My life changed dramatically and forever when I lost TJ.

I welcome you to follow along as I adjust to my "new normal".

It is not all puppies and ice cream but it is my life....real and honest.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 A Year In Review

Every year that TJ and I were together we would sit down at the end of the year and discuss our accomplishments, our failures and our plans for the following year. In business they call it "strategic planning", in a relationship I called it "crazy".  I often complained to my friends that we ran our relationship like a business. As much as I complained about it, I loved it. If something would come up unexpected we would always say, "maybe next year, we will see". Obviously our 2009 didn't go as planned one bit since TJ's diagnosis was in March of that year. Our plans and dreams for the year got pushed overboard, never to be seen again. As a result I have been living day by day since the beginning of 2009 and frankly it is driving me nuts. My usual extremely organized life is now lived in complete disarray.

I spent some time yesterday outlining my plans and goals for 2012. I don't make resolutions, I make a plan and set realistic goals. I feel like I can finally get a handle on my life. The big projects in my house are basically complete and I can focus on living and not remodeling. As I was thinking about 2011 I realized there were a few significant events in my life in 2011.

In March I found a little white Jack Russell Terrier puppy roaming the parking lot at work. It was a Friday and I just couldn't stand the thought of leaving him there all weekend so I brought him home with me. Tater Tot, as you all know him, turned out to be a huge blessing in my life.  I didn't realize it at the time but I really needed the laughter that a puppy brings to a home.

On my way home from work on June 2 I was broadsided by a red light runner. My truck rolled twice and while I had some injuries, I basically walked away. I loved my now totaled truck, but I reminded myself that it is just a material object and can be replaced. Every time I see the pictures I count my blessings that I wasn't seriously injured or even killed.

Of course I could not make it through an entire calendar year without death being a part of it. On August 4th I had to put TJ's dog, Shiner, down. Totaling my truck now paled in comparison to losing Shiner. TJ and Shiner were the best of buddies and I saw a little bit of TJ whenever I looked at Shiner. I still miss Shiner very much. For those that say, "he was just a dog", obviously never met Shiner, he was special and anyone that dog crossed paths with will agree.

On the 25th of this month I "celebrated" 2 years of TJ being gone. I got a tattoo with his ashes mixed into the ink.  This was a huge turning point for me and one of the best things I had done since losing TJ.

My sister, brother, sister-in-law and I went to the Saguaro National Forest and spread Mom's ashes. Mom is finally where she wanted her final resting place to be.

When compared to 2009 and 2010 I have to say that 2011 wasn't all that bad. So I say BRING ON 2012. It will be an even better year, I am sure of it.

Happy New Year to all and may 2012 be the year you see at least one of your dreams come true!


  1. Oh gosh, I love you and Tater Tot and have never met either of you! And Shiner? Such soulful eyes! So sorry he's gone. That truck looks scary as heck. I'm so glad you're ok, Chica. You've been through far too much in the last few years. I'm happy that my 2011 included having you as a bloggy friend....hopefully to expand that friendship to an IRL one some day. Best wishes for an amazing 2012! XOXOs

  2. I'm glad I stopped by to read your blog -last year and next. Finding a new normal...what a challenge!

  3. ---I adore your tattoo... And I love your positive voice :)
    You. Are. Amazing. Xxx Kisses for you from MN.

  4. Lovely recap. And I'm hoping that for a nice change, you get through 2012 without any death.

    I think I need to see pics of 'your new dog' ;-) You know who I'm talking about...

  5. A very special review from a very special lady.
    I hope that 2012 will be a simply stellar year for you under the twinkling western stars.


  6. For someone who claims her life is in dissary, you sure have achieved a lot in my book, Sandy. I know your amazing spirit will carry you forward to wonderful things in 2012. Many, many best wishes from me!

  7. I'm so sorry about Shiner... he was in nearly every picture you show of TJ so I know how close you must have been to him. A sad loss, but a wonderful rescue of the little dog in the parking lot. I think I missed that. Must have been when my computer was out. Looking at that truck, I am so glad you survived. Wow!

  8. your writing is so strong, as are you. i know 2012 will be faced with the same grace and fire and spirit you have shown the whole time i have read your blog, the whole time i have "known" you here. i wish for you all the peace you are finding; the one i see in the beautiful background photo of your blog.

  9. I really like what you did with the tattoo. It's a wonderful reminder of two beautifully entertwined lives. I hope 2012 blesses you with many good things.

  10. I never saw the picture of your truck, WOW SANDY. I'm so glad you're here to continue sharing your story and for your friendship.

  11. Oh hon, you are at such a launching place for the rest of your life. You had some tough moments AGAIN this year, but God brought you Tater Tot, and you have YOU. You have YOU. And YOU seem poised for awesome. Sending best wishes for 2012.


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