No One At The Kmart Knows About My Bologna

From my first days of knowing my husband, I also knew about his love for nonsensical phrases. He loves to incessantly repeat odd, meaningless things that he hears on films or commercials or on the side of the road. I’ve never watched Back to the Future or The Goonies from start to finish, but I can quote the crap out of both of them.

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So as we were binge-watching Shameless last week, and a stoned college student on a bad trip uttered the words, “No one at the Kmart knows about my bologna.”, I immediately knew this would be a new token phrase. Not only because Robby was nearly crying he was laughing so hard, but because it sounded just like him. I felt honored to be privy to a strange catchphrase in the making.

Robby and I are soon to celebrate seven years of marriage and an anniversary trip is in the works. Both of these things make me giddy.

In these seven years we’ve shared many things. Anger, but more joy. Fights, but more laughter. Eye rolls, but more weird dances around the house. Baby poop, but more group family cuddles. Okay, let’s be real, probably more baby poop. Babies poop a lot.

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 There’s a big learning curve when it comes to marriage, and I love that we’ve always found ways to learn and curve together. I was especially young when we said “I do”, and Robby has been unwaveringly patient and kind every step and misstep of the way. There are things I couldn’t have known at twenty that I know about myself now. That, as much as I value us, I also need space to breathe, to travel and to live outside of my marriage. That, as much as I cherish my family, I also value my independence and higher education and exploring the world. Not only that, I sincerely believe that having this time to myself makes me both a better wife and mother overall. This isn’t something that everyone understands, and that’s okay. Because he does. Robby has always wholeheartedly encouraged me to chase my dreams and to figure out what makes me feel happy and fulfilled. He is my person, and to have spent the past seven years crafting inside jokes and our own bizarre lingo makes me feel like I’m a part of the best private club. Ours.

I married young, but I married right.

His sweet laughter about secret bologna only reiterates that knowledge.

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Seguin Brewery

To kick January off with a yeast-fermented bang, my hubby and I recently took a little road-trip to Seguin, Texas to enjoy some beer tastings at Seguin Brewing Co.

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I’m sure I’ve driven through Seguin multiple times over the years, but this was my first time to slow down and visit this lovely little city. My husband hadn’t been either, so it was exciting to go into this blogging adventure with my person, neither of us knowing exactly what to expect.

It was even better that the experience completely exceeded any expectations I could have had.

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Seguin Brewery is, as I told the brewery-owner multiple times, so charming.

Before even stepping inside the brewery itself, I was sold. There were couples and little ones and groups of friends just frolicking about. You may think to yourself, “Christina, really? Frolicking? Why do you always have to be so dramatic with your verbiage?” But GUYS, I looked it up so you don’t even know. Ahem. The definition of frolicking is to, “Play and move about cheerfully, excitedly, or energetically.’ This is exactly what was happening. But with beer in hand, so even better.

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During the quick but informative tour, I had a chance to hear about all of the care and dedication that goes into making their beer. Seguin Brewing uses a mixture of both old and new brewing techniques to create the most unique of beers. They managed to give me my first IPA that I actually enjoyed. Usually the bitterness of the hops is too much for me, but this was my first ever Black IPA. It was still a bit bitter, but I was okay with this as it was a much darker brew with hints of coffee. My taste buds were intrigued and happy.

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The ‘tastings’ themselves were actually three very generous pours of beers, and I was extra excited to find out that we got to keep the adorable glass that the pours came in. The hubs and I actually used them for our strawberry margarita, Connect 4 and Making A Murderer date night on Friday. So the glasses are quite versatile and also I am the reigning Connect 4 champion, if anyone was wondering.

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Moving back to the brewery, I was also smitten with the open and inviting atmosphere that the lack of doors created. I loved that the outdoor and indoors were united, as the outside was where so much of the magic happened. There was a huge Jenga table and giant lawn chairs and laughter all around. There was a chill in the air and smiles on the faces of all nearby. My husband owned me at a game of washers, but I was too giddy to even care THAT much. Seguin Brewing was overflowing with magic and happiness and BEER. Can there be a better combination than this one?!

The fun-loving owners also suggested eats for consuming after the brewery, which gave Robby and I an even better look at the enchanting, cozy town that is Seguin, Texas.

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In closing, I also loved seeing the motto featured on their website.

“Small town, big nuts!”

 Seguin Brewing, you’re doing it right.

(Note: My husband and I were given the tour and tastings at Seguin Brewing free of charge, but I was otherwise not compensated for my review. All opinions expressed are all mine!)

Memphis, Part 1

My husband and I recently got back from an anniversary trip to Memphis, and the entire trip of celebrating another year of our love was delightful. I’ll get to said delightfulness on the next post, as this first post is actually not really about my husband at all. Sorry, hubs.

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On our very first night in Tennessee, I had the honor of meeting Rach over at This Italian Family.

Rach and I have been blog friends for close to four years, so I was giddy in hopes of meeting her on our trip.

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I snapshotted Rach’s Instagram post because I thought she captured the energy of our meet so well. We hugged in random parking lots, laughed a lot and just immediately clicked. That’s the beauty of blogging friendship, isn’t it? Without ever tangibly meeting, you can understand and adore each other just the same. It felt like we were just picking up wherever we had left off, even if where we had left off was exchanged over words on a keyboard.

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Her and her hubby Chris(topher) ((I was told I could call him either and couldn’t pick one so this is how I will always see his name now)) picked us up from our AirB&B lodging and took us to their favorite Mexican restaurant, Las Delicias, which definitely lived up to its name. But more on Memphis eats later. I knew I loved Rach almost the moment I met her. It was, in fact, the same moment hubby and I were being scolded. We were unintentionally exiting the wrong door and the homeowner was politely letting us know. Robby was chatting with her at the same time Rach walked up to hug me. I quietly murmured something about us being in trouble when Rach, seconds after I had officially met her, excitedly asked, “Oooooh. Why are you in trouble?!” I’m one to jump past small talk in the first place, and I feel like there’s definitely no need for feigning boundaries when you’ve been reading the other’s blog for years. So I’m glad Rach felt the same and we were able to immediately jump to the good stuff. The good stuff being blatant curiosity and fast friendship.

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From there, Rach and Chris(topher) quickly made our first night in Memphis the best first night possible. They paid for our dinner, took us to meander through the aisles of a grocery store and wine shop and even brought us to taste the Memphis-famous Gibson’s donut. Put simply, they were the sweetest. And I say this right after talking about scrumptiously sugar-laden donuts, so y’all know I’m not playing.

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Rach was outgoing and kindhearted and so fun to be around, just as I pictured she’d be, so I’m glad she thought I lived up to my blogging self too. I also appreciate that when mentioning “vivacious, funny and friendly” she left out “scatterbrained” and “slightly awkward”, which, believe me guys, she definitely noticed in the hours we spent together. I may or may not have tried to walk out of the wine shop without my wine, less than five seconds after purchasing it.blogbuds

In reading Rach’s comments on our photo she posted to Instagram, I got happy feels and decided that our little mutual friend blog circle needs to have a meetup in 2016. I also have to be a little sentimental and say that I’m forever thankful for the blogosphere and all of the wonderful things and people it’s brought my way.

Memphis Part 2, coming as soon as I can get past regression analysis in stats class! So probably never! Just kidding. I think. I hope.

We Wore Our Sunglasses At Night – May 2008

These are the words I held back, as I was leaving too soon..

Please don’t be in love with someone else,
Please don’t have somebody waiting on you.”

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 Seven years ago I met this pretty cool guy at a house party.

We talked all night. I told him I could spell anything when I was drunk, and he lied to me and told me he liked some country music. I believed him because his voice sounded like a sweet southern song, but I’d later find out that he really hates almost all country music and much prefers techno and dubstep. For reasons too many Jell-O shots won’t allow me to remember, we took our first picture together, sporting sunglasses at night.

I attacked his lips with smooches before he left, and he proceeded to ask me on a date. Days later, he messaged me on MySpace with a quick message: “What’s up, spelling bee?”

The rest is history. But a history that I love to tell and retell.

For so long, the way he treated me felt so brand new. Part of this was because I was only nineteen, and fairly new to the whole dating scene. But more than that, what I had witnessed of serious relationships in my previous eighteen years had left me substantially incredulous for someone so young. Robby was what I had only dreamed a partnership could be, not what I had ever known the reality to look like. From the very beginning, I was taken aback by the complete freedom I felt when I was with him.

In our earliest of days, he once left my friend’s apartment living room in the wee hours of the morning to head off to work. I was barely awake when I heard the door close and then, moments later, open again. He had walked back inside just to give my half-asleep self a quick kiss goodbye.

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And that was how it always was with Robby. He looked at me like I had hung the moon, told me he loved me entirely too soon and quite often, gifted me with sweet surprises and constantly gave my hand quick pecks, just because. His happiness was contagious and his complete adoration for me slightly baffling. It seemed too good. I worried that it wouldn’t last.

Yet here we are more than seven Mays later, with years’ worth of love and happiness and our own little Brynlee Mae Boudreaux. Today I woke him up in the wee hours of the morning to tell him that I couldn’t sleep. He was barely awake as he stroked my back and snuggled until I felt relaxed enough to doze off again. I’m still occasionally surprised by his sweet smooches, thoughtful actions and loving words, but I’m so grateful that it’s all that our Miss Mae has ever known. I’m happy to share his hung-the-moon gaze with this sweet baby girl that we made all by ourselves.

Seven years later and our love still feels like freedom. Like the deepest of belly laughter. Like seeing fireflies in your backyard hammock on a star-studded summer night. Like kissing at sunset on the Jackson Street Bridge, or getting lost in Venice in the rain, or renewing wedding vows in a silly little Vegas chapel. Like the grandest of adventures. The kind that you just can’t wait to continue for the rest of your days.

Atlanta, 2015

I’ve added a new city to my list of favorites, and its name is Atlanta. I may or may not say this about most new places I visit, but work with me here. I’m just a girl who’s a bit smitten with the world, y’all.

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Atlanta Top 10:

1. Monday Night Brewing

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So unique. So fun. So many ties. For just $10 dollars a piece my husband and I received an adorable glass and six very generous pours of their tasty brews. Inside and outside were both full of lively crowds, sweet décor and string lights. And let’s not forget ALL OF THE TIES. So many good vibes. So many happy feelings. So got my husband drunk.

2. Brunch on the rooftop at Republic Social House

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Bottle of champagne. Cheesy grits. Biscuit with fried chicken and maple syrup. Rooftop views. Need I say more? NO I DON’T. (I’m sorry guys I sometimes scream at you when I’m excited.)

3. Ferris wheel ride at Skyview Atlanta.

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 I bought a Groupon for this one which also included a box of chocolates, making the evening all the more lovely and romantic. Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know how awesome it is until you’re eating it whilst on a ginormous Ferris Wheel showcasing incredible sights of Atlanta from high above. Pretty sure Forrest Gump said something along those lines once.

4. Coffee at Octane

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I choose the pour over, which was earthy and herbal and so tasty. Also loved the warehouse-like feel of this place. It was cozy and chill and made my heart smile.

5. Dinner at Canoe

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Located on the Chattahoochee, Canoe boasts exquisite views, an outstanding ambience and orgasmic delights. And by delights I mean food, just to clarify.

6. Exploring Senoia

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(Leaving my purple mark on Senoia)

The Atlanta area is where Walking Dead is filmed, and being geek fans, this was a definite added bonus for the husband and I. Robby especially turned into an excited man-child when entering the town of Senoia, Georgia – aka Walking Dead’s Woodbury. It’s a picturesque town, which made it all the more perfect for the creepy crap that went down in Woodbury. While buying fudge and cupcakes at the quaintest of ice cream shops, we talked to friendly locals and learned that filming was about to start in the next town over, a literal stone throw away from Senoia. Our next thirty minutes were spent getting as close to this town as possible without getting in trouble from the security standing guard all around. Rebels, the two of us.

7. Brunch at H. Harper Station

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Clearly, I really love a good brunch. Atlanta definitely did not disappoint. H. Harper Station is the most adorable of spots, located in an old train station and perfect for breakfast-lunch time. Strong coffee delivered to me in a French press, beautifully presented and completely delicious bagel with smoked trout, and the best, most buttery and crispy tater tots of my life. Yum, yum and YUM.

8. Watching the sunset and sharing kisses on Jackson Street Bridge.

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9. Joystick Gamebar

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On our last evening in Atlanta, Robby and I were brainstorming on what to do. Old man wanted something chill like bowling, and I was craving the nightlife. When he suggested an arcade, I did some googling and found the perfect in between. Joystick Gamebar provided a bar with old school games such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. I quickly gave up on the games, but fell in love with this place instantaneously just the same. As Robby played Ninja Turtles, I found drinks like chai soda with pecan vodka and ginger beer slushies. I chit-chatted with fun peeps and explored the lounge area, which was full of board games, tacky wallpaper and cat photos. It was pure kitschy, goofy cheese. Never have I felt so at home in a bar. I wandered back to the Pac-Man area in time to see my husband find a gamer buddy, and I inwardly chuckled with love for that nerd of mine. We then ended the night in very serious Connect Four and Jenga competitions.

10. Biking the BeltLine

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Um, only one of the best bike rides EVER. The views of downtown Atlanta were spectacular and the day perfect for a bike ride. From tiny doors to gorgeous graffiti and sculpture tree faces, the entire BeltLine is an insanely beautiful, zany, culture-filled work of art. I had barely passed one piece before I was captivated by another. Having a husband who repeatedly rang his bike bell, threw his hands up in the air and tried to play bumper-bikes only added to previously mentioned beautiful zaniness.

11.

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So I lied about the top ten because I have to add one more. As always, the moments in between are one of my favorite things about traveling with my dude. It’s fairly easy for me to get caught up in itineraries and doing ALL the things, but with his easygoing nature and calm spirit, Robby always reminds me about what makes our adventures the best. We do.

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 On the way back from our small road-trip to Senoia, I was itching to get back for dinner and plans for seeing more of Atlanta. But when we briefly stopped at a gas station and Robby sweetly asked, “Will you buy me a Toostie Pop?”, I just had to smile and slow down. Small a moment as it was, it caught me. Here are the things that are the greatest. Sitting in our rental with my favorite person in a random Georgian town. Making new memories, laughing about things that only make sense to us and enjoying our respective (mine was the bubble gum variety) Pops. We chose to forgo many of the big touristy attractions for things like bike rides, an arcade bar, a brewery covered in ties, little road-trips and strawberry-flavored suckers. And this was the very best of decisions.

Another one of my best decisions? Choosing the above guy as my lifelong partner in crime and travel buddy. My heart fills with joy when thinking about the memories made throughout our many explorations in the past seven years. Thanks for adding some pretty spectacular adventures to that list, Atlanta.

Love Drunk

“You probably shouldn’t tell him I said this, but Robby makes the perfect feminist husband.”, my friend Rachel told me as we sipped drinks downtown a few weekends ago.

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I laughed, because both of us knew he would probably deny this adamantly, but also because I realized that it was incredibly true.

I smile now thinking about another memory that comes to mind from a couple of weekends back. My husband and I were sitting on the patio at a favorite restaurant of mine, enjoying the perfect weather and our scrumptious meals. We had just finished kayaking at a nearby lake and were now soaking in the company of one another and time well spent. Robby was finishing his first and only beer of the day when he announced, “I feel drunk.” I was a little floored. This was coming from the man who, six years ago, could drink anyone I knew under the table. Who once told me stories of inebriated nights that nearly made me blush for him. Now he drinks so little that one beer can leave him feeling a little woozy.

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The day before the revelation that my husband is now a lightweight, gal pals and I had spent a beautiful day in Dripping Springs, Texas. We hopped around from wineries to a brewery to a quaint and delicious tapas restaurant. It was a day of perfection, magic and plenty of laughter. Sitting on the patio of a vineyard, listening to live music and chatting with my lady loves, the afternoon was exquisite and seemed to hold the promise of summer adventures soon to come. The same friend who called Robby a feminist mentioned in conversation that, though I’m married with a baby, I am able to do more than many single people she knows. I admitted that it doesn’t hurt to have that really awesome feminist husband of mine.

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I always inwardly chuckle when I hear comments like, “Oh, it’s so nice that your husband babysits.” or “It’s great that he watches her so you can get away for a bit!” It’s definite but unintentional gender role stereotyping– let’s be real, no one would ever say I was babysitting my own kid– but because I know no harm is meant, I’ve learned to laugh it off. Still, the truth is that getting out is not at all a rarity for me, and that Robby is far from a sitter. He is a dad and he is a husband, and a completely terrific one on both counts. I always know when I am adventuring that Miss Bryn is in the best of hands with her wonderful daddy. I’ll always take comfort in the fact that I have not just a husband, but a support system, a friend, a partner and a beautiful romance to call my own.

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Robby is the man I met nearly seven years ago, only better. He still tells the occasional inappropriate joke, has the same charming smile and loves cheap Mexican food. He has the same kind heart, happy disposition and southern accent that goes on for days. He’s the same, only more calm, more centered and more understanding. He listens better and tries harder. Over the years, I have had the honor of watching him become the most patient and loving man, and now father, that I have ever known. He also changes a mean diaper, and last night I caught him with baby in one hand while he pulled cookies out of the oven with the other. I didn’t know seven years ago that I was dating my own personal demigod in training.

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I realize and am trying to capture to memory what a beautiful season of my life–of our life– that this is. I’m raising my favorite little girl with the help of my favorite guy, and it’s the happiest of places to be. There are occasionally challenging moments right along with the magnificent ones, but hands down the hardest thing about these days is knowing that they won’t last forever.

Maybe my husband is onto something. Who really needs alcohol when you’re this love drunk?

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Just kidding, y’all. I still need my wine.

Mishaps, Surprises And A Half Marathon

The past week and a half has been crazy, busy, stressful and packed full of sweet surprises and blissful reminders.

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My daughter ate deodorant (Poison Control assured me she’d be just fine), my relatively new, usually perfect car refused to start, my debit card somehow got demagnetized and I accidentally hit on and probably terrified an attractive man. Let me explain that last part. Husband and I were walking out of date night at Punch Bowl Social and had just acquired some new photo-booth photos. I waved the new photos in front of my husband’s face and said “Lookit how cute we are!” Except it wasn’t my husband. Robby had politely opened the door for some folks and I was waving photos in front of a cute, probably terrified stranger. We both nervously laughed as I mumbled an explanation, and proceeded to quickly find our respective parties. Both myself and my respective actual husband proceeded to laugh at me a lot.

Now onto the sweet surprises and blissful reminders.

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My best dude friend randomly texted one evening last week asking if it was too late for dinner. He lives in San Antonio, but was in town for an interview the next day. I couldn’t help but smile at his typical impromptu plans. It was wonderful sharing unplanned drinks, stories and laughs with one of my favorite people of nearly nine years.

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On Saturday, a gal pal and I made a mini road-trip to San Marcos to run Moe’s Better Half Marathon. The weather was cold, wet and windy, but I was giddy to run my third half and join Becca as she popped her half marathon cherry. This was also my first half to run with a friend, and despite the fact that we were running in icy rain, I loved most every second of it. Never has 13.1 miles gone by so fast as when I was chatting, giggling and maybe even once peeing in a bush with my lovely friend. After we crossed the finish line, we rewarded our accomplishment with an incredible brunch at downtown San Marcos’ Root Cellar Cafe. The restaurant was cozy and quaint, the presentation was gorgeous and the meal absolutely scrumptious. I was double fistin’ with coffee and mimosas. Paradise. It was exactly the brunch destination I envisioned treating myself to after an especially long morning run. It definitely didn’t hurt that the company was also pretty excellent.

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As part of my adventure of the day today, I visited the specialty beer store that is Hamrick’s Market. I was thinking the cashier looked familiar and was trying to place him when he asked, “Did you used to work at Target?” I remembered then. Jacob and his best friend were two of my favorite, most entertaining customers. As he was updating me on his life Mr. Jacob told me that he and his pal were about to become roommates. With amusement in his tone he added, “But it’s not like that.” Apparently I had once assumed him and his pal were lovers. I was tickled that, after five years, he not only remembered me but also my word vomit.

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Mishaps aside, life has been giving me butterflies lately. I am infatuated with the love, the joys, the opportunities and the exciting possibilities that are filling my days.

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I think it should be noted that, on the two different occasions that my car wouldn’t start, two people I hadn’t known five minutes prior helped to jump-start my vehicle. A reminder to never underestimate the kindness of strangers. A reminder that there is beauty to even the moments in which things go wrong. A gentle nudge to remember the rest of these perfect moments, in which everything goes so very right.