Best Holiday In a Long Time!

This Christmas and New Year’s has been the best we have had in the past two years. Two years ago, on Dec 19, I was flown into the hospital to have my daughter, at only 30 weeks. She was born on December 23rd and we stayed in the NICU until February 11th. I have a few previous posts about it all. It was a really turbulent time in our lives, but we made it through. Our daughter, just turned 2 and she is perfect, intelligent and incredible! But for the last few years, Christmas time has filled me with anxiety about the memories of what we went through.

Then, on top of all the anxiety I had last year, my entire family came down with the stomach flu on Christmas day! We spent the day, and several sub-sequential days, taking turns puking! It was awful! UGH!

So this year, we tried not to plan much, and play it by ear. Not jinx anything. But it turns out we had nothing to worry about! This year, the worst thing that happened was that my husband got a head cold! We had such a wonderful time being healthy together! We were able to go on some adventures like the Zoo and a few ghost towns.

It was wonderful!

Writing is Harder than I Thought

I am still chugging away at my novel! I am just over 24,500 words now and it has felt like a lifetime of effort! I flew through the first 20,000 and the last two weeks all I have been able to do is 4,000 words.

Being a mom, teacher and wife takes up all of my time. Add on housework, Christmas shopping, working out, grading essays, and countless other responsibilities that are required for caring for a two year old: there just is no time left to write. And when I do find the time, I feel exhausted and don’t want to write. Then I feel guilty. It has been a cycle! Ugh!

It has been a huge undertaking to commit to writing every single day. I have only missed three days since Nov 1. I am really proud to say that. Some days all I can get out are like 30 words, but it counts. It all adds up.

I have been learning that I don’t have be ashamed of small progress. I have to stop putting myself down when I don’t live up to the incredibly high standards I set for myself. Slow and steady. One step at a time. One word at a time.

I will write my novel. It will happen. It is happening. It’s growing everyday. And for that, I am proud!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know it’s a day late, but HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! I hope you all had a great day, full of eating too much, and binging on Netflix. And if your Thanksgiving sucked, then you deserve to take time for yourself to overeat and binge watch! Treat yourself during this time of Thanks. Look for the small things that you are grateful for. I’m thankful for you!

 

19 Straight Days of Writing!

I have been writing for 19 straight days now! I have committed to working on my novel (FINALLY) since it is National Novel Writing Month. If you aren’t familiar with the NaNoWriMo challenge, it is to write a novel (50,000 words) in a month. I’m not sure if I will make it to 50,000, but I am at just under 15,000 already!

It has been an incredible experience so far. I have stretched my imagination, and pushed myself more than I thought I could. I feel like I am building confidence in my writing abilities everyday that I write. I have a general idea of where my story is going, but for the most part, I just let my creativity flow! It’s amazing! I love it.

Anyone else writing something?

Nothing Better

There is nothing better, in this world, than being a mother. I love tending to the needs of a tiny human, and exposing her to the joy and magic of the world around her. Creating castles out of blankets, Seeing animals in the clouds, and dancing without music!

There is beauty in the world that can only be seen through the eyes of a child, and she has reopened my eyes. She has given me a fresh energy and curiosity to see everything there is to see! I love my daughter. I love being her mom.

Since she has come into my life, she has helped me fight my anxiety. Whenever I feel my anxiety creeping up on me, she is right there (as if she knows) with a hug and kiss. When I am able to focus on her, I am able to pull myself out. It’s a beautiful thing.

here we made a reading nook out of the shower since my husband took off the door to replace it. Obviously, it was time to play while Daddy worked!

Encouragement Goes A Long Way

Thank you for all your encouragement and words of wisdom about how I can overcome my writer’s block! It truly helps me refocus and stop being so hard on myself.

Tonight I had an incredible experience. I was fortunate enough to go out to dinner with an accomplished author, and she was able to share her story and provide me with valuable insight. She encouraged me to trust myself and my creative thought. Not to listen to the voice inside my head that says I’m not good enough, or my ideas are stupid. She made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my writing journey. She had been in my place, and so many others have been there before me. It’s not just me. She even said she would help me along the way. ❤️ My heart could have burst!

It felt as if God aligned this moment for me. Just as I was struggling with confidence in my writing ability, this incredible woman came to switch my mindset. As if God himself was encouraging me to go forward in good faith that he gave me a voice, and I can do it!

I just feel so invigorated! Like a burden was lifted and I can be free to express my creativity without judgment! It’s ok to let loose and trust in my own voice!

Writing is a Journey- How do you travel it?

How many of you are writers? Me too! I love stringing words together to make beautiful phrases and mental images. It’s my passion.

In earlier blog posts, I have written about my fear of beginning a novel. Or should I say, completing one. I have started so many stories, but they always seem to fade off when I hit writers block, or I can’t see past the event I am stuck on.

For whatever reason, once I hit this spot in my writing, I get in my own way. My doubts and insecurities as a writer surface and I just leave the project. I know it is unhealthy, and it’s my goal to move beyond it and finally finish.

How do you move past your fears and writers block? Does writing expose any of your insecurities?

Dealing with the Everyday

My first week of back to work (aka school!) is under my belt, and I already feel like I have been teaching these kids all year. They are just great! I have a fantastic group of 8th graders this year, and they seem to really click with my style. It is the honeymoon stage, but I’m really looking forward to seeing where this year takes us.

This week, I have struggled with my anxiety again. I am not sure what triggered it, but it was high for a majority of the week. I knew I couldn’t let it take over because I wanted to be present for my students, as well as my daughter. I have limited time with her now that I am back in school, and I want to use every moment to the fullest.

To combat my anxiety, I just pushed through. I tried my best to keep a positive attitude, and when I felt like I was falling apart, I opened up and shared with a friend. I think if is important to have someone you can talk to when you have high anxiety.

I just feel it is imperative that when we feel our anxiety at its worst, we don’t give up. Living with this disease for so long has shown me that the dark days pass. They really do. As long as you fight back. Don’t give up. Don’t let it win. You can experience peace, even if you think you can’t. I never thought I would EVER feel anxiety-free, but I do! Sure I still struggle, but I know it will pass.

It will for you too.

Doing It, Even If I Don’t Feel Like It.

Today, my anxiety was through the roof, I was exhausted, and my body ached all over. I didn’t want to doing anything, and least of all, spend the day running around the house after my daughter.

I woke up thinking I would put on the tv and lay on the couch binging on Netflix and Hulu, while she played around the living room with her toys. I could recuperate, and she could learn to entertain herself. Everybody wins.

However, that is not how the day turned out! Luckily for me, my daughter is an angel, and the mere sight of her fills me with such joy that I can hardly contain it! So, of course I couldn’t resist her when she wanted to play!

We ended up spending nearly two hours in our little pool, reading books, eating yummy snacks, and lots and lots of cuddling! It was such an amazing day! I feel like we took our relationship to a new level, and it felt wonderful.

Since becoming a parent, I have been learning that when I push myself beyond my comfort zone, I experiencing incredible rewards. Had I decided to stay on the couch and watch tv instead, my daughter would have been fine, however, we would have missed out on our one on one time.

I am going to put this principal into action in my everyday life and look for opportunities this week to go beyond my comfort zone! I challenge you to do the same!