I hate coming on here and being a Debbie Downer, but ya know what?  This is MY blog and I’m gonna use it for what I need it for!  I’m not sure why, but S had a rough night over the weekend, just crying a ton for daddy. “I want daddy to be here.”  It just rips my heart out.  This is no way for me to “fix” this.  No way for me to make it better and take their pain away.  And it KILLS me.  I would do anything just to make this a little bit easier for them. But I know this is part of the process.  If I want them to heal, then they WILL go through these hard times.

So today.  What was it about today that made it a “bad day?”  I honestly don’t know. Maybe it was the fact that I was running around like crazy all day, never remembering where I was headed because the schedule was so tight.  Feeling overwhelmed because we had to eat dinner at 3:30 due to activities and that means the sink remained full of dirty dishes (I hate this!) and the basket of laundry remained unfolded (this has since been completed.)  It is no easy task to run this household of 4 on my own.  There are so many wheels spinning at once it’s hard to feel settled.  I know there are so many people who make it possible to get through these crazy days, but as much as people help me, I will always feel like 100% responsibility of the kids falls on me.  It’s exhausting trying to coordinate and ask, yet again, if people can help out. I wish there was a way I could somehow do it all myself.  It is so hard to always have to depend on others.

It is days like this that I just WISH Mark was still here.  These crazy days, when that other person is just as “in it” as you are and does it because, well, that’s what parents do.  And the days I wish are the days that are hard.  Because as much as I know it will never be the way I want it to be, it doesn’t stop me from wishing.  That’s where I am today.  And tomorrow I will go back to reality, pushing that wish deep deep down so I don’t have to feel the pain of knowing that wish will never be a reality.


Rain Rain Go Away…

Baseball season has officially stated!  Which means the schedule around this house went from crazy to absolute mayhem!  With B being on in-house and part-time travel, he’s at baseball 4-5 times a week.  And S is at t-ball 2 days a week.  Throw in E’s dance classes 3 days a week and you have the recipe for some pretty hectic days.  I just keep reminding myself that baseball is a short season so I can get through it!

So, I don’t know if it’s because of all this baseball starting or what, but B has been really having a rough week.  He had his first travel game on Sunday (sidenote: OMG, he is the cutest thing EVER!!) and I think because he started Rainbows group at school on Friday (a group for kids who have lost parents either through death or divorce) it was all just there brewing.  He just was sad all weekend.  Missing daddy.  He couldn’t put it into words, but I think he was just wishing he could be here to see all the hard work he’s put in and how good he’s gotten at baseball.  Doesn’t every little boy want to make his daddy proud?  So, after some late night talks, which ended with me going to bed in tears, I keep thinking am I saying the right things?  Am I helping?  Does he KNOW how much Mark would be proud of him and wish he could be here for all of this?  He asked me last night, “Why did daddy have to die?”  These are the nights I hate most.  The pain that is there, and nothing I can do or say to take it away or make it better.  Just gotta be sad.

Anyways, with the weather being so cold and gloomy, I think we are all in a sort of rut right now.  Just blah.  As always, trying to focus on the positive, but sometimes it’s not easy.  I could use some happy Mark stories… so feel free to share in the comments… just wanting to remember him today ❤

For The Baby

To My Happy Boy “S”

So if you read Auntie S’s post, you know that you were the result of LOTS of praying on my part. After your brother was born, I knew I wasn’t done having babies. Daddy wasn’t quite as certain. He was much more practical than I am. My heart told me we were meant to have 3 babies and I just knew that it would all work out the way it should.

It was a Sunday afternoon. I was sitting at swim lessons with your sister (Daddy was with B). I started to think that I felt just a little bit off. After doing some math, I thought maybe it was best if I take a pregnancy test just to rule that out. It was the first time we weren’t “trying” and so I didn’t really believe I could be. Daddy went out and bought a test, I took it that night. It was VERY faint, so daddy wasn’t convinced. Let me tell you, there have only been 3 times in my life when I thought I was pregnant. Enough said. Just to be sure I took another one the next morning. Even darker line. After a visit to the doctor, Daddy and I finally believed it was true! We were going to become a family of five.

Daddy first called Aunt S to tell her, then we went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Everyone was surprised but THRILLED. It was such an amazing blessing, everyone couldn’t help but smile and be excited about another baby coming. It didn’t take long for the planning to begin. I was hoping we could keep your gender a surprise until the birth, but daddy convinced me to find out (it didn’t take much convincing!) We were thrilled to give E & B a baby brother! We figured out rooming situations (moved B in with E so you’d have your own nursery). I wanted to make your nursery just as special as E& B’s, so we painted and made it a monkey theme room (which was perfect for you!)

The hardest thing during my pregnancy (besides chasing a 4 and 2 year old around) was deciding your name. Daddy and I could not agree on any names. Like, at all. I really liked Oliver or Alexander. He liked Brandon or Elliot. We actually decided on a name in the car on the way to the hospital, Owen Alexander. During labor, we looked up baby names on the internet. Any nurse that came in got a vote to “Name Our Baby.” After 7 hours of labor, the top three names were circled and when you came out, daddy and I looked at each other and knew you were our special little “S.”

You were the only baby of all 3 that daddy got to cut your umbilical cord. He thought it was so cool. Daddy held you for hours after you were born. Because you were a summer baby, he used his FMLA leave during December and had almost the whole month off. From the moment you came home from the hospital you were daddy’s boy. You were his little sidekick and he just had a special bond with you. He would put you in the jogging stroller (even on pretty cold days!) and go for miles. He took you to the park and gave you underdogs. He danced with you in the kitchen and played “hockey” with you in the backyard. He read to you every night and gave you “tickles” during The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

I know as you get older, you won’t have memories of daddy other than the ones I tell you. That is one of the hardest parts for me. But somehow I want you to KNOW how much he loves you and feel him in your heart. Not because I tell you, but just because it’s there. I could never possibly explain what is it to love your child. Just know that every minute of the three short years you had with daddy made up the best three years of our lives. Thank you for being happy just about all the time. You have no idea how much joy you have brought to our lives by completing our family. I love you and Daddy loves you ❤

Guest blogger

From my sister:

For “S”

So sometimes I co-write on this blog (well, I did once before when Jodie let me)…anyway, I thought it would be fun to share my perspective of who you are, our caboose, the last boy, our S.

When your mom and dad had your brother, B, they said they were pretty sure they were done. Your dad seemed more sure than your mom, but he really didn’t do much to prevent it from happening if you know what I mean 🙂 Your mom and I would talk about it a lot. Did she want another one, did she want to stop at two? We all knew your dad was smart enough to do what his wife said, so he waited patiently or maybe not so patiently, but was sure willing to allow for the possibility.

I remember the day your mom called me. I had run to Kmart on my lunch break and was perusing through the kids clearance racks (kinda a shopping problem I have), and my cell phone rang. It was your mom. She said, “do you know that light box you made me for Christmas?” she asked, “well, you’re going to have to add another name.” I couldn’t exactly follow this logic as I was looking at ELMO pajamas priced at $4.99. “What are you talking about?” I asked her. “We’re having another baby. I wasn’t planning it, but I wasn’t preventing it and now we are pregnant.” I just knew that this was the baby that we wouldn’t be able to imagine our lives without. I knew in that very moment that this baby was our special youngest and meant to be in our lives. Little did I know in that moment exactly how much joy and love that boy would bring into all of our hearts.

Prior to S being born, and after B was born, I wrote your mom a note. I told her how I wished I could be a part of her children’s lives in a greater way and that even though I am not Catholic, I would always love them like I was their Godmother. At that time, I did not think that she was having anymore children, but I did feel like I had more to give. So when she found out she was pregnant with you, she asked me to be your Godmother. I was honored beyond words. I knew that you would be my special little one. The one that would hold that special place in my heart reserved for rare gifts you only get once in a lifetime. You, S, are that gift.

I asked your mom if I could be with her at the hospital when she went into delivery. That day was awesome. I waited for the call and met your mom and dad at the hospital. Your dad was reading a book called “Teach Like a Champion” because as much as he loved you kids, he also loved being a teacher (and reading). So while he read, took notes and highlighted, I sat with your mom breathing and talking and laughing. Your dad knew it might be a while so he read, but he also knew how special this meant for me to be there and he let me have this moment too. Looking back it is so much greater of a gift knowing that your dad trusted me so much to be there as you came into this world. I felt like that was his blessing to allow me to help raise you. He knew we would all love you and care for you in his absence, but he allowed me the opportunity to be with you from the moment you came into this world.

It has been so much fun to watch you grow up, listen to you say the cutest things and love my children with all of your heart. You dance and sing and jump, jump, jump. And when we think you must be exhausted from all that jumping, you ask for a healthy snack and jump some more.

Your dad would be so proud of the young boy you are becoming. You were still a toddler when he left us, but you are now turning into a little boy. You know when to be charming and how to have us giving you everything. You smash the dog, wrestle with B, and run and give us all big hugs when we walk in the door. You smile. Man do you smile, like all day long. Your smile is hard to resist, and you know it too. It’s what makes you, you!

So I will let you mom fill in the blanks about her water-breaking and driving to the hospital and your daddy smiling when he sees he son. But I will tell you, there is no one like you. Little Boy.

One in between

I know up next should be my letter to my little guy “S” but something happened tonight that I really want to share. So, like every parent, single or married, I always wonder if I’m doing the things I need to do to raise these kids into responsible, respectful adults. Since Mark died, I definitely feel pressure to be everything for the kids. The caretaker (obviously), but also the disciplinarian, the fun one, the one who enforces the rules but also is able to give in sometimes. It is such a difficult balance on my own. I worry all the time that the kids will look back and only think of me as being mean. They tell me often how mean I am, but I am setting expectations (yes, sometimes they are high) and most of the time they meet or exceed them. For me, that is enough. Yes, I want them to like me. I want them to look back and know that every decision I ever made was because I want the best for them. I can’t imagine how hard it is for them to not have their dad. Do I sometimes overcompensate with things? Yes, I do. I am working to give more of ME and my time rather than “stuff.” And I cherish our time together. I really do. I look at every shared experience as a gift.

Okay, so I’ve gotten a bit off track. Let me rewind. The kids are off school for Spring Break this week. Started off with a fun playdate with some friends on Friday, outdoor fun on Saturday, bunny on Sunday. Today we went to the movies and kids had activities (tball, baseball, dance). Tomorrow was supposed to be Shedd Aquarium, but due to crowds, decided to stick closer to home for a day of cousin fun. So tonight after E & B got home, I told them we were having a fun day tomorrow. So the dishes needed to be put away in the morning, kitchen needed to be cleaned up. Long story short, after getting B to bed, I came down to E putting away the dishes. She was so excited to be helping out. She proceeded to straighten up the downstairs.

While I was on the phone making plans for tomorrow, she came in to give me this note:


To say I am proud of my daughter would be an understatement. It was a reassurance that while most of the time it feels like I’m talking to a wall, they ARE hearing me. She has always been mature for her age, but this blew me away. What a thoughtful and kind gesture from my little girl. I feel genuinely appreciated. Like all the little things I do every day, even though I don’t want to and I’m tired and sometimes I just want to sit on the couch and cry, she appreciates it. The things most kids take for granted, clean clothes and dishes, food on the table for dinner, lunches made and drop offs at activities, she’s understanding what that all means. It doesn’t just magically happen. And it’s been hard these past almost 17 months without Mark here cheering me on and encouraging me. It feels like I can finally see the little sprouts of the seeds I have been planting for years. It’s progress. And I am thankful.