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Without sharing a lot of details…. we need prayer in southeast Kansas…. Jewel has overcome a tiny hurdle, breathing a little and showing the doctors, buying more time…. this can only be God and prayer and divine intervention. They had given up, but Jewel has not!!! Please share and pray and like and share and pray!!! No matter your God or your faith…. strong, positive thoughts of survival for this young, young girl please!

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TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT!!! ;)

Hi everyone…. I have some questions & comments…. goooood afternoon!! 🙂 

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So, you may have heard…. we’re planning a book tour…. not like planning to lose 60 pounds or planning the perfect wedding… this is happening!! So we have gotten tons of followers on this blog, which is awesome! BUT…. we still haven’t found all of our venues and we have never had a comment on the blog. SO… what should we do? Those of you who are following us, what would make you comment??  I mean, I am perfectly capable of writing something controversial to get people talking, but that’s not really what we have in mind…lol.  So, if there are topics you want hear about, think about, talk about…LET ME KNOW. Thanks!!!

We have thought long and hard about having a Paypal “Donate” button on our blog. What do you think?

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We are totally ready and willing to rough it, eat Top Ramen, sleep in the car, etc…. but we have to have gas right? Yes, our husbands are on board, but we really don’t know what types of expenses may pop up out there on the open road. We both have houses full of kids and I’d hate to take away from them, so we see people putting donation buttons on things all the time and we are simple girls! What if every person who thinks we rock gave $1?  That’s easy right?   Anyway, we thought the button can’t hurt….. so there it is. If you can spare a buck, great! If not, we still love you…. and we understand you’re saving up to buy books!! 🙂

Image  We are not going on a pleasure trip…. although we will have a great time!

 

Image Hopefully, we sell books along the way!  🙂

 

Image I am ready to go!!!!!!!!!!!!   But we need places to go to!!  If you know of a venue that seems perfect for us, please let us know! Coffee shops, book stores, church groups, etc. 🙂   Locations in or around San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, New York, Dallas, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Boston, Chicago….I’m missing some…. where’s my map?! 🙂

Possible blog topics for the future….

Who would be interested in a thirty-day exercise in anything; writing a book, losing twenty pounds, redecorating a room…etc?

What to do when your child disowns you

Who wants to get their Masters in Creative Writing WITH me??  There’s still time….

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I just got some final sketches on The Quiet Republican today from my illustrator Lindsay Schaub Graves!!!  How will I wait??!!!!!   So excited!!

ch

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The Speech No One Asked Me To Deliver

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Well it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. As usual I am over run with life and so I am combining two blogs that have been swimming around in my brain, which is at capacity, by the way.

Last Friday, I stood and graduated from Wichita State University with my Bachelors Degree.

It. Took. Twenty. Years. 1994-2014

As I looked around me I wanted to tell the predominantly twenty-something graduates what they had done, how far ahead of me they were, how they needed to stay focused, stay selfish, stay young! I looked into the stands at my children, willing them to postpone marriage & family, the two most important things in my life…until later; begging them with my mama eyes not to do as I had done. With nothing but the wisdom of age, I wanted to shower the whole stadium with my thoughts and advice. “This is awesome! Don’t let it slip away!”  

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Now I don’t have to insert that long paragraph here where I apologize and promise I love my kids do I? ty

So…. fast forward to today. I am half-way through a summer pre-session at WSU where I just graduated but needed to get a few more credits. So, pre-session means an entire semester, nine credits in 9 days. I have been an online student for 20 years mostly, but I had to take these classes here on campus. So here I am, daughter in tow, hotel room, etc. Fourteen hours of classes a day, but in four more days I am free until I start my Masters program in the Fall.

I am so glad I did this. I’m exhausted and stressed and overwhelmed and I am so glad I did this.

Being on a university campus every day is…amazing. There are art galleries and coffee shops, architecture and libraries, new people and so much to see and do and talk about and share and experience. I almost went my whole college career, Masters included, without knowing this. I’ve already promised my daughter (special needs) who is not degree seeking, that I will send her here for at least a semester, with a paid companion, to just live in dorm on campus, take some classes and experience this once in her life! I have another daughter who isn’t speaking to me, but I’m tempted to make her the same offer!!  Maybe if she had a tiny taste of what the world has to offer, she would stop settling! One of our sons is for sure college bound so I am not worried about him, but the other one hates school and wants to get out there and make money. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m already wondering how I can bribe him into one semester!!

It’s like that semester abroad or spending a summer at camp. It’s just getting out of your box and into another one! I don’t care if my kids get degrees or make millions, but I want them to hang out in a coffee shop where hundreds of cultures pass through daily! I want them to hear teachers tell stories about Indian Reservations and sweat shops and Mardi Gras. I want them to spend hours getting lost in a library, not because they like to read or have to write a paper, but because they have no where else to be and every book has a different title!

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I got my college id the other day. I had to have one to use computers and labs and things. I’d never had one. I go to class early and take my time walking to the car just to look around.There are sculptures everywhere, a church, restaurants, it’s like an aircraft carrier. It’s a little city!

My daughter, who does go to a community college in our small community, came to class with me once and she was overwhelmed. Why do the seats in the classrooms go up like that? Where is the car? Are those apartments? *Mom…where are you. I’m lost.* 🙂

From the golf course to the book store, I am just in love with this little piece of life. I’ll take my two weeks, but I recommend everyone else take more! On Friday I will go home, back to my husband and kids and the farm and the small town I love. I will still be me, but I know something now about what I almost missed. Almost.

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Save the money, get a loan, sell your car. Go to college.

 

ch

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Sell Yourself Tall!!

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I just sold a book. Just now, to a friend of a friend, who had already read it.

They were both amazed that I had written a book, that they were meeting a real author and when I said I had written ten I thought they would swoon and need to fan themselves and have a seat. She insisted I sign it and went on and on.

To this I reacted as I typically do.

“It’s nothing, really.”

Then I charged her $8, even though the price on the back is $11 and tucked the cash in my pocket, pleased that I would have lunch money today.

Why did I do that? Why did I undercharge? Why did I shy away from my well-deserved praise and why do I act as if writing a book is no big deal?

We musn’t do this to ourselves. Whether we have written a book or a book report, cleaned the house or caught a fish, we must accept credit and hold our heads high! If we do not place value on the things that we do, then how can we expect anyone else to?

 

I think some of this stems from childhood anxiety, not being able to take compliments, not ever being taught to receive compliments and instead being taught that to boast or commiserate in one’s own successes is somehow arrogant or prideful. Well I’m not arrogant, but I am proud, of myself, for writing TEN books! There, I said it. It is a big deal. It does take countless hours and it is worth eleven dollars! She probably would have paid twenty, but I’ll never know will I?

I did the same thing the other day with a photography client and I knew the minute she reached for her checkbook that I had charged too little. She jumped too fast and I knew she was surprised, pleased, but fully prepared to pay more. Why do I do that? My husband says I do the same thing with our furniture business, that I have never charged too much, so I let him give quotes more and more. 

So, how to handle this differently, next time. Say thank you. Tell a story about how many nights you sat up, how many rough drafts you had or what you’re working on now. Share the credit with an old teacher or your mother or your children. Ask them to please get back to you and let you know what they thought. Care. Be gracious.

ch

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Being A Mother… Is HARD.

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My title may seem to be an understatement, an obvious piece of rhetoric that could be mistaken for sarcasm. But what it really is, is a cold, undeniable, fact. Being a mother is hard. 

I have an idea, let’s be responsible for another human being. Wait, say again, let’s be responsible for several other human beings. But let’s not just see that they survive, let’s really ingest their every whim, their pain and their passion, their mistakes and their successes. Let’s, we mothers pretend we can control and that we in fact are in control of everything. Every. Thing.

Every time they cry or fall or swear or take a breath, let’s feel it, hear it, breath it in with them and cry harder and louder and longer.

Let’s try a billion things, a billion times and fail. Let’s try again.

Even the good things, the poignant memories, the fantastic accomplishments, are soul crushing and bittersweet, because they are all steps taken away from us, against us, without us. Their new friends are not us, their favorite teachers are not us, their new babies and new houses and new jobs are all not ours or even with us in mind. But these are our babies.

So let’s watch, during the 86,400 instances in each day, let’s watch and wait and worry and wonder and weep, forever. Not for five years or twelve or eighteen or twenty-one years. Forever. From before they are born until after they may be gone, the ache, the draw, the magnetic tug on our ankles in the sand will always be our children.

Near or far, good or bad. On the very best of days, being anyone’s mother, is hard.

ch

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