My Baby Boy Turned TWO Last Week! Can you Believe It?!?

I can’t believe it…my sweet baby boy turned two years old last week! You know, it seems like just yesterday I was carrying him in my belly, and I could feel him kick me when I  stopped moving.  He loved movement, and let me tell you, it was a good prediction on my part, that he would be love movement outside the womb, too.  As an infant, he loved to be rocked, danced with, walked, and put in  the swing at times.  And now, he loves to move, run, climb stairs, crawl, and try to do everything his big sisters can do.

I am very proud of the little man Baby Shawn is becoming – he’s super smart, inquisitive, interested in exploring the world, already learning and he already knows some of his ABC’s and 123’s, is polite and says ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ is social, and super loving (especially to his mama).  We are very attached to mama.

With Grandma and Grandpa in town until just before his birthday, Baby Shawn basically had two days worth of birthdays and birthday cakes.  And of course he enjoyed every moment of it!  We still didn’t quite catch on the to blowing the candle out thing (and part of that may have been my fault, I put a little star sparkler on his cake too, it was neat and I had never seen those before). But we certainly knew what that casfor when we picked it up from Publix, and full-on meltdown when it went into the refirgerator and not our mouth because it was the middle of the day and quite time to celebrate with the “car cake.”  So I was blessed with hearing “I wananana car cake car cake wannanana car cake” for about 20 minutes straight until he wore himself enough to take a nap, poor birthday boy.

For the exquisite birthday dinner, we had leftovers from Grandma and Grandpa visiting and the family eating out much more often than usual. Which, to be honest, for kids, both the eating out, and the leftovers from eating out are both a treat from the usual “homemade boring food.”  They’ll learn one day that the homemade food that is made with love and car is much, much better.  But anywho, after dinner, we sang, as Baby Shawn calls it “Happy Day,” ate cake and opened all the fun presents. Lots of cars, airplanes, trains, and a pretend grill!

Here’s some of our silliness post cake and presents!

Happy Birthday my sweet, Shawn Michael II! I love youso very much!

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That Moment {I found out an old friend/colleague completed suicide…} Part I

I’ve been wavering on whether or not to write a post about this subject, because there are so many strong feelings that accompany even the just the word ‘suicide.’  However, I decided it would be healthy for me to write about it, and good for others to read about it too.  But before I go on, if you suffer from mental illness, and know you have specific triggers relating to suicide related issues, I caution you to either to chose to not read this or read with great care.

An old work friend of mine informed me that a mutual work colleague from years ago completed suicide last week.  She, who has a very high demand job and a family at home, couldn’t give details right at that moment but wanted me to know.  She was right, I would want to know. I read the message on my phone again. And again. This person, no. He was always a happy, jovial, fellow. Hard worker, persistent learner, successful business owner. At least that’s what I remember of him – it has been years since I had actually seen him in person, but I do have specific memories of his smile and infectious laugh, of visiting his office, him visiting mine.

Suicide.  It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  But in the obscurity of suffering from a mental illness, other solutions seem abstruse and out of reach.  However, this is not the case.  And, sadly, my friend knew this.

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My friend, I’ll call him Ru, as I mentioned, I remember him to be a happy and hard worker.  And then during the time I was working with him, he began to battle depression once his wife miscarried with twins.  This must have been at least ten or fifteen years ago, I don’t remember exactly.

Fast forward to about six months ago where a client was playing fastball and the blame game where they were probably at fault for many of the issues that came up, but still, in the end ultimately withheld payment from Ru, and Ru ended up walking away from his business because of this undue stress.  In the end, the client fired Ru’s business from the project and Ru had a nervous breakdown. Then he attempted suicide.

Luckily, Ru voluntarily checked himself into an inpatient treatment center until he sincerely felt better, and did the right thing by continuing with outpatient care.  Ru kept up with the therapies, however, and his depression worsened and he voluntarily went back into a treatment center, staying for about a week, then checking himself out.  My friend mentioned that Ru was seen about two days before his suicide really happy and content.  I do know that is not an unusual behavior, because the person feels ‘oddly at peace with their decision.’

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There is so much stigma, pain and fear attached to suicide, that people steer clear of even saying the word; and I don’t blame them for that. Personally, I blame society for instilling in us that suicide is something unspeakable, taboo. As a society, the stigma and the shaming that is so so severely steeped around mental illness and suicide so desperately needs to be removed.

“Suicide doesn’t end the chances of life getting worse, it eliminates the possibility of it getting any better.”

“Suicide doesn’t end the pain, it just passes it to someone else.”

“The person who commits suicide dies once, those they leave behind die a thousand deaths, trying to relive those terrible moments and ask, why?”

Suicide is a very personal subject for me and has touched, entered and affected my life in more ways than I can count. I want to finish of the story for you, so, please be patient, and this post will have a part II, to be posted very soon…

 

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How my life changed three years ago…

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Three very short years ago, today, which actually seems like an eternity ago now, another lifetime, I awoke (well, I don’t think I really slept that night) at about three in the morning. At the time, I was staying with my parents. They got up early with me and we had a nice breakfast. If I recall correctly, scrambled eggs, a lightly toasted cinnamon raisin english muffin with a touch of butter, and sausage. We ate together quickly and got to work put the last bits of my important possessions into my little Chevy Cruze that was parked in the driveway. It was a chilly, misty, and drizzling outside.

By the time I was ready to get on my way it was about 0430. Annie’s face was misty too. I don’t think they were certain about my decision, but, as an adult in my thirties, there wasn’t much they could do. Many tight hugs were given and typical sayings of driving carefully were said. We all traded “I love you’s,” and I was off.

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I sent Shawn a text letting him know I was on the road, but since he was in the Central Time Zone, I had no expectation of him being awake. I just wanted a record on his phone so he knew I started my journey to him. To his arms. Where I belonged. I had prayed and prayed, and prayed about this decision, this move. And I knew in my heart it was the right move. At the right time. I’m pretty sure my friends all thought I was completely bonkers, an
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d that’s alright. I knew I was making the right decision.

The drive was about 900 miles. I didn’t wan’t to drive down closer to the coast, so I stayed near the mountains. For once, unfortunately, the weatherman was completely correct and the entire east coast was going to stay soaked with rain for the entirety of the weekend.

The drive was long. I stopped, many, many times. To top off my tank (ok – paranoia here, but I wanted to be sure that if something happened I had a full tank), to stretch my legs, to make sure I was awake, for potty breaks, maybe a snack, you know. And it gets lonely in the car by yourself.

I think I made it to 1600ish in Georgia before driving irritation started to kick in. Between just driving for a long time, the rain, and all the people who just straight up can’t drive in the rain, my nerves were feeling frazzled. So I found a good place to stop, and took my longest break of about 25 minutes, eating “in” at Chick-Fil-A.

Once it got dark, I was way out there, it was rural, and dark. I decided to talk to my dad for a bit via bluetooth for company and I have always enjoyed talks with my dad as an adult, and then just like that, the last hour just zoomed by.

And BOOM! I was there! It me a good nineteen and half hours to get there. Whew. But I was finally where I was supposed to be, in his arms, permanently. No more flights every three weeks. No more goodbyes. No more nightly skype sessions late at night. Because I listened to my heart, prayed hard, and took that wonderful leap of faith.

And I look around at my wonderful family, how God answered my prayers in incredible ways. My blessings, our blessings.

You are like no other, my Shawn. I find myself falling in love with you again and again, over and over. You will forever by my always.

I’m never looking back to the place I was, but keeping my eyes pasted to this family’s beautiful and bright future. I ❤️love❤️ you my Shawn, thank you for helping my make that leap and long drive.🌧️🚗

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Proud Wife Moments

Usually my posts are dedicated to the happenings of the children.  However, I’d like to take a moment to celebrate the most incredible person the know – my hubby – and I am lucky enough to say he’s all mine. I’m not being sarcastic here — I really do think he’s absolutely incredible!

This year alone, he’s obtained two outstanding career achievements:  At his full-time civilian job, he was named ‘Employee of the Year’ out of his entire Command!  For this achievement, he received the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.

Then just recently, he was notified that next March he will be promoted from Chief Warrant Officer II to Chief Warrant Officer III (he serves in the Army Reserves, and has been in the military since 1998).

So proud of you, honey! I love you!