Tuesday, September 30, 2014


For one reason or another I feel life has been flying by since Aviana died.

While she was alive, I was fixated on her. All else fell by the wayside. But not only was everything off to the side, it was so far down my list of priorities. It's strange to think I had more time while she was here, but it's true. I don't quite understand with how much it took to care for her physically, mentally, and emotionally. I try not to put too much thought into how, but maybe because I was in a flux and we were unable to truly live our lives.

Since she died, life has been moving. I'd venture to say it's because we were in a holding pattern before, and transitioning back into a more normal kind of life takes some getting used to. Whatever the reason, for me, it's been both exciting and uncomfortable at times.

I can't adequately, or accurately explain what moving forward with what feels like a piece of me missing feels like. I think that's one of the reasons I now find it more difficult to write here sometimes. The conflict I felt before has become more peaceful, but yet evolved into finding a new way without her entirely. It both makes me happy and sad to know she's no longer here. What an odd way to spend the duration of my days.

Ever since she died, I've had to remind myself - there was a me before the we. Beforehand, I had a strong sense of myself, but as the years after the accident marched on, Meek and me understandably became much more intertwined. Especially within the last years of her life. We spoke our very own secret language. I knew her every feeling, emotion, need, want, like, dislike, and so on. In many ways, we became one. We spent hours upon hours together - day and night. For better or worse - in sickness and health. I tried to give her as much independence as I could, for both of us, but due to circumstance, we were us - whether we liked it, and even sometimes not.

There are many times I still feel odd without her by my side. I have to remember how to be a single, independent person again - one who will always be a mom - but yet, isn't physically a mom to my very special little anymore. Navigating the world is so different now that she's gone, rather than when she was here and hurt. There are more general questions asked, which means we need to figure out how and when to answer. Sometimes I need to assess the situation and see how I'm feeling? Am I strong enough to endure a line of questioning, or will I lose it and cry in front of strangers? Yes, it's important to sometimes size up a situation in order to know how to answer, but often times, I'm blindsided and give my accidental deer caught in the headlights. I'm new to this, and in my life up until now, most everyone has known us and our situation. But this is what I've wanted, to move to a place where no one knows our name, our story, or what happened - that is - unless we choose to let it out. That's why I loved the new gym I joined a year ago so much. Not one person knew anything about me. It was my little secret - and for that reason that single place provided a refuge for me to come and go as I pleased. It was a place I could truly go to escape for a moment.

But anyway, in this time since she's been gone, I've had to figure out how to live like I used to. Like before that ball of fire looked my way in Guatemala and just knew she was going to take my life and rearrange it. That she did, because often times, I feel there's almost no semblance of the person who peered in and locked eyes with that cute little Guastatoyan, all clad in her red, white and blue best. And actually, I'm all good with that, because not for one millisecond would I want to be the person I was before Aviana.

But...now without her and maintaining the endless wake which followed - I have some work to do. Who am I, without her? Sometimes that's easy, sometimes I stumble. Sometimes I think it's because I'm missing her and know that each step forward is just another away from her.

I miss her extra these past few weeks. To be honest, I don't even know what I'm writing. I sat down to say something completely different but this is what appeared.

I again can't post what I've been wanting for what seems forever. Most all our pictures didn't transfer over. I'll have to continue my search. Lesson learned, never use computer and dialed in the same sentence.

In the meantime...

This was Rainey's first picture in our new house. We had just gotten the keys and this is how I would find her every time I'd go to the car for something else.

What a beauty.

We have this great new neighbor. Everyday she takes us to a new place somewhere in the forest. Rainey loves running wild and free through the woods. 

This is the reservoir behind where I went to high school. I love this picture so much. When Rainey sees water, she can't resist. She runs and jumps off the wall.

We live right across the street from the lake. Rainey was born for the water, so she's in heaven. My dad comes over sometimes with his dog Ronda.

This is one of my favorite pictures. The night before we'd just hung what we call our "Rainey" picture. First thing the next morning, I turned around to this. It just doesn't get any sweeter.

Dave works right next door to his absolute favorite coffee shop. How convenient ; ) They just recently opened, and I agree...their coffee is the best! 

Last night we took Rainey for a sunset swim. Yes, that's her swimming in beside the ducks. It was really cold out, but of course she didn't mind a bit. She wanted to keep going all night long. We finally tried to explain that it was dark, she didn't care. 

It was one of the most beautiful nights I have ever seen.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Hi guys! I've missed you so very much! I'm sorry I've been away so long. Thank you for being patient with me. I'm good now. The paint is fresh, the boxes are unpacked, the computer is dialed. But most importantly, the Halloween decorations are scattered about - ready to be set in their new places. It's surreal, but at the very same time - not at all.

Each day I'm continually reminded of just how many things suddenly, yet ever so gently, fell into place to land us in this unbelievable place. Sometimes alone with my Rainey girl, and other times with Dave, tears silently roll.

Last week, we were in Reno happily shopping away for our house. One second I'm fine, the next...tears. Dave and I had lost each other somewhere between faucets and door hardware. Upon losing, I was great. Once found, puddle. Dave so lovingly hugged me and said, "tears in Home Depot Bee? What happened?" All it took that day was a single corner glance at the Halloween decorations.

Thankfully - more often than not, they are tears of gratitude.

I've always felt both our girls floated away in my very favorite month because it's almost impossible to shake my out of control happiness for all things orange, black, and boney. I had been eyeing all the new Halloween arrivals since they began making their (annoying to some, but never to me) appearance. When I first saw them this year, I had to catch my breath, and have since a few more times thereafter. Could it be? A full year since I've held and kissed you? A year will turn to more since your physical body's been away from us...

This last weekend at Home Depot was different though. I felt all things Tahoe happened so fast, and perfect, in order to help us along. In all the happiness of looking at garbage cans, hooks, and switches, I was reminded of just how very distracted we are in all things good, new and exciting! So much so, that we won't be in our old house, doing the same things we always did. All the while - consciously or subconsciously - painting images of the past year.

In that moment, which closely resembled many others since Aviana passed, I felt these big, warm arms wrapped around us. They are one in the same. They let us know we are being watched over, taken care of, and are most certainly loved. These feelings are so overwhelming they spill out, and over my eyes.

Monday, September 1, 2014


Both our plates were overflowing. It was a stressful, but exciting time. I was working my first job out of college at an out of control pace. Dave was soon to graduate and start at the company he just recently left. We were a little out from being married in Lake Tahoe. I was searching day and night for the perfect house. I knew when I saw it. Dave agreed. We soon watched our home built from the ground up.

Shortly after, a "normal" life was in full swing.

Through the years, we've loved our home and neighborhood. We already know we'll never find as great a 'hood' as the one we have. We felt lucky before Aviana's accident, but after - words fall short. Our neighbors are an extension of our family, and our family, an extension of our neighbors. Infinity. No beginning, or end. They are the greatest human beings this earth has to offer. No joke. It's like if those of you who comment here were our neighbors - that caliber.

In growth and moving on, there's much we're leaving behind. It isn't easy to say goodbye to those who've loved, lifted, and sometimes even carried us through.

The truest form of love is to hurt on the inside, but also feel happiness in knowing what's best for another. I'm in awe over my mom especially, and how she's handled this whirlwind of events we've put upon her. True, true, love.

In my opinion, life is about the people who make it worth living. We definitely surround ourselves with the most unbelievable group. Their love and support is unwavering. These are some unbreakable bonds. So when we leave, I won't see it as an end, but a turn in a new direction. A shift to the mountains, and who doesn't love to visit the mountains, right?

As for our home, our very first...we've created a full life together. We've screamed until silence, been forced to grow up in unimaginable ways, but always managed to keep the silly in spite of it all. We've danced till our legs burn, cried until the salt ran dry, and still held on as both our best girls floated away. We've lived and lost, but most of all, we've loved. This home - our home - was filled and surrounded in it, always. We will take with us, and into our next, every ounce of those memories and that love.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mac Attack

A new computer.

Endless hours with Apple Care.

Once again, I haven't been able to attach a single picture.

This next post can't be without.

Serious Suck.

While it rang,

I vowed -

One hour of packing time only.

My sole goal,

Attach pictures.

No dice.

With the move,

I'll have to wait until after on that particular post...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

At Once

It was a Friday night.

No ordinary,

In the passenger seat,

Two rectangular boxes.

Ashes by ashes,

And safely beside.

One exit too soon,

But not at all.

Music high.

Lights low.

The culmination.

Every sense awakened.

The smell of fresh pine through crisp mountain air.

The best, and most fitting, sound ever.

And as I round a bend,

The sight of brightly colored carnival lights in nonstop chase.

I gave pause.

I gave pause.

For this was pure joy!

So good -

I could taste it!

Taken by this slice in time,

My right hand slid over both my girls.

With tears of love and gratitude,

I thanked them.

Blessed was I to share in this moment.

A moment of all six senses,

At once. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Uh Oh

Am I the only one who understood my last post?

Say it isn't so ; )

Truly, was there anyone?

Or did I miss completely?

I'm sorry if I did.

Maybe I was talking to myself again.

Ha Ha!

It was a lead into the next,

So, it should make more sense soon : )

And, I may just slightly revise and repost,

Because I hold a very special place for that one  ❤

Friday, August 22, 2014

At Once

It was a Friday night.

No ordinary,

But the one before.

In the passenger seat,

Side by side,

And safely beside,

Two rectangular boxes.

One exit too soon.

But not at all.

Music high.

Lights low.

The culmination.

Every sense awakened.

Fresh pine through crisp mountain air.

Brightly colored carnival lights in nonstop chase.

The best, and most fitting, my speakers could ever.

I gave pause.

I gave pause.

For this was pure joy!

A bite.


Taken by this slice in time,

My right hand slid over both my girls.

With tears of love and gratitude,

I thanked them.

Blessed was I to share in this moment.

A moment of six,

At once. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

With and Without You

It's interesting. We've showed up, and everything has flowed our way. Some things we saw coming, others we could never.

The timing is unreal. One example - Dave happened to walk into a company who said they were just talking about how they needed to hire someone. This company interviewed him on the spot. An offer soon followed. We have since found the perfect house, put ours on the market, and are now in escrow. They both close on Dave's birthday - September 8th!

Once we decided on Tahoe, Dave asked if I was ready? "Absolutely!" I said. I've been waiting for what seems forever!

The question asked of me from every direction after is, "Are you so excited about moving to Tahoe!" I'm like a deer caught in the headlights, especially at first. I smile, hesitate, and am unsure of how to answer. I imagine they may be expecting a completely different reaction.

My response is twofold.

Right after the accident, I trained myself, not because it might be a good idea, but out of survival. At the time, I didn't take it day to day, I lived minute to minute. I vividly remember times when our world was so intense - I took the clock by the second. Without a doubt, this conditioning is what carried me through the years - and still does.

Since Aviana's been gone, I've noticed my grip loosen, but not by much. I realize there's a lot to be said about this way of living - it suits me well - so I hold on. Being present and living for today has a way of taking the stress, anxiety, and crazy, out of everything. It's the complete opposite of the way I used to be.

For the majority of the time, I not only love the bubble I've created, but try my best to stay within as much as possible.  So when asked early on, my preference was to stay right there, rather than visit another place of if the move were to become a true reality and what it all meant if it really happened. When I journey to all Tahoe means, it's sometimes extraordinary, but can also be painful.

For the past months, I've definitely had to face all that's unending and complicated about grief, which can make what seems a simple, harmless, question result in a complex answer within my head. That's why I end up standing with a half smile on my face, and question marks all over my face. "How should I answer? How can I say this in super simple terms? Hmmmm. Yes?"

Excited is an interesting word for me. It certainly makes me think? Rather... wonder? I feel fleeting moments often. I don't know that you've ever seen someone as squirmy with anticipation at the sight of the download bar on iTunes, or every time a newly created recipe comes out a million percent picture and taste worthy, or the seconds just before any sort of kindness, or with my hair blowing in the wind, or dancing the way we do to that perfect downloaded song, and of course, any of the many with my sweet Rainey. But overall, I think it's more the smaller day-to-day where I truly lose myself. These moments are less complicated.

The short of it is !yes! I'm excited to move to Tahoe. It's all I've ever wanted. Tahoe is home to me. I left my heart many years ago, and now I'm lucky enough to return. I'm able to again become one, in the place I feel most me. Who could ask for anything more? Right?

So why the hesitation? Where is the all out, jump around, one would expect?

The long of it is - I don't think it will ever happen - with either of us. Our girl is gone. The second Dave told me, the next were also filled with her beautiful face and all that meant. I see it in both of us. It's like a thin veil. An invisible haze. Even in the happiest and most exciting of times, there's still this light dusting, which has eternally settled upon us. Does it get better? Some I've talked to say yes,  and that I'm too early in? I'm curious. I know everyone is different, but I'd love to hear.

We have these new eyes. We see everything differently. We feel outrageously alive. We live our lives in a whole new way. We appreciate much more. We love on this new and amazing level. We this. We that. But over everything - she's gone. And there is some sort of flat - because she always will be. In our hearts and in everything we do, think, see, say, and every change we make - she will always be gone, gone, gone. And while I know this truth in everyday life, as much as Tahoe is everything to me - it's like a magnifying glass is held over, and what I see in big, black, bold, letters is - my dream is coming true because of her injury. Much like the irrational thoughts of 5 years ago, they're back. They are similar to the ones of finally becoming the mom I always dreamed of once she was hurt. I was finally well on my way before, but the accident catapulted me to places that may have taken me years, if ever - and it was all due to her injury. I used to say - she took the fall for me. Once again, those very same feelings were creeping around. I had to let them, to give them time and space, until they were ready to leave.

So what does Tahoe mean? I know Dave would've been content staying put; it's where he grew up. I know where we lived would have been second string to his work. I know he wasn't wild about Aviana growing up in Tahoe. I know he wasn't willing to make the many sacrifices one needs to live in such a beautiful place. I know he would never have budged before retirement had it not been for the accident. I know. I know. I know her injury is the reason for the shift in perspective. All this perspective. Perspective is the greatest gift, but what a cost! My forever dream of Tahoe is coming true, but the cost is staggering. I know. I know. It was ridiculous to think. I am usually able to look towards what's good, what we have, and what is left. This was hard to go through, but necessary?

In the beginning, I was struggling in a way. It seemed the first week especially, I was leaving some tears everywhere. My logical, rational, mind understood perfectly. My emotional, missing her terribly one did not. In all good, there may always be some sad and tears. I'm sure all of you who've loved and lost understand the duality. A lightening speed of emotion, and then, zapped to the ground - knowing it may always be this way? The truth is - I'm good with that. Feeling keeps her close, and I never want her far. Whatever the emotion - I'll take it. I want to feel, rather than not.

I was a little off in the beginning, but with the help of those above, the spinning soon stopped. I have always felt that Aviana wants us to live - to be happy - to make the best and most of each day - so that's what we do.  But this held a different feeling altogether. It was much like the last months of her life. Some things closely mirrored the same sort that happened then. In almost every way, they were guiding us to the woods of Lake Tahoe. I kind of once again feel as though we were just going through the motions. I've been given the same calm, relaxed, feeling from that time and the day of her service. For all these reasons, which I can't possibly deny, most all the sad tears have been replaced by happy ones.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Spaces Between

I never truly intend to be away so long. Sometimes I feel I've lost my written words. A little frustrating, because they are stronger than ever in my heart, head, and verbally. Sometimes I think everything is happening too fast since. And for me to capture the true essence and place it all into words is just too much right now. Sometimes I think it might be both too close to the bone, and too difficult for me to transcribe emotion to paper, which is so strange for me to even understand? Is it the aftershock of everything? Maybe I have yet to understand enough myself, in order to explain to others?

I swivel the various things I really want to say, but by the time I sit, I stare and think, "Forget it. It's going to take too much thought, it's going to be much too long of a post, and then take too much editing to convey what I'm really feeling about what's going on in life and how Aviana permeates every aspect of everything." My next thoughts usually surround how most times I understand the correlation, but sometimes, not at all. It's in a way, and to a magnitude I never expected, but am so grateful and in awe over. It both hurts and feels like the greatest blessing I've ever known.

I envy the days where I used to just sit down and tell as each and every happened. Now, just like old, used, books gaining more dust by the day - so are my stories. I have stacks upon stacks I want to share, but sometimes don't know why I can't, or don't.

Whatever the reason, I just want to thank you for still being here.

Now...I'm off to write my intended post : )

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Faster Than the Speed of Life

I've been gone so long! I can and can't believe it! So much has happened! I was on the brink of finally writing my Rainey post, but suddenly things veered off in a whole new direction.

This husband of mine. Every time we're in Tahoe, he's had to listen to me ramble on for at least the past 13 years. Sometimes it's a sweet whisper - other times - it's more like a roar! But always, it's about the same.

"Let's pack it up beezee. Come on. Let's leave. We'll find a way. I'll bartend or wait tables again. You'll work...I don't know? We'll figure it out! The fresh air. The trees. The birds. Look! Did you see those little chipmunks chasing each other! Just imagine waking up to this everyday."

Over the many years, my desperate pleas were always met with the same sort of something -

"I know, but we can't. We'd be so isolated. Not now. I don't want to work in residential engineering. I really don't want Aviana growing up in such a small town. Someday. When we retire..."

I was always left flat and deflated - especially after the accident. Once we were rocked, the already burning fire turned inferno! It all made perfect, logical, sense to me - if all could end in a second, we had to be where we loved. But we are two, so even if I didn't agree, I still respected Dave's opinion. With our heads down, tails between our legs, and our eyes crying out all the way home - Rainey and I would succumb...each and every time. Dramatic? I don't think so.

* * *

I woke in Tahoe before Dave on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend - the birds chirping, the sun streaking beautifully through the windows, and the crisp air breezing perfectly through the sliding glass door. With each visit, I'm overcome - as if I'm experiencing all that surrounds for the very first time. As Dave was waking I eased in, but in true me fashion...I quickly gained steam. I couldn't help it. I was taken by all this single room, on an average everyday morning had to offer. I wanted to share.

This time was different. He was different. There was pause. The sounds, which next danced about and through my ears were foreign. They were completely unfamiliar, but in the most beautiful way. It's as though I were sitting, just staring at this someone, and even though I couldn't understand one single irresistible word falling forth, all I could do was smile because I knew whatever the language, the words - they were good. They were all good! Those sounds twirled and swirled around in the empty space of the moment until finally, I came to, and realized everything they meant. That single sentence was like few others of my lifetime. "Yeah, I've actually been looking at companies in Tahoe for the past year, or so."

From there, the whirlwind began. I didn't know, but Dave was already, not one, but two feet out the door. He'd already made up his mind. He had a project due towards the end of June, so the first day we were going to be able to turn in resumes just so happened to be our anniversary. With my whole heart, I believe in signs. I had the best, most relaxed, feeling.

He was working crazy hours on his project, but in-between we found slivers of time to update his cover letter and resume. I would mock him. I mean, I would mock interview him! And then, we were off! I couldn't think of a better way to spend the weekend of our Lucky Number 13!

* * * 

On that very first night's drive home, I had asked Dave why the change of heart. The main reason, our forever reason is always Aviana. Everything we say, do, think and feel - somehow, someway, always leads back to Aviana and all she showed us. Actually, all she gave us.

After the accident we realized death is real. It isn't something that happens to other people. Something truly life changing really happened to us, and we know it can strike again at any time, and any age. For that reason, we try to live our lives to the fullest everyday. We really try to avoid waiting for anything. We know how both precious, yet fragile life is - that said - we understand we can get sick, injured, or may not be here to see tomorrow, next week, next year, or beyond. We value the quality of our life over anything else.

Dave used to care more about his career over where he lived. After the accident, everything changed. That one single event altered his entire perspective. He now places more weight in where we live, vacations, and enjoying our lives, each other, and our family and friends as much as possible. Of course work is also important, but certainly not as much as before. And as for waiting until we retire, never!