Monday, July 21, 2014


this has been a really sad weekend.
i think reality is sinking in. he's really dead, not returning. I'm so sad for barb. i'm sad for dave and melissa too, but man, i am so so sad for barb.
these were the two songs we played at the funeral. the first, 'abide with thee' was chosen by lucille. this was the hymn she wanted. however, the version the funeral home had was warbling and ....just not mike. so, we found this version and it was perfect. simple with some steel guitar. just, perfect.
the second was chris tomlin's 'amazing grace, my chains are gone.' such a pretty song.

the mason sound guys were honorary pallbearers and all wore their mason shirts. henry laid on the floor and stared up at mike. so many people came and stayed for the committal at the cemetery. it was a blazing hot day, and all of those guys in black shirts, i can only imagine.
mike was buried at arcadia cemetery, a beautiful, peaceful community cemetery. the funeral procession made its way out of town and the route was such that mike was able to go by his home once more. we had a semi parked in front of the house and the neighbor blew the horn as we drove by. dave, melissa and lucille rode with barb in mike's black dodge, which chad and i and the (antsy) kids drove in their durango. i'm glad i wasn't with barb. i would have lost it driving by that house.
the pallbearers drove the fly-by-night, mason tour bus to the cemetery, and it made quite a statement. but so perfect.
the casket spray was white roses. we are having jewelry made from it. it was beautiful.
we had a hard time leaving the cemetery.


so, henry.

I tell ya.

we had him evaluated last tuesday for some eating and sensory issues to see if there was anything WRONG or if it was just him being an exceptionally picking three-year old.


it turns out there ARE things that are "wrong" (<<<not the right word, but you know what i mean)with him that we are going to address with some therapy.

we are going to work on his whole "breathing through is mouth instead of his nose while he's eating" thing that is apparently something that gets in the way of eating/tasting/everything. go figure.

so it's that, plus the muscles around his perfect mouth aren't developed and neither is his chewing.

all things that can be FIXED, which is great. he has some mild sensory stuff, but will be addressed during the session, as will his delay in speech.

the team is fabulous and henry has them wrapped around his little finger already.

so there's that.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


this week is better. much better. we had a good weekend. we're pulling through. dave is still swamped, but seems less overwhelmed. we're figuring out normal.
a few things i don't want to forget:
*picking out a casket - this was nuts. we had to pick out a casket. and a grave liner and things that you don't want to do when you are grieving from a very unexpected loss. the entire time, there's this feeling of, is this for real? are we really doing this? picking out a casket spray for MIKE'S casket? i look back now and i still can't believe that it happened. it still doesn't feel real. we picked out a gunmetal gray that had chrome on it that reminded us of the semi. we wanted black, but they didn't have the one that we wanted.
*as sick as it sounds, everything was perfect. so many people worked behind the scenes for us, taking care of a million details that made the visitation and funeral "how mike would have wanted it." whatever. that sounds ridiculous.
*we wore mason sound shirts and jeans at the funeral. of course we did. it was perfect.
*dave set up a speaker on a stand (pickle on a stick!) outside so people waiting had something the listen to. good thing because the line was insane.
*we stood for nine hours at the visitation. dave, lucille and barb didn't leave the line a single time. the last person went thru line at 11:15pm.
*the amount of flowers was overwhelming. and now, so are the thank you notes (haha). we had four arrangements from eric church's bunch, some from 38 special, john michael montgomery, Kentucky headhunters, confederate railroad, justin moore, etc. i mean, tons.
*the rough old sound guys cried the most.
*kentucky headhunters came through the visitation. well, they cut in front of a ton of people, but that was okay.
*so did leroy vandyke...but he waited in the four hour line.
*we had mike's guitar set up at the head of the casket. henry was obsessed and kept playing it while it sat on the stand. every so often he would back up and say, "papa!" and point. so emotional.
*people came from all over. i can't begin to thank everyone who came and waited through the line. and thank you to everyone who came and couldn't wait. we totally understand. it was crazy and an amazing testament to the sheer amount of people who mike impacted.
there's so much more. i can't even begin to get it all out.

Monday, June 30, 2014


today i came to work for the first time in two weeks.
i worked out for the first time in two weeks and have eaten healthier today than i two weeks. i was supposed to feel better about being back in a routine, but instead i feel like i don't belong in this world right now. my mental capacity is about at the max. my stress level is high and i'm just so damn SAD. i'm sad for dave, i'm sad for melissa, i'm sad for barb and lucille. i'm mourning our easy, normal life. because it's anything but normal anymore.
life goes on, i suppose, but right now we are living in a bubble of sadness and fear of the unknown. 
our family sunday lunches are now filled with piles of thank you notes and much-needed yard work at barb's.
our evenings are now full of mason sound phone calls, texts, decisions and more decisions, and trying to stay on top of this bloody master's class.
our pillow talk is now all about the shock and the sadness...and more mason sound.
we are overwhelmed, but we're getting there.
last night after shipping hallie off to camp for three nights (sob), henry and i walked down the lane, picking up gravel and throwing pieces in the pond. dave and i sat on the front porch swing and watched him mow the grass. it was a beautiful night.
it had all the markings of a normal night. but dangit, it wasn't. we're consumed with mason sound and just picking up the pieces. and we'll be doing this for awhile yet. and i hate it.
we miss him so much. i can't forget this experience, and i don't want to. it's still such a shock that i have to reply the last two weeks to remind myself that he truly is gone. not coming back. this is the new normal, for now.
the only silver lining is how this family has bonded together. dave and i have never been closer and i appreciate melissa and chad more than ever. barb is still our rock, whether she knows it or not, and i'm blessed to have them all in my life, and blessed for having the opportunity to know mike for the time that i did.
i want to write more about the love and support from outside of the family too. overwhelming, completely.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


this just sent by irma, the babysitter. caption: having fun!!!!
(clay, joe, hallie, Addison)

Monday, June 9, 2014


well, it happened. henry turned three. i mean, i tried to keep him from growing up, but it's just not possible anymore.
i sure do love this boy. we celebrated his birthday tuesday  night before dave had to leave for the week with a small family party.
i have video of us singing him happy birthday, but it's at home, dang. it was so sweet. he wasn't sure why people were singing 'happy birthday' at first, but when he figured out it was for him...he just smiled so sweetly. his lemon birthday cake had wallykazam figurines on it (his favorite!), but of course i don't have any pictures. dang.
it was just a nice, slow, quiet party. the best kind :)
yesterday, he officially turned three. he got a donut cake for breakfast with a candle, and i sang him happy birthday, just the two of us, since his sister was still snoozing away.
he got to blow out the candle four times. he was so happy. and then he decided to touch it. not happy.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


dave is gone practically all of june, so we decided to take a mini-family vaca to have some special bonding time before he left. it ended up being one of my favorite trips ever. everything worked out perfectly and we had a fabulous time, just our little family.
we left thursday afternoon to go to a cardinals game. hallie won free tickets from a school fundraiser and it ended up being a beautiful afternoon. dave + hallie are total partners in crime. they just chummed around together while I schlepped around the food and whatnot. and took pictures. i promise i was there.
meanwhile, henry + aunt kathy = BFF forever
and now, ozark pictures!
henry was a total water bug, which shocked me. but he loved it.
 ^^^not a good picture. of any of them.
 ^^^beer in the hand, that's my girl!
the end.