spend a bit more time in Epcot.

I recreated a picture from my last time at Epcot (senior year of high school) with my Physics II loving friend, Mandy.


Matt enjoyed seeing the sharks at “The Seas” with Nemo, as well as Shrubbery Eeyore.


And I finally got to drink at Disney World!  We decided to practice for our upcoming trip to Paris by sampling local cuisine.


I stuck with Champagne, and Matt tried a chocolate Crepe (and Coke, that’s French, right?).

After spending all day in Epcot, we rushed over to the airport to fly home.  Sad smile  We were so lucky over the four days.  The weather was amazing (60 and overcast on race day and finally 80 and sunny two days later).  The parks didn’t seem incredibly crowded.  The longest that we waited for a ride (due in part to fast-passes) was about 30 minutes.  Mellissa was an amazing tour guide.  She knew which rides to rush over to fast passes and made us incredibly efficient.  It was a great four day vacation, including that half marathon.  I’d highly recommend it to anyone who wanted to try for a half and also loves Disney!  YAY!


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