Date Ideas for Couples Who Don’t “Date”

I’m going to make a confession that will shock and horrifying marriage bloggers.

We don’t go on scheduled weekly or bi-weekly or monthly date nights.

Don’t get me wrong- we go on dates. They’re just not regular or scheduled. Our relationship doesn’t work that like. We’re both workaholics (who work with each other) and it’s healthier for us to veg at home (sometimes together and sometimes apart) instead of heading out on the town. I’m an introvert and K is an introverted extrovert so we alter our life and relationship to make ourselves happiest.

Ok, enough explaining. When we DO go out on dates, they tend to be a little bigger and/or planned out than what a weekly date night might entail. If your “dating style” is similar to ours, here are a few of our favorite things to do together:

An evening concert.
We love going to concerts together. We’ve been doing it since the very first month we started dating. When we were younger we’d show up to the concert venue, rock out, and then pig out on fast food or gas station food on our drive home. Now we like to go out to dinner first, then attend the concert (and then come home and crash like old people, lol).

A trip to the local creamery.
We live about 0.25 miles from the town’s BEST creamery. In addition to yummy ice cream, we both love their homemade coney sauce. On beautiful evenings when we don’t feel like cooking we climb into the convertible and cruise over there for dinner together.

Early morning breakfast dates.
I think one of my hands down favorite things to do with K is to wake up semi-early on a Saturday or Sunday and get breakfast at a local diner while the world is still waking up. There are lots of places near us but our favorite is a cute one a few towns over. With maybe 12 tables inside, everyone knows everyone. We’re strangers in that town, but they’re so friendly and it’s fun to watch them greet one another and catch up as they come inside for breakfast.

Walking around car shows.
I married a car enthusiast. We’ve spent many afternoons slowly walking through car shows, admiring the vintage rides of yesteryear. Truth be told, I’ve actually learned a lot about cars from K while walking around these shows. My dad, brother, and grandfathers are all car lovers, too. I guess it’s in my blood 😉 Perusing car lots and open houses are also a fun way to spend the afternoon. For us anyway.

A festival lunch date.
We don’t really care for crowds. Additionally, in a small town like ours, when you immerse yourself in a crowd you’re bound to know a handful of people- some you like and some you don’t. We’ve found that by going on weekday lunch dates to street fests and fairs, we avoid crowds and lines and small talk with people we haven’t seen since high school. AND we get the benefit of fresh lemonade and vinegar-soaked fries 😀

I think it’s adorable and cute and #relationshipgoals when couples plan out weekly quality time. I really do. It’s just not how we operate 🙂 All kinds of kinds. These occasional outings work well for us and keep us happy and connected. Next time you’re looking for something to do with you s/o, try one of these!

What kind of date activities do you and yours like to do?

Love, Kindness, and a Little PRIDE

I had a different post scheduled for today but when something emotional happens to you and you’re a writer/blogger, you write about it. This weekend I went to my first Pride.

There is some bad bad bad stuff happening in our world country right now. It makes me physically sick to think about and read about and keep up with. The amount of goodness and love and support and joy that I witnessed on Saturday has renewed my hope and fire and energy. I’m an introvert and I was fully expecting Pride to wipe me out and exhaust me, but it did the opposite. Strangers shouting HAPPY PRIDE to one another, bright colors and countless corporations, politicians, villages, and small businesses sharing their love and support for the LGBTQ+ community, and having my friends around me (even in the +90 degree heat) was exhilarating.

It floors me that marriage is only recently legal. Love was outlawed and persecuted and HATED up until a mere THREE years ago. What the actual hell? One of my very best friends is gay and it kills me that for so long her love was illegal. Guys, she is a FIERCE love-giver. When she is on your side she is on. your. side. And for so long this country wasn’t on her side. I feel so damn overjoyed and grateful to have celebrated her love on Saturday. Pride was the most beautiful, freeing celebration of love. It was awesome.

I witnessed some off the wall stuff on Saturday. Topless women, a drag show, some incredibly colorful outfits. It was nuts, but nuts in the absolute best way. Everyone was happy. Everyone was kind. Everyone cheered for and supported everyone.

Actually, that’s a lie. For a moment, almost directly across the parade from us was a man in an anti-GAY shirt with a megaphone. I have no idea what hate he was spewing because a girl with a large bass drum kept following him around, making noise every time his pie-hole opened. It was glorious and I think she might’ve been a superhero. Eventually he gave up and left.

I want to note that I grew up and live in a conservative small town. Big cities intimidate me and diversity is not something that runs wild in my neck of the woods. I love my town, but how I wish I could bring all the color and love from Pride back home and educate the handful of fearful folks. Someday opinions will change, but to do that we must all embrace and love as strongly and fully as the LGBTQ+ community does. You don’t have to be a negative product of your environment- you can have a positive influence on that environment instead.

I’m turning comments off today. I don’t think much more needs to be said on this topic. The world is filled with hate and you won’t find any of that here today. Take care of yourselves, friends. And take good care of others ❤

Chats with K

Just your average round up of conversations I had with the husband…

Me: Maybe these melatonin pills put you to sleep because when we take them I have to keep quiet for 30 seconds while they dissolve under my tongue.
K: Yep, I was just thinking that.

Discussing lunch in the middle of my alcohol & dairy detox.
Me: Let’s get Chinese.
K: We just had Chinese food.
Me: It’s my only option! Italian is creamy and cheesy. Mexican is creamy and cheesy. American food is creamy, cheesy, AND greasy.
K: Those are my favorite dwarfs!

Me: Do you ever feel like your lungs are restricted and you can’t take a big deep breath?
K: Yeah.
Me: I think it’s because I slouch.
K: I think it’s because I’m fat.

On National Puppy Day I posted a few adoptable dogs to K’s FB wall after he told me not to.
*phone rings; it’s K*
Me: DON’T YELL AT ME, DON’T YELL AT ME.
K: ….I haven’t been on Facebook yet but what did you do?

K: I don’t know why I haven’t fired you yet.
Me: Because it’d be awfully expensive.
K: How do you figure?
Me: “Cheaper to keep her.”
K: I didn’t say I’d divorce you.
Me: That makes one of us.

Upon entering Gettysburg…
K: Is this like a National….
Me: Park? Yes.
K: So should I not have a knife in my pocket.
Me: That is correct.
K hangs head and walks back to the car. We’ve seen this play out badly way too many times.

Me: I am the first person to get angry and outraged over silly jokes and trivial things-
K: Yeah. Good job.
Me: …that wasn’t the end of my thought.
K: Oh.

I collected some gems this month, I think. Lol

Crows Feet

Tomorrow is our five year wedding anniversary. Last Monday, the 16th, marked 11 years since Kyle asked me out for ice cream for the very first time. I don’t know when I knew that Kyle was going to be mine forever, but it was some time between 2007 and 2013.

Within the last year I’ve noticed crows feet forming at the corner of K’s pretty green eyes. It’s also no secret that I have large patches of grey hair underneath this dye job. Aging can be scary or overwhelming or depressing but, personally, I love those familiar crows feet.

We started dating right after my 17th birthday. I knew then that it wasn’t just a fling; I wanted to grow old with Kyle. It amuses me that I’m seeing it happen before my very eyes. I love it. We’ve gone from sharing our favorite colors and picking what movies to see on the weekends to what house we should to buy and which life ins. policy we should pick. Kyle’s crows feet are a tangible sign that we’re aging together. It’s my new favorite feature on his face. (I like his nose, too. It’s perfect.)

We’re together all the time- I mean, we work together. Obviously we argue sometimes so please don’t paint too perfect of a picture of us 😉 That said, his goofy 31-year-old grin makes me so damn happy. I love it when I make him laugh. And when I see other couples I truly hope that they find the same happiness with their significant other. I feel lucky to share my life with Kyle.

So happy anniversary, babe. (You’re so smart, babe.) I hope to see your crows feet get deeper and my grey patches grow bigger. As long as I’m aging next to you I’ll never dread it.

If one gray hair shows, I’ll be fine / If my waistline grows, I’ll be fine / Even if time takes its toll / We’ll stay young for the rest of our lives…

The Rest of Our Life, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

What It All Means to Me

I haven’t written a heartfelt post in a while and Emelia inspired me to share my thoughts on this…

I started this blog in October of 2014. Prior to that I’d tried my hat at a few other forums and blogs but this one has been my biggest success. (I consider it a success because a) you’re here reading it and b) I very much enjoy writing it.) I’m not sure what I expected when I launched into this world, but I formed an online friendship with Chelsea pretty quickly and from there my internet friends really picked up and expanded.

I think there’s a somewhat popular opinion out there that traditional blogging is dead. Unless you pay $1,000 for good pictures or spend all your time pushing new skin care products (a.k.a. “influencing”), your place in this world is fading. Like Emelia, I 100% disagree with that.

I think that if you’ve been doing this for a few years you know that readership dips in the summer. You know that less people visit on holiday weekends and January is reserved for self-improvement and ‘goals’ posts. You pick up on the patterns of this world and you go with them or carve your own path. I love that this environment nurtures BOTH options.

Here are some other things I love about blogging:

Ohio is not a typical target for natural disasters or attacks (fingers crossed) so it’s hard to imagine the terror or devastation or hope that people feel when faced with wildfires or bombings or floods. Reading this post from Carolann about the Hawaii false missile alert or seeing IG stories from Ashten during the CA wildfires was so eye-opening. I cried real tears for these girls, even though I’ve never been in a situation like that or experienced these events first hand. Even on a smaller scale, reading about postpartum depression or flight anxiety or adoption or weight struggles is easier to understand and empathize with because of bloggers’ vulnerability. I’m more informed about city life and the struggles of homelessness, gerrymandering, and even commuting because people choose to write about it. When I was growing up our closest neighbors were cows so it’s a benefit to see the world through the eyes of people with different experiences.

I could go on and on about the friendships I’ve formed with other ladies in the blog world. I often catch myself telling local family and friends, “Well a friend of mine did xyz…” and I’m 100% talking about a blog friend. (K knows most of you all by name and he definitely knows your pets’ names.) I participate in snail-mail exchanges and book challenges and film challenges with my friends. I send and receive care packages. We collaborate on posts. We swap book recommendations and even physical books sometimes! If I stopped blogging I feel like the biggest loss I’d suffer would be the amount of friends I have. I really truly hope to meet some of them in person some day because I feel like we’ve fostered such a unique and special friendship through our writing.

While there’s always the risk of comparing lives or feeling jealous rage over perfectly edited IG photos, I think this community is a healthy place for inspiration. I constantly feel inspired to clean out my closet, cook a new dinner recipe for K, treat myself to a bubble bath and a glass of wine, or just take a walk on a pretty day. The ladies that I follow are constantly reminding me to enjoy life and be kind to myself (and others) and keep my environment healthy and productive and personal. That message gets lost or muddled in the fast-paced world outside our blogs. I honestly find that keeping close to and reading the words of other bloggers helps me to stay grounded and focused. They spread encouragement and acceptance and change, and in return I find myself doing the same.

It’s probably the most superficial reason for blogging, but I love the recommendations that come out of this environment. Speaking specifically about the bloggers I choose to follow, I think all the women are genuine and honest in their reviews. I find so many incredible books and movies, make-up products and shoes, clothing sales and Amazon steals from this community. It’s incredibly helpful come Christmas or birthdays or a treat yo’ self day.

I’m not an influencer. I made my very first sponsored post a few weeks ago and I didn’t get any money- they simply sent me a canvas to review. (It was awesome and I loved the whole experience, by the way.) I’m not a sales person so you’ll never see something here that I don’t love. I love to talk about my dogs and life and marriage and travel and books so that’s actually what you’ll see here 95% of the time.

So no, I don’t believe traditional blogging is dead and I’ll be around this space for as long as it’s fun and rewarding and therapeutic. I hate when blog-friends fade away, but I understand. I see my blog as a relationship with friends across the globe and I truly wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m grateful that you spend time here and I hope you get as much out of the blog world as I have and do. ❤︎

Chats with K – Holiday Edition

Ho hum… Time for a *somewhat* holiday edition of husband conversations.

Me: Why were single-word band names so popular in the 80s?
K: I don’t know. They just were.
Me: Boston, Kansas, Styx, Journey, Rush, Wham-
K: No. Do not include Wham with that group of artists.

Mid-November I was listening to loud Christmas music & baking in the kitchen.
Romantically wrapping his arms around me and nuzzling his chin in my neck, Kyle whispers: Hey, I’m gonna go ahead and turn this shit off.

A female colleague was stopping by later in the day.
Me: Your new girlfriend is stopping in later.
K: I don’t have a new girlfriend. Two of you is enough to deal with.
Me: Excuse me?

Me: Maybe we should get your niece and nephews stuffed animals for Christmas.
Kyle: No, Isaac still has mine.
Me: Teddy Rump-skin?
K: …first of all it’s ‘Teddy Ruxpin.’ Secondly, no it was A.G. Bear.
After kissing Kyle good morning…

K: Did you brush your teeth?
Me: …yes. Why?
K: *sniffs my lips* You smell a little like old person.
Me: Umm…
K: Did you eat an old person for breakfast?

I laid out my cabin trip outfit the night before I left:

 

 

K: Did you even pack any clothes?
Me: …yeah? Why?
K: I feel like all you need to legitimately camp is that outfit you’re wearing tomorrow.

 

 

Such a comedian.

10 Years Ago

10 years ago today I was not dating a boy because my parents weren’t totally on board with it. About 6 months prior I had approached them and asked to go out for ice cream with a young man who happened to be 3 years and 7 months older than me (which is a big deal when you’re 16). They’d said yes to ice cream, but no to having a boyfriend.

So 10 years ago today, I still didn’t have a boyfriend- but then October 21st happened. After half a year of going on afternoon dates, getting to know my parents, and proving his overall trustworthiness to both me and my parental units, my mom and dad gave in to the relationship. On October 21st, 2007 “Audrey and Kyle” became a thing.

I’ve written about our relationship a dozen times, but for me it never gets old.

I’ve now spent a decade hanging out with my favorite person.

Through brown hair, red hair, orange hair, near-black hair, and blonde hair, we’ve been a thing.

Through lost-and-found cats, adopted dogs, rescued kittens, and elderly pets, we’ve been a thing.

Through high school dances and college presentations, graduation ceremonies and musical performances, we’ve been a thing.

Through new jobs, resignation letters, lay offs, and exciting business ventures, we’ve been a thing.

Through open bedroom doors, shared college apartments, tiny first-home duplexes, and two houses, we’ve been a thing.

Through cross-country travel, out of town jobs, study abroad, and family vacations, we’ve been a thing.

Through new friendships, lost relationships, weddings, births, divorces, and deaths, we’ve been a strong and united thing.

Through the good and bad, sick and healthy days, heartbreak and triumph, we’ve been a thing.

I can’t imagine life without Kyle; I haven’t had to for the last 10 years. Every prayer I send up at the end of the day has a special sentence in there thanking God for the person I sleep next to each night. We’re not perfect and we squabble, but I’d like to reserve my spot next to that guy for the next forty decades.

Happy Original Anniversary, babe. Thanks for loving me ❤︎

-A