lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Importance of Coordinates July 20, 2017

I spent three summers living in Alaska. I love the quirks of that beautiful place, and you sort of get that feeling that it’s preparing you for other adventures in life. Like how you start to feel super cocky about living in a place where an address is really just whatever mile marker you live closest to, and a prayer that your mail actually gets to you. And then we went to Ireland.

The first two days were fine. We were staying in a city. We’d bought the update so our Garmin worked in Ireland, which sort of felt like cheating, but whatever. But then Killarney happened.

Killarney is amazingly beautiful. We got there before dark and wanted to poke around the outside of the national park to see what sorts of things we wanted to do the next day. We found the park, found a way in, found a ruin.

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It was simply breathtaking.

I had naively been expecting Killarney National Park to be like an American national park—all rough trails and long forgotten woods. But it was more like an estate placed in national trust. Beautiful lawns, ruins, paddle boat rentals, a castle but we’ll get to that later.

We figured out what we wanted to do on our big park day and decided to head back to the hotel. Put the hotel in the Garmin…nothing. (more…)

 

The Ferns of Blarney July 13, 2017

Most of you have probably heard of the Blarney Stone. If you haven’t, here’s the short of it. There’s a stone in Blarney Castle, and if you kiss it, which is way harder than it sounds, btw, you’ll be blessed with the gift of eloquence.

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Naturally, when planning our Ireland expedition, we decided we had to swing by Blarney Castle. Yes, I have heard all the awful stories of locals doing terrible things to the stone at night. But if I’m going to start the zombie apocalypse, I’d just assume get the monster germs that end the world doing something memorable.

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We had planned to be at Blarney Castle for like an hour. Get in, kiss the stone, and leave. Honestly when we saw the price of admission to the castle grounds I rolled my eyes a bit. It was quite a bit of money to kiss a stone. But then they gave us a map of the Blarney Castle Grounds, and it all made sense. (more…)

 

The Travelers in the Tower July 3, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 8:00 pm
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I grew up in Upstate New York in a two hundred-year-old house. I’m pretty used to old buildings… by American standards. But you go over to Ireland, and there’s just a four hundred-year-old church chilling out on a street corner like it’s nothing. Or stone walls that are a few hundred years old separating farms.

The level of casual history is just crazy!

We found (in our handy, dandy guide book) a church in Cork that was crazy old, still in operation, and next to a butter museum. And the biggest draw: you get to ring the church bells!

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I got to live my Quasimodo dreams minus the hunch back and crushed feet! (more…)

 

An Outing for Olives June 30, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 7:30 pm
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A couple of months ago (I honestly can’t believe it’s been months, but whatever) the husband and I went to Ireland. Now that life has slowed down to a non-deadly pace, it’s time to share my adventures.

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Month of Madness May 22, 2017

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life,What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 5:30 pm
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Well… I’m back!

It’s been a hell of a… month? More than that?

Let’s do a recap.

Closed a show in Florida and flew out to Ireland.

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Had an amazing two weeks exploring the country. Saw some beautiful places, met some awesome people, cracked my husband’s phone screen. All in all a great trip! (Don’t worry, there are plenty of Emerald Isle stories I’ll be sharing!)

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Got back to the U.S. just in time to run to my mom’s old house to help with some repairs and sorting to prep for sale! We tried to replace a faucet and ended up replacing a counter, we built a railing, and we watched the angry old-men packers box all sorts of things they weren’t supposed to touch.

 

 

2A50CA89-3326-48F8-AB57-3EFB46839883.JPGThen we got keys to the new house! Bought some plants, had the stuff moved in, and jumped into rehearsals for a show the husband and I wrote the music and lyrics for and are in!

Day off meant a break to clear out our storage unit, which is really hard when you bought the fancy non-break-in-able lock but don’t have your key. It all worked out in the end, and all of our stuff is finally under one roof. We’ve even started framing and hanging almost ten years of collected art!

There was a bit of editing and signing of a book contract thrown into that mix as well. But mostly it was just a month of madness. But now I’m having my first proper day off, sitting on my couch, typing a blog, and having coffee from my coffee maker.

It was a rough and wonderful road, and I am so glad to be back with you all! I can’t wait to tell you about my run in with a raven in Killarney!

 

A Working Blog (From Chris) February 21, 2017

Filed under: Marriage Mayhem — meganorussell @ 8:00 pm
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I, Christopher Russell, work too hard. At least, that’s what my mom tells me whenever we talk. And the truth is, I do work a lot. If you really count the number of projects I have going on in any given week, you’ll most likely come up with four or five. I have my acting job, my online job, my serving job, my editing job, and my composing job. Three of these make me happy, and three of these make me money.

Megan and I could live only on our acting salary. We don’t pay rent at all; we paid off our student loans years ago; and we have no dependents. So, why work so much, you ask? Well, for a multitude of reasons.

First of all, Megan and I are both from families that began with very modest incomes. We saw the struggles facing our parents and wanted to work as hard as possible to not be in similar situations. I should explain that our families also worked very hard, but, as I mentioned previously, we’re different in that we have no home or dependents to take care of.

Second, Megan had instilled from her at a very early age that you take the money while you can. This is very similar to our current situation. The serving and online jobs are very temporary, so once they’re gone, we’ll be out a combined total of four sources of income. So we’re working hard now in order to save for when we won’t be able to. Makes sense, right?

Third, and this is probably the biggest reason… we’re addicts. Not drugs or alcohol or anything like that. (more…)

 

Oops And Awesomeness! November 22, 2016

I’ve been AWOL cause it’s been a week. I am very sorry, guys.

There was tech, and not just any tech but tech for a massive holiday review. Then we helped my mom find a house, which is amazing and has countertops to die for. I’ve crawled back into the editing cave with The Tale of Bryant Adams: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days. And blogging fell to the wayside with doing my laundry and going grocery shopping. Oops.

But in all the stress and noise I have some excellent news! (more…)