Merry Christmas 2017

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2017, it’s hard to believe you’re almost gone. Only a few days left to celebrate the holiday spirit, and to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about that. Celebration isn’t a word I would use to describe the past few weeks. We didn’t get the tree up and decorated until a week before Christmas. And that little heart wreath we usually put on the door? It’s still in a box somewhere. The Elf must have felt sympathy for us, because it didn’t show up this year, either. Our kids are convinced he couldn’t find our new home because we moved.

Yeah. That’s what happened.

It’s not that we hate Christmas. We are just so so tired. Read more

Our 52 Stories Project

Yesterday, I mentioned one of my goals for March was to begin documenting a story the kids and I create together each week. Today was electronic-free day in our house, so I figured it was the perfect time to start. When we were finished, the kids were laughing so hard, I couldn’t understand anything they said, so in full disclosure, these stories might have continued much longer than their official ending. Considering how they couldn’t get past the giggles, they finally agreed to the endings, and then they begged me to put it up on the blog, so here I am =). We ended up with two stories, but since I’m calling this Our 52 Stories Project and we’re a few weeks behind with documenting them, it works out. Read more

Hello, March! I’m So Glad to See you.

20160301_112901I asked for a February do-over, but I don’t think anyone heard me. You know what? It doesn’t matter now, because February is gone. Good riddance! And take your germs and viruses with you!  I better not get too excited or that meme I saw the other day with sunny skies on Tuesday and a blizzard on Wednesday might come true just to spite me.

Seriously, I am so looking forward to the Spring with all its sunshine, warm weather (hopefully), and a wonderful season of writing. Over the weekend, we rearranged the bedroom and I set up a cute little writing corner, complete with an inspiration board. I love walking in there and sitting at the desk now, my photo with Margaret Atwood looking down on me, encouraging me. They say to write as if you’re writing to someone great, and she’s the person I try to write to. I imagine her shaking her head and saying things like, ‘You know you can do better with this line.’ And now I can’t escape from her. Read more

The Elf Wants to Retire

20151214_093129Our elf’s name is Wackack and he’s been with our family for about five years now. As I’ve mentioned before, the elf is a special tradition our family enjoys every year. He means a lot to us. Christmas is still magical for the children and that elf is one of the main reasons, not to mention it was given to us by a very special person. I honestly thought he’d be with us forever.

But this is the year our oldest daughter starts hearing from her friends about the sham. On the playground they’ll roll their eyes and share all the secrets they’ve uncovered about Christmas. The Santa mask they found in the back of their dad’s sock drawer. The presents they discovered already wrapped under the bed. I’m not sure what we’ll say when she comes asking questions (other than, ‘Why are you digging around in your father’s sock drawer?‘). I haven’t thought this far in advance and I should have. Read more

Why Aren’t There More Pictures?

20151116_134312Earlier this week I wrote a blog post about the smell of books. Normally I try to use my own photos on my posts, mostly because it takes forever to find royalty-free photos. For that post, I knew I wanted something book-related, so I pulled out a few of my older books, and in one case, one older-looking book, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, took a few photos, chose one I liked, and added it to the post. When I was finished, I put all the books back in the bookcase.

Fast forward an hour later and the kids are eating their snack. My five-year-old son picks up the one book I apparently did not put back and in his most incredulous, I-can’t-believe-people-actually-want-to-read-words, voice asks, ‘Why aren’t there more pictures in this book? What kind of book is this?!’

I told him the pictures are trapped inside the words. He has to read the story to release them.

 

What do you feel when you realize your child has Autism?

I’m going to veer away from writing discussions today and focus on something that’s affecting my life in a huge way, and that’s the realization that one of my children has autism. We’re still going through the diagnosis process, but last week the school doctor confirmed what we sort of already knew, that my daughter has Autism Spectrum Disorder, and now we’ve had a few days to come to grips with it. Yesterday, I sent a message to a friend to attempt to pin down a date for a dinner we’ve been trying to plan for weeks. I took the opportunity to explain why things are a bit crazy right now. She said not to worry and then she asked how I felt. The generic answer, the one we’ve been programmed to respond with, is anything vague and brave, like, ‘Oh, we’re a little shocked, but we’re good. Learning all we can!’ Or something. Unfortunately, that doesn’t even come close to what I feel.

So how do I feel?

The short answer is like a big, complicated mess. Let me explain:  Read more

A Good Day

20151023_102909-001What a week! We’ve had doctor’s visits, school meetings, planning new meetings to meet our children’s needs, a lot of early mornings and late nights for my husband as his company continues with a crazy renovation project, coordinating schedules and rushing around, a few epic meltdowns, an intense battle between a dragon and a ninja (the costumes arrived yesterday), my son’s acrobatics at the breakfast table (which led to a split eyebrow, a ton of blood, and a bucketful of tears this morning) and for me, very little writing. Everyone is stretched thin. I don’t know how my husband is walking. He must have cloned himself. Emotionally and physically we’re all exhausted and some of us are a little beaten up (not from anger management issues, I promise. You have to know my son. The boy will climb anything, jump off of it, or try to explode it). Read more

Awesome is the New Judgment

DSC_0997If you’re visiting for the first time, you might notice my tagline says ‘Awesome Author of Imaginary Tales’. It says it on my business cards, too. Today, I want to talk about that word, ‘awesome’. No, I’m not entitled–at least I don’t think I am. Well, okay maybe, just a little. I believe if you go to a restaurant, the waitress should wait on you, not chat with her friends. I believe if I pay for internet service, I shouldn’t have to complain every week that the service isn’t working. I don’t think that’s entitlement, though. To me, those are standard, normal expectations. Entitlement would be thinking that if I pay for internet service every month, I should also get a free computer. Just because.
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