Friday, May 25, 2012

The downside...

I'm not going to lie, I quite often praise my own genius... I'm kidding.... I mean, it was really, really smart of me to space my kids out so far apart, they are four years and eleven days apart, to be exact. Okay wait, I can't really take credit for that, since they were both completely unplanned! But anyway, when I got pregnant with Sophia, Elijah was already three and a half. He was already fully potty trained and self sufficient in that area. He was sleeping wonderfully. Okay he did give up naps right around that time. He was already in preschool and followed orders well enough to pick up all the toys his very pregnant Mama couldn't reach. It was awesome!

And when Sophia was born he had just turned four, making him a perfect age for his big brother role, which he has always filled so nicely. So, really, it's been nice having kids so far apart in age, but still close enough to get along and play together.

The downside? Well, I've seemingly forgotten a lot of the stuff I should have remembered! Granted, I've always said having Elijah was no preparation for being a parent. He is seriously the easiest kid ever! Case in point, the boy was fully potty trained (no diapers or pull-ups at night even) at two and a half. He was READING at three and a half and now at six he can read anything and has a Latin vocabulary of over fifty words. Don't get me wrong, I'm not bragging...okay I am. But I totally can't take credit for this, it's all him. I swear! He's super independent.

Now to the downside...Sophia, well, she's not Elijah. And that's not to say she's my "bad" kid by any means. She's super sweet, hilarious...but so, so stubborn! One thing I've definitely learned is not to compare her to Elijah, they are like night and day. But still, sometimes I can't help it. I've been a mommy for six years now, but Sophia often makes me feel like a first-timer all over again.

Which brings me to my next point: potty training. Again, with Elijah it was SO EASY. I assumed (mistakenly) it would be easy with Sophia too. After all, she's a girl, supposedly girls are easier to train (lie!). She got a potty for Christmas, right around eighteen months, which was the same age Elijah started trying it out. Fast forward to today she has still never actually gone on the potty! I know I should lower my expectations, but still, I'm 100% certain this has nothing to do with her not being ready. But rather, her own stubbornness. She wants to wear undies every day now, so I let her. Yeah she's had a few accidents, but I figured that will only help her realize she's supposed to be going on the potty.

Nope, mommy is a sucker. This morning I even asked her, "Sophia, do you need to go pee pee on the potty?" Her response? "No, I unnies." Translation - No, I'm wearing undies. Umm, you're doing it wrong Sophia!

So I don't know. We're not taking it too seriously right now, she's still young, so I'm not bothered by it. I'm just preparing myself for a lifetime of butting heads with my stubborn daughter, because guess where she got that stubbornness from?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What was I saying?

See, I can't even remember what I came here to write. May is just like that around here. We're now done with birthdays until Matthew's in December, woo hoo! The kids both have their check-ups next week with their doctor. I was just thinking to myself how much I'm looking forward to June, which will presumably be calm and relaxing...

Wait, I think I've forgotten something? Oh right, how about my book release, which is June 5th? Yeah, I'm pretty much set to go on it, but you know me, I'll be stressing and doing last-minute editing until midnight! Oh and one more thing. In June I'm going to be a single mom for 2+ weeks, how did I forget that? So I guess we can forget all about June being relaxing.

How about July? Well, July is a little less certain. Matthew and I will be celebrating our seventh (WHAT?) anniversary on the ninth. And hopefully the kids and I will be taking a trip down South to see our family. (YES!)

And August? School's back in session (again WHAT?). Oh and I'll be teaching second grade. I'll spare you more caps, but seriously?

I'm tired just thinking about it all. Not to mention I have a couple goals in mind for the summer, finish writing my second novel and potty training Sophia.

Should be an interesting summer!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On writing a novel...what I've learned

I was January of last year when I first began this journey to complete my first novel. Now I'm happy to announce that I'm finally finished at last! I have learned a lot along the way. I feel like the most important and best lessons I've learned just in the past few weeks, so I thought I'd share.

  • I don't really know how to write. Or at least I didn't, up until now. Hopefully I've finally learned, albeit the hard way. Up until this past round of edits I think I never knew how to properly punctuate dialogue, or how to remain in the present active voice throughout. This is so embarrassing to me, but then again, it's not like I ever went to school for this! And I have learned, through trial and error how to do all these things properly, I HOPE!
  • It will never be perfect. As soon as I re-saved the document entitled "London Escape - final cut" and sent it to my kindle I read the first page and immediately spotted something I wanted to change. That's just the nature of the beast, I suppose. Like I said, hopefully it's as perfect as I can manage.
  • You can't do this sort of thing alone. I don't know where I'd be without all the constant support, help and enthusiasm from all my friends and family. Part of the reason I didn't completely throw in the towel when my publishing attempts failed was because I knew there were at least a few people out there wanting to read my novel, even if I only e-published. And for that I will be eternally grateful.
  • What else have I learned? I love, love, love writing and telling stories. Clearly it is my passion in life. But it is not my life. When I made the decision to halt on my queries and simply e-publish I thought I would be devastated. After all, I had failed to make my dreams come true. Or had I? It was then that I realized my dream was not to publish, but to write books. And that's what I'm doing. If it sells 50 or 5,000 copies it shouldn't make any difference in how I view myself.
  • What else? Oh yeah, I'm going to keep doing this: forever. As you already know I'm more than halfway through with the follow-up to London Escape, so I'll be excited again to release it in the coming fall. After that who knows, Kit's story isn't over, and neither as mine. There will at least one final book in the Halcyon Legacy, rounding it out to a full trilogy. After that, who knows. Maybe I will move on to a different character and a different genre and find some semblance of commercial success. All I know is that I'm not going to stop writing. I love the ride far to much to give it up now!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What I'm listening to...Matisyahu

What you don't know who Matisyahu is? Shame on you! Just kidding.

I don't have good taste in music. Well, by that I mean I don't usually listen to things other people like to listen too, or what's popular on the radio right now. Most of the time someone is raving about a new song and I have no idea what they're talking about.

So anyway, on to what I'm listening to right now. It's funny, my OCD really shows when I get a new song I really love. Basically I put it on my iPod, and just play the same song over and over again. Seriously. Case in point, I downloaded this new song, "Sunshine" yesterday and my play count is already past 20!

Here it is:

Okay, yeah I was going to tell you who Matisyahu is. He's this Jewish/Reggae/Pop singer. Confused? Don't be, listen to a few of his songs, they're awesomesauce. I promise.

And once I was on a Matisyahu kick I had to start re-listening to his last big song, "One Day", which is also...awesomesauce.

And another favorite, "Time of Your Song".

 Kind of different, right? But cool. Basically these three songs on repeat are what's getting me through my contstant re-writing and editing lately!

What are you listening to lately....and please, please don't say Gotye or I'll punch you....

Kidding...I kid!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Solid Rock...

I have been a Christian all my life, so easily twenty years or more. My entire life I've heard the words of the Bible, the words of hymns, sermons and now, prayer books. You would think at some point it would have just become mundane to me, rote. But it hasn't. It hasn't. It hasn't.

Why not? Well because something always brings you back, doesn't it? Whenever you feel tempted to simply let that part of you slip into the back of your mind and of your life because you have bigger, more important things going on. Something will always bring you back.

Maybe it will be having a baby when you have no job. Maybe it will be moving 1,000  miles away from everything that's familiar to you. Or maybe it will be a loved one fighting cancer.

I don't know why bad things happen. But the way I see it, bad things happen to everyone. It's simply a product of the deeply flawed world we live in. As for me, I wouldn't be half the person and Christian I am today if I didn't occasionally encounter some difficult situations. Because in those moments, you know you cannot do it on your own. And instead of feeling utterly hopeless and helpless you know exactly where to turn. God doesn't promise us, as Christians, that our lives will be wonderful, perfect and happy all the time. But he does promise to catch us when we fall, and sometimes, be the only thing keeping us from falling all together.

Today is a difficult day for me, and for my family. My dad is starting treatment for his cancer today. I thank God every minute of this day for modern medicine, and that's he's not having to go through chemo. But still, it's tough. But we have one thing and one thing alone to get us through these next eight weeks. Knowing that we stand on Christ, the solid Rock.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Winding down...

This past weekend Matthew and I sat down to work on a little lesson planning for Elijah. It was then that I realized the school year was almost over! My original goal was to complete forty full weeks of school. We're on week thirty-seven this week, which puts us on summer vacation as of June first! First of all, wow, the school year has just flown by! Second of all, does this really mean I need to start planning for second grade in the fall? It was never my intention for Elijah to be a full grade ahead (though it's pretty common for homeschooled kids to be at least one grade ahead, I was two grades ahead). I always said if he seemed to by having any trouble at all we would slow down, even if it meant him doing two years in one grade. Not that I would ever let him be behind, just in his normal grade. Well, obviously that hasn't happened yet! I'm so proud of him and all he's learned this year.

I guess in the fall not only will I be teaching second grade,but also what I like to call pre-preschool with Sophia! Hopefully that will ease the chaos a little, to have her doing some of her own things.

What else? Matthew is taking one his finals today and has his last final on Friday. Yet another semester behind us! It was another crazy one too, as he was taking three classes and still working part-time. We always look forward to the break we get during the summer. Granted, he still works full time, but when he comes home he can actually spend time with us and not be buried in homework!

As for the summer, no concrete plans yet. Elijah will be playing baseball through June and doing a little summer school just to make sure he doesn't completely forget everything. Sophia, well, my goals for her this summer are quite lofty...potty training! Elijah was potty trained the summer he turned two, so I have set my sights pretty high, once again. Like I already said, Matthew will be working at the library full time starting next week and he's going to Israel for two weeks at the end of June! As for me, well, I have pretty lofty goals as well. I'm hoping to have my book e-published by early June, which means I've got to finish my final edits. Also, I'm about 3/4 of the way through typing up the second book, and then I will need to edit it as well. And then I've got to finish writing the third and final installment. I'm in the process of outlining the storyline as we speak and hopefully over the summer I'll get it all out on paper. So yeah, you read that right, I've got THREE full-length novels up the air right now.

The kids and I also have our sights set on a summer vacation in Florida. With all that is going on with my family right now we're pretty anxious to see my parents and spend some time with them again. Hopefully we'll be heading down for a visit after Elijah's done with baseball, after our anniversary and after my dad is finished up with his treatment. So possibly July.

So yeah, I think that's about it for my bi-monthly update!