Wedding Weekend Ramblings

Last weekend was incredible. I spent Saturday celebrating one of my favorite couples at their wedding in Richmond. I really needed a break from the work/school grind and it was a great opportunity to see my close friends from college and let loose a little. The drive home in the morning had me thinking a lot about the weddings I have coming up in the next year and the relationships in my life (you know-just general car ride musings).

I’ve hit that age where all my friends start coupling off and freaking out about getting married but I don’t get it. I’m obviously very happy for my friends who have found great relationships but on the other hand, I also know a few people who have gotten divorced already and I’ve watched how heart-wrenching and emotionally exhausting that is.

I also know several people who are getting married because they feel like its expected of them and I just don’t understand why. I can definitely see that a lot of people feel pressure from their families to settle down but I don’t understand why we put that pressure on our loved ones in the first place. I stumbled upon this article recently and I thought it was really cool how this woman threw herself a wedding because she doesn’t plan to get married and she wanted to celebrate her commitment to her loved ones (and celebrate own life and her accomplishments).

While I would love to get married one day, I’m left wondering about why there’s this huge rush or timeline. Isn’t marriage supposed to be about your actual relationship, not just all of the life milestones? Shouldn’t it center around the fact that you’ve found someone you want to completely intertwine your life with? I know this isn’t a new phenomenon but because I’m getting to the point where all my friends are coupling off I’m noticing it more. I’ve found that a lot of people my age are staying in relationships because they’re afraid to be alone even though they may not be compatible with their significant other and that’s what really makes me sad.

As someone who has spent most of her life single, I see things from a totally different perspective. I love being in a relationship and sharing my life with someone but I also don’t think that there should be any fear or pressure to move things along before the time is right. I understand the feeling of wanting companionship but its so important not to lose sight of yourself first. The first criteria when you start to date someone shouldn’t be “how soon will we start a family together?”

I noticed this recently in my own life. I found a totally incredible person that I enjoyed spending time with and really felt a connection with. However, both of our lives are crazy at the moment and I honestly just can’t imagine trying to get to know someone while also working nightshifts, starting graduate school, and trying to take care of myself all at the same time. Part of me (ok a lot of me) was bummed that it didn’t work out but I actually found that going to this particular wedding and seeing what a relationship is supposed to look like made me that much more ok with the situation (the fact that it was my choice didn’t hurt either).

I genuinely don’t have anything against young people getting married, I just find myself worried that there is too much pressure to settle down with the first person who comes along and that we are often expected to put off other ambitions in order to start that family dynamic. True, you can definitely balance career and relationships but it’s very difficult to do (especially if you haven’t already partnered off with someone when your career starts to pick up).

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Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

I’ve abandoned the Whole30 program. Not because it was too hard but because I  literally ran out of compliant foods and didn’t want to go grocery shopping and cooking right before my vacation. So I finished at Whole25. Womp womp. No worries, I will definitely be doing a full one in the future and fully intend to eat a strictly paleo diet for at least a week upon my return from vacation just to detox a little. I love that I can be excited about a “detox”-I didn’t ever feel deprived on the Whole30 program and that’s how a healthy diet should be. I did however lose a full 6 lbs in 3 weeks (on top of the other 5 I had already lost from calorie counting and portion control the past couple of months). But mostly, I gained a lot of confidence. I love the feeling of looking into my closet and being able to say “I’m going to wear this today” without having to worry about whether it will zip shut or not. I’ve also had a lot of practice in loving my body for where she is, enjoying the moment and the whole process. Which leads me to this amazing day I’ve had.

I took off work so I could have a full day to get ready for California. I also had to take an exam for my class so it just worked out perfectly that I was able to knock that out and then have the rest of the day to myself. I picked up my friend Abby and we went to Target to browse and get some things. It’s been so long since we’ve had a girl’s day together and it was nice to just wander the store for a while checking everything out. I got a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks because I’ve been dying for that fall flavor. I have to say, it was just alright. I didn’t drink the whole thing, but the taste was enough to satisfy that fall craving I’ve had.

We ended up getting some pumpkin spice M&M’s and Oreos as well (it’s about balance ok?!?!) and I must say they were both AMAZING. I had a few and then happily put the bag away (another win, a month ago the whole bag would be gone by now). I’m really surprised at how delicious the Oreos were (and very happy with my self control after a month of 0 added sugar). They’re in the back of my cabinet now and I’m very confident in the fact that they won’t come out every 5 minutes until they’re gone. As someone who has had a serious addiction to sugar in the past that’s a HUGE milestone for me and I want to be able to enjoy sweets every now and then. And taking the time to re-sensitize myself to sugar really had an impact. I enjoyed the dessert and then my body told me when it was done.

After our Target rendezvous, we headed to Kohl’s because Abby was looking for a UVa jersey and we thought we may be able to find one there.  Unfortunately we didn’t have any luck but we did find some have time to check out the new Lauren Conrad Runway line. While her clothes are adorable, they were a little too feminine and light for me-especially as we roll into fall but I do love this jacket which they didn’t have in my size at the store. I did leave pretty happy though as I bought some beautiful jewelry that I cannot wait to rock.

We also spent a little bit of time playing with makeup at BlueMercury  and I’ve found a few new products to add to my wish list. I’ve been trying to save money and use up the makeup I have so I didn’t purchase anything here but the NARS Illuminator in Orgasm is on my list. I swatched a bit on my hand and am obsessed with this shimmer. I also found a few high end serums/moisturizers that I might splurge on for the winter months. My skin gets so dehydrated in the winter so it might be worth the investment. I’ve found that those products tend to last me ages since I take care of them and use sparingly when I really shell out. Sometimes its worth a little extra to pamper myself.

National Girlfriend’s Day

This weekend was really busy but packed full of fun. On Friday, I went to Grace Estate Winery to listen to some music and sit outside and, of course, drink some delicious wine. We hung out until the sun set and then drove back Charlottesville where I had an early bedtime.

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The view at Grace Estate Vineyards.
Saturday started out with a leisurely stroll to the city market to get some groceries for the week. I ended up with a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers and a lot of fresh veggies to cook.

sunflower
Aren’t these sunflowers beautiful?
After my leisurely morning, I packed my things and hopped in my car. My best friend, Audrey, has just moved into a new apartment in Maryland and we planned to meet up for the rest of the weekend. The two and a half hour drive wasn’t terrible, the weather was beautiful and Route 29 has some pretty scenic views once you get out of Charlottesville “traffic”. I use quotes because what people in Charlottesville (myself included) consider horrible traffic is really nothing compared to what most commuters deal with.

I could not have been happier to see Audrey. I miss seeing her every day and it was nice to catch up. On Sunday, we went hiking at Sugarloaf Mountain and then relaxed at a local vineyard listening to live music and enjoying the day. What a great coincidence that it happened to be national girlfriends day this weekend (who knew that was a special day?).

audrey and I sugarloaf 2
Not pictured: the giant rock we climbed in order to get view in the background.

black and white sugarloaf
I like to pretend I’m artsy sometimes. But really, the view (even in black and white)!