Wow--8 weeks, that is crazy! I hope to never leave y'all hanging for that long again. Things have been pretty wild here. Currently I'm sick--coughing and hacking sick--and it's been a full week so I'm dreaming it'll be over soon.
Princess' party was spectacular and we had a wonderful time with the family and friends who came (and there were plenty)! The cake turned out very well, although I was sobbing and hyperventilating over it as I decorated the ladybug, and the weather was PERFECT! Thank you to all who came, and I promise that the Thank You notes are coming soon. Tiffany was the absolute lifesaver--she's a new friend that I don't know well, but I give a fair amount of credit to her for offering to help and then showing up and doing whatever needed to be done! On the way home Princess said, "Mom, it was the most stupendous party anyone has ever had!" And that's what I wanted :)
The garden has been ignored for most of the time I haven't been here. Infestations increased and it was way, way too depressing for me to deal with. The potato crop was huge (like, hundreds of potatoes) and every single potato had bugs in inside it. I do have one little pumpkin which was actually turning orange last time I looked and I will take a photo of for you this week.
Mouth healed, it's all good, and gratefully they don't grow back so I NEVER have to have it done again.
I'm writing pretty much every day, though not as many words as I'd hoped. I went last weekend, before the sickness took hold, up to the mountains to a beautiful lake to a real live writer's retreat! I met lots of amazing women, a number of whom had published actual books and learned a lot. I came home totally inspired and with some clear thoughts about directions to take my various writing endeavors. I also joined the writer's association that sponsored the event (I'm in their newly formed online chapter) and can't wait to jump into their conversations and critiques. Here are my plans:
1. I am going to keep writing fan fiction. I've met a lot of great people through reading and posting fan fiction, I still love the characters I am playing with and frankly, it's fun. It also helps me hone my writing skills for my other projects, so it's even useful.
2. I'm going to work on a couple of original fiction pieces. The story I started for NaNoWriMo last year, and the one I am starting in a couple weeks for this year's contest. I may need significant encouragement on these, so please poke me now and again about them, okay? I do want them published eventually (I think), but first I want to actually complete a novel-length work of totally original fiction. Wow. I said it out loud.
3. You've heard me moan about poetry some and I've decided to do something about it. I'm taking down everything I've posted online (so read fast if you want to take a look), investigating previously published markets for that stuff and writing again. I even finished a new poem and a half this week! Official publication is what I want for these babies, at least some of them, so harass me about submissions, please.
In other news, we've started kindergarten for Princess and I'm loving it! I'm officially a home schooling mama now and it's so cool. Insane, but cool.
My husband has started school again and is taking an accounting class twice a week. So far, he's scored the only perfect 100 of the class on his first test and we're all holding together on those nights when he leaves home early and gets home late.
The Bear seems less of a baby each day. He's on another teething jag and he's managed three new ones in the last week and a half. He is now an Eleven Tooth Boy with a reasonable (given my family's propensity for toddler baldness) amount of hair. His sister likes to call it silvery-gold. I just call it mama-melting. He makes me laugh a lot and it's weird because he's almost a carbon copy of me at this age and some days I get this weird deja vu feeling--like I am actually looking at myself.