The world through death-colored glasses

Everything is different now.

Everything I do now has a different meaning, a different pain attached to it. Every movie I see and song I hear has a different meaning now - and they all seem aimed at making me miserable and reminding me of what I've lost. Every smile and laugh is masking hurt and despair. Every thought I have has attached to it a dreadful afterthought. Everywhere I go I am marked with a Scarlet letter, only it's a giant W on my forehead for everyone to pity.

Looking at the world through death-colored glasses makes everything dark and gray. It takes so much more effort to see anything, to want to see anything. It makes it hard to find joy in the little things. Instead it makes me want to wallow in my own self-pity. 

The only problem is, the world won't stop for me to wallow. No matter how much I've begged it to.

I hate this. I deserve a moment to stop and process. A moment to figure things out. Shouldn't everyone know what an incredible man the world has lost? Shouldn't everyone stop what they're doing?

Nope. The world keeps moving without me.

I've survived my first Christmas without Jeremy, somehow, without my consent. Even saying that makes his death seem so distant when it was still just weeks ago. I'm not ready to jump all these hurdles so soon. Or at all, really.  I didn't really face it until today how much I am dreading New Years. I knew it would be tough, but I was trying to face Christmas first. Now, I am getting sick to my stomach thinking about it. Facing a year Jeremy will never see, never be a part of, absolutely kills me. The first year memories will be made without him, the year his son will be born without ever meeting him...

The year I am forced to wear these damned glasses everywhere I go.

I'm dreading every second.


Dreaming of you

Last night was a rough night.
I laid in bed frustrated, wide awake, crying over the fact that I survived this week without my love. I didn't want to.
Praying for my 4-day-old niece who is not doing well. 

And wondering why. Questioning everything I used to know to be true. It just doesn't fit with my life now. I don't understand why Jer's family can't catch a break right now.

When I finally decided to try and give up to sleep, I rolled over to hear my sweet Faith gagging. I put my hand on her face, only to catch her vomit. So, for the next 3-4 hours, we were up, back-and-forth from the bathroom. My little princess is actually very sweet when she's sick, like she tries to make me feel better. She doesn't want to scare me or something. But I couldn't sleep cause every time she stirred, I shot up to make sure she was okay.

She finally fell asleep around 5am or so. I tried to redirect my thoughts to a new house and decorating things I want to do when I move, but the afterthought was always 'who really cares when Jer isn't here to enjoy it with me?'  Losing him has sucked the joy out of literally everything.

When I finally dozed off, I met Jeremy in my dreams. I had been waiting for him for 49 days now, hoping he'd show up and offer me some subconscious comfort, tell me it's going to be okay.

But no. In true Jeremy fashion, he showed up with a big smile on his face, laughing at me after my nephew had peed all over me. Oh, but it was good to hear his laugh, I've missed it so much. It was the kind of laugh that made his face go red, and I can't help but join in.

Then almost as quick as he entered, he left again. I jumped in the shower to clean up and asked someone to hand me Faith, so I could clean her up as well. Everyone in Jer's family looked around at each other, then at Jeremy, and he shrugged sadly and said "I'm sorry, I know I'm normally the one who would do that." I saw agony in his eyes.

Tears welled up in my eyes, he was gone and I was awake. I tried so hard to close my eyes and find him again, but I couldn't. So I just laid there in misery. Thankful that I got to see his face, his smile, but aching knowing I never get to really see it again. 

I know he was wanting to help, and couldn't. I know he would never leave me alone to fend for myself. My anger is never aimed at him, my sweet love. I know he would have never left me or his babies. It was like a precursor to the biggest nightmare I have yet to face: having his baby without him. I know he wouldn't have missed it for anything in the world, he never even missed a single prenatal visit I've ever had. And yet, I picture him standing in the distance, sadly shrugging in agony, wanting to help.

I hate waking up to a reality that is worse than a nightmare. 



A letter to Peanut

My dear sweet Carter,

This is by far the hardest letter I've ever had to write. I'm not even sure where to begin. Just three days after I wrote your last letter, I experienced my absolute worse nightmare: I lost your daddy, the greatest love of my life. And I've been drowning ever since...

Oh sweet boy, I can't describe the pain my heart feels when I think about the fact that you will never know the incredible man your daddy was. In your last letter, I told you I'd never be able to do this without him, and I really don't know if I can. I've never been so scared of anything in my life. So many things hurt to think about, but this is the hardest by a mile. Your daddy was supposed to be the first to hold you, like he was with Faith and Caleb. He was supposed to be by my side to welcome you into the world, love you, raise you, show you how to be a good man.

I wish I had something inspiring to say to you right now to take with you, but the truth is, I'm hurting too much. I'm trying so hard to stay strong for you and your brother and sister, but this is just not fair. There's no better way to say it: it's not fair. You don't deserve to grow up without a daddy. He was soooo excited to meet you. He was already dreaming of taking you and Caleb hunting and fishing, shooting and hanging with the boys. I just simply cannot be those things for you. I know I have to fill the role of two parents now, and I'm completely terrified. I depended on daddy for so much, I feel so lost right now.

If there is one thing I can say, it's that I promise to keep daddy's memory alive for you. I promise that you will know his face, and he will be a regular part of our daily conversation, because he will always be an important part of our family. I will try my hardest to make him known to you, so you can witness the impact your daddy had on the world, and you can still learn from his example. Another thing I can say is that you are loved. So many people are stepping up to watch out for us and take care of us. But I truly believe all of that is a direct result of the man your daddy became. A man who loved God and loved his family.

I may only have half a heart left right now, but I promise to give all that I have left to you. Please forgive me if I can't always be what you need in life. I truly don't know how I am going to do this, but I know we'll survive, somehow. We have to, or I'd have died of a broken heart by now. Daddy really has become our angel, and I know he's already looking out for us.

I love you, baby boy, and I will try my hardest to get us through this together. I hope the strain and stress of this great tragedy has not affected you too much. I have a feeling though, that you're already much stronger than I am.

I love you, Carter.



Autopsy Results

On the one month anniversary of Jeremy's death, I finally received a phone call from the funeral home saying that the ME report was in and the death certificates were ready.

But I wasn't ready for the results.

Jeremy died a natural death due to Hypertensive Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease. Basically, Jer died of a heart attack from a coronary heart disease that he's likely had for years.

This was worst case scenario.

In fact, it wasn't a scenario I even considered. I knew natural death was a possibility, but I was thinking along of the lines of a brain aneurism or something (he had a terrible migraine the night before he died). I'm glad to finally have an answer, but this one is really unnerving to me. After I got off the phone, I sat and sobbed. A heart attack?!? At age 31?!? Jer was a big guy, but he was not obese, he was very active and strong. I had built it up in my head that this was likely an accident, that Jer had just slipped and fell from his tree stand. That was easier because I know accidents happen. A heart attack is not supposed to happen this young.

I'm glad to know that he wasn't being careless on his stand. And from all the reading I've done since yesterday and the people I've talked to that have a lot more knowledge about this than I, I know it was probably something neither one of us would have known anything about. It was likely more a hereditary problem than anything else. He likely didn't fall too far off his stand either, as there was not much exterior damage (broken bones, blood, etc.) And I do know it was quick enough that even Jeremy probably didn't even know what happened. 

I guess I am thankful for what this meant for Jeremy: symptom free (no pain), and a very quick death, out doing what he loved. Isn't that how we all want to go? 

I'm still infuriated that God didn't prevent this. Or keep his heart going for a little longer. I'm frustrated that when Jeremy was in and out of the hospital over the last year and a half for stomach issues, nothing was detected. There's supposed to be a reason for this, right?

It better be a good one.


Still Standing

 Another week has gone by, and I can't believe I got through. The only credit I give for that is to all the prayers that have been lifting me up. I can literally feel them sometimes. I usually get to the end of the day and think 'How on earth am I still standing?' Sometimes, I really don't know how.

There are still a million things going on around me. My world is spinning. I can barely remember what day it is, let alone what I'm supposed to be doing in it. A lot of things are changing, possibly including my home, more details to come. I still have a ton of errands to run, loose ends to tie, future to figure out, etc. I have friends in town to help and keep me occupied, which is good.

But my heart still hurts. Tomorrow will mark one month since Jeremy's death and I can't believe it. It feels like just yesterday and yet so much has happened since. If I had known the last kiss goodbye I gave him would be forever, I would have begged him not to go. Or I would have kissed him harder. I almost asked him to come home for a family night since he was gonna go back out hunting in the morning, but I always hated asking him not to go hunting, I didn't want to be that girl. He loved it, and I didn't want to take him away from it or sound like I was nagging. I wish had, just this once.

I find myself staring at the computer a lot most days. Facebook, my blog....like I'm waiting for him to show up somewhere. Or to watch the world go by without actually having to take part in it. I was reading through all my emails from Jer: some for random things, some love notes, others for fun. But when he got his Mac awhile ago, he found these icards that he started to send me. I thought I'd share.

They're hard for me to read, especially the first one, but I can hear his voice when I read them, so I've read them a million times. I can't read them without crying and thinking about all the anniversaries or holidays I'll never celebrate with him, but my hearts swells at how much he loved me. I never deserved it, but I knew that. He was by far the best thing that ever happened to me, and I don't know how to build a future without him. I'm afraid to be alone, but I can't ever imagine sharing a love like that with anyone else. I know it's not something to think about right now, but it terrifies me. How can I ever give my heart out like that to anyone, friends, family, or otherwise, when it can be ripped out from under you at any second?

I'm sorry if this blog has become widow central, but I honestly have nothing else to say. I don't know where else to go. I have nothing else to talk about, write about, or think about. I can't bring myself to change the info on my profile yet, I'm just not ready for this all to be real. I can't admit that the word 'widow' is associated with me now. Widows are supposed to be old ladies who have lived fulfilling lives with their husbands, who have watched their kids grow old with their spouse, who have reached milestones, anniversaries, and traveled together. Not a young mom with a baby on the way. Why now?  The timing just doesn't make sense, and is maybe the most unfair reality of it all. I want to kick and scream that this isn't fair - I wish it would make a difference.

I know love like that doesn't happen to everyone. I definitely knew I was lucky, but if I had known it was only going to be for such a short time, I would have savored it more, valued it more, and soaked up every ounce possible out of it. I wouldn't have taken a moment of it for granted. 

Right now, this is the only real hope and comfort I can find:

You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy when you see me again. You have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. 
John 16: 20, 22



The last week has been madness. So many things going on, so many loose ends to tie, so many reminders of how my world has been flipped upside down.

I've been wanting to blog, but don't know what to say. I don't know how to go back to 'normal'. I don't know how to move on from all of this without sounding trite, or forgetting the affect this has on every facet of my life. I've been journaling and writing one long, continuous letter to Jeremy but a lot of it is uncensored, angry, and hard to swallow. And I didn't want every entry to be written to him, but that's the easiest way to get my feelings out and feel like he is still listening right now.

So, I guess I can start by telling you about my day yesterday. What a whirlwind! Some of you already know, but I got an incredible visit yesterday from the local radio station, Channel 955, who brought with them a truck full of Christmas presents, furniture, gift cards, food, a Christmas tree, and my sweet friend, Sarah, who nominated me for the "Breaking and Entering Christmas," for families who are experiencing misfortune during the holiday season.

They woke me up at 7am, and filled my living room with joy. I beg of you not to look at the pictures of the 7-o'clock-just-got-out-of-bed-crying-and-haven't-showered look I was sporting, but the podcast will give you a better idea, and you can hear the letter that Sarah submitted (which quoted this blog, btw):

(There are 2 parts, both dated 11/30/2010)

I spent the rest of the morning on the phone, on Facebook, talking to everyone and anyone, watching my kids play with their new toys, and trying to walk through my house. It was craziness.

If that wasn't enough, some of the staff from our church came over to go over my finances with me. They've got some well educated people willing to help and I'm so grateful, as finances were my second biggest worry after our beautiful kids. They've allowed me to cut my debt in half already, just through making those horrible phone calls I didn't want to make. What a blessing.

I went on to tie up some more loose ends over the phone, while Sarah (my other amazing friend Sarah, who I've blogged about before, and is moving in with me) cooked dinner for friends coming over. After dinner, all our friends helped us pack up the basement to prepare for the demolition and remodel that some incredible people have volunteered to do for us. 

The truth is, I smiled more yesterday than I have in 3 weeks. I'm so grateful for all of these people that are doing so many things to try and ease the pain. But it is all bittersweet. Seeing my house filled with gifts made me wanna cry because Jeremy didn't get to see the joy on the kids' faces. Watching our financial burden decrease made me sad because Jeremy wouldn't get to benefit from it with me. Packing up the basement was hard, watching all of Jer's stuff get put aside, packed away, and taken down. I wanted to crumble knowing all these things that Jeremy wanted to do for his family were getting accomplished without him.

I went to do a load of his laundry before bed last night....totally oblivious to the impact it might have. I didn't think anything of it till I lifted up one of his dress shirts to my face, smelled the faint hint of his cologne, and my knees gave out from under me. I sat and sobbed over the basket of dirty laundry that I inevitably was unable to put in the washer to forever erase the scent of his presence. 

I hate that I had to lose everything that mattered in my life for these blessings to occur. I wish I could give them all back if it meant I could bring him back to me. People keep speaking of all the good that has come of this tragedy - I've seen so much already - and yet selfishly I can't find enough good to justify the suffering my family has to face.

Today, I am going to finally visit Jer's tree stand, the spot where he fell. Since he's buried in Canada, I wanted to have a place close by that I could honor Jeremy, and set up a place for the kids and I to visit, pray, talk, bring gifts, etc. I've already got a box full of letters and pictures from the kids. I know it won't be easy, but I feel like I need to be there. And I know Jeremy will be there with me.


Keepin' on

To the love of my life,

It's been two weeks now since I've seen your face. Two weeks since I kissed you, watched you hold our babies, told you I loved you. And I still can't believe it to be true. I can't believe I'm never going to see you walk through the door again. I can't fathom never laying in your arms again. I can't believe you'll never tuck your children into bed again. I can't believe you'll never meet your son. This can't be happening.

Baby, my heart is shattered. Never in a million years did I ever imagine walking through this life without you. I feel cheated. There are so many things we still have to do, so many places to go, so many dreams to achieve together. I don't want to share these things with anyone else. I don't want to go on without you. Even though I know God is there and did not cause this to happen, I can't figure out why He didn't prevent this from happening. We still need you. I still need you.

The last two weeks have been an absolute blur. Your funeral was the most incredible thing I've ever witnessed. You touched so many lives, and I am in awe of the man that you became, especially over the last year. It was a true testimony of your heart, and I know you would have been proud. Your funeral is Canada was just perfect for the other part of your heart, and where you will forever lay to rest. I know that's what you wanted. It seemed ironically fitting to burry you on Opening Day of hunting season, your favorite day of the year.

Speaking of irony, I can't help but feel your presence around everywhere. I used to think it was crazy when people talked about things like that, but I know you're there. I can hear your voice in my head. I can feel you watching over me, protecting our children. It's comforting to know you're there, and yet makes me ache to not be able to reach out and touch you, hold you, or talk back to you.

If there is one good thing out of all this I can say, it's that I have been surrounded by love every step of the way. I can feel your petition of protection over me. Since two weeks ago, everyone imaginable has stepped in to help and remind me to keep breathing. I know you're trying to tie up all the loose ends that you left and get things done that you wanted to do in your life. You're taking care of me through my incredible friends and church family. Your number one concern was always providing for your family, and you're still doing it. People I've never met before are praying and donating. Fixing my car and our home. Coming over and bringing joy to the kids when I have none to offer. I've even noticed you mending relationships that have hurt me in the past, or worried you. I'm humbled to see how many lives you touched. You always had a great judge of character, and that shows in the people you chose to surround yourself with, they are some of the most amazing people I know. I don't know where I'd be right now without them. But even with all these people surrounding me and doing things for me, it doesn't feel right without you there. Someone came and fixed our screen door the other day, and it made me so mad that you weren't going to be around to see it or appreciate it.

Every time I feel a moment of strength, like maybe I can take the next step, something reminds me of what I'll never have and my chest starts to burn, my eyes well up. Each morning there are those few moments as I wake up and realize my reality, I can feel my heart rate rise as I come to terms with what I have to wake up to: Emptiness. Loneliness. I've lost my purpose. I feel guilty for laughing, or even smiling. I look at our beautiful babies and it physically hurts to know I can never give them all the things you provided. To know they won't have you around for their sporting events, to take Caleb and Carter hunting and fishing, to walk your daughter down the isle someday....oh God, baby. This is so hard. We've prayed for you every night, asking you to be our angel and watch over us. I give them a kiss from you every night, and promise them that I will never let them forget you. But they're so young. Faith told me yesterday she missed your tickly beard, and I lost it. What happens on the day she can't remember what it feels like? When they forget what you smell like? What your voice sounds like? They're so young and innocent, they don't deserve to grow up without you. The best thing about becoming a mother was watching you become a daddy, and it kills me that I won't get to witness that again.

I still feel like I'm watching all this happen to someone else. Not me. When I realize it is me, it's too much to bear. I just wish I could make sense of it all. I wish I knew why. I walk around feeling numb, not knowing what to do next. I think about the box of letters I gave you on our wedding day, each one to be opened on different milestone anniversaries.  I'll never get to celebrate them with you. I even wrote you a letter to open if I ever died before you. I wish you had one for me, just so I could have some source of strength right now. I think about all the vacations we'll never take. The grandchildren you'll never hold. I think about the letters I have from you, from when we dated and random days since then. I'd never experienced true unconditional love until I met you. No one has ever loved me as much as you did. And I fear no one ever will. No one could ever replace you.

I've never in my life experienced a paralyzing pain like this. I have to put up a wall to get through the day. Over the weekend, I sang at the rally you and I were supposed to do together. I knew you'd want me to go, and I promised you I'd get through it, but it was hard. I couldn't think about the words I was singing, about how great and wonderful God is, because frankly right now, I don't feel them. But I know you did, and I know others need to. It was good to be with friends, but it hurt. It was healing and hindering for me at the same time. But I know you were blessing people over the weekend, and that's why I got through it. It just didn't feel right without you there.

I don't know when I'll stop crying myself to sleep. Right now, it seems like never. I don't know when I'll stop thinking about you every second, or picturing you falling from your tree stand. I don't know when I'll stop waiting for you to wrap your arm around me and put your hand on my belly to feel Carter kick. I don't know when I'll stop picking up the phone to text you something funny or ask you a question. I don't know when I'll stop thinking about your family and the pain they're suffering as well. And Mark and Jon and the horrific experience they've had to go through, finding you. I don't know when I'll stop staring at your side of the bed, aching, praying that if I close my eyes hard enough and ask God enough, you'll appear when I open them.

This pain may never go away, but I know you would hate to see me like this. You couldn't stand to see me cry. I know you want me to keep my head up and put another foot forward. Everyone keeps telling me it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I wholeheartedly agree with that, even though it hurts to think about. The loss part is much harder than I could have ever imagined, but I wouldn't trade the last 8 years of my life for anything. And so, for you, I will keep on keepin' on. And for our children because if it weren't for them, I'd be curled up in a corner somewhere. They're the only reason I wake up right now.

Please watch over me, my love. I don't know where I'd be without you, and now I don't know where I'm going without you. I'm scared to death and I really need your guidance. Help me find the peace that passes understanding. I can't believe I'm gonna have to do this without you, but I guess that's what comes next, right? And for you, baby, here goes nothin...

I love you forever and always.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

This day will forever be burned into my brain and into my soul.

Since it was Tuesday, we dropped off Caleb on the way to school in the morning at Miss Lora's house. I dropped off Jeremy at work, right next door to the preschool. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my 'easy' days at preschool, since I've only got 4 girls in class. The day went off without a hitch. Actually, I remember mentioning to Jeremy that the morning got off to a good start.

After school was over, I called Jeremy to see if he wanted to come with me to pick Caleb up, since I have to come back to the area to work at the gym. Then we could all do lunch together as a family. I am so so thankful that he did. When I pulled up to the shop, he opened the door with a big smile, looked at me and his baby girl, and said "I swear this is the best part of my day."

We decided to have lunch at a KFC/A&W that we had only stopped at once before, actually just a few weeks ago. I remember specifically the sweet lady at the counter telling me she remembered my 'sweet little family'. And I remember beaming with pride.

Our lunch was just lovely. It seems silly, but I thought it even in the moment. It was a beautiful day, and Jer looked up at me a few times with that look and his crooked smile and mouthed 'I love you'. Even one of the workers came up and gave the kids a free pie - probably cause they were just so cute. Afterward, Jeremy took some pictures of the kids with his new iphone he had just gotten the Friday before. This is the last picture he took:

We drove Jer back to work. He actually sat in the passenger seat for a minute before getting out. He gave a big heavy sigh, put his hands on my belly and asked me how Carter was doing. I said fine, and he leaned over and kissed my belly (which he doesn't usually do except at bedtime). He told me he was going hunting in a bit after work, and I gave a pouty frown. He told me not to worry since sunset was early, he'd be home by 6:30-7:00 and he promised we'd spend some time together.

Jeremy sent a text to his buddy Mark (and boss) at 4:34pm. Something regarding work. At the exact same minute, I sent him a text. A simple "I Love You"

But, he didn't text back.

At about 6:30, I text him again. Then again. It wasn't like him to not text back, so I called him. No answer. Finally, just after 7:00, I text our friend Jon asking if he'd heard from Jeremy at all cause I hadn't. Neither had he, but he told me it was possible if Jer had got a deer, he'd be covered in blood or dragging it out of the bush and unable to get his phone. That's what I figured too, so I left it alone for a bit.

My sweet friend Sarah, and her sister Jennifer came over to watch Glee. I was telling them I was worried about Jer and kinda mad he hadn't written me back. Then we went on and on about how Jer had to listen to the A Cappella song in the episode, cause he would have loved it. Maybe he might actually like the show.

Jon text me again around 9 to see if I had heard from Jer. I had not, and Jon said he was gonna get Mark to go look for him. It wasn't right that he wasn't home well past sunset, and hadn't called anyone by now. I knew he was right, but never in my wildest dreams imagined the unimaginable.  

10:46pm: I text Jon to see what was going on. No was answering their phones and I was getting worried.

10:48 Jon called me. The next few seconds are a blur. I remember Jon saying that Mark found Jer and thought he was dead. I was screaming at him saying it couldn't be happening and it wasn't funny. He told me the paramedics were there and working, so I was sure he'd be fine. But he'd been out there so long already. Next thing I know, Sarah and I were driving as fast as possible up to the spot 20 minutes away. I remember hyperventilating, but no tears had come yet. I wouldn't let myself believe that my 31 year old, 6 foot tall, 225 pound husband would be dead at the bottom of a tree stand. It wasn't possible. Eventually, the phone was handed to Mark who could only repeat "I'm sorry."

As soon as I pulled onto the street, got out of the car, saw lights flashing and Jon heading toward me, the tears flooded me. This could not be happening. They were still out in the woods with Jer, and they led me to the back of an ambulance. They asked me some questions (I don't remember what), then asked if there was anyone I needed to call. All I could say was 'Call people? I can't call people if there's still a chance. Are you sure he's really dead?'

I tried to call my mom. Jon had to take over. Tried to call Jer's parents, again, Jon had to take over. All I could think of was 'my babies don't deserve this. How on earth am I going to breathe without Jeremy?'

And I couldn't. Everyone else did it for me. It seemed to take hours before they brought Jeremy out of the woods, and they convinced me not to be there to see him. Even though I saw him the next day at the examiner's office, I regret that I didn't see him then. I think my nightmares are much worse than reality.

I watched the vehicles drive away. I sobbed the entire way home. My heart had broken into a million pieces, and could literally feel them shattering. I couldn't and still can't understand why this is happening. 

It hurts to write this. To relive this. But I keep reliving it in my head every hour and I needed a place to write it all down. I'm not sure where to go from here, I'm still suffocating with pain. I don't know where to go, what to do, and what to even ask for.

Most people don't know what they have until they lose it. I knew what I had, and I loved every minute of it. If you couldn't tell from my blog, my husband was an incredible man. And I'm terrified of figuring out life without him.


The worst day of my life

The worst day of my life does not even begin to scratch the surface...

Tuesday, November 9th, the love of my life was taken from me after falling from his tree stand. We still don't know yet if it was a result of breaking his neck, hitting his head, or something medical.

Today, I woke up to realize this nightmare is my new reality.

I don't have words today, but I will try to update everyone soon. I wanted to pass along the funeral info for anyone who might not have facebook. Please pray for my sweet babies who no longer have their incredible daddy. And for the life of his son, Carter, he will never get to hold. 

I love you more than words, baby!


A letter to Peanut

My dear sweet Carter,

It's hard to believe that my third trimester has already arrived. I'm terrified that we're not prepared for you, and yet more ready than ever to see your beautiful face. I can't wait to hold you. One thing I've learned about being a mother is that when my children are away from me for any period of time, I ache to hold them. And I'm already aching to hold you.

However, I'm enjoying these moments while they last, since I know they will be my last. You have really started moving lately, and I have to say it's something that will NEVER get old. Not in the middle of the night, not ever. It's the most incredible thing about being pregnant and I could just sit and feel you all day. Which is what Daddy and I do almost every night. We sit and watch you move and shake my belly before bed. Sometimes I'm afraid to move to put my hand on my belly in fear that you'll stop. Which is why your brother and sister haven't felt you yet (and the fact that they're too impatient to hold still and wait for it).

The thing that has been filling my mind and heart lately is how much you will be loved by your big brother and sister. They are so excited to meet you! They're already fighting over who's gonna to hold you and feed you. They pray for you every day, they include you in the family photos they draw, the words they know how to spell - you are already present and precious in their lives. What a lucky little guy you are to have these angels in your life already protecting you.

Speaking of angels, I must also mention what a blessing your Daddy is as well. Other than feeling life inside me, by far the coolest thing about being pregnant is sharing the experience with him. He's such a support, and he already loves you more than words. He takes such good care of me, I'd never be able to do this without him. He has big plans for you, buddy. Watch him carefully, and he will show you what it means to be a man of God who loves his family fiercely.

The fear of the unknown is still present. We still haven't even agreed on where we're going to put you! But now it seems as though you've always been a part of our family, I just couldn't imagine it any other way. I can't wait to welcome you to the world, baby boy.

I love you, Carter.



Rearranging Furniture

This post is long overdue.

A few months ago, I FINALLY got rid of our huge entertainment center and sold it on Craigslist. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, but it was way too big for our little space. 

Some friends of ours gave us their old entertainment center when they moved out of state, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the room, but I had to convince the hubs to do it, as it was going to be a lot of work for him (rewiring and of course, all the labor!)

But, alas we have a new arrangement in our living room that really opens up the space and makes it feel a lot bigger. And, I love my new oversized clock I got for my birthday.



Don't mind the clutter. Next up, painting the walls!


Homemade Halloween

Every year for Halloween, I have great intentions of making the kid's costumes. I just never get around to actually doing it.

This year, I finally did!

For Caleb, I knew instantly what I was going to make: Lightning McQueen. I've never seen any kid so obsessed with any one thing as much as my child is about the movie 'Cars'. It's borderline ridiculous. But I saw a homemade costume last year that I didn't have time to make:

This costumes wasn't too difficult to make. I made it on a smaller scale. The only real pain was that I left the logo part of the box on the outside like a big doofus, so it took a lot of paint to cover over! It took me about 20 minutes to cut out and tape together, the painting was a little time consuming and finding the logos online to print and glue took a bit too, but it turned out so cute!

So cute, right?

Now Faith's costume was a little more time consuming then I thought, but not by much. Luckily, a sweet friend of mine who is a MUCH better seamstress than me helped with the design. If I had done it all myself, it would have looked much more ghetto. Painting I can do. Sewing, notsomuch. Anyway, One pink shirt, a pair of brown tights, and some felt later, I had myself a beautiful little cupcake.

Faith got it in her head somewhere that she wanted to be a cupcake for Halloween. So we looked up some homemade cupcake costumes, and she picked out the one she liked best (and she was quite picky about them). She definitely chose the cutest one though:

Mine isn't nearly as fancy, but I think it turned out pretty cute! Faith approved anyway!

Again, not very fancy, but I am still proud! And I didn't have a sewing machine, so Faith's costume was hand stitched with a lot of hot glue!

I feel so accomplished, I think I will definitely try to make costumes next year too!


Weekend in Indiana

This weekend, my friend Sarah and I made a little trip to Anderson, Indiana to visit some of our best friends who recently moved there.

We had a great time just chillin', watching movies, doing each other's hair, making cookies, eating cookies, and playing games. Saturday afternoon was a beautiful overcast day, so we decided to take some pictures down the street. They were just too cute not to share! We took SO MANY, but here are some of my favorites:

Genna and Faith: they were just as excited as we were to get together!

These girls are so goofy together!

The beautiful Sarah and me

A favorite of my princess

Our JC Penney catalog ad

Sarah, me, and Vicki - love these girls

A friend of ours captioned this photo as: "I'm having twins!" LOL

Had a little photo shop fun with this one

This photo is everything I love about Vicki

Love our eyes in this photo

I am blessed with some beautiful friends! So glad we could capture some of our weekend with photos!


Homemade Applesauce

The hubs grew up on homemade, good eatin'.
One of those treasures he had every year was homemade applesauce. Now, I don't usually like to attempt making his family recipes, because they never quite compare (there are a few I have mastered though), but we were determined to stock up on some applesauce this year.

It's such a fun family thing to do!
From picking the apples together, and letting the kids help mush them in the applesauce maker, to taste testing, we had a blast...even if it did take us a few hours.

First, we picked the apples. Got some Gala, McIntosh, and Golden Delicious:

The hubs was so excited to get started:

 All cut up and ready to boil:

Now, taking turns mushing the apples with the applesauce maker (this is long and tedious part!):


Faith approves:

 Caleb approves:

This year's batches were WAY better than the ones we made 2 years ago - I think the McIntosh apples made the best applesauce so far. Tart and sweet, the perfect combo.

Even with all these apples, I don't think it's gonna last long!


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