Kindergarten, Here He Comes!

These people make up my sweet family!

IOCX5946.JPG

My oldest kiddo started kindergarten today. He’s sweet and funny, careful and brave, a learner and a thinker… He’s going to be great! So cheers to my boy as he ventures this unknown! ūü•õ‚ú®ūü•õ

Mama LOVES you!

Update on Life-April Edition

I have so much to tell you since the last time I’ve written. I think I’ll put it in sections, so I don’t forget anything.

A. The Poetry

With the poetry book done, I got a notice my alma mater was having a poetry reading that weekend. Standing in front of people I may or may not know and reading something that comes from such a private, personal place sounded terrifying. So I did it. And it was terrying.  I choked the last line because I was trying not to cry.

But something good did come from it. A past professor, one I really looked up to, was there and after the event, she sat with me and went through every word of the chapbook and made sound suggestions that really made the quality of the whole project leaps and bounds better.

Though I’d settled on the title, it bugged me a bit. She helped me change it. I’ve already reworked the suggestions, and even submitted it to the first competition. There are two more that I’ll send to soon.

I’m going to write more on this, but I see merit now in choosing a smaller project to see through, beginning to end, before launching into a novel. I have tangible evidence on what “done” is like, and it is addictive. I believe the memory of it will carry me to completion on the next novel project.

B. Camp Nanowrimo

I have a goal of 25,000 words to get me to the end of a first draft of SongNovel. There is a new layout method that I’m in love with and am itching to put to action. (Dan Harmon’s story circle. Check it out!) I was doing really well, even exceeding word counts during the weekdays, so my weekends would be more family focused. Approximately 7,500 words in, my husband found a house that he loved. I love it, too, and through a series of emotional events, we’re…

C. Buying and Selling a House

After Hurricane Katrina (2005), the apartment the newly wedded Smiths (that’s us) lived in became too expensive. Not only my apartment complex, but also a host of others who sustained damage from the hurricane raised monthly cost $100 or more. We also had a pet, which meant most affordable complexes would not rent to us, even before Katrina. So we bought a little baby house, in hopes that we would be able to move to a toddler house about two years or so after.

For the past, 11 years, we have shared 1 bathroom about the size of an office desk. And we have grown from a 2 person family to a 4 person family as well. There are no secrets where there should be secrets. My friends, it’s time for a second bathroom. Please, Lord Jesus, let it be time for a second bathroom.

So we put a contract on the house that we love, contingent upon the selling of our current home.

Relatedly, on January 21, 2017, a tornado hit our small town, and I am still in conversations with contractors to complete/start work on our house. AND NOW WE HAVE TO SELL IT.  Per our contract, we had to list the house asap.

I cleaned the house to take pictures of the inside of it before the sheetrock gentleman came to fix spots in two¬†ceilings and a section of carport. Then I cleaned more when people wanted to see the house before the work was done. I will also have to deep clean the house again when the workers finish. (I don’t know when that will be because they are on contractor time, which I found out recently is different than Mea time.) There is a daily tidying situation that has to happen before work everyday because you never know when you will have to tell your realtor, “Sure, these potential buyers can see the house without the 24 hours of notice we asked for.” (Daily tidying wouldn’t be difficult if my two toddlers weren’t sleeping on a pallet in the living room because their ceiling is getting worked on, and–I have two toddlers.)

And then there are…

D. Kittens Residing on my Front Porch

My sweet kitty is the best mom and wants her babies to see the world, but not from the cozy confines of our outside laundry room, as I had hoped. Instead she’s set up shop on our front porch, so anyone who would like to look at the house must first pass five tiny, blue-eyed, toe-biting guards and their mother. (They are adorable and we’re keeping two of the five because we love them so.) (I just wish I could love them so from the house we want to buy instead of the house we want to sell.)

E. Conclusion

I know this is just a season of life that will be fine in some months. It’s just messing with my creative life so I’m a little resentful. I can adjust with this unexpected change because at the end of the day, it will benefit my family. The house is a fixer upper, too, so I hope to be posting some before-and-afters of rooms and projects. I’ll tag them something clever in case you don’t care to see.

So…this is my life currently. Anyone else going through a big change?

Sig

February ’15 Update

The four weeks of February threatened to kick my butt. I seriously felt rubber to ass, but somehow, I managed to be productive. For the entire month, someone in my household was ill. Mostly, more than one of us at the same time. AND just when I thought¬†we were¬†so very close to well, my parents visit and my step-mother has the flu. She didn’t know until we took her to the ER at 3am, and it’s not her fault, but dammit, she has the flu. Which means that there MIGHT¬†the flu in the Smiths future. I’m praying March will be the Month o’ Health and we will all be at full strength as we choke on Lysol and chaff from using all the soap in Mississippi.

I had a monthly goal to revise at least one hour a day, Monday through Friday. I laughingly thought that this would be enough time to revise the entire book. It was not. I am 4 chapters shy of finishing Part I. But also…….I’m 4 chapters shy of finishing Part I!

Here are the numbers:

16 work days (I wanted 20)

21 hours and 15 minutes of work time (I set my goal for 20) (Yay!)

Revised 19 chapters (out of 23 for Part I) (I already told you about my unrealistic thought process above)

I also cleaned out my closet, a bigger task than one might expect. I’m pleased but really want to finish revisions in March. I’m keeping my goal grand, just in case…

Good luck to you in your life endeavors, writing or decluttering or whatever!

<3,

Mea

The New Year is Upon Us

2015 is standing before us, bold and bright, and I don’t know about you, but I am ready to take all I’ve learned from the 2014 struggle and make something good. So, cheers! Let’s make the best of the past and look forward to future¬†opportunities. You guys probably know what’s coming next–A New Year’s Goals post. Yay! It’s my favorite way to get and stay focused throughout the year.

But before that happens, I really want to introduce you to the newest member of the Smith Clan.

DSC_9208

The absolute best part of 2014!

Talk to you soon!

October Update

I completely forgot that I didn’t do an October Update until about… 10 seconds ago. Let’s call it the effects of About to have a Baby Syndrome and move on, shall we? Ha HA!

Plotting was the them of the month and I got to the very last lovely scene on the book. I’m very excited to start revisions after completing the draft. I love the last scene! It’s sweet and sad and hopeful… There’s resolution and wonder. This place where I am has taken me so long, but it’s so damn satisfying.

Though the Words-to-Date are the same at 43,004, I did plot 2.040 words in 4.5 hours of work time within 3 days. The stats are blowing anyone away, but progress is progress.

I will be having a baby sometime within the next three weeks, so I’ll either get tons of work done or none at all. I’m not sure what to expect with a toddler and a newborn, so goal making for the new year may be put off until I physically can get back on my feet.

I hope you out there are getting closer to your goals. I hope you are getting there faster than me! If you’re doing NANOWRIMO, good luck!!! This is me cheering you on! YAY, YOU!!!!!

Thankful

No surprise that in November, protocol requires me to write a thanksgiving post.  I love November because everyone acknowledges things they’re thankful for. Today that is me.

As much as I try to be Mrs. Positive Pants everyday, sometimes that is so stinkin’ hard.  It’s a little easier in November because lots of people try to be Mrs., Miss, or Mr. Positive Pants, and I feed off the positive energy like a leech.  So here I am, hoping to feed you some jolly juice, my fellow Leech, you.

There are the big things…family, my tiny home, my ability to pay for said home, friends, good weather…

I am so in love with my life, even as I struggle to make it better.  I think this is possible because I figured a few things out.  First of all, I know that I strive for worthwhile goals.  The past five years have been so enlightening for me.  In some aspects, I feel like I didn’t really start living MY life until then.  So now, I’m a 30-year-old goal seeker, and I’m just fine with that.  Sure I wish I would have been one of those people who figured things out in high school or something.  Who wouldn’t? But instead of dwelling on all the lost opportunities(which benefits nothing, I found out), I’m trying to make the time I have left so very meaningful.  Being a mom helped me realize how much I can squeeze into one day.  I told a friend of mine just recently that I didn’t know how lazy I was until I had Blue.  You don’t have to have a kid, however, to be aware of how you spend your time.

Secondly, I’m finally my own person.  I care about other people, true, but their words and opinions don’t rule me, and this…this is freeing in a way I never expected.  At Blue’s birthday party, I was able to tell someone close to me that I didn’t want multiple pictures of every, single gift as he “opened” it.  As someone who has been to multiple kid birthday parties, I didn’t want to torture my guests in that way.  There are so many other ways, like making them watch my kid splatter cake all over himself and others for twenty minutes while I hold the food hostage until he’s done. The point is, even though the person was obviously sad about not being a photographer for a day, It didn’t cripple me to tell them to sit down and enjoy the show. It’s my son’s party, gift time is awkward, and I didn’t want to prolong the awkward moment.  The end. I would have said nothing or worried my head off about what the person felt after I did say something 6 years ago.   

So, between a loving, supportive family, worthy goals, and being unabashedly Me, I am the happiest and the most thankful I’ve every been in my life.

I don’t want to lie to you.

Bad things happen.

To me, to people I love, to people I barely like.

But because of those Big Things I grasp like a winning lottery ticket, I am able to deal and still be smiling at the end of it.

When bad things happen to people I love, people I barely like, and even people I kinda don’t like, I try to be that supportive person I know they don’t have because, if they did, they wouldn’t be talking to me.

So there’s that.

There are little Happies, too!! Oh, good gracious, aren’t there!!

Today, my attitude completely changed because I popped a bag of salt and lime natural popcorn. It AMAZED me. Suddenly, I saw flowers everywhere. Birds sang on my shoulder. Bunnies frolicked in the breezeway.

And it dawned on me:

I could be this happy everyday if there was enough salt and lime popcorn in my desk drawer!

No. That’s not right.

I could be this happy everyday if I let the happy small stuff do their thing.

Let yourself laugh out loud at that funny quote, Mea. Don’t be a professional robot.

It’s okay that you like to scotch tape mailouts closed, Mea. You work in an OFFICE and don’t even have to pay for office supplies, so really, you’re a winner.

And if salt and lime popcorn can make birds sing, share.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Blue’s First Beach Trip

Husband, Husband’s mother (GiGi), Blue and I went to the beach.  It was Blue’s first time and the results are as follows:

  • Blue loved, I mean LOVED, the sand. It fascinated him.  All things he discovered in it fascinated him, like grass, old bottle tops, and cigarette butts.  Public service announcement: If you smoke on the beach, please, for the love of God, trash your butts somewhere other than NATURE where others will be.
  • He tolerated the ocean.  He didn’t like water crashing into his face for some reason.  He did, however, like the calmer water where he could splash at it at his leisure, which by the way, is adorable.
  • Pools are the way to go with little Blue, especially if they have a “beach style entrance” and fountainy things in the super shallow part.
  • It is very, very hard to keep a napping schedule on vacation.
  • To my and Husband’s surprise, it is very hard to find a covered floating device for small children in large, beach souvenir shops. (Husband finally found one at Target…Wierd, right?!)
  • I love the privacy and cooking situation in condos.
  • I love the Publix grocery store.
  • Don’t forget to bring/buy salt and pepper and cooking spray when getting food for the length of your stay.
  • While succeeding in making small spaces look larger, mirrored walls also make me self-conscious and prevent me from living in my state of self-image denial.
  • I love beach sunsets.
  • I love beach breezes.
  • I love the smell of saltwater in the air.
  • I loved pulling out a shirt to wear this morning and it still smelled like a beach breeze.
  • I love the feel of the sun on my shoulders.
  • I use the word “love” a lot.
  • I look hot in sunhats.  Also, the sunhat was a good idea because when Blue wouldn’t wear his sunhat, I could remove mine a create a semblance of shade.
  • One-legged seagulls warm the cockles of my heart.
  • If you wear glasses, invest in a pair of prescription sunglasses. They saved my bacon! (You can get cheap ones from Zenni Optical’s website.  Like $20ish)
  • Fresh seafood is so much better than any other seafood on the planet.  So. Much. Better.

Wow, there are more bullets than I thought there would be.  I guess I had more things to say than I thought. It was such a good time, and I’m so thankful for Husband and GiGi being so awesome and helpful with Blue.  Great company! Great trip!

I’ll end with a photo display of our trip.

Laters!

~Mea

DSC_5605 DSC_5648 DSC_5679 DSC_5713 DSC_5727 DSC_5811 DSC_5934 DSC_5954