pictures

soul searching.

Hey friends, how’s it going?

Life is.. weird over here. If you’ve been following my socials, you know, but just in case you haven’t…

Here’s what’s good:

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I GOT ARCs! ARCs are Advance Review Copies; uncorrected proofs that will be sent out to trader reviewers, bookstores, book bloggers, and other authors for potential blurbs. I have a copy of my book that I can HOLD IN MY HANDS and I’m just… wow.

IT’S GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO BEING A REAL BOOK!

With that, my pre-order links have gone up, so if you want a copy of my book, you can get it from any of these fine retailers:

amazon • b&n • indiebound • chapters

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People have been ordering my book! I know this because amazon tosses up orange ribbons from time to time. I try not to stalk my book too much, but sometimes my friends will show me!

I mean… what??!!??

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I got to moderate a panel at C2E2, a comics and entertainment convention that takes place in Chicago every year. This was my first time attending, and it is the COOLEST. Maybe my favorite con of all time. So, I got to be a moderator, and it was at a cool con, and it was an official author type thing, and I loved it so, so, so much. More of this in my life, please.

I mean, I got to be a guest and have a page on the website and everything. Wow!!

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I started an author newsletter. You can sign up here! I’ve sent out 3 issues, which you can see here if you’d like. I think they’re a good time, but I might be biased!!

So yeah, some good things for sure. I’m hanging in there, I am. Spring is here. Well, it’s “technically” here. Weather wise… well, winter isn’t giving up without a fight. Which is normal for Chicago.

Where I’ve lived for 11 years now. WTF.


Here’s what’s weird:

First thing: my hair is super thin now and will not hold any curl. At all. And that’s depressing. I’ve ruined it and I’m either going to cut it all off and start over or get extensions. OK, who am I kidding? I’m not going to do anything.

I miss my curls, though.

Second thing: I’m gaining weight and I don’t like it. Mainly because I don’t feel like buying new clothes.

Third thing: shortly after I posted my last post, I came down with a migraine that felt like stabbing knives and ice picks through my brain. Then the week after that, I was blessed with the worst panic attack I’d had in at least 12 years. That happened while I was at my desk at work and IT WAS NOT FUN.

Have you ever had a panic attack? It had been so long that I’d forgotten what it felt like. I wanted to literally rip my skin off, then crawl under my desk and burst into tears. My stomach was messed up, I didn’t feel like myself, and I hated every second of it. My dear friend Wanda helped me hold it together through texts. I made it through the day and pretty much collapsed when I finally got home. Adam brought me McDonald’s.

I still don’t know what happened. :(

A week later, as I was walking across the bridge to the shuttle on my way to work, I fell and couldn’t get up. I had to ride in an ambulance (a first), and I got an X-ray. This X-ray, in fact:

You’ll know when you see it.

I had to have surgery the next day, and I haven’t been back to work since.

That was 3 and a half weeks ago. The knee is healing (although it’s still warm and swollen which I don’t like). I’m in physical therapy 3 days a week, and I have to do exercises every day. I’m slowly getting better. I use crutches to get around for the most part. I’m trying not to overdo it, but the world doesn’t slow down for a broken knee. I have painkillers for the bad nights, which, luckily, are few and far between anymore.

I didn’t know an injury like this messed with one mentally and emotionally as well as physically. It hasn’t been easy. But I’m managing. And trying to focus on the good.

  1. I didn’t break any teeth
  2. I’m expected to make a full recovery
  3. The cost of the surgery sucked up my 2019 deductible and out-of-pocket maximum, so yay for that
  4. No commuting for now!

Now….

Soul searching. Trying to figure out what’s next. I really don’t fancy getting back into the rat race of commuting and having to be “on” for 12 hours a day. But I need to make money. Steady money. Good money. Because I have at least $8K in medical bills coming and I need to figure out how to pay for that along with my other bills. Which means work-life balance is about to fly out the window … as I will need to work, work work.

And I need to write, which is not good money (yet). I’m also scared to write. I don’t know if I’ll even have time to write, since I’ll have to take on as much freelance as I can for the foreseeable future.

But that doesn’t stop me from wanting other stuff. I want to travel. I’m still healing. I have debt. My apartment is a mess. There’s always a million things to do and organize and sort out, and it’s so hard to get motivated. Or I get motivated at the wrong damn times (like when I should be sleeping, hence the insomnia yay). I have too much stuff (especially clothes and books) and I need to get rid of a lot of it. I want to play the Sims and watch Netflix. I want to sleep.

I know other stuff I want, but I’m scared to get it. And then my mind goes round and round and I get all tense and freaking out in my brain and even though I’m exhausted, I can’t sleep at night and my appetite is super weird and I’m TIRED.

So yeah. Soul searching. But I don’t think I’m doing it right.

Told ya things were weird over here.

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massive update.

I haven’t posted here since July! That’s banana pants! To be fair, life has been super busy, and I’m so glad it’s Friday, even though this coming weekend is super busy as well! I’m fueled a bit on caffeine, so I might as well post.

So much has happened! 

Adam and I had our ten year wedding anniversary. Like WHAT?? Can you believe it? First of all, I can’t believe I’ve even been in Chicago for ten years, let alone that we’ve been married that long. But then I look back at all the stuff that’s happened, and well, yep. Indeed it has been ten years. I mean, the proof is in the teenager that my Aidan has become:

I KNOW!

He’s going to be old enough to drive on his next birthday. Which is in 23 days. HOW IN THE HELL

Anyway.

August and September were slow and relaxing. I spent an extra long summer with Aidan. His best friend spend 9 days with us and that was fun. WeE went to the Wisconsin State Fair and really just hung out. But as soon as Aidan went back to Ohio, things started really picking up here!

I knew it was time to kick the job search into gear, but the job search found me! I started getting contacted by recruiters and interviewing. I had a feeling things were about to turn around, so I high-tailed it out to Ohio to spend time with my mommy before things got too wild.

It was fun! I got to see Mommy and spoil her, and I got a bonus visit with my Buttercup Jennifer, who was in Cleveland for some exciting stuff of her own!

While I was there, I got a call that I’d been offered a temp job, lasting through Dec 31, starting that next Monday! So I had to run around and do pre-job paperwork and drug tests during my week, which wasn’t as relaxing, but the facials and mani-pedis and yummy lunch with Jennifer made up for it!

When I got back to Chicago, I had one day to recombobulate myself (not sure that’s ever actually happened tbh) before I was thrust back into the working world. Not only that, but back in an office. That meant commuting and long days and totally rearranging my schedule.

Commuting downtown, when you already live so close, is a nightmare. The trains are almost always packed, and some days I had to let 2 or 3 go by before I could get on. And even though the office was maybe 3 miles from where I lived, I had to leave an hour before I needed to start because of commuting headaches. And getting squished in the morning is not fun at all.

After a few weeks at the temp job, another recruiter reached out to me. A job more in line with my skills, paid more, and had a REVERSE commute. Temp to perm. I ended up landing that gig and I’m there now, and so far I really, really like it. First of all, the commute is so much better. I get on the train going AWAY from the city, and I always get a seat, sometimes one to myself the entire ride. No squishing. A shuttle takes me from the train station to the office, and my desk is in a quad right by the windows, so a lot of natural light! Second of all, the people there are great. I realize I’m still in the honeymoon period, but everyone seems to share my sense of humor and seems to respect each other and our/their work. Plus they’re fun. Next week is Spirit Week. We are to decorate our desks, wear holiday PJs, and party, party party. I can get behind this. We work hard and play hard, but the hard work isn’t overwhelming (at least not yet). I’m happy I made the switch.

In between all that, I traveled to YALLFEST, a teen book festival that takes place in South Carolina, and I got to hang out with some really amazing writer friends!

But it’s fall, and fall is B U S Y. Freelance, plus full time job with an even longer (albeit way more relaxing) commute, and well, a lot of work on the BIGGEST THING to happen since I last posted:

For those of you who follow me on social media (twitter and instagram), this is not new information! But it’s still exciting (to me) and I’m learning and experiencing so much! It’s amazing, and it feels like home!

The book has a publication date of November 12, 2019, and it even has its own Goodreads page! Give it an add, will ya?

It blows my mind that something I worked so hard on for so long is finally going to get to be out there. It’s scary and exciting and incredible and I am loving all of it, even the hard stuff. My editor is incredible and fierce and so cool, and I feel very supported by her. 

I’m going to be an author!!!!! 😭

So in between all of the other stuff, I’ve been working on edits, doing all sorts of cool author stuff, and yeah. Just really enjoying the journey. Working really hard. I’m tired a lot. I spent spring and summer playing The Sims. Now I might hop on once a week. I’m too tired to spend a lot of time with it, and I don’t have a lot of time anymore. I miss it.

(Let’s not talk about all the laundry I need to put away and the suitcases I haven’t unpacked…eeek.)

I do plan to keep this blog open, but I don’t know how often I’ll be updating it. For my PROFESSIONAL AUTHOR STUFF (omg), I am about to launch my official author site (click the banner!):

Eeeeeeee!

So yeah, that’s a bit why I haven’t been posting as much! Lots going on in my world, and I’m happy for all of it. (Especially since Mercury Retrograde is over!)

What’s going on with you?

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warrior.

Holy banana. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The world’s falling apart. The U.S. is becoming unrecognizable. I’m torn, being upset and feeling helpless about everything. And yet, there are good things happening, things that make me laugh and smile. I don’t know whether to be outraged and fighting every day, or to grab joy and relish it in whenever I can, because who knows how long I’ll have it?

So today, I’m choosing joy. At least for a while.
I have so much to update you on!
Settle in, if you’re interested.

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To be honest, I don’t remember much of the end of March, except plugging away at finishing up my Day Job, and preparing for a life of leisure.

Ha ha ha ha, just kidding. Sort of.

My life did slow down a bit, which was needed. Everyone was telling me I’ve been working so hard and that I deserved this time off to rest and recenter. I don’t know about all that… but I did welcome the rest.

Still, I’ve been up to a lot since the Day Job ended. I’ll break it down by month!

April
Catch Up! I cleaned my room (it’s since become kind of a mess again). I guess I did some general housekeeping. I spent time with Aidan for his Spring Break. I got obsessed with playing The Sims again. I started upgrading the PC that sat unused most of the year in the living room. I started limiting my time on social media to do a lot of soul searching.

My left shoulder started hurting… (and it still hurts to this day. Trying to figure out why.)

Watched A Midsummer Night’s Dream ballet at the Joffrey and it was super memorable. Really enjoyable.

May
I treated myself to a spa day at Allyu Spa. I got the works. Facial, massage, sauna, shower, lunch, mani-pedi, chakra balancing. It was such a good day! And something deep in me clicked. I felt I was hitting a reset button. I felt the darkness that had followed me around like a storm cloud all year was starting to dissipate.

I flew out to Ohio to spend a week with my mommy, which was much needed! We talked and ate good food and shopped and spoiled each other. We both needed that, and I can’t wait to go see her again. The coolest part was Aidan came up that Wednesday to spend Memorial Day with Mommy, and he’d had no idea I was there. It was so much fun surprising him! I saw my cousins and it was amazing catching up. I hadn’t seen most of them in way too long.

I started making friends in the Sims community and watching YouTube videos, really upping my game and building. It’s such a great creative outlet for me, and a lot of fun.

Continued to be cautious on social media. Being more mindful of what I was taking in, and how I was letting it affect me.

June
I finished upgrading my computer and setting up my gaming station. I have to say it’s pretty sweet!

I’m a “casual gamer” and I’m OK with that, but I’m still glad I have a nice setup to play. Makes the game so much easier to play.

Aidan came for the summer. We’ve been playing A Way Out on the Playstation 4. We like our games!

I had a write-in and lunch with a couple of #ChiYA members. That was fun and productive.

It was a good day with @anna.waggener and @mizzlizziecooke 🌸 (repost from @mizzlizziecooke )

I started seeing my chiropractor again. I used to go in 2011, but I stopped when I left my job at Schawk. I’m glad to be back. Everyone there remembered me!

Saw The Incredibles 2 with Aidan. Wow!!

At the end of June, we headed to Georgia for quality time with the Selzer side of the family!

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Photo

We spent time in Atlanta, Jekyll Island, and Savannah! Jekyll is so magical. One of my favorite nights was high tide during golden hour. Another favorite night was stargazing and watching the big full moon rise over the ocean. I don’t have good pictures of that, but trust me, it was gorgeous.

Moonrise over the ocean a couple of nights ago 💙 #ocean #jekyllisland #sunset #moon #waves

When we got back to Atlanta, we visited with family and friends, ate good food, and had a general good time. We also got to meet a baby!!

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On July 4, I got to spend it with friends, some very old and dear. It was a day of meeting new people, eating good food, listening to good music, getting caught in the rain, and drunk karaoke. Good, good times!!

When you’re lucky enough to spend July 4 with super awesome people 🙌🙌🙌 #latergram

Aidan and I came back to Chicago on July 5.

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Aidan immediately disappeared into his video came and independent study cave. He comes out to eat and chat a bit, then he disappears again. Adam and I have been turning our place into a smart home. It’s so cool to tell Alexa to turn the lights on or off, lock the door, or play music. I love it.

I’m now fully in normal life. For some reason, I’ve been waking up fairly early, even when I stay up sort of late. I think my time in Eastern time has thrown me off a bit. I don’t mind.

My freelance load is picking up, there are some exciting things afoot (that I can’t reveal just yet), and Aidan is still here for seven more weeks! Next week, Aidan and I are heading to Atlanta (for one night) then Tennessee for a writing retreat. Writing and/or editing for me, not sure what Aidan will get up to! Probably video games. I’m looking forward to mountains and nature. Something about that is so inspiring.

Can’t believe it’s already next week!

Whew! I think I’m all caught up! Hopefully I’ll be back sooner than several months… but we’ll see how that goes. I have lots to say, but sometimes the thought of putting everything into words on here overwhelms me. I have to get back to pushing past that! In the meantime, there is twitter and instagram. Give ya girl a follow, eh?

Till next time!

That feeling when you just get back from the hair salon ☺️

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year in review: 2017

Was 2017 a good year for you?
On a personal level, I cannot complain. Yes, I had some ups and downs, but that’s normal, right? When I look back through my photos, I feel immense gratitude at the people I’ve met, the things I’ve seen, and the stuff I got to experience.

What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
– went ziplining!
– stayed at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
– rode Avatar: Rite of Passage
– watched a solar eclipse
– rode a chairlift
– visited Utah
– flew business class on an intercontinental flight
– attended a gala
– hired a life coach
– attended the Once Upon a Time convention
– had a spa day

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Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but a close friend of mine is expecting!

Did anyone close to you die?
I lost my sweet Helena.

What countries did you visit?
Italy, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway
(with layovers in Iceland and Germany)

What date(s) from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 10, 2017—the day I got all my girlie plumbing removed
February 17, 2017—the day I got an offer of rep from my agent Caitie Flum!
May 25, 2017—the day I brought Charlotte home
September 5, 2017—the day I left Chicago for a month abroad with my BFF Jennifer Niven
September 18, 2017—the day I visited Copenhagen, Denmark and FELL IN LOVE
September 26, 2017—the day I visited the ABBA museum and became a fan
October 1, 2017—the day I few into Iceland and saw rainbows upon rainbows
November 9, 2017—the day I met Jason Segel
December 6, 2017—the day I saw Hamilton

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What was your biggest achievement of the year?
1. signing with a literary agent!!
2. spending almost a month abroad!!

What was your biggest failure?
1. keeping the apartment clean. EPIC FAIL on that one.
2. not keeping up with my gratitude journal as regularly as I’d have liked.
3. not eating enough leafy greens.
4. not doing enough yoga or barre.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
got a couple of colds

Where did most of your money go?
travel, clothes, purses, makeup, toys, books, and gifts

What song(s) will always remind you of 2017?
– Just Say—Extreme Music
– How Far I’ll Go—Auli’i Cravalho
– This Night Is Ours—The Funshiners
– Issues—Julia Michaels
– The Louvre—Lorde

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What do you wish you’d done more of?

– ***writing***
– yoga
– moving my body in general
– learning
– traveling
– journaling
– connecting with my friends
– spending time with my mommy

What do you wish you’d done less of?
– eating junk food
– procrastinating
– being afraid
– wasting time on twitter

What was your greatest musical discovery?
– The Moana soundtrack

What did you want and get?
– a trip to Disney World
– a trip abroad
– an agent
– a Fjållråven backpack
– a (mini) home office

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What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a visit to Morton Arboretum
– a book deal

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 43. (bish whet) I slept in, then spent the afternoon getting pampered at The Spa at The Four Seasons. Then I had dinner at a French restaurant that didn’t have great service but the food was amazing! Adam gave me a Tiffany bracelet.

What kept you sane?
– therapy
– friends

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Theo James

What political issue stirred you the most?
*angry face emoji*

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.
Sometimes you just have to say “yes” and make it work. You never know what amazingness is waiting on the other side of it!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
skinny jeans, cute tops

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
getting a book deal

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? in the middle
ii. thinner or fatter? a bit fatter (thanks, Italy)
iii. richer or poorer? richer

In 2018, I’m looking forward to:
So much! But that’s for another post!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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as 2017 winds down.

autumn in norway

It’s been AGES, right? I say this so much. Then I secretly vow to be better at blogging…and then I fall off again. To be fair, I’ve been fairly busy, and I have so much to tell you!

Since my last post, well, if you followed me on instagram or twitter, you know that I was abroad for most of September. I got to travel with Jennifer, who is one of my very best friends and also my soul sister, and it was amazing. It’s been a month since I’ve been back and I still can’t form words. Not only did I get to eat great food, see beautiful sights, and meet amazing people, but I got to spend a month with Jennifer! Having long distance best friends is hard, so we pretty much crammed all of our girl time into those three and a half weeks.

Here are a few photo collages from the trip:

💕💕💕💕🐝🌼👯
(I stole this one from Jennifer)

Oh #copenhagen #denmark, I love you so so so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Well hello there Denmark! I certainly did not expect to love you so much!! ❤️ #Denmark #copenhagen #europe #travel

A wonderful day in #norway ☀️😍

I got back to Chicago and was immediately thrust back into full-time and freelance work. I worked some when I was abroad, but it was different, working in a hotel room in Italy or Denmark rather than my apartment in Chicago. There, I’d open the window and listen to the languages and the different sounds and it was so awesome. Here, Fi is still making stinky messes every 40 minutes or so. I don’t have much room to spread out like I want. They’re tearing down a building across the street and for a week straight, my entire building would shake while they were doing their work. Charlotte has grown a lot, and she is a very naughty kitten! I’m covered in scratches and bites. She’s not the little rag doll she was the first day she came home. She’s feisty and vocal and strong-minded. I’ve had to start using the squirt bottle on her. I hate doing it, but she’ll just keep being naughty otherwise. Sometimes it’s exhausting. But then she tires out and collapses on me, and holds on to me so tight, and all my exasperation with her evaporates.

Also during October, Aidan went to homecoming (I KNOW), I got a massage, I got all my watches fixed, I cleaned out a lot of clothes and things to donate, and I cleaned out the bathroom and threw out four bags of old shampoo and body washes and things. I did a panel at Windy City RWA with my fellow ChiYA bloggers. I kept up (mostly) with my Personal Power University class (don’t ask me about the homework I still have to turn in!). And Aidan popped in for a long weekend. It was cool spending time with my awesome kid. Adam’s parents also popped in for a bit, and that was cool.

The Fam

I also spent weeks trying to catch up and I think I’m *finally* there. It felt like my To-Do lists were growing even though I was steadily doing things. I haven’t been back to yoga, or barre (haha in years for this one), I barely got any new writing done. I interviewed for a job but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me. That was a weird position to be in. So much is going on all the time…and the Day Job is busy. So it does seem like the list of things to do is never ending. So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I came home after my massage Saturday and slept for hours and hours. Got up, maybe had a snack, and then slept all night.

But now, it’s two minutes to midnight at the time of this typing. That means November is not only looming, but it’s HERE, and it will definitely be here when this post goes live. Every weekend through the end of the year is booked except one and I just hope I can sleep in at least two of them. Soon there will be Thanksgiving and Christmas and expectations and family and oh God. I can’t even think about it now.

Instead, I’m going to bed. Till next time!

Just me

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