Happy Birthday to My Angel Momma

Yesterday would have been my mother’s 61st birthday if she were still with us on the earth.  Her birthday is always a little tough, even though I try to think about the wonderful memories I have of her and the good times we had together.  But after 21 birthdays without her here, those vivid memories had sadly faded some, but the pain of her being gone is still just as fresh as ever.  So, I tried to keep busy, and that’s easy these days with the kids, the household, et cetera, and I made her favorite cake, pineapple upside down cake in memory of her.  I love that cake, too, by the way, and make it a special manner so it’s not as bad for you as a regular cake would be by substituting pineapple juice for the water in the mix and applesauce for the oil in the mix.  It comes out much moister!  

At any rate, it was a difficult day for me, but I toughed it through, as I always do, and looked to heaven and wished my Momma a happy birthday many times and told her I loved her.  I stayed up most of the night thinking of the good times we had, and how things might be if she were here today.

Happy Birthday, Momma, I Love You!

My Baby Boy Turned TWO Last Week! Can you Believe It?!?

I can’t believe it…my sweet baby boy turned two years old last week! You know, it seems like just yesterday I was carrying him in my belly, and I could feel him kick me when I  stopped moving.  He loved movement, and let me tell you, it was a good prediction on my part, that he would be love movement outside the womb, too.  As an infant, he loved to be rocked, danced with, walked, and put in  the swing at times.  And now, he loves to move, run, climb stairs, crawl, and try to do everything his big sisters can do.

I am very proud of the little man Baby Shawn is becoming – he’s super smart, inquisitive, interested in exploring the world, already learning and he already knows some of his ABC’s and 123’s, is polite and says ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ is social, and super loving (especially to his mama).  We are very attached to mama.

With Grandma and Grandpa in town until just before his birthday, Baby Shawn basically had two days worth of birthdays and birthday cakes.  And of course he enjoyed every moment of it!  We still didn’t quite catch on the to blowing the candle out thing (and part of that may have been my fault, I put a little star sparkler on his cake too, it was neat and I had never seen those before). But we certainly knew what that casfor when we picked it up from Publix, and full-on meltdown when it went into the refirgerator and not our mouth because it was the middle of the day and quite time to celebrate with the “car cake.”  So I was blessed with hearing “I wananana car cake car cake wannanana car cake” for about 20 minutes straight until he wore himself enough to take a nap, poor birthday boy.

For the exquisite birthday dinner, we had leftovers from Grandma and Grandpa visiting and the family eating out much more often than usual. Which, to be honest, for kids, both the eating out, and the leftovers from eating out are both a treat from the usual “homemade boring food.”  They’ll learn one day that the homemade food that is made with love and car is much, much better.  But anywho, after dinner, we sang, as Baby Shawn calls it “Happy Day,” ate cake and opened all the fun presents. Lots of cars, airplanes, trains, and a pretend grill!

Here’s some of our silliness post cake and presents!

Happy Birthday my sweet, Shawn Michael II! I love youso very much!

All The Pieces…Of My Heart…Welcome, AGAIN!

Welcome to the blog land of All the Pieces of My Heart…redesigned!

I think I may have gone through about ten blog designs, I mean the entire design process on WordPress, and published them too, then didn’t like finished product.  Finally, I found a theme that worked well for me, and I took my sweet time designing a blog the exhibits my and my children’s personality.  I even explored Fiverr, and got myself and cool little logo – I designed on paper and sent it to a graphic designer – I’m rather pleased with the results!


So, anyway, if you’re new here, let me first break down the meaning of my blog’s name – All the Pieces of My Heart is meant to represent my family.  The ‘pieces’ are my family members.  I decided to choose pieces, like puzzle pieces because three of my four children are autisic and the most widely known image to represent autism is the puzzle piece.  And then my a heart to represent my family because they are everything to me — I wake get out of bed for my children.  My family and my children make my heart beat strong for life and for a cause every moment of the day.  They’ve saved me.


All the Pieces of My Heart is basically a personal blog written my me, a stay at home all over the place, busy like crazy taking care of it momma, of what happens when you put a working military Dad, busy Mom, teenage autistic daughter, autistic eight and six year old girls, and one very-busy discovering the world two year old little boy under one roof.  Usually not one minute of life is dull. Or quiet. Or sometimes even believable.

I also like to write about more of the mundane bloggy things that other moms or humans like to write about too, like recipes, giveaways, crafts, reviews, being cheap (becuase I find it fun as a hobby).

Anyhoo, welcome again.  Enjoy the show!

How my life changed three years ago…


Three very short years ago, today, which actually seems like an eternity ago now, another lifetime, I awoke (well, I don’t think I really slept that night) at about three in the morning. At the time, I was staying with my parents. They got up early with me and we had a nice breakfast. If I recall correctly, scrambled eggs, a lightly toasted cinnamon raisin english muffin with a touch of butter, and sausage. We ate together quickly and got to work put the last bits of my important possessions into my little Chevy Cruze that was parked in the driveway. It was a chilly, misty, and drizzling outside.

By the time I was ready to get on my way it was about 0430. Annie’s face was misty too. I don’t think they were certain about my decision, but, as an adult in my thirties, there wasn’t much they could do. Many tight hugs were given and typical sayings of driving carefully were said. We all traded “I love you’s,” and I was off.


I sent Shawn a text letting him know I was on the road, but since he was in the Central Time Zone, I had no expectation of him being awake. I just wanted a record on his phone so he knew I started my journey to him. To his arms. Where I belonged. I had prayed and prayed, and prayed about this decision, this move. And I knew in my heart it was the right move. At the right time. I’m pretty sure my friends all thought I was completely bonkers, an
d that’s alright. I knew I was making the right decision.

The drive was about 900 miles. I didn’t wan’t to drive down closer to the coast, so I stayed near the mountains. For once, unfortunately, the weatherman was completely correct and the entire east coast was going to stay soaked with rain for the entirety of the weekend.

The drive was long. I stopped, many, many times. To top off my tank (ok – paranoia here, but I wanted to be sure that if something happened I had a full tank), to stretch my legs, to make sure I was awake, for potty breaks, maybe a snack, you know. And it gets lonely in the car by yourself.

I think I made it to 1600ish in Georgia before driving irritation started to kick in. Between just driving for a long time, the rain, and all the people who just straight up can’t drive in the rain, my nerves were feeling frazzled. So I found a good place to stop, and took my longest break of about 25 minutes, eating “in” at Chick-Fil-A.

Once it got dark, I was way out there, it was rural, and dark. I decided to talk to my dad for a bit via bluetooth for company and I have always enjoyed talks with my dad as an adult, and then just like that, the last hour just zoomed by.

And BOOM! I was there! It me a good nineteen and half hours to get there. Whew. But I was finally where I was supposed to be, in his arms, permanently. No more flights every three weeks. No more goodbyes. No more nightly skype sessions late at night. Because I listened to my heart, prayed hard, and took that wonderful leap of faith.

And I look around at my wonderful family, how God answered my prayers in incredible ways. My blessings, our blessings.

You are like no other, my Shawn. I find myself falling in love with you again and again, over and over. You will forever by my always.

I’m never looking back to the place I was, but keeping my eyes pasted to this family’s beautiful and bright future. I ❤️love❤️ you my Shawn, thank you for helping my make that leap and long drive.🌧️🚗