What I Read…

Book Day couldn’t have come at a better time, ya know? Sometimes you just want to get lost in blogs about books, then go add a bunch to your tbr list. Or maybe that’s just me. But I doubt it.

Anyway, welcome to Show Us Your Books day! Linking up with our hosts Jana & Steph!

This month I finished two. And Moo wanted me to share her two picks for the month, too 😄

We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange | Fiction | ★★★★★/5
I don’t read a lot of contemporary fiction but this was a book club pick & I was sucked in from the very start. The characters were flawed but warm and relatable. Their struggles were interesting but believable. It flowed nicely and I read it quickly. It had enough depth to keep it from being a “light read” but not so much grit that your stomach twisted up.
*there is a trigger warning with this one but it gives away some of the plot, so highlight at your own discretion: highlight —>>> miscarriage <<<—-

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova | Magical Realism | ★★★★/5
I don’t know why I picked this book from the BOTM options, but I did. It was so unique and captivating. It took me off my couch and out of my living room, into the orchard at Four Rivers or along the fishing banks in Ecuador or under the hightop in Europe. Marimar and Rey were such lovely characters, flawed but filled with so much love. Their fight for the truth and for their family’s safety made this book spellbinding and so enjoyable.

And now for the main event:

Moo Reads

M and I took our first trip the library a few weeks ago. She got her library card and four books! Two were kind of duds, but she really into these two:

Hop! Plop! by Corey Rosen Schwartz & Tali Klein
This is a silly little story about two friends on the playground, but it has lots of onomatopoeias and fun words. Moo had us reading this one over and over and shockingly sat still for most of the readings.

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon (Illustrated by Marla Frazee)
I think I like this one a little more than M does, but it’s just so beautifully illustrated!

We still read lots of board books and flap books, but we’re slowly getting into picture books 😊

What did you read this month? We’re moving into cozy season now… my favorite time to read!


Fall & Winter Goals 2021

The best quarter of the year is fast approaching. My heart sings during October through December. The weather cools, our insane workload becomes 10% less insane, and the best holidays ever reside in these months. Not to mention my birthday, M’s birthday, and the first snowfall of the year ❄️

While fall does not *officially* begin until the 22nd and my Q2 goals were severely neglected, I thought we might take a moment to look over some 4th Quarter goals and talk about our plans for the rest of 2021!

So… What happened?

Lol… I made a few Q2 goals but apparently I blacked out in July & August and only lived to survive. As far as my goals went, I accomplished none (read 10 more books, leave two notes, read a classic, ride bike for a week, scrapbook year 6). At least I’m consistent.

I read, but not 10 books. And I started scrapbooking year 6, but I’m not done. I’m going to count those as mini-wins, though, because this is my blog and I can do what I want.

Alright… Moving on…

Fall (Q4) Goals

  • Read 20 books total for the year (which is 7 more books)
  • Finish Year 6 scrapbook
  • Mins Challenge
  • Take a family vacation
  • Landscape the fire pit area in our backyard
  • Pick out pumpkins with M
  • Host our Halloween party
  • Celebrate M’s 2nd bday
  • Get our Christmas tree
  • Shop for 75% of gifts before Thanksgiving
  • Decorate the house
  • Host Christmas
  • Slow down and enjoy time with my family

Will these things happen? Time will tell. Although a few of them are guaranteed.

My 101 in 1001

Ok, so I’ve made a little progress here! I’m crossing off “make a new friend” (because I did!) & go to the dentist. I’ve also been good about reading, getting the dogs groomed, and making a donation once per month. I’ve changed #54 from “strengthen friendships in moms group” to “create a small group” – and crossing that one off ☺️ I also hosted a garage sale and figured out a morning routine with M (when she cooperates).

I need to start taking a systematic approach to my list. (And maybe editing the goals that no longer apply.) Consider that another fall goal for me to accomplish, ha.

I’m not super goal-oriented at the moment. I try to live in the moment each day but also just kind of survive this world so… maybe I will accomplish some of these and maybe I won’t. I know that’s not the CAN DO attitude all those optimists preach, but it’s my attitude & I own that. *shrug*

What are your plans this fall? Do you agree it’s the best time of the year or are you wrong?


10 Things About School

First I say I’m taking a step back on the personal posts, then I come across these fun questions on Rebecca Jo’s blog and want to join in. I don’t have rhyme or reason for who I am. 😆

I believe these originated from Leslie at Once Upon A Time & Happily Ever After.

How old were you when you started school?  Did you attend pre-kinder and/or kinder or go straight into first grade? | I did a year of preschool(maybe 2?), a year of kindergarten, and started 1st grade in 1997. I would’ve been 6 going on 7.

Were you a good student? What was your favorite subject? | Grade-wise, I was a great student. I could be a little talkative, though. And I got a little lazy in high school. But I still maintained my grades.

My favorite subject was history/social studies. It still is. Closely followed by reading. (Remember when that was a subject and we complained about the homework? Geez… Didn’t know how good we had it.)

As a child, did you take music lessons? Or play a sport? Do you still play an instrument now? | I did not take music lessons, but I joined band in 5th grade and stuck with it through high school. I started on saxophone. Switched to percussion in 9th grade.

I played t-ball, then baseball, then softball for roughly 8 years. I took tennis lessons for a while. I did a year of cheerleading in middle school. I ran track for a year or two. Tried out for (and did not make) volleyball and basketball. Young Audrey did not realize how un-athletic she was. LOL

Did you attend any kind of training or classes beyond high school? If so, what did you study?  Did you wind up working in a profession or job for which those classes or training prepared you? | I went to college and got my bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication. I minored in business & English. Technically, yes- I am using my degree/education in my career.

Have you taken any personal growth or adult education classes for fun? During the year that was Covid, did you home school, learn a new app to work from home, teach yourself to do something you might have paid someone else to do for you? 
| No, not yet. I’d like to take a business-level Quickbooks course for work development. I’d also like to take a sign language course.

What would you like to learn how to do that you don’t know how to do already? | I wish I was fluent in another language. I also wish I knew how to write grants.

Name something that you learned easily. Then name something that was a struggle for you to learn to do. | Hmm. Honestly, I think I learned how to be a mom easily. It wasn’t/isn’t EASY, per se… but something clicked and taking care of M became second nature. I don’t question our relationship or how I should react to her. The same can be said about dogs. I understand how to interact with them, even the salty ones.

I don’t understand most math things. I also really struggle to understand audio wiring, which is embarrassing because it’s a huge part of my job. I try to study/learn and immediately forget.

What’s the last thing you remember learning? What kind of learner are you: visual, auditory, hands-on/kinesthetic, verbal, logical/mathematical? | I listened to the podcast Noble Blood yesterday so the last things I learned were details about the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and her cousin Mary Stuart. Lol

I typically learn in a hands-on fashion. I can listen to directions or watch someone do it, but I until I try it or write it down or experience it, I’m likely to forget it. (Podcasts are tough for me, lol.)

Hard to teach an old dog new tricks, school of hard knocks, pass with flying colors, learn by heart, burn the midnight oil, pull an all-nighter, play hooky – which of these expression best fits your life lately? Why? | I guess burning the midnight oil. I’m not up all night (because I would be a worthless sack of human if I was), but I stretch myself as thin as possible. Between being a mom, wife, homeowner, writer, and employee……. it’s very long hours at the moment.

What is something you’ve learned from past mistakes?
| Everything does not require my opinion, nor my participation. I’ve never had FOMO, but at one time I’d felt an obligation to attend or participate in every invitations or conversations. Turns out, I don’t need to. And I’m a LOT happier when I reserve myself for things I care about.

Bonus: Share your favorite learning/education quote.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” 

Benjamin Franklin

Benji has a bunch of good ones, actually.


What’s Next

Hi! It’s been over a month since I last showed up here. I don’t remember that last time I did that without announcing some kind of break beforehand. This is where I say, “It felt so good to just not stress about this space for a month”, but I don’t feel that way. I’m sad I don’t have enough of me to dedicate to this space right now.

I’ve said it before, but the blog world seems to be shifting. And honestly, I’m getting a little… MEH about sharing my business on the internet. Don’t get me wrong- I absolutely L O V E the friendships and relationships that I’ve made in the blog world. I love sharing with, connecting with, growing with all of you… but I’m kind of at a no vacancy point for other internet folks. I just don’t have the drive to share my life with people I don’t know and “know.”

(My O.G. bloggers- my instagram friends- y’all are who I’m talking about when I say I truly love and value the friendships we’ve built here on the line.)

I love book day and I love showing up for that one… but I think my days of random blogging are done for now. M is getting older so I’m feeling more compelled to protect her privacy. I find myself leaning more toward private creative writing and less toward lifestyle/opinionated/recapping.

I don’t love being reliant upon IG for maintaining internet friendships, but I’ve been doing that for years anyway so… *shrug* And I’m not packing up and shipping out of here, I’m just getting more intentional- but also less wordy.

Honestly, it feels like every time I write a post it’s just about what I’m going to write about in the future.

So I’m going to clean this space up a bit- maybe make some small changes, maybe make some big ones- and then keep carrying on as I carry on.

So stick around 😊 But also catch me on the instas.


Infant Days: The Epilogue

It was just over two years ago (!!) that we told the world M was going to be a little girl. A few months later that little girl entered the world and completely rocked mine to its core. It was T O U G H and I feel like I was very open and honest and blunt about our struggles with parenthood.

Sometimes I wonder if M will ever find those posts and IG pictures and FB updates, and think I felt regretful. It wasn’t always glamorous and I very rarely painted it as such. And while I hope that was/is helpful to new moms, I sometimes wonder what M will think.

So I thought I’d write a epilogue to the infant days. My 19-month-old is full bore toddler now so we’re in a completely different chapter. (Maybe even book?)

I think every parent has a favorite age. Some will say each stage was their favorite and then the next one happened and it was even better. Kudos to those moms and dads. That is not what I (or K) would tell you.

I loved the newborn snuggles but I struggled during the newborn phase. Even after we cleared the fog, it was hard to find my groove. But then M started rolling. And sitting up. And eating some soft foods.

Then she started smiling and babbling. Pointing and shaking her head. Reaching and rejecting. By the time she was 13 months she could pick out her favorite foods, point to what she wanted, and walk across the room.

And we hit our stride.

I’m sure there are many parents who do not love toddlerhood. Eighteen months is a challenging age. Some parents love newborn age, some like school age (this will be K’s favorite I bet). I am a toddler-lover through and through. M is so much dang fun.

I love that she can communicate- even when I don’t know what she’s saying. Sometimes she’s crying because there’s a thread on her pants- but you know what? I know why she’s crying and that’s such a relief. She’s feisty and inquisitive. She loves doing everything herself… but wants mom or dad close by. She follows the dogs around and expects them to follow her. She can point to and name her body parts. She loves to figure out how something works. She likes to help with everything. She tells us when she’s ready for bed (even if she’s not sold on it when it’s actually time to sleep). She’s down for any adventure. She really is such a fun kid and such a fun age.

SO… for all the struggles and tears and complaining I did 1 year ago, let me just share what a good time we’re having right now. Sure, it’s not always easy. We have tantrums and breakdowns. But dang, it’s rewarding with M. She’s one of my favorite people to hang out with.

I might be singing another tune when we potty train… or transition from crib to bed… or start thinking about preschool. But for now? I am one happy human with my sassy little toddler.

*For those that struggle with toddlerhood, it will change. I would never paint a rosier picture than it really is, but I wanted to share that motherhood isn’t miserable forever and ever with no moments of joy.