Life Isn’t Always Comfy Blankets and a DOG

Ok, all.  Don’t fall over because the word DOG is in my title.  She, however, has probably helped my anxiety more than I like to admit.  The answer to the most often asked question–what kind of dog is “Lucky”…she is a soft, smart and fluffy miniature Australian Labradoodle.

When working doesn’t feel like work.

Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. According to Google, Confucius said something to that effect. I’m sure that is a famous quote somewhere, but it is the honest truth!  Yes, I have arrived. Not really.  And I’ve blown about 2 hours texting, chatting, and Facebooking—of course now I’m regretting that time I will never get back.



I love creating and providing items that just don’t exist in the current gifting world.  Death and loss is not in the forefront of most people’s minds, but it is on mind.  People are hurting and grieving somewhere ALL day EVERY day.  I love the content and community I have created.


Before you get all jealous of the blanket and the dog, the trip here hasn’t been a cakewalk.  So often I think back to how life would be if Kyle was never killed 7 years ago.




Would our kids be different?  Would our marriage have survived or thrived?  Would life be as appreciated?  Would I still be content with my profession?  Would our friends be the same or different?  The BIG one…..Would I be happy(ier)?

The would’ve, could’ve, should’ve thoughts were definitely my biggest struggle early on and still creep back up, like today.  I really think it’s ok to ask these questions and even ponder them (not sure if my counselor would agree with that statement), but I need to put the thoughts to rest.  Speaking of counselor—I encourage everyone to RUN not walk to get one.  Seriously. Life. Changing.  If you are in the Edwardsville area, this is the group I go to:

So, because writing is a sort-of therapy for me, I’m going to spell it all out.  Of course, my hopes in sharing the intimate thoughts in my mind is that they may help someone else not to feel so alone or crazy—like I often do.

Comparison is not an option, because I couldn’t possibly know what life would have actually been like if November 26, 2012 ended differently.


My first thought is our kids.  Would Kaylee and Camden have anxiety and nervousness about losing one of us like they do now? I try to stay on the positive side of things and think things like they will be stronger and more resilient because of their loss.  But, will they?

Camden's grand entrance! (2012)
Camden’s grand entrance! (2012)

Camden (who was 10 months when Kyle was killed, now 8) has been randomly asking more and more details about Kyle’s death.  He wants to know if Daddy cried when he was hurt, what police officer was the first to try to save him, who the man is that called dispatch on Kyle’s portable that day, and when Daddy is coming down from heaven.  The fact that he randomly asks questions like these make me think that his Dad’s death is on his mind more often than I know.

Our little Comic Camden (2019)
Our little Comic Camden (2019)

Kaylee (who was 4 and is now pushing 12) struggles with self-esteem, anxiety and confidence.  Yes, these characteristics could probably be found in most pre-teens, but I wonder how much of this is Daddy-related.  There is no phrase I despise more than “Daddy Issues”—because that is my fear.  I fear that she will look for attention in the wrong places because of her loss.

Kyle and Kaylee at his Academy Graduation (2009)
Kyle and Kaylee at his Academy Graduation (2009)
Little Miss Smart but Sassy AKA Kaylee (2019)
Little Miss Smart but Sassy AKA Kaylee (2019)

Kyle and I were very happy with two children.  The plan for more hadn’t been discussed.  Not many people know, but when I had my cesarean with Camden, I was scheduled also for a tubal ligation (get my tubes tied).  When the Dr. verified the procedure after Camden was born, I pulled the plug.  Maybe it was hormones, maybe intuition, maybe just coincidence?


Miss Mia
Mia–sat still just long enough for this photo! (2019)

I can’t even wrap my head around Mia.  She is almost 2 years old and would not even be here if Kyle hadn’t been killed. Her brother and sister are head over heels for her.  As absurd as it probably sounds, I feel guilty having brought a life into the world when Kyle was denied his.  On the flip side, we brought a beautiful life into a world, that has also suffered the loss of a great man.  I’m on an endless journey to try and make a positive out of a negative.  It’s exhausting.  I can never finish or win.  It’s an endless cycle of wondering if I’m doing enough or not to make Kyle proud.

I hit the jackpot…twice!

Sarah and AJ
A night in Grafton @ Aerie’s Winery during sunset.

At the end of the day, I truly believe the Kyle-God combo sent my Chapter 2 (AJ) to us.  He is a saint for so many reasons.  He lets me have my days and is always there to pick me up and make all of us smile and laugh.  Two completely different personalities and attitudes.  So, as far as my question goes –am I happy(ier) now than I was then, I’ll never know.  I was happy then and I’m happy now.  Two totally different lives, marriages, and relationships.  I thank God, every day for them both.

Sarah and Kyle
On a RoyalCaribbean 1 year Anniversary cruise with the wind in our hair and not a care in the world…

I need to give credit where credit is due(another Ms. Long reference) – the awesome pics of the kiddos were taken by

Until the next nap-time with NOT my dog,


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