Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Day 1172: Mmmm...

Well, hello there.

I'm still alive and kicking.

Things have been going really well.  I haven't been posting been posting because I've been so so so busy.  And tired.  And a little bit sick.  And busy.  And tired.

Fortunately, we still find time for taking pictures of this amazing cuteness.

My posting might be a little patchy for the next little bit.  Or, the summer.  I don't know.  Things are challenging in an unexpected way right now.  Now that it's finally warming up, and Spring is upon us, so is yard work and home maintenance/improvements.

The thing is, HH still shouldn't do a lot of what needs to be done.  Which is frustrating for him because he feels guilty having me do it and (I think) we both know he could do it better and faster.  So, I find myself pushing myself harder than I normally would to accomplish more and check things off the list faster, to try and help with that.

But, I have this cold that won't go away.  And I never seem to get anywhere near enough sleep.  And there is so much other stuff that needs my attention.  Because, not only am I having to learn to do the tasks HH has always managed, I'm also having to re-learn how to do "my" tasks that he has kind of picked up over the years to try and help me (us) survive the depression.

I have a new found respect and appreciation for him and all he has taken care of for us.

And his incessant need for sleep.

So, things are going pretty well.  Although, today was a bit overwhelming.  No gym thanks to a sick (but then again, not really sick) child staying home from school.  Two hours at the dentist for the basic cleaning and then the prep work for a crown, 5 hours of numbness, and an annoying pain.  And then four hours of yard work.  And I'm proud of myself, but I know HH would have done a better job (even though he keeps telling me it looks great).  And then dinner for a friend.  I briefly regretted having set that up because I was feeling so tired, but I think it was a good thing because it helped me to turn my focus outward and kick the grumpy mood that had settled on me through the course of the day.

Did I mention I'm tired?

Good night!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Day 1171: Newtons

I participated in a 1-mile fun run with Sweet P and Little M this morning.  So. Stinkin'. Fun!  I love love love running with my kids.

Later, I took all four of the kids to Sam's Club.  By. My. Self.

HH is under the weather and recovering from a Scout camp out.

And to my happy surprise, the kids were great.  I mean, really great.  No running off.  No crying.  No whining.  Just smiles.  And even some helping.

Then I got to hang with Sweet P at a church activity for the girls her age.  She was brave and shared a bit about herself in front of everyone--even though she was terrified.  I was really proud of her.  And it was fun to get to sit and hang with her for an hour and a half.

And finally, we headed out for a series of errands.  The first of which was to purchase these sweet sweet babies:

It's been a long time coming.  I have been contemplating moving on from my Vibram Five Fingers for a very very very long time.  But, I love them.  And I would always think, "I'm so close!  I'm just going to stick it out a little longer and my feet will adjust and be strong enough and it will be great."

Yeah.  I'm more than a little stubborn.  Sometimes.  Lots of times...

But, as I was running those fabulous 8 miles on Thursday, it kind of clicked inside my head.  Running a semi-long distance was such a thrill and mood booster, I realized that it was time to just give up on the Vibrams and find something that would let me really train so I can get in on the races I've been wanting to do for a while now.

I've heard great things about these shoes for a while now.  But, Thursday I reached out to my running friends and these were the clear winners in recommendations.  So, I really researched them and I got pretty excited about them.  So, I was thrilled to be able to get them tonight.  I kind of really just want to go for a run right now!

And then we got the kids some new running shoes, too.  Not as nice as my new running shoes, but they're both pretty excited anyway.

And then we went out for dinner.  It should have been really bad because it was late and the kids were tired and hungry, but really, it went pretty well.  Baby B might have spent more time smashing somebody's left-behind Mike and Ike than eating his food, but he was happy.  And we were fortunate that it never landed in anyone's food, even though he kept throwing it up in the air.

Yeah, we were that family at the restaurant tonight.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 1170: Resilience

That is kind of my key word these days.  Resilience is what I am seeking to have more of.  When I am resilient, I can handle challenges--even if they pile on a bit.  And I can stay positive throughout.

Yesterday's run seems to have given me a super-charged boost of resilience.  Not that today was particularly rough, or anything.  But, I was able to take on the challenges it brought and stay above the line.  I was proud of myself.

And I think I've found a triathlon to enter.  Since I started running again after my fracture, I've been looking for a race to get excited about.  I think this is it.  Yay!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day 1169: Mr. Golden Sun

I forgot to mention that Little M had his first soccer practice last night.  Super cute.  And he was so excited.

I spent a good portion of the time hanging out on the playground with Baby B, though.  Which was also good.  He and I have been at odds so much of late, it was a really good reminder to me that we need to just have some good bonding time between us.  So, I spent more time really focusing on him today.  And we snuggled a bit at nap time.  And I think it really helped.

It definitely helped me.  I needed to be reminded that he really can be my sweet little boy.  It's hard to be #3 of 4.  There are so many other people and things competing for my time!

Anyway, today started similar to how yesterday started.  I just felt. So. Tired.  Dead. Tired.

And exhausted.

And Baby B started the day off with all kinds of screaming (his sheet has been missing for a few days, so it has been rough.  R-U-F-F.  Rough).

I've been promising HH that I would mow the lawn for a couple of weeks now.  But, it's been so cold and super duper rainy and wet, so it hasn't happened.  Today was nice and sunny.  So, I dragged myself out there, dug out my mower, and set to work.  I still felt tired, but I was glad to finally get it done.

And then I dragged myself to the gym.  Mainly, just to get a break from Baby B (this was before we really spent quality time together today).

But, I got out there for my run and the weather was glorious.  I mean, "Hallelujah Chorus"-inspiring.  It was just perfect.  And as I ran, I felt better and better.  And better.

And I wound up going 8 miles.  In 1:09:15.  Not crazy fast, but definitely something I'm proud of today.

And I'm still sort of on a high from it.

Probably helped me to have that extra patience for Baby B the rest of the day.

And everyone else in the family.

Running makes Mama happy.

The End.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Day 1168: A Point For Both Teams

I am beyond exhausted.  I mean, just dragging.

And I've been having panic attacks all day.  And just in an unmotivated funk.  And a little down.

It didn't help that it was kind of a hectic day.

A friend and I have been trying to hang out for a while now, we finally decided to just workout together this afternoon.  I had to totally squeeze it in between naps and errands, but I wanted to make it work.  So,  we did.  Only, I was really dragging and had pretty much no motivation.  But, still, it was fun to hang out.

It wasn't until after that I realized I had kind of failed in a big way.  This is a friend I've felt I can/should be more open with.  She asked me, very pointedly, how I was doing.  And I told her I was doing great! Actually went on for a little while about how well things are going.

I didn't mean to lie.  I really didn't.  A part of the problem is that sometimes I just try to "decide" to be in a good mood.  And I get a tad overly optimistic and keep insisting that I'm doing really well, even though at the exact same time, I'm feeling down.

Don't ask me how this happens.  It just does.

So, when I realized it after, I felt bad.  I felt bad for blowing a chance to trust someone and open up a bit.  I felt bad for being dishonest--not too bad though, since I really was thinking I was fine and forgetting that on my way to the gym I had been on the phone with HH, freaking out about everything.

But, then again, it did sort of really bother me because honesty is something I've kind of always prided myself on.  And just last week, I had to apologize to my therapist for lying to him.  Only that time, it was totally intentional.  And I knew that he knew I was lying to him.  But I did it anyway.  It was because he was pushing that subject I didn't want to discuss and I knew that if I lied, he couldn't keep pushing.  So I did.  And then I called later and told him the truth and that I was sorry.  And he said that he already knew, but thanks.

And I felt a little bit like a belligerent teenager.

But, I am a work in progress, folks.

Tonight I made myself put on make up and run the flat iron through my hair so I looked somewhat presentable (still wore my yoga pants, though) and I went to book club.  And I allowed myself to let go of all of the negativity and just relax and have fun with my friends and really to feel all of the goodness that entails.  I had promised myself I would be open and honest about how I was doing, if anyone asked.  They didn't.  And that was fine.  I think it was just more important that I was willing to be honest.

Instead, we laughed.  A lot.

And then I took out my friend's (the hostess) garbage.  Just trying to be a productive honeybee.

And I felt a million times better as I drove home.

Maybe a trillion times.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day 1167: The Floods

So, usually, when I disappear for multiple days, it's because I'm depressed and don't want to deal with either being honest and sharing it here, or pretending like everything is fine.

This time was different.  I didn't post because my computer was disconnected.  I might have been struggling with the depression a bit too, but only for less than a day in the middle of it all.

The real culprit of my absence is best explained by this:

Our toilet ripped up the bathroom floor and then jumped into the bathtub to try and hide.  But, as you can see, we found it and gave it an extended time out to think about its actions.

Fortunately, it didn't stop this from happening:

Baby B turned 3.  I went all out for his train cake last year.  Since he wanted a repeat, I went the easy route this year.  And he was just as happy.  He was actually happy with pretty much everything the whole day.  So nice for a child who can find a reason to be unhappy in even the best of circumstances.

So, I'm back.  I learned a few things.  And life is good.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Day 1166: Proving Grounds

So, the past couple of weeks have had more than their fair share of tragedies and devastation.  Many of them are personal for those involved, so I haven't really shared.  But, the silver lining lies in the fact that, while I've been saddened, I haven't gotten really down.

But, for some reason, when I found out about the explosion in West, Texas today I started having kind of a panic attack and I could feel things closing in on me again.  It was just kind of the last straw amid the madness.  Then I reminded myself of yesterday's post and my focus on service and love.  And it made all the difference.  I still feel awful about all of those poor people, but it's not dragging me down.  I hope that doesn't make me sound callous.  I am affected, just not in an extreme way.  I'm still feeling empowered to move forward and be a cause for good, as much as I can.

And I'm kind of really proud of that.

And I had a couple of great moments with Darling A today.

Like her hair being even more fabulous after this morning's bath.  Love Love Love.

And then walking in to find her smiling in her sleep.  There's just something about a sleeping baby... so sweet.

Amazing how such simple sweetness can counteract all of the chaos out there.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Day 1165: Honeybees

I shared this on facebook today, so some of you will have already read this:

Like many of you, I've been trying to process the horror of what happened on Monday. My initial concern was for the safety of my friends participating in the marathon and those living in Boston. Once I found out that they were okay, I became overwhelmed by fear. Fear to attend any large gatherings, fear to take my children to popular sight-seeing locations, fear to participate in the world in general.

But, I'm kind of a defiant person, so that fear led to anger. Who are these people and what right do they have to make me, or anyone else afraid to live our lives? That is not the world I want my children to grow up in. I want them to be brave, but also to feel safe. So, I asked myself, "What can I do to make a difference?" The same question I asked myself after the shooting in Connecticut last December. And again, I felt really small and insignificant. I am just one person. How can I make a difference?

And then I remembered some very wise counsel from Elder M. Russell Ballard. He compared each of us to a honeybee. Did you know that one honeybee's lifetime contribution of honey is an itty-bitty one-twelfth of a teaspoon? That's it. But, you put all of those honeybees tiny contributions together, and there is enough honey for me to buy a beautiful 30 pound jug at the Farmer's Market.

And I think it's time that we all take a cue from the honeybee. There are some big issues today that we have let become all-important and divisive. These things consume so much of our time and our energy. There is a lot of anger and misunderstanding in the world. And we're forgetting our humanity. And our need for connection and community. It's time to remember. And it is time to act.

Here is Elder Ballard's suggestion for how to best make a difference-- "But what about our everyday lives? What would be the cumulative effect of millions of small, compassionate acts performed daily by us because of our heartfelt Christian love for others? Over time this would have a transformative effect upon all of our Heavenly Father's children through the extension of His love to them through us. Our troubled world needs this love of Christ today more than ever, and it will need it even more in the years ahead.

"These simple, daily acts of service may not seem like much in and of themselves, but when considered collectively they become just like the one-twelfth teaspoon of honey contributed by a single bee to the hive. There is power in our love for God and for His children, and when that love is tangibly manifest in millions of acts of Christian kindness, it will sweeten and nourish the world with the life-sustaining nectar of faith, hope and charity."

He then suggests that we pray every morning to be guided to recognize an opportunity to serve and keep that as our focus throughout the day. I know you don't all believe as I do as far as religion and faith go. But that is not the point.

Whether you believe in God, or Jesus Christ, or not, I'm just suggesting--asking--that you join me in making a conscientious effort to serve one another. Friends and strangers alike. We need more kindness, more compassion, and more love. I don't want to constantly feel the need to shield my children from the goings on in the world. I want the news to consist of stories of love and courage and kindness. I want to feel like the goodness in this world outweighs the bad, and not the reverse.

I know this has been long. I get that way. I'm going to end with one more quote from Elder Ballard, "And remember, like the little honeybee's one-twelfth teaspoon of honey provided to the hive, if we multiply our efforts by tens of thousands, even millions of prayerful efforts to share God's love for His children through Christian service, there will be a compounding effect of good that will bring the Light of Christ to this ever-darkening world. Bound together, we will bring love and compassion to our own family and to the lonely, the poor, the broken, and to those of our Heavenly Father's children who are searching for truth and peace."

My heart goes out to the city of Boston and all those affected. I wish I knew what to do to help any of them directly. But, this is something I can do. I'm changing my profile pic to that of a honeybee as symbol of my commitment to each of you to find a way to serve someone every day, and thereby contribute my one-twelfth of a teaspoon of sweet goodness to the world. I hope you'll all join me and help make a difference!

I felt pretty strongly that I was supposed to share this.  And, to be honest, the issue of 'how can I make a difference' has been weighing heavily on me ever since December.  So, having this all come together was a really big deal.  And it got shared around facebook a little, a couple people even changed their profile picture to the honeybee.  It was nice to feel supported in this and to feel like, in a really small way, hopefully I've made a little change for good.  And that is a really good feeling.  Plus, I meant every word.  I really do think that if everyone became more service oriented, that could go a lot further than any kind of law could, by way of making this world more peaceful and less scary.

Plus, today was just a good day in general.  I'm feeling so much better.  Thanks for all of your support!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Day 1164: Turning A Corner

Remember the hard thing I did last week?  Well,  it really didn't go well/as I hoped/expected.  It was a real challenge for me to get through.  It turns out that allowing myself to be a little bit vulnerable is the most difficult challenge for me to face.

Fortunately, Darling A has reached a point where she will not focus long enough to nurse if there is anything at all going on around us.  Why is this fortunate?  Because it means that I now spend a couple hours a day alone with her in the quiet of my room.  And while she eats, I read.  Mostly talks from General Conferences.  So, I'm constantly being reminded that Heavenly Father loves me, trials are a part of the growing process, and I need to have faith.

Not always what I wanted to be reminded of, but definitely what I needed to be reminded of.

So, it got me through the weekend.  I wasn't exactly happy, but I didn't really get depressed either.  And given the ups and downs of the past couple weeks, that is a really big deal.

I forgot to mention that yesterday was my therapy appointment.  I think I'm finally feeling comfortable(ish) with that whole situation.  Which makes it easier to be open and honest about so many undesirable topics.  Easier, but still not easy.  Especially, when he wanted to push a topic I really did not want to discuss.  We might have had a bit of a stand off.  A "stare off" is actually more accurate.  He won, but not outright.  And it took me almost a whole day to not be angry about it.  Not a real strong anger, just kind of an annoyed anger.

So, on my run this morning, I realized I was no longer upset about it and that was nice.

Also, in therapy yesterday, my therapist suggested that perhaps one of my good friends benefited from the difficult thing I did in reaching out.  I hadn't thought about that.  But, today, that seemed to maybe be correct.  Plus, everything was fine, despite what I was worried about and that was a huge relief.

Here's my little chubbers, so proud to be standing.

We're all learning and growing stronger around here.  Good things are happening.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Day 1163: You Complete Me

Today's Joyful Moment was at 1 AM when HH got home from a weekend trip to see his brother who just returned home from a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I missed him.  I think the weekend would have been a rough one regardless because I was creating major issues for myself with the whole "forge deeper friendships" thing, but we both just felt out of sorts being so far apart.

I love my HH.  There is a piece and a peace of me missing when he is not around.  I am ridiculously happy to have him back.

She's happy too.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day 1162: Exhausting

I did a hard thing today.  Really really hard.  And then I didn't really do anything else.  And I wanted so badly to go back and undo it.  It took all I had to hold onto my faith and keep reminding myself that I did it because it felt like what I was supposed to do.  But, I might have cried a lot too.

And I got mad.  Really mad.  Why is it so important that I reach out to other people?  I hate being vulnerable like that.  Boo.

Thankfully, HH got me through it with a patience that he doesn't always possess when I get a little crazy like this.  Thanks again, HH.

And it looks like things will be okay and eventually, I'll be glad I did what I did today.

But for now, I just feel tired.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Day 1161: Worth Waking Up For

The Power Pump class at 5:30 this morning was not worth waking up for.  But, at least now, I know that.  So, I won't do that again.

Today went well for the most part.  Nothing too big.  Although, I did give Darling A bath this morning.  After her nap (and dropping Baby B off at the toddler group), we went to the grocery store.  I'm not sure if it was just chance, or if we've never gone to the store so soon after a bath (the mohawk is certainly at its best at that point), but she was the darling of the grocery store.  I don't think we ever went more than 7 seconds without a conversation, a comment, or a smile at the very least.  People are just drawn to her.  Of course, it helps that she has an absolutely engaging smile to go with her fabulous hair.

It is so fun to be her mama.

The other highlight of our day was when Baby B ate the chicken and gnocchi soup I made.  He has never eaten soup before.  So, that was huge.

And we closed out the day chatting with HH while he did his physical therapy for his shoulder.  I love talking with HH.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day 1160: Intense

That's the best word I have for today.  It just was.  Intense.

And I just finished writing about it in my journal.  And it took a really long time.  So, I'm not really going to go into detail here.  Just to sum up:

The day started out well enough, but the morning got a little stressful, leaving me feeling disappointed and afraid of what might be coming.  And then I checked my email, which included an inspired email from someone I love.  And it was exactly what I needed to be learn and be reminded of.

And then we headed to the gym which involved a really great conversation with a friend, a long(ish) run--during which I fought the instinct to just push through the pain, but instead decided to take care of myself and turned around.  And I had a great thought train going on and realized all kinds of important things.

Then some things didn't go quite my way, but I followed what I knew I needed to do and did something hard.  And things went better.

And then I hopefully was able to return the favor of this morning and help another person that I love who is also struggling.

And after violin lessons, I put Darling A to bed just in time to head out shopping with a friend to try and give her some help in choosing a family photo outfit.  That was most unsuccessful, but we had a good time anyway.

And then a quick stop in at the girl's craft night going on at another friends'.  It was fun to chat and catch up with more of my sweet friends.

And then, I shared all of my day with HH.  And appreciated his willingness to support me in my new endeavor to develop and strengthen my friendships.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Day 1159: Hi.

Hey.  So, remember how I was all set to be all open and honest and trusting and all of that good stuff?  Well, turns out I was.  But, only as long as it was relatively easy.  Shortly after more last post, things got really bad and I went back to my natural instinct to just shut everyone out and keep everything to myself as much as possible.  So, I did.

Only, this time I knew (even though I tried to fight it) that I was supposed to be open, not closed.  But, I didn't know how.  And I didn't want to.

And it was yucky and scary at times.

Easter was really nice, thankfully.

It's been a whole lot of ups and downs.  And sometimes I wanted to reach out for help, but then I didn't.  For a lot of different reasons.  I kept thinking about posting, but it was kind of overwhelming.  My mind has been in overdrive and there is way too much to catch up on.

This weekend was General Conference.  It was really really nice.  I especially appreciated the message from President Uchtdorf, about God's light illuminating the way out of darkness.  You can read a summary of it here.  And the message from Elder Holland about exercising my faith, no matter how small it seems, based on one of my favorite scriptural accounts in St. Mark 9: 14-24.

And so, I'm trying.