Tag Archives: family

As the World Turns

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It’s amazing to scroll back through my old blog posts … and see how much I’ve grown and changed over the years.  I’ve made some posts private, but did leave many of the ones where I poured my heart and soul out.  Dealing with a divorce and depression is difficult, and I hope maybe someone will scroll across them … and find encouragement and strength.

It’s awesome to look back things I said … wanting to teach, getting my Bachelor’s and then my Master’s degree.  I’m doing all that.  Yes, I’m living my dream!  I’ve been teaching nursing, this being my fourth year … and I love it.  I have my Master’s degree (December 2015), and now I am enrolled and working on my Doctorate of Education.

My husband and I have been blessed in our home (did an expansion for more rooms!) and travel (we LOVE cruising).  The kids are amazing …

No, my life isn’t peaches all the time.  But I wouldn’t change it any … well, of course … I would always take more shoes and purses! 🙂

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We Are Family . . .

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Earlier this year, I received an email from my birth Father, Steve.  I haven’t had any communication with him since I moved away from him in second grade, except once when my step-dad adopted me, and we needed permission.  My Mom left him when I was around 4 years old, and then got custody of me when I was around 2nd grade.  Let’s just say he wasn’t the nicest person back then, which kept me from contacting him.  Over the years, during “major” events in my life (graduation, marriage, birth of kids), I had thought about contacting him.  But didn’t for two reasons.  One, if he was the same person he was when I was young, I certainly did not want him in my life.  Second, John, my step-father has been wonderful in all aspects of my life, and I truly consider him my “real” father, and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings by contacting Steve.  As the years went by, I just thought of us (Steve and I) as too much of strangers.  Imagine calling your mailman’s father to talk . . . yeah, that’s how I would feel, wouldn’t know him from anyone else.

I think in the last few years, my Mother has spoken to him, and his girlfriend Tracey.  Over the next few months we share a few emails, and I even got my first birthday card in 25 years from him.  I had known he had been sick over the last few years, but received a phone call one night before we left from our cruise.

It was from “Chris”, who is Steve’s dad, my Grandfather.  He said that Steve was quite sick in ICU, too sick to be moved to the VA hospital across town.  Over the next few days, I debated whether or not to fly to Phoenix for a few days, and then to fly back into New Orleans for the cruise. But the ticket price was too much.  I spoke with Tracey and told her to do what she thought was best.  After speaking with the nurses in ICU, I discovered that Steve had ARDs, amongst other health issues. If you are a healthy person, with no co-morbidities (other health diseases) ARDs is hard to over come having a 50% mortality rate.  But a person with prior multiple health issues has an even less chance of survival.  So with this knowledge and other things the nurses told me, I knew he didn’t have a good chance of survival.  I told Tracey that I wouldn’t be able to make it time to do any good, and not to keep him alive on the ventilator, but to let him go peacefully.

Sometime during this week, I got a voicemail from Shawn, who is Steve’s son, my older brother. I remember seeing pictures of him when I was little.  He was blonde hair and blue-eyed and a little older than me.  I don’t think I ever met him when we were little, but often wondered where he was in life.

It was the week after our cruise I was able to go to Phoenix.  Mom came with me, as I was scared and nervous.  We first went to meet Tracey, who was at her and Steve’s house, with her sister Maude.  We hugged and said hello. I was the first to sit, and was told I sat in Steve’s chair.  Maude had made a couple of posters for the funeral, which I looked at with sadness.  We went to eat dinner (Mom, me and Tracey), and then went to go see Grandpa Chris and his wife Evie.

Grandpa Chris is a jovial fellow, quite funny.  We chatted for a bit, but didn’t stay long.  One conversation  we had was about the flag from the funeral.  Since Steve was in the Navy, serving on the USS Ranger, he was to have a military funeral.  Chris and Barb (Steve’s Mother) thought I should have the flag.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about this, since Tracey was his “real” family for the last 8 years.  Back at the hotel, Mom said that I should ask Tracey what she thought about it.

The next day, we met everyone at the funeral home, where Grandpa Chris worked at for the last 30 plus years.  It was very emotional seeing him in the casket.  Mom broke down really hard.  Knowing that if she had never met him, she would have never been in the place she is now, or have the life (kids, etc) that she has.  It’s hard to imagine them together 34 years ago, as a young couple.

Family.  Holy Family!  I vaguely remember my cousins, but got to meet them again, along with their kids.  Everyone said, “The last time I saw you . . .” then they’d put their hand at knee height.    It was really cool, and eye-opening to see everyone.  I even met my niece, Amber (Shawn’s daughter).  It’s so hard to remember all the emotions and comments that occurred that day, and I wish I had recorded all my thoughts back then.

Thankfully, we took lots of pictures, exchanged emails, etc.  I hope to keep in touch with everyone, but know it’s hard as we live so far away, and life keeps us busy.  I  have communicated several times with my brother, which I hope to keep up with, and to get to know him better.

Here’s an email that touched me (From Steve) . . .

Hi there,
It was just so good to hear from you!!!!
I met Tracy when I was singing one night. Yes, I said “singing”!!! She made a request and I danced with her as I sang. We have been through a lot. My health went to hell and Tracy stood beside me constantly. She’s so sweet. We have been together about 8-9 years now.
I hope you and yours are fine.
The pictures that I’ve been able to get show me that you are a beautiful, smart, mother of 3 boys.
I remember going aboard the airplane when you were only 32 days old.
I tried teaching you to swim at an early age. First time I put you in 10 feet of water you were 11 months old. By the time you were 3, you had no fear of water.
I really wish I could see you again so I could hug and kiss you. I have really missed you all these years.
I didn’t want to “rock” the boat while you were growing up.
Your mom and I have talked numerous times every month and still do.
I’m so happy you contacted me. Well, for now, I gotta rest a little bit.
Please drop me another letter. I’ll answer as soon as I can. I just got out of the hospital again. That’s why I didn’t answer right away.
Well, honey, please write me again soon.
I love you,
Steve “Dad”.

By the way, I did keep the flag.

Take me to the Chapel . . .

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My baby sister got married in September!  We made the trip a few days before the wedding and had a great time with family.  It was fun to see my nephew Jayden (AKA Bubba) and his sister Bella.  The wedding was beautiful, but not as much as the Bride!  The reception rocked, and I even got my other sister Stephanie drunk, ohhhh funny stuff 🙂 She did look pretty pitiful on the couch the next morning!  Congrats to Ashley and Chris! ❤

Timmy, Brennen, Zachary, and my nephew Jayden


The reception was held at the Valley Event Centerwho was FANTASTIC from the beginning to the end!  Spectrum Photography in Gering was also great.  Very professional, listened to the couple, and gave fantastic results!  I will have to get more pics of the reception from someone!  The food was fantastic, which is understandable when a Filipino family and a Hispanic family are doing the cooking! I love the picture of me, Mom, and my Aunt Janelle doing the chicken dance with the kids.  haha, did I mention that my husband had to ask my Dad to drive me home?  Yup, Dad drove me and my sister Stephanie home that night!  Can’t wait until the NEXT wedding!  

Spring wrap up . . . .

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There are so many other little things that happened in Spring 2011 . . . so let’s just dump it all here:

My family came to visit for a weekend!  It was fun, and I love when they are here!  Ashley was taking a photography course, so she was taking odd pics around town.

Valentines day!

From Brennen, he knows his Mama!

How things in marriage work!

We had some HUGE hail:

Timmy centered his inner-monkey:

Love our late night fishing trip and bon fire

In April, I started to work in the Intensive Care Unit, and I LOVE it!  It’s a totally different realm of nursing.  I feel like I can make such a difference in my job!  🙂 One of my good friends bought me a birthday cake when I had to work on my birthday!  Thanks Sherri!

Phew!!! I know I’m missing many things 🙂

Wichita 2010

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October was our annual trip to Wichita, where all my family meets.  Only my brother didn’t come this time (PUNK)!  As always, we had a blast, lots of good food, and lots of laughs.  I loved seeing the babies (my nephew Jayden “Bubba” and his sister Bella).  ❤

 

I’m An AUNTIE!!!!!

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TO A GIRL!!!!!!!!

I think that the having a girl is most exciting!  After having my 3 boys, thier 4 boy cousins on thier dad’s side, and my Sister Stephanie son Jayden . . . Stephanie has now delivered a little pink bundle of joy!

 

Bella Gracelynn 

7 lbs 5 oz, 21 inches 

August 2, 2010 0530 

 

 

What is so sweet is that years ago, I named our other sister Ashley Grace.  I am of course Janet Lynn.  And Stephanie was so sweet to name Bella with our names .  Thank you Steph and Doyle!  I cannot wait to meet her!

W!WW!!!! (WOW! WHATTA WEEKEND!!!!)

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I love weekends like this, full of activities and family time! 

The kids and I spent most of the week in the water, either at Magic Springs, or the lake.  It’s been so hot though, that the lakes feel like warm bath water.  

On Fridays Craig is off, which is a treat for us!  We went to Degray, to the Shouse Ford area (one of my favorite places to camp).  It was nice, but the water is way down, making the swim areas smaller (I found this to be true on Lake Ouachita  the week before).  But, we swam none-the-less!  And fished.  My poor pink fishing pole has seen lots of water and castings, and yet no fish.  😦 Someday I’ll get my first fish! 

Friday night we got some movies, Book of Ei, Pink Panther 2, and Missing Lynx.  The last one wasn’t anything to remember, but the kids loved it.  PP2 was funny, but predictable (very Steve Martinesque).  The Book of Eli was AWESOME.  Really awesome.  Not blu-ray worthy or anything, but the story was wonderful.  If we all took that dedication and purpose to our lives!  Wow, what a different place the world would be. 

 

  

Saturday morning I think we bummed around, ran som errands and such.  We stopped at the Goodwill store, which is my favorite new place!  Talk about bargains!  We bought: 

Mens suit jacket (made in Italy) 

2 king pillow shams 

king bedskirt 

new with tags womans dress 

2 pair mens athletic pants (nike and adidas) 

queen bed sheet set 

3 books 

4 pieces of girls clothing 

TOTAL:  $33.40 

Not too shabby eh???  Try checking out your local Goodwill store, Savation Army, DAV, or whatever you have in your area! 

 

  

Saturday afternoon I watched a beautiful bride walk down the aisle!  She’s one of my great friends, Anna.  It was a sweet touching ceremony, as Anna and Matt were marrie by Anna’s Mother.  I know the stress and pressure of a wedding, and I know that as they are laying on the beaches of Mexico, it was all worth it!  

  

  

 

  

  

After the wedding, we ran home, changed and went to Magic Springs, a local amusement park.  I’ll do a review on it later, but it’s a pretty good deal for locals who buy season passes.  One the greaat benefits is the summer concerts they have on Saturday nights.  And since I pretty much work all Saturday nights, I never get to go.  This year they did have concerts during the week, but we never got to go to one.  So . . . this was my first concert at the amplitheater . . . and who was it?  Randy Travis!  An oldie but goodie!  It was great, and the boys’ first concert too.  He was funny and sounded awesome! 

 

Of course, Sunday was another relaxing day, with a bit of school clothes shopping (only 18 more days!) and of course work  😦  But that’s ok, I’ve got all 4 kids all week.  

Gotta take Coco to the vet for some shots, poor puppy . . . I still need to show you her! 

Love Y’all!