Early Morning Blog Post

Just sitting here waiting on the clock. It's a strange feeling. My mornings are typically of the rushed variety. Snooze buttons and missing shoes. Grumpiness and exasperation. Unhappy husband and silently rebellious children.

Not that we didn't have some of that this morning. We did. But the kids are off to school already and the house is quiet because instead of rushing off to work, today I'm waiting on the clock. Waiting on the doctor's office to open. Waiting on the pharmacy to open. Waiting.

Not rushing.

It's rather strange.

Strange, but nice.

It almost makes me wish I were one of those people who jump right out of bed and tackle their day with optimism and hope. It makes me think early mornings without stress would be worth sacrificing a few minutes of sleep for, but I can't lie to myself. I'm not going to give up even 30-seconds worth of sleep. Never gonna happen.


I resurrected my photo blog. I know. As if I need another blog, right? I have a hard enough time keeping this one up-to-date. Thinking I can keep two of them current and interesting is probably stretching the fabric of reality.

You can blame this latest bit of craziness on photo blogs like this, and this, and this. Totally their fault for being so photo-fantastic. It puts crazy thoughts in my head, thoughts like "You should totally do this, too!"

And I can. I certainly take enough photos. Even if I failed to pick my camera up for the rest of the year, I could easily post a picture a day without any trouble whatsoever.

So. Photo blog has new life. Go. Visit.

Um...I've been absent.

The last couple of weeks were crazy busy. I thought I'd get so much done while the hubby was gone. I thought I'd scrapbook and read and laze about. Ha! No such luck. My evenings and weekends were devoured by the kids' schedules.

Luckily, the hubby is back home where he belongs. He pulled in around 7 last night. I don't know who was more excited to see him: me, the kids, or the dogs. There was a lot of smiles, hugs, and tail-wagging going on. The puppy couldn't wait to get roughed up and the youngest boy became his shadow almost immediately. It was so cute watching them.

Unfortunately, the only thing our hunter came home with was an upset stomach. It seems the bears were not willing to cooperate. Although I must be honest and admit I wasn't really looking forward to eating bear meat, I feel bad for him. His first ever bear hunt should not have been a bust! Not when he waited several years to get a license in the first place.

Hopefully, if he ever goes again, he'll have better luck.

Home Today

We had a busy weekend. The boys had games Saturday morning that lasted into the early afternoon. They both did very well, in my opinion, even though their teams lost. I was proud of them and had a great time watching them play. It's amazing how much better sports are when its your kid out there on the field. This is true not only of football, but of basketball and baseball, too. I really, really enjoy watching them become part of a team and achieve their goals.

Yesterday I took them to go see 9. It's a post-apocalyptic cartoon whose imagery reminds me a bit of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. Dark and edgy. There were a few times when I wondered if wasn't a bit too sinister for the younger members of the theater going audience. I think the kids did okay. Although, I did catch my oldest hiding his face a few times..

After the movies we came home and had dinner before my sister and her kids showed up to watch yet another movie: Confessions of a Shopaholic. It was cute. Funny in places. While my sister and I watched the movie the kids played, for the most part, in the back yard, coming in only when it got too dark to be outside anymore.

Maybe playing in the cool evening air did it. I'm not sure. In any event, the boys both woke up feeling less than stellar this morning. After breakfast the oldest got sick. The youngest was running a fever. A few hours later and they were both feverish. No other complaints, though. No unexplained aches or pains. Just low-grade fevers that occasionally give them the chills.

I'm hoping they're well enough to go to school tomorrow. And that I don't catch whatever it is.


If you're trying to view this in Internet Explorer, don't! Apparently IE hates this slideshow frame. Try viewing in Firefox instead.

Day 2

Wait. That can't be right. Surely they've been back in school for more than two whole days!

I mean, what's the odds that on the second day of class the oldest would come home and start puking? Slim, right? Well, not as slim as I'd like them to be! While I drove Gage up to the practice fields, KC curled up on the couch.

What a great start to our school year!

The good news is that he seems to have recovered already. I'm hoping this means he simply ate something that didn't agree with his stomach and he's purged himself of it. The alternative is that sometime in the middle of the night, when I'm nearly comatose, he'll wake me up with a retching serenade. So, yes, I'm really, really hoping it was just some bad kool-aid or after school treat.

I guess only the next 12 hours or so will tell.

School's Back in Session

I have wedding pictures to share, but since today was the boys' first day of the new school year, I think I'll just treat you to the snapshots I took this morning while they were waiting for the bus.

I know they don't look it here, but I think they were happy to go back school, even if it was only to see their friends again.

Skulls are apparently the new "in" item with the younger crowd. And by younger, I mean elementary and Jr. High kids.

The older boy spotted this one and was happy. Of course, Mom would have liked for it to come in a somewhat sturdier make and model. I have a feeling this bag isn't going to last through the year.

School Jitters

My children start school on Tuesday. Tuesday. As in, just a few short days away.

I think I'm more nervous than they are.

Do they have the "right" shoes? Are their clothes stylish enough? Their backpacks? Do they have the necessary school supplies, and when did schools stop requiring children to bring their own paper and pencils and why wasn't I told?

That's just the insanely superficial stuff I wonder about. The stuff that really, really doesn't matter. Except that kids are terribly superficial, aren't they? They notice clothes and haircuts. They notice if one is not like the others and they're too young to value individuality or creativity at this age. Being different is bad.

But then I start thinking about the important stuff that moms and dads are really supposed to be concerned with..you know, academics. Homework. Test scores. Responsibility and accountability.

I think about my oldest son's 504 Plan and whether or not the accommodations therein will be honored if I have to press them upon an unwilling teacher. While this has never happened, what if this the one time I have to really, really advocate on his behalf? And when am I crossing the line between a concerned, active parent and an overprotective pain-in-the-ass? I don't want to be annoying. But I can be. Will be.

Hopefully it won't be necessary. Hopefully the child will be just fine and his teacher will be the epitome of awesomeness.

Then there's the little guy. I can't forget to focus on him, to make sure just because he doesn't face the same struggles as his brother that I haven't overlooked his needs.


Nothing to Report


Life is pretty much a simple combination of work, football practice, and lounging around the house.

Should have wedding pictures to post after Sunday, though, so stay tuned!


Working at the University has its privileges, one of which is the ability to request books from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor libraries. While this comes in handy whenever I'm in school, this often overlooked perk is not restricted to my academic schedule. I have access to these resources whenever I want or need them.

Well, as I'm determined to start writing the next novel on November 1st in honor of NaNoWriMo, I want to make sure I am as ready as I can possibly be. I need my characters to be as real as I can make them. In an effort to do so, I'm working through the emotional toolbox and populating character charts. I'm working on their backstories and trying to define their ambitions and motivations.

Of course, the story isn't just about the characters. Not this time. Their story is going to be shaped by the world they live in. Because of this, I am also very concerned with creating a world that is solid and thoroughly believable. I know I want it to resemble Ancient Egypt without being Ancient Egypt; I'm not interested in writing historical fiction.

However, as most any writer will tell you, research is necessary. Even when mutating a historical foundation into something fantastical, there will be things I will cannot answer on my own, blanks I cannot fill. When I find myself faced with the unknown, I must rely on books and websites to help give me the details that my imagination cannot provide.

Sometimes, though, the blanks are not endless voids, but shadows between solid shapes. That's kind of how I feel about the current project. There are too many vague, shady areas in my worldbuilidng. Think of it like an unseasoned soup. Even though I have all the main ingredients, I don't have enough salt and pepper in the mix. It needs more flavor.

This is when the library inter-campus loan system comes in handy. Instead of being forced to work through my very small and very limited public library at home, I'm able to quickly and easily get my hands on a variety of academic texts. First up, Egyptian Medicine in the Days of the Pharaohs by Nabil I. Ebeid. I've only gotten through 68 pages or so, but already I'm able to add in a little bit of that missing spice!