Monday, April 30, 2012

5 days!!!!

'til the launch of Still Standing online Magazine!!!!!!

Have you "liked" Still Standing on Facebook yet?  Click HERE to go to SS Facebook page.

You can subscribe to the newsletter HERE!

You can visit Fran's Blog, the creator of Still Standing, HERE.

I contributed a guest post for the magazine and I'm so excited to have it go live on May 24th.  I'll be sure to post a link to my guest post so you guys can read it.

I can not wait!!!!



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It's Almost Over

A couple of weeks ago I posted a song on my Facebook.  I had the chance to hear The Mark Trammell Quartet live at my church.  A member of our church is good friends with Mark Trammell and he usually tries to get them into our church once a year.  I think they've been coming to Mt. Gallagher for about 8 or so years (maybe longer ?) and this year was the first year that I've went and heard them sing.

Let me tell you how glad I am that I did.  From the first song to the last song, I was in awe at the sounds coming out of the mouths of these 4 men.  They are without a doubt, awesome!

They sang one song and I cried from the second Mark Trammel started singing.  I had never even heard the song before, but it was one of those songs that the second you hear it, it touches something in you and you can't help but cry because the song is THAT powerful.

It was even more powerful to me because of the life I've been dealt.

Click HERE to hear the song

If you've never heard of their music, I encourage you to check it out.  There's not a song on the two CDs I bought that I don't like!

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Luck?!

If you've ever been in the car with me, you know that my radio pretty much stays on 100.5 - our local country station.  I'm not a channel surfer and will usually sing along to every song that comes on this station, whether I like it or not.

Anyway - I'm sure that most radio stations give their listeners tons of chances to win various things.  WSSL (100.5) is no different.  Every morning around 7:30 a.m., they are giving away something - concert tickets, gift cards, gas, etc.  Because I listen all the time (including at work), I have their phone number programmed into my phone, just in case I feel the need to try my luck and win something.

My winning streak started last year.  I won tickets to have a meet and greet with Brantley Gilbert.  The radio station provided a light lunch and then we had an acoustic concert with BG and about 10 other people.  It was really cool.

Up close and personal with BG 
Kyle and I with BG

My next big win was the week before July 4th.  WSSL was giving away tickets to go see Zac Brown Band in Charlotte.  I tried my luck and I won again! :)
We had lawn seats, so I didn't get any pictures of ZBB
The next concert we went to, I didn't win tickets, but instead stood in line to get a free pair - and when I don't have to pay, I consider that a WIN!  It was to see Brantley Gilbert (again), Thompson Square, Hunter Hayes and Eli Young Band in a concert that was for the kids of St. Jude.
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Since then, my luck has pretty much ran out.  I try all.the.time to win tickets - my girls will even ask me if I'm trying to win tickets if I use my phone on the way to work in the mornings, lol.  I tried so hard to win tickets to see Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney last week, that I think I dialed the contest number over 25 times in a row until I gave up.

Fast forward to this morning - the DJ's gave the cue to call about 2 minutes after we got in the car to head to school/work.  I pulled my phone out and started dialing.  On the 2nd ring, I got through.  If you've never won anything on the radio, let me give you a head's up - they'll immediately ask you your name and basically start a conversation, so be prepared.  (If you lost, you barely have time to hear what number caller you were before you're getting hung up on).  Anyway, this morning, my luck returned and I won 2 tickets to see Ronnie Dunn, Rodney Atkins and Craig Morgan next Wednesday, April 25.  I am so excited because this is a concert that I really wanted to go do.  Rodney Atkins sings one of the songs that we played at Erik's funeral and Craig Morgan sings one of Erik's favorite songs.  Had I not won some tickets this week, I would've broken down and spent the money to go see them, but no need to spend that money now!! Woo hoo!!!

Now if only I could win tickets to see Zac Brown Band again in May and those darn Kenny & Tim tickets (they are TOO expensive to even think about buying!) I'd be one very excited and not-so-broke-because-we-love-some-live-music girl!!!


UPDATE - APRIL 25, 2012
As I was leaving work headed to the concert that I won tickets for on April 16, 2012, I heard WSSL give the cue to call.  I wasn't really interested in what they were giving away, but thought that it'd be funny if I won twice in a week.  I dialed the number.... busy.  I tried again.... busy.  Tried again... busy.  I tried one last time and it started ringing.  My heart started racing.  The DJ answered the phone and gave the "Hello, who is this".  I couldn't help but laugh!!! I was the correct caller and all I could say is "SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!"  The DJ thought I was getting ready to cuss and said on the radio "Woah, thought I was gonna have to bleep you out!"  LOL  So, next Thursday and just in time for the girls birthday, we'll be headed to the Anderson County Fair!!!! I won a family 4 pack of tickets to see Easton Corbon and 4 unlimited ride wristbands.  The girls are soooo excited!!!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Untitled

Last week, my sister in law told me about a friend of hers who was wanting to order from Erik's Rodeo.  She gave me her friend's number and told me to text her the next day.  I sat down at my desk on Friday and was going over what I still needed to do for Erik's Rodeo to get this first batch of shirts ordered and that triggered me to text April's friend.

Turns out, Sara (April's friend) has a daughter that was in Erik's kindergarten class.  She went on to tell me that her daughter talks about Erik all the time and even has some things put up in her closet that remind her of Erik.  I couldn't help but cry my eyes out.  It hurt so bad that I have no recollection of Erik talking about this little girl, but at the same time, it makes me smile because he obviously left an impression on this little girl - who was only 5 years old at the time.  Bittersweet I tell ya.

Anyway, I went digging for Erik's one and only yearbook from school to find out what this little girl looked like.  I found her picture and instantly had images of Erik chasing her around the playground during recess, which only led to more tears. :(

The week before Erik died, they hired a new kindergarten teacher and I elected to have him moved into this new class.  His little "girlfriend" stayed in their original class.

Here's his class picture from the yearbook:
See my sweet boy :) (2nd row of children - listed as "Samuel" instead of "Erik"
This was his last professional picture taken and it's the same one I stare at while I'm working.
I kept flipping through the yearbook and trying to remember those innocent days prior to November 15, 2009 when I came to the last page of his yearbook.  Hello, reality!
The big picture in the middle is the one I was referring to above.
After I cried my eyes out again, I went on to pull out another book that was given to us after Erik died.  A friend of ours, who also happens to be Kyle's ex-girlfriend, teaches in Ware Shoals.  Her class in 2009-2010 had the opportunity to create stories and have them published.

They had to choose someone to dedicate their book to and they chose our family.

I don't really know why I blogged about either of these things other than to have them for my own memory's sake and to be able to look back and remember that my boy LIVED!  And made impressions on tons of people in his 5 short years.

Erik is and will always be my hero.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

4th Birthday Party Sneak Peek!


Kaitlyn & Sienna's 4th birthday is next week!!!!!!! I can NOT believe my babies are going to be 4 years old!!  Due to my overachieving self and this new found love/hate relationship I've made with Pinterest, their party is sure to be waaaaay overboard!  LOL

I have stressed over their decorations for months now.  Literally months!! I started planning hard-core in January.  Yes, January - 5 months prior.  I told you I was an overachiever!!  The theme of their party this year is "May Flowers".  I finished up mostly everything this past weekend, so I thought I'd do a little sneak peek of what's to come on their actual party day, May 5.

I can't divulge in what I'll be using each flower for, but you can clearly see that I've worked my tail off for these little girls.  Maybe one day they'll appreciate all my efforts for giving them over-the-top birthday parties!!








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301 Posts!!!

This is my 301st blog post!! Holy cow!!!!

I just wanted to let you guys know that I've linked up with Kelly at Kelly's Korner.  Her posts "Show Us Your Life" is about Moms who have lost children.  :(  Sucks that there are link ups for this sort of thing, but it's reality for a LOT of people.

If you get a chance, head over to Kelly's blog and check it out.  I'm slowly making my way through the blogs that have been linked hoping to find another Mama like me.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

I'm reminded of you...

All of these songs have special meaning to me.  I either think of Erik every time they come on the radio or I can hear him singing them sitting in the back of my van.  Along with Clemson and John Deere Tractors, He loved country music!!  And occasionally liked to "rock out" to some other songs just to make me and Kyle laugh.

Before you click on the links (if you do), be sure to pause the player at the bottom of the page.

Jason Aldean - Big Green Tractor - his favorite song.  We played it at his funeral.  He learned the words faster than I did and I would tease him when he'd sing along and I couldn't keep up.  He told me "Mama,  I have a radio in my room and I listen to it all the time.  That's how I know the words and you don't"

Miranda Lambert - Over You

Kenny Chesney - Who You'd Be Today

Diamond Rio - One More Day - played at his funeral

Brad Paisley - When I Get Where I'm Going - played at his funeral

Toby Keith - Cryin' For Me

Nicol Sponberg - You Are My God - I had 2 ladies at our church sing this last year for Erik's birthday

Danny Gokey - I Will Not Say Goodbye

Rodney Atkins - He's Mine - I can't help but wonder if he would've been the teenager his Daddy was...

Rodney Atkins - Watching You - this was played at his funeral during the slideshow of pictures of Erik and Kyle

Adele - Make You Feel My Love - this was played along with pictures of me and Erik at his funeral

Kenny Chesney - There Goes My Life - this song came out around the time we were pregnant with Erik.  I couldn't help but relate to it since I was still young when I got pregnant with him.  It sucks to hear it now because I can give a whole new meaning to it. :(

Bette Midler - Wind Beneath My Wings - he is definitely my hero!!

You Are My Sunshine - I sang this to him every single night while I rocked him to sleep.

I Will Carry You - Selah

A Little Bit Stronger - Sara Evans

If I Die Young - The Band Perry

If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away - Justin Moore

Hug Him Once For me


I can hear Erik singing these songs every time they play on the radio....

Tim McGraw - Last Dollar - I've got a video of this one and the next one

Brad Paisley - Mud on the Tires

Hank Williams, Jr. - Country Boy Can Survive - Erik would hear the intro to this song and get the same look on his face that the girls get now when they hear Big Green Tractor come on :)

Bubba Sparxx - Erik would make me play the first part over and over and over again.  He laughed like crazy every.single.time.

She's Country - Erik would ask me to blast this song in the car.  I'd turn it up and his head would start bobbing and he'd sing every single word as loud as he could.  I had (or may still have) a video of him and the girls dancing around the living room to this song.

What Do You Think About That?  - he'd sing this one as loud as he could too - cuss words and all - and yes, we laughed every time he did it too.  Sue me!






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Friday, April 20, 2012

Happy Birthday, Chase!

Today my nephew, Chase, is 9 years old!!!! I can’t believe it!!


Happy Birthday buddy!!


It’s hard for me to believe that you were here 9 years ago….

He was a month early, but still HUGE!!




And now you’re here….

Not at all excited about having another pic taken at Jake's birthday party (03.31.12)


I hope that you have a great birthday!!! Me, Kyle and the girls love you so much!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Signs - a poem

My dear friend, Sharon, had someone send her this poem.  She then sent it to me.  I've never read this one before and it is simply put, perfect.

Thank you Sharon for making me smile (and cry)!


Signs

As I sit in Heaven
and watch you everyday
I try and let you know with signs,
I never went away.

I hear you when you’re laughing,
and I watch you as you sleep,
I even place my arms around you,
to calm you as you weep.

I see you wish the days away,
begging to have me home,
So I try and send you signs,
so you know you’re not alone.

Don’t feel guilty that you have life,
Life that was denied to me,
Heaven is truly beautiful,
just you wait and see!

So live your life, laugh again,
enjoy yourself, be free
Then I’ll know with every breath you take,
you’ll be taking one for me.


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Wordless Wednesday

April 18th (or close to it!) Edition....


2007


2008


2009

2010

2011


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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Twin Tuesday - 04.17.12

A while back, I saw on Jessica's Blog where she had linked up with Dawn over at Designing Dawn.  Dawn is a twin, so on Tuesday's she does a post about twins.  I decided to email and ask if she could feature my girls and today she did!

Head on over to Designing Dawn - you might just see some beauties you recognize!!!

Thanks again Dawn for sharing my girls with your readers!!



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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Another month has passed me by and somehow I've managed to survive again.

29 months since I kissed his beautiful face means I'm 29 months closer to seeing him again. I couldn't be more ready!!

I love you to the moon and back Cowboy!!



Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Girls

I have been putting off the story of Kaitlyn and Sienna because I've been so busy - no excuse I know.  I decided that I had to make myself write it all down and one place, so that's what I'm going to do.

Their story begins on September 9, 2007 - the day I found out I was expecting my 2nd child (or so I thought!).  A couple of months before Erik's 3rd birthday, I was casually asking him what he wanted for his birthday.  Without hesitation, he said "a baby brother AND a baby sister".  After I picked my jaw up, I told him in the nicest way possible that that would never happen.  Kyle and I weren't preventing getting pregnant, but we weren't actively trying either.  We obviously knew what could happen and we were prepared for that.  Erik's birthday came and went and he was still asking for a baby brother and a baby sister.  I decided to take a pregnancy test on 09.09.07 and with Erik watching EVERYTHING that I was doing, I pee'd on the stick.  He asked a gazillion questions and I answered them the best I could.  We sat in the bathroom waiting for the results and as quick as I could put the stick down, there were 2 bright pink lines.  I smiled and hugged Erik and told him to go tell Daddy that Mommy had a baby in her belly.  He ran as fast as lightening to the bedroom and told Kyle.  Kyle wasn't quite as happy as me and Erik were - he eventually came around though.

The next time I was in Walmart, I decided to buy some of those iron on appliques announcing that I was pregnant to everyone.  My dad was the first to find out because he came over unexpectedly when I was ironing the applique onto my shirt.  We slowly made our way around and told everyone and we were over the moon.  I had my first OB appointment around 6 or 7 weeks and was scheduled to come back on into the pregnancy.  I never remember an appointment to hear the heart beat or anything like that.  Matter of fact, I'm sure we never had a "heartbeat" appointment.

As the weeks went on, I had more and more people comment on how big I was getting.  I brushed it off as the second pregnancy belly and continued on about my day.  Erik was now telling people that I had a baby brother and a baby sister in my belly.  Great!!! Now he's spreading rumors about his own Mama!!!!

I can remember being sicker than I had ever been in my life and automatically assuming I was having a girl because my pregnancy was so different from when I was pregnant with Erik.  My face broke out and I was down right scary looking.  It was probably around that time that I had being pregnant and decided I NEVER wanted to do it again!!

Thanksgiving Day, 2007 - I had planned to prepare my first Thanksgiving meal for my little family of 3, plus my Mama, Brother and his wife.  In the midst of peeling potatoes for potato salad, I felt a huge gush.  I didn't take the time to look down because I just took off to the bathroom.  There was blood everywhere (I know, TMI - sorry!)  I burst into tears and told Kyle that I thought I was losing the baby.  I was around 14 weeks along so I knew there was nothing to do to save him/her.  Kyle got on the phone with my Mama and told her she needed to rush to our house as fast as possible and watch Erik so that he could take me to the ER.  She finally got to our house and off we went to the hospital.  I was cramping like crazy and I could still feel the blood coming out (again, TMI - sorry!).  We got into the ER and surprisingly enough, didn't have to wait that long.  Back in triage, they rolled in what looked like the first ever ultrasound machine ever made and tried to find a heartbeat.  There was nothing.  I knew enough to know that silence during ultrasounds was never good.  The doctor wouldn't tell me anything, but insisted I have a proper ultrasound by an actual ultrasound tech - I wonder now why I didn't have that to begin with, but whatever.  After waiting on an ultrasound room to open up, we were wheeled in.  I was still crying and Kyle wasn't sure what to do.  The tech got started and was really quiet.  I immediately asked her if I had miscarried.  She looked at me like I was crazy and simply said "no".  It was like she had no idea why I even thought I was miscarrying.  She looked around for a little bit longer and casually said "You know you're having twins right?"  Had I not been laying down, I would've passed out!!!!  Kyle turned as white as a ghost and I just sat there with my mouth open and repeatedly asking if she was kidding.  She obviously wasn't.

We left the hospital that day more blessed than we could've ever imagined!

Less than a month after Thanksgiving, we were back in the ultrasound room finding out the sex of our babies.  I was a nervous wreck.  I wanted a little girl so badly, but I had the feeling I was carrying 2 more boys.  I really don't know why I felt that way considering how sick I was in the early stages of my pregnancy.  The tech revealed that not only would I get my little girl, but I'd have TWO little girls.  I was OVER THE MOON!!!!!!!!  I got put out of work shortly after this and spent the remainder of my pregnancy on bedrest.  I endured several trips to L & D for pre-term labor.  Poor Erik was terrified of the hospital by this point and would cry every time I mentioned a doctor's appointment.  The 2 nights I had to be away from him and in the hospital ruined him :(

I managed to sneak out of the house to have some maternity pictures taken and I'm so glad that I did - these pics were taken at 35 weeks....

kissing his sisters

Erik made Kyle buy these 2 little bears when I was in the hospital


You can actually see a little foot kicking near the top of my belly 

Just over 2 weeks later, I was being admitted into the hospital to be induced.  My doctor felt so very bad for me and I was miserable, but had I known what I know now about induction, I would've just continued to suffer.
37.2 weeks and beyond ready to have some babies!
Our last picture as a family of 3!!
Kaitlyn Della - born at 9:46 p.m. on 05.01.08

Stingy little thing took all of Sienna's nutrients - She weighed an even 8 lbs.

And tiny Miss Sienna Faith - born at 10:16 p.m. - 30 minutes after her sister!!

She weighed 6.8 lbs. 
My TWO baby girls!!!

This is a look of pure exhaustion and RELIEF!!!!
Erik meeting Sienna for the first time

Kisses for Kaitlyn
Going home and yes, I realize I look a HOT mess!!

So tiny!!!!

already Daddy's girls!
1 year old!!! (05.01.09)

The last year FLEW by!!!

When the girls were 18 months old, they had to tell their big brother goodbye.  I know that they have no real memory of him ever being on this earth, but I pray that all of my stories about him will stay with them forever.
Their last picture together :( - 11.09.09

2 years old!!! (05.01.10)

How old are you Sienna?  I'm three!!! (05.01.11)

3 years old!!
The last (almost) 4 years have flown by.  These two girls have saved me from myself and I know for a fact that I wouldn't be on this earth if it wasn't for them.  I can see Erik in both of them and I'm so grateful for that.  In a couple of weeks they'll be 4 years old and I'm having a really hard time wrapping my head around that!  I feel like I've blinked and they've went from itty bitty babies to little girls.

Both of them love dressing up and playing "Mommy" - although Kaitlyn is usually always the Mommy.  Sienna is my little tom boy and loves when there are boys around to get dirty with.  Kaitlyn is a diva in all senses of the word.  She has to be in control and as much as I hate to admit it, she is my mini-me.  What can I say - girl knows what she wants and WILL get it no matter what!  She has Erik's loving, cuddly nature and depending on the day, she looks just like him.  Sienna has Erik's independent nature and if she didn't have long blonde hair and blue eyes, I'd swear it was Erik walking around our house sometimes.  Her mannerisms are identical to some of the things he use to do and I can't help but laugh at her sometimes.  She's hilarious and doesn't even try to be.  Sienna is very easy going, and for that, I'm also thankful.  My nerves couldn't handle two of Kaitlyn!!

I love these beauties more than they'll ever know.  They are my world and I would do anything for either of them.  I can't wait to see them continue to grow and mature and have all of their dreams come true.  I know that both of them will do BIG things one day!!

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