Blog Category: Family

Santa Claus and Poopgate

December 21, 2018

Christmas joy filled the air. Ornaments glistened, smiles radiated, and lights twinkled. Santa awaited … well would await (WAIT emphasized) in a matter of several hours. My daughter Sydney eagerly anticipated this year’s visit while our two year old Jenson hesitantly checked out the man in the red coat from a distance and shook his head no. We put in our name (and cell phone […]

The Best Gift Of All

May 12, 2018

Your belly became the place I first got to know you. The thump of your heartbeat, your beautiful voice, the rhythm of your soul. You made me feel safe and gave me a place to grow. You were there. I made my way into this brave new world. Wide eyed and uncertain. Bright lights, big smiling faces, and cool crisp air. You were there. I […]

Grace For The Holiday Griever (Part 2 of 3)

December 11, 2017

  Part 2: Honoring Your Loved One With Grace We got the Christmas boxes down from the attic and started unpacking. A surge of emotion hit as I pulled out our four stockings (Doug, Kristin, Sydney, and Jenson). It was our first Christmas without our son Jenson, and it flashed me back to our first dinner out after he passed away. “How many in your […]

A Simple Act With Big Impact

May 8, 2017

Today is a hard day.  It is the five year anniversary of the death of our sweet boy Jenson. Two words … Monkeys and Montenegro … are helping me remember what we leave behind can far outlive our time on this earth. Last week multiple requests for Monkey Grins* came in. *For those new to the blog, you may be wondering what is a Monkey […]

A Message of Love

February 8, 2017

From the board outside my daughter’s school with her name flashing in recognition for the leadership award she’d won, my car was drawn like a magnet to the last place I saw my other child Jenson.  His gravesite. I sat on the ground next to his tombstone, my way in this world of being as close to him as possible, feeling torn between the dichotomies love brings […]

Wedding Blunders

December 13, 2016

Today is our 13th wedding anniversary.  I still remember the excitement of first meeting Doug.  I spotted him at church with a friend of mine.  “Who’s that cute new guy?” I curiously asked my friend Patti. I remember the first time he told me he loved me.  The excitement of seeing his phone number light up on my phone.  The moment I finally understood what […]

Moments That Matter

November 9, 2016

It was red for over two hours.  Screaming teens and tweens.  The sound of loud music ripping throughout the arena as Taylor Swift performed song after song on her “Red” concert tour. We had decided on a whim that day to try and score tickets (or should I say Doug scored tickets and dropped my daughter Sydney and me off at the stadium while he […]

Choosing Joy

May 8, 2016

“Mommy will be ok.  I’ll figure out how to live joyfully like Jenson.” It’s a promise to my sweet boy that is always harder to keep on May 8 (the day he passed away).  And on Mother’s Day.  This year May 8 is Mother’s Day … a perfect collision of every dichotomy.  A day to celebrate.  A day to grieve.  A day to be thankful for moms.  A day […]

Role Reversal

May 1, 2016

The doctor told us I’d only be in the hospital one night assuming no complications. My nine year old daughter Sydney was adamant.  She would be the one who stayed the night.  “I’m your daughter, so I should get to stay even though I’m a kid.” I let her know the first night might be rough, and she’d probably be really bored. “That’s okay mommy.  You’ll need […]

I’ll Take Care of You

April 24, 2016

The waiting is the hardest part.  I’m better once I know … It started Christmas Day with a seemingly innocent movement.  Hanging the stocking on the mantel had never been an issue before, but this time it triggered a consequence that far outweighed the simple action.  A total neck and back lock-up.  Guess I’m just getting old. Then other strange symptoms came from out of nowhere as my […]

Home For The Holidays

December 21, 2015

It’s time to bring the family together To mark this special time of the year You gather around the Christmas tree As you open gifts and remember   The gifts range from scarves to pjs to watches And toys for the kids to play The presents all opened and paper around Could this be the highlight of the day?   Then the stories start about […]

Two Are Better Than One

December 12, 2015

The Christmas tree was up and “fluffed”.  Ornament hanging is my 9 year old daughter Sydney’s favorite part of decorating for Christmas.  But before we could get to the fun part, something else needed to happen.  My least favorite part of the whole process.  Stringing the lights. I pulled multiple strands of lights out of the Christmas boxes.  Every year I vow to take more care and time when […]

Golden Anniversary

September 20, 2015

  It was a celebration … a golden celebration.  A milestone most never reach.  Fifty years of marriage. “What kind of party do you want?” I asked my mom. “I just want my family to be together,” she answered. And together we were.  We hosted at our house.  Sydney loves a party, so we went into serious party planning mode.  Balloons, cake, decorations.  A gourmet […]

Good Times

August 16, 2015

  California.  Perfect weather.  Beautiful scenery.  Delicious food. Once a year Sydney and I re-visit our favorite California spots and re-connect with old friends.  It’s hanging with her friends Olivia and Hailey.  Grabbing pizza at Pizza My Heart.  Drinks at the “boat” Starbucks that overlooks the bay.  Eating yummy chicken tikka masala at Khana Peña Indian restaurant.  Pure bliss. But this year, Sydney made the trip even […]

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