Monday, September 30, 2013

Don't "waste" the fragrance...

Don't waste this...don't waste that...


We are so trained to not waste things, electricity, food, time, you know things like that.  And I am on board with those totally.  But sometimes I let the "not wasting" state of mind roll over and take away some pretty simple pleasures.

Sometimes I even think I am "wasting" my time if I am laying down for a few minutes when the laundry needs to be put away, when in reality, if I am resting, why would I consider that wasting my time?

Or how about this one, "I don't want to waste this on today, I am waiting for a special occasion..."


I am not a drinker, but I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone say they are saving a bottle of wine for a special occasion, which leads me to the honest assumption that if I were a drinker, I would have a stock pile of bottles just waiting for something to be special enough to use it for.

For Pete's sake, I have been waiting for fourteen years to use our you are totally thinking I would be saving all of my wine, huh?


Fourteen years, and the beautiful china. has never been used!


What exactly am I waiting for anyway?

Special occasions?  Well, I have had fourteen wedding anniversaries and brought home two beautiful boys to raise in my home and why wasn't the china broken out?  Is that not special enough?

Of course it was!!!

But I am still waiting...after all, year fifteen is right around the corner...Sigh!

Even writing that makes me cringe.  I am determined to feed my family on that china now!  Even if it is pizza and tater tots!

The other day, I was home by myself and my sister purchased a new fall candle for me.  I was cleaning and I started to light it and my first thought was "Don't waste it (the fragrance) now because I am the only one home.  The candle will only burn so many hours and shouldn't I burn it when my home is filled with people that will enjoy the fragrance too?"

Why did I react that way?  Why wouldn't it be okay for me to enjoy the fragrance while home alone?

After that troubling thought, I forced myself to light the candle because I would enjoy the fragrance and I was worth it.

That triggered this post...

Why did I think I was going to waste the candle on myself?


Why do we not use our fancy perfume unless we go somewhere? (I do use my fancy perfume on my gloomy days though!)


So many things came to my mind when I was thinking about this and have made me more determined than ever to really enjoy the fragrances of daily life, even when I am by myself.

If I want to use a candle or a perfume to fragrance the air, or the turn the lamp in the corner on just to make the atmosphere pretty for myself, then by golly, I am not wasting any of it.  And I will enjoy it!

These things matter because we matter. 

I think we short change ourselves from some simple pleasures in life by thinking we are "wasting the fragrances" sometimes.  I know I do.

And I don't want to do that anymore.

Know what I mean?

Don't let today's fragrance be wasted!  Don't wait until tomorrow or when your house is full of guests to light your best smelling candle!  Enjoy it today!

And for Pete's sake, don't wait fourteen years to use your china!

Today is a gift and you may not have tomorrow!  
So today is special enough!  And you are special enough!

*I am making the declaration today that this week I am pulling my china out of the packaging and going to set a fabulous and beautiful table for my family to dine on!  (stay tuned, for that will be a blog post in itself!)

PS...My entire house smells like fall right now and I am the only one home enjoying the fragrance and that is more than okay!  I have learned my lesson!  Now, go light your candles!  :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

dirt on my hands and I miss him...

This evening we went to the cemetery to clean up a little.

It is really an awful thing to have to do, mother a grave site, but one that I have done now for over eight years and one I will do until I die.

When we got there, I noticed something was missing and I got really aggravated.  I walked around looking for  it, and it was not to be found.  Sigh.

We have had many things taken from there through the years and each time, it hurts my heart.

I get mad, really mad too...

As I weeded, I got even more aggravated that anyone would take anything from anyone's sacred place.

Especially my son's.

I came home and ranted in a short Facebook status and within ten minutes had to take it down.  Ranting about someone stealing from the cemetery wasn't bad to do, but it didn't make my heart feel any better than it did before my rant.  So I checked my heart and deleted my status and followed that with a brief explanation and an apology for my rant.

I know this happens so much.  People steal from cemeteries.  That thought is just disturbing, isn't it?

Disturbed and frustrated, when I got home, I walked inside to wash my hands and I looked down at them and they were so dirty from pulling weeds.  I had dirt under every fingernail and patches of dirt dried on my hands.

Before I washed the dirt off, I had a "mama moment" and got really sad.  These same hands rubbed my belly when Matthew kicked me, these hands held him close to my heart the day I said goodbye and now these hands weed the dirt his body is buried under.

I got sad.

Just being real and it hurts my heart.

It hurts my heart that I had dirt on my hands cleaning the grave where my son is buried.

It hurts my heart that I couldn't protect him from death and that I cannot protect his special things at the cemetery.

I close tonight kind of numb that I know this isn't the last time something will get stolen or the last time I will have dirt on my hands.

Love to all,

Matthew's Mama

PS- I miss him.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Still a "Mother," after child loss, title me this...

This morning, I was thinking about moms, ALL the moms, past present and future.

Then I started thinking about all of the former presidents and beauty pageant winners. WHAT?  I know, right?  

Stick with me for a minute and I'll finish my thought process...

When a president's term is over, he is no longer active as President of the United States anymore, yet he carries his title for life, the rest of  his life.  Long after he is gone, we acknowledge and respect his title associated with his name, as we should.  

When Miss America's reign comes to an end and she passes the crown to someone else, she may step out of the spotlight or off of her platform, yet she carries her title for the rest of her life.

I just googled Miss America 1963 and there she was, Jacquelyn Mayer.  It's pretty amazing, yeah?  I think so.  Google any year since the pageant began, and there she will be, another beauty that is forever etched into our history.

These are just two references that happen to be a great part of our history, but these are also two examples of something that goes a lot deeper than politics or pageants in my thoughts today.

Titles...this is about titles.

When you are expecting a baby, you are a mother.

When you have a baby, you are a mother.

When you lose your baby or your child, (no matter what age) you are STILL a mother.

You have the RIGHT to bear the title that sometimes the world strips away from you...

Your reign never don't just step off of the platform of motherhood and continue life as if your child never existed. (no matter what age)

You don't pass your tiara on to the next lady in line and move on...

Yet politicians and pageant winners do, (respectively)...and they still get to keep their titles.

And we respect and admire (okay, most of them...) them.  Well, regardless if we respect or admire them, the title stays.

It may be former or past before their name, but forever, they are known as what they each desired to become.

To become President of the United States or Miss America, diligent work is involved for many years, a hunger and desire is within their hearts to achieve their goal.  I won't pretend I know any of the "real" work involved into becoming either, but I do know the "real" work involved in becoming a mother...I know the desire to become a mother and I know the desire to stay a mother, to keep my title for my lifetime...

Do you see the parallel here?

I have two boys here that call me mom and I am so grateful, but I always miss that one little voice that I should be hearing...I am his mother, too, for my lifetime.

Many mothers that do not have any living children are never acknowledged today as a mother and that is sad to me.  I believe that is why so many find comfort within our baby loss community, because they desire their child to be recognized and remembered and they desire the title as a mother that they have worked so hard to achieve...and they deserve both and then some.

Motherhood begins with love and love begins at the beginning... 

Love begins at conception, but upon death, love should not be expected to end...

Mothers who carried their babies just a few short weeks, nine months, who have children that lived only a few moments or a full life but died before them, these are ALL mothers that are mothers for the rest of their lifetimes.  

You don't have to see a crown on someone's head to acknowledge that she was once a Miss America.  You know?

I love beauty pageants and am certainly not bashing them nor am I disrespecting political offices of any kind, I am simply stating that I wish that ALL mothers could maintain their titles that they so very much deserve for their lifetimes too.

©2011-2013 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Where I Need To Be...

I was on my way to get Nate from school and tears began to stream down my face when I crossed over a bridge...  and grief, as it does out of the clear blue, ( for no particular reason) was my companion as I finished the last few miles.  (I know many of you know what I mean!)

I used to try and not give in to the grief, but I have learned to embrace those moments... those tears are for my son... those tears are what I have left... and I have accepted when those moments come, that I need to just let it happen.  Let grief breathe over me and let the tears clear my hazy vision. 

I wondered HOW in the world have I lived over eight years without my son?  How???

As I cried, I knew the answer... the only answer.


Tears, pain, heartache, grief, scars, burying our son, losing hope and finding it over and over again serve as permanent markers and reminders of our lives over the last eight years.

That pain, led me to places I didn't want to go sometimes... and back to places that hurt me really bad.

But when I was ready, that pain led me to share Matthew with the world by taking my friend's advice and doing Random Acts of Kindness in Matthew's honor.

Then I wrote my book, Facets of Life, in memory of the most precious baby boy in the world... with cheeks that I would do anything to be able to kiss right now.

And  as I journeyed on, I became a speaker and an advocate for hurting families...

Then I began this blog...

and that journey led me to Still Standing Magazine...

I have survived over eight years without my son... it hasn't been easy... it's been the hardest thing I have ever done, to persevere, to face my fears, to find my faith again... but sweet friends, there is something so beautiful in my heart when I know that as I journey every day with you all, I am remembering my sweet Matthew and reaching out to hurting families that are on this journey too.

Over eight years, and  my tears still flow as if it were yesterday...

But my heart knows that it has been a very long eight years since I have kissed those precious cheeks hello and goodbye.

If you are on this journey too, I encourage you to take your pain and allow it to funnel a passion within you... find a way to honor, remember and cherish the life that lives on within your heart, always.

Where there is pain, there is a passion... where there is passion, there is purpose.  Where there is purpose, there is a need...  someone needs you today to have the courage to step out and share your heart, your story, your pain.  And in that, healing begins...

Had I not allowed myself to be vulnerable to share my pain and my heart, my journey above, would have been quite different.  And perhaps I wouldn't be here with you now.

As Matthew's mama, I  know I am right where I need to be... 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A very HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY Birthday ~ Duck Dynasty style

Our little Will requested a Duck Dynasty theme birthday party this year!  It was his seventh birthday and also his "golden birthday!"  I wanted it to be so special!  And it sure was!

I have put together some highlights of our day!

This party was one of the best I have ever planned ~ and it was the first party my kids and my husband were so active in the party planning stages!  *That was great!  But what I enjoyed the most was seeing the three of them outside together making the duck blind...those boys will never forget that, nor will they ever forget the memories made, neither will I!

This was also the least expensive party I have ever planned or given!  Yes sir, that was great too!  I also learned how to paint camouflage!  I learned a lot...

If you are in the party planning stages of your own, take a may be surprised at how easy it is to pull this off!

The Weatherly's don't  know how to make duck calls, but we sure know how to make memories!

The party was about as authentic "Duck Dynasty" as we could make it. (minus the beaver in the sink or fresh frog legs on my table!)  Wigs, face paint, camo, bandannas  beards, guns, targets, duck blind, duck decoys, jambalaya, sweet potato pies, (actually pumpkin, couldn't find sweet potato pies, and okay, okay, I surely don't know how to bake one!) banana pudding, mallow dogs, ham "sammiches," potato salad, baked beans and sweet tea were on the menu! 

But most importantly, we had FAITH, FAMILY & FRIENDS! I am SO SO SO grateful for that! Happy Happy Happy!!!

Here we go!  Hope you enjoy!!!

The Weatherly family "pre-transformation" into the Robertson family ~
Ronnie, Lori, Nathan & Will 
The Weatherly family after their transformation into the Robertson family ~

"Phil, Ms. Kay, Jase & Willie"

Party favors included a Duck Dynasty tea cup, a bandanna and a beard on a stick

Little Will as "Willie"

RW as "Phil"

Lori as "Ms.Kay"

Nathan as "Jase"

duck blind

targets for shooting across the creek

family photo pre-party 

Will hanging out in his duck blind, pre-party

Duck Commander War Paint station

camo cake with camo frosting topped with frogs, of course

Will getting his Uncle Eddie's face ready

Poor Paw Paw, Will got the eye  black for him!  

FUN stuff!

time to shoot those targets!

serious business here 

Our dog Dixie looking for game 

Paw Paw and Pop enjoying the shade 

Here comes the birthday boy to check out the targets

Corn hole, anyone?  Of course!  We wouldn't dare have a Duck Dynasty party without a little competition!

Pop and Nana 

Yes, we shot it, something anyway!  

Maw Maw getting some action
The other "Willie" and "his bride, Korie"
RW and Pop enjoying some father son "friendly" competition

Guess that duck call really works!  ;)

They got the ducks!!! 

Happy Happy Happy Birthday to our Little Will!!!

Buddy patiently waiting on some game too! 

One very "happy, happy, happy"boy...

And that makes us happy, happy, happy too!!!   That's a wrap!  

Thank you Jesus for our faith, our family and our friends!  And thank you for giving us this wonderful time together to make the most amazing memories!  And God, thank you so very much for our Little Will and the pure  JOY that he has brought into our lives!  We are grateful and blessed...and "that's a fact Jack!"

And thank you God for The Robertson family...

For more information on our story, please visit

©2011-2013 All Rights Reserved