I More Than Love You

Last week we kicked off our trade show/travel season at work. It’s a six month chunk with roughly nine potential shows or competitions spread throughout. (We also do a trip in August.) I spend a great deal of time with my husband regardless, but traveling together pushes us physically closer for longer stretches of time in higher stress situations.

So natural I got to thinking about our marriage.

I really enjoy my husband. I think he’s funny and witty and smarter than even he knows (and, trust me, he thinks plenty highly of himself). He’s sarcastic and not romantic (in the traditional sense) and not nearly as sentimental as me, though, so I don’t always tell him how gosh damn wonderful I think he is.

But I realized this weekend- five years post wedding & 11 years after agreeing that we should, in fact, date- that I ought to tell him sometimes.

I drank a few adult beverages one night on our recent business trip and *accidentally* gushed to a mutual friend about how our business’ success is 50% luck and 50% my husband (plus all the people we’ve had cycle in and out over the last 6 years, self included). I told them that K has a large ego so I’d never tell him this, but he’s so damn smart- socially & logically. He has no business or engineering education but he’s really done something incredible with the company.

The applicable part of this story is that I have these thoughts about K but I don’t ever tell him. Maybe our marriage is rare, but I doubt it. Chances are there are some “obvious” things you admire about your spouse (or grandma or brother or best friend) that you don’t tell them because… well… why would or should you?

So I’m encouraging you to tell them. It makes your marriage or relationship or work experience or neighborhood that much better. People like being told that the things they’re doing and saying every single day are being noticed and admired and appreciated.

They say to tell loved ones that you love them. Or to say thank you more often. Or to spend quality time with people. But I also encourage you to notice what you admire or appreciate about someone & tell them.

28 Things (because I’m turning 28)

Tomorrow is my birthday. It’s weird to be turning 28 because I feel like I was 18 or 22 or even 25 just last week. It’s weird to say I’m 28. I’m not bothered by it, I’m just confused about how I banked 28 years of life and where the past decade went…

But anyway, here are 28 things I know:

  1. Avocados are delicious. It took a while for me to acquire the taste, but YUM.
  2. You need to be passionate about something, even if it’s not what the cool kids are passionate about.
  3. There are no “cool kids.”
  4. Be friends with people you trust and love and want to succeed. It’s ok to not like or not get along with everyone, but when you find your people hold on to them tightly and lift them up and cherish those relationships.
  5. Horses are still terrifying.
  6. Sometimes it’s about who you know, but it’s always about how you treat them. Always.
  7. Kindness costs nothing but you’ll pay dearly for anger or hatred.
  8. No means no, silence means no, and walking away/resisting means no. And you are allowed to say no whenever the hell you want.
  9. Kids do not equal success. Owning a home does not equal success. Traveling all over does not equal success. YOU get to define your own success. Don’t hand that power over to society.
  10. Facebook sucks. If you have the willpower to quit it, you should. I don’t yet.
  11. Read more. Learn more. Talk with people from different walks of life. Educate yourself about what’s going on around you.
  12. Practice empathy, but don’t internalize all the world’s drama. It will 100% destroy you.
  13. Find role models. And change role models if you need to. Inspirational quotes actually go a long way.
  14. Meditation, prayer, yoga, exercise, gratitude journals… they all work. Get in the habit of doing something that works for you.
  15. Don’t let your fears control you. I’m still working on this one.
  16. Pay attention to who is excited to see you and to see you succeed and to share in your special days. Return the favor and love them completely. (This includes pets.)
  17. If you’ve ever thought about getting a dog, DO IT. And adopt from your local shelter.
  18. Pay attention to what you put in your body and on your body.
  19. But also, eat dessert whenever you gosh darn please.
  20. Cake and pizza are suitable breakfast foods. I don’t like pizza or (most) cake, but I’m giving you the go ahead to eat it for breakfast.
  21. Spend your money responsibly. I don’t mean save it- I mean research where your money goes when you make purchases and know who or what you’re supporting with the swipe of a credit card.
  22. LaCroix is gross. Sorry, but it is. (Hahaha. If you like it that’s ok, too.)
  23. You don’t need to find a life partner, but if you happen to meet “the one” make sure that person fully respects you & encourages you.
  24. I know it’s a popular phrase right now, but “self-care” is a real thing. It’s as easy as taking a bath, sleeping in on the weekends, or pouring yourself a cuppa tea and reading a few chapters.
  25. Go freakin’ vote. And don’t ignore politics. These things are happening in your world and they will eventually effect you. Stay on top of them.
  26. Learn the difference between effect and affect, who and whom, then and than, their they’re and there, etc. I’m still working on that first one.
  27. If you partake in the drink, know what cocktails you love and learn how to mix them correctly.
  28. Be unapologetically yourself. If you love Harry Potter or Disney or superheroes or fantasy or baseball or the beach or whatever. There is NO normal. There really aren’t any rules when it comes to being you. Identify what colors or things or people or places make you happy, and then invest in them wholeheartedly.

And that’s all I’ve got. Off to eat ice cream & donuts because I really don’t like cake that much.

Date Ideas for Couples Who Don’t “Date”

I’m going to make a confession that will shock and horrifying marriage bloggers.

We don’t go on scheduled weekly or bi-weekly or monthly date nights.

Don’t get me wrong- we go on dates. They’re just not regular or scheduled. Our relationship doesn’t work that like. We’re both workaholics (who work with each other) and it’s healthier for us to veg at home (sometimes together and sometimes apart) instead of heading out on the town. I’m an introvert and K is an introverted extrovert so we alter our life and relationship to make ourselves happiest.

Ok, enough explaining. When we DO go out on dates, they tend to be a little bigger and/or planned out than what a weekly date night might entail. If your “dating style” is similar to ours, here are a few of our favorite things to do together:

An evening concert.
We love going to concerts together. We’ve been doing it since the very first month we started dating. When we were younger we’d show up to the concert venue, rock out, and then pig out on fast food or gas station food on our drive home. Now we like to go out to dinner first, then attend the concert (and then come home and crash like old people, lol).

A trip to the local creamery.
We live about 0.25 miles from the town’s BEST creamery. In addition to yummy ice cream, we both love their homemade coney sauce. On beautiful evenings when we don’t feel like cooking we climb into the convertible and cruise over there for dinner together.

Early morning breakfast dates.
I think one of my hands down favorite things to do with K is to wake up semi-early on a Saturday or Sunday and get breakfast at a local diner while the world is still waking up. There are lots of places near us but our favorite is a cute one a few towns over. With maybe 12 tables inside, everyone knows everyone. We’re strangers in that town, but they’re so friendly and it’s fun to watch them greet one another and catch up as they come inside for breakfast.

Walking around car shows.
I married a car enthusiast. We’ve spent many afternoons slowly walking through car shows, admiring the vintage rides of yesteryear. Truth be told, I’ve actually learned a lot about cars from K while walking around these shows. My dad, brother, and grandfathers are all car lovers, too. I guess it’s in my blood 😉 Perusing car lots and open houses are also a fun way to spend the afternoon. For us anyway.

A festival lunch date.
We don’t really care for crowds. Additionally, in a small town like ours, when you immerse yourself in a crowd you’re bound to know a handful of people- some you like and some you don’t. We’ve found that by going on weekday lunch dates to street fests and fairs, we avoid crowds and lines and small talk with people we haven’t seen since high school. AND we get the benefit of fresh lemonade and vinegar-soaked fries 😀

I think it’s adorable and cute and #relationshipgoals when couples plan out weekly quality time. I really do. It’s just not how we operate 🙂 All kinds of kinds. These occasional outings work well for us and keep us happy and connected. Next time you’re looking for something to do with you s/o, try one of these!

What kind of date activities do you and yours like to do?

How To: Host a Garage Sale

I live in a small Midwest town where garage sales are still a pretty big staple of summer. My mom used to host them, I’ve hosted them, and street corners are decorated with neon SALE signs in every part of town all summer long. Is that typical across the country? (I’m honestly not sure…)

Anyway, tomorrow and Saturday I’m having a garage sale in conjunction with the neighborhood garage sale. (Our new house is in a development and I’m so excited to participate in the neighborhood sale!)

I won’t lie… I really like garage sales. I enjoy pricing things, arranging things, and selling things to others (a.k.a. checking them off my list). I’ve even been known to tell people to “just take it.” I’m 100% committed to getting rid of stuff. Since I’ve done this a few times, I figured I’d offer some friendly and totally unsolicited advice to anyone thinking about hosting their own yard/garage sale!

  1. Certain items draw people in. People like furniture, gently used kids’ toys and clothes, and jewelry. Once they’re in your driveway they browse through the adult clothes, kitchenware, and other miscellaneous things you have. People like winter coats, too!
  2. Keep your prices low. I might be guilty of under-pricing things, but they sell so I don’t care. And don’t be afraid to drop prices mid-sale.
  3. Friday is typically a better sale days than Saturday. Drop your prices overnight. Don’t be afraid to haggle on Friday (but maybe take someone’s best offer on Saturday). In my experience, Fridays are great and profitable while Saturdays are more of a freebie.
  4. Have refreshments! I’m not necessarily talking about a kid-run, bee-swarmed lemonade stand. Some cold $1 bottles of water will draw people your direction.
  5. Pay attention to when other around you are having sales. If you can get in on a neighborhood on that’s even better! People flock to multiple sales. Also, if people show up early and want to buy stuff before you’re 100% ready, let them 😉
  6. Advertise in the newspaper/on Facebook/in the classified. Mention the *good* stuff you’re selling (see advice #1).
  7. Don’t burn yourself out. Only go from 8am to 2 or 3pm. After that it’s not worth it. Also, if you have friends or family who want in on the sale you can take shifts!
  8. Speaking of which, share your garage with friends/family. I don’t have kids but my bff does and she’s bringing their old toys to our sale this weekend to draw people in. My mom is also contributing items. You can use different colored stickers to keep track of how much money each person makes, then divide it all at the end.

Honestly, there are no solid rules to garage sale-ing, but these tips have worked for me. I don’t like cluttered tables or mismatched items so I tend to stage and categorize. I think it’s proven successful in most cases. I usually mark the sizes on clothing, too. That way people aren’t tearing through my piles 😉

Just a reminder:

  • obtain a garage sale permit (even if your neighborhood is having a sale)
  • check with people before you stick a sign in their yard (advertising your sale)
  • have change ready for people paying with large bills

I know some people find garage sales to be stressful and way too much work. I am not that person. Haha. Have you ever had a garage sale? Do you enjoy them?

 

Ramblings of Sorts

I don’t have anything worthwhile to say today. (How’s that for a lead-in?)

So here are some random thoughts.

For those in Texas, human and critter, know that my heart and prayers and donations are with you ❤︎
I can’t explain how proud and hopeful I feel when I see the stories of people taking their boats & large trucks into affected areas and helping people out of buildings. That is what makes humanity wonderful and keeps our country united and strong.

In a different breath, I think this president is growing increasingly dangerous. His small steps to reverse policy and pardon dirt bags and alter law enforcement/military power is extremely alarming. Don’t let these things go unnoticed. Be aware of what your government is doing before it’s no longer your government…
I believe both sides of the aisle should be fired up.

And now some lighter things to get us through the rest of the week…

This popped up on my FB yesterday:

Sorry, but there’s no way to decrease your chance of death/dying. It’s 100% guaranteed.


Oll's

In honor of yesterday being 8 years since I moved into my first dorm at college. Woof.


I’ve seen this before and for some reason it sends me into a fit of giggles.

(The original post had a dated and offensive term so I edited it. Ha.)



A Tuesday Reminder: In an effort to protect our brains in this crazy world, if you’re like me and you still have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. that you scroll through multiple times a day then I suggest taking time to really go through and unfollow/unlike/unfriend the folks or accounts that bring you down or upset you. If it’s differing or hurtful opinions or a perfect manicured life or gorgeous vacations once a month or whatever… unfollow them because you don’t owe anyone a follow or Facebook friendship. If it’s affecting your mood then take some action.  It’ll make you feel better to be free of weird social media obligations, lol.

Alright. This was a weird post. Happy Tuesday ❤︎

10 Things to Remember in Your Twenties

Sometimes my posts are conceived from other articles & blogs that I read. Such is this case today after reading this article.

Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait.

If you’re like me, that article made you mad. It’s entitled The 20 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in Your 20s. The title actually got me really excited! I thought to myself, ‘Oh, some good advice from the internet about how to avoid mistakes in my twenties!’ But then I opened the article. And I realized that I am making 9 of those “mistakes.” And I am incredibly happy.

So moral of the story here is that this list doesn’t apply to everyone. Actually, based on the comments (“never read the comments!”) it only applies to skeezy men in their twenties. It’s hard to make a list that applies to everyone, but I’m going to give it a shot.

10 Things to Remember in Your Twenties

1 | Don’t Drink and Drive |
Our parents and teacher have been saying this for years, but we all could use the reminder- especially when we’re stumbling out of a bar and home is only 3 miles down the road and you’ve only had 4 or 5 drinks. Just call a cab or a (sober) friend.

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2 | Don’t be rude |
You never know who might employ you. You never know who might be the one to help you change a tire. You never know what someone may be going through. The world could do with a lot less rudeness. You’re an adult now; don’t be an asshole.

3 | Always be kind |
Similar to number 2, but different. Smile and say hello. Hold the door open for the person behind you. Give the homeless man the granola bar from your lunch. Don’t be rude, but also choose to be kind.

4 | Everyone is fighting a different battle and working toward a different goal |
Your goal might be a plush corner office at a top law firm but your friend Jason might want to be a stay-at-home-father of 5. Be encouraging and be gracious. We’re all fighting sometime and working toward something, and we’re all different.

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5 | Don’t compare yourself to others |
Currently one of my Facebook friends is in the Peace Corps. Another friend is studying to be a doctor. One girl is teaching English in Japan and another couple is doing a cross-country trip from Ohio to Alaska. Any way you slice it, they’re all doing pretty cool things. My coolest accomplishment this week was getting up (kind of) on time. Often I feel like I could be doing more, but being happy for others is much more healthy than being jealous of them. I am me- my only comparison is the person I was yesterday.

6 | Strengthen your bond with family |
Call your mom. Invite your brother to dinner. Visit grandma. I know that not everyone has a “good” family. Sometimes family members spread more toxins than love. If that’s the case then find some non-blood family and strengthen those relationships. Humans need other humans (and animals) to stay whole. (That’s why there’s a “social” requirement on The SIMS. Duh.)

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7 | It’s ok to take a break |
The most troubling advice I’ve read as a twenty-something year old has been: “Don’t get comfortable/Don’t Slow Down.” This is the biggest load of crap and it has caused me so much anxiety. If you are happy with what you’re doing then be content in that! And if you’ve worked your butt of in school and right now you’re working a job to pay the bills and provide stability then there’s nothing wrong with that. Being stationary is ok; being trapped is not ok. But there is a big difference.

8 | Believe in something/someone |
If you’ve gone this long without believing in someone or something then it’s high time you start. I’m a Christian and I believe in God. Some people believe in a supreme being. Some people believe in themselves. Believe in something and hold yourself accountable.

9 | Save some money |
This is very, very good advice. Always try to save a little money, even if it’s only $20 a paycheck. I love my Smart TV and my vacations and my grande cinnamon dolce latte, but I also know that in the future I will need money… so putting a little away in my 20s is crucial. (Better yet, find an employer that offers retirement and other savings programs!)

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10 | Forgive |
My brain is programed to remember old offenses and grievances. Not only do I remember when someone has done me wrong, but I remember the crap that happens to my friends and family, too. I can’t forget these things, but I can forgive people. Holding onto hate and grudges and anger is poisonous (and very easy to do), but I know there are times I need forgiven and it’s better to think of people as mostly good- not the opposite.

 . . .

Not every single point from this post-inspiring article was horrible. I tend to agree with #16, 13, and parts of 8. But overall, the article is pretty offensive- especially toward women.

So those are the tips I try to follow as a 24 year old. What advice would you give yourself (or a younger/older version of yourself)? What did you think of the other article? What’s the best/worst life advice you’ve gotten?

-Louise

 

 

Good Advice – Bad Advice: Marriage Edition

We have almost been married for two years (& together for 8!). This weekend I found myself taking advice that I’d been given at a bridal shower. This inspired me to revisit some of the advice I’d received and compare it to my marital experience thus far.

Advice

|1| Don’t Go to Bed Angry.
I think 85% of my guests gave us this advice. This is probably different for every couple, but sometimes we go to bed angry because we just need to sleep on it. K does this a lot and, though it used to drive me crazy, I know he just needs a break from the tension and he’ll be ready to accept my apology/apologize/just drop it in the morning.

|2| A King Size Bed Makes for a Happy Marriage.
This is the piece of advice K and I put into action this weekend! We are now proud owners of a fabulous king size bed and I am never going back! Of course, there are two dogs that still choose to lay across my legs, but at least we’re less crowded. K and I aren’t the snuggling type so we definitely appreciate some personal space.

|3| The First Year is the Hardest.
Some people said the first year with kids is the hardest, but I can’t attest to that. My guess is that the first year with kids is the most challenging because Year 1 was great! We struggled and learned how to live together and how to budget, but it was an incredible year! We took a honeymoon, bought a house, adopted a puppy! Every year is going to have its set of challenges, but Year 1 and 2 have been mostly enjoyable!

|4| Share Hobbies That You Both Enjoy.
For us, this depends on the hobby. Professionally, K and I don’t work well together. If one of us is “the boss” then the other is the defiant employee. Actually, I just hate being told what to do. We could build a birdhouse together, but I would have to be in charge (even though K would be the one that knows what to do). Call it a personal flaw… haha.

|5| Divide Up the Chores/Bills/Responsibilities Evenly.
This is probably good advice, but we don’t abide by it. Since K has been working on his business I take on a lot of the household and payment responsibilities. It works for us right now and someday, when the business runs like clockwork, we’ll re-divide and work it out.

What relationship/marital advice have you been given? Did you follow that advice? What would your advice be for a new couple?

-Louise