Welcome to 2009!

January 5, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful past two weeks! Jon and I have kept extremely busy – our visit to California was awesome and we had so much fun hanging out with the O’Brien side of the family. And…we even got a white Christmas! I loved getting to know my in-laws more. My little nephew, Josh, is the cutest little guy ever. He’s a little older than a year and learning to talk. So much fun! I realized out there how much I take for granted – it is such a HUGE blessing to have two amazing families who both love Christ.

After Christmas, we came home and picked up our little puppy, Kody. He’s such a good dog! He’s already learned to sit and we’re working on the housebreaking. And, our amazing breeder got him started on crate training so he’s sleeping through the night. He’s still a cuddle bug, but the more he warms up to us, the more hyper he gets. 🙂 We have a busy few months on our hands as we get through the puppy stage! He’s already bonded with Jon – when Jon left this morning for work, Kody wouldn’t leave his spot cuddling on Jon’s shoes.

This week, I start work on the second book in Maya’s series. I’m excited to see where it goes!

Here’s a few snapshots of our last two weeks:

dsc_0226Our white Christmas!

dsc_0306Jon’s brother, Allen, his wife Vicky, Jon and myself playing ping pong

dsc_0211Jon and his dad

dsc_0272Cutest family ever! This is Jon’s brother Tommy, his wife Ashlee and their son, Josh.

dsc_0215Tommy and Jon’s mom, Connie. Nice camera face, Tommy 🙂

dsc_0267My nephew, Josh. “I can’t put down my arms!”

dsc_0402Jon and Kody cuddling on the kitchen floor

dsc_0385Sweet puppy. This was taken at my parents. He was a tired guy!

Have a wonderful week back into your routines, everyone!

Love,

Erynn 🙂

Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2008

And yes, I know it’s not QUITE Christmas yet, but since we’re leaving tomorrow morning to visit Jon’s family in California, I thought I’d go ahead and wish everyone a merry Christmas today!

I hope that you all have been having a wonderful season filled with joy. Christmas is one of those holidays that can be so exciting, so wonderful and yet, also tainted by sadness for many. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one recently, maybe you’re having family issues, or maybe (like me), you’re preparing for a Christmas filled with changes.

This past week, I’ve been praying that God would give me a verse to remember this Christmas week as I’m away from home and family for the first time. And I think He just did. In Hebrews 13:5, He says, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”

It’s my prayer for all of us that this Christmas we’ll remember that not only is God holding our hand (Isaiah 41), but He’s also right there beside us, arms around us, both in the joy and hard times of Christmas. And, even beyond that, that we’ll remember in the midst of the decorations, the cookies, the traditions, that the reason for this amazing time of year isn’t found in any of that. It’s found in the love of a heavenly Savior being born into a disgusting human body. It’s found in the glory of a Son of God living a life of dirt, sweat and tears on this sinful earth. It’s found in the majesty of Jesus Christ dying the most humiliating death to save me and you from eternal suffering.

All that to say – MERRY CHRISTMAS! I am praying that you will be blessed by God and secure in His love this Christmas season. :).

Love to you all!

Erynn

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snooooowww…

December 16, 2008

As I write this, it has been snowing for almost 12 hours. YAY!! It’s not too deep yet, since most of the day it wasn’t quite cold enough to stick, but now the ground is covered and it’s still coming down!

I love snow!

I love everything about it – the smell, the feel, the look, the clothes you get to wear around it… :).

This is Jon’s final week of school before Christmas break. Wow! I can’t believe that we’re already this close to Christmas! As much as I look forward to it, plan for it and sing about it, Christmas sneaks up on me every year.

I heard the best Christmas message I’ve heard in a long time at church yesterday. The pastor mentioned that while we’re focusing on Christ’s birth, don’t forget to remember that He’s coming back soon. Isn’t that awesome? As much as we celebrate His first coming here on this earth, imagine how we’ll celebrate the second in heaven! I hope that in heaven we all get to see reenactments, because I have always wanted to see what the shepherds saw when the angel choir popped in on them.

This year is going to be extra special too because not only is it mine and Jon’s first Christmas married (everyone together: Awww!), but we also get to have three Christmases – one with his family, one with my family and one with the two of us. Hurray! I love three Christmases!

And, on December 28th, we get to add this little cutie to our home:

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I’m already trying to figure out how to puppy proof my house. Doesn’t he just look like a little troublemaker?

So, that’s what’s going on here. 🙂 I hope you all are having a wonderful week! For those of you in finals this week, I’m praying for you!

Love,

Erynn 🙂

New book cover!

December 5, 2008

I’m sitting at home with an awful case of tonsillitis right now (ick), but I just had to share this with you. This is probably my most favorite part of the book process. My editor sent this to me a few days ago:

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Isn’t it adorable? I love it! I’m working on redoing my website to include this, so hopefully it will be up in the next few days.

I hope all of you are enjoying the last few weeks before Christmas!

Love,

Erynn 🙂

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like CHRISTMAS!!!

December 1, 2008

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24 days to go! I am a bit excited, thrilled, anxious…oh boy! I love this time of year!

BIG NEWS: I finished with Maya’s story! Hurray! I am so excited and I cannot wait for you all to be able to get to know her. It is such a relief to finish before the deadline. Now, I need to read back through it and make sure everything makes sense. Then – it’s out of my hands! Christmas break is going to be amazing – I already have a stack of about eight books I’m hoping to read during the break between deadlines. Then, it’s back to the typing board, as it were, to start on Maya’s continuing story.

On Tuesday and Wednesday last week, I got to go to two different potlucks with Jon’s kindergarten class. It was the sweetest thing to see my big strong husband working with these tiny little five-year-olds. I hadn’t had the opportunity to go to his school before now, with the deadline and all. The kids adore him – it so cute to see!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was very nice – it was cloudy and rainy (which I love) and we spent the day with my family. So much fun! Jon had off these last four days, so we spent the weekend playing. It was such a needed break after the insaneness of moving, making the deadline and his crazy life at school!

Yesterday was Jon’s 24th birthday (yep, he uses a whole package of candles now. He’s old!). It was a great way to end our weekend of relaxation (that really sounded like Janice on Friends – “Janice and Joey’s DAY OF FUN!” Sorry about that). Anyway, it was fun!

We’d already arranged it with the husky breeder that we could come pick out our new puppy sometime Thanksgiving weekend. It ended up that the first pick people came on Saturday, so we got to go on Jon’s birthday!

And…drumroll please… we got the little guy we were hoping for!

Oh gosh, the puppies were SO cute. I think I would have taken them all if I’d been able to. We had the choice between this little guy and an adorable little girl. The boy stole Jon’s heart though, because all he wanted to do was cuddle into Jon’s lap and take a nap. The girl on the other hand…if you set her down for half a second, she was immediately running to find something else to explore. I have my theories that the little boy was playing the whole “pick me, I’m cuddly and mellow” game, just so we’d bring him home and he’ll turn into a little spaz, but I guess we’ll see! It was very hard leaving him at the breeders – only a few more weeks, though and we’ll get to bring him home!

I finally found the camera cord, so I’m putting up a bunch of pictures of our house and the puppy. I hope you have fun seeing what we’ve been up to!

Enjoy this Christmas season!

Love,

Erynn 🙂

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Our living room – all decorated for Christmas!

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The mantle shot – the camera was balanced on the couch for this one. 🙂

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I LOVE Jon’s expression in this one!

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What a cuddle-bug 🙂

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More cuddling – I swear this dog is just a big pillow with fur on it.

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Happy birthday Jon! Aww!

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Close-up – Ignore my hair in the picture. Isn’t he adorable? 🙂

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The new little family at the breeder’s house – and introducing Kody 🙂

Moved In and (Almost) Unpacked

November 16, 2008

So, after going a week without internet (yipes!), I am officially back online! Yay! I swear, you have no idea how much you use something until it’s taken away. Which is why I completely agree with the whole “ignorance is bliss” saying – if you never knew about it, you never miss it and so you’re incredibly happy and not paying $4.29 for a drink to sit and use some restaurant’s Wi-Fi. And yes, I did pay that. I feel guilty just sitting there without paying for anything.

Anyway, soap box removed, I’m glad to say that our house looks AMAZING! Thanks to my wonderful husband and fantastic family, we got the whole house painted, cleaned and moved into in only one short weekend. Yay! And, as soon as I find the camera cord, I’ll be sure to upload some before and after pics!

This week is now labeled as Finish The Book week – I’m on the home stretch and as soon as I finish, I have a celebratory ice cream sundae waiting for me. This is how I’ve celebrated each book being completed and I have to say, it’s a great motivator on those final pages.

At church this morning, the pastor was talking about Jesus healing the man with leprosy and it got me thinking about the unclean/clean thing in the Bible. Remember when David says “Give me a clean heart, oh God” in the Psalms? What if beyond even the obvious sin being there, David’s asking for God to grant him a ceremonial clean heart? God only can grant it and it’s got nothing to do with David being a better person. I don’t know…just a thought!

I can’t wait to show you all my new home – I’ve been blessed beyond anything I ever imagined! Thanks for your prayers these past weeks – we definitely appreciated them!

I hope you all are enjoying a restful Sunday! I get to go to a good friend’s bridal shower in a few minutes – gosh, I love those!

38 Days until Christmas!

Erynn :).

P.S. This is potentially our new puppy in a pic the breeder sent me – we’ll find out in a few weeks what the first pick people decided to get. But we’re definitely hoping for this little guy! Isn’t he adorable? Three weeks old on Tuesday!

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Boxes, schmoxes…

October 29, 2008

Well, here we are at an official countdown of EIGHT days until we get to move into our adorable little house! And now, the questions:

*Have I packed? No.

*Have I started packing? Sort of.

*Do I have a stack of boxes in the trunk of my car that have been there for two weeks and they are still there because I’m too lazy to carry them up the stairs to the apartment? Um…maybe.

Here the thing, though: I hate hate having boxes everywhere. I can’t stand it. It makes me feel fidgety and feverish. So, it’s just better to not pack until the very last second. So, I might start next week. :).

We decided to paint the house a warm creamy color and then add accent walls in different rooms. So I’ll be sure to post pictures of the painting process – it will probably be funny!

In other news, I’m past my last goal word count until I reach (drumroll please!) the end of the book!! So, Maya’s story is getting all wrapped up and I’m feeling so less stressed since I know exactly how the rest of the book will flow. And I’ll definitely make my deadline! Hurray!

And…this is a fun thing….Jon has been saying he wanted one of these since I first met him. And so, since we’re getting a house and a backyard, I started doing all kinds of research on this particular thing, which happens to be… A Siberian Husky!

And before you do as I asked you to and start screaming “DO NOT BUY A PUPPY, ERYNN!!!”, don’t worry – Jon and I have discussed this in extreme detail and I didn’t just accidentally get one at Target again.

So, since we’d been talking about how we could get one when we moved into our house, I decided to start looking around and see if I could get one in time for a Christmas present for Jon. I found a breeder right near us who was expecting a litter of huskies this week. I was all set and ready to surprise him when I thought of several things:

*The cost – this should maybe be discussed

*The whole idea of getting one at Christmas

*What if he got me one too? Then we’d have two puppies and that’s a lot to handle!

After much agonizing about ruining Christmas, I wrapped up a picture of the puppies’ dad and Jon flipped out and now we CANNOT wait for our new little addition to the family, who happened to be born yesterday on my sister’s birthday. :).

So…I think that’s everything that’s going on here! Never a dull moment! 🙂 I’ll be posting pictures as soon as I can!

I hope all of you are having a wonderful, amazing week and everything that God is doing is unbelievably clear to you!

Love,

Erynn 🙂

What has been happening here

October 17, 2008

My life in the last few weeks has been anything but boring. Here’s what’s been going on:

* Jon and I went to go see his family this past weekend – SO MUCH FUN! It was cold and windy and just generally not nice outside, so we all stayed in a played games all weekend. It ended up being perfect!

* I got sick, found out I had a sinus infection and have been on antibiotics for a couple of days. Yuck. Good news? I’m not contagious. Bad news? Still working on getting rid of this cough…

* I’m nearing my deadline! Oy oy oy.

* We are MOVING!! Yup, that’s right! Jon and I bought the CUTEST little house ever! 🙂 We are so excited, we burst into big huge grins any time we think about it. We move in twenty-one days and I just cannot wait! We’ll have our own backyard, our own garage…We made a list before we started looking at houses of the things we wanted in a house and the things we needed in a house – and this house has every single one of both lists! I am consistently amazed at how God has worked through this whole process. Last night, Jon and I were talking over dinner about how obviously this is His plan. SO fun!

* Sad News: Since the new house is on the opposite side of town, and gas prices are ridiculous, I had to turn in my notice at the tea room. I will miss working with my friends there. 😦 I’m sure I’ll be visiting frequently though – the bad part of working at a place that gives you limitless refills on caffeine is inevitably you end up addicted.

So, now I’m making lists of everything that needs to get done in the next few weeks. Writing, Packing, Painting, Moving… it’s a long, long list. Jon hates moving and with me being stressed about the deadline anyway, I think we would both really appreciate any prayers you could make on our behalf! 🙂 Thanks!

I hope all of you have been having a great fall – what has been happening out where you are? Send me a comment or an email – erynnmangum@gmail.com. I love hearing from you!

I’ll post up pictures as soon as we get our little house all ready!

Sixty-eight days until Christmas! Yay!

Erynn 🙂

Top Ten Ways To Wait Patiently For the UPS Guy…

September 29, 2008

10. Clean your whole house.

9. Decide to rearrange your overcrowded electrical outlet by running the cord through your entertainment center and not around it.

8. Look up muffin recipes. Make muffins. Eat chocolatey muffins.

7. Write a couple thousand words. Try to not have the character frustrated with the UPS guy. Give her a new character to be frustrated with instead.

6. Dust the bedroom and spend the next fifteen minutes sneezing.

5. Watch “What Not To Wear” and disagree with Clinton and Stacy about leopard print… My thoughts? It should stay on the leopard. But then I disagreed with myself when I remembered a friend looking cute in it.

4. Lean out the porch and see if anyone in the neighboring apartment complex has gotten a UPS package yet.

3. Complain to your mom about how loooong it takes to deliver a tiny little box.

2. Flip out any time you hear a big truck driving over the speed bumps. Be sad when you realize it’s the trash man.

1. Blog about it.

Oy. Such a tragical blog entry today!

Jon and I are starting a new exercise thing today (hopefully if it will EVER get here!!). He saw a TV infomercial on P90X a while ago, did a bunch of research and decided that it looked worth the money and we ordered it. It’s one of those programs that has the whole nutrition thing with it, so…note the muffins. I’m not stupid – I’m eating everything sweet and carb-filled now.

Anyway, I’ll stop complaining about UPS. They’re a great service and aside from the whole Castaway thing, I don’t have any issues with them (I hate that movie).

I’ll keep you posted on the workout! And… I’m nearly halfway to the finished word count in Cool Beans! Yay!!!

Verse for the day: Hebrew 3:6 The Message – “Over and over they tried my patience. And I was provoked, oh, so provoked!”

Just kidding. The real verse for today: 2 Peter 1:5 The Message – “So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.”

One more day until I start listening to Christmas music!

Love,

Erynn 🙂

Sleepy days

September 22, 2008

Do you think this season is called “Fall” because it makes you want to fall into bed and snooze for a while? I’m not a doctor or actually anything medical (though I do own a pen from a doctor’s office. I think I stole it on accident. Sorry Dr. R), but I have this gut feeling that seasonal changes make you sleepier.

I don’t know. That’s my theory for Monday, so I can stop thinking now. :).

Good news! My website is back up and running, despite my lack of technological knowledge. Yay!

In other good news, I’m slowly, slowly, slowly making progress in Cool Beans. Sometimes, the whole “Microwave Society” thinking (you know – instantaneous results) gets to me when I write and I suddenly burst into this spastic freak out yelling “WHY AM I NOT DONE YET?!” Then I realize that writing – like everything else that’s not a Cup O’ Noodle or Jello – takes time.

My agent, Steve Laube, likes to tell me: “Writing is the only profession where staring out the window is actually working.” I took it one step further this afternoon and sat outside on my porch with my laptop. I was kind of hoping that being outside the window would inspire me more, but alas. I just had a clearer view of the trees without the screen door in the way and a few flies buzzing nearby.

But, nevertheless, despite coveting a nap and wondering what particular species of tree is growing in front of my porch, I did manage to get a few more words written. I bribed myself by having to reach a word count before I could eat a cookie. Sad? Yes. Used in training puppies? Yes. Does it work? Yup.

I hope that all of you are having a terrific Fall – and that you have plenty of time this week to catch a nap or snuggle into the sofa and watch 27 Dresses. Isn’t that the cutest movie ever?

Love,

Erynn 🙂