{Life List} Become a published writer for a magazine

You can see and buy the magazine here.

Almost a year ago I was directed via twitter to a call for submissions on Creative Humans Magazine. (Thanks, Sara!!) And I went about submitting a few ideas, although I did so wrong. Leah from LeahPeah was very kind while she explained how to go about the submission process and then once I had that figured out she was even kinder while she encouraged me and then accepted the piece I wrote for her.

Article: published. {Life List}

It’s titled “Jessica” and is a story about and a letter to her and how much I love her, am crippled by fear of mothering her “wrong” and how amazing she is to me.

“I think I will be forever worried that Iʼm mothering you right, that Iʼm loving you right
because I just donʼt know. I canʼt be attached to you, you wonʼt allow it. I canʼt give you
space, you cry and my heart aches. You want me around but not hovering, you want me
close but not touching. You want my eyes but not my hands, you want my mind but not
my heart.”

So this is very exciting for me. More than anything I want to write for magazines. A book, yea – some day. I have an arsenal of children’s books already written that come from silly poems I make up with my kids and stories we weave together. I can’t really explain the magazine thing to you – maybe it’s the way a short article or story makes me feel. A journalistic look into someone’s perspective. Their heart, mind and sometimes soul. It’s a hall pass into someone else’s heart for a while and that window is one that I’m addicted to. I love looking through people.

Also? I collect ideas, articles and snip it’s from magazines. They’re rich with information and often for free. (Which kind of sums this here website up, doesn’t it?) I love me a good book and I hold those pages close to me as well, but generally only a phrase from an entire chronicle of pages will stay with me.

There’s just a difference and it’s one I want to make.

A big YAY! for my Life List and making this one a reality. Makes me hungry for more.

{Life List} Carpentry: Floating shelves

***Update at end of post for complete Cut List***

I don’t even know how to start this post. With some background?

We’re building this house and at the meeting where I went to pick out carpets, paint and counters and cabinets I told them with lots and lots of conviction that I wanted nothing to do with Upper Cabinets and No Microwave.

There were some blank stares coming back at me. And then they asked – how do you cook without a microwave?

I just had to giggle.

This is what I was after:


Photo Credit

Inspiration from the obvious as well as around the webershpere, magazines and what-have-you.

I had decided on these plans for the shelves but needed a different cut list because I was going to need six shelves total at 2 varying lengths. 42 inches long and 32 inches long.

So, other than my cut list being different – we followed the plans to a T. (And so can you)

In order to end up with two 42in long shelves and four 32in long shelves – all 11 3/4 deep (we did this instead of 12in deep to save a lot of waste in lumber) you’ll need:


2 – 4X8 sheets of 1/4″ Plywood (good grade or sanded on one side, also called cabinet grade, but just sanded on one side is fine too.)
11 – 1X2 pine boards in 8 foot length.


2 boxes (100 ea) 1 1/2″ sheet rock screws (or opt to use a nail gun and need less screws when building the sleeves)
1 counter sink bit
1 box (only need about 36) 3″ deck scews
Wood filler
Paint and supplies if you don’t already have it on hand.

Some stores will make cuts for you – if they do, ask them to cut one piece of your plywood into 4’X42″ and the other into 4’X32″ – this way it’ll most likely fit into your car for transportation and it doesn’t mess up the rest of the cuts for later.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

I, uh, had them cut my plywood in the wrong direction. They cut them into 8’X42″ and 8’X32″ … but it still worked out for us.

This here is a Mider or Chop saw. She is beautiful.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

My dad helped me make a shim so I could make continous cuts out of the 1X2 pine boards without having to remeasure every single one. And we needed a lot of cuts.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

Hi Dad! Thanks for helping!

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

We went to work on assembling the frames and the front of the sleeves.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

Then worked on our cuts of the plywood to build the body of the sleeve.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

My dad has awesome tools.

A peek at the inside of the sleeve, where the frame will fit.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

And a trial run!

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)


From there we used wood filler to fill in gaps and seems, let dry, sanded and filled some more depending on how smooth in turned out.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

Then … we painted them.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

I went with white, “decorators white” as the paint can said. It’s a water based shinny whatever paint and it took 3 coats and only one quart of paint.

We had the builders quote us their price to build these shelves. I even emailed them the plans I was going to use – which clearly outlines the cost of what it would take to build these on your own. Their quote came back at $825.


It cost me …

Lowes – $66.08 (Lumber, screw bit, screws – and since I didn’t need them all I could return 2 boxes which saved more money.)
Paint – $35.56 (Quart of paint, one brush and 2 small foam rollers and one pan)
And a days worth of my time = priceless of course.

Total: $101.64

I don’t have a final “after” shot yet – they’re not hung in the house yet but they’re built! And I did it! With some amazing help and guidance from my dad. Thanks, Dad!!

Here is the cut list for a shelf 11 3/4″ deep by 32″ wide:

1″ X 2″ pine boards

1- 30 1/2″
2- 11 3/4″
2- 29″
2- 11″
2- 9 1/2″

1/4″ plywood ( one side cabinet grade)

2- 11 3/4 X 32″

Here is the cut list for a shelf 11 3/4″ deep by 42″ wide

1″ X 2″ pine boards

1- 40 1/2″
2- 11 3/4″
2- 39″
2- 11″
3- 9 1/2″

1/4″ plywood ( one side cabinet grade)

2- 11 3/4″ X 42″

When making the plywood cuts, make sure the grain of the plywood runs the long length, as in from left to right or visa versa on the length (32″ or 42″) of the shelf

We made 4 shelves of the 32″ and 2 shelves of the 42″ and purchased:

11- 1″ X 2″X 8′ long pine boards. Make sure they are NOT curved but straight. You may have to pick through the pile to find straight ones depending on where you purchase

2- 4′ X 8′ sheets of 1/4″ plywood one side having cabinet grade. Sometimes the store (Lowes or Home Depot) will cut the plywood to fit in your van or car. Have them make a cut to have 1 piece of plywood 42″ X 4′ and the other piece of plywood 32″ X 4′ or even 2 pieces of 32″ X 4′ depending on how many shelves you have. Then you can fit these cut pieces as well as the uncut pieces in your car or van and do the rest of the cutting at your shop or home

Life List: Sell our house

Well well well.

Indeedy. Remember this list??


The address in which I’ve lived the longest we sold on July 16, 2010. We said goodbye before that and are now on an vacation from responsibility for a few months while we build a house.

I’ve got all kinds of emotions wrapped up in this. The house that we brought our children home to. I distinctly remember bringing a very new baby girl down to our basement after bringing her home from the hospital and feeling a gush of pride that this (THIS HOUSE!!) was all hers. She was born into this. This lucky little girl. It was hers because it was ours.

I felt that pride for almost 4 years and then it was time to leave. The pride in home ownership never went away but the feeling that we weren’t where we were supposed to be didn’t either.

We tried to sell on our own and when we finally came to terms with the market and what we really wanted for our family and for our life … we sold.

We finally did it.

I had a conversation with someone very close to me recently about the things they wanted in their life. Could you name them? Do you ever do something for you because it’s IN YOU to do them? Not for someone else. Not because it was said that you should, but that you WANT TO?

Selling this house would be one of mine.

Moving out of this house was another story. It was a process of boxes and trucks, helpful friends and family. We were surrounded with love the entire time but this was the last house my dad saw before he died. In a month he’ll have been gone for 6 years.

There were quite a few strings keeping me there. Wanting to hold on to this memory, that memory … him a little longer.

However, it was past due. It was time. I’m still working through letting go of most of that and I probably will be for some time. But here we are … for the first time in almost 7 years of marriage – 10 of being together – doing something on our own. Our very own. No parents helping, guiding. No relatives attached.

We did this.

We’re doing this.

We landed on two feet, we’re gonna be OK. That feels fantastic.

Life List {update} Witness a birth other than my own

I haven’t wanted to write about this one yet. Haven’t been able to form the words. Understand my feelings. Digest the events of the day.

April 24th, 2010.


One of the very biggest life list items came to fruition. I thought, when I wrote that line item, I was foreseeing a grandchild’s birth in my future. That I’d have years and years to ponder the deepest gratitude for this one coming true.

It’s weird how things happen.


This is a baby boy.

This baby boy is my nephew.

His name was Judah at birth.

He was given up for adoption.


There is reverence in these memories because of the raw emotion involved in being present to see a mother, a mom like me, give birth and then say good bye.


To hear his cry and watch his chest rise with life, to hold and touch and smell and smile at your son. At my nephew. To capture in those moments with him in my arms the beginning of a story I’ll forever save for just him, if he ever wants to hear it.


He is beautiful. How amazing is the God I believe in, to create this wonder inside of someone with a heart heavy enough and big enough to know that giving him to someone with empty arms is the best thing for him?


There will forever be a bond between 3 women in my family that will never go beyond our hearts … and will always reach farther than our hands.