ten things sunday!

guess what? SPRING SEMESTER IS OVER!!! 😀  since i haven’t been able to write for the past couple of weeks due to finals and editing work, i haven’t posted any new previews for my work in progress. but i want to keep up with my blog better than i have been lately. so i thought i’d do a ten things i love sunday! here we go:

1. i really want this bag. it’s so bohemian & cute. i’m having a hard time convincing myself not to buy it. i’m going to wait, and if i still want it at the end of the coming week, then i’ll let myself buy it. 

2. earlier this week, the hubster accidentally closed our new puppy effie’s paw in the door. he felt really badly about it, and he gave her a piece of beef jerky. this is the text he sent me that afternoon: 

3. our nieces and nephews on easter! how precious are they?! i wish we lived closer so we could see them all the time.

4. love these gorgeous vintage-inspired bathing suits:

5. i love learning. i call myself a student of everything. 🙂

6. THIS. is hilarious:

7. also hilarious:

8. i’m going to make one of these this week. found it on a beautiful mess.

9. here’s one of lola and effie playing tug-o-war:

10. here are the two paintings i took to jail break 3. a lady was interested in buying the gray one on the right, but i never heard back from her after i tried to contact her again. oh well! her being interested in it was enough of a confidence boost for me! 🙂

hope you had a beautiful weekend and your week is lovely and stress-free!

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preview. a day late.

if i didn’t do things late, would i still be me? i’m not sure. i don’t know if that’s ever happened. lol. here’s another preview from A Year of Days: 

I can’t imagine how many women have stood here in this very spot, waiting for their husbands to come home. This pier at Coronado has seen a range of emotions far too broad to comprehend. I should think the most popular ones would be elation and anticipation. Anticipation is one that can be added to my long list of feelings. But not excitement. As I stand looking out over the water on the warm March morning, I contemplate the stories of the ones who have come before me. It’s all I can do to hold myself together. 

For just a moment, I pretend I’m standing in a sea of wives, husbands, parents, children… Flags are waving, banners and posters are held high, and the air is alive with excitement as the brow is placed at the entrance to the aircraft carrier’s hangar bay. When the first sailor disembarks, shouts and chatter turn to screams and cheering. He maneuvers the steep brown ladder expertly and runs over to his wife, who holds their new baby. They embrace and cry and coo over the newborn. Sailors with new babies are always among the first to be let off the ship. 

I shake my head and rid my imagination of that alternate universe – one that I might have had one day. 

 

a short preview.

i’m working on a manuscript that i started last year, and it’s the one that i’ve committed to finishing by the end of this year. i’m going to start something called “preview fridays,” sharing little snippets of the novel each friday as i work on it. here’s the first, from the middle of chapter one:

I shake my head, breathe in deeply, and reach for the door handle. Before I can open it, another sailor, whose badge tells me his last name is Lionel, does it for me. He offers a gloved hand and helps me out of the car. It’s even warmer on the lawn, where the ocean breeze isn’t quite as strong. I smooth down my light pink dress and clutch my purse at my side. I refuse to wear black like the rest of my family. Andrew loved me in pink.

Lionel – I don’t know his rank – holds his arm out for me to take, and he escorts me to the grouping of chairs. The clicking of my heels on the pavement alerts the people to my presence, and I steel myself against the onslaught of sympathy and sorrow. My sister Edie squeezes my hand, knowing that a hug or words of condolence will only make it worse.

The rest of the family isn’t so intuitive. My mom and mother-in-law embrace me at the same time, squeezing me, patting my back, and trying to press handkerchiefs into my clutched fists.

“Lyla,” Mom says on a sob, “I’m so–”

I step back and hold a hand up with a small smile. “I’m fine.” I hug them separately. Both women have red-rimmed eyes, but I’m determined not to cry. I’ve done a lot of that over the past two weeks.

Two weeks. That’s how long it’s been since two men in dress uniform showed up at my front door. I was still so naïve to military protocol. My friend Savanna was there—we were having our weekly “girls’ night in”—and she ran over and grabbed my arm as soon as she saw who was at the door.

so that’s that. the working title is a year of days, and it’s a character-driven story with a simple plot. feedback is welcomed with open arms! be painfully honest. be constructively critical. but please do it in a kind manner. thanks!

things.

1. i do not love apple peels. i hate how they get stuck between my teeth. it’s almost as bad as eating corn on the cob. but i do like apples.

2. i’m excited that my friend lindsey is going to be in my maymester class with me. 🙂

3. there are a few days left to vote in this contest to get my friend jen’s book on the shelf at walmart! you can vote once a day.

4. i want a beer. too bad they’re like six weight watchers points.

5. speaking of weight watchers, i’ve lost 11 pounds. i’m between sizes, which sucks, but yay!

6. a professor (cliff peacock) agreed to supervise my independent study in the fall. i met with him today and assured him that i’ll work really hard and am ready for it.

7. speaking of painting, i’m going to have two paintings set up at jail break 3 on april 14th! they’ll be for sale, but i really just wanted to do it to show myself that i could.

8. i loved the hunger games. i literally had to hold in sobs during two parts. if you go in with the realization that movies are always different from the books on which they were based, you will probably love it too.

9. i only have three weeks of regular classes left for the semester. how is this possible? it’s amazing. i cannot wait.

10. i’m excited for the flowertown festival this weekend. especially because the king of pops is going to be there. i recently heard about him, and i really want to try the lemon basil popsicle. sounds really refreshing and yummy.

that’s all for now. have a good weekend!

unapologetic.

so.

how’ve ya been?

oh, me? i’ve been…

busy.

sorry for the lack of blogging (just in case you live for my words, as i’m sure you do). this semester has been a whirlwind. despite the fact that i’m taking more hours, and my workload is gigantic compared to last semester, i actually like this semester a LOT more than last. so i’ve been less anxious where that is concerned.

on top of constant school-related work, you may have heard that i recently got a freelance editing gig. i’m extremely excited about this. it’s with an independent publisher: martin sisters publishing. my dear friend jennifer barry has had one title published with them, and she has a lot of other (extremely exciting) projects in the works! anyway, i’ve finished one manuscript and am working on another. i feel incredibly lucky for this experience.

my resumé is building up nicely with that and my two publishing internships.

i also met with my advisor yesterday, who had a lot of encouraging things to say. we had a great discussion about art in general, and he said that he likes my work for the most part. i was beyond pleased to hear that. i’ve only had one painting professor for the three classes i’ve taken, and i wish i could go back and change that, because i’ve only had his opinion on my work thus far. i’m branching out this summer and taking a class with a different professor. as nervous as that makes me, i need to do it. i need the technical instruction that i haven’t gotten with my other professor. though i’m incredibly grateful that i’ve had the opportunity to develop my own style and voice so early on. i know exactly what i want to “say” with my paintings, and i’ve actually learned a good bit about myself through them.

they’re very…”me.”

vulnerable, anxious, hard to read, trying to be pleasing, and maybe sometimes trying to be something they’re not.

which brings me to another topic. it’s march 2nd, and i’ve got a new “project” to work on. as of yesterday, my new goal is to care less about what people think of me. i’m so stand-offish and shy at times because i’m afraid of what people think or see. people have told me that because of this, they thought i was a snob when they first met me.

and that makes me really sad. because i’m not a snob.

really, i’m an open book. sometimes i’m an over-sharer (hence constant updates on facebook and twitter…). and sometimes i regret sharing things that i’ve shared, because i realize how idiotic or nerdy they made me seem. i realize, though, that most people go through the same thing, even though sometimes i feel like the dorkiest person in the world.

so what i’m working on is trying to not feel embarrassed or apologetic for who i am, what i do, what i love, or how i live. i don’t owe anything to anyone but myself. and the hubster, of course. i owe him my world. and you know what? i have to stop and remember sometimes that he and others love me FOR who i am. not despite it. if anything about me was different, maybe i’d be a different person, and those people wouldn’t love me the way they do. ❤

so yeah. i’m trying not to care. i’m trying really hard. i’m going to keep doing what i do UNAPOLOGETICALLY.

i’ll own my dorky status. lol

umm…i totally did not mean for this to be some giant emo post. it was supposed to be a quick update on what i’ve been up to.

SO! end emo-ness and cue list of exciting things:

*editing job

*upcoming artistic opportunities (i promise i’ll blog about that later.)

*a possible quick trip to see some lovely friends

*spring break is this coming week! i’m dedicating it to editing, writing, and painting.

*being halfway finished with the semester

*i signed up for a jazz dance class for fall semester. and the harry potter class! i’m hoping to learn some really useful spells and potions. 😉  (just kidding…in case the sarcasm didn’t convey…)

*i’ve officially lost 8.8 pounds! the most important thing is that i’ve gone down at least one pants size, and a couple of my shirts are getting too baggy to be cute. that last bit is sad and exciting at the same time. lol. the way i look and feel has always been more important to me than what the scale says, but seeing those numbers drop each week is pretty awesome.

*i’ve made the decision to finish up one of my own manuscripts by may so i can get the five free printed copies i earned from doing nanowrimo. 🙂  it’s not anything official. it’s not even necessarily something i’ll strive to have published. but it’ll be cool to see it in book form, anyway. 😉

well, i hope you’re having a great friday, and that you have lots of fun (or relaxing, if you’d rather) things planned for the weekend. i’m going to the lowcountry artists market and the circus! wanna go with?

unabashedly me,

*tiff*

i leave you with a funny:

 

christmas at my house

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE!

i thought i’d share a few peeks of our christmas decorations and such. 🙂  and i’ll post a tutorial soon on those yarn wreaths.

we’re heading over to mom & dad’s house to spend the night so we can wake up and have christmas morning together. it’s one of our traditions. willy, ashley, & i wear matching pajamas. heehee. what are your plans for christmas eve?

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the second yarn wreath i made. these things are so easy and fun to make!

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my aunt gave me this a couple of years ago. i love it! it sings christmas carols, and snow blows around like a real snow globe. gotta love disney princesses. 🙂

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*sings* pecaaaans roasting in an open ovennnn... i guess that's not the same. lol

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other yarn wreath. tutorial coming shortly, including how to make felt flowers.

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someone gave this to us as a wedding gift, and i absolutely adore it. ❤

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texas in pictures!

since i have some down time, i thought i’d start blogging about our trip to texas instead of doing one huge post when we get home. i’m taking tons of photos (most of which consist of the nieces and nephews so far! heh… i’m a doting auntie) so i can document our trip in pics. 🙂

million-hour drive = shoes off, crochet time, and audiobook fest.

made it to houston! only 3-4 hours left to san antonio...

starting to go a little crazy (well, more crazy than i already am, i guess...)

made it! here's pop holding our nephew nathan, who is 3.5 months old now.

pretty nieces! braelyn and kenzee eating some yummy dinner.

nathan and mommy. look at that bright-eyed boy! he loves to observe the world around him.

day two:

day two: braelyn and brynley dressed up for church in their adorable matching dresses! i remember when ashley & i used to have matching dresses for every occasion!

sweetie girl!

somebody loves his uncle willy!

smiley boy!

the cutest shirley temple doll in the window of an antiques shop. i think mamaw would love this!

heading out to dinner at the gristmill in gruene. so many pretty christmas lights & decorations!

having a wonderful time with the family so far. i haven’t gotten many pictures of kenzee, because she doesn’t stay in one place for very long, and my phone was dead at dinner last night. lol. and we haven’t gotten to see much of the newest addition, carter, yet! but we will!  more pictures and details to come later.