Friday, September 30, 2011


I've been in such a funk lately with blogging. I have so much on my mind, yet absolutely no energy to update. Life has just been hard lately, I feel further away from Ainslee. Today is the last day of September, which means tomorrow starts the month I used to love, the month I now dread. Tomorrow we have a Walk to Remember for Ainslee. Hopefully it'll be a good way to start October in remembering a life that was cherished by many.

Today I met the headstone company at the cemetery to intall Ainslee's headstone. I got to watch them do the entire thing and I had Adrian there with me so he could watch the transition of her getting her headstone. I felt like it would be good for both of us to see. This way, I didn't just show up at the cemetery and it was changed. I like to be involved as much as possible with anything that changes with Ainslee's things. That way I have the control and don't get caught off guard by the change.

At any rate, I wanted to share the design I did and the headstone I chose for my daughter. It was important for me to not look at her headstone and feel even more sad than I already would. I wanted it to be a celebration of her life, and I wanted it to be age appropriate. I wanted it to show how beautiful she was, how much we love and care for her, and most importantly, be a legacy of the life of an amazing little girl. The design turned out beautiful, and I am so happy with the end result.

Here it is!

Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Greatest Man I Ever Knew....

Growing up I didn't have the traditional Mother/Father madly in love and united type of family. My Mom was definitely around, more of a best friend than a Mom. She has always been there for me but in my raisings, I shared my time with her and my Mima and Pappy. My Mima passed away 5 years ago and I still have a hard time with that occasionally. She was a wonderful woman and I miss her dearly.

When my Mima passed away, it opened up a great avenue for me to extend my relationship with my Pappy. My Pappy and I always had a good relationship, but often my Mima was the mediator between us two. If I'd call home from college, I'd talk to her and have her relay messages to him. Occasionally she'd make me talk to him so he didn't get his feelings hurt. I'm glad she did this.

Although I was always close with Pappy, our relationship really took off when she passed away. I would call him every day for a year, I was terrified of losing him too. I finally made myself call him every other day and eventually got into a natural routine of when I'd call. We never went more than 3 days without talking though. When he decided to sell the house I grew up in, the only house they had ever had in Oklahoma, that was hard. I have so many fond memories of that house. He moved into a retirement center where he could still have his little dog Gina, he had his car to come and go, and most importantly he still had his independence.

Back in December of 2010, he got pneumonia. That pneumonia has since led to many hospitalizations, weakness, lapses in memory, and a loss of independence. It has been awful to watch him age so quickly in an 8 month period. I remember when he was so sick in December I wanted him to meet Ainslee so bad, to hold her. I had to get the picture of him holding her for the first time. He was too sick to remember her in December. I took her back up to see him at the end of January, just 2 weeks before she passed away and he finally got to hold her. I remembered thinking I had to get her to meet him before he passed away. Little did I know, she would be the one to pass away. Makes me sick.

My Pappy is now wheelchair bound, has to have constant assistance, has lost independence, no longer makes his decisions, and has various memory lapses. Due to his changed state of health, he is no longer able to go back to his retirement center. Due to limited options with his dog Gina, his medicaid, his desire for a private room, and many other issues, the family has decided to move him closer to one of my aunts where she can keep his dog and he will be in a private facility so she can take the dog to see him every day. He says he doesn't want to leave Lawton, but he also does not want to be away from Gina. Seems like a tricky difficult situation. I just feel sorry for him. I feel so sad that he didn't get his wish to die in his sleep in Lawton.

So, tomorrow morning at 4 in the morning, my 2 aunts are transporting him and Gina down to San Antonio. They have to be there by 1 in the afternoon to allow the doctor to access Pappy. I know he's going to be confused, I know he's going to be sad. He's leaving the town he's been in for nearly 35 years. He's leaving his friends that come and visit him on a regular basis. He's leaving the church family he's known. He's leaving his home. And with that, he's left his independence.

He is by far the most wonderful man, has a very kind heart. He has been the man I look up to, the man I go to for advice, the person I count on. He is by far the greatest man I ever knew.

I love you Pappy!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Adrian's 1st Day of Preschool

SIGH...Today is Adrian's first day of preschool. I have been dreading it. The last 7 months now, he's been at home with me all day every day. And while it can get exhausting to keep up with a 2 year old and work full time, I love having my munchie here. His preschool is only 2 days a week from 9 to 2:30 and it's at our church.

This morning we got up, packed his lunch, got him ready...and we were off! I kept trying to tell him that he's going to be at school with his friends and he'll get to see the fishies at school and that he'll have a wonderful day. I reminded him that Mommy's not staying there with him but I will be there to pick him up right after his nap. I was a nervous wreck, so sick to my stomach.

As we walked up to the school hand in hand, he carried his little camo lunchbox, took his 1st day of school picture, and in we went. A lot of the 2 year olds were screaming as they detached from their mothers and were placed in the care of the teachers. Our turn came up....I gave him a kiss, or two, and then hugged him. I told him how much I loved him and that I will see him soon. He was picked up by the teacher, who by the way is the sweetest lady, and he had tears in his eyes and said, "bye Momma." It broke my heart.

The other kids in the class were crying and I stuck around to keep an eye on him through a little window so I felt "okay" about leaving. I saw that he was starting to cry b/c of the excitement of the other kids crying. But, I knew he'd eventually be okay and start having fun.

Today is just such a hard day for me. Travis is working the same shift (10am -7 pm) that he worked the day he dropped Adrian and Ainslee off at daycare. AND, it's a Tuesday. It's all too familiar to me and it really has brought up some sad emotions, more fear, and feelings of missing Ainslee more. I can't believe we're headed down this new journey in life, without her.

Adrian has just been my little savior. He has really helped me in this grieving process. He has shown me I have so much to live for. He is more than a blessing, more than I could ever ask for, he is my everything. And I am so so thankful for him. He can make me laugh, even when I don't want to. He can bring the smile back to my face. He can help me find more pieces of the "real me." I know I'll never be the same as I was the day before this happened, but he definitely helps bring a lot of light into our lives.

I'll be so ready to go get him at 2:30 and hear all about his first day. I hope it goes well. Only 4 more hours!

Oh..and BTW, HDS (Holton's Drive for SIDS) was a huge success! The numbers were all tallied and the total amount raised for SIDS research was:


We were so thankful to be a part of a wonderful cause and see the support of many people. Talk soon!