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Ready. Nesting.

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The moses basket, ready and waiting for a new little body.

So, today’s my due date. There aren’t many times in one’s life that when someone asks you “when’s your due date?,” you can say, “today.” In my case, two times. Once with my son Keaton (who I went 11 days overdue with, by the way), and now this one. After this, for a variety of reasons, we’re done.

Given that Keaton’s entry into the world took a while, I really have no idea how long it’ll take with this one. My husband and I find ourselves in that unique time, on the precipice. I kinda feel like it’s almost Christmas, except that I don’t know exactly when Christmas is. But that’s okay. We’ve been keeping ourselves busy around here, but in a relaxed, easy pace sort of way.

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The co-sleeper is set up and ready next to the bed…

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The dresser drawer is full of baby girl-type clothes…

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The soon-to-be big brother keeps himself occupied with puppet shows…

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My awesome husband and soon-to-be father of two has been a blur, cleaning the house…

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And today our kitchen was a Banana Bread Factory. 6 loaves. I do believe that’s the most baking I’ve ever done at one go. And it actually barely put a dent in all the brown bananas, frozen and waiting patiently in our freezer. In between baking, I also felt totally inspired to research literary agents and publishers to submit my latest manuscript. So I guess my that must be my version of nesting. That’s cool.

After all this getting-ready work, we had to get out of the house. We decided on a spontaneous drive to my hometown of Maple Ridge, where we popped in on my lovely sister, Chay, who’s also about to have a baby any day now!

So yes, I’m ready. Our little family is ready. Any time now, baby. Image

Blog CPR

I hereby announce that I am reviving my blog. So yup, it’s been more than seven months since I’ve updated here, for various reasons. Anyone who’s visited here during this time has been greeted by a glowing Christmas tree – so I guess it’s been Christmas on my blog all this time. That’s okay with me, I guess, being a total Christmas nut.

During that seven months, every time I considered doing a new post, I just ultimately wasn’t inspired. I didn’t really know what to write about. My blog felt like it had no focus, or that maybe I’d moved past its original intention, or a combination of the two. When I first started this blog almost three years ago, I was heavily influenced by lots of “mama”-type crafty blogs (i.e. the mother of them all, soulemama), and my blog was an attempt to chronicle my attempts to be more crafty and domestic during my first maternity leave with my son, who’s now almost three.The crafty experimentation was fun and all, as were the photos of all the food I cooked up during that mat leave, but ultimately that’s not what I want this blog to be about in the long term. And that’s because, well, I’m just really not all that crafty. Knitting annoys me, sewing gives me a kink in my neck, and I’m just not a natural housewife. That year of crafty/domestic experimentation helped me to realize these things about myself, and that’s helpful in and of itself. But glowbuggirl is not really a mama-type blog, and I wanted to find my new focus.

When I went to revive the ol’ blog, I thought about starting afresh – leaving this one behind, and starting a whole new one. But then I decided, no, I am Glowbug Girl, and I shall evolve! So, what has been occupying my life and body and brain for the past seven months?

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Two of my current “projects” – a baby in the belly and a freshly completed manuscript at the ready. The cat’s cute, too. It’s blurry because I took it with my iPhone. Sorry. 

1) I’ve been busy growing a new addition to our family of three. I’m 36 weeks along, and so ready to be done. With my son Keaton I could have kept on being pregnant, but this time it’s different. Something about chasing around a toddler while feeling like a galumphing elephant in the summer heat has taken some of the charm out of the late third trimester. When I was pregnant the last time I could just sit in front of a fan all day and have unlimited naps (when I was on mat leave, of course… although come to think of it I did close the door to my office more then a few times because I was “on deadline.”) Don’t mind me, I’m just feeling complainy today.

2) Just finished the first draft of my latest children’s novel, tentatively titled Mint Magic. I cannot express the relief that I felt when I typed “The End” last week. I started that book six years ago, and I’ve taken big breaks from it in the meantime while I wrote other stuff. It’s a totally different book than when I first started writing it, in my creative writing class during my MA program. But now it is done, at least.

3) Working on a very exciting digital children’s book project with a few other collaborators. I don’t want to say too much in these early-ish stages for fear of jinxing it, but let’s just say I’m super-stoked about where we’re headed with it. More later.

4) Taking courses toward the PIDP (Provincial Instructor Diploma Program), which nerdy me is loving. When I’m done the program I’ll go up a pay grade, which is nice, but just taking courses in curriculum development, evaluation of learning and instructional strategies get me all excited. Yes, I am a nerd. Yes, I love being in school. And for those reasons (and a few others that I’ll write about later) making the career shift from communications and marketing office slave to university instructor a couple of years ago was one of the best things I ever did. More on this later, too.

So there we go. And that’s where I want to head with this blog, too. Mama and baby/kid life is great, but that’s not the focus of Glowbug Girl. I go more than slightly nutty if I don’t have some sort of cerebral/creative outlet, so this blog will (hopefully) be one of my sanctuaries for the preservation of my sanity. I want to talk about creative writing. I want to discuss the intersection of traditional children’s book publishing and digital publishing. I want to talk about arts and culture. I want to talk about childhood nostalgia and my favourite movies and music, and random thoughts, and other things that have already found a place here. And so I shall continue.

Coming up in a future post: why I call this blog Glowbug Girl.

Ever since I’ve lived in an apartment (more than ten years now), I’ve always wanted a real Christmas tree, but never had one. They just seemed too impractical or something, and besides, Josh and I were usually at our family’s homes for the holidays, so what was the point? So up went the little fake tree year after year, which I did happily decorate, year after year. But I missed that distinctive pine-y smell, and it was my Christmas wish to one day have a real tree again.

And this year I got my Christmas wish. We’re still in an apartment. We’re still going to be away for part of December at family’s homes.

But whatever. It was time for a real tree.

SQUEAL!!! (Thanks to Josh for these gorgeously twinkly, glowing photos!)

Okay, so it drops needles like the dickens, but it’s so very pretty! I made those dried-in-the-oven orange slices ornaments, and I’ve got a bunch of other ornaments courtesy of my mum, from our childhood family trees. (Very dear.)

I went a little crazy at the Vancouver Christmas Market’s glass ornament stand – I couldn’t help myself.

Who doesn’t want a sperm whale dangling from their tree? Seriously.

Okay, I’m going to stick my nose in the tree again and inhale deeply. Ahhhhhhh.

Listening to: A Very She & Him Christmas (beautiful!)

Happy December 1st! I was a day ahead of myself and thought that yesterday was day 1 of the advent calendar, excitedly popping open the first day of my lovely new Beth Krommes Winter’s Night pop-up advent calendar and introducing Keaton to the wonders of the waxy chocolate advent calendar. I only realized it wasn’t in fact the official start of Christmas month after I sent my students an email saying “Happy December 1st! Blah blah blah…” and then one of them wrote back, “Um, it’s still November 30th on my calendar!” Whoops. Even now it’s barely the 1st, just past midnight, but I can’t help myself. Oh well – it just shows how much the Christmas spirit is already powerfully thrumming through my veins!

So far I’ve watched the Vicar of Dibley Christmas Lunch Incident epsiode (will save the other Christmas episodes for a later date), have put up all the decorations except for the tree (that’s tomorrow), consumed almost an entire box of chocolate-covered maraschino cherries (my weakness, what can I say), broken out the Frangelico for the coffee, plus the eggnog and the Roger Whittaker Christmas album. You know it’s Christmas when the Rog comes out. It’s all I can do to keep from watching Christmas Vacation – I’m going to wait to watch it this year with my best friend, who’s never seen it. Man, I can’t wait to introduce her to the Griswold magic.

I also hauled out my Christmas crafts that I meant to do last year but was so crazy-busy I had no time to do them:

…the ornaments kit I bought last year from Posie Gets Cozy….

…stocking pieces for Keaton (lovely vintage flannelette!)

…which I managed to finish and turn into an actual stocking during one of Keats’s naps this past weekend, and is now hanging on the mantle above our “fireplace” next to the vinyl stocking I made for Josh about 10 years ago (I think he needs an updated one – I’m thinking tweed), and my childhood stocking that my mum made me (as you can see, her crafting skills are slightly more advanced than mine). 

I also got out all my Christmas magazines, and Keats and I had some fun making pomader oranges. Since taking this photo several days ago, they have rotted. Luckily I have more cloves. You see, I think I’m making up for the lack of energy I had last year to have my usual holiday spirit (the new job was absolutely insane last year and I was a complete zombie) by doubling it this year.

So bring on the Vancouver Christmas Market, the holiday baking and the carols. There’s no stopping me now! I’m a dyed-in-the-wool, bona fide Christmas Geek.

Book Launch!

Okay yes, so it’s all the way in South Surrey, but at least there will be free wine and treats. Hope to see you there!

Six Happy Things

Sometimes, when life swirls around you in a crazy blur, isn’t it important to take a moment to think about a few “right now”-type things that make you smile with glee?

1.) This fabulous ring, gift from best friend for my birthday. It’s impossible to have a bad day with a teensy teacup atop your finger, no?

2.) Two fresh and lovely jars of my Auntie Helen’s apricot plum jam (that woman makes the best jam in all the world, seriously). Bread, butter, jam and a slice of cheese? Snack heaven, I tell you. I could eat that every day for the rest of my life and not get sick of it.

3.) A stack of author copies of Farmed Out, ready and waiting to be inscribed for loved ones.

4.) Delicious, end-of-summer meals like grilled eggplant stacks (eggplant, tomato slices, fresh mozzarella and pesto). Okay, so yes, my happy things often revolve around food.

5.) Beautiful wooden bowls made by my dearly departed Grandpa Goerzen, saved from a “ceremonial burning” in my father’s chimea. I can’t believe he was about to burn some of my grandpa’s famous bowls. Said stack has now been distributed amongst me and my sisters!

6.) Gorgeous owl vase from my sister Chay, also a birthday present. Look, his brain grew roses! Seventh happy thing? My fabulous friends and family, who know that giving me perfect gifts like tiny teacup rings and owl vases will make me a happy gal indeed!

A Party for Keaton

Keaton turned the big two  years old on Saturday, so of course we just had to have a little celebration at his favourite playground with family and close friends. The photo second from the top was taken at Joe’s Grill, our favourite West End greasy spoon. Yeah, as you can see we’re pretty regular customers, as evidenced by the gift made for Keats by the cook, K.P. And the photo second from the bottom has got to be one of my favourite photos, ever.

Can’t believe my little guy is two. As Josh said, he may be two, but he really is still so little! Happy birthday, Keats.

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