She DID leave and he still killed her

I’ve read the news about Ray Rice. I’ve watched the video of him punching his then-fiance in the elevator, oh, about a thousand times. Because every website and news channel has played it on repeat since its release. I’ve read article after article on domestic violence. I’ve read about women who stayed. Women who left. Women who stayed, left and went back and left again. Women who overcame their abusers. I’ve seen the hashtags. I’ve read the statistics.

I’ve seen people who have never been personally effected by domestic violence comment on statuses and stories on facebook. Things like:

What a dumb bitch!”

“She’s obviously a gold digger.”

“If it were me I would leave.”

“Why doesn’t she just leave?”

“She deserves it.”

“Ho needs to know her place.”

YES. Those are real people behind a computer screen writing those actual things.

I would sit back in my chair. Release a deep sigh. And think of my beautiful cousin, Michelle.


A young woman with so much potential. A young women who loved her son. A young woman who finally got up the courage to leave her husband.

A young woman who was killed by him anyway.

I won’t presume to know the whole story. I only know Michelle’s side of the story as told by her sister, Melissa.

Four years ago, my cousin Michelle left her home with her son and sought refuge at her parents’ house. Here she believed she was safe. Here she decided that she would not be going home to her husband. That she would most likely be filing for divorce. She believed she and her son deserved a better life. One that didn’t include verbal, emotional and physical abuse.

But her husband came looking for her. They had a long talk. With the support of her parents and her sister behind her, it was then that she told him she wouldn’t be going home with him. The argument got heated and the cops were called. Her husband left.

Unfortunately, he came back uninvited later that night. He came back with a plan – and a loaded gun. If he couldn’t have her – nobody could.

First he shot Michelle’s dad, who tried to stop the incident at the door. He screamed for Michelle to run and she did. But he caught her. He shot her in the heart and she died instantly. He then shot and killed himself.

Their son was unharmed, thank God.

Three weeks later, Michelle’s sister Melissa was married. Michelle’s flowers had already been ordered. She was to be standing by her sister’s side as Matron of Honor. This is what happened instead.


There was not a dry eye in the church. I can’t tell you what this tragedy did to their family. To us all. I can’t tell you what it did to her son’s future. All I know is that Michelle’s mom and dad and sister are doing their best to raise her son in a loving and caring environment. And I have so much respect and admiration for their strength and faith in God as a family. They have all been through hell and back. But they continue to raise awareness toward the truth of domestic violence. Domestic violence has a face. It has a name.

People ask in the comments of these news stories why women don’t just leave. They assume abused women are stupid and that’s why they don’t choose to leave. When actually there is much more to the story. Michelle was a stay at home mom. She wanted nothing more than to be a good mom and to be there for him. She didn’t have any money of her own and she lived far away from her parents and sister. She didn’t know HOW to leave and still be able to take care of her son.

And when she finally did leave – he came searching for her – and killed her anyway.

I’ve spoken with Melissa and she wants to pass this message along – PLEASE read her words.

No one could ever replace what was tragically taken away from us that night. I would not wish this pain on my worst enemy. IF there are girls, or guys, out there who are being abused by their significant other, get help. There are resources out there and they can help you. You don’t have to let your boyfriend, husband or whoever know you are seeking help. Please don’t stay because you think there is nothing else out there for you or if you have been told that you are worthless and that you would never succeed without the one who is hurting you. There is hope and you deserve the life God gave you!”

There is help. If you are in fear of you and your children’s lives there are resources. It’s not going to be easy. But there can be life after abuse. There wasn’t for Michelle. But her legacy lives on in her son.

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Filed Under: Family5 Comments

Moms Save Money – Kids Look Good

Let’s face it – kids are expensive. As parents we don’t like to see our children as dollar signs (obviously) but there are times when we can’t help but think to ourselves, DANG, why does it cost so much money to raise these kiddos?!

As a mom of three kids one of our biggest expenses is clothing. Yes, you have to dress these tiny people after you bring them into the world. Most moms I know don’t stop at just dressing them – they also want their kids to wear quality, name brand clothing that costs a pretty penny when you buy it new.

I remember right after I had Landon a friend asked me to go to a Just Between Friends consignment sale with her. I had no idea what it was but she liked it so I followed along. Upon entering the building with rows and rows of gently-used kids clothing I knew I had found a good option to save money AND dress Landon in adorable clothes. I have gone to a fall/winter sale and a spring/summer sale religiously ever since.

I don’t tend to be a brand snob but when you find like-new clothing from Gap, Old Navy, Childrens Place, Gymboree, OshKoshB’Gosh, Carters and so many others, it is almost too good to be true!

I try to set a limit on spending when I go to these sales. But it is actually a good thing to stock up. Now that my boys are older I’ve realized that they are pretty rough on clothing. They wear it out so fast that it just doesn’t make sense to spend $25 on a pair of new jeans. Sure, I buy some new things when they are on sale. But the deals are so good at these sales I can’t help it.

Just Between Friends Consignment Sale
These are only some of the best deals I found this past week at the JBF Overland Park sale.

1.  Pediped boots for Sawyer for $6 (retail is $30)

2. Gap quilted jacket for Sawyer for $4 (retail is $20+)

3. OshKoshB’Gosh cardigan for Sawyer for $4 (retail is $15)

4. Cute denim shirt and tights for Sawyer for $5 total

5. Not a deal but LOOK at the rows of cute baby girl stuff. I almost couldn’t handle it!

6. Snow boots for the boys! Both pair retail for over $50 each but I got both for $10! Major score!

I’m feeling really good about the things I found. I always look forward to these sales because I know that I’m doing a good thing for my family by shopping at them. Saving money and dressing my kids in awesome clothes. Kinda makes me feel like super mom (with change to spare)!


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Just Between Friends of Lee’s Summit and Overland Park. This program is in partnership with Real Mom Media (  All opinions are my own.


Filed Under: Finances, Reviews, Stuff I Love7 Comments

It’s time to find the Best Deal!

Just Between Friends Kansas City Sale

It’s once again consignment sale time and I’ll be headed to my favorite one – Just Between Friends! If you’re in Kansas City or surrounding areas it’s definitely worth the drive. You don’t want to miss it! You can find name brand clothes, shoes, equipment and toys no matter what your kid’s age! We’re pretty set on clothes for the boys. But poor Sawyer girl will need some things to keep her warm this winter. So you will mainly find me in the 12 month girl aisle. I was seriously so excited about the deals I found last time. I received so many compliments on her clothes and when people ask where I bought them and I tell them they are from a consignment sale they are always so surprised! But they shouldn’t be. Consignment sales are the way to go if you have kids!

This is just one of the darling dresses I found for her at the February sale. A Children’s Place dress and headband for only $4!

JBF #bestdeal

I’ll also be looking for LEGO sets for the boys because can you say obsessed?! I am so glad there is a place where I can find great quality items for up to 50-90% off retail.

The Overland Park JBF sale starts tomorrow! It will run September 11-14 at Overland Park International Trade Center.

I hope to see you there!

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