Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Career Paths

Yesterday I couldn't seem to remember what day it was. For this reason my daughter had her piano lesson two hours later than usual and I forgot about book club. I hadn't had time to read the book, Stargirl, but I still wanted to go.

A friend on her blog said they discussed how to stay true to yourself, and that one way to always stay true to yourself would be to pick 5 careers you would have done if you had not picked what you are currently doing, gotten married, had kids, etc. Your choices don't need to be realistic or practical. Then take these career choices a step further and incorporate them into your life somehow.

She mentioned that these alternate careers are part of your personality and should be embraced no matter where you are in your life. She listed her five and why and then tagged everyone.

I probably would have done it even if she hadn't turned it into a tag, so here goes.

1. Stage Actress. I loved doing plays and musicals in junior high and high school. I don't know that I was any good (I only had the lead in one play) but it was a lot of fun. When my goal was Hollywood I used to say that I would be happy bringing Steven Spielberg his coffee.

2. Teacher. I have always loved to read and learn and I always wanted to make a difference in our school systems. I always wanted to help kids who don't like English and history to love them. I had some terrible teachers that really made me hate being there and because of them, I wanted to make a change. Have you seen the movie Stand and Deliver? I wanted to be that teacher, just with English and History instead of math. I don't like math.

3. Published Author. While I have been published, so far it's only been in newspapers and collections. My manuscripts have not been published (for obvious reasons--they aren't finished). I would be the next J.K. or Brandon Sanderson (I know, I aim high).

4. Social Worker or counselor. I studied social work and psychology for three years before deciding it wouldn't work out for me. I did a ton of volunteer work in Rexburg at the Family Crisis Center and at the Child Rehabilitation Center. I tried to continue it when I lived in Logan, though opportunities for such activity was less.

5. Politician. This is a rather new development. It's not something I really thought about as a kid, but is something I think a lot about now. I am increasingly unhappy with the way the country is going and I want to help. (The link is not because I want to be like her or think a lot of her, but that if I was to go into politics, our situations would be similar in that I started small and knowing nothing.)

So there you go. My five. It was harder than I thought it would be, but now I'm tagging you! So ha! You get to see just how hard (or easy) it is. Leave me a message and let me know if you're going to play along so I can check yours out.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Midnight Madness Leads to Morning Madness

Ok, so just as I thought, I can't do my writing at night. I stayed up late last night to do it because I never (honestly, not making excuses here) got a chance to do it during the day or early evening. In fact, I didn't start writing until after midnight. Now this morning I am grumpy and feeling mean. I babysit today :/, so maybe the older kids can entertain each other while the younger ones nap (hopefully at the same time) and I'll be able to get some writing done.

My Manuscript

Nathan set up a percentage bar on the blog. It's just right there on the right. It should change every day as I should be writing every day. And just so you know, the manuscript I decided to work on for now is one that I actually had a lot of work completed on as a non-fiction, but at the conference I digitally tore it up and decided to make it fiction. Much easier that way. So that is why the completion bar is so low. I started all over. Kind of. And I think right now, a reasonable daily word count goal is 300. I've done more than that tonight, but I may not always be able to. So for those of you who care, there it is.

And for those of you in my ward who write, we need to start a writing group. I think that would help us all out.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Best Writer's Conference Ever!

(This is a small portion of our online writers' group, Authors Incognito)

I got back late last night from the LDSStorymakers Writing Conference. IT WAS AWESOME! (Once again.) This is my fourth time attending and every year it just gets better. I'm still a little tired from traveling yesterday and getting up at 4:30 AM (Utah time) to be with my kiddos today who decided to wake up at 6:30 AM (Ohio time).

While I absolutely loved going, I felt guilty this year. You see, I haven't done a lot of writing in the last year (not counting blogging). Since the last conference I have been really busy with anything but writing. I traveled, I had a baby, I moved across the country, I started babysitting three or four times a week, and I played lots of board games with Nathan and friends from dental school and Church. But my worst excuse is I stopped believing in myself and my abilities. It was pretty easy to say I didn't have time to write. I did a little bit of therapeutic writing shortly after we moved here, but that was it. I didn't work on my books at all. I blamed it on lack of time, but really it was lack of faith in myself. I'm terrified to submit. Thinking about it makes me tear up and get shaky.

Any confidence I had gained in writing from my college professors (because that is where nearly all of it came) was gone. I hadn't been in school for a long time (or at least hadn't taken an English class in a while). I'm not sure what happened to zap my confidence, but it was gone. I had a blog that people told me they enjoyed reading, I had a couple stories accepted for a collection in a book, and recently I was asked to write some articles for our Stake's summer musical, This is Kirtland! and in the past I've had letters to the editor published in USU's paper, The Stateman, a paper that isn't easy to get into if your letter is actually well-written and thought out. But I haven't worked on my stuff for a long, long time.

If there is one thing that I learned at this conference (ok, I'm going to list more than one here, but they all go together) it is this: write anyway. Write, write, write, and stop editing my stuff so much. I never get very far because I stop to edit and try to make those first chapters perfect. Then when I can't, I get discouraged and stop writing altogether. I need to make writing one of my priorities and that scares me. What? I have to have ANOTHER priority? I don't have enough priorities already?

Yeah. I have to make it a priority and make myself do it because, hey, it is what I want to do, it is something I do actually love doing when I believe in myself (and like what I'm writing about--payday loans and injury lawyers are topics I do not enjoy writing about so please do not ask me to write about them as a ghost writer on your nephew's website simply because you don't want to do it yourself. I will say no.).

So, from now on I am not allowed to tell myself that I was stupid when I thought I could write. I WILL write every day and after seeing what is reasonable for me I will make a daily word count goal. I will hold myself responsible to those of you who read my blog (I will try to create something that I can check off daily on my blog to let you know, as if you care, that I reached my word count goal for the day), the wonderful people in my writing group, and to my husband. Oh, and to Jeff Savage because he made me promise I would have one manuscript finished (not polished, just completely written) by the end of the summer.

I'm ready.

So here I go. Ready, Set, Go!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So Long, Farewell, Auf wiedersehen, Adiu

So I'm leaving bright and early on an airplane tomorrow morning. Am I excited?

Oh Yeah!

I'm more than a little excited.

On Thursday I fly to SLC and a writing group friend is picking me up from the airport.

Then we drive to the Marriott Hotel in Provo where we get to hang out, write, do whatever we want.

On Friday and Saturday I get to go to the best writing conference ever--the LDS Storymakers Writers' Conference.

Then Sunday my wonderful in-laws will take me back to the airport so I can fly back home.

I get Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and most of Sunday kid-free.

I haven't had more than three or four hours of kid-free since last year's conference.
And at last year's conference I was pregnant and had contractions through the entire weekend.

Yes, it has been a year since I had anything other than the hours of 1 AM to 6 AM to myself. And sometimes I haven't even had that.

So a BIG THANK YOU to those taking my kids these days so I can go to the conference and Nathan can go to school.
And another HUGE THANK YOU to Nathan for letting me skip off to the conference and being willing to have the kids all to himself after he gets out of school. I know it isn't easy to have someone else's kids all day (believe me I know! That's how I paid for the conference and the plane ticket!) so I really, really, really appreciate it Lori, Mary, and Kristy!

And Nathan, I know it isn't easy to have our own kids sometimes, so I owe you.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Book Review-The Moral Center

The Moral Center: How We Can Reclaim Our Country from Die-Hard Extremists, Rogue Corporations, Hollywood Hacks, and Pretend Patriots The Moral Center: How We Can Reclaim Our Country from Die-Hard Extremists, Rogue Corporations, Hollywood Hacks, and Pretend Patriots by David Callahan

Kellie's Review

rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book since I've never really read a political book before. After reading it I found that I actually didn't care for the book. The title implies that he will give ideas on what we can do to "reclaim our country" and the only suggestions I could find were contained within four sentences on the last two pages which I considered to be kind of lame.

I disagree with the idea of a moral center, which before reading this book I didn't actually understand what one was. I feel like he, in theory, disagrees with a moral center, but is trying to create one anyway. I don't like the idea of sitting on the fence and just trying to get things to be "not as bad." It kind of reminds me of the scripture where God says he'll spew us out of his mouth if we don't take a side.

Anyway, I don't really recommend the book. Reading it was kind of like, "Um, I already knew that." There wasn't anything that surprised me or taught me anything, so that was disappointing. Well, I was surprised by the number of women getting married in the 1800s that were already pregnant, but other than that, nada.

View all my reviews.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I'm A Muggle

I'm so excited I think I'm going to die.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Pleading Letter to Vegetarians

What do you eat every day? I mean, do you just eat the same stuff constantly because there are so few options? Or do I just not know what to cook? (Don't answer that, Nathan.) We've been trying to back off the meat--not rule it out completely, but just back off of it. This isn't easy for me as my favorite food is one of those hamburgers that is the size of your plate and uses an entire head of lettuce, three tomatoes, an avocado, half an onion, an entire pickle, etc.

In the realm of tofu, I'm a stranger and I'm out of ideas. And no, I won't eat tofu.

Let's take a look at meal idea #1, shall we?

1. Beans and rice with a side of avodaco

Ok, not bad, but that gets old, right?

So let's look at meal idea #2.

2. Lentil soup

Ok, except that I'm not really a soup person.

Meal idea #3,

3. Beans and rice

Do you see my dilemma here?


PS, Yes we are still doing dairy, it's just that meat is so expensive and we are trying to abide by the "very little meat" part of the Word of Wisdom.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Carved Easter Eggs, Easter Eggland, and Dying Eggs

Late last night Nathan called a friend and asked, "Hey, do you want to go do something stupid?" They then left for the dental school campus where they proceeded to carve hollow eggs with their dental tools--a drill fitted with a diamond bur, to be somewhat exact. Here are most of Nathan's results. We did have a casualty before we could get a picture of all of them.


Very good for his first time, I think.


Also this week in Easter News & Events we went to Eggshelland. Check it out.

The same family has been doing this for 54 years. They hollow out the eggs, color them with enamel paint, the grandma draws everything out, and then the grandkids place the eggs on their posts to keep them in place. Isn't that cool? And surprisingly she said it isn't a year round thing for them, but that they start doing everything in January.

Lots of the moms at Church decided to do an Easter Egg Hunt on Friday. So we all brought a bunch of eggs, hid them, and let the kids go at it.


And here are Megan and Jeremy dyeing Easter Eggs.

We also learned recently that Jeremy can curl his tongue.
Megan, sadly, cannot. But don't tell her that.

Easter Morning

Megan found her Easter basket hiding in the fireplace.

Jeremy found his hiding in the shoebox. (It was everything we could do just to get him to go get his shoes so he could find that dang thing.)

When he finally went to get his shoes, he actually got his shoes before bothering to pick up his Easter basket. Funny kid.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Megan Is A Genius, In My Humble Opinion

A couple days ago Megan was standing next to me while I checked my email. She started talking very slowly, and I'll admit I wasn't listening much at first. Then suddenly she got my attention.

She wasn't just talking--she was reading out loud my email.

"I can probably . . ."

Are you kidding me? She just read the word "probably" without any help from me.

I about fell out of my chair.

She is so dang smart.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

TEA Parties

I once re-enacted the Boston Tea Party for a history assignment. Unfortunately it was caught on film. I jumped into a swimming pool while fully clothed and looked like a drowned rat when I got out. Thankfully, I don't think the person who has it would ever post it anywhere it could be viewed by others. Right, Bar?

A good friend of mine posted on her blog about her city's Tea Party, and no, I'm not talking about a large get together for a hot drink. I've been debating whether or not to post about it on here and I decided since she did, I can too. So if you don't feel like talkin' politics go here instead--because the topic of this one, while it isn't political, isn't far off of what the government is doing--eating our beads and giving us back crap.

So Nathan and I are going to the Cleveland TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party on Tax Day. It's basically a rally against out of control spending, but most of those in attendance have multiple issues with our government. I'm actually really excited about it. I've wanted to get more involved in politics for a few years now, but just haven't really known where to start. In Logan, Utah there wasn't much for a Republican to do. But I heard all about the Democrat parties and get togethers all the time thanks to a co-worker.

Once things got moving for the Presidential Primaries I got interested. That was kind of a big thing for me. I hadn't been that interested in a Presidential Primary ever, and I hadn't been that interested in the Presidential race since junior high when my best friend was an adamant Clinton fan and my other good friend loved Bush (the first one). There were a few very tense weeks in the lunch room, that's all I'll say.

I would love to take some political science classes now and learn more about our government and how it works, how to get involved, etc. For example, why and since when is the Supreme Court making laws when that isn't their responsibility? Why are most of the laws they are making incredibly stupid laws that show how morally bankrupt they are?

Anyway, I've got a lot of issues with the way my beloved country is going and since there is no private island I can move to, I figured I've got to do my best to fix where I am.

If any of you Clevelanders out there are interested in going to the Tea Party, let us know and we'll meet you there. For the rest of you, find out where yours is by going to

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ode to Craigslist

Ode to Craigslist, how we love thee.
We thank thee for thy service and loyalty.
The time thou hast spent in finding us prospective tenants,
Though nearly all were afraid of commitments,
Has been great and dutifully fulfilled.

Yay!!! We found someone to take our apartment lease!!! And it wasn't the scam artist guy in the Philippines! Yay! Did you know there's totally a scam people are doing now where they act like they are interested in renting your apartment, act like they are coming to the U.S. for the first time and will pay you the entire year's rent all at once, only to in the end ask for your credit card info.? Stupid! But still, yay for the guy that wants our apartment and is bringing by the deposit!!

I'm excited.

Friday, April 3, 2009

For Grandma


Driving the van with baby Emma

Making French toast

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Adventures of Kellie in Cleveland Continue

So today, being April 1st, the library park finally opened. I've been waiting for this day for a couple weeks now. I took the kids and let them run wild for about half an hour or so until I smelled Emma.

It had been so nice. Megan and Jeremy were playing well together and with the other kids at the park. It was a beautiful day, blue sky, pretty light clouds, nice breeze.

And it all had to end because Emma stank pretty bad. We then took ourselves into the library to change her. Well, if there is a baby changing station in the bathroom, it must have been located in the handicapped stall, which was occupied. So I took the kids into the vestibule (is that the right word?) area and proceeded to change Emma on the floor.

The poop had gone all the way up her back and to her neck. Her clothes were disgusting (a white, really cute onesie was destroyed and accidentally forgotten on the library's bathroom sink, ew). I had to take all her clothes off and as soon as I did, she peed. All over her legs, feet, and the floor. I yelled for Megan and Jeremy to bring me paper towels. This library apparently doesn't use paper towels, only hand driers. So I asked them to bring me "lots of toilet paper." Want to know what they brought back to me?

It looked like this.



Anne Bradshaw at Not Entirely British is having a great giveaway. I totally need it so don't go over there! Ya hear me?