Monday, December 12, 2011


I can't tell you how many times I have opened the bookmark on my internet browser for Blogger and I stare at the screen and nothing happens. For some reason I go to write, and I can't. Until today. I feel like everything hit me this weekend. And I feel like the emotions that are going on in my heart need to be written out. As therapy? For me? For you? I don't know the reason but I feel ready to write. 

For those of you that don't know, my grandma passed away two and a half weeks ago. Thanksgiving morning. It was the most traumatic, heart wrenching event that I have ever experienced. I lost my grandmother, my confidant, my teacher, and one of my closest friends. 
Life was going on just like normal Wednesday evening. Mom and I had been shopping and preparing for the usual feast that is prepared for our family. Gram and I talked on the phone that evening, discussing the recipe for cheese potatoes and talking about the goodies that we were going to eat the next day. In the midst of the chaos of HEB, I told her that I would talk to her later, and as usual, her parting words were "OK sweetie. I love you. Call me if you need anything." I had no idea that I wouldn't be able to call her anymore after that...

 I got a call at 3 AM from my mom saying that Gram was being taken to the hospital. Dad had already left and she didn't have her truck, so she asked if I could take her. Of course. I got up as fast as I could, and made the drive to my mom's house. On the way, I called my sister because I knew she was spending the night over there, baking with Gram. Her voice, and what she told me made my heart sank. "It's not good ." What does that mean? I could not comprehend the situation and it was all I could do to not speed on the way to the hospital. She told me in detail what had transpired in the past 2 hours, and I was further confused. In the shortened version, basically Gram had symptoms of food poisoning, followed by a severe headache, and then passing out. 
The EMS had informed us that she was stable, and that she would need tests done to figure out what happened. The main troubles that concerned me were the possibility of stroke and heart attack. But I thought to myself, "No, not Grandma. She is healthy, and has had no problems her entire life." I was hoping for the EMS's explanation that she could have possibly triggered a nerve when she was sick at her stomach, and that could account for the passing out.
Mom and I arrived at the hospital and Dad, Grandpa, and Tiff were in the waiting room. We asked if they had heard anything more, and they had not yet. A nurse came in and said that we could come see Gram, and she escorted us through the doors into the ER. I don't quite know what I was expecting to see walking back there, but my heart sank and I felt my knees get weak at the sight. Gram was unconscious, a breathing tube over her face, and while I am thankful to be there during her final hours, this was an image that I cannot get out of my mind. She still looked beautiful, I held her soft hand, and just cried. Completely unaware of what was going to happen, but asking God to take control of the situation and be there to comfort us and give us his peace. The nurse came in and asked if we would like the hospital Chaplin to come and talk with us, that they had one there 24/7 for times like this. Chaplin? Times like what? My mom voiced what was going through my head, we would like to know what is going on?! The nurse replied that she would send in the doctor. 

Massive trauma.
Little chance for recovery.

Those were the words that stood out the most, a midst the doctors conversation with us.
I thought I was going to be sick. In my mind I begged her to come back. Asked God to please give me my grandma back, that we had only scratched the surface with her, that my babies were just settling into a wonderful relationship with her, that I still needed my friend. IT.JUST.WASN'T.TIME.

I returned from the bathroom to hear another doctor discussing with my dad the possibility of surgery. She would be transported to the main hospital in the medical center, where one of my dad's trusted colleagues was going to perform the surgery. We made our way to the medical center, clinging to the smallest little hope that there was something that could be done. We arrived at the hospital and settled into the waiting room  where we assumed that we would be waiting while they performed the surgery. Then the nurses escorted us to another room where she said the doctor needed to have a consultation with us beforehand, to discuss our options. 

I thought the options were discussed? I thought that she was being transported for immediate surgery? Why are we just wasting more time? So many questions. 
The doctor arrived, and he had that look. The look that you see in movies when a doctor is about to tell you some bad news. He continued to tell us that as much as he wanted to help, there was nothing that he could do. That moment I felt my life changing forever. It was time to say goodbye.

She remained on life support for the next 4 hours. 
Her sisters and other two sons were already on their way from Houston, and it was important for them to be able to say goodbye. As I was able to. 
Today, I can tell you that I am thankful that I was able to be there, and hold her hand before she went on, but at the moment, I was terrified. Terrified to take a step into that room by myself. But I knew I needed to. 
I held her soft hand. It was warm. The ventilator humming softly, off and on. Breathing in and out. Looking at her it was almost like she was asleep in her chair again, breathing softly and peacefully. I looked past all the monitors, tubes, and cords, and looked right at my beautiful grandma. I told her that I loved her and I was going to miss her dearly. That her great grand babies would miss her. That her lap was Wyatt's favorite place since he was a baby. That Taylor loved to color with her, and looked forward to all the goodies she would bring her like strawberries, blueberry muffins, and walnuts. I told her that I was so thankful for everything that she taught me, all the memories, and everything I would miss about her. I told her I loved her more than she could know and that she was the biggest blessing to our family.
For the next four hours I was in and out of that room. Comprehending. Processing. Praying. Just trying to understand the finality of it all.
Then it was time. Time for them to "pull the plug" as they call it.
With her family standing around her, they unattached the cords, took out the breathing tube, and we waited. Obviously, not being in this situation before, I did not know what to expect. How quickly does it happen? In the movies they show it happening within seconds. The distinct sound of the flat line. But we heard something entirely different. Beep. Beep. Beep.
 The next 30 minutes my grandma's heart beat on it's own. She had the world's biggest heart, and a heart for her family, and it was evident there on the monitor. As odd as it seems, I stood at the base of her bed, and held her foot. I just looked down at her feet and thought of the many pedicures I had given her as a little girl, and thought of the current day, when Taylor loved to color her nails. Sometimes many different shades on top of each other. :)
Standing at the foot of her bed, those 30 minutes were some of the most agonizing, yet peaceful minutes of my life. I felt God's presence there with us, and I envisioned angels welcoming Grandma to Heaven, and her reuniting with her Mom and family. As the color drained from her face, I knew her soul was on it's way to Heaven. As the warmth left her body, I knew it was just an empty shell. She was rejoicing with Jesus. 
It was not a final goodbye. Merely a see you later.
So. How does it still hurt when I know that she is with Jesus?
How do I feel like there just was not enough time, when the Lord says there is a time for everything.
How do I feel sorrow, when I know that she is in a place that knows no sorrow?
How is it that I feel a peace and contentment after the funeral, but still break down crying a week later, when I pick up the phone to tell her about Wyatt and Tay's latest antics. 
These are the questions that I find myself struggling with on a daily basis. 
In the end I know that God has each of us in the palm of his hands and he will not give us more than we can handle. Still, I am guilty to say that I catch myself saying why. Find myself crying this weekend because Christmas was my favorite time of year, and now I feel as though I am struggling to just keep it together.
Why is it so hard to let go, and let God? And then in my searching I find these verses. 

John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18: For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Light. Momentary. Troubles.
Eternal. Glory. Unseen.

God does not promise that we won't experience heartache. But he does reassure us that they are light, and momentary, and that they are achieving us a greater glory. How neat is that to be able to hold on to. Through the heartache, I am clinging to what is unseen and eternal. Holding on to the Majestic Creator and trusting that one day I will see my grandma soon, and that maybe her story, will help someone else.We don't know when and we don't know how, but I trust in God and I know that is all we need.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm Blank Because...

So there is a fabulous blog that I absolutely love to read: Little Miss Momma
Today she wrote a post and invited us to link up with our own version of fill in the blanks, so here it is! :)

I'm Weird Because:
I am a little OCD when it comes to colored straws and cups...they have to match. 
I don't like wearing socks ever.
I have to have a glass of water on my nightstand every night, even if I don't drink one sip.
I will drink hot coffee at home or from the gas station any time of year, but I can only drink hot Starbucks when it is cold. (the rest of the year it's Frappucino's baby ;))
I never stay in front of the sink while brushing my teeth, I usually walk around. 
The dishes are my least favorite chore. 
I would rather throw away a sippy cup that has chunky milk in it, rather than open it to wash it.
I usually shower in the middle of the day (while the kids nap) it gives me energy and that is usually when I need it!
If a traffic light turns yellow while I am driving through it, I kiss my hand and touch the roof. My sister and I have done that since we started driving. We like to think we are giving our guardian angel a kiss.
I love the smell of Target. 
My hubby and I rarely watch movies, but I love watching a least one show from the DVR with him each night.
I love checking the mail. 
I like to eat popcorn with mustard. 
I cannot wait to get the Sunday paper to cut out the coupons and check the sales ads.

I'm A Bad Friend Because:
I am terrible at checking voicemails and returning calls. 
I'm not always the best at planning ahead, most things are spur of the moment.

I'm A Good Friend Because: 
I will always have a listening ear for you. 
I have few friends, but I cherish the blessing of a true loyal friend.

I'm Sad Because: 
My babies are growing up too fast.
I don't see my sister as often as I would like. 
My mom is working a lot more and I miss her.

I'm Happy Because:
My hubby has been coming a home a bit earlier this week, and I have enjoyed the extra time with him.
Tomorrow is Friday and I get to hang out with my family. 
I am blessed with a wonderful family, and blessed to marry into a wonderful family.
My kids are such blessings. Wyatt is getting so smart and talking alot more, and Taylor is just her momma's angel. She recently started going to AWANA, and she graduated to a Cubbie. So proud! 
They started playing Christmas music on the radio.

I'm Excited For:
Thanksgiving next week. Love time with family and of course the food! 
Shopping after Thanksgiving.
My sister's marble cheesecake. 
Decorating for Christmas and watching Tay and Wyatt put up their Christmas trees.
Me and my sister in law's Etsy shop, which is almost up and running! (We have one item listed, you can check it out here! :))
My Scentsy order is supposed to come in tomorrow! 

So there it is, a little bit about me. 
Feel free to link up your own version in the comments section here, and over at Little Miss Momma!
Happy (almost) Friday everyone! :) 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

So... We are looking for a dog! ;)

For the past couple of months my husband has been hinting...talking...looking for a dog. A chocolate lab in particular. And every time he has brought it up, I'm pretty sure I have come up with every excuse possible not to get one.  

We aren't home enough.
We don't have a big enough yard. 
What if he chews up every single toy the kids own. (Oh wait, I already have a little rat dog to worry about doing that.) 
(what I found under my bed when we repainted our room...Fifi's stash)

What if we don't have enough time to train it.
Maybe it's too cold to try to bring a puppy home. 

You name it, I've thought it up!
I don't know what it is that "scares" me about a big dog but I think I am out of practice. Growing up we had a German Shepherd, a Boxer, two Border Collies, two Pugs, and a mini Australian Shepherd. I am no stranger to big dogs. I was always the one in the family that loved to train the dogs. I spent hours outside running and playing with my 4 legged companions. Then, once I moved out of the house, I bought a dog that my dad never wanted in the house. A "yip yip" dog named FIFI

So fondly nicknamed "the most annoying dog in the world", Fifi does not know that she is a dog. At just 4 pounds, she is my little sidekick that goes with me everywhere. (Literally...if I go into the bathroom she will sit outside the door and whine until I come out) If we go somewhere for the weekend, she jumps right up in to the suburban and rides along with us. 

Going to Mimi's, Oma's, or the Great-Grandma's for the day, she thinks that she is the guest of honor. 
She sleeps at the foot of our bed.

 sits on our laps when we watch tv, and sunbathes in the windowsill on a warm sunny day.

She really is like a little human. Spoiled rotten, and I love it. She is just what I have always wanted.

  In my mind she keeps up with our pace, and if I need to go somewhere she just goes with me. 

I feel worried if I have to leave a big dog at home. That this little 4 pound child has already taken up all the space this family can handle.

However, the more I think on it, the more positives I can come up with.
I realize that we are home...A lot.
Big dogs are loyal, fun to train (after all Fifi does not know any commands other than come here. Ha ha.) and an experience I want my kids to be a part of, the way I had growing up. 
Fifi would love to have another dog to play with, so long as he doesn't take her spot under the feather blankets. (which I assure you, will not be happening.) 

When I told John that maybe we weren't ready for a dog, his response was to build a fence. 
Gotta love his can-do attitude. He has been building a fence, pricing dog food, and searching classifieds and craigslist for puppies. It is his dream to own a "real" dog. (Yip Yip dogs don't count... Hmm sounds familiar!) He sees a wrangler commercial with a man and his dog, and grins. Anyone with a dog in the back of the truck he points out. He talks about going on walks and hunts with a dog that can retrieve for him. He talks about Taylor and Wyatt growing up with a puppy. He is designing a dog house to build. 

I think it is time. And you know what? I am kind of excited. (Even if I hate to admit it) 
Now the decision comes... 
Chocolate or Black. 
Who will decide??? :) 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Grandma's Okra Recipe

We are finally having some cool weather here in Texas, and I am loving it! I am so welcoming the breezy evenings with my windows open, sweater weather, and my kid's long sleeve jammies. I just love those.
But, the one thing I know I will miss about the summer weather, is my garden.
 I come from a family of gardeners. My grandpa has always had a garden. I have many childhood memories of going and helping him pick carrots, tomatoes, and trying to pick the blackberries off the bush without getting stickers in my fingers. The gardening continued with my dad and mom, who built us a garden at their house, and we have kept one every year since middle school. Now that I am on my own, with my own family, I decided it was time to plant one for us, and to start teaching Taylor & Wyatt some gardening tips.

This spring we planted tomatoes, green beans, okra, squash, zuchinni, jalapenos, and cucumbers. Even in the extreme drought of summer, we managed to harvest quite a few vegetables that were so very tasty!

 My okra plants have done the best. They love the hot weather.

Today I am going to share with you a favorite recipe from my grandma. Okra & Tomatoes. What I love about this recipe is that it is a perfect fall meal! Almost like a soup, you can enjoy it to warm you up on a cool evening.  A perfect way to use up the last of those okra crops before they freeze!

What You'll Need:
Bacon (2-3 slices)
Small Onion
1 Can Petite Diced Tomatoes
Season Salt
Tony's Creole Seasoning

First step, pick and wash your okra!
Then, cut up okra in small pieces.

While cutting up your okra, start browning some bacon in a pan. For this size recipe I used two slices.
Once  the bacon is partially browned, add some onion and simmer.
Once the onions are softened, then you add your okra! (Your kitchen should be smelling delicious by now.) Season with salt, pepper, and Tony's to taste. I love to cook with Tony's. It adds the perfect kick to any recipe. You can add as little or as much as you like depending on how spicy you want your okra...

Lastly, add your tomatoes and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until your okra is thoroughly cooked and tender.

Serve this hot recipe up with some cornbread and you have got yourself a yummy treat for a cold day.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dear 16 Month Old Wyatt...

My sweet Wyatt, 
As of Friday, you are officially 16 months old.  
You are the sweetest, most loving boy, and continually bless us each and every day. 

You are running around all the time, and would prefer to stay outside all day if I would let you. 
The weather just turned a bit cooler, and we have some beautiful evenings to play outside. It's momma's favorite time of day.

You love to run and play in the backyard, in the sandbox, and on the swing set.
I cannot keep shoes on you. 

Your sister is your best friend. 

Whatever she is doing you like to be right there with her. 

You just recently have taken an interest in books. Taylor is beginning to learn most of her letters, so she loves to show you books and teach you what she knows. 

You are starting to talk more. 
You say momma, dada, ball, milk, night night, sister, more, ow-side, deer, and my favorite: what's that :) you also say "mi" for mimi, you can say oma, ba ba for ba paw, and am-ma for the great grandmas. When it is time to brush your teeth, ((which you love by the way)) you say teeth-teeth and start grinning.
You like to jabber a lot of other words as well, and I just nod my head and pretend to understand what you are saying. :) 
You love to blow kisses, and you have the most adorable wave to say bye bye.

You just spent a weekend at your Oma's house, and you love to be there with all your cousins. You and your cousin Cassidy are only 7 months apart and she loves you to pieces. 

Sometimes you can be a bit of a momma's boy, but I am not complaining. :) Cuddles are hard to come by with you, so I will take all the extra I can get.
 Even though you want me quite a bit, you and your sister are so in love with your daddy. At the end of the day you can recognize his truck coming down the road, and you, Tay, and Fifi all run to the window, eager to greet him. He barely has time to get his boots off before you both are tackling him, ready to play.

Your daddy loves you so much and is so proud of you. He can't wait to teach you how to hunt, fish, and throw a football. 
You love to go out to the garage with him and "help" work on whatever he is doing.

 You look just like him and I can tell you, you will continue to grow up to be a handsome man. I am a blessed momma. 
I love you sweet boy. Happy 16 month birthday.

Love, Momma  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rainy Market Days

This weekend was so much fun. 
We certainly had the rainiest weekend to date this year, here in the dry state of Texas.
But, oh my goodness. It was simply amazing!

My grandma's sister (my great Aunt Joyce) was visiting for the week and my mom and I had plans to take them out on a fun day somewhere.
We decided on Boerne Market Days
My mom and I like to frequent Boerne often. There are so many quaint little shops, and you are always bound to find something unique. Especially when they host market days. Seeing as how my Aunt had never been, we were excited to take her. 

Friday night, the hubby, kids, and I, packed it up and went to have a sleepover at my mom's house. I have found that waking up at my mom's house to leave somewhere early, is alot easier than trying to drag my 2 non-morning people kiddos, out of the house before 10 AM. 

Here is Taylor. . . not sleeping. (clearly) :)
Saturday morning. 6 AM I woke up to the unfamiliar sound of rain on the roof! Thinking our plans might be washed out, I fell back asleep. My mom came in at 9 and woke me up saying that the rain had stopped and let's get a move on it! We were burning daylight! (her favorite phrase, the one I have been hearing since I was a little girl. . .) And up we went! 

We arrived to Boerne, encountering only a little rain on the way. We made it through two booths, before the rain started up. Immediately we all tried to huddle under the safety of the little pop up tent. 4 women, and 2 strollers, I'd say we overcrowded the poor woman's display space.
The rain stopped, and we continued on our stroll. Then the rain came again. Commence huddling. This process continued for about 30 minutes, but we were having a lot of fun!
The kids have barely experienced any rainfall in their lives, so they were eating it up. Who doesn't love splashing in the rain? :)

The rain stopped for quite a while, and we were able to walk up and down main street, going in and out of the different shops.

Wyatt (like most men) had his fill of shopping, and fell asleep on us.

 We were planning on stopping for ice cream, when a bigger, black cloud seemed to be making it's way over to us.

That is when we decided to head to the safety of our vehicle and go for Dairy Queen. :) 
On our way home we saw a full rainbow. God's promise in action. I love it. 

I am thankful for the rain, and for the awesome weekend I got to spend with my family. 

Every day I am thankful for my mom and the fun times we share. 

I love that my kids get to grow up with their Great Grandparents. 

I loved watching Aunt Joyce play with the kids, and them get to spend time with their Great-Great Aunt. 

It was a beautiful weekend.