the diet word

It's taken me about a week to work up the courage to share about this. It's pretty easy to want to hide behind the internet curtain with real-life struggles wrapped around me like a blanket. But I was really encouraged by another blog post when I was initially trying to lose weight a couple years ago, & it's totally worth it if there is even one person that feels the teensiest bit empowered in reading this.

As the 2011 event season ended, I realized that I had settled quite nicely into newlywed/office life... & had also settled into a body that I didn't recognize. It was not my finest hour, folks. So, I made a change. I followed a SUPER strict 30 day plan that guided me through every meal. (Which, while incredibly effective, SUCKED.) Between October 2011 - March 2012, I successfully lost 23 lbs. Yay! Right?

I'm here to tell you that at the beginning of this year, I had gained back about 8 of those initial 23 lbs.  I'm telling you that because IT HAPPENS. Diet & exercise are a lifestyle that I, as a stubborn person that loves me some Dr. Pepper & brie, am not always willing to commit to. Healthy eating is not first nature for me. When I get home from work, exercise is always prioritized after husband, blog & cleaning time.

I think we all feel pretty strongly about the "d" word. It's either something we're doing too often, as diet trends ebb & flow, OR it's something that we avoid like the plague. I've always fallen into the"plague" category, until I got serious about my initial weight loss. As previously mentioned, that first diet was a great jumpstart, but it was also terribly difficult to get through, leaving little guidance for Day 31.

With two bridesmaid dresses staring at me every day, I have two very good reasons motivating me to commit to a diet overhaul - & I mean diet (n), not diet (v). I want to change the way I eat for life, not change what I eat for 30 days.

So, I took the best parts of that first diet & made it mine. For me, this is more realistic. I started following this plan three weeks ago & am already seeing results. This DOES NOT include my exercise regiment, which is half the army in this battle! (& this is the part where I disclaimer that I'm NOT a health professional & that these arejust the rules that I'm following based on information from my healthy friends, my doctor & online research.)
This certainly isn't the end-all, be-all to diet change. There's vitamins & cooking methods & all sorts of stuff that I haven't started yet. But it's a start. There's a confidence boost that comes with taking care of my body. It's good. It's tough... But it's good.

This isn't about deprivation, or looking like someone else, or starving myself into a swimsuit. It's about respecting myself! Being a good steward of the body God gave me. Enjoying the food that God gave us to eat. Which may be fried or covered in barbeque sauce, on occasion, & I BELIEVE that's okay. Because, for the record, I firmly believe there will be cheese in heaven.


dear jared

Dear Jared,

I just asked you what I should write about.
You said, "ME!"

You're eating coffee ice-cream...
Because you're worried you're overdosing on citrus & think this will help balance it out.
You're currently letting me keep my toes under your bum...
Because they're always cold & you're always warm.
You're wearing your St. Louis Cardinals sweatshirt that my grandparents got you...
Because you're just as excited about the season starting as I am & that's FANTASTIC.
You're (avidly) watching The Rescuers...
Because I'm a little bit obsessed with the Disney selection on Netflix right now.
You've already prepped smoothie ingredients for the morning...
Because you wake up early to make breakfast.
You love me really well.
So, yeah. I'll write about you.
Today & every day, really.
Because I love y-o-u.
& I really hope you don't overdose on citrus.

xo, Kelsey


sunday best - st. patrick's day

sweater - h&m // shirt - j. crew // tie - thrifted // bucks - bass
shirt - pacsun // earrings - francesca's // pants & shoes - h&m

Today was cold. & pretty overcast. & we didn't do anything to commemorate St. Patrick's Day, even though with our family history combined, we make up, like, half a baby leprechaun. But TODAY... This glorious today... I got Jared all to myself. We enjoyed a really great brunch after church & then drove around some old neighborhoods & fake house hunted. (We're buying a really gorgeous tudor cottage AND a yellow bungalow. They're both on the water, of course.) We also watched Will Ferrell's most recent not-funny movie, buuuut it's really not worth mentioning. All in all, it was the perfect day for cold & overcast. There wasn't much more I wanted to do than spend time with my busy man.

Best part: The day isn't over. SO, BYE!


a little kitty

Okay, it's not a little kitty. It's a little baby named Cat. & her name is actually Catherine, but she's just  a little ginger kitty to her Aunt Kelsey. Between my family & Jared's, there is ALWAYS a baby being born, & we couldn't love it more. I get lots of camera practice & we both get a newborn fix at least once a year. It works out perfectly.

& since we're all freaking out about the death of Google Reader, it works out PERFECTLY that I just joined Bloglovin' a few weeks back. Keep up with the tree here!


speaking of brides

Tomorrow, I get to shower my dear friend Dani with all things white & bridey. So, NATURALLY, I'm feeling all sorts of wedding-sentimental. I was searching for something in my inbox last week & the post below popped up in an email I had written & sent to myself back in 2010. Uhhh, that probably sounds weird, now that I think about it, but since I was new at my job the entire spring/summer before our wedding, I would typically use my lunch hour to work on wedding emails. Apparently this day, I just decided to write instead.

I am currently avoiding a list. THE list. The wedding to-do list. We are at the 8 week mark, and I am feelin’ it. 8 weeks marks the point that people ask, “When is the wedding?” to which I reply, “Why, October 23rd!” to which they exclaim “OH! So CLOSE! Are you getting NERVOUS??!”

No, I’m not. Not about being married anyway. My countdown should really truly extend to October 24th, as that will be the day that I can sit back and smile about the beautiful memories filled with every ounce of loved ones in our lives, partying like it’s 1999, and reminisce with my HUSBAND (HUSSSBAAANDDD!!!) about the day before. That beautiful day that we worked so hard for, whether it was finishing college, growing up from 17 & 18 yrs. old together to a point that we can be married or simply surviving the wedding planning process.

Nay, I am nervous about getting it all DONE. As I sit here in my office, I am continually contemplating ideas, remembering inspiration I had about 6 months ago when the wedding was “soooo far away,” and trying not to shove every cute idea I’ve ever seen into the same invitation envelope. I’m nervous about the fact that I’m not going to be able to decorate the reception MYSELF, and am instead expected to hand over the controls to my (very competent, capable, creative and AMAZING) day-of wedding coordinator. Control freak? You say potato, I say potahhhto. I’m nervous about getting off of work early enough to submerge myself in wedding festivities the week of. Nervous about spending time with my amazing cousins from Missouri, my best friend from Indiana, my college lovies from GMU.

What I am not nervous about is being a wife. Or being married. Or not being single. Or being too young. Or being too poor. None of the above. We are about 8 weeks away from being at the perfectly appointed place that God wants both of us to be before we say “I do.” I am my beloved’s, and he is mine. And we are so in love. These last few months have been some of the best times of our relationship, as we finalize everything that says, “I AM YOURS FOREVER!” We’re just continually giddy. It’s been surreal. We were just thinking back to when we started dating and thought 2010 seemed SO far away… & it was ;) But here we are. And that shaggy haired boy that ate too many 7-11 donuts and drank too many Slurpees has become a man that is continually providing for me, supporting me in everything I do, and preparing a home for us to share. *SWOON* Are we really not married already??? UGHHHH.

Those feelings are still so fresh in my memory, looking back. I was so overwhelmed with my job that year, & it's a little sad that I had that cloud over our sweet time of engaged giddiness. But! The good news is that we survived & the wedding was perfect, just the way it was. (& can I just say that THANK GOD Pinterest wasn't around back then? My brain would probably have exploded.) 

Reading this makes me so grateful that I get to say "husband" on a daily basis. How two lives collide & make so much sense together is nothing short of a miracle. I am so excited to welcome Dani into this Wedded Bliss Club. It's fun. There's a lot of kissing & breakfast in bed. I promise. 

But for now, I have cupcakes to ice.


bridal shower land

Bridal Shower Land - That's where I am this week. Up to my ears in hot glue guns & Dollar Tree goodies. FANCY, I know. But as long as it ends up looking fancy, I win. 

I have completely commandeered the table in our dining room/office. Jared has been sitting in the opposite corner of the room all evening at the real desk, working on, you know, real work. The Shins have been doing most of the talking this evening. But it's still nice! Vicinity is where it's at, people. I can sit over here with my apple slices (because Bridesmaid Diet, yaaaaay!) & he can keep his 400% dark chocolate bar over there in icks-ville.

These are the fascinating happenings of the Bethunes in March. Stay tuned for Chewing Apples - An Essay & DIY: Ignore your wife's pathetic attempt at whistling along to Caring is Creepy.


jared's birthday

Writing about Jared's birthday at this point in our lives is actually just me writing about how awesome/not awesome I am. Like, waking up early to make breakfast in bed, including but not limited to bacon hearts? AWESOME. Burning the hashbrowns & kinda the egg & the other (not pictured) pieces of bacon because I can't multi-task in the kitchen? NOT AWESOME.

Or, picking out perfectly-Jared gifts because for once, I listened to the hints he's been dropping & actually wrote them down? AWESOME. Choosing to photoshop the most manly looking photo of my face into a picture with Noah Gundersen? KINDA NOT AWESOME. Because I still think it's pretty hilarious, manly or no.

It was a really wonderful day together, & I think the birthday boy would agree. There aren't many better ways to ring in your 25th year than brownies & coffee ice-cream, so we're calling this one a success.

Two days in, & 25 is looking pretty good on this fella.

(PSST! Now you can follow my blog with Bloglovin)


sunday best

 shirts - j. crew // tie - thrifted  // jeans - cotton on // bucks - bass  // watch - timex (vintage), j.crew band
shirt - ae // skirt - old navy ($4!) // tights & watch - francesca's collection // glasses - warby parker

The sad tale of this Sunday Best is that it's March & it's still freezing outside, so that glorious wall got all of 4 minutes of our attention before we ran back to the car as fast as the universe allowed us. You know, because the wind was beating against our faces & my right eye (which serves as my trusty "It's windy!" meter) was watering so I couldn't really see where I was going. Which was sad, because it was Jared's birthday & no one deserves to be pushed around by the wind on their birthday.

Fortunately, over at my parents' house, there are always doggies that have too much love to give & a back patio that blocks the wind really well. We win, universe.

Except that it's March. & it's still freezing. I had the windows open in our bedroom today as I put away the four mountains of clothes that had built up over the last week (HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN.) & I could faintly smell spring in the air. It's close enough at 14 days away that I can say how completely over winter I am without it being considered whining. Right?