Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hasta La Vista 2011...

... And Good Riddance!

I usually do a fun year in review post and talk about all the crazy highs and lows.  Not this time.. I'm just not going there.  2011 was one of the hardest years of my life and I'm happy to leave it behind.

Sayonara, Adios, Buh bye.

On a positive note, I did make some amazing new friends, found my laughter and I'm getting my groove back.  I feel like me again.. just a new and improved version.  More appreciative and mindful of my blessings, for sure.

Big News:  Yesterday I filled out the paperwork to change LittleBuddy and SweetPea's names for their revised birth certificates.  I had to leave my desk and go into the bathroom because I burst out crying...

Tears of joy ROCK!

So here's to 2012.. To finalizing the adoption, making new memories and getting our joy on. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Snapshots..

Beginning...


Middle...

End...

And today, we rest.

I hope everyone had a VERY Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Where Tree Tops Glisten..

And children listen
to hear sleigh bells in the snow...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm Dreaming ...

Of A White Christmas...


And it's still snowing! WOOT!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

BIG BIG BIG NEWS!!!

Got word from my social worker today.. the appeal has been DE-NIED and we're moving forward with adoption!!!!!!!!!!  I swear I cried and shouted all in the same breath.

We should be in adoption court in February.

GOD IS SO GOOD! 

MEEERRRRRRYYY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Do You Know What I Know?

Even grief can't completely ruin Christmas.

There is nothing that melts me more than SweetPea (almost three) OOhhh-ing and Awww-ing over the lights and ornaments. When she asked, "Mommy, may I kiss Baby Desus, pwease?" (she loves the Nativity scenes) I thought my heart would explode with love for my little curly haired angel.

This all happening between temper tantrums, of course.

Christmas is alive and well in our home, thanks to the innocence, excitement and wonderment of both my children. A reminder of what the Season is truly all about...


Hope.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yes, I'm Ready For Some Football..

This one is for you, CloudMaster!!


GOOOOO BRONCOS!!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Christmas Letter ~ To My Husband

Dear Matt,

I would like to say this is a Christmas season full of joy but really, it's far from it.  You know this is my second favorite holiday (after Thanksgiving) and it has been brutal at best.  I finally got the inside of the house decorated (a half-assed job but I gave it my all) and friends, Uncle JoeJoe and Uncle Mike helped decorate the outside.  I didn't hang your stocking and every time I look at the fireplace I'm reminded of the void.

I'm tired, angry and sad...

The kids are doing pretty well.  LittleBuddy has struggled lately, getting in trouble at school and here at home.  Some things are typical 7 year old boy-issues, others not.  At times he exhausts me but that's nothing new.  I'm bound and determined to raise him up to be a good man.. God as my witness, it will happen.

SweetPea is amazing.. almost totally potty trained, completely sassy, talking up a storm, she sings, counts, dances.. She melted your heart months ago and would do it doubly now.  And oh boy, can she rock a temper fit.  But dammit, she's beautiful.

They both are.

I think the entire family's goal is to survive this season and get it far behind us.  New Years will be equally as tough, as we would snowmobile every year, but that too will pass.  I have huge hope 2012 will be better for all of us.

It has to be.

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?

Not for everyone...

We've had a huge influx of family visiting since Thanksgiving and the distractions have been wonderful.  That being said, I still have had to lug out (and face) the Christmas decor and that has been no fun.  When I finally got the kids down for "quiet time" last Saturday, I was in the basement trying to maintain what's left of my dignity while digging through Christmas containers.  With my iPod jamming me to deafness, I was doing really well ... until I got to our stockings.  Then I fell apart... 

In a big way.

I had custom stockings made for Matt and I back in '02 and coming across them literally dropped me to my knees.  I could barely breathe my heart hurt so badly and I cried like a child.

It was August 12th all over again.

This grieving stuff completely sucks... however, it's a process I have no choice but to face.  If not now, when?  Once I regained composure and got on with the business of decking the halls it all wasn't nearly as crushing.  I'm not quite done yet but should have the house all purty-like by the weekend.  Normally I would be totally freaked out I'm so behind.  This year, not so much.

Please don't get me wrong, I love Christmas..

Just not this one.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cuz All The Cool Kids...

Hang in the kitchen...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tebow Time ~ Full Circle Style...

Uncle JoeJoe and Auntie D (Matt's younger brother and his darling wife) are in town .. the kiddos had a BLAST breaking the rules...



And scoring touchdowns!!  :-)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Merry Thankmus!!

This past weekend, Nantie and Uncle Elvis had us all up to their place for a holiday party.  Unable to get everyone together for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the shin ding was dubbed, "Merry Thankmus" ...

It was a hoot.

Little Buddy got to cheat at musical chairs...


We got our do-si-do on...


Little Buddy got to drool over his best Wyoming girl...


SweetPea and I took some pictures... and Tweeted, updated our Facebook status, texted..

And did I mention we watched the Broncos beat the Vikings in OT?

Oh yeah!

Thank you Nantie and Uncie Elvis for having us crazies up and treating us to such a lovely afternoon!  Yet another reminder of how blessed I am to have such an awesome family!

Ho Ho Ho!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Calling All My Prayer Warriors ~ Friend In Need!


Many of you already know SocialWrkr24/7's popular blog Eyes Opened Wider, journaling her life as a social worker.  She has a heart for God and the children on her caseload.  I wish we had more workers like her in our county.  No joke.  To many, she is the voice for the children, to me she is a wonderful friend and supporter..

It's time to return the favor.

The Sunday before Thankgiving, she went in to the ER with stomach pains.  Diagnosis?  Cancer.  Life flipped upside down in an instant... sadly a feeling many of us can relate to.  I asked her what we all could do.  She said, "Please pray" ... I've vowed to pray her through this and I hope you do, as well.

Please visit her blog, leave comments and, most importantly, pray.  I know how much the support our awesome community has meant to me (and continues to do so).  Let's lift up our wonderful friend and walk beside her.

Kiddo, you know how much I love you.  You are in my daily thoughts and prayers.  Hang in there .. and never forget, we're here for you!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Birth Mom Search Continues.. Err, Kind Of..

Back in early 2010 I hired an investigator in an attempt to locate my Birth Mom. I tried searching for her myself on and off throughout the years (and with assistance of search angels.. ie: friends that worked for free) with no luck.

I was confident it would take but a few months for the professionals to track her down.  Heck, they're the company (the television show) Troy The Locator uses and they reunite people in, like, 22 minutes.  My case should be a piece of cake, right?

Um, no.

We hit a wall quickly (I have a very common birth name) and needed to have the county of my birth pull my non id info again.  There were several questions that weren't addressed when they originally sent it to me five years ago.  I was told a case worker would be assigned soon and advised to follow up in a few weeks to make sure I didn't fall through the cracks.  It should take 60-90 days to get the info back.  I called diligently every three months and was told the same thing..

For the next year and a half.. 

Yesterday I heard back from the worker.  When I picked myself up off the floor realized the questions (she could answer) were complete, I literally started to shake.   Then she asked if I preferred she mail it to me or shoot me an email.  What?  Duh..

I got the email today.

Unfortunately, not all the questions were answered and the ones that were are vague at best.  It's feeling like this search has run it's course.  That all being said, it's not the end of the world and I am far from incomplete.  I am grateful for my wonderful family and insanely fantastic group of friends.

She's out there somewhere, or maybe not. She wonders about me or she doesn't. I may never know.  Or maybe I will..  The one thing I do know?

No matter what, I'm very blessed.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Giving Thanks...


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays but this was a weekend I had been dreading.  Unsure of which way it would go (would I end up locking myself in my closet with a bottle glass of wine rocking on the floor the entire time?), I braced myself for the worst version of me to seep through.

I'm happy to report composure was maintained and the entire family did really well.  We had some new friends join us and hootin' and a hollerin' wafted through the house.  Had it not been for the massive caloric intake, I would of had abs of steel from all the laughter.

Yes, Thursday has come and gone.  Leftovers are but a memory and pants are snug in all the wrong places.  Well mine are, anyway.  The bombardment of the holiday season in full swing but I will continue to be thankful.

I give thanks for my beautiful, crazy children, an amazing family, old and new friends, our home, laughing again (so hard it hurts), my job and awesome bosses.. and for somehow keeping my nose above water level.  Even when it's hard to see them, there are loads of blessings, big and small..

Everywhere.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Year Ago Today...

At 9:00 pm, Matt and I were sitting on the couch watching TV.  It had been 6 months since our previous placement ("JuneBug") had left to live with her relatives out of state.  Nantie had also moved to Cheyenne and was living with her dreamboat, Elvis (who is STILL her rock star, might I add, and we love him dearly).  The house was quiet (well, except for the herd of canines..), errr, let's say not as lively as it had once been.  I was getting antsy, ready for SOMETHING to happen and honestly contemplating moving to a different county when recertification came up.

Then the phone rang.

An emergency placement.. a 6 year old boy and his 22 month old sister.  We asked the few important questions and agreed without giving it too much thought.  Kids in need, we had the room, why not?  It's what we were there for and it really wasn't a big deal.  Years prior we had put ourselves on the holiday list and figured it was a temporary thing.  Thanksgiving was a few days away, families tended to implode (drinking/drug use skyrockets) and available homes were scarce as many foster care providers went on holiday.  Basically, intakes spike. 

A week, two tops.

At 1:30am the following morning, headlights swooped across the driveway and a car parked out front.  It was a bitterly cold, clear night and the stars were twinkling.  Snuggled in sound asleep in the backseat the bright moonlight revealed two of the most beautiful sleeping faces I had ever seen.

And so it began...


This journey started with little fanfare and no expectation.  Two innocent angels caught up in a horrible mess. It feels like a decade ago and the blink of an eye all at the same time. So much has happened since.  Great breakthroughs and huge heartbreaks.  I am so grateful they are still here and pray we get this case wrapped up sooner rather than later.

One thing is certain, God has a curious way of going about things...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fall Back.. Literally..

With the holiday season looming, I've been contemplating running away until after the New Year.  Some island with sugar sand and umbrella drinks.  Okay, maybe not but (had it not been for my kiddos) I probably would have given it serious thought.  Errr, maybe.  Don't fret.. we'll survive.. we've made it this far, right?

Right.

The crazy thing about this whole grief thing is how it sneaks up on you when you least expect it.  I was worried about Halloween.. missing Matt not seeing the kids' costumes, etc.  I breezed through it, no problemo.  All the events we went to were really fun and we had a blast.  Then, I started stressing about Thanksgiving.  That's going to be a huge challenge.. but guess what got me?  The TIME CHANGE

Seriously.

Matt's job was to change all the time on clocks.  The ones up high, down low and everything in between.  This past weekend really threw me for a loop.. totally unexpected.  Saturday, Sunday and most of Monday was a complete blue funk.  It sucked out loud, might I add.  But it, too, has passed.

Thank God...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Finding Me & Our New Normal

So, here we are. A few months down the road from the day our entire world got flipped upside down and turned inside out. So much has happened and I've got so much to say. That being said I, personally, cannot stand long, novelette blog posts so I'll fill y'all in with short and sweet ones.  Emphasis on try.  I'm getting my groove back and will do a better job at writing regularly.

Swears.

LittleBuddy and SweetPea are doing well.  He has his moments but they are fewer and farther between.  With SP, I'm seeing we dodged the Terrible Twos bullet but it's the Threes we need to wary of.  Oh my, the girl is sassy (that's the family friendly version).  Luckily, for both, they're so stinkin' cute ...

I am holding my own.  I purchased a treadmill a few weeks back to get my routine straightened out.  Seriously, I wasn't getting but 3 hours of sleep (the ole mind spin) and these early morning workouts now have me yawning by 9pm.  The bootie trimmin' is an added bonus!  :)

I still have my private break downs but they, too, are farther between.  The snow storm yesterday was especially hard.  More things added to my list of having to do (that were Matt's "jobs").. I now have to figure out how to get the snow plow on the ATV to push snow, taking brooms and beating snow off trees, etc.. But harder still was that this is really "our" time of year.  We loved to snowmobile and he was in his element in the cold and white stuff. 

One more thing to get through without him.

I'm standing on the edge of the holidays and absolutely dreading the thought.  To be honest, if I didn't have the kids, I would find a way to disappear until after January and just not deal.  Or crawl into myself and not celebrate.  The reality is, that cannot happen and our entire family will pull off the smiles, excitement and bear it.  The kiddos will have their holidays like all the others. 

But oh my gosh, it's going to be hard.

The adoption is still delayed thanks to an appeal that will be denied.  Eventually.  When the judge gets to it.  Someday.  Sigh..

For today, I pray for strength and peace for our family to get through the next few months.  But mostly give thanks for all our blessings, including my silly, sweet, sassy kiddos. 

Without them, gosh only knows where my life would've gone..

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hello? Is This Thing On?!?

Sorry for the recent blog neglect.. just trying to find my way through this "new normal". Things here are actually going really well, all things considered. I've pulled way back on LittleBuddy's therapy sessions and he is returning to his sweet, silly self. Seriously, we know Daddy is gone... no need to reopen that wound every.single.week.  Gah!

In other news..
The Raffle:
From GSG Customs Facebook Fan Page:
We had an amazing turn out over 100 people in the shop and we had 181 people watching online! I would like to give thanks to ComposiMo Fabrication, Ice House Tavern for all the support!

James, Me and the Tonka Toy:

Now here are the winners :
Chris Johnson - won "Tonka Toy"
Philip Saraff - won a complete GY6 motor swap for his ruckus
Tim Nichols - GSG Hoodie
Deanne Fujiooto - GSG Hoodie
Nathan Mielnik - GSG Hoodie
Mark Holcomb - GSG Hoodie
Aaron Carlock - $25.00 gift card to The Ice House Tavern
Mellisa Moringlo - $25.00 gift card to The Ice House Tavern

Us in action that night:


One more time.. A HUGE, "THANK YOU!!!" to everyone that participated, donated, got the word out and to Lizzie.. who got me home safely. :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's Raffle Night, Y'all!!!


The big count down has begun for the Grand Reopening Party at Grape Street Garage Customs ... and we're raffling Tonka Toy off  TONIGHT!

THERE'S STILL TIME TO GET YOUR WINNING TICKET!!

100% of the proceeds are going to a fund for LittleBuddy and SweetPea.  They will ship the bike anywhere in the US (or deliver it personally if the winner is local!).  You need not be present to win.  There are 4 ways to purchase the tickets, please go to GSG Customs Shop Blog for deets! 

We'll be live streaming the event.. will post the link later on today so you can watch us in action!   I'll be drawing YOUR winning ticket tonight at 9:30 MDT/8:30 PST/11:30 EST.  I'll also be getting my geek on and tweeting from my own account @FullCircle_Mel & @GSGCustoms.. FOLLOW US for all the fun!

The Tonka Toy in action (THIS COULD BE YOU NEXT WEEKEND!):

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gettin' On With Gettin' On...

So, here we are.. a month and half after the worst day ever and we're all hanging in there.  LB is at his absolute worst after therapy (I'm likening it more to ripping open scabs every week and am questioning the frequency of the visits.. we'll see).  But all in all, thanks to the support of our amazing family and friends, we're doing really well.

Both of my kids are growing like weeds.  At the rate LittleBuddy is going, he will definitely hit 6'3" as predicted (my bets are more like 8' the way he eats but I'll defer to the professionals).  I swear SweetPea says new things every day.  Did I mention she counted to 13 all by her little lonesome the other day?  I declared my 2 1/2 year old a rocket scientist (as Jack and Jill at 4 1/2 couldn't count past 3 when they came to us).  Okay, maybe an unfair comparison.. probably a future Nobel Peace Prize winner..

Grin.

We've had a minor glitch case wise.  One of the family members that had their rights terminated is appealing the decision.  Did I mention this person is incarcerated .. errr.. busy until 2016?  No one is surprised and it shouldn't set us back too much but for crying out loud.. Really?

Really.

I'm working more hours (did a FULL day on Monday!) and can say without the slightest hesitation a normal, run of the mill, ordinary day is like the greatest breath of fresh air.

Uneventful days ROCK!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Boy, A Dog...

.. And Buzz Lightyear.. 

Our Jammie Morning...

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Spy With My Little Blue Eye...

The First Day of Fall!

ENJOY!!!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Somewhere...


Over the rainbow,
Skies are blue.
And the dreams that you dare
to dream
Really do come true.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Latest Haps ...

Well, we made it past the one month mark since Matt's passing (on 9/11 of all things) and are hanging in there.  Good days and a few bad days as y'all can imagine... but we're adjusting and pressing forward.  LittleBuddy has had a pretty tough time but oh my goodness, the poor little guy has been through the wringer.  He seems to be past the first "hump" of turmoil and is snapping out of the pouty bad moods (and rages) quicker.  I told our social worker it feels like we're starting to lean forward (rather than taking steps back).

Thank GOD!

LB is spending the weekend with their older, 1/2 brother ("Freckles") and his family.  The only bio fam the kiddos have that is healthy and safe ... and I completely adore them.  It's a win win.  So, SweetPea and I have spent this Saturday morning snuggling, streaming Sesame Street and singing along... 


And having a wonderful time, might I add...

In other news... 
 I fixed the Big TV last night
(it mysteriously went out the night Matt passed) 
and we're rockin' Ernie and friends in style
(and surround..)


LittleBuddy will be PSYCHED ... Did I earn a new MomBadge?

Friday, September 16, 2011

... And Did I Mention A Raffle??

Because y'all know I'm just not going to pipe down until October 2nd, right?


TONKA TOY - GSG Custom's Denver Colorado from GSG Customs' on Vimeo.


The drawing will be October 1st (I'm pulling the winning ticket!).  100% of the proceeds go to a fund for SweetPea and Little Buddy.  Please go to GSG Customs Blog for deets...  THANK YOU AND GOOD LUCK!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Matt's Ruckus ~ A Raffle For LittleBuddy & SweetPea


Matt's dear friend James Boston (owner of Grape Street Garage Customs in Denver) is going to finish the award winning bike Matt designed (Tonka Toy) and raffle it off (tickets are $40 a piece).  100% of the proceeds are going to a fund for LittleBuddy and SweetPea.  They will ship the bike anywhere in the US (or deliver it personally if the winner is local!).  The winner will be announced at the Grand ReOpening Party on October 1st and need not be present to win.  There are 4 ways to purchase the tickets, please go to GSG Customs Shop Blog for deets!

The Tonka Toy in action:



This bike was Matt's pride and joy.  Every bit of the build has his fingerprint.. from the bright yellow paint (his favorite color) to his signature flames (embroidered on the seat) and everything in between.  He took great pride when hearing how many people loved it (and all the awards it was winning).  I know Matt would love nothing more than to have the bike owned by someone that cherishes it as much as he did.

If you all could help spread the word to family, friends and followers we would so very much appreciate it!



Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Baby Steps & Hungry Bears

Yesterday I started back to work.. just 1/2 days for now.  I thank God continuously for the blessing of wonderful, understanding bosses and coworkers.  Between the bronchitis and grief, I'm beyond exhausted and far from 100%.  Literally taking a shower in the morning about wipes me out.  But I went in yesterday and stayed until noon.  I've worked there 15 years and honestly thought I would be okay, but it was harder (emotionally) than I had anticipated.  After the initial bout of tears and encouragement from my dear workmate, I got through the morning.

Baby Steps.

In other news.. due to a funky smell, I left the trash can outside last night (completely forgetting what time of year it is).  This morning Little Buddy and I found this:

B-B-B-B-Bear (as my family often jokes).  It goes back to a story from a few years ago of Matt and his Close Encounter ...  So, instead of dropping the kiddos off at daycare and heading in to work this morning, I got to go back home and scoop trash.  Did I mention it was strewn across the yard?

My Bad.

The good news is Little Buddy declared he will no longer run outside when he gets into trouble.  I'm thinking bear season will be year round in our parts..

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dang Goo...

So I thought I had fought the goo and won.. but I was wrong. I'm sick as all get out. My lack of sleep, inconsistent meals and stress these past three weeks have undoubtedly compromised the old immune system. At least I have the three day weekend to rest before I go back to work (part time), right?

Well, kind of.

Although he knows some fun activities planned for later in the weekend are on the line, LittleBuddy continues to pull out the stops.  He did have his weekly therapy session on Thursday and yesterday he saw one of his fave social workers (where he poured out his anger/sadness over Daddy).  He is raw, too.. and taking it out on me.

Naturally.

Sometimes I feel my nose is at water level but other times, strong as an oak tree.  There is no rhyme or reason why I burst out into tears or can speak frankly about what all is happening.  It will take a couple years to get back to normal again.  Whatever that is.  But somehow we'll get there by the grace of God..

Exhale...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Yes Honey, I Remembered...


Trash day was always a running joke at our house... taking out the garbage was, "NOT my job" ..  On the days when DH was out of town and I had to do it, I would send an early morning text picture and get an, "Atta girl!" 

Bonus points if it was recycle day.

So if you saw a girl choking back tears while she lugged out the bins yesterday, that was probably me.  The laughter seems so distant.

Hey, at least I remembered.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Really?

On top of the spiral that our life was plunged into a few weeks back (and all that I have had to deal with since), I've had to literally dig out my Big Girl Pants and personally put the kibosh on people acting stupid.

*Friends with seemingly good intentions becoming vulturous. Like, going through my house, taking things off my walls and offering money for them.

Really?

*Boys wanting to play with my husband's toys, borrow his things and rifle through his belongings. Seriously, DH's RV barn turned into a hang out.

Really?

*People emailing my friends (that they are not acquainted with) on the side wanting details.

Really?

Not to mention the very night since his passing, the new, big TV stopped working, my laptop monitor displays images upside down, the husky suddenly has a big lump on her head, one of the minpins had an allergy come back (his eye swells and he gets bumps all over) and a sprinkler cover thingy was overflowing and water came flooding out.

Really?

Last night my throat started to itch and my head feels like it's under water. Sure enough, I'm getting sick.

Really?

The good news is, I'm anxiously awaiting my one time survivors payment from Social Security for $255...

Really.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Zausted...

As Little Buddy would say.

This weekend LB was a train wreck of emotions. As we anticipated, he is all over the board and has taken several steps back. The really tough part is not only is he in turmoil but I'm raw as well.  For the record, LB knows what buttons to push and going for broke. I'm certain part of his belief is that I'm leaving next. Everyone in his short life that has told him they love him is gone, so let's just get this over with. On top if it all, he is grieving the loss of his Daddy but before the sadness comes anger.

Big Time.

So here I sit. The children are off to school, the house is quiet and I'm numb with exhaustion. For now, I'm shutting out the voices telling me my home is too large to manage and I have to sell it. For crying out loud, I can't even move the jeans DH has hanging on the hook in the bathroom.

For now I stuff back the fear of what the future holds for us financially and otherwise.  My faith put to the test in a huge way, the bigger question is can I withstand, dig deep and find strength to lead this family of mine?

This is so not the happily ever after I thought was finally in reach.  I wasn't supposed to be a young widow or single mom adopting two children. But suddenly I am and all I can do is press forward from here.. day, hour, minute at a time.

I have no other option.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sploosh...

Sitting still hasn't been my forte here these last few weeks. I've got to keep moving moving... especially when I have the kids. I can't stop and think because if I do, reality sets in and it's way more than I can bear. Trust me, I have my private moments.. rage, hysterical sobbing, deep grief.. the works. That's normal and ok but again, in private.  They have seen our grief but not the really heavy stuff.




Today a dear friend and her son met up with us at a local splash park and the kids ran amuck. 

It was awesome. 








The boys got their spin on..




Then they got their splash on..






And a little princess learned that chivalry was not dead...





A big thank you to all the friends and family that continue to come by our side and walk through this with us.  We have a long road ahead but will heal one small step at a time.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

But Summer Isn't Over Yet...

Yes, yesterday was the first day of school, however, Auntie MooMoo was having none of it. She and LittleBuddy spent a late afternoon hanging at a local reservoir w/ friends from her work.


That's my kinda Wednesday right thar.. let me tell you what..

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Morons Amongst Us

Every family has them.. well at least one, anyway. Ours is no exception. You know.. the arrogant, pot stirring, obnoxious know it all. The one with the venomous tongue.

You know who you are.

I ignored your snide remarks for years and finally wrote you off. I didn't need your brand of crazy in my life, not then and surely not now. The comments you have recently made about my husband confirm (once again) what an absolute idiot you truly are. I find it laughable you continue to stalk my blog. Aren't you bigger than that?

Guess not. Shock.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Just So You Know...

*If you ask me how I'm doing, I'll probably say, "Hanging in there" .. or I might burst out into tears.

*I haven't slept well in over a week and look/feel like utter crap from the inside out.

*You may get a random phone call from me and I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as I try to process. I truly hope I don't become the friend that makes your eyes roll when my number comes up on your caller id. I promise to return the favor someday. I don't know how but I will.

*I feel badly for not responding back personally to all that so generously donated to the fundraiser, the phone calls, emails, public/private Facebook and Twitter messages. I've heard and read them all and they are precious to me. The money raised is so very very appreciated.. it covered my looming day care bill. For all that put their own lives on hold and came by my side, I thank you all from the bottom of my broken heart.

I also thank God for my beautiful children, my amazing family and friends. If it wasn't for you all, I can't even fathom what this new life of mine would be like.

I am humbled beyond words.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Saying Goodbye

The following was what I had written and hoped to read at Matt's service. The pastor ended up reading it for me. We're still in a spinning, numb haze, but I do wish to thank everyone for their love, prayers and support. 
Today we celebrate the life of not only my beautiful husband, but a loving Daddy, a caring son, brother, uncle, brother in law, friend, coworker, neighbor, hunting buddy, fearless snowmobile leader and golf mate. As we all sit here today, shocked and saddened, please remember him for who he truly was.. A gentle giant with a heart of gold. 

Matt was the most brilliant, hard working, clever man I have ever met. He could build anything beautifully and didn’t stop until the job was done to the satisfaction of his high standards. Our home he loved so much is a true testimony of his incredible tenacity and pride in workmanship. 

In the 10 years I’ve known him, not once did he have an angry outburst (and if you know me, that in and of itself is a mark for Sainthood). I know I’m not the only one in this room he patiently dug out while snowmobiling.. Brushing off apologies with, “It’s hasn’t been a great day of riding until someone gets stuck”

We had lots of great riding days.

Over the years, he rolled with my heart and passions, welcoming and loving countless rescue dogs that would eventually leave (okay, some stayed), and deeply loved all the foster children that blessed our home. Nothing is sweeter than watching a 6’3” man melt to goo over curly haired SweetPea or him patiently guiding LittleBuddy through the challenges of checkers.

He had a great love of the outdoors and thoroughly enjoyed taking trips with not only his family but his buddies, as well. Snowmobiling, white water rafting, hunting, atv-ing.. All things outdoors. One great moment (that will always crack me up) was texting him pictures of the herds of elk in our yard as he and the boys had been up in the mountains hunting for a week with not a bull in sight.

Good times.

I cannot begin to thank everyone for coming from near and far to be here today. I have no words to express how blessed and appreciative our entire family feels for all the loving words of support and prayer. We are all broken but together we will heal. My hope for today is that we can not only cry together but laugh over the good times as well. I truly hope to hear your stories and I will share mine.

My sweet darling, not a day will go by that I won’t think of you and ache for your presence. The thought of experiences we won’t get to share together makes it hard to breathe. There is still so much to say and do. Please know how proud I am to be your wife, your friend and a Mommy to our beautiful children. I will love you from the core of my soul ..

Forever.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our Darkest Days

This past weekend, my husband was tragically and unexpectedly taken from us.  I will not be discussing details.  I am asking for prayers not only for myself but for all his family and friends for strength, peace and comfort.  I am truly blessed with awesome support that has come around me and we will all, somehow, eventually get through this.

I have spoken to our social worker and she assured me they will NOT take LittleBuddy and SweetPea away.  No way, no how.  Thank God.

I cannot even being to thank everyone that has posted words of encouragement, love and support on FB and Twitter.  All the friends that have called, shown up at the house and emailed.  My family that has come or is coming from near and far.  I could not of endured this alone and am so very very very grateful for you all.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Talk

Our social worker (Tee) called us as soon as the termination hearing ended to give us the verdict.  She has been with the kiddos since day one (nearly two years) and I can say with total certainty I wasn't the only one in tears.  All this time she has been the one to give Little Buddy all the tough news ..  and Thursday was no exception.

Tee knows he can't process information that comes in a beat-around-the-bush, sugar coated style.  He needs blunt truth.  Although he had been talking about adoption for a few months, to hear it's officially happening was huge and world rocking.  Both in a good and bad way..  Can you imagine what a nearly seven year old feels hearing this?  Joy, abandonment, pain, grief, anger, relief, happiness...

A massively mixed bag.

She didn't want him to have any lingering fantasies that his Mom would be coming back for them and was purposefully clear, answering questions honestly.  It was absolutely heart breaking to watch my little man's eyes well up with tears as he nodded in understanding of what she was saying.  Her eyes welled up also.. how we all kept from bursting out crying is beyond me. 

We told him it's okay to feel the feelings that will come up.. he can be angry, sad and happy, reiterating as we always do that it's not their fault.  Their mom loves them dearly she just can't keep them safe.  We talked about me being adopted and my family, as well as their older brother (9 year old "Freckles") and what it all means.

"Being safe and part of a family that loves you forever," per Little Buddy.

As with everything in his short life, LB took the information in stride.  About an hour after Tee left he asked if we could call Auntie MooMoo (my SIL whom he has become very close to) to tell her the Big News.  When she answered the phone he yelled, "MOOOO... we're getting 'DOPTED!!!"  and I could hear her hootin' and a hollerin' from across the room.

Good stuff.

It has only been a few days since The Talk and all has been well.  We fully expect another cycle of some type of acting out but at least THIS time it's news that will allow forward motion.  LB is no longer stuck, not knowing if and when they will be uprooted.  His school is his school, his friends are his friends, his home is his home. 

He can finally exhale, too.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

3 Years 8 Months 20 Days ...

In December 2007 DarlingHusband, Gramsie, GrandPaPa and I attended an informational meeting at the county and this journey began..

By August 3, 2008 we had completed the approval process and anxiously awaited the phone to ring with our first placement.  We were sure it would happen any minute.. It didn't.. we learned patience.

August 3, 2009 we were bracing for the transition of our beloved twins, Jack and Jill, back to a bio family member's home.  I can't even begin to explain the heartbreak and sorrow.  There are no words.  We learned sometimes the lesser of two evils is all you can be thankful for and how to say goodbye with grace and dignity.  Well, our our version of it, anyway.

By August 3, 2010 Mannie, his little sister Sunshine and JuneBug had all come and gone.  These cases taught us how to open our arms and hearts to not only our darling angels but to their bio families, as well. 

And so much more..

Honestly, I was convinced we would never make it to adoption.  Each year we decided to recertify because being foster parents was something we enjoyed...

Yes, we're nuts.

August 3, 2011 ... 3 years 8 months 20 days of tears, diapers, sleepless nights, break throughs and set backs, colds, laughter, trips to urgent care, holidays, therapy, arguments, tantrums, more sleepless nights...  We heard the words we never thought we would hear..

"It is done..The judge declared your LittleBuddy & SweetPea are now available for adoption.."

Pure Joy. 

Exhale...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Big BIG Week...

This is me.. holding breath..

Stay Tuned!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I Walk The Line..


Parenting kiddos that have been traumatized can be a really tricky feat.  They could be acting out because of turmoil.. they are upset, don't know why (can't verbalize it) and lash out.  LittleBuddy once called it feeling "all jumbled up inside..."  Because of where we're at in the case, our little man still can't be told what his future holds.  Legally, his parents' rights are intact.  Can you imagine how scary that must be?  He doesn't know how long he's going to be here or if they are going to get moved again.

Absolutely frightening.

Most days here it's fairly smooth sailing.  Most.  DH was out of town on business all last week and that threw our little village off.   Between him being gone, our C.A.S.A. visiting the kids, lack of sleep, the crazy summer school schedule and LB's constant "jumble", it was pretty rough.  He didn't act out as badly as when hubs was in San Diego (THANKTHEGOODLORDABOVE) but it was still rough.

Bearing in mind the trauma LB has endured, I walk a very fine parental line.  I've got to be sensitive, compassionate and understanding, but not allow him to go overboard.  There have to be consequences at times .. he can't go on thinking that some types of behaviours are acceptable and he can get away with it. 

The tricky part is that it's all in the moment (read: when MY head is about to explode I have to somehow stay regulated).  At the very moment he is acting out I have to quickly ask myself,  "Is it a trigger from something that happened in his past, his DNA, he's missing someone, lack of sleep..  or just because he's being a normal, almost 7 year old boy?"

Kids will be kids and test us .. no matter what their past looks like.  Our boundaries have to remain crystal clear, consistent and fair.  All the while gotta try to keep a cool head and not getting sucked into the argument of the moment...

Because you're mine.. I walk the line..
 

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