Saturday, August 29, 2015

New Beginnings

It's funny how so much can change in a week's time. Last week I was out of town, and I can honestly say it was one of my top 5 worst weeks ever. I spent a lot of time praying and wishing I could just come home. I needed my husband and a hug. I got both as soon as I landed back home on Monday.

It's those horrendous moments in life, the ones that make you feel completely broken, that make you grateful for all the good in life. That makes you appreciate your family and hug them a little harder and longer. That makes you realize how lucky you are to have found a husband who has the ability to calm raging seas in a storm and fight for you and stand beside you always.

But this was a great week. I was home with my family, the weather was amazing, and I didn't spend the week huddled over a computer for most of the day. We played outside, talked to neighbors, went walking, went to the gym, ate better, and spent quality time together talking about futures and goals and plans. It was a week focused on us and our family.

And despite a small setback with a knee injury, a trip to the doctor, and a round of needling, it was a week of healing. A week that made last week seem like nothing more than a distant memory.

It's also a week I think we needed as a family. My husband retires today after more than twenty-five years in law enforcement. To say that I haven't spent the last couple of weeks worrying about him and the upcoming change in his life would be a lie, but I can see the peace inside him and that's a great comfort to me.

We start a new chapter in our lives next week. I'm excited and thrilled I get to do it with someone I love and respect and admire and have fun with. It makes all the bad weeks and trials in life seem inconsequential when you know you have a full partner waiting to prop you up if you start to fall.

It's a week of gratitude, happiness, and contentment. You can't ask for more than that.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Indianapolis Bound!

I'll be doing a 4 hour self-publishing workshop for the Indianapolis RWA chapter on September 12th! This event is FREE to anyone interested in attending, but you do have to register. And hurry! Because space is limited.

Check out the website:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Wife's Perspective

My husband announced his retirement today after more than 25 years in law enforcement, the last five of those years as Chief of Police. But I'll get back to that in a second.

About three years ago, I met Scott Silverii at a writer's conference. I sat through his classes on SWAT and cop culture, thinking I might get a few new ideas for my JJ Graves series, but not expecting much. I've been writing for a long time and there's not much I haven't heard or seen when it comes to law enforcement research. I had no idea that sitting through those classes would change my life forever.

Writing is like a sickness. The only people who understand that sentiment are other writers, so I won't try to explain, but it's always interesting to see people's reactions when I tell them I was more interested in picking Scott's brain for information than I was anything else on first impression. The book always comes first to a writer. I was impressed by his insight, his knowledge, his education, his experience, and his love of law enforcement. And it didn't hurt that I'd written a character very similar to him several years before, which was a little weird for both of us if I'm being honest.

But because Scott's the kind of man he is, he opened his agency to any writer who wanted to visit, just like he's opened it to everyone in Thibodaux. To open a police department to writers is truly courageous, because we pick up on everything. But he's always believed in transparency--to outsiders and to the community--and the quality of the Thibodaux Police Department shows because of that transparency.

So a couple months after our first meeting, I hopped on a plane and made my first trip to South Louisiana. Scott and I talk about it now, but neither of us knew that God was very strategically setting us up for a lifetime together. If I'd decided not to get on that plane things would be vastly different for both of us. I still can't explain what made me do it. I've researched different agencies all over the country--from Texas, to Florida, to New York, to Washington, and several places in between. By all accounts, I should've saved the five days of an unnecessary research trip and been working on whatever book I was on deadline for. But I still got on the plane, even though there was the possibility my flight would be cancelled anyway because New Orleans was having one of the worst ice storms they'd had in years and all the roads were shut down. In fact, when I landed in New Orleans and told Scott I'd be in Thibodaux in about an hour, he was surprised to hear they'd let my plane land at the airport.

I told him after that first trip that of all the agencies I'd visited, all the leadership I'd observed, all the policy and data that the nerd side of me adores, that I'd never had the privilege of seeing a better run agency than the Thibodaux Police Department. And that is the truth. I've seen and experienced agencies of all sizes across the nation. There is none better than here.

I think it's only something I could appreciate as an outsider, because the people of the community are used to the high standards that Scott demands. And they're used to a city that believes in living a great quality of life, thanks to Mayor Tommy Eschete.

Every officer under his command should be proud to work for a man with that kind of foresight, dedication, honor, and integrity. And every citizen of this community, myself included, should be proud to live in a place that has only gotten better and safer under his leadership.

It's been a privilege to watch him lead and mold the agency and to see the data speak for itself. And as his wife and someone who loves him, it's been a challenge to see the unspoken toll such a position takes. To watch the worry mingle with compassion. To see his face as he takes calls that rip at the heart at all hours of the day and night, on weekends, and during vacation. And to see him cloak himself with that invisible shield of protection when he has to go to a scene in the middle of the night, and to watch him put on the uniform and badge every morning knowing that we live in a society where so many hate cops and feel they don't deserve to live. But he does it because it's who he is and he loves the job. And I've never been anything but proud of him.

So I find myself, three years after our first meeting, living in a community I love and married to the man whose brain I was only interested in (at first) wink emoticon Retirement has been a discussion in our house for a while now, though it might be surprising news to many of you. But just like God led Scott to take the Chief's position 5 years ago and He led me to get on that plane and fly to Thibodaux, He's telling us now that it's time for new chapters to be written in our lives. We've enjoyed using up Scott's vacation time that he's worked hard for the last five years, and it's well deserved because before we met each other neither of us knew the definition of the word vacation. It's a promise we made to each other, and we've gotten to take some incredible adventures.

Scott is the best man I know. He's served this community and parish for more than twenty-five years, and given us all a safer place to live and better quality of life. And he's leaving a legacy that will be remembered for years to come. That's all any of us could ever hope for, and I'm so very proud of not only all his accomplishments, but of his courage to leave at the top of his game and on his own terms.

Scott, I love you, and I'm so very glad I got on that plane. Can't wait to start those next chapters of our life.

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Scott and I have had another amazing mini-moon. For those who don't know what a mini-moon is, we weren't able to get away for a long amount of time after the wedding because both of our work schedules are so crazy, so we've been taking mini trips over long weekends. It's actually worked out great because we've gotten to see way more places and have greater experiences than we would have otherwise. 
We used Denver as a home base and rented a Jeep while we were there, making day trips and just driving until we saw things we wanted to do. It was incredible. 

Thursday we saw Garden of the Gods and Cave of the Winds.
Friday was Estes Park, the Stanley Hotel, and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Saturday was Idaho Springs and whitewater rafting, followed by delicious BBQ.
And Sunday we started the day off with a massage and a nap. Then we drove to Boulder and ate pizza, enjoying the drive, the scenery, and each other.

Another successful and blessed mini-moon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New York City or Bust!

Scott Silverii and I are leaving for New York and ‪#‎rwa15‬ this morning. We have a packed week ahead with meetings and more meetings, with a side of a couple of workshops we're teaching. But we do get to have some fun and see Wicked tomorrow night, which I know Scott is secretly thrilled about because he has Broadway fever now. ‪#‎JazzHands4Ever‬
Scott and I both took our 5 Love Languages tests yesterday. I knew my love language was touch, which is why Scott has become such an awesome hugger over the last couple of years (and so many of you give him those spontaneous hugs now!). But Scott's love language was tricky for me to pin down, so he took the test yesterday and he's a quality time/acts of service kind of guy. So really, me buying tickets for us to go see Wicked fulfills both of these needs. #‎SeeWhatIDidThere‬
It's been an amazing week for me career wise. Opportunities have come my way that I never dreamed of (and none of which I can announce yet), but I never forget how very blessed I am in this life to keep getting to do what I love and continuously have doors opened for me. I sometimes have to stop and ask myself, "Is this real?" It turns out it is, so I'll just keep doing what I do and loving every minute of it. What makes it sweeter is that I get to share it with Scott and we get to travel the journey together.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Organization Procrastination

First of all, it should not excite me this much to have ordered 3 new whiteboards and dry erase markers from Amazon. Scott Silverii is much cooler than me and is probably not as excited that three large whiteboards will soon take up residence in our house.‪#‎DontTellHimIPickedOutNewFileCabinetsAndADeskToo‬
Second of all, I've got a book to finish, a formal dress to find that I don't hate, roots to be colored, a pedicure to get so I don't have velociraptor feet, and a suitcase to pack for RWA. If you've ever packed for RWA then you understand I should've started packing sometime last week. I have 5 days to accomplish these tasks. And 5 children to try and hinder any progress.‪#‎GameOn‬ ‪#‎WhenDoesSchoolStart‬
Lastly, I'm writing this post instead of working on my book because I'm not sure what happens next. ‪#‎TheProblemsWithPantsing‬ ‪#‎Procrastination‬