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Showing posts from February, 2014
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Hello there. Life has been a little crazy this week, thus the lack of blogging. But here is something I've been playing around with. I want to take some of the thoughts I have and share them online like the one below. I'm trying to get a feel for paint.net in the process. Next week I have an author interview planned and a Happy Birthday post for my brother. I hope you'll come see.



Longing for Spring

Cookie Perfection

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I've been considering sharing this for a while. Although it means I have to give up my dream of owning a little dessert shop called "The Brownie House," I am finally willing to do it. I don't know why God cursed me with the ability to make amazing cookies, but He did. So I make them. I perfect them. I eat them. And now I'm sharing a recipe with you.

In my opinion, these are the best chocolate chip cookies ever. Better than Mrs. Fields, better than Neiman Marcus, better than your mother's. I know because I've created chocolate chip cookie snobs. My kids will occasionally take a bite of someone else's cookies, or store bought. Then they turn up their noses and try to hide the remainder where nobody will notice. Sometimes they refuse after one glance. I can't blame them. I do the same thing.

So, here it is. Enjoy!

Melissa Lemon's Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks butter, room temperature (Seriously, this is important. Let them sit on the counter ov…

This is So Embarrassing

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I hesitate to share things like this. I don't know why I have so many insecurities about my drawing abilities, but I do. However, I also know that I am much more marketable in today's publishing industry as a children's book author if I can also illustrate. So sometimes I practice. Here are some recent sketches and projects.

Some of these characters are from The Flea's Sneeze by Lynn Downey with illustrations by Karla Firehammer (cool name, right?)



This was an exercise I did trying to imagine the scenery of Sleeping Beauty and the Beast.


And I drew these while my kids did their homework one night. Don't worry. I'll keep practicing. :)





Spice Makes a Fort

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In fact, she's the fort queen. She loves to be in enclosed spaces, wear cozy pajamas and cuddle. When was the last time you built a fort? No, really. Here is a challenge for you. Build a fort sometime this week. Remember what it was like to be a kid, to practice the survival skill of creating your own shelter, to occupy every blanket in the house at the same time, and to have your own special place to be you.

Love my Spice.

Here's another fort we built last week.


It's More Than Friendship. It's Providence.

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I hope you had a great President's Day.

Mine was fantastic.

Have you ever had a friend that you knew was placed in your life at a certain time for a certain reason? I've had a few of those and let me tell you, they are precious gems.

Today I got to spend some time with one such friend. Let me tell you how we met.

Once upon a time, I put an ad on KSL (sort of like Craigslist for Utah locals). I needed a few extra music students and thought this might be a good way to get some. I received one call. One. This mom was looking for a guitar teacher for her daughter. We set up a time and guess what? They showed up. At the first lesson I was a little . . . excited. I had just received my first offer for publication earlier in the week and just couldn't contain my excitement. So I told them. And my student's mom was like, "Really? I'm a writer too." And the rest is sort of history. A long, blessed history. We've been friends for three years now, but it feels m…

Snow Day!

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The World is Coming to an End

Sorry I've been . . . absent. I've been preparing for the great storm. Maybe I'll eat my sarcastic words and we'll actually get a few feet and experience some power outages, but this girl is from the mountains and to me, snow is part of life, fun, awesome, and NOT to be feared. Respected, yes. Feared? No. This is my first winter in Maryland and it's a little surprising/shocking/appalling that school is cancelled because a few flakes are falling or there's an inch of snow on the ground. Frankly, I think it's ridiculous. A friend of mine from Utah told me recently that they got 12 inches of snow. People got out their shovels and went to work and school. On time.

Okay, maybe there's some scientific reason for Marylanders being afraid of the snow. Maybe it gets icier faster and the roads are just slick and dangerous (humidity? Proximity to Ocean?). Maybe there are so many people here that don't know how to handle it that THEY are the danger and not the …

Gratitude Poem

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This just sort of came out one night and I thought I'd share. I don't love it, but I like the idea that came out of the exercise. When writing this, I just let the pen fly, taking me wherever. What I felt as I penned those last six phrases: "Give thanks, give thanks, give thanks, give thanks, give thanks, give thanks," is that when we feel gratitude, things are steady and even. Rather than having super highs and devastating lows, rather than going one way just to realize you need to turn around and go back, life has a steady, rhythmic heartbeat.

The last three "give thanks" are supposed to resemble a heart monitor.


Running

I did a 5 miler this morning and it has been a long time. Bring on the headache! I love running. It felt so good to just set a steady pace, stick the earphones in and RUN. Sometimes I have to do it just to remind myself that I really do love it.

The Case of the Mysterious Penguin Pajama Pants

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This really has me baffled.

I got some cute pajama pants for Christmas, blue with white, black and silver penguins. I opened them, wore them several times, and then put them in the washing machine.

Now, I'm not sure what happened after that. Maybe the little ogre who eats socks got a hold of them. I don't know. But when I pulled them out, they looked like this.



You see that big huge wrinkle in the front? They're actually sewn together like that. So my question is: Were they really like that all along and I just didn't notice? Or did something strange and mysterious happen while they were in the laundry? Hmmm. I guess I'll never know.

The end.

A Closeup of My Nose

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This post isn't really about my nose, but there it is so I had to say it.

This post is actually about why I am only wearing one earring lately.

A long time ago I got my ears pierced. I was five. At first, I loved wearing earrings. So much so, that a few years later I got my ears pierced for the second time. Then I got even older and kind of stopped wearing them. Maybe it was because I began playing sports and had to take them out for that. Maybe it's because I decided it wasn't my style. Maybe my ears were sensitive. Whatever the reason, wearing earrings became something I just . . . didn't really do. Most of the time.

So my ears began to close up. Because that's what the body does. It was made to heal itself so if there's a hole there, and nothing to keep the hole open, it will seal up again. Crazy, right? (Wow, that is really profound in other ways, but I'll save that for another day.) Well, every once in a while I would still wear earrings in my first h…

Atheism at the BSO

*Thank you for your interest in this post. I just wanted to give an update. After filling out a contact form, the Director of Education at the BSO contacted me today (February 7th). Calling it an "oversight," she assured me it would be fixed.*

I had the rare privilege of attending the symphony yesterday. As a musician, this is an experience I treasure. I have fond memories of attending the Utah Symphony with my elementary school in the fourth grade and working as a volunteer for the Salt Lake Symphony's Vienna Ball for extra credit in High School. It's been a long time since I went to the symphony, and I had been looking forward to it for a long time.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra played a selection of pieces highlighting the grandiosity and diversity of American landscapes. It began with the thrilling Hoedown by Aaron Copland, and included readings by a geologist, two solos by Robert Cantrell, and a poetry reading by an award winning high school poetry reader. As…

What DO Moms Do All Day?

One day last week, I . . .

Made sandwiches for my kids
Helped my youngest do the dishes
Read a book to someone
Took the kids to school
Went back home
Exercised
Rearranged the furniture in my kids' room
Showered
Made some toast to take on the road
Went to my sister's house
Read lots of books to her kids
Made lunch
Cut up burritos
Helped my nephew say a prayer
Helped the other one say a prayer because he thought he needed a turn
Supervised eating (trying to keep the floor clean)
Smiled
Sang more songs
Encouraged my niece to eat so she could get ready for school
Brushed her hair
Washed toddler #1
Washed toddler #2
Got spanked by toddler #1
Walked my niece to the bus
Sang Mary Had a Little Lamb about 12 times
Played "This Little Pig" about 7 times (x 2 because with twins, everything is x 2)
Changed diaper of toddler #2
Sang jingle bells about 8 times
Went home
Cleaned the mess I'd made earlier when I'd rearranged the furniture
Checked e-mail
Blogged
Welcomed chil…

What I Love About Being a Mom

1. Waking up to so many people who love me.

2. Doing something for them that they didn't expect me to do.

3. Talking with them about their day.

4. Feeling their arms around me when they are comforting me because I am having a bad day.

5. Having help.

6. Reading stories out loud to them, particularly the ones I write.

7. Seeing them succeed, especially when something has been hard or frustrating.

8. Welcoming them home from school.

9. Baking them their favorite cookies.

10. Seeing their embarrassment because I am dancing or singing.

Being a mom is the best.

The end.