what’s your love language?

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Good afternoon, lovelies! Hope you all had a glorious, love-filled Valentine’s Day. Stuffed teddy bears, candy hearts and expensive dinners aside, I hope you were able to feel the love in some way or another.

Speaking of love, I recently started “reading” (well, listening) to The 5 Love Languages on Audible as recommended by a friend. Sure I’ve taken the test in the past to discover my love language (which I found fascinating!) but wanted to dig a little deeper and see what the book was all about.

I must say, I’m 8 chapters in and can’t put the book down take my headphones off! It’s no wonder I was always so fascinated with Psychology and relationships throughout highschool and college. Perhaps that’s why I started off as a relationship blogger…which I’m so glad I put in the past (that’s a whole ‘nother story for another time!)

So what’s this whole love language thing about, anyway? Written by relationship counselor Dr. Gary Chapman, the book discusses how we communicate through 5 primary love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gifts and physical touch.

The catch is that we all have different love languages, meaning what works for one may not work for another (similar to the concept of bio-individuality). This very fact is what Chapman believes to be the reason behind many divorces, and also the key to love that lasts.

You see, most of us tend to speak the love language that we prefer, although that may not be the love language of our partner. For example, if your primary love language is words of affirmation (like me!) you may show you partner you love them by saying “I love you!” and leaving cute notes around the house or in their lunchbox. On the flip side, if their main love language is acts of service (like my man’s) all the mushy gushy notes in the world aren’t going to make up for the fact that there’s a sink full of dirty dishes.

See the problem here? No worries, there is indeed a solution. Once we learn to speak our partner’s love language, you can begin to truly be heard and improve your relationship.

After taking the quiz, I found my primary love languages — no surprise here!– to be words of affirmation and quality time. My man’s on the other hand was a mix between acts of service (number 1) and quality time. We both had some physical touch as well, though it didn’t weigh as strong, while gift-giving wasn’t too important to either of us.

“So J, what are some chores you’d like me to do more of?” I slyly asked while he was watching a James Bond movie. (Keep in mind: this is after I already forced him to hit pause to take the love language quiz. What a guy!)

“Huh? I don’t know…nothing really. I don’t want you to have to do anything, we’re both equal and can both pitch in. Plus, I’ll always do the dishes since I know you hate doing them.”

Well isn’t that sweet…but I knew he wasn’t telling the full truth.

“I can learn to love doing them… or at least do them for you!” I exclaimed. Boy wants acts of service, I was determined to do some acts of service.

“Well, I guess it’d be nice if you put away the dry ones when you have time.”

That I can do! We were on the right path. Also, since we both had such a strong scoring of “Quality Time,” I suggested we get back to doing our weekly date nights (which we put a slight pause on due to the cold weather) and make a list of activities we’d enjoy doing together like yoga, hiking and concerts.

I was beginning to feel like a relationship therapist. But the thing is, there’s nothing wrong with our marriage at all (heck, we’re newlyweds!) but like anything it can always be better. And that’s something I always want to strive toward.

Now it’s your turn! Find this stuff as fascinating as I do? You can discover your own love language here! What’s your primary love language(s), and what do you think is your partner’s? Were you surprised at all? How can you begin to implement speaking in your partner’s love language to improve your relationship?

                 

My Journey Through Overcoming Food Fear

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I spent a large portion of my life — that is, the majority of my upper teens and early twenties — hating food.

It’s not that I didn’t like the taste of food; now that I loved. That certainly wasn’t the problem.

It’s that I hated the way food made me fat (or so I thought.) Regardless, it made me feel fat and for that reason alone I grew to despise it.

Even worse than hating food was that I was well aware of this “issue” of mine, and wanted so badly to be normal like the rest of my friends. I was ashamed of myself and my weird ways with food.

I’ll never forget that feeling of watching my beautiful + lively college roommates enjoy pizza, pasta and beer without a care in the world, as I’d sit there starving myself. Literally. “Thanks, but I already ate dinner,” or “I’m stuffed,” I’d lie to myself (and my friends) and I sat there salivating watching them eat, feeling 100% empty.

Whether I ate a spoonful of peanut butter, some rice cakes, roasted chicken or a half of a bagel, I was left feeling guilty; it was never good enough and I always found a way to punish myself for being “bad.”

Every meal, dinner out, or snack was a whole ordeal for me involving a meticulous calorie-counting formula swallowed by an extra dose of guilt. I was constantly on edge, worried sick about that next meal. When would it be? Who would be watching me? How many calories would I consume? What would the scale say the next morning?

I avoided dinners out like the plague, family vacations were centered around food and exercise, and Thanksgiving (and most holidays in that case) was a giant anxiety fest. I was living fearing food, in turn not really living at all.

One summer, I traveled abroad in Southern Italy, and for the first time in years had to get by without a scale or nutrition labels. Most everything was served fresh (from mozzarella and fish to fresh breads and fruit I’d pick up at the local stands), and the minimal processed food I ate was labeled in Italian with a different way of tracking calories.

Put plain and simple, it was just me, myself and my body. So I did what I was meant to do: listened to it.

I enjoyed the rich flavor of chocolate gelato on hot summer afternoons, stayed up until midnight sharing memories and breaking bread around the table with new friends and carelessly ate real bread, real cheese and real meat for the first time in a long while. I felt so alive, so free.

That was just the beginning of a major life shift I was going through (one that took several years to break through), a shift toward truly learning to celebrate and enjoy food.

It pains me to look back on this time at my old self, a girl who was so self-conscious, anxious and so very mean to her body. It pains me even more to know there are hundreds of other girls going through a similar story: ashamed, scared and confused. They (or you) are not alone.

Now, some of my most favorite memories are centered around the table (over good food). A place that once brought such a great deal of fear now brings joy, happiness and laughter.

Each family recipe tells a story, like Grandma Carol’s famous chocolate cake, Grandma Mary’s pierogies, dad’s award-winning chili, and my annual birthday meal: chicken parmesan with Fettuccine Alfredo. And believe it or not, Thanksgiving is now my favorite holiday: a time where family and loved ones can come together to celebrate love (and food).

As I lay here on this snowy eve with my hubby (snuggled up in my favorite fuzzy blanket), I slowly sip a glass of bold Cabernet as I savor the rich, tart berry flavor.

I am blessed that this (sometimes crazy) life of mine has taught me the lessons it has, and await many more memories we’ll create around the table with good food, good laughs and a few good drinks.

XoXo,

Rachel

                 

Find an exercise that makes you shine: A Fab Fitness Giveaway with Women’s iLab

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As you know, I’m a firm believer that in order to thoroughly enjoy fitness + discover your personal path to wellness, you must find an exercise that makes you shine. In other words, the goal is to find something that you love + look forward to instead of something you feel you “have” to do.

After all, there’s nothing worse than painfully dragging your butt to the gym for a treadmill run just because you “need to work out.” Where’s the fun in that?

Over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to discover several exercises that makes me shine and feel my best self including running, yoga and barre. These are the exercises that make you sweat, feel sexy, and leave feeling totally OK with the fact that you just spent $20+ to get your downward dog on. These are the exercises that leave you wanting more.

One of my true loves — which has always been there for me through thick and thin — is spinning. There’s nothing like a good, sweaty ride that gets my blood flowing + heart pumping!

Living in Boston, I’ve been blessed to experiment with many different spin studios – - seriously there are so many popping up! But one of my favorites since the beginning has been Flywheel. Just like an old friend or your favorite skinny jeans, I know I can always count on them to deliver.

Maybe it’s their stadium-style seating + their club-like bumping beats. Or perhaps it’s their rock-star instructors who motivate + inspire. Or maybe it’s the way they encourage you to push yourself further (both personally or competitively).

Or it could very well just be the fact that Flywheel simply rocks.

That’s why I’m thrilled to team up with Women’s iLab and fellow Boston health blogger Michelle from Sunshine & Superfoods to bring you the ultimate wellness giveaway: that is, two passes to Flywheel! Now you have the chance to give this latest fitness obsession a ride for yourself.

All the giveaway details are over on my instagram, and you have until Friday 1/30 at 12:00 a.m. EST to enter!

Best of luck!

xoxo,

Rachel

                 

Are you a dream chaser?

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Are you a dream chaser?

Do you vision-board your life over and over again?

Are you constantly thinking how you can be better, faster, stronger, always thinking you need to do more?

Do you strive for this ideal version of yourself, yet never feel quite satisfied?

Now let me ask you this: do you ever feel downright tired?

I know because I’ve totally  been there. I used to be THE dream-chaser. (And it’s not like there is anything terribly wrong with being a dreamer by the way) That’s not what I’m saying at all. It’s when you are so busy chasing your dreams, that you lose sight of the present and the beauty that is. That’s where the problem is.

There comes a time when you just need to stop (chasing/striving/running) and start living and breathing in the moment. You see, when you stop trying so darn hard to get EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT and just trust + believe, the universe can finally start working on your side. It’s as if you unblock this sticky fog (smog?) that’s been suffocating you, and finally allow yourself to see things as they really are.

Sure trusting in the universe can be a bit scary — how can you trust in something you can’t see nor don’t know will ever come true? — but once you break through that fear the magic starts happening. Beautiful things begin to manifest for you.

So no, my darling, never lose sight of your dreams; dreams keep us youthful, hopeful and inspired. Simply shift the way you act upon your dreams into a belief and intention rather than a “I need that right now” mentality. Then take a step back, and a deep breath and let things flow to you. From the wise words of my yogi tea bag, “Let things come to you.”

XoXo,

Rachel

                 

Clean Slate + Review of Thirst Juice Co.

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I am not really a fan of cleanses, detoxes and definitely not diets. When you think of a traditional cleanse, you think of restricting yourself, juice fasting and calorie-counting, all of which I don’t believe in. I’m a HUGE advocate for treating yourself, and firmly believe that Healthy Chicks Eat Burgers Too.

I also don’t feel that a 7-day or 14-day juice fast can “fix” your body (like a magic pill) and erase years of pizza parties, wine binges and sitting on the couch only to go back to your old habits once the cleanse is over. It’s a lifestyle, and like anything making changes to your diet takes time and commitment.

That said, I am a believer in doing a whole-foods based cleanse with the goal of resetting your body and getting you back on the right track (vs. healing you and erasing years of “bad decisions.”)

In the past few months, I got married, enjoyed a two-week honeymoon in Hawaii, forged through some busy times at work, and survived the holiday season. Needless to say, my body was feeling a little blah.

This is the very reason I decided to give Clean Slate: A Cookbook and Guide a go. Written by the editors and chefs of Martha Stewart Living, this book is chock-full of whole-foods based recipes intended to reset your body, promote detoxing and help you feel your best.

Since I generally lead a rather healthy lifestyle (and like I said I’m really not a fan of “cleansing”) I chose to do a 14-day version of the 21-day cleanse they outline in the book. Week 1 is primarily fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and oils and then Week 2 you can add back in gluten-free grains and fish.

During the entire two weeks, you cut out alcohol, coffee, gluten, soy, added sugar, meat, processed foods and dairy (all of which, to be honest, us Americans over-consume anyway). In addition gluten, soy and dairy are among the most common allergens and given my sensitivity to gluten, my body was definitely craving a little break.

I won’t lie: the first 3 days pretty much sucked big time. I had headaches (did I mention I’m hooked on coffee?) and I was pretty darn cranky (just ask my husband). I actually cried on day 2 as I was so very emotional, and my husband came over to comfort me asking “Are you sure you don’t want to delay your cleanse when you have less ‘stuff’ going on?” to which I shouted back “NO!”

I must say, I am glad I stuck through it as by day 4 I was feeling like a brand new woman, and all of those not-so-glamorous symptoms began to fade. One of my favorite parts of the cleanse has been the way it’s sparked my creativity in the kitchen. Instead of focusing on what I “can’t” have I focus on all the glorious things I can have: colorful produce, flavorful spices, rich oils. Believe it or not, it’s actually been pretty fun!

In the past week, I’ve made raw cacao coconut balls adapted from MIX Wellness, gluten-free dairy-free vegetable lasagna inspired by YumUniverse, and Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Garlic Avocado Aioli from Oh She Glows. I even brought vegan Jalepeno Poppers (via Minimalist Baker) and Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip (via 86 Lemons) to “Football Saturday” as we watched the Pats last night.

I have discovered the amazing way that cashews (when soaked, blended and mixed with delicious spices) can double for cheese, I’ve learned that life goes on (with a lot less bloat) without bread, and now have a new-found love for green smoothies and firmly believe garlic should be in everything.

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Then this past Thursday, I got the opportunity to visit Thirst Juice Co. — a brand new juice + smoothie bar in Downtown Boston — to see what they’re all about. Located on School Street, they’re just steps away from Downtown Crossing and Park Street Station making it a convenient option for the city-goer.

Serving up made-to-order juices and smoothies, cold-pressed juices and homemade soups, the folks behind Thirst Juice Co. know what they’re doing. Founded by husband and wife duo (and former-lawyers!) Chris + Heather, Thirst was born due to their love of real food and healthy living. And what better way to kick things off than by sharing their love of health with the Boston community?

I ventured over to Thirst during Day 8 of my cleanse, excited to walk into a place where I could have literally almost everything! After chatting with one of the owner’s Heather, I decided to give her favorite juice “The Green Dream” a shot, made with kale, cucumber, pineapple and jalapeno.

[co-founder Heather Stevenson prepping behind the bar!]

I absolutely loved the way the flavors came together, especially the jalepeno kick. It was the perfect blend of refreshing and zesty (with a touch of sweet!) that led me to gulp down my entire cup as I snapped photos and browsed the menu in awe.

While I was there, I also tried the Apple-Ginger-Turmeric-Lemon shot for a winter wellness boost. I loved the spicy, strong flavor (and the adorable slate it was served on)…I could tell it was doing my body good!

[The Green Dream + Apple-Ginger-Turmeric-Lemon Shot!]

I’m excited to know Boston is becoming more health-conscious, and more and more local businesses that get it are beginning to pop up around the city!

As I approach Day 12 of my “cleanse,” I am feeling vibrant, re-energized and ready to continue this healthy way of eating + living. Remember: it’s not about what you do for 1 day, two weeks or even a month; rather it’s the little things you do daily that add up. You don’t need to be PERFECT, you just need to be consistent.

Cheers to good health + good food!

XoXo,

Rachel

                 

A shift in energy: do you give to yourself?

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Last week I wrote about gratitude — on appreciating others and what you have. Isn’t it such a joy to be grateful for others and in turn give them that joy?

Today, I want to take a step back and focus on how we give to ourselves. Earlier today when talking with a dear friend, she said something that really struck me. “I think we tend to just give to other people and don’t take time for ourselves.” BINGO. She hit the nail on the head.

I give my energy to friends + family (because I love them).

I give my all in my job, and go above and beyond to get things done.

I give my time to other people…a lot.

I give handmade gifts + presents + treats.

I give myself…with no expectation of anything in return.

But the question is, what am I giving to myself? As we enter 2015 — a brand new year of exciting, magical things– one of my intentions is to GIVE MORE to me.This means spending more time doing the things I love, you know “me things.”

I’m a hard worker and tend to give 110% of myself to anything I commit to (be it work, relationships, or projects). This year I want to make sure I also dedicate 110% of my energy to myself. The time has come to quit putting myself on the back burner.

This means saying no more often.

This means scheduling writing time to work on my book (and sticking to it).

This means spending quiet time with myself to reflect on things.

This means doing more yoga + meditation.

This means spending more time with my hubby (without my iPhone or emails distracting me)

This means unplugging. A lot.

It’s time to give back…to myself. 2015, I’m ready for you!

Who’s with  me? Are you giving enough to yourself? How can you shift your energy + schedule around to make more time for YOU?

                 

Gratitude + Thanks: Reflections on 2014

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As the holiday season unwinds, I realize I have many gifts to be thankful for — both the physical and the little blessings that are only felt by the heart. But perhaps the greatest gift of all is that of gratitude.

It’s a gift for yourself, and no one can take that away from you.

When you’re feeling particularly low, down or lonely, gratitude may be one of the only things that can pick you right back up. It’s like a gentle nudge of affection, telling you “Hey, it’s all going to be OK.” And with the snap of a finger, your day can take a complete 180 with the simple expression of gratitude. It’s that powerful.

Gratitude forces you to shift your perspective, to stop, pause and appreciate what it is you have to be thankful for. It helps you open up your eyes and honor the present. It fills you up with love. It gives you hope even when hope seems far away.

So as 2014 comes to an end, I’d like to take a moment and reflect upon what it is I have to be grateful for this year, and I urge you to do the same!

1. Marrying my brand new husband and love of my life Jason!

2. Being published in Indie Chick Magazine’s first ever print edition in January of 2014

3. The peace + clarity I feel when stepping onto my yoga mat.

4. Red wine after a long day.

5. Sushi date-nights

6. Having the opportunity to be New Balance’s blogger ambassador for their Girls Night Out campaign during the summer!

7. My one + only sister Krista who was the best maid of honor a gal could ask for

8. Best friends

9. Essential oils

10. Meditation

11. My blog readers + fans + all the kind emails and messages I receive from all of you

12. My mom + dad who stand by me through thick and thin, and pretty much singlehandedly planned our wedding!

13. My job at sweetgreen, especially the incredible people I’ve been blessed to meet along the way!

14. All the beautiful people in our lives, especially those who came out to celebrate our wedding day.

15. Our magical honeymoon to Hawaii

16. Coffee. Enough said.

17. Laughter

18. My man’s tacos, stir-fries, frittatas and roasted chicken

19. My health.

20. Good days + bad days…especially good days but bad days for appreciating the good days even more

21. yogi tea

22. Finding feathers in little secret places as a reminder that my grandmother is looking after me

23. My ability to run… and completing my 4th half marathon this year in Newport

24. My grandparent’s especially Grandma Mary’s pierogies and Grandpa John’s honey + stories

25. mason jars

26. kale

27. Sunshine

28. The Beatles

29. Our first dance to Snow Outside by Dave Matthew’s Band, a moment I will never forget

30. New memories.

31. Old memories

32. Having Jason’s mother Patty there with us to celebrate our wedding day

33. Leg-warmers

34. Gluten free pizza

35. Sharing my love + knowledge of health and wellness with others

36. My body + good food, and the fact that neither controls or upsets me any more

37. Making other people happy

38. The little things

39. Late-night snuggles while catching up on Modern Family, Homeland + Shark Tank

40. Bear hugs

41. My writing

42. CHEESE.

43. Family trips to the condo up north

44. Love that surrounds me daily

45. Happiness, family + all the other beautiful things in life

What are you grateful for this year? Write it down. Say it out loud. Share it. Express your gratitude!

                 

HC’s Winter Wellness Challenge: RING IN THE HOLIDAY SEASON FEELING HAPPY, SEXY + CONFIDENT

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but why aren’t you feeling in the holiday spirit?

Are you feeling stressed out to the max?

Hung-up about your body?

Sluggish…Broke…Defeated?

Are you finding yourself ordering takeout 5 days of the week?

Milking that snooze button a little more than you should?

Skipping the gym…because PJs just seem a little more enticing?

I’ve got a secret for you: you’re not alone.

There’s been a lot of talk lately on feeling those winter blues (er, pre-winter blues to be exact).

So I’ve been busy brewing up a fun, interactive wellness challenge for y’all! That’s right, the 21-Day Winter Blues “Get Healthy + Happy” Wellness Challenge: Ring in the holiday season feeling happy, sexy and confident in your own skin!*
*WITHOUT DIETING OR GIVING UP PUMPKIN PIE!!

The challenge will begin on Monday, December 1st (right after Thanksgiving weekend), and includes:

  • Daily dose of positivity sent straight to your email (even better than your morning latte!) with clear action-steps to implement right away for the 21 days.
  • Access to private Facebook group to hold one another accountable – I’m a firm believer that the main reason we don’t follow through is because we have no one to keep us accountable. Oh, and I’ll be doing the challenge with you throughout!
  • No talks of dieting, calories or “losing weight” (pinky promise!) – we’re GAINING our health + confidence back ladies!
  • My holiday season survival kit — 10 must-have items to stock in your purse + pantry ASAP.
  • Seasonal (easy) recipe suggestions made with real, whole foods to get you through the season with ease (shared in the Facebook group).

THE DEETS

START DATE: Monday, December 1st

COST: $11 – I’m keeping the cost down since I want as many ladies as possible to have SUPPORT + LOVE during one of my favorite, albeit stressful, times of the year! (Oh, plus 11 is my lucky #)

SIGN ME UP

Payment is due by 10pm EST Sunday, November 30th.

With love,

Rachel

                 

27 Simple Ways to Beat the Cold Weather, Pre-Winter Blues

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Are you feeling a little off,

Down in the dumps?,

“Blah?”

Don’t worry, my darling. It seems like you just may be dealing with a little case of the cold-weather, pre-winter blues. And I’m totally with you on this one!

As I hiked through the pouring rain in 40-degree weather the other evening, carrying multiple tote bags for a work function, a part of me just wanted to break down and cry. Mind you, that morning I had an argument — er, disagreement — over my recent health insurance bills and then had to trek an hour out of my way because I left some items for my event in the hubby’s car. Did I mention I spilt dressing on my favorite jeans?

It was pretty much the epitome of one of those days. You know the type.

So I reached out to twitter world, asking for favorite ways to perk up on those gooey, rainy, less than perfect days.

I loved all of the suggestions, from curling up with a hot cup o’ coffee + macaroons to squeezing in a sweat session at the gym. Here are some of my personal favorites:

1. Curl up with a magazine or good book.

2. Book an appointment for a mani pedi – you so deserve it

3. Sip on some hot herbal tea.

4. Take yourself on a lunch date – sushi for one, please?

5. Turn your shower into a steam room

6. Brew a pot of homemade seasonal coffee – pumpkin spice and toasted almond are my favorites right now!

7. Take a nap.

8. Take a bath.

9. Breathe in some essential oils – I’m loving Badger’s Cheerful Mind Balm!

10. Cuddle someone you love.

11. Write. Color. Craft. Paint. Be creative.

12. Pop in an old-time favorite movie

13. Send a letter via snail mail.

14. Paint your nails a pretty color.

15. Step on your yoga mat.

16. Plan a Girl’s Night In at your place!

17. Put on the coziest, fuzziest PJ pants you can find.

18. Update your vision board.

19. Clean your room. (Really.)

20. Play outside.

21. Make a list of 3 areas in your life you want to improve on & brainstorm action steps you can take right now.

22. Practice meditation.

23. Laugh, out loud.

24. Go on a social media detox for a day.

25. Wear lipstick or a vibrant gloss.

26. De-stress your to-do list.

27. Start a journal.

Now I want to know, what’s on your list? Stay happy lovely ladies!

Xo,

Rachel

                 

Welcoming Life As The New Mrs.

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I’ve been a bit MIA on the blog-front lately, but I promise it’s in good reason.

Three weeks ago I married the love of my life, and can honestly say without thinking twice that it was by far the best day of my life.

Really, I couldn’t think of a single day that even comes closeit was special, unique, full of love and downright a good time (our friends and family know how to party!) In one word it was simply magical.

Leading up to the wedding, we heard endless words of advice from friends and family (all in good nature!)

You’re not going to eat, so be sure to eat something at the cocktail hour before you go out.

Remember to step away and take it all in; it’s going to be a blur.

It’s going to fly by, enjoy it!

It’s impossible to get to every table… unless you want to miss dinner!

All of this was great, first-hand expert advice from fellow married couples, but the moment I walked into the church in my all-lace dress and grabbed onto my dads arm for dear life, all of it went out the window.

I was about to be changed…forever. And that, no one can prepare you for.

While the ceremony at the church was a bit of a blur (apparently I didn’t look at Jason walking down the aisle until the last few seconds…oops!) I do remember bits & pieces like making eye contact with a dear friend from childhood, getting my veil caught on my belt and looking deeply into Jason’s eyes to recite our vows.

At the reception, I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed the entire night to the fullest as if it was a giant extended party with all of my favorite people (which in theory, it was). Not once did I feel rushed, hungry (or thirsty!) or herded around by our photographers. I just felt happy, blessed and thankful.

Some of my favorite parts were riding to the reception with our wedding party + parents blasting pop songs (which my 5-year-old cousins knew all the words to), listening to our friends and family give some of the most thoughtful, from-the-heart speeches I’ve ever heard, wowing the guests with our first dance Snow Outside by DMB while our DJ (who gave us dance lessons) watched with pride, and having the pleasure of watching Jason dance with his mother who is coping with Alzheimer’s — a dream he always had, to dance with his mother on his wedding day.

Not to mention getting the party started with our father-daughter dance medley, which ended with a dance party to “Dirty Bit.” Priceless.

We ate (everything), we danced, we cried, we laughed, and we made it to every single table & made it a point to greet all of our guests because, after all, they are here for us.

But the one thing no one told me was that marriage would change you — or at least it has changed me.

No, I don’t feel any different and when you look at the big picture nothing has changed on the outside (Heck, I’m still a “Ski” and will always be “daddy’s little girl” and call him practically every day).

But I am different in the fact that I want to be a better person for Jason, for myself, for us.

It’s hard to explain exactly why or how I’ve changed, but I know something inside has shifted. It’s like we’ve moved into another stage in our relationship (from a crush to puppy love to intimacy to serious-everlasting-love). It’s now the real deal, and I’m taking it a heck of a lot more seriously. This man is my husband; it’s now a forever kind o’ love and I’m striving to keep it that way.

I came across this article on Business Insider this week, titled “Science Says Lasting Relationships Come Down to 2 Basic Traits.”

The article pointed out that while only 3 out of 10 marriages remain in a happy, healthy state (holy crap!), those that last have 2 major common traits: kindness and generosity.

In addition, a major theme that ran through the article was the importance of connection — being there for your parter and showing them you appreciate them. Heck, isn’t this true in any relationship? We all desire to feel appreciated.

That connection piece in particular really struck a chord for me, and I want to try my very best to be present and show (not just tell!) my man just how much I appreciate him. Spending that quality, unplugged time together is absolutely key in keeping the love + affection strong.

As I navigate life from a Ms. to a Mrs, I embrace this change with excitement, joy and even a little bit of uncertainty. I know that life will be hard at times and we may face obstacles as a couple, but I am ready to walk through these times hand-in-hand with the love of my life right by my side.

Xoxo,

Rachel

                 

 
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