Life and Everyday

Emotions, a death, and loneliness


So many crisis type things happen and I get so overwhelmed and then sleep to start it all over again the next day.  I am hoping they all calm down soon.  I can’t keep going at this pace.
Although, crisis today was my mom calling me at little after 6am to tell me that my uncle had passed this early morning.  My uncle Russ and aunt Alouise are my godparents.  Also my mom and Alouise are sisters and as close as close could be.  As kids our families did a lot together and spent time camping and baking and all sorts of other stuff together.
When mom called and said this to me, I was in the instant numb mode or disbelief.  I knew he was sick and he didn’t want any treatments for anything and no doctors.  He lost his will to live.  This made me incredibly sad.  I have been at that point in my life of feeling like losing my will to live, not by sickness but by depression and anxiety and fear.  But I have chosen to live.
Katey and I live.  We chose to be and do living.  We are about going places and learning new things.
Then bump in the road again.  Katey is struggling so much.  She was diagnosed with ADHD and generalized anxiety disorder 3 years ago.  Her behavior was getting out of control and her mouth too.  I had to make that hard decision about medication or what?  So, I talked to some friends and decided to see what medication could do for her.  The doctor I chose for her to see turned out to be an amazing man.  He tried her on an ADHD medicine and after a few weeks, it was just not right for her.  He talked with me and her teachers.  We tried another and that was BINGO.  Katey had done 360.  She was the loving and kind and calm kid that I knew years ago.  Meltdowns to very few.  Maybe one or two every couple months.  It was awesome.
Then this doctor left to take a position elsewhere.  Sadness.  The transition between 4th and 5th grade has been the worst for her and for me.  I have tried everything I can think of to help her in this.  The EBD teacher, school counselor, her mental health social worker, in home worker ….all of us…trying to come up with something to help her feel more successful.  But it didn’t work.  Her behavior escalated.
Finally, talking with her mental health social worker, I had made the huge decision to look into the YTP-Life Span School and therapy.  That is where she goes to school now.  It’s in Burnsville.  They pick her up and bring her home.  She has therapy part of the day and academics part of the day.  It’s only been a couple weeks but she is learning more about boundaries and what is appropriate.  She is learning about self control and expressing herself with out destructing.  I feel like I have failed her because I haven’t been able to teach her these things myself.
Being a single mom is so very hard at times.  It’s just been her and me since the get go.  I feel so lost.  I feel like I don’t know what to do.
I have met an awesome man a few months ago.  Luckily they get along great.  He backs me up and helps me when I need it.  She is listening more to him as well.  He is so calm and just living moment by moment.  He loves the Lord and makes that known to her and me.  He is a recovering alcoholic.  Maybe that is where he has found that serenity.  He helps me to stay focused on what matters most when I start to get so overwhelmed I don’t know what to do. I feel blessed to have this relationship in my life.
All this said…..I still feel lost.  I still feel alone.  I still feel like my faith has been rocked.  I want to be the best mom for Katey.  I want to be there for Robert too.  I need to figure out how to be here for me too.  But I am alone.
This is where it is right now.
I would still like to meet you and talk more.  Maybe you have some more ideas?
It’s Thanksgiving and Christmas and I don’t know how I am going to figure out how to make money stretch to the end of each month.  I worry that I am going to let both Katey and Robert down.  (Robert is currently in a sober house in St. Paul).  It’s just my income.  And time.  Again…I am lost.
beautifully broken
Life and Everyday

Thankful day 15

Today I am thankful for the chance to have known a very great man who passed away last night. He has been a very good friend of mine for the past 26 years.
We had recently gotten together at the Riverside Bible Camp on Labor Day weekend. I was able to catch up with him and his wife and son. It was super. It was great catching up. I am grateful I had the chance to talk with him and share some great memories with him and his wife.

Life and Everyday

The World Lost a Fabulous Woman

My aunt Billie passed away unexpectedly on Monday.  She had a massive heart attack.  She was the most wonderful woman   She had one of the biggest hearts I have ever know a person  to have.  Her sense of humor was contagious.  Our family often referred to her as Lucy as in Lucille Ball.  Only Billie didn’t have the red hair.  But the humor was very very similar.

My mom has 9 siblings.  Pat, Billie, Alouise, Mom, Darlo, Michael, Marjo, Kim and Kevin.  Both my grandparent have passed away also.  Mom lost her mom when she was in her early 20’s.  I  don’t remember my grandmother, but I do have one picture of her with me.  I think I was maybe a little over one year old.

This is my aunt Billie:


Here is quote from one of her children, Jeannie, ” Life with my mom was always fun. I told her often that it was like growing up with Lucy. I am going to miss you Lucy! I wish the show wasn’t cancelled so soon. Thank you for the laughs and smiles mom. My heart aches for another episode.”  “My mother was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and faith. She taught me to love and follow God. She lost her mom when she was only eight. How blessed was I to have her as long as I did? Yet the ache of knowing that she is gone is almost more than I can take. I love you, Mom!”

She was an amazing woman.  She was one of those women who loved me where I was and whatever was going on in my life.  She never judged me.  She just kept on loving me.  I worry now about my uncle Ray.  Still recovering form his hip replacement he had before Christmas.  I know my cousins (his kids) will take great care of him.  They are amazing cousins too.

My mom and Marjo are flying in today.  They are in Texas.  Mom and Tiny just got there yesterday.  And mom has to turn around and come back for a few days.  The visitation is Thursday evening.  The funeral is Friday at 10am.  I hope I am feeling well enough to go.  I have a sinus thing that my daughter shared with me.

She was sick all week last week.  Now I have it.  I missed work yesterday and feel like crap and will probably miss today also.  Been up since a little after 3, because I couldn’t breathe.  sucks.

My heart hurts.  I will my aunt very much.  She is in heaven dancing with angels.  I hope she is giving my dad a huge hug.  I miss him as well.  Be amazing Billie.  You leave a huge legacy for all who have known you.

Life and Everyday

today of silence

Charlotte Bacon
Daniel Barden
Rachel DaVino
Olivia Engel
Josephine Gay
Ana M. Marquez-Greene
Dylan Hockley
Dawn Hochsprung
Madeleine F. Hsu
Catherine V. Hubbard
Chase Kowalski
Jesse Lewis
James Mattioli
Grace McDonnell
Anne Marie Murphy
Emilie Parker
Jack Pinto
Noah Pozner
Caroline Previdi
Jessica Rekos
Avielle Richman
Lauren Russeau
Mary Sherlach
Victoria Soto
Benjamin Wheeler
Allison N. Wyatt

Life and Everyday

Sensless Tragedy

Obviously by now you are aware of the tragedy that took place yesterday.


Precious, beautiful, innocent children….taken froms this world all too suddenly.
All from an evil act of a single human.
Unspeakably senseless.
I think of the fear that had to be in those children’s eyes as they heard the gun shots fire, the thoughts of how much and immediately they wanted their parents by their side to protect them in that intense moment of fear, and now–the parents who are coping with the loss of their little one today and foever.  The the survivors of not only the children but the adults that were murdered too.  The brave teachers that tried to keep them all safe….pulled them into rooms and locked doors, etc.  They are heros as well.
It makes me so sick to my stomach.  I cried for an hour or so.  What was I going to tell K?  What about all the other kids I work with at school?  This could have been MY elementary school.  Makes my stomach turn.  I definitely wil be hugging my daughter tighter and loving on her more.  I will love on my kids at school.  I will tell them how much I love them, how proud I am to be working with them and that they are doing an excellent job learning.
UPDATES-27-dead-in-shooting-at-Sandy-Hook-Elementary-School-in-Newtown-ConnThere is nothing that we can do to make what just happened seem “okay”.
But we can show our support and love in ways that we know possible.
A few bloggers put together the following and I wanted to pass it along.
A day of silence to remember the lives that were taken.
Please read below and strongly consider joining in//donating//praying//etc.

To the Blog World and Anyone Else who Wants to Help,

Yesterday, tragedy struck so many of us in ways we did not foresee. An elementary school and small town in Connecticut was shattered by a mass shooting. We knew we wanted to help and we came up with this:

On Tuesday, December 18th, there will be a blogger day of silence.
We will post the button and that’s it. Please try to not post anything else that day if possible.

We are also raising money that will go to an organization in the memory of this tragedy. The organization is called The Newtown Family Youth and Family Services. Here is the official description of the support service we are donating to:

“Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.


Please visit THIS PAGE to make your donation.

We can’t imagine how they must be feeling, especially this close to the holidays. We would love for you to spread the word on your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Let’s make a difference and use blogging in a positive way. Thank you in advance for participating.

The Blog World

p.s. If you would like to, copy-paste and repost any part of this, please do. Share on


Life and Everyday

Heart Pain

I have heart pain tonight.  I read the obituary of the little girls who were killed in the car accident the other day.

Hundreds attend vigil for victims of auto accident

18 hours ago  •  By MARY PIEPER

NORTHWOOD — Hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil for Cassidy Stehn and Hana Riedinger on the playground where the two girls used to play.

Cassidy, 9, of Northwood, and Hana, 12, of rural Kensett, were killed in a motor vehicle accident east of Hanlontown Tuesday.

Both were students in the Northwood-Kensett School District. The vigil was held at the Northwood-Kensett Elementary playground.

Several members of the local clergy led the service.

“There are so many, Lord, who are hurting,” said the Rev. Wendy Gillan, pastor of the United Methodist Church in Northwood. “All of us feel this terrible tragedy and this loss clear into our bones.”

People in the crowd wept as she prayed for Cassidy and Hana, as well as the other children injured in the accident, which occurred when they were in a van on the way to a canoeing trip.

She also prayed for the law enforcement officers and other emergency workers who responded to the scene.

“We are grateful that you are with them and you are helping them,” she said.

In addition, she prayed for the two drivers involved in the accident.

“Continue to be with them and heal them,” she said.

The Rev. Karen Grandall, pastor of First Lutheran Church in Northwood, told the crowd that Destiny Bruce, 10, of Northwood, is still at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn., and can’t receive visitors yet, but thoughts and prayers can be left for her online at Caringbridge.

“It will be a long and tedious healing process for her,” she said.

The crowd sang “Jesus Loves Me” during the vigil.

“I can’t believe all the people who are here. It’s wonderful,” said Northwood resident Joan Watts.

She said she came to the vigil “just for support for everyone” and for closure.

“That’s why everyone is here,” she said.

Northwood-Kensett Superintendent Tom Nugent said several parents organized the vigil to help with the healing process.

“The community is rallying together,” he said. “This is nice.”



these past few days have been very trying for me being a single mom.  K has been having outbursts of “I wants”, and “you always”.  I try hard to try not to play into her stuff.  She used to fight with mom like this.  My mom would engage in war of words with her.  I choose not to.  I give her direction.  I stand by it.  I feel like a bad mom at times cuz she gets so mad at me.  But I will not let her be in control of this house like she was at Grandma’s.  She pretty much ruled the roost there.  She is 8 and is a kid.  She needs rules and limits and expectations.  I will listen, not judge.  I will guide her and love her the best I can.  She is still so mad at me.  It hurts my heart.  I know I am taking it personally but I can’t help it tonight.  She has said some pretty hurtful things.  I need to let them go.

I had therapy today.  Which was good for me because I needed to talk with Adam about taking things personally right now.  Even the crap with my mom and other family.  Lots of hurtful words going around and I feel like my heart can’t take much more.

K and I went to the beach yesterday.  Sun and sand and water.  I got burned…even had sunscreen on.  My back is pretty red.  My face too.  My hair is almost white blonde in places.  Which is kinda nice, covers or blends well with my gray hair.  I don’t have to color now…for now.  LOL

Now to figure out what to do next.  I really need to get on my homework.  But feel like just going to bed.

We’ll see.

♥ you guys.

Life and Everyday

Another tragedy in my hometown

There was another accident/death of a 9 year old girl from Northwood (my hometown) today. Her parents, I went to school with. Their daughter Cassidy was killed in a car accident this morning. She was in dance with Katey and attended the same daycare as Katey. Northwood is grieving big time …again. Please pray for Rod and Teresa Stehn in the loss of their little girl. Also for all the other kids and their families that were involved too. Gonna be hard time for all involved. Prayers to all hurting in Northwood tonight. Kristie- thinking of you and your family as well. Love you guys
12 hours ago  •  By DEB NICKLAY

HANLONTOWN — A Tuesday morning crash has taken the lives of two Worth County youngsters and injured six others, including a child who was listed in critical condition Tuesday night.

Cassidy Stehn, 9, of Northwood and Hana Riedinger, 12, of Kensett died in the crash, according to the Iowa State Patrol.

Four other youngsters and the driver of the minivan in which the girls were riding suffered injuries.

Lt. Dan Schaefer, district commander of the Iowa State Patrol, said the girls were passengers in a minivan driven by Nicole Streets, 22, of Northwood. Streets was taking the girls to a canoe outing at Clear Lake. The van is owned by Worth County Conservation.

According to the report, Streets was southbound on Wheelerwood Avenue, failed to stop at a stop sign at Highway 9 and was struck broadside by a semi traveling eastbound on Highway 9. The semi was driven by Steven Brodersen, 59, of Manly, who was treated at the scene.

The other passengers injured, all from Northwood:

• Destiny Bruce, 10, who was treated at Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa and transported to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn., where she was listed in critical condition.

• Maeghan Petznick, 10, who was hospitalized at Mercy in fair condition.

• Hailey Schaefer, 11, also hospitalized at Mercy in fair condition.

• Jaela Parks, 10, who was treated at Mercy and released.

• Streets was treated at Mercy and released.

All parties were wearing seat belts.

Northwood Mayor Randy Severson has declared that flags be flown at half-mast in Northwood today in tribute to the girls who were killed.

– Forest City Summit reporter Sam Jefson and Globe Gazette reporters Mary Pieper and John Skipper contributed to this report.

Ugh, Facebook wants to know whats on my mind…. Hug your kids tight, read that extra story, tuck them in one more time and tell them you love them… You never know when your life can be turned upside down and a loved one can be called to heaven. My love and prayers go out to all affected by the accident today. I will miss you little Cassidy Stehn


No parent should lose a child. No child should lose a classmate. Lighting a candle for all those in Northwood, familes and friends, once again touched by the loss of a young one.
Photo: No parent should lose a child.  No child should lose a classmate.  Lighting a candle for all those in Northwood, familes and friends, once again touched by the loss of a young one.