The Fruit & Flowers Anniversary

According to the internet the 4th anniversary is traditionally the fruit/flowers anniversary.

(C)Ryan Armbrust Sniper Photo LLC

Every single anniversary blows my mind- half my brain can’t believe we’re been *married* so long and the other half thinks of the wedding as mere weeks ago. It’s weird but I imagine most people feel this way about big days/events (…right?).

When we got married I was transitioning between jobs. I’d just left my role as an administrative assistant and was due to start as a technical writer once we returned from our honeymoon.
Four years later I work for/with K at Pageantry Innovations ❤︎

When we got married K was working full time at Dr.Pepper/Snapple. Then he’d spend 3 to 5 to 8 more hours a night at the PI workshop (a.k.a. my dad’s truck garage). All weekends were spent at the shop.
Four years later K works full time for himself and he operates out of a 25,000 sq. ft. warehouse with five employees (including me!).

When we got married I still lived at home. The week after our honeymoon I moved all some of my stuff to our 475 sq. ft. apartment that K had been living in alone.
Four years later we’re very comfortable and happy in our two-story home.

When we got married we had one dog and zero children. We adopted Lylee the December before the wedding.
Four years later we are still human-childless, but we’ve added a wagging tail to the pack with Enzo. The dogs will be 6 (Ly) and 4 (Enzo) this year.

Taking our 4th pic sometime this week!

When we got married my hair was brown and I was a life-long nail-biter.
Four years later it’s blonde. Ha. And I’ve mostly quit biting my nails!

When we got married my brother was single and lived at home and K’s brother was dating a fabulous girl named Alice. I gained one sis-in-law (K’s sister Lori) at our wedding.
Four years later my brother is now married to Xtina and living two hours from home. K’s brother also got married (to Alice!) so I gained two additional sisters-in-law!

When we got married our best friends were either single and loving it, dating and loving it, or newly married and loving it.
Four years later a few of our friends have a child or two and some of our friends are engaged to be married this year or next!

Bridal Shower 2013 (inspiration below…)

When we got married K didn’t have a passport.
Four years later I’ve gotten that boy out of the country three times. Heck yeah!

So… regardless of the way four years feels, I’d argue quite a bit has changed. I’m a big advocate of doing life at the right pace for you, and I’d say Kyle and I are managing that. I feel very lucky to have spent the last 4 years as his wife and I am ridiculously excited to spend the next 100+ more right next to him.

Happy Anniversary, Kyle ❤︎

Chats with K and more…

First order of business: Happy Birthday, Mom!
Secondly: K is my husband.

My mom called me but the call dropped almost immediately. Then she called back.
Me: Hello again.
Mom: Where ARE you??!
Me: Mom… you’re the one who dropped the call.
Mom: I know. I just wondered where you are.

. . .

While watching the Super Bowl in overtime.
Me: What the heck. Falcons had this. I don’t like Tom Brady. He’s a poophead.
K: A poophead, eh? That’s harsh.

. . .

Me: Self-pity doesn’t look good on you.
K: Everything looks good on me. Except sweaters.

. . .

K’s grandparents dropped off some candy at the office for us.
K: Do you have any Valentine’s Day candy left?
Me: …yes. What are you in the market for?
K: I’ll trade you these Skittles for something.
Me: You know I don’t eat Skittles.
*K gets up and starts to walk over.*
Me: Hey! Sit back down. You don’t get to raid my inventory.

. . .

Me: Alright, we’ve got to figure out lunch because I’m dying.
K: I’m not hungry yet.
Me: Fine. I’ll just get myself food. Maybe a bento box from Katana.
K: Get me a Hollywood roll.
Me: At this rate why don’t we just go eat there?!
K: I’m still full from my McDonald’s.
Me: AND THE TRUTH COMES OUT. No wonder you’re not hungry. You’ve been holding out on me.

. . .

Me: What would you do if I died?
K: Right now?
Me: Yes.
K: Probably drive you to a hospital.
Me: ….okay. I mean long term.
K: Oh. I don’t know.

. . .

We were sitting with a financial advisor discussing IRAs and K’s overall worth due to the business. The advisor stepped out of the office to get something and left us alone.
K (quietly): I’m worth more to you alive than dead.
Me: That’s true. For now…

. . .

I made a cleaning list to keep myself accountable. But then K saw it and decided to initial next to the chores he had completed.

And to be clear, by initialing next to “Load/Unload Dish Washer” he literally put his dinner plate in the rack. That’s it.

. . .

I’m glad we get each other’s somewhat dark humor. Ha.

THIRTY YEARS OLD

On Sunday my favorite human is turning 30 years old. THIRTY YEARS OLD. I met him when he was 18. That blows my mind.

Once again I was going to share the details of our Texas trip on here today. But then I decided I should write something about Kyle. But I don’t really know what to say…

I often mention K on this blog so there’s not much I haven’t said. (This birthday post is one of my favorites.) Today I’m making him answer some questions in honor of his birthday. Spoiler alert: He dodged most of them.

We’ll start with the hardest question: Peach pie or yellow cake with chocolate frosting?
It depends. Just a generic pie and cake, the yellow cake with chocolate frosting. If it’s your grandma’s peach pie, I’d pick that.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in the last 30 years?
That’s too deep.
Answer it.
What the hell. (He’s technically not being a smartass… A few weeks ago we realized that we live our lives in a very “what the hell” kind of way. I’ll blog about that some other day. Essential when an opportunity presents itself we say “what the hell” and go for it.)

What age has been your favorite?
My favorite pizza is JNG.
That’s not an acceptable answer.
It IS an acceptable answer. That’s not an acceptable question.

If you didn’t play drums what instrument would you play?
Probably nothing.
You’re so boring.
I didn’t ask you to ask me these…

Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Enzo.
That’s not an answer.
I don’t knooooow. I’m not a casting agent… I guess, with my language, Samuel L. Jackson.

Advice for a 20 year old?
Drop out of school and start a business.
That’s not good advice, dear.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I don’t know.
You could at least be nice and say with me.
Well, yeah. Duh.

circa 2010

Annnnnnnd there you have it. *eyeroll*

So happy birthday, Boo. I can’t wait to see what this decade brings. You can accomplish anything ❤︎ I love you.

                                          – A

Happy Not-Valentine’s Day

FYI, Last week I took a semi-planned hiatus from the blog because I’ve been feeling directionless and angry and trite. K and I were in Texas for business, too, so I just took the week off. (I still read posts when I could. )

On Tuesday I talked about books and skipped over the Valentine’s Day obligations, so today I want to backtrack. I don’t know how you feel about Valentine’s Day, but I’m OK with having a random day in February to remind me to show some love. (In 2015 I shared the love with all sorts of people.)

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This year K gets all my attention. I met Kyle almost twelve years ago.

❤︎ In all that time he has never made me feel like I couldn’t do something, ability-wise or permission-wise. He doesn’t doubt me.

❤︎ We will celebrate four years of marriage in April. Two years ago some stupid drama knocked me off my horse and made me breakdown mentally. K picked me back up and made sure I knew he was on my side no matter what. It sounds silly, but I didn’t realize his loyalty to me until that moment. He’d pick me first for dodgeball. He’s the co-captain of my Quidditch team. I’d be his “one choice” as far as deserted island companions go.

❤︎ I have always said that I don’t need K and he doesn’t need me. But I will openly admit that my life would suck so much without him. He’s my favorite human. I feel my best when I stand next to him.

❤︎ My husband loves dogs as much as I do. That’s not a learned characteristic. He is a bleeding-heart dog lover and that is my favorite quality in a person. (A direct quote from him on Tuesday: “Dogs aren’t a hobby. They’re a lifestyle.” Lol.)

❤︎ I have been angry and feisty and prayerful these last few weeks. I am an unapologetic feminist and sometimes that means angry rants at the dinner table and frustrated fact-sharing in the car wash queue. And K has endured it all with an occasional mumbled, “Yep” or head nod. I’m politically vocal and he’s reserved, but we’re both unapologetic.

And just for fun…

Who’s older? Kyle.
Who was interested first? My guess is me…
More sarcastic? Neither one of us are sarcastic.
Who makes the biggest mess? K.
What are your middle names? Louise & Geoffrey
Do you have any children together? Ly & Enzo. One was even adopted out of wedlock! *gasp*
Did you go to the same school? Yes, at different times.
Who is the most sensitive? Me.
Where do you eat out most as a couple? JNG. Hands down.
Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? Jamaica, I think.
Who does the cooking? Me.
Who is more social? K.
Who is the neat freak? I’m not necessarily a neat freak, but I like things to be where they’re supposed to be.
Who is the most stubborn? He says me. I disagree.
Who wakes up earlier? K.
Who drives when you are together? Mostly him, but I do on occasion.
Who eats more sweets? K.

I got through all of that without saying I love Kyle, but I do. We’ve been busy this month with the business and dogs and travel, but I’m never too busy to say I love my husband, even and especially on an average day like February 16th.

Happy Late Valentine’s Day ❤︎

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Chats with K

If this is your first time ever coming to my blog then you should know that K is my husband.

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. . .

K: So… when do you think your bangs are going to grow out again?
*I slowly turn my head and glare at him*
K: …….asking for a friend.

. . .

Pillow talk…
Me: I’m going to get my brother a Foot Cardigan subscription for Christmas.
K *lightly punches my pillow*: You’re a jerk! I wanted that!
Me: Kyle… I can get more than one person a subscription.
K: Yeah but you won’t. You love him more than me.
*turns over in bed and pouts*

For the record, they both got a subscription.

. . .

I get a text from K while we’re both at work…
K: What’s your Amazon Prime login?
*I tell him and 10 minutes go by…*
Then I receive an email notification that my purchase has been confirmed:

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“Sequin Candy Cane Black Suit Jacket”

. . .

K: I feel like this reminds me of you:

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Me: Ha! Yeah… I saw a meme the other day that said, “Wife goes out for milk and comes home with a puppy. Husband says, ‘I thought you were going for milk!’ Then the wife says ….” I forget how it ends.
K: That was so terrible.

. . .

Life’s an adventure with this guy… ha.

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Comparing Apples to Orange to Instagram

I don’t discuss my full time job here very often (ever? ) but I work for an appraisal company. A large part of my day is spent comparing commercial properties to one another (or comparing markets or construction quality or amenities…). All day long I make comparisons- it’s second nature now.

In valuing property, comparisons are necessary. That’s 100% the opposite when it comes to valuing our lives- comparing ourselves to one another is so dangerous and toxic. I think all bloggers tackle this problem in a post at some point, but just recently I witnessed individual friends get down on themselves after making comparisons. That led to a self-evaluation where I realized that I tend to put pressure on myself, my marriage, my relationships, and even my dogs after comparing myself/us/them to someone else.

We all do it. I have mommy friends that compare themselves to other moms (or compare their child’s development to other children). I have friends in the dating pool that compare themselves to other people who are dating or recently engaged. I have married friends that ask K and I  about our relationship and then compare us to their life. I’m sure that parents of adult-children compare their lives to other older parents (i.e. how often their kids come around, whether or not they’re grandparents, how close they are to retirement). There’s no age restriction on comparing- we all do it.

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I enjoy social media, but we know those perfect snapshot moments don’t help. Engagements, pregnancy announcements, new houses- they makes us wonder if we’re where we should be in life. Tropical vacations, perfectly cooked dinners, beautifully lit trees and steaming cups of tea- we wonder how others manage to have it all and what we should be doing differently to achieve it, too.

A few days ago I talked a friend off a proverbial ledge. She’d had a great day and was feeling good, but then she looked around and started second guessing what was happening to her in comparison to others. We both came to the conclusion that these ‘harmless’ comparisons were making her dangerously unhappy. It’s ok to want what we want and it’s ok to look to others as examples, but we can’t idolize other relationships or careers or lives. First of all, we’re all different and things never work out the same way for one as they do another. Secondly, we don’t actually know how glamorous (or tragic) someone’s life is. And, regardless, it doesn’t matter- you have your life and there’s no Freaky Friday fortune cookie that going to swap it with another person.

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I am happy with who I am and the life I live and the place I’m at- but I still fall victim to comparison more often than I’d like to admit. I glance across the aisle and see how someone else is doing on their wife test or employee test or friend test. I try to put myself on a grading scale. How am I doing as a daughter? friend? dog owner? Well clearly not as good as so-and-so… just look at those Instagram pictures!

It sucks. And we all do it. And we need to remind one another (gently) to stop. So here’s your reminder today.

Your house is cozy and comfy, even with the cat hair tucked in the corner of the steps. Your tree is just the right size and sparkle for you. People love you for the person you are- they’re not comparing you to anyone so why are you?

Pass the message along and remind someone else that we don’t live in a venn diagram. Pat yourself on the back and then pat someone else’s back. Go after the things you want, not the things you think you’re supposed to want. The people around you are very happy with who you are- you should be, too  🙂

You do you, boo.

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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❤︎

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