Category Archives: Kids

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around here

Remember when I used to blog? Like all the time? Every week? Sometimes daily? I really did. I love blogging, always have, but I think now that I’m writing full time, my brain is more focused on my fictional stories than the stories of my everyday life. I started this blog to share pictures and stories about the kids with family and friends. It’s become much more over the years, now a place for me to share about the books I write. But I still want it to be a space where I can share about our life, where you can get to know me as a person, not just a name on the cover of some books.

• A TALE OF TWO JOB INTERVIEWS
When Jake lost his job in January 2016, we just knew that God had a plan in all of that. And I just have to share this story of his two VERY different job offers. Jake interviewed for a job in a town two hours from our home. Not ideal, but we were willing to relocate if it was the job God wanted him to have. All went well there. It wasn’t exactly what he had been doing before (running the eBook department), but it was still in his skill set in publishing. This company worked with many different magazine publishers and the guy who interviewed Jake told him that they sometimes work with Playboy. A job offer came in from them for 20% more than he was making at his previous job. Tempting, right?

He had another interview set up for the following week with a Christian publishing company much closer to home. This job was pretty much exactly what he had been doing at his old job – he would be in charge of the eBook department and more. He got an offer, which was much less than the “Playboy” job, as I teasingly call it, only about 5% more than he was making before.

When Jake and I were discussing everything, I told him it was like an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. One company that publishes wonderful Christian content and another that … doesn’t. The decision was a no-brainer really. We got to stay put, he got a job he absolutely LOVES – a job that clearly God had in the works for him all along – and he would not be part of a company that helps publish photos of naked women.

What I loved about the whole thing was just how clear cut it was for us. It was just another reason that we knew God had it all planned out. With the two offers staring us in the face, the choice was so obvious. Wouldn’t it be nice if all decisions in life could be that easy?


Last fall, Jake traveled to New Hampshire for a work conference, and I was able to join him and visit New England for the first time. It was such a blessing. I even took a little day trip down to Concord, Massachusetts and visited Orchard House, the Alcott’s home, where Louisa wrote Little Women. That was such an incredible experience for me. To walk through the rooms where she and her family walked and talked and laughed. To see the little table in her bedroom where she wrote Little Women and glance out the window she must have looked out so many times while writing. To hear the stories of so many of the little details of the house and learn more about their family. The entire trip was worth it just for that. But I also got to spend some time with my hubby and even take a little drive across the bridge into Maine one evening. It was a wonderful trip and all because of this new job of his.

• BACK AT GYMNASTICS
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you probably saw my post last year at the end of gymnastics season when we thought Chloe was done with it for good. Despite working really hard all year, she only medaled twice the entire season, which I think was a big disappointment for her. It just wasn’t fun for her anymore, so she said goodbye to competitive gymnastics.

Fast forward six months and she was really starting to miss it, but she did not want to go back to her old gym. She wanted to try someplace new. One of Chloe’s former teammates switched to Grand Rapids Gymnastics (GRG) a couple seasons ago and they had great things to say about it. So when Chloe started mentioning gymnastics again, I decided to give GRG a call. I spoke to Coach Emily, who invited Chloe to come try a practice with the team and see if she liked it. Pretty much from the moment we walked in the door, we felt welcomed and Chloe felt like this was the place for her. At the end of that first practice, Emily told me that Chloe fit right in with the other girls. No surprise there. She’s not shy and tends to make friends very quickly.

It took a bit for her to get back some of the strength she lost during those six months off and she had to basically relearn a lot of things that she was never taught properly at the old gym, but she has been improving on every event all season long. And out of 7 meets, she medaled at all but one, earning 11 medals.

Switching gyms was the right decision. Absolutely. :)


• 14
Our girl also turned 14 in February. Hard to believe. We spent the weekend at Heather and Jeff’s and brought along her BFF Jenna. Heather took us all ice skating for Chloe’s birthday. It was Chloe’s first time and she pretty much clung to Jenna or the wall the entire time, but we had a blast.

On that Sunday, we had a nice lunch and birthday celebration at my parents’ house. I just love Chloe and Jenna’s friendship. They are truly like bickering sisters sometimes, but they love being friends. And after all of last year’s middle school drama, it has been wonderful for her to find some new friends this year that get her and accept her and are drama-free for the most part.

This sequence of pictures makes me smile. :)

• COLLEGE PLANS
Zach will soon finish his junior year of high school, so we are all about discussing college lately. He loves architecture, so we’re looking at schools in Michigan that have programs specific to that. Looking back, he has always had a love of building and designing – from Legos to Minecraft to other computer games he’s played over the years.

This year, he took an architecture class and has really enjoyed that. Next year, I think he’s going to take an engineering class, so we’ll see if he changes his mind and wants to study that instead. Maybe he’ll follow in his grandpa’s footsteps (my dad is an industrial engineer).

• MY DAD
Speaking of my dad … at the end of last year, he fell off his tractor and broke a few ribs. He was in a lot of pain and had some swelling in his abdomen that was not going down. So the doctor called for a CT, which revealed that he has cirrhosis of the liver due to fatty liver disease, which he was diagnosed with a couple years ago. Looking back, mom said he was starting to show signs of it for a while now, but they didn’t know that’s what it was. We think the fall just made things worse. So in February, we traveled back and forth to the University of Michigan Liver Center for tests—-lots of tests—-and he is now on the list for a transplant.

I’ve learned a lot more about the liver and transplants over the past month than I ever thought I would. It could be a while before he gets his new liver. His place on the list is determined by blood tests taken every few weeks. On one hand, we want him to be able to go on with his daily life as normally as possible. On the other, we want him to get a new liver soon, which means his health would have to deteriorate so he can move up the list. I know God has a plan and it will all work out in His perfect timing. In the meantime, our family would appreciate prayers for us, for the doctors, specialists, surgeons, and the family of the person whose liver my dad will one day get.

• GETTING HEALTHY
For a really long time now, I’ve led a mostly sedentary life. I’ve sat for hours upon hours writing and editing my books, staring at my computer, not really getting up and moving as much as I should. And I have felt it in my body. I have been sluggish and tired, no energy to do anything else, moody. So at the end of 2016, Jake told me I should join the gym with him (he has been a member for a while). I said no at first. I didn’t want to spend the extra money each month. It was too far to drive. I made excuses. But then I thought that the small amount of money I would spend each month is going toward helping me to be healthier and happier and more productive in both work and home life. So I did it. I signed up at Planet Fitness.

Starting the first week of January, we have been at the gym at least once a week – most weeks 3 times – working off the fat, getting stronger, losing inches and pounds. I am down 14 lbs. now and have lost a combined 8 inches off my waist, hips, and thighs. It’s nice to put on my jeans and not have to squeeze into them anymore. And the amount of energy I have is so much more than I’ve had for many years now.

We’re also preparing weekly meals ahead of time. Chicken and veggies usually. We separate them into bowls so they are easy for Jake to grab for work or me for lunch at home. Just pop them in the microwave and voila. Easy, healthy meal.

This all seems even more timely now that we’ve learned of the condition of my dad’s liver. I was already on a path to a healthier life, and now I understand how very important that is.

• WRITING
Yes, I am still writing. Currently, I’m working on two very different projects. One is the young adult dystopian novel I wrote a couple years ago during NaNoWriMo. The other is still mostly in research phase, but I did write the first lines of chapter one recently, which was awesome! This one will be a historical romance. I’m excited to share more about both when they get closer to completion. The YA book will most likely release first, hopefully later this year, but I don’t have a set date for publication yet. There’s still a lot to be done on this one as I edit through it. The whole point of NaNoWriMo is to get the novel out of your head and onto the page, so it’s very rough and needs a lot of filling in at this point.

For now, the pictures above give you an idea just how different the settings are for these stories. :)

Thanks for sticking by me through this long post. Hope the rest of your week is wonderful. This will be our first weekend in a month without a gymnastics meet. It will be strange not traveling somewhere, but also kind of nice.

Blessings,

first and last 2016


Seriously? Wow! I knew the kids had grown this year, but seeing the side-by-side images made me gasp. It’s so funny how hard it is to see them growing and changing when you are with them every day. I knew both kids were taller, but gosh, they matured so much. Both of them started the year still looking like kids and now they both look like young adults.

This is why I do these pictures every year!

I love how they posed exactly the same way. I think I have them trained by now. Zach is wearing the same pants he wore the first day, only you can see how he finally grew into them. He also finally got to the point where the long hair bugged him and he wanted more of a style. Once he got it cut earlier this year, he hasn’t gone back and has even started using a little product in his hair. And Chloe has pretty much the same hairstyle in this picture. She said she wanted to wear it the same way as she did on the first day to see how tall her bun had grown. :D Also, she is wearing makeup now, which makes her look much more grown up.

Thank you, Lord, for healthy, growing kids. Even though I wish time would slow way down and they would stay young.

hello, monday

On Friday, Jake texted to tell me that his friend Tony had a couple extra tickets to the Grand Rapids Symphony for Saturday for Star Wars and More: The Music of John Williams. We saw a show like this once before over in Detroit and it was so much fun. I thought what a fun date night it would be. When I mentioned it to the kids on our drive home from school, Zach seemed genuinely bummed that he couldn’t go.

We went out to my parents’ that night and had a little pizza party/game night. Settlers of Catan, of course. My brother, Tim, kicked all our butts. It was a fun time together, as always.

On Saturday morning while doing some laundry, I kept thinking about how bummed Zach was about the symphony and the thought came to me that maybe he could go in my place. Not that I didn’t want to go, because I love the symphony, but I had been before, and it crossed my mind that this would be something really special for him to experience with his dad. And I was totally right!

My guys had a great night together and Zach LOVED the whole experience. It made this mama really happy to give this to him and let him enjoy the power and beauty of music. Plus … storm troopers and Darth Vader!

While the guys were away at the symphony, Chloe and I did a little shopping, then went to dinner together. Afterwards, we went to the park for a little photo shoot per her request. It’s been a while since I just took photos with my good camera for fun. And I LOVE these so much.

We spent maybe half an hour or so running around the park. Well, she ran around and I walked slowly to catch up with her. She’s got so much stinkin’ energy. The light was gorgeous since it was the last hour before sunset. It was perfect. Our evening concluded with a few episodes of Girl Meets World. ;)

It was a fun guys/girls night out!

We were all back together for Mother’s Day Sunday, which I spent working on some formatting issues on my books. Jake and the kids cleaned, mowed, and made dinner for me – chicken and veggies on the grill. We ate dinner in front of the television watching Fuller House. :)

It was a wonderful weekend! How was your weekend? Did you do anything special?

roller skating flashback


Today is flashback time! Going back to Woodland skating rink in December of 2007, because a scene in the new book takes place there. These pictures were from a roller skating party our son, Zach, had through school. Jake, Chloe and I went along, and we had such a fun time.

Look how tiny Chloe is. hehe! She was 4. She pretty much stayed by the wall or along the rail the whole time.

Zach had actually had lessons in his P.E. class, where they taught the kids how to skate, so he did pretty well out there. Well, most of the time.

I always loved to roller skate. My friends and I would go to our little local roller skating rink, Roll-A-Rama, in high school sometimes. I wonder if I was ever there at the same time as my husband, because he told me that he used to go skating on the weekends sometimes, too. So funny to think that we might have been out there skating next to each other and not even known each other yet. :)

During college, I went to the Woodland rink, shown in these photos, with a bunch of people from college, which inspired the scene in the book that takes place at this very skating rink. I saw recently that, after many years, the Woodland rink closed for good. So sad. But I’m glad to have happy memories there and some fun pictures of our kids skating at the place I enjoyed so much. And it will live on in my book, Until Then. ;)

a gentle breeze


photos taken April 2014. Look at my little girl. She’s grown so much in two years!

I’m antsy. I can’t seem to shake it. Maybe it’s because the book is coming out a month from TODAY! Maybe it’s the fact that we are in a bit of a transition with Jake starting his new job. Maybe I’m just letting the every day stuff worry me too much or I’m sitting at the computer too much and not getting enough fresh air. I have no idea. I get this way every once in a while, and I hate it. But since I know this about myself, I know to relax and get a change of scenery.

It is a beautiful day here in Michigan, so I went outside and sat on the back porch for like half an hour. Chloe came outside and sat with me and was making videos on her phone (one of her favorite things to do). The sun was warm and there was a light breeze gently blowing my hair, which is one of my absolute favorite things. When I was a teenager, I would sit on the hill behind our house listening to music on my headphones, and I loved it when there was a gentle breeze. It calmed me and, for whatever reason, always made me feel pretty. Maybe that sounds weird, but it’s how I always felt and still do when the wind blows through my hair.

Sitting on our little back porch today for those thirty minutes, I closed my eyes and felt the breeze and prayed for God to calm my crazy, chaotic emotions. I wasn’t instantly calm or anything, but it did help. And even though I had no makeup on, my hair was still slightly damp from my shower, and I was wearing comfy clothes and slippers, that gentle breeze God sent my way made me feel pretty. He knows me well.

When I went looking for a picture to share with this post, I came across the above photo of me and Chloe from 2014 sitting in the exact same spot we sat today. The flowers are blooming right now, just like they were then. And I’m pretty sure we were looking at her iPod videos that day, too. ;)

our weekend


Our daughter, Chloe, has been in gymnastics for the past 4 years. She started out taking a class then joined the team and has been competing since then. When I was in middle school, I was obsessed with gymnastics. I never took a gymnastics class in my life, except for some tumbling in gym class. I never even learned how to do a cartwheel. But my girl has been flipping since she was little, so this was the perfect fit for her.

Over the past year, she started mentioning that she might not want to do team next year, and I always said that if it wasn’t fun for her anymore, I would not force her to do it (even though I love watching her compete!). So, sadly, this past weekend’s USAG Michigan State Championships was her final meet. I’m so proud of her. It has been such a joy to see her learn and improve in this sport. And so much fun to watch – always so graceful with her long legs, making back walkovers on the balance beam look effortless, pushing up onto her tiptoes just before she runs for the vault (love that), putting her hands together to form a heart whenever she saw me in the stands. So proud of you, baby girl. <3

Afterwards, we went to dinner with my Mom and Mom & Dad O, who all came over for the meet. It also happened to be this guy’s birthday, so we celebrated him that night, too.

Another bit of GREAT NEWS to celebrate — JAKE GOT A JOB! He started on Monday, so we were really happy and celebrating that fact as well. Thank you to all of you who prayed for us over the past few months while he was without a job. God is good and it’s so awesome the way He worked everything out for Jake to get this new job and stay in the publishing industry. We were a little nervous that we might have to move out of the area or even out of the state, but it all worked out and the job is still close to home. We are thankful.

So, since we knew we had to travel across the state to Saginaw for the meet, we decided to stay in Frankenmuth at the Splash Village hotel for the night. Great choice! We took the kids there nine years ago and it was just one small room with one big slide, a water bucket, lazy river and some kiddie slides. Since then, they have added a huge atrium to the back of the building and really expanded it with a couple of bigger, faster slides and a bigger lazy river. It was nice. One of Chloe’s teammates was there with her family as well, so they had a blast together.

Before leaving Frankenmuth, we hit the outlet mall at Birch Run to pick up some dress pants for Jake for work. We went into a few stores for the kids to spend some money they had and I mentioned that there was a Claire’s and spontaneously said, “Chloe, you could get your ears pierced at Claire’s.” I have been telling her for a few years now that we would go get her ears pierced, and this seemed as good a day as any. A nice reward for her last gymnastics meet and four years of hard work.

She loves them! She opted to have both done at once, which was a good thing, because she said it really hurt. ;) She had this scared look on her face just after and I thought for sure she was going to pass out or something. haha! She didn’t.

Another highlight of the weekend was sitting in the hotel room with my mom chatting while the kids and Jake spent a couple hours at the water park. We talked about my books and checked my sales stats online. Goodbye, Magnolia was on a free promo over the weekend and we watched it jump to #1 in its categories, which was fun. I also told her what I’ve come up with so far for Book 3 in the series. She always lets me talk things out and gives me her thoughts.

It was a very good weekend. :)

hello, monday


What a nice weekend we had. It was an early Easter celebration at my parents’ farm with our annual egg coloring and cookie decorating on Saturday, then a nice meal with my family on Palm Sunday and a little egg hunt. The kids are teenagers now, but Chloe insisted on doing the hunt. I love that she still wants to do it. So my mom and my brother, Rick, went out and hid a bunch of eggs for the kids to find. It was a gorgeous day with lots of bright sunshine, but the breeze was bitterly cold. My fingers were numb by the time I was done taking pictures.

After all the candy was sorted into bags for each of the kids (seriously, they have like 5 pounds of candy each!), we played a game of Settlers of Catan. Zach won! Chloe and I kept battling for longest road. She snatched it from me more than once. We always have fun when we play that game, but this particular round took us hours, so we were happy when Zach finally built a settlement and won the game.

We hung out for a while afterwards. Jake and Chloe took a walk down the lane. We looked at old photobooks I had made for Mom for Christmas, which made me really want to get out my big camera and take more pictures. I’ve fallen into using only my phone for photos over the past few years, which is fine. It takes nice pictures. But not the same as the Canon. Must challenge myself to carry it along with me more often.

ALSO AROUND HERE:

• Jake has a couple job prospects this week. We are praying that something will come from one of them if this is the direction God wants him to go.

• Zach signed up for his classes for JUNIOR YEAR this past week. What? How is he so close to being done with high school. He’s been getting mailings from colleges all over the place already inviting him to get more information and check out their schools. It’s craziness.

• Chloe is nearing the end of her gymnastics season. She has decided this will be her final season. It’s been so fun seeing her excel in gymnastics over the past four years, but she doesn’t love it like she used to and I’m not going to force her to stay in. I always wanted to be Mary Lou Retton or Nadia Comaneci when I was Chloe’s age, so having a daughter in gymnastics has been a dream.

• I spent a couple late nights working on more revisions of Until Then this weekend after receiving some very helpful feedback. I think it’s very nearly ready (the story anyway). Still have lots of copy editing to do, then the fun of formatting for paperback and ebook. Coming right along for the MAY 24th RELEASE!

• I started reading Anne of Green Gables last night. It’s been many, many years since I last read it. I’m in the progress of reading a couple other books already, but this is sort of research for me. The character in my next book LOVES Anne of Green Gables (as do I), so I thought I might take some inspiration from it before I sit down to start writing her story.

Praying you all have a wonderful week. Only two more weeks until our Spring Break begins. That’s something to be thankful for. ;)

this year so far


It’s been a while since I did my hello, monday posts and shared what’s been happening around here. Most of the time, I’m sharing on Facebook or Instagram (my favorite!) so I don’t take the extra time to post here. But I love my blog. This space has been my little place on the web to share for over ten years now, so while my posts are a little more sparse these days because I’m writing books and editing them, I still want to share here sometimes.

The past couple months have been stressful and calming at the same time. Let me explain.

We celebrated Chloe’s 13th birthday quietly with gift giving and a little cake and ice cream at my parents’ house. She wanted a huge party, of course, but we decided to make this one low-key. After a lot of middle school drama this year, it’s hard to know which of her friends are actually true, loyal friends. This age is difficult to maneuver through, and hard for me as I’m the one who’s had to deal with the phone calls and texts from parents and some hurtful comments made about Chloe online by other girls. It’s unfortunate that Chloe’s 7th grade year has had to be like this, but we’re getting through it with a lot of prayer and conversations with Chloe and support from friends like you. It’s hard to explain to your daughter why not everyone is going to like her. Not everyone is going to get her loud, goofy personality or how much she loves to laugh. Not everyone will understand how she can get mad and roll her eyes one second, but then be over it the next because she doesn’t hold grudges. They won’t care that she’s deeply emotional and sometimes just needs to cry. Or how she’s not afraid to tell someone if she thinks they are being mean or rude or inappropriate. They won’t like that about her, but it’s actually one of the things I’m most proud of. I think one thing she’s learning this year is that God has totally got her. He’s looking out for her. He is bigger than all of this, and she is so special and beautiful and amazing in His eyes. That’s what I want her to remember. Every day as she walks the halls. No matter what people say about her or do to her, she is a daughter of the King, and she is loved beyond belief. Her worth is not determined by what these other girls think about her, but by Jesus alone.

Another thing that’s happened in the new year is that my husband lost his job in January. After 8 years, the company he worked for did away with his position. I really hate the words “corporate restructuring”. It’s sad when huge companies do this and good, loyal employees lose their jobs. :( So we are praying for God’s guidance as we move forward and as Jake seeks a new job. Ever since he found out, we’ve both felt a kind of calm about it. Like this felt right. Like God has a greater plan in place for Jake’s job situation. It’s not easy. We’ve been in this situation before (nearly ten years ago) when another company he worked for closed. But it feels different this time around. It’s both exciting and scary at the same time, but we’re trusting.

I mentioned that it’s been a calming time, too. Writing and editing my latest book, Until Then, has been so good for me. This book has brought me to tears so many times, and I feel like God wanted me to tell Michelle’s story. When I first published Goodbye, Magnolia, I never planned to make it a series. It was a fun, light, romantic story, and I thought that was it. I would just move on to something else. But the more I thought about the character of Michelle, the more I wondered what her story was, who she was before she came to be Maggie’s college roommate, where she came from, and what happened to her after the events of Goodbye, Magnolia. From the time I got the idea to the time I finished the first draft, only two weeks had passed. Seriously, her story just flowed out of me and I was kind of shocked by how fast it came out. After the first of the year, I really started getting serious about editing, and the book has been a place I’ve loved visiting every time I sit down at my computer to work. It’s brought me happiness and times of reflection, and I know I’ve learned a lot more about writing and shaping a story through this whole process.

We’ve had some fun these past months, too. Coffee date with Chloe. Movie night at the farm. Gymnastics meets. Snow days. Reading. Watching movies. Playing games. Lunch with Jen and planning our summer camping trip.

I’ve been addicted to the game 2048 for probably a couple years now and I FINALLY got to 2048. When I reached that number finally, a message popped up that said my goal was now to reach 4096. Argh! I just can’t seem to stop playing it. ;)

This month kicked off with a couple snow days, which then turned into 60-70 degree days that have melted all the snow away. THAT is the best news of all. This winter has been pretty mild, but I am so ready for spring.

How has your 2016 been so far? What kinds of things have you been dealing with? I’d love to hear and pray for you if you need it. Feel free to comment below.

five random thoughts


I have seriously been writing this post for FOUR days. It was first meant to be my “hello, Monday” post, then I named it “random tuesday thoughts”, then Wednesday passed me by, and now it’s happening. Finally. On Thursday. Such is life. ;)

Five random thoughts:

– Christmas music is playing on one of the local radio stations. They switched over to all Christmas tunes last week. I thought this would annoy me since it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but it’s actually making me kind of happy and in the mood for the holiday season.

– I finished the entire series of Friday Night Lights finally. I got behind on it years ago when it first aired and never caught up, so when I reached that point in the series on Netflix, I got even more excited to watch it since I had no idea how things were going to play out. I’ve never been a huge football fan. I like to watch the Super Bowl sometimes, and I went to my share of high school football games (just to be with friends mostly). But I’ve spent the past couple months immersed in all things football while watching that series and I have to say, I think I understand the game a little better and might not cringe if I’m flipping channels and the only thing on is football. ;)

– My mom is the greatest! A couple years ago in the fall, we started painting our house. We only got up about halfway and then the cold set in and we didn’t finish. Ever since then, the house has been two colors – the bottom half a lovely color called Earthy Mushroom Taupe (a greyish color with a hint of brown to it) that I adore, the top half a dirty looking yellowish color that I was never very fond of. For various reasons, I chose to focus my time on other things and did not touch a paintbrush to the siding for far too long. It annoyed me every time we drove in and I had to look at the two colors on our house or when someone was coming over and I had to tell them to just “look for the two-tone house”. ugh! But this fall, my mom suggested that we work on it again, so we have. And we almost have it complete. A couple small sections of yellow left way up high (must gear myself up to climb that high on the ladder), the shutters, and a section on the back that will require me to climb up on our roof. When I drive in now, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment that it’s almost done and looks so nice. And it’s all because of my mom pushing me to do it. Plus, she’s been the best ladder holder, making sure it doesn’t slip while I’m climbing to all the high places. :)

** Note: I did it! I climbed up to the peak of the house and got rid of the ugly yellow color. It looks so much nicer now. Two more peaks to paint. Hoping for nice weather next week to finish those sections. When I drive in now … the entire front of my house is Earthy Mushroom Taupe with dark chocolate brown shutters. Swoon.

– My daughter is so resilient. She’s had kind of a rough year friend-wise, but I’m proud of her for not letting the loss of a friendship get her down. She has been spending time with other friends, getting to know some of the other girls better, and trusting God to bring some new friends her way.

– I’m more in love with writing than ever. This month, I decided to be crazy and participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) while still editing my next book, Until Then. It’s been a lot of fun. I am working on the young adult dystopian/fantasy novel that I’m sure I’ve mentioned here before. This idea has been knocking around in my head for a year, so I decided to get the first draft of the first book written. I’m fairly sure this one will be a series of a few books. This is also allowing my mind to think about something besides Until Then, which has been pretty much all I’ve been thinking of and writing for months. NaNoWriMo is a crazy mad dash to finish a 50,000 word novel in thirty days and I’m right on track to finish. I passed 20,000 words last night. That’s more than 40% of the way and it’s going well. My main characters are forming and the hero is getting into all kinds of trouble. Good times! ;)

Have a wonderful weekend!

flashback friday


Glanced back to some pictures from this week in 2009 and found this adorable gem (above). It was at a time when we had one working vehicle and we had to go pick Jake up from work after school. I took a few pictures of the kids climbing around in the back of the van and on top of the seats while we waited for Jake and caught this sweet one of Chloe. She was 6. Such a cutie pie.

Jake drove on the way home that day, so I took a bunch of pictures out the windows of the fall colors as we drove along the Thornapple River and went the country route instead of the main highway.



I love fall! Hope you have a wonderful weekend and are able to get out and enjoy the beauty of this season. I have a feeling I will be outside plenty as we are painting our house right now. ;)

AJAXed with AWP