header('Cache-Control: max-age=259200'); Family Archives – Kristen Koster
Jul 032016
A widow's dress with shawl and mobcap for a Colonial Days presentation in 5th grade.

That was 8 years ago?!?

Once again, I’ve been scrambling to finish a dress and it managed to pull me away from both writing and social media for a while. Long-time readers of the blog may recall the purple widow’s dress I made for a 5th grade presentation… good gracious that was 8 years ago!

Anyway, this year, we needed a dress in time for Anime Expo in LA for a cosplay of Eliza Hamilton from the Broadway musical. Over the last few months, the cast album plays here non-stop.
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Hello 2013 Goals, Thanks 2012!

 Writing Life  Comments Off on Hello 2013 Goals, Thanks 2012!
Jan 042013

Photo of hydrangea by Kristen Koster on flickr.comMy accountability group just kicked off a new year with new goals and are continuing with our How I Write series. This week, the question asked was, “What is one thing you’re going to do to refocus your 2013 goals that you learned in 2012?”

Each year I always seem to bite off more than I can chew. Always with the best intentions, of course. And always in the name of balance. I’ve tried several different methods of organizing my goals and what seemed to work best was a breakdown by quarters.

Last year, I had great plans to write a book along with my local RWA Chapter’s challenge participants. Life had other ideas. I’m refocusing on that book this year, but instead of just jumping in and running, I have a concrete step by step plan to see it all the way through.

Likewise, I did really well with my Project365 progress up until a certain point last year. I had worried about keeping up with such an ambitious project every day, but had settled into a comfortable routine until, it broke. This year, I will be focusing on one photo post per week, taking a lot of the pressure off.

This year, in pretty much all areas, I’m focusing on quality over quantity and approaching everything with a plan before execution, taking smaller bites. I’ve also learned that I absolutely must put my writing at a higher priority and I can’t be content to stay safe in my comfort zone.

So far, the momentum is off to a great start and I’m looking forward to keeping it building through out the year. Stay tuned, there are 51 Weeks to go!

Your Turn: What are you going to do different this year to reach your goals?

And if you’d like to read what the rest of my accountability group is changing this year based on lessons learned, you can find their blogs here:

* Alexia Reed * Kimberly Farris * Danie Ford * Emma G. Delaney

2012 Photo Challenge: Week 14

 Photography  Comments Off on 2012 Photo Challenge: Week 14
Apr 112012

Week 14 of our 365 Photo Challenge. This week marks the 100th photo posted for the year.

As I mentioned, we were on vacation last week for the kids’ Spring Break. We flew across the country to Maryland and stayed near where I grew up. Last year, our daughter and I did the American History tour through her school and this year, our son decided he didn’t want to do that. Our daughter is very interested in history and totally geeks out over the Civil War. And since that’s part of the next section that the boy will be studying in school, it seemed a perfect opportunity given where I grew up to steep them in it for the week.

Sunday, we snuck up on the airport and flew across the country to Baltimore, MD, where our first stop was lunch: for some good ol’ Maryland Crab Cakes.

Monday, we went to Harper’s Ferry, WVa., home of John Brown, the abolitionist’s Fort. This historic town is all of about 15 miles from the house I grew up in. We also stopped off by my old high school on the way. Lots of additions, but much of it is still the same.

Tuesday, we went to the Antietam battlefield in Sharpsburg, MD. It was the scene of the single bloodiest battle in American history with 23,000 troops killed that day. My dad was a Civil War buff and I remember Antietam as the “Land of Obelisks” because of the monuments. Turns out, there aren’t quite as many as I remember. Distance from my mom’s house: 20 miles.

Wednesday, we drove part of the way to Washington, D.C. and then took the metro the rest of the way into the city. We got off late enough we didn’t get to do a bus tour of the city to see all the monuments, but did stop in at the exhibit “The Art of Video Games” at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American Art and National Portrait Gallery. We also made a stop at the Newseum and I managed to see more of it than 2 floors this time as I wasn’t the only chaperone willing to take a bunch of 8th graders out on the observation deck overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue. About 50 miles from where I grew up. Can we say all my major school trips went there?

Thursday, we went to Gettysburg, PA and took a guided tour of the battlefield after watching a movie narrated by Morgan Freeman and experiencing the cyclorama. Another 50 miles from my mom’s house. Getting the sense that I grew up in a historically rich area? It’s funny, Gettysburg was always the “Land of Cannons” to me, but they have WAY more monuments than cannon. They’re also doing an impressive job restoring the land to the condition/uses from the time of the battle. This means clearing trees in some areas and planting new ones in others.

Friday, we took the kids down to Chestertown, MD on the Eastern Shore, across the Bay Bridge for what was probably our longest trip of the week: 116 miles. Our destination was Washington College, where my husband and I met 22 years ago. I used to make that drive every week after I graduated and my husband was still in school until I gave up and moved back to the town. I’m not sure if the kids were impressed or not, but we did get to run into a few professors and staff that were still there. Which was a good thing since we won’t be able to make it back for his 20th reunion next month.

Saturday, we pretty much didn’t do anything at all. I dropped the family off at my mom’s and drove about 6 miles to meet another writer at a small coffee shop and spent about 2 hours chatting.

Sunday, we had a lovely Easter Brunch with my mom and then drove back to Baltimore to catch our flight home.

Anyway, that’s just a little bit of the history behind these photographs.

What you see below are links to my flickr set for the photos I’m posting for this challenge. Click on any photo below to go to flickr and then you can navigate through the set with the “Previous” and “Next” arrows at the top.

Sun: Apr 01, 2012

Mon: Apr 02, 2012

Tue: Apr 03, 2012

Wed: Apr 04, 2012

Thu: Apr 05, 2012

Fri: Apr 06, 2012

Sat: Apr 07, 2012

Mar 302012

Little girl joyously running across the beach

When was the last time YOU had this much fun?

This week for our How I Write series, my accountability group asked, “What’s the last thing you did strictly for fun? Strictly for yourself?”

“Oh, easy question!” I hear you… but take a second and think about it! We get so caught up in our daily routines that it’s all work, work, work. Or at least the same things over and over again. Also, if you’re like me, everyone else comes first. Sometimes this is necessary, pets can’t fend for themselves as easily. Nor can little kids. Even our significant others often need that extra bit of help to get them through their days…

So… did you think that was one question? On first read, I did. What was the last thing I did for fun, for myself? Just for me? You’re kidding right? Let’s see… my oldest was born in 1997… oh wait… no, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But honestly, I do tend to put myself last.

Strictly for Fun

When was the last time you drove down the road, windows open, music blaring and sang along like you didn’t care? Yeah, I can’t remember either.

What about dancing around like a maniac, maniac… oops 80s flashback there. Rolling down a hill or spinning in circles until you were dizzy?

Why do we give these simple joys up?

Anyway… to answer that as one question… I’d say the 365 photo project is probably the last thing I’ve done for fun that’s just for me. I’m so glad Kim & Mel talked me into it! Is it stressful taking a photo every day? I was afraid it would be, but it’s actually been very relaxing. I’ve only had a couple days when I was either so sick or exhausted that it was the last thing I wanted to do, but it felt wrong not to do it. Do I feel a certain pressure to perform and take that “perfect shot” each day? Not really. I’m very fortunate in where I live and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on my photos, but I’ve also realized that taking and discovering the resulting photos is just something that makes me happy. Don’t get me wrong, I like it when others like the same ones I do, but I find the photos more refreshing than the comments. I have zero aspirations about getting into a magazine, gallery or anything like that, so I’m working on pleasing myself and learning the controls on my camera. My favorite shots go into rotation on my screen saver and make me smile when I walk back through the room.

Strictly for Myself

Now, you could also read “What’s the last thing you did strictly for fun? Strictly for yourself?” as two separate questions. I’m still sticking with the above for the first part… but what about “What was the last thing I did strictly for myself?” That’s a much tougher question for me. Most of my days are still focused on making sure life keeps moving around me. I’ve gotten better about taking time for myself and doing things I enjoy, but I’m also prone to letting my days slide past and then scrambling to catch up on the stuff that has to get done, leaving me stressed and overwhelmed. My mom used to laugh at me because I took my “me time” on Sunday afternoons at the grocery store. It was an hour where I knew my husband would be home with the kids and I didn’t have to do or think about anything I didn’t want to. I could have an hour of near silence! Bliss! Yup, fooled myself good there, didn’t I?

There are two things that I started doing just for me in the past year or so. Once a month, two of my friends from when my son was in Cub Scouts and I go out to brunch. We take a couple hours to visit and gossip and share what’s going on in our lives. These people help ground me and also provide perspective. It’s a nice break from routine and is now something we’ve all come to look forward to each month.

The other is taking one Saturday a month and attending my RWA SD Chapter meetings. This seems like it might be getting close to fooling myself again, but having the day to myself without family obligations and surrounding myself with other writers really helps me recharge and keep the enthusiasm levels high for writing. I’m an introvert, so this sounds counter intuitive, but my chapter is awesome that way. I don’t feel pressured to perform, I can just sit and soak up everyone’s energy and boy does that chapter have it in spades! The announcements for sales, agent requests, contests and good news takes forever to get through! I definitely wouldn’t be stepping out of my comfort zone as much as I have if not for this great group of people. An instant cheering section, a sympathetic ear AND a great resource all rolled up into one.

What? Just two days a month? 24 days a year? That’s all I take and do for myself? It doesn’t sound like much and I’m sure there are dozens of smaller things I do far more regularly, but those are the big ones that stand out for me as being significant and ones that have also made positive changes in my outlook and attitude. The fact that both incorporate the ideas of “fun” and “for myself” make all the difference for me.

Stop what you’re doing & have some fun! Do it for yourself.

YOUR TURN: So… What’s the last thing you did strictly for fun? Strictly for yourself? (Feel free to answer it as one question or two!)

And if you’d like to read about how the rest of my accountability group answered, you can find their blogs here:

* Alexia Reed * Kimberly Farris *
* Angeleque Ford * Danie Ford * Emma G. Delaney

Jan 062012

Last time, our How I Write series, we talked about which books we’d include in a time capsule for 2011. This time, we’re looking at the other side of the calendar and all the introspection and planning that comes with the beginning of a new year. The questions posed were “What did you accomplish in 2011? What one thing about last year would you change? And What are your goals for 2012?” This isn’t a new topic for my accountability group, we start assessing the current year and how we want to change and revise and plan for the coming year with SMART goals back in November.

2011 Accomplishments

I joined RWA at the national and local levels and also joined the regency era specialty chapter, the Beau Monde. I also finished BHT and submitted it to a literary agent. I haven’t heard back but it was enough to get my PRO status for RWA.

A photo of our new house.

We're homeowners again!

We bought a new house at the beginning of the year and have made significant progress on settling in and making it ours.

I made an effort to listen to music on a regular basis and got in at least 60 hours each month. I also got a new digital camera for my birthday and have been playing with it with good results. I also made an effort to reconnect with two of my friends and had brunch with them once a month.

As a family, we managed to do something together for each major holiday/vacation, saw our daughter promote from 8th grade and enter high school and celebrated DH’s 40th birthday. There were trips to D.C./Philly/NYC, L.A. and Jacksonville for educational enrichment, fun and family.

this was about half of what I’d hoped to accomplish but when it’s all listed out it sounds like a lot, considering all the usual health and chaotic interruptions.

What Needs to Change?

Less drifting along and more focus. Like water, I’m prone to take the path of least resistance. My accountability group and several members in my local RWA Chapter are amazing at prodding me along and give me the courage to move forward. I don’t have any good excuses for not chasing what I want.

2012 Goals

So, my big, hairy, audacious goals for 2012… I have more goals than what I’m laying out here, but most of them would bore you to tears. You probably won’t care if we get our bookshelves organized, if I treat myself to a spa day every 3 months, or if I make my annual donation to Juvenile Diabetes Research. Balance is important, but I feel my writing has suffered from having my attention pulled elsewhere or just drifting because I didn’t have clear paths to follow. 2012 is a year to change that.

Without further dithering on, here’s what I’m willing to stand up here and say, THIS is what I WILL accomplish this year:

  1. Attend the Nations RWA Conference in Anaheim in July. This is a HUGE for me. I’m not good with crowds or new situations. Eep.
  2. Have 2 mss out to agents & contests by the end of the year. Gotta justify my PRO pin and you can’t get a yes by never asking!
  3. Migrate my online identity to my name instead of my blog name or a nickname. Again, this is very hard for me, but needs done if I want to be taken seriously.
  4. Stop lurking and participate with other writers and with local people who energize us. One of the ways I’ll be pushing myself to interact with other writers is doing interviews here on the blog. Expect the majority to be Regency Romance, but I have a couple Victorian writers in mind that I think you’ll love too.
  5. Participate in a 365 Photo Project for 2012. Look for weekly summaries soon!

You should feel to pester me about any and all of the above if you haven’t sensed any movement from my cave in a while! Seriously.

YOUR TURN: How are you challenging yourself this year?

If you’d like to see what my friends accomplished in 2011 and have planned for 2012, you can find their blogs here:

* Alexia Reed * Kimberly Farris *
* Danie Ford * Emma G. Delaney * Angeleque Ford *

Dec 302011

Nothing like heading home right before New Year’s to either get you excited or complete exhausted for the coming year.

I’m completely exhausted, but that’s more from getting up at 4 am eastern to sneak up on the airport when my body has refused to make the switch over from pacific time. I doubt I’ll be able to sleep on the plane, but it might be a possibility today.

We’re taking the long way home. Direct flights aren’t looking very direct these days, but at least we don’t have to get off the plane and we’ll be home early afternoon. I foresee some multi-hour splattage when I reach my own bed and pillow.

My TBR pile grew over Christmas. Got a couple new historical romances and several new books on craft of writing. I don’t have the complete list handy because what’s not stuffed in my backpack is being shipped home in a box. We helped out one of the indie bookstores here by picking up several books in addition to the ones that were gifts. So expect to hear more about these later.

I think the highlight of the visit, besides spending time with family, was getting to meet Valerie Bowman (@ValerieGBowman). We spent a love hour and a half at the Starbucks near our hotel and could have stayed and talked much longer. I’m looking forward to catching up with her again at RWA Nationals in July.

Need to post this before we board… love how technology makes this possible!

Happy New Year’s to everyone in case I sleep through it! =)

Dec 202011

White Poinsettias Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and that your holiday season is merry and bright!

I’m going to be visiting with family for the next couple of weeks, and as you see today’s Regency Primer post wasn’t done in time and I might not get one next week, but they will definitely be back on January 3rd, just in time for Twelfth Night. I need to get ahead on those! Ahh, 2012 a year for a clean slate and a fresh start to building better habits.

I will still be doing the Friday “How I Write” posts, so the blog won’t be completely dark. And I have some special things in the works for the blog in the next year. So, exciting.

Thank you for being part of the conversation here! You guys always make me smile.

Nov 182011
Photo of a Christmas Tree with eclectic ornaments.

A typical Koster Christmas tree.

This week, my accountability group is writing about “Holiday Plans and Are You Writing?” Last week, we blogged about the topic of “Where do you stand?” in terms of our writer’s journeys. The entries are part of our How I Write series.

Ya know, I’ve always wondered about Chris Baty’s sanity for picking November for NaNoWriMo. Then I think, “Student, not mother!” and nod to myself and keep going. My plans on the NaNo front went well for the first week and then I hit a wall. Having kids home sick from school on a revolving basis this week didn’t help either. I’ve been trying not to catch whatever they’ve had, but my focus and motivation has been completely shot in the whole process.

I enjoy the holiday season, but I’m always looking forward to the restful and relaxing aspects of it more than the hustle and bustle. I was sickened by seeing Christmas decorations up in the stores before Halloween weekend. The idea of Black Friday sends me to the corner to curl up in a whimpering ball. Cyber Monday is more my speed, but I try to spread it out through the month of November and the first week or two of December.

While I was growing up, the Holidays always meant food, family and travel. Thanksgiving has always meant a lot on my dad’s side of the family which traces its roots to the Mayflower and beyond. Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole with the pineapple and marshmallows, fresh yeast rolls, Apple Harvest Cake and pumpkin pie have always had our table groaning. But last November 1st, DH and I gave up grains, legumes, potatoes and most white sugar. Thanksgiving felt kinda funky. Not as funky as the year we went to his uncle’s in NYC and didn’t have turkey, but a huge pork roast. My Puritan roots were shocked, but I survived. Christmas dinner is usually a replay of Thanksgiving as well.

The biggest take away here is that our routine shifted and we survived. I HATE change and new things. But I’m learning lots of new tricks as I work on trying to build up my discipline and continue to improve my craft while balancing it with the bustling life around me. I think I’ve learned that I can’t throw all my hopes and dreams into the single biggest writing month of the year (NaNoWriMo), not and still maintain any resemblance to balance and sanity.

So about those promised tips in the title… They may sound sarcastic in places, they may be a little tongue-in-cheek in others, but they are all things that I’ve found that help me and to me are worth trading money for time and sanity in some cases. Your mileage may vary, but do what you can to keep your creative tanks full.

How I Write While Dealing With Holiday Madness:

  1. Consider an Online Christmas — All your ordering can be done between writing breaks and many offer gift wrapping options. And really, who has time to wrap? We seriously considered saying it was an Amazon themed Christmas one year and the boxes would have been deemed as acceptable. Saves your gas and time and sanity! Ok, maybe not the most carbon conscious option, but it still has appeal. Just don’t hand your kids scotch-taped boxes and tell them to wrap their own presents. I HATED not knowing what was in those boxes until Christmas Day. (*waves* Hi, Mother!)
  2. Add Writing Time to your Wish List — You won’t get it if you don’t ask for it. And if you ask nicely in advance, I’ve found people are more likely to respect your time and space. I also find that just taking it by getting up earlier than everyone else works wonders. They get to feel superior because they slept in so late, and you get a quiet house to yourself — until they get up. At which point, feel free to direct this hapless soul that has wandered into your creative space to dump the ingredients for dinner in the crockpot to let you finish this section.
  3. Decide What Matters Most — Only YOU can answer this one. Plan according to your priorities and don’t feel guilty about it. If you have a family, next summer consider talking about what people enjoy doing most during the winter holidays and adjust your traditions to drop ones that no one likes or try new ones that appeal to your family’s values and tastes. If something doesn’t work for you, make a note of it so you don’t repeat it next year.
  4. Make Ahead Meals — Dump chicken is a staple in my freezer. Buy a bargain tray of boneless skinless chicken breasts or thicker pork chops. Buy a couple bottles of BBQ, Italian Dressing, Ranch Dressing and some quart-sized ziploc freezer bags. For my family of 4, I put 4 breasts or equivalent servings of chops in a ziploc. Then add approximately 3/4 cup of the BBQ, Italian or Ranch Dressing (I also add some minced garlic and some black pepper to this one). Zip and freeze flat. You can bake one of those suckers from frozen at 350˚F for 50-60 minutes and get two solid 25 minute writing sprints in while it cooks. It marinates as it freezes and also more if you let it thaw first, but honestly, who remembers to do that in time?!
  5. Make Sacrifices to the Crockery Gods — I can’t tell you how many times throwing something into the crockpot in the morning has saved my bacon! Look for simple recipes with 5 ingredients or less, dump chicken and pork loins work well for this too. Most of dinner cooks while you’re doing your thing. Husbands and teens CAN be taught to dump the ingredients in. They may claim to have forgotten how the next time, but this is where all that practice at being a persistent writer comes pays off!
  6. Pamper Yourself — De-stress by relaxing. Curl up and read a book. Go see a movie. Go get a mani-pedi if that’s your thing. You’re running around doing everything for everyone else right now, right? Hopefully, they won’t forget you deserve to be pampered and treated like royalty, but… yeah. Trust me on this one. You’ll feel better for giving yourself a treat like this in the middle of the chaos.
  7. Holiday Parties, Concerts, & Get Togethers — Don’t let them get you down. They’re a great opportunity for people watching! If you see or overhear something you’re afraid you’ll forget, slip into the bathroom and pull out your trusty notebook or smart phone or whatever and note it down for later! Same thing goes for that Aha! moment that strikes you in the middle of the concert… don’t lose it!
  8. Say ‘NO!’ When Appropriate — You know your deadlines and obligations. Don’t short-change your own goals just because every family on the block has invited you over for some eggnog and carols. You know the connections you can’t miss, but you’re not lying if you say you have other plans and what you mean is you want to write. Give yourself the gift of time for yourself.
  9. Houseguests — Whether you have them or are one… be sure to schedule downtime for everyone. Some may need more than others.
  10. Remember Why You Celebrate— To me, this is the most important one… if my writing slips, it slips. If my holiday prep slips, it slips. I’d much rather spend time with the people I love having a good time than run around like a chicken with its head cut off, scrambling to get everything done and feel miserable about it.

YOUR TURN: With the holidays’ coming up, what are you holiday plans? What are your favorite holiday food traditions? And how are you plan to balance your creative endeavors with your real life obligations? Or are you taking a break?

And if you’d like to read about how the rest of my group approaches their research, you can find their blogs here:

* Alexia Reed * Angeleque Ford * Danie Ford *
* Emma G. Delaney * Kimberly Farris *

Oct 072011

Leaf with Heavy DewThis week my accountability group is blogging about our hobbies and what we do when we’re not writing. Last week’s post on Writer’s Block is also part of our How I Write series.

Some days I don’t think I have time for hobbies. But then I remember just how much I spend reading. Mostly Science Fiction, Fantasy, YA, Historical Romance and some contemporary and paranormal romance as well. We need more bookshelves but don’t have room for them.

I have a bunch of other hobbies that I enjoy puttering around with, but am not very serious about: cooking, gardening, sewing. None of those ever felt like something I was passionate about enough to pursue in any real sense.

I like to cook and bake, but it’s more of a way to share with family and friends. I’d judge myself a competent if sometimes uninspired cook. Gardening, I’ve posted a lot of pictures lately about it, but the plants either live or not. I’m enjoying the process, but I’m not tied to it.

I learned to sew in 7th grade for a home-ec class. Picked a fairly difficult pattern and beat it before it defeated me. When my daughter was a toddler, I made many of her dresses. I even made a pair of overalls for my son with an adorable cow print. The most ambitious project I took on was my daughter’s colonial costume for 5th grade. I know where the flaws are and I beat myself up about them, but it came out pretty well. But again, competent but not passionate.

I’ve always been a gamer. I’m a sucker for a puzzle that needs solving. I managed to work two years as a professional game designer and ran an online text adventure game based on world history and mythology for over ten years. In some ways, I was TOO passionate about that one. Again, I was competent, but I could see more than I was able to implement or direct. So now, I just play and complain to DH who’s still doing it for a living. Hey, he gets a free sounding board!

The other hobby that I keep coming back to and seems to run in my family is photography. My great-grandfather was an art collector. My grandfather was a professional photographer in the ’30s and always seemed to have a camera at hand. My father seemed to collect cameras and my mom still has a kazillion and three boxes of slides in her hall closet. One of my cousins has also been bitten by the shutter bug and I’m astounded by the stuff he comes up with.

I asked for and got a SLR camera as a high school graduation present. Before then, I’d had dinky little box cameras, and even a disc camera. But I wanted a REAL camera. That thing was HEAVY. I drug it all over the place. I even got additional lenses for it. I spent hours setting up “art shots”. I took pictures of the people around me. I loved taking pictures of cityscapes and landscapes.

But when I graduated from college and got married, for some reason, I decided it was too heavy and cumbersome and what we needed was one of those little idiot proof cameras. Yep. Pretty much killed my desire to take pictures. Oh, we’ve got the requisite pictures of the kids when they were little, but not much else. At least from my point of view. DH takes a camera with him when he travels and he’s got some gorgeous ones to show for it.

AnDew Covered Bushyway, I decided this past year, what I wanted for my birthday was a digital SLR camera. It’s so LIGHT! ok. It’s still kinda bulky, but it’s got a lot of bells and whistles I missed with the point and shoots. So I’ve been playing with that just about every week since I got it. Most of the photos I’ve used in the posts lately have been mine. I find that some work, some don’t, but I WANT to learn how to use it better.

I gave in and upgraded my flickr account to PRO because I’d overrun the 200 photo limit for the photostream.

Alexia Reed, Kimberly Farris and I are trying to talk each other into doing a 365 project next year, which because it’s leap year, it’ll actually be 366. I think they’re more convinced than I am, but I think it’ll be a good way to learn my camera and do a bit of local tourism at the same time. There’s got to be a reason I keep coming back to this.

Your Turn: What hobbies do you enjoy?

And if you’d like to read about what the rest of my group does when they’re not writing, you can find their blogs here:

* Alexia Reed * Angeleque Ford * Danie Ford *
* Emma G. Delaney * Kimberly Farris *

Holiday Madness

 Thoughts  Comments Off on Holiday Madness
Dec 172010

You thought the holidays were crazy all on their own? Try adding house hunting in the mix. Our current lease is up at the end of the year and we started looking mid-November and quickly found a house, only to have to go under contract before we could turn in our loan paperwork during the week of Thanksgiving. We were saddened by this, but kept looking for a house that would keep our kids in the same school boundaries so they wouldn’t get split up from their friends.

So we found another house in the same neighborhood (about 5 miles from our current location) and made an offer, which after a few rounds of negotiations, we reached an agreement. Yesterday was the inspection. No big surprises or problems for a house of its age and everyone who’s seen pictures so far, loves the kitchen. I don’t think the kids got farther than looking at the pool with the water slide and checking they’d go to the same school.

So now, I’m playing the hurry up and wait game. We close at the end of January, so I’m trying to grab as much writing time before family arrives next week for the holidays and I have to organize the logistics of moving the household across those five miles and keeping as much of our digital contact information the same as possible.

I was telling one friend, it looks fast, chaotic and impulsive, but no one really gets to see how many times we asked if we should start looking or how much inertia we (“We”, maybe it’s just me?) have to overcome to be willing turn my life upside down like this.

Oh, and as far as the holidays being in the mix? The last time we moved, seven years ago, had an even shorter timetable. We decided we would rent instead of buy over Thanksgiving weekend and moved into our current residence on January 2nd. Yep. Ripped down the tree and ran. Glad it’s not going to be quite that hectic, but at least we can keep the tree up for Twelfth Night this year.

Be sure to stop by again on Monday, it’s Excerpt Monday, and I’ll have a new Regency-flavored snippet up. I’m also dusting off my list of blog topics for the new year and hope to do something completely different and less random for Excerpt Mondays next year by putting up sequential snippets that will wrap up in December.

Happy Holidays! Family arrives on Monday and leaves with the New Year so I’m liable to be fairly scarce between now and then.