Monday, February 18, 2019

Week In Review

It has been a heck of a week.

Sadly, on Monday, February 11, my Nana passed away.

This happened to be the first day of my brand-new job (did I mention I got a job?). I hated having to tell my employer on my first day that I would have to leave for three days to travel to Texas for the funeral, but they were very understanding given the situation.

The trip was long. I got into my hometown on Tuesday evening after traveling all day (2 flights and an hour drive from the airport). I was lucky to be able to spend dinner with niece and nephew and a little time with my sister in law that evening. Wednesday was the viewing and funeral. We got to the funeral home around noon and I saw many family members I hadn’t seen in at least 15 years. The funeral was more difficult than I could have imagined, and I was in a place of support for my mother, so I didn’t allow myself the opportunity to grieve in that moment.

For as quickly as the funeral was put together it was nice. There were flowers and a Church of Christ pastor (just what she would have wanted) and songs that she enjoyed. I thought she deserved a bigger crowd of people. Her life touched so many to have so few show up to say goodbye.

I had hoped to take a moment to say goodbye but was pulled to and from various people. When I finally had my chance to go back the casket was already closed. Turning around and seeing the casket closed was incredibly difficult. It felt final. I knew that meant I was never going to see her face again or touch or hands.

I went to the gravesite later that evening and sat next to her for a while, a chance to tell her how much I love her and to remember all the good times and lessons learned. As I sat there, I wished I could be closer to her. I realized that nothing would be close enough to feel the connection I felt with her. There would be no more hugs. No more of her jabbing me with her elbow when she made a joke. No more hand to hold. I stayed until the sun started to go down and there was little light left.

I miss her.

That evening I took my mother to get her groceries, toiletries and new shoes. She’s been struggling financially, and I couldn’t leave her without knowing she was taken care of as much as I could in the time that I had.

I left to head back home the next day, 3 hours of sleep, leaving before the sun was even up.  I walked in the door around 6pm and was up and out the door the next morning back to my new job. I want this job and I want to do well. I want them to see my work ethic and desire to perform well. But its been hard to find the balance between grieving and every day life with so much change.

Life moves on. A new week is here and a new chance to be a better me, learn new things and step into this new role of working mom. I know it won’t be the easiest change for my kids, but I think its worth it since they are school age now.

So, there it is. A very brief overview of the last week. I’m still tired from everything that was happening.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Saying Goodbye - Looking Back

My grandmother is dying.

My Nana suffers from Alzheimer’s which has gotten progressively worse over the years. On Thursday, I received a call from my family in Texas letting me know that the nursing home she was at called in my mother to let her know that her health was failing and that she needed to call in family to begin preparing. On Friday, she was sent to the hospital and placed in ICU after she began vomiting what appeared to be old blood. They found multiple blood clots, an ulcer in her stomach and other health issues based around her age and lack of movement. Last night they took her off the ventilator and moved her to a different floor of the hospital and called in palliative care to make her comfortable. She is still breathing on her own. Her heart is strong. But she won’t make it past this stage and the goal now is to make her comfortable until she passes on.

Nana meeting Snuggle Bug for the first time.

This woman is so much more than a grandmother to me. She has been like a mother. I was brought home from the hospital to her home. My family lived with her when I was a small child. She’d bake strawberry birthday cakes for me. She took me with her to bingo at the local VFW hall. I’ll never forget running to her car after school and going back to her house where she’d offer me cookies and I’d watch cartoons.

She was an independent woman who did things on her own. She raised her daughters on her own. She took care of her home and on her own. When she decided she wanted to do something, she did it on her own. She never asked for help because she never seemed to need it. She told you straight out what she was thinking, and you didn’t have to like it but that didn’t matter because she was honest. Maybe lacking in tact at moments but that was what made her so amazing.


I remember her home. The smells, the feelings and the memories. I remember her backyard. The large pecan tree that she’d send us out to gather pecans for pie. The clothes line where I’d stand between the wet sheets she’d hung and feel the breeze run through the fabric. The smell of the honeysuckle that grew on the fence and the rose bush at the back of the yard. I remember her kitchen where I stood on a step stool to hand wash dishes. The meals she made in that room after she’d light the stove. The tiny flowers I would bring to her that she’d put in a small vase on the windowsill. The smell of the Texas summer breeze that would come through the windows. The evenings spent watching Wheel of Fortune. The days spent jumping off the front porch, hanging from the hand rail and looking for the best chalk rock to draw on the sidewalk with.  She brought food when we were hungry and had nothing in the cabinets or refrigerator. She looked for me when I ran away from home. She dealt with my teenage attitude and still loved me, supported me and made sure I made it to the places I needed to go.  She was the first person to support me when I brought home the man who has been my husband for almost 14 years. When I called her as a young wife, living alone while my husband was gone for work, she explained to me how to start a lawn mower. She drove to my house in Kansas to meet Snuggle Bug a few weeks after she was born.

She taught me to cook. She taught me to clean. She taught me the value of making sure you always look presentable. She told me my tattoos were pretty, even though the rest of my family hated them. She taught me to be independent and to the freedom of a wild spirit that can’t be chained down.

She loves me. Even when the Alzheimer's had taken away her memory of me I'll never forget the last thing she said to me, "You're very pretty. The next time you come to visit me I'm going to buy you a sandwich." She liked me even when she no longer knew me. The gifts from having her in my life are more than I could ever write in this blog. They will stay with me until the day I die. I will forever be grateful for her.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Whats Cookin' Good Lookin'?

Its almost Friday! How has your week been? Mine has been surprisingly productive despite the cold temps outside. One of the biggest goals here in the Fashionably Domestic home has been to stay warm!

I made the family a yummy meal this evening, full of fresh vegetables. We go through so many fruits and vegetables in this house.

Italian Sausage and Veggie Pasta

1 pkg. Italian Chicken Sausage 
1 Red Bell Pepper
A few tablespoons minced garlic
Splash (or 4) of white wine
1 Summer Squash, chopped
1 Zucchini, chopped
2 Heirloom Tomatoes, quartered 
1 can diced tomatoes, 15oz
Kale or Spinach(as preferred)
Italian Seasoning
Dried Minced Onion
Dried Fennel 
Dash of Milk
Salt and Pepper
Organic or Gluten Free rotini pasta

Fill pot with water and bring to a boil for pasta.

Heat pan, add olive oil and saute sausage and red pepper until peppers are soft. Add garlic and a few splashes of white wine and saute for a minute or two. Add squash and zucchini and cook until soft. Add can of tomatoes and season to taste with the garlic, onion, Italian seasoning and fennel. 

While that cooks, I sear the heirloom tomatoes in another pan then puree them in a food processor and add that to the pan of veggies and sausage. I also add a little water if it doesn't seem "saucy" enough for my taste. Add the greens, spinach or kale, dash of a milk and season as needed. Serve topped with red paper flakes and Parmesan cheese. 

If you can't tell, I'm a pinch of this and dash of that type cook so its difficult to really write out a detailed recipes. I owe that skill to my grandmother, truly one of the best home cooks I've ever met.


In other news, Snuggle Bug is still on an obsessive carb binge. The positive thing is her doctor thinks it will help her gain weight, the down side is my bread machine is getting a workout and I just bought a waffle iron in hopes of saving money on her waffle habit. Fingers crossed it saves some money and who knows what new recipes I'll find on my new waffle making journey! 

Monday, January 28, 2019


Three years ago, today, I lost my best friend.

I will never forget the phone call I got in the middle of the grocery store telling me she was dead. The entire world felt unreal, like a dream. I left my cart where it was and walked out to my car, sat and had no idea what to do next. I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t yell. My emotions were frozen.
You see, this was my best friend for as long as I can remember. My middle school confidant. Sleepovers; giggling about boys and gossiping about school. The girl I went to when I ran away from home as a stupid kid. The one who worried for my safety. The girl who cried with me when her prom date stood her up while I offered to put on a dress and go with her myself. The woman whose boyfriend fell asleep in a movie during a double date and we looked at each other and laughed while he snored. The maid of honor at my wedding, the girl who stood beside me and held my bouquet as I put a ring on my husband’s finger. The woman who sat beside me at the baby shower for my first child.

She was dead. Suicide. The depression we had both talked about in our teens, related to each other in that suffering, took her away. I didn’t know how to grieve a loss so unexpected. A loss that could have been prevented. I blamed myself for not seeing. She had slowly become reclusive. She had pulled herself back from the people who cared about her.

I wish I hadn’t been so caught up in my own life. I wish we would have taken the Vegas trip we had talked about. I wish I had made a bigger effort to reach out to her as I moved around the country. The distance took its toll. Her depression took its toll. My depression took its toll.

She wanted more than what we had growing up, two poor girls with single moms who were doing their best to make ends meet. She wanted to travel. She wanted to see Ireland. She wanted to get married. She wanted to have children. She had hopes, dreams and goals.

It took a long time to get through the grief but three years later I can look back at the memories and smile at all the joy she brought to my life. The understanding. The importance of that friendship. I know she was in my life for a reason and I know I will be forever grateful for the time I had with her because, even though I was never able to tell her just how much, she got me through many hard times in my life and knowing I had her gave me strength. Knowing I have her memory will continue to give me strength. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Weekend Check In

Happy Sunday lovelies!

Its been a nice weekend here in land of domesticity. Friday night was spent at the local community arts center seeing a production of Addams Family: The Musical. It was an adorable production by local actors and, of course, appealed to my creepy side as the Addams family always does. Plus, it was a chance to wear my latest vintage inspired dress. It paired well with a little belt and cardigan and I was so excited to get so many compliments.

This is the best picture I have of me all dressed nicely. The next time I wear it I'm getting a full sized picture so you can see the beautiful circle skirt in all its glory! 

Saturday was a fun filled day with the family including our first trip to a trampoline park!

Look how much fun these two are having together!

We spent over an hour bouncing, climbing and trying out the challenges and obstacles there and even then hubby joined in. It was a great way to get exercise and have some important family time doing something together. They are requesting Monster Mini golf next weekend. 

Here we are on Sunday and the Fashionably Domestic home smells of freshly cooked bread. I have been on a bread kick lately, much to the joy of Snuggle Bug who is obsessed with fresh bread.

The new loaf next to the first that didn't make it very long before being attacked by the family!

There is something so nice about the smell of something yummy baking in the oven. It makes the entire house feel warm and cozy.

How has your weekend been?

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Big News!

I have news. After years, YEARS of bouncing from school to school, moving, losing and gaining credits, I have finally done it. I have finally completed my bachelor’s degree.

There were so many times that I thought it was never going to happen. So many moments where I was ready to give up. I cried when I left the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a semester to go because the Hubby had orders. I paused when I had my little man. I applied and got in to numerous universities only to find some road block that kept me from continuing on.

But I kept moving, kept studying and it is finally finished. The sense of relief and accomplishment that I feel are immense.

Downside? I have been sending out resumes and applications around town for about a month (and even prior to graduation) and I have been turned down or heard nothing from every place I’ve applied. I was even turned down by a grocery store and a dog walking company. But, no matter. I’m going to keep this feeling of positivity going because I know everything is going to work out well in the end. Until then I am going to enjoy this feeling of joy and happiness and see if I can make 2019 a year full of positivity and joy.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Years intense update.

Hello blog world! It's been so long.

I never forgot about this blog, but it took a lot of effort to remember how the information to sign back into it. It has been a little over three years since I've posted anything here. I'm sure no one reads or even checks this now defunct blog, but I'm back and I hope that maybe I'll find the time to get it back up and running. I loved blogging so much and updating my followers with new recipes, crafts and new fun things happening in my life!

So, here it is, my 3 year update. Buckle up because its a lot.

Summer 2015 the Army moved the hubby to Maryland, so here we are. Its such an amazing place! After 3.5 years in the desert, fighting depression, anxiety, anger, sadness and isolation; I can't begin to explain the weight that was lifted off my shoulders when we drove away from that place. It has taken me time to get myself into a better emotional space and the last few years haven't been without their ups and downs.

Late 2015, my brother was involved in a car accident. He drove drunk and killed a passenger in an oncoming vehicle. My brother was airlifted to a hospital with a blood alcohol level that should have killed him and ended up in ICU for weeks, a combination of the alcohol and injuries from the accident.

My brother was always my rock. Through everything we endured in our childhood he was my protector and someone I knew I could always count on. When I found out what he had done my entire world was turned upside down. I was hurt, angry, brokenhearted for the family he hurt, confused because he was such a good person to make such an awful choice.

Early 2016, I lost my best friend to suicide. I was crushed but never allowed myself to grieve. She was the maid of honor in my wedding, my best friend since we were in middle school. I was angry at myself for not knowing she had gotten so sad. I blamed myself for not being there to help her. A few months after that my dog of 13 years got very ill and, after 3 weeks of vet visits, medications, feeding her through an medicine dropper and lots of praying, the vet urged us to put her down so she would no longer suffer. She had lost 10lbs in a week and could barely walk. We knew it was time. She I was always loved running and being outside so in her final hours with us, I took her outside and sat with her on the patio and told her how much I loved her. It was crushing.

A month after that my brother was finally arrested for manslaughter as a result of the accident. His mugshot was all over my small town, the 5 o'clock news, front page of the paper, online.....everywhere. A trial was scheduled but continued to be pushed back. As of now, his schedule is set to happen in a few months. Years after the accident occurred.  I'm mentally prepping myself for the trip to my hometown and for a prison sentence. In between all these Baby Boy was in the hospital once a month for severe asthma while Snuggle Bug started behavioral therapy for anxiety.

2016 was a year filled with sadness but I never allowed myself to feel it. I stuffed it down and let it fester until December 2016 I had a full meltdown. Everything that had been inside bubbled over. 2017 became my rebuilding year. It has taken a lot of time and effort to get myself emotionally strong. But I know that I am on the path to a better me.

Phew! So, there is the overview of the big stuff.

Snuggle Bug is now 10 years old, Baby Boy is 5, 4th grade and kindergarten. The hubby has been promoted, loving his job and getting closer and closer to retirement. I'm just about finished with my degree in Graphic Design. I'm still crafting, homemaking and cooking and I still take pride in what I do for my family to make their lives better. As you can see from above, its not the idyllic 1950s home, but I try and that is the best you can do sometimes.

I started this blog when I was 22, I am now 32. Its interesting to see just how much I have (and haven't) changed in the last 10 years. I've gained weight, a kid, moved 3 times, lost friends, found friends, lost pets, gained pets......but I'm still here.

Thanks for reading blog world!