Tuesday, February 28, 2012

sometimes the answer is no

In Loving Memory of
Joshua Lloyd
We prayed for a miracle, that Josh would be healed. Yesterday, as we drove home from the hospital after saying goodbye to him, my husband told me that he wonders if death is as miraculous as birth--just not for those of us who are left behind. He wasn't healed the way we were hoping, but we know he is now free from pain and suffering. He is more healed than we can imagine. He has been welcomed home by his Heavenly Father and loving Savior. He loved Megan so much, and wanted to live so badly, but it was not to be.

Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts on their behalf. Please continue to remember Megan as she endures this trial.

Josh, we love you. You were an amazing example of faith, of determination, of fighting the good fight. You and Megan have a love that is rare and beautiful--love that lasts through eternity. Stay close to her, be her angel.

We will miss you.

Friday, February 24, 2012

In need of a miracle

Last night we all went to dinner with Megan to celebrate her birthday (it's this weekend).

Here is my cute cousin holding Baby Girl last night. That grin on Megan's face is hiding an enormous amount of heartache and fear.

We just got the news that the HLH is attacking Josh's liver and he is now in liver failure. He's been in the ICU for quite some time now, trying to get him stable enough for his bone marrow transplant, but things keep getting worse. They can't do the transplant with his liver failing, and he won't survive without the transplant. The doctors told Megan that she should consider taking him home.

But we aren't ready to give up just yet. We are asking, one last time, for prayers, fasting, even just thoughts on their behalf--whatever you believe, whatever you are willing to do. He's only 24, he's so strong and so young. It doesn't feel right to throw in the towel.

I personally believe in miracles. I believe in the power of prayer. I never intended to use my blog for religious purposes, but I am a person of faith. And I believe in the power of faith--especially when many can join together. We love Megan and Josh so much, and we are hoping and praying that he can get a miracle. That's what it will take at this point.

We love you guys. We are praying for you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wow, she's posting again already?

I know, right?? I'm sorry my blogging is so sporadic these days. Trying to have a set schedule right now isn't working out so well, so I am now the blogger who blogs when inspiration hits.

Today, inspiration hit.

You've probably seen this quote circulating on pinterest or FB. But just in case you haven't, here it is:


Oh. My. Word.

This is so true -- in all aspects of life. I am the worst at this, constantly comparing myself and finding myself lacking. And it definitely sucks the happiness out of life. I reach a goal, or do something I'm proud of, or have a good day, or WHATEVER. And I feel happy. Elated, even. Until I start thinking about those authors over there who were faster, bigger, better. Or that mom who has a cleaner house, and perfectly dressed children (not two boys who love to dress themselves in questionable outfits in the matching department), AND she's skinnier than me. Even though she's eating a big piece of cake.

Suddenly, I'm not so happy anymore.

See what I mean?

I've got to stop. I'm going to stop. My journey is mine and mine alone. The only person I'm competing with is myself. The only battle is with my own doubts and fears and desires and dreams.

How about you? Do you ever do this? (Please say I'm not alone...)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nothing makes me happier

Than seeing my family snuggled up together, reading. I LOVE that.
Even though, the minute I whip out the camera to capture the precious moment, this is what I get:

Yes, SonA is showing off his mouth full of raw spinach. Yes, he actually loves eating raw spinach and asks for it for a snack all the time. I fully expect him to be brilliant and support us in our old age.

Anyway, the point is that I love reading. I love that my family loves reading.

I love that SonB will come up to me and sit on my lap forever, as long as I read to him.

I love that SonA told me on Sunday that his favorite part of the day is reading a book with me or his dad.

I love that I get to write for a living, creating new people and worlds and stories for others to discover. I love reading new books that my friends have written, to see how their stories take shape, take life, and fly onto the shelves of bookstores (and then hopefully fly OFF the shelves into your homes).

Reading and writing make me happy. How about you?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Four or Five

1. Getting your fingers smashed while spotting SHH at the gym is not conducive to happy typing. A little miscommunication and whammo. Both pointer fingers and both middle fingers, pancaked under 160 lbs of weights. (80 each side.) #owie

2. I wish I had another conference to go to this weekend. I had so much fun with all my writer friends and I'm missing them now that they've all gone back home. I did register for Storymakers in May though so at least I have that to look forward to!

3. My daughter is sitting in her high chair next to me and is so tired, her eyes are drooping shut even as she tries to put more baby puffs in her mouth. I'm thinking it's time for me to get off the computer and get her down for her nap.

4. There are some really awesome books coming out soon (or that have come out recently). One that I finally was able to sit down and read was Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Ah, Laini. Your writing is just... delicious. I want to sit down and devour your words.

Ok, now Baby Girl is screeching and growling and is apparently crossing over into the delirious stage of exhaustion. Time to go.

So, tell me, what's on your mind this Friday? Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lots of Love

So, recently, my blog hasn't had too many lighter posts. Time for a little change. It's Valentine's Day, the day of love. (Or at least the day we're told we better spend money and let everyone know that we're loved, right?)

Well, today I thought I'd write a little love note, to some special people in my life.

First, to all the writers.
I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends and partners in crime. (Candice, Kasie, Renee, Natalie, Jen, and Chantale) Writers are a quirky bunch (some a little bit more certifiably crazy than others -- sword fighting in the aisles anyone?), but hey to each their own, right? Thanks for the laughs, for protecting our "special corner" while I, ahem, you know what, basically for a fabulous weekend at LTUE. I love you girls!


Oh look! More authors! More people that I am so grateful for. (Brodi Ashton, Natalie Whipple, Bree Despain, and James Dashner.) Dinner with such amazing people was just what the doc prescribed. We are all glowing because we are all so fantabulous we're practically angelic. Or else the flash went wacko on my camera. It's one or the other.
Look! MORE awesome authors! (Cute preggo Natalie and Renee) I am so blessed with great, supportive friends. Even when others go totally wackadoodle on me and try to cause me stress, all these lovely ladies here and previously pictured and even those who aren't pictured in this post help keep me laughing and sane. Oh, and the boys, too. Like Dashner. There is just a plethora of female authors in the YA world.
LOOK EVEN MORE AWESOME AUTHORS! (Are you seeing a trend?) I love all of you. And I love yummy food. This was a good night. :-)
And all the authors who I don't know, but whose books inspire, uplift, and transport me to your worlds of intrigue, danger, and romance--I love you, too. But not in a scary, stalker kind of way. Just an "I hope I can be like you some day. And maybe meet you, too" kind of way.
I also love my family. I am so blessed to have three of the (in my completely unbiased opinion) best kids in the whole world. SHH and I heart attacked the boys' door this morning (and surprised them with some new shoes for when spring gets here).
The cute Valentine's Day "Card" we made the grandparents. Yep, I refuse to support Hallmark this year. We're all about the cheesy homemade goodness. I have the best parents. Love their guts.
And my four little sisters -- I don't have any giant cards for you with my kids feet plastered on them, but I do love you all VERY much. My first and most special besties. :-)
And of course the rest of my family and my other amazing friends, who are some of the coolest people and most wonderful friends on this earth. MWUAH!
Aw, tenderness, right? You know I love ya SHH. My friends are the wind that help me to fly, but you are the one who builds (and constantly repairs) my wings.

Had enough mushy-mush? Well, it's not over yet! I love all of you, too! This blogging world is amazing. I have met so many amazing people through my blogging adventures and I am so grateful for all of you--your support, every comment you leave (I honestly cherish them all), and just how rockin' you all are. BIG AWKWARD ONLINE HUGS TO EVERYONE!

Who do you love today?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Motivation: Fighter

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

I had a whole post thought out with this quote. About life, about fear, about the different directions our paths take and the trials we often face.

But my thoughts are pretty much centered on Josh and Megan right now. I told you all last week about him having a bone marrow transplant to save his life... well, unfortunately, he ended up so sick he is back in the ICU and the doctors are really struggling to know what to do. It's pretty scary to destroy someone's immune system to do a transplant when they are so sick they can't breathe on their own.

But he is a fighter. He keeps looking fear in the face and then punching it in the nose. Even though some might have given up by now, he is doing the things others think he can't do and continues to fight. We all believe he's going to win--to beat this thing. Despite all the odds stacked against him. Despite fevers so high they don't even register on the thermometer. (Yep, it just said "high." After an ice bath and tylenol it CAME DOWN to 110 degrees F.) He keeps on fighting.

But geez, can the poor guy just get a break?

On a lighter note, kind of makes the thought of hitting "send" on that email to query that agent you've been procrastinating for weeks now look a little bit easier, doesn't it? Yes, you. The one who just glanced guiltily at the tab for their inbox. Do it. Look fear in the face and go for it.

P.S. a recap of LTUE is on the horizon, so watch for that. It was my first time going, and let's just say, it's a weekend I won't be forgetting any time soon.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Motivation

"There are two types of people: those who come into a room and say, 'Well, here I am!' and those who come in and say, 'Ah, there you are.'" - Frederick L. Collins

Today, I am grateful for friends and family who are the second type of people; those who care about others rather than trying to seek attention and praise for themselves. I am grateful for critique partners and friends in this crazy writing world who say, "you are not alone"--even though sometimes this business can feel lonely.

I hope I have been, and can continue to be, that type of person to others as well. Wouldn't this world be a happier place if more people were like that?

Who has been there for you in your life or in your writing career that you are grateful for today?

**Also, for those of you who have been following Josh and Megan's story... he has been moved up to have an immediate bone marrow transplant to try and save his life. Out of his family, only one person matched him--his sister. But the miracle is that she is a PERFECT match. He is going in to the transplant room for 14 days to have his immune system obliterated and then when he hits zero, he will have the transplant and a new "birthday" because he will be like a newborn. He is going to have to rebuild his immune system from scratch, even repeating immunizations and everything. If you could please keep him in thoughts and prayers, I know they would appreciate it.