Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Writing Can Be SOOO Hard!

Today I am taking a minute to talk about how my writing is going. . .and well. . .it's not really.

I have been working on my second book.  I haven't forgotten about the first book, I promise.  I have it ready to enter that contest I told you all about.  Mostly anyway.  But I figure since I had the urge to write on the second one I should start, right?

And it's been harder.  Much harder than the first one.  With the first one, I couldn't keep the words from popping into my brain.  I would write almost all the time.  If I wasn't sitting in front of the computer, I would be writing on my blackberry. (And trying to play with my son at the same time.  That's not easy.)  Or writing on a scrap of paper I kept by my bed.  I'd sneak into the bathroom with an idea, close the door, turn on the light, and write down the basics so I wouldn't forget it.  I had future pieces/parts of my first book that I'd have to write down because they wouldn't leave me alone.  Then later I'd join them together with the rest of the book.  I mean, it was like I was glued to some device with a keyboard.

This book has been more difficult for me.  I start.  Sometimes I only get a page or two out.  I stop.  I look at the screen.  Ideas don't pop into my head at all kinds of crazy times.  I don't need a scrap of paper by my bed this time.

Is this bad?  I have no idea.  I just know the process for this one is so much different than the first.  I will say that I think this one is better than my first.  And that's a good thing, right?  I am trying not to panic.  I am trying to let myself enjoy the process.  But when the words and ideas don't come quite as easily, it is sometimes not really fun.  But I want to keep doing it.  I still enjoy it overall.

I also have found myself going back to look at my first book again.  Edit a little.  Read pieces of it.  Tweak it.  I feel like that is good.  Because if I am lucky enough to have it selected as a finalist in this contest, then I want the rest of the book to be in good shape.  The first 50 pages are ready.  I am going to submit it by next week.  But when I go back and look at the first book, it makes me wish for the second book to come as easily.  I don't know if I should wish for that.  What do you think?

I also am going through some challenges in my personal life.  And I think this is affecting how I am writing right now.  Holidays, family health issues, and other things are causing me some anxiety.  So maybe that is not helping my writing brain.  I am a little depressed.  I would so like to have my book (either one of them) published.  And I don't know if they ever will be.  And that is hard.  Because you work so hard on them, and what if it is all for "nothing"? 

I know it's not really for nothing.  I can enjoy them for myself.  But, like most any other writer out there, I really want to share it with others.  I want others to want to read it and enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  And the thought that it might not happen, well that's a big downer.

So I am sorry that my post is a bit whiny and depressing today.  But it helps to get that out.  If I can't be honest with you fine people, then who can I be honest with?  :)  Thanks for listening. . .

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Just LOVE Good Deeds. Don't You?

I apologize for being away for so long.  It was busy leading up to and over the Thanksgiving weekend.  But I am back now, and I can't wait to write my blog today.

I was thinking all weekend about my "Thankful" list.  And I realized that I didn't put something else on there.  The way I got to it was thinking about good deeds.  I've done a few in my life.  And I was thinking about those.  But then I got to thinking about stuff that others have done for me.  And I realize that people can be pretty darn nice. 

I personally like the good deeds that I've done that I haven't really told anybody else about.  Like the time I. . .aaaahhhhhh!  Gotcha!  But seriously.  Don't you think those are really the best?  Good deeds are all about paying it forward.  My parents have done some super good deeds (and no I won't name them because they aren't braggers about it.  And in fact, I didn't know about some of the things they've done until I was an adult.  Like in the last couple of years even.)  And so I hope to carry it on for them, and one day I'll tell Joshua so he can do the same.

Now I can tell you some of the things people have done for me that I consider to be above and beyond in kindness.  If we all did stuff like this, not for recognition, but because we all recognize that we are human beings, and we need to be nice to each other, think about where we'd be.  Here are just a very few good deeds that were done for me to show you what I mean.

Grocery Store Lines

This has happened to me several times.  Particularly when Joshua was a baby.  A screaming crying baby.  And I'm at the grocery store.  And I know he's hungry.  And I am doing everything I can to keep him calm and quiet, but it's hard.  I'm struggling.  And guess what?  The person in front of me lets me go first.  And OK, maybe they are doing it so they don't have to hear the fussing, but I still totally consider that a good deed.  I have always been so appreciative of people who have done that for me. 

The Aquarium Coin

When Joshua started preschool last year, we had just gotten back from the Outer Banks.  And while we were there, one of the things we did was go to the North Carolina Aquarium.  They have one of those machines there where you can put 51 cents in, and then you pick a design and it presses the penny into a little keepsake of your time there.  And Joshua wanted to do one.  So I dug through my purse and found 51 cents, and Joshua made a coin.  He was so excited.  So excited in fact, that he wanted to take it to school to share.  And so he put it in his bag and took it to school. 

When he came home, guess what?  No coin.  We looked through his bag again.  Not there.  I asked his teachers about it the next day.  They asked around and looked around, but they couldn't find it.  Joshua was so very disappointed.  So I went on Facebook.  I posted and asked if anyone was going to the Outer Banks, and more specifically, the aquarium, and if they were, could they please bring back one of those coins.  A very lovely couple, Mr. and Mrs. Colavita (lovingly known as Mr. and Mrs. C. to Jamey and me), said they would be going very soon, and that they would be happy to get Joshua a new coin. 

Now let me just tell you.  Mr. and Mrs. C. had no reason at all to go alllllllll the way to the aquarium.  It's a good drive away from their cottage.  And I was afraid (and still am afraid) that they would have to pay to get in just to get a coin.  But they swear they didn't.  They drove all the way from their cottage down to Manteo just to get Joshua his coin.  They say that they explained the situation and the aquarium folks let them in to make the coin.  Two in fact.  But all that time and effort, just to get a coin for a little boy?  So nice.  Joshua was thrilled.  He still has those coins.   THAT is a good deed.

But here is my favorite. . .

Flat Tire

So Jamey and I lived in Texas for a couple of years.  And our first dog, Harley, was there too.  And it was time for Harley's regular checkup.  I did not have a job yet.  Jamey was working, and he was a pretty good drive away from the apartment we were living in when we first moved there. 

 I get in the car and get Harley in the car, and we pull out from the apartment.  It's a short drive from the apartment to the veterinarian's office.  It's raining like gangbusters.  I mean it was some serious rain.  And I have to get on I-20.  Only for a few minutes.  But the traffic on I-20 is hellacious.  And just as I'm gaining speed I hear it.  Thump thump thump thump.  Flat tire.  Are you kidding me?

I pull over.  I am a wreck because I have Harley in the car and I am afraid he'll get out when I get out to change the tire.  So I'm really careful, and manage to get out of the car.  I look at it, and I know I have to change it.  I've never changed a tire in my life.  But I go around to the trunk to get out the spare and the jack thingie, and as I do, I see a car pulling up behind me.  Now I'm nervous.  Who is this?  I see a lady in the passenger side of the car and I can just make out a car seat with a kid in the back, and then a guy gets out of the driver's side.  He comes up to me and says, "Hi.  Get in the car.  I'll change your tire for you." 

I'm like - "What?  I can't let you do that."  And he says, "Absolutely you can.  Please get in."  So I turn and get in the car and I swear it starts raining even harder.  And the guy. . .an absolute stranger. . .changes my tire for me.  I'm in a nice warm car and he's in the cold,cold rain getting absolutely soaked, and he changes my tire.  He comes up to my window when it's done.  I have rummaged in my purse and gathered up all the money I have, which I think was only about $25, but I open the window and try to hand it to him.  And he says, "You are all set.  I don't want your money.  I'd hate it if I knew my wife was on the side of a busy highway in the rain trying to change a tire and no one stopped to help her.  Have a great day."  And I try to yell after him, but he just smiles and waves and then turns back around and gets in the car.  He sits there and I finally roll my window up.  He is waiting for me to drive off.  So I shake my head and get going.  And that was it.

I have no idea who this guy was.  But I am still thankful to him.  How nice was that?  Of course I told Jamey when he got home.  And I could tell that Jamey really appreciated it.  THAT is DEFINITELY a good deed.  Thank you again Texas Tire Dude!

I have more good deeds done for me that I could share.  But let's face it.  I don't have enough room to write them all in here.  You'd be reading for weeks.  Heyyyyyyy. . .maybe that's a whole book idea.  Hmmmmmm. . .  Anyway.

So please. . .let's all start doing good deeds.  Whatever we can.  And not in the spirit of the holiday season that is upon us.  Let's do it because it is the right thing to do.  Because we are all human beings and we all deserve to be treated well.  And let's do them often.  And let's not tell anybody about them.  That's the best kind.  shhhhhhhhh. . .

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Things I Am Thankful For

OK, so in light of the fact that it is the day before Thanksgiving, and because I know myself well enough to know that I will probably not be coming on here tomorrow to post because, let's face it, it is going to be very busy, I thought I would write a post today.  And also because it is Thanksgiving tomorrow, doesn't it just make sense to do a "Thankful for" list?  Of course it does.

And so I am going to write one right now.  Some of them may be a little silly.  And some are not.  I hope you enjoy my list.  I also hope you have one of your own.

I am thankful for. . .

1.  Evite.  It makes invitation giving so easy. 
2.  Books.  I love reading.
3.  Curious George Movies.  Well the one on PBS this morning.  Cos I got to snuggle with Joshua while we watched it.
4. The beach.
5. Secret hiding spots for my stamps.
6. Online Bill Pay.
7. Thanksgiving meals.  Specifically turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie.
8.  Coffee.
9.  Ranch Dressing.
10. Ice Cream.
11. Catalogs, newspapers, and real estate magazines and those who sneak them to me.
12. Bad Bean Taqueria.
13. Blogs.
14. Yummy smelling shampoos, conditioners and bath soaps.
15. Scrub free shower cleanser and toilet bowl cleanser.
16. Cameras and Video Recorders.  They capture so many good memories. 
17. My kitchen aid mixer.
18. Christmas decorations.
19. Christmas cookies.
20. Coloring books and crayons.
21. Facebook.
22. Lollipops and free cookies at the grocery store to keep a little boy entertained during big shopping days.
23. Target.
24. Goody bags at triathlons and races.
25. Ginger Peach tea.
26. Screened in Porches.
27. Really good coupons, or get something absolutely free/no purchase necessary offers.
28. Really great haircuts.
29. Landing safely after flying. (WHEW.)
30. Restaurant gift certificates.

And now that I've listed out some of my sillier things I'm thankful for, I'll tell you what I am really thankful for.  I am thankful that I have an absolutely fabulous set of parents.  They really are so fabulous that I could never express it well enough here, so you'll just have to take my word for it. 

I am thankful for my sister, even if we don't get to get together that frequently, and I hope that changes.

I am thankful that I have a great bunch of friends right here in my neighborhood.  Y'all rock!

I am thankful for my BFF, Yvette.  She is so awesome, and I pray every day that we won't always live so far away from each other.  Love you big, girlfriend!

I am thankful to infinity and beyond that Jamey convinced me to have a baby.  Because Joshua is such a joy to have in my life that I could cry with happiness every time I think of him.

I am thankful for Jamey.  We have made it through some pretty tough times over the past almost 14 years of marriage.  And I know we are in for more tough times.  But the good times overshadow the tough times so much that it absolutely makes it all worth it.  I am thankful that I choose to be married to a great man every day.

I am thankful that we have a warm house, food on the table every day and, although they might not be very stylish, clothes to put on our backs each day.

I am thankful that my little boy has a cozy bed with lots of babies in it to keep him company each night.

I am thankful that we were lucky enough to be born in a country that we don't have to be afraid to live in.  We might get irritated with our leaders, but I don't think many of us realize how truly lucky we are to live here.  I include myself in this.

I am thankful that we are healthy.  Both physically, and somewhat emotionally. 

I am thankful that I have found a love for writing this year.  And I am thankful that some of you enjoy reading what I write.

I am thankful that I have a church where I don't have to hide how I feel and pretend that things are "fine" when they might not be.  It is a community of real support.  And I am most thankful that I have learned and continue to see that God loves me.  Wherever I am in my journey.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

OK, Fine. I Have Some Peculiar Habits I Guess. (OCD Maybe?)

First of all, I wrote a post about my beautiful sleepy boy over the weekend.  Hardly anybody has read it.  And I love it.  So please go read it.

Real quick, we decorated for Christmas yesterday.  I know it's a little early, but we have a lovely guest coming for Thanksgiving dinner, and so I wanted it to be done before she got here.  Plus, we are the type that are itching to take the decorations down, like, the day after Christmas.  So we need to put them up earlier to enjoy them.

However, I am on edge until after Christmas this year.  We bought our pre-lit Christmas tree, ohhhhh let's seeeeee. . .I think in 2000?  So it's going on its 10th year.  And the pine needles all over the floor are impossible.  It is shedding worse than a real tree that hasn't been watered for the entire Christmas season.  And those pre-lit lights?  Well I am waiting with nervous knots in my stomach till after Christmas.  Because three separate rows of branches had massive portions that did not light up when I plugged them in.  They finally flickered on; however, that does not bode well for the remainder of the season.  Hopefully it will last, and then we have to think about getting a new one.  Anyone like to go shopping the day after Christmas?  And if you do, would you pick us up a new Christmas tree?  I'll give you the money and everything.  Thanks.

So we were at church on Saturday night and I got to talking with a friend of mine.  She was upset because someone was sitting in her and her husband's seats.  Now, I know that we are supposed to be good Christians and should be happy that there are new faces coming to our church and all, but I knew exactly what she was talking about.  As a church, we talk about how we all don't like change.  It is scary and uncomfortable, but it is also necessary for transformation. 

That said, I can relate to her.  I have scared people out of "our seats" just by "teasing them" about it.  Because frankly, those are my seats.  I'm OCD that way.  I can't help it.  There are lots of things I can't control in my life.  But if I don't get to sit in my same seat at church on Saturday nights, I'm really kind of cranky.  I know this is not making a good showing for my Christianity, but I am just trying to be honest and real.  I recognize it is a large character defect of mine.  I'm working on it, OK?

Want another example?  Years and years ago, when Jamey and I were just dating, we were paying bills together.  He had brought his over to the apartment I shared with my good friend Jen, and we sat there doing our own bills when he asked me for a stamp.  I handed him the book of stamps I had with all my stuff.  I watched as he started to take one out of the book.  On the wrong side.  So I said, "Jamey, please take it out in order."  He looked at me like I was crazy.  "What do you mean?" he said.  So, I showed him how on the other side I had taken one row out already, and then I said that he needed to take the one on the left in the next row.  And he started laughing at me.  And then he did something truly horrible.

He flipped over the book of stamps, and he took one directly out of the middle of the book.

I immediately grabbed the book of stamps back and also the stamp he had taken out.  I proceeded to line it up perfectly and put it back in the book.  (Although that book of stamps was ruined now, as far as I was concerned, but I was poor so I had to use it up.)  I asked him how many he needed (in a not very nice voice).  And he was all, like, "Are you kidding me?"  and laughing even harder now.  Which made me even more angry.  Then he realized I was quite serious.  And he stopped laughing.  I think I scared him a little.  Kind of like the people I teased about sitting in our seats.  Anyway, so now, some fifteen or sixteen years later, he still has to ask me for stamps.  And I get them from their little secret hiding place and will give him however many he needs.

Is that wrong?

I don't think so.

Do you all do anything like that?  I will not apologize for it or think I'm crazy.  Stamps need to come out in the right order!!!!  And there should be assigned seating at church.  That's all there is to it.  :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Sleepy Beautiful Boy

Joshua woke up a little on the early side this morning.  Of course.  He had been waking up every day this week between 7:15 and 7:30.  But then this morning, on the first day that Jamey didn't have to be up for a training run, Joshua woke up at 6:30.  And we had a big morning.

First we ate "poptops" (aka poptarts.  And actually Jamey and Joshua did.  I drank coffee.), and then Joshua and Jamey built forts out of the furniture and blankets in the living room.  Then we all got dressed and went to Lowe's for a Build and Grow workshop.  Joshua loves going to those.  Today's project was a snowman that you can put a gift card or picture in a little slot on the back.  After that, we went and tried out new bikes for Joshua because his first bike is just too small for him.  I think Santa will be bringing him a new one for Christmas.  Then it was back to the house where Jamey and I got changed, Joshua packed up some toys, and after popping Jman in the Chariot with his toys and a snack, we headed out for a family run.  

I always have to laugh because Joshua says his legs are tired when we are finished.  You know, from all that running he does sitting in the Chariot while Daddy pushes him for all six miles.  We figured it out today - Daddy's pushin' about 75 pounds.  That's a lot to push for six miles.  Anyway, we got back and then decided to go blow it out and eat Chick-Fil-A for lunch.  Um, yummmmmy.

So we got back and it was quiet time for Joshua.  And Jamey went out to do yard work.  And I was sitting in here looking on Craig's List for bikes and Christmas Trees when I realized something.  It was quiet in here.  Like really, really quiet.  So I snuck to the doorway of the family room.  And my baby was asleep on the sofa. 

I could stand there forever and watch him sleep.  Why I wonder?  I don't know.  He just looks so, soooooo. . .beautiful.  Don't get me wrong.  I know I'm biased, but I think he's gorgeous all the time.  But he's extra special when he is sleeping for some reason.  I love him when he's awake and silly and goofy.  But when he's sleeping, maybe it is that he is so still, that I finally get the chance to really look at him.  And just look and enjoy him. 

I sometimes wonder what he dreams about.  I hope they are all good dreams. 

I also love watching him fall asleep in the car.  If Jamey and I are driving somewhere and Joshua is falling asleep, I put my visor down and adjust my mirror so I can discreetly watch him drift off.  Maybe it reminds me a little bit of when he was a baby.

We are talking about going on a family tacky light tour.  Just the three of us.  And drive around and look at Christmas lights.  And we'll put him in his jammies, and he can eat his bedtime snack in the car, and then we'll just drive around and look at all the lights. (Probably not the official tacky light tour.  Too crowded and busy.  Just drive around looking at all the gorgeous lights and go downtown too.)  He may or may not fall asleep when we do this.  But I am almost hoping already that we do it and he does fall asleep.  Because watching that is just delicious.  And how much more magical to watch him drift into dreamland while driving him around in his cute little Christmas jammies looking at Christmas lights?

We go in every night and check on him before we go to bed.  And now that he's out of pull ups at nighttime, we also take him to go potty one more time too.  I shouldn't be lifting him out of bed anymore (that little guy is heavy when he's dead weight!), but sometimes I have to.  It's so cozy that I can hardly stand it.  I cuddle him tightly as I take him into the bathroom.  And I help him go potty and then cuddle him all the way back.  I put him back in bed and tuck him all in nice and cozy, and I swear I could stand there all night and watch him sleep.  Or climb in with him.  Jamey and I have never slept with him in our bed (or his bed for that matter).  But it is so very tempting sometimes. 

So I love watching my little guy sleep.  I hope it never changes, because it is so special to me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Brush with a SUPER Cool Musician

Real quick before we get into today's post. . .I checked out Jamey's pictures last night from the marathon.  Brightroom finally made them available.  Unfortunately, Joshua is doomed to look like a goof in all his race pictures if he so chooses to go that route.  Because Jamey's holding up his arms in the pictures.  He's not waving them around wildly like I do, but still.  So, I apologize to you, Joshua, for your "look like a dork" picture gene.  Sorry sweetie.

OK, and so now I have a confession to make. . .

Don't judge me.

It's close enough.

I am listening to Christmas music already. . .

It was an accident, I swear!  I was on Facebook the other day, and my favorite Christian artist, Andrew Peterson, had put a player up that plays his CD Behold the Lamb of God.  It is one of the most beautiful Cd's I've ever heard.  It pretty much sums up the bible from Genesis, all the way up to the birth of Jesus.  Just so you know, my personal favorite tracks are (well all of them, but a few of them just really get to me):  Gather Round Ye Children Come, Matthew Begats (just fun), Labor of Love (how I really imagine it was for Mary), Behold the Lamb of God, and The Theme of My Song/Reprise.  I recognize that's an awful lot, but I just love those tracks.

I am also super excited because he is coming to our church, Bon Air Baptist Church, on Friday December 3rd.  Jamey and I are going - of course.  It is an amazing concert.  For all my local friends, I implore you to buy tickets.  If you need me to get them for you, just let me know.  They are $10 a piece. 

I have to laugh because when AP came two years ago, I was picking Joshua up from preschool that afternoon.  I saw the tour bus and I did something very naughty.  I immediately reverted into stalker mode.  And made my son follow me.  Again. . . Don't. Judge. Me.  I surely did.  I went to the gym where they hold the concert, and I first found Jill Phillips,who sings the Labor of Love song (just brilliantly), so I stalked her.  She was very nice.  Thank goodness.  I think it might have had to do with the fact that I was holding Joshua in front of me like a shield.  And I told her how amazing I thought she was.  She thanked me, and I then tried to discreetly look around to see if I could see AP.  I am sure my craning neck had her wondering if I had a strange tic of some sort. 

Alas, he was not in there.  So, defeated, Joshua and I walked out and were just getting ready to leave when  saw him.  At the other end of the church.  So what do you think I did?  I know what you are thinking.  And you would be exactly right.

I started yelling.  Loudly.  And I picked up Joshua and started running through the church after AP.  And I'm yelling, "Mr. Peterson!  Mr. Peterson!!!!"  (you know, to show my respect for him).  If you can try to imagine how my voices sounds, it was very high-pitched and shriekish.  And I turned the corner and I could hear him going up the stairwell of the church.  Do you think that stopped me?  Of course not.  Still calling after him, I cornered him in that stairwell.  And he saw me and my, by now probably traumatized, son, and he stopped.  IN THE STAIRWELL.  And SAT DOWN

And then I used Joshua.  Totally - because I didn't want AP to think I was a lunatic.  And what I told him was actually true anyway.  AP also has a very cute children's CD out called Slugs and Bugs and Lullabies.  That's the CD that I told you all about that I listened to for like 3 years or something with Joshua.  And Joshua's favorite song on it is Tractor Tractor.  And I told AP that Joshua was a big fan of his and that we listened to Slugs and Bugs all the time.  And then AP asked Joshua (wow he was talking to us!) what Joshua's favorite song was.  And Joshua clammed up.  And AP said, "I bet I can guess."  And then he started singing Tractor Tractor in the stairwell!  To me!  I mean to my son!!!!  It was very cool.  And I told him that Jamey and I were big fans too.  Because we are.  And he thanked me and I told him I'd let him be now, and Joshua and I practically skipped out of church.

I didn't actually let him be though.  I did ask for his autograph that night.  I asked him to make it out to Joshua.  And now that autograph is in Joshua's baby book.  A nice memory for him when he's older.  Or terrifying nightmare.  That has yet to work itself out. 

Oh, and a fun note about Slugs and Bugs.  They now also have a Christmas CD out.  It's called A Slugs and Bugs Christmas.  I can't wait to get it.  I have no doubt it will be very entertaining.

In case you are wondering, I am not putting all these links and stuff in because I am getting a cut of their sales or anything.  I am putting them in because I know how good they are.  I want to share how good they are with you all.

And so yes, I am listening to Christmas music.  See?  I didn't even put it in teency weency type this time.  I hope you all will take some time to listen to these amazing artists. 

Have a good day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My English Friends - Long Live the TTC'ers!

There is a place on my blog in the statistics tab that I can go to and see all kinds of interesting information.  It shows how many hits I've had that day, that week, that month, and for all time.  It also shows which posts are being looked at the most, how the posts were gotten to (whether it's the direct blog address, Facebook links, or referring blogs that have links to my blog on them), and, most interesting to me, it also shows what countries are looking at my blog.

Not surprisingly, my largest amount of followers are from the United States.  But I have had all kinds of countries hit my blog including Canada (Hi Canada follower!  Thank you!), Denmark, Russia, Vietnam, China, Slovenia, etc.  And you may find it interesting that I have somewhat of a regular following in England.  But I know why!  Want to know my secret?

It all began when Jamey and I decided to get pregnant.  We had told everyone, for absolutely forever, that we were not going to have kids, but that we reserved the right to change our minds.  And so one day, we did in fact change our minds.  But we didn't want to tell anyone.  We had seen too many couples who had gone before us make the mistake of telling people they were trying to have a baby.  Talk about pressure!  We'd hear it all the time for these poor souls - So any news yet?  Do I need to start shopping for baby clothes yet? And all other kinds of questions, that frankly, we felt might be inappropriate.  I mean, what if those people were having difficulties conceiving?  So we decided right away that we would not tell anybody

But that was hard.  For me, anyway.  I mean, I wanted to share with somebody about it.  Particularly with someone who was also trying to have a baby.  I don't know why, but I did.  I wanted that connection.  But for a while, I just bumbled along on my own.  I'd be at work and on the sly, I would look at websites that talked about charting your fertility cycles and tips to maximize your chances.  (Can you believe that?)  And then one day, I don't even know how, I ended up on yet another website that was all about having babies.  This one was in the United Kingdom.  And I looked and they had - discussion boards.  Hallelujah!  My prayers had been answered!  I could go on there and talk to people who had no idea who I was!

But I started to get nervous.  You know, because I was sure that there would be someone on those boards who would recognize me.  So I pretended I lived in England too.  And I posted something on the board.  And then someone answered me back.  And then another.  And pretty soon, every day (while I was supposed to be working of course), I was chatting away with a lovely group of ladies from "across the pond"!

We checked in with each other almost every day.  People started getting pregnant.  Then we had a few miscarriages, including my own.  And these ladies were all a huge support to me during that time.  I didn't have to suffer by myself.  I will never forget them for that.

We decided at some point that we were going to move over to a private board on MSN.  And around the same time I had cooked up a story about us "coming home" (from our fake home in England to our real house in the United States), and I made up a silly story about our dog having to be quarantined when he came back and all, because I was really tired of pretending to live in England (seriously, isn't that the silliest thing you've ever heard of?), and so almost as soon as our board went private, I told all of them.  We had such a good laugh over it.  (Do you remember that ladies?)

And then eventually, almost every single one of us got pregnant.  One of the ladies had several more miscarriages, but she now has two lovely little boys.  Only one of us didn't conceive.  I don't know whatever happened to her, because the board got to be too much for her.  I don't blame her.  I am sure that would have been extremely difficult to read about all the pregnancies and babies day after day.  But I hope she is well.  That is the sad part about our board.  Not all of us got that lucky.  So Suede (her name on the board), I truly hope and pray your life is well. 

We have finally moved off the board and are all Facebook friends.  We still have our own page on Facebook, and we post updates from time to time.  We are all so busy with our lives.  But I will always consider this group of ladies my friends.  And maybe one day, I'll get to go across the pond and meet them. I would love it.  Love all you ladies!  Long live the TTC'ers!!!  ;o)

I hope you enjoyed this little story from my past.  I enjoyed the trip down memory lane.  Have a great afternoon everybody!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Carolyn - the Racing Lunatic!

Sorry I ditched you all yesterday. It was really a crazy weekend what with the marathon and all, and it kind of spilled over into yesterday. I wanted to write, both a blog entry and on my book, but my day got filled up very quickly.

And speaking of marathons, I have to laugh because right after the marathon, Jamey said, "Well, I can check that off my list now.  I'll never do another one."  And I've been there.  Said that too.  But I also knew what would come later, so I waited.  Patiently.  And sure enough, this morning, Jamey said as he turned away from me to go downstairs, "OK, so I want to do it again."  Or something like that.  Point is. . .he has been bitten by the marathon bug. 

I also think I am feeling the need for a mommy weekend.  Sweetie, if you are reading this, look at your schedule.  Mom and Daddy, get ready! 

So I have been watching for my husband's pictures to come available for viewing on the Brightroom website.  You know, they take pictures of you killing yourself while you are running, and then they post them for everybody to see.  They aren't available for viewing yet for this year, but I was checking for the billionth time this morning, and saw that they still have last year's pictures up.  I ran the half marathon last year.  So I thought, huh.  I think I'll go back and look at those again.

Wow.  I look really, really ridiculous.  First of all, my outfit choice was not pretty.  At all.  Second, my hair is short and looks really horrible in all the pictures, particularly since I didn't do anything to it when I rolled out of bed early that morning.  Lastly, and I remember this quite clearly, every time I saw a photographer, I started waving my arms around and yelling at them to take a picture of me.  And they did.  As I was waving my arms around and yelling like a lunatic.  And so that's what my photos look like exactly.  Don't believe me?  Well even though I am embarrassing myself horribly by doing this, here is the link. . .Brightroom - Carolyn Davidson aka Total Lunatic


So I have learned some very valuable lessons as I commit myself to running in the marathon next November. 

1.  I will buy a really cute outfit to wear for this marathon.  I want to look stylish when I am running this time.  (Honey, be prepared to break out the checkbook.)

2.  I will grow my hair like crazy so that hopefully by this time next year, I can wear my hair in a cute pony tail.  To all my girlfriends - if I talk about cutting my hair off, please use the following code words:  doofus hair.  It will remind me of my goal to have nice pictures for the marathon.

3.  I will NOT, I repeat:  I WILL NOT go crazy every time I see a Brightroom photographer guy.  Because I don't want to look like a crazy person in all my marathon pictures.  I will smile serenely at the cameras.  I will do everything I can to look cute and not like a total bafoon.

No wonder I never order race pictures of myself. 

Have a great day everybody.  (smiling serenely)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Short Post Today - My Husband Rocks!

My husband ROCKS.  He finished his marathon in 4:14:34!  Way to go Jamey!!!!

I may have done permanent damage to my vocal chords.  Oopsie.  My throat is raw from yelling!

A big thanks to my friend Rachel who came around with me to all the stops.  You rock too girlfriend!

We are all pooped.  Jamey from the marathon, me from the stress of running all over creation and stressing out whether I missed him at each stop (except the first one, and no, I didn't miss him at any of them), and Joshua because he woke up at 5:50 this morning.  He was at MiMi & PaPa's.  Ugh.  That makes me hate Daylights Savings Time.  I swear I could run for President of the United States and have that one thing as my "issue" that I would fix.  And every single parent of young children would vote for me and I'd win.  And I'd fix that, and then I would not do anything else the rest of the time I was in office except go to great parties and wear lots of cool clothes. 

Jamey is walking around like he is a little old man.  He just came through the kitchen, and he said he was afraid of the next several days.  That he has pains he didn't know could exist.  And since I've been there, I told him that he should be afraid of the next several days.  He should be very, very afraid. . .

So now I'm all jonesing to run next year.  I plan on it.  But don't hold me to it or anything.  You never know about injuries or who knows what else.  But I really hope to be out there to do another marathon.  I miss that feeling of accomplishment in running that long. 

But it's true.  My man ROCKS!  Yay Jamey!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's a Big Day Tomorrow! I'm So Proud of My Husband!!!!

So it's a big day tomorrow. . .my husband is running his first marathon!  :)

I am so excited for him.  He's wanted to do this for a long, long time.  And also a little bit glad.  He's been totally stressed out this week.  (Sorry honey, but you know it's true.  And I still love you.)  But now, the night before the race, he is almost giddy.  Pre-race high.  It's funny to watch him right now.  I made him a special dinner - chicken, broccoli and pasta.  Poured some spaghetti sauce over it, and sprinkled some cheese over it.  Lovely pre-race dinner.

And now he's getting all his "stuff" ready.  Race belt.  Race Number.  Timing Chip.  Powerade.  Gu. Clothes.  The list just goes on forever.  For anyone who's out on the course tomorrow, his number is 3373.  He will be wearing a yellow sleeveless shirt, black shorts, and black socks.  He's taped "Jamey" to his shirt so people can yell for him.  I hope he gets lots of cheers.  He's hoping to run it in less than four hours.  I'm totally jealous of that time goal.

I will proudly and enthusiastically go out and cheer him on tomorrow.  He has done the same for me - twice.  I have run two marathons.  And he came out both times and cheered me on from several different spots.  So I will be driving around with my friend Rachel from place to place.  Screaming when he runs by.  And then we'll hop in the car and race to the next place to stop and see him.  I am also his "roadside assistance".  I will be holding extra gu's, powerade, body glide (which is NOT what you dirty minds are thinking.  It's stuff to keep you from chaffing!) and whatever else he wants me to take. 

So in honor of the marathon going on tomorrow, I'll tell you how excited I was the first time I ran.

Of course, my BFF, Yvette, came all the way from Texas to run with me.  That meant so much to me.  And we made a pact.  We would cross the finish line together and hold hands.  I was really slow, and I remember I was worried I wouldn't be an official finisher.  Jamey came out and cheered me on along with my mom and his buddy Jeff.  There were several other people out on the course too, and it was really great to have the support.  Then towards the end, around mile 21 or so, Yvette looked over at me, and she said, "You know, even if we walked the rest of the way, you'd be an official finisher."  And I promptly burst into to tears.  I was so excited. 

Then the finish came.  Jamey had assembled a HUGE bunch of people to watch us come into the finishing chute.  And Yvette and I came down the big hill.  And I saw the first couple of people cheering me on, and I started to choke up.  A little further and there were a few more.  And then I was crying.  And then I heard my friend Jennifer, who was helping call out names as they came across the finish line.  I hadn't seen her and hadn't thought about her being there.  And I took off!  I was so excited to see her!!!  And I grabbed her hand and then crossed the finish line and then. . .oopsie.  I missed Jamey.  And the whole crowd of people who had gathered to watch me finish.  Because Jennifer was on the opposite side of the street.  And I forgot to run to the finish line with Yvette and hold hands across the line.  Oops.  I still feel awful about that.  All those people and I totally didn't look.  Sigh.

So tomorrow, if Jamey gets excited and doesn't see me at the finish, I can hardly hold it against him, can I?  Running your first marathon can do some funny things to your head, especially at the end.  I am so happy for him.  I am so proud of him.  I can't wait!

Go Jamey!!!  NUMBER 3373 in the 2010 SunTrust Richmond Marathon!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Lovely, But Deceased Grandmother Yelled at Me This Morning

I'm not kidding.  She really did.  Be prepared for a long, but I hope entertaining post. 

Just so you know, I hardly ever know what I'm going to write about when I first sit down at the computer.  I usually sit, sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for quite a while before I start to type.  Sometimes, I have to walk away and come back, because inspiration just hasn't hit.

But this morning, as I was on my way downtown to drop off my husband's lunch to him (he didn't exactly forget it, but it's a long story), I somehow found my thoughts drifting to my Grandmother and the time right after her death (long story how I got there too).  So anyway, I started thinking about it, and then, out of nowhere, she's right there in my head.  And she's yelling at me.  In fact, she's quite, excuse me for saying it this way, but it's the truth, she's quite pissed about the fact that I haven't written any posts about her.  Can you believe that?  So OK GRANDMA HERE IT IS SO PLEASE STOP BUGGING ME.

My Grandmother was a hoot.  Two of my favorite early memories of her involve looking through all of her jewelry, which she had a ton of, and making pizzas with her.  Her jewelry was on top of a chest of drawers in the little teeny room where we used to sleep when we would go to Pennsylvania to see my Grandparents.  Most of it was fake, and looking back on it now, it was also pretty gaudy, but I just loved it.  The best part was my grandmother didn't have pierced ears, so I got to put on all the really cool huge beaded earrings. 

We also used to make pizza almost every time we would go up to see them.  She'd let us help with everything.  Mine always looked horrible, but I remember how much she'd exclaim over how tasty they looked.  And she was right.  They tasted great to me.  I guess that is why I let Joshua help make pizza with me now.  To carry her forward with me somehow.

In regards to the later years, I have several funny stories to relay to you.  First, I spoke with my mom to laugh about Grandma's yelling at me.  Her chatter in my head didn't stop all the way home.  She was so persistent and nagging.  The entire time.  I kept trying to explain to her that no, I couldn't pull over and write it right then, because you have to sit in front of the computer to write a blog post.  It was getting annoying.  So I called mom to tell her and we had a laugh about it.  I asked if she was always so persistent.  She said sometimes my Grandma could nag you without saying a word.  My mom would have them in our house and Grandma would sit there quietly, and then my mom said she'd get a cold chill up the back of her neck.  Then the guessing game would begin.  Is she hot?  Is she cold?  Does she want her purse?  Is she thirsty?  I don't think the chill would go away till mom finally figured out what the problem was.  Sometimes, all it was, was my grandmother wanted her purse to sit on the other side of the TV tray mom had set up with all her stuff on it.

All of the following are true stories.

My parents bought my grandparents a microwave one year.  Do you know what they used it for?  A bread box.  A really expensive bread box.

Grandma wasn't feeling good one morning, so my Grandpa drove her to the doctor.  He examined her and said, "Mrs. Winder, you need to go to the hospital.  You are having a heart attack right now."  So they are calling the rescue squad and the doctor asked her if she'd given up smoking.  Grandma looked at him and said, "Oh yes.  I've totally given it up.  I quit."  The doctor asked her when she had quit.  Grandma said, "About five minutes ago in the car on the way over."  But that was true.  She never smoked another one.

Then she's in the hospital and she sits there with her enormous purse perched on her lap the entire time.  I'm surprised she had any feeling left in her legs, because the thing weighed about 90 pounds.  She wouldn't let anybody take it.  I bet she went into surgery carrying that purse on her lap the whole way.  I wonder if it got in the surgeon's way when he was operating on her?  Because I bet they couldn't pry it out of her hands when they were ready to start.

She also had a temper. She'd get mad at my Grandpa. And so one day, my mom sees her put up her index finger behind my Grandpa's back as he was walking away after some sort of tiff. My mom asked her what she was doing. She thought that's how you gave someone the finger. I bet she still does that to him in heaven.

My Grandma started going senile.  So every time I would see her later in life, our conversation was exactly the same.  Seriously.  We only had one conversation.  She had an ugly, red cloisonne watch, that had a cover over the face.  Closed, it looked like a bracelet.  Then you'd open it to reveal the watch face. 

Here is our conversation:  G - Have I shown you my bracelet?

C - No, I don't think I've seen that (For the millionth time.  Today.)

G - Look.  (So I'd look.)

C - Oh, I like it.  It's very pretty. (Smiling serenely.)

G - And look at this. . .(she'd fumble with it, because she was shaky, but eventually, she'd get it open, and with zest in her voice, she'd say)  It's a watch!

C - (Utter fascination and mock surprise plastered all over my face, I'd say)  Oh my goodness!  It is a watch!

Wait five minutes.  Repeat.

After she died, I didn't think to ask for that watch.  I wish I had it.  Ugly as it was, it would be nice to have it.

Grandma also was hard of hearing.  That's not quite right, actually.  She was deaf.  So sometimes, I'd come home and I'd have a message on our answering machine that went something like this:

"Hi Carolyn and Jamey.  It's Grandma.  How are you?  (long pause)  Good.  (Another pause)  I'm doing OK.  Are you working hard?  (another pause)  I'm sure you are.  Can you come over to visit sometime soon? (pause)  OK, good.  (pause)  I love you too honey.  I'll talk to you soon. (pause)  OK.  I'm going to go now. (longer pause.  Maybe hoping our answering machine will tell her not to go yet?) OK.  Love you.  Bye bye."

She loved Jamey and his red hair. She kept telling me she didn't like redheads, except for Jamey and that she might have to steal him away from me.  Luckily, she moved back to Pennsylvania, because I don't doubt she might have been able to do it.

I was sad when Grandma died.  I was in Texas, and by this point, they'd moved back to Pennsylvania, after being in Virginia for like a year (or less) or something.  So the morning after she died, I was out on my back porch, and I asked for a sign from her.  You know, just to let me know she was OK.  And just then a small pretty bird flew by.  I said, "Oh thank you Grandma.  I'm so glad that was you."  Then a moment later, another one flew by.  "Thanks Grandma."  I smiled a little.  Then a whole flock flew by.  I almost got pelted by several of them.  "OK I GOT IT NOW."  I know she was smirking at me.

And she still will tell me hello from time to time.  And pester at me until I call my mom to tell her that Grandma says, "hi".  So as you may have guessed, I absolutely believe there is more to life than just what's here on this earth.

I am also sure she hand-picked Joshua to be our little boy.  And for that I can't thank her enough.

Hi Grandma.  I love you.  I know there's a bunch more stories, but people don't have three days to read one post. 

OK.  I think she's letting me off the hook now.  If you see a second Grandma post tomorrow though, you'll know why.  :)  Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mommies Sure Have to Be Brave

My baby hurt himself on the playground today.

He apparently was running around with his buddy Jace.  Somehow, he tripped on a tree root and fell.  Face first.  Onto a treeHis lip is cut up, and he has two large matching bruises on either side of his forehead. 

It happened well before I picked him up from school.  But when he saw me afterwards, he started to cry.  And I wanted to cry.  But I didn't.

Why?  Well because I needed to be there for him.  I didn't want him to know that the sight of his poor little face sent a familiar wave of fear through me.  It is so funny how I never had that instinct before I became a mom.  But boy, the second he was born, I knew I'd have to fake being brave about a trillion times over. 

Then after that horrible incident on the playground today, what do you think he did while he was playing with his friend Wilton on the little grassy area outside the preschool? Oh you'll love this one. He got his head stuck in a crepe myrtle tree. And he screamed for me. And somehow, I managed to run over and calmly lift him up until his head slipped right out from between the two branches. I hugged my crying boy, and made sure he was OK. Then I went over to my friend, and I couldn't help it. I laughed. Because it was either that or burst into tears myself. My mommy nerves were all done.

Just like when he had to have a CT Scan.  He was two.  He had been sick with a high fever for a whole week.  The fever broke on a Thursday night.  I remember specifically the feeling of relief wash over me when I went in to check on him before I went to bed and I felt his cool forehead.  I even remember saying thank you to God, I was so relieved.  But when he woke up the next morning he couldn't walk steadily.  It was like watching him on a rolling ship.  We finally got a diagnosis of Post Viral Ataxia.  It's caused by high fever.  No telling when it would go away.  Or if it would go away. (Of course it did.  After about a month.)  But in order to get the diagnosis, he had to have the CT Scan.  I went with him.  I will never forget it.  He was strapped down and I could stand beside him, but I couldn't touch him.  And he cried and cried and screamed when the machine went because it made loud and scary noises.  I thought I would die listening to him scream.  Towards the end, he just kept repeating, "I'm all done, Mommy.  I'm all done."  Over. And Over. Again.

Can you say awful?  Can you even imagine a two year old, maybe even your two year old showing such fear and you aren't even allowed to touch him?  And all I could do was say, "Almost baby.  It's almost all done.  You're OK. It's all OK."  I kept it together all the way until he was safely tucked into bed that night.  Then I came downstairs and sobbed.

That is some hard and exhausting work to do as a parent.  My heart is racing just remembering that day.  But I know that was just one of the first of many.  Am I up to the task?  You bet your sweet bippy, I am.  I will do that with no hesitation any time necessary for my little guy.

With all this said, I truly am all done today.  I am going to fix myself a nice cup of hot tea.  If I was a big drinker, I'd add a shot of something to it.  But tea is fine.  I hope tomorrow is a better day for my boy.  Mommy's nerves can't take it anymore.

(Don'tcha just love "You bet your sweet bippy"?  I even liked typing it.  So of course, I had to type it twice.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Creativity Rocks! I Just Wish it Paid More. . .

A few quick personal notes and a shameless self plug this morning before we get to the topic of the day.  So first of all, I went running yesterday morning.  And holy heck am I sore today.  I did my usual six miles outside.  It was wonderful while I was running.  I felt really good.  Yippeeeee yesterday!  I am so sore today that I can hardly walk.  Boooooo Today.  Also tells you how long it's been since I exercised.  I stepped on the scale this morning and a slightly different phrase from "holy heck" came out of my mouth.  I won't say what it was, because my mom reads this.  Hi mom.  Love, your angel of a daughter. . .

And I entered a short story contest!  You had to provide the first line, and it had to be twenty five words or less.  If I don't become a finalist, I'll post the story on here, and you can tell me if you liked it.  And for now, you can tell me if you liked my first line.  It went with a picture.  The picture was of a young woman, dressed in a cute cocktail dress.  She is cracking open a door and is probably just about to see what is behind the door.  My sentence was this:  Unable to shut the door, I feel cold air rush around me, and an old frightening smell envelops me and transports me back in time.  I hope that is intriguing enough to make them want to find out what it is all about.  Either way, you all will find out.  :)

And finally, my shameless self plug.  I now have a Facebook page that is specifically set up for my blog.  I will hopefully be writing on there in the future about me winning writing contests and maybe even getting published one day.  So I hope you go on there and "Like" the page.  Here I'll even give you the link.  It's Carolyn's Blog.  Or you should also be able to type it in your search on Facebook and find it.  Thanks.  (totally blushing)

AND NOW. . .for today's topic.  Wait a minute.  First I MUST start a load of laundry.

OK.  Here we go. 

I have finally figured out why I never really liked any job I ever had.  And don't get me wrong.  I liked the people I worked with a lot, and that says something.  It makes it bearable to go to work.  But I've always been jealous of people who love their jobs.  And jealous of people who have, like, real careers.  But I never bonded with my jobs.  You know why?  Because I have discovered through this whole writing thing, that ultimately, I am a creative person.  I think that's really cool.  But guess what?  Most real jobs don't involve any creativity.  They involve the side of your brain that, frankly, I'm not interested in at all.

No wonder I loved taking art classes in middle and high school.  No wonder I took drama one year.  Heck, I even liked wood shop.  But the really sad part about all this wonderful creativity is that generally, you don't make any money at it.  Unless you have a ton of talent, and face it, a little bit of luck too.  That's a complete and total bummer.

I like to paint.  I like to sing.  I like to write (that's a new one, but boy do I really enjoy it).  I like cooking and baking.  I even like to do silly creative things, like draw pictures on my son's snack bags before preschool every morning.  Of course, I have to laugh about that one though.  I took probably 5 or 6 years of art classes.  And all my drawings are stick figures and very primitive.  But Joshua likes looking at them a lot, and I like making them, so who really cares?  He even saves the empty bags every day so he can look at them on the way home.

So one day, when Joshua goes to "real" school, I am probably heading back to the work force.  But all I want to do is stay at home and make stuff and write stuff and read stuff.  Anybody got a good job that incorporates those things that I can do?

Do you, my loyal readers, do you understand what I am talking about?  Do you have creativity flowing through your veins screaming to get out?  To the point you'd like to ignore everything else in your life sometimes? (Hence why I had to stop my post writing a little bit ago.  The laundry is out of control.  Again.)  It's almost overwhelming sometimes. 

I used to think I was lazy, and that's why I wouldn't get housework stuff done sometimes.  But maybe it has more to do with this crazy need now to sit here at my computer and write on my book.  Or knit or crochet something.  Or bake a delicious coconut cake to share with my best friend (and my neighbor friends too because there was so much.  I still dream about that cake.)  Please tell me I am not crazy.  Please tell me there are more creative souls out there who understand what I am talking about.  Siiiiigh.  I just love being creative.  I am in love with being creative.  Anyone else?

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Painful Memory. And a Request.

Well! The workshop was really super cool! I wrote down lots of good tips, I met some interesting folks and learned a lot. I was especially impressed with a local author who just got her first novel published. Her name is Michele Young-Stone and the book is The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors. Her story about how she finally got published after a several year process was really fabulous. You should check out her website -http://micheleyoung-stone.com/. I was totally bummed because I couldn't buy her book (no money with me), but I plan on getting it. All in all, I was really glad I went.

The weekend was pretty busy. The time change has totally messed with Joshua's sleeping. He is now waking up an hour earlier than he was. Which is a bummer, because when it gets colder outside, I always want to sleep an hour later. Jamey gets up with him a lot of mornings, but today wasn't one of them. So I am grouchy.

I did it again.  I wrote a super personal post.  Then I decided I couldn't post it.  There are things I'd like to share with you all eventually, but once you put it out there, well then it is out there forever.  No taking it back on a blog.  So I have changed it a bit.

I can share part of the post with you.  It is about two of my dear friends.  They are both hurting and there's nothing I can do to help them right now.  Other than to be there for them if they want someone to talk to.  That really stinks doesn't it?  Don't you hate it when friends are hurting very, very much and you just have to sit there watching them hurt? 

Even worse is when your child is hurt and there's nothing you can do to help them.  I never fully understood that until Joshua was born.  Now I just cringe thinking about the first time his heart will be broken by a first love, or even worse, if I break his heart.  I hope I never do.

I remember one time there was a boy I really liked.  It was while I was in high school and I really liked this guy, and I thought he really liked me.  He would call me, he came over a couple of times and we held hands and stuff.  Homecoming was coming up and I thought he was going to ask me.  It would have been the first time I'd been asked to a school dance (remember, I was NOT popular).  This boy was really cute and popular.  And so I waited.  And then a friend of mine came up to me one day, and she admitted he had asked her to the dance.  I never felt like I had a really great friendship with this girl, but I was super surprised when she told me that she turned him down because she knew I liked him, and she thought what he was doing to me was really lame.  She said she was less than impressed that he was giving off the appearance that he really liked me and then asking her (and others I later found out) to the dance.

So when my phone rang and a guy who had recently moved to our neighborhood called and asked me to go, I accepted.  Then of course, just like on TV, who should call?  The boy I really liked.  And I told him I was sorry, but I had already accepted someone else's invitation.  I hung the phone up.  The tears welled up.  My mom walked into the kitchen and saw me.  I burst into tears.  He had broken my heart.  And all my mom could do was sit with me while I cried my eyes out.

Ugh.  I still hate thinking about that! 

My heart hurts for my little boy already, and nothing like that has even happened to him yet!  Oh the woes of a parent.  But I will sit there with him as long as he needs me.

I will also sit there for my friends if they call.  Unfortunately, they are both hiders.  They withdraw during heartache or crisis.  They don't talk.  I hurt for them because of that.  It is toxic to let it stew inside and not talk.  I know that very well.  Bleh.  If any of you do that, stop it! 

For some reason, this was a hard post for me to write. A painful memory even though it seems so silly on some levels now. Thank you for letting me share it here.

So I'll end today's post with this.  I know some of you have faith and believe in God.  For those of you that do, please pray for healing for my friends.  Also pray that God will hold on to these two ladies tightly and not let go.  I know He is already doing that, but it will be nice for my friends to know these prayers are being said for them.  If you don't really do God, please send positive thoughts to them.  They need them. 

Update 11:09am - I was running this morning and thinking about my post.  I think what really bothered me more about that memory was thinking about how my mom must have felt more so than me and how bad I felt at the time.  My pain was only temporary.  But now as a mom, I think we always carry a little bit of pain around for our children.  Whether it is something from their past, or a future hurt even.  Does that make sense?  It was much clearer in my head while I was running.  Now it's all jumbled up again.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Does Anybody Else Remember Mayberrys?

Real quick - I am knee deep in book two now. I really am enjoying this new one a lot. Even more than my first book attempt for sure. And I am excited because I have signed up for a writing workshop this weekend. That's pretty exciting too. I'll meet several authors who have been published as well as a local publishing house. I might take a cd with my book on it and my pertinent information with me in case there might be someone there who would be willing to look at it. I don't know though.

OK, so now on to one of my favorite childhood memories. When I was at my parent's house on Tuesday, my dad asked me if I remembered Mayberry's. And I certainly do. This was one of the best places to frequent when I was a kid. It was an ice cream parlor. You heard me. A real honest to goodness ice cream parlor. It had big huge "fancy" (i.e. gaudy) pink vinyl benches with high curved backs. If I remember right (I was probably 5 or 6 the last time I was there), it had a mirrored wall, and it also had a "bar" with pink vinyl covered stools that you could spin around on. The name Mayberry's was on the windows looking all old fashioned and quaint.

We'd go and get ice cream there occasionally. We lived close by. One of the things I'd get was some sort of cake. It was chocolate. It was rolled up like a jelly roll and it had whipped cream and hot fudge all over it and of course a cherry on top. But the funny thing was, I dont' think I actually liked them all that much! What I always really wanted was coffee ice cream (shocker). And my parents wouldn't let me get it, but daddy would let me have a taste or two of his on occasion. They also served old fashioned ice cream sodas and root beer floats. Yum.

I searched the Internet to see if I could find a picture of one, because I know I am not doing the place justice. It was such a magical place when I was a kid! To me, it felt, and of course I wouldn't have used these words at the time, but as an adult, the words over the top and luxurious come to mind.

And no, pink vinyl isn't exactly luxurious. But I just felt like I was in a different time when I sat in that ice cream parlor. No, you know what it was? I felt like I was on a TV or a movie set. It was so over the top, that it was almost like it wasn't real. I felt like at any minute, someone was going to yell "cut"! And they'd take it down like it was a set on the Andy Griffith Show or something.

I talked to my sister on the phone, and she remembered a couple of other things. The outside had an old fashioned pink and raspberry striped awning. None of the other stores had awnings if I remember right. And she said the cake roll was like a big swiss cake roll with ice cream instead of the fluffy filling inside. She also remembers daddy giving us bites of his coffee ice cream. AND she remembers eating peppermint ice cream in there. It had little bits of peppermint candy. Which is funny because I remember that now. And guess what's in my freezer right now? Edy's slow churned Peppermint Ice Cream.

I loved that place. I wish it was still there. I would have loved to have taken Joshua there. And then ask him for his memories when he is older. Just to compare.  And now I have to go.  The peppermint ice cream in my freezer beckons me to come and take a bite.  And so does the coffee ice cream right next to it.  I hope you all have one of these magical places tucked into your memories somewhere.  If you do, I'd love to know about it!  Happy reminiscing, friends!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

UH-OH, I've Started My Second Book! And Obsessing!

OK, so I couldn't stand it anymore.  I started writing my second book in earnest yesterday.  The friend that I was hoping would help me edit my book said, in fact, that she would help me.  And so with that, I sort of felt a bit more free to start on the second book.

My friend gave me some really great constructive criticism too, in regards to my first book.  I appreciated her comments and I am thinking about making some changes.  I don't know if I can make them before the contest deadline, but I may try to incorporate some of her suggestions.

And so yes, I have started writing my second book.  I really like it - much better even than the first one.  If all goes well, it will be part of a series.  And I find myself becoming obsessed once again.  I am thinking about it all the time.  I am constantly turning to my blackberry to write some more.  That was how I wrote the first one.  I am not sure I ever told you that.  I would write and write and write on my Blackberry and then I would re-type it or email it to myself to get it on the computer.  Not very efficient, but it seems to be the only way I can find the time to do it.  You may wonder why I would retype it rather than email it most of the time, but honestly, it's because as I would retype it into the computer, I would change pieces.  It was almost like editing it as I typed it out.  Very helpful.

I also find that I want to drop everything again and just write.  I want to go to a hotel or a 24 hour coffee shop and just be left alone.  I think about it all the time.  I am not able to sleep for laying there and thinking about what to write next.  I need to try and find balance so that I don't let the house get totally out of hand this time.  But it's hard when you have a story rattling around in your brain that is trying to jump out onto a piece of paper.  Actually, it's trying to jump out onto my Blackberry or my computer, but you get what I mean.

I even find it hard to sit here and write this post.  But I will try not to drop the blog this time.  I hope to still come on here most days to write a post so that, hopefully, my readership will continue to increase.  Plus, I really do enjoy writing about a lot of different stuff.  But if you see a decrease in my posts, at least you'll know why and hopefully will forgive me.

I also hope you will forgive me if I write about my writing experience as I continue on the book journey.  I like to think you all want to hear about what is going on with all of this.  I hope anyway!

Joshua and I are at my parents today.  He is off school.  And since he and PaPa are thick as thieves, you know what I will be doing as soon as I finish this post.  I will be typing like crazy on my tiny Blackberry keys to try and write some more before we go home this afternoon.  Sigh.  Heaven. . .

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Trick or Treat Report

Last night was a lot of fun.  I think Joshua may have set a new land speed record.  And he was pooooooped.  Slept great.

Joshua's buddy, Alex, came over to trick or treat with us.  Our neighborhood also has a hot dog roast every year.  So we all headed over there first, and I was thrilled that Joshua ate some macaroni and cheese (under protest till he found out he wouldn't get a cupcake if he didn't).  He also managed to down a whole hotdog before he dug into the cupcakes and other goodies.  I, of course, had about fifteen glasses of the punch.  I love punch.  It was some kind of orange sherbety punch.  Goooooood.

Then we went back to the house, and before the kids left with Jamey and Bart and Dawn and my dad (you can never have enough adult supervision), someone managed to get purple frosting on Quincy.  Who now has a pinkish purple spot on his back.  But I can't be bothered to give him a bath.  I may invite his friend, Jackson, over to take care of it for me.

My mom and I handed out the candy last night.  My favorite conversation was with Caleb, who is the son of my friend, Julie.  Here's how it went:

Caleb - Trick or Treat!

Me - Wow great costume, Caleb!  (Caleb is staring into the bowl of candy and is oblivious that I said that to him.)  

Caleb - Whatcha got in there?

Me - Candy corns and smarties.

Caleb - I love those. (still staring into the bowl.  I'm not sure he realized there was a real person talking to him at this point.  I think he thought it was the candy bowl.)

Me - Oh good.  Here have a bunch. (I whisper the have a bunch comment and put a huge handful in his bag or pumpkin or whatever it was.)

Caleb - Except I don't really like candy corns.  But I like smarties. (Caleb starts whispering too.  And he finally looks up and realizes here that the candy bowl is, in fact, attached to a person.)

Me - (whispering again) Oh well then here, have some more. (I put another handful of just smarties in his bag.)

Caleb - Thank you. (so polite! And still whispering.)

Me - (whispering) You're welcome.

Caleb - (turns to walk away and then turns back a little.  And whispering, says,) Um, why are we whispering?

Me - (still whispering) Cos it's fun.

I think Caleb thought I might have been a little bit crazy.  That's OK, as long as I don't scare him.  I don't know why I found that so amusing.  I guess it was because really I was whispering it to him because I gave him more candy than a lot of the other kids who happened to come up at the same time.  Because I gave the most candy to the kids of the friends I hang out with in the neighborhood.  In fact, another friend's kid, Wil, somehow came by our house twice.  And twice I happily gave him a large handful of candy.  And Wil had a huge grin on his face, especially the second time.  Loved. It.

After the boys got back we sorted through their candy.  I didn't think to tell Joshua that Almond Joys are poison so that I could hold them all out for myself.  I wonder if I could still get away with that today?  In fact, I wonder if he would believe me if I told him that there was a recall on Kit Kats too, and that I'd have to take those away?  I. . .oopsie.  I digress.  Plus you probably all think I'm a horrible parent.  But trust me.  He's got plenty of candy.  Who do you think I gave all our leftover candy corn to?

And now we are looking at the beginning of November.  I can't believe it is here already.  I thought to myself last night as I was stringing up my one pathetic little string of ghost lights that pretty soon, we were going to be hauling out all the Christmas decorations.  And then I thought, didn't I just put those away like a month ago? 

But here it is, November one.  Maybe I should add a counter downer on how many shopping days we have till Christmas.  But seeing how long it took me to figure out how to put a "like" button on my blog, and seeing as I still don't think it's actually working right, I probably won't.  Sorry folks, you're on your own on that one.  Off to the gym today.  I gotta do something to work off all this Halloween candy I know I'm going to be eating in the next week or two!