Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The reality of it is, I don't function well without the internet. The hoops we had to go through to get technology running through this house is ridiculous. All is well now, so no more complaints.

It's been a rough week here in the Chatterton household. We've been missing Olivia a whole lot. We know we could never have changed God's plan, so there is nothing we would have done differently, but we just flat-out miss her. It's actually been getting much more difficult as the days go by. The distraction of moving, Vegas, interior decorating, etc... are all good things, but the reality of it is just that. It's becoming more real every day.

To add to the emotions around the house, Ozzie, Jack's fish, died today. Jack was devastated, but decided it would be nice for Olivia to have Ozzie for a pet.

So, how are we getting through it these days?

Just a few things...
We checked messages at the Macomb house before we shut off the phone and there was a message from a woman named Marilyn. She said she had met us at the hospital and wanted to talk to us. I finally got around to calling her tonight and she went on and on about how she was just taken by Olivia when she met her. We met this woman last year in the admitting department at the hospital. Zac and I both remember her, because she was so taken with Livs. She asked all about her and asked if she could put her on the prayer list at her church. We talked about how she was in education for 31 years. It was literally about a 5-10 minute conversation, but she never forgot Olivia. When she saw the obituary in the paper, she cut it out and tracked us down. Just to offer her condolences. How could this one little girl touch someone in such a short amount of time. This truly touched our hearts...that Olivia was such a powerful, amazing little girl.

Also, things like this.

And, watching the kids help their dad build the deck...

Yes, Brooklyn is wearing furry boots with her sundress...

What else can I say. We are truly blessed. I'm going to the cemetery tomorrow to see Olivia. I'm definitely going to be telling her all about these things that have been going on (not that she doesn't already know ;) I'm also going to be sure to thank her for all these blessings she has brought into our lives.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What happens in Vegas...

Stays in Vegas!

Totally kidding.
Only some of the stuff.

Here's a quick rundown without many details:
-Paid $26.99 to get internet for 3 days, and it only worked for one, hence, the lack of posting.
-Lost my cell phone on Tuesday night, got a new one when we got home yesterday, and then got a call from Vegas saying the original one had been found!
-Won a little bit a money, lost a lot of money.
-Ate lots of wonderful, wonderful food.
- Came home without hearing a word about cable/TV/internet, but called and got just a bit nasty. It's getting hooked up tomorrow morning.
-Realized how great distraction is and what wonderful friends we have.
-Believe it or not, I saw people karaoke for the first time.
-Went to an awesome Dueling Piano Bar.
-Had an awesome time!

I'll definitely give more details and pictures sometime after we get our own internet hooked up. Until then...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vegas, baby!

We made it to Las Vegas with no problems. We even won $140 on the plane! I think it's a sign ;) We just might win our millions while we are here...although those penny slots take my money really quickly. (I actually hate gambling. I more into people watching.)
Zac and I went to see Jersey Boys last night. It was awesome. Everyone has been saying we had to go see it. Now we know why.
Brooklyn is on the train with Grandma and Great Aunt Karen on her way to Chicago. It's her belated B-day present from Grandpa and Grandma C. They are heading to the American Girl Store to pick out a doll and spend the day shopping. Lucky girl!
Jack got to stay with Uncle Chris, Aunt Amy, and Alais last night and play there all day today. I'd say the kids aren't having it too rough while we are gone.
Anyway, wish us luck!!! I'll try to start taking some pictures so the posts will be more entertaining.

Friday, June 19, 2009


So far we've only had a few glitches in the move. Number one being the internet people. I'd had it all set up for the TV/internet/phone people to come yesterday, and they didn't show up. Turns out Zac "accidentally" cancelled our service instead of transferring it. So, I've been having a little anxiety about this. No internet?!? Luckily mom and dad live only 6 minutes away!
I only have a minute, but I wanted to update the blog! See how much I care about you people? I know you've been sitting on pins and needles just waiting to hear from me ;)
Anyway, we are about 90% unpacked. The house looks great! I love, love, love it! The kids are handling it well (except for the no TV thing). Huge storms on Wednesday night left us with leaky windows and 3 torn up screens. We leave for Vegas on Sunday. I'm hoping to take a computer with us so I can blog during our trip. As soon as I get a chance, I'm also going to try to post pictures of the house. Keep you posted...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Without a hitch.

It's official. We are the proud owners of two homes! We closed on the house in Dunlap today without a hitch. The Macomb house is all packed up without a hitch. They'll load everything tomorrow without a hitch. And we'll hope they get it all unloaded on Wednesday...without a hitch!
We took some of the "extra" stuff out to the new house, so it is now completely furnished with a whole lot of house plants and toilet paper. Just the necessities.
Zac and I also spent the afternoon trying to get a building permit so he can start on the deck. What a racket. An hour and a half and $133 later, we walked out of City Hall with a permit. Next time, I think we'll just take our chances and hope we don't get fined.
By the way, I don't have a clue what's wrong with the side bars of the blog. I've got an email in to my go-to person to see if she has any suggestions. Keep you posted!

Friday, June 12, 2009


This move is going to be different.
It's going to be completely bittersweet.
It's going to be hard to leave Macomb. There are really, really good people here that have done so many things for us. It was also Olivia's home...at least where her bedroom was. She spent about an equal amount of time in Peoria, so will Dunlap feel like we're closer to her other "home?" It is actually home for me - born and raised. It will be a new house with new memories and new adventures. But it will be hard to close the door on the adventures we had in Macomb. I think it will be a good thing, though. We will never, ever lose any of the memories we have from here.
I took Olivia's room apart yesterday. I made Brooklyn help me, which was a huge distraction. I was more frustrated with her inefficiency to let the emotional aspect get in the way. I've never been a person that gets too hung up on material things, anyway, so it wasn't too bad. There are certain things that we'll never part with and it's going to be hard to have a new house without Olivia's room. Her room has already gone back to being "the den," although in my mind it will always be her room. That's why we picked this house. It was going to be and still will be perfect for our family.
I think this move is actually coming at the perfect time. A lot of things I've read lately say that it is so hard when the sympathy cards stop coming and when people stop talking about Olivia because it makes you feel like people have forgotten her. I know that Olivia is unforgettable to anyone she came in contact with, of course, but it will be nice to have the "excuse" that the new people in our lives wouldn't have even known her (what a shame for them, huh?) It will give us a whole new group of people to share her amazing story with.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Okay. So, I sent out a whole batch of Thank-you's yesterday for the contributions we received in memory of Miss O. I just have to say that I tried really hard to be organized. If you get more than one thank-you note from us...just laugh and think that we must have really appreciated your contribution. If you don't get any, don't worry, I'm not done, yet. There will be another batch out sometime.
And if you never get one...well...laugh at me again, know that we really did appreciate your contribution, and hope that I get more organized soon ;o)
It appears as though the house is going to be done by Monday. Closing is set up for 4:00 Monday afternoon, and the movers should start delivering our stuff on Wednesday. We are super excited...but we are going to have to cram in a lot of unpacking on Thursday and Friday of next week...Zac and I are off to Vegas, baby! I was about 7 months pregnant with Jack (7 years ago) the last time we went somewhere for more than one night (without kids). We're so looking forward to it! More details to come...

Monday, June 8, 2009


I had a big day of firsts today, and surprisingly, they went really well.
I took the memorials for Olivia up to the PICU. This was the first time I had been up there since leaving empty handed over 2 weeks ago. I was only a little nervous going up, but then I was just so happy to see everyone. They have made a little "memorial door" for Livs. It has her picture and is surrounded by cards and notes from people that sent memorials directly to the PICU. That was awesome to see. They are totally packed up there, which isn't unusual, but there definitely seemed to be some kiddos that could use some extra prayers right now.
Then I went to the cemetery to hang out with Livvy for the first time since the burial. We had a nice little chat while I straightened up the flowers and added some new ones. (By the way B~ her "blankie" of flowers still look great out there!) It was so quiet and peaceful...a beautiful little cemetery in the middle of a cornfield.
In between the two "firsts," I took the kids to see the movie "Up." It was really good...kind of sad at parts (for me) and kind of scary at parts (for Brooklyn). Jack thought it was great. Jack also started basketball camp today in Dunlap. He had a good time and said he definitely won't be nervous to go tomorrow!
We are on the countdown for the closing date on the new house! It's set up for next Monday, unless we hear from the builders that they aren't done yet (which wouldn't surprise me). They have lots of work to do in less than a week...keep you posted.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Birthday Party Day!

So, Brooklyn wakes up this morning and rolls over. She's barely even awake yet, but asks me if there is anything I would like to say to her today? Ummm...good morning?
Wrong answer.
It's Happy Birthday Party Day!
She's been waiting a whole year for this. She asked Zac the same question, and he failed, too.
It's amazing how she could have cared less about her actual birthday on Wednesday, but the fact that Birthday Party Day is today, is the best thing that's happened in her whole life.
I forgot my camera, but I'll be sure to post someone else's pictures.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!

Five years ago today, you blessed us with your presence. You were not only the easiest of the three, but also the smallest! You are the middle child-a great little sister, and you were an amazing big sister. You bring so much sunshine into our lives, as well as the most challenges. You love all the girly stuff, but have the slightest bit of tomboy in you, too. You say some of the funniest things, and have an awesome personality! You are the perfect mixture of all of the above! We love you so very much, Brooklyn! Happy 5th Birthday!

Monday, June 1, 2009


Time is going too fast. I can't believe Olivia has been gone for over a week. It's just starting to seem real, now that things are starting to slow down and it's just Brooklyn and I during the day.
I truly wish everyone that knows Olivia's story could have been at her services last week. It couldn't have been more perfect. Wednesday night, the visitation went well. The kids were able to go see Olivia at the beginning and then went to Jack's ballgame for the evening. We saw so many people and we were completely amazed by the people that travelled to offer their condolences. I know it seems odd, but I will have to add just a few pictures of floral arrangements. You won't believe it until you see it, but Olivia actually had a Barney floral arrangement!
Thursday was perfect. We walked over to the church and saw our sweet baby girl for the last time here on Earth. The music was perfect...a few traditional selections...and the rest from her Praise Baby CD's that she loved. We also had a special performance by one of Olivia's favorite singers...Cookie! Cookie is this amazing person that used to sing to all the sick children in the Children's Hospital. She has had to stop singing, but still came to sing at Olivia's service and at the cemetery on Friday.
Our pastor had a great message and we had a wonderful lunch afterwards and were able to visit with people we haven't seen in a while. Friday morning, we had the burial in Dunlap. It was absolutely perfect. It was all of the immediate family and an amazing amount of our PICU family. Cookie sang again....Six Little Ducks, the sun was shining, perfect.
So, how are we doing? The kids are doing very well - I'd say very appropriate. I think Brooklyn is at the age that she understands that she won't see Olivia until she goes to Heaven, but she is sort of okay with that. Jack has his moments. He's definitely been more "phased" by everything. He doesn't necessarily get sad about Olivia, he's just overly sensitive about the little things.
Zac went back to work today. He definitely deals with things by keeping busy. I seemed to be doing okay with that, as well, until it was just Brooklyn and I today. There's only so much the two of us can do. Tonight has been especially hard. I started organizing things and came across the dress, leg warmers, and blanket that the nurses carried Olivia down in after she passed. They still smelled like her and I don't want that to ever go away. We've spent so much time going through the motions the last few days, and I think it's starting to catch up with us, or at least with me.
I constantly wonder if I'm dealing with all of this in "the right way." I do know that there is no "right way," but I can't get it out of my head. I just feel like I want to deal with everything in the best way, to make it hurt less. I have a continuous emptiness and ache in my heart that will never completely go away. It was so hard to enjoy dinner tonight - our first as a family of 4. I just pray that it doesn't always hurt this much to miss her as much as I do.