TrashyNashy – a Bachelorette Weekend in Nashville

I’m sitting at home with my coffee and oatmeal – the first meal in about 6.5 days not accompanied by between 1 and 15 Ohio friends. One of the bar performer’s albums is playing on Spotify and the collaborative Snapfish album is buzzing with new material as everyone uploads their photos, finally bridging some of the haziness between memories.

My week in Nashville was pretty damn perfect. I went in a few days early – Lauren (the bachelorette and my BFF since age two) was on a work trip so I crashed her hotel room, did some extra exploring and writing while she worked, and we got to spend a little QT together before the chaos started.

Below are some snippets from the week – obviously respecting the Trashy Nashy confidentiality agreement and the reputations of those involved and keeping it PG…

Oh and Lauren? ps : reunion trip in the works.

Day One aka “Sarah Explores & Bar Scouting”


lunch with nuunHTC teammate Elizabeth at The Southern, disappointingly celeb-free |||  5.5 sweaty midday miles to Centennial Park |||  L & S “research” bar crawl incl stops at B.A.D for songwriter’s night, bypassing on nude karaoke at Printer’s Alley, leaving some artwork at Paradise Park, and requesting Garth Brooks from anyone on stage that would listen to us

Day Two aka “Sister Sister & the BFE Secluded Cabin”


sweet potato pancake, overeasy egg, BBQ sauce at Puckett’s (to die seriously|||  begrudgingly passing on boot shopping due to self-imposed “fun shopping” ban  |||  wandering down by the river  |||  settling into the digs at our VRBO rental, a ridiculous cabin about 20 miles outside of town

Day Three aka “The Arrivals & You Can Still Drink in the Dark”


squeezed in a run while the rest of the group poured in (confessional sign says “I went running while everyone started drinking”) ((it was 9am))  |||  four girls may need tested for lyme disease after exploring the backyard trail and coming back with ticks  |||  grilling and at-home dining made for a budget-friendly weekend  |||  I played in the thunderstorm because “GUYS IT DOESN’T RAIN LIKE THIS IN CALI!!” and I miss Ohio  |||  … and then the power went out and we played Kings and Apples to Apples by candlelight

Day Four aka “Tourists & the Black/White Big Night Out”

Fri Opry

exploring Opryland hotel  |||  lunch at JD’s  |||  soliciting around the Grand Ole Opry looking for famous people (only tourists)



the whole gang decked in country black & white  |||  last-minute fireball shots before the cabs  |||  L on stage hat-swapping with Jeremy McComb at The Wheel  |||  an ugly but valiant karaoke performance  |||  dropping it for a street performer, showcasing a multi-threat dance arsenal and that country girls CAN “shake it for me”

Day Fiveaka “A Beer Will Probably Help & Downtime During Daylight”


line dance lessons at Wild Horse  |||  tip jars fit for hicks  |||  accidentally found the same band from our last stop the night before, where a few Trashy Nashy attendees may have fawned a little hard over the lead singer (and he definitely recognized us|||  dinner at Jack’s for the “best BBQ in the world”; gave an A+ to their sauces smothered on mac&cheese, salad, and cornbread  |||  this giant hat Shea found to cap off the night

Appendix aka “Drunk Pinterest’ing”


Lauren was very adamant that she wanted the weekend to be mostly low-key, with no crazy itineraries or penis necklaces or stupid games (not verbatim). But I still wanted her to be the focal point – this was HER weekend, not just a random girls’ trip!

We decorated with balloons, crepe paper streamers, and a glittery “L” from the Dollar Tree, to give the cabin a little bit of a party feel.

The cowgirl veil was made from strips of tulle and wide lace ribbon from Michaels – both bought with 40% off coupons and came out to around $10. Picked up the black hat at a souvenir shop for $20 and swapped it between that and the tan Target hat she brought with her. It turned out super cute (in my not-so-humble opinion) and was a great attention piece.


Laur modeling the homemade interchangeable hat veil

To help combat “is this my beer? or is that one mine?” and leaving tons of half-drank bevys around I blinged out Can Grips for each girl. Their names were on the gingham ribbon, tied up with some lace and rafia, and either a yellow, green, or orange ribbon to make location a little easier. Plus it’s just fun to have a handle on your beer can. Fancy buschy pops!


can grips >>> coozies

For a momento/flight home entertainment we set up a “Remember When…?” confessional. Each girl wrote a note(s) of a funny, fond, or embarrassing memory of Lauren, and sealed them up in a simple index card holder I wrapped in leftover lace ribbon. It was simple to prep and set up, and fun to see people throughout the weekend jotting stuff down.

I’m sure all the ones from Friday night while we waited for the drunk munchies to bake were real gems.

And now that this is written I guess it’s officially time to get back to “real life”. Guess I’ll start with a detox run – can’t say I’ll miss the humidity, bugs, or the 16% grade 1/4mi driveway to start and end with…


no but really. extended vehicles can’t get up it and two of our cabbies left giant skid marks at the base.

Sarah OUaL

My New Project & Where to Find Me bc I’m Definitely Not Here

Expect service blackouts from Once Upon a Lime the rest of the week – I’m in Nashville for my best-friend-since-age-two’s bachelorette party! The company and entertainment of 15 other chicks (inc some long lost buddies) trumps interneting.

Not sorry.



heaven help our hillbilly selves. so many busch lights to drink, karaoke bars to storm, and wrangler butts to pinch. (jk brian)

In the meantime you can get a little Lime fix over at Oiselle’s blog. I’m going to be writing a recurring column (sounds so official) and the first installment, “From “Ka-Flez-a-what?” to US Champs” is up.

The working title is “The Evolution of a Fan Girl, In Progress”, and my mission is pretty much to convince people pro running is worth your attention. As a former running dunce and someone not ashamed to look foolish on the internet, I want to guide my fellow Run Fan Rookies around the ropes and highlight some of the cool shit going on with the athletes who make a living out of running.

Like the USA National Track & Field Championships (Des Moines, IA) and US Half Marathon Championships (Duluth, MN) this weekend! There’s info in the post about how and where to follow. So do it. It’s going to be awesome. I’ll be squeezing Flotrack updates between tequila shots and karaoke sets, for sure.

If you have any ideas for features, or any burning questions you’ve been too embarrassed to ask anybody (“what’s a steeple/A standard/EPO/mary cain?”) hit me with them. If you’re really super super embarrassed, use the anon Q&A page.

Oh and if someone wants to start an indiegogo campaign for bail money, that’d be great. Foresight.

Sarah OUaL

Closing Doors

I sat on this post because Lauren LBC/HOTR/mom-to-be went and announced the tiny human growing inside her, and I thought it’d be rude to not give her at least a few days of Big Life News spotlight before coming in with my own. Haha just kidding, I actually just didn’t want to compete for attention. Plus my news is way less exciting. SPOILER : No gestation countdowns here.

(dear parents and in-laws, please return to normal cardiac rhythms. promise you won’t find out about any Baby Limes from the internet…)

Before I explain though, lets back up and start from the sensible place.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The Cali Backgrounder

We came out to California three years ago because of my job. The small company I worked for was opening a satellite office and needed two reps to lay down the roots. I interviewed in January (winter in Ohio? yes, can I leave RIGHT NOW PLEASE?) and just barely a year into my first post-collegiate job, accepted a promotion and put “move to CA” on my calendar for April 1.

Brian was finishing up graduate school, so the timing was perfect. He didn’t have to leave a job, was able to take his boards in CA, and found a job pretty easily. We didn’t own a home (uhh we were 23/25) and had nothing really tying us down to Ohio. Friends and family, yes, but we knew we wouldn’t have to twist arms too hard to convince someone to come visit if we got too homesick.

Our logic was, simply, “why not?!” We were presented an opportunity to do something we’d always wanted to, essentially risk-free. Plus, HELLO, Southern California. We literally had no excuse to say no.


Anyway, that’s all old news. We’re used to the 7-lane highways, legal U-turns, have learned how to pronounce “pho”, and find ourselves almost-sorta calling SoCal “home” now. With no regrets.

But as our time in California, and life in general progressed, I found myself gradually growing more and more restless. Life in Cali was all (and more) I imagined, yet I found myself feeling very unfulfilled. On paper I had no reason to be unhappy – a supportive and loving husband, strong family, full health, and great friends, all enveloped in palm tree paradise – but I wasn’t as happy as I felt I should be.

Does that make sense? Not being unhappy necessarily, but not being happy either?

Finding the Source

Eventually I found the root of my not-unhappy-but-not-happy predicament – it popped up every Monday-Friday from 8-5. I knew what I did wasn’t my “dream job”, but I adored the people I worked with and sought value in the potential of the company and my position within it. The tedium of the daily work was always trumped by the perks, and I told myself I was lucky to have a comfortable and stable career.

But I grew less and less interested in what I was doing, which turned into unproductivity, which eventually (once fully metastasized) turned into an almost remorse towards everything related to the job and company. A really ugly place for everyone involved.

This path, as I’ve now discovered, was sprung into motion and quickly jet-fueled by a few factors :

  2. I had no passion towards what I was doing
  3. The strengths that drew me in initially (people, ethics, company vision, etc) began deteriorating, creating a new, unfavorable work environment and a culture I no longer supported

I woke up every morning for MONTHS dreading going into the office. And to top it off, this disdain followed me everywhere – I was “taking my work home with me” and never completely tuned out to this business that was eating me alive.

But it was comfortable! I made good money, with great benefits, and had a mostly flexible schedule. Everything safe and “responsible” told me to gut it out, that maybe things would take a turn. People had it much harder than I did, after all…


“But some people actually LOVE what they do…”

the other shoulder voice said.

I’d already spent so much of my life doing what I felt I SHOULD do, following the rules, staying between the lines. For what? Hum drum lackluster answers when someone asks what you’re up to lately? What you’ve done with your life? What you want to be when you grow up?

For something taking up 1/3rd of my day, five days a week, I had very little to be proud of, and even less to be excited for. How could I look forward at my career’s future when I didn’t even want to look ahead to the next morning? The next task, phone call, email?

Suddenly “comfortable and responsible” felt like a vice, strangling me and holding me back.

Closing the Door

It finally hit me one day – that I really didn’t have to be there anymore. Nothing was holding me to my job, the same way that nothing was holding us to Ohio when I originally accepted it. Any of my “excuses” had easy answers – Insurance? we could switch to Brian’s. Money? I’d find a side job if necessary until something new came up. What would everyone think? Who gives a fuck? It’s not their life.

Brian and I sat down to look at finances and what changes we’d need to make to get by while I soul job searched. Cancel cable, freeze my “fun shopping” (clothes, shoes, etc), downgrade our cell phone plan, eat out less, etc. We have a decent nest egg built up, and calculated we could float on one income for a few months before having to dip into it. And if the “dream job” search was slow going, I’d put my pride in my pocket and pony up a part-time at Starbucks or something.

We’d be fine. And if we weren’t, well, we’d just figure something else out.

So, after four years and two months, I left my first post-collegiate job. Where I learned about (and started) my 401k, guerilla’d my way through the sales ropes, made a few “omg my life is over!” mistakes amongst (luckily a few more) “cha-ching I’m the SHIT!” deals, and built a career. I packed up my desk, said goodbye to my coworkers, and on the drive home it slowly dawned on me :

‘I’m finally out. … Now what??’


Searching for that “Window Opening” Everyone Talks About

It’s always sad closing a chapter, and quite scary when you don’t know exactly what the next one holds. That proverbial door slamming shut behind you can be a real wake-the-fuck-up call. Trust me, I’ve had a lot of quiet alone time to mull it over. Questioning whether it was the right thing to do. Wondering where to go/what to do next. Stressing over whether Brian resents me being at home all day while he’s pulling in the only paycheck (he swears he doesn’t). But the main piece that I keep rounding back to is that life is short, and singular. We’ve got one life to live, and I am refusing to make a soap opera joke out of that.

(Bear with me while I get a little philosophical here…)

We don’t know what our purpose is here, and the only thing I’ve come up with is to live the fullest life possible. Instead of beating our heads against the wall looking for an answer to a rhetorical question (“what am I SUPPOSED to be doing here??!”) maybe our job is to just blaze the fullest, wildest path on our way to whatever our final chapter winds up being. It could be tomorrow. It could be a hundred years from now. You could be living the Fast and the Furious saga of lifetimes and just keep freaking going despite everyone thinking “for sure this must be the LAST ONE how old is the Rock anyway?!”

I’m a realist in that I know I’m likely not meant to totally change the world – I didn’t leave my paltry desk job to tackle the cure for cancer or poverty in third world countries. My career change will likely affect nobody but myself, Brian, and the guy who does our taxes and has an extra W2 to enter. But I have talents and skills that were being wasted, and a pretty well-functioning brain that hasn’t been challenged in far some time. I know I can contribute to something- someone- somewhere, in a much more beneficial way than I had been, and I’ll be a happier person when I get to do that.


I don’t know where I’ll wind up or what I’ll end up doing, all I hope is that it’s something that wakes me each day with a sense of passion and purpose. To spring out of bed ready to tackle the day’s hurdles, and go to sleep at night eager to do it again the next.

In the meantime, rather than stressing the process, I’ve vowed to enjoy this adult summer vacation of sorts. Do things I’ve always wanted to but haven’t had time (volunteer! sit at a coffee shop all day! take the train somewhere!) Attempt to make sense of all the moments that have lined, barricaded, and carried me through this trail I’ve started, and prepare to blaze the path ahead. To use my time and energy towards things that might in some small way add a little good in the world.

And who knows – maybe my one-in-seven-billion drop in the bucket will make a difference somehow.

Sarah OUaL, unemployed