Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sibling Rivalry?

This is not a writing post. It's about my kids, eventually. First off, I lost a follower last week. I guess my posts aren't all that inspiring. Ah well, I still love my followers. :)

It has been said that writing and publishing a book is a lot like having a baby. I'm inclined to agree, especially given my current experiences and how it seems to effect my family.

One, the weight gain. Yep. Still wondering how to get that off, since that's one part that's NOT like having a baby.

Two, when the book came out my hubby and I wanted to show it to everyone. Very much like having a newborn.

And three, now that I've spent most of December on book signings--call this being busy taking care of the newborn--I'm experiencing what I can only call a sibling rivalry from my other kids.

Last week, my son asked me to not do anything that had to do with books or writing for a whole day. "Spend time with us." It's not like I'm neglecting them, honest. I'm here more than I'm not. At home, that is.

Then last night my daughter wanted a date--just her and me--and it had to have NOTHING to do with books.

Any time I talk about going to a signing I'm met with groans of disappointment.

I think the shiny wrapping that comes with a newborn has worn off. They're still proud of the book and all, but they definitely aren't fans of having it take so much of my time to be an author.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Poem

"Jesus Child"

The star shone high and bright,
in the sky above our heads.
We tried to tend our flocks,
but followed it instead.
How far it led us, we know not.
Nor do we really care.
For we'd have trod a thousand steps
to see who we saw there.
He was so small, this Son of God,
an infant child who lay
in a manger, with Mother dear
on a bed of hay.
His eyes, so bright, just like the star
that shone in Heaven above,
looked on us with approval
as we gazed at him in awe.
Others came, but we were first
this sweet child here to see.
And we knew then, deep in our hearts
our Savior he would be.

December 19, 1994

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Simple Christmas

That's what I want. I don't want a complicated, busy, hectic Christmas.

But, here I am signing books like crazy all December--I've barely done any Christmas shopping and I have ten days before the big day.

The girls are easy to shop for. That's the greatest thing about girls. My boys, actually, aren't that complicated. The thing is, as they get older, their wants get bigger and bigger. And more expensive. Except for that $1.41 power cord my son needs for his game boy. That was awesome. :) I should have gotten two or three.

It's the time I lack. As usual. My days are full of craziness. And it's a good crazy, but it takes up all my time. It's too late to order things for the kids to be shipped here without spending tons of money I don't have anyway, so that option's out. And I tried to do some shopping for them Monday on my way home from my signing--and didn't get to bed until 2am. Not smart.

My simple Christmas idea was born partly from necessity, and partly from a desire that my kids will appreciate the true spirit of the season more if they weren't overwhelmed with toys and things they don't really need. I don't like the idea of raising greedy kids. Which is why the Nativity has been up for weeks, while we have yet to put up the tree.

The necessity aspect of it is simply that we have no space to store anything. The kids' rooms are full of stuff. We have needs--like a new washer and dryer, or a new couch, or new mattresses for the kids--but we don't have a budget for that.

So I have to be smart. And savvy. And creative. Good thing God is on my side, or I'd never make it. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Sunday, a friend of mine said something that absolutely broke my heart. She said she'd gotten a call from her cousin that week saying their 4 year old child had died during the night.

You just never forget those kinds of calls.

When I was fourteen, yes--a millennium ago--my mom got a call like that. It was my oldest brother, who said their second son, 17 month old Mitchel, had died in his sleep. Watching my mom start to cry as she slid down to the floor was something that I'll never forget.

It was so much like the call we got when my dad died I knew what had happened before she told me.

I was seven when my dad died, but that's the kind of thing that brands your memory in a searing, permanent way. My mom sobbing on the phone. My brother holding me while I cried. And it had started out as such a wonderful, fun day.

When Mitchel died, no one was expecting it. His death affected me in so many ways. I'd never met him on this earth. The year before he was born, we'd tried to drive up for a visit and rolled our car after hitting black ice. In my youth, that experience made me incredibly nervous to attempt that trip again, so when my mom went up there when Mitchel was a baby, I was too scared to go. Stupid 13 yr old thing to do. But there you are. I couldn't go to his funeral either, since it was near the end of May and the school told my mom we couldn't miss our final exams. Stupid school. BTW, no school will ever dictate to me what family events my kids experience or miss. Just sayin'.

I'm not trying to lessen the pain felt by Mitchel's parents, or the lasting effects his death had on his current and future siblings. It's a devastating thing to lose a child, no matter how much of the gospel you understand or accept. It's hard to take comfort in the knowledge that they are in a better, safer place and that they are now spared the evils of the world when you are ripped apart inside. When you see their favorite shirt, or toy, or their room, and can't help but think you can't hug or hold them anymore. For now, at least.

I would sneak into my kids' rooms and watch them sleep, and make sure they were breathing, well past their second birthdays. I couldn't help myself. The idea of waking up in the morning to a dead child haunted me for the longest time. In some ways, it still does. We are not in charge of when God calls his children home. That's why, after Jeffrey had his life-saving surgery, I started counting the months and years I had him with me. He could have died before he turned a year old. Having him in my life now means a little more because of that. I don't take any of those moments for granted.

Or at least I try not to.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I missed posting yesterday, but I have a good excuse. Sort of. While I should have prepared my post earlier in the week, we had some sickness issues, and Tuesday was a complete wash. In fact, I was up until 2 am Wed morning just catching up on everything I had to to Tuesday.

Yesterday, I didn't post because I had a book signing. Living in Tooele makes book signings inconvenient, unless they're here in town. That rocks. :) But, I drove into Orem yesterday, which meant I had to leave early enough to get out there, allowing for any weather conditions and traffic back ups that may occur--and arrive early enough to set up. Coming home takes much less time, seeing as I can just pack up and go.

Lately, I've been begging my kids for patience. I don't know how it happened, but I ended up being the most popular person in the house. EVERYONE wants their time with Mommy. My 9 yr old daughter commented recently that, now that I'm a writer, I have no time for them anymore.

Of course, I explained to her that it was my day job that took away the time. If I didn't have to work, then I could write while they were in school and have time for them when they get home, instead of trying to play catch up on my writing every evening.

But she got me thinking. I've never been a great time manager. I set up schedules that make perfect sense on paper, but I can't implement in my life. And December is going to be a mess, with 11 signings in one month. Plus my day job. Plus my family. I know they're really going to feel like they're getting the short end of the stick by New Year's.

I had the brilliant idea to just take one kid with me to each signing, save the one I did yesterday. 5 kids, 10 signings, that's 2 signings per kid. And they'd get one on one time with me. Wouldn't that be great?

But reality set in, and I thought, "What if the stores find it incredibly unprofessional that I bring my kids along to book signings?" Nix that idea. I HAVE to make a good impression--I'm a newbie. And I want to be invited back. A lot. :)

I try to equate it to them like this: the more books I sell, the less I'll have to babysit. As it is, I bring in less than $200/wk. If I can make that up in signing and speaking engagements, then I won't have to work and I'll have more time to write.

Of course, you know that when I say I won't have to work, I mean at another job. The being an author thing is a job. So, when you think about it, I'm working two jobs right now. Kinda stinks. But we all do what we have to do. This writing thing is my dream; it's what fulfills me inside. I love the kids I look after, but it's not where my heart is. If that makes sense.

Life is fun, no? :)