Friday, January 5, 2018

OH written word I'm a Fair-weather Friend; Also--Continuation/Stuck Fear

Well, I think yesterdays post helped a small amount. I'm reluctant to get excited almost because I don't want to set myself up for being super BUGGLED should the feeling a little better be short lived. Not trying to be negative, but trying to be realistic. Two steps forward, one step back, progress is progress but it's not always in a straight line.

Anyways, I've gotten lazy with writing. Lazy with processing my feelings. Written word I am a fair-weather friend! I know it's good to write (good for ME to write) as a way to make demarcations in my life. Process seasons and times, important and small details that make up my life. I know, I sound like such a millennial or something worrying about processing my feelings so much. But it's always been a thing that's been important to my life is to PROCESS. I've always been slow to process too. The seasons and happenings either go too quickly or are too cyclical and come back around too fast that I'm not anywhere caught up or like even excited about the prospect. Like, I love fall and Christmas and spring and summer, but everyone gets SO JAZZED about them like we've never had seasons before or we didn't just have that one not that long ago. Like how in July everyone was making posts about being excited for boots and PSL and I feel like we just had that and why are people acting like it's been 50 years since the last autumn. And then it gets into my head. This is an example of me overthinking things. BUT, maybe God made me that way? An overthinking, deep thinking, sometimes to my advantage sometimes to my DISADVANTAGE in my head kind of person. I guess I need to learn to yield that strength/weakness in the proper channels.

 I need to face another fear that has been swirling in my head like a clinging monster. I don't know if anyone will understand this one or not, but I'll do my best to explain. I do keep imagining myself with a sword swiping at these issues, cutting them up into more manageable and digestible things to confront, sometimes I really should listen to my imagination. It's literally telling me my mind is at battle. Time to listen! Time to fight! So my "continuation fear" as I've called it is like this: I get to thinking that I'll be stuck in this mindset. And everything will go on and continue to change around me but I'll never be able to catch up or be in the moment with all of it. I'll always be thinking "how am I gonna pass the time today? or tomorrow? Or the next day? Will I be ok? Will my thoughts be at ease or will I be worrying about if I'm feeling ok about how the time is or just passing time to pass time to get through? Will I ever start just enjoying the process of life again?!" Like everything will just be me over and over and over doing the same things, never feeling any differently, no demarcations to days/weeks/years/seasons of life. Like all of a sudden I keep thinking, how have I passed the time in my life up until this point without worrying about it?! How have I watched tv, read books, chilled out, did things for fun, without it seeming empty and meaningless?! I know, reading this it's like "um,what? this is your fear? you have plenty of other things to worry about and plenty of things to live for and THIS you're worried about?" I know! I'd like to kick these thoughts to the curb. I know I have value in the eyes of the Lord and I'm getting to do the job I've always wanted: RAISING MY CHILDREN! I have Ted and my life with him is full of meaning. I have interests and hobbies and know one day I'll serve people in other ways too, either through working or volunteering or through writing or whatever. I KNOW THAT. But knowing and feeling is so different. I'm so frustrated these type of thoughts are haunting me, but I know God can and will renew my mind and spirit. He has never failed to bring me through any trial, so I know it's a matter of me working on my FAITH (not saying oh this is because I'm doing something wrong). But I always get so quick to doubt when things go awry. I want to learn to jump into complete trust with the Lord from the get go. But trust is also choosing to trust even when your doubts and fears are threatening to swallow you up so I must remind myself of that too.

Whoa, I guess I thought after conquering vaginismus and infertility (all God things) I would kind of coast through life (not coast, but I guess I was expecting to coast!) and now I'm realizing ok that's ridiculous. I guess coast isn't exactly accurate. More like bask in all He has done in my life and enjoy the heck out of this next stage in life. All of which I am doing/was doing ect. But hey, I should take it as a compliment He's still working on me, growing me, changing me, and challenging me. He's not finished yet, maybe this could all be the beginning. I need to know, that whatever I go through I can always use it to encourage others. To let them know they're not alone, and things can get better. I have been able to encourage other women who struggle with vaginismus and that has been awesome. I will try and get back into doing that more! I can also encourage other women struggling with infertility. That is always on my heart as well. Oh the wait for children was hard and I wouldn't want to go back to those days, but now I can appreciate them for molding me and shaping me and really allowing me to cherish the chance to be a mom (when I'm feeling like myself lol). It almost broke me but God got ahold of me and used it for my good. So I need to remind myself boldly of all of that, especially when doubts and fears creep in. Or blindside. Or attack.

Two days in a row. I need to keep this up. MENTAL LYMPHATIC SYSTEM, YOU GET TO DRAINING!!!!!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

on trying to describe and survive a breakdown

I have such a burning desire to write about this but simultaneously absolute DREAD to try to put this ordeal/experience into words! I know I need help processing whatever it is that is happening to me, so I need to be brave and at least try

I feel like I need a dozen good sob fests but can't muster any tears. I feel like I need to be angry and rage but can't muster that up either. The only feelings I'm having are dread, hopelessness, fear, emptiness, and anxiety! Ugh, it's awful! Coming from someone who LOVES to have joy and peace in her life, I'm really at a loss. This is NOT my forte and I feel like a stranger in my own body.  While I know I'm feeling slightly better than I was last week and the week before, this is such a heavy burden to carry everyday (and night, because I haven't been sleeping well AT ALL so the days are REALLLLLLLLYYYY long). What makes it worse, is I don't know exactly what the root is (besides depression? anxiety? hormones? all of the above?) so I vacillate between being afraid of sleeping or trying to sleep and being afraid of this terrible awful no good very frustrating feeling lingering around FOREVER and robbing me the joy in  my life. 

I remember the afternoon it started; I was really tired. Sawyer took a three hour nap (which is unheard of! She's currently in her bed doing donkey kicks and not at all napping) and I pretty much just laid there in bed with a feeling like something was coming on. Like a cold or something, just that totally exhausted feeling you have before the onset of an illness. I shook it off and chalked it up to pregnancy hormones and having a toddler and life and the fact that it was a Friday. We had Olive Garden takeout that night and I remember having a lot of it and feeling uncomfortably full all night, stomach kind of upset. I know that's kind of normal for me during pregnancy, to feel really full and gross after eating a small to normal amount. I kind of wallowed in that all night while we watched tv and hoped I could "burp it out", with the help of some ginger ale I did somewhat. We went to bed, tired and ready for a good nights sleep. (Which for me means, getting up once or twice to pee ect taking awhile to get back to sleep). I remember just rolling over in bed and my heart started racing and I couldn't breathe. Like it was pounding out of my chest. I jumped out of bed to go sit downstairs and try to calm down or figure out what was happening. This went on with nervous pacing, wondering if I was dying, doing my best to take a deep breath, and freaking out. I kept telling myself "if this doesn't stop by 2 am I'm going to the ER!!!" I willed myself to drink some tea and sit still for at least 10 minutes. I even set the timer. This was torture. (Sitting still has been on and off complete torture for the last several weeks!) By 1:57 I was able to tell my heart was slowing down a little, but felt like it was beating strangely. I couldn't quite catch my breath but I could enough to go back upstairs and try to lay down. I think I was so exhausted from being scared I did go to sleep. The next day I thought it was all over. I woke up and told Ted about it and he was sad I didn't wake him up when it was happening. My philosophy is to try not to wake up the other parent so at least one of us can be energetic the next day. I should have woke him up though! 

We took Sawyer to the library for a holiday party and I felt out of breath still, but I know that is common during pregnancy so I tried not to worry. I felt ok! I probably just had a weird night, ate too much, this could be heartburn or something. I wanted to be present with Sawyer and make a fun memory. But the moment we got home, the feelings of dread and terror rushed back. All of a sudden I was scared of my own house that had always been a haven and refuge for me. I can't quite describe it but I felt panicked just being there, haunted. I know this sounds dramatic, pregnancy hormones, whatever but as a rational and down to earth person I couldn't fight or shake these feelings of impending doom. I couldn't sit still, I had to pace, range, or throw myself into a project to even continue existing. I kept chanting to myself "nervous energy, freaking out!" trying to put words to what was happening, trying to take the power away from the feeling by identifying it and thinking about it rationally.  Over the course of the next several weeks, I would have on and off heart racing and breathing spells. I was afraid to go to bed at night, and feeling like a nervous wreck around my house. I would cry when Ted went to work. I didn't feel safe in my own body and I was spiraling so low I was frightened of it. Terrified. Exhausted. Thoughts going haywire and not letting me relax even in my own head. Zero concentration. Lots of calls the nurses line, doctors office, and my mom. Not knowing what to do or if I could even keep going on. Typing this out I wish I was crying, it would feel so GOOD to cry. All I can think of is I'm only feeling slightly better than all that! I was so annoyed when the nurse told me it was anxiety. I felt like NO something is desperately wrong with me! They sent me to a cardiologist. I went to see another OB about medication to help me through this. Of course I got my hopes up thinking well this could just simply be a physical issue and needs fixed. It would give me a little hope. The cardiologist tested my thyroid, it all came back within range. All of my heart tests were good. (which is GOOD, I don't want to have heart problems of course). I wore the chest holter for 24 hours and of course no "events" happened while having it on! I went to a sleep clinic due to severe insomnia that is leaving me feeling even more like I'm losing my mind. 

Basically, after tons of appointments and running around and having hope only to go back to being numb/anxious I have an elevated heart rate due to pregnancy (which is normal) and sometimes experiencing tachycardia (which is also normal). So right now it seems my main thing I'm dealing with is DEPRESSION and ANXIETY. Which is killing me. I'm not enjoying my pregnancy. I'm not looking forward to any of this. I'm forever worried I will NEVER feel better and be a horrible parent to Sawyer and her sister. The days seem long, hard, and heavy in ways I can't describe. My joy is gone and I miss it terribly. I don't know which is the culprit, the insomnia or the depression or if they are going hand in hand like twin devils. If I sleep decently one night I'm still terrified of the next night. And the day that follows it. And the day that follows after that. OH I hate writing this but I feel like my mental lymphatic system is backed up in the nastiest of ways and I know I need to get this down and out and at least semi processed. I miss having regular pregnancy hormones from last time around. Feeling mad, feeling sad, feeling happy, feeling annoyed, feeling hungry, feeling sleepy. Like, ok I can handle those feeling fluctuating, telling yourself ride out the hormones, don't take your feelings TOO seriously ect. 
This is a whole different beast. 

My soul is raw inside. Raw and incapable of having the emotions I think it should. Like I wish I could get mad. Or cry. But I just keep going in this like "enduring" way with everything and it keeps beating me down. I know I'm doing everything I can to get better and there are moments of feeling more or less like myself. But they are only moments. I keep having this image of me crawling through a burning tunnel, with Ted and Sawyer at the end. I know I need to keep going through whatever this is to get back to them. I love them both and the new baby so much. I know one day (and hopefully soon!) I will feel like myself again. Not that it was perfect but I was content and joyful. I could get mad, sad, ragey, and get over it. Process it. Talk about it, move on. I was so excited for baby number two, so taken aback by how God brought her into existence! Marveling that we didn't need any fertility treatments and basically when we decided it was time to try we were pregnant. Maybe I haven't quite processed it all and everything has caught up to me. Maybe being a stay at home mom to a spirited toddler is harder than I'd like to admit and maybe I've stopped feeling so I won't feel the negative feelings because they make me feel scared and guilty. Maybe I was struggling before this and everything has come to a head. I don't know. My doctor told me everyone has a threshold and sometimes you hit it without realizing it was coming. He also said your mental state is totally different for a second pregnancy and it's ok. I know being at home all day with a little one has maybe broken my brain a little bit. I know I need to get out more and make more friends, but mostly I have been content at home. I don't want to blame this on anything but it doesn't mean I don't need to improve or pivot in some areas in life. Oi. I just wanted to "coast" to the end of this pregnancy and pour into Sawyer and cherish these final days as a family of three. I knew the winter coming would be hard but I was like "hey I'm a preschool teacher we'll find things to do". Now I feel overdosed on all PBS kids shows to the point I get a headache hearing them on the tv and their theme songs haunt me at night (I know this sounds funny but I'M SERIOUS). Some days I want to burn all of Sawyers books because I can't stand to read them one more time but the feelings feel far away, muted, and like I can't quite connect to them. Sometimes I feel comforted by our routine and lately I feel trapped and scared and smothered by it and wondering how did I get myself into this mess. 

I miss having an appetite, I miss feeling drowsy and sleepy, I miss not worrying about sleep, I miss not worrying about the future in strange and obscure ways. I miss being comforted by my house and Daniel Tiger and the sound of the dishwasher humming and knowing I'm there with my girl and we'll be ok. I miss feeling comfortable in my own skin and being excited about things. I miss that I missed Christmas pretty much by being in a heightened scared fugue state, putting one foot in front of the other. I miss looking forward to relaxation time with Ted after Sawyer goes to bed. I miss being the first one to fall asleep and feeling so safe and loved. I miss taking pride in what I do with Sawyer each day and when I accomplish a task like cleaning or cooking. I miss being comforted by prayer and reading my Bible. I miss enjoying looking at pictures of her and marveling at how far we've come and how much I love her. I miss enjoying my thoughts and finding refuge in my mind palace. I miss being excited about music and movies and books and friendships. I miss being excited about a new baby. I miss wanting to plan her room. I miss finding joy in preparing for her arrival. I miss having a feeling or thought and it not haunting me in strange ways. I miss being able to see another pregnant person and feel excited for her instead of anxiety and dread, or jealousy that she's handing it all so well with several other kids in tow. I miss scrolling through Instagram and enjoying memes or seeing what other moms with toddlers and babies are up to that day.  Now it makes me feel crazy and jumpy and worried I'll never have the ease of thought or in my days that these women do. (I know rationally everyone has struggles) this is just where my mind goes. I miss feeling ok to be lazy and lethargic. I miss feeling driven to do something because I'll enjoy the process and the completed project. I miss the feeling of thriving. I even miss getting annoyed or frustrated with Ted and Sawyer. Because those were real emotions and I would get over them. They seemed to fit whatever would be happening. Now I feel like a passive, nervous, willing to do whatever dullard so they will maintain homeostasis and I won't have to deal with it or feel guilty for upsetting things. Or because "it's the least I can do".  Or because I'm on autopilot and cannot deal with my real although way submerged feelings. Like my brain is broken and I've shut it all down, the only things allowed in are fear, anxiety, and hopelessness. 

Oh my. I wish writing this all down helped more but I think it helped a little and that is progress and that is something. I guess I'm resentful at having to go through this. I know that's silly, because it just IS and it IS happening and I'm going to need to fight and face it I can't just wish it away. But I wish I could! I'm tired of fighting my thoughts, of being too in my head, and not being present. I hate being hyperaware, I hate feeling like I have to be super vigilant or "it will get me". I hate having to talk myself into doing anything but also not feeling relaxed doing nothing. I hate that my home feels scary and not comforting. I'm tired of feeling tired, tired of feeling guilty, and tired of questioning if I was meant to be a parent. I'm tired of questioning whether or not I can actually do this. Oh I'm so tired. I'm tired of the realization that I have 12 more weeks of pregnancy to go and wanting it to be over and fearing that won't bring any relief just pile on another baby and this THING will never lift and I'll always be weighed down by it and be ROBBED of being present for the experience of meeting my child. 

Uggghhhh. Ok, I know these thoughts are like dark and scary. This is why I need to write them down. I am under care of a physician and am crying out to the Lord for help. Some days are much better than others. Some nights are much worse than others. I guess I truly need to learn one day at a time mentality. I will keep doing what I can to help things. I'll pray for direction, for strength, for comfort, and for protection over my thoughts and heart. I'll try not to be afraid to look myself in the eye in the mirror. To tell myself I'm enough even though this is happening. That I didn't cause it to happen by not being perfect. That it doesn't mean I'm not thankful for my life and husband and kids. That it doesn't mean I don't love them enough. That it doesn't mean I'm broken forever. That this is hard but temporary and there is joy up ahead. 

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged". Deuteronomy 31:8

Friday, July 28, 2017

Year One in Retrospect

My little girl is one! (A few days shy of 13 months to be exact).  Sawyer and I have BOTH learned so much this year, it's amazing. I don't even know where to begin or what to say. I've done terribly keeping up here with memories and thoughts from the year, but I also didn't want to pressure myself into "forcing" that and allow myself to live in the moment (I know, cliche alert!) and just BE. All the struggle to get here required so much brain power, thought, growing, just mental energy. Just being is a gift and it was so good to "just be" for such a long while.

Now it's time to begin again, to start growing again, thinking again, learning again. I know I've done a lot of that this year but to get down with words always helps solidify the experiences in my mind. We've got the first year under our belts it's time to look ahead to the future and enjoy TODDLERHOOD! But first, I'll try to find my words about the journey that was the first year of getting to be with our little Sawyer Bear.

I can say now that I am 100 times more confident at being Sawyer's mom. The beginning was so hard and scary even though I didn't truly realize or admit that to myself at the time. It's such a strange thing to go from being an expectant parent to an actual parent. It's hard, but amazing. Everyone says that. Everyone rolls their eyes at it because EVERYONE says it. And you feel like they're talking down to you, and maybe some of them are. Some are just being honest but they all say it's GOOD even though it's hard and that is the truth! One important thing I've learned over the last year is being a mom requires an equal amount of rigidity and flexibility, a delicate dance and balance. 

In the beginning it's so crazy because even though newborns can't move or talk they sure are DEMANDING. The hardest part was making sure she was eating every couple hours, because baby just wanted to SLEEP DURING THE DAY and had such a hard time waking up to eat. I felt like I couldn't go anywhere with this tight schedule much less shower, cook, clean, eat, go to the bathroom. You picture this peaceful life with a cuddly newborn (she was cuddly! she loved napping on me!) but it's highly demanding even though from the outside you think "awwwwwwww". But it's really good. The natural order does break parents in slowly and somewhat gently. Like a frog slowly getting boiled, LOL. They're demanding but you can watching tv, talk, and not worry about certain things. Your life is run on a tight 90 minute cycle of eat play sleep and I remember not even feeling like days mattered, just those 90 minute cycles. That slowly got she's old enough she basically just has a schedule like a normal person but includes a nap and sometimes two. Which is crazy to think about!!! My main takeaway from the newborn season is that you can survive--it's only for a season. Tell yourself it gets better and enjoy the parts that make that stage so amazing. All the firsts, this is a new person to the world and you get the privilege of being their guide! Of acclimating them to the world. It's huge and it's awesome. It's mundane and it's hard. I remember feeling like I just couldn't even put her down for even a minute. And it was claustrophobic at the time, but now she's walking and it's hard to get much snuggle time (unless we're watching Daniel Tiger!) It happened really fast even though at the moment I couldn't possibly fathom it.

Then there were the days where I'd set up her play quit and lay out toys for her to explore. We would listen to music. Ted worked later hours and that was so hard for me. I know he worked the same amount of hours (had Wednesdays off) but the long days really got to me. But Sawyer and I enjoyed listening to music, (The Sound of Music Soundtrack!) playing, and being together. We would try to go on walks and do little things here or there like run to Target or the park.

I think the hardest milestone for her to achieve was rolling over. She would do so well rolling from back to belly, but she had a HECK of a time rolling back to her back! It seemed like once she mastered that (after lots and lots of frustration) she was suddenly crawling, then standing, then walking all within a really quick timeframe! OH man I couldn't believe one day after work Ted and I were playing with her in the living room and she just stood up and took a step towards him. She was only 10 months old. We were both so proud and felt so thankful to both be there to see it unfold!

Sawyer has been great with bottles from day one. Breastfeeding was hard, and looking back I'm really not sure I'd ever consider trying that again. Sorry mom world! She drinks down her bottles fast and furious and is like clockwork expecting them. She even sees her bottle and she immediately can't go on with life until she has it, lol! Currently I'm knowing I need to transition her to a sippy cup but I'm not in as big of a hurry as everyone else is about it. Oh well! We'll get there.

When she started crawling and walking there were a few rough weeks before we got any baby gates. We are not handy and installing things is...well...challenging lol. Currently we need lots more baby proofing but after a frustrating morning with me and the power drill and getting nothing accomplished I decided we're hiring a handy man. Which of course, I need to get on.

The things I'm most proud of and little big memories;

Sawyer being a happy and fun little girl who likes to explore and play.

Sawyer learning how to sleep in her own bed! Sleep training was hard. She slept in our room in the pack and play for 6 months and has learned to love her own little room and bed.

Keeping her fed, three meals a day (plus snacks LOL). Somehow. Somewhat healthy!

Just keeping up the general maintenance of it all, house, cleaning, cooking, bathing, eating. It's work even though it can be humdrum but keeping up (a lose term of course, lol) is quite a FEAT OF ENDURANCE! And to pray each day asking the Lord to help you do it all with joy. I gotta remember to keep that up. I really want to teach Sawyer to go about the tasks at hand with joy--even when it's hard and mundane. (Because, oh my gosh sometimes I just want to not worry about the house and what's to eat. Said every woman everywhere through out all of time and space!!!!!).

That Sawyer likes to feed herself and is learning how to use her spoon!

Showing her off at story time and church---so proud she spent the last Sunday in the nursery both sundayschool AND church!

Learning to stick to my guns with her schedule. But also to be flexible about it. When it suits me or is something good for her. If not, nope sorry it's naptime. Oh wait, go out for mexican food? Well forget naptime/bedtime! Story time? We can skip nap for that too sometimes.  

That she loves giving smoochies! And will often smooch things she likes, toys and pictures in books included. Especially books with little children or Daniel Tiger. (Yes, Daniel is her favorite).

How she points to our family picture and grins her toothy grin!

The time I got her up from nap and she pointed to me and said "mama!" for the first time

The time I was mad at her for not going down for nap and she pulled herself up to stand for the first time with a big proud of herself grin!

The time I saw her push herself into sitting up from laying down with one arm, such a swift motion like she'd been doing it all along.

I'm so proud that she is really just her own little person and always has been and we get to be here to help guide her and witness it.

I'm proud of her that she doesn't let obstacles STOP her from doing things. She's never afraid to let us know what she wants. She doesn't "pussy foot" around and hem and haw. If she wants cuddles, food, playtime, a toy, someone to read to her...she just goes for it. I need to be more like that. Communicate clearly and don't be embarrassed about asking for what you need. I'm learning so much from her. I'm thankful she feels so comfortable and secure with us she isn't afraid to let us know what she needs.

(I guess my next post needs to be "things I've learned from Sawyer". Ok I think that is a good post to do!)

I love when she was brand new and her favorite thing was to stare at the birds on the wall behind our bed.

I love when she was just a little older than newborn and after her morning bottle she would want to stare and pat my face, with her head cocked to the side just taking me in not ever being deterred from face patting even when i'd try to get her to stop lol.

I love the way she butt shimmies to music she likes, especially the Daniel Tiger theme song.

I love her husky little mischievous laugh.

I love how she walks, toddle/waddle, hands sometimes out like Frankenstein, sometimes out for balance.

I love how she chases Scout around shrieking with delight, and how he won't fully runaway but looks at us sad that he's being chased. (This is also a source of great frustration, haha).

I love how sometimes we hear you giggling in your carseat while we drive, playing with some toys and just having your own inside joke

and I love the way you wave bye bye to me when I put you down or nap and how you sweetly clap when I come back to get you!

As I've seen others say about their children, I'm writing you on my heart, Sawyer. I love you so much!

I can't believe I've been a parent for one whole year. We have survived and hopefully thrived as well. I'm so glad we have this year under our belts are looking forward to more stories and lessons together, as a family! Which is something I've yearned to have for so long!

the interwebs, adult friendships, retrospection, and looking ahead

I'm big into looking back, examining my life, using what's happened to try to learn and grow. But it just hit me specifically to what's been "ennui-ing me" over the internet the last year or so. (When I say internet I mean instagram and blogs I used to read where people move on, as is normal in life). Everything is for a season. I think my attention span is longer than the average bear about certain things so when other people get the unspoken rule it's time to move on to snapchat and instagram live or whatever they're even doing these days (SIGHHHHHH) I'm still in the mode of enjoying hearing people's stories with words and pictures and the big little day to day things that make up our lives.  The internet at large is ALWAYS pushing for next next next. In January everyone is freaking out about spring. After the 4th of July everyone is freaking out about fall. I feel like I have these same complaints over the internet but as a mom of a young little person sometimes you depend on it (TOO much I'm realizing writing this all out) for communication with the outside world.

I am seeing now I need to step back from the DEPENDENCY in feeling those connections and work harder at connecting in more real ways. This is scary for me. Friendships are hard, especially adult friendships. I am so anxious about friendships sometimes.  It's easier to feel "bonded" to strangers on the internet because there is no commitment and you can hide when and if you choose to. I have a few close friends but I know in my day to day life I need to do more in regards to getting Sawyer and I "out there" with activities and relationships. I don't want her to be a hermit unless she wants to be one, lol.

I have days where I don't feel the need to grab my phone. Other days it's like distracting me from my day and I'm wasting so much time. I know it's not ALL wasted because there are people I genuinely enjoy catching up with through social media but I need to practice a little more discipline. I'm trying to figure out joining a mom's group (I know, what is my life even a mom's group sounds so annoying!) but it's through Facebook which I quit long ago and I made up a new and secret one just for this mom's thing and now i can't remember the password even or figure out how to log in. I feel so OLD and IRRELEVANT reading this!!! What is happening to me, lol.

I guess my slow processing speed is getting in my own way, too. I'm still like "oh wow, I'm a mom! I can't believe it! This is all so new!" And everyone else has like their next two years planned and is all "Your a mom we get it you've been a mom for a whole year thats like 50 years in internet time". I think it's good to have a balance of retrospection and making plans, and living in the moment. (um, ok that's quite the balancing act!) I think I've got a lot of nervous energy pent up with being at home a lot and not making writing and creative outlets a priority. So yeah, time to do that. This a quick post to get that whole internet thing off my chest and move on to an actual post. Hah!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Surreal Life

The word of the year for 2016 has officially been pronounced by Merriam Webster and that word is "surreal".

Surreal; very strange or unusual. Having the quality of a dream. Marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream, unbelievable. Fantastic.

Well, I don't think I could have chosen a more accurate word to describe this last trip around the sun. So many people have kicked 2016 to the curb and relish posting sassy memes about how terrible it was. I know so many "surreal" things have happened this year in world news--and it's not that I want to gloss over that. But for me--this year personally has been the best ever!

This year after many many years of ambiguity, struggle, spiritual warfare, inner turmoil, waiting, and loss of hope (and other words and phrases I could continue on with) we were able to become victorious in our battle to become parents! I wish me from five or seven years....(even eight or nine) could read that last line. I know it was not 40 years in the wilderness but to me it was.

This past year I had the privilege to carry and give birth to person. A person made in Gods own image. She was made by the Creator of all things and I get to be a main cast in the story of her life. And the beginning of that is and was awesome and SURREAL!  It's not that it has been easy or perfect (because what is) but it has been amazing and wonderful and the best experience of my life to date!!! Sometimes I just stare at Sawyer and repeat to myself "you're a mom! You're a mom!" And pray it sinks in one day 😉.  And I have God and 2016 to thank. So many amazing memories packed into 12 months. And now I'm looking forward to what's to come. It's so nice (a luxury really) to not feel weighed down and to be excited for the future!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What's in a Name?

I hear of so many couples who really struggle with choosing a name for their baby. I am so glad this was NOT something we struggled with! We decided when we got pregnant (still, so surreal to even say that!) to keep our names to ourselves--thankfully we had a boy name and girl name we BOTH agreed on...and had agreed on for YEARS! The name was LOCKED AND LOADED!  I'm so glad we were both on the same page. And we really didn't want anyone "ruining" it for us by announcing it ahead of time.  You know, you share a name you like and the persons face immediately sours? Or they say their cousins neighbors son who is prison for nefarious deeds was named your name in question? Yeah. I was not up for that.

When Sawyer was born and the name finally revealed (lol, so dramatic) the main question we got was "from where did you get that name?" and "How did you come up with that?" I didn't think she had a "weird" name but definitely not a super common one, especially for girls. (At least, it's not common for girls in our circles but there are TONS of little baby girls named Sawyer Jean and Sawyer Jane if you check your Instagram hashtags like I do, hah! It's definitely a thing!)

It's not a crazy story how we got her name, we just heard it so many years ago on a baby girl and I my radar went off and I immediately filed it away--like it was 2008 or 2009 that's how long the name has been top on my list. (And no, she's not named after Sawyer from LOST, just incase you're wondering!!!) It struck such a chord with me. It was sweet. A little tomboyish. It referenced literature and journalism. I just thought it was perfect! I didn't want something SUPER well known but not something super "out there". There wasn't a name I liked better and for so long, I just hoped by the time we ever had a baby the name wouldn't be too popular and "ruined" that way either!

The only thing that I thought was slightly disappointing about her name was the meaning of the name. It's a literal name, it's an occupation name. I love when names have meaning, weight. Because your kid, I mean, that's your whole world and you're trying to build a legacy in raising them. Giving them a name is not something you do on a lark. So I've been giving her name a lot of thought and I'll share with you the meaning I'm giving it, and it ties into it's actual meaning too.

The name Sawyer means;


Cutter of wood

Cuts timber

Of course, if you know me you know I LOVE the woods, trees, forests, and nature. So I don't love the idea of cutting down all the trees, you know? But of course I'm going to look at this symbolically--
and I have some verses picked out to back it up. And for Sawyer to keep for her whole life, her life verses so to speak. Ones I hope are special to her and speak to her of the story that lead to her life and how amazing she is. How special her story is!

Given all the struggles and the long and winding path, the large mountains it took for her to make her way to us, her name now means;

Sawyer- one who overcomes or removes obstacles,  clears a path where the path is unknown, one who changes the landscape of the world she lives in. 

Her verses go with her name meaning;

Psalm 16:11 

"Thou wilt she me the path of life;
in thy presence is fulness of joy;
at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore".

Psalm 138:3

"In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, 
and strengthened me with strength in my soul". 

James 1:12 (NIV)

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because,
having stood the test, that
person will receive the crown of life that Lord has promised to those who love him".

Now, I love the meaning behind her name! Overcomes obstacles. Clears a path. Changes the world.

That's our Sawyer!!!

I can't wait to see her grow into her name.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Ways to Battle Ennui, and a Vocab Lesson. I Miss Vocab.

ENNUI. My favorite vocabulary word ever. Because it perfectly encapsulates something I struggle with from time to time, and I'm sure others out there do to otherwise IT WOULDN'T BE A WORD! #logic.


Noun-a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement. 

Synonyms-boredom, tedium, lethargy, listlessness, languor, weariness, enervation, malaise, melancholy, world weariness, Weltschmerz. 

So many of these synonyms hit home, nothing thrills me more than putting words to feelings!!!!
"World weariness". World Weary-feeling or showing fatigue from boredom with the life of the world and especially material pleasures. I think the world weary hits me hard when I spend too much time on social media. Like, everyone is doing and saying the same things so what does any of it even mean? Connecting with people online can be both wonderful AND detrimental. As "they" say, it's all about the balance!

It's all part of human nature, to feel the ennui. Because we're not perfect.  That being said I'm very very happy with my life and THANKFUL for where I am today. (SO THANKFUL!) But the ennui can get us at any time or place. I think for me it sets in around the holidays as there is so much pressure to have and experience this magical holiday time, sometimes getting overloaded on fun and excitement that nothing can really live up that build up. Then settles in the ennui. "The holidays are over! There's nothing to look forward to besides a long, cold, DARK winter" or "Why don't I feel as Christmassy as I think I should? I just feel regular! Shouldn't I be feeling tinsel-y inside?!?" And so on, haha. You get the idea.

So today, in anticipation of the good ol' ennui settling in at some point this winter (it's not always the winter for me though, it comes and goes throughout the year) I made a list of things to do to battle it. To be proactive! Because sometimes my baby sleeps and I need to do things during that time to be a person! I wouldn't say ennui is full on depression. No, not at all. I guess it could spiral into that for sure, but mostly it's more like I'm a character in an indie movie. One that does not do well in any of the festivals, LOL. It's like, with some work you can pull out of it. Or just fake it till you make it and it goes away. I think the ennui strikes those of us who spend too much time in our own heads. You extroverts will have to correct me if I'm wrong on that one, though!

Ok, so here's the list I worked on today with concrete ideas to battle any ennui feelings coming my way. I guess they could also double as just straight up goals too.

1. Having daily quiet time, prayer, and Bible Study (pretty self explanatory)

2. Work out!

3. Prayer time spent specifically on Sawyer, and her future.

4. Reach out to friends, make plans to get together.

5. Create a "to read" list. Work through it. Write about each book.

6. Work on or plan out a home improvement project.

7. Meal Plan and/or try cooking a new recipe.

8. WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE. Ok, this one should be like number four.

9. Journal about Sawyer's life, scrapbook ect.

10. Join a mom's group and stay connected even when you don't feel like it. You know, due to "world-weariness".

11. Clean something.

12. Donate something.

13. Create something.

14. Make a plan/schedule for the day or week.

15. Encourage someone dealing with a tough issue, (vaginismus, infertility, ect).

16. Join the writers group thing at the library.

17. Make plans to connect with family outside of normal holidays.

18. Do something with or for my niece and nephews.

19. Listen to a Young House Love podcast! Find other podcasts!

20.  Stare at my baby and continually count my blessings outlaid and write them down

I hope this is helpful to anyone of you who may also have a little bit of the ennui sometimes. It's ok! We're built to thirst after more than this world. I want to learn to the lean on the Lord during these times and not just "muddle through". I'm tired of "surviving". I'm really enjoying this time in my life of "thriving" and I don't want to lose it!I didn't realize how sweet the taste of thrive really was and now I never want to lose it. I'm addicted! Hehe.  I realize, reading my list it all sounds kind of magazine-y pat ways to "beat the blues". Oh well. I think they will help me. At least I have a list of things to do and work.

That's all for today. Gonna go hang out with the baby, because she's the best! Take that ennui!