Friday, February 24, 2012

Time for School

Today, I'm going to sign these itty bitties up for K4
My sweet girls just minutes old (05.01.08)


















They'll be in the same school as this handsome fella was
Erik before his 1st day of Kindergarten (08.18.09)





















Sitting in his designated spot




















Almost 4!!!! years old!


























I don't know who told my girls they could grow up so fast, but it sure does make me sad that they are!!! I'm so proud of the little girls that they are and I honestly can't wait to see who they become!  Walking into their school will definitely be hard.  I haven't been back there since the last time I walked through the doors with a brown - eyed boy beside me.  God help me.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hug Him Once For Me

A friend posted this video and song on Facebook.  I, of course, clicked on it because of the title.  I'm so glad that I listened to the song because it is beautiful.  I hope you think so too.

Click HERE to listen to the song.

<3


A Rainbow for Every Storm

That is the title on the post card I got in the mail on Wednesday.  It's actually an invite for a ceremony for the families of donors.

My heart sank and I felt like throwing up.  I've never received an invite until this year and according to the invite, this ceremony is an annual thing.  I wondered for a minute why I had never received another invite, but then my mind went right back to why I was receiving the invite in the first place.  My son is dead.

I showed the card to Kyle and he just kind of shrugged it off.  He didn't give me an answer either way about going.  Part of me would like to go, but the other part of me doesn't know if I'm at a point where I could handle going.

The ceremony is 2 days after Erik's 28th month angelversary.  I hate that I ALWAYS have to check dates on stuff now.  The first is always so bitter sweet because my son isn't another month older, but my girls are.  The 15th, well, I wish that day would just fall off the calendar all together.

I'm not even sure why I'm blogging about this, but I felt I needed to.  Just pray for me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

4 years ago....

My Grandpa

Let me start off by saying that the black cloud hovering over our family can disappear any day now.  We've had enough sadness and let downs the last 2 years and I'm ready to be back to "normal".

Anyway, on Saturday, my grandfather fell down the steps and got hurt.  He thought that he was ok, but turns out, he has a broken ankle.  He went to the ER on Sunday and it was confirmed today at the orthopaedic doctor.  He isn't able to put weight on his foot for 6 weeks.  He was a pitiful sight when we went over there Sunday night to help him get from the car into the house.  My uncle and Kyle basically carried him from the car to the door and he was worried the whole time about hurting them.  He tried to walk from the back door to his recliner with a walker and with crutches, but his body is so weak from him laying around all the time that he couldn't hold himself up with his arms to walk on one foot.

After a good talking to from several people in the family, my Pop has decided to be admitted into the Rehab hospital in Greenwood for at least 2 weeks.  It's just too much for my grandmother - who is still recovering from a broken arm - and my mother to try and take care of him.  Neither of them are able to hold him up to help him walk and I feared that all 3 of them would end up with some kind of injury had he not made the decision to go to rehab.

I feel for the doctors, nurses and therapists at the rehab hospital.  My grandpa isn't the most pleasant patient and I'm sure he's going to put them through hell, but he knows that this is what he needs to get better.

Please keep him and the rest of my family in your thoughts and prayers.  I haven't talked to my grandpa today, but knowing him like I do, I know that he is probably not happy about going to rehab.  Aside from being away from his own house for 2 weeks, I know he is definitely torn up about not being able to make his bi-weekly visits to Erik's grave.  He started out visiting Erik every.single.day, but when that got to be too much, he started going twice a week - on Tuesdays and Saturdays - and as far as I know, he's been every single Tuesday and Saturday since Erik died.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm pretty bummed that I'm not at the Eric Church/Brantley Gilbert concert right about now :(  I waited to late to buy tickets and I refused to sit in nose bleeds.  I did attempt to win some, but I had no luck.  Oh well, there's always next time.

However, I am pretty excited to finally be going to get my tattoo tomorrow night.  I don't really remember if I blogged about this or not, but some wonderful people got together and went in and bought Kyle and I two $100 gift certificates for tattoos.  We were shocked, but oh so grateful!

Kyle will be getting a replica of the charm on my necklace somewhere - he's saying ribcage, but we'll see.  Here's a pic of my necklace....


And here's the drawing.  Kyle isn't sure about the font though.

And I'll be getting this....

I'm planning to tweak it a little, so it won't look exactly like this











We've got a baby sitter so we'll be going to dinner to celebrate Valentine's Day and then getting tatted up.  It still amazes me how nervous I get when I hear the tattoo gun buzzing!  You'd think after 7 tattoos I'd be use to it, but it still gets me every time!  Either way, I can't wait to show off my new ink!

I've put together another scrapbooking/craft thingy at my church on Saturday, so I'll be a crafting queen all day and then it's off to the movies to see this hunk of a man in The Vow.  Can.Not.Wait.!!!!!
Wowza!!!!!!!!!!!























I hope that y'all have a good weekend.  Oh and if you would, keep some special people in your prayers - my sister's Mama (we have different one) will have said goodbye to the love of her life a year ago on Sunday.  He passed away after battling SMA and I know she misses him every single second of every single day.  He was a wonderful man.  Also remember James and Kellie Staats (Maddie's Blog) will be remembering Maddie on the one year angelversary of her passing from SIDS.  I hope that God wraps all of them tightly and that they have peace on this very hard day.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day - homemade style

Happy Valentine's Day y'all.  While I fully agree that today has become way over-rated and commercialized, it's still nice to have one day set aside especially for love.  Kyle and I show love all year round, but we do try to make this day a little more special for ourselves, as well as the girls.

Since I've gotten back into scrapbooking and creating things, I decided that I would make most of Kyle's gift this year.  I had the girls decorate a card for him too.  There aren't anything out of this world, but they are from the heart and those mean more than anything you can buy in a store.

I got my first idea off of pinterest.  The concept was to use a deck of 52 cards, decorate them and put a reason for love on each card - hence 52 reasons why I love you.  I decided to put my own spin on that idea and use Valentine's scrapbook paper and stickers.

Here's what I came up with...
I used 2 sheets of scrapbook paper cut into equal squares.
Some reasons were simple....
To the ones that made me fall deeper in love with him...

to the one that changed our lives forever.

I had an idea in my head for his card, but I didn't have what I needed, so I made do with what I had.
the outside

the inside

His gift that couldn't be made :)
the outside of Kaitlyn's card
the inside of Kaitlyn's card - she was so proud to have written the "k" without my help

the outside of Sienna's card

the inside of Sienna's card - she wrote the "s" and "i" all by herself!



I know that Kyle will love it all.  He'll probably be shocked at the trouble I went through to make the little "booklet" expressing my love for him.  I'm not the mushy, lovey type, so this is definitely a change for me!

I hope that each of you have had a wonderful day.  For those of you walking this grief journey with me, I hope that your day was easy and peaceful.  A day celebrating love will never be the same for us mama's who are missing part of our hearts.






Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Erik's Rodeo

I've been wanting to create a "fan"page on Facebook for Erik, but I haven't been able to come up with an original name until recently.

Please go "like" his page and help me keep his beautiful memory alive!

Click HERE to go to Erik's Rodeo on Facebook

Wordless Wednesday


Erik's Rodeo

As I mentioned in Erik’s Story, Erik loved the rodeo and had dreams of becoming a professional bull rider. For the last year or so, I’ve been wanting to do something to keep Erik’s memory alive. I wracked my brain trying to come up with an idea of honoring my son and making sure nobody forgot him. I knew I needed a name for his cause and I knew it had to be something different. Finally around the first of 2012, it hit me like a brick. It wasn’t until recently that I really got the ball rolling on Erik’s Rodeo. I’m in the process of having shirts, car decals and bracelets made in hopes that the proceeds will fund all the ideas that have been coming to me.

The first thing I’d like to be able to do is provide comfort to other grieving families by presenting them with personal memory boxes. When Erik died, I was handed a very impersonal blue box that contained a handprint mold that wasn’t big enough for Erik’s hand, a generic baggie for (very little) of his hair to be put in, some brochures and pamphlets about child loss and a business card for a grief support group. I managed to personalize Erik’s box and make it more special, but 2+ years later, I still think about how generic that box is. Children die every single day. I understand that. Hospitals see death on a regular basis. I know that they can’t possibly provide the kind of attention that I think should be given, but I do think they should make each loss of a child unique and special to the family experiencing the loss. Walking into a supply closet and picking a blue or pink box just is NOT enough. Losing a child is the greatest loss imaginable. Being the mother, I walked out of the hospital with a part of my life gone. That generic box could’ve been so much more and that’s what I want to provide through Erik’s Rodeo.

The second thing I’d like to provide is money and/or school supplies to teachers at Erik’s school. Erik loved school the short time he was there and his teachers really made an impact on him and on me. Public schools are really struggling these days and I hear way too often of how teachers are forking out their own money to have what they need in their classrooms. We all know that teachers are highly underpaid and it is just not acceptable to me that they also don’t have the supplies they need to do their job. I’d like to do a “School Supply Rodeo” at the beginning of each school year. More details will definitely be on the way!

And lastly, I have the strong desire to set up a college scholarship for a student that is in Erik’s graduating class. I will never see Erik accept his high school diploma, but it would mean the world to me to be able to present a deserving student with money for a college education. I know that this will take a lot of money and a lot of planning. I’m determined though and I have until 2022 to make this dream a reality.

Now, my question for you is: How are you going to help me keep Erik’s memory alive? Would you like to order a shirt? A car decal? A bracelet? Or if you are so inclined, I have set up a “Donate” button on my home page. The money goes straight into a paypal account I have set up for Erik’s Rodeo. If you are unable to donate at this time, please share my blog and Erik’s Rodeo with everyone you know – his life was too precious to be forgotten about.
Photobucket

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Beautiful.

Although Erik was 5 years, 2 months and 15 days old, I can relate to THIS POST from Franchesca very well.

2 years.

12 years.

20 years.

I will NEVER be over losing the love of my life, my first born child, my only son.

Unless you've experienced a loss of this magnitude, do NOT compare it to my situation.  You think you may know how I feel.  You think you're helping by giving "helpful" advice.  You think you know.

You have no fucking idea.  There isn't even a way to briefly imagine what I'm going through - your imagination can't even go there.

You wanna help me?  Talk about my son.  Remember him.  Honor him.  And NEVER forget what an amazing, beautiful and courageous little boy that he was.

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Our LOVE Story

For this post, I'm linking up with Becky over at From Mrs. to Mama to share my love story.

This is our love story.



1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
Kyle and I have been together since August of 2003.  We had "eyes" for each other l-o-n-g before that though!  He was the first boy I crushed on in junior high school back in 1993-1994.  When we weren't attached to others, we ALWAYS found our way back to each other.  I finally claimed him as mine in 2003! 

2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?}
We first met back in junior high school.  I was in 7th grade and he was in 8th grade.  He played ball.  I played ball.  I was instantly attracted to him and it was pretty obvious.  He wasn't so smitten with me though. :(

3. If married, how long have you been married? If not, is this the guy you hope to marry? {do tell}
Our 8th Anniversary is coming up on April 7.

4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding? If not, where would you like to get married? And will it be big or small?
There was no typical wedding and bridezilla my way!  I told Kyle that we should just go to the Courthouse one day and get married.  That's what we did.  No family or anything there.  Just the 2 of us and I wouldn't change it for anything!
5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!
Oh my!  There are lots of names we call each other.... honey, babe, daddy-o (lol)
6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
He's probably one of the funniest people I know is definitely #1.  He's handsome. And more recently, I've developed a deeper love for him because when I look at him, I get a glimpse of what Erik would've looked like.

7. Tell us how he proposed? Or your ideal proposal?
LOL I don't even think you could call it a proposal actually.  We went "shopping" for the perfect ring for when he decided to pop the question.  Of course, the jeweler laid the sales pitch on thick and gave Kyle an offer he couldn't refuse.  He left the jewelry store with my ring.  He said he was going to put it away and surprise me, but barely lasted into that night!  He couldn't stand it anymore and with some convincing on my end, we were engaged that night.

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
He isn't really neither of those.  He's done the flowers and teddy bear thing and I'm not big on romance, so we just kind of go with the flow.  I prefer that we show our love everyday and not using a random day in February to express how we feel so we don't make a HUGE deal out of v-day.

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
I could honestly go with either one!

10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
We've mentioned renewing our vows and having a wedding, but I had always envisioned Erik walking me down the aisle.  Since he passed away, we haven't really talked about it anymore.  Maybe one day...

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day.
We'll probably spend the night at home with our girls.  Since it's a work/school night, we may do something on the weekend.  Kyle had mentioned tattoos, but it's still up in the air. 

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?
Yep, but I'm pretty sure Kyle hasn't caught on!  LOL  I mentioned needing new tennis shoes, scrapbooking stuff, tickets to see Eric Church and Brantley Gilbert... I'll have to let you know what I really get though!
13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
Kyle and I have definitely been on the outs more so than not, but my biggest piece of advice is to love deeply, be kind and trustworthy and respect your spouse. 

14. Show us a picture of what love means to you.



Monday, February 6, 2012

2011 Re-Cap in Pictures!

Just so you know, I've been working on this post since the 3rd of January, but my computer has MAJOR issues and would NOT upload the pictures. UUUGGGHHH!!!!

Ok - now you can enjoy my re-cap!

I found this on a Facebook friend's blog and thought it was cute, so I stole it ;)

Thank you Terin for the idea!!

Me! - 
picture of yourself.



What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2011?
I've survived another year with part of my heart missing....


I Love You -
picture of your husband, boyfriend, children, pets, etc.



Still Laughing... -
a moment you're still laughing about now...tell us a story.
Jason Aldean Concert in September.
Too many Bud Lights. Enough said!


Winter Wonderland - 
a picture that reflects Winter.

**couldn't put my hands on a winter picture from 2011....wtf?!**



Birthday -
share a birthday picture (your own or someone you love).



Friends -
a picture with friends (this could be your friends or your children with their friends).



I Was Inspired... -
could be a picture of your inspiration (person or thing), or inspired by...



Spring Fever -
a picture that reflects Spring.



 Travel or Vacation -
a picture taken on vacation or on a recent travel experience...even if it was only a few miles away.



Summer Days -
a picture that reflects Summer.



A Day In My Life -
a picture of a typical day in your life.

**My typical day includes work. There isn't a picture for that!**



All Smiles -
a picture that makes you smile or of smiling faces.



Autumn Harvest -
a picture that reflects Autumn/Fall.



Family or Home -
a picture of your family or a picture that represents family/home for you.



 Celebrate! - a picture that reflects a celebration.



Let's Do It Again... -
a picture of something you'd like to do again soon.



I Miss You -
a picture of someone or something you really miss.



Beautiful -
a picture of someone or something you find beautiful.


Dress Up -
this might be a picture from Halloween or not...but someone who is all dressed up!



Macro -
share your favorite macro or close-up image.

**by this point, I was just too lazy to find my favorite picture**


Holidays -
a picture from the Holiday of your choice.




 My Favorite -
share your favorite picture or memory from 2011.
This is just one picture, but my favorite memory is from all of the concerts we went to in 2011.
(Jason Aldean in January, Justin Moore in May, Throwdown with Willie in June, ZBB in July, Outshyne in July, Justin Moore in August, Hunter Hayes/Thompson Square/Craig Cambell/Brantley Gilbert in September, Jason Aldean in September - pretty sure there's more, but that's all I can recall right this second!)



Don't Ever Change -
something you love about yourself, someone, or something that you never want to change.

**Change is inevitable. I don't even wish for it anymore.**


Just Because...So There! -
share any picture(s) that you really want to share, but doesn't fit in any other category.

**There are a ton of pictures I could share, but it all comes back to laziness!**


 Hopes and Dreams - share what you hope to come or dream for 2012.
Oh my. There are a lot of things. But I guess the biggest is my hope to find myself again. The real Ashley got lost somewhere a long time ago and she's desperate to be found again.