On the Road Again (w/ A Grateful Heart)

Last Monday was my birthday & I was bombarded with 15 texts, two phone calls, +60 Facebook posts, and a ton of blog comments & snaps & tweets wishing me a happy day/week/year ❤︎ I am so grateful for my community & tribe & environment.

Today we’re home from 4 days at the beach. We started the trip with a visit to the Circleville Pumpkin Festival in southern Ohio with my brother & sister-in-law. Then K and I hung out in Myrtle Beach for a while. And last night we got to reunite with our fur kids. It was another fantastic weekend.

Since I’m quite tired and keeping this short, I figured I’d drop a few links to my Twitter, Instagram, & SnapChat since I haven’t done that in a while. If you don’t follow me there you should  😀

Tweet Me on Twitter!
Follow along on Instagram!
Check out my snap story as audie_lou

Have a great Monday!

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A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey

 

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Silly Songs with Audrey

(Did you get that? It was a Veggie Tales reference #lame Hahaha.)

Today is my Friday and, in celebration of that, I’m sharing some of my favorite jams that define my life, courtesy of Alyssa‘s Back to Blogging non-challenge challenge!

I’ve seen Kathy and Nadine do this already and I didn’t think I’d be able to come up with anything, but they’ve inspired me  🙂 I’ve settled on a solid five.

How I’ll Always Be  [Tim McGraw]

“I’m a little more beer bottle beer joint than a fancy bar | I’m a little more sitting up high on the road than a little car | I’m a little more bust ya back than take it for free”

“I’ll always be a fan of ol’ stray dogs and guitars playin’ | One room churches, back road walks and front porch swingin’ | Sunset skies, bonfire nights, I love the simple things | That’s how I’ll always be”

. . .

Grey Street [Dave Matthews Band]

“Oh look at how she listens | She says nothing of what she thinks | She just goes stumbling through her memories | Staring out on to Grey Street”

. . .

Feel That Fire [Dierks Bentley]

“She wants to wear my shirt to bed | She wants to make every stray a pet | And drive around in my truck with no place to go”

. . .

Caught Up In You [38 Special]

“So caught up in you | Little girl | That I never wanna get myself free | And baby it’s true | You’re the one | Who caught me, baby you taught me | How good it could be”

*Can we please just appreciate how 80s this video is?? Hehe

. . .

Crazy [Ben Rector]

“Last night was crazy, yeah we tore it up again | Kicked off our shoes and went to bed by 9pm | We were balling and Netflix | We turned it up to ten | Last night was crazy”

. . .

I have always been a huge music person, and there are a million songs that I just love, but I wanted to limit this post to ones that I really felt define my life. Our couples song didn’t make the list this time (I’ll Be by Edwin McCain), nor did the song I walked down the aisle to (Baby Blue by DMB). Both great songs, but not necessarily life-defining  🙂 (K is also upset I didn’t share You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate because I tend to sing it loudly when I drink a little too much.)

If you haven’t already done the link-up, what songs define your life?

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What I Wish I Knew…

I was going to rant today but after yoga on Monday I felt peaceful (for like 5 minutes) and decided to delete my post. (For curious minds like mine, I was going to fuss about our rude ass neighbor and the clustercuss that was Sunday night’s debate. Just FYI.) Instead, today I’m linking up with Mattie & Lexi for Weekly Lessons and Alyssa for her Back to Blogging non-challenge.

So let’s talk about the one thing about today I wish I knew one year ago.

I had to read that sentence a few times before I finally grasped the prompt. One year ago today I wrote this post. I was worried freaking out about turning 25. Oh silly little Audrey- you fool.

A year ago today I wish I’d known that things are very, very similar. I think that might disappoint some people, but on the verge of turning the big 2-5 I was so terrified of change. To be honest, this past year has been calm, fun, and stable. I think that’s something we (K and I) really needed.

So that’s it. That’s all I want 2015 Audrey to know. I doubt she’d make it this far if she was aware of what the presidential race was to become. Ugh.

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Open Letters Link-Up

I’m linking up with Julie today with some open letters. Sadly, it’s the last time  😦

Dear Women,
Happy Equality Day! (I had no idea today was Women’s Equality Day when I wrote Wednesday’s post.) Keep fighting the fight. Climbing the ladders. Having the babies. Marrying men (or women) who see you as equal.  (Or don’t do any other those things- it’s your choice!) Yay for women and men!

WomensEquality

. . .

Dear Mama Bunny,
I don’t know how you got away with nesting in our backyard, but I’m very grateful that you moved your family under the cover of night last weekend. We discovered your babes last Thursday and kept the dogs away, but I wasn’t sure how long I could hold them off. Glad you sensed the danger and skedaddled!

. . .

Dear Husband,
I wanted to make a FB post or share a million IG pictures of you on Thursday night, but I knew you wouldn’t like that. Instead, I just want to publicly tell you how much I absolutely love you for calling me at work on Thursday and asking me to come home and help with the rabbits. A lesser man would’ve continued to mow and just forgotten about the furry family. You worried about them all weekend and helped me check up on them and keep the mutts from nosing around their home. I love you so much and I’m grateful every single day for you ❤︎

. . .

Dear Husband again,
I love being married to someone who buys us concert tickets for a show that happens on a work-night in a city two hours away. We don’t get much sleep when you spontaneously make those purchases, but I’d gladly trade sleep for nights out with you.

. . .

Dear Ben Rector,
You concert was worth the road trip + lack of sleep. You and Colony House didn’t disappoint. Maybe next time come to Ohio on a weekend…? That’d be great.

BenRectorConcert

. . .

Dear Sports Night,
We were really holding out that you’d be as good as The West Wing or The Newsroom. You’re not… That laugh tract is totally unbearable. I guess we’ll be skipping that Aaron Sorkin production and moving on to the next one.

. . .

Have a great weekend, friends!

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A Hopeful Hood

My People

First of all, thank you to everyone who commented on and shared Wednesday’s post. You all totally reinforced my point about the blogging community. I honestly believe every single one of you is great and I’m so happy to know/”know” you! ❤︎

Onward with the good vibes (and Chelsea‘s Tell Me Something Good link-up)!

Last weekend K and I attended his cousin’s wedding. His entire paternal family came from Texas, Tennessee, and parts of Ohio to celebrate the bride. I also knew the groom’s family because his sister and I were really close in grade school. He was also friends with my brother. Plus we all went to the same church. #SmallTownVibes. Needless to say, I knew a lot of people at the wedding.

There was one point during the reception when I was off to the side, standing between K and his sister. On either side of them were my in-laws, as well as K’s brother (and maybe his wife? I can’t remember). For whatever reason, in that exact moment, as the group of us stood there watching the party around us, I became aware of how ridiculously fortunate I am to call those people my people. I felt so special to casually stand among them- like there was never a time that I didn’t fit into that group.

*I wanted to insert a ridiculously adorable throwback photo K’s family here, but I didn’t know if they’d be ok with that. Just trust me on this one- it’s an adorable picture!*

I enjoy weddings. They give my an excuse to drink a lot bit and dance. I get to see friends and family that I don’t normally see. And more than anything else, I love watching two people exchange vows while I sit next to the guy that I promised to love +3 years ago. Additionally, sometimes a wedding joins two families. I know that’s not always the case- it depends on the family dynamic- but that was the effect of our wedding. I honestly don’t believe there’s anything that my mother- or father-in-law wouldn’t do for me. I love splitting a glass of wine with all my siblings-in-laws. My heart flips inside my chest when I see my dad and K hanging out. I loved that Fred & Christina asked both K and me to be a part of their wedding party. I honestly try very hard not to take for granted the family that I was born into and the family that I was blessed with through marriage. I know I’m lucky.

And standing among that tribe at the reception with K and his my family just made me feel it 10xs over. Whether it’s friends or family, I hope everyone has a group like that. Remember to be grateful for them.

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Tell Me Something Good Friday!

Open Letters

Hi ya 🙂 I’m trying something new today & linking up with Julie from A Hopeful Hood for a few short Open Letters!

. . .

Dear Baby Brother,
Thanks for visiting home so frequently this month. You’re helping Mom, Dad, and I live in our state of denial about your college graduation and upcoming wedding.

no

. . .

Dear Make-Up,
Thank you for providing coverage when I blush. I am a blushing fool: when I’m overwhelmed or when I’m anger or when I’m in a conversation with someone new… It’s so annoying. But you- you darling blend of cream and paste- you cover up those burning pink cheeks and make me look like a normal, calm, functioning adult. So thanks.

. . .

Dear AMC,
Thank you for playing old episodes of The Rifleman on Saturday mornings. It’s my adult version of Saturday morning cartoons and I’m so obsessed. It reminds me of John Wayne movies that my dad and I watch/ed together.

. . .

Dear Legs,
I feel like I owe you a love letter… I’ve put you through so much these last three weeks with 5am workouts and jogging on a treadmill. Honestly, I didn’t have much faith in you (shin splints, weak ankles, tight calves) but you’ve been the real MVP these last few weeks and I’m proud to call you my legs.

. . .

Dear Stomach,
You could learn a thing or two from my legs. See how my calves are shaping up and slimming down? Feel free to follow suit.

. . .

Dear Jo (the bachelorette),
How do you not get a bad vibe from Drunk Canada and Douche-y Realtor? This is my first time really watching The Bachelorette so maybe you’re supposed to keep the guys that you feel would make the absolute worst husbands/friends/humans…? I’m not 100% sure how this works.

wtf

. . .

Dear GOP,
Four months ago y’all were like, “No Tr*mp. We don’t support Tr*mp!” but now that he’s the only red fish flopping on the beach you’re all like, “We need to rally behind this monster man!” Nothing says politics like flip-floppers. Have some self respect.

. . .

Thanks for hosting the link-up, Robyn & Julie!

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A Hopeful Hood

My Hometown: Tell Me Something Good

Just in case you missed the memo: Today is Friday! Yippee!! I haven’t linked-up with Chelsea in a while so today I’m jumping on the “Tell Me Something Good” Train and talking about my town! (I was a little inspired by Steph’s post last week.)

hometown_ohio

Maybe all towns are like this… but when I was in school all my classmates were hell bent on “getting out of this place.” I started dating K when I was 17, but I still thought we’d both leave my little town and settle in Pittsburgh or Nashville. (I don’t know why I thought it’d be either of those two cities, but I did.) In the summer of 2012, right before my college graduation and less than a year before our wedding, K decided to start a business. And that pretty much sealed our fate in this small town.

We’ve joked about moving to Texas (K’s market is really strong there & being in the “center” of the US would be beneficial), but that’s not going to happen because A) I love snow and B) I love snow. So here we stay.

At one point in life I thought that this might mean that I failed; I’d failed to see the world & escape my hometown. I have high school friends in Cleveland and Columbus, college friends that now live in Arizona and Japan, and my brother is getting ready to permanently settle a few hours away… but I left for three and a half years of college and came right back here. ‘How pathetic,’ I once told myself.

But I was oh so wrong. Deep down, I’m a big fan of this small town I grew up in.

  • We have a delicious coffee shop that resides in our cute little downtown square.
  • I never feared for my safety in my small high school.
  • Our local park offers ball fields and summer rides and fireworks.
  • I pass “first date” locations and my teenage hangouts all the time- and it brings back a lot of good memories.
  • I can drive by my childhood house when I’m feeling nostalgic.
  • My parents and K’s parents are less than 10 minutes from us. Same with all our grandparents.
  • While we’re a fairly small town, we do have a lot of big businesses- and it’s a painless drive to get to larger neighboring cities.
  • When our out-of-town friends visit their families “back home”, they call us up and we get to see them.
  • From our house I can walk to my job, K’s business, the local high school, or the park- in under 15 minutes.
  • The housing market is inexpensive.

And of course we can always leave and travel and visit others… and we get to come right back to our little community. It’s a peaceful place. We don’t have public transportation. We’re 20 minutes from the cute little Amish towns. And there’s plenty of grass for our dogs. You don’t always get that in a big city.

If K woke up tomorrow and said, “Let’s move!” I’d probably be on board, but if the furthest move we ever make is from in town to the countryside out of town, I’ll be happy, too. And I think it’s good to be at peace with that 🙂

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Linking up with Chelsea for “Tell Me Something Good!”

Tell Me Something Good Friday!