I’m Not A Lot of Fun to Be Around

This week M was diagnosed with an inner ear infection. (It’s her second one ever.) We’ve been having some rough nights so I’m actually relieved to find out there’s a reason for the sleeplessness. This ear infection follows a few weeks of the stomach flu (for all of us), insane allergies, and sickness amongst our extended families. Add lack of sleep, missed days of work, and backyard battles between Bristol and the groundhogs… and you’ve got a very grumpy Audrey.

I’d love to say I’m holding it together with the grace of a good Christian Pinterest-mom, but I am very much not. I apologized to K and said, “I know I’m not a lot of fun to be around around.” He informed me that I wasn’t wrong.

How does Joanna Gaines do it? Believe me when I say I am not jealous of her- five children and a home/media conglomerate is not my dream. But is there a Hearth & Hand collection of boxed Gaines-energy…? Because I’d like to order a set.

I have my strengths but I have my weakness, too, and sometimes they shine bright like a diamond. I feel like I’m dropping the ball more often than balancing it. *And it’s a boulder. It might just be a weird stage of pandemic life. I hope it’s just a weird stage of pandemic life. Or maybe this is the new normal as a mom of a toddler who doesn’t sit still EVER.

My kitchen is messy. Our toilets need bleached. I don’t know the last time M “brushed” her teeth. The dogs are behind on flea & tick AND Enzo has an infection. PLUS the deep freeze lost power and I need to scrub the rotten blood out of it. Not to mention the garden beds have weeds, the vacuum is collecting spider webs, and there are actual spiders that M enjoys watching living between the glass and screen in the windows.

I’m like a less glamorous, mildly disgusting Morticia Addams.

Then, this week, someone told me that they think really highly of me.

And it caught me completely off guard.

I try to be very real online and IRL. I try to share the dirt as often as I do the highlights. So… it was just an incredibly flattering compliment from a distant friend (who is equally more so killing it out there in the world).

And so, even if your porcelain bowl is a little more marbled, please know that someone out there thinks you’re doing a swell job. Maybe it’s your spouse, maybe it’s an internet friend, maybe it’s your cat. But someone is cheering for you.

Have a super weekend ❤️

Trying to Be Nice

Let’s get real today. There are women in this world who we’d all “love to hate.” Of course, in all actuality, we have no reason to dislike these women- they’re kind, beautiful, honest, friendly, and- in some cases- God-loving. On top of that they’re usually ridiculously creative and they always have the perfect messy bun. Their coffee is always warm and abundant and in a cute little mug that reads, “Stressed, Blessed, and Coffee Obsessed.” Their children are adorable and polite. Their rescue dogs are the perfect blend of Australian shepherd and husky, and their husbands bring them gorgeous white flowers on a random Tuesday to display on their Pottery Barn desk.

You have someone in mind right now, don’t you… Maybe it’s Joanna Gaines. Maybe it’s another blogger. Maybe it’s someone you know in real life. Regardless, it’s a woman who always seems to have it totally put together. And even when she doesn’t, there’s a beautiful smile on her face and she’s asking you what’s going on in your life and how can she help.

So often I wish I was that woman. I wish that I could look at my mantel and just know that a copper bucket with an old wooden spoon and two small succulents would fit perfectly. I wish that I could apply my make-up at 5am and still look like a put-together adult by 3pm. I wish that I was quick to offer grace and mercy to others, instead of the sarcasm and judgement that tend to fly from my lips.

Kind 2

I’m not trying to get down on myself today… I have quite a few qualities that I’m proud of. They could all use some perfecting, but I like to think that goes for everyone. It just seems like these “perfect” women never slip.

I know that’s not true, but when they do slip they don’t bring anyone down with them. They’re not vengeful. They’re not nasty. They’re not hurtful. Those are three things that I know I can be and have been in the past. Those are the traits I’d like to weed out. As of late, I’m consciously trying to delete the words “jealous” and “hate” from my vocabulary. Do I wish I was participating in the trip/experience/etc. that you are? Yes. But more than that I am genuinely happy that you are getting to have that vacation. Instead of saying, “I’m so jealous of you” I’m trying to say, “I’m so happy for you!” And I’m really meaning it.

Personally, my faith plays a role in this change, too. In the past I’ve never uttered or typed the words, “I’ll pray for you.” But I’ve said it a lot lately- and then I really have prayed for those people. I told K a few weeks ago that I often pray for him. You don’t have to be religious to be nice; it just tends to go hand-in-hand for me.

Kind 1

I don’t believe that I will ever master effortless beach waves. My dogs are a weird mix of under-bite boxer and scrawny whippet. (Which I wouldn’t change for the world.) I hope that my future kids will be polite, but I don’t think they’ll ever sport a top knot or keep a cardigan on for more than a minute. (It’s too hard to climb trees in a sweater.) I’ve been drinking coffee for +3 years and I still can’t figure out how to keep it warm.

But that’s ok. These things don’t bother me; I don’t feel a need to change them.

I’d like to be nicer, though. I’d like to extend understanding and grace to those who deserve it- and more importantly, those I would have formerly felt don’t deserve it. People won’t stop being rude and nasty, but I can change my reaction. I can stop that cycle of anger and judgement. I can say “thank you” to the waitress who made us wait 20 minutes to order our drinks. I can smile politely at the scowling woman in Wal-Mart who’s shooting daggers from her eyes at me for no reason. I can refrain from gossip. I bet Joanna Gaines doesn’t gossip.

I’m not in the business of comparing myself to others- really, I’m not. But when I see traits in other people that make them shine brighter (inside and out), I tend to gravitate toward that behavior or outlook or lifestyle. It’s my path to self-improvement.

Then again, if anyone has the secret to perfect hair and well-behaved dogs I’m open to that, too… Just saying.

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