Exhausting Musings

I had a different post lined up for today but a) I just want to ramble and b) I haven’t quite finished it yet…

Last month I read ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ and it mentioned Formula One race tracks all over the US/world. One of those tracks is about two hours from me but we’ve never been there. Then, at the beginning of this week, my brother called and said his work gave him 8 tickets to the Indy car races at that track! I don’t know why, but it feels so cool to have read about the sport and the tracks, and now I get to go to one!

K and I are obsessed with Bravo’s Below Deck Mediterranean. We watch the new episodes on Tuesday nights and we know all the crew members’ backstories and we actually discuss the show. It’s embarrassingly satisfying. Hahaha.

I didn’t know it was possible to be this mentally and physically exhausted without the involvement of college, children, or holidays. July has 100% kicked our bootys- professionally and personally.

Our dogs killed a nest full of rabbits on Friday. The main reason this sucks is because 6 bunnies lost their lives. Secondary reasons this sucks are because a) I can’t tell if Enzo is moody or if he’s sick from noshing on bunnies and b) trash day is on Thursday… so our trashcan is not smelling its freshest and it makes the driveway area quite heinous.
*Fortunately the trash truck came today.

A few days ago I went to Starbucks to get K and I drinks. I also had a free reward. Well, they 100% botched mine. The guy scanned my phone at the window and then tried to hand me the wrong drink order. I corrected him and he blushed and admitted he was flustered and handed me the two I’d ordered (although one was totally wrong). Regardless, I asked if I still owned him since he only scanned for the reward drink. He shrugged and told me to forget it. Lol. I still feel like my experience was a win.

Guys. It’s so hot & I hate summer. (Don’t stone me- I’ve tried to like it, I swear.) I just want to sit in front of an a/c vent in a sports bra and underwear and drink icy drinks. (Let’s remember I live in Ohio. If I was a southerner I think I’d actually die.) Please, oh please let fall kick in early this year…

*My grandparents had a large in-ground pool when I was growing up. When they sold that house my hatred for summer was born. I know that makes me spoiled. Sorry.

At the end of August K is playing (in a band) with an Elvis impersonator. I don’t know why I find that so amusing (especially since he’s done it before), but I do. Also, it’s an outdoor concert at our local park and I’m really excited to fill a water bottle with wine and sit on the lawn and listen to him πŸ˜‰

Ok. That’s all I’ve got. Tell me about your weekend plans! I’m hoping in the car with one best friend to go celebrate another best friend at her engagement party! Woot woot!

Wear the D@mn Shorts

This is a tale of self-confidence…

Last weekend we’d planned to spend some time with friends lakeside. The Friday before the trip I started brainstorming outfit ideas. I was thinking my cute swimsuit paired with my cut off high-waisted shorts.

‘But your thighs are so flabby and chunky. That’ll look terrible- all that cellulite and the scars. You should pick a different pair of shorts,’ I thought to myself.

Let’s pause my story and insert that I try very, very hard to encourage others to treat themselves kindly. It makes me mad when my mom nitpicks about herself or when my 10 year old cousin complains about her “fat” or when my friends are getting down on themselves.

“You aren’t fat, you have fat. Everyone does. It’s why you’re alive.”

“Don’t you dare talk badly about your arms/leg/tummy! That’s how you lift groceries or get from A to B or nourish your body!”

“You look great today! And who’s so important that you’d take their opinion over mine?!” πŸ˜‰

Those are a few of my go-tos when it comes to encouragement.

But for whatever reason, that Friday afternoon I was hating my husky, pale, chicken-pox-scarred thighs. I’d like to say it was a fleeting thought, this discouraging self-talk, but it browbeat me into 30 minutes of outfit changes.

It’s funny… The internet is notorious for highlighting people’s “perfect lives.” That said, some of the most body-positive, encouraging, beautiful-inside-and-out people push their perfectly imperfect & totally embracing messages via social media (looking at you Lindsay, Aubrey, Chelsea, Dana, Christina). And I’m am 100% on board with that.

And yet I fall victim to my “zitty face” or “flabby tummy” or “chunky thighs.”

I’m usually extremely comfortable in my skin. My body is relatively healthy. I was given working limbs and organs. I am able to care for myself and others. Overall, I got very lucky with the skin I’m in. But we all have moments of weakness.

Fortunately, our moments of weakness happen at different times. When I’m feeling poorly, someone else is sending out positive vibes meant for me. So when you’re feeling badly, just know that someone is sending out those positive vibes for you, too. (Might I suggest any and all of those ladies up there! ☝️ )

I don’t think anyone is always positive and encouraging, but someone somewhere is always sending out some good vibes. So go seek it- it’s 100% meant for you. Someone loves you. They love your wide hips or your small shoulders or your pointed ears. Whatever features make you cringe in the mirror, I guarantee someone thinks nothing of it and loves you completely. And you should, too.

What I’m trying to say is: wear the damn cutoff shorts, my friends. β˜€οΈ

Let’s Go to the Beach, Beach…

Last week (during my blog hiatus) I vacationed to Sunset Beach, NC with my family. Kyle and I, my mom and dad, and my little brother Fred and his wife Christina all stayed in a 4 bedroom beachfront house along the east coast.

It was kind of odd to be back in a house with my parents and brother- especially with the addition of our spouses. We all have different personalities and habits, but I think the week went really well.

K and I were almost always the first ones awake. We also made almost all the homemade meals. We were I was also the planner of the days/excursions.

Fred and Christina were much more laid back. They went on walks when they wanted to, woke up naturally and slowly, and often went with whatever flow I suggested. (Our older sibling/younger sibling personalities come out in full force when we’re together…)

My parents are familiar with Fred’s and my differing personalities so they just mediated and provided some form of structure. There were no outburst last week, though, so my parents had a pretty easy job.

Like most beach vacations we had a nice mix of shore time, restaurant dining, mini-golfing, and adventuring. We wandered up to Wilmington, NC one day to tour the USS North Carolina and grab some lunch. Another day was spent down in North Myrtle Beach at the outlet malls.

Funny enough, K’s family was vacationing in MB the same week we were down there. We spent the 4th of July having dinner at their beach house and visiting with relatives that we only see once a year. (They had 15 people living in their house… 😳)

As I mentioned on Tuesday, my parents’ 14 year old shepherd-lab mix passed away from old age while we were gone. We all hated that we weren’t with Heidi for those last few days. She was a loyal, sweet, stubborn, protective, loving soul. My parents’ dog-sitter Jen was devastated to find that Heidi had died in her sleep- we all felt terrible for her. Obviously it wasn’t Jennifer’s fault and she had nothing to do with Heidi’s passing, but what a crappy thing to discover…

The heartwarming thing was that a handful of my parents’ friends called or texted to offer their condolences and some even offered to drive out to my parents’ house and bury her. My grandma had saved a steak bone from their supper for Heidi the night before and was heartbroken to hear she’d died. I honestly can’t explain how good it feels to be a part of a community that loves our family- including all our dogs.

So overall, even with the loss of Heidi, our vacation was a nice one. K and I are super happy to be home with our fur babes and it’s nice to be back in the midst of our company (running a company from the road is stressful but necessary). That said, the week-long break was 100% necessary.

This was my first time at Sunset Beach! It was much quieter and less commercialized than Myrtle. I’d recommend the island to anyone. Specifically, if you’re in the area, check these out!

Crabby Oddwaters (restaurant in Sunset Beach, NC)
Sooooo good. The staff was super friendly, the atmosphere was beachy and slightly bayou-y, and we had an amazing meal! We also saw an alligator (…crocodile?) in the water outside the window!


USS North Carolina (navy boat and museum in Wilmington, NC)
Last year when K and I went to Myrtle we almost wandered up the coast to tour this ship, but we decided not to. I’m so glad we went this time around! I love history and walking through the cabins and rooms of a once-active warship gave me goosebumps. It was hotter than Hell but I loved experiencing this piece of history!


Bummz Beach Cafe (restaurant in Myrtle Beach, SC)
We had the steamed shrimp as an appetizer and it was so. dang. good. I swear I’ve thought about that shrimp at least once a day since we left Bummz. I think you’d definitely drive right past this place if you were cruising N. Ocean Boulevard for some dinner, but I’m telling you right now you need to pull over and give this place a shot! (Also, it kind of cracked me up that my grandma sent us to this restaurant… I mean, it’s named after butts… hahaha!)

Have you been to Sunset Beach, NC? Where is your summer vacation spot this year?

What I Read… vol. 7

Serious vacation prep was happening in June (both professionally and personally) so I barely read anything that month… but then we went on vacation the first week of July and I finished 2 books in a week (which is rare for me!).

What_I_Read_blog

I have 3 books listed for this link-up.

I rate the books, explain what they are about & why I read them, & then give my thoughts. Erin’s book challenge kicked off July 1st so I included an update at the end of this post, too.

Ok… on to the books!

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5
Summary: The Sisters brothers are famous for killing. As hired assassins on The Commodore’s payroll, Eli and Charlie Sister set out forΒ gold-rush-crazy Sacramento to kill Hermann Kermit Warm. | Why I Read It: Erin read it and then offered it up. I thought it sounded good so she sent it my way πŸ™‚ | What I Thought: I just really loved this story. (Plus that cover is ALL the heart-eye emojis.) I rarely read books that pick up at one point in a person’s life, tell a story, and end at another point in their life. Usually the book starts at birth or at a pivotal moment and ends at death or something similar. It was a comfortable, well-paced, sad yet funny, familiar but untold story. I used to watch old western movies with my dad and this took me right back. It was a little violent, but nothing I couldn’t handle (and I’m a wimp!).
You should read it because… you enjoy historical fiction and western movies… you like characters that aren’t 100% good or bad… you’re obsessed with the cover art like I am.

*Who wants it next? I’m passing this story on now, too! I’ll send it to ya for free!

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5
Summary: Ten strangers collected on an island, all haunted to a degree by past transgressions. Will they make it off the desolate rock alive? And if not, who’s killing them off one by one? | Why I Read It: A friend recommended it because she thought I’d enjoy it. | What I Thought: She was right- I did enjoy it! This book was first published in 1939 but it didn’t read like an “old” book. I loved the mix of characters and the mystery of the island. I liked how certain stories came to light at different times in the plot- not just all at once. I absolutely had NO idea who’d done it by the end of the book. It was kind of strange to have it all summed up the way it was in the last 30 pages or so, but I was very satisfied with the ending and the intricate murders!
You should read it because… you enjoy murder mysteries and you like the game/movie Clue and you want to pay some respect to the OG of mysteries. Ha.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5
Summary: Enzo the dog looks back on his life with the Swift family. | Why I Read It: I hate reading books about animals, but this one had such high praise, plus the dog’s name is Enzo ❀︎ | What I Thought: This book killed me… I was sobbing on the beach last week because of all the highs and lows wrapped up in these +300 pages. (We also lost our family dog to old age last week while we vacation- that didn’t help my emotional explosion.) Enzo is a sweet and intelligent soul that devotes his life to loving, protecting, and understanding the humans in his life. He provides insight and lessons that sound so natural coming from a dog’s mind. Amongst illnesses and births and triumphs and loss, Enzo is a sturdy rock for the family and he doesn’t take that responsibility lightly. Even the staunchest dog hater would fall head over heels for Enzo. (I also love that book-Enzo and my Enzo are presumably named after the same thing/person.)
You should read it because… it’s amazing. Even if you’re not a dog lover, you will absolutely fall in love with Enzo and his humans. This was a wonderful book & I’m so glad I broke my rule and read it.

So here’s where I’m at with the challenge, just over 2 weeks in:

|5 points| Freebie: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
|10 points| Starts w/ β€œB”: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
|10 points| Yellow cover: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
|15 points| An animal on the cover: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
|20 points| Published in 2017: The Essence of Malice by Ashley Weaver
|20 points| Compass/cardinal direction in title: West With the Night by Beryl Markham
|25 points| A most commonly banned book in America: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
|30 points| About mental illness: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
|30 points| Non-human main character: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
|35 points| A Disney movie /book/ based on a Disney movie: The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart

I will take 35 points to kick this off, thank you very much!

I loved spending my whole vacation reading by the beach πŸ™‚ I’ll recap the other stuff we did on Thursday! Until then, tell me what YOU read this month!

Linking up with Steph and Jana for Show Us Your Books!!

Life According to Steph