Thursday, December 20, 2012

jmu! duuuuuuuuuuuuuuukes.


merry christmas james madison univeristy. 

you really are the happiest place in my little world. 

sending holiday cheer

i love receiving and sending christmas cards.  and it has been so enjoyable to see how much they have changed over the years. target cards, quickly transformed to couple photos, to wedding pictures, to now babies! and while i am so far away from my dearest friends, it's so wonderful to see their faces and new families on our fridge.

i've always been partial to paper cards, but next year i will most definitely be sending a wedding photo, and i am giddy to see what beautiful images katelyn james snaps on our big day. this year i went with little postcards from my favorite, rifle paper company, but  here are a few cards that have made me swoon this christmas season.

via lindsay letters

via rifle paper co. 

via pinhole press

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


i love you because you are patient
you work so very hard for us.
you are attentive and present
to me. to polly. to your family. and to our relationship.
you love cheese.
you love the packers.
i mean you even dug aaron rodgers 'stache. respect. 
you are handsome.
you have a beard.
you make me feel valued.
you are so so much smarter than i am,
but you never make me feel less smart.
you can fix absolutely anything.
you stand behind what you believe to be right, even when it's hard.
you let us take turns being the star of the show.
you're okay with me stealing some of your jokes.
you call me bug.
and sometimes when you REALLY need to get my attention you call me "lewis"
you don't judge me when i never, ever, ever wake up early to go the gym.
you let me fall asleep to law and order every. single. night. 
you change the channel for me when i don't have my glasses on. 
you always start and end your day giving me a kiss.
and you know that the surest way to end an argument is to tell me that you are already mad at yourself (because really, how can i be mad at you when you already are?)

happy birthday my love.
i am oh so happy you were put on this earth to be mine.
"what a beautiful home we have found in each other."

Sunday, December 16, 2012

i bid you adieu, 2012

365 days ago, i was not in a good place. we were not in a good place. we felt stuck in a city that we loved fiercely. we were so helpless, do we leave this wonderful life that we know and love? or do we wait it out, until we get to the point where we start to resent it? i remember telling pat, "if in five years, we are still in chicago, living in an apartment that we are paying way too much money for, and i'm pushing a stroller in a foot of snow, i am going to hate our life." we knew that if something didn't change, and change fast, that would be there before we knew it. we would start to resent chicago, resent our jobs, and worse, resent each other.

and so pat did a really grownup thing. he applied for an amaaaaazing opportunity that happened to be very far away. in a part of the country that wasn't so expensive, wasn't so cold, and wasn't anywhere that i ever imagined living. and pat got that new job. and miraculously, i got a job 3 months later. a job that was perfect for me. a job i had been DREAMING of doing since i graduated college. 

and patrick found us a wonderful apartment, in beautiful (not at all touristy) winter park.

and almost as soon as we were settled into our new lives, we went to anna maria island for a weekend and pat asked me to be his wife. and i said of course. 

and we finished the year eagerly planning our wedding and our honeymoon.

and life is good. life is great. life is how it should be. 

but i catch myself. because i know that life will not always be great. life will be very hard. and that all the years to come will bring about trials and tribulations that i cannot imagine. while we continue to advance in our careers, and venture into uncharted territories like home ownership, parenthood, etc., i am not so naive to believe that everything will be easy. but i do know that i am lucky. because my best friend happens to be my best guy. and we are going to be married. and we have already gone through so much; so much change, so many hurdles, so many lessons learned, that i can't help but say, that while i don't know a lot, i do know that no matter what, as long as his hand is the one i am holding, the pieces will fall into place.

so here's to 2013. you have some pretty large shoes to fill and i hope you do. i hope you are the greatest yet. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012


"love one another, but make not a bond of love. let it be a moving sea between the shores of your souls."

a perfect description of what our relationship has been for the last four years. 

and what our marriage will be for the rest of our lives.

less than 10 months, honeybee.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

a rifle paper co. print

when pat and i got engaged, i swore up and down, no way/no how will anyone else do my wedding invites/save the dates other than mrs. anna rifle bond. and then reality hit, and while i adore everything she does, it just wouldn't have fit with our wedding OR our budget. 

that being said, i was determined to have her talent on display in some way. since we aren't much into couple pictures, we already knew that there would be very few on display at our wedding, but i still wanted to somehow incorporate the personal touch that photographs bring without using actual pictures. and so we ordered a custom wedding print from rifle paper company. it will be personalized with our names, wedding date, and city/state where we will be wed. 
we are so thrilled with how the proof came out and we cannot wait to see the finished product. i mean our little faces ACTUALLY look like our little faces! it is the neatest thing. we plan to order a custom print around this time every year, as a fun alternative to traditional portraits. and you better believe next year polly will be front and center. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

snapshots 5

DIY advent calendar

christmas bow!
not impressed with either the redskin or packer win this sunday
love, love, love this old school publix in college park

sometimes pat is sad he doesn't have an engagement ring.
so i let him wear mine.

soon to be husband and wife. and our reaction to the ikea monkey.

Monday, December 10, 2012

weekly roundups!

i've heard that you should write about what you love. which is why i choose to write about patrick. and polly. and our life. because from the soles of my ballet flats to the tips of my curls, i feel like i am the luckiest girl in the whole wide world to have those two feet, and those four paws to go home to every single night.

but i have other loves. i like to cook, and i like pretty things, and i've been known to whip up a DIY or two. and so, per a few requests i have received, i will begin to write about those things as well.

i'll post stuff about once a week, and if you know me, and feel like i'm leaving anything out, just let me know!

the new normal

normal conversations to have with your soon to be husband: 

me: i cannot wait to buy our helmets
Patrick: we need to make sure we get ones that fit us right. i have an enormous head!
me: do you seriously think your head is bigger than bj raji?
Patrick: um, yes. he looks like he has a tiny head. although aaron rodgers might have my size head. he looks like he has a good dome.


"did the green mile win for best picture?"
"i don't know babe, i'd have to look that one up"
"you are supposed to know these things anna, and it really upsets me when you don't."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

there is just one thing i need.

there are a few things i look forward to every christmas. 
real christmas trees.
the lively's christmas cookies.
my mom's posole and tamales.
my dad's crab cakes.
home alone & and the holiday

and mariah carey, all i want for christmas.

i'm going to say it. 
mariah, you are on fiyah.

this song has been played at an especially high frequency, as this is the first december 25th, in three years, that patricio and i will be sharing. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

want! need! wear! read!


in hot pink, please! 


did you know, i am planning a wedding? things need to be cut! with gold scissors! 


the most perfect holiday dress, i ever did see.
via nordstrom

(re) read

atlas shrugged by ayn rand

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

fight for ol' dc

"Griffin has brought excitement and hope for the future to a fan base that has endured a long, difficult period of quarterback struggles and failed seasons. No matter how this season turns out, Griffin has energized this team, this place, and these fans." - via espn

and in the words of my dear father, "that boy is the real deal." 

ps - jason campbell and shaun suishman you both suck. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

to elope. or to wedding.

confession time. i have never been one of those girls to dream about her wedding.

when i was little, and thought about my life as a grownup, yes, it included a husband. i just never even thought about having a huge, over the top, wedding with a big white dress and cake and all that. my childhood dreams (in no particular order) were: owning a powerwheel, working in a grocery store, and having a baby. but never, not once, was i one to walk down the aisle and have a faux wedding with toys.

so when pat proposed, for that blissful day where we were the only two people who knew, we discussed eloping. it seemed do-able and quite lovely to have our parents and our brothers come into town and celebrate with a small ceremony and a quiet dinner. and that would be that. we would be married, we would be legally and spiritually bound, and we would begin our journey as husband and wife.

we talked about it seriously for five minutes. and then i said "well what about my dad? i'm his only girl. he won't ever get to walk his daughter down the aisle." and so that was that and we decided to have a wedding.

we settled on about 135 people. and i am really excited. not only for our union to be celebrated by close friends and family but at this rare opportunity we have to honor the people we hold so dear to our hearts. to honor their role in your life. your cherished memories. and the bond that only humans are capable of forming.

every single person invited to the lewis heckel wedding is wanted. from the bottom of our hearts, we want to honor you. and thank you for all that you have done for me, for him, for us. we want you there, not so you can celebrate us, but so that we can celebrate you.

Friday, November 30, 2012

i saw you turn your lights off

i sped through the first season of GIRLS on demand.
i was partly horrified.
mostly uncomfortable.
and completely and totally hooked.

i realize that right now lena dunham is the hotness. 
and yes, i burst with pride and silently cheer when a new female writer becomes a star.
but i hear so much of wisty woo in everything that lena dunham writes, i can't help but love everything she does.
i am so over the moon excited for season 2 i can hardly stand it.

"i'm an individual. and i feel how i feel when i feel it."

love, polly

i am completely unashamed of how much i love polly. when pat teased me about changing my instagram name to "lovepollygirl" i was shocked, i mean this little lady is my best friend! i want the world to know that something so sweet and darling exists! the lewis heckel household can't be selfish and hog this cuteness to ourselves! and then i realized that i think women who identify themselves as "suchandsuch'smom" via email address, license plate, hashtag, what have you, are a little teeny tiny bit pathetic and so i changed my username.

but i absolutely can't help but share pictures of that little lady. yesterday i officially crossed over to "that kind of dog owner" when her christmas collar/bow arrived, and i had to whisper how much it cost to pat in fear that he would be disappointed in my financial choices. but i mean, LOOK AT HER! i would have paid double.

merry christmas! love, polly
if you want more of polly, feel free to follow me on my (new) user name: annamloo.

bow wow coutoure shop: here

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

wedding mantra

"everyone gets married and no one else is taking it as seriously as you."

i think all brides should have a friend like ashley sansing

snapshots 4

thankful for this little panda. also thankful i have 10 months to get a tan. yikes.

frame of shame.

frame of shame 2

this is how they say goodnight to each other

this was taken a few months ago when i was in chicago but thanks to bhldn's 20% off on cyber monday,  bridesmaids dresses have been ordered!

it's here! it's here! christmas time is here!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

things i'm glad i learned when we were dating

pat and i have been sharing a nest for almost 3 years. some of you may remember when we moved in together i told him it was temporary. i am still not quite sure what i meant by that, but thanks to all my friends for just going with it. and while a small piece of me would love to have been in a situation where we dated, got engaged, and then moved in together, time was not on our side. and neither was the cost of living in chicago.

so over the last three years i have learned ALL OF THE THINGS. about being a good roommate, a good girlfriend, a good friend; about when to quietly throw beers in the freezer because his team is losing, when to admit this new recipe was a complete flop, and when to just march into the bedroom, put on your nightgown and turn on law and order: svu if a fight is a brewing, and you don't have the energy for it.

here are few other little things i am glad i know before going into a marriage:

1. boys like to put garbage next to the garbage can. or near it. and stack receipts on their nightstand. and that to them is throwing it away. except it isn't throwing it away. it's clutter. and clutter belongs inside a trash bag that is inside a trashcan.
2. they also like to line up empty beer bottles on the kitchen counter and then throw them away all at once. why? i don't know, but if you find out please tell me.
3. even when you explicitly tell a boy "do not eat all the leftover pizza, i would like a piece when i get home" he will still eat the leftover pizza. because boys love pizza. but so do girls. so when it comes to pizza, it's a dog eat dog world.
4. whoever cooks doesn't have to clean up the kitchen. just have this as an unspoken rule.
5. there are some chores that bring me happiness. let me do those chores. and the chores that i hate? well consider yourself a lucky woman when he LOVES to do those. this is one of many reasons why i know we were meant to be.
6. plan your meals at the start of the week.
7. if you desperately need alone time, just turn on teen mom, bad girls club, or real housewives of anywhere. he will leave the room/zone out and stop talking to you in less than 5 minutes, i promise.
8. if you only have one bathroom, don't lock the door when you are showering in the morning. i promise i won't rip back the shower curtain and scare you to death. (......or will i?)
9. hide in the apartment and scare each other. it's just so much fun. also ask me what a "happy meal" is. it's even more fun.
10.  if he has a 2 year old issue of sports illustrated, just let it sit on the tv stand. it's there so he can read it in a moments notice and relive his team's superbowl win. it's not worth the fight and honestly, i get it.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

make me wanna move my dancing feet

for some reason, the first dance has always been extremely important to me. not so much the style and technique of the actual dance, i could care less about that. probably because as a dancer, i have about three signature moves, all of which require loads of chardonnay in order to be seen. but choosing the song has been something i've always looked forward to. and not just for myself, i always seem to ask "how was the wedding? what was their first song?"
because THIS is what you will dance together first, as husband and wife. for the rest of your life, you will hear THIS ONE SONG and it will remind you of your mate, your partner, your best friend and your wonderful wedding. it should be a song that you listen to and think "if i could write music, this is what i would say to you."

so my love and i started with a list of 6 songs. we have narrowed that down to four. and we are cutting it off at four because let's be honest, we still have 10 months to go, and if i don't hold up my hand and say "stop" i will continue to add songs until there are just far too many to choose from.

but just for fun, what did you and your better half pick? or plan to pick? i'd love to hear! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

giving thanks

patrick and i have so much to be thankful this year. 
good health.
our families.
polly girl.
friends that are sprinkled all over the country.
a beautiful engagement story.
the extreme luxury of planning the wedding we want.
each other.

we sure are lucky, me and my guy.

happy weekend, safe travels, and happy thanksgiving to you and yours!

two years ago i gave thanks in the days leading up to thanksgiving. look back herehere, here, and here

ps - coolest, classiest, and most joyful wedding ever? definitely possible. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

the world's best advice

someday i hope to be half the mom i was blessed with.
 because of eileen, i know how important it is to be your own best friend.
to never let anyone pity you. ever.
when in doubt, purchase it. you can always return! 
& when finding a mate, my mom told me three things:

1. find someone who loves you a little bit more than you love them
2.  if he is nice to you, but he isn't nice to the waiter, then he is not nice.
3. have a secret bank account because, "you NEVER know."

check, he is, and in the process of doing. thanks momma! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

let me tell you a thing or two...

....about the loves of my life. clearly these women who i have asked to be my bridesmaids hold an incredibly special place in my heart and in my life, but before these months slip by i wanted to sit down and share their wonderfulness.

highlawn, corner booth

rome, 2007
4/5 of k&co in Morocco
charleston, sc
homecoming, 2007
chicago, 2010

velleco-jones wedding, 6/2011

chicago, 2012

mangano-bishop wedding, 2012

christine - tri delta's weekly chapter meetings close with the entire room holding hands, and repeating a mantra "let us steadfastly love one another." and for three years, christine and i held hands and rolled our eyes as we said that out loud to a room of 100 girls. but if i had to use a word that perfectly describes our relationship it would be "steadfast."i can't imagine that i am an easy person to be friends with; i get mad far too easily, i still don't know when too much chardonnay is TOO MUCH CHARDONNAY, and i can be extremely impatient. but christine gets me. and she loves me. and in turn i get to call the funniest woman i know my best friend.

cheyenne - my oldest and dearest friend in the world. we were 11 when we met, best friends every other day during high school, shared a dorm freshman year of college, were roommates for a summer on hilton head island; simply put, we have grown up together. we share a lifetime of memories; high school proms and college graduations, first dances and losing first loves, the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. she is more than just my friend, she is family.

sara - have you ever met someone and wanted to be their friend? i have, and her name is sara. affectionately known as "wisty woo," sara was in tri delta and we pledged together, and then lived together senior year, and my wish came true, we were finally friends! i think it's important to have women in your life who you admire. and i admire sara. she is fiercely independent, has impeccable taste, and i cannot imagine my life without her unbiased advice and constant support. when i talk to sara what i get back, while judgment free, is brutally honest and that is the testament to a true friend.

marissa - "are you a virgin? do you drink?" are the first two questions marissa was asked upon entering my dorm room on the third or fourth day of college. we spent the next four years joined at the hip. we would tell people "oh if you met me, then you met her" and would sit at parties, on a couch, just the two of us, chatting away like we didn't spend every single second together. it's a rare thing when you share your entire college experience with another person, and that's just what we did. while we have most certainly had our lows, there is no doubt that for the rest of our lives, i will be ready and willing to do absolutely anything for her, and that, in my little opinion, is what friendship is: the understanding that things change, and sometimes bonds become weak only so that they can grow strong again.

ashley - the first time i heard about ashley mangano, well. i won't share that story because it is disgusting but so absolutely hilarious that i will never forget it. ashley is one of the few people i have ever met in my life that has a remarkable ability to make every situation a little bit lighter with her humor. whether it was laughing with a french man as he called marissa and christine "american chimpanzees" or telling us a detailed story at dinner about how she got dog shit on her face, there is never a dull moment. thank you ashley, for being who you are, and for allowing us to call you "mangina." you are the best.

becky - oh my b. what i wish someone would have told me when i graduated college was, "not only does the real world suck, but it's also really really hard to make friends when you are an adult." this was something i was completely unprepared for, and maybe if i had known this, i would have stayed close to the friends that i had. but i didn't. i moved to chicago because i was supposed to meet my husband and i was also supposed to meet becky and her other half, john. becky and i are so similar it's almost like we made our adult decisions together, just with her in ohio, me in virginia. we both moved to chicago all on our own, we fell in love with the city before falling in love with our partners (who we both met through city year), and we have almost identical taste in all things from clothes to books to food. whatever souls are made out of, ours is the same stuff.

Friday, November 16, 2012

"what are your colors?"

i can finally answer this question!

i feel like i had been through every single color of the rainbow before realizing that the colors had already kind of chosen themselves.

& they look a little something like this

guys will be in grey suits
ladies will be in this navy beaut 
flowers will be complimented with lots of lambs ear and silver brunia
& there will be touches of pumpkin all around

oh yeah, and i'll be in a white dress.
i should probably start tanning.
like immediately. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

been there, done that!

if it wasn't already impossible to love kate and wills, this picture seals the freaking deal. 
how excited she must have been on this day.
to finally have that gorgeous ring on her finger.
oh, i just love those bloody royals. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

chicago style

my life's motto spied here

i never thought i really had a "type." the closest i guess i ever got to describing the kind of man i wanted to marry was when cheyenne and i (bridesmaid cheyenne!!) would joke that we wanted someone who could kick down a tree. 
because you can most certainly look at someone and know whether or not he has the physical ability to kick down a tree (zach efron? you do not. however zach from real world san diego? MEOW!)
and now, almost ten years later, i have found my dream man.

enter mr. ron swanson. 
i just adore him and i love nick offerman even more. 
PLUS the fact that he lived in chicago, AND he is married to megan mullally, AND he builds furniture?
shut the front door.

i'm sorry patrick, but "if he calls, i leave"
(but i know you can kick down a tree, you eagle scout you. xo)

"If properly dried and trimmed, New York-style pizza could be used to make a box for Chicago-style pizza. I love a slice when I'm in NYC, but it's like eating a Slim Jim compared with a filet mignon." - Nick Offerman

read the entire interview at bon appetit!

Friday, November 9, 2012

it's friday, i'm in love.

spied here

i've dated guys that i was crazy about. head over heels, can't stop thinking or gushing about. & that never lasted. cracks would form by a comment, or a look, a mean spirited joke, or unanswered text, and as quickly as it came, my feelings would start to vanish. i would find myself saying, "oh him? i barely even like him anymore."

and so when i met pat, and my feelings developed slowly i didn't know what it was. because ya know, when you meet "the one" there should be firecrackers. you should know right away. you should go home, call your girlfriends, and say "i am going to marry him." and that, quite frankly, just didn't happen.
it came softly.
and before i knew it, i was head over heels for a green bay packer loving guy with quasi-hoarder like tendencies, and the strongest moral compass i had ever known.

to quote one of my most favorite books,
 "i fell in love the way you fall asleep, slowly at first, then all at once." 

hurry home, you little rascal. your girls miss you.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

long neck inspiration

when i took this picture at 9am on st. patrick's day, never would i have thought it would serve as wedding inspiration. but it has. 
so here's to you john rozsa. 
and here's to america. 
and doughnuts. 
and bud heavy. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

we're not the greatest.

"With a straight face, you're gonna tell students that America's so star-spangled awesome, that we're the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom, Japan has freedom, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom. So 207 sovereign states in the world, like a hundred and eighty of them have freedom. And yeah, you, sorority girl. Just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there's some things you should know, and one of them is, there's absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we're the greatest country in the world. We're 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labor force, and number 4 in exports. We lead the world in only 3 categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined. 25 of whom are allies. Now, none of this is the fault of a 20 year old college student. But you, nonetheless, are without a doubt a member of the worst period generation period ever period. So when you ask, "what makes us the greatest country in the world?" I don't know what the fuck you're talking about. Yosemite? 

We sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors. We put our money where our mouths were. And we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and we cultivated the world's greatest artists and the world's greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn't belittle it, it didn't make us feel inferior. We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for in our last election. And we didn't... we didn't scare so easy. We were able to be all these things, and to do all these things, because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered. First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore. Enough?"

america, i absolutely positively am in love with you and am proud to be yours.
but this right here, this is how i feel this morning.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

the lesser of two evils

to say that i throw 100% of my support behind either of these men would be a far cry from the truth. 
but i still voted. and so should you.

c'mon virginia.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

a mother's love

"you have a blog?!?!?! oh my goodness, why does anyone care?!??!?!"
-eileen gallegos-lewis, 10/27/12

signature cocktails

one of the things at the top of our list was making sure to have an open bar. we drink, our friends drink, and contrary to popular belief, most of our family members drink as well. had we gotten married five years ago i would have thought, "ok open bar equals a heavy beer, a light beer, maybe a random white wine, and liquor." but now, in my old age, my taste in alcoholic beverages has changed. however it is quite different than my beloved's. i love chardonnay, he loves full flavored brews. he doesn't like liquor, i order gin and tonics with three limes like my two feet are still at highlawn and they cost $1.

like all things with our wedding, we want the choices of adult beverages to reflect us as a couple. so in order to satisfy each other and ourselves we are looking into offering a variety of beers and wines, but nixing the full selection of liquor. my parents were shocked when i told them this, and who knows if we will change our minds, but there is something that i absolutely love about having a "signature cocktail." i have been perusing the internet for a few weeks now, finding different ideas, and so far these two are my favorite:

apple cider sangria

whiskey punch

don't they look delicious??

if you have any ideas, leave a comment below! 
any and all suggestions are much appreciated. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

oh, sandy!

i hope your lights stay lit and your heads stay dry, friends! 

patrick, polly and i are thinking about you while we enjoy the first week of fall here in florida. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

week in snapshots

one year, love. just one year!

my fiance isn't only handsome and smart, he is an artist!

the cutest little jail bird i ever did see
we find the defendant guilty! of being toooooooo cute!

one of my beautiful bridesmaids in the loveliest of dresses

polly and her most favorite toy
c/o ashley sansing

so it's a little bit more than a week's worth, my apologies. we have somehow been extremely busy doing absolutely, positively nothing. no trips, no visitors, nothing huge going on at work...we've been blissfully content with catching up on our dvr, starting homeland, and taking polly for extra long walks in this gorgeous 80 degree late october weather. 
hope all is well in your little corner of the world!