Steak Crostini

Thanks again for all your well wishes for Hannah and Jacob!  I’ll give you a break from wedding pics today – mainly because her friend is still editing them and Hannah hasn’t looked through all of them yet.  I crack myself up because I’ll yell from the living room “Hannah, can you ask your husband to take the garbage out?!”  I can’t believe my roommates are married!

Saturday was my favorite type of day.  Cold, rainy and stormy.  It’s almost impossible for me not to make bread.  I first made this bread recipe back in April of 2012.   I decided to make just two loaves of bread out of this recipe just to get bigger slices of bread.  There is literally only about 12 minutes of hands on time making this bread, and ten of that is kneading the bread.  You could even have your stand mixer mix it and then you could really just set it and forget it!

After it cooled a bit, a sliced it, smeared some softened butter and a drizzle of local honey – perfection.

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On Sunday night I made this steak crostini for dinner with my homemade bread.  I got several DM’s on Instagram after I posted this asking for the recipe.  There isn’t really one, but here goes!  

Cook 4 ounces of steak for 1.5 minutes per side, set aside.  Toast the bread.  I used Weight Watchers whipped cream cheese on the bread (about a tablespoon) and then topped that with baby spinach.  I sliced the steak, placed that on the bread, drizzled balsamic glaze and a bit of dried parsley and dinner was done.  Nothing better some nights than a 5 minute dinner!

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Our weather has been amazing for sleeping – I love sleeping in a cold room in a comfy bed.  If Tony were alive we would have already had the heat on for a month. 😀  I was so looking forward to getting back into my walking routine with my sister, but we were both swamped.  She just ran a couple errands and ate lunch at her desk.  I didn’t eat my breakfast until 10:30 and my lunch until 3!

Yesterday was supposed to be the first day that I work for my new attorney.  I was so busy though, that I never stopped by his office (he’s on a different floor) and went with the premise that if he needed anything he knew my extension.  #klassy  But around 3:30 in the afternoon, I thought I really should go up and see if he needed anything, and turns out he was out of the office yesterday – whoop!  That was a good think because I wouldn’t have had time to do anything for him anyway.

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I didn’t do a full grocery shop/meal plan this week, because after cleaning out my pantry/freezer and fridge on Sunday realized I had plenty of food.  Yesterday is one of my favorites – a picky plate breakfast with the other half of the steak leftover from my crostini above.  Cook once, eat twice!  

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I am going to talk about the recipe below later this week, but this is a Korean Beef bowl.  I cooked the beef in the crock pot on Sunday, then had it with sauted mushrooms, broccoli, rice, and cucumbers and red cabbage that I marinated in rice wine vinegar and sriracha.  So good!

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I also made a batch of chicken tortilla stew – I am calling it a stew because I used canned cream of chicken soup instead of chicken broth, then added a paste of corn meal during the add during the last 30 minutes of cooking, so it’s nice and thick and has a hint of corn flavor.  Hannah was my stylist last night – thanks Hannah!  And truth be told, I probably ate an equal amount of those chips with salsa while the soup was heating up. 😛

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Hannah and Jacob were contacted by the same breeder they got Roman from – she has a little grey Boston Terrier that is the last of a litter that hasn’t been bought – exactly what happened with Roman, and how cute is he?!   I put a poll on my Instagram Story asking if Hannah and Jacob should get this dog and as of this morning, its 48 votes yes, 10 votes no.  If they decide to get it, guess what the name would be?? Roanoke!  Rummy, Roman and Roanoke – I can’t even.

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Your thoughts?  Do you think its crazy that they would have three dogs?  Jacob always wanted to get a big dog since his dog Red who passed away two years ago was a big dog – Hannah convinced him that three tiny dogs = one big one.  

Alright, time to catch up on my blog reading on the rest of my train ride in.  I AM WALKING TODAY!  I just shouted that out, so it’s bound to happen. 😀

The Perfect Day

It was the perfect day.  The weather was gorgeous.  Hannah and I did a Panera run in the morning and picked up the girl who was doing her makeup.  We were able to sit outside, sip on coffee and scones and I watched my daughter getting her makeup done on her wedding day.

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Jacob and his Mom spent the morning together running errands – yes, you read that correctly, because Jacob waited until the day of his wedding to buy a shirt and tie.  #love

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The morning was so leisurely, that all of a sudden it was like “it’s time to go!”  My Mom with her oldest grandchild on her wedding day!

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I love this picture below – love, love, love.  I can’t believe I took that with my iPhone!

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Remember how I told you that I barely took any pictures at the shower?  Hannah hired a girl from their coffee shop who is into photography to be our photographer for the day.  Did I mention that she’s 17 years old and had to ditch school?  Her parents didn’t seem to mind!  As her pictures start to trickle in, I’ll post a few a day – you’ll probably get sick of seeing wedding pictures after a week of this – #sorrynotsorry 😀

The man behind Jacob?  That’s their best friend Luis who flew in from Texas to be the ring bearer.  

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I wore a dress!  First time (well, I wore the same dress to the shower, and will probably wear it to my nieces wedding next month!) in a long time I’ve worn one.  I love that it was so nice out I didn’t even need a sweater.  On the far right are Jacob’s parents, and in the middle are his grandparents – his grandma’s liver cancer is back and she’s been through a couple weeks of radiation.  She’ll find out this Friday if it seems to be working or not.  So happy she was able to see her grandson get married!

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The something borrowed?  That pearl necklace – Tony gave it to my on my first birthday after we were married in March of 2001.  The same florist that did our centerpieces did Hannah’s bouquet – so gorgeous!

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I’ll be posting what the Judge said and the kids vows later this week.  I loved how even though they were getting married in a courthouse, the Judge made it super personable and poignant.  They had time before our dinner reservations to go to a preserve near our house and take more pictures – their photographer took over 1000!  I took this one below with my iPhone.  #love

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It literally could not have been a more great day.  After our dinner we had people over to our house, then we went to a bar for an hour.  We came home and ate wedding cake.  It was the perfect day.

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“Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey.  At other times it is allowing another to take yours.  Nothing in this world compares to the comfort and security of having someone just hold your hand.”

A Letter to My Daughter on Her Wedding Day

Dear Hannah:

It seems like just yesterday that you were 2 1/2 and waking me up at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday to watch a movie.  We must have had twenty movies to choose from (thanks to Poppy!) yet for nearly two years all you wanted to watch was The Little Mermaid.

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I blinked my eyes and it was time for you to go to first grade.  I remember having to catch my train to work and even though you’d been in day care since you your born, you creid and begged me not to leave.One of the hardest things I had to do that day was walk away when you were in tears yelling “Mom don’t leave me!”  I was thrilled when weeks later I got a note from your teacher in your backpack letting me know that you stopped crying by the time you hung up your coat.

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I blinked again and I was sitting in a full auditorium for the school talent show.  I watched you walk out onto the empty stage all by yourself in your jeans overalls to sing a Mariah Carey song.  You were amazing!

And then I met Tony and our lives took a different path.  I’ve always regretted that your biological father decided your life would be better without him in it – only to start a family a few years later and end up being a principal of a Catholic high school!  (and in case anyone was wondering – his wife and children don’t know that Hannah exists.  Could you imagine being married for twenty years and your spouse not telling you he had a child?! – another side note – Hannah follows his 18 year old daughter on Instagram – but that’s for another post!).

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I know you and Tony had a rocky relationship and he probably didn’t measure up to the father you wished he would have been for, but you put up with it because you knew I loved him.  I will forever be grateful to you for that considering our time together was so short.

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Was seemed like a minute later you walked in the door with your learners permit and were adamant about logging all of your 50 required hours.  I loved our road trip to Milwaukee so you could get in lots of highway driving.  To this day I think its hilarious that you insist on driving everywhere, even if it’s to Walmart or driving across country to Virginia!

And then you moved in with Jacob to Chicago.  While you were only 90 minutes away, I missed seeing your face everyday, but I was happy that Tony and I could enjoy an “empty nest” the last few years of his life.

Two weeks after Tony died I remember you called me to tell me that you and Jacob were engaged!  I was so happy for you, but I have to be honest, I was in the lowest possible place in my life, I had just lost not only my husband but my best friend too.  So much was changing so fast – it was like a was on a perpetual loop of a roller coaster and I wanted to get off but no one was paying attention to me.  This I do know – having you, Jacob and the dogs move in with me literally saved my life.  If I didn’t want to get up and live for me, I knew I could get up and make you guys pancakes and that helped me find purpose after losing my title of wife and caretaker.

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I wouldn’t trade these last almost three years of having you as my roommates.  Not only do I know that you are marrying your best friend, but I know how much he loves you and respects you and I could ask nothing more from my son-in-law.  So while your “happy ever after” may not look like it does in the movies, it does exist.  In the highs and lows of any marriage, as long as you continue to love each other, show gratitude, encourage one another, be patient, and Jacob – agree to at least one Walmart and/or Target shop per week!

So while I go between wanting you to be my baby forever, I am so excited about all the amazing things you’ll do in this life.  You are an amazingly independent woman, smart, funny and beautiful.  

I love you to the moon and back – Happy Wedding Day Hannah!

Love, Mom

Happy Wedding Eve!

I am having technical difficulty on the train this morning so this will be a quick post. And I am tired and will nap for 30 minutes after I hit publish.

Yesterday was bagel Wednesday – I always think of my blog friend Lori when I have bagel Wednesday 🤗


I can’t remember the brand of bagels I bought, but they are 6 points, making my breakfast 9 points and super filling.

Again work was non-stop. I have so many things on my desk that it’s a bit overwhelming, but I left for a 30 minute walk to keep my sanity.  A Target 🎯 run is always a good idea!


But quickly saw ALL the Halloween candy and got the hell out of that area stat.  I did buy this sauce though – so good and only 1 point for a tablespoon which was plenty.


My lunch was so good! 1/2 a twice baked potato that Hannah made (6) the last of the shrimp cocktail from the kadults shower (1) green beans with a drizzle of that sauce.


I got some interesting news at work yesterday.  I am being assigned a third attorney.  I can barely keep up with the two I have so not sure 🤔 how that’s going to work.  I worked until 8:15 last night and still have so much to do today. 

I will not work the morning of my daughters wedding so I am just going to power through as best I can and leave it at that.

I can’t believe tomorrow my baby is getting married tomorrow!! Be sure to follow my Instagram story tomorrow.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a nap. Make it a great day!

A Change is Coming. . .

I was envy the hanging baskets that are in my towns downtown area.  They are all different and gorgeous.  If I bought one of those from a store I am confident I would kill it in a week.  God gives and he takes – I can cook, but I can’t take care of plants to save my life.  I am not really good at math either 😀

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It’s official – at 49 1/2 years old – I need . . . reading glasses.  I noticed in the last couple weeks I was having trouble seeing fine print, so I picked up a pair of glasses at my local thrift store for $1 to try them out.  And guess what?  Amazing!  I pretty much wore them all day and when I took them off, the font on my computer screen was blurry!

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Another busy day – I finally reheated my breakfast hash around 10:30.  Meal #3 from the beef roast I grilled on Sunday.  Three ounces beef (3), 5 ounces of baked potato diced (4), egg whites (1) all scrambled together and topped with spicy salsa and hot sauce.

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Thanks goodness for all that protein, because it kept me full for hours.  I worked straight through lunch and finally at 4:15 had 6 points worth of chips and salsa at my desk.

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I worked until 6, which means I caught the 6:25 train which got me home at 7:45.  I had about 15 minutes to kill in the train station, and if you watched my Instastory last night, you’d see that there is a giant market in my train station – with just about anything you can imagine:  Chinese food, the best homemade potato chips, gelato, CHEESE, Indian food, crepes, pizza. . . oh my!  Because by now I was REALLY hungry and I was ready to just get anything and not care “because I had the points.”   Cooler heads prevailed, and I bought a cheese stick and cut cantaloupe for my train ride home.

It was perfect and held me until I got home to make . . . tacos!  Meal #4 with my $20 sirloin tip roast.  Because this beef is still pretty rare, I didn’t bother cooking it prior to making my tacos – it warmed enough in the cooking of the tacos – still so tender!  Three corn tortillas (4), 3 ounces of beef (3) 1/2 ounce of cheese (2), romaine, cilantro and spicy salsa.

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Whenever I post my crunchy tacos, I know I’ll get at least half a dozen DM’s asking how I get crunchy tacos.  First, I use my cast iron skillet.  I don’t add any extra oil to the pan, but because I “store” my pan with vegetable oil so it doesn’t rust, there may be some residual oil in the pan.  I also microwave my corn tortillas for 30 seconds before filling so they don’t split.  And I use a shit ton of Pam.  Pretty sure that’s how Chef’s tell their staff how to cook “just use a shit ton of that.”

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Taco Tuesday is probably my favortie night of the week after party pizza Friday.

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A change is coming guys.  I’ve talked about Steve Weatherford on here before.  Former NFL player, father of almost 5 kids, and motivational speaker among other things.  I’ve been following him on Instagram for a while now, and I am always so impressed with how much he squeezes into each and every day.  He’s always got such a positive attitude and is grateful for all that he has.

This summer his family moved from New Jersey to California and for about four weeks he and his family ate out nearly every single meal.  Once they were unpacked and life had settled a bit, he went on what he calls a Metabolic Reset.  He ate his last In n Out burger, and got to business.  You can check out his YouTube page for more details.

Fast forward and now he’s offering the program for $29 dollars – the “lottery” was only open for an hour this past Saturday morning before the program was closed and I made it.  It starts on November 1 and I had to fill out a detailed questionnaire and as I write this, he and his team are custom planning a workout plan for me.  

I haven’t weighed into Weight Watchers for nearly three weeks.  I’ve eaten so much crap – cupcakes, cookies, chips – there is SO much junk food in my house right now.   While my WW meals are on fleek, it’s all the extra shit that is ending up in my mouth that has to stop.

But here is my declaration – it would totally be my inclination to just say “my new plan starts November 1!” and continue to eat like shit for the next two weeks.  But here is where I need to dig deep and refocus before the start of this next chapter.

I’ll still be counting points, but I may also do a calorie count as well – we will see when the time comes.  I have no excuses – no little kids, no husband who wants to watch four hours of t.v. at night – the only person I have to get on board is, well, ME!

All I know is that I think this will be the kick start of something great.  Now go make it a great day!

Ready, set, makeup!

A couple weeks ago I got a loot bag from Weight Watchers for their annual Project L.I.F.T. program – Live  Inspired, Fight Together for National Breast Cancer awareness.  It’s a callaboration between the American Cancer Society and Weight Watchers to help breast cancer survivors who may be tackling unexpected weight gain that can occur post-treatment. 

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Fellow Weight Watcher Ambassador Liz and I (who just ran the Chicago Marathon and beat her PR by 45 minutes!) and I will be walking the Chicago walk on October 21 in Grant Park.  You are more than welcome to walk with us Chicago peeps, otherwise I am accepting donations.  My original goal was $100, but now that I am up to $135 my new goal is $200.  You can find my donation page here.

It was another busy work day yesterday – I finally fixed this picky plate around 10:15.  2 points for the egg, 2 points for the ham, one point for the tablespoon of granola on my banana and one point for the Weight Watchers jalapeno cheese stick.

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When Hannah and I were thrifting on Friday, she found these super cute shoes.  I wore them all around the store, and they were comfy!   Um, not so much when I walked the 12 minutes from the train to my office yesterday.  By the time I sat down at my desk, I had blisters on the back of my heels. 🙁  So into the garbage they went!

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My sister had a work obligation, so I was on my own for my walk.  I strarted walking north on Clark are remembered about the Columbus Day parade – so much traffic because of the road closures.  It was 80 degrees at lunch!  (you’ll have to check out my Instastory for video of the parade).

When I got back to work, I heated up my butternut squash and beef chili.  I am having technical difficulty on the train today – my internet line keeps dropping so I am going to post the recipe for this tomorrow, but this is delicious.  Spicy, with a hint of sweetness from the squash.  Best part is that 1.5 cups is 6 smart points!

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I was going to stop by Xoco on the way back from my walk to get some chips and salsa to accessorize my lunch, but forgot they are closed on Mondays.  So I went to Walgreen’s and picked up these delicious snacks – holy balls are these delicious!  Still 4 points an ounce like most tortilla chips, but this had amazing flavor.  I tagged them on Instagram and I got a reply back that they will be having a food truck around Chicago later this month with all their different flavors.  

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I worked right up until 5:00 and then got the hockey puck out of there.  Since I have so much beef roast leftover from my grilling on Sunday, you’ll be seeing lots of beef recipes this week. #sorrynotsorry

I used Skinny Pastas rice shaped “pasta” to make this beef and veggie stirfry.  I made a quick stirfry sauce:  1 tablespoon sriracha, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon ponzu sauce, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and a tablespoon of grated fresh ginger.  I had roasted some carrots over the weekend, and I just microwaved the green beans on fresh vegetables for a couple minutes, and this dinner was ready in less than 10 minutes.

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I had every intention of going to the gym last night, but when I got home Hannah’s friend Nicole was over doing a trial run of her makeup for her wedding on Friday.  We also were looking up hair styles as well, and before I knew it, it was 9:30 and I was getting tired.  I love this makeup though!

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And Hannah’s something borrowed?  That pearl necklace was the first birthday gift Tony gave me after we got married.  And the earring she’s wearing were given to me by Tony on our first wedding anniversary.  #love

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I have more pictures from the shower that were taken by other people!  Below on the left is Jacob’s Mom, and on the right is his cousin.

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And here is Jacob’s grandparents.  She took off her oxygen mask for this picture.  She started radiation treatment for liver cancer so we are in a waiting game for now to see how she responds to that.  Just so happy she’ll see her grandson get married to the love of his life 😀

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It’s supposed to rain at lunch today and my sister has another work obligation, so I may be walking the pedway todaty – we’ll see!

Happy Tuesday – make it a great day!

Wedding Week!

Hannah and Jacob’s shower couldn’t have gone better if I tried.  At first I was a bit hesitant about having an open house type event.  Because the shower was between 3-6 p.m. on Saturday, I thought maybe no one would show up right at three and everyone would come at the same time, but the flow was fantastic.  When guests arrived and left, the way the food was brought out, the server and bartender were super attentive.  

It was perfect!

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My Mom and I were ready first so we to to the restaurant first to set up.  A family friend is a florist and did an amazing job on the flower arrangements for the tables.  Jacob’s grandma paid for the flowers (thanks Vicki!).  We had two things on the table people could fill out if they wanted – one was a date jar, where you wrote down a date idea for them to do later in the year.  The second was “words of wisdom” when things are easy or hard.  Kind of ironic, but almost half of them had something along the lines of “don’t go to bed mad.”

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The day was nice up until about 30 minutes before the shower started and then it rained buckets.  Luckily it let up a bit when Hannah arrived – I was worried she’d get soaked!  

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The food was delicious.  The kadults and I eat at this restaurant probably once every couple of weeks.  Those beef kabobs?  Everyone raved about them – so flavorful.  Shrimp cocktail, then just about every other appetizer on their menu, chicken fingers, pretzel bites, mozzarella sticks, japapeno poppers.  

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The top picture below?  The only picture I have with Hannah the whole night – and it’s blurry!   I has having such a great time, making sure to speak with everyone who attended (55 was the final head count).  I never got a picture of me and Jacob together, or him and his Mom and Dad.   I didn’t get any pictures of Jacob’s grandparents either, so I need to pay a bit more attention to photos on their wedding day on Friday. 😀

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About a dozen family members came back to the house and they opened their gifts, I had more food and drinks for guests.  I think the last person left around 12:30 – so much fun!!   Since it rained, we did not have our outdoor bonfire, but I still used some of the decorations my WW friend Chris loaned me – I put her battery operated lanterns aroudn the house and earlier that day when I was at a thrift store, found a giant bag of silk fall flowers and decorated the house with those.

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Jacob’s Mom makes the best cupcakes, but because of health code violations, they couldn’t be brought into the restaurant, so we enjoyed these after the party.  Um, in case you were wondering, these were insulin worthy!

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Hannah is going to let these flowers dry and then make some sort of shadow box with them.  So gorgeous.

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And as we were leaving the event?  A double rainbow!!  Just a sign of the amazing things to come as they join hands and become husband and wife this week.  

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A friend of theirs lives in Denver, so they are going on a long weekend honeymoon to Denver in early November.  

I could not be happier for them!  They met at the bus stop in 5th grade, have been dating for 8 years and I know they are anxious to continue their life as Mr. and Mrs.  #love