Saturday, June 4, 2016

Glow


Loveys, so you know I'm a teeny bit obsessed with the Outlander series. Well, a few friends and I got together to discuss book one. I have to tell you, this was my first gathering under my pergola, and I loved every minute. The wind in Colorado is unpredictable, but Friday night was warm and still and the perfect time to sit under glowing lights and talk books. When it comes to book club, it doesn't matter if you're meeting at Starbucks or sitting around someone's living room, the purpose is to come together and discuss what you've read. But I like parties and I'll use any excuse to eat yummy foods and drink wine. It was one of the girls' birthdays, so all the more reason to party.


So after dinner and clean up and getting the kids in pajamas, it was time for a few mamas to breathe easy and talk and laugh. The weather was absolutely perfect for book club outside. So I turned on the lights and set the table. Chocolate and cheese fondue and a few bottles of wine. The Outlander show soundtrack, individual mini-bottles of whiskey for my friends, reader's guide, sitting under the lights until it's dark--and there you have it, Friday night book club. Good stuff.

I'll be honest, I've wanted a pergola for a long time for the exact reason of sitting underneath the glow while talking with girlfriends. There's something magical about combining books and wine and girlfriends, add in twinkle lights and it's just complete happiness. Such a wonderful night. I'm so thankful for the girls who came out for discussion and time together. Outlander is a long book, so it's no small undertaking. When you find something you're excited about, I think you just naturally want to find other people to share it with, someone to talk about the details, someone to join in the excitement. For me, I get passionate about books. That's been true forever, but I think a lot of it started back in middle school when Dana Clark told me about the Christy Miller series. Then I started reading it, and Michelle read it too, and whoever else. Then all my friends were in love with Todd Spencer and obsessed with reading every book in the series. It was something we shared. Which just made it more fun. Like standing in line at midnight to get Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with all the other crazies.

So Friday night was the kind of night I absolutely love.


As for me, I'm knee-deep in edits for my own book, and I'm just so amazed by the brilliance of my editors. There's something about fresh perspective. I've heard a lot of other authors mention that they actually like the editing process, and I'm one of those. It's time consuming, but I do feel like it makes the story so much stronger. We've got company coming soon, so I need to be a lot closer to finishing my edits than I am. But I'll keep at it and do what I can.

And, maybe, next summer I'll have a few girlfriends sit around the table, under the glow of the lights strung on my pergola, and we'll talk about my book.

Can't wait.

So, the first party of summer was a success. Here's raising a toast to many more, loveys.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Heartstrings



Loveys, tomorrow Lincoln graduates from preschool. Forever. He moves on to kindergarten and becomes a big kid and then he becomes a teenager and girls will be after that gorgeous brown-eyed boy, then he'll go to college and get married and I'll lose him forever.

Yes. I'm emotional about the whole thing.

I feel like kindergarten was a turning point for Ash. Becoming more independent, going to a bigger school, all that jazz. And I never quite got back that teeny baby girl. She kept right on growing. I know, in and of itself, this is a huge blessing. They're happy and healthy and they're meant to keep on growing. But sometimes, it tugs at your mama heartstrings until you hurt.

Maybe it's different for every mother, but for me, these heartstrings are being pulled tonight. Some stages are tougher than others, but I'm grateful for all of them. And I believe all those parents who have already been through it and tell me it goes by fast.

I went walking with my friend Nancy the other night and we were talking about how fast the school year has gone by. It seems like yesterday we were at Lincoln's orientation and they were talking about the end of the year program and how it would be here before we knew it. Truth. Now we're diving into summer and I know it will fly by. Because winter is long here in Colorado and we all want to squeeze out every drop of summer we can get before cold weather comes back. Today was Ash's last day of school. (Which was a good excuse to get Chinese take-out for dinner.) So it's beginning.

Lately I've been cramming a lot of things into a little amount of time. Do you ever find yourself doing that? On the downside, I'm convinced it makes the time go by even faster. On the flipside, sometimes we just have to.

I will miss these days.

Loveys, on another note, my Lily still has no teeth. What. Is. Going. On. She's more than 14 months old now and she does not have even one tooth. I confess that I am worried. I adore her of course and will forever, but what if the girl doesn't have any teeth? It didn't take this long for my other kids to have teeth come in, and all the other babies we know have lots of teeth. So, yes, I am feeling concerned. Teething is never fun and yet I am SO hopeful we get there soon. What can I do? #prayforbabyteeth









Thursday, May 19, 2016

As School Ends...

Loveys, in about four days, my kids will finish preschool and 2nd grade and I'll have a kindergartner and a 3rd grader. (Pause while I take a breath and try not to cry.) While we're super excited for summer, I've noticed both my kids getting emotional here at the end of school. Ash's teacher will not be back at our school, and one of Ash's best friends is moving this summer. Two major things that make Ash emotional whenever she mentions them. Linc doesn't want school to end. He loves his teacher and I think he's just sad that he won't see his friends every week. I'm ready for school to be out (I also start to twitch, however, when I think about ALL DAY EVERY DAY with the kiddos over here), but the reality that they are growing so much so fast, of course, can make me a little sad.

Time goes fast.

I'm sitting here, blogging, while I wait for friends to come over. Friends from a small group we were part of years ago (pre-kids). A few of us get to see each other this morning and I'm excited about it. But, gosh, it's another reminder of time passing. Life changing. Seasons that come and then move on like leaves in the wind. I'm glad for it--for the years of life and experience. But with that comes some nostalgia and a feeling of getting older.

So in just a few minutes, friends will fill my house and we'll make sandwiches and feed kids and  hear the sounds of yelling and laughing (probably crying and screaming at some point). Lily will throw her lunch on the floor. Kids will come in and out and in and out of the back door. I'll most likely have a second cup of coffee after lunch (and a cookie, despite my diet, sadness). And tonight I'll be tired and Jeff will help clean up. And another day will have passed.

We're right on the brink of summer, which means Texas is in my future in just another month or so. More time with precious family and friends. FOOD--have mercy. China Delight. Margaritas. Catfish. LOTS of heat and humidity.

Bring it.

Bible studies with friends. Laura and Wes coming to visit. VBS. Trips to the mountains. Camping in the backyard. Outlander book club (YES PLEASE) with drinks and appetizers and maybe some chocolate fondue. Then summer will come to an end, and my little blondie will head to 3rd grade. For Linc, we'll make a big deal out of getting ready for kindergarten. He'll go to a much bigger school than he's used to, bonus, he gets to go to school with Ash. It's all very exciting, of course.

What do you want your summer to look like, lovey? I read a really good article about a family that scaled back one summer. Erased all the busy activities from the schedule so there was lots of room for playtime and down time. For the Bruce family, there are experiences and goals I have for summer, but most everything will just flow with us, not the other way around. We'll add in things here and there, but the overall feeling of summer will be laid-back. It's how we roll. Family and friends and playing all day in the backyard (with popsicle breaks)--that's what summer will hopefully look like over here. And when it ends, we'll be sad. But excited for school and fall. All good things.

The next several weeks are busy as we finish school, I finish an editing job and dive into edits and rewrites for my book (the one coming out next summer! Happiness!), then get ready for company and VBS.

Last night, I was cleaning the kitchen, and Jeff and I were talking about the future. Not the immediate future, but a little farther down the road. We can talk and dream together, and we'll see what happens and where God takes us because you just never know. As a girl growing up in Texas, the thought of living in Colorado and working for a decade as a book editor never even entered my mind. But God gives us adventures, and I love it. I love dreaming with Jeff, and falling asleep with a prayer for my kids on my lips. To me, that's everything.

Loveys, summer is just about here for us. I hope it's all you wish it will be.