December 28, 2007

The Bathroom is Done

Woo Hoo! After nearly 4 months, our bathroom remodel is complete. My husband did all the work himself, with some help from our oldest son, Ryan. We are very pleased with the results. Here are some before, during, and after pictures. The one above is after.
Dave took it down to studs and added a window, then a new jetted tub, tiled the shower and floor. He added a new cabinet and countertop, toilet, pretty much everything.

The ones below are before and during.

Here are more After pictures:

November 5, 2007

"Four Things" Tag

I'm glad Katie Parker tagged me. I haven't posted anything in a while because I haven't found a topic I really wanted to talk about. So this will be fun.

Four Jobs I've Had:

1. Medical software technical support/trainer (current job)
2. Paint custom jewelry
3. Library shelver
4. Newspaper delivery person

Four Places I've Lived:
1. Sandy, Utah
2. Salida, California
3. San Jose, California (grew up there)
4. Roseville, California

Four Favorite TV Shows:

1. Lost
2. House Hunters on HGTV
3. Seinfeld reruns
4. American Idol

Four Favorite Foods:

1. Chocolate (chocolate is a food group, right?)
2. Homemade salsa with Tostitos Scoops chips
3. Filet Mignon steak
4. Chicken Cordon Bleu

Four Websites I Frequent:


Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now:

1. Curled on the couch with a good book.
2. Camping in Yellowstone with my family.
3. In Hawaii with my husband.
4. Hanging out with my family.

Four Movies I Love:

1. Lord of the Rings
2. The Bourne Ultimatum
3. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
4. Fun with Dick and Jane.

Four Bloggers I Tag Next:
It would take so long for me to figure out who has and hasn't been tagged already that I'd never actually end up posting this blog. So I will leave it open to anyone who wants to blog on this topic.

October 10, 2007

Developing Good Habits

Boy it's hard to break bad habits and replace them with good ones. This morning, for example, I dragged myself out of bed at 5 am and spent 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. I had to get up earlier than normal because with only one functioning shower, we have a tight schedule for everyone to get ready in the morning. (Isn't that bathroom remodel done yet, honey?)

Earlier this year, for five months in a row, I'd gotten into the great habit of working out at least four days a week. Then we went on vacation - and it was only for 6 days - but that's all it took for me to get out of the habit of getting up early and exercising. Even though exercising made me feel better and helped me to lose a few pounds, I had trouble motivating myself to get up and do it.

I suppose it comes down to self-discipline and conquering the "natural man". When we're snuggled into our comfortable beds (and mine is super comfortable), and we don't really have to get up yet, it doesn't take much to convince ourselves to sleep that extra thirty to forty-five minutes.

There are lots of good habits I need to develop - eating healthier, reading my scriptures daily, working on my latest novel.

It can be challenging when you get pulled in many different directions at once, difficult to choose the best over the good. I guess what it really comes down to is priorities. Making time for what's most important and discarding the things that waste our time.

What good habits are you trying to develop?

October 1, 2007

Be Careful What You Text

My 17-year-old son, Mike, was watching the BYU game with my husband on Saturday night (they won - yay!), when he received a text. He didn't recognize the phone number, but of course he read the message. It said, "i am pregnant . . . again".

Being the honest young man that he is, he was about to text the person and tell her that she had sent her message to the wrong number. But then my husband, being the mischievous person that he is, suggested Mike send something else instead. The conversation ensued thusly:

Mike: is your husband excited?

Woman: we both are, armani doesn't know what is going on.

Mike: when are you going to let him know?

Woman: he doesn't understand. we told him he just laughed

Mike: Give him some solid evidence then.

At this point, my son's honest nature took over and he sent the following:

Mike: I'm sorry, but guilt forces me to confess i do not know who you are and that you need to check the number you have been texting to.

Woman: is this not joselynn

Mike: No, I've had this number since January. I've gotten plenty of calls for her though.

The woman never replied to his last message and he had in fact gotten a number of calls for joselyn over the past seven months. I thought this whole exchange was hilarious, but the potential for personal information getting into the wrong hands is extremely high when you text someone without verifying who you are talking to.

Come to think of it, this is a great idea for a novel.

September 27, 2007

Work Spaces

I like the space around me to feel orderly. Not too long ago I used to keep everything very organized - it's one of my few talents. In fact, my younger sister used to hate it because when we were children, if she went into my room and touched any of my things, I could always tell. Now, however, life is much busier, so it's harder to keep on top of everything. Not that my house is a big mess, but sometimes months will go by before I go through the growing pile on my desk.

I am a very visual person, so I took a picture of my office the other day and decided to post it.

My office is actually our unused formal dining room, hence the odd looking light fixture. (We're going to change that one of these days.) My favorite thing in here are the bookshelves we recently bought from a newly opened IKEA store. It feels good to have a place to put all my photo albums and some of my favorite books, as well as keep my works-in-progress organized.

What I'd really like to do is turn our living room into a library with mostly wall to wall bookshelves filled with all the books that are now in boxes in the basement. I also want to have a nice reading corner with a comfortable chair. But in the meantime, I love my office. And really, one of the big reasons I have such a nice one is because for my day job I work from my home office. I probably spend ten hours a day sitting at that desk, so I wanted to make it something I would enjoy.

Truly though, it doesn't matter where I am when I write my novels. In fact, my first two novels were written in a corner of my bedroom. And sometimes I'll unplug my laptop and go to a different room when it's time to do some writing. The point is, as great as it is to have a work space you love, and even if you have one you hate, when it comes to writing, you probably get so lost in your story that it doesn't matter where you are when you are writing it.

September 24, 2007

Setting Goals

Goals are admirable. They help you get things accomplished. That is, assuming you have the discipline to follow through. Maybe that's why I've never been big on setting goals. Why set myself up for failure? Or maybe I'm just lazy and if I change my mind no one has to know. I think the latter reason is the most accurate.

I prefer to just jump into projects and work on them when the desire strikes. For example, when I began writing my first novel I didn't tell anyone I was doing it. I wanted to see how far I could get first. Once I was well into it I think I told my husband, mother, and sister. (It's been ten years so I can't remember exactly.) They were all supportive, but I didn't tell anyone else until finishing the book was pretty much assured.

Anyhow, it all worked out, because I finished that first book and went on to write another that same year, which after many, many revisions was finally published. You can learn more about it here, on my website.

The only problem with this method is that it can take just a touch longer to get things done than if I had an end date in mind. Lest you think I'm completely lazy, keep in mind that once I get my mind set on doing something, I stick to it with the tenaciousness of a pitbull grabbing onto the leg of an unsuspecting passerby.

Now that I've started this blog, I realize that I need to post regularly or no one will bother to check for new posts. Hence, I am officially setting a goal to post at least three times a week. There, I've said it. I've even written it down. Hopefully I can stick to it.

September 19, 2007

Getting on the Blogging Bandwagon

I love reading other people's blogs, especially ones related to writing. I've decided it's high time I start my own blog. The trouble is, I'm so bad about writing in my personal journal (once a year if I'm lucky) it might be a challenge to keep up on this.

But here goes nothing!

Hmmm. What to talk about. I've been reading a fun suspense novel by Traci Hunter Abramson called The Deep End. It's the third in a series and I enjoyed the first two as well. It's about a world class swimmer who is in the Federal Witness Protection Program. CJ, the main character, wants to qualify for the Olympics, but every time she competes she puts herself in danger. There is also the complication of her major league baseball husband, who can't acknowledge that he knows her, let alone is married to her. If you want to know what happens you can read the book for yourself, but it is a fun read.

I've been working on a new novel myself. It's been two years since my first book came out and I'm hopeful that I'll have more published. I don't want to talk about what this book is about because that kind of takes the excitement out of writing it, but it is LDS fiction with romance and suspense.

Other things going on - my husband and I are remodeling one of our bathrooms. It's the bathroom our children use, but it really needs it. We (I use that term loosely since I mostly give suggestions while my husband does all the hard work) gutted the existing bathroom. I mean we took it down to the studs. I'll post some before and after pictures once there is an after. Right now it's going on three weeks and all that "we've" done is put in some wiring for the jetted tub and moved some plumbing so said tub will fit properly. Oh yeah, my husband also put a window in. This bathroom is on an outer wall, so I don't know why it didn't have a window to start with, but it looks so much better already.

Ok. I couldn't resist showing you how yucky the bathroom looked. It's nearly 25 years old. But below is how it looks so far. You can't really tell much, but you can see the pretty new window.

This room is pretty tiny, but I'm sure it will look good after the new tile, vanity, granite countertop, toilet, tub are put in. You name it, it's new. I hope the kids appreciate it.