Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, August 11, 2006

Michele Ashman Bell (Read Her First-Ever Blog HERE!)

While we don't plan to change our title to “Numerous LDS Writers & a Frog” we did think it would be fun to invite guests in from time to time to take the place of one of us regular writers. There is, of course, no better day for this than Friday, so here is the first in a series of guest blogs from some of the best and brightest stars in the LDS publishing firmament.

The New Breakfast of Champions

by Michele Ashman Bell

I’ve decided to eat cheesecake for breakfast.

This decision has been made after much deliberation and thought. Don’t laugh. I’m very serious about this. Too much has happened lately in the news to ignore. I’ve decided that life is precious and much too short to waste on scrambled eggs and toast, or high fiber, low sugar cereal. I don’t want to die, thinking, “Why didn’t I eat more cheesecake?” Or, “Why didn’t I spend more time with my family?” Or, “Why didn’t we go to Europe? Or Disney World. Or Hawaii. Or wherever?” (Yes, my husband is freaking out because there is money attached to some of these thoughts.) Granted, it would cost a pretty penny to go on a family vacation somewhere like Europe or Disney World or Hawaii, but can you put a price on precious memories and time spent together as a family? In my opinion, no.

This epiphany has been liberating. If I want to stay in my pajamas until noon, I will. If I want to forget about laundry and take my kids swimming, I will. If my husband asks me to go get ice cream, or better yet, cheesecake, but I have something else planned, I spend time with my sweetheart, eating sweets. (It doesn’t get better than that!)

Of course, this doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly become unreliable and irresponsible. I’m too driven to sit around and do nothing. I have a busy life, with busy kids, and a busy husband. My life is very “full” and “fulfilling”. I still care about my writing and achieving my goals and dreams and helping my family do the same. But there are going to be some changes around here.

First of all, as an aerobic instructor for twenty-four years. (Yes, I was ten when I started.) I have spent said years eating healthy meals, skipping burgers and pasta, and eating salads and skipping desserts. It hasn’t been fun and I’ve felt robbed. So, I’ve given myself permission to have an occasional order of cheese fries and a milkshake and a bacon cheeseburger. This doesn’t mean I’m throwing away twenty-four years of hard work for nothing. I will still abide by the Word of Wisdom and practice moderation in all things. But it does mean that if I want orange chicken at Panda Express instead of steamed vegetables, I’m going to have it. It also means that time spent with my family is better than time spent with my vacuum.

When I was engaged to be married I stopped into an antique store to look around and met two delightful elderly women. They were partners and co-owners of this charming store. We got to talking and they found out I was a few weeks away from getting married. “Can I give you a piece of advice?” the one named Noreen asked. “Of course,” I responded, knowing full well that they had lived longer and were therefore smarter than I. “Betty and I started this business ten years ago because both of us lost our husbands in our early sixties,” she explained. Then she looked me square in the eye. “My husband and I decided to wait until he retired before we traveled and did the things we wanted to do while we were raising our family. Two months before he retired, he had a heart attack and died. We never got to do any of those things together that we dreamed about. My advice to you is to never put off till tomorrow, what you want to do today.”

So, what does this mean? Oh, don’t worry, I’m still driving carpool, doing laundry and yard work, making dinner, etc. But I’m also going to go places and do things that I’ve always wanted to go and do. I’m cherishing my family and friends more. And I’m having cheesecake for breakfast! I think Noreen and Betty would approve.

Michele Bell is the best-selling author of eighteen books -- with another coming in October. Her most recent releases are Rescue, the third installment in her popular children’s series, Latter-day Spies, and a gripping romance, Perfect Timing, which came out August 1. She is also a YA and children’s book reviewer for Meridian Magazine. Visit Michele’s website at www.micheleashmanbell.com

In connection with Michele’s new romance, Covenant is sponsoring a Perfect Proposal contest. What say we practice here? Tell us about your marriage proposal! Or, if you’re unmarried – or just shy – tell us about the best proposal you’ve ever seen, heard of, or imagined! Who knows, maybe this will be a springboard for one of our readers to win Michele’s contest. We’d love to see you at the Mystery Dinner on September 29!


8 Comments:

At 8/11/2006 11:44 AM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Michele's wonderfully wise blog reminds me of an essay by 85-year-old Nadine Stair who is famous for:

"If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies."

Michele, is it just a coincidence that you have a beautiful carousel horse on the cover of your new book?

 
At 8/11/2006 12:36 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

Cheesecake is undoubtably on the menu in Heaven. Along with Dole Whips (which you can only get at the Tiki Room.)

Let's get together for breakfast!

 
At 8/11/2006 12:42 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

And undoubtably IS a real word. It's just so rare you won't find it in most dictionaries.

 
At 8/11/2006 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

michele's website isn't working! I like the idea of guest blogs!

 
At 8/11/2006 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michele's site is up - the link is just wrong. Try www.micheleashmanbell.com

(Only 1 "l" in Michele)

 
At 8/12/2006 1:22 AM, Anonymous kerry blair said...

I'm so sorry about the link that doesn't link. I thought I did it right, but alas! At least I always spell her name right...

 
At 8/14/2006 12:58 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

I'm chuckling a little bit over Michele's introduction -- reminds me of Singing in the Rain. "A shining star in the cinema firmament." :)

But I agree! Always good to hear from Michele.

 
At 8/14/2006 4:21 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

I watch waaaay too many old movies!

:-)

And, Tristi, send me your address! Your "cure" for rhino skin and wrinkles is AMAZING! I owe you big time.

 

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