Sunday, May 13, 2018

And All That That Implies

Here it is, my view on Mother's Day morning. I am having my coffee and sobbing. I can't quit. This day tears me up every year. Since becoming a mother, it always has. It has nothing to do with my own mother. She is great and deserves a parade in her honor. She single-handedly raised 4 kids who are now successful adults. We used to even celebrate her on Father's Day. She was just that good! A survival parenting style that left us all tougher around the edges than we may even need to be. We will celebrate her today!

This day is heart wrenching now because I can't go to church and lean into my husband's strong shoulder and cry while we worship. I can, on the other hand, have my coffee and stare at the very gift he gave me when Tate wasn't quite one. My first year as a mother on Mother's Day, he gave me this birdbath. I will cherish it forever.

Why all the tears? I am a blessed momma of 3 magnificent beings. Three boys who would do anything for me. Three boys who are respectful and kind, who I now lean on for strength, and who I pray over and ask for guidance to try and make them the best they can be.

I cry for my friend who never knew his mom as anything but an addict. For my friend's girls who are without her today because she took her own life. For the teenage mom we know who wasn't sure what to do and gave her baby up for a better life for the child. I weep for my friend who lost her mom to cancer and my other friend whose mom is losing her battle now. For the mom and dad who made the decision to donate their dying child's organs for another family to have life. For all of the confused students I have had over the years that haven't known the kind of mother that I feel they should. For my own stepmom, my dad's third wife, who has kept my dad sober for decades, and for my half siblings who I wish I could see more often.

Shane and I both had moms who had been through their own loss. Husbands who decided that another woman was better. I now have many friends who have gone through the same, leaving them with no husband to help celebrate them today! Cherishing even the smallest gesture of acknowledgment from their kiddos on a day like today. For these women who put on a brave face at every ballgame, every parent night, every family function didn't ask for this and you are better than you will ever think you are! Do not let it define you or make you bitter. There are men out there in this same situation and I applaud the ones I know who are killing this mom job! We have two in our family. They are there for their kids every day, without fail.

When Shane and I told his dad and his dad's wife that we were expecting, we were so very excited to take them to dinner and let them know. They were not outwardly excited and we later found out that it was because they were trying to conceive and had bad news along the way. A baby lost. We had no idea. They then had success and my sweet brother-in-law was born just 4 months after Tate. Motherhood is a battle that some have to fight harder to be a part of than others. It's a miracle.

My sister was pregnant when I was expecting Wyatt. We were going to have babies at the same time!!! She lost her babies, four in total. Why is this even a thing? Why are mothers teased in this way? Why is it that my brother and I are blessed with these perfect babies and our two sisters can't have that same maternal gift? I have a lot of questions surrounding this, and then I am reminded how much bigger God is than any of my questions.

My oldest sister told me once about a year after we lost Shane that she was at peace with no longer putting her body through the abuse of trying to conceive. She felt at peace that God had given her so many jobs here. First, her stepchildren. She is their S'mommy and has done a darn good job of raising them as her very own. They are adults now and she felt that God knew I would need her. She is my extra set of wheels to deliver children, my extra set of brains when mine is in a fog of grief, and my extra set of ears when the boys seem down or when I need to vent. She rescues me. Often! And, selfless is her middle name.

I feel for my own mother-in-law who wishes to get one more hug from her son today. One more teasing remark about how she would like him to help her do some 'moving things around' for Mother's Day. I remember one year she wanted a bench for her backyard. We spent hours at the statuary place in Skiatook with her. Trying to be patient as she didn't just pick out a bench, but many other very heavy items that he delivered back to her house and set up for her. LOL!! I can just hear his choice words now...but he would have done it again and again.

So, can we just celebrate this as a beautiful Sunday? Another day that the Lord has made for us to enjoy. That's what we will do! Moms, Stepmoms, Girlfriends helping raise little ones, Dads doing mom jobs, ex-wives, new wives, aunts, uncles, moms and grandmas in Heaven, teachers influencing and loving on kids who don't feel that love at home, pastors who are trying to say the right things this morning, moms with graduates, perfectly traditional family units, moms with military children, moms of fur babies, dads who stepped up for someone else's children, coaches who love kids unconditionally, neighbors who bless others...have the best day you can!! Enjoy the blessings from every angle! Embrace your family tree, flow chart, bullet point list, or multilevel pyramid that may at times seems like a scam. Own your dysfunction. Love on those God gave you and those he took too soon. Happy Mother's Day, and all that that implies.

Friday, April 27, 2018

More, Please...

  • anniversaries, at least 30 or so
  • birthday parties planned and executed with probably more flair than necessary
  • friends over for dinner and fishing
  • fight nights where the girls never even know the fight is on
  • date nights to buy every Christmas gift on the list in one night
  • being teased about basically everything
  • vacations...lots more
  • problems solved together
  • advice given to our boys that only a dad can deliver with such certainty 
Many more...
  • plans for retirement RVing to every Bluegrass festival we could find
  • teams to coach
  • boats to captain
  • eye rolls when I had a new project in mind or it was my turn to host bunco, which were basically one in the same
  • conversations about our work days over an early dinner before leaving for practices
  • weddings to attend where he was singing
  • ballgames where we sat apart because of his 'passion'
  • plans to be the coolest grandparents some day
  • plans to never be apart so our kids wouldn't have to know what that feels like
Man, what I wouldn't give for more...
  • laughs
  • inside jokes
  • looks
  • trips around the dance floor
  • memories
  • hugs...bear hugs
  • encouragement
  • unconditional love
Three years gone is too long to still have a lifetime of unfulfilled plans. Contentment is a hard concept when you lose someone. I am always praying this over my boys. For them to find peace. I don't allow myself to go through this list often, but I did write it down and it basically sums up a tiny fraction of what I am missing without him. I could probably add details daily.

Three was our signature number. We dated 3 times, therefore chose June 3rd as our wedding date, and we went on to have 3 boys basically 3 years apart...Wyatt being a bit of surprise. So, I think I knew that this year's date would be hard. I have come farther than to try and think it isn't my life now. It is. But I will allow myself to wish for things today that I do not have. I don't feel like this makes me a bitter person. I am not. I have accepted that it makes me normal. I am human. I can occasionally yell, "This is NOT FAIR!" because, frankly, it isn't. I just can't stay there.  I am living daily under the protection of my Savior. There is no other explanation for how we get from point A to point B.

I couldn't be more proud of my boys and who they are becoming. Tate had an assignment in his psychology class and he text me to ask what was a stressful event for him in the last few months. Neither of us could think of anything. We were naming the most random things that to some people would have seemed huge. I text him back and said...I think our definition of stress is so different than some people's. His words were, "I know mom, everything seems minor." I am sorry they know this truth due to something so unthinkable, but I am glad they are warriors. They make me stronger.

God's got this! The THIRD chapter of Ephesians even says that God has more in store for us than we can even imagine. Thank you for your promises! They cover and carry me.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Is He Proud of Me?

3 - That is the number of days that my boys had insurance after my husband suddenly passed away on April 27, 2015. His gracious company wanted so badly to extend the time but he was ‘no longer employed’ through them, so by law...they couldn’t. They verbally committed to helping me if any need for healthcare should arise until I could get it handled. Get it handled? I was handling a lot of things I didn’t want to be handling. When I called Mrs. Carpenter at the Administration building to discuss my options, there were none I could afford. She very gently and sweetly told me to consider SoonerCare for my boys. My first reaction was, “WHAT? No! I am an educated woman with a career. I should be able to take care of my children’s insurance needs.” $8,000.00 - That was the amount of usable, bring home income that I would be lacking every month without him. Yes, he had worked his whole life from 14 to 41, so the boys would be getting some death benefits through Social Security. However, those weren’t enough to get the insurance. Those are barely enough combined with my teaching salary to feed everyone, maintain their activities, and carry on their life somewhat as they once knew it. SoonerCare - It has been a blessing and a curse. I remember sending my boys back to school just a week after losing Shane and feeling a real urgency to stay close to their buildings that day in case they needed me. I hid in my sister’s office at the Seventh Grade Center and she and I literally prayed over her computer as I hit submit on the SoonerCare forms online. I cried tears of joy when it said they were approved. I cried out of shock that it was that easy to prove my case for assistance. I printed their temporary insurance cards and began a life of assumptions at the doctors, pharmacies, dentist, and optometrist. Once, when checking in at the doctor, the receptionist said snidely about some needed paperwork, “Oooooh, you’re on SoonerCare.” I had frankly had enough of the shameful comments and haughty glares and plainly told her that, yes, because my husband is dead and I’m a public school teacher. You see, what I really wanted to say was...Yes, I have government assisted healthcare for my children because my children mean more to me than my pride. Yes, I have a career and a 4 year plus degree. Yes, I wish my profession thought enough of my family to offer better pay and better insurance options. And no, I am not working the system. Every year when I reapply, and I get approval, that will continue to be a blessing until it’s not. Then, I will seek counsel and possibly look to another state or industry for work. My boys have had enough change to deal with in one lifetime, so I would like to avoid this option.  Financial security can be a very taxing reality once it is gone.

I submitted the above as a part of my Teacher of the Year portfolio. I sent it to lawmakers. It is raw, real, and EMBARRASSING. I have been feeling like I should share it to throw a little perspective to some. I am not looking for sympathy and really don't want to be treated like the second class citizen that I have occasionally been made to feel like for having to take advantage of such program. One sweet friend assured me that my situation is why Soonercare and programs like it were originally put into place. For people who have life hand them an unfair slap, not for people who don't feel like working. I work. I will continue to work. And, as it stands right now, if the Oklahoma raises aren't at a competitive range, I will no longer qualify and will then be in the hole for providing insurance for myself and my boys at the rate of...well over my house payment (don't get us started on how much our insurance costs). If it is fully funded, I should qualify and hopefully break somewhere close to even. I would love this! I WANT to take care of my kids. It's my solo job now and I take it very seriously.
I often wonder what Shane is thinking about all of this. We had many discussions about my job and he KNEW I didn't do it for the money. He loved my breakdown of the day at dinnertime, and he became invested in the lives of my students. Would he be proud of Oklahoma educators? I have NO DOUBT he would! I would have talked him into playing Johnny Cash live at the Capitol and I would have been trying to hold him back from swiping all of the most edgy of signs to wave! First and foremost, he would not want me to feel embarrassed for trying to continue the life that I loved and for providing our boys. I feel your love, babe. I know you don't like it when I worry, so here is me trying to gather my prayer warriors once more to get us through a day.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Do you want to punch me?

Do You Want to PuNcH mE??

My sister, Ashley, often asks me this very questions. Like multiple times a week. Here's when:
  • When we are at the salon and a sweet older gentleman is playing solitaire on his huge laptop while waiting for his dear wife to finish getting her nails done. He is carefully choosing each move, patiently waiting for her to be pampered.
  • When running through Walmart shopping for classroom supplies and I stop in my tracks in front of the sporting goods because it seems like we were just there buying a fishing license. 
  • When I take my oldest suit shopping and it doesn't go smoothly the first time and we get home and he doesn't know what's wrong with him until we both realize we wish it wasn't just our job.
  • When someone is griping about their sorry, no good husband for not helping them with something that seems suddenly trivial to me.
  • When someone wants to get in an 'I'm so busy' contest with another mom in front of me and I just sit and listen and try not to laugh (or cry...scream, maybe).
  • When my back door keeps sticking and I fix it myself.
  • When I have car trouble...even the slightest thing.
  • When it's time for family or group pictures.
  • When I have to tell a hostess how many to seat at a restaurant.
  • When we are celebrating anniversaries. 
  • When my boys have a big win and most kids are taking pics with the dads/coaches.
  • When it's almost Valentine's day.
  • When I have to call her for reinforcements after I found an old picture and immediately forget something I wanted to tell him.
  • When I don't have the right advice to solve a boy problem.
I could do this all day, but I won't because Dolly said it best right after this scene...LAUGHTER THROUGH TEARS IS MY FAVORITE EMOTION. My sister knows how to break it down for me every time. Have I ever punched her? No, but she would take it! We are in a lifelong recovery process that I know gets easier every day...then some days you feel like you took a giant leap back too many steps. We know our way around things now that trigger tough emotions, but it's the sneak attacks that are so hard. My desire is to see the good in every season. To seek and find favor in the Lord's provisions. He is so faithful! To allow my boys to grieve naturally, and that it's perfectly healthy for them to see me struggle. I can't tell you how true this clip is for me. I have the GREATEST group of girlfriends anyone could ever ask for! They would each let me punch them square in the jaw if I needed to and I can think of some men who would allow it as well! Thank you from the bottom of my broken heart for seeing the needs when they arise and being willing to be there in a moment's notice. My village is strong and mighty! We are blessed because of it!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Sissy, no Bud...Monica, no Chandler...

Here we are, year three of Christmas decorating...Joseph is still MIA. When we unpacked our Christmas tubs after moving to our new home, the boys and I went on a man hunt. We had not touched this Christmas gear since that last December in Skiatook. Why was he gone? Ironically, we had been asking ourselves this since April when we lost our main man. Now Mary is without, and life continues to be severely unfair.
Strange things happen after loss. You feel like they are all happening in slow motion. I remember asking the boys to help me look, as Mary just could not go on with just the camel, all 3 wise men, the cow, the sheep, and no Joseph. She already had that whole virgin thing hanging over her head, and so many haters not seeing the big picture. We looked in every dern plastic tub...even what I would have considered the 'junk drawer' of all tubs that had become my catch all when we made the move. Shane had even repaired the angel's wing the year before...the slight overage of glue still showing. She made it in the designated Nativity tub.

But, no Joe!! Did Shane hide him? Will I see Joseph again this side of  Heaven? Will I find him like I do other hilarious Shane objects around the house? An empty can of chew in his bedside table drawer (ew, but I'm leaving it right there). Guitar picks. His own tub of shoes that I can't get rid of. His overalls in my closet. The doodles on my recipe cards from when he helped me cook Thanksgiving dinner several years in a row.
I recently decided that I was going to try and stop the spiraling thoughts that happen to me almost daily. I have asked the Lord to rebuke, remove, relieve, and denounce all of these irrational flashes from my very loud mind. This tends to happen about 2 or 3 a.m. If I listed all of my worries anywhere but in my own journal, I would likely be committed. Maybe we all would? I recently read John Green's new book. Much like every book I seem to choose for pleasure, there are not one but two characters who have lost a parent. The young girl's father passed suddenly, her widowed mother is a teacher at her school (insert eye roll, head shake, or sweet warm fuzzy, you choose). This young lady has obsessive thoughts. He is such a genius writer. He quotes the greats at just the right times in a novel.

'In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.' - Robert Frost

Unwrapping the Nativity adoring help from little Schoolcraft and Anna Sok.
I am slowly coming to grips with this. It does go on. It might be without Joseph, but it's not without Jesus. Wyatt loves to unpack baby Jesus. One year, he had been in a slight bit of trouble and I saw him talking with baby Jesus at the Nativity about it. Precious! If we all could do the same. I find myself seeking His face more often than not. I need to see you in my life. I need a sign. A tangible reminder that there is more than worry here on Earth. I ask forgiveness for my selfish anxiety, but now realize that my body has had a real reaction to it's current situation. My children are in the same boat. One more than the others. It is heart wrenching as a parent to not be able to fix it. You want nothing more to help them turn off their thoughts for just even a moment. Anxiety is a real demon and if you suffer, you are by no means alone. 
So, as the season of hurry is now here. I vow to slow down my mind and body and enjoy my precious Nativity that was carefully chosen for Shane and I by a glorious couple in our church. It was a wedding gift in June of 2000 that has never meant more to me than it does now. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Not Every Day is Pretty

I was recently reminded that I can't do it all. Who am I kidding...I get this reminder daily, but this was a biggy. Both of my older boys were sort of over me trying to just get them to shave with the electric neck trimmer that we use in between haircuts. They really needed to start the year with a fresh, real SHAVE. What's a mom to do?
I could have youtubed it, much like when we were trying to tie a bowtie for my niece's wedding but this was stressing me out just a little. I kept putting it off all summer and with just one day to spare, we had our shave lesson...compliments of Shane's best friend, Chris.
Much like he is with kids on the soccer or football field, he was patient and kind with just the right amount of 'just do it, you wussy'. I am not so sure that this wasn't a moment that Shane took over his vocabulary, but I am always mindful that they were around each other so much that they shared the same harassment tendencies.
Wyatt looked on with wonder. Lane kept a safe distance, but I could tell he was taking mental notes. Yes, he is a man child. A new 13 year old with more facial hair than his big brother. They have both had successful solo shaves and we are practically packing for college. It's a lot to take in.
After a week of school, I am finally writing about this because I have not looked at this picture without weeping since it happened. Shane should just be here. I know it's unfair for me to say that out loud, but it's the way I feel all of the time. The fact is, he's not. We are still learning to deal with that reality.
With each new school year, I feel more and more like I am on an island. I don't fit a lot of categories anymore. It's hard to have conversations with my married friends about the day to day and I certainly don't consider myself a single. I have a hard time feeling sorry for people who consider themselves to be sooooo busy, and my compassion for every day complaints is very minimal. The only things I know are these:
I will continue to strive to be better, not bitter.
I love my job.
I care deeply for the students that God places in my care each year.
God is in control and I am not.
Some days are pretty good.
Some days are still not pretty at all.
I am in love with my boys and have no idea what I did to deserve them.
My heart aches for moments when he should be here for them.
I am and will always be eternally grateful for my true friends, coworkers, the boys' coaches and teachers, and for my family.
God doesn't expect us to put a nice face on an ugly thing, so I will work to continue to be honest in my feelings and keep living under His protection. Psalms 91:4 
Happy Shaving!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Eyes Have It

When we dated, I knew I loved his eyes. I quickly realized they were identical to mine. Mine, my own eye color that had once led me to believe I had been adopted. The only Kight without sea blue eyes and the only person I knew with hazel.
When he coached his very first team as a dad, a soccer team no doubt, we realized what came to be a very comical thing about those eyes. After a long season of youtube tutorials and online soccer drill ideas, the football/baseball star was the Pirates biggest fan and best leader. He had never played the sport that would become his oldest son’s passion and reason for getting up every morning. The end of season party is one that we still talk about today. Shane leaned over to ask a little boy if he would like some ketchup on that victory hotdog he was about to consume and the sweet thing looked over his shoulder to see just exactly who coach was talking to. Shane had a lazy eye.
After glasses with prisms so thick that you would have thought he was blind had been added to his weak prescription and many test run to see if his diabetes was causing permanent retinal damage, it all came down to a tired muscle at his back of his eye. He became quite attached to his glasses. Never forgetting them for work meetings and always wearing shades when coaching.
He became quite accustomed to the jokes that followed. Most of the time, he made fun of himself. My brother liked to remind him that there is ‘no lazy eye in team’. He would often make fun of the fact that he had been talking to someone and they didn’t respond, saying, ‘They didn’t know who the hell I was talking to.’ Our life was full of laughter and I know my kids learned that it is ok to laugh at your own shortcomings, but to love yourself all the same.
It was just two weeks after his passing that we got a letter from Life Share stating that not just one, but two people had regained their sight with the help of Shane’s corneas. I will never forget sitting in my driveway going through the mail and reading this. The boys had already gone in the house and I sat in my car, having hardly cracked a smile in weeks, and laughed until I cried. I then cried because I had laughed. The kind of emotional roller coaster that was best portrayed by the cast of Steel Magnolias post funeral (another reason I knew I was supposed to marry Shane...his favorite movie). I was so overwhelmed with the fact that this had brought me nothing but joy that I had instant guilt, then realized that I would never see that green-eyed smile again in this lifetime, then started laughing all over again because of the irony of the eyes.
I calmed myself down and went into the house. I sat the boys down to straightfaced read them the letter. As I calmly, carefully pronounced each word, I glanced up to see them fighting off the smiles. I kept reading and heard snickers from Wyatt and as I finished reading I saw Tate glance over at Lane and then they all erupted apologetically. Wyatt cautiously asked if the recipients would have lazy eyes as well. I explained that they would not, and admitted to sharing the same reaction in the car. I assured them that I knew we were indeed making their daddy so proud by our lighthearted approach to the news.
I have just today had the pleasure of hugging a daddy’s neck who just lost his daughter. She has saved 5 lives so far through organ and tissue donations. While he cried, he told us just how excruciating this process has been and the varied emotions he has felt as the doctors planned and pieced his daughter’s blessings to those who will continue to live because of her. He spoke of the private jet and limo rides for the families. He spoke of the babies, teenagers, and children who will no longer suffer because of her and how he had no doubt that they were getting the best and the strongest that this world has to offer. He was running right toward the roar today, as Levi Lusko speaks about in his book, ‘Through the Eyes of a Lion’. Cueing the Eagle just like in Isaiah 40:31.
Through his inspiration, I was reminded that those hazel green eyes that I miss are right here with me. Three sets of them. Each of my boys sharing the same shade as their daddy and I. I am reminded that two people were gifted the view of life through his eyes. May they see things a little sassier than they ever dreamed they would, a little more vibrant, a little more loving, and a lot more focused.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Dear Lady at Walmart,

I'm not sure I would consider you a friend. I may have shared a sideline with you once in a blue moon...on one team...6 years ago...when they didn't even keep score. Not that I am so competitive a person that the score matters, it's just a timeline reminder that you and I both have probably come a LONG way since.
If we talked on a daily basis, I may not have thought your line of questioning was rude. I may not have made a beeline to the other side of the giant store to avoid you or anyone remotely close to your demeanor. I may not have contemplated leaving my basket full of items and running for the hills. I was forced to stick it out with my sweet Wyatt and meander through the garden center...sweating and crying. My first trip to the store 'since' was becoming a joke...a bust.
You see, my amazing, handsome, strong, loving, hilarious husband left this world April 27, 2015. He was not supposed to go so soon. My boys and I were not ready for him to leave. We have a lot of plans to fulfill...a lot.
Oh, so you say you 'heard that we HAD to move?' Well, no. We didn't have to move. We chose to move from our 6 acres that we had just purchased not even 2 years prior. Many people and experts say not to make such changes so suddenly, but when you watch your dear boys not be able to go into the room where daddy fell down and couldn't wake back up you tend to consider it. When you have sat up on the couch one too many nights in a row just hoping that their brains are resting and not reliving the Monday over and over. I actually knew we could make it there, but honestly wanted a more manageable existence. We all 4 went and sat in my bedroom floor, right where it happened and prayed. We thanked Jesus for taking good care of daddy now. We prayed that our decision to sell was not about being scared, but about being smart. The first time that a volunteer didn't make their assigned mowing date and the grass was a little harrier than Shane or I would have liked it, I jumped on the tractor between school and practices and tried to knock out as much as I could. It was an emotional ride. Something that used to be my 'summer job' as Shane would jokingly say. Me and my headphones and my Colbie Caillat Pandora station would have normally been a joy, was a chore. A teary, miserable reminder that he was gone and certainly not going to be sweeping in behind me with the weed eater to do the part of my summer job that I hated, all the while he would be teasing me from the ditch that I wasn't going to be on the American Idol tour any time soon. No, we didn't HAVE to move.
You asked 'So where did you HAVE to go?' Well, since you asked like that I will tell you that not all widows are destitute, dumb, mindless, sewer dwellers who no longer seek what is best for their children. We didn't settle for a one bedroom apartment so that I didn't have to mow. We searched and found the greatest house that not only the boys would be proud of, but Shane would have totally lived here. He would not have loved the closeness of the neighbors, the 4th of July bicycle parade would have cracked him up, but I am CERTAIN he loves it for us! He has always been a tad bossy and such a leader. I have said more than once and completely believe that he is putting his two sense in to the man upstairs. Our home where we fully intended to host our grandchildren's summer camps sold in just 3 days. Multiple full price offers. Done. Sold. It had stayed on the market almost 2 years when we purchased it. Thank you, Jesus, for taking care of my sweet family. May the owners of that property enjoy the pond, the newly built barn where our middle son was going to raise baby lambs with my husband's help, where our oldest played on his own full-sized soccer field, and where our youngest learned a between the legs dribble on his own NBA court. When we prayed in our bedroom floor, my oldest asked that the new owners would know the love that was there. I will probably never remember that without crying. That is exactly what I want them to remember about that home. So, where did we have to go. Again, we didn't have to, but we chose to go somewhere manageable and safe. Somewhere that new memories could be made and the yard could get mowed. Co-dependent living is not something my husband would be proud of for us. He would be proud that I have accepted the help that I have, but I can mow my own yard. He would bear hug all of his buddies who have supported us and helped us move.
'So, like WHAT happened to him?' you so rudely continue to ask these pointed questions while cornering me on the chip aisle. We suspect he had a heart attack. 'What? You don't KNOW?' No, we don't. He was 41. He was diabetic. He chewed tobacco. He didn't always eat right. He exercised somewhat irregularly. He worked is tail end off for his family. He was probably too stressed. He coached a sport every season. He may not have had enough down time. He loved without ceasing. He made crude jokes. He popped me with towels in the kitchen. He teased his boys about girls and zits. He was a musician. He probably didn't get to play enough. He was the master of math homework. He drank beer on occasion. We traditionally both drank one when we grilled burgers on the back patio. He liked to play golf. He liked to watch college football, college softball, well...basically any sport. He loved his job. He was ornery. He was loved by everyone he met...even if he kept them guessing. He loved to go hunting with his work buddies. He loved a good surprise, even though he would tell you he didn't. He gave the best hugs. He loved me more than I have ever been loved. He always knew what to say to the boys. He was a born coach and encourager for kids. He loved his momma. He loved his daddy. His grandpa was his hero. He could roll with the punches. I could do this all day, but I didn't do this on the chip aisle. I had reached my limit with her in 3 questions. She wanted more, but I walked away. I hope she got the hint, but I am guessing not.
I have always been 'too nice'. My husband handled all buffering of uncomfortable situations. He could shut down a bugger in one word, one look, one movement. He hated going to the store with me since I had lived and taught in this town my whole life. It was too much. I have learned a lot about myself in the last 11 weeks. I am stronger that I thought I was and with divine intervention all around us, we will make it. My boys and I will keep moving forward, riding the waves of grief one day at a time. We will honor our memories and pray that new ones will become sweet again. We are not there yet. All of the sweet memories include dad. Right now, it feels like we are just moving through the daily motions. Staying busy and relying on family and friends to remind us that we are making it. We will continue to make it and continue to strive to honor God in all things. I will just avoid the chip aisle at all cost.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to School Pinterest Brought to Life

I am officially addicted to finding ideas on Pinterest...I always make the boys' teachers a little back to school gift. Well, this year we went for everyone...gym teacher, secretaries, etc. So easy and fun to make! Just scissors, ribbon, and paperclips. I put them on cardstock, inked the edges a bit, and stamped it 'welcome back'.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Keepsake box and burp cloths. Bought a plain wooden box and covered it in western paper and mod podge. used chipboard letters of his initials and some cute western premade wooden pieces at hobby lobby(67cents each) to cover the other squares. Made some monogrammed burp cloths to go with it. Adorable poem I found online about the keepsake box. Just google: baby keepsake box poem. Printed it, and placed it inside.

Not sure why my pic is not loading fully, but this was a teacher appreciation week gift that we made for all of the boys teachers. TerraCotta pot with a mint herb plant and cute stakes. Having boys is easy, but with girl it would be super fun to add some blingy touches. :) Paint the pot, make some stakes out of cricut or scrappy paper??

Made this banner from pre-cut pennants at hobby lobby. Mod podged some cutie paper to them and made some fabric rosettes. Chipboard letters that I painted and glittered to match. Baby Evan is ADORABLE!! and they used this at her shower.

I am new to pinterest and loving all of the wonderful ideas that I am finding there. I have discovered that in order to share an idea of your own, you need to blog about it first :) So, I am blogging away. School is about to begin again, and I will disappear from the world of fun and adventure the computer for a while.

I.Love.My.Life. Just in case anyone was wondering!! We recently bought Lane a horse for his birthday and are boarding it in Collinsville at a beautiful farm. We are having some amazing family time caring for the horse and learning to ride, etc. together. Lane named her Layla. Tate made a competitive soccer club this summer and is in serious dedicated training mode. Running every other day and 'met pukie' at his first practice. It is 110+ degrees, so that is not helping! Wyatt is a nut! He is so much fun and I am going to dearly miss watching him sleep in the mornings and playing with him all day when school starts back.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pantry Painting...

after a summer of heat and pinterest, i decided to chalkboard the inside of my pantry door. the boys love it!! super fun and i look forward to many inspiring quotes and motivation coming their way! :)

And All That That Implies

Here it is, my view on Mother's Day morning. I am having my coffee and sobbing. I can't quit. This day tears me up every year. S...