"You can make anything by writing."

-- C. S. Lewis

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Tidbits of Our Lives

Since I didn't take good care of my eyes for, ohhh, five years, I have had to visit my optometrist several times in the last few months to correct/reverse the damage that was done. I have another appointment on Tuesday, and that will be my fourth appointment since the beginning of May. So I was laughing with Ryan today about some of my frustrations with eye appointments (my fears of not making the correct choices during the exam, thereby screwing up my prescription), and he reminded me of this comedy routine we saw a couple of years ago. It is soooo right on; I was so glad we found it again!!


Ryley finished her Disney Princess Dance Camp on Friday. I think she still prefers swimming to dance, but she loved it all the same. She certainly danced her little heart out! Which girl doesn't want to feel like a princess???

Last night, Ryan and I went to our good friend Katie's wedding. I've known Katie since we were nine years old, and she actually caught the bouquet at our wedding 10 years ago! She and Dave got married outside, and it was raining ever so lightly. So beautiful!

Then, over at Table W4, we had a delightful time! We were the most raucous table by far. Poor Katie was probably ashamed of her childhood friends! We couldn't stop laughing.

Katie with Nichole and Danielle

Jenny and Jamie

Ryan and me

Danielle and Michael

Christie, me, and Kendra

We had a wonderful Father's Day. Ryley slept in until 9:30! That is the latest she has ever slept in her entire life. She is an early riser, no matter what time she goes to bed the night before. But it allowed me to sleep until 9:00 (thank you, Ryley!), and Ryan was up before either of us, writing an oh-so-eloquent blog about his dad. Because he beat us up, we didn't get to serve him breakfast in bed like we had planned, but we did have BBQ for lunch, and we played miniature golf in the afternoon. It was a really nice day.

I don't feel as eloquent as Ryan was when he was writing about his dad, but in honor of Father's Day, I do want my husband and daddy to know how much I appreciate and love them!

Daddy, thank you for being the man of integrity that you are. You are probably the hardest worker I know, and I am so proud to be your daughter. You don't have a mean bone in your body, and you are filled to the brim with creativity, honesty, character, and raw desire to do whatever God calls you to do. Thank you for raising me to value those character traits, to accept Christ as my Savior, to value my relationship with God, and so much more!!!!! I love you so much!

Ryan, I love being a parent with you. I love that you are my daughter's daddy...that you care for her, you talk to her, you put her hair in pony tails, you take the time to answer her (many!) questions, as difficult and random as they may be. :-) You teach her about the universe, and you teach her about its Creator. You are concerned about the person she becomes, and you are determined to raise her correctly. I love you with all my heart. Ryley is so, so blessed.

(Talking about jellyfish at the aquarium a few months ago) :-)

Off to bed we go....Tomorrow is the first day my office operates from its new location. There are bound to be hiccups, and it's bound to be an interesting day. :-) Oh, joy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

And I Was Desperate Enough to Buy a Book...

I'm not one to read self-help books. But I simply couldn't take it anymore. I sat at a stoplight, with home a mile ahead of me and the local Christian bookstore a mile to the left. Ryley was throwing a fit because I had turned off her kids' praise CD (which we had listened to three times in an hour) and switched over to Christian radio. After making my case and listening to her throw a tantrum in return, I glared at her silently in the rearview mirror, and then -- she actually had the gall to mock me. That's gall I never had with my mom and dad. So I flipped on the left blinker and headed toward the bookstore to buy a book I have heard a lot about in the last week: "Have a New Kid by Friday: How to Change Your Child's Attitude, Behavior, and Character in Five Days."

That was yesterday. I know the process isn't over, and we're bound to have more struggles, but the book could seriously be called "Have a New Kid by Tomorrow." Ryan and I are quite possibly the most skeptical of quick-fix solutions and self-help books. But so far, in the changes we've already implemented, we've seen a marked improvement in Ryley's behavior. We are believers!

It's funny how very similar this parenting method is to the dog-training methods we are learning about in Juliet's weekly class. Train a dog. Train a child. Little by little, we are regaining control over our household.

My mom and dad came to visit a couple of weeks ago. We had such a good time!! I am so appreciative of the close relationship we have with my parents. They are filled with such love and wisdom. :-)

Ryley lost her first tooth while they were here. It was quite exciting!

I finally got my vegetable garden planted, too. This was the first year Ryley actually took interest in the planting and wanted to help. She had honestly never looked more beautiful than when she was attempting to help me prepare the soil....

And before my garden was even 24 hours old, it had already survived its first hail storm! The weather has been crazy this past week. We had severe weather warnings (hail and/or tornadoes) on the Front Range for nine days straight. It kind of became a joke as to where the tornadoes would hit each day!

So with all the storm damage, my office has suddenly become extremely busy. Add to that the fact that my office is relocating on Friday, and Ryley's in dance camp this week and VBS next week and swimming lessons throughout the summer....It's shaping up to be a busy month of June!!

My magazine was released on Sunday. Yay! It's not perfect, but we are just so excited about it. There are so many delightful, helpful, practical, anointed articles for ladies of all ages! If you see me regularly and would like a copy, I have many to pass on! Just ask. :-)

Or, you can order one online. I am not responsible for the web site content at all, but please be blessed by what you read there (though it has not been proofread by me! ha!).

We went downtown on Saturday night to see the Disney Christmas Carol train (which we didn't end up waiting in line for), ride the bus up and down the rainy 16th Street Mall, and see the movie "Up." Fun family date. :-) I got the giggles during the movie and couldn't stop laughing! Kind of embarrassing. ;-)

I love these pictures of Ryley. We were sitting on the patio on a Saturday afternoon, enjoying our treats from the ice cream truck, and she was just talking to her daddy. She loves him so much!

Last week one day, an elderly lady stopped Ryan at McDonald's and told him how refreshing it was to watch him and his daughter have lunch together, look each other in the eye, and really talk to each other. It's true. Ryan's a wonderful husband and daddy. And in spite of the behavior issues of late, Ryley truly is a good girl overall. I feel really, really blessed. :-)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fruits of My Labor (Juicy, Yet Bruised)

After five grueling months of reading, editing, rewriting, making changes, waiting, making more changes, editing again, proofing, etc., the summer issue of the magazine is finally done. It was sent to press this morning.

I'm pleased with it and proud of it. It's beautiful. Trendy. Smart. Insightful. Anointed. I feel like I was a part of something truly great.

And then tonight, as I was showing my parents (who are visiting, by the way!!) the 80-page proof, I found several big mistakes. Noticeable things. Embarrassing things. Nothing that is really my doing, per se, but nonetheless, things that I wish I had caught on the final proof that I read through last night. I found 30 last-minute errors, and I submitted them this morning. But I should have found 33. If I found them tonight, then I should have found them last night too.

So I question my ability as an editor. I am (more and more) coming face-to-face with the fact that my grammar/proofreading "skillz" are fallible. I don't always think of the right word to use. Sometimes I don't catch the fact that the text in the columns wasn't justified. The extra proofreaders, graphic artists, and I don't always agree on style, and I find myself defending my case and making notes for a style guide I intend to create in the coming months. I find myself explaining to the designers that prepositions are not capitalized within titles, then questioning the rule, myself. I find myself choosing my battles, so as not to make enemies within the production team. The entire process is incredibly humbling, and I am learning.

I have so many mixed emotions....I know all the hours I personally put into this magazine, and I am proud of the fruits of my labor. But for me, there's this cloud hanging over the Release Party next Sunday. It isn't a perfect piece, and it should be. Yet, can it ever be perfect? It seems like there's always something. I am envious of big magazine editorial staffs, and I have this urge to read through their magazines line by line, in search of mistakes, just to prove it can happen to them too. I want to find my trusty AP Style Manual and brush up on everything...just because.

Ughhhhh. I'm only human. And that's just going to have to be ok.