Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ten and a Half Years Later...

It's almost eleven years since the Xbox murders and I still cry when I think about that horrific day... It was 2004 I was 19 almost 20, still living with my parents, working at Target as a cashier, and dating Nathan... We had heard about the murders but the victims were beaten with baseball bats and their bodies so badly mutilated that doctors had to use dental records to identify them... So it happened in Deltona, I thought, it's not going to be someone I know, right? Oh, how wrong and naive I was! Not only did I know someone, I knew two of the victims!!!

The first one I read about was Jonathan Gleason, he was 17. He went to the same church as me, we had mutual friends, but it wasn't until I tried fixing him up with my cousin, Emma, that I really got to know him. He was the guy who befriended everyone, regardless of your social status. His goal was to make people laugh and cheer up the sad, which is how I initially knew him. He cheered me up at a young adult meeting at the church and we were acquaintances after that. We said hello or waved at each other in hallways. Then he and his family helped my grandparents pack up their house on Karlo Court and I got to know him better. We liked the same music, I learned that he was in a band; he played the guitar and was their lead vocals and they performed at a small place in downtown Deland. Sadly I never got to see him play but I did attend some of his plays. He was always brilliant! The last play I saw him in was The Tales of Huckleberry Finn where he played Injun Joe, but I still have memories of him sneaking into my drama class as well when we had a substitute teacher. He was well liked and an awesome individual! One I'm proud to call a friend. His death was tragic and when I hear about it I still feel breathless and waiting to hear that this was a cruel joke...

The other victim I knew was Michelle Nathan. I didn't know her as long or as well as Jonathan. We became friends because we hung out with the same crowds and we both loved Blink 182. We ate lunch together and hung out at school, but sadly after I graduated we lost touch. Still my heart ached when I read about what happened to her and I cried for her as well as the other victims. I attended hers and Jonathan's funeral... They were both beautiful people who loved making others laugh! They were both energetic, outgoing, and weren't afraid to say what was on their minds!

Ten and a half years later... They're gone but their memory and the life they left behind lives on...

Anyway, I went off on a tangent, today one of the murderers finally got the death penalty! I just don't understand our justice system! Four men invaded a house with baseball bats and knives and killed six people!! Why are they just now getting their "justice"??! What about the families, the friends, the victims??? Ugh. So disgusted by our justice system. All four men should receive the death penalty, not just two.... Six loved ones were taken, their futures ended, their loved ones left without answers or any real comfort. Instead every day we carry memories, we feel hollow, and miss those who were taken...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Happy Birthday, James ❤

Birthday weekend was a success! We celebrated our baby Jamesers turning 2. I can't believe how big he has gotten! He is 35 pounds and 38 inches tall! He's as big as a 3 year old! No doubt he'll be tall just like his big brother!!!

He still loves water! My mom found the perfect toy for him. You pour water into it and James splashes it, like a water-table. He loves Curious George, books, songs, Mater, baths, the beach, and pools. Also, his brother recently started playing Soccer and James loves to watch his games.

We can't believe how fast our little man is growing! Seems like only yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital and now we're celebrating his second birthday!! Just crazy how fast time flies!

Here's some pictures from our weekend:

We love you, James ❤ You have given our lives so much joy!!! ❤❤❤

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Happy Birthday, Kevin and Granny

My son has reached double digits this year! So hard to believe that he is 10! And to think that in another ten years he'll be 20! I asked him, "Who said our kids could keep growing up?"

To which Kevin replied, "Who said our parents could insist that they are fat?!" Touché, Kevin.

He continues to grow into a funny, intelligent, and kind young man. Yesterday we celebrated his birthday with Jim's family. They brought him two video games; one of which was disguised in a Whales cracker box.

Every year I ask Kevin what he wants for his birthday dinner and this year he chose to have rice casserole, a recipe I have learned from my mom. He loves it so much he ate three whole plates of it! And for dessert we had cake and ice cream. I had bought a penguin cake pan and, of course, Kevin loved it! He insisted for everything to be iced but its head.

Not only was it Kevin's birthday yesterday, but it was also my Granny's. She turned 83 years young. I love my Granny and love hearing her stories of my mom, my aunts, and uncles when they were children; as well as other stories about her childhood.

For her birthday my parents, Uncle Ricky, and Aunt Reneee took her to see my Big Daddy's grave in Bushnell; and then they hung out with my Aunt Janet and Uncle Miles at The Villages.

Two of the sweetest people I know share a birthday ❤ Even down to the minute ❤ I am so blessed to have them in my life. Kevin said his wish is to always be with us, his family ❤ Love my boy and really hope these next ten years don't fly by as quickly as these last ten years...

Happy Birthday, Granny and Kevin ❤ I love you both very much and my life would be empty without either one of you ❤

My Granny celebrating her
83rd Birthday with Big Daddy

Happy 10th Birthday, Kevo ❤