Monday, July 30, 2012


Way back in the day, back when Facebook was still for college kids and Myspace was actually kinda cool, this was my profile picture. ---->

A local musician named Andy sent me a message one day, saying that he liked my boots. He invited me to come watch one of his shows. It was a good hour drive from my house in light traffic, and well, I'm lazy, so I didn't go.

He continued to message me on a regular basis. He was really funny, and it turned out that we had a lot in common. We ended up becoming really good friends.

After almost a year of texting and talking online, I finally got brave enough to go to one his shows.

It was a Wednesday. June 6. At a biker bar called Dexter's. 

When I climbed out of my truck, Andy was pulling his equipment out of his Jeep. He asked me to hold his tuner for a minute, and he wrapped me up in one of the biggest hugs ever. It instantly felt like we had been the best of friends for years.

When we walked inside, I felt a bit out of place. I was a tiny young country girl in a mini skirt and cowboy boots, and I was surrounded by bikers with leather pants and grungy beards. Andy put his stuff on stage, and then walked around to introduce me to every person in the bar. At one point, he even picked me up to make sure that people saw my "awesome boots".

It turned out that most of these rough looking bikers were mostly policemen and firemen and a few others that just liked to ride together and enjoy some cold beer. I was the only girl that had ever come to see Andy, so I was called "Andy's girlfriend" from that night forward.
Terry and Andy. I swiped this from Andy's old Myspace account.

The owner of the bar, Terry, came out to meet me. He greeted me with a smile, a big hug, and a beer. He was the only one that called me by name.

Terry had a voice much like Johnny Cash, and he loved to jump up on stage when he had a chance. This night in particular, he and Andy started belting out gospel songs, and the crowd went crazy over it.

By the end of the night, another lifelong friendship had started.

Over the next few months, I went to almost every show Andy did in the area, especially when they were at Dexter's. Every week, Terry greeted me with his big smile and even bigger hugs, and I sat at the same bar stool enjoying his fun stories. He worked with the Police Dept for 26 years before getting into the restaurant/bar business, so he always had an interesting story. (He retired from the force with high honors and also had several business and community service awards, just for the record.)

I was usually the youngest person there, and although I didn't usually drink more than one beer, Terry took it upon himself to always make sure I was safe. He made sure no one bothered me inside. He made sure no one followed me to my truck. Several nights I drove Andy home, so he made sure which way we were going, just in case anything happened.

When I left home, those late nights with those great friends were one of the hardest things to walk away from, second only to the kids that I didn't want to miss growing up. I've always been one of those people that gets along great with everyone but only has a small handful of friends, the kind that are more like family. Terry and Andy (and Randy and John, the other two that Andy always played with) were my family, and learning to live a life without spending time them made me physically hurt.

About 5 hours ago, Terry was killed while out on his motorcycle. I found out just after it happened, and I've been sitting here, wide awake, ever since. Part of me can't sleep because I'm in shock. The other part of me doesn't want to sleep because I don't want to wake up and find out this is real.

The thing that really strikes me in all of this isn't how quickly life changes or how you never know when your last day is gonna be or how you should hug the people you love a little tighter. (I've been reading a lot of those sentiments on Terry's Facebook page. The truth is I'm all too familiar with this, and that kinda stuff just irritates me any more, even though I know they all mean well.) It's the painful realization that my small circle of friends is growing smaller and smaller.

I knew that I would never be able to move back home to the same life that I left. That's to be expected. But I never expected to eventually move back to a life without my friends. Without those friends. I never expected to see so many of them die.

Terry had a huge heart, and he went out of his way to make this world a better place for so many people. He was truly one of the greatest people I've ever known. Please keep his family in your prayers this week. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Yesterday was my birthday.

I told Bryan earlier in the week that I wanted to get my progesterone shot a day early so that I didn't have to spend my birthday at the clinic. Doc said small trips were okay, as long as I took it easy, so I was looking forward to a break from the house. I wanted a pedicure and a picnic at the beach.

We had breakfast, and Bryan said he needed to get some homework done. I'd been having contractions for 2 days, so I was content with laying down and waiting. I got bored. And then restless. So I put a load of laundry in the washer and I cleaned both bathrooms. (That wasn't the best idea. My back still hurts.)

He was still doing homework and completely oblivious to anything else going on in the house. I was getting frustrated and I was in a lot of pain. I could feel the tears coming. So instead of just saying something to him, I went back to bed. Then I got pissed that I was in bed on my birthday. Being pissed off made the back pain and contractions hurt even worse.

When I finally woke up a few hours later, I was still mad, but I wasn't hurting as bad. It was too late to get a pedicure. I wasn't even in the mood for a picnic anymore. I just laid there, wondering why it was so hard to just get a small break from the house, just an hour or two.

Just about the time I was about to break down in tears again, I felt the little guy start to move. When he wakes up, he usually kicks really hard and then stretches out as far as my belly with let him. But this time, when I felt him, it was just a soft nudge. And then another and another. It felt like he was petting me, almost like he was trying to cheer me up. It was amazing. And it made me realize that I'm really gonna miss being pregnant, especially the quiet time I get with bed rest.

We're 34 weeks this week. I didn't think we would make it this far. I'm so ready to be done, but I'm not ready for this to be over.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I feel like I need to write, but my brain feels like a giant blob of goo.

Aside from learning how to navigate Photoshop a little better, I haven't really done anything productive throughout this last month of bed rest. I suppose productivity isn't the goal here, but seriously, my brain hurts from lack of use.

I want to get up and scrub my entire house, just for something more stimulating than Facebook and bad tv. (And maybe because Bryan hasn't been helping out with it much, so it's driving me crazy.)

I'll try to do a real post soon....when I can do a better job of stringing together something intelligent and interesting.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dear Andy.

Dear Andy,

Two years ago today, I watched my little Lilly Grace die in my bathroom floor. I have a hard time believing it has really been that long. Sometimes I feel like the amount of time that has passed is more unbelievable than the fact that my child is no longer here. Where does all that time go?

I'll be turning 26 in a couple weeks. It's yet another year that you won't be here to celebrate with me. The last time I saw you, you had just turned 26. (And just so you know, I still want to punch you in the face, birthday boy.) That was 5 years ago.

I've been thinking about the last 5 years a lot lately. I look at pictures from that last summer with you, and I can't believe how much has changed. I miss that fiesty country girl that lived and loved with reckless abandon. I miss that loud obnoxious laugh and that huge smile. I try to find her in the mirror, but I only catch glimpses on rare occasion.

Random pictures of the girl I used to be.

When we talked about where this adventure might take me, I never dreamed life would be like this. I never imagined you would be gone. I never imagined myself being married...and especially not being divorced. I definitely never saw babies in the picture. I thought I was giving my gypsy heart room to run. Not getting ready to see it shatter to a million pieces.

I guess when we set our sights on the future, none of us ever account for falling short or changing directions or just flat out failure. It makes the adventure less inviting.


I hate that word, but I have been feeling it a lot the last 5 years. I don't remember ever feeling like such a failure as I did when I signed my divorce papers. And then I lost Lilly. And then I lost Brake. And then I fought hard, but I lost my motivation at work. I guess work is a little more than lost motivation. I loved the Navy and all the adventures I've seen so far, and I was looking forward to several more. But I lost respect for the people I worked for, I had a nervous breakdown on the flight line, and I gave up. I didn't have it left in me to keep fighting and trying so hard when my best was never enough. My failure was thrown in my face, drilled into my head, over and over again by people who didn't understand.

Failure should be my name. Or at least that's how it feels sometimes.

I've done a lot of thinking and soul searching these past couple weeks on bed rest. (Probably more thinking than is actually good for me.) I'm really anxious for this little one to get here. And terrified of what comes after his arrival. But more than anything, I'm realizing how truly unhappy I am. I'm realizing all the things that I have tried to push aside or bury instead of facing them. Deep under layers upon layers of time, dust, pain, and foolish pride.

The big things are always there, lurking in the shadows. It's the little things that are getting me. Little things that have been pushed aside so long they've become bigger things. Most of them seem to be centered around my relationship with Bryan. And my lack of close friends in this area. At first I thought it was just the hormones and stress of bed rest, but I really think it's a lot deeper than that. His negativity. His mean jokes. His I'm a man so I'm better than you in every way attitude. His entire day video game marathons.

I know that we are both different people than we were when we first started dating. Change is to be expected, especially with all that we've been through. But I think we have become too different. I can honestly say if I had met this guy that he is now, we probably wouldn't have even been friends, much less dated. I'm losing sight of what brought us together because I'm not seeing or feeling it anymore. I love him. I really do. And I try to keep reminding myself that it will get better. But he is angry and blames the entire world for the bad things that have happened to him, and I know in my heart that nothing will get better until he deals with that.

I hate this. Part of me feels like I should have seen it coming and that I should just get out while I can. The other part of me can't stand the thought of giving up...or of taking the little one away from his daddy.

I don't know what to do, Andy.

I want to make things better. For me. For him. For us. For our little one. I want to believe that things can and will get better. I want to believe in those love stories I grew up hearing from the old folks. I want to believe that I can have one of those too.

More than anything, I just want to be happy again. Whatever it takes. I just want to be happy.

I miss you.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I don't feel like writing tonight, but I said I would share some pictures soon.

Most of them are of the bedroom and crib. And a couple belly shots.

I really need to put up curtains.

Close up of the new bed set. (FYI: a great way to piss off a pregnant woman is to tell her that wrinkles in the sheets don't matter. I could choke a person over wrinkles in my sheets.)

Flowers on the dresser. And Brake's urn.

Crib and book shelf.

I think this is my most favorite blanket ever. From bankiebaby..

I wanted a somewhat subtle way to incorporate some birds. I love how it turned out.  From SimpleShapes.

Close up of the collage seen in the first picture.


More books.

Bryan threw a childish fit over this damn thing and had me crying in the middle of Walmart. I hate pregnancy hormones.

There is a matching quilt for this, but it was expensive and I'm a tightwad.

Bed rest is a family event now.

I apologize for a bra shot, but I have zero motivation to wear clothes. (31 weeks, by the way.)

The slight bulge on the right is little guy's butt.

More books. Amazon and are my best friends during bed rest.

Football stuff from his Uncle Daniel.
The hydrangea bush that lasted until January is in full bloom again. (This thing is in a lot of posts.)

I'm having some maternity pictures done soon, if little guy stays put long enough. Just waiting on my dress to come in. Maybe by then I'll be out of this weird mood.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

An emotional week.

It's been quite an emotional week.

This bed rest stuff hasn't made it any easier. I feel like I'm trapped inside walls that are closing in, closer and tighter every day. I open all the windows and doors to let the breeze in, but the air is still stifling and stale. I move from the bed to the couch to the porch and back to the bed in an endless cycle of restlessness and discomfort.

Bryan's been reading some of the pregnancy books for dads. He's started asking more questions, especially about delivery. I think he's getting nervous, but he doesn't want to admit it. He won't take simple answers. I suppose in the big picture that's a good thing. But right now it's so damn frustrating. We've had these conversations for two years. Why I feel like my body failed me. Why the hospital was so traumatizing. Why I'm so afraid of interventions and surgeries. If we've talked about it before, why wasn't he listening? Why doesn't he remember any of this?

He asked a lot of questions specifically about labor with Brake last year. I tried to let go of the frustration because he never asks about that night. He doesn't like to talk about it. Somewhere in the midst of questions and answers and trying to be calm, he got quiet and turned away from me. I asked if he was okay, trying not to the push the issue. "I never knew he was alive when he was born. Does that mean he was in pain?"

It completely floored me. I had no idea what to say. I had no idea that he didn't know. He was so distracted trying to get the medics in the house, trying to make sure that I was okay. He never saw him until he followed the ambulance to the hospital. He never asked questions, so I never thought about the possibility that he didn't know.

My little brother got married Wednesday. I've grown used to missing things. Graduations. Holidays. Birthdays. Most of them just feel like little things now. But this. This was a big thing. And I was devastated having to miss it.

Thursday was F's birthday. She would have been 25. Today marks 6 years since they pulled her life support. If I close my eyes, I still get goose bumps from the sound of my dad's voice...I still feel the tears and snot all over my face that Sunday morning in church...I still smell the dirt in the jeans that I was still wearing from the previous night's rodeo. It's been 6 years, but it's still so unbelievable...even more so than the death of my babies.

I sent Bryan out tonight for a poker night with the guys. He needed a break from the house. And I needed a break from him. We haven't been getting along very well, and I needed time to myself. I turned some music on, but it didn't take very long for the house to be too quiet. Even the best music can't drown out a restless silence. I got bored. And then I got lonely. And then I started thinking, which is never a good thing, especially after a week like this.

I got a random idea to log into my old MySpace account. I kept it up for a while just to maintain contact with a few certain people. I haven't used it in years though. I don't think I've so much as looked at it since my divorce. I opened the mailbox, and right there on the front page was a message from Andy asking if I was in TN. My stomach lurched so hard I thought I was gonna puke. I'm pretty sure the message was actually from his mom, but that doesn't make it feel any better. Just about the time I calmed myself down, I started seeing messages to and from my ex husband, way back before things got so bad.

The divorce is still such an incredibly hard subject for me. I should be over it by now. But I'm not. Not completely. I married my best friend, and I thought I would spend my entire life growing old with him. I don't like to admit it, but I miss him. I miss the awesome friend he was before we got married. I miss that newlywed innocence...and that feeling of being on top of the world with an awesome relationship and an amazing job and a life that was going somewhere. I'm happy with my life right now. I love Bryan, I love my babies, and I wouldn't give either of them up for anything. But seeing that tonight was still a pretty hard slap in the face. And it reopened some nasty wounds.

I need to go to bed, but I just don't think sleep is coming tonight.....