(Update on the perfect dog: He got adopted by another family while I was begging, pleading, whining and such. I'm very sad, but as I know that looking for another member of our family needs to take time to find the right one, I know that our dog is out there, getting ready to come home with us.)
I normally don't get too personal on this blog as I don't want my personal stuff to be out there for all to see, but this post will probably hit home to many of you.
I wanted to share this information with you guys for three reasons: 1.) I have the greatest followers ever and I am just so touched that you would even think my blog is worth reading. 2.) You can't really know someone until you have learned where they have come from. 3.) Some of you out there have known me for a very long time and remember this day as well, so it's for all of us to remember.
Eight years ago today, on Easter Sunday, my step-brother, Devin Ray Ennis, died in a motorcycle accident. He 19, almost 20 and I was 18, a senior in high school. We had been siblings since I was 6 and he was 7. We grew up in a not so perfect family together, but we were siblings, despite what his mother wanted us to think we were.
I can remember every single detail about that day. I can remember what I was wearing, what I was doing, where I was sitting, the way the air smelled and the sunlight coming through the windows when I got the call. I remember the way my sister sounded so calm when she told me, and how it was hard to breathe while listening to it. Easter has never been the same for me since that day. I know it should have a much more spiritual tie to it as he went Home that day, but Easter lost it's wonder for me.
That entire week after he died was just a big blur for me, I didn't sleep, didn't eat, cried constantly, but mostly in private as we were told that we had to portray a sense of calm and strength as there were so many other young adults that were affected by his death. I sat in the front at his funeral, trying to keep it together, but losing it as a friend of mine sang a song, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." I still can't listen to that song without getting emotional. His death didn't really hit me until two weeks later while I was writing an essay for English on "what I had learned my senior year." I just lost it, went home and cried so hard that I had no more tears left. It was devastating.
Not a day goes by that I don't think about him. I have his picture sitting on my book shelf and I see it every day. You learn to move on with your life after a loss like that but you never truly recover. Every Easter I get nervous when the phone rings, I still think that I see him driving around or walking down the isle at the grocery store or hear his voice. It's been eight years, you'd think I would stop doing that, but it still happens. The worst is when one of his old friends sees you at the store and gives you this sympathetic look, which just floods all those bad memories back into your head, making it hard to breathe once again.
Now, this post may seem incredibly depressing, but I wanted to share with you a little something that was just so amazing to me. A few weeks before his death, my sister, other step-brother and I all had these really random memories pop into our heads, memories that we hadn't thought of in years! I now know that my Heavenly Father was trying to prepare us for what was to come, to remember those fun, fond memories that make you smile for days. Since then, I try to remember his life, how funny he was, how quirky he was, how crazy he was, instead of focusing on his death and how he died. It's important to remember those little moments in your life that may seem very insignificant, but they will one day be so cherished.
We all have had to deal with loss in one way or another. Everyone copes with things in different ways. I like to make jokes sometimes or tell embarrassing things about that person all of a sudden. But today, I want us all to think of the happy, fun things of those that we have lost.
Here are mine:
*Devin always asked me to dance at any church or school dance. He usually wanted to know what a girl thought about him or to have me slyly sneak in a good word for him with a girl, but he always did it. It was just special to have a brother do that.
*He CONSTANTLY was stealing my cd's! We would get in his car and I would hear Dave Matthews or Limp Bizcut going. I would slap him every time!
*He would make a batch of No-Bake Cookies just for himself and would hide them in his room so that no one could find them. He did it with bagels too. But I guess if I had 3 other teenage siblings in the house I would have done the same, I just liked my room to be food free.
*He taught us how to play "Door Knobs" and would not let it go until you touched a door knob. (For those that don't know, it's this sick game that if you are caught farting and someone says Door Knobs before you, they get to hit you until you touch a door knob. I know, it's gross. We were stupid.)
*He was incredibly competitive. One time when I got home from basketball practice, wearing only wind pants in the winter, I rubbed it in that I had beat him at something (I don't remember what it was now) and he shot me in the butt with his paint ball gun standing about 5 feet away. I had to sit on a doughnut for a week!
Now it's your turn. If you knew Devin, write your favorite memory of him. If you didn't know him, write your favorite memory of a loved one that is no longer with us. We can share in our pain and joy together.
So, Here's to you Devin! I miss you, love you and will beat you at Door Knobs when I see you next.
Do you remember when you were a kid and you wanted something so bad, but your parents kept saying no? No matter how many times you begged and pleaded with them, researched, wished, begged more, tried to bargain, sweet talked, they always said no?
Welcome to my world and I'm 26!
Ok, so my husband and I had a dog together about 6 years ago. I researched for months and found this great rescue group locally that had basset hounds, because I just love their floppy ears. I saw this story about this poor dog that was rescued from the shelter, he was skin and bones, very neglected and was just so sad. So I went and got him. We loved that guy. He was our baby, before we had any babies! One day, my sister was over with my niece who was a little over a year old, and he bit her. I know it was a territorial thing, he was making sure this little critter wasn't going to take his place as the top dog. So we had to return him. We were devastated. We only had him for a few months and he was our boy. We fattened him up, got him to not be afraid of the vacuum, and learned that he can snore like an 80 year old man.
(This is what he looked like.)
Now, we have talked about getting a dog for some months. I have never gotten my husband to agree to any of them, not even to see them! But I found this guy on Craigslist on Saturday. He is a 2 year old lab/bloodhound mix. He's great with kids, doesn't bark, incredibly gentle, up to date on his shots, is already fixed and is FREE. The reason the family is getting rid of him is because he is not good with goats. Seeing as how I am not good with goats either, I think we are safe. The really good news is that my husband has FINALLY decided that he wants to meet this guy... after lots of moping, sighing, pouting, and given a giant load of guilt trips, from me. We are hopefully going to meet him on Wednesday and I am so excited that I am like a hyperactive dog on Halloween!
Doesn't he just look so sweet?! He looks like he could be named "Doc" or "Henry" or "Bernie."
So, I need all your good thoughts, prayers, cross your fingers, eyes, toes, arms, legs and anything else you can think of to cross. I want this guy to come to our home and be our new buddy.
I just had to share what my weekend was like with my little monster. Now, I remind you again, I love my children, but one of them is testing my patience so much that I am thinking of duct taping him to the walls.
*Used a pen and colored all over our electric bill. I really hope the person that opens it has a sense of humor.
*Ate a heart shaped bead. No hesitation, no regrets, just popped it in like a candy.
*Colored on the walls with chalk. Luckily, after finding the last "artistic display" I hid all the markers from him, so chalk was all he could find.
*Covered our entertainment center, ottoman, and movie tower with an entire bottle of aerosol hair spray. Apparently, the frizz needed to be controlled on our furniture.
*Opened my face moisturizer/primer tube and squeezed it all over the bathroom floor, his head, hands and shirt. He has a wonderful white patch on his hair that makes him look like the kid on "The Sixth Sense".
So that is why I didn't get much done this weekend, as I had to chase and clean up after a little man who has taken it upon himself to throw my diet out the window as I need chocolate and chips to steady my nerves.
Now, onto the recipe.
When I was pregnant with my son, I worked in an office that was across the street from a Starbucks and this bbq place called Smoky Joe's. It was HEAVEN!!!! They made great money from me as I would order their Pulled Pork and Pulled Chicken sandwiches. It came with a side of coleslaw and a piece of warm corn bread. AMAZING!!! Unfortunately, it went out of business after my son was born... hmmmm, maybe it would have stayed in business longer if I had the gestational period of an elephant (which is 18 months.) Any hoo, I have been searching for a replacement for those sandwiches and have not found anything that came close. Well, here it is! SO GOOD!!!! Plus it is so dang easy to make, your mother-in-law will think you are a culinary genius!
Crock Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
3-4 Frozen Chicken Breasts (I used 3 really big ones, but if yours are small, add more.)
1 Regular sized bottle of BBQ Sauce of your choice (I have used a few different flavors now and it always tastes good!)
Juice from 1 Orange
Dump all items into your crock pot. Doesn't need to be pretty.
Cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4.
After it's done cooking take two forks and shred your chicken up in the crock pot.
Serve on a toasted Hoagie bun and top with a slice of cheese (we used Havarti as it's what we had on hand, but anything would work.) Enjoy!
SEE?!!!! Stupid easy and I kid you not it is the best sandwich ever!!!!!!
My magical sister-in-law found this vintage sheet set at Goodwill a few months ago. She gave me the fitted sheet to do what I wanted with, so I made my curly headed sweetheart her Easter dress. I have wanted to make her an Easter dress since she was born, but never had time. Then I found this tutorial from Craftiness is Not Optional and I knew this is what I wanted to make with the sheet.
The back was a little different from the tutorial as I didn't want to deal with a zipper. So I altered it to be more like this dress
And for once, she finally modeled something without fighting me!
I just love how it turned out! Plus, you know you did a good job when she asks if she can wear it the rest of the day! SCORE!!! Now onto making the little man something for his Easter outfit!
So, I decided to make my little girl her own backpack for her birthday. I wanted her to have something to take with us to the park, play dates, grandma days and, when mommy is ready to send her little bird off into the world, school. I have loved the backpacks from Made By Rae, so I bought the pattern. It wasn't too bad to make, and if you have an actual zipper foot, it would be cake! Yeah, I don't have one. So the zipper took me forever because my sewing machine didn't like the fabric. But other than that, it came together really fast and was a fun project.
I added the ruffle to "Girl-ify" it.
Now, I need some advice. As I have said before, my sewing machine is older than I am. And in sewing machine years, she is a senior citizen. And not just a senior citizen, she has started acting like an old hag! The crazy bag lady that curses at small children... yup, that's my machine. So my husband and I are looking into getting me a new machine, but we are getting conflicting information. I have been hearing some great things about Brother machines. Do any of you have one? Or if you have had one and it didn't work well for you, what was your plan b? I'm not in a position for a Bernina (which would be my Cadillac of machines and I would love to have one, but it's not in the budget.) Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated!
So, as I mentioned before, my baby is now 4. She decided on a "My Little Pony" themed party, so I got to work. The decorations were all homemade and most with my wonderful Silhouette Machine. Here are the pictures.
First, let me just say that my husband is constantly giving me a hard time about the mess I make when I'm baking. He claims that I have a seizure of some kind and get flour, sugar, milk, eggs and everything everywhere. I don't know what he's talking about.
I tried my first tiered cake. For my first try, it turned out pretty good! I made some rookie mistakes but I know how to fix them now and the next one will be even easier.
Each kid got one of these boxes. They had chocolate covered pretzels, a couple of little candies and a package of My Little Pony fruit snacks.
I also made a bunting banner. I have wanted to make one for so long and I finally had an excuse. (The husband refused to move so I could take a decent picture of it. He said something like, "What? Am I not pretty enough to be on your blog?")
Here's a close up of it
Also, I made a ton of the tissue paper pom poms. Yeah, 25 to be exact. I got all my tissue from the Dollar Store, which made it cheap! I'm keeping them so I can hang some in Zoe's room later.
And here we are singing to Zoe. The reason I'm showing you this is because I wanted to show you what I was wearing. Cute right? Well, I forgot I was wearing my apron until the party was almost over. Guess that's what I get for not sleeping for 3 days prior to the party. Oh, and I cut all my hair off. It's wonderful!
I have fully recovered from last weeks craziness. We had a very special day for my baby girl, who's not a baby anymore.
Yup. This one....
and this one....
this one too....
even this one....
can't forget this one....
Oh yeah, her....
this one as well.....
Sniff, this one too...
Sniff, sniff. And this one....
(Hold it together! No crying on the blog!)
For some reason this birthday was a little more emotional for me than her others. My beautiful blue eyed, curly headed baby girl is now 4. She is such a fun girl, such a good helper for me, so creative and imaginative, funny as all get out and quite the Fashionista. She has grown to be such a fun girl and anyone that meets her instantly loves her because of her sweet personality and funny hair and willingness to be everyone's friend.
We love you princess! We have since the moment we knew you were coming.