Making things happen

We recently moved in with my father and in that process we got rid of a lot of stuff. Then the first two weeks we were here, we got rid of even more stuff. Then more time went by and we got rid of even more stuff. We donated to local charities and sent other things to the auction house. There is still more stuff to go through. I have been consistently going through all of our belongings in an attempt to organize and get things in there new home. But in this process I’m still donating items and there will be more items in the future.

But what’s got me thinking is the two pods worth of stuff still to be unpacked once the addition is finished. The addition is another story. There is furniture for the boys rooms and other miscellaneous items for the house. My mind keeps going to the “do we need, or want, all those items in the pods?” And I keep thinking, “probably not”.

It seems kind of backwards to me that I want to reduce the amount of things I have but we’re adding about 900 square feet to the house which will end up with stuff. The space were adding is for bedrooms, not just to have more space for stuff. But it does feel a tad counter productive.

I look around and see my belongings and that of my families. Some of the stuff is useful, some meaningful, and other things that are just there. Some of the items will have a home in the addition and are hanging out in an odd spot, but I feel others may be moving on to new homes.

There will be a lot of work going on in the coming months to pear down the things and lots of construction of the new area. But when the addition is ready to move in to I will have to face the pods and all that they hold. I think that will be a true test of what items I want to keep in my life and which items I will bid a fond farewell too.

How do you feel about your space and your belongings in it?

Until next time keep up with me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

Summer Enrichment Planning

While other teachers are counting down to summer break. I’m ramping up for the Summer Enrichment Program. Don’t get me wrong, I’m counting down to the end of the school year also. The enrichment program is a totally different curriculum than my school year teaching.

I get to teach S.T.E.M all day long, four days a week. Then the fifth day we go swimming and play cranium busters. Cranium busters are fun games to expand your brain.

This program gives the students the opportunity to get hands on in a lot of different educational situations. Not only do I get to do tons of science with them, they do art, crafts, writing, drawing, physical activity and we get to go on some pretty awesome field trips.

I love how the students introduce me to their parents as the science lady. The kids are always so excited to do experiments. Sometimes they are so excited the experiments go off track. But I always remind them their is no such thing as a failed experiment, just an opportunity to discover something unexpected.

We are T-minus five weeks until the summer program starts. I’m getting closer to being ready. There are a lot of fun and exciting things planned and I can’t wait to experience them with the kids.

Are you working a summer program this year? If you are good luck and have fun.

Follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

Until next time.

What am I up to now

Crazy hat day at school

We’ve made some big life moves in the last several months to get to where we are now. It’s been crazy, stressful but totally worth it.

Several months ago my father asked us if we were willing to move in with him. My mother passed away in July 2018 and living alone with just the dog was lonely.

After much consideration and conversation my husband and I agreed. In really we agreed right away but how we were going to make it happen took a bit to coordinate. We needed to sell our house and build an addition on his. And that’s just the short version of all the things we needed to do.

We moved in over spring break, which has been about a month ago now. Our house is in contract and will be closing soon, fingers crossed. And the plans for the addition will be going to the county this upcoming week. To say that my shoulders are a bit tense would be an understatement. Don’t worry, I’m getting a message this week to release the stress. So there will be room for the new stress.

There is still a lot going on but it’s all worth it. We’re all together as a family. We’re all settling in to our new routines. Our cats still don’t know what to think of the dog but they are getting used to each other.

Updates about the addition build will come over the next several months. It should be an interesting process.

As you can see from the totally serious picture above I’m still working at the school district. The hat, by the way, was a big hit with the kids. Totally worth the purchase.

To keep up with what’s going on follow me on instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

Until next time

The Purge

When I was in middle school I read a collection of stories about people who gave up all their worldly possessions to live a simple life. That simple life was in different forms. I remember thinking who in the world would do that? All of their stuff. Only crazy people do that.

Well call me crazy but I’ve been purging a lot of stuff lately. Car loads of stuff to our local charity. And I was reminded of those stories. My life had been taken over by stuff. And most of that stuff didn’t have any meaning for me. The thought of having meaningless stuff just hanging around, weighing  me down, was a horrible feeling. That’s when I started going through everything.

I’ve gotten rid of a lot of things and I don’t even miss the stuff. Which I thought I would, but I’m loving the feeling of being free from stuff. A weight has truly been lifted. Believe me I still have a lot of things, but I’m going through them. I have a goal of once a week to make a drop off trip to the charity. The charity also does pickups so I’ll be using that as well.

When I’m deciding if an item will stay or go I ask myself a few questions.

  1. Have I used this lately
  2. Does it give me joy
  3. Is it meaningful

It’s been hard for some items and to be honest, there are items that have made it through a few rounds because I can’t seem to let them go. And there were others that were really easy to say good-bye to. But oh what a feeling of knowing  others will enjoy and benefit from the items. That makes me feel good.

Have any of you gone through this or are currently purging stuff out of your life? I would love to hear about it.

If you’re interested in my daily journey please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

Have a great day and see you soon.

July Book Sale

Well hello happy people. I know July is almost over but it’s never too late to let you know about a book sale.

Every year Smashwords hosts a very large sale on books. Books are up to 75% off and some are even free. Can’t beat free with a stick people. The author’s who participate in this sale do so voluntarily with the hopes their stories and their voice will be read by those who may not have considered their work in the past.

I have several books for 75% off and some free ones as well in the sale.

If your interested in checking out some of my work or the work of other authors please head on over to Smashwords. You can search me Laura K Marshall or LKMarshall to find my full catalog of work.

Hope you all are having a wonderful day and as always follow me on Instagram for updates on being me. Search beinglaurakmarshall to follow.

SWRCover
The Starving Writer Review Collection

Long Time No See

I had this really long post written about all the stuff that has gone on with me over the last several months since I posted last. Then I realized when it came down to it there were only two life things that were big for me. We all celebrated October through December holidays in our own way then came January through May, but two big things in my life that has moved my journey forward. In November I turned forty and in February I officially became debt free. These two events really mean something in my journey. I have been a slave to the norm, work a job, pay bills, be responsible, etc., etc. I knew deep down there was more. I love being creative either through writing, crafts, painting or drawing. Those things enrich my life more than my day job of contributing to the obesity problem ever has. Reaching those mile stones has really opened up possibilities for me that I never considered. Always sometime in the future or that would be nice but. Well hell, but nothing. I am actively now engaging in the realities of creating the life I want. Not settling for the day to day survival. I am actively moving in the direction of change and creating new goals. What are those goals you may ask?

My life goal is to travel and live a full enriched life through creativity and helping others.

How does that look in reality? I’m not sure but I’m figuring it out. Day by day I get more insight into how I am going to be able to live my dreams and reach my goals.

What are you working toward in your life? I challenge you to ask yourself that question. You may be surprised in what you find.

If you’re interested in my daily journey please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

Brief History of Laura

Zen Frog because I love frogs
Zen Frog because I love frogs

To get things moving here I thought a brief history of me would be in order. I promise this isn’t going to be long but it’ll give you an idea of where I’m from and where I’ve been.

I was born in Panorama City California on November 26, 1975. I grew up in Simi Valley California. I am an only child. You know, my parents recognized perfection and stopped.

I went all the way through school in Simi graduating from Royal High School in June 1994. In Junior High I was a member of the choir and we went on a singing tour in Florida. That was pretty exciting. We sang in venues around Florida but the best place was Disney World. That’s hard to beat when you’re a teenager. While in high school I was a member of the dance team and competed quite extensively. In 1993 the team went to Japan to compete in the World Dance Competition. And guess what? We won. That was a pretty awesome time in my life. That was my first taste of international travel and I loved it. I was accepted to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where I earned my degrees in Hotel and Restaurant Administration and a Business degree. I graduated in May 1998. Yep, in just four years.

After graduation I worked for an international hotel chain and moved to Texas in Sept 1998. In Texas I opened multiple hotels and restaurants for multiple companies. I even worked for the Dallas Cowboys for a period of time. Let me tell you that was an experience. That is also where I met my husband.

I got married on October 26, 2002. So as of this writing I’ve been married for twelve years. Wow, where does the time go? Jason and I welcomed our first son, Parker, into the world on January 24, 2005.

Jason had a job opportunity in the Pacific Northwest in 2006, specifically in the Portland area. Which it so happened to be where my parents had retired to a few years earlier. Being an only child and having the only grand baby it only seemed right to move. So we moved up to Oregon in March of 2006. We then welcomed our second son, Aiden, into the family on November 28, 2006. Aiden and my birthdays are two days apart. Not only do we share our birthday celebrations with each other, we share them with a turkey. Which if you didn’t see it earlier I am a Thanksgiving baby.

In January 2007 I began writing again much more seriously than I had in school. I started writing in elementary school, but never thought of writing as a real career choice. But as I went through my old writings I got excited about it again and thought, this actually is a real option. My first story was published in April 2012.

In October 2012 I decided to take a year off to write and be a full time mom. I loved every minute of that year. I wrote more than I have ever written before. It was glorious. The boys loved it because mom was actually home all the time. Which was a harsh contrast to when I was working in the restaurant 50 plus hours a week.

I returned to full time restaurant employment in November 2013 to a place I call the Burger Mines.

So what am I working on now? Currently I’m working on returning to purely creative pursuits, to be honest to my true self, to travel and create. To be the mom and wife I want to be. What that year off showed me was what was possible if I let it happen. So now I’m working my ever loving butt off to be able to live the life I truly want to live.

That is the history of me in a nutshell. See I told you it wouldn’t be too long.

If you’d like to see my daily journey please follow me on twitter @beinglkm or on Instagram beinglaurakmarshall