The Most Difficult Story I Have Ever Told.



Update- Monday April 27, 2015.

I was hoping I would get a few more years before I would have to write this, alas God had other plans.

I had the distinct priviledge of witnessing my brother take his final breath on Thursday, April 23rd, at 11:45 pm.

After our family trip to Gatlinburg, he seemed to be feeling worse. I made the decision to come and stay with my family and visit with him on April 17th. When I arrived  it was obvious he wasn’t well, but I still felt hope.

As the days went by, the difference day to day was astounding, and soul crushing.  He hadn’t eaten in in two weeks because of a neck tumor blocking his esophagus. Drinking was difficult for the same reason. He would take sips, which would result in very painful coughing fits that would sometimes last several minutes.

He was always thirsty, always in pain. He didn’t feel hungry, that urge had left him weeks ago.

Many family members and friends came, and showered him with love. My sisters laid by his side, rubbing his feet and legs. Helping him drink, wiping his face. We spent hours watching “Dirty Jobs,” because that what he wanted. ( I really didn’t mind, since I have a bit of a crush on Mike Rowe.)

Except to bathe and eat, my mom rarely left his side. The entire week, I can count the number of times she left him on one hand. She was his constant companion. She was his giver of pain relief in the form of medicine, the giver of love in the form of leg massages and quiet words. When she wept, she wept quietly so he couldn’t hear. I have never seen so much capacity to love.

On that night, she was completely spent. I was asked to stay with my Aunt, who was also giving her precious time and love to help my mom. The plan was to let my mom sleep in an adjoining room, and my Aunt and I would stay in the room with Justin. My brother was very attached to my mom, there were many times he called out for her, and she wanted to be close in case he needed her.

I arrived to Justin’s house around 10:30. I had spent a few hours with my Dad. We watched “Hot Fuzz” and laughed and laughed. The previous afternoon had been very stressful, so I took a break. I think it prepared me for what was to come.

My Dad dropped me off and went back home. We began getting settled in for bed. My Aunt Joy gave him a dose of his medicine, but he was still restless. I was laying on the bed next to him, thinking to myself…

My Brother isn’t going to be with us when I wake up in the morning…

Aunt Joy got down on her knees at the foot of the bed, and prayed, for what seemed like a very long time. I felt no comfort in this. I wish I did, but I just didn’t.

Aunt Joy laid on the floor next to the bed. We had started out sharing the bed, but she told me she wanted me to sleep next to “your baby brother.”

I laid next to him for a few more minutes. Watching him grimace in pain. I asked him if he needed anything.

He said he was thirsty.

I asked him what he wanted.

He said it didn’t matter.

I was dreading giving him that drink, because everytime he drank, he coughed, and it hurt him. I hated watching him cough and choke. I hated watching him in pain, but there was no hesitation. I got out of bed, and I grabbed a bottle of 7-up that was sitting on the shelf.

I went over to him, and gave him a towel, that he put down on his chest. This was his routine, because he would dribble whatever he was drinking due to his Bells Palsy.

I opened his drink, and handed it to him. He hesitated for a second, so he could get his strength to lift the bottle.

He took a drink of the 7-Up, and handed the bottle back to me.

He didn’t choke. He didn’t cough.

He laid back, relaxed and I watched his eyes open wide. He was looking at something. Intently.

Then I realized.

He was gone.

It was almost instant. It was almost as if he was waiting for that last drink.

My brother, who had been talking to me, moving around, and put his own towel down on this chest only seconds before, was gone.

The next few minutes were a blur. I grabbed my Aunt, I grabbed my Mom, I grabbed my sister in-law who was asleep on the couch.

I made a phone call to my sobbing sister. I called my husband and I couldn’t even speak.

At one point I collapsed onto the floor, because my legs wouldn’t hold me.

Family came. Friends came. Everyone he loved was with him until the funeral home came and took him.

I am crushed. My heart feels a void that can never be filled. I feel immense guilt for being the one who was with him when he passed. I feel such priviledge for being the one who was with him when he passed. I feel like I robbed my parents of a moment that should have been theirs.

The thing I feel the most?

I wasn’t ready.hands





Keranique Hair Volumizing Shampoo- Review

*This was sent to me by iFabbo and Keranique to review. My opinion is my own.*

Many women and men suffer from thinning hair, especially as they get older. Split ends and breakage can occur at any age, depending on how you style your hair, climate, genetics, etc.

Keranique® was created exclusively for women who know how difficult is to live with the effects of hair loss and want to fight back. Clinically Proven Keranique® Hair Regrowth Treatment is designed for women’s unique hair needs and contains an FDA Approved Ingredient for real Hair Regrowth.


Scalp stimulating shampoo gently rinses away build up and reinvigorates the scalp. You may feel a slight tingling sensation as you shampoo. 

Volumizing Keratin conditioner penetrates hair to thicken and help repair the outer layer to reduce frizz, breakage and split ends while restoring shine. The light gel formula never weighs hair down.

The first thing I noticed about this shampoo was the smell. The light peppermint scent was wonderful. It actually made my scalp feel good as I shampooed. The conditioner was very nice too. The scent was very nice and it left my hair soft, and with less tangles. This is a big deal for me, since my hair is quite wavy and tangles pretty quickly.

I don’t have any issues with thinning hair, and my hair is quite thick. I did notice a definite increase in volume in my hair from using this shampoo.

Overall I would say it was a success for me in the volume department, and is a great shampoo in general. Give it a try!


Interested in trying Keranique? Use this link!

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Pet Gift Box- Halloween!

I know I am a little late on this, and I apologize, but it is SO CUTE!! I mean doesn’t this photo say it all? The Halloween themed items are so cute and I absolutely love this service!

Every month my kids and I are excited to get this box and play with the cats. We have never  been disappointed.


Let’s Check out the goods!

Spooky catnip Toy- 

Scare up some fun and frighten your feline with this spooky toy. Filled with 100% Catnip.
12166182_472250689621130_355116635_nThis toy is so adorable. Its lightweight so kitty can bat it around easily, and does he EVER. The catnip gets him going and it is hilarious!!


Tricksters Lattice Balls-

These balls will grab your cat’s attention and have kitty meowing into the moonlight.
12167053_472250679621131_1393128342_nIf you have a cat, you know how much they love chasing balls around the room. These balls are awesome, and loving that they had a Halloween theme. So cute and fun!

Halloween Boodana-

Tie on this spooky bandana and Fluffy will be ready to ‘Lick or Treat.’
12167632_472250629621136_785110153_nIs this thing not the cutest EVER? I kept this bandana on Justin kitty for over a month. He wound up pulling it off and losing it, but he looked so cute in it, I think I might get him more bandanas! You can see it on him in the photo above.

Catnip Halloween Mouse-

Kitty will be clawing and chasing to win this festive game of cat and mouse!
12167056_472250739621125_1667471282_nCatnip Pumpkin

You cat will go crazy for a bite of this pumpkin “spice.”

These two little toys are beyond cute, but I don’t think they had as much catnip in them as toys we have gotten in the past. This didn’t stop my cats from batting them all over the house!!

Cats in the Kitchen Pumpkin Jack Splash-

Welcome your cat into the kitchen with this delicious tuna in pumpkin soup recipe. Grain free. Serve alone or as a topper for dry food.
12166454_472250709621128_761515629_nMy cats didn’t quite care for this, I have never given them pumpkin, so that could be why. My dog wound up sneaking up behind them and eating it! Big goof.


This box was another big success. My kids love getting it almost as the pets do!


Don’t forget, use code “Stella” to get 25% off your first box!

Beauty Blog Coalition Roundup!


Splendies- Undies Delivered Right to Your Door!


*This was sent to me for review. My opinions are my own.*

Underwear can be a drag, or can be so much fun to shop for. I normally shop at Soma, and when I got the opportunity to try Splendies, I was so excited!


Cost: USD $12.00/month, free shipping

About: “Splendies is the easiest way to receive a surprise package of quality undies delivered to your door every month.”

The Scoop: Each month, you’ll receive three fun and sexy panties. Simply choose your size and Splendies will do the rest! Shipping is always free and you can pause or cancel your subscription at any time. Now, you can discover amazing new panty styles and brands you love without ever having to set foot in a store.


12007120_460343304145202_246988601_nAll three pairs that I received were super nice, excellent quality and had lots of pretty details. Look at this hot pink pair with the little crystal in the front. How cute are they? This pair retailed for $12.99. That is more than the monthly cost of the box!

12007128_460343317478534_771355734_nThis pair is super cute too. I don’t normally wear thongs, but again, the little details like the lace panels and bow are adorable! This pair retailed for $9.99


11998218_460343330811866_1574359141_nI LOVE this blue pair. All of the lace is gorgeous. Details include little bows and frills everywhere! This style has a bit more coverage, but still is sexy and sweet. This pair also retailed for $9.99


I loved the comfort of the bikini and brief. The lace wasn’t itchy at all! The silky feel was so luxurious! I am seriously thinking of subscribing to this box, just for the sheer adventure of not knowing what I would get. Surprises are AWESOME!


Want to check out Splendies? Click on the link below:


P.S. Use code SPLENDIES and  receive $4 off your first order!

Neostrata Skin Serum Giveaway

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Did you know? Studies show Green Tea extract neutralizes free radicals, helps protect skin cells and reduces inflammation.

NeoStrata Skin Active Antioxidant Defense Serum protects skin from future signs of aging and is formulated with 8 powerful multi-action antioxidants designed to combat oxidative damage. The potent combination of Citric Acid and Lilac, Green Tea and Chardonnay Grape Seed Extracts works together to neutralize five different types of free radicals and helps preserve healthy DNA, lipids and cellular membranes. In addition, this super potent source of EGCG Green Tea Extract protects against inflammatory mediators in the skin. v6v3yLSQ82BHa43ID6QQ_F30030X

Recommended usage: Daily use in the morning, under sunscreen

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