10 Reasons I Have Become a Terrible Blogger

BrokenKeyboard

I’m sure there are deep, meaningful reasons behind my decline in blogging, but until I can figure those out, these are the best excuses I can come up with:

  1. My desk. Papers, papers, and more papers. Everytime I sit down at the computer, I am surrounded by the skeletons of unfinished projects.  For example: There are still stacks of Christmas card envelopes that I need to update addresses for. Also, receipts to file, notebooks full of random thoughts and lists that I need to determine if they’re worth keeping or not. Plus lots of stuff for …
  2. Teaching. I’m teaching a Doctrine and Covenants class at BYU right now. I love–absolutely love– preparing for the classes, but I’m not going to lie. It takes a lot of time, a lot of books, a lot of notes, and … a lot of ignored other projects. Oh, and I also teach Sunday School at church.
  3. Homework. Not my own, not my students, but my children’s homework. It will be the death of me. Every day from 3 until 7, I wage a treacherous battle of wills, wits, and unsharpened pencils. When it’s all over, I usually want to hide under my bed with a bag of chocolate chips.
  4. Crazy ideas. When my brain needs a break, I usually write some ridiculous status on Facebook or try to implement some long-desired project in my house (you know, as a distraction from the truly pressing projects). Just last night I decided to paint my pantry door bright blue. Sounds cool and fresh, right? Wrong. It looks terrible.
  5. The Book. This whole book-writing business is not for the faint of … time. I honestly think that the whole post-submission production process has required as much of a time commitment as actually writing the book. It’s okay, though. I am proud of it in a I-set-a-goal-and-actually-finished-it-all-the-way-done kind of way. And do you want to know something cool? It’s already available for preorder at Deseret Book! Seriously, like it’s a real book or something.  Go check it out.

So, there you have it. If you have asked yourself the question I have asked myself, “Stephanie’s blog used to be so cool; I wonder what happened?,” now you know. Well look at that, I don’t even have 10 reasons. That was only 5. I rest my case; I’m losing it.

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This is the year my first book gets published.

Author tools

It feels surreal. So exciting, and a little scary.

Well, if anyone is interested in following the journey of the book, I now created an official author page on Facebook. I figure if anyone goes there and likes it, then they won’t be annoyed if they get updates about the book progress.  The link is https://www.facebook.com/StephanieDSorensen.

See? It has a real name and everything, not just Steph @ Diapers and Divinity. Scary. And exciting.

Covenant Motherhood is scheduled for release in March (that’s in TWO more months, people!!!). Thank you for reading my blog and commenting and sharing and saying the kinds of things that gave me the confidence to take my writing to another level. I really do love you for that.

Happy New Year. Indeed.

Christmas Gift Giveaways: Winners

Thanks for all your entries. Sorry I’m not a millionaire or I would send you all one for Christmas. They’re worth purchasing, though, so take the plunge and buy them for your own stocking. 🙂 I wrote down all your names and cut them out and did two separate drawings–one for each prize. Natalie pulled out the first winner, and Grant picked the second.  Winners are as follows:

Giveaway #1: The Rent Collector by Camron Wright


Congratulations to AMBERWAVES

Giveaway #2: The Book of Jer3miah, Season One on DVD

Congratulations to AMANDA (the one whose email starts with prig…)

Winners, contact me by email (look up in the right corner by my picture) and I’ll get these prizes sent to you this week.

Christmas Gift Giveaways: A Book and a DVD

I’ve got some stuff for you folks that I’m kind of excited about. I’m excited because there’s a book I read that I really liked, plus a DVD I recently watched and enjoyed, too, and I get to give away a copy of each. With Christmas just around the corner, they would make great gifts for someone you love or stocking stuffers for you (because does anybody ever step up and stuff Mom’s stocking with anything cool? No.).

Giveaway #1: The Rent Collector by Camron Wright


I really, really liked this book. I want to use it for my next book club pick. Based on a true story, It tells of a family that lives in a dump–an actual dump–in Cambodia and struggles to survive. When Sang Ly realizes that her belligerent landlord can read, she begs to learn. What unfolds is an unlikely and uncommon friendship that uncovers the secrets of a buried past. I loved the tenacity and grace of Sang Ly. The story proves that love and kindness and the power of literature can exist even in the most unlikely places.

Giveaway #2: The Book of Jer3miah, Season One on DVD

This was developed as a web-series, and it won all kinds of prizes because it really was so well done.  Now the whole first season is available on DVD with approximately twenty episodes that are each 5-10 minutes long. It tells the story of a freshman at BYU who experiences tragedy and intrigue and tries to rebuild his identity when everything he’s always known seems to be falling apart. It’s a suspenseful drama, with a lot of action and even some paranormal elements (not vampire-like, just kind of manifestations of spiritual gifts/superpowers I guess). The whole thing is set at BYU and throughout Utah, so it was actually really fun to watch and connect to so many common settings, plus I even recognized a couple of the actors as people I know! The story draws heavily on some LDS themes, and delves into some well-known Mormon myths and legends. Matt and I watched this together and we both enjoyed it. It led to a lot of conversation when it was over and a lot of speculation about season 2. I think it would be a fun gift for LDS adults, young adults, and even teens.

So, you want one? I have one copy of each to give away. Just leave a comment below. Tell me if you’re interested in the book, the DVD, or both*. I’ll add your name to the drawing. That’s it. Feel free to say anything else in the comments, too, like how your Thanksgiving was, and if you’re still eating pie for breakfast, or whatever. 🙂  Anyway, drawing will close at 10 p.m. MST on Friday, and I’ll announce/email the winner on Saturday.  Good luck!

*Will only ship within the U.S.

If a blog die, shall it live again?

Hi.

Um, remember me?

Of course a dead blog can live again!  It totally can. Right? I checked Google Reader, and some people are actually still subscribed here. It might be an accident, but still…. (Does anyone even use Google Reader anymore?) Plus, whether they actually mean to be or not, there’s still a handful of people that subscribe by email, so hello there long-lost inboxes.

Wow. So where do I start?  I have so much to tell you. Really. Let’s transition carefully back into blogging, shall we? I think I’ll start with a bunch of mini blog posts just so we can all get used to each other again.

Mini-post #1:  Guess What?

Remember how I only occasionally popped in during the summer to beg you to vote for me in that video contest?  Well, I don’t know how to tell you this without a formal plan to compensate you for your goodness, but I won!!!  I’m not even kidding– I won a cruise. Matt and I are going in October and I’m very excited about that. It took a little bit of manipulative creative negotiating to convince Clark that even though it was his story that won the trip, it would still be better for Matt and I to take the trip together.  I’m sure that with the passage of time and maybe a small amount of therapy, he will find it in his heart to not feel completely ripped off. And I will find it in my heart to sit on a ship deck and read books and drink virgin daiquiris.

Mini-post #2: No, Really, Guess What?!?

This part is almost too exciting to say. I’m truly afraid that by embracing it, I may somehow curse it. The reason I took a blog sabbatical in the first place is because I, honest to goodness, felt down in my soul that I needed to write a book. I had never before in my life imagined myself authoring a book, but I felt (select the word that you’re most comfortable with here–>) prompted/compelled/pushed/inspired/obligated to write a book about my testimony concerning motherhood. I have spent a good part of the last decade of my life studying motherhood in a gospel context, and I felt the pieces coming together little by little in ways that gave me new insight and purpose. Motherhood was still hard–it’s always been kind of hard–but I felt like I was starting to get it.  And then I felt like I should write it all down. So I did. And (here’s the exciting part) I recently got word that it’s going to be published. As in, printed by someone else in an actual book that will appear in LDS bookstores next Spring. I’m not the type of person that writes things like *squeeee!* or “yippee! yippee!,” but if I were, I would write that here right now. Other than the fact that I feel a tiny bit terrified, plus an equally tiny bit inadequate, I love the thought and hope that maybe, just maybe, my book might help some mom out there (especially a mom of young children) “get it.” And by “get it,” I really mean get herself–see herself and what she’s doing as she really is and how much it really counts. So, yes, yay for that.

Mini-post #3: In Which a Mom and Her Kids All Grow Up a Little.

Something unbelievably amazing has happened. Perhaps even more amazing than a cruise or a book deal. (I realize that this would be the easy place for anyone who’s having a bad day to hit the delete button real quick before my life gets any luckier, but please don’t. I promise I’m not bragging. And I think this next piece of news just might be some kind of balm for your weary soul. Maybe.) When I started this blog, all three of my children were in some stage of diapers. It is with no small amount of shock that I announce to you that last week, they all started school. All of them. From morning until early afternoon.  Look!  Look at this picture and tell me that they are not the cutest people you’ve ever seen. Just try.

Anyway, I’ve blogged a lot over the years about the stages of motherhood, and how sometimes times and seasons must be endured-slash-appreciated for what they really are. When my oldest went to kindergarten, I felt like I had entered Stage 2 parenting. There were glimpses of my children’s growing independence, and I found random bursts, no matter how brief, of “down” time, where I could choose to read a book, or nap, or hang up my clothes, or nap. Now, my friends, I think I have entered Stage 3. Yes, they are older, and make bigger messes, and more noise, and have developed some snarky habits, but trust me when I say: It is glorious. Do you know what I did yesterday? I did a workout video in my family room and then I cleaned my bathroom. I cleaned it for three and a half hours, and it is a masterpiece. I have not cleaned an entire room from start-to-finish in years. After that, I went to the library by myself and picked out books in peace. Then I went to 3 stores in a row and quickly returned some items, stopped at one more store, and picked up a few groceries. I came home and made chocolate chip cookies. When I got home, my house was just as clean as it was when I left in the morning. It stayed clean; do you get what I’m saying? When my kids got home, I hugged them and gave them cookies and helped them with their homework. I still got annoyed sometimes, but I felt ready to be there for them. I. am. loving. it. I am not trying to rub any of this in your face if you still have small children at home and you feel entirely drained. Nor am I trying to knock anyone who feels terribly sad when their children go to school. Not at all.  All I’m saying is that toddler and preschool mothering were quite challenging for me, and now I feel like I’m hitting my stride. I’m not foolish; bigger kids will mean bigger challenges, but if you are wondering if there’s any light at the end of the diaper tunnel, I’m here to tell you:  Good gravy, there is!  I can hardly believe it myself. Stage 3 just feels like it fits so nicely right now. Carry on, good moms everywhere, the stage that fits you best will come in good time.

Mini-post #4: More to Come.

I’ve got fun summer stuff to tell you. I’ve got some giveaways of things I’ve been saving up for you. The September celebration of The Family: A Proclamation to the World is coming up, and that will be epic. Basically, I’m excited to be back. This party ain’t over yet. Please say hi. I missed you.