A Grateful Heart

I’m not trying to kick a limp cactus here, but 2020 has been a weird year.

It feels like my insides are a big ball of tangled yarn that just keeps getting bigger & messier. Pretty much like this:

I’m struggling with isolation, social and civil unrest, interpersonal problems, parenting hurdles… but at the same time I’m trying to find serenity and routine and contentment. As K put it last night, “Your [my] brain is not a fun place to be right now.”

But sometimes I can straighten out a squiggly line or two with a little gratitude. So that’s what we’re doing today.

This week I am grateful for:

My husband. Forever and always. That guy is always in my corner and I know how special that is. I am so grateful for his love and trust and loyalty. M is one lucky girl to have a dad like him.

My small town. Every time I go to a large city I feel grateful to live in a small town. Roadside ice cream stands, town square car shows, a lively and beautiful park. It feels like our town grows and improves every year. I feel lucky to raise M in a relatively safe community like ours.

Friends who help carry burdens, encourage growth, and celebrate little moments. 

My “new” car. K traded in our work truck and my daily driver for a new pick-up. So I got the Jeep Grand Cherokee that he’d been driver. I love it soooooo much!

Family members who watch M during the week. I work M/W/F and M hangs out with family on those days. It’s a relief to know she’s safe and loved and snuggled while we’re earning a paycheck.

Healthy communication. The ability and freedom to speak my mind, the education and patience to discuss my opinions and beliefs, and the humility to listen and learn from others. (Granted, I’m always working on humility and education… lol.)

I was going to say my dogs… but then Bristol got into the grill grease trap and vomited all over the carpet Tuesday night. But still, I guess they can be on my list. Bristol’s love for M has been there since day 1 and I’m excited to watch them grow up together.

Of course a handful of other things: family, our healthy & safety, comfort, our jobs…

And that about sums it up for today! How about you?

I’m linking up with Rebecca Jo today for Thankful Thursday!

B*tchfest vol. 1

I feel like this could be an ongoing series.

Welcome to B*tchfest where I complain about mostly mundane, trivial, first world things. Some of these are legit, but most are dumb.

Let’s do this.

Expensive maternity clothes.
On a whim I googled “maternity jumpsuits.” Not my style but I look round anyway so whatever. The first site to pop up was HATCH. Who in their right mind spends +$200 on maternity clothes?! What the what?! I likely won’t spend that money on something I’d wear forever, let alone 4-6 months. *vomit* Hello, Amazon? It’s your friend cheap Audrey. I’ll be right over.

Speed Limit Ignorers.
I’ve always had a bit of road rage but I had to actually stop myself from getting out of my car at a red light and pounding on a truck’s window and screaming at him about his speed of 30 in a 45mph zone. Guys, my hand was on my door handle. But honestly: go the damn speed limit. You might have an angry pregnant person who is late for work (*her own fault*) behind you.

Lady pockets.
As if we don’t already get screwed in the pocket department, all three maternity jeans I own have NO front pockets (but the maternity shorts I have do have front pockets so clearly it’s possible structurally). It makes me SO mad. And the two pitiful back pockets are so shallow. Half of my phone hangs out!

Two lane drive-thrus.
I think the concept is great but I’m a rule follower and I know who gets in line after me and if they end up in front of me after we order I AM NOT OK. Also, so many people can’t figure this out. They go around cars that are clearly waiting for the exact same thing as you. And then there are people that sit and wait for the lines to move (leaving massive two or three car gaps) so they can pick one. NOPE. Pick a line and move your damn car. I get so angry in these lines.

My internal temperature/blushing.
When I was a teenager I blushed all the time. I could feel the heat start and I couldn’t stop it. At some point in my early 20s I got a handle on it. I don’t know if it was confidence or if my body just figured it out, but the excessive blushing stopped. WELL IT’S BACK NOW. I imagine it’s because there’s a bunch of extra blood in my body but I can’t have a conversation with ANYONE without blushing. Which then makes me hot. And I sweat. UGH.

Having to always go to the bathroom.
TMI? Too bad. This is my last pregnancy-related one. But seriously. Leave the house? Go potty. Arrive at destination 15 minutes away? Go potty. Stand up? Go potty. When we did our birthing class they told us that women get catheters when they have an epidural. That freaked me out at the time but now? Yes. Please. I would take that over going to the bathroom 30 times an hour.

I know there are 100 more things I could write about, but those are the ones that come to mind right now. What would you like to bitch about today?

A Cup of Happiness (& Coffee)

Happy Thursday! For today’s What’s New With You link-up we’re going to go on a coffee date ☕ I’m actually probably going to drink tea. Coffee doesn’t taste good to me right now (SOB).

We’re switching up this coffee date & I’m going to tell you about things that have made me happy lately. And then I want you to do the same! 😀 Linking up with Kristen!

Dog Pictures
I have a pretty good relationship with the guys who work at one of our authorized dealers that we interact with weekly. Randomly, one of those guys started attaching pictures of his dog to work emails. Word got around at their store and now there are two of them that do it. I’m curious to see how out of hand this can get. But I crack up every time there’s a random dog picture on an official work email.

Spindrift
I have never in my life enjoyed flavored water. I don’t like the after taste or the lack of sweetness. But lately sweet things have just been TOO sweet. Enter spindrift. No caffeine, no added sugar, not too sweet, and no aftertaste. I got the blackberry flavor and I’m excited to try other ones soon! (The ingredients are carbonated water, blackberry juice, fresh lemon juice, and blackberry puree. NOTHING ELSE.)

Plane tickets!
If you’ve been around a while, you know that flying isn’t my favorite thing in the world. That said, one of my very best friends is moving to Tampa, FL this weekend and I ALREADY BOOKED TICKETS TO VISIT IN SEPTEMBER. K, myself, my other bff Kayla, and her boyfriend are all flying down to visit her and I can’t even wait!

Additional things include a massage this week, bff time tonight, grilling outside for dinner, and summer weddings (even though we just have one this year).

Tell me what’s got you feeling happy this week/month!

Thankful Thursday

I can’t decide what I talk about today so I’m link up with the beautiful Rebecca Jo for her weekly Thankful Thursdays

Image result for knit by god's hand thankful thursday

Time with my brother & sister-in-law.
My brother lives two hours away and I only see him once every month or two. He came home for Mother’s Day this weekend but my mom caught the flu Friday night so Fred & Christina stayed with us Sat. & Sun. We did dinner, breakfast, and dinner again while they were here. And I finally played Ticket to Ride for the first time! I’m sad my mom was under the weather, but I had extra time with F&C because of it so… silver lining.

My friendships.
I have a very small circle of friends. (I’ve written and deleted many posts on the topic.) Even though it’s a small group, the women that surround me are incredible. They’re supportive & invested & compassionate. We’re all in totally different stages of life with major changes/growth/struggles on our plates… but I’m so grateful that they’re always there for me regardless.

Gourmet Dinner.
The way to my heart is cooking me food- specifically something I request. While I cook 70% of the time in our house, there are a handful of foods that I eff-up every time and K excels at making. Grilled cheese is one of those foods. On Tuesday, after I was feeling drained and under the weather all day, we got home from work and K made me soup and grilled cheese. I just laid on the couch while he made it AND brought it to me. Literally the best.

What are you thankful for this week?

Being OK With Being Enough

Lately I’ve been struggling with self-worth. I’ve noticed moments of jealousy, comparison, anger, judgement, and frustration pop up. I know- even in those moments- that my reactions are a result of being unhappy with myself, but I have been struggling with silencing the negative voices and curing my insecurities at their root.

I can feel the spiral as it’s happening, which is incredibly frustrating because isn’t the biggest “cure” of anxiety or wild emotions the ability to be aware of your triggers and emotions as they happen? I am fully aware of them- sometimes I even say aloud, “Audrey, what is wrong with you? Chill! Why are you feeling this way?!” But they’re still there.

I’ve been advised to invest in the awareness route. I tend to shut down emotionally or dive head first into distraction when things become overwhelming. I know that’s not right or healthy, but it’s a comfortable band aid. I’m going to give the awareness approach a shot next month, though. We’ll be flying to Dallas and I plan to NOT distract myself into oblivion and, instead, embrace every moment of the flight. (WISH ME LUCK. WOOF.)

But it’s tough to apply this practice when it comes to emotions. I am OVER THE DAMN MOON for my friends and their accomplishments. I’m even happy for acquaintances and strangers who have good things happen for them. But every once in a while, usually when I’m overwhelmed with 15 other things, I feel envy or judgement creep into my happy heart and turn it bitter. It’s frustrating.

I want to be skinnier, good at my job, more charismatic. I want to write a book and grow my own vegetables and travel with friends. I want to kick my flying fear to the curb and cure my lifelong acne and enjoy coconut milk. And honestly, no one is standing in my way. But Bitter Betty is a sneaky b*tch.

I am a STRONG girls support girls & empowered women empower women advocate but I am a human, too. I can be a catty, mean person in my head and to myself at times. I’m always looking for a way to fix that.

All that to say, if you’re riding any certain struggle bus today we can share a seat. No one is perfect. You vent to me and I’ll vent to you, and together we can figure out ways to be kinder, gentler, graceful humans in this world of comparison.

*I know things are tough right now. Speak up, donate, and love your neighbor fiercely.