Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Little Catching Up..

Brandon finally came home.  After more than a week in the states, he was flown home 2 Saturday's ago and people lined the streets from the airport to the funeral home.  It was an amazing experience.  Although my heart was heavy and I was reluctant to watch as he passed by, hindsight is that it was an honor to stand among his community and welcome him home, thanking him for his service. 
My family and I stood on Heroes Highway.  Below is a picture of the American Flag hung over Heroes Highway that was a tribute from the Local Firefighters.
I will remember this moment for the rest of my life. 

We said goodbye in a very fitting funeral, again, supported by his community.  It's been an emotional 2 weeks, and only now are things around here beginning to resemble normal.
While we waited for Brandon to come home we celebrated some pretty cool things.

For starters Kj got her very first hair cut.  She is much younger than Sugar Mama or Nugget girl at their first but I could not stand the mullet a minute longer :) Everyone got a haircut (except for Mommy)

Our next big milestone was Sugar Mama's 7th birthday and the Husband's 30th!!  Because my brother was still in town we decided to take them out to dinner since the arrangements were not finalized enough to plan much else.  They sang to both of them (the husband was not expecting it) and they got to keep the hats!!

We even went to Toys-r-Us to let Sugar Mama do a little toy shopping for her birthday.  And who did we run into?  None other than the Biebs himself :)

She wanted to purchase this cut out, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  Quite frankly it would be so creepy to wake up in the middle of the night and Justin Bieber be standing in your room... that's just me. 

Sunday was Father's day and this is how the husband celebrated...

We bought him a new Iphone and an awesome pair of sunglasses for his birthday/Father's day combo.  He has barely put the phone down since :) This is him showing the girls that he can get Netflix and Disney Junior on his phone now.  

And this is what the last of our week looked like: 

She crawled in my lap and went to sleep.

This past Wednesday my brother flew back to Texas to be with his family and I, as I knew I would be, was in a complete funk.  I cried so hard when I let him out at the airport.  I couldn't even say bye to him family because I was so choked up and when I was sobbing in the car, and I turned to see my nephew saying "Bye Stina" and blowing me kisses, I absolutely lost it.  I cried the whole way home and for the rest of the day.

I won't get to see him until next year when he has his vacation before he deploys to Afghanistan.  I cannot put into words what those words mean now. I will never look at what we do overseas the same way again.  Freedom has never been free, but for the first time it cost us something priceless.  I am simply thankful that Jesus has Brandon now and he can rest in peace.

Today I am Thankful for: 
Have you ever attended a funeral and there was a question in the air about that person's salvation?  It's hard to attend the funeral of a person who hangs in the balance, in your mind at least.  I was so thankful to listen to Tj tell us of the decision Brandon made before he'd joined the army.  I praised God at a funeral... and I'm adding it to the list of new things I experienced these past 2 weeks.  God is good, all the time.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

To Celebrate a Life...

It's been an odd few days here at Lively Situation.  Losing a family member will do that to you, but losing a family member in the war, across the world, brings a new set of experiences. 

Today our technology is so advanced that when a person is injured or fatally wounded across the world you know about it almost instantaneously.

What you don't know is that plans, preparations, and reuniting is not.

PFC Brandon Goodine left Afghanistan and arrived in Dover, Delaware on Saturday.  This is the place that all fatally wounded soldiers arrive, because it is here that they do a "Dignified Transfer".  His family meets him on the tarmac and his brothers transfer him to a waiting vehicle. 

This is an actual photo from his transfer.

While his Mother, Father, Sister and Wife were in Delaware meeting him local new stations were contacting my brother because they wanted to do a story on Brandon.

There are no words to describe this process other than humbling.  People who do not even know you, or your family are hurting with you, praying for you, and recognizing him as the hero he was. 

Every news outlet in the state covered his story.  Even some around the country picked it up.  I watched at my brother gave an interview about his loss and cried silently in the background.  I struggled through the parts where he answered questions about how this would affect him when he was deployed.  And I was never more proud then to know that the man speaking was my brother.  

The community has given so much already.  When Brandon's parents went into JcPennys to purchase black clothing for their trip to Delaware the manager of the store closed it to the rest of the public, and when they pulled out their money to pay, he allowed them to leave with the purchase on the house.  

When my brother sought out a local printing company to have car decals made, a customer in the store, who had overheard his story paid for them... without hesitation.

God is good. 

I ask prayer for his mother as she awaits word on when his body will finally be brought home so she can begin the grieving/closure process.  May God grant her and her daughters peace that surpasses all understanding.

And I ask that you never forget all the freedoms we enjoy that are paid for by people like Brandon.

Today I am Thankful for: 
Brandon.  Having known him and his family it's a benefit to my life.  I am also thankful that in moments that grief is overwhelming God picks up the pieces and does our praying for us.  

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sometimes It's Just Not Fair...

Today I covet your prayers.  

I've known this kid his entire life and he was fatally wounded this week fighting in Afghanistan.  

I'm not Pro or Con War.

I'm not overly political.

But at the end of this day my heart physically hurts for a mother who will never get to see her baby's face again. 

I'm angry that there are truly evil people in this world who will live to be 90.

And I am sad that at 20 years old his life was cut short before he even began to experience it fully.

Sometimes life is just not fair.. and today is one of those times. 

Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for a friend. John 15:13

Monday, June 4, 2012


I say and believe I cannot do something.. it's true.  If I say and believe I can do something... it's true.  If I say and believe God can do something.. I can change the world.

Because I can't sleep, eat cheetos, despite my hard working out effort, at midnight, I will wake up with the worst stomach ache.

I allow my husband to "force" (read as nag me until I give in) me to do something it will always turn out poorly for me.
Example: The time I allowed him to convince me that the nail shop will wax legs.  He asked them and then they reassured him the could.  She came over and looked at my legs and told me they were to hairy to do it!! <--- 100% true story.  She talked about me for the rest of my visit, even bringing her friends over to look and laugh.  That was the last time I let him "talk me into" anything. 

I forget to buy contact solution I will have to soak my contacts in water, over night.  Which will mean the worst eye pain since pink eye.  I'll be doing this in about 30 minutes. 

I need alone time (read as go to the bathroom :), everyone wants to hang out with me.  And by everyone I mean my girls and Dooley the Bulldog. 

Someone farts around me, I laugh every time.  It's like a disease, it can't be helped.

It's bedtime, you can be assured that I'm watching a Disney Channel show on Netflix.  I'm almost 30.. what's that about?

I see another Charter commercial from the International Dateline on Hulu, I'm going to boycott Charter just on principle. 

I need a laugh, I can always count on my peeps.  If it's not Nugget girl and her passionate argument that she has never had shaving cream (whipped cream) before.. although she ate in on her waffles 5 minutes ago, it's the husband who wonders why K Stewart hasn't gotten her teeth fixed yet, even though she's rich...

I could have lots of jobs they would be: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at CHOA, Midwife, Owner of an as yet unnamed business on my local square, and a Politician.  

I need a reminder that I'm normal, I just hop on Facebook.  

Jesus had chosen not to save us.. we'd be in a terrible mess.

Today I am Thankful for

The ifs... they matter, they change things, and sometimes they are the only things that keep us going :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

It's That Time Again..

I've just noticed that it's been two weeks since I last wrote a blog.
It's just that time again.
For the past year I've been at home with all 3 girls, happy to take pictures and write about their daily happenings, and I find myself, now back in school and having trouble keeping up.
We're officially in Summer mode, which means sleeping in, NOT going to bed at 7:30, eating things for breakfast that don't jump start our brain, etc.
But for me it also means actually going to school, studying material, and having to take tests.. 

I looked through my blackberry pictures and only found 2 of Kj that I took when she ate smores last week.

Terrible isn't it?

On another note, as I was reading for Interactive Communications today I learned about Self-fulfilling Prophecy...

If you, or someone else repetitively tells you something.. it comes true.

If I were to tell my 3 girls that they are exceptionally bright, they would do better in school.  Consequently if I were to tell them over and over that they were not smart, and would not do well in school, that would come true as well.

How odd that for the past 3 months I have been saying how Hard, Chaotic, and Stressful school will be in the fall.. but if I continue to think that.. of course it will be.  

I will be busy when school starts.. that's not prophecy, that's reality.  But how I handle the stress will make all the difference.  Perhaps I should write on my mirror, where I will see it everyday 

"You will be able to handle school.  You can do it"...

And maybe, just maybe I will.  It would probably also help if everyone who found out I was going to school in the fall didn't say
"Oh, how will you do that?  Nursing school is so hard, and you have 3 kids".. 

Really?  I hadn't noticed that third kid, glad you mentioned it, or I would have believed for a second I could do it.. Blah!!

So I'm not blogging well right now, but it's not because I'm going to be really busy in the fall, it's because I'm really busy now :)

Today I am Thankful for: 

God's Self-fulfilling prophecy.  He told me more than 2,000 years ago that with him I could do ANYTHING... and he reminds me everyday.  And if he says it, you know it's true.. Don't believe me?  Read Philippians 4:13