Hello again!

I have let this blog flounder for far too long and today is my first day back at it.Β  We have had a wacky, crazy year. I’m not even sure that I should try to summarize it, but find myself wanting to. Let’s start where I left off… oh my. Okay. That’s a rough place to start.

December 5th, 2018 my mom left the nursing home to go home for my dad’s birthday. She lasted at home until December 7th, when she had to be rushed to the emergency room. I went down on the 9th because it was clear that she was on her way out of this world. She passed away on December 12th. I spent the month in College Station or Wisconsin. We had two funerals for her, one in each of her hometowns. They were lovely, both of them attended by family and friends and filled with beautiful reminiscences of her full, mostly happy life. (Please note that this is short, not because I am being in any way flippant about it, but because I’m crying too much to say more.)

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In January we tried to be humans. We had our annual board game extravaganza on January 1st at my dad’s Tyler house so he wouldn’t have to be alone yet and could be a little distracted from all the sadness. April is with him all the time, but we come and go and try to bring a little joy to them with our visits.

February and March went by kind of in a blur. We visited College Station every couple or three weeks and spent half of spring break with my dad and sister. David and Nick were each gone a week in April and then it was birthdays and Easter all at once. We celebrated in the Tyler house, trying to avoid sadness, but failing. Easter was one of my mom’s favorite times of the year.

In May everything ramped up. The six month anniversary of my mom’s death was literally Mother’s Day. How’s that for irony for you? April and Dad ignored the day completely, while Nick, the kids, and I went to Scarborough Faire for the day (something I’ve been wanting to take the kids to for years. They were, naturally, underwhelmed because we’d waited too long).Β  All the end-of-year “lasts” were heightened because it was David’s last high school everything. We had a graduation party for him the day before graduation, we all attended graduation night outside at the stadium, and then the very next day he left for his band’s spring trip. And because we’re crazy, we had a family BBQ the following Monday with Nick’s family.

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June was even crazier, though. Nick and David left the first weekend, Nick for work in the Czech Republic and David for Tennessee for working a pre-teen camp. Then I left for China the same day Nick came back from his trip (and no, we didn’t even get to see each other at the airport). Greg spent weekdays at his Nana & Pa’s house while the other two boys came and went. David had college orientation for a few days in there. Nick and all the kids went to the Houston Aquarium for Father’s Day while I spent Father’s Day with my dad in Tianjin. Then kids all spent the last few days I was gone working the pre-teen camp at Camp Piney Woods while Nick was in Tennessee for work. We all were supposed to get home Wednesday, June 26th, but my flight got delayed by several hours and I ended up getting home at 4 in the morning on the 27th. Then on the 29th, Greg and David got in a van with other church kids and left for Teen Camp at Camp Pinecrest in Missouri. (I will most likely blog about my China trip in some upcoming posts.)

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Today is first day I’ve felt human and somewhat put together in a really long time. I’m getting back onto somewhat of a schedule. I’ll be spending weekday mornings at the gym and afternoons writing. Ree has this whole month free, so we’ll be starting parent-led driving lessons for him this week as well, probably in the mornings after I’m back from the gym. πŸ™‚ Greg will be in day camps most of this month and who knows what David will be up to? I sure don’t! He was looking for a job last time I checked, but no one would hire him because he was out of town so much this summer (he has one more camp he’s working at the end of the month).

So there you have it. We are crazy and we know it. πŸ™‚ See you tomorrow.

 

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8 week health check-in

124 health check inI have been going to the gym for 8 weeks now, although with all the missed days due to illness or Thanksgiving break, it’s really more like 7 total weeks. Overall I have lost 27.25 inches off the 12 points I measure (neck, chest, chest+breasts, natural waist line, belly button, hips, upper arms, mid arms, lower arms, upper thighs, lower thighs, calves) and 4 total pounds. I haven’t changed my diet any, and I didn’t really hold back at all on Thanksgiving foods that week either.

I tried on those pants from the before photos over the weekend and they are so loose, y’all. I am down to regular size clothes in the next size down (from last month) and some of the super big ones from the size below that (which is funny because some of the super small in my current size are still too small. Oh the joys of size variety across brands). I emptied a new box out on the bed today and everything in it fit fairly well. This was a small box because I took the top half out just before Thanksgiving, trying to find a cute Thanksgiving outfit. Things in the next size down box are those that currently can fit onto my body, but I can’t move around much in them. So I started this effort with five boxes of clothes going from the biggest I ever was (back in September) going all the way to the size I was when I had David (17 years ago). I am two boxes down, with three left to go.

So I’m going to continue on in the gym, but I’m going to focus a lot more on my waist area, if that’s even possibly a thing (it must be). In January after the crazy eating month is over and hopefully we can start getting salads again (I haven’t been able to find one in the last two and a half weeks except at Dairy Queen, who gave me a chopped ice berg lettuce salad), I plan on tweaking my eating and maybe come up with a plan I can stick with. πŸ™‚

Okay, that’s enough rambling about that. Y’all have a happy day!

Post Nanowrimo Thoughts

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When I started Nanowrimo this year, I felt super prepared for it. I’d done a couple months of prep writing to practice getting back into the habit of writing every day, I spent a month making a new outline for the novel I was working on, updating bits of the story here and there and strengthening the theme I wanted the novel to have, and I blocked out my calendar for the month to make sure I had time to write every day.

So of course it all fell apart. But I already wrote about that. This is the post where I talk about what I can do to make it better in the future.

In non-writing related things: First off, I’m going to make sure that my husband is, in fact, not going to be out of the country when I’m intending to do crazy things. Second, I’m going to make myself and everyone around me use more hand sanitizer. Third, I’m going to write ahead each day so I’m caught up with the words from Thanksgiving week so that I don’t stress so much that last week because I am so far behind. Fourth, I’m going choose easier meals to make if the husband is, in fact, gone while I’m trying to write a ridiculous number of words. Fifth, I’m going to make my kids start doing their own laundry.

Writing-wise: Numero uno, I am going to make sure that that spiffy new outline is completely fleshed out before I start. I had several days where I looked at my outline this time around and realized that a chapter only had one scene or that I hadn’t figured out how a character was getting from here to there from one scene to the next. Two, I’m going to make sure I have done all the research on the things I need to know more about before I start writing. I have a bunch of places where I have “insert data on that here” or “insert something more specific here” in my novel right now. Tres, make sure I really love character names instead of putting in place-holder names that I can’t remember how to spell from one scene to the next. Quatre, I’m going to figure out my magical system before I start writing so I stop making plot holes.

That’s about it. I’m looking forward to writing another 50,000 or so words again this next month now that I know I can do it under some pretty insane conditions. πŸ™‚

 

7,000 words to go

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Me earlier tonight at the Tyler Christmas Parade.

So because I have a ridiculously busy life, I still have 7,000 words to go tomorrow. Will I make it? I don’t know. I have done more than 5,000 words a day every day this week so far. We shall see. So tired.

A Big Day

I love how facebook always gives me so many years worths of memories every single day. I really have used it as another journal of sorts over the years. Today it reminded me of two very important things in my life that happened on November 28th over the years:

  1. Nick proposed to me on November 28th, 1997. He hadn’t meant to, really, but he’d asked my dad for my hand in marriage and my dad got super excited and congratulated me on my engagement before Nick had a chance to pop the question. So he went out to his car, got the ring, and proposed on the spot. πŸ™‚7021534869_a8117f26ec_n
  2. We moved to our current town on November 28th, 2002. We lived in a little rental house next to the middle school that all my kids have now gone to (one would have been there right now, but he has strep throat, so he’s home with me today). Here’s a lovely photo of David from one of the first days we lived in the house. Why is he in the dishwasher? Who knows?! Did you know that this blog goes back to before 2002? You probably can’t read all the old posts, but I can and wow are they fun. I just learned that even though we moved on November 28th, our phone line didn’t get installed until December 5th. How did I live without the internet for that long?davdish

Visiting the local writing guild

Last night I visited the local writing group. I have been very confused about which group is the most local to me, as one is Association and one isΒ  Guild and one is in a town 45 minutes from me and one is here, but both are listed as “local.” In any case, personal confusion aside, I finally made my way to one of these meetings after several times of not being able to make it when I planned due to tornadoes and other random mishaps.

This was the monthly business meeting. The people there were very nice, there was a guest speaker who talked about her local magazine, and there were snacks. I saw a few people who had come to another local writing event earlier in the month. We were told that if we chose to join, we could get added to a critique group, should we wish. Being the spontaneous sort, I paid my dues and joined on the spot. There’s another meeting next week that I won’t be able to attend due to scheduling issues, but I’m putting all the meetings from here on out on the calendar so I don’t miss any more. πŸ™‚

4 weeks of gym time= this

Collage 2018-11-07 10_06_08I am a whole clothing size smaller now. Yesterday I dragged in all my one-sized-down boxes when I couldn’t keep my pants up. All but one dress and one skirt fit now -the dress was one that has a higher size on the tag, but shrunk terribly the first time I washed it. I have no idea what size it is now. The skirt is actually one of those split sized items, where the higher number is what I’ve come down to and the lower number is the next size down. Hoping to be wearing that size in time for Christmas, as it would be a really pretty Christmas outfit. πŸ™‚

 

Another gym time update

Another two weeks have gone by. I have missed the gym twice because I was sick, coughing too hard to walk to the bathroom, much less on a treadmill.

I made some friends at the gym, a retired paramedic and her daughter. They come every weekday like I do, but they do their schedule differently than I do. I’ve been following theirs as much as I can do for the last 6 times I’ve been to the gym. They do an extended cardio every day (which I don’t because I get tired too fast) and also several ab/thigh machines every day (I have followed their lead here and it has paid off!). They are larger ladies than I am, but they are also so very much stronger than I am. The paramedic lady makes sure we are on-point with our posture and form, and is a good cheerleader for me and her daughter.

I am up three pounds, which is…what it is. I have been eating some Halloween candy, a habit I need to break. Other measurements are going better: I have lost an inch and a quarter off my chest, an inch and 3/4 off my upper waist, two and a 3/4 off my waist, 1/4 inch off my lower arm, 1/8 inch off my wrist, an inch off my upper thigh, and 1/4 inch off my ankle. Everything else remained the same. I plan on doing this update every second week until I hit my health goals, in case you are wondering.

Today I am not making it to the gym because I have two PTA/school events, a health coach phone call with my insurance company, a sick kid at home to care for, and more writing to do. I will try to get my cardio in this evening while I watch TV instead and will be back at the gym first thing tomorrow morning. πŸ™‚