Blogmas 2019 Day 25

Christmas 2019! We started opening gifts around 9:00 this morning. I gave my grandpa a mug with a music pun. I gave Joshua a street sign for his room that says Ultimate Blvd (because he loves ultimate Frisbee); a Hamilton calendar with a daily quote; and a Chuckit (for him and Sophie). I gave my mom a pizza pan; a pair of earrings made by the people group we’ve worked with in Colombia; and an outing to a Mexican restaurant and to watch a movie in January. I gave my dad a fill-in What I Love About Dad journal; some bacon popcorn; and the book The Year of Eating Dangerously (I addressed that present to me, too, because Dad doesn’t like to reread books–so after he reads it I’ll just keep it at my house, lol).

Besides the stuff in my stocking (socks, Jellie Bellies, a flashlight, etc.), I received a candle with my cat’s picture on it; an ASL curriculum; a Harry Potter apron and Ravenclaw kitchen towel; a Harry Potter mug; Harry Potter coasters; pearl earrings; and three books I have been dying to reread for years.

I also received money. I spent part of it on a set of twelve pretty magnets; a little gold necklace; Katherine Forster’s book Transformed by Truth: Why and How to Study The Bible For Yourself As A Teen; and a small journal with a Hadestown quote on the front. (All of that for $40 because I also got myself Amazon Prime!)

For lunch we had ham, crescent rolls, sweet potato souffle, baked pineapple, deviled eggs, chicken and dumplings, and pecan and pumpkin pie.


After lunch, we all went outside in the front yard (it was 65 degrees) for a while. I bought a longboard back in early October but didn’t have the extra energy to learn to ride it until today. Joshua and I both learned to ride it within 15 minutes (I taught him everything he knows). We were outside for almost two hours riding the longboard down the street. While it was definitely hard for me with the usual dizziness, high HR, and shortness of breath, it was so much fun; I really miss being outside and being active!


When we came inside I was having a lot of nerve pain, and I showered and took a nap. Around dinnertime I dragged my groggy self out of bed and came home. I felt a lot better after the nap and eating part of my Chili’s leftovers from last night, though, and was able to have a nice evening getting things done around the house and now going to bed with a new book. We’re going to Mississippi for a week on Friday so tomorrow will be spent packing and preparing. Thanks for following along with Blogmas this year and merry Christmas!

Check out Blogmas Day 25 2018, 2017, and 2016. What did you do today?

Blogmas 2019 Day 24

I don’t know what possessed me to stay up until almost midnight last night; it was 11:00 today before I could drag myself out of bed with a headache and heightened nerve pain. I did a few things around the house like practicing voice, researching bullet journals, packing up, etc. and then I went over to my parents’ house.

My grandpa came today, and we’ve never been with him before on Christmas Day, so it’s really exciting! After a couple of hours reading and trying not to fall asleep, I got ready for church. We went to my parents’ church for the second Christmas Eve service. Afterward, we tried to carry out our usual tradition of eating dinner at Krystal’s, but they were actually closed–so we went to Chili’s instead (definitely fine by me).


Now we’re home and I hope to stay awake for all of A Christmas Story, because it’s not Christmas Eve without it!


Check out Blogmas Day 24 2018, 2017, and 2016. What did you do today?

Blogmas 2019 Day 23

I had a nice restful morning finishing Spin the Dawn (which I started last night and LOVED), eating breakfast, cleaning up. I also made this video. I came up with the concept a few months ago but didn’t have the creative energy until now; I absolutely love how it came out.


Early afternoon I went over to the house to hang out. We watched Elf.

I came home around dinnertime; I wanted to work on my novel but was too sleepy, so I was in bed for the evening by 7:30. I picked up a TON of new library books today, but they were mostly nonfiction and YA contemporary books and I was in the mood for something with more action–so I chose a movie tonight instead. I re-watched Maze Runner: The Death Cure, and gosh I just love that movie. It’s definitely the best one in the franchise. And although it’s not meant as an allegory, I saw it in that way tonight–the line “the world is dying” stuck out to me, and then Safe Haven at the end that only some of the characters made it to (which, yes, made me cry a lot).


Other things that happened today: I got my heart monitor off. Hallelujah.


And also, I added more sticky notes to my pantry, where I keep some of my favorite lines from my favorite books.

Check out Blogmas Day 23 2018, 2017, and 2016. What did you do today?

Blogmas 2019 Day 22

Today was a cold, rainy day; I was exhausted and did absolutely nothing. Like, literally–I laid in bed and scrolled through Tumblr, did a bunch of math figuring out statistics from my business this year, put away some laundry, laid in bed some more and watched YouTube, practiced voice, worked on one of my novels, etc. And that was really about it. I was also really nauseous all day and couldn’t eat because I had a few Doritos this morning, but that was my own stupid decision because I know they have dairy.


This evening I worked on my novel The Things I Didn’t Tell You for a while. (This is my ice skating novel, and I know Spinning Outa new Netflix series coming on January 1st–will put me in the mood to write it, so I thought I’d do some outlining now and then I can just write in a couple of weeks when I’m feeling inspired. How prudent of me, right?) Hours passed without me noticing and I had an amazing time doing a lot of brainstorming, including coming up with a unique way to do one main character’s POV.

Check out Blogmas Day 22 2018, 2017, and 2016. What did you do today?

Blogmas 2019 Day 21

When Christmas vacation comes, my mind flips to one thing: BOOKS. Reading them, writing them, buying them. Last night I finished Queen of Nothing and SCREAMED because it was everything I hoped for. I reread some old pieces of my own. And then I spent too much time on Goodreads, my library’s website, and, yes, also Amazon–where I might have bought $45 worth of books (banking on the assumption I would get Christmas money today, which I did, so it’s all good). Anyway, I’m REALLY FREAKING EXCITED about drowning in books over Christmas vacation.

These are the books I bought:

  • Normally This Would Be Cause For Concern: Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness, Danielle Fishel
  • Traitor to the Throne, Alwyn Hamilton
  • The Library of Lost Things, Laura Taylor Namey
  • Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir, Carolyn Weber
  • Inside Mrs. B’s Classroom: Courage, Hope, and Learning on Chicago’s South Side, Laurie Baldacci
  • Across A Broken Shore, Amy Trueblood

The only one I’ve read before is Traitor to the Throne; all of the others are books that I really want to read and the library doesn’t have.

But enough about last night’s retail therapy. Today we took a day trip, from about 9:00 to 6:00, to Tennessee to see my grandma. It was really exhausting and I was dragging big-time the whole day. We had lunch and visited for a while. Then we drove back home.

Now the restful part of Christmas vacation can begin and I’m so ready. Normally I rest just enough to get me upright for the next thing, but now, I’m SO glad I don’t have plans again until Tuesday night and I can not only rest enough to make my body functional, but can also spend energy doing some fun things I want to do! This evening I managed to eat dinner, and now it’s 7:30 and I’m going to sleep.

Check out Blogmas Day 21 2018, 2017, and 2016. What did you do today?

Blogmas 2019 Day 20

What a crazy day. This morning I rolled out of bed at 9:45 and onto the couch for a client meeting (as you can see, the cat rolled right along with me); we finalized our January content calendar plus smoothed out some workflow issues, and it was very productive. Then I wrapped up two other projects and was officially on Christmas vacation!! At some point in the next two weeks, I have four small tasks I’ll have to do that should take a couple hours total, but for the most part I’m off work now until January 6th.

There was a lot of back-and-forth this morning trying to figure out if my car was ready, but it was finally determined that yes, it was. My dad picked me up early afternoon and took me to the tire shop, where I got my car–thankfully they were able to repair the tire instead of giving me a new one.

Next I headed to my cardiologist for an echocardiogram. The nurse who did it was really nice and I enjoyed talking to her.


I had some time to kill between my echo and my voice lesson. So, first I went to the post office to pick up my Christmas package from Hanne. (Socks and tea and a bracelet!!) Then I swung through Panera to get some green tea with honey. (I can’t have coffee and I have been trying my hardest to learn to like tea, but it’s slow going–the green tea wasn’t my favorite, although it was helpful for my voice lesson.) Then I went to PetSmart to get a Christmas gift for Sophie and for the cat.

Finally, I headed to my voice lesson. We talked about breathing and control, and I sang a few different things so Tori could hear where my voice is right now; then we switched me from working on Burn (cause I was STRUGGLING) to working on I’m Not That Girl.

I fought my way through the traffic and got home around dinnertime. I ate a real meal for the first time in basically two weeks, and (so far at least, knock on wood), it went over pretty well which is awesome!! Now I’m dead tired, and going to bed with Queen of Nothing (which has been an AWESOME book so far–I haven’t read YA fantasy in months and I am loving it). It was fun having a busy day out today, and I wish I had the energy to do it more often!

Other notable notes from today: I met a nice homeless man and was able to help him out a little. My shirt was on backwards half the day and nobody told me. And I added up how much money I made this year–my first year truly freelancing full-time–and it was so exciting!

I’m SO glad to be done with work because now it truly feels like CHRISTMAS! This month was so crazy trying to manage work and health and everything; I’ve been physically ready for Christmas for weeks as far as buying gifts, etc., but now I finally feel like I’m getting in the Christmas spirit and it is SO exciting! (The cat loves me right now–I’m the perfect combination of tired + excited where I’m laughing hysterically and very loudly at nothing even though I’m alone in my apartment.) The next two weeks are going to be so restful and fun.

Check out Blogmas Day 20 2018, 2017, and 2016. What did you do today?

Blogmas 2019 Day 19

This morning I wrote a quick article on chat marketing; ate a sandwich (which upset my stomach–just the act of eating will do it these days–and ended up being my only food of the day); and then spent two hours scheduling all of a client’s social media posts for the next two weeks.

Early afternoon my mom picked me up to go back to my car and have it towed. Today roadside assistance came 10 minutes after I called them, which was amazing after sitting there for three hours yesterday! We picked up my Christmas cards/gifts from my mailbox and then my books from the library.

Back home, I tidied up and put some laundry in the washer; my apartment has been a mess for days but I haven’t had the energy to pick it up, and it was really just driving me crazy. Then I did a few more hours of work: editing and submitting some articles for one retainer client, and uploading blog posts to WordPress for another.


Unfortunately I did not get done with work until 7:00. By then I was so drowsy and brain-dead that it took every last bit of my energy to take a shower; for some reason I was extremely nauseous, too, and went straight to bed with Queen of Nothing (which I have been waiting for for FOREVER).

Check out Blogmas Day 19 2018, 2017, and 2016. What did you do today?

Blogmas 2019 Day 18

It was almost 11:00 this morning before I could drag myself out of bed with a headache and heavy legs; last night was exhausting. So I got a slow start, made breakfast (hooray for feeling hungry!–although it ended up being my only meal of the day), and dug into the dating apps piece a little. (I also discovered a YouTube channel where a dietitian reviews “What I Eat In A Day” videos made by popular YouTubers and I can’t stop watching it.)

Early afternoon I had an appointment with my primary care doctor. It was very productive: I got a prescription refilled, had bloodwork done to make sure I don’t have nutritional deficiencies from not being able to eat, and got a referral to see a dietitian at the hospital.

After my appointment I picked up my groceries and was heading home to finish working and have a restful evening. At a red light a mile or two away from where I live, though, another driver pointed out that I had a flat tire–so I pulled into the parking lot of a liquor store (this was around 4:00) and called roadside assistance. They promised a crew would come in X amount of minutes; the crew didn’t come; I called them again; and they set a new arrival time. We went through this process SEVEN times. Meanwhile, it was getting colder and darker and my phone was dying. Finally, after almost three hours, a couple of teenagers came, but they didn’t have the equipment they needed. So my family picked me up and brought me home and I left my car to be towed in the morning.


When I got home I went to sleep by 8:30. Obviously, I didn’t get any work done. And since I have a very limited amount of energy, I have to budget it carefully for each day–and I didn’t account for that three-hour ordeal, or having my car towed Thursday, or going to the tire shop Friday. So this flat tire is really throwing off my whole week.

Check out Blogmas Day 18 2018, 2017, and 2016. What did you do today?

Blogmas 2019 Day 17

The kitty and I woke up warm and cozy in my bed this morning while it was raining outside. I got up and answered a few emails, then headed out to meet my friend Andrea for an early lunch at MOD Pizza. I had a kids’ size pizza with dairy free cheese (which tasted good, but gave me severe abdominal pain until I could get home to my pain medicine and heating pad). We also went to Marshall’s and got new bowls for our respective pets (and I got a handcrafted ceramic mug for $4). It was great to catch up.

Back home, I was extremely drowsy and the rainy day didn’t help! I drafted my piece on tart cherries, finished the research (FINALLY) on the enormous dating apps piece, and filmed some video tutorials on email marketing/HTML.

In the evening my dad took me to dinner at O’Charley’s (where I played it safe with a plain baked potato) and then we drove around and looked at some Christmas lights.

When I got home, I stayed up too late reading and thinking about this situation (I have a lot of thoughts) before going to bed.

Check out Blogmas Day 17 2018, 2017, and 2016. What did you do today?

Blogmas 2019 Day 16

I feel like this GI flare-up is never going to end. I’m so weak and tired because I can’t eat. The weekend was nice, though, and this morning I was ready to dig back into work. I can’t wait to knock out this four-day work week (fingers crossed, that is) and have two full weeks off. I worked for a while on video tutorial prep and an article on chat marketing; then I wrote a blog post about whether dogs can eat bananas.


At 1:00 I got up from the couch, practiced voice, and made myself an almond milk/banana/peanut butter/honey smoothie, which is about the only thing I can stomach right now. (I gave Sophie a mini smoothie too, because yes, dogs CAN eat bananas.) Then it was back to work, this time on the dating apps piece. I find I’m always way more productive at the house than at my apartment (which is funny, because a quiet environment and increased productivity was something I was looking forward to before moving out).

My parents got home mid-afternoon and I took about an hour and a half break from work to sing some more, sit around, etc. Then I headed home, where the kitty was very happy to see me; I filmed a video tutorial, did a little marketing, and cried at this video. Christmas break is so close I can taste it…


In the evening I took a shower and then the kitty and I got in bed for some reading time. I finished Wildflowers of Terezin and started Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.

Check out Blogmas Day 16 2018, 2017, and 2016. What did you do today?