Monday, December 28, 2015

First Christmas

I've had fun playing Santa this year. My favorite part of Christmas is filling the stocking. It was like doing my own fantasy stocking, complete with my favorite chocolates! The boys got Star Wars toothbrushes, Star Wars tattoos, markers, bath scrubby thingys, and chocolate money!

We didn't go too overboard, but there were a few things we had put off purchasing because we knew Christmas was coming up. Antonio and I each bought ourselves new shoes. He bought himself a printer. I bought myself a tea pot and a home hair cutting kit. Santa (grandma) bought us an XBox 360. That was the wow gift! We inherited some amazing nerf guns from Sheri. (Thank you!) And we're looking forward to playing with them this summer!  My mom gave me some tablecloths that had belonged to my Nana. And I got lots of warm things from various family members that make me feel so loved! Antonio gave me two beautiful framed pieces of art and I gave him nice clothes. Because I'm selfish and I like seeing him in nice clothes.

One gift we did for the boys--we got them each a savings account with the free piggy bank. We're planning on putting money in there often so we can help them with their future goals.

This blog is becoming somewhat more of a journal today, rather than an interesting blog. I grew up journaling. And it's good. It helps you remember your blessings and the things you want to accomplish.

But it's boring to read!

Interesting tidbits.

It snowed. It was like snowmagedden, only I was expected to drive in it and had to ensure that our storage customers could get to their storage units.

Daniel had a wife. Her name was Bonny. Bonny died. Daniel turned his wife into a watermelon and smashed her. By accident. Thank you Goat Stimulator for the most hilarious video game story yet!

Antonio and I went out on a date and saw The Big Short. Soo good! We saw it in loungy recliners at the AMC. I love it so much. Except my hip kept hitting the buttons and adjusting my chair. Stupid hips.

Antonio made ham and twice baked potatoes and we fed the missionaries on Christmas Eve. The missionaries didn't eat much. They were so cute. So young!

Antonio has decided to let Atticus into his heart. It is so cute to watch him with her.

And that's about it. I'm sure I'll remember more.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Living With Gratitude

We had a few kindhearted souls bring coats into my workplace to donate to the homeless LGBTQ youth in downtown Salt Lake City. We filled the car with goods.

Last night, Daniel and I headed to the Utah Pride Center to make the donations. We loved driving up the rainbow painted bridge to the center. Daniel helped carry in one of the bags. It was pretty uneventful. On the way up, we talked about all the things we're grateful for. Daniel donated his leap frog so that they would have something to play with.

After leaving the Pride Center, we went to the Salt Lake City Library. Daniel got a kick out of the fountains, the elevators, and the stair case.

We went down the kids section on the 1st floor, and Daniel found a friend named Maggie. She insisted they play. And he loved it! They ran around all the nooks and crannies they have designed for kids, playing hide and seek, and pretending they were in a castle. She kept trying to make him the scary dragon, but he wanted to be the cool prince.

After we left the inside of the library, we went searching for my brother Jack's name on the Celebration of Life wall. And we found it!

Daniel thought it was splendid that they had built beautiful statues just for Jack. I thought it was pretty splendid as well.

Happy Thanksgiving Jack! We miss you so much! We are so grateful for the joy and love you gave us. We hope we can live grateful for all that we can share with one another here on earth.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

On Pondering Goals

Every Tuesday, we get together with a couple of families at Daniel's school, under the watchful tutelage of the school psychologists, and learn ways we can be better. We eat dinner as a family and use conversation cards and we abide by strict rituals to make everything go smoothly. After that--the kids enjoy socializing together, while the parents learn from the psychologists better ways to make the family work. It's a joy. Yesterday, we made a family timeline where we discussed important events in our family's history and they asked us to set goals for the future of our timeline and discuss ways we could reach our goals and ways that would keep us from reaching our goals.

When the good doctor asked me what my goal was, I couldn't think of a thing to say. My mind was completely blank. I finally said, "To go on an airplane as a family!" And so we discussed what we would need to do to go on an airplane trip.

But still... NOTHING?

This morning, I thought about it some more... my goal is for Daniel to flush the toilet and wash his hands. My goal is to fold the last load of laundry that has been sitting in the dryer before I have to start the laundry over again. My goal is to keep ONE of the house plants from dying. My goal is vacuum more often, since Atticus is currently shedding like a beast.

(side note: Antonio likes to pretend that Atticus's job is to keep the dogs off the bed and that she fails at it every day. He bellows, "You had ONE job Atticus! Now I know it wasn't you, because you would NEVER get up on the bed! But please, keep the other dogs off of the bed!" Daniel gets very confused. Yesterday, he ran into our room, grabbed a handful of blond fur and took it into us and emphatically proclaimed, "It is Atticus!! See! This is HER FUR! She is the dog on the bed!!" Antonio replies, "Never! She would never!" And the little boy waves his evidence in the air! "It is ATTICUS!" Meanwhile, I sneak my meat to Atticus  while we watch the drama unfold.)

My goal is to get through the day. My goal is to shower. My goal is to feed everyone else and drink enough water. My goal is to try and not be overwhelmed by the expectations of the holidays. My goal is to keep the budget and not forget about the check I wrote to one doctor that might cause everything else to bounce... oh wait.. too late.

But goals make life rich. Goals make the mundane worth it. And so I need to ponder and pursue goals. I need to make room for my own personal advancement. I need to remember that I have to invest my time and thoughts into dreaming again.

Easier said than done. I shall ponder.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Child's Heart is Like a Tardis

Last Tuesday, I said a prayer over breakfast with Daniel. I prayed that little Virginia would pass away peacefully. Immediately, Daniel's eyes filled with tears and he yelled at me, "Don't ever say that prayer again!" Then he laid his little chubby cheeks on the kitchen table and wept, "I only got to meet her once!" It ripped me up. I felt awful.

But I could not continue to pray for the poor soul to live on in a body that only existed to feel pain. I tried to explain to him that she flew 30 feet from the car, that her brain died, and her heart stopped. The emergency rescuers revived her heart, but her mind never revived.

Virginia passed away on Friday evening. Her Megan was the last one to put her to bed before the accident. She was with her every day in the hospital. She was her angel every day of her life. And now Virginia is Megan's angel.

After posting on Facebook about my hesitation to tell the boys about their cousin's passing, we received so much encouragement and wisdom. My friend Robin told me about sending off a balloon with a message. She also told me about giving them a notebook where they can write their feelings. I ran off to the grocery store on my lunch break and picked up a bouquet of balloons and a couple of notebooks and stickers for the boys.

We gathered the boys and told them what had happened. Daniel burst into tears. He immediately yelled at me and said that it was all my fault.

I wasn't sad. I wasn't upset. I was happy! Here this child was trying to wrap his mind around the sorrow and the anger of death--and I could be a source for his most difficult feelings. Death is too ambiguous for a child to get angry with, but he could get angry at me, yell at me, and feel better! I could do that for him! He raged and cried and his dad held him and tried to tell him that it wasn't my fault, but I just wanted him to be able to feel the sorrow.

His brother Jaxon sweetly told him that he could still talk to Virginia in his prayers and then he and Daniel skipped off to play Legos. The two played so well together. Jaxon was such a support to his little brother. I was so proud of him.

The boys were most excited for their notebooks! Daniel wrote at the top "Daniel's Diary" and the two ran around looking for hiding places so that no one would read their thoughts. They decorated them with Star Wars stickers and thoughtfully wrote.

The next day, we went out to let out the balloons. Antonio wept as he wrote his thoughts to his little niece. His mother told me about how Virginia loved him so. She would only accept food from him. She would light up whenever he was around. His heart broke into tears throughout the weekend. And all weekend, he posted pictures he had taken of her.

I tried to make sense of things and find comfort in the thought that she isn't in pain anymore. I tried to imagine her happy again. But my anger began to flair imagining the life she could have led. Imagining the good she might have done and the love that she offered to the people I love during her short time on earth. The death of a child is the death of a world. There is a world of possibility that was snuffed before it even began. And that makes me angry.

Her death was preventable. While the accident report isn't back, it is presumed that because the girls flew so far from the vehicle, they were not properly restrained. Little people must be properly restrained. We assume that they were not properly restrained because of the nature of the accident and because this was not the first time that they have been in a situation where they were not properly restrained. And as a result, the absolute worst thing happened. It wasn't a warning. This was the worst case scenario played out.

Choices matter. Our choices have consequences, world shattering consequences. 

 In her passing, she has touched so many lives. She reminds parents to cling to their children. We brighten at the smile she gave us during her short life. We are reminded that heaven is so close. We are reminded to love and to cherish. We are wiser. We live better.

Sunday afternoon, my step-dad Brent gave my husband a blessing of comfort and strength. He was reminded that he is a good man. The words mirrored the look of love that Virginia would give to her Uncle Tony whenever he was near.

The tears continued to flow, but amid the sorrow, he also felt a growing a sense of gratitude that he was able to love such a bright angel who saw the goodness of his heart.

While driving with Daniel yesterday, he continued expressing his heartache and his anger. He will yell at me and proclaim his feelings with all the robust a 6 year old can muster, then he will fall into my arms and seek my comfort. And I am so happy to be there for him.

I believe a child's heart is like a tardis. It looks small on the outside, but inside it holds worlds of affection and love.

While Virginia is not here physically, I believe that she will continue to comfort and bless her family. She will be the friend whispering comfort to Daniel when he is lonely. She will be the laughter that Victoria feels next to her. She will be the hug that Vincent and Michael feel as they fall to sleep. She will be the inspiration that guides Megan's next painting. She will be the lift in her Uncle Tony's step. She will be the light in her Grandma DeAnne's eye. All of her family will find a smile in the thought of her.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Depressing Depression

I have suffered from depression for years. This time last year, I was falling in love. And I felt this very real motivation to see a psychiatrist and try to stop handling my ups and downs on my own. Because it wasn't just about me anymore. Love is a nice feeling, but love leads to life, and I was very afraid that my depression would hurt more than just me.

So I went to a very kind doctor and she started me on a path that would enable me to feel better.

It's been a year. The meds have been so helpful.

I feel the depression coming back, despite the drugs.

I went to bed at 9:30pm last night and slept until 5am. I got up and chatted with Antonio as he prepared to leave for work. I fell back asleep at 6am. I completely missed the alarm clock and woke up to Daniel trying to take my phone at 7:30am to play minecraft. School starts at 8am. It was NOT  a good morning.

I haven't showered since Friday. I have no desire to shower. I had 45 minutes to shower this morning and I could not make myself do it. I had cold cereal and made sure that the dog had food and water. I can take care of everyone else. I just can't find the energy to take care of myself.

I took vitamins, extra iron, B12, antidepressants, and adhd meds. I drank a large glass of water.

Last night, I curled up in Antonio's arms, buried my head in his neck and listened to him fall asleep while tears streamed down my face. I couldn't get close enough. I kept burrowing in closer. I did not feel alone. I did not feel lonely. But still, I couldn't get close enough. Finally, I rolled away and put on my CPAP mask to get some real sleep.

So why am I so depressed right now?

We just had a lovely 1 day vacation to Moab where we soaked in beautiful weather and scenery.

I just had 3 days off of work.

I have a beautiful family. My mom and dad took Daniel to Tremonton on Friday and Saturday so he could enjoy more of a vacation, even though Antonio ended up having to work and I needed to work Saturday afternoon.

We have a beautiful home. The cars work. We have food. We have everything we need.

Here are my thoughts on why.

The tragedy that Antonio's family--that OUR family is facing in North Carolina is so huge I can't wrap my mind around it. There is so little that we can do and we feel utterly powerless. Feeling powerless over affliction is one of the most stressful feelings in the world.

Antonio's job is horrible. His back is injured, but he can't even take a couple of days off for a family vacation we planned months ago. And we can't quit because we need the health insurance.

I am constantly bleeding. Again. Not only does it mean that I probably won't get pregnant any time soon, (probably a good idea, albeit, really sad) it is incredibly annoying and I feel like I'm experiencing PMS all the time.

Daniel is working on a lot of things. He does well on some days and at some times, but there's always something we're working on. And we want so much for him to be happy. He has to make right decisions though. He has to choose. We can't choose it for him. That feeling of powerlessness is the most aggravating, vulnerable feeling. That is the feeling of parenting and sometimes it is so hard.

I went to the temple Saturday morning and just wept. I thought about all the things I want fixed. I wrapped my mind around the prayers I needed to offer. The most difficult part of this time is trying to figure out the right things to pray for. Do you pray for the child in the coma with permanent brain damage to live or to die peacefully? Do you pray that the child who is healing physically, but not psychologically, will have more time to heal in the hospital, or will be able to rejoin the havoc at home? Do you pray that your husband will keep the job with benefits, even though it's physical labor and his back is torn up? Or do you pray that he will miraculously find another job that will allow him to go to school full-time, have benefits, and will finish before Daniel gets out of school like this one does? Do you pray to have a baby when you don't have the time, energy, or money to have a baby? Or do you pray for gratitude that God isn't giving you more than you can handle at this time and hope that you can still have babies in a year or so?

The hours in the temple, the crying, all of it served to clear my mind a bit.

We pray for a peaceful passing. We pray for Tori's strength. We pray for Megan's strength. We pray for a new job with benefits, Sundays off, and a flexible schedule that is about getting it done. Because one thing I know about my husband, he works very hard and he gets it done. We pray for trust that God knows best when it comes to bringing children into the world. We are grateful for Daniel and Jaxon. We are grateful for family members who serve, friends who love at just the right moments, scriptures, prayer, temples. We are grateful for patient dogs, children who read, working vacuum cleaners, showers when you want them, cold cereal, milk, gogurts, working cars, cool autumn air, a beautiful home. We are grateful for tears, for feelings. We are grateful to know that the tears often come when the body and mind can finally digest the pain and the stress and attempt to make sense of it. The tears allow the stress and the pain of things I cannot control to fall down my face and lessen the heaviness of my heart. The tears release the knot in my soul and remind that I just need to be. I don't need to be perfect. I don't need to be strong. I don't need to do. I just need to be. I need to trust. Time will unravel and bring things together as is needed.

And it will be all right. Tomorrow.

Today it can be poopy. I can be unshowered and teary today. I can sit back and let things be what they are today. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Daniel's Other Family and My Tragic Secret

Daniel told me a deep dark secret last night.

He told me that he has another family.

A secret family.


He said that he and his other family go out at night and run around howling at the moon!

Then I revealed my secret.


Poor Antonio doesn't know how dangerous we can be.

Or DOES he?....

Friday, September 25, 2015

Good Morning

Yesterday, Daniel climbed into bed to wake me up at 6:30 am. I was not happy. Not awake. Antonio is ridiculously energetic early in the morning. Even though he was able to sleep in until 6:30 am, he was still wide awake at 4 am. So he made breakfast and I wandered into the kitchen like a zombie at 6:45am. It is awesome that Antonio cooks. I am so spoiled. There are just some days that I can't function. Yesterday was definitely one of those days.

This morning I woke up from this weird nightmare. It's too strange. It involved strange monsters swimming in a stream around my house. Also, I was incredibly angry because I didn't make it to a friend's wedding reception. Weird.

I shook off the dream and stumbled into Daniel's room. He was still sleeping. Strange. It was already 7 am. I flipped on his light. He burrowed into his blankies. I laid next to him and began talking about how cute all of his little parts were. "Look at your cute elbow. You have the cutest little wrists! You have such a cute little nose!"  He kept his eyes shut and mumbled, "noooo."

Finally, he said, "Do you know what would wake me up?" His eyes were still closed.


"If you pour cold water on my head."

I laughed.

Then I said, "I would never do that. Oh look, a cup on your shelf. Hmmmm... I think I'll just take this into the kitchen. Don't pay any attention to the running water. I'm not putting water in it. Ho hum.... I think I'm going to take this water into water your plant. Doo de doo dee doo...."

And then, of course, I dropped a few drops on his face.

He giggled and jumped up!

A few minutes later, he was dressed and we ate our scrambled eggs. While eating, I noticed he was copying what I was saying. So I said, "Daniel is awesome!" Instead of copying me verbatim, he surprised me by saying, "Eve is awesome!"

Sometimes, this child is just about the sweetest boy in the world.

He makes mornings sparkle.

He makes life sparkle.

We have my first court thingy majigger for custody on Monday. It's been stressful thinking about it. Making sure we're prepared. I know everything will be all right. We just want to make sure that Daniel is protected and loved as much he deserves. We will fight for that. I'm avoiding talking in detail about this online. I'll simply say this. We are responding to a petition from his birth mother. We have our ducks in a row. We've dotted all of our i's and crossed our t's. Antonio and I feel the stress, but we're growing stronger together as a couple. We love each other more than ever. And all will be well. Just say a little prayer for us if you have a moment.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Daniel wants to be strong.  He is constantly climbing things and doing pull ups on everything he can in order to improve his strength. He eats vegetables like a champ because we told him they would make him strong.
His dad is the strongest man I know though. He moves thousands of pounds of pallets every day. He goes to school full-time. After that, he comes home and cares for Daniel and makes dinner.

Sometimes, Daniel likes to test his strength by trying to pull down on his dad's arms.

It looks like this.

This week has been a little more than a struggle. Daniel is having trouble with fighting at school. You might say he hasn't used his strength for good yet. We're doing our best and every day we move forward a little--and back a little. But every day, we're there rolling with whatever comes our way.

But some days are harder than others. And some days, we feel the stresses more than others.

We started watching Call The Midwife after Daniel goes to bed.

We sit and watch these beautiful stories unfold and both of us just let our stress melt away into a puddle of tears. It's ridiculous, hilarious, and the best therapy!

Antonio turned to me the other night with tears streaming down his face and said sweetly, "I hate this show."

And then he got me a tissue so I could blow my nose again.

I'm learning about what it is to be strong. Strength isn't being perfect. Strength is being consistent. It is being to work in the early morning hours so you can be home in the afternoon with your son while your wife finishes work.

The other night Antonio offered up the most humble prayer of supplication and gratitude. I felt his strength as he listed off our many blessings with tears of gratitude. I felt his power as he pleaded with the Lord to help us to navigate our trials.

It was  a good moment. It gave me confidence that whatever we are facing, we'll have the strength to find our way through it.

We're coming up on a court trial and we're doing our best to help Daniel learn how to make friends and find happiness in school. It's tough on us in every way, but every where we turn, we find support and love.

Today, my brother Nick is here to care for Daniel while Antonio and I work. I watched from my office as Nick helped Daniel practice riding his bike without training wheels.  I saw Nick's strength as he held up the bike and ran beside Daniel as he pedaled away.

Yesterday, Grandma DeAnne came over to talk with Daniel about his behavior at school. I saw her strength as she slowly climbed our stairs, despite severe pain in her hip.

We're able to meet the financial burden of the upcoming trial through the loving kindness of our family.

I wish I had the strength to do this alone. But I don't. And sometimes it takes the most strength to admit that you need help.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Communing With God, Each Other, and Nature

Last night, we decided to go on a family adventure. We got in the car and drove up Little Cottonwood Canyon. We drove up past Snowbird, parked, and began walking up the road.

Antonio had his camera, I had my phone camera, and Daniel decided to defend us all against the dangers on the road.

He noticed fallen trees along the way. This was clearly an indication that dangerous Beavers had been in the area. Specifically, Zombie Beavers. We heard chattering in the woods, which was evidence of Zombie Chipmunks. He picked up a stick and a rock and walked ahead, prepared to defend us against the horrors of nature.

Speaking of the horrors of nature...

Yesterday at church, he learned about prayer. (We pray every morning and night--but apparently this teacher really brought it home.) After church, we were outside exploring his bug park. He saw that a wasp was eating a grasshopper. It HORRIFIED him. He wanted revenge on the wicked wasp. I grabbed a jar and we covered the wasp and the grasshopper, mainly because I didn't want the wasp stinging Daniel.

Daniel was distraught. He ran upstairs. He said, "I want to say a prayer!" And he said the sweetest prayer asking that God would rescue the grasshopper and the grasshopper babies.

This morning, we went outside and the wasp was dead and the grasshopper was gone! I waited to see if Daniel would figure out that the wasp might have eaten the grasshopper. Instead he threw up his arms in celebration that God had rescued the grasshopper! Big ol' sigh.

Back to the hike...

It was a beautiful evening. We got to see the fall colors, experience the fresh air of nature, and enjoy being together.

And hopefully, Daniel will continue to discover that people in heaven and on earth truly care about him and want him to be happy.

Friday, September 4, 2015

School Days!

Daniel started school last week.

It's been a struggle. We are learning and growing though! We've learned that Daniel has to be sleeping at 8pm. We've learned that punishments need to be shorter in order for him to remember that he's being punished. We've learned that he can sense when we're stressed. We've learned that Fall brings shorter days and shorter opportunities for play. We've learned that French Toast is marvelous at 6:30am! We've learned that being in first grade is sometimes very hard and that girls are dumb. Well, the girl he sits across from is dumb anyway. She said he called her fat. He doesn't even know the word for fat. He uses the word straight and round in place of skinny and fat. "Look Mom, I'm getting straighter!" "I like that man! He is round though. Wait, no! He's kind of straight!" "Hey Mom, I want you to get straight, but after you have the baby." "Mom, I wish you would have a baby."  "I can't wait for you to have the baby."  Again, not pregnant.

Luckily, he has amazing grandparents who love him dearly and help all of us to relax and enjoy.

Life is better with supportive people in our lives.

My brother Matt baby sat the other day and Daniel loved seeing him as the Dark Knight in Star Wards at Desert Star! My dad took him on a special date the other night. They sat on the second row and just loved every second.

Grandma DeAnne took us to the park Sunday where Daniel enjoyed climbing on everything and playing with his friend Emily.

Tuesday, Antonio took him to Karate!

And this weekend, my mom is coming into town to visit!

It's just been a really fun couple of weeks. Lots of tears, lots of triumphs.

He rode his bike, with his training wheels, all the way to church on Sunday!

 This is the first leg of the journey. He's still enjoying it.

 This is after the journey. He crashed several times. It was not fun. But he made it! He rode over a mile and crossed the street at least 6 times!

Walking to school is not an option right now though. I can barely get him up in time as it is. He needs that extra rest.

Life threw us a couple of curve balls this week, but things feel better now. We're feeling closer as a couple now as we've seen that we can handle whatever comes our way. (I'm being purposely vague as it has to do with legal matters.) The point is--we got this!

On Sunday evening, Daniel just came up to his dad and gave him a big hug. It was incredibly sweet. Through all the changes in his life, his dad has been a big constant. It's very sweet to see how much they love each other.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Life is a Carnival!

It's the last week before school starts... so we're trying to cram every fun thing we can think of into this week.

On Sunday night, we finished the first Harry Potter! 

On Monday morning, we set off on a long walk. The dog wanted to sniff every tree, and the boy gathered every stick and feather he could find, but we managed to walk a mile without any incidence. We'll try walking to school as often as possible just because, why not? It will be fun!

Monday afternoon, we finally got Antonio's car back and running like new!

On Tuesday morning, we began practicing riding the bike. Daniel's been peddling all over the facility.

Tuesday afternoon, Antonio surprised Daniel by taking him to the pool with his friend Emily. He had a wonderful time... apparently. I wasn't there. I was working.

Wednesday night, we went to visit a financial advisor who gave us some stellar advice! I loved it. He sat with us for over and hour and taught us this fantastic way of organizing our money. I feel so empowered now. It's such a good feeling to know that you're doing your best with your money. (This probably deserves a longer blog post--but it's boring.)

Wednesday night, we cracked open the 2nd Harry Potter! Harry Potter and the Chamber Pot of Secrets! Where Harry battles irritable bowel syndrome and snakes his way to glory! (I think...) 

Thursday Antonio helped me clear out an abandoned unit and Daniel continued to practice riding his bicycle.

 Antonio snapped a couple of pictures of Daniel as he rode.

 I love this picture.

 My brother Nick came to visit for a couple of hours Thursday afternoon, and Antonio snapped his picture a couple of times.

 Nick looks like my Uncle Grey and Jesus.

Antonio picked up Jaxon and took the boys to Wheeler Farm!

This is the most unexciting picture of the boys, but it's the only one I have. Evidence that they were there and that apparently Daniel was drinking Mountain Dew...

Because I wanted to have fun too, I announced that we would head to the pool again Thursday night and we made it for one hour of swimming! I jumped off the diving board and showed Daniel how to do a dive!

The sweetest thing happened. A stranger came up and said that she thought I was incredibly patient with Daniel and she said that she could tell he really trusted me. It made me so happy. We swam all over that pool. He is getting really good at swimming. The kid is a fish! And he did a perfect swan dive!

And then there was Friday....

Friday morning, we discovered that customer had broken the gate by attempting to hot wire it from the inside when it wouldn't open after 10pm, instead of calling our after hours number.


I spent the morning trying to solve the mystery and fix the gate.

The stress just kind of piled up.

 Friday night, we headed off to his new elementary school to meet his teacher, get free pizza, and play at the school carnival! We lasted two rides. We were hot and tired.

After the carnival, we took Daniel over to Grandma DeAnne's house. We hung out in the living room for a couple of hours and just enjoyed gabbing. She really is a splendid woman. We laughed and she showed me videos of old family friends.I won't make a list of all the ways she has blessed us this summer. (swim passes, lagoon passes, aquarium passes, a box of Oreos, a rotisserie chicken, watching Daniel on Saturdays, meatballs, donuts, pies,  helping to get the car fixed, random acts of kindness...) She has been such a kind and generous mother in law. Her help has been instrumental in helping us to grow into a family.

The best part of the day was coming home! Antonio got his new a-pap machine yesterday! He slept peacefully all night long! It was like Christmas yesterday.

We're ready for fall.

Summer has been wonderful. We've filled our days with work and play. We've grown into a functioning and happy family. Every day, we're trying a little harder. Every day, we're finding more joy.

It isn't always easy. Sometimes I'm so tired. Sometimes I'm just achy every where. But I'm happy. And we're moving forward, little by little.