Crabby But True

It’s been a rough start to 2014 and I don’t say this so anyone emails me, or says, feel better, because honestly, I won’t ‘feel better’ until one of my chicks is better, and the only way he gets better is if he begins to want it, too.

A couple readers seeing my Facebook posts wanted me to cheer up and say more happy things and it made me growl a bit at my computer.

I’m not an actress.  I’m not an entertainment personality.  I’m a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, woman, writer, and now, publisher.

But mostly a mom, wife, woman.  I’m that woman.  I’ve got a four and a half year old that won’t sleep unless you go to bed with him  (biggest mistake ever), and yet, having that time with him to snuggle and cuddle and just smell him is maybe my favorite time because its pure and still and I can feel it, and own the moment, and the love, as there is no one else asking for something, or telling me something, or wanting me to be or do something.  It just is.

And I think life demands so much of us, that there is one thing I am holding dear….and its my definition of love.

It’s the biblical one folks love to read at weddings, but its the one that speaks so much to me, and my heart.

The first part that speaks is this:  Love never fails.

Which means, I will keep loving no matter what, and I refuse to ever throw in the towel.

The second part that speaks to me is this:  Love is patient.  Love is kind.

Crabby love doesn’t feel much like love.  Impatient, irritated love can hurt…at least hurt one’s feelings.  Sharp responses, a shrug, a rolling of the eye…not loving.  Not patient or kind.

And then lastly, the part of the verse I cling to is:  Love always protects…love always hopes.

And so yes, I’m muddling about, dealing with real life, trying to be a mom, wife, woman first right now which means the writing is a distant fourth, but that’s okay.  The writing will be there.  The stories won’t go anywhere.  And you, my readers, are also my friends and you know that sometimes we just have to do, what we have to do.

Patiently, kindly, protectively, hopefully….and with fierce resolve.

Love never fails.

Or quits.

Or keeps score.

Tell me about your new year.  How have the last two weeks been?  I have something fun for one of you…a January pick me up!  Contest ends Friday night midnight PST, winner announced Saturday morning.  Comment below and you’re entered, but if you comment, I really want the true.  I’ll accept crabby, but true.  🙂



  1. Jane,
    Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. The last couple weeks I haven’t had much ambition Work is hard, longer hours when I’m in my 50s and I feel like I’m working my butt off and staying to make sure my work for the day is finished and I see other employees that are catered to . . . what they want, they get and I want to say it’s not fair but I know life isn’t fair. It’s one of the things I’ve always told my kids. So I muddle on, doing my best and taking pride in my work because that’s the way I was raised and I honestly don’t know any other way to be. That’s me. Some days are better than others but most of the time I see the positive. Hope things start taking a positive turn for you!

  2. My two weeks have been excellent, but I have been thinking about you. Because love never fails.


  3. Hope things start to look up for you … being a mom is definitely the hardest job there is!

    This year has been hard for me. My son went back to college after 3 weeks at home for Christmas and went straight back to “I know everything and don’t need my parents” mode. I’m struggling with that a lot.

    And just today, I’ve heard bad news from 2 dear friends about their family members. My heart hurts for my friends in pain.

    ♥ to all!!

  4. You know, one of my favorite sayings is, “if this were happening to someone else, it would be funny…”.
    Life is difficult…and as Cheryl said, neither is it fair. It is simply an opportunity to try to get it right. And right, can be many things…it can mean learning to love the crabby, learning to love having alone time with a little boy even when there are a million other things you have to do and it can be embracing yet one more opportunity to set a goal and achieve it. I am embracing the difficulty of learning a new skill at 58. Cheers to us all for embracing the difficult, the mistakes, the life we have.

  5. So sorry things arent going well.
    My new year has been status quo. Nothing new or exciting but thats not always bad. Did get news today that might be great so we’ll see.

  6. Hi Jane; Much love to you & yours…~~~Ephesians 4:2
    Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
    past two weeks have been so-so; so I am keeping my fingers crossed for good news!

  7. My start has been slow what with the snow and cold. And the second Christmas without my mom. Her favorite time of the year. Very hard. Still. But goofy grandkids help a lot. Even if one is two thousand miles away. Got a big one up on the pioneers. We’ve got Internet and videos. 🙂

  8. My month has been okay so far. Dragging at times and speeding along at others. Highlight is my new niece’s arrival into the world. Lowlight is our broken heater. Other than that, I have been watching Orange is the New Black. 🙂 So addictive!

  9. This year is no better than last year. At least not yet. In fact it is probably worse. No job, not even seeing one on the horizon. No interest from applications. Does not make one feel great. I have only left the house probably 3-4 times this year, and all but one was probably a 5 min trip. No, I take that back one other was a quick grocery trip of about 45 min. The long one was a 9 hour road trip alone. But my days are spent alone so nothing new. My only enjoyment has been the discovery of a new author and the ability to help edit her newest book. Glad to have something that is enjoyable. Maybe things will change sooner rather than later.

    I did not write any if his for pity. I wrote it because you asked for the truth. The plain hard truth is that life could be better. But hey, I woke up today and that is always good.

    Hope things get better in your world, but until then take care of what you need to take care of and the rest will work itself out.

  10. I am determined to cheer up this year. It is my only new year’s resolution. January is bad for me because my husband died three years ago tomorrow. I finally put the clothes he wore to the hospital that day into a trash bag. It’s near the door but not out yet. Reordering my life has been a challenge. We were an insular couple, living fairly far from family and not blessed with kids. I survived most of my emotional upheavals by escaping into a book for a few hours. Thanks for writing. You are not alone in knowing love can get us through.

  11. Dude. 2014 is off to a rocky start around here too. I have been sick since the 1st. Kids and husband have been sick too. I thought everyone was finally well but then my oldest tested positive for the flu. And we are supposed to leave for Disney on Friday. And because I have been sick or someone in my house has been sick I have worked a total of 30 hrs since 12/23. Grrrrrr. Hang in there chick.

  12. So sorry it’s been a bad start for you, Jane! Thinking of you!
    Honestly, I can’t complain to my start of the new year. Nothing great has happened, but nothing horrible either.

  13. The first few weeks of mine have been pretty good. Nothing exceptional, but nothing horrible. However my sister is going through a rough time with her teenage son, and it’s been hard knowing all that they are dealing with. Not sure how everything is going to work out just yet, but hoping that things will be okay. Much love to you and yours Jane.

  14. Not great, not the worst. In (painful) therapy for frozen shoulder, chronic toothache for a month, which will probably mean a root canal Thursday. But the worst is a loved one is going through a risky pregnancy and I can bring meals and do errands, but I can’t keep those babies “cooking.” Just have to hope and pray.

  15. My year started off sadly with a call From my love that one of the dear ladies we had worked with for years passed away suddenly right after midnight. But this also made us stop & realize how busy we were being busy & not living. So I made a choice to change my career and spend more time with my family. It’s difficult in some ways not working outside the home but we are all finding our place in our blended family. Big hugs. & yes crabby love is still love.

  16. Hasn’t been the best start to the new year since I still haven’t found a new job. Lots of stress and trying to deal with it. But, my birthday in Thursday and I am celebrating by going to see Keith Urban with friends tomorrow. 🙂

  17. (((hugs))) to you Jane

    My 2013 sucked. I spent a lot of time traveling between the US and Sweden to take care of my parents. Dad was diagnosed with fast onset dementia at the beginning of the year and then my mom had a relapse of cancer and required surgery. At the end of the year things started to calm down, just in time for my husband to be in a mountain biking accident. He then needed lots of help and I was back in care taking mode.

    After a very nice and mellow holiday season where I did nothing and stayed away from the hype and stress normally present that time of year, I feel rested and ready to take on a new year. So far, this year has been good. I’m back writing after several months off. In my day job as a college instructor I just got good news about a grant. Crossing my fingers, but feeling hopeful 2014 will be good.

    1. Asa, Your 2014 will be good because you have deemed it to be so! 🙂 Parents have needed your care, but you still have them with you to cherish another day. Your hubby needs a little TLC, but will grow stronger because of your love. ‘Life’ seems overwhelming sometimes, however, it is all good, if you can look outside the busy work. Just remember that God has your back, and you can always lean on Him. I always ask for strength to endure whatever gets thrown at me, and I’ve come out of the experiences a better person. I know YOU are a wonderful person; may the Lord bless you in untold ways in 2014, my friend!! 🙂

  18. Since January 1st I’ve had a stomach flu kid, a leaky roof, water in the basement, two book rejections, and a fight with my sister. Love is gentle, love is kind, but fuming and venting cleanse the palate.

  19. Will say a prayer for God to give you comfort and strength. Minor irritations here but no major problems. Though the irritations are like a pebble in your shoe always chaffing. God Bless and keep your heart open to the love.

  20. These first two weeks of 2014 have been challenging, but better than the last two of 2013. Learned some hard lessons but hope to come out a stronger person from it all. Things can only get better, correct? When all else fails, I repeat a Louise Hay affirmation which really helps: All is well. Everything is happening for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come, and I am safe.

    Many positive vibes for you and yours. Be safe, and be well.

  21. I hope that love endures since it is important in our lives. Managing with my hand problems and hopefully health will improve soon.

  22. Jane,
    If misery loves company, then I am your (wo)man. Your line, “Crabby love doesn’t feel much like love.”…hits home. Firstly, thank you for being you, full of love and honesty. I have recently made some huge life changing decisions. I just moved across the country, CA to NY, leaving my family and career in CA. Got married and am trying to cope with my new husbands unaccepting family along with the cold crazy East Coast weather,etc. 2014 has been a frightful start. I feel alone and scared. My son gave me one of your books to read, The Good Daughter, and please know that this book has been my comfort, my escape, my happiness. I can relate and it makes me feel like I am not alone. You and your blog bring comfort. I am a woman, a mom a wife as well, and we women, well, we have to stick together. Love to you. Thank you for sharing your talent. Can’t wait to read more of your stories.

  23. I’ve had a wonderful beginning to the New Year with a brand new grandson born Dec. 20. My first grandchild. I’m in love all over again.

    I love your books and hope whatever problems you are facing are short lived and the New Year just gets better for you

  24. Hi Jane. I hope your 2014 gets better. Mine has been busy. Today is our 24th wedding anniversary. I actually didn’t think we’d be celebrating this day two years ago. We are working on our marriage day by day. Ups and downs with kids. I can’t complain too much because I am turning to God everyday and letting him have my troubles. No, it’s not easy, but I do it anyway. I fall everyday, then get back up and shake it off. I have many precious family and friends to support us. I am thankful for the good, the bad, and the beautiful! I’ll send up prayers for you for strength, peace, and hope. See you <3

  25. Actually, it started off poorly and improved a bit! I have SAD,so winter is always crabby for me.

    Let go and let God. It’s my mantra and it WORKS. Hope it can help you too.

    (Rats on the sleeping situation. I had a HECK of a time with my oldest son)

  26. So far, 2014 has been very uneventful. My mother is having some health problems and no one seems to be able to figure out what is wrong. So far, I think she has about 8 different doctor appointments this month. I hope the doctors can find out what is going on and help her to get better.

  27. Hey Jane, I’ve been thinking about you. Sending cyber hugs your way. I’ve been laying low because life is on the downward slope of this roller coaster. My year started well, with hints of optimism and hope, but the day to day is chipping away at it all. One day I’m up, and the other I’m down…right now, I’m on the downward slide. I just have to remember that God is in control. Today is a complete 180 degrees from two days ago. Sunday I was on a God big, but today I’m grasping for a hold of his hand. This too shall pass, right? I am taking ts year one day at a day. It’s the only way to make it through. Each new 24 is a do over…I’m working on making the most of it all. Love you, my friend!

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  28. Jane
    I am a ‘late’ fan. I only found your Brennan sisters books through the book blog universe in 2013, I still have no. 3 to read.

    I am a teacher in New Zealand and so I am on summer holiday at present. So life is relaxed. However I can identify fully with your desire to love and also struggling with that crabby irritating part of self when life is stressful.

    Thanks for the pleasure your books I have brought me, to be an author is to touch many lives. Trust in love.

  29. It’s not quite what I want for the new year, but it’s okay. Been putting everyone’s needs before mine and hoped this year would be different. So far…that’s not happening. Prayers to you and yours 🙂

  30. My 2014 is starting off great–in part thanks to the generous inclusive woman you are, Jane. I’m delighted to be connected to a fabulous group of creative authors again.
    And this morning we found out my daughter’s bid on her first house was accepted. I’m so excited for her and proud of her for working hard to make her dream come true. This wasn’t always the case for this child I love, so it feels like a win now.
    Hugs, Deb

  31. My first two weeks have been interesting. Probably not as interesting or as wearing as yours. Remember love is strong and so are you. Hang in there when you’re crabby.

  32. New Years marks the anniversary of my youngest sons death…
    14 years. That hurt never goes away..
    The start of the New Year is not something that I celebrate…at least not in the past 14 years..
    My husband is now dealing with his second bout of pneumonia.
    Our weather, here in Pennsylvania has been horrible…and horrible weather means NO business when you own a mom and pop bookstore….And when Pop has pneumonia, Mom has to try to keep it all running, alone. Not an easy thing to do while moms heart is crying.
    But the show most go on….
    So…has my new year been good or bad?
    My answer would have to be:
    PA weather has been horrible…
    Business has been bad.
    My husband has been sick.
    My mama has been moved to a nursing home. But….
    I’ve had worse…

    1. Gloria, Just remember . . . the weather will change, business will pick up, and with your tender-loving-care & God’s Blessings, your husband will get better soon. Wishing you all the best in 2014~keep up the good fight! 🙂

  33. Dear Jane,
    Before I answer your question on my new year, I first want to say you are right. The writing isn’t going anywhere and your follower’s, well I can only speak for myself, but if they are a true fan of your work, they aren’t going anywhere either. And, yes you should always take care of you, your son’s, your family first. That’s all we have, and if you aren’t happy then, no one in your house will be either, so go take care of you. And, enjoy those moments of cuddling, speaking to you as a mom myself, they go by so fast, it there one minute and gone the next.[I know you know this]Now, about my new year you said the truth, so here goes: My new year was just plain awful, I hate to be a complainer, but it’s the truth. I spent it all by myself, no one to ring it in with. Then on the 3rd I had to see my specialist[who by the way in my own opinion is heartless] expects me to perform miracles, which in no way I can. And by the 9th I had a severe case of bronchitis, so yes I am and have been very grumpy, and a little, no a lot off my game so to speak. I have had my hot water tank go down, and 2 pipes burst. So far my new year STINKS….. You said the truth. I know I sound horrible, don’t I… B P.S. Take care of yourself…

  34. The new year has been more eventful than I imagined. However, today has been a blur…staying home sick missing work, sleeping mostly, enjoying my new humidifier, and looking forward to a busy rest of the week followed by a long weekend with family.

  35. Hi Jane!

    I love your honesty! Sometimes life, and love, sucks! Sometimes the simple things, like your child sleeping, or a true belly laugh, can simply make you feel better! And sometimes, nothing can.

  36. I hope you chick gets it in gear. I can relate as I have a 16 y.o. who just seems to have absolutely no direction in his life. I know that some folks say that is normal, but I just wish we could find that spark that lets me know he’s going to be ok. Our first two weeks of the year have been the same as always, trying to get back in the groove.

  37. Hi Jane,

    My start to 2014 has been good. Right before Christmas I had a breast cancer scare. Finding out everything was fine pretty much made my holidays fabulous. I hope this year starts looking up for you. I’m lucky enough to have a 50th birthday/girlfriend trip to Cabo that I’m looking forward to. I’m going with two of my friends and daughter. We are planning of relaxing poolside with books and adult beverages. I can’t wait!

  38. I’m right there with you, crabby so far this year. It’s been one constant fight after the next with my husband. Many days I feel like calling it quits and just walking out. But, I have the cats to think about, my kids. I would be lost with out them. Then, there is the fact, that I don’t know how to do anything to support myself, much less my cats. I was told when I was young, that I needed to find someone to take care of me because I wasn’t intelligent enough to do it myself and that’s what I did since the day I left home. I’m lost and lonely and don’t know where to turn most days. I know being a mother is hard work and so is being a wife. Hang in there. This will pass soon. It’s what I keep trying to tell myself too. I’m sure you look at your older boys and wish they were young again to cuddle with again. Mac may be a bit more asking, but he’ll grow up before you know it. Hugs……

  39. I love you, Jane. Thinking back to the conversation we had at Starbuck’s when you were visiting with me last year, I remember you openly telling me about some struggles. I’m assuming that’s what you are currently dealing with when you mention your son. I’m truly and deeply saddened that you are dealing with this, but he has an amazing, strong and loving mom. He knows that you are there for him. If he is anything like you, he will not only get through this time, but will be a better person because of it. Continue being the beautiful person that you are.

    My New Year has been going well. My middle and youngest sons have gone back to college and I won’t see them until May at the earliest. My oldest son starts back next week, but lives only 20 mins away. Nothing exciting going on here, but I guess that could be considered a good thing.

    Stay strong, keep your faith in God and know that you have friends (me included) who are here for you. You have my phone number … I’m just a phone call away. xoxoxoxo

  40. Up and down here. Lots of snow kept us in the house and my kids were stir crazy. Finally back to normal with school and work. Yay! Also somehow we have all been keeping the house picked up since Christmas which makes for a bit happier mom. Tough December with loss in our family so I think January is definitely better. Good luck to you!

  41. 2014, it’s started out well. We got to spend the day with one of my cousins who almost died last year. And this time I didn’t cry all over him like I did in July when I saw him! I’m trying, one day at a time to move forward from my beloved Dad’s passing in June. I will get there, but he was a huge part of our lives and is greatly missed. But, we are all well and all will be better. Hang in there Jane, I firmly believe that God never gives us more than we can handle, and that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Things will get better, and your baby will eventually go to sleep by himself!

  42. January continued what December began…death death and more death. My former neighbor ( and hubby’s ex) was found dead on her kitchen floor by her 17 year old son and mentally challenged daughter she was 45. Then my friend and former coworkers ex dropped dead leaving her to deal with a 12 year old daddys girl who’s heartbroken and now worried mommy is gonna die. he was 49. Then my hubbys inlaw spun out on ice on the way home (freak storm) she was pronounced dead at the scene leaving behind a 6 year old little boy. She was 28/29 I can’t remember which. Then someone I’ve know 20+ years, geno, died….still no word of why…. he was 46 years old. This past friday my sisters friend died after his car hit a snowbank became airborne and came down to slam into another car head on. He was D.O.A. and leaves behind a beautiful little boy who he had sole custody of and who everyone knew was his world. He was only 31. and last but not least… My boss and friend of 25+ years, Joe, passed away last Monday. He was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer in March. He was given 3-5 months but he tried everything to beat the odds (3%) cancer of survival. He spent the last 2 months in the hospital before being send home the day before christmas to die with his family. He didn’t want to die on Christmas or new years and he got his wish. He held onto life until the 6th when he passed away with his family by his side. It sucks…been hard to deal with and it certainly puts things into perspective….Like the fact that the car knocked the travel size bottle of hairspray into the toiled this morning and we couldn’t use the bathroom til hubby came home took it all apart and got it out from the underside of the toilet….mess and nastiness later….I’m ok with it because at least I’m still here to enjoy it/bitch about it…others aren’t so lucky and I’m positive would have done anything to still be here to deal with it.

    1. oh and just for extra measure….Sunday (12th) was the anniversary of the day my brother died. It’s been 26 years but it’s still hard and I still go to my mom to crawl up her ass for the day and cry… Sucks but when it’s your big brother and you’re only 18 when it happens you never get over it or forget.

      1. Diana, it was 28 years ago that I lost my sister. I was 18, too. You’re right, you never forget it. (hugs) to you.

  43. I was very sad when my youngest was “too big” to cuddle any more. Granted it was when he reached middle school, but then – – – My year has been fine. Getting work done & the kitchen addition is started. Just too many things on my plate & it’s getting harder to juggle all the demands.

  44. Hi Jane,
    This is such a tough question for me, as I’ve been hiding under the blankets since the first of the year. I could list the tough times, but will suffice to say that the mother-child relationship is not static, even when they become responsible adults with families of their own. That was never more evident to me than this past cycle of holidays. I will pick myself back up and grapple with the meaning of unconditional love as I try to overcome the recent disappointing events and actions. Peace and love to you and yours.

  45. Hi Jane,
    Thanks for sharing bits of your real life with us, your readers. I appreciate your honesty. Life isn’t always rosy and wonderful, and that’s ok. It’s nice to hear it from others sometimes.
    I want to thank you again for entertaining me with your wonderful gift of writing. I have had The Good daughter sitting in my “waiting to be read” pile while I was busy reading books from the library. Since those library books are on a time limit, I have had to put off reading your book for a little over a year. I got to start it the other day and could NOT put it down! I instantly was reminded why you are one of my favorite authors. You have a way of pulling me right into the story. I feel like I am there with the characters, experiencing what they are. I love having a book to read that I can’t wait to get back into! Then I will get to start The Good Wife right after it – one advantage of having to wait to read is that I don’t jphave to wait for the next book in the trilogy to be published because I have it waiting for me! too!

  46. January is one of my busiest timesa t work. Pretty stressful time, but I cling to “This too shall pass.”
    I hope you cling to this, too.
    Hope sunny days are ahead for you.

  47. Okay, I’m gonna say it and am quite embarrassed but it is Jan 14th and ALL of my Christmas decorations are still out. They must get put away.

  48. Jane, hugs!! I feel you, my friend. I have just been down lately. No particular reason, things are going great. But I’m just… blah. Today I am hiding in my office because I don’t even want to be a mom. I drove them to and fro piano practice, and wanted to quiet their horrifically off-key singing because I just needed silence. And then I felt bad because there won’t be many more years where I get to have that time with them. Still, I came home, heated dinner, then went to my office and hid. It’s life, my friend. It happens. It’s okay to embrace those feelings and let yourself feel them.

  49. Hi Jane,

    The beginning if 2014 was crabby.
    ½ week in to 2014 I wished for a new year to begin very soon, and it´s slowly getting better, but life is just happening around me right now and there is nothing I can do about it.
    As soon as everything feels a little better, something new happens.
    So I´m ready for a new year as soon as possible.

  50. Jane! I, for one, want to thank you for being real, for letting us see the real you and being as human as the rest of us. I love the real you and appreciate you for all you do. Some days I see your comments and my day is just better- you give me some courage and some joy and help me dig in and face the rest of my day.

    So thank you, my friend, even when you’re crabby, when you’re blue, when you’re out of sorts…I love you even then 🙂

  51. Jane,
    I, for one, am appreciative of your honesty. Life is life, whether we are writers, artists, businesswomen…and being a mom is not always easy. So be who you are and don’t apologize.

    Right now, I have several friends dealing with crises in their lives and my heart aches for them. It’s never easy to watch the pain, but harder to be the one going through it.

  52. The first two weeks of this year have been slow and a little mellow… Not a bad thing as the last two months of last year were absolutely awful. I am looking forward to a good year.

  53. Bummed…that sums up my first two weeks. It’s just been so very cold, and ugly, and depressing outside. I have never been SO ready for spring! I need sunshine and warmth!!!!

  54. I too slept with my daughter to get her to sleep and it’s hard to stop. She’s forty now and……Just kidding . Enjoy your snuggles while they last. Life seems to give us some lousy times. My husband of forty years died last year and I’ve had some lousy times too since then. But I have to stop and be thankful for all I do have!

  55. Jane, My thoughts and prayers that things will be better soon. With me. I’m taking it one day at a time. this time of year (winter) always gets me down so as I was told when you have a warmer day that is one more good day. I had to deal with switching health ins because I couldn’t continue past a certain date with the plan I had. so switching (all with the new health care reform) so now that I switched thinking my dr’s was in the plan I find out that this new one neither of my dr’s are in it. so now I have to go to different ones. so it’s been alot of phone calls and waiting on hold.

  56. There isn’t enough space, not enough words, not enough tears, to write all the crabby but true that is my world, just know that we walk a similar path, with all the love and all the pain that is there. I was happy to see 2013 go, it went out in a big painful “bang” and I will not miss it. Unfortunately 2014 will not be easy either. But I’m holding on, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, but hopeful that those I love, who need the healing and the love the most, find it and make 2014 memorable for all the right reasons.

  57. Got a text out of the blue from my 25-year-old daughter thanking me, but I hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary. Precious. Very precious.
    Otherwise an ordinary past two weeks. I’m lucky.

  58. I wouldn’t allow our son to sleep in our bed when he was little, because I didn’t want it to become a necessary sleep aid for him. He’s 22 now, and he loves to come into my room in the middle of the night & flop down for a power nap-he’s a night owl. Maybe by sleeping with your little one now, you’ll avoid the 20-something child napping w/you. Don’t get me wrong though, it does give me a chance to appreciate him when he’s calm & quiet. As for 2014, our stove died with a bang and a cloud of black smoke yesterday. God works in his way, though, and had a wonderful lady post one on Craig’s list while I was looking, only a few miles away, we happened to have our son’s truck to be able to get it, and we were both off that day. Plus between the 2 of us we had the $75 she was asking. It’s always interesting to see what He has in store for us.

  59. When my oldest son was la baby, he wanted me or my husband to sit in the room with him until he fell asleep. Sometimes we would try to sneak out, and his little head would pop up. So we would go back to sitting. He wanted to be in his crib, but wanted us in the room. I loved those quiet times with him. You’re right – the writing will always be there, but the little boy will not always be a little boy who wants to be close to his mom. Cherish those times.

    Christmas was hard for me this year. My daughter, youngest child, moved to New York after graduating from college, so it was the first Christmas without one of my children. My husband is on sabbatical from his professorship at our university, so he wasn’t here for Christmas, either. It didn’t seem right, but we all got through it. I had my two sons and my daughter-in-law, and we skyped with my daughter as we opened presents. So thankful for modern technology!

    Happy New Year!

  60. Hi Jane,

    The first weeks have been okay, although a new job would be welcome. For those who’ve been playing the employment waiting game, too, I feel your pain. At this point all available digits are crossed for success in 2014!

    Being a parent is one of the hardest things ever done. Trust yourself. Breathe. Good vibes are headed your way; both for you and your boys.

  61. Loved your post Jane, and know the feelings. I was so anxious for a new year to start , and it’s been challenging with dealing with my health issues, working and dealing with sick and often rude yelling patients, and other issues., I had to take a time out today and listen to some Fiji and have a Starbucks, it helped alittle until the phone rand again. My saving grace is my upcoming Hawaii vacation the end of May, I keep saying May, May like a mantra!,
    Enjoy your cuddles with your little man, they grow in a blink as you know, the balance of all will come together.

  62. You are genuine and honest and loved, Jane. Sending you hugs! I liked “love is not puffed up” from that verse even though I never was sure what it meant, I just liked the sound of it.
    So far I have been doing ok. January post New Year’s day is a long haul with short days and long dark nights but it is improving every day – pace yourself! July is only 6 months away, I try to think of that when I get down.

  63. Family life wonderful. Other parts crappy. More than crappy. But, this is your blog, so I won’t vent.

    You are loved!

  64. Some things since the first of the year good; some not. But that’s life, I guess. Some days I’m not very happy with MYSELF!–I tend to be less than productive.
    But friends brighten my day. And I enjoy being with hubby.

  65. Hi Jane
    That was quite a vent .. But clearly required .. For me January is a bad month .. My mother died on 18th January 1982 … I was 12 and a half and my childhood stopped that day … It’s 32 years past this year but it still feels raw in many ways ….I think the words of the Simon & Garfunkel song encapsulate it “time it was and what a time it was, it was a time of innocence …… ” etc …. Your children and family are lucky to have you you are clearly a heart full of love .. Patient, kind, crabby or otherwise. I’d take my mum back in an instant either or any mood xxxxx be strong xxxx your sisterhood readership are standing with you … And as you know … I ALWAYS have cookies! Xxxx

  66. You are not alone with the snuggles…my fairly new 5-year-old goes to sleep in his bed just fine, but is up within a few hours looking to snuggle with me… I know, not the best idea, but he still wants to and will run back and kiss me in the mornings, so I am holding on as long as possible because I know it won’t last. So far, my 2014 isn’t much different that the last half of 2013. There are challenges and decisions to be made…
    Thank you for being real…take care of yourself and your family first…we will be here waiting when the writing comes about… So, be crabby with us. Friends are here to listen.

  67. I’ve had a good start to the year. I do know that if I am crabby the best thing is to just leave me alone.

  68. My year so far has been *sighs* daughter left for college..I moved to Italy..and yes yes it’s beautiful..but I’m so homesick for my girl and it’s been an extreme culture shock..I moved here from Japan..where everything is fast and Italy where “forget about it..tomorrow maybe the next day” is a norm..I’m just frustrated I guess..but I am and will try to embrace this beautiful country 🙂

  69. Oh my, I thought my year was off to a bad start:)…but after reading the comments and your blog I’m going to quit complaining! This too shall pass Jane, I promise. Hang in there!

  70. Thinking of you Jane, sorry to hear you’ve had a rubbish couple of weeks x
    Here, things have been ok. No bad, not great, but ok. We had to attend a funeral for a relative which wasn’t nice but when are they eh?
    My gorgeous little boys make me smile every day (as well as scream, shout and pull my hair out lol) and like yourself, ours (they’re twins) will only go to sleep if we sit/lay with them. Yep, its a time suck and I could be doing a million other things with that half hour but then again, it’s a precious time, and we will never get it back. I love watching their little eyelids flutter and fight against the sleep, and hear their little snores.
    Wishing you a happier 2014 from here on in. xxx

  71. Dear Jane, I would lie down with our boys and sing until they went to sleep at night and I think that lasted until they were around eight or so and then they did not want me to “sing” anymore. They would read at night and had a lights out time. Both boys are now grown men and they need their parents in other ways, so we listen when they want to talk and pray a lot for them and tell them how much they are loved and how proud we are of them. You are right to know that love is the answer even when we feel crabby. This year I am looking for and counting blessings. Praying for blessings for you Jane and each of you here.

  72. My past two weeks have been stressful.I spent 8 days taking care of my son’s 12wk old puppy while he vacationed in florida. I had 12hrs notice and the puppy was in addition to my 2 dogs. I was over whelmed but kept plugging along – counting the days. My birthday fell during that time and a friend took me to dinner, which was fantastic and helped relieve some of the stress by giving me a break.
    I walk 6 nights a week with a friend – in the dark, in the rain, freezing temps – we walk 3 miles and it helps with the stress. Sure, I don’t have as much time to read, clean, etc but it makes me feel better to get fresh air, exercise, and have a friend to talk to.
    I’ll be thining of you, Jane. Thanks for taking the time to post. Your giveaways are also so generous!

  73. So far, I can’t really complain about the past two weeks. Nothing great, but nothing terrible. Although, I guess that in and of itself is pretty good. I had a daughter who did not sleep through the night until she was six. The only way I could get any sleep was to put her in the bed with me. I feel for you, but you really do have to do what you have to do. As you know, it does end and in hindsight it never seems as bad.

  74. Hi Jane. I hope things improve for you and yours soon.

    The start of my year has been pretty good. I didn’t expect it to be that way. It’s the anniversary of my mom’s passing. Between that and sending my college student back to school, I expected to be more blue.
    I have been keeping busy and that helps! The weather has cooperated too…even on the cold days it’s been sunny.

  75. Hi Jane. I hope things improve for you and yours soon.

    The start of my year has been pretty good. I didn’t expect it to be that way. It’s the anniversary of my mom’s passing. Between that and sending my college student back to school, I expected to be more blue.
    I have been keeping busy and that helps! The weather has cooperated too…even on the cold days it’s been sunny.

  76. I think it is a normal thing to want to help the ones you love and when you can’t make everything good for them then it can be frustrating. Our daughter is buying a house and moving out of our house so it is an exciting but bittersweet time in our house as we pack and get her ready to leave.

  77. After reading the comments left on here, I feel like my crabby moment is nothing! Then I realized that while it might be as bad as others, its still my struggle, my crabby moment. It only took 4 days into the new year and I took a shower and cried. Cried even more when I realized I have no friends or family to call with my problems. I told myself I have to not care. If I don’t care then it won’t matter right??? Its a work in progress but its helping.

  78. I heard a quote recently that “a mother can only be as happy as her least happy child”. I know that is true, we want so badly to protect them from making mistakes and facing terrible obstacles. Take care of yourself, and cherish those times when they will snuggle with you, we know they go all too quickly! My year is ok so far, still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up at age 48, as my middle school age kids are trying to figure out what they want to do!!

  79. Hugs! I miss those days of cuddling with my babies (who are now much too old. One has moved out and the other is a HS Sr). Enjoy them!! They are PRICLESS! 😀

  80. Jane, Don’t worry about Mac needing you to cuddle with him to sleep or what others think about that~Someday he will no longer need that ‘cuddle’ and you will have to let go.

    My son and I have always been close and now he is 16 yrs. old & becoming the young man that we always dreamed he would be. Thankfully though, he is still a ‘soft-hearted kid’ as after a long day, he will come home from school and sometimes just sit on the couch and let me lay my head on his shoulder. It’s not a cuddle, but his need to comfort me, where I once comforted him, is a connection that I hope we never lose.

    Just take a good look at your family, figure out the best way to care for them and do the best you can. Pray to our Lord & Savior for strength to endure whatever comes your way, and then put up your fists & tell the rest of your life to ‘bring it on’! Every single day is a challenge~live it the way you write–with heart & gusto!! 🙂

  81. Retired as of 12/31/13 after 43 years of doing craft shows. On the first of January I started feeling sick along with everyone else in my family. It’s been 2 weeks now and were all finally feeling better. Hopefully the rest of the year(and my retirement) runs a little smoother.

  82. The first couple of weeks of 2014 has gone alright here. So sorry to here of your sad times. We all have problems with our chicks. My one chick is finaly out of college and has started a part time job, its about time. He has the degree but needs job experence so that is why he took the part time job as an IT person at a tech school for job experence. Maybe it will lead to full time. I guess he is finally starting to grow up, I was begining to wonder. He is 24 and just got his driver’s licence a few months ago. I am hoping I can find a job of some kind in the coming year. I don’t like living on from paycheck to paycheck just getting by. I have high hopes for this year. I pray things will get better for you.

  83. So sorry you have been going through so much. Just remember, your son will Not want to sleep in your bed forever. Time passes too fast, so let him while you can. My two weeks have been good (except for the broken pipe due to the cold weather BUT again it was on the outside of the house–could have been so much worse).

  84. 2014, my favorite number, I had high hopes for this year. I still do. I like the verse you quoted Jane. It’s dead on.

    It was a rough start, but a good start. I’m stronger, WE are stronger because we want to be.

    I hope your year gets better. I also loved snuggling with my little ones. I had 3. My smallest would sleep next to my chest and the next would sleep in the curve of my knees and the next would sleep next to her. We napped on the sofa that way. My favorite time……

  85. Things have actually been okay for the past two weeks. There were a couple of things I had to go back and do again because I goofed the first time around, but nothing major.

  86. Your writing from the heart also touches our hearts. No BS just honest speaking straight from your heart, probably why we love your books so much. I’m sad & lonely most of the time but reading keeps me company & makes me smile. Thanks for being the true person you are.

  87. Hi Jane,

    Good for you for keeping it real. I think it’s important to show our human side and not be afraid to say what we truly think & feel. I’m often told that I shouldn’t say anything negative because I’ll just manifest more negativity, but that’s just not realistic. We’re human beings having a human experience and it’s painful and messy and sometimes it’s damn negative (and of course we don’t want it to be but it just IS).

    I get tired of being told that I should be happier now that I’ve lost over 40 lbs. and look & feel better physically, but I’m not. My happiness isn’t based on my weight, although I’m pleased I’ve lost some because I needed to. I turned 50 yesterday and even though I was surrounded by family & friends at a restaurant Greek dinner, I felt blessed but melancholy. Because my sister’s cancer is worse so it’s hard to be happy about anything when I’m so worried about her. She couldn’t eat anything last night because she’s in too much pain and has no appetite. And she still has to be a mother to her 11 year old twins, one of whom was sick, so they all left early. I hate that people I love so much get sick and die and there’s nothing I can do about it. I hate that I don’t get to spend more time with my sister because I have to work all the time to keep a roof over my head. And most of all I hate that I feel so alone a lot of the time even though so many would say I’m fortunate to have the friends I do.

    Sometimes I think all we can hope for is the strength to carry on and to find the beauty & goodness in the little things in life when it’s dark and we can’t see them very well.

    One thing’s for sure, we just have to feel it all, whether it’s positive or not. Your friends will listen to you through good times and bad if they’re true friends. The gift you’ve given me through your writing & friendship is something I’ll always cherish.

    Love Christine xox

  88. Thank you for a very real and heart-felt post. I know it must be rough. He will come around and get through this; especially with a great mom like you in his court.

    New Year? Well I don’t get why things have to magically get better cause we change our calendar. Life goes on. We’ve still got kids and jobs and obligations. I guess I’m not that overly romantic type (which I why I read them! 🙂 )
    At the end of the day, I’m still exhausted and looking down the barrel of more work with my kiddos. This job is tough and it definitely has its rewards. They just aren’t always easy to spot when you’re mired down in the muck!

    But I am grateful for what I have and for the family God has given me. I’ll keep taking care of them every day as long as He gives me breath!

    Keep your head up and keep doing what you are doing, cause you’re a fantastic, steadfast, faithful MOM!
    Love ya, Jane!

  89. You be as crabby as you want Jane. I know what you mean sometimes I feel like I am being pulled in to many directions and no person in the family thinks about me they don’t see me sinking. I have pitched a few fits in my life and the kids and hubby know I have finally hit my limit when that does happen. I am not proud afterward but boy it felt good at the moment.
    Leaving on a Disney cruise so I will be way for a few days. I have a book packed and I will be looking for a chair on the veranda.
    You take care. 🙂
    Sending you a {{hug}}

  90. It has sucked!! My 9 year old has had an appendix attack and a natty stomach virus! I hope it gets better soon or I’m going far away! Lol On the plus side I won an eBook! Not sure it beats waiting in the ER for three hours and getting puked on but hey…I gotta find a bright side! Lol

  91. Shana Galen is another favorite author of mine and she today posted on a blog about this exact same issue. Her daughter is the same age.
    I just thought it was interesting. Two very different writers that I enjoy writing nearly the same post.
    Your love never fails passage is helpful.
    Don’t forget to love yourself, Jane. Best wishes.
    It will get better.

  92. Just concentrate on getting through today. Eventually everything turns out right. My new year started off with the Flu and then went right into strep throat so I have felt miserable and big time crabby. 🙂 But the antibiotics have worked and I’m on my way to feeling better.We all have so many paths to travel in our lives and sometimes we may end up on the wrong road but eventually it all turns out right. Hang in there.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  93. The first two weeks of 2014 for me have been good and bad, just as usual.
    The bad: My computer received an update that wiped out all of my settings and really messed up my printer settings. It took me too long to try to get it back to where I wanted.

    The good: My daughter came to help me with the printer. It allowed us to have some good time together and I really appreciate her and her willingness to help me though I hesitate to ask for help.

  94. These are my favourite posts from you, Jane, these occasional gems of ragged, raw and beautiful truth, tucked in among the author introductions and book tour news. I’m a lawyer, mom, writer living in Canada. My last two weeks? My older daughter is in Ecuador building a school with Me-to-We and twenty-five classmates. I watch her with a mix of awesome pride and wistfulness because, at seventeen, she is so capable, smart and ready to fly off to university next fall. My younger daughter is home with me, weighed down by end-of-term assignments and impending exams; I support her as much as I can, and when she feels anxiety about a unit test in math, I feel it right along with her. Then we head to the barn, tack up our horses and leave our worries in the dust on the stable floor. My husband, dear prince, has largely abandoned our Canadian home in order to pursue his passion for sailing in Florida leaving me wondering about what married life is all about; I love and support him, and yet here I sit, tending the henhouse on my own. And there’s working life: lawyer, writer, lawyer, writer, can I be both and a mom, too? So the truth? It’s messy, joyous, heart-wrenching and occasionally crabby. And I wouldn’t change a thing, even when I, too, growl at the computer.

  95. Life happens, as cliché as it sounds, but we just have to keep going. When things aren’t looking up at a particular moment, I keep telling myself ‘this isn’t forever, this isn’t forever’ – things will get better. Even if at that moment it doesn’t feel like it. Hugs to you – don’t give up. Lisa McManus Lange

  96. Jane,

    You need to do what ever you need to do for your kids. Although we love when you write, your kids always come first…Moms around the world understand this.

    Hope things are getting better.


  97. Hi! So glad your a real woman expressing your feelings, yep, love never fails-I’ve been crabby since working at this chain food store in their bakery which its ok, even on my day off I’m tired and my daughter told me I’m no fun anymore. Things are getting better, I wish I could she’sbe working with toddlers again, but at the moment that’s not in the cards. My daughter and I are very close and she’s been a big help around the house while she goes to her classes, her birthday is coming up soon so going to do something special for her! I’ll always be a mom whatever no matter their age,we always will care and love them no matter what!

  98. HI Jane,
    Thank you for the moving blog. I think you and I are on the same page these days. Life isn’t easy especially when life includes a blended family. Sigh.

    I just keep singing to myself the song from Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming…” Why? I have no idea but it seems to make me feel better. 🙂

    Sending you a big hug. Thank you again for your honesty and candor. It is very much appreciated.

  99. Well, I’ve made up my mind to be more positive this year so I’ll say that the first couple of weeks have been okay. I’ve been reading quite a bit and that makes me happy.

  100. Thanks for sharing your life with us, Jane.

    I’ve been struggling with menopause and hot flashes and sleepless nights for the past two years. I have gained too much weight. My dear boyfriend has been very patient with me, but my lack of sex drive is making us both sad. So, I decided to go to my doctor and finally get some help this year. I don’t know why I waited SO long.

    2014 had better shape up for all of us. But remember, it’s important that us women take care of ourselves, as well as our loved ones.

  101. My truth…sometimes life just sucks more than it is suppose to. Sometimes I feel like I try too hard, sometimes I don’t try at all. I get tired of fighting for everyone else and I forget to fight for myself. I know people have it far worse than I do, but somehow that doesn’t make me grateful for my own struggles.

    But I do have compassion, because sometimes that is all I can give and sometimes that is all someone else needs.

    And that LOVE stuff, well I have no control over how those around me behave, but I do have control over how I behave towards them. And they will feel all that LOVE stuff, like it or not, cuz I’m going down shooting arrows!

  102. I go beyond crabby some days. I don’t know how my loved ones endure m, but they do. With work, school and family, it seems like I am always frolicking around on thin ice. Throw in car trouble, illness or high winter bills and its a mixture for disaster.When my mind and emotions return to calm I reflect on how much love is in my relationships because the important people in my life are still beside me.

  103. Thank you for all the honesty, support and thoughtful comments, everyone.

    Our winner is #66 Jen D!

    Please email me with your mailing details and the prize will be in the mail next week.

    Have a lovely weekend!

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