Monthly Archives: October 2014

Homecoming Parade


In case you can’t tell by the enormous smile on her face, Bri had a great time last night at the parade and pep rally.  If I haven’t explained, and I guess I should, why she is in all these basketball pictures.  It is because she is on the team!  #33 is on the roster even though she won’t be playing.  Sometimes it is torture for her to know that she can’t just jump up and run out there on the court, but she is always thrilled to be a part of this group.   The coaches and all the girls have been and continue to be so supportive and encouraging to her.  I love ‘em all!


Bri is the one sitting on the back of the truck waving.



I don’t know if you can see it or not, but the girls made sure to have a #24 basketball for ShyAnn on the truck.


If you’re wondering how she got on top of the fire truck . . . she climbed up there. It reminds me of little 12-month-old red-head Bri who climbed the ladder to the playground slide all by herself because she refused to be left behind.

And if you’re wondering how she got down (because of course getting up there was far easier than getting down) . . . 3 firemen, 1 coach, 1 super dad, and Brianna.




Thanks guys!!



Baking Therapy

I love to bake.  The process of baking is very therapeutic for me.    Always has been.  It is truly enjoyable for me to follow a recipe that culminates in a delicious treat to share with family and friends.

I haven’t baked in 8 ½ months. Unless you count the Nestle tollhouse cookie dough from the refrigerator section of Walmart, half of which never made it in the oven.  And I may have baked a Texas sheet cake for July 4th, but, truth be told, I can’t remember for sure.

Well, last night I saved three black bananas from the garbage can and made some banana bread. It wasn’t my best, but it wasn’t bad.  I think I’m just out of practice.

So, in keeping with the season and because I SERIOUSLY need some therapy (and some practice), I’m going to try to bake one pumpkin recipe each weekend between now and Thanksgiving. I’ve seen hundreds of pumpkin recipes lately — lots of new-fangled pumpkiny things.  But I’m going to go retro and bake some pumpkin classics that my mom and grandmother used to bake when I was a girl.  My favorites, in no particular order, are:

  • Pumpkin Cookies w/orange glaze
  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Pumpkin Bars
  • Pumpkin Pie

I’m pretty sure that my family won’t be especially thrilled because they don’t like pumpkin. Except for the cake that calls for just a cake mix and a can of pumpkin – Brian likes that.  Maybe I should throw that in the line-up.  We’ll see.

Happy Baking!

Media Day 2014

Okay, so, Wednesday was basketball picture day – better known around these parts as Media Day, which includes pizza, flat irons, makeup, hairspray, new uniforms . . . oh and pictures!  These are obviously not the official pictures (which I will share when they’re out), these are just a few smart phone shots.


Coach Johnson, Bri and Mar



Brea, Bri and Tara



2014 Lady Texans



Mar, Maddie, Bri, Haley, Tara

And because ShyAnn’s presence is sorely missed, a throwback to last year’s Media Day.

2013 Media Day

Haley, Bri (photobombing), Mar, Maddie and Shy

Thank you to all the girls who let me use and post their pictures.  I love you ladies!

Memory Verse for October 15, 2014

Every couple of weeks, I try to memorize a different verse from scripture. It may be a verse that I feel like God has pointed out to me, it may be an old favorite that I really need because of something I’m going through, or it may be one that simply needs refreshing because I’ve forgotten it over time.

The verse I chose for this last week is actually a whole chapter – Psalm 117. Fortunately for me, the chapter is only two verses – two short verses.  Whew!

1Praise Adonai, all you nations! Worship him, all you peoples!  For his grace has overcome us, and Adonai’s truth continues forever.  HalleluyahPsalm 117 (CJB)

I like the New International Version (NIV) but I recently discovered the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) on Bible Gateway, and I absolutely love it. It uses the Hebrew names of God, which I love, but it words scripture in a way that, in my opinion, takes it to a whole different level.

For example:   I LOVE the line that says, “For his grace has overcome us.”  In the NIV the same line is written, “For great is his love toward us.”  Now don’t get me wrong!  “For great is his love toward us” is amazing and beautiful , but “for his grace has overcome us” leaves me speechless.  I don’t even know how to describe how that speaks to me.  Different level.  Deep waters.

Cane and Able

As most of you know, Brianna walks with the help of a cane now. She doesn’t like to use the word “cane” because she thinks it sounds like something an old person would use.  We called it a pole for a while, but that just opened the door for her to make somewhat inappropriate employment jokes about it – surprising I know!  We’ve tried using the term “walking stick” and just plain “stick” but she’s just not crazy about those either.  I’m not sure why it matters to her, but it does.

About a week ago, she came across her new word for it. She was just throwing some words around trying to come up with another word for “cane” and came up with “able” – as in Cain and Abel.

So as of now, Brianna is walking with the help of her “able.” I think that is quite appropriate.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever mentioned this, but in order for Brianna to walk, she has to wear a very sturdy brace on her left leg. It extends from the tip of her toes (under her foot) up to about two inches below her knee.  Without it, her ankle falls over and her foot drags pretty badly because those muscles are still not fully awake, for lack of a better word.   Her PT has been using a stim machine on her left leg during therapy to stimulate those muscles.  It looks like a thick vinyl sweat band with wires that he wraps around her upper calf.  It has allowed her to walk without the brace for a few minutes at a time.

WELL, Wednesday, she went to the State Fair with a group of patients, and she walked around for four hours with that stim machine on her leg. NO BRACE.  FOUR HOURS!

State Fair

The first thing she said to me when they got back was, “Now maybe I can wear some cute shoes!” You know how it is with a girl and her shoes.  And she’s not a huge shoe freak; it’s just that it’s been a while.  She has gladly given up cute shoes so that she can be on her feet instead of in a wheelchair, but it would be nice to wear some cute shoes with a cute dress to church on Sundays.  And I’m here to tell ya – it is hard to get a cute pair of shoes or boots around that brace!  Trust me – we have tried!

I’ll keep you posted on the cute shoe front as things develop.

The First Football Game

Brianna went to her first football game (since the accident) this past Friday. There was a home game and it was a beautiful night for high school football.

When we got home from rehab she had just enough time to apply a little makeup, put on her contacts and throw on her letter jacket – all with one hand, mind you.

She was a little nervous about how it would all work out walking through a crowd of people and managing the bleachers. With some trepidation, her dad and I let her go with her friends to the student section, which was rather crowded and really crazy (as a good student section should be).  They took very good care of her and she did great!

First Football Game

I am happy to report that Bri deemed the first football game a great success even though our team lost a hard fought battle.  She can’t wait until the next home game!

Hello world!

Hello.  My name is Shelley.  I’m a 40-something wife, mother of 3, and grandmother-to-be-in-November of 1.  In February of this year, my youngest – Bri (pronounced with a long I as in “sky”) – was in a tragic car accident that took the life of her friend who was driving and left Bri fighting for her life with a traumatic brain injury, changing her life, and ours, forever.  Life since then has been a devastating storm, an amazing adventure, a beautiful gift, a tough education and a priceless treasure.  This is my journal.