Friday, May 23, 2014

It's 2am...

And I'm suffering from something along the lines of...

On Tuesday I was responding to comments and out of nowhere, I felt a little something in my head. I stepped away from the computer, but it was too late. And so began a three day headache. 

Towards the end of today was the first time I was able to do almost anything. It's like I now have a new lease on life. I can't sleep because I'm excited to be both vertical and out of my homemade cocoon.

Now that I'm wide awake, I've a million things which have gathered over the course of the past few days. That's what happens when forced to lie flat and do nothing!

So, what's been swirling?

Cameo, and her family. They are one of the closest, most loving families I know. While out of commission, I came back to a blog post, which I can't seem to shake from my thoughts. So if you would like to go over and send some love, I'm sure they would appreciate it.   

This is Cameo, her mom Beya, and I. I believe this was the night of Aviana's service. I think we went to dinner the night of. They hadn't been, or wanted to go to a service since the loss of their daughter/sister, Trina. They decided to drive all the way from Washington to come to Aviana's service. Amazing! We affectionately call them The Washington Wagon Wheelers! I love you guys!!


I've met some of the absolute best people through this blog and I'm so thankful. Sometimes I can't believe some of my nearest and dearest friends came through here. I've met Cameo and her family a number of times. It's wild. I've spent time with my friend Ellen both in Pennsylvania as well as here in California. My friend Trina came to San Francisco, and I was able to meet both her and one of her daughters. My friend Dixie...well, we both continue to visit each other. She was so sweet to also come up for Aviana's service. Speaking of Dixie, for some strange reason, I have almost always called her Dixie Pants (don't ask why, I have no idea). Just recently I was sitting at her house and gave her an up/down. I was in shock and must have spit my words, "Dixie! You know I always call you Dixie Pants, but the whole time I've known you, I've never once seen you in pants!!" And you know, she said she doesn't wear pants. I couldn't believe it had never come up. Oh Dixie Pants!

I have a list of so many others I would love to meet : ) And guess what, I'd like to become a domestic and international traveler, so this may work out!


Hmmm. You know how I said I wanted to write this story in order? I think those were some famous last words. I laugh at myself sometimes. Okay, more like all the time. I've subconsciously been thinking it since, but as I was running in Alaska - it all came clear. I don't live my life that way anymore. You know - carefully planned and in some great order. That was more along the lines of who I used to be. My life is not wrapped up with a pretty little bow. It's a little messy. There are bits and pieces here, there and maybe everywhere. It changes from day to day too. I don't like to conform to pretty much anything. I want to write about what I want, when I want! Yeah! That sounded good in theory and maybe that would have been nice, but really, since 5 years ago, I've been more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person. Now, it's whichever way the wind blows me and I like it. So I'm thinking I'm going to let it fly from here on out!


Have you ever had Swiss Muesli? It was by far my very favorite thing to eat while on vacation. I couldn't stop. I was a morning muesli monster...and then thought about it all day and dreamed about it by night. Yeah, that sick! I am going to make it, but I'm not sure how mine will turn out, because I'm going to use Almond or Coconut Milk, take out the yogurt and add raisins. I'm a tweaker, so I'll just keep going until? All I can say is, I'm in love with my Muesli! Okay, I'm more like a Muesli Machine. 


I don't like to psychoanalyze myself, but with way too much time on my hands, I did. My headaches have been way better, so why did I get one when I got home from vacation? I think it was because everyone else comes home and goes back to their job. Good or bad, like it or not, it's their routine. It's their job. For some, it maybe serves as their purpose.  Whatever it is, all I know is - mine is gone.

Everyone was really worried about me before Aviana died. I thought I would be fine. No, I thought I would be better than fine. I was literally on some sort of high knowing we were doing so right by her. Keyword, by her. I was so focused on her. I thought that high would be able to carry me all the way throughout (really the rest of my life). In my eyes, I had grieved for what felt like an eternity over Aviana. I was so done grieving. Little did I know, grief doesn't work like that...jerk! It wasn't until after her service that I felt true sadness once again start to creep back in. Not for her, but for us. I knew she was okay, but we were still here, without her. We felt at peace with the Aviana after the accident (of course we missed her though), but the before the accident Aviana was who began to hurt us most. We were surprised because we thought we had grieved for her ages ago, that was a long ago - been there/done that. But here it was again, back for more.

I ended up setting a counceling appointment over it because I wondered how to hold it all - being happy for her, but also being both happy and sad for us. It's such a strange situation and mix of emotions to continuously walk around with. Being mostly happy and the rest just plain sad at times! It feels like I've been on a roller coaster for far too long, and I didn't expect to be on for even longer. But really, how naive. How can I expect to lose our daughter and not be sad?!? She was my sole purpose for so many years. She was tied to my every waking hour. So when I came home from vacation, and everyone goes back to their normal life, there's definitely a void...


In places of great beauty, I look around and wonder where she is? Often times, I miss her more.


We spent hours trying to pick out the perfect urn for Aviana's ashes. I finally found a beautiful wood carved one with butterflies on it. We were figuring out the inscription and were just about to order it, when it dawned on us - no way! She was trapped in her body. The very last place we want her to be is trapped in a box. Our girl needs to fly free!

Dave was going to pick her ashes up, but was going to have to leave work early, so I told him I would go. I remember right after the accident, Sgt. Merenda and I were sitting outside having coffee, I told him I would never be able to go by the accident sight. He told me I could do it. He said I could do anything. He was right, it took time, and a few attempts, but with his words echoing in my head, I did. I've used his words in so many situations over the past 5 years and know I will continue to. Going to pick her ashes up was no exception. 

I went to put them in my nightstand next to Kama's. I have a terrible habit of putting things in such a safe place I can never find them again. Well, when I went to put the ashes together I found our lost passports. We had been searching for at least a year.

You can go wherever you'd like baby.


I had all the questions you'd asked on my phone and for some reason my notes sometimes disappear? I have no idea why and usually I email notes to myself because I know this sometimes happens, but I didn't. I feel bad for not having been good about answering the questions and also for now losing the note : ( If you're still out there and still want to know, can you please refresh my memory? I'm sorry to have to ask. I do remember, of course, that many have asked how Rainey is doing? I will definitely be posting about her soon. I know I've said that before, but I really mean it this time ; )


I've been bit by the baking bug again. It's all I want to do. Every single day. So that's what I/we do. It's insane, and I love it. Dave has a love/not so loving it relationship with all the baking. He's been working out hard for awhile now. In a lot of ways it's how he handles everything with Aviana. He's also recently starting competing in CrossFit competitions. He's done really well. Dave's the type that once he sets his mind to something, he always does amazing. We go all over the place for these events.

Northstar Run

Tough Mudder

First Competition

Second Competition

Third Team Competition


That's why I'm suddenly getting in the way with all I'm whipping up. I keep telling him, you don't have to eat...

Best Blueberry Buckle EVER!!

From my favorite newfound blog ever! She's truly amazing!!

Finished this for tomorrow. I can't pop it out until then : )

No Bake Strawberry Milk Cheesecake

I guess we deal with grief in opposing ways...


It's 4 am. How did that happen?

Actually, this is what happens after a headache bender. 

I should stop.

Tell me, what's on your mind?


  1. I always have a lot on my mind after I read your post, but today I am keeping it light. How in the world do you stay so skinny baking all those wonderful things? Grammy from Memphis area

    1. Hi! You're funny! I bake like crazy cakes. If I ate all I baked, I would be in trouble! I like the spatula and maybe a few swipes of the bowl and then only have one, maybe two bites if it's one I really, really love!!

    2. Your will power is truly amazing!! I have never liked to lick the bowl or spoon. Always waiting on the finished product, and I would not be satisfied with a couple of bites!! You are an incredible woman in so many ways. I feel a special connection to your family since I am Grammy to two precious Guat. angels. They live about a mile from us, and they are truly the lights of our lives. 11 and 9 now; growing up so fast. I need to find a way to share their pictures. My daughter does have a blog which she started a few years ago. My Two Guat Tots. Blessings to your family, Vicki

    3. Thank you! I just got done licking the bowl! Ha ha. I am making a Buttermilk Toasted Coconut loaf for a party tonight. It was so dang good. I thought of you as I was doing it. I myself think I like the raw dough and batter more than the finished product ; )

      I have tried to find the blog you listed a few times and couldn't. Today I searched again. I couldn't find it. I then thought, what if I type the name and then blog! Wa la! Your grandchildren are adorable!!!!! They look like they are really enjoying their summer so far : ) Thank you so much for sharing!! Now, where are you?!? Is that your daughter, or your son?

      If ever you want to get in touch with me...


  2. My first thought? I wish I lived closer. I feel like I've gotten to know all of ya'll. Cameo and her mama are so cute! I always enjoy reading her comments, she has a great sense of humor and perspective. Now I have a face to put with the name.

    I was nodding my head YES as I was reading this. "I don't live my life that way anymore. You know - carefully planned and in some great order. That was more along the lines of who I used to be. My life is not wrapped up with a pretty little bow. It's a little messy. There are bits and pieces here, there and maybe everywhere. It changes from day to day too. I don't like to conform to pretty much anything. I want to write about what I want, when I want! Yeah!" PREACH!!!

    You and Dave both have healthy, creative outlets. I think it's great!!

    I have never had Muesli. I had to click your link to see what it was. It sounds good. In my head it seems like I would want to add a few dried cranberries.

    Sgt. Merenda sounds like a very inspiring person. I am continually amazed by what myself and others can do even when we thought we never could.

    Avi's passport picture melted my heart. Those pig tails, oh my goodness. And then I read your caption and you are so, so right.

    I love your pie photos. It's like I'm right there. You know what could be cool? I saw on Walgreens photo website one day when I was uploading pictures that in the photobook section there is a cookbook template. (Or you could probably use a regular template, IDK.) Maybe you could upload your favorite recipes and pictures with all of you & Dave's creative pie names. It's like digital scrapbooking basically. They print your book then mail it to you. That could make an awesome Christmas gift for your family.
    I've done a few photo ones with captions and was pleased with the quality. Just a thought.

    Glad your migraine is gone :-)

    1. I wish you lived closer too!

      Aren't they the cutest! I love them so much!

      Oh Muesli. I've been making it for the past few days.

      Attempt One:

      Unsweetened Almond Milk
      Honey (just a little)
      Raisins (just a little)
      Grated Apple (1/4 apple)
      Chopped Pecans (just a few)

      Really good - but not as good as theirs with all the fat and sugar

      Attempt Two:

      Unsweetened Almond & Coconut Milk
      Honey (even less)
      Coconut Sugar (a little)
      Grated Apple
      Chopped Pecans (just a few)
      Unsweetened Coconut
      Ollalieberries (very little)

      Needs even more soaking than overnight - still really good - but not as good as theirs with all the fat and sugar. Needs more tweaking.

      Yes, Sgt. Merenda is one of the most amazing people : )

      Her passport picture makes me feel too many things to put into words. I was cleaning up the computer today and stumbled upon a letter I sent her foster family soon after she came home. That was say the least.

      I read what you wrote about the pie book the other day, brought two different pies to Tahoe for Memorial Day and I couldn't believe it. My dad brought up having me send all my pictures and he wanted to make a book!!

      Love to dod you say your name ; )

  3. You are so, so funny and much too sweet to us. I'm so glad I have you in my life. No, glad doesn't come close to it. I'm GLAD you forced me into an iPhone, even if at times I do miss my BlackBerry, but I wouldn't go back.

    I'm back to stress baking too! Well, kind of. I've only made one thing, a very, very sad looking apple tart thing that I kept trying to fix. You know, like when you trim your hair/bangs and it doesn't turn out so you keep saying "a little more and then it will be right" and before you know it you have no hair left? Yeah, it turned out like that. And as my final attempt to fix it came around (after an hour of "fixing") I came up with the grand idea of turning it upside down. This was NOT an upside down apple tart and half of it landed on the counter. It's sad. A very sad looking apple mound. But papa likes it and I made it for him. I'm to embarrassed to even send you a pic although maybe I should just to make you laugh. This puts "Caneo" way in the dust, this is by far my worst baking disasters. I could use pre made pie dough, cases of cans of frosting and loads of whip cream cans and still not do as much damage as this one "pie" did. I can't even call it a pie.

    So happy you are doing better. Slide around on your posts like a slip and slide made of jello!

    Grief is one twisted mofo.

    I love you. I love you. I love you.

    1. HA HA!!! You sent me the picture to the funniest story EVER! Thank you! And it wasn't as bad as you described. We are our worst critics! Did you save me a Redemption Lemon Cookie?

  4. Your story posted as 4:46am??….You are so real, so raw, so truthful. I ache for you and your family, yet I am AMAZED at how strong you all are, what you are able to do on a daily basis, and the thousands of lives you touch through this blog and beyond. I really have no words sometimes when I read how strong you and Dave are, and how you find a way to have a "normal" life doing amazing things. Because you are amazing!!!

    1. You're right, it did! I do not lie. I am a tweaker. I tweak on posts too. I try and check, double check and triple check them for mistakes, but then, I still find them later...and I'm sure, not at all ; ) Go figure!

      Thank you Gina. I really appreciate you for saying what you do, but honestly, you just do. That's all. What other choice is there. I have seen so many others go through too, and I think when you have to, you just do. Don't you? You did and continue to all the time. I am amazed by you and everyone who does as well : )

      Thank you for being so sweet!

      Love to you!!

  5. I love an open invitation to disclose what's on my mind. My computer has been acting up and I haven't been able to rpost anything. You have so many incredible posts that touch me in so many ways.

    1. Grief is a complicated journey. Some days painful, some days peaceful, some days a learning experience and some days there are no words to describe it. It ebbs and flows and sometimes shows no mercy. And yet, if we live long enough none will escape it. Grief is the great equalizer. It will make the proudest humble.

    2. I love pie! I want to eat lots of every one of your pies! Most especially the peanut butter and poppyseed. Delicious!

    3. I strongly dislike the fact that I have seventy pounds to lose because of that grief thing I was talking about. Ugggggg! I want pie!!!!!

    4. I love Cameo's blog! What the heck, she is awesome! I went over to her blog the other night and now I'm hooked. I do not typically read other blogs. Usually, it turns out to be a brag fest. I love to read real life. Yours and Cameo's, real life baby! Good, bad and everything In between.

    5. Feeling grateful that my mother is about to turn eighty two and she is still one of my best friends. Unconditional love! Nothing feels safer than that. She just spent three weeks with me. All we did was watch LMN and eat and play with squishy. She's an oldie but a goody! You rock mom!

    6. Thinking lots about Jen and Dave this week. Actually I think about you lots everyday. You make my life so much more joyful. Even though we have never physically met, our hearts are connected forever. And that meeting thing, it will happen. I'm going to make a trip to Cali the next time I come to the states. I love you Jen and Dave and Avianna and Rainy and Kama and...........

    7. I believe that the veil is very thin. So thin! Signs, heck yes! One story. My niece passed away when she was six weeks old. SIDS! I have my thoughts on that rotten thing called SIDS! (Saving it for another post). This story is so personal. But I have learned from you Jen that it is therapeutic to the soul to let others in. Let's test this out. In my church babies receive a blessing soon after they are born. It is done in church and is a pretty big deal. We were living in Utah at the time and decided to travel to Cali for her blessing. This was their fourth child but our first time to attend one of their children's blessings. We felt strongly that we should go. ( one of those signs) The day of her blessing dawned and I fully expected that she would receive about the same kind of baby blessing that I had heard so many times before. (Much along the lines that all my babies had received) We are LDS (Mormons). I'm not normally one to bring up religion. I guess because there are such strong opinions on this subject. But Jen, again, I have learned from you to embrace what I love. I love being a Mormon. It fills my soul with peace and joy. It provides me with the answers I seek. In our church, typically the father gives his child the blessing. ( definitely there are times that it is done by someone else, depending on individual circumstances). Anyway, my brother gave my niece the blessing. During this blessing he struggled to get the words out.( my brother is never short on words, never) He was flustered, stalled, started and stalled again. At the same time I heard, thought, these words " is she going to die"? What? Who thinks that? Me looking around feeling like a crazy woman. Did anybody hear those crazy thoughts that I just had? My brothers beautiful baby, dead? No way, no how! I obviously had momentarily lost my mind and lost touch with reality. I got myself together, told no one and continued to enjoy my visit. Held and loved on beautiful Emily. (The most peaceful heavenly baby ever) Two weeks later, phone rings, my mom says "Donna" I say " it's Emily, isn't it".

    1. Hi Donna!

      You are so spot on about grief, my gosh!

      The Peanut Butter Pie is always amazing! I don't know if you've ever seen her, but I LOVE the Joy the Baker blog. I love her, her stories, her pictures, everything. I had never made anything from her site though. I finally couldn't resist her poppyseed poundcake. I always love how detailed her instructions are too! I tasted the batter and didn't care much for it (my first head tilt indication). I then finished making the frosting. Who can resist the spatula? Not many. I found I could resist after the first taste. I was so sad. The Poppyseed fell way flat. It wasn't very good at all. I mean edible, but nothing to write home about.

      Oh...I am so very sorry you have much to lose due to grief. That darn grief and all it's ramifications. Isn't the aftermath such a struggle. The rebuild can seem so very slow at times too.

      I so love Cameo, and I completely agree - the real deal. I so love the real deal...always.

      Moms are the best. How beautiful your relationship sounds. I can't imagine a moment without my mom. We are so very fortunate, both you and I : )

      Yeah!! Come to California!! I'll be waiting!

      To be continued...because of your bogus computer. Mine is on the severe fritz too and we are going to get a new one this weekend. I have tried to work with it throughout this week and no way, no how. Hence the short post today. No Alaska update with this thing...

  6. Oh my heck! How rude, the rest of my story was erased by my dumb computer. What? I had another two pages worth written. Urgggggg!

  7. Giving up and going to bed! I'll finish tomorrow. Love you

    1. Donna,
      I want to hear the rest of your story. I'm so saddened to learn about your sweet niece. SIDS is awfully cruel. Well, any death of a baby or child is cruel, but SIDS is especially cruel, I think, because it gives no warning or offers any kind of explanation. The parents are left wondering WHAT? HOW? WHY? and I think that sucks. I'm a Catholic, and I just want to tell you that my best friend is LDS and if I were to pick any other religion to be, I'd be a Mormon for sure. Not so much because of the beliefs, but because of the way you all practice your faith. The LDS community is awesome. Just really good people all the way around. Anyway, I'm sorry your computer messed up the rest of your story. Been there, and it's so frustrating! I hope you can come back and finish it soon.
      ~ Trina (aka Katrina)

  8. Ooooh I loved being asked what's on my mind. Here you go:

    1) I still need to do my taxes. Like every year, I am late doing them. Like every year, I promised myself that I'd get them done before April 15th and like every year I failed at that.

    2) Did anyone feed the dogs today? I've been away at soccer games and baseball games all day long, leaving a few of the older kids behind at home -- and I forgot to remind them to feed the dogs, and Lord knows if I don't tell them to do it, they won't...even if it's something that we do every. single. day. Now I have to get up off the couch (after finally sitting down to relax) and go see if the dogs were fed. Ugh. I'm going to be so mad if they weren't fed....

    3) Ok I'm back...and yes, they were fed. I know this because my son was still up and he told me he fed them.

    4) Tomorrow is another busy day. Two baseball games and two soccer games. I wish I could just sleep in tomorrow. Wouldn't that be nice? To have ONE day out of the week to sleep in past 7:00am? Not going to happen anytime soon.

    5) I should not have eaten that half box of Milk Duds. Why do I always eat when I'm up late like this? No wonder I can't lose any weight.

    6) I'm thirsty from eating those Milk Duds but I'm too lazy to get up off the couch. It's seriously the first time I've sat down all day. Maybe my son will bring me a glass of water....

    7) I'm worried about Rich's knee (my husband) -- it's been "popping" lately and he can hardly walk on it when it does that. And he can't go out on injury from work or else he won't get overtimes, and we need the overtime money.

    8) Wouldn't it be so great to win the Lotto? Then he wouldn't have to work ever again. He needs a break, he works so hard. We wouldn't need to hit the BIG Lotto....maybe just the scratcher that gives you $5,000 a week for life. Yeah, that would be so great.

    9) If we ever DID win the BIG 15 million or something like that, I would give so much money to our church so that we could get our building built. I'm so tired of having our services in a portable building. I want my children to have mass in a really pretty church, with stained glass windows and all that.

    10) I wish I had more time to write in my blog. I really miss it. Whenever I do find the time, then I have nothing to really write about. Which is so strange because with ten children there is always something to share.

    Okay, so those are all my crazy thoughts right now. And in my mind right now some Billy Joel song is playing over and over and it's driving me nuts. You know that song, "Don't ask me why" -- yeah, that one. Ugh, I can't get it to stop! It's just playing over and over and over. I'm not even a Billy Joel fan, so I don't know what's up with this song coming into my head.

    Well, I better get to bed now because I have a busy day tomorrow. Jen, I loved your post. Your pies are amazing. And yeah, how DO you keep so skinny? I'd be eating them all myself. I'd bake them, then sit down and eat them. Because I have no will power when it comes to sweets. And Dave? I had no idea he was so into fitness and cross training and all that. What a trip! See? You think you know a person. Just goes to show that you very really know?

    Happy Sunday to you <3

    1. Hi Trina ~

      I am in awe of how you keep everything together. I wonder what your schedule must look like and how you stay so organized. You could probably create a business helping others keep their family straight ; )

      Do you eat at night because everyone is down, it's quite and you have some relaxing time to yourself? It was the first thought that entered my brain upon reading so I just had to ask?

      I hope Rich is okay. Did he injure it at some point, or has it become that way over time? Yes, that sure would be nice if you won the Lotto and he didn't have to work!

      Yes, I imagine with 10 kids you would always have something to share. I miss reading all my blogs. I really need to get back to them again. I am having such a hard time keeping up on normal things and I feel so bad with how far I have fallen behind!

      I can't think of that Billy Joel song, but the one I have in my current playlist is She's Always a Woman to Me! Ha Ha!

      I like the spatula and have a bite - two if it's something I really love!!! I know exactly what you mean, we really don't know, do we? I think these thoughts forward and backward all the time, even about some of my close friends, because I also think that they really don't know me. There's just too much to know when you think about how much there really is to a person!

      Happy Day to you Trina!!

  9. Hi Trina, thanks for the kind words. I wish ten children lived at my house. I love kid noise. I have one daughter left at home and she soooooo quiet. Certainly takes after her daddy. Me, HA, I make up for them. My sister says I have an uncanny freakishly high noise tolerance level. Yep! I live in Saudi Arabia and jets fly overhead very low! We live on a compound that is very close to the Saudi air force base. I don't even notice the noise. It drives my friends batty. I love loud screaming teenagers. I think it's all those years in boarding school. I think I have my computer fixed. Who knows though...... Strange how it erased it right in the middle of my story. I'm rewriting it. I went to your blog. Love it! Jen, she has some great friends! Love her!

  10. It's so weird to try and take up where I left off. I found out that I had too much written to send at once. Hmmmmm, do I talk too much? That's what an open invitation to spill does to me. I'll send it in segments. Making up for months worth of comments.

    I was telling you about my niece. We had been home about two weeks when the phone rings. My mom says " Donna" I say "it's Emily isn't it" she said " yes, she stopped breathing and is at the hospital, pray Donna". We hung up and I went to my room and knelt to pray, "Heavenly Father, please let Emily live", at that moment I heard a voice clear as day, "but I already told you she was going to die". Peace, I felt peace and changed my prayer from one of life to one of strength. The phone rung with my mom telling me that Emily went to live in Heaven. Why was I allowed this experience? Too many reasons to count. It has been a defining moment in my life that has increased my life long faith. God lives, he is there and aware. I know that this is but a small blink in eternity. Once you know, you can't unknow. We lived before, we live now and we will live again eternally. There are many more things that happened. Beautiful and heartbreaking things. Sacred things. I will keep those private out of respect to my brother and his family. They are doing well. They did go on to have a fifth child. Not to replace the irreplaceable but because they felt there was some one that was supposed to join their family. He is now graduating from high school. :)

    So I was making a list when my computer so rudely erased me. There is so much on my mind........

    8. I love living in Saudi ..... Tons of different cultures. The Muslim people are kind and generous. The Sand dunes are breathtaking and so much fun to sand sled on. Awesome four wheeling as well. Your friends are your family here. Nothing like an Arabian night, the sky, the smell, the quiet! Beautiful night after night. The opportunities to travel. Amazing to see how the rest of he world lives. It's a huge world.:) Love that it gets light soooo early. Most people start their day about 4:30 a.m. Amazing what you can get done by noon. Of course your ready for bed by 7:00 p.m.

    9. There are things about living in Saudi that are hard. The drivers! Holly mercy! They are crazy! Scare you to death. Wrecks are so common place. Not pretty! I'm terrified to walk on the sidewalks of busy streets. It is also hard to be away from my grown children and my squishy. I do go home about every three months and stay about two months. So I do end up seeing the boys lots. The no driving off camp for females is frustrating. Then again.......I would never drive off camp! My husband drives and it is a white knuckle ride! He just tells me " don't look honey". Yep, not even! It takes four eyes to see what's coming. Women don't have nearly the freedoms that men enjoy, that is SLOWLY changing.

    10. Girls! Why do girls feel the need to compete? Why don't men feel the need? I want to teach my daughter to reach for the stars that SHE wants and to love herself along the way.

    11. Wishing today that I could go to a great concert.

    12. Missing my sister and nieces and wishing we were sitting on my bed watching movies and stuffing our faces.

    13. Dreaming of mugging on my Squishy when I go home in July.

    I have lots more but I will quiet my fingers for now. I love you Jen and Dave!

    One more thing. Dave's muscles are rockin! It inspires me to get to the gym!

    1. Thank you for sharing your story about sweet Emily. Heartbreaking, yet beautiful. A story to show us everything you came to know and understand from your experience. I believe what you have said with my whole heart. After going through everything with Aviana especially, I understand the very same to be true - without a shadow of a doubt.

      I loved reading everything you wrote about Saudi Arabia. Oprah did some shows about how people live all around the world and they were some of my very favorites. I love hearing stories such as yours, and now would just love to go and see as many places as I can. I want to experience everything! Quite different from who I was before. I little travel would have done me just fine ; )

      A movie sound good right now. Did you see Labor Day. i have two words for you: Josh Brolin. There's a seen where he's teaching them to make a pie, and it is for real. He knows how in real life and was teaching them. I love that movie, for many reasons.

      Squishy ❤

      I love you too...

      And, he always inspires me too. He sets his mind and attacks everything in his path. I love him.

  11. So I was lying here thinking about how I really didn't say all that I wanted to. I have been thinking about Avianna and Kama and how happy they are together. It brings delight to my heart and it makes my mouth want to smile. Then I think about Jen and Dave and what a grief trip would feel like from the standpoint of losing a child. I have loved and lost and grieved but never for my own child. I went and looked at the butterfly urn , it is beautiful. I do have to say it makes me cry . It's a very tender thing to go pick out your baby's urn . I can only imagine the mix of emotions. I would also think that it would be calming to have her ashes close to you. In the drawer resting beside kamas. Sweet sweet baby who taught the world the meaning of love.

    Your migraines, yuck, I've ever only had one and that was when my father passed away. It was awful but only lasted four hours. It makes me want to come and take care of you.

    I quilt. Yep, I do. Now that's crazy. Making you and Dave a quilt. Warning: made with extreme love and devotion but the handiwork could use a kittle help.

    We are about eleven hours ahead of your time zone. It is midnight hear and I'm exhausted! Good night my friends!

    1. Thank you Donna. Thank you for always thinking of us. I don't know. You said so much - it's everything - a grief trip, beautiful, a mix of emotions, calming to have her close and next to Kama, all that and so much more. Thank you : )

      Oh my are so very sweet to make us a quilt. We will love anything and everything you make for us!!!

  12. Hi Jen, I feel your pain with the headaches. I have had migraines since I was 12. I remember the first one I had I was in math class. I all of a sudden couldn't read the chalk board (because I get Auras with mine) I started to cry and said I think I am going blind. Of course the whole class laughed and no one wanted to walk me to the Nurse. Some poor kid was forced to. The nurse told me I was having a migraine. I have had them ever since. When I had my miscarriage I get them now once a week!! I can not believe all the pies you make and don't gain a single pound!! Even Dave looks great!! How do you two do that. You must give the pies away. You can't be eating them all!! Not much on my mind right now. Which is a good thing because when there is that means I am stressed out and a lot of bad is going on. Mindy

    1. I am so sorry about your migraines! I got my first when I was 13 and then not again until 18. From 18 on it has been just awful. Isn't it the best feeling without! Can you just imagine a life without? My gosh! I would so much rather have any other kind of sick than that - sore throat, least you can do something like watch movie. With a headache you want to rip your head straight off!

      Thank you so much for the compliments. Yes, I give it all away. I save one piece for Dave and I take one - two bites if it's something I really love. I lick the spatula too : )

      I'm so happy to hear there's not much on your mind! Yep, that's a good thing!