Friday, May 30, 2008

A Little Something For Friday

Considering how I came up with the idea for my upcoming December release, Rescued by the Magic of Christmas, this was just what I needed to watch this morning. Enjoy!

Plight Of Missing Hikers Will Make Great Movie

And thanks for all your support and encouragement with your comments. You all are the best! xoxox


P.S. Based on the comments so far, I'm guessing no one actually watched the clip. The reason I posted it is because it's freaking hilarious. I haven't been smiling much lately and this one had me laughing. Granted, I might find it funnier than others based on how I come up with my stories, but it's worth a watch. Seriously!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Back in January we donated a dinner that we'd put on for eight people. We set the date in February if I remember correctly. Well, it's tomorrow night. Bad, bad planning on my party, but I really hadn't planned on having a book due when I set the date.

It's a Texas BBQ theme. As of ten o'clock this morning, I'd done nothing to get ready except send email reminders to the guests. I called hubby from Crossfit and told him to call three of the couples since I hadn't gotten a reply to my reminder. I spent the rest of the day trying to get ready for the party. It's been hell. I'm still not done.

Of course, my editor wanted ideas for the cover which I emailed tonight. There are more pages to write though I set a very minimal goal for myself on Thursday and Friday so should have no trouble reaching that. In case you're wondering I've yet to write a word, but since I didn't blog yesterday wanted to at least do something tonight. And I really can crank out three pages pretty fast since I've had a scene in my head most of the day.

I did Crossfit today. That's the one thing I've been making time for especially since my climbing partner has been two busy to climb. I'm still feeling sore from the Thrusters I did on Tuesday. Ouch!

Warm-up: 750 m row
Skills: Sumo deadlift high press (SDHP)
Workout: 2 Rounds of Run, 10 SDHP (10 lbs barbell) and 10 air squats.
Cool down: Roll my way-too-tight legs and hips

Hope all is going well in your corner of the world. I'm feeling very isolated and alone right now. I really hate deadline time.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Rewrote a 22 page chapter today. Totally gutted parts of the first scene. It's much better, but I didn't get my 10 new pages in so no blogging for me. I still hope to add a few more new pages tonight though, but no way can I get that many done in the next hour. I have Crossfit in the morning so need some sleep.

Fingers crossed I do better tomorrow.

Bye for now!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Crossfit - Thrusters

Since I exceeded my page count yesterday, I'm posting this as my reward. Between getting home from Mount Hood, unpacking, wash and stuff, I just didn't get around to blogging! I focused on writing instead. Hubby started his month long Crossfit Bootcamp last night so I used the extra free time after I got the kids to bed to write more pages! I am now ahead of my amended page goals. Of course, I'm still way behind my original ones.

This morning I had yet another session with Nichole:

Warmup: Stretches, 800 m run with squats and good mornings as we went, roller
Skills: Practiced Front Squats and Push presses and Thursters with PVC pipe and 35 lb bar.
Workout: 2 rounds (15, 12, didn't do 9) of Thrusters with 35 lb bar and Ring Rows
Cooldown: Roller

Once I'm done with my writing today, I'll go read the comments from the past few posts and I'll catch up on my blog reading! It was nice to take a break from everything. Hubby's travel schedule has been hard on all of us. We really needed to get away from the house and things for a few days and just be a family. And of course, we got to see Chaos in the snow for the first time. She wasn't not quite sure what to make of it though!

Hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A new winner!

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2008-05-26 04:01:13 UTC

This week's $5 Amazon gift certificate goes to Brandy. She won with a comment on, Moments. Congrats Brandy! If your email is not readily available on your blogger profile or you don't have a profile, please email me your email address via the contact link on my website and let me know via the comment section that you have sent it. Thanks!

We saw Prince Caspian today. The storyline is pretty straightforward, much more so than the first one, but a lot of battle scenes. Pretty much it's a battle movie. Not as much wonder and magic as the first one. The older kids liked it. Rose not so much. She spent most of the movie on my or hubby's lap with her ears covered and her face against our chest. She had no problem with the first one though she'd only seen it on DVD not in the theater. Even Finn was scared at a few parts (and he has no problem with any of the six Star Wars episodes) and the girls (ages 10 and 11) though fine and said it was better than the first didn't like a scene or two, so if you have a sensitive child no matter what the age wait until it comes out on DVD. Seeing some of that stuff on the big screen is just too much for some kids.

Have a great Memorial Day!

Crossfit - skills day

On Friday before the kidlet's Crossfit Kids class, I had another session with Nichole:

Warm-up: Stretches, 750 m row
Skills: Push press with PVC pipe. We spent a lot of time on this. It's hard for me to be explosive when I come up. She had me practice the movement in front of a pipe. I thought I might hit myself in the face, but that forced me to get it right. I did one with a weighted bar. I think it was 45 lbs. That was hard.
Workout: none
Cool down: Wall squats, ball sits and sit-ups

We're up at Mount Hood this weekend, trying to get a couple final days of skiing in before our passes expire. Yesterday was a gorgeous, no jacket needed but don't forget the sunscreen kind of day. This morning it's raining where we are so who knows what it's like at Timberline Lodge right now. If it's raining up there, we'll probably drive down and see Prince Caspian.

I managed to get my pages done though. I halved my page goal for today and tomorrow since we're on vacation, but yesterday I exceeded it in spite of the skiing, going out to dinner and Mass. I really do write better in the mountains!

What are you doing today?

P.S. I'll post the contest winner once I get my pages done. This is really the post I should have done for Saturday, but was too tired!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Earlier this week, one of my favorite singers Steven Curtis Chapman lost his youngest daughter, Maria, in a tragic accident. She had recently turned five, the same age as Rose.

Losing a child is something I don't want to think about. Miscarrying the first time I got pregnant was difficult enough. Yet it strangers, to friends, to family.

One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was plan the funeral of my nephew, Slayter, who died from a heart defect at eight days old. I wanted to die myself as I stood in front of the row of tiny caskets trying to decide which one to pick. The only thing that got me through the ordeal was thoughts of my sister. I knew her grief and sorrow had to be a million times worse than what I was feeling. That's why she'd asked me to make the arrangements because she knew she couldn't and was counting on me to get it done.

Steven Curtis Chapman wrote a beautiful song called Cinderella. Please watch and listen to the words. Keep watching after the song ends because he talks about what prompted him to write it and this, to me, is the most important part.

He's so right about slowing down and enjoying those moments whether it's with family, friends or both. I've been trying ever since I turned in the Mount Hood book last December, but it's easy to forget when deadline time rolls around. But I can't forget. I need to stop trying and just do it no matter what's going on because no one knows what tomorrow will bring. And as he says in the song:

I don't wanna miss even one song,
Cuz all to soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone
She will be gone.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Crossfit - more deadlifts

So I've been gaining weight. All this working out and the scale is going up not down. Talk about depressing, but I mentioned it to Nichole this morning and she said it was normal to gain weight when you start Crossfit. Restart in my case. She reminded me about not stepping on the scale (she'd told me that last fall) and go by how clothes are fitting instead. I guess I'll take her advice because people keep asking me if I've lost weight. I've been saying no (no way am I going to say I've gained weight anywhere but here and in the gym) but that I started working out a lot more.

This morning's session:

Warmup: Stretching and 2 rounds of 100 jumping ropes, 5 wall squats, 5 sit on medicine ball and stand up. (My squats are finally getting lower, but they need to get even lower. I have a hard time pushing from my heels to stand up with out bending over.)

Skills: Deadlift again (bar, 55 lbs, 75 lbs) and shoulder press (35 lbs) I finally feel as if I'm getting the correct form. Though on one of the deadlifts I took a deep breath and got so dizzy I thought I was going to pass out.

Workout: 1000m row

Cool down: Lots and lots of water

Speaking of fitness, I came across a couple links I wanted to share with you:

Building Muscle 101 talks about how everyone no matter what age or sex should be doing strength training. It also talks about diet.

From that blog, I followed a link to Fat Loss 101 which sounded right up my alley. The blog posts talks about fat loss being hormonal, and is worth a read.

And here's another from the second blog on intermittent fasting. This is a series of posts on intermittent fasting and longevity so keep scrolling down!

Do you weigh yourself and if so, how often?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dinner at Elizabeth's

On Saturday night, we loaded the kids into the car and drove north westerly from SEATAC to the lovely abode of talented historical author, Elizabeth Boyle. She's got such an awe-inspiring view of the Puget Sound. Sorry, but I haven't gotten around to downloading the pics yet! I got a tour of her house, saw the various rooms where she's had her office and got to see an original Pino, the actual full-size artwork for one of her covers!

We sat out on her deck drinking wine and chatting while the kids (her two and my three) played and our hubbies got to know each other. The two ended up comparing notes about what it was like to be married to a romance author. The consensus-they hate deadline time!

Elizabeth's hubby grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. The kids piled their plates with veggies, fruit and chips, too. I couldn't convince mine to try the potato salad, but that just left more for me!

It was a great time! We hated to leave, but bedtime was approaching and after such a busy day my three kidlets were so tired. Little Rose was about to fall asleep. She actually slept on the drive back to the hotel!

Nathalie posted this in the comment section last week:

I always wonder... it must great to have writers as friends, do you become friends when you are writers or do you usually know them from before.

It is great to have writers as friends because they understand exactly what I'm going through. Elizabeth and I met at the RWA convention in Denver so we were both already published writers then. I was pregnant with Rose at the time, not feeling that great and wishing I could be anywhere else but there. Elizabeth came up to me and said she knew exactly what I was going through since she'd been pregnant at a previous conference. She was so nice. I liked her right away.

After Rose was born, I went to the Emerald City Conference with baby in tow and saw Elizabeth again. We would bump into each other at events like the RCRW Romance Writers luncheon and RWA conference. Over the years, we realized how much we have in common, things that go beyond the writing. I always look forward to seeing her.

A couple pieces of Elizabeth Boyle info you might not know:

• You know The Plan I use to keep track of my writing and have blogged about? Elizabeth and her husband Terry are the ones who created the spreadsheet and they'll be giving a workshop on it at the RWA conference in San Francisco this summer!

• Her next book, Tempted by the Night, will be released on my birthday, August 26th!

Have you read any of Elizabeth's books? If not, you should!

Cracking The Whip

It's time to get disciplined. I'm more behind than I normally am, scary behind actually, so...

No blogging until I reach my daily page goal for the day. I'm guessing my posts won't be coming until very late. If at all!

Just wanted to let you all know!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Feis

Two of the kidlets competed in the Pacific Northwest Championships held in Seattle this past weekend. The weather was absolutely gorgeous even though we spent Friday afternoon driving north and were inside most of Saturday. We had an impromptu picnic out in the courtyard of the Hilton to take advantage of the blue sky and sunshine. We've had way too much rain and wanted to enjoy a little bit of the turn in the weather.

Finn was dancing first on Saturday. Hubby managed to get on the first flight out of Dallas and show up minutes before Finn's competition was to take the stage. It truly made Finn's day. He was upset thinking his dad would miss it. Finn danced two dances, the light jig and the single jig. He finally learned a hard shoe dance, but wasn't ready to compete. He won a third place with his light jig. He was the only boy in his competitions. Again.

Though there were more boys competing at this feis. Talented ones. It was great for Finn to see them dance. One, Owen Barrington who is 23, won the World Champions this spring. He is incredible to watch. As hubby says, the guy is the total package.

On Sunday, I talked to Owen about boys and Irish dancing since I really would like to keep my son interested in it. He answered my questions and was so nice. I'm totally impressed by Owen's dancing, but his graciousness blew me away. Such a great guy! I found this clip from last year about Owen.

As a funny romance aside, Owen competed against his girlfriend, who is also a World Champion dancer, on Saturday. She won! He came in second.

Later on Saturday, my daughter took the stage. Mackenna danced beautifully. Of course, I'm totally biased. Two age groups were combined for her competitions, but even though she was in the younger group, she placed in three dances, winning one of them. A step closer to her making the Preliminary Champion level! She also won two trophies.

The hardest part came during a hardshoe dance called the Treble Jig. She was dancing great, but the judge looked at her and nerves took over. She forgot her steps and stopped dancing. She tried to get going but couldn't. She bowed and went back to the line. The tears started to fall. It was heartbreaking to watch because there was nothing I could do. Once the dancers were excused, she ran over to me with tears streaming down her face. She still had two more dances left. I hugged her and wiped her tears with my shirt since I didn't have any tissue with me. I asked if she wanted to dance. She nodded with tears continuing to fall and returned to the stage.

The person checking the dancers in for the next dance asked if she wanted to go last. Mackenna said yes. She struggled to pull herself together. She placed fourth in that dance, the Hornpipe, and first in the next one, the Traditional Set. It was hard to see her fall apart like that, but a learning experience nonetheless.

More on the rest of our trip tomorrow!

Crossfit - the Deadlift

My one Crossfit session with Nichole and my one time gym climbing last week were enough to leave me sore and achy through Friday! Out of shape R us. I was too busy to do much more than a few squats and push-ups and did nothing in Seattle except sit and watch dancing. So this morning was a bit of shocker to me.

Warm-up: 500m row, 20 sit-ups

Skills: deadlift - Nichole hammered me on my form. We started with a PVC pipe. Over and over again. My upper back was so sore. She really wanted me to be comfortable with the form. Then we moved to a 45 lb bar. She kept wanting my but lower. I gave it my best shot. She still wanted it lower. Ouch.

Workout: 250 m row, 5 wall squats, 5 ball sits, 5 air squats. I was supposed to do three rounds. She stopped me after two. Thank goodness because I'm so sore.

How are you doing exercise wise?

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Amazon gift certificate goes to...

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2008-05-19 14:33:14 UTC

This week's $5 Amazon gift certificate goes to Lily. She posted a bunch of comments yesterday on various posts and won with a comment on, This Week's Contest Winner Is. Congrats Lily! If your email is not readily available on your blogger profile or you don't have a profile, please email me your email address via the contact link on my website and let me know via the comment section that you have sent it. Thanks!

We're back. Hubby finally arrived in Seattle and made it to the feis about five minutes before Finn had to dance. More on the weekend later!

Hope you're having a great morning!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Best of Plans...

We had it all figured out. I would drive the kids up to Seattle. Hubby would fly into SeaTac from Austin. Only one glitch. His flight departed late out of Austen and he missed his connection in Dallas. So he's stuck there overnight and won't be here until sometime tomorrow. He's probably going to miss Finn's dances, too. The kid is not happy since there are only a handful of competitions a year.

Of course for me, this means one more day (and a hectic morning at least) of handling the three on my own and getting two of them ready to dance. The one good thing in all this though is we're going to have dinner at my friend and historical romance writer Elizabeth Boyle's house tomorrow night.

Anyway, I'm signing off from blogging (both writing and reading) until I get back home. Just too much going on and pages that need to be written. A good chance the contest winner won't be announced until Monday morning, too!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Hot, hot, hot

Summer has arrived. It was so hot yesterday, over ninety, the kidlets had a hard time sleeping. Today I need to figure out how to turn on the sprinkler or our yard is going to die. This weather will be here for a few days.

Of course, we've got a ski trip planned for next weekend. Not sure what the snow on Mount Hood will look like by then!

I figured this quiz was perfect given the current weather:

You Should Spend Your Summer on a Road Trip

For you, the summer is all about possibilities. And you're not going to be tied down.

This is the time for you to embark on an epic road trip, with no ultimate destination in mind.

You know you'll have a ton of crazy adventures... at least until you run out of cash!

I'm a bit in a panic about the book so I'm making this short so I can write this morning. Have a great Friday! And tell me where you should spend your summer!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Random Thursday

In the news... If you're curious to see where I workout, check out this article. Both the Crossfit gym where I started with Nichole and where I now work with her are featured. The new place, as I've mentioned before, is pretty hardcore. Though based on what I want to use Crossfit for, improving my climbing, the third gym in town might be a better fit. There is a video if you click on the link for the killer WOD they did on Friday. The clip features the woman climber from the climbing forum I mentioned in my Saturday post. She is the one in the blue top and black pants. Talk about being in amazing shape!

A proud mommy boast... On the way home from Crossfit kids yesterday, I had to call the Climbing Cutie. He's the only one I know who could appreciate my oldest not only learning, but doing double-unders on her first day trying them. A double under is jump roping where you bring the rope around twice before you hit the ground. You have to jump high and turn fast. She was determined to do it and did! I'm so proud of her!

Hubby update... He was at a dinner last night when a tornado warning was issued. On the drive back to the hotel, the shuttle got hit with marble sized hail and driving rain. He didn't see a tornado though.

Getting excited... The following movie has been on our must-see list since we heard they were filming it and opens tomorrow.

The kids have Irish Dance feis so we can't see it this weekend, but as soon as we have a block of free time we're there! This is one movie the kidlets and I want to see in the theater. What about you?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wedding Planners Wednesday

Today I'm blogging at The Wedding Planners. The topic...royal weddings and princess brides. Stop by and say hi!

Yesterday I had another Crossfit session with Nichole. I squeezed it in while the two youngest had Irish dance. The teacher allowed my oldest sit in the class and read so she wouldn't be alone in the waiting area. I was happy to get the workout in because my trainer is heading out of town for the rest of the week. That means I'll be doing workouts on my own and practicing all the things I'm learning!

Warm-up: 500 m row

Skills: Dumbell/kettlebell deadlift, squats (air, wall, goblet), medicine ball wall toss

Workout: 3 rounds (15, 12, 9) Kettlebell deadlifts and wall balls

Cool down: deadlift form and more squat practice

Today, I'm writing, climbing and taking the kids to Crossfit Kids. What do you have going on?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Next Hero?

I have a couple of possibilities as to who will be the inspiration for my current hero (which means I haven't found the right one yet!), but I think I already know who will be my next hero after I finish with my current work in progress...

He's not a typical hero of mine. Far from it actually. I normally hate facial hair, but Lancelot as played by Ioan Gruffudd is totally crush worthy in my book. Sexy and dangerous with a great voice, too.

Can you envision him as a modern day romance hero? Who do you think is the ultimate modern day romance hero?

P.S. If you ever watch the movie King Arthur, make sure you watch the Director's Cut not the one shown in the theaters. The Director's Cut adds 15 minutes of deleted scenes including a couple with Lancelot and Guinevere so the final battle scene makes a little more sense.

P.S.S. If you read my Silhouette Romance If The Ring Fits... Ioan Gruffudd as Horatio Hornblower provided the inspiration for one of my fave heroes Prince Richard de Thierry of San Montico.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Kitty Exercise

Since my return to Crossfit, getting fit has been a big topic around here. The kidlets have been doing Crossfit Kids since February. If you want to see a cute Crossfit Kid's WOD, check out the Climbing Cutie's blog. I'm even trying to get hubby involved. How could I not? Not only is exercise good for the body, but the mind.

This got me thinking about the other members of our family. The one's covered in fur. What do people do to keep their pets fit? Check out these kitties on a treadmill!

I just love this clip. The two paw walking is priceless! Cats provide so much entertainment. You don't even need to own one now thanks to YouTube!

Our cats don't do much in the way of exercise. They are sprinting and jumping more now that Chaos is here, but that's about it. Chaos, on the other hand, gets tons of walks and plays in the yard to stay in shape so I don't have to worry about her.

What about your pets if you have them? Are they couch critters or active animals?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

This week's contest winner is...

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2008-05-12 01:24:21 UTC

This week's $5 Amazon gift certificate goes to Dru. She won with a comment on the post, Saturday Slow Down. Dru, if your email is not readily available on your blogger profile or you don't have a profile, please email me your email address via the contact link on my website and let me know via the comment section that you have sent it. Thanks!

Last week's winner was Marianne. I sent you your e-certificate already so let me know if you did not receive it!

Happy Mother's Day

We went to Mass last night so I could sleep in. Of course, I woke up at 5:45 am! Luckily I went back to sleep only to be woken up by my son. The youngest wouldn't give him his guitar back. I sent him out and went back to sleep. Soon after, the youngest showed up to serenade me with a Mother's day song. Chaos followed. She hopped on the bed and gave me good morning licks. Then it was deemed time for mommy to wake up!

I was served a yummy breakfast: strawberry smoothies, scrambled eggs, sausage, freshly baked sweet rolls and grapefruit juice. Then I was given my cards and presents.

From Mackenna who also made me a pretty, colorful framed flower picture with magnets on the back:

From Finn who also gave me a flower he'd drawn using pastels, a beaded bookmark with a cross on the end he'd made and three paper rose coupons for me to redeem (help with dinner, help with breakfast, help with Rose):

From Rose who also gave me a calendar with a picture she'd colored:

We were going to go skiing today, but hubby will be gone all week and we have too many things that need to get done around here. Though I'm hoping to sneak in an hour or two of writing. I'll be calling my mom, too!

How are you spending the day?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday Slow Down

Yesterday was a fun day!

It started with a little writing which was the only not fun part. I'm struggling with chapter four, but this always happens. Chapter five will be a pain, too. That's just my writing process.

Luckily, I got a call from one of the moms at the school. She reps for a clothing line and was having a trunk party at her house. I drove over to see what she had and actually found three things I liked. A olive green skirt (a knitted/almost crocheted look), a sleeveless dress that will perfect for RWA's national conference and church and this really cool crocheted brown top/jacket that you'd wear over a cami or tank. The last thing may be sold out, but I hope she can find me one because I love it.

After that it was off to the rock gym for some climbing. Even though I'm sore, I'm climbing better. I think my aching muscles are making me rely on my feet and technique more!

Then I took my oldest out of school early so she could attend an Irish Dance private lesson. While she did that, I got in a little more writing. I wanted to make some progress though so in order to go forward, I decided to go back to page one. I'm going to need to polish at some point so I figured why not now?

After dance we headed to the Lab where I had another Crossfit session with Nichole.

Warm-up: 500m row, 800+m run (with lunges and squats)
New skill learned: Front squat
Workout: 3 rounds (15, 12,9) of 10 Front squats with weighted PVC pipe and 10 Kettlebell swings (12 kg)

The other two kidlets soon arrived with hubby for their Crossfit Kids workout. It was fun to watch them having so much fun during their session with Nichole! I also kept an eye on the adult Crossfit session that was going on at the same time. The WOD looked like a total killer. I would have had to scale it significantly to have had a shot of surviving, let alone finishing.

Hanging out there turned into social hour. I met Nichole's twin brother who was visiting from the San Diego area. My climbing partner arrived for her WOD and met my family for the first time. She introduced me to a woman, who is in amazing shape but told me she almost failed boot camp due to her bad form when she first started Crossfit. I will be attending a month long Crossfit boot camp starting at the end of June so this made me feel better since I'm very worried I won't be able to do it. I also chatted with another woman, a climber from the climbing forum who had recognized me from one of my pictures and introduced herself a couple of weeks ago. She is so nice and another who is in amazing shape. I also heard she's a fantastic climber. Crossfit women's support of each other, no matter what someone's fitness level, is so cool. It's a lot like climbing in that respect.

I got to go home after that and write while hubby took the kidlets back to Irish Dance for the oldest's Friday night class. (She was so tired when she got home after all she'd done that afternoon and evening!) I managed to get through all my pages and am now ready to continue onward with the book. Fingers crossed the words flow this weekend.

I'm taking the day off from any physical activity to give my muscles a rest. 3 Crossfit sessions, 2 climbing sessions and a jog are enough for one week! But I found this quiz:

You're Pretty Fit

You do your best to work out, but you probably don't do it as much as you like.

Maybe you need to do mini-workouts throughout the day to fit in exercise...

Or maybe you need a whole new activity to motivate you.

I want to take this quiz again in another month and see if I'm more flexible and can do more modified pushups by then! What about you? Are you a Fit Girl or Guy?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Doggy Playdate

My friend Tiffany, Rose and I met at OMSI on the east side of the Willamette River in downtown Portland yesterday so Angus and Chaos could meet each other. We've been trying to plan this doggy playdate walk for a couple of weeks now. But we finally managed to get the two together!

This picture is a shot of Portland as we walked. There's a nice path that follows the edge of the river where you can walk or ride your bike.

Angus says hello to Chaos with a kiss. Well, actually Tiffany was trying to get the dogs to pose for a picture. She had her hands full between the dog leashes and treats. Luckily there were enough treats for both.

Good doggies! Well, as long as there are treats involved, the two of them will do whatever you say! But we finally got them to stay and pose for a picture. You can't see her, but Tiffany is right there ready to grab the leashes if need be.

Seriously though, the dogs were very good during the entire walk and got along great! Don't they look so cute together?

Since I was pushing the stroller and taking pictures, Tiffany walked both dogs! Angus liked being the Alpha dog. Must be the male in him! Chaos didn't seem to mind.

Neither of us was sure how the walk would go. She guessed we get about twenty yards and have to turnaround so she didn't even bother wearing tennis shoes! I guessed a little further, but both of us had way underestimated the kidlet and two dogs. We walked for over an hour. This after my Crossfit workout! But it was great to spend time with Tiffany.

I've been in denial over her move to London, but as it's getting closer I realize she'll be leaving in another month. So I'm getting Skype and figuring when I can fly over there to visit. The HMB offices are only a 30 minute train ride from where she'll be living so I can not only see my friend, but meet my editor for the first time! I still have never even spoken to my editor on the phone. Everything has been done via email!

After our walk, we drove to Ikea for lunch and a little shopping. Chaos stayed in the car. She was very happy when we walked through our front door and plopped onto the cool hardware floor to rest. There's no place like home!

And if you want to see Tiffany's Bend house, where we stay when we head to Central Oregon, pick up a copy of the May/June issue of Oregon Home. There's even a picture with my two oldest that was shot when we were staying there over Spring Break.

Where do you like to take walks? Do you prefer to go alone or have company?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Tire workout

Sorry for the late post. I had another Crossfit session with Nichole this morning and have been on the go ever since.

Today's session:

Warm-up - stretches, sit-ups, kettlebell swings, 500m row, 800 m run with squats

Tire Workout (3 rounds) - 3 tire lifts/flips (similar to a deadlift but with a big tire), 10 push-ups with my hands on the tire, 10 jumping into center and out of tire

Cool down - wall squats

I was already hurting a little bit after jogging and climbing yesterday, but I think from now on I shall be perpetually sore. But I'm not complaining. It feels good. I missed Crossfit so much even though I'm not very good at it and really out of shape. I must admit, I needed a nap yesterday, but my writing productivity is up already. Six more pages last night.

Plus there's an unexpected fringe benefit I have discovered.

After two sessions, I'm quickly realizing the Lab is romance writer inspiration central. I have stumbled upon a place where the hardbodies hang out. I'm not talking about the icky body builder type physique. The Climbing Cutie started doing Crossfit here and you all know what he looks like! I'm talking athletic build. Hero bodies.

Think sweat gleaming on masculine faces and muscles after a run or workout. Imagine firefighter and military heroes who leave heroines feeling safe, secure and breathless in their arms. Not to mention totally turned-on. A kiss would have the heroine tasting a potent mixture of salt and heat. No way could she keep her hands from touching those muscles or her fingers from curling the dampened ends of his hair.

Hmmm, wonder if I can deduct my Crossfit classes as a writing expense.

Did you do anything physical today?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Pet Wars

humorous pictures
more cat pictures

The cats continue to hiss and growl at Chaos. It's getting a bit annoying. Okay, the dog is big, in their space, eaten their food a couple of times. I'd be a little peeved myself. But still enough is enough. Get over it. The dog is not going away.

We made a tiny bit of progress though. Both Spirit and Chaos slept on the bed while I worked this afternoon. It was so nice to see and quiet. I wished I'd had my camera handy. Unfortunately as soon as I got out of bed to go get the camera, both woke up and let's just say the moment was over. I keep telling myself... baby steps. Just like with Crossfit.

Thinking about pets led me to this quiz:

You Would Be a Pet Rabbit

Playful and hyper, you enjoy being around other people... as long as everyone's having fun.

You are easily bored, and you almost always need some sort of entertainment.

If you're not keeping busy, then you're apt to get in some sort of trouble!

Why you would make a great pet: You're very entertaining, even when you're not trying to be

Why you would make a bad pet: Well, personal hygiene isn't exactly your thing... you kind of smell sometimes

What you would love about being a rabbit: Playtime... and eating flowers

What you would hate about being a rabbit: Being held like a toy

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Return to Crossfit

Between hubby's travel schedule, kidlets being sick and me being sick, I haven't been doing a lot of Crossfit. I've still been climbing once or twice a week and working out in the weight room, but that's just not the same. I've really missed the WOD (workout of the day) and Crossfit in general. So...

This morning I started working out again with Nichole, my awesome kick-ass trainer who introduced me to all things Crossfit back in October. She's at a different gym now. It's where we take the kidlets to Crossfit Kids twice a week. And it's pretty hard core.

Needless to say, I'm dying right now.


We ran. Yep, ran. Okay, jogged, but that counts as running in my book. At each corner she had me do squats or good mornings. We did a 440 meter run so I could see that route, then a 400 meter run so I could see that route. We went inside for sit ups and more squats. A few pass throughs (I think that's what they are called) with a PVC pipe, too. And then goblet squats (holding weight in front of my chest.) We went over the shoulder press since I hadn't done those in a while. It was a 35 pound bar. That's the most weight I've ever pressed and it was really hard!

Then it was time for my workout of the day. She said she wouldn't time me because I was already tired. Thank goodness!

Sprint (to dumpster and back)
10 Goblet squats
10 air squats
15 Box steps (huge box. She asked if I wanted to jump. Gave it a shot and said I wanted to step.)

Nichole was going to add shoulder presses with dumbbells but I think she realized that truly would have killed me.

It doesn't really sound like much, but it was. I managed two rounds. I was supposed to go three. I'm happy for two since I was ready to stop after one! Hard core, I am not. Just call me a big softie.

So I'm in really bad shape after doing very little exercise since March, but not as bad a shape as when I started back in October. The question is how sore will I be later today and tomorrow. And how will I do with our workouts on Thursday and Friday. Should be interesting!

Have you been doing anything physical lately?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Buckling down

With a huge item checked off my To Do list this past weekend, I can finally focus on the book. On Friday I got an email from my editor. The proposal was accepted with no changes. Of course, that doesn't mean I won't be changing those first three chapters. That always happens as I get deeper into a story and learn more about the characters, but it means I'm on the right track. Huge sigh of relief.

So this morning, I'll reexamine The Plan and amend where I am and where I need to be accordingly. I'll also look at my To Do list since a few things have been ignored for too long and need to get done.

I'll finally have the time even with a deadline. The year is already winding down. I only have two more Monday classes to teach, too, so that will free up a big chunk of time each week.

My Sunday class ended last week. I have to admit, it was nice not having to run to the church last night, set up the Atrium for Sunday night class then after class take it down again. I missed the kids and the actual classroom time, but not all that was involved to get us there. I already told them I'm taking next year off from teaching on Sundays. I've done it for three years and need a break.

And only a month and a half until the kidlets are finished with school. I can't wait until they are home with me! We have lots of plans for the summer. What about you?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

And the Amazon gift certificate goes to...

This Sunday starts a new weekly prize for the month of May. The winner gets a $5 gift certificate.

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2008-05-04 22:39:12 UTC

This week's $5 Amazon gift certificate goes to Marianne. She won with a comment on the post, The Animal Eye Doctor. Marianne, if your email is not readily available on your blogger profile or you don't have a profile, please email me your email address via the contact link on my website and let me know via the comment section that you have sent it. Thanks!

Last week's winner Virginia chose McKettrick's Luck by Linda Lael Miller. A belated Happy Birthday to Virginia! She wrote wishing Finn a happy birthday and telling me to thank him because he chose her on her birthday! That worked out well, don't you think?

Speaking of contests, I wanted to mention the May contest over on The Wedding Planners. Myrna Mackenzie is in charge for the month and is giving away a great prize. She'll pick the winner from those who post a comment.

First Communion Recap

What can I say? The evening was fantastic. The Mass started with a lovely procession. All the children in the church, whether making their First Communion or not, were invited to bring flowers up to the front of the church where they were put in vases below the statue of Mary. The First Communion kids followed these and added their flowers. Finn was the final child in the procession. He had the honor of carrying a wreath made of flowers that would be placed on Mary's head. He was so excited to do that. Especially since Mackenna carried the wreath when she made her First Communion two years ago.

The Mass was it's usual wonderfulness. Father did a great homily and asked the kids four questions. Three which St. Leo asked many years ago and a new one that he added. He surprised them by asking a fifth. Luckily the kids knew the answers. Father had drilled them for a couple of weeks! Finn answered the fourth question: Where else does Jesus tell us about the Eucharist? Answer: John Chapter Six The Bread of Life Discourse.

After Mass, we went back into the church for photos. There were no pictures allowed during the Mass itself. Father then pretended to give the host and then posed with each child so parents could get a picture for their scrapbooks! Once that was over we headed down to the Parish Hall to pick up the certificates, have a piece of cake and a gift. Then it was off to the dinner.

This is my friend Karen who is a chef extraordinaire. She makes the most delicious food and can put on an event like no other. She did Mackenna's First Communion at our house two years ago, but I took advantage of her having a place of her own and had Finn's party there. The best decision ever. No work on my part required. I just had to drop off the cake, favors and a container of toys for the kids to play with before hand. Definitely the way to go! She is a true blessing in my life!

A table of appetizers were set-up at the front. The kids loved the cheese pizza, but the adults were more partial to the smoked salmon lollipops. Everything, however, was very tasty.

Here's the dinner buffet with the menu I wrote about yesterday. Talk about yummy!

Finn's favorites were a big hit with guests young and old. Kids even went back for seconds which tells you how delicious and absolutely perfect the food was. My sister couldn't believe how much her kids were eating. Usually at family gatherings they eat a couple of bites then want to play. Not last night!

We got to bring home the leftovers and will have them today!

This was the sweetest part of the evening. Dessert! There was chocolate fondue with lots of yummy goodies to dip. Karen surprised us by making rice krispie treats on sticks. I love those things and had my share both dipped in chocolate and not. She also had sprinkles you could add which was such an nice touch and the kids loved. We also had a cake so lots and lots of chocolate! Sigh...

This is the First Communion cake. I was planning to have the same person who made Mackenna's cake make Finn's, but that didn't work out. So last weekend, while trying to write my proposal, I was scrambling to find a place that could do a short-notice First Communion cake. I was googling and calling and getting frustrated. It was too late for any cake makers to do it, but I found a couple of places that would do a cake with a cross on it. And then I stumbled across a local grocery store actually had a special decoration kit for First Communion. I drove over there to see the sample and ordered it. This is how it came out. Not back for Freddies! That's what we call Fred Meyers around here. Finn loved it. We ended up spending a lot less than we would have had we gone with the original person, too!

A wonderful evening filled with faith, family, friends and food. It doesn't get much better than that!

How was your night?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A Big Day!

My son Finn makes his First Holy Communion today! He's very excited. And rightly so. It's not only a big day, but a joyous one!

Yesterday, he wore his brand new (and first!) suit for his picture. He got to put it on twice. Once for his individual picture, then again for the group picture. It's black and he looks so handsome in it. (And too grown up. I felt a pang in my heart looking at him.) Hubby bought him a white shirt, and I'd picked up a white tie for the special occasion.

I managed to get everything done I needed to do yesterday. A lot of running around. I also got my hair cut. It's much...I guess the right word would be...hipper. Maybe trendier. It's an A-line. Longer in the front than in the back. When Rose saw me, she said I looked like a big sister. The ultimate compliment from a 5 year old. I'll be honest, I'd rather look like a big sister than a mom. I was getting tired of the blah-bad-hair days as well as my attempt to avoid those with ponytails. It was really nice to get compliments on my hair last night at church. That never happens. The question will be if I can make it look as good as the stylist did. Fingers crossed.

We managed a family movie night after Communion rehearsal and a potluck dinner for all the families. We watched The Bee Movie. We'd never seen it and Finn had asked for it for his birthday. It was a funny movie. We all laughed.

Okay, here's a rundown on the First Communion:

• Finn will be the first to receive communion based on where we got seated last night. He's psyched about that.

• Here's what I did for the favors: Organza favor bags from The Dollar Tree ($1 for six, glow in the dark rosaries (only 29 cents each) from the Catholic store and Hershey kisses. They were inexpensive, but look nice. I put them in the basket we'd won at the Irish Dance recital. Thanks for the suggestions.

• I gave the chef a list of Finn's fave food and she came up with the following dinner menu:
Mini Cheese Pizza
Smoked Salmon Lollipops
Pepperoni Pinwheels
Balsamic Strawberry Brie en Croute with Crackers

Organic Greens with Strawberries and Sweet & Sour Poppyseed Dressing
Bread with Olive Oil and Butter
Brown Butter Corn
Potatoes Anna
Small Baked Potatoes
Roasted Asparagus
Baked Salmon
Balsamic Marianted Flat Iron Steak (served sliced)
Chocolate Fondue with fruit, pound cake, and marshmallows

Strawberry Lemonade
Iced Tea
Beer and Wine
Coffee and Hot Tea

• We'll also be having cake, chocolate with fudge filling and white buttercream icing on top, that I need to pick up this afternoon. It has a really nice First Communion theme with a chalice, rosary and host.

So now we just have to get through Little League team pictures, a baseball game and those last minute things!

Hope you have a great day! I'm really looking forward to mine.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday Frenzy

This is how I felt last night when I was writing the last scene of my book (I always write the end before I continue on past Chapter 3) and got to the final kiss:

do we have to hear the kissing bits?
see more crazy cat pics

So I wrote a generic line about a kiss and will fill in more later when I'm more in a kissing mood. But I managed six pages total last night. A good rough scene that I can turn into many more pages when I get to the end of the complete.

So today is one of those frenzied days. Gotta get ready for tomorrow and Finn's First Communion. The To Do list is scary. On top of that I'm having breakfast with Rose's godmother, climbing and getting my haircut. Somewhere in there I must buy the rest of the favor things and put them together, make a dish for the potluck at church tonight and a whole lot of other things. Oh, and write six pages. That's my new daily page quota for the month of May.

What's going on in your corner of the world?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Animal Eye Doctor

One my three cats, Spirit, has an eye ulcer. We took her to see Dr. Kirschner, an animal eye doctor in Beaverton, Oregon on Tuesday. This was our second visit to the clinic. Since then Spirit has been on daily doses of three different medicines: two types of eye drops (one four drops a day, one two drops a day) and a pill. We thought the medicine was working because Spirit started opening her left eye. She no longer looked like a pirate kitty 24/7!

A trip to the doctor is not easy on Spirit. It's a long drive to from our house, and she does not like the car. Dr. Kirschner took us into the exam room. Poor Spirit did not want to come out of her carrier. I had to get her out while Rose held onto it. Spirit was so frightened, but Dr. Kirschner coaxed her closer so she could examine her. The doctor was very patient and gentle with my freaked out kitty.

The doctor reviewed her record and we talked briefly about Spirit's most recent blood test results from her regular vet. We've repeated the test with the same extremely low platelet count results, but she's showing no symptoms. Dr. Kirschner then checked Spirit with the lights on. Again, I was very impressed with the doctors easy manner that put not only the cat, but me at ease.

Next, Dr. Kirschner checked Spirit's eyes with the lights off. You wouldn't know it was dark from the picture though. My mistake. I thought I had the flash off, but I didn't. It surprised all of us including Spirit so I decided no more pictures when the lights were off. I really need to learn how to use my camera better.

With the lights on, Dr. Kirschner put drops into Spirit's eyes that turn green. This enables her to see things better. She then put on a head device, turned off the lights and checked Spirit's eyes again using the different equipment.

Afterwards, I could see green on the inner corners of Spirit's eyes that day, but she didn't seem to mind them. Must be all the eye drops she has to have!

All done! The examination didn't take that long.

Now that wasn't so bad, was it Spirit?

And good news!

The ulcer has shrunk 50%! We will continue the drops and the pill each day and visit Dr. Kirschner again in a couple of weeks. There's also something else going on with her eyes, but we're taking care of the biggest problem first.

One final picture of the patient and her eye doctor before getting back into the dreaded cat carrier and the evil minivan for the long journey home. Though Spirit looks ready to get out of there!

I've felt the same way when I've been at the doctors!

What about you? Do you mind going to the doctor's or are you ready to get out of their before you even go into the exam room?