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I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shawn Johnson and DWTS: A Lament

I can't even pretend to be unbiased.

Shawn John should have won.

What? Am I the only one still watching DWTS, other than Tom Bergeron's wife? Listen, I swore it off years ago when my five-year-old started asking me about procreation during Rumba week. But then Shawn Johnson was on the All-Star season and watching became a civic duty. She is, as you should know, from my very own home town of West Des Moines, Iowa.

I have mentioned before how I love the Olympics, but really I just love these two.

Gabi went to our church when she lived here for the years leading up to her TRIUMPHANT SWEEP of the Olympics. And Shawn and I are pretty much great friends. She may not see it like that, and sure, I can be a little overwhelming when I accost her froth about her talent in the produce section of our local grocery store. Or in the TJMaxx parking lot. Or when she goes for a jog in my neighborhood. But I CANNOT HELP IT. She's an Iowan, she's spunky, she keeps her nose clean AND she can do this:

So my apologies to Melissa Rycroft, who is probably a very nice girl underneath all my jealousy for her abs. (Note: No woman who has birthed a child should show these in public. How am I supposed to explain myself to my husband then next time I accidentally bare my midriff?)

I'm sure Melissa is a ripped sweetie, but Shawn John should have won first place. You're the champ in my heart, SJ. You have done us Iowans proud. I'll try not to cry the next time we run into each other. and don't get scared if I have to perform your awesome Quickstep from Week 3 for you in aisles of TJ Maxx. It's all out of love.

5! 6! 7! 8! B.F.F.s 4-ever! Call me later!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Let's Talk Turkey

Do you think I'm shallow if my all-time favorite holiday is completely focused on food consumption? Thanksgiving makes me so happy. 

I look a lot like this when I say the word. "Thanksgiving," I say, and then I make my hands into a prayerful pose, tie on my checkered apron, and look over yon to the setting sun. I also lose 15 inches around my waistline.

Speaking of waistlines, don't you love Thanksgiving? Yes, you do, or you would be a bitter, unAmerican, frightfully thin person and those kinds of people hate my blog. So you do love Thanksgiving and if you're anything like me in a checkered apron, you love the food. Turkey, yes, but the side dishes. Joy in a serving dish, that's what they are. I'm talking mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing with toasted pecans, homemade rolls, green beans with shallots and bacon, cranberry sauce...And the desserts? Pecan pie, loved ones. (Time to put hands in prayerful pose). Cinnamon apple crumble pie. Or one of my recent favorites, Brown Sugar and Chocolate Chip Pound Cake with Maple-Espresso Glaze.

I am feeling very, very thankful.

And can we just agree to eat happily this year? I have read multiple times this week in newspapers and mags that we should all be super careful (read: depressed) and not eat too much on Thanksgiving or we will either lose more jobs to China or perish by the winter solstice. I might be combining current issues here, but I still think we're overdramatizing. Sure, go for a walk if you must, or toss the football around in the backyard. But then re-assume prayerful hands and sit down for another round of side dishes. Do your part. The Pilgrims nearly croaked so you'd have this privilege.

So who's cooking at your house? What side dish makes you want to dance happy?
I'd love to know what and how you're eating. Happy Best Cooking Week of the Year!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Run the Race

I ran a 5K this fall.

And here is why I'm bringing it up: Remember Lolo Jones? Super fit, fast as an antelope, stunningly beautiful?

I looked NOTHING like her when I was running.

For one thing, my new pants kept falling down. The weather had just changed to cool and my summer running gear wasn't going to work, so I dug into my drawer and found a great pair of shiny black Lycra pants that were AWESOME when I wore them at Des Moines Christian track meets in JUNIOR HIGH. I am not telling a falsehood here: I have had those pants since the early 80s. Will someone please tell me to go shopping?

Well, I sure did, people, and I sure did buy a pair of cute little just-below-the-knee running pants without trying them on. And I sure did feel smug for avoiding the hassle of a fitting room. And I sure did have to hike those pants up for the first mile of the race before I sweated enough for them to stick without assistance.

Do you think Lolo's pants fall down? No, no they do not.

Of course, if you think you'll get me to wear one of these little streamlined briefs anywhere but in a dark closet, you're off your rocker.

I finished, and I wasn't the last one, which was my goal. In fact, Marc was trash talking a little bit on my behalf and very proud that his wife "smoked" our local news anchor, who is rounding the corner to 60 years of age but still kicking it on the pavement. Take THAT, Kevin Cooney.

I made it. And I'm here to tell all you moms who don't look like Lolo or charm like Kevin, you can do it too. YOU CAN DO IT. Lace up those shoes and get your run on. I would merely recommend trying on your pants before the gun goes off.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Back in the Saddle

Hi, there.

I've missed you people. I did need some time away, and please don't take it personally. I find you all very kind, very patient, and never once have I needed to clear your dirty dishes. You're perfect, really. But I needed to finish a novel, and thanks be to God, I did! WOOT WOOT and WOOTY WOOT. The Child is currently with my agent, who is shopping it around to publishers.

I know that sounds like Chip has a sheath of papers in a grocery cart and is trolling the streets of Manhattan, but he assures me it's much more professional than that. Less speedy, but more professional. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, nothing gets a girl back to blogging like this backyard vision:

That's correct. Chuckles is back. He loves me. He follows me, even when I move to a different house. He eats the foliage of any plant but roses. And he looks at me like I'm bothering him when I run out on the deck and scream at his little furry face.

But I think I speak for both of us when I say, darn it, we've missed you. Glad to be back.