Tag Archives: cecilia

Scenes from Saturday + Pops & Pools

I was the (virtual) guest author at a book club in Houston this week. It was a blast. If there is one thing I can talk about its books. We spent over an hour diving deep into thrillers, favorite authors, the writing process, and, of course, my book. They read the first book in my series, a novel that is now over fifteen years old. This was the book I wrote on the train into work while Michelle was pregnant with Cecilia.

It’s easy to dismiss early work as insignificant. But those low-stakes efforts are crucial; they prepare you for the high-stakes challenges ahead. They build the confidence needed to keep pushing forward. Without that first book, there wouldn’t be six more in the series. Or the confidence to try a brand-new series and fix all those mistakes from the first book! It’s a reminder that finishing and releasing your work is far better than keeping it hidden away.

As I re-read it, I was pleasantly surprised. My inner critic was much harsher than what was on the page. Sure, my answer to most plot knots was to ruthlessly kill somone, but the writing was pretty good. I killed them eloquently.

I believe the main barrier to publishing or releasing any work is often the reluctance to exchange the dream of success for the reality of feedback. Don’t fall into this trap. Show your work. It’s typically far better than you think and the only way to improve.

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Scenes from Saturday + Birthdays & Boxes

I had a presentation this week. I wasn’t dreading it. I was prepared, but I also wasn’t really looking forward to it. It was taking up a lot of mental space. I also had some baking to do for the weekend’s celebrations. I was looking forward to the baking (and the eating).

It all happened at the same speed. Love it or hate it. Time keeps moving.

Cecilia turned 15 yesterday. We ate pasta and cupcakes. She opened presents. I tried to appreciate all of it.

Never wish for less time.

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Scenes from Saturday + Double Digits

If you live up here long enough you end up with a story or a connection to the marathon. A little over ten years ago, we were nearing Michelle’s due date and had one last wellness appointment with the doctor. As we were checking out, a nurse handed me a photocopied sheet of paper with hieroglyphics on it. It might have generously been called a map. It was mostly boxes, arrows and a few squiggles. 

“They close the roads.”

“What?”

“If you need to get to hospital during the marathon you’ll have to use the fire road.”

“Uh….ok?”

Thankfully, Cecilia missed the marathon by a couple days. Her birth was stressful enough without adding an off-road adventure. The map wasn’t needed but every time marathon monday approaches I think of all the parents nervously sweating out the start time for reasons that have nothing to do with running.  Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + The Sleepover!

We are very lucky to have a lot of people in our lives that are very generous with the girls. We are also very lucky to be in a position where we can give the girls plenty of gifts ourselves. This does create one of those always enjoyable Chinese finger traps puzzles that seem to pop up in parenting every other hour. You love your kids and want to give them presents or the things you didn’t have, but you also don’t want to create raging, entitled brats.

If you’re a parent, you most likely encounter this yin-yang most in the form of the thank you note. If you want a threat with some teeth that will put the fear of God in your kids, just work thank you note into the consequence then watch them writhe in agony as they lose control of their limbs and slip from the chair. Continue Reading

Never Look Back

They are gone. The house is quiet. Only the sound of the wind shaking the last drops of rain off the trees to keep me company. I can’t tell you it doesn’t sound like bliss nice right now.

We survived the first morning. It ran the roller coaster of emotions, from sleepy breakfast eaters to hair brushing banshees, but in the end everyone (mostly) remembered their parts and we were able to get out the door and down to the bus stop without strangling each other.

Ally was happy to show off her shiny new backpack and head off to one last year at pre-school.

Cecilia was her usual mix of bristling nerves and confidence, but when the time came she shed our hugs quickly and charged onto the bus with her friends. The door closed and the bus was off to the next stop.

Third graders don’t look back. She was ready to go.