Oh man. I was a volunteer for Dom's field trip yesterday to a local berry farm. Oh man. Did I already say that? OH MAN. Haha.
There were about 21 little Kindergarten-ers running and screaming in every direction. But I think they all had a great time, which I guess is the important thing. I, on the other hand, although I did remember to wear sunblock, apparently forgot to put any on my head (?!) and got sunburned pretty badly on the patch of scalp in my part. Owwwww. Note to self - wear a hat next time. Note to self - who are you kidding, you hate hats.
Anyway, this little cutie picked a bunch of strawberries and then proceeded to squish most of them. We had maybe one or two salvageable strawberries from his batch. Good thing Mommy kept her berries safe. Potential meltdown averted.
Look at this happy, berry-squishing face.
Final note to self: Daddy is volunteering for the next field trip. For realz.
It's OK. You can believe your eyes. Yes, this is me... actually posting on my blog. For the first time in like 3+ months. I had to take an involuntary hiatus due to my laptop acting all wonky. But now it's working again, woohoo!
Gosh. This feels weird. What have you guys been up to? I have so much to share, I don't even know where to start!
We took the boys to the Baltimore Aquarium recently. They had a blast! I think we heard about sharks and octopus and seahorses for DAYS. :)
I also attended a "Muffins with Mom" Mother's Day event at Will's daycare.
And I've recently made some huge changes to my lifestyle. I'm talking working out (I know! I can't believe it either!) and eating well and just all around taking better care of myself. More on that in future posts. I have some before and after pics of myself that I'm still not sure I can wrap my head around. But you'll have to stay tuned for that. ;)
We're also trying to be more active as a family. Check us out on our family walk to the park in our neighborhood.
OK, so that's my quick and dirty recap of what's been going on lately. I hope there are still some of you that will read this, haha. I've missed youuuuuu. It's good to be back. Ciao!
Hey Guys! I know it's been awhile, I've missed you. I have a super duper reason for writing today. I want to introduce you to one of my absolute favorite authors, the one, the only - Bart Hopkins! Bart's short story, Donations, appears in the book Stalkers - A Collection of Thriller Stories, edited by Cynthia Shepp and Rene Folsom. More on the book later in this post. But first, Señor Bart has a few words he'd like to say. Take it away, kind sir!
Many thanks for sharing your blog with me today!
The minimalist intro … I’m an indie author, a regular guy who likes to write, and probably talks too much. Through friendly people, I find myself with you now, so sit back, relax, and let me ramble … I promise not to embarrass anyone, except myself.
The other day I found my daughter, sprawled across one of our couches, plugged in to her iPod. She was bobbing her head to music I couldn’t hear.
“What are you listening to?” I asked her.
“Oh, this awesome song I found on the computer … ‘Emotion’ by the Bee Gees?”
I chuckled … she had used a hard “G” when she said Bee Gees … like a bee in a karate gi.
She asked me what was funny, so I told her about the mispronunciation. She laughed and told me she’d never heard of the Bee Gees.
“That’s probably because they were around before you were born—that song is about twenty-three years older than you!” I told her.
“Really?” she asked.
“Wow, well, it’s really good.” She sounded surprised. Like, maybe, good music didn’t begin until her generation.
Our conversation made me think about the timeless nature of music. There’s no expiration date on a good song; it simply lives forever. And that’s pretty cool—powerful even. It’s something we can rely on to hold the chaos at bay.
There was a time when music ruled my little world, and I thought it would always be at the core of everything I did. I made mixed-tapes, doodled favorite lyrics on folders in grade school, and there was always a tune playing inside my head.
Things gradually changed. I got older. Playlists replaced mixed-tapes. But, every now and then, I still find the old magic…
Sometimes when I’m writing—I slap on a pair of headphones—and the world around me disappears for a few minutes. The same thing happens when I’m reading.
What does this all mean? Ahh, who knows. I’m just a guy who likes music and makes up stories. As with songs, some of my stories are bright and filled with sunshine. Others aren’t so shiny and happy … like this little story called Donations:
An Excerpt From Donations by Bart Hopkins
(Available in the anthology: Stalkers)
While Clarissa was at the library waiting for a patrol car to arrive, he was parked, waiting patiently, down the street from her townhome.
He pushed his right hand into the pocket of his jeans, let his fingers caress the treasure he had waiting there, and smiled salaciously. He pulled his hand out of his pocket and removed two silver keys.
The first key was a copy of the other key. He’d had it made earlier that same day…
…the other key opened Clarissa’s front door.
He smiled again. He couldn’t believe his good fortune.
After watching her leave for work, he’d done a little poking around. Most people kept a spare key hidden near their home. He did. So, he figured, maybe Clarissa did, too.
It only took him a few minutes to find it. It was in a Ziploc bag, pushed into the loose soil of her potted plant; she hadn’t even buried it all the way. He saw it almost as soon as he looked there. It was as if she were begging for something to happen…
He knew her routines. He knew she would be gone for a while. Having her key copied was a walk in the park. Like taking candy from a baby.
Placing her key back into the clear baggie, he jumped out of his car, and walked to her door. Nobody shouted at him when he stooped down and pushed the key back into its pathetic hiding place. No sirens sounded. His actions went unobserved.
He took his copy and put it into the keyhole. It twisted easily.
He couldn’t stop the smile from spreading across his face, stretching it so taut that wrinkles of concentric half-circles dominated his cheeks. He was giddy from the excitement he felt. The fact that she could come down the street any second only made it all the more exciting.
Bart Hopkins is originally from Galveston, Texas, but currently resides in Germany. He has been an Air Force weatherman for nearly 20 years.
He feels that his background in weather bridged naturally into the world of storytelling. He hopes to one day achieve global peace through his writing—one individual at a time.
Bart has written two novels—Texas Jack and Fluke—and has a book of short stories, Dead Ends. He blogs. He’s on a permanent quest to find the time to be lazy. Stalk him at www.barthopkins.com or www.facebook.com/barthopkinsauthor.
I really hope you grab a copy of Stalkers and check our Bart's story, Donations, along with the other stories in the anthology. Because sometimes you just need a good thrill. Amiright?
Here's a little more info on the book and where you can snag a copy. Oh, and there might be a nifty little giveaway for you, too. Maybe.
Stalkers: A Collection of Thriller Stories
Edited and compiled by Cynthia Shepp and Rene Folsom
Shadows follow you in the darkness of the night and the eerie sensation of being watched crawls up your spine. Your sanity pulls apart at the seams as the terrors stalk their victims, leaving you too frightened to turn off the light.
These twisted stories will leave you breathless, dreading the horrors lurking around the corner.
Seventeen authors. Seventeen tales of terror. Infinite nightmares.
Happy New Year! Or as I like to call it, happy "get used to messing up the year on forms for the next 3 months". :)
I originally planned a 2013 recap post for you all, but lezbehonest - I think everybody has overdosed on those posts, right? Besides, it's not like I did anything super duper extraordinary.
But I really am looking forward to a new year and a fresh start. There's alway something so promising about beginning a new year. I mean, heck, we're all still alive and that freaking counts for something, right?!
I do have some goals for 2014, but I think I'll save that for another post. But I do want to share with you some things that I'm looking forward to in 2014.
-Going to a Justin Timberlake concert *swoon*
-My kids turning 6 and 4
-Being together with hubs for 13 years and married for 7
-Going on a family vacation (hopefully)
-Peace, love, and happiness... and all that jazz.
Tell me, what are you looking forward to in the new year?
Well hello there! Hope everybody had a nice holiday. We definitely had a wonderful time celebrating together and with family.
I feel like being a parent and experiencing Christmas through our kids' eyes is better than any present that you can buy in a store. Dom and Will just get so excited - yes, excited for toys, they are kids after all - but also excited about the possibility of snow, and family time and Santa and just the magic and wonder of the season.
Some days I complain that they are so spoiled, but I also know that they and we are so blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who love our little guys.
So anyway, all of this to say that I hope that you all are surrounded with love and family during the holidays. And fill your buckets with joy. <3
Didja miss me? I've missed you like a skinny kid loves salad. My laptop battery won't hold a charge anymore and I have no funds to replace it... So blogging has taken a bit of a backseat. I'm officially blogging on my iPad right now, so if stuff looks wonky, I apologize.
Anyway, fill me in, what's been up with you guys? I've had a bit of a bout of seasonal depression, I think. Will's 3rd birthday was at the beginning of this month and I couldn't manage to do more than buy him a cookie cake to celebrate. Mom of the year award right here. But luckily he thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread and asks for cookie cake every day. So a partial win, I guess.
Then, we decided, out of financial necessity of course, that we wouldn't buy presents for anyone but the kids. We just cannot afford it. And on the one hand, it has eliminated a lot of stress and I haven't had to face any of the crazed shopping hordes. But on the other hand, I miss it because I love buying presents for people! Le sigh.
And I had a weeklong visit from the stomach bug fairy. No sugar plums here, just visions of barf dancing in my head. I'm feeling much, much better though!
But we did get our Christmas tree up. It has lights, but no ornaments. What? #ghettofabulouschristmas
Anyway, just wanted to check in and let y'all know I'm still around. Xo