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Catching up

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Okay, busted. Regular readers know that when it comes to me and this blog, silence is so not golden.

Those of you wondering what the heck, well, let's just call it a rough patch for now. Some day I may, or may not, be able to share more about what's been going on but just know that it's not for lack of wanting to write that I haven't been keeping up with my posts.

I see by my stats that some have been forced into the archives ... thanks for sticking with me, you readers and this blog are two of my top ten favorite things. For reals. Do people still say that?

In other news ... this is my first post as a 35 year old. I had an unexpectedly wonderful birthday and am looking forward to what the new year has to bring. Thank you to all the good wishes and sweet gestures that helped me celebrate being born. I'm glad I was.

And still more news ... funny story - last week, on the morning of my deadline I went ahead and spilled coffee all over my computer. (And yes, for those who must know there was plenty of sugar and milk, because I was drinking it not planning to pour it on my keyboard). I can't describe how devastated I was.

A computer is not a luxury item for me. And yet, it's priced like one. We're working through how to manage that and I miss the days of the "Just charge it" mentality. (Okay, not really but I have to admit it came in handy during times like this).

I am surprised to share that this seemingly awful thing has somehow turned into a blessed experience. I had a fortune cookie tell me help would come from unexpected places this week and I trust that to be true.

So, all that is to say, I'm on an unexpected Internet hiatus save a quick check in from time to time in the evenings when my husband brings his computer home. I'll have plenty to say as soon as I get that new computer ... next week maybe.

 


Moment, captured

 

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Carrie, my sister-in-law, has got a way of catching things on camera like it’s  an extension of her heart. I love this picture of me and my sweet Sam (and Giraffe) because it’s just a moment, captured … everyone always says how much he looks like Matt – and it’s true, he does – but in this picture I see me in him – we have the same hair (messy, curly). Also, he loves talking about feelings. I am so blessed to be able to be his mom!


{what’s working – courage}

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

- mary anne radmacher

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A week ago today, one of my most immediate stresses was that I’d forgotten to take out the garbage and missed the garbage truck. I can’t hardly believe it’s only been a week since that morning. The events of last week, starting with the sudden death of one of our favorite people and ending with the near-implosion of all that I thought mattered most* … well, let’s just say it put the whole garbage fiasco into perspective.

Meanwhile … while so much feels like it is so not working, this awesome quote from one of my favorite artists sums up what is: trying again tomorrow.

*we are all going to be fine. Better than fine, eventually.

Also what's working is staying steady with my 300 words a day ... I'm ready to say it: I'm finishing my novel!


Friday favorites and freebies

 

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First – my February column, one of two where I throw myself under the proverbial bus for what I consider a good cause, ran this week:

Baby on Board – Kitchen interest comes full circle

We took our first family walk last night! To the park – which means a couple of things – Spring’s a coming and Jake is officially vertical. I wish I’d gotten a close-up picture of Jake’s first little shoes and Sam so sweetly holding his hand. (Sam, I noticed, even kept his hand down low so Jake didn’t have to reach too high).

I love this picture because Matt took it, which means he came to the park with us after work. He drove up our street and saw the THREE of us walking ever-so-slowly and joined us making it our first family walk. Matt was starving so he bailed early, just as the boys’ new friends Paul and Kaylee joined us.

And here, a few Friday favorites:

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-Twig and Thistle posted the cutest DIY Valentine’s idea – stickers for fruit – so, so cute.

- Simple decorations. I’ve been using this little frame for seasonal quotes, pictures, etc and this month I’ve downloaded a freebie from Becky Higgins – you can get it here – either print it on your computer or you can have it printed for your own Valentine’s. Ali Edwards has also posted some cool freebies.

My favorite thing this week is that I’m back to being fully-engaged in writing my book, Breaking Branches and I’m enjoying re-reading it enough to think it might just be The One. The first one that makes it … I hope.

Favorite quote from Sam:

I tried an overnight Crockpot oatmeal recipe. By the time we stumbled into the kitchen it looked very unappetizing but made for a nice (pricey) potpourri. As we were coming down the stairs Sam said:

“Do I smell muffins? I smell something. What could that yummy thing be?”

I scooped some out, pretty sure he’d reject it on looks if nothing else, but instead he gobbled it up and said:

“You sure are a fast cooker, Mama!”


{What’s working: works-in-progress}

 

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Matt: Where’s the Wayne Dyer book?

Me: In the yellow stack.

Matt: {blank face}

Me: I organized our book by color. Or, at least, I’m working on it.

Matt: Why?
Me: Because I like the way it’ll look when I’m done. Plus, ask me any book we have and I know what color the spine is, ask me where it is on our shelf, and I have no idea.

Matt: There’s something to be said for alphabetical order.

Me: Have you met your children?

Matt: I hate to break this to you, honey. I didn’t realize you’d done that and started doing them in alphabetical order but the kids …

Me:Well,then it didn’t make the impression I was going for. I’d say until they stop pulling everything off shelves, we try it my way. Sam knows his colors, not his alphabet.

Later …

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Matt: Were you being ironic?

Me: Huh?

Matt: with the backwards letters?

Me: The kids …


{What’s working: order}

 

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Wish I’d taken a before picture so you could see what a revolutionary experience it is to have our cupboards this … serene. I {heart} Ikea.

Some friends of ours got together at a paint-your-own studio and made us a fun, mis-matched set of dishes for our engagement party. That was 10 years and two divorces ago … we enjoyed using the dishes, long after they chipped and were whittled down to a bare bones selection. It was time for new ones. I’ve wanted white dishes for a long, long time and finally found a good deal on them at IKEA. I use the clear ones on top of the little white ones for fun decorative touches like this – next time I’ll make the initials bigger. This is fun with paper napkins, Sam’s watercolor pictures, sweet quotes, and soon – Valentines.
Setting - initials


Word counts, back again …

 

Edwards' Barn

* see photo credit below

Pretty ideal huh?

But not if you’re one of the Edwards girls. Yes, that’s right … long-time readers might remember my fictional friend Isabella Edwards.

Word count: 549

Remember word counts? Long-time readers of my blog will remember that when I was in the flow of a novel I kept posting my word counts on here to keep me accountable. It’s crazy but true that some days just wanting to make sure I didn’t have a “0” got me to the keyboard now matter how tired I was.

So, I’m back. Back to my novel, Breaking  Branches and back to my daily Debt of Honor, 300 words per writer Anne Lamott’s advice.

During this making people period of my life, my writing’s been a bit scattered, lots of inspiration, notes, ideas, drafts – all of which I’m thankful for and look forward to seeing through.

However, there hasn’t been so much finishing going on. If it didn’t

have a deadline attached to it these last few years, it hasn’t gotten done. I’m ready to change that with my new favorite “f” words – focus & finish.

I have at least 6 writing projects-in-progress. Which is great for the part of me that enjoys writing and follows the ideas as they come. The part that isn’t great is you can’t get a manuscript published without actually finishing it.

I decided I must pick one and finish it. While choosing the one that’s the closest to finished, i.e. the longest draft I’ve been writing for years, it’s also the most intimidating choice because that means, well .. that I have to figure out how to finish it. I’ve never written anything that long before and have been so overwhelmed every time I’ve neared the end that I’ve walked away from it. Or had babies, or whatever. Enter this new program I’m using – Scrivener – bees knees, baby. Bees knees.

 

*I got this image from Wine Wench (I only was there long enough to know I’m interested in taking another peek later)

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