This Book Writing Thing is Haaaaaarrrrrdddd!

Can I tell you how much I do not like 5:00 a.m.?

I haven’t been up this early–or let’s be real, stayed up this late–since college. Which has been a minute. Even with all four of my babies, they at least went back to sleep for a few hours. And now I jump roll out of bed before the butt crack of dawn and I don’t like it.

But I have to do this because I am writing my second book. My sophomore effort. My #2. And 5:00 a.m. is the only time that I ever have a moment to think a thought all the way through to fruition. This is kinda important if you call yourself a writer.

And I am a writer. I accidentally wrote my first book called My Pink Champagne Life a few years ago. I didn’t start out to write a book; I had just been through a lot of changes and truly writing was my therapy. There were no expectations; no one even knew I was writing a book except my husband. And there were no deadlines. I was free to let my creative process go where it may. Which is why I wrote most of the book in late 2011-early 2012 and it didn’t come out until February of this year.

I’m not great with deadlines.

Now I have both expectations and deadlines and I’m a little bit nervous. Not to mention I still don’t really know what I’m doing. My plate is so much more full now that I’m on my next effort and I get a little scared. Since I write about my traveling circus family, I am opening up the door to our complete crazy for the whole world to view, judge, peer into. It’s a bit disconcerting if I think about it too long.

And this time around I’m writing about seriously hard and life-changing things. Life-shattering things. I don’t know about you other writers out there but for me it’s a bit like living through it all again when I write about the last two years of our story. I’m using words like PTSD and traumatic brain injury and financial hardships and four kids and baby spit up and caregiving, you know, real sexy topics.

But I believe in telling the truth. And the truth is our story isn’t always rainbows and butterflies like I would like it to be. My hope is that maybe my truth will help someone else in the midst of a truth they didn’t want any part of. That maybe our story and our crazy and our suffering followed by absolute redemption will give hope to someone who is buried in a dark corner and believes they are all alone.

Have I mentioned how much I hate 5:00 a.m.? For the foreseeable future this is my waking time. But I am trying to appreciate the benefits this provides me. I am watching sunrises that are gorgeous beyond belief. I get to hear and feel and breathe in the silence while everyone else is sleeping peacefully. There is an openness to my spirit at this time of the morning, before the day has corrupted my thoughts or pushed me down or some days, run me over. I am more alive, more vibrant, more me during my quiet time than any other part of the day.

It’s when I’m Meredith.

Not caregiver or mama or employee or chauffeur or wife or maid or any of the other hats that I wear. I love my hats. But sometimes it feels good to just be me.

I am a writer. Of books and thoughts and talks and life. It’s difficult sometimes, but it’s exactly where I am supposed to be.

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) Copyright Meredith Shafer 201

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Waiting Room

As I stood in line at Panera, my regular coffee place on the seven year old’s OT days since it’s next door to therapy, I had time to think about waiting. It seems I’ve been doing a lot of the stuff lately and frankly (as my friend Amy would say right here, “Don’t call me Frankly!”), I don’t enjoy it.

Is there anyone out there who does?

Waiting in lines, waiting for the mail, waiting for pay day (can I get an amen here?), waiting for breakthroughs and returned calls and lights to change. We all do a lot of waiting.

This calls for patience on our parts and that is something I’m terrible at. I’m working on it but it’s slow going friends. I fully admit I’m an instant gratification kind of gal. I’ve waited for exactly thirty seconds and I’m ready to walk out the door. Hello!

But as I get older (and hopefully, wiser) I am learning about the Waiting Room. This is the place you go when you’re waiting for one of the aforementioned things to happen. Instead of pacing from one side to the other of it like a wild caged animal as I usually do, gnashing my teeth and complaining the whole way, I’m trying to shift my perspective to one of gratitude for this room.

The Waiting Room, if we’re patient enough to notice while we’re in it, is fully stocked with important and necessary items for our journey. We need to be learning and storing up and preparing while we’re in that room. I have a feeling that if we don’t there’s the possibility our time in the room might get extended. Or we might be sorely disappointed when we exit.

That room, that Waiting Room is where change happens, often before we know it. Circumstances outside that room are changing and moving and morphing into directions and places and people while we’re in our Waiting Room cocoon. We often find ourselves facing trouble or the unknown or something that makes us turn up our nose when we exit. 

When that happens I would posit two questions to you:

1) Did you leave the Waiting Room too early, growing impatient with yourself and the process and the reasons God may have allowed you time in there in the first place?

2) Did you learn what you were supposed to while you were there?

If things aren’t going the way you hoped or planned or thought, ask yourself those questions. Maybe you won’t have the answer you wanted but you might have a new direction.

Wait.

Hope.

Learn.

Breathe.

And wait some more if you have to. When it’s finally time to leave the Waiting Room, it will be that much sweeter and more wonderful than you could imagine.

(photo credit YouTube) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

I would love to connect with you on Instagram and Twitter, swing by and say hi! 

Coffee Quote

  
Sweet nectar! What would I do without you?!

This post brought to you by coffee, a girl’s best friend😍☕️

Happy Thursday!

I would love to connect with you on Instagram and Twitter, swing by and say hi!

(Photo credit lostbumblebee.blogspot.com) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Building Blocks

In the midst of the crazy at our house, we have a kid who loves Legos. This child doesn’t like to follow instructions; he’s more of a free-lancer when it comes to building. He thinks very creatively and has a big heart and loves him some Jesus. 

I get this kid.

He’s seven so there aren’t a lot of worries or concerns on his end. That is as it should be. He will stop what he’s doing if he hears a great song just to break dance. This is the kid who still runs to give me a hug, who desperately needs snuggles, who longs for everyone to be friends.

He’s also my kid that struggles. With nearly everything. From shoe tying to handwriting to cutting food to controlling his body and his mouth from out-bursting. 

He gets frustrated, we get frustrated. 

This sweet boy who is smart and funny and creative is just starting to get a glimpse at the fact that he is different from his peers. With some sensory issues and auditory processing things going on, sitting in a classroom for hours on end–even with the best teachers–is so excruciating. He is so special, and he is going to do great things. He doesn’t even know yet that he’s a real-life superhero.

We just have to survive school. 

I’ve already had a call this morning from his teacher about his day yesterday. Can I tell you how much of a failure I feel like? She was very kind, and I think she is starting to see that we are all working very hard to make his school experience a positive one. And I am trying my hardest to make sure we are at every therapy available every week, to get him on an IEP, to do all the extra homework and exercises and diet changes. But so far it’s just not enough. It’s hard to feel like doing your best isn’t enough.

I guess I need more patience with the process. Change doesn’t come swiftly enough for this Mama who sees her baby struggling despite his hard work. The struggle is only magnified by the older brother and younger sister to whom things come very easily.

And then I remind myself that because this boy is such a gift to our family, the kid who patiently and creatively puts his Legos together in wonderful and unusual ways, we are using the building blocks of therapies and patience and hugs and stickers for good jobs and excercises and communication and lots and lots of love to help ease his path. 

It may never be as straight and simple as his siblings’ paths, but it has already given him a compassionate heart for helping others.

I guess if you build it, they really will come.

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

I would love to connect with you on Instagram and Twitter, swing by and say hello! 

Laundry

Have I mentioned yet how much I hate laundry? 

It may be a smidge out of control and my helpers are only mildly effective at best. One of them who shall remain nameless is constantly undoing all of the laundry we’ve already folded. As proof I’m including an actual un-retouched photo of my laundry room–and it’s not even the worst it’s ever been. 

I should probably be embarrassed. But this is real life y’all! 

To stay on top of the amount of clothes needing washed I really need to do two loads every day. I blame Mr. Wonderful for this–because he is a giant his clothes are humongous and take up lots of room. Truly I am in need of a visit from the Laundry Fairy.

I need her to whisk away my dirty laundry and exchange it for clean and sparkly. She seems to be to busy to drop by these days.

Does anyone else ever run a load of laundry, forget about it because you got busy with twenty-seven other things and then have to re-wash it? Twice?

Yeah, me either.

Mr. Wonderful tries to help out but he has the Mad Cow which means his short term memory makes it nearly impossible to remember about that load of clothes he put in. Sometimes I re-wash his loads and mine. The silver lining here though is that when our clothes are clean they’re CLLLEEEEAAAAANNNN!

I’m hoping to get to some laundry later today as my children have informed me they have nothing to wear tomorrow. But I also know my limitations: I have two work appointments and a speech therapy appointment for the seven year old, plus dinner, homework and baths to navigate. It might not happen.

It’s ok, that’s what I have Febreeze for….😉

Anyone else brave enough to post a pic of their laundry room?

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015. I would love to connect with you on Instagram @MyPinkChampagneLife and Twitter @MyPinkChampLife. Swing by and say hello!

Running Behind

In this Traveling Circus we call family, there are so many rings going at any given time that I can barely keep up. Throw in some technology snafus (like my WordPress app still not working-hey WordPress people, can you hear me? Is anybody out there?), a book deadline, my busy season at work, the end of the summer and hopefully the end of all the wrangling we’ve been doing with the VA to get Mr. Wonderful’s rating sorted out, and truth be told I’m plumb wore out.

I also find that the more I’m writing for my book, the less juice I have to out in the page here. Thus, I’ve been fairly neglectful of story-telling and encouraging and even reading everyone’s blogs. Please catch me up!

How are you? What’s been going on in your worlds blog friends? I’ve missed you and I’m dying for an update!

I swear I’m having so many technology issues I just want to throw my hands up and say fine, you win! I accidentally even posted this already before it’s been finished or proofed or anything. Sorry if you read the incomplete piece and assumed I have gotten stupider over the last few weeks!

I admit it’s possible….

I’m really writing to say I’m still here, I care so much about all y’all and appreciate how you just keep coming back and supporting a hot mess like myself! Please comment updates in case my reader isn’t working again as well!!

Much love and I can’t wait to catch up with you!

(photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015. Don’t worry, we were stopped to eat at a drive thru. They always wear seatbelt a when we’re actually driving!) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Keep Going

Sometimes survival is the word of the day. Are you just surviving? Are you drowning or overwhelmed today?

Some days, weeks, months, seasons are just too much. But when you’re in the middle of too much, remind yourself to…

Breathe. Rest. Then keep going.

It doesn’t matter if you go fast or slow, it just matters that you don’t quit. Keep pushing, keep trying, keep moving forward.

You are strong and brave and today you are closer to your God-given destiny than you were yesterday.

#NeverGiveUp #PTSD #inspire

(photo credit playbuzz.com) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Calling All Techies!

My WordPress app isn’t working on my phone! This is a disaster as I write all my blog posts from my phone in between taking kids to therapy appointments, ballgames, sno cone runs and the like. And also because I’m so technologically challenged that I’m scared to try and fix it😁😁😁

Anyone out there who can walk me through what I should do? I have an iPhone if that helps anything…

Thanks in advance!

(Photo credit idealistmom.com) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

We Made It to Wednesday!

Hope your Hump Day is splendiferous!   Do something amazing today, you’ll thank me later😉(Photo credit thebluedollhouse.com)

I would love to connect with you on Facebook and Instagram at My Pink Champagne Life or Twitter @MyPinkChampLife. Swing by and say hello!

MIA

I haven’t been as disciplined at blogging this summer. I’ve been tripping over, uh, spending time with my kids and that sometimes means I’m not writing here.
I’m a little torn because I love this blog world but I know it’s time well spent when I’m memory-making with my munchkins. I’m also spending most of my writing time working on the follow-up to my book, trying my best to make my sophomore effort not suck. 

It’s the last day of June and I feel like it’s all slipping by so fast! I want to just hang on to every sticky, sun-drenched moment and fill it with sno cones, pool time, lightning bugs. I want the sounds of crickets to be my nighttime lullabye beyond this season. If only it could stay summer and my babies could be these perfect ages and we could ruin our dinner with fro-yo forever.

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015
The boys wrestling, it looks like the baby’s winning!

It’s a struggle. I want my new writing and speaking career to go already. But I don’t want to miss a thing with my kids. I don’t know how to have it all but I do know this: I’m not going to quit trying to have my version of “all.” I’m going to keep pushing and shoving when it comes to my writing and personal career satisfaction. And I’m going to keep cramming as many sweet sunshiny memories down my kids’ throats-they’re only under my roof for a short time. 

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015
 

It’s all happening now, and I’m doing my best to just hang on and enjoy the ride. 

Blessings, friends!

I would love to connect with you on Facebook and Instagram at My Pink Champagne Life or Twitter @MyPinkChampLife. Swing by and say hello!