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City of Flour and Sawdust

I looked up nicknames for Minneapolis and this was the first one, coined in 1883. So shout out!

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The Twin Cities are the midwest hub of publishing right now, which is fascinating. One might think its Chicago, but you’d be wrong. There is quite the scene in Minneapolis/St. Paul and I got to experience a tiny taste of it last week.

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(At the sculpture garden, Margaret checking out an exhibit)

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It also rain/snowed and then snow/snowed, which was magical and (admittedly) a little bizarre in mid-April. Then it became warm and beautiful and I wore a dress and sandals.

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But mostly I was at a conference or spending hours chatting with Margaret and Jeff or meeting a lovely internet friend, Kelly, or moaning about being super sore and pregnant. I was there from Tuesday to Sunday and did a lot of thinking and planning and learning about my next steps in book publishing. It’s complicated because of time, because I need to be good – really good – and because it is such a multifaceted experience.

Will I need an agent?

Will I need to publish smaller pieces in notable places in order to boost my writerly “resume”?

Where should I even submit this book to?

And of course… how and when will I finish it?

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I am very grateful for the opportunity to continue to feed my professional self. Which just so happens to be my creative self, my independent self, my deep inner Lauren self.

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This week is my birthday week and I came home to a hubub of activity and it has been a scramble to get back to work, to get back to Gabe, to spend time with friends and family and everyone is asking me how my trip was. How was my trip? How was the conference?

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It was great! It was restoring! It kicked me in the ass and gave me a clearer vision for what I’ll be working on for the next year (probably 2). It made me long for the routines of family life. It made me feel extra extra secure in Kamel’s parenting skills. It made me realize how much I truly need my kid(s) and my husband in my life on the regularly, that maybe traveling alone is not for me. But to have that freedom and head space, what a gift!

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Parenting small children is a phase, parenting bigger children is also a phase. I entered parenthood knowing that eventually that phase would be done, a new phase of adult relationships with my children would flourish, and that what is not a phase is …. me. I am me, right here, ever changing and growing and becoming better versions of the original. Investing in that is key. Regardless of how I go about it, babies strapped to me or following behind like little ducklings, relying on my partner for the freedom to grow and expand my talents… investments must happen. I am so grateful they do.

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(The mighty Mississippi)

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The Last Year of my 20s, Being 29

This is a yearly tradition started when I was 21. Some of those posts have been lost, but if you would like to catch up, please check out 28, 27, 26, 25, and 24 (with photos missing, unfortunately).    I look back on last year’s birthday post and see so much travel, so much activity, so much transition! This year was more about growing roots, which is actually a very big process. Who knew? I’ve never really gotten the opportunity to cultivate a community, a village, and figure out a lot of the adult life stuff heading our way. The year I was 29 was mostly about that. Just a few weeks after I turned 29 I started a new job...

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Weekending 33

This weekend I was bound and determined to get back on the weekending horse. And then I half failed. It was an overall super great, chill, busy, productive weekend. And I completely failed to bring the camera to our big dinner out with out of town friends at a Bavarian-style beer hall AND our Easter brunch with two very hungry bebes. But I promise, sometimes we do get to do grown up things and our entire lives do not revolve around Gabriel. Photo evidence to the contrary. On Saturdays we go to baby break dancing class. For mom version Lauren it is stressful and nerve wracking. I want Gabe to have fun, I want him to feel like this...

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April

It is April today. No fools to be had in my neck of the woods and no fooling either. This is the month I turn 30 and start a new decade. This is the month I end my current job after a year and go into a bit of an unknown/new beginning phase that will last quite a while. New human, new job, new commute? new schedule? What is in store for me? I jump off the dock this month. This month I will be traveling solo without a kid and without a husband for the first time since spring of 2013. It will be the longest I’ve been away from my child ever. It might be too long. But it means I get to do a lot of ME things. And I get to visit with the...

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Well The Fish Died

Sunday night the fish finally kicked it. After we spent $50 on guilt-upgrading its tank. After buying a 2.5 gallon new house, with new fruity-pebble-looking gravel, and a new pump for cleaning… the fucking fish DIED. It had been chillin’ at the bottom of the tank for a while. If I wiggled the tank it would swim around again. Until Sunday when it wouldn’t move from one corner of the gravel floor. Even when we wiggled it. Even when Gabe continually told it to, “wake UP! wake UP!” when we told him we couldn’t bother the fish right now, that it was sleeping. Kamel kept looking at me with a grim face. “It...

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Small Joys and Happies

Reeses Easter Eggs. Having the bathroom to my self at work. Gabe singing, “Maria. Makes me. Laugh. Hahaha.” The way Gabe asks for “chochos” and being excited when a cookie has sprinkles. Full panel maternity pants. Pedicures. Approaching 10,000 words on my book. 10,000 is just the start, but it will be a good day when I get there. Feeling accomplished. Finally checking some items off of my to-do list for baby #2. Upcoming solo trips for my writerly well being. Singing to Gabe while I wash his hair and having him not cry. That this weekend is Gabe’s first hip hop dance class! Hot chocolate. Consistent baby...

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Who the hell is she?


Lauren

Seattle/Writer/Adventurer/Married to Kamel/Maker of many mistakes/Mom of 1 Gabriel and 1 TBD/Baker of things/Roaster of Vegetables/Maker of videos/Normal life photographer/Romantic/Irreverent/Honest

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.


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