Friday, June 15, 2018


I've never cared for the number seven, even though it's usually a significant number: days of the week, deadly sins, Voldemort's horcruxes, etc. But now, today, is the seventh month my sister is not here. Seven months I've gone without hearing her on the other line of a phone conversation, without a response to a goofy video, without words of encouragement when Mom is most annoying. She's not here to come by and have coffee with me. I'm actually not sure how seven months have gone by when it feels like she was just here yesterday.

I realized that it doesn't get easier to go through my days without thinking about her or missing her. Sometimes it feels like I'm going to finally be okay, but to be honest, it just gets pushed down over and over until it spills out. The other night, I was on my way home from work, and I was listening to some music she never heard of. But suddenly, I was choked up and couldn't keep my tears back. It just hurt to know we'll never ride in the same car together or hear her singing so loud. Even writing this is hard to do without tears. It's been a rough seven months. I'm trying to wade through the thickness of grief and mourning while holding on to the the joy of one more little soul to complete our family, but it gets overwhelming at times. I'm lucky that I have a handful of really great friends (long-distance and local) who understand my sorrow and are there for me, even if it's only through social media. They can't take Emily's place, but they help fill that empty space in my chest and remind me that it's okay to be sad.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

What do your kids know about you? Pt 2

A few years ago, I posted this, so after seeing Katie post an updated one, I thought I'd do the same.

Without ANY prompting, ask your child these questions and write down EXACTLY what they say. It is a great way to find out what they really think. When you re-post, put your child's age.

James, age 12
  1. What is something Mom always says to you? "Not right now."
  2. What makes Mom happy? "Breakfast in bed and cleaning up without you telling us to."
  3. What makes Mom sad? "If we do things that get us fussed at or if we aggravate you."
  4. How does your mom make you laugh? "By tickling me."
  5. What was your mom like as a child? "A good kid."
  6. How tall is your mom? "About five feet? Or maybe a yard and three feet... or two yards."
  7. What is her favorite thing to do? "Crochet."
  8. What does your mom do when you're not around? "Plays on the computer."
  9. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? "Crocheting the world's biggest blanket."
  10. What is your mom really good at? "Crocheting, cooking and desserting baking."
  11. What is your mom not very good at? "Um... Hmm... not hurting herself at her job."
  12. What does your mom do for a job? "Bath & Body Works and crocheting."
  13. What is your mom's favorite food? "Sushi!"
  14. What makes you proud of your mom? "She's my mom."
  15. If your mom were a character, who would she be? "Maleficent."
  16. What do you and your mom do together? "Mario Kart."
  17. How are you and your mom the same? "We both have younger siblings."
  18. How are you and your mom different? "Our favorite colors."
  19. How do you know your mom loves you? "Because she tells me that and she plays with me and reads to me."
  20. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? "Louisiana."
  21. How old was your mom when you were born? "22."
Leah, age 9
  1. What is something Mom always says to you? "Clean your room."
  2. What makes Mom happy? "Whenever I listen and do my full chore chart."
  3. What makes Mom sad? "Whenever I don't listen."
  4. How does your mom make you laugh? "Tells jokes that are really funny."
  5. What was your mom like as a child? "Nice... I think? She was good."
  6. How tall is your mom? "About four feet."
  7. What is her favorite thing to do? "Crochet, sometimes play games a bit and watch movies with Dad."
  8. What does Mom do when you're not around? "She might worry about me."
  9. If your mom becomes famous, what would it be for? "Probably making a million blankets. Crochet ones."
  10. What is your mom really good at? "Crocheting, cooking, and... lemme think. Making us happy? And keeping me safe."
  11. What is your mom not very good at? "Making me sad."
  12. What does your mom do for a job? "Um... sorts candles."
  13. What is your mom's favorite food? "Macarons and sushi."
  14. What makes you proud of your mom? "She helps me, cooks for me. She's nice to me, but she's also really good at most things."
  15. If your mom were a character, who would she be? "Someone beautiful. Maleficent."
  16. What do you and your mom do together? "We sometimes go shopping."
  17. How are you and your mom the same? "We're both girls."
  18. How are you and your mom different? "You want a bunch of children, but I don't *evil grin*."
  19. How do you know your mom loves you? "You're nice to me, you cook for me, and you play with me, and you also say you do."
  20. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? "Target and your room."
  21. How old was your mom when you were born? "25."

Saturday, June 9, 2018

BBQ & Pool

Ashley invited us over to swim and eat grilled burgers, so we accepted and spent a few hours with her and her guys. The kids had a blast in the water. I didn't pack my own suit, though I wished I had not long after putting my feet in the shallow end. I've got too many scrapes from work, so it was probably best to avoid the sting of chlorine. I'll be sure to pack a suit next time, just in case. The burgers were amazing and it was nice getting out of the house and doing something fun.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Dad and summer stuff

My dad had a stroke two weeks ago and is staying in a rehab facility for the time being. His left side is weak and he's not really trying to strengthen it on his own. The physical therapist says that he goes through the motions with them, but doesn't talk much and is just not looking so good. He just wants to stay in bed and sleep. Honestly, Dad hasn't said more than a few words since Emily died. The therapist learned this and has decided to put him on some anti-depressants in hopes it can help him find some joy in life again. He's just so sad. He doesn't want to talk about Emily, but I know she's all he thinks about. Hopefully the anti-depressants can help him.

* * * * *

It's been very hot lately. I've had a number of nosebleeds and allergy issues, as well as plenty of dizzy spells - some of which I blame on growing a small human. I've reached my second trimester already, so it's going by fast (or it will until the last month, I'm sure). We've decided on some baby names, but there are still two more weeks until we know for sure.

The kids are enjoying their summer so far. We bought a kiddie pool a few weeks ago. It took some Zac-convincing, but he agreed that "maybe it's a good idea" because OMG it's hot outside. I had brought James and Leah with me to Walmart and we picked out the largest plastic pool (only $15), then we all held it onto the roof through the windows for the ten-mile drive home... in the rain... because we didn't have rope in the trunk. A good memory for the vault.

Elias is potty training FINALLY. He's been asking to go and has been wearing Pull-ups, though he only poops on the toilet (honestly, I don't mind that in the slightest). Making progress. We may only be buying one kid diapers come December. Fingers crossed. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Leah is 9!

My little lady is 9 years old today. Unfortunately, I have to work tonight, so we're taking her out for birthday shopping tomorrow.

Last night, Mom took us out to eat at Ichiban because little lady, like her mama, loves sushi. And oh, was it divine. I got my sushi fix, though it's never enough, and I let the big kids fill up on desserts. Mom dropped off an ice cream cake after the kids were in bed, so we're set for birthday fun.

It's bittersweet because last year, we celebrated Leah's birthday at Ichiban and Emily was with us. Dad was also not as bad off health-wise as he is now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

12 weeks & other stuff

Zac took the big kids to work with him and I brought Elias with me to the doctor for my 12-week appointment. The tech spent a good ten, try-not-to-panic minutes looking for Babe's heartbeat until she realized she was too low. Strong heartbeat found, much relief. I go back June 20th.

I picked the kids up after my appointment and we went to get their new glasses. James needed a new prescription and Leah only needs hers for reading. I'm hoping she doesn't lose this pair.

After glasses, we ordered some fast food, picked up Zac for lunch, and headed to the park to hang out until Zac had to get back.

Pregnancy highlights:
How far along: 12 weeks.
Size of baby: Plum!
Total weight gain/loss: Five pounds total gained.
Maternity clothes: I can't button regular denims anymore.
Gender: Unknown.
Movement: Yes! Just a few flutters now and then when I'm lying on my back.
Cravings: Random. I wanted tomato soup and grilled cheese tonight.
Symptoms: So tired, but less nausea. Far less patience.
Best moment this week: Feeling flutters and hearing the heartbeat.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Global Wildlife, Insta-Gator Ranch

The children's group at church put together a trip to spend the day in Louisiana, visiting Global Wildlife and the Insta-Gator Ranch. Zac and I opted to ride the bus because we woke up around 5:30am and just drove to Louisiana last week. Sleep was a must. Also, less wear and tear on the car.

We arrived at Global around 10 and ate lunch, then loaded into the jeeps for the private tour. The last time we were here was in 2008. The kids had SO MUCH FUN. They don't normally get super involved with new things, but feeding the animals was something they didn't even think about. Even getting licked by the bison didn't phase them. Clyde the Camel stole their feeding cups, which broke Elias' heart, but he's roughly okay. This morning, he reminded us "He stole my cup, Daddy."

Insta-Gator Ranch was fascinating. We learned the alligators have lips on the inside of their mouths and that they really like marshmallows. We were able to catch a few babies from the nursery pond and see how flexible they can be if provoked. They can basically chew on the base of their tail if need be.

We finished our trip with a visit to a splash pad in Abita Springs to cool off, then headed to Chik Fil A for dinner before heading back to Mississippi. We did so much in a day, it made the trip worth it. I'm still exhausted today.

Monday, May 14, 2018

James is TWELVE!

I got the kids up and dressed this morning and brought them to Cracker Barrel for pancakes. It's probably been about nine years or so since I took them out by myself to eat. Usually it's from guilt that Zac can't join us (lol), but it was great having the quality time. Tonight, James wanted Fernando's so we brought his friend, Halek, with us. The staff sang the Spanish birthday song and put a sombrero on James' head, as well as a mouth full of whipped cream. He thought it was awesome. They even gave him a bowl of fried ice cream. All the kids shared it since they were mostly full from tacos. James said it was probably his most favorite birthday. I can't believe he's 12 already!