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Magan: WeVerb Prompt 12 (Grow)

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Hi friends! Estelle and I are going to be chiming in this month about WEverb12 every now and then. We hope you’ll stop over at the website and check it out for yourself. A team of bloggers has collected some prompts to help us think about the last year and also look ahead to 2013. We thought this might be a nice way for us to challenge ourselves writing wise and also to share a little more about who we are on the blog.

toss [GROW]: 2012 was the last time for ________________

Well, hmm. It’s kind of hard to write about this one without one thing coming to the forefront of my mind. 2012 will hopefully be the last time for Dustyn and I celebrate Christmas without children in our home.

I’ve mentioned it briefly on the blog and tweeted about a few pieces of the process, but I haven’t been very explicit about what’s happening in our lives. My husband and I are going through the foster to adopt process. For the past three months, we’ve been taking classes to learn about kids in the foster care system and how to be good parents to them (thank goodness because I feel way more emotionally/mentally prepared) and going through inspections on our home to make sure we’re providing a safe and clean environment for whomever is placed here.

It’s been a lot. (A lot, a lot, a lot.)

We’re really hoping and praying for a) things to wrap up quickly (we only have our home study left where we go through a series of interviews before getting licensed) and b) for things to move quickly after we’re licensed. We’re hoping that by this time next year, we will be celebrating with a child (or two – who knows!) in our home.

I’ve gone through the gamut of emotions this year, most of them since we began the foster to adopt process. Right now, I’m feeling so at peace. So happy. So ready.

Our long awaited inspection approvals for the health and fire inspections!

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Magan: WeVerb12: Prompt 9 (2012 Challenges)

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Hi friends! Estelle and I are going to be chiming in this month about WEverb12 every now and then. We hope you’ll stop over at the website and check it out for yourself. A team of bloggers has collected some prompts to help us think about the last year and also look ahead to 2013. We thought this might be a nice way for us to challenge ourselves writing wise and also to share a little more about who we are on the blog.

How were you challenged by a project or goal this year? What did you learn from it?

One of my biggest challenges in my life is balance. I feel like I sign myself up for a lot, make plans with more people than I should (and sometimes fail at being a good wife because I forget to factor in lazy nights at home with my husband), and generally try to make everyone else happy that I leave little time for myself.

We began Rather Be Reading at the end of last year so this was our first full year to work on this project together. I found that one of the hardest things was wanting to work on my actual real-world work because I was so excited about wanting to grow RBR. When I was dealing with a particularly difficult business-related thing (i.e. taxes), I found myself opening a new tab so I could begin my next post or proof something for Estelle instead of doing what I should have been.

instagram photo of hand reflection on laptop screenMy challenge was saying no to blog-related things when I had weddings to work on. My business blogs suffered because I was pouring everything I could into RBR. This is problematic because, well, RBR isn’t a source of income for me. It’s easy for me to want to pour myself into RBR, though, because I love how it brings Estelle and I together. I love the community. I love the friends I’ve made through it. I love absolutely everything about getting to read a book and share my thoughts.

Even though Estelle and I have set up a system where we’re always ahead with our writing, moving forward, I think I need to be a little more scheduled. I need to make sure I’m getting through my work to-do list before I begin working on something for RBR. Being self-employed is hard, y’all. I love that with RBR I always have E by my side, but with my photography businesses, it’s just me. There are a lot of hats to wear, some of which are more favorable than others. In 2013, I just need to make sure I’m focused and both things are balanced.

Something I’ve done to keep me focused is to work outside our home. I allow myself to go to a coffee shop or work from a laptop-friendly restaurant that doesn’t mind me staying for a while. If I take away the distractions at home (my dogs, laundry, TV, etc.), I find that helps free up tons of time. I’ve actually had a few conversations with my dear hubby about the household chores so that he can help pitch in a little more too. I love having a clean home, but I need his help if I want to be able to hang out with friends, blog, and be a businesswoman. (He’s been trying really hard to help out more, even if some things show up in the oddest places because he doesn’t know where they belong.)

My question to you, friends, is whether you struggle with this too. Do you find yourself working on your blogs when you should be doing other things? How do you maintain balance?

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Magan: WEverb12 (Prompt 4 — New 2012 Experiences)

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Hi friends! Estelle and I are going to be chiming in this month about WEverb12 every now and then. We hope you’ll stop over at the website and check it out for yourself. A team of bloggers has collected some prompts to help us think about the last year and also look ahead to 2013. We thought this might be a nice way for us to challenge ourselves writing wise and also to share a little more about who we are on the blog.

What did you do in 2012 that you had never done before? Will you do it again?

Growing up, we didn’t have a whole lot of money. My parents worked really hard to make sure we were well taken care of, but vacations were a luxury for sure. We occasionally went to a Texas beach with my extended family, but until this summer, my family had never gone on a trip together where we left the state of Texas. My parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in July. For over a year, we planned and saved for the cruise to Alaska.

It was awesome to get away to spend time with my family (Mom, Dad, brother, sister, grandparents, and aunt and uncle). I’m probably always, always going to reflect on this trip because I learned that my grandpa’s health is deteriorating. It was really eye-opening for me and though I shed some tears over the news, I was so extremely grateful to have the time with everyone.

Throughout the trip, I kept thinking, “I’m never going to forget this.”

We did a lot of fun things: whale watching, climbing and hiking through snowy mountains, reading in quiet nooks on the ships, riding a train, gambling (I’d never, ever gambled before in my life. So fun… but I can see how this could be addicting for some people!), etc.

Being away was so relaxing and.. peaceful. My family is full of readers so it was 100% acceptable that I filled my kindle up with tons of books and read my little heart out. (And so did they.)

I think there are moments that can be stressful for any trip (even one with just Dustyn and myself), but ultimately, memories are made and new things are experienced.

Would I ever do something like this again?

For sure. Life is short and I’m happy to spend it with the people I love. Maybe for my parent’s 50th (or mine & Dustyn’s 25th!) we’ll rally up the family to go on another big trip!

Click on the Pike Place photo to enlarge each of the other photos below. You can use your left and right cursors to go through the images! We flew into Seattle and left for Alaska from there, so the first few are a few from there.

Estelle: WeVerb12 (Prompts 1 + 2)

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Hi all! Magan and I are going to be chiming in this month about WEverb12 every now and then. We hope you’ll stop over at the website and check it out for yourself. A team of bloggers has collected some prompts to help us think about the last year and also look ahead to 2013. We thought this might be a nice way for us to challenge ourselves writing wise and also to share a little more about who we are on the blog.

#1. [create] Write a haiku for 2012. (Bonus: write one for 2013 too.)

2012:

Missteps become lessons.
Trust in adventure always.
Learning does not stop.

My hopes for 2013:

Feel fulfilled every day.
Love friendship career and more.
One day at a time.

#2. [Watch] What movie did you see this year that you would recommend to a friend?

Most people wouldn’t be surprised to hear a Disney recommendation from me. But I’m going to recommend two shorts: La Luna (which played before Brave) and Paperman (which played before Wreck-it Ralph). Both are beautiful, and well-done stories with music and no dialogue. I honestly think both of these small bonuses were worth the price of admission. Pixar’s La Luna is a sweet story about a boy who gets to find out what his father and grandfather do for a living, and Walt Disney Animation’s Paperman is about spotting that special someone.

I’m most amazed by the amount of humanity and emotion came out of two pieces that only went on for a few minutes. That’s truly impressive to me!

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Don’t forget to check out WEverb! Prompts are listed six at a time, and you can jump in any time!