Tuesday, January 7, 2014


A headache took hold of, and broke our plans for the majority of New Year's Eve. When headaches barge their way in, all I'm left to do is lie flat on my back, arms crossed over my eyes, and try not to think. But you know how that goes ; ) 

Ten years ago, 2003
We had just finished our last 'single selves' year. Complete with a trip to Paris and Amsterdam. I guess we were going out with a bang and an unsuccessful attempt of a baby to boot!

Ten years ago, tonight. 
We had a big party - formal and filled with all of our best friends. Silver and black balloons covered ever inch of our front room when you walked in. Extra long hanging strings, making sure everyone could drift their way through to the pumping, bumping beats.

Ten years ago, midnight. 
Ringing in 2004! How exciting! That was to be the year of the baby. Unbeknownst to us, the universe whispered back, 'I don't think so.'

Ten years later, tonight. 
Laid flat out on the floor. What a ride. Another full circle moment. Here we are - back at square one - just the two of us, and our kid…still the doggie love variety = ) I think of myself then. I can't help but smile - to actually laugh a little. I think life must be laughing with me too! I was so naive. I honestly thought I could control the universe. Actually, I can't help but cry a little too. I want some of that girl back. I would love to crawl into her for just a moment - to feel what it feels like to be her - for just a second. So fresh and wide-eyed, unscathed. A girl who hadn't a clue what was waiting in the distance. 

But then I'm reminded of so much, and I step back out. That girl had so many qualities I wish not to possess now. She was too rigid, much too planned and predictable. Everything had to be just so, and if it wasn't…she was often times, disappointed. If people were late, couldn't make it, or the worst offender of all…couldn't come as time dwindled down to the wire - she had a really hard time understanding. That girl was just too meticulous about too much. She wanted to control everything in her world, and the worst part was - to a degree, she thought she could. I guess it had worked for a long time. She had a lot to learn about life.

The funny - sometimes not so funny thing is - I have now morphed into the person I used to be unable to understand. How's that for comprehension and compassion! I laugh about it now, because I think it's the most ironic thing ever! I think of that almost each and every time it takes me days, and sometimes months to return an email! How embarrassing! Something I'm working on, by the way. Or when I can't make a plan to save my life, or when people change plans on me at the very last second and I don't even bat an eye, or when I can't make up my mind for anything, or when I have the attention span of a gnat, or when small to pretty big things things happen around the house that used to freak me out and now I laugh, because it all just doesn't matter anymore. 

There are bad traits I've picked up along the way too, but I will save those for another post. My real hope is to take the good of each, the old and new me, and somehow create one. I am thankful to finally have the opportunity to work on me, and not further destroy myself. 

I feel this odd combination of the most blessed, bursting, energetic, alive person on earth in conjunction with the most exhausted, beaten down, dazed and at times confused individual. It's a strange existence. It must be weird to watch because even though I just wrote those very true words and feelings...I think I'm pretty even keel, but maybe I'm not because sometimes I'm dancing like a banshee to my favorite song and other times I'm zoned out staring at nothing on the computer screen…paralyzed. Wanna come over ; ) 

All I can say is no matter what - I'm so happy and excited for the opportunity of this new phase in our lives. We are all exactly where we are supposed to be. I don't know if that sounds sad to anyone reading, but I don't think so. It might. I mean it's sad to me on a deep down level because of course I miss Aviana and will everyday of my life, for the rest of my life. We all do, dearly. My heart is finally settled though, even if we are divided. I know we can finally move forward. 

So I am grateful for a new beginning. I love new beginnings, but for me each moment is new. You can always start over in my world. I know I've told you all and if you are a real life friend of mine you know since the accident I can only handle very small increments of time. I say I have 'commitment issues' and I truly do. So I go from moment to moment. Rebuilding each and every.  Minute by minute, day by day as that's all I can handle. I have been conditioned this way through our life with Aviana. And yes, I talked to my counselor about it a few years ago because I didn't understand what the heck was going on with me? She explained that it made perfect sense. Because of Aviana's accident, I learned that tomorrow is not promised, so I get anxiety if plans are asked or made too far in advance. This is why I feel more comfortable day by day. Because of who I was before, I still see this personality trait as kind of a negative. But, I choose to look at it as a positive, because it's living in the present! I have the best friends and family, ones who understand what I've been through and work with me and and my brokeness despite how annoying my need for last minute plans must be! I hope with time and healing, I'll get better ; )

Thank you all so very much for being here for us. I am so grateful for this little space. I never planned it, and only started here as a means to guard my heart and relay information all at once about Aviana and Gary's condition in the hospital. My plan was to stop very early on. This has become a place of great therapy for me, as well as connecting with some of the best people I've ever known. 

I wish you well in 2014, but when I say well I don't mean that everything is going to be perfect, because that's just not life..as we all know. My wish is that if things happen, or are currently happening - big or small - they bring you closer with your family and friends, rather than drive you apart. I wish for you to share your stories, to open your heart, to be vulnerable and realize that so many others are going through or have been through something similar. Pain, loss and hurt of all kinds are everywhere, just like the antithesis! We are more similar, than different. I wish for people such as yourselves to come out of the woodwork and find supportive words for you when it seems none can be found. I wish for good, kind-hearted people to show up in your life and carry you through when you feel you just can't for one more moment. I wish for you to know in your heart to hold on, even when everything in you says let go. I wish for you to be open to all the beauty this life has, and I mean within the light and dark moments. I know, in the dark it's different, but the rewards are that much greater. You have to pull from deep, to look, to seek, you have to find them, but my gosh - they are there. They are everywhere, and once you discover them - they shine brightly, more brightly than in the light. And once you grab them up, you know how, and will never forget. You hold tight and know, they are yours for the taking - each and every time. 

More than anything, I wish you love.



  1. Wishing you a happy new year! And knowing that there is a lot that you carry with you. Your positivity, wit and humor always resonate with me. I think these things are gifts that help us through our ... Uh... Sh*t. Let's just put it out there, right? You are an amazing woman and mother. I would love to email you if you would like - my email should be avail on this post?

    1. Thank you Stephanie! It's probably me ; ), but I click here, I click there, I click everywhere and I can't figure out where your email address is? Anyways…I hope you get this! Mine is forthehodders@yahoo.com = )

  2. Jen, you are truly a remarkable young woman; God has already used you in so many lives; I just cannot imagine what He has planned for the rest of your life. It is going to be incredible; I know that. He will continue to use you in ways that you cannot even fathom. I am blessed to have been reading your story since the beginning. As Grammy to two adorable Guat. angels (they are 11 and 9 now) my heart has been so much with you, but most especially with your mother. My prayers are with all of you as you enter a new exciting year. I am so thrilled that you are continuing to share with us. Blessings, Vicki from Memphis area

    1. Hi Vicki! Happy New Year to you! Thank you! It always means so much for me to have you here : )

  3. My sweet Jen, there is not a day goes by that I do not think of "my girls" because my sweet potato sits on my kitchen window right above the sink. Like every has said you are such a remarkable woman who has given so much and has so much left to give! Like Vicki says, sometimes it is hard to see what He has planned for us but girl, it is going to be great. I hope that you continue/go back to making your Wednesday pies as that is something that you loved and I loved seeing the pictures. Hugs to all of your family!
    Julie - Texas

    1. Julie! I love that you have that sweet potato…it makes me smile to think of! I've always wanted to make scones, so this past Wednesday that's just what we did! They were so AMAZING!! I wish I could share one with you : ) They were The Pioneer Woman's recipe…her Vanilla Bean ones. To Die For!! Next, Lemon Poppyseed…then Blueberry! Heavenly!!!

      I so love you…thank you for the email!!

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you.

      I am still working on the Rainey post. Poor baby, she grievies and it just keeps on going.

      Breaks my heart into a million little pieces...

  5. Happy New Year, Jen! I wish you the very BEST of new beginnings <3

  6. Beautifully written. Wishing you and I both health and happiness in the new year! :)

    1. Thank you and absolutely! To you us both = ) Yous and mes ; )

  7. Happy New Year Jen, I think about you so often, and am excited for the new beginnings in store for you this year. If I could post a picture here I would send you one of Star laying on my feet staring like she is in a trance at the fire in the fireplace. She really loves her family and never fails to let us know :)

    1. Hi Marianne ~

      I used to think this was strange, and at first of course do, but then think not! I was just thinking of you specifically - wondering how you were doing and POOF…there you were! Amazing! I have had so many of these moments in the past few months and each one tells me our energies are perfectly aligned with each other.

      How are you? Thank you so much for thinking of me…you are so very sweet. I would so love to see that picture of Star…what a beauty : ) My email address is forthehodders@yahoo.com

      We are leaving soon, but I hope to talk to you soon ❤

      Love to you!

  8. My hope for you is that you and Dave are surrounded with love in 2014.

    P.S. My husband and I can relate to how you & Dave thought you could just get pregnant whenever we wanted. Wasn't ignorance bliss? I look back at myself too and just shake my head in disbelief. We were sure 2003 was going to be our year, too. The universe laughed at us as well. I'm a recovering control freak, still in progress. But hey, at least we're learning things. I wouldn't want to trade places with my old self either.

    1. Thank you Channe! Wishing you the best as well.

      Yep...ignorance sure was bliss. I am so happy we both wouldn't want to trade places with our former selves. Wouldn't that be awful if we did? I mean of course it's fun to reminisce (thanks spell check for zero help on that one) and get crazy, and all that we talk about...but you know.

      Love you Channe!