Life with Subtitles

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It’s summertime and the living is easy and worthy of subtitles. Here’s what’s up:

1. The Big Cojones

Did y’all know I was in a dodgeball league? No? Because I totally was, and it was awesome. Our season just ended, but the memories and friendships I’ve made from playing on the Big Cojones have not. Side note — I did not name our team.

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2. Pool party at the Dell Diamond

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I kick-started these sizzling months by partaking in a pool party at a baseball game with one of my dodgeball lady loves. A pool party at a baseball game! How fun is life!?

3. DJ Dash. 5k?

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My first summer run was an interesting experience. It was the first 5k I’ve ran that, uh, wasn’t actually a 5k. Being a bit of a running enthusiast, I asked where the timer was upon crossing the finish line. A kind sir informed me that they didn’t have one, and also because of our crazy Texas weather and muddy conditions, it had to be cut to only two miles anyway. And here I was thinking I ran the fastest 3.1 miles of my life. WHATEVER.

4. That Chinese kid

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I’m going to stay with one of my best gal pals in San Antonio this weekend. My best (Vietnamese) dude friend of nearly ten years (Gah, that makes me feel so old. We were just exchanging notes in high-school the other day, I swear it.) also lives in SA, so I asked if he wanted hang out. This somehow turned into him overanalyzing how my family feels about him. I am not aware of them thinking any of these things, but he made me laugh just the same. I’ve told other friends I’m contemplating starting a “Sh#* that Bryant says” domain.

5. Cheese Style

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Also amusing is when you text your dear husband a grocery store parody of T-Swift’s ‘Style’ and he has not even the smallest inkling of what you might be doing.

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6. Excuse me sir, I need your hat.

Because sometimes at a brewery it’s necessary to borrow a cowboy hat for a good photo op.

7. Getting feisty with a floating elephantpooljune

I highly enjoy spending time at the pool with my baby, a best friend and a child’s floating device that I may or may not have been passionately smooching once a margarita entered my system. (Luckily my child was napping at this point so she didn’t witness such atrocities against her elephant.)

8. All in a day’s work

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I like when freelance work leads me to the 28th floor of a building in the heart of downtown Austin.

9. That face.

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It’s the one I’m lucky enough to wake up to every morning.

10. These two

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They are just the very best.

Hot Air Ballooning And Other Grand Adventures

“I have found adventure in flying, in world travel, in business, and even close at hand….Adventure is a state of mind- and spirit.”  – Jaqueline Cochran

You know what’s awesome?

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Hot air ballooning is awesome.

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You guys, what an insanely incredible experience this was. From getting up at the crack of dawn to watch a gorgeous sunrise in the park to soaring in the sky in the early morning light, every moment spent with Austin Aeronauts left me humbled and wonderstruck. At one point, our pilot had us nearly touching a lake, as the city was waking up around us and the reflection of the balloon shone in the water below. I’ve always known this world was lovely, but seeing it from high above right as the day began made me fall head over heels in love all over again. I will always be incredibly thankful and humbled to be given opportunities like this one as an event blogger.

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Oh, you know what else is awesome?

Being alive.

Life, in general, is just this really beautiful thing that I am ever so grateful for.

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Our little lady just turned one, though I don’t really see how that is even remotely possible. We were just welcoming her to the world the other day, I swear it. Though time is the sneakiest, I couldn’t be more proud of that vibrant and cheerful little redhead girl of ours. She is a small wonder that looks just like her daddy, a blue-eyed ball of light who is as curious and infatuated by the world as her mama. She is walking and babbling and stealing our hearts on the daily, and the joy that fills our house is a force to be reckoned with. As I type, I can hear my husband chatting with Bryn in the other room, and my heart is just as full as it could possibly be.

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Another awesome thing— Tomorrow the husband and I leave for Atlanta, Georgia, a new-to-me city and state that I absolutely cannot wait to explore. With my favorite travel buddy by my side and plenty of plans in tow, an abundance of magic is sure to be had.

If life is what you make it, I plan on making this life one big, grand adventure. So far, so good.

Pst—Atlanta, here we come!

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.

Life And Vacation and Run-On Sentences

Quick life updates. Prepare for many choppy, run-on sentences. 

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HI! So I learned how to be a flying acrobat a couple of months ago. I also had the chance to pose for a photo-shoot with a photographer whose work has been shown in TIME magazine and stuff. I’m still event blogging and working as a social media representative, and still smitten with both of these gigs. Last weekend I ran a 5k in a beautiful vineyard, and was given a glass of wine as soon as I crossed the finish line. Life is so fun.

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Baby girl is almost six months old and is a complete daddy’s girl and it’s the most adorable thing ever. I am in love with their bond and watching her grow and kissing her fat little cheeks. She cracked up laughing as I repeatedly said the word “Ouch” in a high-pitched voice last week, and it was just the greatest thing ever. She is a happy, beautiful little baby and I am so very grateful that she is ours.

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Tomorrow my husband and I leave for our five year anniversary trip. We’re going to Vegas, and I’m also hoping to cross Utah off of my state bucket list. I usually try to avoid visiting a state I’ve already visited in the relatively recent past, but Nevada has Vegas and Vegas has really cheesy vow renewals. Nevada also has pretty mountains and holds memories from our earliest years of marriage. And for our five year renewal, all of that just sounds oh-so-perfect to me.

I am aware that I’m actually leaving out many life updates but I have to finish packing and I’m sleepy and excited and I have to pee and YAY.

Because..

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Because there are so many adventures to be had, y’all. Also because I believe in shameless blog promoting at a social media conference. (And yes, my handwriting really is that bad.)

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Because lounging by the pool is better with books and a Slurpee. And because I am indeed reading both The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and Brain Rules for Baby. Because life is better with variety?

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Because I swear she looks a little bit more like her daddy every day.

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Because being an event blogger is awesome and leads to lovely new experiences like learning how to captain a dinghy sailboat. Thanks for the informative lesson and perfect Saturday excursion, Austin Sailboat Rentals!

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Because attending Facebook Fit for work means being on the clock whilst eating yummy food, meeting wonderful people and learning new internet things. And also posing with my new thumbs-up ‘Like’ sign on a stick.

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Because best friends are the best.

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Because my best friends also make pretty awesome aunties to Baby Bryn.

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Because, okay, I just had to post one more picture of this chunky little baby of mine.

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Because being alive is spectacular, and I think it’s important to keep a running record of that.

Sharing My Sneeze

I’ve heard time and again that the first two weeks with a newborn is the most challenging. To my surprise, the past two weeks have been fine. Fun, even. Dare I say it, the past two weeks have even been blissful.

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After a pretty ideal 8+ months of pregnancy, the last few weeks were a little tough for me. I read somewhere that we as humans are much better at adjusting to life changes than we assume that we will be, but that the uncertainty of situations is what can really bring a person down. This uncertainty was throwing me for a loop. I was scared of labor, scared of being a new mom, scared of my life changing so drastically. Being a natural born worrier, I decided to peruse message boards to better prepare myself for what was to come. If there was one lesson I later learned from this, it was to never peruse message boards in order to ‘prepare’ myself for anything ever again. Horror stories are abundant. I was half expecting to have a 72 hour labor, a baby who cried for 12 hours daily and to never leave the house or sleep or eat or exercise or shower or brush my teeth ever again. I would be a stinky, sleep-deprived, emotional mess and also my husband would probably hate me.

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So it came as a pleasant surprise when I had an extremely fast and mostly pain-free labor (The epidural is my new soul mate), a mellow and very sleepy baby, and a husband and extended support system so wonderful that getting some ‘me time’ has not once been an issue. I’ve read a whole book (One for grown-ups!) since Bryn was born. I take long walks with that beautiful and happy baby of mine every night. Robby and I take shifts at night, so we both end up getting at least five hours of sleep, though I usually end up with closer to seven. I don’t exactly consider this sleep deprivation. I have upcoming races and photo-shoots and media events and other adventures planned, just like I always have. Heck, I even took two showers yesterday. (Those long walks do make me stinky.)

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But it’s so much more than just having unexpected down time. I have never felt so inspired, nor has my life and heart felt so full. I definitely felt inspiration and a fullness of life before, but now it seems my world is overflowing with the stuff. Bryn has brought more joy and magic to my life than I even knew was possible. That I could help create someone so absolutely perfect is amazing to me. I feel the need to skip and dance and write cheesy poetry, just because she exists. How come these mommy message boards don’t focus on all of these warm fuzzies and long cuddles and the desire to kiss someone’s soft little cheeks all day long?

I’m also really proud. I’m proud of my daughter, and how quickly she’s adjusted from womb to world. I’m proud of my husband and I for figuring out this parenting thing together, and for being patient and kind to one another as we learn. I’m proud of my body and what it’s capable of. Sure, it’s nice being 5 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. But much more than that, I am amazed at its ability to bounce back after labor. After delivering an eight-pound baby, I truly feel that I can do anything. Nobody told me how empowering giving birth would be.

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Best of all, I feel like I’m falling in love all over again. With my daughter, and also with my husband in his new role as the daddy of our girl. Robby’s mom was in town for a couple of days, so two nights ago we went on our first date night since Bryn was born. We laughed and flirted and had long conversations about Star Wars and how weird and unintentionally incestuous it was that Luke Skywalker kissed his sister twice. I felt giddy and silly and almost like a teenager again. Can you have a crush on your husband? Because if you can, I totally do.

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Shortly after bringing Brynlee home, we heard her sneeze for the first time. I had always assumed that sneezing patterns were learned and not inherited, but after hearing hers for the first time, I knew this assumption was wrong even before researching it. Picture Minnie Mouse or a bunny rabbit quickly coughing five times in a row, and that is probably the closest thing to my sneeze. I often get amused comments on it, as it’s this weird trait about me that has always been very uniquely Christina. But now it’s not. Miss Brynlee sneezes just like me. I gave her my sneeze, and that makes me so incredibly happy.

I don’t write this post to brag about having the world’s best baby or husband or life. I have been so blessed, but I know Miss Bryn will have her good days and bad, just like we all do. I write this because I want to remember all of this joy, and all of the other new feelings that accompanied the beginning of Brynlee’s life. I write this because I would have loved to find something like this while Googling when I was pregnant. I write this because I wish someone would have told me that it was possible for my uncertainty to turn into such an indescribable glee. Of course I know that there will eventually be challenging moments along with the blissful ones. All of the most beautiful things in life are this way. But how could I not be on top of the world, being able to love and hold and look into the eyes of this little person who shares my sneeze?

25 Things I’m Glad I Did Before Turning 25

In light of my recently hitting the quarter-century mark, I thought I’d make a post dedicated to twenty-five of the things I’m happy to have had the chance to do before turning 25. The hardest part about writing this post was compressing the list to only twenty-five things, which I suppose is a pretty great complaint to have. I just feel so blessed to have been able to live as big and fully as I have thus far, and I absolutely can’t wait to find out what’s next. Since most of this list was completed in the past five years, I’m also giddy to see what accomplishments can be made and adventures shall be had before reaching thirty years of age. But for now, I’m pretty proud to be where I’m at and to have done what I have with my first twenty-five. So without further ado and in no particular order (Prego brain ain’t got time for that), here’s 25 things I’m so glad to have done before 25:

1. Hosted my own on-campus radio show

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2. Bungee Jumped

3. Parasailed

4. Crowd-surfed

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5. Tied the knot with my very favorite person, adventure buddy and partner-in-crime.

6.  Volunteered frequently

7.  Became a home-owner

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8. Met Willie Nelson. And Chandler Riggs. (aka Carl of “The Walking Dead”) And the former White Power Ranger.

9. Went Fly-Boarding

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10. Ziplined

11. Ran a half marathon

12. Filmed a commercial for a name brand company

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13. Had that same company (U By Kotex) fly me first class to Detroit, where I would have some of the most incredibly surreal times of my life while also filming for a piece shown at concerts all over the US

14. Swam at a nude lake. Nude.

15. Drank Coronas in Mexico

16. Strolled the beaches of Puerto Rico

17. Saw the view from the top of the Eiffel Towervenice2

18. Viewed Italy from a romantic gondola ride in Venice

19. Ran a race for a good cause–In my underwear.

20. Self-published a short story

21. Wrote an article that was published in my local newspapergradday

22. Interned for the American Red Cross

23. Graduated college Cum Laude

24. Fell in love with my job as a social media representative

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25. Made a baby–when I was ready.

It blows my mind that my mom had a seven-year-old (me!) and a four-year-old at the age I’ll be having my first. The older I get, the more grateful I am for all of the sacrifices my parents made to give me the opportunity to live such a beautiful and wonderful life. And now I can’t wait to continue living that life with my own little lady and that sweet dude of mine by my side.