For Better Or For Worse

Today, we celebrate 15 years of marriage.  I look back on that day 15 years ago and life was blissful.  I remember thinking that mine and Dennis’ romance was a fairytale.  We were so in love…..deeply committed and had our whole life ahead of us (what was left of it anyway, being that we married older than most).  Other than our jobs and paying our bills, we had no responsibility.  Life was good…..easy almost.  THEN, we added Hannah to the mix.  A blessing and a crash course in turmoil (emotional, physical, spiritual and mental) all at the same time.  We learned from the day that Hannah was born and the 11 years to follow the true meaning of those sacred vows we took 15 years ago.

Is marriage easy….NO!  Is it fun?  Sometimes, but not always.  Do we argue, YEP!  Am I always right?  Of course….Hee Hee!  In all seriousness, life has been hard.  Marriage has been hard.  Parenting has been REALLY hard, but you know what?  It is worth it.  Do we get grouchy with each other?  Yes…..of course.  But, you know what I have learned?  You take the bad times and your bad moods out on the one you love the most.  It is a sad and true fact.  There is no one I am more comfortable with than Dennis.  He can make me crazy and I am sure I do the same to him, but at the end of the day, he is my #1, my best friend, my confidant, my biggest encourager and the only person who can make me laugh in the hardest of times.  Life is seriously a roller coaster for us…..not so much in our marriage but with Hannah and it is so hard to balance taking care of her and doing things for ourselves and our marriage.  It is a constant struggle to balance and I will be honest, I have failed miserably at it most of the time.  There are many times I have thought that it is too hard to find balance and Dennis gets pushed to the back burner.  That isn’t the right thing to do, but sometimes it is all I can do.  Does our marriage suffer because of it?  Absolutely it does, and then we have to step back, re-evaluate and try to do it better.  Is our life together the way I envisioned it 15 years ago as I walked down that aisle to become his wife?  NOPE!  He and I had different visions for our future (even though we didn’t know it at the time) and we hit some bumps in the road, but we came out of those bumps stronger together and now those once different visions are the same.

Today is a day we celebrate…..marriage should be celebrated!  It is hard to keep one together, especially with the society we live in.  You have to continually invest in each other and that is hard.  I will be honest, there are days I don’t want to be the wife and mother that I am.  I want to be selfish and live for myself.  I don’t want to cook and clean.  I don’t want to “answer” to anyone (even though for the record, I don’t “answer” to Dennis) but when you are married you can’t just live for yourself; you have to consider your partner in everything.

Making someone happy temporarily is the easy part but forever is a long time.  You get on each other’s nerves.  You want different things.   It is a balancing act and one that I am not good at.  I admit it!  I do believe in those vows we took….better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and in health, forsaking ALL others until death do us part.  I don’t take those vows lightly…..they mean something to me.  How, you might ask, being that I have been divorced?  Well, because of that divorce they mean even more now.  The last thing that I ever want to go through again is another divorce.  When I made those vows to Dennis they had even more of a meaning to me because of that divorce.  I never want to be in that position again and I honestly would never have made those vows again if I didn’t think I could keep them.

Bottom line…..marriage is hard, but worth it.  To find that person that makes you laugh, cry, scream, shout, happy, crazy, smile……I still get excited when he pulls in the driveway in the evenings after work.  I still can’t wait for that kiss when he walks in the door and I still look forward to date nights (even though they don’t happen often).  Our love is stronger than ever and I am so thankful for that.  Life is hard.  Marriage is hard.  Actually, we have said many times Life.Just.Sucks but at least we have each other to walk this journey with.  I am so very thankful for that and I am so very thankful for the last 15 years of love, friendship, loyalty, honesty, and sacrifice that we both have made.

Happy Anniversary Dennis……in some ways it feels like just yesterday and in other ways it feels like a lifetime ago that we said “I do.”  Fact is, I would say “I do” all over again……I love you!

August 31,2001....seems like a lifetime ago!  Yes, I was a blonde, but not naturally!  HA!

August 31,2001….seems like a lifetime ago! Yes, I was a blonde, but not naturally! HA!

Until next time……..

What I Am Striving For

I am a work in progress; far from perfect and a very long way to go.  In fact, most likely, I will never even come close to being the woman, wife, mom, daughter, sister or friend that I should be.  I fail daily and there are many days that I allow my failures to define me and bring me down.  I am not always happy.  I don’t always have a smile on my face and I don’t always say and do the right things; but it isn’t for lack of trying.  I am always trying to better myself and I think as long as I keep trying and striving, even if I don’t succeed; at least it proves I haven’t given up…….

I was cruising around on the internet the other day looking for some new decor for my kitchen and dining room that we just remodeled.  I was on Hobby Lobby’s website (I love that store) and a sign popped out to me.  It was a scripture found in Proverbs.  It said:



If you read all of Proverbs Chapter 31 it talks about what it means to be a “Virtuous Woman.”  A wife and a mother and how we should conduct ourselves.  In verse 28 it says:  “Her children rise up and call her blessed.  Her husband also, and he praises her.  I will be honest…..I feel undeserving of that.  I don’t always conduct myself in the manner of Proverbs 31; but it isn’t because I don’t want to.  Verses 25-26 really stuck out to me when I saw it displayed on the sign at Hobby Lobby.

She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.  HELLO TAMARA!  STRENGTH through the difficult times and LAUGHTER without FEAR!  WISE WORDS with KINDNESS…….WOW!  I have a LONG way to go!  HA!  I bought that sign!  I hung it in my bathroom.  Every day when I wake up I now see it as a reminder of what I am striving for.  Strength, dignity, laughter without fear.  Wise words and kindness.  That is what I want for myself.  I want others to see past the brokenness.  Past the heartache.  Past the grieving and see a woman who is strong.  A woman who laughs without fear and a woman who chooses only wise words and speaks kindly to everyone.  This is my new motto.  This is what I am striving for.  Will I fail?  Yeppers!  But, I will keep trying until I get it right.  I guess when I die, if I could leave any legacy, it would be this one.  I have a lot of work to do!

Until next time……….

I Miss You

Dear Grandpa,

I think about you daily, but today, even throughout the busyness of the day I thought about you even more than usual.  Six years ago today you left us.  Six years ago today a piece of my heart was ripped out.  Six years ago today I had to say goodbye to the most incredible, loving and sweetest man I have ever known.  My heart still aches and I still shed tears because the loss of you seems just as real today as it did that day six years ago.

Today has been a difficult day for me as a mom.  Actually, this has been a really hard week.  I wish you were here.  I wish I could hear your voice one more time telling me how much you loved me and what a good mom I was.  It meant something coming from you.  Grandpa, my heart aches……I try so hard to put a smile on each day.  I try so hard to remember that life could be worse and for others, it is.  Life is just hard and I never thought I would long for Heaven like I do.  What makes Heaven so much sweeter is that you are there.  I miss your voice and it breaks my heart because I have almost forgotten the sound of it.  I miss your singing and your joy.  Your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were so very fortunate to have you.  I am sad for those that didn’t have the chance to meet you because just like ALL of us, they would have loved and adored you.  You were the glue to our family.  You were the cornerstone, the foundation, the rock, the stability.  I miss you as I know, we all do.

Hannah prays for you still every night.  She knows you live in Heaven with Jesus but it doesn’t stop her from praying for you.  You had her heart just like you had mine.  My heart is breaking tonight and though my tears I am remembering you and I am anxiously awaiting the day when I see you again.  I wish I could have one more chance to tell you how much I love you, how special you were to me and the impact you made on my life.  I know you are happy.  I know you wouldn’t come back if you could.  I can’t wait for the day we are together again…..I can’t wait for a hug from the best Grandpa in the world.  I can’t wait to hear you sing once again.

Six years ago today I said goodbye to you…….but my hope in Christ means it wasn’t a forever goodbye…..I will see you again and for that I am so very thankful.

I love you Grandpa……..

My favorite picture of Grandpa and Hannah.  Oh, how he loved my little girl and she loved him!

My favorite picture of Grandpa and Hannah. Oh, how he loved my little girl and she loved him!


Until next time……..

Random Ramblings

Here is another installment of my Random Ramblings or as my friend Tim calls it…..”The Daily Captain’s Log!”  HA!  You Star Trek fans will understand that!

  • It has been a difficult week with Hannah
  • Doctors appointments so far have been heart-breaking and difficult for this mama!  We have received some results and will be awaiting others over the next 3-4 weeks…..some of which I already have a “gut-feeling” about and it shatters my heart.
  • I may or may not have had to get Dennis to come outside at 9:30 last night as I arrived home from Publix and Petsmart because I couldn’t get the new truck into the garage.  He may or may not have looked at me like I was crazy and he may or may not have asked me if he will always have to pull the truck in the garage.
  • In my defense that truck is HUGE and the garage seems so much smaller now.
  • I love the new truck though because there is so much room……I can do more shopping now and load it up!  HA!  Hope Dennis skips over this bullet point.
  • My BFF Tim got my new dining room wood floors down and took the spindles out of the openings between the dining room, kitchen and entrance foyer.  He is like the best handy man on the planet.  Now he will install the wood floors in my back hallway, fix the attic door, replace the spindles on the porch that are rotten and whatever else I can find for him to do.  I think I want to hire him full-time to just hang out with me every day too!
  • Every time Tim walks back and forth to go outside he passes Hannah and each time she yells, “Hey Mr. Tim.”  Tim says “Hi Hannah.”  They are beginning to sound like a broken record!  HA!
  • Life is hard in some ways and makes me want to cry.  Then in other ways it is good and I smile.  I guess it is better to have the good and bad instead of just the bad, huh?
  • I have a blog brewing in my head but I can’t put it in words…..not yet anyway.
  • It amazes me the amount of criticism people give who have never walked in the shoes of others.  I mean, have people never heard of grace or mercy?  Is the act of showing mercy and extending grace lost on this generation?  It amazes me that people can call a sad mom bitter, angry or resentful.  Can sadness not JUST mean sadness?  I have never been shy about the fact that I grieve daily.  I have a sense of sadness sometimes, but it doesn’t make me bitter, angry or resentful.  In fact, I am quick to point out that I am none of those things…..I once was, but I have worked through those feelings and come out on the other side of it a stronger woman.  But, the fact is…..sadness looms…..daily!  It is a feeling I cannot shake.  I don’t walk around all “doom and gloom” acting but I am real, authentic and transparent.  I am not going to tell you that I am fine when in fact, I am not.  Why can’t people extend grace?  You might not understand my feelings….in fact, I will go on to say that NONE of us understands the feelings of anyone in different situations; but to think you know how people feel and how they should respond to their own personal valley’s in life and to criticize them for not responding the way you think they should……well, that is just plain wrong, mean, arrogant and insensitive.
  • We all have different things going on in our lives.  I don’t pretend to understand the things people go through who have “typically-developed” kids or the things others go through with multiple children or no children.  All I know is how I deal with my own personal life……I am sorry if it doesn’t meet up to your standards and the way you think I should handle things.  Actually, being real here….I am not sorry…..take your criticism and your self-righteousness and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine…….Wow, that felt good to get it out…..
  • Have I mentioned that I cannot wait until our trip to Pennsylvania?  Well, I can’t……Amish Country, I am coming for you…..Whoopie pies, Shoo-fly pie and homemade jams, jelly’s and apple butter.  Let’s not leave out all the wonderful hand-crafted goodies at Kitchen Kettle and the smell of that Northern fresh, beautiful air.  The rolling hills, the horse and buggy’s, MY FAMILY that I never get to see, a wedding to attend, some Hershey chocolate to eat and the best fried chicken on the planet!  Yep…..Oh Pennsylvania….I can’t wait to see you again!  I have claimed Pennsylvania as my home for years even though it was where my Grandpa was raised, not me.  I swear, it is the most gorgeous countryside, the bluest skies during the day and the brightest, most starry skies at night.  The weather is gorgeous and God’s artistry is just breathtaking.  Four days won’t be long enough there but I will enjoy every moment soaking it all in.
  • Regarding our trip to Pennsylvania…..I am already nervous about leaving Hannah behind (even though I know she will be loved and cared for) and I am super anxious about flying!  If you know me at all, you know I HATE TO FLY!  Think this trip I will chase down a Valium or 12 with Vodka!  HA!
  • I just tried reloading my China Cabinet since our move here.  I never unpacked the boxes when we moved because we knew we were going to redo the floors so I just didn’t bother.  But, it has been 6 months and I forgot how I had things displayed and that drives me bonkers.  I want it to be like it was and I cannot figure it out.  Guess I will rearrange it about 20 times before I am happy with it.
  • I reckon this is enough for tonight…….I have so much more I could say but I won’t……it is 9:30pm and the TV is calling my name. Must go catch up on General Hospital….or as Dennis calls it “Daytime Porn.”  HA!

Just a friendly reminder:


Until next time……….

Another Edition Of Random Ramblings

I still can’t seem to make coherent paragraphs so here is another edition of my random thoughts in bullet points… are welcome!

  • I may or may not have accused my husband of him having PMS today
  • I am dreading the next few weeks.  Hannah had 4 doctor appointments this week (one of which I rescheduled on Friday because I just.couldn’  So now, we just have 3 appointments…but that is still too many in one week if you ask me!
  • I am really dreading Tuesday…..that appointment alone will be 3-4 hours…..just shoot me now!
  • September can’t get here soon enough……our trip to Pennsylvania and hopefully cooler weather is on the agenda.
  • We had a date night with dear friends on Friday…..I could do that every week.  So much fun!
Good times with great friends!

Good times with great friends!

  • Hannah is sleeping through the night….YAY!  Now that I have said that out loud she will be up 12 times tonight!
  • I bought a new SUV, brought it home on Thursday and haven’t driven it since…..I am scared to… is new… might sit in the garage for the next 5 years!  HA!
My new truck.  Please ignore the curtains in the garage window......I haven't taken them down since we moved mom had those throughout the house!

My new truck. Please ignore the curtains in the garage window……I haven’t taken them down since we moved in… mom had those throughout the house!  They are out of the house but not the garage yet!

  • I feel so bad for my mom.  They were on vacation in the mountains and had to cut their trip short because she got Vertigo again.  Vertigo is of the devil.  Trust me, I know…..but my mom….she knows most because she seriously gets it chronically….she is miserable and I feel for her.  Nothing worse than the room spinning constantly and being so nauseous you could haul chunks…..ugh!  Sorry mom!
  • I bathed Henny (the dog) today.  She hated it….I hated it more!
  • Cecil (the cat) just watched me bathe Henny and I am sure Henny was wondering why on earth the cat didn’t have to get bathed too.  Fact is…..I don’t bathe cats.  Have you tried that?  Yeah, well I have and cats don’t like water…..seriously!  Ask my dad…..he has been bit in the arm with all the force of a cats jaw and lots of teeth when he bathed one of our cats when I was little….Yep….not going there.


  • I went for a WAOG (walk/jog) after bathing the dog.  Yeah, that was stupid… was like 200 degrees outside; hotter than Satan’s armpit.  I only did one mile before I about passed out from heat stroke.  BUT….the view was amazing!


  • My BFF, Tim…..he is my handy-man and my best friend.  He came to my house last week and painted my kitchen.  It was this gosh-awful gold yellow color and now it is a cool creamy tan…..paint is called “Chopsticks.”  I love it… looks like a brand new kitchen (well except for the cabinets but I can’t afford to replace those…..YET)!  He also hung my new dining room and kitchen lights.  Out with the 80’s copper and in with a more “European feel.”  Gotta get rid of the country vibe this house has!  He will be back tomorrow to put hardwood floors down in my dining room and back hallway.
My dining room light fixture.....those decorative spindles are coming out too!  YUCK!

My dining room light fixture…..those decorative spindles in the opening between the entrance foyer and dining room are coming out too! 

  • Dennis worked so hard yesterday……he cut overhung limbs out of trees, ripped up carpet, padding and nails in the dining room, trimmed all the plants on the porch after I told them they looked like crap. Of course, his initial response to me was “well, that would be a good job for you to do.”  To which I replied by laughing hysterically.  Now, if you ask him about the plants he will tell you that I DEMANDED them to be trimmed…..I did not, but I am glad he did it!
  • I need to make a dessert for this Saturday and I cannot decide what to make…..hmmmmmmm…….I want to make something yummy and I don’t know what.
  • Hannah has this “spitting tic” that is driving me batty……okay, that is a short drive; but I seriously could scream every.single.time she does it and it is about 50 times a minute.  I am not exaggerating.  As I typed this one bullet point I have heard her do it 20 times!  UGH!
  • The sweetest couple from our church sent me a t-shirt home with Dennis today that says……”Some people never meet their hero’s, but I gave birth to mine.”  It melted my heart and made my day!
  • I have to admit…..I am jealous.  Jealous of all the parents whose kids have started back to school.  All the kids who have friends and all the birthday parties that kids are invited to.  Sunday school that kids get to attend and heck, just the families that get to go out to dinner together.  It isn’t a bad jealousy….I am in no way wishing the life we live on anyone.  I am happy for those who have healthy kids, but I sure wish my little girl could “LIVE” and enjoy life, friends, parties and any outing other than doctor appointments.  It breaks my heart for her.
  • I did lunges the other day and I am so sore!  Who knew you had muscles in your butt cheeks like that!
  • I really need a facelift.  I wrapped my hair in a towel after my shower today and it was so tight it made my face look youthful again.  The moment I took the towel down, my face fell with it.  Oh my……I need to start saving money for that facelift for my 50th birthday.  I am gonna need it.
  • Cecil the cat wanted to be on the back porch after my walk/jog and I just looked out there a few minutes ago and saw this:
Yoga cat

Yoga cat

  • I really have so much more I could say, but I will stop for now.  I mean, if you are still reading this you must have no life!  HA!

Until next time…………

Haunting Apology

I don’t get offended very easily.  You really have to insult my family or do something to my family to offend me and in all honesty I have been on the receiving end of some pretty harsh criticism and words in my life especially since Hannah’s birth and I have learned to just shake it off and consider the source, for the most part.

I have to say though…..I received an “apology” two weeks ago that has haunted me.  I haven’t been able to shake it off mainly due to the “mindset” of so many people.  People who need to be educated on what to say and what not to say to parents who have a child with special needs.  Let me explain:

Two weeks ago, I was in a car dealership looking at new SUV’s.  We just sold ours after 11 years and have decided to buy a new one.  I do the car shopping in our family as Dennis HATES every aspect of car shopping.  His only words to me were, “find what you want, work out the numbers, tell me what they are and if they are right I will come sign the papers.”  So, for the past few weeks I have been out looking for a new truck.  I had a list of 4 different SUV’s that I wanted to look at and I started with my number 1 choice.  I was in this particular dealership; a dealership that I have done business with in the past and I know one of the VP’s quite well.  He put me with a salesman and in the course of our conversation he asked me about children.  I told him I had one child.  Further on into the conversation and with questions he was asking in regards to Hannah and the new truck I ended up explaining that she was medically fragile; to which he replied, “oh, I am sorry” (which was fine).  Then, I further explained that she had Down Syndrome and his words of apology have haunted me since.  When I said “she has Down Syndrome” he looked at me and all expression left his face and he said, “oh my, I am so very sorry that she has that… must be so hard……can she do anything?”  It was at this time I knew I had to “educate” him but I wanted to be kind in the process.  So I said, “please don’t feel the need to apologize to me for the way GOD created my child.  She is fearfully and wonderfully made and her having Down Syndrome does not change that fact.  To answer your question she can do many things.  She walks, talks, reads, writes, does math, plays with her toys, and does chores.  She loves all things Disney and loves people better than anyone I know.  She doesn’t see race, age, gender or political lines.  She doesn’t care if you are rich, poor, what kind of house you live in or what kind of car you drive.  She is the best person I know.  So, yes….she can do a lot for herself and for others.  She is my best teacher in this life.”  It was at that time that he really started apologizing all over himself.  I am sure it is because he thought he had offended me (which to be honest he kind-of did) but he also wanted to sell me a new SUV (which I wasn’t going to buy, but not because he offended me or said what he did, but because it was too dang expensive).

It hit me as I left that dealership that some people, not all, consider the diagnosis of Down Syndrome as a curse or something to feel sorry about.  I am not nor have I ever been sorry that Hannah has Down Syndrome.  Did I grieve the diagnosis?  Of course I did, but to sit there and think that she is any less than anyone else and needs to be apologized for…..NEVER! I am writing this to say…..if you meet someone who has a child with Down Syndrome or is pregnant with a child with Down Syndrome…..PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE…..I am begging you, don’t apologize to them for it.  I remember being pregnant and more people than not would hear that Hannah was going to have Down Syndrome and the first words out of their mouth was, “I am so sorry.”  WHY?  Why is anyone sorry for that?  Now…..I know sometimes well-meaning people don’t know what to say when they meet someone or encounter someone who has a child with Down Syndrome and they don’t mean harm when saying “Oh I am so sorry.”  But, trust me, it is better to say nothing instead of that.

I will be honest and say, a diagnosis of Down Syndrome is not what most people hope and pray for, but it isn’t something to apologize for or feel sorry for either.  Most parents when they find out their baby will have or does have Down Syndrome will go through some  kind of grieving process.  I honestly don’t know anyone who rejoices wholeheartedly at the diagnosis but the last thing that parents need to hear is how sorry you are that their baby will have or does have Down Syndrome.  So, yes, even 11 years later hearing “I am sorry” haunts me.  Do we really live in a society where if your child is not “perfect” by our worldly standards that you should offer your condolences for that?  I find that to be very sad.  Fact is we are ALL different.  None of us is “perfect.”  Why can’t we just rejoice in the fact that we are all different?  Do children with Down Syndrome need a little extra attention and care?  Yes, they do, but are they capable of being independent and productive citizens?  Yes, they are.  Let’s change our mindset and if you have nothing but apologies to offer then just don’t say anything.  If you cannot find something positive to say, don’t say anything at all.  No parent, either expecting a child with special needs or having a child with special needs wants your apologies offered for that child.  It is rude.  It is demeaning.  It is unkind.  You might think you mean well, but all you are doing is causing that parent more grief to think that apologies have to be offered because their child is less than worthy and not as good as a “typically developed” child is.

I do understand the mindset, please hear me when I say that.  I was of that same mindset prior to Hannah.  I mean, a child who you know is going to have physical and mental impairments….what else do you say?  You know what I say when I hear that someone is expecting a child with Down Syndrome?  I say, “I know this is not what you dreamed or hoped for but I promise you that you will embrace him or her and you will know love like you have never known.  You will see the world through your child’s eyes and in the case of a child with Down Syndrome that is through “rose-colored glasses.”  You will learn to applaud and rejoice in the simple things and moments and you will have a greater sense of unconditional love than you have ever known.  You will never have regrets and you will love that little person like you never dreamed possible.  He or she will write his or her own story and it will be the most fabulous story ever written.  Congratulations on the most amazing journey you are embarking upon.”

See, no apologies needed!


I am fearfully and wonderfully apologies necessary!

I am fearfully and wonderfully made… apologies necessary!

Until next time………


Random Ramblings

I am in a rambling mood…..might be due to lack of sleep, lack of motivation and sadness but here ya go……my thoughts and ramblings today (hey, look bullet points again Brian, Dennis and Sharon)!

  • I am so sick of this election, the lying, the evil, the political correctness, the hate-filled arguments on both sides of the fence.  Just get it over with already.  November can’t get here quick enough #Trump2016



  • It breaks my heart every time I look at Hannah and she is so pale, lethargic and running fever daily.
  • Let’s talk OCD…..Common OCD Types of which Hannah has ALL that I am listing below.  When I say she has OCD, it is severe.  It isn’t random, it is CONSTANT.  To the point that she HAS to complete an OCD task or thought before she can do anything else.  It can drive a sane person insane.  I sit there and watch her check and fix things, hoard toys and items, order things being done, constantly say “Hannah loves Jesus, Jesus loves Hannah” (yes as cute as it is, I think she has to be reassured of that constantly).  She hates to be dirty (especially after going potty and talks constantly about being clean, even goes so far as telling me when I need to get a bath).  The self-harm and aggression that she displays is unreal and of course she is obsessed with sickness, even with her Barbie’s, baby dolls and other toys.  She has taken the thermometer and walked around the house checking the “furnitures temperature.”  No lie.  We “chalk it up” to “well, it is all she knows,” but it is so much more than that.  People randomly tease and joke about being OCD, but it is a true, real and devastating symptom of PANS/PANDAS.  Watching her go through her OCD behaviors all.the.time daily makes my heart, mind and soul just ache.  It is so very debilitating.  Here are her OCD Types:
    • Checking
    • Hoarding
    • Ordering
    • Religious
    • Contamination/Washing
    • Harming/Aggression
    • Illness
  • Henny and Hannah are both constipated…..was that TMI?  Welcome to my world!
  • I hate spending money…….on anything; but especially a new SUV.  I hate car payments, haven’t had one in years and I don’t want one now, but it is inevitable; but first I have to find a truck that I am willing to spend the money on.  Oh, and I hate pushy car salesmen.  I will walk out if you push me and I won’t come back.  Then, don’t call me and tell me my “other” options if I tell you I cannot afford your vehicle.  If I wanted other options then I would tell you that I wanted to look at other options.  Don’t try to sell me something I don’t want…….oh and when I tell you I am not in a hurry to purchase a new vehicle and I am taking my time that is exactly what I mean.  I got a call this morning from a salesman from a dealership I went to last month…….he was so pushy I finally told him…..”because of the way you are treating me on the phone, even if you could sell me what I want for the price I wanted I would go elsewhere to buy it.”  CLICK!  Yes, I hung-up……don’t PRESSURE me!  If you do, I am done!
  • I am looking forward to Girl’s Night Out tonight with my high school girlfriends.  I need it.  I love them.  They are good therapy for me (they might tell you I need a therapist though).  HA!  Love my girls!
  • I wish I had my medical degree
  • I wish I had the money the Kardashians did, without having to do the things they do.  LOL!
  • I wish people could just be kind
  • I wish people could just be accepting of others
  • I wish people wouldn’t judge the things other people do, especially when they haven’t walked in their shoes
  • I wish everyone believed that ALL LIVES MATTER, instead of just some lives; this especially goes for the unborn babies because they matter too.
  • I wish everyone knew Jesus and loved Him.  I wish they knew how very much He loves us all and what He did for us and how life is so much better with Him than without Him.
  • I wish there was a cure for PANS/PANDAS
  • I wish Hannah could go back to school
  • I am ready for Dennis to retire……3 years and counting!  Of course, one of us will have to work after that for insurance……
  • I have really weird dreams at night…..very vivid and most of them are scary.  Wonder what that means?
  • I really enjoy running……never thought I would say that.  It is such a stress reliever.  It feels good to sweat.  Is that TMI again?  At least I am not taking selfies after my run…..y’all might throw up if you saw that!


  • Menopause sucks because the once high metabolism I had prior to Menopause went away with Menopause.  To eat what I want I now HAVE to exercise….it is no longer optional!  Oh and after the age of 40 everything begins to shift and fall…..including my face!  UGH!  I need Botox, Juvederm and most likely a face-lift before I turn 50!


  • Hannah’s iPad is my lifesaver and yes, she is on it right now!
  • I really need to stop typing and go get a shower.  First, so Hannah will stop telling me that I am dirty and need a bath (which isn’t true because I had a bath before bed last night and I haven’t done diddly-squat today).  Second, refer back to bullet point #6 and I am sure my girlfriends would prefer I shower first.

Were those ramblings random enough for you?  See how my mind works?  All over the dang place……anyway… least I refrained from swearing, crying or yelling…..that is quite the accomplishment after the day I have had!


Until next time………


Heartache, God’s Precious Promise and School Starting

I don’t even know where to begin this blog post.  My mind is swirling with thoughts (and not all of them are coherent).  It seems like there is a never-ending cycle of sadness, grief and struggle in our life.  I would be lying if I said life was good, fun and exciting; although I wish I could say that.  But, here we are once again with another heartache.  Yesterday, was Hannah’s follow-up appointment with her Orthopedic Surgeon for her Scoliosis.  If you recall, we were in Atlanta visiting my 2nd family in December and Hannah was sitting on my “sister from another mister” Michelle’s lap.  Michelle was rubbing her back and noticed that the right side of Hannah’s back was protruding out over her shoulder-blade.  My other “sister” Tammy is a nurse and made the comment, “that looks like Scoliosis.”  Now, yes, kids with Down Syndrome have a higher likelihood of having Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) but it doesn’t mean they will have it.  Our Pediatrician checks Hannah at every wellness exam and the exam in August prior, her back looked fine.  When we returned home from our trip to Atlanta, I made an appointment with Dr. Kim, our Pediatrician and she examined Hannah’s back and sent us to Orthopedics.  In February, after a couple of x-rays we were given the diagnosis of Scoliosis and at that time the curve was at 30+ degrees.  Yesterday, just 6 months later the curve is now 40+ degrees.  Surgery is usually preformed at 50 degrees and our Orthopedic surgeon told us that at this time, since Hannah still has a lot of growing to do, surgery will be inevitable.  The back brace, at this point won’t help.  Without a miracle and healing hand from God, Hannah will have to endure a long surgery and recovery as early as 6 months from now and most likely no later than next summer.  As Hannah grows her back will continue to curve.  Without surgical intervention that curve could lead to major spinal deformity and eventually affect her heart and lungs.  I will be honest, I didn’t expect her curve to be signficantly worse so quick.  I honestly thought it would take years to curve to the point of surgery when we found it in February.  But, unfortunately it is curving at rapid speed.  One of our biggest fears with Hannah, is not only surgery and anesthesia due to her heart, but this PANDAS diagnosis concerns us greatly.  The pain drug interaction with her brain, the anesthesia with her brain, the anxiety and OCD that she suffers from daily……wow!  It truly is a lot to take in.  The thought of the surgeon “filleting” her back open from her neck to her tailbone, inserting 2 metal rods and many screws, the risk of infection, the pain in recovery, the flexibility that she will lose……it is almost just too much and I just have to find a way not to dwell on it or I will lose my mind.  I so wish I could take her place.  I so wish it was me.  I so wish that I could take all her fear, anxiety, pain, suffering and sickness on myself.  That makes me think of what Christ did and continues to do for me.  He takes it all and has promised that one day none of that will matter and it will all be gone……just another reason I long for Heaven.  We continue to covet your prayers for all 3 of us, but especially for Hannah.

Last night, I really needed to run.  Running is cathartic and relieves stress better than anything I have found.  After the day yesterday of the news about Hannah, taking her for blood work, her attacking me after the blood work, dealing with her anxiety, taking care of a sick dog (Henny has been on antibiotics now for almost 2 weeks again), having Cecil the cat crippled by something (I am afraid he has been bit by something), Dennis’ stress at work, the stress and pressure to find and buy a new SUV (these things aren’t cheap and you can’t pick and choose what features you want without breaking the bank)…..all of that just yesterday about sent me over the edge and ALL I wanted to do was run.  Well, wouldn’t you know, it started raining and not just a light rain, a torrential downpour.  I thought it had passed and while Dennis was putting Hannah to bed I went out and looked up.  There above my driveway was the most beautiful, full rainbow I had ever seen.  God’s promise…..His promise that He loves me.  His promise that He is there.  His promise that no matter what He will see us through.  His sweet voice that I heard through a rainbow and the peace that came over me.  You might not believe me but that rainbow was for me…..I know in my heart it was.


On a final note…..I logged on to Facebook this morning and my timeline was flooded with pictures of all the kids returning to school.  Such sweet and beautiful pictures and I have to be honest, it made me sad.  Once again, Hannah will not be returning to school on Monday with her friends.  Our 3rd year of Homeschooling begins and it isn’t what I would have chosen for us or what Hannah would have chosen.  She longs to go to school with her friends and it makes me sad that she can’t.  I actually saw a picture this morning of a friend’s daughter who is just 1 week older than Hannah and I was in shock of how big and beautiful she is and that she is beginning the 6th grade.  WOW….that would have been Hannah!  Hard to wrap my head around that…..the fact of where she would be if she didn’t have Down Syndrome and all her other health issues.  I am not going to lie and say that I don’t grieve the Down Syndrome diagnosis.  I don’t grieve it daily, it is only times where I see “typically developed” kids Hannah’s age that I think about the “what-if’s.”  The “what-if” she didn’t have Down Syndrome?  Would she be playing sports, what would she look like, would she have tons of friends and would she have mine or Dennis’ personality?  Would she be a tomboy or prissy girl?  Would she like football like her daddy or shopping like me?  Would she have my love for shoes and purses or Dennis’ love for guns and hunting? I know I cannot dwell on it too long or my heart will break, but sometimes I just can’t help it.  I love my daughter with all my heart and she is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God and nothing will ever change my love and devotion to her.  But, there are things I will never experience with her and that makes me sad and there are things she will never experience due to her health issues and Down Syndrome and that makes me sad for her.  But, again, God is faithful, He knows what He is doing and I trust that His plan is bigger and greater than any temporary sadness or heartache I feel.

To all of you who have kids returning to school today and next week, I pray they all have a great year and for all my teacher friends…..I pray for you all as I cannot imagine what teaching a room full of children is like……I only have one student and at times it makes me want to runaway!  HA!  Have a great school year to each and every one of you!

Until next time………

Spinning Head

I have been so busy that this is the first chance I have had to blog since last Wednesday.  My head is spinning so I will use bullet points since I cannot even make a complete sentence right now.

The past week consisted of:

  • Birthday celebration for Hannah, she turned 11.  Where did my baby go?
  • Seizure and Syncope episode for Hannah
  • Trip to the ER with Hannah
  • No sleep for Hannah
  • Fighting with Neurologist for testing that should have been done 2 months ago for Hannah
  • Continuing to fight with Neurologist to get testing done
  • Finally won fight with Neurologist today, but tests won’t happen until August 30th
  • Figuring out insurance for Hannah to see if we can continue ABA therapy or not
  • Making about 100 phone calls to schedule appointments, testing and other things for Hannah in the month of August
  • Trying to make plans for Hannah so Dennis and I can travel to Pennsylvania for my cousin’s wedding in September
  • Almost canceling plans for trip to Pennsylvania
  • Confirming plans for trip to Pennsylvania and making flight, rental car and hotel reservations
  • Henny (our dog) getting sick again and back on antibiotics and itch medication from yet another “hot spot”
  • Selling my 11- year old SUV
  • Shopping for a new SUV (these things cost more than a house nowadays)
  • Putting a new roof on our house (geez, that wasn’t cheap either).  Covering 4,400 square feet is astronomical
  • Trying to get in to see a new Neurologist and Rheumatologist in Miami for Hannah
  • Deciphering blood tests that the Immunologist did but he is out of the office and won’t be back until next week…..wish I had my medical degree….I googled the results and didn’t like what I read.  Decided for my peace of mind to stop googling and wait for the doctor to return.
  • Just this morning I opened the freezer to find the food either defrosting or in the process of it.  Called and had to fight with LG Customer Service to get a technician out here on FRIDAY!  Thank goodness I have room for my freezer stuff in the garage freezers.  Why are things so cheaply made nowadays?  We just bought the refrigerator in May!  The one we replaced my parents had with no issues for 28 years!  AND….why did I have to argue with the Customer Service Representative to get someone out here?  I had to lose my cool with him as he said the “smart technology system” said nothing was wrong….HELLO….my food is defrosted in my freezer…..something is DEFINITELY wrong.
  • Watching the roller coaster of emotions with Hannah today after the past few days she was doing so much better…..what is the trigger?  Why does she look so ill again today when she didn’t yesterday?  Why is she sad, angry, lethargic, pale with slurring words today when I saw none of those issues the past 3 days?  Why is her OCD off the freaking chain today and yesterday it was minimal?  Why did we have a small “break” from reality for it all just to come back with a vengeance today?  Why did yesterday I get hugs and kisses all day long and today I can’t go near her?

So, that is what is going on in our world!  Sorry for the bullet points, but I know I have a few readers who will enjoy the change of pace…..not to mention names but Brian, Dennis and Sharon prefer bullet points over full sentences.  This one is for y’all….thank my brain fog, lack of time and exhaustion!  Also please disregard any grammar, punctuation, spelling or any other incoherent statements made in this blog post…..I didn’t even take the time to proof it!  Happy reading!

The past week has completely taken its toll on is my selfie from this morning!  LOL!

The past week has completely taken its toll on me… is my selfie from this morning! LOL!

Until next time………