Pausing for Happiness...

Hello dear readers,

If you're wondering what I've been doing lately, here's a clue...

... yes, I've been pausing in the pursuit and just being happy. (Which, *ahem*, means I might not exactly be prompt answering emails.)

We're getting re-settled in our house after nearly a year of being in rentals during a giant renovation (building a second story.)  During that time, I dreamed of how blissful it would feel to just be in our house once again.  So I'm letting myself experience the bliss, along with other sources of bliss:

springtime (it's warm and sunny here in Colorado)

irises (I just picked a bunch and put them in a black clay vase from Oaxaca)

cooking (I just made potatoes au gratin in a beautiful ceramic dish I got at a French market years ago)

having quesadillas and cake and tea with friends (thanks, Gloria and Julie)

listening to new music (Carla Bruni)

writing more of my book-in-progress at a deliciously leisurely pace (sorry to those of you anxiously awaiting it)

eating chocolate with cinnamon and almonds (which is a necessary activity for my book-in-progress)

doing author visits at schools in Boulder (thank you awesome kids at Centennial Middle and Manhattan Middle)

watching an amazing performance of the stage version of What the Moon Saw by students at Manhattan Middle (I was truly blown away)

dancing (with my lovely, free-spirited NIA friends)

reading Bringing Up Bebe, which has inspired me to bake more little gourmet treats with Lil Dude, require him to taste food he doesn't like for the hundredth time because that might be the time he realizes he likes it, and instead of attempting to bribe or negotiate with him on certain stressful occasions, letting myself say firmly, C'est moi qui decide! (I'm the one who decides!)

receiving-- with lots of gratitude-- nice honors for The Queen of Water (Skipping Stones Honor Award for Multi-cultural/International literature, Bank Street Book of Outstanding Merit, Colorado Book Award Finalist)

wandering in the woods by the river and "enjoying the nature" as my lil Dude says

biking with Lil Dude and Ian to our favorite burger joint in Old Town (Al's Burgers, which lil Dude calls Owl's Booglars)

doing an author panel in Boulder with author friends Amy Kathleen Ryan and Todd Mitchell (thanks to everyone who came out!)

hanging in Boulder for tea with more author friends- Tara Dairman, Jeannie Mobley, Melanie Crowder, Cindy Strandvold, Lauren Sabel (Congrats to Lauren and Tara on their exciting book contract news!)

I could actually go on and on, but the dappled shade of my apple tree beckons...

Happy spring to you!