Where has May gone??

Are we seriously almost at the end of May? Where has the month gone? We're almost to the halfway point of 2013, for crying out loud. I swear, it was just January yesterday. Man.

So, most of May has gone by without a real update from me. Whoops. Things have been a little nuts, but it's mostly that I haven't taken the time to update this thing. I will open by saying that Mother's Day was a lot of fun. My parents and I took JJ to the zoo, which kept my mind off things. It felt good to spend that day with him, to love and hug on him, to have that time with my baby boy [who isn't such a baby anymore]. There were SO many people at the zoo that day, but we still had a good day. It wasn't as overwhelming as I thought, and I attribute that to the balloon release and the letter. Those really help me let go, in a way.

As I mentioned in my OKC Memorial 5K post [that was a month ago, yeesh], J was home for about 10 days. During that time, we took family pictures with a wonderful friend, Averi Blackmon. Our first set of pictures with her were summer 2010, and I really wanted updated pictures. J, JJ and I hadn't done any sort of family picture since J and I got married in March 2009, so it was about high time for that. She did an AMAZING job, even though we had Mr. Ficklepants on our hands for most of the shoot. I'm including some of the pics here, but I would include SO many more. She is just awesome.

Our Superman!
Probably one of my fave pictures from the shoot. Love this man.
Our little family.
This is probably my first or second fave. I love us.
I am so glad we have these pictures to add to our family memories. It was hard to say good-bye for J [but this will hopefully be one of the last good-byes we'll have to endure for the rest of our lives], but having these memories helps. I hope to get some printed and framed soon.

The rest of May has been a big blur. The school year ended, and things were quiet for a few days before enrollment for new freshmen began. Last week was NUTS; the first week usually is, but last week was just chaos on all three days that we enrolled. I am so glad we have a long weekend, because I definitely needed more than just two days to recover! It's great to meet the new freshmen and welcome them to the fold, though. School is also over for JJ [he was in a program twice a week through the school system], which means the countdown begins to his first day of pre-k. This summer will be spent buying school supplies, clothes and shoes. I can't believe my little kid is stepping towards big kid status and starting pre-k. Wow.

I also did my second 5K during the month, Color Me Rad. Admittedly, I walked it with a friend and barely ran it, but that's OK. I won't be running a 5K for quite awhile, but that particular 5K will be on my running list for many years to come. It was SO MUCH FUN. I was completely covered in crap by the time it was over, but it all washed out [which was surprising], I had lots of fun with good friends, and it was so cool. I can't wait to run it again next year. I was going to do The Color Run in the fall, but it conflicts with another run I wanted to do. Ah well.

Before the run. Just call me Gangsta E.
Before the run - the group and I!
And...after. I was COVERED.
This is us after we threw a whole bunch of color bombs around. So.Much.Fun.

I've honestly been struggling with my running lately, mainly because of my shoes and strength training. I will be taking a break from running for awhile, but that doesn't mean I won't stop working out. I'll use this time to get my feet looked at, properly fitted, and get back on the pavement. I also need to step up my workout game and do strength training or yoga or something. I'll figure it out. I'm not falling off the wagon though! Just need to take a break for a bit as I sort some things out.

So that's May in a nutshell. Lots of pictures, lots of fun, lots of memories. I made some great strides this month emotionally, and after six weeks of counseling, I'm done for now. I'm sure I'll use counseling in the future, but for now, I feel good. I feel solid. Devon's loss isn't consuming me anymore like it used to, and it feels good to say that. I miss that little boy every second of every day, but I'm not letting his loss take over my life. He's a part of my life now, instead of his death being the only thing in my life [if that makes sense]. I'm still debating posting the good-bye letter that I wrote, but I'm thinking I will. It's a fitting tribute to the little boy I barely knew, but whose short life changed mine forever.

As the month winds down, I'm hopeful that June is going to bring lots of happiness. My sister's bridal shower and bachelorette party are in June, as is Father's Day. Enrollment will be in full swing, but there will be other background things going on that will hopefully make that process easier to handle. May has been a pretty good month, and I am so very hopeful that the trend continues, and that things just keep getting better and better.


Mother's Day.

Tomorrow will be a very happy - and very sad - day for me. It's Mother's Day, a day that, no matter how far I've come in counseling from an emotional standpoint, will still be a tough day.

I never, ever imagined that I would be celebrating this Mother's Day with just JJ. I never, ever imagined that I would be doing a balloon release, hoping that the balloon will fill with my love and be caught by Devon in heaven, instead of enjoying brunch with both my boys. It's a little overwhelming to be facing this day and only feel like half a mom because I only have one of my sons.

During my counseling session two weeks ago, I told my counselor that I was going to do a balloon release on Mother's Day. He suggested that, along with the release, I write a good-bye letter and read/launch it with the balloon. It's a way for me to let go of the emotional hold I've had on his death, to truly start moving forward and have him as a part of my life instead of an all-consuming type of thing. I'm not really say good-bye to him; I'm saying more of a, "I will see you again someday." I wrote the letter on Friday, and it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I'm supposed to read it out loud before I launch it, and I know I will just cry my eyes out when I do it. I'm considering blogging the letter, but I'm not quite sure if I want to do that. I'll think about it and see. I will say, though, that I felt a sort of peace after writing the letter. I put everything I wanted to say to him into that letter, and I just know he will be listening and take my words to heart tomorrow when I do the launch. He is part of the reason why I'm a mother, even if he isn't here, and he deserves to be a part of my day tomorrow. The launch and the letter will help keep him close to me.

Even as I still grieve, though, I am SO incredibly grateful that JJ is here with me. We're going to the zoo tomorrow with my sister and parents - and he LOVES the zoo. It will be so fun to take him there, to see his excitement as he sees the elephants and the monkeys and the giraffes, to spend the day with my precious boy. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: that boy is the light of my life. Even when he pushes me to my limit [we're at that 4-year-old "i'm going to whine about everything" phase], even when he doesn't listen to me the first 20 times, I am always grateful and thankful that I get to be his mommy. He is the cutest, funniest, random kid ever, and he is just so smart and so aware of the world around him. I'm blessed beyond words that he's mine. I focus so much of my blog on my loss that I just want the world to be reminded that I have a great kid on this Earth that calls me Mommy, and he makes me so happy.

I think Mother's Day will be hard for me for the rest of my life. The sting of the day isn't as bad [and i pretty much have counseling to thank for helping me come back to reality, face it and move forward], but my heart will always ache for the son I don't have. But, Lord willing, JJ will celebrate every single Mother's Day with me until the end of my days, and should we be blessed with other children, they will also celebrate Mother's Day with me. To be able to call myself a mom is the most incredible thing ever, and I will always cherish every Mother's Day. It will always just be a little bittersweet.