Monday, November 23, 2015


Three years ago today, I was in Celebration, FL. Unfortunately, our reason for being there was not in keeping with the name of the town. We were in Celebration Hospital with my mom who had suffered a stroke the day before Thanksgiving and hadn't regained consciousness. I had ridden from Decatur, AL to Celebration with my sister -- I specify ridden as this was still within my six-month driving restriction following the seizures i had had in September of that year. Shortly after we arrived, the day after Thanksgiving that year - joining my dad, brother, and sister-in-law, and had been instructed to say our goodbyes, the nurse informed us she was gone. I looked at the clock at that moment: 7:12 a.m. Sticks in the memory quite clearly since my birthday is July 12th.

And such began the process of adjusting to a new "normal" -- living life without my mom. There have been so many times where after cooking something new I've wanted to call and tell her about it, something I often did "before," and it hits me all over again. And then this past May was rough during Jacob's 8th grade graduation, knowing she wouldn't be there for the milestones. Mother's Day since has been bittersweet in that it's been nice celebrating being a mother, but hard not having mine. And Thanksgiving has become rather melancholy. I have many things to be thankful for, and I am, but it's hard with the details of her passing around the holiday.

For some reason, it’s hitting me extra hard this year. In some ways, it feels longer than three years that she’s been gone… in some ways, it feels like it was much more recent. But time marches on and all I can do is try to carry on in a way to make her proud and honor her memory. One such way is continuing to raise money and awareness for the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Society, a disease she was diagnosed with before I was born. One that I watched her struggle with all through my life and one that, while not the cause of her death, definitely took a huge toll on her body. I love you, Mom. I miss you.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November Goals

Hello and Happy November, Dear Readers! If you're like me, you're probably not quite sure how we're already in November, but might as well make the best of it! For those in the writing world, you're likely already familiar with NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month, 30 days of writing, with a 1,667 word count goal, which gives you 50,000 words written at the end of the month. For those not familiar, that's a very basic rundown, but you can learn much more at the site. I was going to say how many years I've participated, but checking my stats on the site, it doesn't have all the years... This is at least my sixth year. I've yet to "win." I've yet to even come close, but for me, as it should be, it's less about "winning" and more about getting words on the page.

So, writing daily, or at least getting 50K words written by the end of the month is my first November goal. My second goal is to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. I've been struggling with weight loss for a while now. And I've really seen that the main component for making a difference with that is exercise. So, in theory, as long as I keep my daily calorie intake reasonable for the day and I up my exercise, I should kickstart my weight loss. So, wish me luck!  I'm going to put up "counters" for both my daily word count and the amount of time I've exercised here on my blog to find as many ways as possible to keep myself accountable this month!  Hope Day One of November is going well for you so far!

[UPDATE: Well, I'd like to put up a counter for daily exercise, but so far I'm striking out on finding a good widget/counter/whatever to do so. Anybody know of the easiest way to do that? I have my NaNoWriMo word count tracker over to the left on the sidebar, but I can't seem to figure out a good "counter" for my daily exercise. I'm thinking a small calendar that allows me to update how many minutes I exercised that day... Anyone know something like that I could use? Would love your input! Will keep searching otherwise]