Time Marches On

Well we have an 8 1/2 month old now. I keep meaning to post, but have been consumed with raising a small human, and unsure of what to post, really. I’ve been taking monthly pictures of Sid, but not posting them, (or any other of the hundreds of pictures we take) mainly because of privacy. This blog is public, anyone can read it, and I’d like to keep it that way, so I have been hesitant to post a bunch of pictures or info about Sid. I post pictures and little videos on Instagram and Facebook, where I can control who sees them. I’ll probably do a collage of monthly pictures to post when he reaches a year, but until then, if you want to see daily pictures, you have to be my friend on Insta or Fb!

Sid is such a joy. He is happy and content 90% of the time, and makes spending all day with him easy. He is crawling, pulls up on anything he can, and thinks the cat is hilarious. He will say ma ma ma ma ma, but doesn’t associate it with me yet. Stephen tries every once in a while to get a dada, but no such luck. When out and about he is very serious, taking everything in. We went swimming for the first time yesterday, and Sid had fun, but you couldn’t tell from the look on his face! The fact that he at least wasn’t scared of the water is good news for his Aunt Kelsey and Aunt Meredith, who have determined that he will be an Olympic swimmer.13267871_10108231943850414_2682480713241982518_n

Now that Sid is crawling, we baby proofed the house and installed a baby gate at the top of the stairs. We shut the gate, close the doors to rooms we don’t want him to go in, and let him loose. He loves crawling around upstairs and exploring “all by himself.”


Helping daddy install the baby gate. 

Writing this has reminded me how much I enjoy it, so hopefully I will find time for more posts, more frequently!



On September 14, 2015, at 10:16am, Sidney John was born!


And can I just brag on myself a bit and say I am a baby growing, baby birthing machine. The pregnancy was great and the birth was everything I wanted. I’m not going to do a whole birth story post right now, but will just give the highlights.
I never got morning sickness, never had heartburn, minimal swelling at the end, but overall the pregnancy was easy!
My goal was a med-free labor and birth, and I accomplished that goal. Stephen did a great job as my birth coach, and took every chance he got to tell people I didn’t have an epidural. He was pretty proud.

But now, what everyone really wants, pictures!

One week old:

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One month old:

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It’s hard to believe Sid has already been here a month, but it also feels like he’s been here forever, like he has always been a part of our family. And we are so glad he is!

Welcome to our nursery

Today is our due date. And, as babies are wont to do, ours is totally ignoring the fact that TODAY is the day we have been counting down to, and has decided that tomorrow, or maybe even some time next week, would fit his schedule better. So while we wait, let’s take a tour of the nursery, shall we? (Click the picture for a larger image.)


So, in addition to the usual work, house projects, and napping with doggies, I have also ventured into entenpensurship. Which I could not spell to save my life. Entenpensure. Onchenpenureship. Entrepreneurship. There, got it.

A short interview with myself:
What do I do – I make soy candles. And even sell some of them.
Do I have a business plan – no.
Do I know anything about marketing – no.
Am I having fun making candles – yes.
Does the house spell like bath and body works when I am making candles – yes.
Am I spending more money on candle supplies than I have made selling them – probably.
Did I open an Etsy shop in May and am just now telling you about it – yes.

Bam! Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/fromtori
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FromTori

PROBABLY if you order something today and I have it in stock or the supplies to make it, I could get it to you by Christmas. Probably. Definitely if you live in the Charlotte area, because then I could hand-deliver it to you. (Contact me for a free shipping coupon!)

And remember – FromTori, for all your soy candle needs.


FYI: This is not my usual witty post. If you are in my family, you lived this from your own perspective, and might not want to read it. This is really for me, because if I put it all down here, it takes up less space in my head. For all the friends who were praying for us during this time, but didn’t know why, this is why. It was hard to write this, and will be hard to read.


July 19, 2013, 1:00 am.

It’s never a good thing when your parents call you at 1am.

Dad left me a voicemail saying to call back when I could. I had been asleep and debated calling him back right away, or just waiting until the morning. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep without finding out why he called. He said the last three words I expected to hear. “Tori, Maddie died.”


There was a sinking feeling as it felt like all blood drained out of my body.


Dad knew I had heard him. “Uncle Stuart and Aunt Erin came home from visiting school with Emily and found her.”
“Oh my God.”
He told me what they knew, which was precious little so far, and we said good night.
They hadn’t been able to get a hold of Meredith in China yet, so I facebooked her telling her to call home asap. I told Stephen and he held me. No tears, just shocked.

Meredith called me around 6:30am because mom wasn’t logged into Skype. I tried to tell her what happened, but our connection was terrible, all she got was that someone had died and I urged her to call mom.

I went to work. I emailed the rest of the staff and the prayer chain, telling them what had happened. My 21 year old cousin had died. We didn’t know how yet. Please pray for the family. Then I cried. I sat at my desk, alone in my office, and cried.

I obsessively checked Facebook and my email for any updates that day. Any information. How it happened. Funeral plans. I knew I would get a phone call as soon as anything new came up, but I couldn’t stop. I think I just wanted to see activity by my family, to know that even though I was alone in my office, alone in the whole church building, they were still there, and we were together.

Finally we had a memorial service time. We booked flights to Denver. Stephen almost didn’t come because he was going to be busy with work, but then was able to book a flight after an important meeting, and just get into Denver later than I was. During the week before flying to Denver, I started devouring books. I read and read and read, losing myself in romances and fantasies. It was better than thinking about what had happened.

I flew to Denver by myself. I picked a seat next to a mom and daughter, who promptly introduced herself as Hayden as soon as I sat down. She looked to be about 10, and ordered tomato juice when the flight attendant came around. Her mom, Kim, slept the entire way. As we reached our stop in Houston, Hayden’s sisters sitting behind us introduced themselves as well, and we chatted for a bit. I told them I was going to see my family in Denver. We disembarked and as we parted ways in the terminal, the girls all said, “Bye Tori! Have fun with your family!” Their cheerful innocence stayed with me the rest of my solo journey, and was such a blessing.

We gathered at the Colorado Wrights’ house. We all agreed it was good to see each other, but wished it wasn’t for this reason. We learned what had caused Maddie’s death. She was home alone and fell asleep at the kitchen table, slumped in her chair in such a way that her airway was cut off. It wasn’t alcohol poisoning. She wasn’t drunk. She didn’t do any drugs. She just fell asleep and didn’t wake up. I know it is hard for some people to believe your body wouldn’t wake you up if you couldn’t breathe. But it happens. Think about people who suffer from sleep apnea. They stop breathing or have long pauses in between breaths while sleeping.

The memorial service was wonderful and terrible. It was our first family funeral. Emily sang “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from the Phantom of the Opera, and it was beautiful. I don’t know how she did it, because just remembering it right now is making me cry. I was so glad Stephen was able to come. Meredith was Skyped in from China for the service.

We know Maddie is with Jesus. But it is hard for a memorial service or funeral to be a celebration of life when that life was so short. Right now it still just hurts.

Madisen Wright,  April 9, 1992 – July 18, 2013

The Flight the Masks Dropped

We were flying to Texas from Charlotte to surprise Stephen’s little brother, Paul, for his high school graduation party. We were able to get pretty good tickets on Southwest, plus you can check 2 bags for free, so off we went! First a layover in Houston, then on to Dallas Love Field. The flight into Houston was going fine, uneventful, like any flight should be. I was reading, Stephen was sleeping. There had been just a couple little drops of turbulence maybe 20 mins earlier. No biggie. Then Stephen gets hit in the face by an oxygen mask.

I heard a noise, and looked up to see oxygen masks dangling from the ceiling up and down the entire plane. Other passengers are looking around, pulling the masks down, putting them on, a little confused. I believe my exact words to Stephen, as he shook the sleep out of his eyes, were, “Oh, huh. I guess we’re…supposed to put these on?” I tried to figure out how to pull the mask down to put on, eyeing my fellow passengers to see what I was doing wrong. Turns out the masks are held up out of the way by a string, and you have to really yank on them to get it to disengage. As I put my mask on, I thought of numerous flight attendants on numerous flights over the years demonstrating how to put it on and pull the side elastic to tighten it. I looked out the window, hoping I wasn’t going to see flames coming out of the engine, or anything like that. The flight attendant came on over the speaker, ordering everyone to put their masks on. Now! We all had ours on by now.

The missing Malaysia flight briefly entered my thoughts before I dismissed it, focusing instead on breathing normally, then switching to my “yoga breathing”. Deep, slow breaths, feeling the air travel though your nose, lungs, expanding your belly. Then pushing it all out again. A simple prayer, “Dear God, please protect us. Please be with the pilots as they are dealing with whatever is going on. Please give peace to the screaming baby behind us.” That baby was NOT happy. He did not like the mask, did not want it anywhere near him. Finally a flight attendant made her way back to us, and she shoved the mask on his face.

Eventually the captain came on and told us we had descended down to 10,000 feet, and no longer needed the oxygen masks. The cabin pressurization system had failed at 36,000 feet, so the masks were deployed. The back-up pressurization system kicked in and worked, but since the masks had already dropped, we had to use them and then land. So we made what I am calling a semi-emergency landing in Birmingham, Alabama. That plane was obviously done for the day, so we all got reassigned to other flights. We were able to get on a flight directly to Dallas from there, so that was nice. While we were waiting for our flight to Dallas, I decided to check out Twitter to see what other passengers may have said about previous flight that forced us to land in Birmingham. I found only one person who had tweeted about it, a girl who said something along the lines of, “worst flight ever, oxygen masks dropped, I’m never flying Southwest again!” I guess she doesn’t realize that all major airlines use pretty much the same kind of plane, just with a different paint job. Also, we figure the odds are in our favor every time we fly now!