Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Now Woody, he’s been my pal for as long as I can remember. He’s brave, like a cowboy should be, and kind and smart. But the thing that makes Woody special is he’ll never give up on you…ever. He’ll be there for you, no matter what.”


Friday, October 26, 2012


It's Friday, folks! 

This week I ran two miles (at one time)!  

We had a really great professional development day at school this week and it was really inspiring. The biggest take away from it for me is that I realize I am the only person who can stress me out. I am taking this to heart for reals-- kid comes in for a bad lesson? I'm not letting myself stress myself out about it. I'll help them get better. Kids are being too noisy in band? I'm not going to let myself stress about it, I'll help them get better. Too much to do at school? Then I'll find a way to do it. I feel like already just keeping this in my head I am starting to take more control over my emotions and thus actions in teaching and in my home life. It is actually a freeing feeling and I am actually finding myself having more energy through the school day! 

Michael and I had some fun playing this week in the nice weather at our favorite park. It was nice to just sit for a while as Michael played and talked to himself. I have so many things to be thankful for and it felt good just to sit and soak up the blessings of my family, the beautiful weather and fresh air. 

The very next day, we did a picnic at the park because--get this---it was way too hot in our house to be home and just much nicer outside. Crazy, huh? 

 Scott and I escaped to Kansas City for a really great overnight courtesy of his work (for winning a contest). It was hands down just what I needed and Scott and made sure we had lots of fun on our 24 hours away from home. The other couples asked us if we had fun seeing the city and were like...nope! We had lots of fun spending time with friends, eating pizza, watching Cyclone football, eating BBQ, shopping, spending time together, and even playing a late night game of bowling. 

It. was. awesome. 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ledges State Park

I figured I better get these pictures posted while there is still a little bit of fall left-- how crazy is it to see everything so green? 

We visited Ledges State Farm way back in September before the leaves started turning. It was a great afternoon to spent outside and with my favorite people. I can't believe we live so close to this beautiful place and haven't ever spent an afternoon there! It will be a regular from now on, I'm sure. 

Sometimes I think the little unplanned adventures are the most fun. No need for planning or itineraries- just get in the car and go! :o) 

I feel like winter is fast approaching...I hope these beautiful fall days stay strong in your memories!

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, October 19, 2012


It's Friday. 

Has this been the longest week ever, or what? Or is it just me? I was all jazzed up for Friday and wearing jeans and comfy shoes and ready to finish the week off with a bang. 

I walked into the teacher's lounge and found out one of my coworker's little grand baby had died the same day it was born. :o( 

It is so unfair. I don't understand why precious little babies have to die. I hate that it happens.


Here's instafriday:  

Birthday balloons for the birthday boy!

McD's breakfast with cousin Ellie....a tradition when we have overnight guests! 

Soo....we took Michael to a football game this year. We are crazy.

 He had a good time!
My friend Kylie and I took our boys to see the marching band do their step show before the game. We pulled them right up for a front row view. The boys were not really impressed but we thought it was awesome. It also made us feel really old. :o( 

We picked pumpkins. Scott got in on the action. 

I had a concert. It was a small crowd, but we performed well! 

Scott celebrated his birthday last weekend at the ISU/KSU game. I made him a birthday pan of scotch a roos with writing in white chocolate....just as requested. :o) It turned out well! What is better than birthday scotch a roos? I hope you are having a good Friday!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thoughts on Grief and Loss

I have been meaning to write a post like this for a while and with October being pregnancy & infant loss awareness month, it just seems fitting to jot some thoughts down now. 

Things have been busy around here due to lots of things and it feels good to take a few moments to process everything and get it down. I am always grateful when I take time to put my thoughts into words and find it helpful to reflect on later. It is hard to do but very beneficial.

First of all, thank you to all my friends and family who sent Scott and I nice messages on the anniversary of Trace's death. It was so nice of you to think of us and send a card, email, comment or text. It really warmed my heart and I am so thankful for the support network you provide me with. I know it is hard and even though there isn't anything you can say (really, there is nothing anyone can say) I appreciate the nice thoughts and gestures. Although Trace's funeral was a terrible, terrible day I still remember how my heart swelled to see everyone there to support us. It is just the worst, but thank you.

We observed Trace's anniversary on the 10th. I took the day off of work and spent some time with my mom who was here for a few days. We had a nice day and lunch with Scott. Mom and I visited the cemetery after shopping at Earl May for a new solar light, garden stake, and plant for Trace.

As sad as it is going out there, I really think it is beautiful and I always feel at peace at the cemetery. One day I was out there and I saw a woman eating lunch, sitting at a little fold up tailgating chair she brought with her. I thought that was such a good idea and now I try and always pack a blanket in my car so I can spend a little bit of time just resting, sitting and being still when I am visiting Trace's spot. 


After Scott got off work, we went back to the cemetery so Michael could release balloons for Trace. It was a clear night and we could see them go really high. It was really special. 

It seems like I was amped up and braced for the worst as Trace's anniversary neared and now it feels weird that it is over. It is just like...okay, time to start year #2 without him. It is actually probably more depressing now that it is over than it was before and I have a feeling getting through the run of holidays is going to be hard like it was last year. I'm already not very excited for Halloween and don't have a costume for Michael.....but I think I have Scott talked into taking him trick or treating again this year and I'll stay home and man the candy bowl.


 A friend sent me the link to the CarlyMarie Project Heal 31 days Capture your Grief series and although I have been following others, I have been really slow to the uptake with my own sharing. is a little bit. 

(above, Day 1 Sunrise- taken at a stop on the way school. Doesn't it look happy and sad at the same time? It was so neat I had to take a picture. )

Day 2: Before Self Portrait 
I know I recently talked about this before but looking at pictures of me before makes me so sad. I feel like I am a different person now- I feel older and I feel like I look older.


Day 3. After loss self portrait. 
Michael and I (and Scampy) spent lots of days just like this one- snuggled up on the couch. I never felt like I had lots of energy to get much done but I wanted Michael close and especially liked holding my cat just so I had something warm to snuggle with. 

 Another after loss self portrait. On this day my drink had been paid for by the car in front of me-- a blessing for sure. I felt like most days if I had the motivation of stopping for a cup of coffee ahead of me then I could get out and do something fun with Michael or run some errands. 

After losing Trace, I went through a bad period where I was not sleeping well and coffee was my best friend. It now seems even more comforting to me know because I feel like maybe if I just have a cup of coffee I will feel a little better.

Day 5: Memorial: 
See above photos for Trace's memorial. It was really hard to pick out a headstone for our baby. It made me sick to my stomach: it just seemed so permanent. It sucks because it is's forever. I really went with my gut feeling on the design and I am so happy with the way it turned out. I love that there is an angel holding a chubby little baby at the bottom. When we go visit, Michael always says that the baby is baby Trace and I swear that it looks more and more like him every time I go visit.

Day 6: What to say:
As I said earlier, there is nothing really you can is like, what can you say?  The best things people could say were memories they had of Trace, even though he was here for such a short time. I remember people saying that they just remember him being so cute and happy the last time they saw him and that made me happy to remember that, too.

Day 7: What not to say:
This is also a really hard one. I think the only thing not to say would be to not say anything or acknowledge Trace's life and death.

Day 15: Wave of light

I lit my candle for Trace on the 15th and I loved having it lit to remember him. I actually went out and bought a special candle that I could burn this fall that reminds me of him. It is nice to see the little glow and think of my little baby.

Thanks for sticking it out with me and for all your thoughts and prayers. I hope to keep updating with more of the series as the month goes on.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Birthday Party!

We celebrated Michael's 3rd birthday with a family party on Saturday. It was really low key, with BBQ from our favorite joint (and family tradition--we have stopped there for a take out meal while bringing both boys home!) and homemade sides. Michael had a great time running around with his cousins and everyone else had a good time visiting with each other.  In hindsight, I maybe should have had some activities for people to do but I was amazed at myself for just getting invites out, my house cleaned, and food organized!

Michael was so funny when all eyes were on him during the singing of Happy Birthday! He's too cute! 

We had Scott's brother and sister's families stay with us Friday night and we got all the kids out to the park on a chilly Saturday morning. It was so fun to see them all playing together even though they are all different ages. It was a special weekend, for sure. 

Here's Scott's whole side of the family! I'm thinking this is going to end up on someone's Christmas card? I give props to my mother in law who seized the opportunity to take a picture while everyone was here and looking nice! (it is rare!)


We also had a little birthday party for Michael's friends Thursday night at Jester Park. It was also a little chilly and I think we just caught the tail end of the nice fall weather, thankfully it wasn't raining. It is such a perfect setting and our favorite place to go. I wanted to have something for Michael but just couldn't justify spending lots of money to rent a place out. It was a really good time and turned out just how I envisioned it!

Michael had been talking for months about his birthday and everything he wanted to have with it- cake, candles, balloons, friends, presents so I just didn't want to let the poor guy down. We'd go to the grocery store and walk past the bakery and Michael would say, "Is that my birthday cake??" when he saw all the cakes in the display case.  I feel like this is such a sad time for me personally and I hope that Michael doesn't feel the same way too. I don't want him to go through his whole life never having a fun birthday celebration because his mom was too sad to throw him one. I did feel moments of sadness as I was preparing but I also think that working towards a small goal of something happy helped me push through some of those hard days before Trace's anniversary of his death. It was so nice to see all of our friends who came out after work on Thursday and all of our family on Saturday that it really warmed my heart and gave me energy to keep going. You guys are the best. :o)

Happy Birthday, big guy!
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