What's Saving Me Right Now


Little Lion's curiosity:  

Within the past month, Jubal's mental capacity to understand questions and accept curiosity has been staggering. He's always processing. Always pulling and pushing and uncovering and pinching and tasting and shaking. It's amazing to watch and it may sound silly, but it's helping my own processing: how am I staying curious? What currently has my attention? 

It's so easy to just roll with the punches and live life in one fell swoop, but I want to accomplish more than work and sleep (which feel like the only things I can accomplish on some days). 

So his curiosity is pushing me to be more thoughtful. Intentional. How am I spending my days? 


Date nights with my love. 

I work from 1-10 every night, and so being OUT and with my love makes everything worth it. Capturing the sunset doesn't hurt, either.  

For my birthday we went to a local bar we love and on the way there I watched as the sky turned different shades of violent and remembered this right here will always be my aesthetic. Lavenders and rose and teal and indigo and magentas merging together to put on one last show before letting the moon take over? 

Always a favorite.

The only thing that could have made it better is if it were by the ocean.

My Book of the Month subscription:

No but really. I will unequivocally state that this is the reason why I'm able to get back into reading after an uncomfortable hiatus. If you know me you know that if I'm not reading, I'm not creating. Plus, there's not much that can make me happier than new books. It's a win-win. 

Books I've gotten through the subscription —

  • Girls in the Moon, Janet McNally
  • You Will Know Me, Megan Abbott
  • Lucky You, Erika Carter
  • Perfect Little World, Kevin Wilson
  • Lies She Told Me, Cate Holahan
  • Emma in the Night, Wendy Walker

and so much more. 

Other moments saving me:



  • getting the notice that Jubal Vox's adoption is finalized. For good. Forever. 
  • Coffee, always.  
  • Investing in an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to take my writing and creativity to a whole new level.
  • Jubal's smile when he wakes up from a nap
  • training new hires at work and using my teacher muscles I love so much
  • pictures and videos of the total eclipse
  • belly laughter with friends  
  • inching along in the memoir word-by-word
  • seeing Spencer Hastings on an episode of NCIS
  • Introducing Air Mattress movie nights to Jubal

For the longest time, I felt trapped. I was so exhausted I couldn't think about doing anything else other than sleep, cuddle little lion, and work. And I was happy and content during these times, but I knew I wasn't doing what brings me the most joy. Even still, I found it hard to care because all I wanted was to curl into my sheets and get some rest.

Because of this, I struggled with why. Why pick up a pen or a book if it's not going to matter anyway? I'm so rusty with words, why try putting them into sentences? 

The Elora who published books and wrote consistently and taught classes on creativity felt so foreign. There were days on end where I had to fight to keep from giving up completely on anything creative. I couldn't write, couldn't read, couldn't do much of anything. But seasons are real for a reason, and I knew it would end eventually. I'd gone through this before, and I would go through it again. I kept breathing in beauty wherever I could, hoping that eventually, the clouds would break and I would be able to create again. 

So beauty, in all of its forms, is what is saving me too. 

Tell me: what's saving you? 


Posted on September 6, 2017 and filed under Soul Care, The Memoirs.

Elora Reads: The Mailbox


Last night I finished reading The Mailbox by Marybeth Whalen. 

First, let me say this: I've been in a reading slump. 

I can't even remember the last book I finished. So when I had some extra time this weekend, I decided to find a book I knew would be a quick read regardless of the content. Usually these look like an indie book. Probably YA. When I opened my kindle app, though, The Mailbox was the first to show so I clicked. 

Also worth noting: I think I purchased the book as a Kindle Daily Deal. Currently the book sits at $8.99 for the Kindle version and I can't imagine paying that much for a book I know I will love, let alone one I have never heard of and think I may enjoy. 

According to the premise, it had everything that would warrant a clearance purchase from me: set off the North Carolina coast, an intriguing plot, seems to be an easy read. 

Two of those were correct. This is set in Sunset Beach, right on the South Carolina / North Carolina border. It was also an easy read in that I could skim pages and not really miss anything. 

The plot fell flat for me.

 Boy meets girl when they're teenagers. They spend summers together on the beach, promising each other the world. Girl goes back to city in the fall, and they pick up their romance when she returns the next year. 

But then one year, boy gets another girl pregnant (shocker). 
He marries new girl, out of confusion and desperation, and doesn't tell his long-distance-love until months later. 
Years go by and both experience dissolution of their current relationships, and when girl escapes to the beach after her divorce, she runs into boy and they live happily ever after. 


In between all of this is a mailbox where Lindsay, the girl, writes her thoughts like she would a journal (why doesn't homegirl have a journal?). She does this every year. Just one letter. There is a kindred spirit who keeps the letters, and when she finds out who this person is, she feels betrayed — as she should. 

I struggled with this book. A lot. I wasn't prepared for the platitudes thrown throughout the pages, and I felt the characterization was weak. Campbell's ex feels stereotypically harsh and calculating. Lindsay's relationship with her best friend is one dimensional, only speaking of the men in her life and nothing more. When she escapes to the island, her and Campbell go on a date and when he leans in to kiss her, she explicitly states she's not ready to be physical since she just finalized her divorce. 

He still kisses her, which makes her hesitation magically disappear. 

And, at one point, when the person who has been LIndsay's "kindred spirit" apologizes for taking her letters and reading them, part of the apology includes, "but, because I did this, you've been my kindred spirit this whole time." 

When she asks for clarification, she gets "these letters are why I returned to God." 


What I enjoyed: it being on the North Carolina coast. That's really it. The scenery felt similar to our time in Kure Beach and that made me want to keep reading to hear more about it, but turning the page kept me disappointed until the end. The only reason I kept reading was because I was so desperate to finish a book I pushed through, hoping it would get better. 

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars 

Posted on September 4, 2017 and filed under Elora Reads.

Ordinary Time

I made chocolate chip cookies today. 

Normally, this wouldn't be bloggable content. But I have not made cookies since August, and as I was slowly sifting the flour into the butter and eggs and sugar, I felt myself breathe a sigh of relief as I watched everything merge together.

Life hasn't felt normal in forever. First it was the announcement: little lion man is coming. Our days went from slow and methodical to frenzied and kinetic. We danced around the tiny one bedroom apartment washing onesies and finding nooks and crannies for a crib and swings and his changing table. 

He's coming; he's coming, I would hear in my bones. Like a prayer. An incantation. 

It was a season of forward motion. Of what-was-once-now-will-be-different. We barely had time to catch our breath and take a look around before we got the call that it was time to head to North Carolina. And from there? Well, from there we just hit a sort of stasis. All of this movement and rushing and hoping took the form of holding vigil on the shore — both for our son's arrival and the green light to go home.

This stasis followed us back to Texas. 

And I mean, I get it. Adding a baby to the mix of your daily rhythm does more than alter a few things here and there. It's a bomb of diapers and formula and teething and kisses and spit-up and sleepless nights and laughter and wondering who you even were before this magical human came into your world and changed its molecular structure. 

But seven months later, we're starting to find our balance. I'm starting to feel myself breathe. I'm feeling the pull of ordinary time sink into my veins, beckoning me to enjoy the rest. 

Jubal is in his high chair, gnawing on a wash cloth. He sings while he rubs his gums with the cloth, his mouth opened as wide as it will go, his eyes closed, his head slightly tilted. I see the cookies on a plate next to him, and smile as I watch Russ methodically plan our dinner of fried chicken. 

This is my life now, I think to myself.

And my heart bursts with joy.

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Posted on June 11, 2017 and filed under The Memoirs.