Friday, November 30, 2012


29 days.  50,560 words.

I'm done.

I went from being like 8,000 words behind to finishing a day ahead.

Oh man... I am so glad to be done.

Don't get me wrong... my novel is NO WHERE near finished.  Some time this weekend I realized that while my plot was all in the document, I had things laid out in the document in a completely weird way.  There will be some major cutting and pasting when I get around to editing.  But before I can edit it, I will need to finish writing it.  There are some holes that need to be filled in first.

But none of that matters now!  I did it!

I wonder who is more excited?  Me or Phil?  He left me alone last night for like 5 hours so I could write my last 5,000 words and just get the dang thing done.

Now he has his wife back.

Here are some of the things I am looking forward to doing now that I have finished my 50,000 words:

- Thoroughly clean my house.

-  Write like a million blog posts, almost entirely about Baby Janney.  You're welcome in advance.

-  Get serious about doing something with the nursery.

-  Do all the baby blankets I had planned to do last spring before and after I became radioactive.  I already have the fabric, so I need to just do them.  And now perhaps I'll just keep them all.  :)

-  Finish my nephew's birthday present.  Did I mention his birthday was in February?

-  Cook meals

-  Go to the gym.  I love paying for a gym membership and not using it.

-  Get back to training Cotton.  He's not going to become a Champion Show Dog on his own.  He's not that self-motivated.  Lazy bum.

-  Prenatal yoga.  Cause I'm guessing my totally inflexible hips aren't going to make childbirth any easier.

Obviously this list isn't all inclusive, since I didn't list naps on there.  I'm almost 16 weeks pregnant.  Naps will be a must.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cooking Instead of Writing

{Totally unrelated photo, but I think it is hilarious that Cotton keeps sitting like a person}

So there are just a couple of days left to get my novel fairly wrapped up and exceeding 50,000 words.  There's no way it will be a finished novel by the end of November.  It was never my intention for it to be a completed first draft because I kind of wanted it to be more than 175 pages (which is what 50,000 words kind of ends up being).  But I figure I will have the basic plot laid out, with just some holes needing to be filled in.

As of yesterday when I got home, I had 7,930 words left.  I wasn't too worried about running out of plot for the remaining words because I still had some major plot elements I needed to wrap up.  I am feeling pretty confident it will take more than 8,000 words to get there and I already know how I want it to go.

But then I was hit with a sudden need to make Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells that JD mentioned.  And then a massive chocolate craving hit.  But it wasn't something that a piece of chocolate would satisfy.  It needed to be like a cake type of thing.  So I decided to make the Bob's Red Mill Fudge and Sour Cream Cupcakes.  So I spent like an hour and a half in the kitchen, cooking.  In reality, it wasn't that bad because I was able to multi-task and do both at the same time.  And I managed to not put chocolate in my cheese shells, so it was a success.

Both were excellent, by the way.

And then after we ate, it was 8 o'clock and I had just started writing.  And the instead of working on my novel, I wrote a blog post.  :)

The whole evening was proof that I am excellent at procrastination.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Normal DNA

I was so excited when I found out I was pregnant, it took all of my will power to not shout it from the roof tops (and all over the blog).  Extreme exhaustion helped a little with this, as I haven't really had the energy to do much shouting at all.

Now that we have gone public with our news, I have barely blogged about the pregnancy.  I blame NaNoWriMo (is it December yet?) and my own laziness.

Personally, I found the first trimester to be slightly terrifying.  It was so hard to get pregnant, I was constantly worried I would have a miscarriage.  Through on top of that all the concern over the radiation exposure the baby had because of my radioactive iodine ablation and then the regular discussions of first trimester screenings and it constantly felt like the baby was doomed.

But as it turns out, the baby is most likely not doomed.  And after the genetic counselor and the perinatologist told us it was a good time to start sharing our good news, we were very relieved.

I was not relieved last week when I was waiting for the last part of our first trimester screening tests.  As I mentioned, we qualified for a higher level screening test that used my blood to extract some of the baby's DNA to check for some chromosomal abnormalities.  And because of the timing (being so close to the anniversary of my biopsy results), I was starting to freak out.

But then last Wednesday, the genetic counselor called us to let us know that everything looked good.  The results are 100% like an amnio, but they should be better than traditional first trimester screening.  Baby Janney and I exchanged a high five (through the stomach obviously).

And it was getting a little weird that I had put out on the blog that I was nervous but hadn't shared the good news, so I needed to do that.  Only a week late.

I'll get to the pregnancy details (and a bump picture) after November is over.  Until then... 3 days and 8,153 words remaining.

Monday, November 26, 2012

5 Days and A Smart Husband

After my desperate plea to just be able to throw in the towel on my novel the other day, I decided to just buck up.  I had just a little over a week left.  And if I took the wonderful advice you guys all gave me and just focused on doing a little more at a time, it was possible for me to still finish on time and not lose my sanity.

So I am buckling down... 5 days left.  I have to be done on Friday night by midnight.  And currently, I have 11,321 words left.  It kind of feels like a lot, but not really when I think about the fact that I have already written 38,679.

In an attempt to get as much writing done as possible, I decided I am cutting out all things extra this week and spending a little extra time on the couch and at the coffeeshop, staring at the computer screen, typing away.  I had roped Phil into going with me to the coffeeshop yesterday morning when he told me that he didn't really want to go.  Instead, he showed me the list of things he wanted to do around the house.  And it was a LONG list.

Then, since he is learning the ropes of this whole having a pregnant wife thing, he asked me if it was ok that he stay home and get those things done.

Oh smart man... Of course it is.

So I headed to the coffeeshop and he stayed home with the dogs to whip the house into shape so we could decorate for Christmas tonight after I got home.  I managed to bust out over 3,600 words in just under three hours.  If I can keep this up, I will finish the 50,000 words by Friday night.  I am not sure my story will be done, but I will have 50,000 words.

And Phil managed to get A TON of stuff done while I was gone, so we were able to get the house totally decorated.

There's a little more than the picture shows: some details on the bookcase, garland on the stairs, candles, etc.  But so far, I like it.  I'm not too willing to put a lot more effort into decorating, since we won't even be home for Christmas this year.  But thanks to Phil, it was a pretty painless process.

He is super smart.

5 days.  11,321 words left.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Not sure why, but it's a long one

I know I still haven't done a post with all the fun details of how far along I am or whether or not we will be finding out the gender.  When we would be finding out the gender.  And sharing the delightful story of how many doctors you can freak out when you haven't waited the proper amount of time to get pregnant after having radioactive iodine treatment (and this one needs to be shared if for no other reason than that when another woman gets pregnant after radioactive iodine ablation she has one more resource over the current 5 on the entire internet for some info).  HELLO longest sentence E.V.E.R.

Right now, I am sitting in my beloved coffeeshop, attempting to do the impossible and catch up on my word count for my NaNoWriMo novel.  And I have to tell you... it feels a little impossible.  I finally peaked over 30,000 words (which I should have done like SUNDAY) and the thought of putting down another 20,000 kind of makes me want to cry.  It would probably help if I printed my story out, so I could visualize it a little better.  I am having a hard time remembering where things are exactly (an outline would have been a good idea).  But the other thing is... there are so many other things I REALLY want to be doing instead.

The main thing:  EXERCISE

Let me explain... I've never really been one to have weight issues.  Or at least, I didn't think I did.  After Phil and I started dating, we both gained some weight.  My mom referred to it as "happy weight".  After we got engaged (and I was the biggest I had ever been which really wasn't that big), I kicked my fitness into high gear and worked out A LOT.  I mean, we are talking minimum 15 to 20 hours a week.  While working.  I'd get up at 5 to go in before work.  And then still sometimes go after work.  And spent like 3 hours there on Saturday morning, taking back to back spin classes.  I actually think I may have caused my body to shut down and stop burning calories, because I was working out so much.

Anyway... I lost my happy weight and felt great about being in my wedding dress.  It was actually a smidge on the too big side, come my wedding day.  I had really wanted to keep going on the whole weight loss thing and lose another like ten pounds.

But newlywed life happened.  Then Phil's dad got sick.  Then we decided to start trying to have a baby.  And I had read all of these things about how you shouldn't be dieting and working out too much when you are trying to get pregnant, so I cut back.  And I put a few pounds back on.

And then the infertility came up, which as you know led to the cancer stuff.  And my exercise regime went completely in the drawer while I had surgeries and healed and went through the ablation and stuff.  Ever since, every time I tried to kick my exercising back into gear, I failed miserably.  I'd go a couple of times and then not for a month.  It was frustrating.

But... I managed to really not gain too much weight during the whole thing.  And from what I have hear, losing your thyroid and not gaining weight it pretty impressive.

Then I went and got myself knocked up.  Ironically, before I found out I was pregnant, I had been doing my best to get BACK in the gym.  You may recall my lofty ambitions of running two half marathons and I was serious about that goal.  Not so much anymore.

So now that I am pregnant, I have gained some more weight.  And I know it comes with the territory.  But partially thanks to the wonderful land of blogging, I am able to see how much weight OTHER pregnant women have gained.  And finding out that someone in their third trimester has barely gained much more than me?  Depressing.

This crazy long explanation is really just to explain that I must be growing the baby in my face and thighs because that is where I have expanded thus far (along with a baby bump).  Again... I know this is normal.  But I'm really not a fan of the pudgy face.  And it all came to a head yesterday when Phil was trying to take a picture of me for Grace's What I Wore Thanksgiving Edition.  After several screams of "Why would you even take a picture that makes me look like that?" and "Is that REALLY what my face looks like?" and "Do I have jowls?" and "Is the double chin always there or just when I put my head a certain way?" I was traumatized.

You wanna know what day isn't a good one to have a sensitive weight day?  Thanksgiving.

Top that off with the fact that some of the men in my family decided yesterday would be a good time to tease me about my weight.

There were definitely some tears shed.  Phil did he best to console me, tell me I am beautiful, and lecturing me that I really needed to cut myself a lot of slack.  And he's right.  It hasn't been a normal year.  A little extra weight gain is to be expected.  And I'll lose it all after the baby is born.

I felt really stupid crying over feeling fat when last Thanksgiving I was crying because I had cancer.  I blame my hormones, which seem to be raging these days.

Anyway... I think exercising would help me feel better about the whole thing.  So it needs to be done.  And it is starting to feel a whole lot more important that this novel.

There is one week left.  Do I just hunker down and try to suffer through it?  Or do I throw in the towel and start doing things I actually want to do?  I feel bad being a quitter.  But Phil keeps reminding me that this is something that is supposed to be fun.  And I think I lost the fun feeling a little while ago.

Anyway, I probably shouldn't have spent the time writing the LONGEST blog post ever and actually spent it working on my novel.  Whatever.  Procrastination wins again!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I am a little overwhelmed with how thankful I am that it isn't this time last year. If I make it through today without crying, I will be amazed.
Today is the anniversary of getting my biopsy results. And Thanksgiving last year was tough. I remember the weekend being spent with Phil and my parents, doing anything we could to distract ourselves with how scared we were that I had cancer, how bad the cancer could be, whether or not it had spread, and what I would need to do to get rid of it. Sometimes, we did an ok job of being distracted. But I also remember bouts of random crying too. I found myself saying that I was thankful that they had found my nodules and that we were going to get rid of them.
I don't think it was anyone's favorite Thanksgiving.
Now it is a year later. Cancer is gone. And we have a baby on the way, which is what started the whole thing.
It feels completely different this year.
This dichotomy of holidays reminds me of this: Sometimes your blessings are a little hard to find. And sometimes they smack you in the face. But they are always there.
I hope you can find something in your life to be thankful for today. I promise there is something.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Wow...  That's pretty much all I have to say about your guys' reaction to our news.  Keeping everything a secret was definitely harder than I thought it would be.  And I am so glad that we are past the first trimester and able to share with everyone.

Your words were especially nice since the last two days have been kind of a rough.  I'm a hormone casserole.  My anxiety is getting the best of me these days.  Tomorrow is one year since I found out my biopsy results.  Although last year, it was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, so that would have been last night.  I thought it would be like any other day, but we are currently waiting on some test results for Baby Janney.  It's an optional first trimester screening test using my blood to put together the baby's DNA to check for some chromosomal abnormalities.  It wasn't like the test was recommended.  But because I am a high-risk pregnancy (more on that later), it was offered to us so we decided to do it for the peace of mind.  I'm sure everything will be fine, but I just don't like having to wait for results the same way I did last year.

And to top it all off, there's been some stuff going on with Phil's dad and his health that is making life a little more complicated than I would like.

Top it all off with the fact that I have been really busy and really tired.

I wanted to follow up Monday's post with a post about the details.  Not ALL the details.  That would be a major over share.  But, you know, some of the details.  That post will have to wait.

Until then... I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!  If you are feeling like you don't have a ton to be thankful for, just wait...  You never know what you'll be thankful for next year.  :)

Case and point:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012


This last year has been quite the adventure (a little ode to the blog name, if you will).  It was hard, filled with fear and anger and tears, an taught me more about myself and my life than I could have hoped to learn in a decade.

Since Thanksgiving is in a few days, I thought I would make a short, abbreviated list of the things we are grateful for here in the Janney household.

1.  In the last year, we found out I had thyroid cancer, had two surgeries, the low-iodine diet, radioactive iodine, whole body scan, a new endocrinologist, a neck ultrasound, a change in medication, some more low-iodine diet, more tests, and another whole body scan.  Long story short, I found out I had cancer, got rid of it and am cancer-free.  I've got the neck scar, the hospital bills, and the 300 (slight exaggeration) blog posts to prove it.

I am so grateful that my cancer was found early and have (for the moment and hopefully forever) kicked its ass.

2.  We got our little furbaby.  He's crazy and I love him.

3.  And then there's one more thing that we are CRAZY grateful for... something of a miracle to us and completely unexpected...

Due May 18, 2013

Thursday, November 15, 2012

1st Real Show

Remember how I mentioned Cotton was all signed up for his first, real show?

Well it is tomorrow.

Last night, we went to his conformance training class.  It is filled with people who have either trained dogs before, breed dogs, or have owned multiple dogs.  Since I have never owned a dog before (Taylor is technically Phil's dog.  That's what she'll tell you), I look like QUITE the novice.  The classes are pretty much just as much about training Cotton, as training me.

After his class, the owner of his nephew (who is over a year older than him) trimmed up his ears.

We also found out last night that Cotton's mom's sister is pregnant with puppies.  The father of the pups?  Cotton's father.  Sleeping with sisters... what a cad.  It was an accidental breeding because Cotton's dad can't keep it in his pants.  What does he think he is?  An animal?!?  :)

We got a lot of great advice last night for his show tomorrow.  His dad and his mom are champion show dogs, so it is in his blood and he is learning pretty quickly.  He has learned that holding still and letting me move his legs means he gets LOTS of treats.  Who wouldn't go for that?  I'd sit real still for a minute if that meant I got some peanut butter or a cookie.

He only meets the minimum age for the show by 3 days, so our expectations for how he will do are pretty low.  But hopefully he will have fun.  And I will learn lots.

He gets his bath tonight with the Whitening Shampoo (did you know that is a real thing?  It's not like white stripes) and then he will be ready to go!

Wish us luck!  Hopefully I don't make a fool out of both of us.  :)

PS - We know we are crazy and need some real hobbies.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Almost 1/2 way

Be prepared for a collection of randomness.

I stayed up a little later than I normally do last night, working on my novel.  I am happy to say that I am on track with my word counts, which is pretty much the best thing I can say about it.  I like the idea of my book, but I am no longer in love with it.

It's probably just because I am tired and the deadline of 50,000 words by November 30th is feeling very daunting.  When that is combined with prepping Cotton for his show, Phil working away like a mad man at her project, trying to keep up on the house and cook decent, healthy meals, and catching up with family and friends... life feels a little crazy.

Novel writing is not at the top of my list.  And on more than one occasion, especially this last week, I have thought about totally dropping out of the NaNoWriMo project.  But I really hate that idea.  Too many times I say I am going to do something and then stop.  And the fact that I want to give up really just means I need to push through.  It will help with my other goals as well as in the future, when trying to write another book or finish up this one.

My hope is that I will stay on track until tomorrow.  It will be the half-way point.  25,000 words.  After that, it is just a matter of finishing it.  Plus, the week 2 slump is a fairly common thing I hear.  So I am hoping I can push past it and finish strong.

It doesn't help that my writing buddy was looking at me like this:

That's his "Momma, will you play with me?" face.

So we played.  Then he did this:

If he's not asleep on my keyboard, then he must fall asleep on my arms.  Makes typing a breeze.  Don't pay attention to the fact that I'm looking at Facebook.  I was taking a break, ok?!  Geez.

And since he slept all night on my lap, he didn't eat dinner until 11:30 which meant he woke up at 2.  And then again at 4.  And then again at 6.  Good thing he's cute.

Tired of looking at pictures of my dog on the couch?  Well... that's all I've got for you.  And if you don't like pictures of puppies, I suggest you ask Santa for a new heart.  Or a ticket to Who-ville or something.  I'll say a Bah Humbug right back at you.  Dogs are cute, ok?

I'm tired.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

6 months old

My sweet little furbaby is 6 months old today!

And I think he is just as cute as the day we brought him home.

Actually cuter.  He's cuter now that he recognizes that I'm his Momma, HAS to snuggle with me on the couch and first thing in the morning, let's me kiss the sides of his face and carry him like he's a baby, doesn't bite me, and hangs out with me while I get ready in the morning.

Plus I think it's cute that he sits like a person.

Now that he's six months old, he's officially registered.  And he has his first REAL dog show coming up.

My boy's growing up.  :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Writing Buddy

Sunday night, I played a little catch-up with my NaNoWriMo Novel.  I did a fairly good job this last week of never getting more than a day behind.  I hate being behind on stuff.

After an EXTREMELY busy week, I was pretty proud of the fact that I never really let the novel hit the back burner.  I worked on it every day, even if it was just for a few hundred words.

I was determined last night though to make up for lost ground.  And so was my writing buddy.

But he ran out of steam before I was done...

We managed to get it done!  Back on track and ready to keep on writing (and maybe even get ahead again).

Friday, November 9, 2012

Early Mornings

Oh Friday... Bless you for being here.  I'd say I am ready for a weekend to relax, but this weekend is anything BUT relaxing.  That is pretty much true of almost every day until Thanksgiving.  We just have a lot going on.  And it's all good stuff.  Celebrating birthdays.  Seeing friends.  Definitely good reasons to be busy.

But after three days of Cotton waking up before 6 in the morning and late nights, I could use a nap.  Fall back hasn't exactly worked in our favor when it comes to the puppy.  However, I have managed to get a great deal of stuff done between 5:40 in the morning and when I need to leave for work.

For example, this morning I baked a cherry pie, did a load of laundry, got ready, and made Phil coffee all with enough time to get to work early and write this here post.  I'd be feeling quite domestic if the pie crust hadn't been Pillsbury and the cherry filling hadn't been canned but whatever.  Details details.

In terms of the novel writing, the busy week hasn't given me much time to write.  I am currently about 1 day behind on my word count.  My hope is that I will be able to catch up this weekend.  I think it will happen.  I really hate being behind on things.  But that's ok!  I will get there.  And as long as I'm not more than a day behind, I think it is always manageable to catch up.  The story is forming in my head, so it really is just a matter of getting the time to write.

At least my little monster is cute.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Grey's Anatomy and Dr. 90210

I love Grey's Anatomy.  I always have.  A couple of friends introduced it to me when I lived in England.  We were get together about once a week to have dinner and watch an episode on her laptop.  From there, I was hooked.

But once Izzy got skin cancer, I had a real problem with the show.  I turned into a total hypochondriac.  I was constantly afraid that I had a brain tumor or something was wrong with me.  And this lasted for quite a while.  It scared me into have skin checks (which is probably a really good thing since I have such fair skin) and into making sure all of my physicals were done as soon as possible (which also turned out to be a REALLY good thing).

When I found out I had thyroid nodules, I immediately had to STOP watching Grey's.  Even though I had seen all of the episodes and knew how it all turned out, mentally I couldn't handle it.  And it got even worse when the nodules turned out to be cancer and I knew I had to have a surgery.

I was so petrified of having surgery, it probably sent me into crying attacks daily.  Despite the fact that I knew it was fiction.  I knew the types of cases they had on that show were SUPER rare and that most surgeries went off without a hitch.  Otherwise, no one would ever have surgery.

So in order to prepare myself for having surgery, I started watching Dr. 90210.  I figured, if those people were CHOOSING to have surgery, then it really couldn't be that bad.  And I really didn't have a choice.  I NEEDED the surgery.  I even watched at least 3 or 4 episodes of it the day before my surgery, to really DRIVE it home.  In a really weird way, watching Dr. 90210 completely worked.  I watched person after person have surgery and come out totally fine.

After my first surgery, I found out that I actually performed REALLY well under anesthesia, which was the main part I was afraid of (well that and having the surgeon accidentally cut a major artery in my neck which, again, was always INCREDIBLY unlikely).  The fact that I had done SO WELL during my first surgery made it so I hardly worried about the second surgery.  I just wanted to have it over with.

Since putting cancer behind me, I have decided I can start watching Grey's Anatomy again.  I skip certain episodes though (since some of the story lines still get me).  It helps that things have gotten so ridiculous on that show that it is almost laughable.

But what it really tells me is that I am not nearly as irrational/crazy as I used to be.

I figure that's always a good thing.

PS - But I do sometimes wonder if something weird happened during my surgeries, like they always show on TV.  I'll probably never know (and that is totally fine with me).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Just Tuesday?

Here's my question for you...

Why is it only the middle of the day on Tuesday?

Does it feel like it should be later in the week to anyone other than me?  No?  Just me?  Alright whatever.

Honestly, it is made worse by the fact that I know that unless I want to watch election coverage all night long (I'll probably watch a little but not all night), there is NOTHING to watch on TV tonight.  It might be a good night for some Red Box.  We've already decided to get a veggie pizza, so a movie goes right with it, doesn't it?

I'm too tired to think about watching a movie tonight honestly.  My goal to get to 10,000 words last night was accomplished, but at the cost of about 2 more hours of sleep.  I wanted to go to bed at 8, but felt the need to write on!  It's probably all total crap and I would have been better served to just go to bed.

But at least now I am 20% of the way to 50,000 words!  :)  And I'm still barely into the meat of the novel.  My main character has just now been introduced to the plot.  So far it has been all back-story and sub-plot stuff.


Random thought for election day... Why is it illegal in some states to post pictures of your ballot?  If you have the right to vote and you have the right to talk about your vote, then why don't you have the right to take a picture of your vote?  Just curious.  What are these states trying to hide?  We could go old-school voting style and have everyone just right down the name they want.  Then we would all just be taking pictures of a blank piece of paper.

Ok I need to stop typing.

Happy Election Day!!  In case you wondered... I voted.  Technically I voted last week (thanks to Oregon's mail in ballots), so I won't need to go to the polls today.  And hopefully people don't start complaining when the political ads are replaced with Christmas ads because they TOTALLY will be.

Over and out.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Short Month

Well, I had a great little weekend.  It was jam-packed (as all weekends tend to be these days), but full of fun activities that I just couldn't turn down.  However, it didn't leave a ton of time for writing which made yesterday a little stressful.

I like goals.  And I am pretty good at setting goals and keeping them (assuming the goal is something I have control over in the first place).  Hence why I was able to finish grad school in half the time.  I'm good at putting my nose to the grindstone and getting things done.  Usually this is the case because I don't let a lot of things get in the way of my goals.  Like eating, or sleeping, and definitely not exercising.

Day 1 started off great.  I was able to exceed the needed 1,667 words.  Day 2, I was 300 words shy of the daily 1,667, but I figured it would be ok... I had the weekend to make up some word-age.

But then I decided Phil and I should go on a three mile walk with the dogs to get a Caramel Apple Spice.  By the time I got back, I had to rush to get ready to go to Rikkie's son's birthday party.  It was so cute!!  There's nothing quite like watching a bunch of boys with pirate hats bowl.  Then I raced home to try and nap before I went to the Oregon State football game with my dad.  In true Oregon State fashion, the game was definitely not boring.  There's nothing quite like giving up 9 points in the first quarter.  The Beavers ended up winning.  But between walking around campus with my dad, standing to eat, and getting up and down through out the majorly eventful game, I think I got more exercise on Saturday than I have in the last 2 months.  Combined probably.

That's pretty sad.

Plus the game was a night game and we didn't get home until after midnight.  Cotton didn't buy into the whole "extra hour of sleep" idea, so he woke up at 5.

By the time church was over, I was T.I.R.E.D.

And had at least 3,500 words to write.  I wanted a nap.  My inner goal-driven self was starting to freak out. I was falling behind!!

Thankfully, we had very little on the agenda for Sunday, so I was basically able to write all day.  I made up the ground I had lost and even get ahead a little.  This week is even busier than this weekend was, so writing time will be scarce.  I need to use all the time I have early in the week to get ahead, so I don't fall behind.

So here are the stats:

Day 4 NaNoWriMo

Words Written:  7,735
Words Remaining:  42,265
Goal for Monday:  Get over 10,000 words.

10,000 words... that means I'll be 20% there.  That's kind of crazy.

And I have a feeling this little "write a novel" goal is going to make November FLY BY!!  I just realized yesterday afternoon that Cotton's pageant is in less than 2 weeks.  The little guy isn't quite prepared yet.  :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

NaNoWriMo: Day 1

Well... I got started.

I spent most of the day thinking about what I wanted to write.  But I was a little nervous.  I had no idea where to start.  I had a general beginning figured out, but not the actual opening of the book.

When I came home, I was greeted at the door by Phil who promptly informed me that he had a headache.  That's code for Phil NEEDS to lie down in the dark with his head buried in the couch before the headache turns into a migraine.  It also meant that I felt very bad for him.  I hate it when he gets headaches.

And before I could get started writing, I needed to feed my sick man.  I also needed to make some Lemon Bars.  Remember the Lemon Bars?  I really need to share that recipe.  It really wasn't a option whether or not to make them.  Plus I had to make them for Canasta Night.  Jacob would need them.  :)

By the time I made dinner (Swedish Meatballs), made the Lemon Bars, and cleaned up my mess, it was after 7:30.  I parked myself in the rocking chair with my laptop and just started going for it.

I was shocked at how quickly I got my word count done.  Of course by the time I started writing Phil was feeling better and ready to visit.  After I shot him the look of death along with some one word responses to his questions, he got the hint.  Poor guy.

This is the current scene at our house.

Phil in the recliner.  Taylor on one couch.  Cotton on another couch.  Myself in the rocking chair.  Cotton has pushed us off the couches.  He likes to be involved in the typing.  It is NOT helpful.

Here's the skinny on Day 1

Words Completed: 1,703
Words Left: 48,297
Chapters Completed:  Almost one

I'm feeling a little self-conscious about what I wrote.  Overall, I like it.  But I am worried it is a little too much background information and not enough story telling.  But I suppose that is probably ok for a first chapter.  I don't know.  I can always go back and add to it later.

Like 2 people said they would be interested in reading excerpts.  I'm still deciding if I am feeling brave enough to share some completely unedited writing.  Although if I am being completely honest, most of my posts are totally unedited.  You all probably noticed that already.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I've noticed a change in myself over the last year.  It has to do something with dealing with cancer.  It will change things for you.  And honestly, it is probably a lesson that everyone could stand to learn a littler earlier in life than most do.


Most people lack it.  And now I get a little annoyed when I see so many people who completely lack it.

I got really bothered by it this weekend when Phil and I were watching TV.  We were just looking for something to watch while we ate breakfast before church, so I turned on Tia & Tamera.  And after watching one of them freak out about Twitter not working properly and how "overwhelmed" she was with "work", I seriously wanted to scream.

So many times I read some blog posts or listen to my coworkers/family members/friends complain about what they have going on in their lives and it drives me nuts.  They talk about how stressed their are.  How much they have going on.  How they are busy.  But what they don't realize is how lucky and fortunate they are.  Often times, the things that cause "stress" are really just the blessings we take for granted.

Obviously this isn't always the case.  And I know life can be hard and overwhelming at times.  But I don't think until you go through something huge (cancer, infertility, a family member's illness, a death, legitimate financial struggles, etc.) do you really realize just how blessed your life really is.

My coworker was freaking out one afternoon about how she was going to get her son to football practice and her daughter to piano practice by herself when they were across town.  I mean she was really getting worked up about it.  And since I was in a particularly wonderful mood that day, I looked at her and said, "Oh to have your problems.  So what if you are late to one of them?  It's really not worth getting stressed out about."  And once I pointed that out to her, she calmed down and realized it really wasn't worth the stress.

And that's the thing.  I feel like so many people are losing sight of how wonderful and amazing their lives are by getting caught up and stressed out about the little, trivial things.  So please... do yourself and me a favor... the next time you find yourself getting stressed out about something, consider whether or not it is worth it.  Because most of the time, it's not.

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