Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Happy 18th Birthday Brady!

It's hard to believe that 18 years ago today I gave birth to my wonderful son, Brady Michael.  God has blessed me with all of my children, my step-children as well.  I am so very proud of what Brady has accomplished already and I know that he is going to go even farther.

In just a few weeks I'll have to say good-bye and send him off to college.  Where in the world does the time go? One moment they are learning to roll over and the next they are driving a car!

Brady is spending his birthday at Yosemite National Park hiking with his dad.  I'm so glad he has this opportunity to spend some time with his dad before heading off to college.

Anyhow, I just have to share a few of my favorite baby pics....hehe
Brady's 1st birthday in California
Brady's 2nd birthday in his little BDU'S before our PCS to Germany

Football in the fourth grade....such a tough guy! :o)

High School Graduation June 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Moving Up the Mountain

The week-end is over & it was much more relaxing and positive than anyone could ever expect.  My mind wasn't lingering on the "what did happen" moments and was actually enjoying the "this is life now" moments.

My husband is one of the most amazing men.  We have been through many valleys separately and together as well.  We have remained together no matter how difficult the battle before us.  And it seems as though the littlest things he does for me mean the most. 

We had such a great week-end just lying around, watching movies and munching junk food together.  :o) My mind was a million miles away from where my life had been 25 years ago.  I am just blessed....

Thanks for all the wonderful & supportive comments that you have left for me lately.  I know that a big part of me surviving this past week-end was because of you all.  Your encouragement, your prayers, they all mean so much....

Have a terrific week everyone!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Leah Gives Camera Kisses :o)

So I promised to share a video or two of the latest addition to our family.  I figured that today was a perfect time to do so.  She brings me so much joy, just like the rest of the pack.  I am so thankful that God has given us animals to share our lives with.  They are there when we weep, laugh, or just need someone to cuddle up with.  Our home is full of love everywhere you turn (literally...haha).  Add 7 wonderful kids to that (mine & hubby's combined) and all my is all around.


Will it?

Last night was difficult.  Tossing and turning..... Another nightmare.  Will they ever go away? I can go weeks, months even without any horrible thoughts and then all of a sudden, there "he" is.  And it's not the same reoccurring scenario.  It's always in my every day life.  Will it ever stop? Will that image ever disappear?

I won't give in.....

Monday, July 16, 2012

Walking Through

It's been a pretty busy week-end.  Sleep has not been much of an option because little Leah wants to wake up and play every 3-4 hours.  But it's all worth it.  I know that will all end soon and it's a very welcoming distraction.  The second my husband gets up for work, I hand her over to him to watch as I try to get a little sleep. 

The week-end has been damp and rainy.  We've gotten a break from the heat, but the humidity is just as bad.  It's challenging for me to be outside of an evening.  I've found myself identifying with sweet fragrances in the air and going back to that place and time 25 years ago.  It's funny how we can smell something and it causes us to time travel. 

I just need to get through this week.  Stay as busy as I can and continue to remind myself that I'm a survivor and that survivors move forward one step at a time.  I don't want to dwell on the horror of my victimization.  I want to flip it around and celebrate the fact that I am a survivor and that I didn't lose everything that summer.

It may have taken years, many years, but I gained strength from my victimization.  I developed the courage to stand up for myself and face the evil one that destroyed my life on so many levels.  All my high school years, my early adult years.....taken because I couldn't be myself. 

Today, I am just thankful that I have a support system.  I have dependable people to confide in and even if they don't quite understand, they at least listen and pretend that they do to help me tear down whatever wall I am focused on knocking out of my way. 

I prefer not to go out much this week.  My luck, I would run into the monster that stole my innocence 25 years ago.  I'm sure it's all in my head, but still, the thought is there and the second I would let my guard down and not be weary, over my shoulder he'd appear.  God knows he appears in my dreams whenever he feels like it.....taunting me, reminding me, hurting me, victimizing me.

But I will find a way to walk through this week with my head held high.  I have too.... I won't let him win.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Our New Baby....

Leah Emory

Well, my husband unexpectedly brightened my day yesterday.  We went over to my sis-in-laws to see her dogs latest litter of pups and the next thing I know, Ray grabbed this little gal up and said if you want her, she's yours.  At first I laughed thinking surely he couldn't be serious! Like we need another dog in our pack.  But I found out that he was serious! 15 minutes later we were headed home with her. 

Usually I have my dog names already picked out just as if I myself were the one having a  I used up all of my Cullen names from the Twilight Series so because this pups color is so puzzling, I decided that Leah would be a great name....even though I'm not a "Team Jacob" fan.  And it fits her well.

Her middle name, Emory, is after a very dear student of mine.  It means powerful & energetic,  Something that Leah most definitely is! She is one of the most playful pups I've seen in a while.  She runs from one dog to the next chasing their tails and trying to wrestle around with them.  She is a great addition to our little family. I can't wait to post some videos of her!

I also love the name Leah Paige but since my step-daughter's name is Paige, that was definitely ruled out.  Paige is just such a beautiful name and if Brandon had been a girl, his name would haven certainly been Paige! :o)

So, even though dark clouds have been looming over me this past week, this little burst of energy brightens my day.  Not to mention she is helping me keep my mind off of "the evil anniversary" that's around the corner next week,

I hope all is well with each of you and that God is sending tons of blessings your way.  Your comments and support mean so much to me. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hold On....

I saw this today and it spoke directly too me.  No matter how hard our days seem or how bright they may get, God knows what He is doing and will not leave us or forsake us.  Good night friends.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Storms All Around

Well I finally got my motivation up to work on some classroom decor and wouldn't you know the second I plugged in my Cricut a storm decided to hit.  The thunder was so loud that it shook the entire house and even Meadow, our biggest dog, came running out into the living room a bit nervous.  The next thing you know, you see lightning bolting everywhere and your surge protector resets itself.  Time to unplug everything and head to the basement!

What has made it even more difficult is the fact that our cable company dropped our local news coverage TODAY so we have no way of getting local weather alerts/storm warnings unless it's via Twitter or Facebook (a completely different topic to blog about in itself...better not get started on that one!)

So, I call my husband and tell him that I'm unplugging everything in the house and heading to the dungeon (AKA the basement).  But before I can secure myself down there, I have to find a way to get all ten dogs down the stairs on my own.  Not too hard to do with the little one's, but Meadow??? Let's just say that if there had been a tornado or something there is no way I'd make it to that dungeon in time! I seriously think my husband needs to work on putting in a doggy elevator.....

So now all is quiet for the time being.  I'm exhausted and haven't accomplished anything  today other than escorting our lovely dogs on a field trip to the dungeon....

"I'm exhausted......"

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Up Way Too Early.....

I've been up since 5:30 this morning.  Tossing and turning, unable to rest.  So many things on my mind. Some that aren't worth stressing over and others that I know are just there to try and steal my joy.  Thankfully, my husband has been working all week-end.  It sounds harsh but it allows me time to deal with my thoughts without feeling on edge.  Last night was an off night for me.  Why can't men understand that you can also have mood swings and that you tire out just as easily as they do? I mean, they take everything personally instead of just doing the simple thing......listening.  Sometimes I just need to be able to say that I am just tired and I feel snappy.  I'm pretty good about reading myself and know when I am being "ill".  I'm also pretty upfront about stating that I feel agitated and I'm good about asking for a bit of space to "deal."  It doesn't have to be caused by anything that anyone has done.  Sometimes I believe men are harder to raise than children.

I'm hoping that today I will be able to throw my emotions and thoughts into doing some housework and even some preschool crafting.  By the time my hubby gets home from work, maybe I will be more content and less stressed.  It's nothing that he's's a difficult month for me.  Memories resurfacing, pain intensifying.  Yes, I know that I am in control of whether or not I allow them to control me.  And I know that God is merciful and that He is by my side comforting me without having to speak a word to Him.  Hmm....if only others could understand our pain the way our Father does without us having to give an hour long explanation.

25 years ago this month...... The only one besides me that experienced every detail of the events that took place then is my God and I know that He will once again carry me through.

I think I may try and rest a bit..... keyword:  TRY

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Old Burdens Brought To Life Again

The past day or so, old burdens have begun hovering over me once again.  Whether day or night, the things I want to erase from my life are there to haunt me.  I have told myself that I am not going to give in and succumb to what the enemy wants to remind me of.  Every time I think I have fought the battle and defeated it, it finds its way back to me......

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Seek Him

Fun Fourth

I had such a wonderful evening with my sweet hubby watching the fireworks at Veteran's Park.  It was nice just to be out and about and having the opportunity to spend time together. ALONE! No dogs, no teens.....

Hope that everyone had a fun fourth!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

9/11 God Bless the USA

Even though today is a day of celebration for our country, we must remember those who have served not only in the Armed Forces, but with their lives for our country.  God bless each of you and your families.

Happy Birthday America!

Praying everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Passing Of A Legendary Icon

Images: Andy Griffith (1926-2012) | WXII Home - Entertainment was sad to wake up this morning and hear that Andy Griffith had passed away this morning.  I immediately called my dad to break the news.  Andy Griffith was on 24/7 in our home while growing up.  I remember how our dog, Fred, would sit in front of the television and tilt his head off to the side during the whistling song.

My dad followed in Andy's footsteps.  In fact, Barney, Don Knotts, is from Morgantown, West Virginia.  He has been to the home I grew up in many years ago.  My dad's office has pictures of him and Barney (Don) everywhere.  In fact, my parents dog, T.T. bit poor old Barney. 

As I was watching the news this past hour, they have already stated that there have been a record number of visitors at The Andy Griffith Museum here in Mount Airy.  I imagine that Mayberry will be packed this July 4th week-end.  It is nice to stroll down Main Street on any given day.  Mayberry is just like home to me. 

RIP Andy.....

Monday, July 2, 2012

Trying to Survive the Heat

 I am so thankful Brady & I returned from West Virginia just before they began having their major storms on Friday.  I spoke with my mom today and she said that so many folks still have no power and several gas stations are even closed because of it.  I guess the Nursing Home has an outage but thank God for generators.   I know it has to be hard on those folks, especially the nursing staff because their normal routine is out of sync.  It was extremely hot last week as well, but minus the storms. 
The wind was horrible here on Friday evening.  Ray & I was lying in bed and it just overpowered everything.  Our yard was full of limbs and branches the next morning.  Scary stuff!  It was 104 degrees here on Friday.....I don't believe it's ever been that hot.  Even the poor pups don't want to go outside to play.  And when I do allow them to go out, it's not for more than 10 minutes.

Other than having sticky, humid, yucky weather, all is calm in Mayberry.  I really need to start focusing on the upcoming school year and start getting my decor in order.  Hope all is well where ever you are and that God is keeping you safe! :o)