Saturday, June 16, 2018

Life Saver

The day I told my Brother he was going to become an Uncle, I sent him an ultrasound photo of the baby waving. He was beyond excited and for the next 3 months would check-in on me and the baby. He couldn’t wait to become an Uncle and I couldn’t wait for our family to have a new little human to take us to this next stage in life. We were going to focus more on spending big holidays together, the new baby’s birthday....I even jokingly (half serious) asked Justin if he would move to Pittsburgh and be my manny (and do my hair for free!)

The morning my brother died, I was 6 months pregnant. My pregnancy was the only thing that prevented me from neglecting myself and falling further down the dark hole I found myself. This little human forced me to have a very small glimmer of hope and excitement. 

Over the course of the next 3 months, I struggled greatly with depression and anxiety. Nora’s birthday marked the 3 month anniversary of my brothers death to the day, almost the hour, that I discovered he was unresponsive in his apartment. I cried uncontrollably after Nora entered the world. It was the first moment of true happiness I had experienced in 3 months. It was overwhelming. The message from God and my brother, did not go unnoticed. I’ve always believed that God has a hand in EVERYTHING and the fact that on Friday, January 30, 2015, I swore I would never leave my bed, be happy on or celebrate anything on the 30th of any month, ever again....well...God made sure that I had a reason and that reason was Nora. I am so thankful to Him.  

I hate to put so much responsibility on Nora but she is truly the reason I survived. She gave me a reason to get up, feed myself, shower, leave the house....she provided hours of cuddles and love...which was so much of what I needed. 

I found that there is really nothing out there over the loss of a sibling. It’s almost as if we’re expected to throw it under the rug and move on. I’ve unfortunately known a few people who have also experienced the loss of a brother at a young adult age. I reached out to one of those friend and her response stung me. She said I can’t understand your grief because each relationship is different. That statement, in my current state of mine shut me down. I retreated back inside my own head. I now understand what she meant. I respect it and believe it. But at the time it stung. I felt that there was nobody else in the world who could remotely understand the pain I felt.

4 years ago, I expected my life to go something like this....My younger sister would probably pass away at an early age (40’s - she has a disability and many health issues) - I’m mentally prepared for that. My older siste is 14 years older. I always expected she would pass before me. Justin.....I expected he and I would live to our 80’s and would help the other through life. Even as I type this....tears flow because I still can’t bring myself to believe reality. It’s so painful and easier to deal with that hard fact at a later date.

I’m just so thankful for God. I sometimes think of how my life would have gone if I wasn’t expecting Nora. I’m not proud to say this but I expect I would have destroyed my relationship with my husband. I would have probably left my job, moved home with my parents and continued in a downward spiral. God knew what was coming my way, he prepared me to be as strong as possible. He gave me a huge light in my life. He blessed me with a husband, who no matter how hard I tried, continues to stay by my side and support me. Listen to me cry. And tell me it’s going to be okay. It will be okay. I will always cry for the loss of my best friend and the future we should have enjoyed. But I will continue to breath. I will continue to walk with faith and hope and I will continue to live. There will be days where the pain knocks me down. I still struggle to talk about my loss person to person....which is why I’ve started to blog. I don’t promote my blog and I’m not even sure anyone reads, which is probably best : ) but I needed/wanted an outlet to write down my random and jumbled thoughts.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Slushing Around

So much snow. Slightly comical. An unexpected and historical blizzard. God is a funny man. He’s definitely always taken the worst situations and found a way to make them slightly laughable. During those days....I remember so much and yet nothing at all. The memories are almost trivial. I’m not sure if that’s due to me blocking so much out and tucking information away for another day or if I really couldn’t process my situation.

My new Trenton boots. I found myself wishing I had packed warmer and thicker socks. The snow was up to my knees. I should have gone with a higher boot. By day 3, my new boots had sprung a leak. Great. My brother had L.L.Bean boots....he had just purchased them in November. Probably wore them a handful of times. I wished my feel would fit in his shoe. He had told me to go with the same brand but I’d found these cute boots on and “needed” them.

We would walk to dinner, walk to my brothers apartment, fight to get out of the cars and hike over a mountain of walk on a sidewalk. How were we supposed to pack up his apartment if we could hardly navigate the city. I found myself standing in a grocery store,!frozen. Completely frozen. I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t make a sound or move. I could just stand there motionless and pray that this moment would pass. I needed to make it one moment at a time.

I hate Chicago. If I ever go back, it will be too soon. The very mention of the name makes my belly turn. Thankfully the sudden tears have subsided. The snow was a distraction. Those first nights, weeks....I would wake from my sleep sobbing uncontrollably. I would roll over, take a sip of water and a pill and go back to sleep. Sleep helped pass the time but reality would find its way in and remind me that we weren’t here for vacation, we were here to collect my brothers things and send him home, where we would say hood-bye.

The smell of his apartment. The placement of his things..all burned in my memory. If I close my eyes, I can almost imagine myself curled up on his bed, hugging his pillow and taking in his smell. When we were younger he was almoOCD over his bed. He would yell if I touched it “CARRIE! You’re messing it up!” - I would laugh.

3.5 years later and I can’t bring myself to accept that he’s gone. How can this world be so harsh. How can I be left, to live the rest of my life without him in it. Completely unfair. Maybe one day I’ll come to terms...but as Justin’s 36 Birthday approaches I know this won’t be the year I find peace.

Friday, April 29, 2016

1 Year

One year.

I never realized just how much you life can change in one year. I've never taken the time to pay attention.

One year ago today, I was 9 months and 1 week pregnant. We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl. We just knew we would love our baby.

My parents came out, we enjoyed dinner at Chick-fil-a and Doug and I went home to pack, knowing the next time we were home, we would be a family of 3.

Nora, she is the joy of my life. 3 months prior to her birth, I lost my brother. The past 15 months have been the worst and best of my life. I feel so lost and empty without my brother but so whole with my Nora. She's my dream come true.

There are things that she does that remind me of my brother. He feels so close in those moments. Then she does something so "Nora" and it hurts me not to have the ability to share with my brother.

I know all siblings are close but Justin was my person. I loved him and looked up to him. Not having him makes me feel empty. Having Nora fills a small part of that void but gosh I miss him.

Happy 1 year Nora. You are the light of my life. I love you to the moon and back. Thank you for letting me be your mommy. You are my world.

Monday, September 16, 2013


I knew that was going to happen! So what the heck have I been doing for the last few months? I'll start with the most recent and try and work my way back!

I started coaching again! A few years ago, I started coaching and I love it. Work got crazy and I had to take a year off and only offer my time as a sub. This year, I'm back and coaching Learn to Skate, private lessons and helping with the synchronized team, when needed. I'm pretty happy and wish I could do this as my "real job" but I'm just not sure I'm the brave, leave your job and depend on X amount of lessons per week, type of person. Maybe when I get married : ) The below photo is of my Niece, Samantha and Nephew, Balin. I taught Sam to skate when she was two - she didn't remember much and pretty much hated being on the ice. Balin thought it was fun until he fell. He then wanted off the ice. It was pretty much a huge bust. Oh well.

My Nephew, Balin and Niece, Samantha
My Parents came out for their first PITT game - which just happened to be against FL St. who we do not like at ALL (we're a U of FL Gator family!). PITT lost and there was nothing worse than seeing happy FSU fans. I quickly responded to any FSU bragger with "I'm really a Gator fan (said with the Gator chomp movement). That shuts them up pretty quick.

Bret and his wife, Jaimy, came out to Pittsburgh for the game. Jaimy went to FSU but despite that flaw, she's pretty awesome. We went to dinner Sunday night and then as an extra bonus, their randomly purchased tickets were in the row over from ours!! It was great spending the weekend with them.
I turned 30 - that was pretty awful I basically had a HUGE meltdown and spent the following month miserable. I'm still pretty bitter but I think I've let go of the disappointment of not reaching life goals I'd set and realized that I can't hold myself to goals/dreams I set when I was 16. Goals and dreams change and I am proud of everything I've accomplished during my 30 years of life.
Lost 20 pounds! My weight has been a HUGE struggle the last few years and I thankfully found a wonderful doctor who has really worked with me to find the issue and help me reach my goals. I have a long way to go until I hit my target weight but it feels great to finally see the scale go down. I wish all 20 pounds melted off my waist and belly BUT it's slowly coming off on all areas of my body. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weight loss continues and realized that I probably wont be the size 0 I was in high school/college BUT I will take a 6 or a 4 : )
Hit the two year mark with Doug and hope to spend many more happy years together!
I think that's it!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Gas or Electric??

It's always the small details that get me. This past weekend, Doug and I set out to find a new dryer (I guess really, I set out to buy a new dryer and he was along for the ride....since it's going in my house and I'm the one spending the $$). Again.....the details. ANYWAY. I'd been told to stop down to the Sears Scratch and Dent location.....Not being one to pass up a great deal, we braved traffic and headed to the city. Can you say commission?! I'm pretty sure when I opened the door to the dryer a sales guys head came out to ask me if I had any questions. I found one that I kinda liked but felt that I needed to go, do some research and talk this over with Doug while eating lunch and drinking a beer.

"Well, we're going to go grab a bite and talk this over".......I'm pretty sure after I said that I could hear the rubber squealing against the floor from the sales guys shoes. He couldn't get away fast enough. Alright then.

We made a quick lunch break at Penn Brewery and hit the road.....back to the suburbs and decided to stop at h.h.greg (this is new to our area and I'm a fan) - I went in, looked around and headed over to the dishwashers (I'd found a dryer that I thought would work and had moved on to bigger and better deals). Doug then comes to find me and points me in the direction of this beauty. I may have seen lights shining down. It was everything that I had ever dreamed of (but unwilling to pay the price for!). It has steam and lots of other options that I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to do with. I mean a drying rack! Event better....this baby was an out of the box deal (someone bought it but it wouldn't fit in their house so it had to come back - more on that below) and I'm telling you.....I paid like $700 under the original price. A-freaking-mazing! I may never find such a great deal again in my life.
Just one very small problem.....It's electric and I have a gas connection. Opps. By the time I figured it out, I had already removed the door to the basement, could hear the delivery truck coming and talked things through with my Dad. It's apparently an easy fix.....and I wasn't returning this dryer. If I have to wait till I move into a new house (I'm not planning on moving), I would have waited. lol
By the way, if you haven't lived in Pittsburgh, you need to understand that doors are small. To bring in the couch, we had to take off the door frame. I believe it measures 28 inch but you lose an inch with the door. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A sore body can only mean one thing.....Another great event!

This past weekend, we packed our bags and headed up to "Happy Valley" (State College, PA) for the 2013 Beaver Stadium Run - Seeing as how I went to PITT, I'm never thrilled to be surrounded by thousands of people dressed in blue and white, who believe that PSU is the best place in the world because....They would be wrong. PITT is! The only thing worse would be a visit to WVU.

Putting my school spirit aside and slapping on my adult work hat....I gave my best smile and realized that this is a great fundraiser and friendraiser for Special Olympics PA. What I wont do for the Athletes! The event (a 5K Run or 1 Mile fun walk) raised over $350,000 (which fell just behind the top fundraising event for SOPA, the Pittsburgh Plunge - woohoo!) and had over 3,500 participants. Amazing.

Many people has asked why I love my job. It's simple. I love the Athletes. I'll leave you with a few photos and videos. The video's are of Greg - an Athlete who is running his first 5K - his motivation....seeing his parents at the finish line.

Greg's first 5K

Greg gets some new kicks!

Gregs Running Team
Greg and his running team (Greg is in the hat next to the guy with the blue sock things)
Crossing the line with Franco Harris cheering everyone on!
I wish I could remember this Athletes name....But he finished and WON an award. He later went to the DJ booth and said..."I'm the only kid in a wheelchair and I won an award"
Special Olympics PA has been so good for my heart.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cat Kong

The other day I was making a visit to my cats favorite store.....PetSmart! PetSmart for me ranks with Target......I can go in either store and find around 100 extra things I never knew I needed but am pretty sure that the items will make my life so much better.

This last visit, I picked up a cat kong - it was on sale and I figured, what the heck! This thing has been a HUGE hit at the Hucker house. My oldest cat Edgar, whos 10 (pushing 11), is a pro at rolling the kong and getting treats to fall out.

It keeps them busy....and sadly makes them tired. Lazy cats.