A Book Deal?! Are you kidding me?!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I'll be short and sweet tonight...since it is our anniversary....even though we do still have a baby awake....he's all messed up after our vacation. Anyways.....

Well my husband is officially unbelievable......in the best kind of way. 

So it's our 9 year anniversary, and as a gift, he got my year of writing published. 


So it's sort of a long story and I'm still a little in shock, but it's so exciting! 

He started calling publishers at the beginning of the year to see if he could find someone who would be willing to publish it just as a gift. He talked to a lot of companies who just weren't interested. 

But then he talked to a company out of Dallas that was willing to do it. Brian made it clear that he wasn't looking for a book deal, he just wanted my year of writing published as a keepsake for us and our family and friends. 

They agreed on a price, and the process was started. 

Not too long after the original agreement had been made, the guy working on our project called Brian and asked if he thought I would be willing to do a book deal. He had been reading through my blog and formatting it into a manuscript, and told Brian that there was a big market for my writing style. 

But a book deal would mean giving up the rights to my content and a lot of other things, and Brian wasn't prepared to make that decision without my involvement. He figured if the guy was interested then, he would be interested later. 

So they continued on the process to formatting all 365 days into a manuscript. My mother-in-law edited every single day of writing (thank you Kay!), and Brian and the guy at the publishing company discussed everything from pictures, to paper quality, to the book cover. 

How cool is that? 

It's not done yet. Turns out 365 days of writing was a lot of content to format. The 1st copy will be done in mid to late August. From there, I'll be able to make any final edits or changes, and then it will go to print. We're only printing copies for our friends and family at this point, but who knows? Maybe one day I'll take that guy up on the book deal.  

I'm so excited, shocked, thrilled, in awe and thinking pretty highly of my hubby right about now. 

Anyways, we can chat more about it later, but I just had to share my exciting news! I can't wait for you to see it! 

9 years ago tonight

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I don't remember what I was thinking about. Maybe I have a few thoughts scribbled in a journal somewhere. I'm sure I was nervous and excited. 

I'm pretty sure that I wasn't thinking about what I would be doing tonight. Nine years ago tonight was the eve of my wedding day. 

I was only 20 years old. I'm sure there were many people who said I was too young. That we were too young. And that we were both too stubborn for it ever to work out. And I say, thank God we're both so headstrong and stubborn. It has shaped us and everything we stand for. 

But I was sure. I had no doubts. No questions. No anxieties about marrying this man. 

Tonight, that man is driving our now family of 5 from Colorado to Oklahoma all night long so everyone can sleep. 

We just spent a week in the mountains slowing down and enjoying our babies. 

Before you get married, you dream of the family you'll create and all the adventures you'll have together with this man of your dreams. 

I was no different. 

But I never could have written the screenplay for what the past 9 years have looked like for us. 

There have been highs and lows and everything in between. There was even a time that I would say I wasn't happy and neither was he but it was a short lived time in our marriage. 

We have been through so much together. From debt to the blessing of babies in our home, we have experienced it all. 

But I couldn't even have imagined that it would be this good, this fulfilling, this challenging, and this beautiful. 

As I turn to check on my sleeping babies behind us in this cram packed expedition, I can't help but be so grateful to the man I married 9 years ago for everything he has given to and for our family. 

He has given his time freely. He has given his resources without thinking twice. He has given us his whole heart. And as cliche as it sounds, I am more in love with him now than I was 9 years ago on the night before we said I do. 

I don't know a better man. He is strong and faith filled. Plus he's mega sexy and can cook better than any woman I know. And he believes in me and stands behind me and challenges me, and he has made be a better person. 

So I don't know what I was thinking about 9 years ago tonight, but I bet I never imagined that this is how I would feel about him all these years later. 

So babe, I know you got me some amazing anniversary gift, and so far, I still have nothing, because how do you say thank you for the past 9 years? How do I show you how grateful I am for you with a gift? I know you need some new boots, and since the nine year gift is leather, I'm seriously considering it, but leather boots will never be able to express to you how crazy I am about you still. 

Still crazy about you. 

Still madly in love. 

Still loving you to the beach and back every single day. 

On the eve of our anniversary, I still love you, more now than I ever did. 

Clean Laundry and 4 bathrooms.....now that's Vacation

I don't remember if I told you or not, but when we came to Colorado for a week, we rented a 4 bedroom house through vrbo.com (vacation rental by owner). I think technically we ended up renting it directly through the management company because we were able to make an offer on the house instead of just paying the price they had listed per week. 

Since having kids, we have used rental homes frequently when we travel. And we can often get a house cheaper than we can get a 2 bedroom hotel room (which is really what you need for a family of 5). 

For example, Brian was able to make an offer on this house, and we ended up paying $250 a night. And this place is huge. It would sleep 15 people if you wanted it to. It's incredible, and it has made our traveling experience so much easier. Plus we have saved a ton of money on food cost since we have a real kitchen. 

We have cooked most of our meals. We have washed clothes every night. There is free wifi, a private hot tub, a back yard, a fireplace, a garage, satellite TV, and maybe most importantly, there are 4 bathrooms in this house. And the view from the back porch is something I could definitely get used to waking up to. 

Anyways, as I am packing up all the junk we managed to fit into our car and then spread all over this house, I was wondering if you ever do the same thing. Or are you a hotel junkie? 

If you've never looked into renting a vacation rental, I think you'd be surprised at what you can get for your money. 

And when you stay in a house, you get to take suitcases full of clean clothes home instead of plastic bags full of dirty ones. Oh, and you can invite your entire family to join you on vacation if it happens to work out that way. 

More about our adventures today later this week......

Heaven in the Mountains

Monday, July 29, 2013

This must be what Heaven is like. 

Untouched, unexplainable, breathtaking. 

I will admit to being a total beach bum. I see God in the waves with my toes covered by the movement of the surf. Always have. Always will. My soul is always well near the sound of the waves. 

But today I saw God in the mountains. 

Brian and Chad took us up to "the cabin" where they spend 2 weeks every October elk hunting. To get there, we had to travel over 3,000 feet up into the mountains. We stopped at Cottonwood Pass to snap a picture before heading onto a long, wet, dirt road that isn't even open all year round because it gets too snow covered to pass.  

Once we got to the cabin, I understood what all the fuss was about. 

This is the view from the cabin's deck.....
With a view like this, why would you ever leave? 

And then there were dozens of these guys buzzing around everywhere. I have never seen so many hummingbirds in my life. And if you follow me on instagram, sorry for the 3 videos of hummingbirds. I was obviously impressed. 
We saw a deer when we were walking next door. Just hanging out by the road. Completely unscathed by our presence. 
This guy was happy. 
These little people were happy. 

And I fell in love with a 1 bedroom cabin with a view. 

But there was more they wanted to show us. 

We jumped back in the car and headed to the Trading Post and the one restaurant around to grab some lunch. Of course we ate in a log cabin. 

After lunch we headed to Tin Cup (about a 10 minute drive) where only 2 families stay through the winter every year because it gets that cold and there are no real roads. This is undeveloped beauty, people. It was all amazing. (Not saying I would ever live here in the winter. But I am saying it's awesome in the summer). 

We came to see this. 

And let the kids do this.

And catch these. 

On our way out of Tin Cup, we had to stop to see this through the lens. This is by far, my favorite shot from today. And for the record, I haven't edited a single one of these pictures. 1. Because I don't know how, and 2. because they don't need it. 

Every time we drove somewhere new, I was captivated. Truly unbelievable glory abounded. Beauty surrounded us in every direction, every place we turned. 

After our trip to Taylor Park (where we ate lunch) and Tin Cup (where we fed and caught trout) and the dam (where we watched the river flow while the kids threw rocks, the dads threw the fly fishing rode for a while, and we basked in the beauty of our surroundings), we headed back to the cabin where the hummingbirds came out in full glory. 

Well, these might be my favorite pictures too. And I have so many more.....I might do an entire post on hummingbirds. Who knows? 

I took Wyatt into the cabin to crawl around a little bit and explore. He was a great traveler today. 

When it was time to leave the cabin, we headed to what Brian and Chad call 3 mile. It's just a dirt road on mile marker 3 that they hunt at in the winter. And we saw all this along the way. 

All the big kids rode in the jeep with Tamara and Chad while Brian, Wyatt, and I followed behind. 

And then it was time to say goodbye. There were tears (from Tamara, of course). 

And a couple of man hugs. 

The next time they see each other, they will be here. In the midst of this beauty and splendor. And I will be jealous for the 1st time. 

Because today I saw Heaven in the mountains. And tonight, all is well with my soul. 

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