Hey Lou Writes

The Grey Matters


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Always Be True. Period.

Day 25, Saturday: Something someone told you about yourself that you’ll never forget (good or bad)

It wasn’t so much something about me, as it was advice, that changed my life and stuck with me forever.

Always, always, be true to your husband. – Grandpa Bob

I had the very special opportunity to spend time with my Great Grandpa Bob in the last few years of his life. He was the most interesting man and let me tell you… I have yet to find someone with eyes that twinkle the way his did, a smile as contagious, and an outlook on life that was more positive.

To put it simply: I have yet to meet anyone as happy as Bob was.

I try to be more like him each and every day.

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might have been the most attractive human being to ever walk the earth, just sayin. is that weird? to have a crush on my great grandpa?

We sat together and chatted for hours and hours.

He sang, “You load sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.” He was willing to answer any question. He ended most of his profound statements with a strong, “Period!” (“And that was how it was! Period!”) He may have had moonshine some whiskey in his fridge.

We discovered that he and I have the same hands. I used to dislike my thicker fingers (Meredith got the slender, skinny and delicate hands of my mother’s side) but when I noticed that each of my fingers were shaped exactly like Bob’s, suddenly I loved my hands.

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There’s that SMILE!!!! Please, God, let me be cool enough to still sit on santa’s lap when I’m 90 years old. LOVE THIS!!!

He told me he loved me. He told me that God would always be with me. He told me to always, always, be true to my husband.

Oh, and about his continuously positive outlook on life… one more little fact… he was blind.

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when Meredith and I went to visit!!

Grandpa Bob had no problem talking about his own death, which he referred to as “crossing the threshold into eternity” and nothing else. We talked about heaven. He wanted his body to be donated to science, to help others with the same eye condition. He lived to be over 90 years old and his mind was sharper than a blade. (I hope I also get that gene.) Certain points in our conversation brought us both to tears. I suppose I get that strong emotion from Bob, too. We laughed hysterically and he told me outrageous stories from his youth.

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giving him a smooch!

He had Retinitis Pigmentosa, an eye condition that worsens with time until eventually, you are legally blind. My grandmother (the beautiful one who I had mentioned here) and uncle also have this.

They, too, are the happiest people I’ve ever met.

How is this possible? How can these three individuals, who were robbed of something as precious as sight, still smile wider than all others? How can they laugh, cry, and show emotion that seems to radiate out from them without them trying? How can they see so much?

I’ll never know and I doubt I’ll ever be as wise or gracious or sparkle the way they do. But I’ll never stop trying.

I’ll never forget my Grandpa Bob, his hands, or his advice.

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my visit with Greg, the last time I saw Grandpa Bob

Love, Lou

(And I love you forever Grandpa Bob!)

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Poems, Laughter and {not} Swooning

Blog Every Day In May Challenge

 

{Today’s blog is going to be short and sweet after yesterday’s rant ;) }

Day 23, Thursday: Things you’ve learned that school won’t teach you

I’ve learned that poems don’t have to rhyme and boys don’t have to act macho in order to be strong. 

Case in point:

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PROOF that we do, for real, call each other Lou

Just in case you can’t read this, it says:

To my dearest sweet Lou,

How I love thee

You ARE my best friend

How I love sleeping in a twin bed

You ARE so warm and cuddly

I surely never want to leave

I love you so so so

You ARE the best Lou

Anyone can ever ask for

Enjoy your morning, love you so!

Lou!

*Yes, we do actually sleep in a twin bed. We’re cuddlers!*

Greg isn’t a super romancy guy. We never even went on a first date until after we were engaged. I can count with a peace sign how many times he’s gotten me flowers (um, that was my clever way of saying it’s happened maybe twice) and he would rather make me laugh than make me swoon.

I LOVE IT.

This poem is great for so many reasons. It doesn’t rhyme. He only left it for me to make me laugh. I used to have a saying that if any guy I once dated either got me a cheesy gift OR wrote me a poem/song, I would probably end the relationship. I guess I just can’t appreciate that stuff the way a girl should. There was one poem someone wrote me in high school that was so awful, I (naturally) told Greg about it as soon as we began to date. He’s been coming up with terrible poetry ever since.

Not that this was a bad one, but it did make me laugh when I woke up and saw it sitting next to my coffee mug.

Another thing I’ve learned that school never taught me:

Laughter trumps everything. 

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give him a piggy back ride

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make pretty faces so he loves you

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no pda in this pool. just laughter

 

What have you learned that school never taught you?

<3 Lou


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My Lot In Life

Blog Every Day In May Challenge

Day 16, Thursday: Something difficult about your “lot in life” and how you’re working to overcome it

Um, not to sound boastful, but I’m feeling a little bit too lucky when it comes to my “lot in life.”

This is not a blog set up for a whole lot of complaining. 

I have so much (too much?) to be thankful for. Every once in a while I wonder when everything will come crashing down because, jeez, can life really stay this good? And it’s not because Greg and I are making tons of money and buying fancy things. It’s because I’m really learning to love what I am already blessed with.

Here’s a list that may not sound like much to some, but it sounds like a great life to me:

I have….

A sturdy, comfortable house to keep me warm at night. 

A sweet husband who takes care of me in his own way. 

A laptop, and a piece of paper, so I can write.

A bookshelf filled with stories

job with nice coworkers and flexibility.

Little baby chicks

A beautiful and loving family

A body that is able to work outside and go on walks.

A mind to think about fictional stories all day long. 

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see what I mean? Too lucky

Must I go on? 

There was a time when I thought I wanted a lot more. The high school me, who is long gone, wanted to marry rich and drive a super expensive car (I won’t even tell you what type… it’s too embarrassing) and not have to work a day in my life. 

So many things have happened in the last six years to change the core of who I am and what I yearn for. Now, all I want is another warm morning where I can sit outside and the hopes of seeing a new type of bird in my backyard. (Yes, Greg and I are amateur bird watchers.)

Today I’m choosing to be grateful instead of wanting. I am choosing to be content rather than unsettled. I am choosing to go after my dreams rather than a run of the mill life. 

What’s your lot in life? 

Love, Lou 


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Chicken Nuggets

How sad! I’d never let anyone eat my little chicken babies. But I thought, you know, [evil] McDonalds aside, they are little bity cute chicken nuggets. Right?

Today’s Blog Everyday In May Challenge couldn’t be easier.

Day 14, Tuesday: Ten things that make you really happy

1) The Chicken Named Linus (named by Greg) (All of my chickens have boy names. It’s the new age thing right? I’m just being a typical parent in the two thousand tens) Linus, we suspect, might be a rooster. {S}he is the most alert, the tallest and biggest, and has different mannerisms. Always on the lookout, always scoping out whatever new thing we put in their box, always the first to explore. I’m pretty sure {s}he is at the top of the pecking order already.

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The Leader

2) The Chicken Named Ray Bradbury (named by Meredith) Poor Ray. She seems to be at the bottom of this pecking order deal, and gets pasty butt all the time. I’ve held her under the running water to get it off, and then blow dried her butt. Yes, I’ve done these things out of love. She is the most “pecked on” but seems to be getting along just fine.

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The Little Guy

3) The Chicken Named Mu’réigh (Pronounced like Murry, but hey, he’s kind of pretentious) (Named by Alex) Mu’réigh is the least problematic, calm, and normal chicken ever. So cute. She’s also becoming the fattest, or at least the widest. She’s a little ball of fluff!!!

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The No Problem Gal

4) The Chicken Named John Steinbeck (Named by Yours Truly) John is the most standoffish. She is the only one who won’t eat out of my hand. She turns around or turns her head, letting me know that the trust needs to be gained. She kind of reminds me of John Steinbeck’s writing… a bit unsure of the powers at hand. Right? I will win her love.

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The Stand Off Gal

5) Gregory Daniel Williams aka Lou He’s the kindest, funniest, handsomest (a word I made up) guy in the world. He makes my every moment worth living. I look up to him and I think we’re a perfect match.

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The Love of My Life

6) Being Married (which pretty much refers back to #5, just anything to do with Greg in general!) Our winter wedding was beautiful and perfect, though I must say, life after the wedding is even better. The last three and a half years have been the best in my life. Greg and I have both changed a lot. We’re hardly the same people. But we have changed together… which is the most important part. He’s such a great guy. More on Greg here. :)

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January 2, 2010

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Our first dance!

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We were so nervous!

7) Being an Aunt to these little guys. Carson and Landon :) They are so cute and hilarious. Landon loves cars and Buzz Lightyear. Carson loves the Hulk and animals. (Carson says he wants to be a farmer when he grows up!) They know how to share, say thank you, and give great hugs and kisses. I love my nephews!!

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Carson and Landon <3

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Their trip to my house this week. They loved picking out garlic and lettuce!

8) Family  I think my parents did a pretty good job raising us all. My oldest sister, Jessica is the only one with dark hair and green eyes. She stands out in a crowd because of her exotic beauty. She’s done a great job at leading the way in this world. Emily (mother of Carson and Landon!) is so strong. She is already such a great example of an amazing mother. She is the one ALL my guy friends in high school had a crush on. Who can blame them? Meredith is my best friend. I am so lucky to be a twin… and not just to anyone, but to the best girl in the world. She teaches me so much about how to be a better person.

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Jessica, Emily, my mom, Me, Meredith

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Love them!

9) Reading (of course) If you hadn’t realized yet, I love to read. I spend most of my time doing it. I get lost in books. I get attached to characters. It’s my favorite thing to do!

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And I always do my makeup, curl my hair, and go out to the flower groves to do it. (ha)

10) Last but not least, WRITING Writing makes me happy. I feel like I have a purpose in this life every time I sit down to write. Someday you will be able to pick my books up off the shelf at your local bookstore, but for now, read my short stories here and my poetry here. I’d be so honored it you did!!!

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Me, just being me… happy :)

<3 Lou


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Now THAT Is Real

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My parents… their teen years!

When I look at this picture, I think… “Wow, they certainly look meant to be.” They both had the style going: choker necklaces, long hair, involvement in school, what I would call “hippy mentalities,” kind smiles and good looks.

I’m so thankful that not only did this couple look good together, but they really were meant to be. Today my parents have been married for 33 years.

33 years is a long time!

It was a Tuesday. Kirsten Faye Braaten and William Bruce Wilder were getting ready to make the commitment to love each other forever. Who gets married on a Tuesday? Two people who have to work that very week, who have very little money, and who will get a discount at the hotel where one of them works. That’s who. And you know what? They say they wouldn’t have it any other way. Their small wedding was a special one. A few good friends and their families were there. They had a “reception” that took place at the hotel, in a room that wasn’t booked solely for them. My, how the times have changed.

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Mr. and Mrs. Wilder

It’s no wonder these two made it work with the bare minimum. They were meant to be. My parents hardly knew each other when they got married. They had known each other (somewhat) in college, and then, having spent some time together (a total of about 4 weekends, as they were living in separate places) knew they were meant to be. They said it was like a magical force simply willing them together- that they had hardly a thing to do with it. It was all in God’s plan.

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my mom, her two new brother in laws, and another groomsmen

Besides, look how cool my mom is. No wonder my dad fell head over heels ;)

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my mom, opening wedding presents (we played dressup with the dress she is wearing my entire childhood!)

It doesn’t take a storybook romance to make things work. I know that my parents have had their share of rough times, but they’ve always, always made it through. When I think of my own marriage, I look to them, because they never gave up on each other. They never gave up on their children, on their lot in life or on their faith that things would always be okay.

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newly weds :)

My parents have never told me to do something because of money or popularity. They’ve encouraged me and all three of my sisters to follow our dreams and be happy in doing so. Maybe it helps that they come from humble beginnings and they know it’s possible to survive on beans, rice, and a lotta love. Because of their example, I like to think I don’t want for much. I can live simply and love much.

My mom told me many times growing up that once I’m married and have started a family, people who might try to get in there and ruin it, or whose lives seem so much more exciting… that they’re just fake. They’re not real. They may look one way, but that’s just an outward appearance. Yes, others might be really exciting and kind and have great lives, but it doesn’t make mine any less. I truly believe that now. I wake up each day to an existence I am happy and content with. More than that… I wake up every day to a life that makes me smile and laugh and wish only for another simple day of the same thing. Just like my mom, I also married a great man. The love of my parents and the love I experience with Greg is something that can’t be made up. Fiction can’t compare.

So thanks, mom and dad. Thanks for sticking together for 33 years.

Because that’s real.

hats, marriage, writing

I love this one! Always having fun, those two…


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Being Patient and Kind <3

I’ve never been a huge believer in giving up something for lent. It can be fun to challenge yourself… but only if it’s just that: FUN. It’s no good to give up something and then make everyone around you as miserable as you are. Am I right, or am I right? I’ve never successfully given up one particular thing for the entire season, which always left me feeling like I didn’t accomplish something I should have.

SO! This year, rather than giving up something, like coffee or sugar or laughter (ha), I decided to add something to my every day life.

Greg and I have been reading 1 Corinthians 13 every single night.

It sounds simple… the “love is patient, love is kind” verse we all know. I have done a lot of thinking on this particular verse of the Bible, and I think that I’ve always passed it over as something that is “too popular.” How ridiculous of me, first of all. We didn’t have it read at our wedding because I wanted to be more original. Again, how ridiculous. The entire chapter is beautiful and meaningful in a way I had never understood until reading it with my husband every night. It’s perfect for a marriage. In fact, I’d say it’s downright required.

I recommend this sort of “every night ritual” for anyone. ANYONE. Single, married, divorced, dating… basically, if you interact with other people at all, this verse could do you some good. Why not try to be patient and kind in all we do? It will only make the world a better place. Why not STOP being envious of other people, STOP being too proud, and start living a more humble and content existence?

I want to be someone who isn’t quick to get angry. Especially before I ever have kids… I’d love to get my temper in check. (not that I have a crazy temper, but we can all use some improvement, I’m sure!) I want to be someone who can forgive and clean off the slate, especially in my marriage. “Love keeps no record of wrongdoing” has been one of the most influential parts of my lent challenge. I’ve let a lot of things go. I want to protect what’s important to me, trust in Greg, never give up hope for our future and persevere through it all. I’m more than three years into my marriage and I can say that I’ve failed in every single one of these and I will probably fail in them again. I’m human. All I can do is try, pray and wake up every day with a smile that we’ve made it this far! Making something real last is worth it.

The result of all this?

I’m happier, smile more often, I feel lighter (in my soul!) and my marriage is in better shape than ever before. If you read something over and over, eventually it takes on a whole new meaning. Each day something different will pop out at you. It’s just like hearing a song and because your life is different than the last time you heard it, the song has completely changed.

I recommend this challenge, and not just for lent. It’s almost over, anyway. I have a feeling that even after Easter comes and goes, Greg and I will still continue to study this passage and I will continue to pray for those changes to stay with me and grow in my heart. <3

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one of my favorite pictures of us!

On a different note, another thing I did in the past month was read one of the craziest stories of my life.

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you will not believe what these pages hold

Ever heard of Myra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal? I hadn’t, either. That is, until my brother-in-law told me I should read it. Let’s just say, I wouldn’t tell anyone under the age of 18 to read this book. It was excellent, but uncomfortable (aren’t most great books at least a little bit uncomfortable?) I don’t want to spoil the ending in any way, shape or form, so I won’t tell you too much. I will say that this book is a page turner, CRAZY, sexual, surprising, and will make you gasp as you read it.

Just trust me.

:)


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Happy Birthday, Lou

Yesterday we celebrated Greg’s birthday. He turned 27, and I am simply trying to wrap my head around the fact that when we started dating, he was 21. In a lot of ways, I still picture us as that couple, me 17, Greg 21, but in many ways, we’re not the same people at all.

Since we’re, ahem, less than rich (but rich in love! yes, it’s true!), I decided that I’d write a blog and post some pictures of my very favorite moments with Greg. It’s my gift to him. I figured, after he proposed on my 19th birthday, there was no one-upping him on gifts. Besides, even if this is a day late, it’s something. I’m not an organized person at all, so I had to scramble around facebook and my in-law’s computer to locate some good pictures.

Here they are. I would also call this list (after “The Happy Birthday Lou Photo Album”), quite simply, “How to be a happy couple.” It’s pretty darn easy, if you find the right person!

Take your very first picture together, the very first day you ever hang out alone, and then don’t stop hanging out. (this is that age I was telling you about… 17 and 21!)

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First Picture of the Lous

Go to some weddings, drink too much, and have fun in a photobooth!

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drunky?

Always ask him to dance, even if he really doesn’t want to. He will have fun, even if he doesn’t quite know it at the time!

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Me, so happy!

On your very first lake trip, make up even after a sleepless night spent trying to fold one tiny blanket over both of you (think, like a taco…).

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the lake

Eat a giant hotdog together, no matter how unhealthy/gross you know it is. He will rub your back when you throw it up later that day. (um, and get some matching sweatshirts.)

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ugh

Go to New York and attempt to get a good picture in front of the Statue of Liberty. :)

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I’m trying to get him to pose…

Always support his facial hair. 

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the beard

Take some great pictures at sunset. (especially if you are doing long distance- for two years-… it will help you remember those good times!)

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hugs!

Never take yourself too seriously. Ever.

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pool time

Hang out with your friend’s cool Great Dane, and don’t get one of your own if neither of you is quite responsible enough for a dog…. 

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our dream dog

However, if you do wind up getting a dog, take him on hikes. Then, when it just isn’t working in your small apartment, send the dog to family in Minnesota who will take him on long runs every day!

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Aksel, he was a good dog.

Go camping, hunting, or simply rough it together for a few days in the outdoors. It will bring you closer together. (no one likes doing anything alone and in the dark in the middle of the woods… you know what I mean.)

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don’t we look tough?

Always get a very nice dessert and share it. And try to go on dates. Our first real date only happened thanks to Greg’s older brother, Chris, who gave us a gift certificate. I am pretty sure we were already engaged. haha

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my 21st

Wake him up from naps just to take a picture, just to get a good picture onto your blog. :) Hey, I only had so much time to put this together before his parents took us out for dinner….

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today!

Most importantly, love every day! Say the words, appreciate who your significant other is, and smile when they look at you. Be forgiving and understanding. Work through anything. When you wake up and find that you’ve been together for more than six years, it’s a good feeling. Nothing can quite compare.

Happy Birthday, Lou!!!! 


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Things I {Hate To} Love

Things I {Hate To} Love

I don’t know if it’s just because so many things I love fall under that famous “stuff white people like” list, or because some of these things are just embarrassing, but I felt the need to add the “I hate” to this. We all feel that way sometimes, right? We hate to love the pop song that won’t stop being played everywhere we go -because what’s more unoriginal than liking something that the whole world apparently does, too? People like to be their own person. I totally get that. They like to be “the first person to love that band/song/product and now everyone does and it’s so annoying.”

But here is my unashamed list:

1. Twilight

This is a blog about writing and fiction, so here you go. I’ll admit it: I have been to more than one Twilight party, okay? The first time I read the series was my sophomore year of college. Greg and I were doing long distance (he was living in Nashville going to Belmont University) and all you have when you’re doing L.D. is phone conversations. Though I still missed him terribly, I pretty much ignored him for two weeks while I read through the entire series non-stop. I’d be half way listening at night… and he’d say, “Okay, just finish the book. Goodnight. I love you.” Which was great. I’m glad he was so understanding! I love a good love story. And Edward… the Edward in my mind, not the one on screen, is the best looking person in the world. (besides Greg ;)..)

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My first Twilight party… notice how we’re doing the book cover pose!

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My first premier! We were so tired!

HOWEVER: I couldn’t read the series a second time. I tried… but I got too bored during New Moon. It is actually pretty cheesy.

2. Gotye: Somebody That I Used To Know

I know, I know! Somebody please get the radio stations to stop playing that song! I have a special love of this one for many reasons. Not only does it evoke so much emotion in me that I almost WISH I could relate to the song (almost…), but it’s one of the few things I can say I really did like before it got huge… I mean, I first watched the you tube video when maybe only 1 million had watched it. Ha Ha. I got to it before it was on the radio, at least. I love it! It’s emotional! He’s shouting at her! His teeth are huge! I love it! He looks good with paint on his face! She is like a better version of Katy Perry! I loooove it.

PLUS: His other stuff is great. Check out Save Me and Heart’s A Mess… amazing songs!

3. Miley Cyrus: Party In The USA

I can really sing along to this one. Plus, I have been to numerous weddings where this was the song that made the dance floor come to life. It’s awesome! Also: Miley looks great after cutting out wheat and getting engaged.

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My friend Jeremy and me… actually dancing to this song at our friend’s wedding!! It was awesome we got a picture!

4. T. Swift

Don’t we all? Mean is my theme song (I wish it had come out when I was in high school!). Ours is another (don’t even get me started on the music video!! tears!!). And the songs about horrible relationships? Well, I can’t exactly relate, but they get to me! {As long as the word “princess” isn’t in her song, I’ll probably really <3 it. (that theme was something I found way too cheesy and overdone and didn’t like at all!)} She’s great. I don’t necessarily want to love Taylor, but I do. She’s cute and always looks like a Pinterest picture. PLUS: She met my older sister at a spa in Minnesota and told her she was beautiful, which Jessica most certainly is :)

5. Jane Austen

I’m not exactly sure why it struck me to add her to my list, but when I took my Jane Austen class in college there were a lot of haters. Some people prefer the zombie versions of all of her books, but not moi. Her books make me cry and laugh. I get so swept up in the suspense of the love she evokes… Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility are my two favorite Jane Austen books! I understand that some people hate the cliched love. Some people think her stories are filled with swooning women who are forced to stay at home and men who take advantage of the situation. But man… sometimes that whole way of life just doesn’t seem all that bad. Why not have a man ride up on horseback and ask permission to speak with you? Why not curl your hair, wear beautiful dresses, and speak properly? I like that romantic way of life. It’s not perfect… but neither is the way of life now.

6. Whiskey

I actually don’t hate to love this at all. I just love it. I was recently introduced to a fine rye whiskey and I sipped on a tiny amount for about an hour (thanks, Will!!) … and YUM!!! The aftertaste was like HONEY!!! Which just so happens to be my favorite food of all time. No getting drunk for me- I don’t have to get past “warm and tingly” to enjoy some of this alcoholy. {I just might be sipping on some right now. Don’t judge me… my house is freezing.}

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My first spirit purchase

7. Tattoos

Don’t hate this one at all, either, actually. I love them. I live vicariously through anyone who has them. They’re beautiful and daring and stylish…. I just haven’t had the nerve to get some ink. {If I ever do, it will say “two and two are four.” Read 1984, people!} All who have- you are my hero. Don’t be surprised if I approach you and ask you about your tattoo. I do it all the time.

7. The Wire

I already cuss a little bit too much, but this show put me over the edge. And Bodie…and Omar… don’t even get me started on how much I love them both. I had never even heard of this show before a friend let us borrow the DVD of all five seasons. Apparently it’s something that “everyone loves and is overrated…” but I just don’t see it.

8. Organic Food

Really, it’s pretty much all I buy. It’s always shocking, but some people love to give me a hard time about this one. Why? Why is it so crazy that I want clean and healthy food, which preferably didn’t use up millions of gallons of oil to get to my kitchen table? It’s important! I don’t want to be preachy or anything, but after I read Michael Pollan’s Ominvore’s Dilemma I was like okay. I get it. If you want something a little lighter… Food Rules by M.P. will do just fine, too. These books changed my life. Literally, I could hardly function in society for almost a month after reading them. I eventually settled down a bit, but I still feel very strongly about the food industry. Did you know? …Other countries (think France…) spend up to 20% of their income on food. That’s compared to our very low average… some as low as 6%. Greg and I made a very conscious decision to spend more of our income on GOOD food, and less on other things. For instance, I’m not a TV hater (shout out Cindy! haha), but we do not own a TV at the moment. We are saving money by not paying for cable or the actual TV! We dress like onions (layers and layers!) in order to keep our heating bill down. We don’t make meat the biggest portion of any meal, but get our protein in there, as well as our veggies. The outcome? We feel great and we have fun buying the ingredients for every meal we make. :)

9. Tea

It’s just funny, because right when we started saying “I am just really into tea right now!”, someone showed me that dang “stuff white people like list,” and that quote is basically on there. I love it. Green and white are the best!!

10. My Husband’s Beard

I guess this made the list because it does make us a little more hipster-y than we already are. (Greg’s brother gives us a hard time… but I’ll always deny the fact that Greg and I are hipsters. I don’t have quite that much energy to wear that type of clothing every day! But my older sister did give me a birthday card that said “Hippy Birthday”… hmmm. Oh yeah, and Greg works at Whole Foods, plays in a folksy americana band and wears Clarks. Haha) Anyway, back to the beard. It’s kind of messy and food gets trapped in it… but it’s cute! I encourage it. Bonus: I have this weird obsession with Abe Lincoln, so there’s also that appeal! However, Greg just trimmed it this week, so we have a while to go again before it’s quite up to Abe standards.

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I heart his beard! <3

11. Single-Origin Coffee

See 9. Tea

12. Being A Good Wifey

I’m old fashioned in this way. I’m not quite a feminist, at least in terms of what that usually means in this day and age. (don’t pretend like you don’t know what I mean!) I like the idea of being the best wife I can be, having kids (eventually), and cooking meals, but just as long as Greg does all of those things too! (minus having the kids part, of course!) I know some women who really loathe the idea. I say, as long as I’m happy and laugh at least 20 times a day, life is good. Also, if I get my share of stuff done, Greg will, too. A good marriage means being a team, and I like playing my role there. I don’t really care if that’s buying into some trick that our society has ingrained in me. I like it anyway!

13. Natural, or “Eastern” Medicine

Now, let me start this one by saying that I do love Western medicine, too. I wouldn’t be alive (a few times over) if it weren’t for modern Western medicine, in fact. (I was born blue. I had my appendix taken out my Sophomore year of college. Thank you, very much!) However, I am totally against over medication and over dependence on over-the-counter drugs. I am terrified to O.D. on Tylenol. Seriously. I grew up with a mom who only really gave us Bayer Aspirin (“…because it’s been around the longest!”) and only when we really needed it. In my (very non-medically educated) opinion, there’s hardly anything that a good night’s sleep, kale, and some hot tea with honey and lemon can’t cure. The last time I thought I was getting sick, Greg made me our “Be Well” soup, and voila! I was better right away. We pretty much throw anything healthy we can think of, and mostly kale, into a mostly water broth and eat it for a few days. It’s absolutely amazing. I like the idea of herbs and healthy eating… I love the idea of prevention through what we eat, rather than using drugs to cover up the damage done. Being dependent on a massive amount of pills makes me so sad for people. I think there are other options in some cases (but definitely not all!! remember… I know it took more than kale to get my almost ruptured appendix out of me!!). Food dye, pesticides, and over usage of drugs is more of a medical problem than most people would like to admit.

Okay, I think I’m done. There are lots of other things I love, but I’ll probably make a “part 2” for this topic. I wanted to write this post for a few reasons. One is that I have had some great people in my life who were unashamed to love what they loved. Take my older sisters, for instance. Emily loves Hanson, from the moment they first struck it big, all through people hating them, and even now. They ARE great. If you think otherwise, take a listen to some recent Hanson stuff. I saw them in concert and it was one of the best shows I’ve been to!! Also, Emily likes the band One Direction. Sure, they’re very poppy, hardly real musicians, and their songs all have the same sort of ring to them. But they’re cute, their songs are fun to listen to and they’re British! She likes them! She isn’t afraid of it! AND she won a trip to New York to see them in concert!! So cool!!!

Then there’s my sweet older sister Jessica. She loves faeries (spelled that way!) and glitter and anything girly and beautiful. She has always been herself. Growing up, there were times when I thought, “Wow, that’s odd…” but now I always think, “Wow, that’s so cool!! She’s doing what she loves! She doesn’t care what other people think!!”

Meredith and I have looked up to them all our lives and found inspiration and bravery because of their fearless love for whatever they, well, loved.

It’s fun to sing along to songs on the radio, no matter how overplayed or popular the song is. It’s fun to read a book, even when there are people who want to say it’s stupid and only for silly girls. I love getting lost in something. And hey… there’s a reason those things get super popular! For the most part, they’re great!

<3


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Go Pokes

writer, short stories, author, oklahoma state

Lou n Lou.. Go Pokes!

{This was not a weekend trip to write, read, or eat healthy food… all of which I usually do on a daily basis! This is purely about football, chili cheese fries, and bright orange.}

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m not much of a football fan… I don’t like watching it on TV and I don’t understand half the rules (I know- I sound like a painfully typical gal.) HOWEVER, when it comes to Oklahoma State University, I am now a fan by marriage. I say that not because I don’t actually like the team, but because I literally probably wouldn’t even have heard of them if it hadn’t been for Greg’s family. His parents went there, his brother went there, and the entire family has been going to the Homecoming games every year since before Greg can remember.

I have been going to games since I was 18. This year was my FIFTH Homecoming trip. (and I’ve been to at least three other OSU games)

I feel so integrated into the Williams family and this tradition has no little part in that. It has a huge part in that.

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Last year’s Homecoming!

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TWO years ago!!!

My first time in Stillwater was fun, exciting, and intimidating. The entire town was wearing orange and I, somehow missing or underestimating the “EVERYONE WILL BE IN ORANGE” memo, was wearing a blue shirt. It was one of my first times with Chris and Melissa, Greg’s siblings, and I was overwhelmed. There was more than one moment when I turned to Greg, told him I needed a hug, and started crying in the middle of the grass on OSU campus. I think he was worried about what kind of girl he had taken on the trip. His family is not full of criers, and I cry quite a bit.

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THE blue shirt. I cried about five minutes after this picture was taken.

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just for fun… Greg and me. AGES 18 AND 21!!!!!! oh, how time flies.

This time of year and going to the game has become a tradition for me and something I really look forward to. Stillwater is a cute little town and I love Greg’s family. It’s amazing how time flies. When I was seventeen I already knew I’d be marrying this funny bald guy… so I am not surprised that this is my sixth year as a Poke fan. However, it is crazy how fast it all went. I didn’t really have a grasp on what we would look like (figuratively and literally!) at this point in time.

College is over, I’m trying to be a writer, Greg is in a cool band, and life has never been better.

Turns out, life just keeps surprising us. I’ve let things slide that I never thought I’d be able to. I’ve taken risks than turned out to work really well in the long run. I’m a completely different person than I was on that first Homecoming trip. Greg is, too.

The thing that is most similar is how much we laugh!!! I swear. It’s the number one reason why I married him :) but enough about that…

ANYWAY- this year was so fun. The Pokes won!

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In the stands watching the game!! Melissa, me, Greg, and Chris :)

We all got to hang out and have a good time!

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Before some horrible shots were passed around…

We ate some delicious food! (I didn’t let myself feel like crap for eating entire pizzas, bunless [I do gluten free!!] fried onion cheeseburgers, chili cheese fries/tots, and ice cream. I simply ENJOYED it. It tasted damn good, too.)

(Chris, pictured here, is the one who introduced A Prayer for Owen Meany into my life. We bond over a few drinks and talking literature. He’s the best! I will be forever in his debt!!)

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Chris and the Lous!!! Eatin’ some Eskimo Joes

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I have the funniest husband in the world.

I got to hang out with my hilarious and amazing sister (in-law) Melissa, aka Melissy, aka Billy pop, aka Bills

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Bill and Lou

And best of all… I finally had an entire wardrobe of orange to take along with me. It was my most successfully orange year, in fact.

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my father-in-law Frank. Biggest OSU fan on the planet!!!! He always wears orange.

Going to the games has given me a good perspective on relationships and accepting the fact that we all have very different interests. Just like I’ve mentioned before, I hate the word “let” in a relationship. I don’t “let” Greg watch the games every week with his dad, I like it when he does. When else can he scream like a maniac, bond with his dad, and have pure guy time? This is the best outlet. And the game? I can get just as into it in person. Yup. If I’m there and in the stands, I can cheer and yell and high five along with every other Williams (oh, and every other Poke fan, too!). It’s FUN. It’s fun to get into something that I otherwise would never have had an interest in.

Because it’s not all about me. It’s about Greg’s interests, his family, my family, bringing our traditions together, and having a good time!

Bonus: I didn’t even cry this year.

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:)


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Pull the Band Aid Off

Why Listening to Your Gut is the Way to Go

I’ve always been an impulsive person.

My sisters still tease me about the day I texted them all about my boyfriend (in high school) and said, “Guys, I need to break up with him STAT!” Most likely, the day before I was naming our future kids. I just woke up one day, realized that he really wasn’t the one and that I shouldn’t waste my time or his, and broke up with him.

(if you know me then you’ve definitely heard me say this:)

My motto: Pull off that band aid. FAST!

It might hurt A LOT, but it’s sure as hell better than pulling it off slowly, taking hair and skin and time in the process. Just pull the damn thing off. Get it over with. It only hurts for like a split second, I promise. Listen to what your gut is telling you. It’s the strongest instinct we have and we were given instinct for a reason.

I listened to my gut:

-when it came to a boyfriend in high school.

-when it told me that I was not meant to teach, but I was meant to write.(def. more blogs about that…yikes)

-when I bought that awesome scarf at Forever21.

-when I added more butter to the recipe and it turned out to be even tastier….

-when it told me that Greg was the one to marry.

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My dad and me… I’m hyperventilating …

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Mr. & Mrs. Williams AKA Lou & Lou

-when I quit my first job, and then was asked to work at the same bakery as my sister.

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I think I’m still in my TEENS in this picture :) ahh.. back in the day

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Meredith holding up a yummy berry bar!! Great Harvest is awesome!

And again when I chopped off all of my hair AND dyed it for the first time ever (you got me, that wasn’t such a great success story, but still… I got past it. It was okay in the end. It grew back.)

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Yikes times a million. But Greg still loved me!

You get the picture. I’ve lived a life of hardly planning for a thing. When something pops up on my road, I decide whether or not to take it. I decide quickly, too.

OUTCOME:

I may not have tons of money. (yet)

I may not have a job with benefits or retirement plan. (which I NEVER will, if I can help it… and I’m sure as hell happy this way, so it’s all gooood) (also, I quit the bakery in order to become a chocolatier -watch the product video!-… and that was also an impulsive decision!!)

I may have a touch of guilt when it comes to that boy I broke up with because he cried more than I did for no good reason. (but I think we are both happy today- I know I am)

I wake up every day to an existence that I chose and that I’m okay with…that I LOVE, actually…with this guy:

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We’re at a high school football homecome game! Talk about memories!! And regrets!! And being happy we never have to return! ha

I’ve learned from many a mistake, and that’s okay, too

BUT I DON’T REGRET VERY MUCH.

Where does this fit in with writing or reading or anything, really? Well, I guess it comes back to characters again. Think of your favorite character of all time. It can be from a movie, book, tv show, comic strip… anything! (of course, mine is Owen in A Prayer for Owen Meany!) I’m guessing he or she had some sort of life struggle that they went through. I’m guessing something happened in their life that they wound up regretting. Isn’t it an inevitable part of the growing up process?

The thing we can control is how we respond to that regret and how long we let it last. I’m not saying I don’t have guilt. I keep that guilt tucked away until it comes out at the worst times, actually. But at the end of the day, I think that feeling of regret is even worse. Guilt can come along even when you know you did the right thing. Regret often comes from a time when you know you did the wrong thing.

Regret and guilt are often what propels a character forward.

Where would Hester be without the mistake that changed her entire life? The one that led to a daughter and a willpower stronger than she knew? (The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne)

Where would Captain Ahab be if he didn’t regret the day he let the whale get the better of him? (Moby Dick by Herman Melville)

And where, oh where, would Rachel be if she hadn’t made a huge mistake… one that left her feeling guilty for a very long time, but ultimately changed her life for the better? (Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin)

As the main characters in our own lives, it moves our stories along. It’s the mistakes in someone’s life that can really be a part of who they become.

So I hope that if you have any regrets, you are quickly letting them fade.

I hope if you have any guilt, that it passes and your heart is peaceful!

I also hope that if you haven’t read A Prayer for Owen Meany, you so do ASAP!! ;)