Soap Box Gay Marriage Rant

856405_10100925968064541_1946542315_oSo, I feel I labeled this one appropriately. This is going to be my quick two cents on the whole Gay Rights movement that’s currently happening. I don’t talk a ton about being in a same sex relationship but it obviously comes up here and there. I’m not one to go protest or to wave big rainbow flags, I will lead by example and hopefully with that others will realize the inequalities that stand. Also, I’m not saying however you stand up for what you believe in is wrong if it’s different from me. I truly appreciate your rights and views as they are what make this world we live in so fascinating.

I was raised in the perfect little suburbia in a very conservative/Republican town. My childhood was rather perfect and so were my high school years. Looking back I see where some of my struggles came from but at the time I had no idea they were seeded in this and they really weren’t really damaging. Since coming out and now being married my views on gay marriage have changed. It’s been a progression on what rights I felt I wanted and needed. So here are my random thoughts all going toward the rights and laws around gay marriage

1. The first thing I learned through coming out is that I wasn’t going to win my family or friends over by shoving something down their throat. I was going to show them why I should have equal rights but that was just by being me. I wasn’t going to make out with a girl on my parent’s couch because I would hope all people wouldn’t do that. My parents had raised me better than that. The first time I brought a girl home I didn’t hold her hand the whole time or profess my love. I waited to slowly be affectionate so they would be comfortable with it. I respected that this was all new for them, at one time it was new for me too. With friends nothing changed. Danielle was just another significant other in the group and that’s how we wanted it to be.

2. Marriage: This obviously is a big thing that’s going on right now so I figured I’ll address it.

Danielle and I often call ourselves the most traditional gays ever. We like that. I want the house with a white picket fence, have 2.5 children, a golden retriever and a minivan. Just kidding on the minivan! So after we had been together awhile I decided to ask her the wonderful question and we plan our wedding. At one point I said that I wouldn’t get married, I would have a commitment ceremony. The reason I said this was I didn’t want anyone else to feel that I was ‘hurting’ or ‘harming’ their religion. I respect people’s views and again didn’t want to make them feel uncomfortable. However, I realized throughout the time of planning, etc. that this was our wedding. We were going to be like the millions(not sure number so don’t quote me on anything) of weddings that take place without God being a huge part of it. This was a day for Danielle and I committing to be one for the rest of our lives and celebrating it in front of our friends. I think we accomplished that and I’m not sure that’s much different then most people’s marriages.

Danielle and I choose not to get married in a state that legally allowed gay marriage because we felt it wouldn’t change much of our daily lives. It’s a piece of paper and we don’t live in a state that would recognize it so what would it matter. However, throughout the past few months many things have come up that has bothered me about this.

  • Danielle and I are buying a house together. We did all the paperwork no problem. We then had to re-do everything(those who have bought a house know how annoying and time consuming that can be) because we don’t file taxes together. We can’t do that because you have to be married to do so.
  • This also means that we don’t get any tax breaks although we very much live in one house and function as one unit. It’s not the money, it’s the principle.
  • Danielle and I have talked about having children one day. I was thinking kind of crazy and thought that I may like to stay home with our kids. However, if I were to do that I would get no health insurance because I wouldn’t be covered under Danielle’s family policy. Yes, there is an option to have me added but that would cost us the amount of a cobra policy and to pay taxes on it. That would be over $1200 a month. Not happening.
  • This last one is what I hate most. Danielle always texts me when she gets to work safe (she only drives 10 minutes). Some days it takes longer or she forgets to text me she’s there. I can be a worrier and start thinking she has gotten in an accident. I then think about how if she has been in an accident the cops aren’t going to my door or calling me. They are calling or going to her parents house, 10 hours away, in Kansas. Not that they wouldn’t immediately call me but I am the one that lives with her, wakes up with her every morning and goes to bed with her every night. I am the one she choose to spend her life with, unfortunately the government won’t recognize this.

As I said before, this was a complete soap box and I am not one to frequently go jump on the soapbox. However, I do have thoughts that I feel are important on this. Danielle and I live really typical lives. We have been lucky enough to work in jobs where we’re accepted, have families that love us and support us in all we do and friends who are cooler then yours At the end of the day are the gay rights going to change a ton in our lives, no. I will love her until forever and we will have a wonderful family together and be happy in how lucky we are. However, it would make us worry a little less, sleep a little better, and save some money in lawyers doing more paperwork then necessary to change our last names so they are all the same, power of attorney, medical power of attorney, so if we have children we both have the ability to take them to the doctors, etc. I’m sure those who are against gay marriage have reasons as well. Luckily we live where we’re allowed to have differing views. I truly appreciate that.

Dieting Sucks

I said it. It’s what everyone is thinking but some people try to be the positive people and are like, “I feel great now that I’m eating healthier”. Now, I know at some point during my dieting time previously I was at that point. I didn’t feel like I was dieting, I was just eating healthy. I was working out all the time and I felt great. However, I think it takes a solid month, maybe longer, to get to that point. Which means, I’m not anywhere close to that yet.

This week was the first strict week of dieting. I posted what that entails on Monday. It means at times I’ve been hungry, I’ve been cranky, and overall not thinking it was great. However, when I get on the scale in the morning it makes me happy. I weigh every morning and write my current weight on the mirror with the date. At the end of the week I track them in a longer list. This makes it very clear how much I’ve lost and how I’ve lost it. It is the statistical evidence needed to convince me to keep dieting. For example, last night Danielle and I did the one dinner out a week that we do. So, this morning I got on the scale and was up 2 lbs. That pretty clearly tells me last nights meal was not a good choice. Hopefully I learn from that. However, I am still down a few lbs this week even including dinner last night. That means I’m doing something right.

I have also officially started training for doing a 10k. This week I completed week 1 of training which wasn’t bad at all. It was walk 1.5 minutes, run 1 minute. Now, I obviously can run farther then 1 minute at a time so I don’t necessarily need to do these weeks of training as such. However, I want to be able to run the entire 10k. I am going to take the training seriously and follow it strictly so I am able to do so. I run faster then I normally would and will work to maintain that speed in the next 9 weeks. It won’t be super fun but I will finish that 10k in an hour (maybe 65 minutes)!

Weekend plans still aren’t decided besides movie night and making mini-cheesecakes this weekend. I will let you know how those go on Tuesday (Monday is MLK day and Danielle and I have big plans)

 

 

Wonderful Weekends!

Wow, this could not have been a better weekend. This past weekend was the first in over 2 months that Danielle and I spent at home. With the wedding and holidays we were in Michigan, Kansas and Cancun most of those weekends, none spent in Ohio where we live.

Friday I worked but it started off amazing as the radio station I listen to was doing a boy band morning. Nothing better then listening to 90s boy band music to get the day started right. While at work I was on pinterest and found a recipe for Moscato cupcakes! Since I knew Danielle and I were going to be home this weekend and the strict diet was starting Monday, I decided to make them. They were pretty simple to make and tasted very good. I would really recommend the strawberries on top. That’s one thing I didn’t do and think it would make them even more perfect!

Ingredients:
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 and 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/3 cup Moscato wine
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tsp. white vinegar
Optional: fresh strawberries or sprinkles for garnish
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put cupcake liners in two cupcake pans. This recipe should make 12-18 cupcakes depending on the size of your pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar, and whisk together. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, Moscato, buttermilk, eggs, and vinegar. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into dry and mix until it is  just blended.
Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake pan, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting with Moscato vanilla icing.
Moscato Vanilla Icing:
8 oz. (1 cup) butter, room temperature – You could also use a mixture of half butter and half cream cheese for the icing if desired, but I used all butter and it was delicious!
3 Tbsp. Moscato
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups icing sugar
In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until it is smooth and fluffy. Add in the Moscato and vanilla and continue mixing until combined. Add the icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until smooth and light. Frost the cooled cupcakes and garnish with a fresh sliced strawberry half and/or sprinkles. Here’s the link: http://brooke-bakes.blogspot.com/2012/04/moscato-cupcakes.html
Recently I have also become obsessed with Legos again. It is normally a thing that comes and goes in waves. Danielle got me an awesome set for Christmas and that was the end of that. I have since bought many organizers, used Birthday money to get another set and spent many hours this weekend working on them. However, they’re rather amazing if I do say so myself:
Tow truck with lights and the lift actually moves

Tow truck with lights and the lift actually moves

Star Wars ship that houses Yoda in the side there, there are also people in 3 other compartments
Star Wars ship that houses Yoda in the side there, there are also people in 3 other areas

 

Now, I know very little about Star Wars, but it was the most pieces and most challenging, so that’s why I have that one. Even more fun then building them, I organized them this weekend. I have 5 containers that divide my Legos in a logical fashion. That’s very very exciting for me. Danielle was perfect and let me waste most of my weekend on this.

Yesterday marked being 2 weeks of being married. Wow, time flies when you’re having fun. The past two weekends really have been perfect with her and I can’t wait to spend many more years together. So I will give tribute to the wedding with one of my favorite pictures:

Danielle & I with my nephew Evan at the wedding

Danielle & I with my nephew Evan at the wedding

This picture is just perfect.This is my nephew Evan telling Danielle and I thank you for the toys at the table. Evan is 4 and was the ring bearer in the wedding. It was a long day of him wearing scratchy clothes (the tux) but the whole day he was amazing. He pulled his little sister down the aisle in a wagon perfectly, he sat quietly the whole ceremony and then broke it down on the dance floor later. During dinner we put bags of goodies at all of the tables with little kids.  All of the kids LOVED these lights that went on their fingers and they were just a few dollars in the Meijer small toy section. The bags included some putty that made farting noises yet didn’t really stick to anything(even the dance floor!), some type of coloring book and a few other things. Just enough to keep them entertained through speeches!

Last is weight loss/working out. Today is the first official day that Danielle and I are becoming really strict about working out. I may have said that last week, however, with Danielle sick that didn’t work out too well. I think the biggest help to the weight loss journey is having someone to do it with. I have been so lucky to have a partner that is positive, encourages me, and knows when and how to help. Last week we bought a new scale and today was the first weigh in. Mondays are my long day at work so I can’t work out today but I have a schedule and WILL stick to it. If I don’t, call me out! I have working out on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and once a weekend. With that said, I’m hungry. The first few weeks always stink. Today I have had eggs (2.5) scrambled with some pepper, 12 grain piece of toast, a banana, apple sauce as a snack and when I finish this I will have a Special K Protein Shake in milk chocolate. Dinner will be in the cafe because I work late. Snacks for tonight include Baked Doritos for 90 cal and Mini Fudge Stripes for 100 calories a pack as well.

Have a wonderful week!

It Happened!

So, the last time I left you all there were 4 days until the wedding. Oh how crazy that week was. However, in all of the craziness it was the greatest week of my life.

My favorite pic so far!

My favorite pic so far!

 

Before the wedding I didn’t want to put too much of the things on here as many people at the wedding would see them. However, now that it’s over, I can share away. Our wedding had a lot of DIY projects. This was not to cut costs but rather so it was perfect like Danielle and I wanted. My plan is to put a project or two up a week.

The first I will do is the flowers. I HATE the smell of flowers. I always associate the smell of flowers with the smell of funerals. Danielle knowing this on our year anniversary made me paper flowers as my gift. I still to this day have them on my nightstand and love them. After much deliberation Danielle and I decided to do paper flowers as our bouquets. So, here are some pictures and the how-to guide:

Finished Product:

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Picture by LeAnn Meyer

 

First you have to start with the flower. The How-To Guide can be found here: How To Make Flowers

  •     Instead of using typical glue Danielle and I used hot glue. This dried quickly and held well. We also tried glue dots and things of that nature. Not worth the pain.
  • For each bouquet we made approximately 60 flowers. This took a very long time. We did a few different sizes as this made them fit well together. The sizes ranged from 4in to 6in

Once the flowers were done it was then time to put it all together. We started with the Slant Handle Bridal Bouquet Holder

Bought at Hobby Lobby

  • We began by spray painting the holder so if you saw through the flowers it wouldn’t show as bad
  • We hot glued 2in wire into the bottom of each flower. Once this was cooled we just stuck them in. It was easier to start from by the handle and work our way to the top.
  • The flowers were very close and overlapped. Some were pushed in farther then others which helped give it depth

Once all of the flowers were on the bouquet we then did a few cosmetic things

  • We decided that we didn’t love the inside of the flowers so we did gemstones. This gave it a fun look and something to help jump out at people. This may have been my favorite thing about them all. These were hotglued on once the bouquet was made. This is important as sometimes the wire needed to be moved from the top when putting the flowers into the base. 
  • We bought black ribbon that we wrapped around the base and around the handle. This made it so you didn’t see any plastic. There are many places you can find different ways to do this on the web so my suggestion would be to just google them and pick whichever option you liked best!

As I said, these bouquets took a very long time to do but we loved them! Also, then ended up looking great in pictures and throughout the night didn’t get damaged as easily as other flowers would have. We also found boutonniere holders that were silver and did just one flower in all of the men’s. This also worked well.

Now that the wedding is over it’s time to get back to working out and living healthy! From April 2011 to June 2012 I had lost about 70lbs. That was a wonderful time. I worked out, ran a 5k, and ate healthy. Unfortunately, as I have said a few times, I gained a good chunk of that back. On my wedding day I was down about 40 lbs. Nothing too shabby but not the best either. So, now it’s time to get back on it. My goal is to be at my goal weight by Spring Break 2014. Now, I know this sounds far away, but the reason I was able to be successful in losing weight the first time was by 1lb a week. I don’t want to set unreasonable expectations and get frustrated. My goal is to lose 60 more lbs. That would mean since I started the weight loss journey I would be down 100lbs. So, what steps am I taking to get there…

The previous weight loss journey worked for me. Running at least 7 miles a  week worked well and got me healthy. I ran my first 5k in May 2012 and that was the healthiest I have ever been. I just signed up for my first 10k that will be this coming May 2013. I’m doing this one with my best friends from high school as well as Danielle signed up for a 5k! I’m really excited that both of us will be training for running. I hope her legs are able to keep shin splint free!

Besides running is the eating healthy aspect again. This means for lunch I have a shake, I have a solid breakfast, and no eating fast food. We do Friday night out to dinner, Saturday eat decent but not super strict and then Sunday back to being strict. I will also try to put on here our favorite low calorie meals and what’s working and what’s not. Since we just had our wedding Danielle and I are eating healthy for the first week before we start weighing in again. After 5 days of drinking and eating on the honeymoon no one wants to see a scale like that!

Another new fun thing I’m trying is I got the NikeFuel for Christmas. I have really liked it thus far, however, it’s not syncing up with my phone or computer correctly. Once I get that working I will let you know how it goes!

I normally end with countdowns…and this time, I have none. I’m working on figuring out what that will be. But I will leave you with my hope for the night is to complete a Legos car that Danielle got me for Christmas. A silly thing called a wedding interfered with my ability to play with my new Christmas gifts!

 

4 Days And Counting

Wow! I’m getting married in FOUR days! So crazy. Christmas was wonderful and a great time to spend away from wedding stuff. Nothing better then watching my nephew open gifts and cuddle with my niece on Christmas morning.

There has only been one big ‘problem’ with the wedding. Our hair person hasn’t contacted us in a month. We aren’t from the area we’re getting married in so we just had called a salon. They set us up with someone and we exchanged information. Since that we hadn’t heard anything. Danielle and I were trying to be patient but decided since we had not heard anything today we were going to look at other options.

On our way home I called a few salons and we were able to get one! They are closed but will open for us, 3 women to do 6 hair and 6 makeup. They are life savers. We were concerned on Monday as we didn’t hear anything and couldn’t do anything. Oh well! It’s all set now.

The best thing of all, IT’S SNOWING! Although it’s crappy roads now it means there is going to be a nice blanket of snow for our wedding day which makes me extremely happy. By the time Sunday hits the roads will be clear for those from out of town and I will be happy.

Running. I have 10 miles to go. The problem is that I got a bad cold starting on Wednesday of last week. On Christmas Day I took my mom, sister, niece and nephew all to the med center for bronchitis. I don’t know if my lungs can take running. Im upset that I didn’t do it and I know I should have done more miles sooner. Stay tuned when I get back as we’re back in work out diet mode!

Countdowns:

Birthday: 3 days

Wedding: 4 days

13 Days People!

My goodness, 13 days is getting hella close. Please excuse the language, but it’s the truth. With this post I’m going to include where we’re at and what we have left. When Danielle and I started planning the wedding we decided that we would do everything we could as DIY projects in advance and then the day of be responsible for nothing but being pampered. Thus far we have done a lot of different things but it has been super fun! We are both mildly controlling so being able to make things exactly perfect for us has been, well, perfect! I don’t want to share too many of our projects as I want people to be surprised when they get to the wedding. However, these are our table markers. I designed the insert and all of that good stuff. My favorite thing about the picture below? It says Mrs. Danielle Filipchuk! That will take some time to get used to, but I LOVE SEEING IT!

photo (16)

This weekend we also did a lot of other things for the wedding. We wrapped all of the gifts for the wedding party, purchased all of the stuff for the kids entertainment bags, for hotel room welcome bags, pretty much all of our shopping is done! I also reorganized yet again the wonderful wedding room. Now we have boxes labelled with what’s inside, where it goes, and the most detailed instructions you’ll ever read. The one big project we have left is cutting and putting together the programs. My sister did a wonderful job at designing them and Danielle is working on them at work so we should have no trouble getting it all done in time. The last thing I need to stop putting off is working on Danielle’s gift. I can’t say what it is because she reads this blog but it will take some time to do so I should get on it.

Before we did all of that wedding fun we went and saw my friend’s baby Hannah. She is just so cute! It was also really fun to hang out with a group of my friends from high school and play cards. I’m excited for the wedding and seeing them in two short weeks!

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Besides seeing my friends I also was able to see my mom, niece and nephew! It was a perfect night/morning of seeing all of my favorite people. My nephew is the cutest little beast out there. It’s so much fun to see him be an actual person now. We can hold real conversations! My niece is also getting into the super fun age where she now interacts with you and tries to talk and walk. She’s the cutest baby over 1 month I know!

Emmie Rocking Out On The Piano

Emmie Rocking Out On The Piano

That leaves me with the last item of my post. This last item is the War on Toilet Paper. This is the current war going on in the Admire/Filipchuk household. Danielle is the one who does most of the household chores. I will do them when she tells me to, but she normally leads. However, Danielle NEVER changes the toilet paper roll. She will grab a new one and leave it on the counter but not throw away the old roll and replace it on the holder. Nothing drives me more insane then this. So, I have now started to protest. We have now gone through 2 toilet paper rolls that haven’t been put on correctly. I have recently started throwing the toilet paper throughout the house. My logic on this one is that if it were on the holder I wouldn’t be able to throw it. Sophie has decided to get in on the war and thinks it is super fun.

Isn't She The Cutest!

Isn’t She The Cutest!

Running. Gosh I love running but then at times not at all. I sucked it up this weekend. Friday was a frustrating day and I ended up not running. My favorite place to run is Danielle’s work and it was closed on Friday. I have realized that if running isn’t easy for me I normally find a reason not to do it. I need to change that. My goal before the wedding was to run 60 miles in 60 days. So we are now down to 13 days so hypothetically I should have 13 miles to go. However, after running 3 miles this morning I have 14.5 miles to go. So, although I’m not too far behind I don’t want to be running the morning of my wedding. This week I really need to get it done. Hypothetically if I run the next 5 days it won’t be an issue.  I really want to do at minimum 4 out of 5 of the next days so then I’m not killing myself. We’ll see.

 

With that, I leave you with my countdowns:

Days until Christmas: 8

Days until my Birthday: 12

Days until the Wedding: 13

Weekend Love

So, I had plans to do a full out blog post today. However, I feel that nothing I write will be adequate in light of the recent events in Connecticut. So, I will post my weekend plans and then I hope you all hug your little ones.

Tonight I am heading to my parents house to visit my friend who recently had a baby. I’m so excited to see her, my friends and my family. Tomorrow we’re going to be watching my niece and nephew and then visiting my friend again. We’re heading home on Saturday night and then on Sunday we’re…you guessed it, working on wedding stuff.

However, I will leave you with an adorable picture of Danielle, I and Sophie.

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