{friday mixing bowl} spring and other things in the air!

Happy Friday, friends! After a week of winter and another of summer (??), spring is finally in the air here. Here’s what we’ve been up to.

My very first box of author copies arrived yesterday! It was surreal and way more emotional than I thought it would be to: 1)  hold a book in my hand and 2) open it to see words I spent years writing and rewriting. Wow. Just wow. So this is With No Reservations, a clean contemporary romance about food and healing. I don’t have its section up on my Books page yet, but you can read more about it (and pre-order, if you’d like) on Amazon or mark it To-Read on Goodreads. Eeeeee!

Speaking of food, I’ve been watching a lot of the Great British Bake-Off on Netflix and told a friend that I was almost as proud of making this as I was for having my kids. A little exaggeration there? Maybe. It’s the Deep Dish Chocolate Cream Pie from Tastemade, and it has a delicious amount of espresso in the filling, coffee lovers. Like the pie version of a Jamocha Shake.

I’ve been working on a three-book proposal and a client editing project this month, but I’m excited to get back to work on my new website and a brand new manuscript of my own next month <3

From emergency appendix surgeries to computer glitches to back-to-back-to-back-to-back illnesses in my house, it seems like it’s been two steps forward, ten steps back with my March goals. But I’m still here, working hard, trying to be diligent about rest, and incredibly grateful to get to do what I love. The Lord is faithful and generous. I’m so grateful for how much He loves me through you all! So please remind me of that next month when I’m in the thick of training for my 5K race on April 29. *Cringe*

While we’re on the subject of friendship and loving well, I’m so excited about this book! Lisa-Jo Baker is my internet BFF whose words always make me feel like I’m sitting across from the older sister I never had with warm cups of tea between us. Every woman needs the wise insight of someone who’s gone before them, and Lisa-Jo has a lot to share about friendship, mean-girl-PTSD, and more in Never Unfriended. If you pre-order before April 4, you can enter your purchasing details on the book’s website and get a bunch of goodies 🙂 I’ll be including it in an upcoming post about my Spring TBR pile. So many good ones releasing soon!

< link love >

source: CrunchyCreamySweet.com

  • My son’s second birthday is next week, and I’m making these Birthday Cake Mix Cookies from Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet for our little family party! Aren’t they so cheerful?
  • One of my biggest priorities this year is to deepen my study of Scripture. (Okay, if we’re honest, to start really studying Scripture.) But look at this new Bible from one of my favorite Bible study resources, She Reads Truth! It’s beautiful, has a ton of features like timelines/reading plans, and is designed to make the Bible easier to navigate, which is great for people like me who know the vitality of diving into the Word but need a little help in the discipline department. I’m going to make this (one of) my book release present(s) to myself 🙂
  • Self-protection can cost us our heart: SO much wisdom in this article from the International House of Prayer about Keeping an Open Heart When Relationships Fail.
  • Making this Crispy Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Pasta for dinner tonight. It’s so springy and delicious with a side of asparagus or peas! The Recipe Critic has some great meal ideas.
  • Everyone’s favorite Lin-Manuel Miranda created a playlist for writer’s block, which The Nerdist wrote about here. Can’t wait to check it out, and I know it will prevent so much *headdesking* from creatives everywhere 🙂

< around the web >

So grateful for and blown away by all the love for our little novella collection. Getting Nick and Chelsea’s story into the world has been such a fun and humbling experience. We have been featured/reviewed on:

Teresa Tysinger | Amanda Everett’s Spring Break Reads | Faithfully Bookish’s First Line Friday | Alexis Goring’s God is Love Blog | Fantastic Fiction | Book, Line, and Sinker | Bibliophile Reviews | The Robin’s Nest

Is it spring where you live yet? What are you cooking and reading this weekend?

{friday mixing bowl} the declutter in every possible way edition

Friday Mixing Bowl (1)

The long weekend is almost here! Hooray! Here’s what I’ve been up to…

<< I’m currently >>

in a state of limbo…

IMG_6322

…because I turned in my book and proposal! As of right now, all of my major projects are in others’ hands. So the picture above is what I’ll be doing for the foreseeable future. I see lots of naps, Netflix, and reading in my future.

at least for now…

IMG_4985

…because I can’t keep myself away from writing for too long. What’s next on the agenda? Rewrites from my agent, planning my next book, and plotting a super secret project that I can’t talk about just yet.

celebrating…

IMG_5349.JPG-1
…the life of my dear college mentor Jim Wilcox. Can I just raise my voice and echo everyone else when I say I hate cancer? When I found out he was retiring early because of his health, I mourned for the decades of college students at my alma mater who would never have their lives impacted by him like we did. Now I’m mourning for his family, the wife he adored and respected so much, his twin brother, sons, and grands who miss their Pop. But I’m also celebrating his impact with so many of his students who wouldn’t have the talent or professional gumption had they not been nurtured by him. I wrote a letter to him before he passed and also added my voice to the many tributes on Facebook. We seriously had the best professors! <3

in the mood to…

IMG_4503

…seriously declutter. Maybe not this drawer because it’s too fun and pretty, but my whole house. We’re talking serious rampage on clothes, baby toys, and junk drawers. But I’m procrastinating by reading all the Art of Simple articles on decluttering because I know that, if I begin a huge project, I’ll get an email from my agent two days in saying I need to rewrite my whole book or something. And then I’ll have half-undone closets and piles all over my house, and that simply will not do. Baby steps!

reading…

IMG_5212

Just One Summer, a novella collection by some of my favorite authors. I’m believing that, if I read a book about summer, the rain will go away! I just finished my critique partner’s latest manuscript and can’t wait for its release. SO GOOD! On my Kindle, I also have the latest romantic suspense from Jessica R. Patch, Protective DutyI’ll report back on both of these soon!

catching up…

IMG_5274

…on rest. Both the physical kind and the mental kind. I got to attend a 24-hour women’s retreat with my church girls, and we had so much fun getting away to a gorgeous and relaxing ranch about 1.5 hours outside the city. (If you’ve seen yesterday’s “Welcome to My Table” post, the beautiful table in that image was there!) My brain is full of so much information that I haven’t had time to process over the last few months, so it’s nice to be able to journal and sort through it all. I need to create more space for rest in my busy! 🙂

<< link love >>

image credit: FifteenSpatulas.com

  • If you’re in charge of breakfast this weekend, treat yo’ self with these cinnamon roll pancakes from Fifteen Spatulas!
  • Which Christian fiction author are you? Take the quiz and find out! (I got Serena Chase.)
  • I love this philosophy on strong friendship that Relevant wrote about. The most important thing is just showing up.
  • Turn yourself into a wordsmith quickly with this tool, Wordnik. It shows multiple definitions, synonyms, context, other forms of the word you type in. So ridiculously helpful! Am I the last writer on earth that didn’t know about it?
  • This video of Jenny Kutz speaking at a conference? Wow. Talks about how we measure success and our significance in God’s eyes. Please listen! I might transcribe parts of it for my first Table Talk post, in fact.

<< in case you missed it >>

rp_Book-Recommendations-2-e1464286281785.jpg

Will you get the chance to relax and rest this weekend? Any advice on decluttering?