Monday, December 31, 2012

Life can be MAGIC!

Is today really the last day of 2012?  Really?
My sweet girl has been commenting on how fast the year has gone by almost daily for the last two weeks.  And she is right.  She is so right!
Three hundred sixty-five full days are nearly gone.
Three hundred sixty-five days marked by books taking us to other worlds, rushed school mornings, followed by adventures on two campuses at two schools - with both highs and lows, laughter ripping from souls, smiles dancing on lips, a trombone sounding, words flitting across pages, movie nights at home, friend visiting, birthday celebrating, and every daily bit that creates that spinning vortex whirling three hundred sixty-five days by.
Three hundred sixty-five days of 2012 say good-bye this eve to make room and welcome in the coming New Year.
A few weeks ago, just before she began commenting on the speed of 2012's cumulative days, my sweet girl drew this...

... and her beautiful words, "Life can be MAGIC!" is a sentiment I am happy to carry with me into 2013 tomorrow.
Both tonight and tomorrow promise to be mellow around here and I am more than content with that.  Are you staying home or heading out to celebrate?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Our tree is lit,
presents under,
kidlets sit with wonder.
Grandparents travel to see loved ones,
and family gathers
to celebrate what matters.
Celebratory goodies bake in the oven,
candles and sparkles on the table,
for loved ones to create the year's splendid fable.
May whatever holiday you celebrate,
whichever way your candles light,
may your season be merry and bright.

Friday, November 30, 2012

YWP NaNoWriMo { She's a Winner! }

November 1st began with squeals of delight from my sweet young girl as she found her Hello Kitty notebook and new pencils waiting for her to begin her very first NaNoWriMo through the Young Writer's Program.
For the first week, she couldn't wait to write everyday.  On school days, she got busy on her homework just to be free to put her pencil to paper and whittle her story, A Girl Who Lived on an Island Alone.  On the weekends, she often wrote before I even got up.
The second week held just as much excitement as the first.  By the third week?  She hit a speed bump and lost some interest.  I wavered between encouraging her to keep at it and not wanting to take away any of her joy in writing.  In early elementary school years, personally, I think it is more important to keep kidlets excited about telling stories than it is to drill in a daily writing habit.
And with the end of November rapidly approaching, she began writing again.  A secret smile plays on my lips when I see her smile as she writes her tales.
Today is November 30th and my sweet li'l girl entered her story to verify and validate and...
She won her very first NaNoWriMo and I sincerely hope there are more writing experiences we can share still to come.  And every time she grabs her special NaNo Hello Kitty notebook throughout this coming year, I'll be wearing my secret smile.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

December Daily

December Daily.
I tell myself, year after year, to jump in and document December's tale.  Last year, I recorded some of our December stories...though, they never made it into an album of sorts.
The whole idea behind #DecemberDaily is to document the traditions and stories occurring throughout our days this coming month.  Ali Edwards creates foundation pages before the first of the month to streamline the process.  And then simply adds photos and words for each day of the celebratory month, documenting both the big and little things life offers.
And while it is last minute...again...I can't help but be infected by the enthusiasm for the project shared across the blogosphere, Pinterest, twitter, flickr, and Facebook.  It's as if social media has lassoed me and is pulling me in.  How can I resist sweet family memories and glittery, shiny Christmas bling?!
Do you document your stories?  Do you document December differently than other months through the year?  Do you December Daily?  Yes, it's a verb. ;>
I've collected a few links from around the interwebs for #decdaily inspiration:
Ali Edwards December Daily pages, of course.
Becky Higgins shares a delightful compilation of Christmas traditions from her readers.
Elise Blaha's 2011 holiday minibook is full of inspiration & she has assembled minibooks in her shop too.
A Pinterest search always yields oodles of ideas.
And remembering to actually use my own Christmas Pinterest Board is nice too.
So, where is December taking you?  Go!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Six Words { Write }

Write today.
Write tomorrow.

Write away.

~ Check out SMITH for more Six Words. ~
~ Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo! ~

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


There once was a wee girl who whittled words across the pages of any notebook she could lay her hands on.  When her mother click clacked across a keyboard, she ran for her own pages to wind words around whatever story that whittled itself through her imagination.
As her mother began thinking about what story she would write come this year's NaNoWriMo, this wee girl madly wrote her own adventure.  And her mother entertained the idea that flickered in front of her as she watched her daughter write her tale.
Could this wee girl join her mother for NaNoWriMo this year?

Yes!  She can and that's exactly what this wee girl, my wee girl, is going to do on Thursday!
She is using the Young Writer's Program (YWP) from NaNoWriMo.  And while she's not doing this with her class or anyone in her school, she's going to write her words while I write mine.
While working in her YWP workbook for elementary school age kidlets, she turned to me with such excitement in her eyes.  "Can I do NaNoWriMo next year too?" She gushed with pure excitement bubbling over.  And of course, I told her, "Yes! You can do NaNoWriMo every year for the rest of your life, if you want."  Two beats of silence and my wee girl with golden pig tails bounced up and down, "I can??!! Yahoooooooooooo!!!!"
So. Unbelievably. Awesome. 
We're still picking a word count goal for her.  The last story she wrote, taking a little over an hour or so to write, almost met the high end word count for her age.  So we're going to pick something a little higher in order for it to be something to write towards over the month.  But obviously don't want to make it so high, it's unachievable.  An achievable challenge is the goal.

Thursday, November 1st - the first day of NaNo, my wee girl will wake up to a fresh new notebook with a special pink mechanical pencil tied off in a bow waiting for her words to fill the pages.
Tick. Tock.  It's almost here!

Monday, October 29, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

It's that time of year again.  No, not the witchy-warlock, sugar induced day we're creeping up on.  Though, come Wednesday, there will be a li'l witch, a grave ghoul, a grown man in a scary mask named Uncle Charlie, and a woman with a pointy witch hat donned for Halloween.  But, it's the day after, November 1st, that I'm talking about.
It's NaNoWriMo time again!

Come Thursday, I'll be click clacking the keyboard down the ol' wordy bunny trail.  I followed the trail part of the way last year and am looking forward to what I find along the way this year.
If your not familiar with NaNo, simply put, it's a whole lotta people from around the globe, all writing a new fictional novel with a frenzy, attempting to write their way towards 50,000 words in 30 days.
Last year, I 'pantsed' NaNo - started writing with merely a brief, vague idea of a story.  I swore I would be a 'plotter' this year and outline what I want to write ahead of time.  And while I've been working out some story ideas, I'm still short of an outline.  Truthfully, I'm still short of a decision about which story idea I actually want to write.  I have three I'm darting between.  All three are different genres.  But, come November 1st, there will either be family drama, a consciousness transfer, or a woman running for her life.
Have you ever whipped words together for NaNoWriMo in years past?  Are you participating this year?  If your writing, do you know what words you'll be wicking together?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Six Words

Sun shinning,
leaves turning,
weather's not.
~ Check out SMITH for more Six Words. ~

Thursday, October 11, 2012

InstaFriday Fun: Moments Captured

It's been a crazy busy week.  Truthfully?  It's been a crazy busy four weeks.  And it's catching up with me.
But, taking a peek at moments captured with my ever present phone and shared on Instagram (I'm @timecrafted over there, come say hello!) these last seven days, makes me smile and reminds me where I've been.  Come take a stroll with me?
Bringing the kidlets home from school, we noticed a solitary water droplet from the morning's sprinklers resting atop a fallen leaf on the edge of the driveway, thought it was beautiful and worth a pause.

Our neighbors cut down their large flowering plum tree and we've been amazed by the colorful morning treat we now see...aka, the sunrise.

Sweet girl & I wait at the school picnic tables for the big brother after school most weekdays.

Last weekend, after celebrating my best friend's birthday several towns away, I took some time to revisit some old stomping grounds from my early teen years before returning home.

I tried hopping back into the #fmsphotoaday photo challenge that I enjoyed so much this summer.  The theme was #angle and I snapped the side of my laptop to fulfill the bill.

When I got back into town, Hubs & the kids raced to tell me of a surprise in the backyard they discovered while I was gone.  This last summer, we did NOT plant anything new.  Consequently, we only had our existing artichoke and apple tree producing for us this year.
However, last year's set aside tomato cages had ideas of their own...and grew a huge tomato plant full of ripening tomatoes!!! These two were ready this week and I expect another several dozen in the next week.  Pretty cool surprise, huh?!
What surprised you this week?
life rearranged

Monday, September 24, 2012

Six Words

Weekend delights
bring bright
~ Check out SMITH for more Six Words. ~

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

WW & #iPPP time...Bubble Style

The next time you hear a kidlet grumbling about being told to go wash their hands for the bagillionth time, tell them about all the fun they can have with the bubbles they make...just like my husband did during one of those get-hands-clean moments.

He rationalizes that it's a science lesson for the kids about surface tension.  I say he just likes to play.  But, either way, it's still pretty cool to make a bubble bigger than your head!

Angry Julie Monday

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

From Coincidence to Connection

Dating the man who is now my husband was an adventure in my own family history.
In the first few weeks, we learned that we were both came from families with Germanic ancestry.  We are both the oldest children, with only one sibling each.  Our mothers were both one of three sisters.  They were both the middle sister in their families.  Their mothers, our maternal grandmothers, both married men named Henry.  Well, a Henry and a Heinrich.
But, it wasn’t until both our maternal grandmothers passed away - on the same day - that led to us learning some pretty amazing connections between our families that move past coincidences.  (Don’t worry, this isn’t a sad post…stay with me!)
Driving to my grandmother’s viewing at the funeral home, my husband’s arm suddenly flung out as he pointed to a street we passed just a few blocks before arriving at our destination.  “My Opa and Oma lived down that street,” he casually remarked.  He was talking about his paternal grandparents who emigrated here from Russia by way of Germany in the fifties.
Once at my grandmother’s viewing, we mentioned that his paternal grandparents lived nearby when they were still with us.  That prompted a series of questions for the man that my extended family was still getting know, my then fiancĂ©.  We were all surprised when we realized that my aunt and his father both went to the same high school years ago, right after he came to this country.  The revelations weren’t over as we also realized that our maternal grandparents must have belonged to the same Germans from Russia group.
The coincidences had always made us laugh.  Somehow, even though losing our grandmothers on that same day was sad, we not only felt closer, but also meant to be together.  About nine months later, we were married.  And we like to think our grandmothers are up in heaven chatting it up!

This post is inspired by Sarah McCoy's The Baker's Daughter. In a small Texan town, Reba discovers Elsie's German Bakery and falls in love with more than the pastries. Shes drawn to Elsie's life in Germany during the last year of WWII. Join From Left to Write on August 29  as we discuss The Baker's Daughter. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.  Affiliate links are used.

Monday, August 27, 2012

10 Clues You Are Living in 2012

How do you know you're living in the year 2012?

This is how:

* Pinterest has sucked you in and it's not letting go...thank goodness.

* You're a Droid user and you are finally allowed to play with the cool kids on Instagram.

* Though 365 projects have been around for awhile, finally playing with said cool kids and their snazzy app has you jumping in on the whole photo-a-day thing.

* You open an honest to goodness print book and think Wow, the typeface sure is small... And you're truly not sure if your thinking has skewed you that way because of the number of ebooks you've read this year where you've had the luxury of increasing the font or because you're simply getting older.

It's the ebooks, definitely the ebooks.  No, really it must be those ebooks.

* With the premiere of Breaking Dawn Part Two in November, the Twilight Craze will be coming to an end.

* You have Carly Rae Jepson's Call Me Maybe, Gotye's Somebody that I Used to Know, Kelly Clarkson's Stronger, Maroon Five's Moves Like Jagger or Payphone, Pink's Blow Me One Last Kiss or dozens of others stuck on an endless loop in your head.

* There's some girl named Snooki pregnant and having a baby (or just had a baby) and it breaks into mainstream news.

* You turn on the tv, see a ton of trash talk and when you look at the guide you realize you're not watching reality tv...oh wait, it is's an election year.

* When commercials for major brands include social media jokes as the vehicle to demonstrate the lifestyle you would have if you bought the car they're selling.

* When instead of consulting your refrigerator for what's for dinner, you post on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, search your food board's pins on Pinterest.

* When you talk about taking yourself, a human being, offline for a day or a weekend and not simply a product, a guitar's amp, a hairdryer, a computer.

Okay, apparently, I got into identifying with this 2012 year since I've got eleven on my list.  Don't tell on me, 'kay? ;>

What about you?  What screams 2012 for you?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

WW & #iPPP ~ #photoadayaug ~ Part One

Time to share some #photoadayaug (photo a day August) photos! I'm snapping along with Fat Mum Slim's community.  Here we go...

Bonnie, the cat, suns the tips of her paws every morning.
My girl completed the local library's summer reading program, which gave her a coupon for one personal pizza from Round Table.  And since she doesn't have any gluten restrictions, she was all over it.  (Don't worry, her brother was having a blast at the pool that day!)

Grabbed some pocket change...easy peasy.

Reading time.

Gotta love the irony of snapping a pic of my Nikon camera with my Samsung phone.

Massive writing block meant time to edit until breaking through.

Right then, I got a newish li'l ditty stuck in my head after hearing it for the first time...a mashup of Carly Rae Jepson's 'Call Me Maybe' and Gotye's 'Somebody I Used to Know' by Pomplamoose.  Like many an other, both songs are often dancing through my brain, why not put them together?!

Used my glasses for #photoadayjuly #eyes, so grabbed my clips for #glasses!

While spending an evening out with my boy, we navigated around one messed up parking lot.

It was late & I was short a photo.  Thankfully, there's an app for that!  Thanks Skitch & Pixlr-O-Matic!

Purple cabbage and carrot salad for dinner that night makes me think of the real life fairytale, The Purple Orb.  Happy sighs.

Love this li'l demitasse flatware set!

Simple beauty from an heirloom tomato.  Delicious too!

My girl found the arrow on the mountain bike's tires.  Love that.

The parking garage is ready for flaming catastrophe!  Kidlets and I had just come out of the theater after seeing Ice Age 4: Continental Drift and think my mind drifted to disasters. Oy.

Both kidlets have gotten in on the photo-a-day challenge action around here.  Every morning, they ask me what the theme is for the day.  And I just love the ideas they come up with!  Sometimes I use them, sometimes I go my own way.

And there we have it - #photoadayaug from the 1st through the 15th.  I've been sharing my pics as I take them on Instagram.  You can find me @timecrafted over there.  Come say hello - I'd love to see what snippets are a part of your day!

Angry Julie Monday

Monday, August 20, 2012

Little Things Make Me Smile: Glue Stick Edition

I was all ready to blame good ol' Murphy....

I rarely wear makeup...just a handful of times a year.

And for some unknown reason (probably that Energizer Bunny I was channeling all day today), I actually put a li'l on this morning.  Including waterproof mascara.

So, guess what product I'm without right about now??

I had some eye makeup remover...somewhere...but, it's gone missing.

I was all for blaming Mr.Murphy when I reached for what I thought was a tinted lip balm...and found a glue stick.

Yes.  A glue stick.  Elmer's.

There's only one person in this house who uses glue sticks.

And it's a good thing I already put her to bed.

Mr. Murphy is officially off the hook.

Which is kind of a good thing.  'Cause when Mr. Murphy causes hijinx, I'm usually pretty darn grumpy.

But, a wee girl, curious about Mama's stuff...just makes me smile.

It's the little things, really.

Isn't it?

What's making you smile?

Friday, August 17, 2012

She Knows

She knows she’s being watched.  He’s always there, feigning indifference while fully aware of every twitch her body makes. He stalks her.  He hunts her.  He waits until he’s allowed to kill her.

He’s thirty feet to her two o’clock, but looking would give him reason to act.  That’s the last thing she wants.  So she alternates between reading the book she picked up in the terminal and staring out the large panes of glass at luggage being unloaded from an airplane. She knows the best way to save herself is to appear like everything is normal.

To look normal, she stays on schedule.  The schedule that she keeps on her phone and computers has been hacked into.  She’s sure of it.  Even on the rare occasion she manages to slip her tail, he always shows back up again at her next scheduled location.

By nature, she is a planner; laying everything out in painstaking detail, entering it all into her computer’s calendar.  She can’t just run on a whim with no idea where to go, no money, and worst of all, no plan for this new future.

But, she will run.  She has to.  First, she makes plans, all in her head this time, how to successfully get away, survive or at least not die some horrible death only made worse by her obscenely active imagination.  An imagination that has made her successful in life, she's now sure will kill her before he gets the chance to.

“Flight 1183, San Francisco to Chicago now boarding First Class.  Please present your boarding pass to our attendant at the gate.”

It’s her flight. Sliding her book into her bag, she pulls out her boarding pass, rising from the black padded row of seats.  She casually strolls - counting breaths in her head to help keep her pace steady – making her way towards the gate.

He mirrors her, closing the gap to twenty feet.  She keeps her body angled so she can still see him in her peripheral vision.  Without her book or the planes to stare at, she feels naked.

Normal. Normal! Normally, I would be on my phone before boarding.  With that thought, she pulls her out phone, tapping in a quick text to her friend.

* About to board. Will call u after landing. C u soon! *

Times up.  Business Class is called and she has no choice now.  Walking across institutional charcoal carpet, she hands the attendant her boarding pass.  She inhales as deeply as she can without appearing to need it.  Exhaling, she turns her back, walking towards her plane where she will be trapped for the next four hours, 35,000 feet in the air…with him.

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodIt's been a long time since I shared a piece of fiction here.  I've jumped in with a prompt from Write on Edge...of course.  We had 450 words to write a story that takes place in an airport terminal.  I'm at 450 on the nose with a fiction piece that's a little different for me.  Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back to School 2012

One of our Back to School shots always includes the backpacks.

Today is the First Day of School for us.  I've got one kidlet so excited she's bouncing out of her skin (though, she's almost always bouncing, so...) and the other has decided it's going to be a good year (I'll take that!).

Watching her excitement build and his thought process, while he decided if it is indeed going to be a good year got me looking forward to the school year starting up again too.  Here's eight reasons why:

1) Watching them achieve their goals; seeing them so excited as they reach each new milestone; watching their eyes light up when they 'get' something for the first time.

2) Welcoming back Mondays.  For years I thought Mondays were the day to dread, now I look forward to them.  Believe it or not, Mondays are my most productive day.

3) Simple things.  Using a restroom without somebody asking me to referee, solve a problem, or if they can watch Looney Tunes.

4) Being able to play my music uncensored and not worrying if the explicit version of a favorite song is the next one cued up.

5) Kicking this beyond annoying writing block I've been tripping over to the curb.

6) Coffee with a friend.  Yes.

7) Volunteering in the classroom and seeing the kids grow as a whole.

8) The first day of school is the grand kickoff to the fall and holiday season and my favorite time of year, autumn. (Semantics technicality note: I realize fall and autumn encompass the same time span. However, for me, fall is the season linked to the dates on the calendar; while autumn is tied to leaves changing colors, pumpkins, turkeys, and crisp air breathed in while the sun shines through a clear blue sky.)

And what's the one thing I'm not looking forward to the most?

The 5:40 am alarm clock.  I have to set two, just to make sure I'm up in time.  And even then, it's sometimes a gamble!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

WW & #iPPP { Walk the Bridge }

Saturday morning, I got a text from my best friend asking if I could meet her when she comes into town Sunday morning...for a (((hug))).

And of course I said yes!

It gave me an opportunity to finally walk across a bridge I've driven over thousands of times before.


A li'l change in perspective and the mundane & routine become beautiful.

Walking the Bridge

Would you believe I was oh so not a fan of bridges when I was a kid?!  I wasn't.

Thank goodness that changed!

Bridge - Looking Up

Don't forget to look up!

Water Under the Bridge

And a li'l peek at the water under the bridge.

Angry Julie Monday
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