We were the closest family possible. Our world was turned upside down on 05/03/09 when my best friend, the person I love most next only to our children, my sister Trina was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Her body gave out on her on 01/09/10 but she will ALWAYS be a part of our daily life and will continue to be in my posts. I started my blog to chronicle our daughter's international adoption from Guatemala and have continued to use it as a journal.

What you will find is my family trying to adapt to our new lives that were handed to us.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Asa Boy

There are times when out of the blue Asa will tell me "thank you sissy, for making me pizza" or "thank you sissy, for letting me read this book" or "thank you sissy, for letting me play that video game" or "thank you sissy, for letting me stay up late."  The list is endless. It just makes everything worth while and erases the tough times. He is just the sweetest boy and I love him so much. I can't think of many 9 year old boys who would say that. I'm sure they're out there and I'm not discounting them but I'm just proud of MY 9 year old boy.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Oscar Time

Mom and I did pretty good at seeing every one of the nine movies nominated for best picture/main acting Oscars. Last year there was a movie theater running a marathon and we missed only one. This year they didn't have a marathon so we had to see them on our own. We are missing only two and I'm pretty happy with that.

Best Picture Nominations:

     American Hustle - I nodded off. Yes, that was how good it was.

     Captain Phillips - Good.

     Dallas Buyers Club - LOVED it.

     Gravity - Boring. I had no connection to the main character, I found myself rooting for the other person to make it.

     Her - (this was one we missed)

     Nebraska - Holy hell. I cried at the end. I loved, loved, loved it. I cried because Beya lived through those times with her parents. I cried because it was emotional. I cried because it was a glimpse into my future. I cried because it was that good.

     Philomena - (the other one we missed)

     12 Years A Slave - I nodded off to this one too.

     The Wolf of Wall Street - Norm was great and watched the kids/put them to bed so mom and I could go to a 7pm showing of it last night. It was highly entertaining and the three hours went by very quickly. I liked it.

In addition to the Best Movie nominations we also saw the movies that the actors were nominated for.

     Blue Jasmine - Cate Blanchett deserves the Oscar. I saw tinges of myself in her. Hey, at least I keep my conversations in my head and don't say them out loud.

     August: Osage County - I felt as if I came from the most normal/sane family ever when I walked out of the theater.

Mom and I will be glued to the TV this Sunday. I also can't wait to see who wins the original song Oscar. Of course I'm rooting for my boys from Ireland :)


Friday, February 21, 2014

60 Minutes

I've talked often of my love for "60 Minutes". Just reading this snippet of what Sunday's episode holds for me makes me want to weep. I can relate to what Liam Neeson has to say. I have moments where I think this is all temporary, sissy WILL come back. I reach for the phone to call her. I smile and turn my head to look at her when I hear something that I know we'd be cracking up at. I see things to show her in a store. I reach for her in my dreams. Even though she's never there I doubt I'll ever stop looking.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Valentina!!!!

Seven years ago today we got "the call"!

It was about 4pm and I'd had a rough day of waiting to get the call. Sissy had taken me on a Target run to take my mind off things and I had broken down in the middle of the toy aisle, all the emotions, the waiting, the not knowing, just getting to me.

After our Target and Lowes run (you can look up the whole post, I just can't go through it and link it) I came home and there was a voicemail from our agency waiting for us.

It was the call.

Valentina, you have made our lives. Not just made our lives better, more complete, happier. You have MADE our lives. You are so much more than a little girl, you are a confidante to Asa. You are my equal, you are Beya's special girl, you were TT's favorite  spoiled niece, you are Daddy's princess, you are Papa's soul, you are Josh's Vali.

You are a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin and all around special girl.

We love you Valentina.

Happy Birthday.

Olympic Overload

The last time the Winter Olympics happened was a month after sissy died. It was the perfect escape for mom and me. We became obSESSED with them. Trina was a big Olympic fan. She always wanted to be an Olympian. Every two years we would leave our lives behind and become immersed in sports that we had never heard of nor cared about before. Every two years we happen upon some random sport that we never thought we'd give two shits about and it becomes our latest obsession. Last Winter Olympics it was women's curling. This year? Hockey. We are loving our hockey. Mom and I even got up early this morning to watch the US Mens game. I can't wait for the next Womens (Women's? Which is it Jen?) game.

After the Olympics we have our trial re-trial to get into. In March the penalty phase re-trial of the murderer of Travis Alexander takes place. I'm just hoping that they have an online feed of it. JUSTICE FOR TRAVIS!!!!!

Next up?


We are all so stoked to watch soccer 24/7 for a month. Last World Cup Asa correctly predicted all but two games. He said from the beginning that Spain was going to win. Who won the World Cup? Spain. Asa doesn't just guess, he studies who is injured, who is starting, who is sitting out etc.... I wanted so badly to be able to take him to a game this year but that isn't going to happen. Maybe in another four years.

Until then we are still on Olympic Overload.

Friday, February 14, 2014

I Don't Know

I don't know what happens after someone dies.

I don't know what happens to their soul.

I don't know if heaven exists.

I don't know if the dead can see us.

I don't know anything about this stuff.

That said, I had a couple of experiences that have given me pause.

A few months after sissy died Norm and I started marriage counseling. The office where our therapist was in was a busy part of town, horrible parking, narrow streets, you name a problem with driving and parking, that place had it. The streets were always, ALWAYS full of parked cars. Now keep in mind that I cannot parallel park AT ALL. When sissy and I would go out together she always wanted me to drive so I did. However, whenever we would get downtown and there would be a parking spot open that required parallel parking, I would literally get out of the car and change seats with her. We had more than our fair share of people (rightfully so) honking at us.

Anyway, back to the point that I can't parallel park. Whenever I would get down to our doctors office I would drive around the corner, hoping against hope that I would find a double parking spot open, that would be the only way I could parallel park.

Another thing I'd like to point out is that I didn't listen to the radio until recently. I always listened to my iPod because there were too many songs on the radio that would cause an complete and utter emotional breakdown. So I would always have my iPod plugged in and have it on.

Norm and I were in therapy off and on for a few months.

I would drive around the corner once to see if there was any parking. Each time there was never a spot open, not even a single parallel spot. It was at this time that I would say out loud "c'mon sissy, park for me."

Every damn time I said that I would come around the corner and find a spot open. Right there on a corner. No parallel parking required.


At the same time my iPod would stop working and all that would come through my speakers was static.


It would last for anywhere from 5-20 seconds. I would always say then "thank you sissy."

My iPod never stopped working at any other times than when I was parking or leaving my parking spot. Maybe it was just because of the location of the power lines? Maybe reception was just shitty there?

I don't know.

Last week another a few other things happened.

Parking is a bitch at the kids' school. Parking seems to be a theme here, it's my nemesis. Luckily no parallel parking :) but the parents there are total assholes and think they can park anywhere they want, to hell if they are blocking literally 5 other people who are trying to catch empty parking spots that THEY could park in. Parents there also never yield to the busses like they are supposed to and apparently parking lot courtesy or rules (yield to those going straight when you're making a left turn) go out the window if you have a kid in school. I, on the other hand, ALWAYS use the rules. I'm a very courteous driver which explains why I get so fucking fed up when I take and pick up the kids every day.

The other afternoon I got to the school about 20 minutes early, which unfortunately is what you have to do in order to get a parking spot. The fact that we only live a half mile away is cruel, I should be able to leave my house five minutes before they get out but due to the assholes I have to change my schedule. Anyway, I come around the corner and there's a car parked BLOCKING THE ENTIRE PARKING LOT!!!! Just sitting there. I stopped my car and just threw up my hands in frustration. What the fucking fuck? Who the hell BLOCKS the entire parking LOT?! I wasn't sure what to do. Should I honk? I hate it when people honk but then again I never give them a reason to honk at me. Can I get past them and squeeze into the parking lot? Nope, too tight. What do I do? I was sitting on my hands, literally, when I had the thought "if sissy was here she'd be laying on the horn."

At that very second a horn honked.

The asshole moved their car, opening up the parking lot. I was in shock. Who honked? I looked down at my hands, still under my legs. Nope, couldn't have been me. I look behind me. Nope, nobody there honking at me. I look around and all I saw were empty cars. Who the hell honked?

I don't know.

What I do know is that I was finally able to park.

The other morning I got up and was watching my morning news (CBS This Morning featuring Charlie Rose) before the kids got up. I was drinking my tea and catching up on what had happened overnight when I realized that one of my lamps was out. Now that is expected. I have a lamp on either side of the TV. One of the lamps I turn off every night and the one closer to Valentina's room I leave on all night. Every morning I always come out to the living room, turn on the other lamp and open the shades. It's part of my morning ritual. But this morning I had forgotten to turn on the other lamp. It was really annoying me and I thought maybe I HAD turned the lamp on but the lightbulb blew. Anyway, I was sitting there getting pissed at myself for not turning it on instead of doing what a normal human would do which is get off the couch and actually turn it on. Oh no, I'm far from normal. I just continued to sit on my ass and drink my tea. I had the thought "man, if only sissy would turn on the lamp! That would be sweet!" A while goes by and the next thing I know is my lamp is on. I did a double take and thought "how the hell did that happen? Did I get up and turn it on?" I actually sat there for about 30 seconds trying to remember if I had finally behaved like a human and turned it on. Nope, no memory of it. Then again my memory is horrible. Seriously. Horrible. My psychiatrist says it's the Ambien but I think it's the Ambien combined with the slew of other medications I have to take. Again I sat there trying to figure out of I had gotten up. Nope, my tea was still in my hand. My legs were still crossed. My robe was in the same place. You know how when you get up and do something and then go sit back down you usually sit in a different position? I was in the exact same position.

I don't know.

I certainly don't feel anything when things like this happen. I don't feel a presence, I don't feel Trina around me, I don't feel calm, I don't feel anything but thankful because the one thing all of these things have in common is that they made my life easier.

Did sissy do all of these things?

I don't know.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Too Sad

My heart breaks for the family of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Their lives are forever changed.