Tangible Dreams

Some nights, while I rock M to sleep, I think about what would make me happy. Not in that moment exactly, but in life. And it’s a tough question to answer, because I’m very happy. I have a family that I couldn’t have designed more perfectly, we live comfortably, and I have a job I enjoy (although it’s extremely stressful right now). But as far as material and lifestyle choices, what could I be doing differently to facilitate more joy?

I know the adage about money/things/etc. not being able to make you happy, and to an extent I agree, but having the right things (or nixing the wrong things) can absolutely affect your happiness. So while I think the human/animal ratio is spot on for me, the s t u f f could always be more tailored.

I’m sitting in an armchair in the corner of my bedroom typing this. There is a big bowl of popcorn beside me, it’s storming outside, and both dogs are snoozing within 5 feet of me. This is a dreamlike moment for me. So how do I capture this coziness and keep it going always?

Late September to early March will always be my favorite time because I think it’s easier to be cozy and chill. (I know the seasonal depression people are scoffing at me- my husband is one of them.) I wasn’t sure how I’d handle camper life when we first bought it last year, but being in the camper is one of my favorite places. It’s small, cozy & organized, filled with comfy things, and it has a fireplace. I love it.

I don’t believe that wanting material things makes you vain or unhappy. I dream of some day building a home that gives me the same comfortable vibe as our camper. I want a wardrobe that is more me and less comfy mom/quarantine hag. (Not a bigger wardrobe- a smaller, different one.) None of this is a priority and it doesn’t make me unhappy to not have it, but it’s something that brings me joy to dream about. And I don’t think we give enough credit to those materialistic dreams and tangible goals. I think we sometimes feel shameful about wanting more/different things.

When I’m rocking M I simply have more brain space and less outside noise to work with. I can pray or dream or plan without someone needing a snack or their nose wiped or the backdoor opened to go potty (kid or dog? You decide). It’s a moment of solace where I get to think about me. And also hold the most important thing in the world. And I love that even more than a cozy writing corner during a thunderstorm 🖤

What are your material-based dreams and goals?

-Aud

(Happy Gotcha Day to Bristol!)

Infant Days: The Epilogue

It was just over two years ago (!!) that we told the world M was going to be a little girl. A few months later that little girl entered the world and completely rocked mine to its core. It was T O U G H and I feel like I was very open and honest and blunt about our struggles with parenthood.

Sometimes I wonder if M will ever find those posts and IG pictures and FB updates, and think I felt regretful. It wasn’t always glamorous and I very rarely painted it as such. And while I hope that was/is helpful to new moms, I sometimes wonder what M will think.

So I thought I’d write a epilogue to the infant days. My 19-month-old is full bore toddler now so we’re in a completely different chapter. (Maybe even book?)

I think every parent has a favorite age. Some will say each stage was their favorite and then the next one happened and it was even better. Kudos to those moms and dads. That is not what I (or K) would tell you.

I loved the newborn snuggles but I struggled during the newborn phase. Even after we cleared the fog, it was hard to find my groove. But then M started rolling. And sitting up. And eating some soft foods.

Then she started smiling and babbling. Pointing and shaking her head. Reaching and rejecting. By the time she was 13 months she could pick out her favorite foods, point to what she wanted, and walk across the room.

And we hit our stride.

I’m sure there are many parents who do not love toddlerhood. Eighteen months is a challenging age. Some parents love newborn age, some like school age (this will be K’s favorite I bet). I am a toddler-lover through and through. M is so much dang fun.

I love that she can communicate- even when I don’t know what she’s saying. Sometimes she’s crying because there’s a thread on her pants- but you know what? I know why she’s crying and that’s such a relief. She’s feisty and inquisitive. She loves doing everything herself… but wants mom or dad close by. She follows the dogs around and expects them to follow her. She can point to and name her body parts. She loves to figure out how something works. She likes to help with everything. She tells us when she’s ready for bed (even if she’s not sold on it when it’s actually time to sleep). She’s down for any adventure. She really is such a fun kid and such a fun age.

SO… for all the struggles and tears and complaining I did 1 year ago, let me just share what a good time we’re having right now. Sure, it’s not always easy. We have tantrums and breakdowns. But dang, it’s rewarding with M. She’s one of my favorite people to hang out with.

I might be singing another tune when we potty train… or transition from crib to bed… or start thinking about preschool. But for now? I am one happy human with my sassy little toddler.

*For those that struggle with toddlerhood, it will change. I would never paint a rosier picture than it really is, but I wanted to share that motherhood isn’t miserable forever and ever with no moments of joy.

What’s New With Me

Most of my blog topic ideas come to me when I’m rocking M to sleep and I can’t jot them down.

Last week I missed SUYB day (because I haven’t finished a book yet this year) & then just said the heck with it and skipped Thursday, too. I have a freelance writing job on the side now and much of my free time and creative juices have been going to that.

I thought I might just share what’s new in my world.

Bristol is starting obedience classes next month and I am pumped. She is incredible when she wants to be & terrible when she doesn’t… It’s at 8pm on Mondays, though, so send prayers & coffee. We’re both ready to be on the couch at that hour.

We’re starting to plan a few things for 2021 and it makes me so excited. Thank Jesus we bought a camper! We’re headed to a few races this year and camping at the tracks. The tracks are having limited spectators and it’s all outside. We’ll bring our own food & drink and sleep in our own beds. It’s as safe as it can be.

We’re also (fingers crossed) planning a low key trip with my family & maybe a girls’ trip later this year. Plus both of my bffs are getting married this year. Yes, the pandemic is still a thing and I am 100% about following the guidelines- but 2021 can’t hold me down. We’ve got lives to (safely) live.

Moo has started walking. She’s also started throwing tantrums. I’m amazed at how she’s becoming more of her own little person each and every day. She’s amazing (and temperamental like her mother…). Her love for her daddy & the dogs makes me melt every freaking day.

We don’t qualify for the vaccine yet in our house but I am SO grateful that some of my friends and family have been able to get it or get on a waiting list. I’m excited for tomorrow. I’m hoping a new year and a new administration can hit reset on some of the stresses we’ve been carrying. No single person can fix or change the entire system, but I’m praying the US is moving in a better, more unified direction.

At the end of 2020 K and I jumped on the Dave Ramsey train and then jumped off (lol). I like his method but I don’t love his madness. We’re cracking down on financial goals and hopefully moving in a healthier direction with money.

Beyond all that, I can’t think of anything else to share. I started and finished Bridgerton- which was the perfect little escape. I’ve been diligently working on my island on Animal Crossing (hahaha). About 30% of our Christmas decorations still need taken down. And Enzo is still perfection except for his stank-breath (& he steals K’s seat every time he gets up, lol).

What’s something mundane but new in your world?

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!

The Good, The Good, & The Good

How’s everyone doing? It’s been a long month. Or year. Or decade? The Roaring Twenties are nuts. Or I’m nuts. Or the world is nuts. I can’t keep track.

We’re doing ok but sometimes I feel like God had the wild idea to really TOSS me into motherhood. “OH, you’re nervous and introverted and unsure about sharing your life with a needy and helpless human for the rest of your days? LET’S KICK THIS OFF WITH SOME MANDATED QUARANTINE. Enjoy motherhood!”

I’m kidding. I am exhausted, covered in slobber (M’s & Bristol’s), and drained by the end of the day but I feel fortunate to have comfort and safety, as well as time to spend with M (& K & the pups). I’m not missing her big milestones and I think that’s incredible. I also know that people are risking their lives to help others. And some people have lost their life or their loved ones… so I am aware that this whole thing is not God testing me with trial-by-fire motherhood.

Alrighty. Enough bitching. I’m going to share some good things with you and then you’re going to do the same (in the comments)!

My best friend just asked me to be in her wedding!! I am SO excited. It’s next May so we have plenty of time to match our masks to our dresses. (JK PLEASE let this be over by then.) I can’t wait to shop with her and help her prep and plan the pre-wedding festivities. Oh yeah… I’m not just IN the wedding- I’m her matron of honor! I am so excited!!

Maddie can now roll over both ways with no hesitation. She’s now trying very very hard to crawl… GULP. She’s mostly just lays on her stomach, straightens her arms, or yells really loudly and kicks her legs. She hasn’t figured out that she needs to do all that at the same time… thankfully. She’ll be 5 months on May 4th. She needs to cool it.

Bristol and I went hiking at a local waterfall this past weekend. If you’ve watched my IG stories you might know that B-town is a total nut job. Well, turns out she’s a GREAT hiking buddy. She was easy to guide and she stayed with me (on a leash, obviously). She climbed rocks and jumped logs and splashed through the creek bed. She also didn’t bother the other hikers on the trail- didn’t even show interest in them. A+ for social distancing.

We took our 7 year anniversary pictures ON our anniversary! I don’t know if that’s ever happened. We had nothing better to do and it was a pretty day so we checked it off the list.


That about wraps it up for now. I’m forcing rainbow and sunshine today because it’s tough to wade through the crap sometimes. We have multiple loved ones out of a job, family members that have been hospitalized (fortunately NOT with covid-19), and tough business decisions. But there’s a lot of good out there, too.

Speak of… I’m just throwing around the idea of this, but would anyone be interested in a Pass the Good Stuff train? Essentially a small gift/goodies chain… I’d assign you someone to send a little happiness to. It could be a gift card for coffee, flowers, a new book… anything you want to send! (And someone would send you a special something, too.) Any takers?

Ok. Enough blabbering. Tell me about the good things in your life!