March 19, 2012

Seasons. (our weekend at the ranch + serious “big life stuff”)

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The state of Texas has its downfalls, but one thing I’ll always love about it here are the wildflowers in spring.  It’s not that we have particularly harsh winters, but after a season of drab and dead and (sometimes) cold, spring here is such a refreshing turn.  Except for all the Texas sized bugs.  Those are not refreshing.

Matthew and I rounded out his spring break with a nice long weekend at the ranch, and since the last time I’ve been there, things have changed tremendously.  The trees that were once skeletal and bare are now budding and green, and wildflowers literally fill the fields and blanket the ground in most areas.  It was really breathtaking, and I found myself seeing everything through the frame of my camera—imagining how it would look in a picture.  Funny how perspectives change with our passions. 

To be honest with you, my heart has been really heavy lately.  Edd is slipping away.  Last night my mom needed help getting him from the living room to his bed, and he was confused and frightened and just… gone.  It broke my heart to see him that way. He’s not the man we knew anymore.  The cancer has taken the part of him that made him him.  The decline has been so rapid in the past couple weeks…   I haven’t been able to write about it.  No words seem to do this justice—what I’ve seen the cancer do to him and people I care about.  I’ve been feeling disingenuous on this blog lately, because I feel the need to carry on and continue posting (which I really do enjoy), but to not tell you about this other huge thing… the loss I sense is so near and, really, has already occurred… I can’t gloss over it, even though I never have the right words.  It’s real.  It hurts like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and I have trouble not focusing on it, not feeling it all throughout the day, because I know he’s suffering, and I know my mom is suffering in a whole other way.  Even our family dachshund, Nicky, is sick and old and needs to be put to sleep. When it rains it pours, right?

I’ve never lost anyone I really love before, but I guess now begins that time of life when you have to learn to face death and somehow come to terms with it.  I was thinking out at the ranch this weekend about how hopeless this life would be if we weren’t given the promise of spring.  Change.  Good things to come.  Because there are such good things to come!  Even when it feels like the season you’re in might never end. It will.  It will be good again.

Anyway, sorry to be so heavy.  Why are my heaviest posts always on Monday? Forgive me. :)  And thanks for reading! Here are a few more fun pictures from our weekend at the ranch…

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109 comments:

  1. Um, hello? These pictures are AMAZING. Thanks for taking us to the ranch :)

    Don't even know what to say about your family's tough situation, but I do think you should blog about it if that is REAL LIFE. We are interested in your story either way. Thanks for your beautiful words & photos.

    xo
    -W.

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  2. love you SO SO much Jenni. here WHENEVER you need to chat. you know this.

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  3. I hope it gets easier for you to deal with the cancer, I'm sorry that you have to go through that with a loved one, it really is a terrible disease.

    On a happy note, amazing pictures of the wildflowers and the ranch. looks like a great weekend!

    -kelly

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  4. Your MIL is ridiculously cute. So sorry and sad to hear the bad news about Edd. Hang in there. Sending hugs to all of you.

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  5. Aw Jenni, so sorry. I lost my Mom to cancer when I was 15 so I definitely know where you're coming from and am always here if you need to talk. Loss is a hard thing to deal with, but it does make you a stronger person in the end. :) Will be thinking of you!

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  6. Jenni - thank you so much for sharing this with us. there is such a difference between someone who is negative on their blogs, and someone who is going through something so difficult, yet so real. we love this blog because it represents YOU, and who you are. and as sad and heartbreaking as it is to read what you are going through, it is the only way for us to stay "connected" to you. life isn't bubbly every day. i would rather you share how you are feeling because that's when i know you are the real and genuine Jenni I love to read so much. I hate that you are going through this, and I am so sorry for your pain. You are in my prayers. Xoxo :)

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  7. Watching someone you love suffer is the worst thing in life. All you want to do it take it away, and it's terrifying and helpless. It's true; there are no words. But like you said, there's always a spring after the dark, cold winters. And remember you have a support system at home, and really across the country.

    You're in my thoughts and prayers today, miss. You, Edd, your mom and your whole family. Sending love.

    xx
    Jenna

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  8. I really hope you can exhale after sharing your heart in today's post. You have every right to feel emotional and drained but dont for a second think that because you have this fabulous blog, that you can't take time away when things are tolling on you. Do what is best for you, your mom and for Edd. We love you!

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  9. Those photos are amazing and the flowers are so pretty.

    I am so sorry for everything you are going through--and it is what is going in your life, so you never have to apologise for writing about it.

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  10. YOUR PICTURES ARE GREAT!! sorry for yelling... but they made me happy and made me feel like I was there just a little bit! Very nice... my favorite was the first one with you and Matthew walking the pooches!

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  11. First of all, you are such an incredible photog!

    But what I really want to say is that my prayers are with you. Such a difficult time and such conflicting emotions - the pain of a tremendous loss and the hope of spring around us. I know exactly how that is; we lost my fiance's dad in the middle of spring and I remember thinking, "how can I be so sad, feel so hopeless, and then look out and enjoy the beauty of what's ahead?" Somehow we find a way. And Edd would want that, too. Hugs to all of you right now!

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  12. I'm so sorry you're going through this. You're in my thoughts & I know there is nothing more painful than seeing a loved one slowly slip away from you.

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  13. So so sorry to hear this news about Edd - I continue to keep your mom (& your whole family) in my prayers!

    http://www.pennypincherfashion.com

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  14. My heart is so heavy while reading this post as tears fill up my eyes. This brings back so many of the emotions and pains I so suddenly had to deal with this past month during the loss of my Mom.

    I am so sorry you are going through this. SO sorry. During those final moments with my mom, I knew I had to share some of it on my blog - but the words just never seemed to be enough, as you said. Death is so very real and, for me at least, those final days leading up to it were the hardest. I knew better things were to come - she wouldn't be suffering anymore, she'd be in a much better place. While that does help bring peace, I'd be lying if I said those last moments weren't the worst thing I've had to go through. Seeing how the cancer started to "take her" broke my heart in two.

    Embrace this time, Jenni. I know you will. I know you find the beauty in everything as you did with these pictures. You're such a strong woman and I know you will be a rock for your mom as you and your family come together during this time. I am praying for you and keeping you in my thoughts! Please know, I am here if you need anything at all!

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  15. It looks like you had such a great time at the ranch! I love your pictures. What overlay do you use?

    I'm sorry to hear about Ed and your family puppy. My sister's little morkie was hit by a car the other day. She's been crying a lot as she goes through the house to pick up his old toys or runs to the door when she thinks he's there. Pets are really like part of the family.

    Prayers with you and your family. I sincerely hope ya'll find comfort during these really hard times in life.

    Your friend,
    Melinda

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  16. The pictures you took this weekend are beautiful! You should frame this and put them in your house or I could definitly see a market for people buying your beautiful work!

    Your family is in my prayers. No need to apologize for your post, glad you are able to share the pain you are going through and know that your readers support you, pray for you and are there for you.

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  17. Aw Jenni-I am so so sorry. I hate hearing stuff like this..especially for you...because you're a good person and well, because bad things "aren't supposed" to happen to good people. (So they say...)

    You already know I lost my dad a little over 4 years ago so I can definitely relate to just about every emotion you're going through. If you ever just need to chat, I'm here for you.

    BTW-your pics are AMAZING. And your MIL is a DOLL!!

    Love ya girl. Stay strong! Your momma needs you to! xoxo

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  18. Jenni, you are incredibly talented in so many ways. And you are still so young! You inspire me. And I'm sending lots of hugs.

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  19. hi! i don't think i've ever commented here before, but i just wanted to say hey!

    so sorry to hear about what's going on with your family. i know from experience that this kind of situation just plain sucks no matter what. i lost my dad when i was 14 and even now that i'm 25, it still hurts. so sorry you have to go through it :( your family will be in my prayers.

    anyway, on a happier note- i love the pictures from your ranch!! we have a little "family farm" that those pictures kind of remind me of!! it's only 25 minutes away from our house but it's a totally different world up there and we love to go there to "escape" for the weekend!

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  20. My heart has been a bit heavy lately too. So sorry to hear about how quickly Edd is slipping away. :( Breaks my heart. My grandma had developed dementia before she passed, and it was very difficult watching her spark fade.

    Can I tell you how badly I could use a trip to your in-laws ranch. They should put up a cottage there to rent out or something, because that looks like heaven!! (: I'd definitely stay there for a nice long restful weekend. I've yet to see the beautiful Texas wildflowers. That's going to have to get on our to-do list.

    Oh.... and your mom in-law has ups! She has like a three foot vertical or something. hehe

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  21. Hey love!! I am so sorry to hear about everything going on. I lost my godmother, my mom's best friend, to cancer a little over two years ago and it still hurts.. it doesn't make sense.. I'll never understand why awful things happen to the best people. I know what you mean about how fast it takes over at the end. One day they are fine, the next it is completely different. Hang in there. Sending lots of prayers your way!!

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  22. I love your photos - as always.

    I'm so sorry to hear about what you are going through with Edd. The loss of the person, the mind and soul, is the most devastating kind. You and your family are in my thoughts.

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  23. Don't ever apologize for being genuine and raw with your readers.

    Thanks for the authenticity. Thinking of you.

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  25. Wow the ranch looks totally stunning!! What a beautiful place to relax and unwind.
    I'm so so sorry to hear about Edd; it is always a tough thing to watch someone so dear start to slip away. As always, you and your family are in my prayers! Wishing you a beautiful week! :) Big hug to you, Jenni!

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  26. Your mother in law in too much to handle! What's not to LOVE?!?!?

    Much love and many prayers to you and yours during this time. Nothing makes it easier or better but the passage of time and hope for a less heavy heart.

    "No winter last forever; no spring skips its turn." -Hal Borland

    xo

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  27. I think you hit the nail on the head with the truth being, we can all say we feel bad or sorry or just feel for someone when they "lose" someone close to them; however you never really know what loss is till you DO have someone close to you die. Then one actually experiences loss. Death sucks. Plain and simple. Some get over it fast, others (like me grieved losing my mom at 13 for YEARS) All I can say is be there for your mom. Not in the sense of smother her with what can I do, just be "there" ya know? Thinking of you and your family. Maybe you can let your fur babies keep her company should she have to put down her fur baby. Be well. Prayers.

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  28. Beautiful pictures today, Jenni. My heart hurts for you and your family. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!

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  29. This is the one place where you can let it ALL hang out.....those of us who read Story of My Life read it because we want to share in the story of YOUR life.....not in a creepy stalker way but as friends. And quite honestly as those who are facing similar situations we can draw strength and know that we are not alone.

    Life is not always posts about fashion or recipes or crafts. Sometimes life is hard and ugly and it hurts like hell!!!

    And when you write posts like this one you give us your readers and friends an opportunity to pray for you, to think about you and perhaps in some small way provide you with comfort and support.

    So thank you for your beautiful post and for the beautiful photos.

    May you and your family be held firmly in the Father's arms during this difficult time you are facing.

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  30. GORGEOUS pictures! My husband would seriously love a place like this to go to! So beautiful & relaxing!

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  31. So so sad to read this :( Sending you lots and prayers.

    Cancer sux. sigh.

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  32. Jenni, my prayers are with you & your family. I can't even imagine how difficult this must be... but thank you for sharing, it must be so nice to be able to get this off your chest and let us in a little bit!

    As for these photos?! Ah, storybook beautiful - as are you... so much beauty inside & out! xo

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  33. My prayers are with you, I recently lost my step-dad Billy. I'm still having a tough time trying to deal and figure out how my life will be without him in it. I too am struggling with what to post, and I've sort of fallen a away from my own blog because I don't want to bring people down with what's going on in my life right now. My blog was always about positive things and happy things going on in my life. Anyways, I wish you peace and lots of love through your own tough time.

    xo
    Kayla
    http://www.sealedwithakay.com

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  34. Jenni, I am so so sorry that things feel so... sad right now. It is ok to blog about, absolutely ok! This is your space, we are just here to support and listen. :) I hope and pray that things will get better and be at peace soon. These pictures are absolutely magical! Something I'm sure that helps it feel less heavy. :)

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  35. I think it is good to be heavy and tell how you feel. I am so sorry. I know what you mean abotu being gone. it was like that at the end of grandaddy's battle with cancer. It's so hard. I am praying for peace all around.

    On another note though the pictures are beautiful and I love the bow and arrow picture... can I just say Katniss Everdeen better watch out! A new warrior in the making! ;)

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  36. Jenni,

    I just wanted to let you know that I find this little piece so incredibly inspiring, especially with some insight as to what "season" you are in right now: "Even when it feels like the season you’re in might never end. It will. It will be good again." Thank you :)

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  37. I just LOVE that first picture of you all, with your husband holding your waist so sweetly. I am sorry you are going through this difficult time, May the Lord sustain each of you.

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  38. beautiful pictures, jenni- i really can FEEL the spring in the air (:

    what do you say about this post? i'm sorry? hugs and kisses? i mean, nothing could be the "right thing" to say... (but defnitely i'm so sorry and hugs and kisses to you and your momma) i can only tell you, as a person who HAS last several loved ones before it was "their time", it's a rough road. for you, for your mom, for edd. but spending this time together, enjoying each other, sharing your love and support for each other.. that's really all you can do..

    as hard as it is, i hope you and your mom and your family can find some joy and happiness on the road ahead..

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  39. Jenni, The photos are beautiful - I'm so jealous of your little weekend escape to the ranch. It looks like you guys had the best time!

    I'm so sorry to hear about Edd - please know you will be in my prayers. I can't imagine how difficult it is for all of you, seeing him that way.

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  40. Between my husband and I, we lost three grandpas last year. It's tough but hang on tight to the people that love you and you'll get through. On a side note, love the wildflowers. So beautiful.

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  41. oh Jenni, i am so sorry your family has to go through such a tough time.

    A big hug.

    You mil is awesome, and like the pictures of her in the middle of the wild yellow flowers

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  42. Jenni,
    I am so sorry for the pain that you all are going through. Watching a loved one slip away is cruel and unfair and just horrible. But you are right--the hope and promise that we have to cling to is what gets us through these times. Know that you all arein my prayers.

    ~Tiffany
    http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

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  43. Such beautiful pics! Love the pic of you guys and the pups & how cute is your mom in law! Fabulous. Im sorry to hear about Edd sending prayers your way & your fam. Sorry to hear about Nicky. Sending lots of prayers and hugs your way. Xo

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  44. your mother in law is adorable!

    Edd- he is just like the spring flowers -God knows our first breath and our last- if Edd believes that Jesus Christ is his Savior then he is about to come into FULL BLOOM
    I understand your pain thanks for sharing I hope your hope, strength peace and wisdom comes from God as He will deliver your family through this 'season' of life

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  45. Your MIL is adorable. I loved those pictures of her in the field. And you with the crossbow is great.

    Your mom must be an amazingly strong woman. I can't imagine how difficult it is for her right now. I'll be praying for peace for you guys.
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

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  46. I'm so sorry about Edd :(

    on a lighter note, you guys are the cutest little family. And I love your bun!

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  47. Prayers to you and your family.

    And no need to apologize for the post being too heavy as I think it's genuine, honest, words straight from the heart and those are sometimes the words that touch others the most. In fact, what you said about the season your in feeling like it might not end, but that it will be good again, is exactly what some one, some where needed to hear today. Blessings.

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  48. even in your post, an honest one revealing the state of Edd and the state of Jenni, how he is slipping away.

    death.

    then the ranch, full of flowers in bloom and a mother pig walking her piglets.

    life.

    you say the words escape you, but honestly, they ooze from you. even if you don't say them. keep writing.

    seasons.

    and i'm so, so very sorry you are suffering right now.

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  49. thinking of you Jenni. There's a line from Mitch Albom that I've always loved

    "life has to end. love doesn't."

    It's so hard that this is the way of things. but you go on loving just the same.

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  50. i'm so sorry you are going through this hard season... i lost my dad to a rare liver disease this fall and it was (and still is) soul crushing. we were SO close and i have been devastated by losing him. and yet, god has carried me, in ways i've never experienced before. my blog has served as an outlet to process my grief and what i'm feeling and it has been incredibly healing. knowing others out there had experienced the loss of a parent and getting to share with them was so helpful. if you need anything, i'm only an email (or blog) away ;) and you are right... spring does come.

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  51. I'm sorry things have been hard in your family here lately. I think spring time is always there for the winters in our life.

    These photos are beautiful and I love the filters you have been using.

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  52. I always love reading your blog. So refreshing! You and your hubby are adorable!

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  53. Praying for you Jenni. I think of y'all often and just know that if you need anything at all, I'm here for you. Love you. XOXO.

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  54. This is a beautifully written post. Oh Jenni, I'm so, so sorry about what your family is going through right now. :-(

    P.S. You seriously downplayed how amazing Matthew's family's ranch is- absolutely beautiful!

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  55. These are great pics!

    I have a heavy heart for you. I know what you are going thru and I know its tough. I lost my dad in November of last year and as I type this I cry...I will be praying for you and your family.

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  56. watching someone you love slip away in pain is the most wrenching feeling in the world. i lost my brother 6.5 months ago to cancer and i still lose my breath when my mind starts to think of his most suffering moments. but i know he is with God now, and is in more peace & joy than i will ever be down here. i struggle with ppl that say "it was meant to be" i don't believe my brother was meant to die of cancer and i never will. but let me not get carried away, just saying i sympathize with your situation, it is so very hard to explain.

    on a much different note, i love the pics. did you take the couple shots with a self timer on your new pimpy camera? & if so, are you able to use burst mode when using the self timer?

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  57. Oh my gosh I love these photos! Your pictures just keep getting better and better. Your life looks so beautiful :)

    http://bronsonbloopers.blogspot.com

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  58. Don't you look sexy shooting that bow! Along with your hot husband.

    And your MIL is ADORABLE!

    Can I visit that ranch soon? My kids would love it!!

    On a serious note, it breaks my heart about Edd. For you, for your mom, for your family. It is such a sad thing to comprehend :(

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  59. The Ranch looks like an amazing place! Thanks for the gorgeous photos! You are adorable.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your hurting heart. Concentrate on the good times and remember to talk about them with each other. It doesn't make the hurt go away but I think it reminds us to be grateful for the time that we had. At least it helped me, as hard as it was to talk about it.

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  60. My heart goes out to you and your mom :(

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  61. Please don't apologize for being heavy. If "heavy" is real, then just be it. REAL is always better.

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  62. Can we just take a minute to appreciate how beautiful your babies will be? I mean, look at those genes! Jackpot!

    On another note, praying for Edd and your family. I haven't yet experienced a loss like what you're going through, and can only imagine. Praying that God send comfort and peace your way.

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  63. This post touched me. You're beautiful with words and photos.

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  64. Those pictures are gorgeous! I can't imagine what you are going through with Edd. I am thinking of you and your family. :)

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  65. I also know how hard it is (both my parents died when they were 48) and will be thinking positive peaceful thoughts for Edd, your Mom, you and the rest of your family. Gorgeous pictures as always! My favorite is the one with the piglets.

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  66. Jenni, through you and your blog, I've met your Mom through her blog. You both are two beautiful souls. I'm so sorry you all are having to travel this sad goodbye road. I'm having to say goodbye to one of my dearest friends for the last 25 years as she deals with the end of her brain cancer. Bits and pieces and too many goodbyes...cancer is awful and ugly. What does shine valiantly through the gray is the sunshine of love. Edd and Kathi's love for each other, your love for your Mom and Edd and her's for you. And keeping you all together through all time is the LOVE of God for all his creation. You all have been in my prayers since we first 'met', and will continue to be. Much love from me to all of you and thank you for being strong enough to share.

    Loves~

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  67. i'm tweeting you as we speak, but i just wanted to say that the picture of matthew teaching you how to shoot the bow is so sweet :) you kids are adorable.

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  68. Thinking of you and your family during this very sad awful time.

    Echoing all of the many comments, your photos are gorgeous. The Ranch looks like a very special place. I hope you are able to find peace there during the moments ahead.

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  69. I'm a new follower. I'm sorry to hear about your Step Dad. That can be very tough I'm sure.

    I do love your pictures - they are so beautiful. Your puppies are so cute! And i love the red boots!

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  71. Our wildflowers are my favorite. I can't wait to get some pictures of my own.

    Praying for Edd and your family, Jenni.

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  72. You've always had such a good eye when taking photos but I must say I can tell a difference with the new camera!!! Beautiful!!! By the way were those wild boar & piglets???

    Your trip to the ranch was just what ya'll needed!! You are surrounded by so much love! Your Mother in law is a gem! I can see where Matthew got his charm!!

    Hang in there so many people have you and your family on their mind. Your heart might be heavy but the blogging community is a supportive one!

    Rachel

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  73. Hi Jenni, hang in there! My dad was diagnosed with cancer 2 months ago. It truly is hard, especially when you are there to witness it ALL (especially the emotions that come from it). My dad always tells ME to hang in there, that God never gives us more than we can handle. :) xo Jacqlyn

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  74. Jenni,

    I am so sorry to hear about this. I was wondering how he was doing. Cancer is never easy. Watching the ones you love get progressivly worse is one of the hardest things. I've lost a cousin to cancer and a cousin to an accident. Neither of them were easy, but with these two young people, knowing that one was going to pass eventually was in a sense easier. Losing one suddenly was much harder and longer to cope with. My prayers are with you and my heart goes out to you because I know how hard it is. Use this time to prepare your heart and cherish the rest of the time you have with him. Thoughts and prayers sent your way!

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  75. Jenni, Everything you feel are valid feeling, and you are dealing with it like you should. death and cancer is tough but you and your family will become stronger and help each other through it. Keep your head up high, and know you have readers who are keeping you and your family in our prayers.

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  76. Thinking of you and your family. We lost my uncle to kidney cancer almost two months ago and though the loss looms heavy over all of us, our family is beginning to heal and move forward. You're so right to say that things will be good again; yes. Yes, they will.

    Sending big hugs to Edd, your mom and family -- hang in there.

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  77. Sending positive thoughts your way! We lost my father in law six months ago to cancer so I know what loss you're talking about- the loss of who they are is just about as devastating as the physical loss. Hang in there! Sending lots of blog love!

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  78. I am glad that you guys got some time away - the ranch sounds amazing and your picts are always great! I love how your MIL was able to get in on the action!
    Sorry to hear that things are not getting better. Like everyone has said you have a lot of support and love being sent your way. Praying for continued strength.
    - xo

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  79. ok you are one of the cutest, most beautiful girls ever.

    also, sorry about all the different chaos. my grandmother has Parkinson's and it has changed her so much.

    but i know it will all get better.

    kirstenandryanwiemer.blogspot.com

    ps you have the cutest mother-in-law

    -k

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  80. I'm very sorry to hear about Ed Jenni. Hope this season of Spring brings about better & more positive things. Never lose hope.

    <3

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  81. Your blog makes me want to live in Texas. And your mother in law is SO cute! I already love her!

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  82. Looks like an awesome time at the ranch!! It's never easy losing someone but God has his reasons for everything...give your mom/Edd big big hugs!!!

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  83. Take comfort and think about the good times you have had with Ed. I am a recent cancer survivor...came out of nowhere and knocked me sideways, but I made it through and had a much easier time than others. Just be there for your Mom, she'll need you now more than ever. Take care and stay strong.

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  84. you really should frame that last one. such an adorable family photo :) and i'm so sorry to hear about Edd...there is a season and a time for everything I guess, but losing someone you love never gets easier. big hugs to you, friend!

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  85. Im so so sorry. Never apologize for the heavy posts---I will be praying for you, Edd and your mom. God is such the redeemer, but it is so hard when you are in it.

    On another note--your mother-in-law is adorable! And the flowers are gorgeous!

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  86. Thank you for posting this today. I loved the line "Even when it feels like the season you’re in might never end. It will. It will be good again." I really needed to hear that tonight.

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  87. Great pictures! I am going through tough times as well, although they are different. I would say don't ever feel like you have to hide what you're feeling on your blog, even if it is sometimes heavy and sad. I as a reader appreciate the honesty and usually don't stick with the blogs that act like their lives are always so "perfect" because it doesn't feel real to me. Real life sucks sometimes! Obviously we always have things to be thankful for, but when hard times are weighing on us, sometimes it feels good just to write about it and share it.

    I am really sorry about what you and your family are going through and my prayers are with you all. My husband's and my grandparents are deteriorating pretty rapidly now, especially 2 of them, and it is sad to see, but sadly, part of life I guess. I am not used to losing anyone close to me either.

    I am trusting in the same thing that you said, that life will be good again, because if I'm honest, my husband and I have been through so many health issues that all we can do most days now is sleep, wake up, and watch tv together. It gets very depressing sometimes but we trust that somehow, something will come along, especially to help him with his almost daily debilitating migraines.

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  88. Your pictures, honesty and transparency are beautiful! You have no reason to apologize. I am sorry you are hurting.

    "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinth 4:16-18)

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  89. Those pictures are amazing! And how cute is your family!!! I can see those red Hunter boots are getting some great use! Looks like a lovely weekend :)

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  90. jenni, these pictures are gorgeous.

    and i'm sooo sorry for the pain you guys are experiencing right now. i wish i could shoulder some of it for you. i'm thinking of you...

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  91. Hello -

    My name is Sam and I've been following your blog for several months. A friend sent me the link and I've been a faithful reader ever since. :)

    I love how in love you are with your family and dogs. I have 3 furry kids and adore them beyond words. :) I too have more photos than you can imagine of them and often can't resist just squeezing them b/c they're so cute. :)

    I was motivated to comment today b/c of Ed and the hurt you're feeling. I suddenly and unexpectedly lost my Dad in September. It all happened in less than a 24hr time period. I love my Dad with all my heart and then some. He is my hero and losing him has been a devastating, life altering and life changing experience for me. Please know you're not alone! And the feelings that are washing over you - you just have to allow it, feel it, cry over it, love him through it and love your mom through it. It's not going to be easy, it's going to hurt like hell but one day you'll walk around the whole in your heart instead of stepping in it. I'm nowhere close to that point yet, but I have amazing friends and 3 furry kids that hold me up when I need it. :)

    I started a blog a few months ago thinking it would help me get my feelings out. It really has helped. Feel free to check it out...http://areyoutheredaditsmesam.blogspot.com/

    Thinking of you and your family!

    Samantha Massie

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  92. Love the ranch pictures, it looks gorgeous out there! You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers daily, I can't even imagine what you all are going through.

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  93. That looks like a weekend my boyfriend and i would have, bow hunting and red hunter boots! love it!

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  94. first of all, these pictures are beautiful. you a very talented photographer!

    second, I'm a new reader, so I don't know everyone you mention or what's happening. but I wish you and your family the very best, no matter what's to come. you'll get through it together.

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  95. Oh Jenni, I am so truly sorry for your mom and you and everyone involved. I feel for you when you talk about the time of life when we have to prepare to deal with death. I've only lost a dog I had for 12 years before and it felt like it would never stop hurting. I was 18. And the thing is even when I think about him now, 12 years later it still makes me want to cry. So I cannot imagine what it's like to lose a husband, friend, parent... I can't imagine it and I'd rather not. But it will come one day, I hope a very distant day and I just hope I have a family of my own to be there for me when it does.
    Big hugs Jenni all the way from Poland,

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  96. oh and the pictures are fabulous of course. I'd love to go to that ranch. xx

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  97. Sending you love and hope and prayers! I promise you'll get through this, and even though your heart is heavy now, it'll lighten again, it'll just take a while. I always feel for those who haven't lost someone they truly love before because that ache is indescribable! Let me know if there's anything I can do for you :)

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  98. When my grandmother passed away, we had to put our oldest dog to sleep the day before.

    The only good way to look at is that they need each other. They need a partner to go with or to be there when they arrive, and who better than man's best friend?

    I'm so sorry you're hurting, and yes, when it rains it pours.. err, floods.
    Hope the rest of your week gets better!

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  99. Wow, that's some arrow!!
    So sorry to hear about your feelings about Edd. It's such a sad time for you all. I wish there was something I could do!
    Love those photos though, especially of your mother-in-law! That is so cute.
    And love those flowers in the field. I love spring!

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  100. Texas looks wonderful! I love meadows of wildflowers :) Reminds me of my home in Oregon!

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  101. I'm so sorry to hear about Edd but I think if you want to talk about it, it's completely ok because it's your life and what's going on in it.

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  102. being out on a day like that with the fams sure would put some salve on those wounds but gosh Jenni am i ever sorry to hear about Edd's decline in health. cancer bleeds darkness out and into all the surrounding supporters, that's one of the hardest things to feel and see. i understand and am heavy hearted thinking of your darling Mom and Edd. i remember when my Dad was leaving us, the leukemia had raged it's war inside him and one of the last memories i have of him before going into palliative care was when he laid in bed, holding his arm up while the skin just sagged down. his words were "atrophy" and his eyes were hollow. i pray for you all and as with everyone's hopes for Edd, the quality of life is most important. blessings to him and you all Jenni. the words you wrote were said with the most love.

    i'm sorry to hear about Nicky too, all i can say is the way you've touched each of their lives brings cracks of bright light through the darkness. much love. xo ♥

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  103. I'm so sorry to hear about Edd. You all are in my thoughts. When someone you love is sick, it's hard to think of much ease. But use it as a constant reminder to tell people you love them, to smile and to be truely happy.

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  104. Im so sorry you have to experience this type of loss, I can only imagine...you and your family will continuously be in my thoughts and prayers. Take care JennI <3

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  105. This ranch is of full of surprises! Ohhh! The deer reminded of Bambi. This is a perfect weekend vacation because of the adventures you've encountered. The photos are lovely and romatic.

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Thanks so much for leaving your two cents! I read and appreciate every comment and respond when I can. Thanks for reading. :)

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