Currently…

For Kristen‘s link-up I’m reverting back to a good ol’ fashioned “currently” post.

Reading… all the books for Erin’s 9.0 Book Challenge! I’m currently working on The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and the Prisoner of Azkaban!

Listening to… You Must Remember This podcast. I know I’ve mentioned it once this week already, but Lindsay got me hooked! I’ve listened to all the Charles Manson’s Hollywood episodes as well as the ones about Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. I’ve also been listening to the new albums from Dave Matthews and Ben Rector!

Watching… The Bachelorette. My friends and I text-party watch and I look forward to it every week. We’re usually snarky about the guys and supportive of Becca so I don’t feel the least bit bad about my not-so-guilty pleasure. Anyone else watching this season? Let’s discuss πŸ™‚

Pouting about… Lebron James heading west. Sigh. I’m not mad at him and I still hate basketball, but it’s a bummer he’s not ours anymore.

Celebrating… this week’s intermission. America has her faults (many of which are occurring right now) but yesterday was her birthday and everyone almost everyone deserves a celebration. I’m grateful for the day off and I’m grateful to live in a country where we have the freedom to do the right thing, help others, and vote in people who will actually put the needs of humans first.

Eating… lots of grilled stuff and summer foods. Watermelon, corn, steak, hotdogs and burgers, ice cream.

Drinking… wine. My in-laws have been working on opening a wine company for the last year and a half, and they’re finally up and running! Our house may or may not be stocked with the best wine around right now… πŸ˜‰

Working on… getting all the left over garage sale stuff packed up and shipped off to charities. We had a pretty successful sale but dang it was hot outside all weekend!

Playing… softball! I joined a co-ed team that plays every Sunday afternoon. I played for eight years nearly 15 years ago, so this is slightly out of my comfort zone. I really like it, though!

Planning… a fall vacation. I’m not sure what or where yet, but I presented a 2 week out west trip to K and he shot me down. (I knew he would.) Now that I’ve softened the travel-blow with an extravagant idea, it’ll be much easier to talk him into a 5-7 day stretch of relaxation. πŸ˜‰

Praying for… so many. Families who have been separated, the safe journey of refugees escaping violence and persecution, my sweet friend Rebecca Jo and her family, the health and well-being of family members and pets, neglected dogs who suffer when the heat index bursts.
**Definitely doing something additional about these things, too.

Recovering from… pleurisy. Two weeks ago I went to the ER with some chest pain, thinking it was just a stubborn gas bubble in my abdomen. Turns out it was/is pleurisy left over from untreated bronchitis. I’m much better now but the pain and immobility was a nuisance.

Relaxing… with my new video game! I found Mario Kart onΒ https://wikibuy.com/ for a great price and finally pulled the trigger. It’s the only video game K will play and I’m really proud that I held off on getting it until I could find it for a low price!

Wishing for… colder weather (sue me), a long vacation, peace on Earth, and a pina colada.

Thanks for hosting What’s New With You?, Kristen!

*Thank you so much, Wikibuy, for reaching out!

Coffee? Coffee.

I spent a few minutes trying to come up with a clever title for this post, but all I can imagine is me pulling myself out of bed, twisting my hair into a messy bun, and asking you if you’re up for coffee. You nod, just as tired and drained as me, and we confirm our date for coffee.

(We’re also going to meet Kristen at the coffee shop for What’s New With You?, though…)

If we were having coffee I’d probably have something iced or frozen because I straight up hate this heat. Damn, guys. I’m over it. I’d open the conversation by telling you that I dream almost daily of a backyard pool oasis or shaded pontoon boat on the lake. I have access to neither and it makes summer quite torturous.

If we were having coffee you’d have to excuse my nose-blowing and throat-clearing. I am fighting some weird sinus/allergy/summer cold bullshirt. This is my third time being sick THIS YEAR and I am so over it. I don’t think I’m contagious, though. No fever and so far K and my close-quarters coworker haven’t gotten it.

If we were having coffee I’d ask about your long weekend (last week). Two of my best friends came back to our hometown (where I still live) and brought their significant others with them. The girls had fun winery/brewery hopping and then we met the guys for dinner and margs. The plan was to have a fire at my house afterward, but it rained so we sat in the living room and played What Do You Meme and watch the Rocket vs. Warriors game. I love having my friends home to hangout and relax with me πŸ™‚ It doesn’t happen very often- usually I jet off to see them.

(And yes, I’m v pissed that the stupid Warriors are in the finals again. UGH.)

If we were having coffee I’d confess that there’s a deeper psychological reason for my summertime hatred. In the winter it is 100% ok to go home every night, snuggle under a blanket, and hibernate with a book and tea. In the summer there’s this grand expectation to do things. Whether it’s vacation or exercise or swimming or gardening or going to the beach or camping or whatever… it’s there. People discuss their weekends at the lake or on the road and then look at you expectantly. I feel like it’s a lot of pressure to be active and have fun. I don’t have a boat or a pool or a real garden or any athletic skill. Most of my friends live far-ish away (& I’m an introvert). I am SWAMPED with work in the summer. Honestly? My summer weekends look a lot like my winter weekends. It just feels kind of daunting, you know?

But if we were having coffee I’d genuinely want to know about your summer plans! Tell me the vacations you have planned and the weekend activities you’re looking forward to! Maybe it’ll give me some ideas to get out and about.

If we were having coffee, before we stood up and said our goodbyes, I’d ask if you read/heard any of the commencement speeches from this year’s graduation season. Steph shared Abby Wambach’s speech from Barnard College. I love it and I’d definitely share it with you.

And then I’d check the time and realize I’m late for work (because vacation days aren’t an option for me in the summer) and we’d hug and make plans to meet again soon. And I’d probably order another drink for the road.

Odd Things About Aud: Book Edition

I have some odd reading habits. (I imagine all voracious readers do, though I don’t consider my reading style to be “voracious.”) Perhaps you do some of these things, too. Maybe you think I’m a total nut who doesn’t know how to read properly. Either way, today I’m a open book. (Pun so intended.)

I always look to see how many pages a book has. Sometimes I even read the last page or paragraph of the book. I know I’m spoiling it, but sometimes my anxiety needs to know. Also, when I really love a character, I check the last page or chapter to make sure they’re still alive. #sorrynotsorry

I don’t enjoy thrillers. They make my whole body shake and I dream about them and I try to figure out “who done it” the whole time… but after reading The Woman in Cabin 10 I can accurately conclude that I tend to breeze through them much faster than any other genre. (And I definitely didn’t enjoy that one!)

I work better with a challenge. I like making a summer reading list or participating in Erin’s challenges because they give me a direction and a “to do list” for book reading. Even if I read things off that list, I have something that I’m working toward. I read best that way.

About halfway through a book I decide what I’m going to rate it on Goodreads/my blog. Then I give it the second half to up its score (or, unfortunately, wreck it).

If a book is good enough, I scour the internet for fan art/more details/background stories. I don’t think that’s too out of the ordinary, though, right? (I am all about the fan art with The Lunar Chronicles.) I try to curb the searching if I feel like it might ruin the ending/next book.

When I’m super into a book I typically force myself to put it down… even if I pick it up again 5 minutes later. I think my brain just needs a few minutes to process what I read or feel that urge to HAVE to jump back in. If someone were to watch me read they’d see me read for 30 minutes or an hour, set the book down and look out the window or toss the dogs’ toys a bit, then crack it open for another hour of reading.

I have a serious love/hate relationship with my Kindle. K gave me a Paperwhite for my birthday last year. I love it because it’s portable AND it’s backlit (that’s the term, right?) so I can read in bed while he’s sleeping. And therein lies the hate… If I’m not tired I will open up that Kindle and read for hours. Last week I read from 9:30pm to 2:30am. I have always been more productive at night, but I tried to change my ways after I graduated college. Kindle is making me regress…

I need to have at least 2 books going at the same time (and they can’t be similar). Also, there’s no limit to how many books I have going… Right now I’m reading seven. I switch based on what I’m in the mood for (like how one would pick a movie) and I scatter them all over the house so something is always at my fingertips πŸ™‚

To be clear, I don’t always let myself spoil books. There are times I avoid GoodReads reviews or skip over a book during the #SUYB link-up. I’m not a total monster.

Do you have any strange reading quirks? Do we share any?

*I’m going to take next week off from blogging. I’ll still be hopping around and reading your posts, but my creative juices are lacking and I think a week off will help! πŸ™‚

IMUO vol. 2

Waaay back in September 2016 I wrote a post about my unpopular opinions. I stand by everything I wrote except I now occasionally use “live your best life” jokingly and I watch basketball (the Cavs) with my husband. Anyway, I’m back again with more.

I don’t like The Avengers.
It’s not that I don’t like them as much as I just don’t have time to watch it all. I love Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men, but I’ve only seen Iron Man and Captain America as far as “avengers” go. After this last movie am I going to be totally lost when the next X-Men or GotG movie comes out?! Why do we have to combine them all?? It just seems like a lot to keep on top of…

I hate the term “Girl Boss.”
I’m totally ok with making things more feminine if that’s your style (pink jerseys, lace on tool belts, etc.). It’s not my style, but all kinds of kinds, right? However, if you’re a female in a management role or a female business owner then you’re just a BOSS. It’s not a man’s phrase because it’s not a man’s world. It’s your world and you’re running it. Be a BOSS.
(Turns out Nadine mentioned hating this phrase in the comments of my last IMUO post!)

I don’t understand the Cardi B craze.
This might not be unpopular. She may not be a hit with people over the age of 25. I don’t know. Either way, I can’t get into her. I’m not a big rap fan anyway so I think this is pretty normal for me. She just seems like the next big thing and I’m a little clueless and uninterested.

I love Instagram Stories.
Man… I waste SO much time with IG stories. I love seeing pictures or watching people talk about their day or an experience. I don’t mind boomerangs or food pics or videos. Two things I don’t like: videos of concerts and videos of super loud noises. Other than that, I’m entertained for hours by these clips.

I live for rainy days.
You know how some people wait and wait for the sun to come out and make comments like, “What’s that thing?” whenever it finally does? That’s how I feel about rain and overcast days. There’s just something extra cozy about a dreary day. In the same breath…

I STILL hate summer.
I know we’ve been waiting 17 years for the snow to stop and the sun to show herself, but I’m over it now. I opened my windows for a hot second and I shed my coat for a few days. I’m ready for the leaves to change & the temperature to drop. Sorry not sorry, guys. I just looove fall & winter.

I’ll relent just a bit. There are parts of warm weather that I enjoy- evening walks with the dogs, driving with the windows down, ice cream shops being open… but after about a month of all that I’m ready for fall πŸ˜‰

What are some of your unpopular opinions? I won’t judge you πŸ˜‰

Very Random Thursday Thoughts

I’ve had some thoughts lately but I don’t know that any of them are complete enough to be a post on their own…

I original wrote a sentence that said “My style has changed SO much in the last 15 years”, but then I went to find photographic proof and actually it hasn’t. Hahaha. It’s varied in degrees, but I feel like I have this borderline grunge/comfortable/country road sense of style. Audrey, what the hell does that mean? Well, that means that I wear a lot of black and dark colored neutrals. I prefer jeans, sweatshirts, and vans over anything else. I love my cowboy boots, cutoff shorts (that don’t reveal my buttcheeks), and oversized shirts. I also love being barefoot. My last job required me to dress office casual (shift/casual dresses, dress pants, nice shirt) but this job doesn’t and I am IN MY ELEMENT. Today I’m wearing cutoff army green shorts, a muscle tank, and an open black plaid flannel with lace-up Vans. Living my best life, guys.

I believe that the female world is shifting… I was perusing Met Gala pictures and I noticed all the uplifting comments on female pictures from other female celebrities. I think that’s a direct reflection of the female shift. Gone are the days of catty gossip and backstabbing frienemies. It’s cool to be kind and petty to be anything else. Don’t get me wrong, girls hating girls is still a thing. I know I have moments of jealous and cattiness despite preaching love and support. We all falter and slip. But dang, sisters! I feel like the unity and power born from the last, oh, let’s say 3 years, has really taken hold. I feel like I am constantly looking to uplifting and complimentary people to help change my heart and mind and attitude.

Also, I think a HUGE part of becoming a happy adult is surrounding yourself with amazing people. After an unpleasant or disrespectful exchange with someone I always wonder why I allow that person to continue to be a part of my life. I have a fantastic husband, incredible parents/in-laws/siblings, and doting friends. It’s ridiculous to carry around the emotional baggage of hurtful people.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this here or not, but we added someone to the office staff at work. For the last +1 year it’s just been K and I in the office, but in April the guy that I was hired to replace actually came back. He’s no stranger- I’ve known him (and his girlfriend-turned-wife) for 8 years and K has known him for over 12. I was a little worried about the change since K and I are used to be alone. But guys… I love it. Ha! It’s another person to talk to and he makes coffee in the morning so it’s fresh and hot when I get in (K doesn’t drink coffee) and it’s just nice have another brain to bounce things off of. I don’t have a point to this paragraph- I’m just updating you on my work life. Lol

I love the song Good Morning by Max Frost. It’s uplifting and upbeat and even kind of spiritual. You don’t usually get all three of those in a Top 40s song!

My husband got me an Apple watch for Christmas and this past weekend we went and upgrade my iPhone (because it was looong overdue). I know this sounds incredibly materialistic, but it just feels so REFRESHING to have working technology that keeps me on time and in the know.

I don’t love the look of my blog. I just updated it a few weeks ago but I think I’m going to mess with it again.

**HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my wonderful in-laws AND my husband’s grandparents (who are celebrating 60 YEARS!)!!

Anyway… I feel like I haven’t been super open or thoughtful in this space lately so I wanted to share some of the things rolling around my brain right now. I’d love to hear some of your recent random thoughts, too!

“What Do You Do?”

I believe that we’re in control of what defines us. And while there are hundreds of things that define the person I am (dogs, coffee, books, Harry Potter…), my job is a pretty big one. I know that’s not the case for everyone. Some people work to live & some live to work & some fall in between. It takes all kinds of kinds. I feel fortunate that I love my job and I love making it a priority.

When I’m getting to know a blogger I always wonder are they married? Do they have pets? What books do they like to read? What job do they have outside of blogging? For me the answers are yes, two dogs, most books, and my official title is Director of Operations.

In 2012 my soon-to-be husband started a goods-based company out of my dad’s garage. With dedication and sacrifice he built the company into an international brand in its niche industry. As I’ve mentioned, at the start of 2017 I left my job and started with K’s company full time. Since then, the employee/friend that I was hired to replace has joined the team again, our job duties have been redistributed, and the company has grown even more.

My role, reassigned as recently as this month, requires me to wear many hats. I handle all the finances- income & expenses. I process orders, get them out to the warehouse, and track their progress from beginning to end. I schedule all the freight and packages that leave our dock and I relay their progress to our customers. I also keep track of lots of lists… I know every high school, drum corps., college, and independent drumline using our products. I believe we have product in every single state except North Dakota and Alaska. Someday… someday…

A few times throughout the year I get to travel (and do all that stuff ^ on the road- oof). We travel for two main reasons- state/regional trade shows OR music-based competitions. This past weekend we were on the road for a competition- the musical Superbowl for indoor percussion ensembles, known as WGIΒ  Percussion World Championships. We are less sales-focused on weekends like that and more relationship-driven. We check in on customers already using our gear, cheer on their performances, and congratulate the folks that fall under our professional umbrella. It’s a really enjoyable event- especially when you like the people you’re with- but it’s early mornings, extremely late nights, lots of social interaction, and a TON of walking. I walked 28 miles from Tuesday to Sunday.

On trade show weeks it’s equal sales and relationship focus. We set up our booth, stand around and talk shop for 8 to 12 hours a day for three days, go out late to wine and dine friends, customers, and colleagues, and tear it all down and move products at the end. Equally exhausting. (Pretty much everything is exhausting, lol.)

When I was in high school I went to some of these events. I was starstruck by the world class competitors and giddy with excitement over free stickers and lanyards from the company promo booths. It’s very humbling and rewarding to work on the other side and see students get excited about the things I help to facilitate. I really, really love it. I think 15 year old Audrey would be impressed.

So that’s what I do. There is my consolidated job description. The stuff we make and sell are the carts and racks that hold synthesizers, mixer boards, cymbals, and drums.

Jason Porter Media

This job forces me to have knowledge on the always-changing world of music education as well as the competitive marching industry. I love that challenge. Additionally, I’m a rare female in an extremely male dominated pond and I find that to be a motivating challenge, too. (I’m always watching for shifts in this demographic and I get excited when I see more females on both the vendor and consumer sides.)

Coming off the high of this past weekend, I was inspired to share a little about my real-life job. Don’t feel obligated to do the same, but if you want to I’d love to hear what you do during the work day! Or, if you feel kind of meh about letting a job define you, tell me about something you love to do πŸ™‚ Or ask me a question about something I do!

Coffee Break- Love & Hate Edition

Hello, beautifuls. I’m linking up with Kristen today for our coffee date. To spice things up I’m giving it a love/hate theme, although hate might be a strong word.

Before I begin, Happy Birthday (yesterday) to my Momma!

If we were getting drinks I’d have a cup of very strong coffee- with quite a bit of cream. No sugar, thanks.

First I’d ask if you got any of the storms that swept the Midwest on Tuesday night. If you saw my IG stories then you already know I was up half the night with a quaking dog. I’m very grateful that we didn’t have to hide in the basement from tornadoes or sit in the dark with no power, but I’ll still whine about my lack of sleep and the nonexistent cable and internet. And poor Lylee shaves years off her life when she worries and pants and shakes like that. Sigh. I spent the whole night on the couch with the scaredy-bear. HATE.

I’d ask what you’re watching lately. I’d 100% recommend The Good Place and Superstore. TGP just finished its second season and Superstore is still in its 2nd so you canΒ absolutely binge & catch up. K and I are watching The Office on Netflix. We just finished up season 4. I want to check out Champions and Splitting Up Together, too. LOVE.

If we were drinking coffee I’d ask how you’re sleeping at night. We tried melatonin but it completely screwed with us, especially in the mornings. Right now I’m taking an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxer at night for my back and I’ve been getting a.m.a.z.i.n.g. sleep… but I know it’s short lived since I can’t be on muscle relaxers forever. Lol. HATE.

As we were refilling and warming our drinks I’d ask if you sawΒ Stephanie’s Clutter List?? After work I’m so unmotivated to do anything but spring cleaning is definitely on my mind right now. LOVE.

A few weeks ago K was gone on business and I took myself shopping. Both Lindsay and Steph have mentioned ON on their blogs and I treated myself to some new dresses and shirts. Everything was on sale and it’s all SO comfy!! I think it’s all on sale still! I got:

yellow off the shoulder | red stripe swing | black stripe swing

Before we finished our drinks I’d ask you if your library offers Hoopla. I just discovered this resource and it’s amazing! I can instantly borrow & download movies and music and ebooks from my library. How I only just discovered this platform, I don’t know. It’s definitely been helpful when it comes to materials for The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collab. πŸ˜‰ LOVE

Before we parted ways I’d ask about your Easter weekend! (If you don’t celebrate Easter then I’d ask what fun things you did over the weekend!) We always have church and lunch with my family plus an egg hunt and kite flying. Then K’s family comes to our house for dinner and we head to his grandparents’ for dessert and another egg hunt. My weekend had lots of cleaning, cooking, and family.

That was a lot of ground to cover! Did I miss anything? Fill me in on what’s new with you before we abandon our mugs and get back to adulting ❀︎

What's New With You