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

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Nine.

I started dating Kyle nine years ago today. I was 17 years old and a totally different person than I am at 26. I was smaller (sigh, haha) and less stable and more dramatic and less sure of myself. I look at 17-year-olds now and think, ‘You’re such a little baby.’

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If it doesn’t come across clearly in other posts, let it be known that I absolutely love my husband. I love him more now that I did nine years ago. And this post might come off as bragging, but I don’t know how to express my pride for him any other way. (And I think it’s really important to be proud of your significant other.)

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Kyle is the kind of guy that would rather spend four years building a business than buy a lottery ticket and make a million that way. (Of course, we’d absolutely take a winning lottery ticket if you’ve got one…) He’s the kind of man that doesn’t shy away from crying babies. He’s the type that doesn’t stand for abuse- whether it’s a human or an animal. He hangs out with my grandpa and takes the time to go to breakfast with the men in his family. He prides himself on a perfectly grilled steak and wants to share his excess with those who really need it. He knows that sometimes I just need quiet time to get lost in a book, but he still badgers me to come and watch TV with him because he likes being in the same room as me.

circa. 2010
circa. 2010

He’s clever and kind, witty and hilarious, observant and thoughtful. He is my favorite human on the planet and I feel so lucky that I get to do life with him. We’re both stubborn and arrogant- we argue and get annoyed. He still hasn’t figure out the mystery of the clothing hamper or how to clean up his facial hair from the sink (and he gets annoyed that I bite my nails and leave my keys in the unlocked car), but I will have those fights over and over again, forever and ever- so long as they’re with him.

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We’ve done a lot, but I know we’ve got so much more to do and see and experience. I’m so happy to co-pilot this life with Kyle. And if you’re looking to do life with another human I hope you find someone that compliments you as well as my husband does me. It makes life so sweet and full and fun ❤︎

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My Role Models

On Monday I am going to recap my Spring Cleaning to-do list, but Monday is also my parents’ 29th anniversary. Keeping with the theme, Sunday is Father’s Day. My parents aren’t super keen on appearing on my blog, but today I’m going to talk about them.

My family has always consisted of Mom, Dad, Fred, and myself (plus a sprinkle of pets). As children, Fred and I knew that we were lucky to have parents that were married to one another. A lot of my brother’s friends had divorced parents and he fretted about it. (I remember he once got upset because Mom & Dad disagreed on a TV station.) Never once in my +25 years have I worried about my parents splitting up.

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When I was younger if you’d have asked me who my hero(s) was I probably would’ve drawn a blank. For the most part I didn’t idolize anyone. Or at least I didn’t think I did.

It’s stupid that it took me years to realize that my parents are two of the best people in my life. Until recently, my parents weren’t my friends. Until recently, they didn’t want to be my friends. They wanted to be teachers and counselors and guides- but not my friends. When I became an adult that changed.

I was a mouthy teenager. I was much kinder to my dad than my mom. I was moody and anxious and secretive. Those were crappy years for Mom. But they never, ever told me not to hang out with people. They never told me to quit an activity or class or project. They welcomed our friends and always provided food or shelter or love to the kids (and pets) that Fred and I brought home. They drove me from A to B and celebrated when I got my license and cheered when I graduated from high school and worried a little but also beamed with joy when K asked me out. Despite all that, they often got the nasty, hurtful, scowling side of me.

But something changed when I graduated college. Our relationship shifted. A veil of angst was lifted and I could clearly see everything they’d done for me (and Fred) over the course of my life. And I realized that all my habits and thoughts and manners and wisdom were a direct product of their parenting.

Mom once told me that she tells Dad everything. She said they keep my secrets as a couple, but she won’t keep things from my dad- they parent together. I also watched them plant gardens together and travel together and talk about money together. And after a few years of my own marriage I realize that I model our marriage on my mom and dad. K knows everything about me and we can do anything together. I have so much respect for him and I take pride in his accomplishments- just like my parents do with one another.

(C)Ryan Armbrust Sniper Photo LLC
(C)Ryan Armbrust Sniper Photo LLC

The relationship I have with Mom and Dad couldn’t have existed when I was younger. Their roles were different; my attitude and behavior was different. I appreciate the traveling and the chores and the restrictions they implemented when I was young. And I now appreciate the confidence and love and support and friendship they offer now.

I look forward to calling Mom on a Saturday morning and asking if she wants run errands with me or see a movie. K and my dad go to lunch together and work on projects or vehicles alongside one another. Sometimes they call one another to chat. We spend Saturday nights in their backyard around a fire with my parents and their friends. The shift from ward to friend was seamless. I don’t even know when it happened.

So in honor of Father’s Day, I just wanted to say that my dad and mom are incredible at parenting. They really were (and are) amazing at being “mom” and “dad.” And in honor of their 29th anniversary, my parents are role models. I didn’t know it for the longest time, but they really have raised me to be the woman, adult, wife, and friend that I am. I am so grateful to be their daughter.

On a different note, Happy Birthday to my soon-to-be-sister, Christina
and to our 5 yearold husky-bear, Lylee!

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Canada, Oh Canada | Part 2

Welcome back, travel bugs! If you need to catch up quick, here’s Part 1!

Sunday morning started with a beautiful sunrise over the falls! We’d left our curtains open to see the illuminated falls, plus we were high enough that privacy wasn’t an issue, so I woke up to this!

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We had a 10:40am appointment to do “Journey Behind the Falls” so we got some Starbucks, browsed the gift store for future purchases, and then took an elevator down to the base of the falls!

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This was so, so cool. We were behind the waterfall! It was chilly & wet but a pretty awesome experience with information cards and facts along the way. Also, the crowds were SO manageable and appreciated by this introvert!

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My hubby & I love history and historic facts, so this was our cup of tea!

After our adventure we got some lunch, bought some souvenirs for our favorite dog sitter (THANK YOU!) and our favorite baby Elliot, and then headed back to the hotel to change clothes for our next adventure.

"You have to look at the phone or it'll look like you're looking up." So the smarty looked at the phone...
“You have to look at the phone or it’ll look like you’re looking up.” So the smart-aleck looked at the phone…

I purchased a Wonder Pass for a very discounted price before we left Ohio and it included access to Niagara’s Fury, Journey Behind the Falls, and a trip to the Butterfly Conservatory. We stopped at the latter on our way up north to the lake.

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I hate bugs, but that was pretty neat. Next stop, Niagara-on-the-Lake!

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This little house reminded me of Alice in Wonderland
This little house reminded me of Alice in Wonderland

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Cows

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We walked around, browsed some shops, and snacked on ice cream. Originally we planned on doing a ghost walk at 8pm, but we were tired and hungry so at 5pm we had dinner at Cork’s Winery and went back to the hotel to lounge and journal.

We left bright and early on Monday so K could get back to work. He’s a work-aholic fo sho’.

Happy Anniversary, Baby!

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 -Louise

 

My Full Heart

Two years ago at this time (10pm) I was freshly married and dancing amongst our fabulous wedding guests. I had no idea where I’d be two year later. I definitely can’t complain.

Right now I’m camped out on our couch, snacking on a delicious yellow cake (with chocolate frosting) baked fresh by my wonderful mother-in-law. I’m watching Once Upon a Time in hopes of catching up by next Sunday, and I’m hearing my two beautiful pups chomping on bones. Funny enough, Kyle just walked through the backdoor after a half-day of work. I don’t know if my heart could be happier right now.

On Saturday K and I left for Niagara Falls (Canada side) and we returned home this afternoon around 1. We were met at the door with wagging tails and puppy kisses. It was a short trip, but a perfect one. This evening I rode with my mom to a neighboring city and spent some time perusing Target and getting dinner with her. It’s been a wonderful day.

My heart is so happy and grateful and full and excited to start Year #3.

-Louise

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey