Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Again

I have some tales from Christmas.  Some are wonderful.  Some are harrowing.  Some are crazy.  I'll share them later.  For now, though, I have to share the story of tonight.  It starts with this story that I wrote last year:

Bubble Story

It was written at the request of my Mother-in-law, who wanted me to write a story with a happy ending.  I thought about it for months, and never came up with anything.  I have virtually no ideas of my own, you see.  I can shape words to create pictures and feelings and even, on occasion, sounds, but without a plot, the words come out empty.

It was in exasperation that I wrote The Bubble.  She wanted a happy story, and I could think of nothing happier than bubbles.  Unfortunately, as happens with all bubbles, it popped.  The story itself was happy, but the ending was actually quite sad.  I gave up on the idea of trying to write a story with a happy ending.

Interestingly, she loved it.  LOVED it.  She used it in a Church lesson that she presented.  She bragged about it to her friends.  She asked me questions about it.  She double-checked to make sure it was her story, that I had really given it to her, that she could do anything she wanted with it.

It was a doodle.  It was nothing.  I freely gave her license to do anything she wanted with it.

The year passed.  I had a baby.  I struggled through and passed a very hard class.  I cooked dinners and mended fences and wrote other doodles and helped friends and trained a horse and started a business and completely forgot about The Bubble.

Tonight, though, Hubby's parents came to join us for a post-Christmas celebration.  Traumatic things had happened which had interfered with all of us having a traditionally nice Christmas.  We all wanted a chance to make up for that lost time together.  We had saved our presents from them, and when they came, we opened them.

Oh, there was so much joy!  Chocolates!  And Toys!  And Movies!  It was a very happy evening. 

We had opened them all.  All but one.  That last one was for me.  It wasn't supposed to be finished for another 3 weeks, at least, but it had shipped in time and was here.  I opened it, and discovered a book.  It was a children's book.

It was called The Bubble, and it was written by Chelsea Roberts.  It all looked very official, with pretty illustrations, and even a dedication to Hubby, Schprid, and Wooble.  There was another dedication from the artist.  All very official.

I opened it up, and read my story.  My doodle.  My nothing, that suddenly became a fulfilled dream.  It was not just a one-time story that got matched up with some pre-existing pictures and turned into a gimmick.  It was my story that had gotten partnered with a real artist, and a real publisher, and the hopes and dreams of an entire family that worked for a year to keep it a secret. 

I laughed and laughed and laughed and then I cried.  It was amazing.  I have been published.  People want to buy my book.  Librarians and teachers want to buy my book.  It was nothing, and then it became something big.  I can barely comprehend the enormity of what has been done.  My heart is full to bursting, and I don't know what to say or think.

Yes, I do.  Thank you.  Thank you to everybody who has ever read my words, who has ever loved me, who has ever let me love you.  That reaction may be a little expansive for a small children's book, but few things have ever meant so much to me.  So, I thank you. 

My book will be sold on two different websites. and will both have it on sale, and I'll let you know as soon as it is.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


There's been a trend on Pinterest, lately, where people post things they want to do before they die.  There are things like "swim with dolphins,"  "eat at Hell's kitchen,"  and "have a marriage more beautiful than my wedding."  I ran across one that said, "be the one less lonely girl at a Justin Beiber concert."  I had no idea what it means to be one less lonely girl at a Justin Beiber concert, and I realized that I did want to know.  It was a reference to a culture I don't know about.

Here's the thing, though.  I don't want to listen to Justin Beiber's songs.  I don't fault those who do, I just get the feeling I wouldn't enjoy his music.  It's not that I specifically want to know more about JB.  I just want to know everything.  (Small wish, I know.)  I want to know everything because I want to be involved in the conversations and I want to understand the jokes.  All of them.

The end.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Someday's Promise

Have you ever come across something in a grocery store, an advertisement, a picture, and thought, "Someday..."?

Someday, I'll have my ideal body.

Someday, I'll be able to go there.

Somday, I'll be able to do that.

Someday, I can take those pictures, where my kids are the ones with the big smiles.

Someday, I'll feel secure enough with the money in our bank account and the money coming in that I can buy the fun things that tickle my brain.



I've been saying "Someday" for so long that it's become a hopeless mantra.  "Someday," is just a way for me to be weak enough to not seize Today.

Someday holds no promise.

Today, on the other hand, holds great promise.  For you see, Today, I can eat in the way that will help to get my ideal body.  Today, I can play with my horse and learn to do "that."  Today, I can do the work that will help me to go wherever I want to go, do whatever I want to do, and live the way that I want to live.  Today, I can promise myself that Someday will actually happen.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Few Thoughts

1.  It's my birthday.  All day.  And it's sunny and beautiful outside.  I'm turning 29.  If I understand the rules right, I will be turning 29 for every birthday after this one, as well.  Rest assured, for this one, I really am 29. 

2.  I'm really excited about this year.  I think 29 is going to be a good year.  I'm planning to graduate from college.  I'm planning to finally get down to my goal weight, or maybe even my ideal weight.  I'm planning to build my business and to learn more about horses.  I'm planning to start teaching my daughter how to ride. 

3.  You know that cute messy bun that you see on Pinterest?  I think I finally figured out how to make it, and I'm pretty stoked about it.  It's surprisingly comfortable.

4.  Our office is turning into more of an office.  It started out as a closet, so it's fun to turn it into an office.  On Saturday we ripped out the carpet and installed hard flooring that matches our hallway.  It's awesome.  Now the rolly office chair doesn't get stuck on the carpet.  It's entirely too much fun.

5.  Have you guys seen the new options for your blogs?  I'm tempted to try it.  In fact, I think I will.  After I finish this post, I'm going to try one of the new formats.  Let me know if you like it, kay?

6.  My 9-month-old-son is crawling.  Save me!

7.  The Schprid loves Tangled, and runs around the house singing (yelling) "Dashing, and bounding, and flying, and splashing, and running, and freeeeeeeeee!"  It's funny.  She also loves Christmas and enjoys "finding Tissass" lights on all the houses we drive by at night.

8.  I had so many ideas of things to write for you guys.  There was so much.  Each one could have been its own blog.  Now?  Nothin'.  Complete blank. 

9.  I better go clean my house, now.  Yes, I do need to clean, even though it's my birthday.  Not to worry... I have good presents coming to me later.  Hubby's good that way.

10.  The picture above is actually from last year.  Schprid is, if you can believe it, bigger and cuter now.  She also has more fun playing in the snow.  Absolutely loves it!  Still, this is a cute picture, I think.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy December!

This is not a long post, by any means.  I just wanted to say Happy December.  I like December.  Christmas, the lights, the first day of Winter, snowscapes, excuses to sit inside with a blanket and a book, the music, the family, the food, the gift-buying, and the easy excuse to help others be happy.  It also happens to be my birthday month, and Christmas and my birthday are in fierce competition for my favorite holiday.  So, welcome to my favorite month of the year.  I hope it finds you joyful!

Monday, November 14, 2011


My husband is away tonight.  The house is quiet.  The children are safely tucked in bed, the doors are locked, the chores done.  I've worked hard, today, trying to wear myself out.  It worked.  My mind is tired from learning and planning and caring.  My body is tired from exercising, from moving, from breathing.  Sadly, the tired doesn't do enough to distract me from the lonely, and the walls of my happy home echo the sound of my beating heart back to me.

Three and a half years.  That's how long we've been married.  Three and a half beautiful years.  We've spent one night apart, before.  That time, I was the one away.  Somehow, it was easier.  Everything was different, and so the absence of my partner was not so starkly outlined.  This time, I am the one left behind.  This time, I am the one that must face our empty bedroom and cold bed.

We've never fought, my husband and I.  We talk about everything, share everything.  We are gentle with each other, each understanding the other's struggles with the rest of life.  We cannot afford to fight.  Everything else is too hard.  We need each other.  At the end of every day, he is there for me.  At the end of every day, I get to be there for him.  I tell him we'll be okay.  He loves that I put my cold feet on his legs.  We kiss and cuddle and pray and wish each other sweet dreams. 

I want to get comically hysterical, tonight.  "I can't warm up the sheets by myself," I'll screech.  "My body doesn't work that way!"  He would laugh at me.  It doesn't make any sense to screech to myself.  It doesn't have the same impact in print.

I've braved the day by myself.  It was, all things considered, a very good day.  I got everything done that I wanted to.  I even held Family Home Evening, during which the Schprid and I made homemade peanut butter cookies, and sat and ate them with mugs of cold milk.  I got both kids put to bed by myself.  I even sat and watched an Audrey Hepburn movie and had as much girly alone time as I can take.  It's time to go to bed.  But I don't want to face that big bed all by myself, and so I sit and write, and hope my husband is happy and warm, and I eagerly count the hours until his return. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Domestic Disturbance

There's a bird in our attic.  It's decided to set up shop in the swamp cooler vent.  It's noisy and it's making a mess all over my hallway floor.  I've swept up after it 3 times already. 

I don't know how to get rid of it.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bigger Loser

Hello, Friends!

I'm happy today. 

Why am I happy?  That's a good question.

I'm happy because today was weigh-in day. 

It happens every Monday.  For the last couple of months, it's been a constant battle.  I'm up two pounds, and I'm down two pounds.  Through September and October, I fluctuated between 16 and 18 pounds of weight loss.  Finally, at the end of October, I stayed solidly at 18 pounds for two weeks in a row.  That was enough to encourage me and, this past week, I lost 2 more pounds.  That's right!  I have officially lost 20 pounds!!!  Woohoo!  It's taken me 5 months, but I've done it. 

I have 29 more pounds to go, but I've done 20.  I can do another 29.  Wish me luck, pray for me, and celebrate with me!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Domestic Thrills

Somebody broke our windows!  Not one, but two of them!

Okay, okay.  It happened before we moved in.  We bought the house knowing that there were two kitchen windows that needed fixin'. 

Of course, our living room was also bright yellow.  And our water heater was shot.  And our furnace wasn't really working.  And the kitchen cupboards had six layers of disgusting contact paper on them.  And the carpets were gross.  And the back fence to the pasture started to fall apart.  And... oh, yeah, we needed to eat.

Long story short, the windows weren't super high on our list of priorities.  We figured we'd wait until the money situation was a bit better.

They were, however, a very constant and visible reminder that WE NEED TO FIX OUR HOUSE!!!  And here's something interesting that I didn't know about broken windows- they sweat.  Yeah.  When I cook, which I tend to do fairly often, the kitchen heats up.  That contrasts with the cold outside the windows, and because one pane of glass is broken, the conrast on one pane of glass is huge.  Condensation forms.  Then it drips.  The drips fall down into the space between the panes, forming a pool in the window.  During the winter, this happens often enough that the water doesn't have time to evaporate.  I didn't even realize what was happening until one evening when I burned something and we had to open the windows out of self-defense.  The water sloshed around and splashed out of the broken window, down the windowsill, and onto the floor.  And it was somewhat rusty water.  Filled with dead bugs.  Gross.

I don't know if ya'll have noticed, but the weather's turning cold again.  Those broken windows have been staring at me for over a year.  I finally decided to do something about it, and last week, we got the windows re-glassed.  Yay!  My kitchen is finally starting to get pretty!  It gives me a little thrill every time I look out one of those windows.

It also highlights the contrast between a clean pane of glass and... well, the rest of the windows in my house.  It also weirds out my husband, because he thinks the new windows are open windows, and he tries to close them.  I've done the same thing myself a couple of times.  Ah, the thrills. 

I'm off to do a little dance!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The New Me... Or the Old Me with New Oomph

This is a versatile picture.  I like it.  I actually don't like the picture itself very much, but I like that you can use it for just about anything.  Time to cook dinner?  We can do it!  I'm gonna buckle down and lose some weight?  We can do it!  The car needs to be rebuilt from the bottom up?  We can do it!  It's uplifting, really.

On to the subject of this post.  You ready?

There is not enough time in the universe to do all the things I want to do.  That's a quote from my hubby.  And here's the thing:  he's right.  I am not an ambitious person.  I swear I'm not.  I'm a very solid type B, laid-back, ignorance-is-bliss, if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it kind of gal.  But somehow, I learned all sorts of cool things.  I write.  I want to write books and series and epic adventures.  I do arts and crafts kind of things.  I am very active in Church and all that it entails.  I enjoy cooking.  I like to organize.  (I know, I'm weird.)  I ride and train horses.  I exercise.  I read.  I play games.  I want to homeschool our kids.  I want to start a Melaleuca business.  I am learning photography, because I need a hobby to fill up all those spare hours I have just lying around.

In my newfound obsession with Pinterest, my imagination has been sparked with all sorts of new ideas for making and keeping a beautiful home and happy kids.  I honestly want to do them all!  We can do it!

But, I really can't.  It may be possible, but I'm not entirely sure how at this point in my life.  And so, here's my newfound plan:  I will focus on horses, and let the other things fall in wherever they may.  Horses do require a certain amount of time and effort, and, quite frankly, I'm happy when I get out there.

I figure, really, that there are tons of other people who can do the other things.  The world is abounding in arts and crafts and the wonderful people who can do them.  My brother is a better writer than I am.  I'm never going to be an acclaimed chef and I have no real desire to start any kind of a restaurant.  Church will always be there, but it doesn't take up the entirety of my life.  You get the picture.  But horsing really is a rare kind of activity.  There aren't nearly as many people who are adept with horses as there are people who can do the other things, and in a far better way than I can.

So, I am not giving up on my other talents.  I love them.  I just also think that horses are in my life for a reason, and I need to figure out what that reason is.  I'll let all you other girls be pretty.  For now, I'm going to roll up my sleeves, put a handkerchief on my head, and go out and get dirty with the horses.