Thursday, April 21, 2016

Reminding myself - just breathe

it's 4:57am as I sit here at my computer.  I've been up since shortly after 2.... Anxiety at work keeps my chest tight and I've learned over the last months that getting up to complete other tasks is far better than staring at the ceiling for what seems endless hours - or fitful sleep grinding my teeth to where my jaw aches the next day...

so today, this morning, I've studied.  reviewed really.  finals are next week.  I'm both excited and nervous about finals.  it's my first go-round in 9 years - it's hard to even fathom that it's been that long...
This first semester has been challenging.  Graduate school is nothing like undergraduate for me.  While I have always been a working student, juggling a higher job with more responsibility and an asshole director have added one layer of complexity.  Juggling 3 kids has added another.
I actually kind of like those mornings I can't sleep - not because of the anxiety of course, but because I actually have the uninterrupted time to study and I'm awake enough to focus and retain.
I love being a student.  In the work-world, things are often repetitive and or monotonous - there's nothing like scholastic environment to tickle the brain and make it think. 
I hope one day it pays off.  i'm not sure right now how to direct where I want to go, but I'm trying to make logical decisions to get there.... I really want to move more into analysis and project management seeing the analysis through the process to completion.  I love to see an end result and I love new and changing challenges.

for now, I guess I just try to get through the day to day.  survive work, study to excel, play with my daughter, play outside in the dirt and breathe - always remembering just BREATHE. At the end of the day if it all unravels, as long as the sun shines on my skin and the dirt is under my feet then I get to share the day with the people I love.  For the love of breathing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

To Angie Bridell

The world lost a bright light today. Your light.  I have been stunned all day at the news and even now am at such a loss as to what to do with this....

Oh, Sweet Girl, our time together was limited.  I enjoyed working with you at the restaurant so much.  I enjoyed watching you go through classes and study and then to graduate! Oh happy days!  You studied so much and physically worked so hard to make your goal of becoming a police officer!  I was so happy for you and excited, and a little sad to lose you at work, when you made the force.  But I was also so proud of you and so thankful that you, my friend, would be our city's protector.

You were such a spit-fire.  Tough as nails, but with a heart in the right spot.  I knew you would do well in the force, because you care about people - and about stopping what is wrong in the world.  I still giggle when I think about your exit from our restaurant - telling the manager on duty to suck it because you were a cop now...

So you went your way, and I went mine, and our brief intersection was gone.  We were just facebook friends now with the occasional personal message exchange.

I saw you get married.  I saw your beautiful, young happy face marry the man who you loved.  I saw the pictures you posted of your lives together.  I would look and say I know her and I'm so glad she's happy.

And then, all too recently, I saw your posts of sadness, of loss, of darkness.  And my heart ached for you at the loss of your husband.  And I shed tears for your loss in private. And I reached out to you the only way I knew to - with a facebook message to say I'm thinking of you and be tough - that tough girl that I know.  Every time I saw your posts of aching empty heart, I prayed for you and I wished you strength...

Today I see you've left us.  I'm so sorry for your loss, Sweet Woman.  I am sorry I didn't stay closer to you.  I am sorry for the fierce warrior this world lost.  I am sorry for your friends and your family.  I am sorry for your sweet husband who I'm sure would not have wanted this for you.  I will miss you and I will miss seeing your posts of what the future would hold for you....  I will miss knowing you are working the streets and keeping us safe.  The world will miss you because there are not enough like you.  Fly high, Angie.  Rest in Peace. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

When her soul hurts I cry

Approaching age 4, my daughter is amazing in many ways. She's brilliant, athletic, and full of personality. She continues to charm the masses and the way people fall to her continues to surprise me. Adoption is beautiful. Watching this sweet baby become a girl is a gift I treasure literally every day - never forgetting parenting is a privilege not a right and not always easily come by. I pray every night a thank you for the privilege if being this child's mom.

There are times, even at this early age, when my daughter's soul hurts. When she cries in full real tears from a depth of loss that makes me ache. The loss she knows already only because she was gifted to me... She cried tonight, as she does at times, and it rocks me.
'Momma, you make me sad, this not my whole family - my sister too. Don't look at me.'
These words articulated from my tiny girl as she lay in bed beside me, over tired after a long day. A response when I told her - as I do daily - that I love her with all my heart. I don't know what triggered it. She probably doesn't know that - but there it is.
And as she lay sobbing by me while I rubbed her back I just kept saying I love you. Yes, she's part of your family too. I love you.
She said she was mad at me and I said that's okay because I still love you.

My heart hurts. My heart hurts for my tiny girl that's filled with loss and emotion far beyond what she should have at her age. Loss she's had since birth.
I pray for wisdom to guide her and comfort for both if us as we walk this journey of forever with the many crosses we all will carry. I pray she lets me help carry that one.

She doesn't know it yet, but tomorrow we will see her sister. This will give her joy and anxiety - and will add more confused, hurting nights to our lives. God help me to help her, guide her, and love her - to be the mother to her I know you've put me in her life to be. Help me to be kind and strong, supportive and gentle. And to show her Your love. Amen.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Gotcha Day First Anniversary

Wow a year in retrospect. I can't believe it has been a while year!! I didn't blog last year on the day of, maybe I should've forced myself to, but I just couldn't. It was so overwhelming words failed me - they still fail me. The air was sweeter, cleaner, and gravity didn't exist. I think I floated through the day on a cloud. A heavy burden of fear lifted that day and I felt so weightless. There's nothing like the fear you could lose your child; waking up with it every day is exhausting. But a year ago today, that fear went away. We sat in the courtroom, our daughter between us, surrounded by her brothers, our parents and siblings and friends and family. There were over 20 people! We had all been waiting on that glorious day!!  And in that courtroom, we said forever in front of those friends and family. And in that moment life was lighter, our hearts swelled, and the legacy of our family changed forever.
Let me tell you about my daughter. She amazes me. She came home this tiny, sick, 4lb 11oz baby girl. She captured my heart when I met her. She has grown so quickly. I wish she would slow down! Last year she toddled about; today she walks and runs with purpose as little children do. She will always be my sweet, tiny Baby Girl, but she is my little girl now.
I thank God for the daughter he blessed us with. I thank him daily for the privilege of being her mother. I ask for guidance on the road of parenthood. Mostly I ask for His protection and for His love - that it will abound and fill her so that she would truly know that she is the desire of my heart - and His.
A year has gone by since it was forever and my eyes still shine with tears of joy because the desire of my heart lay sleeping in the next room. Thank you, God, for my daughter.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hard places

It seems we've hit one of those hard places. Life is hard. Marriage is hard. Blended families are hard. Work is hard. Parenting teenagers and toddlers is hard. There is nothing easy, light, or carefree right now. What I wouldn't give for that easy going smile that gently moved from the heart to the eyes.
Even in these times where we push through it, I am thankful for my husband, my children, and our home. This week we celebrate the first anniversary of our daughter's forever with us and nothing will rain on that.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Making Easter with My Daughter


My daughter is something else! She delights and intrigues me!
This morning I was up early to get a jump start on Easter preparations for tomorrow. Then came her fast little feet down the hallway. With bright eyes and big smile she said 'Hi, Mommy!' 
She immediately became my little helper. As with anything I do with her I talked through each step as we began making homemade banana nut bread. She peeled the bananas and helped mash them. Each step I told her about the ingredients and I let her add them to the bowl. When we got to the bag of flour I got a surprise. 
I said 'now we add the flour.' She looked at me funny. She peeked in the bag before her. Then very clearly she shook her head and said 'No, Mommy.' She pointed outside. She said, 'Flower. Tree.' Then she shook her head yes at me. 
I laughed and laughed. My little girl is so smart. She listened and she understood. And in her limited vocabulary she told me I was wrong! Flour vs. flower 
She cracks me up!

Monday, April 7, 2014

On the eve of 35

It's been much too long since I made an entry here. So much happened in this last year. So much of it overwhelmed to the point I didn't know how I'd ever write it down - so I just didn't. 
I think the word that summed up the year 2013 is 'daughter'. Chris and I finalized our daughter's adoption in August. Taylor Desiree Pierce. The desire of Mommy's heart. That day will forever be amazing. Tears of joy. Laughter. Peace for the first time in a long time. God's amazing plan.
So 34 has been a good year. A GREAT year really! We have breathed deeply and fully and enjoyed every morsel of life to its fullest. I have played and laughed and watched in wonder at each passing day at her growth, her strength, her intelligence, and her beauty. I have shed a few tears watching her change from my tiny four pound baby into this tall little girl who is fearless and challenging.
I've made personal conquests too. I faced my fear of returning to work in pursuit of more than 'a job.' I've met the challenge. I've impressed my employer. I've been promoted. With each day that goes by I feel more sure of myself and my ability to lead and contribute to the organization.
I've run. I've run races. I've run for fun. I've ran when it was raining. I've ran when it was cold and I've ran in the sweltering heat of an Alabama summer. I've challenged myself. I've faced injury and I'm still in recovery, but I run. I run because I love it. I run because I compete - I compete with myself - and I always win. I am still very proud of my half marathon medal - definitely a prized item for this year - but I also already have sights on adding to what I want to be a collection. 
I've spent time with friends. Never as much as I'd like. Mostly this year has deepened existing relationships instead of adding to the mix. My friends are dear precious people - all broken in some way or another - as an I - and all striving to be better, love deeper, and give more. I am blessed by their friendships.
I have learned some things this year. Some are not pretty things though. Some are about me. Perspective. It's the truth. And it's always changing. Sometimes you can say things - you can be adamant in your conviction - you can be telling the complete truth when perspective and circumstance change. You haven't lied and you haven't changed, but the earth beyond you shifted and everything is different. 
Here's hoping that God's hand is on 35. I am looking forward to learning new things about the world - and some about me. I am looking forward to my next medal. I am looking forward to each and every day with My Baby Girl. My Taylor. And with her dad, the Love of my Life. My Christopher.
 Thank you, God, for this beautiful life I have and all your blessings I receive daily and with each breath.