Monday, November 30, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 29

You had to know this was coming...

That's right, we have only one day more of the crazyness! And then, I can walk away from this book for a while.

(Did I do any writing yesterday? Not much--35 words to be exact. But I ran a 5k race in a respectable time, something I wouldn't have been able to do a year ago due to that not-sure-how-I-got-injured injury. So there's that.)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 28

I am so, so glad this month is almost over. You'd think posting easy posts like those I've been putting together this month would be welcome. They are so not! I don't like focusing on how much I've written (or not) and I don't like that my posts lack merit and wit. (I know, stop laughing. My posts rarely have either.) And some days, like today, just frustrate me because...

Yes, as you can see, if I had written just 35 more words on The Chocolate Garden yesterday, I'd be sitting at 61,000 words for the month (a nice round number).

But I couldn't. I just couldn't. (Which is silly, really, because this post is longer than 35 words.) I guess I have my goal set for tomorrow.

And tomorrow reminds me that we're one day closer back to the old grind. The break has been a pleasant one, to say the least. I hope you've enjoyed your little holiday as well.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 27

Is this getting tedious for you yet? It is for me. But I said I'd keep a log of my NaNoWriMo writing for the month of November, so buckle up for a few more days, will ya?

Yesterday I took some time to revise a short story I had written a long time ago. (Okay, not that long, but at least a year.) My writing group had looked at it, but I wasn't happy with the ending. Or the opening lines, for that matter. And I really don't know if it has potential. I'm certainly not wowed by it, but then again, I'm not wowed by this award winner, either. (I'm not going to apologize for that comment; writing is clearly a very subjective business.)

I also took some time to simply look around the internet for what was trending. What did I find? Glitter beards. Yes, I said glitter beards and included a picture from the site as well.
I'm not going to judge. I mean, I wear a striped fleece after all. But if Tim decides to do this with a beard he grows in the future, he can forget any smooches from me.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 26

When day 26 lands on Thanksgiving, you can imagine that I didn't get any NaNoWriMo writing done. In fact, I only wrote 66 words for The Chocolate Garden yesterday. But we had a good day, and I'm thankful for the fact that both pies turned out well and so did the turkey. I'm also thankful for the crazy family I live with and the lack of silence I get on a daily basis. Someday, it will be so quiet around here, I might go looking for noise.

And on that note, I thought I'd let someone else say (in more eloquent terms) a little something about gratitude. For it is important to be grateful every day of your life, not just on Thanksgiving Day:
You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnack

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 25 (and Happy Thanksgiving!)

This is how the 25th day went...

It started out with a little writing. How much, I don't know. But Thanksgiving is today and the desserts needed to be made yesterday. (Yeah, Tim is a good cook, but baker, he is not.) And those kids of mine had made requests: 1. Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, 2. Cheesecake Pie, and 3. Brownies. Two of the three recipes come from my mom, and as you all know, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's this past summer.

Most of the time I think about Mom, I'm okay with the diagnosis of Alzheimer's. I mean, what can I do? Worrying about the diagnosis, about Mom, or about my own possible diagnosis down the line would do nothing. But as I went through the motions of making those desserts yesterday, a sadness overwhelmed me. My mom can no longer follow a recipe. The desserts requested by the kids will no longer be made by my mom.

Because I don't want to forget these recipes, I'm posting them.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (recipe that Mary C. uses, from my Aunt Jean who got it from a fellow teacher way back in 1973!)

1 envelope gelatin in ¼ cup water
1 ¼ cup canned pumpkin
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon mixed pumpkin spices
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated

1. Beat egg yolks slightly, then add ½ cup sugar, pumpkin, milk, salt, and spices. Cook until thick over medium heat, stirring constantly.
2.  Dissolve gelatin in cold water and add to the hot pumpkin mixture. Mix thoroughly and cool.
3. While the mixture is cooling, beat the egg whites until stiff, adding the other ½ cup of sugar. Then fold into the thickened and cooled pumpkin mixture.
4. Pour into baked pie shell and store in the refrigerator.

The very observant will notice a small smudge at the bottom of the pie. I needed to taste the filling to be sure it was okay.

Cheesecake Pie

1 ¼ cups plain graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup butter, melted

1 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla
dash salt
2 eggs

Top layer:
1 c sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
½ t vanilla

1. Mix crumbs and butter and press into buttered 8 in pie plate, building the sides.
2. For the filling, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually blend in ½ c sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each.
4. Pour filling into the crumb crust and back at 325 for 25 to 30 minutes until set.
5. Combine the rest of the ingredients and spoon on top of the baked filling.
6. Bake 10 minutes more and cool. Keep chilled.

This pie looks better when you make it in a glass pie plate. Alas, I only have one of those and the Pumpkin Pie was already in it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 24

You wanna know how the 24th day went?

Day two of Thanksgiving vacation coincided with the 24th day of this writing journey--full of teaching, appointments, and running errands. But I gave an exam, so I had one full hour of uninterrupted writing/adding. I simply went through a few sections of my story and added some much needed action, setting, and the like (1057 words worth). My story still has a long way to go, but little by little, it's getting somewhere.

And a major shout-out (since I neglected to do it before now) to my friends Bethany and Jude. They've accomplished this major goal as well, and without nudging from them, I would have never signed up for NaNoWriMo 2015 in the first place. Congrats, ladies!!

I love this writing trophy. Wish I had one. (Picture taken from here.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 23

You wanna know how the 23rd day went?

First day of Thanksgiving break for the kids--yes, they get the entire week off--so I didn't do much writing. Only 915 words left my brain and made it to the page. However, we started on crafts for teacher gifts today, so I can call today a success.

Distracting thought of my day: Who the heck would send a picture of a great toe in distress? FRN would, that's who. Look away now, my friends, if you don't want to be grossed out. I think it's worse than the ulcerated cornea, but she tells me it's actually so much better than it was before. Blech!

Nasty, right? Thank FRN for this one.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 22

You wanna know how the 22nd day went?

Geesh, I'm so glad I wrote so much in the first half of the month. The busyness that takes over November during this time is exactly why I haven't signed up to do NaNoWriMo before (only 568 words yesterday). Does that mean if I choose to participate next year I should just plan on trying to write the doggone novel in two weeks again? Maybe. Which means I better get thinking about a new novel idea.

But here we are, on November 23, almost the end of the month, and what I'm finding is this: I'm still staying away from Facebook and other forms of internet diversion (doesn't that sound sinister?) and I'm concentrating on writing. So I miss things, like posts from friends, invitations to get together for coffee, and the like. I even miss the simple laughs that my friends provide to me on a daily basis, whether or not they mean it.

I'm coming back soon, friends. I'm coming back.

In the meantime, here's my little bit of fire for those of you still entrenched in this whole month of writing. Good luck!

Find this here.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 21

You wanna know how the 21st day went?

It was a lovely day, but not for writing. And that's okay. Because I did so many things today.
  1. I sat around a table at Panera and discussed Yo Mama jokes with Zoe, Talia, and Aaron. My favorite: Yo Mama so fat that when she goes to Sea World the whales start singing We Are Family. (I'm sorry. I don't normally comment on weight or think fat jokes are funny, but that's funny. No, I'm not sorry. It is really funny, and I'm laughing again just writing this.)
  2. Zoe, Talia, Aaron, Tim, and I all watched Melina in her last little acting class performance of the fall. 
  3. The whole family made the trek to the music store to see about exchanging the girls' violas for a larger size. We saw some really cool looking ukuleles and a very old harp.
  4. We then headed to Home Depot to look for a Christmas tree. We didn't find one, but we did find a few other goodies.
  5. Once at home, we had lunch and watched some football. 
  6. For dinner I made pizza and we watched Pixels. The movie was far-fetched, but I liked it anyway.  
Obviously, nothing to see here folks, so just move on. I'll have better things to say tomorrow.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 20

You wanna know how the 20th day went?

I validated my novel yesterday, which means that I technically "won" NaNoWriMo. How do I feel? Just fine, thanks. I think I would have been disappointed in myself if I hadn't reached the 50,000 word mark, but on the other hand, if I'd simply added something to the story, I know I would have felt like I accomplished a goal.

However, now I can truthfully post this:

But, I still have ten days left to this whole thing, so I'll keep informing you of each day's events. (The kids are off school all next week. Should be some good times.)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 19

You wanna know how the 19th day went?

I knew I'd have at least one of these days, which is why I went with the flow of writing when it was in my grasp. For yesterday, I didn't have the time to write (I woke up late, had to teach, and to volunteer at the elementary school library) and I didn't have the inclination, either. I felt lazy and sluggish and didn't manage much. How much, you ask? A lowly 351 words by the end of the day.

I did, however, manage to make burritos for dinner, some chocolate chip muffins for a snack, and correct my lab exams as well as make it to writing group. So I'm choosing to be happy about my day.  And why shouldn't I be, right?

Like this flower? Find it here.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 18

You wanna know how the 18th day went?

I'll tell you.

It started off with me sitting behind a computer and getting a few words in this morning on the story I said I was done with for a while. Don't know why I can't leave that darn manuscript alone? Go read yesterday's post.

The day continued with a trip to the vet so that qualified personnel could check Shadow's eye. Yes, Shadow might have recovered very nicely from a splenectomy, but he hasn't recovered so well from an ulcerated cornea. Wondering what that is? Check this out:
That's probably a human eye (I'd have to ask John L. Bezzant,M.D.--the man whose credits were on the photo), so Shadow's issue doesn't look exactly like that, but WOW, right? I know.

After that, I ran into Kroger to get some fruit, ate some lunch, did some exercise, washed and folded laundry, answered a few school emails and finally, sat my rump back down in the chair. A number of words later (1460, to be exact) and I found myself having to get ready for the rugrats to come home.

Not a bad day, I'd say. But I'm not sure yet I want to do this again next year. I'll let you know on December 1.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 17

You wanna know how the 17th day went?

Have I ever told you that I cannot not write? Well, it's true. I say I'm not going to look at my draft, and then I go back--AGAIN--just because I have some time and I find myself adding a few words here and there. Writing. Not thousands of words writing, but writing nonetheless. What is wrong with me? (No, don't answer that. I don't even want to know what your hypotheses are.)

And that, my friends, is why I added 1402 words to my story yesterday. (Thankfully, these were well-written, thoughtful words. They added VALUE to the draft. And they made me love it just that little bit more.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 16

You wanna know how the 16th day went?

This is still the month of November and I have so much of it left, I could do some real work on that draft that I have sitting on my desktop. And yet, I could not do some real work, too. That's what I did yesterday. I got up early still, but DID NOT work on my manuscript. I messed around on some websites, sent a few outstanding emails, and window shopped online. And once everyone had left for school, I took a trip to the grocery store, dropped off a small present at a friend's house, picked up some Christmas decorations, made some soup, baked some cookies, and put together an exam for my lecture class.

Toward the end of the afternoon, when I began to feel guilty that I should do something to make the manuscript better, I went back and worked on it. How many words did I add? A measly 678 words. And I'm okay with that number. Because sometime soon, when I have the chance, I'll make a new goal of revising and try to kick that one out of the water, too.

In the meantime, fellow writers, keep up the great work. I hope you find your muse today.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 15 (Lessons on NaNoWriMo from an Amateur)

Here we are on November 16--a little over halfway through November mind you--and I'm writing a sort of recap of NaNoWriMo. To some of you readers out there, a recap might sound odd. Why in the world is she writing a recap when the month is only half done?

That's because I'm done with NaNoWriMo. No, I didn't put my participation aside for something else. I finished word number 50,093 of my novel on Saturday, November 14th. I hit the word count goal. I hit the goal of having a story from start to finish. Mission accomplished, right? So at least for a little while, I'm done with it.

Don't go thinking I'm some sort of writing badass, because I'm not. I'm a regular person with a full plate (four kids, five animals, a part-time teaching gig, a part-time subbing gig, and a very part-time editing gig; a house, friends, a husband, and many other things that most of you already know about that take up my time) who decided to tackle a goal and went after it full force. If I can complete a first draft of a novel in 14 days, then so can you.

And yes, I really think you can, if you remember what I discovered over the last two weeks. (I'm sure some of these tips overlap what all the other NaNoWriMo experts have to say. But remember this: I AM AN AMATEUR. Sometimes it's easier to think we can do something when we know that someone like us just did.)
  • It's good to go in with a plan. My story, The Chocolate Garden, started on paper back in June 2014 on the way home from Walloon Lake. I remember scribbling a rough outline on notebook paper while Tim drove back to Ohio. When we got home, I spent a bit of time putting the thoughts into Word, and then I began a first draft. I picked up that draft on November 1, 2015, and added just over 50,000 words to it. But here's the thing. June 2014 was a good year and a half ago. All that time, my mind had the ability to think about what the story should say and where the story was going. I had thought so much about what needed to be said, that when the time came to write it, the words flowed. (I realize that this sort of planning ahead can't always happen, but do give some time and thought to your story. Try to find a general outline of what you want to say and think about your characters--who they are, how they might talk, etc. The more ammunition you have, the better off you might be.)
  • Set aside time to write every day. If you say you're going to participate in NaNoWriMo, then make sure you commit fully. Tell your family and friends that you'll be busy for a month. Most people will wait and they will support you. So support yourself by making sure you find time to write. For me, that meant getting up at 5 a.m. or a little before (every morning!) so that I could meet the minimum word count by 6:30 a.m., when the rest of the family had to get up. Any words written after that time of the day placed me over par, and gave me incentive to keep going.
  • Do not revise your sentences. The days that I sat down and simply wrote were my most successful days. But I had a handful of days where I sat down with the intention of writing and then tried to go back and revise what I had written to make it better. I quickly trashed the idea of revising because I would get caught up in things I didn't need to worry about just then. Don't do it. Get the story out. Once the story is on paper (or out in cyberspace somewhere), you can revise what you wrote. (Is the story I just wrote the best I've ever produced? Heck no. I have hours of revision ahead of me. But a story arc exists and I have a beginning, a middle, and an ending to The Chocolate Garden. 'Nuff said.)
  • Limit your time doing nonessential things. If someone had told me before NaNoWriMo that I waste a lot of time during the day, I would have laughed in his or her face. I mean, I get a lot done during the day, whether I'm teaching that day or working around the house. But I realized that by taking a Facebook hiatus and only checking email for important messages, I had so much more time to write. I also didn't peruse my usual time-wasters, such as People, CNN, Mother Jones, and a few literary sites. (I'm certain none of them missed me.) And I cut out blogging--while I enjoy it, I didn't want to have the pressure to write a good post on a daily basis. Nor did I want to take the time to do it. Less wasted time = more time to work on the novel.
  • Take your writing instrument with you everywhere. On November 2, I signed up to sub at the high school, all day. I had to do it again on November 4. I wondered if I'd get any writing done on those days. I took my computer with me to the school and lucked out big time on both days, in particular that second day. I had three 50-minute periods in which the kids were scheduled to watch a video lesson. Which meant 150 minutes of writing time for me. Score!
  • Believe in yourself. Yes, I know that statement sounds really trite and corny, but there's no room for self-doubt in NaNoWriMo. I went into the whole thing knowing that by the end of November, I'd have a working draft of the novel. So use what you need to get you where you need to go: Dr. Seuss, The Little Engine that Could, or my personal favorite, Duffy Moon from the old After School Specials (see below). You can do it, Duffy Moon! is all you need to tell yourself every morning of NaNoWriMo, and you, too, will have a story in your hands. 

So good luck, writers! Buckle down, settle in, and think to yourself about good old Duffy Moon.You still have plenty of time to make your goal.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 14

You wanna know how the 14th day went?

1. How many words I wrote on November 14, 2015: 5016
2. Did I make the word count goal for the day? (1,667 words) Yes
3. Am I on track to finish 50,000 words by November 30? Yes. In fact, I'm done.

Distracting thought of the day: I just wrote 50,093 words in 14 days. My novel, which has a beginning, a middle, and an ending, stands at 63,460 words. I'll have more to say about that tomorrow, in a (hopefully) more elegant post than this. (How did that happen?)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 13

You wanna know how the 13th day went?

1. How many words I wrote on November 9, 2015: 4810
2. Did I make the word count goal for the day? (1,667 words) Yes
3. Am I on track to finish 50,000 words by November 30? Yes

Distracting thought of my day: These lovely snowflakes...

I found them here, but it looks like you can find other templates as well with some of the links on the page. These designs reminded me of an old friend (Hi, Nate, if you're reading) who wielded a pair of scissors and created the most beautiful snowflakes. I have no intention of trying my hand at these. I've done enough in the creative arena already.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 12

You wanna know how the 12th day went?

1. How many words I wrote on November 9, 2015: 3465
2. Did I make the word count goal for the day? (1,667 words) Yes
3. Am I on track to finish 50,000 words by November 30? Yes

Distracting thought of my day: I don't know what in the heck is going on, but I'm so bloated, I could float away. Is it that I'm sitting all day these days, bum to the chair so I can write? Is it that I'm not running as much? It is something more sinister at work? I DON'T KNOW. But people, I'll be praying for poop very soon because I'm pretty sure a backup is the cause of the bloat. (Open book people, I'm an open book.)

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Tonight, Melina -- known to her siblings as The Perfect Child -- is doing her first reconciliation. She reminded me this morning before we left for the school bus. She told me, "But I don't know what my sin is going to be." So I said to her, "Maybe you should do something at school so you have one for tonight."

I received The Look of Horror. The idea of misbehaving deliberately so she'd have some material for the priest is, evidently, antithetical to the whole idea of Melinaness.  Maybe I should have told her just to make something up.


Captain's Log, Day 11

You wanna know how the 11th day went?

1. How many words I wrote on November 9, 2015: 3050
2. Did I make the word count goal for the day? (1,667 words) Yes
3. Am I on track to finish 50,000 words by November 30? Yes

Distracting thought of my day: It doesn't matter that I only need 13,198 words to reach 50,000 words during the month of November (crazy, right?). If I reach the goal of 50,000 words and the story isn't done, I won't have succeeded, at least in my mind. And so, since I know the ending of the story, I wonder if I shouldn't just go ahead and write that, and then work backwards because I might be drawing out too much of the in between. Who knows?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NaNoWriMo Stats

Here's how the writing is looking on a per day basis.  Our writer is well above the average number of words per day to reach the goal of 50,000 by the end of the month.

Cumulatively, she's doing well.  A cubic fit (not shown in this graph) to the cumulative words written curve puts her on track to hit 50,000 on November 20.

Captain's Log, Day 10

You wanna know how the tenth day went?

1. How many words I wrote on November 9, 2015: 3158
2. Did I make the word count goal for the day? (1,667 words) Yes
3. Am I on track to finish 50,000 words by November 30? Yes

Distracting thought of my day:It was dark and dreary and I needed a good laugh. I knew that something over at Buzzfeed would do the trick. And sure enough I found something to help me through the day. A little preview...

And while I'm at it, I need to say Happy Veterans Day and thank you to all the veterans I know out there. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 9

You wanna know how the ninth day went?

1. How many words I wrote on November 9, 2015: 3247
2. Did I make the word count goal for the day? (1,667 words) Yes
3. Am I on track to finish 50,000 words by November 30? Yes

Distracting thought of my day: I picked up one of Stephen King's newer novels, Revival. I have to hold judgment on what type of book it is, and if I like it. I know pretty much nothing about it. But so far, I am amazed at how a man who puts simple sentences together can be so successful. I don't mean that statement to be rude; I'd like to know how I can do the same thing. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 8

You wanna know how the eighth day went?

1. How many words I wrote on November 8, 2015: 2325 (Almost exactly like yesterday.)
2. Did I make the word count goal for the day? (1,667 words) Yes
3. Am I on track to finish 50,000 words by November 30? Yes

Distracting thought of my day: My kids have been playing Just Dance on the Wii. I love Just Dance. Good music and moves that I just can't seem to replicate. No matter, I'm supposed to be writing, right? Well for whatever reason, they adore the theme from the Love Boat. And so, here you have it--the video for you to relish. I hope it provides a good chuckle for you on a Monday morning.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 7

You wanna know how the seventh day went?

1. How many words I wrote on November 7, 2015: 2321 (Lower, I know. I was busy.)
2. Did I make the word count goal for the day? (1,667 words) Yes
3. Am I on track to finish 50,000 words by November 30? Yes

Distracting thought of my day: After this whole NaNoWriMo thing is over, I still have to revise. And that, my friends, is where the whole process gets really difficult. Thus, I'm posting a link to a good reminder for what to cut out when I start revising. (You can find the link gives a good collection of overused and unnecessary words.)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 6

You wanna know how the sixth day went?

1. How many words I wrote on November 6, 2015: 3703
2. Did I make the word count goal for the day? (1,667 words) Yes
3. Am I on track to finish 50,000 words by November 30? Yes

Distracting thought of my day: Not that I ever had a summer tan, but with winter coming, and my skin being even more pale, I'm now rocking the Bella Swan look. I think it's time to go back to my roots, so to speak. (That was really bad. I'm sorry.)

Okay, take away the ear buds. I don't own a set. And my hair is shorter. Minor details.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 5

You wanna know how the fifth day went?

1. How many words I wrote on November 5, 2015: 4057
2. Did I make the word count goal for the day? (1,667 words) Yes
3. Am I on track to finish 50,000 words by November 30? Yes

Distracting thought of my day: Never say never. As in, I would have never thought I'd find myself on the FOX News website, but there I was yesterday, researching the names of certain news anchors. (True fact.)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 4

You wanna know how the fourth day went?

1. How many words I wrote on November 4, 2015: 3970
2. Did I make the word count goal for the day? (1,667 words) Yes
3. Am I on track to finish 50,000 words by November 30? Yes

Distracting thought of my day: True facts are awesome, maybe even epic, if I might use Aaron's favorite word. But I don't want to know true facts about some people. And that's a true fact.

Bonus: Need a laugh? Watch this:

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 3

You wanna know how the third day went?

1. How many words I wrote on November 3, 2015: 3604
2. Did I make the word count goal for the day? (1,667 words) Yes
3. Am I on track to finish 50,000 words by November 30? Yes

Distracting thought of my day: Britney Spears is 33 years old and is starting to look every day of those 33 years.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Captains Log, Day 2

You wanna know how the second day went?

1. How many words I wrote on November 2, 2015: 3539
2. Did I make the word count goal for the day? (1,667 words) Yes
3. Am I on track to finish 50,000 words by November 30? Yes

Distracting thought of my day: Slow and steady wins the race, right? I might need to pull back on the reins before I tire myself out.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 1

You wanna know how the first day went?

1. How many words I wrote on November 1, 2015: 3828
2. Did I make the word count goal for the day? (1,667 words) Yes
3. Am I on track to finish 50,000 words by November 30? Yes

Distracting thought of my day: It's a good thing I put away a book my sister left here, Pornology, because my in-laws stayed in our bedroom this weekend.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


After today, for about one month, I will not be writing on this blog. I will only be posting. That fact makes me think that I should write the blog post of all blog posts today. I should be able's my third child's birthday, after all. And today, Aaron turns 11 years old.

Holy crap, how did that happen? I mean, where in the heck did that time go? (Imagine as I whip my head from side to side, looking for the lost minutes that have essentially evaporated.) As I'm wont to do on my children's birthdays, I think back to all the days that came before...

The very warm Halloween I went into labor (I remember sitting on the front porch, in pain, and yet still handing out candy), the fact that I gave birth to a pale red-headed child (I was convinced he'd have dark hair), and the terror I felt when we had to decide on whether or not to circumcise the male child (we chose not to, but as many of you know, we had to reverse that decision when Aaron was five years old). And those are just the bigger items on my list of remembrances.

What I think about most often when I think about the little man who turns 11 today are his wiry arms, his infectious grin, the freckles that sprinkle across his nose, and the red hair that sticks up after sleeping on it at night. And of course, pi. I can't forget his favorite number now, can I? No one can forget that number because Aaron makes sure you don't.

And in a quiet, unassuming way, Aaron also makes sure that you don't forget him. I don't exactly know why that is. If it's the red hair, or the way he clings to his love of numbers, or his quiet humor,  but usually I hear people say, "Oh, Aaron M is your child?" Like they know him, even when I suspect they don't know more than his name and face. I then go on to ask why they've heard of him. Has he been to the principal's office? (Every once in a while, that has happened.) Did he forget his manners? Was he not listening to them? Did he kick a ball into your glass window?

It's not that I try to dwell on the negative when it comes to Aaron, because he houses so many positives. But he's a boy, and as I found out early on in his lifetime, raising a boy was going to be way different than raising a girl. Good. Wonderful even, but different.

I'm so grateful that he came along. I'm thrilled and proud to be his mom, and like I said last year, I'm excited to see what he can do in the coming years. Eleven is just the beginning for him.

Happy Birthday!

(Okay, so it wasn't the blog post of all blog posts, but please, cut me some slack. I'm doing so many things this month, it's quite possible I won't survive them all!)