Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In Memoriam

Today, our sweet little puppy dog, Rudder, went to heaven. He has been the best dog our family could ever ask for...well behaved, fun, playful and full of love. We will miss him tremendously.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Holiday time

Well, it is typically a very happy and busy time of the year for us and this year it is definitely busy. The kids are keeping me on my toes, even though they are not involved in any extra-curricular activities. Between birthdays and holidays, it's a little crazy.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to fly to my brothers house in VA to spend time with my family and yes, I actually went BY MYSELF! The first time in 7 years! It was fun, but a little tiring. I loved being an "aunt" for a change, and I got to hold my new nephew/Godchild. He is so sweet. What a great weekend I had!

The kids held their own and seemed to have some fun with just Dad. Off to the movies (to see "Bolt") and to the neighbors house across the street to make a Gingerbread house. I missed them and I think they missed me. It was good for all of us though.

Now to figure out Christmas. I will be a single parent again for several months in a few weeks so live it up, right?

Monday, November 3, 2008

All American Halloween

Nope, no spooky creatures here, just my all-American crew. We had a great Halloween this year...Bethany and Ashley decided, of course, to dress up as Hannah Montana. Might as well, since this is her last season on the show! Nicholas, of course, a baseball player. The decision was tough for him because he wasn't sure what he wanted to dress up as until 2 nights before. It was between Spider Man, Red Sox player, Phillies player (mainly because he played for the Phillies last spring and since they won the World Series...) or a Spider. I was routing for the spider because I really wanted to make him a costume...but he chose a Red Sox player. Of the 6 Halloweens he has participated in, 4 have been a sports figure of some sort...go figure. Then, of course, Holly had to be Tinkerbell. The new movie came out on Tuesday and David brought it home for her and we had an impromptu movie night in the middle of the week. What a GREAT have to see it! Anyway, it was a pleasant evening, not TOO cold, and the kids loaded up on candy. I'll have to upload their pumpkins tomorrow...they did a great job and I actually got to help with 3 kids school parties this year! I had a great time too.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Filling my pumpkin

The kids had fall break this week...I know, not everyone is accustomed to that, but we have a week here. We went swimming at the YMCA twice, to the pumpkin patch and played around the neighborhood. A nice calm relaxing week for all of us. The kids and I went to our appointment with the counselor this week and she gave us a great analogy that I wanted to share because I think everyone needs to recognize this every once in a while...

She held out a pumpkin full of candy and told the kids that the pumpkin represented "you". The candy inside represented their feelings. Then she asked what would happen if she took the candy out and threw it at each of them, what would they do? They responded that they would turn away, hide, run away...she proceeded to tell them that this is what happens when you get angry or frustrated with someone and don't talk to them in a calm manner. You are throwing your anger and frustration at others and all they do is turn away or tune out.

Then she asked them how would they feel if she reached in, grabbed a handful and offered it to someone? They told her it would make the other people happy because they are sharing...right! She asked how it would make them feel...happy...right! So when you share your feelings in a nice way, it makes them happy and it makes you happy. She told them that the people that you love in your life will continuously refill your pumpkin with candy...feelings and it is your job to fill theirs...when you do, everyone is happier.

Finally, she asked them what would happen if she held the pumpkin close and didn't share any of the candy? They responded it would become rotten. She then explained that this is what happens when you hold your feelings inside and don't share them...they rot and make you sick and unhappy. You are not offering it to others and are not getting yours filled in return...everyone is unhappy.

I thought that was a really great analogy and all of them, including Holly, understood it. So don't hold onto your candy...give it away nicely and you will get some back in return!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Amazing Author

Many years ago, one of my dearest friends gave me a book for my birthday. I read it start to finish without ever putting it down and loved every word of it. It was called "The Notebook" by Nicholas Sparks. I thought he was a new favorite author of mine, but amazingly, since then I have not read another. Message in a Bottle was released on film, The Notebook was made into a movie, and now Nights in Rodanthe has been released. I have never seen any of the movies because I didn't want to ruin the book...I like to read it before seeing the movie...and since I've not read any of the books... Well, I happen to have Nights in Rodanthe here at the house...given by another friend. So, I read it last weekend. Saturday night and Sunday night after the kids went to bed. I have to say...don't watch the the book! Just based on the trailer and movie reviews, they have changed so much of the story line in the movie that it is not the same story, in my opinion. But, there is a passage that I am going to write a little here that just makes me think that Nicholas Sparks crawled into my brain and wrote exactly how I feel about this whole situation...

(First, in the movie, apparently she is not yet divorced, but in the book she has been divorced about 3 years before this weekend happened...a big difference in my opinion).

"Two days ago, she couldn't have imagined this sort of thing happening to her. Nor could she have imagined that she'd be feeling this way about anyone, let alone someone she'd just met. Her life didn't allow for such things, not lately, anyway. It was easy to blame the kids or tell herself that her responsibilities didn't leave enough time for something like this, but that wasn't completely true. It also had to do with who she'd become in the aftermath of her divorce.

Yes, she felt betrayed and angry at Jack (her ex-husband); everyone could understand those things. But being left for someone else carried other implications, and as much as she tried not to dwell on them, there were times when she couldn't help it. Jack had rejected her, he'd rejected the life they had lived together; it was a devastating blow to her as a wife and mother, but also as a woman. Even if, as he'd claimed, he hadn't planned on falling in love with Linda and that it had just happened, it wasn't as if he simply rode the wave of emotions without making conscious decisions along the way. He had to have thought about what he was doing, he had to have considered the possibilities when he started spending time with Linda. And no matter how much he tried to soft-pedal what had happened, it was as if he'd told Adrienne (the main character)not only that Linda was better in every way, but that Adrienne wasn't even worth the time and effort it would take to fix whatever it was he thought was wrong with their relationship.

How was she supposed to react to that sort of total rejection? It was easy for others to say that it had nothing to do with her, that Jack was going through a midlife crisis, but it still had an effect on the person she thought she was."

While it doesn't portray the same exact type of scenario, the feelings and thoughts are so vivid and similar to mine that I couldn't describe it better myself.

Monday, October 6, 2008

On a lighter note

I missed this on Sat, saw the video clip and laughed out loud. Whoever you are voting for, they did a great job! Enjoy

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Good Grief

I wouldn't say that I'm a subject matter expert on this subject, but I have a lot of experience from my nursing days. As a student nurse in my senior year of college, I had one day a week for classes (Monday) and the rest of the week was devoted to my mentor on whatever floor I was working. The first semester I worked on something called a palliative care floor. Basically, a floor where people were transferred to keep them comfortable while they died. I had many wonderful experiences on this floor, but it always affected me deeply when I sat with someone while they died, especially if I was the only other person in the room. I had one patient in particular that I had become very fond of. She was a young mother (actually about my age now) that had 3 small daughters. She had cancer and had received radiation to her brain and as a result was now blind. She asked the nurses one day to allow me to stay with her in the room the whole day because she had something very important she wanted to do and she couldn't ask her husband to do it. So I came in that day and proceeded to write for her. She wrote letters to each of her daughters to be given to them on the day they turned 16, graduated from high school, got married and had their first baby. It was one of the most difficult days of my life. I went home after hours of quietly crying, completely emotionally exhausted. When I got to my room, David had left a dozen yellow roses by my door with a note telling me how much he loved me and that he knew I had had a hard day. I knew that he was the man for me. I had known it before, but that day, I knew he would take care of me and I loved him so much more. That young mother died a week later.

My Mom was talking to me about something the other day and I have thought about it a lot since then. In the "olden" days, people were laid out in the family room/living room of a house after they died. The family was forced to see death, feel it and begin to grieve. It was inevitable, you had to begin your grief process because it was physically present in your life. People don't experience this in our country anymore. We have become weak because of that. There are people that "don't want to remember their loved ones in that way (the hospital)" so they don't come to visit them. Then when that loved one dies, they feel sad, but a lot of times, they don't immediately feel the loss/grief because they haven't been present for a lot of the dying process. They put off their grief and eventually it catches up to them and rears it ugly head in other forms...addictions, broken down relationships, alone-ness. They search for something to "fulfill" them because they are not fulfilled by their present life and try to find something to blame, or someone. Grief is not something you can put must deal with it. You must look it in the eyes and take it head on, or it will take control of you in other ways. The only thing you can do when you are feeling it is to process it in the way that only you can, and look to God when you get to the bottom. You have no where else to look, but up. So you do and you will eventually find that fulfillment you were so desperately searching for, but if you never do, you end up living with regrets, living a life of distance...from others and God. You lose a part of you.

So I am looking up. I am looking to God to take care of me, for my fulfillment. I know it is the only way for me to get through this, and I hope others will learn from my example.

On a separate note, please keep my Mother-in-law, Charlotte, in your prayers. She is undergoing chemo and radiation treatments and is having a hard time with them. Thank you so much for your love and prayers.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I know many of you are waiting to hear anything...sorry I have nothing to offer. Monday happened and nothing was resolved. David is back where he was when all this started (for a short time), so nothing will change for a couple of weeks. Thank you all for your prayers and concern, please keep doing what you are to help...we all still need the prayers. The kids and I are just going to stay a little low key while he is away. Hopefully I'll actually update you with pictures next post...thank you again for your will never know the comfort I have knowing that so many are praying for us, I am so grateful. Have a peaceful week...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

my bible study group

Well, I am very pleased with the way this topic was discussed with this group of ladies. It makes me especially sad that I won't be able to complete this whole bible study with them because I think they are a wonderful group of people. Our topics discussed yesterday were tender, sensitive and very meaningful to me and I had to look away several times because tears were constantly creeping into our conversations. I felt like the speaker at the end was talking directly to me. She asked everyone to pray for those whose relationships were in turmoil, asking everyone to pray for the soldiers and their families that while they are deployed, there are no temptations from Satan and for the ones who have returned home, that they may find peace and strength through God. If only...

I was talking to my friend the last couple of days and she mentioned that our battalion is going to be offering a Financial Peace program again (Dave Ramsey). David and I took it a few years ago and it helped us tremendously with our financial situation, we actually got on the same page for a while. My friend said they were talking about how it would be nice if after the guys left a woman with whom it's worked, could lead a group of wives in the lessons. Although we are still working on it (or were), I think it would have been a great opportunity to help the would have given them something to talk about since conversations are usually only about family and life here because they can't really share what's going on over there. Speaking of things to talk about while one's spouse is deployed, I have another friend who decided that because their conversations generally only revolved around their son, they were going to do an online bible study for couples. I wish I had had that is a wonderful suggestion and I'm going to be sure to tell all my friends whose husbands are leaving to try to do something like this. It asks questions about your thoughts in your life that can deflect from the current situation, help you learn more about your spouse and provide a safe subject to discuss together. In fact, if any of you who read this blog know someone in the military and what to share with them the website (or you are part of the military family), please let them know because it contains a large variety of subjects and wonderful bible studies to do together. Because it is online, both of them can access it...the website is or

We have 4 days left. It has been a tough week. We are all a little edgy and I just keep praying for strength, courage, and peace, for understanding, guidance and love...please keep us all in your prayers...Thank you.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Tomorrow in my Bible study group we are going to be talking about divorce and marriage...the topic is I Corinthians 7. I am interested to see what my group is going to say because only my one friend who invited me to this group knows what is going on. I am struggling because there are people who say when you are born, God has a plan for you and you are just fulfilling his plan. If that is true and I am fulfilling his plan for me, why is this happening? If this was all supposed to happen, why does it say so many times in the bible that you should not divorce? Like I have said before, I don't believe this is God's plan. We have freedom of choice. We are given brains to think through situations, come to resolutions and make choices...good and bad. I don't really feel I have a choice in this. David has made my choice for me by saying what he has said, doing what he has done and not being willing to work things out. He has set that standard from the minute he stepped foot off the plane this redeployment. It has all happened so fast I think. It's been about 116 days since he got home. We were engaged longer than it has taken for us to do this. 116 days of roller coasters, tears, frustration, sadness, fear, anger, depression, denial, hurt, worry, sleeplessness, change. I still just don't understand what happened and why this is happening. One day he's talking to me like we used to, the next he can't even look at me or utter one word. One morning he comes in to wake me and asks me if I'm going to exercise, helps me come up with something to do, and the next he can't even say goodbye. Sometimes I look at him and see him as he was, and the next minute he looks completely different, distant, withdrawn, empty. He says the war hasn't done this to him. He says he has felt this way for a long time, he says I've never fulfilled him, but I look at pictures, hear about what he said to others about us in the past and look at our children and could it have not affected him. So tomorrow, I will face a bunch of women on all ages in a bible study group and hear what they have to say with this secret nestled in my soul. It will be interesting...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

One last...

It's funny. When I was pregnant with Nicholas I knew it was going to be my last pregnancy. It was a very easy pregnancy for many reasons. One of the reasons was because we found out we were having a boy and for the first time, David was actually excited about the pregnancy. He was interested in feeling him move and taking care of me. I wasn't sick during the pregnancy and every day I woke up thinking this is the last time I will ever feel this feeling. I treasured every moment, every movement, every hiccup, every feeling. I loved being pregnant and I'm sure it showed. After Nicholas was born I was supposed to get my "tubes tied". They left the epidural in for 2 days for this reason. When the doctors at the military hospital decided they "didn't feel like doing it", they pulled the epidural and sent me home. They said I could have it done at my 6 week appointment. 6 weeks later, David was on an airplane to Iraq. Superbowl Sunday in fact. 2 1/2 months before the war started...but we knew what he was going for and we didn't know if he would be home. David called me on his birthday and told me he loved me and wouldn't say goodbye. I didn't hear from him for a long time after that...he was in the war. He came home a couple of times for short periods of time and then went back. In March of the following year he had a vasectomy...2 weeks later I found out I was four weeks pregnant. I was not prepared. I had sold all my baby clothes right after his surgery and all I could think about was, I can hardly handle 3 kids, especially with all his deployments, how am I going to care for 4? But, after I got over the shock, I started the whole process over again, this is the last time I'm 20 weeks pregnant. The last ultrasound, the last kick, the last...then after she was born, the last time I hold an infant of my own, etc. etc. It has continued to this day. I try to treasure all the moments with her and now with all of them because you never know. I find myself thinking the same thing in terms of my marriage with David now. This is the last...the last time we do this as a family, the last time...on one hand I'm fortunate to be able to do it because some people lose a loved one unexpectedly and don't treasure the last...on the other hand I will see him in the coming years and still question why don't you love me anymore? What did I ever do? or what didn't I do? Why wouldn't you try, I was willing, why weren't you? So, this will be the last week we are married. The last time we order Chinese take out as a last time...I have prayed, I have begged, I have cried, God have I cried, and now I just take in these last moments. Unless something happens this week that is truly miraculous, inspiring, life changing, this will be the one last...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Formal affair

Tomorrow is the formal. The last time I went to a group formal was literally 36 hours before Holly was born. I was having contractions that night and Aaron's family was there in rememberance of him. I remember thinking of Holly's name that night. Her name was going to be either Allison or Sabrina. (Allison was the name that Bethany and Ashley came up with because of "Allison Wonderland". They thought her last name was wonderland...I loved it because of that and because it's a cute name.) Anyway, I wore a pantsuit. 2 other very pregnant ladies were there and were supposed to wear pantsuits also and they both got dresses that day...traders. It was a fun night though. I remember I kept thinking, "I hope I don't get to go" because I was ready to have her...I'm glad I did though. Who knew it would be my last group formal. 4 years ago. It's been bittersweet seeing all the girls talking about their dresses this week (a lot of them take their children to the same preschool Holly goes to, so I'm aware, but not involved of the going's on in the battalion.) Now that I'm back to my "normal" weight and would love to go and feel confident in a dress again, I'll never go to another. Wow, so much to's stupid to feel that way, but the Army life was fun. It has been hard, but there have been so many fun things that we've been involved in and a part of. I'm going to miss the ceremonies probably the most. I always feel so proud of David at them...he has accomplished so much in his career, he has so much to be proud of. He had been an amazing leader, admired and respected by many. He has been on a great path of success in his military career. I've truly enjoyed watching him succeed time and time again. His kids had someone to honor, respect and be so proud of. Unfortunately, they probably won't see a lot of that anymore, and if they do, it won't mean as much because they won't be a part of it as much anymore. They won't suffer the long deployments as much because he won't be coming home to them, they won't see the wonderful ceremonies as often because they'll be living with me. They won't get out of school to see the amazing accomplishments because it will be a long traveling time...what changes. How sad.

My girlfriend sent me this link that seems to pertain a little to our situation...hit pause on the playlist at the bottom and's beautiful!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One Realization

Today was a great day! My same brother of whom I spoke in my last post is a new father to another healthy baby boy! That's number 3 for them! He is beautiful. They are all doing great and his 3 year old big brother kissed him on the forehead before he left the hospital to go home and said, "I love you baby". What could be better than that?

So I was thinking today. In my whole entire family, my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, (I'm one of 6, my mom one of 5, my dad one of 3 with several cousins) there are 2 people who have gotten divorced. That's it. My Mom's sister (I don't even think I ever met her husband...Navy man, ironically) and my cousin in California. That's it (I think)! That is why I feel like I'm wearing a scarlet letter (even though I didn't do anything to deserve it) and why I feel so alienated. In David's family, his parents were both divorced before they married each other, his oldest sister is divorced and remarried, his brother is divorced, I don't know about his aunts and uncles because his mom is one of 14 and I don't really know much about his Dad's siblings if he had any (I think he did). The differences are amazing. Whether people have been devoted because it is the right thing to do, or because they have worked through their differences, they have for the most part, in my family, stayed together...followed God's plan/law. No wonder I feel like I'm a failure. BUT, as I was reading I Corinthians, Chapter 7, something else dawned on me. The BIBLE talks about divorce. These writings that are over 2000 years old talk about divorce! This is not something new, this is an age-old problem that people have been dealing with for literally thousands of years. This has become a huge problem since the 1960-1970's, but it is not a YOUNG problem. I am not the first, I will not be the last and I have a lot going for me that women before me never could have dreamed of. I am able to get a good job, that I love. I am able to support my children and see them grow up...I won't be there for everything, but because I will only need one job, I will be there for a lot! I am able to not only survive this, but thrive and be happy. God has a plan for me! I have become so much closer to God through all this than I have ever been in my life. That's one check for God! I am reading the bible every day, like I have never done before in my life. That's two checks for God! My family is amazing...they have supported me and loved me and guided me and given me hope and strength through all of this and I'm sure will continue to do so. What an amazing gift! My friends have risen to the challenge to support me through all of this and have offered more love, guidance and compassion than I could ever dream of. They say you find out who your friends are in times like these and boy do I have some AMAZING friends. What a life I have! How could I fail? With God, my family and all my friends I have the best I could ever ask for! Thank you all for your prayers, love and support...without it I could not have gotten through this, and although it is not over, I realize...truly realize that I am getting the best part of this whole deal. I may not have a husband, but I have a terrific group of people that I love, who love me back, and I have an AWESOME God! So, thank you!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Well, yesterday I called to confirm next Thursday's appointment and it was never, no appointment next week. Our new appt. is for 29 September. So, a new date to dread. Today I had 2 kids home sick...fevers and hoarseness, coughs and sore throats. BUT, we had tickets to see Disney on Ice, so...we dragged them. (I'm sure the people around us will unknowingly thank me for that, but I wanted the kids to go and have something fun to think about). We all went. Again, probably our last family outing. David has been giving me the silent treatment the last couple of days and tonight was no exception. I guess it's better than telling me I'm fat and ugly and will never have another man love me...but still, the kids noticed the absence of chit-chat. They didn't even try. So, we got there and the 3 girls sat around/on me and there was a space and Nicholas sat next to his buddy. I think they all enjoyed it. Ashley and Holly were half asleep until Tinkerbell and the new fairies came on...Holly was the perfect 3 year old after that. Clapping at the right moments, waving every time Tinkerbell waved and smiling from ear to ear despite her fever. I loved holding her and watching her amazement. Such innocence. Unfortunately, I looked over and Nicholas was crying due to something David did, not once but twice. I think it was meant to be a tickle that was too hard, but he was mad. At the end, Nicholas just wanted to walk next to me and hold my hand. They all fell asleep in the car and we listened to, of course, which isn't probably the best music to listen to in our situation. On the way it was all breaking up music, on the way home it was all music about being a good husband and father...maybe it made him think...I doubt it. I just silently cried. I think sometimes this is never going to end...and still we push on...I'm sure eventually the hurt will fade...but I don't think that's going to happen for a while.

Funny, I was reading I Corinthians 1:24-31 and realized that he is making himself strong to live a long life...but the Bible says "God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong"...foolish to shame the wise...and realized that he thinks he is strong and wise regarding these matters, when in fact he is truly weak and foolish because he has lost perspective.

Speaking of perspective, many of you may not know that my brother worked at the Pentagon when it was struck by the plane on 9/11. His office was burned out due to the flames from the plane, and he was in it when it hit! I called him today to tell him I love him and I was thinking of him and he told me he has a frame on his current desk that says something to the effect of "don't lose perspective" or "keep your perspective". When he opens it there is a picture of his wife and 2 children on one side and a picture of his office after the plane hit on the other. I told the kids about that day tonight in the car on the way to the show and told them about his picture. David obviously heard to. These are the things I think about...and how could he have lost his perspective? Like I said, he is working out to live a long, healthy life for what? For who? He has lost his focus and is pushing away his family. Where is his perspective?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Just sad...

We had a quiet weekend, dealing with another virus. School must be in session, seems we attract every bug possible. Oh course, with stress levels as they are, it only makes sense that we catch by one, or two by two at the case may be. He was gone all day each day which made things much more relaxing. The kids keep asking me why this is happening, Ashley says often, "I feel like this is a dream and I hope I wake up from it." Holly says, "Daddy doesn't love you but he loves me." Amazing how a 3 year old can innocently say something that just cuts to the core. We had another family counseling session on Saturday. The kids didn't want to go because they say it's boring and they don't always want to answer the questions. I'm sure it's hard. It's hard for me just to keep from crying the whole time sometimes. Every time I think about next Thursday, I'm just overwhelmed with sadness and tears well up. I can't help myself. I picked up Holly from school today and she asked me if I was happy. I told her I was happy to be with her...and she said, "but are you happy?" I didn't know what she was trying to say. I simply answered I'm happy to be with her. I'm sad to think that when my kids are sick I won't be able to stay home with them and help them feel better. I won't be able to be at all their events because work will get in the way, David won't be able to see most of their lives except for what they are like when on "vacation" with him. He won't know their norm...and I will know it less and less. I still hate this. I'm anxious to see what happens next week, but I totally dread what will come of it. I dread the uncertainty of it all and the finality it suggests.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Two week notice

Today it is two weeks until mediation. Two weeks until we are possibly no longer husband and wife. This is my "two week notice". Hard to believe. All these years, all this time and we have 2 weeks left. We had a bad Labor Day...awful things were said (mostly by him) and in front of the kids. Bad examples were set and everyone cried. I had one chaplain e-mail me to tell me he was praying for us and said that the Bible says to love another as yourself. If he is treating us all this way, how, then must he feel about himself? If he is being so hateful toward us, is he loathing himself? I pray every day for him...sometimes, many times... that he will find peace. He seems tormented and alone. I think that is why he waivers so often. He regrets things he has said and done and takes one small step to improve the situation, without offering too much hope of resolution. I want to hate him, and at moments I do, but I can't stop loving him. He is etched into my soul...we have had a life together, we have 4 kids together, we have been through so much and now this. I have a hard time believing that this is God's plan because I don't think God would want us to do this. I have a hard time with my faith because I know this is wrong, yet I can't really stop it. I can't keep exposing my kids and myself to the emotional stress that he is creating, but I still can't accept that this is what should happen. So two weeks is what I have left. Please God let them be filled with more peace than hate, more kind words than hurtful, more good times than bad and more love. If he can't change now, at least make him be nice.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Today was a hard day. I took Bethany to Walmart to get a few things for her science project and while I was gone, David decided to move all of his things out of our room/closet into what used to be Nicholas' room. He has been sleeping in there for several weeks, but still coming into our room to change (of course while I was not there.) Well, he decided he didn't like living between two rooms and officially "moved out". It's one thing to say it's going to happen, but each weekend there are new steps taken that reinforce the idea that we are separating and he is going on without me. I just watched and as I watched my heart felt heavier and heavier and I just had to leave the room and cry it out. I still can not understand why this is happening, what happened that makes him want to leave me and what am I going to do without him. My whole life has centered around him for 15 years...and now...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Well, I have 4 CEU's left (continuing education units) before my Ohio Nursing License is eligible for re-activation. Amazing. Today I started to think about the hiring process...forget about the fact that I haven't been gainfully employed for nearly 7 years, how do you write a resume that will sound appealing to a hospital or employment agency? Wow...all these things you forget about in the comfort of your stay-at-home lifestyle now ever present and daunting. I used to have a pretty good resume. I thought my resume writing abilities were great and it was a very easy process, but what do you write about when you haven't done anything "professional" in a long time. Sure I have some experience with the FRG, but I have been taking care of little ones and attending to their every need for 10 years now. I've lost a lot of what made me a good nurse simply because the opportunities didn't present themselves. My brain cells have been fried, or lost due to multiple pregnancies and my ability to complete sentences and thoughts for that matter has all but vanished also. When I sit down to interview with my perspective employer, what do I say? I'm desparate for a position because I have 4 babies at home and my husband decided he didn't want to be responsible anymore? I beg you to give me a position because I don't have enough money to provide for my children...what a demeaning position he has left me in...forget about the fact that he isn't taking care of us, forget about the fact that he isn't "in love" with me anymore, now I'm reduced to this. I truly hope when the time comes, I have better answers and can complete sentences that are reasonable and intelligent. At least I'll have the refresher course from a well-known University on my resume to make it look like I'm trying...Don't get me wrong, I love nursing and in some sort of sick way, I'm looking forward to getting paid for caring for people. It was very fulfilling and rewarding for me. I don't know how it's changed, but I hope that aspect is still present. I'm afraid I'm going to have to settle for a position just to get my foot back in the door, but I guess I'll do my time again. Seems I always end up doing time, but at least this will be MY time, MY life, MY new beginning.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Out of Body Experience

Tonight was the elementary school Open House. Normally, this is a fun night. The kids are excited for me to meet their teachers, see their new classroom and soak in the atmosphere in which they will be enveloped for the next 10 months; but tonight was different. The girls were very low key, hesitant and cautious. We visited Bethany's teachers first and each of them approached me with "that look". You know..."you poor thing" but didn't say anything about what is happening. I thanked them for their patience and understanding of the situation without actually saying the "D" word because it is still hard for me to utter out loud. As I walked down the hall toward Ashley's room I ran into several of the neighborhood families with bright smiles on their faces eagerly ready to meet their children's new teachers and watched the expressions immediately change to that of sympathy watching me with my four sedate children walking through the halls. I felt like I was floating through the halls, emotion drained from my body. When we finally approached Ashley's room, I used all of my energy to keep from crying before entering the classroom. Ashley's teacher cautiously approached me and began to tell me that my wonderfully bright, loving and well-behaved child was none of these at school this year. Forgetting homework, misbehaving in class and essentially crying out for attention because of all the anger and sorrow she is feeling. What is he doing to our family? Does he have any idea how this is truly affecting them? I left her room feeling like I'm failing her...all of them. We progress to Nicholas' room and immediately see the family of one of Ashley's friends whom we haven't seen all summer. She comes up to me and gives me a hug and says, "I bet you are loving having your husband home!" The dam breaks...I can't hide it anymore. I explain to her what our summer has been like and she just looks at me in shock. It is all so overwhelming. We finally get into his classroom and see all the wonderful projects he has done and visit the areas of his classroom he enjoys the most and I need to get out of there. His first year of school is clouded by this tremendous life-changing event that has consumed our lives. What an awful way to start. They all want to take me to see their gym teacher, Mr. Hill. He is wonderful...recently married to Bethany's 4th grade teacher and such a wonderful male role model for the school. He tells me how great my children are and how great a job I am doing with them. He loves having all of them in class and especially loves Nicholas' enthusiasm and good behavior. He looks at me with sad eyes that tell me he's so sorry for our circumstances and again, I have to look away for fear he'll see the tears welling up in my eyes. It is not supposed to be this emotional to go to an open house, but the uncertainty of how long we will be here and the sadness for the attachment we've all made to this school in the short time we've been here is again overwhelming. Our final stop...the guidance counselor. Ms. Debbie has been helping the kids since day 1 of school. She has been a Godsend and immediately hugs me and doesn't let go...I can't stop crying now. She sits and talks with me for 1/2 hour while the kids play in her office. She tells me there are 3 other families already this school year going through the same thing...all military, all returned home from deployments this summer. She remembers the excitement the children had with anticipation of their Daddys arrival home from deployment at the end of the year, and now this beginning of the year dealing with this. She tries to convince me that I didn't fail, but I feel like I have failed my children. They will not have the same upbringing my parents gave me, his parents gave him. It will be instead, shuffling between homes, sometimes here, sometimes there, will he remarry, will I, will they have step families, what will he be there for, if anything, where will we live, who will be there for us when we get home from school? Nicholas' biggest fear is coming home to no one. Bethany's biggest concern is what her Daddy will be, dances, major events. Ashley is just so sad. Holly probably won't remember having him as a significant part of her everyday life. It is all so unfair. So stupid and for what? I just wake up somedays hoping that the nightmare is over and look over only to see that Holly is sleeping in my bed because Nicholas is sleeping in Holly's bed because David is sleeping in Nicholas' bed. I just wish I could fast forward 2 years and see how it will all turn out...I just have to tell myself that "I can do anything through God who strengthens me" if I could just believe it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Season of firsts

Another new first. Although he won't get to ride it every day for another week and a half, Nicholas got to ride the bus today. He was so excited he jumped out of bed at 6:30am, got dressed as quickly as possible and asked me to help him with his hair. He was completely ready by 7:30, lunch packed, breakfast eaten...waiting. Another 40 minutes had to pass before he could walk to the bus stop. It was a family affair...all of us (except Rudder) walked Nicholas to his first ride on the bus. He was so big...just said, "bye" and climbed on. He never looked back. It took a lot to choke back the tears and not let them see me cry. Fortunately, Bethany and Ashley were just as excited to have him, and the three of them sat in the same seat and waved to us as they left. What a bittersweet moment it was.

It's just you and me Holly...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oh, Rudder update.

I almost forgot. I discovered it isn't just liver failure, it's liver cancer and mesothelioma...another type of cancer. Amazingly though, his tummy is less distended and he is doing/feeling a little better. Maybe it's the extra love and TLC he's getting. I'm not hopeful for a long time, but I'm glad he's more comfortable. He's such a good boy...

First Day

I can't believe my little boy is in Kindergarten. What an emotional day. It started out a lot differently than I thought. Nicholas has always LOVED school and I thought he would be so excited about starting Kindergarten. Well, to my surprise, he wasn't thrilled...and not because of the "normal" reasons. I went into his room to wake him and he didn't want to get up. I got all excited and talked about how great it was going to be and he told me he didn't want to go. What? Why? "because I'm not going to be teached today!" You see, the first day was only about an hour long and I went with him. He was quite upset that it wasn't going to be a "real" day of school...what a funny boy! So the first two weeks of school here the Kindergartener's only go one full day each week to allow for testing. Then they start every day on the 25th. This does not make him happy! I think once it gets going, everything will be fine for on the other hand, I'm not so sure. I'm going to miss the constant hugs and kisses, the "you're the best, Mommy", the "I love you SOOO much" and the fun we have playing games and coloring. He's starting to "read" already and recognizes words. He loves for me to read to him and he loves to try to read his books to me. It will be an amazing year for all of us, but his success will be so wonderful to watch. He is so excited about school, and I'm excited for him. Here's to a wonderful year...where-ever we end up!
Little Man, Big School!
Love at first sight!
My Big Boy!

For the girls, it was a little of a rough start. The bus arrived 10 minutes early! Fortunately, it goes through our neighborhood and back out, so they got it on the way out! They reported that they LOVED their teachers (even though Bethany really wanted Mr. Holt, she's glad she didn't get him because he already gave out homework...yeah for her!) Ashley already proved how smart she is by knowing all her dulch words. I met her teacher last night and she already fell in love with Ashley.
all kids Hopefully, it'll be good for a while!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

When it rains, it pours...

Well, my first baby, Rudder, our maltese dog, was diagnosed today with liver failure. It is only a matter of time (probably days) before I have to take him to be put down. Amidst all that is going on in our lives at the moment, my children and I have to face yet another loss. He is the best dog! I'm going to miss him SOOO much!!!


Friday, July 25, 2008


I haven't blogged in a creativity has been on hold due to the numerous events and changes that have occurred in my life lately. I fear I won't be posting too many paper crafts for a while and I sit in doubt as to my path. I have, however, become closer to God and have relied on Him heavily as the calm in my life has suddenly and swiftly been disrupted. Our world is upside down and I have no idea where I/we will be one year from now or how I will manage to get there, but I know that whatever lies ahead will be led by my Heavenly Father. I have one simple request from whoever happens to read this. I ask that you pray for me, for my kids, for my husband and for his mother. We are all in the forest, dark and dreary, and we need to find the light to see our path. Please read Psalm 143 and know that I am there. So, if you read this, please pray that we will find the light and that it will lead us back to a place of peace.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Who's New to our Zoo

So, I got this call from my brother asking me to make a very special card. You see, they were going for an ultrasound for their new baby and he wants to know what the baby is, but she doesn't. So, to solve the problem temporarily, they asked me to make a card that could be filled out by the technician and put in an envelope and sealed. That way, if they decided to find out before the baby was born, they still a fun and cute sort of way. So this is the card I came up with. You'll see that the inside has a pull tab. The instructions for the technician were to either initial the center of the circle or make a check. (One side says, "It's a girl" the other "It's a boy") If the tech wanted to write a note, he/she could do so on the yellow part of the tab holder. Clear as mud? Anyway, it was a fun card to make for a very special occasion that will go into the new baby's scrapbook. I'm betting it's a girl...but I hope I kept it neutral enough if it's a boy! Maybe I should market this to OB/GYN's? What do you think? (Click on card to see full version)


Inside with pull tab:

Friday, April 25, 2008

Another sampling

OK, so I've been a little busy lately, but I finally got around to photographing a few of my recent creations. I haven't been able to do as much as I would like, but these are a few of the new ones. Enjoy!

Dahlia Birthday...A folding technique I learned from SCC. Just look up dahlia fold or copy and paste this site. (One of these days I'll figure out how to hook the link right into this text...until then)


April brother's birthday was on this day and I thought I'd try out a new stamp of the month stamp set (CTMH...August) (Click on it to see full version)

Celebrate Dress...I love this so much I made 2 cards...

Zoo friends...our neighbor who's 3 LOVES all things animals, so I couldn't resist making this one...the words are from the CTMH SOM for July, but I liked the filled in animals from one of our older sets. (She received Elephun and a Giraffe umbrella from us and loves them both!)

This was her birthday cake created by her Mom who's never taken a cake decorating class...amazing! (To see full version, click on picture)

My parents are coming tomorrow to help me around the house and give me a much-needed break from ALL of it...Thank God for parents, right? I'm so ready just to have another set of adult hands in the house...let alone 2 sets! Ball has been so challenging lately...and between strep, some annoying persistant cough that's infected most of us and now Fifths disease, I'm ready for a vacation! I guess it could be worse, but I don't want to know what that would be like! I'll settle for this.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The countdown

We have officially begun the countdown. The kids are excited and I think I'm already packing my bags for the vacation I need! HA! Soon we'll be complete again!

Softball and t-ball are really amazing. Bethany is becoming somewhat of a power hitter and really learning to make contact with the ball well. Ashley is a great short-stop/second baseman, fielding and throwing well. Nicholas is just a good little 5 year old...he hussles well, hits well and is so excited to be on the field everytime he gets the chance. He has the biggest smile on his face and trys so hard. Holly is the best cheerleader too! Maybe I've started something! She's a trooper going to all these practices and games and hanging in there. They are really great kids. (most of the time :)

My family is trying something new too! Since we are almost all overweight, (those over 30 at least) we've decided to try to have our own biggest loser competition and lose weight for the little one's wedding...(the only one NOT over 30). We all put $50 in a pot and the weigh in is at the wedding. We'll see how it goes. So far, my sister is doing great with a 12 lb weight loss. I'm really proud of her. I've only lost 4...but it's a start. I can't wait to see how we all do. It's something we needed and this is the perfect stimulus to do it! Besides, the new in-laws family are all skinny people so we can't look like the fat vs the skinny, right? I'm very proud of all my brothers and sisters and parents for taking on this challenge. Coming from the medical field (somewhere in my past) it makes my heart happy! David has lost 10 lbs lately...maybe I need to do what he's doing...nah...

School is almost out for the kids...only about 5-6 weeks...time has flown lately. I'm sure having something to do almost every night has something to do with that though.

Well, lots of birthday's this is one of our best long-time friends...and it was so good to talk to him tonight. Happy Birthday Brey! We have so many blessings to be thankful for...and he is one of them.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Getting used to it

Wow, it's been a little while since I've posted...things are very busy in our lives right now...with the start of baseball and softball, I'm not sure where I'm going half the time. We just finished a day FULL of ball and it rained most of it. Bethany came back to the car after a practice in the rain and said, "That was AWESOME"! Not something I would have expressed, but I guess I'm just old now. Ashley only had to play a little in the rain and her coach called it quits. What started out as a full day, actually ended as a part day. All practices ended at least 30 minutes early and the scrimmage was called off tonight (Thank God) 7-9pm is a very late game for all of us to endure, especially after practice from 10-12, 1-3, 3-5! WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO???

Creativity has been my mind, just not with scissors and paper. I've managed to make a couple of things, but needed to get them out in a hurry...SOOOO no posting yet.

Looks like it's going to be a GREAT, FAST spring!

Friday, March 14, 2008

A few cards

We've created a few cards this we, I mean Bethany has started her own creative enterprise. This first one is for Daddy. With the guidance of CTMH Originals card designs, she made this card. She chose the color combination Breeze, orange and clover meadow (CTMH) (something I don't think I would have even put together, but it looks GREAT!) and asked to play with my newest toy...the cuttlebug, of course. (I found it cheap at Creative Express.) She stamped it (CTMH Birthday bash, and Papertrey's Mixed Messages) and assembled. Great job...

The second one was inspired by Nicole Heady's blog...simple but pretty! I used the stamp set Star Struck by CTMH.

The last was a sympathy card for a friend of our family who lost her dad. Sweet Flowers Stamp set was of my all-time favorites. I used a cuttlebug embossing folder and Anna Griffin papers. Also it uses Papertrey's Out on a limb stamp set for the greeting. The purples didn't turn out well in the picture, but in person they actually all match.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Snow in March!

Well, we are supposed to get 5-6 inches of the white stuff today/tonight. That is big news in Tennessee! So, guess what we are doing tomorrow? We are sorting and preparing pictures to scrapbook...yeah! I'm excited because I'm behind on my goal, and my scrapbooks and I'm ready to get some things done! The kids are anxious to get their creative juices flowing also, so we are going to come up with something for them as well. So keep a look out for some layouts on Sunday/Monday. Hopefully we'll get something accomplished. We've had a bout of the stomach flu again this week and it seems to be the one thing I can't avoid getting. Generally, I don't get sick with what the kids have, but I can't seem to avoid that one. I'm feeling better, most of the kids are feeling better...we are ready! So check back early in the week and hopefully I'll have something to show off...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

crazy times

Isn't it amazing how fast time goes sometimes, and how slow it goes other times? Well, I have a mixture of both going on right now if you can grasp that. On one hand I know the next 3 months are going to go so slow. But at the end of the day, I don't know what happened to my time, or how I somehow skipped over hours of the day. It seems when the kids get home, the next thing I know it's after their bedtime and I'm rushing to read stories and tuck everyone in bed. Then I crash on the couch and don't want to get up until morning. So much for doing all these wonderful things after the kids go to bed. I have made a few new cards, but I have to photograph them and upload them. Maybe sometime this week it will happen between laundry etc...

This morning when we woke up it was cooler than yesterday and drizzling, but not horrible. Tonight when we got home from girl scouts it was snowing again. 2 days ago it was 70 degrees and we were outside playing ball...strange weather lately. The kids have gone from playing in the snow a week ago tomorrow, to playing ball in shorts, to freezing again and hoping for another snow day. I doubt it will happen, but you never know. If it does at least they'll have extra oppotunity to get their chores done! Hee,hee. The chart is still working pretty well and we are into week 2. That's another thing I'd like to decorate! Ahh, well.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Various Birthday cards

I have this deal worked out with my her gift, I send all our relatives a card from her, that I made. I have to hone my skills more, but with each card I make, I hopefully will become better. I did this for her last year and am repeating this year. These are a few of the cards I've made, some simple, some more involved. Most contain CTMH materials, of course! Sorry about the picture size on some of them...photobucket has problems with resizing...just click on the picture for a full view! Thanks

For my brother in the the red stripe!
soldier birthday

For my sister-in-law: Birthday wishes

Another for my sister-in-law: For you
Flower for you

For my husband: inside says "Missing U"
Missing U

For my sister: inside says "Because you are in it"
papertrey limb

For my brother: inside says "May all your birthday fishes come true"
birthday fishes

Another for my brother: Celebrate
celebrate star

For my husband...we love to have a nice warm cup of coffee at night...
love a latte

love a latte open

A tisket, a tasket

a cute paper basket! I made this using CTMH beautiful 2 toned textured cardstock. The outside of the basket is actually the lighter side of NEI. It was fun and didn't take as long as I thought it would. Not bad for a first try? Anyway, you can find the tutorial here

What do you think?
Paper basket back

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Well, the kids have been crazy this week and in order to wrangle them I've decided to change the whole way we do things. I have made up a new chore chart...yet to be decorated, but started nontheless. The kids have drawn chores that need to be finished by Sat at bedtime. Some of them are fun, many are "normal". Then I set up a rewards system called "You've been caught". When someone sees another doing something nice or helpful, they tell me and they choose a reward from the jar. Whoever has the most rewards at the end of the week receives a dollar. If all chores are done each receives a dollar. Hopefully this will create a happier and more loving environment.

I've actually gotten a few cards made this week and will be posting when I get them downloaded. I've also started to sort through older photos to's going to be a good week!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Creative funk

I wish I had something to post on here, but life has gotten in the way lately. I hope things slow down a little so I can have a little fun...hopefully tomorrow I'll post a few more things I've made. I have a few birthdays coming up...need to make a few cards. Check back soon.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Just like Mommy

I have to add this because it is one of life's sweet moments...our youngest decided it was time to play in Mommy's makeup...fortunately I caught her with only my mascara out of the drawer. Whew! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a picture though...


Is procrastination inherited?

I have to do you teach a child NOT to procrastinate? Is that a learned they inherit it? Our oldest had 4 weeks to do a science project...something she has never done before. It was a debate between to things but after talking with my sister, we decided to try one her cousin did, but more basic. Dyeing cotton with foods. It was fun, but the process of completing the project...well, I can only imagine what it will be like when I have 4 in school with these kinds of things. My is the final project. She did most of it, I just helped with the typing and gluing. Needless to say this was my scrapbooking time.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Fresh Start

Welcome! I've decided to start this to try to chronicle my life so I can remember what really happens! Maybe this will be easier than journaling in a book because I can type faster and inevitably I'm on the computer every day. Hopefully I'll be able to display some of my creations and keep people updated regarding my beautiful growing family. Thanks for visiting!


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