Archive for ‘Friends’

March 13, 2013

12 on 12: march.

mosaic66d2ae1172e4529171be3c5173dc4daabdf1665eI first saw the 12 on 12 on Dear Lizzy’s blog, and of course, what’s a better excuse to snap random photos of my day without any pressure? Such a good idea. Good job, Lizzy girl.

Yesterday was a good day. My new manual wheelchair finally arrived, and it fits like a dream. Much, much, much better than my old manual chair. Probably because it is 4 inches narrower and has wheels that work well with my hands. Anyone who uses a wheelchair for daily living can understand just how important it is to be both comfortable and functional in your chair. While I do have to get used to this chair, I think it is going to work well for me. *fingers crossed*

Work was pretty normal. Nothing new there.

I had dinner with Maria, and we discussed all the things that best friends discuss. Our relationships, work, my wedding, her schooling, just life in general. We both needed a good girl dinner, I think.

I managed to get some Project Life time in after dinner. Another stress-reliever. I am really liking the one-side-of-a-spread-per-week format that I have been using. It takes so much pressure off of me to “fill up” the pockets with things that do not really matter or need to be shown. Plus I can use more inserts, which I love. Especially coin pocket inserts. Who knew 2×2 photos could be so cute?

I am thinking that 12 on 12 will be a monthly thing for me. It was such fun this time, and a good alternative to Day in the Life, which for some odd, unknown reason sort of overwhelms me.

Ah, life.

December 20, 2012

starting over.

I have a friend. A smart, funny, energetic, and generous soul who is an amazing mom to her kids, friend to the undeserving, and grateful for even the rough things she has encountered in life.

She continues to have faith, a deep-seeded sweet faith, that even the worst of people are going to come around in the end and realize that the world doesn’t have to be so bitterly angry. She gives the most disrespectful people the benefit of the doubt, and she refuses to let someone else’s negativity be the reason for any change in herself.

But she has given up on love.

After two serious failed relationships, she has become closed off and content with being alone, with being both the mother and father to her kids. More than anything I think she is afraid of what a third broken heart would feel like and what it would do to the person she is. I think she is afraid it will suck some of her strong and stubborn sweetness and replace it with bitterness.

Somewhere, someone is looking for someone like her and waiting to prove her wrong. I can only hope that person finds her whole, and that he proves to her that love is more than just waiting for the wrong thing to happen, the wrong turn to come.

People who deserve love aren’t always the ones who make it easy to let it into their hearts.

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December 19, 2012

sadness around here.

Two of our police officers were murdered this past weekend (between 7 and 8 on Sunday evening) while answering a suspicious vehicle call. I say murdered because that is exactly what it was. Violent and unnecessary. One of the officers, Dave Gogian, was the father of a guy I have known since high school, Brandon, who also happens to be a police officer on the Topeka Police Department. Xander, Brandon’s best friend, is also an officer. I could keep listing friends who serve, but I’ll just say that when I heard that 2 officers were shot, my heart sank. The likelihood that I knew one or both of them was pretty good.

I heard who they were before the news had released names (news travels fast in this circle), and that fear that I knew them was confirmed. I knew it wasn’t good. I knew that with the wounds I heard they had, that the probability of them pulling through was scarce. Bulletproof vests wouldn’t have mattered in this case for either of them. It knew all of that, but the news that Dave had died still hit me hard and physically ached.

I have needed a few days to process the incredible sadness that I feel about it – for Brandon and his family, the other officer’s family, and our community. These were men who served us, protected us, and helped us. Their families sent them to work that night, never imagining that they would be burying them six days later. It’s just so sad. I have cried, and now I’m angry. The man who shot them was later found (after 3 houses were raided), and 12 hours after he shot two men dead, he was dead also. Bad things shouldn’t happen to good people, and bad people shouldn’t be able to take good people from us.

The past few months have been trying, with too many deaths to people we know and care about. Too many of us asking “why?”

Here’s to hoping 2013 is better for us.

November 12, 2012

weekend recap.

+ Riding with a helmet feels good and safe, making the whole thing more fun.
+ Many laughs and many gasps. So fun to watch these guys get into this.
+ A full day (think about 10 hours) is completely exhausting and takes about three days to recover from.
+ I am getting better at judging hills and lines we should take. I know which way Greg will probably go before we get there.
+ I feel like a little bit of a tough ass every time we ride.
+ Being dirty and dusty feels good sometimes, but the wind blowing dust straight in the face sucks.
+ Kelly took first place in his buggy. Congrats K!
+ First time doing the sushi thing – not as bad as I thought it would be!
After such an emotional and stressful week, I think we all needed a bit of a stress reliever and a recharge this weekend, and riding all day definitely did that. It’s good to get some adrenaline going sometimes to let you vent in a different way.

November 9, 2012

Oh Gabby.

This is a beautiful little girl, and she was so much fun to take photos of, especially when she warmed up to me and to the idea of getting her photo taken. That shyness didn’t last long.

I work with her dad, and he absolutely adores her. But who wouldn’t?

We had such fun, and it didn’t take long to get gorgeous photos of her.

October 30, 2012

tiff and ryan.

In addition to yesterday’s post about Kim and Jeromy, I have lots of Tiffany and Ryan pictures too!

Oh Tiffany and Ryan. What can really be said about these two besides that they are the cutest little lovebirds ever! Their personalities are so very different, but they mesh so well. Ryan is quiet, and Tiff is so crazygirl! Their dogs, Ammo and Jameson, were pretty well behaved, and I’m almost 100% sure that if Jameson could talk, he would admit to loving having his picture taken. He looked straight at me almost every single time.

Tiffany loved the way all of the pictures came out, and that’s all I ever can really hope for.

Cute little family, they are.

October 29, 2012

kim and jeromy.

Photo sessions with my friends are the absolute best. I feel comfortable with them; they feel comfortable with me. It always makes it so very easy to capture their personality. Laughs, smiles, all of it is easy.

With Kim and Jeromy, it was one of those days where we scheduled a shoot, but really I knew it would be more like we were hanging out – with a camera.

They are the cutest together, aren’t they? I love that they are so in love, and that they wanted me to capture it.

Kim’s sister, Jessica, also came, and we snapped a few of her and Kim together for her dad and grandparents’ Christmas presents.

Looking forward to more!

September 17, 2012


Don’t let that picture fool you. It’s been a rather stressful week around here.

First, we signed out contract with the photographer for the wedding. That was actually a load off, I guess. He is awesome, both as a photographer and a person. I am excited that he is a part of our big day!

Then, Sons of Anarchy started their new season on Tuesday, and I drove to Kansas City to watch it with Greg and Brandy and Mike. Then Thursday Greg texted me early that Grant and him were going to the hospital because Mike had been taken to the ER. I wasn’t sure on details and neither was Greg for a a while. It turns out that Mike has an infection somewhere that they can’t find yet, but it caused his autonomic dysreflexia to flare up and his blood pressure to spike which then caused a bleed in his brain. Scary, scary shit.

Something similar happened to Jake and he died just a few hours later. I was scared and didn’t really know how to react to think that the same thing could happen to Mike. Paralysis is a funny and weird condition, and it comes out of nowhere.

GOOD NEWS: It appears that Mike probably doesn’t have any permanent damage to his brain. He is talking good now and his blood pressure is down, although they are still trying to locate and diagnose the infection. I am hoping by tomorrow they have more news. Better news.

So just give me a little favor and pray that nothing else happens for Mike. He doesn’t need it right now!

June 26, 2012

and my girls are…

Greg and I agreed early on that our wedding party would be small, not because we were at a shortage of people but because we didn’t want the whole thing to be centered around who was in it, what they wore, etc., instead of the fact that we have each other and want to be husband-and-wife. We don’t want a wedding just for the sake of having one. Greg will have his brother, Grant, and best friend, Mike, and I will have my sister, Darcy, and best friend, Maria. Small. Simple.

These two girls have gotten me through the toughest times of my life. They have supported me, loved me, and fought with me. They make me laugh until I cry. They know how much I love and adore Greg, and I want them up there with me when I take on a new role, not just sister or best friend. I’ll be a wife.

I got each of them an & ring from catbirdnyc and wrote them a note to officially ask if they would be my maid of honor and bridesmaid. I gave Darcy hers first and forced her to not post any pictures on Facebook until after I gave Maria her ring. Of course, they both said yes. Not that there was ever any doubt.

So now we have our wedding party settled and ready. We have our date. We have our place. This whole wedding thing might be easier than I thought.

May 28, 2012

long weekend.

We had an amazing weekend. On Saturday, we spent the day on the lake, wake boarding and swimming and laughing and getting some color on my pasty white legs.

Greg’s friends are so chill. I love that. I don’t know why I am nervous going into situations where I don’t know anyone because it never really matters. I am usually comfortable within the first 5 minutes. Every time.

On Sunday, Greg and I just hung out, not really doing anything too productive. But it was the best lazy-ish Sunday in a long time. We went shopping around and saw Chernobyl Diaries at Legends. Then we pretty much decided that Saturday had wiped us both out so I came home and he went back to Grant’s.

Today: I am working on Project Life and going to take my new camera (Canon 60D!) out on its first girl date with me. I had originally planned on doing Mark and Ash’s family pictures, but little Raelyn isn’t feeling too well. Poor baby girl.

Also, Happy Memorial Day to our Veterans! <3

April 26, 2012

nine years.

Can you believe it? Nine years.

Nine years ago, I was paralyzed. Doctors were trying to xray and draw blood and keep me awake and stabilize my blood pressure. Basically, trying to keep me alive. But here I am. What a crazy thought. Unsettling and unreal.

The 8th year was a trying one, I won’t lie, but it was also one full of personal growth. Maybe you all can tell from my posts, but this year, I found happiness. Total, true, real and whole happiness. Not just because I found a great man who puts up with me because he wants to. But happiness within myself. I am happy because this year I learned how to forgive the people who don’t matter. I learned how to dramatically and quietly cut out negative and fake people from my life. I learned that keeping yourself fully busy with work, family, friends, and hobbies is tiring but totally necessary. I learned that real adult responsibility is such a stressful but rewarding thing. I learned that I need to give myself time to think and to care about me too. I learned that trust is not hard with a deserving person. I learned that you have to be the kind of person you would want to have as a friend. I learned (and I’m still learning) how to be good at being a part of two, instead of always on my own. I learned that I don’t always have to be so tough. I learned that I don’t have to give up any of my strength to be a softie too.

I have learned that simplifying life makes everything much more clear and focused. I thrive on clear and focused, and I plan on continuing that into my future.

Bring it on, year nine.

January 27, 2012


It has been one year since Jake B. passed away, and I can still feel the shock I felt that morning when Aaron texted me. The panic and confusion. Blood clot? Stroke? He was paralyzed, but he didn’t have to be dead too.

I think of him often, more on days when I am frustrated with sitting all the time. Because he was too.

I just hope he found some peace with his life before he died so young and didn’t feel lost or angry like I know he had before. Things that weighed heavy on him, I hope, were lifted and that he is somewhere still running around, laughing and loving. He deserved that much at least.

RIP Jake. I miss you.

December 6, 2011

ten years later.

Remember those dreams we had
to travel and laugh in the ocean
and be wild
everywhere we could?

We were going to
be stars, even if we were
the only ones who knew who we were.

We had everything then–
except maybe what we needed.

I found love.
I lost you

I have never been happier.

October 13, 2011

birthday present diy.

Kristi is a cool girl.  She’s probably the coolest girl I know in a wheelchair, and I have to thank our chairs for bringing us together as friends.

For her birthday, I made a homemade SMASH book from a simple composition book.  (It’s okay, she already got it so no worries about this being a spoiler.)  I couldn’t find any pretty navy blue washi tape, so I had to settle for silver. It’s still a Cowboy-ish color.  And I sent a bunch of scrapbook stuff I had that she might use too.

My SMASH book has really taught me to embrace messiness.  It’s good for the soul, and I think Kristi is going to love that too!


September 14, 2011

there you are!

Meet John.

John is one of my favorite people EVER. I met him at Craig Hospital after we were both injured. My car crash. His boat crash. And we became friends right away. It’s hard not to bond with people who are going through very similar situations, especially when you’re just down the hall from each other for 3 months.

He was one of the guys who were concerned and encouraging, and I think they all looked at me as the “little sister.” I was the only girl, and I had my own dynamic among the boys. As a group, we always laughed, and laughter is a powerful thing when things seem to be falling apart.

His family is awesome. His wife, Amie, and kiddos were regulars at Craig Hospital, of course. His youngest boy had a scooter, and the nurses weren’t too thrilled that he liked to ride it in the hallways. I never cared; he was a kid. Let him have some fun. And I remember the first day I saw his cousin. It was definitely a “wow” moment. (I can’t believe I had such a crush, ha!)

Over the years, John and I have kept in touch pretty regularly. There are times when we go a few months between phone calls, but when we do talk, it’s the same ole John. He still teases me, still asks about boyfriends, still wonders about my injury and any changes. He is one of those people I can talk to all day about being handicap, but never actually feel handicap around. There aren’t many people I can say that about. Maybe because he has been there for the entire “ride,” and we saw each other when we were new to this. Maybe because he understands that being normal is important to me. He gets me that way.

I am so glad I got to see him. I actually thought I was going to cry when I saw him walking up (he regained a lot of function post-injury, and you’d never realize just by looking at him that he was at one time in a wheelchair!). He looks so healthy and happy and tall and just John. Even his teasing about my lip ring was worth it.

I forgot how much I missed him.

sidenote:  He is also the one who always calls me “Little Carrie,” which led to the new “Dear little Carrie” series. So, thanks John.

August 9, 2011

high school summer.

The music played in the background
beating hard against the wall
before making its way to me.

Chairs sat in a circle all around
and all empty, except for that boy
who always had a way
of making me smile.

Some summer nights ended
with just the right touch
of sweet in its kiss.

And that was one of them.

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August 6, 2011

Happy birthday, Jake.

When the light shines
in the right angle
at those few seconds
on the drive to work every morning
I know you are smiling

and finally, happy.

I so miss you,
my friend.

That sunshine,
I want to bottle it up
and leave it on my shelf
for when this gets to be too much
for me, too.

June 7, 2011

pretty nice nonsense.

At work, we have weird conversations sometimes.  Deep conversations.  About things that I don’t talk about to other people, really, like my feelings (eek, ha) and direction in life and dreams and I want. Stuff that normally I keep to myself, or write here.

(I’m starting to think we breathe in too many chemicals or something. Ha.)

But these conversations always makes me think.

One thing we’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about is, of course, love. And marriage. And whether it’s all even worth it.  Mandy says yes.  She is the one who lives with her heart wide open, giving chances where Phil and I probably wouldn’t. She is the one who insists that if you don’t leave yourself somewhat vulnerable to love, you’ll miss out on something great when it comes along.

Phil says no way.  Leave your heart open and, bam, someone is going to crush you.  If you are single, you can do what you want and have fun doing it. So what, it’s a little lonely sometimes? At least you aren’t heartbroken, right?

I suppose I am in the middle.  I see both sides and sort of live in both sides too.  I’m probably the most guarded, most loving person you’ve ever met.  Confusing, I know, but so true.  If I find someone that I love, I am in wholeheartedly.  But getting there is the hard part.

I like talking about philosophies and listening to them debate too. They make me see things in ways that I hadn’t thought about before.  Not just love, life and hate and being vengeful and forgiving and everything. They make me stop and think.

I think they’re becoming my favorite part of my job.

June 6, 2011

4 and 6.

Tink and Makinna had a good day, complete with pink balloons, cookies, ice cream, princess crowns, and presents.  And lots and lots of love.

It’s hard to believe that they are 4 and 6 already.  I still remember distinctly the day Makinna was born, and Tink was just a little thing herself.  They are growing up too fast.

May 26, 2011

cryin’ for me.

They played this song at Mark’s funeral, and it’s been in my head ever since.

I think it sums it all up. There are a lot of lives that are less than they were without Mark around.

May 18, 2011

cancer sucks.

Mark Werner 1970-2011

We are going to miss you, friend.

April 20, 2011

washed away.

The memories that wondered
in between, in and out
from behind our chapped lips
left only lonely ghosts.

And we left with
little more than we came

except for crazy eyes.

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April 6, 2011


when your heart feels weak
and bruised from his heavy footsteps
like it might never recover
from such a hard hit hurting,
I am here
to hold you when you cry
and make you laugh when you don’t.

if we could have seen into the future,
we never would have gone ahead
and loved the men we did.
maybe then we wouldn’t want
what we do.

if there is one thing I know,
you’ll smile again.
you’ve always been good at that.

April 2, 2011

lost friend.

Trea Mason was always a funny kid. Not the kind of funny that people made fun of, but the kind people gravitate to and secretly wish they were.

He was the first person to regularly call me Care Bear.

He died when we were just 18. It was a drive-by and they say it was gang-related, but I just can’t see him as that. In my head, he is still the goofy guy in the back of the city bus every day in high school, making us laugh so hard we were sure we were going to pee our pants.

I had a dream about him last night, and I realized how close the anniversary of his death is. It was April 11, an Easter Sunday. I couldn’t believe he was dead. Trea was the invincible one without fear. There wasn’t one time I remember him ever being scared. I can only hope he wasn’t scared then either.

I wish he were still here to give me a laugh every once in a while.

March 9, 2011


I am honored to call this woman my friend. She is an amazing person, and she says it just how it is.