The Day I Signed My First Book Contract

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Outside of Grace officially entered a publishing contract in what was simultaneously the most monumental and mundane Monday of my life. It was a day of parenting, full of wiping noses, bottoms, and tears—in no particular order.

After preparing an afternoon snack, I checked my phone and saw an email confirming the contract and welcoming me to the publishing house. I looked up, mental confetti raining all around me, to find a very upset four year old who had dropped her orange slice in the dirt. Showing her my phone and telling her that momma was going to be a published novelist was no use. She really wanted me to wash off her orange.

That was how my lifelong dream was set in motion. After many months of writing and editing, querying and dealing with rejection (and loads of doubt and despair), it all catapulted into publication while toddlers wiped grimy hands on my legs. While the ink on my contract was still drying, my two year old set her wet sippy cup on top of it. Honestly, it was a perfect picture of what this entire process has been like. Jotting notes on my phone while we walk to the park, daydreaming while folding laundry, and working late after the kids go to bed. I frequently hear of people writing their first book in retirement. I’ve even heard plenty of advice that I should wait until then. That I should wait until I’ve lived enough to have a story to tell (and how long is that?). And yes, it’s been hard to get it all done in the 12 hours a week of childcare we have. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love being a writer mama.

So I wrapped up those sticky-cheeked and tangled-hair babies in my arms and rained all that confetti on them in the form of kisses. They didn’t have a clue why, but they knew mama was happy and they were too. And God knew. He knew we had finally found a publisher who caught the vision for this story (two, actually! I got two offers within a week). He knows were it’s going next. And I know I’ll be there, signing books and bribing toddlers with lollipops. It will be wonderful.

Save Some for Me

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My daughter and I

Save Some For Me

I know you want to do big things, to make a difference, to be the change.
I know you pour out your heart and energy into our community.
I know you love people well.
So save some for me, Mom.

Save time for slowing down, for eye-to-eye moments, and heart-to-heart talks.
Save space to play with me, to listen to me, to hear me.
Save room for me to have needs too.
Save some for me, Mom.

You’re managing a home, cooking and cleaning and caring.
You’re working a business, earning and sharing.
You’re learning, growing and making.
Please save some for me, Mom.

Don’t run yourself ragged before you’ve chased me around.
Don’t wear yourself out before I come in the door.
Don’t tire of loving before you love me.
Save some for me, Mom.

In all you do, can I be your most important charge?
In all you do, am I a task or a delight?
In all you do, may I be a part?
Save some for me, Mom.

Keep achieving, Mom, I’m learning from you.
Keep going, Mom, I’m growing with you.
Keep resting, Mom, I find peace in you.
Just save some for me, Mom.


As I head into the new year and set my eyes on goals ahead, this has been on my heart a lot lately. Like many moms (all moms?), I’m subject to Mom Guilt. Balancing life and motherhood is difficult. I frequently have to remind myself that it’s okay for my girls to see their mother work hard and achieve other things. It’s also okay to know when to draw the line and remember that they’re my first priority.

This idea of “saving some” for my kids has been guiding my decisions lately. When I wonder if I can add in one more thing, I have to ask myself—will I be able to save space for my kids? Will this add energy to my life that I can then pour into my children, or will it drain me and leave me empty at the end of the day when they come running into my arms?

I find that my children will demand every bit of me—even when I’m home with them all day, on my hands and knees playing with them for hours on end, they’ll ask for more. It’s okay, healthy even, to show them what boundaries look like. To show them that Momma does more than just play games. But at the end of the day, I need to have saved some space for them. I need a day off where I can spend it playing. Even thirty minutes off, where I’m not worried about my to-do lists, and I can see things through their eyes again. Because the world through the eyes of a child is a beautiful thing. They are beautiful gifts. So I will save some for them.



Rundle Press Update: New Busy Book!

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There’s a new busy book in the Rundle Press site! This winter activity book has 12 activity pages with a variety of activities from decorating a snowman to working with vowels. It can be used as a simple fine motor activity book for young toddlers, or a preschool workbook for 4-5 year olds.

My kids have loved these quiet books for car rides, waiting in restaurants, and doing “school” in the morning (while mommy works). Bonus: three-ring binders with clear covers can be used as dry erase pockets. So we keep a stash of coloring pages and dry erase crayons on hand with these. They’re so easy to pull out and have a quick half hour of quiet.

The only thing not quick and easy is all the cutting and laminating! (File that under Homeschool Mom Problems.) I prepped one today for a local mothers group giveaway, and once the hand cramp goes away, I’ll be making more for my own kiddos! They’re still using their autumn ones, but I’m obsessed with the little woodland animals filling the winter one. I’m also thinking they might make good gifts for nieces and nephews. Once that hand cramp goes away…

If you’re interested (or need a digital gift for a far-away-friend), head over to the Etsy shop to check it out. These are sent as a digital download to be printed and laminated on your own. Trust me, a little time cutting and prepping will go a long ways towards a quiet house. And that, my friend, is always worth it.