This week, we are talking about our birthday traditions. You know we love holidays, but what about birthdays?
We are also answering a listener’s question about being self-conscious about your home.
You can find the podcast posts archive here.
And, if you’re looking for a specific code you heard on the podcast, you can see a full list on this page!
Here is a picture of Emma’s ghost wallpaper.
Thoughts on Birthdays:
Emma – Not so much about the day, but just getting to celebrate in general.
Elsie – Aging is a gift—make every year a mid-life crisis.
Traditions for Your Birthday (Either Now or When You Were Younger):
Emma – Make a list of goals and create a dessert recipe for the blog.
Elsie – Buy herself a gift and have a special dinner.
Here’s Emma’s favorite homemade brownie recipe.
Traditions for Your Kid’s Birthday:
Emma – Make a special cake (here’s what Emma made this year).
Elsie – They get three options: a trip, a big gift, or a big party.
Traditions You Would Like to Do When Your Kids Are Older:
Emma – Time capsule
Elsie – When your kid turns 10, let them pick a trip anywhere in the world.
Thoughts on Party Decorations:
Emma – Loves balloons
Elsie – Reuse decorations each year
Listener question from Abi Forslin: – “Do you have any experience with or advice about feeling self-conscious about your home?”
- Never apologize for your home.
- People probably don’t notice the things you don’t like.
- People understand it takes time to renovate.
- It’s very vulnerable to invite people over to your house so everyone feels self-conscious about something.
Miss an Episode? Get Caught Up!
- Episode #191: Amazing Home Decor Items Under $50
- Episode #190: The Parent Trap – Comfort Rewatch
- Episode #189: Favorite Summer Things (Deep Dive)
Episode 192 Transcript:
Elsie: You’re listening to A Beautiful Mess podcast, your cozy comfort listen. This week we’re talking about birthday traditions. You know, we love holidays, but what about birthdays? Plus we’re answering a listener’s question about being self-conscious about your home. So this is my first time recording in Missouri. We’re recording right now in Emma’s office, and I’m looking at her brand new ghost wallpaper I just want her to tell us a little before we jump in a little bit about the ghost wallpaper and we can link it in the show notes cuz it’s really cute, it’s kind of like a subtle pattern.
Emma: Well yeah, I mean as far as the ghost goes.
Elsie: I don’t think you look at it and think ghost. It’s not your first thought. You just think wallpaper. It looks like a nice pattern.
Emma: Yeah, and honestly, our house doesn’t have very much wallpaper. We only have two spaces in the whole house that have wallpaper.
One is this half bath, that’s on our main level, and it has this like marly wallpaper. And then in my office, I decided to put wallpaper. My office is one of the bedrooms in our home, it’s just, it’s just a bedroom that I use as an office, but three of the walls, I have wallpaper, and then the wall that’s right in front of my desk, I decided to do a solid color that matches the wallpaper, just so it would be a little bit less busy. And I also knew I was gonna hang up my bulletin board with like all my to-do lists, and I just felt like if I put that on the wallpaper, it was too busy. So I ended up doing an accent wall, which was really fun. But yes, this wallpaper, literally how I found it was I got on Spoonflower, which is where I like to buy wallpaper.
Elsie: Spoonflower has great wallpaper.
Emma: They really do. It’s huge, and it’s all like an independent artist. So you’re supporting an artist as you’re choosing their designs. So I just love it. I think it’s a great marketplace. Anyway. I just got on Spoonflower and I literally typed in spooky and just searched the wallpapers, and then I typed in like ghosts and I searched their wallpapers. I typed in, I think skeleton and I searched the wallpapers and I picked out like five that I was into, and I ordered samples, and then I hung them up on the wall and thought about it for like a month. And I ended up landing on this one, which wasn’t the one I thought I was gonna go with but once I saw it in the room and just like had them sitting near me for a little while, it just felt like the right one.
Elsie: I think you definitely picked the perfect one. It looks amazing in here.
Emma: I love it, and they just look like little kind of cartoony ghosties, like they have little faces on them.
Elsie: I would say it looks abstract, like an abstract pattern, kind of like squiggle lines. Do you think we could put a picture in the show notes to show?
Emma: Yeah, definitely. I actually am doing a ten thing Sunday. By the time people listen to this it’ll be a few weeks ago, but where they can see it, but I’ll put it in this show notes too. But yeah, it’s like a ghosty. It’s perfect pink, kind of a pinky terracotta color on cream. But yeah, it’s pretty busy. And the rest of our house is very minimal and chill, and there’s really not even that much art on the walls. But my office is kind of the wildest space now with this wallpaper, it’s fun.
Elsie: Well, I love it. We were having a serious conversation yesterday on FaceTime, and I was noticing her wallpaper and I became very, very distracted. So, yeah. It’s great.
Emma: Thank you.
Elsie: Yay. Okay, so this week’s episode is about birthday traditions. So we’re just gonna talk about birthdays. We’re just gonna chit-chat. I think this is a great subject. I love it. So, the first question is, what are your general thoughts on birthdays?
Emma: Yes. So my birthday is in January. It’s January 21st and Elsie’s is in November, and I feel like when you live in a part of the country that has four seasons knowing when somebody’s birthday is can make a big difference cause summer birthdays growing up I was so jealous of the kids who had summer birthdays. It felt bad that they didn’t have school cuz we would always have cupcakes at school for our birthday. But my birthdays growing up, it was like 50/50 if they would get canceled cuz of snow. So I just got into this mode and I’m still this way where I don’t really plan too much for my birthday cuz there might be bad weather, it might be icy and you just can’t end up going out or whatever. So to me, a birthday kind of doesn’t matter as much about the day, it’s more about whenever you get to celebrate that month or the next month or whatever, because it might get snowy.
Elsie: Our youngest daughter has a birthday at almost the same time as Emma’s. Mm-hmm. And this past year we went on a Disney World trip for it, and I think that it is a good time to like to go somewhere sunnier. So maybe that’s it definitely an idea.
Emma: Yeah, January around here is not my favorite time of year. But it’s my birthday.
Elsie: Okay. So my general thoughts on birthdays are, first of all, the more the merrier. I think my thoughts on aging are like this, I wrote my whole life is a midlife crisis and so be it. People are like, would you have a midlife crisis? And I’m like, I really feel like I’ve always been having what people would consider like crazy, doing something crazy. You would hope that you would do that lots of times throughout your life. Yeah. Not just one time in your forties. So I think that aging is a gift for sure. And yeah, it sucks in some ways. And there’s nothing wrong with that either, it is what it is. I feel pretty determined to make the most of every single season, like our grandma told us, she’s 89 now, so next year she’s gonna be 90. And I was like, just like imagining how that would be and how that would feel and yeah, I think being scared of birthdays and sad about them is kind of sad, especially if you start in your thirties and I was like, what do you have to look forward to?
Emma: Yeah, you’re gonna have a lot of years of sadness because you got a lot of birthdays ahead of you potentially, hopefully.
Elsie: So yeah just make every year a midlife crisis. That’s what I think.
Emma: Yeah. I think too, like hype up your birthday as much as you want or do something by yourself if that’s what you want. I think that the most important part is just to make it your thing because if you just don’t like your birthday, then don’t think about it too much. And just like blow the day off and be lazy and go watch a movie or in the middle of the day, or whatever you wanna do, just chill out. Or if you’re like, I wanna have a huge party and I wanna wear a crazy dress, then do that, that’s great, you should do that. It doesn’t really matter. And if anyone is making you feel like you have to do your birthday a certain way, you don’t, you really don’t. You should just do whatever you want.
Elsie: For sure. So traditions for your birthday? Mine are so silly, but I do have some. Mine is mainly just like buying myself gifts, which is what I do all year round. But I would say it’s a lot more during my birthday which is right before Christmas shopping and Christmas, and like that time of year. But yeah, I love to buy myself gifts and my husband sometimes gets me gifts, but I think I’ve said before on the podcast that like I buy all my own gifts and people send me questions about that. Here’s the thing, if he buys me a gift, I love it, but I’m gonna buy myself something just in case. If it’s like clothing or shoes or a bag, I’m gonna definitely buy that myself. And if he gets me something, it will be like a sentimental thing. Something that’s meaningful and that’s different, you know?
Emma: Yeah, I think it’s okay to ask for the thing you want or like even buy it yourself and be like, You got me this? I think that’s fine.
Elsie: It doesn’t even matter. Actually, on Christmas when I open all of my gifts, I totally pretend like he wrapped them and everything and he’s seeing them for the first time. He has no idea what they are, but it’s like, who cares? Right.
Emma: Yeah. Sounds nice in a way. He doesn’t have to worry about it.
Elsie: Yeah, It’s fun. It works for us. So my other thing is having dinner somewhere super special. So in Nashville, I always went to Sperry’s and they have a banana foster they make by our table and it has flames and my kids love it. And I love the old man steakhouse that is my number one type of restaurant. But yeah, so I don’t know what my place is gonna be now in our hometown, I haven’t made that choice yet.
Emma: I love Gerardie’s.
Elsie: Gerardie’s very cool. It’s sort of like my spot, a historic home, a big night, kind of looks like a little haunted historic home with a big garden in the front yard. And then the back of it has this, it kind of appears like a little barn and that’s where the restaurant is. And it’s a very, very small, tiny little, Italian restaurant and it’s definitely one of my top.
Emma: It’s very cozy. It’s kind of like a maroon color, I guess. And yeah, it feels like a fancy grandma spot to me, which is perfect. And yeah, it’s a lot of pasta, and I love good fresh pasta.
Elsie: I had the most garlicky caesar salad of my life there.
Emma: That sounds good. I had a really good gimlet there one time too. So I just feel like it’s a great spot.
Elsie: Tell me your traditions.
Emma: I feel like the only one that’s very consistent is, I always do some version of a list of goals. I’ll kind of think about what I was happy about the previous year. Sometimes I’ll look back at my list if I’ve actually kept it, which I have a lot, but not every year, and I’ll kind of give myself like, you did it, you did all these things. And even though there are things I didn’t finish, it’s like, well, you tried, what are you gonna do? So, I like doing a list of goals I used to do. Like 23 things to do before I turned 24. But now that I’m 37, it’s a little too many things. So I stopped doing that around 30 cause I was like, this is overwhelming and I’m getting tired. So now I just do like generally goals like mine are hung up over here right now. My kind of goals, I have like five. But yeah, they’re always a mix of career things and things about my home. Sometimes places I wanna travel to now I have goals around my son, like having a magical childhood with him, things like that. So yeah, I feel like that’s the thing I do for my birthday. A lot of times people do this for New Year’s and that’s a good time too. And I’m kind of always checking in on goals and adjusting things, cause we kinda do the 12-week year and all that. But I do feel like a birthday is a nice time to mark the passing of time in a positive way, cuz I think the thing that gets people down is it makes you think about how you’re aging or it can make you think about death, which can be scary, but I think you could also choose to have it as an opportunity to think about everything you’ve done and everything that’s ahead of you that you’re excited about. How many more bowls of pasta do you get to eat in your life, probably a lot so get excited about it. So that’s always like a part of my birthday and then on the blog, I always do some kind of dessert, usually a cake, but I do some kind of recipe that kind of marks my birthday. It’s just my way of celebrating myself on my blog, which is probably silly. But this year I did my favorite brownie recipe, so it wasn’t even a cake. I just was really in the mood for brownies this winter, and so I love that. I did my all-time favorite brownie recipe, which I can link in the show notes, but I like to do some kind of dessert recipe that isn’t on our site yet. And I really do make it for myself and eat it usually over the course of a week because it’s a whole batch of something or a whole cake, and it’s fun.
Elsie: I’m jealous. Your traditions are very good.
Emma: Pretty high low. Make some goals, and eat some pastries.
Elsie: Okay. The next one is traditions for Kids’ birthdays. So for our kids, we go-between, the three options are a trip. Obviously, we don’t take a trip every time, but I think if you are taking a trip for a birthday, it’s good to remove the pressure of a party. You know what I mean? I think it’s an either-or, and then the other thing it could be is also a big gift. So this year our daughter got a puppy. It’s a big gift. So we didn’t have a party or a trip, but we did have her grandma, and great-grandma came over in the middle of the day and had cake and ice cream with us on her birthday, which was sweet. And it was still like, you know, we were still celebrating. But I didn’t have to, you know, the Pinterest mom parties are more work and more money and more everything than you think.
Emma: It’s not really my thing. You think it would be, you think we would be like Pinterest party moms, but we’re kind of not, which is funny.
Elsie: I like throwing a big party. But it is, it’s a ton of work, and I’m kind of all or nothing with it too. It’s either like, let’s order pizza and get a cake from the grocery store. Or I’ll plan the whole thing and make everything,
Emma: Oh, I’m definitely a half-asset person where I do some, but not a whole lot. I’m definitely in that boat. I do like, I don’t know if you consider this a tradition, but I feel like every year you text me a picture of what cake they picked out. So if you do a grocery store cake, like I’ll see, cuz you’ll have candles lit or whatever. And it’s kind of fun to see what they end up picking. The sheer Nova did like a hamburger cake, a decorated hamburger.
Elsie: It looks like a giant hamburger, and it was the best cake. I think that she made a good choice. It was a solid choice.
Emma: Oh she did, solid choice. Sometimes they pick flavors I wouldn’t have guessed, and they may not even know they’re just picking what looks good to them as a kid, like picking from the case, which I also feel like getting to pick out a cake when you’re looking at a bunch of options in a case it’s pretty epic.
Elsie: I always try to convince them to get the cake that I want, which is the Dairy Queen ice cream cake, and they never pick it. They always wanna get the bakery case cakes.
Emma: Those jerks. Just kidding. So I don’t totally have traditions yet cuz my sons only had two birthdays.
Elsie: What are your dream traditions?
Emma: Okay, so I have an aspiration and then I have like a, what we’re doing, so lemme tell you what we’re doing. It’s not as good as the aspiration. So far I feel like I make it where his cake does say something about his birthday. So like his first birthday, I did that thing where I took a photo of him every month while he was a baby, like one month old, two months old. And I put him next to a box of donuts. So every month it was like, there was one donut when he was one month old and two donuts. And so then when he turned one, there were a dozen donuts. Right, 12 months. And now I have like all those pictures put together in a frame in our hallway. And so I just love it as a little keepsake. But then for his first birthday, we did a brunch with family and we made him a little donut cake. He really only got to eat one donut not even the whole thing, but you know, he was one. So it was cute. So it was like kind of spoke to that year where we had done all these donut photos together, and it was cute. And then this year he had a car’s birthday cake.
Elsie: Describe the cake in detail though because I thought it was exceptional like it’s the whole thing where you like to get a grocery store cake and then hack it. So it was kinda like an easy way to make a cake, but it was really good. Okay. Explain it.
Emma: Yes so I should say. Trey and I, our anniversary is like really close to Oscar’s birthday. His birthday’s on the second, our anniversary’s on the eighth, so we had been outta town. It was our 10-year anniversary this year. So we both went out of town. We went out of the country. First time I’d been outta the country since Oscar’s born. So we were out of town until the day before his birthday party. When we planned the trip, I was a little anxious about that cause I was like, I wanna make sure his birthday’s great. But we were also very like, hey, this is our 10-year anniversary and we should take the time to do something special, like more than we would normally do for an anniversary. So anyway, since we were gonna be out of town until the day before, I was feeling a little anxious about having time to like to bake the cake and let it cool and get the frosting and make sure the frosting’s the right consistency. And anyone who bakes, I’m not even the most talented baker at all so it’s a bit of a process and you need to have time to do it because there’s a lot that has to do with temperatures and you can’t necessarily just hack it together. So what I did instead was order a cake from Walmart that was plain like the color that I needed, and then I just decorated it. And I used these two tutorial that our friend Rin did on Childhood Magic, and it’s for a dirt cake. And if you’ve ever seen cars three, there’s a part where Lightning McQueen is training for his big race, and he goes to a dirt track called Thunder Hollow. And it’s actually not a race, they call it a crazy eight, where it’s like a demolition-type derby thing, and it’s a really fun scene. And my son loves that scene. There’s like a school bus that’s like chasing ’em, it’s really fun. So I made a dirt track cake and like the number two was the track and it looks like a dirt track, and it has the car’s figures on it, and I kind of figured he probably wouldn’t even care that much about the cake, and surprise he didn’t. But he loved the cars and he still loves the cars. He sometimes goes to sleep with those cars in his hands. He’s crazy about these car figures. But yeah, I got like little chocolate donuts and made those like tire wheels. So they’re like piled up and his actual candles for his birthday cake were caution cones that looked like birthday candles. So the cake was kind of the thing, and other than that, all we did for the party was blow up balloons that were like cars, balloons, and that was it.
Elsie: It was great. I thought it was a magical party.
Emma: Yeah, it was good. No, he loved it. He was obsessed.
Elsie: Yes. So cute. Okay. Do you have any traditions that you would like to do as Oscar gets older?
Emma: Yes. So I have this aspiration. I don’t know if we’re gonna do it cuz I feel like you have to like to wait and see what your kid’s into. Cause you don’t wanna force ’em into something they’re not into. But as a kid, I always loved, I feel like we did this in elementary school. I love it when they did like time capsules. Do they ever do that at your school growing up, where it’s like the whole class would put stuff into something, and then you would literally bury it in the ground and it was like some kind of box that could be buried and then you would get to dig it up like a year later or two years later. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to do some kind of birthday time capsule where maybe like every year, and I don’t know if we’ll actually bury it in the yard. I was kind of thinking we would just put it up in the closet. But something where it’s like a time capsule where every year we can add things to it. That’s like something about his year or something he’s proud of or just whatever he wants really. And then I think when he is older like I would love to have that from my childhood, like when he is way older, not 18. Maybe in his twenties or thirties or something. And just seeing all these little things that were important to you when you were a kid, and as he gets old enough where he can talk more, we could write little notes and then he could write them eventually once he can write. I don’t know. I don’t want it to be crazy elaborate. I just thought it could be fun to just have a little birthday thing like we always add to the time capsule. What note are we gonna add to the time capsule this year? What thing are you proud of? Write that down.
Elsie: I love that. That’s so sweet.
Emma: Thanks. Yeah, I think it would be really fun, but I don’t know. It also sounds like a little bit of a chore where I’m like, do I really wanna do this? But I’m like, yeah, I think it could be fine. But we haven’t started it yet, so I was like, maybe we’ll start it when he’s like three or four or five something where he can be a little more vocal. So maybe next year. I don’t know. Do you have any things you’re planning for the future generally?
Elsie: I do have one. So one of my friends told me she was gonna do this with all her kids, and I always remembered it. And it’s that when your child turns 10 years old, you let them pick a trip anywhere in the world. Like, you let them pick a trip. I thought that was really sweet. So, I don’t know, I think I kind of wanna do it maybe a couple of times, I love the idea of letting a kid pick a trip and then supporting that, I just think it’s very magical. I think it would spark a lot of imagination for them if they can absorb what kind of opportunity that is. Put a little bit of research and curiosity into it. I think it’s pretty interesting.
Emma: I wish there was like, I’m sure there is something, but I’m like, oh, it’s almost like you need to let them watch some kind of little series that’s like all these different places. So you can get a sense of the options that are available, you know? Because I feel like when you’re a kid, you don’t totally know everything. I mean, I don’t even know right now everything that’s available, you know? But yeah. I love that. That sounds amazing.
Elsie: The main thing I’m excited about as my kids get older is traveling with them because as little people we’ve definitely traveled, but we haven’t done anything that I would consider epic yet. You know, it’s mo like a lot of Disney trips and trips to visit family and stuff mostly. I am excited to take them overseas and things like that as they get older.
Emma: Yep. I love that. Well, we’ve kind of mentioned that we’re not Pinterest party moms as much as you think, but do you have any further thoughts on party decorations or party aesthetics, activities so on and so forth.?
Elsie: Yeah, no, I have very strong feelings about this. I think that you can consider birthday decorations almost the same as Christmas, or Halloween, you can make a box for it and reuse it like crazy. I think it’s kind of silly to make every birthday its own theme.
Emma: So you think Oscar just has to have cars, birthdays now forever? I’m just kidding.
Elsie: No, no, no. Okay, let me say the point. If you’re throwing a themed party, great. Especially if that’s like one of your gifts to your child and it’s like magical in there, you know. I love themed parties, nothing wrong with that. No shade at all. But I think that like through the years, you are bound to have lots of times when you are having a birthday. I’m thinking like, even like my husband’s birthday, it’s the day that comes and you wanna make it special but you’re also not really planning ahead. You’re not necessarily gonna buy him theme decorations from Amazon or anything. So I think just having like one little storage container the same way you have holiday decorations that have like a cute little bunting or leftover candles or just all your birthday stuff, you know, and just keep it in there, keep it together, use it next year. Cuz you kind of just don’t need a lot of it. And why not use it over and over, you know what I mean? It’s still special. And I think as kids get older, I could see their birthdays being different where it’s like, maybe it’s more making them a big breakfast or making that something special that it’s maybe not always a party with a little kid’s cake. You know what I mean? So, I don’t know, that’s my idea is like, I think I wanna make a little collection and reuse it and kind of like the same as New Year’s Eve. It’s like when it is New Year’s Eve, you’re like, this is important and I wanna make it cool. But I like never plan ahead and I never buy stuff just for that. I kind of need to, it’s half Christmas decorations cause that just happened. I kind of need to keep the old stuff. So the only thing I don’t keep is the little crowns that stay the year, but everything else just keeps it for next year. Why not?
Emma: Yeah. And as I mentioned, I’m a big balloon person just because I feel like you can blow them up and they just really change your space. We even did this for New Year’s, we had all these like disco balls and balloons and then I feel like it just stays for weeks and weeks. Obviously, you can take them down and pop them, but I like just to leave them up so then it feels kind of festive for a while. And for Oscar’s recent birthday, there were all these car balloons, and we’ve been playing with those for like three weeks now after his birthday, so it’s great. Okay, the only other thing I was gonna add is a little tip for anyone who is doing some kind of theme party or whatever, tell everyone who’s coming to please dress in certain colors because it just makes it where it’s not, you know, if someone doesn’t or they forget or they don’t have the colors, that’s fine. It doesn’t really matter, but it just adds to the atmosphere.
Elsie: I love that when people do it for like weddings and their pictures look so cool.
Emma: It just makes the space feel more decorated, and you didn’t actually do anything. For a Cars party, I would be like, everybody wears red or black, you know? So then it’s like everybody looks like Lightning McQueen, but I didn’t even do anything extra. It’s just, you know, just having people wear certain colors. So, random tip.
Elsie: I love it. Yeah, I think that birthdays for sure definitely should be special. But also no guilt, no shame in having a chill one. You know what I mean?
Emma: Do whatever makes you feel celebrated.
Elsie: Yeah, totally. For my 40th birthday, we had recently gone to Cleo’s 40th birthday party, which was an event. It was the best birthday party I’ve ever been to in my life.
Emma: It was like a wedding. It was so cool and fun.
Elsie: It was better than a wedding. So when my birthday came around, I think I felt a little bit like, should I have like planned something? Should I have booked a trip, I really didn’t want to, my birthday also is like the week before Thanksgiving, and Jeremy’s is the week of Halloween it’s a little bit full-crunched in there. So, yeah, I think just like letting it be the best it can be, but it’s kind of just a day too. It’s cool.
Emma: Yeah, I think if you want it to be more than just a day, go for it. And if you want it to just be a day cuz you get anxious or you’re just tired cuz it’s like the day after Christmas or whatever, do that. That’s fine. It doesn’t matter, it’s your birthday. Okay. Well, should we do the listener question?
Elsie: Let’s do it.
Emma: Okay. This is from listener Abby Forceland, she says, I was wondering if you’ve had any experience with or advice about feeling self-conscious about your home. I think this could cover a lot of situations such as being self-conscious about the size of your home, whether it’s big or small, how clean it is, if parts of it are visibly or in disrepair, how tidy it is or not tidy it is, and what the landscaping’s like. I know this is more of an issue with my own perception and caring too much about what others think, but I thought it could maybe make for an interesting discussion.
Elsie: I think this is a really, really good, really interesting discussion. Yeah. I have a couple of things, so maybe we can do it back and forth. I have three things.
Emma: Yeah, let’s do it back and forth.
Elsie: So my first one is I heard someone say once when I was probably really young in one of my first homes. Never apologize for your home. When people come into your home, never apologize for how it looks. And that’s something that I’ve always remembered and tried to do. And it’s really hard not to. I think that we’re very programmed to point out every little thing that either it’s messy or for me, a lot of times it’s like what I’m going to do with renovating, but I haven’t done yet. Like, oh, I’m not gonna keep that. Oh, I’m gonna change that. Oh, that’s like that but it’s gonna be like this. And I think that it is kind of like a non-starter in a conversation to be like putting down your own home. And it’s like there really is no purpose to it and usually when people come into a new space, they notice the cool things about it anyway. I know I always do when I go into someone’s home, I noticed the unique things and the things that are different from my home and the things I never thought of before. And I kind of don’t really care if they have clutter or if they have a project that’s halfway done, it’s like, that’s obvious, but it doesn’t really matter.
Emma: Same. I also feel like, what is someone supposed to say? When you’re like, oh, I’m sorry about this, it’s terrible. Like, are they supposed to agree with you? It’s just not a good conversation. It’s not general, and it’s not gonna make either party feel good. So it’s like, yeah, just skip it. No need to apologize for your home. Yeah. I also think it’s interesting to think about, one of the things I wrote down as I was reading Abby’s question is like, I feel like a lot of it stems from feeling scared about being judged. We are not landscape people, we pay someone to mow our yard. And thank God we do because no one would ever mow it otherwise. And we are just not like, you know, like right now where my little fairy garden is in the front, it has all these weeds and I’m like, oh, I need to do something about that. But the truth is I don’t know when I will or if I will, cuz I am terrible about yard work and neither of us is really into it. So I always am a little worried people are gonna judge me when they see my yard, cuz it’s not as nice as some of my neighbors. As I said, we do pay someone to mow, but no one even notices. Well, I think it’s just me feeling like, am I a lazy person because I don’t landscape and I’m like, I don’t think I am a lazy person I think it’s just not my thing. And I mostly like taking care of my son on the weekends when I’m not working. And it would be hard at his age to do a lot of yard work with him. Maybe someone could do it, but I feel like he’ll just eat dirt behind my back the whole time. So I don’t know. I think it’s just your own thing, which Abby kind of talks about in her question, but feeling like other people are gonna notice these things about you and judge you for being too rich, being poor, being lazy, being, you know, cause if your house is too big or too small or do whatever, you know, then you’re like, is it too outdated? Am I not cool? Do I not have good taste? And people will judge me for that. And a lot of it is just stuff that we think about ourselves, maybe a little bit. And it’s not even what other people would think. Or if they did, if they’re a good friend, they would never voice it because why would you say that to someone? Can you imagine going over to someone’s house and being like, your house is a little too small? Can you imagine? It’s like, wow who would say that? Only the internet.
Elsie: A five-year-old probably an internet commenter. Yeah.
Emma: Yeah. Only the internet cuz no one in real life.
Elsie: Yep. Okay, so my next one actually, I really only have one more. I think this nice thing that Julia from Crystal, Julia always says is, don’t wait. She has like little like merch that says it and everything, and I really like it because I think that especially for people who, you buy a fixer-upper, your house is going to be one-eighth renovated and then one-fourth, you know, and one-half. It’s not going to be fully renovated. Oftentimes ever, and you know, realistically, probably for years, for most people. And then there are the things that you wanna buy or you wanna update or you wanna do. And it’s like most people don’t have the budget or the time. Even rich people don’t have the ability to make a house perfect overnight. It just takes time. And so I think accepting your home and loving it, you know, considering it like a finished home. I guess treating it like a finished home when it’s not is such a good practice to adopt, and I’m trying to do that now where like you invite people over, don’t apologize for all the extension cords and things like that. You know what I mean? It’s fine. Everyone understands why it’s like that, and that it’s going to be like that for a while. And no one cares really. Honestly, there are way less than you do, I promise. I think just making those memories is the important thing. The saddest thing that you can possibly do is to not use your home and not invite people over because it’s not perfect, and then freaking move. When you haven’t been living your life. That’s so sad.
Emma: Yeah. I’ve also had friends ask before, and I feel like this was a listener question one time, but essentially they were like, is it too late for me to throw a housewarming because I’ve lived in my house like two years or more but I didn’t feel ready, but now I feel ready. But is it silly to have a housewarming now? And my answer is no. Why don’t you have a housewarming party every single year that you live in your house honestly, I would love to go over to any friend who’s like doing something in their home, even if they’re only repainting their bedroom or something. If you would like to invite me over so that I can see the new thing you did in your house, I would love to see it cuz I just think it’s fun. So like why not have as many housewarmings as you want, to be like, we just did our back porch, we didn’t have a porch before. We just did all the landscaping in the back and we’re excited so we’re throwing a party. It’s like, yeah, you should do that. I would love that. I would come to that party. I would be thrilled if people are celebrating their houses. And I would bring you potato salad, so just go ahead and invite me over.
Elsie: I agree. I love that. That’s wonderful.
Emma: I think the only other thing I was thinking about when I was reading Abby’s question is people should keep in mind that inviting someone into your home and into your house is a very vulnerable thing. It’s very vulnerable to let someone come over. So it’s really normal to feel a little nervous or a little self-conscious.
Elsie: A lot of people never do it, ever.
Emma: Yeah, and if you’re like, oh, I shouldn’t have this feeling of self-consciousness like this is a bad feeling and I shouldn’t have it, it’s like, no, it’s actually a really normal, and you can take comfort in knowing that. I think everyone kind of feels that way cuz it’s a very vulnerable thing to do. And it’s extremely unlikely in my mind that you’re gonna invite someone over and they’re gonna be mean about your house. But if it does happen, just know that it is okay for you to express that someone hurts your feelings. I wouldn’t do it in front of a group, that tends to not go well. But If you had a friend who came over and they said something a little bit rude, that hurt your feelings, when you have a minute, it’s just the two of you. I think it’s okay to express. Hey, when you said this about my terrible landscaping, it really hurt my feelings. It made me feel X, Y, Z and you know, you don’t have to be accusatory about it. They might have not been thinking, I feel like most of the time I said something rude, it was cuz I was being thoughtless, I just wasn’t thinking. And so it’s actually really great if a friend tells me, Hey, that kind of hurt my feelings. It’s like, oh my gosh, now I get the chance to apologize. So just know that that is totally okay too, and normal. And it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t show people your house if you’re excited too.
Elsie: Yeah, agree. I love it. I think that’s a great question.
Emma: Yeah. So thank you, Abby.
Elsie: Yes. All right. This week we have a very special guest. This is Marigold Larson and she is here with a joke.
Marigold: Knock, knock.
Elsie: Who’s there?
Elsie: Ghost who?
Marigold: Ghost eating toast.
Elsie: Ah, it’s my favorite joke.
Emma: Excellent. I love it.
Elsie: Thank you so much for listening. If you have any questions or podcast ideas, please email them to us at any time. You can reach us at email@example.com or call our voicemail at (417) 893-0011. We’ll be back next week with a deep dive into the best advice we’ve ever received.