Coffee & Conversation

Hello, beautiful friends. It’s been a while since we just “chatted.”

First and foremost, can we sit inside? The temperature has been tickling 90 degrees and I’m justย not having it. Is it before 10am? If so I guess I can handle outdoor seating.

If we were sitting down for coffee I’d probably smell a little like mint (Biofreeze) and look a little stiff. Tuesday was one hell of a day- then, to top it all off, I went home, vacuumed, and pulled a muscle in my shoulder. I’ve had back problems all my teenage/adult life, but my shoulder aches SO BADLY. Fortunately it’s a bit better than it was on Tuesday.

If we were having coffee I would talk for at least a half hour about last weekend’s Buckeye Country Superfest! I went with my best friend and my elementary school best friend. (We amicably went separate ways in our teens years but stayed distant friends and our parents are pretty good friends and, as it turns out, we still have a lot in common.) GUYS- if you like country music you need to see Miranda Lambert live. The rush of female badass-ery that flowed through the stadium was unreal. She was so, so good!

Also, Kenny Chesney puts on a fabulous show. There was one moment when I was dancing and I just stopped and looked up to the star-dotted sky and felt so happy and at peace and euphoric. (Yes, I’d been drinking. No, I wasn’t fall-over drunk.) It was just a really fun weekend surrounded by wonderful people.

That said, if we were drinking coffee, I’d admit that I’m still recovering from the weekend. Two nights of music and drinks and little sleep tend to do me in. I’m no longer the 21 year old night owl I used to be… The Monday morning drive and workday was rooough.

If we were drinking coffee I’d admit that I’m counting down the days until vacation. I’m also craving ice cream every dang day. And I’m currently reading The Sisters Brothers (sent to me by Erin)! And I think that about wraps up my life right now.

So refill your cup and tell me what’s going on in your life!

My Summer Bucket List

Between Jessica’s summer list and Chelsea’s monthly to-do lists, I decided I need a summer bucket list to get me in the right mood. (If you’re new here, I hate summer. But I’m going to give it a shot this year.)

I did a seasonal bucket list for fall and I felt very accomplished and fulfilled by the end. Fingers crossed summer ends the same way!

  • Go on a mini-golf date with K
  • Finish Year 3 scrapbook
  • Beach house vacation with the whole family
  • DCI Championships with K in August
  • Finish backyard landscaping
    • & host a cookout for the company
  • Take Enzo to the dog park
  • Outdoor concert with K & friends
  • Garage Sale (#2)
  • Visit the farmers’ market
  • Make a serious dent in Erin’s reading challenge
  • Drink more water
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Take the pups on an adventure

So to clarify… the beach vaca. and DCI trip are already planned, but I don’t care. Also, I’m doing a garage sale tomorrow, but my mom is doing one in July with my grandma so that’s why it’s #2- whatever I don’t sell tomorrow I’ll try again with in July.

I feel like my summer bucket list is kind of lackluster. Maybe it’s because summer just isn’t my thing… If you have any suggestions or additions to spice it up, I’m all ears!

Currently…

Linking up with Kristen & Gretch today for a What’s New With You? update.

Eating… a little bit healthy but not really. I’ve been bringing snacks to work like carrots, almonds, apples, cherries, and oatmeal (for b-fast). But there are also Doritos in my snack drawer so… #balance

Drinking… water and coffee. More so the latter. I’m going to aim for more of the former this summer. Then again, our brand new, very first Starbucks just opened in town, so… No promises…

*[edit] Listening to… the new Foo Fighters song “Run.” It came out today! If you don’t like FF I feel like our friendship might be in jeopardy… (Here’s the new song!)

Reading… The Heir & Coraline. I need to finish up The Selection Series. Also, Erin just released her Challenge 7.0 list today so you know I’m already picking out my books for July! (I’ll share those on Tuesday!)

Watching… nothing really. The Voice ended last week so K and I lost our Mon./Tues. entertainment. Now he watches Cavs games and I read at night. (Maybe I’ve watched some Bachelorette stuff. Maybe.)

Seeing… college friends โค๏ธŽ Last month one of my college roommates was in the state (she moved to Arizona after getting married) and I drove north to have dinner with her and another college friend. We’re all in a very similar season of life right now (married a few years, no kids, working that professional grind), so it was super relaxing to just kick back and talk for +4 hours with them.

Listening to… lots of country music (like this playlist). Warm weather feels like country music, ya know? Plus Kayla and I are headed to a two-day outdoor country concert later this month and I am PUMPED.

Praying about… the world.

Raging about… the world. (More specifically, the US dumpster-fire administration.)

Dreaming about… a European vacation. Nothing in the books yet, but someday soon.

Looking forward to… our family vacation to the beach! As it turns out, my family will be vacationing at the same time as K’s family, only 20 minutes north of them. Also, this will be our first family vacation with all six of us!!

So what’s new with you?

What's New With You

A Daily Dose of Laughter

I would venture to say that the majority of my friends and family would not describe me as “jolly.” On the contrary, I tend to be an awkward mix of volatile and passionate. I’m not a fan of physical touch and I infuse sarcasm in 95% of my conversations. While I firmly believe I am (mostly) a good time to be around, I also know that I’m not the always-smiling, always-bubbly girl at the party unless there’s lots of alcohol. (I’m usually the quiet one on the floor in the corner with 8 dogs.)

All of that to say, if you’re like me and not in the habit of joking around and smiling on a daily basis (especially during these dark times), I believe we should be. We all deserve to have at least one big belly laugh a day. Not a polite smile or a forced chuckle- a genuine, outburst of laughter.

True to my introvert ways, I often find something hilarious to laugh at when I’m all alone. Jimmy Fallon videos, inappropriate Reddit threads, dog and cats videos… All of those are total winners for me. That said, laughing alongside my husband or best friends is my most preferred laughter outlet.

Some people laugh a lot (is it weird that I’m jealous of those folks?) and this is an unnecessary reminder, but for those of you who go a day or a week without fully utilizing every part of your lungs for a laugh, try to change it up. If you only have three minutes watch a Youtube video. If you’ve got a few hours pop in a comedy or meet your funniest friend for lunch. (Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, yet? I was gasping for air, crying & laughing.)

I don’t do it as often as I should, but laughter does the soul good. We could all benefit from a little more joy. Tears from laughter always trump tears of sadness or anger or fear. (Pun possibly intended…?)

*Suggestion: While SNL is killin’ it right now, avoid those clips during your daily dose of laughter. Personally, those clips make me smirk- not belly laugh. They’re awesome and hilarious and so on point, but they can stir up outrage, too, and that’s not the emotion we’re going for in these few moments of hilarity.

So if you’re like me and you forget to make laughing a priority in your day-to-day schedule, this is your gentle reminder to sit down for a second and enjoy something funny. The heavy stuff is always going to be there and sometimes we just need a break!

Goodbye, April

I never do a monthly recap, but April was a fun & busy one so I thought I’d switch it up and type one out for Kristen and Gretch‘s What’s New with You? link-up.

What's New With You

This is a picture-heavy post, but I only included the good moments ๐Ÿ˜‰

This month we celebrated my mom’s (and uncle’s) birthday.

For Mom’s celebration we ventured down to Columbus on a Saturday for dinner at de|Novo and a concert at the Ohio Theatre. Fred & Xtina joined us for a relaxing evening with yummy food and a mesmerizing performance.

The show was called Cirque de Symphonie and there were acrobats, dancers, contortionists, and rope/silk artists to accompany the musical numbers.


Things that happened mid-month that didn’t warrant pictures…

  • Lylee got her nails trimmed and her ears cleaned at the groomers
  • a local drumline Friends & Family Show
  • meeting the best friend’s new boyfriend
  • getting financially assaulted by the US govn’t on tax day
  • a few dinners out with friends and family
  • a breakfast date with K on Good Friday (and a day off!)
  • one of my best and longest friends asked me to be a bridesmaid!


Easter was spent with family. We did church in the morning, an egg hunt and lunch and kite flying at my parents’ house, a dinner for K’s family (and my parents) at our house, & dessert and another egg hunt at K’s grandparents’ house.


The end of the month hit hard and fast…

We left for Dayton on the 19th and spent three days bouncing between the Uni. of Dayton, Wright State University, Miami University, and Northern Kentucky University for WGI Percussion World Championships.

Three 10+ hour days in parking lots and arenas watching high school and independent drumlines and making new connections or seeing old friends. So fun and so exhausting, ha.

I don’t know if I’ve ever shared our products on my blog before… We had over 60 groups using our equipment at this competition. It was pretty surreal.


The Sunday after WGI we left Dayton and drove southeast to Bristol, TN. My parents and cousin were already there. The race was scheduled for 2pm on Sunday but rain postponed it until Monday.

Bristol is mountain territory and in the past we’ve been foiled many times by spotty rain-delays and postponements. We now always spend Sunday night in the area and drive home on Monday. This allows us to stay late for a delayed Sunday night race or a rescheduled Monday afternoon race; the latter being the case this past trip.

Cabela’s | Racing | Bowling
The water in that picture should be a little stream- NOT a river…

Last but not least, we celebrate our 4 year anniversary on the 27th. We did a food tour in a neighboring city. It included four restaurant and some city history. We were so full by the end of it… but it was delicious!

Both Steph and Alexandra sent cards wishing us a happy anniversary! You girls are total sweethearts!

It was so windy on our tour but it didn’t storm so that’s a win!

And that concludes our April (a.k.a. possibly our busiest month professionally + personally all year). I kicked May off with a deep tissue massage on Monday. #SelfCare

What’d you do last month?

What's New With You

“Get Out of There”

One of my very best friends is getting married in the fall of 2018. Yesterday she asked me to be a bridesmaid. Obviously I said yes.

Aubrey and I have known each other since we were 10. That’s sixteen years of history, friendship, arguments, changes, and celebrations. Another best friend, Kayla, is also a bridesmaid. Similar to Aubrey and I, she grew up locally and we’ve had some sort of acquaintanceship or friendship since middle school.

Both Kayla and Aubrey have moved away, found good jobs, and settled in. I, on the other hand, stayed in the same small town we all once called “home.” Per Google Maps, I live 3.8 miles from my childhood home, half a mile from my elementary school, half a mile (the other direction) from my high school, and roughly 0.5 to 5 miles from all my local relatives. Needless to say, it’s a smallish town.

It’s also one of those towns that high school seniors and young adults are always trying to “get away” from. If you don’t move away and travel the world or get a studio apartment in a real city then you might as well get married, pop out a few babies, and settle.

(That’s not my opinion. That’s the general vibe around here.)

Recently I saw a conversation on Facebook between two high school acquaintance…
Person 1: We’re moving! We’ll be living in XYZ, Ohio after this weekend.
Person 2 (who now lives in a major city): Good for you! Get out of there!

I know it should’ve have, but her comment made my blood boil. It made me feel like staying here is wrong.

Like it’s a trap. Or a prison. Or some sh!thole.

I like to think that I’m not easily swayed or influenced by others, but I KNOW there is a small town mentality of ‘staying here = failure.’

But honestly- what a load of bullshit.

If marriage and babies in a safe, small town is your prerogative then you’re in the right place. If building an international company is on your to-do list then you’ve found the perfect location. If you’re a world traveler who needs some roots in a busy yet slow community then plant them right here.

And if you feel like you need more miles to stretch your wings or some distance between your past and your present or you just want to try out a new place, then I think that’s great! But don’t you dare look down your nose at someone else for sticking around the place they call “home.”

For a while I really believed K and I would leave. (I suppose there’s still time but 1. the business is located here and 2. I’m happy here.) I’m a huge fan of travel and receiving a worldly education- but I need a stable home to return to. I think it’s 100% ok to dig your roots into a place like this.

For the record, neither of my best friends nor my brother have ever made me feel badly for any of my choices. I think they’re just happy to have a place to hangout when they come “home.”

I know that was a little rant-y, but that Facebook transaction sparked something inside me. I respect your decision to leave so I expect the same when it comes to staying.

Add It To My (Media) List

I had no idea what to list off this month. Usually I have a draft with a running list of favorites that I add to throughout the month, but I didn’t do that this time. As time was running out I happened to stumble across three short (very different) online clips that captured my attention.

life_as_louise_favorites

I assume that everyone needs a mental break throughout the workday, so hopefully one or two of these videos can provide that today.

James Corden’s Crosswalk the Musical: Beauty & the Beast

I don’t know why this made me laugh as hard as it did. I blame Dan Stevens (and the fact that I still have trouble see him as anyone but Matthew Crawley.)


Emma Watson’s kitten interview

If I ever have kids I hope they see Emma Watson as a role model. I certainly do. Everything about this video is great, especially her shout out to Best Friends Animal Society in Utah!


Elmo Gets Laid Off

To be 100% honest, Sesame Street moved to HBO so it’s probably safe if/when PBS gets the ax. That said, when I was a kid we didn’t have HBO- I still don’t have HBO. I watched Sesame Street on PBS like most kids in America do. So for those 2 to 7-years-olds with moms and dads who aren’t millionaires with a +40,000 channel cable package, they’re just S.O.L.

I’m going to stop because the budget cuts to the arts and education have me livid and terrified. If I keep typing this post will quadruple in length. So suffice it to say, we are so against budget cuts.

Maybe as a consolation prize Tr*mp can take us on one of his million dollar golf trips to Florida ๐Ÿ˜

Also… Sesame Street: spoofing on Donald Tr*mp Grump before SNL made it cool.


In other news of things I want to list or bring to your attention, I joined a FB group for bloggers that has been very active and supportive. If you’re in the market for something like that you should check out The Peaceful Posse on FB ๐Ÿ™‚

So tell me about something you’ve recently discovered or started that you love! Linking up with Lauren and Bre today!

Eat, Drink, and Be Lauren