Friday, February 27, 2015

Few of my favorite things....

Favorite Reminder from God this week
He will be with me!

Favorite Oscar Look
I didn't even watch the Oscars this year
(how are you going to compete with The Walking Dead AND Downton Abby?)
But I did check out the fashions....
I love green anyways so I just adore this dress
... but dang... can we talk about how much Scarlett Johannson looks like a Barbie Doll shaped human?  & didn't she just have a baby? .... ok... I hate her.
Jealousy speaking there.

Favorite Re-do
DIY Filing cabinet makeover - used epoxy to attach cheap 8x10 frames from walmart, painted entire thing using homemade chalk paint in swiss coffee color, then added new hardware and finished it with minwax paste wax to guard against scuffs and scratches.
They glued picture frames around the handles, painted the whole thing & changed out the hardware.  LOVE IT!
I'd even love to paint it in Chalkboard paint!!!

Favorite Dog Treat
I need to remember to do this for the dogs - especially when summer comes.
Use chicken or beef broth, freeze it with a bone in it - once its frozen, put the bone down into another tray & let that freeze... broth cubes on both sides with a bone in the middle.
 .... Harvey Dent will probably just eat the tray...
Favorite Sign
So true!
I need this in my home... & my bathroom...
& every other room in my house - along with hand sanitizer.
My germaphobe & love for Jesus comes together.
Favorite Marriage Thought
@Jeff you!!
I'm sure The Hubs would agree with this
... from being on both sides...

Favorite Funnies of the week
what? i do.

This just makes me giggle.
Oh man... I wish I did this in high school....

I agree with this statement!
And that other room better lead into another room full of books
Ain't that the truth
My short term memory bites
... but I can remember exactly the outfit I wore in high school having to stand in front of the class for a speech... makes perfect sense.

pretty much.
Even more so on snowy roads

Basically how I've felt the past 2 weeks have gone

Banging Head Down Slide

 Me waiting for 4:00 today
 Office Boredom

Happy Friday everyone!!!
What are some of your favorite things this week?


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thankful Thursday {Link Up #8}

Thankful Thursday
All that we behold is full of blessings.
~William Wordsworth

Sometimes life just happens & its so easy to wallow.... I truly believe that's when God can be the clearest though.  When we may have to LOOK for the blessings, but they are there... & that's when they are the sweetest...

So this week, these are some of the things I am thankful for....

....Worth noting again - my dad's results came back cancer free.  & he's home & healing up nicely!  & by nicely, I mean he's back to eating.  Success!

.... My mom .... Ever since her "non" stroke (they don't know what happened to her & why her eye is closed & her mouth was drooping).... but her eye opened up Tuesday!!!   

... the flower arrangement my mom sent to the funeral home had a cross in it - perfect for our cross wall in our home.  I love when our crosses have a personal meaning behind them... this one will be precious to us.

.... Our neighbors.... in the snow, our driveway would take FOR-EV-ER to hand shovel, but I got home from work to find our drive has been plowed & cleared off for me to get from the road straight to the garage.  I honestly can't express how much that means to me... I may not shovel it myself (my shoulder, I can't) but I sit there & worry about Ricky having to shovel after walking 15 miles for his work day.... know that part in the Bible that says, "Love thy neighbor"?  We got that covered!

.... No Snow this week!! I'm so over snow!!!  We may have the cold to deal with still for the next few days, but as long as there's no more snow, I'm good.

.... Going along with that idea - thankful to see pavement again.  Most of the roads are FINALLY getting cleared off.  I literally can not walk on snow & ice so this clutzy girl is so happy to see the asphalt shining through.

yep... this is about right....

.... My first Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee.  It wasn't bad.  It wasn't "McDonald's" level iced coffee, but it was way better then Starbucks version.  & its something I can run out & grab at lunch on beat up afternoons. 

.... Filling up my car before gas rose 50 cents in one afternoon.  How does it raise that much in an hour?  I don't get it.  .... still thankful that even at its highest right now ($2.49) its still lower then $4.00 a gallon.

.... Hobby Lobby.  I had to wait after work to meet up with Ricky to go to the funeral home to see Ricky's sister, Pam & her husband.  What better place to wait then Hobby Lobby?  Ricky said he was trying to hurry.... no worries.  Give me all the time you need as long as I can stand in all things yarn & crafty.

... a surprise at the door.  We got home last night & had a box at the door.  Opened it up & saw this beautiful stepping stone that our youngest had sent since she couldn't make the funeral (lives in Iowa).... Ricky & I both had our mouths just dropped.  Isn't it beautiful?  As soon as he pulled it out, I saw that it was engraved with the name & date.... oh my goodness... how precious.

What are you thankful for this week?
If you blog about things you are thankful for - be sure to link up ... & go visit others & see what blessings are being poured on everyone

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

#itsbeenaweek / Hashtag Confessions


... I can't believe its been a week since Michael has left us.  It feels like its been forever since I saw him in the hospital.... but also feels like seconds ago that we heard the news there was nothing else they could do.  #timeplayswithemotions

... I was so nervous about the funeral home Michael was in because it was new, but they were so kind & accommodating with us... & the best part?  Separate kitchens for the families.  #geniusidea

... it was nice to see Michael's friends from back to high school come & visit.  I love when people stay in touch.  Its so easy to loose contact with people. #friendsthroughtheyears

... The thing that makes me happy about Michael right now - I just envision him in Heaven with his dogs.  We all are such animal loving people... & while I know Michael is happy to see his dad & other family members, something about seeing him in my mind loving on his dogs?  Just makes my heart smile. #alldogsgotoheaven

... I hate alcohol.  I don't drink.... never have.  But especially now, when I hear people talking about drinking, I just cringe.  #dontdrink #yourliverwillthankyou

... While I don't understand addiction to alcohol, I do believe we all have our own addictions in some shape or form.  #dontjudgeanyone

... I wish I could ease the pain for Ricky.  To see him so sad just breaks my heart even more. #abrotherslove

... Michael had wanted me to bring my camera up on Wednesday to take pictures of everyone together... makes me so sad I didn't do it earlier.  I would have but you just don't think people want a picture of them when they are sick.  Now I'm beating myself up for not doing it anyways. #pictureslastforever #notexpectingtoleavesoquick

... I wanted to take my camera to the funeral home - not to take pictures of Michael, but to take pictures of family & friends all in one place... & not to capture sadness but to capture the smiles & hugs.  Ricky said it would be weird so I didn't take my camera.  I can't help it. I always want to document life.  #photographersheart

... My parents & my stepdaughter sent the most beautiful flower arrangements that are so large, just the 2 of them take up my whole table in the foyer.  I can't even begin to tell you the smell when you walk in my house. #myhouseisaflorist

... I think one of the flower arrangements, one of the plants can be planted outside.  I need to read up on it.  I'm clueless when it comes to all things flowered & planted.  #Ihavenogreenthumb

... I'm keeping all these flowers away from Harvey Dent.  #dogwilleatanything

... Not one person at my job has mentioned Michael's passing to me.  I've been at my job for 23 years... tells you a lot about the people I work with. #dontgetinvolved

... My sweet friend lost her dad just hours before Michael passed away.... his funeral was the same day as Michael's... so I didn't get to go hug my friend & her family in their loss.  #justbadtiming

... Ricky's oldest sister, Pam... her father in law passed away on Monday.  #somuchloss

... It always happens that death comes in 3's.... it was my friend's dad, then Michael & now Pam's dad-in-law. How does that always seem to happen? Is it just an old wives tales & we just notice it like that?  I don't get it....  #soweird

... I feel like I'm full of nothing but bad news lately. #debbiedowner

... I know things will get better soon.... life goes on... hearts heal even though they still ache with loss.  #joycomesinthemorning

Don't forget - tomorrow is the link up for Thankful Thursday
#Hashtaghumpday @ Genuinely Lauren
Linking up today with Genuinely Lauren

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In Other news... my dad ...

So yeah... in the midst of life kicking us in the gut the past week, I did mention my dad went in for a surgery on Thursday.

Lucky guy... just had another 8 inches taken out of his colon.

Sounds like fun....

Dad was so drugged up here before going into surgery... I'm sure he has no idea he took this picture

10 years ago, my dad found out he had colon cancer & we were very blessed that they were able to take it all out surgically & he has been doing fine every since....

except he never went back for any more colonoscopies.

Everyone... do this to my dad when you see him next

& people wonder where I get my stubbornness from?

But my dad & brother made an appointment together to get their colonoscopies done at the same time & they found a really big polyp in dad's colon that was too far to reach... so back to the hospital for surgery.

This was Thursday. 

The surgery actually went really well & really fast... it was the recovery that was hard for him.  Dad has sleep apnea but REFUSES to do anything about it (#men) because he says he wont be able to sleep with a mask on using one of those machines because he flips & flops all night long.  The nurse let him know that maybe he could sleep much more peaceful if he wore it & then he wouldn't flip & flop at all ... You go Lady Nurse!!!

But in recovery after the surgery, dad's blood oxygen just wouldn't come up.  Even his breathing is stubborn.

He spent twice as long in recovery as he did in the surgery.  My mom & I were getting nervous when the 2.5 hour mark was approaching since he had been in recovery & he was still in there....

They finally got him to the room & let's just say I'm sure dad was happy to be hooked up to a pain pump....

I think if they took 8 inches of my colon out, I'd want a pain pump as well.

Heck, I was ready for a pain pump just from sitting in the hospital all day long.

This may have been how I got my mom back to the car to go home that night

I hate it because I wasn't able to go to the hospital as much as I wanted to with Michael passing away, but that's where its good that there are nurses there to take care of loved ones.  If you are a nurse, kudos to you.

But dad finally got to come home yesterday... 5 long days in the hospital...

& we actually got the news back that the polyp was NOT cancer... YAHOOO!!!!!!

... & now, the doctor has dad on a schedule of planned colonoscopies in the future.  No more waiting 10 years.

So back to healing for dad... & real food... or at least soft food for the next few days.

& now Life, can I ask for you to ease up on us now?  Just for a little bit?  Thanks. Much appreciated.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The weekend that we said goodbye.....

Remember that numb feeling I talked about last week when we lost Michael?

It still is there... with a little added bonus of heart break...

Most weekends are days you look forward to... not this one.  It was one where we had to say goodbye to a family member.

Saturday, we woke up to this...


Great... just great... a winter storm warning on the day of Michael's funeral.

The roads were awful to start off the day.  It took Ricky & I about an hour & a half to make it to the funeral home.

Luckily, the day would improve with rain to turn everything into slush.  It did allow friends & family to visit as the day went on.

There is nothing worse then walking into a funeral parlor room for the first time to see the person you care about & love laying there... it's just a shock to the system... just not right.


Ricky's sister put together the most beautiful photo collages though where we could look back & have fun memories of Michael smiling & laughing.  It's small things like that that help you through the day like this day.

Being in a funeral home is just such a strange day.  You are so happy to see faces & you love hearing stories of the person you loved & reliving fun memories.... but then the heart break comes again when you have to explain what happened & you are reminded once again that you will not have any more memories being made with this person.... the roller coaster of emotion is so intense.

With the weather, we were all so happy with the turn out of people who cared about Michael & the family.  It seemed like at a few points in the day, the room was so busy & full, you could hardly turn around without bumping into someone.

Michael's son, Evan, came up in the afternoon.  He is just the most precious little boy... with the most precious momma.  We just love Stephanie.  I honestly can't say enough good things about this woman.  Everyone was holding their breath as Evan came into the room & noticed his daddy there.... & of course, like every 2 year old, they just don't understand.  It was a lot of "Shh, daddy's sleeping"... & a lot of playing & running around the room for him.  I'm so thankful he was there.  He made everyone so happy & brought joy to so many broken hearts.  Children have a way of doing that. 

Seeing Evan's sweet face lets us know too that even though Michael's life ended so young, he left behind a piece of him that will be with us....

Evan just loved the crowd of people too.  This little guy needs to be President one day.  Mainly because 1. he's so good with strangers.  & 2. He's a flirt.  He'd win all the women vote. 

My sister in law got these pictures of this hug fest...

He loved our little Grandbuddy too
... I think she was kinda crushing herself...

Kids just have a way of bringing light to dark situations...

Ricky with our grand-buddy

We were so blessed to have our buddy Ryan do the memorial service for Michael. 

The funeral home was going to provide someone to do the service, but Ricky just wanted someone who knew the family, who wouldn't just be doing a "job", & most importantly, Ricky wanted the word of God spoken...

I wish I could express to you how well Ryan did.  The service was just what the family needed.  He brought up memories of the past, reminded us about the sides of Michael's personality & of course, reminded us who our shelter was in times of storms....  it honestly could not have been more perfect.

One of my favorite parts of the service was reminding everyone that we all struggle with things... & while Michael's might have been alcohol & we get angry about the idea of this struggle being the thing that took him away from us, we will all leave this world with struggle.  No one will leave this world perfect... & that's why we need a perfect God to help us.

Pam, the big sister of the gang, also went up & spoke.  She just was so wonderful... such a big sister who wanted to speak for the family... & she did it so beautifully.  We were all so proud of her as well.  She spoke of the hope we had for Michael when he became a father & how we had all really felt like this would be the moment that would turn his life around.... Pam could speak so well on this knowing the sadness so deeply herself & how we all felt when we knew it wasn't going to be the turn around we all had prayed for.

I think at the end of the night, we were all so happy how the celebration for Michael's life went... it was a beautiful service & we were all surrounded by so many caring people....

I know for Ricky, Sunday was the hardest though.... I would bet it was probably that way for all the siblings, for Stephanie & for Michael's momma....

it's when the quiet starts to set in... when life gets back to routine... its those moments when everything that doesn't feel real, all comes crashing down, feeling entirely too real... the missing hole in all of our lives feels heart crushingly real.

We have a recording that Michael's sister, Sherry took when the doctor came in & told Michael there was nothing else they could do.  It's about a 15 minute recording.  You hear the sadness in the doctor's voice... & then you hear Michael's voice... & his words of saying, "I'm not ready to go"... the fight he still wanted to give.  & to know he'd leave this world in less then 12 hours after he said these words....

I think Ricky listened to this recording 10 times yesterday....

It keeps his voice fresh in our heads... but brings back the anger & hurt of knowing that the fight is over for Michael....

It just all makes me think though of what the Bible tells us... we're all going to get to the end of our fight.  It's then that completeness, wholeness & healing really takes place.  I just have to believe Michael is in a place now where he has no more struggles, no more addictions, no more demons chasing him.  He now knows how much he is loved... & he's experiencing reunions with family members... & as Ricky told him, he will wait for everyone to be together again one day....

Please pray for my family....

& thank you for the kind words of support you have already given....

I have fought the good fight
I have finished the race
I have kept the faith
2 Timothy 4:7

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thankful Thursday (Link up #7) ... special edition....

Thankful Thursday

I debated posting anything .... but its in sad times of loosing my brother in law,  I think its more of a reason to keep searching for things to be thankful for.
& while some of these may feel heavy & sad, I am still thankful...
So I went ahead & put the link up for anyone to join in...

What I'm thankful for this week:

... Michael's family.... he was always surrounded by someone keeping him company.  I hate the idea of people being alone in the hospital when bad news is surrounding them.  Support is key.

... Nurses & doctors.  Michael had some really good people who took time to take care of him.  More important, they were kind to him.  Kindness matters.

...  Caring people.  The comments we all received yesterday on Facebook & emails & all sorts of ways technology allows - it touched my heart. I know it had to touch the whole family.

... my husband.  Ricky never gave up hope for Michael in the hospital.  He always said, "He's going to make it out of here"... I know things don't always turn out how we think they will, or how we think they SHOULD... but the attitude of hope that he has makes me love him even more every day.

... Offering people.  People who offer to help in any way they can... means so much.

... Bible Study.  I'm studying Hebrews & just read the day before Michael died how Satan uses the fear of death to hold control over us.  I am so glad that the day before Michael left this world, I was reminded that Jesus has won the battle over death.

... A Savior.  I am so thankful for a Savior that offers hope in despair... & I'm so thankful that Michael knew that Savior.

... Knowing Michael.  I am thankful that I was able to marry into this family & have Michael become my own family member.  & anyone who has siblings knows that its usually a complicated relationship that involves stupid arguments ( a lot of them over basketball games when you live in Louisville, Kentucky) but in the end, you know you love your sibling.  That's how it was with Michael.  I am thankful to have known him & had him in my life.

Obituary photo of Michael Dwayne "Mike"  Vincent, Louisville, KY

Please pray today for my dad as well... we're at the hospital today as he has a colon resection ... he will be spending the next few days in the hospital recovering. 
I'm going to claim healing & health already!  I'm THANKFUL for a easy recovery for my dad!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Doesn't feel real.....

This morning, things just don't feel real....

Ricky's brother, Michael, passed away early this morning....

He was 40 years old...

I can't believe it....

I think the whole family feels numb right now.

The details of what happened aren't important...

what is important is our family has just lost a member...

My husband lost his only brother
Sisters lost their bubby
A mother lost her son
Nieces & nephew lost their uncle
.... a 2 yr old son lost his father...

It's moment like this where life just doesn't feel real.

I am comforted by knowing that Michael knew God.... he believes in Jesus as God's Son... we prayed with him... he asked for prayer.... Michael believed....

We know where he is at right now...

With our Heavenly Father... with no pain... in perfect health....

Please pray for my Vincent family as we figure out the next few days...

The Lord is close to the broken hearted ....
~Psalms 34:18