Sunday, October 8, 2017

7 Days

7 days ago not only my life was changed, but everyone around me and the whole city of Las Vegas was changed forever. I know that not everyone died and affected by this horrible event was from Vegas, but it happened in Vegas, in our city. It happened to our people working. It happened to our law enforcement teams. It's an invasion like no other. So I'm just gonna be blunt and say it and put it out there that I think country music and the city of Nashville has taken some of the focus off of Vegas and for that it makes me sad. I know that we were all there because of our love for country music and of course music will help to heal us, but before #CountryStrong it should #VegasStrong. You can disagree with me if you want. That's your right, but that's how I feel right now, today.

7 days post massacre. And I say days, because each one has been hard in it's own right. But also each one better than the last.

And by the way I hate that word. Massacre. Even if it is true. Even if it is the worst in history. I just hate hearing that word, much less saying it. Again it makes me sad. So many things these days make me sad when I really think about stuff. That's the hard part. Not thinking, but thinking. I often think what the last 7 days would be like if the outcome were any different than what it was. I try not to think about it. My friend Katie, did a blog post about survivors guilt. We all have it in some form or another. We all process it and deal with it in our own way. I have my own and I suppose that will eventually be another topic of this blog.

I was finally looking back at some of my photos and I came across one of Jason Aldean that I posted to my Insta stories. I have a setting on my Insta account that all pictures and videos get saved to my camera roll no matter what once they are posted. I love that feature. Now more than ever. 

It posted and was saved at 10:06 PM. The picture next to it is my first text to Sam at 10:07 PM. Just a mere minute between these moments and our lives changed forever. 

We went to go get my car yesterday. We had to park and walk. We checked in with the officers that are in the church lot next door. My name was on a list of many, although my car was one of the last few in the lot. One of the officers walked with us. It was surreal being back there and telling Wayne exactly the path that Katie and I ran. I told him as we were standing at the car in the exact spot that is where I was talking to him. I showed him the fence that we went through to get to the street that led us to Desert Rose Resort. Away from the lot. Away from the shooting. Away from the screaming. Betty White was unharmed and just as Jill had said I started her up and away we went, away from the lot, she took me home.

Thursday, October 5, 2017


I never thought I would be the type of person to be afraid to watch the news, but I am now. At least for the time being. And I am not talking about the normal daily news, but the videos and clips they keep replaying over and over again. I am afraid as to what they might show or what I might hear. What trigger will set me off next into a flurry of anxiety and possible tears. I haven’t watched TV or the News in 4 days. Which if you know me, you know that’s unheard of. But I just can’t right now. I can’t watch anymore videos from that night of people running. Screaming. The sound of such panic. That same panic that I felt running through my whole body. I can’t hear anymore of the rapid gunfire. It's already ringing in my ears and head everyday. I just can’t. I'm hoping as the days go on, they will stop showing it, so people can start watching the news again. I guess only time will tell.

On another note. The parking lot has been cleared and we can go pick up my vehicle. We plan on doing that Saturday morning after gymnastics. I want to go at a time that I can process it all. A time where I don’t feel rushed and that if I get emotional, I don’t have to go back to work or be somewhere. I can just be and process those emotions and get through it with the support of my Husband.

A certain comment was left on one of my friend’s Facebook threads. She had shared my blog post titled “Juggling.” The woman that left the comment is named Jill. Her words affected me so deeply and I needed to read those words, so I wanted to share it here not only to share it with all of you, but so that I can re-read it back for my own comfort:

“I can’t even imagine the feelings that each and every survivor will go through in the coming days, weeks and months. Fear. Anger. Sadness. Depression. Relief. Guilt. ...and I’m sure the list goes on.

I can totally empathize with her feelings about her car “Betty White,” and how it sat there while terror was unfolding all around it. Her feelings are real and raw. I wish I could hug everyone that was there that night just to show emotional support.

As an outsider, I think of “Betty White” as her chariot. It stood there valiantly and relentlessly to take her home. Whenever it’s time... it will do just that. Maybe it will become a beacon of survival, so to speak... an icon of perseverance.”

That last paragraph just rips at me like no other. Because it’s true. And now I have a new perspective about my beloved “Betty White.” We will see what condition my car is in. I have had numerous friends and even strangers offer for them to retrieve it for me. My loving Husband would love to shield me from the possible pain that it might cause for me to go and get it, but I need to. I think it will help with some closure issues. I cannot avoid that lot or certain parts of this city and as hard as it might be, I need to go down there. I need to walk through that lot. I need to see it. I need to get in it. I need to put the key in and feel it start up underneath me and I need to drive it away from that lot that changed my life forever.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


My car is still parked in the parking lot across the street from the festival grounds. The officer told Wayne that we won't be able to retrieve it until at least Saturday. At the earliest. Why? 

Because that parking lot is "just as much of a crime scene as the actual festival grounds." 

While I knew that in the back of my head, I couldn't actually process it until actually hearing it. How did I know that? It was the parking lot where we ran through. It was my car that I texted Sam to run to. It was supposed to be our meeting place to reunite before figuring out our next steps. Instead we couldn't wait there for her. We didn't have time. We had to keep running. We had to keep moving. 

And we did. 

Through that parking lot.

Out through the fence in the back and down the street running away from that lot. Leaving not only my car behind, but the sound of the constant rounds of fire and screaming.

I know that it is a crime scene because there were people bleeding. People injured, hurt. Bodies not moving. Blood. So much blood. I myself almost tripped and fell over a body while running. It is a sight that I cannot get out of my head. And I wonder if they were one of the 59 that were killed or the 515+ somewhere at one of the hospitals here in Vegas.

While driving down to the parking lot this morning with Wayne to get more information about the timeline on retrieving my car, I started crying. I know that I have to get my car. I can't just leave it there. Abandon it. But the thought of walking through that parking lot again and something about driving off just gives me a feeling that I can't put my finger on. I can't explain it. I just feel it.

It has nothing to do with my car and not having it. But instead me thinking of what happened all around it. Surrounding it. Right next to it. I will drive Betty White, as I have named it, everyday knowing in the back of my mind what awfulness and pure evil happened all around it. Again, I can't explain it, it's just a feeling of something I can't put into words.

So while we juggle having one car, one set of car seats, and multiple emotions and thoughts, I will continue to be grateful that is the extent of our week. Juggling. Thinking. Processing. Healing.

Monday, October 2, 2017


It was about 14+ hours ago that I heard that first POP POP POP. Standing in the pit on the floor watching Jason Aldean do what he does best, getting ready to have such a great night just like the last two nights before. I was confused as I had never heard that particular sound.


To say that it’s not replaying in my head over and over is a complete understatement. I didn’t know what was going on until I saw the band being rushed off the stage. I said to my friend Katie, "this isn’t good. We have to go." We quickly made our way to where we had a table. Where our other friend Sam was sitting. She was nowhere to be found. My heart dropped.

10:07 p.m. was the time that I texted her “Where are you?”

While taking cover behind the bar and continuously hearing the POP POP POP I knew we had to get out of there. We had to just run. It sounded like it was coming from every direction. Katie and I started running. Some people ran. Some people just stayed laying there taking cover. I needed to run. I needed to get out of there. People were falling. People were screaming. People were bleeding. We just kept running.

All the while POP POP POP.

As I called my Husband to let him know that something was happening, I could hear the panic in his voice as he could hear me crying and again the rapid and never-ending POP POP POP in the background. I couldn’t really stay on the phone. I had to keep moving and we had to find Sam. We made it across the fair grounds. We made it through the parking lot standing by my car and when we thought we could stop running, more POP POP POP and we were told to just keep running and moving.

We eventually found Sam. We were running towards another casino to take cover and find some sort of shelter. All of a sudden people were running towards us scared and shouting. We were trapped. We didn’t know where to go. We ended up going into a hotel/timeshare resort. People were filing in and we were still hearing the POP POP POP. People were carrying in wounded and injured. Residents were opening up their rooms to people and the three of us ended up in a room with 27 other people. This couple had taken 30 people into their room. Just out of the generosity of their heart. They offered water, snacks, anything they could to be comforting. We had people that had fallen and bumped heads, sprained ankles, a diabetic. We all rallied together. Still scared and not knowing everything, but trying to be a comfort in all the craziness.

We were in that room until about 3:00 a.m. That was about when the police came to that resort to check on the wounded and offer medical help. 4+ hours with complete strangers. Minds racing. Trying to stay in contact with loved ones. Tears shed. Hugs given. At about 3:15, I texted Wayne that we were finally allowed to leave. We made our way to the lobby to wait. He left the house and made his way to us. He wasn’t able to come directly to us as the roads around the resort were still blocked off. So we had to walk a few blocks to his truck.

All I could do was thank God that Wayne wasn’t there with me. Even though I knew he would help be my calm in this storm, I thanked God one of us was home safe with our babies. I know he feels guilty for not being there with me, but I am thankful he was not as weird as that sounds. I definitely had all my guardian angels watching over me last night. We got home a little after 4 a.m. and I immediately broke down and hugged my kids and cried over them as they slept. Thankful just to watch them breathe and sleep.

I hugged and cried with my sister that is in town from Minnesota and my Husband. I just couldn’t stop. My puppies were coming up to me wondering why I was hysterically crying. It was all rushing back to me. The adrenaline was wearing off and my emotions were winning and taking over. I was exhausted in every way imaginable. I still am. I’ve slept about an hour. I dropped my friends off at the airport early this morning. Hugging them a little tighter this time, telling them I love them. I came home from the airport and Hailey was awake. I hugged her tight and again started sobbing. Her not knowing why or what was going on. I had a difficult conversation with her about the events and what happened. We cried together and just hugged each other. It was a good talk with her. Wayne and I pride ourselves on how we are raising her by not sheltering her with certain things. We knew she may hear something at school or see something on TV and with it being here in Vegas and with me being so emotional. There was no way we could sugar coat it. I know we will also have another conversation after he gets home from work tonight.

To my Husband. Oh my Husband. I have no words other than thank you for loving me. He didn’t sleep at all and went into work this morning at 5am after bringing us home. He is doing a live broadcast with Taylor and Tony. They will be working all day to continue to bring this community together.

To my Mom, Dad, sister Amie, brother Ross, sister Kate, family and friends. Thank you and I love you all.

I have to shout out the Las Vegas Metro and other surrounding cities law enforcement, EMT’s and SWAT teams. There’s no one quite like them and they have a very unique city to protect.

I am proud to live in Las Vegas. The community so far has rallied and come together like no other. With 58 dead and 515+ injured, how do you start to even process this? All the stories coming out of this of people helping is amazing. #vegasstrong

Please please please, if you don’t take anything away from reading this just please live every single day you can to the fullest and love your people hard and with everything you got. Whoever they are. You truly never know when today could be your last, and with as cliche as it sounds, it is so very true. #loveyourpeople

Thank you to everyone that reached out either through texting or calling or social media or through Wayne. People that I don’t talk to on the regular, past co-workers and bosses reaching out to me to make sure that me and my family are safe. I truly appreciate every message, thought and prayer. I truly feel all your love and I love you all right back. God Bless.
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