Friday, December 7, 2007


Well, it's pretty obvious that I took some time off from writing. I was angry. Plain and simple, I was angry and i just didn't want to unleash that beast here before I took some time to work through it. Christmas is posing to be a bit of a challenge for me this year. Go figure. I am flip flopping between not wanting any part of all of the "holiday cheer" to completely over doing it when I realize how excited my little lady gets when she sees the pretty lights, or hangs an ornament on the tree. I have been collapsing at night after getting through a day pretending that it's all ok. I have been short with my ever so patient husband because I was angry at my parents. I was angry at my parents because I put the pressure on myself that I needed to be the one to take care of them and make sure everything went without a hitch for them this year. I got really angry at Jon for leaving us and for all the pressure it has caused me to put on myself. Not to mention how much I miss him. So, how did I work through it?
I simply did what I do best, but there were a few twists this time. I typically pick up the phone and call Michelle, followed by a list of "the girls" and I cry and I vent and then I feel better. Oh, I did that. And I thank you all for listening to me and for helping to carry me through yet another needy moment! BUT, this time, before I picked up that phone, I prayed. I prayed that our God would put peace in my heart and take the anger away. Then, I went and talked to my husband about it.
This is something that I have had to work very hard at. My initial response is always to pick up the phone. It's what I have always done. Well, Rob brought that to my attention not too long ago. He said to me "Why can't you talk to me about what's bothering you?". I didn't have an answer other than "I do, but this is how I deal." It bothered me though. And I decided that since my husband is my best friend, I should be going to him first! DUH! I thought it would be easy, but I have actually had to make a conscious effort to go to him first. (The upside is that it has also caused me to stop and pray before I do anything!)
So, we talked, I cried, got angry and sad, and you know what? I felt a whole lot better after that! I will still pick up the phone, but now I know that the order I do things in is pretty important. If I pray first, God just opens me up to be able to share the parts of me that my husband wants to see. I guess I felt like he just wouldn't want to deal with it, but now I know that he does, and he does it willingly and unconditionally. Also, while I still feel the need to share these things with all of you who have been my support system for so long, at least now I can share those things, but not be so negative because I give myself time to sort through it first!
Alright, this is a pretty random post, and probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but you all know that's just who I am! Love you all!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Prodigal Son

Saturday brought with it a break in the weather. It was still pretty chilly for March, but the ice was beginning to melt, and the sun was trying to make it's way through. It was with a particularly heavy heart that I got up that morning. I knew this would be the last day to gather with everyone to say goodbye to Jon. Part of me just wanted it to be over, but part of me felt that if we could just keep doing things, we could not forget. I know now, that yes, some people will forget, and that is ok. I also know that those people who will never forget are the people who always have and always will stand by us.
Suicide is a tricky thing when it comes to a funeral service. Some people think it is simply a selfish act by the person, some people think that there was some serious mental illness, and some people just don't know what to think! It can be difficult to try and decipher what needs to be said as a way of goodbye. I asked Pastor M to do the service for us. He didn't know Jon other than what I had told him. He met him once, at my wedding. He did an amazing service. He was able to bring some serious understanding to me, and I think he reached quite a few people that Saturday. He told the story of the Prodigal Son. Now, without going through the sermon word for word - but I probably could - the message I got from this sermon was this: Jon is not alone. He is like the Prodigal Son, now kneeling at the feet of God, and being embraced by our heavenly Father. All of the troubles, and terrible things in his life have been forgiven. He did not know how else to deal with the things he was going through, and when it became too much for his human body and brain to handle, he was embraced by God.
What a comfort this brought to me! This sermon, and this comparison is the thing I am holding onto like a baby to their "blankie" right now. I need to believe that Jon has been embraced by the arms of Jesus, and that his hurting has ceased.
Most of you reading this knew Jon as well as I did. I love you all for that more than you could know! I truly believe that he tried so hard to do the right things. He just couldn't do it. I have tried so hard myself to figure out what made him choose some of the things he did, but I can't figure it out for sure. Depression? Yes, I think so. Addiction? Definitely. Caused by the depression? Maybe. Could it have been inherited? I haven't done enough research to know if that's possible. He was a man (sounds weird to say that, but he was a man, even though I still think of him as a boy!) who was deeply hurting, and he had his mind made up. He felt that he could simply not go on living the life he was living. I will not know what the last straw was, I can only guess, until I can ask him face to face. I wait earnestly for that day to come. I have many things left to do here, but when God decides it is my day, i think I might just dance on up there!

And so, one part of my journey is complete. I have told my version of this story. Oh, there is still so much more to tell. Now, I can begin the rest of my journey from the present. The past will still be here, and it will not be forgotten, but I think that now that I have it here, so I can go back to it when I want to, I can let it go a little bit. It's hard for me to say that. I don't mean to let it go like I will "get over it", I am just hoping that it may get a bit easier now...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I think this would count, and I really can't wait to share it!

This is going to be an extremely difficult Thanksgiving for my family. We toyed for a brief moment about not doing it, but we realize that we must keep going. Jon would want it that way. We are going to my parents house, and although my mom wants to cook and be a busy little bee, there are some things that she just can't do this year. Usually, there would be a tray of baked ziti because Jon did not eat turkey! (Or any of the YUMMY things that go with it!) So, he'd eat his ziti, and cornbread. I know, weird! She also could not bring herself to buy the little blue box of Jiffy corn muffin mix. We all agreed we needed to have it, so I was elected to do it. I volunteered, really. I need to do something to ease the burden, so I figured I'd conquer that fear and get it over with. Oh, there are still things I can't buy - pop tarts and pizza rolls. Those two things were always on hand in case Jon was around and hungry! Can't even touch them now.
So, I went to the grocery store, much against my will, on my way home yesterday. I plowed through my list, nicely avoiding the corn muffin mix. When I had finally gotten everything on my list, I took a deep breath and went for it. I prayed all the way down the aisle. When I got there, I stopped, and with a tear in my eye, I actually laughed! Just seeing the box reminded me of how silly I always thought it was that the boy who hated anything to do with cooking would faithfully make his corn muffins every week. He always did look silly to me when he was in the kitchen. I laughed, and I thanked my God for helping me find a wonderful memory from something I was so afraid to do!
That wasn't my real EG Moment though. When I was walking out of the store, there was a lady, with beautiful white & silver hair standing just outside. I slowed my pace, not sure if she was waiting for someone, or if she had maybe forgotten where her car was (Had that experience once before!). As I got closer to her, she turned and faced me and I simply smiled, still not sure why this sweet woman was just standing there in the cold. Well, she looked me right in the eye and said, you will have a wonderful holiday, and enjoy your cooking! I hope that I didn't look as shocked as I felt for that split second! I thanked her, and told her I hoped hers would be just as happy. I walked to my car with a much lighter heart as I went home to set about my "cooking" preparations.
Thank you, Jesus, for putting some angels here for us!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Living Well, or at least trying hard!

So, I have completed my first week of LWW. My goals were to:

Workout 3 times this week
Track my food
have quiet time each day

I did not have a stellar week, but it was certainly better since I was concentrating! Plus, add being accountable to my people pleasing personality and i tried so hard! I did get in 2 workouts, although they were at home, so they weren't as good as the should have been.
I tracked my food. That was a tough pill to swallow this week. There were 2 things that I had been craving, and I knew I would not be satisfied with anything unless I had them. The first was a nice juicy hamburger. So, we went to Friday's, and I had it. I didn't finish it, but boy was it good. Tough to admit to on the tracker, but I am committed to logging everything that goes into my mouth! The next craving I had was for a sandwich called "The Boone" from a favorite deli. It's breaded chicken, bacon, melted American, and Russian dressing all on a roll. Mmmm...Well, I had that on Sunday. That was just as good as I remembered!
I know this is not really a weight watchers philosophy by any means, but I normally give myself the weekends off to just realx and not worry about my points. I am able to do this because I don't use my "extra" points throughout the rest of the week. So, theoretically I did not even go over my points. I think it was more of a mind game though. Plus, with Thanksgiving on Thursday, I probably should have saved all of my extra points! It's ok though, I still have some!

And my Quiet Time goal...I had my devotional time each day. I just wouldn't really call it quiet. I was able to do devotions each day, but my quiet alone prayer time has been getting done driving to and from work! Yes, I am alone and it is quiet, but I have to concentrate on driving, so I just don't feel that I am giving God the respect he deserves from me while I am praying to him. This goal needs to be worked on. A lot!
So my goals for the coming week are:

Continue to track my points
Focus on quiet time
Make Thanksgiving as happy as I can for my family (My parents are struggling a lot right now, as am I)
Make sure I get to the gym for at least 2 of my 3 workouts

Monday, November 19, 2007

An Ice Storm In March...

It would just be Jon's luck that we would wake up and there would be a horrible ice storm on the first day of his services! It was one of the rare moments in those few days that we were able to smile at the irony. We had some errands to do, and my brother & sister-in-law were coming to take over the care of our Little Lady. We met at my parents house first, and we had all decided it would be a very quiet night since we didn't expect most people to make it out in the icy weather. Well, again, God knows better. The place was packed. You could hardly move, and it was pretty overwhelming. It seemed that everyone came, and no one was even tempted to stay home because of the weather. And thankfully, God kept everyone safe. Not that there weren't a few minor incidents, but no one got hurt. We cried, we hugged, we were even able to laugh. I think the hardest thing for me that night was to see how many of HIS friends were there. We didn't even know he knew that many people! It was like we weren't allowed into that part of his life. It made me sad. I mean, Matt & Ca were his best friends, and we all grew up together and spent literally every day with, and I really had no idea that they were all still so close. That's pretty sad on my part. I felt terrible. We are rebuilding those relationships now, but it's so hard to know that this is what it took for that to happen. I always thought poor Matt was a bad influence. Boy, was I ever wrong. He was probably the best person Jon could have chosen to have in his life at the time.
This is where quite a bit of my guilt comes in. I look at some of my friends and the relationships they have with their siblings. Yes, we were a close family, but let's be honest. Jon & I didn't see eye to eye more often than not. He was into his drinking and drugging, and I was trying to settle down. I didn't want to be a part of his lifestyle, but I should have been more a part of his life. I can't go back now. And I can't apologize to him for that, and I will never know if it would have helped him. I love him, he's my brother, and I should have been there for him more...

Friday, November 16, 2007

One Last Time...

I laid awake all of Wednesday night knowing what Thursday would bring. We were supposed to see Jon one last time. I just didn't think I could do it. I felt sick, I couldn't breathe. Some people told me it was ok not too. Others told me I needed to do it. At the time, most importantly to me, my parents wanted me to do it. So, we went. I let them go in first. I gave them some time, not necessarily because I was thinking of them, but because I was stalling. The director told me it was ok. You couldn't even tell. They did a phenomenal job, and the wound was very small. It was our turn. I literally dragged my feet to the doorway. I closed my eyes, and my husband held on to me tight. I took a deep breath, and in we wnt. I did not look at first. I kept my eyes on my feet. When got about 10 feet away, i looked up. There he was. I could see it. It didn't matter how small it was. I knew where it was and I could see it as if they had done nothing to hide it. I panicked. I felt my legs turn rubbery. "Sit, just sit, it will be ok" my husband said. I could not sit. That would mean I would be stuck in that room. I made myself go just a little bit closer, but I couldn't do anymore. Mr. B (also happened to work at the funeral home) had to help my husband get me out of the room. As soon as I was able to regain some sort of control, I was completely mortified at my behavior. I felt horrible for having reacted that way i front of my parents. They had enough to deal with. They didn't need to be worrying about me. Mr. B had asked if it would be ok if Ca came to see him. "Of course", was the unanimous answer he got form us all! Looking back, I wish I had thought enough to stay to be with her.
Then we went back to my parents house. It was a full house. Everyone had started arriving, and there was not a quiet place to go. Oh, and I know that everyone meant well, but I just wanted to get away from "Did you eat?" and "You should have your feet up". I know I was pregnant, but I was not sick! I needed to just do what I had to do! My Aunt & Uncle and cousins had come from upstate,and we decided that the kids (Ha, their not much younger than us!) would stay at our house. I so needed that. My Aunts and Grandma had arrived all the way from Texas - and they drove! Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Georgia, Vermont, and probably a few other places I can't quite think of right now. Everyone came for us. Jon had a lot of other siblings besides me! Every one of you accepted him just as wholeheartedly as you did me. It means the world to me.
I didn't get much sleep Thursday night again, and woke up to ice everywhere on Friday...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thankful Thursday

This is another one of those neat things done over at Extravagant Grace and I love this one too!

Today, I have so much to be Thankful for!

1. Tomorrow is Friday, and I have made it through a trying week at work!

2. I have started to write again. I was resistant becasue I did not want to face what I need to.
This was the first step in my journey, because I needed to pray about it. The answer was
crystal clear. And I thank all of you for the support you are giving me to continue.

3. For my family. For my husband who loves me no matter what, and who knows the place I
am in right now. He is giving me the time I need to do this. And my girls, they seem to know
also. Little Lady has had an amazing turn around with some behaviors in the last two weeks.
Praise God!

I have so many things to be thankful for, and I know this. I also know that you have probably been reading on here so long that your eyes are blurry, so I will save some stuff for next week!

Finally Home...

We made it to my parents house. No one spoke, we just went inside. We soon had much company. My Aunt came over, and Mr. & Mrs. B (friends from down the street - my brother practically lived at their house, their son is his best friend. And C, who was with him at his apartment as early as that morning is his sister.) Everyone was trying to make me sit. I don't want to sit. I need to make phone calls. I have to get as many people to my parents as I can. So, I begin the task. I call Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and friends. No one can believe it. No one knows what to say. Well, what do you say? I mean, no one is ever expecting a call like that! I can't reach some of the people that I desperately need to reach. I can't leave a message. I just keep calling. I call some that I have already spoken too. I could recount each and every conversation, but really, we'd be here all year if I did that! I couldn't cry. It just wouldn't come. This bothered me to no end. Why wouldn't it come? Did I not care? Of course I cared, but I guess I still needed to be in control. My parents needed me to be in control. I would remain in control. This is where I must tell you that I have the most amazing friends in the world. God has blessed me with people who, no matter what, always stand with me. S, thank you for coming so quickly. J, you don't know what it means to me that you came home from vacation for me. And to all of you, (I'd love to list you all, but that would be confusing with so many letters! You know who you are!), who dropped everything, and traveled from all over to get to us, I can't put into words what that means. You traveled through horrible ice storms, and still made it to us. You traveled with small children, and on virtually no sleep, but you were here. And, E, you were wonderful. I can't thank you enough for all you did for us. Contacting the church, and Pastor M, arranging meals, praying with me. And simply being there for me. And, you all still are. I love you guys. My family extends far beyond blood. Christ has given me the most amazing brothers and sisters! And my parents friends, who of course I feel just as close to, they came too. From all over the place. It was truly amazing.
"eat, please eat, and put your feet up", those were the words I heard over and over for the rest of the day. "I'm ok, I'm not hungry". How could I eat? Are you kidding? I need to get out of here, I need some air! Finally, when the last person left, my husband, and S & J (two of my amazing entourage) decided I needed to get home. Little lady was going to have a sleepover with her cousins, so we went home. It happened. I walked through my door, into little ladies bedroom, sat on her bed, and the floodgates opened. I think I cried for at least an hour. S just sat and held me. Thank you. They put me to bed, where I must have slept for a while because the next thing I kne it was 3am. I just laid there with my eyes open for a while. If I shut them, I saw it all again. Finally, I got up and wandered around. I tried not to wake my husband, he was just as exhausted as I was, plus he was worrying about me. Finally, it was time to call & say that he was going to get Little Lady so we could take her to school. I wanted her to keep her routine. Of course, in the back of my mind I knew I was doing that more for me than her. So, we got her dressed and took her to school so we could go to my parents for a while. "are you sure you want to go in?", my husband asked me when we got to church (where Little Lady goes to pre-school). I needed to go in, I didn't know why until I got there, but I felt the need to go in. I never made it past the lobby. There's definitely something to be said about a prayer chain! And how wonderful God is. Pastor M was just coming down the stairs, and E, you walked in the door at the most perfect moment. It was what I needed. I needed that strength, and to get some of my emotion out before we went to my parents. Thank you! (I know, and I'm struggling with my faith right now?)
We went to my parents, and decided that we would go to the funeral home at 2:00. I had a Dr. appointment earlier - I don't think I needed to go, but you just do what you're told in that situation! So, I went to the Dr., Hubby got Little Lady from school, and we met back at my parents. Oh, what joy my Little one was able to bring to her Grandma and Papa! In the midst of all the grief, she was just a shining little star. She stayed with my Aunt while we went to the funeral home. I asked Pastor M to meet us there. I don't know why, but I felt like we needed him there. And, he came without any hesitation. We made the arrangements. There would be no casket. He would be cremated. However, the owner of the funeral home is an old family friend. Knowing that my mom & I had found my brother, he did not want us to have to remember that as the last time we saw him. So, he spoke to my hubby and my dad and told them that when they brought my brother in, he was going to see if he could fix things so we could have a final private viewing. Just the four of us. No, no, no. That's what I said to that. I did not want to see him. I couldn't. I panicked. "Just know it will be an option if you change your mind. It's ok if you don't." Sure...
We went back to my parents house. This is where things get just a little fuzzy. We weren't doing anything until Friday, but we had pictures to arrange, and flowers to order, and people were already starting to arrive. Oh, and that private viewing was set for Thursday morning. I remember all of you getting there, but I can't remember what days it happened. We spent a lot of time opening fruit baskets, and going through pictures. Bec & Sta, thank you for basically doing all the picture boards for me! (Sorry, I can't do the letter thing anymore, it's confusing me!) We were so blessed and felt so much love & compassion during those days. We are still so enveloped in it now. Thank you all...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I've done some reading about LWW, and I think it's something I'd like to get involved in. I've been trying to do some things to get healthy in general, and I do have a pretty large support system for all of it, but I think it might be nice to have some support that knows Jesus!

I have some goals, and I'm being brutally honest here, because there would be no sense in doing it if I wasn't!

My long term goals are these:

To make the time each and every day to have my quiet time. (At the moment, my quiet time consists of reading the devotionals over at Extravagant Grace, which are perfect for my quiet time. The problem is that I am reading them with a 4 year old singing and a 4 month old on my lap!)
To make it to the gym three times a week! (And stay for at least 30 minutes!)
To count my points. I am currently going to Weight Watchers, and I absolutely love it, but I tend to be pretty lax when counting. I have five more pounds until goal, and I'd love to get there in the next three weeks!
To quit smoking. I know, I know, I hear the gasps. I do terrible guilt about it. I quit when I found out I was pregnant, and then, my brother was gone. Like I said, I have a lot of work to do, and that's a big thing for me. Please pray for me that when March comes around, I will keep the promise I made to my husband and to God. March 20th. There, I did it. I said it out loud. I know, why not now. Well, I still have a lot of "firsts" to get through before March. The grief outweighs my ability to let go and let God right now. So, I am on a journey, and it's going to be a long one!
To run a mile without stopping. Some of you know just how much I love to run...I'd rather eat brussel sprouts!

My goals for the next week: (I guess from today until next Wednesday?)

Quiet time each day
Count my points
Get to the gym three times (or at least do a home workout!)

Monday, November 12, 2007


The gasp, the gripping of my arm, she fell onto nothing other than one of the rifle cases sitting in the hallway. The sobbing, the screaming. "It's not supposed to happen this way!" "I am supposed to go first!" These are the sounds and the images that I see and hear on a consistent basis. These are not fading. None of it is. I have to take control. I must make the call. Call now, my brain keeps telling me, but my fingers can't seem to dial. Finally, I dial. I tell him "I need help, my brother shot himself in the head! Please, help me. my mother, she can't breathe!"
"Alright, we're sending someone now. What's the address?" Amazingly, even though I had never been there before, I was able to tell him the address. He asked me "Where did he shoot himself?" I know I had already told him that. I told him again. "Is he breathing?", he asked me. I told him no. "Can you make sure?", he asked. I begged him, Please, don't make me look again!" My brothers phone is ringing. It's my husband. "I have to answer this" I manage to tell him. "Keep me on this line with you, I'm going to stay with you until they get there" he said. He listens, I suppose as i tell me husband what has happened. Poor guy, all I could get out was "He is dead, I need you!" He doesn't tell me to calm down, he doesn't get hysterical, he simply tells me "I love you, and I am on my way, but I need to hang up so I can drive." We hang up. I apologize to the 911 operator. He tells me it's ok, they are almost there. My mother calls my Dad. He doesn't understand what's going on. She yells at him "He's dead!" and hangs up, barely able to breathe. I hear the sirens. They don't knock. Two officers come bursting through the door. "Are you hurt?" one asks me. "No, but he's dead!" He puts his arm around my shoulder and leads me to the couch. "No, no, no, I need to get out. I want out!" I tell him. "Ok, lets get you out of here, we'll get you some air", he says. "Wait! I need to get my mom - she can't , she just can't walk. I need you to help me get her out. She needs to get out of here. I want her checked by the EMT's. Please, make them check her. She has an anxiety disorder and high blood pressure!" I plead with him. He actually grabbed me tighter, and told me we would be ok. "You can do this - for her" he told me.
I had no choice. I had to do this. So, I got her checked. She was in shock already. She kept saying over and over again "She's pregnant, she's pregnant". So, I had to be checked too. My husband arrived. I don't want to know how many traffic laws he broke in his 10 bay truck to do it, but he was there in five minutes. He literally carried my mom & I off the ambulance.
(Now, it has taken a lot of space to document all of that, but honestly, that was only about 10 minutes of the day.)
I am in charge. I will remain composed. I can not cry. I can not get hysterical. I call my Dad. "Where are you?" I ask him. "I'm headed toward his apartment, but I don't really know where it is." he says with an almost monotone in his voice. I give him the detailed directions. "Is someone driving you? I ask. "No, I will be careful. I love you." he said. I love you too. Be safe." We hang up. The officer that helped us outside is talking to my husband. The other is inside. I guess one has to stay inside with my brother until the rest of the entourage shows up. We've managed to get my mom to sit. She's sitting in my car. We realize that she is missing a lens from her glasses. (Seems insignificant, but this is EVERYTHING I remember.) The officer goes in and gets it for her. We put it back in. I leave my husband to hold her. I am in control. I need to get this out on the prayer line NOW. I need to talk, I need to stay in control. I go down my list. I realize later that this is probably not what I should have done. This is not a call you should make to people who are at work, or home alone with their kids without someone there for them. That much control I did not have. I just needed to reach out. And, you all were incredible. (E & M - thank you for praying with me.) My Dad arrives. I grabbed him tight as he got out of his car. I brought him to my Mom. Hubby and I went to his car, got his phone, and called his best friend. He came. He was there for us and stayed for the hours and hours we waited.
I had one last phone call I needed to make. We couldn't get a hold of his roommate. So, I called my brothers best friends house. Spoke to Mrs. B. She said that C (our childhood friend, and one of my brothers best friends) had only left there at 9:00 am. They were hysterical. I was in control. I needed to keep control. My mom had to speak to the detective. He was a very warm and understanding man. I am thankful for that. The coroners came. They brought him out. Zipped in the black bag. My parents hugged him. I just could not go near him. I needed the control. I'd lose control. I did not want to get that close. The detectives kept bringing things out of the apartment in long cardboard boxes. "What are they doing?", I asked the officer who stayed close by us. "They have to take all the guns right now for evidence", he said. When I looked into his eyes, I saw that he was actually hurting for us, and so I stopped mid sentence. I was going to tell him that it was dumb to do that since the one he used was in his lap.
After what I believe was close to four hours, the detectives gathered the five of us - My parents, My husband & I and my uncle. "Again, I can't tell you all how sorry I am to have to have met you today. You should all go now, go and be together. We are done here, we won't touch any more of his things." He turned to my mother and said "Go home, and hold tight to your husband, and these two kids. You will all get through this."
I wanted to scream at him - "How? How do we get through this?" But I needed to keep control. I had to get my Mom home, I had to keep my dad in my mirror, and my husband in front of me. Just get them home...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Time Tips...Well, I need some!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is good. A very, very good thing to do - especially if you, like me, need to take stock of your priorities.

I am hoping that by joining in this particular journey, I will be able to make myself make the time for the things that are most important. This should help. Being completely honest here is sure going to make me cringe!!!

My Typical Day (Monday through Friday)

4:45am - Alarm goes off. (I hit the snooze til 5:15 - yes, it takes that long for me to get up!)

5:15am - Shower, get dressed and ready for work. Hubby leaves for work at 5:45, so we pray that
Baby Bean sleeps til we are both off to work!

6:30am - Off to work til 3pm!

3:30pm - Home from work! Spend some time with my girls! This is the best part of my day!

4:15pm - Hit the gym. (Well, I try to anyway!)

5:00pm - Start dinner (Mondays - Tues & Wed we got to friends houses & Mondays I cook for all of us. This really helps the budget!)

6:30pm - Dinner time!
We eat, chit chat about our days, Little lady tells us stories, and baby bean gets lots of attention too!

8:00pm - Little lady begins bedtime routine. I get to end it with a story =)

8:30pm - If all goes well, little lady is tucked in, and Hubby and I are catching up on some TiVo!

9:00pm - Me time. I get to sit at the computer and just veg, really. Or, I clean and get ready for the
next day!Hubby gives baby bean her last bottle before nite nite! Typically we have to wake her to do this, and I hate waking a sleeping baby. But I hate being woken up at 3am more!

10:00pm - Lights out. 4:45 comes all too quickly.

What's Missing...
So, this is my typical work day. I am VERY much aware of a key element that is missing. I do not think it's physically possible for my body to get up any earlier (and Hubby wouldn't be so happy if the alarm went off any earlier, either!) I know that it would be perfect to start my day with my quiet time, and I am working on trying to get my body to get up at 5:00 instead of 5:15 so I will have at least 15 minutes before my wonderful mother gets here to take care of my girls. I just haven't figured out how to do it yet.

What's important...
Well, my time with Jesus is important, just seeming to be non-existent right now. My other big "important" is the time I spend with my family. I love to be with them, and just be silly, or even just quiet. Lately, I have to force myself to put aside the things that can wait, and spend the time they all deserve from me.


I have gone to therapy, I have read every book I can find, and I have spoken to my closest friends at length. The counselor, the books, and one friend in particular have all said the same thing. Journal it, you need to tell your story, write again. Well, since it seems to keep coming up, I guess it's time to jump in and do it. Be warned! It's a LONG story! I'd like to say it begins in a land far, far away and has a nice fairytale ending, but this story just plain doesn't. Can you tell that I am procrastinating? It's almost as if I don't really tell the story, it couldn't have possibly happened for real. It's a nightmare, and I am going to wake up. I haven't woken up. It's real, and I know that. I just don't want to. So, here goes nothing...

It's Monday morning, March 12th. I am sitting at my desk at work, probably daydreaming, when my phone rings, sending my 10 feet out of my chair! It's my wonderful husband(WH), and I automatically know something isn't right. He never calls in the morning, only when he's done for the day and on his way home. "Can you call your brother? He didn't show up this morning."
Now, the sinking feeling I got in my stomach was nothing new when it came to my beloved brother (BB). BB had a way of making you worry and stress about him pretty consistently. He'd just had a tooth pulled, his car broke down, he was out of money, and that little black cloud just seemed to be following him everywhere. The night before, he had called me and was telling me how he didn't know how he was going to get to work because he had no money for gas. Well, normally I'd just give him twenty bucks, call it a loss and be done with it. I didn't have it. Payday was still 3 days away, and we weren't sure our cars would get us through with the gas left in them. He called again later, and WH spoke to him. (They worked together, which really built a great bond that they both needed.) Hubby talked to him for a while and calmed him down. Told him to get some sleep, and BB's last word to him were "See ya in the morning."
I called BB at 9:06 am. No answer. I left a message that Mom & I were worried & Hubby said you didn't show up for work, please call me. ( I called my Mom first to see if she had heard from him. She couldn't reach him either.) So, now that he wouldn't answer a call from even my Mom, she panicked. I told her to call my Aunt and get my 3 year old little lady to her, and I would take Mom to BB's apartment. (He'd only been in it for a month, and none of us had been there yet except WH.) Called WH to find out exactly where the apartment was. Came home, got Mom - little lady was safely deposited at my Aunt's - and off we went.
My mother was visibly shaking. She'd had a conversation with BB the day before. He admitted he was depressed and that he was scared. She begged him to stay at her house that night. He told her he would be ok and PROMISED not to do anything"stupid". She said to me on our way "He has all those guns". I thought, yeah, and we're going there to fight with him because he overslept and just doesn't seem to care about anything anymore.
A mother always knows. The car was in the driveway, and we knocked and pounded on the door for a few minutes. The door was unlocked. We went in. The tv was on in his room. He had done it. He had taken his life. At 10:21 am I called 911.
BB was passionate about guns. Went to the range every weekend - WH would go with him sometimes. Taught me how to shoot a gun when we went upstate. He was also insanely responsible with them. When he lived at my parents house, little lady was NEVER to go into his room where he kept them, even though they were locked up and the bullets were kept somewhere else. And what he was so passionate about is what he used to end his life.
I'd like to say that the rest is all a blur after we found him, but it's not. I remember every single detail down to the way the lights were positioned on the funky light fixture in his living room. There's so much more I know I need to tell. And I will get to it...

New Beginnings...

This has been a year of "new" for me. The first new was accepting the fact that there was a new life growing in my body! (God has a really big sense of humor sometimes, doesn't he?) That was a big one! We were certainly planning on expanding our family, but in our own time. God decided he'd like us to expand a little sooner! So, we accepted, panicked, planned, and started to get excited. Enter the second "new". Life without my brother. This new was not humorous at all, but simply devastating. My brother chose to leave us in March. A "new" I never dreamed was possible. So, as life progressed in a fog for me, I was introduced the the first "new" in July. This of course brought about the third "new" of my journey so far. Living with two children!
With that said, I have decided it is time to start to document my journey as the "new" becomes not quite so new anymore, and as I try to learn how to live for God again. I will apologize in advance because I am sure to publish some things before I really think about it. I tend to babble a lot when I get a thought. (I'll do my best to keep that to a minimum!) I will ask for your prayer. "New" is seeming to be a pretty dark place right now, and I am trusting that this will be the tunnel that I can find the light at the end of.
Perhaps, God will use even my humble babbling to help someone in their own journey of "new".

And finally...
Please forgive me, I am still not all that familiar with "blogging", so this will probably be pretty primitive. We'll just call it another "new" on this journey!