First Day of School 2013

first day of school 2013Unbeknownst to us at the time, this would be our last “First Day of School” photo from this front porch. 9 years I have taken photos from this spot and we moved in October….2013 is the first day for a sophomore, 7th grader, 3rd grader, and 2nd grader. They are growing up way too fast!


I Hope Your Conscience Eats At You.

Earlier this year, I ran into someone who was a contributor to the death of my brother. I was so upset by this first experience of seeing this person that I couldn’t sleep that night and I was shaking as I was leaving the store. We live in a small town so it was bound to happen. I just didn’t know how I would feel when it did happen.

Guess what? It happened again. This time I had a little different perspective. I’m not as spiritual of a person as I would like to be. I do believe that God is putting this person in my path for a reason. I just don’t know why yet but maybe it is to affect JM and not to affect me. Though, the death of my brother affects me every single day of my life especially when I’m alone with my thoughts. “They” say it gets better but it doesn’t get better you just don’t dwell on it every single second of the day like you did in the beginning. At some point, you are able to push it towards the back of your mind but the pain is still there waiting to be exposed at slightest thought of you. For example how the mind wanders. We moved and I thought of all the people who would stop in now that we are closer to town. This made me think of the days when my brother used to stop in every night after work at our first house in town. This made me sad to think that he didn’t do that when we moved to the country. Then I thought, maybe if we had lived in town and he had us to come visit he wouldn’t have resorted to drugs. Then I feel guilty and sad. Then I cry as I try to push something else into my brain so the tears will stop.

This time it was at our local festival called the Pork Festival. Mind you, I’m a vegetarian and the thought of anything pig disgusts me. However, it is a yearly tradition. One of which, I have only missed one year of ever attending the Pork Festival. It is a local gathering of sorts when you run into people you may have forgotten even existed. Anyway, onto to the story.

My youngest daughter and I were leaving the Pork Festival and I saw JM in front of me. He was walking with a girl I went to school with, which was a surprise to me. I am “Facebook” friends with this person and didn’t realize she was so close to this person who was a contributor to something that has hurt my family so much. I know he saw me before I saw him because he started walking strangely with this girl and his child into a area that didn’t even have anything for the festival. He purposely was NOT looking back or so it seemed even though the two people he was with were walking behind him and it appeared they were trying to talk to him. They probably had no clue that he was purposefully avoiding me. You maybe thinking I’m crazy to think he was avoiding looking back on purpose but when you are in the situation you can just tell. I decided to just walk behind him for a little while longer even though I was going out of my way to my final destination. He finally turned around and made eye contact and he quickly turned around again.

I left a little shaky but not as shaky as the previous time. Because I’ve realized he is the one who is ashamed. He knows what he did and he has to live with it. He is the one who has to feel guilty when he accidentally runs into me. He is the one who has to remember that he sold my brother the drugs. He is the one who has to remember that he told my brother exactly how to take the drugs. He is the one who has to live with that and I hope it hurts him when he sees me.

These lyrics from Eminem always seem to resonate with me even though the entire song is no way related to what I’m experiencing, this is what I think of when I see JM….

I hope you can’t sleep and you dream about it
And when you dream, I hope you can’t sleep and you scream about it
I hope your conscience eats at you and you can’t breathe …

I Know What You Did

The night before Valentine’s Day, I realized on my way home from picking up Sof from theater practice that we didn’t have any Valentines for the parties the next day.  I stopped at our neighborhood store at the last minute like apparently everyone else in our town. I didn’t expect my night to end with a breakdown.

A breakdown at the store the night before Valentine’s Day was the last thing I was expecting.

As I approached the Valentine Card aisle, I noticed another person standing in the aisle and I jokingly said something about all of us last minute people or something along those lines. I looked up and the man looking back at me look quite startled. At first I did not place him. This was a person I had not seen for about two years. However, I knew I knew him from work but the name was ringing a bell. It’s funny how your mind will forget faces of people who had a part in destroying something so precious to you.

Who was this person? Ah, it hit me. It was JM. Who is JM? JM is the person who sold my brother the pills that he overdosed on. He is the person who gave him specific instructions on how to take these drugs. What drugs to chase the other drugs with, etc. etc. This is the person my naive brother thought was his friend. He thought he was cool. Ah, mom, JM is fine.

Not he was not.

JM lied directly to my father’s face months before the overdose after my father explaining my brother’s mental issues. JM lied TO HIS FACE WHEN DIRECTLY ASKED “Are you selling drugs to my son?” His response was, “No.” Um, any freaking normal person would say “WTF do you think I’m selling drugs.” That would be a normal response for a non-drug dealer, right? I would say so. I would be so angry if someone accused me of selling drugs when I clearly was not. However, his response was just “no.” My father pleaded with him to not sell him anything if he was because of his past mental and drug issues.

Clearly he was lying.

He is a drug dealer, a liar, a coward, and sorry excuse for a human being. I get shaky and angry even thinking about him.

A few days after the worst days of my life, I figured out the pass code to my brother’s phone. It was quite simple. It was the number of his favorite IU basketball player. Then, I went about reading the messages.

My brother did not want to die. He did not cause his death on purpose. He simply wanted to escape his mental issues to get through the day. This was a accidental overdose caused from a combination of methadone and oxycontin that was sold to him by someone he considered a friend. Someone he trusted.

My brother was a very trusting person. If JM told him that he would be fine by taking this combination, he believed it. I am also very trusting believing that the police would actually do something with the information I provided to them. Instead, a big fat nothing.

I’ve kept my silence for almost two years now and I can’t contain it anymore. Here’s part of what we sent to the State Police after having a discussion with them about the situation. About six months ago, I also provided this information to the DEA. Not that I think anything will ever be done about it but maybe JM is in their file somewhere.

According to the text message logs, which I have written out in transcript form.  JM and someone named “Doug” were waiting for someone to get out of the hospital to get more pills. There was also information going around that JM was going to a methadone clinic. He was selling these and other things to people like my brother, who passed away after taking them.

While, I know that nothing will bring my brother back, I would like to see this man STOP selling drugs and possibly spare someone else the heart ache we have had to suffer. My brother had a long history of mental problems and drug addictions. We do believe had been off drugs for around a 1 – 1 ½ years before becoming friends with JM, who from the text message history, encouraged him to buy more because it was a better deal and told him how much to take and how to take it to get the best high, which led to his death.

Not only did JM sell my brother these drugs, he SOLD him on them as if they were a great limited time deal.

JM: Its not a bad deal at all. If I had the money I would get em for sure. It would get you thru all week at work. Plus you feel like busting ass all day

JM: Swallow em or let em dissolve in ur mouth or the best way is dissolve in a little bit of water like a dixie cup filled a fourth of the way with water
B: How long does it takem to dissolve?
JM: About 15 to 20 seconds.
B: Cool! Just one at a time or put all your gonna do in at once?


ALL was sent three time. Three effing times. Take them all.

The last message my brother received on his phone was from JM on February 28, 2011 just days before he was pronounced dead just after midnight on March 3, 2011:

Ok just thought I would see how you liked

So back to February at our local store. After realizing who was in the store, I started shaking so bad. This man was in the children’s Valentine’s Day card aisle just shopping for cards like he had a wonderful life.

He obviously recognized me.

I grabbed the first set of cards I saw and checked out. Went to my car. Sent my husband a text message something along the lines of “Effing JM is in X store.”  My husband responds that I should just leave because nothing good will come of any confrontations.

I went back into the store. I kind of spaced out around the front cash registers. I wanted him to see me. I wanted him to feel guilty when he saw me.

I saw several people I know during this time including one of my son’s teachers, my uncles, several other people I know. I couldn’t make a scene right here in the middle of the store with half the town in it at the time, could I?

I wanted to scream out, “This the *(&(I*&(*&(%$#@ that sold my brother the pills that caused his death” or “DRUG DEALER ALERT on AISLE 5” or anything so that people would know who this person was.

He would start to come towards the front of the store, see me, and then go back to pretending to shop.

I stood there. With a angry pained face. All the memories of March 2011 rushing back at me. The store seemed to stop moving and go silent almost like what happens in the movies before something bad is about to happen.

I hurried out of the store.

I broke down on the drive home. I had not had a break down in so long.

Sometimes it’s good to have a good cry. It’s never good to have a good cry while you are driving.

I sat in the car in the garage for a few minutes trying to gain my composure before going into the house. I didn’t want to have to explain myself to the kids. Sof somehow hadn’t noticed in the car as she sits directly behind me and high tailed it out of the car when we arrived home to show off the new Valentine’s to the other kids.

My husband says JM obviously feels guilty since he hid from me at the store, that he has to live with that guilt. I want more.

I want him to know that I know. I know everything that he probably doesn’t think I know. I know what happened in his own words.  I want him to know that he contributed to the death of someone who was loved very much, someone who is missed dearly every single day, someone who mattered. I want him to remember.


Oh Mr. Camel




Oh Mr. Camel, how many years have you been hiding in my China Cabinet? And why are you facing the South?



Sofia Cheer

I wasn’t for Cheerleading.

But little girl hadn’t “played” any sports since baseball. She was feeling left out.

The cheer schedule was easy. Most practices were during Club hours. The games were every Saturday at 10:45 a.m. Easy!

She had so much fun and was the loudest of all the cheerleaders!

Teaching Children Responsibility

I’m all about teaching my children to be productive, responsible people in the real world. I’m very self sufficient and expect others to be too. It’s not always the case.

I know people who are over 25, living on their own, and still have to have their mother make their doctor’s appointments. Really people? This is not teaching them any responsibility, which is a huge problem with the world today.

For example, my child has an appointment every few weeks. She usually has to leave school a few minutes early so she will need a note to get the absence excused. Since I’m normally at work during these appointments, my mom or grandma takes her (which I highly appreciate!) Two times in a row, she forgot to ask the the office for a school excuse slip. The first time, I called and got the note and took care of everything. The second time, I called yet again to get the note.

Then it happened again. Three times in a row. I was so annoyed at this point. I’m sure the doctor’s office was annoyed too and had it noted in their chart somewhere – haha. I didn’t get mad, though. I decided it was time for her to take care of it herself.

I told her she was going to have to call the doctor’s office and take care of this herself. I did have to explain in detail everything to say and the number to call. She was nervous but she agreed. She did it all by herself at fourteen years old, which is better than some adults in their twenties that I know.

Guess what….she hasn’t forgotten to get that note again when she is actually in the office since she had to get it on her own!

New Years Resolutions

Every year, it’s pretty much the same. I say I’m really going to do it this year. Then in March, everything goes downhill.

My goals for 2012

Be More Organized.

If I can accomplish this, then everything else will be much easier. I have to remind myself that five minutes of preparation even when I’m dog tired is so worth it to stay on top of things. This means not letting my bills pile up, having a blogging system, not allowing the laundry the pile up, etc….

I already feel much more organized after my spark induced super motivation on New Year’s Day. I cleaned out most of the kitchen cabinets, rearranged the spices to make them more accessible, and removed a ton of unnecessary stuff from the counters. It’s not perfect yet but I can already feel a change within me as I wasn’t frustrated while cooking dinner because all my spices were right there. I know this doesn’t seem like a big thing but for me it’s huge. I didn’t have to find the step stool (I’m short), dig in the cabinets, take everything out of the cabinets, put everything back in the cabinets – just to find one stinkin’ spice that I need for dinner. Calm.

We are doing a eat from the pantry silent challenge as the stockpile in the pantry needs to be reduced significantly. This should help us save money, time, and feel more organized as well! Save money because we will be able to see in our pantry. Save time because we will be able to see and find things in the pantry. Feel more organized because things won’t be thrown and strewn about in the pantry.

Lose Weight.

Yeah, it’s on there again. I lose. I gain. I lose. I gain. Right now, I’m 40 pounds over where I’d like to be. 50 pounds over what I should be according to those danged charts. The good news is the 15 pounds I lost in the fall has not all come back. I only gained about 5 pounds back.

I’m overweight but I’m not out of shape. For someone my age, I think I’m decently fit. I’ve been running or more like a jog for the past 4 months. To encourage myself to keep up running, I’ve been doing 5K’s with friends! I even did a 4.6 mile run on Thanksgiving – which I accomplished in under 11 min/mile. Not too bad for someone who is 50 pounds overweight. I’d love to get under a 10 min/mile and that will be one of my goals this winter/spring.

Things I know about myself and exercise. I’m not a fan of group exercise. Occasionally, I just don’t want to talk to people. I don’t want to have to say hi or make stupid small talk. I’m also not a indoor exerciser. I will do it if necessary but I prefer to be outside in freezing cold or rain rather than to be stuck in the stuffy indoors. Kind of ironic, considering I hate the outdoors on a general basis. Outdoor exercise 3-5times a week, which may be hard in the winter but I already did a snowy ice run so I should be good!

Drink water, drink (2) protein shakes a day, then dinner with portion control. Cut out chocolate and most dairy. I don’t want to have to count points or calories because it’s too much stress for me. Or it makes me think, oh I need to eat X calories because I have these left for the day when I’m not really even hungry. I did this in the fall and lost weight so I know I can do it again.


Balance life, work, exercise, blogging, etc. with my family. Do more fun things with the family. Be more present.

Okay, so those are my goals for this upcoming year. Let’s see if we can stick to them!

Icy Snowy Run


Snow Run


This is what the road looked like on New Year’s Day when I went for my run! The entire road wasn’t this bad but it was patchy. It felt sooooo good! I hadn’t ran since the snow had started around Christmas so it was a good 7-8 days without any exercise + all the holiday food bloat.

It was a great way to kick off 2013!

I posted this on Facebook and I was told there are some attachments you can get for your shoes for icy weather. Since I know I’m an outdoor runner, I will have to look for these when I spend my gift certificate for Runner’s Forum.

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