Farewell to 2014

I have mixed feelings about leaving 2014 behind. There were times when it was great and times when it really wasn’t. I guess every year is like that.

So what were the highlights?

1. My first novel, Secrets of Hallstead House, was published in July. Woo hoo!

2. I finished my second novel, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and started a third.

3. Our family went to Europe over the summer. All things considered, it was an amazing experience and I want to go again!

4. Two of my kids started new schools and love them.

5. My third child got a great score on her first attempt at the SAT.

6. Kayaking!

7. I got a little more involved with Facebook and Twitter.

8. I completed a few of my New Year’s resolutions (more about that next week).

9. I had my first book signing! Thank you again, Corbin’s River Heritage!

10. I ran my first 5K and got to watch my husband finish the Maui Warrior Challenge in September.

And what were the not-so-highlights?

1. I have learned that having a book published isn’t all fun. It’s hard work, very time consuming, and each book, even after it’s published, is a long-term commitment.

2. Our family went to Europe over the summer. Someday, when the memories aren’t so raw and I can laugh at them, I’ll tell you some of my stories.

3. One of our children was hit by a car in August and is still recovering.

I would like to thank all of you for your support over the past year. I have enjoyed blogging and love reading your comments and hearing your thoughts. Let’s grow it in 2015!

What’s Today?

When this post goes live, it will be Tuesday, September 9th. For those of you who aren’t aware, September 9th is National Teddy Bear Day. It is also the second Tuesday of the month, making it National Ants on a Log Day. It is also the anniversary of my husband and me, and of my mom and stepdad (but those are, alas, not national holidays).

In honor of National Teddy Bear Day, I am posting a picture of a bear who lives on my bed. I would tell you his name, but some things just have to remain private. He has been a fixture in my room since I got him (when I was about twelve years old). He went to college with me, then law school. He’s been on vacation to lots of places that most teddy bears don’t get to go.

National Teddy Bear Day

And before you say it, I already know he isn’t a “real” teddy bear. He’s a koala bear, but I’m celebrating his existence on Tuesday anyways.

And that, finally, brings me to my point.

Especially in these last few weeks, I have been reminded how important it is to celebrate and be thankful for the little things in life. And the big things. Sometimes I get so caught up in the day-to-day busyness on my family’s schedules that I forget how lucky we really are to be so busy and to have such full lives. It took something drastic to remind me that it’s easy to take small things for granted and that I need to spend more time celebrating the so-called “mundane.”

So here is a short list of some of the things I celebrated this past week:

kayaking for the first time with some wonderful friends in a beautiful place; phone calls with my grandfather; being able to write every day; having three kids who love (well, two kids love–one kid likes) to go to school each day; Facebook and the ability it gives me to connect with distant members of my family and lots of friends; dentists (I know–not something I usually celebrate); my husband’s jokes; and seafood risotto. There are so many other things I’m thankful for, but I gave myself just a few seconds to brainstorm and those are the ones I came up with first.

In the limited research I did for today’s post, I also found that September 9th is also National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day, Wonderful Weirdos Day, and Wienerschnitzel Day. Here’s a list of the online sites I visted:

http://nationaldaycalendar.com/
http://www.checkiday.com/
http://www.thenibble.com/fun/more/facts/holidays-september.asp
http://all-funny.info/real-list-of-national-days
http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/
http://www.brownielocks.com/month2.html

So on September 9th I’m going to have myself a plate of ants-on-logs and celebrate the little things in life. There are so many! Happy Anniversary to my husband and to my mom and stepdad!

Until next week,

Amy