It's been raining non-stop in Ohio for, oh, about the last month or so. April has taken it's job seriously as the rainiest month of the year. I can't remember the last time the bottom of my pants weren't soaked from walking across campus.
But, because my blog is all about positivity and optimism (well, most of the time), take a look at what I saw at the end of a particularly stressful day yesterday:
See? Isn't getting soaked by the rain worth it, just to see something so beautiful?
This is not a new song by any means, but I've always loved it. It came on my workout mix last night, and now I keep listening to it on repeat. I love those songs you can "re-discover" and they're just as good the 1000th time you've heard them. Plus, the lead singer is a cutie :)
Today's blog shot out: My sister (in-law, but we don't like to acknowledge that law part) Mackenzie is running the Country Music marathon in Nashville, TN this weekend. She is going to do amazing, and I am so proud of her!
Do you ever have one of those weekends that leaves you feeling so happy, so refreshed, and so renewed that even Monday can't bring you down? We had one of those, and I really needed it.
To top it off, we went to Thurman's Cafe yesterday, home of the word famous Thurminator and featured on Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel. We waited over 2 hours to get in, but it was well worth the wait!
Thurman's also lets their guests put up single dollar bills on the wall to commemorate your visit. Every few months or so, they take all of the singles down and donate them to charity. Here was our contribution:
I've been sick all week, and it has taken a toll on my emotions and my immune system. But I'm back and ready to be my positive self! So here are some of the things that have made me smile this week:
Quinoa. I've just discovered this miracle of a food, and I AM HOOKED. I love the taste, I love the texture, and I love how good it is for you. Here is a breakdown of some of the reasons why you should love quinoa too:
It's cheap. I bought it in bulk at the Bexley Natural Market, and $6 got me four full meals. And we're talking full, like Audra-sized meals.
It's easy. Boil for 15 minutes. Sit for 5. Fluff and enjoy. Anyone (that means you, Jon!) can make it.
You can eat it for breakfast or lunch. I'm not kidding. Quinoa can take on any form you want. You can eat it like oatmeal in the morning, in soup for lunch, or like couscous for dinner. How many foods can boast such versatility?
But lastly, and most importantly, quinoa is so GOOD for you! According to foreverlookinggood.com, quinoa contains twice the protein of regular cereal grains, contains less carbohydrates, more healthy fats, fiber, phosphorus, calcium and is high in iron. It is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs, just like meat, eggs and dairy. It can also help people with type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and may help those with cataracts, gallstones, and asthma. Does your Ramen do that??
Because I was laying on the couch/in bed for the last 3 days with nothing to do but feel sorry for myself, I've been hitting the Redbox like no one's business.
I'm so glad I rented 'Easy A' because I have finally found my long-lost sister: Emma Stone. This is a girl after my own heart. Her quips, her puns, her plays on words, her dorkiness.... OMG, We are the same person.I am now in love with her. Friends, go rent the movie, and I dare you to tell me we are not from the same bloodline.
Even though I've been stuck inside for the last few days, I am loving the warmer weather. Sunshine will always make me happy. I've said this before, but you will never catch me complaining about the heat. I hate being cold, so any chance for warmth is met with enthusiasm and excitement from me. Here comes the sun, and I say it's alright.
My friend Holly and I were talking about this old adage last week, as she was going through a time of great stress. I sympathized with her, but I didn't realize how true it was until this weekend.
I've had three deaths in my family this past week. Death is such a hard concept for me in general, and I feel so badly for all of my family members affected by these losses. I know so very well how much a loved one's death can hurt the heart and soul.
I also have what appears to be bronchitis. The weather is beautiful outside, but all I want to do is crawl under the covers and sleep for the next week. Is that okay??
Any pieces of good news, funny jokes, or uplifting stories would be appreciated today...
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens"
I have completely given up on trying to understand life. Honestly. Sometimes it just doesn't make sense. But this Bible passage... for some reason it has really struck a nerve with me. I've been thinking this week about people, places, and things that were in my life at some point, but now are not.
For example, since losing Jack, I have completely stopped communicating with a few people that I once considered good friends. I have no idea why it happened, it just... did. I was in such a horrible place back in September, but there were some amazing people who helped me crawl out of my intense grief. And then there were others who tried once or twice to contact me, and when I didn't respond back quickly with my usual upbeat enthusiasm they just... abandoned me. I wasn't ready to speak right away, but I was ready eventually. I was waiting... and nothing. Instead, they gave up on trying to reach out to me or just ignored me altogether.
At that time, I was in a place where I couldn't be strong. I needed my friends to be strong for me - I couldn't make the first, second, or even third move toward normalcy... I needed them to do it. When they didn't, it made me feel as though I was only useful to those people before my world was shattered, and once it was, I no longer had a place in their happy and uncomplicated lives. It made me feel as though our friendship was superficial, when I had always thought it was real.
My wise friend Brendan told me he truly believes that at any given point, people are in your lives for a particular reason. Not every person you meet is supposed to be your best friend forever. Some people serve a purpose for a small portion of your life, and you'll never forget them. But they are only a portion of one or two chapters in the book of your life, and even if that character was really interesting and fun, they aren't as integral to the story as others. In my mind, what's done is done. That chapter is over.
The Audra that I see today is a completely different person than the Audra I was at this time last year. I am SO lucky to have people in my life today who have embraced both versions. I wish I could still be that naive girl from back then.... but I'm not. Way too much has changed, and it's impossible to go back. I will never be the same, and I know that. But I have a whole lot of people who love me anyway, and those characters are sticking around for a long, long time.
After getting up at 5:00AM (?!?@$@#?$@#) to work at a career fair this morning, this beverage has quite literally saved my life today. 5:00AM is NOT an hour that should be seen. It's inhuman. If you do it, I'm sorry but you are cray cray.
Hi, my name is Audra, and yes I am addicted to coffee, and no I don't care what you think. Have a good day.
Naturally, this morning 'Under the Sea' from the The Little Mermaid came into my head for no apparent reason. Well, I can think of a reason: I'm random. But you knew that. The other reason is, I've been thinking alot lately about how easy life seems for some people. I'll admit it.... sometimes I am envious of others. They have the house, the car, the wardrobe, the waistline or the bank account that I wish I had.
Some people's lives just seem so..... easy. Good things happen to them all the time, and I just wonder why I couldn't be so lucky.
But then I remember that I have "things" and, more importantly, people in my life that others don't and will never have. So I guess what I'm trying to say is.... things might seem easier for others, and it might seem unfair. But hey, this is the life I was given, and it wouldn't have been given to me if I couldn't handle it.
And just like one of my favorite quotes, know matter how good I think a person has it, they are most likely fighting a battle I know nothing about.
Sebastian the lobster was right. "Just look at the world around you, right here on the ocean floor. Such wonderful things around you, what more are you looking for??"