Our Engagement Photos by Noel Nichols

October 21st, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Life - (41 Comments)

I am SO excited to be able to share with you our engagement photos! My friend and incredibly talented photographer, Noel Nichols, took them for us a few weeks ago. We started off at the Naval Aviation Museum and headed toward the Pensacola Lighthouse after for some outdoor shots. I am so happy with how beautifully they turned out. I can’t believe our grandkids will be able to see these someday!

Engagement 1

Engagement 2

Engagement 3

Engagement 4

Engagement 6

Engagement 7

Engagement 8

Engagement 10

Engagement 11

I had an incredible birthday weekend!

Friday morning I met up with my parents to have birthday breakfast at Another Broken Egg Cafe. Mom and I met there last month for her birthday and I introduced her to beignets. I think beignets are going to become a birthday tradition.

2014-10-17 07.48.15

I was glad Dad was able to join us this time as I always love hanging out with my parents. As an added bonus they brought along a few gifts! My favorite cheesetastic Hallmark movie series, The Good Witch, on DVD; a framed photo of Travis and I (sadly my first one!) and this adorable Christmas ornament.
2014-10-17 08.47.29

Aren’t they the sweetest? After breakfast I ran to the bank (literally) and decided to do a 31 minute 5k for my 31st birthday. Seemed so appropriate. 2014-10-17 09.57.53

I had a hair appointment at 11 and just went with a trim (one day I will chop all of my hair off!)2014-10-17 11.44.23After my haircut I grabbed a salad at Roly Poly and headed to the mall to do some shopping. Travis jokes around about how I don’t know how to act like a normal female but he’s totally right. After two hours of wandering around the mall I hadn’t found a single thing. I didn’t have anything in particular I was looking for, but I was hoping to pick up a few new tops or something as I think I’ve bought two new shirts in 6 months. I just can’t justify spending money on something I don’t really need & really love. Since I’m so picky, and would rather save $ than spend it, that means most things don’t satisfy those two criteria.

On the way home I decided to stop into Target to see if I may have better luck there. Totally did. I tried to go outside my comfort zone a bit (which is anything other than workout clothes) and I picked up a few things I would normally never give a chance. I fell in love with this adorable fox thermal shirt.
2014-10-17 13.37.17

I ended up grabbing three tops, a necklace, and a new purse (my first in 3 years) for $75 thanks to most of the items being on sale and using coupons from the Cartwheel app (love that thing.)2014-10-17 14.27.50

After a quick stop at home I headed back out for my massage. I’ve only had one other massage before years ago and with my TMJ as bad as it’s been I was desperate for some relief. I found this amazing massage therapist and will be going back to her as often as I can afford it. She is from Germany and has a background in Psychology, practices Reiki, and has purple hair. We talked through most of the session and she pretty much gave me the worlds greatest massage and a counseling session. If you are in the Pensacola area you have to check her out sometime.

Just when the day couldn’t get any better Travis arrived and blew me away with his gifts! Some Fall/Winter scented hand soap, two Victorian Era books (which I already had but he knew I loved the Victorian era and researched the best books to get -total win), and a new candle.
2014-10-17 19.49.29The BEST gift by far, and potentially the greatest thing anyone has ever done for me, was this Twin Peaks cross stitch that he did himself. Yes, seriously.2014-10-17 19.49.35Saturday morning we went out for a 6 mile run, than hit up the zoo. It was trick-or-treat there so we ran into about a million adorable little kids in costume. My favorite part was feeding the birds. You can buy these little sticks for $1 and when you walk into this bird habitat they just surround you. I had 2-3 on my hand at all times. It is so cute!
2014-10-18 10.35.12We went to Barnes and Noble after lunch and I exchanged the books he got me for a few meditation/mindfulness magazines. For dinner that night we headed back to the scene of our second date, McGuires.  2014-10-18 17.25.29-1

I went with the intention of carbing up for a 20 miler on Sunday. We shared the spinach and artichoke dip for an appetizer, then I went light with the entree and stuck with a salad so I could leave room for dessert. We started off with a whiskey caramel cheesecake, but that wasn’t quite enough so we also ordered this chocolate monstrosity.
2014-10-18 18.32.26Sunday morning we headed out at 6 a.m. to tackle our longest training run and about 2 miles into it my knee started to hurt. By mile 5 it was so painful I could hardly walk on it. I have NO idea what happened. It was just this sharp pain out of nowhere and I should have stopped at mile 2 but I’m ridiculously stubborn. Travis started to run home and I walked for about an hour before he rescued me. I ended up walk/running 8.5 miles so we are going to try next weekend (two weeks before race day) to do an 18-20 miler.

After the crazy few weeks I’ve had this was absolutely what I needed. I’m lucky. Ridiculously lucky, and equally ridiculously grateful.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes!

How was your weekend?

Fitness Friday: I’m 31 today.

October 17th, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Life - (31 Comments)

Workout Wrap UpSaturday: 4 mile walk

Sunday: Rest

Monday: 5k + Xtend Barre

Tuesday: 6 miles

Wednesday: Tracey Mallets F.I.T.

Thursday: 5k

Friday: Total New Body Barre Workout

Given that I just signed up for the Pensacola marathon this week (marathon is 11/9) it sure doesn’t look like I’m marathon training with those miles! Travis and I are hoping to get a 18-20 miler in this weekend. Since I was using the Hanson method the first two months the longest I’ve run thus far is 16 miles (the day after running 8-10) so now that I’ve abandoned the Hanson plan I’d like to get one ‘traditional’ long run in before the race in three weeks.

2014-10-13 07.00.12

I pulled out my absolute favorite workout DVD this week. F.I.T. burns more calories than any other workout DVD I’ve tried and I am SO sore from it still! It’s such a good sore feeling though.

2014-10-15 10.48.38Salem has been such a little comedian this week. I went to bed one night and twice he scared the shit out of me by jumping up on the ottoman, hitting the space bar, and turning Gilmore Girls on. I thought two sarcastic, but overall pleasant sounding, women were trying to break into my house. Salem thought it was hysterical.

2014-10-13 21.41.32Salem also insisted on helping me work every morning this week.

2014-10-15 08.02.09Although he really wasn’t that helpful.

2014-10-14 15.57.41I found a new snack at Target I was OMG excited to try.

2014-10-15 14.55.41It was so bad I literally gagged and almost pulled over to throw up. Please don’t try it. I also had a total fail making a smoothie bowl this week. I don’t really like smoothies or salads because they don’t fill me up, but I thought ‘hey, why don’t you make it with some yogurt for protein and some coconut oil for fat and put it in a bowl to eat with a spoon and maybe it will be better.’ It wasn’t better. It was terrible.

2014-10-15 11.20.46After class yesterday I went and laid down on a dock for an hour. I just felt like I had to. The fresh air and sun on my face was nice.

2014-10-16 14.10.20

Since today is my birthday I’m treating myself to a much needed haircut.

2014-10-16 10.07.22-1I will also be getting an equally needed massage. The women I found does deep tissue, athletic massages and reiki, so I think I’m in for a treat! Aside from that I think Travis and I will be going to the zoo this weekend and out to eat. All I hope for is a stress-free, relaxing time.

What are your plans for this weekend?
What do you normally do to celebrate your birthday? I hate that they don’t feel ‘special’ anymore like they used to.