This weekend I just couldn't shake the thought of the tragedy that happened in Newtown, CT on Friday. It left me, like most other mothers and human beings, reeling. I am still mourning the victims I didn't know. I can't bring myself to look at their pictures or read their names. I can't believe that someone could kill innocent and helpless little angels.
In the face of a tragedy such as this one, it feels like there is little that you can do for others. I have been praying for the families touched by this terrible act. It is the least I can do in this situation. Perhaps the events touch me more deeply because our oldest, Max, is a 5-year old....and I can't help but imagine the unimaginable and think about how I would feel if he was ripped from our lives in an instant...
I've faced tragedy and sorrow and grief before. It still aches inside of me on a daily basis. I've learned through experience that grief and pain and sorrow never go away. They never lessen in intensity. You just learn to cope with those feelings and live with them on a daily basis. It was a lesson that took a long time to learn; one that I am still learning.
The events on Friday still seem completely unconscionable to me. It feels like we live in a world full of evil and darkness and it is hard to imagine that there is light on the other side. I'm sure we've all experienced heartache and pain on some level....I'm sure that every one of you that reads this blog could share a story of our deep loss and pain.
Everyone deals with grief and sorrow differently. For me, I have spent this past weekend in silent reflection, prayer, and holding and squeezing my babies a little bit tighter...overlooking the crumbs on the floor, the underwear strewn all over the bedroom, the water spilling out of the bathtub from overzealous 'scrubbing'. In these moments of sorrow and sadness, it is all I know how to do.
This weekend, I prayed for the marriages of the parents who lost a loved one. I watched my parents through the loss of my brother and I know that grief has a way of wedging itself between two people and tearing them apart; and that it takes strength, courage and faith to work through your pain and suffering. I prayed for the community of Newtown who need to come together in this time of loss to comfort, console and rebuild from this tragedy. I prayed for the Lanza family because the grief and guilt they are feeling now must feel like the burden of the world on their shoulders -- to know that someone they loved was capable of such a horrible, unconscionable act must be agonizing. I have prayed for each one of those angels -- that God, in a way that only He can, has comforted and enveloped each one of those souls in white light. I prayed that their pain was short and that they saw the face of God before they felt the fear in their hearts.
My husband and I clung to each other Friday night as we let waves of emotion wash over us in light of the events. I snuck plenty of extra hugs and snuggles in each day with all of my babies -- big and small. I peeked at the boys asleep in their beds more times than I needed to on the video monitor each night. I crept into their rooms long after they were asleep to sniff their heads before retiring to my own bed...
I pray that everyone grieving this tragedy finds their way to deal with this and to find comfort in this time of sorrow. May God bless our nation as we grieve this tragedy.
I am thankful for frosting faced little ones who aren't afraid to ask for what they want (even in little voices).
This morning, Sam and I went to have 'coffee' together. I asked him what he wanted and he responded "a muffin like a cupcake with frosting". When he saw this one in the case, it was over for him. I asked him to order it for himself, and in his little voice he asks "can I peas have the frosting muffin with the orange carrot?" Melts my heart.....
And, for the record, he is the PERFECT coffee companion -- he asked me how my day was and sat across from my like the perfect gentleman. SWOON! :)
If you have a love affair with your local coffee house, you most likely already are familiar with Torani Syrups. I know I am!!
So I was thrilled when She Speaks offered another opportunity to sample some Torani syrups and blog about them. I am starting a collection of Torani syrups in my cupboard and have found SO many everyday uses for them!
Here are a few simple ideas:
1. Pumpkin pie enhancer -- add two shots of Pumpkin Spice Sugar Free Torani syrup to your pumpkin pie recipe! This was a GREAT addition to our pumpkin pie for Thanskgiving. It added a new dimension of flavor to the pie and made it taste extra creamy and flavorful!
2. Make your own 'salted caramel coffee drink -- add a shot of sugar free salted Caramel Torani syrup to coffee and add a more liberal splash of milk or half and half. This is my new drink of choice -- and it is virtually calorie free! SO good when you have that dessert craving at night (just use decaf coffee).
3. Use Torani syrups in place of 'extract' in your dessert recipes. Especially useful in frostings or cookies. You can make easy peppermint cookies or salted caramel flavored frosting!
4. Mixed drink enhancer: a shot of peppermint in your vodka martini....some sugar free vanilla in your eggnog brandy....you get the idea. A little more flavor makes EVERYTHING better, right? :)
Want to try any for yourself? Here's a great coupon for 10% off that I can share with you! Add Torani to your holidays!
About Torani: Since 1925, 3rd generation family-owned Torani has been crafting great tasting flavored syrups that coffeehouses use to make their flavored drinks taste so delicious. With over 120 flavors in Regular and Sugar Free varieties, Torani flavored syrups are perfect for flavored lattes, mochas, coffees, cocoas, Italian sodas, teas, lemonades, cocktails and smoothies. Coffeehouse professionals choose Torani flavors because they are expertly crafted and made with the highest quality ingredients, like natural flavors and pure cane sugar. The Sugar Free flavors have no calories and are sweetened with Splenda. Now, Torani flavored syrups are widely available at retail so you can easily create authentic coffeehouse quality drinks at home.
Disclaimer: I received two 750ml bottles of Torani Syrups plus a recipe booklet, and 5 coupons for $1 off my next Torani purchase.