Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Sunflower Field!

DSC_0260_2 DSC_0426 Nyla and Titus DSC_0245_2 DSC_0236_2 DSC_0364 DSC_0268_2 DSC_0230_2 DSC_0360 Advice from a sunflower: Be sunny and bright! Rise, shine and hold your head high! Spread seeds of happiness!

A sunflower field in the evening is sure to bring a smile to your face! If you are in the Raleigh area, you must head out to Dorothea Dix Park and check out the field of sunflowers. I promise it will brighten your day.

My sister and I headed out Monday evening after work and was there until the sun set. Nyla enjoyed running among the flowers and Titus wanted to play with all the dogs and give all the kids kisses. It was kind of hard to get pictures without other people in them since the field is a hot spot for pictures, but we ended up getting some cute pictures.

Best way to end a Monday.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Boneyard Shawl

The makings of my Boneyard Shawl
 shawl_beginning shawl7 shawl8 shawl6 shawl4 simple_knitting_2 mothers day ring_shawl shawl2 DSC_0043_2 shawl3 shawl DSC_0062_2 I've never been a fan of shawls, but since making this one, I now have a long list of shawl patterns I want to knit! I'm a little obsessed!

For my first shawl, I wanted something fairly easy to knit and the Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West was perfect. The pattern was easy to memorize, and the knitting was comforting. It felt good to sit down after a long day and just knit to my hearts content without a lot of thought to the knitting.

Since finishing the shawl it has gotten lots of use, even though its the middle of summer. When it gets a little chilly in the house with the AC on, I just grab it and wrap up. When we took our trip to the mountains I brought it with me and was so glad I did! It was cool and rainy as Fonzy and I sat in the bleachers at the college watching the football camp. Some days at the office when its so chilly with the AC pumping I wish I have it with me! Restaurants too! I just need to start carrying it with me everywhere. I see it getting plenty of use when the weather cools. Or one of  the 100's I have saved to knit. Need more knitting time!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Quick Mountain Trip

riverside car knitting IMG_2906 mountains2.JPG IMG_2922 IMG_2826 IMG_2905 IMG_2878 IMG_2923 mountains3 IMG_2958 ghost hunting Two weekends ago we took a quick trip to the mountains for a football camp at Western Carolina University. It always feels good to get away for little trips. Fonzy and I are hoping to take more little trips once Elijah graduates. We have two more years to an empty nest!

Driving through the mountains I thought about how splendid it would be in the Fall with all the vibrant color leaves. Definitely need a Fall mountain trip, and maybe a ghost tour! If I can convince Fonzy! It would take a lot of convincing!

Monday, May 14, 2018

My First Sewn Dress

mothers day dress mothers day dress3 mothers day ring My first dress!

I finished sewing my first dress just in time for Mothers Day! I was so excited to put it on for dinner with the family. I still have a lot to learn with sewing, and not really sure where my sewing journey will take me, but I was happy with this make. Mistakes and all!

Also, got this ring for Mothers Day with all my boys name on it. I LOVE it!

Pattern Simplicity 8124 - Cynthia Rowley - Dress
Ring - HeidiJHale

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Letter to my Son's killer

I wrote this letter below in a blog post, May 16, 2016 and stumbled across it today in my drafts. I have yet to actually mail this letter off. Maybe one day I'll be able to. Maybe not. I decided to post it on my blog for now. I know there are other Mothers going through this right now. I've met so many through my blog posts of Samuel and it hurts my heart each time I hear a story of losing our babies. May 23rd will be 9 years since we lost Samuel and the pain still cuts like a knife.


I've written this letter a thousand times in my mind. I've often lain awake at night, thinking of what I would say to you. I've even gone as far as to start a letter on paper, but end up tearing it to pieces. How do I even start a letter to you? Hi? Mr. Foster? Latarus? I couldn't decide, so started the way you are reading it now. I'm not really sure why I've thought about writing you. Your actions changed my life forever. It has changed your life forever. May 23, will be 7 years since you took my Samuel's life. 7 more years and counting that you get to live. You were born the same year. Did you know that? Except Samuel didn't make it to 20. He will forever be 19. I've tried so hard to understand why. Why did you decide to shoot Samuel. From my understanding, he was knocked out on the ground, and you shot him in the back. On a dare. I've wanted to hear your side of the story, but my heart can barely handle the information I was given. And would you tell me the truth anyway. I've never gone to the place he died. I don't want to see the place he took his last breathe, it's not a memory I want. As I sit and write this, I wonder what you are thinking as you read? Do you have regrets? Do you even care about the people you left hurting? Do you think about Samuel? Do you see his face? I can't think about Samuel, without thinking about you. You two are forever linked. I don't know why or where I'm going with this letter. I'm not sure I'll even send it, but if you are reading it, you know I got up the courage to send it after all these years. I've often thought about forgiveness. Forgiveness for you. But I feel like I am betraying my Samuel. How could I even think about forgiving you? I know God says we should forgive, but I'm just not there. I've seen other parents forgive the person who took away their child, and I wonder how they found it in their heart to do it. Do you even want forgiveness? Do you even care? So many thoughts are running through my head right now. So much heartache, questions I want answered, but then I don't want answered. Conflicted. I have a hard time looking at Samuel's pictures. He was so full of life, hopes, and dreams and in an instant you took all that away. I can't look at his pictures without crying. 7 years later and it still hurts like hell. Just the other day, I was watching TV, 48 Hours. Our story could have been on that show. Wow - OUR story. It just dawned on me that you are forever linked to me also. On TV, it showed a young man, about Samuel's age, laying in a parking lot, shot to death. The person was covered with a yellow tarp and all they showed were his sneakers and the blood flowing from under the tarp and all I saw was Samuel. My first born son, shot and killed in a parking lot. Even though it wasn't him on the TV. It was. I couldn't breathe, I started to cry and my husband turned the channel. This is my life now. Often filled with pain and sorrow that I try so desperately to hide. I want to scream at you!!! I WANT TO KNOW IF YOU EVEN CARE!!!! ARE YOU SORRY? WHY! WHY! WHY! When you opened this letter, did Samuel's pictures fall out? Do you wonder why I sent them? I want you to see the smiling face you took from us. I don't ever want you to forget the precious person you took from me. See that headstone? That's all I have left. My baby's body buried in Texas soil. I get physically sick every time I visit the cemetery. Even when I get near it. Not living in Texas, it's so much easier to fool myself into thinking Samuel is still alive and well. That he is going about his life as usual. But visiting the cemetery is a slap in the face. No - a punch in the face. I can't pretend anymore. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him. And I can't think about him, without thinking about you. I hate it! I've never wished ill on anyone and I won't start now. I don't wish you dead, I won't wish bad things on you, because, just like my Samuel, you are someone's son. You have a mother somewhere who is also hurting. And I don't wish this pain on any mother. I'm done. I've poured out all I can right now. I'm wrestling with myself if I want to hear from you. Hear if you are sorry. If you care, if you think about Samuel. Your response won't bring my Samuel back, but maybe it would help with the healing, maybe not. I don't know. All I know right now, is I had a son, Samuel Rodriguez Jr. He was born October 20, 1989 and taken from me by your hands May 23, 2009. I hope you don't ever forget his face, and I hope one day I can find solace, some understanding, and maybe forgiveness. samuelbaby samuel7 Samuel Texas Christmas 09 013