Saturday, August 31, 2013

Always There

It's been a while since I have wrote about Jake, Maddie and Sam. Here is the last post in case you need a refresher. Or you can go here to see the story in it's entirety so far.

Sitting in the car staring out at my front porch, I lean back in the seat wondering how I ended up where I am today.

Jake. Sam.

Both so different. Both amazing in their own ways.

When I look back at the past, I see myself and Sam. Always together. Best friends ever since I can remember. Our families were always together. Birthdays. Holidays. Play dates. Where Sam was, Maddie was.

Sam is my best friend. He and I learned how to ride out bikes together, jump off the diving board together and aced our first calculus test together.

Good. Honest. Respectable. Kind. All words that describe Sam. He is always polite, studying hard and has a plan. He never breaks the rules and he always makes sure to plan ahead.

Only friends until the one day in college where he invited me to his fraternity's senior formal. That night he kissed me and things have been different. This next step in our relationship felt natural. It felt...nice.

Sam makes me feel grounded and stable. And, if I'm honest with myself, I don't want to get my heart broken. I like being in control.
But Jake.

Jake is unexpected. Wild. Stubborn. Passionate. All words that describe Jake.

Jake is someone I used to long for and seeing him now bring back all of those old feelings. When Jake is around, he is all I can see. He invades all of my senses and I get lost in him. He makes me feel reckless and ungrounded. I feel like I don't have control when I am with him and that scares me.

Jake also makes me feel cherished. He looks at me like I am the most beautiful thing he has ever seen. When he looks at me, I see his passion and that excites me.

Leaning my head down to rest on the steering wheel, I let out a big sigh. I know I am stalling, keeping from going inside to talk to Sam.

Quit being such a chicken, Maddie! Just go inside and talk to Sam. You have to make things right.

But what am I going to say?

Thoughts? On this post? On life in general?

Now, how is the conversation going to go with Sam?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Are The Terrible Twos Really Terrible?

On Monday, my mom and I took the boys to the shoe store to look for some new tennis shoes. We took them to a local store that mom used to take me to when I was little so you know it has been around for forever.

Being as I am, I wanted to find the kids a nice pair of shoes. And when I say nice, I mean shoes that look like adult shoes, only smaller.

Of course, the boys and I differed on they type of shoes to get. The boys wanted light-up tennis shoes. (By the way, the chance of getting a pair of light-up tennis shoes that aren't tacky are about as likely as me meeting Sasquatch at Starbucks.)

After finding a pair of reasonably nice light-up shoes that pleased both parties, the boys took off running around the store. They wanted to show us how fast they were with their new shoes.

About this time, there were three women standing in line to pay for their purchases. Baby L (2) took this opportunity to run by them and high five their butts. He is a fast little sucker!

To say, I was mortified would be putting it lightly. (PS Two out of three women found it funny.)

Scooping him up, I scolded him and told him that we do not hit people, especially not on their bottoms.

Later in the week, we went to our neighborhood pool whereby Baby L proceeded to do cannonballs and belly flops into a one and a half foot baby pool.

At every meal, Baby L requests Goldfish and refuses to eat anything else. (Okay, actually he eats about 10 different things but 9 of them are Goldfish.)

When Hubby came home from work the other day, I commented that they don't call it the "terrible twos" for nothing.

Hubby so kindly reminded me that with J (who is now 4) I thought the threes were much worse than the twos. Thanks for the reminder, sweetie!

It's so hard to reason with them and for them to understand at this age. They will scream and cry at any place at any time. They can come up and bite your ankle when you are trying to cook dinner. They will put their hand in your shirt and pull it down for everyone at the grocery to see. It's like age 2 is the ID on steroids.

So the question is "are the terrible twos really terrible"? 

As I contemplate the question, I am interrupted by said two year old. "Mama! Mama! Mama!" Baby L says. He climbs into my lap, grabs my face, and puts his forehead against mine. Then he leans in for a huge baby kiss. When he's finished, he squirms out of my grasp and takes off running into the other room.

From my view point, right at this moment, I'd say the terrible twos aren't always terrible. 

In fact, I'd say they are sometimes terrific.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Liebster Award: Take 2

Recently, Bernadette at Aimless Moments nominated me for the Liebster Award. *Waves.* Thanks for the nomination, sassy lady! If you have not had a chance to see her blog, you better hop on over there and check it out!

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to other bloggers who have less than 200 followers. This is a great way to discover some great new blogs you have yet to hear about.

What are the rules?

1. Link back to the blog that nominated.

2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.

3. Answer the questions posted by the nominator. 

4. Share 11 random facts about yourself. 

5. Create 11 questions for my nominees.

6. Contact my nominees and let them know they have been nominated.

Questions to answer:

1. Something new you have learned recently? How to make a 7 minute egg. (Don't laugh.)

2. Favorite candy? Um, I can only pick one? Something with chocolate. Oh! Or peanut butter! Or chocolate AND peanut butter. See why this is hard?!

3. Do you have any children, grandchildren, bonus children, any? Two beautiful, sweet, crazy boys - J, age 4, and Baby L, age 2.

4. If you could live in any era/decade which one would you choose? Right now. Even though I did have some seriously to-be-envied high hair in the nineties and lots of NKOTB memorabilia to rival the most avid fan.

5. Favorite new product? Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Leave In Conditioner. Great for my curly and no-time-to-style hair

6. How you came up with your blog name? Um, it's my own name. (I know. Settle all the applause for my creativity.)

7. Do you have any pets? Do children and husbands count?

8. Where were you born? Kentucky. Giddy up!

9. Coffee or Tea? Coffee everyday and thrice on Mondays.

10. Do you have any hobbies? Read, read and read. Oh, and I also love to write. Just started writing fiction. Love, love, love it!

11. What's for dinner? Shrimp Fried Rice.

11 Random Facts About Me:

1. My favorite color is red.
2. I cannot go to sleep in an unmade bed.
3. I hate the giant race car grocery carts but use them anyway to buy a few minutes of peace.
4. My dad ran over my foot with his car when I was sixteen.
5. I once had a beagle for a pet.
6. My first car was a Chevy Nova.
7. I think chipped toenail polish looks trashy (even though that's what I am rocking right now).
8. When we head north to visit my Hubby's family, I am as excited to see them as I am my hairdresser there.
9. I am a horrible eater but I am trying to eat better for my kids.
10. My dad was friends with Jim Varney (i.e. Earnest P. Worrell) so I know what it's like to know someone famous.
11. There is nothing that makes me happier than my Hubby and my kids.

Blogs I Nominate:

  1. What is your favorite song?
  2. What is you least favorite vegetable?
  3. Besides your family, what inspires you?
  4. Name your favorite of the seven dwarves.
  5. Peanut Butter: Creamy or Crunchy?
  6. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
  7. What is your favorite book?
  8. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
  9. What's your favorite holiday?
  10. What makes you laugh?
  11. Best day ever?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Cover Reveal From One Of My Favorite Authors

It's no secret that I am an avid book reader. I mean I really like to read. I mean I'm "Hello, my name is Michelle and I'm a bookaholic" type reader.

My favorite books are young adult dystopia, paranormal romance and science fiction, but I also enjoy reading adult fiction in these categories as well.

One of my favorite authors is Jennifer L. Armentrout. Her books are hilarious, snarky, touching, mysterious and sexy - oh very sexy. She writes fabulous young adult books, The Covenant and The Lux series.

Recently, I discovered she also writes contemporary adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. 


Upon my discovery, I promptly read all of those books by her under her other pen name. *Ahem.*

One of those books was Wait For You. It was outstanding. It was such a sweet, sensitive, snarky romance. I laughed out loud and I also cried quietly to myself. The couple in this story is so perfect for each other (even if they don't know it). Avery is strong yet so fragile and Cam is the guy who persistently tries to break down her walls.

So when I was asked to be a part of getting the word out about the follow-up book, I was more than happy to do so.

Trust In Me by J. Lynn is Wait For Me but in Cam's perspective, instead of Avery's.

Here's a description of the book:
It’s Wait for You as you’ve never seen it. Trust in Me lets you in on Cam’s side of the #1 New York Times Bestselling story.

Cameron Hamilton is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But when Avery Morgansten comes crashing into his life – literally – he finally meets the one person who can resist his soulful baby blues. But Cam’s not ready to give up. He can’t get the feisty and intriguing girl out of his head.

Avery has secrets, secrets that keep her from admitting the feelings Cam knows she has for him. Will persistence (and some delicious homemade cookies) help him break down her barriers and gain her trust? Or will he be shut out of Avery's life, losing his first real shot at the kind of love that lasts forever?

C'mon! You know you want to read it! And what better way than to read your own free copy! Plus jewelry! Everyone loves jewelry! Enter to win a copy of the book in the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have never read any books by Jennifer L. Armentrout, you are seriously missing out. Download a free sample on your iPhone or your eReader. You won't be disappointed!

  Image Map

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What Inspires You?

What inspires you?

Your spouse? Your children? Your friends? A beautiful painting? A good book?

I'm not talking about creating art or writing a novel. I'm talking about what inspires you in your everyday. What inspires you to take action? What makes you decide "I'm gonna go X today"?

For me, it's my children, my husband or a good book.

But what about the days when you are not inspired?

Some days it's hard to function. It's difficult to get up and do what needs to be done, going through the same routine each day.

On these days, wouldn't it be nice to lay in the sun in a field of flowers and simply stare longingly into the eyes of your sparkly, vampire boyfriend waiting for inspiration to strike?

No? Just me?

Alas, I don't think most of us have the luxury to do so. Most of us can't sit idly by staring dreamily out the window until we are inspired.

We have people depending on us. We have responsibilities and jobs to be done.

As Stephen King so succinctly put it, "Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work."

So what do you do when you are uninspired? When you are waiting for that extra push or incentive to get you started on that long lost project?

Sorry to burst your bubble but I am not sure I have the answer.

However, I can tell you what works for me. I try and appreciate each day. I try to be grateful for all God has given me. I focus on my beautiful children and my wonderful husband. I reflect on my many blessings. And I remind myself to keep on putting one foot in front of the other because one day inspiration will come.

It's no sparkly vampire and field of flowers, but it'll do. It'll do just fine.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years

You know when you go to an interview or you have your end of the year job evaluation and your boss asks you the dreaded, "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

What exactly are they looking for? What do they want to know?

"Well sir, having working 60 hour weeks each week since my first week but not minding at all because this is such an extraordinary place to work, I see myself in a supervisory position earning whatever you feel is acceptable because it is simply an honor to work here."

Is that what they're looking for?

What I REALLY would have liked to answer for that question is probably not quite what they have in mind.

"Well, I see myself sunning on the beach of my own private island, purchased with my billion dollar lottery winnings, sipping Mai Tai's served to me by my handsome butler, Ricardo."


Even though I am no longer working in Higher Education (let's pause for a moment for dramatic effect), I still wonder about this question.

Because, before kids, my answer would have been 'Director of Admissions'. But, now that I'm a parent, specifically a stay-at-home parent, my answer is going to be different.

Yes, being a parent has changed me in more positive ways than I can count, but also staying-at-home with the kids has changed my direction in life.  It has given the opportunity to discover things about myself I never knew.

On a whim, I decided to start blogging in January 2012. I thought I was pretty good at spinning the yarn, plus my cousin said I'm like the third funniest person she knows, so why not start my own blog!

So, I started blogging. And lo and behold, I discovered I really enjoy it. I'll be honest. I enjoy receiving positive comments on the blog, Twitter or Facebook about my posts. It gives my ego a boost.

But, that's not why I do it. I do it because I enjoy it. Because it is something just for me.

I take care of these two sweet, crazy boys all day, everyday. And I do it gladly. Staying home is the best decision for me and my family. I am glad I am able to do so. (I get it's not for everyone, nor can some people do so.)

However, I do need a little time to myself each day to recharge my batteries and just be Michelle for a while, not mama or wife or whatever other hat, one of the many, that we woman wear.

This for me is writing. (I also love reading but that is a different post for another day.) I like sitting down with my thoughts and putting them down on paper. It's very satisfying to see a story through from inception to completion.

Recently, I started writing fiction and I have found this is my new favorite thing, maybe even obsession, if you will.

Having started a storyline on the blog, I have also started writing other stories as well. They are still works in progress, but man oh man, am I having fun!

I find myself thinking about the characters and the storyline ALL THE TIME! At the grocery. At Target. In the library. Watching the kids on the playground. Giving the kids a bath. Making dinner. It seems to always be lurking in the background as my brain tries to figure out where these characters end up next. (Is this normal? Someone please tell me this is normal.)

So, the question 'where do you see yourself in five years', well, I hope the answer to that is that I am a published author.

What is that old saying? "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

I guess my backup plan can always be winning the lottery and buying my own island. 

Ricardo?! Where's my beverage?! 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Roll Out The Red Carpet

Ring the bells!

Bang the drums!

Strike up the band!

Start the parade!


Uh, it's the parade, isn't it? It's a little too much. A little overboard.

Sorry! Sometimes I get all geeked up like Cheri O'Teri's cheerleader character on SNL. I'll take it down a notch.

Well, let's at least roll out the red carpet because I have an announcement! Are you ready for it?!

And no, I'm not preggers, nor did I win the lottery, nor did I make-out with Chris Hemsworth.


Back to the announcement!!

Since you, my dear fellow readers, enjoy reading about Jake and Maddie as much as I like writing about them, I have created a page for you! A NEW PAGE ON MY BLOG FOR MY FICTION!!

When writing, I tend to think of scenes and they are not necessarily in chronological order. I think of a scene, how it plays out and immediately want to put it to paper (or blog as it were) so I don't forget it.

This new page will list all of my fiction projects by heading in chronological order. (Currently, there is only one but I hope to change that. I have ideas people! BIG IDEAS!) Appropriately, the new page is titled, "Sometimes I Write A Little Fiction". You can see it at the top of the blog in on the right side.

So, grab yourself a cup of coffee/tea/wine (or all three). There is no judgement here. Get comfy and head on over to check out my new page.