Today I will smile…for Dirk.

As most of you know (through facebook posts and shares over the last week), the court trial for the man who murdered my father-in-law was held over the past week and a half.

We are exhausted. And frazzled. And exhausted.

Sam Clark was found guilty of Murder in the 1st Degree and Murder in the 2nd Degree – we looked on as this verdict was handed down yesterday afternoon, and soon after the news was announced I began receiving a wave of ‘congratulations’ messages. “Such good news!” some of them said… along with “so happy you got what you were looking for”, “thank god”, and many others of the same sentiment.

Though I’m overwhelmed by and grateful for all of the people who support our family, I can’t help but have conflicted feelings about all of this. Since we left that courthouse yesterday afternoon, I’ve been trapped in a bubble of sad. I can’t bring myself to smile about ANY of this.

Two years ago, if someone had told me a man would kill my father, my feelings would most certainly have reflected an urgent hunger for revenge. I would have wanted that evil sonofabitch to rot in prison/hell for the rest of his life and beyond…

But then someone DID kill my father, and I felt none of that. What I felt was sorrow, and protective of my husband’s heart. Sadness, knowing that Dirk wouldn’t meet my daughter. Lost. Empty. Angry… but never vengeful.

Much of that was tempered with time, but this trial has caused all of those feelings to resurface. I don’t know what I went into all of this hoping for – justice? Closure? Do I even give a damn about justice? Did I really need closure in the first place?

Really, I can’t even answer those questions. I’m more preoccupied with knowing that along with the fact that I lost someone I loved, I just witnessed another man lose his life with a guilty verdict. The man that killed Dirk has no life left – the sentencing is not until November, but a Murder 1 conviction for a 40-year old man basically will put him in jail forever. I can’t bring myself to feel good about this.

I’m struggling because I feel a duty to my family to be angry, and now glad that “justice has been served”… but I don’t feel those things. Yes, we “won”, but what the hell does that even mean? Did we really “win”? Nothing has changed. Dirk is still gone, and I’m still hurting.

Although the killer’s lawyer in this trial argued self defense, everyone in that courtroom recognized that Sam Clark was ill. We heard the tape recordings. We know the truth – he is sick, mentally. There is without a doubt no other explanation. I took explicit notes during the trial with the intent of sharing everything, but now I almost feel like it would be cold of me to publish evidence of a man’s serious illness and what was most certainly the worst day of his life. Listening to those recordings made it even more difficult for me to feel anger towards this man – someone who I now believe wasn’t capable of rational thought. Yes, he knew that guns kill and that when he pulled the trigger Dirk would die… but what brought him to the point of pulling that trigger was pure delusion.

On the flip side of this, however, I know I would still have an empty pit in my stomach had the jury’s verdict gone the other way. I guess I just want none of this to ever have even happened, because it’s impossible to process in a black-and-white way.

So here I am… facing conflict with myself and my feelings. My heart can’t decide which way to lean. My wounds are wide open once again, and this trial didn’t heal anything. I feel silently obligated by my family to be angry, yet compelled by my God to forgive – especially in light of my feelings that there is true remorse here, and a tremendous mental instability.

I normally don’t write posts here until an event (or some funny shenanigan a la Adam) has concluded – I like giving you all the full story, not the developing story… but for this post I have no conclusion. I’ve been walking around for the past 24hours feeling the need to spill some words onto a page lest I burst… so this is what you get.

I’m not sorry that I don’t feel relieved, happy, or “justiced” after this trial. I also carry absolutely no judgement for those of you who do feel any of these things – we all handle our grief and loss differently. I do want to say thank you again to everyone for your amazing outpourings of love and support for my husband, myself and our family – and please, continue to smile for Dirk on a daily basis. Because I have no real conclusion here, I’ll end with a facebook post I shared yesterday morning – I still feel this way, and I hope you all do too:

As we get up and moving this morning, whether or not we’re attending the closing arguments of a frustrating and emotional trial, I’d like us all to take a moment to reflect upon a few very profound words:

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

Regardless of what comes of today’s events – we know the truth. We know that Dirk was a good, righteous, warm man. We know that he left us too early for our own liking, but that he left a wonderful legacy. We know that he is with God, and nothing that happens in court is going to change that.

So friends, family… please, take a moment to let go of your anger and open your heart to ONLY hold the loving memories you have of Dirk. Make a vow to yourself to only remember him without the negative attachment of this trial and Sam Clark.

Now, take a deep breath, picture his friendly face, and think… “today I will smile for Dirk.”

It’s something Adam and I do EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

 

Security Blankie

My beautiful daughter has a white hand-crocheted blanket that she is in love with – it’s her “security” blankie. It was made with love by her great-aunt Jana, and Ellie is absolutely enamored with it.

On mornings when she hasn’t quite woken up enough, or when she’s having a “mommy” day, or just when she’s feeling particularly vulnerable, I let her bring her blankie with her to daycare – she always feels better when she knows I’m going to let her take it in the car, and I can tell she feels somehow “safer” away from me when I drop her off .

Tomorrow marks Day One of my father-in-law’s murderer’s court trial…

Do you think Ellie will let me have her blankie for the day?

Super-versary: 4 Years!

Adam and I were laughing the other day at the fact that we’ve only been married 4 years, yet we sit in separate recliners in the living room, sleep with a pillow barricade between us in our king-sized bed, and spend 2-3 nights per week away from eachother. I think a lot of people would look at us and say “well that’s a loveless way to live!”…

They would be so, so wrong.

I frequently think about how much I love my life: my job, my family, my dog, my house, my baby, my husband… and my MARRIAGE. Sure, Adam doesn’t clean as much as I’d like him to, and he generates more laundry than an army, and he often forgets what I’ve just said as it’s coming out of my mouth, but we have a wonderful, wonderful life. He is thoughtful, and funny, and incredibly sincere, and protective in all the right ways, and ohhhhh my gosh does he love me.

Sure, we argue. About money, housework, jobs, parenting, the dog, family, whether or not some B-list celebrity was in some movie from the 80’s… but we have grown so much in our 7+ years together that we now know the most important thing about arguments – how to end them (and every year, we get closer to figuring out how not to begin them).

Adam and I learn from each and every relationship in our lives – our parents, our grandparents, our friends, our siblings, our aunts and uncles and cousins – they have all taught us something valuable to incorporate into our own relationship. I know that there are really only two people who make up a marriage, but I also believe that support plays a valuable role in the success of a marriage. We have the mose incredible support system – and I thank you ALL for that.

Our marriage is successful because we LOVE. We respect. We think. We forgive. We don’t walk away. We hug and kiss. We compromise. We compliment. We trust. We apologize. We consult. We accept. We laugh. We laugh even more. We wrestle and tickle. We support. We surprise. We pray. And we LOVE.

I just spent the last 45 minutes going through pictures of our life together, and I was brought to tears more than once. Adam has enriched my life more than he will ever know, and I am so, so thankful that God gave him to me.

Now… a little wedding anecdote for you, and then I’ll send you on with your day.

On the very same day I became a Superwife… I was also dubbed a “Superfreak.” I had chosen the song “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire for Adam and I to walk back up the aisle to once we were pronounced husband and wife. It was an inside joke, and I couldn’t wait to see his face when he heard the song.

When the moment came for us to actually turn around, face all of our family and friends, and walk back up that wedding aisle… my DJ accidentally blasted “Super Freak” by Rick James.  So instead of getting a kick out of my little inside joke, I saw confused (and definitely amused) expressions on everyone’s faces as I paraded back up that aisle to the words “SHE’S A VERY KINKY GIIRRRRRRLLLL”!

And to this day, that is absolutely one of the funniest memories from our wedding. Unplanned, but hilarious! :)

So, to my Superhubby, happy 4th anniversary! Love love love you.

 

 

It’s hard work growing a… baby.

I’ve been saving this story for a few weeks because I hadn’t made my announcement yet, but now that you (well, you that follow Superwife on Facebook) know that I’m growin’ Superbaby #2, here you go!

Adam and I found out we were pregnant on March 10th… right after I got back from a week in Chicago for work, during which I nearly fainted twice, had abnormally high blood pressure, and endured a monster migraine from hell (all while training on a new product I’m selling). I had suspected something was up, so I took two pregnancy tests the week I got home. Both turned out negative.

I had a dream a few nights later and shot out of a dead sleep at 3am just KNOWING I was pregnant. I knew it in my bones, if that even makes sense. When I took that 3rd pregnancy test at 6am the next morning… BINGO!! Got my positive. :)

So… we only shared with family and a few close friends, and then I waited to share with the entire world (aka Facebook) until after I had broken the news to my boss. And now here we are – 16 weeks pregnant!

This baby is totally a boy. No, we’re not finding out until I push it out of me on or around Thanksgiving Day (my due date!), but I just know it’s a boy. My pregnancy with Ellie was relatively smooth sailing (except for the damn kidney stones)… THIS little monster, however, decided to torture me for the first 4 months. I was sick, ALLLLLL the time, and I seriously had to pull over in the middle of my sales calls almost every day to take little 15-minute power naps so I didn’t fall asleep at stop lights. Therefore, I’ve decided it’s a boy. Only a dirty, grimy little mischevious mini-Adam could make me feel so terrible, lol. Slugs and snails and puppy-dog tails, right?

And now, a little bit of SuperHubs for you (I know you’ve all been missing him)…

Adam: How are you feeling today, babe?

Me: Ugh, terrible. I just want to go to sleep and wake up in June.

Adam: What’s wrong?

Me: Well I just feel like I can’t keep my eyes open. I’m so fricken exhausted I can’t do ANYTHING!

Adam: Well, it does make sense.

Me: No, it doesn’t. I never felt like this with Ellie. NEVER.

Adam: Yeah but this time you’re all tired because it’s super hard work growing a huge baby penis.

(Obviously we know what Adam is rooting for.)

Trials and Tribulations

Dirk’s trial starts on Monday. I guess I should say Dirk’s killer’s trial starts on Monday, but we all know it as Dirk’s trial – and I think it’s difficult for many of us to say the man’s name.

This week has definitely been a taxing one… sure, I’ve had my moments of laughter and jokes with family and friends, but in between smiles I’ve been weighed down by the thought of this trial. Adam and I have been bickering like idiots, surely just to avoid talking about something more difficult than “whydidn’tyouputyourdishes inthedishwasheryoujerk?”. A “good night’s rest” has been a lofty goal these days, and to be honest we’ve been catching some unnecessary grief from people about the fact that we’re not going to be here for the trial.

WHAT? Jenny and Adam aren’t even attending their DAD’s murder trial? No, no we are not. Adam and I will be attending the very beautiful, very fun wedding of two of our closest friends in Honolulu, Hawaii – and we fully believe that that is exactly where Dirk would want us to be. Because if he were alive, he would 100% be going with us. We believe that in no way would Dirk condone the cancellation of this trip in order for us to attend an emotional, gut-wrenching, frustrating trial – especially since nothing is changing. No matter the outcome of this trial, Dirk will still be gone and we will still be working hard to stitch together our broken hearts.

We love Dirk. We miss Dirk. We also think that God had a hand in the scheduling of this trial – we didn’t get the notice until after we had purchased Hawaii tickets, and wouldn’t you agree that perhaps this is NOT a coincidence? Perhaps… we just weren’t meant to be there.

In any case… we appreciate the love and support you all have shown in the last year and a half. If anyone would like to attend the trial, you should be able to find information at the Alaska Court View webpage. The case number to search is 3PA-10-02936CR, and the defendant’s name is Samuel E Clark. The latest information I have is that jury selection will begin on Monday and probably last through Tuesday, and as soon as the jury is chosen the trial will begin (so possibly as early as Wednesday, May 15). Check the website for more updated information, and I’ll try to update with what I find out on Dirk’s memorial facebook page.

Now… go enjoy your weekend. Hug your kids, call your parents, and be free with your “I love yous”.

 

SuperAdvice: Don’t Be An iBoob

Friends, do I have another Superwife lesson for you…

It’s possible that you may have a young toddler who loves technology as much as Superbaby does. Have you ever let your child play with your iPhone or iPad? Does it buy you a few minutes every now and then – to set your kiddo up with your iPad while you blowdry your hair or hastily apply some makeup?

Well… a word of caution:

Your baby knows how to embarrass you. Just when you think you have everything under control… even when you’re not anywhere NEAR your baby – that little one OWNS you.

Let’s say – hypothetically – that you need JUSTAFEWDAMNMINUTES to finish getting ready the morning of a business trip. You’re frazzled, you’re behind, and your hair is a wreck. Your little one is wreaking havoc on everything and anything, so you set her up with your iPad on the floor next to you as you sit down to dry your hair. You haven’t had a chance to grab any clothes quite yet, so you perch yourself on an office chair with just a towel around your waist – no biggie, it’s just you and kiddo in the house anyway.

She plays contently, flipping through apps and bobbing her head to the song she’s smartly selected from your music library – giving you just the time you need to beautify yourself and then proceed to get dressed.

You might think this is an innocent, easy solution to your morning mayhem – DON’T BE FOOLED. Because the rest of this story might go like this:

You’ve kissed your kiddo goodbye. You’ve packed your carry-on bag for the plane, complete with your iPad to keep you busy for the next few hours. You take your seat, squeezed in between two nice gentlemen, on your four-hour flight. You open up your bag, pull out your iPad, turn it on, and…

HELLOOOOOOOOO BREASTS.

You now – hypothetically – find yourself staring at an iPad-sized photograph of YOUR OWN BOOBS. Taken by – you guessed it – your conniving, sneaky sweet, innocent little baby.

Now I don’t know how you would act upon finding yourself in this predicament, but IIII would probably let out a squeal, freak out and fumble until I accidentally drop my iPad, turn bright red and immediately start sweating profusely… and then I’d spend the next four hours staring straight ahead and not making ANY eye contact or conversation with the gentlemen on  either side of me. If this ever happened to me.

So… a word to the wise – either don’t let baby play with your iPhone/iPad/smartphone/camera, or check your damn photostream before you leave the house.

Just in case.

Self-Portrait by Superbaby

Stimulation Room

So my boss and I are in Fairbanks this summer, where it gets REAAAAALLLLY cold in the in the winter. I mean REEEEALLLLY cold. Like, -50 degrees. Seriously. Ok so anyway… we’re talking to this pharmacy intern who says she’s from Louisiana and is leaving in September. I mention she’s missing the “best part of the year” (winter), and she giggles and tells me it’s okay because one of her friends made her go into this “winter simulation chamber” — a touristy thing, it’s a room that’s like -30 degrees to show outsiders what the winter weather feels like.

So… cut to dinner later that evening with my boss.

Boss: So, it looks like we may have a few extra hours to kill before the flight tomorrow. What is there to do around here?

Me: Oh, well, we could have lunch at Lavelle’s, then we could go to Pioneer Park and do a little bit of touristy stuff… oh hey! Maybe we could go to that stimulation room! ACK! *chokes on wine, almost spews out nose* … I mean SIMULATION ROOM. SIMULATION. Oh god, haha, oops. SIMulation.

Boss: Um, that sounds fun. Could we just skip lunch and go straight there? Haha!

Yeah, I’m that awesome. Maybe less wine at dinner with the boss next time. For the record though, he blushed too. :)