Saturday, December 31, 2011

Two words...

For the upcoming 2012 year.


Maybe I'm just feeling overconfident, but I think it's going to be a great year. 2011 was amazing, really. I finally wrote, edited (with help) and finished my first novel. EVER. Ever. I've been writing for as long as I can remember, but I've never been here before. I can only hope and pray that things will continue on in the new year.

I'm so so lucky to have so many people who believe in my writing. Oftentimes more than I do! It is my wish to someday be able to thank every single person who believed in me, in print! I really hope I get the opportunity!

I can't believe I wrote a book this year, I mean, really wrote a book. It's crazy! And I'm now at the halfway point of my second one, at least the rough draft. And a third is cooking up somewhere inside my brain.

2012 won't be easy. I'm sure I'll get rejected a lot. And in the end I still might not get the recognition I deserve. But I'm determined to try and to not let the fear of failure, or eventual rejection change how I feel about myself. Even if this one doesn't work out I still plan on trying again and again.

2012 might be my never know!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A few final thoughts...

Regarding Christmas...

It's Christmas Eve, hooray! Honestly, I can't help but feel a tiny bit homesick, for our families. But, I have to remind myself, this isn't forever. Hopefully someday we can be close enough to spend the holidays with our families.

There's still a lot to be said about Christmas and what it means to me. As I was driving in the car on the way to the grocery store yesterday Sophia and I were listening to my all-time favorite Christmas carol, "O Come O Come Emmanuel". I can't help but think how  meaningful the words still are today. It talks about the world longing for a Savior, begging him to come and chase away the darkness of the world. "Disperse the gloomy clouds of night." And it culminates in the appearance of our Lord and Savior, "Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel has come to thee, O Israel." I cannot hear those words, and not rejoice, and maybe tear up a little. That's what we celebrate tonight. He came.

My thoughts are a little scattered, sorry. It's pretty hard, I think, as a Christian, to explain these things, I guess.

Another random Christmas memory...when I was little, my Great Grandma, my dad's Grandma, began a tradition of sending my brothers and I McDonalds gift certificates for Christmas. Five dollars, back then that was enough for two Happy Meals. Or when we were teenagers, several large orders of french fries. She continued to send them to us, every year, without fail, probably until we were grown-ups. I don't exactly remember when it stopped. But the tradition began anew when I had Elijah. I think she waited until the Christmas he was old enough to actually eat real food. When the five dollar giftcard came in the mail for him the Christmas of 2007 I laughed. My Great Grandma passed away in the fall of 2008, at 92. She met Elijah once, when he was a little baby, at her 90th birthday party. He was her first great-great grandchild, Sophia would have been her second. That Christmas I got a card in the mail from her daughter, my Great Aunt Carol. Inside was a five dollar McDonalds giftcard and a note saying grandma had asked her to send it. I'm not going to lie, it made me cry.

And this just proves what we have always known, or should know. It's the little things. The things  that might seem insignificant and minute, that we remember. Those are the memories we cherish as we grow older. It's always been strange to me, the things we choose to hold onto or remember. You don't always get to choose your memories from your childhood, it's almost as if they chose you. I'm glad this is one that will continue, I'm thankful for the memory of my Great Grandma and the way she always remembered us at Christmas (she had at least a dozen great grandkids). I'm thankful my aunt still continues this tradition.

This year we got two giftcards in the mail, one for Elijah and one for Sophia. And of course I teared up just a little, but I also smiled and remembered...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Adding insult to injury...

As mentioned in previous posts, both here and on my family blog, we have just barely gotten back to normal around here. Normal is relative, I know, but normal-ish. And guess what? Sophia is sick! Again!

If you don't remember, I certainly do, we were all really sick just a few weeks ago. In fact, it very nearly ruined our Thanksgiving we were all so sick. I feel like it was just a few days ago that I finally quit coughing. So not fair!

So far Sophia is the only one showing any symptoms. Still, she's the last person in the family I want sick. (Besides Matthew, since he's the one with the job that pays our bills.) She doesn't handle being sick very well. What baby does? She started running a fever on Sunday afternoon. Yesterday she was feverish on and off when she wasn't sleeping. She slept nearly all day. Know what that means. Yes, you do. She was up most of the night! I think she woke up around midnight running a fever and being fussy. She sat in bed with us drinking a gallon of water and whining. Poor baby.

She seems to be doing okay now, though not fully recovered. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that no one else will get sick. I'm not feeling to hot myself, but I'm chalking that up to lack of sleep. Elijah was supposed to be still doing school this week, but that's kind of gone out the window. We might just take an early Christmas break.

Fun stuff!

Monday, December 19, 2011


So, we've survived the Fall semester. Yes, I take full credit for it too. Well, maybe partial credit. I'd been anticipating last Friday night for about two weeks now. The time when Matthew would turn in his last paper and we would all be able exhale, finally. It didn't quite work out that way. Over the weekend it took us a little while to wind down from all the stress. For Matthew, waiting for feedback on his papers was the hardest part. Me, I just wanted things back to normal as quickly as possible. Over the weekend we found plenty of holiday related things to do. We went to look at lights, we watched  Christmas movies and we baked cookies. On Sunday afternoon he got some stellar feedback and an awesome grade from one of his professors and it felt like we'd finally normalized a little bit. Whew!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, having my own kids has helped me understand my own mom so much better. Or both my parents in general. Now I know why they got crabby during certain events. It never fails, you have something fun planned for the family, one kid won't eat their dinner and the other one is mouthing off. But you're going to look at Christmas lights, we're making family memories "So everyone get in the car and SHUT UP, we're having FUN!" Ha ha. Or something like that. I don't actually tell my kids to shut up, yet. But it never fails, right?

Christmas cookies. You know the ones cut out of sugar dough, decorated with icing and sprinkles. For the past seven years or so my mom has hands down refused to make them. During the last few Christmases it was always my dad and I who took on the chore. Now  I understand. Now I'm starting to hate them too. You know why, and why my mom hated them too. I have to do all the work! And it's a total pain in the butt to. So yes, by the time they are rolled, cut, baked and cooled and everyone else comes in to "help" decorate, you're just plain crabby. And I don't even like sugar cookies. So yeah, I understand now.

Maybe someday my kids will understand why mommy was always slightly crabby while making cookies....

Friday, December 16, 2011

Roller coaster...

That's what my week has been like all week long. Up and down. Good news and bad news. It's quite annoying really.

I'm not going to share all the bad, because I don't want to talk about it. But we didn't get to go to New York last night. Everyone was pretty bummed, at least the grown-ups. Especially the one who had to work on his paper all night.

In the good column, Matthew completely aced one of his finals already. He basically got the highest grade he's ever achieved since we've been here, so that's pretty awesome.

Like I said, it's just been up and down all week. Matthew has been home working on papers most of the week, which is hard, since I've still got to do school with Elijah and keep Sophia out of his hair. That's a lot of fun, as you can imagine.

Have I mentioned I don't like roller coasters, at all? They make me nauseous, kind of like this week has. I'm so ready for it to be over and we can move into the happy Christmas countdown mode. I'd be down with that. I've already got a list planned of fun family things to do together. Number one is going to the big drive through lights display they do here every year. Oh and stop and get coffee and donuts on the way! Hopefully tomorrow night! Our church is doing Christmas Eve and Christmas day services and I'm looking forward to attending both. Not just because Sophia has so many Christmas dresses to wear! For one, since Matthew's been so busy with school, it's been a few weeks since we all sat in a service together. Also, as a Christian, Christmas is my most favorite time of year to go to church.

I've got so many presents to wrap it's getting overwhelming! But still on my fun to-do list. See almost everyone in our family finds it easier (and I can't blame them) to order presents online and mail them straight here. So almost everything is unwrapped. I've got my work cut out for me.

What else? Well, we'll be baking cookies and watching Christmas movies too. All fun stuff. If we can just get off this roller coaster week NOW please and thank you!

P.S. Matthew's last paper has to be turned in by five today, after that we're home free!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I think it's time...

to sit down and watch "White Christmas". Preferably all by myself while the kids are napping or having quiet time. Why? I don't know. It's not like I'm not feeling the Christmas spirit this year, it's just been a long week. Matthew is still in the middle of finishing up papers, and probably will be until the end of the week. I seriously have barely seen him even though we're in the same house. He aced one final already, and has another tomorrow.

We also have tickets to go to a Christmas concert in NYC tomorrow. There is a small chance that we might not get to go. Especially since he has a final from 2-4, the concert is at 5:30. It takes an hour and a half, easy to get from here to NYC by train. Best case scenario, Matthew finishes up his final in an hour. The kids and I will be waiting at the Div school parking lot to rush to the train station, hop on the first train to Grand Central. Once we arrive at Grand Central we'll hustle over to St. Thomas on 5th Avenue. Sound good? Yeah, more like crazy. Also, he has another paper due on Friday. Soooo, looks like we might be staying home. Bugger.

It will all work out in the end. Even if we don't get to go to the concert, I really want to try and do a day in NYC. We haven't been to see the tree since our first Christmas here, 2009. Elijah was three and I was pregnant! Crazy. I'm sure Sophia would love it.

White Christmas, this afternoon. The movie, not snow!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wherein I continue to be completely...

nostalgic and overly-sappy about Christmas this year...

(title was a bit long)

Dude, we're kind of poor. Okay, maybe not kind of, officially poor. You know, the whole poor college student routine. Only we're a family of four. It's not too bad, we have the cheapest rent in the state of Connecticut, seriously. We have no car payment. We have tons of ridiculously generous family members and friends. Most of the time we manage to scrape by, occasionally we have to call in a favor.

Nine times out of ten, I don't mind. Really. Admittedly, Christmas is a hard time to be poor-ish. Obviously our kids have an amazing Christmas no matter what. They have far to many grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles to not be completely spoiled. The same goes for Matthew and I.

I'm pretty easy to buy for. I like giftcards. Did I say like? I mean I LOVE giftcards. Why? Because it's so much fun to go shopping. Lucky for me this year I got two giftcards from both my grandmas. I went shopping twice, on Friday and Sunday and totally loaded up. In the end I did end up using about a third of my money on presents for Sophia and Matthew. (Elijah's shopping is already done.)

When I got home from shopping on Sunday I decided to go ahead and give Matthew the presents I had bought him (new slippers and gloves) because he really needed them. What's really funny is that he got a giftcard last week too, and confessed to using part of it to buy me a present!

Kind of goes back to my whole "true love" post huh? Sometimes it is more fun to give than receive. Though I did enjoy spending the rest of the money on myself!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Yesterday I mentioned on my family blog that when I was a kid our star we put on top of the tree was made from cardboard and tinfoil. It was kind of a relic from the days when my parents, like us, were having some lean years. The funny thing is, we really loved that star. I remember it had a little hole in the middle where you could punch a light through so it would shine. Years later, when we were living in Germany my mom finally got a fancy angel tree topper, so the tinfoil star was replaced. Last time I check it was still in the Christmas box a my parents house.

We have a cute little star tree topper. It was purchased, along with our little tree and box of red ball ornaments, at Walmart on our very first Christmas together in Athens. Last year it suffered a little at the hands of Elijah, but with a little help from the glue gun it was fixed. This morning Sophia was trying hard to get an ornament off the tree and ended up pulling the who tree over. We broke a few candy canes, a lot of ornaments had to be re-attached and the garland and lights had to be rearranged. Our star broke, again. I got out the trusty glue gun to attempt a repair but quickly realized it would be impossible.

No big deal, right? I mean it probably cost 7.99 or something. We could easily replace it. I emailed Matthew in a little vent of my morning frustrations and he said maybe Elijah and I could make one, like the one we had I was a kid. So, just a few minutes ago I cut out a little star from the cardboard box (from my Grandparents, no less! and helped Elijah paint it gold. I have a little glitter that I'll probably find a use for, and maybe I'll punch a hole to stick a light though.

So, it's a little ironic, don't you think? The biggest emphasis for most people during this season is to keep a spirit of giving. For me, since we have little to give, I've tried to keep and an attitude of gratefulness, for all the things that have been given to me. And to remind myself, over and over again, even it feels like I have so little, I have been given so much.

Yeah, so I have a little cardboard star now. Maybe years from now it will be sitting in the bottom of our Christmas box, long since replaced by a shiny new star or angel. And we'll remember, and tell our kids how we used to be pretty broke and made a star out of cardboard one Christmas. Because what's more important is what the star represents, at least, to us.

"Guide us to thy perfect Light"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas memories...

I think it's pretty normal, this time of year to reflect back on a lot of my childhood Christmas memories. For whatever reason, since having kids I've become a nostalgic sap!

I guess most of my childhood Christmases were not much different than anyone else's. In my younger years we would often have one set of grandparents visiting. I remember candle lit Christmas Eve services. The special Advent book my mom would read us during school the whole month of December. I remember this really cool stuffed Nativity we had that my brothers and I liked to play with. And a cool pop-up Nativity book, which my kids now have.

From the ages of six or so, until I was twelve, my family lived overseas. So Christmas was a little bit different those years, mainly it was spent without visits from grandparents. Still, there were plenty of things about those years to make them special. For those years, Christmas came in a box. When the box from my grandparents arrived (and there were always two, one from my mom's parents, one from my dad's) we were always allowed to pick one small present to go ahead and open. That was always my favorite part, because sometimes the boxes came a whole week before Christmas! Sure, my parents bought us presents too, but it was always way more exciting to get a box in the mail from my grandparents. It was quite a chore for them too, I'm sure. All the boxes had to be shipped weeks and weeks in advance to make sure they'd make it across the ocean in time. Some years they made it on time, rarely they didn't.

Back then, especially when we lived in Germany I remember well going to the post office on base to get our mail (for some reason they didn't deliever it to our apartment). We would follow my mom excitedly down the halls of the post office lined with little mail boxes until we got to our own. It had a tiny little window you could see through and we would always be trying to get a glimpse to see if it looked like we had a pink slip (or was it a yellow slip?). A slip meant you had a package! And a package meant presents from grandparents. So then we'd go over to the package window and wait in line. Usually trying to peer over the counter when the clerk went to go get our box, hoping it would be something big! One Christmas in particular, a box from my mom's mom hadn't arrived, though we knew it was coming. Christmas Eve rolled around and it still hadn't arrived. So we went to the post office late at night, to see if it had come in on the last truck. Sure enough it had. Who needs Santa when you have grandparents, right?

It's funny now, looking back, since I know that's not the normal way to do Christmas. But for us, it was fantastic. And it just goes to prove to me that I don't have to try so hard to make Christmas perfect for my kids. It's Christmas! And they're kids, it will be perfect no matter what, at least in their eyes. Someday they'll look back on Christmases spent up here in Connecticut and maybe they'll remember the excitement of getting a box from Amazon via Mimi or Nana and how exciting that was. Who knows? And yes, we still get boxes every Christmas from both my grandparents, and I think I look forward to them just as much as the kids do!

What are some of your favorite, but maybe un-traditional Christmas memories?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Come on!

I'm feeling a little antsy today... I'm mean, I'm sure it's normal to greatly anticipate the upcoming Holiday. But really, I can't wait.

Not for the usual reasons....but mainly because I can't wait for Matthew to be done with school this semester. It's not like I've had to do all the work, because I haven't, besides trying to keep the kids out of his hair while he works on papers, rather frantically. It should all be over, or almost over this time next week, and I can't wait. Did I say that already? Sorry.

This semester has been particularly nuts for one reason, he's taking three classes as opposed the normal two, and still working part-time to pay our bills. Completely nuts. You know what's even more nuts? He wants to do it again next semester! He always has been a glutton for punishment.

There's this super-cheesy jewelry commercial airing lately, hmm ever heard of a jewelry commercial that wasn't super-cheesy? Anyway, in this particular one a husband is obviously graduating with some sort of degree. And yup, you guessed it, bought his wife a present! Of course! When I see this I look at Matthew pointedly...I'm kidding. I'm not really a jewelry person at all. But I will take one of those fancy-shmancy degrees he has hanging on the wall. Besides, he'll soon have three and I have...none. I won't even take the Yale one, I'd settle for the UGA Masters.

All this to say: I'm insanely proud of him. He's wicked smaht. And awesome and works harder than any person I've ever known. Oh and it's his birthday on Saturday!

Monday, December 5, 2011

True love...

Ha, I can't even write that without quoting "The Princess Bride"* wedding scene in my head!

Anyway, y'all know how I feel about coffee, right? As in, I would be dead without it? And coffee is never more needed or wanted than it is first thing on cold, Monday morning when I'm about to start school. Lately, our coffee pot seems to be dying a slow and painful death. But it's still plugging along, so we've yet to replace it. This morning I got up after Matthew. He'd gotten up fairly early to get a head-start on his homework and had already made his morning cup of coffee. So, I got the kids their breakfast and started to make my own coffee. Then I encounter a problem, no the coffee pot hadn't broken, no we weren't out of coffee (heaven forbid!)....we were out of filters. What? Seriously, I JUST went grocery shopping. UGH! I tore apart the pantry, literally in a panic, because I CAN NOT go with out coffee on a Monday morning!

Finally I resigned myself to the fact that there were no filters. Matthew was leaving for class in about fifteen minutes so there was no time for either of us to run to the store and back. So, no coffee, on a Monday morning. Not a good start. I'm now moping around the kitchen, about to microwave myself a cup of tea as a lame alternative when Matthew walks into the kitchen. He holds out his favorite Dead Sea Scrolls coffee mug and just says, "here". Yes, he gave me the last cup of coffee in the house! Now that, my bloggy friends, is true love! Especially since he is just as much of an addict as me and will probably have a whopping caffeine-withdrawal headache by noon! True love...

Of course, if he has time, he can go to the school refectory and get a cup, but still!

* When I was fifteen and working my first job at a schmancy little lunch restaurant my co-workers and bosses were appalled that I had never seen "The Princess Bride". Especially since they quoted from it constantly. One Friday before getting off work my boss handed me the video (yeah we still watched VHS back then) and said, "Here, bring it back when you can quote from it." And I did!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Not like riding a bike...

Many, many moons ago...okay so about four years ago to be exact, I started potty training my first born. Yes, if you do the math he was exactly eighteen months. Yes, I was pretty much insane, as most first time parents are. Also, I really had nothing better to do with my time! In my defense he was showing signs of interest quite often and had even gotten to the point where he would tell us when he needed to go. He would use hand-signs, interestingly enough, since he was still quite non-verbal at that age. Boy those were the days! Only one kid! And one that didn't speak at that!!

Now Sophia is at that same age, about a month ago she frequently started telling us "boo boo" when she was, well, you know, going boo boo. Hilarious. But, her being my second born and me being a little busier than I was when Elijah was this age, I haven't really done anything about it. It took Elijah around eight more months before he was officially potty trained, so I figured there was no big rush. Plus, I've heard a rumor, and I hope it's true, that girls are easier to train than boys. Elijah was super easy, so maybe Sophia will be...easier? Somehow I'm doubtful. Maybe because Sophia doesn't do anything you want her to. She does things her way.

Anyway, for Christmas my mom decided to buy Sophia a little pink potty. I had a feeling she'd be getting plenty of toys, in fact I KNOW she's getting plenty of toys, so I thought it was a good idea. Again, Sophia has been showing a lot of interest in the potty, even requesting to occasionally sit on the big potty, so my mom said it was okay if she went ahead and started using her Christmas present when it came. And it came, it all it's pink glory. (Does everything have to be pink when you're a girl? Why yes, yes it does!) Sophia of course was completely thrilled and sat on it right away. Fully clothed, in the living room...while watching cartoons. Why not? Yesterday we moved it into our already cramped bathroom. And here we are again, potty training? Ehh maybe not so much. But we're getting comfortable with the idea.

See, that's the problem with having kids four years apart. I think I've quite forgotten how to do all this. For the life of me I can't remember exactly how I managed potty training success before. And of course, there's always the proverbial problem of every child being completely different. I happen to know for a fact that my two kids couldn't be more opposite if they tried.

Where does that leave me? Clueless. And completely winging it. Kind of like I did the first time, and that turned out alright, didn't it?

(Oh and she did go "boo boo" on the potty today, and was quite nonplussed by the whole thing.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I think he's got it...

Last night before bed I read the kids "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". Elijah's heard the book many times, Sophia, probably not at all. When we got to the end, when the Whos all go out and sing despite the fact that they had no presents or "Who feast" I took the opportunity (like any good parent) to point out that Christmas is not about presents. I went on to point out that it's about spending time with your family and before I could elaborate any further Elijah pipes up with, "And it's about celebrating the birth of baby Jesus!" Ha, who doesn't love being put in their place by their five year old? And he's right, of course, as Christians that is the number one reason why we celebrate Christmas. It was just really cute coming from him, in that moment. It's always good to realize that your child actually gets it sometimes, you know?

This time of year there is a lot of emphasis on the word "believe". At the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade that was their tagline. Of course, they mean believe in the magic of Christmas, in Santa. We don't particularly "do" Santa around here. And for a moment or two I kind of felt bad, was I letting my kids miss out on what can be a really cool tradition of believing in something magical like Santa? For me, the answer is no, since we are teaching him to believe. Not in the magic, but in the miracle of Jesus' birth. When I brought this up to Matthew he also pointed out, that Jesus was something our kids could believe in their whole life, too, not just at Christmas, not just as innocent children, but forever.

"And they will call him Emmanuel, which means "God with us"" Matthew 1:23

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday Randomness....

  • I have a love/hate relationship with Wednesday. Maybe because it's such a pain in the butt to spell. In a way, it is the middle of the work week/school week, so that's good. But also for us, it's a stay-at-home and catch up on school work and house work day. So that's no fun.

  • Plus, there is only one good TV show on tonight. Boo. (Criminal Minds)

  • Anyway, I'm supposed to be sweeping/mopping the kitchen right now, while Elijah does his busy work and Sophia naps. But alas, here I am.

  • What is going on with the slashes today? I guess I like them.

  • Also, the word alas. It makes me think of Dumbledore, good old Dumbledore.

  • Which reminds me, basically the only thing on my Christmas list this year is the last Harry Potter movie. OOOh and the Lord of the Rings extended edition on Blu-Ray. Ugh, but it's pricey. Boo.

  • Yes, I know I'm a geek/nerd/dork whatever...

  • In other news, the four of us are now mostly healthy. (yay) Sophia and I still have a bit of a lingering cough, but other than that, we're good. About time too, we'd hardly left the house in two weeks. Everyone was about to go a little insane!

  • We have a busy, busy weekend ahead of us. Saturday alone will be crazy, we'll be putting up the tree, making some Christmas goodies to snack on. Oh and watching the SEC championship game, GEORGIA v LSU!! So excited. Sunday we're having company, also excited for that.

  • What else? Oh I can't wait to watch Christmas movies, though it's still a tad early. Espcially Christmas Vacation (a Conley family tradition) and White Christmas (seriously, my all time favorite movie EVER! My blog name even comes from it!). I might be watching that one alone... Oh and Home Alone with the kids, oh and Polar Express. Love Christmas movies!

Ugh, I think I'd better go, I hear rustling noises coming from the room where someone is supposed to be napping!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Thanksgiving or Christmas Conundrum...

It's a lifelong debate between most adults...which is better Thanksgiving or Christmas? We all know how kids feel about the two, but I think most grown ups would agree that Thanksgiving is the superior one of the two. For one thing, it's not about buying and exchanging gifts. It's simply about good food and good company. Normally I would agree. Except I really, really love presents! Also, I might have agreed a few years ago, when we would spend the holiday with family. And when my mom, or my mother-in-law were doing the majority of the cooking!

It's not that I mind the cooking, really, I love to cook. And I've never had any huge Thanksgiving disasters. For the most part we have been enjoying the past three Thanksgivings, spent with just our little family. Except for one thing. I do all the cooking. All of it. This probably woudn't be as big of a deal if I didn't insist on cooking so much!

Here's our menu for this Thanksgiving: turkey, gravy, cornbread dressing, brocolli cheese casserole, rolls, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie. Excluding cranberry suace, all was made from scratch, by me. I was baking on Tuesday! Anyway, I'm not complaining, not really, but dang that's a lot of cooking! I enjoy every bite, and I pretty much refuse to cook anything until all the leftovers are done.

And by the time the table is set, the food is all ready to go, the kids are dressed and in their seats...I look like this...


Haha, hello mad face! (Thank you Matthew, for snapping this picture of me.) Also, yeah I need to take the meat cleaver off the wall. But that's such a handy place to keep it.

All that just to say this: from now on, Christmas is my favorite holiday, hands down. Well, unless Matthew requests duck for Christmas dinner...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Not feeling it...

I know this is the time of year when one (aka ME) loves to write a sappy post about how I'm thankful for every-freaking-thing... alas, this is not the time.

Why? I'm still sick. Well, sick-ish. Not sleeping well, coughing and blowing my nose. Yay. On the other hand, I will say I'm super-thankful for the fact that Sophia finally seems to be on the mend. I swear I hadn't even seen her so much as smile since Friday! And yesterday when she got up from her nap she was actually playing, smiling and talking! It's really hard seeing your baby so miserable, so I am thankful for that.

Aaaaand if you came here for sappy posts, I already wrote's down there somewhere.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving if I don't see you again...because I'm dead or something. Just kidding.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Ahh, who am I kidding? Let's just say it was the absolute worst of times and be done with it, shall we?

So, in case you're wondering why I say this, let me fill you in. We're sick. Every last one of us. All at varying stages of a wicked cold. Elijah started it, so let's blame him. He had a fever, oh week before last on a Thursday, by Saturday he was coughing and blowing his nose. The week went on and still no one else got sick. I had hoped that for some crazy reason he wasn't contagious or something. Well, that was stupid of me! I don't remember now if it was Friday or Thursday, but Sophia came down with a fever too. And we all know as moms, that a fever is almost always the harbinger of doom. Friday came, and by the evening I noticed something even more disturbing. I had a sore throat. Which for most adults is...the harbinger of doom, or in this case: death.

Friday night was pretty miserable. I was in the beginning stages of a cold and Sophia was now coughing and congested and pretty much unable to sleep. We decided that the only way she was going to get any sleep was if one of us sat up with her in bed. Oh lovely. Have I ever mentioned I don't like co-sleeping, at all? I don't. Especially not when my baby sounds like Darth Vader and I already have one foot in the grave. But we did set up the air mattress out in the libaray and took her in shifts. As a result she slept as good as she could. And the the 2.5 hours of sleep I got were pretty great too. (Yeah, that was sarcastic.) Saturday morning Sophia seemed a lot better. I went back to bed until around nine and woke up feeling surprisingly better.

So what did we decide to do? Stay home and take it easy all day? Of course not, we went to a football game! Granted, the weather wasn't cold, we had the tickets already and the sickies were feeling pretty good for once. At this point Elijah just had a lingering cough, so he was mostly better. The game was fun. We went to the Yale - Harvard game. (No we didn't even know about the tailgating incident until we came home. They did mention at halftime that there had been an accident before the game, but we assumed it was a car crash.) Anyway, around the third quarter, Sophia and I were quickly deteriorating, so we headed home. We both slept almost the entire afternoon.

Once again, I wake up feeling okay. Sophia not so much. That leads me to Matthew, now it's his turn to get sick. Which also meant I was on my own, co-sleeping with the baby. He took nyquil, s there was no way he was going to sleep with her. (Why do you need to know all this? I don't know, it's my blog and this what I feel like talking about today.) Anywho, Saturday night was a little better than Friday. Except that I woke up at 5 a.m. after putting Sophia back in her bed, I was starving and feverish. So I did what any normal person would do. Grabbed a box of cookies, brought them to bed with me, and wrote for a little while. Now, I actually managed to write TWO synopsis for my book, which is great. But I'm pretty sure I was mostly delirious at the time, so I'm a little afraid how they might turn out. Oh well.

Sunday was much like Saturday. Without the football game and with a sick husband to take care of as well. At this point I moved into trying to psyche myself out of being sick. Which usually doesn't work, but whatever. But I am happy to say that this morning I am feeling mostly better, except blowing my nose constantly. Elijah hardly coughed at all last night so I'm hoping he'll be 100% soon. Sophia is coughing awfully bad, but she seems in good spirits. Matthew on the other hand, is the one in bad shape. And of course, he had to go to work today. Fortunately he's out of school all week, though he was counting on this week to work on his papers. He can only work Mon-Wed this week, so he had to go this morning. He has one of those lovely jobs where if you're sick and can't work, then you don't get paid. Which is fun, right? Hopefully he'll make it through the day okay.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll all be close to healthy on Thanksgiving. Otherwise...well, it would really suck!

Friday, November 18, 2011


So by now, unless you've been living under a rock, you've already seen one or all of the amazing pictures we had taken. Because I've been spamming the internet with them ever since I saw the first one. Needless to say, I'm sort of in love.

Just this morning I sat down to put together our family Christmas card online. Immediately I found myself drawn to the ones with the headline "Joy".

Wonder why?

Hoppers (46 of 68)
(Sorry if you've seen this about a million times already.)

Well, yeah, I would believe that pretty much represents joy, don't you? Joy is like happiness times ten, I think.

Matthew and I were talking about Christmas gifts the other day, and I was surprised (very surprised!) that I had so few things on my list. We don't spend much money on oursleves on a daily basis, almost none, unless completely necessary. So usually Christmas is our time to get a few things for ourselves. For me that mostly includes clothes, and a few CDs or movies I have been wanting.

This year I feel pretty content. Though I'm not turning down the fabulous riding boots my mom already bought me. I think there's a pretty good reason why my Christmas list is so short this year and here's why...

I already have everything I could ever want, right here, right now.Hoppers (60 of 68)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

You know...

It would be easier for me to write my book synopsis when I'm suddenly struck with a revelation if I could find a freakin' blank sheet of paper!!!

Seriously, almost every time I'm at Wal-Mart, which honestly, isn't too often, I try to pick up a three pack of white legal pads. This has been my paper of choice ever since I started working on this project back in January.

So why is it there's not a single sheet to spare? Someone is writing too much. Ehh that would be me. I love writing long hand, but it's cost me a ton in ink refill, I'm sure.

Ah, found one. I have ONE notebook with some blank sheets. Hallelujah. Now what was my idea again?

In a world gone MAD!

That's how it starts.

Just kidding.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Randomness...

I can't believe it's Wednesday, why? Because it totally feels like a Monday. A crappy, boring, INSANE Monday. Why am I blogging now, you ask? This is usually prime teaching time. Well, because my soon-t0-be eighteen month old is on a little reign of terror and I can't get a thing done until she crashes. Which will hopefully be soon.


  • I can't believe it's going to be Thanksgiving next Thursday?? I really need to sit down and get my menu together and make my mile-long grocery list. I love Thanksgiving, but I dread the shopping. I'm even planning on taking Matthew to work Monday morning so I can do my all-important turkey selection. I will be in the zone. Don't call. Of course I'll have both kids with me so that will make it interesting.
  • Speaking of kids, I feel a little bad lately all my blog posts on the family blog have been about Sophia, I really need to do one about Elijah. I guess I don't post much about him because anything to do with him would be regarding school and I don't want to brag too much. *ahem* Okay maybe I do just a little. The last book he read was "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe". WHAT?!?
  • I'm honestly a little freaked out by him lately. I feel like he'll be smarter than me, and probably taller, in just a few short years and I won't know what to do with him!
  • And then there's Sophia, who will be wearing my shoes, stealing my clothes and borrowing my make-up all too soon.
  • Sigh. Let's change the subject.
  • My book! Oh my book. I'm still stewing on my ideas for a synopsis. Trying to decide what it is exactly that will set my book apart from all the others out there. My problem is that I have NO gimmick. There's no vampires or witches and it's certainly not "dystopian". Which I hear is the new thing... Nope, it's just completely normal. But hey, maybe that's what I should focus on, the ordinary becoming extraordinary. Hmmm...
  • Speaking of my book, I just realized last night that I worked on my first book for FOUR years. That's pretty cray-cray right? And it remains unfinished. You know how long it took me to write my current book? Eight months. BOOYAH!
  • Not to mention I'm halfway though the rough draft of my second.
  • What else? Oooh Christmas shopping! I'm totally loving it this year. Last year Sophia was still very much a baby, so there was only so much she could get into. This year will be so much fun. Matthew and I split the shopping for the kids, he shops for Elijah and I shop for Sophia. So far I've gotten her a Sleeping Beauty Barbie doll. Also on my list is a pillow pet (she loves them!) and a tea set. Ahhhh, what can I say? I love having a little girl!
  • Dude, we're totally tailgating at the Yale game on Saturday. That's how we roll.
I think that's all, for now. Time to go try and put the little monkey to bed. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm not afraid...

Or at least that's what I'm trying to convince myself.

Last night I made a big choice, one that probably should have been a no-brainer, but for me it wasn't. I decided I would take the next step in trying to get my book published. What that basically involves is trying to find an agent. To find an agent you basically have to send out a million emails containing your "query". A query is just a brief synopsis of your book and a author bio. Doesn't sound to hard right? Well, yes and no. But I'm getting ahead of myself already.

See, I've pretty much finished with the editing process, obviously I had a ton of help from THE Laura Case, who I'm sort of indebted to forever. And I've reached the inevitable "now what?" phase of the writing process. As of last night I was fully convinced that e-publishing is the way to go. All you do is upload your PDF file, set your price and BAM you get %70 of the profits. Which means if I'm lucky, I could make fifty bucks! As soon as I told Matthew this idea he adamantly told me no. (The nerve!) He said he wanted me to try getting published for real. I immediately went into this huge tirade about how that's a one in a million chance and I might as well try and win the lottery or American Idol for that matter. I emailed Laura (rather frantically a few times, sorry) and she basically said the same thing. GO BIG OR GO HOME!

Well....I'm not going home. After googling around a little I found an amazing website that helps put aspiring writers in touch with agents who are looking for clients. It made me feel so much better to have the next possible step laid out in front of me. For now I have a to-do list in my head before I can start sending out my queries. For one, I've got to get my query written. I've been doing a lot of brainstorming on my synopsis and hopefully I'll have something ready soon.

So, big deal right? I mean, for me, just saying I'm going to go for this is a HUGE step. I know there are many people in my life who won't let me give up with out trying, and that is a great feeling. As scary and daunting as the road ahead of me may be at this point, something did occur to me last night. I wrote a book. Already. It's done! I did it. I have more coming. That in itself is a huge accomplishment for an aspiring writer, and I shouldn't let myself forget that.

Basically, it's a long shot, but at this point it seems like a shot worth taking.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Counting down...

I'm the kind of person who likes to have things to look forward to. I'm assuming that's a pretty normal trait. Usually I just pick something one to two weeks away to look forward too, just to get me through the mundane tasks or boring weeks when there's not too much going on.

Ehh, well, life is pretty mundane and boring most of the time isn't it? And usually when it's not it's because of something bad... Wait, well, scratch that last, it's really not that bad! But I do get a case of "Groundhog day" every once and while.

What was I saying? It seems this happens to me a lot. I come here to say something, or make a not-so-important point, then I start rambling and completely forget what I was talking about in the first place. Story of my life.

Right, so looking forward. This week I'm looking forward to next Saturday, because we're going to the "Yale Bowl". AKA Yale V Harvard! I'm so excited. For one, I've never been to a college football game before. Despite having lived in one of the biggest college football towns in the South, within walking distance of the stadium no less! I have, however, been to an NFL game, surprisingly. So I'm really excited. And all four of us get to go. If you didn't know this already, and I"m sure you do if you read my family blog, everyone in this family LOVES football. College and NFL. Now, the Yale Bulldogs are not exactly the Georgia Bulldogs, but they'll do. Fingers crossed that the weather stays cool and sunny like it's been lately.

So, yeah, should be fun. Or insane, with two kids. As always, Sophia is the wild-card. She really could go either way with this sort of thing, you just never know.

Speaking of counting down (not to totally freak you out!) but do yo realize it's TWO WEEKS until Thanksgiving??! What the??? That's crazy, right? Not only that, but as soon as it's Thanksgiving it will be four weeks until Christmas. Uggghhhhh... I have bought some Christmas presents for the kids (basically the only people we shop for) but still. Oh and also, Matthew's birthday is on the tenth of December so that's one more thing to prepare for...which I'm not prepared for.

Fun stuff. At least there's a lot to look forward to!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I've always joked around about the fact that I seem to have mild OCD. Specifically when it comes to cleaning the house. I just can't stand messes, period. Still, I've never considered myself to be one of those super-crazy neat freaks. I mean, I let my kids make messes, I just make them clean it up afterward! I only do laundry twice a week. Vacuum, sweep and mop once a week. So I'm certainly not out of control or anything.

Or so I thought...

See, we don't have a dishwasher. In fact, in the six years I've been married I've only had a dishwasher for nine months out of that. The nine glorious months we lived in our pretty little townhouse in Athens, with TWO bathrooms AND a dishwasher. Heaven on earth, right there. So, anyway, we're back to no dishwasher here. But at least in this house, as opposed to our old, tiny campus apartment we lived in when Matthew was attending UGA, we at least have a double sink. The only downside of having the double sink, with no garbage disposal is that if one sink gets even remotely clogged, the other one backs up as well. Seriously, I could get a job as a plumber, I'm so good at unclogging kitchen sinks...but I digress. What was I talking about? Oh right, cleaning OCD...

Well, the other night I woke up at two a.m., I think I was checking on Sophia because she had made some noise. (Did I also mention I have super-sensitive hearing? Yeah that's fun.) Anyway, on my way back from the kids room I noticed a funny smell coming from the kitchen. I went back to bed and tried to sleep, but the smell and the possible source was still bothering me. Finally I decided it must have been coming from the sink, specifically the second sink, which all the gross food and stuff seems to get backed up in. Is this really gross? Sorry. So, I get back up out of bed and go out to the kitchen. The second sink is usually covered by my giant dish drainer so I move that to the side. Sure enough, the sink is super-gross. So what do I do? I clean it! I'm talking full on scrub and bleach. Also, it's one of those old-fashioned deep sinks, so this is no small task. Finally satisfied that my sink is non-stinky I go back to bed.

Now, when I wake up the next morning I have almost no memory of my nighttime cleaning. But when I go into the kitchen I can't help but notice the dish drainer in the wrong spot (because I have OCD right? It doesn't go THERE!) and the sink all shiny and sparkly. At first, like any sane person, I think the sink-cleaning fairy has visited us. But then I vaguely remember cleaning the sink at two a.m. in my pjs, half asleep.

This makes it kind of official, doesn't it?

*Cue people inviting me to spend the night at their house in hopes I might clean their shower.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On the menu for tonight...

Hungarian goulash, and homemade honey-wheat rolls. Yum!

NOT anything like icky American goulash, which I believe is ground beef with tomatoes and egg noodles, right? Hungarian goulash is beef cubes slow cooked with tomato puree, onion and lots of smokey Hungarian paprika, served over rice. It is so freaking good!

Yup, I've got skills in the kitchen.

Only thanks to my mom, though, those are both her recipes.

Now I'm hungry!

Friday, November 4, 2011

I knew this would happen...

I sold my soul to Pinterest...I mean I signed up for Pinterest and I all I have to show for it are my sticky, craft-glue covered hands and a kitchen floor littered with construction paper scraps.

I hate crafts.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I'm a total wuss when it comes to cold. I'm 100 percent "cold natured". Now, seeing as I how I spent the last twelve years in the South, this has never been too much of a problem. But then we moved to New England two years ago, so it became a very big problem.

Our first winter here was 2009, and it wasn't too bad, to be quite honest. For Matthew and Elijah, both born and raised in Georgia, the snow thing was all new and novel. I'd spent a few winters in Germany, so I've been in snow before. Still, it was a good winter. We went to Rockefeller and saw the tree. Yeah we froze our butts off. But snow in NYC on the weekend before Christmas...well, it was kind of magical. Also I was pregnant with Sophia that winter, so I'd like to believe that had something to do with not being as cold as I usually was. It didn't snow too much that winter. And we couldn't have complained even if it did. See, we chose to move here, and we were still trying to prove to ourselves that we didn't hate it here.

Now, last winter, the epic winter of ' broke us. Seriously, you know how much snow we got l last winter? I don't either. But I think it was somewhere in the ballpark of 70 inches. Total. Craziness. After that winter I gladly said that I hate New England winters and will gladly move back down South ASAP!!!

Summers are great here though...and fall, usually. Not this fall though.

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, I hate being cold. And it is cold here already! I already said it snowed this past weekend, that doesn't bode well AT ALL. I'm just not looking forward to being snowed in for weeks on end. Ugh.

We're supposed to be getting family pictures taken this Saturday, outside. Hopefully it won't be too cold. Although it would be rather Christmasy if our teeth were chattering and our lips were blue...

Monday, October 31, 2011


*ahem* Sorry, I just got done teaching Latin.

Today, I was going to blog (by that I mean brag) about my awesome multi-multi-tasking skills. You know, the ability to do not one, but ten things all at the same time. But then I realized, due to my multi-multi-tasking I have no time to blog.

Seriously, it was going to have picture and everything. You'll just have to take my word for it!

Happy Monday everyone.

Oh crap, it's Halloween isn't it?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Everyone has a weakness, here's mine...

So, I guess I've been living under a rock lately. (I'd like to call that rock "being a stay-at-home-mom-homeschool mom and wife to a husband who is way overloaded this semester") But I just now have become aware of the whole "Pinterest" phenomenon. Like a lot of things that become popular, I'm the last to know. (What is this whole iPhone thing I keep hearing about?) Well, because I'm a sucker for peer-pressure, I decided to check it out.

Now, from what I've been hearing from friends, Pinterest has a lot to do with decorating ideas and craft ideas. Um, well, not much decorating going on here. My couches were hand-me-downs from my parents (well, you all know one of my couches currently resides in my front hallway!), my curtains are also hand-me-downs from my parents. The only things hanging on our walls are wedding photos (because in my head I'm still 20 and gorgeous as I was that day) a cheap skyline print of NYC from Target...and a clock. Yep, decorated! Also, I had a cutesy little painted sign that I fell in love with that read "...and they lived happily ever after" but it went missing after we moved. I suspect Matthew had something to do with this. I loved that sign!

Anyway, like I was saying, I'm not overly into decorating or crafts. I was leery of Pinterest just because I was afraid it would be just the kind of thing to make someone like me feel not content in their life. After all, I don't even really have a house to decorate, or money to decorate with. And for the past six years I've done a pretty good job with being content regarding my place in life...ahem, as a moderately poor person. So I try hard to stay away from things that might screw that up for Pinterest. And I was doing a pretty good job of it. Until today, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Hellooo Achilles heel, guess what I found on there??

Homeschool rooms! Ahhhh. Omigosh. MUST.HAVE.SCHOOL.ROOM! Tidy little organized desks, blackboards on the wall, cute little cubby holes with school supplies, maps on the wall. Did I mention ORGANIZED!?!ah, currently our school room situation is like this: Elijah has a little desk in the living room and I have half a shelf on the bottom bookshelf that I literally STOLE from Matthew. Do you know what I'd give to have a school room like some of the ones shown on Pinterest? Well, let's just say it wouldn't be legal.

Weakness, major weakness. And so there you go. Must walk away and go back to being content with my situation in life, which currently does not include a schoolroom, sadly. Put it on the list of things like "second bathroom" and "kitchen with actual counter tops". Someday perhaps. In the meantime, I guess there's no actual harm in looking at these dream school rooms. Or is there?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I just realized...

that no where in my music collection (CDs and iTunes combined) can I find Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"....this is a travesty!

How am I supposed to teach my kids Rock Music 101 without it? I will have to go so if it is available on iTunes ASAP. Seriously.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Randomness...

I've sort of been lagging on the blogging front lately. As usual, not from lack of things to blog about, but from lack of time to blog. And even if I do have time it seems like something else crops up to slow me down, computer issues or just plain feeling lazy.

So here I am....

  • Speaking of time restraints I'm still trying to keep up with my two big goals for the year. Finish my book, completely. And to meet my workout goal. Ehhh can I just say the workout one is probably not going to happen. But I will come close, which is good enough for me. I'm generally happy with my weight and body right now, so it's not that big of a deal to me. However, I'd like to try and stick to the goal just to make sure I'm still working out at least a few days a week. As for the book, well, we're getting there...

  • And speaking of the book. I had to have a "conference call" with my editor, Laura, last night to discuss the ending of my book. *Cue dramatic music, dun dun DUN. Basically, like I was afraid of, my ending is slow and draggy, compared with the rest of the book which is fairly fast-paced and exciting. (Or so I've been told) So I still have a lot of work to do with it. Writing the ending has been so hard for me, mainly because I've never written the ending of a book before! Right now I'm just in the stages of thinking it through again, hopefully I'll get it figured out. My goal is to finished by early December and get Matthew to read it over his Christmas break. This will be his first time reading anything I've ever written, so it's more than a little nerve wracking!

  • I had waaaaaay too much coffee this morning, just saying. Not a good thing, I'm a little stabby today...crabby...stabby...whatever.

  • You know how they say your sense of smell is directly connected with your memories sometimes. This is the weirdest thing. But I got this dish soap and whenever I smell it I get this bad feeling. Like the smell reminds me of something really unpleasant. I must have used this particular soap during a particularly bad, stressful time in my life. It's apple or something, blech! I know that sounds totally weird and crazy, but it's totally true! I just need to throw it away and get some happy-smelling soap!

  • Put that on my list...happy smelling soap...what does happy smell like exactly?

  • The kids and I have a lot of fun fall activities this week. We're making caramel apples, painting their little pumpkin. Friday night we're going to have our annual pumpkin carving Halloween party. Saturday morning we're going Trick or Treating at the mall. So exciting!

  • I made the mistake of dressing up like a pirate and playing with Elijah last week. Now he's asking me to dress up like a pirate and go to the mall with them like that. I tried to explain that that would make me a total dork, but he remained unconvinced...

  • Elijah played his last flag-football game on Sunday morning. He was a little sad that the season was over. Matthew and I on the other, weren't so sad. I look forward to not having to be at the field at 7:30 every Saturday morning, especially now that it's really getting cold out.

  • And speaking of cold...we're supposed to be getting our oil tank filled today for our heat. Oh yeah. Toasty and warm...soon anyway.

  • Anyway, Elijah is done with his spelling words so I've got to cut this short. I'm going to try and blog more than once a week this week, but I can't promise anything. By that I mean I can't promise anything interesting, but lots of mindless rambles. You know what they say, "write what you know!"

PS...I like it when my spelling errors are so bad even spellcheck doesn't know what I was trying to say!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Or at least I was this morning, to kick it up a notch so as to meet my work out goal for the year. I'm at 90 hours and some change, which means I have 35 hours to go. Seems impossible right? Probably is. I had just decided that my best bet would probably be to get outside and do lots of walking. Not a problem since we live a few blocks from a lovely seaside walking path. Elijah loves to ride his bike, Sophia loves her stroller and I love walking. Also, it's a really good workout to keep up with an exuberant five year old on his bike. I swear, if I had a jogging stroller I could easily jog behind him to keep up. But alas, I do not. So I keep it to a fast walk, periodically yelling from far behind for him to slow down and wait!

So yeah, that was all part of the plan. Until I woke up and looked out the window. To my dismay it was rainy, dreary and downright dismal. They don't call it New England for nothing! So Jillian Michaels it is for today, then maybe some yoga.

Maybe I'll hit the pavement tomorrow...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

In other news...

Clearly I've been a little busy the past few weeks. Thus my lack of blogging. I usually try to do at least two posts per blog a week. But even that has been a challenge. Not for lack of blogging fodder, but from like of time. As usual! I even considered briefly shutting down this blog since I didn't have much time to write. But today I realized I kind of like having my own little outlet, even if it's just to ramble to myself for a little while.

What have we been so busy with? Well, as I mentioned we had company this past weekend. We were supposed to be expecting my grandparents for the weekend (this afternoon actually) but as you've probably heard by now, my grandpa was in a biking accident last Saturday. He was released form the hospital yesterday and is doing much better. He still has three broken ribs, so I think it will be awhile before he's up to travelling again.

The kids and I took a much-needed Fall break these past few days. I took Friday off so I could finish up with all my cooking and cleaning I needed to do before Matthew's parents arrived. We also took of Monday and Tuesday of this week, which ended up being a great plan. This is the firs time we'd taken off from school since the beginning of the year nine weeks ago and we all really enjoyed it. Sometimes you just need a few days to take a deep breath in, you know?

But, now we're back on track and back to school as of yesterday. The only problem with a little vacation time is that it's always hard to get back into the swing of things.

I for one am having a hard time getting back to my writing after about a week and half off. I'm so so close to being finished with my first edits that it's not even funny. But I can't seem to hammer out these last few chapters, no matter how hard I try. I'm just lacking the focus it takes to edit right now. And that's more than a little frustrating to me. That's the problem with writing, it takes so much more than you can just muster up inside of you sometimes. You've actually got to have a little inspiration and a little heart to make it work out perfectly. There's just so much more to it than sitting down and making yourself do it. You have to feel it too. And right now I can't make myself feel it.


Though, fortunately, this isn't something new. And I know I'll snap out of it soon. Probably when I have a little more time on my hands. Which will probably be....never. Oops. Still I've made it this far.

Anyway, so that's a general update on things around here...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The company clean...

Ever heard of it? It's when you have incoming house guests and you completely panic and clean the house from top to bottom like you do only for company. You know, the proverbial "illusion of perfection". *sigh*

I love having company of course. Especially since we live so far away from all our family. We don't get company but a few times a year. Our last house guest was in March. So it's been awhile since my last company clean.

And I like cleaning really, I'm weird. Or maybe I just like the end result. I'm a big fan of an insanely clean house. At least, for the five minutes it lasts. My problem would be my tendency to procrastinate, until I only have 48+ hours until my company arrives and suddenly have to do a huge amount of cleaning. It sort of makes sense, since it will just get dirty again before they arrive, inevitably.

So, I've got my lovely little anal-retentive list written up with all the things I have to do. Least favorite, take down the shower curtain and wash it. Why? Because I'm short and it's hard to do,a and because I have these stupid shower curtain rings that take Herculean strength to pop open. So yay.

(Yes I'm writing an entire post about cleaning my house. Because I'm boring like that.)

My other plan is to go ahead and make a few meals so that I don't have to spend my entire weekend in the kitchen. Which means I will spend the entire day in the kitchen Friday, but oh well. It's for a good cause right?

At least I'm having back to back company. My in-laws will leave next Monday and my grandparents will arrive on Thursday. So I guess it's a two for one company clean.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Probably because I'm a huge dork, or because I love listening to music while I write, I actually have put together my own "soundtrack" for my book. I'm not the only one who does this, I'm sure. In fact if I remember "She-who-must-not-be-named" aka "Author of crappy vampire book" did the same. Not that I stole my idea from her or anything. I think I've been doing this for a while now, at least since my first writing attempt. In fact, that whole book was based off of a single song. Crazy right? Err... back to dorky, huh?

Admittedly I don't really have a cool or unique taste in music. I just kind of like what I like. Sometimes I randomly hear a song on the radio and it just sort of clicks with me or a certain scene from my book.

When I first started writing my book I just gotten the new Lifehouse album "Smoke and Mirrors". I'm a huge Lifehouse fan and always have been. So right away several of the songs went onto my book soundtrack playlist. They are...

"All In" - How could I not include this, one of my all time favorite songs? I even named a chapter after it. And the lyrics are awesome too, "All night, staring at the ceiling, counting the minutes I'm feeling this way, so far away and so alone. But you know it's alright, I came to my senses, let go of my defenses. There's no way I'm giving up this time." I know only like five of you have actually read my book, but this song totally fits.

Also from Lifehouse I have "From Where You Are", "All That I'm Asking For" and of course, "Hanging By a Moment", old-schoolish, but I love it anyway.

One random song that I heard on the radio and it completely clicked with me, especially for the last chapter of my book, is Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain"....AMAZING! Went straight to iTunes, bought it, added it to my soundtrack.

Another random one, "Secrets" by OneRepublic. Because it's all about the secrets, and giving them all away, right? You don't have any clue what I'm talking about do you? I'm basically talking to myself, I know.

Besides Lifehouse, my other all-time favorite band is...brace yourself...Linkin Park! Now, I love their rowdy old stuff, but their newest album "A Thousand Suns" is...amazeballs. Can I say that here? Whatever... Tons of those songs went straight to the soundtrack.


"When They Come For Me" - "Oh when they come for me, come for me, I'll be gone..." Love it. Add it to the car chase chapter!

Also, "Burning in the Skies" - Although this one feels more like book two to me...hmmm.

"Iridescent" - Another one of my all-time favorite songs, period!

"Leave Out All the Rest" - not from A Thousand Suns, but it just fits. Yes I know what soundtrack it's really from don't remind me!

Finally, "Waiting For the End to Come" - This one was just made for me, I swear. "Waiting for the end to come, wishing I had strength to stand. This is not what I had planned, it's out of my control. Flying at the speed of light, thoughts were spinning in my head. So many things were left unsaid, it's hard to let you go. I know what it takes to move on. I know how it feels to lie. All I wanna do is trade this life for something new, holding on to what I haven't got." Okay, sounds a little depressing, but it's awesome song. And it just complete fits with the last two chapters of my book.

So there you have it. Exciting no? No? I guess you'll understand when you read the book. I know once it gets published then subsequently made into a movie there will have to be an orchestral accompaniment as well, but I still have a while to work on that....

Yes, that last part was a JOKE!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This is how I roll..

We got home late yesterday after being gone almost all day. Basically I put the kids straight to bed and then went and made a cup of coffee. Yes, I drank a full-caf cup of coffee at eight thirty at night.

And guess what? I still completely passed out right around ten. Awesome huh?

It was a long day, what can I say. Either that or I've finally managed to make myself completely immune to the effects of caffeine. I'm already a two cup a day girl. Is it time to move up to three?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Maxed out...

No I'm not talking about my credit cards, I'm talking about me!

Shhhh, it's one of my favorite times of day around here. Sophia went down from her nap early, and even though this means she'll be cranky tonight, I don't really care. Eljiah is doing his scheduled "30 minutes of quiet reading" woo hoo! Can I just say, his reading has totally changed my life. If not for him being able to read to himself, school would be so much harder. Especially on a day like today where I'm just completely bombarded with things to do! (Yeah the laundry's going now so I have about five minutes to write this post and clear my head.)

So what's going on around here? How about everything! Have a mentioned how crazy Matthew's schedule is this semester? I can't remember. Well, he's taking three classes instead of the usual two. Now that doesn't sound so bad, but keep in mind he also works twenty hours a week. He can't do homework doing work, of course. And this is Yale, which means his homework assignments are insane. Plus, he's taking yet another new language. Of course, this is difficult for me for several reasons. One of them being when he's home, he's still not really home. I can't just say, "Oh I've been watching the kids alone for eight hours, now it's your turn!". Granted he helps out as much as he possibly can, but basically I'm still on duty even when he's here. It's kind of crazy. On the other hand, what bothers me the most about him working so bloody hard is the fact that I can feel his stress. And he gets really stressed when he feels overwhelmed. Somehow I can pick up on it, whether he tells me or not, and I get stressed out too! Ugh. Fun stuff.

Anyway, it was a bit of a crazy weekend. We didn't have a whole lot on the schedule, but still. Sophia is going through a super clingy phase which is making my life harder. On Sunday I was supposed to teach children's chapel, but I seriously couldn't leave her for half a second so the other children's chapel teacher subbed in for me. I don't know what I'm going to do next week!

Oy, Elijah's done reading so I'm going to have to cut this short. I had a lot more to complain about, I'm sure.

On the upside, we're having lots of company in October. Starting with Matthew's parents and sister on the seventh. Which means I will have a lot of cleaning to do week after next, which also means I won't be cleaning very much this week. Ha!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Well, this should be fun...

Look who's back, it's me! You know I only come on here to blog if I have something to complain about right? Well, not really. But that's why I'm here today.

Did I mention in my last post that Elijah was sick? Yes or no? Ah, yes. So of course I knew this was probably going to make the rounds like most colds do. Monday night Sophia didn't sleep well. I think I got up and went in her room about ten times to give her her paci and lay her back down. When we woke up in the morning I realize that was why she hadn't slept well. Paci babies and congestion just don't mix. *Note to self, may be time to wean off the paci! Anyway, so she was moderately miserable Monday, and Elijah was still sick too. We did a shortened school day, just the most important stuff. Yesterday everyone was feeling a teeny bit better. Until last night. I realized that I was getting the dreaded scratchy throat/congested nose combo that we all know and fear. So I went to bed early...errr, at eleven. And I slept pretty good considering. I woke up with no sore throat, which is usually a good sign. But then I tried to get out of bed. Uhhhhh. SICK!

Lovely right? Both the kids are feeling mostly okay. Which is kind of a bummer for me. Since I'm totally lacking the energy to keep up with them. Want to know how I know I'm sick? I sat down at the kitchen table and drank my coffee this morning. I never sit down to drink my coffee. I always drink it on the run while I'm putting away dishes, starting the laundry or making the beds. Aaaaand I'm still in my bathrobe. Oops!

After this I am going to get dressed, I swear. And then I'll attempt to teach some school. I foresee a nap in the near future though. Also, this isn't a good time to be sick. Elijah has football practice tomorrow, and I will most likely have to take him because Matthew is bombarded with homework. Friday Elijah and I are supposed to go see the Yale Philharmonic Orchestra. They are doing Beethoven's Ninth and Elijah and I have been learning all about this stuff in music class. Of course, Sophia can't go, it's past her bedtime anyway. So Matthew thought Elijah and I should go together. It should be fun. If we can both stop blowing our noses long enough to listen!

Speaking of Matthew, he is the who can absolutely not get sick right now! He's already stretched to the max, and then some, so it would be terrible if he were to get sick too.

So, in summary, everyone is sick. Yay!

Monday, September 19, 2011

This weekend...

can be summed up in one word. Cold! (And kinda sucky!) Wait, that's four words. I embleleshed a little more than I originally intended.

Anyway, I last blogged on Thursday when I was complaining about having to take Elijah to football practice. Well, the rain was the least of my worries. Holy moly it was cold, and windy oh and wet too. Thankfully his coaches didn't see much point in practicing too long, because they sent everyone home after 45 minutes.

Friday we unexpectedly ended up dropping Matthew off at school. Since we rarely have the car on a weekday I took the opportunity to go run a bunch of errands. So Friday was crazy. This is why I actually prefer to stay home and never leave the house. It's too exhausting! One of my errands was to go buy Sophia a coat, because it was getting so cold out. It was a good thing I did too. Saturday morning we got up way too early for Elijah eight a.m. game and it was 46 degrees out! FORTY SIX DEGREES! So we bundled up and headed out. We even took a blanket, which was a really good call since the bleachers were freezing.

Ah, so it was a fun Saturday. NOT! The game went well though. As much of it I could see from under my hood and scarf. Oh and guess who got sick after all this? Elijah. He's usually the last one in the house to get sick. But by Saturday afternoon he was complaining of a sore throat.

Fun stuff. Have I mentioned how much I'm not looking forward to Winter? Fall, yes. But Winter? No thanks. Not after last Winter.

So today I'm busy pulling up all our winter clothes from the basement. Unfortunately they all smell like they've been in the basement (Ewww) so I have a lot of laundry to do. And a sick kid. But at least I only have one sick kid. So far. Fingers crossed that it stays that way!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


That's the amount of time I've spent today writing. Zero minutes. And that's not likely to change anytime soon seeing as how I've got to go feed the kids and head off for football practice. I've had a rough couple of weeks the past two weeks. With teaching school and adjusting to Sophia's always-changing napping/crabby moment schedule. So Matthew has been taking Elijah to his practices. Or, like last week, he takes Elijah while I run errands with Sophia then swing back to pick them up. But tonight I'm taking the practice shift. Matthew has so much homework this semester since he's taking an extra class, so he could really use the time in the empty house tonight.

I'm totally not looking forward to it though. It's an hour and half long, it's been raining this afternoon and it's supposed to rain more. Oh and did I mention I get to take Sophia along? Yeah, I said he needs the house quiet, didn't I? Not going to happen with her around.

Normally I don't mind taking her either, but did I mention the rain? Muddy field plus fifteen month old toddler/baby who loves to run around, not pleasant.

But whose complaining? Oh wait, I am!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How did this happen?

I have about twenty-eight word documents in my book file. I seem to have not one, not two, but three chapter fourteens. One is titled "Chapter Fourteen", the other "Chapter Fourteen-Actual" and last but not least, "14".

Will the real chapter fourteen please stand up?

Reason number 1,081 why I hate editing.

Also, I have about fifteen legal pads containing my hand-written chapters. Mixed in those notepads I also have all my notes for books two and three. Additions I want to make to book one. Time lines for books one and two. Outlines for books one and two. And random scenes for all three. All completely mixed and jumbled. I seriously need organization help.

Now what to do with the document labeled "fragment". Fragment of what?

I also have documents confusingly labeled "Chapter 12.5 and Chapter 14.5". I'm assuming they go in between certain chapters.

Writing a book is hard. Now whose idea was it to make this a trilogy. Oh wait, that would be me!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Let's be honest...

If Sophia manages to take at least one nap, and not run a fever of 102 (like she did this weekend). ..If I manage to not flood the kitchen... If Elijah and I can complete all our schoolwork without driving each other will be a decent Monday.

If I can manage to actually do anything else, like work out or write a little, it will be a great Monday.

If I can convince my hypochondriac self that I'm not coming down with whatever Sophia had this weekend, it will be a miracle Monday.

Wish me luck.

Friday, September 9, 2011


So, despite suffering a major, major setback yesterday afternoon. This morning I actually finished my outline for my second book! That's crazy right? Yes it is!

Back to the setback. Well, somehow as I was typing and not saving my work as I went (stupid stupid I know! But I was in the zone!). I manged to hit some random button with my pinkie and the whole word document closed! When I brought it back up it was giving my my previously saved, from the night before, document. I lost all my work for the day. Total loss, three pages. Now, normally this isn't such a big deal. When I type, I'm usually working off my hard copy. Good old paper and pen. But this time, outlining, I was mostly going off memory. See I had written out an outline about a month ago. But lately I've been going over the plot points again and again in my head until I have them just right. I was having a really good moment yesterday where I was totally focused and everything was coming into place. So I was basically outline the culmination of book two. Then zap. GONE! Gone, gone. Completely gone. Yes I tried everything to bring it back. If you ever lose a word document, I am your girl. I know every trick in the book to try and recover it. Nothing helped.

Apparently I'm running some stone-age version of word. 2003 to be exact. Seriously, it's not that old is it? My car is a '98! Oh and my operating system? Hold onto your hats...WINDOWS XP!!! Seriously, if I ever make a dime off writing the firs thing I'm getting is a new laptop with Windows....whatever is the current operating system. I suppose by then it will be Windows 2020. And a new car...and new socks, mine are quite holey...

Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yeah my book outline. So by the time I had recovered from losing my life's work, well, a day's work, I sat down about three hours later when I finally had a free minute and tried to remember everything I had written. Of course, I mostly could. But I couldn't help but feel like I was still missing something. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't. I'll never know.

This morning I managed to finish up the rest and I'm very happy with the end result. Of course I still have a ton of work ahead of me. Book one still needs to be finished, though I'm seriously working on editing the final chapters now. Also, though I'm happy to be finished with the outline, that's seriously like 5% of the work done. BUT, I've learned that the outline is the most important part of writing a book. It's like my map, telling me where to go and helping me stay on the path. Which is why I'm printing it...and laminating it. Just kidding, but hey that's not a bad idea! I'm also big into my timeline. I like to get my days and dates just perfect. I'm weird like that.

So what I have I learned now that I've officially plotted my second novel (yes it is a sequel!). Well, the amazon rainforest is a wicked exciting setting, almost as good as the streets of London. Also, explosions might just be more awesome than car chases. It remains to be seen. Finally, I think just maybe, I was cut out to write this stuff. Who knew? I love me some good clean action/adventure lets see how much trouble they can get into this time, type of stories. I love, love, LOVE my characters, I think they're amazing. AND I can't even explain to you just how much I love writing and just how badly I want to see my words in print.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lost and found...

Last night, while digging around a bit, I happened upon some old writing. There in the deepest, darkest recesses of my hard drive...well, actually in a folder entitled "Cacey's Book", I found it. My first book. Actually it's technically my second, since I wrote one, also unfinished, my senior year of high school. Anyway, there it was. In all it's unfinished, out of order, choppy glory. Hesitantly I clicked on the document labeled "Chapter 1" and began to read.

And you know what? It didn't exactly suck, per se. But I did cringe quite a bit while reading it. In fact I pretty much had to stop after just a few pages. I clicked open a few other documents and read a little more. While it did leave me feeling quite nostalgic, I certainly don't miss it at all. I can't remember exactly when I started writing that particular book. So dramatically entitled "Shadow of a Memory", but it was a while ago. Certainly back in our Georgia days, possibly as far back as 2007.

At the same time I can't help but feel even more satisfied with the work that I've been doing lately. Not only am I writing faster. I'm way more organized, deliberate, and just plain better. I started writing my recent book literally the first weekend in January. And I'm so close to be finished now, it's crazy. But before now I've just written endlessly and pointlessly for years.

I'm not sure how to explain my sudden surge in writing. Or my sudden talent. Seriously, my old stuff sucked. New stuff=awesome. The only thing I can think of is that I've just managed to find my little niche in the writing world. It's pretty funny because what I'm writing is certainly not what I ever imagined myself writing, but somehow it just works. In fact, before when people would ask what I was writing and what my book was about I wouldn't know how to answer. And my only reaction to people reading my work was embarrassment. Now I'm perfectly happy to own up to writing "Young adult action/adventure YAY!". And if someone wants to read it, I'm totally down for it, though I'm supposed to be keeping it under wraps for the most part. I want everyone to read it someday, I really do. I suppose that's where publishing comes in, huh?

Anyway. Here's to no more sucky writing in the future. And knowing what you're supposed to be doing and doing it. At least in the fictional sense.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I spoke too soon...

You know how I was kinda-sorta-not really-okay maybe just a little- complaining yesterday? Well, I shouldn't have been. Because it got worse. Not a ton worse, but enough.

After lunch (where my post left off yesterday) we had a bit of school to finish up. Greek diphthongs anyone? Yes? No? Also, why does my kid have to be so much like his Daddy? He wants to learn Greek. Seriously? He's FIVE! Oy....anyway. So we're going over our Greek alphabet. I have the door to the kitchen closed because the washing machine was running and it's LOUD. Suddenly I hear this sound, the sound that I've heard far too many times and makes my blood run cold. Okay that might be a teeny bit dramatic. It's the sound of running, rushing water hitting the floor. I scramble out to the kitchen to have my fears confirmed. The washing machine is overflowing every-freaking-where. By the time I reach it and throw open the lid it's already too late. There is standing water in half my kitchen. Seriously? Yes I know I say that a lot, but SERIOUSLY!!! We were very fortunate when hurricane/tropical storm Irene came through we had no flooding. Well, I guess it was payback time then.

About ten minutes later I had the mess cleaned up. I called it quits on our school day. We had pretty much finished everything up at that point anyway. (Oh and my sister-in-law wanted to know why my washing machine is constantly overflowing. To put it mildly, my house is old and the plumbing SUCKS!) Anyway, around that point Sophia was taking her afternoon nap (can you believe she still takes two a day? Totally rocks my world.) Elijah was going to lay down and read for his quiet time. I finally had some peace and quiet. I decided to get in a workout. Lately I've been barely managing 30 minutes a day, but I want to go up to at least 45. Why? Because winter is coming (what?) and my beloved skinny jeans are a little...snug. So there.

Yeah, I guess it wasn't that bad. But I realized with a pang of sorrow (sooo dramatic) that today is Matthew's last day of summer. He goes back to class tomorrow which means I'm losing all the extra help he's been giving me. No more giving the kids baths for me in the evenings, no more occasionally getting up with Sophia when she wakes up early. Those times will all be taken up by homework. So boo! Also he's taking three courses this fall and working part-time. It's going to be cray-cray y'all.

And that's all.

On the upside, it's Tuesday, not Monday. And things are already going minutely better than yesterday. By that I mean Elijah subtracted his subtraction problems and I so far have not managed to flood my kitchen. Yay me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

These kids...

I think we can all agree being a mom is hard, really hard. I know for a fact that being a working mom is really freaking hard, I'm not denying that at all. But let's just say being a stay-at-home mom and being with your kids 24/7 is a special kind of hard. Like an I'm going insane a lot of days hard. Some days are a little harder, and a little more insane than others.

Have you ever heard the phrase "Witching hour"? As in the hour of the day when things get especially crazy? For a lot of parents it's the hour before bedtime. Well, Mondays are a "witching day" for lack of better term. Pure craziness, from start to finish. As a general rule I never make any plans for Mondays, besides the usual routine of school, housework and the like. Today was no different. Though we had no plans, things seemed to be a little crazier than usual. Here are a few crazy/funny things that have happened.

One: Sophia woke up extra early. Like, 6ish. That is wicked early for this lazy mommy! For lack of better ideas I brought her to bed with Matthew and I thinking she might snuggle for at least five seconds. (Also it was cold this morning, I did not want to get out of bed!). Well, I was wrong. Not only did she not want to snuggle, she really only wanted to remove Matthew's beard from his face and get up and go have breakfast. Seriously, she was very persistent. Finally I got up and got her some breakfast. A few minutes later Elijah appeared, very groggy, but equally as hungry. That was the start of our day. (I'm leaving out the part where Sophia had to have a second breakfast because she threw a fit when she saw Elijah eating without her, even though she had already eaten!)

Two: We got off to a rocky start with school. I gave Elijah a sheet of math problem to tackle, and went to start the laundry. About fifteen minutes later he comes into the kitchen where I am and hands me his math worksheet. They are mostly all wrong. He subtracted the first few, like he was supposed to, and added the rest. They were all subtraction. I send him back to re-do them all. This takes him, no lie, around 45 minutes. (It was only like, 15 problems!)I'm going insane... We're on lunch break now, but we've got plenty left to keep us busy...until around midnight.

Three: A conversation between Elijah and I at lunch today.

Elijah, "Mommy, since you love football so much you should become a cheerleader."
Me, "Yeah, well I'm a little too old for that."
Elijah, "Maybe when you're 26, then."
Me, "I am 26 already."
Elijah, "Oh, well maybe when you're 25."
Me, "I'm not going to get any younger, only older." (Thanks for reminding me, kid!)
Elijah, "Oh." thinks hard for a minute, "I guess you already have two jobs anyway."
Me, "Two jobs?"
Elijah, "Yeah, you're our mommy and a writer."

At least someone around here gets it!!

Four: So, probably as a direct result from our crazy day so far, I'm craving something really bad for lunch. Specifically a baked potato loaded with butter, cheese and sour cream. Yes, I will be working out ALL afternoon now. The kids already had their lunch but were watching me attentively as I reached into the oven to pull out my potato. And then I dropped it on the went splat, all over the place....And they laughed, and laughed and laughed. I didn't laugh.


Also, we did the hokey pokey and it made Sophia cry. What's up with that?

Oh and another thing. After lunch Sophia tossed her plate and cup. Not a big deal right? Well, she threw it across the room, I think at about 90 miles an hour. At least we now know she has a definite career ahead of her as a fast-pitch softball player. She broke the plate! And it was plastic!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

There was a hurricane, and I slept through it...

So by now everyone on the planet has heard of Hurricane Irene. I first became aware of it when I was talking on the phone with my mom right after we felt the earthquake (very little) here. Earthquakes? Hurricanes? Seriously. I live in Connecticut!!!

Admittedly I wasn't panicking until Thursday night when I saw the projected path of the storm would be heading right for us. All day Friday I remained absolutely glued to the Weather Channel. I mean who wouldn't panic if they saw that ginormous storm headed straight toward you. And I mean straight toward you! Every projected path had the eye going right between us and NYC. I felt a little better when I realized that my fellow New Haveners were not panicking at all. Then I realized it was because none of them lived on the Coast! We, however, live literally four blocks, 500 yards from the shoreline. Over and over we were being told that the shoreline would evacuate. On Friday I spoke with our landlord who assured us that in the past 28 years they have never evacuated our street.

Saturday came, we went to Elijah's first football game. We had already stocked up on groceries, so we came straight home to obsessively watch the Weather channel some more. That afternoon we found out they were evacuating part of our area. The evacuations stopped just one street from our house. Our upstairs neighbors came down to tell us they were leaving to stay with family. At this point, I have to admit, I might have started to worry just a little bit. But my gut reaction was to simply stay put. We were well supplied, had all our storm windows in, and the main concern for our area was flooding. I could have really care less if my basement flooded. I had already spent Friday afternoon putting everything up higher so nothing would be ruined.

Saturday night it was raining lightly, with hardly any wind. We went to bed not knowing what to expect from the night. At that point Irene was still a Cat 1 and still heading toward CT and NYC. I think we woke up at 3:30 because something crashed down. I'm pretty sure it was a branch falling in the neighbors yard. We looked out the windows and it really didn't look that bad, so we went back to sleep. Around 8:14 my phone buzzed and woke me up. It was my dad asking, "Are you guys doing okay?" My first reaction was, "What why wouldn't we be?". It was then I realized that there was a hurricane outside. Actually at that point it was a tropical storm. The kids still sleeping Matthew and I got up and turned on the TV. To be honest, it really wasn't bad at all. I then got on Facebook to update everyone. We still had power. And hours later, we still had power. The storm came and went. That was pretty much it.

I can't help but feel disappointed. And relieved of course!

Looking up more information online I found out that West Haven did sustain a lot of damage. A restaurant down by the water, not too far from here, apparently was completely wiped out!

Later this afternoon when the weather had cleared out and the sun was shining we walked down to the beach. You could easily see just how far the water had come up. It had receded a lot but the waves were still insane!

August 001
Our neighbor's backyard got pretty trashed.

August 003
A restaurant across the street from the ocean, you can see how high the water came up.

August 004
The water here is Long Island Sound, so it's usually really calm, hardly any waves at all. This is what it looked like around 2 pm today.

We had to take a picture here. Right behind us is our "spot" where the kids and I have spent many a summer afternoon.