Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'm Such a Jerk

I meant to post this on Mother's Day. I honestly did. And then I forgot. Completely. Now I feel like big crapola. I walked past my gift from Jim and was admiring it and garnering strength from it, as tonight has been a particularly hard night, and suddenly realized I'd never actually posted this blog. In the midst of mentioning the garden, the tattoos, and the other special Mother's Day gifts, I failed to mention the most significant gift of all. So . . .here it is, a little late, but just as heartfelt and grateful.

On Mother's Day, after a family dinner, Jim and I retreated to our apartment to spend the evening together. He brought me a card and a package.

The card was from Hallmark's (Product)RED line. The front looks like this:

Inside, on the left, it says (I couldn't get a decent picture of it):

EBAN "Fence"

In West Africa, a house

with a fenced yard

is considered an ideal home

where love is safe.

The inside right looks like this:

So the tears began . . .obviously. The card couldn't have been more perfect. It is so special to me. I still have it displayed on the dining table so I can look at it every day.

Then I opened the gift. It was from Jim and the boys.

Are any more words needed? I cried and cried . . .and it felt so nice to be remembered, and for my boys to be a part of the day. I know they want us to try again, in all aspects of our life together, as a family. Brian and Sawyer will always be that Hope, whispering to me, leading me on.

Thank you, Jim. You are the most amazing person I know. I love you more every day, and I will love you always.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Brian and Sawyer’s Memorial Garden

Well, we finally did it! Yesterday when I went to get my tattoos, they were running about 45 minutes behind, so we went right across the street to buy some flowers. We had bought my mom flowers for Mother's Day from the same place and they were really pretty, so we thought it would be a good place to get some for Brian and Sawyer.

We chose three types of flowers: snapdragons, alyssum, and lobelia. We chose flowers in green, blue, and yellow . . .the colors of the boys' nursery. We already had one pink flower too, that my church had given to each mother for Mother's Day.

After my tattoo was finished, we went to Menard's to get some stones to edge the garden with. At first we were looking at landscaping bricks and edging, but nothing caught our eye (or imagination). Suddenly, just as we had almost decided on a type of stone we "kinda" liked, Jim noticed some granite cobbles. They are really natural looking smooth, round stones. We loved them instantly, but debated on whether or not it would be possible to use them around the edge. We finally decided it was worth taking a chance and chose some. We had no idea how many to get--we hadn't measured anything or decided on a size--we couldn't even remember the width of the stone. So we kind of guessed and hoped that we had enough.

Today when we arrived, Jim dug out all the grass and chopped up the dirt so it was smooth and fine. At the same time, I put up the new wind chimes that a "mysterious friend" sent me for Mother's Day from Brian and Sawyer. We also found a new flag holder--our other one was kind of makeshift, because when we went to buy it, there were none at any of the stores. So this one will be more sturdy and permanent, even though I have to say, Jim did a great job with the first one! So I put that up, and I also washed their tombstone and statues.

When he finished, he laid out the stones, and guess what? There were EXACTLY enough. It couldn't have been more perfect. They looked absolutely beautiful. He packed them in, then I sat down and we started the flower planting. We tried to lay everything out perfectly.

When we finished, we arranged the stuff at their grave, and then stood back to look. We were both incredibly pleased. It looks gorgeous! The stones and flowers could not have been more perfect. We went and got some water to water the flowers, and then took some pictures. We are so glad everything worked together to create such a nice memorial to our boys. We think their grave looks absolutely perfect. The flowers have added some color, life, and beauty to their resting place. It looks very peaceful and serene, and I love that all the colors of their nursery are incorporated.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Well . . .I did it! For those of you who don't know, I got 2 tattoos for Mother's Day. However, I had to make an appointment for this weekend, which worked out really well since it's Memorial Day weekend. We also got flowers and stones to make Brian and Sawyer's memorial garden . . .we will be working on it tomorrow, so watch for a blog and pictures!

My tattoos are my sons' footprints--Brian's left footprint on my left foot, and Sawyer's right footprint on my right foot. And just so everyone knows . . .foot tattoos aren't any worse than any other tattoo, as far as I'm concerned. They hurt, yes, but I can remember getting both of my other tattoos, and it was no worse. I had built up the pain in my mind SO badly, because everyone kept telling me how much foot tattoos hurt . . .but it was really okay. Tolerable, anyway. Perhaps this is because Kalib, the artist from American Inkwell who did mine, is very talented. I've always heard that if you get tattoos from really great artists it isn't as bad, and maybe that's true. Regardless, Kalib did an amazing job. He didn't push me too hard, took lots of tiny breaks, just to let me breathe once before starting again, and just when I thought it was too much, he'd squirt a little water on and wipe, which really cooled down the burning sensation. Each foot only took about 7-10 minutes, because I didn't want any color and Kalib didn't want to use any liner. We just wanted to go for a very natural look, as if the boys' footprints were stamped directly on mine.

Here is a picture of Brian's tattoo, which is on my left side because he was our first born, but also because my tattoo in memory of his namesake is on that side as well:

Here is Sawyer's (still a little bloody, sorry):

And here are both together:

In this picture, you can see the "tan stripe" across the center of my feet. It was funny, because when I was trying to explain to Kalib and Jason, the other tattoo artist at American Inkwell, where I wanted them, I finally said, "Well, you see that tan line across my foot?" and they both laughed.

So there you go! I love them love them love them. I love how they are each unique, because they are perfect replicas of my children's footprints. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO glad I got up the courage to do this . . .Jim told me in the car on the way, as I was crying because I was so scared, that I would always regret it if I didn't do it, and he was right! AND he reminded me of all the happiness they would bring if I did do it, and he was right about that too, of course . . .he always is.

I'll post some more photos as they heal. For now, I'd better go get them elevated--avoiding edema is a great excuse for a lazy weekend!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Call

I went to see Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian on Sunday. I am a huge CS Lewis fan, and I ADORE the Narnia books. My old set is ragged and dog-eared from being read over and over again, through my childhood and into my adulthood. I always thought it would be fun to decorate a child's room in a Narnia theme. So, as you can imagine, I loved the movie. I thought it was really well done and captured the spirit of the book. However, an unexpected gem came at the end of the movie in a song. I am also a HUGE Regina Spektor fan, so when I heard the first line, I knew instantly it was her. This song is absolutely gorgeous. It made me cry, BIG time, not just because it captured the book/movie/story perfectly, but of course because of the loss I've experienced. I love being reminded once again by CS Lewis that death is never the end, and goodbye is never forever.

The Call
by Regina Spektor

It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word

And then that word grew louder and louder
'Til it was a battle cry
I'll come back
When you call me
No need to say goodbye

Just because everything's changing
Doesn't mean it's never been this way before
All you can do is try to know who your friends are
As you head off to the war

Pick a star on the dark horizon
And follow the light
You'll come back when it's over
No need to say goodbye

You'll come back when it's over
No need to say goodbye

Now we're back to the beginning
It's just a feeling and no one knows yet
But just because they can't feel it too
Doesn't mean that you have to forget

Let your memories grow stronger and stronger
'Til they're before your eyes
You'll cone back
When they call you
No need to say goodbye

You'll come back
When they call you
No need to say goodbye

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My sister-in-law (Jim's sister) has just released her first full-length CD. Her name is Cathryn Stone, and the album is called "White Sun Dark Moon." I have listened to it hundreds of times now, and I can tell you without reservation that it is fantastic. Even if I didn't know her and wasn't related to her, I would still STRONGLY recommend that you purchase this album, . She writes her own songs, plays her own instruments, and her voice is incredible. The songs are all beautiful . . .haunting . . .so earthy and real.

So if you're in the mood to try something new in the world of music, buy her CD. You won't be disappointed! You can buy it from her website,, or from CD Baby at

Oh, and by the way, Jim designed the logo of her name, and his name is mentioned on the back cover of the CD. Very cool--we feel slightly famous!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tattoo Update

Well . . .the tattoo has been talked about with the artists, a deposit has been paid, and an appointment has been made! I will get both feet tattooed with the boys' footprints (one on each) on March 26. Pictures will follow! Wish me luck--I have heard nothing but warnings about how BAD the pain will be, but Kalib, one of the owners and artists at American Inkwell, told me it would hurt less than the one on my leg, so that made me feel a LOT better! I trust his judgement. I'm really excited and can't wait to show them off!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

So . . .I've been living my new healthy lifestyle for a week now. Actually 8 days. I have lost 10 pounds, which isn't too bad I suppose (although I do struggle with impatience and the need for instant results). For the first few days, I was concentrating on the food part--calories, fat, protein, and carbs. Then two days ago I added exercise and began walking a mile each night, and this afternoon--joy of all joys!--my Sweatin' to the Oldies DVD arrived! Yes, that's right . . .I could relive the days of high school PE aerobics with Richard and the 80's gang. I did the whole workout, and even though it was fairly simple, I did sweat and it did strain me. One must bear in mind that it's been over a decade since I've really exercised. But I had fun. I really love Richard's workouts--you feel like real people are capable of doing them successfully and losing weight. I also felt really good afterwards. I had planned to join my already sleeping husband for a nap, but alas, I was suddenly overcome with energy--go figure! My dog is happy with this whole arrangement too, because she never gets to lick real plates . . .but now that many of my foods come out of plastic trays, she gets to lick them at the end, and this makes her feel fulfilled.

I am really obsessed with the food part. I track every single last calorie I eat, down to this morning's single servings of Coffee Mate (30 calories each)! A couple of my friends at work have joined me, which is really nice and helps with motivation. It's also funny, because we're pretty desperate to get the most food possible for our calories. I was telling them today how I use my fingers to scrape clean the bottoms of my microwave food entrees, and they totally understood. We also talked about how some foods have become "SO not worth it" to us . . .because they're such a small portion and so many calories. We're also quite serious about eating every last bit--today my friend dropped a raisin, and I joked about it . . .but deep down, I knew that if it was me, I'd have grabbed the raisin off the floor and eaten it. Every raisin counts.

I shall leave you all to ponder that as I finish up my roasted potatoes and broccoli, which I mistakenly thought also contained chicken. As you can imagine, I'm pretty disappointed right about now. Anyway . . .here's to living longer!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tagged Again

Okay, I got tagged again . . .I think I've done this before, but I will try to write different things this time.


The rules in this game of tag are simple -- once you have been tagged, you must write a blog with ten weird, random things, little known facts or habits about yourself. At the end choose at least 10 people to be tagged, list their names and why you chose them. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you've been tagged" and tell them to read your latest blog. Since you can't tag me back… let me know when you've posted your blog so I can see it.

1. I love Kenny Loggins. I am embarrassed about it, but my friend Jami and I decided we should make T-Shirts that say, on the front, "We Love Loggins" and on the back "And we are not ashamed!"

2. I kind of want to write Kenny Loggins a fan letter. I bet he hasn't gotten one since the late 80's. I could be his number one fan, for sure. Maybe even president of his fan club.

3. I also love Richard Simmons. I recently ordered "Sweatin' to the Oldies" to go along with my diet. Maybe I should add "Simmons" to the Loggins Tee.

4. I am getting 2 new tattoos, as soon as my "economic stimulus" money comes in. I am getting Brian's footprint on my left foot and Sawyer's on my right.

5. I like to call people by strange names. Like right now, if I saw you, I'd say, "Hi, Mike!" And I bet your name is indeed . . .well, not Mike.

6. Like my sister-in-law, I am not overly obsessed with chocolate. I like it. But I don't LOVE it. Now that I'm on a diet, people keep asking me if I miss it. No, I don't. In fact, I can still eat a lot of stuff w/some chocolate, and it's not that thrilling. What I'd REALLY love to eat is a pound of bacon. Seriously.

7. I used to worry a lot about people talking bad about me. It really upset me a lot to know that "friends" of mine were saying things, judging me, behind my back. I know that people have judged my divorce and remarriage, and think I am a bad person. I haven't advertised my feelings or what happened to most people, so they assume they know. I'm over that now, and over them. None of them actually know even a tiny percent of what they THINK they know about me or my life.

8. I am a little bit obsessed with true-crime tv shows and books. Another secret passion.

9. I love rainstorms. I love camping too. And I even like it if it rains when I'm camping so I can lay in the tent and listen to it and smell it and feel the coolness wash over everything.

10. I pretty much hate forced social activities. I am not an antisocial person. I enjoy hanging out with people in a relaxed, casual environment. I feel very silly and uncomfortable sitting with people I maybe kinda-sorta know, or maybe have never met, pretending we're friends. Everyone laughs too loud and tries to be funny.

I Now Tag :

1. Amy N.
2. Nichole R.
3. Jami K.
4. Ashley K.
5. Sheri M.
6. Stacy W.
7. Trish W.
8. Carrie W.
9. Ashleigh B.
10.Stephanie H.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Mother's Ring for Mother's Day

For a long time now, I have wanted a mother's ring. I wasn't exactly even sure what kind of ring to get--one with birthstones, or one with engraving. I had asked for one for Christmas, but unknown to me at the time, my friend, Kathie, had already written to Jim about a ring she was getting for me. She had seen the company,, in Oprah's magazine. After she ordered it, they informed her that it was going to be quite awhile before they could get to making the ring--the magazine had launched them to a popularity they were unable to keep up with. So she decided to give it to me for Mother's Day.

Today we went to Starbucks to hang out, and she gave me the ring. She gave credit to Jim for helping her out with the sizing and planning. Of course, I love it!!!! It is so perfect, and so ME. I don't like big, shiny, "blingy" jewelry, and I don't really wear that kind of stuff. That is why I chose a very simple wedding ring. It's just my personal taste. The ring looks aged, and very classy. I think it's absolutely perfect.

It is also perfect in that it doesn't fit on my right hand ring finger--apparently that finger is larger than the one on my left hand. It does fit on the ring finger of my left hand, but not with my wedding ring. So I put it on the pinky of my left hand, and it looks perfect! I love how it looks right next to my wedding ring. It represents nicely my 3 loves--Jim, Brian, and Sawyer. One of the really cool features is that the ring is really 2 rings intertwined, so they are always changing position--one is never "more important" than the other.

Thank you SO much, Kathie, for such a wonderful reminder of my boys. It is just perfect in every way, and I can't wait to show it off! I couldn't have chosen a more perfect ring myself! You are a wonderful friend, and I love you. Thanks for remembering me at this holiday and recognizing me as a mother. It means a lot to me, more than you could know.