….and just like that.. we’re grandparents..

Haven Austyn Howell ❤️

Born February 04, 2019 • 6lb 3oz, 20 1/2 inches long.

The world will never be the same..

What the F*$# ‘Merica?!

It’s only been about five hours since I stood laughing in the kitchen with my thirteen year old daughter. She’d asked me if I’d voted and I responded with some snarky comment about while I know it’s time we break things off with Obama, I thought our country as a whole would be a good bit better off to take a year or two and decide what it is we really want before leaping blindly into another bad relationship.. She rolled her eyes and smiled but it took her a couple of seconds to decide if I was being serious or not. 

I was, and she knew it. Even at thirteen she saw it lying there in a pool of sarcasm. The tiny seed of truth that I’d just planted already had roots.

I gave her a minute to think and then winked at her and said “never forget that politics, for the most part, is just a bunch of smoke and mirrors. We just elected Donald freaking Trump as our next president.. Tomorrow half the country will wake up with second thoughts..”

Good night people. I hope it was worth it.

(Not to say that voting for Hillary would have turned out any better.. Although I do find the idea of seating her behind the same desk that Miss Lewinsky once sat under somewhat amusing.. 🗽

Random thoughts..

Within the 30 Day Challenge lies the prompt “your fears”. What’s written here is something of an extension of the thoughts that followed…

It is often that having a special needs child can be hard on a marriage, too often leading to divorce or separation. I can see how that happens and after seven years with our daughter, I still remind myself daily that we are among the lucky ones. We’ve not only survived, we’ve flourished. After the initial period of uncertainty and regret and was this my fault? that simply comes with the territory, she has become the glue that holds us together. Her fight has been a journey but it’s helped to make us better.. 

Better people.. Better parents.. Better Christians.. 

Our children have become compassionate and accepting and tolerant before their time; things that can’t be taught or learned in any school in the world today. It was hard for them sometimes, but I hope they carry these lessons with them throughout their lives. 


Carry Me Home 

Yesterday sucked. I wish I had something clever or insightful to say, but I really don’t. I’m not sure I have it in me today. Just the thought of having to string together the words I would need to speak my heart this morning is leaving me broken and exhausted. Please God, give me strength to carry on through these next few days..

Autumn’s dad and I were never married. We stayed together right around seven years but we were still so young.. His family though.. He has this huge, amazing family that I still, seventeen years later, find the time to miss now and again. 

Johnny has eight – yes, I said eight – brothers and sisters, most from previous marriages. His parents were married while the kids were still young, and together they had Kelly. A family of As-Seen-On-Tv bikers, they are among the kindest, most amazing and family oriented people that I’ve ever been blessed with knowing.. And if I never saw them again they’d still be family. 

Kelly was twelve, if I remember correctly, when Johnny took me home to meet them all for the first time. I was seventeen and we drove to Phoenix, Arizona for Thanksgiving (or somewhere around that time because Mommom gave me pumpkin pie..).. I will always remember John’s mom telling me later that she’d watched us while we slept. She found us curled up together both facing the other way, he had spooned himself around me. We both had our hands side by side on the wall.. She said we were meant to know each other. 

Four years later we were living with them. We’d had Autumn by then and they’d gotten a much bigger house with a pool. Jason, Toni and Kelly all still lived at home too and we all became very fast friends. 

But Kelly.. Kelly was the youngest and at barely fifteen (while I was twenty) she was the closest thing I would have to a best friend during the entire year I was there. From the beginning I wasn’t a big fan of Phoenix – I was hotter than I’d ever been in my life living there and I couldn’t escape to the ocean. In fact, it was SO hot in Phoenix it was literally illegal to walk your dog during the day because the concrete sidewalks would blister the pads of their feet! No freaking joke! I seriously cried..

Kelly and I spent a lot of time together back then. She was so young and dramatic and completely filled with the kind of inner light that only comes from the naivety of being a teenage girl. I don’t think I ever told her, but her friendship was what kept me from dying of loneliness. I’m not surprised to see the bond we shared reflected in the relationship she has with my daughter. 

We’ve tried to keep up with each other through the years. You know how it goes.. Random phone calls and Facebook posts and fleeting visits every few years. I never married her brother but she was still my sister and I loved her.

Yesterday afternoon, around 2:00pm on a beautiful day, Kelly walked out alone into the waters of the Alabama Gulf Coast, called her sister Toni to say I love you, and then took her own life. 

The world will never be the same.

I hadn’t seen her in a few months, but we had spoken just last week..

I miss her already.. 💔

P. S. Truth be told, I started writing this morning with the help of a daily prompt. I often enjoy the randomness of choosing miscellaneous topics and just running with them. Today’s word is ‘Carry’. I can imagine that to some I’ve gotten quite a bit off topic so I will remind you..

Please God, give me the strength to CARRY on through these next few days.. 

I believe He will..



What Is.. · Just An Afterthought

Being a mother has been the most thankless, heartbreaking, under appreciated job I’ve ever had….
A few days ago I began a post with this. It’s still true, don’t misunderstand me, but what I failed to say was that motherhood has also been the most amazing, rewarding, blessed, crazy adventure I could have ever dreamed of and I am endlessly proud of the job I have done. While the teenage years have been lost among the random moments of anger and frustration, they have also been filled with laughter and friendship and pride.
I am proud of my children, and of my husband’s children too. They’ve managed to become bright, worthwhile young adults and while I don’t always like them, I will certainly always love them. The successes and failures I might dwell on today will soon enough be looked upon as lessons learned.
I was hurt and I was angry when I said what was said, and I’m entitled to my feelings. I won’t apologize for that. But it wasn’t the first time and it sure won’t be the last.
Yes, they break my heart now and again but without them I would have no heart to break.

What is..


Being a mother has been the most thankless, heartbreaking, under appreciated job I’ve ever had. They don’t tell you that part in those  books for new parents, but it would be nice if they did. You know, maybe some kind of a “Two Sides To Every Story” themed book. Or maybe “What To Expect From Your Teenager”.. That would’ve been great right about now. 

But no, here I am, nursing my feelings yet again.. I mean really. What the hell? It’s like kids these days sit down and practice this stuff like it’s a sport. I don’t know..

Things were different when my girls were still little. I made a lot of mistakes but they loved me anyway and it showed. They were so full of life, I thought I’d never need anyone but then. 

These days it’s anyone’s guess what they’ll do from one minute to the next. It’s mind boggling sometimes.. I get a headache just thinking about it. Maybe I did something wrong?