Monday, June 18, 2012

Dear Mother-in-Law

****On Thursday, June 14, 2012, our family lost its heartbeat.  After battling a two year courageous battle with cancer, my mother-in-law's fight ended.  I so greatly admired her.  I wish I had a chance to tell her.  So, I just wrote a letter to her, and I just want to believe that some way, somehow, she is looking over my shoulder seeing this.  I need this belief!*****

My dear Mama Leigh,

When Justin barely could walk or talk, you came into his life like an angel sent from above to be his mother.  With each fever, each first day of school, each booboo that needed a band aid, you were there.  With the struggles faced during the teenage years, first day of high school, prom, and graduation you were there.  With each time he needed advice and guidance into the right direction, you were there.  With each time he wanted to take toys apart you were there more than likely shaking your head and saying “Justin! Justin!” Turns out, you had to do a lot of head shaking into his adult years J But, there was never a doubt how proud you always were of your son. You defined motherhood. You helped bring him back during his car accident, never ONCE giving up on him…making sure he had another chance to live.  You always said you were scared at that time and always have that fear and you can’t help but to baby him.  I never understood at that time, thinking to myself he is a man, not a baby or someone laying in a coma.  But, in time I learned to understand because Justin always was and always will be your baby boy.  Then I think of the wedding day and how proud you looked as we took our vows.  I remember the day we told you and Cecil that we were pregnant with Kaden which was on your wedding anniversary.  You had such excitement and joy!  And the day Kaden was born, you were by my side as if I was a daughter to you, stroking my hair and telling me and Justin how proud you were.  And just looking at your own son with such pride and joy! Then with Kody, I remember being so scared to tell you that we were going to have another baby.  I still don’t understand why I worried so much, but you were thrilled.  I giggled when you hoped for a granddaughter but was still just as excited with another grandson.  And once again you were there for the birth of Kody…doing the same as you did with Kaden.  I remember how proudly you spoke of Justin when you saw him carry Kody out to the waiting room and how much you were upset you forgot your camera.  But, the image I have in my head is a beautiful image of a mom watching her son carry his son.

My heart, however, is so full of regret.  In-laws commonly have their differences, but I know there were so many times I was just a, well, a bitch when you were just being a mom and trying to get me understand that you were looking out for Justin.  And turns out for me as well.  I still feel like the way I was so many times, although we always worked out, that I don't deserve to be sad.  I feel like I don't deserve to feel this empty spot in my heart.  The past two years were amazing and memorable between us, but it should have been ten years of amazing and wonderful.  Justin and so many say that you knew I loved you.  That I thought of you as my second mama.  Still, just wish had that one more day to tell you.  Instead, I make a silent vow that I will watch over your son.  I will handle his heart with care because I know how fragile he can be.  With each klutzy move, I will be sure to shake my head and smile :) I will wipe away his tears and hold him close.  I would like to say to please don't worry, but as a mother the worrying just comes with it all.  Something else I should have said to you.

Leigh, you were an angel who graced the lives of many.  You had incredible strength, independence, beauty, a sense of humor, and most of all patience.  From the stories you told me about Justin and Valarie growing up, I so greatly admire your patience and strength.  Your spirit is living within both your children as well as all three of your grandchildren.  An angel that graced the lives of many, taken so soon, but is now an angel looking down on us with an expression of pride and joy.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Another Door Opens

I do believe the job offer has fallen through.  At first, I was upset and then realized it is actually for the best.  It could still come through.  It could not.  Right now, it is just all up in the air so I am just going to move forward.  We still have our fun family trips planned out, and they are going to be memorable and exciting.

One door closed yet another one is going to open.  I have reapplied to the local college as well as looking into another college which has mostly online classes.  I still have every intention to pursue a degree in Business Administration, and may go as far as getting a Bachelor's Degree. For now, going to focus on the Associates Degree and then go from there.  And, much to my surprise, my husband is completely on board with this.  It is still amazing how much his attitude has changed for the better in the past few years......long story.

This week has been highly stressful, and there were times I just wanted to shut down and get away from the world.  However, that is never the answer or the solution so must keep going and keep pushing forward.  It may be hard, but I have been through harder times.  And so I enter the door to see where it may lead me.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Random Thoughts

Let's get to it!

1.  Okay, I admit that I am a Food Network junky.  I love Chopped, Cupcake Wars, Paula Dean (don't think I spelled her last name right), etc.  One of my favorites used to be 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray, however, I am rather disappointed in her show.  I watched a rerun this morning that made me want to jump through the tv and give her a happy pill!  Not a single smile, and if she did smile then it looked force.  I recall she used to be so upbeat!  It appeared as though she was worn out and just did not enjoy doing the show.  Perhaps it will pass.

2.  HGTV--Property cruel how they tease the house hunters at the begining with a lavish house!  At least the people that are house hunting have a sense of humor.  Yet they want to keep their minds closed at the fixer uppers.  If you have the budget and can especially get that house well below budget with room to remodel then GO FOR IT!!  Biggest mistake for us is having a home with little budge to renovate.  Speaking of house hunters, I love watching House Hunters.  Gives me ideas when we finally get the money to move and what to look for.  I know, I can use any extra money to go towards this house, but it is impossible being a family of 4 in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath home and in a neighborhood we really want to get away from.  

3.  School is out for summer!  I got offered a job!  A family trip to Legoland Discovery is in the works plus not long after that--back to Galveston!  We will be busy and it will be great!  Look forward to sharing our adventures :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Okay, Not Quite 365

Well, since I am not meeting the one post a day for a year, I guess I should change the name of the blog!  Believe me, I still enjoy blogging, but the past few days it has been struggle.  Last week, I must have been extremely bored because I switched rooms.  That took nearly a full week!  The boys got our room and we took their room.  Oh the joys of a 2 bedroom house!  The rooms are not much difference in size so it is working, and I am quite happy with the outcome.

After that was done, had to tackle the basic cleaning on the house since I got so wrapped up in the room switching.  I pray I never get bored, again, and I say that with a smile.  It just got to the point that I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to blog by the time evening rolled around.

During the chaos, I got a very wonderful phone call!  Had a phone interview and was also asked to come to a group interview.  I'm nervous, excited, hopeful, and at the same time trying to stay level headed about it all.  This is a job I have been wanting for so long, and I am praying so hard that I get it!  It means so many more positives changes for not only myself but for my family as well.  Only a little over 24 hours to go until the interview!

I suppose I am going to finish making over this blog (thanks to my friend Crystal who got me motivated lol) and change the name.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012



WWTK Wednesday is brought to you by Mamarazzi and CrazyMama

{1} Tell us about your job/daily routine......
It is simple actually---provided it is not a day where I decide to switch rooms like I did this week.  I get up around 6:45 am, check emails, and then get the boys up for school.  Give them breakfast, take them to school, and come home. Just a few minutes to relax and if there is cleaning then I do it after having myself some breakfast.  My youngest gets out of school before his brother so get him then home to finish whatever needs finishing.  Once my oldest gets home, they have a snack and then it is homework time.  Well, sometimes dinner then homework..just depends.  We all talk about our day and will sometimes play the Wii or watch tv together.  The boys love to color and draw so they always do that.  Just a simple life.

{2} What is your favorite place in your home to relax? (bonus points for a pic)
In bed watching tv.  Also, at my desk.

{3} Summer cool treat...popsicle or icecream?
Chocolate chip ice cream---especially during really hot days.

{4} Be sweet to yourself, list 3 things you LIKE about YOU!
I believe that family comes first, I am pretty good at photography, and I always manage to make my family happy.

{5} If someone saw my __________ I would likely die of embarrassment!
My house!  Since Monday, I have been switching out bedrooms.  We also got a new desk and shelves from friends of ours so the living room was also a disaster.  Finally, got the rooms very close to being done and the living room is looking so much better.  Still, it just is not a clean house and it is driving me nuts!  Had to take a break!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Memorable Monday 2

Time for another Monday of memories.  I think I have stared at the screen for about 10 minutes wondering if the part of the brain that holds memories was even working.  Then it finally clicked!  The first memory that came to mind!

At the beginning of our marriage, Justin and I were a little adventurous.  We would took spur of the moment trips to the casinos in Shreveport which is an hour from where we live.  But, that is not the memory.  One Saturday, we were both bored.  This was before we had kids, of course.  Our friends were busy doing other things and we were not in the mood for Shreveport.  We wanted to go for a drive.

Two hour drive was the limit so we first thought about Dallas then decided against it.  We sat in the car for a good fifteen minutes before making up our mind.  Living in east Texas, there are miles and miles of country roads and beautiful scenery.  This was during Spring so everything was green and the flowers were blooming. The day was bright and clear with a beautiful blue sky.  We headed out with the windows roll down and blaring the radio, singing out of tune to our favorite songs.

Our destination...the Texas-Oklahoma border!  In other words, a land of nothing!  Just drive there and back. The only money we had was for gas in the car.  We packed sandwiches, chips, and drinks thinking we might have a picnic somewhere.  The excitement of our first two hour road trip as a married couple clouded any hunger we may have had.

We arrived at the border and pulled to the side of the road.  For only a few minutes, we just looked around.  It was peaceful and hardly any traffic.  As the sun was setting, the temps got cooler and I remember Justin just having his arms around me and holding me close to keep me warm.  Newlyweds still on cloud nine at the border of Texas and Oklahoma without a care in the world.

On the way back home, we almost got lost, but managed to find our way.  After that, we managed to get a couple other getaways before our first child was born.  Now, we just take adventures with our two boys making new memories.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Version of Paradise

The sounds of the waves, beaches that stretch for miles and miles, and delicious local food.  Sounds like paradise, right?  A sweet, tropical getaway may the first that comes to mind.  In reality, the place I am talking about is actually not considered a tropical paradise.  It is a city on the Texas coast.  For those who love the blue waters and white sandy beaches, they may not be able to see the beauty in this place.  However, I can and it is where my heart longs to be.

The place I am talking about is Galveston, Texas....a city that has managed to recover quite well from Hurricane Ike.  It is a city that has such a tremendous historical feel to it.  The beaches, I admit, are not the most perfect due to seaweed, but I have seen workers each morning try their hardest to clean them up.  The water is great and even during Spring break with the rain, drizzle, and temps in the 60s it felt so mild and pleasant.  The Seawall stretches for miles.  Just driving down it with the windows down, hearing the waves, is so relaxing.  And, of course, the Port Bolivar Ferry which is FREE!  We must have went on it about five times.  Watching the cruise ships leave out and all the carriers to the dolphins swimming along the ferry was a memorable experience.  I'm not sure how far the road goes once arriving in Port Bolivar.  I do know we drove about 10 miles in before turning around to head back.  A perfect country side drive!

The food!  Oh my the food was fantastic!  We do not have any tasty local places to eat here.  When I say local, I mean restaurants that are not chains.  Galveston had The Sunflower Bakery & Cafe where we ate for breakfast.  Reasonable prices and the most yummy food.  Even our boys were able to eat their pancakes which were a good size as well.  I highly recommend the omelets were filling yet light.  Fluffy texture with cheese perfectly melted.  My husband and I each had the ham, cheese, onion, bell pepper, and tomato omelet.  The tastes blended perfectly together.  Staff was friendly and quick.  Not like most places who usually seem tired of tourists.  

Another great place is Shrimp N Stuff where I discovered I LOVE popcorn shrimp po boys.  And my husband who is difficult to have a satisfied appetite even was pleasantly full after his catfish sandwich.  My boys said the chicken strips are the best they have ever ate.  I hate to say, but the workers were not the friendliest.  I was able to overlook it since the food left me craving for more.  

For a nice treat, La King Confectionery located on historical The Strand.  So much candy and treats to choose from!  They make their own salt water taffey which I am missing so much.  Many flavors to choose from as well.  I'm guilty of finishing them off within two days of returning home.  I apologize I have no pictures from Shrimp N Stuff and La King---I was too eager for the food and candy :) 

Galveston may not be some tropical paradise to some.  The Gulf may not be considered an ocean to others.  But, the memories of my boys laughing and splashing in the water.  The time we had as a family for 4 days while going to the beach, eating out, and seeing museums (that will be another post) was paradise enough for me.  My heart is still there and we are ready for a trip in June, no matter what!