My Family

Before I begin I’d like to announce that my brain is complete mush. I have been so efficient and organized for the last few months (planning Easter, mom’s birthday, our NASCAR trip, sprucing up the house, etc.), and then on Thursday I opened my eyes at 7:58 am (don’t be mad at me, Kyle) and tripped over myself trying to get to work. I’m supposed to be there at 8am; thank goodness for 3 minute commutes. (I was 15 minutes late.) So I’m pretty much a mess. Also, this should be an April book review, but I didn’t finish that many so I’m saving it for May. Also also, sorry for all the shameless links back to other posts. #ImNotSorryThough

Ok. Moving on. Today I’m going to rant…

On Wednesday my husband and I celebrated 3 years as a married folk. The December before we got married we adopted Lylee and the December after we got married we brought home Enzo. There are four beating hearts in my happy little family.

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Honestly, I don’t get too worked up when people ask me when we’re having kids. Usually it’s friends & family members that are emotionally invested in our lives and genuinely care about us and our someday-growing family. It’s not a big deal. I think 95% of the time I just smile and say, “Not yet.” The question is usually innocent and worded just like I said: When are you guys going to have kids?

Here’s what we hate (Kyle gets SO angry)… Do not ask me when we’re going to “start a family.” Do not imply that I don’t have a family because I don’t have mini-humans running around my house. Do not lessen the love that I have for my husband and for my dogs by suggesting that we’re not a family without children. Someone- an acquaintance, not even a friend- once asked my husband this question and he looked them dead in the face and said, “We are a family. We’ve been a family for a while now.”

Even without the dogs, K and I are a family. (Although let’s be real, we’re never truly without the dogs. Haha.) I’m totally ok fielding the kid questions- but don’t challenge the legitimacy of my family.

And that’s the end of my rant. Maybe that was more like a PSA?

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Our Life in Numbers

Today is our third anniversary ❤︎ I don’t understand…. I swear we were doing shots and dancing to “22” just weeks ago.

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I love this picture more than I can ever put into words.

Our wedding day was one of the best days of my life. I was going to restrict this post to just “numbers”, but I can’t let April 27th go by without expressing how much I loved this day in 2013. Our friends are amazing. Our family is incredible. God gave us PERFECT weather. I flip through our wedding photos with a big, stupid grin on my face every time.

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(c) Sniper Photography

1,096 || days married to Kyle
2 || dog-children
4 || parental figures to look up to when it comes to love & family
12 || weddings attended since our own

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(c) Sniper Photography

3 || major vacations together since the wedding
83 || episodes of The Mindy Project watched together
4 || live NASCAR races attended
1 || house purchased
9 || concerts attended since the wedding

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(c) Sniper Photography

124 || episodes of The West Wing watched together (in 2016…)
4 || home maintenance calls made
83 || thank you notes sent after the wedding
3 || years married to Kyle

I am too blessed for words. What a crazy life. Happy Anniversary to my favorite human.

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Weekend Recap

Today was supposed to be another India post, but I dropped the ball. It’s still saved in drafts with a crude outline, minimal content, and zero pictures… So I guess I’ll save it for next Monday.

Since I’m running a little late today I’ll keep things short and sweet with a weekend recap.

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Friday
After work on Friday K and I went to the local bowling alley to celebrate our friend Nic’s 30th birthday party. His wife Erica put the whole thing together for him and we bowled two games with pizza & cake in between. It was fun to spend some late-night time with them! (They have a 15 month old so late nights out are understandably rare for them.) K went out with Nic and his firefighter buddies afterward and I went home and went to bed like an old lady. Ha.

Saturday
On Saturday K and I headed to Columbus, Ohio to surprise his sister Lori and her family for her birthday. K’s mom orchestrated the whole thing and planned out food and cake for the entire party. Six of us (us, my in-laws, and K’s brother & sister-in-law) drove down to spend the day with Lori’s family of five. It was a nice relaxing day with delicious food and the cutest dogs.

Sunday
Sunday was my get-stuff-done day. We laid in bed longer than we should’ve, but once we were up we hit the ground running. K mowed the lawn and then headed to my parents’ house to work on his truck. I went to the local nursery and spent some serious $$$ on flowers, then browsed Marshalls, Lowes, and Rural King for some cute planters. I spent the afternoon sprucing up with front porch, weeding, vacuuming the dog hair/grass/springtime dirt that was tracked into our house, and watching the NASCAR race. Around 4pm I met Erica for some hot yoga (#dead) and then had dinner with my family at my grandmas. Overall, a super productive Sunday.

I don’t usually do a weekend recap, but I felt like we actually did some fun, noteworthy stuff the last few days. Hopefully that wasn’t too boring. What did you do this weekend?

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NASCAR Racing

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that roughly 100% of you don’t want NASCAR and have never been to a race… nor would you ever go to a race. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this post will go Pinterest-famous or I’ll be a Twitter sensation and everyone will flock to this post and drink in the knowledge of this avid race fan.

Either way, I write what I write because I like it. Hopefully you read what you read because you like it.

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There are multiple races driven on a race weekend, but I’m going to limit these tips to the Sprint Cup series (a.k.a. the one you’ve heard of that Jeff Gordon used to race in). Also, for the sake of time, I’m going to assume you’re at a day race. Sometimes they race at night (and it’s awesome), but most of the races start around 1pm. So let’s do this…

| 1 | Pick a driver.
If someone has dragged you against your will into a race track and you could not care less who wins, then you’re going to have a crappy time. Even if you don’t know the names of the men (and woman) in the cars, you need to pick one. The excitement comes when your guy is flying around turn four and passing all the cars. If you really absolutely don’t care, allow me to suggest a few drivers that tend to pass others (verses be passed): 48, 18, 4, 30, and 22.

*I am not a fan of most of those guys, but there’s no denying they win a lot.

| 2 | Wear sunscreen like it’s your job and RE-APPLY often.
Most seats are in direct sunlight for the entire +/- 4 hour race. You’re essentially on an aluminum baking sheet for the hottest part of the day with no shade. I guess if you like to tan this is great news… but if you belong to The Proud Pale People of America Association like I do then this is what you’ve been training for. Last weekend I reapplied 50 spf every 20 minutes to my legs, chest, and arms. I had it on my face, too, but I never attend a race without a hat. (The sun bleached and ruined my hair once- ugh.) I’m proud to say that after two 6 hours days in the sun I am still borderline ghostly.

| 3 | Pack all the good (light-weight) snacks.
The hands-down best part about a NASCAR race is the fact that you can byob. And byof. As long as it’s not in glass, you can bring your beer, pop, water, chips, trail mix, pb&j sandwiches, etc. into the track via cooler. Usually we consume lots of adult beverages (as do those around us), but this weekend was SO HOT and we inhaled the water bottles.

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| 4 | Go shopping between laps 1 and 100.
Once you pick a driver it’s time to fully commit. NASCAR has recently changed their merchandise set up. Once upon a time the different drivers/teams had trailers that were set up similar to a fair or street festival and your bopped from one to the next buying t-shirts and koozies. Now they have a large roped off area where there are different driver/team sections under a tent (similar to a craft show) and you collect all the gear you want to buy and pay for it all at once in the cash-wrap tent. The new set-up is easier, but I bet it’s crazy crowded when +30,000 people are scrambling for a Jimmie Johnson shirt before the race. That’s what I suggest shopping after the race has started; it’s a ghost town.

| 5 | Be ready for anything.
One year it rained and we had to go home and miss the race. One year it rained and they didn’t start until 8pm. One year it rain halfway through, they red flagged the race (paused it), and picked it up once the rain quit. One year I had to buy a sweatshirt and a blanket to stay warm and this year I was in a tank top and shorts. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes to clean up a wreck and sometimes it takes 20 minutes. Honestly, you never know what you’re going to get when you walk into that race track.

Items you will definitely need: ear plugs, sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen.

Ok, I know this post won’t appeal to everyone, but if you’ve made it this far, I thank you 🙂 I promise I’ll get back to the norm next week.

Have you ever watched a NASCAR race? Have I sparked your interest at all? What sports do you shell out money for?

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Mash-Up Monday

Today I have a smorgasbord of thoughts so I’m simply titling this post “Mash-Up Monday.”

(First things first, I had to look up the origin of “smorgasbord” because it’s such a funny word. Turns out it’s a Scandinavian word that means a buffet-style meal with a variety of hot and cold foods. And it looks like this: Smörgåsbord)

Moving on…

Last Wednesday night I went to see Zootopia with my mom at the local theater. (Our theater is small & it only has two screens, but tickets cost $3.50 on hump day and we got popcorn, two drinks, and candy for $7. Hells yes.) Listen, I know that this movie has excellent reviews (98% on rotten tomatoes) and no one has said anything bad about it but… …I loved it! It was cute, it was funny, it made a wonderful point about acceptance and following your dreams, and the main character was a female who DIDN’T fall in love at the end or “succeed” by winning the guy. Our future children will undoubtedly love cartoons as much as I do, but I hope Judy Hopps is one of their role models ❤︎

Hold on, I need to keep talking about Zootopia.
This movie comes at just the right time. Like most Disney movies, the film sets out to teach a few lessons but these lessons are SO timely: We mustn’t fear others simply based on their labels. Ruling with fear is not the answer. If we revert back to our past prejudices then we are bound to fail and fall. While we all have our limitations, we have the ability to try to do anything we set our minds to. Some people are happy to be carrot farmers out in the country and some people are happy fighting crime in the big city. It’s important to forgive.

I thought this city would be a perfect place where everyone got along and anyone could be anything. Turns out, life’s a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker. Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all make mistakes. Which means, hey, glass half full, we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. So no matter what kind of person you are, I implore you: Try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you. -Judy Hopps

Seriously, though. Go see the movie. And show your kids, grandkids, cousins, and nieces & nephews.

Alright. I feel like I can move on now.

Last week I was miserable thanks to my sensitive sinuses. K tried to convince me that I was sick, but my body didn’t ache and I didn’t have a fever and he wasn’t showing any symptoms (K can catch a cold over the phone- his immune system is sub-par). By Thursday things were on the mend and I was so thankful. I felt the tickle in my throat on Sunday and I had my sinuses in tip-top shape by Friday night. I don’t know if that’s an admirable time frame or not, but here’s what I did to combat my sniffles- just in case you need a remedy:

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med | meds | rub | vitamins | tea | humidifier

I also drank lots of water, took hot showers, and got plenty of sleep. A long time ago a friend of mine told me that she never sniffs all that gunk back into her sinues/nose- she always blows her nose, even if she’s constantly do it. I think that makes a huge difference. Also, my nose started to get raw and peel so I put antibiotic cream (Neosporin) on it each night. LIFESAVER, guys. (And yes, we really do have a frog humidifier because we adult awesomely.)

Speaking of sniffles… (warning: this is going to get gross-ish) … I looked up the significance of clear mucus verses discolored mucus on the internet. I found this chart from The Cleveland Clinic and it proved to be quite helpful with my self-diagnosis:

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(source)

For the most part, my nose juices were clear, but every time they were a little off-color I thought to myself, ‘Heck yes, white blood cells! You fight that infection!’ I’m a weirdo.

. . .

I don’t like to announce our trips on the internet before they happen, but right now I’m currently on my way home from a NASCAR race in Bristol, TN. I left town on Saturday. K left town on Wednesday to attend the world drumline championships in Dayton, Ohio and he got home yesterday. So I haven’t see my guy in 5 days (and I haven’t seen my dogs in two days!). I can’t wait to be home!

I told you today was going to be random 🙂 I definitely delivered.

Have you seen Zootopia?? What did you think?

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My Hometown: Tell Me Something Good

Just in case you missed the memo: Today is Friday! Yippee!! I haven’t linked-up with Chelsea in a while so today I’m jumping on the “Tell Me Something Good” Train and talking about my town! (I was a little inspired by Steph’s post last week.)

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Maybe all towns are like this… but when I was in school all my classmates were hell bent on “getting out of this place.” I started dating K when I was 17, but I still thought we’d both leave my little town and settle in Pittsburgh or Nashville. (I don’t know why I thought it’d be either of those two cities, but I did.) In the summer of 2012, right before my college graduation and less than a year before our wedding, K decided to start a business. And that pretty much sealed our fate in this small town.

We’ve joked about moving to Texas (K’s market is really strong there & being in the “center” of the US would be beneficial), but that’s not going to happen because A) I love snow and B) I love snow. So here we stay.

At one point in life I thought that this might mean that I failed; I’d failed to see the world & escape my hometown. I have high school friends in Cleveland and Columbus, college friends that now live in Arizona and Japan, and my brother is getting ready to permanently settle a few hours away… but I left for three and a half years of college and came right back here. ‘How pathetic,’ I once told myself.

But I was oh so wrong. Deep down, I’m a big fan of this small town I grew up in.

  • We have a delicious coffee shop that resides in our cute little downtown square.
  • I never feared for my safety in my small high school.
  • Our local park offers ball fields and summer rides and fireworks.
  • I pass “first date” locations and my teenage hangouts all the time- and it brings back a lot of good memories.
  • I can drive by my childhood house when I’m feeling nostalgic.
  • My parents and K’s parents are less than 10 minutes from us. Same with all our grandparents.
  • While we’re a fairly small town, we do have a lot of big businesses- and it’s a painless drive to get to larger neighboring cities.
  • When our out-of-town friends visit their families “back home”, they call us up and we get to see them.
  • From our house I can walk to my job, K’s business, the local high school, or the park- in under 15 minutes.
  • The housing market is inexpensive.

And of course we can always leave and travel and visit others… and we get to come right back to our little community. It’s a peaceful place. We don’t have public transportation. We’re 20 minutes from the cute little Amish towns. And there’s plenty of grass for our dogs. You don’t always get that in a big city.

If K woke up tomorrow and said, “Let’s move!” I’d probably be on board, but if the furthest move we ever make is from in town to the countryside out of town, I’ll be happy, too. And I think it’s good to be at peace with that 🙂

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Linking up with Chelsea for “Tell Me Something Good!”

Tell Me Something Good Friday!