Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Remembering Lots Of Things

*So here is another part of the story with Maddie/Jake/Sam. In case you need a refresher, here was the last entry for these guys. Go ahead. I'll wait... Or you can find the whole story until this point under the tab, "Sometimes I Write A Little Fiction".

Parking my car in the driveway, I rest my head on my hands. Taking a deep breath, I try to steady myself. Closing my eyes, I will my heart to stop racing.

Ha! Fat chance of that happening!

After what feels like forever, I lift my head and find Sam sitting in one of the two chairs on the front porch. He is bent over the chair with his elbows on his knees and his profile faces the car. He has been watching me. Waiting for me.

His face is in the shadows so I can't see the expression he wears.

A pang of guilt stabs me in the stomach. Sam. My Sam. I'm so sorry I hurt you.

Opening the car door, I step out and head to the front porch. I climb into the seat beside him and pull my knees to my chest.

Sam turns his face to me, the porch light casts a soft glow on his face. His serious blue eyes study me. The light shows the different strands of gold and bronze in his hair. His eyes say it all.

We sit there in silence like that for several minutes.

Unable to take the silence one minute longer, I start, "Sam. I'm so sorry."

Sam flatly says, "You said that already."

I feel like someone just punched me in the gut. But I guess I deserve that.

Running a hand through his hair, he questions, "Remember that Fourth of July when we both just had to have those sparklers? Our parents finally gave in and got them for us. We were so excited. I think we were eight."

"Nine," I say, interrupting him.

Sam continues, "Remember how you burned your toes? I snuck you inside so we wouldn't get into trouble. Carried you the whole way."

I interject, "Actually, I think it was more like I used you as a crutch."

A small laugh escapes him. He says, "I think I used two tubes of antibiotic ointment and about 50 band aids."

He pauses, giving me a small smile. I smile too. Remembering that day. Remembering how much fun we had. Remembering how we were at that age. Remembering how much time we spent together. Remembering lots of things.

Suddenly, Sam rises from his seat and kneels in front of me, face hovering inches from mine.

"Maddie," Sam whispers. "Picnics. Barbecues. Birthday parties. Holiday celebrations. Graduations." He pauses. "It's always been the two of us. Lifting the other one up when one of us would fall. Making each other laugh. Encouraging one another. Supporting each other."

"Best friends," I whisper back.

Sam declares, "And now...something more. I don't want to go back to being just your friend." 

The look he gives me is so intense, so open, so wanting. I feel butterflies in my stomach.

He reaches out to cup the side of my face, "Maddie, I love you. I want to be with you and I think in your heart you want to be with me too."

Finding my voice, I declare, "Sam, I do love you."

Smiling a sad smile, he says, "It's clear you need some space. I 'll give it to you. I will wait for you, Maddie."

Closing the distance between us, he leans down and lightly brushes his lips to mine. Then deepening the kiss with all of the emotions and things left unspoken. I lean into him, my heart strings unraveling. He pulls back slowly, brushing his nose with mine. That's so Sam.

Standing, he turns to go, walking off the porch, towards his truck. He stops halfway there to look back at me.

Raising his voice to be heard over the night, he says, "Maddie, I believe you will choose me. Because you know we are right for each other. Always have been."

With that, Sam hops into his truck and drives off.

Sighing, I lean back into the chair. Oh Sam. I do love you. So much. 

But am I in love with you?

Happy New Year! 

Here's your present - another piece of the Maddie/Jake/Sam puzzle.

Did you miss them?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Favorite Books of 2013

Looking at my profile on Goodreads, I counted that I read 96 books this past year.

I know. I know.


When do I have time to read all of these books you ask?

Usually, I read after everyone else falls asleep between the hours of 10pm and 1am. 

Who needs sleep anyway?! AMIRITE?!

Anyway, back to the books.

I read lots of good books, some really bad ones and a few spectacular ones.


I said, "Spectacular".

So because I love you, I am going to share with you my favorite books of this year.

Now, these are books that I really enjoyed. I tend to favor YA, specifically dystopia, sci-fi or paranormal genres. Your taste my differ from mine and that's okay! (If everyone liked the same stuff, it would make for a very boring go of things.)

However, if you've never read YA, I challenge you to read a YA book. (May I remind you that Harry Potter and The Hunger Games are YA books? And they are pretty awesome!)

I will warn you. Some of these books are really dark and macabre. A lot are dystopia. All of them are series because we all know how I love my series, people!!

Going to post them beginning with my most favorite, then they will be in descending order from there. BUT I did love them all.

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #2)

EPIC. This book was outstanding. In fact, this entire series is amazing. Ms. Mafi writes like no one I've ever read before. Her books have such beautiful prose. And the story is captivating. The characters, especially the main character, Juliette, is damaged, tenderhearted, good, and so brave. At times, the characters are so raw. Laying themselves open to all that they are. Saying I cannot wait for the last in this series is putting it mildly.

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1) by Susan Ee

Okay, this book is dark. Very dark and very macabre. And I don't mind that in my stories, but you might. That being said, the premise and the characters are very interesting. It's a dystopia where we currently live in a world that has been attacked by angels. Yeah, not the warm and fuzzy type of angels, that is for sure. Penryn is brave and headstrong. She will do anything it takes to rescue her sister. Even if it means teaming up with an angel to do so. And the second book in the series continues to be a great read which says a lot about the writer.

Amazing. Loved this entire series. Unique premise, enthralling characters and amazing plot lines. Another very dark and very gritty series. This story focuses on Deuce who earns her name at her naming ceremony. She is a Hunter. Every single book in this series was stand alone awesome. I loved the action, adventure, twists and turns and the romance. (Yep, there's even romance!) Each one I devoured like a fat kid and cake. Get it.

This is another one about angels but these angels are the nice, kindly, try-to-do-good type of angels. This series centers around Clara, who is a Nephilim (part-angel and part-human) and her purpose. What is her purpose? What is it exactly that she is supposed to be doing? This is a very sweet, tender and romantic series packed with action and adventure. Another writer with lovely prose. But don't let the sweetness fool you, it will suck you in and you will not want to put it down.

This series ends as it should. It was a spectacular roller coaster ride. One I'd like to take again sometime soon. This series is a modern retelling of the Greek myth of Medusa set in a dystopian New Orleans. The main character is Ari who is thrust into a roll she doesn't want. She is fierce, strong and loyal, however she is shaking on the inside. Fresh new premise with unique characters you will be cheering for. Don't open these books unless you have lots of time to read!

Another great dystopia series. Another series that I could not put down once I started. The story focuses on Ember and her survival after violating Article 5. There is also her former friend and neighbor, Chase, who comes into play. *Swoon.* Lots of action, adventure, heartbreak, as well as bravery and tenderness. Cannot wait for the last one to see how it all ends!

So, there are my absolute favorites from this past year. If you are looking for a good book, any one of these books will do it for you. Just be sure to have some free time once you crack that book open!

What about you? Which ones were your favorites this past year?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Twas The Night Before Mossey Christmas

*Posted this last year but thought I'd repost it because, well, Christmas!

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
My children were acting like lunatics. Time to call in the spouse.
The stockings were haphazardly thrown on the mantle without care,
in hopes that Santa Claus would shove some stuff in there.

Hubby and I were trying to nestle our kids in their beds
But they kept using stall tactics instead.
But, finally, me in yoga pants and Hubby in sweats from the Gap,
Hoped we could get some quiet for at least a small nap.

When downstairs in the great room, we heard a loud noise!
We thought for sure it was one of the kids' toys.
Hubby and I did rock-paper-scissors to determine who would go see.
When, lo and behold, it turned out to be me.

The light from the kitchen gave a soft glow
So I could see clearly the first floor below.
Surely I'm not seeing what I think I see!
Some joker dressed in red under my tree.

He turned right around and I punched him in the face.
He yelled, "Good night, woman! You're a nut case!"
I said, "I'm not the one breaking and entering, fat man."
Santa said, "That IS what Santa does. It's part of the plan."

I took in his red outfit, his black boots and his huge pack.
I couldn't help wondering 'Does he have a bad back?'.
I said, "You don't look so good, old man. Here, have a seat."
Sighing, he said, "Going around the world in one night is no easy feat."

Running a hand over my face and sitting at the table,
I thought, "Am I really talking to Santa? I must be unstable."
I said, "Rest a minute, Santa. I'll pour you a glass of whatever we've got."
Santa said, "Do you have Corona Lite? I like that a lot."

We sat at the table. We sat there we two.
And we clinked our beer glasses and chugged down our brew.
I asked, "Santa, how do you do it each year?"
He chuckled and said, "Well, it can be tough when many people are without cheer."

I said, "So many people are grumpy, hateful, and downright mean."
Santa said, "Oh my dear! Some of which the likes you have never seen."
I said, "I take it you've seen some pretty horrible stuff."
He paused, then said, "Yes, I have. I have seen mankind act pretty rough."

Swirling the last of my beer in my glass,
I looked at Santa and dared to ask, "How can you do it with so many on the naughty list?"
Santa smiled at me and playfully hit my shoulder with his fist.
He said, "Because as long as there is at least one person in this world who cares about others,
I know there is hope for our daughters, sons, fathers and mothers."

This time, I looked, really looked at this old man in front of me.
My heart realized what it was that I see.
Santa wasn't merely a jolly old elf.
He was the best part of each person, the good inside of our self.

Smiling, I said, "Wow. You are not at all what I thought."
Chuckling, he said, "Yeah. I get that a lot."
I told him, "Next time, I won't punch you in the face."
He shrugged and said, "Well, at least it wasn't mace."

Santa picked up his pack and flung it over his shoulder.
Turning to look at me, he said, "Don't worry. You get wiser as you get older."
He continued saying, "Remember to look in your heart for what you know to be right.
And, mostly importantly, hold your husband and your children real tight."

Before I knew what I was doing, I gave Santa a hug.
He patted my head and told me, "And here, you thought I was a thug."
Opening the front door, I said, "Glad you stopped by."
Saluting me, Santa said, "I'm off!" and he took to the sky.

I watched as he jumped in the sleigh and took flight.
Wondering, 'Exactly how much beer did I have tonight?'
I heard Santa exclaim as he drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!"

Friday, December 20, 2013

Just My Luck

Opening the back of my Explorer, I place my skis and poles in inside. Quickly, I change from my ski boots to my snow boots. Tossing my ski boots into the back, I shut the trunk and head to front of the vehicle.

Climbing inside, I search the glove compartment for an elastic. Finding one, I hastily shove my hair into a messy knot. Putting the keys in the ignition, I start the Explorer.

Or at least I try to start it. It makes a sound of slow keening, similar to several hounds dying.

Resting my forehead against the steering wheel, I close my eyes. This cannot be happening. This vehicle cannot be dead.

Shaking my head, I slam my palm against the steering wheel. I look down at my cell phone.

I could call Dad. He would come and pick me up in a heartbeat.


He was up late doing inventory last night. I don't want to wake him.

Chewing on my lower lip, I try to come up with an alternate plan but am not having any luck.

Rapping on my window startles me and makes me jump.

Looking up, I find myself staring at Adam. Great. Just great.

Opening my door, he takes a step back. Shoving his hands in his pockets, he observes, "Sounds like you are having some car trouble. Want me to take a look under the hood?"

I am about to spout off a snarky retort, when I realize that he may actually be able to help me.

Swallowing my pride, I answer, "That would be nice. Thanks."

I pop the hood and climb out of the vehicle. Adam moves to the front of the SUV to take a look.

As I walk over to stand beside him, I notice the way his brow is furrowed and he is intently studying my engine. Snowboarding god and handy mechanic. Of course he is.

Letting out a sigh, he turns his face towards me. "Well, it looks like your air intake hose."

"Can you fix it?", I ask.

Running a hand over his hair, Adam says, "If I was at home, I could but I don't have the tools and parts here."

Shoving my hands in my pocket, I mutter, "Awesome. Just awesome."

Adam gives me a lopsided grin. He responds, "And by 'awesome', you really mean 'not so much'?"

"Something like that," I grumble.

He says, "Come on. I'll give you a ride home. And I can take a look at it tomorrow."

Glancing his way, I raise an eyebrow as if to say "you think I am getting into your car with you".

Adam spreads his hand wide and announces, "Look. I'm just trying to do the right thing here. I know I wouldn't want my sisters stranded out in the middle of nowhere with a broken car."

Hmm, maybe I misjudged him. Maybe Adam isn't so bad.

Before I can confirm this train of thinking, he quips, "Plus, I would really like to be alone with you in a small, confined space, snow bunny."

So much for that theory.

"I have a name you know, " I retort.

He grins and says, "Well, then, what is it, pray tell?"

"I'm Natalie Turner. Nat." I answer.

Extending his hand to me, Adam says, "Nice to meet you, Nat."

I hesitate briefly before taking his hand. His hand swallows my hand whole. I try not to think about how warm his hand is or how it sends little electric shivers up my arm.

Swallowing, I glance up from our hands to his face. He is smiling at me with amusement twinkling in his eyes. Like he knows the effect he has on me.

I am SO in trouble.

Here is more with Nat and Adam. Are you digging it?
As for the Maddie/Jake/Sam storyline, I know there are unresolved issues. I am not trying to leave you hanging on purpose, people! I have not felt inspired to write more about them. *Sigh.* It's the truth.
But give me a little time, I am positive I will come back around and finish their story for you.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Snow Bunny

Closing my eyes, I let the cold air sting my cheeks. Feel the wind whip through my hair.

This is my favorite trail. 

Stevens Pass.

Most people like the speed of skiing but, me, I like cross country the best.

Standing on top of the hill, a bump really, I survey the area. Scan the horizon. Take it all in. 

Snow falls all around me. Sticking out my tongue, I catch one on the end. It reminds me of when I was little. It makes me smile.

Pulling my ski goggles down on my face, I focus. Last bit of the trail to go.

My calves burn in protest at the 3 miles I've already gone.

Steadying my breathing, I take measured deep breaths. In and out. In and out. In and out.

I'm ready.

Holding my poles, I crouch down and launch myself off.

The wind whips around me in swirl of snow, but at this moment, I am untouchable.

This. This is what makes me feel like I am the only person left in the universe. Just me and the elements.

My heart races. My pulse speeds up.

From my peripheral vision, I see a figure heading my way. I swerve to avoid a collision.

At the last second, a snowboarder cuts me off, flies over the small outcropping and lands easily in the white fluff.

Heat rises to my cheeks. Anger flares in my belly.

Who is this jerk? Do they think they can just cut someone off on the middle of the trail? Where does this person get off?!

Determined to give this person a piece of my mind, I push forward, willing myself to go faster. Anger giving me the extra boost I need to push myself to the end of the trail.

As I near the end, I see the assailant at the bottom, stepping out of their snowboard.

Coming close to the person, I cut my skis to the right and jab my poles into the snow. Ouch. That hurt a little.

Angrily, I snatch the goggles off my face.

"What is your problem?" I yell.

Turning to look at me, my assailant turns their head in my direction. I know they are looking at me but they don't say a word. Just silently stare at me through their goggles.

Not speaking unnerves me somewhat but I continue on. "You know", I state, deciding to change tactics, "it is considered bad form to cut someone off on the trails. But maybe you are a newbie and aren't familiar with the rules."

At this, Rude Pants throws back their head and laughs. A deep throaty laugh. A laugh that sounds a lot like a male.

In one fail swoop, he takes off his goggles and his hat. He tilts his head to the side, studying me.

I'm momentarily stunned. I find myself looking into the greenest eyes I've ever seen. I take in his unruly brown wavy hair and his lopsided grin.

Oh crap. THIS is the jerk that cut me off?! This cannot be happening. I must have fallen and hit my head as I tumbled down the mountain and this is a unconscious vision or something.

Before me, in all his glory, stands Adam Waters. The captain of the snow boarding team. The student government president. All around nice guy and God's gift to women everywhere.

Or at least he thinks that. And the majority of our female college population if I am honest about it.

Smirking, he says, "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize you owned this mountain."

Anger flares it ugly head. I feel heat rising to my cheeks.

Stabbing my finger at his chest, I state, "Look you, I don't care who you are. You cannot just go and cut people off like that. Someone could get hurt."

Still smiling that infuriating smile, he answers, "So, you know who I am."

Shaking my head, I bend down and unfasten my boots, not giving him the satisfaction of answering.

"So you know who I am but I do not know who you are? That hardly seems fair. And I would have remembered you."

Gathering up, my skis and my poles, I glance up to face him.

I am momentarily stunned by him. 

His green eyes twinkle at me. My eyes drop to his mouth that tries to hold back the grin that threatens. Nice mouth. Heat flushes up my neck and into my cheeks. Get a grip, Nat! This guy is a jerk!

"I'm someone who thinks you are a world class jerk," I snap.

Then, turning on my heel, I stomp off.

He yells, "A real pleasure! I look forward to running into you again, snow bunny!" His laughter bellows behind me.

What a jerk?! A really cute jerk with nice eyes and an even nicer mouth, but still! A jerk.

So...I haven't written any fiction in a while. But, I had this story come to me while waiting in line to get gas in the car. (It's a glamorous life I lead, I know.)
Anyway, I thought I would write it down before it got away from me.
What do you guys think? Like it? Not like it? Wish it was Maddie and Jake?
PS I edited it to make it seem more plausible as I am far from an expert on snow sports. Any sport really. Wait! Is shopping considered a sport?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Best Day Ever

While I was fixing dinner the other day, I had the TV on in the background for the kids. They were watching PBS. (Side note: I adore the PBS children's programming. It's educational and non-violent. I'm a big fan!)

Arthur was on and I was listening with half an ear. I overheard one of the characters ask Arthur "what was your best day ever?"

This got me thinking.

Do I have a best day ever?

Does a particular day stand out in my memory?

Sure, I've had many great days.

But what was my best day?

Several days come to mind.

The day when my Hubby finally asked me to study for our final exam after I'd been ogling him all semester.

The day when Hubby asked me to marry him at our favorite Italian restaurant over tiramisu.

The day when Hubby and I went snorkeling for the first time on our vacation in Hawaii.

The day I found out I was pregnant with J, my first, as the realization that I could actually have children and I was going to be a mother.

The day J came into this world and I got to hold him for the first time.

The day I found out I was pregnant with L, little brother, so I knew J would have a brother and hopefully a best friend.

The day L came into this world and I realized my heart was more than capable of loving both of these sweet, precious boys.

ALL of these days are great days.

But I am not sure if they are my best day.


That's a lot of pressure.

My best day?

I'm gonna have to give it some thought.

That night, we had 'Family Movie Night' which is a weekly occurrence, here in the Mossey house.

We gave the boys their baths, dressed them in their jammies and all four of us snuggled in our bed to watch 'How To Train Your Dragon'.

We snuggled. We laughed. We cried. (Okay, I was the only one that cried.)

Looking around at those three faces of the people I love most in this world, I suddenly realized what my best day ever was.

This was my best day ever.

Spending time laughing and cuddling with the people I love. 

It doesn't get any better than that.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Maybe It's Just Me

Is it just me?


I can take it.

Just tell me.

Is it just me who thinks that putting up Christmas decorations the day after Halloween is a bit much?

Or that people are putting up their holiday decorations at the beginning of November?

And let's not forget Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving is where you can spend time with your family, enjoy tons of great food and take time to count your blessings. Thanksgiving deserves some props too!! 

Do we really need to shop on Thanksgiving? A day when you take a moment to reflect on all of the things you are thankful for. (I don't know. Maybe you are really thankful for that extra 30% off at Macy's.)

Maybe I am making a mountain out of a mole hole. (That is my superpower, you know.)

Am I the only one who thinks this is a touch too much?

*Blank stare.*


I get it. I mean, at least I think I do.

Who doesn't like Christmas?! Who doesn't wish Christmas was everyday?! Why not get started being all Christmasy as soon as you can?! (Okay, I totally just made up the word Christmasy. But it gets my point across, no?)

But here's the thing.

Anyone ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? The movie where Bill Murray is stuck on Groundhog Day and has to relive the same day over and over and over and over. At first it is fun, then it gets to be monotonous and boring.

See where I am going with this?

The excitement that we can put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving. The opening of the first window of the advent calendar (which coincidentally is only 25 days). Knowing that the craziness of Black Friday signals the start of the holiday season.

The reason Christmas is special is because it comes once a year. It is something we anticipate all year long. It is a day that we reflect back on and smile at the memories of Christmases past. The excitement and wonder as the holiday season draws near.

It's like your birthday.

Or your anniversary.

If it happens everyday, it wouldn't be special.

Sure, we wish it could be everyday but it only comes once a year.

And that makes it all the more special.

So, on this Christmas Day (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Festivus), take a moment to reflect on the holidays past and enjoy the day. 

Count your blessings.

Simply just be in the moment.

That's my plan.

What's yours?