Do you ever have those moments when you realize that there are some really amazing, good-hearted, and special people in your life?
What about a moment when you look around you and realize that you are truly lucky, and — dare I say it — blessed?
I have been so fortunate to have not one, but TWO baby showers thrown for me in the past few weeks. After each one, as soon as I returned home, I had a little happy-cry in my bedroom because of the beautiful people that made me feel so special and loved. (Maybe hormones and feeling semi-overwhelmed played a part too…) I’m so lucky to have such an amazing family and group of friends who support me, Brice, and our little Wiggle-munch.
The first shower was at school — Aunties Karen, Amanda, Joanne, and Jolene came together to show Baby-Man some love…
My mother and sister, Cara, were also there for the shower — and they had a little bit of fun on my whiteboard after it was all over…
I’m so bummed that I can’t upload videos to this site — Auntie Jolene made the most beautiful owl quilt for Baby-Man. I definitely cried while opening it (just as Auntie Amanda predicted I would). Auto Karen did an amazing job decorating her room and putting little owl trinkets out for us to decorate Baby-Man’s space. After everything was in the car, I couldn’t quite make it home before the tears started flowing. Many, many thanks to the beautiful women at school for their support and love.
Two weeks later, my cousin, Lauren, a new mama herself, threw me another shower. This time, my mother and Cara were there along with Brice’s mother, Karen, and his Aunt Cyndi, along with many other family members and friends! I had a hard time keeping the tears back when I looked out at everyone, and only kept it together when I started to think about how my mascara would run ALL over my face.
There are more pictures to come, but here’s a few…
Brice and I feel like we’ve surrounded ourselves with some of the most amazing people in the world. We love y’all.
Day 30: I have saved the best for last. I am eternally grateful for my favorite person in the whole world: my husband, Brice.
Before we got married, we were asked by our celebrant do some “homework” — a letter, telling her why each of us wanted to marry the other person. I’ve never revealed the entire letter to him, but I want him to be able to read it.
“Why I want to marry Brice…
Day 13: After today, I am thankful for my bed.
Today was long. I was in a meeting outside of my school all day, and had to return to school in the afternoon for parent-teacher conferences. Our conferences were drop-in tonight: my classroom filled to the brim with parents and students, some of whom we’ve met, and others we have not. The night was full of ups and downs, celebrations and scoldings. My feet are tired. My back is tired. My brain is tired. My heart is tired.
But in my bed, I can sleep comfortably, and be rested and ready for all that tomorrow will bring.
Day 6: I am thankful for the amazing friendships I have in my life. Brice and I don’t have a huge group of friends, but the ones we have are thoughtful and loyal and have gone to great lengths to support us. Brice’s friends in Texas jumped onto a plane and flew to Denver for our wedding, and many of them offered to do the same when his father passed away. Many of my friends have been in my life since middle school (some even earlier than that!) and while our relationships have ebbed and flowed, we always seem to be able to pick up right were we left off. There are others that have only recently come into our lives, but that we love and have some of our best days and nights with. Thank you to all of you — you know who you are!
Day 5: I am incredibly thankful for the relationship I have with my father. My dad and I have been through a lot together, and there were times in middle and high school when I thought we’d never be close. But, during my junior year of high school after I broke up with a boyfriend who was bad for me, I turned to my father for comfort, and I am so happy that I did. Dad was choked up when we all chipped in to buy him an iPad at Christmas 2 years ago, he was at a loss for words at the rehearsal dinner for my wedding to my wonderful husband, and he turned me into a bucket of tears during our dance at the wedding. Love you, Dad.
There are no words to describe the horror that happened early on the morning of July 20th, 2012. My heart breaks for all of those personally affected, and I know it will be a long time before those people are able to move past what they experienced toward healing.
I grew up in Aurora. My family still lives there, in the same house that my parents bought nearly 20 years ago. The Century 16 theater has been my family’s theater since we were old enough to go to movies on our own. My friends and I would go there each weekend, a parent dropping us off, another picking us up a few hours later, until finally we were able to drive ourselves. Now, my sisters frequent the theater for new releases (they dressed up as twins for the Bieber movie premiere and went at midnight), often alongside my dad. I will go there with my sisters often, and went to see Hunger Games in November and a few other movies earlier this summer.
My family and I were not there. My sisters had thought about going, and then decided not to see the movie that night. They had a number of friends at the movie, and a couple of them were victims, though they have been released from the hospital and are going to be okay. The theater is on the north end of my school’s community, so many of my current and former students frequent the theater with their families, so we are still waiting to hear if there are other students affected within our school family.
Everyone who works in my school was both saddened and inspired by on particular story that came out of the tragedy: that of Mike White Jr., a beloved staff member at my school, and his father and former employee, Mike White Sr. Mike Jr. and his girlfriend, Farrah, were both injured by the gunman in theater 9. Mike Sr. bravely worked to save Farrah’s life. If you’d like to learn the details of the story, please click here to see Mike Jr.’s interview with Ann Curry.
Thankfully, all three of them are going to be okay. Mike Sr. was uninjured, Mike Jr. was released from the hospital yesterday, and while Farrah remains at the hospital, there are high hopes for her in her recovery. Many people are reaching out to help both Farrah and Mike Jr. pay for their medical expenses. If you’d like to help them, please click the links below.
The entire Aurora community is grieving with the victims and their families. This is a time for all of us to come together in love and support of one another, and to show the rest of the country and the world the strength of the people of Aurora.
Aurora, we love you.