Dec 31

The End

So, now I’m supposed to write some sort of meaningful and thought-provoking end-of-the-year post, one that sums up 2007 and all of its ups and downs, and one that reveals my hopes and dreams for the coming year.

Screw that.

December 2007 has been busy and stressful. Okay, so in the great grand and glorious scheme of things it hasn’t been all that horrifically busy and stressful, I suppose, because it’s been good and productive, but some time ago I read an article about managing stress, and one thing stuck with me: Good stress is still stress. Life can be going exactly how you want it, family can be wonderful, job thoroughly satisfying, etc, but if your day is crammed full and scheduled to the hilt, you’re still going to feel the effects of stress.

This month:
we got an offer on our house after six months on the market
the people who had offered to buy our buyer’s house pulled out
we stressed about losing the buyer
the buyer decided to suck up two house notes and go ahead with buying our house
we got the engineering report back on a house we were interested in. Major foundation repair needed. Nuff said.
shopped for a house
shopped for a house
every fricking afternoon after work and every weekend shopped for a house
found a house we LOVED
found out it was a pre-foreclosure which meant that it would be a short sale which meant that we had to get things done FAST
found out that since it was a pre-foreclosure that the buyer was desperate to get anything he could get which meant that he wasn’t going to counter on our already low offer
started the process of getting our house cleaned up and packed up
worked on edits of Blood of the Demon
oh yeah, had Christmas in there as well with five stepkids, five stepgrandkids, one mother, one sister, one brother-in-law, one niece, one nephew, one husband, and one daughter
missed four Holidailies entries (I think it was only four? Maybe five?)
continued to work my ass off sorting through and packing all of our acquired crap
said goodbye to 2007, which was actually a pretty darn good year overall

See y’all on the other side of the turning of the year. I hope that those of you who came here because of Holidailies will continue to check in every now and then. I have a feeling 2008 is going to rock pretty damn hard.

Dec 29

Spawn just wants to help

My house is… quiet. It’s a wonderful noise.

My husband, who is an incredibly wise man, and who also knows when to act in self-preservation as well as the preservation of the Spawn That Came From My Loins, has taken said Spawn to the movies.

She’s really a very good Spawn, but I’ve been working like crazy today as I begin the oh-so-enjoyable task called Packing The House. And Spawn likes to help. In her own inimitable fashion. She:

throws her toys into the box of books that I’m packing
begs pleads whines cries to be allowed to help pack the very breakable knicknacks
nags me to make a box for her
throws anything that’s not nailed down into the box
tries to pack the cat
cries when the cat scratches her
asks me if we’re taking the couch to the new house
asks me if we’re taking the tv to the new house
asks me if we’re taking the pillows to the new house
asks me if we’re taking the [insert every single possible item in the house] to the new house
throws a fit when she sees the bag of her (outgrown) clothes that is headed for Goodwill: “Those are MINE!!”

and on and on…

We don’t close on the sale of the house we’re selling until January 28th, but it looks like we might be closing on the house we’re buying in about a week. (Short sale!) This required a bit of minor jiggery with financing, however it’s also a huge relief to me since I was dreading the thought of trying to move this entire frickin’ house in essentially one day. Now, with several weeks to make the move, I can delude myself into thinking that we’ll be able to get things organized from the get-go, as well as get rid of all of our extraneous stuff.

Do NOT challenge this delusion.

Dec 28

Six years ago

Yeah, I’m pretty much having the worst Holidailies ever. I’ve missed three days this month. Jeeez!

Well, six years ago today I was on my first date with the man who is now my husband. In celebration of that momentous occasion I took the day off from work, and Jack and I went into New Orleans for a lovely lunch at The Rib Room in the French Quarter. After that we came back to the northshore and basically hung out the rest of the day until it was time to go pick up The Kid. Doesn’t sound too exciting, I guess, but it was really nice to just spend time together like that.

The funny thing is that this is the anniversary that we make a big point of celebrating every year. We rarely, if ever, celebrate our wedding anniversary–usually because we both forget about it. But December 28th gets special attention every year. Personally, I think that makes far more sense, since the wedding itself was not the start of our life together. Our first date was Dec 28th, 2001, we moved in together just a couple of months later, and then got married in our living room in July. When you know it’s right there just doesn’t seem to be any point in waiting around.

If someone had come up to me on December 27th, 2001 and told me that in just a few years I would be married with a kid I would have laughed in their face. So far I’m pretty pleased with how things have turned out.

Dec 26

The book and other saintly ramblings

I just wrote a long paragraph about my writing goals for the coming year, and which books I want to write depending on what sells. A long boring paragraph of navel-gazing concerning my writing. Trust me, it was boring. You should thank me for deleting it.

So, instead I decided to jot down all of the possible ways that my book (the one on submission right now) could be changed to make it even more saleable than it is now:

1) Change the title to, The DaVinci Code, but with Demons.

2) Make the main character a big redheaded guy named Kvothe.

3) More sex.

4) More violence. But the good kind.

5) Change my name to Laurell Georgia R.R. Martin Nora Roberts Hamilton.

Anyway, I was over at my stepson’s house for Christmas, and the conversation turned to the pending sale of our house and how we’re crossing all possible digits that nothing will go wrong with the sale because then we’d just have to go ahead and kill ourselves. Several people mentioned burying a St. Joseph’s statue in the yard to bring good home-selling luck, at which point my step-daughter-in-law said, “We did it! And we sold our house two days later!” She then dug in a drawer and pulled out a St. Joseph statue and instructed us to bury it upside down in the front yard. We, being just superstitious enough, went home and did exactly that, because, hey, it sure as heck can’t hurt, right?

Now my question for the masses is this: Which saint do I need to bury to get my book to sell?

Dec 25

Christmas eve/Christmas day

Yesterday was spent with me running like crazy from wakeup to go-to-sleep. My side of the family had dinner and presents at my house, which meant that the morning was spent in a frenzy of cleaning and cooking. Then a couple of hours for eating and present-opening, then rushing to church to squeeze into the kid-friendly service–the one service of the year where I don’t feel guilty about the noise my kid makes because there are three thousand other kids making noise. (Actually she’s quite good in church, and I’m probably hyper-sensitive to every little sound she makes.) By the time church was over and we made it back home, I barely had the energy to forage leftovers for myself and the kid, and so I gave myself a christmas present and allowed myself to miss a day of blogging yesterday.

Trust me, it wouldn’t have been very exciting anyway. Probably something like, “Yeeearrghhbluuurblebuddabababammmftth!”

And to be honest, today’s is probably not going to end up being much more exciting than that, though this morning was delightful as we watched Anna revel in Christmas Morning present-filled goodness.

The afternoon was spent with my husband’s side of the family which was enjoyable, but just as exhausting as five step-kids, five step-grandkids, as well as various other family units can be. Yeah, I’m whupped. I’m almost relieved to be going back to work.

Okay, that last was a lie.

Dec 23

Christmas eve eve

The shopping is done. The wrapping is complete. The food is purchased. The recipes are bookmarked. The house is somewhat clean. The laundry is never done. The trash is overflowing. The writing is backburnered. The kid is asleep. My back is aching. My roots need a touchup. My eyebrows need waxing. My bank account is empty. My butt is fat. My life is good.

Dec 22

Today was spent…


Dec 22


Bah. I woke up this morning and realized that I didn’t make an entry yesterday. Bah.

All I can say is that it’s Carrie Vaughn’s fault. I’d picked up her latest, Kitty and the Silver Bullet, the day before, and I ended up staying up late last night finishing it and thus forgot completely about posting.

Yes, it’s that good. :)

Dec 20

Conversation with my sister

Me: “I’m filling out the questionnaire for [school] for Anna, and I can’t remember some of the stuff they want to know. Do you remember how old she was when she first started talking and using full sentences?”

She: “Gee, why don’t you look in her baby book?”

Me: (waits for the laughter to susbside) “No, really. Do you remember?”

She: “Why would I know that?”

Me: “Okay, you’re a pediatrician. What’s normal?”

She: “Oh, wait, how old was she when she got tubes in her ears?”

Me: “One.” (In fact, her surgery was on her first birthday.)

She: “She started talking right after that, remember? She barely talked at all before the tubes.”

Me: “Right! We were afraid she’d never learned to talk.”

She: “About a month after the surgery she was spouting off in full sentences. And she hasn’t shut up since!”

Dec 19

Closer to being ready

I raced to Target after work and managed to get about 95% of the various shopping for kids out of the way. With five grandkids between six months and six years, plus the Kid of my own, by the time I made it to the checkout line my cart was crammed to bursting with toys, games, stuffed animals, puzzles… Gah! I then felt obliged to explain to the checker that I was shopping for six kids. I didn’t want her to think I was going this overboard for just one or two kids. I may have to pick up one more toy each for the two oldest grands, but at this point I at least feel like I’ve made significant progress. Whew!

The trick then was figuring a way to pile all of the bags of toys in the back of my little Honda Fit so that Anna wouldn’t see them–since my next stop was to pick her up from daycare. Thankfully one consistent thing about my vehicle is that it’s always full of junk, so with strategic positioning of the usual crap and a leather coat, I successfully shielded the tell-tale red and white bags from her prying little eyes. But then it was back to Target to get a tree. Yes, it is less than a week until Christmas, and we have yet to get a tree. And at this late hour there’s no way I’m going to shell out the bucks for a real tree, so we got a quite modest little artificial thing and a couple of containers of cheap ball ornaments.

Anna did the majority of the decorating herself, and even managed to understand the concept of even distribution of ornaments. Of course then she wanted to “make it pretty” by putting lots of present underneath it, and promptly pulled some of her socks out of the clean laundry pile and wrapped them up. However, the coolest thing was that she wanted to sing Christmas carols while we were decorating the tree. It was charming and sweet and something I will remember for the rest of my life.

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