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