Monday, November 24, 2008


Okay, so when did I become a grown-up?

And how did that little fact of life sneak up on me without my knowledge? You'd think that a woman approaching thirty . . . something . . . ish, who is married with three kids, would know by now that she is a grown-up.

But I have this amazing ability to ignore things I don't like, and maturing is one of them.

You might be asking yourself, "So what exactly brought this delusional woman out of her coma, and made her recognize herself as a functioning adult?"

Well, I'll tell you.

The Holidays.

Yes, that's right . . . the Holidays.

You see, I come from a pretty big family, my husband's family is even bigger, and as a kid, I never had any responsibilities regarding the cooking of the holiday meal. My brother, my cousins, and I would play, play, play!

We weren't allowed in the kitchen to bother my mom, grandma, or aunts. Same rules for my hubby.

A couple of years ago, I made the mistake of volunteering to cook what was then one of my secret signature dishes (thank you, Rachael Ray) for my family for Thanksgiving. And it was a HUGE hit.

So then they asked if I wouldn't mind making it for Christmas.

And how about Easter?

The next Thanksgiving?

You see the pattern.

And this year I am bringing dishes for hubby's family Thanksgiving, and helping my mom with our family's meal. But last night while talking to my husband about the food we're bringing/cooking, it hit me that this is what the grown-ups do.

They bring the food, or cook the food. I was just the go-getter . . . go get the milk out of the fridge, go get the butter, go put ice in the glasses, etc. Occasionally I stirred a boiling pot of something while someone took a break.

But over the last few years I have become responsible for actual side dishes. This is an amazing development for me. And it makes me realize I have become a grown-up. I will be the one in the kitchen working, trying to keep the kids out of the way, maybe letting them grab the milk or butter to lend a hand.

Seriously weird.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Holidays Are Coming

Good morning.

Boy, I'm beat. Darling Daughter and I have both had a short bout with a virus, but we're both feeling better today. Which is great. Having three kids in the house, I always expect once the cooties roll around to me, I'm gonna be knocked on my rear for several days, but this time I escaped with only mild symptoms.

Well, I've been working on the rewrites, and am pleased with the progress, so far. I'm a little nervous about sending it out once I'm finished, but I have a line of people who will knock my block off if I don't.

Then I have to get busy on the next book. Yay!

So that's kind of it. I don't really have any exciting stories to tell. I haven't been anywhere in a week, except my sons' school and the grocery store.

The holidays are coming up, which I always enjoy, but it's also approaching two years since my Dad passed away.

We'll be doing lots of traveling, and I'm looking forward to seeing family and friends.

But then there's shopping.

Only once in a blue moon do I enjoy the shopping process, and the crazy Christmas crush does not qualify as one of those times.

Plus, I am a nervous person anyway, and I worry (seriously worry) about getting gifts that I know people want or need. I don't like buying people fuzzy kitty-cat house shoes just because they're the right price and easy to get.

I really want people to have gifts they can use, or if nothing else, give them a gift card or cash to put toward something they've been saving up for.

So I worry. But this year I am going to make some phone calls, ask some questions, and do my best to make this holiday season as stress-free as possible.

Have a good one.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Making Plans

Good morning. It's a sunny Monday here in Oklahoma. A bit chilly, but after the gorgeous day we had yesterday, it's hard to complain about the cold this morning.

We had a good weekend, mostly spent cleaning for me, but my dear husband was so sweet, and helped so much. He kept the kids busy, we made dozens of muffins, everybody got to play outside, and overall had a great time.

And today I am back to work on my book. This would be the adult romantic comedy. My big plan, now that I have sent the second children's book to my editor, is to work on the rewrites for the rom-com.

I have to say, this is difficult for me. I've started questioning whether this is the type of book I am meant to write. Should I be working in two different genres? Which is my true joy to write?

And the answer is: both, of course!

If I may be so bold, I think, hope, I can write in both areas, and write well. I plan to finish these rewrites, send this manuscript to the agent who requested it at the ACFW conference, and get to work on the third children's book, and on a new rom-com.

The writer's mind never rests, and I always have a story idea percolating in the back of my mind.

So, I hope everyone has a great week, and I'll see you Wednesday.


Friday, November 14, 2008

The Making of a Great Weekend

Hello, all.

I gotta tell ya, I'm beat. It's been a whirlwind this week, and after a busy morning, I'm ready to crawl into bed for the entire weekend, and only climb out on Monday morning.

Does anybody really do that? I mean, when you're not sick. Does anyone snuggle up in bed with a pile of DVD's, a stack of books, and only leave the bed for necessary bodily functions (bathroom and food)?

Cause I gotta say, one of my favorite things in the world during the B.C. years (Before Children) was to cuddle with my hubby and watch movies on a cold autumn or winter day. Or, if hubby was busy, I loved taking a whole day to myself to just read and watch and eat and rest.

Good times.

Now, it's all about the kiddos.

Which isn't a bad thing. I'm thinking maybe snuggling up with the kids and watching movies or cartoons, making popcorn, baking cookies, ordering a pizza, and just hanging out.

But first I have to tackle the mountain of laundry, and do a little cleaning, but I hope we are looking at the makings of a great family weekend.

I'll let you know how things turn out on Monday.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Morning Routine

Good morning. It's Wednesday again. Only two more days 'til the weekend. YAY!

Well, I said "good morning", but it's not really good. In my constant struggle to get organized, my husband and I have been putting in extra effort to make the mornings run more smoothly.

Our hopes were less arguing, fussing, and fighting during the morning routine. We wanted to get us up and ready, get the kids up and fed, get their lunches and school papers ready to go, get them dressed and groomed, and everyone off to school and work with minimal hassle.


I'm beginning to think "organized" is just another way to say, "Hiding the Crazy."


I hear bits and pieces of conversation at my kids' school, and on the outside, it appears they ALL seem to have this organizing beast nailed down tight.

But I must ask, is it possible? Is it really possible to have it that together?

Children who wake up like cherubic angels, smiling, happy, and ready to start the day. Kids who float into the kitchen for their breakfast with nary a peep from their lips. They get dressed the first time you tell them, brush their hair and teeth when you tell them, and NO FIGHTING of any kind.

I just don't see it. Children like that don't exist. And if they do, don't tell me about it. I don't want to hear it. If you have three kids and they all behave and do exactly what you tell them all the time, just count your blessings and don't feel like you have to share with the rest of us.

I'd settle for kids who didn't scream at me or each other from the moment they climb out of bed until they get out of the car at school.

I'd be happy with boys who got dressed the second or third time they were told, not the tenth.

I'd love for my sons to comb their hair and brush their teeth without splashing water all over the bathroom (counter, floor, mirror, all of it!), and all over each other. And this would eliminate the new round of fighting because, "He splashed me!" "Well, he splashed me first!"

But I'm not giving up. I don't believe we'll ever reach morning routine utopia, but I think there has to be a happy middle ground somewhere.

And I will find it. Even if it kills me, or them.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Rainy Day Blues

Hey, folks.

Good Monday morning.

Sorry about not clarifying in Friday's post that Veteran's Day is actually TOMORROW, and wasn't on Friday. After I read it again, I realized I hadn't been specific. Sorry about that.

I was all caught up in the proud moment of watching my son singing, and wondering about grandpa, and I didn't specify.

But you should still shake hands with a veteran, or hug one.

I don't know what it is about today; maybe it's the weather (cold, cloudy, rainy), maybe it's the news (crashing economy, hurt children, more lost jobs and lay offs), but I am finding it difficult to see the funny, whimsical, or absurd.

I'm finding it difficult to laugh, and I really like to laugh. It makes the world better. And when I'm looking for a reason to laugh, and find it, I feel guilty for having a good chuckle when it seems like so much heartache and devastation are happening.

Weird, huh?

But seriously, this is one of those "Give it to God" moments. I have to trust in His greater power and strength in all this, or it will consume my simple human mind.

I don't have the answers to all the world's problems. (And I know I've disappointed many of you by admitting that. I know you read my blog for my keen intellect and diabolical genius!) But I do believe God has His hand over all of us, and is working beyond our comprehension to manage the catastrophe we've created.

This is where the test of faith is greatest. When you're in a situation where everything you once found comforting and stable suddenly crumbles around you. This is where the rubber meets the road. Trusting God to meet your emotional, spiritual, and physical needs is . . . well, painful.

It is for me. I struggle. I struggle to let God be God, and me be me, and trust that IN HIS TIME, He will make things right for His children.

There is the central problem I face. In His Time. Ouch. We're an instant society. We want it now. Waiting does not sit well with us. But if we give it time, we can make it through. Just hold on.

Now, I will get down from my pulpit, and hope you all have a good day.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Veteran's Day


I am DEFINITELY feeling better! YAY!

Seriously, I'm not a good patient. Ask my doctor. She'll tell ya. Cranky, whiny, and stubborn. She had to call the house one time and threaten to drag me into her office by force if I didn't get back in there for a follow-up visit.
My blog post is late this morning because Twin B was singing "God Bless the U.S.A." for the school's Veteran's Day assembly.

He was soooo cute!

And of course, Mommy teared up to see her little man on the stage, singing his heart out, and doing the cutest little dance moves to the song. I managed to control myself, and not bawl all over him.

But I also teared up thinking about my grandfather, Park Conklin. I never knew him. He died about a year and a half before I was born.
But he served as a Staff Sergeant in the Army during WWII. He trained troops going to the Pacific Front for the first few years of the war (he taught Judo, too, which I always thought was so cool), he went to the European Front in 1944 and was one of the liberators at the Dachau Concentration Camp, and he won the Bronze Star. However, no one in our family knows why. I don't even know if my grandmother knew what he did.

Mom told me once that a very good Army buddy of his came for a visit once and only told them this, "He defied an order to send his men into harms' way, and took it upon himself to carry that order out. He saved all their lives." And was awarded the Bronze Star.


Curious thing that I am, I want to know more than I can say what he did to save their lives. What order did he defy? It must be the writer in me. I can't help myself.

But I am blessed beyond words to be able to call myself his granddaughter. He was probably the bravest man I never knew.

Shake the hand of, or hug, a veteran today!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Still Sick

Good morning, again. It's a very windy Wednesday morning.

And I still have a cold. I thought I was getting better yesterday, and felt a little stuffy, but mostly fine when I went to vote, but as the day wore on, I wore out.

This morning I woke up to fussy children, hubby and I were both tired from watching the election results, and Mr. Cold is making his last stand in my sinuses.

So now I plan to do my best to get some work done, without making myself worse.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Not Feeling Well

Good morning.

As I posted last week, I usually enjoy Monday's because it means the boys are out of the house (this includes my hubby), and it's just the girls hanging out and having fun.

But this morning I feel horrible. I have a cold, and I am NOT a good patient. My throat is raw and scratchy, my head is stuffy, the nose is dripping, and I ache all over.

So the silence and peace I usually take advantage of to get my work done will have to be spent on the couch wrapped in a blanket, with a tissue in one hand and a cup of hot tea in the other.

But tis the season: of holidays, and of the cold and flu. And honestly, if this is the worst I get this year, as far as colds go, then I should be okay.

I hope everyone else has a great day.