Monday, August 27, 2012

A Great Cause

Okay, this is kind of a link-heavy post, but I hope you'll read on anyway!

Want to read a fun book and help out a sick little boy? Check out my blogging friend and fellow writer, Natalie Bahm. Her debut middle grade novel The Secret Underground is available for pre-order and 100% of the profits will go toward helping toddler Jayden Huynh.

Natalie has already organized an auction to benefit Jayden (which took place in June), and the sales from her book will add to that. You can read about how this all came about here. Please come out and support a great cause. I've already pre-ordered my book - you should too!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Comeback fail

Okay, so I had made a goal to start blogging on a more regular basis, but (surprise!) it didn't work out as I'd planned. I'll blame it on the fact that my summer schedule was thrown off by my soon-to-be 10th grader taking a summer school course. Seriously, that totally threw off my blogging mojo before it could even gain any steam. Instead of my usual late nights (aka prime blogging time) and wonderful, soul-restoring sleep-ins, I had to get up every day to drive him to school - the horror!

On the plus side, my sweet little fella doesn't have to take gym class ever again. He has cerebral palsy and a visual impairment, so it's always been a challenge trying to find a locker, work the lock, get changed, and get help with his laces...then have a class where decent coordination is pretty much a necessity - and then do it all in reverse to try and get to the next class on time.

Now that school's all done,  I'm all out of excuses, so here I sit - at 2am - blogging. Mind you, late night TV kind of stinks, I have nothing new to read, and me and my current novel are not on speaking terms at the moment, so I have no choice but to write something. Okay, so it's not the most interesting something, but still...

I need to get to bed soon, so I'd like to leave you with some words of encouragement. I know that everyone goes through tough times now and again, so I would like to say: Don't give up. Not on that book you're struggling to get written, not on your kids who are annoying you, not on your spouse who knows how to push your buttons, not on those bad habits you want to get rid of, and most importantly, DON'T GIVE UP ON YOURSELF!

I'm a firm believer that life is only as good as you think it is. I'm a pretty laid-back person, but I've been through enough crummy circumstances to know that a positive perspective will take you through to the other side of any adversity you might be experiencing. For some odd reason, my brain's default mode is "positive perspective", but that doesn't mean the critic in me doesn't try to sabatoge it. I power through anyway (sometimes by just barely hanging on by my fingernails), and I never regret it.

So, ummm, maybe someone out there needed to hear that? Otherwise, I'm totally babbling...Ah, well, it's my blog and I'll pep talk if I want to. :o) What are some tricks you use to keep out of the dark portions of your own mind? Share your tips!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Is this thing on?

Phew - I thought I'd never get back to this blog! First we had a big move (a huge adjustment, to say the least), then my email was being all wonky, and THEN I had major Blogger issues. It took me a very long time to get things straightened out (partly because Blogger was completely messed up, and partly because I was so busy and exhausted that I didn't have the time or energy to work at it). In the meantime, the whole format for Blogger has changed and I'm not even sure I know how to work the darned thing...but I'm back!

Hopefully it won't take me too long to get back into the swing of things (ummm, or at least back to blogging at least once a week...) I'm looking forward to doing some catching up. I've missed you!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The end is nigh!

The end of summer, that is. Why does it always go by so fast??? I finally gave in and got the school supplies yesterday. Fortunately, my sixth grader loves school and shopping, so she's been hounding me for weeks. I'm pretty sure I'd be doing it all last minute if it weren't for her. :o) I hate it; it's like saying goodbye to fun (and, um, sleeping in).

We've had a fun summer, spending it mostly at my parents' place a) because it's fun and b) to save me from having to clean the house for showings. I'm so thankful for my mom and that she (mostly??) likes having us around! Unfortunately, our house STILL hasn't sold, so the kids and I are stuck here for a while longer while hubby slaves away in our future home city (7 hours from here). I'm also thankful for my sister, without whom we wouldn't even have entertained the thought of taking this fantastic job opportunity. My husband has a place to stay, and we don't have to pay rent on top of our mortgage. What would we do without such a great family??? I don't even want to think about it.

So, instead of planning a move at the moment, we're gearing up for another school year. Fortunately, the kids' schools are super excited about us staying (phew!). We decided to home school the 2 high schoolers; my oldest is going into grade 11 and rather than lose a semester's worth of credits by moving mid-semester, she's going to take online courses (again). My #2 is going into grade 9, which is high school in my little city, but he has cerebral palsy (albeit a rather mild case compared to many) so with the big adjustments, I thought it'd be best to just keep him home rather than make him transition twice in (hopefully) a few months time. Besides that, when we do move, he'll be back in Jr. High, so it'll be a little less stressful to become the top dog at a new school. He's pretty excited to stay home for a bit because we'll be working on American History (not really something that's covered in the Canadian curriculum...). We'll also be focussing a lot on Math so he doesn't get behind. He's less excited about that, though. ;-)

One good thing about school starting (and the inevitable routine), is that I look forward to finally catching up on some blogs to see what everyone has been up to this summer!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

I turn my back for one second...

And a whole month disappears! Has anyone else had this problem? I'm still around. Summer holidays have finally officially begun as of June 30th, so we're taking it easy around here visiting with Grandma and Grandpa, aunties and cousins. We'll be doing a little house hunting as well (and hopefully some house selling to facilitate the hunting part...)

I love the lack of structure that summer brings, and let's face it - not waking up to rush the family out the door in the morning is definitely a bonus! Because my husband is working 7 hours away, we don't have any major summer plans (aside from moving in August), but at least the spray parks are open and the kids can have some fun in the nicer weather (when it's not raining, that is).

How about you? Have you got big plans this summer?


Monday, June 6, 2011

Lessons in Gardening

I'm not much for gardening. I take that back - what I really don't like are the bugs. Digging around in dirt is actually quite fun; it's just too bad there are so many pesky little critters that bite. (Non-biters are fine so long as they don't touch me.)

Anyhoo, I was out planting some flowers the other day because I thought it might be nice for the people who may decide to buy our house. Then I moved on to our garden. Now, usually we get our gardens in on our May long weekend (3rd Monday is a holiday in Canada), but we've had so much rain and general blah kind of thing going on, that hardly anyone has managed to plant yet. On top of that, I'm not the one who usually does the planting around here - my hubby grew up on an acreage and knows what he's doing. (As an added bonus, when he cracks the proverbial whip, the kids get to work out there.)

Well, hubby has a new job in another city, so (much to the dismay of my children) I decided to plant a garden. It wouldn't be so bad if I had a rototiller, but as it is, I had to turn over the dirt of the entire garden by hand (okay, I had a shovel, but still - it's hard work!). Lest you think I'm crazy (you can't prove it anyway), it was either that or spend two more weeks weeding the darn thing...

So anyway, I'm out there turning the dirt while the kids are getting the bigger weeds, and I'm thinking I'm never going to finish this thing and it's taking me forever and a day (even though it's only taken three, it feels like waaaay longer).

And that's when it hits me.

You see, I've been working on a writing project that's been driving me bonkers because it seems to be taking forever and a day, and I honestly thought about shelving it. But then I realized that if I just keep at it - even if it's a little bit at a time - that I'll end up with something (hopefully) great. Obviously I don't know for sure if it'll be a masterpiece or anything, but just like you never know how good your garden will be (because it depends on a lot of factors that are out of your control), you just have to try your best and have faith in the outcome. I don't think I've ever been too disappointed with a planted garden, and I know that if I ditch this project, I'll always wonder if I could've made it through this "weedy" patch.

So that's what I've learned this past week. Just when you think you have it all figured out*, haha. What do you do when you hit a rough patch?

*Let's pretend that's even possible. I pretend it all the time, and usually my kids even believe me...If they only knew...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

S-L-O-W-M-O-T-I-O-N and making the most of being a (temporarily) single parent

Hmm, it's looking like I'm slowing down for the summer already around here! School doesn't end until June 28th, so there are still lots of big projects and field trips to get through, but thankfully, the kids have just finished piano and basketball, so there's a lot less running around to do. And still, the blogging has suffered. Ah, well. Blogging is not one of my strengths, but I do try. But I digress...

Things were pretty crazy for a while what with my hubby starting a new job 7 hours away, getting him all ready to go, band trips, house-hunting trips, putting the house on the market, installing new carpet, etc. I'm going to be honest, at the end of all of the stress that was March/April, getting rid of my husband has actually simplified my life a great deal. Not the least of which is that I get to miss all of the new-job stress. (You can bet I've done a happy dance or two over that one...oh wait, here comes another one. And...I'm done.)

Don't get me wrong - my hubby is a totally awesome guy and all that, but some things are just easier when he's not around. Like the laundry. I have waaay less laundry now that he's gone. Isn't that weird? He's not even that big of a guy, so you wouldn't think it would make that big of a difference. Who knew?

Also easier? Meals. If we want to have less than manly meals for dinner like grilled cheese sandwiches, we can! My kids can be full if that's all I feed them, and it's completely awesome. Or how about cereal for dinner? Sure! The kids love it.

The best thing though, is not having to keep the house as tidy All. The. Time. (Er, not that I do, it's just that now the pressure is off...) Let's just say that my husband and I have different levels of tidiness that we're each comfortable with. (He thinks we should live in a showhome, and I think we have busy lives with FIVE KIDS.) I mean, I've still got to maintain a certain level of cleanliness because we're not animals still showing the house, but I've already de-junked in anticipation of the move, so I've always got tons of time to get things ready for a showing.

There are plenty of things we miss about having daddy around, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to appreciate the good things that come from it. Now I only have to keep the house in totally awesome shape when he comes home every once in a while for a weekend. AND I LOVE IT.

Is that so wrong?


Friday, May 6, 2011

Alive and kicking (metaphorically speaking...)

I say metaphorically because I totally broke my butt yesterday, so I can't lift my legs high enough to kick. Sorry, I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but I did about a gazillion squats (okay, so it might've been like 50...) and now I can barely move. It's just as well that I can't move, because I'm completely exhausted from the last couple of weeks.

I managed to survive the band trip. The kids were actually pretty great, but one of my fellow chaperone roomies snored, so I got next to no sleep. Apparently I'm too old to pull several all-nighters in a row because I felt like I was going to DIE by the time the 7 hour bus trip home was over and done. I didn't die, however, but I got the nastiest cold/bronchitis ever but I had no time to relax because we had to move furniture and rip out the upstairs carpet before packing up the family for our week-long spring/Easter break/house-hunting/van-buying trip.

As if that wasn't enough, while we were gone, we had carpet installed so as soon as we got back we had to move the furniture and baseboards back into place because we were having an open house AND we had to pack up my husband so he could start his new job. I'm hyperventilating just thinking about it all!

*Deep breath*

But that's all done, and now things can return to normal. I'm looking forward to lounging around (healing my broken backside) and catching up on my blog reading. Thankfully, the kids have a long weekend (courtesy of an impending teacher strike, but whatever - I'll take it). At least if our realtor calls to show the house they can help tidy up...because I don't think I can pick anything up off the floor. Or get down the stairs. Or into the van.

Sometimes it really pays to have 5 kids. Just sayin'.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Back to school

Well, sort of. I'm chaperoning a big old band trip for #1 daughter for the next 3 days. In store for me over the next 72 hours? A lengthy bus ride and a gruelling schedule with 120 teenagers. I'll let you know how it turns out...pray for me. (Kidding. Sort of.)


Monday, April 11, 2011

Sanity for sale (also, may I have some cheese with my whine?)

I had forgotten just how much I hate trying to sell a house. I don't hate a lot of things in this world (after all, hate is one of those bad, forbidden words in our house), but this definitely ranks right up there with...well, I can't think of anything else I dislike quite as much (other than our lame school division, but I've whined enough about that in the past. So much so that I'm not going to link to any of those posts.)

And so, here I sit, unable to control many of the elements that might lead to the sale of our home. Sure, it's only been a week, but our last house sold in ONE DAY. Which is totally unreal, yet it happened anyway. Is it too much to expect that to happen again? Apparently. The trouble is, that has spoiled me for future house selling for the rest of my life! I am stuck with unrealistic expectations, and anything less than that one day sale will feel like FOR.EV.ER.

Which is where I'm at right now. And, if I'm going to be honest, I'm a little crabby about it. Which is goes against everything I stand for - I know, right? I'm such the hypocrite! You'd think that I'd be used to the waiting, what with the querying process and everything. But, alas, I am as impatient as ever, and for some odd reason, I take people's rejection of my house much more seriously than a rejection of my manuscript. Which I shouldn't, because it really is just a matter of personal taste in both departments.

Le Sigh. It's hard to be patient sometimes, isn't it?

What's got you waiting these days? (Please let me not be the only one waiting on something...)  And how are you coping? I could use some tips right about now!