well, it has been raining non-stop, and it is so foggy you can't see... anything... and i'm having quiteeee the hair day, but we are here!

lots more traveling posts to come - including our insane 100-mile-round-trip trek of yellowstone on snowmobiles!



so, originally i didn't want to hire a florist. *gasp* i know. because... i kind of don't care about flowers. *double gasp*

but, even though there is a really great wholesale flower place around the block from our old house in nashville, my mil helped me see the light that i probably don't want to be worrying about throwing together a bouquet on my wedding day.

enter: amanda jerkins design.

another reason i didn't want a florist was because many tennessee-based flower designers are very... old school. i don't want red roses. i don't want the tiny bouquets that make bridesmaids look like they have man hands. i don't want super-colorful, overwhelming arrangements.

and then i saw amanda's portfolio and knew what i DID want.

a soft and lush bouquet for moi.

someone who can appreciate getting a bit funky with things. {also, she planned this shoot with my wedding coordinator, jennifer hamilton! nashville wedding vendors is like a gang. and you need to check with all your other vendors to make sure they like whomever you're bringing on board. because - trust - they all know each other. in fact, our photographers - phindy studios - actually shot amanda's wedding.}

someone who isn't afraid to mix colors and textures.

and someone who is fun! which, based on our in-person meeting she definitely is.

plus, she was nashville wedding mafia approved :)



wasn't it just yesterday we were holding this pose before leaving our nashville home?

you know what we didn't have last time, though? professional movers. hallelujah - they made the whole move 100 times easier.

we waved goodbye to all our stuff on friday morning, and headed out mid-afternoon saturday. here's hoping our semi-truck driver paul arrives in seattle in a week with every single box. if you're reading this tuesday, we are probably somewhere in montana. {say a quick prayer we beat the snow that is allegedly headed our way!}

how many pounds of stuff do you think we had? here's a hint: our driver said we have way less than most people. one bed, a loveseat and enough clothes to fill up six wardrobe boxes. ready for the grand total? 3,300 pounds!!! what weighs that much?!

and one last glance at our empty home that we were so grateful to live in. a garage, two point five bathrooms, giant closets, neighbors we knew and walking distance to our favorite little spot. seattle, get ready, you've got a lot to live up to.



my friend marie - who i met through twitter! - is a marriage counselor. she is putting on an amazing event called "vowentines" this february in nashville, which is a lovefest to bring the spark back into marriages with the activity of rewriting wedding vows. um, i love this. marie reached out to me to help her spread the word to my friends in the internet world.* {the event is now on super sale through january 31!} so, i get to write this post with the prompt: "when have you stuck around (like you promised you would on your wedding day) for worse? for sicker? for poorer?"

well, obviously, b and i haven't said our vows yet. but - that doesn't mean we aren't living out promises to one another every single day.

i think we are good at this - at commitment and selflessness - because we have seen it lived by our parents for our whole lives. i, personally, have witnessed my parents live through poorer, sicker and worse than you can imagine in the format of losing their parents, raising my cousins {just the change that came with basically adopting two preteens - my cousins themselves are pretty great}, moving to tennessee and more. it makes me want to have a marriage that can face anything and come out the other side of hell stronger.

luckily, b and i have not experienced hardship during our four years together. when i read marie's email, the decision to leave denver was the only thing in my mind. you can probably tell via the blog that this is something i have been struggling with. my feelings for my job and the people i know here are stronger than i anticipated. i think what makes it harder is that i am not knowingly jumping into something worse... we are headed into the unknown.  

but, you know what? b has already done the same thing for me. i think it is important to note that it was my idea to move to denver in the first place. b quit his job right along with me, he left his friends just as i left mine and we drove into a city where we knew no one. he never needed to remind me of that - to guilt trip me into coming. he simply asked me to. and i agreed. because that's a part of our unspoken vows. we will stand beside one another, be each others biggest cheerleader and always share the last bite of dessert.

so, when we read our personal vows at our wedding in five months, there are a million other vows behind it that don't even need to be said.

*i was compensated lots of money to write this post.

**haha, no i was not. but, it did inflate my ego at no cost to marie.

***marie also suggested that the post topic be humorous, so sorry so serious! 

****photo by our amazeballs engagement photographer ross bothwell.



it's been a while since i've done an instagram post. probably because i haven't been doing anything cool enough to take photos of!

did you watch the inauguration on monday? my favorite quote was "that is our generation's task - to make these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness - real for every american." i really loved the whole thing. mentions of climate change and equal rights for woman and marriage for all!

umm, i am obsessed with these popcorn chips. i don't even have words for how good they are.

drinks at my goodbye happy hour with work people at punch bowl social.

margs is one of my favorite denver spots. we've been there twice in the last month to get it out of my system. luckily, i already have my mexican restaurant picked out in seattle.

view from lunch downtown.

and a selfie of us enjoying the beer garden, something we will really miss. 

we leave denver sunday - wish us a safe drive, good weather and incredible patience during our four-day trek!



there is a lady at work who arrives the same time i do every day. she gets dropped off right in front of the building by her husband. each morning they have the same routine: kiss in the car, hug, she gets out and says "i love you" while gathering her things, then she stands and waves goodbye with her hand in the air until he is out of the parking lot.

i mean, i am very into baker, but my first thought was "geeez lady, give it a rest!" i have watched them do their morning routine for months. then one morning she was being dropped off by what looked to be her mother. she hugged her, said "i love you" and then proceeded to wave until her mom drove out of sight. i was so taken by this that i waited to walk in with her and said with a laugh, "you are very passionate about your goodbyes!"

her response: "you never know when it may be the last time you see someone."

today is my last day of work. i had my last prsa committee meeting a week ago. the final cocktail club hung out earlier in january.

it is very strange to leave a city where you have no roots. with nashville we knew we'd be back. but, we won't even have lived in denver for 365 days. it is like 2012 is this weird lost year. so much happened and we built an incredible life here. but, now it's over.

so, when i say goodbye today, i hold it in my heart that it's not goodbye forever, but just for now. thanks for everything, denver.

colorado sunset watercolor.



photo by style me pretty

here is a rando thing i have on my mind all the time: what should we choose as our first dance song? we don't have "a song" {sidebar: does anyone who started dating their significant other have a song? i had a song with all my middle school and hs bfs, but i think it loses popularity when you're no longer attending dances together...} so i have no clue what to choose.

i thought i would delegate this one out to b and have him pick a song that speaks to him about our love, but with his insane work hours {when he is on call he works all hours of the day and night} and his penchant for procrastination, i can't stop worrying about it.

tricia and rich danced to uncle kracker's "smile", which is not one of my fav songs ever, but when they danced to it, i was like "YES, this describes their laid-back love PERFECTLY." plus, b and i don't exactly have similar musical tastes. whereas if i had to choose a song to describe us, it'd prob be a super dramatic garth brooks hit. the closest we've come to agreeing is on a popular foo fighters track, but it's well known the song is about dave grohl's first divorce. soooo, prob not a winner.

anyone else worry about something so minute that no one else will ever remember it? just me?



this weekend was alllll about the packing! the moving company comes on friday to haul our stuff to seattle, which makes relocating one billion times easier. when we moved from nashville to denver not only did we pack all our stuff, we also crammed it into a u-haul trailer and then unloaded it all ourselves. 

i think a successful move is all about the packing, so here's a look into my method to the madness that is prepping for a cross-country move.  

step 1: those things you stocked up on because you thought you were staying in denver forever? sell it.

we had a two-year lease at our current house. we have a brand new bed for the guest room and that adorable porch swing. both of those are up on craigslist now. fingers crossed they sell.

step 2: that stuff you already moved cross country once and then still never used? throw it out.

this is very easy for me because i am the opposite of a hoarder. if i don't use it on the regular or i am not in love with it, then it goes straight into the goodwill pile. this is much harder for b. but, he has been super great this time around about agreeing that we don't want to tote junk with us another 1,372 miles.

step 3: all those "decor" items you'll probably need to put in storage when you live in 700 square feet? group it together.

i pre-group all my boxes before actually packing. that's so i can see what else should go in said box... and also that i can see i have a problem with buying decorative candles and then never burning them, apparently.

step 4: whatever you just crammed in that box? label it.

this way, i can just peek inside to know exactly what is filling up the whole box. and as mentioned above, we may need a storage unit this time around.

we went from 483 square feet to a two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom, two-car-garage mansion and are going back to a small, one-bedroom apartment. in capitol hill, we had a wall of boxes. here's hoping all these packing tips keep our new place a little bit more organized - especially considering we signed a full year lease!



linger is one of the hottest denver restaurants right now. so hot, in fact, that you can't even get a reservation. typically when a place gets that big, it has to be overrated. so, i wasn't interested in rushing there, until i knew we were moving. then, i knew we had to try it before we left.

the earliest reservation we could get in the weeks before we head to seattle was at 8 p.m. i'm not going to lie, i am sometimes in bed by that hour. but for the amazingness that we had heard linger is, we took the 8:00 reservation. by the time they brought out the complimentary ranch popcorn, i knew we had made the right decision. {popcorn is a top 10 favorite food for me.}

check out our coat check ticket: lucky number 13! i got "the rum diary", which was fantastic. i hate sweet drinks, so this was perfect. it's a mix of liquor with some lemon bitters.

linger is known for small plates. we basically ordered one of everything, so prepare yourself for food photos. these were the sweet potato fries with chipotle ketchup, which were wonderful. we couldn't even finish the serving.

scallops with acorn squash. i'm not a fan of squash, but b really loved it.

felafel! coincidentally enough, the last time i ate felafel was in seattle in 2009. this was incredible - one of my favorite bites of food from the evening.

saving the best for last: mongolian bbq duck bun. i haven't had a desire to have duck since eating it for the first time in china, but this was mind blowing. just, so perfect. sigh. i could eat a million of these mini buns right now.

linger: housed in an old mortuary and killing it with their food.



remember when i did flashback friday posts? i don't really intend to bring it back, but one of our past trips has been on my mind recently: new orleans. i think it's a combo of the snowy weather, plus realizing that our next big trip won't be for a full year. {although it WILL be to australia, so don't feel too sorry for me.}

new orleans is only an eight-hour drive from nashville, so b and i decided to head to the big easy. keep in mind, we had only known each other for six months and dating for a hot second. my parents were like "who?!" and made me give them his phone number. you know, so just in case he was a kidnapper, they could call him?

we did and saw everything everyone recommends while there. from drinking the local specialties, to eating a muffaletta {b ordered it plain, haha}, trying oysters, dying over delish beignets and tasting absinthe.

we also walked most of the city {on accident, side eye b} and saw the devastation from katrina still fresh in many areas of the city. we also did not go into the cemetery, even though that's a popular thing to do. it just felt too disrespectful to me - and i'm sure i was totally afraid.

look at that little baby! this was almost four years ago and i can't believe how young we look. it also rained the entire time we were there - and it didn't even phase us. we stayed outside of the city and rode a trolley in each day.

self-photography, even back then! this was before our big date night at gw fins. i still follow that restaurant on twitter and consider it one of the best meals i've ever had.

oh, beautiful nola. i hope i'm back someday soon.



you guys, in case you didn't know, i'm sort of a hippie. not seattle-level hippie {we'll see if it's as bad as people say it is in just two weeks!}, but like an i-believe-in-the-power-of-the-secret kind of hippie.

plus, you already know that i love to write down my goals, so this book was basically calling my name. the point of the book is to teach you that if you focus on what you want, it's more likely to come true. the author demonstrates this with stories from people who wrote crazy-detailed descriptions of something they needed or desired - and then they got it.

but, my favorite part is a very random chapter in which the author revealed she lived in - where else? - seattle. she dedicates a whole chapter to the importance of water in the act of writing. "being near water - one of the four elements of life - is conducive to creativity," she said. "in seattle, we are blessed with gentle rains."

if you remember, one of the reasons i'm not overly zealous about heading to the pacific northwest is the gloomy weather. but, this book seriously opened my eyes about it. that chapter made me feel like it was the reason i was supposed to read the book, to know that being there could improve my writing, i could find a job i love more than the one i have here, that seattle could be where i am meant to be.

after rereading that, i'm pretty sure i might be a seattle-level hippie. maybe i'll fit right in after all. 



finding the guy's attire has been on my to-do list, but wasn't very urgent. i got a mailer with a coupon from men's warehouse and decided to check them out online.

i instantly fell in love with the vera wang line, but thought it may be a little too fancy schmantzy for our outdoor july wedding. turns out, my online spidey senses served me right again {i also picked out my wedding dress online!} and that suit/tux was the winner.

picking out the accessories. did you know that they provide the guys with EVERTHING? shoes AND socks?! who needs to be given socks? men, they have it easy. can i get an amen, ladies?

my future husband in his wedding day jacket!

we thoroughly enjoyed our experience at men's warehouse. in and out in an hour with everything wrapped up. cross it off the list!



so, i'm back in super-job-search mode. it's a downer because i really, really love my job here. but, to seattle we go and i'm ready to work.

obviously, it takes quite a few steps before you get a job interview, but as i mentally prepared to enter that world of apply, hear nothing, lose hope, get a callback, sweat with nerves, go in for the interview, etc., i recalled an article i read a while back: "should women wear engagement rings to interviews?" i think it was published in one of my fav mags. of course, at the time, it didn't matter to me. i wasn't engaged, and i landed my job now mere days before b popped the question.

the authors argument is that women with engagement rings may seem like they'll leave the job after they get married or when they have babies. worse yet, some speculate that if you rock a large... rock... that interviewers may think you have plenty of money and don't NEED a job. yikes. not that i think my ring is giant, but it is beautiful and larger than the average. {and for what it's worth, we totally need me to work! if not only because i would be bored out of my mind... but also because, hello, i pay half the bills.}

my main problem is that in seattle, not only will i be wearing an engagement ring, but b is a huge part of my story. "what brings you to seattle?" will no doubt come up. i am not one to combine the personal and professional {especially in the interview phase!}, so that makes me really uncomfortable. but, what are my options? don't wear a ring? lie about why i moved to seattle? there is no way that i'm starting out a relationship with a new company by presenting a false me.

ladies on a popular wedding board voted overwhelmingly that they'd wear their ring. and, i guess that's what i'll do. because, in the end, my ring - my relationship with b - is a key component of my life. plus, i think they might catch on when i change my name to katelyn baker in a few months.



for probably a year i have been wanting to do a blueprint cleanse. that specific cleanse because i know many people {read: bloggers} who have done it and they just raved and raved about how good it tastes, how full of energy they feel, how it changed their life.

so, when i saw it on discount on a flash sale site, i scooped it up at about 60 percent of its normal {expensive} price. now, i have done cleanses before. i did a protein shake-based one in may and was feeling so good we hiked roxborough during it. 

my juice got delivered {straight from nyc - fancy!} on a tuesday afternoon and i was so excited to start on wednesday morning. the first sign of trouble was when i opened juice 1 and gagged. the odor was what i'd imagine the crypt keeper's breath smells like. i plugged my nose and took it down. juice 2 followed around when i'd usually have my 10 a.m. snack of almonds.

by midday i felt what can only be described as... drunk. i couldn't concentrate, felt winded just walking up the steps, was having dramatic emotions about being on a cleanse, etc. mind you, i'm at work. i attempted to do a toned down version of my daily workout that evening and could barely walk 1.5 miles.

so, by the time i made it home in this state, b was over it. i quit on day 2 and broke the fast with a burger king cheeseburger. i haven't eaten bk since high school, when it was the only fast food restaurant in my small town, so what drove me to craving that, i don't know. 

hashtag failwhale, right?! well, i actually don't feel too bad about not finishing. i do, however, i feel awful about doing it in the first place. for the first time in a long time i was back on track with my diet and exercise. me thinking that this cleanse was going to be some sort of magic potion that would make my arms bridal gown ready was super far off.

from now on, i'll be doing it the old fashioned way: eating right and working out. and there's no shame - or burger king - in that.



one of my goals for 2013 is to read five books. five books sounds like nothing, i know, but i get busy and lazy and then a whole year passes without me reading anything besides blogs and magazines.

but, i've already finished one and it's only week two! bringing up bebe was a bestseller last year that caused quite a bit of buzz in the parenting world. i am obviously many years from children, but i have so many friends {bloggers} with kids that i was curious to know this woman's tips on french parenting.

and, while i loved her child-related advice to be more strict, give them more independence and talk to them like adults, my favorite parts of the book were just about life in general. this quote came from one of the author's french friends:
if you aren't saying "amen", then you don't have enough dramatic friends. i think complaining is a badge of honor for a lot of people and i find myself doing it all the time.

plus, i really liked the parts where they talk about all the bread they eat.

two thumbs up for bringing up bebe - and for the weekend. have a happy one, friends!



this weekend we got to check something i've had on my denver to-do list for a long time: peak's lounge.

the bar is ranked as one of the best places to see the sun set in the city. here's the view when we first arrived, around 4 p.m.

pear martini, a house specialty, for moi and a dark beer, per usual, for b.

pretty sky, just 30 minutes later.

this good-looking man. dressed up in christmas presents from his momma.

dessert splurge. a lemon meringue, a guinness with caramel and a maple with chocolate-covered bacon. 

goodnight beautiful city.