448050911201448 This Year... | Polka Dots and Protons - Interactive Science Notebooks & More

My goal is to make interactive science notebooks engaging for 5th grade and middle school science students while improving science test scores. NGSS expert, teacher, tpt author, mom, & widow

This Year...

I started 2019 much different than I am ending it. To say it has been tough doesn't describe it. It really can't be put into words so I have not written sooner about the events. Words truly do not convey the challenges.

The year started off great. We saw the super bloom in Borrego and continued to fix up our adobe home. For spring break, we went to Big Sur and had a wonderful family trip with our 16 and 17 year old teenagers who love the outdoors and adventure. We missed our son, Tyler, who is serving a mission in Cebu East Philippines but we have been so proud of him. We even saw a condor fly when we hiked at Buzzard's Roost where you could see a valley below on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other side of the peak. We stopped to see California poppies and hiked to Lime Kiln falls and other off the beaten path stunning areas.

Then, May 9 came. Everything got turned upside down. Everything. My husband of 22.99 years was in a car accident on the way to work. Mother's Day was days away. The annual Daddy Daughter backpacking trip was two weeks away and they had reservations at Catalina Island. We had our 23rd anniversary planned to go to Dana Point for Memorial Day weekend. We had plans. We had wonderful adventures behind and ahead of us. But now, I was doing the unthinkable. I had to tell my children ages 16, 17, and 19 that their healthy, amazing dad would not be physically home with us. My sweet missionary son in the Philippines had to be told and arrangements made for him to come home.

Shawn has been my best friend. We are a team. He is my everything. Even after almost 23 years, he brought me flowers, made our home and property beautiful, and took great care of our family. You may hate to hear this but... he made my lunch every day in a Bento box. He lit candles and got my robe before I showered. He put a heating pad in bed to warm it up before I went to bed. He showed love. I recently started loving protea flowers so he planted me three plants. Life wasn't perfect but it was pretty great. We recently had checked some things off of our wish list. We visited London & Scotland with close friends, had taken our family to Hawaii, and dined at Disney's Club 33. We loved just being together. Cheesy but true. Family life hasn't been too hard. We get along and we love to be together.

Now I was being asked questions about organ donation, services, burial plots, etc. Shawn felt bulletproof. How could this be happening? I was a 45 year old widow with three teenage children. I didn't have time for how and why. I couldn't go there. My mom moved in with me to help me. She made little eye shaped ice packs for my swollen eyes. She made me think of things I was grateful for so I didn't sink. Oh, how I needed my mom. She and Aunt Sue greeted guests and made lists. (Aunt Sue isn't a blood relation but is truly considered family.)

Tyler arrived home on Sat. Many worked to get him home quickly. The Philippines is 15 hours ahead so Shawn passed on Thurs. and Tyler found out on Fri. morning his time. Getting home on Sat. our time was fast. He flew from Mandaue, Cebu to Manila to Tokyo to San Diego. He's 19 and he had to travel a long way to get home. I got dressed to get Tyler. I wanted him to know his mom would be okay. I put on real pants and did my makeup.

Even as I was told about Shawn, there were miracles. Yes, many. I am not up for going into those right now but I quickly knew that Shawn wasn't far and God has those on the other side be close to their loved ones sometimes. I had no idea it was possible but I was so grateful for these miracles.

I 100% thought Shawn and I would grow old together. I was sure I wouldn't be able to live without him. But, I am.

I have written an obituary for my husband. Link Here- It is actually an entertaining one. (I learned they don't fact check these, so I took the liberty of adding a super hero secret identity. Also, I really didn't want the knife in the picture but even with multiple cropping attempts, it is somehow there.) I have done the unthinkable but I have survived.

We had a Reunion of Friends and Family service at church. I insisted it last only one hour. Family and church friends helped pull off getting everything ready in merely one week. I needed the service over with. My church family was incredible and so many helped. It was a perfect tribute to my Shawn. Those attending were encouraged to wear Hawaiian or plaid shirts. It was raining. It rained most of May. I said it was because of my mood. It rained at the cemetery. It was like movie with the black umbrellas everywhere in a down pour.

In the evening, we had hamburgers from In N Out at Terra Mar (favorite cliffs and surfing beach) for family. Everyone brought their beach chairs and set them on the cliffs. We set our flower leis on the posts and watched the sunset. The service was for the community. The cemetery was necessary. But, the beach was for me. Shawn's sweet cousin, Jamie, brought dozens of In N Out burgers.

I have been well cared for as I have navigated these last seven months. Men from church lined our driveway with 5 gallon buckets of roses and then friends came and planted the rose garden.

Our sweet missionary, made the difficult decision to return to the Philippines to finish his two year mission that he was almost half way through. Saying good bye was...hard. My 19 year old, would fly from San Diego to Los Angeles to Tokyo to Manila and then to Mandue, Cebu...by himself. I was so proud of him. His strength was a blessing to our family but my heart ached.

Did things go smoothly? No. Within weeks, I had a weird leak in my room and we had a brand new roof. Less than three months after Shawn's passing, my car died and our home flooded. I didn't have a car to move my things out of the house. Insurance and contractors were difficult. I had trouble with getting medical insurance. Our son broke his toe and our daughter had strep throat and the medical insurance I had purchased covered nothing. Zero. The well pump died and so on and so forth. Our home was gutted except for the office and kids' rooms. We moved in with my parents and resorted to resort living on the weekends.

It has been 7 months since Shawn was with us physically. We have been out of our home longer than in our home during those 7 months. It took four months to fix our home and we are glad to be back. A team of family members has helped me with paper work, insurance, home design, and more. I haven't been alone and I am grateful for my team.

I am back at work teaching. Have I worked on my TPT store this year? A bit. Not close to what I was planning. Even with these challenges, I met my goals. I took the kids to Disneyland to celebrate like I promised last Jan. Even with not working on my store much, it grew 64% over 2018. (We celebrated with TWO days at Disneyland! Sometimes you just need to celebrate.)

It's time to make goals for 2020. I have a lot to learn and do and it is daunting. But, I have come so far. I am sad but I am hopeful. This is why I haven't blogged much this year.

Here are pictures of the restoration/remodel of part of the house.

 Check out the Santa Barbara tile/ Malibu tile back splash!!!!

 2019 wasn't a smooth year. But, there were so many blessings in the midst of intense heart ache. I will work to share some of them. I don't have big plans for 2020, but I will put one foot in front of the other. I will do my best. Like Tyler waving to us from the Philippines, we are saying good bye to 2019. You were a hard year, but we made it.