Little Bear Love

I’m leaving my littlest guy behind for 11 days soon while I take my big boys to Sicily and then the Amalfi Coast. We were supposed to be heading to Egypt with my mom and sister but the unrest and political changes in Egypt made me rethink our decision to cruise the Nile and visit the Valley of the Kings and Queens now. We booked the Egypt trip two years ago but Sicily should be fascinating and I’ve never been there even though I’ve set two Harlequins there–The Sicilian’s Defiant Mistress and my upcoming North American August release, A Dark Sicilian Secret.

But the little guy… oh, he’s hard to leave, and I’m leaving him this weekend for a day and a half to do the LARA writing retreat in Los Angeles with pals Megan Crane and Liza Palmer.  I knew when I accepted the speaking engagement it was close on the heels of flying out to Italy, but I didn’t realize emotionally how it’d feel.

It feels terrible.

For two days now I’ve obsessed about how I jump on a Saturday  afternoon for LAX, and then return Sunday night after he’s gone to bed, and then three days later I head out for 11 days. I’m supposed to be writing–and I am–but in between sentences and paragraphs and editing I keep thinking about my  littlest guy and how much I love him and how sweet he is at almost two. His birthday is a month from tomorrow and he’s starting to talk a lot. Some of it I understand. Some of it is still jibberish. But he knows what he’s trying to say because he’ll repeat it over and over and look at me and wait for validation. And sometimes all I can do is hug him tight and tell him how much Mama loves him. And I do.


But I’m a big girl, and I’m going to suck it up and do what big girls do–juggle responsibilities, meet my deadlines, accomplish my goals.  And one of those goals is helping writers grow. So, if you’re a writer in LA and want to attend the LARA retreat on Sunday, info is on my events page here on my site. (Incidentally, I have a couple Bellevue area book events coming up this Spring and then a number of writing workshops in June and August and those details are on my site, too.)

Time to give away something fun though!  I need fun and so do you.  🙂

Bring me up to speed on your life and you’re entered to win a fantastic beach read prize:  a pink striped beach towel, a B&N gift card, a Starbucks gift card, a Jane Porter water bottle, and a signed book from my backlist…your choice. Fill me in from now until Monday morning on whatever you feel like sharing, and then sometime Monday morning I’ll draw a winning name. Remember that I announce the winner’s name in a comment on my JaneBlog on my actual website.  I realize some of you read my JaneBlog on Facebook or Goodreads so come visit my comments Monday at my site for this specific blog to see if you’ve won. This is how I always announce the winners… and I don’t go and track you down! If you want the prize, you have to claim it.


  1. Hi Jane! Sounds like an amazing trip you’re taking and while I’m sure you’ll miss your little man, I’m also sure your two bigger little men will appreciate some uninterrupted mom time- I know how hard it is having a baby around at that age.

    We’ve got the new building almost finished- roof on, concrete floor poured, siding going up. The kids and I all carved our initials and the date into the concrete yesterday and it was kind of fun, I’ve never gotten to do that before. It should be pretty well finished by the end of Monday.

    I’ve been writing a lot the last few days- yay! I figure it’s something to do since I can’t work out in my garden at the moment. The weather decided to take a nasty turn on us. It was in the high 70’s earlier this week and today it was 24 when I got up and we’re being threatened with snow! Sheesh!

    Anyway, have a blessed and safe trip. Hugs! I hope to see some pics of your trip with the boys 🙂

  2. I just completed a test that is suppose to make me “highly qualified” to teach what I’ve already been teaching for 8 years. I just love the “No child left behind” act. *eyeroll* Now I have to wait 7-10 days for the results to be posted on a website or 2 wks for them to be mailed to me. I could use a few good books to keep me occupied! 🙂

  3. Have a wonderful trip and you’ll have time once home to love little guy(Mac).

    I am getting our bedroom back in shape after dh re-did it(paint, flooring)and liking the few changes I’m doing.
    Nervously waiting for the MRI I have coming up in 2 1/2 weeks.

    Take care and have a great weekend.

  4. It will be hard to not have everyone together, but you know he is always with you. What a fantastic trip you have ahead of you.

    I can not believe he is almost two. How amazing! I loved when my children talked jibberish, it always fascinated me how they would use facial expressions and be so passionate over, well who knows? It still makes me smile and laugh to think if it.

    This weekend will once again be filled with swim meets and hopefully some time for the garden. We have been blessed with a great rainy season this year and the weeds are loving it!

    Have a wonderful weekend in LA. How is the house hunting going?

  5. this weekend I’ll be hanging with the kids while daddy works. hopefully there will be a brief respite in the rain, i’m missing the sun!

  6. My little 3 year old will be starting preschool next week… I just watched a Sicily “House Hunters Int’l” on HGTV today… I am jealous you guys are going to Sicily! Have lots of fun and please post some beautiful pics….

  7. Hi Jane,
    Your trip sounds fun but I can imagine how hard it is to leave the little guy. Although nice to spend time with your bigger boys. My daughter just had my first grandson in December and they were away for a week and I can’t believe how much I missed him. He is so much fun and just want to squeeze him all the time. So I will be spending time with him and then I have a birthday on Sunday that we are celebrating.
    Safe Travels.

  8. Have a great time in Sicily 🙂

    I had a really busy week at work, we are short on people and because of a holiday we only worked 4 days so every day I was super busy to do as much work as I can.
    I was so happy when my work week ended yesterday and I met my friends for dinner which was great since it took us a few weeks to find a date that works for all of us- the food was good and the company even better.

  9. hi jane. i know you will still have a fantastic time going to sicily! and mac looks so adorable sitting in bed with his book! will be taking my 17 year old son to a few college visits this weekend; trying to give him as much info before he makes up his mind about which school he will attend in the fall. time just goes by too fast! all my best to you and yours…

  10. How exciting for you and your boys to take such a trip! I’m sure you will have a blast. The time will fly by until you see your little love again. : )

    I registered my little girl for kindergarten this week and am having a hard time with it! How fast our babies grow! I will be registering my son for next year~then what will I do with my time??? I am so lucky to be a stay-at-home Mom. I enjoy every minute~and have made it through their ‘challenges’ and ‘adventures’ so far! : )

    We are ready for spring here on the east coast. It snowed a little the other day and my 4 year old son said, “We don’t want snow! We want grass!” It can’t come soon enough!!

    Enjoy your trip!! Can’t wait to hear about it!

  11. You are one busy woman!! Hope you have a fun & safe trip.

    Gee-my life is BUSY!! We are currently stationed in Hawaii, but transferring this summer to Bangor Washington for the hubbies last tour before he retires. 30 yrs! So, right now we are in the process of buying a house in Seabeck! crazy doing it long distance-but what can you do. Its fun picking out carpet & appliances on line 🙂

    Besides all that, getting ready to turn 45 in a few weeks-I share my bday with my first grandson who will be 1!

    Take care and enjoy!!

  12. Hi Jane. Wish I could say I was going with you on your trip. But at least I will have a fun weekend. Hangin out with the hubby tonight, then going into NYC tomorrow with a friend to spend the day at the Met. We’ve been trying to get there forever, and things (life) keep getting in the way. No stopping us now!! Sunday will probably be spent sleeping in with hubby and the dogs. This means til I wake to a cold nose in my face, or I roll over and the dog thinks this means I’m awake and stands over me staring at me. Very hard to sleep that way LOL. Hubby wakes up as the last drop of coffee drips into the pot.

  13. What a fun time you have ahead of you! My husband & I are planning our first trip to Italy, but it is still just in the dreaming phase. We hope to go in a few years, to celebrate his 50th & our kids’ being out of HS. 🙂
    Have a great trip!

  14. I have always wanted to see the Amalfi coast. There is a painting by Fanch that I just love. Anyhoo–not much going on this weekend. I am recovering from a cold so I think I am going to lay low.


  15. Have a wonderful trip!

    We are getting together with friends on Saturday. 🙂

    Then, on Sunday we are working on our taxes. 🙁

  16. Oh I’m sooooo excited for you for this trip. And I agree with not going ot Egypt right now. It’s heartbreaking. Cairo is such a modern, accessible city. Everyone should be able to go and take in the wonders without worrying for their safety.
    I was looking up “discount” safaris in Botswana and Kenya yesterday, planning out elaborate trips.
    The travel bug is biting HARD right now!
    Of course there’s that pesky little thing like the actual cost of an extended safari, but planning is half the fun!

    When the girls were two I took them–on my own–to DisneyWorld and then a 7 day cruise. They were awesome! Traveling with your kids and seeing their eyes light up at new sights and adventures is the best feeling.

    Being with you, experiencing things together is something your boys will never forget.
    It’s such a gift that you are giving them, this time with you, opening their eyes to a new part of the world.
    Do your best to stay in the present so that you’re giving–and getting–the full experience with the big boys.

    Can’t wait to hear all about it and live vicariously through you!

    Buon viaggio!

  17. I know it will be really hard for you to leave the little guy…but you are really doing something special with the older boys that they will always remember. Soon they will be gone and then you will be making those types of memories with your baby boy! enjoy your vacation and make lots of memories!!

  18. Wow! Have fun on your trip! We, too, are going to the Amalfi coast. We are also doing Tuscany, Sorrento, Florence, Positano and I can’t remember the rest. We go in August. Before then, I go to Las Vegas to celebrate my 50th.

    LOVE your books!

  19. Jane can you use skype to see each other while your gone. I’ve never used it but i have military friends that do to keep in touch. It’s tough either way. He is a adorable little guy. lol

    Here in Michigan we got a early spring snow storm this week. About 8 to 10 inches of the stuff when we almost had all the rest of the snow melted from the yard. Sigh.. Looks like February out there again. Little sun please??… Pretty much the same ole same ole around here otherwise.

    Lisa B

  20. what an awesome trip to be going on!

    hopefully, this weekend will be low key. the husband returns from a business trip so i plan on him taking over the house + kids so i can get my sanity back : )

  21. Sometimes being a big girl is hard! My “baby” is 17 and a senior. She is starting to hear back from colleges…some good news and some disappointing. Life lessons to be learned, but still hard to see her go through! Enjoy your trip and be safe.

  22. I can’t imagine how tough it will be to say good-bye to Mac for that time. Is Surfer Ty able to come to WA to be with him? The time spent with the big boys will be amazing and they will never forget this trip! Try not to let the worry ruin your great time.

    Hopefully you can put aside the writing for a bit and spend time with Mac. You can’t focus when your heart is so distracted. 🙁

    Have a wonderful time and a very safe trip.

    Big Momma-girlfriend Hug from Tustin,

    P.S. So glad your May is a bit lighter now. 🙂

    1. almost forgot: this weekend my mom is taking me, my sisters and my daughter Rebecca to see Beauty & the Beast on stage at the Pantages. I saw it many years ago when my now 22 yr old sister was just a little girl. I’m very excited to share it with Rebecca. Thanks mom!!

  23. Jane,

    I hope you have an amazing time with your older sons. They will always treasure the travel time with you. Best wishes!

    Mary N.

  24. I know those boys must be so proud of their momma and Mac will be as well when he comes to fully see all that you do. Remember the 11 days will be time spent with the “big” boys. They grow up so fast sometimes I forget that I have a limited amount of quality time left with my “big” boys because I hate to NOT be right beside my “little” boy. Even though my “little” boy is almost 12 he still has my heart strings wrapped around his finger like a balloon at the fair.I hope you have a great trip with your boys and an even better time when you get home with baby Mac.My oldest is almost 20 and my next son just turned 18. I think I will take my eighteen year old out to dinner this weekend just him and I.Other than that I am going through the very long process of trying to change jobs I have been to my fourth interview for a new company that pays three times my current small salary at the school as a para. I hope I made it to the last stage.I have never had so many tests or interviews for one job before in my life!This job could be very good for me and my boys. Have a nice weekend Jane!

  25. Hi Jane,
    What a wonderful trip you are going to have. Sicily and the Amalfi Coast are wonderful and this time of year is the best to visit. Warm and sunny but not terrribly hot. I am from the North of Italy (Venice), but I have been to Sicily and the Amalfi Coast (it was a stop of my honeymoon with my Canadian husband).Make sure to visit Capri. It is wonderful. I know that Egypt is a very special place. I am so glad I got to visit it when it was not dangerous, but hopefully it will get back to normal, because there nothing like the Egyptian civilization.
    I am sure your are torn leaving your little one at home, any mother can understand that, but I am sure your oldest boys are going to enjoy their time with you without Little Bear. And soon he will be a good traveller as well.
    Have a lot of fun!

  26. Jane,
    Aw, 11 days is a long time, but I think everyone’s right. The big guys will appreciate this trip and you and the little bear will have tons of adventures once they’re out of the nest or cave, or whatever you want to call it 😉
    A mom’s heart is always getting tugged in different directions isn’t it?
    Personally I am home w/a two year old and would love some time away. Can I hide in your suitcase? 😉
    My husband’s siblings are coming to visit along with my 8 year old nephew this weekend. We’re going to take them out to see DC including a private tour of the White House. I’m looking forward to that, but I think w/the two year old it could get interesting. . .

  27. I got stuck on him being almost 2! I’ve been following your blog for a long time now!

    I hope you enjoy your trip in spite of the internal conflict. I hope one day you can get to Egypt and he’ll be old enough to come along for the ride.

  28. Oh! I’m so glad you aren’t going to Egypt. I was thinking about your trip since all of the unrest was going on. Sicily? WONDERFUL!! Have a great time. Little guy Ty will do great (maybe not you~lol) but cherish the time with the big boys b/c they grow so fast and you’ll have those memories forever! hugs!!

  29. Oooh Sicily! Sounds wonderful! I know you’ll miss Mac but enjoy the wonderful time with your boys. Once they were 2 year old toddlers. My baby is about to go to middle school, it suddenly hit me yesterday. Not sure I’m ready for that!

    Italy is “on the list” somewhere I really hope to visit. I always wanted to speak Italian, perhaps a nod to the ancestors? We don’t travel near as much as I would like to, unless it’s to a baseball or softball tournament. 🙂 Just practice this weekend, no crazy game schedules to juggle. If the sun stays out, I’ll get into the garden a little. And some fun with friends on Saturday night, much needed adult time.

    Safe travels to CA and Sicily!

  30. I’ve heard the Amalfi Coast is beautiful. I would love to take a cruise down the Nile someday, too. I’ll be relaxing this weekend and catch up on some of the shows I missed on TV.

  31. Jane,

    Tomorrow we are celebrating my best friend turning 40! I am sure it will be a good time! Then it’s my 11yr old’s school play of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and immediately following, we leave for a family vacation in Disney! Good luck leaving Mac and travel safely! Can’t wait to hear about your trips!

  32. I love Italy! I’ve visited it many times (OK, so I grew up 20 min from the border to Italy :)) and April is a great time to visit. If you are there around Easter – Easter is huge in Italy! As 95% of the country is catholic, everyone observes the fast and the following Easter celebration.

    I feel for you, having to leave your little guy. My youngest is now 4 and I have such a hard time leaving her and her brothers. But big girls got to do what big girls expect of themselves … right?
    And as the Italians say: Nella vita – chi non risica – non rosica.
    (In life: who risks nothing – gains nothing (literally) or better: nothing ventured – nothing gained.

    Safe travels – Buon viaggio!


  33. Jane, Enjoy your wonderful Italy trip. Mac looks adorable and sweet. Sunshine and gardening this weekend which I enjoy. Best wishes.

  34. A mother’s agony trying to do it all, but I know you will have Mac staying with loving folks and he will be fine. You can even call him while you are on your trip and maybe that will be helpful to you. He will be happier not going and years from now your two older sons will still be talking about that trip with mom.

    Glad you are not going to Egypt. We have a friend who was born there and once he got to the U.S. he has not wanted to go back with all of the unrest. He has been here over 40 years. He would not even take his family over to show his girls their heritage. I love Elizabeth Peter’s books about Egypt. If you have not read one, pick one up to read on the trip.

    We will keep you each one in our prayers! Have FUN!!!!

  35. Jane,

    You will have an awesome time in Sicily with your boys and even though Mac won’t be with you, I’m sure you will call and call and call. So have tons of fun, you deserve it!

    I got to work at noon today, I know it was late, but we had a Hornblower Cruise event for my department and we had a blast! I organized the whole event for 80 people and it was alot of work, but so worth it because everyone had a great time, including me! LOL. Tomorrow, me and my family are going to South Lake Tahoe for a few days. Brrrrrr…. That means tonight, I have to pack up for my 7 year old daughter, 16 year old son and most likely my 38 year old husband! LOL. It will be nice to getaway for a bit and spend some time with my family. Well I’ve gotta get back to work. Take care.

  36. WOW! Italy and Egypt? Have a fabulous time. Both of those places are on my bucket list. I doubt I will ever make it, but I can still wish and dream and who knows maybe one day it really will happen. It’s definately a once in a lifetime trip. I know little Mac will be missed greatly. Do you do Skype? Maybe you can talk to Mac that way. Well, Have a wonderful time and I hope we all get to see pictures when you get back.

  37. Sounds like a wonderful trip you’re embarking on. Mac will be fine and you will be too. You can pick up the phone when you want and hear the jibberish and it’ll carry you through. The whole family will grow because this is what you do. Have a fun and safe trip.

  38. Wow, what an awesome adventure you have ahead of you, Jane. And to share the experience with your Mom and sister will make it extra special. Mac will be fine and just think of all of the special trips the two of you will have together down the road. I’ve had a great week. My sister, who I haven’t seen in three years was visiting, so it was a special week. Have a great weekend!

  39. Your trip sounds like it will be wonderful. I understand how hard it is to leave the little guy behind, but I know you’ll have a great time, a memorable trip, and a very happy reunion with him when you return home. As for this weekend, it’s been a while since I’ve been sick, and it looks like I’ll be hanging out at home with a cold/sore throat. So, I’m stocked up on books and a few movies, and plan to hang close to home and rest up.

  40. It’s supposed to rain all weekend long, so I’m just gonna take it easy and relax. Probably gonna go to the movies on Saturday and see Paul.

    Have a great trip!

  41. Hola Jane
    What a sweet picture. I hope you have a fun filled trip with your family. It will be great and the reward when you get home will be even better. Nothing but hugs and kisses from your little man.
    Busy weekend. Birthday party for a friend, my sister’s wedding aniversary and cousin’s volleyball games. Oh, and my daughter’s play date. I need an adult drink in there somewhere.

  42. Jane,

    My daughter had her tonsils out today and tubes put in her hears. She was so excited this morning and by the time we came home she was in tears. It so breaks your heart when you can’t fix it. Luckily as the day goes on, mom can with popsicles, ice cream and lots of juice. 🙂

    I think we are going to have a nice quiet weekend at home.

    I went to Italy about 10 years ago and loved it. The atmosphere the laid back feeling of enjoying people. They don’t have the rush, rush feeling of having to cram everything in.

    Have lots of fun!!!


  43. Always busy! Baseball, track, work, life! Finally getting spring-like in Visalia! Getting ready to go to the V.P. for my hubby’s 40th birthday tonight!

    Try not to stress too much! Your older boys will love having time with you all by themselves. Enjoy it and remember that your reunion with your littlest guy will be that much sweeter! Have fun!

  44. What a hard thing to do! Enjoy your bigger ones while missing your baby. I’m sure you’ll find a balance and have a memorable experience with your family.

    So ready for the weekend! Lots of cleaning and going through storage this weekend. It’s still feeling like winter in Michigan, high of only 32, so inside cleaning is an ok plan!

  45. Oh Jane, I sympathize. The only time I left my two (then 2 and 4) for a couple of days, I cried for the entire flight out, and then I cried again as soon as I saw them at the gate….

    Anyway, they are now 4 years older, and they’ve been taking turns to stay at home sick with a virus. My boy’s fevers are always uncontrollable (104F is pretty normal whenever he’s ill but I worry – understatement of the month, I actually go insane – when they start approaching 106), so I spent the last 4 nights setting my alarm for every hour on the hour to get up and check his temperature. I’m exhausted!

    Writingwise, I managed 2 stories for a competition, but my novel lies untouched.

  46. Hi Jane,
    What a fantastic trip to look forward to, and such an experience with your guys! I know it will be hard to leave your little man, but he will be fine 🙂 I’m sure he is in great hands.
    I am going to read, do yard work and relax this weekend!! Plan on reading Flirting with Forty again.. just love that book!!! I wish you would write a Part 2!. I am so in need of a “vacation”, since I can’t right now, it will have to be a “mind vacation”, with the help of a book! Hawaii is my favorite place in the world, I love it.. it’s been cold here in Cali.
    Have a fantastic trip, and enjoy all the wonderful memories you are going to be making!

  47. He is the perfect age! But aren’t they all? My granddaughter is 4, my grandson is almost 5 months daughters are 26 and 16. Love them all.

    I think you made the right decision on your travel plans. It’s scary over there..well, scary in so many places, isn’t it?

    Enjoy your travels.

    My mom is coming up from Oregon tomorrow and staying almost a week. Should be interesting. 🙂

  48. Hiya Jane,
    Life is busy as usual but lately I have taken up knitting in the evenings while the family is watching tv or a movie and I love it – very relaxing 🙂 I hope your trips go well – I am so envious of the Italy trip – sounds sooo good. Ciao.

  49. Hi Jane,
    Your trip sounds amazing! I look forward to the stories and adventures.

    I am spending my weekend in the hospital. My son’s appendix burst and he had emergency surgery. Scariest thing that happened to him in a long, long time. I have never felt so helpless.

    Take care and safe travels,

  50. Boy, do I understand the guilt of leaving behind a little one! My own little one is three and a half, but I have to say, the tantrums she’s going through is making me think, “Hmm, a night away would be nice.” :o)

    Speaking of, La Toddler has a play recital tomorrow and a dance class. We love seeing her strut her stuff in these sort of things, and can’t wait for tomorrow to begin.

    Wished it was warmer weather here in NH, though, so we could also banish the cabin fever and enjoy the ocean (just a block from us). But there’s no fun in going to a beach with 20 mile per hour winds and a temp, with wind chill, of 30.


    1. Susan, we are neighbors! I also live in NH, and I agree, I wish it was warmer too! I cannot wait to get to the beach 🙂

  51. Hi Jane,

    I am so jealous of your travels! I understand your anxiety though.

    Silly thing to share – my youngest, Amanda just finished the Hogwarts Express Lego set. We have been working our way through all of the Harry Potter sets since Christmas and are almost done.

    That’s about as exciting as we get here. 🙂


  52. Hi Jane,

    I know how much you must miss your little guy when you’re traveling, but at least he stays healthy while you’re gone. When I’ve missed my big guy’s games (because of travel or any other reason), he has sprained an ankle, broken his nose, gotten a concussion, and last weekend when I missed the final half of his game he broke a finger! Not that any of it would have been different if I was there, but it adds that extra layer of guilt in addition to missing him. Hope your little guy has a great time at home while you’re having a great time on your trip!

  53. I hope you have an amazing trip, Jane! I am completely jealous 🙂

    Not really much going on here this weekend. My husband is going to a concert tomorrow so I will be hanging out with the kids alone. Perfect time to do some reading though! I also have to shop around for some props to use in te next photo shoot I do with my new baby niece. This week we stuffed the poor girl in an Easter basket with fake grass and eggs, she was not happy LOL. But, she did look so adorable. I love being an auntie 🙂

  54. I know how much you will miss your little guy. I took my little guy back to college two weeks ago after spring break and I have missed him so much that I went and got him today for the weekend, I will have to take him right back to college Sunday afternoom but at least I will have a couple of days with him. Although he did bring a ton of laundry for me to do tomorrow.

  55. Jane,
    Wow! Sounds like a wonderful trip to take…I look forward to adding in more travel.

    I am spending the weekend working.

    Have a safe trip!

    Hugs, Julie 🙂

  56. I feel for you, Jane. 11 days is a long time. But I think what you are doing is right. In my opinion, Mac is too young for a big trip like this. He’ll have PLENTY of trips with you and the family when he is a little older! Try not to be so hard on yourself…I think many of us would make this choice…and we would all miss our little ones at home at the same time!
    You are such a good mom!!!

    We are on Spring Break here in OR. The beach prize sounds amazing right now…I need some warmth and sun! This was suppose to be a fun week for us. My husband was out of state for work, so the girls and I were going to have their friends over for sleepovers, go to a movie, baseball practices, we had a couple b-day parties to attend and the list goes on. Instead, we all have been REALLY sick and haven’t even left the house since Monday. I am so bummed and frustrated. This happened last year on Spring Break to us, also! We are starting to feel a tiny bit better, but just in time for school and work. 🙁 Very sad for my girls. Wishing they could have had a fun week like they deserved.

  57. Actually my life is kind of boring right now, I’m trying to get over a bad head cold. I’m also getting ready to start packing to move to a different apartment and I’m not looking forward to that. I hate moving. Fortunately it’s just to the next building down from me. Now if I could just wiggle my nose and have my stuff moved and put away that would be great. I hope you have a great trip with the older boys and think of the wonderful homecoming you will have from him when you come home.

  58. Hi Jane,

    Sounds like and exiting time for you.
    I’m on vacation at the moment and enjoying every minute of it. It’s probably going to be one of oure last vacations just us two. Even though we look forward to changes and a big family we still want to savour every moment we have together just us two.
    I hope you have a great vacation with your oldest boys.

  59. Well my life certainly took a turn this week. Granted, not an unexpected one, but it turned sooner than expected. I had my twin girls at 35w1d. So I’ve spent the past several days in the hospital recovering. I’m going home today and hoping that at least one of the girls will come with me. One’s still in the NICU with various premie issues.

    So that’s my big life issue – heh. I love my girls!

  60. Hi Jane,
    This weekend I am celebrating my 6th wedding anniversary. Time just flies by so fast.
    I am also very busy keeping up with my sons upcoming high school graduation.
    I hope you have a great time on your vacation. Enjoy!


  61. Jane,
    you sound like a jet- setter. Going here and there and then to Italy. Wow!
    Well this weekend I am working around the house you know the spring beautification thing.
    My husband is off Monday and Tuesday so we will probably go out and do something special.

    Buon viaggio!

  62. Last night I saw “Jane Eyre” with my gal pals and loved it. Gosh, I am so glad I live now and not in that era! Writers are so great because they tell us good stories, and it is fun to see a movie that adds the scenery and actors to the words, but it all starts with the words-so thank you, Jane, and all the writers who have created a world with the words they put together. Keep writing, Jane, and have a wonderful trip with the big boys!

  63. Hi Jane,
    I’m jealous. Your trip sounds amazing.
    There are so many places I want to visit that every year it takes us months to decide where to go.
    We also are leaving for vacation soon to Portland,OR and before we go I need to finish moving my entire business to a new location.
    I wanted to have my first draft of my first novel done, So I’m I writing everywhere and anywhere I can.
    My eight year old has been sick for the last 3 days.
    I started taking drum lessons in January and my instructor wants to double up on lessons before I leave.
    We received an offer on our house last night. They would like us out by June.
    And I haven’t started packing for vacation, which I am sooooo ready for.
    So enjoy your time away. I know leaving a child behind is hard, but vacations fly by. You’ll be back home before you know it.
    Have a safe trip!
    Oh yeah, I expect to see some great pics of that trip posted.

  64. Hi Jane! What a fun trip this sounds like! I bet you and your big boys will have a blast! I know it’s hard to leave a little one behind – but it’ll be alright. The time will fly by and you’ll see Mac before you know it! I have a few things planned this weekend, but nothing huge. Baby shower for a friend, dinner with some family and I am trying to get some spring cleaning done. It’s a chore to get the motivation for the cleaning.
    Have a fabulous time on vacation!

  65. Hi Jane,
    You sound very busy, but with a lot of fun stuff to look forward to. Have a great time in Sicily!! I have never been there but it’s on my bucket list!! Your little guy has the cutest cheeks in the world!! I’m just trying to get some spring cleaning done, trying being the key word. My 7 year old is collecting books for charity so I have been working on that as well. Trying to get family and friends to donate new or gently used books. They are coming through for us and we are getting a good amount to donate. She is doing this for a community service project. I think it’s great for her to learn to give to other children who don’t have all the nice things she does. Take care.

  66. Sounds like you have a very busy month ahead. I hope to take a couple days off in April. Don’t have anything planned which is nice.

  67. Yesterday I read SHE’S GONE COUNTRY and absolutely loved it! I have 3 sons who are grown and long gone from home and could so relate to the trials and tribulations of another single mother. Thank you for an excellent read!

  68. Hi Jane. I have been having a lazy weekend. Watching basketball, doing laundry and on Sunday I will visit my parents.

  69. Jane,

    No doubt your trip will be amazing and just imagine all the love that will be waiting at home for you upon your return…your little guy is gonna go crazy when you get back! My oldest, who is in kindergarten, is out of school for the next two weeks – conferences and spring break. So tomorrow we are headed over the river and through the woods to Gramma and Poppie’s house.

  70. HI Jane,
    I am in Alaska visiting my mom. Monday I go back to Phoenix and work. The snow is melting in Alaska and is beginning to feel like spring.
    Have a fabulous vacation. The Amalfi coast is fabulous. I so want to live there.
    Have fun!!!

  71. Hi Jane!
    Sounds like a great trip! Time will fly by and you will be back with Mac before you know it! We just got back from a cruise to the Bahamas and a few days in Florida for spring break. Taking time this weekend to relax and get caught up before going back to work.

  72. Aloha Jane! That sounds like an awesome trip that you are going on; how exciting!! 🙂 Egypt would have been cool too, but best to avoid traveling those routes right now.

    My week is going great! Got my car back finally. I will be traveling to Maui here shortly to go visit a friend for possibly a week (playing it by ear). I’m excited about that – never been to any of the other islands. And I am half way through my Trig class. Cannot wait to get that over with.

    Hope you have very safe travels! Enjoy the time with your family. ~ J

  73. Have a wonderful trip! It sounds like it’ll be amazing!
    This weekend I’m hoping to get some reading done. I’m going to try some gluten free baking. Wish me luck!

  74. Jane,
    Sicily, wow! What an amazing trip that will be! Be sure to post some pictures here on your blog. I was watching the “Cake Boss” this afternoon and it they were in Sicily – it looks beautiful.
    I feel your heart breaking at the idea of leaving your little one at home while the rest of the family goes on this trip. Yes, that is very hard. I wish strength for you when you are thinking of him and missing him.
    I have joined a cookie/cup cake swap group and my first meeting is tomorrow evening. YUM!

  75. i understand about the feeling to be apart with the little one.

    hope you have a great time on your retreat !

    we’re just gonna spend our time at home today…relaxing 😀

  76. OMGoodness: Imagine having Megan Crane and Liza Palmer as your babysitters! What a kick. Love that you are spending time with your older boys…and on the Amalfi Coast! Life is good. My son and his bride were there in September. Their photos are beautiful and make me want to visit, too. Celebrate being with your sons; big boys need your attention, too. Great pix of your youngest reader;) (Not in contest…still enjoying recent prize.)

  77. He’s such a cutie! My son is home for the weekend so I am happy to be catching up on what is going on with him. It is pretty cold here though and definitely does not feel like spring.

  78. Hi, I’ve been working on the publicity for a 3 part mystery writing lecture series at my local library and revising a short-story I’m submitting for an anthology.

  79. Sicily! Awesome! It will b hard to leave your lil man I am sure though! Currently I am trying to relax before going back to work tomorrow morning, but water issues have me on the phone constantly with those on site. I am rereading She’s Gone Country to help me relax. It’s one of my favorite books!

  80. Your little one looks adorable with his book. And what a treat for your oldest boys to see Italy with their smart Mom!

  81. Have a great trip! Enjoy your time with the big boys and we all will send Teddy Bear kisses to Lil’ Mac for happy thoughts until he see his momma again. Take some great pictures!

  82. WOW! That is some trip! I took myself to Italy in 2002, Rome, Florence, Venice, and loved it beyond words. Your guys are going to fall in love with it too. Amalfi Coast (I’m told) is breathtaking.

    I’m writing, writing, struggling through busy day job, and writing. Tonight, I’m writing the final scene in the WIP. I have a few scenes leading up to it yet to write, but it’s still momentous. Attended the Liberty States Fiction Writers mini-conference last weekend, and as usual found it to be inspiring, educational, and just plain fun.

    I can’t wait to hear about your fabulous trip and too see all your wonderful photos, which I know you’ll share. Above all – STAY SAFE!! – and know that our prayers are with you for safe travel.


  83. Hi! I just got back spending a week on the beach visiting my dad in Jenson Beach Fla. I hated to come home but need to get back working my home daycare and school. Its rough to be away from your son who’s almost two for everyday he changes and growing for I can’t wait to see Maddie and Penelope for each of them are learning new things. I bet Penelope is talking more and I know Maddie had fun with her 2 other sisters and mom over springbreak. So tomorrow is back to the routine. I loved Sicily but my favorite city was Venice and Florence for thats where I feel in love with cooking and learning with my Nonna’s friend who had a cooking school before she died I got to cook with her, she had a strole and still cooked and was famous. Anways, I loved Italy and I have fond memories with my grandparents. I’m hoping to take my daughter for a graducation present next year if I can afford it. I’m starting to save now and book a trip. Have a wonderful time with your 2 older boys and family. Safe trip and have fun….next time come to Crawfordville fla. and let me take care of Mac…love to meet you one of these days…relax and enjoy….God Bless you!

  84. Hi Jane!

    I am so excited for you and the big boys! It is time well deserved and you are a wonderful mom! It will be hard and you will miss that little cutie pie, but you can Skype with him and look at pics of him on your phone when you are missing him. Thank goodness for all the wonderful technology these days.

    Enjoy the devoted time with the big boys, which they will love to have with you. And just remember that you will have many other wonderful trips with all of them together.

    I am reading She’s Gone Country and loving it! Thank you! Tristan, my son, had a bday party to go to today and I got a nap!! It was so wonderful!!
    Oh and went out for a wonderful dinner last night with Jeremy and another couple. Very fun!

    Enjoy your vacation and be sure to share some pics with us!

    It’s all good!!!

    Pam from chilly Minnesota.

  85. Jane,

    Hope you and the boys have a wonderful time in Sicily and on the Amalfi Coast. Sounds like a wonderful adventure waiting to happen. I can’t believe how big the little one is getting. Soon, he’ll be able to join in on these adventures as well.

    Just trying to keep up with work and thinking of trying my hand at writing. Looking into taking an online class to see if I have what it takes to make a go of it.

    Take care and have an amazing time.

  86. Jane, I hear you. Being a working mother sometimes sucks. When I have long stretches of time at home with my son I get weird…………and when I work long hours and don’t see him I am miserable and guilty………….But I can tell you that overall, I think it works, and that it is possible to be good at both roles…..just remember if its harder for you than the kids, that means you’re doing it right@!

  87. Being a working mom, and being a single working mom, leaves no time for anything. Our week holds track, drumline, haircuts for the kids; work and nursing school preceptorship with 3 online tests and taxes for mom. Enjoy your time to be with your older boys, they will never forget it and neither will you!

  88. Hi Jane,

    Have a great time! I know that you will miss your littlest one like crazy, but just think of all the fun you guys will have when you get back.

    I had a busy weekend. Last night the pediatricians of my company threw an “Academy Awards Style” party for the whole San Diego area staff. It was so much fun! Today I had lunch with a great friend and I am getting ready to go on a trip as well. Wed, I am heading to Salt Lake City to visit with one of my best friends and her family as well as attend a Mary Kay Career Conference!

    I really wanted to go to your workshop up in LA today, but there was just no way I could fit it into my day today….=(

    Hopefully next time……
    Be safe……looking forward to hear about all of your adventures on your trip..


  89. Jane,
    The trade-offs between little guys and the big world are tricky. I hope everything goes well. We’re trying to plan travel around an older relative who has not been doing well and I haven’t quite decided whether to go or hang out in case. The situation keeps changing.

  90. Little Mac should be proficient at Skyping by now…he will be giving you list of things to do very soon. I think it’s great that you can take time to travel with your big boys. I can’t wait to see which of your characters travels to Italy..send us picture postcards! Because of course, we are all traveling with you in spirit.

  91. Hi Jane,

    Love the picture of Mac! Little Bear was one of my favorites as a child too! My mom read me the original 3-4 books before there was ever a tv show version.

    Your trip with the boys sounds like a fun time. I can understand how it would be hard to leave Mac behind though. I’m sure you’re leaving him in good hands. Hopefully you and the bigger boys are able to enjoy yourselves.

    Not much new in my world. Just started substitute teaching for the county. Been spending time with the guy who got away once upon a time. We’re supposed to have a date night this weekend so hopefully that goes as planned. He means a lot to me and I’d really like for things to work this time around, but it’s too early to tell what might happen.

    Other than that just like as usual. Hope you have a great trip! I’m sure you’ll come back with lots of good stories to tell us.

  92. had a great weekend get away with my husband! so nice to get away from it all…soo relaxing. now back to the work week and we will see what that brings. hope you have great time on your trip w.your mom and sister.

  93. What an awesome trip – kind of jealous:). Feel for you leaving the little one though…it’ll be rough, but at least you’ll be in ITALY!

    Rainy & cold this weekend – we did nothing & it was awesome! Totally relaxed after doing “nothing” with just my family. Need to make a serious effort to do it more often.

  94. Jane-What great memories you’ll be making with your two older boys. Hope you have a great time. Little Mac will smother you with hugs and kisses when you return. Lokking forward to my spring break, spending time with family and friends.

  95. Hi everyone,
    Jane’s having problems with her internet today. She called and asked me to post the winner’s name-

    #12 Betty Lewis

    Congratulations, Betty! Please email Jane with your mailing address and she’ll get the prize out in the mail to you soon!


  96. Congratulations Betty!
    Nothing like a little Jane mixed with a little Hawaii to make your day great.
    Hope the Met was fabulous!

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