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A Story...

Last year, just because, Daniel ordered me a surprise. The moment I saw the shape of the box I had an idea what it was. I opened the box excited to see what new vinyl my husband thought I would enjoy. 
KEB' MO' : "BLUESAMERICANA"
Hmm. I do not know this Keb Mo. I wonder why Daniel sent me this. Let me just flip it over and read the song titles and see if he is trying to send me a message: 
The Worst Is Yet To Come  Somebody Hurt You  Do It Right  I'm Gonna Be Your Man  Move  For Better Or Worse  That's Alright  The Old Me Better  More For Your Money  So Long Goodbye 
Ummmmm. Sooooo? I....
So I sent him a text. I can't remember what It said, but I think I asked him if everything was alright and I think he said something that indicated it was and why, so I said I just got my Amazon package... If I remember correctly, he sent back a smiley face and asked me if I liked it. Ummm... yes... So I listed a few of the songs and he asked me what they were and long story short…

Breaking

Today wasn't an easy day. I mean, if we're being honest (and that's what this is) it hasn't been an easy TIME. Being back in California has its positives (I'm looking at you, friends) but it's also been a huge stress. We miss Texas - almost everything about it, actually - but especially the life we built there, our community, the great activities for our family and the cost of living. I feel like I'm supposed to stop there and it's not polite to talk about money, or politics, or religion, but UGH. It's expensive to live here. Really expensive. And if we're being really REALLY honest, we're struggling. Dogs getting cancer and roofs needing to be replaced and relocating is expensive. State income taxes are no joke. Having four kids isn't the cheapest choice. We're managing and we'll get by, but it's stressful.
Personally, I'm struggling because I feel useless. Like I am not contributing to my family. And before you tell me…

Heavy

The Animal Hospital where we took Bailey called a couple weeks ago to let us know that her ashes were ready to pick up. I told them I'd be there the next day and I realized later that was a lie. My heart felt heavy when I heard their words. I didn't feel ready to bring her back home because I knew I wasn't really bringing her home. She's gone. 
So I waited. And each day I drove by that place where I left a piece of my heart, I felt heavier and heavier. So I started taking a different route to and from Finnegan's school. If I took a different road, I could try to forget that place and what we did there. I could try to push away that sadness.
But the thing is, I couldn't. I can't. I feel that sadness every day. When I see another Boston Terrier. When the girls call for their Bailey and are confused when we tell them she is gone and can't come back, not ever. When Finnegan tells me he thinks Maxie is lonely and needs a friend again.
I forced myself to dri…

How We Said Goodbye

Zoe asked me yesterday what I've written recently for my blog. "Nothing, baby. I haven't written since I wrote about saying goodbye to Bailey." "Oh. You should write something. I think it's cool you have a blog."
So I pulled up my blog and realized, I didn't write about saying goodbye. Not really. I wrote about how she joined our family and how much we loved her, but I couldn't tell the story of how we knew we had to let her go.
It was a Saturday. After more than a week of her cuddling with us more and making us think maybe she was going to be with us a little bit longer after all, I looked at her and knew she wasn't herself. I held her on my bed and ran my hand over the stripe on the top of her head and around her neck the way she always liked. I kneaded her neck and told her what a sweet girl she was. Her right eye was swollen. Blind for almost four years already, her pretty chocolate eyes had been covered in white clouds, but they looked…

Bailey 1/3/2004 - 8/27/2016

We saw an ad in the paper for Boston a Terrier puppies for sale. We'd been together for just over a year and I'd wanted us to get a dog for oh, about a year. We researched what the right breed for us would be. Not a pug, he said, "their eyes fall out and you have to put them back in with a spoon." What?! No! (That has never happened to Maxie, by the way.) So we decided on a Boston Terrier. Good companion dogs - protective, great travelers. Wonderful with children (not that we were going to have any but you know, in case friends ever did). 
So we drove up a mountain to where the puppies were and when we got there, I remember feeling like this place was not what I thought it would be. I expected someone's home but this was a large property with multiple buildings and a trailer. I expected to see a litter with their mama. There were tons of cages and Bostons of all sizes. To my horror, we were in a puppy mill. We walked up to an area filled with about six pups, all…

More Changes in Bakersfield

When we started the school year, we were a Reagan Elementary family. But things got complicated last Tuesday. Here's our story*:
Our family relocated back to Bakersfield on June 9, 2016. The house we purchased was perfect - close to my husband’s work and just doors down from the front doors of Reagan Elementary. The price of the home was more than we planned on spending, but it was worth it to be so close to a highly regarded elementary school that our kids could walk to. We knew the school was highly populated, so I rushed to the school the morning the office opened back up for the year so that I could turn in our registration paperwork. Both kids were anxious about the uncertainty of where they would end up. My husband and I did not (and still don't) understand why they would let these kids start at one school and then uproot them 2 or 3 weeks later, after they've made friends and adjusted. That seemed extremely unfair to the students and their families. We tried to pre…

Home

Last night I was up all night because our floor was the party floor, duh. I found out there's only so many times you can shout "Bakersfield PD!" and get a heart racing/fear reaction from me. So thanks for that drunkards in room 804. Thanks for that.

We were up at 4:30am. On our first flight at 6:30am. We took three flights. Slept a bit. Made "To Do" lists and "Must Sell" lists and reviewed our calendar for the month of May. We stressed a little and then we took deep breaths. I felt sad flying into Houston and seeing all the green. I've loved it here - far more than I ever expected to. 
We got home and hugged our kids - Mol tried giving me the silent treatment for a bit, but after a while she nonchalantly said, "Hi, Mom." Just like that, as she walked by and barely made eye contact. Apparently, Molly turned 13 while we were away. 
We showed the Biggies pictures of the new house and wiped away Zoe's tears. Her room is smaller. There…