Happy 4th of July!

We're pretty cute for 6:45am
on a holiday!
Busy day yesterday! And a nice calm one today, so finally getting some quality blogging time in. Ahh... Happy to get to visit some of my blogging buddies! Hello :)

Yesterday started with my second time participating in our town's Downhill Mile race, but this year my totally awesome friend Katie (@katieschmalzel) joined me!

Then Katie helped with some yardwork, which I am SO very happy to have finally gotten around to. You know that feeling of having a Thing To Do that irks you every time you think of it? But then you finally get it taken care of and it is the BEST feeling ever?? Yeah. This chore was like that.

The previous owners of our house did all the 'landscaping' in our backyard with piles of rocks that they used as borders around beds. I think they put in landscaping cloth to keep the grass from growing in the beds, but if so it was forever ago and the cloth is non-existent at this point. I tried last year to re-mulch, but it was not sufficient to keep the grass from growing, and I had given up on keeping things dealt with this year so the beds around our trees in back ended up looking like this:
I swear there's a bed under there, somewhere!
After about an hour of work digging the rocks back out of the dirt into which they had sunk, adding topsoil, new landscaping cloth and mulch and re-placing the stones, the beds now look like this:

Ahh... much better..
Strawberry rhubarb
and mint chocolate chip! Yum.
I'm very pleased :)

After all that work, we headed to the town Pancake Breakfast (as many free pancakes as you can eat! and adorable booths from local businesses!). After running and then doing manual labor, we'd definitely earned breakfast and made short work of some nice stacks of cakes. So yummy. :) Then we walked home and showered before heading to Boulder for some delicious cupcakes from Tee and Cakes.

By the time we got home we had about an hour to relax before folks came over for a BBQ, so we played with some SunPrint paper, and sprawled on the living room floor to rest. There might have been a little bit of a sugar crash in this part of the day. Yup.

The rest of the day was slightly more typical for the 4th - BBQ, movie to fill the time a bit, and then fireworks. All in all, pretty epic!

What did you do for the 4th? 


IWSG - July

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a bloghop dedicated to writers supporting one another through this crazy thing called 'being a writer'. 

So... Haven't blogged since last month's IWSG.. Yeah.. C'est la vie en ete. 

My little IWSG contribution is a moment of being glad for things like IWSG and Blog Blitz, and WRiTE CLUB (click on newer posts to read the first couple bouts! Good stuff!) because they help me feel like I'm still connected to the writing community even when I don't have the time or energy to be actively working on my current WsIP (is that the correct pluralization of WIP? help me out folks!). 

Most of my writing activity during the last month has been about reading. I read a LOT during the summer and I figure that devouring books is a good way to work on my skillz, right? Right.

How about y'all? How are your summer writing/reading projects going? 


IWSG - June

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a bloghop dedicated to writers supporting one another through this crazy thing called 'being a writer'. 

Just a quick IWSG today before I get going on work... This is my busy season at my Day Job so I tend to spend a lot of time just daydreaming about writing rather than actually doing it. Word and creativity output become very difficult when I'm working 60 hour weeks, ya know? (though I'm sure there are those of you who do it and I bow in awe your willpower. My brain is just too fried to do any more). As I'm seeing my WIP 'last update' date disappear from the rearview mirror, I find myself daydreaming of a different way of life. 

For those of you with Day Jobs, do you ever think about what it would be like to just quit and write full-time? Or, write and be a stay at home parent, or write and maybe go back to school? That's kind of part of the dream, right? To be able to live off the writing that we love doing. It's kind-of scary too though. For those of you who have done it, how did you make the leap? Did you wait until you hit a certain income from your writing before quitting your Day Job, or was it a realization that you couldn't achieve a workable writing income while spending 40+ hours per week doing something else? 

Don't get me wrong - I love my Day Job. But during busy season, I really miss being able to write, to blog, to read others' posts. I find myself in a place of 'figuring things out' this summer. There's definitely part of me that wants to make a leap, but I also love what I do here. Is there a way to balance it all? 


A to Z Reflections!

April 2014.. What a month! What a month...

Y'all, life decided it was not going to be put on hold for April A-Z! Between a cold, travel for work, a 1,500 person event to run, and my whole family descending on us for the last week of April, it's been... a bit nuts. I'll be honest - there were a couple days I wasn't sure I was going to make it through A-Z, even though I was a co-host. But I did! Z was realllly late, but it all got written, all the emails were answered, and I survived.

Some thoughts..
* There is this beautiful thing called CTRL+F or APPLE+F that allows you to find things (hence, F) on a webpage. After a month of answering the A-Z info email, I feel like this advice should be blinking on every co-host's forehead, blog header, post, etc. My amusement with how many times I was asked how to find someone on the list brought my husband to start suggesting A-Z blog post titles: "Awesome! Ctrl+F lets me find myself on the list!" "Boy, oh boy that ctrl+F sure is useful!" "Ctrl +F - your best friend", etc. Lookout folks, it just might happen next year!
* Being a co-host is a BUSY thing to do! But it's also pretty awesome and totally worth it. The co-host team (as you probably know by now) is full of some rockin' people, with cool ideas and great blog content. It's been fun to be a part of the team.
* As a sub-note to the being busy part (and also the life-chaos part), I didn't get to visit as many people as I wanted to this year.  I'm hoping to remedy that a bit with the Road Trip and visiting some Reflections posts this week.
* It's fun to teach people how to use Twitter chats! I had a great time chatting with everyone, especially our regulars. Much cake and caffeine were had by all :)
* My wHooligans were absolutely essential to my survival this month! They were my boots on the ground when life got crazy, so thank you so much to Tamara, Shilpa, Elsie, LuAnn, Kripali, and Helen!

I was pretty impressed with the posts this year. They made me laugh, taught me things, that took me to new worlds, and a few that made me tear up a bit. I think that's the best thing about A-Z: finding folks that make you think in a new way, even if for just one letter. It's an inspirational Hop to be a part of!

How about you all, do you have any feedback for us? Did you write a post with reflections on A-Z? Check out the sign-up page and add your link to the list if you wrote a Reflection post! We love your feedback :)

Thanks for a great month everyone!


A to Z Challenge: Zzzzzz....

This post is part of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year my theme is simply, "things I know." Some posts will be informational, some about life lessons, some about things I've learned as an author/blogger.

Zzzzz..... Getting enough sleep is SO important! And between A-Z and everything else this April has (most helpfully) thrown my way, I haven't been doing much sleeping. Eek. But now we're finished! May starts tomorrow, and I'm off work for the rest of the week as my family is visiting. A lovely reward for surviving April :)

For those of you who finished with me, make sure to visit the A-Z Blogging homepage to get your sweet survivor badge!

And on that note, I bid this year's April A-Z adieu! Thanks for playing everyone :) I'm so glad to have met so many of you. It's been an awesome ride as a co-host but you can hear more about that during May 5th's Reflections post!

Goodnight! ZZZzzzzzzz......


A to Z Challenge: Yogurt!

This post is part of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year my theme is simply, "things I know." Some posts will be informational, some about life lessons, some about things I've learned as an author/blogger.

It's been a couple days since a food post!

Yogurt is one of the best creations in the world. And, cultures (haha, ha) from all over the world have their own kinds of yogurt, which makes it not only wonderful, but also universal. I believe that everyone should find some kind of yogurt that they enjoy. It's great for your gut and tasty in many contexts - plain with pb and raisins, in cucumber dressing, baked into muffins... Mmm...

Is there a food you believe everyone should eat?