we ran a 5k this weekend! besides that, i worked out twice and hit two miles each time, which brings my weekly mileage to a not-impressive, but not-bad-for-me seven miles.

one of my 2012 goals was to run five 5k races and we only have one more left {a christmas-themed one in late december}. this saturday we knocked out the kooky, spooky 5k in golden.

it was 20 degrees when we left the house at 7 a.m. and only got colder as we drove further into the mountains. once the sun came out and we started running, though, we quickly worked up a sweat. the course was really beautiful, and we even had an audience: a cow and her baby. she was loudly mooing the entire time.

official times haven't been posted yet, but we think we ran it in about 41 minutes. this is actually pretty good for us, at least in mountain air. when i make jokes about the lack of air, it sounds funny, but it is true! it's especially frustrating when you're trying to be active. you literally can be breathing as intense as you can and still cannot get enough air. i have a coworker who moved from south carolina and she promises that after a full year you can finally feel yourself adjusting.

and hey,.. we are only three months away from being in denver for a full 365!



instagrams on a friday!

postcard from my grandma. i love this. we always send her postcards from our travels: china, seattle, denver, etc. ohio represent!

our airport. it looks like a carnival, but it's one of the few to offer free wifi, so i dig it.

up close with a curious giraffe at the denver zoo.

pumpkin bread made by the wonderful b.

brunch at duo with ashley!

a gigantic cinnamon roll from the denver biscuit company.

ummm, can you believe this photo? hashtag no filter! this is the beautiful sunrise view i see every morning. it's not always this pink.

a week of weird weather, including rain.

and, this was just yesterday: four inches of snow! with how warm its been - 80 on tuesday! - it didn't stick at all. supposed to be a snowy morning today, though.

wishing you all a wintery weekend!*

*just kidding - i'm not THAT into the snow yet.



originally, we wanted to have a friend marry us. we don't have a home church in tennessee, and i didn't want to have a stranger be front and center on our wedding day. however, did you know that tennessee has the strictest marriage laws in all 50 states when it comes to who can marry you? it's true. {but - fun fact - you can still legally wed your first cousin!}

so, i did some research and kept coming across the same minister in photos on blogs and venue websites. none other than mr. tennessee minster himself, ralph griggs. after talking with him on the phone and hearing his process for working with out-of-state brides, i knew i had found a winner. PLUS, he was open to us incorporating a friend into the ceremony.

  {photo of ben and i from our la trip. how red is my hair?!?!}

and that means, dun dun dun dunnn, our friend ben will be participating in our wedding ceremony! i think we will just have him say how he knows us and then pick a prayer that speaks to him. he has a really special relationship with god, and i feel like he will choose something that isn't cliche {no love is patient, love is kind here}, and that really applies to us.  

but, back to ralph. now that we have hired him, i'm so glad we did! ralph also encourages his couples to complete his online marriage counseling, which i have really enjoyed. we spend every tuesday making dinner together, put our phones away and then discussing that week's topic. it's my favorite night of the week. plus, it makes you realize that this whole marriage thing is forever. i'm sure we will encounter things in our life that we can't prepare for, but ralph's class has made me feel like we are doing all we can to have a successful marriage.

and that's wedding wednesday for this week. if anyone has good something old/new/borrowed/blue ideas, or, you know, any of the other 70 not-yet-thought-about wedding to dos, send them my way!



this weekend we had our second visitor: brandon! instead of a fully-planned weekend, like we did with courtney, we decided to focus on one thing for b's visit: beer.

that landed us in fort collins for a day of brewery visits. first stop, the aptly named: fort collins brewery. the guys loved the presentation of the tasters and the service was really great.

on to a bigger name: odell's. we sat outside and enjoyed the 75-and-sunny day.
us! i included just because my hair looks pretty long, which, after my veg stint last year, i thought may never happen.

next up was new belgium. fat tire is my drink of choice in colorado, so i had to have a bit.

thank you to the random lady who let us do a photoshoot while b was in the bathroom.

coopersmith's was on the list for food purposes, but since we had already eaten at the pickle barrel, the guys did a tasting. i tried a sip of the punjabi and it was by far my favorite beer of the day.

from there, the wonderful designated drive {that'd be me} took us 20-minutes back toward denver to left hand brewery. by this point, it was about 8 p.m. and the guys had been at it since 11. but, they weren't too rowdy, and left hand ended up being a favorite of the tour.

b and b at the end of a long, beerful day.

we're so happy you visited brandon! we'll see b again {and mosby!} in just two weeks in nashville. counting down the days!



woh, woh. i ran for a grand total of about an hour this week. i really thought that blogging about it would make me get in more miles. i can say i feel really guilty as i write this post, but i am also finishing a work project due tomorrow, so...

monday i did 30 minutes on the elliptical and tuesday i did 30 minutes on the treadmill. then, wednesday night i had a work event, thursday we needed to use a groupon that was about to expire and friday brandon arrived in town!

this week i am aiming for four days of workouts, plus a huge decrease in alcohol consumption {we visited five breweries this weekend, eep!}. and then this saturday we have a 5k. should be an active week, happy monday!



that’s right, we hired a wedding coordinator. i know what you are thinking, “wow, you guys must be rich.” i know you are thinking this because i have always thought that only rich people need a wedding planner. unfortunately, we are not rich, but in this era of over-the-top weddings, you need someone there on the day of that can be large and in charge to make sure everything goes according to plan.
so, i researched some of the top vendors. then i asked my nashville experts – my girl mk, and famous wedding blogger jessica – and was pointed to jennifer hamilton of mr. and mrs. events
after a look through her blog and a conference call to discuss the deets, we made it official. when she sent me a rifle thank you postcard, i knew i  had made the right decision. {i may or may not have purchased something real spency for the wedding from rifle yesterday!} jennifer has already been amazing recommending vendors, helping me organize my rapid-fire thoughts and coming up with creative ideas i never would have thought of. i am super confident that our big day will run smoothly thanks to her.
in the next wedding wednesday we will talk about another vendor i never planned to hire that, of course, i now am so thankful to be working with!



this weekend we planned to drive out to the denver botanic gardens at chatfield to check out their pumpkin festival. in nashville, we had gone to the same farm every year with a group of people. after a rare rainy day on saturday, we set off on sunday to get pumpkins and eat festival food - both goals that we achieved.

parking lot nightmare below a beautiful mountain scape. it actually was not that bad - they had a sheriff directing highway traffic and people showing you exactly where to park.

some of the approximately 1,000 people at the festival behind me. check out my gallon of lemonade!

the perfect pumpkin - still on the vine!

thank you to the random man waiting with two full carts of pumpkins for snapping this photo. we then carried those monsters the two miles back to the car. i counted that as my bride arms workout for the day.

even if it doesn't feel like fall here {it's going to be 80 degrees today!}, at least our porch decked out for the season.



a rare break from instagrams on a monday! but, for good reason. we hit exactly nine months to the wedding on saturday {fun fact: 10/13/12 was also up for discussion as a wedding date in the early days of our engagement. should have done it and now we'd be married!} and it's time to get serious about my least favorite part of wedding planning: the wedding diet.

i'm linking up with the domestic wannabe in hopes that maybe my weekly workouts will amp up when i have a little accountability. currently, i'm doing about 30 minutes a day on the treadmill in my work gym three times a week. i'm also doing bride arms on a daily basis {i love that workout / video. i laugh every time she says "hello brides!"} because, hello, big arms are a concern around these parts.

lots of important stuff coming up - halloween with it's pumpkin-shaped reese's {the best} and wedding dress shopping with rooms full of mirrors {potentially, the worst}. it's straight to the gym for me after work - happy monday bloggies!



i feel like a real bridezilla posting this, but it's super helpful to see what is left to be done in the next nine months! i started with a list from just lovely. she was also the inspiration behind how i organized my wedding binder, pictured above. i used a lot of what she had, deleted what we aren't doing and added a few things. i feel like we have done a LOT, but there are still about 2,928 things to do.

1. set a date
2. book a venue
3. book photographers
4. engagement photos
5. book videographer
6. book band
7. recruit bridesmaids and groomsmen
8. create wedding website
9. book florist
10. buy wedding dress
11. let bridesmaids choose dresses
12. get b fitted for a suit
13. pick out groomsmen attire
14. find veil
15. book cake baker
16. buy cake knife and server
17. order save the dates
18. finalize guest list
19. buy cake topper
20. order stamps
21. send save the dates.
22. order guest book
23. register
24. reserve hotel room blocks
25. hire a calligrapher - i am taking a calligraphy class, we shall see how that goes!
26. mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom dress shopping
27. find wedding shoes
28. choose wedding jewelry
29. find garter
30. something old
31. something new
32. something borrowed
33. something blue
34. make day-of emergency kit
35. book makeup artist
36. book hair stylist
37. choose wedding favors - i don't know if we are going to do favors
38. buy getting ready outfit for bride / bridesmaids
39. complete menu tasting
40. complete cake tasting
41. do hair and makeup trial
42. get measured for dress
43. dress fitting
44. order invitations
45. send invitations
46. buy bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts
47. purchase wedding bands
48. get marriage license
49. book transportation for wedding party
50. buy welcome bag stuff
51. stuff welcome bags
52. complete music request folder for band
53. create playlist for cocktail hour
54. book wedding night hotel room
55. order thank you notes
56. gather tips and thank you notes for vendors
57. submit engagement announcements in paper
59. book ceremony musician
60. complete pre-marital counseling
61. create sign for front of venue
62. design programs
63. print and assemble programs
64. buy glow sticks for exit
65. book caterer
66. order rentals
67. create decoration for bride and groom chairs
68. frame parent wedding photos
69. make reserved table signs
70. create "no formal seating" sign
71. hire coordinator
72. buy flip flops for dance floor
73. assist mother-in-law with rehearsal dinner - she is really doing all the work, though!
74. buy rehearsal dinner dress
75. buy bridal shower dress
76. help find bridal shower location
77. buy bachelorette party dress
78. book honeymoon
79. buy hostess gifts for shower
80. create ceremony backdrop - i actually think our wedding coordinator is going to do this!

if you read all the way to the end, you are a true friend. or my mom or future mil. happy weekend!



our engagement photos are here!!!!!! 

i briefly mentioned it here, but we found our photographer - ross bothwell of elegant images - online. we are by no means naturals in front of the camera and thought it would be especially awkward to have someone we had never met shooting us. instead, ross was hilarious and made the whole day a great experience.

ring shot!

frolicking through the forest in georgetown. 

this is one of my favorite photos and it's a total blooper. ross asked us to hold onto the rails and b was white knuckling it. ross was like "relaxxxxx" and it totally made us crack up.

on the bridge.

on a waterfall. our favorite photo was also taken at this location, but i'll wait to show it to you when we get our save the dates back.

this one is from the top of guanella pass - 11,000+ feet above sea level. it went from 70 degrees to probably 40 and windy.

a shot after sunset.

i think this photo shoot was the first time i got really excited about the wedding. it's been stressful, but ross made the day a celebration of us and these photos are something i'll cherish forever. 9 more months until the big day!



as you know, last week was b's birthday. we don't do gifts for each other anymore {sad}, but i did buy him some beers at the beer garden's oktoberfest.

there's the view from the road up guanella pass to our engagement shots. those will be on the blog wednesday!

signing up for a joint bank account! we won't really be sharing money until after we get married, but we needed it for our honeymoon registry. sigh, i'll have to write a post on how complicated that process has been.

celebratory drinks with the girls after watching the ou game! did you hear we are 6-0 for the first time since the 60s? AND we were the very first football team to qualify for a bowl game. goooo bobcats!

scene atop the lowry reservoir during the most recent 5k we did. we may or may not have been passed by an old lady speedwalking. #altitudeprobs

this cornmeal is the one b purchased when he moved to nashville! that was more than three years ago. it's almost all gone and he was feeling pretty nastalgic.

boot season - yay!

and then it snowed this friday. it was really more of a dusting, but it was still pretty exciting.

and that little storm made it wear-10-layers-inside-and-out season. b, unasked, let me know that i looked like "a homeless old woman" when wearing this outfit. if rocking leggings, high socks, rain boots and a knee-length puffy jacket is wrong, i don't want to be right.

it's supposed to warm back up today - here's to a beautiful fall week!



photo by the wonderful ross bothwell at elegant images. more engagement shots coming next week!



look who landed! so grateful that courtney could fly out to visit us in our new city.

we started the weekend off at - where else? - the beer garden.

after a late night of eating brownies, we kicked the weekend off with breakfast at under the umbrella cafe.

and then we went to red rocks for the first time! that was on my summer to-do list {which we did about half of} and i'm glad we stopped there. it was cooler than i anticipated.

 we got outdoorsy at roxborough again, our favorite hike.

and i thinkkkk courtney liked it.

thanks courtney for being our first guest! we'll show you a good time too, get out here to the mile high city!



one of the most important things to me is our wedding photography. obviously, my love for blogs is strong. for the last three years, i have subscribed to about 100 of them. one of those was mindy and phil's blog. so, i knew as soon as we got engaged who i wanted to book. before we had a venue, before we had a guest count, first and foremost, we got phindy studios to be our wedding photographers. i mean, the choice was not hard. just check out some of their amazing shots.

that last one is taken super near to aerial, so i hope we can grab a similar photo. to say i'm excited about having phindy shoot our wedding is an understatement! only 284 days to go.



finally: some photos from our new neighborhood, lowry! people are either yay or nay about lowry, and any negatives come from the fact that lowry is a "planned community".

lowry has a rich history. it used to be an air force base. before the base even closed, it was decided it would be redeveloped into a living area. in an awesomely forward-thinking move, they also made a lot of green decisions, which won lowry a bunch of sustainability awards. 

town center. we have a grocery store, coffee shops, a pizza place, everything we need within walking distance!

a cute little chapel. perfect for an elopement, right? {note: you can tell i wrote this in that stressful couple of weeks where we didn't have a venue or date and were seriously considering not doing a big wedding!}

park that i run through everyday. it is paid for by the lowry foundation and is book/reading themed. it has a bunch of neat quotes etched into the walls.

the air and space museum. we have to get there soon to do a tour!

besides the old hangers that have been turned into the restaurant district {including the beer garden}, you see signs of the air force history all over town. from apartment numbers decorated with wings, to sculptures in the shape of planes, it's a nice nod to history.

we love lowry! come visit - we'll get a super pretzel!