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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Chats with K on my B-day

(Did you notice my title rhymed?? All these chats didn’t happen today…)
In honor of my birthday (today!) I’m sharing a collection of conversations with my husband, otherwise known as ‘Chats with K.’ We’ve got some good ones today.

I needed a sound system setup for a wedding shower…
K: Do you want to use these speakers? I have two of them and a sub woofer in my office.
Me, walking into his office: What do they look like?
K: Um. One fell over right here. One fell on the floor under my desk. And the sub woofer is… uh.. I think it might be.. no…. I think it’s in this pile.
Me: Your office is quite the mysterious place, dear.

Still talking about speakers…
K: I’d like to get another Sonus or two for the new house but they’re expensive.
Me: I wish it was possible to read all the books in the world.
K: …I think we’re on two different strings of thought right now.

While walking down the NUT aisle at the grocery store…
K: Look at that big jar of nuts! I just want to stick my face in it!
Me: …you want to bury your face in those nuts?
K: I do.

I leaned in to give him a kiss for the first time that day…
K: Your breath smells like a trash panda.

K: You’re 26 going on 27. I’m going to need you to realize this and stop saying “ghosted” and “chill as f*ck.”
Me: I’m a millennial. I use millennial phrases. You’re a millennial, too.
K: No. I’m a baby boomer at heart.

In the same breath…
Me, while scrolling through thehomeedit: These pictures are giving me serious goals. I mean… not to sound like a millennial or anything.
K: Ha. Most millennials don’t have goals so I’d say you’re doing great.
(Here I reminded him, for the 14 millionth time, he’s a millennial.)

Me: Do you know how I know I’m getting sick?
K: Because you’re blowing your nose constantly?
Me: …well, I guess. But also because I’m so hungry.
K: Oh. Well of course.

K: It sucks that my appointment doesn’t start at the same time as yours.
Me: Yeah.
K: I’m just going to be sitting around, biting my tongue.
Me: …bidding your time?
K: No, biting my tongue. I just bite it. Damn it. That’s a day-ruiner.

Me: Did you hear Hugh Hefner died?
K: Yeah. He’s probably the only person that people don’t say, “Well he’s in a better place now” about.


When I turned 25 I flipped my lid but 27 doesn’t seem bad at all. Last weekend we spent our time celebrating our friends at their wedding and next weekend we’ll be burning calories moving all the remaining stuff into the new house. This birthday is truly sandwiched by incredible events and the most wonderful people. I feel very fortunate and happy today 🙂

Chats with K

Before we dive into our conversations… today is my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary! ❤︎ So I want to devote a paragraph or two to them real quick…

My parents are wonderful odd balls. (My brother and I got it honest.) My teenage years gave them (esp. my mom) a run for their money sanity, but as an adult I spend so much time with them. Mom and I still bicker sometimes & Dad and I shout over politics, but through the years I’ve learned so much about marriage and life from them. Honesty, forgiveness, understanding, and humor are the key ingredients to a happy relationship.

Bonnie & Clyde trying to steal the getaway-car thunder four years ago at our wedding…

So Happy THIRTIETH Anniversary to the animal-loving, garden-growing, child-raising, country-living parents that I’ve grown up loving and admiring. Fred and I are better people and better spouses because of you two. Thanks for everything! ❤︎

And now… a collection of random, weird conversations with the husband… 🙂

Me: You know… when I’m calm, I imagine these smooth-yet-wavy purple lines running through my body, carrying my calm energy to every limb. But right now I’m filled with these spiky hot pink and orange wiry balls just pulsing all throughout my insides because I’m so freakin’ anxious about all the things we have going on!
K: …your head is one f*cked up place to be, isn’t it?

In preparation for my garage sale…
Me: I’m pretty much done collecting stuff, but I wanted to ask if you had any shoes you wanted to get rid of.
K: No.
Me: …what about the ones in your office that you said you didn’t want.
*K glares at me.*
Me: So what you mean is ‘Yes, but I don’t want to take the time to look and weed them out.’

We’d been waiting almost two weeks for an important call…
K: Alright, Miss Cleo. You think they’re going to call today? What’re they going to say?
Me: Oh, Kyle. I don’t have that kind of foresight. I can’t predict when or how you’ll die, but I can predict that you’ll die.
K: Not me. I’ve hidden horcruxes everywhere. You’ll never get rid of me.
Me: …I so appreciate that reference, honey. But also I know two of them are the corvette and Lylee.

K was letting the dogs out and called me to the back patio.
K: This is either the biggest maggot I’ve ever seen or it’s the fattest, shortest worm.
Me: That’s a slug, dear.

Chats with K and more…

First order of business: Happy Birthday, Mom!
Secondly: K is my husband.

My mom called me but the call dropped almost immediately. Then she called back.
Me: Hello again.
Mom: Where ARE you??!
Me: Mom… you’re the one who dropped the call.
Mom: I know. I just wondered where you are.

. . .

While watching the Super Bowl in overtime.
Me: What the heck. Falcons had this. I don’t like Tom Brady. He’s a poophead.
K: A poophead, eh? That’s harsh.

. . .

Me: Self-pity doesn’t look good on you.
K: Everything looks good on me. Except sweaters.

. . .

K’s grandparents dropped off some candy at the office for us.
K: Do you have any Valentine’s Day candy left?
Me: …yes. What are you in the market for?
K: I’ll trade you these Skittles for something.
Me: You know I don’t eat Skittles.
*K gets up and starts to walk over.*
Me: Hey! Sit back down. You don’t get to raid my inventory.

. . .

Me: Alright, we’ve got to figure out lunch because I’m dying.
K: I’m not hungry yet.
Me: Fine. I’ll just get myself food. Maybe a bento box from Katana.
K: Get me a Hollywood roll.
Me: At this rate why don’t we just go eat there?!
K: I’m still full from my McDonald’s.
Me: AND THE TRUTH COMES OUT. No wonder you’re not hungry. You’ve been holding out on me.

. . .

Me: What would you do if I died?
K: Right now?
Me: Yes.
K: Probably drive you to a hospital.
Me: ….okay. I mean long term.
K: Oh. I don’t know.

. . .

We were sitting with a financial advisor discussing IRAs and K’s overall worth due to the business. The advisor stepped out of the office to get something and left us alone.
K (quietly): I’m worth more to you alive than dead.
Me: That’s true. For now…

. . .

I made a cleaning list to keep myself accountable. But then K saw it and decided to initial next to the chores he had completed.

And to be clear, by initialing next to “Load/Unload Dish Washer” he literally put his dinner plate in the rack. That’s it.

. . .

I’m glad we get each other’s somewhat dark humor. Ha.

Throwing a Party with +50 Guests

I was terrible about snapping pictures at Kyle’s 30th birthday party, but if you followed along on Snapchat you may have seen a few quick moments from the event. A few weeks ago I threw K a party and invited over 75 people. Roughly 50 to 60 showed up.

Only after I counted all the “yes” RSVPs did I realize that this party was going to be the size of a small wedding reception. (Whoops. ) I’m no stranger to throwing large parties, but it’s still a pretty daunting task. Just in case you were wondering, here’s how I did it and here’s how it went!

I made a Facebook event about 4-5 weeks in advance. While I love paper invites and prefer them 100xs over any kind of e-vite, FB was the way to cut costs and get the word out quickly.

We had the party in the company warehouse. Thank God for K’s employees Jake, Jordan, and K’s dad Jeff*. Together the five of us cleaned, rearranged, and set up the open space on Friday before the party. (It’s our slow-ish season so we were able to take a day and deep clean/set up.)

(* We only hire people with J names obviously, lol.)

This is how the warehouse typically looks. We cleaned and put everything in its place.

I sure wish I had an “after” photo. *facepalm* Anyway, we converted two of the workbenches into a salsa and taco bar and then set up another mobile workbench with the cakes (one decorated vanilla on vanilla and one yellow with chocolate frosting) and drinks (margaritas, beer, water).

We trailer-ed in three picnic tables and two long folding tables from my parents house for dining. We borrowed two sets of cornhole boards from my aunt and uncle, we borrowed a large backyard Jenga set from friends, and we set out Blockus, Twister, and domino men for the kids to play with. (Turns out the 2 to 4 year olds loved the domino men, I ended up playing Blockus at 12:45am, and no one touched Twister.)

We have a 20′ x 20′ tile carpet area that we use in the booth at trade shows so we broke it out for a seating area complete with couches, chairs, a TV and Wii system, and the little kids area. My brother-in-law also brought his Nintendo Switch for the teens/adults to use. And we definitely did.

I’m getting a little bit better about asking for help/delegating. My mother-in-law brought the margaritas and some queso dip. (Thank you!) My grandma and my mom made some cookies. (Thank you!) And K’s aunt, dad, and mom were on call when I needed anything. (Thank you!) The party would not have gone so smoothly without them.

I made a “baby chalkboard” for Kyle, I bought “3-0” balloons, and I hung a happy birthday banner for the event. Other than some table cloths and fabric to cover the warehouse mess, there wasn’t much decorating.

I made 20lbs. of beef, chopped 14 onions & 15 tomatoes, and bought 180 tacos (100 soft, 80 hard), four large bags of cheese, and 10 small bags of shredded lettuce. Also, I got 3 large jars of salsa, some store-bought guac, and 6 bags of tortilla chips. To be honest, we had WAY too much onion and tomato, but I only had 1/4 of the beef left over which impressed me. I could’ve cut the cheese and lettuce inventory in half, but who knew. I provided taco lunches for the warehouse guys in the days following the party.

All that remained of the party on Monday…

Our party started at 4pm and we had a steady flow of people all night. Some even left (and dropped off a kid or spouse) and came back. We invited family and friends and friends of the family, ha. Overall, we had a fantastic time 🙂 Our last guests left around 1:30am. I was so exhausted.

Seeing all our friends and family was fun, although I think I will request a vacation for my 30th birthday 😉 What are some fun things you’ve done for “monumental” birthdays?

THIRTY YEARS OLD

On Sunday my favorite human is turning 30 years old. THIRTY YEARS OLD. I met him when he was 18. That blows my mind.

Once again I was going to share the details of our Texas trip on here today. But then I decided I should write something about Kyle. But I don’t really know what to say…

I often mention K on this blog so there’s not much I haven’t said. (This birthday post is one of my favorites.) Today I’m making him answer some questions in honor of his birthday. Spoiler alert: He dodged most of them.

We’ll start with the hardest question: Peach pie or yellow cake with chocolate frosting?
It depends. Just a generic pie and cake, the yellow cake with chocolate frosting. If it’s your grandma’s peach pie, I’d pick that.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in the last 30 years?
That’s too deep.
Answer it.
What the hell. (He’s technically not being a smartass… A few weeks ago we realized that we live our lives in a very “what the hell” kind of way. I’ll blog about that some other day. Essential when an opportunity presents itself we say “what the hell” and go for it.)

What age has been your favorite?
My favorite pizza is JNG.
That’s not an acceptable answer.
It IS an acceptable answer. That’s not an acceptable question.

If you didn’t play drums what instrument would you play?
Probably nothing.
You’re so boring.
I didn’t ask you to ask me these…

Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Enzo.
That’s not an answer.
I don’t knooooow. I’m not a casting agent… I guess, with my language, Samuel L. Jackson.

Advice for a 20 year old?
Drop out of school and start a business.
That’s not good advice, dear.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I don’t know.
You could at least be nice and say with me.
Well, yeah. Duh.

circa 2010

Annnnnnnd there you have it. *eyeroll*

So happy birthday, Boo. I can’t wait to see what this decade brings. You can accomplish anything ❤︎ I love you.

                                          – A

Happy Not-Valentine’s Day

FYI, Last week I took a semi-planned hiatus from the blog because I’ve been feeling directionless and angry and trite. K and I were in Texas for business, too, so I just took the week off. (I still read posts when I could. )

On Tuesday I talked about books and skipped over the Valentine’s Day obligations, so today I want to backtrack. I don’t know how you feel about Valentine’s Day, but I’m OK with having a random day in February to remind me to show some love. (In 2015 I shared the love with all sorts of people.)

kanda

This year K gets all my attention. I met Kyle almost twelve years ago.

❤︎ In all that time he has never made me feel like I couldn’t do something, ability-wise or permission-wise. He doesn’t doubt me.

❤︎ We will celebrate four years of marriage in April. Two years ago some stupid drama knocked me off my horse and made me breakdown mentally. K picked me back up and made sure I knew he was on my side no matter what. It sounds silly, but I didn’t realize his loyalty to me until that moment. He’d pick me first for dodgeball. He’s the co-captain of my Quidditch team. I’d be his “one choice” as far as deserted island companions go.

❤︎ I have always said that I don’t need K and he doesn’t need me. But I will openly admit that my life would suck so much without him. He’s my favorite human. I feel my best when I stand next to him.

❤︎ My husband loves dogs as much as I do. That’s not a learned characteristic. He is a bleeding-heart dog lover and that is my favorite quality in a person. (A direct quote from him on Tuesday: “Dogs aren’t a hobby. They’re a lifestyle.” Lol.)

❤︎ I have been angry and feisty and prayerful these last few weeks. I am an unapologetic feminist and sometimes that means angry rants at the dinner table and frustrated fact-sharing in the car wash queue. And K has endured it all with an occasional mumbled, “Yep” or head nod. I’m politically vocal and he’s reserved, but we’re both unapologetic.

And just for fun…

Who’s older? Kyle.
Who was interested first? My guess is me…
More sarcastic? Neither one of us are sarcastic.
Who makes the biggest mess? K.
What are your middle names? Louise & Geoffrey
Do you have any children together? Ly & Enzo. One was even adopted out of wedlock! *gasp*
Did you go to the same school? Yes, at different times.
Who is the most sensitive? Me.
Where do you eat out most as a couple? JNG. Hands down.
Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? Jamaica, I think.
Who does the cooking? Me.
Who is more social? K.
Who is the neat freak? I’m not necessarily a neat freak, but I like things to be where they’re supposed to be.
Who is the most stubborn? He says me. I disagree.
Who wakes up earlier? K.
Who drives when you are together? Mostly him, but I do on occasion.
Who eats more sweets? K.

I got through all of that without saying I love Kyle, but I do. We’ve been busy this month with the business and dogs and travel, but I’m never too busy to say I love my husband, even and especially on an average day like February 16th.

Happy Late Valentine’s Day ❤︎

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