Repost: Halloween 2007 By the Numbers

It’s time for a retro post. Here’s my post from Halloween night, 2007 when Kate was just a few weeks old and Joey was 1. Kinda makes me glad my kids are a bit older and a bit more mature this year! Halloween By the Numbers: October 31, 20071— Number of minutes that it took for Kate to start screaming after I put her costume on. For some reason, she didn’t think it was comfortable to have foam balls glued to her back. Imagine that. 2— The number of years that Joey has worn his elephant costume. I know, I know… I’m a slacker. He just looked so cute in it last year and when I discovered that it still fit, I figured that it was worth wearing twice. Plus, I figure that the 40 hours of work I put into it last year warrents using it twice (or possibly three times… look for Kate the elephant next year). 3— The number of M & Ms that I let Joey eat tonight. I know. I’m such a mean mommy. 4–The number of times that Joey woke up in the middle of the night screaming “More El-phant! More Candy!”. Imagine what would’ve happened if I had let him eat four or five M & Ms. 5— The number of times I burned myself on the hot glue gun while trying to make Kate’s costume. My mom’s sewing machine is in storage so I had to get a bit creative with my costume assembling methods. 6— The number of “chaperones” that Joey and Kate had when we went to the Fall...

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Curried Fried Brown Rice with Chicken ‘n Dumplings Leftovers

Here’s an easy recipe where you cook and chop ONE night and get TWO dinners out of it. Kathi Lipp calls these LOOP meals (for Leftover on Purpose)– and I confess, I get giddy when I make them because it makes things so easy on me. Ingredients: 1 tbsp olive oil1.5 lbs. chicken (breast or thigh, boneless, skinless)4 large carrots or 1 bag baby carrots1 bunch celery2 onions1 red pepper1 bunch broccoli2 tsp. yellow curry powder1 tsp. tumeric2-3 tbsp soy sauce (to taste)1/2 cup cashews1 bunch green onions2 cups cooked brown rice2 eggs2 cans (or 1 box) chicken broth1 cup Bisquick biscuit mix1/2 cup buttermilk Night 1: Chicken Fried Brown Rice 1. Pour olive oil into a wok or large skillet. Add chicken and cook until done. Remove from skillet and set on a cutting board to cool for 10 mins. 2. Coarsely chop chicken. Return half to wok and put the other half into a ziplock bag for tomorrow night. 3. Coarsely chop carrots, celery, onions and green onions. Add half to wok and half to ziplock with chicken. Put ziplock with chicken, carrots, celery, onions and green onions in fridge until tomorrow. 4. Coarsely chop broccoli and red pepper. Add to wok. 5. Heat veggies and chicken until tender-crisp. Add curry powder, tumeric, soy sauce and rice. Stir until incorporated. Cook 5-10 mins more until warm. 6. Make hole in center. Pour beaten eggs into hold. Let eggs cook until almost done (it’ll look like scrambled eggs in the center). Stir to incorporate. Serve warm. Night 2: Chicken ‘N’ Dumplings, leftover style 1. Put chicken/veggie mix from...

Books That I’ve Read Recently… and LOVED

Over the past few months, I’ve been working my way through and reading the list of books represented by my agent, Rachelle Gardner. I’m not done yet, but so far, I’m impressed. These books are amazing! I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve stayed up all night reading more than once. Here are some thoughts (and recommendations for those of you looking for a good novel to read): 1. The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund I confess: never in my wildest dreams did I expect to stay up all night– and miss out on my writing time the next day– to read a historical fiction about the life of the author of Pilgrim’s Progress. But I did. This book kept me hooked from the second I picked it up and I can honestly say is one of the best novels I’ve read in years. Plus, aside from being a great read, I learned so much about religious persecution, life in puritan England, childbirth, wet nursing, etc. that I feel like I’m almost an expert on this time period now. I highly recommend this book. 2. The Marriage Project by Kathi Lipp Six couples in my small group got together to read this and it was a lot of fun. Kathi makes working on your marriage easy– and entertaining. My favorite night? The cooking night– when my hubby and I had to cook a meal together. My husband isn’t exactly used to spending a lot of time in the kitchen, so it was a ton of fun to work as a team to make something delicious. 3. Code Blue by Dr. Richard...

Slacking off on Posting– AGAIN!

Sorry I didn’t post (again) last Wednesday or Thursday. But, I have a really (really) good excuse. I was in the hospital. Since I haven’t officially announced it, now’s probably a good time: I’m pregnant. And, if past experience dictates, I’m not very good at being pregnant. In fact, I’m terrible at it. I’ve enjoyed many stints in the hospital throughout my pregnancies, but this one kinda took the cake. Two weeks ago, my doctor put me on home care due to horrible hyperemesis (read: really, really bad morning sickness). Last Tuesday, they started me on a subcutaneous Reglan pump– which in laymans terms is a big fanny pack that I wear that’s connected to a syringe that feeds medication directly into a small stint in my stomach. Blech. I was on a similar pump during my last pregnancy so I didn’t expect any problems, but I woke up on Wednesday and was literally unable to get out of bed. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t do anything. And, if you know me, that’s totally not like me. By mid-afternoon, my mom got nervous and called the doctor. The doctor said to go to the hospital, and when my mom woke me up, my skin and eyes were yellow. By the time we got to the ER, I was shaking and superanxious. They rushed me back (I got triaged ahead of everyone in the room) and immediately removed the pump. The medication was causing liver failure. They immediately admitted me and gave me drugs to counteract the medicine’s effects– and (fingers crossed) it doesn’t look like there...

Getting an Edit Letter

I was completely terrified to get my first edit letter from my editor at Guideposts. Terrified. Before I wrote my book, I had spent over four years working for a major national-level website, and while I loved my job and am eternally grateful for the experience, it was not a positive experience for me editorially. Every single line of text I turned in was scrutinized. Every word I wrote was torn apart. Every day seemed to bring a new criticism. So, needless to say, before I started working with Guideposts, I was very jaded when it came to edit letters. When I sent my book to Guideposts, I expected similar treatment– harsh criticism, relentless scrutiny. But it felt different– my job before was just a job to me. I wasn’t personally invested. But my book was personal. It was a part of me and my voice– so the idea of someone tearing it apart was superscary. When I got my edit letter, I spent at least a half hour staring at the computer, dreading having to open it. When I finally did, my expectations were nothing like the reality. There was nothing harsh or mean or degrading in the letter. Of course, there were revisions and changes, but it was nothing like I was expecting. There were positive suggestions. Helpful comments. Constructive criticism. My editors suggestions helped make me a better writer– and made my book better. Question for you: What’s your experience with edit letters? What did you expect? What did yours actually...
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