Friday, January 30, 2015

Mourning is Love with No Place to Go....

Man....we take life for granted don't we? It seems we never think of losing someone and then when we do, we think of a million things we wished we would have done or said (or had not done or said in some cases). In July of last year we unexpectedly lost Aaron's dad. Aaron's dad didn't have the best life. He struggled with addiction and spent a lot of Aaron's younger years lost in his troubles. I wouldn't say that we were necessarily close with his dad, but he was a good guy. He was a good guy stuck in a bad situation. He was so proud of Taelyn. Before he retired, he would show all the guys he worked with pictures of her all the time. Unfortunately, he didn't get to see Hensley but a time or two before he passed. We tried to help, we did. There's one thing about addiction that is so, so hard to understand. If the person will not/cannot help themselves, then they will not get better. Unfortunately, we learned that the hard way. It's so sad to see someone that you love put their addiction above their own family. It's impossible to put yourself in their shoes unless you have been there your self. We are grateful that he is no longer suffering with the loneliness and pain associated with his struggles.

Nine days after the passing of Aaron's dad, Aaron's grandpa passed (dad's dad). We knew that his Grandpa was going. He had been sick a while and was on hospice. We had a lot of time to visit him. To put it out there, we were all kind of relieved when he passed. He had been suffering for some time and it was so hard to see him like that. We knew he would be at peace if he would just let go. We just had no idea that he would go so soon after losing someone else. So, in the matter of two weeks, we had two deaths, two viewings, and two funerals.

Sherry, Aaron's aunt (daughter to Grandpa/sister to dad), had a really tough time. She struggled with the guilt of not being able to help her brother and that she had found him that day. She was also a daddy's girl. She loved her daddy more than words can express. In the coming months Sherry and I would message each other on Facebook just about every day (something we had been doing for several years). We talked about her missing her brother and her dad. I tried as best as I could to help soothe her pain and ease her guilt. Sherry had also lost her mother back in '97 and still had a tough time with that also.

On Saturday, January 24th, our beloved Aunt Sherry did not wake up. We would find out later that day that she had suffered a brain aneurysm. We were all in shock. This was so unexpected. Sherry and I had just messaged each other that Friday and she also had messaged me at about midnight that night. How could this happen? Sherry was like another mother to me. She never had kids of her own and Aaron and his brothers were all she had. We had gotten really close after I had Taelyn. Boy did she love our girls! I couldn't post a thing on Facebook without her "liking" and commenting on it. She tagged herself in pictures of the girls so all her friends could see them. She was so proud of them. She called them her "little sweeties". My heart has just been aching since Saturday. I've been trying to keep myself busy. Trying not to think of the heavy sadness that sits on my heart. My eyes brim with tears with the thought of the girls growing up without her. I'm overcome with guilt when I think about going to bed before having the chance to read and respond to the message she had sent me that night. I start to question God and ask him "why her?" and "why now?", but I stop myself and remember that His reasons (whatever they may be) are enough. We are going to miss her deeply though. I'm already missing the joy she brought to Facebook with her posts and comments. Please keep us in your prayers these coming weeks as we learn how to "do life" without her beautiful soul. Please also say a special prayer for her husband as he has lost his soul mate of over 31 years.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. Revelation 21:4

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Food, zoo trip, and fun times!

Above is the makings of delicious taco soup. It is more like a chili despite the name. I like it better with ground beef, but you can make it with shredded chicken or leave out the meat all together and make it vegetarian. I put all this into a crock pot and it is done in just a few hours. I drain everything but the canned diced tomatoes and I only put in about a cup of the broth. We eat it with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips. Yum!
Taelyn has TONS of Legos. Aaron has a lot of fun helping her put together her sets and it is great daddy/daughter time. Our cat Kona loves to sit right in the middle and be a pain as you can see.
It seems like it has been FOREVER since we had warm weather, but this was a week or so before Christmas. I took the girls to the zoo during the day and we had a lot of fun. We were about the only people there and we went right when they were feeding a lot of the animals. It's going to be in the 60's next week, so we are going to go again soon!

Big girl! She is such a good helper and big sister. 
The mama elephant was pregnant here with her second baby. She has since given birth to a little baby girl. We can't wait to see the new baby elephant!

Hensley is quite the daredevil. She likes to run, jump, climb, and just be silly. I think she probably hurts herself at least a dozen times a day!
Above is another Frontier order of mine. That Equal Exchange coffee is amazing! I love that there is a cheaper, easier way for me to get all my favorite natural and organic products.
I made these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for our annual Cookie Exchange the weekend before Christmas. I used Enjoy Life chocolate chunks. They are by far the best chocolate chips ever!
Oven roasted chickpeas are a great snack. They taste kind of like corn nuts, but are way healthier :)
Look at this beauty! She is growing up so quickly. 
The girls loved walking to get the mail everyday and stomping in the leaves. Silly girls!
Above is Salisbury steak, roasted butternut squash, and mixed vegetables. I use Simply Organic brown gravy mix and it is yummy. I really love cooking and I love being able to provide healthy meals for my family. It's great to be able to have more time to come up with dishes!