Birthday Surprise

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Photo Credit: http://www.hotelgalvez.com

My husband surprised me with a trip to Galveston, Texas for my birthday on June 30th. He booked a hotel room at a beautiful hotel that he knew I long desired for called the Hotel Galvez.

Hotel Pool

This hotel was built in 1911 on an island that has so much history with some ghost residents that I changed the location of my paranormal novel series from upstate New York to Galveston. We swam in the beautiful pool and after we finished taking our showers, I couldn’t help myself. I took the elevator up to the 5th floor and searched for the legendary suite 501.  The story claims that a young woman stayed in this suite as she waited for her fiance to return from sea and when it was reported that his ship sunk and all lives were lost, she became extremely depressed. She hung herself on the fire escape much to the horror of her love who returned to the hotel looking for her.

We had such a nice time together where we could focus on being together and relaxing. I felt pampered and loved. If you ever visit Galveston, click here to find out more about the Hotel Galvez.

 

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Cousins

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I took this picture of my sons with their cousins at my parent’s house on New Year’s Eve, the day after my mother-in-law’s funeral in December of 2009. They live in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area while we live in Texas.

Cousins in PA

When my brother (on the right) and I were growing up in Queens, New York, we saw our cousins every other weekend. They lived in Long Island, New York, about sixty miles east of Manhattan, and we took turns meeting at either our house or theirs. I wish that my sons could see their cousins often like they did when we still lived in Pennsylvania. It makes me sad to think that they haven’t seen each other in four years, so I’m working on finding a way for us to visit them soon, because time goes by so fast.

Life Lessons

As my kids grow older, parenting them gets more difficult. I’m grateful that my husband and I have the time they need to help them navigate this adventure we call life.

As parents we have learned SO MUCH compared to when we first met our boys in 2005, and although these lessons have been tough parental growing pains, they have been exactly what we need to become better people.

I’ve learned how to read people and know when they are either being sneaking or lying, or when something is bothering them. But it is so hard, oh so hard for me to help them every single day instead of giving in to my anxiety for them.

Showing Emotion

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I find so many helpful writing tips on Pinterest, and showing emotion through dialogue hasn’t come as naturally to me as I thought it would as far as what the character is doing while either speaking or listening to whoever is in the scene with them. However, this post from The Writer’s Handbook Tumblr blog,  who shared it from  One Stop For Writer’s Pinterest board explains the way to show important emotions that for some reason haven’t come easy to me.

Emotions such showing interest or disinterest in a character, showing nervousness, frustration or anger, (such as trembling or clenching their fists), sadness, etc. While I’m reading a good book for the first time, the plot itself holds my attention, which is exactly what our books should do for readers. When the writing is so well done that I barely pay attention to the grammar and writing style of the author the first time I read it, that is a story that I will read again from my writer’s mind.

 

My Brother Is Awesome

Our Temple Trip

I love my brother, Billy. He is one of the kindest people I know. Always willing to help me with anything I need, any hour of the day.

We went to the Houston LDS temple on Wednesday, and had a great day together. While I prepared myself to leave, I thought about how awesome he is and how fortunate I am to have him as my brother and my friend.

I’m grateful for all of my blessings, and my family is one of the greatest of them all.

Motivation

Mother's Day Dinner

Though I am used to life’s ups and downs, I was surprised once again. Last week my doctor diagnosed me with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), which my family and I had already suspected. Last summer when I met my new doctor, she ordered blood work which did NOT show whatever they look for in your blood that “proves” you have it.

Ten years ago my doctor in Pennsylvania diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia (which I call Fibro) after I reported almost all of the symptoms you could possibly have with this dreaded ailment. I’m not sure if I still have Fibro now, and haven’t decided if I want to know the answer.

My doctor prescribed Prednisone as an experiment. It is a steroid that is used to treat arthritis among other things. If I felt better, than although it doesn’t show up in my blood work, it means that I have RA. At first I didn’t notice a difference and thought that the answer was a firm no, but I forgot to take it Friday afternoon, and woke up in terrible pain. My fingers and toes throbbed and were so stiff it hurt to bend them. I also forgot that I’m supposed to take it with food. Oops! About two hours after taking my pill, my pain lessened significantly.

At first I was upset and couldn’t sleep, imagining all sorts of terrible things. I even remembered that my great-grandmother had arthritis for years and years, and RA often runs in the family. So I pictured my fingers eventually falling off, or my toes, etc. Then I remembered that life presents us challenges that I CAN control how I cope with: do I research everything I can to help with my pain, or do I give up and spend my life in bed.

There’s no doubt it will be tough, but I plan to eat much better than I have been and exercise a lot more. It’s time for me to treat my body like the miracle I know it to be. Because my family needs me and wants me around, and pray for my body to heal so that I can get out of the house more.

Wish me luck!

Sensations

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photo credit: nieniedialogues.com

I follow an amazing woman named Stephanie Nielson on her blog, NieNieDialogues. In August, 2008, she and her husband Christian (who she affectionately calls Mr. Nielson), were in a horrible small airplane crash in Arizona shortly after Mr. Nielson received his pilot license.

When their airplane crashed, it caught on fire and she was burned over 80% of her body. Stephanie spent about three months in a medically induced coma because they had to scrape off almost every inch of her skin and then give her many, many skin grafts.

Anyway, I read her post today about how she can’t feel most basic touches, such as her children tickling her. As I read this, it naturally occurred to me that I have the OPPOSITE problem: I feel a basic touch too much. Often when someone taps me on my very sensitive skin and muscles, it feels like I was punched. It would be wonderful if I could share some of my nerve endings with her, so she could feel her family’s touch, and I wouldn’t feel my family’s touch quite so much.

Yet I realize that our opposite reactions to touches are exactly what we need to learn and become emotionally stronger. It also reminds me to be more aware of what other people might be struggling with and let them know that they can overcome their challenges.

Spending So Much Time…

I spent hours changing the theme on my blog yesterday, and then spent another two hours changing it to this theme this morning after my sons finished their morning schedule. I enjoy playing with the different themes and color schemes that WordPress offers, while also being frustrated with myself for becoming obsessed with it.

I understand that it happens to me because I immerse myself so much into creating headers and backgrounds as a result of having a semi-addictive personality, with a dash of OCD. I inherited it from my dad, and have come to accept it as a weakness that can and will become a strength because of my faith in God.

Listening to music helps me focus and stay on task, as well as communicate with the Holy Ghost for guidance. This weekend it hit me that I have been leaning unto my own strength (which is actually weak) instead of relying on His power to steer me away from distractions.

I created a daily schedule this morning for my boys, and I must admit it is just as much for me as it is for them.

Struggles

When I first set my goal of editing my NanoWrimo WIP, I had a high hope of finishing by yesterday. Since nothing in my life goes as I think it will, when problems arose, it was one of the first things I stopped working on.

April turned out to be a month of how can I help my twelve-year-old deal with his frustration and anger more effectively. He has a bit of a temper when performing an unpreferred activity such as going to school or getting off electronics.

As his mother, my first priority is to help him. He is what the experts call a high functioning autistic boy, which pretty much means that he sometimes behaves like an average twelve year old, while other times behaving like a three year old boy having a terrible temper tantrum.

With a lot of prayer and patience, I figured out what was the best course of action at this time to best help him. Often it comes at the expense of me working on my manuscripts, and I am okay with that! My family comes first, for one day I will wake up and my children will be living on their own and will be out of my sphere of influence, and I don’t want to wonder if I did all that I could to help them navigate these turbulent years.

And I’m happy that as I wrote my notes on what I should/could do to help bring the different versions of my manuscript together I figured out how to do it, so that’s a win to me!