“Get Out of There”

One of my very best friends is getting married in the fall of 2018. Yesterday she asked me to be a bridesmaid. Obviously I said yes.

Aubrey and I have known each other since we were 10. That’s sixteen years of history, friendship, arguments, changes, and celebrations. Another best friend, Kayla, is also a bridesmaid. Similar to Aubrey and I, she grew up locally and we’ve had some sort of acquaintanceship or friendship since middle school.

Both Kayla and Aubrey have moved away, found good jobs, and settled in. I, on the other hand, stayed in the same small town we all once called “home.” Per Google Maps, I live 3.8 miles from my childhood home, half a mile from my elementary school, half a mile (the other direction) from my high school, and roughly 0.5 to 5 miles from all my local relatives. Needless to say, it’s a smallish town.

It’s also one of those towns that high school seniors and young adults are always trying to “get away” from. If you don’t move away and travel the world or get a studio apartment in a real city then you might as well get married, pop out a few babies, and settle.

(That’s not my opinion. That’s the general vibe around here.)

Recently I saw a conversation on Facebook between two high school acquaintance…
Person 1: We’re moving! We’ll be living in XYZ, Ohio after this weekend.
Person 2 (who now lives in a major city): Good for you! Get out of there!

I know it should’ve have, but her comment made my blood boil. It made me feel like staying here is wrong.

Like it’s a trap. Or a prison. Or some sh!thole.

I like to think that I’m not easily swayed or influenced by others, but I KNOW there is a small town mentality of ‘staying here = failure.’

But honestly- what a load of bullshit.

If marriage and babies in a safe, small town is your prerogative then you’re in the right place. If building an international company is on your to-do list then you’ve found the perfect location. If you’re a world traveler who needs some roots in a busy yet slow community then plant them right here.

And if you feel like you need more miles to stretch your wings or some distance between your past and your present or you just want to try out a new place, then I think that’s great! But don’t you dare look down your nose at someone else for sticking around the place they call “home.”

For a while I really believed K and I would leave. (I suppose there’s still time but 1. the business is located here and 2. I’m happy here.) I’m a huge fan of travel and receiving a worldly education- but I need a stable home to return to. I think it’s 100% ok to dig your roots into a place like this.

For the record, neither of my best friends nor my brother have ever made me feel badly for any of my choices. I think they’re just happy to have a place to hangout when they come “home.”

I know that was a little rant-y, but that Facebook transaction sparked something inside me. I respect your decision to leave so I expect the same when it comes to staying.

Add It To My (Media) List

I had no idea what to list off this month. Usually I have a draft with a running list of favorites that I add to throughout the month, but I didn’t do that this time. As time was running out I happened to stumble across three short (very different) online clips that captured my attention.

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I assume that everyone needs a mental break throughout the workday, so hopefully one or two of these videos can provide that today.

James Corden’s Crosswalk the Musical: Beauty & the Beast

I don’t know why this made me laugh as hard as it did. I blame Dan Stevens (and the fact that I still have trouble see him as anyone but Matthew Crawley.)


Emma Watson’s kitten interview

If I ever have kids I hope they see Emma Watson as a role model. I certainly do. Everything about this video is great, especially her shout out to Best Friends Animal Society in Utah!


Elmo Gets Laid Off

To be 100% honest, Sesame Street moved to HBO so it’s probably safe if/when PBS gets the ax. That said, when I was a kid we didn’t have HBO- I still don’t have HBO. I watched Sesame Street on PBS like most kids in America do. So for those 2 to 7-years-olds with moms and dads who aren’t millionaires with a +40,000 channel cable package, they’re just S.O.L.

I’m going to stop because the budget cuts to the arts and education have me livid and terrified. If I keep typing this post will quadruple in length. So suffice it to say, we are so against budget cuts.

Maybe as a consolation prize Tr*mp can take us on one of his million dollar golf trips to Florida 😐

Also… Sesame Street: spoofing on Donald Tr*mp Grump before SNL made it cool.


In other news of things I want to list or bring to your attention, I joined a FB group for bloggers that has been very active and supportive. If you’re in the market for something like that you should check out The Peaceful Posse on FB 🙂

So tell me about something you’ve recently discovered or started that you love! Linking up with Lauren and Bre today!

Eat, Drink, and Be Lauren

Things I Never Knew I Never Knew pt. 2

While I consider myself to be intelligent and educated, there are obviously a bazillion things that I don’t know. And then there are a handful of things that I should know, but apparently don’t. (Like this story.) For your entertainment, I’ve collected a few of those recent revelations.

…we all understand the use of this gif, right?

. . .

‘The Beatles’ is a pun. Thank you, Chrissy Teigen.

. . .

The song “Fancy” by Reba McEntire/Bobbie Gentry is about a prostitute (and overcoming poverty). Which makes me feel weird when I groove to it…

. . .

Compton is not in New York. Or Detroit. It’s in LA. I HAD NO IDEA.

. . .

The song ‘Moondance’ is by Van Morrison. I definitely thought it was some old Sinatra song…

. . .

And there we go- a handful of things I should’ve know, that I didn’t, but I do now. I try to keep a running list of this stuff on my phone because every day is a lesson for me, ha. But I’m sure I’m not the only one… right…?

What’s something you recently learned that (you think) should’ve been common knowledge?

Last night was crazy…

… yeah we tore it up again / Kicked off our shoes and went to bed by 9pm / We were balling and Netflix / We turned it up to ten / Last night was crazy…

Name that song… (Here’s the answer.)

I decided this post was happening 15 minutes before I left work yesterday. I was going to post about our trip to Texas but I didn’t have the pictures edited. I know some folks document their whole day, but this was a last minute decision.

4:30 pm

Time to go home. I prefer to grocery shop on Sundays but the NASCAR season started and my Sunday afternoons are now tied up. Instead, I popped into the grocery store tonight to get goodies for the week.

(Usually I buy enough for three meals. This week we have some evening activities so I skimmed the list down to two meals.)

5:15 pm

Once home I’m greeted by the welcome committee.

And then they expect me to play with them…

Typically I’d start dinner, but the local cantina changed up their menu and my parents invited us to join them for dinner.

6:00 pm

I swear I ate food, too.

Dinner at the JNG (I told you we always end up here…)

7:15 pm

Home again. Time to feed the dogs, throw the leftovers in the fridge, and change into not-real-pants. (#FavoritePartoftheDay) Now I’m working on this post and lounging on the couch with the husband and dogs.

I end up standing here throughout the evening… Someone always needs a potty break.

8:00 pm

The Voice is on. So I’m still glued to the couch. But now I’ve got some ice cream.

8:41 pm

A dog farted. It was Lylee. K and Enzo both almost puked.

9:00 pm

Technically The Voice is still on, but K’s show comes on (Gas Monkey Garage) so I bid him adieu and retire to the upstairs.

So… now I either crack open a book or switch on some Netflix (cough* Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries *cough).

10:00 pm

K usually wanders up to bed and we drift off to sleep watching Bob’s Burgers.

… 11:00 pm

Let’s be real. I’m usually still awake at 11 so I watch an episode or two of Family Guy. Then I finally fall asleep.

And there ya have it. I’m always curious to see what other people do in a day/night so I figured this might entertain some folks. Some days are a little more productive than yesterday… I squeeze laundry or dishes or organizing into my nights. Monday was pretty lazy because #Mondays.

What does your Monday usually look like?

Currently…

We’re so close to the weekend… I can feel it. Since I changed jobs I haven’t been counting down the weekdays but for some reason I am over this week.

Today I’m joining the blog world in linking up with Kristen and Gretch for What’s New With You. Have you been dying to know what I’ve been doing lately?? Well you’re in luck.

Currently

Eating… a mixture of home cooked meals and takeout. We were doing great with meal planning but all the time away from home has left our kitchen a little bare…

Drinking… coffee and tea and smoothies with Califia Farms Toasted Coconut Almond Milk. It froths up just like milk and gives drinks a little extra flavor. I’d like to make some soup or ice cream with it!

Reading… Heartless by Marissa Meyer and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Listening to… audiobooks for the first time. Last week I had a very long solo roadtrip so I downloaded Audible and listened to A Wrinkle In Time. I’m not sold on book-listening, but it might have been my choice of book. I’ll give it another shot before I nix it.

Watching… The Voice. For some reason K and I have been tuning into this show for the past few seasons. I read during the obnoxious (Gwen and Blake) parts. I’d also like to start watching Victoria (PBS) and The Crown (Netflix).

Planning… K’s 30th birthday party! We’re having all our friends over to the warehouse and doing things up like a backyard cookout (inside) with cornhole and giant Jenga and more. Except we’re having a taco bar and margaritas- not grilling burgers and ‘dogs.

Receiving… these adorable LuLaRoe leggings from Erin!! She’d heard I had never tried these leggings and then sent me a pair. How did I find such a sweet blogger friend??!

There are foxes AND elephants on these!! What even!!
There are foxes AND elephants on these!! What even!!

Giving… away some books. (Idea inspired by Erin & the beautiful people in her book challenge.) Free to a good home- I’ll even cover shipping. Comment w/ the title(s) you’d like to receive 🙂

booksforgrabs
Goodreads Links: Exposure to a Billionaire (not recommended…) | A Wedding in December | The Wind in the Willows | The Other Typist | Beatrice & Virgil | Island of the Blue Dolphin 

Feeling… a little burnt out from our social calendar and a little bit sad that winter is disappearing so quickly, but also very thankful that we have the means and health to travel and the business to keep us busy and the fresh, clean air to flow in through open windows.

Celebrating… so. many. birthdays! K’s uncle and dad both celebrated February birthdays. K is turning 30 next weekend. One of the guys in the warehouse just had a b-day, too.

Praying about… the violence and hate we’re seeing in the world right now. I don’t know what else to say about it.

Giving up… yelling at the dogs (for Lent). I rarely yell at Enzo, but Lylee gets scolded quite a bit. (She’s a teensy tiny bit headstrong. And stubborn. And downright defiant.) Anyway, I know she responds best when I’m calm with her, so I’m going to give it a shot until Easter.

And there ya have it. What’s new with you?

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The Revised 30 by 30

When I turned 25 I made a 30 (things to do) by (the time I turn) 30 list. I threw it together haphazardly and felt a little meh about it, so after a while I removed the page from my blog.

30x30

After some revision and soul searching, I’ve republished the list (^ up there ^) and figured I’d share it here. There are 10 or so things are from the original list- including the few that have been crossed off- but these 30 things are activities or experiences that I’d really like to accomplish before the big 3-0. (Deadline: Oct. 17, 2020)

  1. Read 100 books (26/100)
  2. Visit 5 new cities (2/5; Boston, Charlotte)
  3. Work for K and Pageantry Innovations
  4. Finish writing my novel
  5. Finish Yearly Scrapbooks (2/7)
  6. Take K to Disney World
  7. Take K to Europe
  8. Re-read the Harry Potter series (0/7)
  9. Pay off any and all credit card debt
  10. See the West Coast
  11. Learn the art of making (my grandma’s) pies
  12. Take another cruise
  13. Go horseback riding
  14. Attend a professional sporting event [November 23, 2015]
  15. See Panic! at the Disco live
  16. Attend at least 5 different NASCAR tracks (3/5)
  17. Make something on my sewing machine
  18. Complete Erin’s book challenge
  19. Complete a TBD film challenge
  20. Finish OUAT series & The West Wing & Mad Men & Miss Fisher’s…
  21. Clean junk out: spare room / utility room / basement
  22. Go on a girls’ trip
  23. See Trumpet in the Land (a local outdoor production)
  24. Tryout for a part at the local theater- even if I don’t get it
  25. Start a real, physical, local book club
  26. Find the perfect pair of booties
  27. Ride on a train (again)
  28. Visit the Rock & Roll HOF
  29. Take the dog(s) hiking each fall (Starting 2015… 2/6)
  30. Visit a unique Ohio location not already listed (suggestions )

I feel like I’ve got a pretty terrible start, ha. I’m nearly a year and a half in and I’ve got two-ish crossed off… Oof. That said, I’m working on the books, television shows, cities, races, and hiking. Also, we’re planning a Disney trip for this year (and hopefully Europe in 2018)! So, you know, that’s a start…

I looked at some other 30×30 lists while I was creating mine, but I’d love to know what’s on your bucket list! Do you want to skydive (not me ) or scuba dive or travel the world?

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Truths I Live By…

Sometimes I see bloggers do a “get to know you” picture&post on Instagram for their new followers. While I don’t believe there are many new people revolving through the doors of Life as Louise, I thought I might start 2017 with a list of “truths.” Or just random things I abide by.

truths

First and foremost, a quick reintroduction.
Name is Audrey. Middle name Louise, hence the blog. I am in my mid-twenties and married to the same guy I took to prom. The loves of my (our) life are short and furry with cold-noses and four paws; we call them Lylee and Enzo. Four and a half years ago my husband started a company. Two and a half weeks ago I left my job and started working alongside him. (It’s still going well and we haven’t killed each other, thanks for asking. )

Other than those basics you should know that I love all dogs, red foxes, & Harry Potter. I love reading, but I’m not the bookworm I used to be. I drink coffee every morning, I eat my veggies, and I’m a huge fan of traveling, although I’m a little iffy around airplanes. (It’s fine. Hand me a boarding pass and I’ll get over it. ) I identify as Christian and human. That said, I prefer animals to Homo sapiens 98% of the time and I truly believe it takes all kinds of kinds.

So onto my truths…

  1. I will judge you by how you treat animals.
    I don’t like judging others, but I can’t help it. If you swerve to hit a groundhog (I’ve seen someone do this ) or you leave your dog out in subzero degrees, I will 100% judge you. And I won’t like you. And also I will steal your dog and re-home him.
    You don’t have to share every lost dog post on FB (although I do ) and you don’t have to be a vegetarian, but you need to respect animals. We were made to coincide with other living things- I don’t jive well with those who have a superiority complex.
  2. All of our stories end the same.
    That’s a nice way of saying we all die. And while I agree that death can be (and usually is) so, so heartbreaking, it’s something that’s 100% guaranteed. So keeping that in mind, life has to be full appreciated and lived. This is not a “Quit that awful job and travel the world” kind of PSA… I’m just saying that while we’re here we should get dessert, hold the door for a stranger, sign up for a random dance class, and love our friends and family fully. When I die- whether tomorrow or in 80 years- I don’t want people to be sad. I want people to feel like I contributed something to the world or their life. I want people to remember funny stories and laugh. I want people to bury my ashes under a tree and say, “See ya later, friend.”
  3. Bad things help us recognize the good.
    If we lived in a world where nothing bad happened I wouldn’t be upset, but that’s just not the case. Like most people, I lose and gain faith in humanity every day. The important part is gaining that faith back when all seems broken or lost; picking ourselves up and finding the motivation to fuel our next move.
    When I was younger I watched my cousin have a meltdown about leaving our grandparents’ house. I tried to explain to her that if she never leaves, she’ll never feel that joy of arriving again next time! My entire family looked at me like I had a second head, but I stand by that ideology. Bad things happen & we often have to do things we don’t like… but it makes the sweet moments sweeter.
  4. Respect & kindness are my religion.
    Well… technically I have a religion. But everything I personally believe is rooted in respect for all living creatures and the spreading of kindness / love / grace to those creatures.
  5. I am loyal to a fault.
    I will always pick on and tease those I love most, but deep down I would put everything on the line for them. And in a friendship or relationship, I naturally expect the same loyalty. I’m not lying when I say I would jump in front of a moving truck for K or Enzo or my best friend or my mom. I would. And when my brother’s heart was broken by girls throughout the years… Lord help those ladies when they crossed my path. I still glare at my best friend’s ex when I see him around town. They broke up +5 years ago and she’s waaaaay over it.

In addition to those, I always try to…

  • be kind to my restaurant server, bus driver, crossing guard, etc.
  • never ever ever litter.
  • remember that rude behavior and nasty gossip will get me absolutely nowhere.
  • always say please, thank you, you’re welcome, and excuse me.

Nothing earth shattering or mind blowing, but if you’ve ever wondered what makes me tick, those are the core things. We all have them. Tell me about your “truths”!

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*Fun fact: I hate the phrase, “Live your truth/Live your best life.” Maybe I should’ve called these mottos? Or values?