Wednesday, November 30, 2011


This year, we were able to go and visit with K and G for thanksgiving. It wasn't the initial plan but thankful that things turned out the way that the did.

The kids did pretty good on the drive down (even though they slept for about an hour - J DOES NOT travel very well yet) and they shared a room once at Mema and Poppa's house (with additional threats that if they didn't talk to each other, they wouldn't get into trouble).

Thursday was spent in eating lots of great food and also visiting with K's older brother Jay. Jay is currently in the hospital undergoing psych evaluation for beginning stages of dementia and possibly bi-polar disorder. K is responsible for his welfare and they are doing the best that they can in getting him the care that he will need. Right now, it's up in the air as to what that is yet so please keep the family in your prayers as they will have some tough decisions to make soon. Margie (G's mom) wasn't able to be with us this time as she is slowly going downhill mentally and not able to move around as easily as she used to. I went to see her with G on Friday. She knew who I was but still had no concept that Donovan was gone (even though G has told her several times that Donovan is dead). The visit was good and a bit awkward but, sometimes you just have to let people be content in their own world rather than face stark reality (especially at the stage that Margie is in).

Saturday morning/ afternoon, K put up the Christmas tree and the kids got to decorate it that afternoon. Jeff got into the festivities with bringing some holiday music out and hanging some decorations as well. The only difficult part was when R found an ornament that Donovan had made when he was about R's age. She asked G who's picture that was and then when she was told it was Donovan's, she became very quiet and downcast in looking at Donovan's picture. I'm not sure if she put that ornament up or not but the down time didn't last long. J was very much into the decorations and putting things up on the tree (just had to make sure that the one's he had weren't breakable - one ornament wasn't so lucky).

Sunday morning, we got to spend time with the church family. I met a lady who had lost her husband about 4 months ago and, even though she was fighting back tears of grief, she was still happy for us and that I had found love again. People couldn't believe how much taller J had grown and that R felt confident enough to read in Bible class for the first time (and yes, I was a proud Momma). Had a good lunch and then packing everything up. The hard part was leaving. K led us in a prayer just before we got in the car and got emotional and G broke down when giving me a good-bye hug. I know that they have a lot on their plate in taking care of Margie and Jay and that they miss the kids (and us) terribly so going back for Christmas will be good for everyone.

Hoping that everyone has a great holidays ahead and looking forward to the new year.

More to follow.....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hanging on to memories

Over the last few days, R has been talking about Donovan and how much she misses him. Tonight was a tough one to deal with.

I had just tucked her in for the night and I reminded her that Donovan's blanket had been sewn into the blanket that she sleeps with (which is a pretty big silk blanket) every night. She then asked me "When is Daddy coming back?" I told her that he wasn't. I asked her if she remembered when I took her to see where Donovan was buried and she said she did. I then told her that burying Donovan's body was it. The only time we will get to see Donovan again is when we get to heaven. She seemed to grasp that ok.

I then told her that Donovan's death was the reason why I married Jeff. I told her that I needed someone who was going to love me as much (if not more) than Donovan did and that Jeff felt the same way about me and about her and J. She grinned about this. Sometimes, it's sooo reassuring to know that someone loves you and will always be there for you..... No matter what. I know that it has got to be very tough for R to wrap her mind around everything. It's alot for adults to grasp and even harder for a 7 yr old to understand but, she doesn't focus and cry buckets about it like she used to. I don't know if she needs to just have a good cry again or not but, I do know that she hasn't woken up screaming in the sleep since we moved here and that she hasn't asked me to stay with her until she falls asleep either (except if it's storming outside). I also know that as she gets older and understands more that there will be more questions and I am thankful that she feels comfortable enough to talk to me about whatever is on her mind. I am also thankful for Jeff's steadfastness and understanding through it all as well.

I know that R is also trying to hang on to the memories that she has of Donovan and that she is also willing and able to make new one's (like both of the kids HAVING to get a last minute hug from Jeff before he left to go work at the prison and all three conveying their "I love you's!"). There may be some rough roads ahead but, God has always been there during the roughest times and He will be there still. I am blessed!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Becoming more of a family.

Last night, Jeff found himself to be more of a Dad than he had thought he was.

Usually, R keeps herself busy with whatever she's got going on in her own world. She will either be busy drawing, playing with J, or in her own imaginary world. At times, she will stop to "play" with Jeff and every once in a while, she'll cuddle with him. Last night was one of those times.

I had just given the kids a bath and R had complained about being cold so, I suggested she go and sit with daddy. She cuddled right into him and he kinda wrapped her up in one of J's blankets and it stayed that way for quite a while. Then, J (not wanting to be left out) decided he had to have some daddy time too but that quickly turned into a tickle fest with both kids (and Jeff being the tickler) until bed time.

Earlier, they had both gotten in trouble and both had gotten a swat on the behind from Jeff (they did a big no-no) and I think Jeff thought that R would still be mad at him for disciplining (that was the first time he had given her a swat) her. I pointed out that now both kids respected him as their dad and they love him for it. I know it's been a bit of a turmoil for R in that she's having to figure out how to put things in perspective. She had a dad that she still has good memories of and she also knows where he is buried but she also has a dad who loves and corrects her as he should and the bond between them gets stronger each day (just as the bond between J and Jeff). The kids have the stability they have needed for the last two and a half years and they're loving it.

Also, after Jeff and I had called it a night, J woke up crying. Jeff got up, rocked him until he had settled down and put him back in his bed (with their own ritual of course). These two events affected Jeff deeply in that he is now able to do some things that he had never been able to do before but had longed to. Simply to be a dad and he's doing a great job.

More to follow.....

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Stepping out in faith

Before I moved to Searcy, AR. I was asked by a lot of people if this was a good move for me. It was argued that I would be "giving up" a lot or "running away" from everything I knew. At that time (as is the case now), I had no doubt that moving here and getting married to Jeff would be the best thing for me.

Sure, I had it pretty easy (and good) back in TX. I had family close by. I had a great, loving congregation of people who were there for me at the darkest time of my life. I had a nice house to live in and I knew my children would be ok just where they were. All but one thing was lacking and Jeff was that one thing.

What a lot of people don't realize is that I gave up a lot to move to TX and get married to Donovan (back in '01). I lived in a nice place, had a good job and surrounded by a great group of Christians. I just felt a tad bit empty and Donovan filled that (and was supposed to be my forever - which only lasted 8 years).

Sometimes, God requires us to trust him completely. Even when times are tough, scary, and stressful. He doesn't ask any more from us than He did from His Son.

More to follow.....

Monday, November 7, 2011

Getting the kids to mind....

The past two months have been a learning experience for our family in that new boundaries are set and then reinforcing those.

Actually this all began when Jeff and I started dating much earlier. He had made a comment about wanting to say something to one of the kids (probably J)while we were dating but didn't want to step across my authority with the kids. We decided that he should start out slowly so that the kids could get used to his "tone" of discipline (rather than waiting until we were married).

As a result, Jeff just has to give "the look" or a sterner tone of voice to get the kids to obey. They also know that if they get in trouble with me, they're going to get it again with daddy. R has learned a lot from J in this aspect because, like most 2 yr olds, he likes to try and push his boundaries (especially with me) and they both know that daddy means business.

Funny story... J and R had been playing in J's room for about an hour while Jeff and I had an "in-home date night". Then R knocks on the door to the living room and telling us that J's crib is broken. Joy! Jeff assess the damage and (low and behold) the crib is broken and one of the spindles' tips is broken inside (where is should be able to come out). Jeff dismantles the crib and in comes the pack-n-play. The first night, J slept like a log. The 2nd night, he decided to get out of the pack-n-play and play. As soon as Jeff opened the door, J automatically put his hand back to "protect" his bottom. He knew he was going to get a spanking for getting out. J also only wants Daddy to put in him in bed for night-night time. They are also both learning not to argue with me. It has gotten so much easier for me when I know my teammate has my back (and I have his). To those that have had to raise their child(ren) on their own, my hat goes off to you.

More to follow....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New last name = new title for blog

First of all, I want to say thank you to those of you who gave inputs about the title of my blog.

I have decided to change the title to "From Widowed to Wed."

Hope everyone has a great week ahead!

More to follow......