When I started this blog, I didn’t have Facebook or twitter or Pinterest. My daughter was in junior high. I’d lost a lot of weight on WW (and then gained and lost and gained and lost…). It was super bowl time and I talked about strawberries a lot. I wrote a lot. I read a lot. I posted crazy photos. I dreamed about traveling. I was a cat mom and never thought about owning a dog. I ate carbs all the time (thus the weight gain and loss, gain and loss). My grandparents were alive and I went to stay with them every once in a while, usually with my daughter. My grandma sang all the time. She and her best friend my Aunt Helen let me take their photo at family reunion, I belonged to a yahoo group called catarom and spent a god-awful amount of time reading emails. I hadn’t ever heard of education reform or the WFISD Leadership Cohort.
It’s crazy how much has changed.
Those changes are why I love this blog. It’s so amazing to walk back through life and see how I’ve grown. It’s also awesome to connect with readers and writers and just say hey.
Today I wrote 7k words. I still write a lot.
I’m up to chapter 7 in a Karen Templeton book. I still read a lot.
I deleted twenty emails and kept about 50 I need to read. I might get to 10 of them. I rarely read email now.
I checked in on facebook and twitter for what was supposed to be a second but that turned into an hour. Facebook and twitter consume time if I let them.
I was grumpy about some things and then a friend posted asking for prayers for a family member and it was like God smacked me with some perspective. I still learn a lot.
Happy reading and writing.
Hopefully I finish a book draft tomorrow before lesson plans.
Posted in thoughts
Tagged #amwriting, #mywana, 2005, blog, blogging, changes, DD, diet, exercise, Family, lessons, life, memories
DH moved into the old house in 1976. I moved in 1992.
We’ve spent the past few days over there working to get it ready to sell or maybe rent. It’s so weird how every empty room brings so many memories to life. Today I was scrubbing doorways and found a caution sticker stuck to a wall just high enough that DD must’ve put it there when she was around 9. She spent a lot of time with her nose in the corner back in those days. I figure she reached behind my desk and stuck it there.
And speaking of desks…I wrote my first books in that giant living room turned office of sorts. I woke DH up at 2 a.m. crying when I reached The End the first time. NOTHING I’ve done with writing beats that feeling.
I remember when we got Internet. One of my students worked for a company called Webfire, and he helped us set up AOL when we bought our first new computer, a Macintosh Performa. It’s so funny to remember trying to figure out email. It’s even funnier to remember DH calling me at work to tell me he’d broken the computer. It wouldn’t turn on. Back in those days computers cost a fortune. I ran to the office and everyone agreed it was urgent for me to go home, so they called a sub in and I drove like a crazy maniac to get to my panicked hubby. The dead computer wasn’t dead at all. It was asleep. One quick touch of the space bar and wa-lah.
It’s funny to remember the games of Risk and Phase 10 and poker and the number of Colorado Bulldogs and Dr Peppers and that time I decided to become a gourmet cook and DD and DH wrinkled up their noses and called for pizza. AND that time I caught the tostada shells on fire and then looked for them. AND that time DD blew on the rotel tomatoes before taking a bite because she thought that would cool them down.
I never loved that house. It never felt like mine. But now that we’re working to get rid of it, I’m sad. Not sad enough to move back, but sad all the same.
DD rescued Emmie. We think she was used as a puppy mill dog. She’s still scared if we make loud noises. She finally started barking this week. She’s a sweet dog, and we love her. She’s teaching me A LOT!
Potty training a dog takes consistency and patience. It’s been over 20 years since I’ve shared space with a dog. I’m a cat person. I didn’t exactly plan this interlude in potty training. But it’s here, so I’m going with it. I’ve researched and we’re working, and it’s two steps forward, one back, which is WAY better than two back, one forward. We finally got to the flip side of that equation.
Emmie’s teaching me about the power of consistency. Every day we work, she gets better about going outside. Last night she even stared at me until I figured out that was her sign. She needed to go out. YAY!!!! There’s a sign. It’s a miracle!
I’m doing revisions on the second Sharlene Gallagher Guardian book right now. I figure the revisions will be significantly easier if I’m consistent about working on them! Same thing goes for working out and weight loss. Consistency and patience. The keys to potty training a dog AND life. (p.s. Praying for those affected by the OK fires.) ###
Writing YA as Elizabeth Lee and Christian Fiction as Mary Beth Lee. Find out more about my books on my Amazon Author Page. Currently working on revisions for Sharlene Gallagher Book 2. Book 1 Dead Girl Walking by Elizabeth Lee available in kindle and print.
I thought I’d spend this week sharing stories about my new inspirational romance, Letting Go. I thought maybe I’d talk about forgiveness and how it’s not for the other person, it’s for you. I thought I’d talk about people who’d been involved in abusive relationships or who’d been abandoned or who had never learned about love, but all that changed this week when I had to take a deep breath and be Mom.
When your kid’s 5, you can give them a hug and make most things better. When they’re 10, that pretty much stays the same. Maybe you add a movie to it. When they’re teenagers you can tell them what you think they should do, and often, they follow your advice. Well, not often, but sometimes. Every once in a while.
When they’re 20+ it takes everything in you NOT to tell them what to do.
ON (oldest niece) actually gave me some great advice this week. She said “Auntie, you just shake your head and don’t say anything. Let her talk. Listen. That’s how you handle this.”
Funny. It took a 17 yr old to help me help DD.
I want to go Hallmark and say our troubles make us stronger and God won’t give you more than you can handle. Or all superior and say “look chickadoodle. I’ve walked this road, and let me tell you how to do it.” Or all manipulative and say “look, you do this and I’ll do this and…”
But none of those are the right answers. The right answer is what I’ve tried to do. Listen and love and let her know I trust you to learn from this. And even though it’s Hallmark, you can’t go over, under or around. You’ve got to go through it. And always: No matter what, God’s got you in His arms. When we’re too tired, He’s there. When we’re too hurt, He’s there. When we’re too confused. He’s there. When we’re too unsure, He’s there.
And I’m there too. With unlimited hugs and unconditional love. Just like when she was five and things were easy. ###
1000 degrees outside!
In the midst of a whirlwind week, I got to be Mom again.
The call came just as I was about to head to bed at 7:45 on Wednesday. Three days and I was wiped out.
“Mom, I’m sick.”
She didn’t ask me to go riding to the rescue, but there was something in her voice. So, off I went to check this “sick kid” out.
Not sure if it was food poisoning or just a bug, but she was sick, sick, sick. When I got to her place one look and I knew she couldn’t stay there alone, so she came home with me.
When I left the house, I could barely keep my eyes open. But once she was home with me, things changed. For the first time in a long time, my baby girl needed me. So I held her and rocked her and told her it would be okay. And it was.
Today she’s back to normal. I’m glad she’s not sick anymore, but it was kind of nice being that Mom again.
I’m moving rooms. I almost said no. New is tough. It’s hard to let go of a place you’ve been in for over a decade! It’s especially tough since DD spent four years in the old newsroom. But the new space is bigger and better and I can’t believe I almost said no because of nostalgia. I won’t be at Rider forever. Even if I spend the next 13 years as the newspaper and yearbook adviser, someone else will follow. I can’t let my memories and the names written on the wall keep me from moving forward.
Things I’ll miss about the old room:
It’s hard to find if you don’t know where to look.
The courtyard window.
Easy access to the studio.
The names on the wall including DD’s, including my former editors who got engaged this year after dating for years. The started dating when they were sophomores in newspaper together. Their brother and sister are on staff now. When they got engaged, the sister painted a heart between the names. (So sweet!) The random places people signed the walls all over the room. The fact that there’s no room on the walls because they’re covered in design ideas, old posters and quotes kids say throughout the year, the fact that you have to be able to pay attention in complete chaos because the newsroom is tiny and there are usually four classes going on at once, the way I can be at my desk and look out across the room and tell if kids are working at every computer except one, the memories of staffs for years stopping work for random deadline dance parties, the ability to turn off the light and disappear from the school because without lights most people don’t know where we are, the Newsroom Lane hallway with first amendment posters, the phone IN the room so kids answer and make us laugh if I can’t get to it fast enough, the cabinet that used to hold curriculum but now serves as a binder holder for binders that never get used (An AP Stats study guide from five years ago was found there this year! Seriously, never gets used!)
The move is a good thing. The only bad thing is photo camp starts tomorrow. It runs from 9-noon. They turn the air off in our building at noon. It’s going to be 111 the rest of the week. I’m thinking the move might have to wait until all day air next week. Even though that means someone’s going to be moving in while I’m moving out.
Don’t forget Don’t forget Prodigal is on sale now. Click the link to buy or preview. Coupon Code: ZH29T good this week! Use it and the book’s only $0.99! Sisters with secrets.
Eighteen years ago, Cass Deason Myers ran away from home and heartbreak. Now she’s running away again, this time to the home she left behind. A preacher’s wife, Cass finds herself questioning her faith and her marriage. Her sister’s phone call asking for help with their mother provides the perfect opportunity to escape.
Anna Deason-Fite-Turner doesn’t want or need help for herself or her three daughters. But her mother is another story all together. Calling Cass is a last resort. But when Anna finds the bottle of pills in Momma’s dresser drawer, she knows she has to call her sister. Unfortunately, Anna knows when Cass comes home the whispers will start, and once again, everyone in town will compare perfect Cass to her failure of a sister, even though she’s the one who stayed behind.
Prodigal: a story about family, faith and the redemptive power of love.
Posted in adviser, education, Family, newspaper, school, teaching, writing, yearbook
Tagged adviser, DD, memories, moving, newspaper, newsroom, Prodigal, school, staff, students, teaching, yearbook
When DD moved to Huntsville to go to school, I spent weeks staring at the ceiling in my bedroom worrying about her.
What a difference three years makes.
Then, I looked at her and saw a kid. Today, I see a young woman.
She moved home after a year, and I was thrilled.
In February she moved out, and I was thrilled. 🙂
The first thing she did when moving home was get a job at the local Starbucks. She was promoted to shift manager this month.
She’s always marched to the beat of a different drum. You can see that in all the blog posts over the years. She’s an artist and an only child and, I’ll admit it, I spoiled her. We both paid the price for that, but it all worked out okay.
I’m so proud of the young woman I see today. She’s still finding her way, but I don’t spend hours staring at the ceiling worrying these days. It’s not that the worry isn’t there. It’s more I know she’s grown into a responsible person who makes solid choices.
I’m proud of her, and I can’t wait to see the future holds.
How’d that happen?
It seems like only yesterday you were a baby blowing bubbles in the car seat while we drove back to Burk or jumping on your bed trying to reach the Dalmatian stickers on your wall. It seems like I was typing away on that Romeo and Juliet paper yesterday! You know the one, I heard a noise, pushed open your door and found you in the vaporizer with your Barbies. You said you were swimming. You were three, but you’d figured out that you needed to push your blanket against the door so I couldn’t see your light.
It was last week that you were skating or playing putt putt or getting Kim to cut the crusts off your sandwich.
Wasn’t it last month that we were signing up for your first schedule at Rider and you were telling me something about wanting to take photos for the yearbook?
How is it possible that you are the beautiful, composed young woman who turned 21 today?
I love you. Don’t ever forget.
Posted in Family
Tagged 21, birthday, DD
I planned on writing from 8-10 tonight, but DD stopped by for one of the first times since she moved out and asked me to go get brownie mix with her.
That’s new for me, which I realize is sad.
For years I worked in the newsroom, dragging DD with me, leaving DH out completely. Focused on one thing: success.
And I found success. I love my job. It was fun. But I pushed my family to the side so often it’s crazy.
I can’t get that time back, but I can make the time I have now better.
Lesson learned: I had time to write earlier, but I knew I was going to write from 8-10, so I didn’t take advantage of it. Mistake!
I did get the writing in. But it’s 11 now, and I have no idea how I used to stay up until 1 and 2 a.m.
I’m falling asleep at the keyboard!
1. Thank you.
2. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
3. Thank…well, you get the idea.
DD’s got an apartment. A real apartment. And it’s cute and a policeman lives across the street and close to her work and school and kind of perfect for her.
Can you tell I’m excited?
When DD moved back home, it was rough. We’ve gotten to a place where things aren’t really so rough any more, but she’s going to be 21 in two weeks, and it’s time for her to fly.
When she went away to school, I was devastated. I never dreamed it would hurt so bad.
This time, it’s different.
The biggest difference is how much more mature she is today than she was in August of ’08. She’s learned about money and she’s grown a bit of a shell. When she left the first time she was so naive, way too trusting, stubborn.
She’s still stubborn, but she’s learned something about people. I wish that weren’t necessary, but the reality is people can be mean, they can be users, they can and will hurt you. The flip side is just as true. People can be amazing friends. But she’s learned to hold back trust until people have earned it.
I’m happy for DD. She’s ready for this.