#NaNoWriMo 2013 Final Results

Well, I know I posted my “I did it!” post at the end of last month…but for my records (& frankly so I can throw away the little Post-it note that kept my running total word count that bothers my husband since it’s still by the computer), I’m posting my NaNoWriMo 2013 progress here:

Fri, 11/1 – 3,443
Mon, 11/4 – 7,359 (+3,916)
Tues, 11/5 – 10,228 (+2,929)
Wed, 11/6 – 14,006 (+3,718)
Thurs, 11/7 – 17,779 (+3,773)
Fri, 11/8 – 18,873 (+1,094)
Sat, 11/9 – 20,572 (+1,699)
Mon, 11/11 – 25,038 (+4,466)
Tues, 11/12 – 26,814 (+1,776)
Wed, 11/13 – 30,506 (+3,692)
Fri, 11/15 – 34,091 (+3,585)
Sat, 11/16 – 35,562 (+1,471)
Mon, 11/18 – 40,105 (+4,543)
Tues, 11/19 – 42,529 (+2,424)
Wed, 11/20 – 43,672 (+1,143)
Mon, 11/25 – 46,838 (+3,166)
Tues, 11/26 – 50,497 (+3,659)

I have a difficult time taking credit for what I can do. Frankly, I was supremely happy and generally amazed that I could write so many words each day. I felt blessed by progress on days I applied myself to writing, and I had more than enough “days off” to balance kiddos and homework and appointments and date night and church (& all the other stuff I do in my non-spare time…)! I feel blessed to have been able to accomplish this goal, and I am eternally grateful for each of you for supporting me! I couldn’t have done this without you!!!

2013-Winner-Square-Button NaNoWriMo

Sending you all the best!!!!

Living Proof

Image Copyright Sarah Knight Photography
Image Copyright Sarah Knight Photography

I understand that this idea is not a new one. I don’t claim it to be my own…and yet, in a way, it is entirely mine because it is my journey.

I have been watching myself lately–observing, reflecting–as if someone on the outside of my life was witnessing me live.

(Not like an out-of-body-experience, mind you, but a real, contemplative, on-purpose type of living and pondering my choices.)

I have been willfully trying to put God first in my life and watch what He can do with me…and I am amazed with what I see.

I have written more words per day than ever before in my life. I have been more grateful. I have been more positive. I have been less selfish. I have more love in my heart. I have thought more of others. I have been more alive.

I like myself better.

When I live according to the life that God has planned for me, I am happier. When I am able to be an instrument in His hands, together we make beautiful music.

Now, I still have pain. I’m still stressed (in moments). I still struggle. My house isn’t clean all the time. My kids eat cereal and grilled cheese for dinner more than I would like to admit. But my outlook is better. And my faith is stronger.

I am living proof that if we feed our spirits with His word and turn our lives over to Him, He will do more with us than we could ever accomplish ourselves. And that, my dears, is truly amazing.

An adventure was going to happen…

I used to have a Classic Winnie the Pooh stamp that had the phrase on it, “An adventure was going to happen…” (which I often read and puzzled over in my youthful mind). The drawing under the words captured a moment with Christopher Robin holding the hand of Winnie the Pooh as they headed off into some unknown direction, facing new sights, smells, sounds, (and most likely some honey at some point for Pooh Bear’s rumbly tummy).

On the other side of over a decade of marriage, several children, heart leaps and heartaches, I have found that to be my experience almost every day of every year (minus the honey, of course).

I used to (and still work hare at overcoming this tendency…especially on tired days) be quite negative. I used to be more like Eeyore, noticing the little black rain cloud that stood just over my head (but no one else’s). I claimed that cloud in the name of realism and carefully placed my personal flag within the grey puffs of condensation and brewing storms, like Neil Armstrong posting red, white, and blue stars and stripes on craters of a heavenly sphere in 1969. While I was under my little cloud, I could find all the sad, despairing circumstances in which I lived each day.


photo credit

But I wasn’t happy.

And I wanted desperately to be happy.

So I changed.

I changed from Eeyore to Winnie the Pooh…a little less steeped in “reality” and a little more optimistic. I’m trying to look at each day as an adventure. I’m learning that blessings come in small and large packages, and one of the most amazing blessings of all is the gift of friendship. I’m finding quiet and loud moments of joy.

And I am happy.
🙂


photo credit

Cleaning House

While mopping my lovely kitchen floor this morning, I was scrubbing away at crumbs of dark chocolate brownie imbedded into grout lines, wiping away dots of milk from yesterday’s cereal breakfast, and I found something.  Guess what it was…?!?!?!

A dot of paint.

No one has painted the house since we moved into it (and we’ve been here awhile).  So, as I was on the floor, scrubbing away on my hands and knees this morning, that particular spot of paint spoke to me.  I have washed this floor many times in the same manner, and I would’ve almost sworn that I had covered every inch of the beige, textured tile with my hands meticulously washing away dirt from former residents and new dirt of our own….

A dot of paint!

I missed a spot…with my eyes…with my hands.  Alas, I am not perfect at mopping the floor.

I’m not perfect at anything.  I don’t know how long that dot of paint has been there…but today it is gone.  And I thought about life….

…and how we all have spots and stains and imperfections and dots of paint in our lives.  For some of us, we may be struggling with honesty; others may worry.  Some of us live with fear, instability, lack of self-confidence, pride, loneliness…and any other multitude of issues we would like to change.  As I scrubbed that spot away, peeling back its stubborn stickiness from the tile, I felt free.  I felt amazing.  I felt confident that the floor was CLEAN, PURE, SPOTLESS.

As we take a look at our lives up-close and personally, we can “clean house” of the issues, stains, and weight we are carrying and become free from whatever feelings may be hampering our progress.  I’m going to continue to ponder today.  Will you join me?  I like this blogging world so much better when we are working together! 🙂

Sending hugs to all of you as you continue on this journey we call life.  And, because cleaning (and changing) often go better with a little music, here are some songs for your enjoyment… 🙂
From Enchanted…. (though the roaches still make me cringe!!!)


Snow White is classic….

And Tangled is all about a girl changing her life and looking for more light!

And speaking of light…sending all of you love and light on your journey! 🙂

Livin’ the Dream

Several weeks ago, I had occasion to speak to a gentleman with whom I was not well acquainted.  He kindly inquired about the activities of my days, and I responded with the usual, “Well, I am home with our preschooler…we bake cookies and build trains and read stories….”  My voice tapered off as I wondered in a way what my days contained, searching for some type of meaning in the repetition.  My mind raced to pull out from somewhere, “Well, I write, when I have time,” or “I’m thinking about going back to school,” but nothing rendered satisfactory.

In the instant of my deflating thoughts, he looked into my eyes and said, “Well, you’re living the dream, aren’t you?”

I stared incredulously back toward him, startled, and thought, Whose dream am I living?

I thought back to college and dreams of being a writer or a professor of English lit or comp or even creative writing…I thought of high school, when I wanted to move far, far away (Paris, maybe? or at least Provo) and study interior design or something artistic…I thought back to junior high, when I had dreams of being a dermatologist…I thought back to grade school, and I couldn’t even remember what I wanted to be then.  But the dream that was consistent throughout those other dreams which have come and gone over the years was the dream of being married and having children.

Throughout the next several days, kneeling over train tracks and stirring flour, eggs and vanilla into sugar and butter, his words continued to echo in my ears.  As I’ve meandered through memories of holding hair back for my daughter who was throwing up, or my husband pulling back my own hair through morning sickness, I’ve wandered through laughter and leaf fights, through rolling down hills and rolling through years; I’ve walked paths of sorrow and paths of joy…days when I couldn’t walk another step and someone lifted my burden.  I know life hasn’t been picture-perfect (no one’s is), but it has been mine.  And as I strolled on through more memories than I can share, I felt his words, “You’re living the dream.”

My husband reached over for my hand this morning, and my little one climbed onto my lap for a cuddle.  “You’re beautiful,” his tiny voice and big eyes said to me as he rested against my thin frame.  In that moment, I knew the answer to my question.

Whose dream am I living…?

Mine.

(Image Copyright Sarah Knight Photography)