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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Girls, Girls, Girls

Have any of you watched the HBO show Girls? I stumbled across it one day On Demand when I wanted a short break from writing. I chose it because it’s one of the shorter shows and I didn’t have much time to spare. I think I was on deadline, but sometimes the brain needs a break, ya know?

The first show didn’t hook me, but it was intriguing enough to bring me back a couple of weeks later. It’s about four girls in their twenties living in NYC trying to make their ways in the world. Does it sound a lot like Sex in the City? It’s certainly a less glamorous version. Hannah is the aspiring author with OCD. Marnie is the driven museum curate who ends up losing everything. Jessa is the free spirit running away from herself. And Shoshanna is the virgin college senior who is very sweet, but totally uptight and anxious to the point of being annoying. The characters are so tragically flawed that I can’t help but feel compassion for them. I want to hug these poor wounded souls as much as I want to shake them and yell, “What are you thinking??? Get your act together!”

Because of my work in the helping field, I’m not usually up for these kinds of shows. It feels too much like work. But I don’t enjoy perfect, trouble-free characters either. *YAWN* But watching these characters sabotaging themselves is like a car accident. I know I should look away, but I can’t!

Part of the appeal might be due to the fact I didn’t have things very together when I was in my early twenties either. My life kind of fell apart when I was nineteen. My mom and the man who raised me divorced, and my stepbrothers and stepdad disappeared from my life. Later my mom remarried and moved to Africa, and suddenly, I was a formerly overprotected kid having to face the big bad world on my own. I floundered for a while, but I had the most amazing childhood girlfriends who held me together.

You know who you are. Love you!
In retrospect, it was the best thing for me. I have a lot more compassion for people struggling than I used to, and I feel confident in who I am and what I can do now. Plus, I reunited with my bio dad. Tough times in our lives provide opportunities for growth, even though it’s not without pain.

But I digress… The characters on Girls have it much harder than I ever did, and they’re much more screwed up than I was, so maybe there’s some appeal there too. I just finished the second season, and I have a better understanding of not just the girls, but some of the other characters – Adam (the socially awkward artist/actor & sexual deviant) and Ray (the 32 year old angry manager of the coffee shop with no place to live).

Adam, played by Adam Driver, is my favorite. He’s the most bizarre, complicated, vulnerable, and infuriating character I’ve EVER seen. He’s so outside of the box. The actor is fantastic!

So, here’s my question. Are you drawn to messed up characters, or are you more likely to gravitate toward the ones that have their acts together? Who are some of your favorite TV show characters right now?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

From Heathen to Princess...

It's no secret that I'm a lover of all things girly. My penchant for Disney Princesses is known all over the globe, and my obsession with pretty gowns and tiaras was part of what led me to become a writer of historical romance. I love pink, the ballet, whimsy and romance. And I love feeling beautiful and dainty, and sipping tea from delicate cups. Well, I like all those things in theory. However, reality sets in and the real Jerrica comes out. Just ask some of your fellow Lady Scribes who spent this last Wednesday evening with me.

What happened Wednesday evening? Well, first, I put on a pretty dress and my makeup, blew out my hair and was chauffeured by our own Ava Stone to my very first reading at Lady Jane's Salon in Raleigh. It went great, but that's neither here nor there, because what I want to talk about is the after party.

Once we were ensconced in Ava's comfy living room, along with Catherine Gayle, Erin Knightley and Olivia Kelly, it became astoundingly clear that I lack a filter. Of any kind. And I worry I may have scarred my friends for life with some of the stories I shared (sorry, guys!)

But whatever, this isn't terribly newsworthy. I've always known I would probably get along better with Queen Caroline than Queen Victoria. As a matter of fact, Lord Malmsbury once said of Caroline that "she lacked judgment, decorum and tact, spoke her mind too readily, acted indiscreetly, and often neglected to wash, or change her dirty clothes. He went on to say that she had 'some natural but no acquired morality, and no strong innate notions of its value and necessity.'" -Wikipedia

I smell a BFF!!!

Alright, so I don't have much of a filter when I'm in a certain crowd. Believe it or not, I do know how to conduct myself in a gracious manner when it really counts. However, I'm starting to wonder if my heathenish sensibilities are rubbing off on my 3-year-old daughter. Or maybe it's just in her blood! And I worry that this is going to ruin her chances of marrying into the British Aristocracy one day. Somehow I can't imagine the Duchess of Cambridge stripping down to her birthday suit and announcing, "There's butt here!" in a sing-song voice. Or declaring that she's "Hunting for treasure boogers!" as she, well, you know...digs for gold, shall we say?

Despite the fact that we often read "Polite as a Princess," she still shimmies under the tables at restaurants, kicks off her shoes and only pops her head up once in a while for me to throw a french fry into her mouth. But of course, it's all done while she's wearing one of her princess gowns and a tiara. Oy! She is my Mini Me.

What about you? Are you a proper miss who chooses her words and actions carefully? Or do you fall into the "no filter" category like my daughter and me? Any tips for getting a rambunctious 3-year-old with no regard for authority to mind her manners?

Friday, April 26, 2013


I love being in control. Which of course makes sense why I decided to become a writer....because I have SO much control over my career. (All sarcasm here). However, the greatest struggle in my life has not been finding an agent or an editor, though that hasn't been easy either.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 6.1 million women suffer from infertility.

Hello. My name is Christi Caldwell and I am one of the 6.1 million. Phew. It feels so good saying that. Or writing it. If I could run through the hills Julie Andrews "Sound of Music"-style then I’d be doing that right about now!

I was diagnosed with infertility more than five years ago and in those five years, I’ve had more IVF cycles than I can count on my hands. If you’re not familiar with the IVF process, it involves a good deal of waiting, appointments, procedures, needles, (lots of needles), blood draws, bruises from the needles and blood-work, ultrasounds, and phone calls. Oh, and money? Did I forget about the money?

Oftentimes infertility is very, very lonely. You're surrounded by a never-ending stream of baby announcements and births and through those joyous moments for others, you suffer conflicting waves of happiness, longing, and even the ugly emotion of jealousy just shreds you. If you are fortunate, you have a supportive spouse. If you are really, really fortunate then you find people who are going through and understand what you are going through. It makes this struggle less difficult.

The decision to post this blog in such a candid way isn’t an easy one. Infertility is many things. It sucks. It’s agonizingly painful. It’s awkward. Sometimes, funny…but it’s never easy. Your cycle consists of ups, downs, and waiting. A lot of waiting. The culminating point of the IVF cycle is the day of a woman’s transfer, when the embryos are placed back in utero.

April 21st-April 27th marks National Infertility Awareness Week. And in recognition of the day, I’d like to welcome you into a world shared by me and all the other men and women in the world battling this disease.

The following entry is taken from my fertility journal during one of 11 rounds of IVF. It was written as I awaited news on my transfer. It doesn’t matter which cycle.

I’m really, really nervous. Sick. You know that feeling right before you are going to throw up?

I’ve played it cool for the past two months; cracking jokes about my under-producing ovaries, the needles getting jammed into my stomach, and butt. I told my doctor I didn’t want any information about my eggs or embryos--that I wanted to be surprised but that I accepted whatever happens happens. But that’s a lie. I do care. And I am scared. And it has consumed me for more than the past 3 months since I started the journey on my IVF cycle. It’s consumed me for years.

Never does the anxiety lesson. They say the IVF-fertility ride is a roller-coaster but those words are crap ones to describe the gut-churning anxiety, the paralyzing terror that each phone call brings, that each ultrasound yields. Are there eggs? How many eggs? Are they good quality? Did they fertilize? What is the quality of the embryos? Because of this, I didn’t want knowledge leading up to an embryo transfer but now I can’t play the coward any longer.

I sit and stare at the phone. Waiting for the dreaded call I’ve received once before; the one telling me, as I was on my way to my transfer, to turn around and go home because there is nothing to put back. The feeling of that…well, I have no words. As joyous as the moment I received the call telling me I was pregnant with my son, and as devastating as the call when I found out I was pregnant a second time with a chemical pregnancy, are both strangely of like-powerful emotions. You always remember where you were, what you were doing, when your world stopped.

The clock ticks, and I think of the 8 embryos growing in a dish. Are they boys? Are they girls? Do they look like me? Or maybe my husband and son? Who are they in those petri-dishes and what will they become. And I think of the 41 others to come before them who never remained anything more than cells in a dish and I dream of who they might have been and what they would have done in their lives.

When I was trying to get pregnant the first time I said to God, all I want is one, if you give me one, I’ll just be so grateful, that is all I’ll ever want. But just like I’m a coward, I’m also a liar because I want another child with such desperate longing that I can’t even accurately capture those sentiments and put them into words. One isn’t enough. I would have taken all 41 of those other children, truly.

And only if you’ve had countless rounds of procedures, over 1000 needles, and 80 phone calls from doctors, could you maybe understand that.

So at this moment, I don’t know what will happen. I just know that I’m sitting here waiting. And I’ll continue to wait for these embryos. Or, for the future child, who will someday be ours.

To Be Continued….

I've been blessed to have an amazing network of supportive individuals in my life. (They know who they are).  Friends who support me unconditionally through this process.

Who in YOUR life picks you up and provides you with the sometimes much needed support?! And how do they do it? 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

This Writer's Life

As a writer, I tend to spend a large amount of my time firmly seated in a chair. After all, it's kind of difficult to get Words On the Page (WOP) if I don't have my Butt In the Chair (BIC) (thank you, Nora Roberts).

Yeah, there are such things as treadmill desks, crazy contraptions designed to allow the average person stuck behind a computer all day to move as they work. But I am not that coordinated, and things like that seem certain to cause me to break a limb or two, along with the treadmill desk and my computer.

For me, it's much safer to try to get my work in while I'm seated and strapped in. (Actually, I've never tried strapping in. Maybe I'd get more work done that way? Not sure.) (Do they even make straps to keep you tied to your desk? Someone get me one.)

That isn't very conducive to staying fit and healthy, though. (Or, in my case, getting fit and healthy...) You might recall this post from over a year ago, where I admitted how unhealthy I am and vowed to change it. Well, here it is more than a year later, and not a lot has changed...only everything has changed.

I'm still pretty much as fat now as I was then. I tried losing weight, making smarter choices, etc. It would work for a bit, and then more stress would hit, and I'd fall back into my old habits. It seemed as long as I stayed where I was, I couldn't get out of that stress cycle.

Then it only compounded again, and instead of getting healthier, I got worse. I gained weight. I ballooned up to a bigger size than I'd ever been in my life.

So then I decided I needed to move--as in physically move to somewhere other than where I was. As much as I love my family, they are a huge cause of stress in my life...and with them all surrounding me, I couldn't escape the madness. So I moved. To another state. I put half the country between me and them.

In the short term, that move caused more stress. (See this post for proof.)

But after I got settled in and situated, slowly, the stress started to melt away.

Sure enough, after I eliminated the major sources of stress from my life, it got easier to make changes. Over the last few months, without really trying, I dropped about ten pounds. Then I decided it was really time to make a decided effort toward my health. I've changed the way I'm eating, and from that, I found I have a lot more energy. So I'm using that energy to exercise. No, I'm still not using a treadmill desk (Ack!), but I'm getting myself moving in the mornings, since I don't really write in the mornings anyway, and then settling in to work in the afternoons.

Guess what? It's working. I've dropped another thirteen pounds, lots of inches, and I'm discovering that I actually enjoy exercise for the first time in my life. Sure, I'm not ready for some of it. But I'm getting there. I've got more energy, my clothes are fitting better, and my blood pressure is down. I feel better every day.

Just don't ask me to walk and write at the same time.

Have you made any changes to better yourself lately? What sort of things are standing in the way of achieving your dreams? Any suggestions for how to exercise and write that don't involve potential loss of limb?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Can you help me find my Zen?

By Julie Johnstone

This is me when I still had my Zen.

Now, my Zen is gone. Or at least the part that says my body is together with my mind and spirit. About a month ago, I tweaked my back, and having a hectic schedule, I decided I was too busy to actually go to the doctor. Sometimes this can be good because eventually whatever ailment you have will often heal itself.

Not this time. As the month has gone on, my back has gotten worse. It started with a dull ache. Sitting for very long makes it worse. Kind of a problem when you are a writer! My husband blamed my chair at my desk, so I tried perching on a giant exercise ball. My trainer told me this would be good for my abs and probably help my back. So far, my abs look exactly the same, and my back hurts worse! Sigh.

I’ve tried self-medicating, so to speak. In the last month I have faithfully gone to hot yoga, flow yoga, long-hold-pose  yoga (I’ll spare you the actual strange names of the classes). Let’s just say there is not a yoga class out there that I have not tried. My back did seem to be feeling a bit better, if you consider that I could bend forward without wanting to scream.

Yet since I was not my usual rubber band flexible self, I decided something else needed to be done. Someone in one of my yoga classes suggested I needed a deep tissue massage. So off to be deeply massaged I went. I took my high expectations with me. I’d been warned that deep tissue massages hurt. Saying a deep tissue massage hurts is an understatement. I have bruises from getting my bad juju released. (Or supposedly released, in my case since my back hurt worse afterwards).

Next in the search of healing my body to come back in line with my mind and spirit, I took myself to the Chiropractor. I have never been to a Chiropractor, but several people I hold great respect for, informed me a Chiropractor had really helped them at one time or another. I met with the doctor on Monday. He put me on his table, and after a minute he told me I was out of alignment. I have to admit I was happy to hear it. I am an answer girl. If I have a problem, I feel much better if I can know the cause and create a plan-of-attack to fix it.

The doctor cracked my back in about a thousand places. Then he twisted me this way and that. Once he was done he told me I should feel all better. I had a brief moment where I did feel almost totally better, and when I say brief, I mean about five minutes of no pain, and then my elusive Zen darted out the door and out of my reach. My back pain came back bit by bit as the day went on. By Tuesday night, it was bad!
Yet, I’m a fighter. I dutifully rolled myself on three different kinds of balls to help loosen my muscles, took two Ibuprofen, and put myself to bed, after putting my kids to bed, of course. When I woke yesterday morning, I had to roll out of bed! Where oh where is my healthy body? My spirit and mind are still here, but my body has deserted me. But I shall prevail!

I rolled myself out of bed yesterday morning to go get my hair done. After all, I may feel awful, but I don’t want to look awful. At my hairdresser, I started talking, okay complaining, about my back. Low and behold, my hairdresser has had back problems for years. He referred me to his spine doctor who I'm going to see tomorrow. Wish me luck. I hope I leave intact in mind, body and spirit, or if not totally intact I hope I have a plan to find that missing piece of my Zen.

Have you ever had a chronic pain? If so, did you go with modern medicine or did you employ other methods to fix your ailment?

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Battle of the Beards~ Results Post

Last month I wrote about Hot Builder's contest with his brothers and some friends. Dude with the best beard wins beer...and beard R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

To remind everyone where our journey started, let's take a look at Hot Builder pre-beard:

He's the only person I know that can photobomb their own pic.

And his end result:

The contest was a draw, with Hot Builder and his middle brother tying for 1st place or so I've been told. Honestly, all I have to go by is a bunch of Facebook updates about their awesome beards (their words, not mine) with pics like this:


Now it's been twelve days post Beard Contest and Hot Builder still has his. He says he's not planning to shave it off until it gets hot. Mostly because he went camping in the mountains with Bromance this weekend and said his beard kept his face nice and warm.

My very own Sleeping Beardly
So what do you think...Did Hot Builder do his fellow Beard Dudes proud with his contribution?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Getting Ready

I am so excited because a week from today I will be packing and flying to Kansas City for the Romantic Times Convention. I know that it doesn't start until Wednesday but I want to get settled in early and maybe get some writing done.  That is always my plan but I get very little work done whenever I attend a conference.  I end up spending all of my time with my friends, many of which are Lady Scribes, visiting and catching up since the only time I get to see these ladies is at conferences.

Plus, on Tuesday I will be spending time with my cousins who live in the area. I haven't seen them in over a year and can't wait.  I don't know what we will be doing and don't really care. It will be great just to see them and catch up.

In the meantime, I have a lot to get done.  What am I going to wear and what all do I need to take?  I always forget something. It never fails, even though I have a list in hand as I get the suitcase and carry on ready.  Then, there is also the dozens of workshops and events being offered that I want to attend.  Even if I make a list today, I will change again tomorrow.  I never make up my mind until the last moment.

But, the one thing I know I will be doing is signing at the Expo on Thursday.  I had fun doing this last year and am looking forward to it this year.  What is great is I always get seated next to a lady who has been a friend since we attended the RWA Conference in San Francisco almost six years ago,  L. J. Charles, and she will be there this year as well.

I will also be giving away wine glasses at the end of the signing.  I don't know how anyone feels about wine glasses, but I never seem to have enough.  This is a picture of one of the few glasses I will have.  The only problem, I am still trying to figure out how I can get the glasses to KS without them being broken.  If you have any ideas, let me know.

Will you be attending the RT Convention and have you already decided what workshops and events you will be attending?  If you are going to be there, stop by and say hello.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ah...New Orleans!!!

This last week, I was in New Orleans for the day job. The bad news: I had to work nearly every waking hour I was there. The good news: I still found a little time to enjoy the city with The Scientist.
The haunted walking tours in the French
Quarter at night are sooo much fun!
I do love New Orleans. It’s one of my most favorite places to visit. I love shopping on Royal Street during the day and strolling down Bourbon Street at night. I love taking walking tours of the French Quarter, whether they be historical or ghostly in nature.

I love pralines.

I love beignets.

I love gumbo.

Truly, if I stayed too long, they’d have to roll me out of the city. I’m not kidding. I think I gained 5 pounds, just breathing in the air.

Maybe we shouldn't discuss this
picture. Just forget you saw it.

Then there was the liquid lunch in some To-Go cups...

The one thing I have always done, each and every time I’ve been in New Orleans is get my Tarot cards read in Jackson Square. It’s become a sort of tradition, and I never have them read anywhere else. I mean, there’s something mystical about New Orleans, so what better place to have your Tarot cards read, right?

I know, you hear Tarot cards and think I’m crazy. BUT… the first time I ever had my cards read, the reader told me that getting married to my now ex-husband was a mistake. I should have listened. Seriously. I’ve been a believer ever since. Or, you know, kind of. It feels funny to say that. I’ve never made any life decisions from a reading but when things happen, after I’ve been told they will, I always get a little chill.

Last year, when I was in New Orleans, the reader I met in Jackson Square told me that very soon I would meet the perfect man for me. Two weeks later, I met The Scientist. Although he’s always telling me he’s not perfect (and how many men say that?!?) I’m always telling him he’s perfect for me. And truly he is. In so many ways, I’ve never been happier than I am now.

The Scientist and me beside the Mississippi.
If the picture was just a little further to the
right, you'd see Jackson Square behind us!
So this year, I dragged The Scientist with me to Jackson Square. The French Quarter Festival was in full swing, so the fortunetellers were in a much tighter space than normal, and there weren’t as many as usual. (Local artists, displaying their wares took up most of the space in the Square.)

I perused the area until I felt I’d found the right reader. The Scientist and I sat across from each other. I chose my deck of cards, shuffled them until they felt right and then handed them back to the reader.  I only got a general reading this time, as there was nothing specific on my mind. Here are a couple of the things she told us:

One of our children should be encouraged to compete in something they’re interested in, something they wouldn’t have considered competing in. That it will open doors to a career down the road.

Our family will overflowing some day, larger than I would have imagined. Whether they are children/grandchildren or friends who might as well be family.  Our house will be filled with loved ones.

This next year will be financially tight. (This did not make me happy. Grrr)

That *I* am happiest when I’m my own boss. (Actually, I prefer to be the boss of everyone, but ok.)

In the end, we’ll have more money than we need. (Ok, I can deal with 1 tight year, but no more than that. I am pretty spoiled, after all.)

The Scientist and I bring out the best in each other. That we compliment each other’s weaknesses.

Next year the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention is in New Orleans, which I can hardly wait to attend. Pralines. Beignets. Gumbo. Royal Street. Bourbon Street. Ghost tours. And, of course, seeing all of the Lady Scribes in person. 

What are the odds I’ll end up at Jackson Square, having my Tarot cards read? Pretty close to 100%. I may even drag some Lady Scribes along with me too.

Have you ever had your Tarot cards read? If so, did you find the reading on the mark? Or a bunch of bunk?

Have you been to New Orleans? What is your favorite thing to do there?

But most importantly, will you be at RT? This year in Kansas City? Next year in New Orleans?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Getting Out of Your Reading Slump

Misty Helm
The Lady Scribes are thrilled to have our first ever Reader Guest Blogger today, Misty Helm. I have to quickly tell you the cutest story of how I met Misty. A few months before my debut book hit the shelves, Misty sent me the sweetest message about how readers were in for a treat when they read my book. She's a book seller, so she was able to get an early copy to read to see if the bookstore should stock any of my books. I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear that at least one person liked my story. It eased my fears about release day so much. But the really cute part is how she chose my book out of all the other fantastic books being released the same month. You see, she has a niece named Samantha Grace, so naturally my name jumped out at her. Then to top it off, there was this really hot guy on the cover. Well, little Miss Samantha Grace's mom reads romance novels and at the time, Samantha would say the men on the covers were her boyfriends. So thanks to this adorable little girl, I had the chance to meet one of the nicest people on the planet, and I'm happy to call her my good friend. And now I'll turn this blog over to her.  

I am a book lover of all things romance, well most things romance. I read contemporary, historical, paranormal, and suspense, the only sub-genre I’m not keen on would have to be fantasy romance. I go through various cycles when it comes to what I’m in the mood to read. I have the tendency to read one of the sub-genres until I feel quite burned out and then I move onto the next one. I have to confess that it’s been a longer stretch than normal since I've read any paranormal romance, even though my shelves are stuffed to the gills with numerous paranormal romance books.  I just hadn't been in the mood for it. The same for a time could be said about reading historical romances as well. I simply had not been reading them; however my excuse is that when I’m in a semester I typically juggle two or three history classes and time lines tend to blur. 

A few nights ago I was sitting on Facebook watching a steady stream of people discussing the next installment of J.R. Ward’s wildly popular Black Dagger Brotherhood novel which is to release on March 26, 2013. It then and there dawned on me that I was close to being three books behind in that series and I cannot stand having more than one book in any series waiting for me to read. So needless to say, I picked up Lover Unleashed and devoured the book within a few hours. That was all it took to send me flying straight back into the realm of paranormal romance. I didn't stop with the Black Dagger series, I quickly followed suit with several other established paranormal romance authors and even threw a few new “to me” authors into the mix. Now, I am a super fast reader and have since gone through five other books including a few new to me authors.
The end to my paranormal slump got me to thinking. Do you have a trigger author that will send you into frenzy reading of anything and everything available by your favorite authors/ genres until your brain cannot take any more? I know for me all it takes for me to get back into reading a favorite author or series is to push myself to read one of my favorite authors.

Misty is also a book reviewer and you can follow her reviews at Misty's Book Bin on FB. Don't forget to like her. We sure do! Or you can go directly to Misty's Book Bin Blog

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ten Simple Things

I’m sure you’ve all heard the expression “It’s the simple things in life.”  It seems, though, that we don’t always take the time to truly appreciate them. Some of these simple things might even be stuff we really don’t care for, at least not without a moment or two to pause and reflect on why we should.  Take, for example, pollen; that icky-yellow powder that coats our cars and houses every spring, boosting sales of allergy medicine and tissue alike.  It’s not exactly the first thing I’d put on my own top ten list of simple things I’m thankful for, but it probably should be on the list. somewhere. Why? Well pollen season means the start of spring. And I love spring. Flowers, green leaves, bees buzzing around making honey for me to buy at the local farmers market…spring wouldn’t be spring without it. Still, when all is said and done I’m not a huge fan of pollen. I’d be willing to put it on my list though. Maybe somewhere down around nine hundred ninety-nine or a thousand ;-) The point is that it is there on that list. It’s just not something I think about often. I mean who goes out in the morning, turns on their windshield washers on their car to clean the thick coating of dandelion-yellow powder off enough to see, and goes: Thank you, Pollen, for bringing me spring!  Not many of us, right?  

This Monday’s tragedy of the Boston Marathon really made me think about the simple things I take for granted in my life. After hearing of the courage and kindness displayed by so many of the people present there, it seemed appropriate that I challenge myself to be a little stronger, a little braver, a little more appreciative. To that end, whenever I am feeling frustrated or overwhelmed or downright moody, I’ve made a resolution to take a deep breath and come up with three simple things that I have to be thankful for. Three things that when I pause and reflect will make me smile and hopefully move on with my day with my head high and a smile on my face. I do this for me. I do this for the people I see this day. And I do this to honor the three lives lost in Boston.  Here are ten of these simple things that I’ve come up with so far that I’d like to share with you:

1. Bird songs in the morning…no matter how early.

2. Good morning kisses and hugs from my kids before they get on the bus.

3. A purring cat on my lap "helping" me work.

4. Hydrangeas that seem to thrive despite my brown thumb.

5. A house full of noisy children that mark the end to my writing day.

6. Sand in my washing machine…because it came from moments like this:

7. Orange and blue fingers from tie-dying 28 shirts for my daughter’s class…a small price to pay for being part of my children’s lives.

8. A quiet evening walk with my husband.

9. Spring peepers, crickets, and cicadas that lull me to sleep.

10. Hearts left in the butter to be found later. Thank you, my beautiful girl. I love you, too!


How about you? Can you come up with at least three simple things that you are thankful for today?

Lady Hellion