Playing Catch Up Over Coffee

Hello. I promise I’m alive and well. No one has fallen ill and I’m not pregnant. (I feel like 90% of the time when a blogger just disappears one of those two things has happened…) I didn’t mean to take a break last week or on Tuesday. I actually had posts planned but they needed one or two more things added to them and I just didn’t get the time (or motivation) to do it…

Today I’m linking up with Kristen and taking a quick coffee break.

I have to take half a step back from my blog. I love this blog and the relationships that I’ve cultivated here. I feel like things in my personal life are n.u.t.s. right now, though. Every time I go to write I’m distracted or thinking about all the stuff I need to do… And sometimes I just bitch about all that on here and I think that’s overwhelming and repetitive for y’all.

I will keep up with Alexandra‘s and my RSFG Blog Collab. and I will definitely show up here (and on your blogs!) for SUYB with Steph & Jana. Other than those two monthly staples, I can’t guarantee my consistency. I plan to keep reading and commenting on your blogs, too. The frequency will probably decrease, though…

I’m sad to step back. I’m scared to leave this community of friends. I’m not actually leaving- just going part time. It’s been a part of my daily life since 2014. That’s crazy. But like I said, this is temporary and necessary. I’ll still be around. And I’ll still see you guys on IG.

Ok… let’s move on to other news.

Last week I rode in the backseat of a pick-up truck for 35 hours. We drove down to Texas and back- in five days. (Two driving down, one day of work, two driving home.) Our coffee today is simply a step in my recovery program.

We’re on the road again next week for another business trip. I thank Jesus every single day for our house/dog sitter. She keeps our babes loved while we’re gone.

On Sunday I played my last softball game for the summer. (I wrote a sarcastic post about my experience here, lol.) I hate exercise but I enjoy being active. I’m trying to find new ways to keep my body moving right now. The dogs and I have a new walk route and I feel like that’s a good start.

Our trip to Texas was H.O.T. & miserable but it made me appreciate the lower 80 degree temps in Ohio. Our weather has been beautiful and I’m not going to complain about it for once 😉

Sigh… I don’t have much else to say as we drain our mugs and start digging our keys out of our purses. I’ve been reading a lot, cooking a bit, and trying to keep my house in some semblance of order.

I promise that I’m trying to catch up on your posts from the last week or so… I also promise to show up here occasionally, even if it’s not regularly 🙂

Hopefully this weekend is semi-quiet and relaxing. I’m dying my grey away on Saturday and planning a manicure sometime next week before our next trip! Self-care, friends 😉 See you on Tuesday!

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 🙂 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.

Coffee Break- Love & Hate Edition

Hello, beautifuls. I’m linking up with Kristen today for our coffee date. To spice things up I’m giving it a love/hate theme, although hate might be a strong word.

Before I begin, Happy Birthday (yesterday) to my Momma!

If we were getting drinks I’d have a cup of very strong coffee- with quite a bit of cream. No sugar, thanks.

First I’d ask if you got any of the storms that swept the Midwest on Tuesday night. If you saw my IG stories then you already know I was up half the night with a quaking dog. I’m very grateful that we didn’t have to hide in the basement from tornadoes or sit in the dark with no power, but I’ll still whine about my lack of sleep and the nonexistent cable and internet. And poor Lylee shaves years off her life when she worries and pants and shakes like that. Sigh. I spent the whole night on the couch with the scaredy-bear. HATE.

I’d ask what you’re watching lately. I’d 100% recommend The Good Place and Superstore. TGP just finished its second season and Superstore is still in its 2nd so you can absolutely binge & catch up. K and I are watching The Office on Netflix. We just finished up season 4. I want to check out Champions and Splitting Up Together, too. LOVE.

If we were drinking coffee I’d ask how you’re sleeping at night. We tried melatonin but it completely screwed with us, especially in the mornings. Right now I’m taking an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxer at night for my back and I’ve been getting a.m.a.z.i.n.g. sleep… but I know it’s short lived since I can’t be on muscle relaxers forever. Lol. HATE.

As we were refilling and warming our drinks I’d ask if you saw Stephanie’s Clutter List?? After work I’m so unmotivated to do anything but spring cleaning is definitely on my mind right now. LOVE.

A few weeks ago K was gone on business and I took myself shopping. Both Lindsay and Steph have mentioned ON on their blogs and I treated myself to some new dresses and shirts. Everything was on sale and it’s all SO comfy!! I think it’s all on sale still! I got:

yellow off the shoulder | red stripe swing | black stripe swing

Before we finished our drinks I’d ask you if your library offers Hoopla. I just discovered this resource and it’s amazing! I can instantly borrow & download movies and music and ebooks from my library. How I only just discovered this platform, I don’t know. It’s definitely been helpful when it comes to materials for The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collab. 😉 LOVE

Before we parted ways I’d ask about your Easter weekend! (If you don’t celebrate Easter then I’d ask what fun things you did over the weekend!) We always have church and lunch with my family plus an egg hunt and kite flying. Then K’s family comes to our house for dinner and we head to his grandparents’ for dessert and another egg hunt. My weekend had lots of cleaning, cooking, and family.

That was a lot of ground to cover! Did I miss anything? Fill me in on what’s new with you before we abandon our mugs and get back to adulting ❤︎

What's New With You

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 🙂 What’s New With You?

Happy Birthday to my Grandma Peggy!

What's New With You

Currently

Happy Thursday! And happy belated Valentine’s Day, friends! 💗

What are you currently doing/feeling/looking forward to? Here’s what’s going on with me!

Reading… to distract myself. When we fly I engross myself in books to distract me from my anxiety. I finished Girl Waits With Gun on our last flight. I’m still working on Dead Wake. I’m about to start Three Dark Crowns.

Eating… out very often. Trade show season drops us in new hotels and cities so we get to check out the local cuisine. This week it’s guacamole and steak and so many good veggies!

Drinking… mixed drinks. And also coffee. And tons of water. #TradeShowSeason

Feeling… proud of myself. After lots of prayer and some serious self-talk, I managed to get on a plane and fly without totally freaking out. My palms got sweaty, but I didn’t death-grip K’s leg and my stomach stayed out of my throat. Haha.

Wishing for… a new president, a world without school shootings, no homeless dogs.

Thankful for… our fabulous dog sitter/house sitter. I feel so good knowing Ly and E are being loved on when we leave.

Planning… a vacation. It kind of sucks because by the end of spring we are sooo traveled-out, but our five year anniversary is in April and K has agreed to go on vacation. (Whew!) I’m trying to find some place interesting but relaxing. Bonus points if we can find a direct flight 😉

Loving… Kyle. We didn’t really do anything for Valentine’s Day, but we were together all day. We’re together all day, every day. I couldn’t spend this much time with anyone else. He’s the best (and the most annoying sometimes, lol).

Praying… for God to take my worries and for our travels to be safe and uneventful. Also praying for those hurting from tragedy, sickness, financial struggles, etc. I can’t stand these shootings. Every week, guys. Multiple times a week, in fact. WTF. (In addition to praying I’m also voting, donating, volunteering, etc. I think you should pray for the guidance and opportunity to help and remedy the pain people feel- not just hope it gets better for them.)

Excited about… K’s birthday (nothing planned), being home for a few weeks (nothing planned), the *hopeful* slowness of March (nothing planned), & a food and wine night in Cleveland with my favorite gals next Friday.

Ok, your turn! Tell me what’s new with you! What are you excited about?

Coffee & Conversation

Hello, beautiful friends. It’s been a while since we just “chatted.”

First and foremost, can we sit inside? The temperature has been tickling 90 degrees and I’m just not having it. Is it before 10am? If so I guess I can handle outdoor seating.

If we were sitting down for coffee I’d probably smell a little like mint (Biofreeze) and look a little stiff. Tuesday was one hell of a day- then, to top it all off, I went home, vacuumed, and pulled a muscle in my shoulder. I’ve had back problems all my teenage/adult life, but my shoulder aches SO BADLY. Fortunately it’s a bit better than it was on Tuesday.

If we were having coffee I would talk for at least a half hour about last weekend’s Buckeye Country Superfest! I went with my best friend and my elementary school best friend. (We amicably went separate ways in our teens years but stayed distant friends and our parents are pretty good friends and, as it turns out, we still have a lot in common.) GUYS- if you like country music you need to see Miranda Lambert live. The rush of female badass-ery that flowed through the stadium was unreal. She was so, so good!

Also, Kenny Chesney puts on a fabulous show. There was one moment when I was dancing and I just stopped and looked up to the star-dotted sky and felt so happy and at peace and euphoric. (Yes, I’d been drinking. No, I wasn’t fall-over drunk.) It was just a really fun weekend surrounded by wonderful people.

That said, if we were drinking coffee, I’d admit that I’m still recovering from the weekend. Two nights of music and drinks and little sleep tend to do me in. I’m no longer the 21 year old night owl I used to be… The Monday morning drive and workday was rooough.

If we were drinking coffee I’d admit that I’m counting down the days until vacation. I’m also craving ice cream every dang day. And I’m currently reading The Sisters Brothers (sent to me by Erin)! And I think that about wraps up my life right now.

So refill your cup and tell me what’s going on in your life!

Coffee & Chill

Welcome to the first post of the new year! I’m writing this from my new desk in my new office at my new job 😁

As I mentioned on Friday, I’m starting 2017 with a few changes. First of all, posts are going to come at you Tuesday/Thursday instead of MWF. Feel free to comment whenever, though. I’ll try to respond a little more promptly this year, too!

Also, the blog is staying “Life as Louise” but I’m going to start signing off as Audrey– which is actually what I go by in real life. If you want to stick with “Louise” in comments and what not that’s fine with me, but I figured it’d clear up the confusion if I went with my name 😊

Now here’s a little coffee break catch-up post to begin 2017, similar to my one from Jan. 2016!

If you’re curious, it’s been so good so far with the new job. Sure, we’re only two days in, but I’m really happy about this switch. We’ve settled on the title of “office manager” for me. To be totally real with ya, there are only two people in the office- K and myself. Since he’s the boss, I’m technically not overseeing or managing anyone. That said, my job title might as well be do-all-the-things manager because that’s essentially my job description. (Everything but sales and design- that’s K’s job.)

I fell off the reading wagon at the end of 2016. I’m determined to finish The Joy Luck Club soon and I’ve just started into a book for Erin’s challenge. Hopefully I get my mojo back with these two reads! If we were chillin’ with coffee I’d asked what your first book of 2017 is/will be?

This summer our plan is to visit DisneyWorld with my parents, Fred & Xtina, and family friends. I’ve convinced K that we should take a fall trip, too. I think we’ve narrowed down our options to a cruise or an all-inclusive resort. We’ve done both, so we’ll make a decision closer to time on which place we want to go. Do you have any vacations planned for 2017?

In 2015 we attended NINE weddings. K was a part of two of them. I thought the big wedding wave had past, but this year we’ve already got two on the docket and two couples close to us got engaged on Christmas day. We are definitely not out of the wedding-woods. Haha!

Did you get any fun stuff for Christmas? If we were on a coffee date I’d be asking all about your gifts! My husband got me some great shirts and a food processor. My mother-in-law got me the second illustrated HP book & a wooden salad bowl. My parents also got me a food processor (oops!) and new winter bedding. I’m part of a great gift-giving family, but my favorite part is watching them open the things we bought for them.

On Friday I mentioned some 2017 goals, but over the weekend I came up with a real, concrete resolution. In 2017 I’d like to finally kick the bad habit of biting my nails. I’ve been do it since I was 7 with a brief hiatus during my four weeks in India. (The unavoidable filthy and dust was excellent motivation.) If we were out for coffee I’d ask if you had any tips… I’ve tried the rubber band and the bad tasting polish. Do you have any bad habits you need to kick?

I went grocery shopping on Sunday and picked up some southern butter pecan creamer. I’d totally make you try it on our coffee date!

I won’t lie… it feels weird to post this on a Tuesday. We’ll see if I can adjust 😉

Since we’re so close to Thursday I’ll link-up with Gretch & Kristen!

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What's New With You