This blog is an uncensored look into my soul. I am writing this as part of my healing process, but am leaving it public so others can follow me through my journey.

If you'd like to start from the beginning, click on the beautiful, adorable picture of Hailey on the right hand column.

You can also email me at: haileyshalo@yahoo.com

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Grief = Emotional, Mental, Physical, & Spiritual

I've been really thinking about my grief a lot lately.  Today I had a heavy heart all day.  I don't know if it's because Hailey's "Earthly" birthday is coming up on July 20th and her "Heavenly" birthday is coming up on August 11th or because in the last year I've had several close friends experience the tremendous loss of a loved one, but whatever it is my "Grief Journey" has been on my mind a lot.  

It's weird because part of me wants to go back to the day Hailey died and remember all the little details, yet when I try my mind literally slams the door and I can't concentrate on it.  I guess that's my emotions, mind, body, and spirit telling me I'm not ready for that.  (Who knows, I may never be.  I know nothing good can come of reliving that day in my memory, but in some strange way I also never want to forget it.)  

Anyways, as the door slammed once again this afternoon while I had a quiet moment to think, I was instead guided to thinking about grief as a whole and what it really did and is still doing to me.  (I feel pretty confident in saying that most people who have experienced the tremendous loss of a close loved one can probably relate very closely to the following.)

Grief literally wrecks you.  It rips you down to the bare bones in all areas of life: Emotional, Mental, Physical, and Spiritual.  It's almost as if you are stripped down to nothing and have to get up and start from scratch.   Now, let me say, I'm nowhere near that point anymore.  I think I'm definitely well on my way through my journey to healing in all those areas, but for those of you who haven't been through it or who are currently going through it, I thought I'd explain, (as best I can because there really are no adequate words to describe it), how grief has and still does affect me in those 4 main areas.

Emotionally
Emotionally I was a wreck.  I couldn't stop crying.  I became terrified.   Will I be this sad forever?  Will I never be able to stop crying?  How am I going to survive the rest of my life without Hailey?  What if someone else I love dies?  Will I ever stop feeling so lonely?  One minute I was so sad I couldn't stop crying and the next I was furious.  The anger raged in me.  Then I would laugh at something.  How dare I laugh?  Did this mean I didn't love Hailey as much as I thought?   The guilt would start to set in.  I felt guilty for everything: laughing, crying, feeling angry, neglecting my other children, not being a better mom to Hailey while she was here...the list went on and on and on.  The guilt was overwhelming.  Along with this tornado of emotions, I also felt so vulnerable, like anything could rip me apart again. I was terrified to go out in public.  What if someone was rude to me?  Would I break down and start to cry in front of them?  I felt sick and wounded, as if the whole world would know my heart was broken and in some ways I wanted the whole world to know.  I lashed out at those around me, primarily my family and friends.  I think I took it out on them the most because I trusted that they wouldn't leave me, although to be totally honest, I didn't even care sometimes if they did because all I really wanted was to be alone in my grief.  I wanted to wallow in my own misery.  I wanted to yell and scream and punch and kick.  Nothing really mattered to me.  Then hope.  I would feel a sliver of hope, like maybe I would survive this and one day be "happy" again.  A smile would form only to be quickly slapped off my face by another round of guilt and then the whole emotional roller coaster would begin again.

Mentally
Mentally I couldn't think.  It felt like someone had wrapped my brain in a heavy wet towel and all my thoughts were being held in and smothered.  I had trouble focusing on any subject, except my grief, for more than a minute or so.  All I could think about was THAT day and my very depressing future.  What could I have done differently and how was I seriously going to survive this?  It was difficult for me to do even basic things such as pay bills, read a book, drive my car, cook dinner, do laundry, etc.  My mind would get lost and I would come back unaware of where I began or what I was even doing.  Anger would rise in my chest when someone would interrupt my thoughts of Hailey or ask me to think of anything but my grief.  I had trouble engaging in a regular conversation or even thinking about the next 5 minutes.  I couldn't plan anything, commit to anything, engage in anything, or really do anything.  I felt so alone all the time, especially amongst a lot of people.  I never once thought of ending my own life, but there were definitely times that I prayed and begged God to take me because I honestly didn't think I could bear one more moment of the torture I was feeling.

Physically
Physically I couldn't move.  My eyes burned from crying.  My arms literally ached.  My heart throbbed and burned.  It felt so heavy in my chest.  Sometimes I wondered if I was having a heart attack. I often felt like I was gasping for air because I couldn't breathe.  I was constantly nauseous and the thought of eating could cause me to dry heave.  My stomach did constant somersaults.  My whole body physically hurt.  I felt heavy, as if someone had placed a backpack of bricks over my shoulder and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get it off.  Even taking a shower would take every bit of energy I could possibly muster up.  Sometimes it was hard to walk or even move, yet others I would just want to take off and run and never stop.  I would want to scream my lungs out and physically punch and kick things. And the exhaustion...the sheer exhaustion from it all was indescribable.  All I wanted to do was sleep, every minute of every day.  It was all I could do to escape. 

Spiritually
Spiritually I have to admit, I struggled the least.  Although my faith has always stayed strong, and I think I was least affected in this area, I still had many questions and concerns.  My mother is a woman of great faith and I learned a lot watching her as I grew up, so I was pretty strong in this area.  I would always say that it's easy for anyone to say they have faith until it's truly tested...now it was my turn.  My belief in the after life and God's plan for each of us kept me on a straight path. I knew that we would be together again one day for eternity, but I also didn't want to wait for that day...that alone seemed like an eternity. I also knew that Hailey was His daughter first before she was mine.  I felt honored that He trusted ME, of all people, to be Hailey's mom.  However, I also felt angry that He would send her to me to love so much and then turn around and take her back only 3 years later.  I felt like that was so unfair.  I think the major area I struggled in spiritually was my trust in God.  I knew that He would always be there for me, but I was (and honestly, still am) terrified of what other trials He may have in store for me.  I spent many hours praying, asking God questions, yelling at Him, crying to Him, and even begging Him to send her back.  I would feel frustrated when people would assume I'd be okay because I had such strong faith and knew about God's plan for each of us.  That didn't make it okay that my baby was gone.  It would anger me when people would tell me she was in a better place.  I know that she is, but that doesn't mean that as a mother I wouldn't selfishly rather her here with me.  Overall though, I have to say that it was my faith and my religious beliefs that kept spirit lifted and well. 

Today 
Well, I'll admit, that was some heavy deep stuff!  Now again, let me assure you that I am far beyond most of those feelings now.  I am well on my way to healing, but I would say all those things listed above lasted for at least the first year, some a little beyond, and some are still present in me today.  Each time someone I know experiences death I revisit all the above for them.  In many ways I carry their pain with me because I know the long road ahead for them.  It is overwhelming for me to think about starting the road over again and I pray that I NEVER will again.

Emotionally, I'm much, much stronger now, although I still have my days here and there and I'm ALWAYS missing her.  I still have days that I'm sad and I cry for her. But, I have to say I'm the most stable and happiest I've been since she died.  I now know I can pretty much get through anything and I've learned how to make good out of the bad.  I have my sense of humor back and still LOVE to laugh and have a good time.

Mentally, I still hate to have my thoughts interrupted, but with 3 other kids to take care of, that's normal.  I do still fear everyday that another person I love is going to die, so I'm still working on that.  But, I'm not constantly dwelling on the day Hailey died and all the details that surround it. (However, as mentioned above, I do still have times that I revisit it all)  I'm able to focus on things and rationalize with myself when I'm starting to feel the slippery slope of grief creeping up on me.  I've learned healthy ways to deal with what could be such a negative and anger filled trial in my life.  

Physically, I'm feeling better than ever.  Yes, I still love my naps, but they don't happen nearly as often and I don't NEED them anymore.  I have much more energy and feel stronger and healthier than I've felt in 4 1/2 years. (No, I'm not going to start working out yet!)  I definitely can feel the times when I'm actively grieving and need to sleep more than normal, but once I get through it I'm good again. And I no longer feel the weight of the world on my shoulders!  I've learned how to relax much better.

Spiritually, I'm the strongest I've ever been.  I love my Heavenly Father and have grown so much closer to Him.  I've learned how to truly offer deep, heartfelt prayers.  I've learned how to see His hand in everything and I know that no matter what comes my way He will be there by my side to carry me through it and bless me in ways I couldn't have imagined before, but I've also learned that I have to allow Him to do so.  I've learned what it means to have Jesus Christ as my best friend and I've personally felt how He and only He knows exactly how I feel and what I'm going through.  I have a testimony of the Plan of Salvation and why we're here and where we're going.  I know Hailey still lives, not physically but spiritually and I have often felt her so closely I could almost reach out and touch her.  I am grateful for eternal families and the fact that I am part of one.  I know that I will be with Hailey one day forever.

So, there's my update!  I still miss my little girl more than words can describe.  I still cry for her.  I still ache for her.  I always wonder what she would be like if she were still here.  And I'll never stop wishing she'd come back.  But through all that, I'm okay and I'll continue to be okay...and one day even better than okay!

(If you ever have any questions about my beliefs and/or church please never hesitate to ask me or visit http://mormon.org/ (We're not as weird as some people think!!  Ha Ha!)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Still On The Pathway

It's been quite a while since I last posted, so I wanted to check in and let you all know that I'm still actively on the pathway of grief.  I'm haven't forgotten my sweet little angel for a split second.  I find that I write most of my updates and experiences on Facebook instead of my blog now, but I'm going to work on attaching them here too.

Although I haven't written many long blog entries recently, this year has been very difficult so far.  I've cried more that I have in a long time.  I often feel like I'm back at year one again.  I feel vulnerable, emotional, sad.  I miss my little girl so much.  I guess in some ways I already expected it because there are several milestones happening this year.  For one, this year is the 5-year mark since Hailey died.  There's just something about 5 years.  It seems soooooo long, yet still so short in the scheme of life.  Assuming I live a safe, healthy life, I could live to be in my 80's or 90's, which means I still have another 4o or 50 years here on this earth without my little girl.  There is just something so wrong about that.  So many moments missed out on.  I feel that I've already missed out on so much of what should have been Hailey's life in the "short" 5 years she's been gone.  I also hate the fact that I'll have to miss her for the that long too.  

Also, in a couple months my little Joey will be the same age as Hailey was when she died and Ava will be almost the same age as Lexi was.  This brings back tons of memories and emotions.  As I watch Joey grow, I'm constantly reminded of all the things Hailey was doing at that age.  Sometimes I forget how much of a little person she was! 

Lastly, in our church we baptize children when they turn 8 years old.  This is what we believe to be the age of accountability.  Prior to 8 years old, we believe that children are perfect and therefore do not need to be baptized.  When children turn 8, they are responsible and accountable for their actions.  (For more on this you can visit Mormon.org)  Anyways, that's besides the point.  The reason this is so difficult for me is because Hailey would have turned 8 this July.  I'm watching all the little girls she would have grown up with getting so excited for their baptisms.  They're sending out invitations and buying pretty white dresses, etc.  Although I know that Hailey died perfect, it still hurts as a mom to miss out on that special rite of passage.  Every baptism I go to tugs at my heartstrings and really hurts.

Along with all the above, to be truly honest,  I'm just tired.  Tired of missing my little girl every single minute of every single day for the past 5 years.  Tired of knowing I have so many more years ahead to continually miss her.  Tired of having to go to the cemetery to visit her.  Tired of wondering what she would look like or how she would get along with her siblings.  Tired of having to tell people I have 4 kids, not 3.  Tired of the lingering sadness that is always in my heart.  Tired of spending holidays and birthdays without her.  Tired of watching my children miss their sister.  Tired of family pictures with only a photo to represent her.  Tired of watching all her little friends growing up without her.  Tired of the roller coaster of emotions I constantly experience.  Tired of wishing I could cry, but can't.  Tired of feeling the constant sting of death.  Tired of trying to convince myself that I'm so strong.  Tired of the sheer weight of grief on my shoulders.  Tired of looking like all is good on the outside, when it's not on the inside.  Tired of the constant crippling fear of losing another I love to death.  Tired of the helplessness and sheer pain I feel for others grieving.  Tired of not being able to fix it for them.  Just plain tired.

Today, my sweet little 5 year old, Ava, was watching a movie on her iPad in her room.  All of a sudden she came walking into my room literally sobbing hysterically.  I couldn't figure out what happened and she couldn't even talk between sobs to tell me.  I asked her if she was ok and she just melted into my arms and cried harder.  After about 5 minutes she finally told me that she was watching Charlotte's Web 2 (Didn't know there was one!)  and I guess it began where the original Charlotte's Web left off...with Charlotte the spider dying after giving birth to a billion eggs.  Anyways, between sobs Ava said, "Mommy, I didn't know the mommy spider died.  She died and left her babies.  I didn't know that.  It reminded me of how Hailey died and left us all.  I miss her so much, Mommy.  I just want her to come back.  I am so, so sad."  Try holding it together through that.  I continued to hug her tighter and kept telling her how sorry I was.  What does a mom even say to that?  (Ava was only 9 months old when Hailey died, but is so attached to her.  She sleeps with a stuffed horse Hailey had and she has pictures of Hailey all over her room and talks about her non-stop.) She cried for about 15 minutes straight.  I literally would have given my own life at that moment to have Hailey walk through the door and hug her sister.  

I believe death is a beautiful thing... on the other side.  But for those of us left behind there really isn't much beauty to find in it.  Yes, there are little miracles here and there, blessings from God if you believe.  I have had many in the last 5 years, but still nothing even close to making it all better or worthwhile.  It just is what it is and it becomes something you just have to get used to living with.  

Joey giving Ava a hug as she holds Hailey's horse and cries for her.

Ava has this picture in her room of Hailey opening up the horse she now sleeps with on her 2nd birthday.
(Thank you Bloom family!)


Ava also has this picture in her room of Hailey pushing her in the swing.

And I have to share this too!  Ava had this frame with a picture of Hailey in it since she passed away.  A couple weeks ago Joey stepped on it and broke it.  Ava was devastated, to say the least.  My mom ended up getting her a new frame, but Ava wanted the little ladybugs on it, so she took matters into her own hands and made some new ones!!!  I seriously love her!

I couldn't get the picture to rotate, so the broken frame is on the bottom and Ava's masterpiece is on the top!


P.S. I just realized how much I missing posting here!  I have a lot to catch up on.  Please, stay tuned...


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Yet Another Christmas

Yet another Christmas has come and gone without my sweet Hailey here.  I'm not sure why, but this year was harder than the last two.  (My first was by far the worst ever.)  But for some reason, I really missed her, an extra lot, this year.  I've gotten pretty used to daily life without her, although she's always on my mind, but I'm not sure I'll ever get used to the roller coaster of emotions that I'm continually on (and will probably be on for the rest of my life on this Earth.)  It's just so weird how some days, weeks, and months go smoothly and relatively unemotional and then all of a sudden it all comes back again.  I would have thought that after 4 1/2 years it would all seem "normal," but it still doesn't.

I hate to admit that in some ways it gets harder.  More and more new people enter my life that don't know about Hailey, which means I have to continually decide whether or not to inform them that I really have 4 children or to just let them continue assuming I only have 3.  It usually depends on the person and situation.  I also am continually seeing other children who are the age she would be now (7 1/2) growing and learning and maturing, while she's not.  I'm always wondering what she would be like and how she would interact with us and her siblings.  I miss her.  

Although I have a lot of faith and know that this was her plan and her time to go, it's still really hard.  I feel cheated in some ways.  I put so much hard work and time and effort and love into raising my sweet little girl...everything I had...only to have her leave me.  And yes, I know spiritually she's here, blah, blah, but that doesn't mean I don't still miss her and selfishly want her here physically.  I want to hug her and kiss her, hear her laugh, cry, sing, and yell, see her smiling face, watch her light up with excitement on her birthday and Christmas morning, see her interacting with her sisters and brothers.  I HATE that I don't get to experience any of those things with her.  

This Christmas was especially hard, I think, because I have some close friends who are still newly grieving and I feel their pain and sadness.  The holidays are a beautiful time of year, but for those of us grieving or celebrating without a loved one they can also be very ugly.  I used to always send out a Christmas card, every year, but I haven't since Hailey died.  And as much as I love getting cards from all my family and friends, I hate to admit that I do feel a little sting seeing such beautiful "complete" family pictures, knowing that I will never have that.  (Please though, keep sending me your cards!!!  I still want them!!!)

Sometimes I wish I could actively grieve outwardly and cry in front of others so they could see how much pain I still feel, yet in many ways I'm also grateful that I grieve better in solitude.  My sadness and pain often manifests itself in other ways, such as moodiness, impatience, being distracted, and sheer exhaustion.  So when you see me acting those ways, know it's not about you...I'm just missing my little girl and don't want to cry in front of you.

On a positive note, I'm also so grateful that I love to laugh and still do even after 4 1/2 looooong years of grieving with many, many more to go.  There are three things that have gotten me through this trial: My faith, the support of my family, friends, and strangers, and laughter!  

Anyways, I just felt the need to get a little venting out since I didn't have much time to write during this holiday season.  So there it is.  I still have so much to be grateful for and for that I'm even grateful! 


This was the picture we put on the last Christmas card I sent before Hailey died. 
(Joey isn't in any of these because he wasn't born yet, which is why I'll never have a complete family photo.)
It was so frustrating to try to get a good pic with everyone looking at the same time, so we ended up just all shutting our eyes! (Of course, Barbie's eyes are still open, so I still didn't win!! HaHa)
  
My 3 beautiful girls.


Hailey was so excited to sit on Santa's lap!
All my other kids were terrified at that age.  She was always so brave. 

Hailey's new Dora p.j.'s!


And her new "big girl" potty!
(Kinda looks like she's actually going!) HA HA 

And of course, lot of LAY's Potato Chips!!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Great Article On Grief!!!

I've read more articles on grief than I can count.  I find most to be somewhat harsh and/or depressing, which is exactly what grief is.  But today I came across this article that I feel is one of the best I've read.  It's perfect for those of us grieving, as well as those of us who are watching a loved one grieve.  It's not very long and I found it to be very honest, yet positive.  Check it out.  It's definitely worth your 5 minutes.

Navigating The Difficult Path Of Grief

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Article On The Death Of A Child

A friend of mine posted the link to this article on her Facebook page.  The author doesn't hold back! She really says it how it is! I have to say if you read this article that much of it does apply to me, however I have felt very loved and supported throughout my grieving process. Thank you all for continuing to be there for my family and me with your phone calls, notes, texts, Facebook posts and likes, etc, etc. I truly have great people in my life, unfortunately I know many who aren't so lucky.

Click on the title to be directed to the article:

10 Points I Wish Everyone Knew About The Death Of A Child

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Still Here

Yes, I'm still here, although it's been quite a while.  I don't know why tonight I felt so compelled to write, but in a lot of ways I really miss writing.  

All week I've been feeling on edge, frustrated, impatient, angry, and the list goes on.  I couldn't really figure out what my problem was until I was driving in the car tonight listening to my ipod and one of the songs a friend of mine sang at Hailey's funeral came on. (My Heart Sang A Lullaby, by Janice Kapp Perry...only she changed the name in the song and some of the other little details to fit Hailey.)  

As I felt the emotion well up in my chest and stomach, my mind was screaming for me to shut it off but in the end my heart won and I listened as tears started silently streaming down my cheeks.  Luckily it was dark and I only had Ava and Joey with me so they were sitting in the back seat watching a movie, totally oblivious to the sadness that was quickly engulfing me at that moment.  I wanted nothing more than to pull over and sob and just let all those feelings pour out, but I couldn't.  I had to pull myself together before Lexi got in the car so she wouldn't see me like that.  

I did all I could to fake feeling normal the whole way home telling myself that as soon as the kids got in bed I could be alone with my feelings and cry for my little baby girl who I miss so much.  Of course, when we got home all the kids were still hungry, then Joey needed a book, Ava needed me to lay with her, Lexi needed me to help her with her homework, and on and on.  (Sean is out of town.) I felt so guilty and selfish trying to rush them through everything so I could be alone and finally just cry. 

It's so frustrating to still be dealing with grief after 4 1/2 years.  I definitely have many more good days now than bad and I'm great at hiding the pain through smiles and laughter, but without fail one of those awful days (or weeks) will come out of nowhere and blindside me.  I guess it's just a life long, never ending journey that I have no choice but to continue walking.

Luckily most of the people in my life are still very supportive after all this time.  When I'm having those rough days and I call them looking for some love and compassion they're always quick to give it to me.  There are no words to express my gratitude for them because otherwise during weeks like this I'm not sure how I'd survive.

I'm very religious and have a lot of faith, but even so, I still hurt.  I still miss my little girl EVERY single day.  I still want her back.  I still get sad and angry.  My faith gives me hope and does a lot to alleviate those feelings, but it doesn't take them away.  Honestly, I'm just ready for Hailey to come back. 

So when the kids were in bed I shut my door and cried.  I cried for Hailey.  I cried for a friend of mine who lost her little boy in a sledding accident.  I cried for another friend who lost her baby girl waiting for a liver transplant.  I cried for a friend who lost her father and another who lost her mother.  I cried for a friend who just recently lost her son in a car accident.  I cried for another friend who also recently lost her husband in a car accident.  I cried for a friend who lost her fiance to cancer. I cried for every person I could think of that I know, have met, or have just heard about that has lost a loved one to death.  I just cried and cried and...cried.

I guess since this doesn't happen as often now I need to get it all out once its built up.  And I did.

I miss you Hailey.  I miss you so much.

Life Ain't Always Beautiful
(This song makes me cry every time I hear it.  It reminds me of my journey through grief. Click on the title to listen.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

A New Day...A New Resolution

Well, today has been much better than yesterday!  I went to bed last night an emotional wreck and woke up feeling uplifted and peaceful.  I realized that those videos I watched of Hailey changed something inside of me.  Seeing her smiling face, hearing her giggles, and watching her dance made me realize how important it is to enjoy life...even in the down times, as Hailey always did.  That little girl never complained about her physical struggles.  She never let them hold her back for one second.  She held herself to the same standard that any other child her age met.  My little Hailey is truly an inspiration.

By nature, I can be a little uptight.  (Don't forget family and friends, I moderate your comments!)  But in all seriousness, I am well aware of this and really do have to remind myself to mellow out at times.   I like things in my life neat and clean, organized, scheduled, non-chaotic, etc.  Basically, I like to feel in control...of my life, not necessarily others.  This need for "control" became much worse after Hailey passed away because losing her made me feel so out of control, even though I knew there was absolutely nothing I could have done differently.  

Anyways, today is Monday and in my need to keep my life under "control" I usually spend my Monday mornings cleaning the house after having everyone home all weekend, but today felt different.  The weather was beautiful.  All I could think about was seeing Hailey on those videos and it made me crave to do something fun with my kids so I could watch them enjoying life as Hailey did.  So I decided to ditch my daily cleaning ritual (And those of you who know me well know that's huge for me!) and take them to Irvine Park.  If you don't live locally, Irvine Park is a beautiful 500 acre park about 20 minutes from my house.  It has a little zoo, train ride, lake, paddle boats, bikes, horse rides, hiking trails, tons of trees and nature, etc.  I remember taking Lexi, Hailey, and Ava there about a month before she passed away.  (See below for pictures)

Ava and Joey were so excited and we seriously had the best time!  All the animals were out and active and for the first time in a long time I was completely relaxed and at peace with my surroundings.  After the zoo we went on the little train ride and then sat outside and ate lunch.  It couldn't have been a better morning.  (Way better than cleaning.)

Later that afternoon I picked Lexi up from school and had a couple of the neighbor girls over to play, another thing that often stresses me out.  (Not the neighbor girls...just extra kids in general!)  But today, surprisingly enough, it didn't at all.  I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Lexi and Ava in their rooms laughing and chatting with their two little friends.  And during that time, I hung out with Joey and we watched funny animal videos on my computer.

When Sean got home I decided I didn't feel like making dinner either.  So we ended up going out to a little Hawaiian restaurant nearby.  The night was gorgeous so we ate outside.  They have those little water spouts all over where the kids can run in and get wet.  Being me, I originally told them not to get all wet because it was getting late and I didn't have any changes of clothes.  But of course, being kids, they were like flies on crap when it came to the water.  Once again, I thought of Hailey and how if I knew this would be one of my other kids last day here what memory would I want to have?  So I took a deep breath and let them go at it.  It may sound lame to some of you laid back relaxed folks, but it was a big step for meAnd not only did the kids get soaked, but they loved every minute of it.  I couldn't help but sit there feeling a heart full of love and gratitude as I listened to them the giggle and squeal.  After dinner I ran home, grabbed towels and pajamas, came back dried them off, dressed them and counted that as their bath.

After the kids were in bed, I came in my room, got down on my knees and thanked God for the wonderful lesson I learned yesterday through watching my little angel, HaileyEven though she is no longer physically here, her spirit is ever so strong and continues to teach me all the time.  I feel like I owe it to her to make sure her siblings and her parents live a happy life full of love and gratitude.  

 When my time comes to leave this world I don't want my kids to say that their mom had the cleanest, most organized house and car, and that they always went to bed on time, and things were always under control, etc.  I want them to say they had so much fun with their mom and that they made great memories and stayed up extra late and had friends over to play and got dirty and laughed and danced and so on.  So, as of today, I have made that my rest of the year resolution.

 And please, hold me to it.  Ask me anytime if I'm continuing to do so because I'm sure I'm still going to need some reminding.  ;) 

Some pictures of Hailey at Irvine Park:





Some pictures from today:

 

Ava had to "brush a lot of goats."
 



Playing in the water at dinner

How could I not smile at this!
video