Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Through the Lens

First plane ride, and first time to Arizona. 

Jarod's baptism. 

March must have been boring. I find no pictures from March. 
Jarod turned 21. He refused to take a good picture. 


Engagement pictures on a 10 degree day, and VOTA concert. 


Wedding prep....

Twas the month of random selfies and dad loving what he heard on the radio. 

Weddings and honeymoons. 

Eem the turtle, yummy food, and the Maddie cave. 


Scout and the spider who is friends with Hagrid. 


Harvest time and an announcement. 

Mighty deer slayer, and getting to see his face. 


Cheater alert! This was taken the last day of November. But I haven't taken a single picture so far this December aside from screenshots of recipes. 

Ta da!

Friday, December 16, 2016

A Review of 2016

I'm looking at my calendar and realizing that the year is almost over. Say what?? That can't possibly be right. But it is. It's December 16th already, and time just keeps marching forward till it can roll over into a whole new year. Craziness.
Lots of people are saying that 2016 has been the worst year ever. And I would agree with them. 
Lots of people are saying that 2016 has been the best year ever. And I would also agree with them.
My estimation of the year is that it has been an uncontrollable roller coaster of the highest highs and the lowest lows. Which, to be fair, most years are, but this one just seemed a bit more...more intense, more monumental, more effective. I feel like this year has kind of been all up in everyone's face, and you better have your hat on tight or you'll get lost in the whirlwind. 
The whole year has been kind of like this. 

This year has presented some of the most terrifying, challenging aspects I've ever had to face in my life. Dealing with people who don't want you to get married is difficult at best. Dealing with people who want to try and tell you how you should get married, and how you should be when you are married is no fun either. Dealing with people who you've known for years and counted as friends who suddenly decide to run around town telling stories that you're some kind of boyfriend snatching, abusive, promiscuous, piece of white trash was something I never thought I'd be put up to, but that's exactly what 2016 offered. And it wasn't just horrible things like that. It was stress in general. Stress about planning a wedding. Stress about planning a honeymoon. Stress about moving. About living an entirely new sort of life. Managing a home by myself. Bills and finances. And then stress about telling my husband of one month that he's going to be a daddy much, much sooner than we had ever planned on. Stress about telling those people who didn't want us to get married, and most certainly didn't want us to have children right away, that the newly established Wilson clan was growing. Stress about the people who look at your swelling tummy like it's something dirty, when it was obtained in the most innocent and pure way possible, within a marriage that started off pure from the start, but there's no way to prove that and no way to defend it. People will be people. Stress of feeling sick for months on end, only to be replaced by complete exhaustion no matter how much rest you get, and always feeling behind on work because you just cant some days. Stress of feeling like you've somehow failed if supper wasn't perfect and the laundry isn't finished, even though there is no one there to say those things. The food is eaten heartily, and there are clean clothes to wear, but there's still stress. Stress of feeling like you want to cry all the time, or feeling like screaming at someone when they've done absolutely nothing wrong, and you know it, but the feeling is still there like a knot in your stomach. Stress because your body is changing so rapidly, and it doesn't fit into the clothes it used to, and its swelling and bulging in places it normally wouldn't, and feeling completely unattractive and having a hard time believing anything else. Stressing about a living soul growing inside, and how to keep it safe until it gets here, and how to keep it safe after it gets here. It's enough to give a person a headache just typing it all down. 

But apart from all the doom and gloom of the terrible year of 2016, the year has held so much joy, and promise, and beauty. So much to be thankful for. I got to start the year off engaged to the person I love most in the entire world. I got to stand in front of four hundred of our family and friends and pledge my love to him for the rest of our lives. I got to put together a house for us, that's not perfect, but its ours. I got to cook him things I know he likes, and have him come home to a clean house and a good movie after a long day of working. I got to ride with him to do chores every Saturday, and sit next to him in church every Sunday. I got to tell him he's going to be a daddy, and see him smile at my tummy before he goes to work. I got to rebuild some of the damage that the stress of having a dating sister/daughter did to my relationship with my family. I got to tell him that he's going to be a daddy, and see him smile at my tummy before he leaves in the morning, and tell my mom that she's going to have a grandson. I got to see my baby stretch and yawn on a screen in front of me. I got to see his tiny fingers and toes. I got to work at a job that I can do, and save up money for our future, and turn in a resignation from that job so that I can be home with our little bundle in the new year that's coming. I got to grow closer to the friends that I do have. I got to share their joy as they are starting new lives of their own. The nation got another chance at taking our freedoms here seriously. I got to have a new second cousin come into the world. And find out about another one on the way, when before there was heartache over one lost. I've got to spend time with my friends and family, and meet the new family I've acquired. I've got to see God working in my and the people around me's lives in an amazing way. 

So, yes. It's been a hard year. But good has come from it. I've learned. I've grown. I've matured. And it's opened up a whole new box of opportunities for next year. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Discovery

I have made a discovery. A Discovery of epic proportions. A discovery so monumental it may alter the course of history for all mankind....Ok, so maybe it's not quite that huge, but I was still pretty excited. 
You guys remember way back when I did some character interviews with a boy named Jake? A character in one of my stories that I have literally hundreds of scenes written for, but none are in order and not really following any plot line, and I was just trying to figure out how they all fit together. Well, several years ago, probably two or three at least, me and Minion #1 took and numbered each scene, laid them all out on my bedroom floor and arranged them in some kind of chronological order. We then wrote the numbers down in order on several pieces of paper so I could get into my computer and arrange them accordingly. It was exhausting. 

Well, long story short, the notes with the order of things on it disappeared. Couldn't find it. And since I couldn't find them, I couldn't arrange them, which meant I couldn't write the blasted story which meant it got shelved. 


The other night while watching a movie a ship flashed across the screen, old Spanish Galleon type, and Jarod commented that he really liked old style ships. Which spurred me into a flurry of activity to dig out all my old sketchbooks and start looking through all the old drawings (the horror. It was bad friends. It was bad) to find one I'd done of a pirate ship. I did find the picture.

 Also, tucked inside the pages, I found my notes for Jake's story. It was like a Christmas miracle!

I couldn't believe my luck, so I grabbed my laptop, only to find that the story was not actually saved on that computer. 


I found the thumb drive where it was saved. In the very first place I looked. 

And then. 

I found the tablet that had some of the actual chronological story that I had written down. That took about two days, but I was successful. 

And now, I have all the pieces. I can start. Which means I might temporarily postpone my Hang the Stars story. Jake has been near and dear to my heart for years and years. He's possibly my most tragic creation yet, and I don't know if I can equally split my attention from him to any other story. 

I feel like the fat little hamster on Bolt.....
Let it begin, LET IT BEGIN!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Little Mister

Hi guys! I hope you are all enjoying your fall. Here it's been acting more like summer for the last few weeks. We had thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes...not winter weather at all. Until this morning. This morning it turned cold. BAM. And it even flurried a few snow flakes.
I've decided that I need to acquire a Christmas tree, as we don't own one, and I should probably get all of my ornament collection from my mumsie whenever she gets their tree out and ready to go.
I've acquired seven chickens. They were all layers, but I haven't gotten any eggs yet. But, like I said, crazy weather has been happening, and that will mess them up, plus traveling to my house in the back of a pickup probably rattled them a bit, so it might take them a couple days to get back in the swing of things. They are named Agnes, Florence, Edith, Margo, Dorothy, Alta, and Irma, and no, I don't have the slightest clue which one is which. 
We moved Scout's doghouse up to the porch, because he only wants to sit on the porch when we are home, and he looks so pitiful when its cold and wet. He's thoroughly enjoying it. Mostly he sits on top of it a lot. When he's not dragging things into the yard from who knows where. He found a big like gym bag the other day....No clue where it came from. It's not like we just throw gym bags out in the weeds around here. And he has decided that the wood shouldn't be in a pile, it should be in a maze on the front walk. But oh well. He's a puppy. A massive, nearly knock you over puppy.
'Im the turtle is doing really well. We got him his very own aquarium, and he still looks cranky, but I know deep down inside he's happy and actually likes me. Even if he does tear holes in my sponge if Jarod tries to give him a bath.
Thanksgiving went well. We went to see Jarod's mom's half of the family, so there were lots of people I've never met. The food was good, but I'm really missing getting to eat Thanksgiving leftovers for a few days since Jarod's aunt handled all the food prep.
Minion #1 and Daddy-kin had birthdays back to back last week so we had to go celebrate with them. We played Pinochle and watched miserable football game losses.
With Thanksgiving gone I'm getting super stoked for Christmas. I've heard a few Christmas songs on the radio, and I completely approve.

So, the original point of this post and the whole reason for the title has nothing to do with any of the stuff I just rambled about, and much more to do with the fact that we found out that our little bambino is a boy.

We are absolutely thrilled. Not that a girl wouldn't be thrilling, because it would. But you have to understand. I come from a family of three girls. My mom is one of three girls. And both of her sisters so far have had girls. So...a boy is kind of like a rare discovery around here. 

Now the really difficult part is the naming of the little fella. We had a girl name picked out for like, ever, but that doesn't do me a whole lot of good now. You would think a name wouldn't be so hard. I mean, I'm a writer. I name people for fun. But the difference between naming a character and naming a baby is that the baby isn't solely yours, whereas the character is. So the other participant in the venture may not approve of Cannon, or Talon, Tell, or Riley. 
But not to fear. We've got a book of 60,000 baby names. 
That's a lot of different options. Odds are, one of them will appeal to the both of us.
Hopefully two, because it would be odd if our baby was the only person around to not have a middle name. 

So there you have it! That's a rundown of what I've been up to lately.
What about you?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

My Nano

Hi guys! I thought I'd tell you a little bit about my story for Nanowrimo. First off, I'm not going to win. Not even going to come remotely close. But that's ok. I was aware of that when I started. I have however, been doing more writing than I have in the last year or so. So its a win, for me. 

What I titled it on the Nano website is Light the Stars. It will work for now. Not sure if I'll keep it. It's better than the title of its Pinterest board, Little Boy Story. 

This is the synopsis I've come up with:

Aiden is seven years old, and lives with his mommy, and his daddy. Mommy is very sick, and lots of times she has to stay in bed now. But that doesn't stop her from telling Aiden his bedtime stories every night. They put on their jammies, climb into Mommy's bed and snuggle down into the pillows, and together they draw pictures while Mommy tells her story of the little creature Gus and his adventures in the land of Aisling. But suddenly, mommy is gone, and Aiden doesn't know what to do anymore. Daddy tries to help him, but he's not having any easier of a time coping. Aunt Cindy comes to help them out and try to keep them busy, but she's not mommy. She cant tell bedtime stories. Aiden starts having bad dreams that wont go away. Upon waking from one of these dreams, Aiden finds Gus perched on the foot of his bed with a worried message. Aisling is sick and turning dark, and they need Aiden to help save it. 

I let Jarod read the notes I had with all the random plot lines and ideas I had. It confuzzled him a bit, so he said to write a few chapters worth and then he would look at it. Which is giving me incentive to keep writing. I'm like the story quite a lot. It's fun to be able to write the perspective of such a young character. It makes the details I include or leave out interesting for me. I've been studying my little Sunday school students a lot to really get a grasp on how they process things. It's been fun. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

On Deer Hunting

Hi guys! Probably my all time favorite part of November (or else a very close second to Thanksgiving) is Deer season. Most other hunting seasons I could take or leave. Dove hunting is fun, if the migration is just right, and pheasant can be fun if the population is up for the year, but deer hunting is always a good time. 
This year was my first time hunting out of a tree stand. Typically me and my dad or sisters just kind of hunker down in some tall grass at the bottom of a tree or something and that's how we hunt, but Jarod has lots of river ground where the trees are thick, and he's got quite a few tree stands set up. 
So, season started on Saturday morning. We got up at six and got dressed head to toe in camo. Which was really fun. I'm pretty sure deer are color blind, because my whole life I've never wore anything special, and have been successful, but full camo is always fun. 

We parked in a little clump of trees and hiked across the pasture up to the river and climbed into the stand. It was cold, so I had on two pairs of socks. My cowboy boots wont fit with that, so I had to wear my snow boots, which didn't feel good, since they are pretty much shot and do more harm than good. But I survived. 
It was definitely a different experience hunting out of a tree, and I can't say I necessarily love the idea. My rifle has a scope on it, so there were a lot of branches to contend with while trying to sight in on anything. Not to mention you're in the heart of the Nebraska jungle along the river, and you can't see a deer coming until they are right underneath you. I prefer some forewarning. That morning we saw four does, and two little spike bucks. Nothing very interesting. 

When we were done for the morning and heading home to do chores we got a call that one of the guys who was hunting on their land had fallen out of his tree stand. Apparently he has a habit of doing that. 
He was fine, but he wanted help dragging his deer out of the brush and loading it in the pickup, so we went and helped him out. It was a pretty nice buck. 

After chores we went and hiked into some of our pastures and crept up to some ponds and such to see what we could see. We saw some does. Nothing very interesting. 

At about three o'clock we went back to sit in our tree. For some reason, this time we parked at the gate to the pasture, and walked, not through just the one pasture, but two. Apparently there was a deer stand further in than the one we sat in that morning. 

Lemme get this straight. I'm four months pregnant, almost fifteen pounds heavier than I've ever been in my entire life, bundled up in like 93 layers of camo stuff, packing a gun, with boots that weigh thirty pounds and don't fit, and we're going to walk across two pastures???

Jarod likes to hunt 'the real way'. That translates to lots of walking. I like to hunt the fat old person way. Which means you drive as close as you possibly can to where you are going to set up, park behind a tree or a hill and go with it. It is just as successful. And quite a bit smarter, in my opinion. 

Anyway, we hiked in, crawled in the tree, which oddly had some old deer bones at the bottom of the ladder, and settled in. I traded guns with Jarod since he didn't have a scope on his, and this was much closer quarters than the first stand we sat in. And we waited. And waited. I saw a deer cross the river a long ways away from us, but it got into the trees before I could see what it was. It was heading our way though, so we kept waiting. We heard it long before we saw it. I've never heard a deer make so much noise and I was starting to think that it wasn't a deer at all but some city slicker crashing through the brush like a bowling ball,
but finally a little spike buck popped out of the bushes. The reason he was making such a racket was he was down to three legs. Looked like he had a wire scratch on his leg, so he was pretty ginger with it, which made him a bit clumsy. We watched him for a little bit, and he meandered around down below us for quite a while before hop crashing his way back into the trees. I could hear him on his way out for a long time, so it was hard to listen for anything else that might be coming.
It was starting to get dark, and we were thinking about heading back, since you can't hunt at night, when I see a deer off to our left just walking along, about a hundred yards out, along the edge of the trees. It was dim enough I couldn't count the points, but I could see his horns reflecting and knew they were tall. Jarod looked at it through my scope and said it was big, so we hurried to trade guns and I shot. I was shooting across Jarod, trying to get the deer before he got back into the trees behind us, and I must have flinched, because I hit him but not dead center. So he ran a little ways, back into the open thankfully, and turned back and looked at us. I shot again and that time he went down for good. 

That's the picture of him up there, once we got him gutted. He's a five by five, and the biggest deer I've ever shot. His brow tines are huge, and his base is about as big around as my fist. I was thrilled. 

We hung him up in the shed before hurrying home to watch the Nebraska Huskers lay down the laws of football to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Sunday after church we went and skinned him, and cut up the meat. That was totally new to me. A little bit icky, but not bad at all. So we made steaks out of him, and then the meet that doesn't make good steaks we put in a grind category. Later this year we'll grind it up and make jerky and hopefully bologna, and hamburger. So yummy. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Sorry, Not Sorry

So, just a quick update, we get to find out baby Wilson gender on the 18th. 
Deer season starts this weekend. 
I actually signed up for Nanowrimo. 
I am not on schedule.
I really don't care. 
 I'm writing. 
and, And, ANd, AND

I'm just a little bit anxiety ridden, pumped up, and crazy about that last fact.