Saturday, October 4, 2008


While backing up some of my FTP files on AOL I came across some pictures that I had posted in my old journal. Seeing some of them reminded me that while those that followed my AOL journal knew me and my family, many of my new friends here don't. So, if you're interested I'll post some of those pictures and some others here to introduce you to my family. The picture above is one of my absolute favorites. It was taken about 6 years ago at my niece's wedding.

First a little background: We live in Northern Kentucky, about 10 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio. I just turned 50 years old this summer (gosh that hurts to admit!) and in June my husband Jimmy and I had our 30th wedding anniversary. We had three children in pretty quick succession starting in 1980 and finished up in 1983. Well, actually that's not accurate! We THOUGHT we finished up in 1983. We learned that the old adage "We plan - God laughs" is verrry true! In 1998 at the ripe old age of 40 with our son Patrick in his senior year of high school, our daughter Emily a sophomore and our "baby" Sarah Kate a freshman, the rabbit died!! My whole identity to this point in my life had been being a mother. I know without a doubt that is what I was put on this earth to be and do. My children were absolutely my life and heart. But friends at this point in my life I was absolutely and completely worn out! So, when I did my little thing on that stick and it turned pink in 2 seconds instead of the 3 minutes it was supposed to take I absolutely fell apart. I literally saw my life pass before my very eyes! I did what any self respecting 40 year old mother of three teenagers would do at such a time. I bawled my eyes out! My husband and children were downstairs patiently awaiting the results of one of the biggest tests of my life. When I came downstairs crying they knew what the results were and they were thrilled beyond belief. I thought and said, "You're all crazy, I can't do this"! By saying that I don't mean to imply that I ever considered an abortion. I didn't. I just could not imagine how in the world I could manage a baby at this stage of my life. I had been imagining the park bench that I was going to be parking my behind on in a few years when I finally had these three kids raised and it was soooo within view. It instantly moved on down the road about 1,000 miles and I was none to happy about that! I cried for 4 months.

Finally, one day I realized that I would have a little believer again at Christmas. Then I began to remember how many times I'd wished that I could take each of my children back to their baby stage and savor every minute of that time instead of letting it go by in a blur (moral here is: be careful what you wish for!). Anyway, long story short, in October of 1998, with Patrick away at college in Florida and Emily and Sarah well into their sophomore and junior years of high school, the absolute gift of all our lives, Austin Barret was born. And to say the least, none of our lives have ever been the same since. That little guy is getting ready to celebrate his 10th birthday and the "first litter" as I call them are all grown up. You will be hearing about all of them as I keep up this journal because they all remain "my heart".

Patrick and Austin with our Golden Retriever Tucker

Patrick and Austin on Bengal game day (Big Bengal fans here...pray for us!)

All my kiddo's taken this summer when Emily was home from Florida.

Emily and Austin playing around this summer.

My husband, Jimmy walking Sarah Kate down the aisle in June 2005
Sarah Kate with Austin.


Jeannette said...

Lovely entry. I had not seen the pictures before. So enjoyed them.

Leslie said...

Oh my gosh ~ you have a beautiful family Melissa! I am almost 37 and been married for 18 yrs this past June. We have 2 girls, my oldest daughter is getting ready to graduate high school and my baby is turning 10 next month.. I would do it again in a heartbeat ~ my husband on the other hand..feels slightly different. lol

Linda said...

I turned 50 in March, and I'm finding it is easier than I thought it would be, I have surrived it just fine :)We have another thing in common, as my hubby & I will be married 30 years in May! Only one child though, and she is 25. Your family is beautiful and what a little blessing Austin is, although I can see why the pink stick freaked you out at age 40!! I look forward to reading more about him, as well as you!

Pooh Hugs,

Leslie said...

Melissa.. I typed you up this long comment reply and forgot to save it.. lol. My email address is LjJellybean@aol ~ send me yours if you would and I'll send you the links to the things in my blog.

Leslie said...

wait.. oh my god.. lol, it is

Chris/cacklinrosie101 said...

My gosh, you have a gorgeous family. Your set up here is awesome...I'll be following. HUGS

Cassie said...

Nice to blogger meet you! LOL~
thanks for stopping by my blog.
You have a wonderful looking family.

Sweetnessk71 said...

Hey there. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. It means alot :). I have the same problem with yours as some others where I see followers but not the link to follow lol. I will however do it another way and subscribe to you posts. thanks again and have a good weekend.


bookncoffee said...

Hi there! I'm following! :-)
Thanks for visiting mine today!

David said...

Thanks for stopping by and paying Milo and I a visit. Tucker is just beautiful. Milo says "woof, woof". This move from AOL has been interesting. I was afraid of losing some good friends, instead I have found some old ones and some new ones. My best regards to you and your family.

ADM DESIGN'S said...

Great pictures. Wonderful looking family.

LIZ said...


I have been just finding my way around this new place and came across your journal. I too am the mom of 4 kids. Always looking for new journal friends.

Have a great weekend, Liz

Janis said...

I am having my second at 39--quite different from most of my friends who have teenagers. :) Oh well, I love it and they keep me young! :)

Beautiful pics!


ada said...

Great pictures.What a good looking crew!Love your story. My sister lives in Kentucky, a state that I have never been to, yet "calls" me. Why?! I look forward to following your entries. Thanks for visiting!

Cindi said...

I noticed you started to be one of my followers...thought I would say hello and welcome...You might not want to read me after I tell you....I'm a big Steeler fan...try not to hold it against me...LOL...thanks for following, hopefully you'll continue...LOL

emmapeelDallas said...

Wow, Melissa, I knew most of this, of course, but I really enjoyed reading it anyway! And I love the pics!



Missie said...

I enjoy seeing pictures of family! Enjoy your Sunday.

Debbie said...

Hi,it's nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by my new journal. I've added myself as a follower on yours.
I'm a Kentucky gal too. I had one of those moments when I thought I was going to be crying the blues at the age of 42, like your family mine was all excited but mine turned out to be false alarm.
You have a lovely family,thanks for sharing the pictures.

Kelly Dawn said...

omgosh what a beautiful family you have! I am 40 yrs old and I would absolutely have a flippin stroke if I was to get pregnant....holy cow...of course I had to have a hysterectomy 16 months that aint happening.. :)

I have you on my followers list and I am following you :)


Monica said...

Austin is such a handsome guy and what a blessing. Okay maybe when the tester turned pink you may have briefly wondered what you were getting yourself into. He keeps you young! Love all the photos, I hadn't seen them before.


Indigo said...

I love that saying, You plan - God laughs...What a heartwarming story. It looks like in the end it was pretty close to perfect the way it turned out. I have one daughter, who just got married this past May at the age of 20. Her husband is currently held over in Mississippi, due to be deployed to Iraq after Christmas. I'm so delighted you shared this with us and opened up your life this way. Thank you dear friend. (Hugs)Indigo

Anonymous said...

Site looks great! Look forward to continuing on....

Janie said...

That was such a cute story. TY for sharing. My daughter, Terry Ann, is 11 1/2 years older than our son. Gee did I mellow out with age. lol She told him that he did not have the same mom she had. lol I think it keeps you younger in a lot of ways. You have beautiful children. God Bless, Janie

erarein63 said...

I had a "what the heck was I thinking moment" when it was obvious I would be having my son Caleb (who is 8), despite the fact that he was planned. At 36 I had forgotten what work babies were as my daughter was 7 and able to do things on her own, for the most part. I really cried when I found out Caleb was a boy because "what do you do with boys?!" I asked. Well I found just love them all the same. Right? Wonderful beautiful family you have!! De ;)

CntryMomma said...

Well, the. It's very nice to "meet you". Heck, in the Internet world we are practically neighbors! LOL (I'm in NW Ohio) And I still like ya ... even if you are a Bengals fan! GO STEELERS!! JK : o ~

margie said...

i am weepy. first of all, thank you for visiting our blog. i also did the late in the day pregnancy, my late husband and i sat in his office and each wrote on a piece of paper. the choices were baby, no baby. we both wrote baby. and to this day, thank goodness. such a wonderful boy.

Astaryth said...

Hello from another kentuckian... kentuckite... hmmmm... none of those look right LOL! I'm from a little town in KY called Beaver Dam. I'm sure you've probably never heard of it... but I still consider it my home even though I haven't lived there in a very long time.

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