on the days we lose

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I lost today. I gathered my courage and new writer skills and wrote a short story. I submitted this 5000 word piece of myself to a (free) short story competition.

After reading thousands (into the double digits) of short stories, the contest judges contacted the winners yesterday…and I wasn’t one of them.

Of course, I knew there wasn’t much of a chance that I could win under such overwhelming odds. But the rock in the pit of my stomach tells me that my heart did hope more than I thought it did.

This is only the first contest. The first submission. The first of many firsts.

Did you lose today? Something big? Something small that still mattered to you?

I hope your Monday went well. But if it didn’t, know that you aren’t alone. Know that there are others out there that also lost. Or have in the past. Or will in the future.

Your win is coming. Maybe mine too!

Keep at it.

I think about all of the authors that were rejected over and over before getting their chance. Not saying I’m guaranteed to win like those authors, but I’ll keep trying.

Writing is sharing a piece of ourselves with others, but I do it for me as well.
Because I love it.

I hope you get your win today!

Dreaming

I’m watching “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” right now. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s about a man who works in an office for TIME magazine. He loses the negative from an important photo and needs to find the photographer who took it.

He leaves his daydreams behind and makes them a reality.

I’ve watched it before, but Walter Mitty is exactly who I needed to speak to me right now. What are my dreams? When will they come true?

The real question is: When am I going to stop dreaming and make it happen?

What about you? Are you dreaming? Or living?

-Katy

The death of someone I don’t know

This week has been tough. Not for any personal reasons (unlike last week when my car battery died, my phone fell in some water, and I hit a deer).

Two great men died this week. I didn’t know them personally,
but they still affected my life.

David Bowie and Alan Rickman were part of my childhood growing up. Now, as an adult I can appreciate them even more for their talent and what they gave the world.

Each of them gave us a piece of themselves that in turn changed our lives.

Whether it was hearing David Bowie’s music and knowing that just because someone is a little different, it doesn’t make them less than others. Being different is awesome!
His music inspired generations up until his death this week and will continue until the end of time.

Alan Rickman played roles that included villains, wizards, and more. He inspired those around him to be better or even just to believe that magic was real for a little while.

These moments they created for us who never met them are powerful.

We are changed for the better.

Even if we never met, I love you.

Rest in peace, Alan Rickman and David Bowie. You gave the world such gifts.

Always.

-THE KATY

(David Bowie called this version of “Space Oddity” the “most poignant version of the song ever created.” )

Always be kind.

Yesterday, someone said to me that they believed all people are mean, that no actually good people exist in this world.

I thought about this and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve always believed. All people are not mean. Sure, there are legitimately mean people, but there are good people who do good things and want nothing in return. Even these good people can be mean from time to time (myself included!), but all we can do is be kind when that happens and know they’ll come around.

This world has many terrible things happening in it lately. I choose to be optimistic that there is more good than bad. There are good people! I pray that I can do my best to add to the good in this world, even if it’s only in my little piece of it.

I don’t know this person’s back story. I’m sure what happened  in their past that makes them see the world this way. Or maybe they just watch the news and see all the bad around us. I see it too. But I also see good.

And I will be kind.

Not always…because I’m not perfect. But I’ll try.

And that’s half the battle.

Always

photo from UnSplash.com, graphic created on Canva

Back-burner or Burn out

12032691_10204580704989832_8054164986083898236_oI have this problem where I can’t say no. I seem to love piling more things on my plate when it seems like there is no way I can fit one more thing. I still find a way to make it work, even if it feels like I’m going to burn out sometime soon.  Anyone else have this problem? I read an article recently where a successful business woman said she started feeling empowered and happy when she learned to say “no.”

Unfortunately, I am not at that point in my life. I’m still figuring this whole “life” thing out .  As a 27 year old woman (who still thinks of herself as a kid sometimes), mom of two toddlers with special needs, a wife to a very patient and understanding husband, 12006462_10204526064343850_2764033057492316414_oaspiring author, full time career woman/part time job woman soon, plus a plethora of other activities, I don’t have enough hours in the day to breathe.
Someday, I will wake up and say “You know what? NO.” And probably smile and go back to sleep. But for now, this is what needs to happen for my family’s survival. Some of the more “fun” activities do need to be pushed back. There’s no time to write every night anymore. But bills will be paid. And my kids will be fed. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for!
 However, I don’t want to burn out. If I burn out, how can I work to provide for my family? I do need to say “no” to a few things I would maybe rather be spending my extra minutes on.
Maybe I won’t finish my novel this year. Gray’s Shadow will sit sadly on the back-burner of my to-do list until things calm down again or at least have a free five minutes that belongs only to me.
But my kids are happy. There’s no way I’m putting that priority on the back-burner.
(Oh and for those confused by the header of image, my dog’s name is Juice) 😀

32 Hours PER WEEK

“Those who qualified for the State funding ABA waiver need to have 32 hours of EIBI therapy per week.”

I almost choked on my snack sized pretzels.

I’d arrived first at the parent orientation for my son’s therapy. ABA stands for “Applied Behavior Analysis.” This is one type of therapy that works really well for kids with autism. The reason for so many hours is EIBI or Early intensive behavioral intervention. This means get them as much therapy as possible while they’re young so it’ll have a higher chance of succeeding.

Tristan was diagnosed with high-functioning autism last July, just after his 3rd birthday. We waited one year on a waitlist to be approved for this funding, because we definitely couldn’t afford therapy on our own at $200 or more per hour. His name was finally at the top of the list and I couldn’t be more happy!

Arriving at orientation, I donned my name tag and grabbed a handful of pretzels. I didn’t know what to expect. Would there be lots of parents here? Should I have made Luke come with me? The chairs slowly filled up. Three other moms filled those chairs. Moms going through the exact same thing as me. But, none of us talked to each other. We all stared at our phones until the presentation started.

We introduced ourselves briefly when pointed to and then listened to one of the intake coordinators tell us about ABA therapy. It sounds awesome. Then they dropped the bomb. Tristan would be in therapy 32 hours per week, for a total of at least 120 hours per month. I was excited! This is going to change his life for the better. School (4K), combined with ABA is going to change his life.

The significance of that was mind-blowing!

Then that bomb made impact as the common sense washed off some of my elation. I work full-time. Luke works full-time. Will one of us have to quit our jobs? Will we be struggling to pay bills again? WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?

What are we going to do…11703571_10204293173161716_8076268094690388178_o

After freaking out for a little bit (at home, not at orientation. I am good at being ALL SMILES in public, even if I’m freaking out on the inside), I took a deep breath. Luke and I prayed about it. No, we still don’t know exactly what we’re going to do, but whatever happens with our jobs or money, one thing is certain.

This therapy is going to change Tristan’s life for the better. Anything is worth that.


Hey all. I haven’t posted a Tristan update in a while. He is doing great, but I am ready for school to start! He is ready too, I think. I am not the best at routine and tend to just “go with the flow” when I’m home on nights and weekends. I am working at getting better at that.

Later this week, I have another author interview planned so be excited!

– Katy

All the things

I have this problem. Ok, it’s not really a problem…not a serious one at least. I’ve had this quirk for a LONG time–maybe since high school. Tuesdays are a good day for confessions, right?

Ok here I go.

I want to do ALL THE THINGS.

Whew. That feels good to get off my chest!

What I mean is that even when I have a lot going on, I have this urge to add more things to my plate. I like juggling, but I’m not particularly good at it.

In high school, I was an honor roll student while also participating in show choir, musicals, band, regular choir, part-time job, driver’s ed, and anything else I could get my busy little hands on.

Now, I am a mother, wife, friend, full-time event/production coordinator for a non-profit, aspiring author, blogger, social media enthusiast, reader/reviewer, and I have recently decided to do more things.

Sometimes I succeed for a little while in keeping everything spinning happily and other times I fail miserably.

But I realized something. I need to be busy, because that’s what makes me happy. Even if it doesn’t always work out or turn out to be the right thing for me. I thrive on busy. I dine on stress and filled calendars for dinner. I love it.

So, I think I’ll continue doing all the things while still being an awesome mom to two crazy kids and a wife to man who loves me, even though I want to do all the things. And he encourages me to follow my dreams.11707829_10204136065194115_433938332823930811_o

So next time I venture into a new thing to test the limits of my juggling, I’ll give it a whirl. Who knows? Maybe I’ll love it. If not, I’ll trying something else. Life’s great like that.

What things do you juggle? Just go for it!

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J is for Jealousy

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I wanted to do an inspirational post for the letter ‘J’ and so chose jealousy as the topic. To read more ‘J’ blogs for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, click here.

Jealousy is something that everyone struggles with from time to time. When life is going in a great direction, we don’t look at others’ lives, except to congratulate or share in the joy of living. But when things start to take a downhill turn…envy can begin to gnaw at the edges of our heart with sharp bitter teeth.

The Good: Jealousy can show us where we want to be someday. I know if I am jealous that someone is traveling somewhere that I really should start prioritizing my funds so maybe I can take a trip someday soon. If someone I know paid off their students loans (seriously, how?), then I need to make goals so I can feel that satisfaction someday (in like…1 billion years).

The Bad: Jealousy can destroy lives if not kept in check. Ok, that may  be a little over dramatic, but if someone I know always seems to have the perfect life I could start to resent them. There is no reason to resent someone for their successes. 1. You don’t know their life! They could have other bad things going on behind the scenes that is ruining their day. Maybe they just posted about their weight-loss or new car because they need a little positivity right then. 2. They could be jealous of YOU for something in your life! Have you ever thought of that? It’s sometimes hard to step back and see the blessings in your life. I know I have difficulty seeing the beauty around me sometimes. But your life is for YOU and their lives is theirs. Just do your best!

The Katy: “But Katy, who are you to tell me not to be jealous?” I may just be speaking from my own emotional experiences, but I hope I don’t come off as preachy. I just want you to be happy. I know I still feel jealous (often), but looking through pictures of the “good ol’ times” on Facebook or current ones of my family make me feel better most of the time. And if I love those people I envy, then I will also be happy for them, even knowing I want to meet that same goal someday. I need to take my own advice!

1 Corinthians 13:4 – Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it his not arrogant.

I like change: C is for Change

Day 3 is the letter C! C is for Change.

The Good: The title is true. I like change! In fact, I like it so much that I changed my blog theme. Again. I think the last time I changed it was maybe 3 months ago? I like the thick navigation bar, although the color may change depending on my mood. Change is a good thing! My blog isn’t the only thing I like changing. I am also a redhead now (with purplish-brown on the underside) vs. blonde. I think it’ll be a little easier to maintain than the glaring contrast of blonde vs. dark brown roots threatening to choke me out every few months. Let’s face it. I cannot afford to get my roots touched up every 6-8 weeks!

10934019_10203119285935269_5875097561453645256_nRedish-brownish-purplish hair We bought a house. It’s pretty awesome and actually not that much more per month than we were paying for rent for a smaller apartment. It is a little farther commute, but I rather like a scenic country drive. We have a cute walkable town a few miles away and a half acre to stretch out in if we want to hang around the house. The kids and dog love it too! They have been much less crabby (the kids that is) and Juice romps from room to room with her chew toys, not sure which one she wants to settle down in for a nap. The house was a flip, so many of the appliances are new along with other additions to the little house. We still have a lot of work to do, but I am so happy with it so far. It has a lot of potential to be the perfect house. And it’s a home. Our apartment was a home because we lived there together, but it was sad and blank and cold. This house is our home and will be for awhile. So, maybe I’ll change my blog theme a few more times or color my hair blue (I can’t…I work in an office), but maybe my love of change will stop at my home. I don’t want to move. And that, my friends, is also a good thing.

The Bad: . . . Hmm. . . What is bad about change? I guess getting the poor kids used to a new home1setting, but we established above that they like it better. I really am having trouble fulfilling my entire theme for this post. I really like change! I like moving the furniture around, painting walls…I guess change can be a lot of work. Work isn’t necessarily bad, but it can be annoying. I hate moving. I hate packing stuff into boxes and trying to sort them by room. Everyone is cranky on moving day and the kids get super confused as to what’s happening. All of that is over for a hopefully LONG time, so we’ll forget about it!

The Katy: One of my favorite things to change is hobbies. I love trying new things, even when I don’t have much time. With a new house to play around in, there are plenty of new projects to keep me busy!

Mom, You are NOT Fat

Mom, You are NOT Fat

This beautiful letter was recently posted on one of the Mommy groups I’m a part of on Facebook. Body image is what we make of it. You decide how you feel about yourself! I hope this letter inspires you as it did me. Click on the link above and check it out!

After rereading the letter again, I decided I needed to elaborate on my opinion about it. It’s amazing what kids can pick up on. As a parent, I speak no lie according to my sons. I know, if someday I said I was fat, they would believe me! No questions asked. I never thought about that before. It’s not good, but I hint that I’m fat all the time. I need to stop that. Because of myself and also because of my kids. They are only almost 2 and almost 7 months right now, but it’s important to set an example. I never thought about it before reading this letter!

I am beautiful. (Even if I could stand to lose a few pounds…but I won’t tell my sons that!)

Katy

Wearing daddy's clothes!

Wearing daddy’s clothes!