Friday, June 26, 2009

Let Me Be Myself

When Jon was in DC visiting, we hung out and had some great great times. He loved the fact that Rhett would come jump on his bed every morning and wake him up. Again, I will say how much I loved Jon and Rhett's relationship. They lit up the room with their love for each other. Jon and me would walk to Starbucks and get coffee while Josh and Rhett stayed at the condo.
He asked me a hundred times if I had heard the song "Let me be Myself" by 3 Doors Down.
I being in 2 year old kids song mode, obviously had not heard it.
Finally, one day I downloaded it for him on itunes. I didn't even listen to the words.
I have been looking in the cracks of the couch and all around for something he left here, and haven't found a thing. This disappointed me a little bit.
Tonight Josh and me were looking for a Third Day song on itunes and I came across the song I had downloaded for him. I had completely forgotten about it.
It completely blew me away and sent me into a breakdown. Here are the words to the song.

I guess i just got lost
Bein' someone else
I tried to kill the pain
Nothin ever helped
I left myself behind
Somewhere along the way
Hopin to come back around
To find myself someday
Lately i'm so tired of waiting for you
To say that it's ok, but tell me
Please, would you one time
Just let me be myself
So i can shine with my own light
Let me be myself
Would you let me be myself

I'll never find my heart
Behind someone else
I'll never see the light of day
Living in this cell
It's time to make my way
Into the world i knew
Take back all of these times
That i gave in to you
Lately i'm so tired of waiting for you
To say that it's ok,
but tell mePlease,
would you one timeLet me be myself
So i can shine with my own light
And let me be myself
For a while, if you don't mind
Let me be myself
So i can shine with my own light
Let me be myself
That's all i've ever wanted from this world
Is to let me be me

-This song just spoke volumes to me. Because so many times I didn't understand him. He even said that so many times.
Now I understand him.
We knew he had struggles. He had triumphs too! I am so thankful that in his last few months, he found people to understand him, people that were going through the same things he was.
I have felt this coming on, because I have had some really good days. I am glad that I found this song because it gives me a little bit more of a glimpse into Jon's heart and mind. I first found it as a discouragement. I felt like I should have understood him more. I just felt so sad that he had to endure pain like this. I quickly realized that Satan is at work all of the time. He is trying to take away my peace.
I feel like now that as Christian's, we have to try and be more understanding of people. We can't be so judgemental. We take so much of peoples struggles and instantly degrade them, talk behind their backs or simply judge them in our heads. We need to put a little bit more of Jesus on and show them love and compassion. We don't have to fully understand them, we just have to love them.
One thing Jon and me talked about a few weeks ago was how much he hated to hear someone talk bad about another person. He said, I know people don't really mean harm by it but I just don't like to hear it. He got so fired up about it. That was Jon. He showed people love and compassion no matter what. I never heard him say a bad thing about anyone. He always gave them the benefit of the doubt.
Jon Willingham is leaving behind a wonderful legacy. He lives on through people and the stories people remember about him. So even though he had valleys, he had mountains too!
Now through his wonderful examples, he is having TRIUMPHS! Through Jon there can be many more mountains!
People come in and out of your life. God sends these people in your life for a reason. Jon was one of those people to me. Through Jon I am seeing glorious glimpses into our wonderful Lord. Thank you Jon. I love you and always will.
Please continue the prayers you are sending up on behalf of our family. We appreciate each and every one of you for your love and support.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jon Robert Wickin Wackin Sugar Ray Gomer Slick Weenie Willingham

It has been a long time since my last post. As I begin this new one, I am not even sure I can write it.

Right now, Josh is at the field trying to go on with his everyday life as best as he can right now. Rhett is fast asleep. Denise, David and family are in Gulf Shores trying to enjoy a vacation they look forward to every year. It is difficult to be away from all of our family and friends during this time but we can do it because we have a God that can be 2, 3, 4......places at once.

I don't even know where to begin right now and I will go ahead and apologize for my scattered thoughts.

It has been 10 days since Jon passed away. We are making it. We have good hours and bad hours. God is not giving us anything we can't handle.

Josh was called by our wonderful God to talk about Jon at the funeral. We had been talking about Jon Saturday night and I left the room for a moment. Josh came into where I was and said he was being led to get up there and talk about his brother. To show everyone Jon's heart. All I can say is that he was definitely called. There is no other way Josh would have or could have gotten up there. He began to write and the words flowed so easily for him. He got to a point where he had to take a break. He then came in the room and said that God had given him the exact words to say and that he was going to write them down. Those words are what has gotten us through these last several days. It had to do with where Jon's heart was. He was finally right with God. Jon had found his FAITH. He was a new man, yet the old boy we had missed for so long. God took Jon when he was ready.

I have to brag on Josh. When he got up there and stood so strong talking about his brother, I saw a mature GODLY man. Josh is truly a righteous man. I am so proud of him. He wanted others to see into Jon's BEAUTIFUL heart. God allowed him to do that and Josh recognized it was from God.

Jon was a sweetheart. He was the kindest most gentle good-hearted person I knew. That is a fact.

I believe with all of my heart that Jon is affecting so many people.

My daddy had a great point regarding Jon giving his heart to help someone else live: He said, there was someone out there that needed a heart. There were people praying for that person. Someones son, Dad, brother, sister, mom, daughter or friend needed that heart. God didn't choose that person over Jon. He answered both prayers. Jon doesn't have to suffer on this Earth anymore. He is able to finally be free from the struggles we all have on this Earth. Jon's burdens have been lifted. As horrible as it is to miss Jon, someone else is living. Someone else can now help others.

Jon struggled. There is no doubt about that. We ALL struggle. His struggles were no different than any of ours, they just had bigger, more obvious consequences. Jon was working hard to overcome them. Jesus died for a reason. His grace is AMAZING. The words to "Amazing Grace" are ringing loud in my ears.

I believe that through Jon's death, there will be changed hearts. My heart is forever changed now. All I want to do is "Go tell it on the mountain!" Where would we be without God right now? I cannot imagine.

Josh and me are sad. Our hearts are very heavy at times. There are more horribly sad days to come, I know. But we have a peace. A peace that only our Heavenly Father can give. He is so good to wrap his arms around our hearts and protect them.

Jon was a good buddy to me. I loved Jon so much. I loved hanging out with him. We had some long and wonderful talks just weeks ago about his struggles and his new found faith. He was trying so hard. He was so excited about his new life. He couldn't wait to show me verses in the Bible and paragraphs from books that was helping him. He was a work in progress. "The God thing" was really coming for him and making sense. I am so THANKFUL for those glimpses into his heart and mind. He made me laugh so much. I loved how he played with Rhett. He got on his level, like he did with so many kids. He made them feel so special. He got Rhett a Matchbox race car set for Christmas. They loved to play with that thing. Rhett will miss his sweet Uncle Jon.

I am reminded of Jesus and how he gave his life for us to live. TO LIVE. He literally suffered and died for us so that we may live. What are we doing to live? Are we living a life that is worth what Jesus did for us? I had become so complacent. Already through Jon's death, I see the point. I want others to be able to experience the peace that I have been given and the peace that Josh has been given. I feel like now I am on a mission. A mission I should have started a long time ago. That mission is to live that life that is worthy of Jesus' death.

Jon is forever in our hearts. I will always be reminded of his beautiful heart. I will miss him dearly, but am reminded that I will see him again someday.

That day will be a glad day.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Well, this morning I was feeling more energetic than normal. I thought, now is a good time to start back my workouts. I have been pretty bad since I left Florence because I have no one to keep Rhett while I go. So, I found a Gold's 6/10 of a mile from our condo...pretty convenient huh? They even have a kids club for Rhett. Josh was home but I decided to give him a break and take Rhett to play with other kids. Well off I went. Arrived right in time for Body Pump, filled out a little paper work then took Rhett to the kids club. I filled out a little form for Rhett and checked him in. I told the lady it was my first time at the club....she informed me of the fee for next time($3). OK, Rhett reluctantly found toys and went to town playing. I left and went to Body Pump. I picked up right where I left and was feeling really good during the work out. Then, I got all muscles shut down feeling very fatigued. I overdid myself. SHOOT! I scooted out a few minutes early and caught my breath. I walked down to get Rhett and he was BAWLING!!!!! I mean he was snubbing and couldn't breathe!!! He was standing ALL alone. He never cries!!! I have NEVER seen him cry like this! INSTANTLY I started crying. I asked them how long he had been crying and they just SHRUGGED their shoulders and told me they tried to find me. Hysterically, I told them I was in Body Pump. They said we put his name up.

WHAT?!!!!! Put his name up? What does this mean? Then a girl picking up her little boys said, "Is his name Rhett?" Oh my goodness, I didn't see his name! I was in the VERY back with about 50 girls how was I suppose to see it? It is a card that they put in the window. If you saw this place you would is one big solid window in a huge room with a hundred posters and signs!
Anyway, I have never cried like I cried today. I know, I didn't know he was crying. Obviously, I would have been there in a heart beat if I had only known. But Rhett didn't know that. Rhett was heart broken and just didn't understand why his Mommy had left! I asked him why he was crying and he said, "I duust..sniff, sniff.... wanted...snub,snub... my Mommy!"
Talk about heart broken. I came back to the condo and Josh thought someone had died. I literally lost it. Anyway, I think I will settle down a little and call and complain. I know they are a legit place that left out a tiny detail. But that tiny detail broke my baby's heart and nobody messes with my baby's heart!
So the moral of the story? Don't work out. I will probably even be sore tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Can they really enforce this?

Saturday before Easter, I, along with Bridgett decided to take Rhett to the mall to see the Easter bunny. While I went and bought a very "Heavenly" ham, Bridgett stood in the line with Rhett. I arrived just in time for Rhett to jump in the Easter Bunny's lap. I told Bridge to take my camera and snap some outside the fence. As Rhett was sitting in the Bunny's lap I thought, "shoot, I better snap one on my phone and send it to Josh." I snapped one and put my phone in my pocket. Then the lady told me to come look at the picture she took. Of course I wasn't going to pay for a picture. I just wanted Rhett to see the Easter Bunny. I examined the picture acted interested then said, "No thanks!"
Well.....thats when it got interesting.
The lady then said, "Did you take one with your phone?" I said yes, then the other woman motioned at Bridgett and she said "SHE IS!"
Well evidentally there was a sign that said if you take a picture with your phone or camera you have to pay for a picture....then under those words it said, "SHOPLIFTERS WILL BE PROCECUTED!"
So I had to pay for a $10 off-centered faded 5x7 picture! Should Bridgett have taken the picture form Victoria's Secret and zoomed in? Would Victoria's Secret thought she was taking pics of underwear and made her pay for them?
Can you really enforce that rule? Would they have arrested me for SHOPLIFTING?
So now we have to even be careful of what we take pictures of? Can I take a picture of Josh playing baseball? Will MLB arrest me? How far will people go? Have any of you ever had a similar thing happen to you?
I told them gently how I felt... after all, Rhett had his picture taken with Easter bunny in Florida last year and you could stand there and take as many pics as you wanted! I really didn't want to cause a scene so I paid them my $10 plus tax.....and left feeling discouraged, wronged, cheated.....and a wee bit ticked.
Is it that big of a deal? In the whole scheme of things? No, of course not. But these are just the type of things that just really drive me crazy. I have had plenty of's return know, just customer service issues in general.
What do you think??

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The part I will miss....

Spring Training is almost over. Leaving Florida will be strange.

There will be parts I will miss.
I have complained about Florida for sometime now but didn't realize how good I had it.
I am not talking about being a minority in a rude at times(lots of times)city.

I am not talking about the blistering hot and humid summers.

I am not talking about the 5 mile/30 minute drives in traffic.

I am not talking about the 10 fans at the stadium either.
I am talking about the relationships that changed my life.
I am talking about the family away from home.
I am talking about 9 inning Bible studies.
I am talking about knowing everyone's name.
Josh was drafted in 2000 by the Florida Marlins. It is very, very strange not to be traded. Josh was with the Marlin organization for 8 years. We have been married for 6 of those. Over the years I have developed some amazing friendships. Some of these have been traded away but they will forever leave a footprint in the journey we have taken.

In '06 several of us were all pregnant together. In '07 we had our babies together. They all watched opening day together.

We also all lived in the same condo together. When the guys were on the road we would cook breakfast and supper for each other. Summer lived one floor right below us. We spent many days letting our boys play together.

These kiddos spent every single day together. This means the Mommies spent every night together as well. They become your family. We know no one else and our families are hundreds of miles away. You really depend on these girls, especially when the men are on the road.

Our wonderful nannies were especially helpful! They were lifesavers and such wonderful women. I developed relationships with these ladies and they loved Rhett.

And I will not miss the bad haircuts from the Spanish-speaking hair "Stylists"!

I will never forget when I called Summer late one night because Rhett had been sick and was having an allergic reaction to Penicillin. Josh was gone for 10 days and Rhett was sick the ENTIRE time! His ENTIRE body was covered within an hour of taking his amoxcillin.

Then, when the guys played on the west coast, Vanessa called me at midnight telling me to get to the hospital she was having an emergency c-section and I was her "Mike". After I dragged Rhetts pack N play(with him sleeping in it) down the hall,up the elevator and to another wife's condo, I quickly left. An hour later tiny twin girls were born. What a night! I will remember that one forever!

Rhett and Hudson are forever friends! They are 3 days apart in age. Rhett loves Hudson so much and asks about him every single day.

We did manage a couple of trips to Jupiter. One, was when baby Haven (Hudson's new sister) was born. The other day was just a day off planned to hang out one last time for spring.

Isn't she BEAUTIFUL?!

I will miss my friends so much! Some friendships were just beginning(Meghan and Jenn) and some we had been friends for years(Summer). I will miss so much about these girls and what they will always mean to me. God has blessed us tremendously over the years. I truly thank God for these women that played a huge and vital part to my life. I believe with all my heart that God sends people into your life because he knows exactly what you need at exactly the right time.

I will miss our Bible studies and what they meant to me. I thank God for Wendy(chaplains wife) and all the wonderful studies she challenged us to. I thank God for her friendship. She helped me grow more than she will ever know! I also thank God for Wendy's ability to be a Godly wife to Chris and mother of 4 beautiful boys! I only hope I can be half the example she is to her boys! They(Wendy and Chris) are a perfect example of the impact you can have on your kids lives. They are an example of how children can be like Jesus even at a young age.

Thanks for sweet little Hudson, he is Rhett's first best friend!

My wives friends: Summer, Meghan, Lauren, Heidi, Meredith, Jenn Mac, Jenn Brown, Lindsay, Tonya, Vanessa, Erin, Natalee, Jane, Wendy, Stephanie, Katie,Tatum, Tara....I know I am leaving out a host of girls from the past couple of years...None the less all important!

And thanks to anyone involved with the Marlins. Thanks:

Parking lot guys and gals

The attendant that gave me my tickets at every game.

The security guards in the tunnel guarding the locker room, opening the doors for our hubbys and the ones opening the doors for us.

Worth- one of the sweetest men ever- always smiling

David the usher

The nannies

The man in the scorching non-ac elevator

Boomer- for scheduling all of the road trips

Wendy and Chris Lane

ALL of the fans that chanted "What time is it? HAMMERTIME!"

Doug the super fan- for standing in parking lot with a thumbs up after every game greeting every player!

Larry Keller- the scout that drafted Josh.

The list could go on and on and on!

Maybe this blog will let you guys at home understand a little bit about how it is for me 8 months out of the year MINUS the baseball part and how important ALL relationships are. You all know, I couldn't do it without your support and prayers either!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pictures of the new far

These pictures are in no particular order. I have a lot of decorating to do and still getting more furniture and all of the window treatments. I didn't put pictures of all the rooms because they aren't finished. Also, the outside is still a work in progress...Will Lambert is working on the Landscaping. We are also trying to decide pool or no pool. I would love to hear what you think!

Playroom with window to exercise room

Exercise room with window looking into playroom.

The colors are a lot darker than they appear...this room is a burnt orange.

Future nostalgic bedroom...Grandparents first br suite


Big theatre area

Man Cave


Master Bath Ceiling

Master Bedroom

The cabinet finish is very old looking and crackled

Powder bath

Rhett's Bathroom

Rhett's room....My sis is painting a canvas for above the bed

Study but not close to being finished

Great room. The opening to the kitchen will have a glass window in it that opens and closes .

Powder bath


Foyer ceiling

Dining room ceiling

Mantel hasn't been painted yet and still lack lots of decor.

Stair case

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rhett meets Mickey and the Gang!

Don't you just love our picture in front of Cinderella's castle? OH, I mean the cluster of balloons!

It all started Saturday on our way to eat, "Are we going to eat with Mickey Mouse Mommy?".

Of course he had overheard me calling to make reservations then sharing with Josh the plan.
We went to Wal-mart where he saw a Mickey Mouse toy and said, "Is this Mickey's house?"
Sunday night...all he could say was "I so cited! I so cited! I can't wait!"
Monday morning the alarm goes off and the first thing he says is, "We going to eat breakfast with MICKEY MOUSE, YEA!!" After a couple of weeks of work Josh had an off-day!

This was his "excited face" at 6:30 A.M.
So we drove 1 hour and 30 minutes to Disney. We arrived at the Contemporary Resort, where Chef Mickey's is located.

We had an average tasting breakfast buffet but was all worth it to see the look on Rhett's face seeing some of his favorite characters. I also enjoyed some of Josh's faces! This one just cracks me up!

Rhett's eyes were as big as Mickey's when he first laid eyes on him! He loved him and gave him a big kiss and hug! I love this picture so much!

So Rhett says, "Who else comin to see me, Daddy?" (they came one at a time)
So here came sweet Minnie. She loved on Rhett. He gave her a big kiss on the nose.

Then he didn't want to leave Mommy out so he leaned in to kiss me too!

"Who else comin to see me, Daddy?"

Here came Goofy! Rhett was a little confused about his outfit though.

"Who else comin see me, Daddy?"
Then Pluto and Donald came out. Donald just didn't look like I thought he should....he was sort of shorter than I thought. He always seemed tall and thin to me. Oh well. It was still very cool!

Then we hopped on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. Rhett was so funny. He thought it was much fun. He told the doors when to open and close. He had no idea where we were going.
So we started out on Disney Railroad. Then on to Toon Town. Rhett rode his first real roller coaster, the Barn Stormer. He CRIED.....not because he was scared but because he didn't want to get off. No line so we went again. They gave him a certificate for his first roller coaster ride.

I also would like to share my love for "Fast Passes". I just wonder why the rest of people stand in line for 45 minutes when all they have to do is grab a fast pass, come back when it says, then stand in line 5 minutes, all while you ride other rides in the meantime!

"It's a Small World"

Rhett took a 45 minute nap while Josh went on Splash Mountain. Then we met back up and had icecream before the parade.

Rhett loved the Parade and waved at everyone and asked again over and over, "who else comin to see me?"

I didn't take many pictures because I was saving battery for the rest of the parade that never came. I was so disappointed. If any of you remember the Dream come true parade, it was so long with EVERYONE in it. This years "Celebrate Today" parade (bad economy parade) was so short and lacked everything I loved so much! I was so pumped and telling Josh how this was the best part of the day. Maybe next year there won't be cut outs. I also missed Woody's Roundup parade which also may be part of a cut back. hmmm....even Disney is affected?

This face was priceless as he was on Peter Pan's Flight. Thinking he was seeing Captain Hook standing in the mouth of an alligator!

This was Aladin's Carpet Ride. The rest of the day he called it the "Carousel that went up and down."

After the parade we decided to go over to Hollywood Studios. We met up with High School friend, Paige Stevenson.( Her office is over there)
We went to the Playhouse Disney show. Rhett got to see Mickey Mouse clubhouse and Handy Manny performed!

Then Paige was so sweet and volunteered to keep Rhett while I(reluctantly) and Josh went on Tower of Terror, (I made nail marks in Josh and was terrified) and also on Rockin Roller coaster!

That was so much fun!!! I loved it and wanted more, but it was time to go back to MK for the fireworks!

Yes, this is us on the back row. Going ZERO to 60 in 2 Seconds!!!!!!

Here is little man all exhausted watching the Fireworks show, which was shorter this year too!

He had had enough...Mickey, Fireworks, Corn Nuggets.....then he was OUT!!

One thing I didn't do this time was the Carousel of Progress. This is one of my very favorites but just didn't get the chance.
It was a great day! I love Disney. I love how it makes even an adult like me have tears in their eyes seeing all of the wonderful things. I mostly teared up watching Rhett be so happy! We had so much fun and want to go back again this month before we head back up to DC for the season.
I am catching a flight tonight and heading to Florence for a week. My next post will be of the new house.