Monthly Archives: March 2015

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hello, monday


Last week was very long. Jake was away on a business trip, so it was just the kids and I all week. We went about our usual weekly schedule with the addition of me having to drive the kids to school (I’m so not a morning person!) and a couple of dentist appointments throw into the mix. I spent every waking moment working on the book and, by week’s end, was pretty much sick of my own words. I needed a couple days off.

• Friday after school, we went directly to my parents’ farm to color eggs and decorate cookies.

• Jake’s flight landed in mid-afternoon, so he was able to come straight to where we were and take part in the egg and cookie fun!

• The eggs got the minion treatment this year. Mom picked up a bunch of different eyeball stickers. We had fun making those.

• Zach decided to make one of the eggs be his dad. :D So funny seeing his little head peeking out from among the eggs. hehe.

• It was so good to have Jake home. We all missed him so.

• On Saturday, there was a big bike race going on here in town. Some of Jake’s friends were taking part, so they came here in the morning and hung out before the race, then Jake went downtown to take some pics and video as they were taking off.

• We had an early Easter dinner on Saturday back at my parents’ farm. It was the only day that worked out this year. We had ham, mashed potatoes and corn and lots of yummy dessert.

• After the meal, Jake taught my Mom and brothers how to play Settlers of Catan. They enjoyed it and ended up playing a couple games.

• I spent the afternoon at the opposite end of the table, listening to their Catan fun, while I signed bookmarks to promote the new book.

• Kind of a funny story … not from my perspective, but … The signatures seemed to dry nicely, but I touched one when my hand was a little sweaty and it smeared instantly. :( When I got home, I used rubbing alcohol to remove all of those signatures (So. Many. Signatures.) and re-signed them all. Didn’t want to waste $$. Being self-published, I don’t have a big publishing company behind me to cover marketing items, so I’ve gotta use my money wisely. Tossing a couple hundred bookmarks was not an option. Live and learn, I guess. ;)

• Baby in a box. My parents live in the midst of Amish country. While there on Friday, we saw the little Amish neighbor kids walking down the road with a wagon. Inside the wagon was a cardboard box and inside that box was their baby sister (not an infant, but I think less than 2 yrs. old) propped up, leaning against the side of the box. I’m always so worried about those kids because they are walking along a country road that vehicles tend to fly down at high speeds. They made it to wherever their destination was and back safely, because we saw the “baby in a box” again on Saturday. This time pulled by their father. :)

• I’m staring at my calendar right now and kind of in shock that Wednesday is April already. There is a little sense of panic setting in. My book’s official release date is May 19th, which gives me a little over a month and a half to get this baby ready. I’m very close to having all the editing done. It’s a process, that’s for sure. But I’ll be happy to check one more thing off my book “to do” list.

• Spring break begins at the end of this week. I can’t believe that either. The temps have been in the 30’s and 40’s here lately and I’m so wishing we were going on vacation to a warm climate. Not this year. :(

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

our tradition


Easter egg decorating circa 2009.

We’ll be doing a little of the above at my parents’ house this weekend. It’s been our tradition to decorate eggs and cookies since the kids were tiny. I think Zach was maybe 3 or 4 the first time and we’ve continued every year. So fun!

I’ve been MIA a bit this week, working on my book pretty much every spare moment. The words and sentences are all starting to blend together at this point. Getting so so close to being done with this edit.

Have a great weekend!

fourteen


All my book talk lately has been about Goodbye, Magnolia, but for those who don’t already know, Magnolia is my second book. The first was a young adult novel called The Truth About Drew. I’ve been trying to get my son, Zach, to read the book ever since it was published. He had to choose a book for quiet reading time in his English class and he chose The Hobbit instead. ;)

Recently, he finished The Hobbit and when it came time to pick another book, both he and his friend Nate decided they wanted to read my book. Yay!

Yesterday, Zach took it to school with him. He showed some friends and pointed out that he was the guy on the cover. They were like, “No way! That’s not you. Your mom didn’t write that.” He opened the book and showed them the note I wrote to him inside. I asked him if he was embarrassed that he was on the cover and that they were giving him a hard time. He told me that he was more proud than anything. That boy. My heart was bursting.

His friends then told him they wanted to read it and Zach said, “Go buy it!”

That’s good advice. ;)

In honor of my sweet 14 year old boy’s great job promoting my book to his friends, I’ve got a little discount code for 14% OFF the PAPERBACK. Click HERE and ENTER CODE FAN6496S at checkout.*

*This code will only work at the site linked above. It will not work on Amazon.com.

hello, monday


• Beautiful sunrise on my Friday walk with Mom.

• Chinese food for dinner.

• Friends episodes on Netflix.

• Chloe’s gymnastics meet. Her team placed 2nd overall. She got 3rd place on beam. I also posted a little video over on my Instagram of my girl in action if you want to check that out.

• Dinner at Arby’s after the meet. We used to have an Arby’s here in town, but it went out of business several years ago. We miss it, so it’s like a special treat when we eat there now. Chloe got one of their Andes mint shakes and she let me have a taste. Oh my goodness. Best shake ever!

• Grocery run with my girl. I normally leave the store so exasperated when I take the kids, but she was actually very helpful and her begging and whining was at a minimum.

• Edited the book.

I’ve been carrying my advanced copy around everywhere I go, marking it up wherever I find typos and errors. When I’m waiting for the kids, I edit. When I’m at home on the couch, I edit. When I should be sleeping, I edit. Last night, I was up far too late writing a few scenes to fill in some places that needed work. It’s getting so close to being ready for the final book formatting. Eeek! Can’t wait to share it with you all.

Hope you all had a nice weekend. I’m ready for another one. This weekend went by too fast. ;)

happy first day of Spring

Happy that it’s Friday and the first day of SPRING! Yeah!

I’ve got a giveaway going for Advanced Reader copies of Goodbye, Magnolia over on Goodreads. Enter today for a chance to win!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Goodbye, Magnolia by Krista Noorman

Goodbye, Magnolia

by Krista Noorman

Giveaway ends April 17, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


Have a great weekend!

getting healthy


Took this photo today during a walk with my mom. There’s no more snow on the courthouse lawn! I can’t even begin to tell you how happy it makes me to see grass again. The morning temps are still in the 20’s and 30’s, but Mom and I are getting outside. It feels great to move after being stuck inside all winter. I’m not one who loves to go to the gym. I’d much rather walk or run in the great outdoors. Sadly, winter ends up being pretty light on healthy activities for me. But I’m very happy to be out walking around our little town again. Even just a few walks this week have done a world of difference. I can already feel my legs getting stronger again.

Jake had mentioned us doing the River Bank Run 10K this year. But then he had some health issues come up over the past couple months and that idea was kind of pushed to the back burner. I didn’t forget about it. In fact, I have the training run schedule up on the bulletin board. But I think I’ve pretty much decided not to worry about it this year. I’m going to run, but the desire to run a 10K isn’t there right now. I’d love to run it next year, though. I might try our town’s Summerfest 5K this year. I ran that once before, but didn’t actually run the entire time. Had to walk several times. I would love to be able to run the entire thing. I think that will be my goal before considering the 10K.

Now that Spring has arrived, I’m in the mood for some good healthy eating. We’ve been eating out too much in recent weeks. It’s all winter’s fault. ;) My Nutribullet needs to get some more use with lots of green smoothies. And the grill needs to be fired up for some chicken and salmon and veggies. Favorite thing cooked on the grill or over a campfire for that matter … VEGGIE PACKS! We make them all the time. Here’s how:

VEGGIE PACKS

– Slice up potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, whatever kinds of veggies you like. Cut them into small chunks or cubes so they will cook faster.

– Tear off two large pieces of heavy duty tin foil. Enough to fill with 2-3 cups worth of veggies. Don’t make the pack too large. The veggies don’t always cook evenly. Better to do a couple medium size packs than a jumbo one.

– Arrange the veggies in the center of the tin foil and fold the edges up a little, so when you pour the oil on them it doesn’t run off the edge.

– Pour some olive oil over them. We never measure it out. Just enough so it keeps the veggies from sticking to the tin foil.

– Sprinkle with salt, pepper, other seasonings you like.

– Lay the second piece of tin foil over the top and roll the edges together to make a little packet. Make sure all the edges are sealed up so it doesn’t leak out into the grill and so all the steam stays inside to cook the veggies.

– I would say cook them for about 20-30 minutes, but that depends on the heat of the grill and how many veggies you put in. Probably less cook time for less veggies. Common sense. We usually open it up and peek to see if it’s done and just put it back if it needs more time.

– Carefully open the packet when they’re done so you don’t burn yourself on the steam. Pour into a bowl or eat ‘em right out of the tin foil. We do that when camping!

– Voila! A healthy side dish and it’s SO delicious!

Something we tried last summer was sweet potatoes with COCONUT OIL instead of the olive oil. That was SOOOO GOOD!

My mouth is watering now! ;)

hello, monday … on tuesday again


Had a really nice weekend followed by a busy Monday and since I took up my Hello, Monday post yesterday with the big announcement about the book release date, I’m going to once again share a little recap on Tuesday instead of Monday.

After school on Friday, I decided to run the car through the car wash on the way home. With it being such a nice day, there was a long line of cars waiting to get rid of all that winter salt and dirt. I didn’t notice that as we sat waiting with the car idling that the temperature gauge was climbing and climbing. Just before we entered the wash, I noticed some smoke coming from my engine. I turned the heater on in my car, but we just couldn’t breathe from the heat, so once inside the car wash, I turned my car off. Big mistake. I had a horrible feeling that when the wash was finished, I would not be able to get my car to start. I was correct. Had to get a couple guys that worked there to come and push my car out of the car wash stall and get my car out of the way for the other ten cars behind me waiting. It was SO embarrassing! I wanted to curl up in a ball and hide. They said it was OK for us to leave the car there to cool down, and the kids and I walked home. We don’t live too far away from the car wash and it was a beautiful day.

On the walk home, I stepped in a stupid mud puddle.

When Jake got home from work, we drove down to the car wash in his car to see how my car was doing. Only, we ended up having to wait to get the last tenth of a mile to the car wash because there was an accident at the street just before it.

Friday the 13th indeed! ;)

We were able to start the car right up and get it home, by the way. The coolant level was low, so Jake added some.

The evening improved greatly when my dear friend, Jen, came for a visit. We went to dinner at the Chinese buffet then to Biggby for some coffee (tea for her!). We chatted until they closed. We also planned out our annual camping trip. It’s back to the U.P. for us this year. We love it up there!

Saturday was a hang at home kind of day. My brother, Rick, came by and we did his taxes and chatted for a while.

Jake spent the majority of Saturday evening with headphones on reading my book, while Chloe and I watched Gilmore Girls reruns, and Zach played on his computer in his room. Jake finished my book after 1 a.m. and then we sat up talking about it, even though we were both really tired. He loved the book, and some people might say that he is just biased because he’s my husband, but he’s been an avid reader since childhood and he knows when a story needs work. Not that he normally reads much chick lit, but I completely trust his opinion. ;)

On Sunday afternoon, Chloe, my mom and I went to see the new Cinderella movie. So good! Besides being beautiful to watch, it had such good messages. “Be kind and have courage” was the big one. But I also liked that they brought it around to being worthy of love just as you are, even without a fairy godmother to magically make you into a princess. Love that.

My mom and I have decided to start walking each day now that the weather is improving. We had a nice walk on Monday around town. This morning was very windy and chilly and back in the 30’s, though. Brrrr. We cut our walk short.

Monday was busy around here. I spent the morning spreading the word that my book now has a release date set! May 19th, here we come! So there were emails to send to my Launch Team and newsletter subscribers, social media posts, and a blog post to write. When the kids and I arrived home in the afternoon, there was a box on the steps containing Advanced Reader copies of the book. Oh my goodness! I can’t even describe what it feels like to hold an actual physical copy of my book in my hands. And it’s not even the finished product. But still, it makes me so happy!

So, I’m back to editing the book this week and I can’t wait to dig into it and make it even better. In case you missed it, the eBook is already available for PRE-ORDER on AMAZON. Eeeeek! Place your ORDER HERE!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

hello, monday | exciting news!


This is not my typical “Hello, Monday” post, but I’ve got exciting news to share. A date has been set for the release of Goodbye, Magnolia.
Mark your calendars. MAY 19, 2015 is the day to order your paperback copy of the book.

The eBook, however, is NOW AVAILABLE for PRE-ORDER through Amazon. If you order now, it will be automatically delivered to your Kindle on release day, May 19th! I’m so excited about this. PRE-ORDER HERE TODAY!

throwback thursday | 28 years ago


My mom pointed out this morning on her Facebook that today marks 28 years to the day that my Grandma (her mother) unexpectedly passed away. Grandma had a bad heart and one day it just stopped working. I was thirteen years old. My brothers were ten and seven. My five cousins were all close to us in age, too. We were all so young to lose our grandmother, and I think it was the first real experience any of us had with death. I’d been to one other funeral, my great grandmother, but I was never close to her. Grandma’s death was devastating for all of us and that grief affected us profoundly. We lost Grandpa a year later to lung cancer and Uncle Ron unexpectedly in ’94. A lot of loss in our young lives.

I always felt a closeness with my cousins, even though we moved to Michigan when I was five and they all lived in Ohio. But after Grandma’s death, there was this special bond. We made it through something life changing together. That bond has remained all these years, despite the distance, despite us growing up, marrying, having kids. Maybe our kids will never fully understand this bond we have. And I hope and pray they don’t have to go through that kind of loss at such a young age. But I believe it made the love we already had for each other even stronger.

We still get together every year for Christmas and I know Grandma & Grandpa and Uncle Ron are all looking down with such pride when they see THIS:

Mom & Dad, Aunt Pat & Uncle Tom, Aunt Shari & Jim, who she married after Uncle Ron passed and who has become a wonderful part of our family. And all eight of us grandkids, the spouses, and the beautiful great-grandchildren.

The photos at the top of the page were some that I scanned over the past couple years from my Grandma’s film negatives. I’ve barely scratched the surface on that project, yet I’ve found so many wonderful memories there. Grandma and her mother on a visit to Michigan. Grandma and my brother Tim waiting for the school bus. Grandma holding my baby brother Rick. Grandma with her sisters and her mother. Grandma painting the garage door. She was a hard worker, always cleaning or painting or gardening. It’s one of my most prominent memories of her. That and she took us to McDonald’s all the time and always drank coffee there. ;)

We love and miss you, Grandma.

asking for help


You might be wondering why I’m sharing Christmas themed pictures in March. In the months leading up to my book launch, I’m sharing some pictures of actual locations from the book and things that inspired scenes in the book over on my Facebook Author Page. Yesterday, I shared these pictures from a wedding I photographed back in 2005, a lovely Christmas themed wedding, which is the inspiration for the first wedding in the book.

I must admit, sharing pictures like these is the only thing keeping me from going crazy right now. Let me back up …

Several months ago, I thought it would be a great idea to put together a little Launch Team for the new book. I started a private Facebook group and then did nothing about it. It was a great idea in theory. But I was afraid to make that idea a reality. Because it’s hard for me to ask for help.

I’ve always been the type of person who tries to figure things out on my own. If something breaks, I will look it up online and try to fix it myself. Perfect example … my computer hard drive died several years ago. No need to take it to the Apple Store to have it fixed, I’ll just fix it myself. Yeah, I’ll just order the new hard drive, look up YouTube videos, TAKE THE COMPUTER APART, and fix it myself. What? Yes, I really did that. See the post HERE. I’m a mad woman.

But when it comes to writing a book, well, you can write the book alone, you can edit it and fix every error and add new chapters and delete some, but that only gets you so far. You have to get outside opinions and feedback to help you see things about the story that you might overlook because you’re too close to it.

For my first book, The Truth About Drew, I had three family members read it. That was it. I was still learning how all this publishing stuff worked and I was super protective of the book. My love for that book was so great, and I was afraid nobody else would like it as much as I did. I was very wrong, but we build up those kinds of fears in our minds and that can be the roadblock that keeps us from putting something wonderful out into the world.

For the new book, Goodbye, Magnolia, I knew I wanted more people to read it before I finished the final edit. So, I added some family and a couple friends to that little private Facebook group I created and put out a call for Launch Team members on social media. I didn’t want a huge group of hundreds, just a dozen or so to help me. Baby steps over here. Posting about the team was scary for me. Almost as scary as releasing a book. It’s one thing having family and friends read it, but putting it in the hands of people I’ve only met online … terrifying! I love both of my books, but this one, this is the one that made me want to pursue writing. This sweet little story of a wedding photographer was the one that made me realize that writing makes me very happy. So, this book is the one that was the hardest to let others read. Especially since it’s not in its final form yet.

So, why am I going crazy right now? I told Jake that I would not touch the book while the Launch Team is reading it. I gave them a date to read it by and I’m trying so hard to be patient, but you have no idea how much I’m itching to open up that file and start editing again.

And my fears … they were completely unfounded. My little team is so great! I’ve heard from a few of the ladies already. They are loving the book and have given me so many great thoughts and insights into the characters and the story.

Asking for help is a very good thing.

AJAXed with AWP