Monday, July 21, 2014

Silver Lake: Shopping and Eating (Featuring Java Nook)

Very first afternoon in Silver Lake. It's a bit chilly thanks to some rain showers so Kris asks me to get him his hoodie. Then it hits me. I didn't pack the boys and my hoodies because I'd planned to have us wear them on the way. We did not wear them.

Kris, being the best, amazing husband that he is, ran up to one of the stores to see what they had to alleviate my mistake.

Silver Lake, as told to us by our camping neighbors, had been nothing other than a campground and a restaurant 10 years ago. Thankfully, for us newbie campers who didn't pack our sweaters, or quite enough food, that has changed. There are rows of different businesses side by side from rent your own sand dune buggy, to souvenir shops, restaurants and a few attractions I'll talk about in a different post.

And the prices! This is not a tourist trap place. We paid $20 for my pull-over Silver Lake branded hoodie. The same for the boys and theirs. Sebastian's may have been a bit less, but I don't remember off hand. I got water shoes for $12. Restaurants had good food (deep fried asparagus is their specialty and it's pretty darn good) and friendly atmospheres, and many of them even had "photo op" spots the boys just ran to.

 (Where I got my water shoes: the boys in their Silver Lake gear.)

This second photo is Percolator Pete. Silver Lake didn't have any major chain grocery stores we could see, much less a Big Name coffee shop. We had seen Java Nook (link to Facebook page) on the way there and made a beeline for it our second morning.

The owner/operator was a very kind woman who made us caramel (Kris') and English Toffee (me) coffees. We were able to get orange juice, a fresh muffin for the boys and some homemade breakfast burritos spiced with some mild hot sauce. AND SHE HAD WIFI!! It was all really good stuff and we were able to sit and enjoy our breakfast and talk to the owner who offered our boys stickers and chatted about the history of her shop, the area, and her favorite attractions, some of which we went to see on her suggestions alone.

It was a great area, really open only six months a year from May to October, and they knew how to make us feel welcome and interested in coming back. Unfortunately, we did not return to Java Nook before we left, but if we make our way back up there, it will certainly be on the list!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Goodnight Whispers

As I checked on Joshua last night I had to step over a sleeping Sebastian who prefers the floor for some reason (his mattress is actually on the floor as part of the bottom "bunk" of a loft bed - he likes to use his bed as a pillow and the floor as his bed).

His band-aid had fallen off and he was worried his cut would be in trouble but I assured him it got enough medicine and we would check on it again tomorrow. I kissed and hugged him goodnight, then turned to leave.

"Mommy," he whispered. "Please get Sebastian."

"He likes to sleep on the floor."

"No, Mommy. Please say goodnight to Sebastian."

My heart swelled and I smiled. My big boy takes such good care of his baby. I crept back in and brushed Sebastian's back while telling him goodnight. I whispered goodnight to Joshua once more, but his back was already turned to me as he settled in for bed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Silver Lake 2014: Camping

Camping. My mother hates camping - in fact, she says her idea of a camping is a cheap motel that doesn't supply a hair dryer in their bathroom. We did camp as kids with her in a pop-up camper and only where she knew they had decent bathrooms.

Kris took a course in high school on survival camping where they weren't allowed to start fires (destroyed the environment) and had to pee on rocks (so wildlife wouldn't be encouraged to eat vegetation they wouldn't otherwise eat).

So, we did things by the book. Bought a new tent, and set it up in our yard. Made a list, checked out a few websites for food (we should have looked for equipment, too, but you know, we managed) and left with the knowledge we could turn around or get a hotel where we were going if it turned into a total disaster.

I wanted to go to a Jellystone Campground. I've always wanted to go to one, ever since I was a kid and this was the perfect opportunity since I was doing the choosing. They have multiple campgrounds and the one I wanted to go to was booked by the time we were ready to schedule, so we booked the one up in Mears, Michigan at the Silver Lake / Sand Dunes, where my mother had been just a few weeks prior, as it turned out, so Joshua was thrilled with the location.

I prepped the boys with the few YouTube videos I could find for Yogi Bear that were not Adult Swim and were in English. They had to know who we were going to see, after all. In fact, while we were there, we managed to catch a wagon ride with none other than Boo Boo.

Sebastian was a bit scared of the big guy, so we didn't try to catch the other wagons with the other characters. Yogi and Cindy would drive through the campground, though, in the afternoon, so Joshua got to run after them a few times and wave.

The site was nice, near the end of a one way loop. For a family campground, it was amazingly quiet during quiet hours from 11pm to 7am. Of course, during the day people were all over the place and probably as exhausted as we were, but that's for another post.

(Our Tent)

(Our picnic table - Yogi didn't steal our food, but from what I understand, Kris stole some dinosaur eggs for breakfast the first morning, and the dinosaurs followed us our whole trip after that. Thank goodness they weren't angry birds ...)

The bathrooms weren't anything to write home about, but they had hot water. The best part about them was their location right next to the pool. After we came back from our activities during the day, we could swim and then go directly from the pool to the shower and head back to camp for the evening, for our campfire and some card playing while daddy made dinner.

It became very clear, very quickly on the first night that bedtime had to be a family affair when the boys played the night away while Kris and I waited for the fire to die down. We had brought the Harry Potter book I'd been reading to the boys and we would get through a chapter each night, then settle in for sleep. The boys shared a mattress with their new sleeping bags and would cuddle as they slept. I didn't quite catch that, but I got something close. :)

Overall, camping was a great experience, though a little stressful for our poor two year old. Though, any vacation at his age is stressful, so I wouldn't attribute that entirely to camping. We definitely plan to do it again, and even to increase our camping stock so we can be a bit more prepared for, say, rain during mealtime for example. (No pavilion for the picnic table.) That being said, camping is also cheap, even at a campground like Jellystone, as compared to staying in a hotel.

And you get a fire. That you get to poke with a stick. That you get to roast marshmallows over. For smores. :D

Do you camp? Any suggestions or ideas for us newbies? Favorite campgrounds? Best bathrooms? I want to know it all!


(I'll update here with links to the other posts about this trip as they are written.)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Back from Vacation!

And back to civilization! We just returned from a 4 day camping trip. I had planned to blog along the way, but it turns out there was no cell reception where we were staying on the Western Michigan shore. In fact, my phone thought we were in Wisconsin most of the time (for the time update)! When there was cell service, it was not good enough to post via my phone. So those best laid plans definitely failed.

So, next week, I will tell you about our vacation to Silver Lake in Mears, MI and the cool places we found along the way. Kristoffer and I are very keen on visiting the small businesses when we travel - no McDonald's, but a locally owned restaurant, for example, and we found a great community up there I'm going to do my best to share with you. :)

For now, though, rest! Because, as we all know, returning from vacation is a lot of work!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Privilege Time - The Structure of Electronic Play

We have more electronics in our home than any family of four should need. You would think, anyway. The challenge becomes, then, how to structure usage of these things.

This is a struggle we have as adults. Kids, who have much less self-control ability than we do, shouldn't be held to higher standards, but they definitely need more help figuring it out.

My husband and I have a strong belief that children should not be denied electronics. In our way of thinking, if children are completely denied electronics, they could find themselves at a disadvantage to their peers who have had access to them. This is the age of electronics and intuitive devices make it easy to figure out - if you stay familiar with them. However, we recognize hours and hours on these things is a bad thing. Our boys, for example, become whiny, argumentative and downright mean to each other if they've had too much screen time.

Enter, Privilege Time. Right now, only Joshua qualifies for it since Sebastian is two and his electronic time is even more restricted and monitored. The guidelines of privilege time go like this:

  • Privilege time must be earned, it is not a given right. However, it isn't 5 minutes earned here or there until it equals an hour, the whole time is assumed at the beginning.
  • Bad behavior results in time taken away. I take this time away in 5 minute increments as early as the day before. I take this time away from the beginning of the hour, so Privilege time always ends at the same time. If all the time is taken away, it's an automatic nap/rest hour instead.
  • During this hour, Joshua can choose any electronic from playing video games (LEGO, of course), playing or some other educational site on the computer, or playing games I've approved or watching Netflix on a tablet.

This has become one of the greatest things I've implemented into our schedule. It's better than time out for discipline purposes, though we still use that for immediate behavior issues. And it starts at the beginning of Sebastian's nap time. The reason this particular point is great is many fold.

  • Joshua helps me "wear out" Sebastian for his nap time with lots of active play.
  • Clean up before nap/privilege time goes amazingly well.
  • For the first hour of Sebastian's nap time, the house is quiet so he can fall and settle into sleep.
  • It works as resting time for Joshua who is too old and too young to enjoy a good nap.
  • It gives me a good resting time, too, particularly if he's earned the whole hour.

Privilege time ends at snack time. Joshua and I 'sneak' a treat and play a board game or cards pretty much until Sebastian wakes up. Joshua honestly looks forward to this almost as much as the perceived freedom he has during privilege time.

On a good day, it works exactly like that. We all know life in a house with kiddos doesn't necessarily go to plan, but the plan helps keep us on track toward where we want to go, as windy and bumpy as it might become. That's why I call the guidelines guidelines, rather than rules. It leaves room for movement, where I feel a rule is something more concrete, but I suppose that's a post for a different day. :)

How do you handle electronic time in your house? 0 hours or unlimited access or something in between?


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Dear Analin: Bubba Misses You, Too

I wrote a post yesterday on Dear Analin that cross-references here, too. As I'm sick (again, I know - it's insane, yet here it is), I thought I would re-blog the post since it's a bit of how Joshua remembers his baby sister even though he's only seen her in pictures.


Dear Analin: Bubba Misses You, Too: Dear Analin, My mom asked me the other day if it was too late to send a sympathy card a week after a colleague of hers had lost her father...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Balance Bikes - Better than Training Wheels!

I may have written about this before ... Last year (I think) we gave Joshua a balance bike for Easter. Four months later, he was riding a pedal bike without any trouble. He was newly 4. That year, two other five year olds learned to ride pedal bikes in my driveway, all having had a spin on the balance bike? Coincidence? Hmm. ;)

Okay, so this is a balance bike, if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

They come in metal or wood, ours has rubber tires so there is no air to fill. There are no pedals. The back two pieces that hold the back tire on are foot rests as well. Basically, they walk with the bike, then run with the bike, then learn to go with the bike, their feet up and balancing.

Now that I know about these bikes, it's crazy to me they aren't used more. You buy a bike these days and it tells you "Do Not Use Training Wheels" because they're dangerous. We do anyway. Then our kiddos can ride their big boy/girl bikes, but they're learning it wrong. They have to learn all over again when we decide it's time to take the wheels off. Crazy!

What about the life on them? Sebastian is two and is just starting to use it. Even at it's biggest setting, Joshua's too big at 5. Basically, this replaces the tricycle you would otherwise buy (or buy as well). And, even better, it saves you a couple bucks later when it is time to graduate to a pedal bike and you don't have to 1) locate training wheels to 2) purchase them.

And no, sadly, I am not getting paid for today's infomercial. ;) I just really like the idea of these bikes. And the littles love them, too. Sebastian can be on his own 'big boy' bike along with the other big boys, and he does pretty well, too, for a 2.5 year old.

So, if you would like to see about a minute and a half of the cutest balance bike rider ever (after his brother), press play. :D

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cedar Point Trip, 2014

We took Joshua to Cedar Point this weekend with a couple of our friends. It's his second trip, the first when he was three. He had a lot more fun this time, despite being freshly recovered from a sick bug. Look at how much he's grown!

(3 Years Old)

(5 Years Old)

They had their automated dinosaur event still going. It was exciting because, at three, Joshua was terrified and he refused to take a photo like this one:

It was his first Ferris wheel ride as well. Last time we went, we'd gotten to the very front of the line when it started to thunder and the wheel was shut down. He was so nervous on the wheel while it was being loaded, but he had a lot of fun when it started going. At the end, he didn't want to get off, though that may have been more of not wanting to go home, since it was the last thing we did.

He's asking when we can go back again. It's a bit expensive, to be honest, for a five year old and a Mama who doesn't ride the big rides (Daddy did the first trip, but hung out with us for this one). We've been lucky to go on discounted tickets so far, and hope to keep that up. Next time, though, Sebastian will be old enough to go along. I think I'll need more help, particularly if Kris wants to ride some rides again. Lol.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Slightly Different Adventure

Figuring out priorities has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I'm a pleaser by nature, so it's difficult for me to say no, or to stick to that no even if I managed to say it.

I also have a ton of interests and truly wish there were more hours in the day - or more energy in me - to be able to touch even a little bit into each of them.

With Analin's death, I've really seen myself in a new way. I've realized my priorities don't have to fight, I just need to take a more long term view of things. It's also important to realize life isn't about A to B to C, but about each step and each breath along the way that make us who we are and what life is about.

I don't want to quit blogging. In fact, I have no intention of doing so. I'm just going to combine it with more of my life than try to force something from it I don't have the time or energy to force. I've been asked time and time again why I don't do a mommy blog. I think it may be time to try it out. Chasing Revery doesn't exactly sing like the title of a mommy blog, I know, but in the same sense, I think revery should be a part of all of life, not just the imaginary and creative part of it.

So. Off on this new experiment. I don't promise pattern or structure, or even regular posts, but I can promise adventure. Regardless of what any one says about being a stay at home mom, there is always adventure in it.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pause Button Pressed

Unfortunately ...

This blog is on Pause until it's author recovers from a particularly viscous virus even the doctors are a bit beguiled by. :-/

I hope to be back soon. <3

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WWBH Prompt!!

Leanne doubles back for another photastic prompt for you. :)


Has anyone seen where last week went!? Time flies when you're... busy! I hope you are all having a fantastic week! Okay, let's get right to the Writer Wednesday Blog Hop Reveal...

Here are the stories inspired from last week's photos. Be sure to read through them, and leave the author a comment of encouragement!

Bigger than the Ocean by Carrie Sorensen
Special Moment by Sally Stackhouse
No Unicorns in the Middle East by Leanne Sype

Here's a reminder of how the blog hop works... everyone is invited to participate, so don't be shy!

1) Write a story using both photos.
2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.
3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena orLeanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we’ll get you linked up!)
4) You have the next week to post.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

Here are your photos:

Coffee and grinder 

 Yikes! Good luck!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sebastian's 2nd Birthday Party

Sebastian turned two last Thursday and we had his party on Sunday. I struggle with ideas for younger kids' birthday parties. Once they're three, I have better ideas, but one and two might as well be a wash.

This year, though, I wanted to do a balloon party. It's something I've wanted to do for a while, but by the time I thought of it, Joshua was too old to really enjoy it as his party. So we got a balloon cake and two bags of balloons and went for it.

Which room was easy. With a plan to repaint the dining room over this three day weekend, it had to be cleared out anyway. The balloons, not so easy. The air mattress pump I wanted to use to fill them? Didn't work. Air compressor? Not a chance. I had waited to do this after the boys went to bed for a 12 noon party the next day.

So I blew them up myself. Over a hundred. I think Kris grabbed somewhere between 10-20 and we ended up with about 130 balloons or so, with a few of the ones in the packages being duds. Yes, a lot of work. But for that work, we got this.

And this.

There is about three feet of snow outside from this massive Winter. We can't even go sledding because temperatures are often in frostbite range. So, the kiddos got to have a balloon ball room for a day, and absolutely loved it. Time to eat - back to the ball room. Time for presents - back to the ball room. Don't you want cake? Sure, but can we go back to the ball room after?

Even the dogs got a turn in the ball room, though it wasn't quite as exciting as anticipated. They were just too overwhelmed with the number of balloons.

And when it was all done, my boys and their cousins got to pop every balloon that was left, helping us get ready for paint.

All in all, it was worth every breath into those balloons. :-)

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Perfect Gift

I was having a really hard time on Sebastian's birthday. I kept thinking about the little sister who should be there to help celebrate and who wasn't. Rather, I kept reacting to that fact without consciously thinking about it. I didn't realize where my sad mood was coming from, actually, until the early afternoon.

It was Sebastian's birthday, though, so it was easy enough to focus on him. We practiced saying 'two' and answering the question 'how old are you?' We sang happy birthday. It was nice since his birthday was a Thursday and it was a day care day for Joshua so he and I were able to hang out together and it was easy to slip away for a minute whenever I felt too sad to smile.

For dinner, we took him to Applebee's. My boys are like me in many ways, but in this we are completely different: they love being sung to in restaurants on their birthday. It's nice, because it's something special we can do the day of their birthday, rather than just waiting for the weekend to have their party.

While there, my husband told me he has something for me as well. It was a surprise, but also a bit of an off-and-on tradition that he gets me a little something since he considers it my birthday, too, having delivered the boys.

This year, he gave me the perfect, absolutely most beautiful thing he could have given me. A little owl charm for my bracelet. More importantly, a reminder of Analin.

This little charm was exactly what I needed after an emotionally charged day. The thought behind it helped knock me out of the sadness and brought me back to being able to appreciate the day and the memories being made, rather than the ones that couldn't be. A truly perfect gift. <3

Friday, February 14, 2014

WWBH Submission: Bigger than the Ocean

Okay, I will give you forewarning. You may want a box of tissues. This was written on Sebastian's birthday, the first immediate family birthday without Analin to share it. So where this does not reflect the loss of a child, it does look at loss.

Here is my submission for this week's WWBH Prompt. <3


Bigger than the Ocean

IMG_20130704_120754The flag was bittersweet. Red with blood. White with hope. Blue with tears of both.

He defended the flag, then honored with it by his side before being lowered into the ground.

Cassie blinked up at the sky and waited for the choking pain in her chest to ease. Just a moment and it would be past. Just this moment of unbearable knowledge until it faded into the back of her mind again.

"Mommy!" Carter flung his warm body into her arms. She buried her nose into his thin shoulder, breathing in sand and sun. Kelsey refused to be left out and thrust her damp body between Cassie and Carter. Carter struggled for a moment to fight for his space.

"We share," Cassie reminded, proud the words didn't come out soaked in pain. With a quick shift, she had her children snuggled in. They were her saviors now her hero was gone.

The summer breeze was too tempting for the children to stay long. Kelsey began to wiggle first, but waited for Carter to be done, too. She had to do everything her big brother did, for just as long.

This beach seems different 

than the one in Oregon.Off they ran, hands held. Carter knew he had to always hold on to Kelsey. They weren't allowed to go more than ankle deep into the water even though they wore their flotation gear. In fact--

With a strangled cry, Cassie pushed herself up from the sand and ran toward her children. She splashed in the water, covering them all in the salty water, hiding the self-made sea that dripped from her eyes.

Her children's laughter was contagious. It only hurt a little that Carter had his eyes, or that Kelsey laughed with his mouth. It hurt, but it also healed, knowing she still had a part of him in this world, the best parts.

Cassie gripped her children in a wet hug, covered them with salty kisses.

"I love you bigger than this ocean," she whispered fiercely. She knew she couldn't keep them safe forever, that one day they might want to follow in their father's footsteps to defend their own families and country. But today, today would be for laughter and happy memories. She would make sure of it.

"Not as big as the ocean, Mommy," Kelsey shook her head, drops of water balanced on the tips of her long lashes. "As big as Daddy."

Cassie gasped when her heart burst. She held on to these two amazing creatures with trembling limbs.

"Oh, yes, sweetheart. As big as Daddy."

Words: 421

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WWBH Prompt

Leanne has put her touch on this week's story prompt. :)


“The next morning dawned bright and sweet, like ribbon candy.”
~ Sarah Addison Allen, Garden Spells

Isn't that a delicious thought on a new day? I hope that is how Wednesday has started out for you today, bright and sweet. :)

Okay, it is time for the next round of our Writer Wednesday Blog Hop--Photo Reveal! Here are the stories birthed from last week's photos:

Carefree Inspiration by Carrie Sorensen
Waiting by Sally

Here is how the blog hop works--everyone is invited to participate, so be sure to jump in anytime and invite a friend!
1) Write a story using both photos.
2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.
3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena orLeanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we’ll get you linked up!)
4) You have the next week to post. 5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

Here are your photos (courtesy of me--Leanne Sype):

This beach seems different 

than the one in Oregon.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Boys

When Kris and I were talking about having another baby after our first, I was not sold. I loved this little boy so much and I didn't want to take anything away from him. I was terrified of sibling rivalry as well and the jealousy that comes from being one and then two.

I was so wrong. Don't mistake me. They don't like to share. They do get jealous of one another, but it is not who they are, or what they do. 90% of the time, these are my boys.

They love each other and share with each other and take care of each other. Joshua is excited whenever Sebastian learns something he can take credit for. Sebastian is over the moon whenever he's able to finally do something big brother can do.

I take as many photos like this as I can. I'm looking forward to the day I can take this photo and match it to one next year, in five years, in twenty. Two brothers, side by side, loving and enjoying one another.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Mommy Excuses

This year has been different. Of course it's been different - I'm an entirely different person than I ever thought I could be after losing Analin. This new perspective has led me to a lot of realizations, one being that I really can do anything and be successful at it - if I just get out of my own way.

I make excuses. And I don't just mean the usual ones. I've bought in to the ones Society has outlined.

Apparently, I don't do anything. Apparently, I believe this as much as others think I really don't do anything.

To this, I mean - I get a phone call. "Carrie, what are you doing?" Oh, nothing, just taking care of the boys. "Great, because I need you to ..." Do this online research for me. Make up this flyer for me. Call this place for me and change my reservation. I am not joking - each of these requests have been asked of me, and not one of them from my husband, because I'm a stay at home mom and 'do nothing.'

Taking care of the boys is nothing? Doing two hours of pre-school with Joshua is nothing? Playing Duplos and working on Sebastian's fine motor skills and problem solving is nothing? I teach my boys to respect things and people, to eat healthy foods, to take care of themselves and others.

Why is it, I wonder, that when a woman or man stays at home to take care of their kids, they do nothing all day? Yet, when we do chose to work and send our children to day care we pay them to watch our children and do all the things stay-at-home parents do? Heck, the state helped my sister pay me while she went back to college during the week and worked on the weekends. Maybe I can apply for them to pay me to watch my own kids. Then maybe, since I'd be making a paycheck, I'd be doing something more than nothing.

I also don't do anything because I'm a 'starving artist.' Even when working on that art.

My husband (well meaning soul that he is) comes home and sees me writing, but can interrupt me and stop my process for many reasons. Believe me, when he stays at home to work, no one disturbs him. I make sure of it. And this is NOT to knock my husband. I will be the first to tell you I married the best man in the world. It's just to illustrate the same point as above.

Because I don't make money or go to an office, my writing is not valid as 'work.' It's my fault, too, because I fall into the trap, as well. So it's not as important to dedicate time and energy and purpose to.

Well, I say it's important. I say I do a hell of a lot, and a fantastic job at it all, too. My sons are happy and healthy and bring a smile to nearly everyone who meets them (withholding judgement on the people who scowl at them instead - everyone has a bad day). My writing is important to me. It makes me whole and gives me a sense of pride over this amazing talent I've been gifted with. To not write would be to waste that talent and a challenge to my happiness.

I want to be happy. In fact, I demand it. I spent too many years and nights not being happy. People have said happiness has to be found inside yourself. 'They' never tell you how to find it, or make it, or believe that you can, in fact, be happy with yourself in a society where the cookie cutter doesn't fit anyone.

Well, it took me 31 years, but I've finally figured out how to make that happen, how to carve happiness out of tragedy and hold on to it even through more hardships. And I think I've found the attitude to go with it. Believe me, you need attitude to stand your ground because all these revelations mean nothing to the people around you who still buy into the crap.

So even as I use this post to procrastinate working on my WIP, I will go back to working on it. And when the boys' wake up from nap, I will be a good Mom for them. I may even spend some time with my hubby tonight. I can do it all because I'm learning to kick the excuses to the curb. I've learned the word 'no,' and how to appreciate the everything that I do every day.


Edit: I just found this post this morning and it really goes with what I'm trying to say here. I love this guy, and am happy to say my husband is very much like him.

A Husband's Amazing Response To "She's A Stay At Home Mom, What Does She DO All Day?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Carefree Inspiration: A WWBH Story

Okay!! My first WWBH story of the year. (We won't look past that.) ;-)

I admit, not my most energetic or inspired piece, but I'm thinking baby steps, here. I'm hoping to find more submissions next to mine in the Linky to see what it is I could have written. Lol. Let's see what you come up with!


Carefree Inspiration

Monkeybread always knew when he was supposed to be home. Mark had picked him out from the pound when he'd been five years old. Monkey had been three or four, and he was the only dog that had come up to the edge of his kennel and lick Mark through the wire. Mark had been in love and Monkey quickly earned a place in our home, particularly on the back of the couch.

A half hour before the school bus arrived, Monkeybread would start pacing. Every once in a while he would let out a high pitched wine before looking at me sideways with melting brown eyes to make sure he wasn't in trouble, then go back to pacing.

Ten minutes before Mark would walk up the street, that little dog was in the window, the big brown spot that had inspired Mark to name him Monkeybread facing the living room. He would put his wet nose flat on the glass. It was the one time he was allowed. How could I yell at him for wanting Mark home as much as I did?

Then there Mark would come, walking up the street. Monkey would stand up and dance on the back of the couch, unable to control the little yips of excitement. Mark waved from the sidewalk, then ran to the house, his thick backpack bouncing against his young back.

"Hey, Mom!" he called, dropped his bag on the chair, grabbed the leash from the closet and off those two boys went, running around the yard, then down the street, laughing and playing with the carefree spirit that came with being young. Or a dog.

I watched them from the window while I folded laundry, smiling with joy in response to theirs. Freedom like that was so short lived.

I looked at the clothes in my hand. Freedom was about choices, wasn't it? A balance between responsibilities and desires.

The door closed behind me. The clothes could stay stuck inside, I didn't have to. I whistled to Monkey who stopped and perked his ears up when he saw me. He jumped up, all four paws straight down like he always did. He looked at Mark who smiled back, then they both came sprinting up the walk to where I waited to play.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WWBH Prompt & Winner

Okay, our winner has been randomly selected at and it happens to be

HJ Musk!

Heather, I have noticed you moved blogs, so let me (Carrie) know between now and next week if you have something special in mind for a button. Otherwise, I'll come up with something for you. :)

A quick look at last week's stories:

The Victorious Warriors by Scott Taylor
The Bringers by Heather Musk

If I missed you, feel free to link up again, with the linky or in the comments.

For now, on to the prompt.


1) Write a story using both photos.

2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.

3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we’ll get you linked up!)

4) You have the next week to post.

5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

As for this week's photos, here are a couple by budding photographer, Joshua Sorensen, age 4. ;-)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sharing An 'Accidental' Adoption Story

This will be the first time I've re-blogged something here. In fact, I'm not really re-blogging because this is a Wordpress blog, so I'm just sharing the link. I strongly encourage you to follow it and to take the time to read the very first post of this new blogger.

She is a social worker, a strong woman trying to help other women become stronger.

She is an active fighter in the war against sex trafficking.

After everything she'd seen, she'd decided it was best for her not to be a mother.

Enter Charlie.

Please go, see how their 'accidental' adoption story unfolds, and consider following her as she unveils the toughest and best time of her life. <3

Friday, January 31, 2014

Cuddle Camp: Sick Day

I just started a second round of antibiotics after finishing the first this past Monday. I am definitely feeling the strain of having had a few doses of antibiotics in my life thanks to many, many sinus infections.

Both the boys were shipped off to day care today, thank goodness. As for me, it's Cuddle Camp. The puppies are making sure I stay warm in my weakened state. ;)

Rukia in front, Winston looking at you and Rambo doubling as Kia's pillow.

Love my puppies!!

(They are only dogs when they're in trouble)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Making Some Changes

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who has stuck with me this last year. I know I grabbed a bunch of you at April A to Z time, then left you hanging throughout my pregnancy, then through the loss of it. It means a lot to me that you stop by, even when all I've been posting is the weekly WWBH.

I've taken a completely different view this year. I've decided I need to make time for things. The fact of the matter is, I have too many interests and my priority is clearly my boys so most of those interests get ignored, which means parts of me do as well. I have no intention of losing time with my growing children, particularly while they are so very much mine in these formative young years, but I can't ignore myself in the process.

Bring on compartmentalization. There are seven days a week, after all, and 16-18 hours in each where things can be done. I'm at a place in my life where I don't need to focus on deadlines as much as just getting things done.

Chasing Revery is still going to be around, I'm just changing things up a bit. I'm going to be writing more from the Mommy perspective than the writing one. Writing may still come up, and the WWBH will definitely still come every Wednesday. Heck, I may even write a story for it and post it up. But I've decided I want my creative writing energy to go where it belongs - toward my WIP.

I will still be writing letters to Dear Analin as well. The greatness of that blog is it really is personal and I have no intention of keeping a 'schedule' as I do here. I think I will add a blog feed here, though, so you can stop by and see if Kris or I have written something new if you aren't following Dear Analin already.

Then there's the new thing. Yes, a new blog. Nicole and I have started a blog called Reading Like Writers. We've been talking about co-blogging for a while, and this particular blog seems to fit a whole in my compartmentalization plans that somehow makes it work, rather than making more work. We're really excited to be taking on this niche set blog and have big plans for where we would like it to go.

There you are. Lots of many changes. I hope you are interested enough to stick around a while longer, and maybe even bring some more people on board. Because at the end of the day, Chasing Revery is my blog-baby and I'm not ready to let it go.

Lots of love,


Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Nicole has the reins this week (if you can't tell from the photos she chose). Don't forget to link up your submissions by Tuesday. I pick an ad winner next week!!

On top of that, the Blog Hop will have an announcement soon (Nicole hints as well), and changes will be coming here soon as well. :-)


It's Wednesday again! We're that much closer to Friday. It's exciting around these blog hop parts because we will be having an announcement coming up for everyone who has participated at all this year. Make sure to stay tuned!

Here's the stories we got from last week. Make sure to go by and read the creative work everyone has done! -

With Time to Spare by CR Fowler
A Chat at Sunseta by Scott Taylor
Nachos, A Glass of Wine, and a Memory by Tena Carr
Leaving by HJ Musk

1) Write a story using both photos.

2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.

3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we’ll get you linked up!)

4) You have the next week to post.

5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

Here are your photos -

Scary (2752359285)


And here's the link up when you're ready!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

WWBH Prompt

Leanne is up! Here's your weekly prompt.


Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Well in that case, we should be quite excited about today. It's Wednesday-- Writer Wednesday! The best day of year and the highlight of this week. I have the pleasure of hosting our Blog Hop Photo Reveal today. :D

Before we get to that, here are the stories that sprung from last week's photo prompt. Be sure to give them a read and send the author an encouraging comment. Writers need encouragement! :)

Me and the Countess on a Sunday Night by Scott Taylor
Missing by Heather Musk
Companion by Tena Carr

Everyone is invited to participate in the Blog Hop Photo Prompt! Don't be shy. Here are the instructions of how it works:

1) Write a story using both photos.
2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.
3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we’ll get you linked up!)
4) You have until next Tuesday post.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

Here are your photos for this week:



Have fun!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WWBH Prompt

Via Tena. :)


Hey, Guess What???? I'm back at the wheel.... The WWBH wheel that is. Haven't done this hosting thing in so long..... Gee, I hope I remember everything correctly.

First off, our winner for this month: Scott Taylor Go on, take a moment to check out his blog, but don't forget to come right back over here for a view of last week's stories and for this weeks ...

Back???? Good!!!!
Here are the awesome stories (as inspired by last week's prompt:

Now for this week's 2 photos:



Remember the 2 photos must connect in your story and the story must be limited to 500 words (don't worry we're not gonna count so if you go a bit over = DON'T SWEAT IT.... Most IMPORTANT Rule!!!! HAVE FUN!!! {and link in with the froggy at the bottom}.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Toddler Tales: Phone Call

We were dropping off the boys at my Mom's on Saturday. As Sebastian (2 in Feb) got out, he stepped on his toy phone. He held up one finger to my husband to tell him to wait, picked up his phone and said, "Hello?" Sebastian continued his conversation all the way into the house. It must have been something important. :-)

(Photo taken at a different time, but who's counting?)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

WWBH Winner and Prompt!!

It is viciously cold here in Michigan. We're 'feeling like' -40's at night and not climbing out of the negatives during the day, even in actual temperatures. It's so very beautiful and so very dangerous. In this cold, it's warned you can get frostbite within 10 minutes.

So, we're staying warm and inside, and cooking up a bit of a writing prompt for you!

I hope you had a great holiday season. We decided to delay the prompts until this week to give everyone a chance to fully enjoy it. That still gives us 3 weeks of submissions to chose the blogger we'll feature for the next month.

The winner!

Make sure to check his blog out, along with our other bloggers every week. They come up with some amazing stuff.

Our last prompt was posted on December 18, and here are the stories inspired by it.

Remembering by Scott Taylor
Chocolate Milk and Hope by Leanne Sype

Now for your 2 photos:

Photos by Carrie Sorensen

Happy New Year!