A Grateful Heart

I’m not trying to kick a limp cactus here, but 2020 has been a weird year.

It feels like my insides are a big ball of tangled yarn that just keeps getting bigger & messier. Pretty much like this:

I’m struggling with isolation, social and civil unrest, interpersonal problems, parenting hurdles… but at the same time I’m trying to find serenity and routine and contentment. As K put it last night, “Your [my] brain is not a fun place to be right now.”

But sometimes I can straighten out a squiggly line or two with a little gratitude. So that’s what we’re doing today.

This week I am grateful for:

My husband. Forever and always. That guy is always in my corner and I know how special that is. I am so grateful for his love and trust and loyalty. M is one lucky girl to have a dad like him.

My small town. Every time I go to a large city I feel grateful to live in a small town. Roadside ice cream stands, town square car shows, a lively and beautiful park. It feels like our town grows and improves every year. I feel lucky to raise M in a relatively safe community like ours.

Friends who help carry burdens, encourage growth, and celebrate little moments. 

My “new” car. K traded in our work truck and my daily driver for a new pick-up. So I got the Jeep Grand Cherokee that he’d been driver. I love it soooooo much!

Family members who watch M during the week. I work M/W/F and M hangs out with family on those days. It’s a relief to know she’s safe and loved and snuggled while we’re earning a paycheck.

Healthy communication. The ability and freedom to speak my mind, the education and patience to discuss my opinions and beliefs, and the humility to listen and learn from others. (Granted, I’m always working on humility and education… lol.)

I was going to say my dogs… but then Bristol got into the grill grease trap and vomited all over the carpet Tuesday night. But still, I guess they can be on my list. Bristol’s love for M has been there since day 1 and I’m excited to watch them grow up together.

Of course a handful of other things: family, our healthy & safety, comfort, our jobs…

And that about sums it up for today! How about you?

I’m linking up with Rebecca Jo today for Thankful Thursday!

Thankful Thursday

I can’t decide what I talk about today so I’m link up with the beautiful Rebecca Jo for her weekly Thankful Thursdays

Image result for knit by god's hand thankful thursday

Time with my brother & sister-in-law.
My brother lives two hours away and I only see him once every month or two. He came home for Mother’s Day this weekend but my mom caught the flu Friday night so Fred & Christina stayed with us Sat. & Sun. We did dinner, breakfast, and dinner again while they were here. And I finally played Ticket to Ride for the first time! I’m sad my mom was under the weather, but I had extra time with F&C because of it so… silver lining.

My friendships.
I have a very small circle of friends. (I’ve written and deleted many posts on the topic.) Even though it’s a small group, the women that surround me are incredible. They’re supportive & invested & compassionate. We’re all in totally different stages of life with major changes/growth/struggles on our plates… but I’m so grateful that they’re always there for me regardless.

Gourmet Dinner.
The way to my heart is cooking me food- specifically something I request. While I cook 70% of the time in our house, there are a handful of foods that I eff-up every time and K excels at making. Grilled cheese is one of those foods. On Tuesday, after I was feeling drained and under the weather all day, we got home from work and K made me soup and grilled cheese. I just laid on the couch while he made it AND brought it to me. Literally the best.

What are you thankful for this week?

I More Than Love You

Last week we kicked off our trade show/travel season at work. It’s a six month chunk with roughly nine potential shows or competitions spread throughout. (We also do a trip in August.) I spend a great deal of time with my husband regardless, but traveling together pushes us physically closer for longer stretches of time in higher stress situations.

So natural I got to thinking about our marriage.

I really enjoy my husband. I think he’s funny and witty and smarter than even he knows (and, trust me, he thinks plenty highly of himself). He’s sarcastic and not romantic (in the traditional sense) and not nearly as sentimental as me, though, so I don’t always tell him how gosh damn wonderful I think he is.

But I realized this weekend- five years post wedding & 11 years after agreeing that we should, in fact, date- that I ought to tell him sometimes.

I drank a few adult beverages one night on our recent business trip and *accidentally* gushed to a mutual friend about how our business’ success is 50% luck and 50% my husband (plus all the people we’ve had cycle in and out over the last 6 years, self included). I told them that K has a large ego so I’d never tell him this, but he’s so damn smart- socially & logically. He has no business or engineering education but he’s really done something incredible with the company.

The applicable part of this story is that I have these thoughts about K but I don’t ever tell him. Maybe our marriage is rare, but I doubt it. Chances are there are some “obvious” things you admire about your spouse (or grandma or brother or best friend) that you don’t tell them because… well… why would or should you?

So I’m encouraging you to tell them. It makes your marriage or relationship or work experience or neighborhood that much better. People like being told that the things they’re doing and saying every single day are being noticed and admired and appreciated.

They say to tell loved ones that you love them. Or to say thank you more often. Or to spend quality time with people. But I also encourage you to notice what you admire or appreciate about someone & tell them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I feel like we were so overdue for a holiday, ya know? Thanksgiving arrived just in time.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by friends or family or pets or strangers- whatever or whomever you have that make you feel loved and grateful.

I addition to all the normal stuff (husband, dogs, fam, etc.), I’m incredibly thankful for the blogging community that I find myself immersed in daily. From the random packages to the planned gift swaps, from my blogger pen pal group to the people I email with and befriend on Facebook… I’m just really grateful for you all ❤︎

If you find yourself here over the holiday/weekend, I hope you know that I’m glad you’ve stopped by. If you’re looking for something to read while you wait for the guests to arrive or the turkey to cook or the bloating to subside 😉 be sure to check out these posts:

Have a great Thanksgiving & weekend!

I Can’t Think of Anything to Say But ‘Thank You’

I wasn’t planning on posting today, but the amount of feedback and love and advice I received on Monday was so overwhelming. Originally I had a little “thank you” sentence added to Wednesday’s post but I decided that just wasn’t enough.

I write in this space because it helps me collect my thoughts and express my opinions or imagination in a structured way. When I started Life as Louise (just over two years ago) I wasn’t sure it’d attract any traffic but I didn’t care- I just wanted a space to call my own and write creatively. The people that I’ve ‘met’ and now interactive with almost daily are such an unexpected bonus. You guys are the sweetest souls and I feel so happy when I get to connect with you, both here and on your blogs. I really, really appreciate your thoughts from Monday and I feel so lucky to have this community of supportive, intelligent women. You are all truly wonderful friends. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I feel so grateful for this blog and everyone that takes the time to visit and interact here 🙂

(Even if you’re not a comment-er, I’m glad you’ve stopped by!)

I typically have a list of blogs saved to my “favorites” on my computer than I visit most days. When new people interact with me or I see interesting comments on other blogs I visit those writers and sometimes add them to my list. (Just FYI if you were curious about my following habits.) Even if you don’t get a notification, I always respond to blog comments here.  It might take me a week, but I try to address everyone that stops by and leaves a thought.

I’m happy to know what topics interest people most- thank you for taking the time to address that on Monday! I’d planned on continuing to “just be me” in this space, but it seriously warmed my heart to hear how many people look forward to coming here and reading because they see me as genuine or honest or real. You guys are the most wonderful humans ❤︎

I’m happy to be in the smaller pond of bloggers (not that I consider you guys small- I’m just defining myself here). I’m glad that I can write whatever comes to me and I feel so awestruck that people actually enjoy it. Thank you for your kindness and friendship. I never imagined this outcome when I started blogging.

So before I go, I’ve seen some other bloggers do this and I absolutely love it: I always send Christmas cards to friends and family! I’ve connected with so many amazing people here & this year I want to extend my mailing list to blog-friends, too! (Essentially it’s a holiday card with two of the cutest puppies ever on it… 😉 ) Don’t be shy- if you want a Christmas card this year shoot me an email with your address! audreylou09@gmail.com
*(I think it goes without saying, but obviously I’d keep your address 100% private!)

Ok, I’m off to hit up my third Thanksgiving dinner.
No comments today since I’m still warm and fuzzy from Monday❤︎

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