Thursday, January 15, 2015

With and Without You

Hi! I hope your holidays were full of everything nice!

I have so much to say lately, but don't know where to start. It seems since Aviana's been gone life has moved both fast and slow. I don't know. I've been in a flux, which I don't know exactly how to describe. Maybe it's from moving from change to change after everything being status quo for so long. I try not to analyze too much and just go with the flow, weaving in and out of my days, taking each as they come and for what they're worth.

I can say, since Aviana's been gone I'm not sure what to post. She was my muse. I have a million thoughts but now don't know where to land them - here or there. I also went through a long phase where I didn't take any pictures. At first I didn't notice and then - I cried at the realization - she's all I really took pictures of. Avi and Dave. Avi and Rainey. Avi and Avi. Okay, and pie. Avi and pie too : ) The pictures did however pick up again once we moved to Tahoe. My neighbor and I take our dogs on walks everyday. We also take Rainey to the lake. I take lots of pictures of all this beauty! But... it was strange.

It's been an interesting time lately. Trying to find myself without Aviana. Trying to figure out what's next. I've been with her for so long. I tell myself, "you were without her for the majority of your life. What's the deal?" Well come to find out, the deal is she changed and rearranged everything about me. She turned me into someone completely different. So now everything that mattered before, doesn't so much anymore. It's like starting over. It's also difficult because in starting over, I have to sometimes address what happened and potentially talk to strangers about it, which means I would have to make sure to hold it together. At times, I've felt really uncomfortable with the thought. She's my girl, and I like to talk or not talk, as I feel comfortable. So it's been interesting. I've been guided down some paths and also bent my world to accommodate myself! I'm grateful to be going through this transition here in Tahoe, rather than where we were before. Nature softens the edges.

Most days I'm good, but sometimes I feel hazy, lost, and maybe a little numb? I try to relax into those moments and realize everything will be okay.

I've been writing a lot. At times, it's really hard to go back to certain parts of our story. I have to cross reference the blog, and seeing it in real time can be downright painful. The loss. The hope. The doctors and their deliveries of highs and lows. The bittersweet pictures of Aviana. The crushing therapy realization. The lull. The loss. The fact checking when Dave comes home from work. It's all worth it though, because of the love, the hope, the outpouring of love and prayers, the people we found along the way, the faith, and much more. And most of all, because writing Aviana's story is my life's purpose. Because of her, everyday feels productive and fulfilling.

Gosh we miss her though. We miss dearly. Dave told me last night that as he was driving home he was thinking back and couldn't believe all we'd been through, especially in the end. He thought about everyone who came to visit, to say their final goodbyes. All of our friends and family who saw Aviana, who saw us. We can't imagine. I said, "Can you imagine what they must have felt? Sitting in their cars, in front of our house, knowing what they were about to walk into?" Thank God we have these kind of people in our lives. The kind who held us, and continue to, through everything.

Often times, I feel we are on the rebound. Like after an earthquake, we are rebuilding our lives, piece by piece. Or after a ball gets bounced hard, we are now flying in the air, or something. It's just what I picture. I don't think I've written about this here, but I was having nightmares for months after Aviana died. At the time, my Maggie told me my mind was still trying to make sense of everything. It was as though it was trying to catch up to reality. It was awful.

Thank you too. In going back through, I can't believe how some of you have been here from the very beginning - commenting the whole way through. Thank you for still being here even when I don't know what to write now that she's gone. Thank you to everyone who loves and supports us, and most importantly, Aviana.

Thank you also for making this year of Aviana's Elves. It was definitely different in many ways, so I thank you extra! Usually it's mainly Dave, Amy, Avi, Rainey, and I. We are usually pumped up and feed off each other. The music's usually blaring, pie's in the oven, and assembly is in motion. My mom's usually doing her thing - pounding pavement and stopping by every few days to drop the goods off for her 5 Live Crew. This year it was me. My mom was in Lincoln doing her part. Dave was working long hours at his new job (he was able to help deliver). Avi's gone. Amy was away too. And well okay, I'm sorry, Rainey was supervising. And then, my aunt died too. This year was a labor of love, and in the truest spirit in which everything was intended. It was worth it in every way, but I want you to know just how much every one of your donations meant to me. I was feeling kind of lonely without my crew close by, but with each, you picked me up that much more.

The Lyon Family ~ Gail Bower ~ The Meade Family ~ The Karabas Family ~ The Wissink Family ~ Lubna ~ The Rosemeyer Family ~ Dixie ~ The Sisle/Scotche Family ~ Marianne ~ My Daddy ~ Sue Remedios ~ The Ricketts/McIntosh Family ~ The Cava Family ~ The Pinna Family ~ The Lopez Family ~ The Depue Family ~ The Vestal Family ~ Susie Beltz ~ Starbucks ~ Target ~ Panera

❤️ ❤️ ❤️

After snowboarding this past Sunday, we took Rainey down for a swim.

Bark at the moon!


New Years Day!

Amy, Dave and I took mostly video of our sliding antics, but I love this one because Rainey's in the back, "Uh Mommy, you remember? You're a klutz!"

Dave, and our best neighbor girl Louise (or as we call her Weezy) on one of our walks. 

I love this picture of Rainey!!

These are the kind of pictures I take of Dave.

Picturesque. Top of the mountain. Trees. Snow. Lake. Billowy clouds in the backdrop.

These are the kind he takes of me. 

Parking lot. Concrete. Cars. Dirt. Power lines.

; ) : ) ; ) ; ) 

Rainey and her girls Razzimous and Sammy Sweetheart.

We are family. I got all my sisters with me!

Did you hear that? What? Where?

Today on our walk.

❤️ Sweetie Pie ❤️


  1. I love seeing your life at Tahoe. Now I want to see more of the house so I can see you in your inside surroundings. The snow feels so peaceful.

    I was so, so happy to see you today. Let's do it again!

    Love you,

    1. It was so nice seeing you too! Always. I know. I keep saying I will take pictures and I don't. I will : )

      Love you!

  2. So happy to see you writing. I'm sorry you were having nightmares, I hope they've stopped now. How cool that you & your neighbor get to walk your dogs together. Good neighbor, serene surroundings. It is so neat how God planted you in a safe spot so some healing could take place. Tahoe reminds me of anesthesia when surgery has to be done, something to help you get through what would be impossibly painful without it.

    You did a great job flying solo with the Elves! All the hours and love and time you put in was a very selfless thing to do. I'm especially sorry Amy couldn't be there. It's not the same without your bestie!

    Please keep posting pictures when you can. Rainey makes me smile, such a sweet personality even in pictures. The picture of her & her friends in the hatchback is so stinkin' cute. And um, yeah, you got jipped. You need your picture taken somewhere beside the parking lot!! ha! That's how it goes though, we, the picture takers, rarely are in actual pictures ourselves. On trips I document everything but you'd never even know I was there judging by the pictures.

    Each year I try to pick a little slogan for the new year. This year I picked 2015 -the year of now. I keep reminding myself to be here, right now, right where I am. It's only the 18th and it's hard to stick to but I'm not going to give up. At least it isn't 2008. That year my slogan was I won't procrastinate in '08. It seemed like an awesome idea when I came up with it but boy it was hard to keep that one and believe me my husband kept me to it. I'm not doing that one again!

    I submitted your aunt & uncle's names to an order of nuns for prayers. Much love and may 2015 be good to ya'll!

    1. I love the way you worded it. Tahoe is the anesthesia - for sure. I look out the window, drive down the road, go for walks, to the beach, anything and feel the healing.

      Thank you for your support and compliments. You are the best rah rah a girl could ask (not even ask) for.

      I'm finally almost finished with my Rainey post. It was only over a year in the making. Sheesh, but I guess that was the time it needed, definitely. Yes, the picture takers rarely get their pictures taken!! So true! Can you imagine if you and I went on a trip. Snap, snap, snap!! It would be epic! Or a total failure in the picture department!

      I LOVE how you pick a slogan for each year, and this year is my very favorite!! I am going to join you! I try my best for that one all the time, but this year I am going to think of YOU and try EXTRA hard! Let's hold EACH OTHER to it! YEAH!! I love it! I NEED it! WOO HOO! 2015 - The Year of NOW - To CHANNE & JEN!! I'm grateful I didn't know you in 2008 (let me rephrase that, I would have loved to have known you, BUT!) you would have been flying SOLO on that one! I can't seem to return some emails and blog in a timely manner for some strange reason?!?

      Channe my sweet - I love you. Thank you so much for loving to no end. Thank you for being you, so beautiful and wonderful. Thank you for thinking of my aunt and uncle. My heart melted when I read what you wrote. I don't deserve all the good you send my way - truly.

  3. Oh my deer sweet Jen. First off the sliding! Hilarious! You need to post video of it!

    I can't begin to imagine cross referencing your blog for what you are writing. Asa has been reading Trina's blog book and it's painful to just hear some of her entries, even though his giggling, high pitched voice. All I hear is "she isn't here anymore, there will be no more of these fun entries ever again." The strength you have is amazing. But what else are you going to do? That's just how the cookie crumbles sometimes. Yeah, you know what I say about your crumbled cookies!

    I love you, I'm sorry I've been absent.

    We love you and think of ALL of you daily.

    1. My dear sweet Cams. The sliding, I wish you were here to slide with us. I miss you. I want to hear that laugh of yours!

      The cross referencing. Oh the cross referencing. I just spent the majority of today writing, and tons cross referencing. Most fine, some very painful. Dave and I cried tonight as we read some of the sweetest memories of the sweetest little girl. She was here for a flash, and it's sometimes just so hard to imagine. I love the writing though. There's so much clarity in it and the purpose fills me like nothing else I believe in my life ever will. I feel connected to her, and for that I am grateful ; ) So I say, bring it! Ha Ha.

      I picture Asa reading and imagine how that would feel. I can't. I have no idea, but from your description, and I am sorry.

      Cookie crumbs. Cookie crumbs.

      I too am sorry I have been absent. It's like I can only concentrate on so much at one time since she died, and right now I am trying like hell to carve out this life. Which has been hard for me to figure out. I finally decided to become a substitute teacher so I've been studying for the CBEST when I am not writing, which is a lot.

      Things are wonky right now. Transitional. I knew it was coming, but you know.

      I love you too!

  4. I love seeing you write!!! You can keep the snow and all of it's beauty because it does make for great pictures. Y'all are always on my mind and in my prayers. Julie - Texas

    1. Awww Julie! Thank you! I appreciate! I appreciate. I have a Rainey post coming sometime soon - finally.

      Love to you!!

  5. Your writing style is amazing!! I certainly hope you will continue to share with us. I look forward to it.

    Traumatic Brain Injury - This took my 95 year old mother to heaven a week ago. She lived a few days before God reached down and took her home. She had fallen just a few weeks after breaking her hip. I thought of you often as we watched her and talked to her. May God continue to bless you as He has done for us. Vicki from the Memphis area

    1. Thank you so much Vicki : )

      I am sorry to hear about your mother. So very. I am wishing you peace and the love of your family as you carry on without her.

      I will be keeping you close in thought and prayer.