It’s Not You, It’s Me

The internet is strange. I’ve been blogging here for almost 6 years and I’ve made some absolutely wonderful, caring, supportive friends (whom I’ve never met & may never meet). I’ve also been putting my life, my family’s life, my hobbies, and my opinions out into the universe for the past 6 years. Oddly enough, that doesn’t really bother me.

Lately I’ve felt like a stranger in my own home, though. I feel like I’m tip-toeing around and I’m anxious about every interaction. It’s not how I want to feel when I’m just trying to a) express myself and b) unwind. So I need a break from the traditional blogging content.

Many of you guys follow me on IG and I love that we’re able to connect and catch up and interact there. 😊 I’ve never been and will never be about numbers- I don’t care about quantity of readers, only the quality.

I’ll show up for Show Us Your Books with Steph and Jana.
I’ll still be posting M’s 9 month and 1 year updates.
I’ll keep track of & update my 101 in 1001 list.

I’m also going to keep writing. I’m hoping to come back to this space more regularly in December. (I will reevaluate then.) I should have lots and lots and lots of drafts by then.

I’m not shutting anything down… I’m just going from part time to part-part time. So I hope you’ll still check back here every so often. I just need a little solace. A little privacy. A little break from being an open book.

And I know I don’t need to explain or justify myself to you guys 🖤 but I wanted to address my quietness.

I’m not as on top of it with reading blogs as I used to be, but I promise I’m still keeping up with you guys, too.

See you in September for M’s update!

Spread a Little Sunshine…

When I first started blogging I got nominated for the Sunshine Award that floats around blogland every few months/years. I think it’s a cute little award because a) it means some blogger somewhere is thinking of you & your blog and b) you get to answer some tag questions (and who doesn’t enjoy that?!). Anyway, Bev from Confuzzledom tagged me for the award a few weeks ago ❤︎

sunshine blogger

The rules are… thank the blogger who tagged ya, answer your 11 questions, ask 11 more bloggers 11 new questions, and display the Sunshine Award. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

1) What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2018?
My two 5 star books of the year so far are HP & the Chamber of Secrets, which was a reread, and Three Dark Crowns.

2) If you could have any animal as a pet what would it be?
(In this imaginary scenario you have the perfect conditions to keep it happy and healthy and there is no danger of being eaten.)
Let’s be real… probably a fox. But I also would love to have a hawk. I think they’re stunning. And also a wolf. And a mountain lion. Pretty much any animal… (I’m a firm believer in letting wildlife be wild. I know you can own foxes and hawks. I never will.)

3) What food could you happily eat every day?
Ice cream. Rice. Chips & salsa. Not together, of course.

4) What is your favourite thing about the place you live?
I like the size of my town. I also love all the hills, trees, and farmland on the outskirts of town. And I love living in the Midwest.

5) Where were you born?
Born & raised in Ohio.

6) Are you eating or drinking anything right now?
Coffee, per usual. Lol

7) What is one talent you wish you had?
I wish I could play the piano. I also wish I could speak another language (German) fluently. Technically those are both things I could work on…

8) Do you have a favourite board game?
It used to be Life, but I really like any board game. Clue is another fav. And Trivial Pursuit. K hates playing board game, though.

9) What is your favourite thing about blogging?
All the friends I’ve made. I also love the creative outlet.

10) What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Probably chocolate covered crickets in 6th grade biology. But I’ve also had snails, turtle soup, alligator bites, and a small piece of a dog treat. *shrug*

11) If you won a large sum of money, what’s the first thing you would do?
In this order… buy land in the country and open a no kill shelter/sanctuary for dogs & cats & farm animals, build Kyle a large garage and let him fill it with cars he loves, pay off debt for my parents, in-laws, and siblings.

Those were fun! Thanks again, Bev!!

Eleven bloggers is a lot to tag so I’m going to nominate/tag some friends who I know enjoy questions like these. But please play along, too, if you want to answer them! Don’t be shy!

Alright Tanya (A Mindful Migration) & Stephanie (Not Entirely Perfect) & Rebecca Jo (Knit by God’s Hand) & Nadine (Life by Nadine Lynn), here are your questions:

1) If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with that time?
2) If you were transported to another decade, which decade would you choose?
3) What’s something you wish you knew more about?
4) Would you rather live in a castle, mountain cottage, seaside bungalow, or Beverly Hills mansion?
5) What’s a food that you hated as a kid and love as an adult?
6) Are there any “mythical creatures” (big foot, unicorns, ghosts) that you believe in?
7) What is something about you that people think is weird?
8) If you had to move out of your city/town, where would you choose to live?
9) What’s your favorite television channel?
10) What is your favorite dessert food?
11) What’s your favorite kind of writing to do? (i.e. blog post, creative, letter, etc.)

If you ladies don’t want to answer the questions I will definitely not be heartbroken 🙂 All for fun.

Talk to Me About Content

Let’s be really really real. Do y’all come here because you enjoy reading what I write, or are you here because I comment on your blog frequently and you feel obliged to return the favor? (I’m not asking that in a fishing-for-compliments kind of way- I’m really on the fence about my content here.) I pick the blogs that I read based on what topics and writers interest me. Some bloggers teach me about new places and things (Stephanie, Olya, Alexandra) and some make me laugh out loud every single time (Mattie, Erin, Nadine) and some make me think about things I’ve never considered (Carolann, Erin, Chelsea, Steph) and some are just super uplifting (Rebecca Jo, Chelsea, Lindsay). And then there are a handful of folks that I’ve only started reading that I really love. All that to say sometimes I questions what I’m putting out here in the blog world.

(Also, if you’re in the market for new blogs to read, I recommend all those ladies up there.)

So without doing a survey, tell me what you enjoy reading most- both here and in the blog world.

I’ve said it before, but I write what I write because I like to write it- so that won’t change. But I’m always curious if people enjoy travel posts or book reviews or about me lists or wishlists or personal stories. Specifically from me, in my voice.

If you don’t care or you’re here out of obligation that’s fine, too.

So if you feel moved to comment and critique/advise me I’d be ever so appreciative. And if you don’t want to that’s ok; have a great week regardless.

I’ll end this with a Lylee+Enzo pic because we’re coming up on their “Gotcha-versaries”:

dog_picture

Thanks, friends ❤︎

audielou.com_signature

Blogging Has Made Me a Kinder Person

Before I launch into this I need to point out how weird the word “kinder” looks. Also, that’s the German word for “children” so that’s what I see when I read that title. All of this is 100% off topic. ALSO, I’m guest posting on Olya’s blog today! Go there next!!

I was commenting on a blog a few days ago and I thought to myself, “Wow, this is a really positive, encouraging comment. Go you!” (I swear I don’t have such confident, self-praising thoughts often.) The reason I took notice in my words and tone was because I haven’t always been an uplifting person. There’s always room for more improvement and I was never a Negative Nelly, but for a long time I was a Smug Sarcastic Susie.

I mean, I’m still sarcastic- that’s forever a part of me like my skin or eyelids or love for Harry Potter. But when you comment on a blog or share a post 97.8% of the time that author deserves genuine thoughts, praises, well-wishes, etc. There’s a time and a place for sarcasm (and I am always at that place during that time), but I have formed so many genuine, positive friendships with ladies via Blogland that I would have never sought out or nurtured like I do if it weren’t for this space here.

I’m now very conscious of what I say or type. I’ve never been an internet troll and as a human behind my blog I am fully aware that there are humans behind every blog. Most times I feel a sincere friendship with those humans. I don’t text any of those ladies (although if you’d like to be text-friends hit me up via email- I’m game!) but we SnapChat and comment on IG with one another, and daily things that remind me of certain bloggers compel me to tweet them thoughts and pictures throughout the week. I’ve also bounced blog and novel ideas off these ladies. I honestly didn’t think I’d find community here, but I have.

And it’s made me a kinder person. I use the words “jealous” and “hate” less often (just like I’d hoped!). Blogland has given me more respect for stay at home moms, working moms, part-time working moms, dog & cat moms, women with seen and unseen illnesses, travelers, writers, saleswomen, lawyers, realtors, public speakers, accountants, and everyone else living a life different than mine. I’m calmer. I’m more calculated. And I feel like I’m unique yet similar to others, all at the same time. My struggle is authentic and personal, but it’s relatable to others and it’s only temporary- whatever it is.

So thank you. Thank you to those who read my blog or allow me to read yours. Thank you to the folks who like or comment on my posts and the ones who quietly read my words and then click away to another blog. Thank you to the folks who show me support, kindness, and understanding through your keyboard. I hope I can pay you back 10xs over.

I look forward to growing and reading and improving with you 🙂  Honestly, I wanted to list everyone but there are well over 30 and I was too afraid to leave people out ❤︎

audielou.com_signature

 

Blog Blues and Blog Favorites

I will admit that I’m in a slump since my week-long blogging break. Taking a step back was the wrong move for me; I really enjoy this community and when I’m not focused on writing thing here I’m focused on the icky-ness of the world around me.

Like Donald Trump.

Next week my state votes and I am PRAYING that it doesn’t disappoint me. I want to throw up when I think about that “man.” He’s really not a man… he’s that poop emoji. He’s literally poop with a face. And a microphone.

Sorry… now I’m just rambling.

While we’re on the topic (…we’re not), I made a Facebook page for my blog. Do you like me? (Shameless plug. I apologize.)

It’s not “Friday Favorites” but last week I read some AWESOME posts and I want to share them today.

  • Cat spoke the words of my sensitive, over-analyzing, grudge-holding heart with her reflection on friendships. Does “it’s not you, it’s me” work on bffs?
  • Taylor is so ON POINT with her sermon about men and women in long term relationships. Honestly though, we’re all just ring-obsessed, pie-baking, wanna be homemakers, right? PREACH, GIRL!
  • Macy is calling you out and calling me out, and it’s something we need to hear– especially during an election year!
  • I’ve never been in the dating game as a dog mom, but I think Alanna covered all the bases on Friday with her post about being in a relationship with a human and balancing the responsibility of owning a dog!

So there you have it. Go check out those fly ladies because their heads are way more in the game today than mine is!

Also!! (*squealllll*) Chelsea made a HUGE announcement on Wednesday! I’ve never met her or her mister but I am just TOO excited for them!

happy_dance

Happy Monday, kiddos.

audielou.com_signature