Monday, August 17, 2015


I have been a recluse in my own head these last few days. Putting extra hours in at work, to get us *ahead*. I've been grocery shopping twice. 10 loads of laundry done, everyone has clean sheets and bedding. I put up the curtains in Lu's room that I'd been saying I'd get to for the last 3 months.

Believe it or not (from above) but actually spent good, long, quality time with the kids. We went over the hill to the theatre and saw a good, obnoxious, girl movie. And ate mozzarella sticks and ice cream dibs. We came home and as evening set in, we cuddled. Even the big girls, they are cuddlers and I love that. We slept in on Sunday and had ridiculous amounts of cereal I was not feeling up to playing Monopoly with Bitty (and I SHOULD have... argh) but I DID let her dump out her entire Lego collection on the living room floor and just play.

It was HOT (100°+) Sunday. I grabbed my favorite snuggly blanket and pillow and went outside about 3pm to the shade. I kicked a few leaves away and then plopped down in the shaded corner of the deck and SLEPT for 3 hours. Oh my body. My brain. My stress. My neck and shoulders. My nerves.

I also in my haste to leave everything ahead of schedule, understandable, and noted, paid all the bills thru the next several weeks. I printed a copy of the 'these are our bills and accounts' spreadsheet for hubby. These are due then; I use that 1st paycheck to pay that bill, and then those ones at end for mortgage. These are allllllllllll of the accounts, the websites, the log ins, the passwords. You shouldn't need it, but if you do, it's easy-peasy-lemom-squeezy.

This is what my mind does when I am sick. When I am preparing for scary outcomes. As I'm driving down the road yesterday I think: this may be the last time you see this view - take it ALL in and enjoy it. It hurt my heart to leave my girls at gramma's last night. I hugged them over and over and over again. But they were SO excited for taco night at gram's!!! :)

Meanwhile I am a mess inside. What am I doing? How could I be in a position to have a surgery with 20% risk of severe complications? Was it not enough salads? Was it my genetic make up? Was it worrying about EVERY. POSSIBLE. THING? My girls have lost SO much already. WHAT have I done???? What crisis have I been swept up into that I would allow them to be subject to this? My brain, my sorrow, my heart, my love. It never stops.♡

In better news...
Post-procedure is going pretty well. I have worried for nothing. Post op nausea came on just as expected. Kept on top of that. Pain started to kick up a little, so doc said I should stay a little longer. Settling into my actually comfy (for a hospital) bed watching 27 Dresses on closed caption TYVM.

I am beyond blessed. I DO have a body that can heal. I AM resilient- my mind, my soul, and my body. I am a mom, made of very protective instincts and fibers that will always try to do what is best for my family, my friends, and my precious littles. I got this.

(Hard to keep all in perspective when my gut is saying: PREPARE!)

Just signed off for the night, with this text to the girls:
"Muah muah. Muah muah. Muah muah. A set of muah (kisses) for each of you. One for each cheek. We're french ;) "

Monday, August 10, 2015

Day #40

I did it. Boooo-ya. 40 days. Almost consecutively. Tah-dahhh!

In summary. I can do almost anything if I set my mind to it. But something's gotta give, and most often to blog every night meant less time with my hubby or less interaction with my kids. :/ so, maybe I'm not the best multi-tasker.

One of the things I struggle with is NOT being able to chit chat well. My mood is often perceived as aloof. Gahhh social anxiety Maybe one day.... I .... could just be completely transparent. Maybe some day I could talk to the people close to me about the baggage I still haven't unpacked.

So, if you've kept up thru this 40 day adventure, thank you :).

My next bag to unpack and share is that I am having surgery at Stanford a week from today and I am scared out of my mind. I have what I fondly refer to as my cranky-panky. I have a little issue with my pancreas, liver, kidneys, that I've had for a while... but it's just getting worse. My surgery is not an intensive surgery, on the lesser invasive side, but, has a 20% chance of complication. I have put it off for months trying to face that, but the time is now.

My life will be far more enjoyable without a cranky-panky, without liver overload and damage, and without chronic kidney infections that just.dont.quit. Not to mention the obvious pain. I could really go for a down shift in pain. Really.

If you're the praying kind, pray for me? Or send good thoughts, light a candle. I'd appreciate it.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Day #39

I'm a fricken hero. I took the kids back to school shopping and didn't lose my cool. Maybe cuz I never was cool, but that's a post for another time.

No body knows how to run checks?? Why? Is it weird that I don't want to put it on my credit card? No interest fees for me thankyouverymuch. I'm learning how to be an adult, so don't slow my process, yo. No ATM card for me because it's sooooo easy to take $$ out and then, and then, it's alllll gone. Take my checks, dammit!

So then by the 3rd store who 'could' take a check but didn't know HOW, I succumbed to the evil credit card usage. But on the 4th store, it was declined! Why, you ask, because they never see transactions like this from me! (Shocker!) I always use cash or check for this crap. Uggghhhhhh.

Declined credit card over the hill= hungry, unfed kids, crankiness, headaches, and just low lying panic. Butt.... we are done shopping and Little Bitty got a perfect pink backpack with moose on it. ♡

Ps. Stay at home moms (who, notably, do not have it easier) are always SO flippen skinny :/ I waaaannnntttt my waist back. I want my body to like me again, and stop this revolting. Blehhhh. Rant over

Friday, August 7, 2015

Day #38

What do I want my children to know?

1. True love is real.
2. Don't settle.
3. Real life hurts real bad.
4. Don't underestimate effort and time.
5. Laugh often.
6. Listen to the stories.
7. Volunteer.
8. Find a job you LOVE.
9. Do what is just not what is justified.
10. Follow your heart.
11. Walk the walk of someone you disagree with.
12. Don't jump to conclusions.
13. Be open to love, life, faith.
14. Invest in friendships.
15. Surround yourself with music, nature, creativity.
16. You can't change anyone's mind if you set out to.
17. Live your truth.
18. You can't hate anyone into heaven.
19. Love requires sacrifice. Both ways.
20. You are worth it.
♡ ♡ ♡

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Day #37

Here from my bed, I am watching the most amazing thunder and lightning storm! This is incredible!

I am a lover of *most* God-made things. (We exclude snakes, rats, hurricanes, tornadoes, and depending on who's cooking, brussel sprouts.)

This is exactly what I needed. A little summertime rain to cleanse the soul, and a lightning show to remind me just how glorious this world can be.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Day #36

I am a wild child at heart, but a recluse born of comfort and consistency. I am a lover of most things, including people, falling deeply attached, except when they don't stop talking... breathe! I thrive on cold, country night air when I'm all bundled up. I feel ALIVE when I can feel the cold air come into my lungs.

I am Plain Jane. I don't stand out; I blend right in. Most days my preference is that I'm completely invisible. I like to be with people in the sense that we are enjoying things together, or at the same time. But I'd love to be invisible in that crowd behind my big sunglasses.

I am steadfast and set in my ways. It is comfortable and... predictable. Anything unknown, no matter how small or insignificant, will start my heart just tripping over itself, beating as fast as needed to get out of my body and far far away.

I try to do the right thing, never mind the 5 miles longer, skepticism, or panic I must ride out. And, if you know me, I couple this shy, introvet life with a wicked tongue when I boil over and am in a safe place to unleash.

I can't multiply or add big numbers in my head. I can't remember the words to songs without them written out. Until then, the song is just sounds, one after the next, so that's what I sing. I am so, totally, dyslexic. More so with whole words, not just letters.

I am easily distracted by noise. If you chew a chip and that chip isn't totally in your mouth yet or you chew with your mouth open, even one bite, you are as good as dead to me. It literally pains me. If I don't have to eat with people, I won't. It's gross, and I need to get on with my day.

I am creative in spurts. I am not one for mess or chaos. Tho, funny, my life is notably particularly so.

I am captivated by music. Most kinds, especially live music. I breathe acoustic guitars, the cello, violin, piano. All day long if I could.

I am a lot of things. But mostly just me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Day #35

Today was a day for recollection and reflection. And none of it on purpose.

A gal at work was talking about sewing patches on her daughter's junior lifeguard suit in preparation for tomorrow. Suprisingly that is all. it. takes. To get my mental wheels turning and cranking those old memories right up to the surface.

Two days before James left for Okinawa he was promoted. Awesome sauce. The night before shipping out I was trying to convince him to sleep. And I was sewing (trying) to sew the new chevrons on his 3 uniforms.

He could not sleep. He was hallucinating a little. I was only a little alarmed. I knew he was scared and worried. I knew he was distraught that that they would ship to Okinawa, and then be told they were deploying from there -no time to say goodbye to family and friends. Maybe I should have tuned in more to those hallucinations. They weren't major or frightening, only a little off.

He refused to leave my side. He insisted on trying to rest on the couch while I sewed on his chevrons. Normally, on base there is a seamstress who does this. But this was last minute; he was leaving at 4am. I likely wouldn't get to sleep before he left. I'd be slewing the whole time.

Well..I'm not a sew-er. I can re-hem an inch of the pant leg if it gets a snag. I can re attach a button. How difficult could it be to sew these chevron patches on (one on each sleeve, of each of the 3 uniforms.) HARD!!! Those little bastard child chevrons ate my fingers up. The patches were SO thick. I don't own a thimble. "Buck up, self. Your husband is a Marine. Ready to sacrifice all, and you can't sew on some measly patches!" I'd push the needle in to the next spot and see the needle disappear. I'd turn it over to grab it from the other side and thread it through BUT it wasn't there. What the heck!?!?

Needle lost? No! The needle was in my finger. Yes IN my finger. How is this possible? Because I'd been sewing SO long, first my fingers hurt, but now they were numb! These little invasive needles over and over again embedded themselves in my chubby, numb fingers. Since I couldn't feel anymore, not being able to feel the needle was a problem. And, whoomp whoomp, my fingers started to bleed. I bled ALL over his chevrons and uniform sleeves.

No one would notice, right? I mean, for a Marine, it would be more manly (or somethimg) to have BLOOD on your uniform, right?

No. James was HORRIFIED. But what else could be done? He said "NOT your wife's blood!"

Today, as I recalled that night, when I got to the: NOT YOUR WIFE part, I was also instantly reminded that James also refused and was appalled when someone called a white ribbed tank top, a wife-beater. No. No no no. He renamed them WIFE LOVER shirts. Not once after that did he call it by anything else.

There was no lack of love on his part.

I think that's part of the pain. No lack of love. ♡

Monday, August 3, 2015

Day #34

Little Bitty got her little bitty soccer gear today.

New fridge (gifted) and new microwave (our old one threw a clot) have made the kitchen look fancy.

Lu is thoroughly enjoying the internship. And this morn got 'caught' eating applesauce and in her flip flops waiting for her ride (from the lawyer.) She quickly finished up her applesauce, kicked off her flips, and swiftly put them both in the mailbox. :/

Nat went to the doc today. When it was time for the physical exam, the doc asked if she could pull up nat's shirt a bit to feel around her tummy. Doc was SO surprised to see Larry! Larry would be the smiley face she drew with a SHARPIE on her rolly belly parts. She can also make him talk. It never ends, people. I can NEVER quite anticipate what will come next.

That's a wrap, folks.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Day #33

Some days I need an attitude adjustment. I'd like to think that this is not the norm. Today is one of those days.

I have nothing to complain about. I have my new hubby, healthy kids, a home, a job, running water, enough money to buy a weeks worth of groceries today, my new church, good friends and good fam. I am blessed. Oh, Choco Vodka too. Add that to the blessed list.

Why would someone be picky, argumentative, extra sensitive, moody when life in big picture is full? I'm sure there's some decent reasons, but none that I can justify... PMS-ing, woke up on the wrong side if the bed, you're chewing too loud, I didn't get enough sleep, I have a headache.

I am guilty of being far too sensitive today. I snapped when I shouldn't. I griped about trivial things; I too can make cutting remarks, nothing that I am proud off.

It was a good day today and I let it be ruined. What a crock of crap I can be.. ugh!!!
Why? I wish I could wear my insecurities somewhere other than my relationships and let those harsh words escape my lips. I am human and I feel, but I wish I didn't lash out.

My hair is SO frizzy, I've been so good about NOT eating crap and haven't dropped a pound, my jeans done fit, I am sick, is this too much house and responsibility, how did I get here, biggest zits ever -shouldn't this have stopped in my teens, will hubby get his promotion, there's always that one person who can't keep their word, never keeps plans, why am I not good enough for them? (if you're reading this-- it's not you! ♡). I slept til 11 today and it was amazing, but I prob should have gone running. This will eat at me all day. Do I have to get up and speak at work tokorrow? Most days I think life is ambushing me.

For some, there is an underlying reason for the insecurities. That is they key. How does one get there?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Day #32

I LOVE the weekends. Sleep in a bit. Roll my weary body out of bed. Breathe the mountain air. I also sleep with the bedroom balcony door open almost every night. This air... I can't get enough.

As is our routine, we head out and grab breakfast to go, most Saturdays. Today we made our way down to a smaller, less frequented beach. It was gorgeous.

Beach, babes, breakfast. The air was cool and peaceful , and the sand was warm. The waves were crashing and so soothing. And then the dolphins joined us a put on a little show. There was maybe 7 of them. We just sat, quiet, in awe, seeing this beauty, breathing the amazing air, content.

These are my moments, my home base, my recharge. I've lived enough in survival mode. I am a much, much more thoughtful, longterm, grounded, self preserving contributer to society. Must remember that my health, heart, soul, mind must bed fed literally and spiritually of hearty, healthy matter if I plan on sticking around.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Day #31


I spent the day both feet in, completely consumed. On absolute purpose.

16 years ago today I married my high school sweetheart, my very best friend. We said "I do" till death do us part.

And that, we did. ♡♡♡♡

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Day #30

Today I left work just a little bit early. Scooted over the hill into SJ and made my way to a large law firm. 10 attorneys. Large office. Plush, black leather furniture.

But not to worry.

I have no business there other than to pick up my Lu (16) from her internship and say hi to a friend. :)

An aquaintance type friend, neighbor, was incidentally at a summer BBQ we attended several weeks ago. The friend, who is a dad of a small, sweet fam, is a lawyer. He and lu got to chatting over the chips and dip. They chatted and laughed life old friends. By the end of the BBQ he had offered her a summer internship in his his highly regarded law firm in Silicon Valley.

I am awe-stricken. Thank you, normal human being, for going out of your way to give my child an amazing, once in a life time opportunity. There is nothing that even compares to believing in a little human being when they are so.... so..... on the cusp of adulthood and unsure of themselves.

She has gotten to LIVE the life of a good, fun, fast moving law firm. She gets to dress up each morn in slacks, shirt, blazer, a sassy little purse, and earrings. She gets up EARLY. She makes a cup of tea, and is out the door. She files, she scans, she does paperwork. AND she gets to go to court when the lawyers have hearings, and goes to all the meetings, including a Silicon Valley networking meeting.

What a deal!!! I am so excited that she gets to have this perfect opportunity.

When I went to pick her up I could see through the window that she was working hard, and interacting well with the staff. They were laughing, chatting, working. My love. You have been blessed.

Thank you world, God, friends, for still believing in our youth and allowing them into your world for a few short weeks. This is what shapes little human beings. What an experience. Thank you thank you thank you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Day #29

Less than a month after Lu was born, was Columbine. Just 2 months after Nat was born, was 9/11. When Emi was born we were just 2 weeks out from James' first (failed) spinal fusion. When she was born he was still on a walker. No one could tell the MRSA was taking its toll.

I, admittedly, had post partum depression after each child, most notably after Nat.But especially for the first two, those events that were being played out on every tv show, radio, newspaper, left little to do other than just be totally immersed, obsessively waiting for the next update. With 9/11 I was SO terrified that they were going to attack the West Coast next. Yes the president had issued a no fly order, but I still woke up every.single.damn.time a truck drove by, for fear the sound was actually a plane.... theirs.

I got to a point when I did NOT watch anymore updates. I had to seclude myself from all the differing and varying updates and speculations, theories and debates. It was absolutely maddening.

It's OK to limit external intrusions, especially of such mgnitude. Staying sane is a very real and important part of being a parent or adult. And, no one tells you ahead of time that you might have to work really hard to get one foot moving after the next.

I'm not quite there with Maddy, but I'm close. I allow myself an update or 2 a day. I don't read the social media comments in articles or postings. Some people need to grieve and some people need to move on. BOTH are fine. But it bugs me no one when one insists the other is wrong.

I'm no less heartbroken than I was yesterday. Perhaps a tad more numb. I've talked with each of my girls separately about what has happened in our beach town. I think it's important that I acknowledge that they will hear all about it sooner or later, and in that light I want to know that I laid the foundation for understanding the facts. Seeing past speculation. Accepting differing opinions. Understanding that there is more than one broken hearted family. It's ok to NOT engage in conversations about it if they prefer. AND, let's talk about how we can keep ourselves and eachother safe. HONOR gut instincts. Believe yourself when something doesn't feel right and Get. Out.

I just sat with Emi and rocked her a bit on my lap. Our heads each resting in the crook of each others necks. Trying to hold it all together. Another family is not rocking their little girl tonight. And another family's son is likely never coming back and will know no such comfort ever again.

Real life is tough. I don't know that I'm cut out for this. Thankful to be signing off from my isolated spot on the mountain tonight.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Day #28

I'm in a state of total, complete disbelief. Miss Maddy was found last night, dead and dumped in a dumpster. 26 hours after reported missing. They think she was dead before the mom even reported it. My heart is broken wide open. Just take all of my feels and hang em out and drag them on the ground. I am riddled with pain.

I cannot even begin to understand. WHO hurts a child!?!?!?!?

I sit here with Emi next to me on the couch, and I am speechless. My heart alternating between such great pain and being numb. What would I ever do, God forbid this happen to me or someone close to me. I could.not.go.on.

I look at Emi and her perfect little goofy tooth grin, and her little bitty shoulders. My heart is hurting over the loss and manner of death of Maddy. We are called to protect. It is my honor and complete and total privilege to have these kids. Precious babies. I do not understand.

These are crank the radio, roll the windows down, drive to the green rolling hills for miles and sing LOUDLY. Deep and from the soul. Let it out. Don't give me any of that happy, chipper crap. I need mournful, thoughtful, REAL music to move me.

I have a LOT of questions for God right now. I am mad and angry and feel abandoned. Our (town's) children needed a God that night, a savior to step in. How was she held in His palm, cherished, and loved unconditionally, yet this happened. Ball's in your court, G-man. I'm out.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Day #27

So my head is spinning. A little 8 year old girl went missing yesterday in Santa Cruz. She is just about the same age as Emi. Oh my heart. It is breaking. Apart.

The Sheriff's have been combing the area by foot, helicopter, with dogs. The FBI is here, and swift water rescue, The Polly Claas Foundation, and the Red Cross.

I want to go out there and search. I don't want to step on any toes. I don't want to be in the way. But I feel compelled to help. What else is there to do? Let me feed you. Oh Red Cross has that covered. Can I feed the Red Cross people? Can I feed the spouses of the Sheriff's who are home alone while spouses work on this search?

My mommy brain is not turning off. As I'm driving I'm checking every child I pass. I searched my property. I told my kids all about this. We need to pray. We need to keep ourselves safe. But I don't want to jade them. Right? They need to know, but we don't need to hunker down and never talk to a stranger again.

And then another part of me remembers a few years back when a hike went missing locally. Missing for days and police and dogs hiked, searched, sniffed everywhere. No luck. Then on day 5 or 6 or something a dad and his kid decoded to go to one of the well known hiking spots but take some lesser known trails. They needed to exercise, and the might as well be of use. And you know what??? They found the hiker! Slightly injured but mostly disoriented. But police had searched here already... um... well clearly not everywhere! Thanks to this citizen who'd been instructed to stand down, the hiker was found!

That just ruffles my feathers a bit. Must search over and over and over and over. Anything is possible.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Day #26

This morn I picked up my girl from camp. As I saw her and ran toward her with our arms open... she ran right past me to Emi. Ugh... just LOVE me BACK, kid.

We did things a little different this morn. We went home quick after pick up since camp isn't that far. Put in a load of laundry (yay laundry!)

Then we made our way to the big town, grabbed breakfast to go, and went to Sky Park for picnic style breakfast. This was like 10am. It was SO gorgeous. Beautiful sky, so clear, grass for days, and my sweet girls laughing and catching up. This. Is. Living.

Fresh air and a little perspective can re-shape any day.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Day #25

This is my life... almost simultaneously the following 3 things happened. No joke.

1. My garbage disposal eats my last favorite ice cream eating spoon. WHO in their right mind can eat dulce de leche Häagen-Dazs with a grinded spoon?

2. Emi looks up at me with the sweetest, most sorrowful face EVER. 'Mama... (BIG EYES)... I haven't done ANY headstands AT ALL today.... Can I please?'

3. Home phone rings. (Who calls us anyhow?) Hubby answers the phone "BUENO!" Oh, they think Nat may have broken her finger at
camp.... Does this surprise anyone? Nope!


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Day #24

I just want to flush!

Amazing plumbing guys ordered parts and were sched to return here later today.... in the meantime... got up early and got my giddy up on and ready for work. Still sick. Whatev. Life goes on... or does it?

Got to work after several sick days off. Instantly reminded of the bathroom shortage there too. Oy. Take your pick: #1 Use the facilities dept men's bathroom, 2 feet from their desks, but they're not always there. Just gotta stalk them and strike when the iron's HOT. Or, #2 since main bathrooms being renovated use the (actually) very very nice porta-potties.... which are positioned right next to where the construction guys take break and eat snack and lunch on the curb where the porta potty rests. Boo. I'll hold it.

But *this* day was in my favor. It's Melly ' s 2nd bday today. This makes my heart smile. Then I got a text from Hubby that the WATER IS ON! OhMyStars. Bring it on home. And for the icing on the cake, a letter from the IRS. .. dun dun dun... my taxes were wrong... they owe me a real-true-life-no-lie refund!! Sweet, incredible relief. Now I can pay the water man. :)

Yay me!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Day #23

My ice cream has tine marks in it. This is a good representation of my day. I've resorted to eating my ice cream with a fork.

Still sick. Strep negative. No water. No bueno.

Maybe water tomorrow. Mayyybeeee Friday. Maybe. Limited flushing, no dishwashing, sponge baths, hydrate with... liquor? Argh.

Heading back to work tomorrow. We'll see how that goes. I'll keep to myself and not kiss anyone. But if the soaking sweats return with fever, I'm out.

Yes I have bottles of water. No this isn't the end of the world. But I'm cautiously reminiscent of my verrrryyyyy meager beginnings, life in a trailer, and no running water. Quite humbling.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Day #22

I think I missed a day... I really only know that because blogger told me.

I am sicker. Strep test still pending. But it doesn't FEEL like strep. so there's that. But I don't remember my throat ever hurting so bad, for so long. And when I sneeze, oh man, literally feels like my uvula just tore off. Then there's the fevers. Good times! No.

Also, our power went out last week, but then came back on but as a brown out. Then off and on and off and on and brown. No biggie. Power goes out all the time here in the sticks. Wellllllllll... it fried part of our pump system from the spring at the bottom of the property. And our holding tank was down to like... 1000 gallons... oh and the flood in the basement. FML. Plumbing guys out today, back tomorrow.... super DOOPER water rationing in effect.

I helped as much as I could, but pretty much just directed from my softy spot on the couch. I'm all caught up on Devious Maids, Undercover Boss, Last Alaskans, Royal Pains and Manhattan. And, I'm out of ice cream.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Day #21


Beware... I have little to no discretion when I feel do icky. Meh.

Broke down and went to the doctor's today. Surprise surprise... he said I'm sick! My throat has been feeling extra scratchy and swollen. I can deal with a few days of that but this morn woke up and my throat was MORE swollen and I had shaking chills and super gross profuse sweating. He was really impressed with the size of my uvula. SO BIG. Ewww.

I see MORE ice cream (if that's even possible), sleep, sleep, reading, sleep and ... more ice cream in my future.

My mind is gonnnnnnne when I feel so cruddy. I can barely hold a conversation, because suddenly I can't come up with any words to make a sentence. Argh. Totally useless.

Cheers to a smaller uvula and clearer thinker tomorrow. :)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Day #20

I. Am. Sick. :(

One kid home from annual Gramma and Grampy camping by the skin of her teeth, off to camp tomorrow.

To bed I go. Distant memories of dad in and out of nursing home and into Stanford ER, with septic shock.... from a big transplant of skin from thigh to atm, after removing cancerous bone from his arm. Ugh... and then a graft to cover the graft, and then a 3rd graft because 2nd never took.

Why... my brain goes there when my temp is high... idk. But oy.

Oh the stories I could recount of Stanford... mom's bone marrow transplant and more, James' 2nd spinal fusion, Dad's surgeries and lung surgery... plus a lil here and a lil there.... :/

Sometimes I wish my brain would. Just. Turn. Off.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Day #19

Sick. Boo.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Day #18

No animal in the woods dies of old age. Gahhhh.... think about that. It is profound.

And what if we step back and acknowledge that WE are part of the food chain, the circle of life. What goes up must come down. Nothing is a guarantee.

That can be very freeing. ♡

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Day #17

1. Kids are camping
2. Catching up at work
3. Lost my credit card
4. My pants are too tight
5. Moved furniture in the living room
6. Chocolate vodka :)
7. The Last Alaskans
8. Lots and lots of laundry
9. Balcony door open
10. Fresh, amazing forest air
11. Cool sheets
12. Candy Crush Saga... don't judge!
13. Jem and the Holograms!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Day #16

Thirty six.

36 is just a number. So is 30. So is 6. Today the relevance is that it's James' 36th birthday. He died at 30. This is his 6th birthday not here.

That's like a lifetime. How many of our friends kids have been born since then and he never knew. How many graduations, pick ups from camp, and report card celebrations he has missed. That we missed him. That there was a notable void.

He always said he was scared to turn 29. There was something about it that tormented him from early on. And, as it happens, 29 is when his soul died. The light was gone from his eyes, the body kept apparent form while the mind withered and was shed long before.

He hurt on his birthdays. Worried like a young child, that no one would remember his birthday. He'd have to pretend all day that it wasn't his birthday if no one remembered. My heart ached for him. Yes, my love, this is your birthday and we remember. We love you. We celebrate you. You are worthy of love.

As each birthday passes, we celebrate a little less. There's nothing like the first one. I think that one hurts the most. But each subsequent one actually hurts more and more. The crack just splits wider a little more each year. The distance, for me, is scary. Time should be ireelivent. I can't wrap my arms around that time. It seems too long, too distant, like it never even existed. That scares me. I feel farther and farther away.

My boss asked me how I was today. He has no idea what lies beneathe. "Pretty good," I say. "At times a little overwhelmed, but I think I play my poker face pretty well."


Monday, July 13, 2015

Day #15

I have a problemo. My name badge for work hangs on my lanyard. And when I slouch at my desk, it gets caught just on the edge of my nerdy ergonomic key board... and it chokes me. Like 20 times a day. I never see it coming :/

Today was a NEW day, tho. I thought what if I tied a knot or 2 in the lanyard, which would shorten its length?? Bueno idea!! Hey hey, Sooooo simple! To which I thought, just like they say: Work smarter not harder.

Until I went to take my lanyard off, and about the point when I pull it up and past my face... it wedges up against my forehead SO snuggly. And I just sit there with my badge dangling from my forehead. Gahhhhh... I. Am. Stuck.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Day #14

I've been feeling like my dining room was missing something. A sideboard, a hutch, a kitchen armoire, I don't know. The peice of furniture I have that is there now, is great. But not right for this space in the new house.

In a gutsy move yesterday I bid on one in a local garage sale FB group thingy. I've only bid twice, and didn't end up being chosen either time. I've been a member of this group for YEARS. Anyhoo... saw a perfect one posted for a decent price. Oh it was so pretty! I closed my phone. I do not NEED this. It kept circling in my brain tho. Hours later I checked back. No bids yet... oh!! I told myself one more hour and if still no bids, I'll go in for the kill.

Hour. Mine. Boo-ya.

We will get it tomorrow :)

This evening Bitty and I cleaned out the old one, as it will now serve as our tv stand in the living room. For Pete's sake we can really pack away a lot of crap in that thing!!!

And then it was So. Very. Clear. Me, you don't need to burden yourself with all of these little bits of crap packed away. This-es and thats. A frayed ribbon, 1 glue stick for a lost glue gun, a returned Xmas card undelivered, one link of a dog leash, half a burnt candle, like 40 million thousand placemats! Oh, yes, and all that baggage in your heart. Unpack that crap too and Throw. It. Out.

Clear it all out.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Day #13

I am not a people person. I LOVE people, most of the time, from far away, or in small doses. I am not social; I am not inclined to go out. I want to be at home all.the.time.

I don't want to talk about myself. Not to you, or anyone else. I am painfully, awkwardly, quiet and keep to myself. This is me. And it's ok. Others don't always think so. That's not my problem but it does start to eat away at me and my self perception... am I really an ok person? Should I be something different? Should I be just how you or he or she thinks is normal? Why???

I blog to help me release what's on my heart, work thru things on paper, and kind of document my journey. I have no desire to talk thru this stuff with people, or be questioned about it. Take it or leave it.

Tonight I ended my busy, disfunctional, perfectly anxiety ridden day by sitting on the deck at dusk, in my fancy new deck chairs, with a beer and my babe. This is my life. This is what I love. I embrace my quiet awkwardness. I believe I'm made like this for a reason, even if I don't know exactly what or why yet.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Day #12

Overwhelmed. This is today's theme.

Pain is taking over my body. This and that and it won't stop. I can barely think and feelers are alllll out of whack.

Then I start to hear about the shooting in Boulder Creek. Ughhhh... my heart. News starts flooding in about how the night had unfolded, a 17 year old boy, mental health issues, a grampa, gun shots, helicopters, and for the finale: death. I cannot even look at my FB acct. Everyone's arguing: stupid kid, poor kid, bad cops, bless the cops, kid deserved it, why wasn't someone helping him? Ohhhhh people, my brain, will explode if I try to entertain any of these ideas. WHY do people think they can argue and demand respect for a point of view. .. on FACEBOOK.. and think they can really sway someone equally as volitile of the opposing view??? WHY. I cannot comprehend. Shut. Up. Actually, let me see myself out and close the computer.

My heart is hurting for everyone involved. EVERYONE. Absolutely tragic. I will pray.

As I ease out of my desk chair at work, slowly, carefully, in the least stooping, no bending, non twisting, maneuver... I can barely stand. Or walk. At *THIS* moment my staff and I hear gunshots, outside, not too close, 3 in succession. Def not fireworks. Oh. My. Goodness. But then nothing. About 3 mins later we hear sirens, so many, 30? Continuously for the next HOUR. What is happening? Finally we hear word that there was a shooting into a house behind one of our buildings, shooter on the run. Really!?!?!?

Oh my little life is small and mostly insignificant. Yet I am consumed today with all sorts of feelings that are MUCH bigger than I am. The pain, the worry, the BIG crazy things happening in my little town are beyond my control and comprehension. I feel completely unprepared for days like this.

So glad the shootings don't impact me directly. Just wish I could disengage from the feelings they bring up in me. Some days should only be allowed with a fast forward and mute button.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Day #11

This morning my alarm was set for 6:04. I tossed and turned a bit and finally rolled over and checked the clock... 7:44 !?!?!? Whaaattttt!!! No way, no how. After a quick close inspection of my phone while cursing I could see that it WAS set for 6:04 and alarmed for 18 mins before silencing. Arghhhh.... I never.ever.ever over sleep or sleep thru an alarm. I was out the door 19 mins later, shower and all. Super crappy start to my day.

No time for Coffee :(
Ps. I can't move very fast at all right now. Nick and I put up a 100 ft long section of fencing at bottom of steep mountain on property. I have not been the same since.

This eve no time to get dinner. Pick up Lu from Stacie's (she slept over there because she was gonna get home from Six Flags at like 11 with her BF. Mama needed sleep, not midnight driving.) Get Lu up abt 445. Walgreens. Safeway. Drop Lu back at BF's. Drive to Gramma and Grampy's pick up Nat and Emi. Don't go home. Go straight to high school to stand in line an hour early for opening night of play. *This* is where the day catches up with me....

I can't stand the drama teacher. At all. For years. He was there when I was in Jr high, he should have retired. He is greasy, and disingenuous. And then they charge $15/person! ?!?!? FFS... come on back down to earth. REAL people live here, and no we really don't want to see your play, but I support the kids. Please gouge me in the pocketbook too. I only have a fam of 5. Booooooo.

Finally seated in fancy new theatre. Oh damn, and I'm right back to high school. People I have calculatingly steered clear of for years are starting to fill the seats around me. *Click click click* There's no place like home. There's no place like home. Please just hide me.

On the ride home, well after my bed time:
-Emi: Mama do I have a long torso or a short stumpy one?

-Emi: Mama I had to fart. But I held it in during the play. Hold your breath.

-Emi: Gramma said I could play an instrument. I can't choose which one! I'm gonna be good at them all!

-Emi: Mama....

Sleep. It beckons.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Day #10


- I feel accomplished at work. Got a lot done. Like a boss. Heh.

-Miss my dad and feel guilty for not seeing him more often.

-Preparing the house and my mind (and the kids) for the next few weeks of summer whirlwind for the girls. Sleep overs here, sleep overs there, amusement parks, summer school, camping with Gramma and Grampy, airplane flights, summer camp, internships.... oy!

-the super glue did not last long for my car side mirror. It's back to dangling. The gate just jumped out and attacked me... swear!

-Have more respect for my pastor than ever before.

- Gearing up my soul and body for a scary surgery mid-august. :( My brokenness is not just a figure of speech. I might blog more on this, but maybe not.

- Putting together a bucket list. Not because of upcoming surgery, but because I'm not aging any slower! There's things I want to do and sre, peeps! It will feel much more attainable if I have an actual list! :)

-Can't do talky people. Breathe!!

-Overall, feeling ok today. Feather meet cap.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Day #9

Tonight I am reminded that I love love love little bitties. No matter what, no matter nuthin. All of the handles in my house, door knobs, cupboards, brushes, alllll of them are sticky, grimey, covered in love and life. I could clean them twice a day and they'd be the same sticky just the same.

Little bitties text me about everything imagineable... underwear, movie plans, why are all the spoons dirty, can I have a sleep over, i lost my ipod, the internet isn't working, my grades came, do I hafta take the trash out, I fed the neighbor's cat, when are you coming home? Endless. I cherish this.

My most favorite times are cuddling when after dinner, waking them up, and tucking them in.... tho of late, I've been the one getting tucked in. ♡

How can they be SO precious when just a bit ago they were torturing eachother... I don't know. Alas.... I try to be so steadfast, consistent, allowing exploration and wonder, building them up and teaching them to do the same for others, and more than anything cover them with LOVE. Love love love. Love will win. Love will find the way. Love creates the space. Love doesn't need agreements or provisions, rules or an ending. Love is my religion.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Day #8

Overcome today by my own inabilities. Wading in brokeness... heart, mind, spirit, body.

No man is an island, unless of course, he is.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Day #7

Today was a gift :) Wish I could upload pics but I can't at the moment. Long naps, happy kids, reading on the deck, and church.

We left our last church for a number of reasons. We feel like we are settling in to the new church ok. We are looking for authenticity, open hearts, a place to learn.

To be honest, I wasn't sure I was going back to church tonight. I was privy to some information about one of the leaders. I had been feeling let down and sad about it, but decided to withhold (most) judgement until today. I would go to church and see how they handled it. If they swept it under the rug, I knew this was not church for my family and me. If they minimally addressed it, I would still be torn, could go either way. If they addressed it head on, preferably with the person involved speaking to the congregation and he took full responsibility, and was transparent... I'm in. I want REAL people, real problems, real truths, real darkness that is hard to bring to the table, yet once in the light, can start the healing process.

Tonight, I saw the man from the church, whom I look up to, whose words are breath for me. I saw him kneeling, then crouching, not sitting.
This was a pained man, a man in turmoil. We sang, we had announcements and then HE came up, flanked by a man he introduced as being on the church board. The church board man began to speak, in generalizations, but clearly they would be addressing some serious matters. He wanted us to know they are in constant prayer about what is best for the man, and for the church body. Then the pained men stepped forward again. He put it all out there. His mistakes, and how they multiplied, what he had done. He said he is beside himself with shame. He knows what he did, what he didn't, and what he could do now. He said he is taking full responsibility with open arms. He said he needed to be forthcoming with leadership, with us, with his family, no matter how humbling or humiliating it is. He said this thru tears, clearly struggling, crumbling before our eyes. The Church Board man stepped forward again and said they met immediately, and have been praying for him and the church. He elaborated a bit about the incident. He ended by telling us that our man would take a few weeks off to regroup, already and continued seeking counsel, and WOULD remain as lead pastor. The congregation erupted in applause, with tears coming from every blessed soul in the sanctuary. And then (lead by my not-so-churchy husband) a standing ovation.

I do not recall a time when I have been SO very moved. To witness such integrity. YES I long to be part of a church like this!!! Real, messy, filled with humans who struggle and make wordy decisions that have consequences. All in different stages of faith, all with a commonality of being a child of God. Beloved. Broken and beautiful. YES.

Side note: talking about a DUI.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Day #6

Today is N's bday. Amazing how much time has come and gone. She was born on the 4th of July which has its own personal sentiments. But our tradition is to go to town, to the Fire Dept pancake breakfast and then enjoy the parade. If the girls are lucky they get a seat on a fire engine to start the parade. (And yes for the longest time she thought it was all in celebration of her bday.)

It's hard to go back to the fire dept. That was a lifetime ago that James gave 11 or 12 years to them. My heart is heavy when I walk thru the engine bay, smell the smells of the turnout gear. It was home for so long. Now the station is filled with newbie firemen in fire gear who don't know who I am, or the girls. I never existed.

Tonight we BBQ'd and lit the fire pit. We sat back in our little red chairs watching the sun go down. Smoking our s'mores. My heart is happy and blessed. My soul, tho, is forever unsettled, always looking just past the horizon. My mind is always adrift, sailing with the wind, positive that the answers I seek are just beyond the next turn.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Day #5

I am dying of thirst by the side of a fountain.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Day #4

Today's thoughts....

1. Had a ridiculous migraine last night. But, you know that's how it goes. I can get thru anything tough, work, family, whatever, as soon as it let's up and is done or safe, the migraine hits. Meeeehhhhh. Me no likey. Took some medicine and waited and waited and waited for relief. Relief finally came, and it was just a mild reduction. To bed. 12 hours later... all better :) a little migraine hangover but I can deal.

2. I ate ice cream twice today! Once for breakfast and once for dinner. Whatev.

3. Had a GREAT time taking the kids and a friend swimming today. It's a place I used to go as a kid and have such fond memories. Today was equally sweet. I even put ON the bathing suit AND got IN the pool. And I didn't burn.... I'm such a competent adult now. ;) Got a little reading in... re-reading Redeeming Love. Ahhhh, my heart. ♡

4. I'm feeling sad and confused about a local aquaintance. He's not a friend, but a mentor if sorts. I know life is not perfect, but I think we learn a lot from our mistakes, our mis steps. I think the jewel is how we deal with it - the mistakes and mis steps. Do you hide it, justify it, run from it, or do you own it, and walk walk the walk of transperancy and introspection. Hmmmm....

5. Our neighborhood has a mountain lion! Yikes. The neighbor (half mile away) has seen it twice in the last 4 days. The SC Puma Project came out and set up game cameras near it's recent kill. Oy. I love natural beauty, animals in their natural habitat, the circle of life.... but I also enjoy a run in the woods and letting the dogs out to pee at 9.

6. I'd realllllyyyyyyy be into my Spotify or Pandora playing thru my phone via Bluetooth to my car radio.

7. Today was a good day. :D

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Day #3

So the thing about dead people is that no one wants to talk bad about them. And as respectful and appropriate as that may be, it's not always the right representation of that person. And at the same time perhaps it's not appropriate to bring anything up, because now that they are dead, you can put your issues with them to reat, sweep it all right under the rug where it never needs to see the light of day again.

When James died it was profoundly sad. For me, obviously because he had died and that is sad, but more so my sadness was overrun with spite. He had 'beat' the alcoholism, done the 'right thing' by joining the Marines, he was a very loving daddy. I was beside myself that whatever pain, addiction, PTSD, undiagnosed mental disorders, sickness, had over run his body and won. I wanted him to have a fighting chance. I wanted to see him rock this world.

Instead, he suffered inexplicably, many times at his own hand, but sometimes not. The pain was real, panic and anxiety real, days at a time of insomnia -slowly loosing his grip on reality, the seizures, the rages, the car accident, the medicine.... it all started to swirl together.

There came a point when I could no longer separate what I should hold him accountable for, and what I should not. Regardless..... it doesn't change the fact that I lived a living hell for years. Hell with an underpinning of love that I still haven't shaken.

As I've taken the last 5 years, I have grieved and hurt and retreated into my own world. Without knowing how to grieve the 'right' way or know what my next step should be, I built him an alter and set him there carefully, delicately. When the girls would talk of their daddy (often, several times a day) we would reminisce about their amazing memories and stories of daddy.

They were good memories, correct recitals, it was all true. It just wasn't ALL inclusive of his life, ALL the memories. I know they weren't present for all of the sleepless, manic, over medicated nights. I know that I sheltered them from a large portion of the crazy scary daddy, but certainly they must remember.....? Daddy sitting in the chair asking for his son. The time he stopped breathing, no heartbeat and grampie had to start CPR while they waited for the firemen, the seizures, the falling and convulsions, the blue lips. Daddy not being allowed to drive on the school field trips, racing unsteady to put his boots on and saying there was a fire, the slurring, the unconsious, the breaking thru doors. Funny tho, those weren't the memories they wanted to share and remember.

I get it. Who WOULD want to?

And, in my heart, do I really want them to remember anything but the good? Or am I all wrapped up still needing validation that it happened at all.

Lu was working on a high school finals project. Pick 30 people and write about each one, why are they your heroes? What a great, thoughtful, project, especially for teens. I loved it. Lu took her time (as she always does) thinking long and hard about each one. She chose an amazing variety and I LOVE her lil thinker. She included the nurse who sings to the child cancer patient, a teacher, authors, her team of doctors from stanford, book characters, our insurance (for being there to cover all of Nat's broken bones), a singer, her boyfriend's mom, etc...and her daddy.

Indeed, that seems like a very thorough, thoughtful list, she just forgot to put me in there. Surely she meant to. Surely if daddy qualified and she (more than the other girls) knows everything that we went thru, I could at least be a contender. No. No, I was not. Do I realllllyyyyyyy care about this, like on a school report level, no. It just really made me sit back and evaluate what I allowed the girls to be exposed to, and their own little filters and how it processed it all. I still feel the sting, but I suppose everyone needs a daddy on an alter who loves you unconditionally.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Day #2

Give and Take

I think I like to think of things as always being one side of the balance or other, because in my head that makes it purposeful. No matter what it is. Purpose does not equal justification tho.

Teach kids to walk and talk…. And then you are never alone in the bathroom again
Be an only, lonely child.... be raised in a daycare with 7 'brothers and sisters' and an abundance of playmates
Figure out high school is just a game...pass with flying colors
Love your spouse's occupation... it eats his soul alive
Be in to get anyone to see my husband is dying
Marry your high school sweetheart… he dies at 30
Drop out of college... get a great job (and feel like a fraud)
Have a voice... don't let anyone know it
Buy a new car.... can't pay the gas bills
Grow up with parents who don't allow ANY sugar... absolutely phene sugar as an adult
Buy an ugly economic car too small for fam.... have enough money for bills
LOVE your gay 'work husband' to pieces... worry constantly what the church will think
Leave the church... they don't care that you left, you were never really noticed to begin with
Grow up with both parents... mom dies young (just kidding you still only get one parent)
Marry a new man.... gain a new mom
Hate dogs..... get 2 dogs
Don't eat... gain weight
Grow up playing soccer.... dad says to pick 1 game a season and he'll attend that one, but no more
Work with Alzheimer's patients.... realize you aren't helping anything to get better, each day will be worse
Potty train your 2 year old, Alzheimer's patient now needs diapers
Have parents mostly proud of grades and stuff.... get knocked up at 18
Have extended family FINALLY move close (w/in 20 miles)... NOT see them for more than a year...awkward!
Try to do the right thing and think about the told you are an embarrassment to the family and I should go into hiding
High school sweetheart dies after heartbreaking struggle.... find new, peaceful, levelheaded, adoring man a year later
Take 16 year old daughter out prom dress shopping on 16th bday... have her lose her shizz in a violent attack just hours later
16 year old's violent attack on mom.... mom must still buck up and LOVE the child.
Live in Santa Cruz.... haven't ever seen most of the attractions in Santa Cruz
Go to put up a new fence.... find a TREE across the road!
But really I could go on all day.

I have some major issues that I need to work thru. They say (and I even say) that everyone could really use a therapist, it doesn't matter who you are. It's just good for every body to be able to reflect and talk things thru with an unbiased, safe, confidant. I have benefited GREATLY from therapy, especially the sessions I had as a child, and then the ones I had the year prior to and the year after James' death. I have tried several times recently, and the common theme back from the therapists is: "Wow! What a story! Sounds like you are doing pretty well. I don't think we really need to meet very often, sounds like you've got this pretty under control." Oh for fucks sake!!!! I'm not here because I like paying my copay! When I unpack my crap do I make it sound all pretty and tidy? Am I relaying my concerns appropriately? Am I scaring them away? Do I have them fooled? Do I have too much baggage that it's not worth it for them?

I NEED to get thru these issues. I feel abandoned, now, without my mom. It will be NINE years this October. Aaccckkkkkk. When she was dying I felt IN the moment, embracing it for everything it was, being present, open, accepting. When she died there was relief for me; she was no longer in the torturous pain and agony that had plagued her body. I feel in my heart like I am ok and at peace with losing James. He too, such much pain, there was no coming back, there was no getting better. BUT then I see a picture of him, or I remember something specific, and I either feel incredible loss (good memories) or anger (for everything he put us through.) I think I'm over the childhood traumas, but they creep up in the most destructive, intrusive ways. I think I'm over the bully from high school and middle school, and then she friends me on FB? Is she a nicer person now? Is she just trying to see what my life turned out like? Why so much uncertainty? Every day I go to work and feel SO blessed to be there. But I cannot shake the feeling that I am an imposter. I do not have the college degree, and I am constantly reminded that I should have not dropped out. I should have tried harder. I should have gone back. I should have not gotten pregnant in the first place. I want to believe that everything happens for a reason, but when I am going thru old boxes and find the letters from family when I was pregnant so young, they are SO hurtful, SO cutting, SO divisive. So every step I take NOW, more than 16 years later I have to move strategically. How can I show THEM that they are wrong, that I am better than what they think? How can I show my children that I have their best interests in mind and care for them like they weren't raised by a young, inept, ill prepared mom. I wish LOVE could win it all.

I wish LOVE could win the war. I have a lot of love in this heart. I would like it to seep out my pores and erase all the pain, the confusion and judgment, mine and yours.

Monday, June 29, 2015

40 days of Vulnerability

Preface: I think I keep a lot in. I think I speak up when needed. I think I struggle, privately. I think I fail at many things, and while that is OK, I have a hard time with it. I carry grief on my shoulders that eats away at my soul. I think sometimes my friendships are eroding and I don't know what to do. I get up every morning and start off intentional about my actions, reactions. By the end of the day I am done; there is not much left. I miss certain comforts. I think I'm missing my kids growing up. In an effort to regain a little perspective on where I am, and who I might be, I hope to blog for 40 days about everything beyond the surface.

Day #1
I am learning that parenting is one of the most rewarding, sacrificial, heart breaking thing I could ever do. It is A LOT of work, and currently, little return. It IS HARD to constantly be loving, caring, supportive and nice to people who do not believe that my intentions are true, who do not believe that I would go to the ends of the earth for them, who think I spend too much time not bowing to their every request, who are mean and hateful at times, and say to my face: "I told so-and-so that you were mean, and they agreed!" Most nights I crawl into bed and am defeated. I will try to do better tomorrow, I tell myself. My mind is at war with itself as I try to determine IF there is anything I could have done differently, more carefully. Or, is it true that I did my best and it simply Could I just be loved a little bit? By the little beings who look like me?

I left my church several months ago, which means no more singing. This was a painful decision. But, it was not right to stay just to sing. I love a very BIG God, who is merciful, and beautiful, and extends grace and mercy to the very least of us. I was not in a place that (I felt) was rising to the occasion to love, show love, show light, or, listen to its members. I am at a new church which I have attending off and on over the last 7 or 8 years. It is becoming home. I volunteered to do a few things, and ultimately landed in a spot on Sundays that I like, and I feel is helpful and a use of my talents. I also, on a wild whim of a restless night, began the application process to sing with the musical worship team. It's a loooooooooong process, vetting my beliefs, my actions, my mentors, my dedication, everything. Oh yes, and my singing. At long last, YES you are good enough. Good job. We will be in touch soon to get you in the rotation. Haven't heard back since. It's been well over 2 months. So, I wait. Sure I could speak up, and I might. For now I land steady on uncertainty of who I am, did they re-think my participation? Or, am I just forgotten? That's cool. THAT is the story of my life. So, I just truck on, sign up for my other duty on Sunday, with a smile, and sing and learn from my perch.

I think I am girl who lost herself in the shuffle of life. I tie it all up in a package and present it to the world with determination and hope. But, I don't know how determined or hopeful a heart full of chaos, doubt, and worry can be. By the end of the day all the strings keeping me together have fallen untied, worn and frayed.

Friday, April 10, 2015

5 Years Later and This is What I Know

1. No body grieves the same. Ever. My grief is mine. I have not yet met someone who knows the pain of losing my husband. Who knows the pain of losing a husband who didn't quite meet the 'right' definition of an injured Marine, didn't exactly commit suicide, wasn't exactly diagnosed with psycho-social issues other than PTSD. He was just not enough of anything that I couldn't get anyone to see what I saw, and help me save him.

2. In a group of people, I still feel alone. And yet, can still can panic attacks at both Safeway, and in my own bed.

3.On the bad days, it’s ok to know that I can count my blessings, or demons, by minutes: I made it past that minute. I can make it one more. This is just a bad day. There will be a new one tomorrow.

4. Some people mean well and will say dumb, hurtful things. Dumb people just still say dumb things.

5. One might feel that the ‘Stages of Grief’ are restricting and pigeon-holing, or one might find solace in them, validation. Or both, depending on the day.

6. Take the help while it’s offered. People soon skip out, and forget, don't call. Don't text.

7. I must be gentel on myself. Be good to myself. Must take care of me.

8. Cry. It’s ok. Let it flow. Let it all out.

9. Grief comes in waves. When I don’t expect it. When you’re driving and there’s a song. When you’re shopping and can’t find the soup. When you’re alone. When you’re surrounded. Grief is now part of journey. It’s ok. Embrace the pain, it is your pain, and you own it, and it honors your struggle and loss. And it will come and go. And slowly it will fade. It will come back to visit. But you don’t NEED to hold on to it.

10. Honor the lost. Wallowing is ok. Don’t live there forever, but honoring is good. Pictures, creativity, movement, dedication.

11. People move on. You feel your life has ended, and you watch everyone else’s life moving forward.

12. Find LOVE. In nature, in helping, in poetry, in music, in church, in painting, in how you speak with strangers.

13. Everyone you need will probably let you down. Do NOT base your needs or expectations on the shoulders of others.

14. Time does not heal all wounds. Time creates distance, and other people not directly impacted forget, which gives the illusion that things are moving in a 'better' direction. Time allows for self reflection, and some closure, but it doesn't heal.

15. Beauty can come from ashes. It takes hard work. Discernment. Prayer. Faith. Good Friends and Family.

Monday, April 6, 2015

5 Years

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
- Dylan Thomas 

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Friday... began my day with a panic attack. Barely got out of the house.

But new for me... was a second panic attack, completely unrelated, several hours later at work :/ The sound, the ground, my breath was gone, my heart racing so fast it hurt, sweating, dying dying dying.... I AM dying, can't catch my breath, then resignation, this is it.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Home is Where Ever I am With You

Sometimes you can't really SEE what you're going thru until you're all the way thru it. You don't realize the totality of it, the weight of it until you're allll the way thru it. Sometimes when you're wading thru it it's one small step at a time... and you don't realize you've actually made it a mile.
In February 2010 I was in a 'head down, don't make eye contact, please no one ask me how I am' frame of mind. I was still recovering from a bad car accident in January. James was still alive but not living at home. Due to some incredibly frightening PTSD episodes in addition to other complications he was removed from the home. This was challenging for the girls, for me to explain, and for family to understand.
Stacie (my sister-in-law) found herself in a little pickle and on a whim I begged her to consider staying with me. Her current living situation was shady at best, and I wanted her safe. A few days later she took me up on the offer. I usually guard my space pretty closely.... it's not like me to beg someone to come live with me, but this was REALLY heavy on my heart.
Just a week or so later it was clear that she made the right decision to not be at the old place. And, I was learning what it was like to have a sister. I grew up an only, lonely child (as I always called it.) Always longing for a sibling. My house was small but we made do. I scooted over in my bed and she promised she wouldn't snore too loud. She helped me make the kids accountable for the dishes after dinner. And then we'd have ice cream and wine.
At the end of Feb my dad was diagnosed with cancer. Ugh. We cried. We made game plans to just sit on the deck forever in the sun and we would only ever need sunscreen and ice cream and wine. When we had to have tough conversations (with other people) on the phone, we put on a special pair of amazing hot pink soccer socks which we swore gave us magical strong super powers and we'd root the other one on.
End of March I left to go with my dad down to Santa Monica, where he would get his picc line, and start his intensive rounds of chemo. I got to leave my 3 girls with her. Stacie played mom perfectly. She sent me pics of Emi (only 2.5 yrs old) in the kitchen sink for a bath and she drove the girls to school. She also walked right into one of the classrooms and called the teacher out in the middle of class when there was a problem that hadn't been resolved!!!
When I got back from Santa Monica we had a few days and then Stacie, Emi, and I all got pneumonia. We were like the old hacking couple in bed. We couldn't laugh cuz then we'd start coughing or choking. And the vicious cycle repeats. Ha!!
When I was finally well enough to get back to work in April I was working away on my first day back.... and got the news that James had died. Someone at work was able to get word to her. She came right home. Balling. She says "Have you called your dad? Have you called B?" Just being my brain essentially. And the rest of the next few days is a blur.
She slept in Nat's bed that night James died. She was the perfect 2nd mommy/auntie to my girls. She helped me so much by just being there. Present. It was a mutual thing. We both had extremely hurtful, painful events we were living thru and growing past.
I am constantly reminded of this verse when I think of how our lives unfolded just-so.
1Thessalonians 5:16-18 we are told to,"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." The Lord tells us here that we are to have an attitude of joy, thanksgiving and prayer at all times, no matter what the conditions or circumstances are that surround us.
This verse does not mean that we are to thank God for bad things and tragedies that come our way. It means that we are to remain joyful no matter what is happening in our lives because we have the Lord.
Stacie's pain of needing to move suddenly... James' horrendous PTSD and pain and subsequent death were nothing to be joyful over. And still God could work some amazingly beautiful transformations. He created this bond between me and Stace. A bond between Stace and the girls. He laid the groundwork that a safety net would be in place for each of us at our most vulnerable moments. He weaved the paths that would eventually bring day light again. I am So. Very. Thankful. To be a child of God and to have Stacie in my life.
Today is her 30th birthday and she has been blessed beyond measure. And yet, she continues to bless those around her even more so. She is a fighter of the underdog, the unheard, the widows, the children, the elderly. She is one of my greatest treasures.♡