Monday, December 26, 2011

Big Green Tractors

I hope that everyone had a very merry Christmas. My girls were spoiled rotten and even woke up today wanting to know when they could open more presents!! Silly girls!!

Here's some pictures of them on their new big green tractors that Santa brought... :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope that each and everyone of y'all have a very merry Christmas.

Christmas Quiz

Jessica over at My Baby Birds had this quiz on her blog. I decided to borrow it. :)

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? hot chocolate please

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa doesn't have time to wrap presents!! ;)

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? We usually do white lights on the tree and colored lights on the house.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I've actually never thought about hanging it. Hmm, maybe next year!

5. When do you put your decorations up? Ha!!! It usually happens whenever we find the time. I'm hoping to score a fake tree after Christmas so that we can decorate after Thanksgiving next year.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Dressing and gravy!!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? being spoiled rotten by our parents and being able to open presents for what seemed like hours upon hours

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Um, I don't remember how old I was. I just remember trying to go the kitchen for something to drink and walking in on my Mama and sisters wrapping presents. Didn't think anything of it at the time. But it hit me the next morning when those same presents were from "Santa".

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Lots and lots and lots of lights, red and gold balls and ornaments I've collected over the years.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love it as long as I don't have to go anywhere!!

12. Can you ice skate? Yep

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Oh gosh no. I'm telling you, we got A LOT of gifts growing up!!

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? spending time with my family

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? lemon pie

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? We don't really have any traditions. We usually always make a point to ride around and see Christmas lights, but that's about it.

17. What tops your tree? an angel

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? giving

19. Candy canes: are good when I'm in the mood

20. Favorite Christmas show? Christmas Vacation! Ha!

21. Saddest Christmas song? Christmas Shoes

22. What is your favorite Christmas song? It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

23. What is your favorite Christmas ornament? This one....

It's a green and yellow cowboy.  He's holding 5 stars in his hand too.  My friend, Teela, had the wonderful D. Antonia Truesdale at The Midnight Orange make it for me.  And when it's not hanging on our tree, it's placed on the top shelf of Erik's Memorial Cabinet.

Christmas without You....

My blog friend, Ashley (, posted this on her blog and I just had to post it too.

Christmas Without You
by Kaye Des’Ormeaux

It’s going to be a sad Christmas this year
without your laughter & without your cheer.
I’ll miss the sight of you with your Santa’s hat,
and the smile you shared from where you sat.
I’ll think about all the Christmas’s in the past,
and hold to the memories that slipped so fast.
For they’re all I have left to remember,
on this sad Christmas morning in December.
I’ll think about you and cherish each though;
I’ll think of your smile & the happiness it brought.
And as I listen to the church bells ring,
your voice will echo as the choirs sing.
I can never tell you, my love, how sad it will be
to spend Christmas without you here with me.
I just wish you’d touch my heart in such a way,
that I could live through the pain of Christmas Day.
And, help me to remember that your love
is still sent to me from the Heavens above.
And although you won’t decorate my Christmas tree,
Your spirit will light the lights for me to see.
Oh, I’ll hear your voice in each Christmas song.
I’ll see your face in each child that comes along.
And although my heart will be broken and torn…
I’ll know you’re with Jesus on this Christmas morn.
No, Christmas won’t be the same without your smiling face
but I’ll know you’re in a much better place.
I’ll think of my precious child in everything I do…
Cause, it just won’t be “Christmas Without You!”

Perfect poem for my perfect little boy. I miss him terribly and wish more than anything that he was here for Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Picture Update before Christmas

Warning - major picture overload!!!!  Figured I'd better get these out of the way because I know I'll take a ton on Christmas!  Enjoy!!!

Back in October, we went to Santa's Land in Cherokee, NC.  The girls visited with Santa and Kyle paid for their picture, which included this letter.  I completely forgot about it until it showed up the mail.  The girls were sooooo excited about it!

Skating at Sarah Vinson's birthday party

Ready for church - Sienna was mad because I made her put her bear down.

Christmas Parade 
(Jake, Sienna, Kaitlyn, Will)

Another church picture :)

Sienna mad at me again

Oh yeah - their boots were supposed to be Christmas gifts, but you see they didn't make it til Christmas. I knew I shouldn't have bought them with the girls around.  Oh well.

The local hospital does a Remembrance Ceremony every year for parents who have lost children.  They provide ornaments with the child's name and at the end of the service, we put our ornaments on their tree and light a candle.  
2011 Tree

Erik and Charlie's ornaments

The girls in front of the tree.  They asked for their own candle and I told them that if they had a candle they would have to say Erik's name when it was there turn.  I am so proud of them for wanting to do this and even saying his name out loud in front of about 25 people.  One thing's for sure - they love their brother like crazy!!!

Friday night, I had my office Christmas party.  I didn't get any pictures of the adults, but I got plenty of the kids that were there.  Ty and Harper weren't there.  Darren and Bryson weren't in to taking pictures with the kiddos.  

Talk about a great looking group of kids - these 5 are 3 and under!!! 
(Addison, Handley Reid, Kaitlyn, Beau & Sienna)

Beau was so sweet. He asked his Mama to switch seats with him so he could sit beside Sienna.

Kaitlyn eventually opened up and wanted to sit closer to Sienna and Beau.

My beautiful girls <3

We went to Ansley's 4th birthday party over the weekend and it was a huge hit!!! Her mommy planned a "Pampered Princess" party.  All the girls got their nails, hair and makeup done.  I know my girls had a great time!

Kaitlyn & Sienna getting their nails painted

Butterfly make - up :) 


Kaitlyn posing for Tara 

Sienna posing for Tara 

All the girls 

We were running late for church this past Sunday morning, so I didn't get to take my weekly picture, but I did manage to get them to pose for a Sunday evening picture before heading to the Christmas play.

After the program (Kaitlyn, Alyssa and Sienna) 

Me and sweet Alyssa

Erik's Christmas tree  

I can't believe we're a few days away from Christmas.  2011 has definitely flown by!!!  I can't wait to post an update about our Christmas.  The girls are at the perfect age and they are so excited about Santa coming!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011


So apparently when I start a blog on my phone with the intention of editing it on the computer, I completely forget that I drafted a blog.  Oops!!!  Anyway.  I drafted this blog last week - 12/14 to be exact, so when you read today, think Wednesday of last week!!!

My SIL and I teach GA'S at church on Wednesday nights. We have anywhere between 5 and 10 girls each week - ranging from 2nd grade to 5th grade.

I'm not scared to admit that we struggle coming up with a lesson each week. Today wasn't any different. Instead of putting something together that would most likely be ignored, April and I decided to just let the girls talk.

Let me just say that it's amazing what they'll say when they have someone to listen.

One of the girls, who happens to be the youngest in the class, has only been coming to class for about 3 weeks. She's probably the most well-mannered and polite out of the whole group as well.  I don't know what got us on the subject of people's ages and family, but we ended up there. Seeing as how we're in Ware Shoals, everybody pretty much knows each other.

Anyway, Kiera (the youngest girl), mentioned something about her Papa. I told her that her Papa was my Daddy's brother, which meant she was technically my cousin. I could tell that she was a bit confused. I went on to ask her if Jake (my nephew) was in her class at school - to which she replied "yes". When I told her that I was Jake's aunt, I could tell that her 7 year old brain was really confused. Lol.

When I realized that it still wasn't registering, I asked if she knew who I was. She shyly replied "no ma'am". I simply replied "I'm Erik's mama." She got a devastated look on her  face, but without skipping a beat, she said "aww, you must be so sad." My heart went into my throat.  We said a few more things about Erik, but I knew I wouldn't be able to hold the tears back much longer, so I changed the subject.

Adults tell me all the time how Erik has touched their life in some way. Almost 25 months later, I've only had 2 children reveal how special Erik really was. Kiera made my heart swell with pride tonight.
Kiera and Erik weren't in the same class during kindergarten and they had never even met before they started school in 2009. She knew him for a short couple of months, but 2 years later, he is still on her mind.

Tonight I am humbled knowing that I am the mother of that very special little boy who made a big impact on the youngest of people.  Tonight I am even more grateful that God chose me to be Erik's mama.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Awesome giveaway!!!!

Hey y'all!!

Becky from over at From Mrs. to Mama (<-- click here) is doing a huge giveaway and I'd LOVE to win!!!!!  Head on over to her blog and check out what she's giving away!  I'm sure you'll want to enter too!!!!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Confessions..... Take 1

This post was inspired by my friend Jess who listed her confessions on her blog.  Pretty brave in my opinion!! Not many people are willing to put it ALL out there.

- it's December 14 and we still don't have a Christmas tree up.  I'm not the least bit upset by this and if it were up to me, we wouldn't have one.

- I love the look on my girls faces when we talk about Christmas.  I just wish that look was because they have been taught the real "reason for the season".

- I dread getting together with my family.  It's just another reminder that Erik is missing.

- I go talk to my therapist on Friday.  I'm getting nervous about it already.

- I spend way to much time on Facebook.

- I don't brush the girls teeth every day.

- I can't remember the last meal we cooked and ate at home.

- My memory is horrible.  I have to write EVERYTHING down or else I'll forget.

- I weigh more now than I did 2 weeks after having the girls.  Ugh.

- I've already started thinking about the girls 4th birthday party.  Their birthday is in May.

- There are mornings that I can't drop the girls off at daycare quick enough.  Part of me feels so guilty leaving them, but the other part is so very thankful I have a job and can get away from them.

to be continued.....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I'm contemplating cutting my hair off even shorter than it is now.  I feel like my hair has no style and it pretty much looks the same way every day.

Before I cut it off last year, I had a head full of curls.  Fast forward to today and my hair is straight as a stick.  I don't know if the flat iron just burned all the curls out of my hair or what, but there are no curls or even waves to be found.  Anyway, a couple of months back, I was in the mood to let my hair grow back out.  Then it started bothering me when it would sit right on my neck, so I had it cut short again.  Well, I'm tired of it this way and I want something completely different.

I found this pictures.... what do y'all think??

Here's me now:
It's flipped out here, but I usually have it flipped under.  My hair is VERY thick too.

Here are some styles I like:

(I don't want the long bang like she has)

And I really like this one, but I think my hubby would probably be pretty upset if I went this short:

Do y'all think I would look "right" with shorter hair?  Some people have suggested just getting highlights/lowlights, but I've never had my hair colored and I would prefer not starting now.  Besides, keeping the coloring up isn't really in my budget.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Update on "Step"

Well, I survived Wednesday's appointment with the psychiatrist. It wasn't at all what I expected and to be quite honest, I left feeling like I wasted my time and money. :(

My appointment was at 3 p.m. and I was back in my car at 3:45 - if that tells you anything. Dr. K got some background info, changed my meds and suggested that I find a long term therapist. He didn't offer any names, but told me that if I hadn't found one when I came back to see him in 3 weeks that he would line me up with someone. Um... shouldn't he have suggested someone before I left??

Anyway. I texted Sharon and Heather and got some names for a good therapist. The one Sharon recommended isn't taking new patients, so I made an appointment with another counselor in her office. I go next week for my first session.

Which means being a nervous wreck AGAIN! Oh well, I know I need this, so I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to become present in my own life again.

Thank y'all so much for your thoughts and prayers! Just make sure y'all keep 'em coming!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


Today, I will do something that I have NEVER done.  Something that I thought I would never NEED to do.  I consider myself a very strong person - I felt this way even before Erik died.  I've never been one to openly express how I was feeling about certain things.  Typically when things bother me, I keep them to myself.  I'm not one who likes to "burden" others with my problems.  When I get angry, I tuck it away into a place deep inside me.  I don't like confrontation.

Today, I will step into a psychiatrist's office.  I'm finally to the point of not being able to handle grief and still live my life.

I am extremely nervous about opening up to a complete stranger.  I am extremely nervous about getting started with my issues and not being able to stop.  I am just extremely nervous.  I'm shaking as I type this!!!  I know.  Crazy!!

I've held onto certain feelings and emotions since I was 13 years old.  I guess getting all of them out there has completely terrified me.

I know that I need to do this.  For me.  For Kyle.  For Kaitlyn & Sienna.  For the rest of my family.

That doesn't make it any easier or me any less nervous.

Ugh.  Please pray for me!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Take a ride with us!

Here are some videos I took of the girls last night with my phone.  Aren't they just the silliest little girls!!! 

**Be sure to mute the music player at the bottom first!

BTW - excuse the stripper act that they start pulling.  What can I say - they hate clothes just like their Mama!! :)

The first video was taken on the drive home Monday night.  The girls had no idea I was recording them.  And yes, this is what I listen to every day going home from work/school :)

(gotta love that country twang!!)

"the boy on the radio" - Kaitlyn (seriously?!)

Is it bad that she forgot to name her Mama and Daddy when I asked who she loved??

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Erik's Story

On December 7, 2003, a miracle happened. I became pregnant with a sweet little baby (and yes, I know exactly when it happened!). I was scared to death about being responsible for another person’s life, but I had always dreamed of being a mother and I knew this little being growing inside of me was the answer to all of my prayers. After many months of nausea and pure exhaustion, I was so happy to find out that Kyle and I were expecting a little boy. Shortly after finding out we were having a little boy, the complications started. When I was younger, my gynecologist told me that if I were to ever get pregnant that I would never be able to carry a baby to term. You can imagine how terrified I was when contractions started at 21 weeks. I was immediately prescribed a trebutaline pump and ordered to monitor myself twice a day for an hour each time. Having to stick myself every 3 days and wear a medicine pump all day every day wasn’t something that I thought about when I dreamed of being pregnant. After making it to 36 weeks, my doctor took me off the medicine and allowed nature to take it’s course. I surprisingly made it to 3 days before my due date.

On September 1, 2004 at 9:55 p.m., after 16+ hours of labor, Samuel Erik Quarles entered the world. It was in that instant that I fully believed in love at first sight. I was overcome with emotion and couldn’t believe that I could love someone as much as I loved him. He was mine. He was absolutely beautiful. He was perfect.

Erik was the center of my universe from the second he took his first breath. I lived and breathed that boy. He was my world and my everything. I didn’t know what life was until he became my son. His life was full of adventures and having fun. I wanted Erik to experience things that most kids only dreamed about. Kyle and I encouraged him to dream big and do whatever it took to makes those dreams come true.

Erik LOVED baseball and around the age of 2, I could tell that he was going to make it big someday. Erik had talent that you can only be born with. I just knew that I would be seeing his name in the major leagues.

Because of who is Daddy was, Erik couldn’t help but be country. He lived to be outside. He stayed in the dirt and didn’t believe in wearing anything but “work” clothes when he was doing anything but playing ball or swimming. It didn’t matter if it was 100 degrees outside – Erik would usually have on work pants, a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off and a hat. You could usually find him hammering nails in places he shouldn’t be or using his saw in attempts to cut the trees in our front yard down. As he got older, he became fascinated with taking everything apart and not always wanting to put it back together!

I vividly remember Erik counting down the days until it was warm enough to go swimming. He was around 2 when he really got into swimming and being in the water. He would’ve went swimming every single day if we would’ve let him. We spend a lot of time at my Mama’s house during the summer because Erik loved the water so much. I also taught him to not be afraid of water and when I thought he was confident enough, I started teaching him how to swim. By the time he was 4 years old, he was swimming completely by himself. He also developed quite the tan during the summer time. I was quite jealous of how quickly he tanned and how beautiful and brown his skin was come July.

4-wheelers came into Erik’s life when his cousin, Chase, got one for his birthday. Erik was around 3.5 years old at that point and constantly hounded us for his own 4-wheeler. Kyle assured him that when he was older, he’d have his own 4-wheeler. Erik never let us forget that either. He finally got his own mini ATV for Christmas in 2008.

Around the age of 4, Erik developed a love for the rodeo. He was obsessed with bull riding and got it into his head that he was going to be a professional bull rider one day. I think that was the only dream of his that I discouraged! I couldn’t imagine the idea of my baby climbing on the back of a 1200 lb. beast and trying to hang on for 8 seconds. The thought alone made me cringe. There were toooo many times that I’d find Erik straddling the dog house and pretending that he was a bull rider. I couldn’t help but laugh.

It was also around this time that Erik became a big brother to twin sisters. He actually called the whole twin thing! (more details on that in the girls’ story) He loved his sisters and was so excited to show them off to anybody that would pay attention. He called them “his babies” and was always so helpful when the girls were newborns. He kind of lost interest when they became mobile and started messing with his things though.

On August 18, 2009, I watched as my sweet little boy started his first day of kindergarten. He was beyond excited and I was beyond proud of him. I was lucky enough to be a SAHM and be able to take Erik to and from school. He eventually got to the point of not needing me to walk in with him. It was bittersweet for me to watch him growing up and becoming independent. Erik did really well in school and his teacher was constantly praising him for his good behavior and sweet nature – definitely made me proud!

The beginning of November, 2009, Erik, along with the rest of Kyle’s family, experienced a devastating loss. We said goodbye to the only father that Kyle had ever known. Papa, as everyone called him, passed away unexpectedly. At 5 years old, Erik was old enough to understand what had happened, but still too young to fully grasp what death really was.

If someone would’ve told me that I would be burying my own child 2 weeks to the day that Kyle had buried Papa, I couldn’t have believed it. Unfortunately that nightmare was my reality. On Sunday, November 15, 2009, Erik was riding his 4-wheeler like always and came upon a stump and a ditch. To this day, we’re not sure if Erik jerked the handlebars to miss the stump and ditch or if he hit the stump and it jammed the handlebars into his chest. Either way, the end of the handlebars jammed into his chest, knocking him off of his 4-wheeler, and broke several ribs. Kyle came to Erik’s rescue and knew that something wasn’t right the second Erik demanded that his helmet come off. Erik’s body was swelling at a rapid rate and the only way that Erik was comfortable was standing up. Kyle held Erik and assured him that everything would be ok as he called 911. The EMT’s that were there the day Papa died were the same ones there during all of this. They laid Erik down on the back board and his condition went downhill after that. Because head trauma hadn’t been ruled out, a helicopter was en route to get Erik and fly him to the nearest children’s hospital – which was about a 45 minute drive away. Erik’s condition continued to worsen and it became clear that even a helicopter ride wouldn’t be fast enough. Plans were quickly changed – without Kyle and I being notified – and Erik was rushed to the nearest hospital. He coded in the ambulance on the way and never came back to. The ER staff done everything in their power to save him, but it was too late. My sweet boy was gone. After a huge ordeal, Kyle and I finally arrived at the hospital. I cried so hard over his little body and begged and pleaded for him to come back to me. I begged and pleaded with God because I thought that there was no way in hell that I could live without him.

It’s been over 2 years since that awful day in November and part of me still hasn’t accepted the fact that Erik really is gone. I look at his pictures and have to remind myself that he isn’t coming back and that this is my life. I still have hope that I’ll wake up from this nightmare at any second and my heart will be healed.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kinda Wordless Wednesday - Old School Version :)

Full lap = utterly and completely full heart :)

Circa - November 29, 2008