Friday, July 8, 2011

I Feel The Need

The sole reason this blog was created was to provide a mass update on Aviana while she was fighting for her life. Providing this information, multiple times, over multiple days, was just too painful.  As time pressed on, and Aviana was going to make it, the coarse of the blog changed, and so did the title. 

I carefully selected the new title of this blog. I decided on, "The Long and Winding Road" for a number of reasons, but most importantly, because this story is about us as a family. Yes, Aviana is the star of the show, but we are her supporting cast, and we have a story to tell, too.  I have chosen for our story to include every dynamic. Whether it be about Dave, and me. Rainey, and Aviana. Dave, and Aviana. Or Kama, and me. This is our family. We have all suffered a great loss. We are all grieving. We are all trying to make the best of a horrible situation. We try hard to keep our sense of humor. We also try to have as much fun as possible, as we go through this. This is what our life is like...all of it. 

I try to be as real as I possibly can. I share a great deal, but of course, there are some things I keep to myself. As far as the things I choose to share, I do my absolute best to stay as true, and honest as I possibly can.

Some people are bothered by this. I want to be crystal clear here, I have never once gotten a hurtful comment on this blog, and for that I am thankful, but with some family members, it can be a completely different story.

Some of my family is very uncomfortable with what I share, as they come from the, "sweep it under the rug, and act like everything is okay," "don't air your dirty laundry," or the "holier than thou," mentality. I couldn't be further from that way of thinking if I tried.

I feel that belief doesn't help anyone. Putting on a false front is just that....false. It is not true, unrealistic, and doesn't help.

I have to say, I think it would make for a boring story if I just stopped by here, and said, "Aviana is doing good. She is eating well, and we are going to Philadelphia again soon." When I stumble upon a story of that sort, I quickly move on. I know there are many blogs out there, and they all serve a different purpose, but I am left wanting to know, "What is this really like for you? How does this make you feel? How are you able to overcome this?" I am constantly wanting to be better, gain insight, and think in ways I may have never before. That's just me though. I latch on to those sort of stories.

My blog is just is mine! I am not selfish about many things, but this is one area where I am very selfish. I feel I have had to defend my writing to many attacks. Please know, never by anyone that comments, but by many others.

In the beginning, I heard this...

"You shouldn't be so excited, and hopeful. Look at her. I have no idea what you are talking about on your blog." 

Really?? Really?? Don't be excited, and hopeful? Well guess what, that's all we've got...hope!! Without it, we are dead in the water! 

I have also heard all of this....

"You shouldn't swear on your blog."

I have told you all, I swear, and trust me, I don't like it. I think it sounds trashy, and I have been working on it. But guess what, that is a part of me, and while I don't think this is the forum for cuss words. I can't help it sometimes. I think I have used a total of three cuss words in 604 posts, and I have to hear about it. These words were warranted. When I used these words, there was no better word for my complete and utter frustration. As you can see from my minimal use, I choose my words carefully, and if you are to get offended by three words in 604 posts, then maybe my blog is not for you.

"You need to learn to put Aviana first in your life."

Seriously? Are you being real when you say this? Last time I checked, we have devoted every last ounce of ourselves to Aviana. Last time I checked, everything we do, has her at the forefront of our minds. Last time I checked, I think we had traveled back and forth FOUR times across the country. We only have implemented and are pulling off one of the hugest recovery feats in the world. I do feel that Dave, and my health, and well being suffers due to our constant focus on  everything Aviana. We surely don't do exactly what is right for ourselves. I know this is an area we need to work on more, actually putting ourselves first, and moving Aviana down the totem pole a little.

"Maybe you shouldn't write when you are having a really bad day." 

Doesn't that defeat the entire purpose of this blog? Doesn't that have a way of telling a slanted story. If I wrote on only good days, will anyone really have an understanding of what this is like? And most importantly, if someone is reading who has experienced some sort of grief, and loss, doesn't that half story make them feel more isolated and alone?  I choose to tell my story as a whole. I choose to tell you about the ups and downs, because there are many. How can there not be? 

"You sound like a crazy person on your blog. You are all over the place." 

Yes, you are right, but can you blame me? For 34 years, I lead a pretty normal, happy, steady life. I was pretty even keel, with maybe a few blips, here and there, on the radar. Throw in the magnitude of what has happened in the past 2 years, and I have to say, I truly am on the rollarcoaster of my life. I am up, down, and all around. I am laughing one minute, and just might be crying the next. SO sue me for showing emotion. Sue me for being open and honest about what this is like! Sue me for thinking that by telling my story, I just might help someone to feel, that what they are experiencing in their own life, is okay. 

I have been asked many times before, if I am on anti-depressents? If you too, are wondering, the answer is no, and it is not because I think there is anything wrong with them. For me, I haven't felt the need to ever take them, but believe me, if the time comes, and I feel I need them, I will be first in line.

"You say you pray to God on your blog all the time. We were wondering why you pray to God, and not Jesus? How are you going to feel when Dave and Aviana are in heaven, and you are in hell. Do you know you have many people praying for your family? Do you even appreciate it?"

WOW! This one really blew my socks off. This conversation went further into personal attacks of me as a child growing up. I can handle all of that just fine, but once my mom was attacked for the way she raised me, all hell broke loose. You don't EVER attack my mom, to my face. EVER!!!

There is so much to say on this front, but I will leave it at this....I truly appreciate every single prayer, from everyone of you! I think you know it, but just wanted to make sure :o)

"You talk about Kama and Rainey too much."

I fully understand if you are not a dog person, and have no interest in seeing pictures, or hearing stories of our dogs. Like every story, you can always skip the parts you don't like, and move on to the ones that pertain to you, or that just might help you in some way. 

Everyone has their thing. The thing they love most in the world. The thing that has a way of taking all of their problems away. The thing that makes you feel most alive. The thing that you can do, and the world has a way of falling aside. The thing that makes it all better. It is different for everyone. For some it is their kids, or painting, or a place, etc. For me, it is my dogs. My relationship with my dogs is without end. I love them with every single fiber of my being. I treat them as my most prized possession. I guard them, and protect them like no other. And, I share them. How could I not? They are a blessing, and have helped me through this journey in a way nothing else has. 

"It was inappropriate to include your "List" on here."

Maybe so, but I started 'More About You Monday' to mainly get to know you better, and of course, to have some fun sometimes. The subject matter of this blog is, for the most part, pretty heavy. Dave and I deal with the hardest, and heaviest of situations every second, of every day. In order to keep our sanity, we laugh, joke, and try to have as much fun as we can. We do our best to make our situation as light as possible. If we didn't, we would surely be divorced, unhappy, fighting, or dead on the floor. We choose the alternative. 

Dave, and I have laughed about our list so many times over the past years, and we had fun compiling all of the pictures, and details for those posts. Moments like that, give us the opportunity to escape, and be entertained for a little while.

"Boy Jen - I thought you have no time because you are so busy with Aviana. Have fun in Tahoe today."

My counselor has actually given me homework of overnight trips, of which I rarely have ever done. This was one of the very rare times, I was able to pull myself away for less than 24 hours, and this is the text I received on my way to Tahoe. Speechless...I was rendered speechless, while at the very same time, my head was about to blow.  Who does that? What kind of creep says things like that?? Just to let you know, that was just the tip of the iceberg with that individual ;o(

I have a terrible memory, so these are the only ones that have really hurt, or just kind of made me tilt my head sideways, and think maybe some further explanation of my actions might be nice. As I have told you before, it takes a great deal for me to be offended, so I am sure many other things have been said, and just slid right off.

Geez! From all of the things people have said to me, you would think I am a horrible person! To all of the people who have said the above things to my face, I have plainly and simply said, time and again, "If you don't like what I have to say, don't read it!" 

I thought this would all go without say, but over the coarse of time, I have felt the need to explain myself. My intent is to respect others, be kind, share fully, and through our experience try my best to help in any way possible. I am well aware of the fact that you can't please all the people, all the time, but I just feel compelled to explain myself. I am not asking everyone to agree with everything I write, that is not possible. I am just asking that you look at my overall intent, and know that my heart is good, and I am not ever trying to upset, or hurt anyone. 

I am making the best of, and doing the best I possibly can in our situation, and definitely don't deserve some of the things that have been said to me. I feel like my plate is already overflowing, so adding all these crappy comments on top, makes me seriously question how I am still standing? ;o(

Over time, I have finally been pushed to the feeling of needing to defend, and explain myself though. Again, please know I have never once received a rude, or hurtful comment on here. I have heard of so many people getting awful comments, and luckily, you have all been loving, supportive, helpful, and compassionate. I thank you for that. 


  1. Holy Moly Macaroni!!!! I'm deliberating NOT swearing ♥ and the heart was just for you ☺ I'm speechless. No words, just support for you. I love you, you're amazing and just for anyone who's wondering, Jen is just as cool and NORMAL on the phone as she is on her blog!

    Love you.

  2. Oh, and yes, you're normal on the phone.... but who's the say you aren't a total whack job in real life, haha!!! Oh, that's right, you ARE!!! LOL.

  3. When it comes to tough things like brain injured children, baby loss, etc...It makes people uncomfortable. Some people know enough to realize that you NEED to grieve, you NEED to vent, and that it is healthy. They are there for you. Some people are too worried about being uncomfortable themselves that they just want you to sweep it under the carpet. As far as I'm concerned, they can go...well...I'll just leave it at that and not curse. ;)

  4. It's kinda scary being the first commenter because I think everyone reads the first one, but here goes. In your life, my opinions count for dirt because they're my opinions and I'm not family or even a RL friend. However....I love blogs where the writer is real and sometimes I want to pat you on the back in agreement. If the writer is just givng facts, what's the point. What you write is never wrong or right, except from the POV of the reader. Personally, I think you're usually right, but that's just my POV. I never really understand why others feel the need to judge your (or anyones) life and how they live it unless it involves illegal or really hurtful behavior. We all do the best we can and you've been dealt one of the hardest hand of cards imagineable and I think you're doing a damn good job of managing your lives. I was going to use a better swear word in solidarity, but it's your blog so will leave that to you.

    I read all the comments and I think you have a lot of loving and supportive friends, probably many you've never met. That doesn't happen accidentally, that's for real. Hold on to that!


  5. Oh good, while I was writing and rewriting, other people got the "first poster" status....thank heavens!


  6. Praise God that only HIS opionion matters!! And because of Christ we can come to Him and receieve his unfailing love and mercy!!

    Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

  7. I am one of the avid readers who you don't know. Not a day goes by that I don't read your blog. You are an amazing family. Don't ever give up or stop sharing your story. I have seen the program work in it's early stages. The committment then was nothing compared to today. Those who judge you have no understanding of that. One day they will understand why it is all worth it (but they will never admit it). Don't stress over those people as it is not worth it!


  8. I love reading your blog in good times and bad. I cannot understand how anyone can think of criticizing you. If you need to swear, go for it! You're doing your best and I for one, commend you for it.

  9. Interestingly enough, I am sitting here with a smile on my face as I read this post because this is who you are, this is your true, fighting spirit and this is what gets you and your family through each day as you live with something that most of us cannot even imagine in our worst nightmare.

    I read everything you write, I know you and your family personally and I love you with my entire being. I read your words BECAUSE they are honest, because they are real and because it is here, on YOUR blog where you can express the pain, the joy, the disappointment, the love on this rocky part of your journey. I wouldn't want it any other way, and I wouldn't expect it any other way.

    I laugh with you, I cry with you, I feel your pain and I feel very protective over you, Dave, Avi and Rainey. If I had gone through what you have gone through and are still going through, I don't know if I would be able to drag myself out of bed each morning. You do and yes, there are good days and bad days and you share them in such a way as to inspire me to be a better person, to give life my all. You have a gift and I feel this is much bigger than the small circle of life in Roseville. You touch many, many people and you will continue to do so as long as you stay true to yourself.

    There is a quote (I can't seem to find it and you know I have looked) that goes something like this:

    "It is easy to be what everyone else wants you to be, it is much harder to be yourself."

    Your gift to the world is to be yourself, your true self, anything less would be a tragedy. (this part is my words, not part of the quote)

    Love, love, love you ♥♥♥

  10. Jesus is a good example for all of us; someone to emulate, especially during times of sorrow and hardship. He experienced life on this plane. He understands us intimately. Jesus loved. He hurt. He wept. He taught us to love one another. He asked us not to be judgmental of each other. As you experience the challenges associated with nursing a brain-injured child, know that you are loved and appreciated by so many. You do not have to justify yourself to anyone. You are a beautiful soul, worthy of all good things. God bless you and your family.

  11. Jen, I am absolutely shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that anyone would ever say those things to you. I'm going to apologize in advanced for what I believe is going to be a very long comment from me. Here I go:

    Who IS this person(s) who is saying these things to you? I mean, not that I want NAMES or anything, but WHO? WHAT? kind of person makes judgements like that? WHY? I mean, WHY??!!! is there any purpose but to try to hurt you?


    And the God vs. Jesus comment? WOW! I mean, wow.

    Blogging is an amazing form of therapy. It is healing to write down your thoughts, no matter where you write them: blog or a journal. It's good to express your thoughts in the written word. All my life I have kept journals, from the time I could write until....well, until now! Because my blog is a sort of journal. Besides my blog, I also have a book that I write in from time to time. Being real with your true feelings is important not only for you, but you just never know who out there you are helping. Like you say, no one wants to read everything is fine, she ate, she slept, we have a doctor appointment tomorrow, etc. People want to know what is real, what it feels like...because someone out there is relating to you! I, having been through it myself, am relating to everything that you write. Well, not every single thing (because Avi's injury and Audriana's injury aren't the same) but so many emotions that you go through are very similar to me. And oddly enough, it's a comfort to read them. Of course I feel awful that you are going through this, but reading about your life and your feelings as a mother ... well, I find comfort in knowing that the feelings that I had back then were "normal" -- hard to explain, but it's like that.

    Your blog is YOUR blog. I can't believe anyone would tell you what you are doing "wrong" with your blog. I love when you write about your dogs! They bring you JOY - and what the heck is wrong with that?!!!

  12. And I can't believe anyone would tell you what you are doing "wrong" when it comes to your family life. To accuse you of not putting Aviana first? Who DO they think you put first? That comment amazes me the most.


    Listen, to the person or persons out there who are saying these awful things to Jen - yes, I'm talking to YOU - I'd like to know a few things:

    -- Do YOU have a brain injured daughter?
    -- Did YOU have a perfectly healthy and able-bodied daughter one minute, and then a severely brain damaged daughter the next?
    -- Do YOU have to put a mask over your brain damaged daughter's face EVERY FIVE FRICK'N MINUTES of the day, from the time you wake until the time she goes to bed at night?
    -- Do YOU look at your child's face every single day and WISH with all your might that she would smile at you, just once? that you could hear her voice say, "I love you, mom"...
    -- Do YOU have a little girl who once could run and jump but now can hardly hold her head up, let alone brush her teeth, run, ride a bike, climb up into your lap?

    If the answer to any of the above questions is NO, I DON'T...then really, how dare you? How dare you make comments like that, how dare you judge? Because how can you know, if you don't live it? How can you know?

    Seriously, as a mom of a brain damaged daughter myself, this just really boils my blood. No one knows what it's like unless they've lived it. No one knows the heart ache. No one can judge or sit back and say what THEY would do IF it were them... because it's NOT you, is it? It didn't happen to YOU, did it? YOU have NO IDEA what it feels like, the pain in your heart each day, the exhaustion of it all, both physically and emotionally.

    The heartache. It's been a little over 14 years since MY daughter was changed forever from a brain injury, and it STILL aches my heart that this happened to her, to this day. It still hurts me. It always will.

    So please....please keep your hurtful comments to yourself, and offer nothing but support and love to Jen. If you are going to do anything less than that, then perhaps you shouldn't talk to her at all.

    Jen, back when we were doing the program on Audriana, some guy at RIch's work, while hearing about all that we do with her each day, said, "Wow, that's a lot of work for you guys. Don't you ever think that you'll do all this for her and then one day she won't be thankful for it?" My husband just stared at him, and finally he said, "What an idiotic thing to say." Because it was such a stupid comment! I mean, as IF we were even thinking that way. Her being "thankful" never crossed our minds.

    Jen, we've had stupid things like that said to us....but NEVER the cruel comments that you are being subjected to. You don't need that, and you certainly don't deserve that. I vote you cut this person(s) out of your life for a while. If they aren't doing you good, then they are only doing you harm.


  13. Its seems like everyone summed it up quite nicely. Be yourself and express yourself however you need to. YOur blog is amazing and even more so because you are real, and act like a real person.
    When we were going thru IVF and all that other crap, the only people that were hurtful to me were 2 family memebers, I know they love me etc etc etc but they could say very hurtful things because they didn't get it. Sorry you are dealing with that.
    and keep loving your dogs too, I had a Kama, although his name was Gretsky, he went thru alot of things with me and I loved him just like a person (sometimes a whole lot more) what do they care anyway. So very strange.
    Sometimes a curse word is the only word that seems fitting. Ok I will be done, everyone else did such a nice job on their comment. We are here and are all thinking of you.
    The whole Avi spelling words out still blows my mind. My daugter is 4 years old and she knows about Avi and how her brain is hurt ans she was very impressed with her spelling, although maybe a bit put out that she can't spell many words yet.

  14. I wasn't going to comment because I think everyone already wrote what I was thinking, but I love your blog because it is real and sometimes I cry and sometimes I can't stop thinking about your family and sometimes it is scary to think about my children and "what if", but that is what I like and if I didn't like something about your blog I would just stop reading. There is no reason to make hurtful comments. I also might add that I would not think of myself as a dog person, but if I could have a Kama I would!

  15. I am so sorry you have to deal with that crap. It's amazing how perfect strangers have been so kind and graceful, yet a family member feels the need to make such hurtful and unproductive comments. It's shameful.

  16. That is ridiculous! I love reading how you and your family are doing. I think they/he/she are missing the point. You are expressing yourself with the good, bad and ugly. Writing is a healthy approach to healing. What they don't like shouldn't be shared. If you can, distance yourself from this person(s). What they are saying is harmful and can cause emotional distress. I've had to do this with my family. Setting limits is also like writing, very empowering! You don't deserve any of this!


  17. Jennifer- You know how I feel about you. I think you are AMAZING. Sadly I'm NOT shocked that these things have happened. Family and those seemingly very close to us sometimes do or say the most hurtful things. I too have had my share of jaw dropping comments and emails from people that I thought were supportive of us in our adoption of Sofia. I shake my head every time. I'm so sorry Jen this happened to you. You and your family are my heroes!

  18. Oh WOW! I can and I cannot believe how idiotic and insensitive people can be! Whomever is making those comments to you obviously has never been through something as devestating as your situation. Shame, shame, shame on them for doing that to you! Your blog is absolutely inspiring and brave. You know I actually had someone question if I loved jimmy because I was so stonefaced while he was in the hospital. Here I was sitting next to my husband in a coma not knowing if he was going to live or die and because I wasn't showing enough emotion for this person's taste they questioned my love. People are unbelievable. Hey I was pretty proud of you for using the f-bomb with the kaiser rant! Don't ever, ever stop being you on this blog and don't ever stop letting your true feelings and emotions out, if only more of us could be like you, we might be a healthier society.

    Love you and poo on that person or people who said those things!


  19. Jen...
    I am speechless and stunned. People need to keep their opinions to themselves...
    If they haven't walked the walk they shouldn't talk the talk...
    and about your dogs...
    My dogs are my life too... I couldn't imagine my life without a dog or two or three (!) in it! Keep your chin up and you and Dave are doing a great job!

    Jan R.

  20. After reading all the amazing and supportive comments, I really don't have anything new to add. :0) I love your blog because of the honesty!!

    I can remember feeling bad because the first time I ever commented was when you were grieving for Kama. I remember telling Cameo how horrid of me to care more about the dog than your precious baby girl. Cameo just laughed and said, trust me, Jen UNDERSTANDS!

    You are an amazing family with an amazing daughter!

    Amanda (Cameo's friend)

  21. To the people who are hurting my friend-
    HOW DARE YOU? Take a look at who you are inside to make such unjustified, hateful and hurtful comments. You are a pathetic excuse for a human being and I am so glad that I do not know you. You are ignorant, uncaring, selfish and heartless. I feel sorry for the people in your life that have to interact with you on any level.

  22. Wow those comments are just wrong! I love your blog and I'm so glad it's been a wonderful outlet for you with all you've been through. Keep it up! I think you guys are amazing parents!!

  23. Have only recently come across your blog and now check it often. Have so much respect for you and your husband, am amazed at all you do with/for Aviana, and think you have more than enough cause to vent or to share your highs and lows here! Wishing you well.....

  24. YIKES!!!! my oh my......well u have my full support & agreement on this one!

    you can some of the people some of the time but you can't please all of the people all of the time so it's best just to please yourself......

  25. So sorry you have had to deal with this. Even when you kn

  26. Oops! Let's try again.

    Even when you know someone else is in the wrong, words can still really hurt. Your blog is awesome and is so selfless - you are inspiring so many people by letting them into your world. Thank you for that!

  27. OMG.....I can't beleive you are having to deal with people and comments like those. I have been following your blog from the beginning of the accident and check it daily. I absolutely love it...the good, the bad, the ugly. The whole Damn thing!! Don't ever stop writing how you feel. If people don't like what they read then quit reading it, it's as simple as that. I talk about you all the time to my family and even with my friends at work. I'm always like...."guess what Avi did today"...So please don't change a thing about this blog, because you are a huge inspiration to so many out there. This is your story you can tell it how it is!!!(((((Hugs))))))

  28. Oh no they didn't.

    Even though we are just "cyber friends" I am offended on your behalf.

    Other commenters have already expressed my thoughts.

    I will just add my 2 cents as to maybe the "why". Evil is real. It's my belief that the devil is real. He cannot speak to us directly, so he will mobilize/use people to say mean, evil things on his behalf.

    And then there are some people that are so mean and spiteful they don't even need to be influenced by evil to act that way.

    But either way the person saying the nasty things are willing participants and should apologize to you.

    Good overcomes evil every time. Keep being who you are! Who else can you be? There is no wrong way to be you.

  29. Jen and Dave,
    I have continued to follow this blog hoping to keep up with Aviana'a progress. You and Dave are, in my opinion, amazing parents. To be faced with the tragedy of Aviana's accident and devoting your lives to her recovery is a testimony to what parents should stand for.

    Our prayers are with you daily and have been since the first day. I will continue to follow your blog, both "good day" posts and "bad day" post knowing that each person must face each day and what it brings the best way they can. I encourage you to be honest and express your feelings and emotions especially if you gain peace through this outlet.

    Please keep up the blog, I for one am encouraged by the honesty posted here; knowing that each day must bring some disappointment and discouragement as well as blessings. If the negative feelings can be relieved through this blog than it has served a purpose much greater than letting us know how Avianna is progressing.

    Keep it up!
    Charlotte Borgman

  30. I've been reading your blog from the beginning and love how honest and true you are. I laugh with you and cry with you. I love that you include your love for you puppies (cause we have a labbie too! And he's part of us. Without him we would be lost) You're awesome and I love your blog!

    Valerie, momma to 2 Guate kiddos and a Chocolate labbie

  31. Jen,

    I can only conclude that this person may be dealing with some mental health issues. Unfortunately I have dealt with a family member with the same kind of issues who would say very hurtful things to multiple family members including myself. She will not get help so I have had to cut off contact with her. I still love her and wish her the best but sometimes it is just too painful.

  32. Saw this today and think it applies well to your situation.

    If someone comes to you with a gift, and you do not accept it, who does the gift belong to? – asked the Samurai.
    – He who tried to deliver it – replied one of his disciples.
    – The same goes for envy, anger and insults – said the master.
    -When they are not accepted, they continue to belong to the one who carried them.

  33. I love the honesty and candidness of your blog and how you stay strong and positive in the midst of tough emotions. Those negative comments are just ridiculous. Ridiculous.

    I bet if the people who said those things spent ten minutes in your shoes they'd eat their words...and hopefully be gracious enough to apologize.

  34. I found it so hard to read those comments, especially the one about you not putting Avi first. I am speechless and it makes me sick that you have to even hear these comments and if these comments come from family - they are supposed to be your number 1 supporters. I love your blog for many reasons and one of them being that you are real. I am so sorry you had to hear those comments, it boggles my mind what goes through peoples head.

  35. Sometimes people are just inconsiderate idiots. A blog is not the G rated, Ozzy and Harriet world. They should probably stay out of it. I like the real world, everything that happens, good and bad. As an adoptive parent myself, I feel for you family and send out good mojo every time I read it.

  36. Hi Jen -

    I have been following your blog for a long time (my in-laws are neighbors of your Mom) and, like everyone else has said, you and your husband are AMAZING! I have an adopted son who is the same age as Aviana and I read the blog with him sometimes. God put Aviana in your hands for a reason! She is a gift to you, as you are to her!


    DO we have the same family? We MUST.

    Let it all fly free and honest...otherwise you are not helping the ones your could be.

    The people that are scared of honest are scared of something much deeper than honesty...they are scare of themselves, sad that they cannot be honest because of deep insecurities (which we all have but I SWEAR...oops..sorry family...I sweared...being HONEST and TRANSPARENT sucks the air out of insecurities!!! it's awesome!)

    Oh vey...the things people get caught up in.

    I have about oh...12 to 20 people that I would "nominate" to spend a week in "my shoes"....and THEN I would like them to continue their "talking" about our parenting choices, et al.

    Fly w/o a parachute do it well..


  38. And..Can you ask your family, the ones who picture you in Hell, without pets, flighty-brained on a hot beach in a boiling Tahoe if it is okay if I cuss on YOUR blog?

    I'm just wondering if their legalistic judgments extend only to those they know personally OR if it extends to the vast and unknown peoples of all the world.

    IF it DOESN"T...give me to the go ahead and I'll lay some words down here for ya...

    I super dog dare ya to ask them :)

    (wait...Hold a Bible..that might help.)

    (and...I am ALLOWED to joke like this because I have THE SAME FRIGGIN that a cuss word?? I'm so confused- in my life..I've GOT to smother it with humor or it will wrinkle me with sadness)


    BTW: I do love Jesus :) alot. And God. They love me too. (even if I cuss now and then cuz dammnit..sometimes it is JUST NECESSARY)

  39. Wow. WTF is wrong with these people??! Your blog is one of a small handful I follow religiously, but it's the one I go to first EVERY single time (even if it's too long between catching up lately!). You are real and raw and honest - THAT'S what's engaging and wonderful! That's what helps show us a sliver into what you're going through so we can send up prayers to God and/or Jesus or whoever for you and your sweet family. That's what's left us sobbing on this end over your sorrows, struggles and triumphs. That's why I (and many others) think of Aviana and you guys every day and I've never even met you! Your story has made an indelible mark on my heart and soul... that's the blog I want to follow.

    I know you won't change a thing, and on behalf of your normal, sane followers who love and cheer your family from afar and feel a part of it through your incredible writing - we thank you for it!!

    BTW, I like when other women cuss b/c then I don't feel so bad about my own potty mouth! :)

    Keep up the great work - we f-ing love it!!

  40. FLOORED that people have actually said those things let alone thought those things!! I LOVE reading your blog and find so much joy is seeing how far Avi has come. Keep it up girl!!!

  41. My family is COMPLETELY cuckoo for coco puffs too.

    I am learning to ignore them. That we share DNA gives them NO more ALLOWANCE to act or behave in the manner they do.

    Screw 'em.

  42. I just found your blog through another one.... girl, you don't have to explain any part of your blog to anyone. If the person reading it, doesn't like what you post, then they don't need to read it. Simple as that. Keep on ~ keeping it real!! God Bless you and your family and your adorable little Avi.