We survived, errr something like that.

November 26, 2017

So, we made it through Thanksgiving fairly unscathed. I even felt a little bit guilty because I wanted to break down but didn’t. I also cheated. I psyched myself out by convincing myself my brother was at work that day and could not make it to our house. What a load of crap, I know. He would have never missed a holiday but hey, whatever works, right? The other thing was, my oldest brother was in town who was an amazing distraction for me as well. Though he and Ward would have normally come on over together, I just kept going back to the “oh, it sucks Ward has to work today” thinking in my head. Once dinner was over and everyone left, I was relieved. Because then I convinced myself that Ward simply left, too. That it was just like any other Thanksgiving and that everyone just had to go home. Another load of crap, indeed.

Vinit and I carried on post-Thanksgiving dinner in our usual manner by hitting Black Friday sales. Amazing sales, at that. We created all kinds of normal on this holiday for something that should have been filled with sorrow and grief. While I cannot and will not ever forget my brother, there’s a huge part of me that is determined to keep moving forward though.

But sometimes, if it seems to good to be true, it IS too good to be true.

Because today I probably cried harder and more than all the days combined. And I may have even created an intentional situation just so I could get myself to get it out, such as well, not proud to admit it, but a fight with my mom. Which guys, I won’t be doing again. Next time, I’ll just cry – the fight was not necessary. I got a lot out. And it was built up for days.

For me, I keep thinking back to the last day I saw my brother. How it seemed only like yesterday. It was 21 days ago. There’s something extremely difficult about Sundays right now, where I think back to that last day, which was a Sunday, when I saw him last. He was right there, fully alive. He kissed my forehead and gave me a hug. He told me he loved me and I said it back. I remember how while I was getting my dad some soup that day and dropped the bowl of soup in the kitchen and how the bowl shattered and the soup splattered everywhere. My brother came in and talked with me while I cleaned it up. I remember following him, behind his car as we both left for our own homes. At one point he drove fast and I couldn’t see him and wondered where he went.

But as much as every bone in my body knows this was all by design, that I wasn’t meant to know what was to come, I keep going back to that day. Wishing I HAD known. What would I have done differently. Could I have done something to save him. And I end up back where I started and that is knowing this plan was already laid out. I couldn’t have done anything differently because I wasn’t supposed to do anything differently. And that hurts. I  realized how I wasn’t able to have any control over any of this and it gets to me badly.

OK, so the point of this post was to talk about my breakdown. Now, let’s talk about some memories.

  1. when I was a kid, my brother (and he was 9 years older) used to sing me songs that he’d make up, like impromptu songs. but he always threw some sort of  Scooby Do reference.. “tanya is a Scooby..”
  2. he appreciated the small and simple things in life. it meant the world to him any time I invited him to my daughter’s dance recitals.
  3.  the work bag I use to this day was one he got me for Christmas last year.
  4. although he was my big brother, I felt protective of him and I protected him.
  5. when he’d come over and watch football games, anytime he’d go upstairs, he’d ask people what they needed or if I was sitting and watching the game and said something as little as “where’s my phone?” out loud, he would go run upstairs and get it for me, with out me ever asking anyone to do that.
  6. we often celebrated birthdays at cheesecake factory. I might not be doing that for a bit.
  7. my girls. they couldn’t have loved an uncle more. though they can be shy with people, they were always super drawn to him and instantly comfortable. for both their births, their uncle was right there at the hospital hours after having each baby with flowers and balloons in hand.
  8. I hear this from everyone around, but there was not a nicer guy, who would have done anything for anyone. he was selfless, extraordinarily patient, sacrificial and demonstrated all the qualities I know I wish I had more of. Because of this, he also carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. When someone was stressed out or had a problem, it affected him deeply. He hurt badly when others hurt. At times, I remember thinking – this isn’t even your problem, why are you so caught up in it but he truly had an amazing amount of empathy for others around him. I need to be more like that. And there’s not a soul who knew him who wouldn’t tell you all of this – the more stories I hear from everyone else who knew him, the more I realize we are all telling the exact same story with the same themes of this amazing human being. But here’s the best part … I got to call him MY BROTHER. :)

Ok, I’ll end it here. This writing thing is helping me tremendously as I mourn this terrible loss. I may end up back here as I process and work through it, in hopes of avoiding starting fights with family members. So just a warning.





A different kind of Thanksgiving.

November 22, 2017

I sit here and wonder how this first thanksgiving is going to be without someone I’ve known only my entire life. A holiday he kept saying he was looking forward to this year as we were going to have our extended family here to join us. The last 7 years have been glorious having my brother back in WA, knowing my favorite family holidays would be with him again. And they were amazing holidays with him. So, tonight when I went to Costco and I wanted to buy all his favorite things for our Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday you can imagine the immediate sorrow that filled my heart. It’s these moments, the sadness feels unbearable.

I’ve got to stop doing it and I will, but going back to all the recent communications between him and I, the text messages, the emails, the fb messenger messages, wishing I had known then they’d be our last. One thing I know though, the very last time I saw him, I distinctly remember telling him I loved him. He was stressed out and for a moment in time I assured him all would be okay and he believed me then told me he loved me. I told him right back that I loved him, too. Thank God I did. I can live with at least knowing that.

The sorrow that fills my heart at times is indescribable. I think about what’s going to be missing from my life which is sad, but then thinking about my daughters and how they just lost someone they loved tremendously makes me even sadder. There is no one here to fill those shoes – at least blood related – though I’m very thankful for their uncles who may not be blood related but uncles by every other definition. And they’ve got some pretty ah-mazing uncles here. Mila has broken down 3 times now as reality continues to hit her where her sobbing is uncontrolled and she says things like, “I want to see him again, mommy.” Her memories of him are very vivid and I never want her to forget. I realize Nora may but I hope Mila holds on to even just a few.

As for us, I look at science. I research. I seek to understand all the health issues which went wrong that day. I have found some answers. Some have brought me peace. But mostly I have to continue to believe in faith and that this was never within my control, or any of ours. This was by design how his life was supposed to be from the beginning, and while we didn’t know this was going to hit us, we can safely say we had some incredible moments with him, especially the last few years. We will always wish we had more, we will always wish we did more. I will always wish I spent just a little bit more time talking to him, a little bit more time telling him how wonderful he was, asking him to do more things with us. But the time I did have with him, I have that.

And nothing will ever take that away.

RIP to the sweetest brother I will ever know. I will miss you every day but hold you close to my heart always.


The moment I decided to STFU.

March 1, 2016

I’ve been doing a lot of complaining lately. Potty training is going about as bad as it can go. The 3’s are literally exhausting me. Now I’ve got two daughters who only want their mom. ALL THE TIME. And throw tantrums if I’m paying attention to the other. IT HAS BEEN A MORNING. A DAY. A WEEK. A MONTH.

I spend all waking hours researching why my toddler does this, why doesn’t she listen, why isn’t she potty trained, did we do something wrong, what should we be doing, when will this stop? I analyze and analyze until my head hurts from overthinking about my next move or trying to make sense of this whole thing I’ve got myself into called parenting AND blame the world for not warning me about how hard this was really going to be. I even told a friend a couple days ago not to ever have two babies close together. The breakthrough for that moment was that I was going through all this because I wasn’t smart enough to space them out and while in survival mode, I failed to teach the older one a lot of things I should have been teaching. Now I’ve got a large debt I’m having to pay back and with this one, I can’t throw in the towel and file bankruptcy either. At other times, I realize it’s the moment. It’s the terrible 3s, it’s the sudden shift of turning all of our “yes’s into “no’s” for the 3 year old now, it’s also the little one turning into a toddler and the natural demands of all of that, and that all of this will one day end. Though there will be new challenges…

By the grace of God, we hired a new nanny who is literally the super nanny but nice and gentle. She’s whipping us into shape as a family in a way we’ve needed it. She’s whipping my daughters into shape and that toddler who was able to get away with murder, now gets away with nothing. Our nanny takes care of us. She coaches us. And guides us. AND she’s potty training! Best part of all, our daughters listen to her. They are in complete awe with her actually.

But aside that amazing help we have, I still struggle to make sense of the day to day challenges, even when I should not. This in turn, leads me back to complaining. And I hate complainers. For the record, it’s my huge pet peeve. Quit complaining, just fix it.

Then last night it happened. I got a dose of the reality I needed. Only in the way you know God wants you to simply STFU and stop complaining. It was the news that country singer Joey Feek had entered her final sleep after kissing her 2 year old for the last time. I can’t stop thinking about it and wrap my head around what that family and child are going through without tears swelling up in my eyes. As hard as days may get, as much as I might question myself as a parent, or wonder where I got this child, there is nothing on earth…NOTHING… harder than this tragedy. I just cannot imagine… nope, I cannot.

And that my friends was the moment I realized, I needed to seriously.. just SERIOUSLY.. STFU! I get it, I’m allowed to my feelings, don’t compare.. but no, that could have been any of us. And those children could have been mine. And I’m here with them on earth today. And yet I’m whining and complaining. When most likely I’ll be here tomorrow, and next month and next year for them too – God willing.

Life is so precious and I hate to admit I’ve learned this lesson through another’s tragedy. My heart and prayers go out to that family.


Tanya Talks … About Nothing, Really.

July 15, 2015

It has been a really long time since I have written a blog. Two years a long time. I’ve started several posts but apparently they never made it. I know I have a parenting blog but quite frankly, I can’t remember the credentials there so this will have to do.

Oh, the life of a parent. And now, the life of a parent of TWO. Yes… SURPRISE!

So, life has been busy! My once upon a time life where my biggest problems consisted of which shoes to buy and how many Yelp reviews I could spit out in a given week has suddenly changed. Now, I’m lucky if I have time to buy <adult> shoes and ONLINE… and Yelp? What’s Yelp? Oh yeah, Yelp is that place with a bunch of reviews for places I don’t have time to go to anymore.

So long our foodie group! Sorry!

But you see, I get to experience a different kind of fun. The fun I get to experience involves wiping noses, a toddler wrapped around my leg begging me not to go to work, consistent tantrums at the grocery store, and blow out stains on half your baby’s clothes. Don’t even get me started on the most unusual places I’ve had to pump as a nursing mama. That’s a separate post in itself which we’ve already established I don’t have a lot of time to write.

OK, so maybe I’m making it sound worse than it really is. Alright alright, I do have a toddler who is seriously my side kick and whom I actually adore more each day, despite the 2’s, and a baby who’s so perfectly cute, I scratch my head wondering how she could possibly be ours.  Whatever the kind of day it might be, life is never dull at our house.

This is our family.

So, Hi. My name is Tanya and I decided to resurrect myself from the dead today and write a post much about nothing.

Alright, now that I know my password still works, I guess I’ll come back later.


A Different View

May 20, 2013

I opened the cabinet, grabbed a coffee cup, a coffee cup I rarely use which I bought from CB2 but actually love. It matches our dishes and is a very simple and yet strong cup. I love this cup. Why don’t I use this cup more often? I reached for this cup, set it on top of the Keurig platform, inserted a k-cup of French Roast coffee and then pressed the start button.

My morning has officially started.

I glanced around on this sunny morning, admiring the light shining through the ivory curtains. Ivory. Of course they are ivory. Anyone who knows me knows the curtains would be a shade of white. I peeked through the curtains out back behind our house and saw our nature trail looking quite majestic this particular morning.

I will miss this trail, I thought to myself. I will miss this trail very much and hearing the natural life which surrounds us. It was a moment of real sadness.

It’s amazing and yet sad the emotions we go through when we know we have to part with something. Especially something beautiful. Why is it often times only then we start to acknowledge true meaning or value or realize how much we actually loved something? It took me awhile to discover this trail. I knew it was there but I never thought I needed it. In the end, I found myself looking forward to it.

In life, we give something up in hopes of something better. All we can do is hope that it really is better than what we had left.

I have no doubts in my mind our new house will be better for us than this house for a variety of reasons. But it won’t have that trail. That trail I gazed at while rocking my newborn to sleep when she was just a few days old. That trail that we got brave enough to let our puppy off his leash and run around freely and now as a grown dog, gets so excited to walk. That trail we used to walk together in the evenings, all 4 of us, baby in carrier, and decompress how our day had gone. That trail had answers when I pondered questions. This trail has been good to us. I’m going to miss that trail. It has been my place of peace and clarity at times.

For me, there is something mysterious, soothing and healing about nature. So it comes to no surprise by me that this particular trail, known for a few years now, has had a strong impact on me at times.

I know I will soon find a new place of calmness and tranquility in a new location. I can only hope it’s half as good to me as this nature trail has been and creates meaningful significance.

It is not sometimes the simple things right in front of us which counts the most. It is always the simple things right in front of us which counts the most.



A New Blog: My Bache

March 22, 2013

I decided to separate my tanya talks posts from my other posts about parenthood and babies. I’ve created a separate blog called My Bache.

Feel free to check it out!



A Few Lessons I’ve Learned [as a mom].

February 28, 2013

After 6+ weeks of being a mom, I wanted to jot down some learnings and revelations I’ve had along the way. I know, I know… the days of me talking about friends, traveling and food are suddenly a thing of the past.. errr let’s not get carried away there.. but yep, it’s safe to say my focus has shifted right now.

So here are a few things I have learned:

  1. Breastfeeding is NOT as easy as it seems to be. I have a whole separate blog post on this actually which has not yet been finished. It’s not easy though – ha! No way! However, if you stick with it, it DOES get easier eventually even though I wanted to give up every single day there for awhile… but I didn’t. P.S. Formula is not evil if you need it, no matter what they tell us. It’s there for a reason!
  2. Mother’s know best. It’s so true. I get it now. There’s this instinct screaming at you with answers on what you need to do at times, aside all the online articles or books you’ve read or opinions shared by others. This experience has really taught me how to trust myself.
  3. Bonding is interesting. To be honest, I was told and had this expectation that when you first meet your child there is this instant bond and connection. I’ll say there’s an instant love greater than anything you’ve felt before, but for me personally, as days go by, I find the bond and connection far greater NOW. In the beginning I actually felt comfortable running errands, doing dinners with friends with out my Mila baby. Today I can’t stand leaving her for 5 minutes and find myself worrying if I have to be away from her.
  4. Little Girls vs. Little Boys. I have always dreamt of having a little girl and even little girl(S) for that matter! I love that my first baby was a girl and prayed for that. Now when I think of my next baby I really want a boy! I am loving the experience of a little baby girl and want to see how having a boy will be as well! I’ve never really wanted a boy either which I attributed to having 3 older brothers, working with mostly men throughout my career and being a girly girl myself. Well, that has changed, not only am I in love with my baby girl, but I’m sort of crazy about all the little boys I see too these days! Of course the gender of my offspring is not up to me but it’s interesting how I’m hoping for a little boy next!
  5. Another baby? Parenting a newborn IS hard but also extremely amazing. The nightly feedings, trying to learn what they want when they cry, making sure you’re doing the right things and your whole goal is to keep the baby safe and sound, etc.. I didn’t think I’d be ready to consider another baby for several months after having Mila. I’m already thinking about it now..
  6. Diaper Bags. The best diaper bags are your grocery reusable bags. Sad, but true. I went out of my way to find a Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag which I thought would be perfect! Unfortunately it’s boxy and bulky and a serious pain in the behind for lugging around. I’m finding that reusable bags are easier, though not as pretty.. EXCEPT that someone got super smart at Petunia Pickle Bottom and created a cheap and easy-to-carry diaper bag that I just ordered which looks like the recycle bag I use.diaper bag
  7. Baby products/showers. Although I was very happy we had as many baby products as we did before she arrived, babies are so different that I really feel a baby shower should be held AFTER the baby is born, haha! Either that or gift cards are the way to go! Or what about a website where you can post all the things that didn’t work for you which are practically brand new and you can swap with others? Hmm.. Anyway, for example, she LOVES her swing and hates her play n pak, she loves her wipes warmer but the Dr. Brown’s bottles don’t work very well for her, she loves her blanket but hates her moby wrap with deep passion. One thing I heard can be annoying is the amount of clothes you get (especially for girls) at baby showers over other products. I have to say, the clothes given have been some of the BEST gifts we’ve had to date! It’s an absolute blast putting her in cute outfits given by loved ones. Plus we got a lot of clothes and it helped me to not have to worry about clothes for awhile! That’s been really nice to my surprise!
  8. Time goes too quickly. Another thing you hear often is how much more fun your baby will get as they get older. I have to say, it was the advice of a select few to actually stop and enjoy THIS time no matter how tired you might get or how uneventful things might be. Before you know it this time will be gone and you will want these days back. It is so true. Enjoy this time. Cherish this time. She will only be this age, this way, this little and this baby ONCE.
  9. It’s all about the boob. Pretty much no matter how upset she might get, your boob seems to solve all world problems. If only that continued past babyhood, lol!
  10. You are the mom. And She’s YOURS, all YOURS! She knows you better than anyone else, she listened to your heart for the past 9 months and when you enter a room she knows and can smell you. You have the ability to calm her when nothing or no one else can and for us, nothing melts my heart more than to pick her up and have her smiling up at me, ear to ear. No one can take your place and you wouldn’t EVER want anyone to.

So these are my thoughts today. Each day my list of learnings change but these stood out today in particular.

Babies. Gotta love them! I love my Mila Bear. Best thing that’s ever happened to me.


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