A Daily Dose of Laughter

I would venture to say that the majority of my friends and family would not describe me as “jolly.” On the contrary, I tend to be an awkward mix of volatile and passionate. I’m not a fan of physical touch and I infuse sarcasm in 95% of my conversations. While I firmly believe I am (mostly) a good time to be around, I also know that I’m not the always-smiling, always-bubbly girl at the party unless there’s lots of alcohol. (I’m usually the quiet one on the floor in the corner with 8 dogs.)

All of that to say, if you’re like me and not in the habit of joking around and smiling on a daily basis (especially during these dark times), I believe we should be. We all deserve to have at least one big belly laugh a day. Not a polite smile or a forced chuckle- a genuine, outburst of laughter.

True to my introvert ways, I often find something hilarious to laugh at when I’m all alone. Jimmy Fallon videos, inappropriate Reddit threads, dog and cats videos… All of those are total winners for me. That said, laughing alongside my husband or best friends is my most preferred laughter outlet.

Some people laugh a lot (is it weird that I’m jealous of those folks?) and this is an unnecessary reminder, but for those of you who go a day or a week without fully utilizing every part of your lungs for a laugh, try to change it up. If you only have three minutes watch a Youtube video. If you’ve got a few hours pop in a comedy or meet your funniest friend for lunch. (Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, yet? I was gasping for air, crying & laughing.)

I don’t do it as often as I should, but laughter does the soul good. We could all benefit from a little more joy. Tears from laughter always trump tears of sadness or anger or fear. (Pun possibly intended…?)

*Suggestion: While SNL is killin’ it right now, avoid those clips during your daily dose of laughter. Personally, those clips make me smirk- not belly laugh. They’re awesome and hilarious and so on point, but they can stir up outrage, too, and that’s not the emotion we’re going for in these few moments of hilarity.

So if you’re like me and you forget to make laughing a priority in your day-to-day schedule, this is your gentle reminder to sit down for a second and enjoy something funny. The heavy stuff is always going to be there and sometimes we just need a break!

Everything is Great

The creativity bug has been on vacation these last few weeks… Most of my posts have been lists or recaps or link-ups. All those things are great, but I usually try to throw in an opinion piece or heartfelt rant here and there. I’ve just been so tired. We’re both healthy and safe and happy, so I feel terrible complaining, but I really am exhausted right now.

You know how some people get tired and sad during the last half of winter but suddenly perk up in the spring with all the sunshine and rain and blooming flowers? Yeah- I’m the opposite. I hate this season and it totally drains me. Plus, Thunderstorms + Lylee = Audrey on the couch all night with a trembling dog and maybe 3 or 4 interrupted hours of sleep.

It’s also our gateway into the “crazy season” with the business. And tax season. (Sweet Mother of Pearl, don’t get me started on the taxes we owe this year *sob*) Anyway… stress levels are HIGH and there’s very little separation of personal and professional and canine stress at the moment.

So that’s what’s going on with me right now. Ha.

But in other random news…

Lylee went to the doggie spa (read: groomers) for the first time and had her nails professionally dremeled. It was taxing on both of us, but she was happy at the end and her nails looked good. So that’s a win.

We host an Easter meal at our house for K’s side of the family so I’m gearing up for that. People are always eager to bring sides so it’s never too much stress on me 😉 This year I’m going to make a mashed potato casserole, carrot bread, and decorated eggs! We’re either going to have brisket or a pork shoulder… I hate ham so the perk of hosting Easter is eliminating it from the menu 😀

Our 4 year anniversary is on the 27th of this month. K planned last year’s outing so it’s my turn this year. (I don’t know when we started taking turns…?) Any ideas for me?

And with that I’m off to try meditation (or a bottle glass of wine) and hopefully enjoy the weekend with family and friends and church 🙂

What are your weekend/Easter plans?

I Can’t Think of Anything to Say But ‘Thank You’

I wasn’t planning on posting today, but the amount of feedback and love and advice I received on Monday was so overwhelming. Originally I had a little “thank you” sentence added to Wednesday’s post but I decided that just wasn’t enough.

I write in this space because it helps me collect my thoughts and express my opinions or imagination in a structured way. When I started Life as Louise (just over two years ago) I wasn’t sure it’d attract any traffic but I didn’t care- I just wanted a space to call my own and write creatively. The people that I’ve ‘met’ and now interactive with almost daily are such an unexpected bonus. You guys are the sweetest souls and I feel so happy when I get to connect with you, both here and on your blogs. I really, really appreciate your thoughts from Monday and I feel so lucky to have this community of supportive, intelligent women. You are all truly wonderful friends. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I feel so grateful for this blog and everyone that takes the time to visit and interact here 🙂

(Even if you’re not a comment-er, I’m glad you’ve stopped by!)

I typically have a list of blogs saved to my “favorites” on my computer than I visit most days. When new people interact with me or I see interesting comments on other blogs I visit those writers and sometimes add them to my list. (Just FYI if you were curious about my following habits.) Even if you don’t get a notification, I always respond to blog comments here.  It might take me a week, but I try to address everyone that stops by and leaves a thought.

I’m happy to know what topics interest people most- thank you for taking the time to address that on Monday! I’d planned on continuing to “just be me” in this space, but it seriously warmed my heart to hear how many people look forward to coming here and reading because they see me as genuine or honest or real. You guys are the most wonderful humans ❤︎

I’m happy to be in the smaller pond of bloggers (not that I consider you guys small- I’m just defining myself here). I’m glad that I can write whatever comes to me and I feel so awestruck that people actually enjoy it. Thank you for your kindness and friendship. I never imagined this outcome when I started blogging.

So before I go, I’ve seen some other bloggers do this and I absolutely love it: I always send Christmas cards to friends and family! I’ve connected with so many amazing people here & this year I want to extend my mailing list to blog-friends, too! (Essentially it’s a holiday card with two of the cutest puppies ever on it… 😉 ) Don’t be shy- if you want a Christmas card this year shoot me an email with your address! audreylou09@gmail.com
*(I think it goes without saying, but obviously I’d keep your address 100% private!)

Ok, I’m off to hit up my third Thanksgiving dinner.
No comments today since I’m still warm and fuzzy from Monday❤︎

audielou.com_signature

How to Get Happy

Today I was going to post about how I’ve fallen into a mid-Fall slump. Don’t get me wrong- I love this time of year- but the recent election and my persistent acid reflux issues and the trivial pressures of the holiday have me somewhat deflated. I just feel so tired and drained by the end of the workday, and chores have gone by the wayside. I don’t know- I just feel very bleh right now.

Originally I was going to make a whole post out of it, but then I came up with a different idea. Instead of describing my mood, I’m going to share with you the ways I try to pull myself out of these ruts. Maybe these can help you, too!

Go get some coffee.
Right now my closest Starbucks is 35 minutes away, but sometimes I just need the road trip + coffee splurge to lift my mood. Sometimes just a quick trip to McDonald’s for an iced caramel coffee does the trick.

Wander around your favorite store(s).
After getting a warm holiday latte it never hurts to wander around Target or HomeGoods or World Market or Hobby Lobby.

Hang out at the library.
There are times I feel worse when I leave Target or Barnes & Noble with a $400 dent in my checkbook (let’s be real- we’ve all gone in to browse and walked out with enough to furnish a new apartment) so instead of shopping I go to the library.

books_gif

Clean the house.
Is that weird? Sometimes organizing and checking things off my to-do list is the only thing that makes me feel better. I love clean sheets and organized closets and an empty sink. When I get into ‘crazy clean mode’ K knows to leave the house and let me go nuts with some loud music and wine.

Get out of town & spend some time with your girls.
A few of my very best friends live +2 hours away so it’s easy for me to pack a bag and kiss K goodbye for the night. Whether we go out for drinks and dancing or hanging out on their couch with a movie, it’s the mini-getaway I need to rejuvenate my spirit.

Be alone.
I love my friends and I adore K, but I recharge in complete solitude. Reading a book, binge-ing on Netflix, or taking a nap is the only way to fix my super low moods.

Bath + Glass of Wine + Candles
I don’t think I need to explain this one.

bath_gif

Listen to the Right Music For My Mood
Sometimes I need some heavy rock that keeps tempo with my boiling blood. Sometimes I need Disney tunes to belt out at the top of my lungs. Sometimes I want Frank Sinatra crooning at me through the speakers. It’s all a matter of picking the right playlist.

Buy Myself Something New
Nothing big or fancy: a snarky coffee mug, a new book, a half-priced purse from Marshalls. Something that I really want that makes me feel prettier or smarter or happier in that moment.

Go On A Walk or a Hike- Or Take the Dogs to the Dog Park
Seeing my dogs enjoying themselves in nature or playing chase with another large group of dogs always makes me smile. There’s something about watching another creature enjoy itself that makes me warm inside.

dog_fall_gif

I’ll snap out of my funk soon enough, but combining a few of these things always helps. This weekend I’m seeing my best friends and spending time at the wilderness rehab center, so I should definitely be in a happier mood for Turkey Day!

Tell me what you do to get happy!

My thoughts & love are with all my southeastern US blogger-friends right now. Stay safe, guys ❤︎
I’m praying they get the fires under control soon..

Also, Happy Birthday to my beautiful mother-in-law!

audielou.com_signature

On the Road Again (w/ A Grateful Heart)

Last Monday was my birthday & I was bombarded with 15 texts, two phone calls, +60 Facebook posts, and a ton of blog comments & snaps & tweets wishing me a happy day/week/year ❤︎ I am so grateful for my community & tribe & environment.

Today we’re home from 4 days at the beach. We started the trip with a visit to the Circleville Pumpkin Festival in southern Ohio with my brother & sister-in-law. Then K and I hung out in Myrtle Beach for a while. And last night we got to reunite with our fur kids. It was another fantastic weekend.

Since I’m quite tired and keeping this short, I figured I’d drop a few links to my Twitter, Instagram, & SnapChat since I haven’t done that in a while. If you don’t follow me there you should  😀

Tweet Me on Twitter!
Follow along on Instagram!
Check out my snap story as audie_lou

Have a great Monday!

audielou.com_signature

A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey

 

Birthday Vibes

Today, twenty-six years ago, I was born. My mom was 27 years old and my dad was 25. Now I’m in the middle of that.

birthday-vibes

Do you ever sit and wonder what makes us us? I am fascinated by human behavior & thought. When I was a child a waitress was just a waitress, but now I look at people I interact with every day and wonder what their family is like, what do they do for fun, do they have dark secrets, why are they here and where do they want to be? It’s insane that each and every one of us has a complicated, diverse, unique web of coding that makes us (and our lives) so radically different. Even my brother & I are different despite the same upbringing. I don’t know- I just find it really interesting.

So today I officially have 26 years of life under my belt. That’s not much to a 76 year old, but a six year old would find me pretty ancient. In the grand scheme of things, I’m not doing much right now. I’m not climbing a corporate ladder, I’m not tracking my ovulation for babies, I’m not working toward a degree, I’m not planning a wedding or a vacation. I’m just kind of existing today. Surprisingly, I’m ok with that right now.

It’s odd to try to track how I got here… If my parents hadn’t made me march high school band I wouldn’t have met K. If I hadn’t joined an independent drumline and met a girl named Kelsey then we wouldn’t have Lylee. If we’d have listened to our realtor and not gone through our house (b/c it was in an old flood zone) then we wouldn’t be where we are and we wouldn’t have been ready for a second dog and Enzo wouldn’t be ours. Life is so darn weird. I’m sure there are missed opportunities that I’ll never  know about, but I’m pretty thankful for the taken opportunities thus far.

I have nothing witty or smart to leave you with today; I’m just reflecting on my existence. I’m very grateful to have been born to my parents. I feel so blessed to have been gifted a brother. When I think about the string of events that led me to K I honestly want to cry. In conclusion, I’ve just had a very nice 26 years.

I recognize that people are born into different situations. I know that some people make poor decisions or have tragic things happen to them. I know that my life could turn in an instant. So as a birthday gift to me, I ask you to do something nice today- whether for yourself or someone else. And extend a little grace when dealing with frustrating people and situations. Maybe pick up an extra bag of dog food when you’re at the store and drop it by your local shelter. Or just take 5 minutes out of your day to think about the things that make you happy.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Now I’m off to work with a birthday coffee in hand ❤︎

audielou.com_signature

A Wild Weekend Means a Grateful Heart

I’m having a hard time believing that today is Monday. This was one of those weekends that had no slow moments- but I enjoyed every single second. Originally today’s post was going to be about what I read in September, but that only included one book… ha. (I’m still working on the three I mentioned here, but there was no time to read this weekend.) In lieu of a book review, I’m linking up with Emily for Grateful Heart Monday!

This weekend included time with my family and more landscaping, drinks at home with friends and late, late nights out at the bars, birthday celebrations and comfortable, lazy mornings.

Saturday afternoon/night was the absolute best. Aubrey & I met up and headed to Columbus to surprise Kayla and hit the bars for her birthday. The three of us were friends in high school but really cemented that bond in college- despite being at different universities. Our fourth high school amigo, Emily, just gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl and happens to live in Columbus, too. We were able to stopped and visit her and meet Gracyn before the shenanigans started. It was a little surreal to see Em with a perfect baby in her arms.

A little later, three of Kayla’s local friends joined us to pre-game the night. Guys, the bar scene in Columbus- oh man. I should’ve trained for that event 🙂 We started at 9pm and uber-ed home at 2am. The night was 100% perfection and filled with dancing, drinks, music, and laughter. Honestly, it was an incredibly amazing night and I’m so grateful for my friends. The three of us live in different cities and I feel so lucky that we can get together and have a carefree night on the town. My heart is so full, even if my body’s exhausted.

bdaywknd

So that was my weekend. Now I’m sitting in our basement on our new den furniture. (K insisted we take advantage of the BigLots 20% off sale and obtain this chaise/chair/ottoman combo he’s been lusting over.) Tell me about your weekend in comments!

audielou.com_signature

A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey