Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mountain Moment

Wish I could provide some pics right now of our beautiful mountain perch! It is lovely and cool (and as my mom and her old friend Deborah are fond of pointing out, even the grocery store parking lot and the dump site have great views!) and so peaceful. We are having lots of fun and the kids are enjoying it and so are Daddy Fuss and I. Had a short visit with our NC cousins (will see them more next week) and are going to a huge local farmers market today and to Cherokee (to "see the Indians" - Fuss) tomorrow. Lots of porch sittin' and quiet abounds. The only thing that would make it more perfect would be a maid so we didn't have to do the dishes, but since God only promises perfection in heaven, I'd say we're doing pretty well.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Most of the time, my husband is awesome. He's sweet and thoughtful and a wonderful daddy to our kids. He's my best friend. Quite literally (we were best friends long before there were romantic interests involved). He's supportive and encouraging and he takes care of me. He's a good cook, gives great back rubs, and if asked, will watch chick flicks with me without making too much of a fuss. (He draws the line at some of my TV shows, but I get that. I draw the line at some of his.)

But every once in awhile he says something and I feel like I have to justify my entire existence. And I know he doesn't mean it like that, but I get a little defensive. I mean, the grass is always greener, right? But in a time of my life where I often feel inadequate, sometimes those moments and conversations kinda suck.

But on the flip side, he reminds me that I can do better. That I can do more. That I have the potential to be SuperMom when I want to be. And that is encouraging. He believes in me. He believes I'm smart and capable and funny and creative. He believes that I am a good mom, that our kids are lucky to have me, that I'm a good wife.

We made a deal early on in our relationship that if either one of us says something that can be taken in either a good way or a bad way, we meant it the good way. We try to assume the best about each other. And that's what I'm doing about our conversation the other night. I'm looking for the positive.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Packin' it up

Packing, packing, packing! Or rather, folding, folding, folding. I'm doing a lot of laundry and folding and piling of clothes these days for our trip (4 more days!) but since I want to pack in  my Thirty-one bags and I have a show Friday night... I'm delaying the actual PACKING of the bags until Saturday.

But I've got lots of clean clothes. Unfortunately, I'm trying to save most of my favorites for the trip, so I'm wearing some random outfits these days, but ah well. I'm really looking forward to this trip. I need the break. The headaches of late are awful. This is partially hormone induced (my time of month and the PMS time before seems to make my head absolutely miserable), but it's also tiredness and stress, too!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Phlates: sapping the creativity

So awhile back (a month? Maybe 2?) I read this article about how phalates (I have no idea if that's how you spell it) can do weird things to your body, including cause a weird combination of hormones that can make you tired, not allow you to lose weight, etc. And since they put those things in soda cans so as to not have to deal with errosion in the cans, and I drink Coca Cola like nuts... well, you do the math, I know I sure did.

So I started drinking my Coke from plastic bottles of the grade that is safe/doesn't leech phlates into the drink. And a short while later, my mood improved, my creativity jumped, and I was gradually feeling like myself again. I was writing, my business picked up, my sleep improved a bit, life was good! The was a spring in my step!

But you know, it's SO much cheaper to buy those darn cans. So last week, I did.

Now, I realize that it's ridiculous to think that a couple of cans could drastically effect my mood/creativity. But I'm stuck on my story again and haven't written more than 100 words since Thursday. Part of that is because I've been busy (sick husband, Mother's Day, submitting an order for Thirty-One) but mostly, I'm just a little stuck. And I'm not feeling it flow out of me.

Maybe it's just a coincidence. I only had a few cans, it's not like I drank the entire 12-pack in 3 days. But I'm back to my bottles. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Damn, this is hard

Damn, this is hard.
My novel keeps taking different directions and sometimes I re-read the last couple paragraphs and I go "how'd I get here?" I'm stuck in a couple of places - I have 2 conflicting ideas. And part of me wants the opinion of someone else, but most of me doesn't want to talk about it until I'm done. Roughly done, naturally, but done nonetheless.

Part of me is SO excited by this though. I have pages and pages of writing. I have an ending in my head (again, roughly or in this case maybe vaguely) and ideas of how to get there, but I keep waffling on some things. It's a romance of a sort, but how steamy is too steamy? How many mistakes can I have the main character make and have her still be loveable to readers? Does it really matter since probably no one will read this?

Meanwhile, I'm busy, busy, busy. Today was the last day of Bible study. Tomorrow is the last day of MOPS. Lots of Thirty-one stuff going on... (still and more) I came home from Bible study to 32 new emails and 16 FB notifications. (At least half of the emails were advertisements. I'm not that popular. But still. That's a lot of emails for me in one morning. I had emptied my inbox before I left for Bible study)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Writing, writing, writing. Thirty-one, Thirty-one, Thirty-one. My days and my thoughts have been focused on both my writing (I'm currently at about 32,000 words, things have slowed so that I need to pause occasionally to figure out the direction, but it's still coming and I'm pretty sure I have an ending. Somewhere.) and my Thirty-one business. The spring and summer catalogs have been very popular, which makes sense, since the prints right now are prettier than ever. But between end-of-the-year stuff (my Bible study and MOPS both end this week), Fuss's dance recital coming up, and our pending vacation, my calendar is VERY full. And exciting.

I read a blog post today written by a friend I'd known well as a child, but then only in passing as we grew into teens and adults. We reconnected via Facebook a year or so ago, and I remembered being very surprised that she didn't have kids. She'd gotten married young - I had been invited to the wedding, though I was unable to attend, she'd come from a big family and had always liked kids. But her post today touched on the fact that she and her husband were dealing with unexplained infertility and my heart nearly broke for her.

But she can find the joy in it. She has changed her attitude, believing that God has a plan for her life and is refusing to focus on what she doesn't have and instead is focusing on all the blessings He has bestowed upon her. It was sobering and inspiring. As much as I have been given - a husband who loves me with an extreme passion, two beautiful and amazing children, extended family and friends who are active in my life - sometimes I am distracted by the things I want that I don't have. Which is really very silly. And very, very immature. Sounds like something my four-year-old would do, doesn't it?

It reminded me that we are God's children. And we are just that to Him. Children. Young, weak, inexperienced, immature. And He guides us, protects us, and nurtures us with His perfect love. It's wonderful to be able to lean on that when I'm feeling my most weak and overwhelmed.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I live in an area where the beach is somewhat commonplace. I used to be able to walk to the beach from my sister's house. But I'm not a beach person. I burn easily. I hate the way may feet feel like the water got sucked out of them for DAYS after walking in the sand. I'd rather swim in a pool of clean, chemically sanitized water than the ocean where millions of fish and probably millions of humans have peed. But it's an experience. And I have to admit, it's beautiful. And on a day like yesterday (Saturday) it was a glorious day for the beach.

My mom suggested we take the kids to the beach Saturday morning. She suggested we go "early" which I later made her qualify, since to me, "early" is 7am. Maybe 8. To her it meant leave the house at 9. Which is even funnier, since I was loading up the kids in the van at 8:45, called her and woke her up. I jokingly said, "you know, in MY day, we never would have been allowed to sleep in this late. What is this world coming to?" since my dad is such an early riser and growing up, if you got to sleep until 8, you were very, very lucky. And he'd probably already left for work and didn't know I was still in bed, sleeping my day away.

It was the Little Man's first trip to the beach. His eyes got so big and he exclaimed when we stepped over the rise to see the view of the Gulf. He enjoyed walking on the sand until we parked our things and he sat down and saw that his shoes were covered in it and his feet were "dirty." He is NOT a fan of dirt on his hands and feet.

My mom and I walked him close to the water's edge. He was freaked out my the water running up onto the beach. He did NOT want to get his feet wet. He was NOT influenced by the face that both Grandma and Mommy got theirs wet.

Fuss sat right down with her bucket, shovel, and cups and began building a sandcastle. Because why else would you go to the beach if not to build a sandcastle? She worked on a village - towers, a lake, trees made out of sticks and seaweed. It was pretty darn cute. She was adorable in her blue skirted suit and her sunglasses. We won't talk about the fact that both my 4-year-old daughter and my mom were both wearing pigtails at the beach.

Little Man was up for walking along the shore. He liked the birds looking for a snack at the water's edge. But when I wave came up higher that expected and washed over his feet, he cried, begged to be picked up. When I did, he snuggled close to me, putting his head on my shoulder. We stood there looking out at the Gulf for awhile, just him and me listening to the waves. That was one of those moments I never want to let go of.

He stole his sister's shovel and walked around our little area scooping up patches of sand and tossing it over his shoulder. Sometimes it landed on his hat instead. No matter. He was having fun. When the tide came in far enough to start to fill in the little trough of beach and create a little tidepool like thing, he happily splashed in that.

I had to tear all of them away from the beach when it was time to go. Fuss and Little Man whined and my mom said "already?" more than once. We stopped at a little place nearby and got a quick lunch and some drinks.

It was a fantastic morning.

I went home and tossed both kids in the shower with me. Then I had to rush around to get going to the mani/pedi appointment my mom had made for us. I pinned my hair up and off my face and did what I refer to as "summer beach-y make-up" which is a light coat of mineral powder to even me out, some quick eyeliner on my upper lids and some shiny sheer lipgloss. I didn't have time to even do my bangs, so I pinned them up, too. This was regrettable when later when we were getting ready to go to a casual dinner and run some very quick errands I asked my husband if I should change anything (referring mostly to my clothes) and he said "well, you could add some bangs." He's a fan of my bangs, apparently. Or he's not a fan of me without them, I guess. I did my best, but once they've dried, they are a pain to move around, so I'll have to start over today.

Overall, our beach day was great. I'd even be willing to do it again. And soon. Before it gets so hot that even 8am is too hot to be sitting in the sun.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I wrote more than 5000 words yesterday. I just couldn't stop. I'm afraid my housework is suffering, but I have to say, I'm not really THAT concerned at the moment. (I'm sure I will be - I really hate it when it gets out of hand, but I'm so DRIVEN right now. I think I might even have an ending for the darn thing!) Things are moving a little slower today - however, I've been doing a lot more business today in the Thirty-One realm, so it seems like everything is looking up. Honestly, right now, I am so hopeful for the future I almost don't recognize myself.

I even picked up my sketch pad this morning.

I'm dieting. I'm itching to do something more active, so I'm trying to locate an (very inexpensive) stationary bike to accommodate my need for activity and my need for it being low impact, since I'm still limping.

The kids have been particularly cute lately. Also particularly challenging, but cute nonetheless. I really am so blessed.

I'm feeling crafty, too. But I'm on a strict money diet right now (gotta get a handle on things!) so I can't go out and buy the supplies I want. But that's okay. I have so many projects on my plate (not to mention responsibilities) that I don't really need to be buying things right now and getting more involved in things.

I feel good. I feel like I'm back on track, like I'm me again. And I like it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Have you noticed how we always seem to be trying to do 2 or more things at once? And how technology has enabled us to do it, but how it doesn't seem to ever give us a break?

My husband has Smart Phone. This allows him to get his email (both work and personal) 24/7 even when he's not near his computer. The fact that it fits in his pocket means he can also receive phone calls at all times, too. This means that he is often checking (and responding) to his emails, taking phone calls, searching the web, reading articles on the web, or even playing games while he is also driving, sitting watching TV, or even going to the bathroom.

I have my Nook Tablet. It requires a WiFi connection, so I don't have quite the same freedom he does, but I too can play games, read a book, check and respond to emails while doing many of the same things. I also have a cell phone and tend to talk a lot while driving. Even more so before I had kids - I'd get lonely on my long commutes to and from work.

But I guess my thoughts along these times run from bemused to irritated. I mean, 15 years ago, you could listen to your radio or a CD/tape in your car, but that was it. Or you endured silence. My dad has been known to plug in his laptop in the car and trade stocks while driving. Yes, I'm serious. And yes, I'm surprised he hasn't been in an accident yet.

Technology is awesome. I love that I can carry 20+ (or more when I get around to purchasing them) books in my purse on my Nook without really weighing it down very much. (I always carry a book - have since Jr High school. Harry Potter made that difficult, but I still did it. I just got a bigger purse. And a backache.) I love that I can send a quick text message to my husband while I'm at Target to find out if he needs more shaving cream. But sometimes, unplugging is really ideal. Sometimes, I enjoy the silence, the nothingness that comes from turning it all off for a few minutes.

And then I hear the "ding-dong" letting me know I have a text message.