Monday, November 30, 2009


Let me tell you that today I feel exceptionally pregnant. Sometimes that happens when you have the little bun in the oven. Some days you only get 2 hours of sleep because you're kid was wheezing, coughing and gasping all night next to you in bed and no matter how hard you try you spend 9 hours imagining ways to strangle someone's cat with your bare hands instead of sleeping. Call it hormones. But sometimes you just can't relax.
I woke up today with still swollen ankles (which I've never had before), dark rings under my eyes, a tummy sore from contractions off and on all night and someone else's snot in my hair. I took Layla to school for her FIRST FULL DAY. Called her Dr to ask some allergy questions. I went to work. I got a review. I couldn't kick the feeling at work and I arrived at my OBGYN appointment this afternoon looking rather like a drowned rat minus the water.

I was just SOOOO tired. I was SOOO hungry. I was SOOO upset that my kid is suffering for no reason and it's getting worse instead of better. I was SOOO done.
So he started with the heartbeat monitor. Because that always eases a pregnant ladies mind. And there was bean, thumping away like a champion. He diagnosed my edema (it happens). Gave me a "not to do" list which was pretty short and sent me home.
21 days until my gender ultrasound and all I am is REALLY REALLY tired and slightly swollen. Last time by week 17 I had to get an emergency ultrasound (again) and we got our gender early but it came with a whole lot of worry and prayer that I don't have to deal with this time.
But the funniest moments of my day...there were 3... my Dr when answering allergy questions joked about buying new grandparents because it's easier then getting better allergy treatments...haha Canadian humor. Moment 2... my OBGYN suggested I lower my stress level...perhaps by locking myself in a room and watching reality TV all day... ha ha...OBGYN humor. And moment 3... my daughter just asked for a piece of fudge and I said "ok it's Christmas". So then she's doing something "no no" and I tell her to stop...and she says "ok it's Christmas"...haha toddler humor.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

So This is Christmas...

Well, Thanksgiving is over, having said that...Christmas here has been officially in full swing since the second the left overs were securely tucked into the tupperware stacks in the fridge. Yesterday, was the last day of leftovers and I invited over the family to have what was left before I tossed the stuff I didn't want to freeze (which was most of it).
Jon's brother, his wife and their two daughters stopped by so that the kids could play and girls did a great job of sharing and playing together. The two older ones are fast friends. It's a good thing I'm making a baby for the baby to play with or she might feel like a tiny adorable third wheel when she's old enough to play.
I've decided being pregnant and going shopping is AWFUL! I highly recommend the internet and not the 2 hours of standing in lines. My feet were swollen last night and I was exhausted (still) the day after shopping. I've never had swollen feet in my entire life.
Having said that, because I'm poor and Christmas this year will basically be gifts for the baby and no one else, I'm pretty much done. I finally found a place to purchase "the dollhouse" and my mom has been nice enough to offer to order it on her card if I give her the cash.
I'm still waiting for Target to restock the Christmas Nativity I want to get Layla. I hope it comes in soon, I'd like her to have it before Christmas so we can talk about it. Today we went to the Dollar Tree and I spent $8 getting her some Christmas decorations she can actually play with. She's been walking around around with Santa tucked under one arm saying "ho ho ho merry itsmast" which is very very cute.
When the toddler naps today I wanna start my Christmas baking, but I may just nap too. I've decided to take it easy this year.
1. Because I'm pregnant.
2. Because I'm poor.
So we didn't put up ALL the outside decorations, just the important ones and I cut down my baking list and I cut back on the gifts for others.
Layla gets a Christmas ornament from us every year. I always let her pick it. I do not make her get a hallmark or get something in a theme. This year her ornament was $1.50 and she picked it at the grocery store. Maybe she knows we're on a budget.

I'm also scaling down Christmas dinner, since there will only be 6 adults and 1 toddler here. By that point I'll be really pregnant and I know I have my limits. Christmas dinner will be turkey, grandma's corn bread stuffing, gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs and rolls. I might make chocolate cream and coconut cream pies. If people want something else they'll have to bring it. (See previous note about swollen feet).
Basically, I asked Jon what his favorite family Christmas traditions were, and then I took my list of traditions and I kept anything on both lists, and a few really special things from each list. We went from last years OVERBOOKED Christmas (yes it was really overbooked enough to warrant having GIANT CAPITAL LETTERS) to a simple Christmas more about our daughter and our favorite memories.
So what's a tradition you can't live without... well our list looks something like this...
1. Downtown Light Events (the Tree Lighting, Christmas Tree Lane and the Christmas Parade)
2. Homemade Christmas Candies & Cookies (for Jon that's chocolate chip and fudge, for me it was popcorn cake and sugar cookies)
3. Going to pick out and decorate the tree/house & putting up the Nativity.
4. A present Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas morning in your jammies (with limited gifts)
5. A traditional Christmas feast with family favorites & whatever family happens to stop by.
6. Sharing our favorite Christmas movies & songs with Layla
7. Doing a single Christmas craft with Layla for her to give to relatives/friends.
Things not important to this family this year...
1. Photo Christmas cards
2. Stressful family photos to put in the Photo Christmas Cards
3. Big family events or multiple small family events
4. Lots of lights, gifts, stressful baking to give away, etc
5. Planned office functions
6. Christmas events that "every one else goes to" such as holiday concerts etc
7. Attending church events out of a Christmas feeling of obligation
8. Attempting to sludge through multiple stores on black friday
9. Travel
10. Worrying about getting to see everyone before the "season" is over
11. Brunches (Layla hates brunch and every year we end up doing at least 2)
And those are just the things I can think of off the top of my head. What about you? What things mean "Christmas" to you? What things do you do every year that you could live without?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Tree Lighting

Jon and I are locals. We kind of pride ourselves in that. It's a silly thing to be proud of but it's also nice to know when you go downtown you're amoungst a tradition you've known you're whole life. Yesterday when it started to sprinkle and I had a migraine from Black Friday shopping it never crossed my mind to stay home from the Christmas Tree Lighting downtown. We always go. We're from Turlock, that's what you do.

My mom decided to join us this year because she can't make the Christmas Lights Parade next Friday night and she wanted to see how Layla liked the local Christmas scene. We showed up just as the spirnkling stopped for a bit. We walked down both sides of Main Street and checked out the sparse craft booths (it was wet and crowds were light).

We decided to hit another downtown local favorite for dinner. Jura's pizza is a classic. Layla had her first hot wings and we had pizza. Then we bundled back up and headed back into the dark to watch the parade. Jon had put the stroller back in the car before dinner so we let Layla walk and it was a wise choice.

Right after we got to "our spot" to watch the lighting we spotted my Dad and he had Teri and one of his good friends with him. So it turned into a suprise family event. Silly locals.

At the lighting location they had a Christian Rock Band playing and they were pretty good. Layla and Mommy danced for awhile. Then she danced with Mommy and Papa. Then she danced with Teri. She danced and danced and danced some more. We have great videos of it.

When the music stopped they did a countdown and lit up the tree. Ironically, someone moved a tent right in front of Layla just as they got to ONE so she missed the big moment. But eventually Daddy, Papa and Teri took her to see the tree.

Then we danced a little more. By then me and the baby bump were beat, so we headed home and snuggled up in bed. Right when we reached the car the rain started back up so we listened to it as Layla told me stories about dancing Papa...until she slipped off to sleep.

It was a perfect local moment.

*more pictures of this event are available on my facebook or on Layla's site. Thanks!


I didn't take a lot of photos on Thanksgiving. I was too busy making this turkey and being HOT because I'm pregnant and I'm always hot but now with the stove on I've upgraded to HOT!!

The first picture is Layla "helping" me cook by playing peek a boo with me through something she found on the counter. The second is my turkey...yummy! The third is Layla after she ate, and the nap coma was setting in.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful & Exhausted

Layla helped me cook this morning. By help, I mean she got in my way a lot while standing on a tiny chair and demanding people let her chop or stir things. I made the full menu and managed to be done and showered on time.
Then after all the food was away and Layla had napped Jon put up the Christmas lights outside (he has to work the rest of the weekend) and then...well we just kept going. The house is decorated, except for a tree that needs to be purchased still.
This week there are things to be worried about. Financial things, baby things, preschool things...but they can all wait until Monday. And for that chance to breath, I am thankful.
Behind me Christmas movies play and a small child patters around in her princess jammies and barefeet. Soon we'll snuggle together in bed. I'll wrap my fingers through her hair while she mumbles herself down for the night. For that, I am also thankful.
And while we sleep upstairs, Jon will wind down his evening surrounded by Christmas decorations he lovingly put up for me because when I am pregnant I am SOOO TIRED, again, I am thankful.
Thankful, and tired... that about sums it up.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Layla has discovered the bowl full of Hershey Kisses. She is old enough to unwrap foil. Her chocoholic addiction has never been happier. Extra emphasis on tooth brush skills is becoming a must.
It's the day before Thanksgiving. I've got about half the things on the menu started and I have a few more I'll prep tomorrow. There is no way to make somethings in advance. I shake my fist in the general direction of those things, but figure I should at least attempt everything else.
The turkey website said a 14 lb bird would take 3-5 days to defrost in the fridge. It's been 6 and it's still frozen solid so I have had to move from casual defrosting to panic defrosting (otherwise known as the under water method) which will start tomorrow morning and continue after I get home from work. I had to do that last year to. Last year it told me 3 days and on day 5 it was still frozen. I think they make that shit up.
Tomorrow Layla has school and Jon is home. Hopefully the result of that will be a little cleaner house when I get home from work so that tomorrow night I can prep more food instead of picking up strange plastic things off the carpet. We'll see how that works out.
Does anyone know where I can get a house elf cheap?

Monday, November 23, 2009


Today Layla woke up in our bed to find that Jon had gone to work and Mommy was in the shower. So she toddled over to the bathroom and pretended to tickle me through the shower curtain while I finished washing my hair. Afterwards, I got dressed, then she got dressed. I did my hair, then she did her hair. And downstairs we went.

I asked her what she wanted for breakfast and everything was met with NO!

After several days of struggling with mornings I didn't want to push her over the edge so when she pointed at the ding dong box I didn't even hesitate. A ding dong is no worse then a donut or a waffle covered in butter and syrup. So I handed it over with a tall glass of milk and a vitamin. Sometimes, you just need cake for breakfast.

I sat down and had a ding dong myself. Then we threw on our jackets and sang Christmas songs in the car on the way to day care.

Layla has a love hate relationship with daycare. Today she was in love, she ran into the building, kissed me and waved my good bye. See-you Mommy!

I was at work 10 minutes early. It was weird.

I came home to an equally happy baby who napped well, snacked well, had good naps.

I made 3 pies (last one is in the oven now).

Then I opened a cabinet and CRASH! Out dropped my margarita pitcher which shattered on the ground. I bribed Layla with goldfish crackers in the living room and set to clean that up.

Right as I got the floor glass free. CRASH! I hit a serving bowl with the broom. And glass cleanup started over.

Maybe I'll wait for tomorrow to do more Thanksgiving prep. It's been such a good day, I don't think I need more than TWO crashing omens to take the hint that it's time to rest.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I'm having a hard time being thankful this thanksgiving season. We've had a really rough year. Things keep knocking us down though and we keep picking ourselves back up. Determination, I guess that's what I'm thankful for.
I'm thankful my mom is getting a puppy (or two) so that my daughter can play with the dogs she loves whenever she wants.
I'm thankful for help from unexpected places.
I'm thankful for a husband who loves me enough to spend his day off trying to clean house so I don't collapse before Thanksgiving actually gets here.
I suppose I'm even thankful for having a job, even though right now, they aren't on my Christmas "nice" list.
I'm thankful that life keeps us on our toes so that we keep a close relationship with God. Although, not so thankful that most of my prayers start with Dear God, I don't know what to do...
I'm thankful for family recipes and holiday traditions.

I'm thankful for a short work week next week.
I'm thankful for the 4 friends I actually talk to on a regular basis and the 12 I hardly ever talk to but still love me anyway.
I'm thankful for pepsi, and blogging, and the other small things that I find peace with sometimes.
I'm thankful...that even when I don't think I'm thankful enough... I can still find this small list of things to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cuddle bugs

This picture was taken while Layla and I were both sick last week. She's reverted back to sleeping with us as much as possible and I love it. We both sleep so much better and it feels so natural to hear her breath at night. Poor daddy lost some bed space though, for now. I'll transition her back to her bed once preschool attachment fears die down. Right now she likes to keep one of us in her line of sight as much as possible. But, today preschool drop off was slightly less dramatic and I am sure that in no time at all it will be no big deal. So I cling to these moments whenever I can. *fuzzy picture courtesy of my phone in the dark*

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Five things on my Christmas List

Any one of the 6 seasons of NCIS on DVD available well, almost everywhere ranging from $19.99 to $34.99 depending on the season. (Link goes to Season 1 but I don't own any of them.)

The Willow Tree Guardian Figurine which is $26.28 today at Amazon.

The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary 2 disc special addition on sale for $19.99 today at Target.
The Betty Crocker 100 Piece Cake Decorating Set which is only $9.99 today at Target.

The Pioneer Woman Cookbook which is on sale for $13 today at Amazon.

Budget Blow Outs

After stalling for as long as possible today I made the trip to get the items needed to create our family Thanksgiving Feast. For the most part the menu stayed the same. I added a coconut cream pie for my dad because he asked.

To make up the cost of expensive holiday meals usually I use this time of year to clean out my freezer by making things I already have. Back when the fridge was on the fritz (before we got the shiny new one) I think it killed all the meat in our freezer. The last two packs I ahve defrosted have been bad. So plan C for chaos took over and we've been eating a lot of random things around here.

I decided to supplement plan C and bought some food for the next 2 weeks as well and I left the store with a free turkey (my purchase was over $100 and they are having a special) and $135 worth of groceries (really it was about $30 more before the coupons so would that be $165 worth of groceries for $135?).

I got a 15 lb turkey. That's a lot of turkey for 6 to 8 people so I got the worlds smallest ham. Really, ham here will be like a side dish not a main course. I'll start making things by this Friday. Cranberry relish and boiled eggs store well. I will also do a lot of my chopping Friday so that Thanksgiving morning (or the week before when I have to work) I won't feel overwhelmed.

This year I am going to attempt grandma's yeast rolls. Someone might want to grab a bag of Costco rolls in case I mess it up. Other than that...I suddenly feel much more prepared.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Layla a feeling better today. There is still a little sickness dripping out of her but it's much better. I might even get to shower without a crying audience and that would be a welcome change.

I feel bad for the kid. Change is running rampant in our parts and we're gearing up for the holidays. For a child who has always been allowed to go at her own pace, it will take adjustment. But she's up for it, we all are.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Really November

Dear November,

You're starting to get on my nerves. You started with the death of one of my favorite people. Then you took out the fridge for 2 days (off and on so we couldn't decide what to do). The bank account is in the red. My high risk pregnancy has had enough contractions that I am honestly confused when I don't have them. You welcomed the start of Layla to Preschool which almost killed me. And then when I thought I couldn't handle anything else you threw in a few calls about my car, an email to the landlord and last but not least...the plague.
My darling daughter who took to Preschool like a fish to water was rewarded for her good achievements with a cold/flu. And while I'm glad she doesn't show any H1N1 factors as of yet, I'm still pretty pissed I've got a sick kid. I just had a sick kid 3 weeks ago during my WHOLE vacation.
I had to call in sick after a week of bereavement, picture how well that went in your mind. My husband spent half the night freezing to death in a rocking chair watching fairy movies with a screaming kid that couldn't breath. He has plans this weekend. That's just not nice.
I got the joy of laying in bed listening to it all until I decided to call in sick and since that lovely 6 am hour when I called in I have had snot in my hair, peanut butter on my shirt, and she sneezed down my pajamas. I've alternated between oh-god-hold-me-now-or-I-shall-perish and why-are-you-touching-me-STOP-it's-killing-me every 2 minutes.
I feel horrible that you've made me worry about my unborn child the whole time I am holding my sick toddler. What is that all about? I didn't know you were Catholic but that guilt, it's got promise, maybe you should convert. Being crawled on and collapsed over by the germ cannon formerly known as Layla scares the crap out of me.
I also really like the part where whenever one of us decides to hand her off to the other one she spends 20 to 30 minutes in healthy appearing euphoria just so we think the end is in sight...when oh is so far from over.
Tomorrow is Friday the 13th and I work where crazy people call in on the phones. Then Jon has a busy weekend. Which will keep us rolling right up until Thanksgiving, then Black Friday and then the countdown that you bring until December and Christmas.
I know you're not done with me November, I just want you to know I'm on to your evil plot. You will not make me a grinch no matter how hard you try. You are not the boss of me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Belated Birthday Post (Yet Again)

Oh gosh I'm horrible. I keep letting the birthday's blur right past without the celebatory birthday post. This is Jen. She is awesome. She just had a birthday.
Top 10 reasons we love Jen:
10. She is fun to be around because she is not affraid to try new things, laugh, or otherwise experience life.
9. She was a good room mate and she didn't eat all the food and spill beer on the carpet (or complain when our friends did).
8. She is a WONDERFUL mommy. (That's her daughter Mia in the picture there)
7. She makes a good double date for the Ben & Jerry's nights.
6. She texts faster than I do.
5. She quotes random things and random times so that things stay interesting.
4. She calls to check up (or texts) even when you're feeling disattached and confused.
3. She tries not to let drama pull her down to it's level and when it does she gets back up and dusts herself off like a champion.
2. She keeps trying and doing the right thing even when it's hard.
1. Because you can't not love's not an option.
Love ya Miss Jenny Megan... Happy Belated Birthday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

LaylaBug's First Day of Preschool

I put her in the car and she screamed to go back home. I drove while I quietly prayed and dripped a few tears. We arrived and she said "I go play". We got out of the car, signed a few papers in the office and she went to her classroom. Then she proceeded to completely ignore me while I worried sick about her freaking out when I left. Other bigger kids played with her because it was free play time and she's cute and new. I said goodbye and gave her a kiss and she ignored me. I left and cried on the way to work.

I called once. They said she was wonderful and it was like she had always been there. And they were impressed that during circle time when the class counted to 10 with the teacher she kept going until she got to 13 when most of the kids can't make it to ten.
Mom and I went to pick her up on my lunch break and she went home with Nannie. We wanted to start with half days. When she saw us she was TOTALLY ready to go and spent part of the evening alternating between being mad at me and wanting to keep me in her immediate line of site.
Day one, she officially liked school. They tell me when I bring her back on Wednesday (for day 2 since she goes every other day) she will probably cry and wrench out my soul. So, I am smart, I am making Daddy go abandon her on day 2 and I will pick her up because I have the day off.
My baby goes to school.
*excuse me while I weep some more*

Sunday, November 08, 2009


This is Layla demonstrating the proper method of tasting frosting. If you lick it and it doesn't taste good, why bother picking it up and eating it?

And, yes as a matter of fact I am the pillar of good parenting. This is my child having her Halloween cupcake for breakfast the day after Halloween in her pajamas. Be jealous.

She starts school tomorrow and while today should be a joyous day of cuddling and hanging out and eating too much's really just looked a lot like every other day of our life, except I'm charging the camera battery and writing on lunch boxes with permanent marker.

After the funeral yesterday I was so tired that I fell asleep the minute Jon left the bedroom. I slept straight through the night and only got up once (I'm preggers I gotta pee yo!) and Jon (bless his heart) let me sleep in. It was amazing.

Everything will be back to the new normal tomorrow. School three days a week. New work schedules. Dinners to make. Lost shoes. The planning of turkey day. The forgetting of important things on the grocery list. Lost paperwork. Dealing with the landlord (the fridge broke). All that boring adult stuff.

I think we've pretty will got this adult thing as licked as it's going to get at moment. It's not as yummy as a cupcake, but it will do.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Eulogy Minus Ad Lib

Jeromy was the most over the top full of life person I ever met. I had the honor of growing up with him and I think that was a huge blessing because were I tended to be a little on the safe and restrained side, he was always there to show me how to experience each moment to the fullest.

When we were 6 or 7 he sprayed the slip in slide in the back yard down with a FULL bottle of baby oil, turned up the sprinkles and planned a super hero sprint followed by a dare devil slide a super speeds into the children’s pool he had placed at the end. And while the trajectory and the math behind it didn’t work out in his favor (in fact the sound of his oiled body bouncing off that kiddy pool sidewall will make me laugh to this day when I remember it) he still took that hit laughing.

When we were 9 he climbed on top of the red metal shed in my parents back yard and announced he was going to jump off like a G.I. Joe. I sensibly warned him that jumping off a shed would hurt and he would get in trouble. He looked back over his shoulder at me and said well how much punishment could there possibly be if I am already hurt? Then he winked and jumped. When he hit the ground he rolled with the impact and rose standing with his hands in the air over his head. TOTALLY WORTH IT! He yelled back up at me. I never jumped.

By the time we were in high school he could take anything in stride and most of our adult life the pictures from every family event and BBQ with friends has his smiling face or some goofy practical joke caught in the act. He knew that laughter and love mattered more then anything else he could give you. When you were with him your bucket overflowed with that laughter and love.
Despite my sometimes being to scared to live a life without regrets the way Jeromy did, he always found ways to push me out of my comfort zone and keep me laughing while he did it. He is responsible for my first ride on a roller coaster, my first F bomb, my first adult beverage, and the first time I walked away from everything I knew and decided to live a life I wanted to live instead of the one I was living at the time.
We were young and in college and he told me that you can never be amazing if you’re too busy worrying about being normal. At 19 he knew the truth. It is better to live a short life that you truly love then a long life that makes you miserable. So it never surprised me when came home and announced he was joining the service and going to see the world. And it never surprised me when he brought home another strange stray human to nurse it back to life. All those international trips, motorcycles, and friends with baggage were his way of changing the world and experiencing as much of it as he could.

He had so much to teach us and every one of us picked up something different. He taught me to use my fear as a tool and not a crutch that kept me from trying new things. He taught some of you to be responsible and to treat others with respect. He taught some of you to love others well or what it was like to be loved for the first time in your life. I know because from the moment he passed the stories I hear are ones filled with honor, life, and love. And after that, there isn’t a better legacy you could leave behind.
So while he will be missed greatly and his shoes can never be filled. I know that the light that shined from his soul flickers in all of us today. And if we focus that little piece of him that he left behind to help someone else, to love well, to be alive, to try something new, todo the right thing just because it’s the right thing… then he continues to live on.

Because loving well is a legacy that lives forever.


When the Doctor told me to cut my stress level so I could get off the high risk list I thought, sure that will be easy. Within two weeks there was no more childcare, a death in the family and an overdrawn bank account that shouldn't have been overdrawn.
Oh well. I tried.
While the death hit me hardest the baby going off to school seems to have the most lingering sense of doom. In fact even today with the funeral in just a few hours I am more focused on whether or not I am scaring my child for life.

I know school is good for her. It's just the part where in 1 day she'll go from people she knows to strangers, with no cuddle cow, no comfort pillow, no pacifier and some random schedule that is run with military like discipline. We already broke her from sippy cups and I know we're ready to potty train so those things don't scare me...yet.
I swear to you now if they break my vibrant and full of life child I will never forgive myself.
In other news, the baby in my tummy decided to start moving while we were all at Pop's spinning our heads around the fact that Jeromy had passed on. He/she moves about once a day now that I can feel.
My work still hasn't released our bonuses to us so I still haven't done any holiday shopping. Thanks to yet another act of kindness from my mother there are now Layla 2 year old pictures in my livingroom though and they are ADORABLE so I know some of you will be getting those. (Which is why I didn't post them online yet)
I need to get my act together and get a family picture lined up and make Christmas cards, otherwise I might just skip them this year. Some things don't seem as important as they once were. Now that we're poor and we're about to have another baby... I'd rather you had a nice homemade batch of cookies then a picture card if I only have time for one.
Also, it's 19 days until Turkey Day. I am going to really miss the Thanksgiving Day parade now that I don't have cable. I haven't bought anything for that yet either but I have a menu plan and another good payday before it happens so that's not actually stressing me out for a change. My 11th turkey, it turns out will be the first one I didn't spend days wringing my hands over.
Ok...I could ramble on forever. Instead, I think I will go give my child a bath and take some bubble girl pictures so I have something to post on her site this week. (Other then the 1 picture with her Halloween cupcake, I have been a totally picture slacker)
As requested, I'll post my eulogy today after the funeral, which hopefully can end the death talk topic on this site for awhile because I could use a change.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Obit

I have several friends and family members who live far away who have asked to see a copy of the obituary for Jeromy. This is a scanned copy. It can be clicked on, to enlarge to a readable size.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It was bound to happen- tonight it did

My mourning cycle is probably different than yours. I hear the news. I sob uncontrollably until I can't breath. I get up and spring into action. I wait until later to cry. Oh sure, little springs of tears pop up in the beginning, in the hugs and the stories and while I chop the onions for dinner or take that extra long shower...but after awhile I am all mission no mercy...for myself anyhow.

Day one usually finds me making lists and rallying the troups to make sure everyone is fed and has a little light in the end of their darkness. Day two finds me checking things off and sometimes that lasts well into day three or four until at last every item has been taken care of. And there are moments when the stories touch my heart or the memories get too close to home. Moments in the shower mostly where I break down and sob.

Today, I finished the last thing on the funeral checklist along with my mom. Urns, viewing suits, pictures for slide shows, music selections, pastor meetings, eulogy's all done. I even know what everyone is going to wear and where the baby is going to go. After I got home, while the baby was still napping and Jon was on the computer I went upstairs to take a nap, laid on my bed and let it soak into me.

It didn't push me into the crazy. It didn't break me into the depressed. It just flooded me and then it drained from me like a steady leak. And, now I feel dried out and dusty. I feel like if you pick me up and give me a good shake I could rain dust around my feet at the floor. Ashy and light dust the kind that sticks to you and makes your skin grey and dry.

To watch someone who was so good at being alive leave a life he was loving to live. It is liking the summer sun dry out the valley soul. The cracks left behind will heal with the rain but their tracks will be visible for a long time coming.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday Mandi

Yesterday was Mandi's birthday and I had a blog set up for her and it didn't publish. Silly Blogger. Anyhow, she just recently made a huge life change and packed up and moved all the way to the other side of the country where opportunities would be better for her and her daughter and I am very proud of her for doing something so brave.

Happy Birthday Mandi!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Thanksgiving Menu

Does this sound like too much food and work for 6 to 8 people? No. I didn't think so either...

Traditional Turkey w/ Grandma Gerty's Cornbread Stuffing
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Giblet Gravy
Penny's Cranberry Relish
Deviled Eggs
Green Bean Casserole
Darlene's Homemade Yeast Rolls
Collins' Family Sweet Potatoes
Ham with Pineapple Glaze
Chocolate Cream Pie (for the hubby)
Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Whip Cream (for everyone else)

*Two of the recipes I'll be making are already available on Fat Girl Eats. I'll add the links to the others as I get them out to get ready for the holiday.


It's 51 days until Christmas . I haven't bought Layla a single gift, in fact I've only bought 4 presents so far. I haven't taken family photos for the Christmas card or planned what we'll wear. This year Christmas seemed so far away and so seperate from all the things that needed my immediate attention. Then I woke up, and it was here...well "here" in the grand sense of the word.
I am super excited about Christmas. It's been a rough year. We've lost babies, people have lost and found jobs, there was family moving and people going to heaven and I think we could use a little Christmas.
So I'm trying to slug my way towards Thanksgiving today. I am making "the list" you know the one of the things you'll need for the best turkey dinner ever which always magically forgets at least 1 thing you have to send your hubby to the store for on turkey day.
I figure it's a step in the right direction. A little redirection of my hope and all this energy that seems to be building up right under the surface.
Today seems like a good day to make a big roast, cuddle my daughter and let her pick things from the Toys R Us Big Book to add to her wishlist for the grandparents. Today might just be a good day to think about something less overwhelming then all the things I've had to think about in the last month.

Monday, November 02, 2009

State of test err rest

With things arranged and the overwhelming feeling of panic calming I am starting to be able to remember happy moments without wrenching out my own heart. Memories of Christmas, and of the first boy I ever saw jump off a roof, memories of stolen beers drank in the back yard, and of slip and slides covered with baby oil. Summer memories, and adult memories, ones of trials and ones of hope. 30 years of memories and I am honored that they are mine to have shared with him.

Today I heard the heartbeat of my unborn child. He's the reason I wanted another child. I always felt so alone as an only child. Alone unless I was with him, he jokingly called me sis in his army letters, raised together and so close we always had each other. He was my brother, closer than he can imagine to my heart.

I wanted Layla to have someone to share the crazy with. The highest honor I can say of him today is he always made people feel loved, in my case, so loved we wanted to recreate that relationship for my own child.

And again I whisper through the tears, the only brother I've ever had.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

In The Mourning

Last night my cousin died. Really, he's more like my brother. We grew up together. We did everything together when we were young. He stayed with us for weeks and weeks on end. We were a month apart in age and only half a sentence apart on ways of thinking.

It was tragic. It was sudden.

I feel like I should say something. I feel like I should do something. I feel like I can't breath deep enough or relax all the way. I feel very alone surrounded by people.

I am lost. I am sad.

I pray.