Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tis the Season

The season to commercialize something that is supposed to be extremely spiritual.  It annoys me. 
I hate that this season is about presents and gifts.  I think gifts should be given at any random time rather than just a on a day that's supposed to be about something deeper.
But, guess who is buying into it?  Me.  I bought Sydney a ridiculous rocking horse. 
It's more for me than it is for her.
Happy Holidays All. 
I'm definitely on Santa's naughty list.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to All

It's the time of year where all my family gets together, cooks amazing food, and talks at decibles audible to people who are basically deaf.  I love it and Sydney is fitting right in.  She loves all the action and of course loves trying all the new foods. 
My middle brother is in from the army and oldest brother will be here with his wife and brand new baby.
Life is good.
But there's a pit in the bottom of my stomach.  Nagging.
This time last year I was very pregnant.  Here at the same spot with my husband.  He's not here today.  He's not anywhere.  Perplexing.  Overwhelming. 
I'm thankful to God for family who understands I'm not crazy, just grieving.  One day I'll get it figured out.  But then of course things will probably change.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Clap and the World Claps with You

Oh... did I get that wrong?  I know it's Laugh and the World Laughs with You.  Sydney has developed a new skill.  Clapping.  Anytime she hears clapping on television, radio, real life, etc. she claps.  So maybe I should say Clap and Sydney Claps with You.
I'm back to my foggy funk.  All I want to do is stay at home with Sydney and watch her grow.
I did happen to venture out and get a massage at Massage Envy.  I called at the beginning of the morning and they said we can get you in if you come in thirty minutes.  So I showered, arranged care for Syd, and headed down.  Little did I realize that my message therapist was going to be a younger male, very muscular, and not bad looking.  Did I care?  Nope.  Ashley prior to Sydney and of course marriage would have flirted with this guy shamelessly.  I laid there and enjoyed every minute of my massage without a word.  The only thing I said was thank you.
Something must be wrong with me.  Haha.  Maybe one day I'll want to flirt again.  With how I feel right now, I seriously doubt it. 
I'll enjoy life being content with my sweet pea.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Mind is a Funny Thing

I've been discovering new things about how the human brain works or maybe it's just my brain.  Defense mechanism or recovery tactic my brain has started to do something I'm not used to. I'm having trouble sorting past, present, and future.  I was looking at pictures of Chase yesterday and it felt like I was looking at scenes from a movie I had once watched. It felt familiar but somehow distant. I know in my heart that I love him and that the past was real, but looking at those photos and knowing what reality is now It's created a mental dissonance.

The worst part is that I showed Sydney some of the pictures. To her, he's just a man. She doesn't recognize him. She doesn't know him. But I suppose that it is my duty to acquaint her and tell her the good things of her father. I want her to know him. I want to create love in her heart for him.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Keep Your Dreams Bright and Vivid

I had been running outside with the nice weather.  Pushing Sydney in her jogging stroller.  Then the weather snapped off in a cold spell and Sydney got sick... thus my exercising ceased.  I've deemed today the day to return to the gym.
It's something about getting my heart rate up and breaking a good sweat.  It's cleansing for the soul and helps clear the mind.
Right now, Sydney is watching The Wizard of Oz.  I think she likes all the songs and colors.  I wonder how much of this movie is subliminal message.  Why is Dorothy's actual life portrayed in a sepia tone and her dreams in vivid color?  Maybe to help us remember, when life seems dull/dreary we should keep our dreams bright and vivid?  Maybe that's a proverb to my life now.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sweet Moments

I have reached the time of the month that I long for most.  No..not "the time of the month."
With  my work schedule, I have a pattern that rotates and begins all over again every three weeks.  At the end of this pattern is a glorious stretch of five days off in a row! 
Today is day 2 of 5.  I spend these wonderful days soaking in the goodness of my sweet Sydney face.
Right now she's napping.  As soon as she goes to sleep, I miss her.  I want to wake her up.  Then I would meet the wrath of no-nap Sydney.  It's not a pleasant sight.  See example below:  still cute but whiny pants.

Sydney was a cow for Halloween.  No candy.  But an adorable little specimen of human she is.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Cynical to say the least after all my mess of a life.
I will say that laughter seems to break through at times when I least expect it.  Try as I might to be sour, God brings me laughter.
Last night, I attended a costume party.  We played a game called telephone pictionary.  Look it up, it's funny.  I found myself not only laughing, but cackling.  Cackling so that people who have known me for months now looked at me in disbelief.  It felt good.  Cleansing almost.
On a different note.  Baby clothes often have cute little designs on the BEE-hinds.  Sydney's behind in particular has a cute little cupcake.  Adorable.  Gives me a bit of a sweet tooth. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

You Don't Understand til You've Been There

You learn all about the grieving process in nursing school. The way it's laid out in seven stages almost gives the illusion that it will be moderately predictable.
1. Shock and Denial- This phase I'm pretty sure I spent lying face down on the cold floor.  At that time, it seemed the best way to break from reality.
2. Pain and Guilt- I never experienced a pain like this before.  Nagging and sickening, feels like it's eating a hole through your soul.  The constant wondering of what I could have done different or how I could have prevented these things...
3. Anger and Bargaining- This seemed to last the longest for me... a good 3 months.  Turning my emotion to anger helped to fuel my energy... it helped me to get things done.  However, I felt like I had become an ugly person.
4. Depression, reflection, lonliness- Losing the person you've chosen to spend your life with... at such an early age, I wonder if I'll feel the emptiness I do now forever.  I think back now, and am grateful for how much he taught me and how he loved me in a way that only he could... how he made me feel.
5. 6. & 7.  The Upward Turn, Reconstruction & Working Through, and Acceptance & Hope.  I couldn't tell you anything about these phases.  I haven't made it there yet.
You see, the tricky thing about this "grieving process."  Listed in numerical order, it sounds as though it should be a uniform process.  But you wake up on any given morning, and it's started from the beginning again.  Square one.  And what's more, they aren't in numerical order.  You skip all over the stages like there is no order to it at all. 
What God was thinking when he gave me Sydney... how He knew that I needed her...
I wouldn't be functional without her. Period.  End of story.
My Sydney.  My rescuing.  In the form of a happy, independent, vivacious 9 month old sweet, beautiful baby girl. 
I'm eternally grateful in the midst of the chaos.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Life Goes On

Sydney sees the world from two views: things she wants and things she doesn't want.
Things she wants:  Food (of any kind), undivided attention of anyone, room to roam, to get into anything and everything, and most importantly- love and kisses from her mother.
Things she doesn't want:  Naps, Diaper Changes, Clothes (she prefers to be naked)
My girl is happy, always.  I love her joy in life... it radiates.  Makes me joyful. 
She doesn't look too happy here...but she was just in the middle of blowing a raspberry.  A preview from her photoshoot with a real professional...from Australia!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mommy, You Spend To Much Time On Gossip

I deactivated my FB account.  I realized a lot of my quality time with Sydney was being wasted on me being nosy into other people's lives.  I've deactivated FB and created Picasa to upload my photos.  I twitter occasionally which doesn't take near as much time.  I already feel socially more healthy.  I might go back to it eventually, but for now I'm happy with my decision.
Sydney is napping.  Sometimes I want to go lay down beside her, but I know I'll just wake her up.  She likes her sleep.
James 1:2.  TRUTH.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Mommy or as Sydney says, "WAwaBAWaLaLa!"

Twenty-four.  The beginning of the mid twenties.  I never dreamed by this point in my life I'd already have been married, had a baby, and widowed.  You know, life is good though.
I have begun to praise God in this recent time of struggle/hardship.  My character, strength, perspective, and overall life has grown.  I thought I would never have a positive outlook on life again, but here I sit... thanking God for all he has done for me.  I have a perfect child.  God's gift to me for all of eternity. 
What a perfect birthday present Sydney is.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

And then I realized...

They can't control me anymore.
I'm free.  I'm free of their micromanaging.
So what to do now... LIVE.

I'm happy.  I'm working... I'm making friends.  I love Sydney more than life itself.  I have a good life and this is my new beginning.  I'm done looking back because if I continue to do so, I'll never move forward.  So from this moment on, I'm letting the pain, hurt and betrayal go.  What else can I do but live.
I'm taking this second chance and doing it the right way.  The way God intended. 
I will however say... my reward for being diligent... even when I went the wrong way..was and is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
I love you Sydney Lauren and your sweet grins.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


His ex-wife...the one who cheated on him while they were married and had a 1 year old... has tattooed a letter C on her side...I can only imagine what it's for.  Then...she gets to go home and cuddle up next to her boyfriend and get all the affection/attention she desires.  While I'm here about at my wits end.  How does she get to mourn this and permanently alter her body when she contributed the most to his despression/addiction in the first place.
I don't even know what else to say.  I'm at a loss.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Innocent Villian

I'm finally getting to go back to work next week.  I'm so excited to jump back into my career.  I have a job at a wonderful ER with lots of room for professional growth and development for me as a nurse.  Over 65 beds, a trauma level 2, and tons of learning opportunities.  I'm getting grief for moving and staying in Georgia.  Like I chose this path on my own without help from the situation.
I'm a horrible person for coming here where I have help to raise my daughter.  I'm expected to live there in Arkansas in the shell of a world Chase left behind by his decisions.  There are days where I can hardly function here much less there where everything is him.  I understand it's horrible that Sydney and her brother won't spend much time together, but I didn't make that choice on my own.  I can't imagine living there with the manipulation I'm being put through being three states away.  I'm outside the sphere of influence and losing control makes them angry.  So they intentionally do things to hurt me.  Little do they know, it only makes me want to stay away even more. 
I feel imprisoned by my desire to try to make them happy.  I've come to the realization it's either their happiness or my own.  Their desires lead my life down a dead end road while my choices are opening a new world for me. 
I just needed to vent.
On a much happier note, Sydney slept from 10 to 630 this morning.  So glad all she feels are her direct needs.  When do the complex emotions start?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The World Spins Madly On

It was quite apparent to me after Chase, my husband, died it only meant crisis for a small group of people.  I felt that the world should stop allowing me and only me to breathe, grieve, and recooperate before the world regained its momentum and sent me back on my way to live my life.  Quite the opposite happened, though.  It seemed the world started spinning in warp speed.  The whiplash from the accelerated rate of spin only exacerbated by the constant flood of different emotions, often more than twenty emotions at once.  Most times I couldn't move from my place strategically on the floor.  I felt that if stayed close to the center of gravity I might not be as disturbed by the nauseating whirl in my head.
In time, the emotions came one at a time, though known to shift rapidly to the next waiting in line. I learned to ignore the saddness and use the anger to help me get things done.  It's been just about two months, but it seems my emotions are limiting themselves to one or two per day.  Numbness through the day and loneliness through night.
I state this long and complex description to say that just when you think you've got a system figured out to control your emotional state, life decides to throw a wrench in the plan and take you for another loop.  All it took today was a visit to a restaurant where Chase and I went on a date and had a wonderful time.  It was while we were visiting my parents in Georgia, I lived in Arkansas at that time, and they watched Sydney for us.  Pizza...and time together as the couple I loved so much for us to be.  I didn't see anything wrong, no warning signs... just a blissful evening of enjoying each other's company.  We ate there today after church and the feeling of loss overwhelmed me.  I ordered the same kind we did that night and remembered us laughing and just being together. 
Then, I looked at Sydney.  Laughing and smiling...nibbling on her fingers... immune to the feeling of emptiness.  I remembered, I'm blessed.  I have her.  God gave me her to help me survive.
The emptiness morphs to gratitude and the world spins madly on.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hello, my name is "Sydney's Mother"

My name used to be Ashley.  I married and became Ashley B.  Shortly there after, I learned I was with child.  I maintained being Ashley, until I discovered I was having a girl.  That girl's name is Sydney.  As soon as monogrammed diaperbags and burp cloths were presented to me with those beautiful letters, I lost my identity as Ashley and became Sydney's mom. 
It's a beautiful feeling, truly.  I don't want to be anything other than Sydney's mom.  We're going through life together, alone, but with a lot of support from loved ones.  My husband died when Sydney was only four months old.  Now she's six months old, so we've survived two months of alone-togetherness.  The story is long and complicated of his passing, not necessarily a story I want to dive into on my first blog post.  I will say, however, that I would travel the exact same road and experience the exact same trials all for the reward of having my baby girl. 
My sweet girl is napping now.  I could be napping too, but I'm eagerly awaiting for her to wake up so I can explore the world with her.  I look at life through her eyes.  It's full of hope, future, and lots of love. 
My first moments of holding the love of my life.

Pretty self explanatory.  Makes my heart feel like its melting.

Syd's first time at the beach.  Ignore her stuck-up face.  She's not too much of a snob.