I think I might actually be getting a slight suntan. Or burn. Or maybe it's just that I'm developing some freckles from being in the sun. Either way, it's better than that glow in the dark with a greenish cast skin I usually have hiding under my clothes. Seriously. They could use my skin as reflectors for bicycles.

Today was a lazy day. Edits are finished and I have a new book coming out next month. Two more in the works, and one clanging around inside my head clamoring for some substance. It's what I do. I write.

The last two winters have been filled with sorrow and horror, and I haven't exactly been pounding out the stories. But I have grown. I'd rather not have been forced to, actually, but there you go. Changes happen and we can either go along and learn and grow, or we can swim in bitterness, anger, and hopelessness until we die.

Sometimes I don't know how I keep going. Sometimes I want to crawl into a dark corner of my mind and curl up with my thumb in my mouth. But I'm here. I'm still breathing, and I still have hope.

Good for me.
Today was pretty busy. it was cold and rainy, so I didn't get to sit out on the deck and enjoy the sunshine, but at least it wasn't raining like it did yesterday.

I went to the vet and picked up a syringe of meds for my dog, as well as her heart worm preventative pills. It was first attempt at giving her a shot, but I managed. It was a bit stressful, but once I did it, it was fine. Way better than taking her all the way to the vet to have it done. She hates riding in cars and gets car sick. So, this was the best way.

Today was the day I picked out my daughter's headstone. It was difficult to maintain stoicism at times, but I made it through without breaking down. I chose a heart-shaped stone. I got an engraving of baby angel with her arm around a lamb, a dove at the top, and a rose, and the words 'our little angel' under her name and dates.

My niece brought over her newborn today. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about holding a baby in my arms, but it was fine. The baby did remind me of my own, but it was fine. Such a beautiful, tiny little infant.

My sister-in-law died a couple of days ago, of a drug overdose. One of my brothers-her husband-died nine years ago of an extended illness, and when he died, she turned to drugs to cope, I think.
It's over. My family's murderer got life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Yesterday was a very hard day in court, because we had to just sit and wait, and wait, and wait. Finally at nearly eight o'clock last night, they reached a decision.

I'm not sure it's actually sunk in yet that it's really, really over. I'll give myself a couple of days to recuperate from the long days of anxiety and stress. Last night I dreamed that someone told me this murderer was going to get out of prison. It was one of those dreams that seem real, even after you've been awake for a while. I had to think about it, and realize that it was only a dream.
Tomorrow I'll be at court before nine, and I'm sure I'll spend all day there. Tomorrow the jury will recommend life or death for the murderer. Then, for us, it will be over. At least the legal part. Missing my family, thinking of them, realizing all of a sudden they're just not here anymore, that will never be over, will it?

I put on some sturdy shoes and went out to walk around the yard, but it was just too cold. I came back in after the wind tried to knock me over. What a difference from yesterday!

My niece is in the hospital tonight. Tomorrow morning, her doctor is going to induce her labor. I miss babies. I miss my baby.

My baby was the love of my life. She was a perfect baby. I can't wait to see her again.
Again the weather was gorgeous, so I worked in the yard. I planted more rose and other bushes, as well as a couple plants. I know rain is coming, and next week is supposed to be a bit cooler, so I'm soaking in the sun while I can. This is perfect weather; not too hot, not too cold.

My lower back is not in the best shape. I have to stop digging every little bit because the pain becomes pretty unbearable. So frustrating! I'm not sure what I've done to it, but hopefully it will heal.

I read a little of Under the Dome by Stephen King today, as well. He is and always has been one of my favorite writers. The Stand, Misery, The Dark Tower books...

It's late, and I have to brush my teeth and wash my face and fall into bed. I'm so tired. That's one good thing about working so hard in the sun. It wears me out and I can sleep.
I had this blog post typed up, with a few photos hanging on at the end, and suddenly, kaput! the whole thing disappeared. At times this site has a few issues. Seriously.

I couldn't get it to work again until now, so I'll try to remember what I wrote.

The meeting with the prosecutor was quick and simple. Or it was supposed to be, anyway. Just some information about the upcoming penalty phase of the trial, mainly.

But family was there, and they started talking about my brother, telling stories and such, and I just...broke down. I don't cry in front of people. I just don't. But it burst out of me like water from a broken water pipe, and there was not a thing I could do about it. I had no control. I cried noisily and messily, with my hands to my face, part of my mind standing back going, "what the hell?"

Today I had an appointment with my OB/GYN, unfortunately. Fun, fun, that. The weather was so wonderful, so warm and sunny, that I spent most of it out on the deck, once I returned home from my appointment.

I took pictures of what I saw on my ride home. Starkness, ugliness, beauty...it's all out there.

Not one second went by today when I didn't miss my daughter with an intensity that made it difficult to breathe. Sometimes it just hurts so very, very much.

I'm going to break out my Elisabeth Kubler-Ross book, on Life after Death, when I've finished this post. It comforts me. It gives me hope.
Not pretty, but the day was bright
Beautiful, lonely little tree
The weather was wonderful today. 60's, sunny, warm, with big white fluffy clouds in the deep blue sky. I spent a lot of time out there today, then felt guilty because my girl would have loved it.

I puttered around out there, took some pictures of the sky and the dog. Re-potted some plants, stuff like that. It was nice. Peaceful.

Tomorrow is the meeting with the prosecutor. I'll ride down with my mom. I'm not sure who else in the family is going, except for my dad, stepbrother, and nephew. The prosecutor is going to talk to us about the upcoming penalty phase of the trial. I hope it doesn't take the jury too long to come back with a decision.
I visited my baby's grave today. I hadn't been able to before now, but now that I have, I will go up there a lot. I'm going to plant flowers and make it pretty. I took up balloons and an angel, and tied the balloons to the angel. God, how I miss her. Every little thing about her, I miss.

It didn't get quite as warm and sunny as predicted, but it was nice anyway. I wore my coat out, and the cloud were huge, fluffy ones. I watched them. When I was sixteen-and this will sound slightly crazy-I saw things in the clouds. Maybe I already wrote about it. But I saw things. Not just your ordinary, hey, what is that cloud shaped like? type thing, but honest to goodness, straight up, clear faces. And things. Now I look a lot, because what if that happened back then to make me want to look now? I don't want to miss it, if there's a message there from my baby. Or my brothers. Or my God.

So, crazy or not, I look.
My family and I have to go to a meeting with the prosecutor on Thursday. A few days after that, the penalty phase of the trial begins. Life or death. We'll know soon, and can put this thing behind us.

I spent today finishing up those pesky line edits, and sent the ms back to my editor tonight.

Tomorrow is going to be a warm, sunny day. I'll spend as much of it as possible in my backyard, wearing myself out so I won't think so much. Tomorrow would have been my baby's birthday, and she did so love her parties. The day after tomorrow will make it three months since she died.

Last night I had a dream, and it was so real I cry every time I think about it. It didn't fade away, like most of my dreams.

In the dream, my ex-husband and his wife were taking my baby on a plane, taking her away somewhere. I was worried because they forgot to take diapers, and all the things she'd need to take a trip. And I was afraid she wouldn't be comfortable. She couldn't sit for long periods, it hurt her little body.

In the dream, they couldn't recline her seat because there wasn't enough room. I don't know how I knew that since I wasn't on the plane, but I knew. And she was sitting there like a little princess, waving to whoever happened to be looking her way. She was going away, without me, on that plane.

What is she going to do without me? What am I going to do without her?
After the one amazing day yesterday, today was nothing but rain. But soon, soon, it'll be nothing but sunshine.

I met a woman at court who is an outdoorsy type person. She has offered to take me hiking with her, to which I readily agreed. I'll take my camera. We'll go when the weather clears, after the sentencing phase of the trial. I'll be glad to have that behind me.

My baby's birthday is coming up. It'll be a sad day, a hard day.