What I Did

come in

Out of all the stuff I shared this week, this is the most difficult post for me to write. I’ve started over twice.

I’ve alluded to it before once or twice. I woke up (without an alarm, just became wide awake) early morning pretty much every day last year.

Last February I went to the doctor because I knew that I was dying of heart failure. My left arm was numb. My heart literally hurt. I knew I was going to have a heart attack at any moment. The did an EKG and other expensive tests, even one where I had to run on a treadmill like a hill and guess what? I was perfectly fine. My heart was normal. Absolutely nothing was wrong with it.

So then I wondered if maybe my heart was hurting because Shaun Groves had just asked me to go to Tanzania and even though I promptly told him No Way and got a face transplant so he wouldn’t recognize me and changed my phone number and wore a disguise, I couldn’t stop thinking about ding-a-ling-Tanzania. I knew I’d end up going and it scared me hard.

There was another scenario that was stressing me too. And fair warning, long post ahead.

I was finally convinced that maybe I might want to write a book. That last sentence is one I never thought I’d write. Really I was finally convinced that people can write a book even if it’s not their dream. Book writing is not my dream. I always assumed if you wanted to do something as daunting as writing a book, it better be your dream because it’s too much work to simply kind of want to.

Instead of wanting to write the book for books sake and because I heart writing and junk like that, I started simply hating the idea of NOT doing it. It was a slow process that started moving along quicker about 18 months ago. Starting last January I woke up early almost every morning–for the whole year, sometimes as early as 4am without an alarm. And I got up and wrote.

My sister and I took three days last July and had a writing camp/retreat/torture chamber at my parent’s house, she worked on her book that comes out in November, I worked on the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life: A Book Proposal.

Rewind back to the Allume conference in October of 2011 I met a girl who talked about writing books and being purposeful with them in a way I had never thought about. She changed how I thought about book writing. She also happened to be an agent. She pitched my proposal and a chapter in late fall of 2012. By December I knew I’d be writing a book in 2013.

I accepted a verbal agreement in January with Zondervan. They loved the idea of a spring release and asked if I could possibly have the book done by March 14th so if all went as planned it could come out March of 2014. That was a week before Better Homes and Garden’s came to our house for the Christmas shoot. So they came on January 15th and the next day I had eight weeks to write a book. Lucky for me I had been working on it the year before. But I still had a huge, ugly, ton of work to do.

book deal

I turned the manuscript in two weeks ago today. I signed the contract the same day I turned it in, which is one of the reasons I’ve not uttered a word about it here. I wanted to make sure it was real before I blabbed about it. And who knows, they could hate what I wrote and say nevermind.

To me this book is a “pre-decorating” book. It’s a book about how to think about our homes. I tell our story of moving a thousand times and talk about risk and contentment and dealing with other people’s opinions and the purpose of our home and lovely limitations and all of that, in-depth and fun. The last section is full of applicable tips that anyone in most any situation can apply right now.

If this blog is the candy Valentine conversation hearts, the book is my beating heart and soul. If this blog is a little pocket mirror with makeup on it you’ve been meaning to wipe off, the book is a big shiny disco ball sitting in the sun. If this blog is a cute bob, this book is the most luscious hair that looks like it surly has extensions but it doesn’t. Do you get where I’m going with this?

It’s going to have photos too. And that is where I am right now. The pictures are due in one week and I am SO ready to be done. I am so tired. Y’all, I am so exhausted. I don’t even know if I’m doing a decent job at this anymore. I feel like my life has just rushed by this last year. And especially since December. It is not my nature to enjoy big deadlines and little margin and doing hard work day after day after blessed never-ending day. Can I tell you that I’m ready to be done with this for a while?

I’ve missed hockey games, I’ve gained pounds, the milk is sticking to the shelf in the refrigerator, I’ve sat in front of this screen and turned into a robot at times. And I think this post is probably where I’m supposed to be all excited and happy and “look at me I wrote an excellent book, don’t you want it when it comes out” and instead I’m all “I’m so over this book because it’s been my too close companion for the past year and I want to take a month off from using words and stay in bed and watch non-existent episodes of Downton Abbey and Nashville“.

I know you all can handle those feelings I have. Two years ago I would have felt like maybe I shouldn’t say that paragraph above because it would sound complainy. I know you get emotions like that and you’ll tell me to look at the big picture and that this week is probably the worst time possible for me to write this post because I want to chop my computer up in a million little pieces with a sharp axe and command time to stop for a month or two. I cannot tell you how great the last eighteen months have been to try something and have someone say “yes” and then work hard and then see the finish line. Next year, I’ll have a book out. It’s huge. But I’m almost done.

And I’m tired.

And also.

I wrote a book.



  1. It has been a pleasure and a joy to see Gods blessing upon your life over the past few years. I am more than excited for you and can’t wait to read your book!! You’re a fearless bloggie friend and I appreciate your transparency!!

  2. Mama of 2 says

    Love your blog… Can’t wait for your book. Congrats!

  3. Congratulations on your book!!

    I also really appreciate your honesty about your emotions. I “wrote a book” for National Novel Writing Month in 2011. I tried to edit it for a couple months. And it has sat on my shelf ever since. It is so daunting and overwhelming and I’m over it. But tonight, before I read this post, I was feeling like a failure.

    It is kind of nice to know other people feel the same way. Isn’t it funny how God won’t let us escape what he’s called us to do? I’m so glad you’ve followed his guide.

  4. So excited about your book! I love coming to your blog for real life, grounded inspiration – more will be awesome!

  5. I am SO PROUD of you!!!

    (Is is possible to be proud of someone you’ve never met & have no connection to, except they give you hope & inspiration & lots of laughs? Yes, you are proof if that!)

    Can’t wait to read your book!

  6. Congratulations ~ you wrote a book! I will be awaiting it’s release along with all your other grateful readers.

  7. Well done, lady! I look forward to reading it.

  8. Yay! I’m excited to read it.

  9. Aw…can’t wait to read it. I admire you so much….:) Blessing to you and your sweet fam.

  10. I can almost feel the tingly sensation you felt when you wrote that last sentence. I want to have that last sentence. It is my dream. For kids…to write and illustrate meaningful picture books for kids…someday. Someday I will feel as you do now…but with all the work and computer-hatchet-weilding experiences and workload you have had. For now, I am enjoying it for you and thank you for sharing and giving us motivation in our own dreams. Enjoy your happy moment! God bless…as He has. :) CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

  11. Yay! I love your blog and can’t wait for your book. Congrats!

  12. Smelly Kelly says

    Yahoooooooooo! You wrote a book. You WROTE a book! You wrote a BOOK!!!!!!!!!! And. I miss you. xo

  13. I appreciate your honesty, I find it so refreshing! You wrote a book, that is sooooo exciting! I can’t wait to buy a copy when it comes out! Congratulations! Hope you can get a much needed break soon.

  14. You work and message are inspiring. I’m (so) in the process of starting my design blog and keep saying to myself that everything needs to be just right or “perfect” before I launch it. But reading your blog helps me to realize that it will never be perfect. And to just be. Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. I loved this post. I love that you just shared your battle and the hard things that come with what typically seems a blessing. Way to stick it out. Crazy that you wrote this a year ago and your book will be out soon.

  16. You wrote a book!! sounds awesome. I am excited as it will be coming pretty soon. Keep writing, your words are really inspiring.

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