Thank You

Thank you to all the men & women who have served, do serve, or will serve in our military.
You sacrifice it all so we can have it all. Thank you.

Thank you to my grandfathers, my uncle, and my brother-in-law.
My paternal grandpa fixed planes overseas in Japan while my maternal grandfather flew them. I am in awe of their dedication and resilience.

Thank you to the wives and husbands, moms and dads, siblings, friends, and family members of military men and women.
I can’t imagine saying “goodbye” and not knowing if or when you’ll get to say “hello” again.

Thank you to the dogs, horses or other animals that have served along side soldiers in the line of fire.
If you’ve never looked into the role dogs play in war you definitely should- it’s amazing.

It’s Tuesday now, but I don’t think “thank you”s are limited to Memorial Day.
So thank you to our soldiers. And thank you to their families.


Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey


No one tagged me. No one recommended this post. No one forced me into doing this.

I just wanted to! 🙂 (But I did steal this particular format from Meagan @ All the Joys.)

Happy Friday!


Four Names People Call You
Audie Lou
Weez (because of “Louise”… not because of breathing problems)

Four Jobs You’ve Had
Nursery Attendant
Administrative Assistant

Four Movies You’ve Watched More than Once
The Mummy
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Guardians of the Galaxy
Blazing Saddles (thanks to my crude-humor father)

Four Books I Recommend
The Other Boleyn Girl
All Harry Potter Books
Alice in Wonderland

Four Places I Have Lived
My hometown, Ohio
India (for 4 weeks)
Alliance, Ohio
… that’s it. I haven’t lived many places.

Four Places I’ve Been

Four Places I’d Rather Be Now
Cabo (shout out to Chelsea from the new wifestyle… SO JEALOUS!)
In bed
A quiet coffee shop or library

Four of My Favorite Foods
Crab legs
Singapore or Cajun wings
Chips and Salsa

Four TV Shows I Watch
Once Upon a Time
Downton Abbey
The Mindy Project
Mad Men

Four Things I’m Looking Forward to this Summer
Family vacation
My brother being home
Dog park dates & hikes

Four Things I’m Always Saying
“…, right?”
“HEY! Quit.” (to the dogs)
“Can’t even/what even.” (jokingly to K)

. . .

I try to keep things light and airy on Fridays. Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend! I’m headed north to see some old friends!

Where do you wish you were right now? Got any big weekend plans? Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy? (Go watch it!)


Change of Palate

A long while ago I made this post about adulthood and the reality of it verses my childhood perceptions. Piggy-backing on that, there are some foods that I HATED as a kid that I now rely on really enjoy.

Let me first say that I am not a picky eater. I love veggies and fruits. I can count on one hand the things that I won’t eat (ham, peas, lamb, peppermint patties, kiwi). I’ve tried snails, alligator, turtle, and weird fruits in India. For the most part, I really enjoy food. Luckily, my palate has changed and there are new foods that I now enjoy as an adult!

When I was a kid I can remember my mom cutting, scooping, and slicing one of these on a plate. Maybe it was the green. Maybe it was the squishy texture. Either way, I decided it was icky. Fortunately, I’ve totally changed my mind and now I love this baby-poop snack! I’ll eat it alone or on a sandwich or in guacamole. Nom nom nom.

I feel like it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t drink coffee as a kid… Then I would’ve been a hyperactive, angst-y child. My mom would’ve loved that! As I mention previously, my love for coffee developed in college. Or maybe I just needed an excuse to collect mugs… Whatever. As long as there is a 3:1 coffee-to-milk ratio I’m a happy lady.

As a kid I wasn’t much of a drinker. (Kidding. Well, I’m not. I didn’t drink. But I also wasn’t allowed. Obviously.) Anyway, my dad would let me try his beer every now and then and I’d wrinkle my face and make a “bleech” sound. Then when I was 15 I thought it’d be cool to smuggle wine coolers to a friend’s house. First of all, alcohol was still gross to me at that time. Secondly, I got caught. Thirdly and most importantly, the sense of “badass-ness” you get from smuggling alcohol fades real fast when you realize it was just wine coolers. #teenagefail

| EGGS |
I’ve never actually disliked eggs, but if I have too many I throw up. My family tried to keep eggs from me but now, as a mature, intelligent adult, I can eat all the eggs I want! (And then throw up.) Around Easter K gets very frustrated with me and my arguably avoidable upset tummy…

I don’t know when or why this changed, but once upon a time I hated cooked carrots and now I’m cool with them. Raw carrots were always good in my book, but now their cooked cousin is acceptable to my taste buds. (Actually, raw carrots make my tongue itch. Is that normal?)

. . .

*For the record, I was referring to coffee when I said “rely on” and alcohol when I said “really enjoy.” Just clarifying.

Are there are foods you’ve come to enjoy as you’ve matured? Does anyone actually like peas? What’s a food that you’ll never like, no matter what?



The Art of Friendship

This weekend my husband and I attended the wedding of a high school friend. Well, his high school friend. K is four years my senior and all his friends are one to three years older than him… so I am most definitely the baby.

||via|| & ||via||


When we first started “talking” I was 16 and K was 20. Needless to say, my parents had to be on board for the relationship to happen. Now, as 24 and 28 year-olds, it ain’t no thang.

At Saturday’s wedding we sat at a table with 6 other people- 4 of the 6 people having gone to high school with K and the other two being long time girlfriends-then-wives of my hubby’s friends. Everyone lives in Ohio, but we’re spread all across the state, so get-togethers like a wedding are a perfect time to catch up. Unfortunately, this was the last of K’s friends to get married. (Kudos to the new Mr. and Mrs. Taylor for putting us all together at a table- risky, but very appreciated!)

I can remember meeting each of K’s friends. I can remember being incredibly nervous and self-conscious every time. Some of these folks helped with band activities so when I met them I was nothing more than a random percussion kid in a sea of adolescence and angst… and also their best friend’s jail-bait. Right from the start I knew that fitting in was going to be a challenge.

Actually, I thought fitting in was going to be a challenge. In reality, it was seamless and smooth. Kyle’s friends My friends are incredibly welcoming. I have seen all of them get married and I swear I hear a new story about K’s high school shenanigans each time. This weekend was no different.

My best friend Erica graduated with K, too. Her husband has been friends with mine since elementary school. We had their little family over for brunch Saturday morning before we left town for the wedding. For the first time since high school, with the exception of our wedding, my husband hung out with all his friends on the same day.

Every day I look at my husband and I know how lucky I am to have such an incredible partner, but this weekend I looked around at our breakfast table and then our dinner table only to realize how lucky I am to also have his friends in our life.

We are most certainly blessed and today I am so, so grateful.

Have you kept in touch with your high school pals? When you gained a significant other did you gain more friends, too? How many weddings do you have this year? I think this was one of six for us…


Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

Dear Mom

Happy Mother’s Day!

Prof. Trelawney (a.k.a. my mom)

I was a difficult pre-teen/teenager. I wasn’t into anything bad or harmful, but my attitude stunk like rotten eggs blending with sour milk. Like, it was bad.

No one took a harsher beating than my mother. She should’ve had my mouth surgically sewn shut- but she didn’t. We bickered and snapped and yelled and forced my dad to take shelter in his bedroom on more than one occasion.

We certainly didn’t like each other most of the time… but my mom has always loved me. And in hindsight, I love her even more for that. (Seriously, I was a little sh*t.) Of course, my mother is no saint- she’s as volatile as me with a hankering for nagging- but she taught me all the important stuff and made me who I am. Now, as a grown, married, 24-year old daughter, we get along pretty well.

. . .

Dear Mom,

When I was younger I thought you told me “no” a lot. No, you can’t go out with your friends at 10pm. No, we’re not going to let you drink alcohol at home with us. No, you can’t take a trip with your friends. No, you don’t need a new car. No, you can’t sleep in- we’re going to church. No, no, no.

Sometimes you didn’t say anything, even though you wanted to say “no.” You didn’t say anything about my insane first boyfriend. You didn’t say anything about my questionable friends. You didn’t say anything about the college I should attend or the instrument I should play or the color I dyed my hair… even though you definitely had opinions on all that.

But sometimes you said “yes.” And those “yes”s changed my life.

Yes, you may go get ice cream with your friend Kyle. (That was April 16, 2007. That was our first date because you said yes, even though it was a school night and it was already 8pm.)

Yes, you can bring that dog home. (Lylee will never know how much she owes to you. Thank you for letting us bring home our fur baby.)

Yes, we will pay for your college education. (I don’t even need to explain how lucky I am to have you (and dad) financially supporting my education.)

Yes, yes, yes.

Now I call you on a Friday night to see if you want to hang out. Now I think about what a fabulous grandma you’ll make someday. Now I look back and think that the best gift you gave me was my baby brother. Now I can’t imagine being raised by another other woman.

Thank God for Mom. Happy Mother’s Day, Elsie! I love you.

. . .

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and my mother-in-law.

Happy Mother’s Day to my grandmothers and the great-grandmothers out there.

Happy Mother’s Day to foster moms, step-moms, and “moms.”

Happy Mother’s Day to all the new moms I know- especially my best friend, Erica!

Happy Mother’s Day to moms that have lost a child or are fighting to have a child.

Happy Mother’s Day to the dads that fill the role of “mom.”

Happy Mother’s Day, y’all.


Summer Book Challenge 2015 #scsbc15

I’ve seen multiple bloggers talk about this challenge, but it hailed from Semi-Charmed Kind of Life!

I will not win this challenge (of that, I am sure…) but hopefully this will strong-arm me into picking up more books and putting down the remote. Once upon a time, long, long ago, in a distant memory, I was a dedicated reader. Also, reading improves writing and there’s no downside to that!

Rules can be found on Megan’s site. Here’s the challenge and my starting line-up (which might change as we go):

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules: The Secret Life of Violet Grant || Beatriz Williams
10 points: Read a book you have never heard of before: [This will be spontaneous @ the library.]
10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years: Pride & Prejudice || Jane Austen
10 points: Read a book that won a Goodreads “Best Book” award in 2014: Yes Please || Amy Poehler
15 points: Read a book by an author who is completely new to you: The Miniaturist || Jessie Burton
15 points: Read a book by an author you have read before: The White Queen || Philippa Gregory
15 points: Read a book with “light” or “dark” in the title: The Light in the Ruins || Chris Bohjalian
20 points: Read a book with the name of a city, state or country in the title: China Dolls || Lisa See
20 points: Read a book with an animal on the cover: The Catcher in the Rye || J.D. Salinger
25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books: Wicked || Gregory Maguire
25 points: Read a book that is longer than 500 pages long: Outlander || Diana Gabaldon
30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title. [I’m going to creep on other readers for ideas…]

. . .

Ok, first of all, I know that it’s embarrassing that I’ve never read Pride & Prejudice. I know. Secondly, I have tried and tried to get through Wicked, so this is my last attempt. Third: Yeah, I am gonna attempt Outlander; wish me luck…

Also, I have this thing for historical fiction… I think most of my list falls into that genre. Oops!

Alrighty, let the games begin! Care to join me? #scsbc15