Aaaand We're Back.

So, our lack of internet allowed me to take a two day blogging break.  I liked it/needed it.  I'm pretty burned out in general.  That tends to happen at the end of the school year.  This year seems longer than usual, and in truth, it is.  We go at least an extra week longer than other schools.  But this week we're watching films, next week is review week (and four days-- thank you, Memorial Day!), and the week after is exam week (four half days).  And then a few days after that, Hband and I leave for our vacation!  How did that happen already?!

Let's break this down into my current thoughts: 

1.  We are watching To Kill a Mockingbird in my eighth grade classes.  What a fantastic movie... but even more fantastic is hearing my students say, "The book is so much better."  Those kids loved TKAM, and I was blissful about it-- it's my very favorite book!  We are also watching Life is Beautiful in my high school classes, as we finished reading Night.  I had forgotten what a truly fantastic movie that is.  We're only about an hour and a half into it and I already have bawled my eyes out.  Plus, I'm learning Italian, listening to it for 45 minutes times 3 per day.  If you haven't seen these two movies, stop what you're doing now.  Stop.  Now.  Go rent them.  You will not be disappointed.  

2.  Writing.  I love it.  It is a favorite outlet of mine, and I like to consider it a kind of art form.  I like blogging because it forces me to do a little writing every day or few days, but sometimes it feels forced, or like a burden.    Often on a Sunday, I feel like saying, "I just don't feel inspired today.  There will be no 'Inspiration Monday.'  OK?"  And sometimes I do.  But it's good for me to be disciplined and do it anyway.  I'm always glad I did.  Again, I love blogging, but someday I ultimately want to be an author.  I want to write Bible studies/devotionals for women, and I'd like to dabble in children's books.  I put that on hold when I got rejection letter after rejection letter after submitting some queries to multiple publishers.  But last week, Hband handed me a letter from Chicken Soup for the Soul.  "It's probably a rejection letter," I said as I made dinner.  I had totally forgotten that I'd submitted a couple things over six months ago.
"Well that's positive thinking," he said, or something to that effect.
I opened it and immediately my eyes welled up with tears.  One of my stories had been chosen for the final selection to be published in October in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding my Faith.  It's not guaranteed that it will be published, but it's close.  It's closer than I've ever gotten.  I couldn't stop crying.  "I'm just so happy," I said through my tears.  
Hband held me close and said, "You sound the opposite of happy."
But I was so happy.  Something I'd worked so hard for was almost mine, and thank God-- it wasn't some goofy article or something meaningless.  This was the story of my faith, the story of how God used my youth pastor's life and death to make my faith real to me.  If published, this would be a way for God to continue to use his legacy for God's glory and the good of others.  
So in short (or I guess, long, since I gave you the whole back story), my passion was revived.  Even if I'm more sporadic in blogging, my passion for writing remains, and God has given me the encouragement I needed to keep on.

3.  I am entirely so excited about our vacation.  This is our "real" honeymoon.  I simply can't wait, but I can't believe it's here.  I'm pretty sure the nightmares about forgetting things will be coming soon.  I've gotten to looking up good restaurants in Rome and Venice, and soon, I will be blogging some fun packing tips and outfits, mostly just because I'm excited and want to share.

4.  Hband and I want to gorge ourselves on the cruise and not gain eight thousand pounds.  So we went on a Weight Watchers type diet... Eight pounds down in two weeks, for both of us!  It's exciting, and I'm doing so much more experimenting and cooking... with some failures, but mostly successes.

So in case you were wondering, that's what's going on these days.  I'll probably still take a few more days of blogging off, just for a breather.  

Thanks for reading! :)

xoxo, A