It's been a little while since I made it over to the blog! Life has been more than crazy around here. Chasing after four kids during summer break while I struggle through my fifth pregnancy has left me a little... exhausted!
Not that I'm complaining. I'm not. Really. Even if my husband tells you differently. (ha!) But, I am trying very hard to find some kind of balance in the midst all of this chaos.
And here's what I've discovered about balance. It's a myth. My white unicorn. An urban legend that well-intentioned people whisper to give false hope.
It's not real.
At least not in my life. We seem to bounce from one fire to the next, putting out the major flames as we go, promising to rush back and extinguish the smaller ones later. Or soon. Or when they explode into major flames and we can't ignore them anymore.
I have to laugh at myself, because before I found out I was pregnant, my husband accepted an offer to go back to his old job. For over three years, Zach worked from home in an effort to help me manage my career and the house and the children and our busy lives. But, when his old job called with a great offer, we looked forward to next school year.
Next year, we will have three kids in school full-time and the following year, our youngest will head off to pre-k. Our lives were going to significantly change and I even dared to hope, calm down. I imagined those empty days where I could find a normalized writing schedule. I felt premature relief in nights and weekends that wouldn't be spent cramming as much writing in as possible. I hoped for met deadlines and word counts I could stick to and realistic long-term plans that would organize my different series and highlight my passion projects.
It all seemed possible. It all seemed within my reach.
So Zach accepted the offer and went back to work outside of the home.
Since we haven't made it to next school year yet, the end of this last school year was not easy with my husband suddenly gone five, sometimes six, days of the week. I was overwhelmed with my full-time job as mom and my full-time job as writer. But I had this goal line in sight. I just had to make it to summer when we could at least relax. When we at least didn't have to worry about getting to school on time.
Zach went back to work in March.
In April, we found out we were pregnant again!
Shocking does not even begin to cover the spectrum of feelings I had. I not only had to give up my dreams of normalcy and scheduled writing that felt so painfully within my reach, but I had to come to terms with having five kiddos. Five of them.
FIVE OF THEM!
Not an easy task.
All that to say, now that the dust has settled and I've accepted this life-changing surprise, I have to say, this is the most excited I have ever been for a baby. This is really happening and I couldn't be happier!!!
You guys, I'm having a baby!!!!!! Ah!
Zach won't be home to help me like he has been in the past, the chaos is only going to get crazier, our lives are not even going to pretend to slow down, my writing schedule will not get organized or consolidated or less pressurized, my house is not going to be perfectly cleaned, my meal plans are not going to get meticulously carried out, my life is not going to get less stressful.
But, you guys, A BABY!!! A baby that my kiddos cannot wait to meet. And my husband cannot wait to hold. A baby that will fill this family with an impossible amount of blessings and love and sweetness.
A baby that only adds to my joy and expands my heart and makes me smile every time my hands land on my already-rounded belly. (This is the fifth kid after all. I didn't stand a chance.)
My writing career has definitely suffered. I'm ten entire years older than I was with my first pregnancy. I was sicker than I ever have been those first few months. I'm more exhausted than I knew was humanly possible. I am ditzy and cranky and obnoxiously emotional.
I feel insane because I cry so often. I just start crying and I don't even know why! I'm too pregnant to function and I still have five more months to go!
But this is my life. And why I ever thought I could change it, I don't know!
Years ago, I adopted the verse Proverbs 16:9 as my life motto: Man plans his paths, but God directs his steps.
How relevant, right?
But with this baby, I needed something stronger, something soul deep and sustaining.
I found Exodus 14:14 recently and it's what I'm keeping close to my chest, the verse I'm etching into my heart and tattooing on my soul.
"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
So that's what I'm doing, you guys. I'm resting. I'm being still. I'm trusting in a God who has directed my paths every step of the way and only ever led me to beautiful, life-filled places that give me rich joy and deep fulfillment. (Even if they're also hard places. Even if they're also not without struggle and pain.)
My writing has suffered. And I apologize for that. I'm in survival mode and I'm treating each word I write with care and consideration.
My brain does not feel like my own and I just want to make sure that what I'm giving you sounds like me and not the alien that's overtaken my body with this pregnancy. So everything I do is slow... slower than I'm used to... slower than I can stand.
I also have a secret project that I have kept very secret until, well, until right now. I can't give you any details of course, because I'm a cruel, unfeeling human. But I hope to have something for you soon! Or soonish.
Anyway, it's taken up a lot more of my time than I planned for. I am working hard to finish it so I can dive into L&D with all my heart and finish out this season with a bang.
But, I want you to know, L&D: Revolution is NEXT. As in next week next. My top priority now that Bet on Me is published is Love and Decay.
The good news for you is that I have had a lot of time to think and plan the last part of this season and I am beyond excited to write all these ideas down and turn them into a coherent story. You guys. It's going to get INSANE.
I cannot wait!!!!!
After Love and Decay, I will be writing my next adult contemporary called, The Opposite of You. I haven't published an adult contemporary romance since last September. And as I try to make my way into this new-ish genre for me, it's important I release books regularly.
The other reason this book will be next is because I cannot wait to write it. I have the blurb finished and just the blurb is one of my most favorite things I've ever written. I keep scrawling notes and ideas and adding to my outline for this book every single day because I honestly can't stop. I am so passionate about this book that it just fills my head and my fingers and makes me fall in love with writing all over again.
I can't wait to give it to you.
And I really can't wait to give you more info about it and introduce you to the characters!
After The Opposite of You, I'm going to be focusing on Heir of Empyrial Fire, the fourth Starbright book.
Another book, I'm dying to write.
My writing schedule is so exciting. Truly! I don't know if you're all excited for these books or if you couldn't care less... Lol! But for me, and this job that I love so much, I have an amazing schedule ahead of me.
I just have to fight for every inch of time I get to spend with it.
That's where I'm at. Fighting for moments to write and focus. Fighting for quiet time to spend in concentrated thought. Struggling to get words on a page and wade through the chaos, confusion and even fear that defines my life right now.
I've hired help over the summer and I still have to battle for time to spend on the writing I want to get to. Isn't life crazy like that?
I'm not sure what the fall is going to look like for me. We haven't decided yet, how we'll approach the school year now that we have a little one coming in December. And I honestly can't predict how I'll feel, especially once I get into that third trimester.
What I would really like to happen is to finish L&D: Revolution, The Opposite of You and Heir of Empyrial Fire this year and then figure out 2017 after the baby comes and we figure out what life will look like a little better.
So, since that is what I want to happen, I can almost guarantee that it won't happen like that. (Ha!) But I just wanted to give you a head's up with where I'm at and how I'm approaching this new and exciting and scary and stressful and fun and fantastic time in our lives.
The good news is that after the three year wait, BET ON ME is finally LIVE!!!!!! Have you read it yet?!?!? What do you think? What are you waiting for if you haven't?!?!?! You need it in your life.
Just trust me. You do.
Thanks for being so awesome with me. I love you guys. Daily you confirm that you are the best, most gracious readers on the planet. You make this all worth it and I am so grateful for your encouragement, support and forgiveness.