Embracing the Latest Chapter

This past week, I attended the Oregon Christian Writer’s Summer Conference. Well, sort of. This conference has been a part of my life — a major part — since 2009. I met some of my very best friends there. I found my amazing literary agent there. I worked for the organization itself for several years. I taught at the conference multiple times. It’s been a catalyst in my writing life and personal life. But this year, I had a few strings that made it a bit difficult to fully attend. Cute and fluffy strings.   Things are different now Life is crazy and blessed as ever with my 8-month-old son...

Getting Real: The Ups and Downs of Working Full-time from Home (With a Baby and a Puppy)

Before I really begin, I’ll add in a disclaimer. I know I’m a bit crazy. Really. I fully admit that getting a puppy while raising an infant and working a full-time job is outrageous. No excuses, no justifications. However. I love my life. Even in the moments where I’m broken down, wondering how I’m going to do it all, how I’m going to keep my sanity intact — I know how good I have it. I’m so very, very blessed. So I thought I’d share a bit of how the days flow (and stumble) and some of my biggest reflections in all this chaos. ### 6 am – Puppy whining...

Starting Where You’re At

Writing is a muscle. A discipline. A calling, yes. But a practice. The more you do, the more readily it can come. The more smoothly. Not all the time. Writer’s block is a thing for a reason. But the blank page. The atrophy of “not having written”. These things can make the first few times back more painful. More full of stumbling, bumbling moments. So I’m starting where I’m at. I can’t wait for the perfect time — there will never be one. I’ll perhaps forget to post a weekly post, but I can’t let that stop me today, this week. So many excuses. So many hurdles. So many “I’ll wait...

Lessons from Anthony: Check Your Expectations

In Rising Strong, Brene Brown shares how our expectations can set us up for disappointment when the reality turns out to be different from our (sometimes lofty or idealistic) expectations. This really hit home. Perhaps it’s the novelist in me. I frequently paint elaborate and dramatic visions of plans, of what I can accomplish in a day, of what a vacation or day trip should look like. This has hit hardest with having a child. The saturation of parenting/birthing books, articles, blogs, newsfeed, Tweets and Instas create a visualization with glowing edges and sometimes beams streaming from the heavens. Oh, baby’s first ____ will be just amazing and picturesque like...

Puppy + Baby = Embracing Chaos

We did a rather silly thing this past week. And her name is Dany. Dany (short for “Daenerys Shelterborn”) is an 8-week-old Shepherd/Cattle Dog/pitbull mix and she comes to us at such an interesting time in our lives. She’s a sweet girl and very good (and smart) for a puppy. And yet it’s been a big adjustment for our family to have both a 7-month-old infant and 2-month-old puppy. In all honesty, I knew it’d be a lot; I just hadn’t fully realized how much juggling would be involved. Some moments are really tough. But overall, this past week has been one of huge growth for me personally. Though I’ve had...