Sunday, January 29, 2017

Humble Pie, Part 3

For those of you who were not with me back in July, I wrote a big post about my decision to try an anti-depressant after wearing out every other option.  In that post and in a subsequent post, I unpacked the reasons that had held me back from taking medication for so long.  And I'm glad I documented that for posterity, because I'm already beginning to forget what it's like to be chronically depressed and to have my thinking messed up all the time.

This is not to say that medication is right for everyone, but it is to give hope to those who've been struggling with the decision.  And to give you an update on my life.

The good news is, that I'm truly better.  I feel like myself again, not just that I'm acting the part of a happy woman.  It doesn't take a great deal of effort to get through the day anymore.  Looking back I can't believe that I was able to function so well and for so long without this life-changing treatment. I've struggled since my mid-teens, and feeling balanced and normal on a consistent basis is amazing. Honestly, and I hope this doesn't scare you, I don't care if I'm taking medicine for my depression for the rest of my life.    I wish I had started a lot sooner, and so do all of my loved ones who've had to hold my hand through thick and thin.

And because you're my friends and I've felt like I've been holding out on you for quite some time, here is the rest of the story.  While my brain chemicals are finally balanced and I feel like a normal person again, I'm still going through the hardest time of my life.  I'm still in counseling, plowing through a bunch of garbage from my childhood.  I'm still grieving for my dear, dear brother whose life went off the tracks last year.  I'm witnessing my parents' divorce after 37 years of marriage, and I have front row seats because my Mom and little brothers are living with me.  

And in case you've ever wondered, there is a huge difference between grief and depression.  I would rather grieve, because grief comes in waves and is something that ends eventually, where depression is a constant, unremitting weight that you may have to carry forever.  

I feel like I've turned a corner.  A bunch of secrets came out last year in our family, and while they hurt and while they were a terrible shock, now I know the truth.  Some of the painful changes were actually very good things, and I look forward to positive changes in my extended family.  I don't have to go what I've just gone through ever again.  And by the grace of God, all is well within my own little family circle.  My kids are healthy and safe, my husband is faithful and kind, and we never go hungry or cold.  I have a great deal to be thankful for.  

And because I had Veyo pie for breakfast this morning, here's a picture.  Like I said, I have a lot to be thankful for!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Today I have a guest, my super amazing 14-year-old philosopher.  He wrote this inspiring essay for one of his classes, and I loved it so much wanted to share.  Not because I'm bragging on my son, understand, ;)  just because I thought you might also need a lift this dreary January day.

A hero is anyone who uses their unique skills to light the world. Missionaries, teachers, solders, families, researchers, musicians, farmers, athletes, artists, and workers are all heroes and they all have one common desire that is to make the world a better place. The builders of this nation were common people, Paul Revere was a silver smith, George Washington was a solder and a cartographer, James Madison grew up as a farm boy, John Adams played the violin. Almost every signer of the constitution had been a seminary teacher at some point in time. Now when they were all young, living their humble lives no one would have guessed that they would all be key in the founding a new nation. Their secret to success is they had a relationship with god that told them how to use their individual strengths to move the world to a better state of being. A great hero has a relationship with god that strengthens their desires, friendships, Humility, Inspiration, love, and happiness. Heroes are inspired by a better tomorrow

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Christmas in Idaho

Our Christmas was pretty epic this year, because we celebrated with David and Chan.  The kids had the time of their lives going sledding, having Nerf gun fights, swimming in the hot springs, and having a contest to see how many bodily fluids they could get on Chantel's carpet.  Haha!  Seriously a stomach flu over Christmas in a house full of little people is no joke, but it's amazing how little it held us back.  

This is Sammy at the Christmas Eve breakfast at the church.  Too bad Chan missed this moment, she would have been so proud.  Three strips of bacon at once!

Christmas Eve we enjoyed our traditional telling of the Nativity Story, and David and Chantel especially appreciated having boys in the production this year instead of just their five gorgeous girls.

And then there was the traditional Christmas Eve dog pile. 

Poppers at the kids' table.


Teeny boppers at the grownup table.

You'll be glad to know that most of us were sick for only one day, leaving four in which to stuff our faces.  They spoiled us rotten with lots of amazing food and even made sure the gluten-free kids were well-taken care of.

One of the highlights of the trip was the Dick Family tradition of drawing names and making gifts for each other.  I've never really done it before, but I found that it really made the season so much more meaningful and fun to be working on something for someone--and it really lit up Christmas morning like no Lego set could.  

These are just a few of the highlights.  I also remember Chantel made an adorable shark sleeping bag for Isaiah (he puts his body in at the shark's mouth.)  Naomi made a T-shirt for Charlotte with a nuclear physics joke on it.

TJ and gave the kids Disneyland t-shirts with a promise to take them in March, so it's good that Chantel and David bought them legos--it might have been a little sparse otherwise.  Also Santa showed up to help out.  David and Chan also surprised TJ and me with a gorgeous set of stainless steel pots and pans--which is my favorite kind.  I'm actually a little excited about cooking now.  

We teased them that if they kept spoiling us so much, we'd be back every year.  They never suspected we really meant it...(maniacal laugh)

Small Happenings and Bigger Ones

This guy has been wanting a full suit for years, and I don't want to brag, but it's Calvin Klein, it fits perfectly, and I got it for $30 shipped on Ebay.  That's a mom win.

We went camping at Red Cliffs with some friends, and somehow Isaiah confused the charred wood with stage makeup.

Making applesauce is a big, sticky mess, but I never knew how much better homemade was until now.  We'll definitely be doing it again!

This is why I love my job

This is not just a badly done selfie.  This is the night I took myself on a date.  In teaching a Shakespeare class to young kids last year, I helped them write and perform a funny 5-minute version of the play we were studying, and I thought how fun it would be to do the complete works in an hour.  I had no idea someone had already tackled the project, and when I saw our community theater was putting on "The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)", I really wanted to go.  After a few weeks of spacing it, I drove past the theater on what turned out to be closing night.  TJ was busy that night, and so, it turned out, were all my siblings, my mom, and all the friends I was able to reach.  So I braved the show all by myself, and even took myself out to dinner first.  (I imagined being commended for my courage by Harry Connick Jr. like he does in Hope Floats)  It turned out to be the best decision I made in weeks.  I don't remember laughing that hard since Brian Reagan came to town, and I'm pretty sure it took enough stress off me to add at least a month to my life.  Hooray for Shakespeare and hooray for great community theater!

Paul got new shoes, ya think he really needed them?

Look at these gorgeous cupcakes Eliza made!  She doesn't do anything halfway.

After Christmas my sisters, mom and I spent three glorious days decompressing at a vacation house in Eagle Mountain.  

We ate inordinate amounts of food, most of which was prepared my my amazing sister Nikki.  None of us know exactly how she managed to make all that food, especially since her youngest gives her approximately five minutes of free time each day. 

Of course we watched Sabrina!  

And you can bet there was plenty of "ugly to be pretty" going on.

We even make the ugly look good!