Are we there yet?

This week was funky.  Just when I think I’ve settled into my role as house master and nurse to my injured hubby I had a complete and total meltdown.  My precious little niece was murdered 4 years ago last Thanksgiving.  It was complete and total devastation that sent my family into a tailspin.  I was lost in a dark hole for a few years and yesterday, on Brooklyn’s birthday I had the opportunity to think about how far I’ve come.  I look at this picture and remember how I felt that day.  It was October 17, 2008.  We caught up to my brother and Brooklyn at my dad and stepmom’s house.  I had tears in my eyes looking at B, I knew her fate, my parents divorced when I was 2 which led to a not so fabulous childhood.  She crawled to me and reached up for me to hold her.  My precious first niece, giving me the awesome title of AUNT!  I only saw her a few times because my brother was stationed at 29 Palms and before their split there wasn’t a lot of opportunity to see them.  This angel baby was only 10 months old when she was taken from us.  Seriously tragic.  BUT, she is in heaven and not in pain or fear or trouble.


Two days after Brooklyn passed away, a dear angel ascended to heaven right behind her, Stephanie Vest  She was the most amazing example of a Christian, mother and friend a person could ever know.  I was an acquaintance and neighbor but had the good fortune to see her before she left for the Mayo clinic.  I took her cozy pjs, trashy magazines and my favorite meal I make for people who are sick or just had a baby, stuffed shells  She called and left a message on my answering machine that night saying how much she loved those shells and had to eat them that night and ditch the other meal she had fed the kids.  I think about that every single time I make them and am thankful for the gift of knowing she savored that meal.  It was one of her last because she fought a brutal battle for 14 weeks at the Mayo clinic that certainly didn’t include much real food.  Stephanie left behind a 3 month old baby girl she had prayed so hard for, a pre-school aged son and 2nd grader.  The year between that week and the following exact week the next year was a total blur of darkness.  I was not myself I think I pretty much blacked out.  Thanksgiving 2009 my dad’s heart literally broke in half over losing Brooklyn, we buried him a year to the day of Brooklyn’s funeral…12/5/09.


This is how I picture them in heaven. Napping, at peace.


One of the last times I saw him. He was ready.


Me, dad, my little brother Kyle and my little sister Jessica at my wedding rehearsal dinner.


Dad, me and Jessica at Kyle and Kasey’s wedding. We were so happy, Russell was an infant, Kyle was home and we were celebrating.

So when I let myself go back and remember that time I see a dedicated path back to my current self, my current life.  It was a battle, it still is a battle, life is something we have to work at.  You can’t just live on autopilot.  You can’t just medicate yourself and not have feelings…that is coming from a former overly medicated person.  It is ok to have meltdowns, seems like I have them weekly now.  It is like when people say to let babies cry a little because it is their body releasing stress and communicating.  Same with grown ups.  Pushing all of that down leads to over-eating, over-drinking, over-spending.  This is the lesson I’ve learned from EXTREME heartache.  I mean the kind where you can’t feel your body attached to your head.  Your heart literally hurts and there is a constant lump in your throat.  That is a gift though.  How could it be?   Well, when you feel exuberance from watching your child dance her heart out or your son make an awesome play or your 1st grader, reading his little heart out…you know how good those moments are and appreciate the heck out of them.

This is why I’m out of that hole, why I love my life, why I thank the Lord everyday for my blessings, for keeping me present and for carrying me in the right direction.

My 3 Moons.


Christmas 2012

and finally…

This is why I adore Russell’s teacher, BSSD Teacher of the Year, Julie Parker.  I received this email this morning from her.  After an overwhelming week it totally brightened my perspective and also brought tears to my eyes! I love that little man Russell, he is precious!

Dear Mom,
Today I read with Miss Parker. I moved up 4 levels in one month. I am now at a level L. My dad is going to give me a bunch of candy. I am happy.
I love you. Bye. Russell

Doesn’t get better than that people!


A treasure I found on Pinterest. That sweet little bear is the best, thanks Pooh.

And then we have November

As anticipated October was a total whirlwind further complicated by the addition of two sales, one at Charm and one at Bella Pantina.  At least I cleared out my goodies and treasures to make room for more!  This is Bella Pantina in the West Bottoms and they are open the first Friday-Sunday of every month.  Best way to follow is join their Facebook page.


Halloween was a blast although my big kids were off like a shot so I didn’t get the annual group pic of the three.  We are going to re-stage the pic as soon as I can wrangle them and bribe them into doing it for me.  We had a super hero them which was pretty darn fun.


Mom and Carter the *fat* morph suit guy

Thing 1, Bat Girl and Thing 2…my only pic of Whitney before she was off running with the girls.

Bat Girl Posse’

Russell had several friends from school come looking for him. It was cute, he’s a rockstar!


So now we enter the world of Cinderella for the week.  Whitney will be performing at the Folly downtown  Nov 9 & 10, she has a little part but the production is beautiful.  My favorite part of Cinderella so far was taking photos at the tea and hanging out with my favorite horse, Annie and her mama, Carla.  I couldn’t get enough of this little horse with a big personality! She greeted the little girls and their moms attending the tea.  So cute!

Annie dressed up for Cinderella Tea

And my boy Carter turned 13 on October 25th!  Sniff!  At least he’s still the sweetest little boy I’ve ever met.  He LOVES his mama!  Last night he woke me up to say he was scared, I snuggled him in and he was able to go back to sleep.  Granted he is as tall as me so it isn’t like a little baby snuggle but still such a genuine connection, I love it!

I conned the kids into doing a 3-kid photoshoot while working at Bella.  I didn’t have a current one of them and as you can tell they loved it even though they complained.  The serious ones were pretty easy since they were annoyed with me 😉

Silly pic 🙂

Oh Russell loves his sissy! Carter too but they are totally brothers, fighting best friends.

He makes our world go round!

Too cool for you Mom!