Thursday, October 29, 2015


6 years ago today I stood before hundreds of people who knew and loved Jeanne and Mike and spoke these words.  I was surrounded by my sisters as we each took our turn to talk. I was at the most peace at that moment that I had felt since the accident.


Good morning and thank you everyone for coming to be here with our family.  Words can’t begin to describe how much we appreciate the love and support we’ve received over the last several days.  Please know that even if we have not yet been able to thank you personally we know how much our family is loved and are blessed by the prayers for us and the girls.  K and I would especially like to thank our friends and K's family for helping us get through this and taking care of our boys.  We are truly blessed to have you in our lives.

Several times during the last few days, as appointments have been made and jobs have been doled out amongst ourselves, I’ve found myself going through my head making a plan and deciding who is going to do what.  Whenever it involves us sisters together I’ve automatically thought, me, CA, Jeanne, C and S.  The five us have always been a unit.  Moving forward without Jeanne is still unbelievable.

As those of you who know us well, we are an extremely close family.  C and I joke sometimes that at times we’re in each others lives a little too much.  From E’s latest swimming achievement, to A’s broken arm to the latest antics from W and I, the family communication system goes into effect and within hours or sometimes even minutes, we all know what’s going on and a shared laugh is circulating or help is on the way. 

The family communication system is never more effective than when we are sharing the sporting lives of our kids.  And Jeanne and Mike were the ultimate sports parents, whether it was showing a good example to their kids of a healthy lifestyle with their running and biking (usually with a dog in tow and jog stroller), or cheering loudly from the sidelines or pool decks.  One of my favorite things is our Monday morning phone conversations recounting scores from the day before and how our respective little athletes had performed.  This is actually one of the only areas that I was able to give Jeanne some advice and I liked that my "big" sister would listen to me when it came to soccer and the girls.

It goes without saying that Jeanne and Mike were amazing people and parents.  Jeanne taught me how to be a mom.  She is always my go-to person with questions, from how to set up a nap schedule to what to do with fevers and homework.  She has been my lifeline.  I wouldn’t be the mother I am today without her.

But Mike and Jeanne also had their wild side.  My sons A and D love me to tell the Aunt Jeanne legend about when she ate her entire hotdog dinner before we had even said grace.  I’ll never forget the phone call mom received one Monday afternoon from the principal at O’Connell that Jeanne was in trouble for going off-campus during lunch and getting a diet coke.  When I was a senior in high school, my sister-in-law Sonya and I travelled to James Madison to see the campus and stay with Zhea and she actually bought us beer.  Mike taught me how to smoke a cigar.  Or who doesn’t recently remember K’s 40th birthday party or any of the McNutt Christmas parties, where Jeanne and Mike were the life of the party and more often than not the last ones to leave.  Even then, they both showed us how important family and friends were to them.  I can’t remember any party or family get together that didn’t end with a huge hug from Mike and him telling me we have to do this more often, getting our families together to share a meal, drink a beer (or two), play some waffle-ball or just share time together.

Mom and Dad, I am so sorry for your loss.  As a parent myself, I can only imagine what you’re going through.  But please know, that our closeness and the love we have shared as sisters is because of you.  Your example of love, patience, humor, and forgiveness has helped us beyond measure.  Even though our world is forever changed I have faith that this bond you’ve created between us will never be broken and will help us in the days, months and years to come.

Mike Sr., Molly, Tim, Sara, Joe, John, and Andrew I am also so sorry for your loss.  Please know how much Mike was loved by all of us.  He had the great honor of being the first brother-in-law.  And he truly was our brother.  His love, patience and kindness to all of us sisters was amazing.  From early on he was at every soccer game, family event, home project and important family moment.  I know that he has helped K, DG and CS be the wonderful brother-in-laws, husbands and fathers that they are today.

E, M, MG and KT.  All four of us were there within minutes after each of you were born.  I have never seen your parents happier than on each of those days.  Your parents loved you the moment you came into their lives and it has multiplied each and every moment of every day.  You were the center of their lives.  Please remember that even though they’re not here, that love will never go away.  Their immense love pulled all of us into your lives.  Your parents left us that legacy and we will always love you and will do our very best each day to remind you of that love and take care of you.

I really don’t know what else to say and then at the same time there is still so much to say.  Jeanne and Mike I love you and I miss you.  Again, everyone thank you for all of your love and support, please keep us and girls in your prayers.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

October 24, 2015....6 Years of Balloons to Heaven

MG, L and KT

Sister C, A and M

D, K and Sister S

M and D

Sister C and cousin W

The men of the family

The twins that are not twins

Brothers J and W

Our sweet M

Cousins I and MG

D and M with baby cousin S (with A in the back)

My parents

The whole crew (minus E)

Just the kids

Me and K

My family

The boys

Our family's goofy picture

The family

Cousins and siblings

L melts my heart with that smile

The littlest cousins H and S

It was a good morning overall.  I was very tired from a late night the night before travelling to and from to see E and delivering her balloons (she was touched and grateful). As the kids played and adults talked, I was able to hide behind my camera and capture all the love in our family alongside the bittersweet reason for our gathering.  I had a good cry on the way home from A's cross country meet by myself in the car.

Later that night the cousins (minus MG and KT) all hung out at sister S's house while the adults (minus my parents, CA and KM) went out to dinner and had a few beers.  Telling funny stories about Jeanne and Mike minus the kids around was nice.

I feel emotionally hung over today.  We've been busy with lots of soccer all day so tonight has been the first time I've had to post.  I'm hoping to move through this week of remembering the days after the accident as just that, moments to remember, not another round of heightened anxiety.

Another year without them.  Another year of moving on.

I love you Jeanne and Mike.  I miss you every day and hope you know how much.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Last night L and I got home about 7:30 after his soccer practice and I was immediately barraged by the 15 year olds.  A's foot is sore with a little bit of tendinitis and he's worried about his run on Saturday (side note: based on when he's running, he can come to balloons!!).  He's buying a tiger salamander and since the last pieces of the habitat he's making arrived yesterday he wanted to know when we could order it.  M on the other hand wanted to give me a detailed explanation of why their biology lab report was going to suck and how it's not her fault and she thinks one of the girls is faking a concussion to get out of doing the work.  She also needed a hug.  And then another.  And then for good measure just hang on me with her head on my shoulder.  L meanwhile needed to get his gear off and was hungry.  Simultaneously E was texting me from school NOT to come to the meet tomorrow because "her body is completely nonfunctional in the water" and I should just come down to bring her to dinner.  This was all after my dad called me on the way home to say, "Take it or leave it, but I think M might be in a funk and I wasn't sure you noticed."  Really grandpa?  You think? Thank goodness D was at soccer practice.

As all their needs were pelting me, I had this sudden feeling that I need to be bigger than myself this week.  An image of myself as Baymax from the movie Big Hero 6 popped into my head.  Blowing myself up to be their cushion and comfort. Expanding myself to be more than I really feel like being this week.

What I'd like to do is stay under the covers all week.  Watch mindless tv.  Listen to songs that trigger some good therapeutic cries. Do lots of nothing.  Sit and be little sister Peg who lost her big sister and wants nothing more than to be able to talk her one more time.  Hear her laugh again. Give her one more hug.

But that Peg can't be in the cards much this week.  The kids need me to be present and let them know everything is ok.  My parents need me to show them we are all alright.  My sisters need me to be the rock.  

So here's a pep talk to big Peg: We'll get through this week. You got this.  You've done it before and you'll do it again.

I believe in this road we’re on, but grace going nearly gone,
Days are quick and these nights getting long
I see you wonder if you will sit alone, my heart’s always with you but I fail with my skin and bones
Great lights in darkness have been shown
I hear you laughing still, oh conquer worlds we will
Warmer waters are waiting near for us, but leave right now my dear we must
For I fear our love grows cold, but if we go we will save our weary souls
Oh cling to me promise you will, as we travel through these valleys and hills
When all is said and done I will seek your name still
For love is no grandstand nor a pocket piece, when my hands are not dirty it shakes me to my knees
And all the world sees, that it’s gone from me
My heart and my soul are home in your eyes, so bring just yourself leave the rest behind
This body of mine oh it would move a mountain for that body of yours shining in the ocean
I hear you laughing still, conquer worlds we will

--Save Our Weary Souls, The J Band

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What You Can't Know

This post is for the several people this week who have said to me, "It's been 6 years since the accident?  It must be not as bad after all that time."  Or for good measure, "The girls are doing so well and seem so happy.  They must be over their parents dying."  To those people, this is how this week feels.

As irrational as it sounds, it feels like we are going to live the accident and the aftermath all over again.  The anticipation is physically and emotionally draining.  The trauma of that night is permanently imprinted in my mind.  As the memories come back in spurts throughout the day, I have an anxious feeling in my stomach, my chest feels tight like a heavy weight is sitting on it and I get hives.  I feel sleepy and tired. The only way to escape this feeling is to close my eyes and try to take a quick nap.  20 minutes sleep can often reset my body and mind.  This is all after years of therapy which have helped with my day-to-day, but can't stop the tide of feelings this week.

6 years is actually a very difficult number.  The accident happened on a Saturday and the anniversary this year also falls on a Saturday.  This means that the accident day and all the days following will fall exactly on the same days.  You may think that it sounds silly, but that makes it even worse.

Triggers for the trauma come in all forms. Sunday night we ordered Chinese for dinner because we had a crazy day.  I didn't think anything of it, until I sat down to eat and was transported back to a Saturday night 6 years ago when the Chinese food arrived minutes before I got a phone call from my sister that there had been an accident.  I couldn't eat.  In general, I'm having problems eating (see above paragraph about the anxious stomach).

Grieving while parenting grieving children is hard.  E and M are both struggling.  Thank goodness I was able to get M into an extra therapy session last night. The boys are worried about her and have been giving her extra hugs and attention.  L is very clingy and wants to make sure everyone in his family is alive.  A is worried that he is going to miss balloon day because he's running varsity in the championship cross country meet this Saturday. He knows how important it is for him to be there for M.  I think my physical symptoms are worse because I bottle up my own grief in order to support the kids.

The accident suddenly took away two people in our family.  We miss them terribly, but it also was absolutely devastating to the fabric of our family.  The decisions surrounding who was going to take the girls and ultimately splitting them up were gut wrenching.  Those decisions have had permanent negative impacts on our relationships.  My parents have never been the same.  Guilt, hurt, jealousy, and anger have seeped into our family bonds.  It's hard to handle at times.

I've documented for years here in this space how our immediate family has been affected.  In many ways, we have been defined by our trauma.

Grief can be very isolating.  There are often feelings of an "otherness" that you can't understand unless you have experienced it. Empty statements of support or canned phrases like "it will get better with time" only make me think something is wrong with me for feeling this way.  It sometimes feels like we're living in an alternate universe.

So for those people who think we've "gotten over it" that is definitely not the case.  Other people may not have the same reactions, but this is my reality.  A reality I wouldn't wish for anybody, let alone my children.  Unless you've been through something similar, you can't know how this feels.  So rather than offering platitudes or, as a friend did last night when I told her I was struggling, text me stupid pictures of kittens hoping I have a better day, simply say, "I'm sorry."  "I'm thinking of you." "I love you."

Anything else just makes an already awful situation worse.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

It's Coming

9 days till the accident anniversary.

The crisp fall air and changing daylight are triggers.

Talking lots with L about dying, funerals and heaven.

M is throwing up all kinds of red flags that she's struggling.  Fake injuries complete with dramatic limps and moans.  It's tiring and sad.  My patience is being sorely tested.

E was home for fall break which was nice.  I could tell she is feeling it too.  She doesn't want to come home for the balloon release, but asked me to drive down the day before to see her swim and be with her.  It will be hard to do the trip down and back in one day, but I will be there for our girl.

My brain is a fog.  Physical signs of anxiety stretch throughout my day...anxious stomach, hives, tight chest.

As with the last 6 years the days leading up are always worse than the actual day.  Trying to keep that in mind to trudge through the coming days.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

My Rock

I have a friend, G.  She is moving.  To Houston.  I am really sad.

We first met at our neighborhood tot lot (across the street from my house) after we'd been in the neighborhood for a few years.  When we first moved in I would dutifully walk across the street with A and D on Monday afternoons when all the kids that go to public school would hang after early dismissal.  I smiled. I tried to enter conversations. But I was pretty much ignored. It was a tough crowd to break into.  First, I was a working mom (granted I work 3 days at home), but due to my schedule I couldn't participate in any of the organized play groups to meet other moms.  Then, as my kids got older, we didn't go to the local public school putting us further on the outside of what seemed to me at the time as an impenetrable fortress.

Then one day my boys were sitting watching some older boys (as in one year older than A) play football.  I could tell they wanted to play but were too shy to ask.  Then suddenly a mom who must have seen the dynamic walked up and yelled over to her son, "Hey Lou! Why don't you ask these boys to play?"  While the other boys rolled their eyes, sweet Lou walked over, introduced himself and asked them to be on his team.  Now nobody would throw them the ball, but after D tackled a few of the big boys to the ground a little acceptance was gained.

I walked over to thank this nice mom and we got to talking.  Turns out we both like to read, have similar senses of humor and take similar attitudes towards parenting.  A friendship slowly started building.  When L was born, her oldest daughter became my "mom's helper." I loved hanging with her kids and got mad soccer props from Lou for being a "soccer mom" who could actually play.

Then the accident happened.  Family tragedy can be a clear litmus test for friendships.  G was always there when I needed her.  She never tried to be intrusive in our shock and grief.  Lots of  people would drop off dinner, but then try to stay and "get the scoop" about what really happened and how the girls were. One of my favorite memories of her help was when I called and told her we had no toilet paper and within minutes a package was on our porch with no questions. All of this while her own mother was dying.

A week after the accident was Halloween and many people avoided our house thinking we wouldn't hand out candy or that our boys wouldn't trick or treat.  I'll never forget sitting on our porch waiting for someone to come so I could hand out the candy in my giant bucket watching kids and parents pass by our house.  Then out of the dark up walked Lou who gave me a huge hug and told me how sorry he was (okay tears forming in my eyes just thinking about that night).

Over the years our friendship has deepened.  Her husband is one of my favorite people. She is my late night text buddy.  Most days don't go by without her making me laugh.  G gives me tough love when I need it. She is my go-to person with help with rides for the kids (this seems like a trivial thing but you need to understand that my kids don't like riding in cars with other people besides me and K--she is just that special).  My kids love her and I truly know that she loves my kids.

She is the only in real life (IRL) friend that reads my blog. 

So this post is a tribute to my rock.  One of only a handful of people I truly know is my friend and who I always know I can count on. 

Love you G. I'll miss you.  Thank goodness my texts will still reach you in Houston.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mr. Independent

We had one of our normal busy weeks last week.  Lots of school, sports, work stuff all jumbled together.  Things got a bit disrupted too with all the weather related cancellations, practice moves, etc. 

Somewhere in there a postcard project on a country from South America got lost in the mix.

Backtrack a few weeks ago, when L came bounding into the house after school and declared he had a project to do in Spanish and he was picking Chile because Daddy used to live there and Granddaddy E goes there all the time.  "Sounds good buddy!' I declared and filed it away in my every expanding and contracting index card holder in my brain off all the little things that need to get done in our family.  I think I might have vaguely asked when it was due and I think his equally vague response was "sometime in October."

Flash forward to Saturday night about 7:30 when K, D and I rolled in from a soccer game about 2 hours away.  L stayed home with A and M (and a friend of A's) because it was a rainy day he wanted to stay home with the big kids.  As we walked in and I asked how the day had gone, L declared that he finished his Chile project.

I looked at him surprisingly, "You did? When is it due again?"

He looked up at me and very matter-of-factly declared, "Oh it was due on Tuesday, but I told her that I had completely forgot and she said she'd give me an extension.  So I just did it."

First the wave of mom guilt hit me that I didn't have any idea when the project was due and wasn't there to help him.  Then I thought that I'd better make sure I check it over because how good of a job could he have done pulling the information together on his own? Especially with all of the shenanigans that most likely went on while we were gone with the teenagers, I was very doubtful about how well he had completed the assignment.  Then I got distracted by being shown video evidence of the shenanigans and completely forgot about the late assignment.

Flash forward again to Monday morning when I looked through his backpack to make sure I signed everything in his test folder.  Low and behold there was the "postcard" about Chile he had written and including a drawing of an Easter Island statue.  I started reading and much to my surprise he did a great job!  It hit all the major points he was supposed to make and he even had a joke (very signature L).

I sometimes feel bad that L gets the short shift right now in our parenting.  The big kids take up a lot of time.  Our little L as the youngest has always been our "no fanfare" just get my shit done kid.  He gets home from school, grabs a snack and does his homework.  He rarely asks for help.  Even the fact that he told the teacher he forgot and then took it upon himself to be responsible and get it done is so very unlike the other kids.  The other kids would have brought much more drama (tears) and most likely an email from me to the teacher explaining that "we" had forgot.

In some ways being the youngest stinks.  In other ways, though, L is getting the skills that will do him very well in the future.  I am always proud of him, but this one kinda took the cake.  He's a pretty cool kid.  Love him.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


And in time
As one reminds the other of past
A life lived much too fast to hold onto
How am I losing you?

A broken house
Another dry month waiting for the rain
And I had been resisting this decay
I thought you'd do the same

But this is all I ever was
And this is all you came across those years ago
Now you go too far
Don't tell me that I've changed because that's not the truth
And now I'm losing you

Fragile sound
The world outside just watches as we crawl
Crawl towards a life of fragile lines
And wasted time

-Ditmas, Mumford and Sons

I was just driving through the neighborhood after dropping D off at practice and Ditmas came on the stereo.  It hasn't come up on my IPod in a while and I forgot how much I like it.  I quickly turned up the volume and started singing and car seat dancing.  I was literally rocking out.  It got me to thinking about what some of the neighbors might think if they saw me. It led me to memories of Saturday night when we went out with our friends from college to see an 80s cover band.  We drank and danced and had a blast with people who've known and loved us for over 25 years.  Dancing to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and rocking out in my car to Mumford feels like the real me.  Just like I always feel better after I play soccer.  I forget about my stress and only focus on the present moment.

I've gotten out of the habit of writing on this blog.  The first month of the school year (plus all the kids' sports) coupled with being unbelievably busy at work has conspired to wipe away lots of my habits.  I just wrote an 88 page technical document for work which required working long days and late nights for the last few weeks.  Writing for work is exhausting taking away all of my energy to write in this space.  While I'm pretty proud of the work I did for my client, it made it hard to be a good mom.  The house looks like a tornado hit it.  We have all gotten used to grabbing laundry out of the dryer or from piles of folded clothes on the floor in the family room.  Menu planning has gone out the window.  Too many diet cokes and late night Oreos as coping mechanisms. Bad habits have won out.

On the other hand, needing to be overly focused on something as intense as this deliverable means that it doesn't leave a lot of room to be worried about other things.  Work stress has trumped lots of things this last month.  I could put my earphones on and drown in the intricate work I was doing and have the perfect reason not to do things that I would normally do or think about the tough things in my life.  I had a good excuse to let things slide. There hasn't been a lot of mental room for deep thinking. My grief can be put back in its jar.

My little car jam session, though, clicked something in my head.  I am very easily overwhelmed by my life stress that I forget that it's my life--the life of a beer drinking, soccer playing, sometimes bad language using, book reading, Bravo TV watching, goofy woman.  My role as mom (or in the last month principal analyst) sometimes squishes that Peg. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom (I don't love work that much).  I am so busy managing our family, though, that I usually forget about my own needs.  I struggle with finding my own identity outside of being Mommy/Aunt Peg.

We've just entered what I've been referring to as our "cluster of grief."  September 9th was Mike's birthday and then we move to the accident anniversary, Jeanne's birthday, their wedding anniversary and the holidays.  I decided tonight that I'm going to try really hard not to get overwhelmed by the cluster.  I'm going to try to remember to find those moments of being normal Peg (even if the other moms in our neighborhood think I'm a nutcase).

I need to get back into the habit of writing here.  It's so good for my mental health.  I've been forming posts in my head.  Things like my new research on the girls and attachment issues, watching A and M's relationship development as siblings, problems with some other soccer moms, and building issues with CA.  I also need to get back to journaling about our everyday--homecoming asks, baseball fun, and life with a hilarious 8 year old.

Thanks for bearing with me. I don't want to lose the real me.  I don't want to look back on my life and only remember work crap, driving and cooking.  I am more than that.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Some Things Just Don't Go Away

We were on our way to L's soccer practice yesterday when traffic came to a stop on the two lane road which leads to the field.  It's a pretty windy road and in parts there aren't actually any center lines. This is a horse farm area and the initial intention of the road wasn't meant for tons of soccer moms dropping their kids off at our club's soccer facility, or what has become a cut through for a bordering neighborhood to avoid a major congestion area.

First, my neighbor friend called and let me know that the road was blocked.  She said she wasn't sure what was going on but saw two ambulances so we assumed it was an accident.  She also noted that she saw a little girl crying on the side of the road.

A little girl.  I knew my sister was probably just ahead of me bringing my niece to practice.  My thoughts immediately jumped to "maybe it was them."  I quickly called her.  She answered and let me know that she was already turned around and was working on a detour to get to the field.  I explained why I called.  She totally understand why I went there in my mind.

Our car finally got to the part where the police had blocked the road with cones and we were able to turn around.  I said a silent prayer of thanks that due to the nature of the road, and where they had stopped traffic, we didn't have a view of the accident.

40 minutes later, after we had navigated ourselves to the fields through back roads, my levels of anxiety has dissipated, and I pushed the possible accident to the back of my mind.

When I got home hours later after M's high school scrimmage, I mentioned to K what had happened and absentmindedly told him that L's coach wasn't there which made for a crazy night for the kids with other coaches filling in.  K immediately said, "Maybe it was coach C in the accident? Why else would he not be at practice?"  I didn't want it to be true despite his logic.  "Somebody would have known if it was him. Maybe he had something else going on. Maybe it wasn't an accident on the road at all but was something at one of the farms."  I didn't want it to be true and convinced myself it wasn't. L loves his coach and we really like him too.  His Scottish sense of humor, combined with his patience with the boys has been great.  He and I have become friends over the last couple years and as a person I really like him.
This morning the email came telling us Coach C was in the accident.  A woman going in the opposite direction wasn't paying attention and was speeding and smashed directly into his car on the driver's side.

Thank goodness he is okay.  Bruised, cut up, burned from the side air bag, and a bad headache.  No broken bones or internal injuries and the CT scan was clear for any brain injury.

I immediately thought of how I was going to tell the kids, especially L.  When he and D got home from school, I first told him that everything was ok and Coach C was fine but that he was in the car accident from the day before and wouldn't be there tonight.  The initial look on his face was fear.  Raw fear.  Then he repeated, "But he's okay...can we not talk about it?"  D repeated the same assurances and went up to his room where I found him a few minutes later on his bed rubbing the satin portion of Louis (his lovey) which is something he does when he's nervous.  I asked him if everything was ok and said, "Fine, leave me alone."

When I told A he wanted to see the pictures.  He wanted details. He said, "Wow mom, he's lucky...and we know that sometimes you don't get lucky."  Yeah, buddy we know all about that.

M started talking a mile a minute wanting to know what happened.  I kept it simple saying he was okay and like L she repeated me several times and then changed the subject.  I thought about how rough driver's ed is going to be for her this year.

Here's the thing.  I am slowly learning to accept that Jeanne and Mike aren't coming back.  And while I don't go to the same  panic/anxiety levels when I think about the accident the multiple times a day like I used to (thanks to some good therapy work), car accidents are still a major trigger for me and our entire family.  All the kids have been a bit off tonight.  L struggled through practice and was almost in tears declaring "I was awful tonight!!!" I knew why those tears were really building and in hindsight I should have just kept him home.

My day has been peppered with thoughts of their accident.  How did it happen?  Why didn't Mike  keep control of the car? How did the other driver lose control?  Was she texting?  Did they know what was happening?  Why? Why? Why?

It's been almost 6 years.  We may all be getting closer to acceptance, but really, some things just don't go away.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


All five are back to school.  I can't believe how big and old they all are (sniff, sniff).

E in her new apartment.

L in 3rd grade and D in 8th.

Our sophmores A and M.
New schedules.
New friends.
New classes and challenges.
I think everyone is ready for some "new."
I know I am.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Song lyrics mean a lot to me.  When I was in high school and college I was a big doodler (I still am actually).  When I was really bored in class, I would fill notebook pages of song lyric excerpts.  Sometimes I'd have a theme.  In college, they tended to be romantic in nature and in my heart I was writing these little messages to K. Since the accident, song lyrics have often been the catalyst for a good session of grief tears. Words are important to me.  I've always been an avid reader and drawn to those books that have an author who takes care over their words.  The kind where I'll re-read a section or paragraph to savor each sentence.

I also like to talk to people. I'm not sure if I'm a total extrovert, because I do need my alone time during the day, but I like to chat with the checkout guys at Target or ask another parent on the sideline how their kids are doing.  I like to share my thoughts with good friends and get the good feelings from telling a funny story and getting another person's laughter.

Words. Sharing. Connecting.


I guess that's part of why I've been struggling so much lately.  I don't feel like sharing as much.  I'm not really talking to the person/people that I really need to be sharing with.  Issues with CA, my other sisters, parents and in-laws have stayed bottled up inside. Logistics, benign pleasantries, FB posts, etc.  are what I'm mustering.  I'm okay mostly when I'm in mom mode.  I've been working hard to be normal mom/Aunt Peg for the kids.

Mostly not having the guts to tell K exactly how I'm feeling.  Worried how he'll react or what he'll say?  Worried how I'll deliver the words?  Sometimes just not having the energy to muster up the courage to confess how lost I feel.


This afternoon, I was driving back from dropping A off at school to catch the bus for cross country and one of my favorite Vance Joy songs came on, Best That I Can.

I'm sick of leaving things half done
things half said
I am, I am trying
the best that I can
I am, I am trying

I suddenly thought of myself scribbling these words out in a notebook.  As I sang them, I thought of all my responsibilities and how overwhelming it has become knowing all I have to do and can't get done.  I'm tired of falling asleep quietly next to someone wanting to talk and connect and instead rolling over and willing sleep to come.  Or waking up in the morning with awful feelings of anxiety and instead of telling him how I feel, I silently crawl out of bed and begrudgingly start the day.


My words to my husband that I'm not saying...

I love you.

I need you to be a teammate in all this not just another person I have to manage.

I am drowning in the day to day demands of work and kids.

I need to you to love me and sometimes put me first. 

I need romance and need to feel wanted.

I am trying the best that I can.

I am, I am trying.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

End of Summer

This is our last week of summer vacation.  We moved E into her apartment last weekend.  The kids are definitely relishing in the last few days of freedom.  Still procrastinating a bit on summer work (although overall in much better shape than last year).  Sleeping in and staying up a bit later.  Practices are ramping up with A starting cross country, M doing both varsity soccer and playing for her club team, and both D and L on their respective travel soccer teams...oh yeah and L plays baseball but has only been to a few clinics.

As a family, I think we've had a good summer.  The kids had a good balance of free time, day trips and one pretty awesome family trip (I am so missing AZ).  We've had lots of laughs.  Time with family on both sides including cousin trips to the pool, sleepovers, an epic lip sync battle, and women's world cup victories to celebrate. 

E being home was mostly good.  She and M fight a lot still and her early morning swimming makes her grumpy and irritable.  Fortunately, she stopped the morning practices for the last several weeks and that helped tons.  Better sleep is always good for her mood and it effects everyone in the house.

Sedona was the highlight of my summer.  The rest of the summer has been punctuated by what I can only describe as feelings of stress, disconnection and being lost.  I'm struggling to focus at work.  I'm trying to keep things going with the kids and the household.  Hopeless isn't exactly the right word, but I wonder sometimes how much longer I can keep up with all that I'm responsible for and not be buried by it.  On most days, staying positive and remembering to be grateful is just too much effort. 

I'm hoping the new school year will bring back some structure to my days.  I'm hoping this brings me more peace and energy.  At minimum, I'll have some more hours during the day of time to myself.

A few glimpses at this summer...

The summer started with a cousin baseball championship.

A snake at a skate park is heaven for A.

Nobody makes M laugh like Uncle K.

D won a big soccer tourney on father's day.

The WWC games were a highlight of the summer.

A won lots of free stuff this summer skateboarding.

D loves to herp just like his big brother.

Best friends.

Working together on a rainy summer day.

E and A remain close and get along so well.

Our boys at the trailhead.

L swimming at our pool with the little sisters/cousins.

Me and M.

Little L got his skate on lots this summer too.