A Sales Career. Don’t read if you are easily offended.

I have a lot of people ask me about my career and why I don’t think I would ever pursue any other option.

Let me back track.  My senior year of undergrad I had a professor that asked the entire class one question on the first day, “Who wants a career in sales after college?”

Legit one person raised their hand, & it wasn’t me.  At the time, sales seemed like the one thing I would do ONLY if there was literally nothing else.  I didn’t think very highly of sales people and thought that it was a career that people either 1). Thought was shady or 2). Was for people that sucked at regular “business” jobs.  Boy, was I dead wrong….

I was recruited into my first sales job months after graduating & while I wasn’t exactly thrilled, everything else I had pursued just didn’t seem like a good fit. Now let me tell you, sales is a HARD gig. I struggled BIG time and realized quickly that I was way in over my head.  Something cool started to happen though.  I kept meeting people in the industry that I admired and looked up to.  They were rock stars.  They could sell a piece of trash to anyone and do it flawlessly.  Here’s the thing about sales, it’s a skill.  The greatest sales people know how to create a need for a product that can solve a problem. It’s not something shady.  In a lot of ways, it’s no different than general marketing and the commercials/ads you see on a DAILY basis.

So there I was, pretty unsure about HOW to do the gig, but I saw the opportunity and knew I needed to figure it out.  There is no manual on how to be successful in sales.  Sure there are books and podcasts that “Give you the secret to success” but those will only get you so far.  True skill comes from repetition and finding what your sales style is.  Sales people aren’t all the same.  In fact we are all pretty different, but we all share the same “motor”.  We run hard, and we run fast.  The most successful sales people just run better than anyone else because they have been doing it and know HOW to.

So here’s what you SHOULD know about a career in sales.  Let’s get detailed on the finances and the real opportunity.  Outside of the regular benefits of any job with a major company, a career in sales can be an extremely lucrative gig.  I’m talking 6 figures type lucrative.  If you are in sales and performing well but NOT making 6 figures, here’s the bad news.  You are selling yourself short financially.  Any solid sales gig should have an easy 6 figure opportunity for performing at quota.  This isn’t even considering the top percentile of reps.  I am talking bare bones, meeting your quota.  The ante to play is what I like to call it.  If you can’t hit 6 figures hitting your quota, you really need to consider switching gigs.

The opportunity to earn is absolutely limitless with certain opportunities.  Find a sales gig that doesn’t put a cap on commissions.  That is the best route to go.  You can sell the crap out of the product and make all the money you want in the world.  The reward for being in sales financially is one, that once you experience it, you can’t fathom doing anything else. I like my commission checks FAT.  I do the hard things for those FAT checks because at this point in my life, it is worth it.

The last thing you should know about sales is this, it’s not for the weak minded.  Any true sales gig is a grind.  Certain parts can get easier through time but it’s not a walk in the park.  You need to have tough skin. Especially as a female.  Now, hold your panties for a second, I am not getting political here, I am just telling you the reality of successful females in the sales world.  If you think everything you read next is from a political standpoint, hate to break this to you, but you are part of the problem. So let’s continue.  Women in business and sales. For one, there are a LOT of us.  I have outperformed a LOT of men in my field and when your gender is sometimes looked at as “second in line” it feels damn good to be at the top.  There is a stigma in the business world with females that is quickly being stomped out.  We are coming full force to win, and we are coming for our spot on the leader board.  I’ve been in situations where because of my gender I wasn’t even considered for opportunities.  Yet, I was the TOP performer. It’s laughable really, shame on those companies that don’t realize the damage that does to their OWN reputation.  Mad props though for the struggle because it has allowed me the opportunity to work harder and continue to outrank some of my male counterparts. J Females in sales are a force to be reckoned with.

To sum it all up, you have to be ok with doing the hard stuff.  You have to go out when everyone else wants to stay in. You stay up late to be prepared.  You remain persistent but professional.  There is a statistic that says it takes 10 no’s to get 1 yes.  You have to understand that and take a no as a “not yet.”

  • If you shy way after being rejected once, sales isn’t for you.
  • If you don’t like FAT checks, sales isn’t for you.
  • If you’re not competitive, sales isn’t for you.
  • If you hate failure, sales isn’t for you.
  • If you don’t like recognition, sales isn’t for you.

& finally, if you aren’t willing to do the hard stuff, then sales isn’t for you.

Do the hard stuff, make the money, gain the recognition, and find a career that allows you to develop and showcase your skills.  If I could go back and tell my college self in that class what sales really was, I wouldn’t have raised my hand that day, I would have stood up and said it out loud.

Happy selling,

Kate

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My 15 Year Secret

As I was thinking about what to write I kept hitting road blocks.  Trust me, there is plenty I could share but I wanted to write something that could resonate with people. It needed to be something personal, something vulnerable, something to show you guys I am a real person with real problems.

The answer hit me like a ton of bricks, literally.

Fasten your seatbelts guys, here we go…..

Let’s go back in time:

I can still remember the first time I felt different.  I was a 12 year old trying to find reasons for the thoughts that kept crossing my mind.  My friends talked about things that should’ve captivated my young mind, but it never worked.  My head was consumed with feelings of self-destruction and the questioning of my self-worth. I found things to distract me or at least keep my head out of the darkness but more times than not I kept finding myself in the wormhole of anxiety.

Fast forward a few years:

I’m almost 18 years old and on top of the world! It’s my senior year, people categorize me as being pretty & popular with so many things going for her.  Would these same people ever know I spent a lot of time with the guidance counselor trying to hide the fact that I was using self-harm to let out anxiety and fear?  Would they ever know the conversations I had to have defending my home life and family because to them,  it could only be my environment that was contributing to my actions?  Even then, I was made to feel broken or defective because no one could help me understand why the only battle and destructive environment in my life resided in my head? High school wasn’t rainbows and butterflies for a teenager dealing with something no one would speak to….. clinical depression and anxiety.

Early Adulthood:

So here we are in the early stages of adulthood dealing with again, something no doctor or professional, let alone society wanted to openly talk about.  I am 20 years old  and literally finding anything I can to distract me from the fact that I was broken or defective. Can you imagine going almost 10 years in a state of confusion and sadness because the only thing anyone has ever told you is that, “it’s not real, just change your circumstances.”  I think during this time in my life, I tried almost anything I could to take my mind off of, well my mind. Drugs, alcohol, you name it, anything I could use as a crutch, I did.  I was spiraling down so incredibly fast and those around me knew it.  Somehow still, no one talked to me about it.  It was always, “you’re making bad choices Katie”, “you need to be smarter.”  I don’t blame depression and anxiety for my actions because at the end of the day, we all have a choice.  I am however blaming society for keeping such a widespread issue so hush hush and off the record when all I needed was someone to let me know I wasn’t crazy.

The Present:

I consider myself to be a 27 year old contributing member of society that still wakes up each day and has to tell herself to move.  I was officially diagnosed THIS year, in 2017.  I have spent 15 years of my life trying to dissect something that I didn’t even have visibility to.  I cant help but think how my life may have been different had it been talked about when I was 18.  If I could have been given the resources then to get a grip on it. I’ll never be able to go back and give myself the answer I needed then, but I can bring awareness to it now and let readers know that it is ok.  You are not broken.  You are not defective.  You are just the same as everyone else and you are going to be ok.  You aren’t crazy if you talk about it, and it doesn’t make you any less of a person than the one next to you. In fact there’s a solid chance the person next to you is dealing with the same thing.

I can tell you as a 27 year old adult that finally feels like she has somewhat of a grip on it, it will never fully go away.  You will battle it daily, but you will get stronger and more strategic about how you fight it.  You will get better at realizing your worth and  accepting the fact that there will still be days the illness wins the fight.  You will start to let go of the notion that there is something wrong with you and actually start believing that you are a beautiful work of art that will always be improving.

I am cracked around the edges but I am certainly not shattered.

If society could just talk about it more openly, maybe others wouldn’t have to fight it for as long as I did. My wish is that it becomes something that isn’t looked down upon.  We aren’t crippled and broken, our sense of reality is just sometimes distorted.  There is actually a chemical imbalance in the brain that contributes to this disease.  I still remember how I felt when the doctor said that phrase to me.  It made all of those years killing myself come full circle. Imagine running a lifelong marathon or sprint and finally crossing the finish line.  It felt like I had finally made it even though I still couldn’t fix it.

There is no answer or magic pill that will fix anxiety or depression and guess what, I still have to battle demons every single day, but man am I living.

Stand up and talk about it, or stand up for those dealing with it and encourage them to see the light at the end of the tunnel.   It gets better, you get better, the feelings get better, and life will always get better.  I am proud of who I am, flaws and all.

I end it with this quote:

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I will always advocate for those battling mental illness.  I will always fight for my own happiness each day, and I will always stand up and defend someone who may feel attacked by society or feel crazy.

#CrackedButNotShattered

-Kate

Adulting

Myself, like most people my age am finding that life at this stage of the game, is rather odd.  Do you remember when we were younger and all we wanted to do was grow up and be an adult?  I remember the feeling of wanting to control my life and what I got to do each day. I craved that.

Then right after college “ADULTING” hit us. Boy, was that a reality check…. What is this bill, & how do I pay it?  For most, this happened in our early 20s.  That sweet spot of not partying too much because you had to “adult” but still living it up every so often because YOLO.

Then, the adjustment started to become a bit easier and you found that this whole being a grown up thing isn’t all that bad.  I remember that moment as well.  Thinking to myself, “I GOT THIS.”

So here is what you should know about me.  I am 27 years old, married, no children, & no clue what my life will look like in 5 years.  I like to think I’m an outlier at this point in my life.  Mainly because I don’t have children and at times the pressure I feel to have them causes enough stress to feel like I’m back in college again.

No one prepares you for when you are approaching 30 though.  It’s not like there is a manual for each year of your life and how to get through it.  Sometimes I feel like I am behind, while other times I feel like I am way ahead.  If you’re reading this and you feel the same way, don’t worry, I am sure almost everyone else does too.

So, I’m 27 basically going on 40.  I recently switched careers.  A little bit of my inner 21 year old “YOLO” gave me the courage to do that after an enormous amount of success at my previous one.  Let’s talk finances.  They DEFINITELY don’t prepare you for that.  Don’t get me wrong, I am doing just fine in the finance department.  I have paid off my school debt, have a 6 figure income, can buy a $5 coffee every day if I want (21 year old YOLO), & don’t really stress about things concerning money.  Life should be GOOD right?

Well, I remember when I wanted the life that I have right now.  I thought that if I could just get there, reach these milestones, make a ton of money, have nice things, that magically I would feel pretty content.  We always tell ourselves to not think that way, but almost every single one of us do. Weird isn’t it?

I think that is the universe’s way of punking us.  We were raised to look for finish lines or  completions.  It’s just how humans are wired I suppose.  Trying to reach a finish line on your life will just put you on the hamster wheel of never-ending circles.

Realize this, you’ll never actually “make it” or “finally get there.”  Let me repeat that.

You will NEVER actually MAKE IT or finally GET THERE.

If you think that you already have, you’re wrong.  But if you keep giving your best self each day and you constantly work on self-improvement, you’ll still never cross a finish line, but you can feel satisfaction with exactly where you are in life.

You have to show up each day, do something different and better than the day before, & know that the finish line for “life” just doesn’t exist.

Cheers to continued “21 year old YOLO” moments & never-ending work toward your best life.

-Kate

 

 

The Boob Chronicles: Part 1

3 WEEKS POST-OP UPDATE

So if you are like me, a female that competes in physique competitions, or you are someone that actively works out and diets, you probably are familiar with the all time struggle of having NO BOOBS. I am sure you have heard all the phrases from women like us:

  1. If all the fat in my body could go straight to my boobs, that would be great.
  2. Moment of silence for all the boobs lost on fitness journeys.
  3. Let me tell you a joke that’ll make your tits fall off, oh I see you already know it.

The list goes on, but you get it. In my situation, I went from a perky C cup to a well developed chest with a well earned split down the center. Don’t get me wrong, chicks with chest splits represent nothing but hard work in my opinion. For awhile, I was very comfortable with my chest being as small as it was. I hardly wore bras, and nothing ever got in the way. Like many things in life, opinions and desires can change, & for me that is where I found myself.

In January of 2015 I began my research on breast augmentations. I was planning my wedding for June, and I knew I would want to do it shortly after that so I gave myself plenty of time to weigh all my options and make my decision. That’s my first piece of advice to you ladies, don’t rush this decision. You are altering your body, don’t make that decision in a week.

The topic was foreign to me so my research literally started at ground zero. I am not going to detail all of the options that you have with this procedure because you can find it on the internet. I am going to detail things that helped my decision, the route I took, & the things I would have wanted to know going into it.

I did reach out to a few women who somewhat talked about it openly on the internet for help & they know who they are. Don’t be afraid to ask someone that you are certain had the procedure done for help. Chances are, they are going to be happy to help you. Just a few nights ago I sat awake in bed messaging a girl in a different country because she reached out for questions. So second piece of advice: Ask for help!

Finding a surgeon was probably the biggest piece of the puzzle. For me, I knew that I wanted to try my best to find a female surgeon that I felt comfortable with. Nothing against male surgeons, I just knew that’s what I had wanted. How the surgeon communicated with me and my husband was key in my decision. The follow-up from just the initial consultation was also a deal breaker. I luckily was able to find a surgeon that, 1) listened to me 2) talked to me & not at me 3) followed-up with me even before I committed to her & 4) was willing to accommodate to meet my needs and concerns. You want to go into this with zero doubts as to who will be cutting into your chest.

My next decision was going “over the muscle” or “under the muscle”. This decision took the longest for me. Typically surgeons have a “preferred way” of doing these procedures and you will find that is what they will recommend to you. You want to make sure you ask your surgeon to leave that preferred opinion aside and really think about what will be best for you. I ended up going “under the muscle” for the following reasons;

  1. When I compete again, I don’t want to see the entire outline of the implant due to extreme low levels of body fat
  2. I wanted more of a natural look since my chest was as developed as it was.
  3. I  didn’t want the implants to obstruct the visuals in a mammogram completely.

There is a lot more information out there with the pros and cons of going either way, but those were my three tipping points that led to my decision.

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I was told that the pain and recovery would be worse with going under the muscle but I wasn’t exactly prepared for what that meant. (Keep reading)….

Picking a size was also a stressful ordeal. Having your spouse or significant other certainly helped and keeping in mind that ANY size is going to look terrifying at first simply because you aren’t used to it. I ended up going with 450cc silicone. I chose silicone over saline because of the way it felt, and to be honest, saline is kind of a thing of the past. It is really hard to identify a bra size based on CCs alone, but I can say that it looks like I will end up with a D cup. I am 5’6” and 150lbs with a pretty wide back.

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The last decision I had to make was the type of profile I wanted. This is the information that I hope will help you! The idea of “high profile” implants was terrifying to me. I went into this thinking I would for sure end up with moderate plus or just moderate. Like a lot people, I assumed “high profile” meant porn-star. Ladies, it doesn’t. Have your surgeon describe and explain it to you. My surgeon’s preferred way of surgery was actually a moderate plus profile however, with me and how I am built, she suggested high profile and was able to explain to me why, and calm my irrational fears about it. It doesn’t mean your boobs will sit up extremely high and round. Make sure your surgeon can accurately explain why something may be better for you than others.

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So now let’s get to the fun part, the week leading up to the procedure and the procedure itself. Your surgeon will detail out things they expect of you days leading up to the operation. If she says to do something, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, just do it. Personally, I didn’t lift at all the week leading up to my surgery. I had my augmentation done on July 17th, which was a Friday. The last time I had touched weights was the Friday before that. I didn’t want any of my muscles to be sore or tight going into this. People say it’s a common procedure, which is true, but anytime you are put under and cut open, it is going to take a toll on your body. Don’t ignore that.

The night before the surgery I was extremely nervous and scared. I am truly terrified of needles so the IV process was causing me great anxiety. I didn’t sleep a wink that night but it was ok, because I slept a lot on Friday. Make sure you prep your house and have all of your laundry done. If you are like me, I take on the house responsibilities such as kitchen, laundry, food prep, cleaning. So I wanted to be able to rest knowing things were done.

I showed up to the hospital about 40 minutes early. This actually worked in my benefit as my surgeon had been running ahead of schedule. My operation was scheduled for 9 am & they asked you to arrive 2 hours prior. I was being wheeled into the operating room barely conscious at about 7:40am. The operation was quick and the next thing I know I was sitting straight up with three strange people surrounding me looking terrified while trying to get the surgical bra on. Apparently I woke up and immediately started BAWLING. They say that whatever emotion you feel as you are being put under is what will come out when you wake up. Well for me, the IV in my hand and that whole ordeal had me terrified. When I first woke up, I couldn’t feel a thing. I could tell that my chest felt “heavy” but I didn’t have any sudden pain just sitting there, besides I was basically high as a kite. As soon as they moved me into the wheelchair within 5 minutes my pain was at a 10 on the scale. That’s when I felt everything.

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They will make you wait typically anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour after you wake up just to monitor you. I wasn’t allowed to leave until I peed since they said I went through two bags of fluids. Let me tell you, peeing & wiping was a struggle. Be careful on the car ride home & try to avoid pot holes and bumps the best you can. Those hurt. If you have an awesome husband like me, he will go through a drive through and get tim-bits for the both of you to snack on.

I don’t remember much of that weekend or Friday afternoon other than seeing them for the first time and being petrified. It will seem like they are up to your chin and all the way in your armpits. It’s the swelling. Don’t be alarmed. Just stay covered up & keep the sports bra on that your surgeon had you wear. It was really easy for me to actually regret the decision the first few days following the operation because of the pain and how they looked. Trust me, that phase will pass.

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In my experience the first 7 days post op are the hardest. We use our chest for so many things that you don’t even realize. Getting in and out of bed took time. Getting dressed required help. Don’t even think about washing your hair, personally, I made a trip to my stylist and paid her to do it for me. Opening up containers or bottles is hard. Sitting down and getting up is hard. Everything you do the first 7 days will seem hard. The medicine that you take post op is so important as well. Your surgeon will tell you exactly what to do and how often. DO NOT STRAY FROM THAT. You don’t want to write another $6k check because you forgot an antibiotic dose and got an infection. Keep up on the pain meds as well. If you let them wear off, the pain will hit you like a truck the first 7 days.

After week 1 I started to feel a lot better pain wise. Physically, I felt like I looked awful. Surgery will also greatly affect your body and normal bodily functions. Be prepared to feel super sloppy and gross for 1-2 weeks. Oh and expect to experience constipation. Listen to your body as well in regards to eating. I didn’t track anything or follow any type of plan, I simply ate as I felt like I needed energy. Don’t be surprised if you end up needing a lot more calories than you would typically need. That is your body’s way of healing itself.

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At the end of week 2 I had my first post op meeting with my surgeon. At this point I was moving a little better, the swelling was a bit better, but they were still pretty high up. She cleared me for light cardio and lower body work. I ended up waiting 3 days after she cleared me to go back to the gym. Physically I was just still exhausted.

My first day back at the gym was ROUGH. Everyone had told me that your strength wouldn’t be shit and to not be discouraged or surprised but man, I was taken for a big surprise. I did some leg work which involved lunges, extensions, seated hamstring curls, body weight squats, and hack squats. I don’t suggest the hack squat being just two weeks post op. The compression on my shoulders I felt in my chest and immediately stopped. With the extensions and hamstring curls, keep your hands and arms loose and not tightly gripped on the handles. When you grip the handles you are engaging your chest a little bit and that can hurt as well. I attempted cardio that first day and nearly passed out. I survived 5 minutes after that workout before I had to get off. Don’t count this as a failure, biggest thing I have to do is cut myself some slack. Not even a month post op, I can’t expect to be superwoman.

I continued at it the next few days and gradually worked my way back up with cardio. Leg training I completed three times that week and that was more than enough. Right now I am sitting at 3 weeks post op and can comfortably do steady state cardio on any machine. Barbell squats are not in the picture and anything really dumbbell related is also not in the picture. Those will come in the next few weeks. Don’t plan on training chest any time soon or for awhile. You won’t want to & it is not suggested. Arms will be last to happen again as well. Upper body probably won’t occur until the one month mark. Again, don’t push anything, you don’t want to spend another $6k because you went back into the gym to soon instead of waiting another week.

My incisions are probably the only thing I can say I don’t like from this operation. I went with the typical Inframmary Incision. (Under the folds of the breast). The incisions and placement are completely fine, it is the healing that has not been favorable to me. When I have deep and big scars they usually are keloid. It is nothing drastic, but they are there. I knew that was a risk going in as I have had keloid scars my whole life so it wasn’t a deal breaker to me. It is under my boobs so they won’t be seen anyways.

At the 3 week mark, they have dropped down a bit more and have softened up quite a bit. For the first two weeks it felt like I had bricks on me. Don’t let that scare you. They will get better. I have heard from a lot of different people and surgeons the time it usually takes for them to fully drop and it all varies. Some say one month, two months, 4 months, one year. I think it is totally dependent on the individual. Just give them time. Keep in mind that there are foreign objects in your body and when they cut into your muscle and place them underneath they have to firmly settle into those pockets. It is not going to be an overnight thing.

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Also, know the difference between discomfort and pain. Yes, you heard me, discomfort and pain. They are different. You will feel these, it will feel strange, but that doesn’t exactly mean pain. You will know if it is pain and when you feel that stop whatever you are doing no matter what it is. Above all, listen to your body and give it the time it needs to heal. It may take a month or two, or even three, but it will be worth it. Each day I am thankful I made this decision & each day certainly gets a little better.

I never thought I would be sitting here typing a blog on my own personal “boob chronicles” but hey, that’s the beauty of life. It is constantly changing. I will post another blog in a few weeks with updates so subscribe to my blog to follow along.

Lastly, love the skin you are in. Both my husband and I loved the way I looked before and we love the way I look now. Until next time;

“Calm your tit, just one tit, leave the other one crazy, and out of control, that your party tit.”

#TeamKnockers

Two websites I found helpful in my research were:

  1. Realself.com  (just search breast augmentations)
  2. Justbreastimplants.com  (they have a forum)

Wedding Recap: June 27, 2015

Hi friends!  So much has happened in 3 weeks since my last post! The most important change would be my last name!  I married my best friend on June 27, 2015 & honestly cannot get over how perfect the day was!

I could write three whole books on the details of that day but instead I will give you a small snippet of how it happened!

The days leading up to the wedding were nothing short of stressful and anxiety filled.  Like any bride would tell you, the nerves can really kick your butt.  I held it together with the help of my family, specifically my mother, and Seth, my husband.  We had a quick and laid back rehearsal Friday night and catered Chipotle for everyone afterwards.  Side note: Chipotle catering will change your life and will be a huge crowd pleaser. Not to mention we were eating Chipotle for dinner days after the fact.

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Friday night I stayed at the hotel by the reception with my mother for my last night as a Hanrahan.  We sent Dad videos and talked about some things and looked back on many memories. Spending the night with my mother was certainly special to me. Saturday morning I was up bright and early at about 5am.  I went down to the hotel gym and ran about 4 miles while watching Family Feud & listening to worship music.  It relaxed me and set the mood for the day more than I can explain.

The plan was to not see Seth until later that day but we all ended up having breakfast together before starting the process of getting ready.  It was so nice to sit there with his dad and my family and just talk.  My hair stylist arrived at about 8am so I made my way upstairs and started the process of getting beautified.

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Once that started the day started to fly by! My hair style was more than I could have imagined.  My makeup artist did wonders as well  for making me feel completely beautiful. Both of them played a huge part in that day. All the while, my bridesmaids were all in my room getting ready together and listening to music. Every single one of them looked stunning in the dresses they picked and hair styles they chose.  The whole morning was extremely laid back and casual, just as I wanted it to be.  As soon as my makeup was done we got word that the party bus had arrived and would be waiting for us to start pictures.

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I quickly enlisted the help of my mother and hair stylist, Kristy, to get me in my dress and put on my veil.  Once the dress was on, I turned around to look in the mirror and all of the nerves and butterflies I had months leading up to this day, completely vanished.  I look at my photographer Doug and said, “ I actually feel beautiful, like a princess.” He just smiled back at me and said, “ You always have been Kate.”  That’s when I acquired all of the confidence I needed to get me through the rest of the day.

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I had three separate reveals for my brothers, my bridesmaids, and then also my dad.  Tears were involved and they looked so handsome all done up in their suits. My bridesmaids, like I mentioned, were simply stunning,  every single one of them unique in their own beauty.  We made our way downstairs to the bus.  We had to make sure that Seth was already gone since he and I’s reveal would be on the staircase at the venue.

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Downstairs, we got to meet with the groomsmen for a first look!  I can’t say enough about the guys Seth had chose for his big day.  All of them played a unique role in making the day for both Seth & I.

We arrived at the venue and I prepared myself to see Seth for the first time. Wow, talk about nerves again.  My older brother led me down the staircase and I caught my first glimpse of Seth’s face.  He was fighting back emotion already.

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Jason let me go and I walked to Seth all by myself.  The closer I got, the harder it was not to cry.  Everyone left the room and gave us a private moment.  I am so thankful for that as I will never forget that time between us.  We both composed ourselves and let everyone back in.

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I walked around and looked at all of the decorations at the reception.  We hired a decorating company out of Springfield, Ohio to handle it all.  Ambience did a flawless job at making the venue beautiful.  So many little details that I was able to pick up on that were exact to what I had wanted.

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Pictures started quickly after and we even were able to get a few shots in the gym close by!  I cannot wait to see how those turned out.  We got on the party bus and made our way to the church for the ceremony!  The ceremony was beautiful and just like I imagined it would be.

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As the processional started dad and I stood there and looked at each other.  Right before it was our time to walk out and down the aisle, I looked at him and said, “You ready?”  He said, “Yes, are you?”  I nodded and saw the tears in his eyes.  That sent me  over the edge and I was sobbing as I walked out into the sanctuary.  I saw so many people smiling at me and some were also crying.  I fought the ugly crying the best I could but know that some of the photos will come back amusing.  As soon as I saw Seth it got worse.  You know, the ugly face you make when you are trying NOT to cry?? Yeah, imagine that times 10.  Regardless, the moment was perfect.

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At the end of the ceremony, my uncle introduced us as man and wife and as we made our way down the stairs of the stage, Dad & I did something totally unplanned but completely perfect.  He held out his hand for a high five and I smacked the life out of it.  It was the loudest and funniest high five ever.

We had a make shift receiving line outside of the sanctuary and I finally got to see and hug everyone that had come to support us.  My heart was bursting at the seams at this point.

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We made our way back to the reception and from there began the best night of my life.  I don’t know what I could talk about more, our first dance together and my non stop crying, the “5 minute” speech from my dad on sacrificial love,  my brothers’ speeches, the dancing,  the laughing, the memories, all of it.  We all have so many individual stories from that reception that are hilarious to look back on.  It truly was the best night of my life.  I have never been in one room with MORE love than that night.

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The dancing and partying lasted far longer than we imagined it would as well and at one point my dad took over the mic and had to kindly start to shut it down.  At this point, Seth & I were getting ready to make our way back to the hotel to wrap up the night.  Obviously I will spare the details on that, but I will say that in my pile of keepsakes from my wedding, I have a Taco Bell receipt that will forever be special to me.  Before we went to sleep we both decided we wanted some Taco Bell so he took us thru the drive thru and we feasted.  Late night drive thru’s are kind of “our thing” so this was no surprise to me.

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I had a hard time sleeping that night as I could not stop thinking about the night and everything that had happened.  I have honestly never felt more happiness in my life.  That’s the truth.

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We woke up Sunday morning and went right to breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  This had been the plan for months and it was SO worth it.  Orange juice and carbohydrates have never tasted better to me.  I made a video compiling all of the footage from that day and photos.  Seth and I watched it Sunday evening and we both fought back tears.

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I asked Seth if he was happy we had the wedding instead of running off to the courthouse and his response was, “ Yes I am glad we did it this way, and I would do it all over again if we could.”

I stressed over this day for so many months leading up to it, and honestly, for all you bride-to-be’s out there, it’s not worth the stress.  When I woke up Saturday morning I had not a single care in the world and I knew it was about to be the most perfect day of my life.  While trying to make sure your big day is perfect can definitely  cause for stress and worry, I would do it over again every weekend if I could.

I am spending life with my best friend and will now have a day to remember for the rest of my life.

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Thank you all for attending and celebrating with us.  It was the most perfect day and evening.

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