happy new year guys! can you believe it’s 2015? craziness. it feels like it was just november…where did the holidays go? i haven’t even posted my review of 2014 yet! but before i do, there are a few things i have to get out of my head.

you know, it’s kind of funny how stubborn i can be sometimes.

i’m a creature of habit. i like my warm safe little cocoon. i operate well from inside my bubble, i find comfort in routine. and while i love to adventure, i am always pulled back to my norm as if connected by some magnetic force to my quiet little safe haven. it is absolutely vital to my wellbeing that i turn ‘off’ and decompress once in a while, and when i don’t get that chance all of that magnetic energy just builds up and eventually i shut the walls down tight.

which is why it is never good for me to make too much change at once.

life has been filled with changes lately. we’ve been so busy, on the go and traveling so much the past few months that we’ve only had a couple days to a week at home at any given time. i am so thankful that all of these changes have been lovely ones, desired ones even. we’ve been happy! but too much alteration to my norm always leaves me in a tailspin, threatening to set off hermit-mode and induce a couple of weeks in a blanket fort.


this time, instead of judging myself and feeling negatively about my quirks, i am trying to be gentle with myself. acknowledging my reactions, allowing them to be and accepting them as valid, and giving myself permission to feel whatever it is i need to. am i a bit overwhelmed? yes, but that doesn’t mean i will continue to be. am i a bit sad? at times, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t also good. am i happy and excited? yes, but that doesn’t mean other emotions won’t accompany the sunshine and rainbows. am i frustrated? at times, but that doesn’t mean i have to give up.

this time, i am giving myself permission to just be. no expectation, just acceptation.

and as i am working to remove expectations, some things are beginning to feel a bit lighter. as you can see, i am back here writing today. i removed the expectation of when and how i ‘have’ to write, or who i have to ‘be’ to write here…and suddenly i wanted to write again. i was struggling with feeling like i didn’t belong here anymore, didn’t ‘fit’ the blog any longer. but with the expectation removed, i can see that this place isn’t about any particular image or brand. i don’t have anything to ‘fit’. it’s just me. this is real life. it’s not one label or another, its messy and untidy and that’s okay.

i have a point here somewhere, i promise. what it really comes down to is that amidst all these changes, i’m really a lot about what it means to let go. here’s an example. because i’ve been so busy, i haven’t had a chance to complete my annual year-in-review yet (see 2011, 2012 and 2013 in review). it just didn’t fit with what i was doing on new year’s eve this year. no big deal, right? well, at first i let it bother me. immensely, actually. not reviewing my year felt as if i was saying it didn’t matter, as if i was allowing things to change me instead of staying true to myself. this one little blog post became the scapegoat for everything else…too much change, everything was different and threatening my safe little place. but when i removed the expectation, i left some space for perspective…and that perspective is revealing what my safe little bubbles are really all about:

stubbornness. which is created from the need for control. which is really all about fear…

this year, i want to say goodbye to fear. i want to let that stubbornness go, and i want my cozy little cocoons to come from a place of contentedness and peace rather than a need for control and safety.

so this year, my word of the year is assurance.


assurance. the antonym of fear.

i first selected dedication as my focus for the year. but the more i thought about it, it just didn’t fit. i still want to focus on being dedicated to my studies, to enjoying time with Little Man, to my health and fitness goals, to the relationships with all of my loved ones. but if i look deep down at what i really need in my life right now, it’s assurance.

assurance is defined as “1) a positive declaration intended to inspire confidence or give encouragement, 2) a promise or pledge, surety, 3) freedom from doubt, full confidence, and 4) freedom from timidity, belief in oneself”

this will be my year of assurance. assurance in my abilities, my worth, myself. assurance in others, in the trust i can place in them and that they can place in me as well. assurance in my child’s and my future, our success and resiliency and happiness.

but most of all, assurance in God’s plan for me, for my child, for our lives and our well-being. assurance that i can be content and peaceful because He has us in the palm of His hand. assurance that no matter what, no matter how many changes occur in this life, everything is going to be okay.


Lovely post, thank you so much for sharing.

Happy. Finally.


It’s been a while.

I’m in love. And life is different.

Not bad different, not better different. Just amazingly, astoundingly, perfectly different.

I am happy.


Honestly, I’m not sure where this blog is going to go from here. My life is so busy, in the most beautiful way. I am in a longterm serious relationship, I am pursuing my (finally!) realized dream career, Little Man is active in sports. We are doing amazingly well. I feel calm amidst all the craziness.

Don’t get me wrong, grief still rears its ugly head. It always will. I miss The Hubs so much. But now, I don’t view grief as such an ugly being after all. It’s beautiful. It means he is still by my side, it means my past is still with me, it means my love is still present, it means that no matter what, no matter how much I grow or how far I go, I will always be connected to him and carry that special piece of my heart with me.

So, past and future combined in this one amazingly resilient heart, I am happy.




I’ve silently been following your journey for over 4 years now.
I just want to say that I’ve cried with you. Been happy for you. Cheered for you and right now, I’m so proud of you. You are an amazing soul and I hope you never forget that. I only wish you the best. <3

Cheers to happiness!


your blog helped me through some tough times a couple of years ago… I just found your site again and read this post. Love it! it made me smile… and have hope.
I totally agree with the other comments to this post… Thank you for sharing yourself…you have touched more people than you know.

Would You?


If you passed me on the street, would you recognize me?

The dark ponytailed hair, extra 20 pounds, and sometimes sad eyes dressed in the boring mommy uniform, blending in next to others just trying to get the grocery shopping done?

In that cursory glance as you ‘excuse me’d’ through the crowd to pick up the blue cheese-stuffed burgers and Blue Moon, would you give the tired mom a second glance? Would there be anything there to recognize as familiar?

If you passed him in a crowd, would you know who he was?

The little boy who is now over 4 foot, 60 lbs, and sports a buzz cut? The one who is cracking his mommy up in the aisles and testing her patience as he asks her the same question over and over again and then acts on the opposite of the answer?

The little boy whose eyes are actively seeking the male figures pushing carts with kids in them, and wondering what it is like to have a father active in his daily life? Would there be anything there to recognize as familiar?

Five years are gone in the blink of an eye, and so much has changed. The days have compounded and so have the alterations. Life has modified, adapted, and conformed in your absence…in some ways for the better, as we learn to embrace what is important and true and dear; and in some ways for the worst, as the equilibrium of the increasing distance weighs on the thread we are trying to keep tightly connected.

This is our new normal. The one we have to embrace as our now, the one that is beautiful in some ways and aching in others. The one that is so different from what it could have and would have been.

Sometimes I wonder if you know where we are now. If you would approve of where we are, how we’ve changed. And deep in my heart, I know the perfect soul you have now absolutely understands beyond what we possibly can while still back here without you…and not only would you approve of how I’ve tried to do everything right by you, but would commend and comfort and encourage me, and him. But certain parts of my mind conflict with my heart and wonder if you would fit here now, if we would fit with you, or if you would even want to.

My goal from day one has been to do things to make you proud.

As if one day I would get to tell you all about it and I wanted it to be the best story.

But there are many things I am not proud of…

and you always found your pride of us in me.

So where does that leave us?


I think I’ve finally learned an important lesson.

I don’t know why or how or when, but I see it now.

What you found so admirable in me is that I achieved. I did. And I did with blind and unrecognizing spirit, confidence, and ambition.

So my very act of concentrating on trying to do with spirit, confidence, and ambition, has actually killed those exact things.

But I think I’m scared that if I stop trying so hard, I’ll never measure up again. If you aren’t here, how I will be those things again? Without that mirror, how do I know? We filled each others holes, we bridged the gaps, we strengthened the weaknesses and smoothed the rough edges, calmed the crazies and drew out the excitement from the borings. We balanced.

That is my word for this year. Balance.

I am trying to learn to do it on my own. You know I struggle with that.

I see now that there are others who recognize those things in me. Someone in particular so precious who not only sees me for that old me you would see, but sees me for the different me now. And not only sees me, but loves and appreciates and cherishes me. That is precious, and I believe sent by God and you. And even more importantly, I see now that even if there wasn’t someone to recognize those things, the most important thing is that I recognize them in myself…and that I’m strong enough to not need to see things in myself anymore to have worth, but to see that what I can give to others and to God to is way more important. I think I am finally learning how to be me without you…that is so very incredibly painful to admit. And it is so important to me that in turn, I always know, and keep close, that I wouldn’t be where I am without who you were and what you did.

The part I’m still not so sure about it raising this beautiful little creature without you.

If you did pass us in the crowd, I would choose for you to see him.

And as much as I sometimes fear that you wouldn’t, and realize that it is likely that he wouldn’t either, I comfort myself in the many ways that he is you. If I need to feel you near, I just have to hug him. If I need to know your reaction to something, I just need to show him my realness and vulnerabilities. His laughter and jokes and smartass comments and reassuring hugs are you.

It’s as close as we are ever going to get.


If you passed me on the street, would you recognize me?

If you passed him in a crowd, would you know who he was?

Through the tired mom costume and the hyperactive man-giant cloak, I think you would…

and you would tell us we are doing just fine.




Today, it’s been five years.


Five years since that awful knock on the door. Five years since our world changed so drastically. Five years of aching obvious absence.

But…it’s also been five years of love pouring from every seam and every crack of life, love pouring out of every crevice for The Hubs and for our family.

So today, instead of being sad, I am going to celebrate.

Celebrate a life of passion, a life of fun, a life of a hero. Celebrate an amazing man who changed my life forever. A life we are still living, so we must celebrate the way that he would.

I encourage you to do the same.

Wherever you are, whatever your poison, will you toast tonight in honor of this amazing man?

Please go here —> and share your photos: wine or beer or coffee or water – whatever your poison, raise a glass to him, to LIFE. Our family thanks you!

<3 <3

Blast from the Past – “Foreshadowing at It’s Best”

Remember my hopes of writing the memoir?

I’ve decided it’s time to get off my ass, stop wishing and TALKING so dang much, and start DOING.

Thankfully I intend to include a lot of the writing from the blog in the memoir, so this process will mostly entail compiling, editing, layout, etc. (I say thankfully now…)

However, there is still a significant amount of writing to do to start, finish, and tie things together…and the majority of the new writing will be memories and stories of our early days, the things I haven’t wanted to drudge up and thus have used as an excuse to stall the process.

So, in the hopes of progress, I’m going to start recording a few memories here. Stories, snippets, flashes of early memories that come to me from time to time. I think it might be easier to just record them here as they naturally flow, rather than try to force them later. And now is the perfect timing, as the anniversary approaches and my mind wanders into the sentimental…

I’ll file these in with the earlier “Blast from the Past” posts; even though they originate from different places, it just makes sense. I’d love your feedback on which memories you’d like to see included in the memoir.

So, without further adieu…

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