Friday, March 30, 2012

If I could have an "UNdo..."

Dear Matthew,

(If I could have an "UNdo...")

UNwritten was your story – UNscripted on all counts…
UNwritten was the way it was all to be planned out.
UNwritten was your eulogy… UNwritten were the tears,
UNwritten were the unexpected screams roaring through our fears.
UNwritten was your death certificate someone had to sign,
UNwritten was your name penned on the dotted line.
UNspoken was the horror, UNspoken was the grief;
UNspoken was the silence of the breath of life in me.
UNspoken were the moments of total devastation;
UNspoken was the way I held you lifeless without a hesitation.
UNdone was my heart all broken, undone was all the pain,
UNdone were all the hopes & dreams we would never have again.
UNdone was the nursery all trimmed in white & blue,
UNdone was all the preparation in arriving home with you.
UNpicked was the monument that marks your special place,
UNpicked were all the flowers that adorn your sacred space.

I wish I could "UNdo" it all...
Love,  Mom  

I miss you more & MORE, EVERYDAY!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Never Say Never... words sung by Justin Bieber that are echoed in my house by little Will almost daily!  He sings this song in his precious little five year old voice to the top of his lungs, a lot. (and notice in this picture below, he loves a little Ferris Bueller too!) He loves to accessorize. (hmmm, wonder where he gets that from?)  Big mama grin.

Never say never.  I have heard these words so many times... I am sure you have too.

Never say your kid would never do something, because chances are... your kid is going to do it!  Know what I mean? Oh amen and amen and amen!

To the other side of the spectrum...

How many times have you seen a situation and said "Oh I could never make it if that happened to me, to my child...?"  PLENTY is my answer!

At least it used to be my answer!

When we are left with no choice but to face the HARD STUFF in life, that we NEVER thought we could or would have to go through, we just do what we have to do to survive, to cope, to live, to love.

When you see a mother at their child's grave site and you pass and say "I could never make it if that happened to me," what would you do if it did happen to you?

When the 'never will happen to me,' happens... you just learn to do what you have to do.  You learn how to stand after a fall, you learn to rely on God's strength when you are weak, you learn to live by loving still... you learn to try over and over and over again and you learn it's okay to fail over and over and over again... you learn Forrest Gump was right... you never know what  you are going to get... and you eat chocolate. (a lot of chocolate)

NEVER SAY NEVER.... NEVER sell yourself or God short on what HE can pull you through!  NEVER SAY NEVER  when God says You can do ALL things through HIS strength.

Do I wish things were different?  Oh my mercy, yes!!!  YES!!!  But it happened... life happened, death happened & the 'never can make it through this' went away... far, far away... I AM MAKING IT THROUGH THIS... MOMENT BY MOMENT, DAY BY DAY.

You NEVER know what tomorrow holds, but rest assured, God does.  And although you think you could NEVER make it through the unthinkable... believe me, YOU CAN!

I have... I am... and I NEVER SAY NEVER!  (except I do say I will never wear ugly maw maw shoes)   Please dear God...please don't ever make me wear ugly maw maw shoes~ amen.)

P.S. ~  The doctors said I WOULD NEVER WEAR high heels again...(gasp!)  

These are MY FEET in January!  and I was totally rocking my Steve Madden's!  Just sayin'!

July 6, 2011 ~ journal entry

You may want to read  and this if you haven't already~   before you read this...

I wrote these words in my journal when my mom was in the hospital  during one of the nights I spent there with her...

July 6, 2011

The lullabies, the tiny cries, within the walls I am in.  Each time the melody is played over the intercom, my heart  shatters in memory of the lullaby I never heard the moment you came into our lives.  The sound pierces my heart with each note played… it is truly torment in my soul that lingers long after the song ends.  The distinct emptiness that I feel with empty arms is carried over leaving me, once again,  full of the anxiety of the next time the tune will be played announcing the arrival of the next baby brought into the world giving joy and  happiness to the arms waiting to hold the precious gift of life…

What brings me back to this place, this day , this time… the time of such heartache and memories for me. I am within the walls that witnessed your first breath and your last. The smell of  the soaps, the sounds of the monitors, the doors opening and closing… so very surreal, as I sit here and witness the reality of where I was and where you were 6 years ago…

Your cradle cannot rock without you in it… Your mama cannot sing without you here.

The hallways I am walking are hallways we grieved in, your daddy sat in and cried. It’s as if I listen closely I can hear the teardrops hitting the floor… the sound of death where life should have been present.

I am afraid to turn the corner here, yet I cannot help but walk forward anticipating the next steps, the caution with every step comes with a price, a fear, a fear I cannot control, yet a fear I am facing head on. 
What lies beyond these walls for me? What comes with this? What am I to see, to feel, to learn, to walk away with?  This experience is happening for a reason and I am searching for the answer, for I know it lies within these walls… 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blood Donors and MY HERO

A quick summary of that AWFUL day:
July 2, 2005, was a tragic day on so many levels as many of you know.  Matthew passed away due to my uterus rupturing and I was not expected to live.  I had a vaginal delivery with Matthew followed by two emergency surgeries resulting in a hysterectomy. I went into DIC and flat lined twice.  It was bad... really bad.

It was then I had to have blood transfusions to save my life.

July 2 was a Saturday... On Monday, Red Cross held a blood drive for  me. I was in ICU on life support, but below on the 1st floor, there were MANY people lined up from near and far to give blood for me. My sister said that day changed her life when she walked into the area and saw all of the people in line and was devoted from that moment on to give blood every chance she had. (and she has!) 

The magnitude of this event would not be understood to me until some months later when I was alone at home looking at cards, sympathy cards... get well cards... cheer up cards...  and I ran across a stack of Red Cross cards. I had never seen these before,  but as people gave blood, they were able to write a message to me or sign their name, and The Red Cross gave them to my family as well as the LONG list of the names that donated blood that July day.  

I read the list... some of the names I recognized... some I did not... I cried.  I cried and I cried some more as I read every card, every signature.  I was so completely touched and humbled that people (even strangers) would come to the hospital and give the GIFT OF LIFE to me!  Wow, talk about a gift!  There is no greater gift we can offer to one another in the physical realm than the gift of life.  

Friends drove from state to state to donate blood- colleagues of RW's lined  up- The scene, forever changed my sister's life and I know it has mine, even though I wasn't physically present to see it... I FELT IT!  And almost 7 years later, I just pulled the cards out of the precious trunk I have with memories as this, I got goosebumps! THANK YOU~  WHOEVER and WHEREVER YOU ARE!

We periodically receive note cards from the Red Cross along with donor cards and it touches our hearts so very much. Such a gift, a beautiful, beautiful gift. 

If it weren't for people that came to give blood just days prior to my transfusion, I wouldn't have lived.  If it weren't for people there that day giving blood for me, perhaps another life would have been lost.

This was truly one of the most touching things in my life. I really was taken back and so grateful as I tried to hand write each one a "Thank You" note.  How does one say thank you for this gift?  

I know there's an awful lot of bad in our great big world... BUT there is also so much KINDNESS and LOVE and COMPASSION!  

What can we possibly do today to change tomorrow for someone who is hurting? or even dying, as I was???

I love the internet; the technology these days is amazing, but as I said earlier, I am a visual person and the fact that I can hold these cards in my hands is TANGIBLE evidence for me that God loves me and had me in HIS hands that day and the days (years) that would follow and that people care!!!   I cannot tell you how many days I spent with the cards spread out on the floor reading each one for encouragement and I still do from time to time.  

Deep breath... now the hardest part... 

I couldn't mention all of my blood donors without mentioning my most special one... my hero!

When I realized who my very first blood donor was, I dropped to my knees... 

Matthew saved my life in the distress of the hour... he ultimately lost his life because he was giving his blood to me... I would have done anything to give my blood to save his life...  He is  MY HERO!  My BEAUTIFUL HERO! 

This is what a HERO looks like... one who gave his life so his mommy could live ~ My MOST precious memory...

I knew this beautiful little boy saved my life for his big brother...  

Glory Baby...  Matthew Clark Weatherly

RW gently removing Matthew from my arms to place him in his little white bed... this was truly the hardest moment of my life...

I know this is hard stuff, but this is our reality... this is life in the midst of death.

I am kind of at a loss for words to close tonight....but Matthew's blood was the very first to save my life ~ before anyone knew I needed it.... he did.

My love to my MOST SPECIAL HERO and to all of you this evening!


This post is in honor of all of my blood donors and
in loving memory of my boy, my hero, Matthew Clark Weatherly

You are NOT ALONE...

Last night, I heard our dog Dixie whining and whining... of course, no one else heard her... but mama!  Why do mama's hear everything?  Once again, God, a question for you... how is it that men can fall asleep ANYWHERE, ANYTIME and once asleep... they actually sleep!  Mama's hear the smallest footstep, the wrinkling of a diaper as the little one turns over... EVERYTHING! Anyone???

Okay, so back to the story...  So, Dixie was whining... I finally got up (since no one else was) LOL and went to the living room where I thought she was... she wasn't there.  I walked passed Will's room only to see her with her nose COMPLETELY pressed against Nathan's door whining to get in there with him...  She looked at me and never moved keeping her nose pressed in place while whining... I asked her if she wanted to go to Nate... and profuse whining began and the tail (well what she has) began to wag... I opened the door, Nate was sound asleep and she ran to his bed, sniffed to find him under the covers and was content.  She climbed up there beside him, and Nate was undisturbed, and Dixie was now content.  She wanted to be by Nathan... protecting him.

Dixie always making sure the boys are protected

She's not letting ANYONE get to these boys!
As much as I was aggravated to have to get up, I smiled.

I'm not sure if you ever lay in bed at night & feel alone... but friends, you are not alone... there is someone at the door begging to come into your heart... to protect you... to comfort you... and to be beside you in the darkness...

Just as God used Dixie last night to show me a visual representation of how He is there... even when we don't know it or feel Him.  Nathan had NO CLUE I had opened the door & that the dog was there, but what I saw was really beautiful & sweet...

I cannot help but think of so many that feel alone... and unprotected from this big world of scary things.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE... God is ever present in your time of need, trouble and of doubt.

I have felt alone... and I have felt HIS presence...  there is a big difference.

I hope today you will find great comfort and peace and as you lay down to sleep tonight, rest with the understanding that in the stillness of the night, when you need it the most, God is there.  He is waiting at the door... He longs to give you comfort, protection and peace.

I have to close with 2 pics of Dixie (when she is home alone with me... poor little dog!) But y'all, I have ALL boys... and a lot of hair extensions... what's a woman to do?  ;)  This... :)))

Okay, so she doesn't like the bows... hahhaha!

Y'all have a BEAUTIFUL day!!!  xoxo!

Monday, March 26, 2012


Oh my mercy... I am looking ahead at the week and have already begun to hyperventilate at the insanity it has the potential to bring!  Is it really Monday, again?

So many things I want to accomplish, to change, to make better... 

And as I am looking at my planner, I see no room for errors, no room for extra, anything.

It looks a lot like it will be leftovers...  leftovers that flow from one day to the next- leftover energy (or lack thereof), leftover hairdos, leftover errands that may not get done by the end of the day... you know, leftover everything! 

Ever had one of those weeks when all you feel like you are giving is 'leftovers?'  

I don't want to give leftovers this week... I don't want to feel like I am a bit here and a bit there and feel like I really am needing to be 5 other places all at once.  Why do we do that to ourselves?

I am so guilty of the above... but I am determined to make a change, even if it is a small change daily so I am not dishing out leftovers when I want and need to be giving my best.

I am having to learn to pace myself better (since my injuries are completely taking a new spin on things lately) and I cannot stand that I do not have the stamina to do what I feel like I need to do.  But I am the one who puts that pressure  on myself... I am the one who pushes until I am too strained to finish what needs to be done... I can't do that anymore and am allowing myself to pull back when I am feeling this way. GRACE, I have to give myself grace.

It is so easy to become overwhelmed by looking at my calendar, the doctors appointments, the baseball practices/ games, Bible study, cleaning house, laundry, writing, book details, refereeing my 2 boys, homework, did I say cleaning the house?   The stress of the physical pain, persevering when I just want to stop, not to mention, my newest quest of cooking!  And much, much more!  Where is the balance?

I am desperately seeking balance... from proper nutrition, health and wellness (Arbonne) to spending adequate time with my boys and RW.  Most importantly spending more time in the Bible as I am charting this new course of life. I already do a significant amount of Bible study along with  devotionals, but I want more. I want more of what God has for my family and I believe that includes a healthy balance, so  I am seeking that for our  household.

I don't want to be overwhelmed by something I should be enjoying... LIFE!  It is all too easy to become overwhelmed, especially when loss is a part of your day and your life.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy life... but a lot of it, I spend being overwhelmed!

God is so in control of everything and I need to remember daily that he wants me to cast ALL of my cares upon HIM...

Time management for me is huge... if I add a cooked meal for my family, there goes 4 hours! (quit laughing at me, I am new to this cooking thing!)   But seriously, I am not taking this lightly... I haven't always felt this way, but times are changing, my boys are growing up and I am physically in pain 94.5 % of the day... I have to figure it out, make better choices, choose quality over quantity and realize the difference is going to start by embracing the changes I need to make.

I need to accept the former things are just that... former!  I can't jump on the trampoline and come in and clean floors, it is literally one or the other.  I cannot tell you the times I clean  my floors crawling on them because the pain radiates throughout my legs/ back if I stand... so why don't I just do the floors another day? That is my new challenge... it is then I get so aggravated and overwhelmed with what should be so easy for me to do, but it's not.  The old me could have done it all in a day.  God has given me a new me and I have to learn to respect that, the changes in my body and what I physically can or cannot do.  I will admit it, I take great pride in being 'wonder woman' back in the day and that is obviously who I am still trying to be!  I must let go of my pride and let it be.  It is really time I quit trying to squeeze into that costume~ it no longer fits or looks cute!  So out with it... (my hero, Linda Carter! She could rock that costume like nobody's business!) Who didn't want to grow up and be Wonder Woman?  Well friends, I have grown up and I AM WONDER WOMAN!  All of the doctors 'wonder' how I survived, 'wonder' how I can walk, 'wonder' what will happen to me in the future! ;)  Can't say that's exactly what I was going for... But I am here!  I am alive and I have a new mission!  And it is not going to be impossible! :)

There is a season for everything... this is my season for change, for balance and to stop giving leftovers to the precious people in my life that deserve my all, my very best.

These guys deserve my very best!  (Christmas play, 2011, Nate was a shepherd & Will the cutest little sheep ever!)

My best used to be very good... but in this state of mind and body, chronic pain / injuries cause me sometimes to feel like even my best isn't enough.... WHAT A LIE!  We tell our boys daily... "Do your best and leave the rest up to God!"  I must CHOOSE to do the same!

Today, I sign off, preparing for the week ahead knowing that my best may not be equivalent to someone who is healthy, but it's MY BEST and if I give MY best to God, He will honor it and He will honor the desire in my heart to help me make the necessary changes along the way.

No more leftovers!

Happy Monday y'all!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

PART 4... (finally!) ;)

Okay, so the Bahama trip was so awesome!  But I tell you one thing.... before I do another interview on television, I will make sure it isn't AFTER  4 days on the Bahama beaches & 3 days on the beautiful beaches of Ft. Lauderdale!  CAN YOU SAY SUNSCREEN & FLOPPY HATS?

in the Green Room before the interview
Brett & Will enjoying the perks of the Green Room! 
Nate wanted to drink coffee just so he could use a mug! :)

RW waiting to see me come to the set
getting my mic on
Lynette enjoying the atmosphere & making sure my hair was good! :)

The 1st of August, I had  the amazing opportunity & privilege of being a guest on The Balancing Act that aired on Lifetime TV November 2, 2011.  It was so very surreal.  The staff was wonderful & so kind!  And y'all know how much I LOVED the makeup room!  seriously!  Wow!  I wanted it... all of it! :)  My interviewer Kristy Villa was also getting her hair / make up touched up the first time I met her.  We sat there in the makeup room chatting before the interview.  I could say I was a tad nervous... but not really.  I knew this was a moment I had to do for Matthew & for other mothers & families who were searching for hope.  I was just praying for the right words to speak since we only had 5 minutes (approx) for the air time.  Y'all know me, I am not known for being short with words! ;)

We only had to do 1 take! :)

Here is the link if you would like to watch the interview ~

The highlight of the interview for me, was after it was over... I took a deep breath & looked at Matthew's tombstone on the cover of the book & silently said under my breath... "that was for you sweet boy!"  It was then, Kristy & I both had a moment where we wiped our tears & then my boys, RW, Lynette & Brett came to the set for pictures & introductions of the crew!  I loved seeing the twinkle in my boys' eyes as they studied all of the details of the set! (and of course, played with the video equipment!)

Below I share some photos that were taken during & after the interview ~

My turn to get a 'fluff''
Interview in progress

This was when we were leaving the studio... the boys loved the 'ride' back to the car! :)

This experience was a God given opportunity to me & I am so grateful to have had this chance to reach a national audience on a secular TV network... God is so awesome! ~keep in mind I was going to be writing my book still in 2011! :)  But God had other plans!  And it is with great admiration to what HE CAN DO through us when we ARE WILLING that I praise HIM & give HIM ALL OF THE GLORY!  I couldn't have done this  without Him preparing the way & giving me the courage to do so... as I said, in my time line, I was still 'writing my book~!'  

My motto since day 1 was "God I'm not ready, but I'm willing!"

October 30th, my Moose (Nathan) would break his collar bone & separate his shoulder in the last few minutes of his football game... When we were at the hospital, the doctor said surgery is imminent.  Now, I was days away from 3 big events for Facets of Life as we were preparing for the interview to be aired & another book signing at Barnes & Noble.  My mind was screaming with knowing there would be no choice if we were in the hospital with Nate that I would have to cancel... So the weekend I prayed, we all did.  Monday morning, we arrived at the orthopedic where we would receive wonderful news- no surgery!  (Thank you God!)  So exhausted but completely relieved, I began to focus on the next 48 hours.  I would have a local tv interview at 4:00 on November 1st, leave there to go to a Meet & Greet for 6:00 pm, share  my story there & go home to anxiously await 6am airing on The Balancing Act!  My phone started ringing at 5 am... everyone was watching & so excited!  I was too!  Matthew's story would be shared nationally & I could just remember this scripture over & over in Ephesians 3:20-21 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen."  Amen was right!  I didn't make that happen, & I take NO CREDIT for it at all... I just had to be WILLING to put my myself out there... I had never even done a local tv interview  (until Nov.1st) before & here I was throwing myself onto national television.  (it was God!)

I was so incredibly excited to be sharing Matthew with the world... but also the HOPE we have in Christ!  

I would then prepare to spend that afternoon at Barnes & Noble for another book signing there... I was totally exhausted, but so grateful... so grateful that God had allowed Nathan to be okay!  I could have acted out of fear immediately & cancelled the interview, meet & greet & signing, & even had good reason to do such... but instead I CHOSE to trust God had plans... & His plans far exceeded my own! 

While I am certain God gives us all ample opportunities throughout the year to do what He has called  us to do, I am also certain, sometimes we allow our own fear to get in the way, & react based on how we feel rather than based on what we know! God has given us many examples in His word to trust Him, have faith in Him & believe in Him... not in what we can see or feel....  

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for & certain of what we do not see... vs 3: By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.  

Isn't verse 3 amazing!  Can you relate to that in your life right now?   I can! 

And as I reflect upon the 1st year of Facets of Life, I know & I understand how God took what was only in my heart & formed it into 142 pages of love, despair, loss & hope in honor of my precious Matthew & he took that piece of my heart that I had to surrender to Him for His work & produced within it a beautiful tribute for His glory & His honor...  

The year was amazing!  The people I met have literally changed my life... my heart... The incredible & inspiring stories of hope through tragedy that I have been blessed to hear have been forever etched in my heart & soul...  I have hugged many mamas & cried with them... I have had a passion like never before, even in the midst of so much pain to help those whose hearts have been broken.  

I am totally & completely in love with my Savior who has given  me grace to stand through it all... & I am not afraid to admit, sometimes I fall... & just have to crawl back to Him... where He loves me unconditionally. I am the author of Facets of Life, but most importantly, God is the author of mine.

Celebrating the end of a most amazing year ~  I hope you know me not at Lori C. Weatherly but as "Matthew's Mama!"  

Much love & my sincerest gratitude to  you all... Thank  you for the love, support & encouragement! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Round 4 ~ doctors complete! :)

Completed my 4th doctor appointment today in New Orleans within 2 weeks!  Whew!  So thankful we are done with the doctors... until April!  I am gearing myself up for our big Disney trip in May, and maintenance and procedures are part of helping with the pain, especially since the trip will be hard on me physically!  But I am going to be ready! :)

I am going to find the time this weekend to complete Part 4, I promise! Bear with me!  Thank you!

You know, when we were on the way to the NOLA today, I was looking at the water (again) and  RW and I were counting the miles that we have traveled on the same path to Ochsner, the amount of money and time we have spent there... the tears, the sorrow, the disappointment... it is a road we have traveled so many times and will continue to do so over the course of my life. It's a fact.  A fact that can so easily overwhelm me and I know it does him too.

I couldn't help but wonder if July 2, 2005 would have been different, wonder where would I have been today... wonder what sport would we be whisking Matthew off to after picking him up from school...  I just wondered.... as the tires kept rolling toward the medical facilities, my thoughts kept rolling with them.  I really wanted to stop but something about today, I couldn't.

As the doctor came in and we talked, he did the usual exam and injections, I had immense pain that hurt... physically hurt.  And friends, I got mad... yes, mad.  I squeezed the table as the steroid was going into my back and wanted to yell and scream out  I JUST WENT IN TO HAVE A BABY!  WHY WHY  WHY am I here almost 7 years later? AND WHY DON'T I HAVE MY BABY?

Complete pity party for a minute or three... and then I snapped out of it... I looked at sweet Ronnie sitting in the corner knowing he was anxious to touch something else when the doctor stepped out of the room (again) and through his soft blue eyes, I saw his pain too.  He hates to see me this way and I know that.  The pain that he has watched me endure has affected him too.  And I wish it were different.

Reality is... I am like the red bird I spoke of yesterday... I face strong winds, rain and chaotic storms in the physical realm, yet somehow God has given me the ability to fly, even with broken wings...

Today, as I fly, it hurts, but I must keep flying...

Pain produces within me a passion and with passion comes the eagerness and drive to create change within my own heart and the lives of others.

As we were getting into the elevator of the parking garage, we looked down and there was a penny... a penny from heaven!  (Thank you Matthew!)  I find pennies from heaven just when I need a gentle reminder God is taking care of me, my family & Matthew.

When we got home, I saw a big cheese grin from Will and my heart rejoiced within knowing that God has restored so much JOY to us through this awesome little guy!  He has a plan and I am just going to 'be still and know that He is God!'

Has anyone ever seen an injured bird being released on the cliff of a mountain?  There is a big gasp as the caretakers of this injured bird see the wings flap and the bird begin to fly. I am quite sure they are overcome with joy... it is a beautiful moment!  The bird is set free and can carry on doing what he is purposed to do... he may fly in pain, but he flies!

As I close today, I am grateful for my caretakers and for my wings... they may be broken, but God is still allowing me to fly!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Red Bird...

Well, today I was going to write Part 4 so I could finish up the 1st anniversary year of Facets of Life... but I don't have too many words today...  It's been rainy here, really rainy.  Flood waters are evident.  The wind has been so strong & powerful, almost knocking me over yesterday when I walked outside.

On the way to get Nate from school, this is the HWY covered in sand from the beach ~  
I am very aware of my surroundings.

I appreciate the quick glance I got at the red canary bird that just flew by me, he was flying against the wind & into the rain... which is precisely what I feel like I am doing sometimes. I am not sure where he was going, but he was going somewhere ~

Rough waters from the wind on the way home from NOLA

I wonder if he was tired when he got there.  I am.

I am tired, yet inspired.

One thing I noticed about the beautiful red bird is his presence, he was giving it everything he had & he was flying.

He was beautiful.

As noticed in the above photos, the wind has a way of shifting things... the sand, the water, & even my body when I walked outside.  It was hard to stand against the force that could take me down instantly.  If I would have not held on to something, I would have fallen...(& I have fallen plenty of times)

The wind can cause much chaos in the storm, displacement being almost inevitable.

The little red bird wanted to go somewhere, & he was going...  through the chaotic storms, the winds & the rains, I am inspired by the little red bird.  I want to go somewhere too, even in the storm, when the winds that surround me are displacing things, I want to remain unaffected & determined to fly, just like the beautiful red bird...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Part 3 ~

And once again, going to try & wrap up Part 1 & 2 today with Part 3!  Let's see if I can! ;)

The last week of July was VACATION!  My sisters & their families (minus 1 husband, he was working) and my husband & my boys & me (10 total)  ALL headed to Ft. Lauderdale for our big trip!  We stayed there overnight, got up bright & early the next day to head for the cruise ship that would drop us off in the Bahamas for 4 GLORIOUS, STRESS FREE, BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL & FUN FUN FUN DAYS!

Breakfast as we were setting sail... all 10 of us here!  My sister, her 2 sons, my other sister, her husband & son, of course, RW, me & our boys 
First of all, I had never been on a cruise ship (none of us, but my nephew had) and the first thing I was looking for was Capt. Stubbing & Julie, Isaac & Doc!  (Anybody??? LOL! )  Yes, in my head I was boarding THE LOVE BOAT & me and sistas proceeded to sing it all the way down the corridor as I spotted a blonde & would call her, Julie! (of course!) I found an Isaac, a Doc, but never saw my Capt. Stubbing!  Thankfully he was steering the ship... :)  We made a big to do waving as we pulled out of the port... the poor working men below us that were messing with the technical stuff on the dock were really forced to wave bye to us as though we were family ~  I got photos of them & their bewildered look... but I was convinced they would miss us! ;)

Sailing on... the most beautiful day... the water was so blue... royal blue!  Now y'all know there is always fun & games on a cruise... well, all they had to do was say HULA HOOP CONTEST & I was ALL OVER IT!  I always wanted to be in a hula hoop contest on a cruise ship! (yes, we have pictures!)  Well, I was one of the first in line, and Lynette joined me!  There I stood in my bathing suit (when they called for the contest I ran straight from the deck where we were tanning) and was holding a hula hoop- (keep in  mind my injuries... cannot feel my feet, the backs of my legs, and I could go on...) and I hadn't hula hooped in like forever!  BUT I was determined to do this! BRAVELY I started moving as the music started!  I looked around at the crowd & I could hardly hula hoop BUT there I was doing it! And oops, one by one, my fellow hula hoopers (losers) got knocked off!  Yes ma'am, even my sweet sister... (LOSER!)  :)  It was me and 2 others... omgoodness!  I was flipping out! But I was the next to go... okay, LOSER! But on the contrary, I was such a WINNER! I had know idea if I would fall or what would happen, but I wanted to LIVE & I just said if I fall or something else happens, I will never see these people again in my life, although you prob would have seen me because everyone was recording this!  I am sure a good fall in a chic in her bathing suit would have been pretty good for you -tube! Thank God, nothing happened, but a huge sense of accomplishment would set me up for the next FUN thing on the agenda! ~ A BEAUTY PAGEANT!

This pic, well, you just had to be there! :)

This is sis singing her talent! :)  

Yep, a beauty pageant!  Lynette was in the pageant & I went to the back of the ship so I could take pics & they needed one more person & pulled me up there... so it was once again me against sis... (not to mention 4 other beauties! :)  I laughed and laughed as we had to do a talent... I chose to sing... MISSISSIPPI GIRL by Faith Hill!  SO I grab the mic, & proceed to look around at all of the video cameras & belted out "A Mississippi girl don't change her name... just cause everybody knows her (pause) name?"  BOMB!  I totally forgot the words & when I said that my nephews on the front row were rolling they were laughing so hard, so I turned it around and started singing You Are My Sunshine! The crowd joined in & loved it! It was so fun... but for the remainder of the cruise & trip, I was asked to sing MS Girl while everyone would sing the line I messed up!  Laugh at my expense, it's okay, if it made you smile!  It was great fun & I  LOST!  And my beautiful sister beat me!  But totally okay with it, because I owned it in the hula hoop round! ;) LOL

In the Bahamas, we had the most awesome vacation ever!  I did a lot of bucket list things that I never imagined I could physically do... I even took windsurfing lessons! (I didn't have the strength to make it in the water, but for a split second I held the sail!)  We all took lessons & laughed so much as each of us took a shot at withstanding the strong wind with the sail! FUN!

Kayaking!  Oh how we all loved that! Especially when big sis flipped in knee high water!  We were tolling & had video to watch (and we did) over & over & over of that moment! Good times!

Snorkeling... another 1st for me.  I put on my gear & headed into the beautiful ocean along with RW, Nate & Todd.  Nate & Todd were way ahead of me & RW... I was freaking out!  (stepping on coral and seaweed) (when you cannot feel your feet or back of legs & have those big ugly shoes on, it just feels weird)  So, I made RW carry me out to the reef... yes, he had to swim with me on him.  (attached like a jellyfish!) He would say I am sinking & I would climb on him more. Probably dangerous, but I couldn't help it! I was  ninny, but had to snorkel... you know, bucket list! ;)  So we get to the reef & I decide I can see fish in aquariums without wearing big ugly yellow shoes so after a few minutes I wanted to go back.  I told RW & he, well, he was like... HUH??? (he knew I wasn't swimming back alone!)  SO I watched Nate loving this & said, Okay, gotta go!  RW so sweetly swam me back 1/2 way & stopped.  WHAT WHAT??? Why was he stopping?  He said "Lori, you can swim the rest of the way" - I looked at him through those unattractive yellow goggles & pulled my goggles  up & asked him if he was crazy.  He shook his head & said swim.  I said "Okay, but if I get bitten you are in trouble!"  I looked at the shore, I looked at RW & said, okay, I can do this!  I started swimming & swimming faster & faster & faster... I was getting close & when I thought whew I am close enough to walk in, I tried to stand up & well with the big ole ugly shoes and the large pieces of coral under me that I couldn't feel, guess what happened... can you imagine it... not to mention I was in knee deep water!  I fell... those doggone shoes!  It was hilarious! And I know the people on the beach were having a big time watching me try repeatedly to get up, fall down, get up, fall down.  I am telling you Jimmy Choo needs to make a "water sandal" then & only then will I ever wear another pair of those again, because at least then when I 'gracefully' came out the water I would have looked good!  It was crazy fun!

We ate & topped everything with coconut!  And ate & ate & ate!  And laughed & smiled & had the best time!  Will did the trapeze!  I wanted to do it sooooooooo bad but had my big interview in just a few days that I was worried I would hit the net & scratch my face (like Todd did! oops!)  Sorry Todd!  (Todd won the dance contest on the cruise & at our resort!) SO fun to watch him dance ~

I picked my first coconut on the beach early one morning! That was awesome too!  So many things I could tell  you about that trip- memories of a Lifetime, moments that are forever embedded in my heart & smiles that I will remember for my lifetime.

One very special moment~  Will & I were building a sandcastle & I was thinking how I wish Matthew was there... and how Matthew is what brought us to that place together (for we planned this trip when we scheduled my interview on The Balancing Act for  Facets of Life since we would be so close to the Bahamas)  It was an incredible moment... all of them were.  None of us will ever forget this trip! Or what would happen  next... stay tuned... Part 4 coming soon!

I knew I wouldn't be able to conclude with just 3 parts! :)  One more, I think!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Picking out flowers...

I know I should be working on Part 3... but my heart is stirred tonight and I cannot stop thinking about this...

We went to Michael's Craft Store today & the Easter decorations are beautiful!  Easter is my very favorite holiday! My oldest son was born on Easter morning, and for my obvious faith, Easter is especially important!

At the same time I get so excited to see the beautiful spring flowers, the tulips, the eggs decorated,  Happy Spring written on the wooded yard signs... I get  a lump in my throat wondering what shall I buy for the cemetery...  I walked around today, and my mind wandered around as I looked at the pastel colors, the peaceful colors, but my heart was wrestling with peace... I rounded the corner and there stood a gentleman, probably in his 40's... he was taking his time picking out the most beautiful pink flowers, some yellow, and white...  My heart sensed where they were going...  I walked to the next aisle to try and escape the sad face of this gentleman, but there he was again, studying the flowers in his hand, I could almost hear his ask himself if she would like these...  It broke my heart.

And tonight, I lay in bed thinking about all of the precious people that will be updating the decor at the cemetery that their loved one was laid to rest, and I am sad.  Sad because I wish that gentleman were bringing his wife, mother or daughter flowers home or to work... but he wasn't.  Sad because I wish Matthew would be here to find eggs with his brothers, but he's not.  Heartbroken for those that are experiencing this...

Spring is here, butterflies are everywhere, flowers are blooming and the bumblebees are driving my dog crazy.  God please help us, help us to have peace within our hearts as the season transitions... and please allow us to have compassion in our hearts for others... for that Dear Jesus is what makes us willing to lay our pain down at your feet trusting you with it and having faith that you will give us the courage to go on so that we can make a difference in the lives of others.

Heavy heart tonight for those who are picking out flowers...

Love to all...