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Word By Word

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

9:31PM - Introducing...


Connor Glenn Hunt

Born on July 23, 2008 at 6:39 am
Weighed 5 pounds 4 ounces and 19 inches long

My son is beautiful and perfect and healthy. His father and I could not be more relieved and thrilled. Sorry it took me so long to update the blog but recovering from a c-section is not easy!

I'm loving the stay-at-home mom gig. He is alot of fun and changes nearly daily.

Also, I'll be attending the national conference of the RWA next year so my goal is to have at least two completed manuscripts by then. I've started writing already and am having a total blast at it!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

9:45AM - Update

I'm still pregnant and on bedrest. The doctors think I'll deliver the first week of August so not much longer to go now! Connor weighs 5 pounds 8 ozs now and is still doing great on his sonograms (thank goodness!) He's above the low birthweight threshold now. Next Sunday, (7/20) we'll be at term. Hooray!!

Although I've done all I can think of to do to prepare (or delegated it to those that are more mobile than me--that would be DH:-), I still don't feel ready. I can't think of anything else to do though. I am working hard on finishing Connor's blanket but that's about it. His Winnie-the-Pooh themed nursery is set up and his clothes are all washed (Thank to my mom). He's a baby clotheshorse! I think he's got the entire 2008 Carter's line. My DH went shopping at the Carter's store on the 4th of July and scored 11 outfits for $40! Can you believe my little bargain hunter?

We had a wonderful baby shower a few weeks ago. My best friend and sister hosted. It was a ton of fun and Connor got wonderful gifts. He's a very spoiled baby already! We are really lucky to have such wonderful friends. He's basically all set for nearly the whole first year! My guests were asked to bring their favorite children's book to build Connor's library and that was really amazing. He's got some great books with beautiful inscriptions now. I will always treasure those and hope he will too. I really hope to give Connor a love of reading since his father and I love to read so much. I've already been reading to him and plan to continue that after he's here.

I read Sarah Strohmeyer's latest book called Sweet Love. It's more women's fiction than romance but I did like it. I also read Emilie Richards second Shenandoah Album book called Endless Chain. I really loved that one! It was absolutely great. I have the next in the series packed in my suitcase to go to the hospital with me to read during the slow parts of labor. 

As for scrapbooking, I am totally addicted to the Studio G $1 stamps. I just got the Halloween set exclusive from AC Moore and know I'll be getting alot of use out of those. I've done some minor scrapping these past few weeks. I did two baby shower layouts. DH and my mom had to assist with the Cricut but I did learn how to use my new photo printer. Lots of fun. 

Not much else new here. Will keep you posted.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

11:32AM - Still pregnant

...and on bedrest. I'm 33 weeks and 4 days today. On Sunday, I'll be 34 weeks which is a big safety milestone. A baby born after 34 weeks has as good a prognosis as a full-term child. And I'll be full term in 24 days (July 20)! My due date (which no one seems to think I'll make it all the way to) is only 45 days away. It's totally amazing to me that Connor will be here in just a little more than a month. 

He's still very active and kicking alot. That is the only thing I'll miss about being pregnant--feeling the baby kick. At our last sono, last week, he weighed 4 pounds, 6 ozs. He's getting to be a big boy!

This Saturday, my sister and best friend are hosting a baby shower for me at my house. I am soooo excited and looking forward to it! I will post some pictures when I can.

I'm reading Kim Harrison's "A Fistful of Charms" which is the 4th book in her Rachel Morgan/witch series. I did read the first 3 books but it was so long ago that I can't remember them too well. I hate that! This book is pretty were-centric which doesn't really float my boat:-)

I also read Fearless Fourteen and I really don't see what all the negative Amazon reviews are about. It's a pretty typical Stephanie Plum novel. I mean, if these people want realism, they are barking up the wrong author's tree! I still think Stephanie deserves a chance to be a "babe" for real!!! 

Not much else new. Will keep you all posted!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

10:19AM - Still on bedrest

Excuse my lack of posting but my life is pretty dull right now. The big highlight of my week is going to the doctor. Thankfully, all continues to go well. We're now 32 weeks and 3 days along and Connor is active and healthy. 

I've read a few really awful books that I won't recommend to you. However, there are some gems in there. 

My friend sent me these two books. They are hysterically funny and very wise. I really loved them and highly recommend them.

My DH and my family have worked really hard and gotten Connor's nursery nearly complete. We did a Classic Pooh theme. We did the walls in a sunshine yellow and the ceiling is blue with clouds. It's very cute. I enjoy sitting in the glider and knitting or reading.

I'm still working on Connor's blanket. I taught myself how to knit cables! It's coming together. The pattern is from one of the Knit Along with Debbie Macomber books. I highly recommend these books. The patterns are easy to read and understand. 

Here's a picture of the finished blanket though I am using a more aqua color yarn.

That's about all that is new with me! I will keep you posted on our progess and some photos of Connor after he arrives.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Here's a link to a very complex and interesting Lost theory. It makes my brain cramp!!! But watching the show does that too:-)


I've just about given up trying to figure out what in the name of God is going on with Lost. I figure that it will all make sense at the end and that I will just have to watch the whole thing in retrospect again to have it all make sense! I just don't want them to kill off Sawyer!

I'm just about dying for next week's Office too. I'll go under the cut, just in case!

Office FinaleCollapse )

Sunday, May 4, 2008

5:11PM - More book recommendations

As you know, I am on bedrest so I've been catching up on alot of reading:-) I also write and surf the internet all day too!

Here are some good books that I've recently read:

1) An Embarrassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof

You know how everyone has the fantasy of just chucking your life and heading to the Carribbean to become a beach bum? Well, Ann and her husband actually did it. They sailed from their home in Canada through the Carribbean for two years. And, while they had some great experiences and seemed to really enjoy it--being a beach bum is a lot more work than I ever imagined! Ann does description very well and also includes some fantastic island recipes. Overall, a really fun read!

2) The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted by Elizabeth Berg

Run, do not walk, to the bookstore and purchase a copy of this book for every woman you know. It's just that great. This is  collection of short stories and it's like a Godiva sampler in a book. I loved each and every one (though I did skip the story about the dog dying as I thought that was just too upsetting for me right now) and inhaled this book in about 2 hours. 

Although picking a favorite story would be tough, I really liked the one about a widowed retiree who up and goes to Vegas to spend her children's inheritance. She indulges in a harmless flirtation at the airport and, after the plane goes through severe turbulence, discusses with her suitor what one sentence they would each say to the people they love if that was all they had left to them. He said that he would tell his children that "they were the best part." And I thought that was just amazingly touching and sweet. 

3) Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

I've had this book for several years, since DH and I saw the movie (which is great!) I am enjoying this one but it's like Tolkein--overly long and crying out for  good editor. Basically, this is the retelling of the Arthurian legends from the women's point of view. It's brilliant. I especially love the characters of Vivianne and Morgaine. But the weird spelling of everyone's name and the ENDLESS discussions of Christianity versus Druidism/Paganism are a bit wearing after a while. Plus, it's a great doorstop of a book--nearly 900 pages. I'm getting through it slowly but surely:-) If you haven't read it yet, watch the movie first (it's better) and if you have, I understand that MZB wrote a series of sequels that are really prequels to this book. Are they any good?

That's about all the news here from bedrest central. Talk to you soon!

Monday, April 21, 2008

4:37PM - Review of Dream Lucky

Harper Collins sent me this book to review as part of their "First Look" program. 

It's Dream Lucky by Roxanne Orgill

By using a series of vignettes, Orgill covers an overlooked period in American history--1936 to 1938. The country had just trudged out of the Great Depression and was not yet embroiled in World War II. Orgill cover such varied topics as Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Erhart and the birth of swing. The narrative thread that holds the book together is the rise of Count Basie from a bit player in a Kansas City dive to a headliner in New York. Through the book, Orgill manages to convey the day to day life of an era.

I really enjoyed this book, especially as it covers a period in history that my school classes largely ignored. It also covered the year my mother and my father-in-law were born (1937) and shows how drastically different the average American life is from 70 years ago. They were born in a time prior to the advent of civil rights or women's rights. As a child born after those revolutionary changes, it's sometimes difficult for me to grasp how far we've come in just a lifetime. 

My only criticism--which is really more a suggestion--is that the book would be greatly enhanced by a soundtrack. Orgill speaks often of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald and she does so with lush, moving descriptions. However, I am unfamiliar with the music of the era and so would have liked to have had a CD to play along as I was reading. Orgill does provide a "listening list" at the end and I'll be making a trip to Itunes very soon to catch up on the vibrant music of this era.

Overall, I highly recommend this book as a great, interesting read!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

7:56PM - Cool company

 Did I tell you about my cool experience with The Republic of Tea? 

Last year, I sent in the suggestion to have a green tea sampler like they have for their other items. At the time, they sent me some samples and I pretty much figured that would be the end of that. 

Well, I got an email yesterday that said that they developed a green tea sampler and are sending me a complimentary one. How cool is that?? Of course, I won't be able to enjoy it until after the baby is born since green tea has so much caffeine. But that's okay--something to look forward to!

They are a great company with lots of great products. I especially love their Apple Blossom Green Tea. You should check them out.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

12:17PM - More book recommendations and a movie too!

I finished The Book Thief and it really was wonderful. I loved the uniqueness of the narrator and the lush, evocative imagery. Overall, it could have been a very depressing and sad book but it really wasn't, despite the morbidity of the subject matter. Again, this book is classified as a juvenile read in the US but I would say it's really only appropriate for high-schooler age and up. 

After the relative heavy reading of The Book Thief, I'm now reading a really frothy, light romance called The Trouble with Paradise by Jill Shalvis. I've never read her before but she's got a very funny, witty way about her. I'll be looking for her backlist soon. This book is about  frustrated fashion designer who wins a Pacific cruise that goes awry. I've just gotten to the part where they get shipwrecked. It's a frothy version of Lost:-) 

One of the benefits of 4 years of infertility was that DH and I got to really define what we wanted our parenting styles to be and also what we want to impart to our children. One of the values that is of primary importance to me is a love of reading. Both DH and I share that trait and it's something I want Connor to have too. But, HOW one does that, especially in our television-computer-media saturated world, is of interest to me. I've found this excellent reference book, How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Rail Codell and wanted to recommend it to all the moms and dads out there. There is also a companion website at http://www.planetesme.com

And last but not least, our Netflix account is getting quite the workout now that I'm on bedrest. Maybe we'll make a dent in the 178 movies in our queue! Last night we watched The Jane Austen Book Club. I didn't care for the book too much because I found the writing disjointed and the multiple characters too hard to distinguish. However, it translates brilliantly to film! I highly recommend this one. Plus, the guy playing Grigg is really a cutie pie!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

3:46PM - Fun giveaway and a book recommendation

Here's a fun two weeks of giveaways for all the kids in  your life. After all, who doesn't love toys?


I've started reading "The Book Thief." It's a novel about a young girl in Nazi Germany and it's narrated by death. It's not as bizarre as it sounds and is actually very good. The author has an amazing talent for descriptions. I envy that! I'm only about 1/4 of the way through but so far, I'd recommend it. I was stunned it is shelved in the juvenile section of the library as it has plenty of bad language and graphic scenes. Amazon explains that this is for 9th graders and up but that it was published as an adult book in the author's native Germany. How odd, huh?


Monday, April 7, 2008

10:03AM - Hello from bedrest central

First, I want to say Happy Anniversary to my DH! We've been married 6 years today. Love you sweetie! Thanks for being such a dreamboat.

 Here are some fun things I've discovered as I've been on bedrest.

Freebies! Who doesn't love freebies, right? This site has great ones that are easy to sign up for and actually work. I already have received toothpaste, moisturizer, free recipe books, free garbage bags and more. Makes the daily chore of getting the mail a bit like Christmas. Two tips if you're going to sign up for freebies, use a different email address from your main one so you don't clog your mailbox with spam and use the "AutoFill" function in the Google toolbar to make it fast and easy!


Don't be put off by the name--it's not just for Moms!

I've read several books so far--maybe I'll even make my goal of reading 100 books this year. I'm at 22 this year so far. Two books that were really awesome are:

Lisa Kleypas' newest contemporary, Blue Eyed Devil, is terrific. My DH got it from the library for me yesterday and I couldn't put it down. It's a very compelling story about a woman, Haven Travis, who overcomes spousal abuse to find love again. It sounds heavy and the first few chapters do have some graphic descriptions but overall, it's great! Also, the hero, Hardy Cates, is just to die for yummy! This is the sequel to Sugar Daddy which I also liked and recommend.

The second book that I've really enjoyed is by another favorite author, Mary Kay Andrews. If you haven't previously read her southern novels, you should. They are all laugh out loud funny and just great! I especially loved her Savannah Blues. In Deep Dish, the two protagonists are competing for a reality cooking show. This book also features a really great hero--Tate Moody and some laugh out loud hijinks. 

I also read the latest Sookie Stackhouse novel and really don't get why she's wasting her time with the were-tiger when she could be with super-hot vamp Eric! I really don't know why I keep reading that series whe I spend most of it wanting to kick the heroine. I think it's because the vamps are so hot. 

DH and I also watched Evita (somehow missed it when it was out) which was good and Nancy Drew which was not.

If you have any book or movie recommendations, send them my way! I'll just be lying here for the next 15 weeks:-)


Friday, March 28, 2008

9:40AM - It's a...


Both my husband and I are estatic. His name will be Connor Glenn.

In other news, I had to have a bit of emergency surgery on Monday to put in a cerclage (there's a French word you never think you'll need to know!). Everything is fine with me and the baby. However, I will be on bedrest for the rest of my pregnancy (I'm due in August). I hope to get the next Great American Novel written by then:-)

Monday, February 18, 2008

5:47PM - Hello again!

I apologize for taking such a long hiatus from my blog. I have a very good reason this time! I am expecting my first child in August! DH and I are thrilled completely to bits. As I've mentioned before, we've been trying for over 4 years so this is the result of a lot of work and medical intervention. I had a bit of a rough first trimester but that's behind me now. Hopefully, we'll have smooth sailing until August.

We don't know yet whether the baby is a boy or a girl but do plan to find out. When we know, you will too:-) 

As for the rest of my life, I haven't been writing much at all but am currently taking a course in converting fanfiction to original material. I got to over 27K on Nano which, while not a winner, is a personal best for me. 

I'll be taking a year off with baby bean so hopefully, I'll get alot of writing done then. I really have no idea why veteran mothers laugh hysterically when I state this:-) 

DH and I registered yesterday and that was pretty overwhelming. Babies come with a LOT of gear! 

I'm currently reading the new Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. I've just started it but will post a review when I finish. So far so good.

Are you missing TV as much as I am? I'm having the Office withdrawals! How miserable is that! Thankfully, it''ll be back on in April. What do you think will happen the rest of the season?

So, how great is Lost? Seriously? I LOVE that show. I have a quick theory on Kate:

Kate theoryCollapse )

Thursday, November 8, 2007

11:47AM - Nano and cards

Nano update:

Last night I crossed the 15K threshold:-) I did not make the daily goal of 1667 the past two days but I did write something so that was good. How is it going for you all? 

Cards for wounded troops. 

Here's something simple we can all do to bring a bit of holiday cheer to those who need it so desperately:

When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:
          A Recovering American soldier
          c/o Walter Reed Army Medical  Center
          6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
          Washington,D.C. 20307-5001

Monday, November 5, 2007

1:45PM - Nano Update

So, how is Nanowrimo going for everyone? I am at 12,065 words!!! WOOHOO. My WIP is Inside Eden and I'm enjoying it so far. As usual, my first draft is nearly all dialogue with little to no description but I"m pressing forward and promising myself to fix it on the second round:-) 

I've also been working on setting up my new laptop. It's an HP Pavilion. I totally love it. I especially love the free wi-fi at my neighborhood Panera. I've been their so often they should start forwarding my mail. Sometimes, to be effective with the Nano, I have to write away from my house. Because otherwise, I will be distracted and start to climb laundry mountain or alphabetize my spice rack. However, if I'm away I will concentrate on the work and crank out my words. 

I have only one rule for Nano this year. In the past years, I've tried to put my life on hold in November so I could totally focus on the work. This year, I can do anything I want SO LONG AS my words are written first. It's working so far.


Saturday, October 13, 2007


Partially inspired by Jenny Crusie's 12 Days of her office on her blog and partially because my house feels too cluttered, I've been on a fall cleaning tear. Fall is my favorite season and the time of year that I feel most energetic. Spring just makes me sneeze.

I've been using the 15 minute method popularized by Flylady. Basically, the concept is that you can do anything for 15 minutes (One of the many ways I trick myself into exercising:-). So you break really big tasks, like say, cleaning out your kitchen cabinets, down into 15 minute increments. It does work and I'm getting alot done this way:-)

The other day, I cleaned out my nightstand drawers and discovered a "scene" on index cards. I have no memory of ever writing this scene and it's not related to any of my on-going works. It's possibly a response to a writing exercise but I just don't recall. Anyway, it's sort of pathetically amusing so I thought I'd share:

The mysterious scene that I don't remember writingCollapse )

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

5:16PM - Nanowrimo 2007

I signed up for Nanowrimo 2007--have you? 

Go here to sign up:


For those who don't  know, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Each November, thousand of novelists sign up to write an entire novel (50,000 words) in just 30 short days. Most novels are considerably longer than that but the creator of Nanowrimo, Chris Baty, didn't know that at the time so 50K it is. It's fun, it's crazy and it's MUCH harder than it sounds. 

The idea is that by writing so fast you bypass your internal editor and, to borrow from Nike, just do it. You must start the novel on or after 1 November so no works-in-progress (I did that last year and it's really not as fun that way). 

My Nanowrimo book is Inside Eden. My targeted publisher is Harlequin so getting 50K words done in November is a pretty close to the total word count for my ideal line (70K). 

Every year my big challenge is that November is the prep time for the holiday season. But I think I have some good ideas for coping with that this year. I am stocking my freezer with meals that DH can prepare easily and I'm doing as much of the Christmas prep as possible in October. I'm doing my cards this weekend! If anyone has any other good ideas, let me know.

Wish me luck! I will be posting updates here. I'm going to be a winner this year for sure!

Monday, September 24, 2007

4:14PM - Call for recipes!

 Have I ever told you about our awful freezer? Ever since we bought the house 4.5 years ago, the thing has never worked right. Either it's artic cold and freezer burns everything. Or it's too soft. It's been on it's last legs for a while and DH and I have been shopping the sales and identifying what we wanted in a replacement. 

DH did not want one of those new fangled French door ones--they're getting terrible reviews on line. 

I wanted an icemaker in the door that produced crushed ice and had a lock so that future little ones won't get ice and water all over our hardwood kitchen floor. 

We'd budgeted $1600 for this purchase. 

Yesterday, we got it, including delivery, installation and a $75 Home Depot gift card, for under $1000!

I am so thrilled about this, I cannot even tell you. I want to stock that puppy with pre-made meals, especially with Nanowrimo lurking around the corner. It's coming on Friday and I need recipes!!!

So, here's how you can help, please put your favorite make ahead and freeze meal recipe in the comments section. I promise to give it a whirl and report back:-)

4:09PM - Free mammograms



   * I * 6 * Y
Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on 'donating a mammogram' for free (pink window in the middle).

This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors /advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.



 This is legitimate.  I checked Snopes.com.  If you want to check yourself, here's the site:  http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/charity/mammogram.asp

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

8:28PM - In Remembrance

My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the 9-11 victims today.

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