Planning a Wedding in 2016?…Me Too! (Part 2)
Feb24

Planning a Wedding in 2016?…Me Too! (Part 2)

Now that Valentine’s Day is behind us, I’m sure there are a few more newly-engaged couples to join in on the wedding planning conversation. Congrats, by the way!! Before we venture into more options for your upcoming nuptials, let’s quickly recap my original “Planning a Wedding” post: 1) Andy and I are finally “taking the plunge” this year; 2) our guest list was over 400 people; 3) I shared my favorite findings regarding where to purchase a dress, rent tuxedos, and amazing bakeries for that perfect cake; and finally 4) for those who have an extensive guest list (such as mine), I shared some great venue options that can accommodate very large gatherings. Yes, yes…I am sure that most of you reading this blog are waiting for me to explain what I meant by saying “our guest list was over 400 people.” The key word is “was.” After all these years of planning our big day around trying to make everyone else happy, Andy and I have decided to compromise – a lot. It was a difficult decision, but all-in-all we just want to finally get married. We have ultimately decided to cut the list down to simply our kids, parents, grandparents, and brothers and sisters. In total we have narrowed the count down to 25 people from over 400. Now that I have explained our new guest count, let’s look into other venue options for those who have a smaller guest list: SMALL-MID SIZE WEDDING VENUES Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation has a plethora of relatively inexpensive venues! One of my favorites is the ever-so-popular Botanical Conservatory in downtown Fort Wayne. This venue is a beautiful setting for intimate weddings, and they can also host your reception. A few of my other favorite gorgeous venues with Fort Wayne Parks & Rec include: Lakeside Rose Gardens, the Bridal Glen at Foster Park, and the Wells Street Bridge. The Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Museum in Auburn is a romantic destination with a classic feel! Besides a great indoor venue, you can choose to share your nuptials on the grand staircase if desired! Baker Street Station offers an amazing historic background and detailed scenery for your big day! This former rail station is located in downtown Fort Wayne. MUSIC I am going to take the chance to brag on the musicians that we have booked for our “big day.” Ken Preston plays guitar and Linda Kummernuss plays the violin. This magical duo from Auburn plays all original music in harmony together. Just a couple weeks ago they came to our home and played for us in person, and I had tears in...

Read More
Planning a Wedding in 2016?…Me too!
Jan13

Planning a Wedding in 2016?…Me too!

The holidays might be over with, but if you are newly engaged the overwhelming feelings of warm-and-fuzzy are probably still lingering inside! For many it’s exciting to think about planning a wedding, but others might cringe at the task. No worries – Living Fort Wayne has you covered! Over the next several weeks we will share our findings, wish lists, and realities when it comes to planning a wedding. As for me…well my fiance, Andy, and I are a “special” case. After three children together and almost 10 years, we have finally determined that 2016 is the year. That’s right: no more excuses, no more letting finances get in the way, no more being simply Ms. Farmer and Mr. Adkins. A little back story: Andy and I both come from large Catholic families. For those of you who were raised Catholic, you know what that means. For those of you who were not raised Catholic, let me clue you in a bit: besides our immediate families we also felt it necessary to invite the extended family (as we are all close – all 103 of us), our friends (who are all married and have children of their own), and let’s not forget our parents’ and grandparents’ close friends, coworkers, old coworkers, and so on. Our guest list was over 400 people. If you find that your guest list is also pretty extensive, below are a few places I looked into that can accommodate such a number and I highly recommend for your big day. (Of course there are so many other great wedding venues around Fort Wayne, but these are my favorite.) VENUE Shiloh in Fort Wayne can hold up to 450 people in each of their 2 wings, and they have a beautiful outdoor area for wedding ceremonies. The National Military History Center in Auburn can accommodate up to 1,350 people in their largest room. They are also able to help you organize an “indoor” wedding inside the facility if desired and can quickly transform the space into your reception. The Hay Loft in Hoagland consists of a beautiful old barn and a large lawn surrounded by fields – perfect for those wanting a “rustic” feel in the country. The barn has two levels; one can hold roughly 100 people and the other can accommodate around 200 guests. * Another thing to keep in mind is that most venues require you to use either their own catering services or a caterer from their “approved catering” list. Make sure you inquire about catering options while looking into venues! CAKE Now that you have a few leads on a venue, let’s move on...

Read More
Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner: My Journey, Part 3 and beyond…
Jul29

Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner: My Journey, Part 3 and beyond…

My weight loss journey with Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner (FWSW) – what a wild ride it has been! For those of you who have lost weight or are in the process of losing weight, we all know how much commitment it takes to shed those pounds. But, for those who are trying to lose weight and who struggle with unhealthy relationships with food, we know how daunting and torturous the process can be. Knowing that I did not have the right tools and knowledge to truly care for my own body and what I was feeding it, I applied to be a part of FWSW Season 8. I, as well as 25 other contestants, started the program back in March. Most of us could barely run up a flight of stairs, and a few people probably couldn’t even do that. But I am proud to say that after 15 weeks of intensive workouts, training and nutrition classes, all 26 of us collectively lost 1,394.8 lbs! We went from barely running up stairs in the beginning to running a 1/2 Marathon, feeling more confident in caring for our bodies, and learning to appreciate ourselves again. I can’t even begin to describe what FWSW has done for myself, but also what it has done for my family. We have taken the tools that the program supplied, and applied it to our entire household. The greatest satisfaction is knowing that this summer I actually feel like “Mommy” again. Last summer I never wanted to go outside to play with the kids simply because I was tired, and quite frankly I was lazy. This summer we all have spent so many evenings outside riding bikes, playing on the swing set, and sometimes we just simply sat outside to enjoy our surroundings. It’s those little things that I appreciate having back as a part of my life again. I am ever-so-grateful for the opportunity to be a part of FWSW, and I highly recommend the program to anyone who wants to lose the weight but struggles with doing it on their own. When I started the program I was 210.6 lbs, wearing a size 18 pants and size 14 dress, and couldn’t imagine ever even jogging more than a mile. When I finished the program back on July 10th, I weighed 173 lbs, was wearing a size 14 pants and a size 10 dress, and completed a 1/2 Marathon the week before. That is a total weight loss of 37.6 lbs! I couldn’t be more proud of myself!! Just like everyone else, my journey is not yet over. When I began the program, I had an...

Read More
Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner: My Journey, Part 2
Apr15

Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner: My Journey, Part 2

Well, here we are in week three of training, and so much has happened already. It’s been such a whirlwind experience that the last two weeks have gone by pretty fast – thank goodness! The trainers are starting to ramp up the intensity now that we’re in week three, and it’s pretty rough. I’ll have to admit that yesterday’s workout brought a few tears to my eyes as I struggled through it. Two minutes of planking…really??!! But, I am already seeing signs of muscles in my arms that I don’t remember ever seeing. Cicely, one of our trainers, likes to tell us that if we can’t challenge ourselves, then we can’t change ourselves. I try to keep that in mind as I’m whimpering and waddling over to my water bottle for a break. One of the most surprising things that occurred in these last two weeks was my participation in Saint Francis’ Formula for Life 5K last Sunday. I have never been part of anything like that before, and I was kind of nervous. Here’s a little not-so-secret about me: I hate running. I hate everything about it. But that mentality will soon have to change as we are starting to train to run a half marathon at the end of our season. Anyway – I decided that I would power-walk the 5K while pushing my 13-month-old in the stroller, and I committed to jogging the remaining 200 feet to the finish. Boy, did I get more of a workout than I bargained for! After finishing the race, it occurred to me that maybe one big reason why I hated running so much is because my breathing technique is absolutely horrible. I’ll definitely have to work on that. However, I was very pleasantly surprised with my time. I finished at 41:33.5! I am still pretty proud of myself considering that I walked the whole time. And the best part was being at the finish line to cheer on my fellow Season 8 teammates along with my sister, Mom, and Step Dad. I have such an awesome family! Aside from all the working out, there is the nutritional side of things. The first week seemed pretty easy, but I think my body didn’t have time to notice because it was in shock. Now that we are in the third week,  I find that I am getting some cravings, and my desire to eat my feelings away creeps in and out. I have such an emotional connection with food and that is a hard relationship to break. Just this morning I had to fight off urges to drive through McDonald’s for a...

Read More
Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner: My Journey, Part 1
Apr02

Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner: My Journey, Part 1

Never in a million years did I think I would ever be going to fat camp. But, at nearly 29 years old, I realized the inevitable: I am considered medically obese. Many people scoff at me when I tell them how much I weigh – they don’t believe me. In fact, many of my loved ones seem to actually discourage me from losing weight. They say, “Oh, you have to be kidding me! You look great…” Although their comments are flattering, it doesn’t take away from the fact that I am very unhealthy and unhappy with my body. The truth is that I don’t really look like it, but I am 5’9 and I weigh 211 pounds. Yeah, I said it. In hopes of turning my life around, getting healthy and back into shape, I have traded all of my pride for humility and vulnerability. Just a couple years ago I looked and felt my best; but with my last pregnancy I had gained 65 pounds and still have not lost a thing… except an entire year. A couple months ago I heard about this thing called Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner. (Little did I know that this year would be their 8th year of running the program!) I thought to myself, “why not?” And so my journey began. A couple weeks after filling out the application, taking pictures of myself, and submitting an uncomfortable video of why I wanted to be a part of the program, I was selected to interview. A few days later, I received word that I was accepted into the program. I wasn’t sure whether to be excited or scared, but I definitely felt nervous. It’s officially been three days since our workouts started, and I am definitely feeling the burn all over! Just yesterday my team (Forest Green & Gold) had to run a timed mile to see what we could do. I am disappointed to report that I ran it in 11:59. That is over 3 minutes more than what I used to do. In addition, we have started our healthy eating plans with a goal of only consuming between 1,200 – 1,400 calories a day. Before joining FWSW, I would have easily eaten that number in one meal and a snack. I knew the program would test me, but I didn’t realize how strenuous it would actually be, both physically and mentally. One of the best parts of the program is the camaraderie between all the participants and alumni! Everyone is so encouraging of each other and it really does help in getting through the tough workouts. And I have to brag...

Read More