...because home doesn't happen overnight.
04.27.15 / Words

me & E

Words. They are failing me right now. I can’t seem to find the perfect, poetic ones to adequately describe all the things I want to say.

“Stunned” comes to mind.

It’s how I felt when I witnessed Everett catapult into the windshield of a car then up over the body of the car twisting in the air like a gymnast, eventually landing in a pile of arms and legs in the road. The thud was deafening and it haunts me now, weeks later.

It’s how I felt when I was dream-running to him. For years, I’ve had bad dreams of running, running, RUNNING and going nowhere. It’s as if I’m stuck in quicksand. And so it was when I sprinted to my pile of son in the road. I couldn’t get to him fast enough.

It’s how I felt when I looked into his eyes. They were open, unfocused, confused but I was mostly startled by their bluer-than-blue blueness – a reflection of the clear spring sky overhead.

It’s how I felt when I discovered he was missing a shoe.

It’s how I felt riding in an ambulance with my son strapped to a stretcher, his neck braced in a cervical collar while the EMT apologized for the hard braking. “We just got new brakes.”

It’s how I felt when Everett sobbed as the nurse removed pieces of asphalt from his raw back and I realized it was the first time he had cried since being hit.

It’s how I felt when the doctor declared nothing was broken. A broken leg from rough-housing on the sofa as a toddler. A broken arm due to a fall from the monkey bars not even two years ago. But getting hit by a car? Nothing.

It’s how I felt when the sheriff visited us at the hospital and told us that helmet saved Everett’s life. “A regular ol’ bike helmet might not have produced the same results.” Everett had opened that helmet moments before the accident. It was his first time wearing it. We were celebrating his birthday early with extended family, and that helmet was a gift from my sister per Everett’s request. A flashy, heavy duty motocross helmet in his favorite color – red – with matching gloves.

It’s how I felt when Cheetah slept curled up at Everett’s feet that first night home. Until then, she had never slept with one of the kids overnight.

It’s how I felt days later when Everett asked to walk by the scene of the accident (in our neighborhood) to look for his red gloves, lost during the accident. On our walk, I found one glove in the pocket of my jacket. It was the same jacket I had worn the day of the accident, but I had no recollection of shoving the glove in the pocket. We found its match 100′ away from the initial impact, in the grass on the opposite side of the road along with several plastic shards busted off from Everett’s scooter. Everett slipped his red gloves on and carried the plastic bits home.

It’s how I felt the first time I saw Everett’s wrecked scooter. The back was smashed, stained by skid marks. The handlebars were mangled. One handbrake was missing. Ripped wires dangled from the throttle. Several days later I carried it out to the curb for trash pickup. It was so odd to see it propped up against the recycling bin. Part of me wanted to keep it; part of me never wanted to see it again.

It’s how I felt the first time I gave Everett a bath after the accident. Each bruise and patch of road rash a clue to the physics of the impact which my mind used to produce the most vivid slow-mo video. It’s been on repeat ever since.

It’s how I felt during his recovery when he complained only about the “hot and itchy” neck collar.

It’s how I felt when he returned to school with no restrictions.

It’s how I felt when the hospital called to say that our medical insurance may not cover Everett’s treatment since it was technically a motor vehicle accident. Typically, homeowner’s insurance covers MVAs but our agent informed us that we already have two strikes (hail damage + leaky furnace) against us. In all likelihood, they wouldn’t cover Everett’s medical expenses either and would drop us, making it difficult – if not impossible – to find coverage elsewhere. We also received a letter from the driver’s insurance company stating they will deny any claims we submit to them because the police report didn’t find the driver at fault.

It’s how I feel when I find myself getting riled up about the financial aspect when, for crying out loud!, MY SON IS OKAY AND I WILL PAY ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD.

It’s how I feel when I think of parents who have lost a child.

It’s how I feel every single day when I watch Everett do perfectly normal things like eat oatmeal, read a book, brush his teeth.

It’s how I feel when I see so much strength and fearlessness in such a little body. He wants a new scooter. He wants to take his wrecked trophy helmet to school as a reminder to other kids to wear their helmets.

It’s how I feel when I think about these events making for a good story one day after the shock has worn off.

And it’s how I feel about the support my family has received in real life and online in recent weeks.

If I could, I would eloquently tell you how much your comments, emails, good vibes, well wishes and thoughts have meant to me, Everett, and the rest of our family. I am so grateful for your kind and encouraging words even as mine fail me.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you for allowing me to step away from the blog, guilt-free, for a few weeks to focus on real life. And thanks for being here now that things are slowly settling back to “normal.”

image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

04.07.15 / Life Lately

everett & cheetah

I feel like I owe you an explanation for my recent online absence. The truth is I’m not ready to delve into the details. Just know that Everett was hit by a car last week and he’s doing extremely well. (He was wearing a helmet.) Obviously, my priorities have shifted and blogging feels frivolous at this time.  Today is Everett’s birthday and we are celebrating his courage, strength and heart-melting dimples. If you would like to wish him happy birthday in the comments section, I know he would love to see how many people are thinking of him.

image: (taken a few months ago) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

The winner is Katie who would choose the Vibrance bouquet in remembrance of her mother.

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What are your guilty pleasures? I have a few.

*Slipping into freshly laundered bed linens.

*Buying any and all shelter-related glossies and / or books.

*Staying up way too late reading said glossies and / or books.

*Letting the boys play Minecraft for the 30 minutes of peace and quiet.

*Making spontaneous trips to Trader Joe’s.

*Taking advantage of Ikea’s kids-eat-free Tuesdays to “just look.”

*Driving alone.

*Eating alone in my car.

*Eating anything slathered in cookie butter.

*Eating anything covered in dark chocolate and considering it healthy. Because, antioxidants!

*Binge-watching “Breaking Bad” via my sister’s Netflix account.

*Searching “Danish” and “midcentury” on eBay.

*Allowing Mabrey to skip her nap in anticipation of an extra early bedtime.

*Locking the bathroom door.

*Subscribing to Amazon Prime.

*Pretend-searching for houses on realtor.

*Pretend-searching for vacation rentals on airbnb.

*Hiding Mabrey’s favorite book for a week because I can’t bear to read it one. more. time.

*Getting dressed, curling my hair, putting on makeup then staying home and thinking I clean up nice.

*Blasting pop music in the car and singing along at the top of my lungs while my kids look on in horror.

*Making a weekly batch of chocolate oatmeal no-bakes “for the kids.”

*Texting Steve to pick up takeout on his way home from work.

*Daydreaming about all the things I will do when I’m an empty nester.

*Rationalizing this: cleaning house = exercising.

*Sneaking a drink of water during my least favorite parts of Tracy Anderson DVDs.

*Stalking vintage rugs on etsy.

*Stalking houses in real life.

*Showing up to my tennis drill early for the extra 15 minutes of childcare.

*Swearing by fancy pens because they make my horrible handwriting look better. (In reality, my handwriting is a lost cause.)

*Keeping fresh flowers in the main bathroom and on my nightstand.

(I could go on and on…)

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Sometimes those fresh flowers come all the way from a mineral rich volcano in Ecuador BECAUSE I’M WORTH IT. Ha! In all seriousness, The Bouqs is a new and easy flower delivery service that delivers fresh bouquets directly to your door from the farm. The farm practices sustainable, responsible farming as certified by The Rainforest Alliance. Flowers are cut the day before they’re shipped so they arrive fresh and last longer. (The bouquets are so fresh that it sometimes takes a few days for the flowers to fully open.) Prices are competitive because there are no middle men and no tacky add-ons like stuffed animals and candy. All you get is a lush bouquet wrapped in simple kraft paper.

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Order a bouquet for yourself or send one to someone special. I divvied up a larger bouquet into three smaller ones: one for the main bathroom and two for Mabrey’s caregivers at tennis. I am so grateful for their help. (And those extra 15 minutes of me time!)

Are fresh flowers one of your guilty pleasures, too? The Bouqs is offering up a six-month delivery service to one lucky reader. See entry details below.

PRIZE: one six-month flower delivery service, courtesy of The Bouqs.

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a shipping address (no P.O. boxes please) within the U.S. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: Visit The Bouqs here, register for an account and browse the selection. Then leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite bouquet.

DEADLINE: Enter before 9:00 p.m. EST on Monday, April 6th, 2015. One random winner will be announced Tuesday, April 7th.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: I’d love to hear your guilty pleasures! No judgments ;)

*This post sponsored in part by The Bouqs. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog! Please use the discount code MARCHBLOOM to score 15% off your order.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking