Happy 11th Birthday to my youngest daughter, Nora.
Drinking a smoothie at our monthly NaNo write-in.
November 27 marks the 16th year celebrating my mom’s birthday without her. She would have been 68 this year. Miss you, Mom.
One of only a few pictures I have of my mom and oldest daughter, taken about a month before she died.
Today is my middle daughter’s 12th birthday. I can’t believe how grown-up she looks. Or how big she is.
Out of my five children she was the smallest at birth, just 6lbs, 15 oz and 19 inches. She just seemed so tiny after my 9lb, 3oz son who was born just thirteen months before her.
In another year she joins the ranks of teenagers giving me three in the same house (yikes!). My older two have already crossed over (they are 14 and 13), but for some reason this one is going to be harder. Right now, though, she’s stuck in that in-between world of young woman and child. For her birthday I got her two teen magazines so she could read all the gossip and drool over her favorite celebrities and a bunch of girl Legos (the pink/purple ones with cutsie little people and animals).
It’s so strange because my oldest daughter made the switch completely and almost over night when she hit 12–she was suddenly too old for Barbies and toys and no longer played with friends, but hung out. I love that Brenna is old enough to chat about more mature things. A few weeks ago we watched The Walking Dead together and all she could talk about was how there wasn’t enough Daryl in the episode. I was dying at her obsession with Four in Divergent. We watched that movie three times in a row.
And then she’ll turn around and go to the playground to play tag or watch Spongebob.
I don’t know if I want her to stay little forever or get to growing up so we can have more fun talking about hot actors.
It’s my birthday today. I’m the big 3-2. And in honor of my birthday (since it has been the crappiest day ever and I wish I could crawl back into bed and wake up next year…or just die) I made a mini kit. And it’s free.
So, Happy Birthday to Me and here’s a present for all of you. I got none, unless you consider dishes and several rooms to clean a gift.
So, I really thought I would use this blog to work on my NaNo entry this year. Previously I utilized my NaNo blog a lot, keeping track of ideas and plot twists and just generally working out kinks by brainstorming online. But this year…I didn’t need it.
I learned a lot doing NaNo this year and it is by far the best of my attempts. I’m sitting at 45514 right now with the end in sight. I’m actually going to win, barring a major catastrophy in my life. The story is a shambles, though. I finally learned how to just write to get it done and worrying about the quality after the fact. So there are huge chunks of plot missing. Some scenes just end abruptly because I realized I was getting bogged down in the details so I would skip to something I could write. The night before last I did that twice because I was so tired I couldn’t concentrate on the scene I was working on.
I also ended the story that night. I knew it was running long. I had originally worried I wouldn’t be able to get the story to 50k. Now it’s going to go way, way over which is good. But Chris Baty (in one of his email pep talks) talked about ending the story just to be done with it. In other words: skip ahead and write the last chapter because there is some psychological advantage of actually having a “finished” story. You are more likely to actually finish it for real if you have the ending already down. I believe he is 100% correct. I have a lot of editing to do, though. I don’t think I’m going to do that in December, though. In fact, I think I’m going to stash this thing in the proverbial drawer for a few months because I’m ready to pull my hair out, lol. I never wanted to be finished with something more then this story. I’m so ready for November to be over because I am beyond stressed which leads into Thanksgiving.
Great segue, huh?. Thanksgiving…my favorite holiday. Why? Because it’s a beautiful celebration of family togetherness and… Oh, who am I kidding. I love the holiday because of the food. It has always been my favorite and because of that I go all out even though it is just us-me, hubby, the kids and my dad, just like any other meal.
The problem is we all have this romantacized version of reality in our memories. When I look back on my childhood I remember things through rose colored glasses and Thanksgiving…it was always perfect. The food was always ready and hot and delicious and we were all happy. I know, intellectually, that isn’t true. Stuff was never done on time, something was always burnt and my mom was so frazzled that she couldn’t eat and would just pick at her food.
So what do I do? Get myself all worked up trying to put on this “perfect” ideal Thanksgiving meal, just like my mom and I end up in tears. Yes, I was crying today. Not just once but twice I broke down into tears. Which leads me to missing mom.
It wasn’t only Thanksgiving but it was also my mom’s birthday. She would have been 60 years old. Unfortunetely she died 8 years ago, a few months before turning 52. I was only 23 and I don’t think I ever really mourned. I was in shock for a long time, just going through the motions. My dad was a mess, my brother was a wreck and I had a newborn to take care of. My emotions pretty much shut down and I was on auto pilot for weeks afterwards, trying to take care of everyone else.
I remember those first holidays being tought but I got through because I just turned it all off. I stopped feeling anything and tried not to think about what was missing. As I get older I realize I can’t keep doing that and I have to deal with the sadness eventually so every year, with every holiday I let a little more out. I started scrapping about her and how much I miss her. Every year on Mother’s Day and her birthday I make some pages about her. It really does help.
But this year, with her birthday falling on a major holiday, it just overwhelmed me. I couldn’t put a finger on why I felt so anxious and ill at the beginning of the week and then it hit me on Wednesday why. It was because of her birthday. It was because it was blatently obvious that she wasn’t here this Thanksgiving and suddenly I felt all this pressure to make this perfect dinner for everyone in her honor. I felt that if it didn’t turn out perfect I was letting her down, even though, at the same time, I knew that none of her dinners ever turned out perfect and yet I still enjoyed them.
At one point my husband, as his habit, started teasing me about something. I just couldn’t take it any more. I yelled at him and tried to continue cooking but it was too much. I just turned and walked into my room, shut the door and climbed into bed. I thought he would come after me like he normally does but he just went back to playing video games. That was fine with me because I didn’t want to hear how I was putting all this on myself. I cried into my pillow for a good 10 minutes until I calmed down.
Then, just as we were getting ready to serve dinner, I broke down again. This time right in front of him. It just all came crashing down. And the crazy thing was…dinner turned out nearly perfect. Almost all of the food was hot, the turkey was perfect, the mashed potatoes extra buttery, the rolls hot and on the table. I’d say it was 90% perfect. Yet I couldn’t shake the uneasy, sad feeling. I haven’t felt this down in months. I just miss her so much right now.
And that leads me to the last portion of this entry. A layout.
Technically I’m not supposed to post this yet. The products I used won’t be in the store until later tonight I think but I need to put it up. Hopefully they will forgive me.
It’s a pretty simple page. I wanted to keep the focus on my mom. The picture was taken in the early 70s after my parents started dating. They were on a camping trip. My mom was about 23/24 in the picture.
The kit I used is called “El-naturelle” by Opal Scraps which you should be able to find at twolittlepixels.com tonight or tomorrow (sorry Sharon but I needed some therapy tonight).
Well things were going really good. I was staying close to the quota every day, usually being behind only a few hundred words by the end of the night. That’s not too bad considering every other year I was days behind by this point.
That is until Tuesday. I was plugging away at the story Tuesday night…as much as I could while still watching election coverage online. I was taking an online break when I noticed I had a message at my favorite scrabook site. Next thing I know I’m on a creative team and have tons of new stuff to download and play with and there went writing right out the window.
Well not totally. I still came close to making quota on Wednesday and then Thursday I finished 2 scrapbook pages and managed to write 2000 words which put me over for the day (162 words over–YAY me!). And then there was yesterday. The scrapping just sucked me in. Not to mention it was a crazy day. The kids got out of school at 11:30 and the I had to go to parent/teacher conferences from 1:30-2:10. By the time I got done I was tired and feeling sick (it got really cold here over night and I usually get sick with drastic weather changes). Then last night I had to take my son to hockey practice. We got home around 7pm and I was already having a hard time keeping my eyes open but I didn’t fall asleep until 1:30am. But I was too tired to write.
So I went from a 162 word surplus to a 1505 word deficit (not counting the words I’m supposed to write for today which brings it up to 3172 words to write today…ugh).
My story is going pretty good. I’m learning to just skip the scenes I don’t have a good grasp of yet and write the ones I have planned out. I can always go back and fill in the empty spots.
Today is my daughter, Brenna’s 6th birthday so I haven’t been home most of the day. We got up and went to breakfast (at the Original Pancake House). Then all the girls got their hair cut. After that we went to Target and Brenna got a bunch of colorful socks and tights (she loves funky knee highs). She also picked up a Bratz set, got a coloring book, a stuffed dog for her collection and some stickers. Then we drove over to the mall and she got her main present…Build-a-bear. She has been begging to go for months, if not years. But there were too many choices and too many people telling her what to do (like her sister). Finally she decided on this little dog. Next she had to choose clothes. Oh brother. Eventually me and Meagan (my 8yo) helped her pick a pair of sparkly silver pants and a pretty pink, white and sparkly silver knit sweater. She picked some white dressy shoes with silver flowers on it to complete the look. Oh, and pink bows on her ears.
Her name is Lola. She had no idea what to name it so I opened their idea book and saw Lola first and she fell in love with it, lol.
I still have to figure out something for dinner and make her zucchini cake. My dad said if he’s feeling better he’ll take her out to get her gift. Her and Owen (my 7yo son). Owen didn’t get his present last month because Papa ran out of money. So it’s been a good day for Brenna despite a melt down at the pancake house because she didn’t get her chocolate milk and she fell asleep on the way home from the mall because they were up at 6am this morning (which is 30 minutes earlier then they get up on school days).
I’ve already made three layouts using her kits. Her stuff is beautiful. So head over to either of her stores to check out her designs.
I haven’t been this excited in awhile. I found out late Tuesday night while I was still stoked over Obama’s win. It was a good night.
I used her Bye Bye Birdie kit, Natural Wonders and Natural Harmonies III.
The picture is of my middle daughter. Tomorrow is her birthday. She’s a real character. That is one of her original outfits that she was so proud of. She definitely has her own fashion sense. She’s wearing a yellow shirt, red mini skirt, black & purple Halloween socks and cowboy boots. We call it Brenna-style.