This is Friday

I'm noticing a trend here on my blog lately. Monday I attempt some sort of recap about my weekend and on Friday I attempt some sort of recap about my chaotic week. I swear, once preseason is over and football is really underway I can become a little more human again. Still football-obsessed of course, but human. Preseason is just rough because at work we are doing SO much behind the scenes to get ready for the real-deal. My Bengals are home tomorrow and then PRAISE THE LORD we don't have a home game until September 20th. I will be enjoying that normal schedule while I can!

Tonight we're having our family fantasy football draft and I've got some serious redemption to work towards. Last year I came in second to last and I don't really want to discuss the fact that I wasted my first-round pick on Adrian Peterson. #stillbitter. I've made my "famous" crack-dip and I'm looking forward to a night of some indulging and some serious football talk. And you never know what get-up Jared will be rocking- as seen in last year's partay.
I tweeted it the other day, but I'm pretty confident I'm too boring to have a blog most days. I work a lot, watch a lot of football and hang out with my main man as much as possible. I'm not overly creative with a zillion ideas for recipes or DIYs, I have no kids, no pets... I mean WHAT is there to blog about? Yet somehow I've written over 700 times on this blog. Scary, isn't it?! ;) Is there anything you guys want to know? Want me to blog about? I'd welcome the ideas.

Maybe one of these days I'll get caught up on blog reading/commenting. I always feel bad when I haven't checked in with my favorites and I do miss knowing what's going on with everyone. Blogworld, I miss you. Hoping to be around a lot more in the near future. Just as soon as life becomes manageable again. Happy Friday, friends! 

Love Is...

Love means something to different to everyone, but lately I've been thinking about how fortunate I feel to have a rock-solid marriage. Jared is truly my partner in crime life and I can't even really remember a time before we were together. Which is how I like it :) Going through a lot of our ridiculous photobooth pictures lately got me thinking about what love is to us.

Love is... DVRing a Bengals game and waiting an hour past kickoff to start it, when your husband will be home from practice. Avoiding social media is SO difficult! #sacrifice

Love is... doing the chores your significant other dislikes the most. I wash dishes, Jared takes out trash.

Love is... giving each other space when needed, but checking in for a quick hug/hello when that's needed too.

Love is... putting your cold toes on your husband and him allowing it (after a quick yelp, of course) ;)

Love is... texting entirely in emoji's and knowing exactly what the other one means.

Love is... packing lunches for each other and sneaking in a cute note that'll make the other's day.

Love is... being able to talk about anything and everything- silly or serious, and never get tired of discussing, debating and challenging each other. Politics, religion, science, pop culture- you name it, we discuss it.

Love is... giggling in bed for hours over the dumbest Youtube videos we can find and not caring about how tired we'll be in the morning.

Love is... getting through the tough stuff together and just knowing that sometimes life is gonna' flat out suck and we have to lean on each other.

Love is... coming up with key words/phrases that only we know the meaning of. It comes in handy in public or social settings sometimes.

Love is...encouraging each other countless times and always, always supporting each other. I love you, Jared!

One Epic Weekend

Happy Monday, everyone! Although 'happy' is a hard word to say when you're still mourning the weekend that went entirely too quickly. The past couple of work weeks have been SO chaotic, but I've had August 21st on my calendar for awhile. Friday night was epic, and I don't use that word lightly. After close to 4 years of reading/commenting on each other's blogs Kristin and I got to meet!!!

Kristin lives in Minneapolis but her sister moved into The Ohio State University over the weekend so their whole family made a stop in Cincinnati before heading up north. I'd like to claim it was solely to meet me- but Kristin's dad and step-mom had friends in the area they wanted to see too, so it worked out perfectly. It was originally going to be just Kristin and I getting dinner together but an hour before she arrived I got the text that her entire family was coming out for the occasion. Totally fine by me! 
We ate at The Pub, not far from downtown and had an absolute blast. I was weirdly nervous at first, but had zero reason to be. Kristin and I talk pretty much every single day at some point. We have so many odd things in common it would be impossible for us to NOT be friends. Isn't it crazy that she and I both got engaged on our favorite football fields? And within 1 week of each other?! That's no coincidence! We were destined to be friends.

Her family was SO much fun and let the weirdo from Ohio totally infiltrate their weekend plans and talk about Skyline Chili, the Bengals and all things Cincinnati. Tom- you were hilarious, keep it up! ;) 

I'm seriously so incredibly thankful blogging introduced us and although we might live 700 miles apart, I consider her one of my closest friends and hope we can arrange more meet-ups in the future! Her sister Kara IS a Buckeye now so I feel like more visits to Ohio are a must ;) Love ya, Kristin!!!

My First barre3 Class

Until I got an email about a charity fitness event happening at the stadium, I had no clue what barre3 was. I'd heard of barre classes in general but didn't realize there were so many varieties! barre3 is described as "where ballet barre meets yoga and pilates."

Last night I not only got to try out barre3 for the first time, but I also did it to raise money for charity AND class was held at my favorite place in the world. We partnered with the American Heart Association and about 50 of us ladies participated. I'll admit I was nervous to join in since I'd never tried it before, but I figured what the heck?! Even if I was horribly uncoordinated I'd give it a go. It would be a workout no matter what.
And a workout IT WAS. Oh my goodness. I was dripping with sweat and my legs were shaking by the time the hour session was up. But you know what? I loved it! The instructors were really awesome and helpful with a lot of us newbies. It felt good to get out of my comfort zone and try something new. Since I decided I wasn't a runner, it's been fun to try new things and have fun so this is just another cool activity to add to my list of ways to stay fit.

I left feeling both relaxed and energized at the same time, oddly enough. Lots of challenging moves, but lots of good stretches that just felt great, too. The classes are pretty pricey so I don't think it's something I'll be jumping into right away- but hellooooo free youtube videos that will kick my butt just as good! ;)

Any barre3 fans out there??

Oh, Hey.

Remember me? The girl who sometimes blogs. And the girl who lost all track of time last week. It was a blur, that's about all I know. Sometimes I struggle with things to write about this time of year... simply because all I want to do is scream "I LOVE FOOTBALL!" but a person can really only say that so many times on a blog, right? Who knows?! But since I went MIA last week here's a quick update before I (hopefully) get back into the swing of things again.

- The Bengals looked GOOD in our first preseason game. I even recorded the game and re-watched it with Jared on Saturday. We're obsessed, we know. I'm beyond excited about this season.

- Jared was away at his team's football camp last Thursday-Saturday. They had a great time, but wow- I missed him. I know, I know- gag, right? But seriously, being away a few days from each other was tougher than I expected. I don't know how people who travel all the time for work do it.

- We impulsively bought a few things Saturday night on Amazon and I have zero regrets :) We never do stuff like that so we kinda' just went with it. Nothing big or extravagant by any means- but a couple fun things we wouldn't normally buy ourselves. Tuesday will be like Christmas at our house!

- I'm doing a DietBet for the second time and it is seriously SUCH a huge motivator for me. I am on track to "win" again and I plan to share my results and thoughts on DietBet once I weigh-in next week.

- I am SO excited about plans I have for this upcoming weekend and I can't wait to blog about it next week. Counting down the minutes already.

That's all I've got today folks. I'll leave you with this, in case you need a good smile at the office. How true is this???

Tailgate Tuesday {Link-Up!}

Today might be my most favorite day of the blogging year so far. I get to talk about football - not like I don't do that weekly anyway- but I get to read everyone else's posts on the topic too! Today it doesn't matter who you root for, we are all fans. :) If you've been to my blog even one time, it's pretty obvious I'm a Cincinnati Bengals fan through and through. But just in case you're new here, I figured I would clarify. While I love watching college football, the NFL has always been #1 in my heart.
Tailgate Tuesday
I remember my very first Bengals game like it was just last week! It was September 2006 and my good friend had gotten free tickets from her dad's business for a game. And not just any game- a division rivalry against the Browns! It was the Carson Palmer/Chad Johnson (not yet OchoCinco) days and I was out of my mind excited despite how insanely hot it was that afternoon. Us poor college kids couldn't afford tickets normally.
Hello, 19-year-old Erin!

The next time I'd get to a Bengals game wouldn't be until December of 2008. It was Jared and I's first game together and because of how awful the season was going, we found dirt-cheap tickets! Our guys beat up on the Kansas City Chiefs and we loved every frozen part of it.

Now my Sundays are spent working at the stadium, and it's hard to believe this will be seventh season with the team. Even though my job is often a thankless and unrecognized one, it still feels pretty cool to be part of an NFL team. One of only 32 professional football teams in the world! I remember being at those games years ago and saying, "Wow, I wanna work here one day!" It's pretty incredible to see how much has changed in the last decade.

When the team's away and I'm not working? You can bet I'm packing my house full of people and serving up Skyline Chili Dip, Crack Dip and any other food I think will help our nerves as we scream and celebrate with some of the biggest fans I know. There's nothing like a full-house of diehard fans.

WHODEY, forever!
and PS- my friends over at Sweet Little Ones are joining in the fun today with their Tuesday Talk :)

Fun at the Fair

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is go to as many fairs and festivals as possible. Jared and I always hit up a couple local ones, and maybe even a county fair if we can find the time, but I'd never been to a state fair until this past weekend. You'd think that Ohio's would have been my first one, since I do live here and all but nope- I tore up the Indiana State Fair!
Jared and I got away for the weekend with our brother and sister-in-law to celebrate Kayla's birthday and we spent a good chunk of our Saturday exploring the largest fair I have EVER been to in my life. It was an absolutely gorgeous day- hot, but I was loving it. The sights, the sounds, the smells- yes, even the pig and cow barns. I couldn't get enough of all the cute animals and wondered (more than once!) how I could sneak something cute home with me. We even sat and watched some llamas and alpacas do an obstacle course for awhile and yes, it was awesome.

One of my favorite parts was the Pioneer Farm and Home Show. We got to watch people crafting beautiful things out of wood, churn fresh butter, sample delicious local syrup and watch paper get made. Really makes me long for a simpler time, honest to goodness. We live in such a complicated, often spoiled, time. Someone take my technology and get me a cabin in the woods- seriously!

I liked his sign :)
And of course a fair isn't a fair unless you eat something unhealthy/deep-fried and waste a little money playing games. Jared and Caleb both ate some gross looking doughnut burger and I had some deep-fried cookie dough that was one of the best things I've ever tasted! We also tried our luck at those rigged games- pitching baseball, using fishing poles and throwing some skeeballs. Let's just say between the four of us we only left there with one prize. 

We had an absolute blast and it was awesome to get away for the weekend. Life gets busy for everyone and it's not always easy to find a way to spend uninterrupted time with our friends so we soaked in every minute of this weekend. And we were so busy enjoying our time that this it the best "group picture" we got the whole time haha!! :) Happy Monday!

Friday Highlights

I've made it! I somehow survived this crazy week and got to Friday! I'm pretty confident there was a point on Tuesday I didn't think it was going to happen. But like clockwork (a crazy clock, for sure) it's here and I'm ready for a weekend of fun. Highlights of this week?

1. Paying extra on our mortgage. As scary as it is to see that huge chunk of money leave the bank account- it feels good knowing that it's going on our home that we OWN... rather than those nasty student loans which are now long gone. I've been getting excited about the potential of moving within a year or so and having a good amount of this house paid off is really important to us!

2. Two different people emailed me for DisneyWorld advice this week and I sorta' loved it. Jared and I seriously cannot stay away from Disney long and I love sharing tips and info with other vacationers! It's been a year and a half since we were last there and we legitimately miss it so much. Perhaps DisneyLAND could be in our future??? :)

3. We are officially ONE WEEK from the Bengals first preseason game. One week, people. Excuse me while I spaz out and don't sleep next week! Sidenote- will someone just buy me these shoes already?!

4. Don't forget, next Tuesday is Tailgate Tuesday link-up on my blog! Anything football related goes. You can just talk about your favorite team, your favorite football memory, tailgate recipes, gameday fashion/gear - anything at all! I'm already excited to read everyone's posts :) 

5.  And of course last but not least, a big ole' Happy Birthday Weekend to my little SIL, Kayla! She turns 24 on Sunday and we plan to celebrate all weekend long :) 

The Safety of a List

When I don't show up around here for a few days, it's much more comfortable to ease back into things with a list-y post. Can I just blog in lists every single day? I sure do like it and I think of more random things to type when I have the safety of a list. Big, daunting paragraphs are just too much sometimes. ;) Maybe my blog should be called Lists, Fun & Football? Okay- sorry, off-topic. So here's what I'm Currently...

Reading: Nothing, ack! I finished up a bunch of books last week and haven't started a new one yet. I definitely have less time to read right now but I still plan to crack open a new one soon.

Playing: Gavin DeGraw playlist. All 42 songs of his in my iTunes library. Don't judge me. It's good writing/designing music, what can I say?!

Watching: Not much lately, but I'm eagerly awaiting the New Girl's return. Anyone know when season 5 starts?!

Trying: To manage my time better. I hate when I let all my to-do's pile up and then feel overwhelmed by having to finish them all in one day, or weekend. Slowly but surely I've been implementing more of a routine with various aspects of life (cleaning, blogging, side job, friendships, etc) and it's helping me stress less. Not perfect yet, but definitely improving!

Cooking: Everything in the crockpot. Last weekend I stocked my freezer again to keep Jared and I fed in these busy few weeks. I love coming home to delicious food ready to be eaten- especially when the nights are late.

Drinking: Water, water and more water. I've always been a water drinker, I keep it with me at all times but I've been guzzling it even more lately. Most days I drink well over 100 oz!

Texting: My friend Cassie. She's a faithful reader of LFF, so Hi!!! She always seems to send the perfect texts at the perfect time- she's got a gift, seriously. Love that girl!

Tweeting: Everybody and their mama. I love Twitter- do you follow me?!

Pinning: Haven't been pinning much lately. A few party ideas here and there. Jared turns 30 in November and the wheels are already turning about how we should celebrate. 
Jared's birthday FIVE years ago. Where does the time go?!

Going: Nonstop! Football is on the brain and I keep squeezing more things into my calendar anyway. I already have plans for the next 7 weekends... yikes! Breathe. Breathe.

Thinking: That I really need to get some quality skincare products. I'm getting old, guys. I think I'm getting some wrinkles. And my skin is dry all the time. Anyone have any great products they'd like to recommend? I go into the drugstore and I'm just overwhelmed my choices. And the choices are expensive- so I better pick the right one!

Loving: Videochats with my niece. She is so fun you guys!!! I love her little laughs and we're working on getting her to say "Whodey!" She's pretty darn close!

Hating: Workplace drama. Keep me out of it, people!

Enjoying: This season of life. I feel like my marriage is stronger than ever and it's so incredibly comforting and wonderful. I don't mean to get all mushy on here, but Jared.... Jared's my rock, my best friend and my fun-loving partner for life. No matter what we're doing we're having a blast.