When a plan comes together….FINALLY.

I am waiting for the coffee to get done brewing. I am not yet awake. I have a 4-5 mile run ahead of me and then hours of lovely painting and sketching. It is Friday which means I am working from home. As I was yesterday. And in heaven. I went part time back in August and have since sold two books that will be coming out in September of this year. Dude. That’s a lot of painting. A lot of painting fast. So I guess it was pretty good I was part time. Ya know, so I could get it all done. And not that I am telling my husband I told you so or anything, but…. I TOTALLY TOLD YOU SO!!! It’s like, oh, I don’t know, my instinct was right???!!! Okay, done with gloating, he reads this after all. Love you hunnie!!

So fast forward to oh, I don’t know, February. Things are happening, I am in the zone with book ideas. Publishers are interested in a third book I have. I begin the murmurs to my husband…”You know….the plan all along….was for me to do this full time at home…” That was greeted with, um, a smile and a perhaps, was that a nod? One can’t be too sure. See, if you read this blog or know us in real life, you know I am the impulsive one. My husband is the planner, the prudent one. We are a perfect match. Truly. Like those cute salt and pepper shakers? You know the ones – like little dogs that kiss and have magnet noses? So opposite, yet perfect together. We are better together than we are alone. Like these:

How cute are they??? And I had to get my cute fat Buddha in the pic. I rub his tummy every morning!

So while me quitting has been in the works the whole time, he is still, let’s say, less than enthusiastic about the lack of guaranteed income. See, to a left brained person like my hubbie, who likes planning and budgeting, and KNOWING, the prospect of my income coming in fits and spurts, different amounts? Well, he just can’t count on it, so in a way, to him, I have no income. To a right brained person like me? I am thinking about all the possibilities, all the different ways I can make money now that I will have the time. More books, school and library visits, licensing, pet portraits, festivals. The income? LIMITLESS!!! So, um, perhaps you see the problem? The Michelle quitting conversation often gets stuck in a dead end.

Two weeks ago we were driving to Pensacola. Which I might add is a 6 hour drive. One in which you could say, my husband is a captive audience to my ramblings. Read: TRAPPED. (Don’t you feel sorry for him! He KNEW what he was getting into when he married me!!) And I begin my ‘I need to quit conversation. I NEED to quit SOON conversation.’ And see, my husband is quiet. Always has been, always will be. And I am the talker. I talk and talk and talk. I am Talky McGee, the wife who talks in bed until she realizes her husband has long fallen asleep and he missed my solution to all the problems of the universe and what new great idea for a book I just had. So here we are. In a car. For 6 hours and I am in the “I wanna quit soon!” zone.

Me: “It’s TIME!”

Him: “Maybe, we’ll see. We’ll just wait a bit longer.”

Me: “How long??

Him: Let’s see how your books do, how about that?

Me: WHAT????? They don’t even come out until September!!!!

Him: ….I know.

Me: What? Do you want me to DIE in a cubicle? That cube sucks the life force out of me!! Fine, I will never quit! I will just do everything forever! But when I am dead, you better tell people it was your fault I got the soul sucked out of me!! And put it on my tombstone!! And make sure you invite my publisher so she can lament all the income she didn’t make because I am dead. And it will be ALL YOUR FAULT!!!

Um. I am maybe…DRAMATIC.

Finally he says, “You know what? QUIT! Do it! I think you are scared and using me as an excuse not to quit!! Do it today!!”





I pick up my phone.


“Hi boss, I am sorry to have to do this on your voicemail, but I wanted you to know right away. I am quitting. My last day is May 18. I will call you later to talk more about it. Have a great trip!”



Him: “…..good. I’m….glad.”

What have we learned here: Michelle knows an opportunity when it presents itself. And don’t play chicken with Michelle.

So guess what y’all??? My last day is May 18!!!!

I truly need to thank my supportive amazing husband for this. Because without him none of this would have happened. He inspired me to try my hardest and be my best. He makes me think about my decisions and take the time to plan them and and execute them right. He also gives me artistic license to tell a funny story to the world even when I knew he would tell me to quit when ever I said I was truly ready. He pushed me exactly when I needed the final push. He always has my back. Everyone should have a partner in life as amazing as my husband. I adore you baby, thank you for being my partner in crime. Together we will attain every dream we have! 🙂

And also? How yummy is he??? Look at him in his officer’s uniform! I. KNOW!!!

Why I love to run

The essence? Right here:

This is me sharing my love of running with my daughter, Sophia. I can’t begin to truly put into words and express how much it means to me that she has started doing races with me. This is her second 5K. I began my love affair with running when I asked my dad if I could go run with him in the mornings when I was 11 years old. Sophie is 12. She began to join me this year. Passing on a love and a legacy. I am not the fastest runner. I don’t win races. I don’t beat my PRs regularly. It is about finishing. It is about achieving the goal. It is about the time I get to spend in my head being selfish. Thinking the thoughts I want to think. Nothing else that is going on later that day or happened earlier that day matters when I am running. When I finish a run my head is clear, my endorphins are surging and I am strong and confident. My father gave that to me when he introduced me to running. I hope to pass that to my daughter. “Selfish” is not a four letter word. It is necessary. One cannot give if one is not filled up. I take time every day to fill myself up. Then I am happy to empty myself out to others knowing the next day I will replenish. It is that simple.

I love to share my joy of running with others too. Last Sunday Jules and Anda did their first 5K in many years. It was wonderful. And fun. And joyful. And everything exercise and filling yourself up should be. 🙂

And just look at what we got to see at about mile 2. And people wonder why us runners do this. Here’s why.

My love affair with a little green monster continues.

About a week and a half ago I made myself a Whatif Monster. It is ridiculous how cute he is. And how much I love him. And probably how much I talk to him. My husband asks a bit carefully, “You don’t actually hear him answer you back, do you?” And I carefully reply, not wanting to be committed anywhere, “Um, no. Don’t be silly! Of course not!”

But the truth? I totally do! I mean, I created him. Of course I hear his voice. I know how he sounds. I know what he thinks. At first, I thought he was mean. He had mean eyebrows that asked questions in a scary way. “What if you fail???” But then as I really waited for him to tell me in his voice, I realize he is timid. And scared. He is speaks softly, almost a whisper. “What if you…fail?” And that was when I knew how much he needs to be in the world. We all hear him all the time. But what we don’t realize is that we need to hold, him, comfort him and reassure him. “It’s okay. We might fail. But if we do, we just pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and try again, Whatif Monster. We can do it together.” And then he tries. Don’t you think every little kid needs their own Whatif Monster? And every adult for that matter? Maybe if we realize we just need to be brave and know we have a friend to be there with us even if we do fail, we can get through anything. And when we don’t fail? We have a friend to celebrate our triumphs! Big and small.

I am hard at work working on my book all about him. The text is done. i am just working out the images that are in my head to get them on to paper. Because I really, really believe we all need to meet the Whatif Monster and realize he is not so scary after all.

Once I made my Whatif Monster, I began taking him everywhere to meet people. Everyone seems to love him like I do!

This is where the Whatif Monster hangs out during the day when all are at work and school. Between Bert the Farting Hippo (NCIS) and Tardy the Turtle. They get along great!

He worries when I drive. I tell him I have never had an accident! He still tells me to be careful and slow down. A lot!

I was getting a massage from the awesome Genessa – Whatif wanted to try too. After his initial fear he settled right in and wondered why he had never done this before!

We here at the Schmidt household love, love, LOVE to watch ghost shows! Whatif was a skeerdy cat. He asked Kevin to hold him. Is my husband not fantastical??

Tammy fell hard for the little green guy. What’s not to love?

Maggie resisted the urge not to kidnap the Whatif Monster. She loved him lots and lots!

Noah and his girlfriend being REALLY good sports for teenagers. They are awesome!

I hiked up the Stone Mountain to scout a photoshoot for work. The Whatif Monster worried he wouldn’t make it all the way up. Look! He TOTALLY did!!

How much do I love my Whatif Monster? SOOOO much! I hope you do too!