Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Lighthouse Moment

It could go down in the Guinness Book of World Records as THE quickest road trip ever, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

If you've been following this past week, you know that the family and I flew into Orlando, Florida late Friday night to drive back the truck that Clay had found on Ebay. After a good night's sleep at a Holiday Inn, a quick breakfast, and some fresh squeezed Florida orange juice–we headed to the dealership in Daytona, signed the paperwork for Clay's truck just a-lickety-split, and then we hit the road running–next stop Savannah, Georgia!

With the Atlantic ocean breeze welcoming us in, we got right into the heart of downtown Savannah, stopping to have a little lunch at Fiddler's Crab Shack–a historic eatery along the banks of the Savannah river that serves up some of the best blue crab stew known to mankind. We must have looked like tourists (the camera and Clay's Bermuda shorts were a dead give away) because our waitress asked us where we were visiting from. When I told her we'd come all the way from Kentucky, she confided that seeing "The Derby" was number five on her bucket list. When I told her that seeing a lighthouse was #7 on mine, she said I'd come to the right place as there was a beautiful one not ten miles away and pointed us in the right direction.

Soon we were sailing down hwy 95 on our way to Tybee Island where I finally fulfilled my longtime dream of seeing a real lighthouse.

I was lucky. If I'd been three minutes later, I'd have missed out. Here's a picture of me, racing at sundown–just minutes before they closed the gate–to fulfill my dream. The picture doesn't quite do the moment justice, but trust me it was magical and something I'll never forget. Do you have a yen you've yet to fulfill? What is it? Seeing a lighthouse was just one of the things I'd hoped to do this year. Happy to say I'll be checking number seven off my list...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

On the Road AGAIN!

I sure do love a road trip. There's something about new scenery and the open road that never ceases to fuel my creativity. I can't wait to get home and start writing as I think I may have found the perfect setting for my next story.

Except for a stay in a seedy hotel that smelled like The Miami Dolphins had stayed there the night before and left their gym socks under the bed, the trip has been great. I have to admit that I was nervous about buying a vehicle that we'd found on EBay, but so far so good! It drives like a dream and we're covering some pretty serious miles to get back home. This picture is of a very large bridge on our way to Savannah, Georgia. I've never seen this side of the world and am surprised to find seagulls, sea ports, palm trees, and the most gorgeous, wide open stretch of blue sky! It's a far cry from the sub zero temps we left behind, for sure! Clay's "dream" truck is perfect, the road is beckoning, and now we're off to fulfill a longtime dream of my own.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Loaded Up and Truckin'

We're on the road again. Well, almost on the road again. Okay, we will be on the road again–hopefully–very soon! What, if anything, could possibly cause a family to just up and go so spur of the moment, and in the dead of winter, you ask?

Without giving away too much, I can say that it involves a longtime dream of my husband's, and there will definitely be road, sky, and scenic byways involved; not only that but if you've been following my blog, this roadtrip will also bring about one of the significant "to-do's" on my New Year's list (see 1-1-11 post). So you see, it's a win, win situation, and I promise that it will all make perfect sense over the next couple weeks, so be sure to buckle up, get comfy and enjoy the ride with me. It's sure to be an adventure...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Is there anything greater than watching your children grow and discover new, hidden talents? I think not. I'm always trying to introduce my three to new things that I hope will interest them. Sometimes successfully and sometimes not! Yonas, my youngest, is nine. He's in that discovery phase and excels at just about anything until he gets bored with it. There have been tap dance lessons, soccer at the "Y" and right now, it's anything and everything football.

Alee, my college girl, has always had an inborn skill for organization, attention to details, and is amazing with WORDS so it came as no surprise when she chose English as her major. The girl is amazing, meticulous, and passionate about literature. I could so see her as an Editor-in-Chief at some fabulous magazine or acquiring books for Simon & Schuster one day. Amazing as they all are, I have to admit that it's Mitchell (the quiet one) who's surprised me the most lately.

Mitchell is perhaps the most like me when I was his age–although he's much smarter (and funnier) than I ever was! He's also very creative. At just fourteen, Mitch can draw like nobody's business, write music, and he's a self-taught pianist who learned to play Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata," by ear no less! But something I didn't know about Mitch is that he's also a writer! That's right...Mitch's first published piece will be appearing in his high school's literary magazine near the end of the school year, and you know, proud mom that I am, I'll be posting it right here!

It's fun being a mom, and it's going to be even more incredible to watch and see what other hidden talents and passions my kids develop over the years. And to think, there was a time when I didn't think we'd make it to here. Even now, that thought...that memory is still too much for me to bear so I push it back into that locked up place where I keep it. During that worst of times my coping strategy was simple–hold onto the little things and be grateful for the good, and even the not so good moments we have. Well, a crazy, wonderful thing happened. Those little moments grew bigger and better and my kids and I, we didn't die like I thought we would. Instead, we grew healthy and strong.

No doubt, seeing that dark side of life is what made me who I am. I can't help but appreciate the little things still, like Yonas kicking a soccer ball, or confiding with a scrunched up face that he really hates the tap dance class ; ) or the time that Alee and I were panicked to discover three hours before prom that the dress no longer fit, and how at the last minute we'd found the most perfect, beautiful gown hanging in a consignment window just up the street... Or the way that Mitchell hugged me this morning before he left for school and said, "Love you, Mom."

No, there isn't a minute that goes by that I don't thank God for what I've been given. I know I'm one lucky mom. I get to watch my kids grow talents and passions; I get to watch them grow-up. Yes, I'm definitely having one of those "Mom" moments...and I'm SO, so glad.
Sweet Dreams... My "Piano man" at age seven.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

It's a new day. It's a new dawn. It's a New Year ... and I'm feeling good!

Waking up to 2011 with a cup of java and a pen. I have a few New Years resolutions to commit to paper, but first I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the last twelve months. 2010 was an unforgettable year; a year that brought with it many joys: 

First and foremost, my family remained healthy and well, and my connection with God strong. I accomplished what was at one time an almost impossible dream of mine and wrote my first novel, and then in August I received two offers of representation and signed with my wonderful agent. I also discovered Ipad's remarkable "sample" a book feature, and decided I didn't dislike The Kindle, after all. I read fifteen books, watched 100 episodes of Joel Osteen, and walked 400 miles on my treadmill.   

It's been a good year. Hard to imagine how just a year can change everything. It can make you better, stronger, bring you closer to, or even fulfill, your biggest dreams. That's why we set goals and make up New Years resolutions. This year–this remarkable 2011, when you set those goals to paper, don't be afraid to go for your heart's desires. Go for it! Here's a look at the goals I've set for 2011 in no particular order:

1.)  Good health
2.)  Strong Bonds/Family/God
3.)  Finish Novel #2
4.)  See The Silence of Mercy Bleu published
5.)  Dream Big
6.)  See a lighthouse, a waterfall, and the Atlantic 
7.)  Chase a rainbow
8.)  Live. Love. Laugh.

So there you have it, my resolutions for 2011. No doubt it's going to be an amazing year!  How about you? What do you hope for in 2011? 

Thanks for visiting today. I want to wish you all a happy, healthy New Year over-flowing with good fortune, love and inspiration!