Saturday, March 31, 2012

April Is...

National Donate Life Month

I had no clue until recently when LifePoint sent me an email inviting me to Linking Hands for Life.  I'd really like to go, especially after the experience I had at the donor ceremony I posted about HERE.

The Linking Hands event is being held on April 21 for my area, so I guess I have a couple of weeks to decide.  Have any of you ever been to this type of event?  What are your thoughts?

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dinner and a Meeting :)

Tonight, 2 of my closest friends and I are taking off for dinner in Simpsonville to meet some other Mama's who have lost their children.  I couldn't be more excited because I finally get to meet THIS girl!  We have been trying to meet up for a while now and it's finally worked out for today!  I can't wait to meet everyone and hopefully develop lifelong friendships with them.

I'll post an update (and pictures, hopefully) tomorrow!

Yay!!!!!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

08.17.09


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Untitled

I'd LOVE to win this giveaway over at In This Wonderful Life.

Head on over and enter for YOUR chance to win too!!
Click HERE!

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Happy Birthday, Savanna

Happy 2nd Birthday Savanna Dawn Bogue!!!!!  You, Miller and Carleigh (along with all the other angels) are having a heck of a celebration today!

Please pray for Savanna's Mama and Daddy.

Savanna's Story

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Happy Birthday Carleigh!!

Today is Carleigh McKenna's 3rd birthday.  She, along with Miller, are celebrating with Angels, but I know that doesn't make it any easier on her Mama and Daddy.

Please pray for them as well!

Caring for Carleigh

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Happy Birthday, Miller!

Today is Mr. Miller McNeil Woodruff's 1st birthday.  He is having the best birthday party of all celebrating with Jesus, but I know how heavy his Mama and Daddy's heart is.  Please keep Miller and his family in your prayers as they celebrate his life today!

I'm With Miller!

His Mommy's blog

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Because...

I'm weird because....

- the radio in my car has to be on an even volume (unless it’s 5 or 15)

- I have more pens in my purse than most people do in their entire house

- I will write something over and over just because I don’t like the way my handwriting looks.


I'm a bad friend because....

- I text instead of call.

- I prefer being alone :(

- I'm bad at thinking of doing something really nice and then forgetting.


I'm a good friend because....

- I love my friends to death.

- I would do anything for any one of them.


I'm sad because....

- I’ve pushed my closest friends away.

- I feel like I don't do enough, when I could always do more.

- I miss Erik like crazy!

- I feel like I’ve let my girls down.


I'm happy because....

- I have 3 of the most awesome kids ever.

- I have a job that I like going to every day.

- there’s a vacation in our future, as in 7 days in a huge house at the beach!

- I’ve finally found something that I’m extremely passionate about…. Scrapbooking!


I'm excited for....

- Kaitlyn & Sienna’s “May Flower” birthday party

- Erik’s Rodeo

- weekends on the lake

- our trip to Savannah, GA for our anniversary

- seeing Tosh.O live!!

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Confessions

Time to let it all out:

1. I've been wanting to do another confessions post for too long now.

2. I'm at my wit's end with Miss Kaitlyn Della.  She has started getting in trouble at school and that is completely unacceptable.  Yesterday, I got the 2nd phone call in 20 days about her getting in trouble - and I'm talking she had to get a spanking both times!

3. I can't remember the last time I slept in my bed.  Insomnia sucks and so does having a cold-natured husband who likes to make our house feel like hell at night!

4. I have once again went overboard on the birthday party planning/decorating for the girls.

5. I need a break from K & S.  Desperately.

6. Pinterest should be illegal.  I spend waaaay too much time pinning stuff.

7. I'm bummed that more people haven't shown interest in supporting Erik's Rodeo.

8. I'm far too concerned with what people think of me.  I'd love to be that 22 year old who didn't give a shit again...
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

T-Ball, 2012

The girls are playing t-ball again this year and I think they are a little more excited about it!  We had to buy cleats, baseball pants and I even got them a batting glove!  I want my girls to be just as prepared and outfitted as Erik was.

They didn't get to play this past weekend because we were in Columbia, but here are some pictures from the weekend before.

Decked out!!!! And yes, Sienna IS a lefty!  :)








I can't wait until they can get back out there and play this weekend!!!!  I'm sure I've have LOTS of pictures to share over the next month or so!

Our Saturday!

I had a busy, but very good weekend.  Something that I feel like I haven't had in a long time.  We left our house around 7:45 a.m. on Saturday headed towards Columbia for the LifePoint donor family ceremony.  Neither Kyle nor I knew what to expect and since I knew I would be crying, I was looking rather sleep deprived and make-up-less.    I figured that look was better than mascara running everywhere.  We got into Columbia and got lost several times thanks to my "trusty" VZ Navigator.  We did more u-turns in an hour than I've done in my entire life!  We finally got there with about 5 minutes to spare.  The church where the ceremony was held was HUGE!!!  The banquet hall was bigger than my whole church.

We got in and were led to our seats.  We were seated at a table with 5 other people and that's when the nerves really set in!  We, er.... I, decided to take the girls with us because I wanted them to be a part of being honored as well.  We asked one of the ladies at our table how long the ceremony usually lasted and she said "um, usually around 3 hours".  I looked at Kyle.  Kyle looked at me.  I immediately wished I had left the girls with someone else.  Luckily though, I made them bring along lots of entertainment and they were actually pretty good the entire time we were there.  Kaitlyn had her moments, but I expected them, so we were all good.

This was the first time we had ever been to this ceremony and as our luck would have it, the director decided it would be good for each donor's name to be spoken.  We were to pick one family member to go on stage and say our loved one's name.  Kyle threw that responsibility onto me, but I quickly told him that there was no way I could go up in front of people and not fall to pieces.  He had no choice but to go up there and say Erik's name.  When the time came for that part of the ceremony, Kyle went up and got in line.  He was probably the 15th or 20th person in line and there were at least 75 more people behind him.  It was amazing and heartbreaking all at once.

An elderly gentleman approached the microphone and couldn't speak for crying.  He held up a picture of his wife and quietly said "My loved one's name is the love of my life and my wife of 57 years...." and then said her name.  That's when I lost it.  I could literally feel the love he had for his wife and how broken his heart was that she had died.  I noticed that Kyle was also crying.  I feared that he wouldn't be able to get up on stage either, but he got himself together and through tears said "Our loved one's name is Erik Quarles.  He was 5".  You could hear people bawling all around us.  Up until that point, all the donor's had been older.  I think it kind of shocked people that we were there because our 5 year old had passed away.  Sienna and Kaitlyn sensed how upset Kyle and I were and they started crying too.  Sienna was almost hysterical.  Kaitlyn kept saying "I want my bubby".  The tables around us couldn't help but cry after hearing her crying for her brother.  After everyone had a chance to speak their loved ones name, I realized that Erik was the 4th youngest donor out of all the other donors there.  There was a 2.5 year old, a 3 year old, a 4 year old and then Erik - all of these children were boys.

After all the donors names were spoken, we were able to talk to the others sitting at our table.  One lady was there because her brother had been an organ donor.  She said that her parents had never been to a ceremony and that her dad wouldn't even visit the cemetery or speak of her brother.  The other family at our table had lost a daughter/sister and mother.  The mother of the daughter basically said the same thing about her husband.  He not only hadn't been to a ceremony, he flat out refused to go.  I looked over at Kyle and was so thankful that he was willing to be there with me to remember our boy.  He rarely shows any emotions over losing Erik, but I know it hurts him like it hurts me.  Men are just so different in grieving than women are.  I told the 2 other families at our table what I was doing to honor Erik and keep his memory alive and they thought I was doing a great thing.  I felt relieved that someone that doesn't know me or my boy thought I was doing something amazing for him. <3

We were served lunch - which was wonderful and then we headed back up the road.  I told Kyle that since we were already in Columbia that we should just make a day of it.  We took the girls to Edventure and they had a ball.  I had promised them that we would stop by Columbiana Centre (mall) and they could ride the carousel if they were good.  Of course, they didn't forget, so our next stop was the mall.  They had a blast spending the day with me and Kyle and I really enjoyed being silly with them.  They spotted Toys R Us on the way out of the mall and were quite upset that Kyle wouldn't take them before we went home.  I thought it was hilarious when they told Kyle that he wasn't any fun and that if I was driving I would've taken them.  LOL

Anyway - Saturday was a good day and I'm so thankful that I finally had something to smile about without being forced to.  Here are some pictures from the day....
Bagpipes opened the ceremony up

Medal for Erik for being a donor; Program with Erik's name in it; Irish Poem

Sitting on the firetruck at EdVenture


My little fireman at EdVenture

Sienna had a FIT to sit on the Big Green Tractor

Kaitlyn's turn!


Mini grocery store at EdVenture


Shopping away!

Check-out time!


She loved this too!!!

News anchors!
GIANT playground inside this guy!

listening to her puppy's heart beat

putting her puppy back into his kennel
worn out!!

Sleeping beauty!!













He came to see me :)

I'm pretty sure I mentioned it in a blog before, but if not, I'll mention it again.  I started seeing THE most wonderful therapist January 6.  I've only had 3 sessions, but I feel so much better already.  I can go from crying to laughing in an instant.  She is awesome.  Anyway.  During my first session, she posed the question of "Has Erik came to you?"  I immediately assumed she was referring to a dream, so I told her "no".  But the more we talked about the subject, the more I realized that Erik had in fact paid lots of visits to me.

I wanted to document them all here so I'll never forget each and everyone of them.

(1) November 20, 2009 - one day after we buried him.  Kyle and I, along with the girls, decided that we needed to get out of town.  We didn't go far and ended up at Target in Simpsonville.  As we were heading home, Kyle stopped at a gas station to get us all a drink.  When we got back on the road, Erik's song (Big Green Tractor) came on the radio.  Kyle and I immediately started crying.  In that instant, the volume on the radio went up.  I looked at Kyle.  He looked at me and asked if I had turned it up.  I told him I hadn't.  He reached over and turned the radio down.  2 seconds later, it was turned up again.  It was then that I knew my boy was ok.

(2) This one didn't happen to me directly, but it happened nonetheless and I want to remember it.  My grandparents (Nanny and Pop) have also lost a child.  Their 15 year old son was killed in a hunting accident over 40 years ago.  My grandmother was telling me that as she lay in bed one night, she felt a warm feeling on her hand.  She opened her eyes and there was Erik standing by her bed smiling.  She said she called out to him and all he said was "Nanny, I'm ok" and then he was gone.

(3) I'm always looking up to the sky for any kind of sign from Erik - from a beautiful sunset or sunrise or a cloud formation.  I've been lucky enough to capture quite a few wonderful sky scenes.
10.28.10
January, 2012 - the clouds make a very faint "E"
01.13.12

(4) Then there's the whole BK Toy and Happy Feet 2.  I get quite giddy when I see the girls' new penguin from Happy Feet whose name is Erik and my heart always skips a beat when the penguin says his name.
This came in the girls' BK happy meal.  I usually always throw the toys away, but something told me to open this one.  I'm so very glad that I did!
Kyle's brother gave the girls a gift card to Toys R Us for Christmas.  
I told them that they could pick whatever they wanted.  
They never hesitated when they spotted "Erik".  
I asked them about 5 times if they were sure this is what they wanted and each time they answered "YES!".  <3
My "Erik" penguin from Build-A-Bear (01.21.12)

(5) I know that I've mentioned the lady that keeps the girls before.  She is wonderful.  I couldn't have found a better fit for Kaitlyn and Sienna (and me) than her.  I work in a small town, a very small town.  There are no actual daycares here, but there are a few women who keep children in their home.  When I started here, I got some names and unfortunately all of them were full.  I was stuck.  My Mom stepped in and kept the girls for me until I found a more permanent place.  About 2 months later, I received a call at work.  The lady on the other end was looking for the "Mother of twins".  That kind of gave it away that she was looking for me.  She said that she had heard through the grapevine that I was looking for a babysitter and she happened to have 2 open spots.  I was elated!!!  We set up a day and time to meet.  The day finally came and I didn't think we were ever going to get to her house, but we did and I was shocked to come up on a farm.  Horses, trailers, barns, land, chickens, goats, dogs and farm were all I could see.  I was tickled to death.  We walked in and I spotted "Ally".  She was so tiny, but was full of life.  She had on jeans, a huge t-shirt, boots and a rodeo belt buckle.  I soon learned that she was 6 and was involved in the rodeo in every way possible.  Anyway - I left there knowing that this lady was who was supposed to be keeping my kids.  I felt in my heart that Erik had found this woman for me and knew that I would love her.  I tell everybody that Ally is the female version of Erik.  She's rough and tough and loves anything cowboy/girl.  I dread the day the girls start school and we have to leave Mrs. Deborah!!
Sienna riding "Little Bill"
Kaitlyn riding "Sweets"
(6) January 17, 2012 - Kyle was going through the bags of stuff that he brought from his Papa's house and came across a bag full of his old uniforms.  Shirts from when he played baseball at 8 years old to his junior high basketball uniform.  We got quite the kick out of looking through everything, but when Kyle pulled that basketball uniform out, I had to see if he could still fit in it.  Sure enough he did, but it was tight.  You could hear the material tearing as he put it on.  (Don't worry, it's all still in one piece!)  I made him pose for a picture because I swore I would put it on FB.  As I was focusing the camera, a bright white circle flashed in front of my camera and somehow, I managed to get that little circle on my camera.  Kyle and I never really believed in ghosts/spirits or stuff like that until we lost Erik.  I fully believe that Erik was with us this night and for once, I was lucky enough to get it in a picture.  This picture was taken with Kyle's phone.  I took one with my phone and 2 with my camera and that white circle isn't there in any of the pics but this one.
The "orb" is directly in front of Kyle's chest and we're thinking that it's approximately the same height that Erik would be now.

(7) Can't forget about this time.... March 22, 2010

UPDATE - 03.19.12


(8) March 2, 2012 - Kyle and I along with the girls were across from our house playing in the field and on the haybales.  I snapped this picture and it wasn't until a friend of mine pointed it out that I noticed that Erik was there with us.


(9) March 16, 2012 - Erik came to visit my bff, Sharon.  She let the dogs out before going to work and there was an "E" as plain as day in the sky.  She cussed because she didn't have her phone outside.  As she was getting into her car to drive to work, the "E" was still there.  She took this pic and like magic, the "E" drifted away and it was gone.  She said it was Erik's way of patiently waiting for someone to get proof he was there.  Once the proof was snapped, he moved along.