Sunday, March 1, 2015
Monday, December 15, 2014
I remember getting ready in my bedroom the morning of my wedding thinking...wow...this is it. And yes it was....true love! The way he looked at me, talked to me...just us being us. Having so much in common couldn't of been a fluke, could it? I mean, I never really looked at blonds before, but something about this boy made my heart skip a beat. We both were artists, both were twins, both came from families with 7 kids...but just the opposite (we had six girls and one boy and he had six boys and one girl). We both loved holidays...Halloween, Christmas, Easter....even the Forth of July was on that list. Oh...and when a good song comes on the radio...watch out because he could sing notes around most. It couldn't be a fluke, could it?
I remember being sick on our honeymoon in lovely Middleburg Heights, Ohio...yes...20 minutes from home. Also cutting down our first Christmas tree...it was huge and beautiful...and it was ours! I still have the gifts from the shower and wedding...one of my favorites...the nativity. It's a reminder of why we celebrate Christmas...but also of our life together was just starting off.
We found the perfect house...the yard was huge and the house...well...for a newlywed couple, the three bedrooms were perfect...one was a guest room and one was an art studio....but the kicker was the neighbor that greeted us that cold snowy day that we looked at the house. He became family to us. He was like a father/uncle/friend figure that was there for us when we started our married life off...all those years ago.
Who would have thought that me kinda sorta lying to our priest about wanting kids...yeah...I was scared stiff about kids. I honestly didn't think I wanted any...at the time. So in order for a priest to marry you, we were interviewed by my priest...the question came up..."will you welcome children into your life" (or something like that) and while Tony and I had a few moments alone, I told Tony I was going to answer that question with a no. He then quickly convinced me that I should think this question through because he may not marry us for this answer alone....hmmmm...lie to a priest? I know! I'll think of puppies! I looove puppies and would have a house full....kids...not so much....so yeah. I have already gone to confession about this...I lied to our priest. I welcomed children into our lives...and boy did I ever!
Something about actually being married, living in a (at the time) big empty house and, well....19 years later we have filled the same "starter home" quite nicely, with kids from 17, 15, 13, 11, 9, 7 and 6 in our lives along with heartbreaks of our many miscarried babies and our precious angel...Kenny's twin, Nick.
Through house hunting, moving (what a huge pain) and settling in a new house...new life. Crazy how things work. It seems so long ago...but just like yesterday...this crazy whirlwind of nineteen years!
We have lost so many people in these nineteen years but know that each one is watching and waiting for us for a huge reunion. Through dreams broken but new dreams to come...
I am so perfectly glad that these nineteen years happened with you by my side, and honestly...wouldn't change a thing...
Thank you Tony for the life I have shared with you...the life that nineteen years ago, I said "I do" to!
I love you deeply and passionately...with all my heart. Now I wish time would slow down a little so we would be able to enjoy our life, kids, families, friends and hobbies.
"All these years...and we still have the heat"....name the movie!
Friday, December 5, 2014
The house is still under decorating stage (and will probably be until Dec, 24th), but this is what I have come up with thus far...
There was the turkey bowl in the morning...with kids and parents of my oldest son...followed by Thanksgiving breakfast. Then, as we were working on that...dinner was being put on...
The food was crazy! Two 23+ pound turkeys, 25 loaves of bread for stuffing, 20 pounds of brussel sprouts, 20 pounds of potatoes, 20 sweet potatoes, and so much more!
After a few week of regrouping, semi-relaxing...and more decorating...I attempted our annual family pictures for our Christmas cards! I wont post the actual pictures...but here are some outtakes that I thought were perfect.
I am...we are...very blessed.
Monday, November 17, 2014
My girls, Kenny and I all are wearing purple today...Morgan has purple socks on! This is for World Prematurity Awareness Day!
When you are the parent of a premature baby your whole world will stop. You will be told your baby might not survive and if it does, it will have lifelong health issues. You may be told he/she may never sit up, crawl, walk, see or hear. You will cry yourself to sleep at night and pray your baby lives another day. You will ask God to take you instead of your tiny child. You will fall to your knees every time your tiny baby stops breathing. You will stop sleeping and every time your phone rings your heart will drop to the floor because you fear the worse.
Having Kenny and Nick 17 weeks early has changed me as a person and Mother. I will never take the health of my children for granted again. Please remember all of the babies who didn't make it and all of the ones who have fought so hard to survive.
NOVEMBER 17th is National Prematurity Awareness day. Please wear purple to bring awareness to this issue so someone you love doesn't go home from the hospital empty handed.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Have you ever wondered how someone would explain your life to someone else? Did you do all you could? Was it good? Could you have changed circumstances? Would it come out boring or much to much to be true?
I could only hope that I give as much help, hope and information to those that are facing issues that I have dealt with these last 8 years.
So how would it start?
A person who grew up in a very traditional household. Her dad was a mailman and her mom worked in an office. she grew up with 5 sisters (one being an identical twin) and one brother.
In elementary school, she was not popular...at all...actually, she and her twin were picked on continuously. It was through sheer...well, not giving a crud about what others thought and the fact that they had each other...they both made it through.
Teenage years were rough...at age 17, she lost her only brother. There were many issues happening in the house at that time...so it was rough for the whole family. She made it through along with everyone else in the family...and she pretty much had many nieces and nephews whom she didn't want to admit, but were more like little sisters and brothers to her. She really loved them...but being a teen...well...the moodiness got the best of her!
There were boyfriends whom she really cared about, even years later...but one just stole her heart...
A twin himself, an artist who came from a big family with very similar values.
She was very hesitant about starting a family, never wanting kids, this 20-something had a selfish, artsy way about her. She loved to dance at clubs...but rarely needed to drink. Was an animal lover to the extent. She'd take in anything (in which some were a little crazy...Leo the squirrel, a baby raccoon, and many birds...not to mention dogs and cats...but that's further down the road).
A head on car accident put a lot of her dreams on hold...and it caused severe pain for years. Not sure what direction her life would take her, she teetered on a degree in art with that of assistant, managing a small but exciting bridal store downtown. Making headpieces, ordering gowns and loving life....after a crazy 7 years, the two married and soon after, came their first son. It was a crazy pregnancy which included getting 3rd degree burns from her dog accidently spilling hot tea on her...then a month later, her water breaking at 29 weeks....only to be on bed rest in the hospital for 5 weeks. Unsure of what was really happening, she did everything to keep the child that she was in love with, inside of her until it was safe for him to be born...and that is when her whole idea of life changed. She knew at that point that she would welcome as many children as God would bless her with.
She had baby after baby...every 2-3 years apart, all at 34-35 weeks gestation. Each one, was a blessing and happy time. There were NICU stays for feeding issues, hospital stays for lung issues and monitors for apnea.
She had a passion for holidays and family get-togethers. The first time she made a Thanksgiving turkey, she almost threw up from trying to clean it out, but it turned out to be a tradition and funny thing to look back on. Birthday parties for the kids were always planned with family in mind. She wanted to be the house where family would gather, grow and make memories for generations! She loved her parents and admired the way they worked together and made their marriage work...even through many rough patches.
When the third child came, she and her husband decided it was time that she stay home and raise the kids while her husbands sign business, he started a few years prior, could take off.
She put her everything into her family. Making family dinners every night, doing the laundry, cleaning, landscaping...she was having fun with the kids. Their house was getting smaller as their family was getting bigger but that didn't matter too much.
They rarely went on vacations but they did do fun things. Hiking in the creeks, pools, and an occasional trip to Alabama to visit her twin whom moved away after her first child was born. She had such a hard time with her other half moving away that she felt a little abandoned. She soon realized that it was ok and actually a fun place to visit!
After her fourth child, she and her husband suffered a miscarriage which she was so distraught over. A few months later, she got pregnant with another child, a daughter. Everything went perfect except she needed her first C-section. about 4 months later, she suffered another miscarriage...
Needless to say, these miscarriages broke her...but she seemed to bounce back, she had to. For herself, her husband and her kids sake...she did. A few months later...while putting up the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving, her daughter told asked her...If you had twin boys, what would you name them? She laughed and said, well, there would be no way I could have twins because of the heart shaped uterus...so the docs said I couldn't and wouldn't have twins...and she fluffed it off.
Then, on Thanksgiving she was very moody and decided to take a pregnancy test. It was positive! The rollercoaster just went nuts from that point on! Due to bleeding early on in the pregnancy, they found out she was indeed pregnant with twins! Having a rough time keeping this pregnancy, she was an emotional wreck. She so badly wanted those babies and did everything to keep them safe. Sadly, she couldn't do enough and she had them at 23 weeks. Thinking nothing bad could happen, she let her guard down...and so...her one son passed away in her arms.
From wanting to die with her son, to wanting to give everything to help her surviving twin, she was in survival mode. The days turned into weeks into months and finally this blog was born. It was a way for her to cope with being torn from taking care of her surviving son to trying to care for the five other kids. While still in the NICU, she was pregnant for yet another time...this time, a perfect pregnancy...36 weeks and another little girl! Still feeling a loss in her heart, but finally a happy event to override a tragedy.
She poured her heart into taking care of their special needs/medically fragile surviving twin. Learning how to work oxygen tanks, heart monitors, change g-tubes, and then...having to deal with seizures, many hospital stays, therapies and diagnosis's and the "what ifs" that were becoming a very real part of their lives.
Since her last child, she experienced at least 10 more miscarriages and finally came to terms with her own fertility and age. She and her husband worked feverishly in getting a bigger home that they so desperately needed...now that they had 7 living children...of which a few were all ready in teen mode.
All the hard work paid off. but now the harder work takes over. Dealing with the throws of teens, not wanting to let go of her kids childhoods, yet excited to see what THEIR lives will be like...all the while still caring for a sick little boy. Her life was crazy at this point. Losing a few good friends, she had a hard time with life. Questioning many things...Where was she going? Who was she beyond a mom/wife? Did she ruin her kids for having so many? Was she doing enough for them...or...too much? Could she have been a better mom/wife? All questions she asked daily. She had a hard time letting her kids grow and become young adults because of having to "let go" of her brother and her own son. How could she protect them from all the sadness and struggles she had to go through. She loved them so very much! She was afraid to look even a day into the future because of what she was afraid might be there. So very afraid to lose another child or person in her life, she was scared but very determined to shine through all the dark. She didn't want to be defined as just a mom, a caregiver or grieving mom. She wanted to shine bright with all her talents God has graces her with and to keep family together.
So goes the short version of my life. I can only hope that my kids love me as much as I love them, that they become amazing adults with amazing life tales to pass onto their kids!
I guess in my life, I could actually write a novel...shoot, maybe a trilogy! I have Maybe I should rename this blog The Tomecko Trilogy!