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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

What’s Up

Typically I do a coffee break or currently post for Kristen & Gretch‘s link-up, but I’ve already shared posts like that recently. Today I’m just recapping what we’ve been up to since the start of 2018.

J A N U A R Y

We didn’t do a whole lot in January (which I love). We had some health-stress but most of the month was filled with dog cuddles & lazy weekends.

Ly & E both had clean bills of health from the vet. We got their DNA tests back. And Buckeye fought off befriended a coyote.

Lots of snow meant lots of cozy reading time.

My mom had a pretty stressful month so I treated her (and me) to pedicures. That night K tried out his Christmas gift (a new smoker!) & we had my parents and his mom over. (His dad was out of town.)

The next day my brother and sister-in-law came home to surprise and cheer up my mom. We played Mario Kart on the Switch all afternoon.

Lylee loves her grandpa.

I ended the month with a 24in48 reading challenge. I read +6 hours total and squeezed in an intermission because my favorite 3 year old and 1 year old were celebrating their birthdays!

F E B R U A R Y

I had a (beat the) Winter Blues party at the beginning of the month. It was super small. Best friends & parents came over for drinks and games and camaraderie.

The next two weeks were filled with business travel. We spent four days in Columbus, OH, then came home for two, then flew to San Antonio, TX for six days.

The dogs were very happy to finally have us home.

My mom and I had a little date night in town between my Texas trip and Cleveland overnight. We got coffee at the local cafe, then popped across the street to the small theater to see Peter Rabbit. Guys… it was SO cute and comical. I loved it.

This past weekend I spent the night in Cleveland with my two best friends…

And that’s what’s new with me ๐Ÿ™‚ What’s New With You?

Happy Birthday to my Grandma Peggy!

What's New With You

Coffee Date on a Cold Rainy Morning

Good morning ๐Ÿ˜Šย It’s a little dreary and damp this morning but our drinks will keep us warm. I’m linking up with Kristen & Gretch today to share what’s new. Grab some coffee- let’s chat!

At the start of 2018 I was sick for nearly two weeks. Being sick is so frustrating. After having my throat swabbed and blood tested, I was told it was just a common virus and they couldn’t prescribe any drugs. Infuriating. “Take Tylonel and cough drops for a few days,” they said. More like overdose on Nyquil and pray to the healing goddesses for my lung capacity to come back ๐Ÿ˜‘ Whatever. I’m grateful it’s gone now. After I finished complaining I’d ask how you’re feeling. If you said anything less than “Great!” I’d probably slide away from you. No offense.

Things have been stressful latelyย ๐Ÿ˜Ÿย Not my story to tell, but we’ve just had a troubling few weeks. As far as schedules go, January was a slow month for K and I, but things are about to pick up for the next 3 or 4 months (at least). It’s a challenge to juggle professional and personal strife. If we were having coffee I’d ask how life in general is going for you. I hope you’ve have a happy 2018 so far.

On a brighter note, I asked forced two of my best friends to buy concert tickets with me to see Kenny Chesney, Old Dominion, and Thomas Rhett this summer!! (Thanks for the heads up, Laura!) I AM SO EXCITED. We’re seeing them in Columbus so we can pre-game at Kayla’s, uber to the stadium, and uber right back! Easy, cheap, and safe! Have you seen any of these artists live?? I saw Kenny last year and OD the year before that, but I’m SO EXCITED to see them again! Any (summer) concerts in your future??

Speaking of music, I really like Taylor Swift’s album Reputation. It feels good to just turn it up and jam. No shame, friends.

Guys… I’m the weirdo who’s GLAD for some snow before spring turns the whole country icky. (I hate spring… allergies and thunderstorms (which give my dog fits) and mud and the smell of dirt. BLEH.) Are you suffering from the winter blues? I wouldn’t judge you if you said you were ready for spring.

Before we start reaching for our coats and scarves I’d remember to tell you a funny little story. While two of my best friends live hours away, my other bff and her husband and two kids live a short walk away. We moved to her neighborhood in the fall and pinpointed that her house was on a hill a few streets away. Last night we turned off all our lights and she flickered hers off and on and then I did the same. I can’t tell you how hard I laughed at the nearby hillside lighting up and going dark. Totally silly and juvenile, but I love that I have framily so close.

Sigh… my coffee is growing cold. Is yours?

Last but certainly not least, Alexandra and Rachel have been driving the Gratitude Train over at Year of Gratitude since the start of 2018. Every Friday they have a guest contributor and tomorrow it’s me! Pop over there and get a rare Friday dose of me if you want to ๐Ÿ˜‰

What's New With You

Currently…

Hello, November ๐Ÿ‚

My blog has been very surface level lately so I wanted to link-up with Kristen and Gretch today to go a little deeper with a currently/What’s New With You? post.

Right now I’m R E A D I N G so many books simultaneously. K got me a Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday last month and I went a little crazy on NetGalley… Physical-book-wise, I’m finishing up The Moon-Spinners and Circling the Sun. I just finished Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Style. On Kindle I dove into Fairest of All. (K got me Kindle Unlimited and I found it on there.) After I finish some of those I’ll crack into my NetGalley reads! I didn’t end up finishing Erin’s book challenge but that’s ok.

We’re done moving and the old house is officially turned over to the new owners, but I’m still S T R E S S I N G – O U T – O V E R the settling part of new homeownership. I completely broke down to K a few weeks ago and told him that our constant chaos in the house is killing me on the inside and making my anxiety a raging beast. I feel like a failure in my home which makes me feel like a failure in all aspects of life (as a wife, as an employee, as a daughter, as a fall-lover, as a dog momma). I know that’s silly and unhealthy, but I crave balance and order. I promise I’m trying to slow down and focus and relax this month.

I’m also P R E P A R I N G for the holidays (i.e. Christmas gifts, Christmas decorations). I think getting some of that stuff done will reset my brain and give me peace.

The kitchen is finally in order so we will be E A T I N G some yummy home-cooked meals soon. FINALLY, guys. I think one of the worst parts of moving was all the takeout and fast food and sodium-filled dinners during the process. UGH. The last few nights we’ve been snacking on the dips we had at the party (spinach & artichoke, taco, etc.).

We moved all our furniture into the new house and don’t plan to change anything, but we’ve definitely had to add. We are B U Y I N G allll the things right now. Lol. We just got new bookshelves and reading chairs for my library area, I got a new hamper for my itty-bitty laundry room, and we’re currently trying to decide on some end tables and a coffee table… Home tour soon. Promise.

My brain is overwhelmed like an accountant in April, but I am very T H A N K F U L – F O R all our friends and family. Between helping us move, letting me vent on the phone/through text, and celebrating with us at birthday and Halloween parties, I just can’t get over the love and support we’ve been given. Thanks, everyone ๐Ÿ–ค I love going into the holiday season feeling so loved.

We have a business trip in Indianapolis coming up, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t P L A N N I N G a potential winter trip for K and myself. I’ve only mentioned it to him, but I feel like I need to mentally and physically get away for a long weekend. We’ll see if it happens. I’d settle for a girls’ trip instead, but my bff is laid up after knee surgery. We’ll see…

In the interest of full disclosure, I have been R A G I N G – A B O U T the state of our country. The current administration, the Hollywood assault stories, the preference of policy and politics over people. It’s embarrassing and heartbreaking.

Let’s end on a good note, yes?

I am P A R T I C I P A T I N G – I N Alexandra and Shea‘s Live Your Best (Holiday) Life or LYBHolidayL in November. I’m pretty excited about it, actually. Taking the time to be grateful and intentional without spending hundred of dollars ๐Ÿ™‚

(I don’t care if Halloween is over.) L A U G H I N G – A B O U T :

This is us trying to get the dogs to adjust to the new neighborhood. LOL

So what’s new with you?

What's New With You

School Days & Locker Talk

I’m a week and a half late to this link-up party but Nadine did this “Back to School” tag and introduced me to Andrea’s monthly questions. Since the link-up is still open I decided to play along.

Did you love school or hate it?
I loved school. I enjoyed seeing my friends, I loved having a routine, and I’m one of those weirdos that likes learning.

Start school before or after Labor Day?
I think we usually started the week before Labor Day. I never understood that.

Wake up: Eager Beaver or Slow Poke?
Mornings have never ever ever been my thing.

Favorite Breakfast?
My mom would make us Cream of Wheat on wintery weekend mornings (or snow days) and I loved it!

Favorite Cereal?
Life. (Sorry for even mentioning it, Rebecca Jo!!)

School uniform or no school uniform?
No, thank God. I was so into my style in high school.

New outfit for the first day of school or no?
Of course! Although, by high school I pretty much only wore band t-shirts, ripped jeans, vans, and a sideways belt. #emoForever

Walk to school or ride the bus?
I rode the bus until I got my license/car. Then I drove my brother and self every day.

Backpack, tote or messenger bag?
Messenger bag (in the pic). I had one from PacSun that was brown with pink embroidering and I LOVED it. I still have the bag even though it’s beat to crap…

Eat school lunch or pack lunch?
I think it was 50/50 in elementary and middle school- it depended on the lunch menu. I remember my brother bought more often than I did. In high school you could leave the school and get your lunch which I did 99% of the time.

Remember the little milk cartons? White or chocolate?
I don’t like white milk so chances are I was a chocolate drinker. #healthy

Paper bag or lunch box?
Didn’t we all pride ourselves on our lunch boxes? Especially if they had a matching thermos? (No? Just me?) I think I might have occasionally brown-bagged it in hs.

Favorite thing to do at recess?
We played American Girls and Disney Princesses in elementary school. Also, ‘big toy tag’ on the equipment. In middle school it was 4-Square.

Favorite back to school supply item?
Notebooks!

Chalkboard or dry erase board?
In 2nd grade I told my teacher I was allergic to chalk and asked to use the mini-dry erase boards when we were practicing our letters. I actually just hated how my hands felt covered in chalk. Hahaha. Other than that, I think all my classrooms had chalkboards.

Regular or mechanical pencil?
Mechanical- duh!

Homework as soon as you get home or after dinner?
I used to do it on the bus ride home… Nerd alert.

Favorite after school snack?
Ramon noodles or a sandwich.

Favorite after school show?
General Hospital. Hahahahahaha!

Favorite subject in school?
History.

Least favorite school subject?
Math; specifically algebra.ย 

Name ofย  your best friend in high school.
Sam.

SAT or ACT?
I never took the SAT. I got a 27 on my ACT the first time & told my mom I was done. Lol.

Favorite year in school.
I don’t know… Third grade was a fun year. Second grade I had my favorite teacher. High school had its highs and lows but it was fun. Probably my junior year was the best. I started dating K, I was so carefree, and I made a million reckless decisions but survived. I switched up my friends toward the end of hs because mine weren’t so nice, and I think I really figured out who I wanted to be at that point in my life.

I get anxious thinking about all the drama and emotions and trouble I went through in high school. Thank Jesus (and, honestly, Kyle) that I made it out alive. I hope I remember my teenage years when our kids go through them- I’d like to be an empathetic parent.

Class ring or no class ring?
I had a gorgeous one with a purple stone. I don’t know what happened to it…

Funny class ring story… One day I was wearing a male friend’s ring and we went to Burger King for lunch. I took the ring off because it was big and I didn’t want to get it messy or lose it. Well… I left it on the tray and threw it away. Later, when I realized it was gone, I called my grandma from the hs bathroom bawling because I’d lost my friend’s ring. She and my aunt went to BK, dug through the dumpster, and found the ring under a pickle. Best. relatives. ever.

Attend or not attend high school reunions?
My class didn’t have a 5-year and I doubt I’ll attend the 10-year in 2019. Maybe I’ll go to one later on in life. Who knows…

*sigh* I miss school. That said, I’d never go back or reverse time. Ha!

*Linking up with TBB for TBB Asks

Summer Goals (because spring was a bust…)

Summer started yesterday, the link-up with Steph & Sara is tomorrow, and today we’re going to talk about some seasonal (and year-long) goals ๐Ÿ™‚

First, let’s look at how hard I failed this spring.

Spring Goals

  • Wash cushion slips
  • Scrub grease build-up off cabinets
  • Replace/fix water heater
  • Get Ly on a walk schedule again
  • Clean junk out of basement
  • Hire someone to come & clean the carpets
  • Finish 3 year scrapbook
  • Order pics for year 4

I got 3 out of 8 accomplished. To be completely honest, I’m so glad I checked off the ones I did. The floors were terrible. Exhibit A…

*blushes* Life with dogs, #AmIRight? Moving on…

Summer Goals

  • Clean junk out of basement & utility room
  • Get spare bedroom clean and de-cluttered
  • Wash cushion slips
  • Wipe down fans, baseboards, etc.
  • Go for a bike ride once a week
  • Go putt-putting/mini-golfing (is there a difference?)
  • Tackle three books per month
  • Clean out/update my Spotify playlists
  • Finish Year 3 scrapbook
  • Order pics for year 4

Manageable. Hopefully. (You’d think I’d give up on some of this stuff, but I’m determined.)

And last but not least, a look at my 2017 year-long goals:

Be Healthy.
(As in eat better & exercise.) Ehhโ€ฆ some healthy foods / 100% no exercise

Feel Less Guilty About Downtime.
(Less guilt when lounging/reading/unwinding.) K and I just argued about this a few nights ago. He’s really good at decompressing; I’m still working on it…

Read more.
(Last year I read 25 books. This year Iโ€™m aiming for 40.) According to Goodreads Iโ€™ve read 17 books this year and I plan to finish two this week!

Become a Morning Person.
(Less snooze button and rushing, more consistency and chill.) HA. No.

Get on Schedule.
(As in meal planning, cleaning, dog maintenance, etc.) I have a handle on the meal and blog schedules. Everything else is just too much right now. *shrug*

(You can find that original post here.)

So… summer is not a motivating time for me. We’ll see how this goes…

What are your summertime goals??

Life According to Steph

Add It To My (Media) List

I had no idea what to list off this month. Usually I have a draft with a running list of favorites that I add to throughout the month, but I didn’t do that this time. As time was running out I happened to stumble across three short (very different) online clips that captured my attention.

life_as_louise_favorites

I assume that everyone needs a mental break throughout the workday, so hopefully one or two of these videos can provide that today.

James Corden’s Crosswalk the Musical: Beauty & the Beast

I don’t know why this made me laugh as hard as it did. I blame Dan Stevens (and the fact that I still have trouble see him as anyone but Matthew Crawley.)


Emma Watson’s kitten interview

If I ever have kids I hope they see Emma Watson as a role model. I certainly do. Everything about this video is great, especially her shout out to Best Friends Animal Society in Utah!


Elmo Gets Laid Off

To be 100% honest, Sesame Street moved to HBO so it’s probably safe if/when PBS gets the ax. That said, when I was a kid we didn’t have HBO- I still don’t have HBO. I watched Sesame Street on PBS like most kids in America do. So for those 2 to 7-years-olds with moms and dads who aren’t millionaires with a +40,000 channel cable package, they’re just S.O.L.

I’m going to stop because the budget cuts to the arts and education have me livid and terrified. If I keep typing this post will quadruple in length. So suffice it to say, we are so against budget cuts.

Maybe as a consolation prize Tr*mp can take us on one of his million dollar golf trips to Florida ๐Ÿ˜

Also… Sesame Street: spoofing on Donald Tr*mp Grump before SNL made it cool.


In other news of things I want to list or bring to your attention, I joined a FB group for bloggers that has been very active and supportive. If you’re in the market for something like that you should check out The Peaceful Posse on FB ๐Ÿ™‚

So tell me about something you’ve recently discovered or started that you love! Linking up with Lauren and Bre today!

Eat, Drink, and Be Lauren