Day In My Life, October 2019

Monday, October 14, 2019 (a pretty typical example of a day in my life right now!)

This morning I got out of bed at 10 A.M., ate a few waffles, and spent too much time on hold with my primary care physician trying to get my pain medicine refilled. Then I got to work! First I filmed a video tutorial for an email marketing client; I had a little too much fun designing an Alaskan travel-themed email to use as the example for said tutorial. Then I sat on my balcony in the LOVELY weather, tried not to fall asleep because I was SO exhausted, and smiled at the cute dogs on an adjacent balcony as I wrote my cycling newsletter (subscribe here–it comes out three days a week).

Appetite (meaning lack thereof) has been a big issue for me recently, but thankfully today I was coming off of a (relatively small) GI flare-up and I was very hungry! I had a big salad with French bread and a dairy-free chocolate pecan brownie for lunch while watching a YouTube video. After taking a shower, it was back to work for a couple more very sleepy hours to write a blog post for a pet insurance company and work on one for an Instagram growth service, then watch a few more YouTube videos before I had to leave.

monday2

Late afternoon, I headed to the theatre for rehearsal; tonight I was only needed from 5-6 to go over two numbers. We rehearsed our Razzle Dazzle tap dance and then a slightly different group of us worked on our Grecian Urn (from Music Man) skit. I love going to rehearsal and it’s crazy that this show is so soon.

monday3

When I got home at 6:30, I wanted to go straight to bed because #chronicfatigue, but I forced myself to stay up and make oven-baked tacos (mix refried beans, ground beef, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning and bake it in tortillas). Pro tip, it’s easier to make this recipe if you have a can opener, which I didn’t. Lol. But I figured it out.

I finally ate dinner around 7:30, caught up on dishes, and was in bed with a book (The Weight of Feathers) by 8 and had the lights out by 9:30. As days in my life go, this was a pretty good one–and productive, too, because Monday is the day of the week when I have more energy than normal after resting all weekend!

What does a day in your life look like right now?

Advertisements

September 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up

The first two weeks of September were great! I started writing a novel again, went to dance class/rehearsal for the show, went to a new small group, and hosted a Bible study. The last two weeks were pretty awful—my health flared up big-time and I was in so much pain I couldn’t sleep and so nauseous I couldn’t eat. I basically didn’t leave the house for two weeks and had to cancel my trip to South Carolina for a writing conference. However, I did go to some new doctors and take some steps forward.

Fun stuff this month (in addition to dance and Bible studies): The Wises and my family came over to cook out and swim for Labor Day. I went to an artisan market with my favorite two-year-old. I babysat at church, took my pastor’s daughter to lunch, and saw Mamma Mia! with my dad.

 

This month I’m…

Reading: Little Heathens, Mildred Armstrong Kalish. The Silence Between Us, Alison Gervais. Alex Approximately (reread), The Anatomical Shape of a Heart (reread), and The Lady Rogue, Jenn Bennett (reread). Somewhere Only We Know, Maurene Goo. More Than We Can Tell, Brigid Kemmerer (reread). Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, Morgan Matson (reread). The Land of 10,000 Madonnas, Kate Hattemer (reread). Loki: Where Mischief Lies, Mackenzi Lee. The Downstairs Girl, Stacey Lee. Hope and Other Punchlines, Julie Buxbaum. 12 total. (I also speed-read and reviewed four nonfiction books for work.)

Watching: Thor: Ragnarok (showed it to Joshua and we laughed so loud we kept scaring the cat). Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1. Girl Meets World season four (rewatch–my fave show ah). Roommate Hunters with my family. Do All Disabled People Think the Same?. Tom Holland Goes Undercover on Reddit, YouTube, and Twitter. As/Is YouTube channel. Hadestown Broadway.com vlogs and other random theatre videos. Shawn Mendes Tour with Alessia Cara: The Final Week (and SOBBING).

Listening to: SO BEYOND OBSESSED WITH ALESSIA CARA’S NEW THIS SUMMER EP, especially October (#emotions) and OKAY OKAY (dance party!). All We Know and Growing Pains (Acoustic), Alessia Cara. What A Time, Julia Michaels/Niall Horan. Teeth, 5SOS. What a Wonderful World, Brooklyn Duo. When I Grow Up, Matilda the Musical. When You’re An Addams, The Addams Family. Livin’ it Up on Top and When the Chips are Down, Hadestown. Cell Block Tango, Chicago. Bad Reputation (MTV Unplugged), Shawn Mendes. Home, Gabrielle Aplin. Holding Out for a Hero, Footloose. Money, Money, Money and Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!, Mamma Mia. Love Has a Name album, Jesus Culture.

music1.png

Loving: Champion School: Inside USA Cycling’s junior development program, VeloNews. Pregnant on Broadway: “Beautiful” Star Kara Lindsay on the Shocking Realities, Backstage. Grace Anne’s Tuesday email newsletters.

Writing: The floodgates opened and a novel–the YA contemporary road trip novel I started last year at this time–emerged. I wrote 15,000 words of it during the first two weeks of this month and also hired an editor, so I have to finish it now, lol. I had so much stamina and felt like I could write the novel in a week! I also wrote 3,000 words of fanfiction this month.

 

Work happened, too. But between my poor health and my fun creative hobbies, freelancing isn’t really my primary focus anymore; I just do the bare minimum I have to do to pay the bills.

Eating: Organic champagne raspberries. Stir frys with meat and fresh green beans. Then for the last two weeks of the month, either nothing or nausea-friendly foods like pudding, bagels/peanut butter, smoothies, and Cheerios, lol.

Grateful for: SPIDER-MAN IS BACK IN THE MCU (thanks Tom Holland). Sitting on the grass feeding Noah raspberries while he signs “please.” Sweet thoughtful letters from a friend at college. Meeting people and instantly connecting with them. Feeling very confident. Writing a novel! A man at church stopping to bring us popsicles.

August 2019 Monthly Wrap-up

The first three weeks of August were fabulous! I worked WAY less and wasn’t stressed (yet still made the same amount of money as usual) and pursued a lot of creative hobbies. Probably the most exciting thing was choreographing a tap dance and auditioning it for a show at the local community theatre; I have never gotten to pursue theatre and dance as fully as I’ve always wanted to, and I am BEYOND THRILLED to be in this show. The last week of August wasn’t so great, though; I accidentally ate some dairy, went into a bad flare-up (that may have included my gallstones? Not really sure what happened), and couldn’t leave the house for five full days.

At church we finished our John Bible study, had several baptisms, and I worked in nursery and played the piano and went to fellowship lunch. I went to tap class and we started dance rehearsals for the show. Andrea came over for lunch and, another day, I went to see her new house and puppy. Brooke and I had a special rainy evening out, she came for dinner once, and we hung out some after auditions. Joshua and I had dinner and watched a movie at the Wises’ house; another day, after his back-to-school party at the waterpark, we went to dinner with the Coxes. I went to the waterpark another time with some other friends; Mom had a birthday; I saw fireworks at a local college with Brooke and Shannon. I went to the last small group with my parents’ church. Finally, I got to go to the Decatur Book Festival with my dad and meet some amazing authors.

This month I’m…

Reading: Present Over Perfect, Shauna Niequist. Field Notes on Love, Jennifer E. Smith. Where the Lost Dogs Go, Susannah Charleson. Enchantee, Gita Trelease (reread). Discipline: The Glad Surrender, Elisabeth Elliott. 100 Days of Sunlight, Abbie Emmons. He Chose the Nails, Max Lucado. Little House at Brookfield, Maria D. Wilkes. What the Night Sings, Vesper Stamper (reread). Circus Mirandus, Cassie Beasley. Serious Moonlight, Jenn Bennett. Metaltown, Kristen Simmons (reread). 11 total (plus four nonfiction books for work).

Watching: Baby Driver (re-watch). Jurassic Park. Julia Robertson’s Oklahoma! vlogs. The Society (the whole season in four days–I was freaking obsessed with this show haha). The VMA’s.

Listening to: Ready, Alessia Cara and Stupid Deep, Jon Bellion are my two new FAVORITE songs in the world. Is There More, The Willis Clan. How ’bout a Dance?, Laura Osnes. Take Me to Church, Hozier. Mutual, Shawn Mendes. Rooting For You, Alessia Cara. Bigger Than Us, Michael Rice. What A Time, Julia Michaels/Niall Horan. Left Behind, Rise Cast Version. Anastasia.

Eating: A stir-fry with Italian sausage, potatoes, and broccoli. Dairy-free blueberry lemon cake.

Writing: I wrote 9,000 words of fanfiction this month and immensely enjoyed every single one!!! And work was good too. I made the same amount of money I did in July, except in August I wasn’t even trying; I dropped some clients, cut back with others, and was hardly stressed at all. Yay! (I’ll be sad when it starts getting dark early, because I loved sitting at my window writing the sun down in the evenings.)

Grateful for: I’M IN A SHOW I AM FREAKING OUT WITH EXCITEMENT. Walking across the road with kids from church to splash in the river. Squealing via text with friends about our other friend’s book. Shivering in wet bathing suits in a restaurant, laughing with friends who are home after being away all summer. Will and Josh coming to hang up my pictures for me. The time and space to think lots of big thoughts about the world.

What did you do in August?

 

 

 

100 Days of Sunlight blog tour!

A boy who wants to help and a girl who thinks there’s no way he can understand what she’s going through–that’s the story told in 100 Days of Sunlight, a new YA release with a heartwarming message of living in the light and understanding the beauty in being seen. The book quickly jumped to #1 New Release for its genre on Amazon, and there’s a good reason: It’s a strong, well-told story with a cover that’s visually stunning and instantly appealing. Now readers everywhere are squealing, laughing, and happily sighing about the book (at least, I am).

But for author Abbie Emmons, writing novels is nothing new.

“I completed 7 novels before I wrote 100 Days of Sunlight, and they all helped shape me to be the writer I am today,” Abbie said. “Also, I wrote so much fanfiction as a kid. I always look back on my older writings and think about how much every single word shaped me and improved my technique.”

100 Days of Sunlight was born during NaNoWriMo 2017. Abbie first came up with the story’s concept seven months beforehand, and when November rolled around, she was surprised at how quickly the words leaped onto the page: “Two weeks into NaNoWriMo, I reached my goal of 50,000 words and by the 27th day I had finished the whole book.”

Fast forward to today and 100 Days is out in the world after lots of editing and a long back-and-forth formatting process.

“I’m… a perfectionist, so I’m kind of obsessed with making sure I’ve crossed every t and dotted every i,” Abbie said about the indie publishing process.

Now a long list of 5-star reviews on both Goodreads and Amazon proves that readers (myself included) are falling in love with main characters Tessa and Weston, plus the overall aesthetic of the novel (which includes lots of sunlight, poetry, and waffles). Readers relate to Abbie’s well-drawn characters, and Abbie herself does, too.

“Tessa and I share a lot of the same personality traits and habits,” Abbie says about her character, who blogs, writes, eats lots of waffles, and reads lots of books. “I can also relate a lot to Tessa’s internal journey of coming out of her comfort zone to accept love and support from others, even when she feels like just closing up and hiding.” Abbie also adds that both herself and Tessa are INFJ’s.

And Abbie can see how she’s similar to Weston, too: “I can relate so much to his sunshiney optimism and sense of humor. At one point in the book, he says that he ‘laughs and cries at all the wrong times’ and I feel like that describes me pretty well.”

Abbie’s lifestyle focuses on multiple creative passions, and that’s what her blog centers on, too–not only does she write novels, but she’s a musician, and she even designed her own book cover for 100 Days.

I always had a vision for what it would look like, and I find it easier to just make a thing myself rather than explain it to someone else, if I can,” she said. “Luckily, I spent most of my childhood playing on Photoshop with graphic design, so I was able to design the book cover without much struggle.”

100days5

Abbie’s daily life incorporates all of her passions with an impressive amount of discipline and a focus on productivity. A day in her life varies based on what projects she’s focusing on at the moment. She’s a big fan of calendar blocking to plan out her day, though, finding that this method helps her make the most of her time. “I like to accomplish my most time-sensitive tasks in the morning, then work on the important-not-urgent ones in the afternoon, and my evenings are designated for working on projects further down the road.”

100 Days of Sunlight is an amazing debut novel, but for Abbie’s blog subscribers who regularly read her beautiful words and recognize how hard she works every day, that’s no surprise. 100 Days is a must-have for your YA contemporary shelf and Abbie’s disciplined lifestyle is an inspiration for creatives everywhere.

Check out Abbie’s book and connect with her on social at the links below:

Buy 100 Days of Sunlight | Add 100 Days of Sunlight on Goodreads

YouTube | Author website | Blog | Instagram | Facebook

Have you read 100 Days of Sunlight yet? What did you think of it? How do you make time in your daily life to focus on your own creative passions?

 

What I Spend In A Week

Several months ago, YouTuber Monica Church did a video titled Tracking My Finances For A Week (Day One). It was pretty interesting to watch (although I was also appalled at how much money she spent, lol–$186 in just one day). So this week (August 4th through August 10th) I thought I’d do something similar in the form of a blog post! My guess is that I’ll be way under Monica’s daily amount of $186 for my whole week since I paid my rent and other bills last week, but we’ll see! Here’s how much money I spend, plus how I spend it, in an average week.

Sunday Total: $3.99

I rented Baby Driver on Amazon and re-watched it. (It’s so good.) Other than that, it was a quiet day for my wallet.

baby-driver.gif
(x)

Monday Total: $27.22

On my walk to get the mail, I had a stroke of inspiration and decided I needed a doormat, so I immediately came back up and started shopping for one. After way too much time browsing Harry Potter doormats on Etsy (#procrastination), I ended up buying a doormat from JCPenney that says “There’s no place like home” in script. It was on sale and ended up being $27.22 with shipping (it came just three days later and is super cute).

(I would have also paid $25 for counseling on Monday, but I canceled my appointment because I played too hard over the weekend and needed a quiet day at home to rest and recover.)

money1

Tuesday Total: $80.96

I got gas, which cost $25.98. Working from home is great–sometimes I only have to get gas once a month!

I also picked up a grocery order from Walmart, which cost $54.98. The amount of money I spend on groceries fluctuates a lot. Some weeks I struggle to hit $30 (the minimum required for a Walmart pickup grocery order); other weeks, like this one, it’s near $60. I don’t worry too much if the number gets high. My grocery order includes not only food but household items (i.e. cat litter and toothpaste). And I don’t mind paying extra for pre-prepared food  (i.e. sliced fruit and cooked bacon) because I often don’t have enough energy to cook, so buying pre-prepped food ensures I’ll actually eat. Plus, I will often go weeks without eating out–so all of that to say, I don’t really worry about setting a strict budget for groceries. I just buy the food I want.

money3
Eggs, dairy-free ice cream, bagels, Tostitos, toothpaste, frozen waffles, cat litter, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, bananas, cantaloupe, frozen broccoli, hamburger patties, frozen french fries, and pre-cooked bacon.

Wednesday Total: $7.00

I went with my mom, the two-year-old she keeps, and some friends to a local waterpark and had to pay $7 admission.

Thursday Total: $25.00

I had a $25 co-pay for a doctor’s appointment (where I was officially diagnosed as lactose intolerant). Other than that, I didn’t spend any money on Thursday. During tap dance class, an employee at the rec center came and pulled me out of class to explain to me my options for purchasing a pass so I could practice alone in the dance studio, but I decided not to buy a pass; I’d only be allowed to practice like that until we get new floors in the studio at Thanksgiving, and I’d have to pay every time I go, so I’ll just keep practicing in my parents’ kitchen for free.

money2

Friday Total: $0

I didn’t spend any money on Friday.

Saturday Total: $0

I didn’t spend any money on Saturday.

Total for the Week: $144.17

All in all, I spent about $145 this week. Over $100 of that money was spent on things I had to pay for–life expenses like groceries, gas for my car, and the doctor. The other $40 was on fun stuff; mainly the doormat (an abnormal purchase, haha), and then also a movie and admission to the waterpark. This was a pretty average week-in-the-life spending-wise for me. It was a really fun week. And my favorite thing I spent money on this week is my cute new doormat!

What do you spend your money on the most?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up

July involved a lot of sickness, a lot of stress/burnout from work, and a lot of weariness. There were some good times too, but overall I was glad to see July go.

I didn’t make it out a whole lot this month to tap class or Bible study or comparable activities. We hung out with old friends on the Fourth for board games, food, and Spider-Man: Far From Home. I spent time mentoring a younger girl from church, got involved with music ministry, and went to a fellowship lunch. My friend Emma visited from college for a fun weekend involving lots of salad and Hadestown (and an 11:00 PM call to the police lol). Dad and I went to a butterfly farm and Joshua and I went to Chattanooga for a weekend, despite my health being very poor. And that’s about it.

July made me realize I really needed some more boundaries in my life. I needed to take a step back–several steps, actually, because I was dying. So now I’ve done that. For real, this time. And it’s so amazing and refreshing.

 

 

This month I’m…

Reading: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, Jacqueline Kelly (reread). A Very Large Expanse of Sea and Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi (reread). Letting Go of Gravity, Meg Leder (reread). Call It What You Want and Letters to the Lost, Brigid Kemmerer (LTTL, reread). The Running Dream, Wendelin Van Draanen (reread). The Deceivers, Kristen Simmons (reread). I Lived on Butterfly Hill, Marjorie Agosin. The Borrowers, The Borrowers Afloat, The Borrowers Aloft, and The Borrowers Avenged, Mary Norton (reread). With the Fire On High, Elizabeth Acevedo. Understood Betsy, Dorothy Canfield (reread). Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder (reread). Every Soul a Star, Wendy Mass (reread). 18 total. I also speed-read and summarized 8 nonfiction books for work.

books.jpg
And I ordered myself a subscription book box for the first time ever!

Watching: Spider-Man: Far From Home. Mamma Mia. Good Witch season 2. Madelaine Petsch and Emma Abrahamson on YouTube.

Listening to: bad guy, listen before i go, and COPYCAT (Sofi Tukker remix), Billie Eilish. Hey Look Ma, I Made It, Panic! At The Disco. Sucker, Jonas Brothers. Colourway and Anchor, Novo Amor. Fallin’ All In You and If I Can’t Have You (Gryffin Remix), Shawn Mendes. Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia. Take Off All Your Cool, Diamonds Are Forever, and Mona Lisa, Sabrina Carpenter. God Help The Outcasts, Hunchback of Notre Dame. Blood for Blood, Sarah Sparks. He Has Time, Common Hymnal. Hadestown, especially Wait For Me (Reprise).

Writing: I set a goal for Camp NaNo to write a 10,000 fanfiction to ease my way back into writing fiction. I only made it to 7.3k, but that’s more fiction than I’ve written in over a year probably, and it was so amazing and just downright fun to rediscover who I am as a fiction writer. I also posted a story I wrote last February and received over 100 responses in 24 hours! I’m going to keep focusing on fanfiction for a while just to have fun and build up my fiction muscles again.

As far as work writing, I did a million projects for 18 separate clients. I made a ton of money but it was not fun haha and that’s all we’re going to say about that.

writing.jpg

Eating: Not a lot because I was nauseous and having stomach issues most of the month (it seems I’m lactose intolerant now?). Cute strawberries for the Fourth. Talenti layer gelato, mint cookie (this was before my lactose intolerant epiphany). Chicken and zucchini foil packets. Lots of waffles cause apparently that’s all that sounds good when I’m sick. Asiago cheese bagels. Pork chops. And the most amazing meal ever: a salad with cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, hard boiled egg, bacon, and balsamic vinaigrette plus butterscotch bars.

 

Loving: Lin-Manuel Miranda and William Daniels Talk Hamilton, 1776, Mr. Feeny, and More (Playbill). We hired Fiverr workers to write about Fiverr’s IPO (Quartz). Learn Something New This Summer (The Rebelution). Why Spoonies Should Be Mentors (Romans 5:3-5). Open Hands (Madyson Grace). Slow Down (Through the Wasteland). Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse: On Relationships, Riverdale, and What the Future Holds (W Mag). How This Fake Financial Expert Tricked Outlets Into Publishing Her Advice (Huffpost). Working Full-Time Despite Chronic Illness Does Not Mean I’m “OK” (The Mighty). Crushing Burnout Before It Crushes You, The Goodness Revolt.

Grateful for: Finally having a church family. Laughing hysterically over a dice game with my friend, mom, and grandma while it rains outside.

What did you do in July?

June 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up

I moved out this month! I moved into my apartment on June 7th with help from friends and I absolutely love living here; it’s so perfect. It already feels like I’ve lived here forever.

I also adopted a cat, a five-year-old domestic longhair mix named Windy.

Moving was busy and stressful and once I got settled, I did a ton of (probably too much) of fun stuff and not much work (so, logically, my health suffered). I went to tap class; spent a lot of time at my pastor’s house; and my grandmother came to live at my family’s house again for a while.

All the other fun stuff I did beyond moving + normal activities: had Brooke over for dinner, had Mrs. Alvalee over for lunch, had my grandpa and family over for dinner, Joshua turned 14, Dad and I went to a lavender festival, Joshua and I saw Aladdin, Hannah helped me adopt a cat, Brooke and I had breakfast at Ihop, my old next-door neighbors came over for swimming and S’mores, Mrs. Alvalee and I went to the house for my grandma’s birthday dinner, and Brooke came over to watch the first Avengers movie and have dinner.

This month I’m…

Reading: Live Fearless, Sadie Robertson. Don’t Date Rosa Santos, Nina Moreno. Beautiful Blue World, Suzanne LaFleur. Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer. Always Never Yours, Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (reread). Love Your Life, Not Theirs, Rachel Cruze. Legend, Prodigy, and Champion, Marie Lu. Elsie’s Stolen Heart, Martha Finley. No God But One, Nabeel Qureshi (I haven’t finished this yet but it’s been a HUGE part of my month). 11 total (and I also speed-read and wrote summaries of eight nonfiction books for work).

Listening to: Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Godzilla version. Shawn Mendes: The Album on rainy days. Light On, Maggie Rogers. Water, Bishop Briggs. Talk, Khalid. Stormy Weather, Etta James. Never Be Alone, Shawn Mendes. 7 Days, Alessia Cara. 7 Billion, OBB. The Wheel, Tuck Everlasting. Talking Slow, Dylan Jordan. A Whole New World, Arabian Nights, and Speechless, Aladdin (2019). Sweet but Psycho, Ava Max. Señorita, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello. Sunset Lover, Petit Biscuit. Nailed To The Cross, Rescuer, and Counting Every Blessing, Rend Collective.

Watching: Iron Man. The Amazing Race season 31. Boy Meets World season 3. Iron Man 2. The new Aladdin. The Avengers.

Writing: I did so much fun stuff this month that I feel like I didn’t start working in earnest until the last couple days of the month, but my income was still where I wanted it to be, so that was nice. Clients I did work for: the magazine where I’m associate editor, a pet insurance company, travel sites, Runner’s World, my Inside Cycling newsletter, a parenting/technology website, an app that puts out nonfiction book summaries, a nutrition app, a new website launched by Bodybuilding.com, an old client that’s a media agency, an Instagram growth service, The Write Life, a mattress review website, and Livestrong.

Eating (this is a new section since I’m now cooking for myself and I have a TON of food pics from this month haha sorry): Tomato Parmesan grilled cheese. Lots of fruit. Sausage alfredo bake. Talenti dairy-free raspberry gelato. Frozen pizza. Pan cookies. Pork chops, steamed potatoes, and steamed broccoli. An amazing salad recipe from a friend. S’mores.

Loving: The Full Story Behind Shawn Mendes’s Brand-New Tour Wardrobe, Vogue World. We Need to Start Talking About Medical PTSD, The Mighty.

What did you do in June?

 

 

 

Week in My Life — Apartment Edition!

This was my first week living in my new apartment and lots of fun stuff happened (although the week also KILLED ME physically), so I thought I’d do a week in my life post!

week4

Monday, June 10th, 2019

I spent the morning running all over the apartment complex doing this and that; three separate Comcast guys had to come to my apartment to get my internet going, but finally it worked. I did a HIIT/abs workout and made tortellini for lunch. Then I worked all afternoon, primarily editing and submitting articles I wrote last week; I also had a phone meeting with a potential client for a gig I really wanted, and unfortunately spent more time on the phone with Equifax. Ugh. Brooke came over for dinner and we had my current favorite meal (tomato parmesan grilled cheese, grapes, watermelon, Pringles, pan cookies), then walked down to the outdoor seating area by the pool and talked for a few hours.

 

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

I could tell as soon as I woke up that I overdid it a bit Monday — too many stairs, too much cardio in my workout, and stayed up too late. So I wasn’t feeling great. My balcony is in the shade each morning, though, so I got a slow start out there. I worked from 9:30 to 1, then went to yoga class. That was completely horrible… I’ve been sick for over three years, yet I still forget my body can’t do things other peoples’ can. I do yoga at home in the air conditioning for 15 minutes at a time and I’m fine, but this yoga was an hour in the full sun! I came SO close to fainting and throwing up and I will not be going back, lol. However, I did meet four people who are about my age (it turns out one lives directly below me, but I swear I haven’t been making as much noise as he says I have haha) and the fitness instructor, who is wonderful. So it wasn’t a total waste.

After yoga, I was really not feeling well so the rest of my pre-planned schedule for the day kind of fell apart. I didn’t run errands or go to Brooke’s house; instead I just worked for a couple of hours, ate dinner, and watched Boy Meets World before falling asleep.

 

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Thanks to yesterday’s yoga class, I woke up with numb legs, heavy eyes, and an extremely sunburned back. Ugh. I filed my Inside Cycling newsletter for the day and worked on a blog post for an Instagram growth service; then Mrs. Alvalee came over. We had Culver’s takeout for lunch and researched cruises, trying to find one to take. After that I had to rest in bed for a while. Finally I got up and, although still extremely sleepy, edited and submitted a Runner’s World article; wrote a book summary; did banking stuff (which included ER bills and taxes and was extremely stressful); and then worked on an article for a telemedicine site until 7:30. Errands and going to Brooke’s for dinner did not happen again. Wednesday wasn’t a super great day (probably because I never read my Bible lol), but I ended it by listening to Stormy Weather (Etta James) and Light On (Maggie Rogers) and cleaning up my sweet little apartment and that was dreamy. I also had to force myself to stop reading Legend (recommended by Hanne) and go to sleep.

 

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Still dead from yoga; a mower outside my window woke me up at 9:00, but I could have kept sleeping for hours. It was a beautiful day, though!! High 70s, sunny, and breezy. I had tap class, which is always the best hour of my week; we have so much fun working on our dances. Then I got groceries, swung by the library, and came home–where I put on a cute dress, turned on Frank Sinatra, and made myself a delicious lunch to eat on the balcony. By 2:00 I was sitting down to get work done; I’ve been doing too much fun stuff and I’m behind. Unfortunately, after I wrote one article I had to go rest in bed, and then after working on a few more I had to rest again–so not a whole lot happened. My grandpa was in town and he and my family came over for dinner; they brought burgers from a local place, I made salad, and then we went down to the firepit and made S’mores.

 

Friday, June 14th, 2019

I woke up feeling just awful; this was been a too-busy week with no time to rest, and my body was giving out. But I really needed to suck it up and try to get some work done. I enjoyed the almost-chilly morning air on my balcony while taking a meeting and filing my Inside Cycling newsletter. Around 12:30 I finally ate breakfast, and then I had to rest in bed for an hour; I was having muscle spasms and heart arrhythmias, which are two symptoms that only surface for me when I’m really really run down. I worked in bed for a while; got up around 4:00 for some food; and worked at my desk for two more hours. At 6:00 my family came over because it was Joshua’s 14th birthday. I was really hitting the wall, but still managed to participate in swimming and eating dinner.

friday

Saturday, June 15th, 2019

I didn’t feel well enough to get out of bed until 11. When I did get up, I read my new book (No God But One–first bookmail at my new apartment), ate breakfast, and caught up on letter-writing. My dad came to pick me up and we went to a lavender festival at a lavender farm; we picked our own lavender, ate ice cream, and I bought an adorable white sifter plus a plant for my balcony. It was so fun! Once home, I read, slept, and then got up for dinner and to read Prodigy by Marie Lu in one sitting before going to bed for good.

 

 

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

I didn’t wake up until after 10:00 and it was glorious and much-needed. I did some dishes and laundry, then went over to my family’s house for Father’s Day lunch (steak, twice-baked potatoes, green beans, and chocolate mousse). I gave Joshua a remote control car for his birthday that Sophie is terrified of, so we played with that and watched Amazing Race. Around 4:30 I came back to my apartment and cleaned a little more, then ate leftovers for dinner and rented Iron Man 2. 

 

And that’s what I did during my first week living in my new apartment! What did you do this week?

May 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up

May was an interesting month. It was supposed to be filled with lots of working, seeing friends, and shopping/packing for my apartment (!), and it was–but unfortunately I also had a gastrointestinal virus for two weeks that sent me to the ER (where I also found out I have gallstones, ugh).

Besides tap class and watching Joshua’s baseball games, I didn’t get to do a lot of my normal weekly activities such as Bible study this month. But I did get to do some fun stuff, such as seeing my pastor’s daughter in Anne of Green Gables, seeing Endgame with friends, watching Jesse be an umpire, and driving to Alabama for the high school graduation of one of my best friends, Abigail (although I was super sick that day). I also ate at a food truck with my dad, saw Emma’s dance recital, went to the waterpark and Ihop with several friends, had a picnic at the park with other friends, and my aunt and uncle unexpectedly visited! Finally, I took myself to see The Sun Is Also A Star, we went to the lake the evening of Memorial Day, I went to lunch and shopping with Brooke, and Mom and I saw our next-door neighbors’ dance recital. Andrea and I ended the month with a day trip to tour a beautiful historical farm.

This month I’m…

Reading: More All-Of-A-Kind Family, All-Of-A-Kind Family Downtown, and Ella Of All-Of-A-Kind Family, Sydney Taylor (rereads). Romanov, Nadine Brandes. Wild Blue Wonder, Carlie Sorosiak (reread). Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement, the March For Our Lives Founders. The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, Dan Gemeinhart (YES). Rebel of the Sands (reread), Traitor to the Throne, and Hero at the Fall, Alwyn Hamilton (WOW). Love and Gelato, Jenna Evans Welch. Staying Stylish, Candace Cameron Bure. 12 total. (I also speed-read and wrote reviews of eight nonfiction books for work.)

Listening to: White Flag, Hallowed Ground, and River, Bishop Briggs. Love Me Again, John Newman. If I Can’t Have You, Shawn Mendes. Exhale, Sabrina Carpenter. Dancing Around, Flor. New Rules, Dua Lipa. Havana and Sorry Not Sorry, Pentatonix. Falling like the Stars, James Arthur. ME!, Taylor Swift (because we are learning a dance to it in tap class).

Watching: The Amazing Race season 31 (TEAM FUN). Land Girls season 2. Avengers: Endgame (HOLD ME). Thor: Ragnarok. Captain America: The First Avenger. The Last Summer. The Sun Is Also A Star. Tucker Budzyn YouTube videos. Julia Robertson YouTube videos.

Writing: I intended to back off this month and not take on any extra work, and then I got sick and ended up getting behind, so I barely made my minimum monthly income goal. I did work for my normal retainer clients–a consumer protection company, a parenting magazine, some travel blogs, a book review app, a pet insurance company, a parenting website, an outdoors website, an email newsletter company where I’m in charge of the cycling newsletter, and an Instagram growth service–plus a couple of small jobs for other people. Overall it was a pretty good work month and ended with booking some exciting and lucrative projects for June.

Loving: Charity Anderson Caps Off Her Whirlwind Year with Derek Hough Live, Dance Network. Avengers: Endgame Shows Us a Universe That Still Can’t Do Right By Women, Tor. The Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer plays way differently after Endgame, Polygon. The One Life Dream That Makes a Girl Blush, For The Church. My Body Is Not A Battlefield, Folks. We Know They Are Killing Children — All of Us Know, Desiring God.

Grateful for: The peace of sitting in the shade at the ballpark before a game, eating dinner and listening to the conversations all around me. Giant skillet cookies. Kind Facebook messages from neighbors.

What did you do this month?

 

 

 

A life update, or something like that

There are so many thoughts and feelings in my mind and heart and I’ve been meaning to sit down and get them out for a long time, but I haven’t had a spare minute of time or a spare ounce of energy–which is, sadly, the theme for my life these days. I still don’t, but I really wanted to share; so finally, here are all the things I’ve been thinking about.

I move in less than three weeks! I go back and forth between squealing about my beautiful little apartment and wistfully thinking how much I’m going to miss the bedroom I’ve lived in for 12 years. I’ve finished all the shopping for my apartment–I just need a keyboard and maybe a few more small kitchen things–and it’s time to start packing. I absolutely can’t wait to be in my apartment–to cook for people in my gorgeous kitchen with my cute new dishes, to read on my balcony overlooking the greenspace, and to play on the floor with the cat(s) I’m going to adopt. It makes me so, so, so excited.

This month and last, I’ve been going to more graduations, dance recitals, musicals/plays, and baseball games than I can count. It’s a little weird because I’m used to being the one with all the end-of-year festivities, but now, I’m the one attending them instead (#adulting). I’m really trying to focus on supporting all of my friends (or as many as possible, because there are only so many hours) in this way.

My health is always bad, but it’s been especially bad the last couple of weeks thanks to a gastrointestinal virus that sent me to the hospital and exacerbated my normal health problems. Life was on hold for a bit as I tried to figure that out–it looked like appendicitis at first, and while I was at the hospital we discovered I have gallstones, which means I need to be stricter about what I eat–and then as I tried to get my energy back up and recover.

er

I started doing a Bible study of John with my church. I haven’t been very consistent with it the last two weeks as I’ve been so sick, but still, it’s honestly changing my life. I look forward to going to my pastor’s little white house every Monday night to talk through the chapter for that week (we reread the same chapter every day for a week). One thing that has stuck out to me overall is the way Jesus loves people by speaking truth to them. Then the week we studied John 2, where Jesus turns water into wine, I couldn’t stop thinking about His miracles. They’re not party tricks, they all have a purpose–and the purpose of that one was to reveal truth about Himself. (I also like to think that’s what He does with our lives: takes something ordinary and makes it into a source of His joy and glory.) John 4:10 also got me; if people just knew who Jesus is and what He could do for them! This week, in John 9, I’ve been thinking about the blind man whom Jesus healed. The man told the Pharisees, “All I know is I was blind and now I see.” No one can refute your personal testimony, so it’s incredibly powerful to share with others.

john

Work is… whew. Work. I’m still running behind after losing some time due to being in the hospital and being sicker than usual. My business is so big that even with my virtual assistant, who’s wonderful, I can’t handle all of the work; I feel like I’m always behind. I’m making way more money than I need to, so I keep telling myself I need to scale back–but then I keep saying “yes” to all the work I’m offered. I don’t really know how to pull back without jeopardizing my income, I guess.

But it’s too much. I love freelancing and I love the client work I do, but I go to sleep at night with my mind racing about work, I wake up in the morning with my mind racing about work, and I’m always so so tired (which is normal for me, but I could be less tired!!). I want to have the time to read while I eat breakfast, to work out on my lunch break, to write fiction (it’s been months since I wrote fiction and a part of me is missing). And sometimes, when things slow down at the beginning or end of the month, I do–but definitely not in the middle of each month. I’m barely surviving.

So I don’t know what to do about all this, but after I move, I really need to figure out a way to be intentional about working less; outside of my desires for fiction/ministry/friends time, it’s going to be even more important then because I’ll need the energy to cook for myself and other adulting things like that.

work

This week as I’ve watched the reaction and the pushback to the Alabama abortion bill, I’ve had a lot of thoughts. They basically boil down to this: I’ve seen a lot of non-Christians accusing Christians of only caring about unborn babies and nobody else, but when I say I’m pro-life, I mean I’m pro-life for EVERYONE–unborn babies, kids doing lockdown drills in school, migrant families, everyone. As a Christian, I believe that’s my calling: to always be on the side of life for all people. And most of the Christians I know feel the same way and are actively doing things to help people at all stages of life. I could say a lot more about this topic and I might, but that’s the gist of it and the part that I feel is most important to share. (If you feel differently, I would love to have a respectful discussion about this!)

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This photo is one of my favorites–it’s from last summer when I took family photos for several ladies at a pregnancy clinic.

I’ve been on a big Marvel kick this month after seeing Endgame. I like to set aside a few minutes every day to curl up in the fetal position and cry about it. I’ve been watching other Marvel movies this month, too (I can’t stop laughing about this scene from Thor: Ragnarok. I just think it’s so funny). And as usual, I’ve been reading a ton of good books (a few recent favorites: Romanov by Nadine Brandes, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart, and rereading Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton). I can’t believe I used to think, when I was little, that one day I would read all the books in the world and be left with nothing to read. There are so many books in the world! (And I’ll be taking 225 of them to my apartment–fingers crossed they fit on my new, smaller bookshelves.)

books

And as always, lots of words from songs and books and Pinterest (lol) have been in my head impacting me lately. A few favorites:

Who put / the baby in charge / it’s already hard / to buy all the parts / and learn to use ’em / who put / the world on my back / and not in my hands / just give me a chance (exhale, Sabrina Carpenter)

I saw the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. –Psalm 16:8-11

There is so much happiness in the world. There is so much sadness in the world. There is just so much in the world. —The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

You kinda owe it to yourself to do all the things you’ve dreamed.

Basically this is what’s going on in my life these days; this has been a long time coming and it felt good to just get this all out. I’d love to hear what’s going on with you all, too, long-lost blog friends! Let me know in the comments. ❤