Monday, December 31, 2012

Remembering 2012, Welcoming 2013!!!

Happy New Year!!! Is it really 2013 already?!? I am so so excited for all that 2013 brings! But before looking forward, I wanted to look back on 2012 and see all Kyle and I have accomplished and experienced. It was probably not one of my most favorite years, but it was still an adventure. Here are my top 5 moments from 2012:

#5- Tackling and Passing my Boards
Last spring was a very difficult/stressful time for me. To go from an intense day of school, only to come home and study for hours on end was really hard. I think the "hard" part was just being secluded and away from friends and family. It really was very personal and inner battle. But the results were amazing!

#4 - Racing with my Family: Rock and Roll and 5K Diabetes Race
I love doing races, especially with my family. The 5K run for Diabetes was just so much fun, from the warm up on the art museum steps to having my entire family and Kyle running. I hope we can do many more! (Also I got my PR by 4 minutes in the Rock and Roll Half in September, I hope to beat that this year!)
My #1 fan :)

Race for Diabetes Cure 5K

#3 -- My Wedding Dress Shopping Experience
It was just so surreal and fun to go out wedding dress shopping. As I posted in a previous post, I just loved getting to spend time with all the women in my life. I felt so incredibly lucky and blessed!
#2 -- June in Lewes, Delaware
Honestly, this was such a fun fun fun month. Probably the best month of the year. After working so hard over the spring, to have such a fun month on rotation (doing ob/gyn) and then having so much summer fun when I wasn't working. It was the most stress free and awesome month. I think I need to live near the beach..

 #1 -- Trip to Costa Rica with Kyle Bee
This was probably the highlight of the year. I love love traveling so much, and this was the first time Kyle and I went on a vacation just us two. Plus it was a week of relaxation on a beautiful beach with amazing food. It brought us a lot closer together, and I can't wait till our next vacation -- which will be our HONEYMOON!!! ahh (i should also probably start planning this eek)

So Happy New Year to Everyone!! Here is to a year full of health, happiness and success - in whatever way you measure success! I am welcoming 2013 with open arms, because I am becoming Kyle's wifey!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Save The Date!!

We finally decided on a Save The Date card and they just came in the mail! I initially had wanted to do a DIY card, and I found a really cute idea on (i love this site!). However, between time constraints and costs, it seems like the DIY would have actually been more time and more money than a magnet for the fridge. I always liked the magnet idea because it's a really easy way for people to remember your date by having it right on the refrigerator every day! I also ended up liking this idea because it gave us so many options to custom make a magnet that seemed to fit our taste and our wedding image. I love how our magnet looks slightly vintage (hint, hint.) I feel like within the next couple of months we will have a lot more of wedding decisions finalized and the save the dates just make it seem that much more real! 8 months till the big happy day! Check your mailboxes!

And a fun little thing I found...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Christmas!

Even though this December has been one of the most difficult, it still is the best time of year to remember to hug your loved ones a little tighter, share your smiles with a stranger, and tell the people you love just how much they mean to you. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful family and amazing friends. Merry Christmas! (next year we will be Mr. and Mrs.)

May Your Days Be Merry And Bright

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Love is love. And loss is loss. No matter what the age.

A lot has happened in the past few weeks. It seems since after Thanksgiving, it has become a chaotic and difficult time. After Thanksgiving I came down with something that totally wiped me out for two weeks. My doctor thought it might be mono, but luckily the test came back negative. Either way, I've been feeling lousy and lacking energy, which is tough to have at this time of the year.
         On a much much bigger level, my Grandmother had a massive stroke on December 1st, that has left her completely comatose and debilitated. Because she has never wished to be on a ventilator or have any type of feeding tube to sustain life, my family has been by her side in Hospice since then as we watch our beloved Grandmother slip away from us. This experience has been so unbelievably trying on my family, especially my father. We all knew that she would not live forever, but we also never imagined it would be this soon and happen in this type of way. My grandma to put it truthfully, is such a ball-buster. She is a Lockwood, in fact. I would have put money down that she lived to be 100. She has had so many medical problems, including three other past strokes, but she has always seemed to handle them with determination and motivation to move forward, and she would become her normal self once again. This is why it has made this time seem so unreal, because I think we really were all hoping that Grandma would wake up, and be back to her old ways of coming up with stories of having traveled everywhere in the world, going back to AC with her girlfriends (and maybe getting stuck there), calling up to talk about the Yankees, making fun of cherry pies, re-gifting random things from around her house, or surprising us at our house on a random Tuesday. My Grandma was quite the character.
      Much of her life has been filled with obstacles and tough times, and she always has come out steam rolling ahead. Somehow she raised 5 children after losing her husband at such a young age. My dad was 15 was his father passed away. She never did re-marry, but I think for some people, that one person really was the ONE, and no one else would ever really live up to that. Whatever her and my grandfather had, it must have been real and beautiful, because my dad loves my mom more than I have ever seen somebody love someone, and has more love for his family than I could ever put into words. You did good, Grandma.
    I see the same love and sense of family these last few weeks, as her sons and daughters never leave her side in the hospital. They have been taking turns spending the night and always make sure someone is with her. It has been so so difficult to sit and watch someone actively dying, and it has been a powerful emotional experience that I can never really explain. I just know that she is already so happy to have us around her and have her whole family together.

She will be with us next September too, maybe not actually on the dance floor or sitting in a seat at the ceremony, but I know her spirit will be with us that day, full of joy and happiness for her family. I love you, Grandma. I'm so grateful I've had these 27 years with you. May angels lead you in.

"A lot of people seem to think that just because a person is older, the loss of them is more easily accepted. I, for one, would like to deeply disagree. Love is love, and loss is loss, no matter the age."

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Jersey Shore.

It's been 5 days since Hurricane Sandy came and devastated the Jersey Shore. I've been stuck up in Philly, starting a new rotation, and it has been an emotional and stressful week to say the least. While my family and friends are all safe and sound, the devastation around our town is so hard to put into words. I have been feeling so uneasy to only be able to watch on tv the things going on in Toms River and NJ. I want to be able to help, I want to give back and support the town that has given so much to me. I was just back home for an entire month, and wish more than ever my rotation was down there now. One of my best friends Katie wrote a post and really was so well-spoken in conveying our emotions right now, so I'm re-posting it here:

"The other night I felt like I had so much on my mind.  I picked up my laptop for the first time since we lost power and started to write.  This is what it ended up being.

Where do I begin?

It's 10:50pm on Thursday November, 1 2012.  I am sitting in the dark in my childhood bedroom in a house that is 58 degrees because we have been without power and, therefore, heat since Monday at 1:00pm.  In most situations this would be cause for complaint, but tonight, I consider myself lucky to have a bed to sleep in as less than two blocks away my old high school is housing hundreds of displaced neighbors from the barrier island.

Attempting to understand and process my feelings over the last few days has not been an easy process.  I have laughed and shaken my head at the absurdity of it all and then broken down in tears the very next second as the harsh reality that my childhood, teenage, and young adult home will never exist as it once did.

I have not been able to turn on the news to fully grasp the national response to this tragedy.  I've been living of Facebook on my iPhone.  However, from what I can tell the country has been immediate to respond and all of us here are beyond grateful for the outpouring of support and love from across the US.

And yet, I have also been extremely disturbed by comments saying that Sandy was "God's way of punishing fist-pumpers" and other cruel jokes about New Jersey.  But, then I realized that The Sopranos, The Jersey Shore, and The Real Houswives of New Jersey have formed New Jersey's reputation.  How could people ever truly understand the reality of living at the beach and in this state when we are consistently portrayed as gangsters and guidos?

That's far from what we are.

I was born and raised in Toms River, NJ- one of the communities that was hit hardest by Sandy.  It takes me 7 minutes to get to the beach.  This is my home.  I moved to New Brunswick while I was at Rutgers.  I lived in Manhattan for a time after that and now I have an apartment in North Jersey.  Yet, the moment I get off the parkway at exit 82, I breathe a sigh of relief to be back.  It is the only place I have ever felt truly comfortable and you need to know what it's really like in order to understand how much we've truly lost.

Lavalette is the place I go whenever I need jewelry for a party.  My Sister's Jewelry Box and its "sister" store My Sister's Favorite Things always come through for a special event or a birthday gift.  Bond Ave is where my fiances family goes to the beach, and where we have gone to enjoy it with them the last few years.  The Music Man Singing Ice Cream Shoppe employed me for three years back in High School.  From them I learned responsibility and what it meant to be a part of a community.  Sadly, I am not sure of the status of any of those places as I write this.

Ortley is where I spent my childhood.  It's where my Mom took my sisters and me every day in the summer.  It's where I made sandcastles and ran from jellyfish.  It's where I got sunburned and got sand so far in my bathing suit that it would never come out.  It's where I took Jr. Lifeguarding with Pete Bush, and learned to handle a riptide.  It's where I was first given the freedom to hang out with my friends without parental supervision (because they were really only a few towels away).  It's where I went to play kickball at night in high school with my friends when our parents probably thought we were actually running off to drink and party.  But, playing kickball on 3rd Ave under the lights was actually way more fun.  It's where I would pound my steering wheel when I couldn't find parking and would eventually end up at Barnacle Bills or, even worse, on the other side of 35 North.  It's where I would walk to Bakin' Bagels for lunch and I'd do it barefoot because I thought it was cool.  It's where I first spend nights holding hands and walking under the starts with my now-fiance as we fell in love the summer before we left for college.  Ortley is where I grew from a little girl into a teenager.

Seaside Heights is where I found entertainment.  It's where my parents lined up on Easter to buy 50% off tickets to Casino Pier and Water Works.  It's where I played the Frog Bog with everything I had in order to win a "Choice" prize.  It's where I went for the clown festival, Easter Brigade, and St. Patrick's Day Parade.  It's where I went on my first roller coast, which is now buried in the ocean.  As I got older, it's where I went for drinks with friends.  It's where I spent nights at Sawmill during "holla for a dolla" or Beach Bar with my friends and the rest of my graduating class.  It's where I hung out at a grown up Chuck e' Cheese called Hooks, that would provide me with some of the fondest memories of my 20s.  It's also the place I would complain about having to "drive all the way over the bridge" to go out.  In hindsight, I never should have complained.  It's also where I worked at Luna Rosa for 5+ years and had some of the best summers of my life, making life long friendships.  And it's there where the owners took me back in with open arms when I came back from New York, unemployed, in the winter after my lung collapsed.  The compassion Carmine and Stephanie showed me that year, when I had no sense of normalcy or hope, is something I will always be grateful for.

Seaside Park became my sanctuary.  It's the beach I left Ortley for when I started wanting serenity with my friends over the crowds of the whole town.  F Street became the place I went whenever I needed time.  Time with my friends- body surfing, laughing, and sharing stories.  Time by myself to sit, read, and bask in the sun.  Time I needed to clear my head when I was stressed or confused- regardless of the season.  It is the place Kenny and I went the weekend we got engaged when we needed some time to ourselves after being overwhelmed by the love from our families and friends.  Seaside Park is the place I go to gain clarity about my feelings and emotions.  It's my, and so many others', safe haven.

But where do you go when your place to decompress is gone?  When the place that the majority of your memories are tied to no longer exists?  When you're sitting a few miles from it and know that you will never see it again as it was?

For those who believe this place was made of fistpumpers and guidos- you are wrong.  It's plain and simple.  The Jersey Shore is far beyond what anyone could ever show on television.  And the loss of it is even greater.

Thankfully, the people are what make a community.  The sand and the sea will look different.  The boardwalk will have new stands and rides.  The dunes will be rebuilt.  The homes will be redone. But us?  The people who call it home?  We'll still be here.  We'll build it up with the memories that make us who we are.  Creating new memories that will shape who we're becoming.  And we'll hold onto the memories of our past as we enjoy the new ones that will be our future.


...Down the shore... everything's all right.


Taken this September from F Street. <3"

Every word of this is true; this is where we have grown up, fell in love, had first dates, first jobs, late nights on the beach, wild drinking nights when we were 21, where comfort and familiarity remains as we grow into adults and find out place in the world. The beach is our sanctuary and one of my most favorite places in the world. This is where, now in our mid-20's, we dream of living permanently near again, down the street from our best friends, but this time with our own houses and kids of our own. I know things will be rebuilt, but things will never be the same. For those who lost their houses our loved ones I can't even imagine, because I already have such a strong sense of loss over this place. I feel like I'm mourning for a place that harbored so many happy memories for me growing up that may never be the same.

It seems silly to ever worry about wedding planning details again. I laughed the other day because the gazebo we wanted to get married in is totally gone, everything around it flooded and destroyed. It's really not that funny, but sometimes you just have to laugh. Really, I just want to be married to my best friend. Because when it comes down to it, being with the ones you love and making wonderful memories is all that we really have, and all that really matters.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Wedding Colors

Well we still don't have a ceremony site picked out yet, and it's starting to stress me out a little bit but I am trying to stay focused on the meaning of the whole day. I just want things to be smooth and stress free the day of the wedding so we can enjoy all the little moments of the day. I'm sure things will all work out!

On another note, I think I have finally settled on wedding colors and it is a completely different direction than what I was thinking. I originally wanted sea glass to be the color scheme for the wedding; all the bridesmaids would wear different shades of blues and greens while the groomsmen wore grey suits. While I am still sticking to the grey suit theme (and Kyle is happy with it too!), I am changing the other colors. My entire life my favorite color has been purple. While I do feel like purple has become more and more popular with weddings, it still makes me really happy when I see purple things! Since I have picked out and purchased my dress, I also really think purple is a much more romantic color and goes with my dress better. Some people say they get the dress and then everything falls into place, I really do feel like it is such a focal point for the wedding feel. :)

Kyle's favorite color is green, which I love because he also has these amazing green eyes. <3 So when we initially talked about colors/things etc we had said it would be awesome to incorporate both of our favorite colors into the wedding colors. Well, we are back at square one, because that is what we are now doing again. I had started to use those colors when we first asked our bridal party to be part of the wedding...

Purple will be the main color with green accents. I also think it fits very well with our vineyard wedding location too!

Now, I just have to decide on if I want shades of purple or just one color for the bridesmaid dresses. I am actually leaning more towards same color, different dress for the girls. And i think the purple shade I like the most is lilac. I like the greyish purple shade, rather than bright. Although, I still do like a darker shade as well. I think i need to see some colors/dresses in person to decide. Here are some ideas:
Although this is darker, I really like this shade.

Obviously not this dress, but LOVE this color.

I like the mismatch/shades of purple look here.

Similar to the look, but no bow ties

Not this dress, but like this shade.
I love that it feels like some pieces are really coming together. Now, if only it was a little sooner! I don't know if I can wait 10 more months!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

One Year Countdown!!!

I get to marry the love of my life and best friend in one year!! Lucky us!! CAnnot wait to be dancing in September :) :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Said YES to the Dress!!

I got my wedding dress!!! Holy cow do I love it. It really is the fantasize over, have dreams about your wedding day, drop dead gorgeous dress I have been searching for! I love it so so much, I know that on our wedding day I am never going to want to get changed! haha. It was a little bit of a "journey" if you will, to find this perfect dress, but I am so glad I went with my gut and continued to look until I found it.

I did the whole Kleinfeld's thing with a group of my friends + mom + godmother + sister. It really was such a fun day in NYC, and I did leave thinking I had possibly found my dress. I tried on some beautiful gowns that day, cried in one of them, had my mom cry for another one - but still left feeling good but not officially done. I think the key word when I left was I "possibly" found my wedding dress. I did find a dress that got me emotional, but I think it was more from the entire experience, and me finding a dress I loved than from it being "the one". I also went to David's Bridal that day, which is a nice store but a huge mistake to go from Kleinfeld's to David's Bridal -- totally not comparable.

In front of Kleinfeld's with my mom and godmother.

wine day after shopping!

A few weekends later I brought my grandmother (who is paying for my dress <3), my friend, and my future mother-in-law to Red Bank to try on some more dresses. At this time I had gone to a place in Cherry Hill that carried the dress I saw at Kleinfeld's, again I tried it on there an loved it, but still didn't buy it yet. So in Red Bank, I tried on a whole new slew of dresses, which was for what I initially thought just showing my Grandma some styles. I ended up really loving a dress there and cried AGAIN, and this time i think it was because my Grandma was there and this dress was much more of what I had pictured myself in. Again though, I left saying I think this is the one, but i have to think about it. (What was really cool was we went to the place where my mom bought her wedding dress- they had some breathtaking gowns there, but were way out of my price range.)

The more I "thought" about these two dresses that got me emotional, the more I was thinking something was missing for me, and that if I stopped and picked one I would feel almost settling. I know in each of these gowns I would have looked beautiful, but it still wasn't my dream dress. I started to think I was going crazy and that I needed to just pick one.

Then...last weekend it was rainy out, so I asked my mom if she just wanted to go to a local bridal salon to see what they had there. That morning I was talking with my friend and telling her how I wanted to try on more gowns because I wanted to not be able to leave the store without my dress- that's truthfully the feeling I thought I should have. That isn't wierd for me because I usually know exactly what I want and am very sure of my decisions. While driving to the store with my mom I was telling her about what I think I really wanted - which pulled bits and pieces of each of the dresses I loved into one. The store we went to was low key and very open to things. They had a lot of the exact styles I was looking for, and when I put on what would be my gown for the first time, I just knew it was it. I loved every single detail about the dress - the front, the back, the train, the cut, the fit. It seriously was the exact gown I had described to my mom on the way over and it was what I had been picturing for my wedding the entire time. Of course I cried again (such a sap!) but this time I knew for sure. I was like, take my measurements, put down the payment, I am DONE! I had no regrets, no doubts, and for the past 3 days I can't stop daydreaming about my dress!! (I really never thought I would be this girly/obsessed over it)

So it really was a little journey of it's own. With all the women in my life and a ton of gowns later, I narrowed it down to be able to dream up the exact gown I wanted, and I ended up finding it! It was funny that at the end, it ended up just being me and my mom, which is what I really thought would be the way I found my gown. It was a really great "wedding" experience, and I am so happy. :)

Thank You Grandma!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The perfect ceremony site..cross your fingers!

I think the only thing I have ever know about my wedding before I even met Kyle was that I would most likely get married on the beach. I just think having a wedding barefoot on the sand is so romantic and so me. I love the beach more than any other place on the planet. Growing up on the Jersey Shore, I couldn't wait for long summer days spent on the beach with my mom and siblings. I have such fond memories of staying late past the lifeguards on days when low tide was 7pm, collecting shells and sea glass all summer, digging for horseshoe crabs, and just playing games up on the sand all day long. It is my happy place. That is the main reason I want to get married there, I want one of the happiest days of my life to be at my happy place.
The problem that comes with getting married on the beach in our hometown, is that all beaches are public access. Which means we could be having our ceremony in a crowd of strangers in their bathing suits- we just can't predict how the day will go. I am almost willing to be ok with that, because I feel like people will have some decency if we set up chairs and an "alter" to stay a little bit away. But that is now our plan B because..

The other day Kyle and I were at breakfast over on the island. We saw this park on the bay that had this beautiful gazebo. It was right on the water, had a boardwalk walkway leading up to it (the aisle) and was very well kept- beautiful lawn, ocean grass and flowers, etc. It was almost perfect for what we wanted; we could get that privacy of a ceremony while still having a very beachy vibe and being 1 block from the beach. Plus at the time we wanted to get married, the sun will be starting to set on the bay in the backdrop. They even had electrical outlets (which is needed for our music- another potential problem with being directly on the beach). We were so excited when we found out you could rent it for 2 hours at a time. The only big bummer we found out when we called the boro was that they have a band playing every Sunday at 7pm and so only rent the gazebo on Sundays day 1-3pm. :( This does not really work for us because our reception is at 7pm, giving our guests a HUGE gap in between events. So, we are calling people to see what we can do and are even willing to bribe ($$!). We just need to at least get married 3pm or later. (what kind of band needs 4 hours to set up anyway) Cross your fingers for this beautiful spot for us!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

To Videotape or Not??

I'll be honest, the first thing we cut from our list when we made our budget was the videographer. I think that pictures were more important to have and would be seen more than a video, so when we had to choose, we choose an amazing photographer. However, there was always a part of me hoping that the money for a videographer would just magically come up somewhere.
     I am a hopeless romantic, and know that if we got a videographer, we would most definately watch the video at least every year on our anniversary. And how cool would it be to actual show footage of the day to our children?? I would love to have seen my parents wedding video. (they just did pictures as well). The problem is that a lot of the videographers that I ever came across   were charging the same prize as a photo package - up to 5-6K! It is crazy in general how much nice quality things for weddings cost!
    The other day though, I was looking through the usually blogs and came across a video that was super cute, not over the top, but definitely captured the big moments of the day in a beautiful and professional way. When I looked through the website, I saw it was very easy to custom make packages based on what you wanted. This seemed perfect, because we just want a simple yet beautifully captured video. Nothing too fancy, nothing too long. I emailed the company and they had our date available and will call to chat soon, and they only cost around $2,000! Hopefully we can figure some things out and squeeze this into our budget. (Goodbye fancy flowers and expensive stationary- who cares about that stuff anyway).
    So I am crossing my fingers that it will work out- and if not, I know that we can still get someone to capture our day even if it's a home video haha. (sometimes those are the best kinds anyways)

Monday, June 25, 2012

La Pura Vida

Kyle and I had an amazing time in Costa Rica. What a beautiful country full of culture and warm, friendly people. We seriously had such a great week with many adventures and a lot of relaxation! The food there was so good, we couldn't get enough avocado, fish tacos, rice, beans -- nom nom nom! Now that we have been back state side for a while and jumped right into summer, we have been thinking more about where we want to go for our honeymoon. We haven't decided yet, but can probably say we narrowed it down to 2-3 places. It's so hard because the more we read or heard about different countries, the more we want to continue to explore and experience different parts of the world. I know we will have an amazing time anywhere, we just want to go someplace really special that we might not splurge on for a long time. For now, we will just keep thinking and reminisce about our Costa Rican week!

cutie babe

our snorkel/sailing trip

the sunsets were unbelievable- and we never missed one!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Don't worry about a thing..

4 weeks from today, Kyle and I will be in Costa Rica!! on a MUCH needed vacation. Obviously, I am already so excited even though it's still a little bit away. We both are working so so hard right now and barely have time to do anything else. I am currently elbows deep in boards preparation and Kyle is finishing up his school year and working on the weekends like always. Seriously, we don't even get to have dinner together most nights! I am really hoping for a big schedule change once I start rotations - aka I hopefully will be working hard during the week and having weekends off like most people! It is so hard to go continuously through the weekends and it is not in my nature to sit around studying all day while life is going on around outside. I can't wait for an ENTIRE week of pure bliss with Kyle! I don't even know what we are going to do - which is actually really nice. We are totally going to take life in stride down there with some much needed R&R and hopefully some adventures and exploration. I cannot wait to snuggle up with my man for the week!

At first I felt a little guilty about going away before our honeymoon, but this trip is going to be way more rustic and laid back then our honeymoon. We really both need this time together to reconnect and celebrate what we have accomplished this year! We are staying in surf cabanas and will have access to surf boards and bikes for the week - (on our honeymoon I am definitely looking to stay in a some beautiful hotels) We are going to explore the rainforests and the beaches and possibly an active freaking cool!