Thursday, May 26, 2016


I figured before I got too crazy into this wedding series I should share how we got engaged!
I am the BIGGEST sucker for engagement stories. They can be simple or elaborate; no matter what they completely turn me into mush. Anyone else feel me?!

DISCLAIMER(S): This is a crazy long post. There is rambling involved. Grammar is not 10/10.  Bonus points if you take a shot every time you see an exclamation mark*
*don't actually do that. it's for sure not safe

Are you sitting back, relaxing at work or on your couch with a glass of wine?
Here we go:

First things first, this post requires 3 back stories. Yes, I TOLD YOU IT WAS GOING TO BE A LONG POST DON'T YOU DARE EVEN COMPLAIN ABOUT BACKSTORIES!

Backstory #1: The Setting
If you're new around here and haven't followed along on the blog or on Instagram - Michael and I spend as much time as possible at our local state parks. Like to the point it's probably annoying for people who follow us on social media. In the winter we ski, in the spring/fall/summer we camp/hike/canoe. There's one particular park that has a multi-story watchtower where you can see 360 views of Wisconsin for miles and miles and miles. We stop up all the time, take a picture every season, and hashtag them #mbbluemounds on Instagram! Here's a few so you can set the scene:

Backstory #2: The Ring
This will for sure shock some of you, so hold onto your britches, folks! 
I designed my engagement ring!
I know. For some people that isn't cool. It's surprising or upsetting or tacky or whatever but ohmygod please get a hold of yourself, I'll tell that story in another post, I promise. In the meantime, the point of this was that I knew Michael had an engagement ring in his possession. We created it together and it was finished sometime at the end of February, so I knew that somewhere in the depths of our 1100 sq foot apartment, them diamonds were a'lurkin. Thus, I knew at some point in the nearish future we'd get engaged. 

Backstory #3: The Amazing Willpower of Michael
Here's the thing about Michael. When he has a big present that he's excited about, he sometimes bursts and can't wait until he's supposed to give it. Case in point: he got me diamond earrings yeeeears ago for the Christmas after our 1 year anniversary...and gave them to me the day he bought them...which was like..December 12th. So, naturally, when I knew the ring would be done end of February I was like OH MAN IT'S GONNA HAPPEN SOON Y'ALL. I mean, to myself, duh. We had a few weekends in a row that in my mind I thought were SO opportune...but sneaky Michael had willpower and chose to wait. Once we got engaged he confessed to me that he in fact had the ring with him on MULTIPLE occasions but held off until the time was exactly right. Which of course simultaneously made me melt and drove me crazy. Because I'm a neurotic bag of emotions.

YOU'VE MADE IT TO THE GOOD STUFF NOW, FOLKS. GET ANOTHER GLASS OF WINE (or whatever you goody-goodies drink at work) AND LET'S DO THIS!

So Michael had this plan.
We'd go to our lovely state park.
We'd go to take our #mbbluemounds picture.
He'd propose while I was taking the picture.

Naturally, that got ruined. Once by mothers, and once by me.
The first time it got ruined was on Mother's Day. We were out for a hike and planned to take our late spring #mbbluemounds picture, but the park was PACKED. It was gorgeous out and there were picnics galore. Needless to say, he didn't feel like being surrounded by a bunch of kids with watermelon on their faces would be the story we'd want to tell, so he waited. Besides that, it was Mother's Day...and he was like "oh crap. I can't do this today! it'll overshadow Mother's Day!" Smart man, that Michael. In case you didn't get it, I was joking above about the first time being ruined by mothers. We love allll those mothers at the park that day with their watermelon kids.

The "ruined by me" part was legit though. 

It was Thursday. We had planned to hike after work and take the picture. It was pretty cold and windy, so I was emailing him all day saying "wahhhh do we have to hike it's cold outttt" but then after some Culver's for lunch I figured a hike was due, so we went. We changed into our hiking gear after work and went to snap the infamous picture before going on our way. We got to the top of the watchtower- and FUN FACT when it's cold and windy on the ground, it's COLDER and WINDIER on a 3 story tower. 
So Michael gets into the position for the picture and after snapping 2 shots I declared that I was freezing and we should climb down. 
Michael instantly says 
" should take..MORE pictures!"
 I should have caught on at that moment because he never asks to take more pictures. He's a patient saint when I snap away for 20 minutes for Instagram, but never asks for MORE. Clearly I obliged since that was probably the first time in 6.5 years he had asked for more pictures, so we took some lovely selfies and I, yet again, complained about being cold and wanting to leave (god I am such a peach, aren't I?!?!?). He kept fidgeting with his backpack so I told him to close up the zippers so we could go and then he just started GRINNING at me. 
Like...kid in T-ball who just got his first home run grinning. 
Glee on steroids grinning.

Then it hit me. 
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!?" I asked
He kept grinning.
I did a weird spin move away from him and kept saying "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!"..because apparently in romantic situations I get awkward AF.

Then he got down on one knee (still grinning) and ...well..he said something.
I blacked out.
All I remember was looking at him holding a red box with a ring and saying "don't drop it!!"

Then we hugged and kissed and all that mushy stuff and I just was in this weird world-stopped shock place. Looking back on it, it seems so silly. I KNEW he had a ring. I KNEW this would be coming. But somehow in the moment my mind just started short-circuiting and I couldn't really talk or cry. I was just stunned and overcome with feeling like I was exactly where I was supposed to be in that moment.

Because I get nauseous like an old lady on a cruise ship I sat down on the floor of the watchtower while I got my bearings and started asking Michael one miiiiillion questions (which I will spare you all of) and simultaneously tearing up and staring at him. 

He told me how he Facetimed my parents together to tell them he was going to propose.
He told me he had the ring with him a few times before.
He told me how he thought of hiring a photographer to capture it all but wanted us to be alone more than anything.
He told me he ate about 10 Tums that day in anticipation of asking me.
He told me he loved me and he couldn't wait to marry me.

We suddenly realized this was real and that we could tell people- but decided we wanted a few more hours to ourselves to just cherish it. It sounds sappy but we knew once we shared it it wouldn't be just ours anymore- so we took a ton of pictures and then went for a hike. It all felt so US. We weren't dressed up fancy, in fact my hair was pretty gross (thanks dry shampoo, luv u) and as you can see in the picture below- I wasn't ready with some purty manicure like the Internet tells me I should have been. Please note how my eyes are puffy (thanks crying) and how awesome Michael's face is:
Also- someone please teach me to pose with my hand/ring. I look like a dweeb.

After our hike we still just weren't ready to tell anyone and we were FAMISHED, so we went to our favorite little dive bar in town and got some beer & greasy food. It was Bingo night, so naturally we joined in and ended up winning 30 bucks...because not only are we 90, but also evidently very lucky!

 We finally got home and started Facetiming/calling/texting our closest family & friends to share the good news. Their responses were all completely unique and 100% priceless. I managed to get a video of a few family members' reactions that I intend to keep FOREVER because they're amazing. 
We went to bed elated and overwhelmed and exhaused.
But mostly elated :)

It was a fabulous Thursday, and now May 12th is one of our most favorite days ever!
Coming up soon in the series are posts like:
How to design your engagement ring (#withoutpeoplejudgingyou)(#jktheywill).
How we planned our entire wedding in a 6 hour car ride (#efficiency)
How to plan a destination elopement (#internationallawssuck)
How to tell people kids aren't allowed at your wedding (#sorrynotsorry)

Hope you'll tune in again for the rest of the series!!

Thank you to all of our supportive family and friends for making us feel incredibly loved!

xo, LP (&MB)

(psssssssst: follow along for more fun HERE!)

Oh, and because Michael gets me 100% he offered to take our #mbbluemounds picture as planned, with how he was going to propose before I ruined it ;-)
See below for the series:
engagement story: proposal at Blue Mound State Park

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


You guys.

Life has been so busy. We've been traveling a lot lately and life kind of took over, ya know? 
If you're annoyed with me, I have a good excuse other than being "busy".... about 2 weeks ago we got engaged!!! I had some blog posts ready to go but the last 2 weeks have been a complete whirlwind of celebrating with family and honestly enjoying our own excitement about wedding planning and what the future holds. 

I'll actually be documenting some wedding stuff because we are going outside the "norm" and I know that while we've been planning I wish I had more resources- so I'm hoping someone else who has a similar idea will be helped out. We're eloping to Italy & Greece in October, and then having a late night bash at a brewery in November when we return and we could NOT be more thrilled!

More details to come :)

Here's life lately:

1. ENGAGED. Story and details to come, but here we are grinning our faces off:

2. BACHELORETTE is back. You bet your sweet butt I watch this show. It's a guilty pleasure and I have an awesome group of ladies I watch it with. 
Initial thoughts:
Jojo is the prettiest bachelorette EVER. Hands. Down.
Guys seem really unattractive this season, amiright? Poor casting, ABC. 

 3. NEW IG LOGO: I dunno, it's kind of growing on me? I still can't decide. I painted this image of the new logo and asked your opinion and most of you said you haaaaaaaaaaated the new logo. I definitely don't like it as much as the old one...but it's not..the worst ever?

4. NEW ROCKSBOX: I can't get enough of the Loren Hope that's been in my last few Rockbox sets. SO GOOD. If you want to try out Rocksbox for summer events/weddings, get your first month free to see if you like it or not by using code "beautyandbeardxoxo" when you check out. (yes, actually a month free. yes, i know it's hard to believe since nothing is free these days).
 5. SUMMER. Holy crap it's hot in Wisconsin. Like high 80s OY. HOT. OY.  Hoping wherever you are it's not so toasty! I'm sad to say goodbye to spring tulips but am ready for pool season and summer kayaking/camping!

What's new with you lately?
Any exciting summer plans coming up?

xo, lp

See (a lot) more of what we've been up to lately HERE!

Sunday, April 3, 2016


Today I'm chatting about people stealing your joy, and how to react to it.

I know, diving RIGHT in with a super uplifting topic for a Sunday, right?

It sounds silly to say out loud..."she stole my joy". It sounds emo and whiny but when it happens, it sucks. It can take the wind out of your sails- and if you don't find a way to deal with it, you can waste a lot of time fixating on it.

If you're reading this blog post and are feeling like I'm a complete whack-job, let me give and example, mmmkay?

So you are working on planning BIG event, and you're feeling all:

So you tell someone important to you, expecting they're going to be like:


....but instead they're like:


They tell you they aren't going, and they won't even make an effort to be there..which leaves you all like:


You feel me now?
Joy. Stolen. 

 It can be so hard when you are genuinely happy about something and someone walks right on up to you and smacks it out of your hands.

The thing about stealing joy is that in order for it to happen, you have to allow it to happen.

If you are thrilled about your pursuit to go to law school, and you let someone steal your joy by telling you that they think lawyers are arrogant con artists- that's your choice. You can cry in the corner- or you can give them the middle finger as they walk away (clearly the latter sounds more fun).

I'm not at expert at blocking joy-stealers out, but here is what I CAN suggest doing:

1. Manage expectations when you tell news to someone who has let you down in the past. It's not rocket science, but if they've rained on your parade in the past, it's likely they'll do it again. This is a fine line between assuming the worst in people and just being realistic- so walk it carefully, my friends. There's someone in my life who consistently ignores my good news if it doesn't involve them- so I try to avoid telling them until I've shared it with other, more supportive people.

2. Lean on those who you know will be supportive and uplifting. Also, not rocket science.We all have that one friend or family member that is just a basket of love and joy. You can tell them you got a new haircut and they tell you that you look fabulous. You can tell them you got a promotion and they'll have a card to you in the mail overnight. THOSE are the people you should tell your news to first. (Shoutout to my girl Adrienne- she's one of those people in my life that without fail brings a positive attitude wherever she goes!)

3. Keep news to yourself for longer. Sometimes when you get good news you just want to shout it from the rooftops instantly. I cannot even count how many times I wish I'd just kept my mouth shut a little longer and get the happy news to myself to just purely enjoy before I let it out. I've found that the (few) times I've managed to hold of on telling people exciting things, and allowed myself more time to relish in it- when I finally do share it, their responses don't affect me as much. The joy has gotten deep enough into my skin they can't take it! (Cheesy, but so true!)

Now, there's one more tip I have to give out, and this is something that I need to work on:

When you have great news- don't downplay it just to appease other people.
A few months ago I was with a group of friends and shared some news that on the inside I was SO giddy about. I played it off like it was no big deal and that I was soooo chill about it, which was purely a defense mechanism. I figured if I didn't act like I was overjoyed then I wouldn't be disappointed if THEY didn't act overjoyed. You know what happened? They called me out on it and couldn't believe why I wasn't more excited- and I felt like a complete idiot admitting I had downplayed it because I thought they wouldn't react how I had hoped.

Moral of the story:
Share your joy- but don't allow others to steal it.
You can't control their reactions, but you can control how you let their reactions affect you!
don't let anyone steal your joy

How do you handle it when people try to steal your joy?
I'm trying to work on something more mature than the middle-finger-when-they-walk-away trick :)

xo, LP

*update: please note, i've totally been guilty of stealing joy before. you probably are too. good people can sometimes be so caught up in their own worlds that they accidentally hurt someone. there's a fine line between being a devil's advocate about stuff and being a party pooper- i'll promise to be more sensitive to it if you all will, mmkay?"

(let's be instagram friends and share joy together, shall we? find me HERE!)
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