Thursday, January 3, 2013


Sometime way back in the past, I struggled (a lot) with post partum depression and since then I’ve tried to be pretty open about it… There seems to be some sort of stigma associated with it, which is so crazy because TONS of women get it, and maybe if we all talked about it that stigma would go away and all of us would stop feeling like we are the ONLY one dealing with it.
Fast forward a few years to mid 2011: I’m doing great. I have 2 beautiful little girls, a wonderful job, awesome husband and that ache in my shoulder that just won’t go away. A routine surgical repair in November of that year was the beginning of my nightmare. I was pretty open with the first repair, a little quieter about the second and didn’t mention the last one until after the fact here in this space. Almost 3 months out of that third and we are already talking about a 4th surgery.
For the last 9 months or so I haven’t been living as much as I have been surviving, barely. A few weeks ago my friend Marni emailed to let me know that they were going to be moving back to Portland… I cried all day long. Certainly I will miss her, she is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, but my reaction was extreme and I knew it. I started to think that it was possible I was depressed again, but I didn’t want to tell anyone… there is that stigma again. Seriously?!
About a week after that, I was feeling particularly brave and decided it was time to talk to Sean:   “I have something I need to say. Over the last few months, things have been hard and I know that you know that. I never have even considered hurting myself, I love you and the girls too much for that… but I sure have wished that something tragic would happen, something that would just make all the hurting stop.” And then suddenly, he got it. He finally understood how bad things really are.
I think I’ve denied my struggles with this for a long time because there are times that I’m happy and I still laugh pretty much every day. Somehow I thought that to be “depressed” was an all-encompassing condition (and certainly it is for some people). The other day I Googled “Depression with Chronic Pain” and I found this article, as I read through it I just kept thinking “Yes! This describes me perfectly.”
I am going to see a pain specialist next week, I am hopeful that he will have some ideas to get me through this, to let me get back to the life I had before all of this... that life was certainly one worth fighting for.
I have so much to say about living with chronic pain: the depression it has caused, what it has taught me about myself, the strain it places on relationships, dealing with profound disappointment (in others and within myself), trying to parent through it, learning to ask for help, and hopefully overcoming it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Random Thursday

First off… thank you for all the emails and messages on my last post. Wow! I’m not sure what else to say. Certainly my insecurities didn’t vanish just because I wrote that, but to know that so many others have them too just makes me feel like less of an “outsider.”
Ok, moving on… Remember ‘Random Thursdays’? Let’s bring that back, at least for this week, shall we?
I had a whole post written yesterday about a guy that I’ve been working with (a contractor, not a co-worker), I went on and on about what a sexist, insecure, pig-headed idiot he was… I read it again and decided it wasn’t nice, so I deleted it. Oh, oops…
We’ve started nightly dance parties in our house; it is the absolutely best way to end my day. We crank up the music and everyone dances around for 10-15 minutes. The kids get a little energy out and everyone is smiling and laughing by the end of it. You should see Olive dance, hilarious!
I never mentioned it here, but I had shoulder surgery again last month… It seemed to have gone really well and I feel so much better than any point in the last year (tomorrow is actually 1 year since the first surgery. Crazy.)
Halloween! This year Natalee was a mermaid and Olive was a fish. I made Natalee’s costume and bought Olive’s (Grandma Olive glued the pink bow on Olive’s and she made the “seashell” top for Natalee’s as I ran out of time before my surgery). Sean’s friends came over and brought their little boy, I’m pretty sure Natalee has a crush on him, she asks about him EVERY.SINGLE.DAY!

I got a new jacket for work. It’s one of those “high visibility” ones. Our bathrooms at work have those automatic sensor-type sinks and hand dryers, when I walk in there with the jacket on every sink and hand dryer turns on at the same time. It’s awesome.

A couple weeks ago we spent the afternoon at Urgent Care because Sean was “pretty sure” that Olive had swallowed a AA battery, she didn’t (thankfully), but I just have to wonder what the people that work there must think of us? “Say what? You think maybe your kid swallowed a (fairly large) battery??”
Here is O in her 'skinny' jeans, not too much is skinny about this kid. I just love her so much!

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

True Reflection

I'm about to completely bare my soul to you, show you the part of me that I have incredibly painful inner struggles with. I'm not getting into it for you to make me feel better, I don't want comments filled with empty compliments... I need to know how I keep my beautiful girls from getting to the place I am.

This post is about looking in the mirror.

I have always been insecure, in high school it was just par for the course,. Is anyone not insecure in high school? Looking back, I feel like I was maybe slightly less insecure in college, but I've been on a steep downhill slide since having kids.  After Natalee was born, I never lost the extra weight I had put on and I hated myself more and more. I had Olive and finally told Sean that I couldn't live that way anymore. Thankfully he agreed that we would work together to change our lives and be healthier. I lost a lot of weight, and I've kept it off. I thought that when I met my goal weight I would start to feel better, I might believe in myself a little. It didn't happen.

About a year ago I heard about My Body Gallery,  I go there now and then, enter in my height & weight... those women look great. So, why can't I see myself the same way? I look in the mirror and all I see are stretch marks on my tummy, breasts that used to be near perfect and now are nowhere close to that. I'm not at all empowered by having given birth. I don't see these imperfections as having "earned my stripes" I just see them as the reason I'll never be beautiful.

This isn't the person that I want to be at this stage of my life. I'm 31 years old, I should have outgrown these insecurities by now. I want to enjoy having photos taken, I want to be proud of the person I've become. I want to go swimming with my kids and have as much fun as they are, not worry about getting covered back up. I've tried to talk to Sean about these things, but he can't understand how deep this runs. I also don't want him saying things to me that he doesn't believe only because he feels like he should or that he has to.

So what I do I do now? How do I overcome this so that I don't ever inadvertently teach my children that they aren't good enough? Kids can be so cruel, I know that it's so important to show our girls how much they have to offer the world. I want them to feel as beautiful as I see them.I want them to learn that physical perfection isn't necessary to love yourself. I want them to take care of themselves, because it's healthy, not because they are comparing themselves to some unattainable image they see in the media. I want Olive to embrace her physical differences that make her unique, to never feel jilted because she is 'different.'  Basically, I want them to be all the things that I can't seem to become myself.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Where we've been

It is August 31st… the last day of my very least favorite month. If I had to put the months in order from most to least favorite, they would be: October November September January March December February April May June July August. If it was up to me, we would just skip right from about June 15 to September 1. What is your favorite month?  I know my feeling on summer totally put me in the minority.
I got some new eye makeup remover; it seems to work great except my vision is blurry. Not in an “I’ve-damaged-my-retinas” type of way, but more like “this stuff is oily” type of way. It worked really well for removing the makeup but I’m not sure that I’ll keep using it.
A few months ago my mother-in-law came to stay with us for a few days. While she was here she did our laundry. Shortly after that I discovered the most brilliant thing in the linen closet. When she folded the sheets, she put the entire set in one of the pillowcases. I then went and put all my sheets that way. It keeps them all together and super tidy. I think it’s one of the best ideas, so I’m sharing it with you! I love simple things that make life just a little bit easier.
Speaking of laundry, I am all about fabric softener these days. I used to always just get the Costco brand stuff, but I have been branching out a little and oh-my-word there are some yummy smelling ones out there. My favorite so far is the Downy Infusions Citrus Spice. Seriously you guys, I washed every blanket and towel in our house just to smell it. I wish it came in a bigger bottle though (No, I was not asked to give that review).

We’ve been doing a little camping. Last weekend we went crabbing on the Oregon Coast and got 84 crab, yum!

Earlier in the month I took the girls to southern Oregon to meet my mom and step dad. Sean was fishing so we loaded up the trailer and headed out on our own. Natalee caught her first fish and the kids swam all day long. It was an awesome weekend, but way too short.

Sean was so sad he missed her first fish, he said it was like missing her first steps.
The kids must have jumped in the water at least a hundred times.

My friend CJ got married on the 18th. She was the most beautiful bride I’ve ever seen. I LOVED her short dress; it fit her personality to a tee. The wedding was wonderful and her new husband is the real deal, a total keeper. I’m so happy for them.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back at It

I'm back!! I'm sure no one missed this non-sense, but I'm back anyway. I didn't get the "other" job, which is actually a huge blessing. I was super conflicted about just the thought of leaving my current job, I knew that if I got the new one there would be a big fight between Sean and I... He wanted me to go and I never ever wanted to leave. So, problem solved. I really do love my job (almost) every single day. I am also working on the coolest project ever. I might tell you about it later, but I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who thinks its cool, so maybe not.

I threw in a bunch of iPhone pictures and I'll tell you what they are all about:
First up... We are moving Olive into a "big girl" bed. Not because she is ready, but because I can't lift her out of the crib. I asked our pediatrician and he said that the crib is more for the parents than the child and that she will be just fine. I sewed all of her new bedding and I'll do a post on then room when it's all done. Sean said he would paint it tonight (I'm pretty sure that is only because the new bed is really crowding his beer fridge in the garage... whatever works!). These are my two color options, the one on the left is an exact match to the bedding color but we went with the lighter color. It will look really bright in there when its done.

This is my beautiful niece Miss M with the cross body bag that I made her. The strap needs to be shortened, but she could not have cared less. She was pretty excited about it which makes me feel good.

I'm not sure there are too many things better than watching your child sleep. That is mostly because they are actually quiet while doing it. (I kid, I kid).

This adorable creature is Waffles. We dog-sat for her while our friends went on a family camping trip. She is a great dog and we loved having her for a few days. Although, that hair is stuck to everything still, it's like a little part of Waffles is still around.

As a 'thank-you' for watching Waffles, my friend Beth made these AMAZING cookie bars. They are like a peanut butter crust with peanuts, chocolate chips and marshmallows on top. Heavenly. I ate a couple and then took them to work because I would have eaten every last one.  Speaking of eating good bad food... Somehow I've managed to keep off the weight that I began losing over a year ago! I'm holding pretty steady at about 143 pounds. I was as low as 139 at one point but people kept telling me that I didn't look healthy at all. This seems to be my "landing" weight. I watch what I eat and try to make good choices, but I still splurge a little here and there.

My cousin is having a baby next month-ish. I told her before she was ever pregnant that I'd love to make her nursery bedding for her... I'm pretty sure that was before my shoulder totally revolted against me. But, she is having  a little girl and so I rallied to get the bedding sewn. I think it turned out A-DOR-ABLE! I love the yellow/gray/black theme. We can easily change just a couple things and make it into a boy room if needed for the next baby. I also made curtains but we couldn't get a picture because it was so bright outside.

Sean, Natalee, Olive and I went out to dinner last weekend. There was a guy there making balloon animals. He said "challenge me" and Natalee decided that she wanted 'Ariel' from The Little Mermaid. And this guy MADE ONE! Out of balloons! I was totally impressed, Sean even threw down a big tip for that effort!

Sweet Olive... She really does just light up my life. I hope she stays this sweet for a long time. I wish I could freeze her in time. On Sunday she decided that 5:40 was a great time to get up, so I got up and let Sean sleep for once. I got us dressed and put her in the stroller and we walked to Starbucks, she had a milk and I got a coffee. We walked around Fred Meyer and then headed over to Target. By then it was just barely 8AM and the store was totally empty. It was so nice in there. I found a couple great outfits for the girls as the first to get at the newly marked down clearance aisle. Win!!
Olive loves baby dolls, purses and princess crowns. How in the world did I end up with a kid like that? I kinda love it!
Hope to hear from you all... I miss you!

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I know... it's been approximately forever since I've posted. The reason being: I hate people that are all negative, all the time and I didn't have much in the way of positive to post, so I thought I'd wait until I did...


So, just a quick run down. I had my surgery, I was better for about a week and things went down hill fast and furious. The latest update from my doctor is "I just don't know if there is anything we can do to help you anymore." There isn't too much else worth throwing in there so I'll leave it at that.

Bigger news: I applied for a new job. I'm about 80% sure I wouldn't be able to leave the job I have now that I love so so so much... but it would be a really great opportunity for my family. So, at the end of the week I'm going to turn the blog private for probably a month or so. Not to worry though, I probably won't have written any posts during that time anyway.

The fun stuff: Baby Olive is walking!  She is really getting around. I think it's pretty clear that she is definitely lacking some depth perception as she has a hard time whenever the floor color changes (she can't distinguish between a rug and a step), so she takes quite a few tumbles but kids are resiliant and she is just so incredibly proud of herself that you can't help but smile when you see her.

The last 8-9 months have been, hands-down, the hardest I've ever had to survive. Yesterday I called Sean in tears asking him if he was going to leave me if my shoulder kept getting worse. Of course, he told me I was absolutly crazy and this is that "in sickness..." part of our vows. I don't know how in the world I will ever make this up to him, but I'll spend the rest of my life trying.

Have a WONDERFUL 4th of July (if that's your thing)... I'll be back very soon, I promise!
I love you all!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Here We Go Again

The following is a letter I sent out to some of my friends and family, but figured I'd go ahead and put it up here too for your reading pleasure, and because I'm too lazy to write a post about what's happening now...

I'm sure most of you have heard by now that the shoulder surgery I had in November was not successful. I have started seeing a new doctor and will be having surgery again to undo the work that has not healed properly and then to make all the new repairs as well.

We have been told that this recovery is likely to be harder than the last one. I am so fortunate to have a husband who is completely supportive and willing to do whatever needs to be done to get this taken care of as well as all my amazing family and friends.

My surgery will be on May 24th and I will be unable to care for the girls for probably 8-12 weeks. If anyone would like to spend a few hours with our adorable little girls during that time it would be really good for them and a nice break for Sean too. We totally understand that everyone is very busy and don't expect help, but if you're able to help, just give one of us a call!

We love you all and thank you for you continued prayers and well wishes during this tough time for us.

And because I love you all so much I'm ending with this beautiful face:

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