Monday, January 16, 2017

Fly away sweet Queen Bee

Saturday was an emotional day. It was the same day we had Daddy's funeral a year ago. My stepmom Deb wanted to host a Celebration of Life party for Dad.  I was dreading it but it ended up better than anticipated.  I was going to fill you in on the party today but that post has to wait. When we got home that evening and was settling on the couch, i went on Facebook on my phone. One of the first posts i saw was someone saying goodbye to one of my friends Brittany. I couldnt believe it. I said out-loud to Todd " Oh No ! Little Brittany is gone".   Earlier that morning, i had posted a Happy Birthday post on her page.  I later read that she had gone into the hospital late Friday night and passed away early Saturday morning on her birthday.
I met Brittany around 5 years ago through blogging.  Her blog was BeeLittleQueen and then changed the name to Sunny Tales and Happy Mail.  Pretty much very soon after i started blogging. She was one of my first blogging friends where we always commented on each others posts.  We eventually became friends on Facebook and Instagram which was great. I never got to meet her face to face in person because she lived in Arizona. Brittany was in a wheelchair and lived on a ventilator since she was 23.  She had Spinal Muscular Dystrophy and had to start on wheelchair when she was 11 years old. She had to live in a special home for those who needed 24 care with her ventilator, etc.
We would text each other periodically and we always sent little packages to each other.  We even switched maxi skirts one summer.  She loved fashion and makeup and we would talk about her favorite brands, etc.
The last few years , Brittany struggled with her health more and more. She went into the hospital a few time due to infection around her trach, air leaking, etc.  From there it was domino effect with other parts of her body.  She didnt post the whole year of 2016 on her blog. Luckily she would post on IG or FB so i could see some activity from her.
A few years ago, she started going to the Church of Latter Day Saints and met some new friends. Brittany eventually got baptized and joined the church. She loved it and i was happy for her to have a new community of friends to hang out with and look after her.  She came from a hispanic Catholic family and had posted that she knew many of her family didnt agree with the Mormon church but they also encouraged her to make her own decisions.
Brittany was always the most positive person i ever knew. She had the most beautiful outlook of life and the sweetest biggest smile.  She so badly wanted to have a boyfriend and to marry one day.  Brittany wanted what all young women want. She was no different .
I will miss my sweet little friend but she is soaring high with the angels. Had i known just a few hours earlier, i would have dedicated a balloon just for her.  In fact, i actually grabbed 2 balloons to release for Dad which was funny.
I normally dont pick a word for my year like so many do.  I've tried once or twice and never carried through.  I am choosing Brittany's word Mindful .  I feel the need and it came to me last night while i was wide awake until 2am to carry on her word this year. The word is a good one and it applies to me as well.  I want to have a mindful year of what i am grateful for and pull my head out of the dark grieving hole i've been in.
Definition from dictionary (online) mind·ful
ˈmīn(d)fəl/
adjective
  1. conscious or aware of something.
    "we can be more mindful of the energy we use to heat our homes"





Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My Christmas 2016 and up until now

Hey everyone- Happy New Year!!
I’m finally just now posting about my Christmas.  I started to get pretty depressed as Christmas day approached.  Since I can remember, minus the few years here and there when I was out of state , Christmas Day was always always always spent with my Dad.  This was the first Christmas without him and it really was so very different for me. I was kind of lost. I know that seems so dramatic and I always had my husband by my side but when there is such a deep rooted tradition that I did for over 40 plus years, it was hard.
 The whole Christmas week was very busy and hectic which was good I guess.  We had lunch at our house on Christmas Eve day. Our son Collin who lives in Austin with his girlfriend Sydney drove up the night before and went to his mom’s house.  Our daughter Alison rode with them and they got to our house around 11:30. My in-laws came over too so they could see the kids.  We had a nice time though very brief . We rarely get to see Collin now that he lives out of town and he’s working full time.  After lunch, Todd had to leave for church because he was playing drums for the candlelight service and always has to go early to practice with group.  The family left and I then I headed to our church for the service.


Silly selfie with kids and parents

After our church service, we went to my Dad’s house and had dinner with my stepmom Deb.  She is very devout Catholic and her church dedicated 4 different masses in memory of Daddy and the Christmas midnight mass happened to be the last one.  I really do miss practicing Catholicism often especially around the holidays so I would have joined her anyway but it was special bonus for the dedication.  I like that her church actually starts Midnight Mass at 11 and then ends at midnight instead of starting at midnight like many do.   We got our double dose of Jesus that day for church with 2 different church services. I actually liked it and would do that again.  I was soooo tired though by the time we got home. I had got up super early that day for finishing touches of house cleaning for the family lunch.
The first service of the day was Candlelight at our church

Mass dedicated to my dad ( Mark Schmitz)



On Christmas morning, Todd and I slept in until 8am and we fixed breakfast and opened our gifts from one another.  I have another post regarding my Christmas present that I asked for.  We had to be at Todd’s parents house for lunch by noon and they live about 45 minutes away.  Their lunch was with Todd’s brother Kevin and his wife Paula and Kevins sons Zac and Seth, Todd’s cousin Kimberly and her husband Richard,  Us, and the in-laws so there were 10 of us.   We did our gift exchange with the family and had nice time visiting with one another.  I think we left their house around 4 and headed home.  I was SO tired from the nonstop day before and coming getting into bed around 1am, it was catching up with me.  I think we had leftovers and then put on our comfy pajamas and had a Bed In ( our version of Bed in is where we turn off the lights and lock the doors around the house and shut everything down , then just watch TV from our bedroom).  It was great!  We both fell asleep by 10.


Silly selfie with the fam

I took the week off for vacation between Christmas and New Years and it was great. I wish I could tell you that I met up with friends every day, shopped, cleaned house, took down Christmas, etc.   I didn’t do any of that. One day I did take Jack and Avery to the movies to see Sing. I’ve mentioned them a few times. I’m really good friends with their mom who works with me. They don’t have any family in Texas and they didn’t go home to Chicago this year.  They’re good boys and I love spending time with them.  Sing was super cute!  I did read a book- Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children.  I liked it but then I realized it’s a series of 3 books and I didn’t have the other 2.  I hate when I do that!  I slept in every day to at least 8 or 8:30.  I just kinda took it easy which I so rarely do.  It was nice!

Sing with Avery and Jack

For New Years Eve,  we were invited to some friends house who had a really fun ( brilliant) idea- the party started at 6pm and they changed all their clocks in the house to say 9pm.  So at our time at 9, we did a count down and toasted champagne like it was midnight.  Todd and I were back home in our jammies and in bed again by 10.  HAHA! We are some wild and crazy characters !  The following day on Sunday was spent at my Dads ranch again visiting with my stepmom’s family. My stepbrother and sister and the kiddos were in from California and I needed to spend time with them.  It was also Cowboys football time that we lost to the Giants. Poop! Then Monday came around and we had a corporate day off so that was good. I unfortunately had caught a bug (from one of the kiddos I suspect) and was super super sick all day and into the late evening.  Todd took down the Christmas tree and did what he could with decorations but i wasn’t able to help him much at all.   Then back to work on Tuesday. That was all pretty much my holiday in a nutshell.
NY Eve party with friends Debbie and Wendy( avery and jacks mom)
My nieces Ava and Paloma
Dad's dog Leroy did not mind being festive and wearing party hat

This week has been rough emotionally. This Thursday will be the one year anniversary of my sweet amazing Daddy taking his last breath.  I cant believe its already been a year. It honestly feels like it was a few months ago. I think I lived so long in the dark with my head in a hole last year that I lost track of time.  I will be  working from home that day so I don’t have to wear makeup because I suspect I’ll be crying the majority of the day.  This weekend Deb is hosting a Celebration of Life in Memory of Daddy. I’ve also been dreading that. I don’t know why.  It will be friends and family that loved my dad but I just am exhausted from crying and yet I still do.  A few of my close friends will be there so that will help.  Todd said to me the other night that we don’t have to go. But we do. I need to show my support to Deb. Maybe this is healing for her. I am his only daughter ( only kid born to him) and I feel like I need to be there.   So, please pray for my heart this week and weekend. I’ll let you know how it goes.


Have a great day yall!! 

Monday, December 26, 2016

NY pictures from Day 2

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.  I'll blog about my holiday another day. I'm still wrapping up my trip to New York from last week.
These are from Saturday and we woke up to snow and then pouring rain.

We ate our breakfast at the diner both mornings- was directly across the street from hotel




giant christmas lights

Todd talking to officers at Rockefeller plaza. 

They were carrying AR's.  Serious!

My felt hat and wool coat were getting soaked! This was before we found the 5$ street umbrellas


Tree at Rockefeller in the morning






saks 5th svenue

Rockefeller ice skating rink





Giant chandelier inside radio city music hall













Tiffanys













best sangria ever


Um so thats a giant cannoli on a building in Little Italy


times square

cookie monster and elmo out and about


My plastic bags i had to wear since my boots got soaked

Sunrise on way to airport down 8th avenue

I really had an amazing trip. Todd did too and glad it was such a gorgeous time for him to see it.
Have a great day and i'll talk to ya soon about Christmas.