Tangible Dreams

Some nights, while I rock M to sleep, I think about what would make me happy. Not in that moment exactly, but in life. And it’s a tough question to answer, because I’m very happy. I have a family that I couldn’t have designed more perfectly, we live comfortably, and I have a job I enjoy (although it’s extremely stressful right now). But as far as material and lifestyle choices, what could I be doing differently to facilitate more joy?

I know the adage about money/things/etc. not being able to make you happy, and to an extent I agree, but having the right things (or nixing the wrong things) can absolutely affect your happiness. So while I think the human/animal ratio is spot on for me, the s t u f f could always be more tailored.

I’m sitting in an armchair in the corner of my bedroom typing this. There is a big bowl of popcorn beside me, it’s storming outside, and both dogs are snoozing within 5 feet of me. This is a dreamlike moment for me. So how do I capture this coziness and keep it going always?

Late September to early March will always be my favorite time because I think it’s easier to be cozy and chill. (I know the seasonal depression people are scoffing at me- my husband is one of them.) I wasn’t sure how I’d handle camper life when we first bought it last year, but being in the camper is one of my favorite places. It’s small, cozy & organized, filled with comfy things, and it has a fireplace. I love it.

I don’t believe that wanting material things makes you vain or unhappy. I dream of some day building a home that gives me the same comfortable vibe as our camper. I want a wardrobe that is more me and less comfy mom/quarantine hag. (Not a bigger wardrobe- a smaller, different one.) None of this is a priority and it doesn’t make me unhappy to not have it, but it’s something that brings me joy to dream about. And I don’t think we give enough credit to those materialistic dreams and tangible goals. I think we sometimes feel shameful about wanting more/different things.

When I’m rocking M I simply have more brain space and less outside noise to work with. I can pray or dream or plan without someone needing a snack or their nose wiped or the backdoor opened to go potty (kid or dog? You decide). It’s a moment of solace where I get to think about me. And also hold the most important thing in the world. And I love that even more than a cozy writing corner during a thunderstorm 🖤

What are your material-based dreams and goals?

-Aud

(Happy Gotcha Day to Bristol!)

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.

-Audrey

Coffee Talk

We haven’t had a Coffee Talk since June 2020 so I’d say we’re way overdue.

This week our a/c at work stopped running so if we were having coffee I would be drinking something iced or frozen 😁

If we were having coffee… I’d ask what your plans are for the holiday weekend. I swear… the days run together now and holidays (and birthdays and anniversaries) completely sneak up on me.

This weekend I’m having a garage sale on Fri. & Sat. Kyle is playing in a cover band on Friday night. I think friends are staying over that night, too. Monday my parents are having a Memorial Day party with their friends (& us). It will be a busy weekend.

If we were having coffee… I would tell you how much I’ve missed you. I miss blogging and reading your blog. With work and parenting and my p.t. freelance job… I just don’t have the time or energy or creativity to spare. I hope this balance shifts soon. I miss this space. A lot.

If we were having coffee I’d have to vent a bit… I’m not fully comfortable ditching my mask just yet, but I don’t hold it against people who are. That said, if the business you are entering has a sign that says masks are required, then you need to WEAR YOUR MASK. /end rant

For the next SUYB link up I think I’ll have three books finished. (RIGHT?? Yay!) So obviously I’m an avid reader now. I kid, but I have been thinking about joining the Book of the Month Club. What are your thoughts on that? Is it worth it? Is there a better alternative? Is it a waste of money? If we were having coffee I would definitely pick your brain on this.

If we were having coffee you might ask how M is doing. Can you believe she’ll be 18 months next week? A year and a half. I cannot handle it. She’s been very clingy lately, but she’s also a ton of fun. She’s goofy and giggle, and climbs like a monkey, and honestly has very little fear. (GULP.) She started going to daycare about two months ago, twice a week. I think she LOVES it. She’s learning to play with others and she’s so chatty on the car ride home- then sleeps like an angel at night. A true win for everyone. (And I get a day or a half day a week ALL TO MYSELF!)

Chances are we’re now out of coffee. Lol. Before we part I’d ask if you have any travel plans? I know some people feel safe moving around and some don’t. We have a few camping trips planned and a family trip to Michigan later this summer. We’re also tossing around the idea of a visit to Tampa (to see Aub and Meg!) and a fall visit to my favorite place- Williamsburg. What about you?

And with that… I need to go price some items for the garage sale. And get more coffee. Have a relaxing weekend!

A Tale of Two Toddlers

On Sunday we went to church and left Moo in the toddlers’ room during the service.

When we picked her up, the volunteers in the room told us that another little girl had gotten hurt and M was first on the scene to pat her head and give her a hug.

My mommy-heart LITERALLY burst.

Later that afternoon I held M and told her that my absolute favorite feedback regarding her isn’t about intellect or beauty- it’s about her generosity and kindness. I think it might’ve gone over her 16 month old head, but whatever.

Then, that evening during a bedtime tantrum, Moo smacked my face repeated and slashed me with her Wolverine-like nails.

So all of that to say, you win some and you lose some.

LOL.


Hope everyone had a very Happy Easter / weekend and my tale of Dr. Jekly and Mr(s). Moo reminds you that there are great and terrible moments in every 24 hour period. Bank the good ones and keep Neosporin on hand for the bad.

2021 Check In

I think it might be mutually beneficial to have these monthly or bi-monthly check ins… Changing the calendar didn’t solve the world’s problems (and we knew it wouldn’t), but this year already feels a little more tedious than I expected. I don’t think it’s an entire dumpster fire, but I think the ashes and trash are still smoldering…. so all is not great. Ya know?

Personally, I’m in this weird place where I feel like I’m doing way too much… but that I’m also not doing enough. The other day I requested an application for a court-appointed child caseworker volunteer position. When I was telling K about it he said, “You can do whatever you want, but why do you feel like there’s a hole that needs to be filled with this giant commitment? You already take on so much. Do you need to do this, too?”

I deleted the email with the application.

I am a busy person… When I’m at home I force myself to stay on my feet and clean, organize, pick up, declutter, rearrange, etc. until I’m completely exhausted. I never feel DONE, though. It drives K nuts. And once I sit down on the couch, I pick up my laptop, Kindle, or Switch to entertain myself while watching television.

So right now I’m struggling with knowing that what I’m doing is enough. I mean, on one hand I know that it is… but on the other hand I get a wild hair that says I need to do more.

I’m trying to carry the same grace and forgiveness I had for myself in 2020 into 2021… but it’s a struggle. I think a new year just reminds us how long this insanity has been going on. Sigh. But we’re going to get through it.

Tell me what’s weighing on your mind or heart this month. How has 2021 been shaping up for you? Any major accomplishments we can celebrate? Any areas you’re looking to change your mindset toward? Let’s check in with each other.