We may not have it all together but together we have it all

Friday, September 6, 2013

Children's Memorial Radiothon with the Mix

Every year I listen to the Children's Memorial Hospital Radioathon on the Mix.  And each year, I spend the day thinking about the three little angels who left our lives to early but were given the very best care while they were there.

I will start off with the oldest angel, my brother Bradley.  I don't know much about his short life, three days I believe but I know he was taken to Children's after he was born.  He would have been a year older than me and the only son born to my Mom & Dad, but for some reason he was called back up and given his wings.  I think often about how it would be if he were here, how totally awesome of an Uncle he would have been to our kids. My Bradley is named after him and I like to think that maybe he is the kind of kid he would have been, a great one! One day I will meet my big brother.....

The second angel, is my beautiful niece Olivia Catherine Honaker.  She was not my niece by blood, but by the friendship with a girl who I love like my sister and who knows me better than my sisters.  Olivia had big beautiful brown eyes, chubby little cheeks and a smile that could light up a room.  She was a beautiful daughter and little sister to an amazing family.  She was born on October 1, 2003 and in December of 2003 was diagnosed with Leukemia.  Olivia fought one heck of a battle with a smile always on her sweet face. Sadly she was called up on July 10, 2004 and given her wings.  I often think what kind of child she would be and what would she look like.  Well because her three younger sisters look just like she did when she was born, I have an idea of how she would look and because her older sister is a pretty awesome kid, I have an idea of how she would be.  One day I will see her again.......

 Olivia and big sister Maddy
 Olivia Catherine
The third is my beautiful niece Annika Carrell Briscoe.  She is the beautiful daughter of my oldest sister Heather and her husband Joe.  She is also the baby sister to my beautiful niece Candice.  Annika was born on September 26, 2005.  She was ready to come into the world much before her due date in December.  Annika had several health issues which I believe were due to her early birth and some other things.  She also was a fighter and fought a great battle, but her little body was too sick.  Sadly on December 1, 2005 she was called back up and got her wings.  I think of her often as well, how she would fit perfectly in this wild bunch of kids we have in our family.  How she would be so loved by her parents and big sister. She would no doubt be beautiful like her sister and probably a little spoiled cause she is the baby.  One day I will see her again.....
 Annika Carrell Briscoe

As I listen each year to the parents of these children talk, I am amazed by their strength.  I am proud of my mom, sister and best friend that after what they went through, they were able to get up the next day and continue to live a beautiful life.  These women are the strongest I know and I hope if ever I need to be strong, I can be as strong as them.  It makes you sit back and think, gosh that fight I had with my child is a blessing.  Every moment of everyday I have with them is a blessing.

I thank God for giving us our three angels if only for a short time.  Because of them we have learned that life is short, not everyday is a guarantee but most of all that we have three beautiful little souls up their watching over us.  A brother and two sisters who watch their siblings from above, that are that soft wind the blows their hair, or that voice that encourages them to do their best.  That warm fuzzy feeling you get when something good happens and the calm they feel when they are upset.  They will always have someone watching their backs if ever they feel alone.

To all you wonderful doctors, nurse's and support staff at Children's Memorial Hospital, thank you for caring for my angels and for all the other children that need your help!

Monday, August 19, 2013

2013-2014 School Year

On this eve of the first day of school, I talked to all four kids about the upcoming year.  Some are excited and some not so much.  A little bit of nerves, lots of questions and a countdown to Christmas break.  We have two milestones this year, Bradley starting middle school and Benjamin kindergarten.  All I can say about that is, WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?  How is it possible my oldest boy is in middle school and my youngest boy in kindergarten?  Makes my heart sad, my boys are growing up.  As our my girls, Emmy is in fourth grade and Elisabeth in her last year of preschool.  I can't even think about next year, when they will all be gone everyday.  While my mind is doing a little happy dance for those few hours of quiet, my heart is singing a sad song, longing for the baby years to come back.  I pray that each of them get through the year with few struggles and lots of fun.  I pray that they make new friends and reconnect with old ones.  I pray that they can understand the joy of learning and not the woes of having to go to school everyday.  But most of all, I pray that they be THEIR best.  That they are leaders and not followers.  That no matter what, they know they are important, they are smart and they can move mountains.  Good luck this school year my loves, Mom and Dad are proud of who you are and who you continue to grow to be!  We love you!!

~ You're off to great places
Today is your day
Your mountain is waiting
So get on your way~ Dr. Seuss

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Father's Day

I have to post this blog today because I don't think I will be able to do it on Sunday.  Sunday will be a day I spend with my husband and children, to make memories with them like the ones I have of my dad.  I will also have a very heavy heart that day because this is our first Father's Day without him.  I miss him so much it hurts, daily.  But because of him, I know that I can't spend each day sad, he wouldn't want that.  So I will take that day and think of him, talk to him, talk about it and cherish every memory I have in my heart.

If you would have told me this time last year that it would be the last Father’s Day I would spend with my dad, I would have told you, you were crazy!
As I look back on our last day with him, before the news, I remember how happy we all were. He was at my house for a BBQ a day early because he was leaving for Maryland on Father’s Day. We could tell he wasn’t feeling well and he said they were looking into it. We sent him home with gifts, cards and lots of love.
I don’t want to re-live the following weeks, but will say that during those weeks I learned a lot. I learned how truly broken a heart can be. I learned that when you think you can’t cry anymore, you can. I learned that telling your children that their Grandpa was really sick was hard but telling them that he was in Heaven, was the hardest thing I ever had to say. But with all the sad things I had to learn, I also learned a lot of great things. I learned that my sisters and I were given an amazing Dad. I learned that my step-mom Terry was truly an Angel. I learned that the Carrell side of the family’s bond is so strong, it can never be broken. I learned that my husband is my rock. I learned that my children are my heart. I learned that my cousins will always have my back. I learned that my friends are the best. But most of all, I learned that I am not alone. That in my darkest hour, I am blessed to have such amazing family and friends. I learned that my Dad will forever be in my heart and he is always looking down on me, guiding me through life. I learned that life on Earth doesn’t last forever and that is okay because when I get to Heaven,  my heart will be whole again because I will have my Dad there to welcome me.
Happy Father’s Day dad! I love you and miss you so much. Thank you for being the best dad a girl could ask for. Thank you for being the best Grandpa to all your grandkids. We all miss you so much and look forward to the day we meet again! XOXO

Monday, January 14, 2013

ABC's of Bradley

I am trying my best to keep this blog updated, but everyday life isn't that exciting so I am stealing ideas from other blogs to help out.....

The ABC's of Bradley

A- Amazing, what I thought when I first saw him via ultrasound
B- Bradley Michael Hemmer, named after my brother Bradley and his Dad
C- Something he has never gotten on his report card
D- Dual Survival, one of his favorite shows
E- Energetic, always full of energy
F- Fishing, another thing he loves to do
G- Great at math
H- Happy, except when he has to do homework
I- Intelligent, going to do big things one day
J- July 20,2002, his birthday
K- Mrs. Kleisner, the name of his AWESOME teacher for the past to years
L- Loves hockey
M- Maulers, the name of his hockey team
N- No school, his most favorite thing to hear
O- Oakland, the name of his school
P- Pre-teen, YUCK
Q- Quiet?!?! Only when he is sleeping
R- Right wing, position he plays most in hockey
S- Super special he is to me, because he is my first born
T- Ten, the number of years he is
U-Universe, something he wants to explore when he is older
V- Victory is what his team had at their games yesterday
W- Wonderful, even during the rough days, it is wonderful to be his mom
X- XBOX , his new found love
Y- Yourself, something I tell him to always be
Z- Zero is the amount of minutes he wants to spend on reading

Friday, January 4, 2013

Goodbye 2012 & Welcome 2013


I have been thinking about this blog since before the New Year but haven’t taken the time to sit down and write it. So here goes nothing……

2012 - Good riddance!! You knocked me down, broke my heart and left me broken for quite a while. To say this was the hardest year of my life is an understatement. I know what I feel is the “hardest” may seem like rainbows to other people’s problems, but to me it was HARD!! Sometime back in Spring, my sweet loving 10 year old, turned into a pre-teen walking monster. Man, I didn’t think this stuff started so early on, but my boy is defiantly trying to find his way in life and taking me on one hell of a ride. Then came that horrible day in June, when truly, life was sucked out of me. The five weeks following were full of 100% sadness. August 1st, is the day I hit rock bottom. I have lived pretty much everyday since then in a fog that was full of anger, hate, hurt, pain and sadness, worthlessness and self doubt. Thankfully for me, I really looked at my “God” and my Dad for help. I talk to my kids about both all of the time, so they know they are never alone and that there is a force greater than us, watching them and carrying them through everyday. I needed them, I needed God & my dad to get me back on my feet. I think I have found my way back, still sad but feeling alive again. So 2012, thank goodness you are gone and have taken your crap with you!!

2013 - Oh how I welcome you! I do not make New Year’s resolutions, because I think you set yourself up for failure with them. But I have some serious hope for myself this coming year. I hope that I can treat myself better, remember that I matter just as much as my husband and children. I hope that I can continue to raise my children to the best of my ability. I hope I can help them grow into their own person, filled with love respect and worth for not only themselves but all the people in their lives. I hope that my marriage can continue to grow with respect and love with a man who has taken so much these past few months and never shut me out. I hope that my faith will keep me grounded and growing. I hope that I can be a better daughter, sister, cousin and friend, to make sure that each person that I hold dear to me, knows just how much they mean to me. I hope to live everyday like it is my last and NEVER EVER have that feeling of guilt or regret that I didn’t say or do enough.

So 2013, I welcome you with open arms and look forward to a great year! Bring on the rainbows & unicorns!

"Begin today. Declare out loud to the universe that you are willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy.” - Sarah Ban Breathnach