Three Things (About Me)

I saw Rebecca Jo share these prompts and I felt inspired. (She was inspired by Steph!)

Three things that make me feel free
1. Naptime
2. A warm but breezy day
3. Vacation

Three things I am inclined to forget when leaving the house
1. Library books to return
2. My drink/snack
3. A hat

Three things I recommend
1. The Gilded Age (TV show on HBO)
2. Jurassic Park (the books)
3. Standing outside in bare feet, especially in the soft grass

Three things I keep saying I should do and continue to not do
1. Wake up early
2. Exercise
3. Organize the basement

Three reading related things I don’t do that you might 
1. Audiobooks
2. Gravitate toward thrillers
3. Read one at a time

Three places I am dying to go 
1. Disney World
2. Switzerland
3. Williamsburg

Three things I do every day by noon
1. A cup of coffee
2. Get M up and moving
3. Know what I want for lunch, lol

Three fashion trends I can confidently say I will never do again
1. Clogs
2. Bucket hats
3. Booty shorts

Three things I’m over
1. The “sheep” rhetoric
2. All the damn drama
3. Anything Tr*mp related

Three things I’m looking forward to
1. Summer with Moo
2. Camping trips to the race track
3. Retirement LOL

What are your three things?

-Aud

Finding Another Normal

In the last two years people started talking about finding a “new normal” after the pandemic. We wondered what that would look like… Would we have new priorities? New goals? Would we come out of this more intentional? Compassionate? Loving?

After a few months of lockdown/masks/isolation, I think we were all convinced the answers would be a resounding YES… But now that we’re over two years into this sh*tshow, I’m not so sure that’s where we’re heading.

This is not a piece on human psychology. I am not a people expert. I actually try to avoid them at all cost.

This is a self-reflection. Because a lot has changed in the past two years.

I can’t say if it was parenthood or the pandemic (or a combination), but I am an entirely different human than I was in 2019. Things that mattered so much to me no longer do, and things I took for granted are now on my daily thankful list.

The shift could be the effects of depression and burnout. Lord knows we’re all feeling that. Why don’t I care about hosting parties anymore? Where’s my old desire to travel to every European country? Why do I feel less defined by my job when, prior to all this craziness, I was in love with what I did and what that said about me? It’s likely depression and burnout fueling an overall change that might eventually be for the better. I don’t know. I think we’re kind of in the thick of it right now so it’s hard to be objective.

Getting in the camper and soaking in hours and miles with K, M, Bristol, and Enzo sounds so good to me. Working half days and silencing my email are what I’d call “living the dream.” I want to read more books. I haven’t posted on my IG feed since Dec. 31st and that’s intentional. I don’t care about your political beliefs- if you’re not kind, you’re wrong. You don’t get to stand on the necks of others to exalt yourself.

More slow living. More loving like Jesus. More focusing on what makes me happy and celebrating others for what makes them happy. More grace in the workplace (& less stress). More letting my marriage be a priority. More letting my two year old ACT like a two year old. More dirty paws and evening snuggles.

The pandemic was not a blessing, but it has shifted our lives dramatically and brought us the time and perspective we did not know we were missing. In the beginning we soaked up days with our infant. Now we work to ration our time as a family and show up for the people we love, even when it’s tough.

It’s been a weird few years but this “other normal” is starting to feel good. I’m starting to understand the algorithm and filter to our “other” life. I can’t wait for the day we go back to not knowing what the CDC stands for, but until then I hope you’re able to piece together another normal that serves you and brings you peace and joy you might not have otherwise known.


On a totally different note, how about that halftime show?? Eminem was looking 🔥. And did you guys get yesterday’s Wordle? Danggg, NYT.

-Aud

A Shift in Goals

In August 2020 I made a 101 in 1001 list. I actually worked pretty hard on it and put a lot of thought into it. But life has been unpredictable for the past 18 months and my priorities have shifted. Many of the goals aren’t as important or achievable as they once were… So I’m going to press pause on the 101-in-1001 and shift to a 35×35 schedule.

I’m planning to reuse some of my unachieved goals because there are quite a few I’d like to see through… just not all 101. So here is my revised list for my 35×35. I have a few years to accomplish these; I’m currently 31. I think.

  1. Re-read HP 4, 5, 6, & 7 illustrated versions; as available
  2. Stop biting my nails FOR GOOD
  3. Stop scrolling in bed
  4. Create a home master list
  5. Build shade/covering for back deck
  6. Landscape backyard
  7. Change out kitchen dishes & glassware
  8. Finish paying off credit cards
  9. One month shopping ban
  10. Open and contribute to retirement
  11. Perfect the art of pie making
  12. Scrapbook marriage years (6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
  13. Celebrate our 10 year anniversary with a fun trip
  14. Find a church home
  15. Adopt a family for Christmas
  16. Visit Disney World with K&M
  17. 4 new NASCAR tracks
  18. See the West Coast
  19. Travel to an all-inclusive again
  20. Take M to Williamsburg
  21. Go on a girls’ trip
  22. Visit Nantucket with M
  23. Stick to a gratitude journal every day for a month
  24. Leave 5 inspirational notes for strangers to find
  25. Write a letter to 40-year-old-me
  26. Go white water rafting
  27. Visit a National Park
  28. Meet a blog friend in person
  29. Leave a 100% tip for good service
  30. Finish our wedding book
  31. Invite neighbors for dinner
  32. Plan/host a block party
  33. Paint a picture
  34. Take photos of the same location through all 4 seasons
  35. Spot a shooting star

Some of these are big, some are not. Even with the ‘demic going on, I think I can achieve many of these. You can find this list under the tab at the top of the page (35 x 35).

Any big goals you’re working on this year (or in the next 4)?

-Aud

Bring on the New Year – 2021 Recap

Let’s walk 2021 to the door and maybe lock it once they’re gone… It wasn’t the worst houseguest we’ve ever had- we didn’t kick them out- but I’d be content if they never came back. Ya know?

Honestly, this year was more difficult for me than the dreaded 2020. Events were held, but it was a risk to attend. I felt itchy and wanted to take M to explore… but things aren’t quite right yet. We had a pretty slow and quiet year. (2020 was wonderful with an infant/baby… so much alone time and bonding and no where to be. Social distancing with a toddler is… rough.) We tried to do a family vacation but our vehicle broke down. Then I had not one, but TWO canceled trips later in the year. Sigh. It wasn’t my year to travel. M was sick quite a bit, too, but none of us caught the big C19, so I’m grateful. (Hand foot and mouth wasn’t a walk in the park for any of us, though. SHEESH.)

Anyway… there were good moments, too. We added kitties to the (office) family. We added a car to the garage (& now we need a bigger garage). K and M both had necessary and beneficial surgeries. My two best friends got married (to other people, lol). And we went on some great camping trips. We are healthy and comfortable and all together. I can’t complain much.

I’m looking forward to 2022, though. I’m putting it out there in the universe. Lord, give us a good one 🖤

On to the photo collages…

New Year’s Day | M can walk! | 🖤 | K’s surgery | Bristol is 2 | A trip to FL to love on Aub | Snow Day | Valentine’s Day | Joining A&M’s wedding party!
A visit from Aub | Kayla’s bachelorette party | Kayla’s bridal shower | bed head | K’s bday | St. Patrick’s Day | camping at Bristol | dirt racing at Bristol | Easter
Mowing with Dad | new scooter | visiting Dad at work | 8th wedding anniversary | Fridays with Andria | sick baby | rehearsal dinner | Kayla’s getting married! | Kayla’s wedding
camping with friends | Memorial Day | Mid Ohio racing | welcome Mac & Cheese! | splash pad with F&C | Father’s Day | bike rides | 4th of July Indy Cars | ear tube surgery for M
farm visits | K behind the drums | Frankenmuth | Boyne Falls, MI | family | spa weekend with Aub | 🖤 | DCI in Indy | science center with friends
Labor Day | rehearsal dinner | Aub’s getting married! | Aubrey’s wedding | county fair | fall festival | my bday camping | pumpkin patch | new car!
gender reveal for Kayla | Halloween | PASIC in Indy | Christmas trees | Thanksgiving | Moo turns Two!| Kayla’s baby shower | Christmas | lounging before the new year

Looking back through my pictures to make this post is such a happy experience for me. Now that M is in the picture, it’s wild to see her growth over 12 months. But to be honest, K and I grow significantly every year, too.

What were your favorite moments of 2021?

-Aud

Winter Wonderland Coffee Date

Hello & happy Tuesday before Christmas 🎄

Today seems like a good day for a coffee date. My poor little blog (and blog friends) have been neglected this year. I’m hoping to change that in 2022. Let’s grab some warm mugs (coffee or tea- I’ve been sipping on both lately), add a little oat milk (trust me!), and catch up.

If we were having coffee I’d ask what your holiday plans are. I love Christmas time. I especially love Christmas Eve. Adding M to the mix has been magical, but jumbled. Between a new baby and then COVID, we haven’t had a “normal” Christmas in a while. We’re working on a new normal for ourselves and our families.

Speaking of Christmas, this is my third one as a mom and, ever since M came along, I’ve been very stuck on all the feelings Mary likely felt. I’d never thought about her role in the Christmas story until I understood what it meant to raise a human. Delivering a child in a loud, cold, dirty barn aside- it would break my heart to know that I had to share my perfect, beautiful, fragile child with the entire world. People would hate him, just because he was alive. It’s terrifying and soul-crushing. Not to mention being an unwed mother back then and paraded through the country as such. It’s just…. whew. What a woman. It took a very strong and powerful mother to raise the world’s savior.

(And then she had to watch him die. But those are my Easter-mom-emotions. Don’t get me started there.)

If we were having coffee I would ask about your plans for 2022. We’re scheduled to get our booster soon. My bff is moving back to the state(!!). M is starting dance class in January. My other bff is having a baby(!!).Those are the big moments happening in the first quarter. I think it’s going to be a beautiful year. I’m cautiously optimistic.

If we were having coffee I’d ask where all the bloggers went. I feel like the trendy thing is now tiktok… Is that right? It went from blogs to IG to tiktok? I don’t know. I’m not about to start tok-ing and I like my little space right here. Do we think Blogland will be revived any time soon? (Maybe I’m wrong- maybe it’s alive and well and it’s just me.)

If we were having coffee I would admit that I’m finding less to be more. I’ve taken a step back from my side freelance gig. I’m trying to wake up earlier (per my husband’s insistence). I always feel the urge to cut back and cut out and cut down toward the end of the year. I crave simplicity but struggle with it, too. Does that make sense?

And now I need to get back to work. We were supposed to be on a little trip right now- a much needed pre-Christmas adventure- but sickness spoiled the fun. Fortunately, it’s not COVID. Stay safe, everyone.

What would you like to share with me on our coffee date?

-Aud