Waitress in Cleveland

My talented, vivacious, beautiful friend Aubrey offered me two tickets to see Waitress at Playhouse Square in Cleveland last month, so I invited my mom along and we made a night of it! (We had less than 24 hours notice so it was a whirlwind!)

Knowing how Cleveland gets on a Friday night, Mom and I arrived in the city roughly 2 hours before showtime. (Fortunately the Cavs were out of town!) We parked across from the theater and decided to find some noms before the show. Rookie mistakes: Reservations are a must in Cleveland on a Friday night in the theater district. Lol

Fortunately, after putting our names on a waiting list and flashing our puppy-dog eyes, we snagged a table at Cowell & Hubbard, an upscale eatery a block down from the show. Our sever was only three days into his job and so nervous but so so good! He explained all the specials to us and obliged our weird orders and time restraints.

Mom and I each got an appetizer. She ordered Foie Gras (BLEH) and I got chicken spring rolls. Our second course was a cup of tomato bisque for me and Brussels sprouts salad for Mom.

To be totally honest, nothing really impressed me (except the service). My soup was ok but not spectacular and my chicken spring rolls weren’t the best I’d ever had. But then we ordered dessert…

Oh em gee. My caramel apple cheesecake was awesome. Mom got the peanut butter and jelly creme brulee and it was killer. Seriously… a ridiculously good note to end on.

After dinner we hightailed it to the box office to retrieve out tix and find our seats. After a quick hug and “hello” to Aubrey and her fiancee Alyssa we found our seats and settled in.

I loved this musical. There were a handful of story lines that I didn’t agree with, but I think that’s what made the story so beautiful and relateable and real. All the characters were flawed but the best ones exuded so much kindness. And the music? Sara Bareilles is a composing goddess. If this musical comes to a theater near you, I recommend you go 🙂

Thank you to my mom for going with me last minute! (And for reserving judgement when I cried like a toddler for the last 20 minutes of the show.) And THANK YOU to Aubrey for the tickets!!

The best part might have been Sara Bareilles coming out at the final curtain. I just really love her. It made me cry even harder.
When spontaneous nights are this incredible it lifts your soul.

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My Friend Aubrey

I openly admit that I love food and I hate working out. I don’t even necessarily like good food- just any food. I’m a horrible inspiration to others and my “Work Out” board on Pinterest is collecting cobwebs.

My friend Aubrey is 210% the exact opposite. First of all, that girl can cook. It is her passion and, lucky for her, she’s incredible at it. She once made a cheese and cracker tray that had me in tears because it was so fantastic. She also has a job working in a fancy-schmancy kitchen so if you’re ever in Cleveland you should swing by Rockefeller’s and taste the heaven that comes from her kitchen.

Deep fried beer cheese polenta bites made by Aubrey.
Deep fried beer cheese polenta bites made by Aubrey.

Another fun fact about Aubrey is that she is incredibly beautiful. Her skin is flawless and her hair looks amazing, even when she doesn’t wash it. (I usually only compliment her unknowingly on these days.) I have known Aubrey since 5th grade. My first impression was, ‘Who is this girl and why is she so opinionated and loud?‘ Haha!

Our friend Kayla, Aubrey, and me
Our friend Kayla, Aubrey, and me

So why does Aubrey get her own blog post? Well, my friend has always struggled with her weight and I’ve watched her gain and lose throughout the years. She has always had an incredibly bright smile but it shines even brighter right now because Aubrey has lost 100 lbs. and is pursuing her dreams and living a positive, proactive life.

100pounds

Aubrey took matters into her own hands and started losing weight by eating right and exercising. She had gastric bypass surgery in the fall and has continued to discipline herself and meet her goals. She is the happiest I have ever seen her and it’s because she has a girlfriend that loves her, family that love her, friends that love her, and, most importantly, she loves herself.

Aubrey’s girlfriend, Alyssa, has also lost a lot of weight. They seriously live in a house of inspiration and awesomeness.

I have watched Aubrey triumph, fail, struggle, laugh, cry, and change over the last 13 years (13 years?! What?) We have butted heads and yelled at each other and shared secrets and she stood beside me in my wedding. I have watched her go from hating cats to loving cats, singing opera to cooking professionally, dating men to finding the love of her life in Alyssa, and being a kid to being a teen to being an adult. She is one of the strongest people I know- the future holds nothing but success and happiness for her because she has taken her life into her own hands and makes it into what she wants. I am so honored and blessed to call her my friend.

Aubrey

Love you, Aubz. I’m so proud of you and happy to be a part of your life!

-Louise

 

 

 

 

Married in Cleveland

This weekend K and I headed to Cleveland to celebrate the holy matrimony of a college friend/roommate and her fabulous man.

Amanda and John are two of the classiest human beings I know. John is the definition of “Renaissance Man” and Amanda is a pie-baking, dress-wearing, tea-loving feminist. They are also two of the smartest, nicest people I know- and they totally deserve each other.

This is one of their incredibly gorgeous engagement photos.
This is one of their incredibly gorgeous engagement photos.

Cleveland, Ohio is a two hour drive for the husband and I, so we loaded up the car around 11:30am last Saturday and made our way north.

Invitation
Invitation

We looked pretty darn good…

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They asked that no pictures be taken at the wedding, so I refrained, but it was a beautiful ceremony. Halfway through the groom tried to kiss the bride and she held him back, telling him “not yet” while the preacher jokingly reprimanded him. Instead of a unity candle or sand ceremony, the bride and groom washed one another’s feet, similar to how Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and hosts. They cleaned off the dirt from their pasts so that they could move forward washed anew. During the feet washing ceremony my college pal Dana sang “Where I Land” by J.J. Heller and played ukelele. It was an incredible moment.

I messed up and didn't get a picture of the program, but here's Dana and I!
I messed up and didn’t get a picture of the program, but here’s Dana and I!

The ceremony ended around 3 and the reception began at 6, so we decided to wander around the little “village” of Coventry. We visited a thrift store, game shop, and an antique store.

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While perusing the antique store a little stray dog wandered in.

Other Shopper: Um I think a dog wandered in.
Dana: What happened to [Louise]?
K: Well, if there’s a dog in here, she’s probably with it.
Not a second went by before I came through the door with the dog in my hand.

We didn’t find his owner, but a wonderful woman offered to take him and walk him around the area and look for his parent(s). Thank goodness for her, or we’d have a third dog.

Knowing the dog was in good hands, we left Coventry and hit up Starbucks before making our way to Night Town for the reception!

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Dana & her hubby, Jamie

We had a short cocktail hour, then headed to our seats. Table 11, y’all!

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The atmosphere was excellent and the food was AWESOME. I had the Dublin Lawyer.

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The evening was filled with cake, dancing, and some really adorable family speeches.

John comes from a Lebanese background. He also has a deaf mother and father. During the speeches his grandfather read a beautiful letter to John and Amanda, saying how the day was the happiest of his life and he could now peacefully pass on. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry…

John holding the light while his grandfather read his letter.
John holding the light while his grandfather read his letter.

The cake was yummy, the card box was crafty, and the couple was 1920’s perfection.

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The newly weds are now headed to Arizona to begin their life together!

Thanks for letting us witness your beautiful day, Amanda and John!

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Here’s a bonus (Snapchat) picture of my adorable workaholic husband taking a business call during cocktail hour.

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-Louise