It’s The Most Wonderful Time……Wait, is it?

This is a time of year where depression soars and most of us, those who have never battled it or maybe are over through it ourselves, don’t even think about it. We are busy in our day to day activities getting ready for the holiday’s ourselves. Finalizing plans with family and friends. We are caught up in gathering what we need while out and about we don’t pay attention to those around us (and more than often we don’t pay attention to those around us any time of the year).

I woke up with the baby this morning, and had horrible acid reflux and some lower back pain (thanks kids lol). So I got up so that my restlessness didn’t keep her or my husband up. What do you do when you get up? Scroll through social media. I saw a post that said I wish someone would tell me I am not as worthless as I think I am. This was not shared by a person, but rather a page. But it caught my attention because I have felt that way may times myself. I started to share it and started to type a post to go with it and thought nope, I have too much to say for a simple post, let’s turn this into a blog post.

We have got to get our minds off of ourselves. I often share on my Facebook page that we should shine so brightly during our day those we come into contact with through our day can’t help but smile. I have ready many stories where someone was ready to end their life and then a simple hello and smile was what stopped them. Someone finally poured into their darkness with a ray of light.

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Picture credit to Mandy Freeman

If you suffer from depression, I understand, I have been there. I feel like sometimes it’s still a daily struggle, and other times I feel fine for months. Sometimes I don’t even realize I have slipped back down that depression slide. It can be a horrible circle that people don’t understand. We isolate ourselves because we are depressed, but then because we are isolated, we slip further down. Or, we do go out and about, but look for reasons to tell ourselves that we are not worthy, confirmations if you will.

Sometimes the best thing is to seek counseling and go on the medication. I do not advise anyone one way or the other. I went on medication, and hated the way it made me feel. I felt like counseling wasn’t doing anything to help me, it was a constant how are you feeling, how do you feel about that, how was this week, how does that make you feel.

I chose to go off of medication and to be self aware of how I was feeling. I decided I would choose happiness at the start of every day, and check my thoughts to make sure I was not getting lost in thought of anything to make me go back down. No, it was not easy. No it was not a quick process, and no I have not avoided ever having those feelings again.

I have avoided ever getting so low I wanted to take my life again though. Yes, I have felt that way lots of times in the past. I get so frustrated when people say suicide is selfish. Do you know why? For me, I cannot speak 100% for anyone else but I know this is the same for other, I thought it was best if I wasn’t in the lives of those around me. I thought I was a horrible person, causing pain to those I love by being alive. If I was gone, I would stop causing them pain, I would stop being a burden to them, and that they could live a happy life. I know now, that those thoughts were wrong. I know now that had I ever taken my life, I would’ve set my kids up to be more likely to commit suicide. It was learning that about my kids that snapped me out of EVER wanting to take my life again.

I had a pastor who talked about our thoughts and taking them captive. One of the most memorable things that worked during his message was a mind game. I doubt it would work reading it but he had us think of a horse running in an open field. Once we had that image in our mind he then went on to talk about a dog and then asked us if we still saw the horse. I no longer saw the horse. That is what we have to do with our thoughts. When we are spiraling down due to “feelings” and thoughts of worthlessness, we HAVE to focus on something else. We have to think about a time we were happy, or what we are looking forward with a coming event and stay focused there.

I had another pastor who said he set alarms on his phone to remind him to check his thoughts. I believe he said every hour to help him through the worst time. To this day he still has a few alarms set to remind him to check his thoughts.

Our thoughts are powerful. Our actions are powerful to those around who get lost in these thoughts, who are just looking for a ray of light in their darkness. Be that darkness.

I am not a counselor, I do not want to replace a counselor. Medication and counseling can be a great starting point to get out of the darkness. I share this so you know you are not alone, and that there are other ways to deal with depression if you find medication does not work for you or if you do not want to stay on it forever. Please do not stop taking your medication without your counselor’s knowledge, or the provider helping you.

Please keep these scriptures below on hand.

Psalm 3:3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.

Deuteronomy 31:8 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.

Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

As christians, we need to remember to stay God centered, focus on His word, and show love to those around. It is not about us, but others. If we change our mindset, choose to be happy, and focus on others, we find that we aren’t focused on the lies that run through our head of worthlessness. The more we retrain our thoughts, focus on good things, the easier it becomes and the less we struggle with it. I won’t say you will never struggle again, but it will be less, and you will be equipped to fight it when you feel yourself slipping.

Life is messy. We all have at least one thing that we can use from our own life to help someone else. Don’t be afraid to share with what you have battled. It doesn’t define you. It’s about how you choose to move forward. God can turn our messes into a great message. Let Him.

 

 

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The Mini Co-Worker

You all…I don’t know how I work under these conditions. I had shared on Instagram and my personal Facebook page about how this co-worked had me change multiple poopy diapers and then demanded liquid pain medicine to be given to her via a medicine syringe due to her teeth issues.

Well today, she demanded to get out of the office. Which was great because there was a play at the Spokane Children’s Theatre called ‘The Happy Elf’, which was super cute by the way.

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Then we get back to the office and the mat I ordered for the break are finally got here. She promptly crumbles a cereal bar on it while taking a longer than normal break time. Aside from having to clean up her mess, it worked great because I was able to do a mad dash through my emails without her interrupting me with nonsense.

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Then when she finally decides her break time is over, she demanded to sit on my lap or no work would be done.

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I just have never worked in an office before where someone invades my personal space so much. I would say something to management, but I think they’re related and I want to keep my job, lol.

All jokes aside, I couldn’t ask for more. The flexibility to take the girls on field trips, to keep my baby home with me instead of in a daycare or with someone else. I was a little worried how it would work out, but it’s been working out great!

Please don’t ask me for work at home leads, this position just happened to work into a work from home position since I have been with the company for 5 years now. But they are out there, medical billers (usually with 3rd party companies, customer service agents, etc. I can’t say all of them allow the same flexibility, but if you know what you want, go for it! I feel like I am more productive in my day because I am at peace knowing where my girls are and I get cute little cuddle breaks with my mini co-worker. ❤

Don’t Lose Yourself

It’s easy being a wife and mom to get lost. What do I mean? I mean, you wear so many “hats” just being a mom alone, you have the chef, bookkeeper (typically the mom), nurse, caretaker, maid, etc. and then you still have the wife hat. Where does the YOU hat come in?

I spent years, and still find myself doing this, getting caught up in events all surrounding the kids, family, and friends. Oh yes, add the friend hat(s), you know cause in there is also counselor and maybe even babysitter. Don’t get me wrong, this is all important. Dance class, sporting events, family outings, date nights, gathering with friends….and I have spent time feeling guilty for any “sorry I can’t make it” replies immediately followed by well I think I can make this work.

Here’s the thing, it’s ok to say no, and not feel guilty. We are only human. We need to have some time to ourself. Even if we have to plan it. I don’t mean time out of the house with your friends, I mean actual YOU time. What do you enjoy doing? Reading, writing, blogging even? Set aside time and do it. Schedule full? Stop filling it. When you get ready to do your next week, or next month schedule (sometimes I would have a full schedule for 4 – 5 months, yikes!), make sure you prioritize you.

My suggestion for prioritizing is God time (I start off reading the Bible in the mornings with my girls followed by prayer for the day), of course if you work you have to schedule around that, get in date nights with your spouse, schedule you time, dance classes or sport events (you can cut down to one class or sport per kid and even alternate those if you need), are there any birthday parties (you do not have to go to every one you are invited to), and then friend time. Sorry friends, I don’t mean to say you are a last priority, but at this point in life with kids, you kind of are. That being said, I am always available via text and phone for my family and friends. Granted I might not be able to answer right away, but we find a way to connect.

As the kids get older and do their own things more and more and need you less and less, then you start scheduling in more time for your friends.

You are a priority, no matter what stage of your life you are in. So be sure that you get in some you time doing something you enjoy. You will find it helps refresh you and makes everything else seem a little easier to tackle.

Homeschool, say what?

I feel like I have the best of both worlds right now, but also find I am waiting for it to come crashing down somewhere. Why do we do that? We can’t just seem to be happy, we are looking for the problem when there might never be one.

Since we were moving, I asked if I can work remote. Thankfully, they agreed. Fingers crossed it works out and there won’t be any issues to cause them to rethink this. See, waiting for it to crash, ugh.

The older of my daughters, of the ones still at home, has been begging me to homeschool her the last few years. She has even asked if she can go into work with me. That just isn’t something that would’ve worked. However, with me staying home, and both of them asking now, I have decided to give it a go.

Oh goodness, who knew how many different curriculums there could be let alone how much they are! I have known about Easy Peasy for years and have even recommended friends there to save money. I don’t know why, when it came to me finding a curriculum I felt like I needed something else, something purchased and not just this site that lays it out for you FOR FREE.

I did end up purchasing some books where it has all the printables together for like Math, Language Arts, Readers, etc. This has been a life saver! Seriously! It’s all laid out for you by day, by level, from K – 12th grade.

The first few days have been bumpy, getting into a new grove, trying to catch up with work, and a teething baby. Tonight I did work extra, at night after the hubby was home so he could be on baby duty. This allowed me to catch up. Now I am looking forward to tomorrow since I won’t be trying to rush to catch up on entry and stay current on emails etc. I am also planning on taking our lunch out to a park, to meet up with other homeschool families.

My next goal is to get enough other activities in between the library, other families, dance classes being added in etc, that they don’t feel like they are just cooped up in the house all the time.

We did take advantage of a black Friday sale and bought two laptops. There are a few things, to keep it free, that you do online through other sites/programs so it’s just easier if they have a laptop to do their work when they are ready for that step and not have to work around each other with one laptop. Thankfully we just sold out house and could take advantage of the sale lol.

While we only ended day 2, I am looking forward to seeing where this journey takes us. I am thankful that I am able to work from home, still brining in the $$ we need, and keep the girls with me.

I do highly recommend if you are looking for homeschool curriculum that you check out Easy Peasy. (this is not any sort of paid advertisement). Of course, check your state laws, they really do vary state to state. If you do decide to use EP, make sure to get connected to their FB groups. They have a main one, one for High School, and then state groups. The support is amazing!

When life is messy, anything to help keep it simple is definitely worth it!

Moving Craziness

We knew for a little over a month that we would be moving. Yet time went by so fast! I had looked up how to occupy a one year old in long car trips and had planned on what to do based on several things I read. In my mind, packing wouldn’t take that long, it was just getting the boxes, and I could go on. Needless to say, nothing went as planned in my head, lol.

I had wanted to get boxes and get started on things much earlier than we actually did. My husband told me to calm down we have time. I was able to get a bunch of boxes for free from a blood plasma donation place that listed free boxes on Facebook. I think some things took a lot longer than my husband thought, like cleaning up the side of the house, which we only ended up loading things out there afterwards anyways lol. If it were for a friend, and her son and friend, coming, we wouldn’t have made it out when we did.

I grabbed a few new things that I could use for activities for the baby, she turned one just days before we left our old house. My plan was to wrap them so that unwrapping them would an activity in itself, and then playing with the new toy would make her happy for longer. Well, time flew by and then we were rushing to pack I never wrapped a thing. I had even bought bags to keep the new items separate but kept together after she was done playing. Well…she tossed everything when she was done in different areas, so…nothing stayed together lol.

The first day was coupled with finishing loading up the U-Haul, which made a long morning for her before we even hit the road. She was ready for a nap, but there was no where to lay her down for one and we were fully ready to hit the road for her to fall asleep in the car. My older daughter took her out and sat in the van to get out of the chaos, and held her until she fell asleep. It was definitely one of the sweetest moments I have captured in a picture.

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At the end of day 1, she had a melt down and cried for 30 minutes. The way we were driving if we had stopped we would be on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, and by this time temps were below 20! Yikes. I ended up speeding up and driving ahead of my husband and father-in-law so I could just get to the hotel. Of course she had finally fallen asleep, so I started to just cruise, and then she started crying in her sleep (I think it was in her sleep anyways) every few minutes and that went on for about 30 minutes.

Day 2, we decided instead of grabbing food and going (which we did day 1 to save time) we would eat inside and let her roam around. Normally I wouldn’t do that with how dirty the floors are and she is still just crawling. But she needed to be able to burn some energy. This worked great!! She ended up taking a nap during our first stint of the day for about 3 hours. I figured that wouldn’t happen again, but sure enough we let her roam around for a late lunch, and she passed out again in the car until we stopped for dinner. We just made sure to clean up her hands and not let her put them in mouth until they were clean.

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Day 3 went smoothly. We were only about 2 1/2 hours out and arrived at the house and let her out to roam while the guys started unloading and bringing in the things we would need right away, while loading up the garage with things that could either wait or we needed to go through.

We are only temporarily here as this lease is up at the end of April and by that time we are hoping to buy a house. This is definitely smaller than we thought it would be based on the square footage told, but we loose space with the stairs etc. It will work for now, but we will definitely out grow it soon as Arizona is sleeping in the room with us (in her crib).

I am not sure if I will do a post later about Opendoor, but that is what we used to sell our house. They are a house warehouse basically, in the business to flip homes on a larger scale. It was a better process than what my husband thought it would be. We did walk away with money in hand but I am sure if we sold it ourselves it would’ve been more money to us. However, we weren’t required to fix anything that needed fixed, or update anything prior to selling. Everything was as is. The offer itself didn’t change, but after their walk through, they had deductions for things like a new roof, other minor repairs and clean up (my husband had two junk cars on the property). The cars were hauled away before we left, but we ended up putting things we didn’t take with us on the side of the house since cleanup was already deducted. Might as well make the most of what we are paying for anyways right?

Life is definitely messy, and moving is no clean job. I am not going to lie, I am not looking forward to doing it again so soon, but at least it will be into our house we are buying and we should be good for several more years. My husband would still love to end up in Montana, but we shall see what happens….only time will tell.

Social Media Life

It’s easy in today’s social media world to think that you might be one of the only people who does not have it all together. Let me tell you, NO ONE HAS IT ALL TOGETHER.

I have been trying to post more real life shot photos, maybe the girls are smiling, but the background isn’t perfect. Life is messy, and by hiding it, we set up this stage on social media that our life is perfect.

My house is constantly messy, pick a room, there is a mess. I am not going to lie, it drives me nuts! But it’s life. Both my husband and myself work outside of the house, we have two older girls and a baby getting ready to turn toddler. I can spend all my extra time cleaning and organizing, to no avail, or I can make sure the girls are actively involved in life outside of the house. I haven’t found a good balance of keeping a clean house and active lifestyle. So my house stays messy.

It might appear that people are always taking some sort of vacation, or they don’t work, or they just have everything you want. First, do you really know those people? Do you know how they got to where they are? Don’t be jealous, or hateful. That doesn’t do anything good for you, and is actual even bad for your health. Be thankful for them, praise their accomplishment. Sow seed in that family, even feel free to reach out and ask them to mentor you or your kids.

Social media….we as humans are so great at tearing ourselves down, with no help, and then we spend time scrolling and seeing “perfect” pictures and lives, and wonder where we went wrong. STOP! We all have our own life to live, the life we were given. if you want something to change, then change it.

The most important thing in a world that thrives on social media, is stop living online! Take real life photos, and start posting more “messy” pictures. Let’s all be real.

Speaking of life is messy and being real, here is an almost one year old, eating spaghetti, and you can see things on my floor and she is next to boxes. I didn’t move her around or try to take it at an angle to cut those things out. This is a real life in the moment shot.

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Reusable Nursing Pads

I admit, during three of my pregnancies I just wore the disposable nursing pads. We have so much going on, what seems simple feels easiest and best at the time.

The older I am getting, the more I see loved ones dealing with more health issues than I ever remember hearing about as a kid. Granted, we generally don’t tell our kids everything so I am sure I was somewhat shielded, but research has definitely shown things like infertility and cancer are much higher percentages than ever.

I started looking into companies and found Beautycounter which helped educate me in what the US allows in our products that we use every day, and we trust they are safe because they are store shelves right? WRONG!

Well, it isn’t just about healthy and beauty products. It’s every day products, items, clothing, laundry soap, and even things like nursing pads.

So my last pregnancy I found these reusable bamboo nursing pads. They are so soft, and I was worried since they were a little thicker than disposable if anyone would be able to notice them under my shirts, and the answer is no, they didn’t notice, I never noticed. That being said I don’t wear skin tight shirts, nor should I lol. So if you wear tight shirts, it might be different for you, but if you wear regular t-shirts I think you’ll be just fine. If you wear business casual, just toss on an undershirt and again, you’ll be fine.

Reusable Nursing Pads

The ones I bought came in a few different colors, and like my socks I didn’t care if they matched, I mean who was going to see them lol. I also had a nice mesh bag I would keep them all in, and I just tossed them in with the babies laundry. I was able to wear a full set all day, but kept an extra one to two pairs with me just in case.

I bought them from Amazon, so this is an affiliate link, which means I get a small percentage of any purchases using this link. Which is also greatly appreciated. 🙂

Washable Reusable Nursing Pads