27 years ago God gave me the gift of a beautiful baby boy! I named him Caleb Harrison!

Today though, my heart hurts….actually physically aches….beyond words!

How do you celebrate the 27th birthday of a man you never knew??? How….do you begin to fathom this child…as a man…when he only lived 8 short years???

This morning I laid and held pictures of him…and just cried….and cried…..and tears just seem to keep coming….all day so far.

Is it okay to still feel this way??? After so long…..??? Can it really hurt this bad…so many years later??

YES!! YES…it is perfectly okay! I will be 90 and still crying on this day and many others! A piece of my heart is missing and I won’t be whole again until I’m with ALL my children for eternity! Grief doesn’t just stop…after so many years. It is a lifelong process. There is no…just getting over it. It never goes away. It always hurts. But days like these…it comes to the surface and is raw…and real…and it just hurts!

So please…for me…..and for my sweet baby’s birthday….

When your child is being a little too annoying….smile and take this moment in…..and remember those of us who wish we could have one more annoying moment with our child!

And when your child comes to you with a silly request…..just do it…. and enjoy it….because there are many of us longing for silly moments with our child again!

When your child wants to play and have some fun….and you have “so much to do”….stop and play with him……and remember those of us who would give anything for one more playdate with our child!

When your child comes out of their bedroom for “one more hug”….take them into your arms….and hold them tight! Relish in the moment….squeeze their little body and tickle them back to bed! As you do this…say a prayer of thanks for this “interuption” in your bedtime ritual….for there are many of us…who are wishing we had our child here with us to break the rules…just one more time!
Today I celebrate this beautiful smile! I thank God for the 8 years I had him with me! I will never forget all you taught me….and will always carry you…tucked safely in my heart! I look forward to our eternity my sweet boy! LOVE you….always and forever my sweet punkin! ~momma

It happened. 

Yesterday, my son turned 16! It’s such an exciting time of life! A time of found freedom, of new independence! It’s a huge milestone…one that I’ve never experienced with one of my children before! 

To say I’m proud of my son…..would be a huge understatement! He is such a great kiddo….hard worker….and has the sweetest heart! He shares stories with me of what he thinks and small things he does that makes my heart melt. I would share all…but he would probably hurt me. ;)

Many people think this is a hard one for me because it means he is growing up….getting older…..all those  “normal” things and emotions most parents feel. But to be really honest…..and I’ll admit….I’ve only been honest about this with VERY FEW….. that isn’t at all what I’ve been feeling in the months…weeks….leading up to this monumetous day!

You see…..I’m SO proud of this young man. I’m proud to be his mom. I’m thankful God gave him to me! I have loved watching him grow up! I truly enjoy our talks and the times we laugh and can talk in ways we couldn’t when he was younger! I am great with him….growing up and getting older! It’s something I never got to see in his brothers…..and it is truly a miracle to watch him go through so many stages and ages and I really just love it all! He is so grounded. He is involved in the youth….he is making great choices and very goal oriented in school and in life!! He has made a plan and is working his plan…and I’m just honored to watch all of this process.

But to be honest….and I mean…TOTAL TRANSPARENCY HERE…..I’ve been struggling. 

My struggle isn’t with him…..but rather…with God.

Let me see if I can adequately put into words the wrestling match God and I have been engaged in…..

In the endeavor of looking for a car for Bryce….it started to get more real to me. It became very real that there was coming a day in the near future that I would hand him the keys to this new car….and he would drive off……without me!!!  I don’t think it hit me….until this realization came fully into my brain….just how much that scared me!!!!! It was almost….paralyzing at times. And at the same time…it hit me…..

I was truly wrestling with God. Somewhere in my brain….I had gotten this illusion that I was able to protect my baby boy. I had become so accustomed to this illusion…that I felt like handing him those keys and letting him drive away without me….was giving up the control….of being able to protect him. In this very moment….I began praying….and crying….and screaming at God. 

For you see…..whew…..vulnerable here…….

In this illusion…..of control….of being able to protect my children….I had somehow lost my faith. I lost my faith in my God whom I say I trust!!!  In my God whom I say knows ALL things! In my God….whom I know…has plans to prosper and give hope!!…. not just to me…but to my children!

In this struggle with my faith……I cried out to God…”Okay God….I give him back to you!! He has always been yours anyway! But God please…..with this illusion I’ve created…I’ve not felt scared! And I realize….if I let him out into this big, broken world…… I could lose him….and I just can’t lose another child!!!!!!!” 

Yes, the reality hit me…and I knew my struggle was my fear manifesting itself of not being in control to protect my son. I wasn’t there to protect his brothers….and look what happened!!!! I have felt….without even realizing it….I was here and so present in his life…that somehow I had taken on the roll of his protector…and that…took away my faith…in GOD as his protector!!

I’ve been wrestling…and crying out to God since that day over a month ago. I’ve shared with my closest circle and they’ve encouraged me so much!! One told me she was proud because I was….”DOING IT SCARED!” because I was still looking for a car…. I was still going to give it to him….even though I was scared and wrestling……I was doing it anyway and in that I was trusting GOD!!!!

So, yesterday….it happened….he turned sixteen!! 

And last night we did it…..we surprised him with a car!!

Then this morning….he drove away…to school….by himself!
  He called to tell me he made it when he got there… ;)

My husband called to see if I was okay with everything…. I told him I had to be.

No….I haven’t just let him go out on his own into this world……alone.

I’ve sent him into this world…..with GOD…..and an army of angels!!!!

This morning I woke up and watched him drive away. Yes….tears streamed down my face as he drove off. But my heart wasn’t (as) scared as it was before. Because this morning…I knew….God is on my side. God is by Bryce’s side. And I was reminded…He was also by his brother’s sides…. 

My feelings had gotten the best of me….and again I’m reminded…..FEELINGS LIE!!

The truth is what is important!! And I know this. I’m so thankful for a Heavenly Father that loves me even when I wrestle with Him. I’m thankful He doesn’t get angry when I take (even unknowingly) control! I’m thankful He is gentle as He brings me back towards the truth! 

My comma….is just a small part. The book has already been written. I KNOW who wins! I know the battles I face may seem big to me….so they are big to Him! I know there are battles I can’t even see being fought on my behalf…and on behalf of my family! I know….for my part….I just have to raise my son to be the warrior for Christ God calls him to be….and trust God to do His part. For He has promised me He will. He has promised me He will watch over us. He has given me….a glimpse into the end of the story. 

I also know…and see…God has such a huge plan for Bryce’s life! I see such a huge purpose for him and it has NOTHING….to do with me! So….I’ve got to get out of the way and LET GOD….do His thing! 

So, please pray for me….for being able to release my son back into the hands of the one who created Him…into the hands of the ONE….who holds his future! I’m SO EXCITED to see Bryce grow into the man God intends him to become! I’m so humbled God gave him…….to me!!! I’m so thankful….to be given this rainbow…and to watch it grow!

Father, thank you for sixteen years (and a day) with this sweet boy! You’ve been so gracious to give him health, a sound mind, a wonderful heart….and I know…you have such great plans for him! May your angels continue to battle for him! May they watch over for him and fight for him…..all while encouraging him to become your warrior! May he step through the doors only YOU open…and walk the path you’ve put before him! Help guide us, as his parents, to point him towards you. For we know…if He only chases after You….everything else will work for YOUR good!! Thank you…from the bottom of my heart….for trusting me with another child. Thank you….for sharing this gift….with me and the world. I, in turn, trust you WHOLLY with his life! 


Happy Birthday Bryce!! You are loved….with an army of angels! And a mom and dad…who stand ready to fight the world on your behalf! Love you more than you could ever dream or imagine! ~mom

I can’t put into words the emotions going through my heart right now. God has literally broken me…in so many ways recently. I am watching as the world around me is hurting…people close to me are hurting…and I feel so helpless. All I can do is pray. 

I know….there is hope in every situation. I know..there is hope…in a God who loves us and works ALL things for good according to HIS purpose! But…I also know….that when you are walking through the big, fat mess of life…sometimes…you just don’t want to hear it will all be okay. You just want someone to let you hurt…for a season…. but I know…that seasons change. 

Today….would be my sweet son Cory’s 29th birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CORY MATTHEW!!!  I love you more than I can ever express with simple words! I miss that sweet face of yours….those cheeks…that honery grin…..that smile.. It has been so long….so long since I’ve been able to hug you….or hear your sweet voice. I long to watch you sing….and act silly….and feel your feet slide across the bed to be sure I’m still next to you!! I remember holding you….as a baby…and even as a 4th grader! You were never too big for my lap! You were a sparkplug…giving others your energy and sweet spirit. You loved deeply….you were a great friend to others….and you were always smiling!! I miss you…and can’t imagine you at this age. I celebrate you today! I celebrate the life you lived! The ten years on this earth…that gave me so much joy! I thank you for those memories! So grateful to have them….so I can go to those places in my heart…that only you and I shared…until I meet you again! I can’t wait to see you singing in the choir of angels….praising God with your voice…..and be with you for all eternity! That is where I place my hope….and I’m so thankful for our shared eternity!

Three weeks from today…Bryce will be 16!! Yes….16!! As I was sharing with my sister earlier…..even though his brothers would be much older…this is my first experience with it. Seems so much younger…but since it’s my first time…well…it’s just weird! She told me that was a great word for it! Yup…..weird! Like I say…where my two worlds collide!

In the past week…I’ve been to two funerals. 

The first….someone who was only 30 years young! He was in a single car accident…killed instantly. Took his son to his first day of kindergarten that very morning…but never came home! He was so loved…it was evident. But my heart breaks for this sweet little boy….and all the family. Please lift them in prayer…

The second, was just two days ago. It was for a sweet young lady…who was eleven. I won’t say she was “only” eleven…because she was diagnosed with a genetic disorder at one…and told she wouldn’t likely make it to her second birthday! Well…she miraculously surpassed everyone’s expectations! Her story is now the one others are pointed to for hope…when diagnosed! God used this sweet girl and family…to minister to others in so many ways! I was impacted by the ministry of her life. And, I’m impacted by the faith of her sweet mom…in more ways than I can express. Please pray for this family as they maneuver through the grief and loss of this sweet girl….yet rejoice in her complete healing and the knowledge of her eternity!!

You see….just last night…as my daughter was drying her hair and getting ready for bed…I received a text. It was her…asking me to come back to my bathroom where she was. I went back there…and found her in a heap of tears. She was sitting on the bath mat and just looked up at me with her big, tear-soaked eyes. I just fell to the floor and took her in my arms! The sobs began again….she stopped for only a moment..and asked me, “Why did they have to go so soon?”.  I held her tightly….because by then…I was sobbing too. I didn’t have an answer. At least, not an answer she was ready for or wanted to hear. You see, in the past 18 years, God has taught me that there is hope…and there are things that happen outside of what we want or understand….but that He will work them for good….and according to HIS purpose! But…we must look for the good! We don’t always see it…not at first. And I’m not saying it is good….what happened to my boys…or the hard things in all our lives. What I am saying…is you have to find the silver linings. The ways God is using your situation. 

After sis and I sat there holding each other and crying for what seemed like forever…we looked at each other. Both of our faces were tear-stained and our eyes were still filled with tears.  I told her I was sorry…I didn’t have the answer to her specific question. She told me….it would be easier if I did! Wow!! I hugged her again. I assured her there were reasons. But we might not ever know or see them…..but through it all…He is strengthening our faith…our trust in Him! She nodded and then cried a little more.

She asked me if she looked like Cory…… My heart skipped a beat. She said someone had told her once he was the one she looked most like. I looked deeply at her features….at her eyes…her chin…her cheekbones…and just smiled. They all look so much alike to me…yet so much like themselves. I can’t compare. Never have been able to. She reminds me of him. She sings….and I think of the times he sang. I think of the performances he had…and the ones she has to come. I think of her sweet nature and caring heart…and I’m reminded of his prayers and heart for others. She smiles….and loves people…and I’m reminded of the way he loved others and included everyone! She is secure in who she is….and I’m reminded of the security he had in Christ…and his faith….so much like hers.

So yes….she looks like him….but mostly…on the inside! Where it counts! 

She knows our eternities will be together…and sometimes it scares me….how badly she wants to be in heaven with them! But for now….I’ll just smile….with a tear creeping down my cheek…as I remember….and look forward…to the assurance I have that I will spend my eternity in heaven with ALL of my children!!!!!!

Such is my life! It is a collision of what would have been and what is….. It is a collision of who I was…and who HE is molding me to be!  

Friends, we all come to a place in life where we have to acknowledge there is a beginning and an ending date of life on this earth. There is a lot of joy…and a lot of pain that happens between……… My question to you…..is this…. Do you have the hope and assurance….that you know without a shadow of a doubt where, and with whom, your eternity will be spent? Don’t think it won’t happen…because it will. And nobody knows how long, or how short, our time on this earth will be. 

The hope I have…in knowing my family will be together again…makes this life so much more bearable!! 

If you aren’t sure….then I urge you to consider this….

We are born with a sin-nature…and for that reason we are separated from God. There is nothing we can do to change that! But, He loves us so much…..He sent His one and only son to die on the cross..taking on all our sins….even though he was without sin…. for us!!! He was resurrected and defeated sin! He wants nothing more…than for you to just accept Him….and his free gift of eternal life with Him! 

I encourage and pray for you…and look forward to eternitiy with all of you!!

Much love…and happy tears! ~c

This past week my sweet baby girl was at church camp. She returned yesterday! I was fortunate in being able to pick her up from the church when she arrived back home! 

Of course, it seemed as if she had grown a FOOT! Even my husband thought so! And there were hugs goodbye to her friends…both new and old…and also to the great adult sponsors who were with her! 

IMMEDIATELY…in the car…she began gushing and talking and telling me how wonderful it was! But one of the most PRECIOUS moments I will ALWAYS remember…is before we were even out of the parking lot… I was driving..and she reached over and grabbed my hand…interlocked her fingers into mine…and looked at me and said, “Oh momma….I’ve missed you soooooooo much!”. WOW…my heart melted. OF COURSE…I had missed her too…but to hear she missed me and was glad to be back and wanted to just hold my hand….well…you can imagine how big my mommy-heart swelled at that moment!!! 

I listened to her tell me about all kinds of things…the games…the fun…the boys…the girls…all of it! I soaked every bit of it into my heart…these moments…this fresh attitude! This is the girl with a heart for God I know and love! (I soaked it in so that when her teenage hormones get to her…they hopefully won’t get the best of ME!) 

She just wanted to go home and sit on her own bed and use her own bathroom!!! Pretty reasonable requests…so I obliged. I took her to her grandparents before I headed back to work for the afternoon. She ran to each of them…and her cousin….and hugged each of their necks! She also slept almost the whole afternoon…so when I saw her again she was refreshed!!

A bit later in the evening…I got to enjoy time with just her in my car on a long ride. She started to open up about what God had done at the camp….in others and in her. My mommy-heart again swelled as I listened to how her heart had been open to him. About what going “ALL IN FOR GOD” meant to her. I listened to what her next steps would be…..and just smiled! Inside and out I was smiling. These are the precious moments I’ll always remember and be thankful for! 

Then….she asked if I had a pen. She grabbed the only one she could find and told me she wanted to get a tattoo!!! And she was drawing on her hand what it would be….. I looked over…and all she had drawn was a triangle. No words. Just a simple triangle. 

I didn’t tell her…But I knew immediately what she was going to tell me…. but I just listened….to her explain it to me..and what it meant to her.

Okay….imagine a triangle ….. and you are at the bottom right corner, your boyfriend is on the bottom left corner…and God is at the top of the Triangle. Now…see the line between you and the boy? That is how far apart you are without you both seeking out God and getting closer to God. But as each of you grow towards God…and seek Him out….you grow closer to each other…because you are closer to GOD. She told me the other bottom corner can be anything….shopping…her phone…or any of her friends! ( and yes…she had to tell me she knows her phone can’t get close to God…but she knows she can put it before God and move away from God and focus more on whatever it is at the bottom edge of the triangle!)

Here is a pic…for those of you like me..who are VISUAL learners!! 

I told my sweet girl I loved her explanation. And I’d support a tattoo of a triangle….AFTER she turns 18!!! But I told her the reason I knew about this illustration…is because I used to use this same lesson…when I taught Sunday School to my sophomore girls a LOOOOONG time ago!

She just smiled at me…and I loved this moment too! I have to admit…at first…there was a twang of being sad I wasn’t the one that got to teach this to her first…but then God nudged me and reminded me…HE will place the person in her path when she is ready to hear a lesson…and that person isn’t always going to be me!!! I see that by me being the one to reinforce it though…it made it just that more special in her eyes too!!! I trust you, God….and thank you for knowing better than me!!

As she laid in her bed last night…I prayed over her that this “camp high” would follow her through for a long time! I prayed that her newfound fervor for Christ stay lit in her heart and not wane. I prayed God would allow her to always open up to me and share with me her heart. I thanked Him for all the great moments I’ve had with both my kids in the recent weeks.

I’m loving where my life is right now with my kiddos! They are awesome teenagers and I’m the luckiest mom in the world. To say there is part of my heart that still has a twinge of hurt and wishing I had seen my 3 boys be teenagers…and what wonderful times I would have had with them….doesn’t even begin to express that part of my heart.

I am choosing to know there are moments like this that will always be wonderfully bittersweet…and relish in the what I’ve had…where I’ve come from …..and where I am right now! I love it! ALL of it. And I can honestly say that I wouldn’t….change….a thing!

This is to the Dad’s in my life…..

1st) …I have to say thanks to the man who gave me life! 

 This is my dad. Not just my father…but my dad. He is the one who I remember holding me when I wasn’t big enough to see the animals at the zoo over the fence. He is the one who coached the boy’s baseball team…and let me play too! He is the one who was always at every dance recital, every pageant I was ever in….no matter what! He is the one who I watched take care of my mom..in good times and bad…and taught me the meaning of unconditional love. He is the man I am thankful my husband is so much like…. He is my dad…and I love him so much!

He taught me to ride a bike…to swim…and that after you work hard…it’s okay to have fun! 

He is the one I called to help me….on the worst day of my life. He is the one who bore the burden of telling not only all of the members of my family….but me….the worst news ever. He was alone when he found out…but then took it upon himself to take care of each one of us…as he has always done. His strength that day amazes me! He protected me in ways I can’t explain! He designed my C3 necklace charm…and made one for each member of our family.
He is caring beyond comprehension…and I love that I get to call you my dad!!

2nd)…..to the man I love more than life….my sweet husband!


This man loves me and is my safe place in this world! He loves my kids and would lay down his own life for theirs! He has a servant heart….and is such a teddy bear! Family is one of the most important things to him…and he is teaching that to my kids! He is a hard worker and would sacrifice anything for these kiddos! He took a chance on me….and is the one I trusted enough in this world to parent with again! He is my love…my light….and my kids are so blessed to have him as their dad!!

He truly cares about people and is an example of being the hands and feet of Christ. His lead….is helping to mold our children into what God intends for them. He only wants the best for them….but also…more than anything…he wants whatever God wants for them! 

I’m blessed beyond words…to call him my husband…and the father of my two blessings.

3rd)…..My 3 boys dad….

As hard as it is for me to admit…..especially on this day….but I am thankful for this man too. 

A friend of mine taught me a very valuable lesson this week. You see….this is always such a hard day for me….. Because I get so mad at myself…..because I CHOSE this person….the one who took the lives of my three children…to be their dad…..

But….what she taught me is this….. I’m not the only one that chose him. You see…..God also chose him to be their father….and God doesn’t make mistakes. So for that…..I’m thankful. Because those three boys….are some of the biggest blessings in my life…and without him…I would not have had them. 


4th)….and last….but really more like always…..is my Heavenly Father.

You see…..I’ve always know He was with me. I don’t know how to explain it…but I’ve just always felt like He was with me. But it hasn’t been until the last part of my life I have truly understood so much about Him and the love He has for me.

He is the creator of the Universe…but He knows me and loves me! He is the beginning and the end…but He allows me to be used as a comma on this journey of my life! He is always there for me….as I walk through every obstacle. Being a parent…I understand more of the way He loves us! He is love….and loves us…ME….so much! But as a parent….I also understand now…the sorrow He must feel as we choose to love other things more than Him… How his heart hurts when He wants and plans so much good for us and our lives…but we choose to do things outside of His will. I love how He will take our brokenness and use it for so much good! I love how He comforts us…..and never leaves us….or forsakes us!

I am so thankful I am able to crawl into the lap of my loving Heavenly Father and allow Him to wrap His arms around me…and He lets me cry…be sad….be mad…and has patience, mercy and grace for me! I am thankful for the promise of eternity….for that means I will not only be there…in your Holy presence…but I also have assurance I will be with the ones I’ve loved most on this earth…for all eternity!

On this Father’s Day….I am so blessed…and so thankful…for the ones who have loved me and mine so much. I am thankful….to have had the best grandfathers a girl could ask for! One to teach me about life and gardening…and another to teach me about fun and love! My heart is full! My life is blessed! And I have so many to thank!

Today… I honor these fathers. For their contributions to my life……are what has made me who I am!

Be blessed today…..be thankful for where you’ve been….and where you are going!    ~c


It’s hard for me to put into words what is going on in my head right now. To say my two worlds are colliding….would be a gross understatement!! I can’t even make sense of it all right now…..all I know…is I’m one big, heaping mess of emotions.

Let me try to explain.

This is the last week of elementary school for my sweet daughter. She is my baby…so this is definitely an emotional time for me. But, the fact her three oldest brothers never experienced this part of life…makes the emotions compound. Cody, my oldest, made it to sixth grade…but never to his sixth grade graduation. Sis has her ceremony next Tuesday. The last day of school is next Wednesday. So we are officially in the last week of our elementary time…..ever. 

I’m so proud of my sweet baby girl. She is simply beautiful….and her heart shines brighter with each passing day. Our conversations amaze me and I love the simplicity of her heart. The innocence she still possesses yet the growth she is experiencing is a blessing to watch! She is maturing…day to day I see changes in her…and she isn’t a baby any more. Although, this morning, while trying to wake her…I tickled her to the point of her crawling into my lap…..where she laid her head on my shoulder…and just let me hold her…and rock her. We stayed there for quite a while…  I relished every second. I asked her if she will still crawl in my lap when she is grown and let me rock her. She said she would….though I don’t think it will happen often. These are moments my heart will forever treasure!! She will always be my baby girl. No matter what.

Then…there is my son. We are actively looking for a vehicle for him to have. He turns sixteen soon and will be driving himself…and his little sister…to school….and everywhere. In the last couple weeks….he has amazed me with some of the paths he is considering for his life. To say I love the times when the two of us talk…just wouldn’t describe the joy this boy brings to my life. He is the rainbow…the promise…the continuation of my parenting a boy through life. At this point….I couldn’t compare him to his brothers…even if I wanted to. But I don’t even try. He is so much his own person. His voice is deep and I love to hear it. His smile is huge….(now that is like his brothers though!!) He is evolving into a young man…with an awesome heart…right in front of me. This will be his last week with his friends at his school before starting his new adventure in school in July. 

His heart though….wow. Let me share.

Like I said, we’ve been searching for cars (trucks) for a bit now. He sends me or tags me pics and stuff he finds quite often…so last week when I received a text with a pic…all I saw was …”What do you think?” and that it had a pic attached. I was in a meeting when I received it so I waited to open it. Thinking it was another truck…I opened it. What I saw…..well……it was a hand-written note. I sat alone in a glass room at the conference table and read. My eyes began to “leak” and then full blown cry. 

A few weeks back…he had asked what Cody’s favorite color was. I told him it was blue. ….. and asked him why. He said just wonderin. Okay……

Fast forward to my text….this is what the hand written note said, with my corrections in ( ).

             “C3 – About 17 years ago (actually it’s over 18 years) my mom was married to another man. Toghether they had 3 sons, Cody, Cory and Caleb ages 12 (11), 10 and 8. The dad (he used his name) had some mental issues. (how else would a child consider why he did what he did?) My mom, Cheli, had divorced him. One day my mom went to my aunt’s Graduation (she was in college…but it wasn’t graduation..just a visit) So the boys went to stay with their dad. On February 22, 1997  he (his name) called Cheli and while on the phone with her he shot and killed Cody, Cory and Caleb . Then a couple seconds later he shot himself. (Actually, he only shot himself while on the phone with me…the boys were already gone.)

               To this day there is not a day that goes by that we don’t think about them. On Saturday, May, 23, 2015…Cody Brian Fox would have been 30 years old. So….to honor him will everyone please wear a blue colored shirt (Cody’s favorite!) and put it on social media with #REMEMBERCODY.

                        PLEASE RETWEET/SHARE THIS.”

Yes…all on his own…he wanted to honor his brother…who he never even got to meet. I can’t begin to express what this did to my heart. Tonight…we’ll be tweaking this a bit and he will put it on his fb and instagram. My mommy’s heart is full and exploding all while it breaks at the same time. 

My daughter is also counting down the days until her brother’s birthday. I’ve taken off work…we’ll be together to celebrate.

Yes…my first born would be 30 this Saturday. Yes…my heart longs for the what would it be like? Where would he be? Who would he be with? Where would he work? Would he have kids? …..all of those things travel through my mind. If I allowed it to go on….I could easily see myself sinking deeper and deeper into a depressed pit. It would be hard to bring me out of it. 

But God, in His all-knowing wisdom…gave me a great family! A husband that loves me in all my crazy moods and spoils me rotten….. A son who let me into his world and understands the complexities of my heart…. A daughter who is my baby and lets me love her and guide her as she grows and teaches me more than she realizes!! They are my focus and help me balance the heart-wrenching feelings I feel….while loving and being a part of their world. They get me. They know how messed up I am…how fragile my emotions are….that sometimes mom needs an extra hug and to just hold them close for a bit longer. They accept my crazy and embrace it. They are what God gave me to help keep me grounded. They….love me. And I love them.

I don’t know how I lucked out on having five gloriously happy….wonderful…caring children!! But wow….as I sit here and watch my two worlds collide…once again…..I’m reminded just how blessed I am. Continually….undeservingly…..blessed. That’s the only way I know to describe it.

So, as I struggle for the next week or so….through this massive collision…..please pray for my family…

And if you think about it…… Please wear blue and #REMEMBERCODY

And…….don’t forget to smile. My children all have the biggest smiles. All of Cody’s friends commented on his smile…after he was gone…they remembered his smile. He was generous with it…always giving. It made others smile…..and there is just something about giving your smile away. So please…share a smile with someone…and remember my sweet boy. All my kids really…..

Much love and thanks…smiles too! :) 

enjoy the pics….~c




Yesterday was a big day in our home!

My son, Bryce, was the recipient of all that was good! Yesterday he turned 15 1/2! Now, that half is a very important part of it..  You see, when you turn 15 1/2 here…you can take your test and if you pass, you recieve a Driver’s Permit! So, last week, during Spring Break….Bryce gave up two of his days to do 10 hours of in-class instruction at driving school. We made an appointment at the DPS to take his test on his 15 1/2 exact birthday….and off we went. I gathered all the needed documentation to prove he was who he said he was….and went into the office. 

He filled out a single sheet of paper and we were told to wait. He was called back and I asked if I should come with…the instructor motioned for me to come too. I went back to a little room…and the questions began!

“Are you his mother?”  Yes. “Are you 15 1/2?” Yes. “Good…because I’d have to send you packing if you didn’t have that half!”  Sign here….initial here…..fingerprinting….sight testing……and then….

“Okay….so I’m going to put you on a computer. It has 20 questions. You need to answer 15 correct to pass. You can skip as many as five before it counts against you. But they will come back around. The first question is a test question and if you get it wrong your computer will shut down….but you shouldn’t, because it is just asking your birthday. Don’t make me come back out there to set you up again. Okay?” Yes.

So mom leaves and goes back to sit down. I looked at my phone…3:00. I start to do something on my phone and look up to Bryce standing there in front of me with a grin and a piece of paper. It’s now 3:02! I can’t believe it.

He tells me he finished, skipping only one because he wasn’t 100% and didn’t want to get one wrong. When he finished, he went to the instructor’s door. The instructor said, “Did your computer shut down on you?”. “No sir, I’m finished.” The instructor looked at Bryce, at his computer, back at Bryce and then his computer again. His computer screen showed that Bryce had indeed finished….and passed! The instructor looked at Bryce and said, “Congratulations son, you’ve just set a new DPS record.” He finished his test in under a minute! 

I told Bryce this just showed if he worked towards something he wanted…he could do it…and do it well!!! 

Then we went to turn in some paperwork. 

You see….for about two weeks now, he has been juggling a decision that is a very difficult one. We found a charter school that isn’t really a traditional high school….but instead calls itself a “Middle College”. This school does all the same classes and core work as his high school…but meets on the campus of our Junior College. As soon as your second semester of your sophomore year, you can begin taking the college courses for double credits. Depending on the student….and the work they do….a student can graduate their traditional “senior year” with not just their high school diploma…..but also a diploma with a full Associate’s Degree! This school has free tutoring…full access to all labs on the campus…and a great atmosphere for learning. 

Upon learning of this school….it was BRYCE that did all the research. He made a “Pros and Cons” list and weighed all of his options. He asked us to set up a tour and a meeting with the school’s director. After all of this….he decided to apply. There are only 50 sophomore spots. We filled out his application…but had to still take all of his other documents…..which is where we pick up …. yesterday.

So, after passing his test…we drove to the school to take his documentation. He was all smiles and talking the whole way! This momma was LOVING every minute!! We went up to the third floor where the school meets and went into the office. We gave them all his papers, but had to wait for them to make copies of one thing. While waiting we kept talking. The director came out and greeted us and asked if we were waiting for him. No, just turning in papers. “Well…it’s a good thing,” he said. “You got in!”. 

Just when I thought Bryce’s smile couldn’t get ANY bigger…it DID!

When we got in the car to leave the school and then go to get his actual license….he said, “Wow, this day is awesome! First I pass my test…and break a record…THEN I find out I made it into the school!” 

Proud momma! He drove to my dad’s after he had his license in hand and we all went to celebrate! My neice and nephew, his Memaw, Gramma and Grampa all joined us! My neice is even wanting to apply to his new school! His smiles were contageous and I couldn’t stop looking at him, across the table….growing up….making great…and hard decisions. I can’t believe God blessed me with this boy. I can’t believe I get to be his mom.

We came home…and after a while I finally sat down…and the emotions hit me! I was emotionally exhausted…and hadn’t even realized it! The tears started streaming down my face. Tbh…they still are this morning!

Happy tears…My boy is growing into such a fabulous young man! I truly am a very proud mom. He studied hard for his test…and busted straight through it! He made hard decisions…ones that I’m afraid I wouldn’t have been strong enough to make at his age! He sees that the next 3 years..can shape his next 60 years.. He is up for that challenge!

Sad tears…the realization hit that this is my first legal driver! But…15 years ago….should have been my first. My first born never got to go through what Bryce is experiencing…nor did his brothers. This hit me hard. As I told my friend….it’s always there. I hate it. I hate that after a whole day of just being a proud mom…it comes to that quiet time of that happiness turning melancholy…and the realization of all that I was robbed of…that THEY were robbed of…is always there. It’s just hard.

Mixed tears…happy and sad….all at the same time. This is normal for me now. Even as proud as I am of Bryce, realizing he is growing up and not my baby any more. He is making some fantastic decisions and he is hitting some wonderful life milestones. Happy and sad…….happy for where he is…and sad for all that was missed. 

Such is where my two worlds collide. My new normal. Where my now and my should have been bounce off of each other and my mind is stuck in a vortex of mixed emotions. Only those who have lost a child…and living in their children’s now would understand. 

I love it…and hate it all at the same time.

But it doesn’t change how proud I am of my son! He is awesome! He is growing up! He is making me a very proud mom. 

Thanks for letting me share…my triumphs and my trials..with all of you!

Blessings! ~c


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