Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart.

I'm feeling so thankful.
This year has totally been a roller coaster, heck, today has been a roller coaster. I've had extremes emotionally from being sad about Miles, nervous to go back home and see his room still empty to true and pure thankfulness for the love, friends and family I have in my life.

Right now I want to dwell on the thankfulness. God has been so faithful to show me that I'm not alone. He's used so many people to pour out their love and support on me. I don't have Miles anymore (on earth). That's true. It's also true that I DO have so much to be thankful for.

The Lord has been so faithful to me. He's helping me through this process, and He has put me on lots of people's heart that has made this time sweet.

I don't know how someone loses a child without The Comforter. Although I'm terribly sad I still have peace about where Miles is at. I know he's not in pain. I know that Jesus is taking care of him. I know that I will be with him again one day in Heaven. I know that my life isn't over. I know that God still has a plan for our family!

What are you thankful for these days?

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Written in a hotel room paid for me by a person I've never met.

My Amarillo city view.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I've got the iWANTS

Even though I don't believe it Santa Clause I still plan on asking him for one of these for Christmas...


Is it necessary?

Will my life be magically better (really)?

However, I feel a little bit like Veruca Salt about the situation.

Veruca's song in Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
I want a ball
I want a party
Pink macaroons and a million balloons
And performing baboons and ...
Give it to me
Rrhh rhhh

I want the world
I want the whole world
I want to lock it all up in my pocket
It's my bar of chocolate
Give it to me

I want today
I want tomorrow
I want to wear 'em like braids in my hair
And I don't want to share 'em

I want a party with room fulls of laughter
Ten thousand tons of ice cream
And if I don't get the things I am after
I'm going to scream!

I want the works
I want the whole works
Presents and prizes and sweets and surprises
Of all shapes and sizes
And now
Don't care how
I want it now
Don't care how
I want it now

I've been able to mess around with a few iPads here and there and they're just so dang neat! Plus anything with a little i in front of it makes me drool.

I know having an iPad won't really make everything better. I know that I should really pay my mortgage payment instead of buying an iPad. I know that if I had one I would have to always get it back from my kids. I know. I know...

I still want it though. : )

And...instead of Christmas Santa...why don't you just go ahead and hook me up with one next week? I've been a very good girl I assure you...nothing like Veruca.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rough Day

I'm missing my baby today. I had another dream about Miles last night. I've been dreaming about him most nights. In my dream we were carrying him around where ever we went even though we knew he was dead. We knew it was weird but we just couldn't let go of him. He was dressed in the clothes we buried him in. I don't think I was carrying him around, but other people around me were. That's the thing about my dreams...I never get to touch him or hold him. I want to, but it's like I keep getting pulled in different directions so I can't get to him. Then in my dream we had decided that it wasn't right to keep carrying him around when we knew he was dead. We had decided that he needed to be cremated. I awoke as the fire began to flame.

The dreams aren't uplifting. I don't wake up happy that I dreamed about him. They leave me sad and sometimes disturbed. They leave me longing. I'm sure if I dreamt about him being able to run around and happy I would enjoy dreaming about him, but I don't.

I'm guessing this is part of the process of grief, but I don't like it very much.

I know this isn't a very encouraging thing to read, but I've always shared the Good, the Bad and the Ugly on this blog. I will continue to do so. Today it just happens to be part of the Bad.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Can't think of a Title

Tomorrow it will be a month without my baby boy. This month has felt both like a year and a minute. Saying that Miles has been gone for a month seems impossible. Yet, it feels like forever since I’ve been able to hold him in my arms.

I dream about him often. The dreams have the same theme. I see him or find him and I keep trying to get close to him to hold him but I never make it. I wake up with such an ache in my heart. I want to hold him and kiss him and take care of him. I want to dress him and tell him I love him. I want to fix his curly hair.

It’s been such a strange time for me. It’s still an adjustment to me as I’ve had to figure out how to live as one person instead of two. I never meant for Miles to become an extension of me, but how could I have prevented it? For 6 and a half years I did everything for him. Well, I had help, but I was in charge of getting it done. Now, I feel like I have all the possibilities in the world. As a matter of fact I’m in Colorado right now without Randy and the kids. I will be here all week. That’s not something I normally could have done because of all of my responsibilities. Also, I’m even thinking about the possibility of working. That wasn’t really an option before.

Still, even with all the new freedoms it doesn’t feel like a good trade off.

I ask that you please keep praying for our family. We’re all still adjusting to life without Miles. To quote Jocie, “This summer has been depressing.” I can’t imagine what it would be like without friends like you.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What's for Dinner?

I know I don't usually share recipes on here, but I wanted to enlighten you on a family favorite. It only takes about 30 minutes. This recipe serves 4 but I usually double it for my family. It's always a big hit.

It's Dashi-Poached Scallop Salad with Wasabi Dressing.

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
1/4 cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons instant dashi
4 cups water
12 sea scallops, sliced into thirds
4 ounces mesclun

1. In a bowl, whisk the lemon juice, wasabi paste and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
2. In a large saucepan, bring the dashi and water to a simmer. Add the scallops and poach just until opaque, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Transfer the scallops to a bowl and toss with half the dressing.

I like to pair it with a nice Pinot Noir called Domaine Serene.

Wait a second...What just happened???? I think the heat has zapped my brain. I don't know what I was talking about.

I meant to share a different meal with you.

It's called Peanut Butter and Jelly on White Bread.

We like to pair it with a nice 2% Milk.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Several months ago when Miles was really sick an unexpected gift from an unlikely place has blossomed into a refreshing hobby for me.
Randy was out working in Clyde one day around the time the hospice nurses said (for the 1st time) that Miles probably would only live a few more days. Randy ran into a man that he's done some work for/with. I can't remember his first name, but it's Will Stallings Dad. Anyway, he told Randy that he heard about his son, told him he was sorry and gave him I think around $65. He told Randy he could take his family out to dinner or something. Well, Randy had come home and he hadn't said anything about it yet. It was a particularly extra stressful time, especially for me because I was having to monitor Miles all day long in his room and help him if he needed anything.
Well, the next morning when I woke up I literally felt like it would be impossible to make it through another day that felt like a week. Before Randy had left for work I was talking to him and begging for him to somehow make things better. That's when he remembered the money that Mr. Stalling's gave him. He mentioned something I could do with the money (I can't remember what it was) but all the sudden I knew what I wanted to do with the money.
For quite awhile I had been noticing how aprons were making a comeback. The problem was they were so dang expensive. I had looked at several and had decided that I could totally make aprons for a heck of a lot cheaper than what they were asking for them.
I took the money, got a babysitter for Miles and I ran to Hobby Lobby like a crazy woman. I found a simple pattern, found some fabric, dug my sewing machine out of storage, wiped off the dirt and began to sew like it was my salvation. I was able to sew in Miles's room so I could still be near him and take care of him, but I was also distracted which helped tremendously. I was able to focus on something else besides sickness and it felt so good.

This is the first apron I made with the money. Up close it really does look awful, but it was just what I needed at the time. I learned a lot on that one. When I was working on it the thread kept bunching up so it looked terrible, but I just kept sewing and reminding myself that it didn't matter. I just kept right on and I could feel the stress leaving my body as I sewed. That feeling has continued as I've gotten much better!

Here's SOME of the aprons I've made. Some of them I didn't get pictures of before I gave them away. They make wonderful gifts. After each one I decide it's my favorite one. Currently my favorite is the cowboy apron. It's so adorable!!!

My friend Tommye sent me an email about aprons when she heard that I had been making aprons. I thought it was sweet. It's called The History of Aprons.

The History of Aprons
I don't think our kids know what an apron is.
The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids..
And when the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

I'm glad we didn't go out to eat with that money that day. Investing in that pattern and hobby has continued to be healing for me. As I sit at the sewing machine I catch myself praying and feeling the stress leave. So, Mr. Stallings...THANK YOU!!! I would make you an apron, but I don't think it would be your thing. : )

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I Love...

A few things I love in no particular order what-so-ever:

I love when I find a really good book that I can get so into it that I don’t care what goes on around me as long as I can keep reading.

I love getting a card unexpectedly in the mail from a friend declaring their love for me again.

I love losing myself in worship so deep that I literally forget where I am or that other people are around me.

I love sewing while watching TV shows on my laptop.

I love at the end of a day when Randy and I will open a bottle of wine, grab a crunchy snack and watch The Office. (and always beat them to the punch line)

I love that Randy and I have this secret communication that we use when we can’t actually say something because other people are around. It can mean “Oh my gosh!” or “That’s funny” or “Hey, that’s interesting!” or “I can’t believe he/she just said that” or “Remember to talk about that later when we’re alone” Or…

I love going out to eat and watching the kids order their own food now. They look so young and grown up at the same time.

I love going to the library because everything is free there.

I love listening to audio books when I make a long road trip by myself. I get lost in the book and the trip seems to go so quickly.

I love sweating during a good workout. It makes me feel like I’ve made a difference.

I love how big my house feels after it’s all clean.

I love how when I walk into church it feels like I’m home.

I love on a rare Saturday morning when we have nothing to do and we all pile in the bed and wrestle.

I love reading comments from other people on my blog or Facebook.

I love when I get my hair colored and Cindy fixes my hair. Why can’t I do my hair the same way?

I love when my Mom cooks for me.

I love when I re-read something I’ve written and it surprises me at how good it is. Is that vain?

I love when I feel appreciated.

I love going to the movies.

I love playing Monopoly with Randy and the kids. (and winning)

I love getting a good deal on something.

I love time alone.

I love new markers. I always tell the kids never to use them, look at them or borrow them. That never works.

I love feeling like I’m supposed to do something and then following through.

There’s more. Of course there’s more, but I’ve got to go take a shower…another thing I love.

And yes, I do love long walks on the beach.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kids Interview

I sat the kids down this morning one at a time and did an interview with them. I used to do it regularly when they were small, but I haven't done it in a long time. It's fun to hear their own ideas about things. I love seeing all their personalities. They're a treasure to me.

What grade will you be in next year?

Joey: 8th

Spencer: 6th

Jocie: 4th

Melody: 3rd

What do you want to do when you grow up?

Joey: Engineer. I would like to make prototypes of random things that people ask me to make.

Spencer: Pilot. I would want to fly to Ireland because I’ve always wanted to go there. It sounds relaxing, beautiful and fun.

Jocie: Hmmm…I would like to be really good at piano.

Melody: An artist, a babysitter and like in charge of The Pound.

What are you looking forward to most this summer?

Joey: Great Wolf Lodge and my birthday because it’s really fun at the Great Wolf Lodge. For my birthday I want to go to PrimeTime with my friends and play laser tag.

Spencer: The Great Wolf Lodge because Joey told me how fun it was there so I really want to go.

Jocie: Hmmm…Um seeing Grammy for the 2 weeks while you and Poppa go on vacation for your anniversary. You know, that thing you’ve been saving up for.

Melody: swimming and going on vacations

If you could have a super power what would it be? What would your super hero name be?

Joey: I’d like to be able to read minds because it would be funny and you could scare people by doing pranks on them. My name would be BOB.

Spencer: I’d like to be able to read minds because you can know what the person’s about to say and freak them out. I wouldn’t have a super hero name. I would just be super smart.

Jocie: Hmmm…Reading Minds so I can understand what they think so if they’re happy or sad I could try to cheer them up. I would like to know their feelings. My super hero name would be THE THINKER.

Melody: Fly. I know I would have a purple cape. My name would be PURPLE GIRL.

*****Updated: I have an urgent update for you: Melody has changed her mind on her super power. She now wants to be able to blend into walls so if she's being sneaky no one will see her. Also, if she see a bank robbery she will be able to stop them without anyone seeing her. Her new super hero name will be Blender Girl.

If you had unlimited money what is 3 things you would do with it?

Joey: I’d buy a really cool car, buy a laptop and I’d buy an ALAMO Fireworks store

Spencer: I would buy an airplane, buy an island and buy a boat. I would live on the island by myself.

Jocie: Hmmm…I would take our whole family to Disney World including Grammy and Connor. I would make sure everybody has enough money for them to buy all their needs. Like everybody in Africa! For my last thing I think I would like to give Joey a car and a phone.

Melody: I would buy 5 baby puppies. I would buy a DSI and I would adopt a baby.

What is your favorite food?

Joey: lasagna

Spencer: Hawaiian Tomato Soup

Jocie: I really like that stuff at Pizza Inn with the noodles and queso. Oh wait, my favorite food is Ruffles and queso.

Melody: chicken

What is your least favorite food?

Joey: Fettucini Alfredo. It’s sick.

Spencer: Hamburgers because it has a lot of meat. It’s gross.

Jocie: Spaghetti tacos. I don’t like those things. They’re bad.

Melody: Squash. Squash is sick.

What’s the most fun thing you’ve ever been able to do in your life?

Joey: Go to Six Flags with my friends. We really got to do pretty much anything we wanted to. We voted on most everything. We picked our own restaurant. It was fun. We all liked the same thing pretty much.

Spencer: That’s a hard one. It’s when I got to meet the Texas Rangers because I had no idea that I was going to meet them. I had just come to see Miles at the hospital and I got to meet the Texas Rangers. Also, I loved going to Fredricksburg because I got to be with my family and we got to travel all around Fredicksburg.

Jocie: Ooo…going to Corpus Christi. I loved that place! That was the most fun day of my life! We got to go to the beach and I got a pretty shell. It was so fun. The fun thing was that we got to stay there overnight for like 5 days in hotel. I saw a rusty Jeep.

Melody: Six Flags is scary. Going to Corpus Christi was my favorite. Ooo remember those little baby seats? I made that out of sand one time and I sat in it. The boys almost wrecked it so I had to save it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Please Pray for our Family

I was going to write a post on "How my Life is like a Country Song" right now, but I just don't have it in me.

Let's just say that the cliche "When it Rains it Pours" also applies.

I'm asking you to please pray for our family. We need breakthrough*miracles*healing*peace*comfort*joy...We need to feel Jesus so close to us.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Man and Wife?

Here’s a random thing that pops in my head every once in a while:

You know how people talk about their wedding day as the best day of their life? Well, I’m so happy that isn’t the case with me. Our wedding was, well, a little ghetto. We paid for 94% of it by ourselves, which meant we didn’t spend very much at all. We were soooo young. I was in college and I had a little very part time job watering plants at the hospital and at other businesses. My boss rarely paid me, which for some reason didn’t bother me too much. I liked watering the plants. What did bother me is that I had to take her car with the water tank supplies in it and she had the worst car ever! It smoked and by the time I was finished driving all around town I felt like I had carbon monoxide poisoning. Still, I’m smiling as I think back on that job.

Anyway, back to being young and poor…Randy had a job making decent money. The thing is that we weren’t just planning a wedding but we were also remodeling a house to live in after we got married. Again, that was on our own dime. We ended up living in our little yellow house that we remodeled for 8 years. We brought all 5 of our babies home to that house. So, I cringe at the wedding photos, but the house is endeared to my heart forever.

All of the above is not what I had started out writing. That’s the back-story I guess. Okay, so when we were getting married we were not living for the Lord. We were living for…well…to keep this PG rating…Ourselves. We weren’t going to church anywhere so we weren’t sure who to get to marry us. I had been to FountainGate (not the name back then) a couple of times with Randy’s sister Sheila. Randy had also worked on that church with a construction friend at one time. We knew the pastor, Scott Beard and liked him. We called to set up a meeting with him, and he was so kind to us even though I’m pretty sure he could detect our scandalous shenanigans.

He said that he would marry us and the fee was $50.

We agreed that was more than a fair price. However, $50 was not in the budget. Remember, we were also remodeling a house from top to bottom. Here’s a glimpse of our budget. I bought a yellowish green refrigerator from someone on Sales Blvd for $5. Yeah, $5. I also bought a couch, an ugly ass couch for $5. I bought a set of dishes for guess how much. Yep, $5. Now, if Scott had offered to marry us for $5 then we would have shook hands and left it at that. It didn’t happen though so we were still on the look out.

Luckily (or Unluckily) for us Randy’s other sister Sharon was going through a strange time in her life and somehow got involved with the Mormons. Some cute Mormon boys began to come to over to Sharon’s house to discuss religion, and one of Sharon’s most favorite things to do ever was argue so it was a beautiful relationship. She was highly intelligent and knew the Bible. She would argue with them and they would continue to come over. She ended up meeting several people in their church including a Bishop in the church.

She was so excited to tell us that the Bishop (whose name I cannot remember) said that he would marry us…FOR FREE. Bingo! This was the break we were waiting for.

We had a meeting with the guy.

Us: Can you marry us?

Bishop: Sure.

Us: Can we write our own vows (that happened to be really hippy and makes me blush to think about the things I said.)

Bishop: Sure.

Us: Sharon said it would be free. Is it free?

Bishop: Sure.

Us: Can you be there at 1:00?

Bishop: Sure.

Us as we’re leaving: Have you ever done this before?

Bishop: No, this will be the first one. Is that okay?

Us: Sure.

So, we were married by a Mormon Bishop. I heard from my Mom that when he pronounced us married by the power of The Church of Ladder Day Saints that my Grandma almost had a heart attack. I guess Grandma should have pitched in a few bucks.
So, here’s the random thing that pops in my head every once in a while: Are we really married??? That guy did not seem to know what he was doing. He hardly said a word at the wedding. He just let Randy and I ramble as we declared our love for one another in front of a crowd that was wishing the whole thing would just end already. Have Randy and I just been shacking up for the last 15 years? Was our little ghetto wedding legit?

Recently, we ended up having Miles’s funeral at FountainGate church and Scott Beard was there. He hugged me and I thanked him for allowing us to have the funeral at his church. He said, “Of course. That’s the way it should be.”

It’s funny/strange how in a moment like that where I’m burying a son I can still think, “Dang it! $50 bucks and this is the guy who could have married us!”

So, any thoughts? Do you think it was legit? If a very quiet Mormon Bishop says your married are you married?

Wait, quick side memory associated with Mormons. In college I was taking a speech class. We paired up and had to interview each other then introduce the person to the class. I paired up with the guy behind me. I asked him the usual questions like name and what he was going to school for. He told me his name was Eric and then he mumbled what he wanted to go to school for. I asked him again and he said, “I want to be a Gay Mormon.” A what? “A Gay Mormon.” I’m thinking, “Oh my goodness! What in the world? I didn’t even know you had to go to school for that!” Then he began to talk about his love for animals and nature. I apologized then asked him one more time what he was going to school for. He said, “I told you a GAME WARDEN.” Ah, a game warden. Makes sense. : )

Back to my random Mormon pronounced marriage…so do YOU think we’re married?
I'll leave you with this awkward photo.

Friday, June 03, 2011

I miss my boy

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

I've been weeping a lot today. I miss my Delight.

Yesterday I had a wonderful day filled with joy and laughter.

Today it feels like the pain from missing Miles could swallow me whole. I can physically feel my heart beating in pain. I don't know what makes one day harder than others. I know it's a process. I know it's a process. I know it's a process.