March 31, 2004

Too Big

Hehehe I exercised this morning. Why am I laughing? You would be too, if you'd seen me. I'm so out of shape that it isn't funny.

Yesterday I joined Aprils Fools. It is a novel challenge, similar to Nanowrimo. I signed up for Nanowrimo last November. But between my pregnancy problems, then having Eli, I just wasn't able to do it. I'm hoping for better results with April Fools challenge.

My work-in-progress (hereafter refered to as "WIP"), will probably fit into the romance genre. I don't really have a title for it yet, but my "working title", which is just what I have the file saved as so I can remember where it's at, is, "Dark Clouds."

This WIP was inspired by Angela's photos. She is a terrific photographer. If you've never visited her photo blog, check out some of the nature, outdoors (water, trees), buildings, and floral photographs she's shot. There's a wealth of excellent photos to view in her archives. If you are looking to commission a photographer, Angela's your gal!

Well, I'm off for now. Gotta finish up my web pages so I can upload my new look to the rest of my server. :) Just have a few more to do then I'll be ready! Have a great day!

March 30, 2004

Long Live the Queen

Last night I peeked in on my daughter on my way to bed. There she lay, in her full glory, the reigning "Queen." She lay cross-ways on her bed, fast asleep. The covers were tucked under her chin. And atop her chocolate brown hair sat her pink Barbie Princess crown. If I hadn't thought it would have woke her up, I would've snapped a picture.



I've come to the realization that I sabotage myself. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? It's true, though.

I tend to set myself up for failure. I'll say that I'll do something, then wait until the last minute before deciding to "jump on it." I make excuse after excuse as to why I don't have the time to do it, or can't do it. The truth is I just procrastinate.

I have set myself up so many times that I don't care to remember. Why do I do this to myself? I don't even give my own self a chance at winning, but I expect someone else to? Nope. Not gonna happen that way.

Now that I've come to this stark realization, I must do something about it. My mantra this year is ACTION CONQUERS FEAR. I've been shouting it from the roof-tops, but didn't apply that to my own life I suppose.

March is almost over. April is peeking her head around the corner at me. She's calling to me, "Are you ready? What will you accomplish this month? Make plans! Set yourself goals. Kick it into high gear, Hope. You CAN do it!"

I think I'll listen to her. I'll spread my wings and take my first flight. Sure, I might fall. But I'll never know if at first I don't try.

March 29, 2004


   Spring is in the air! I was ready for a new look. I think this theme is inviting, and I'm loving it. I still have some tweaking to do, but for the most part, it's done. I will be revamping the rest of the website within the upcoming week as I update the content.

March 27, 2004

Blogging Forward

Today I'm taking an "artist's DAY." :) This day is going to be all about me doing what I love to do. I don't know yet whether I will write, paint, draw, color, take pictures, or WHAT. But I am going to let this day lead me where it will.

That being said, I thought I would share some of my favorite blog finds from this week. I enjoy reading many blogs daily. I don't post links at random here when I share. I choose the "best of the best" -- in my opinion, of course. :) If you enjoy these posts, consider leaving these ladies a comment and tell them so! :) Enjoy!

Keri Smith blogged on Tuesday about MOMA.
Angela Klocke posted this picture Monday.
Linda Sherwood shares a funny conversation she and her son had.
Kelly Gibbons painted a cute cartoon.
Julie Moos completed an assignment given to her by her son, Colter.

Have a wonderful weekend!

March 26, 2004

Excuses, revisited

Last month I blogged on Cup of Hope about excuses. I found myself back at that post this morning.

I have been in a big writing slump this month. Sure I blog, but other than that, I haven't written much. I've been too embarassed to admit it here. I don't know why. I'm not perfect, nobody is. So I don't know why I've let this bother me so much.

I told a writer friend yesterday that I fell ashamed. Why? Because this year I officially "came out of my writing closet" and publicly proclaimed myself a writer. And for the last few weeks, I haven't written!!

While watching Starting Over this morning, I suddenly realized that I am very much like one of the women (whom I dislike and loathe greatly). This was quite a rude awakening!

I make excuses. I know what I want to do, but I make loads of excuses NOT to do it. In the end, I'm left frustrated, disappointed, disillusioned, and more. That is where I found myself this week. Wondering where I am, and what in the world am I doing worthwhile.

So today I will start fresh. Yes, this is Friday, the end of the week. But this is a fresh start for me. I have to pull myself up, because nobody else will. Nobody is able to make me become what I want to be. I am the one who will make me me.

March 25, 2004


I'm feeling quite yucky today. To try to cheer myself up a bit, I started going through our wedding album. I decided to scan a few photos to share with you. If you click on each thumbnail, the picture will open up larger in a new window.
Daddy and Me

Daddy and me         Daddy's silly kiss

Moma and Me




Robert and Me

Robert (my sweetie pie)         me


Crystal, Faith, and I (my sisters)         Crystal, Faith, and I (my sisters)

Sisters, Friends

Crystal and I


During ceremony         


Rob and I in church         In front of the fountain outside

Cutie Patooties

Inspiration, or lack thereof

What do you do when you're an inspirational writer and you feel like you're "all out" of inspiration?

March 24, 2004

Survival of the Fittest

  I survived my daughter's sickness (I think). Yesterday was horrible. On top of Emily throwing up every 20-30 minutes, Robert has been gone two days because his dad's been in the hospital. I'm hoping today will be better.
  On the writing front, I don't even know how to describe what I'm feeling right now. So I won't even try.
  Just one more week left in this month. WOW! Time sure has been flying by!

March 23, 2004

Life's Little Lessons

  Remember: If you have a child who is throwing up sick and has already filled their bed full, DON'T stick that same child in YOUR bed!
  It was late. I was tired. So when she puked her bed full, being the mommy that I am, I led her straight to my bed. BAD IDEA! I was awakened at 4 a.m. by heavy breathing.

I jump up off the couch (which, by the way, is where I made my bed for last night since Robert wasn't here). "What's wrong, Em?"

"Nothing." This is her answer to everything when it's really something. (I'm sorry to say she probably picked this up from me.)

"Is your tummy hurting?"

"No," but looking like she really means yes.

"What's wrong, baby?"

"I need my drink."

I fixed her some sprite in a cup, thinking maybe this would settle her stomach, and sent her on her way back to (my) bed.

Minutes later, as I'm snuggling back into the almost-cold-again spot on the couch, I hear a little voice saying, "I'm scared."

I get up and go in the bedroom, thinking I'll just piled up in the bed with her and go back to sleep. HAAAA! I notice that she's laying on top of the quilt, instead of covering up with it.

As I laid down and pulled the covers over both of us, I feel something slightly wet. Yes, you guessed it. Evidently she threw up in my bed at some point in her sleep.

Now she's on the couch, and I'm up, on the computer. So much for sleep.

March 22, 2004

Guts and Glory

  There is something to be said for a mother who cleans up the emptied deposit of a child's stomach contents. My "baby" got her last set of shots today so that she can start school this fall. I don't know if this is a side-effect from the shots, or if it's just nerves, but she went to bed whining with a tummy ache. I had a bad feeling. My intuition is always right.
  She fell asleep only to wake up just a few minutes ago. My painting was interrupted by the sound of gagging. I've never had a problem with cleaning up after someone when they get "sick." But this one takes the cake.
  I stripped said kid, wet a washcloth with warm water and tried to clean her up. Puke caked the side of her hair, arm and face. I nearly barfed myself. I had to maintain composure, thought, because I was afraid if I hurled, she'd proceed to do the same again, too.
  She is now resting comfortably in Mommy's bed. :) I'm crossing my fingers and praying that she sleeps well, and no more GUTS spewing forth!
  If you've read thus far without feeling that slight tingle in your jaw, you may be asking yourself, 'Why in the world did she post this GROSS entry tonight?' Good question!

Here's my answer:

With no guts, there is no glory! This mom is basking in her GLORY tonight!!!!

  I had every intention of posting something wonderful this morning. However, it's been a SHORT night, and I honestly can't think straight. Please remember to keep my father-in-law in your prayers. I'll try to post something better later if I'm able to get to the computer, but this is going to be a pretty full day. HAPPY MONDAY!

March 21, 2004

Little Engine Who Could

  I'm redesigning my blog pages. I'm also a beginner at writing code. Therefore, I'm having a wee bit of trouble. Never to fear, though, I shall arise! :) I have my plans mappend out on paper. Now all I have to do is study more on the code writing and put it all together.

I think I can...I think I can...I think I can...

March 20, 2004

Day Off

  I'm taking the day off today. I'm going to play with some new tubes I downloaded this week, and maybe do some painting, too. I have a picture started and I would like to try to finish that today. It's a waterfall scene. I'm not sure how it is going to turn out, but I'm trying!! :)
  Check out these blogs if you feel like blog surfing today. These are some of my favorite blog finds from this week:

Tree and Sky
Spring is Springing!
Sky Life
The Shed
The Earlier Bird
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
What to wear today?
Rules for a happy life
  I hope you have a terrific weekend! Spend time with your loved ones. Do something new. Make a friend. Walk outside and take a deep breath of fresh air. Do something for YOU!

March 19, 2004

Twinkies & Diet Dr. Pepper

  Okay, so the Special K challenge flew out the window the first week. :) Bye-bye Special K, hello Twinkies and Diet Dr. Pepper!!!

March 18, 2004

A bit of this and that...

  I am having major allergy and sinus issues right now. My doctor gave me medicine for it, but it doesn't seem to be helping much. I don't like to bother him, but I may have to ask him to call me in something different to take.
  I have made a decision about my Cup of Hope blog. I am going to close it within a couple of weeks. The main reason is that I think I'm spreading myself too thin. And I'm not sure if many people read it or not anyway. I need to narrow my focus so that I can concentrate what little time I have on the most important things. I will still do my inspirational posts like I do there now, except they will be here now.
  My posts have mostly been "personal stuff" lately. I felt "give out" and "empty" of inspiration for others. I've been concentrating on giving back to myself. I have discovered some new things about myself that I like, and have been refilling my own well, so that I can give once again to you.
  I'm researching markets right now. I have a couple of good leads, and am working on ideas and a query. I'm also working on articles for my website for April, as well as the next issue of Cup of Hope. Half of March has past, and April will be here before you know it!

March 17, 2004

Blog Junkie

  Okay, I'm sure none of you ever do this. But today I am vegging out and blog surfing. I have been off and on the computer sporadically today, but not in long enough periods to do anything constructive. (Oh, wait! That's my excuse not to write today!)
  Eli is still running fever. I'm guessing/hoping it's from yesterday's shots. It's been pretty high--101--today. He doesn't feel good; has a runny/stuffy nose, too. Is this normal when they get shots? I've been through this once, but it's been YEARS, so I don't remember.
  Anyway, because he's fussy and not feeling good, I just hold him and rock him to soothe him while he's awake. I jump back online for a "break" when he naps (which hasn't been very long at one time today).

  I just realized that I didn't post here yesterday. Actually, I was busy most of the day with other things.
  Elijah had to go for his 4 month shots. He did good until the third one, then he really cried. It broke my heart. I dread next Monday. Emily has to go for her last shot so she can start school this year. I think I'm going to bring her to school first to register her. Maybe that will keep her excited and make the shot not seem so bad. :)
  I had a large amount of quiet, "me" time yesterday, so I painted. I had a blast! You can see what I did here. I'm hoping to paint more this afternoon while the kids nap.
  I hope you are having a terrific week! If you work outside your home, you're half-way through the week, so hang in there! The weekend will be here before you know it.
  If you are a daily (or almost daily) reader of any of my blogs, drop me a line and let me know what you think about my website and/or my writing. I know I have a large readership, but you people sure stay quiet! LOL I'd love to hear from you.

March 15, 2004

  You never know who you can count on for support. I received a wonderful card of support and encouragement last Wednesday evening. A friend and fellow choir member from church sent this card to me through Robert:



It's so wonderful to have friends who support me in my endeavors! Thanks so much, Vicki! Love ya bunches!

March 13, 2004

  This morning I feel light-hearted. :) I received a wonderful touch from God last night. I've been needing it, too. ;)
  This morning I've been trying to get the house back in order and get things together for tonight. Robert's working, so I want to make sure everything's ready so we won't be rushed this evening.
  I hope you are having a terrific weekend. If you don't feel like you are, get out and do something extra special, JUST FOR YOU! Buy a new notebook or pen. Go to a cafe and have a cup of your favorite coffee (or tea). Visit the local library and borrow a good book. Drop in at a nursing home and pay a visit to a few people (it will brighten their day!). Do something special, just because!

March 12, 2004

Breaking Through Barriers

  I'm here for just a few minutes. Trying to get everyone together for church. Clothes to be ironed, baths to be had, supper to eat, etc. etc. :)
  So yesterday I shared with you that I've been in a writing slump. After posting that, I pulled myself out of it. I found a great source of encouragement and inspiration. Most of all, I'm proud in myself. I'm proud because nobody else had to spout off a "List of why Hope shouldn't quit writing."
  Sometimes I am my own worst enemy. And sometimes I am my own best friend. I learned a very valuable lesson yesterday. You can't always rely on someone else to pick you up when you've fallen.
  There is a great friend for each of us. Who? Find a quiet spot. Sit. Listen. What do you hear? Nothing? Are you growing uncomfortable?
  How often are you alone with yourself? Sometimes I think the reason we lose ourselves is because we get so wrapped up in everything else that we forget to spend time with ourselves.
  A marriage is a partnership of two people. If those two people avoid each other daily, or just say a quick, "Hello," while passing each other, how can their marriage survive?
  Our spirituality is the same. We have to have a daily relationship with God. It's not easy. It does take effort on our part. But if we neglect our relationship with God, we will only drive ourselves further from Him.
  Bringing my point back to home, we need time alone with ourselves. There will be times when we are faced with diversity alone. There will be noone to call on for help or encouragement. We will have to bolster and depend on ourselves.
  After my little "breakthrough" yesterday, I decided to draw again. It has probably been 8-10 years since I drew anything. I felt compelled to my sketchpad. Here's the outcome:

  My watercolor brush is yucky (the bristels keep falling out), so I couldn't paint. I sat here thinking that I could just draw with a pencil. Then I noticed a box of crayons nearby. So I grabbed them and went to work.
  Emily watched me while I did these. She giggled when I was finished. I giggled, too. It felt so good to create something.
  I released myself. I threw inhibitions to the wind. I became childlike. I could have chastized myself for using crayons and sketchpaper, instead of paints. Rather than that, though, I didn't allow myself to "think." I just embraced the idea and acted upon it.
  The Artist's Way is truly a wonderful book. It is opening up so many parts of me that I thought were buried and gone. If you are an artist of any type (and even if you're not), I suggest buying this book and working it.
  I sense layers peeling away every week. Layers of guilt, shame, anger, fear, memories, and so much more. The layers have been piled, one upon the other, creating a grand wall of resistance to my inner creativity. Slowly, this stratum is being stripped away, leaving a clean, fresh slate from which I shall work!

March 11, 2004

  I've been busy this week. With revival starting tonight, I had a lot of things to do around here. Sorry for the absence!
  I must admit that I feel like I'm in a slump right now, too. I know that I have the ability to do more than I am. So I am beating myself over the head about the time that is wasted when I should be writing.
  I don't know how much I'll be posting from now through Sunday. It is going to be crazy around here. We'll be in church pretty late each night. Then I'll have to prepare things every day for that night (iron clothes, bottles, etc.). If I don't get to post anything for a few days, don't despair! I'll be back with a vengance in a few days! LOL

March 09, 2004


What does success look like? Does it drive a brand new car? Does it keep up with the latest trends in fashion and wear expensive designer clothing? Does it walk with an air of arrogance? Is it haughty; never reaching out a hand to someone in need? Does it look down its nose (outwardly OR inwardly) at those who appear to be less fortunate than they?

Is success rude? Does it interrupt others? Does it finish other's sentences? Does it overlook the one who truly deserves the advance on the job and instead gives it to a "friend." Does it fail to notice the hard work, time, and dedication that others put into some particular thing, and observe only the negatives about that same person?

Can success be defined as educated? Is success only achieved by a degree? Are life's lessons just erased, and discounted as success? Do hardships and trials take away from one's success?

Is "overnight success" real? Is "success" that is handed to you on a silver platter truly success?

I am successful. Not because of who I know, or where I go, or what I am. I am successful because I set goals for myself and I work hard to achieve them. I am successful because I am a good mother. I am successful because my children know that I love them. I am successful because I am a respectable wife. I am successful because I believe in myself and my aspirations.

My success does not depend on anyone else. My success will come totally from within. My success is dervied from time, effort, and hard work.

I am a success!

March 05, 2004

Me again!

  I'm sitting here listening to the rain fall outside. We are now under a flood watch until midnight. It's pouring right now.
  I'm thinking about mood and exercise. I think they go hand-in-hand. I was reminiscing about a few years ago when I took a kickbox-aerobics class. It was so much FUN! I loved the exercise and it didn't feel like exercise because the instructor made it fun.
  Exercise is a great outlet for frustration, anger, and all other pent up feelings. And, of course, it helps to get you in physical shape. I know that. But guess what? I can't even remember when the last time was that I exercised!
  I do walk to the mailbox most mornings, which is a little piece up the driveway. But I am really contemplating today how much I really should get back into some kind of exercise regimen. I know that it would make me feel better physically, as well as mentally.
  So this will be my personal challenge next week. I believe I will have Robert wake me up early and walk for at least 15 minutes starting out each morning. Even if I only get 3 or 4 days in, that will be much better than nothing! I'll keep you posted on how I do!!
Rain on the horizon

  The morose clouds predict rain storms today. That doesn't bother me, though. I love rain! It's cozy, inviting and warm. I love snuggling up on a rainy day!
  I am stuck this morning. I think this is the first time that I don't know what to blog about. Hmmm....
  My day got off to a great start. I woke up just before 6. Robert usually goes to work at 6, but this morning he didn't. We sat on the couch, drank coffee together, and snuggled and smooched until almost 7. I asked him to start waking me up every morning so that we can have that quiet time together every morning. The day goes by so much better when you start it off right!

March 04, 2004

All about the writing

  Today I'm focusing on myself and writing. So today will be "Just For Fun" day here. These are some favorite blogs I've visited recently. (They will all open in new windows.) ENJOY!

Photography by AGK
SunnyK Kind of Day
Cathy Jo's Blog
Hanging Up
Encouragement for Moms
Marching in Battle
Passion of The Christ: Review, Summary, and Stuff (These are "her" opinions, not mine. I just thought it was interesting.)
What Makes a Good Mom?

March 03, 2004


  I'm moving right along. After receiving my wonderful news yesterday, I am stoked. The Lord knew what I needed, and exactly when I needed it. He's such a good Daddy!!
  This morning I am thinking about how quickly things change. One minute you think you're sailing smoothly, and the next you are faced with high winds and choppy seas. You never know what could happen from one minute to the next. That is why it's so important to be grounded in Christ.
  One of the hugest hurdles for me when I'm in the midst of a trial is to remember that all things work together for my good. Even in bad situations, I know that everything happens for a reason. It's up to me to keep the right attitude and to learn from it.
  Sometimes it might feel like what we do is in vain. It may seem that we're not reaching the people we hoped to, or we're spinning our wheels of effort only to get nowhere fast. Nothing is in vain. Make the most of each moment in every day.

  "With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don't hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort." 1 Corinthians 15:58 (The Message)

March 02, 2004


  I am now officially a published author!! I am bouncing off the walls here. My friend, Caryn, called me this morning and delivered the good news. She went to her mailbox, pulled out a copy of The Voice, and there I am---on the COVER!! :) Yay me!!

March 01, 2004

  Did you miss me? :) I spent most of the day today updating my website. I still have a couple more minor changes to make, but for the most part, it's all fresh!
  Since I couldn't post earlier, I thought I'd just say, "Hi!" and leave you with a funny. I didn't do much housework today, either. :)