Wednesday, August 31, 2011

a2z 4 u & me - letter O

Okay, I've been thinking about this. O is a hard letter. Not as hard as Q is going to be, but O is hard. So, after delaying this for a day, the letter O is for...

OUTER BANKS and OCEAN

Yes, I have to sneak in a couple more pictures of our trip to the OUTER BANKS and the OCEAN. I have to milk it for all it's worth. You might even see these pictures again when we get to W - for waves ;)

The OCEAN can be calm...

...or rough (rough to us Midwesterners who only have Lake Michigan to compare it to)...


...and it can make you pensive. I love this picture - Daddy and daughter contemplating whether or not they are going to like this.

O boy, do I miss the OUTER BANKS and the OCEAN!

To see more a2z posts, please visit Patty's blog.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Musings - Rejection

I haven't blogged in almost a week. I've tried, but haven't had the gumption. Last week I got two rejections. Sort of set me on my heels in put me in my place. I had finally been published - my golden ticket to the world of books. Editors from now on would look at my bio, see that I'd published a novella and say, "Of course we have to publish this woman's work! She's a genius." They'd say something like that anyway ;)

That was not the case. Two different books were rejected. Neither has been dealt the final death blow, but it hit hard, anyway. One publisher did give me nice comments along with constructive critique. That's how I'm trying to look at it - not that they publisher was completely off their rocker and what do they know about good writing!!

I took the weekend off, cleaned my house (it's dirty already, so I don't know why I bothered), and watched the race on TV with my hubby, plus had dinner with my parents.

I'm back at it today. 1669 words so far and more to come. I'm determined to make 2000. I'm also determined to put together a killer proposal and to have the editors fall over themselves at the conference, begging me to sign with them.

Or something like that!

Most of all, I'm remembering that the One who had every right to reject me, loved me instead and called me His child. And the Bible is the greatest acceptance letter I could ever get.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

a2z 4 u & me - letter N

This week we're up to the letter N and...
NINE!

Jonalyn turned nine on Monday. Can't believe my baby is that old. Since we knew we'd be driving home that day and my parents would be away at my sister's house to celebrate my niece's birthday the next day, we decided to have our party before we left on vacation.

Here she is, with her purple casts. We go back to the hospital Thursday to see if she needs to get these back on again.

Jonalyn and her butterfly cake. There's a long story behind it, but I won't bore you with it. Let's just say I'm shocked it turned out this well.

Blowing out the candles. I wonder what she wished for?? Mommy wished she wasn't so heavy!

Love this picture of her. She does look like a nine year old!

She got a sweater for the winter...

A pony purse...

And Dora pajamas.

She also got sand toys for the beach and some magnet toys. I can't believe how big my baby is getting and what a lovely girl she is. NINE is a great age to be!

To read more a2z posts, please visit Patty's blog!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Outer Banks: The End

Friday was a quiet day for us. We went to the beach in the morning. The big kids enjoyed the water while Jonalyn, Doug & I stayed and played on the sand. Doug got a sunburn the day before and with my broken toe (I think I forgot that tidbit - broke in in the rough surf on Wednesday) and bruises from earlier in the week, I opted out from more ocean fun. We went from the ocean to the pool, then in for lunch. Later in the afternoon, we wandered out for some shopping at a great shopping area we found. We bought a few small souvenirs, but the blue vase I saw that I really wanted was in a shop that was closed :( It would have looked great in my evolving living room.

Dinner: Ice cream! Hey, we were on vacation. We can have ice cream for dinner if we want!

Saturday was even quieter than Friday. We set out to go to Roanoke Island as I thought my toe might be up to it, but the traffic was INSANE!! My advice to anyone going to the Outer Banks - don't plan to go anywhere on Saturday or Sunday. We got a little ways and decided to turn around and go home. We would have sat in that traffic for hours on the way home as it would only get worse the later it got in the day. Instead we swam in the pool, Alyssa & I did some last minute shopping, and we hung out around the house. We finally found a great fish market and got some steamed shrimp and tuna for dinner. Let me tell you, it was out of this world!! You don't get fish like that in the Midwest. Being fresh made a world of difference. We tried tuna - not from a can - for the first time and it was delicious. The man at the fish market told me how to cook it or I wouldn't have had a clue.

After dinner we packed and cleaned and went to bed early. After two days of driving, we are now safely home, with wonderful memories of our trip to the Outer Banks.

My apologies for no pictures. I think Doug took some, but hasn't downloaded them yet. When he does, I'll post some.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Outer Banks Battered and Bruised

First of all - to Breezy Point Mom: that hair style was before the grand wipeout. My husband knows better than to photograph me after I've been dunked under a few waves LOL! And I have the pleasure of only picking good pictures of myself to post. Vanity is my vice.

Thursday the waves were the biggest we've seen on this trip. It made for good, if not challenging, boogie boarding. And we got battered and bruised. I had one grand wipe out. To my credit, I got back up and onto the board again.

Later in the afternoon, when we had somewhat recovered, we went go carting and mini-golfing. Jonalyn and I watched the go carts.


Then to mini golf. You got to ride a little train to the course.

Ever golf in a cave? We did!



We stopped for North Carolina BBQ on the way home. I got hush puppies!!! Many, many years since I had those. Yummy! Then we went across the street to these nice shops with a boardwalk along the sound.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Outer Banks Tuesday & Wednesday

Alyssa felt much better by Tuesday morning and so we decided to go to Jockey's Ridge State Park. It's a huge sand dune.


After lunch, we headed to the beach and Alyssa got in on the boogie boarding fun.

Jonalyn really doesn't like the ocean, because she keeps getting water in her face. That is one thing she doesn't tolerate.
She spends her time playing in the sand.

But she does LOVE the pool. Go figure!

Wednesday was a quite day. We did some shopping in the morning and grabbed a burger for lunch. A little later, we headed back to the beach. Yes, we're getting the hang of this whole relaxing thing!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

a2z 4 u & me - letter M

This week brings us to the letter M and...
MAKING MEMORIES!

That's what we're doing this week with our trip to the Outer Banks. This may well be the last or one of the last family trips with Brian. He wanted a beach vacation, and so we chose this spot.

Monday morning, Alyssa woke up with a fever. She's always been my girl that spikes a fever at the drop of a hat. She felt miserable. Thankfully, I brought plenty of medicine with me and we pumped plenty into her. We left her with Brian and went for some groceries. We were back at lunch time and she'd perked up a little, enough to have something to eat, but she didn't want to go to the beach with us. Doug put a movie in for her and she rested.

The four of us walked down the street to the beach. It's not far, which is nice. This is the view up and down the beach.


The big thing here is boogie boarding. We gave it a try and we love it! Yes, all of us had a try at it. This is Doug.

Me - yes, me! and my hubby, too.

Brian boogie boarding.

Even Jonalyn!


Jonalyn insists on calling the Atlantic a lake! She enjoys playing in the sand, but doesn't really like putting her hands in it.


After the beach, we jumped in our pool for a quick swim. The water's so much warmer than the ocean! We went to Sun Fish Grill for dinner and I had some very good crab cakes. Alyssa felt well enough to join us, but she was peetering out by the end. On the way home we stopped for snow cones, thinking the cool would feel good on Alyssa's throat. Then we watched House Hunters. Yes, we know we're party animals. I'll end with a picture of our pool at night. What wonderful memories we're making - enough to last a lifetime.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Outer Banks or Bust

Saturday morning, very, very bright and early, we packed up the car and headed southeast to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We had to stop for gas and picked the exit for Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, where I spent my first year of college at Geneva College. It was great to visit again, and it was much the same as I remembered it. After I got my bearings, I was able to point out everything to my family.

The dorm I lived in that first year.

After a long day of traveling, we made it to Somerset, Pennsylvania. Being only 15 minutes from the sight of the crash of Flight 93 on 9/11, we really wanted to go there. It left me choked up. The permanent memorial will open on September 11th. The white wall and mowed path show the flight path of the plane. It came in upside down. The boulder is where it crashed. The crater is no longer there as it is a mass grave. In respect for the families, it was filled in.


Sunday morning, again way too early, we headed out and made a stop at Arlington Cemetery to see the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknowns.

John F. Kennedy's tomb, along with some of his family members.

More of the cemetery.

The trick then was to do Washington DC in an hour. Let's be real. I need MONTHS to really explore the place. But all we had was an hour. And we did it! Lincoln Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

Washington Monument

Capitol Building

White House. See the president waving to us from the window??

That's one thing we lack in the Midwest - a lot of history. Driving down the eastern seaboard was like a history lesson - okay, I made it a history lesson.

Stay tuned for more pictures and stories tomorrow...