Fresh List, Vol IV

You’re not going to believe it, but one of our favorite words of 2014 was banished from 2015.  According to the recommendations made here, bae was no longer an acceptable term, as of a year ago, which is just now news to me because of my geographical disadvantage.  Along with a full list of other words and phrases, each year this group of word police makes it known that we the people are not going to stand for such vocabularic shenanigans produced by the media, social, mass, or otherwise.

Here’s an article discussing the list of banished words and phrases for 2015 and 2016. I’m sad because cra-cra, a fun way to say crazytown, was cut, but I’m relieved that polar vortex is outta there, because that is super annoying and why are we naming winter storms now, anyway?

As you know, I live in Mennonite country, where we have all agreed to use the word “fresh” to describe what’s cool.   However, something appalling has caught my attention lately and you, as one of my twenty blog readers, must help put a stop to it. The Banished Words Team missed this one, biiiig time. There’s a phrase floating all over Instagram and probably SnapChat, obvi I’m not bae enough to be on SnapChat so I can’t say for certain, but this phrase I’ve seen used by a wide variety of semi-normal people on Instagram has got to go. People are actually typing this:

Her outfit of the day is on fleek.

This kitchen remodel is so on fleek.

His beard is on fleek.

That new burger joint is on fleek.

My baby’s crawling game is on fleek.

Have you ever experienced such a gross combination of letters as F-L-E-E-K?  Yuck!!  Jimmy Fallon says that the creepiest word in the English language is “moist.”  Moist is a nasty little word…but I’m seeing your moist, Jimmy, and raising you fleek.  It just fleeks me out that people would type this with a straight face.  I overheard my best friend Kelly Ripa say it on live national television the other morning, and I just can’t even.

I’ll take your reading of this post to signify that you agree not use the word fleek in any way, verbally or textually, til death do us part.

Now on to the important stuff. I’ve got a new Fresh List, which I think is the first one in like 14 months, because I’ve been busy parenting and eating Blue Bell and stuff. Here are three things I’m into right now, that you should be, too.  IF you’re the right gender and demographic, otherwise, disregard.


I’m borderline obsessed with a few different podcasts. They’re so easy to listen to, especially if you sneak down to the basement and use headphones to tune out the 18 kids you live with, and there are SO MANY to choose from on iTunes.

First, though, let me say: I do not do audiobooks.  I have tried and tried, but they are slow and I instantly fall asleep while listening, which is often hazardous on the highway.  Audiobooks just don’t do it for me.   Podcasts are different!  Often there is more than one person talking, and there are some that just make you feel less lonely when you’re the sole adult in a farmhouse on a prairie a million miles from nowhere.   And, best thing about listening on the podcast app is that you can put them in time and a half speed!  More listening bang for your buck.  (Note: podcasts are free.) At first the hosts may sound a bit like chipmunks, but you get used to it and honestly, I don’t have a lot of uninterrupted time so the faster the better.

Podcasts I really love right now:

Timothy Keller – Gospel in Life.  He’s a well-known pastor/author in NYC, and if you are a skeptical Christian or a skeptical atheist, these sermons are for you!  Tim Keller is so wise, and he explains the Bible in an enlightening way that is often geared toward nonbelievers and doubters, which I find fascinating and encouraging to my own faith.  If you have had a bad church experience or just really don’t like Christians, give his series a shot.  It’s educational in the least, possibly life changing.  Take notes.

Serial/Undisclosed.  Serial was huuuge last year and really got us through a ton of highway hours.  It’s back with the second season, which is only in like week 3 or 4, so I’m waiting until I can binge listen to every episode because it’s so addicting.  Something about the host, Sarah’s, voice… Undisclosed is kind of a sequel to the first season, done by Adnan’s friends, and pretty interesting if you were as obsessed with Adnan’s case as we were.  (Did you hear he was granted a new evidentiary trial?!)  Laurie is into Making a Murderer on Netflix, and she says it’s similar to Serial.

Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. This one is geared toward women, but you’ll be coercing your husband to listen to several episodes as well. Jamie Ivey is from Austin, married to a musician, mom of four, and she brings in a different female guest each week to talk about life and all the things women like to talk about.  Kinsey got me hooked on these and I feel like I have a new friend in Jamie.  She covers light and funny and deep and serious topics from a Christian perspective, and you will love her!  Total fangirl right here.

Dave Ramsey.  I’m including him for Matt.  He really likes Dave’s financial advice and listens quite often.  I don’t mind it.  Matt also loves an audiobook.  And ESPN live streaming on his phone.

And there are so many more but this post is too long already.


Our annual trip with friends Kim and Jered was to Nashville this year, and it was super!  It helped that no one was infected with the flu virus, and also, Tab and Andy came, which was even more fun!  Nashville is the freshest city right now, kind of like a more Southern Austin.  The first night in town, we went to the Ryman for a show.  The lineup for the Grand Ole Opry isn’t complete until the week of the show, so we bought tickets in advance and hoped for the best.  It turned out to be a flashback to 1972, aka the Senior Citizens Special.  (Considering our group included Matt, Andy, and Kim, we were fine with this.  Ha!)  I can now say that I’ve seen Ricky Skaggs, John Connelly, the Grand Ole Opry Squaredancers, and Jessie James Decker live.

Pop Quiz: Which performer in the above sentence does not fit?  Answer: The risque reality TV star that you’ve never heard of and whose album I do not recommend.  Let’s just say her heels were a little too high for the venue.

Anyway, we hit the bars downtown after the Opry.  Here’s how bar hopping on Lower Broadway works for three married couples, one of whom is 30 weeks pregnant.  Everyone stands around awkwardly for the first drink, when the wives realize it’s already 9:30 and there’s a perfectly empty bed in the hotel just waiting to be crashed on with no toddlers around to wake them up, and everyone agrees that the husbands would have more fun by themselves.  Exit wives.  Guys have a great time making friends at the bar and taking full advantage of the bathroom attendants spritzing Axe Effect until all hours of the morning.

imageWhatever this is, wouldn’t have happened with the wives hanging around. Matt isn’t pictured because he was in the bathroom applying lotion and warm towelettes, courtesy of the attendant service.  Tootsie’s is legit.

We slept a ton, saw most of the Nashville sights, had a drink with Pink and Carey Hart (okay, they had lunch at the same place we were and it was awesome), and really enjoyed our summery winter trip.  It was 75 degrees every day, polar vortex for sure.

Selfie Sticks

The best part of the Nashville trip was the fact that Tabitha audaciously bought a selfie stick for the occasion.  Pretty sure no one in our group has ever taken a selfie, but we all have our own sticks now.  Everywhere we went, Tab busted out the stick, extended it the full four feet, and we posed for a group photo.  No shame.  We selfie-d in every bar, store, museum, and street, cracking up every time.  Every family with kids needs a stick of their own.  Add this to the list of things I’d never thought I’d say.

imageTab carried the selfie stick and Kim carried a red flag to guide us on all the touring.  Notice how hugely pregnant Tab is.  Just kidding about the red flag.

SelfiesSelfies at the bar, selfies at the Opry, selfies on the street, selfies on fleek.

imageI like this pic of the three of us girls, in order of height.

That’s it for today.  It’s January 2016!   Good luck with your resolutions and Whole 30 diets and exercise routines.  Take a listen to some podcasts while you work out.  I’m sure you’ll be sleek and on fleek by February, and we’ll need some progress selfies.  Stay fresh!


Fresh List Refresh:

Volume I

Volume II

Volume III




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