Saturday, November 6, 2010


I promise I'm doing other things these days besides wedding planning.

One of the most important being a big sister to my younger brother, Reid. He's been living with me since May and is leaving for Army boot camp this Wednesday. Though I love my brother, it hasn't been easy having him here. I've had to adjust my schedule and single living situation to accommodate living with a 20 year old guy who loves to play XBox all the time. However, I think these last six months have been great for both of us. I can only hope that his future military service will give him structure and lead him to a career he can be proud of.

In addition, I've put some more things on our wedding website! Check it out here.

In other news ... Scott and I have a contract on a house in Falls Church! Pictures to come soon :-)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thoughts on Weddings

Scott and I decided to do a beach wedding. We thought, "Wouldn't it be great to have all our friends spend a week in the outer banks which culminates in our wedding?" And it is a great idea (his idea, I have to confess). I love that our friends and family will be celebrating with us for seven days, not just four hours.

I just never thought about how much everything with the word "wedding" near it costs.

Chairs. Approximately $450 for our guests to observe our twenty minute ceremony.

Tent. $1000. (not including delivery/set up)

DJ. Starts at $150/hour (minumum 3 hours)

And you think, "oh, I'll just get little favors for everyone." Well, $4.00 per person for 150 people adds up! It's crazy.

But, I will only do this once. I couldn't be happier with the man I'm marrying or the family I'm marrying into. I'm so blessed. So what if personalized napkins cost $200?

Celebrating the love of your life with all your friends and family: priceless.

And for everything else, we'll be using Master Card.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Something new...

I'm engaged!! Most people who read this blog already know via Facebook that Scott popped the question August 28th. And most of you have heard the proposal story, but it is worthy of repeating.

Scott and I had been talking about getting married for a while and we'd looked at rings, but he was really adamant on waiting until November or December of this year to pop the question. I had no idea he bought the ring and June and had been waiting for the perfect moment to propose.

The Saturday he proposed we had a flurry of activity. I gave blood that morning, then headed to the spa for a facial and manicure (which Scott had scheduled for me earlier in the week, I thought he was just being nice ;-)). That night our church had a night at the baseball park and I noticed (happily!) that a lot of our close friends replied Yes to the invite. I looked forward to spending time with everyone one last time before summer ended.

We got to the park during the first inning and found our seats to sit down. Scott kept on getting texts and calls and walking away to answer them, which was odd for him, but I just figured his cell phone coverage was acting up. I had an inkling earlier in the day that he might propose, but he was so good at convincing me it would be later this year that I brushed it off. I had another inkling when he was on his cell phone so much, but again, I reminded myself not to get my hopes up.

Not too long after we sat down, Scott got up and told me he wanted me to meet someone. So he took me across the isle to a row of empty chairs and I look down and his whole family is sitting there! Then I saw my best friend Anne, who lives in Massachusetts, and I knew something was up. Scott said, "Babe, look up there!" I looked, and a group of our friends I hadn't seen before stood up with a banner that said "Marry Me Shani". I immediately started crying, looked back to Scott and he was on one knee. I can't remember exactly but he said something like, 'I love you so much, I'd be honored to have you as a wife, will you marry me?' Of course I said yes!! We hugged and I cried and he cried and I can't believe I'm going to be a Mrs.!!

We are getting married in the outer banks of North Carolina on June 4, 2011. Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

MA w/A, B, & C!

The last weekend in June I decided to take a much needed trip up to Massachusetts to see Anne, Brian, and their little girl, Cassie. Cassie is almost a year old and growing like a weed. It's so fun to watch her problem solve and talk and laugh! She is such a blast to be around. We just need to get her to say Aunt Shani ...

Since Anne has started running (she's kicking butt!) I have thought about how great it would be for us to run together, but since we live so far away we don't usually get an opportunity. Fortunately, there was a 5K race the weekend I visited her so we both signed up. I think I must have brought the heat from DC with me because it ended up being a very hot run. Anne still did great - she finished right at 30 minutes, I was a couple of minutes behind her. It was a strange course; the mile markers were small and a bit off their distance and the hills made it hard to keep track of where you were in relation to the finish line. But we all finished and I hope that we can run again together, maybe in DC!

I realize I'm not taking a lot of pictures anymore because I rely on other people (let's be honest, with better skills) to take them and post them on their blogs or Facebook. Brian took a few for us, thankfully, and Anne posted them on her blogs.

For more info and pictures go to or click on One Running Mum on the right side of my blog.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Outer Banks - 2010 edition

This spring has been a wonderful but busy time. Work is going wonderfully, Scott is amazing, my dieting/training is right on track, and my brother moved in with me!

Yep, after not living with Reid since freshman year of college, (specifically, ahem, summer 2001) he decided to spend the summer with me working in Virginia and preparing to enter the military in the fall. It was great having family to come home to.

Needless to say, keeping up with everything was a full time job, and on top of my full time job, I was in need of a little time away doing ... nothing!

Enter the outer banks of NC. I was introduced to this little piece of heaven last year right after Scott and I started dating. It is a wonderful place to relax, and thanks to some planning, I got to spend five days there last week with forty of my closest friends for relatively little cost.

Enjoy the pictures from the trip. There are a whole lot more you can check out on Facebook.

Wouldn't this be a great spot for a wedding?! ;-)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Reflections on 29

April 12th I turned twenty-nine years old. When you think about your life as a child (which I classify as any time before 19) you picture where you'll be in 5, 10, 20 years, etc. I have to say that I pictured a very different life for me when I was a kid. I thought that I'd be living in Texas, like all my relatives. And married with a family, again, like all my relatives who are in their late twenties.

With all the expectations one has for their life, it's a very transcendent place to be when one is peaceful at every point along the path. Which is a verbose way of saying that man, I never thought I'd be here but I'm so glad I am. Who would have ever thought this Texan would end up in northern Virginia selling pacemakers and dating an artist at 29?! I am so blessed to have my employment, my health, my friends, my family, my boyfriend, and most of all, my relationship with God. It is the only thing that makes me special and has gotten me through the darkest times on my journey. Thank you so much, readers of this blog, for supporting me along the way, it means the world to me!

These are a few pictures from my party, where the theme was ... TEXAS!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Update 3

Hello folks! I'm happy to report that training is going well! I ran in the Cherry Blossom 10 miler about two weeks ago and I'm running in the GW 10 miler this Sunday. The last race went ok. I didn't do it for time - which was good, since I ended up stopping with a friend to use the restroom. I'm hoping to do the race this weekend in 100 minutes or less. I've come to enjoy running more as my weight has gone down. Not only are my runs easier, but I actually feel good at then end of the run and some days even look forward to my runs (some days).

My diet has been going well using WeightWatchers. I'm trying to convince one of my girlfriends to do it with me , which will make it easier to stick to. My weight right after the last race was 133.2, today it is ... 134.4 lbs. I've gone up a bit, which is normal considering my training schedule. I have to be honest, it's a bit dissapointing. I try to focus more on my overall weight gain/loss since I started and I'm still consistantly losing. My body fat percentage has gone down 2.5%!

More to come.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Update 2

The Cherry Blossom 10 miler is this Sunday! Pray that I run a good race and that my knees and hips have minimal pain. My training runs have been really great, no doubt due to the awesome weather we've been having here lately. Today's high is in the 90's and I love it! Bring it on spring allergies, I'll take you over blizzards any day.

The diet has been going really well. I feel like I've finally hit my groove with my eating habits. My 10 year high school reunion is this July, followed a week late by my dear friend Noelle's wedding (where I will be a bride's maid) so I've got sufficient motivation to be in good shape this summer. Not to mention pool and beach time ... bikinis, ugh!

So my current weight is ... 132.8 lbs! This is the lowest I've been since before Scott and I started dating. Ironically, I think he's gained about 15 lbs so I guess there is something to that physics law "matter is neither created nor destroyed, just transferred from one form to another". Ok, I feel like a nerd now. My goal weight is still a good 15 lbs away, so continued prayer for my motivation hit plateaus.

When all this is over I'll put up some before and after photos, that's where I can really see a difference.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Regan's 30th on the River

My dear friend Regan turned 30 this past week. He's one of my aggie friends that I've kept in touch with up here in DC. In addition to turning 30, he also is leaving the marines to start grad school at ... Harvard! I'm so proud of Regan although I will miss him dearly when he leaves this summer. I told him I'd visit him in Boston, but only when there isn't any snow on the ground. Here are a couple of pictures from the boat.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I'm happy to report things are going well on the dieting/training front! My current weight is 134.8 lbs. Of course we would all like to lose 2+ lbs a week, but since I'm in training, that really is unlikely, as I'm pretty sure I'm retaining water from muscle recovery. Anyway, the diet is going well. It certainly helps that Weight Watchers is online and so easy to use. I also have a ton of support from Scott, who always supports me and tells me I look great no matter what (isn't it awesome to have a guy like that?!).

My training schedule was awesome this week. I ran 15 miles total, with all of my running outside since the weather has been so great. My IT band isn't giving me too much trouble, which was a welcome change from training last fall. I hope to incorporate more weight training as my schedule allows.

What worked this week:
- Fruit! having fresh foods around totally helped satisfy cravings, especially mid-morning and late-afternoon
- Water, I drink at least 64 ounces a day and more on my running days. Did you know that drinking cold water speeds up your metabolism by as much as 30% even after you're done drinking? Water is essential to weight loss and long term weight maintenance
- Sticking to my training schedule, even if I didn't go as far as I planned, just getting out there got the endorphins going and helped me make better diet decisions

What didn't work:
- keeping candy around! Having snack food in big bags made it that much easier to grab something when I got hungry, especially when I was out of my fresh foods and didn't have time to prepare something
- Grazing, one of my biggest challenges to weight loss. I don't really eat when I'm stressed, I eat when I'm sitting around the house and I'm bored. A few M&M's here and there add up to a lot over an entire day
- Sadly, eating with Scott. We're getting better about this since he wants to drop a few pounds too, but I definitely find it harder to stick to my diet when he wants to indulge. Since he can naturally eat more than me, he doesn't always understand that I really can't share a decadent dessert with him every time we eat together. I hope this gets easier as I adapt to new eating habits.

Please feel free to share your weight loss trials and triumphs.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Little Rant and New Goals

It's been a couple of months since my last post. I made it through the winter blues and Snowmageddon 2010 relatively unscathed and I'm looking forward to a sunny spring. (You're listening, Mother Nature, right?!)

One of my goals of 2009 was to run a marathon. I accomplished this goal, however, my performance was definitely lacking. Part of this was due to the diagnosis of IT Band syndrome. Basically, this syndrome is diagnosed when a piece of tissue that runs along the outside of your leg becomes stressed and causes knee pain. According to my orthopedist, I have knees that are prone to this because of the angle my knee caps are in relation to my hips. IT Band can be exacerbated by weight gain. For every pound of weight one gains, FOUR pounds of extra pressure are put on the knees. WOW. I had no idea!

That brings us to my little rant. I think I'm the only person who GAINED weight training for a marathon. And I'm not talking a little - I gained 15 pounds between Jan-Oct 2009! With my training schedule, I felt hungry ALL the time. And I didn't reach for carrots and fruit, I enjoyed peanut butter and cookies and whatever else was in the pantry. It was very depressing. My friends tried to tell me, "Oh, it's probably just muscle", but I knew better and got irritated that I couldn't seem to get it under control.

I'm happy to report that I've lost several pounds since the marathon in October. I feel pretty good about it, especially since I enjoyed myself a lot when I was home for the holidays in December. But I definitely wish I could get back down to my ideal weight. Let me be clear, however, I don't view myself as fat or unhealthy (my physical was actually really good this year) but I do feel better and my clothes fit better when my weight is lower. Blogging about this familiar journey would help keep me accountable and hopefully encourage me when I want to reach for those Girl Scout cookies or Cadbury Mini Eggs (my kryptonite).

I've already started training for my next two races - the Cherry Blossom 10 mile on April 11th and the GW Parkway Classic 10 mile on April 25th. I've been successful doing WeightWatchers before so I've started tracking my points again. Along with my running schedule, I'm hoping to be down to my ideal weight range by the time I head to the Outer Banks at the end of May.

So here it goes: As of this week I weigh ... 136.0 lbs. My goal weight ranged is between 116-120 lbs (which I haven't weighed since high school!). At 5 feet 4, this is a healthy range and I've already discussed my goals with my internal medicine doctor. I would also love to get my body fat percentage down to 20-22%.

Please keep me in your prayers that I stick to my training and diet plan. A few words of encouragement would be great too! I'll try to update weekly on how things are going along with tricks that have helped me get through the tough times. More to come soon ...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas in Texas

This year I went home for the holidays. I wasn't able to go home last year because of work obligations so I was really excited to be in Houston this year. Not only was Scott coming with me, but my step-brother and step-sister had flown in for Christmas so it was extra-special to have almost all my family around to celebrate together.

We flew down a few days before Christmas and were there for almost a week! After going through the blizzard before we left, it was so nice to have weather in the 60's, although Scott said it didn't really feel like Christmas.

Scott got to meet a lot of my family while he was in town and he fit right in! We played lots of poker (and lots a few bucks in the process) and enjoyed my family's Christmas traditions.

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and wish y'all blessings in the new year.

Let It SNOW!

A few weeks ago we had a mammoth snow storm. They were predicting record snow fall and for once the weathermen were right - when the weekend was done we had a total of 24 inches on the ground and snow drifts as high as three feet in some places.

For those of you in colder climates, this might seem like no big deal. But in DC, and specifically for me, this was huge! Scott is more accustomed to snow than I am so he graciously stayed with me to weather the blizzard. He even dug my car out three times so that he could go help people whose cars were stranded in the snow.

My friend Jenn was one of those unfortunate people who got caught and ended up staying with me Saturday night until the roads were cleared by the snow plows. We went out after the snow had stopped falling to take pictures, enjoy!