Thank You For Being A Friend

A few days ago while on my last trip, I had a 3 hour sit (a 3 hour block of spare time before my next flight) in Fort Myers. My dear friend Drea & her precious daughter picked me up from the airport to squeeze in a quickie lunch. It was awesome. Within minutes we were already cracking up over Drea’s driving & the weird noise her car makes. It was so refreshing to be with a friend & do something that felt like real life for a bit than sitting in the airport hiding from passengers (did I say that out loud? I don’t do that…). By the time I got back, I didn’t want to leave & had no interest in working the flight to Boston (of course I had to) – that’s the power of a good friend.

I typically don’t do friendship very well. There’s a multitude of reasons – I’m a shitty texter so I rarely do, I’m a huge bitch sometimes, and I’m BUSY. However, I feel like my biggest reason is this – the minute something pushes me to a breaking point, I’m quick to cut someone off. I feel like I need to mature & explain why they’re being cut off & why I’m ending the friendship but at the same time – I don’t care. I know I should do that for my own emotional growth but it’s like…people know what they do. I’m not hand holding a grown adult to friendship.

Once I became a flight attendant, these ideas changed. I have cultivated a strong circle of ladies (& a few gents) who I trust, who I love dearly, and who I will genuinely work hard for to maintain our friendships. I never thought I’d see the day. I think it’s because they understand our lifestyle & they have similar interests (heavy on the travel!) so they understand if I’m super busy one month because I’m working back to back trips and simply don’t have time for life.

My group is the epitome of “if they wanted to, they would” – an idea mentioned in my last post that became very important to me over the last year. I know we’re all busy, I just stated above that sometimes I simply don’t have time for life, but I used to have a friend who didn’t work. She lived about 25-30 minutes from me & I realized last year that it was a one sided friendship. I always went to her, always chose places convenient for her to eat at or if we got our nails done I went with a salon local to her instead of my own. I always made the drive up…to her. It’s not like it was FAR or anything & when you truly value someone’s presence in your life, you’ll go to them! Which was not a problem…until it hit me that every single time I invited her to come to me, it would never happen. I tried to make things easy – no spend days or movie nights at my house. I’d even have stuff available for her child (like snacks) if they came too. I’d get texts at 11 PM the night before saying she couldn’t do it or put in another excuse. Once or twice, I totally get but after a while of constant rejection & broken plans? I’m just gonna stop asking you to do anything at all. At that point it’s very apparent you have an issue with something you’re not telling me about. Ladies & gentlemen – IF👏🏼THEY👏🏼WANTED👏🏼TO👏🏼THEY👏🏼WOULD!! Don’t let the internet trick you into thinking it’s selfish to want time with your loved ones – it is if you expect it constantly because ,well, life, but if you’re pouring into a cup that’s overflowing and no one is helping yours replenish then there’s an issue there.

The year I moved to Florida I chose to part ways with my best friend at the time for totally different reasons. Some of you may remember her from my old blog posts (from Me, You, & Emma Lou the original version) or on social media. I may dive into that story another day but it’s been so long ago now that it almost feels irrelevant. After her I kinda felt a little lost – WHO is my friend now? WHO can I talk to? I was new to Florida and didn’t really know anyone so I was just floating around all lonely. It’s taken me some time but I got there. I can truly say that even if weeks or months go by, I feel at peace knowing they’re there. We’re all going to be scattered around the world…but we’re all here for the others. And when the time comes when we’re all camping out at the springs, on a layover together, on a girl’s trip, or even just having lunch on the beach you’d be hard pressed to believe any time at all has passed between us.

This was evidenced at our wedding. They all came & one was actually on a layover in Vegas and spent 2 nights with us! At the reception dinner one of my aunts had said “Autumn it’s so nice that all your flight attendant friends came to celebrate with you!” And I’m like “Yeah it is!” But later on it hit me a little deeper…OF COURSE THEY DID! I knew THEY would be there far before I expected ANYBODY else to! Those girls (& a few guys) are my family! I’m actually closer to them than my actual family to be honest. I even sat with THEM at dinner!

I just love them. Since the original start of this post I’ve got to be with Lindsey on a layover in Charlotte & I got to see Wendy for the first time since September in Austin! I can’t wait to see them all together again, aiming for next month. I’m attempting to plan a Galentine’s Day! I guess we’ll see what kind of planner I am but I am thinking of tacos and margs because there’s nothing better in the world!

I truly believe I’ve found my people in this crazy world & I’ll sign off with this…in the words of the Golden Girls (theme song) – Thank you for being a friend ♥️

– Autumn

2022…A Wrap Up!

January – 

  • Clint & I stayed home for NYE because everyone we knew was sick except for us. This year seems about the same!
  • I explored Milwaukee for the first time…so cold but I enjoyed it! Can’t wait to go back (I actually go back at the end of next month)
  • I had a fabulous New York layover with my friend Sandy. We went to the Magic Hour rooftop bar which was so cute & aesthetically pleasing & later got caught in the snow.
  • Clint & I took off to Texas to visit his dad & step mom. We flew into Austin, got comped an upgrade to a Genesis for our rental, had an awesome visit, & left out of Dallas.
  • I was back in Austin for work a week later & explored solo. I fell in love. Austin is great!

February –

  • I was back in Manhattan with my girl Wendy! We hit a couple little bars & ate at the cutest little pink restaurant called Pietro Nolita.
  • On that same trip, Wendy & I worked with our first all female crew. Female Captain, female First Officer, & 5 female flight attendants with me working lead. The future is female!
  • My merry band of buddy bidders got together again shortly after & we went to Detroit where our dear friend Catherine picked us up at our hotel & took us out all around D-Town.
  • Clint & I started noticing problems with Emma. Her behavior, she lost a bit of weight, & most obvious…her mouth smelled. We soon learned she had loose teeth that needed to come out ASAP. My aunt got us into the vet she uses since I didn’t care for Emma’s current vet & we scheduled her dental work as soon as we could. She had 2 weeks worth of antibiotics to take first…they helped her dramatically! Her new vet is fantastic.
  • We helped our dear friend Nick & his girlfriend plan a surprise visit to Kathy (aka “mom” – Nick’s actual mom but Clinton calls her mom too & she definitely considers him hers as well! She snow birds & stays in our town during the winter) to tell her wonderful news – they were having a baby & Kathy was getting her first grandchild!
  • I went to the Christmas Story house in Cleveland, spent Super Bowl Sunday in Tampa, spent Valentine’s Day with my buddy bidders in San Juan, visited St. Louis for the first time, & had the best Mardi Gras in New Orleans!

When Kathy found out a baby was on the way!

March –

  • We hit Bike Week in Daytona! My husband’s bike is soooo sick. It attracted a lot of attention & we were even told he had the nicest Indian that came through Daytona. I can’t say I disagree. On the last day of Bike Week we took Emma so we had to drive an actual car but Emma was also a hit! She loves motorcycles.
  • We dog sat for Kathy & her husband Allen while they went on a cruise. We took Emma & their dachshund, Perry everywhere! We went to the dog beach, the manatee observation deck, Chick Fil A, Daytona to visit my family, everywhere.
  • Emma had her surgery, which absolutely broke my heart but it totally reinvigorated Emma! She plays harder, she’s more vocal, her energy levels spiked. I miss her little toothy smile a lot but it’s also adorable seeing her with just her little canines sticking out (she has her canines + all her back teeth still in tact, only her little bitty front teeth were pulled)
  • I didn’t work a lot this month & couldn’t afford personal travel after Emma’s surgery so the only place I really went out in was a layover in Columbus, Ohio. We had switched hotels there & I’m so obsessed with where we stay there now that Columbus is one of my favorite cities…there’s something I’ll bet you never hear!! But seriously, I absolutely love it there. I used to hate it but it turns out, I just hated where we stayed.
  • Karren & I went to Taste of Spring for a wine tasting at the Crimson House in New Smyrna Beach. I loved it! So much fun & great wine.

April –

  • We had Easter at my sister in law’s house with my niece, nephew, & Clint’s grandma in tow.
  • I had fantastic trips to Myrtle Beach & Kansas City, where I got to re-visit my favor BBQ from days past when I lived there.
  • THE MASK MANDATE ENDED!!!!!
  • ……Aaaaaaand I promptly got sick twice in 1 month.
  • Emma recovered beautifully from her surgery! We felt awful for her for that first week afterwards. She would whimper & moan. We took her for a post-op check up with her doctor & he gave her the all-clear & suddenly she was a-okay again! Been a total crackhead ever since!
MASK OFF! And beautifully edited to block out who I work for 😂😂😂

May –

  • First Fly Girls camp out or the year!! Lots of drinking, eating, swimming, sunburn, gator hunting, & karaoke. I live for those weekends!
  • I was invited by Caesars in Vegas to come check out some wedding chapels…This was the start of my Vegas wedding planning! I viewed 4 chapels with Caesar’s & included a visit to the Cosmopolitan as well while on a Vegas layover for work. This was the month I believe that we chose the Paris for our venue.
  • We went swimming with our dear friend Randi, her son, & her sweet niece.

June –

  • It was Clinton’s birthday! We had gift time at home & then drove up to Jacksonville for a nice dinner at Fogo de Chao. We were joined by my best friend Lindsey & her niece Bella. I learned around this time that “If they wanted to, they will” & this is exactly why I consider Lindsey my dearest friend. She drove from Valdosta to JAX to celebrate with us when there’s so many that wouldn’t drive 15-20 minutes.
  • We had a stay-cation for Clint’s birthday as well since I had taken the time off for it. We spent days at our beach, the springs, & our favorite wildlife reserve.
  • I spent more time in Vegas wedding prepping.
  • My cousin Jena & her boyfriend Seth came to stay with us as well! They are definitely more of the “if they wanted to, they will” kind of people. I love these 2 so much o& appreciated our time together.
  • Clinton started a new job this month thanks to a couple of good friends of ours, Angelie & Mark.

July –

  • We spent the 4th in Port Orange for their fireworks & celebration in the park.
  • We celebrated Randi’s son’s first birthday at Big Tuna’s in Daytona! We got to see other friends like Jackie & Shawna as well.
  • I had my first scary event happen on an aircraft. I can’t disclose details due to my company’s social media & blogging policies but obviously all ended well.
  • I went to visit my favorite cousin, Sara, in Nashville! We went to see Hanson together at the Ryman Auditorium! It was childhood all over again. Around this time is when I started thinking with the mentality of “do whatever the fuck you want because life is short”. We had a great time.
  • I had a great 4 day trip with my friend Megan. We went out in Austin to a couple places including a taco place that was *chef’s kiss*
  • Lindsey & I had our girls trip to Paris & Morocco!!! We both busted our asses to make that trip happen & ,well, I blogged about it. Y’all know what it was like! It was insane! I loved it, I struggled, I sweat my ass off, I damn near stepped on a cobra but it was all totally worth it. Travel is LIFE.

August –

  • Travel IS life but it’ll also give you stomach problems so once again…I missed some work. Dropped one trip & called out sick for another. It was a rough go for like 2 weeks once I got home from Africa.
  • Since I didn’t really relax on my trip to Paris & Morocco, when I had time off I was begging everyone to please just let me relax so that’s what we did. We went to the beach, my aunt let me use her pool while she was traveling so I could have it to myself, and we had another camping trip at Wekiva with Karren & Jade.
  • I actually spent a lot of time with Karren this month. She had a very hard, traumatic summer & needed extra love.
  • I went to Salt Lake City for the first time!
  • My father in law visited us for the first time in this house! AND in a surprise turn of events, while he was here Clinton had found out through 23&me that my father in law had a sister he did not know! She flew to Florida & we met her together for the first time during his visit!
  • Emma Lou turned 13 years old. My baby girl is a teenager.

September –

  • Someone hit me at a red light in Daytona. It was me & Emma & we were in Clinton’s car. We were stopped at a red light when I heard a loud noise, I looked into the rear view mirror & thought to myself “my God they’re not stopping!” And they didn’t. Slammed right into us. It wasn’t that person’s fault though…it was the person behind them!! So yeah. It was a 3 car accident. While the police were helping us, I heard another loud crash & ANOTHER 3 cars smacked into each other at the EXACT same red light. I started freaking out, I could not believe that happened. But Emma & I were fine, Clinton’s SUV was still drivable, it was covered by the person who hit me & the other man gentleman, & we got a nice rental for a month.
  • I turned 35! Clinton took me to Limoncello for dinner & bought me flowers & new books.
  • I had my 5th recurrent training for work (where I get certified to fly for another year) & the girls and I had our annual beach study date at Sea Vista & Chases’s.
  • I explored Seattle for the first time & had 2 days in Salt Lake City because…
  • HURRICANE IAN! Thank the good Lord above us, we fared well. I was in SLC absolutely petrified of what was happening at home. Our street flooded but luckily our home was spared. Most of our loved ones fared well also but we had a few friends & loved ones who flooded & lost quite a bit.

Birthday dinner at Limoncello

Ivy & Varley in SLC

Hurricane Ian aftermath

October –

  • Time to put in WERK honey! Our wedding was coming up! Invites were sent out, deposits paid, wedding package needed paid off in a month, etc. I put in HOURS this month!
  • Karren and I took a newbie out in Philly & we also had 30+ hours to spend in New Orleans so that was definitely dangerous. Our day in NOLA was everything. We had mimosas at Curio & Hotel Monteleone at the carousel bar, lunch at Music Legends Park/Cafe Beignet, hit a few bars, & finished with dinner at Tavern on Vets which has the BEST burgers EVER.
  • We attended the Chili & Craft Beer challenge in New Smyrna in Flagler Ave. 4 of us split a $40 giant mimosa & I went home and passed out on my couch!!
  • I spent a solo day at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville. Absolutely stunning resort & so hope to be able to stay there one day!
  • Got to have dinner with Lindsey & Phill in Charlotte.
  • Clint & I had date night at the beach & ate dinner at Crabby’s
  • We had dinner at River Grille in Ormond Beach with my whole family for my daddy’s birthday (Halloween) – such a great time & it makes me question…why don’t we plan nights like that more often?!

November-

  • HURRICANE NICOLE!!! Once again, absolutely petrified but we fared well. I got stuck in Detroit, Kathy & Allen were back at this point so they came & stayed with Clint & Emma. We prepared the best we could but luckily it wasn’t super needed.
  • Emma met a cute Yorkie friend at the beach. Emma never makes friends. I had to document this rare occasion.
  • Once again, I had back to back sickness. Lost my voice for 3 days, coughed like I’d smoked all my life, got better, then turned right around & got a stomach bug. My health has struggled this year!!
  • Had Thanksgiving dinner with Clinton’s “new” aunt (see August) at her Florida home.
  • Had a second Thanksgiving with crew in Myrtle Beach!
  • Finished paying off everything regarding the wedding.
Emma & Riley at the beach

Thanksgiving ‘22

December –

  • GOT HITCHED!!! And alllllll that that includes!! Y’all read the blog, you know how it went down.
  • Had the work trip from hell that ended on Christmas Eve. Luckily passengers were lovely. Lots of Starbucks gift cards!
  • Flew with my dear friend David during this trip from hell. Froze our asses off on all of our layovers due to Winter Storm Elliott. Had minimum rest. Got locked out of my hotel room in Nashville because the key pad died to my room. Just an overall trash trip.
  • Had a decent enough Christmas. My heart wasn’t in it this year. I was too busy & broke as hell from the wedding. It was fine. I made a great meal, we skipped gifts, & just went for a cold night at the beach & looked at Christmas lights.

My baby girl got adopted by her dad!

‘22 really wasn’t that *great* of a year but it was good. I know people think that because we got married it’s the best but that was just a highlight. Aside from the wedding & my trip to Paris & Morocco, I feel that ‘22 was largely mediocre & stressful! I look forward to 2023 although I know circumstances don’t change just because the year does. We have a honeymoon, some personal things we’re working on regarding family, whatever my yearly trip with Lindsey may entail, etc! I think we’ll be back in the game & in for a wonderful time!

Bring it on!!

– Autumn

A Very Vegas Wedding, the finale

We’re married!

What a totally fabulous, beautiful, stressful, and incredibly fun time it was out in Las Vegas!!

I’ve been debating how I write this blog because I wrote a rough draft on the flight home & hated it so…I don’t know how I want to tackle it so I think I want to do a “Good, Bad, & Ugly” type post.

So because I don’t want to end on an ugly note – that’ll be first. Even though honestly, nothing ended bad or ugly, everything ended up a-okay.

The Ugly ::::

  1. I’m the only dumbass in the world who would believe that flying 6 people standby on her flight bennies would be a good idea to and from her own wedding! The flight to Vegas was perfect. Literally perfect. The day we were supposed to go home though? We attempted 3 flights that we didn’t make before giving up and going back to our hotels (my dad & aunt stayed with my other aunt who was staying a day longer than everyone else, I had a free night I gave to my mom and Gary at Bally’s, Clint & I got a free night from his sister at her hotel) – We tried again the next day & ,while we made it on by the skin of our teeth & the fact TSA was so insane that 27 people missed the flight, it was not without tears on my behalf, incredible nausea & nerves, and my dear friend Jade offering up her own standby seat to ensure we all made it. We did. Including Jade & her boyfriend. Life was good.
  2. My dear friend & bridesmaid Lindsey (remember Lindsey from my Germany, Paris, & Morocco posts?) & her boyfriend Phill got threatened with a knife by their Lyft driver. I think this affected me more than either of them but y’all, what the fuck? Her flight delayed so I knew she would miss cocktails at Vanderpump’s but while she was finally able to be on her way…that happened & they got stranded on the side of the road. She called while we were having drinks but someone was giving a toast so I told her to hold on a minute – little did I know, she was literally on the sidewalk abandoned by a psycho Lyft driver. She was a trooper though…she made it to the show we went to see that night totally unscathed. That’s my girl!!
  3. The reception venue. Now, don’t get me wrong, I largely enjoyed the venue but it was just physically ugly. Staff was fantastic, food was great (aside from dessert) but yeah…I don’t care for celebrity pictures & TVs but, that’s life. I chose what I could afford & hoped for the best judging by other bride’s reviews. But at least the food was good!!

The Bad ::::

  1. My Maid of Honor, my cousin Jena, unfortunately did not make it. She had flight issues & it just snowballed from there. The first night we were in Vegas I had went to bed extremely early because I was exhausted…I woke up at 5 & checked my phone to see 6 missed calls & a few texts. I already knew this could not be good. When I learned officially she would not be coming, I messaged my girl Karren who y’all know I love so dearly, & simply said “Curl your hair & tuck in your titties, you’re walking as Maid of Honor” She looked gorgeous & all was perfect. We did miss Jena incredibly though. I love my girl! 
  2. Lindsey’s bridesmaid dress broke apart ,like, 10 minutes after she put it on. Poor girl really had it rough this weekend. Our awesome friend Jamie (and seamstress superstar) sewed her into the dress.
  3. While at the Orlando airport I got chosen for a random search at KCM (crew security) & had to go through regular pre-check. Well, they made me empty my pockets which had my passport & drivers license in it & I shoved them into my bag so I could pass through the body scanner & never thought about them again until we went to the Marriage License Bureau & needed a form of ID! Luckily for us, they accepted an old drivers license tucked deep in my wallet that had our Orlando address on it so we were back in the game & walked out with a marriage license!
  4. I didn’t win a dime.

The GOOD ::::

  1. Dude fucking everything. Seriously, where do I start?! I’ll start with the fluff. I felt like a gorgeous bride. I had the dream team of people making me feel beautiful. I have them all listed on a photo of me on Facebook & would recommend ANY of those ladies to anyone at any time. I didn’t look super bridal as I DID wear black but whatever man, I was glam & glam is what I wanted. Kallie, Taylor, Drea, Ellen, Katie, Michael, Kathy, & Amazon…you are rockstars.
  2. Vanderpump at Paris. The PERFECT spot for a bridal event. I am feminine to my core – I love being a woman & this place was just so…sexy & girly. The drinks were fantastic (I had the “French Poodle” & a chocolate martini) & the truffle appetizer Karren ordered was divine. I was just so thrilled with that location. I will never be that type of woman that shits on being girly because they act like they prefer Busch Lite…I want the pink cocktail that has the cotton candy in it, thanks. So aesthetically pleasing, 20/10, would recommend.
  3. Our flight to Vegas was perfect, we all made it on, we all got spoiled by the crew (I spoiled them too though! Expensive chocolates, Starbucks gift cards, & I gave them shuttle bus tip money for their layover), my daddy got his Bloody Mary’s, my aunt got moved to a window seat all because I mentioned she wanted one, and they made a beautiful announcement for us at the end of the flight (take note, Linda from my last blog post!) I adore my work family!!
  4. Puppetry of the Penis. Yep. That’s the show we went to! It was held at the Erotic Heritage Museum, it was a bit sketchy when we got there and we were the only group there (more eventually showed) but it turned out to be as funny as promised. Absolutely ridiculous concept but ya know what? It’s Vegas baby. Did I need to see 2 men playing with their dicks for an hour? Did I need to know that a penis could be shaped into a hamburger? A sombrero? A pelican? Well, apparently I did & I do!! After the show I texted Clinton “Get ready buddy you’re in for an educational night!” & then passed out while he was in the shower. I am doing stranger and stranger shit with my friends but honestly if you can’t ogle a couple of penises with your friends…are they even your friends? Also, shout out to “Glasses”, Jade’s boyfriend who took Jena’s unused ticket & was one of only 2 men at the show – I truly think he enjoyed it & he even wrote on our guestbook the next day that he will think fondly about all the hamburgers we shared. Yes, so will I, & I will remain mildly traumatized that one can do that with their genitalia.
  5. Our groomsmen did a replica photo of a scene from “The Hangover” – it was amazing.
  6. My wedding had the most gorgeous cast of characters I’ve ever seen. My groom? Fucking perfect. Me? Flawless (except for the fact I got laced into my dress incorrectly, exposing more of my back that shouldn’t have been exposed but oh well I didn’t even notice until I saw pictures). Our parents? Lovely. I didn’t make my dad wear a tux to walk me down the aisle because I wanted him to feel like himself & to be comfortable & having him in a tux or suit would not make him comfortable at all. I didn’t give a dress code, I didn’t care what color you wore, I just simply asked that you didn’t show up in pajamas or wear anything that could be confused with a wedding dress. My bridesmaids were gorgeous. My groomsmen were hotties. My niece & nephew made me so proud. I was just so thrilled with how lovely everyone looked. It was a gorgeous group.
  7. The food at Cafe Hollywood really was good! I was so worried about that but the pasta dish & the beef were both very good! I never tried the salmon. The cake was not impressive & quite dry though. Not a fan of the cake but I was so stuffed I didn’t even care. The staff were so kind to us & the waitress told Clinton I was the most beautiful bride she’d seen.
  8. Jade broke a glass at the table which means good luck if it happens on your wedding day!! The waitress pulled her sleeves up & proclaimed “Look! I have chills!!” when it happened!
  9. The speeches! And the fact that more people kept getting up to make speeches! We had 5 total. 
  10. Clinton’s bachelor party experience! The groomsmen gifted him a super car experience so he raced a Ferrari F430 F1 edition (he had to walk me through what this car’s name was because I don’t know shit about cars) around a track. Then they rode some kind of super fast go-karts that you need s license to drive. They also went to Fremont for pizza at Evel Pie & drinks at Dicks. He was the happiest I’d ever seen him that night after racing the Ferrari – I honestly couldn’t bring his high down to tell him I just watched a man pull his foreskin down to where his junk resembled the Eiffel Tower so I just let him talk till he showered & again, I passed out. We have our whole lives for him to hear about the horrors I saw while he was living his best life. 
  11. I loved seeing my friends and family meet and mingle with my other friends and family! I loved introducing my parents to my flight attendant friends. I loved the group that went to the show and to Vanderpumps! I loved having people like Long & Phill there! I loved watching Karren give Clinton’s cousin Peggy a big ol’ hug in person because they’ve only ever talked on Facebook. I just loved watching my loved ones meet & hopefully make new friends. 
  12. Our wedding coordinator Megan, minister Vaughn, and photographers Candice & Catherine. There was not one single person working with us who I didn’t enjoy. I really enjoyed them. Megan especially, poor girl dealt with a lot from me.
  13. I had dinner with Karren, Clinton, & a good friend of ours named Cat at Cabo Wabo on Thursday. All us girls started crying because we were all in our feels but let me elaborate…5 years ago, we were little baby Flight Attendant trainees in Vegas. We were just getting to know each other. I was single. I believe Cat was too, I’m not sure. Life was so different then. I had literally just turned 30 in Vegas – they made me feel special, all my flight attendants did actually. It’s 5 years later…we’re back in Vegas. They’re still making me feel special & loved. Those are my people. My season 1 cast. It was such a full circle moment.
  14. My groom. My man loves me. I will never have to worry that he doesn’t. There is not one day that goes by where I feel anything less than worshipped. That man bawled when I walked down the aisle (I laughed like a fucking hyena but not at him, nerves I suppose) He shook my daddy’s hand & hugged my momma & told her he loved her & finally my laughter stopped and the tears started…we found someone that loves us. Not someone who tolerates us but truly loves us all 3 & is willingly accepting us as his family unit. Actually it’s 4 of us but as you know, Emma had to stay home. He loves her so much, sometimes I think he truly believes he gave birth to that damn dog. 
  15. My momma & daddy walked me down the aisle together. It was quite an entrance. I don’t care. I don’t think any of us care for attention but it is what it is, I had to get to the front somehow!! My mom & dad both deserved that opportunity. They are mine, I am theirs. They have raised me & taken care of me both in their own ways. I pray every day that I make them proud & that they don’t feel like I’ve messed up too bad. I wish I could’ve flown us first class instead of on standby, I wish I could’ve booked luxury suites at the Bellagio for all of us, & had the reception dinner at Guy Savoy or even Carbone…but I can’t (yet) but what I can do is have them walk me down the aisle, in an amazing city that I flew us to for free, to a man that loves & honors all 3 of us.

Notables ::::

1. The party walked down the aisle to Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, I walked down the aisle to “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, and we left to “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas. I was so anxious I didn’t even notice the music.

2. Clinton did a shot at dinner thinking it was Jager but was instead…a cup of soy sauce.

3. The Bellagio Christmas display was absolutely stunning! Jamie & I only had a brief visit but we loved it!

Sometimes I’m just like…I did it, man. I’m good. I can breathe now. It’s over. I can sleep again! Maybe I’ll stop waking up from panic! My stomach can return to normal. My wallet may recover…”may” as we’ll eventually have a honeymoon in a few months. Details on that, maybe never. I almost want to plan it in secret and just do it privately. Pop in on Facebook when we’re back & be like “surprise! We’ve been in the Maldives!” But for now, I’m glad it’s over. I’m happy to be home & out of the Vegas decadence.

Oh yeah, remember Linda from last post? The one with the batshit crazy announcement? Well she really WAS in Vegas & she worked our flight home to Orlando! She walked through the aisle telling people that Clint & I just got married 24 hours ago (it was longer) & that we were already fighting (we were talking about what we wanted as our snack) & then she offered to make an announcement for us…

I loved this message on our guestbook…the perfect finale indeed!!

est. 12/03/2022

– The Stremme’s

Come On A Trip With Me {1 Wk Before My Wedding}

I just got back from a 3 day trip that fell exactly one week before our wedding. Let’s explore what’s been going on the last little bit and play catch up first…

About 2 weeks ago on a 2 day trip I’d picked up, I got sick and lost my voice. I lost it for about 3 days and every day I started to feel better, I’d cough all night and reset my progress. Urgent Care told me I’d waited too long to come in & that by that time I was at the end of it so they only gave me something to alleviate the coughing but told me they believed I’d had an upper respiratory infection/chest infection. It was a frickin’ blast 🙄

I ended up having to drop a trip because of my voice being out (imagine possibly having to shout emergency evacuation commands to passengers when you can’t even speak) & once I’d started to feel better, BAM! random stomach bug or food poisoning or demon possession in the middle of the night. I still a little shaky on Thanksgiving but managed to have a great time at dinner in Lakeland this year with Clinton’s family.

I left for my 3 day the next day – day 1 was a very simple one leg to LaGuardia. I chased on this trip which means I was not part of a set crew – I flew solo, literally. My crew from that day was going on to Miami while I would be laying over in New York. I love a New York layover if they’re long enough to go into Manhattan (however, I hate working New York or Newark flights…If you know, you know) but this night I only had 12.5 hours so it was enough time for me to eat, shower, and sleep. I didn’t pack any food with me on this trip because of my stomach issues & my laziness so I decided to just change clothes once I got to the hotel and walk to the Dollar Twenty Five Tree down the street and just grab a few things to have in my bag. Yes folks, the glamorous life of a flight attendant – buying cans of Chef Boyardee & some Sour Patch Kids at a Queens Dollar Tree. In an odd way it was nice though. Our hotel we stay at for LaGuardia layovers is really nice & is set up like suites so it feels like a mini apartment. Carrying my paper sacks of shit back to the hotel in the blustery cold weather made me feel like a local which is all I ever want when I’m in New York. I went back to my room, ate canned ravioli from a paper cup, & watched “Home Alone” from the living room part of the suite. I had the lights dimmed & my curtains pulled open because I could see just a tiny bit of Manhattan in the distance. It was nice. I got to feel like I lived there for just a tiny bit.

Soon it was time for a hot shower & an early bedtime because I had to be up at 3 AM the next morning for a 4 AM van to the airport. I couldn’t sleep for shit that night – my anxiety is at an all time high & the only thing that is going to make it go away is everyone making their non-rev flights to & from Vegas, our guest count being more manageable that it currently is, winning $50,000 in Vegas on a penny slot, and our reception dinner food being better than what I’m afraid it may be. I tossed, turned, sweat, and panicked my way through a couple hours of sleep until it was time to get up.

Thank God day 2 was just as easy as day 1 of this trip – easier, actually. We only had one flight again, it was to Myrtle Beach, & it was mostly turbulent so the Captain had us sit most of the -already short- flight. Not to mention we’d be done at 7 AM with a 23.5 hour layover & I could take my happy ass back to bed for a few hours. OH! AAAAND I was flying with one of my class mates this day! AND he invited me to his mother’s house who lives in Myrtle Beach for a late Thanksgiving dinner! All 4 of us went (the 3 crew + me) and we had the best time! Before that came a 2 hour nap though…It was needed. We left for Scott’s mom’s at 1:45 & had wine & appetizers. His mother , Carol, is amazing. She’s 88 years young, cooked us a full meal of turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, butternut squash, corn pudding, applesauce bread, & pumpkin pie! She’s also a world traveler with no plans of stopping! We talked about everything. We talked about how I had the most fun ever at Oktoberfest in Munich while Momma Carol said she was disgusted. We talked about her bucket list destination was Antarctica & how she believes she could still possibly make it happen as long as someone could help her while on the boats she’d be traveling on…I volunteered. I want to be a Carol when I grow up. I so enjoyed my night with Momma Carol & the crew! One of my most enjoyable layover experiences so far because honestly, it felt like being home with family. We helped Momma Carol clean up & it was time to go back to the hotel to rest up. For some reason the airline split us up so I was in a different hotel than the other 3 so they dropped me off first.

I got some decent rest & was up at 5 AM the next morning (yesterday) for my 2 leg day. This day was go-home day so I was , of course, ready. We were flying back up to LaGuardia for the first flight & down to Orlando for the 2nd flight. I was flying with an Atlantic City based crew & I actually knew one of them (Linda, my lead FA in this crew) We had a great day but it was one of those days where it felt like if it was possible that it could happen…then it was going to happen to us!! I found out later that that’s pretty much the standard for Linda. I loved this crew though! We laughed so much. At one point I was in tears! 

When we made it to Orlando, I was obviously back in base & going home & they were going to their layover hotel. We were taxiing in & Linda was making her “Welcome to…” announcement & ,well, this is how it went…

“Ladies & gentlemen welcome to Orlando!! Wasn’t that a great landing?! *claps* Ladies & gentlemen I have another announcement to make…we have a flight attendant up front that’s getting MARRIED!! Yes, Flight Attendant D up here…SHE’S DOING IT AGAIN FOR THE SECOND TIME!!! She’s gooooin’ to the chapel & she’s goooonnnna get maAaAriiied…okay fine nobody wants to sing with me, OH!! And the overhead bin that has her luggage in it is jammed & she can’t get it open! Oh my goodness she’s 6 shades of red up here ladies & gentlemen!!! Congratulate her when you exit the aircraft would ya?! ANYWAYS, please remain seated with your seatbelts fastened….”

When she was done with whatever the hell THAT was I muttered -very quietly of course- under my breath –

“Linda what the actual fuck was that?!”

“Girl I don’t know once I started it just all started flowing out of me!” was her response.

“We have pre-written announcements for this exact reason!!!” I said

We had row 1 absolutely dyyyyying with us because they could see my reaction firsthand. I was absolutely mortified at first but honestly it’s fine…ya gotta laugh at yourself!!

We laughed the whole way off the plane about that crazy announcement until we finally had to separate for me to go to the employee parking lot & they went to hotel shuttle pickup.

Linda actually has a Vegas layover on the 3rd (wedding day) so she said she’d stop by & give a speech since she’s obviously very good at it. I told her maybe during this one she can tell everyone my weight & social security number.

– Autumn

“Kentucky…But with Carolina tendencies”

I started a 4 day trip this morning & as the Captain was giving me his briefing he asked me – “Where are you from? Where’d ya get that accent?”

People love guessing where I’m from but I was 98% sure I’d flown with this Captain before so I went with it – “Kentucky!” I said only responding with half my usual spiel.

“Which part? I’ll bet I can guess!” he says back.

“The Eastern tip…right before you hit West Virginia. It’s ,um, Pike County” I respond

Apparently that’s all he needed to remember me as well because he blurted out “YOU’RE FROM BELFRY!”

“Well Phelps/Freeburn but close enough and YOU have an aunt there…” I started

“THAT WAS A DOCTOR!” he says excitedly

“And a cousin…” I start again”

THAT’S STILL A DOCTOR THERE!” he finishes for me

It was the most Pike County meeting ever. I think everyone loves bumping into someone from their home town especially when it’s some place like where we’re from.

Pike County is by no means small. However, all the towns that make up the county are quite small. 

Anyways, just as I was answering the question of “Where’d you go to high school?” the gate agent came onboard to tell me that boarding was complete. 

Before I stepped out of the cockpit to begin my announcements to our guests the Captain asked one more question –

“How in the hell did you wind up here at ‘Sunshine Airlines’”? 

*I’m using a fake name here because you don’t need to know who I work for unless you already know*

I wanted to look at him and say “Well buddy I could ask the same of you!” but I didn’t because it was time to work. The question wasn’t asked for a serious answer but as the first of our three flights went on, I started thinking about it anyways – how in the hell did I end up here? Not at my airline exactly, but here, in the sky with my Karren who just walked me up a dish of pasta salad that she’d made us to eat while on our trip. This morning I was kissed on the forehead by the love of my life as he went to work only to turn around and kiss the other love of my life on her tiny little fluffy forehead as I left for work. I left our beautiful, safe home in the state that I love most & came to work with one of my best friends doing what I love most – flying & traveling.

How did a Pike County girl get so lucky? 

It could’ve went so differently.

I left Kentucky when I was 7. My parents chose to move to North Carolina – Alexander County. The smallest county in North Carolina. They moved for a fresh start in their marriage & for better jobs – our county in NC was known for furniture factories. They quickly got jobs at Bassett furniture – my mom stayed with Bassett until I was 18 years old. My dad…did not. I started school at Wittenburg Elementary & only went there for a year before we moved again to a neighboring town (same county) called Hiddenite. I lived in Hiddenite until we moved back to Kentucky after I graduated high school (Alexander Central, to answer the Captain’s question. Although it wouldn’t matter because he would have no idea where that was because he thinks I graduated in Kentucky) All of my formative years were spent in Hiddenite, North Carolina. When people ask me where I’m from I always say “Kentucky but I was raised in North Carolina”

Shriner’s Hospital
Me once I ditched the body cast
I truly have always been a huge nerd.

I thought there was nowhere better than North Carolina. I thought growing up there made me a more worldly human than if I would have grown up in Kentucky. This ,of course, is not true as my small town in NC is about as down home as you could ever get (not to mention worldly humans come from all walks of life) BUT you didn’t cross any mountains to get to Walmart like in Kentucky so clearly ,to a child, it was a thriving metropolis. It was bigger though & I do feel that growing up there gave me a far better shot at success than if we would’ve stayed in Kentucky. I’ve often wondered what would’ve happened if we’d never moved…would I have been okay growing up in Freeburn or Phelps, Kentucky? That area is both totally beautiful but bleak.

I moved back at 18 & felt sort of trapped at first.  However, if I would’ve stayed in Hiddenite, I would’ve been seriously trapped. You must choose your version of entrapment I suppose. I felt weird being in North Carolina then…life was total shit in my house at that point. I always say I’m transparent on the blog & don’t care to say whatever, but it’s not my place to out my parents’ business, however long ago that may have been. Life at home was awful. I didn’t feel safe there, to be honest. I didn’t go to college. I didn’t have a reliable car. I didn’t feel comfortable bringing friends or guys to my house. My only option was start applying to basic skill set jobs & get to work. I never dated except for 2 losers so I didn’t even have any relationship options that may bloom into anything.

I’d always felt like NC was the clear, superior choice for me but Kentucky ended up being fine. It sorta even saved me from my funk that I’d gotten myself in. The trapped feeling only lasted so long once I’d made some friends, met some guys, and worked my ass off. For a long time I worked 2 jobs (I actually still sorta do…flying, Uber Eats, & Instacart. I have a lot in life I want to do & gotta finance it somehow!!) My mom helped me get my beloved little Pontiac Sunfire that I drove the shit out of, then my ex drove the shit out of as his work car back & forth to Chicago, then we finally sold it to a college kid who I hoped also drove the shit out of it. Things started to get easier.

At one of my many jobs…Peebles department store

The Sunfire the day we bought it

I’ve lived in North Carolina again since…Charlotte, this time. Charlotte is a wonderful city & if I ever moved back to the Carolina’s, that’s where I’d go. I don’t see a lot of Carolina in me now but I still love it, it’s a fantastic place to raise a child because I personally feel that I had a great childhood there. I was raised around 3 great girls who were either my age or slightly older, they were all great friends to me (I was often the shit head brat, if you’re reading this…I’m sorry), we played outside & I never felt like we should’ve been concerned for our safety, & I went to good schools. I can’t knock it, really. As for Kentucky, while I love it & I’m proud to be a Kentucky girl, I couldn’t move back again. It IS hard to live there! It takes a strong, resilient type and while I feel that I’m both of those things, I like my conveniences!

I’m kinda lame because I rarely visit either of these places. I go to Kentucky more than North Carolina as I have no family left there plus the fact my mom is in Kentucky, she’s gonna win every time. I still talk to a few girls from high school on Facebook but it’s not like we’ve ever made plans to hang out so I just don’t go. I think about it sometimes – even back in 2020, Clinton & I are making the trek up to Kentucky to see my mom & Gary for Christmas & we spent a night in Asheville. I started getting giddy with anticipation seeing familiar road signs and I asked him “Would you mind when we leave tomorrow if we swing over to Taylorsville & Hiddenite? It’s only like 2 hours from here! I can show you where I grew up!” And of course he had no problem with that so that’s what we did! It was a quick passing through but we drove down Liberty Church road in Hiddenite & there on Tarheel lane was our old, brown, single wide trailer. The porch was still 2 different colors. I couldn’t believe it was still there & a functioning home for someone. I figured for sure the landlords would’ve hauled that bitch off somewhere. That was the first time I’d visited my home town since 2006.

But long story long, it’s that. That trailer, those trash boyfriends, the red water we had in Kentucky, Shoe Sensation, the Sunfire, the moving back & forth & all around, the sometimes not having all of the utilities turned on at the same time, my mom working 2 & sometimes 3 jobs, the fucking hip surgeries I had to have as a child at Shriner’s Hospital in Lexington, the ex husband, Norfolk Southern… alllllll that got me here. To Clinton, Emma, Lindsey, & Karren. To Florida, to sunshine, & the ocean. To flying the friendly skies. To doing exactly what I want to do in life & doing it exactly on my terms.

– Autumn

** Petition to get Clinton to finally break & allow me to name our next 2 dogs “Kentucky” & “Carolina” coming soon.

** Cover photo is not my own, I found it on Pinterest.

A Love Story

I would like to tell you a love story.

Mine.

I got divorced at 29. It was relatively amicable. Bitter, but I’m no crazy ex, so besides some anger there wasn’t any burned houses or sugared gas tanks. I moved to Florida from Alabama peacefully & wanted to be left alone (of course, I didn’t get that wish for about a year) but I digress. It was easy. It felt like I’d lived in Florida my whole life. I was home.

After a few months in Daytona, I decided to try a dating app although I felt like they were beneath me. Meeting people organically is not easy though. I met a few guys & in general, decided that men repulse me now more than ever & as a whole, Daytona’s stock in men was absolute trash. There was the guy who was using photos from a whole different decade so when I met him I was unsure if it was even the same person. There was the guy who talked about how hilarious he was & how everyone told him to do stand up comedy but he was the quietest, most boring human I’d ever met who never got even a chuckle out of me. There was the fucking insane freak from the Daytona Hyundai dealership who I actually DID meet organically that scared the living hell out of me when he refused to leave my condo building. And then there was the one who I actually expressed interest in who told me “don’t get attached, I’m just looking for a distraction from my shitty life” – he dropped off the face of the planet for 4 days only to come back & admit his ex-wife had him locked up over the weekend because he threw a toy during an argument that belonged to his kid & it nearly hit her. I mean, I guess I respect the honesty but respectfully…no.

Once in Fort Lauderdale I thought my luck would change. Surely being so close to Miami would bring me some luck. Instead, once again I got catfished. I got cyber harassed. And I got ghosted. Again. I got to thinkin’ “Man I must really be awful” so I decided…no’mo. I’ll be a crazy Schnsuzer lady & that’s it for me in this life. 

Then one day, as you well know, I got a random add on my socials. Clinton David. Or as I knew him at the time…Nightmare 😂 His Snapchat handle. I’ve never changed it. He’d found me on the dating app but couldn’t take the chance of waiting around for me to swipe right for him. I spent some time talking to this mystery man, which turned into all day. After nearly a week of canceled dates, we finally met for our first one at Rustic Inn in Fort Lauderdale. I almost didn’t go. I was coached into going by my friend Allison who told me it could be something great or I might just meet someone who could be a friend and at the very least, I should go for the free food. My crashpad roommates did my makeup, I wore Candy Yum Yum by MAC, and I needed an accessory so I found a choker in my car that I’d bought for $1. He still had earrings & a chin strappy beard thing. I don’t believe in love at first sight but I do believe in amazing first dates & it was the best I’d ever had. He ordered peel & eat shrimp…I didn’t know how to peel them so he taught me. He ordered crab…I didn’t know how to crack them so he taught me. But night’s end, I’d flung crab across the room while trying to work the little tools & had butter & juices running down my arms like an animal…and he didn’t care! We had so much fun that I passed on my rule of “Don’t Get In Cars With Strange Boys” & I got into this strange boy’s BMW & rode to the beach with him to continue this awesome date (my roommates were tracking my location anyways). We really did have the best time. He was a perfect gentleman. 

I remember getting back to the crashpad that night & one of my roommates was asleep in her bunk. She heard me come in & sleepily asked me how my date went. I was genuinely shocked to hear myself say “It was perfect!” So I figured it was only a matter of time before this guy also ghosted me because I’m actually ugly or boring or maybe it’s because during most of the date I had a visible booger I didn’t know about until I went to wash the crab off my hands. I didn’t know the exact reason but surely this guy wouldn’t really be into me.

Oh but he was. Not long after this first date, I stayed at his apartment (judge me, I stayed in a house with 9 other girls at the time so he couldn’t visit me where I “lived”. I also figured if he was crazy & decided to murder me, he had a roommate who I hoped would be a helpful witness so my parents would have closure on what had happened to me) – he had dinner ready, a bottle of wine, little chocolate mousse cakes, and a dozen roses for me. We would watch Christmas movies in our jammies & eat pizza in bed. He put up a Christmas tree in his room for me even though at the time, he could not have cared less about Christmas. He bought me the Harry Potter DVD gift set & after much coaxing, watched them all with me. I would come in from long trips & he would have a hot bath ran for me with a single candle lit & he would sit ,pretty much in the dark, on the edge of the tub & rub my feet while talking to me about my trip.

It was disgusting.

But it was pretty perfect. 

I have never felt loved the way Clinton made me feel. I don’t think anyone ever did. I may have been tolerated at best, absolutely despised at worst. But not anymore…I had someone who when I would pull in, would walk outside to help me with my luggage (there’s something most guys would feel is weird…the fact I’d show up with 3 pieces of luggage for sleepovers!) & would smile the biggest, cheesiest grin while waving to me like a maniac. Like that clip of Forrest Gump waving to Lieutenant Dan from his shrimp boat. I would think to myself “What is this guy’s deal? Why the hell does he like me so much?!”** Ahhh, trauma. It has been 5 years & I’m still unlearning so many trauma responses from my first marriage. Emotional trauma is a real mother fucker.

Life has brought us so far since then. We broke up for a few months in 2018 & it was actually one of the more painful things I’d been through. I cried daily. I was more hurt without him than when I got divorced & had my whole life altered. A few months later he was in his terrible accident. I’ve never left him since much to the disapproval of some folks who ,in the words of my beloved Britney Spears, can kiss my lily white Southern Louisiana ass. I’m from Kentucky but still. We went from living in Boca Raton to staying in Texas on and off during his recovery to Orlando to our current home, location withheld. We do something fun every day we’re together. He has never left me hanging if I need him. Take my dad to the doctor? Done. Air in my tires? K. Take Emma to the groomer? “I’ll remind them to give her the kissy lips haircut that we like!” He would beat anyone’s ass for me & he is always on my side. I’ve never felt like my partner wouldn’t defend me. And I try to do the same for him. I’ve definitely almost attacked an old man who made a nasty remark about Clinton in a wheelchair one day when I was visiting him in Texas. Seatbelt came flying off, my door swung open, and I was off. However, Clinton grabbed me and pulled me back into the car so I just yelled at said old man from the window instead. I love differently than Clinton. His is very soft & traditional…mine is harder. I’m not mushy – this blog is about as mushy as you’re gonna get & it’s sprinkled with sarcasm & humor because that’s how I am in reality. I’ve never wanted to be a princess-in-love type – ironically, Clinton calls me his queen all the time & I fucking hate that too. It’s almost like I’m too serious for love but not really. I just like it on my terms. Beating up a dude in defense of my man is me showing love.

We were never gonna get married but here we are. 4 years in, he asked in Savannah, Georgia while in Forsyth Park. I never thought I’d see the day but it came! I remember people going “It’s about time!!” and being shocked because originally we were never getting married at all! That was laid out from the get go. Living in sin? K, sounds fun. Gettin’ hitched? No thank you. I still think we did it right by waiting so long. Couples who get married within ,like, a year are weird. No damn wonder divorce is so common.

Speaking of divorce. I had my cards read in New Orleans a few days ago on my last trip & the card reader had some interesting things to say. The card reader ,Jonathan, held my hand & with closed eyes he asked me “Divorced once, yes?” I usually don’t give these folks any information to feed on but the man asked me a question so I had to respond “…yes” & with his eyes still closed he said “Well you don’t have to worry about that ever again. No more divorce. No drama here. You can breathe easy in this relationship”

He’s right. I do breathe easy in this relationship. This has been the best time of my life. I will say, Jonathan was shocked to find out I’m a Virgo & Clinton’s a Gemini & we’re actually living in harmony but I think that’s enough to shock anybody if you know the both of us. 

We are down to 46 days & on our 5th anniversary we will be married.

– Autumn

**Sometimes I still think to myself “why the hell does he like me so much?!”

A Very Vegas Wedding *update #2*

Our wedding is in less than 2 months.

Can ya believe it?! I sure as hell can’t!

If you would’ve told me in 2017 that in 5 years I would be getting married again…I’d tell you that you were batshit crazy. 

I did not care to do this again, and while it’s no big secret that I didn’t want a “real” wedding, I’ve actually come around to enjoying putting it together! Oh now don’t get me wrong, I’m disgustingly stressed with certain aspects (the reception dinner) but I’m enjoying picking out bridal party gifts & my nails & stuff like that.

I have my hair stylist picked & a friend of mine is doing my makeup as a wedding gift. I have nearly all favors and gifts purchased. We have our rings sized, polished, & kept in our specially designed ring box. I found a restaurant to hold a reception dinner. I applied for our marriage license about 5 days ago.

We have decided to leave Emma at home…cue my tears. We had waited too long on booking our room so the prices for a pet friendly room shot up so high that I just couldn’t justify putting her through the stress of a flight & leaving her in the room 90% off the trip. It breaks my heart but I simply cannot fathom spending $300 extra dollars when this has already proved to be so expensive. 

Our bridal party has underwent some changes during the planning period. A bridesmaid dropped out, then the groomsmen she was to walk with decided to drop out. I figured as much with one of them so I had a couple people on standby & now Clinton’s awesome cousin Peggy will be joining us in the bridal party. The groomsman was a tad more difficult to replace but Clinton’s nephew Shane is stepping in. He’s pulling double duty with walking our rings down the aisle as well. It’s definitely a non-traditional mix going on up in the front but it’s ,literally, a 30 minute ceremony so I don’t care. We have no ill will towards the folks who dropped out because at least they had the respect and courtesy to tell us early so we could make proper adjustments. We get it, shit happens. We originally had a 5th groomsman who just ghosted Clinton about 6 months ago. Stopped responding to his texts, phone calls, etc. I can’t respect that.

We are not doing traditional bachelor/bachelorette parties but instead opting to venture off with our guys & our gals in Vegas for a fun night on the town the night before the wedding. The guys have talked about renting motorcycles & the girls are thinking Thunder Down Under (amongst other dick related spectacles). While Nashville reigns supreme for basic bitch bachelorette parties, Vegas is a close 2nd. Vegas has far more to do, I like it better, plus we’ll all already be there so it was a clear choice to just knock it all out together.

As time ticks on I’m so anxious. I have largely planned this on my own. What if I haven’t accomplished what I’ve set out to do? What if it turns out lame? I can’t have a lame wedding! So many things have already had to change and alter my vision for this day that I’m in a constant state of anxiety that this may suck 😂 if I didn’t absolutely need this next month and a half to continue planning & paying I’d say I wish it was here already so we can just get it over with!

Next week I’ll be making the final payment on the actual wedding itself along with submitting our final music choices & floral selections. I am freaking out! 

Please don’t be lame, please don’t be lame, please don’t be lame…

– Autumn

Kids

A few days ago I added a flight attendant to Facebook & she saw Emma’s birthday photoshoot – the first thing she said was “wow you sure can tell you don’t have kids”

My response was “umm…your point being?”

————————————

I do not want children. I have never wanted children actually. The first time I realized this, I was only 8 years old. It’s such a random and bizarre moment that I recall but I was at my babysitter’s house and she had the news on and they were covering a story about how the Mayans were predicting the world to end in 2012…I quickly did the math to see that I would be 25 years old and I distinctly remember my first thought being of relief that I’d be young enough that I wouldn’t “have” to have kids. Seriously. Not that the world would maybe end and we’d all die but simply “well thank heavens I’ll be young enough when we peace out that maaaaaybe I won’t even have to consider children” I was an 8 year old little weirdo.

I’m a 34, nearly 35, year old little weirdo now…one who still does not want children. I had a brief lapse in judgement while Clinton was recovering from his accident and we were so madly in love and high on life (and high on the fact that life had not been taken from us) that I thought to myself (and one day drunkenly to Karren) “well that could be kinda fun! A baby with the love of your life! I like it…Picasso!” then I remembered my ~now fiancé~ has had a vasectomy and I genuinely do not enjoy children…nor does he. So I came to my senses pretty quickly. A near death experience is not a good reason to have a child folks – 0/10 stars.

2012 rolled around & obviously we’re still on the floating space rock but at this point time has evolved enough to where a good portion of the world doesn’t give a shit if you have kids or not so being child free has been the lifestyle I’d chosen to have. It truly baffles the remainder of people & angers them to a degree, I think. That a woman could be content & happy in her own life without a child. I can guarandamntee you if I had a kid I’d be miserable. I will not make myself miserable to satisfy someone else.

But yeah, it truly baffles people…not long ago I had downloaded this app to use on my Instagram called “NGL” where people can say anonymous things to you or ask anonymous questions. I got one that said “Is there a particular reason you don’t want children?” – at first I thought it was an interesting question but then I just thought “Wow. I’m really out here living life & y’all care about why I don’t want kids? How boring are you?” – I answered it honestly. I love my life & I’d love it less if I had to raise children. I believe I also made a remark about my own childhood as well so feel free to self diagnose me, I don’t think I care. That’s basically what this blog is anyways.

One of my aunts has taken to saying shitty remarks to my mom about being a grandma – things like “The things we do for our grandchildren right Diane? Oh that’s right! You don’t have any” – um, ‘scuse me? My mom and dad would make excellent grandparents (honestly I questioned my dad but seeing him with Emma, yes he’d be a wonderful PawPaw to a child) but being a parent/grandparent does not make you superior to someone who isn’t. Some of y’all need to be checked. A few weeks ago I was flying with my friend Megan & we were talking about how we are literally the anti-bride type of gal – she said something very interesting to me – her mom & dad were never the parents who asked if she had boyfriends or crushes or made the little remarks like “oh is that your boyfriiiiiend?” in the goofy little sing song voice. They didn’t push relationships or marriage & now, she just doesn’t have that ,like, bridal quality. Mine didn’t do that to me either. And I think that same type of mentality can be applied to children. Neither of my parents have ever said something to me about having children – never. They have said things about going to college, getting jobs, learning languages (dear God, my dad still rags me about this), even changing airlines & working for one of the “Big 4”! But they have never once asked me “when are you giving me a grandchild?” And I thank them for that. Even my MawMaw Rose! When I was a little girl, she’d gift me books – all the time. I loved ,and still love, to read. She would always inscribe a message on the inside front cover of everyone of them “go be that doctor I know you can be!” or “become that veterinarian you want to be!” Not saying doctors or vets can’t be mothers (because duh, obviously) but even MawMaw, coming from her generation, never said anything. I wonder what she’d inscribe in books to my cousins…I wish I would’ve kept all mine. Okay, I’m getting off subject here.

Ah well. Can you believe it’s 2022 & I still felt the need to explain myself & my life choices? I actually wasn’t going to discuss it on here because why? You either get it or you don’t. You either know me or you don’t. No one asked for it but that’s the beauty of a dot com that I pay for. I can discuss anything I wish.

Wow, you sure can tell I don’t have kids.

– Autumn

*Cover photo came from a Google search

Happy Birthday Emma Lou!

A few days ago was my Emma’s 13th birthday! What’s this now? You don’t celebrate your dog’s birthday? Wow. Sad. Can’t relate.

Me on the other hand? Oh I’m gonna turn up! (I watch a lot of TikTok, please disregard me trying to sound young)

Sometime in June of 2010 I became the proud owner to a weird & kinda strange looking miniature schnauzer (I’ll explain this in a minute because she’s definitely still weird but certainly not strange looking) Within just a few months I became mom. By the following year, I was batshit crazy. 

So in honor of my girl, let’s go back to 2010 & up to present day for some of my favorite Emma stories.

In 2010 I was living in Charlotte, NC with my ex and needed some companionship while he worked so we began to wonder about bringing one of his English bulldogs to Charlotte. He had 2 wonderful bulldogs that he’d left in West Virginia with his parents when we moved. They agreed to bring us the boy bulldog & the day he arrived he (the bulldog) had a panic attack, spent the day throwing up, paced around our apartment, couldn’t rest, & even after a dose of Benadryl STILL wouldn’t calm down…my ex’s parents packed him up & took him back to West Virginia because he was clearly not cut out for Charlotte life. We were back to square one on finding me a dog until one evening my ex’s mother called & told us that my former hair stylist (who she went to as well) in Kentucky was having to re-home her miniature schnauzer because she’d just moved back in with her parents after a breakup. They (her parents) also had a mini schnauzer who was very old & nearly blind & the puppy (Emma) always wanted to play & needed so much attention that no one could give her so she had to go. We said we’d take her. 

I didn’t even know what a Schnauzer was so I had to Google photos of them. I had my ex message her and ask for photos of this new dog we were getting & he was always met with “oh yeah I’ll send you some!” And we never got a single photo. Eventually he even asked a mutual friend of theirs who responded with “oh she is the cutest dog ever! You’ll love her!” But still no photos.

We took off one weekend & made the drive to West Virginia/Kentucky to get our new baby, “Emma”, which I thought was a dumb name & fully planned on changing. We met at his grandparents house & the girl we got her from pulled up in her sporty little red Mercedes. She got out looking very much the quintessential West Virginia Barbie and “the dog” jumped out behind her…she waddled over to us with zero confidence. This damn dog didn’t look anything like what I saw on Google. She looked like one of those dogs in articles on Facebook talkin’ ‘bout “They Thought This Dog Was A Pile Of Trash…Click To See It’s Dramatic Transformation!” – that poor baby had never had a haircut in her 10 months of life. She was so poofy & overgrown. How in the hell can you be a hairdresser and take so much pride in yourself but let your dog look & feel like that? You could just tell this baby didn’t feel good. If she could’ve talked she would’ve said “I’m sorry for wasting your time folks, I’ll be on my way then, thanks for your consideration”

What the hell is that?! 2010…

My ex pulled me to the side and said (& I remember this vividly) “How do you tell a person you don’t want their dog because it’s ugly?” Buddy I don’t know but you best figure it out. Anyways, his mom was there & was pulling all the hair back on Emma’s face so we could ,ya know, actually see her face. She was gushing over how cute she was…and ya know what? She did have a cute face under all that hair. And she really was very sweet. So we took her. We were her 3rd home in her short little life of 10 months. And I made a conscious decision that I’d be her last. As soon as we got her to Charlotte, she got groomed. She had so much energy & personality after that! She was no longer timid & quiet as she had been – that’s how I know she didn’t feel good when we first got her. Suddenly she was no longer the girl who bought army pants & flip flops…she went straight to being Regina George.

After getting all that shit shaved off…2010

She had severe separation anxiety & would bark constantly anytime we left. The first time I learned she had an attitude problem was when I’d went to the gym & came back to an absolutely destroyed issue of “In Style” scattered around my living room. There was the time I’d bought all new dishes & Christmas decorations & my ex came home to all of the packaging chewed to bits while Emma just stood beside it like “Yes, yes I did do this” like the little smirking girl by the burning house meme. I know I said I had made a conscious decision to be her last home but there was a time where she and I didn’t get along and after a particularly hard day with her I sat down to write a “Free To Good Home, Just Get This Fucking Demon Out Of My House” post on Facebook –

We had started to keep her in the kitchen while we were at work with a baby gate set up. One day I came home to a bunch of random, weird crumbs all over the living room floor…& quickly discovered she was stealing treats from under the kitchen sink, jumping the gate to eat them in the living room (she likes to enjoy her treats on carpeted areas…still does to this day), & jumping the gate again to go back to the kitchen. Okay…so she got a bigger gate. One day I got to leave work early before Christmas & as I was walking up the steps, I had a thought “wouldn’t that be some shit to walk in on Emma and she’s jumped the big gate and just chillin’ in the living room?” – I opened the front door to a little gray flash!! Emma was running laps around the living room with a Christmas ornament in her mouth. My tree was still upright but she’d pulled all the ribbon off. The trash can in the kitchen was knocked over & scattered everywhere. She’d pulled my cloth napkins (& the dishes displayed on them) off the kitchen table & into the floor. Stuff was everywhere & this little maniac didn’t even notice I’d came home. That was when I lost it – every day it felt like I was cleaning up her messes & she was such an ungrateful brat about it. I went to the kitchen to clean up the trash & had tears coming down my face because she just made me so MAD. She tried to come over & love on me but she smelled like trash and her face was greasy from eating God knows what IN the trash. I began to plot what I would say in my inevitable Facebook post…

“This girl is the nastiest skank bitch I’ve ever met. Do not trust her. She is a fugly slut” 

Or something like that.

Anyways, my ex took me to dinner & talked me off the ledge. He also went home & stacked the 2 baby gates on top of each other to make one giant super gate. She never jumped them again. She went onto live another day.

2010

We had more struggles after that. The dog ate anything she possibly could find…one day during a walk I wasn’t paying enough attention & she’d found a random buffalo wing that I (a true germaphobe) had to pry out of her mouth for fear of her keeping me up that night with the shits from the buffalo sauce. I gagged all the way home. During one of our many moves, we stayed with my ex’s parents while he was doing job training. On more than one occasion I’d come home to find that she’d plowed through a loaf of stale bread that was meant to go in the trash and her little belly would be bloated out to the heavens. Or dried Ramen noodles. A pair of eye glasses that belonged to my ex’s mom. Cat shit from the litter box. My very expensive & cute Sam Edelman sandals. Didn’t matter…if it was accessible, Emma was gon’ eat it & you just had to hope you were around to stop it. We stayed in an Extended Stay hotel for a while in Chicago while we were buying our house there & I’d bought a Christmas gingerbread train kit – you guessed it, we put it together, put in on the counter to dry & harden, went to Target & came back to it being demolished, Emma extremely hopped up on sugar & to come down from her high, she ate my ex’s Bluetooth headset leaving only some wires and springs behind. Okay so maybe you didn’t guess all THAT…anyways, I genuinely feared for her life that day. I put her in the bathroom in our little hotel room & told her just stay in there till he wasn’t in the mood to kill her anymore. Even recently while Clinton & I were dog sitting we discovered that the 2 of them teamed up & stole a blueberry muffin. She may be older & wiser but she’s still kind of a heifer.

We’ve went on to have a wonderful life together. We worked on the anxiety she had & now she works as a freelance therapy dog helping others with anxiety (mainly Clinton & I) – a few years ago I had nearly crippling daily anxiety attacks. Emma would lay with me when I’d get home, absolutely exhausted from the pure fear & adrenaline that I’d felt from the attack, & she’d lay with me all day. She never got up & barked to go out or anything…she just let me be & she stayed with me & for that, I’m eternally grateful. She’s been my only friend through many moves around the country. She was my road trip partner when I was driving from North Carolina to West Virginia to Indiana to Kansas City to Nashville to Birmingham to Florida. She is the best car rider. She was ,literally, the only thing I wanted out of my divorce. She is the HBIC in any room she enters. She’s the first to square up with any German Shepherd or Rottweiler. She is truly my best friend. She is truly the best.

2017

When I got my job and had to leave her (and still have to leave her on a semi regular basis) my heart broke. I felt like I failed her, like I too, abandoned her. Luckily she has a PawPaw Barry & 2 aunts & a MawMaw Rose that took wonderful care of her. Actually I gotta say, I think Emma thought MawMaw was her pet human. I think she took it as her responsibility to look after her & take care of her. Remember she’s a freelance therapy dog! She doesn’t go for extended visits to Daytona anymore because we’re settled & I want her to know this place as her home but I can ask her “Wanna go see PawPaw?” And she gets up & barks out “You crazy son of a bitch! I’m in! Get your keys!” or mostly she barks & runs around in circles because she knows exactly who that is & what that means. She now spends her daily life when I’m not here with Clinton who went from being “Beard Gang” to “Dad” & boy, does she love him. Sometimes I think she prefers him to me & while that stings a little, I understand. There for a while she was like that with my dad (aka PawPaw Barry) – she followed him everywhere. She is the biggest lover of people & I’ve always said I think because she got passed around so much when she was a puppy that that is the reason WHY she loves people the way she does – I think she is always on edge thinking she’s going to be given away again.

Over my dead fucking body.

Emma & her pet MawMaw
Emma & her PawPaw Barry

So she’s 13 now. We’ve had some signs of aging pop up the last year or so – some slightly cloudy eyes, some spots on her skin, but worst of all, we had to have her front teeth pulled. Thankfully, having her bad teeth removed has only helped rejuvenate her spirit. She’s back to being the most playful, crazy little thing. I know that one day the inevitable will happen & I also know that I will not be okay for a while when it does. However, I also know that I will have had the greatest privilege having my little shaggy gray girl by my side for over a decade (maybe 2! I’m really hoping we can get her to hit 20!)

9/2/22

We have a lot of life left to live together – she’s taking her first flight in December! To watch her momma & dad get married in Vegas with her by our side. She’s my “Best Girl”. Every time I think of her there, I cry. I’m crying now.

So on that note, I gotta think of something silly. Which is that Vegas will truly not know what hit it when Emma gets there! She’s going to take that city & make it her bitch.

Happy Birthday again, my sweet Emma Lou.

8/29/22 – her 13th birthday

– Autumn (aka momma)

Up, Up, & Away

I’ve kinda disappeared from writing…again.

I should finish up the Morocco trip but honestly I’m kinda tired of talking about it so I’ll hit the Cliff’s Notes ::

  • We went to Rabat ,the capital, & attempted to find where Lindsey’s grandparents lived in the 60s. We were not successful. But not for lack of trying!
  • I don’t feel like we enjoyed Rabat that much aside from a carnival we went to and rode around on children’s rides & even stuck around for an Arabic concert. Rabat started off looking so cool when we left the train station but I didn’t like the medina area at all. It was overly packed & smelly & on more than one occasion I gagged because I could smell the meat counters.
  • Lindsey got stared at, glared at, catcalled, and gawked at so much in Rabat that she went back to our riad & changed clothes. It was bad.
  • Speaking of the Rabat riad – we were not as into this one as we were the riad in Marrakech. This one only had one full size bed for us to share, a set of keys that you had to fiddle with for way too long to get in and out of things (at night this did not feel safe), a bathroom that had a flickering light that didn’t shine enough to light up the shower so you showered in the dark, and a sink AND shower that clogged so you were standing in inches of backed up water…BUT THEY HAD A FABULOUS AIR CONDITIONER!!!! And really, I forgave everything for that fact alone.
  • We went to Fez for a day & had an absolute failure of a day but we sorta redeemed ourselves at the end.
  • We flew home Rabat to Paris, Paris to Atlanta, and then I flew my airline Atlanta to Orlando. All the flights from Paris to the USA were oversold by 10 or more and at this point I was ready to be home so I was definitely anxious but we made it on with no problem! Obviously we weren’t in business class going home but we were thankful for anything.
  • I came home with terrible stomach issues that lasted just over a week. Not sure if it was from the juice cleanse I basically went on while out there or if it was something I ate but I ended up staying home for 2 more weeks once I got back because of what I started calling my “Moroccan stomach aches”

I really enjoyed the trip but it was certainly the hardest trip we’d been on together. I overall felt safe in Morocco & would definitely go back to Marrakech & Fez. I want to go back to visit Casablanca & Chefchaoen as well as the Sahara. And I figure one day I will.

Since being home I’ve been camping at Wekiva again, Clinton & I have spent some time at the beach, my father in law came to visit, we’ve had to change the wedding party a bit, I ordered our invitations, I -for the first time in over a year- got my hair done, and I’m officially back to work. I just hit my 5th year with my company & that means that my annual recurrent training is coming up – late September to be exact. So that’s the new thing that’s taking up my time – studying & doing all my computer work. I’m also pretty excited because I have trips coming up with layover in Salt Lake City & Seattle so I get to cross Utah and Washington off my list of states I’ve never been to.

So yeah, there’s a quickie update. My gut is finally healed, my grays are covered, the wedding is moving along a bit, & I’m back in the sky!