What a beautiful sunny day we are having here today! I didn't expect to have some quiet time until later tonight for this post, but my little Will is actually taking a NAP! Very rare, indeed! He had to get up extra early today for Kindergarten round-up / registration (sniff, sniff) so I think he is worn out! Before I picked up my computer, I watched him sleep and just thanked God for him, he is such a gift to us, and I am so grateful for the tiny tornado that sweeps through my house in a flash causing a huge mess (he can do this in like 2 minutes or less, what what!) but that tiny tornado has filled us with GREAT JOY and a lot of LAUGHTER and restored to us the empty arms we once had.
Today is also a very special day for my book, Facets of Life! Today is the 1st anniversary of the day it was published! SO awesome! What a year!
A little background on the book ~ I didn't tell anyone I was writing the book except for a few close friends, our photographer and some family members. My parents HAD NO IDEA that this was going on. My mom (lives 5 minutes from me) would call and say she was on her way, and I would be like, um... (because I had drafted manuscripts all over my house for several weeks!) and would have to make some excuse as to why I couldn't go shopping (gasp) or she couldn't come over! Boy, that was tough! BUT, I had my reasons! Dec. 30, 2010, I wrote the introduction, and dedicated 2011 to the book, thinking a chapter a month is what I would write, hoping to publish early 2012. However when I started writing, I couldn't stop... And we were planning my parents 50th wedding anniversary and renewal of their vows on April 2, 2011. (my mind began to turn!) I then decided if I pushed myself really hard and if I begged my editor to get me in on such a short deadline, I would want to give them a copy of the book as a SURPRISE at their renewal ceremony! Crazy, yes, but it wasn't impossible! So, as our plans were moving right along with the reception preparation in the daytime, I would write at nighttime. It was quite overwhelming at times in the business of it all, but I had a goal and a lot of perseverance! Also writing the book was reliving every moment, sometimes I had to stop because I couldn't see the screen anymore~ LOTS of tears... it was tough, really tough, but in the end, it was very good for me to write it and "release" it... physically and emotionally.
The book was published on March 16th, 2011 ~ and please understand it went on the internet at that moment! And I still had until April 2nd to KEEP MY SECRET from my parents! I even emailed everyone about the book and the surprise and everyone played along so my parents wouldn't find out! And they didn't! It was so funny to see it all over the internet, and them not know anything! (My mom never gets online and at the time, my dad was getting something done to his computer) So they didn't see it! Call me suave'! LOL!
It was so surreal the first time I saw the book online, I remember the gasp in my breath to realize there was Matthew's story for the world to see and I also realized the world would now know my injuries and the physical pain I was hiding behind the mascara and the lip gloss. I didn't disclose all of my injuries, but I did disclose enough of them so you would know the some of the trauma of my physical journey, because if you didn't, then you would miss half of the miracle I am!
I remember RW wanting to be the 1st to purchase one of my books online and he did so, but so did I! lol! He didn't tell me and I didn't tell him... until we both admitted we ordered a book then it became a COMPLETE COMPETITION on whose book would arrive first! One day while I was "waiting" on my book, he emailed me this from his office! In case you can't read the sweet love note he wrote on the envelope to me, it says "SUCKER!" I lost! But we laughed and laughed! It was a good day! This began our story being shared with everyone!
SO, April 2nd, FINALLY arrived! WHEW! My mom was a beautiful bride and my dad was a good accessory to her! :) We had about 150 people that joined our celebration and after the ceremony before the cake was cut, I had them come to the center of the dance floor, where we had 2 chairs placed for them to sit, while I gave a speech to present them with a copy of Facets of Life!~ EVERYONE there knew this was the big reveal and the excitement was awesome! So, as we surprised them with the adoption of Will, (you have to read the book for that amazing story!) Nathan took the microphone and said "last time we surprised you, we surprised you with a baby, this time it's just a book!" As my mom slid the big bow off of the center of the book covering my face on the book, her eyes followed down to Matthew's tombstone and tears began to roll and then she slid the bow to see my name... My mom and Dad had no idea and were in total shock! (good thing they were sitting down!) It was such an incredible moment as everyone rejoiced with us over Matthew's life and the beauty and hope this book would bring to many people. God had given us a wonderful moment... and it was pretty amazing!
I then said "I WILL NEVER WRITE ANOTHER BOOK BEHIND MY MAMA'S BACK AGAIN! EVER!" And we hugged, celebrated, cried and laughed! I think my mom was looking for Ashton Kutcher to see if she was being Punked! It was awesome! And it really got funny after the 'big reveal' when everyone started whipping their books that they had already purchased out of their handbags for me to sign them! And my mom, was still dazed! We pulled it off! YAY!
This is my family! I have 2 brothers & 2 sisters! We had color coordinating for our families! Every family wore a certain color and it matched the 5 little cakes beside the large wedding cake with the 5 different colors ribbons streaming down from the top. Our color was purple, so I wore purple, and my boys and RW wore purple ties... It was a beautiful way to identify everyone for all of our relatives and old friends that wanted to know 'who belonged to who!' (also, the wedding cake was a replica of my mom's original dress we had on display and our little cakes were replicas of our dresses and my brothers had fondant ties on theirs!) sis n law, Carol did a beautiful job on the cakes and making them mean so much! (side story!) sorry about that, but if you are having a reception like this with a lot of kids, it in a great concept! And look at my lil cutie pie in his little bow-tie! He didn't want a long tie! He loves the bow ties!
Much more to share as this journey of Facets of Life has wrapped up the first year! I will continue to share over the next couple of posts so stay tuned... Part 2, coming soon!
I am signing off today, so very grateful for each one of you, for all of the support, love & encouragement you have given to us, for all of the many wonderful new friends I have met along this journey, for the incredible doors that God has opened for us to share our hope, to share Facets of Life and just so blessed that God is using Matthew's life to help others. This is how I can be Matthew's mama... and that blesses my heart and gives me joy!
A special thank you to my husband, my boys and my family and friends! I love you all!!!
Thank you GOD for this wonderful year of tears, fears, love, life, laughter and the ability to persevere through it all while giving us such great joy and peace within our hearts!
PS ~ You can still enter the 1st Anniversary FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY! See earlier post! Drawing will be done on Sunday!