Photo Christmas Catch Up

If I’m behind on updating my blog, I’m really behind on uploading photos anywhere. So instead of giving y’all a verbal update on my life, I’ll give you a visual one. But one quick note…towards the end of the photos, you’ll start to see glasses-less me. I’m climbing the uphill battle of giving contacts a try. We’ll see how that turns out.

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After many childhood trips to South Bend to see my grandfather, I finally made it to a Notre Dame game. And since I can’t tailgate with beer, I figured, why not champagne. Mumm…if you need a spokesperson, I’m available!

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Spotted at Thanksgiving. My all-time favorite photo. This hangs in my grandparents house showing all the cousins that were born by that point. I have always been cynical. 

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The brother and I before the annual Thanksgiving hike. Also before our trip planning to Zanzibar next year.

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Took a weekend trip to DC to see my bestest friend. Much needed quality time.

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And I can’t go to DC without seeing my soulmate, Fou. Unfortunately, all our non-blurry photos are not quite as flattering. This girl was the reason I got through my one semester at Centre.

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The Bengals vs. Cowboys game with my girl Jilly. Always gotta make it to one game at PBS. Even if we did lose.

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A work trip took me to San Jose, Cali, and in case you’re wondering, this is how they put up Christmas lights.

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I’ve been going to the Crosstown Shootout my entire life, and always with this guy. A little odd this year on neutral ground, and our team lost (I’ve got a bad streak going on here), but I have now seen this game played at every major arena in Cincinnati.

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This year, Jordann went with us! 

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My hair and I don’t always get along, and when we don’t, it’s not pretty. The hair to face ratio is just not okay.

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Alice, aka Snacks, one of my co-worker’s daughters came in this week to help us spread some holiday cheer. It’s been a lot of work, but we’re finally starting to bond. 


They Say It’s Your Birthday

(photo credit here)

I LOVE my birthday. Love Love Love Love Love! Did I say I love it? It is the one day I’m truly allowed to be as selfish as possible because the day is about me! Hey..if it wasn’t for August 9, I wouldn’t be here (okay I guess my parents played a minor role as well…).

But as much as I love my birthday, this birthday is actually for my blog. It’s a year old. Holy cannoli! Apparently in the world of blogging, you’re supposed to celebrate such momentous occasions. That celebration means I’m blogging.

So a year old, and only sort of kind of wiser.

My best friend, Jill got inducted into our high school’s Hall of Fame last night for her phenomenal tennis career and I was one of the lucky people she invited. And they served dinner. BBQ. I LOVE BBQ (I think I may be guilty of overusing the world “love”). What I don’t love? Malt Vinegar in BBQ sauce.

A year ago, I would have eaten that and gotten violently ill.

Today, I know better and brought my own food. And I got to celebrate with her. How lucky am I?!

So I’m still occasionally a pain to eat with, but guess what? I’m awesome (so it’s worth it), but I’m also blessed that those closest to me put up with my constant food questions at restaurants and having a waiter leave just as you’re about to order to check on if something has gluten in it.

The past year has been a whirlwind of switching jobs, lots of ingredient label reading, planned and unexpected trips to visit my friends, four medical tests in a month, losing a significant amount of weight, becoming a runner (woot woot!), getting bionic hearing, breaking records and finding my own voice. For the person that is the first to compromise, this has been the hardest part because I’ve had to learn not to compromise my health. And thankfully, that’s slowly seeping into other aspects of my life.

So..raise a glass (preferably champagne) and cheers to many more years.

It’s bad luck if you don’t drink to a cheers.

Belated Birthday

I’m not 23 any longer – meaning…my blog title is a lie.

I actually haven’t been 23 for 17 days. I turned 24 August 9, making me what…24 and gluten no more? But clearly, I haven’t gotten around to changing my blog title for much of the same reason that I haven’t written about my birthday. I’ve been sick.

I ate gluten accidentally about a week before my birthday – and let me tell you, I’m still intolerant. I was in such pain, I couldn’t believe I didn’t realize what I was eating. Still don’t know what it was. Potentially the dressing.

I’ll save all the rest of the details, but turns out, I’m going through another digestive health spell. I was essentially worthless last week, meaning I couldn’t really eat anything either. I’ve had some tests, but I have to have at least one more next week.

As soon as I do have results, I’ll update you. But for now, too many unanswered questions to even begin.

I also honestly had a shitty week.

I often try not to blog about major issues going on in my life when they involve other people. Not that I don’t trust my readers, but more, I am incredibly protective of the people in my life, and I prefer not to blog about them. If it’s an issue related singularly to me, it’s fair game.

So I’ll leave it there. Tomorrow starts a new week, and I’m determined to make it a better one.

I also promise this week that I’ll post a recipe of something I made this past week. I’ve been meaning to make it for awhile, and since my stomach was so iffy, I decided to try it. Big success. So stay tuned.

This post is instead about the below photos that showcase my birthday, the celebrations, and my friends/family in general.

And for now…let’s all pretend I’m 23.


1. Dinner at the Orchids with my parents.

2. Roses from my dad. Amazing tradition.

3. Beautiful flowers from my brother and his fiance. Thank you Luke and Row!

4. Celebrating after my birthday dinner

5. The next night of celebrations

6. Kisses

7. Some of my girls

8. Love

9. Photo bomb

10. Hat night

Food Fight

I have a confession. I’m currently in a fight with food.

For those who know me well, they know it takes a lot to get me mad. Upset is pretty easy, but mad is something that rarely shows its face. It is such a rarity, that when I do get mad, I take people so off guard, they aren’t really sure how to react.

But as of right now, I’m mad. It’s bad enough I can’t have gluten or raisins (that was a more recent discovery…damn you dehydrated grapes!), but now I can’t quite figure out what food is messing with me.

Something I eat is causing me some serious painful bloating. I thought it was milk, but it’s not. Although Greek Yogurt and I don’t get along so well. Neither does cheese. But ice cream…we’re cool. I really need to keep a food journal and track my stomach along with it. But that’s work..and I don’t want to admit that another one of my favorite foods is causing me pain.

Why am I sharing this? Because I’m starting to realize how many negative effects certain food can have on the people around me. And for many, they simply live with the consequences of certain foods causing bodily havoc. You don’t have to live that way. You can have your gluten-free, egg-free cake and eat it too. Once you and your body make friends, your life will become easier.

On a slightly (okay very) unrelated topic, my birthday is coming up, and I still am stuck on a name change. Once upon a time, I thought about actually buying a domain, but things like trips to Asia came up, and I preferred to spend my money that way. So for now, as I turn 24, I’ll stick with 23. Can you handle that?

And since I’ve been so big on including photos in here recently, I thought I’d include some from the past week/weekend. Enjoy!



1. One of my dearest friends, Lauren, who I met while living in Cape Town, came to visit from Canada, so of course the first thing we did was go to a Reds game.

2. Looking past my need to shower, my dad offers truly amazing tours of Cincinnati. I’ve lived in Cincy my whole life, but every time I go on one, I learn something new. If you’re interested, feel free to contact me.

3. My girls enjoying a Saturday night. Note that I do shower, and I wear a lot of green.

4. There’s a lot going on here, but I’d like to point out the number of rings I’m wearing. Clearly, the more rings you wear, the cooler you are.

5. Dogsitting Nillie, a dog I helped rescue in college. She was the star of the weekend, but I nearly killed her after taking her on a 30 minute walk.