Archive of ‘domestic violence’ category

The “A” Word.


I consider myself a very chill, non confrontational person (unless I’m very pregnant…
then it’s fair game that I might give you a death stare if you don’t use your turn signals.)
But I have found that there are just certain things that rub me the wrong way sometimes
and it makes me sad that others don’t react the same way.

I lost my best friend to a violent act of domestic violence.
It wasn’t till recently that I could watch any of those crime shows on tv.
I still can’t really watch ones when women are involved.
The last time I watched one of those lifetime movie network shows about a woman
who escapes an abusive relationship and then kicks the guy’s butt in the end…
was the worst idea ever.
It shook me. And it was a stupid movie. And the whole time I watched it I was like
turn it off.. turn it off.. you’ll just feel broken if you keep watching!

I feel like extra protective of women in general.
And I feel kind of like a complete failure that I haven’t done anything BIG to protect
more women. I don’t know if I’m ready to walk into a domestic violence center…
I feel weak when I think about it. Is that bad? Should I be ready or should I have
already ran in like the month after we lost shannon?
I know others did. I looked into doing it… but then I stopped the process.

Today on instagram, a very big company that I love and follow, posted a you tube video that
has gone viral.  It was a video of taylor swift during her grammy’s performance, getting kicked in the face by a character from street fighters..(she kept doing a wild head back motion in her performance and so they made fun of it)

ok.. I get it.. they though it would be funny to have her getting kicked in the head by this cartoon…
It’s a cartoon..I get it… Most people wouldn’t think anything about it I suppose.
But I feel extra sensitive when I see anything remotely violent towards women.

And then when I read one of their hashtags…. #hashtagabuse…..
It just made me have to say something.
And I did. But then I looked back about 1 minute later and there were
hundreds of comments of people laughing and tagging friends to watch.

It just made me feel weird.
and partially wondering if I’m just super sensitive to the “A” word.

It just feels like people don’t realize what that word can mean to people.
The struggle and nightmare they could be living in, in an abusive relationship.

I feel like we are supposed to be so politically correct and tolerant of people’s opinions and beliefs, but so often that courtesy is only given to certain things and people.

Oversensitive or not, but abuse towards women shouldn’t be joked about.
especially with a hashtag that says #hashtagabuse
#rantover

The Busy Budgeting Mama

2 Years Since Losing Shannon

Today  marks 2 years since my best friend Shannon was
killed through an act of Domestic Violence.
and an amazing beautiful person was taken from so many people who loved her..
As a whole..each year seems to get easier.
But certain days are easier than others.

I flew into atlanta for a quick 1.5 day trip a couple weeks ago.
And even though I never said it out loud…
that night in the hotel I had a dream…
I was sobbing.
and was wishing I could go down the street to see Shannon.
Deep down I felt like a trip back home to atlanta
wasn’t complete without seeing her.

Sometimes I watch the video I made below…just to hear her voice in the first clip.
The last voice mail she left me..that didn’t show up till she was already gone.
Some days I just can’t watch much further.
While other days I cling to those memories because it was my last moments with ‘her’…


The day I walked into her house for the first time since I
walked through that door WITH her…was a hard day.
But also a beautiful one because I was able to see her sweet babies happy and growing.
I look back..and remember how when it first happened.. I just remember this incredible weight I felt. sadness. anger. I felt like I could just tilt and fall right over.
I remember asking my mom if I would ever not feel this way.
But over time I found strength.. and motivation to be a good mom and wife and friend.
I remember finding it so hard to want to socialize with other moms…feeling like a best friend was taken and how could I ever have that connection with anyone else…
 but then suddenly it turned into a desire to be with other moms to take advantage of the time we have..the moments we have of interacting with people, to make them happy..to invest time into friendships because you never know when you will lose that person.
I started to realize that God puts people in your life for a reason.
Don’t take advantage of the time that you have… and the people in your life.

I remember the first e-mail I got from a reader telling me how shannon’s story changed their life and gave them strength to act when in a domestic violence situation.
I remember thinking THIS…. this is why I started this blog so long ago.
If my words on this blog can help ONE person..then YESSSS… it is worth it.

It is very easy to be angry over losing shannon.
I have gone through many stages of grief.. numbness, disbelief, sadness, and I’m definitely JUST leaving anger… I’m trying to shake that.. to not focus on the details of how she was taken…and WHO took her…but how we had shannon for those years.

I never want to forget the good memories..
the goofing off..
the time we were extras for a movie in atlanta.
goofing off on the set and having fun.
(bobby jones: stroke of genius)
going to dances!
getting all dressed up… cassie’s mom doing our hair.. ;)
feeling pretty and dancing the night away!

the bridal shower the girls threw me…
when they blindfolded me and took me to a restaurant.
(I just found, during the move, the little notebook that they
all wrote in the pages and gave to me. I re-read shannon’s page more than once.)

and having her there next to me the day
I was getting married.. getting our hair done.

I’m trying to hold onto those good memories.
I will always miss you shannon…but happy to have had you in my life.
blessed actually.
blessed to have had you in my life.
To read all posts related to Shannon you can click here.
Please share her story..donate if you can.
If you have been touched by her story and would like to 
visit her Memorial Page you can visit here

Please Pray for peace in our world 
and for all those affected by Domestic Violence.


The Busy Budgeting Mama

Walking back into Shannon’s House- Step towards Healing

I’ve been putting off this post for a month…
I recently was back home in atlanta and was able to visit my best friend, Shannon’s, children.
Two years ago in June, My best friend was violently taken from us
through an act of domestic violence.
The estranged father of her children shot her during a custody exchange in a bank parking lot. the horrific details and what followed I don’t wish to write out again.
I had seen the children before since the tragedy…
but this visit was the first one to her house.
The last time I walked through that door…was with shannon.

—I had photos to share of us from my phone.. but I was asked to remove them to protect the kids. I guess their father’s parents are trying to get photos of them for him. The fact that I cannot even share them in my life right now makes me sooo angry.He continues to take from us. But I am trying to understand and will not post photos of them to protect them from him and be happy to have those memories and photos for myself.—-

My stomach was turning in knots. so many emotions.
I was so excited to see their sweet faces and so scared to relive moments at her house.
As I walked in the door and was hugged by these two cuties and by shannon’s dad and step mom.. I fought back the tears.. till the kids were away jumping on my brother.. and then I cried. and Karen told me it was ok to cry. I told her I didn’t want every memory the kids had of me to be me crying. I wanted to be strong. but I needed that moment.
A hug.. and some words of wisdom from her and then I was quickly whisked away by emma to see her new room!

I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to make that trip until we were turning into her neighborhood… luckily I was going with my brother
(who was also best friends with shannon) and his wife mary.
They made me feel stronger.

These sweet beautiful children are so joyful. so full of life.
and good huggers. :) and will take pictures for cookies.

I felt like I was in a dream… I was standing in the family room holding micah smiling, watching the kids wrestle with david.. and as I looked up I saw the balcony.. and remembered walking up those steps with shannon. or her running up to grab something and then standing there looking down.

Her daughter was so excited to show me her new room
(that some very generous wonderful friends, and strangers, had made over for her.)
It used to be shannon’s room.
The new space was freshly painted. It was so beautiful..with a huge cinderella carriage bed.. one of a kind art work.. beautiful details. She had photos of her mommy on the wall next to her bed. many of them from my wedding day. (she was a bridesmaid)

Pretty sure the last time I was in her room… We had been out toilet papering and shaving creaming our friend’s car in the target parking lot (he was the target security guard. he caught us. I ended up hand cuffed to his car. haha.)
we ended the night at her house making cookies and singing and dancing in her room.
We laughed so hard that night.
Below we were in shannon’s room… I’m wearing the scarf she made me.
one year for christmas she made all of us girls one. :)
My sophie talks about shannon a lot.
“mama you know your sister.. your friend..who is in heaven..
and is an angel now…I can’t wait to go there too and be an angel!”
(she thinks she is my sister even though I’ve explained it many times.)
When Emma was holding micah…meeting him for the first time..
it made me think back to when I would come in town and Shannon and I
would get together and smile over our babies together.
(black and white photo was our last time together.. introducing our little babies.)
for shannon’s sweet children,
your mama was amazing.
she was beautiful.
she was funny.
she loved to laugh and be silly.
she was creative. she always loved when my mom would
give her yarn from our basement that was always stocked with it.
she was spiritual. I remember staying up late talking about our faith our relationship with God..and about boys.. about respecting ourselves and wanting that guy that would treat us right.
she had a sweet tooth. I remember always getting arby’s chocolate milk shakes (and curly fries) after XLT (adoration night at a local high school)
she liked to sing into hair brushes.
she was adventurous and we would always go to a rock climbing place and she would zoom up the mountain. usually attacking me at least once with the chalk for your hands.
she was kind.
she loved you.
she LOVED you.
and talked about you all the time.
every phone call revolved around you both and my girls.
about how you guys were growing so much.. how much or how little you slept..
how amazing you were……..

I’ll never forget your mama.
and I’ll never let you either.
I love you both so much… and know that one day when you are older you will read this…
and I hope that I can bring her to life for you through these memories.


The Busy Budgeting Mama

Some days are harder than others.

Today Shannon would have turned 27.
Missing her.. wishing I could face time with her and have my girls sing to her. :(
A part of me feels like it’s just the long distance of atlanta and
pittsburgh and busy mom lives we had that is what’s keeping us a part.
When my mom was just here visiting..we were talking about shannon.
I was telling her how it feels like our childhood years
together feels like another life.. so long ago.

This was back on my 18th birthday. (mine is in january)
Shannon was in my dream the other night.
In the dream I had found an old video of her and
I was watching it over and over..happy that I had another “view” of her.
Every single night on the news…
there is some sort of case of domestic violence.
It pulls on my heart every time.
WIth each case that I hear, I think of Shannon.
Please continue to pray for all those affected by domestic violence.
speak up and help those you know around you…
you might save a life.

The Busy Budgeting Mama

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