A Picture Perfect Weekend

Last month my other best friend got married & it was the most picture perfect weekend imaginable. Her job is curating beautiful images and stories on IG, so it kind of goes without saying that her wedding weekend was stunning.

Aubrey is the creative genius behind That’s What She Eats. We went to high school together and she lived in Cleveland, OH before jet setting off to FL with her then-girlfriend, now-wife Megan. (I cried when they moved.) (Fortunately, they’re coming back eventually!) Since CLE has their heart (& most of their friends and family live in OH), they had their wedding up north.

Like Kayla’s wedding (when Aubrey stayed with me), Kayla and I stayed together at an AirBNB in Lakewood. Our husbands were there, too. We were in Cleveland from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.

It was the typical wedding weekend schedule (rehearsal & dinner / ceremony & reception / next-day brunch), but not also not typical at all.

Aub & Megan rented several AirBNBs for the weekend. A house in the Ohio City/Tremont area was used for the rehearsal & after-reception party, we used some lofts in Hingetown for morning-of prep, and a little restaurant in Lakewood was the setting for the ceremony and reception dinner.

After a laidback rehearsal, a few speeches, and a delicious dinner, the wedding crowd mostly cleared out of the backyard and K, Kayla, her husband Connor, and I went to work. It was our job to put the after-reception party together. With some pre-planning, we were able to transform the yard in about two hours. K and Connor hung fairy lights along the 2nd floor balcony and across the backyard. Kayla and I moved tables around, set up a little bar corner, and added the lounge furniture that we hauled from home. With only a few finishing touches to add the following day, we called it a night and went home to rest up for the big day.

The wedding was beautiful & intimate. There were less than 45 guests and I think I knew 35 of them? Haha. That’s what happens when you’ve been friends for 20+ years. Also, when you’ve been friends for that long the bride might ask you to speak during the ceremony. Which she did. So Kayla and I did. Aubrey’s mom and Megan’s mom wrote letters to their future daughters-in-law (SOB FEST) and then Kayla and I gave a short speech on friendship. Aubrey and Megan followed all of us up by saying really kind things to one another, then making their status as wife & wife official! It was beautiful ❤️

The dinner that followed was d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. obviously. Kayla and I slipped out a little early and headed to the after-party house to put on the tablecloths, centerpieces, and set out dessert. Honestly, the day couldn’t have gone smoother. We were home and in bed by 11:30pm. (WIN!)

The next day brunch was a partial ode to the newly weds and ode to the Browns game. LOL. We stayed for a bit and visited, hugged our new brides EXTRA tight, packed up the car, and drove back home to see our blonde baby. We ended the weekend with full hearts and tummies.

A&M cultivated their weekend beautifully. They kept it small, they included so many personal elements, and they made the people involved feel loved and taken care of. (Hopefully we made them feel loved, too.)

Congratulations, Aubrey and Megan ❤️ We love you SO much and can’t wait until you’re back in OH on a permanent basis!

-Aud

An Extraordinarily Normal Weekend

I know the CDC is still making recommendations and states are revising their masks laws, but this past weekend was the most normal I’ve felt in such a long time. It was lovely and revitalizing and had me feeling warm and fuzzy and overwhelmingly grateful by Sunday night.

On Saturday one of my best friends in the whole wide world got married. I was her matron of honor and spent a large part of the weekend with her and her wonderful family. (They’re the kind of people you just enjoy being around; always laughing, always kind.)

My other best friend was the maid of honor and she stayed with us. Having her and her fiancee in the house was icing on the cake to a weekend-long celebration.

I know times are still weird. Honestly, Moo ended last week with a COVID test and if it’d come back positive, our weekend would’ve looked very different. But she was negative and we deduced that a double ear infection was the cause of her sickness. She now feels better and was even able to attend the wedding until grandma took her home for a sleepover.

And don’t get me started on the wedding day. So much love and peacefulness and celebration. I don’t think there was one single moment the bride would’ve changed- it was a perfect day.

We literally danced the night away. K and I were the last ones out of the venue- haha. I had such an incredible time. I think all the guests did.

It was weird to have a day that just felt so NORMAL. I think almost every guest was vaccinated. We wore masks when around the food. People were seated in pods but free to get up and move around. There was dancing and toasts and cake and lots of alcohol. It was such a normal, great day.

My soul didn’t know I was missing all of that until it was over. Sunday night I was folding laundry in our room, thinking about how nice it was to have a normal party with little reservations.

Today I wore my mask to the grocery store. I have not throw all caution to the wind and I know there is a time and place for intimate gatherings… but I hope that you’re able to have a little taste of normalcy soon. It feels so, so good to just relax for a moment and soak in the closeness of others. And that’s coming from an introvert.

Congratulations, Kayla and Connor ♥️ I hope you’re enjoying the hell outta St. Lucia.

Happy Halloween Party Recap 🎃

Happy Halloween, ghouls & goblins!! 
(Can we pause & freak out about the fact that it’s the END of October?)

In celebration of Halloween I’m sharing details from our annual party! It was pretty low key. We had about 25 guests and some yummy snack foods and drinks.

Our party didn’t have a theme this year so we saw lots of fun costumes!

The Bandit & Frog

The littlest SCUBA diver, her momma jellyfish, & daddy shark

HONDA employee (my dad impersonating my brother) & Ratatouille chef

My devilish sister-in-law and Stewart from Letterkenny

A whole bunch of characters

K and I decided we were going to be G.D. Americans- a spoof on the aggressive, harsh, unrelenting “American.” Truth be told… I didn’t have to buy a single part of my outfit. Mainly because I DO wear these clothes to concerts and stuff. LOL

Any time someone tried to talk politics or tell me something America-related I got in their face and asked if they thought they were a better American than me. Honestly, we probably could’ve topped it off with a certain red hat and confederate flag bandanas, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to spend money on that stuff.

I tried to determine if this costume was offensive before we chose it. We didn’t target a demographic & we are Americans poking fun at the extreme “Americans.” So we went with it. And if we’d have offended any right-wingers I was fully prepared to call them a snowflake 😏

On to the food…

Our last few guests trickled out (or went up to bed) around 1:30am, then K and I c.r.a.s.h.e.d. (And then Bristol had a lovely spell of diarrhea in our room around 4:45am SIGH.)

I say it every year, but the day after our Halloween party is one of my favorite days of the year. We lay around and don’t leave the house and watch NASCAR and relax. At times I wonder if I put myself through the party just to earn the day after.

We had trick-or-treaters Tuesday night & we’ve got another party on Saturday, then our Spooky Season is officially over. What fun things did you do this year?

Showing Up & Being A Friend

I scheduled this post to go live at noon because about an hour ago my best friend and I showed up on an island 600+ miles from home to surprise our other best friend. I highly doubt she’d have read my blog this morning, but we’ve been working on making this happen for a few months now and I didn’t want to be the one to blow it. Shout out to Kayla for making the long-ass through-the-night drive with me & to Megan for essentially putting this whole thing into motion.

A big theme in blog world is finding your people or finding your tribe or keeping close to framily or… You know what I mean. We call them different things, but they’re the people that (usually) aren’t related by blood that we’d do absolutely anything for.

I had lots of friends in school and I hopped around a lot. In elementary school I considered a girl named Lindsey to be my bff (but I had many, many close friends). In middle school I fell in with a girl named Ali. In high school my best friend’s name was Sam & in college it was Sarah. I still talk to those woman, sometimes often (except one- which hopefully maybe will change as we get older?), but we’re not best friends and we’ve all gone our separate ways and we’re doing really well.

It makes me sad that young Audrey let those relationships crumble, but I also know that some people are in our lives forever and some aren’t, and there are different levels of involvement those people have throughout our lives.

That makes me all the more grateful when I think about my people right now. We show up for each other’s birthdays. When we get a few free minutes we hop on the phone and try to catch up between meal prep or kids’ doctor appointments or client visits. Anything noteworthy is immediately shared in the group text where successes are celebrated and disappointments are lamented. We’re spread out and busy, but we make the time because we love one another.

Also, I LOVE blogging because I’ve met so many amazing, supportive, genius, beautiful, strong women here! (And you guys showering me with birthday wishes last week made my heart burst.) So I fully believe tribes can be found off and online, as well as with people you haven’t met face-to-face.

What I’m getting at here is: Find your people. Find your tribe. Grow your family to framily. Invest in the bank of friendship and don’t be afraid to ask for that love and support back- it’s why they’re there. And if things change that’s ok. People change and circumstances change. You know the people you know for a reason- even if it’s not forever.

So send a text to your friend or give them a call. Hell, write them a letter! (I love getting letters.) Remember to show up & make the time & give the energy. Be there when they need you most and accept them into your space when things aren’t going well. It really is what friends are for ❤

The Bridesmaid Diaries

I’m not sure how things work with the men, but the ladies’ side of a wedding party can get nuts. (I’m pretty sure most men smuggle in flasks, make jokes about it “not being too late to run…”, and bitch about uncomfortable rental shoes.) If you’ve ever been in a bridal party maybe you’ve experience these types of women:

The takes-herself-too-seriously maid/matron of honor. You can reach out and ask if she needs help, but Ashley has everything taken care of. She’s even stuck personalized labels on all 87 water bottles at the bridal shower. If you need anything you can get a hold of her with the number she printed on the bottom of the ‘day-of’ itinerary she passed out at the rehearsal dinner.

The I’m-over-it maid/matron of honor. Excited at first, but then fully consumed by med school. She let the bridesmaids plan the bridal shower, took the bride to a dive bar for the bachelorette party, and she forgot her shoes on the day of the wedding. You know she and the bride are never speaking again after the big day.

The I-should-be-the-maid-of-honor bridesmaid. After the maid of honor gives her speech, Victoria stands to give hers. At the shower she low-key takes charge and rolls her eyes at the streamers and balloon hung by the m.o.h. And dress shopping? She will literally claw your eyes out to sit between the bride and the bride’s mother.

The flower girl/ring bearer’s mom bridesmaid. Raising kids is tough work and she’s been a little absent from the pre-wedding festivities. (Hell, y’all didn’t bother inviting her to the bachelorette party.) Getting kids to behave and perform at a wedding after getting their hair done, missing their nap, and strapping them into an itchy dress is damn near impossible. Someone get this woman a medal and a dirty martini at the reception.

The shit-show bridesmaid. Sometimes she responds to the group chat, sometimes she doesn’t. The bride bought her bridesmaid dress just to ensure she’d have it in time for the wedding. Her phone is dead 75% of the time, she’s late for every get together, and you’re pretty sure she came to the bridesmaid brunch in pajamas. For whatever reason, the bride keeps her around.

The friend-since-elementary-school bridesmaid. Since she still lives in the same town as the bride, she’s available and present at every event. As long as she has time to schedule off from her nursing job at the hospital, Lanie can show up to any event and help with any last minute details. Plus the bride’s parents just love her.

The college-friend bridesmaid. With a million inside jokes fresh on her mind, she’s always throwing out a quip that makes the bride laugh and give her that, ‘I’m glad you’re here’ look. Unfortunately, the open bar and single groomsman at the reception are her #1 focus as the night progresses.

The new-friend-bridesmaid. Having only met a year ago through work, this hip chick and the bride have bonded over girls’ nights out, monthly book club, and Sunday coffee dates. Will the friendship will last forever? Who knows. The wedding pictures will, though.

The sister-of-the-groom bridesmaid. While you’re sure she loves (or will grow to love) the bride, we all know she’s working her tail off trying to keep her beloved brother happy and put together. She’ll ensure that the whole show runs smoothly and on-time for the sake of her parents’ friends (a.k.a. the wedding guests).

The girlfriend-of-the-bride’s-brother bridesmaid. Let’s be real, Kelsey doesn’t give a shit about the wedding, the bride, or the nuptials. She just wants to hit up the open bar at dinner. She’s only been with the bride’s brother for 7 months and you’re pretty sure they’re on a break right now anyway, but it was too late to kick her out.


*Please pick up on the satire here. While I’m sure I’ve described some bridesmaids to a T, I’ve stood next wonderful people in weddings and don’t condone categorizing people into such general boxes 😉 I’m also a strong girls support girls advocate so, ya know, this is all in fun.

But also… one of these sounds familiar, right? Maybe you even identify as one. Haha. I know I do…