We're here

We're alive and doing well. It's been a crazed week. A perfect balance of work and play. Blogger is being cranky and not uploading right now. I wish I had some fantastic story to share but I'm so exhausted I'm at a loss. So I will leave you with this...

Eat tacos. They are delicious. Serve them with this and this you'll be happy.


1 + 1 = 0

I admit it, I'm horrible at math. Give me a math that has a practical application (20% off at Gap, for instance) and I'm a rockstar. Give me some bizarre, abstract, math problem and I'm calling my kid brother. I'm not too proud. Dude graduated with majors in math, and history, he needs to use his over priced education for something. Besides, he owes me.

In this case though, my math is not wrong.

Today we had 1 beautiful day and I had 1 exuberant little girl asking me to play outside. Those two numbers together means I got 0 photos edited and ready to show you. Well, except for this one.

So maybe my math should be 1+1=1. No matter which way you slice it, I wouldn't change it for the world.


What a Weekend

A quickie post with a few pictures of the weekend.

This is my brother Justin. It's his 26th birthday today. Everyone say "Happy Birthday!".

This is Mark. He had a solo gig on Saturday night at the Raue Center. He was awesome. I cried.

This is Nate and Kristin. They got married Saturday afternoon at the beautiful Klehm Arboretum. I cried.

There were many tears shed this weekend but many more laughs.
More to come when I've had a chance to take a breath and edit these pictures.


Slow down

Life for the Witt girls has been about 90mph for the entire month of June. There have been birthdays, parties, endless amounts of work, final preparations to get the house on the market, summer camp, dance classes, family drama, family moving... The list goes on and on.
This weekend is no exception. We've got a birthday party, a wedding, and a friends gig all on Saturday. Sunday brings Justin's birthday. I'm exhausted already but I'm really looking forward to it.

The camera battery is charged, the lenses are clean and ready, and the memory cards have been cleared and formatted. I'm ready.
What are your weekend plans?


So loved

I've watched this about 20 times today. I want this back more than I've ever wanted anything before.
slide show
I would take it all back. The hours of medical attention, complex dressing changes, playing in human tendons. The struggles to do the most basic things. The hurt in my heart to see Scott be physically limited.
The only thing I don't want back, and the only reason I can get up in the morning, I know Scott is at rest finally. He no longer hurts. I can handle anything now.

My deepest appreciation to Mrs. Kara Schultz for taking these photos that mean so much to me. And for all my SPN girls, thanks for making it happen. I miss you all.


Ahhh Summertime...

Summer is officially here.

Kate and I have been trying for weeks to soak up as much of it as possible. We've been to the pool, to the beach. We've been on picnics and we've played front yard baseball.

Being out in the sunshine just seems to heal us. It reminds us that we are just little tiny people in the great big world. There are so many other things going on and no matter how hard we try to stop it, life just keeps on rolling.

We can't go backwards. We can't undue the past. We can simply live for the moments that we're given today. Kate will hear certain songs on the radio and tear up. Announcing from the backseat that she's "sad Daddy is gone but he always sing me this song when I was a baby. Member mom? He loved it."

She's right. Be sad for a moment. Allow the loss to fill you. Long to make the call to tell him Sloop John B is on.

Then let it pass. Let the memories of Scott singing the song to my pregnant belly bring a smile to my face. Rejoice in all the moments we had to laugh, tell bad jokes and be part of Scott's life. There is still so much goodness on earth. Scott wanted us to always find it.


1409 days

Three years, ten months and nine days, 33,816 hours, 201 weeks. Doesn't matter how you look at it you didn't get to be her daddy here on earth long enough. You tried so hard to make every moment count. Always telling her how proud you are, how beautiful she is, how much you love her.
We knew there would be obstacles with your health. You always faced those challenges head on. Never giving up, never letting her see you quit. You showed her what true bravery, love and will power can do.
For only having 1409 days as a father you certainly packed in a life time of memories and lessons. Kate and I sat down tonight and watched the video of you and her watching her first Cubs game. You didn't even know I was taping it. That's the best part of the video. You were just you. Holding her, loving her, talking to her even though she was only a few weeks old.
She's going to know how much you loved her. She'll know it because you have already given it to her. You'll always be her best daddy. When she goes through that awful teenage phase of hating her mother, I'm so glad she'll have her daddy to love. You won't be here to tell her to be responsible, act nicely, do the right thing or follow her heart but she'll hear it anyways. I know with every piece of me, that you will always be a warmth in her heart and a sensible voice in her mind.
In 33,816 hours you accomplished more than most dads do in a lifetime. One of the few benefits from knowing you weren't going to be here long enough.
Thank you for making every moment count. Thank you for being a wonderful father to our baby girl. And thank you for always watching over her.

From her first breath...

to your last, you were simply the best father anyone could ask for.

You will forever be the best dad that ever lived.
We love you and miss you every day.

B and K



There is something beautiful about fog. Waking up in the morning and barely being able to see the house across the street. Walking down to the guest room and looking past our neighbors house and across the valley. Not being able to make out any of the houses, farmland or golf course in the distance. Everything is blanketed in a quiet softness. It's peaceful, and calm. A fortress of solitude.

Most days by 10am the cloaking fog has lifted. The sun's rays have beaten through. Slicing it's way to the earth's surface. Pushing aside the fog that fights to hang on.

Making way for blue skies, soft breezes, white fluffy clouds and a huge smiling, sun.
The fog is wonderful. The waking is beautiful. The sunshine that follows renews your spirit.

I never thought that my life and the life of fog would be so intertwined. Right now, it's probably the one thing in life that I can most relate to.

I feel like for over a year, I've been the fog. Blanketed by stress, by worry, by sadness with these amazing peaks of love, faith, happiness and pure joy. One wouldn't be possible without the other.

I'm so grateful that the past few weeks, the foggy days are fewer and the foggy moments aren't so hard to fight through.

My tears are based more and more out of love instead of sadness. I smile at things that a month ago reduced me to a puddled mess. I feel Scott everywhere. I know I'm following his wishes. I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

Like I told Katie today, we can't bring him home again but we can make sure when he watches us from heaven, he gives us that big, wide eyed, top lip rolled, slightly crooked smile.

I miss that smile with every fiber of my being. Thinking of it now, and even seeing some of it in Kate's smile, brings me comfort and warmth.

There is simply nothing better than being able to enjoy more of the wonderful moments that life offers. Scott enjoyed everything. So rarely would you find Scott in a grumpy mood. He just simply couldn't be bothered with it. We should all take that lesson from him.


Letting others do my work

Another 15th. There have been 3 that have passed now.
People often call me a writer. I'm not a writer. I'm a teller of my story. My older brother Mathew, now he's got a gift for words. Matt recently shared his words with me from the days surrounding Scott's death. He so perfectly captures what was in the heart of so many.
He is kindly letting me share them here.
Josh, is another kind soul that is letting me share his work here. Josh took this picture this week at what is now called "Cheddar Point". This is the place where Scott's ashes met the water. Where the last part of his physical being was returned.
For those of you confused by "Cheddar Point", Cheddar was a special nickname for Scott. A nickname that transcended 20 years of friendship.
To know that this beautiful place is where Scott rests, offers me more peace and comfort than I ever imagined.

Thank you Matt and Josh. Thank you for sharing with me and allowing me to share with others. Thank you for being such important people in Scott's life. To know his love is really to be loved. Consider yourselves loved.

Here are Matt's words.

Going to see my brother-in-law. May be the last time I ever see him. He's going to die soon. The world loses. The whole damn world. Not just my family, my niece, my sister... the whole fuckin' world. All the people that never knew him are now sold short. They never knew his humor; they never knew his goodness, his kindness and his openness. They never knew how much... no matter what he had going on, he always wanted to know more about how you were doing. How things were in your life. He always used to ask me if I had that five bucks I owed him. I don't know that we ever borrowed a dime from each other but we always asked each other about that five bucks. That was him. Goofy bastard could make a joke with nothing to work with.
So we let him go because we have to, not because we want to. We'd like to believe there is a bigger part of our hearts that will send him away fondly so that he can be with his parents and his sister and his brother. We send him away knowing that for some of us, we have so many years still left here. For those of us who know how much time we have left here to toil amongst the seasons, amongst the density, we feel guilty for a moment and jealous for another because we wish somehow it were us instead of him. Because we know that he would value, treasure and use that time if he knew that he had it. If he knew that he could be healthy for years to come, there's not a minute he'd waste. He'd stop only to sleep. As for those of us now who use our time so unwisely... There are tremendous lessons to be learned from him. Will we apply them? Or will we just crack another beer and go to church?


Hang On

Scott loved "going" on the boat. Never reckless or unsafe, at least not that I saw, but there was just something about moving fast on the water that filled his soul.

So when we went out to spread his ashes, we did just that. We hauled ass. Letting the wind bite our cheeks and the spray fly. The perfect cloudy, hazy, overcast, slightly cool day, Scott's version of heaven on the water. Exactly what he wanted.

I'm glad I had his "boys" with. They know that lake as well as Scott did. Finding the absolute perfect spot for Scott to rest. Right off Pier 200, over a sand bar, rocky area, where Scott pulled in fish after fish, year after year.
I wouldn't have known where to go. Being on the lake was Scott's domain. It was the only time in our relationship that I didn't organize, orchestrate and accomplish our goals. On the boat, I sat in the passenger seat and Scott did the rest. I loved watching him in his element. The happy, content, peaceful look that always washed over his face. That face will always be my fondest memory of Scott from our pre-Katie days.

The dynamic of the group has changed. There is a hole in the fabric. A hole that will never be filled. But the love is still there.

It's written all over their faces. Having these men hold me up over the past three months... If I wasn't sure of all the reasons Scott loved them before, I certainly am now.

Scott is resting in heaven. The final piece of his physical being has been given back to the earth. Now and forever, he lives on in our hearts, minds, souls and in the eyes of his daughter. Missing him is easy, but so is knowing he's finally at peace.


When snuggles get in the way

Kate and I had a great afternoon and evening together. She helped in the yard. We made dinner together. There were what seemed like 100's of games of Memory, I lost most of the time. And then before bed, we started a game of chase.
That game of chase, is going to be my downfall. Junior Miss is still upstairs rolling around in her bed, singing songs, playing with her friends and making up stories. Normally, bedtime isn't a problem for her but tonight to get her to sleep I'm going to have to pull out all the stops. Back rubs and playing with her hair until she's calmed.
The photos, words and memory sharing will just have to wait. Can't say I'm too upset about that though.

How could I be?


Sometimes things do work out

Yesterday went as perfect as possible. You know, for spreading your husbands ashes. There was so much love on that boat. We could feel Scott all around us. The laughter and tears just came naturally.

The boys and I on the boat where we left Scott's ashes.

We toasted a wonderful man that I was so very lucky to call husband.

Followed by a day spent healing with the family. Making new memories while honoring the old. Throw in some good conversation with people that matter, a little time watching old men play softball and I'm feeling quite content.

I have a lot more to share and some photos that will crack you up. It's going to have to wait though, this girl is TIRED. Hoping the refreshed feeling means a good nights rest.



I am the Queen of procrastination. There may be nobody on the earth as terrific as I am at putting off the things I don't want to do. It's a little known talent of mine.

Allow me to share a few 'tricks of the trade' with you.

Don't want to make the "bring with" list for tomorrow?
Clean the house. The windows are dirty. There are two dishes in the sink. Almost enough clothes for a half load of laundry so that MUST be tackled. Time to organize my socks.
Correspond with others. Return emails and messages that have been sitting in your in box for weeks. Over share on Facebook. Surf the web for new camera gear that you have no intention of buying.
Take your kid to a free church sponsored festival. It doesn't matter that it's 60degrees, cloudy, rainy and the place is a muddy, swamp pit.
Enlist all your friends to join you at the "event". You know your kid will stay longer if she has friends. As an added bonus, you'll have friends to chat with and more kids to help corral.

See, three easy steps, to putting things off. I will admit I have a mental list that reads something like this.
hamburgers and hot dogs - check
buns - check
condiments - check
ice cream - check
paper plates, forks etc - check
Captain Morgan - check
tissues -
Scott's ashes -
screw driver to open the box holding Scott's ashes -
strength -
courage -

Any thoughts on what one should wear to spread her husbands ashes at his favorite lake with his best buddies? Hmmm... you don't know either huh? Crap.

I'll leave you with a funny picture from the free festival Kate and I went to tonight. We were lucky enough to meet with the S12 family. The kids had a blast.

I can't wait to share the rest of the pictures with you. Seriously, cute stuff. In fact, I better edit all 150 of them tonight. I don't have anything else I should be doing. Right?


Love Her

I treasure every second with this girl. As much as she knows exactly how to push my buttons, she knows just how to help heal my heart.


A Beautiful Day

Kate and I did so many things that would have made Scott smile.

Kate has recently been asking about where people lived when they were kids. So I drove past Scott's family home. We stopped and stared out the window. She marveled over how beautiful it is. I remembered posing on the front lawn for wedding pictures. She loved all the trees. I loved remembering the smell of the magnolia tree out front. As we pulled away from the house I told Kate the story of how Scott proposed in that house. How he got down on one knee in the kitchen after making me his "signature" meal.

Then we enjoyed some more of this record heat by hanging out by the beach. Scott LOVED being by a lake. Or if he had his way, fishing on the lake. The best part of that beach is we were there with Scott last fall so she actually remembers being there with him.

A family dinner at Tony's Pizza Peddlers Restaurant. Enjoying mushrooms, the bread basket and toasting to Scott's birthday.

An ice cream on the way home because Kate became quite upset realizing we didn't have birthday cake for Scott. There is no better way to say "Happy Birthday" than with ice cream.

The tears came and went as we navigated through the day. But nothing was better than
Baby Girl singing "Happy Birthday to Daddy" after I left her room. It will be something I never forget.

Happy Birthday Scotty!


Happy Birthday Baby!

I woke up at 330a. My first thoughts were "Happy Birthday Baby". I whispered them out loud like you were next to me. Maybe you heard them in heaven.
I tried in vein for an hour to get back to bed. I thought about work, Kate, life, our plans for the day. I thought about anything but you. Trying to forget that you're not here to celebrate what would have been your 36th birthday.
The sadness, anger, frustration, and loneliness found me though. I couldn't keep the tears away, no matter how hard I tried.

Kate and I have been talking about how today would have been your birthday. In true 4 year old fashion, she just wanted to know how we would get your presents to you and if I thought you needed a toothbrush in heaven because Papa liked his toothbrush she got him so much.
I think we'll be sending you a balloon. Don't worry I won't attach a toothbrush.

I can't believe you're not here. It makes me smile though, when I think about your first birthday celebration reunited with your family. I can only imagine the cake, presents and love your mom is drowning you in.
And then, if I'm being honest, I think 'what if I'm wrong'. What if heaven isn't as I imagine it to be. What if it isn't what I need it to be for you. So then I go back to being selfish and just wanting you here. Because here, I know what kind of day you would have. You would have a great day. You would be with your best girl and you would have a new toothbrush.

I promise not to be sad all day. I promise to not be angry. I will spend the day with our girl, reminding her of how much she's loved. She wants to go to the beach today. As we drove by it last night on our way home she said, "There's the lake I go to with Daddy. Can we go there tomorrow so Daddy's sunshine finds me?" I've always been better than you at telling her no, but even I can't say no to that.
I'm glad she feels you while on a lake. I feel you there too.

Happy 36th Birthday Scott. We love you and miss you.



Bizarre and Random

It's been a bizarre day. Moments where I'm feeling fine. Where I almost forget. They are quickly followed by moments where I can remember details I had never recalled before. Which usually spawn into moments of sadness, longing or heartache.

Ahh such is life.

You're looking at a few photos off my cell phone. I think they support my bizarre and random feeling today. Just random tidbits of life from the past year that I've captured. And just like my day, they come with a variety of emotions.

Isn't it strange how life works sometimes? Everything comes in bits and pieces and when you look back you realize all those little moments are the definition of your life.

Like my half eaten chicken milanese from one of Scott's favorite restaurants. He used to joke that if he won the lottery he would put a helicopter pad on the roof of Tony's Restaurant so he could fly over anytime he liked.
Eating at Tony's last week didn't bring me heartache. It brought me joy. I remembered all those wonderful times. The fighting over mushrooms that would happen between he and my father. The declaration Mom and I made that if he and dad were going to get the world's smelliest seafood pastas they would find themselves sitting at another table. Kate playing with the other baby in the mirrored walls when she was just a wee one.
One picture of some half eaten food gives me all that. Bizarre.

Maybe the heat of the day has finally gotten to me. I took this photo at 4:30pm tonight as Kate and I drove home from Palatine. Hot! Too Hot! Especially when you've spent the day working on a dirty, dusty, job site.

Maybe my brain is just fried. It's possible.


Well that was fun

I sure did enjoy my few fleeting moments of peace, rest and happiness this weekend. I'm so angry that I even said something stupid like "I'm feeling pretty good". In my world that is a sure to turn things in the opposite direction. I totally jinxed myself.
I cursed at myself at 1am. Then again at 2am. Then 3am. By 4am, I was ready to hurt someone. By 5am, I said fuck it and got up. A day that starts by seeing every hour of the "night", is bound to be ultra fab. Le sigh...

Things on the other blog wrapped up today. After talking with Jay'me on Friday and Scott this afternoon it became apparent that things needed to end. Everyone just has too much on their plates, myself included. I'm sad. The idea was my brain child. I gave it a lot of love early but just couldn't maintain what it needed to be successful. And when things stopped being fun and started feeling like a job, it was time to throw in the towel. I guess I'll just have to share all of my creative genius (stop laughing) over here instead.

I tried all day long to amend the craptastic mood. I even made a trip to get ice cream with Kate. An ice cream trip where I almost took Kate's chocolate ice cream cone and shoved the gross, drippy, melty mess back at the pimply faced teenager that handed it to me. Seriously. It's 95 degrees please don't make the ice cream cone ahead of time. Handing a cone to someone in the drive thru window that melts, drips and leaves a mess on the ground before they can even get it in the car is just STUPID.

My grandmothers, and mother taught me that if you didn't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. I guess I've already broken the rule but I'll stop now. Bitching about stupid, non-important crap, just isn't going to do anyone any good.
None of it matters anyways.

Grumpy Bitch - out


When good isn't good enough

Kate and I have had a great weekend. It's been filled. Non-stop, jam packed, filled. Not with things to do, though there have been plenty of that, but filled with love.

I feel like I've woken up. I've been waking before the alarm and going to bed before midnight. My workouts have increased in intensity, I'm eating better, Kate and I are in sync. It's almost like stepping out of a fog.
I can't explain it. I don't know if it will last. But I know that I'm enjoying every second of it for as long as it lasts.
We busted out the pool passes for the first time of the season on Friday. Spent 3 glorious hours soaking up with warm (HOT) sun while chilling in the cool water with our great friends Nicole and Brandon. We simply cannot wait to go back again. I'm not a "pool girl" but this place is just right for Kate and I.

I think some of my mood change is in part due to the visit to New China with a few of those that are nearest and dearest to Scott and I. Going to New China was my idea. I wanted to go to a place that we all love so much. A place that was a second home to Scott for many years. His version of Cheers.
Scott knew that menu like no other. It was the only place that he didn't have to look at the menu.
If we allowed it Scott would spend hours studying the menu at restaurants. He was also known for making a choice and changing his mind before the waitress could walk away. He loved food so much and he always wanted to have the best thing on the menu.
Scott was the New China master. No matter how large of a group we would get together (think +14 people) Scott would order for everyone. He had it mastered. The perfect appetizers, plenty of entree choices, he could even take care of your drink if you wanted.
I know Scott was there with us on Friday night. He sat right next to me and whispered our order in my ear. I could absolutely feel him. The smile and laughter just came so naturally after that, so easy.

Something else that's now much easier, my hair. (My segue needs work huh?) Saturday morning, I chopped off about 6 inches. Freeing myself from the weighty, length that was strangling me. Sitting in that chair, feeling the first cut, telling my hairdresser about losing Scott and not losing it myself, I instantly felt better.
Spending the rest of the day with my family, celebrating my Dad's birthday was just the icing on the Saturday cake.

Kate and I were too perfect peas in a pod today. Spending all day working in the yard, planting flowers, grocery shopping, doing laundry, washing floors, cleaning bathrooms, reading books, playing, making lunch and dinner. We were perfectly balanced. She was excited to play alone when she needed to and was a great helper when she could be. No tears (from her anyway), no whining, no time outs, no drama. Just perfect ease.

This weekend was exactly what I needed it to be. I know this week is going to be tough. Scott's birthday is Wednesday and then Saturday will bring what Scott loved to call his "burial at sea". The last physical piece I have of him will be gone. Scott will finally be home. His ashes will be sprinkled over the lake he loved most, with the boys that he spent all his time with, there to see him off. I'm not ready. I'll never be ready.


Happy Birthday Dad

Today is my dad's birthday.

I won't tell you how old he is. I'm his favorite (don't tell my brothers) and I don't want to ruin a good thing.

Mom, Kate and I went shopping for Papa's presents at Target. I let Kate pick out most of them.

Dad really loved his purple toothbrush. The bag of raisins were a healthy, practical choice, along with the face lotion. Throw in a t-shirt and an itunes gift card (that one was my idea - you're welcome Dad) and we called it a success.

You can tell everyone was riveted.... or not.

It really was a great day spent with the family. I hope Dad enjoyed his day. We certainly enjoyed spending it with him.



Busy is a good thing for me these days. It doesn't keep the moments from coming. You know, the moments I'm talking about. Those knock you on your ass, take your breath from your lungs, and rip your heart from your chest, moments. But busy, does soften the blow.
It's good to be out amongst the land of the living. The learn, laugh and evolve. To do the things Scott wanted me to do.
I can't help but wonder when I'm away if it's the right thing for Kate. I'm always worried about her balance, her life. I guess that's what a mom does regardless of the situation.


Like mother like daughter

My girl just loves being on a job site. The bigger, the dirtier, the more chaos, the better.

I love sharing it with her. Already she asks wonderful questions, wanting to understand everything that's going on around her.

Finished off the day with dinner with Kristin, Scott (S12), Ethan and Brandon. It had been way too long. Spent too much time (enjoying every second of it) and now I'm way behind. It's a universal problem.