Things I’d Have Done Differently

A few days ago I was watching The Newlyweds Game (I was killing time, waiting for K to come pick me up… I don’t normally watch The Newlyweds Game) and every time Sherri Shepherd asked the contestants a question I thought to myself, ‘What would K’s answer be? Could we win this game?’. I decided that we probably wouldn’t win it, but we wouldn’t be the losing couple either.

Anyway, one of the questions that Sherri asked the men was, “What detail or part or your wedding would your wife go back and change if she could?”

With our three year (!!!) anniversary coming up at the end of April, I’ve decided to address this question, too. (By the way, pretty much all the guys said something totally different than their wives.)

This is a picture of the wedding aftermath. I love this photo.
This is a picture of the wedding aftermath. I love this photo.

The Registry
I’m really happy with all the generous gifts we received… I just enjoyed the registering part 🙂 I love picking out kitchen appliances and dishware. We registered at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Amazon, and Sears… so in hindsight I’d have switched Crate & Barrel for Sears. And maybe not registered for the ice cream maker (which we got!!).

The Videographer
This is probably the only thing I’d really, truly go back & change. We hired a guy last minute from a large company in Cleveland and he cost way too much money, didn’t capture all the moments, and totally didn’t do the family interviews. He was a turd. Although I got this funny forced picture of K and our best man awkwardly shaking hands for the camera.

wedding_picture

The Guest List
I think most brides & grooms look back and think, “So-and-so didn’t need to be invited, but we definitely should’ve included so-and-so.” That happened to us. With my baby brother’s nuptials coming fast in July I tried to warn him about this.

My Type-A Craziness
While I do not think I was a bridezilla, I will admit that I was a control freak. I demanded to be kept in the loop on my bridal shower details and I wasn’t great at delegating tasks. I definitely could’ve taken a chill pill because my maid of honor & 5 other bridesmaids had everything covered.

Lylee
I wish Lylee-bear could’ve been at the wedding.

And now for the things I’d never change in a million years…

Just kidding- this list would take you days to read ❤︎ We had gorgeous weather, a beautiful venue, and our friends & family were literally the best ever. I’ll give you an example of how amazing our friends are…

K and I had our first dance to Keith Urban’s “Your Everything.” I love this song, especially now, but our song is actually “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain. We decided not to dance to that one because a lot of people use it and we wanted our first dance song to be unique. Well, my best friend Erica knew all that so at the end of the night she requested “I’ll Be” and I was so shocked to hear it and I cried when it came on. (I’m close to crying right now thinking about it. ) So we got to end the night dancing to our song.

Welp, now I need to go dry my eyes. (Thanks a lot, Erica.)

Really, I’d change nothing about our wedding day. It was perfection. What about you? Any trivial details you’d go back to your wedding or first date and alter if you could?

audielou.com_signature

Advertisements

The India Archive [3]

In 2012 I spent four weeks in Bangalore, India. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I cried a lot, I complained a lot, and there were at least two instances that I was positive I would die. That said, I learned a lot and went on adventures and had so much fun. On a bi-weekly-Monday basis I will share my trip here.

india_archives_travel

. . .

Our first “night” in Bangalore was one of my lowest lows. I’m not proud of my attitude or my mind set, but that’s culture shock for ya. Anyway, as I mentioned, it got better. A huge aid to the initial shock was the company I kept while I was across the world. There were 6 of us from my university and another 10 students from all over the United States. We also had two teachers (both from my school) and a study abroad advisor from Maryland who was checking out the program.

Alicia, Kinsey, and Sydney were my Ohio-native roommates and my main travel companions. Our fifth roommate was a lovely girl from Tennessee named Elizabeth. There were only two guys in our group of 16, but I think everyone got along really well. In addition to Ohio, there were students from Texas, California, New York, N. Caroline and more. Honestly, our group of 16 was a great mix and I felt comfortable adventuring with any and all of them.

india_archives
My roommate & travel buddy, Kinsey (OH)

. . .

india_archives
Alex (NY) & Blair (TN)

. . .

india_archives
Dr. Capuzza & Dr. Lyons (OH)

Our first full day in Bangalore was a whirlwind. I won’t bore you with an hour by hour retelling of my trip, but we covered a lot of ground in a little bit of time. Visitors that stay longer than 3 weeks are required to get a visa in India so we spent time at the photo shop to get the right photo and then at the police station to get our visa approved. It was a little scary- no visa means you go back on a plane and travel another +36 hours back to where you came from. Fortunately, with a little “bribing” (I’m not kidding… it’s pretty customary), it all went smoothly.

india archives

. . .

3 Post 5

. . .

india_archives

At the college (Christ University) we had a nice little welcome ceremony, took a tour, and were given our schedules for the term. I was signed up for Intercultural Communication (the class I needed for graduation) and yoga. I feel a teensy tiny bit of pride that I studied yoga while in India 🙂

india_archive
The entrance to our little area of class

. . .

india_archive

. . .

india_archive

. . .

india_archive
Entrance to our building on campus

We also went shopping for some groceries and clothing. Students from the university acted as our guides. I’d brought things from the US that I thought would be appropriate, but I purchased three tops and a scarf (THANK GOODNESS- I’ll explain why later) while we were shopping. During our time abroad a few girls purchased Saris, but it was impractical for me to get one.

3 Post 4
Breakfast on Day 1 from the cafeteria

. . .

india_archive
School courtyard

So we settled in and found some comfort foods (spaghetti! pb&j! cereal!) and got some clothes and used the school computers to email and check our Facebooks. Around this time we decided that we could probably survive for 4 weeks.

Did you miss part 1 and part 2? Be sure to check them out!

audielou.com_signature

Currently…

It blows my mind how much time passes when you’re not paying any attention. I feel like I just did a “currently” update, but my last one was at the beginning of February. That’s crazy!

Currently

So here’s what’s new…

Listening to… All My Life by the Foo Fighters. It’s may favorite FF song & it just came on my Pandora rock station. Happy Friday to me! (Also, The West Wing podcast!)

Watching… Fuller House, The West Wing, Jimmy Fallon. I’m not watching these right now, but this is what we’ve been watching the past few weeks.

Reading… The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I’m also looking to get my hands on the next Lunar book, Scarlet.

Eating… a clementine, just like I do every morning. Also applesauce and a rice cake. Yum yum yum.

Drinking… hot tea. I’ve been on a hot tea/sweet tea kick lately. I gave up pop for Lent and since Easter I’ve only had one rootbeer. I think I may have kicked my pop-drinking habit…

Wearing… jeans, because it’s Friday. Yay!

Celebrating… the weekend? Jeans? I’m not celebrating anything right now. Last weekend we went out for my mom’s birthday and at the end of the month is our 3 year wedding anniversary, but this weekend is just a chore/relax/unwind weekend.

Dreaming of… financial freedom. Haha. I ordered a hashbrown from McDonald’s the other morning JUST because I wanted the chance of pulling off the Monopoly game piece and winning a bazillion dollars. That’s how it works, right?

Worrying about… nothing. Honestly, I was in paralyzed-anxiety-mode on Tuesday and K has been stressed out lately, but today I feel ok and relaxed. Things aren’t perfect, but life is pretty good to us so I’m not going to fret (for now).

Hoping for… my acid reflux to STOP. I need to set a reminder on my phone to take my antacid pills. Ugh. I’m sure it’s stressed induced, so maybe I lied just now…

Planning… for the races! We’re headed to the NASCAR races this month (and K is headed to WGI), so I’m working out the details with our house/dog-sitter and such. I’m also thinking about my future sister-in-law’s bridal shower!

Looking forward to… our family vacation this July. It’s all I can think about right now. My baby brother & his fiancee won’t be joining us, which makes me sad, but I’m so ready to go relaaaax.

What are you up to lately?

audielou.com_signature

Linking up with Kristen & Gretchen!

What's New With You

The Best 90’s Movies

Sadly, my husband and I rarely go to the movies. There are new releases that I’d like to see, but the movies are expensive and K gets fussy about sitting in a theater for +2 hours. I think the last movies I saw were Inside Out/Minions at the drive-ins with my little cousins last summer…

On a totally unrelated note, I am a 90’s child and I grew up with 90’s cartoons and toys and the lingo… but since I was so young I missed out on some of those great 90’s teen-targeted movies. Since I can’t recommend the latest superhero movie on the big screen, I offer you 6 movies from the 90’s that you should see:

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
If you haven’t see this movie then I’m shocked. I feel like this film (and She’s All That) totally exude 90s culture- plus Heath Ledger *swoon*. This film is based on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” and it’s just a really cute, clever movie. Bad boy likes uninterested girl… he woos her… romance ensues… You get it.

A League of Their Own (1992)
K would’ve refused to marry me if I didn’t like this movie. He loves it and quotes it at least once a week. We’re not big sports fans in our house, but we really enjoy baseball movies. I find Geena Davis to be a stunning actress and this movie has other big names like Tom Hanks, Rosie O’Donnell, and Madonna!

A League of Their Own

Batman Forever (1995)
We just watched this on Monday night & I am such a sucker for the 90’s Batman movies! While Michael Keaton is my favorite Batman- sorry George Clooney/Val Kilmer/Christina Bale- I love all the actors in this film, especially Jim Carrey as the Riddler.

Batman Forever

Se7en (1995)
I feel like I’m progressively getting darker with these movie suggestions… This film is rated R, but it’s due to strong language (they say the f-word 74 times…) and graphic crime scenes. As far as I can recall, there isn’t brutal violence. This is back when Brad Pitt was so cute it hurt. I don’t usually like thrillers, but this is a good one.
“What’s in the box?”

Notting Hill (1999)
Back to light and airy movies. This is another favorite of my husband’s- solid proof that he has a soul. I kid, I kid. He’s the one that introduced me to this film and brought the glamor of Julia Roberts into my life. I used to dislike her for no reason, but this movie turned all that around for me.

1 2 3

Hook (1991)
Anything Robin Williams did in the 90s is gold (Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Aladdin), but this film has the best message about growing up and family and what’s important in life. And it also has Maggie Smith, which automatically makes it great.

You’ll notice that some big 90’s films are missing from my list (The Shawshank Redemption, Fight Club, American Beauty)… that’s because I hate those movies and I’ll never recommend them. I know I’m in the very small minority here. They make me feel sad and anxious, so they’re forever on my “no” list.

Since we rarely go out to the movies, I’d love to hear what your 90s suggestions might be! Have you seen these films? What would you recommend?

audielou.com_signature

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom’s birthday. My mom hates the internet & social media, so I’ll keep this brief.

Lisa's Bday

Energetic. (She’s a first grade teacher- I’m tired just thinking about keeping up with +20 kids.)

Loving.

International. (She’s lived in & traveled to so many places!)

Selfless.

Educational.

.

Loyal.

Ornery.

Understanding. (She doesn’t take angry words & actions personally.)

Inclusive.

Suspicious. (Planning her surprise birthday treat was almost impossible.)

Entertaining.

On Saturday K and I met up with Fred & Christina and my mom & dad to played Key Quest at a local laser tag warehouse. We had 45 minutes to solve the puzzle and escape the “serial killer’s cellar.” Yeah, we totally died. Between the six of us we had 4 college degrees, an engineer, a teacher, three business owners, a writer, and puzzle game aficionado (my mom). I still can’t believe we lost. I was SO mad. I hate losing.

Afterward we had a delicious dinner at Bonefish Grill and then ice cream cake back at my parents’ house. Fred & Christina put off their trip home to Columbus until Sunday morning & Kyle postponed his business travels that night, too. We’d presented my mom with her birthday gift on Easter (a piano!) but I think she was happiest about us being together for an evening.

My grandma & mom on her 9th birthday
My grandma & my mom on her 9th birthday

We wouldn’t be who, or what, we are today without my mom. Happy Birthday, Mom ❤︎

audielou.com_signature

What I Read… March 2016

I finished more than one book this time, guys. I actually read two this month. Can you feel my pride? Hahaha.

Also, Happy Birthday to my favorite literary brothers, Fred & George Weasley!

What_I_Read_blog

Per usual, here’s the reviewing system:

★- terrible | ★★- I finished it but it was a struggle | ★★★- not bad, not my favorite | ★★★★- a good read that kept my interest | ★★★★★- I’ve already bought the book for my collection & I’m recommending it to everyone

I’ll also tell you why I read it, what it’s about, and whether or not you should read it. The book images link you back to their GoodReads pages.

So let’s do this!

The_other_typist_review

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell|| ★★/5
I saw this on the self at Books-A-Million and it was recommended by an employee. Quite frankly, the book annoyed me. A LOT. I almost didn’t finish it because it was repetitive and slow and anti-climactic. It’s set during 1920s and prohibition. Rose Baker is a straight-laced typist who works in a police precinct, but finds herself drawn further and further into the scandalous speakeasy society by the “new girl” at work. It had so much potential… but it fell flat. I love historical fiction and I thought I’d love the twists and surprises, but it was predictable and slow. After reading other GR reviews I guess there’s a point where I’m supposed to question Rose’s sanity…? But I never did. She was just annoying. Sorry, but I don’t recommend this one for anyone!

cinder_review

Cinder by Marissa Meyer || ★★★★/5
This book was awesome. I haven’t seen one bad review in the Lunar Chronicles and I picked up this book based on many blogger recommendations. (I actually bought it because I was so sure I’d love it!) This book is a play on Cinderella, but with so many new elements and plot twists. I loved Cinder and I loved the flow of her story from cyborg mechanic to… well, I won’t spoil it! I don’t usually like futuristic/robot-y stories, but I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one in the series. If you like fantasy or fairy tales (or just a good story), I recommend Cinder!

**Apparently there are mini-stories that go hand-in-hand with the Lunar Chronicles. They’re short, easy reads and the author herself, Marissa Meyer, recommends a reading order here. Glitches is meant to follow Cinder.

glitches_review

Glitches by Marissa Meyer || ★★★/5
I didn’t know these short stories existed until I was snooping through Goodreads! (I followed the trail from there to here where you can read them for free!) I feel like I’m getting the whole experience as it was intended by going off Meyer’s suggested order. This little novella is a wonderful look at Cinder’s “beginnings” and it makes me love the characters even more. Some people on GR think it should proceed Cinder, but I’m glad to have read it second. If you liked Cinder or were on the fence about it, you should definitely read this! (It took me 15 minutes!)

April goals include finishing P&P and starting/finishing The Help and The Winter Queen. (…and of course the next Lunar story, Scarlet!)

Here’s how I’m doing with Erin’s reading challenge…

5 points | Any book that is at least 200 pages long: Cinder (Marissa Meyer)
10 points | Begins with the letter “D”: Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
10 points | Four word title: Murder at the Brightwell (Ashley Weaver)
15 points | One of the following words in the title: mother/father/son/daughter/children: Daughter of Fortune (Isabel Allende)
20 points | One of Amazon’s top 100 authors (new to you): The Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan)
20 points | Set in any country in Asia: The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)
25 points | A “Season” in the title: The Winter Queen (Boris Akunin)
30 points | Read a book that will make you laugh from this list: How to Be A Woman (Caitlin Moran)
30 points | A friend or family member’s favorite book: The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
35 points | Published the year you were born: Jurassic Park (Michael Crichton) -originally publish 1990-

I have completed 15 out of 200 points! I’m awesome at this challenge thing…. *eye roll*

Only one month left!

So tell me what you read this month! Have you picked up the Lunar Chronicles?

audielou.com_signature