Oh hi, franz. It’s been…a while. Like, almost nine months (excepting, of course, my ultra-regular monthly Ambrose updates).
Where do I start? I had a baby. He was sick. He got better. And then, a month after returning home, like the doofus I am, I decided to start a different blog, focused on motherhood and self-development.
And just like that, it’s 2017. No, there is no baby news, so don’t ask me, because you might just get your head bitten off. (But, teehee, he’s got the hiccups right now, so at least that’s entertaining!)
I haven’t exactly been the most consistent blogger in the past year…or since I really started this thing…but I’m hoping to change that this coming year. After all, what better time is there for me to be ambitious than when I’m about to push a tiny human out of my body and, you know, be in charge of caring for its needs 24/7? New motherhood? How hard can it be? The baby needs to learn to work around my routine. Come on.
But really. In spite of how crazy it seems to be making resolutions at 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant, I’m doing it anyway. Because I always like to have something to work toward, and it will be nice (theoretically…in my head…right now…) to have goals to look forward to when I’m sleep-deprived, unshowered, and covered in baby goo.
Here’s what I’d like my 2017 to look like, personally-speaking:
- I really would like to get this blog off the ground. I’m still deciding what that means, though. Probably a re-design, and maybe a new name to boot, but that’s still up in the air. I like to talk about myself, is the problem. And I’m having trouble picking a coherent theme. Because I like to talk about everything about myself. But still! I might try monetizing. Joining the ranks of the 1,000,000 mommy bloggers out there. Yay.
- Speaking of monetization, I have a fab idea for an e-book. Because I’m a lame sellout. Details to come, but how awesome would it be to have a guidebook for pregnancy, with checklists of food and exercises, and to-do’s for each week? Hey, I’d drop a few bucks for that.
- I’m going to simultaneously complete BookRiot’s Read Harder challenge and read 10 books from my ClassicQuest list. I know I won’t be able to keep up with my monthly “packet” reading, but I can at least work on chipping away slowly at my ClassicQuest. Audiobooks are completely permitted here.
- I’m going to completely nail this pre-baby body thing via GymnasticBodies. I won’t bring you down with my pregnancy body feelz, because I’m trying to remember that my body is doing the hard work of growing a human being and to let it do what it wants to do, but I’ll be honest with you — I’m ready to claim it as my own again, in both the I-can-drink-alcohol sense and the fitness sense. So, y’all? I’m super excited. I received the GymnasticBodies Foundation I Series for Christmas and then bought the Thrive nutrition program with some extra Christmas money. I’ve seen it work wonders in others, and have no doubt that it will be great for me.
- I’m going to kill a No-Spend month or six. I came across this pretty cool Goals spread for my bullet journal and of course had to copy it to a tee. Whoever set it up was proposing a No-Spend month every other month…which might be an unattainable goal for me…but why not try? The first one is scheduled to start tomorrow. Huzzah.
- I’m also going to kill some 30-day focuses. No coffee, no sugar, no alcohol, NaNoWriMo, and daily short stories. Fun, fun, fun. Not all at once, of course. Ha! I can’t even imagine. I’d be the dead woman churning out words like a zombie. And of course I’ll write about my experiences herrrrrre.
- I’m going to knock out some 40 Before 40 goals. Yeah, there’s a 40 Before 40. Since I am no longer qualified to work on my 30 Before 30 list. I’ll give you all the deets in a separate post, though. Something to look forward to!
- I’m going to watch all of the 2016 inductees into the National Film Registry. I didn’t do so well with Movie Night last year, but I’ve got a list to work through this time, sooooo…
- I’m going to make it a point to travel, gosh darn it! Everywhere from Valley of Fire to the Grand Canyon to, possibly, the country of Georgia. I’ve got ambitions this year. Baby H. is going to be a travel baby.
Of course, I’m also going to be a mom (!), which means I have a few baby resolutions; namely:
- Be the best mom ever. Is that too much to strive toward? Okay, fine. Be the best mom I can be for Baby H. Learn on the job. Be present. Practice Montessori-style parenting. Don’t be a sanctimommy, but also maintain my standards.
I guess that’s the only mom resolution I have for now. Does that make me awful? Meh. My kid will have a magical childhood whether or not I’m a Pinterest mom who makes cake pops from scratch for his first birthday.
By the way, if you want a refresher of what I resolved to do last year, you can see it here. I’d say I did 30% well. Uh, literally. Of 10 resolutions, I completed about three of them. I haven’t managed to push out a kid, but trust me — I woulda by now if I coulda. The thing is fully-baked and too comfortable, at this point. My blogging lagged, my Russian is non-exisistant, and the Norway trip has been pushed to the future, only because by the time we did have the chance to take it, I was too pregnant to go. But I have drastically cut back on my alcohol intake — not exactly by choice, of course, but I’ll claim a success where I can — and I did pretty good at maintaining a consistent exercise and wake-up routine this year.
So maybe last years’ failures mean I won’t kill my resolutions for this year, but it’s always nice to at least think about getting myself out of the rut of the everyday* and striving for self-betterment. If it means I get a few books read and movies watched in the process, I will take it.
*Please note the correct usage of “everyday.” This may turn into a ranty post in the future. Or maybe I’ll just swallow my pride and move on.
Okay, so I realize that I’ve featured food as my Friday image for the past two weeks. But food is sort of huge in my life, alright? Except, not right now, because it’s Lent, and I’m weeping. Well, I’m not really weeping. I’m full of joyful sorrow. Or something like that.
Anywho! My week. Read more
Hi, all. It’s Friday, and I’m loving life. I got paid yesterday, I’ve had four solid days of the Charmed Writer’s Life, I’ve been exercising, the weather is gorgeous, and the weekend is set to be incredible. The end.
What I Read
- In addition to finishing Brown Girl Dreaming, I started and then abandoned Pippi Longstocking. I can.not.stand that girl. Maybe I’m old and grumpy, I don’t know. But I’ve always hated Amelia Badelia, so I’m guessing it’s more my low tolerance for stupid shenanigans and deliberate ignorance.
- I RESTARTED THE NEVERENDING STORY! I RESTARTED THE NEVERENDING STORY! Backstory here: I loved this book as a kid. But it took me about three tries until I gained enough momentum to finish it. Then I tried re-reading it a few years later and couldn’t get past the first few chapters again. Now, post-MFA, I’m soooo excited to revisit it. It’s actually only 350ish pages, so, entirely do-able. Once I get past that slow, sad beginning.
- Current Moby Dick status: ugh OMG we’re still stuck on killing whales. Now time we’re talking about the decapitated head, and how Ahab is talking to it. Wut? Luckily they’ve just spotted another ship in the distance, so there’s about to be a gam go down in the middle of the och.
What I Ate
- Meat. Lots of it. On Sunday. And now, no more meat or eggs until May 1. #doxprobs
- Doing well on living out of the pantry. I think it’s going to involve me cooking a lot of carbs. Crumpets last week, ricotta pancakes this week. I also discovered the sweetness that is aquafaba. Which I promptly used in today’s rendition of the ricotta pancakes. Cheesefare, anyone?
- I also made two out of Smitten Kitchen’s last three recipes, the Roasted Yams and Chickpeas with Yogurt, and the Nolita-style Avocado Toast. Because I am a Smitten Kitchen fangirl groupie. And they were fantastic.
- Roasted brussels sprouts with sriracha mayonnaise. Le siiiiiigh. No recipe, because that crap’s easy to come up with on your own. I ate them in a day, and now no more brussels sprouts until at least April. I could cry.
- Oh! And those macarons from the picture above! (Which, whoops, I realized as I carried them to my spot in Publicus, contain eggs.) Why buy one for $1.25 when you can get three for $3.25? Jam filling was a bit too sweet for my taste.
What I Watched
- I have been indoctrinated into the cult that is Mad Men. One episode a day means that I’ll be watching Season 1 Episode 7 tonight.
- Pride and Prejudice–the 2005 Kiera Knightley/Matthew MacFayden version. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear it. It’s the superior version, and just don’t argue with me on that, okay? And of course I wept all the tears because how could you not? And now Darcy eying Elizabeth at the pianoforte is my current desktop background. All the longing!
What I Wrote
- Uproxx. Doing well with the quota stuff. If I manage to pump out a couple shorties tomorrow. I even did a phone interview that was awkward and awful and enlightening and didn’t go so poorly in the end.
- You can read this past Monday’s post for my little gush on #continuouspractice. Daily writing time means that I’ve reached almost 20,000 words in this month’s draft. CAVEAT, though: most of those were copied and pasted from NaNoWriMo. Heh. That only means that the remainder of this month will be revising those words, which is my favorite thing to do anyhow. Huzzah! Fist pump!
- Didn’t tap Exclusive Query Agent. Only because he tweeted on Wednesday that he’d finally caught up on all queries sent to him before 2/1, and I sent mine 2/2, and I was sure that I would get my rejection on Thursday because of it. Do…do you hear that? That’s the sound of crickets, I think.
What I Accomplished
- I’ve picked up the piano again! Ha. I just wanted to say it like that. After I finished Pride and Prejudice I had, had to learn the theme on piano. So I printed off the sheet music and I’ve got two lines sort of down. I am dismal, I tell you. Dismal. Mother! I apologize for all those years of never practicing when I had the chance!
Anyway. Next week will be great. As much as I gripe about fasting from meat and all the other yummy things, I’m really looking forward to the beginning of Great Lent, starting with Forgiveness Vespers this Sunday and moving into the marathon week that is the first week of Lent. There’s just something comforting in stepping back and disciplining myself for a time. It makes Pascha at 2 a.m. all that much more wonderful.
So. Until next Friday! Keep your fingers crossed for any news re: the manuscript.
This week has been, in a word, hectic. Because as it turns out, it’s difficult to balance working 24 hours with contract writing work and other fun stuff like doctor’s visits and movie screenings. (Hey, the movie was free and I wanted to go to it. Important all around.) Anyway, I’ve decided that I should go back to work at the eye doctor’s office once every six months. Enough to get me past the I-miss-my-coworkers phase and into the I-miss-my-charmed-life phase. Because guys? I miss my charmed life.
What I Read
- Not too darn much to report this week. I did start Brown Girl Dreaming. I’m not a huge poetry person (read: I hate it) but this one has actually captured me. I think it’s the imagery. So glorious. Almost, almost inspirational. (Stay tuned for the release of Mennonite Girl Dreaming sometime around 2025. Hah.)
- I read the first ten pages of this month’s Dropcap, Swann’s Way. Reporting in: it’s dense and has no good stopping places. Great. Not sure I’ll be able to finish it this month, but we’ll see. We shall see.
- Current Moby Dick status: guys, killing whales is sad. I don’t want to hear about how clotted pieces of their insides come out through their expanding and contracting blowhole. It makes me want to cry.
What I Ate
- Newest Uproxx craziness involves me living off my pantry for the next month. I’m already out of eggs, milk, onions, and all tomato products, so the next three weeks are going to be funnn. That said, I made this Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala and it turned out luscious. Even with my weird substitutes like a half of a red onion for the whole onion, and a combination of tomato sauce and pizza sauce for all the canned diced tomatoes. And no cilantro. So sad. A month without cilantro.
What I Watched
- Just the Oscars. I won my pool! I won the plastic trophy!
- “What about that free movie screening you mentioned?” Well. It was supposed to be Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. But the thing wouldn’t download in time? Because apparently movies are downloaded into theaters these days? So after 45 minutes of waiting, the execs in charge of the screening finally told us it wasn’t happening, and that we could see any other movie in the theater that we wanted to. If it hadn’t been 7:45 on a school night I would have maybe taken them up on that offer. But as the case stood, there was nothing else I felt passionate enough about.
What I Wrote
- Some stuff for Uproxx, including that sugar-free article. Next week I’ll have to double down to reach my projected quota of 20 articles. Yeep.
- On Wednesday I was able to hop over to Panera and spend a good hour and a half working on Basically Yours. It was delightful. Especially because I kept getting interrupted by a group of old men asking questions like, “What is America’s largest underground aquifer?” (Ogallala, which I knew without having to Google. Go me.) Also, I’ve been keeping my scene doc open on my computer at work and adding things throughout the day. Ssh, don’t tell. It helps me keep my head in the game, though.
- Exclusive Query agent has officially exceeded his 4-week-on-queries timeframe. Thank you, goodnight. I’m going to wait one more week before I give him a nudge. Honestly, I just want an answer. Say no, dang it. I need to start submitting to other agents!
What I Accomplished
- I binged my way through all of Fuller House. You can guess how good I feel about that decision, especially giving my previous whining about how little time I had this week.
The other thing is, remember the job that I quit last September in order to stay home and write full time? They called me last Friday and asked if I might be available to help fill in for a couple of weeks while they train a new tech. And like the silly person I am, I said yes. (Funny story about this: I initially thought it was my dentist’s office calling to remind me of an appointment. So when they asked if I might be able to tech for them for a couple of weeks, I was utterly confused, hence my not-so-thought-through answer.)
It’s been sort of amazing to see how quickly I can jump back into things at the office. Like, zero training needed. Hi, I’m back in the fray. That said, it has taken a bit of a toll on my weekly accomplishments. Read on. Read more