Thursday, September 27, 2012

Writer's Workshop

5.) Fall is here! List your top 10 favorite things about this Fall season.

I agree that the hardest thing about writing a blog post is coming up with a catchy first sentence. Which is why I LOVE the Writer's Workshop linkup...I get to cheat and use hers. (Thanks Mama K) 

Now on to me...and my absolute, without a doubt, brings more joy to my heart than eating raw chocolate chip cookie dough, favorite time of the year.

Que the music....

Top Ten Favorite Things About Fall This Season (or any season)

 Most of the summer season it was so hot so my front yard looked like this

One day I noticed that I didn't have pit stains the size of Texas  feel quite so hot while driving in my car. I looked around and started to see this...

What a difference a little fall color makes in the drive to work (and well, anywhere seeing as I live in the sticks)


Now don't get me wrong I love a good scentsy bar, but my first smelly true love will always be Yankee Candles. My nostrils always thank me (and considering the damage I have done to my liver and kidneys I feel it only right that I treat at least one of my body parts kindly) 


I am that dork that would wear my next two loves all year round if I didn't sweat in such an unflattering way. So as soon as the slightest hint of a cooling off in the weather I break these next two obsessions out..


I always feel closer to my cousin Lisa in Boston when I sip on one of these. I havent been able to fly to Boston yet this year (maybe because I went three times back to back last year and I am still paying for it) so this little slice of heaven sliding down my throat will have to warm my heart as well...for now anyway...


I am not a big Television show watcher for the most part. I love movies, and we watch a lot of those in our house but I don't DVR and obsessively keep up with a bunch of shows (I've never even seen Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, any of the Bachelor shows and the list goes on) I admit I am a Reality TV slut...or if the series is going to make you feel like your life is a walk in the park I'm a fan. There might be some deep down underlying issue why I like dramatic shows and my favorite character is always the drama queen but that's another post altogether....don't judge me! 


The BF likes it cold so this could really be something that would be on any favorite list of mine but with the colder weather I get to add blankets (cause with a ceiling fan, the oscillating fan blowing directly in his face, and the thermostat on 66 one blanket ain't gonna cut it anymore).

that is NOT me for the record. I don't smile like that in the morning, my eyes are not that wide and bright..The blanket is similar minus a wine stain and some green marker from little mans art work


This time of year I love to see all the different ways to use leaves, gourds, pumpkins, mums you name it. I am an Army girlfriend and don't get me wrong I love the American flag but it's nice to have an excuse to put out some new colors...and fall colors are my favorite. oranges, yellows, reds...all those colors I can't pull off wearing because I will look like a  cheap hooker working girl 



Ok, so I do wear them other times than fall. In fact I wear them all year round but this is my safe place right? Your not judging me are you? 

and to prove my point here are some oldies and but goodies of last fall...(and yes I own more than one shirt, apparently I should have added camo to this list as well)

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Little Man turns 6

Today is a fun, happy day stuck in the middle of a few rough ones.

6 Years ago today I learned why they tell you not to eat anything before your scheduled C-Section...not fun!

6 Years ago today I learned what it is like for a boy to really have all of your heart and 6 Years ago today I gave it to this boy right here

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day one (Writer's Workshop Continued)

The hours after we got there were a blur and I honestly can't tell you exactly a timeline for what happened or what all was said. I remember how thick the air was, how cold the ICU room was and how the breathe got knocked out of me seeing him for the first time.

We walked into the room and I looked at Kaileigh before I looked at him. She had what I can only feel like was fear in her eyes and I swear I could hear her little heart break in two. He had vent tubes in his mouth, other IV lines and tubes everywhere else and his head was bandaged up with white gauze covering up what used to be a head full of bouncy gorgeous curls. It's funny the things you remember. Like out of that description I remember the New Years Eve we spent the night at his parents house. Nana made lots of food and we watched movies and he let his little sister Kari and me put makeup on him and put his curls in ribbons and braids.

Jolted back to the room by the beeping of machines, Kaileigh talked to him. Sweetly, lovingly, then angry and confused she sounded more like the parent than the child (which is usually the case with her) I won't go into every single detail because let's face it, it's so very personal and raw still. I think the hardest thing to wrap your brain around is that he did it to himself. It's hard to believe and it's hard to forgive and it's hard to move on. Not sure if his daughter has done any of that yet....and it's scary as a parent to know how to help facilitate that painful thing that has to occur in order for her to start healing.

At around 7AM a Catholic priest was called in. Leon's last rites were read and we really were counting the minutes, unsure if this was going to be the last one. The morning was spent making phone calls, screaming at people to take RIP and inappropriate messages off of facebook, and trying to stay in the background yet be there for Kaileigh at the same time. Leon and I had not been a couple for the better part of 10 years but I still love him. Even now. and I hate him. Even now. We had finally gotten to a good place. We talked on the phone often and we did things with Kaileigh together (which we had not been able to do until the last couple of years) He was actually trying to be in her life even if it was in his own Leon way (which I know she carries guilt over now because she has gotten so busy many times she could't go visit him when he asked) In some ways I felt like an intruder. His mom was there, his sisters and daughter and dad and Janet. Who was I to be there? Who was I to get to be in the room and come and go and more importantly why? I am sure there were so many more people that were closer and felt more entitled than I was. So let me tell you why. I have the ONLY and BEST thing Leon did. and we did that together. Kaileigh was his pride and his joy and in the end (and I know I have said it before and I will prob say it again) I promised to love her for the both of us. Like I promised her the day she was born. So I had just as much right as anyone else to be there. I owed that to Kaileigh and to Leon to stay (when it would have been much easier to lay in bed in a ball or drink myself stupid till I was numb)

Towards the late afternoon I told myself that I was gonna let him go. That I was not going to have false hope. All day I talked nonstop to the doctors and the nurses and asked question after question and wrote it all down so that I could explain it to her some day (and we have not had that talk yet, we really have not talked about it at all come to think of it) And several times I took her into the little room reserved for families and told her to brace herself. To make sure she told him everything she wanted to say to his flesh and bone body because she might not get a chance to later and talking to a stone is not the same thing. And I stand by my doing that. Harsh yes, healing, even stronger yes. I was chastised in the room for "giving up hope" and for listening to the head nurse (who had been in ICU for over 20 years) cause "she's not a doctor what does she know". We heard over and over how many lives Leon had, how he had come back from so many things that would have killed anyone else. I remember thinking, but this time it wasn't something else that did this to him, he did it to himself. It hurts so much to think that, to type it. and knowing that no one will ever get an answer to the one question everyone asks...why

People brought food (my mom, who never really liked Leon due to our high school shenanigans and getting me pregnant out of wedlock etc. etc and the list goes on and on) brought cinnamon rolls from Calico County. My amazing sister JaLana came from Little Rock with my niece Jessica and took us to eat (the first time we dared leave) All throughout the day my Lindas stayed in the waiting room and when I needed came into the room with me. Trisha, Nikki, Jackie and Michelle and even Heather sat with me. They all loved Leon but they came for me. and for Kaileigh. Leon's dad worked for Tyson and someone from the Corporate Office where Papa Lee worked brought dinner for everyone and we ate right there in the waiting room we had taken over. Friends came and went and each time Kaileigh would feel like she had to prepare each new person. She would take their hand as we walked towards the room and say in a grownup sweet voice, "now, I just want you to know he is gonna look scary but he is resting. His head in bandaged and he has tubes everywhere but he can still hear you so talk to him okay"

Ever the adult stuck in a child's body, she has the gift of compassion and nurturing.

My friend Jackie laughs when she tells the story of the time that first day that it was just me and her in the room and I leaned down and said through tears "Leon wake up, I am gonna kiss your cheek to make you mad so if you want to slap me you have to get up to do it." then I said "Who am I gonna blame everything on now" she says it was funny...but not funny

Around 8Pm it was time for shift change. Everyone had started to pack up their things, his family had already left to go back to NWA for the night exhausted and preparing for another long day in ICU. Kaileigh did not want to leave and she certainly did not want to leave with me (and I could not imagine how we were going to get through that night) So I talked to Janet and her mother and they agreed that Kaileigh could go home with them.The nurse had said that if one of us wanted to stay with him we could even though it was against ICU rules (which I know now was because she did not expect him to make it through the night) so I promised Kaileigh that I would not leave him alone so that it how it came to be that I stayed with him that night.

I wasn't sure what was going to happen. I wasn't sure exactly how I ended up being the one to spend what turned out to be the last night of Leon's life with him and I remember apologizing to him for that.The last thing I wanted to be was disrespectful, but I told Kaileigh he would not be alone and I think even more than that I felt like I owed it to him to not leave him. So I did not leave (which I am sure pissed off family members but the reality is I was the one that stayed when everyone else left) I remember saying to Jackie (who stayed with me) I felt weird being his ex and all, But hey, if it pissed him off enough to wake him up it was worth it right?

me and my inappropriate sense of humor!!!

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Not the kind of Writer's Workshop You'd Expect

4.) Describe a moment where your child lost part of her childhood

As I've already mentioned several times this month is Suicide Prevention month, and Leon's birthday month so when I read the prompts my first thought was on the day (or actually two days) Leon died.

It was 2AM on the last night in November and Emory was wrapped up in my arms crying uncontrollably. Her pet sugar glider (Harley) had just been found floating in the toilet and she was devastated. When the phone rang I had no idea of who it could be, so imagine my surprise when I looked down and saw that it was Kaileigh's Nana. Something told me it was serious so I slipped out of bed and went into the hallway to take the call. Nana could hardly talk she was crying so hard and she said "Leon is brain dead" and I dropped the phone. I remember screaming "hold on, hold on, i dropped the phone" as I scrambled to pick it up.

I dropped to my knees and held onto the wall for support as I listened to her explain that Leon had shot himself in the head and  she kept saying over and over, "we have to tell Kaileigh but I don't know how to say it"

 Somehow (I credit the grace of God) I managed the strength to stop shaking, stand up and calmly tell Nana that I would explain it to Kaileigh and that we were on our way to Sparks Hospital. I stopped at Kaileigh's door and took three deep breaths and said "NO NO NO". I knew that this was the last innocent, carefree moment my fourteen year old daughter would ever have. I woke Kaileigh up by climbing into bed with her and mimicking the scenario I had just had with my nine year old I held Kaileigh.... unsure about how she was going to take the news I was about to tell her.

"Kaileigh, wake up honey I have to talk to you"...I told her that no matter what happens I love her and we will get through this. and I just held her. Kaileigh told me I was scaring her and so I took another deep breath and said "we don't have a lot of time and I need you to be strong and we can freak out later" and then I said the most awful sentence I have ever uttered. I said "your dad was shot in the head and is at the hospital and we don't know what is going to happen next but we have to get there quick so throw on some clothes and lets go"

breathe Wendy breathe

She was in shock and didn't really say much as we both scurried to throw on clothes.The car ride there was the longest 20 minutes of my life. Kaileigh screamed a few times and cried in between. Then she said so seriously, "if he doesn't die I'm gonna kill him myself" and with that inappropriate joke we looked at each other and cracked a smile, lightening the mood and somehow letting both of us know that we were gonna get through this. Together.

We made it to Sparks and as we got out of the car on that cold early morning I felt a chill in my bones that had nothing to do with the weather. Kaileigh and I interlocked our hands and did not let go until we made it in to the Emergency Room entrance.

I asked the receptionist where Leon Hamilton was and she told me he had just been moved up to the Intensive Care wing and that the family was there waiting for us. That elevator ride up was a blur, neither one of us knowing what to say to the other. I kept saying "I Love You" over and over, I needed her to know that.

Stepping off of the elevator was surreal. Hugging everyone and listening to them all repeat their version of events...Nana, Papa Lee, Aunt Kari, Janet and Janet's parents were all pacing the floor while the nursing staff got Leon ready for us to see him.I honestly don't remember what all was said.

Then the nurse on duty told us we could see him. She asked if this was Kaileigh as she motioned with her head to my daughter and I said yes, and I am mom.

I have always been in awe and amazement of those brave souls that can choose to have a career such as nursing. This angel of a lady stood by my daughter's side the whole time Leon was there. She explained what was happening and what was going to happen, answered questions and prepared me for what this was gonna end up looking like, so that I could turn around and prepare Kaileigh for it. She took me to the side and said, "I'm not going to sugar coat it and you need to force her to deal with this as it is happening. Write down everything any names, times, procedures he has done. all of it. Someday she is going to need you to fill in the blanks and don't think that because it's all so important in  your mind now that you are going to remember it later. Because you won't".

I'm exhausted already and the next couple of days are gonna be more of the sweet friend I lost two years ago to breast cancer has a birthday on Saturday (it's our third year to have dinner with her sweet mama Ms. Joicie) and Leon's birthday is on Thursday... I'm expecting lots of tears...

and I'm sure I will come back and finish the story there is still a whole lot more to it then this post..

until then,,,

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Suicide Prevention Month


that word is so ugly. And how many times have you heard someone make references to slitting their wrists or shooting themselves in the head?? It's become so universally accepted and meant as a joke but to me it's like the words cancer, retard, nigger.....makes me cringe really. and physically sick all at the same time. In my most vivid nightmares I NEVER saw this as my reality, or the reality for my fifteen year old daughter. How do you help your baby cope with something you can't even wrap your own head around?

I get asked all the time how Kaileigh is doing. She really is fine, stronger and emotionally coping in ways I can't even understand where she gets it from. When Leon took his own life, he took her childhood and her innocence with him...and he took a piece of my heart as well. 

When Leon's mom called me in the middle of the night it changed me in such a profound way.  I don't think I had really had to parent before that. Up until now, Kaileigh's life has been such a easy journey and we have been so blessed this was really the first big blow we'd been dealt. You take so much for granted when the toughest thing you have to deal with is where your gonna have her next birthday party. Now I have to deal with estate lawyers and feuding families and emotional breakdowns I can't put a band aid on to fix. I have to know what to do for her and I can't figure what to do for myself half the time. 

The last time I saw Leon is a scene I will replay in my head over and over until I die myself. Tubes were coming out of every place imaginable. His head was wrapped in gauze and the smell still fills my nostrils sometimes. I knew when I left that this would be the last time I would ever see him and that the hard work of being there for Kaileigh was about to begin. I always thought of myself as a single mother anyway where Kaileigh was concerned but I remember thinking that day that I really was all alone now.  I leaned forward and I whispered in his ear "I promise to love her for the both of us". He was not always around but he was always as much in love with her as I was. He knew she was the best thing he had ever done...

 So much about when someone dies is devastating but when they die because they chose to it's even harder to accept. Ugly and ignorant statements get made about how selfish that person is. It's not selfish, it's sad. it's heartbreaking.  Death makes some of the people left behind act like they have no sense. It makes friends and family members divided and fight and for some reason forget that it's in times like this you should be supporting and loving each other. How we got here in this place I still don't know. 

We deal with this every single day. Kaileigh deals with all the times she wants to call him, hug him, she deals with just wanting to be a fifteen year old kid with a daddy.

I deal with this huge weight of being a single mother. I deal with the loss of my high school sweetheart and a boy that was becoming my friend again after ten years of being a thorn in my side. and now I deal with the loss of a family I thought was like my own family. I deal with accusations and attacking in ways I don't know how to accept in any other way then to just shut down or cry. Neither of which is healthy for my daughter. 

I deal with being left behind just like Kaileigh was. 

But we will deal with it. We will deal with it together (Kaileigh and I) and I will keep my promise Leon, I will love her for the both of us......

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Weekend Wrap-up (picture addition)

As far as weekends go this one was pretty uneventful...Just the way I like it.

Thursday and Friday nights I worked an event (Festival on the Border) which basically is a couple days of concerts and proceeds go to local charities. Thursday night was Stoney Larue and Justin Moore and Friday was 38 Special. I must say, attending concerts sober is an altogether different experience from attending one w a six pack of Bud Light Platinum w 3 limes cocktail or two.

The category five hurricane light smattering of rain both nights was not the highlight of the evening but this was sure pretty to look after the storms had passed

Justin was'nt too hard on the eyes either...

The little kids were all in Northwest Arkansas visiting their dad/godmother so it was rare mommy/Kaileigh time..and what did we do you ask? We watched a musical of course..I love the watching her watch the movie. Her sweet smile is genuine and precious to see (cause I don't see it very often anymore)

This was what I had my head buried in most of Saturday. I am a sucker for Nicholas Sparks...this one is "The Lucky One" and the book did not disappoint...the movie was not so great, but I got a chance to do this (see picture below) so I am not complaining one bit.

Sunday after I finished the book we rented the movie and the BF watched it with me. This is my most favorite time of the day..Either right before bed or just as I am waking up. There is this Howie Day song called "Collide" where he talks about tangled up in someone and that is what we call this.

finally...The BF brought these home for reason flowers are the best kind of flowers to get I do believe and it was the perfect way to end a perfect weekend...

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Thursday, September 06, 2012


Emory addition......

Today my blog is being taken over by my nine year old...she is nicknamed the diva for a reason....the rules of the game are easy...thanks to Ellen , Brie, and Taylor

and away we go...

always put deoderant on in the morning because if you don't your mom will yell at you that you stink

always be polite or your gonna get popped in the mouth

always take out the trash or you'll get grounded and it will stink

sometimes you have good days, and sometimes you have bad days. Good days are staying in bed all day bad days are having to go to school and get an F on your test.

sometimes your mom can get on your nerves because she cleans your face with her spit or picks your nose

sometimes you just have to take it like a man. even if your not a man. Like when your little brother goes in your room or your older sister yells at you that she is gonna knock your head off for teasing her about a boy she crushes on..

never stick your tongue out at your mom cause she might pop your face and make you bite your own tongue

never turn your  homework in late. you get in trouble and that sucks (she turns to me and says opps, is that a bad word)

never forget your underwear it can be painful when you have to go to the restroom

Ok, so this is Wendy again. As I am interviewing my daughter I am trying not to giggle (this was serious business to her) while at the same time asking myself if I should even be posting this (do you think I am in jeporady of loosing my parent card?? but oh well, posting anyway, if I don't censor myself how the heck is it fair of me to censor my babies?? there you have it, this weeks always sometimes never as told by Emory Brewer

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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

I Wonder....

I wonder..... if I will ever be able to explain to my babies why some peoples babies don't live. We have been following the daily updates on Baby Liam Lyon and it broke my heart to know that his little heart stopped beating last night. It reminded me of Jack, and Leighton and how truly precious life is. I stopped screaming at my own kids for a second and hugged them so tight (I think they must have been thinking I was hitting a crack pipe or something but oh well, won't be the last time they think that)

I wonder.....if you can mend fences, rebuild bridges, turn a new leaf, dust yourself off and try again (insert your own cheesy analogy here) I really hope so. I have always leaned on the side of optimism so I am willing to stay sidewise for awhile if that means I can fix some of the mistakes I myself made..It's been very humbling to stop talking and whining long enough to realize that I am not as blameless as I like to defend myself to be. Understanding why I did it is not the same as saying I am very.truly.sorry.

and I am

I wonder..... when my son grew up from the little momma's boy that he was last week to the big boy he is now. Some Isaiah cuteness this week includes:
"look mom I have abs"

Isaiah had Evan, his BFF spend the night on Saturday and the next morning when the boys were eating pancakes at the table this was our conversation... Me: "boys, if you are talking you can't be eating" Evan: "I can talk and eat at the same time" and while pointing at me with his fork MY son says "Not in this house you can't"

made me fall in love with him all over again.....HE DOES LISTEN!!!

and this was the cutest picture of all...both my boys working on Isaiah's homework together...I think I might have teared up a minute, until I realized how much they would roll their eyes and make fun of me for it so I went back to the dishes.  

I wonder.....if YOU will ever know that I do genuinely love you, pray for you and think about you....wherever you are and I hope that you are well and happy and healthy. Sometimes it is nice to just push pause for a second and let someone know your there..Thank you for thinking of me too.....
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