So…yeah, I stopped updating this much, didn’t I? I can’t really say why…I could choose to blame it on using the iPad at home more than a PC, but it’s not that hard to fire up a work laptop or the home PC from time to time. I could blame it on life being hectic, which it is, but that hectic? No. I guess I just got worried that I wouldn’t have much to say, and so I let it go. And then there was TOO much to say, and so I neglected further.

So I’m back, and I’ll try to stay back at least once a week or every two weeks. Because there is always something going on. Whether it deals directly with our ongoing grief story or not, there is ALWAYS something. So, with a post promised for early next week on a MAJOR topic, I’ll just do a quick hit list of things we’ve done in 7 months of 2016!

– January: We got hit with a blizzard! Was mildly challenging for me as a single parent, having to shovel TONS of snow while asking the kids to fend for themselves inside, and certainly convinced me in the benefits of a snowblower, but WE SURVIVED

Also, I MUST give a shoutout to Noah for his basketball. I love my kid, but he’s definitely on the heavy side. So when he expressed an interest in playing basketball, I was not so sure about this. But he played, he survived, he had fun, and I was totally wrong about things not going well. He wasn’t the fastest kid on the team, but he kept up and again, HAD LOTS OF FUN! So, there you go, Dad can admit when he was wrong

-February: I usually have to “drag” Darcy to events Noah picks out, but this time SHE got to pick as we went to Disney On Ice (I told Noah he could skip it, but he also wanted to go). That was an experience…luckily we avoided shelling out $100 on snacks and souvenirs, and she enjoyed it, so that’s good!

Also, I went to a movie by myself, Deadpool. Not earth shattering, but that’s the first time I flew solo at a movie since…2002? Yikes. I did okay.

-March: Darcy turned 5, she got a Princess Carriage bed, which she ADORES, a play kitchen which she loves, and a castle playset, which she has just about pulled apart. I took the kids snowtubing solo, and Darcy did the big tubes for the first time. We had a minor hiccup after the first hill, as Noah disappeared on me (!!!!!!) but we found him eventually just waiting in the wrong spot. After a brief freakout, everything else went super smooth, it was great to prove to myself that I CAN do things on my own like that.

In stuff more related to me, I got promoted! I’ve been working hard at getting this bump for 3 years and I finally got there. It was bittersweet not to have Shannon there to celebrate with, but I know she was proud of everything I worked hard for to get there.

-April: Onto Baseball for Noah! Nothing much other wise (I’m using Facebook posts to recount some of these and I really didn’t post much of anything in April).  I did decide to finally get the kids signed up for swim lessons in April…and they have taken to it like a fish in water.  Noah was deemed “safe in the water” by his instructor a few weeks ago, and expects to be able to complete his deep water swimming test next week for the Westminster Pool.  And Darcy is just paddling all over the place with her backpack float on.  I am glad we finally got them comfortable in the water!

-May: Noah turns 8 on me, that’s just CRAZY! My son is old enough to be legally left on his own at the house (No, I haven’t done it, but MD legally recognizes he could stay home while I go to the store, so…he keeps asking about it). I decided to finally rip out the bushes I didn’t like in front of the house and do my first attempt at planting flowers. It is…not going as well as I hoped, but I’m learning! More importantly, I’m starting to trust myself when it comes to making my own decisions on the house.

For Mother’s Day, I continued my tradition of floating a dozen yellow roses down the Monocacy River in Shannon’s memory.  And I continued the tradition of falling into the river while doing so, which I know she enjoyed.  I also hit my 10 year work anniversary.  It is crazy to realize it’s been 10 years here, but…that is just one of the 10 year things I will go through this year, and the other one will be a bit sad.

Darcy graduated from Pre-K…It was a momentous occasion, and I was infinitely proud of what she has accomplished.  I wasn’t as emotional as I was expecting, especially knowing it was the “goal” I was hoping for Shannon to survive to see and she wasn’t able to.  But, I’d like to think her spirit made it’s way into the McDaniel gymnasium for a night to see how much Darcy has grown.

-June: End of the school year for Noah, start of the Summer!  For Father’s Day, I took the kids fishing with our church group and later, we watched a movie on the M&T Bank Stadium field.  While the kids played at the beach with family, I finally got around to building Noah a Nerf Gun storage rack for his wall.  I had promised it for his birthday, and I finally got it done.  Tentatively, I’d like to build some more stuff for the kids, like storage crates or maybe even some stuff for their walls.

-July: Took the kids to a couple amusement parks…We did Adventure Park USA one and a half times (Second time, Darcy went with me while Noah got to see Zac Brown Band in concert with Danya, Joe, and Zach!).  I also took the kids to Hersheypark, where BOTH of them (Yes, BOTH of them) rode an upside down roller coaster for the first time.  Noah also went with me to do Lightning Racer and Wildcat, so it seems like we’ve got a thrill seeker in the making (Heck, Darcy was ready to ride those even though she was too short for them, maybe I’ve got TWO thrill seekers!).

I’ll leave you with one negative post from Hersheypark, which I will then spin into a positive.  So, I’m big.  I know I’ve gotten big.  While riding coasters, my gut definitely posed some challenges on some of the rides, but I rode them.  Near the end of the day, we decided to ride Great Bear, an inverted coaster I’ve been on several times before.  When seating for it, I was unable to get the restraint over me.  Even with TWO attendants trying to shut it, it was no go.  So, we had to ALL get off the ride, and wait for the next train…which had the “Larger Rider” seat.  I fit in that one, but I was already beside myself with shame and embarrassment.  I was so large, I almost couldn’t ride a rollercoaster.  I weigh about the same amount I did in 2011, before Shannon was diagnosed.

So, I said there was a positive, right?  The next day, I got back on Sparkpeople, and I’ve been doing that for 10 days now.  I dropped 5 pounds after my first week, but that is probably not going to hold, so let’s say it was 4 pounds.  My goal is to get down to 220 by next August, when we’re going to Disney.  It’s a conservative goal, so it’s one I know I should be able to hit.  That still leaves me “overweight”, but it was about the weight I was at in December 2011, and I know I felt so much healthier then, so that’s my target for now.  From there, I’ll decide where else I want to go, but I WILL get there.

So…with all that said…life is being lived.  I’ll post again next week, with a post about what’s coming ahead in our lives.  Because we keep moving forward.  For the kids.  For Shannon.  And yes, even for me.


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