I'm back. Really.

I can't believe it's been two years since I last blogged on this blog. So much has happened... I've been lost in a whole lot of transition the since my last post: baby, new job, homeschool changes, etc. Now that things are settling in and we're well into the two-year-old phase with Ashleigh, I'm settling in and finding myself again...

...and trying to find my creative self again. I've been so hungry to write, to create, to sing, to record. I need it, and I deny myself the pleasure more often than not because the day-to-day gets in the way and I fall into an endless cycle of laundry and dishes and retreat to the TV, and I forget that God created me to create. I'm so much happier when I'm doing what He has called me to do.

To that end, I am doing NaNoWriMo this year, albeit quietly and in a very laid-back sort of way (not pressuring myself to keep up the daily word count quotas, but just making sure I show up and write something every day). It's been wonderful. Story sucks, but it's a first draft. Anne Lamott says I can write a crappy first draft. So I am.

David and I have discovered the wonders of Garageband, and he's become quite adept at producing some really great music with it, so we are looking toward recording some new stuff pretty soon. I'm really excited about this; it's really incredible that the type of record that cost us thousands of dollars to produce 10 years ago in a studio is now free and possible to create at home... and then instantly upload them to iTunes and share them with the world.

My goal is to set aside a little time every day to write. I stink at the discipline part of it, so if I can just make myself show up, well... who knows? I may actually crank something out of value someday.

So this is my first stab at what I hope to be a more regular blog, with no expectations on myself to be witty or profound. It's more for my own enjoyment and satisfaction than anything; if people happen to read it and glean something useful from it once in awhile, well, that's great, too.

Now I'm going to bed. More tomorrow...


Since I've been gone...

Yeah. I really need to write more. I miss it. Thing is, I have no time now... my life is no longer my own. It belongs to a very short person who (very selfishly) needs to eat and poop and who depends on me to make those things happen... I jest. I love every minute of having a new baby again, but I forgot how hard it can be at times.

I'm attempting to be a stay-at-home, work-from-home mom, homeschool my son, and to be sane in the process of it all. It's just sort of working right now. Ashleigh has colic and reflux, so it's been a challenge to get her on much of a schedule, which has made my time to work and do simple things like showering downright unpredictable. And sleep, you ask? We're finally, six weeks on, beginning to only wake with her twice a night (it was every two hours until last week.. which meant that by the time I put her back down, I was sleeping an hour in between feedings. Unfun.) We'll get there... I just discovered the Baby Whisperer and I'm gratefully combing her site for all the amazing resources she has on scheduling and such (and by the way, why is everyone whispering these days? We have the Horse Whisperer, the Dog Whisperer, the Baby Whisperer, and now, I just saw on Discovery, the Shark Whisperer. Is there something special about whispering that I'm missing out on? If I become the Novel Whisperer, will I actually get a novel to cooperate with me and get itself written? The Laundry Whisperer? The Get-Off-Your-Butt-And-Go-Jogging Whisperer? I must research the practice of whispering further).

So I'm stealing a few snatches of time right now while the baby is asleep in her bouncer seat, and feeling guilty for letting her sleep because she's slept all afternoon. Usually I pay for it at night when she sleeps this much, but she has inherited my husband's knack for sleeping like the dead, so any attempt to wake her is usually futile.

Ashleigh is, by the way, amazing. We're at that perfectly cuddly 6-week-old stage. We're starting to get real smiles, and her little personality is emerging. I love this. I can sit for hours and watch her stare at the ceiling fan and smile at it. Everything is new and fascinating to her, and it's sweet to drink in that innocence. There is not enough innocence in the world anymore; working with teenagers in this age is a reminder of that, unfortunately. It's so refreshing to see a perfect little human with no knowledge of evil, or of heartache, or of anger. She is totally trusting, dependent, and willing to learn. I pray daily for the protection of her innocence.

And little Dave is smitten with her. I knew he would love her because he loves kittens and little kids and cute things. But he really, REALLY loves her. I'm so glad for that. He has a tender heart and will be an amazing big brother.

Anyway, I hope to begin falling back into my routine again. I'm slowly getting some things back: running, my dominance over my house clutter, etc. Hopefully things like sleep and writing will come next. We'll see.


mamma mia, here i go again/ABBA back together...

If only for an evening:


The four members of ABBA reunited for their first public appearance since 1986, gathering on the red carpet for the Swedish big-screen premiere of "Mamma Mia."

This excites me greatly.

Ok. I admit it. I LOVE ABBA. I love every song. Spandex aside, I actually find artistic merit in the work of Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus...they invented their own unique "Wall of Sound" by stacking and layering every vocal, instrument, and sound that was recorded, and then by slightly "detuning" one of the tracks to create a chorus track. This was done before ProTools and digital recording, before auto-tune, etc. It was all analog, and it was brilliant.

As songwriters, they dominated. They have sold 370 million albums worldwide. Countless hit songs, numerous number ones in countries worldwide. "Fernando" beat out the Beatles "Hey Jude" as the longest running number one song. Call them cheese nuggets, but they were an important part of pop music history in the 70s and 80s.

I grew up on ABBA records. They were my first love musically. As a kid, I would hole up in my room, turn on "The Winner Takes It All," and get lost in the story and the emotion in the lyrics. It was the first time I connected song with soul and realized that music could move a person in a powerful way... and I was only 9. I had no personal experience with heartbreak and lost love at 9 years old, but that song took me there. It so captured the essence of devastating loss that I didn't have to personally experience the emotion to know it and to feel it.

For me, their music was the beginning of connecting emotion to music, specifically as it was so flawlessly and skillfully delivered by the two singers, whose interpretation of the lyrics made you the first person in the story of each song. When I started singing at 13, I unconsciously drew off of these women, my first influences, and it made me the singer that I am today: interpretation is everything. The listener must feel the soul and the emotion of the song. It's everything.

So laugh if you want... but almost everybody secretly likes ABBA. Even Bono says that they were one of the most important bands in modern history.

I'm just happy to see them all together again. Maybe now that they're all on speaking terms again, they can be persuaded to do a reunion tour (they were offered $1 billion for a reunion years ago, but they refused!).... I would fly to Stockholm to see that.


Newspaper Outsourcing Editing to India

Now here's a fabulous idea.

Because outsourcing customer service call centers have been such a great success...

I know *I'm* always thrilled beyond measure after hanging up from a 3 hour conversation with an overseas, non-English-speaking CSR.

Good call.


I Can't Wait.


It's official...

I'm 6 months pregnant today.

That's very exciting.

I want a cracker.


I hate Windows Vista.

Windows Vista BITES.

I have three computers at work that are cursed with the dreaded Vista OS, and NONE of them ever work...

They especially love to crash just before a church service, sending me scrambling up long flights of stairs to the balcony (lemme tell ya, THAT'S fun when one is 6 months pregnant!) to rescue the computer operator and contol-alt-delete my way through a panic attack...

I HATE Vista. I hate it more than I hate the devil.

Bill Gates should be ashamed of himself for releasing such a shoddy product. It's worse than Windows ME, and that's saying something. I really want to sue him for pain and suffering... Vista constantly interferes with my JOB, makes ME look bad to my superiors, and never works when I need it to. My job performance suffers constantly because of this piece of crap.

I HATE Vista. I hate Windows. I hate Microsoft. Make a product that works, and I'll reconsider.

It's reason 7834212 why I'm a Mac girl.

/end rant.

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