I just had a feeling going into this wedding day it was going to be something special.  And I wasn’t wrong!  From the details to the flowers to her dress to one of my favorite venues, RM Champagne Salon.  It was a perfect day.  The weather was gorgeous which made their outdoor ceremony in RM’s courtyard the perfect summer evening.  Market lights danced overhead and as all the guests sipped their glasses of bubbly it became a night no one would soon forget.  Including myself.

 

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Dear Lauren,

 

Stop buying Reese’s cups.  You know if they are in the freezer you are going to eat them.  It’s not rocket science.  Unpack your suitcases.  You promised yourself that a new house meant new habits.  You’re two deep now…so get on it.  I know you really want to be a master gardner but I think it’s OK that it’s not your thing.  Someone out there really loves it and you should help them follow their dreams.  It’s only right.  I know you cry when you hear that Underage song because you want so badly to be young and free and responsibility-less for just one day.  But try to remember how badly you wanted to be right here when you were 18.  And guess what…you did it.  You’re 30.  Which is kind of funny because other than some student loans and few wrinkles, not much has changed.  🙂  Take a deep breath.  Eat lunch on the patio.  Open that bottle of Chardonnay.  Get your nails done.  It’s ok to take some time for you.  A few minutes (or hours or even days) away from chasing your dreams doesn’t mean they will come tumbling down.  Keep working out.  But give yourself a little grace.  A day off won’t kill you…especially when it’s spent on the couch next to a box of Kleenex and some Nyquil.  But if there is one thing I want you to remember from here on out it is this:

 

You are enough.  It doesn’t matter what the people around you say or do.  It matters what you do.  How you do it.  And that you believe in what you’ve built and who you are 5000%.  Because every single day…Reese’s cup or not…you are writing a page out of your own story and I know as well as you do that it’s a damn good one.

 

So live it up.  Unapologetically.  With the people that make you better.  And make life better.  Because girlfriend…you are just getting started.

 

Sincerely,

You.

 

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I had this freak out the other day where I felt like summer was basically over and I hadn’t really done anything “summery.”  I mean I hadn’t even put on a bathing suit and it was already July.  Between moving and going back and forth to Chicago…my free days just didn’t exist.  So to tame this panic I decided to live summer up as much as humanly possible before the gloriousness of fall sets in.  (**side note…I cannot WAIT to see what our house/street is like in fall.  There are so many trees I have no doubt it is going to be pure magic.**)  BUT…as excited as I am about all things pumpkin spice, I just wasn’t ready for summer to be over.  So as I went back through all the photos from my life over the past few months…I realized I’ve been soaking up summer after all.  And let me tell you…there is truly nothing better than summer nights in Indy.  Whether it’s eating dinner out on our patio or sitting on my brother’s deck listening to the girls play.  It’s this sense of nostalgia and contentness that is unparalleled.

So here’s a little look at my life lately…

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Pictures of friends…aka my friend wall.  |  All ready for race day.  |  All the <3’s

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Fun times at the Race party.  My friend from Chicago (Lola) visited and it was super fun.  🙂

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Race day shenanigans.

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She loves her Cap.  |  Concert selfies.  |  Family dinner at the ‘rents.

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My annual trip to Scituate.  Always good for the soul.

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Power outage = impromptu sleepover.  Jammies on point.  |  And just like that she’s 4.

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A little lake getaway.  So much fun.

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Had the family over for dinner.  One of my favorite parts of living in Indy.  |  My first Beginner Photo Class!  |  Me and the hubs at Kenny!

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Date night downtown at the best rooftop restaurant.  |  Our view.  |  Lazy mornings.

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My little 4th of July party that was just what the doctor ordered.

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We love Snapchat selfies.  |  Another great thing about Indiana…tomatoes.  |  Symphony on the Prairie.

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Gary sprayed Round-up on our brand new bushes.  I still can’t talk about it.  |  Those Indy sunsets.  |  Second Beginner Photo Class!

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Just layin’ around.  |  A little mani fun.  |  Weiner roast at Gary’s aunt’s house.

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A little mid week getaway to California.  Seriously so much fun.  With a tiny bit of worked squeezed in.

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We got champagne at check-in!  My kind of hotel!

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My first Sake experience.  Fun times.  |  Soaking up some rays before Sid left for the airport.

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Veggies and dip on crack.  |  Laguna Beach does not suck.  |  I was way too excited about this.

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I spent a few days with my friend, Tami.  It was the best.

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Pool party at Gary’s cousin’s house (aka the Oasis).  Capped off by another killer Indiana sunset.

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Celebrating our “engagement-versary”.

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Summer nights.  The best kind.

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Tenderloin as big as your head.  Only in Indiana.  |  More friends visiting!  |  Dierks did not disappoint.

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State fair fun!  I will never admit all of the things I consumed that night.  Hint…it was fried.  All of it.

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How I manage to get anything done.  Coffee.  |  Our tree fell down.  Which gave Gary an excuse to buy a chainsaw.  I don’t think he minds.  |  This may not look exciting…but when we bought our house there were no toilet paper holders or towel racks.  So I FINALLY bit the bullet and bought some and it’s just a really exciting thing around here.

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Spaghetti night at Lala’s which led to the inaugural use of our bathtub.  They were a fan of the jets.

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A little champagne lunch with Indy friend.  |  I still can’t believe this was real.  This would be like me showing up to shoot a wedding with no camera.  UNACCEPTABLE!  |  Drove home in a killer storm.  Totally thought I was going to get sucked up by a tornado.

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I feel like I have sweat more in the last month than in my entire life.  It has been SO hot and I have been so sweaty.  🙁  |  New watch!  |  On our way to Kentucky.  This was Gary’s “drive faster” face.

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Kentucky with my loves.  Such a fun weekend.

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Counting Crows with my High School besties.  The night may or may not have ended with us watching showchoir videos until 3am.  Sorry not sorry.

 

 

We sat at the bar, sipping some delicious wine and discussing everything but the kitchen sink.  Politics…sushi…marriage…and of course, kids.  None of us had any but somehow we got on the topic of wanting them versus not wanting them.  Some people were very adamantly against the parenthood track while others were just waiting for the perfect time.  As I listened to the debate I was remembering the time in my life where I was very OK with the idea of never having kids.  I was young and it’s not that I didn’t want them…it’s that I really hadn’t given it any thought.  And as I sat there I was trying to pinpoint exactly what had changed.

 

It’s no secret that I love my nieces with every ounce of my being.  So much that I can’t even comprehend what it would be like to be an actual mother.  I mean I’m just an aunt and I feel like I couldn’t possibly love something more.  So the idea of having kids that are actually mine is crazy.  But that wasn’t it.  What it came down to…and what I never realized before my two little peanuts made their way into this world…is the immense joy that comes along with a child that you are so connected with.  I can be having the worst day but when Katharine says something funny everything else disappears.  Or when Emmy gives you the biggest smile…there is no way you don’t smile back.  Those little girls have added a level of joy to my life that I didn’t know was possible.  And that’s what’s changed.  That’s what makes me want kids of our own is having something in our lives that is bigger than us.  And a happiness that is like no other…

 

I mean look at this little peanut.  How can you not smile when you’re with her…  <3

 

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I don’t know when we’ll have kids…but I know when we do our life will be very, very full.

 

When I was in California, Tami and I went to this awesome beachfront breakfast spot.  I mean you couldn’t beat the location.  Or the Beignets for that matter.  The tables were a bit of a tight squeeze and it was very apparent the couple next to us were celebrating something.  As our fresh beignets made their way to our table it caught their attention and we started chatting.  Come to find out they were celebrating their anniversary (40-something years, I can’t remember exactly).  And every single anniversary they come to that exact spot for breakfast.  They went on to tell us how they usually take a big trip to celebrate another year of marriage but this year they just had too much going on.  So instead they had breakfast at their usual spot.  Then they were off to a couple’s massage at the St. Regis…then the beach…then dinner at Mastros.  As the husband told us all about their planned day with such pride I couldn’t help but think that Gary and I really need to step up our celebration game.

 

I’ll admit it.  I’m the person that really wants these extravagant trips and date nights but when it comes down to it I get stressed out spending the money.  So I decide a stay-home date is just perfect.  And as this couple (who I’ll admit, was obviously very wealthy) told us all about their grand day…I started to think about Gary and I’s past celebrations.  Whether it be an anniversary or something so trivial as a weekend off in the middle of the summer…we always find a way to make the little moments in life special.  Whether it be champagne for no reason….or trying a new Pinterest recipe together we both know will probably tank…or even a big trip somewhere fantastic.  We make the most of it.  So last night….three years since Gary asked me to marry him…we made it memorable.  It didn’t involve massages or steak dinners…but it was just lovely.  We grilled up some yummy food and sat out on our patio under the market lights.  We cheers’ed to that one time we got engaged and as August 9th came and went…there was only one thing that mattered.  That we spent that night together…in a way that is perfectly us.

 

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