Thursday, November 21, 2013

How I Know I'm a Nerd

I mean, so many reasons, but here's just a few for today: 

We all have recurring nightmares, right? My recurring nightmare is that I sign up for a college class (usually Biology or Chemistry) then forget to drop it, and then realize I have to take the final exam without every attending the class. I panic because I don't feel like I have enough time to study and I might not get an A. I've had this dream for years and years now and always wondered... What does it mean?!?!? I have just recently come to the conclusion that it means simply that I am a nerd.

I am geeked out excited to see Catching Fire this weekend. 

 Even worse? I am going to see Catching Fire at 9:30AM on Saturday. Who does that besides 80 year olds and nerds??? No one, that's who.

When I use curse words, even to this day, I cringe a little inside and feel like someone is going to tell on me and that I'll get in trouble.

Two things happen to me every single day: 1) I trip over my own feet and 2) I spill something on myself.

I heard Hootie and the Blowfish yesterday on the radio, and probably looked like this as I sang along:

I follow Walt Disney World on Facebook, and I am thrilled when they post something new. 

I am a SUCKER for a good pun. Always. I will always laugh, no matter how bad it is.  I mean, this guy???


When I re-read all of the above, I am reminded of the absolute miracle in that I both have friends and am happily married. Surely these people just haven't figured me out yet.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Friendsgiving 2013

I moved to Columbus in January 2008 for my perfect job out of grad school. Jon and I were debating on whether we wanted to stay in Ohio or not, and this job sort of solidified things for us. We said it was Columbus, Ohio or not Ohio at all. We loved the city, and how many exciting things were happening in it, and felt like we could start our married life there.

Still, I moved here knowing exactly 3 people. I left my college town and all of my close relationships and BFFs to start a new life in a new city. Jon was finishing grad school, so he couldn't move there until August. My new job ended up being an incredible blessing, because right away I met some amazing co-workers (later dubbed as the "Kids Table") and I felt more and more like Columbus was home.

A few months into my new job, I met this girl. We instantly connected over our mutual love of eating. If that isn't a solid foundation for friendship, I don't know what is. I remember calling Jon and telling him about this awesome girl I met at work, and how isn't it strange when you become good friends with someone after college? Like honestly, think about your best of friends.... how many of those relationships began after college? I feel like, at some point in your mid-20s, your energy at maintaining relationships dwindles, and if you're not already good friends with someone, it's very hard to establish that friendship. Does that make sense to anymore other than me???

Anyway, Holly went to college in Columbus, and her group of college friends was still by and large in the area. One night, she invited me to a networking event so that I could meet some of her friends. We even have photo documentation of that night:

Oh, 24 year old Audra.
Throughout the last 5 years, despite not having attended said college with these girls, I have been indoctrinated into this group of amazing women. These gals have been such a blessing in my life. I am so amazed with the support system they provide to each other, and now, to me. 

For the past few years, we've had a Girls Thanksgiving celebration, and this year, it was at my house. Though my life is anything but boring right now, I love the times I get to share with these gals because I know that whatever mood I'm in, it will instantly be lifted when we're all together.

 Food. Laughter. A cozy fire. Wine. And most importantly, friendship. The perfect way to celebrate.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Food, Glorious Food

Today's quick and random post is dedicated to one of the best things ever: FOOD. 

Here are my favorite recipes lately that I'd eat every day if it weren't for a little thing called variety:

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
Cajun Seasoning is my new favorite seasoning. It's the red pepper flakes of 2013.

Also, this recipe is not healthy at all, just to warn you. However, I justify it because allegdly I burn 500 calories a day by nursing/pumping. Heck yeah!

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

Pioneer Woman Salmon. 

The easiest and tastiest salmon ever. Add some sriracha mayo and I'm in heaven. Actually, add Sriracha to anything and I'll probably love it.

Moving on, here is my sweet Anna B, trying her first "food" of (fittingly) sweet potatoes and she thought they were

 Lastly, I saw this article on Huffington Post about things that "Hangry" people do, and it just describes my life so much. My personal favorite is #9 because, as a mom, sometimes by the time I get to eat I look like this:

Because it's either shovel your food or don't eat, and you know option B is no option for me.

Happy Thursday!

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Sometimes, you just have to book it

Let's rewind to February 2009, shall we? 

Jon and I were engaged. We had just bought our first house. We were getting married in 3 months. Life was perfect. 

May 10th, 2008
 One of the last steps in our wedding planning process was to book our honeymoon. We waited until February to make sure we got a good deal. We were going to spend two weeks in Europe. 1 week in France, 1 week in Italy. 

You see, Jon and I love wine. Not for getting drunk, but we are those people who truly appreciate the taste of a good wine. Just like coffee for me, drinking wine is an experience for us. Some of our best memories of our dating relationship involve wine. And no, not in a pervy way, but just in all of the deep, meaningful conversations about life and love we've had while sipping on wine. Even our engagement had a wine theme.

Engagement wine

So, what better honeymoon than going to sample wine in two "romantic" countries? We were so excited. 

One night in February 2009, I had our flights and hotels sitting in my Expedia cart, just waiting for me to enter my credit card information. I wanted to wait until Jon came home from work so we could book it together.

That night, he came home, and I instantly knew something was wrong. I will never forget the look on his face when he told me the most devastating news we'd ever faced until that point.

Jon's architecture firm was going under. He was out of a job. 3 months before our wedding. A new mortgage looming. The hopes of a European honeymoon went unequivocally down the toilet. Or bidet. Or WC. Or whatever those Euros call it.

The next 6 months were nothing if not stressful, but, almost 5 years later, I can definitely say that Jon losing his job was the best thing that happened to him, at least career-wise. He had to hit the reset button on his career, but he's in a job and industry now that has been an absolute blessing to our family, both personally and financially.

Still, part of me has always wished that we could have taken the extended honeymoon we dreamed of but weren't able to take.

Fast forward to May 2014. Within the span of a week, I will turn 30 (ahh!), we'll celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary (and 6 year engagement anniversary), and Jon will graduate with his MBA. That's a whole lot of celebration for one couple, right?

So, naturally, over a glass of wine a few months back, Jon and I decided that we should take a trip to commemorate all of these mega-occasions in May. I knew I didn't want to go to Europe because I'm not ready to be that far from my girls, but we did want it to be wine-themed. The choice was obvious:

Napa Valley, California. 
The place where the wine flows abundant and everyone around you moves a little bit slower. 

I can think of a ton of reasons why we shouldn't go. It's expensive. It's time off work. Our girls will miss us. We'll miss the girls. We're parents and we can't leave our kids for that long because that's irresponsible.

But sometimes, you just have to book it. So we did. And we're going.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Random Wednesday Musings

 Last night, out of the blue, Emerson said to me "Mommy, you NOT a princess." Huh??? I mean, I know I wear pajamas 95% of the time I'm home, but I still think I'm frickin glamorous.

I can't stop dreaming of this Taco Stuffed Shells recipe. Not the healthiest thing on the planet, but they were so good I wanted to cry. 

My husband and I send text messages like this to each other. We think we're cool and that's that. 

I have been listening to a "Waiting for a Star to Fall" station on Pandora regularly for the past 2 weeks. 99% of you have probably never heard that song, and that's okay. I embrace my weirdness. P.S. The station is the greatest thing ever.

Speaking of 80s music, this morning, and not a moment sooner in my 29 years, I realized that Whitney Houston says "Still enough time to figure out how to chase my blues away" instead of "Stealing up time to figure out how to chase my blues away." In 29 years, how could I have never questioned what "Stealing up time" meant in the lyrics to "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."?!?!

We are running out of home improvement projects and instead of feeling relieved, I feel like "What's next?!?!" That is crazytalk. We gave our laundry area a makeover this weekend because I was getting the itch. is becoming my new addiction. My dream job would be to be a writer for that website. I have a feeling that is where all my people are. 

My other dream jobs include beach resort critic, food taster, and Disney princess. 

Happy Hump Day!

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Friday, November 1, 2013


My baby can breathe!!

What a ridiculous statement, because obviously breathing is one of those things that is critical to, you know, being alive and all, but my sweet Anna can finally REALLY TRULY breathe!

She went in for her third surgery in less than 6 weeks, and she did great! We got here on Wednesday and we're being discharged today! Our shortest stay at Children's Hospital ever, and hopefully our last ever.

You wouldn't believe the transformation. Right after surgery, even though she was still sleepy, you could see Anna's chest rising and falling so much. It was as if she couldn't comprehend how much air was going into her lungs. So sweet.

And eating... whoa! It makes me sad to think she's been eating her whole life with only one good nostril. Man she is a quick eater now! No wonder she had such a hard time with bottles! 

As an experiment, because I'm her mom and I want to show solidarity, I tried drinking and eating while plugging one side of my nose. It freaking sucked, and I made it about 5 minutes. Poor thing! But it's over now, and she finally gets to experience the sweet sweet joy of fresh air for the first time in her life. Oh the things we take for granted. I feel like everyday I should wake up, take a deep breath, and have a good day because I've made it that far.

So, to insert randomness, because my blog is nothing if not random, I laid awake until about midnight last night trying to come up with a list of popular songs that have the words breathe or breathing in the title or lyrics. Because I am a huge loser.

And here we are:

Michelle Branch, Breathe (the one currently stuck in my head)
Anna Nalick, Breathe
Maroon 5, Harder to Breathe
Matt Kearney, Breathe In Breathe Out
Lifehouse, Breathing
Faith Hill, Breathe
Bush, Machinehead
It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing, Shania Twain
Duncan Sheik, Barely Breathing

That's alot of songs. I know there are more. Clearly this means breathing is cool. And now our whole family can do it! YAY!

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