Depression, family, friends, Life, Weekend, Weightloss

My Two-Year 100-Pound Weight Loss Anniversary


Saturday was my two-year 100-pound weight loss anniversary. Two years ago I stood on the scale and was finally under 200 pounds and I’ve been under ever since. 100 pounds was my long-term goal. I knew after I reached it I would have new goals, but 100 pounds is a huge deal. It’s a goal I reached in ten short months. It’s a goal that takes most people years. It’s a huge accomplishment and I didn’t feel anything. I wasn’t proud. I wasn’t happy. I was numb. I’m going to paint you a picture of a Rachel a lot of you don’t know and some of you know too well.

I used to weigh myself every Saturday morning, but this story is going to start the night before. I went out with a friend to a local bar. We met up with a friend of hers and an acquaintance of mine (who would later become my boss). I remember the bar was busy. We had to share a table with two random middle-aged men. They were very nice and we all made small talk. It wasn’t long into the evening before shots were being bought. Someone bought a round of Jager. I took my shot, but the other girl that was with us wouldn’t drink Jager. So, in typical Rachel fashion, I took hers for her (the last time I had Jager and the last time I’ll ever have it). I didn’t realize that while I was finishing her shot she was buying a round of bourbon for us. In no time I had a few beers in me, two shots of Jager and a shot of bourbon. When I say no time I mean in less than an hour. To say things get hazy after that would be an understatement. I remember a handful of things from the rest of that night.

What I do remember is making a full of myself in front of the guy I liked at the time. In my defense, I’m not sure when the people I was with thought it would be a good idea to show up at the bar he was at (crazy much?). I remember flashes from that trip. There’s a clip of us in my head walking in, there’s a flash of me putting my legs up on the table (apparently I have this thing where I like to be relaxed while blacked out) and him taking them off. I have a flash of us walking out and I have a bit of the conversation on the drive to the third bar. That conversation involved my future boss telling me to forget about that guy because he was going to break my heart. Literally the exact words I remember her saying. She was right. He did. I should have listened.

I have almost no memory of the next bar we ended up at. I don’t even know if I had anything to drink there, but things ended quickly. I was told I had to leave. In short, I was kicked out of that bar. When you can barely stand on your own you should probably just go home.

We had to go back to the bar we started at to close out our tab. I fell out of the vehicle after we parked. Literally just opened the door and fell to the pavement. I should note she didn’t drive a car so it was a decent fall and one I don’t remember. It wasn’t until I stood up the next day and mentioned how sore I was that I was told I had fallen. After that things are pretty black. I vaguely remember being on my friend’s couch puking in a bucket. I might have puked in the bathroom before the bucket. I’m not entirely sure. We were home, tucked in on the couch and I was puking all before midnight. This was a common occurrence that year.

The next morning I woke up before 5 in a panic because my parents were flying out of Pittsburgh very early and I never made it home the night before. My phone was dead. I found my friend’s phone and called my dad. I scared him because he thought something happened. I just needed to tell them I was okay, where I was and say goodbye before they boarded. This was a low moment for me. This was irresponsible. This wasn’t who I was. This felt wrong. This was wrong.

Eventually, the house woke up and I stood on the scale. I told my friend I hit the 100-pound mark. I texted my future roommate. I texted my cousin. I still felt nothing. I didn’t feel celebratory. I didn’t feel accomplished. It was nothing. We went to Eat n Park for breakfast. I had oatmeal. The service was terrible. I went home and got ready for a Christmas party that night. All the while feeling nothing. I drank that night too. Less than the night before, but it still involved drinking Crown Royal from the bottle. I was a mess. I was hurting. I was sad. I was angry. I was alone. I was unhappy. I didn’t know who I was. That night ended with me crying on the bathroom floor to my cousins. The first of many nights to come that month where I would be crying. Where I would be drunk. Where I would be a mess. Where I would feel like I was suffocating.

I achieved something in that day that many people never achieve. None of it mattered to me. Luckily, I can look back on it now and realize what an accomplishment that was. Now I can congratulate myself and celebrate this anniversary. I know who I am now. I know what I accomplished. I love this anniversary and I love taking a moment to be proud of myself. I am no longer that lost, messy girl crying on the bathroom floor. I still have things I’m working on, but you wouldn’t believe how far I am from the girl I was that weekend.

Depression, Life, Random Thoughts, Weekend

Weekend 45: Currently


thinking that it bums me out it’s been a week since I last posted.

feeling full from the the pigs in the blanket my mom made for dinner. They were so good!

looking forward to only having to work a four day week

wondering why I’ve had so many (mild) headaches lately. I never get headaches.

loving how blonde my hair is and excited to see what we can do with the blonde at my next appointment.

wondering if I should go dark once I’m over the blonde… hehe

wanting my hair to be long again and to be healthy. so long are the days of straightening over and over and over and ahhhhh

wishing my sister a happy 26th birthday this Wednesday.

excited to go out Saturday and celebrate with her and friends

wearing everything and anything that will keep me warm. I don’t know when this started, but being cold is almost painful.

feeling really tired lately.

realizing my depression might be more seasonal than we thought or realized.

wanting to start reading all of the books I have that are unread.

deciding on goals for the new year. Did I mention that last Sunday? It’s on my mind a lot lately.

working on myself always.

appreciating my parents and my siblings. they’re the four most important people in my life.

Hi, friends. I haven’t posted in a week. I’ve been dealing with a little bit of brain fog when it comes to writing. I think about it constantly, but when I go to put words to paper it’s all a mess. The last few weeks I’ve noticed I’ve had more down days than I’ve had in a long time. I think it could have a lot to do with the season changing, the shorter days, the lack of sunshine, the cold, the weather. It’s something my doctor and I are keeping an eye on, but it’s also something I recognize. Something I’m aware of and something I take note of. Last year at this time I started slipping into my darkest months, but I wasn’t educated then. I wasn’t aware of the signs and how to reroute my mind and my thoughts. I have the tools now to take control, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have hard days. Right now it’s just wearing me down. I think about this space every day and already have plans for my second reoccurring weekly post. This one will go up Thursday of every week and I’m exited for it. It’s something I’ll have to work on thought the week. Looking forward to sharing it with you this Thursday. I hope you all have a motivating Monday. xoxo



Weekend 44: Currently


watching Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown… new episodes, repeats, all of them. I love his honesty and his truth and really just him.

started season 2 of Stranger Things and wishing I was a kid in the 80’s. I’m sure my mother would say, “Ugh why?” haha, but it just seemed like a simpler time.

thinking a great drinking game would be binge watching the first season of Stranger Things and having to take a drink every time they say Will’s name, because it’s a lot.

feeling very proud of my 7 mile run today. The last mile was a lot of walking, but my hips were sore and that hill was huge. Can’t wait to continue working on these 7 miles and seeing where I can get to next.

looking forward to pumpkin season being over because every recipe I find is pumpkin this and pumpkin that and no thank you.

listening to Demi Lovato every day. Who am I?

decided on a goal for the last two months in 2017 and thinking about some new goals for 2018.

waiting on my sister’s birthday gift to ship. I ordered it in August and it has YET to ship. Her birthday is in 11 days. I ordered my Dad’s birthday gift on Thursday (his birthday is in 5 days) and got it in the mail on Friday… figure that one out would yah.

forgetting that Tuesday is Halloween, but also not really caring? Is that okay?

wearing oversized hoodies, thick socks and comfy pants all weekend. Fall has finally arrived in full force and one of the best parts is layering all of the clothes. One of the worst parts is still being cold after all the layers. *cough* my office *cough*

Have a safe Halloween, friends. Keep an eye out for those kiddos if you’re out driving during trick or treating hours.

family, friends, Life, Weekend

Kuss Wedding Photos

One month ago, exactly I got to witness my friend and cousin marry her best friend. It was such a special day for both and one I’m so happy to have been a part of. She received the link to all her photos and of course I went through every single one of them. I love photos and wedding photos are the best! I can sit and look at total strangers wedding photos online over and over without shame. I grabbed some of the ones I really liked and figured I’d throw them into a post to share.

The below pics are some of my favorites of the girls getting ready.






I always love seeing the behind the scenes photos of the girls getting ready. This is the first wedding I’ve ever been in and I would have to admit that the photos always look way calmer and more glamorous than what is going on. I just remember rushing around, borrowing makeup, touching up my makeup, putting lipstick on myself and my sister, touching up other bridesmaid’s makeup, trying not to get any makeup on myself or others, spraying all the hair spray and deodorant, putting Kaitlin’s veil on, putting Adeline’s tiara back in, making sure everyone’s bags were packed for when we were ready to leave, fixing my cousins curls, fixing my friends hair, getting dressed, having the photographer walk in when I was basically naked (that’s fun) and trying to stay calm while keeping an eye on the clock. I think we all thought two hours was going to be a lot of time, but we quickly realized it in fact was not. Rushing, rushing, rushing, but I must admit it was fun and exciting. I definitely lean towards the girly side of things when it comes to getting ready. The best part about going out IS getting ready. However, I forgot to put perfume on this day and it’s something I still think about.


That’s just me running down the aisle. Literally. We had just gone over what speed to walk and then nope I just booked it. However, I like that you can still see my Dad’s smirk. I almost walked TO him and my mom. Let’s just say being in a room full of people that are looking at only me even if it’s for less than a minute is my idea of hell. I’m pretty sure my dad could see that written all over my face.




Addie peaking around the bridesmaids is the cutest! She did such a good job. The below photo of John is my favorite of him. John just looks happy. I can’t explain why, but this one is the best of him. I love the one of the guys goofing off while we waited for pictures to wrap up at the church. You can dress them up… haha



This next photo is just a picture of me hugging the crap out of my friend, cousin, coach, etc who I used to see almost every day and no longer do. I miss(ed) her and love this photo of us. And one of my sister looking extra cute.



I love this one of Kaitlin. You see relief and happiness all over her face.


Group shots!





Beautiful women! I love these photos and will cherish them forever.



I wish I knew what was so funny here and what the hell was causing me to make that face. I love that Kaitlin is still perfectly posed for photos though. Now for the fun ones!




I look crazy in that photo, but that literally sums up mine and John’s relationship. haha Laughing at all things.



This photo KILLS me hahahahaha we went from hugging to busting a SERIOUS move.


Safe to say… we all had a blast. One month down for you two 2343984309284930 more to go.


friends, Life, Random Thoughts, Weekend

Weekend 43 : Currently


Before I started this blog I knew I wanted to have some reoccurring posts planned for every week. Reoccurring posts like this are some of my favorites to read on other blogs. They also help keep a schedule and are time savers. I remembered Elise Blaha Cripe used to do a monthly “currently” post. It was one of my favorite reoccurring posts she wrote (I miss her blog so much ughhh). I decided I would do something like this every Sunday to wrap up my weekend instead of writing a long winded post. Tracy over at Shutterbean wraps up her weeks with a Every Day Life post with lots of photos from her week. I decided to take a little of both of their ideas and make my own post for Sundays. I hope you enjoy my Sunday posts as much as I enjoyed reading Elise’s and now enjoy Tracy’s posts.

realizing I need to start wearing my winter pj pants to bed. The nights have gotten significantly colder and we don’t have the heat on yet. brrr!

enjoying my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe my mom baked this afternoon and not feeling an ounce of guilt about it. Balance, baby!

watching The Harvest Wedding on the Hallmark Channel. Sometimes I’m a sucker for a good chick flick you guys, but this leading man… really?

looking forward to next Saturday’s plans with Nikki.

listening to all the music right now and paying close attention to the lyrics that are hitting close to home.

feeling jealous of how close to the Montour Trail Maddy is, but happy we got a six mile walk in on Saturday. Walking and talking with friends might be my favorite.

hunting for the perfect motorcycle jacket with gold zippers, the right length and fit. this might be the hardest hunt… ever.

deciding to have a better week mentally than I did last week.

crossing my fingers that the rain doesn’t start until after I get to work and then stops long enough for me to walk back to my car tomorrow. I really hate taking the T you guys.

planning my next two months worth of weekends full of friends and fun outings.

wishing you a great week!

friends, Weekend

Christmas in the Woods && the Farmer’s Market of My Dreams


Another awesome weekend is in the books. I took PTO Friday. I’ve needed a mental health day for a few weeks, but I also knew after the concert Tuesday night I’d be beat. I was. When I take a day off I like to get my chores done. Sounds silly, but it allows me to enjoy the rest of the weekend with them out of the way. I went to the 9:30 Crossfit class at my gym and my favorite coaches were coaching. Yay! I’m used to having a whole day in between classes so I was a little nervous returning to the gym 12 hours later. I ended up having a great workout and left glowing. It was confirmed come Saturday that it was in fact a good workout… let’s just say my bum was very sore. haha I had planned on grocery shopping right after my workout, but I STUNK. So home to shower I went before running down to PPG Paints Arena. I had to go pick up my pre race packet. Just picking up my bib was exciting. I ran my errands and home to meal prep I went.

I made chili this week! I was craving chili a month or so ago and I found this super easy Turkey Chili recipe on Ambitious Kitchen’s website. It’s sooo good! Who doesn’t love a recipe that involves dumping everything into one pot and letting it simmer?

Saturday morning I got up early and headed to Columbiana, Ohio for their Christmas in the Woods festival. This year my mom, sister and friend Katie went. We hit some decent traffic on the way in. That’s not something we’ve dealt with the last two years, but we eventually made it. There was a lot of people, but it’s usually pretty busy. I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed shopping. I’d also be lying if I said I enjoyed crowds. However, I do enjoy being outside on a nice day with friends and family. I also went to buy two very specific items and to hit up this awesome farmers market we stumbled across a few years back.


If you know me at all you know I love butterflies. Love. Them. Last year I stumbled upon the Insect Creatures both where I bought my first butterfly. I knew this year I had to go back for another one. I’m still hoping to get a Monarch at some point from them. There’s nothing better than a bright orange butterfly. I also have a thing for bees. Bumble bees and honey bees. Mainly because bees are so important and I freaking love honey. I would like to have my own hives at some point. A stop at the Bumbleberry Farms booth to grab my three favorite honey spreads was a must. They’re so good!

After we left the festival we stopped at the best part! The reason I go every year! The farmers market. We found this little family owned farmers market off a back country road a few years ago and I fell in love. The prices are insane! An entire pail of red peppers for 5 dollars? I mean what? A single red pepper at Giant Eagle will set you back almost 5 dollars. I told the young girl that works there that I wished they were my neighbors so I could buy all of my food from them. What I really wish is that I had my own farm that produced beautiful produce. I swear I was either a farmer/farmers wife in a past life or it’s in my future. It’s calling me.

After the market we headed home. It was a nice day and I’m really happy I go to spend time with my mom, sister and Katie. See you next year, Columbiana!



The Best Weekend


I had the best weekend. I was feeling really burnt out towards the end of last week. It was affecting my mood and I was feeling extra sensitive. Because of this I went to hot yoga on my way home from work Friday. It was needed and definitely was the right choice. I go pretty hard with my work outs 4-5 days out of the week and I forget that you need those active recovery days. It took my body some time to adjust, but once it did it felt amazing. I think the best part of the class was when the instructor cracked the door to the outside and it felt like someone popped the 98 degree bubble we were in. It. Felt. Amazing. What’s funny to me about hot yoga is I don’t even notice how hot it is until the sweat is dripping off of me. My focus is on the movements, my balance and the relaxation that comes along with it.


Saturday morning I headed out early with my Mom and best friend Julia. We headed to Titusville with a little bit of a plan, but ended up squashing that plan and going to camp. My Great Great Grandma lived in Leeper, PA. When my Mom was little my family would always go up and stay with her on the weekends. When she died the house was left to my Great Grandpap and his sister. His sister ended up selling her portion to my three great uncles and now two of them own the house. The memories in and around this house are indescribable. I have very few of my own memories, but the photos I have of my parents and family up there on the weekends are some of my favorite. The stories they tell about camp are some of my favorite. They spent most weekends at camp just drinking, shooting, riding 4 wheelers and jeeps and bar hopping (in no particular order). The amount of people they used to get into that house (if they didn’t pass out back by the fire so I’m told) is comical. My great uncles, my parents and my older cousins would spend all this time at camp and my Great Grandma was always with them. She would just do her own thing. She would clean, take care of the house, fish, tan and most importantly cook for everyone. I’m so jealous of the time they all got to spend up there. The fun they had. The memories aren’t even mine and I cherish them.


We showed up unexpectedly, but that’s how it works with my family. There’s never a real plan (something that drives me crazy). We all stood around admiring my Great Uncle Wyatt’s new to him 1943 IH Farmall Tractor.



After the tractor admiration was done we headed out for lunch and made our way into Cooks Forest. Cooks Forest reminded me of a miniature Washington or Northern California. We didn’t last too long in Cooks Forest. I think we were all looking forward to the Jeep ride with my Great Uncle Mike. It was easily the best part of our day. I think we could have sat in that Jeep for hours. It was so fun and so muddy and just a blast. It’s always fun catching up with those guys. They all wanted us to stay the night, but I’m a planner and that wasn’t in the plan. We ended up heading back towards home for dinner and to call it a night.




I love long drives and I don’t mind having to be the one that drives as long as you don’t constantly critique my speed (we averaged 80 mph on the way up.. give or take). The day was needed. It was nice to just be in the car for a few hours talking. Julia just recently got engaged and is literally inspiring with how easy she is making (and fast) the wedding planning process seem. It was an awesome day. I can’t say it enough. My mind needed a day with no cell service and people that keep me calm even when I’m hangry.



I ended the weekend on Sunday with a really good run. I got my best 1 mile time at 8:56.7. This was the first time I had ever gotten below a 9 minute mile. I felt like I was moving pretty fast and it felt good. I felt strong and capable. When my wrist buzzed for that mile and I looked down I could not stop smiling. I smile more during my workouts than I smile in every day life. This little accomplishment meant so much to me. My legs felt great, now I just need to get my breathing right. Why is breathing the hardest part? I’ll get there. After my run I went grocery shopping, meal prepped, did some laundry and relaxed. Sundays are for getting things done. I have a fun week and weekend ahead of me. I get to see so many of my favorite people in one week. I get to see a concert with one of my favorite artists with one of my best friends. I have a trip to Ohio planned for Saturday with some of my family. I have something exciting happening next Sunday. I have Friday scheduled off. Things are good. Things are fun right now. This is the best time of year.