I find myself reconstructing those final, ordinary moments before Jody’s birth. Moments that help to make up our lives. Moments that were blissfully taken for granted and that likely would have been forgotten altogether. I have taken from our experience with Jody that we have to hang onto the before and after snapshots.

Those snapshots are what define us as people. April 10th, I hold that day deep within myself, as a reminder that love is the sum of our choices, the strength of our commitments, and the ties that bind us together.

So many times since Jody’s birth I have lived in a virtual time warp, where things seem to happen around me. So while I play peek-a-boo with everyday reality I click the rewind button and go back. Trying to figure out those moments that truly make us who we are. Moments when lives merge or even separate, trying to find a small portion of my old self. When I could concentrate on a task at any given moment or when I would be upset with my loving husband that so graciously let me sleep or better yet let me sleep my day away.

It’s time to breath!!! The last several months have been difficult, Jody’s birthday, due date, Good Friday have all passed. In addition to my travel for work and Katie’s wedding I have been stuck in a hole.

Time is amazing, does amazing and not so amazing things. I had a conversation with Katie days before her wedding… the discussion stemmed around my in ability to maintain things the way they were before Jody. At sometime in our lives we accomplished things, many things in a weekend. But that fell apart a few years ago… we quit being those people that though they could do it all and keep up with life. As of late, our life is taking hold and we have lost the ability to organize our thoughts and things. In a nutshell, we have to figure out and realize we will not get back to our old normal, before Jody. We only have this normal, disorganized chaos!

Along with life, I have lost track of this blog~~ Lots of unfinished blogs sit in my file… so let’s see if I can sum things up for everyone!

Anything she can do I can do better….

I remember singing the song in middle school choir… It still makes me laugh! But seriously!??!?! Joe has been showing me up lately! I have had to travel a lot lately and had some pretty strong reservations about it. With all the kids, Julianna is the youngest one that Dad has had to fly solo with. Not just that but add Jennifer and Joey, I just thought I was going to come home and Joe would be about to pull his hair out!!

Not what happened! On my first stent of travel, I was in my last meeting trying to rush and get things done so I could get home. Joe calls and informs me that over the last 5 nights that I have been gone he did sleep training with Julianna! He trained her to sleep through the night!!! My first thought “Damn’ you’re a better mom then I am!” (Don’t tell anyone but I have been breaking all the baby rules with her!)

Julianna sleeping on Jody's table

Not just that, but all the kids looked well-taken care of, their clothes matched when I got off the plane. I was greeted first by Joey, my sweet loving Joey… I think that he missed me the most. Then Jennifer, but she is a pre-teen and pretty resilient! Then Joe and Julianna!(Boy I could tell they missed me too!)

I was told that they had a surprise for me!!! Whoo Whoo!!! I love surprises!!! Well what can I say, I walked in the door with luggage and all to see that the house was clean, back yard done, the pool was looking fabulous! Joe and the kids had gotten haircuts and an oil change coupled with a car wash for my car.

WOW!!! Being that I was dead tired and in desperate need of a nap, I was thankful! I obviously told Joe he did an amazing jog, but as I said it I thought… “Wow, I do not think I could have accomplished all of that”

I never thought that I would have such a wonderful husband. Joe’s parents are such wonderful people. As the years have passed by similarities I see in Joe and them often make me chuckle. But they did a fantastic job raising all their kids to be wonderful parents and spouses!

Part of God’s family…

I had one day home between trips, and that day just happened to be the day we were able to get Little Miss Julianna baptized. We were so blessed to have so many people celebrate her entry into God’s family.

She did great for being that she is usually napping and was smiles all the way through the service.

Our friends put together this slideshow of her day! I hate to do this , but for some reason I can not upload the little video… go to this link

That smell…

If you were to look in our cabinet I have about 10 different baby soaps! I have been trying to duplicate Jody’s smell thinking it was the soap. I asked when Julianna was born and they just use regular Johnson & Johnson baby wash, but really… Jody had this magnificent scent to him.

It’s been identified! The anointing oil… As Julianna was sitting on my lap I held back the tears. Could I bottle that smell? Or never bath Julianna so that I can sniff her for years? Not likely, but I can stop looking and wondering.

Katie & Mike…

And I thought it would never happen!!! Katie got married! Jennifer stood up in her wedding and well. I am not sure if I can post pictures or not but I will post a few of our family! Here we were on her day!

Both Katie and Mike looked wonderful, Katie looked radiant in her dress and Mike just mighty handsome in his suit for the big day.

In their wedding ceremony they remembered those who had passed by placing a rose on a seat with their name. They remembered Jody Michael, and as I placed the rose I the seat… I felt humbled that they had included him, in a special way he was with us sitting right next to Joey…

Jody Michael's rose at Katie & Mike's wedding...

It was great to see all of the family and meet many of their friends and colleagues. They have settled into life in CA with Mike’s family. And after meeting all of them we (Joe and I) no longer have to worry about Katie not having family close by. Mikes parents were such kind and generous people.  We were so happy to be there to celebrate the next step in their lives together.

Jody’s day…

I had said that I was not sure what we would do for Jody’s 2nd birthday. Gosh, as I am writing this I realize how bad I have been about keeping this updated! So, we thought that it would only be fitting to be at the hospital on his day! Off we went with a ton of balloons. We had everyone there and even placed notes on the ends with the hopes that our messages would reach Heaven.

Here are a few pictures!

The remembrance tree at Gilbert Mercy...

Just some pictures that were taken while we were there…

Joey being Joey!!!

Jennifer and Joey