What It All Means to Me

I haven’t written a heartfelt post in a while and Emelia inspired me to share my thoughts on this…

I started this blog in October of 2014. Prior to that I’d tried my hat at a few other forums and blogs but this one has been my biggest success. (I consider it a success because a) you’re here reading it and b) I very much enjoy writing it.) I’m not sure what I expected when I launched into this world, but I formed an online friendship with Chelsea pretty quickly and from there my internet friends really picked up and expanded.

I think there’s a somewhat popular opinion out there that traditional blogging is dead. Unless you pay $1,000 for good pictures or spend all your time pushing new skin care products (a.k.a. “influencing”), your place in this world is fading. Like Emelia, I 100% disagree with that.

I think that if you’ve been doing this for a few years you know that readership dips in the summer. You know that less people visit on holiday weekends and January is reserved for self-improvement and ‘goals’ posts. You pick up on the patterns of this world and you go with them or carve your own path. I love that this environment nurtures BOTH options.

Here are some other things I love about blogging:

Ohio is not a typical target for natural disasters or attacks (fingers crossed) so it’s hard to imagine the terror or devastation or hope that people feel when faced with wildfires or bombings or floods. Reading this post from Carolann about the Hawaii false missile alert or seeing IG stories from Ashten during the CA wildfires was so eye-opening. I cried real tears for these girls, even though I’ve never been in a situation like that or experienced these events first hand. Even on a smaller scale, reading about postpartum depression or flight anxiety or adoption or weight struggles is easier to understand and empathize with because of bloggers’ vulnerability. I’m more informed about city life and the struggles of homelessness, gerrymandering, and even commuting because people choose to write about it. When I was growing up our closest neighbors were cows so it’s a benefit to see the world through the eyes of people with different experiences.

I could go on and on about the friendships I’ve formed with other ladies in the blog world. I often catch myself telling local family and friends, “Well a friend of mine did xyz…” and I’m 100% talking about a blog friend. (K knows most of you all by name and he definitely knows your pets’ names.) I participate in snail-mail exchanges and book challenges and film challenges with my friends. I send and receive care packages. We collaborate on posts. We swap book recommendations and even physical books sometimes! If I stopped blogging I feel like the biggest loss I’d suffer would be the amount of friends I have. I really truly hope to meet some of them in person some day because I feel like we’ve fostered such a unique and special friendship through our writing.

While there’s always the risk of comparing lives or feeling jealous rage over perfectly edited IG photos, I think this community is a healthy place for inspiration. I constantly feel inspired to clean out my closet, cook a new dinner recipe for K, treat myself to a bubble bath and a glass of wine, or just take a walk on a pretty day. The ladies that I follow are constantly reminding me to enjoy life and be kind to myself (and others) and keep my environment healthy and productive and personal. That message gets lost or muddled in the fast-paced world outside our blogs. I honestly find that keeping close to and reading the words of other bloggers helps me to stay grounded and focused. They spread encouragement and acceptance and change, and in return I find myself doing the same.

It’s probably the most superficial reason for blogging, but I love the recommendations that come out of this environment. Speaking specifically about the bloggers I choose to follow, I think all the women are genuine and honest in their reviews. I find so many incredible books and movies, make-up products and shoes, clothing sales and Amazon steals from this community. It’s incredibly helpful come Christmas or birthdays or a treat yo’ self day.

I’m not an influencer. I made my very first sponsored post a few weeks ago and I didn’t get any money- they simply sent me a canvas to review. (It was awesome and I loved the whole experience, by the way.) I’m not a sales person so you’ll never see something here that I don’t love. I love to talk about my dogs and life and marriage and travel and books so that’s actually what you’ll see here 95% of the time.

So no, I don’t believe traditional blogging is dead and I’ll be around this space for as long as it’s fun and rewarding and therapeutic. I hate when blog-friends fade away, but I understand. I see my blog as a relationship with friends across the globe and I truly wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m grateful that you spend time here and I hope you get as much out of the blog world as I have and do. ❤︎

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Silly Songs with Audrey

(Did you get that? It was a Veggie Tales reference #lame Hahaha.)

Today is my Friday and, in celebration of that, I’m sharing some of my favorite jams that define my life, courtesy of Alyssa‘s Back to Blogging non-challenge challenge!

I’ve seen Kathy and Nadine do this already and I didn’t think I’d be able to come up with anything, but they’ve inspired me  🙂 I’ve settled on a solid five.

How I’ll Always Be  [Tim McGraw]

“I’m a little more beer bottle beer joint than a fancy bar | I’m a little more sitting up high on the road than a little car | I’m a little more bust ya back than take it for free”

“I’ll always be a fan of ol’ stray dogs and guitars playin’ | One room churches, back road walks and front porch swingin’ | Sunset skies, bonfire nights, I love the simple things | That’s how I’ll always be”

. . .

Grey Street [Dave Matthews Band]

“Oh look at how she listens | She says nothing of what she thinks | She just goes stumbling through her memories | Staring out on to Grey Street”

. . .

Feel That Fire [Dierks Bentley]

“She wants to wear my shirt to bed | She wants to make every stray a pet | And drive around in my truck with no place to go”

. . .

Caught Up In You [38 Special]

“So caught up in you | Little girl | That I never wanna get myself free | And baby it’s true | You’re the one | Who caught me, baby you taught me | How good it could be”

*Can we please just appreciate how 80s this video is?? Hehe

. . .

Crazy [Ben Rector]

“Last night was crazy, yeah we tore it up again | Kicked off our shoes and went to bed by 9pm | We were balling and Netflix | We turned it up to ten | Last night was crazy”

. . .

I have always been a huge music person, and there are a million songs that I just love, but I wanted to limit this post to ones that I really felt define my life. Our couples song didn’t make the list this time (I’ll Be by Edwin McCain), nor did the song I walked down the aisle to (Baby Blue by DMB). Both great songs, but not necessarily life-defining  🙂 (K is also upset I didn’t share You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate because I tend to sing it loudly when I drink a little too much.)

If you haven’t already done the link-up, what songs define your life?

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What I Wish I Knew…

I was going to rant today but after yoga on Monday I felt peaceful (for like 5 minutes) and decided to delete my post. (For curious minds like mine, I was going to fuss about our rude ass neighbor and the clustercuss that was Sunday night’s debate. Just FYI.) Instead, today I’m linking up with Mattie & Lexi for Weekly Lessons and Alyssa for her Back to Blogging non-challenge.

So let’s talk about the one thing about today I wish I knew one year ago.

I had to read that sentence a few times before I finally grasped the prompt. One year ago today I wrote this post. I was worried freaking out about turning 25. Oh silly little Audrey- you fool.

A year ago today I wish I’d known that things are very, very similar. I think that might disappoint some people, but on the verge of turning the big 2-5 I was so terrified of change. To be honest, this past year has been calm, fun, and stable. I think that’s something we (K and I) really needed.

So that’s it. That’s all I want 2015 Audrey to know. I doubt she’d make it this far if she was aware of what the presidential race was to become. Ugh.

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