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Week in Review: Playing Hooky

I am finally almost caught up on work and deadlines after my adventure in Denali. By the end of this weekend, I should be completely back on track.

Fingers crossed.

But today? Today the sun is shining and my girl and I are playing hooky. Because the fair is in town, and we love mommy daughter fair days.

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Gah! That picture was 2 years ago… she was such a little nugget!

We’ve had a pretty incredible week. Maybe mostly because of this and this and Mommy’s head just being in a good place for the first time in too long… this is why vacations are so important! And why all this catch-up I’ve been playing has been worth it.

Because I am a happier, healthier mama (and therefore a happier, more productive writer and editor) when I give my soul a chance to breathe every once in a while.

Which is where I leave you now… headed out to breathe.

Oh yeah, I did have one piece published this week:

It’s kind of near and dear to my heart. Enjoy!

Week in Review: This is Why I Don’t Take Vacations

It has been a looooooong week of playing catch-up after my week away. A week away I desperately needed (and a weekend without my kiddo that was literally everything I could have asked for from a kid-free couple of days), but a week away that, as a freelancer, I obviously didn’t get paid for.

Hence the week of sleepless nights I’ve had since coming back as I’ve worked to meet all my deadlines and wade through all my e-mails – some of which I still haven’t gotten to, but I’m getting closer. I promise!

Still… so worth it:

Group

(Look at those eyes, though… Yeah, those are the eyes of a tired mama who needed a break from reality.)

Anyway, I’m going to keep this short and sweet, as there is still plenty of catching up to do! I did have two new pieces published this week, and I’m super proud of them both:

Now, back to those e-mails!

Week in Review: Alaska Love

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet, mostly because I’m on vacation, which is involving a lot of this:

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And this:

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And this:

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And this:

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Yeah… I love Alaska.

And today? Today I’m hopping on a train to Denali for 3 days of intense exploration and hiking.

Life is good!

I did have 2 pieces published this week, if you’re hoping for something to read:

I should be back to a regular work schedule next week, but in the meantime… if you want to see my pictures from Denali, you might want to follow along on Facebook or Instagram!

Week in Review: Like, Whoa

So, this week has been crazy. First, I wrote this piece:

Then, this happened.

That’s right, Busy Philipps (from Dawson’s Creek, and Freaks and Geeks, and Cougar Town, and Vice Principals) retweeted something I wrote, then when I fan-girled all over her because of it (because I legitimately adore her, and I have zero chill), she responded in the sweetest possible way.

Week. Made.

Then, Cheeks and I had a special mommy-daughter moment, and I happened to have my phone nearby. So I recorded it. Because… well, you can see for yourself.

Here’s the thing about single motherhood: It can be damn lonely. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t give this child or this life up for the world. But the next time something’s going down with your kids, and you have your partner to turn to and say, “Did you see/hear/experience that?” Take a second to consider how lonely that parenting moment would be WITHOUT that person there to bounce off of. Without that person there to turn to and laugh, cry, or just dissect with.

I love being this little girls’ mommy. But sometimes, the craziest moments of parenting are the ones where I am left mouth agape, wishing there was someone there to share in that moment with me. The good, the bad, and the ugly… you kind of just feel like you need that other person to help you digest what just happened.

So, yeah… lately, I’ve been recording a lot. And sharing plenty with my closest friends – mostly because I need to be able to say, “Did you see/hear/experience that?” That’s all that happened with this video. I had my phone right next to me when incident went down, so I grabbed it up before I even reacted. I didn’t take it with the intention of sharing online – though I did immediately text it to some of my best friends. It wasn’t until the next day, when I was re-watching it and finally able to laugh over the whole thing, that I decided to upload it. I had no idea it was going to get the attention it has. But… yeah… that’s my kid, forever and always emblazoned on the Internet dropping her first 4-letter word.

Fantastic.

I also wrote these pieces this week:

The new job is going amazingly, and I’m still pulling in some pretty consistent editing work as well. For the record, though… I’m taking the next week off! This guy:

Justin

Is coming to Alaska (with his lady, who we love) to celebrate his 34th birthday – and Cheeks and I could not be more excited to have Uncle Justin here!

We have a ton of crazy adventures planned – seriously, something fun every single day! Some of it (most of it) we’ll be bringing Cheeks along on (her first real taste of adventuring with Mommy and Uncle Justin – the way we used to travel and adventure before she was born). But next weekend some amazing friends of mine are actually taking her so that we can hop on a train to Denali and do some not-suitable-for-kids adventuring!

That’s right, I’m getting a super-duper-rare opportunity to go do some intense hiking and exploration without my kiddo – this is only the second time since she was born that I’ve been able to do that! And let me tell you, life has been a bit crazy lately. I am beyond excited for this time with my best friend, and to kind of disconnect from everything else and reconnect with who I am outside of motherhood and career – the two things that have kind of overtaken my entire being these last few years.

If you’re not already following me on Instagram, I would definitely recommend doing so now. I anticipate having some pretty incredible photos of Alaska to share over the next week!

Week in Review: So Hard Not to Laugh

We’re still having the bedtime fight in our house. The taking of toys actually worked for 3 whole nights. She was earning a few things back, doing really well, and then… backslide.

My child is back to having zero possessions.

Being a parent is tough. Consistency and following through suck. But… here we are.

Last night, on the third escape from her bed, my child opened my door to reveal her shorts had been removed and were over her head, covering her face completely. It was so hard not to laugh. But, I kept my best stern voice on and said, “Go. To. Bed.” She turned around, closed the door, and went right back to bed – never bothering to take the shorts off her head.

Seriously, it took everything in me not to burst into giggles.

Parenting is hard. And then, Timehop sends you pictures like this:

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And it just hits you how fast it all goes by and you just want to go and squeeze them and cuddle them and kiss them while they’re still young and don’t hate you yet.

I almost wish I had laughed at those damn pajama bottoms on her head. Just because… she is a goofy, funny, silly kid. And I so love that about her.

But, no… Consistency. Following through. I’ve got this.

It’s been another crazy busy week with work. Which is good. Great even – I love what I’m doing, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to do it.

I’ve had a few big editing jobs recently, and then I also had these pieces published:

This weekend, I’m hoping to convince my kid once and for all to stay in her room at night. Wish me luck with that…

Week in Review: Fail

For weeks now, I have been trying to draw Minions on bananas for Cheeks’ lunches. Because Pinterest told me I could. Unfortunately, my attempts just keep getting worse and worse.

Minion Banana

I’m pretty convinced the school is going to call me any day now and ask me to stop sending demonic fruit in her lunch. So, there’s that.

Fail.

In other news, the new job is going so well. And I had these articles published this week:

A few months ago, I was interviewed for a big article on adoption scams. Because, this. That piece was just released this last week, and it’s a really interesting read:

This weekend is going to be spent entertaining my girl outside. Because she has no toys left. Because this.

So… wish me luck with that.

 

Week in Review: Big News!

Over the weekend, my girl and I went out to celebrate that big news I hinted at a few weeks ago.

Josie

Those of you who follow along on Facebook already got the update on what that news was. But for those who don’t… as of Monday, I started as mom.me’s new social media manager!

This is a big deal. I’ve been doing social media management for small businesses and individual creatives (photographers/writers/musicians) for years now, but this is far and away the biggest brand I’ve ever managed – 600,000 Facebook followers, and growing!

It’s a big deal for another reason, too. As a freelancer, I might be working with 20 different clients at any given time. An article here, a book to edit there, a resume to update for this client, and a social media consultation to provide to someone else. It’s a lot of small jobs that all add up. And I like it that way – it gives me the chance to do a lot of different things I love, and it keeps me from ever getting bored!

But there is also the uncertainty that accompanies being a freelancer. One month might be great. Epic, even. The kind of month where, if you could replicate it month after month, you would be able to retire pretty early. But other months are barren. You’re fighting for work, unsure of how it’s all going to pan out.

One of the tricks I’ve learned over the last few years of being in business for myself is that you should never splurge during those amazing months. Instead, ferret the money away, because a dry month is sure to be right around the corner.

The beautiful thing about this mom.me gig, besides the fact that it involves doing something I love (social media) for a brand I also love, is that it means long-term, consistent work I can count on from one month to the next. That’s a big deal for a freelancer. And it also means I now have a bit of freedom to be more selective about the other work I take on – meaning I can pick and choose the editing and writing projects that really, truly appeal to me.

And… I can hopefully find some more time to work on my first fiction novel!

So all in all, this is a really good thing!

Of course, I’ve been slammed this week learning the ins and outs of the brand. Which means I only had one article of my own published:

But I anticipate things evening out a bit more there in the next week or two.

In the meantime, I’m thoroughly excited about the new challenge!

 

Week in Review: Fiction

I’m going to be honest, I’m not so stoked on the state of the world these days. It all just kind of seems like it’s going a bit to hell, doesn’t it? People are filled with hate, with rage. They are violent and angry and entitled. Isms and phobias seem to rule the masses more and more, and I’m just left sitting here, watching it all, feeling a bit helpless to do anything but gawk at how bad it’s all become.

Because how in the hell did we ever get here?

As a mother, it’s all the more terrifying. Because I want to raise my daughter to be kind, and to be loving and compassionate to all she meets. But this world we are living in makes that hard, and maybe even dangerous at times.

And so, I’ve been throwing myself a bit into fiction lately. Both in reading to escape the world we live in, in the writing of my own first fiction novel, and in the celebration of one of my authors, whose fiction dreams have come true as she approaches the traditional publication of her first novel.

 

Allegedly won’t necessarily make you feel better about the world. It’s pretty dark and twisted, in fact (think Gone Girl, but for the YA set). But it is beautifully written, with twists and turns the reader would never expect.

An alternate reality where you can close the book and think to yourself, “At least none of it was real.”

I’m insanely proud of Tiffany Jackson. Traditional publication is a hard thing to accomplish these days, and this book… this book is one of the best I’ve ever been lucky enough to be a part of. I am honored to have been her developmental editor, and so excited to see where she is able to take this next part of her writing journey!

Now, as far as what I’ve been writing… there was this:

And I also had this gem published:

So if you’re wondering about the bruises on my arms, it’s probably a safe bet that this kid had something to do with them:

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It’s a good thing she’s so cute. And one of the few true examples of life being better than fiction.

Week in Review: Still Snapping

First, this kid:

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She legit can’t get enough, and I no longer think Snaptchat is just for horny teenagers who want to send covert nudes. So… there’s that.

I had a few new articles published this week:

And one of my clients had a new book published – one we’ve actually been working together on for two years of developmental editing now (because… he’s kind of a perfectionist, and this book was totally his baby!)

I’ve bragged on Garret before. I’ve worked with a lot of personal development authors, but he is – far and away – the one with the least ego invested in what he does, and the most genuine desire to truly help people. I’m honored to have worked as his editor on several projects over the past few years, with this definitely being our biggest. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into The Spheres Approach!

If you’re looking for a new way to look at your life, and some practical tips for how to approach happiness and fulfillment – this is the book for you! I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

Now… back to me. I also finished ghostwriting what I think is going to be a really fun children’s book, I nailed down two new editing jobs, and… drumroll please… I signed paperwork on something that has the potential to be a huge opportunity.

Like, huge.

I’ll be able to tell you what that is in about two weeks. But… stay tuned. I’m excited!

 

Week in Review: My Happy Place

Cheeks and I were enjoying a walk home from school this week, when she ran ahead and started climbing. I managed to pull my camera out just as she was doing this:

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And I thought, “This. This is my happy place.”

Seriously, look at that kid. Happy and free and daring. Everything I aspire to be.

I want to be more like my preschooler when I grow up.

This week has been all about getting back into the swing of normal life. I’ve been playing catch-up big time with work, and even managed to land two new developmental editing jobs.

I also had these articles published:

As for this weekend… I think we might have some Finding Dory in our future!