Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sophy's Birthday

Last weekend my baby turned 5!  I have no idea how she got so big so fast, but it's true.  We had a party at Aunt Trish's house and the kids had tons of fun.  The 101 degree heat was a bit much, but the kids didn't seem to mind.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

14 glue sticks...

WoW.  I started the school supply shopping today.  I was floored by some of the items on her list.  Why are teachers so particular about brand names?  When the teacher puts a brand name on the list I feel compelled to get that brand even when I know another will work just as well.  For instance it says that she needs fiskers scissors.  Does it really need to be fiskers?  Won't Office Depot brand scissors work just as well? 
And 14 glue sticks?  For one kindergardener who is only there for half the day?  Really?  14?  Doesn't that seem excessive?  And the pencils have to be sharpened.  So I have to go buy a pencil sharpener just so I can open her brand new pencils and send them to school sharpened. 

I can't wait until Sophy is old enough to do this for me.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Lola's 3rd Birthday

This year we had a carnival theme for Lola's third birthday.  We had a popcorn cake, games, face painting, yummy fair type foods, and even a ball pit.  The kids loved the party and Lola was so very tired when it was all over.  I think she had a great day.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


We had a very eventful Easter this year.  It was a busy day.  We started out in OKC, but had to drive to Iowa for a funeral the next day.  We were able to attend church at home with our church family before we left though.  I thought I would share a quick picture of the girls in their pretty dresses.

Ok Go

For Valentine's Day this year Jeff took me to see my favorite Band in concert in Kansas City.  It was awesome!  I can't wait until I get another chance to see them live!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

time flies

I have been dealing with stuff.  A lot of stuff.  Stuff that I wanted to talk about but didn't want open to the whole world via the internet.  So I clamed up.  Unfortuantely that meant months with no posts.  I am back now though.  So I will post the highlights of the last few motnhs:
We are having a baby. 
It's a boy!
Ok, so I think that's about all I was going to share.
So I will resume my regularly scheduled posts now.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Letter to the editor:

Dear Entertainment Weekly,
I was happily reading my EW in the tub when I came across your article 'TV'S 50 Biggest Bombs and Blunders'.  Number 37 on your list annoyed me.  You said : "Besides M*A*S*H has it ever worked [to turn hit movies into shows]?"  You mentioned My Big Fat Greek Life, Ferris Bueller, Uncle Buck, and Clueless; all of which stunk up TV screens across America.  I agree that I cringed when I heard of my favorite movie of all time 10 Things I Hate About You becoming a series, but even this doesn't blind me from the many shows that came from movies and still managed to find their way on the small screen.  Must I remind you the Buffy The Vampire Slayer was once a movie?  This show was not only popular but spawned it's own spin off, Angel, a feat that you link to being a success.  What about Stargate?  It is not only a cult favorite but has spawned two spin offs in the form of Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe.  To say that M*A*S*H is the only movie to successfully make the jump to the small screen is ridiculous.  I don't think that these shows are any more likely to fail then all the other new shows that are put before us each year.  In all cases it is as much about the writing, directing, cast, and promotion that determine the rise or fall of a new series then it is the shows origins.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Learning to write better.

I have discovered a love for writing. I love creating a story and watching as it twists and turns in directions I didn't prepare for. I love crafting characters that develop a life of their own and proceed to argue with me about the things I try to make them do because they simply will not bow to another personality! It is an amazing adventure that happens in your mind.

Putting this experience onto paper and sharing it with your friends and family becomes a whole new adventure. You have to deal with questions (Why did he do this? What happened to her stupid bag? etc.) and you have to deal with others' opinions of your manuscript baby. The loudest of these in my case was a writing professor brother who felt I needed to know just how awful my writing itself was. (Really do brothers ever get better about picking on their sisters?) Luckily for me I had been forewarned of these reactions.

What I wasn't prepared for was an expectation to learn how to write better. It's one thing for someone to tell me my writing sucks, I was ready for that, but for them to show me how to get better?

My writing is still terrible. Every time I read through anything I've written I'm shown again all my flaws. I pick up one of my brother's tales and I'm instantly transported to another time full of adventure and mystery. I don't notice the words on the page, just the story unfolding before me. That is how I want to write. I want to tell a story without the reader being distracted by the writing.

I have been cursed with a professor brother who points out my flaws, but it's a blessing too. He is also patient with me and willing to help. Part of his New Years goals involved starting a website to help people like me. So if you want to learn how to write better you should check it out. At the end of the year we'll all see if my writing has improved. In the meantime, just hang in there with me...I'm working on it.

Unstressed Syllables

Friday, January 22, 2010

Recapturing Project Enthusiasm

I love that feeling you get when you start a new project. There is the thrill of planning, organizing, and dreaming of the finished product. I always start with such good intentions of finishing in a timely manner. I dive in headfirst! I get immersed in whatever is my current obsession, living, eating, and breathing it until I lose sight of my normal daily activities.
For those that know me this is part of my wonderful/awful personality. I can be a passionate person and awesome friend, until I sink into my self made hole and stay there until sometime pulls me out of it.
I rarely finish something in a timely manner. I get half way through any given project and get distracted by the next interesting thing to catch my eye. That's right I have shiny object syndrome. (Isn't there a mythical creature known for being easily distracted and easily entertained? Elves? Fairies? Any insight? Maybe I'm a changeling and it's not really my fault!)
All that to say that my current writing project got shoved aside for my awesome apron-sewing project! Then that got pushed aside so I could get some reading in. Now I am obsessively cleaning and organizing my home. Did I mention I love organizing and look for excuses to organize things? I haven't? Well you should see my newly organized coat closet! It's orga-fabulous!
So how to get myself back to writing? Well an email from one of my readers politely pointing out that the story isn't over and has been left hanging for a month is one good way. I plan to read through my entire story to date (no major edits allowed) as if I was reading it for the first time. Then allow my mind to drift into the world of Adelaide again. Lets see if I can get back into my own make believe world. Wish me luck.
Oh and if no one hears from me for a while...well that just might mean I succeeded...that or I saw something pretty and sparkly!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Book Addict

I have a confession to make: I have fallen off the wagon, again.

I discovered this when I woke up this morning bleary eyed and word hung over searching for my oh so important book so I could get a quick fix before taking the kiddo to school. Sadly after grabbing my book I was forced to a realization.

Hello, my name is Shannon and I'm a book addict.

When Jeff left on Sunday I thought I would just read one book to keep my mind off him being gone. Of course the one book I read was finished too quickly. I devoured it in one sitting. Then the desire was there. I wanted a new book now. "It’s only one book." I told myself, "I'll keep it cheap." I justified as I drove to the bookstore. I left that store proudly clutching my one book. A nice fat paperback that should keep me busy for a week. Little did I know that it was not one, but two books in one! "Even better" I thought. I happily dove into my new read. The end, however, was not the end. Turns out my books were the first two books in an eight book series. I am now the owner of six of those books. The last two aren't out yet. I have finished reading four of them.
I now am just hoping to finish the last two in quickly so that I will be able to return to my regularly scheduled life.

Hopefully I will find the help I need to pull myself out of this. But do they even have Over Readers Anonymous?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

2010 Goals

I finally decided it was time to write about my 2010 goals. As discussed before I think Goals suit my life much better than resolutions. I plan on sticking with goals this year too. After all it worked out pretty well for me last year.
Goal #1: Complete novel #2!
It has been over a year since I wrote my first novel. I focused on reading last year. And even though I greatly enjoyed it, and learned a lot, I plan on focusing a little more on writing this year. I am about ten thousand words into book #2 right now. I hope to complete it with at least 65 thousand words before the year is over. Now honestly I would like to finish it a lot sooner than that, but actually getting it done is a big motivation for me. I hope by going public with my goal I'll be more likely to hold myself to it.
As a side goal I hope to research and learn more about writing. I hope to write much more on here and I have several guest post/articles I have been asked to write for other blogs. My brother has started one for writers which I hope to utilize to better my word crafting. I hope to do a post here about it as soon as I get a few moments to put it together.
Goal #2: Laundry!
I am notoriously bad about washing clothes, piling them on the couch, and forgetting about them! I hope to get on top of my laundry situation and stay on top of it! I worked out a great system last year, but it involved having light in my laundry job number one will be to fix the broken light fixture and/or replace it. I also hope to do a load ever other day to keep things from getting out of control. We'll see how it goes.
Side goal for this one would be cleaning out old clothes from the house and re-organizing all our closets. Ah, I love an excuse to Organize something!
I have a few smaller goals for the year, but not ones I feel compelled to go public with. As anyone else I hope to lose some weight, but I don't have a specific number in mind. To that end I worked out for the first time since before thanksgiving (possibly longer) today. It was brutal! My body hurts rather badly, but I managed to stick it out for over an hour and I feel good about that. I also found a new favorite workout song. I notice that I find them ever so often. Songs from the past have been: The New Workout Plan by: Kanye West and Pizza Butt by: MC Chris. Current Fav.- Imma Be by: The Black Eyed Peas. All fun up-tempo songs. You should check them out on iTunes. Sadly after pre-ordering the new Ok Go album and downloading new workout music I have little of my iTunes card left for writing music...oh well.
Happy 2010 everyone. What are your goals?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


So I had a request for a teaser of my book. I am currently editing my first book, so I am leaving a teaser of my work in progress. I hope you enjoy. It's a rough draft (as in completely untouched! No editing at all, please don't judge too harshly).


The rolling hills comforted me little. I could feel the tears fighting to break past my defenses as I ran. The way was steep pulling me down toward the valley. I felt the pull and struggled against it. The weight was unbearable. Earths gravity pulled me in one direction while the crushing weight from above shoved me downward. Only my shear will kept me moving up. Higher ground. That is what I needed. If I could only reach the top of the hill, see what lies beyond.

My teary eyes just made the route more difficult. I knew that the path was easier, less steep and smoother, but I refused to go that way. The village is all too visible from it and I needed no reminders. I doubt that anyone would be watching, or even care if they saw me leaving. No one cared about me anymore. I could feel the weight press harder on y chest with the thought. I was on my own.

I could see the gentle mound that is the top of the long hill. I was almost there. The mystery of the beyond no longer scared me as it had in my youth. The last three days had pushed me beyond the fears of childhood. I now had bigger fears.

Just as I reached the top my foot connected with the bare granite that composed most of this hill. Gravity finally won out as it pulled me down on my face. I could feel the soft dirt now covering my face turn to mud as the tears finally escaped their dams. I pulled my knees to my chest as I let the pain have me. Waves of sadness, regret, and loss rolled over me.

The bright light of day faded through twilight to the soft dark blues of dusk before I was able to regain any sense of composure. Fighting to once again contain the racking emotions I managed to put them all away into their box hidden deep within my chest, next to my now tiny quiet heart. I could feel the sobs lessen until they no longer left me trembling. Slowly I focused on relaxing my muscles until I could stretch out my legs, spread my fingers from their tight clasp, and finally sit up.

The valley before me was only faintly visible in the failing light. It was empty from the foot of Manform Hill to the base of the Ranker Mountains in the distance. The plains of the valley were covered in tall grasses and criss-crossing rivers. It was fantastic to think this large valley was uninhabited when just behind me our own tiny valley was over populated to the extreme.

Besides our small village there are two other towns within our tiny valley. With only the one river through the middle it seems odd that no one has crossed Manform hill to settle this mass of land before. After all how many other laws are broken everyday in the outerlands. Kenser alone is known for it’s thriving black markets being situated as it is on the edge of three different kingdoms. Even our just King looks the other way as long as he gets his share in Farinth. Garithville is so much smaller that they freely poach the forest just to fill their bellies. No one in Manithton think too much of breaking laws, not really, and yet, here this land sits empty and fertile.

The sinking sun casts shadows on the ground before me. Soon the darkening valley will be lost from view entirely. I have no desire to return, but the vastness of the valley before me suddenly feels me with dread of the path I have chosen. Maybe waiting to cross at first light will be the better option. I begin to search for a suitable place to camp the night. I have brought no supplies with me and my stomach is loudly protesting this fact. If I am lucky I will find some roots or edible plants while I search for shelter.

Unfortunately the failing light isn’t aiding in my search, so it is by shear luck that I find a wild strawberry patch. Nestled in between several trees just fifty yards down the hillside is a natural spring feeding the patch. In my desire to remain dry I actually stepped on the ripe fruit before realizing it was there. The soft squish beneath my feet provided the information in time to save the rest of the patch from my large feet. I sat on the roots of a tree as I gathered and ate my fill. The cold fresh water was a blessing as it served not only to quench my thirst but also to relieve me of my dirt and grime.

With my tummy full and my face and hands clean again the journey before me no longer felt as hopeless as it had moments before. The hillside was just as steep on this side. If I didn’t know any better I would say that it was the same side I had been on all morning. I even glanced up a few times to make sure that the tell tale lights of Manithton weren’t visible, the dips and folds of the land were so familiar at times.

About three fourths of the way down I finally stopped for the night. There the land curved into the hill making a sort of cove. I lay in the soft grass and stared up at the sky now covered in twinkling stars. I could feel my thoughts fighting me again. The pain swelling up within me, fighting to get out. If I gave in to so much as one memory of the last week I knew I would lose it entirely, but how to keep the thoughts at bay?

All I wanted to do was think about her, and all I wanted to do was to forget about her. How could such contrasting feelings exist so strongly within me at the same time? It felt like I had been a part of a battle for too long. First the ridiculous battle that was imposed upon us by our King, the great battle in which I lost my father two years ago. Then the battle to survive that my mother and I had fought since. The battle for respect from my mother stung to think about now that she was gone too. I had lost my battle with my emotions once already today, I didn’t feel like repeating that one again anytime soon. The only battle I had even begun to win so far was my bid for freedom.

I loved my home. It was always messy in the tiny home that I had shared with my parents and older brother. When the conflict with Darnorth, the kingdom to the south of Gronum first arose my brother join with the Kings army. Convinced of his own invincibility he left for war with a spring in his step. His cheerful wave as he left was the last sight of him I would ever have. I knew mother never gave up hope of his return. Often when she was baking I would see her hands slow until she was staring out the window still with dough on her hands. With a soft sigh she would always shake herself out of it, but I still noticed. After dad too left for the war I hoped with a ferverant hope that one or the other would return to us. No one ever comes back from war though. Not to our tiny cottage. As hope died mother and I had to get creative to save ourselves.

Mother had always been known for her baking. For years she had made a few coins a month baking for a few families. With no one to provide for us anymore she decided to put her skills to work. We turned our front room into a shop hanging the small sign with a painted loaf of bread over the door. We made enough to survive, but here wasn’t much left over for the finer things in life. I wasn’t allowed a coming out as I would have received if Father had never left. I watched as my friends married and settled as I worked. I held my hands in front of me looking at the angry red marks that were splashed across the backs. I had long since grown accustomed to the course feel of my palms. Hands that had one been soft and white, a sign of my station in life had become a sign of my new position. With little to recommend me anymore I was left with few options when mother grew sick. I did my best to carry on, but once she was gone I knew so was I. What did I really have left for me there?

I’m not sure when in my thoughts the tears returned, but this time they were tame, running silently down my face without the body racking sobs that had accompanied them earlier. I was now committed to my path. A path that would lead me through the unknown, into the Ranker Mountains and hopefully to the equally unknown Kingdom of Ranker. Although unsure what I would find I had hope. What more could I ask of life now than hope?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


When an email popped up in my inbox informing me of a comment on here four times out of five it would be a spam bot trying to sell male enhancement drugs or spread a virus or something else of the sort (thus the comment moderating). So unless I recognized the name seeing comment mail wasn't that exciting. That is until recently. After the AWESOME comment from Elizabeth Knox (which if you haven't read Dreamhunter and Dreamquake- you should, as in stop what you are doing and go get it right now..oh wait, after you read this though) I got a few more from unknown peeps. Now checking my email is a joy! What is it about strangers that make it easier to listen? Maybe that I expect that most my friends live by the "if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all" adage.
Now in these comments I noticed one that stood out to me:

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Now this got me thinking. Why is it getting better? Most the time I feel like it is now sadly forsaken for the ease of the one line status on facebook. I have also been known to go months without posting. So why is it better? Did they mean the writing or the content or both?
So I did a little browsing over my blog.
When I started this blog I had only been married a year, I had an infant daughter, and was still trying to figure out how to be a wife and mom. I paid no attention to how I was writing, but more to what I was writing about. It was meant as a way to keep my family updated on my quickly growing little girl. Only I had another baby. So then all the milestones that I had to write about became the same old thing. During this time I had become consumed as a mom and homemaker. I spent each moment trying to keep my family happy, healthy, fed, and CLEAN! It was an exhausting existence. I spent little to no time thinking about myself or any of my dreams, achieved or otherwise.
Then my life changed.
I know lots of people talk about how much they like the Twilight books and even more make fun of the whole vampire/human girl teen relationship thing. I get that. But Twilight changed my life, actually Stephanie Meyer did. I read the books, devouring them the way I do any good read. Only when I finished I hopped online to check out what else could be found about the series and discovered the story of how this book came to be.
Stephanie talked about how she had a dream and was afraid of forgetting it because of her crazy mom memory. I thought "Hey I have a horrible memory too. I know just what she means.". She talked about having three small kids and not sleeping and I thought "Hey, I have two small kids and rarely sleep anymore either.". Then she talked about writing the story of twilight for her, no one else, sneaking away to the computer to type when she could be spared. I thought 'Wow, she found time for herself?".
That was the beginning. I started by trying to write a book. Seven weeks later with the help and coaching of my brother and sister I completed my first novel. I started editing and looking into agents and all the things that go along with trying to get published.
In the end I decided to write a new book and set that one aside for now. I don't regret it, in fact if I am never published I won't regret it. I did something I never thought I could do, I wrote a book! And more importantly I found the time to do something so entirely just for me in the middle of my crazy mom schedule. All of a sudden it was like the scales fell from my eyes! I could do stuff for me! I started doing a lot of things again that I had given up, I have taken back up sewing, and cooking. My housekeeping even improved as I got the rest of my life back together. Now I feel completely different then I did a year ago. I lay in bed dreaming of all the things I could do in life again, much like a younger me. I kept thinking my time for dreaming and conquering the world was over when I had my babies, now I realize that I can just take them along for the ride with me.
So say what you want about Twilight, or Stephanie Meyer, but she woke me up and I will forever be grateful to her for that. With that awakening apparently came a better blog. So I guess the return for listening to me go on and on about Twilight is having something better to read on here?
Agree? Disagree? Discuss...I LOVE comments.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I always think it's better to talk about the new year's resolutions from the year before then to talk about the new ones. So let's recap last years resolutions and if I made it. Tommorrow I might share my new resolutions with you, but for now I feel like looking back. This is New Year's Eve (also known as my anniversary) and I have less than an hour untilt he year is over. I made two big goals for 2009. Yes goals, not resolutions, I have already explained the difference, and will again later I'm sure, but not now.
Goal #1: Where makeup and do my hair Every time I leave the house.
Ok, so I didn't totally make this one. Running to the store when I'm sick, and even a few social outings were conducted sans makeup! And doing my hair sometimes meant I washed and brushed it before taking Sophy to school. So not a total success, but still a valent effort. I would say that I did myself up more then I didn't. I felt great about myself which helped with the weight loss. I have enjoyed this goal and plan to continue next year!
Goal #2: Read 100 books in this year.
Ok, so this goal had me sweating a few times this year. There was stress, and money spent, and things given up, but I still loved it. I had a side goal of 80% of those books being ones I'd never read before. I did not make my side goal, but I am happy to announce that I went over my 100 book goal this year! I know I have posted a partial list, but I plan on listing it in it's entirety here. I really like have a list of the books I read this year. I think I'll try to keep a record of my reading list each year. Now I know I re-read several books on the list (and no making fun of twilight least not here) but several where for a writing project I did in Novemeber, and Well the Twilight movie came out and I'm a sucker for that series.
Books I've read in 2009:
1. The Warrior Heir by: Cinda Williams Chima
2. The Wizard Heir by: Cinda Williams Chima
3. The Dragon Heir by: Cinda Williams Chima
4. Pride and Prejudice by: Jane Austin
5. Mansfield Park by: Jane Austin
6. The Hunger Games by: Suzanne Collins
7. Confessions of a Shopaholic by: Sophie Kinsella
8. Shopaholic takes Manhattan by: Sophie Kinsella
9. Shopaholic Ties the Knot by: Sophie Kinsella
10. Shopaholic and Sister by: Sophie Kinsella
11. Shopaholic and Baby by: Sophie Kinsella
12. Persuasion by: Jane Austin
13. The Princess Academy by: Shannon Hale
14. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by: E. L. Konigsburg
15. Shadow Spinner by: Susan Fletcher
16. The House of the Scorpion by: Nancy Farmer
17. Ingraine the Brave by: Cornilia Funke
18. Leven Thumps: The gateway to Foo by: Obert Skye
19. Leven Thumps: The whispered secret by: Obert Skye
20. Leven Thumps: The eyes of the want by: Obert Skye
21. Leven Thumps: The wrath of Ezra by: Obert Skye
22. God's Tomorrow by: Aaron Pogue
23. Ghost Targets- Expectations by: Aaron Pogue
24. The Mysterious Benedict Society by: Trenton Lee Stewart
25. Strange Happenings by: Avi
26. The Shakespeare Stealer by: Gary Blackwood
27. Twilight by: Stephanie Meyer *
28. New Moon by: Stephanie Meyer *
29. Eclipse by: Stephanie Meyer *
30. Breaking Dawn by: Stephanie Meyer *
31. The Lighting Thief by: Rick Riordan
32. Sea of Monsters by: Rick Riordan
33. The Titan's Curse by: Rick Riordan
34. The Battle of the Labyrinth by: Rick Riordan
35. The Last Olympian by: Rick Riordan
36. Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher by: Bruce Coville
37. The War with Grandpa by: Robert Kimmel Smith
38. The Lacemaker and the Princess by: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
39. The Dragon of Lonely Island by: Rebecca Rupp
40. The Dragon Rider by: Cornilia Funke
41. The Naming by: Alison Croggon
42. The Riddle by: Alison Croggon
43. The Crow by: Alison Croggon
44. The Singing by: Alison Croggon
45. Secrets of my Hollywood Life by: Jen Calonita
46. On Location by: Jen Calonita
47. Family Affairs by: Jen Calonita
48. Paparazzi Princess by: Jen Calonita
49. Darcy's Story by: Janet Aylmer
50. Princess Diaries by: Meg Cabot *
51. Princess in the spotlight by: Meg Cabot *
52. Princess in Love by: Meg Cabot *
53. Princess in Waiting by: Meg Cabot *
54. Princess in Pink by: Meg Cabot *
55. Princess in Training by: Meg Cabot *
56. Party Princess by: Meg Cabot *
57. Princess on the Brink by: Meg Cabot
58. Princess Mia by: Meg Cabot
59. Forever Princess by: Meg Cabot
60. Walk Two Moons by: Sharon Creech
61. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by: Trenton Lee Stewart
62. The Return of Calico Bright by: David Winkler
63. The Catalog of the Universe by: Margaret Mahy
64. Beowulf: A new Telling by: Robert Nye
65. Never Slow dance with a Zombie by: E Van Lowe
66. False Colors by: Georgette Heyer *
67. Howl's Moving Castle by: Diana Wynne Jones
68. Castle in the Air by: Diana Wynne Jones
69. Catching Fire by: Suzanne Collins
70. The Fire Within by:Chris D'Lacey
71. Icefire by:Chris D'Lacey
72. Fire Star by:Chris D'Lacey
73. The Fire Eternal by:Chris D'Lacey
74. Wolf Tower by: Tanith Lee
75. Wolf Star by: Tanith Lee
76. Wolf Queen by: Tanith Lee
77. Bewitching Season by: Marissa Doyle
78. The Book of 100 Truths by: Julie Schumacher
79. Devil's Cub by: Georgette Heyer *
80. Arabella by: Georgette Heyer *
81. Dreamhunter by: Elizabeth Knox
82. Dreamquake by: Elizabeth Knox
83. The 21 Balloons by: William Pène du Bois
84. The Grand Sophy by: Georgette Heyer *
85. Princess Mia by: Meg Cabot *
86. Forever Princess by: Meg Cabot *
87. Pillage by: Obert Skye
88. City of Bones by: Cassandra Clare
89. City of Ashes by: Cassandra Clare
90. City of Glass by: Cassandra Clare
91. Secrets of my Hollywood Life by: Jen Calonita *
92. On Location by: Jen Calonita *
93. Family Affairs by: Jen Calonita *
94. Twilight by: Stephanie Meyer *
95. New Moon by: Stephanie Meyer *
96. Eclipse by: Stephanie Meyer *
97. Breaking Dawn by: Stephanie Meyer *
98. New Moon by: Stephanie Meyer *
99. Eclipse by: Stephanie Meyer *
100. Breaking Dawn by: Stephanie Meyer *
101. Talent by: Zoey Dean
102. A Girl Like Moi by: Lisa Barham
103. Cindy Ella by: Robin Palmer
104. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by: Elizabeth Speare *
105. A Bride for Donnigan by: Janette Oke *
106. Old Magic by: Marianne Curley
107. Fairy Tale by: Cyn Balog

The books with Stars (*) are ones I'd read before. I was only a little off my 80% goal. Of this list there are several I would recommend, or even loan out, but there are more that I would tell you not to bother with! Feel free to ask about any for my honest opinion.
Of these I HIGHLY recommend (as in they are one of my favorites):
#6, #16, #22 & #23, #27- #35, #41- #44, #67, #79, #81 & #82, #104

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas picture

Merry Christmas!
From our crazy house to yours!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Visit with Santa

We went to see Santa yesterday. Both girls were very excited! It was our best year ever! They sat and talked with Santa, then smiled for the picture like perfect angels! I'm so proud of my growing girls!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Playing in the leaves

While on the way home from Georgia we decided to stop and stay a night in Little Rock with my parents. It's a long drive and we were all looking forward to a break from the car. Mostly we just stop and sleep then go home the next day, but this time was a little different.
For weeks now Sophy has been asking me when the leaves will fall in our yard. I patiently take the time to explain that leaves won't fall in our yard each time she asks. "Why mommy?" Is always her response, and "Because we don't have any trees." is always my answer. Each time she looks so sad and will tell me again how Fall is about leaves and playing in them with her 'I'm so proud of my preschool knowledge' voice. It killed me that I couldn't give her the simple pleasure of playing in the leaves. I even thought of stealing a full bag of leaves someone had left on the curb, spreading them across my lawn in the night and telling Sophy in the morning, "Look the leaves finally fell!". Jeff was adverse to this plan, so it was never carried out.
On our trip back home however my mom came to me early in the morning before we had loaded up to go home and asked me if the girls could play in the leaves with their cousins before we left. I of course jumped at the chance to fulfill my daughters desire. "Oh and bring out your camera", she threw over her shoulder before taking them out.
I am so grateful for parents with a TON of leaves in their yard, an awesome leaf blower to make piles with, and the amazing pictures that came out of that mornings play.

Trip to Georgia

At the beginning of November Jeff and I took a trip to Georgia. While there Jeff worked and I wrote and played. It was a nice relaxing week without the kids (who were with Nanna).
On the drive down Jeff and I ended up behind this car. We kept thinking "what is that in the car?" . It was obvious that it was lots of the same thing...but what. I told Jeff, "Drive faster, lets check it out". The result? A car full, and I mean so full I'm not sure how the driver could drive since the windows were all blocked, or Toilet paper. Most were in packages, but some were loose rolls crammed here and there among all the packages. So I ask you, why would ANYONE need so much TP?

The Lady and Sons

While we were in Georgia I was about two hours away from Savannah. Knowing how close I was and not knowing when I'd get another chance I decided to take a day to drive over. My object? The Lady and Sons Restaurant. For anyone that doesn't know (and the only people this will apply to would be people who found me online and have never actually met me in person) I LOVE Paula Dean. Although I choose to avoid all her seafood recipes, I still think the food is divine. So you see why it would be worth driving two hours just for lunch.
While there I also checked out the Paula Dean store. I was a good girl and didn't spend big bucks like I wanted to, but man I wanted so much! I loved the apron that said "Country Cookin' Makes You Good Lookin'"!
All in all it was a pleasant drive and I'm glad I did it. I had the chicken salad sandwich and soup. The soup was wonderful! I wish I took a picture of the Chocolate Mousse Pie, but I ate it too fast. Oops.

Post on Posts

When I pulled up my bloglines list today I had a happy surprise. In the midst of the literary agents, editors, and twilight news blogs that I read daily I actually had a few friend blog posts. I was so excited. It's like going to the mail box and sifting through the magazines and junk mail to find an actually written letter with your name on it! How exciting!
I hurried to read all the funny and quippy things that my blog friends were talking about in their lives. Of course I was even more excited that my favorite funny mom was posting today! With facebook it seems like more and more of my friend leave one line updates, that althought funny too, just isn't the same as reading a well composed post on someone's blog. I myself am horrible about remembering to post and even worse at my composition, but today I felt the need. I thought you know there are two whole people who have subscribed to my blog on bloglines (it conveniently tells you how many, but now who. I'm afraid I might be counted as one of those two which actually only leaves me with one subscribed reader...sigh) and it might be nice if i gave them something nice on their list too... So here it is. My insightful post about posts.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Fall Fest

There is a fall festival that The Village puts on every year in the park across from Trish's house. We went last year and the kids loved it. This year was the same! I think they liked it more if possible because Lola and Annabelle were older and able to enjoy more. There was a petting zoo, a train, and bouncey things to play in. We spent all day playing and the kids slept SO well after wards. I'm so glad that we took the time to go again this year.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

More Halloween Fun

Lots and lots of Pictures! On thursday we went to Oklahoma Christian to Trick or Treat in the dorms. It was a lot of fun, it is one of our favorite things to do each year!
Today started the Halloween day hoopla! We went to a carnival at church, Jeff was a farmer (hey it's the best I could get out of him) and I was a witch. It's funny, growing up I was never allowed to be anything "scary". And I hold my kids to the same rule. Yet dressing as a witch this year I still felt like I was being naughty and would get in trouble! Sophy was quick to point out to people that I was a "good" witch.
After the church festival which had lots of fun games, we went to Northpark for indoor trick or treating. We do this every year too, but it was the first time Jeff went. It was good and went by quickly. My heels were killing my feet though by the time I was finished though.
After Northpark we went home for dinner before trick or treating in the neighborhood. That was a lot of fun! We get to see our neighbors and even ran into our friend Lisa and Alex! We spent some time hanging out with her and she helped us pass out candy at home.
All in all a very exciting year!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Halloween Pictures

I took the girls to get their pictures taken in their costumes a few weeks ago and we were finally well enough to go pick them up! I was thrilled with how cute they turned out! Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Book Update

I am currently on book #80 in my quest to read 100 books this year. So I'm getting close tot he end, which is good since it's October! Man where did the year go?
I'd give an update of what I've been reading lately, but I figure I'll just post the full list at the end of the year. Then I'll have lots of recommendations for everyone! I was really hoping that my brother would finish book 3 in his Ghost Targets series before the end of the year so it could be on the list with the other two, well that and i just want to read it, but I haven't seen a copy yet....hint hint.
Reading books makes me think of all the books I've read in the past, good and bad. By far I have more favorites then books I hated. And lots in between. I have many faves on my shelf here at home. I recently read a book that combines young adult and Georgette Heyer style romance! Loved it!
There is one book in my life that I can't seem to forget. It was a classic story about a well-off girl who moves in with a farm family. They tell her she has to carry her weight and keep trying her out on family chores. She is terrible at all but one, spinning silk. Its a sweet story, and honestly I don't remember much more of the story. I found the book in 5th grade at the school library near the Laura Ingalls Wilder books on the shelf. I don't know the name and haven't found it since. I wish I could re-read it, but that would mean finding out what it is first!
Oh well.
Are there any stories in your life that you want to find but don't know the name of?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Boomer Sooner!

Today I had the privilege of taking my nephew Alexander's New Born Portraits! I'm sure you'll see a lot of him around the blog, him being so handsome and all, but I thought I'd give you a little sneak peek of the the cuteness.
Also while I was there I took an OU family Portrait! I have never gotten to do one of those, which is odd around here. I think it turned out really cute!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Great cookie Debate or Save the Cookies

Today I started the great cookie debate on facebook. Why? Well it all started like this:
Lola was being REALLY good today. So I decided to give her a cookie as a reward. Only, Gasp!, there were no cookies in the house! SO I made a quick call to Trish asking for a bakery in Edmond that might sell cookies cheaper than going to the Mall. She told me of a cute little place off 33rd and Blvd.
Lola was all smiles as she gazed at the brightly iced cookies on the shelf and I was happy with the selection and prices. We bought some and headed out to pick up Sophy (yes she got a cookie too).
After arriving home I posted my fabulous find on facebook. I realized most people around here would know of the place, but it's odd how I am almost always the last to know about these things. The post quickly recieved a reply that Eileen's cookies on Danforth and Sante Fe where by far better cookies. "Oh really?" I thought to myself. So after nap-time we loaded up the car and headed to this Eileen's cookies to check them out. They did cost a little more, but were much bigger cookies. Sophy and Lola thought it was a holiday or something to get two special treats in one day AND one for no reason other than waking up!
I like sugar cookies that are a little softer, and these were, however they used cake icing on them instead of cookie icing. A small difference I know, but for me it was too much. The girls loved that they could choose from Halloween ones, rainbows, flowers, even Elmo cookies! The icing made a huge mess though!
I have yet to try Eileen's other flavors and I was given a tip on buying them cheaper, so that will help. I mean I will just have to force myself to try the others for research purposes.
After all the comments I decided to write it all up in a note on facebook and get the opinion of other Edmond residents. It was amazing how quickly the responses came in! Although I still disagree with most of them, it is fun to know people's preferences.
So I encourage everyone int he area to go try them out and let me know what you think. Don't live in the Edmond/OKC area you say? Find a small bakery near you and try their cookies. I visit most of your cities anyway, so I'd LOVE to know where to find the good cookies. Besides, shouldn't we all be trying to support small local business in this economy? Protect the cookies, go buy one today!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


For those of you wondering I am still reading faithfully. I am currently reading book #72 on my list of 100. I am doing my best to limit it to Young Adult or Middle Grade books. I figure I can count it as research for my next novel this way. Then I don't feel so bad about reading so much and leaving my writing by the wayside. I have decided on my next project. The more I think about it the more I like it even. I still have a few bumps to work out, but by the time I hit my 100 book goal (or fail miserably on new years eve) I will be all ready to sit and write happily along.
In my reading I'm on the 3rd in a series of 4 books. I went to the bookstore today to pick up the 4th one so I'd have it when I finished. I walked along the beautiful rows of books wishing I had an endless supply of gift cards to get books. Oh well, dreams and all, but wouldn't that be grand? It did get me thinking about the books I want and the ones I need to fill holes in my collections.
I borrowed several books (and by several I mean a large box full) from my mom to help me to my 100 goal earlier this year. It gets expensive buying books so borrowing them sure helps. Only several of the series I got from her were missing one or two books. After I got home from the bookstore I finally sat down and made a complete list of the books I still need/want.
It took a while, but I finally figured out an easy way to access google docs from my iPhone. This is handy since I keep most my lists in google docs. I updated my list of books I want to include the ones to fill the holes, then went so far as making a complete list of all the Georgette Heyer and Christopher Stasheff books I own ( the two authors that I am always searching for in used bookstores). They each got their own google doc for the purpose! I even looked up complete lists of works for each author and added that being sure to copy over any I was missing to my "Books I Want" document. I love feeling organized, even if it is a huge ploy to avoid the laundry!
So now I need to make a pilgrimage to a used bookstore. The one I liked here in Edmond closed! Do you know of any good Used Bookstores nearby?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Baby Alexander!

Welcome Alexander Pogue!
Leading up to Trish's shower I kept teasing her to keep that baby in until after the shower was over. She would laugh and say it'd be a while until he came. I knew the due date was October, but I just had a feeling he would make his appearance in September. Of course I was thinking end of September, not the 17th!
I was happily surprised to get a call that he was coming on Thursday! Born three weeks early he's a little small, but perfect! I took the girls up to meet their new cousin right away. Sophy wanted to take him home and both have been talking about Aunt Trish's baby ever since. Boy is he a cutie!

Trish's Shower!

On sunday of our crazy week was Trish's Shower. With a lot of help from friends I was able to get everything ready in time. Jeff got home on Saturday night so he was sent off on Sunday with the girls to keep them out of the way for the day.
I made a small polka dot cake with candy animals and matching cupcakes for the shower. They seemed to be a big hit.
I personally thought the watermelon carriage that Rebecca made was the hit of the food table though!
We had an animal theme and lots of presents! I was impressed with the turn out and glad everything went off so well.