Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Valentine

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This year, Valentine’s Day will be a new experience for Chip and me both. We will be in the hospital with our brand new baby boy (who we haven’t 100% given a name yet), and instead of a nice steak dinner somewhere in town, we’ll be ordering off the birthing unit dinner menu. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though. The Boy will be born in less than 24 hours, and I can’t wait to spend Valentine’s Day with him and my Baby Daddy in the hospital.

As I sit here checking off last minute lists and trying to make sure I’ve remembered everything I need to do before I have this baby, I can’t help but think about My Valentine. Chip. What a guy. There truly is no one like him. I mean, probably somewhere in the world, there’s another “Chip,” but I’ve yet to meet anyone like him, and I’m glad. He’s special to me. One of a kind. Mine.

When we met, I was pretty smokin’ hot. I mean, I ran every day, ate healthy, didn’t jiggle when I moved. But as the years have gone by, I’ve gotten pretty fluffy and I definitely jiggle in a lot of places. I have stretch marks that look like I got attacked by a tiger. My butt has more craters than the moon. And he’s seen me in those awesome mesh underwear you get right after you have a baby. Actually a couple days ago, he looked at me and said, “I can NOT wait to see you in those mesh underwear again.”  HAHA When I was in the hospital after having our daughter, I’d had an emergency C-section, could barely move, and the doctor wouldn’t let me leave till I’d gone number two. I sent my sis-in-law to the store to get me some laxatives cause I wanted to go HOME! Well after a C-section, it’s harder to turn around on the toilet than one would think. I remember yelling to Chip to get in there quick. He came running and I told him I needed him to wipe my butt. He just looked at me like ARE YOU KIDING ME? I was not kidding.

So long story short, find a man who still loves you after two kids, stretch marks, jiggly skin, and will wipe your butt. I found a keeper. I love you, Chip.

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Postpartum Depression: it’s a real thing.

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It seems like everyone I know has either just had a baby or is getting ready to have a baby soon, myself included!! This pregnancy has flown by for me, and I think having a toddler to chase around has helped pass the time!! I have a little over six weeks until my C-section is scheduled, and I pray that these weeks zip by like the last 30 something have!!

With all the babies being born, I wanted to take a minute to talk about my struggle with postpartum depression. I’ve shared my story before, but in my opinion, it’s worth sharing again. Postpartum depression, or the baby blues, isn’t talked about enough and there are so many mommas who struggle with this and need to know they aren’t alone.

When I had my first baby, no one warned me just how incredibly hard it was going to be. I mean, I went from being able to do what I wanted, when I wanted to do it, to all of a sudden doing nothing but breast feeding and changing diapers. I was like IS THIS MY LIFE FOREVER? I knew before I had her that my life was going to change but I had no idea how drastically or in what ways. I was tired ALL THE TIME. I was angry. Then I felt guilty for being angry. I wondered if my baby felt enough love from me. My hormones were raging. I was depressed, but didn’t realize I was depressed and getting worse by the day. I had no freaking clue what was going on with me and my body. There were times when Morgan would be screaming and I’d have no clue what she needed so I’d lay her on the floor of her bedroom and walk out so I could gather my thoughts in a different (much more quiet) room. I knew that if I didn’t, I might be one of those moms you hear about on the news. HAHA. There were days when I was like, “Well, I’m done. I quit. I don’t want to be a mom anymore.” Then I’d have to laugh at myself because those weren’t even close to being options. I remember on St. Patrick’s Day after Morgan was born my cousins sent me a picture in a text of them out and about doing fun adult things and I got so mad at them. How dare they have fun while I’m sitting in a rocking chair with a baby on my boob!! HA. I would get so annoyed with my husband every night around 2:00 A.M. while I was feeding. I could hear him in the other room snoring and I’d have thoughts of shoving his head into a pillow so he couldn’t breathe. I’m telling you guys, birthing a child does a number on not only your physical body, but your mind as well. When Morgan was around nine months old, I knew I had to talk to my doctor about getting some help.

I remember sitting in my doctor’s office, crying, afraid he was going to call DFS on me when I told him I couldn’t stand to look at my baby because I was so depressed and sad and lonely and tired. Turns out he didn’t turn me in,  but he did tell me I was 100% normal and that I needed to try some medicine. I was like DUDE GIVE ME ALL THE MEDS RIGHT NOW. We tried several different medications until I found one that I knew was working for me. My daughter is two years old and I’m almost eight months pregnant and I STILL take 300mg of Wellbutrin on a daily basis. That’s the maximum dose, my friends.

Postpartum depression is real! Not everyone experiences it on the level that I did, and some don’t experience it at all. My mom was like a freaking unicorn with rainbows shooting out of her butt during and after pregnancy. She tells me she loved everything about it. My mom is a rare breed. 🙂 But friends, listen. It’s seriously okay if you’re sad after having your baby. It’s actually kind of normal. Hang in there. I’ve failed my daughter so many times, it’s unreal. But at the end of the day, she is still my girl. She still loves me and she still wants to give me kisses and wants me to play with her and read books to her. I started taking medication so I could be a better mom for her. I know some people don’t like the idea of taking meds every day, and I get that, but listen people — I had to do it and I’m so thankful for my doctor and for modern medicine. My husband thanks my doctor as well. HAHA.

Mommas, hang in there. They are only little once. I remember when Morgan wouldn’t fall asleep without breast feeding or me rocking her to sleep. You know they say there will always be a last time for those things, and you won’t even realize it when it’s the last time………… it just sort of happens. Gosh, that’s so true. Morgan goes to bed on her own now. She just crawls up in her big girl bed and we say her prayers and she tells me goodnight and I shut her door and that’s that. I wish she would let me rock her sometimes, but that’s a thing of the past. All those nights I was angry that I had to be up feeding her and not asleep in my own bed — I miss those. Isn’t that crazy?!?! I’d give anything for her to be my tiny little baby again. Crap. Now I’m crying. Being a mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but oh the most incredible blessing God has ever given me at the same time. He trusted me to be their momma. Something no one else can do. It’s so worth it, Mommas. I’m on your side. I’m in your corner. And in just a few short weeks, I’ll be up at all hours of the night with a brand new, tiny baby and I’ll think things like “WILL I EVER SLEEP AGAIN?” and “I WANT TO KILL MY HUSBAND FOR GETTING ME PREGNANT.” and “OH MY GOSH I LOVE THE SOUNDS THIS BABY MAKES WHEN HE EATS….” and it’ll all be worth it. Let’s do this together, Mommas. We need each other.

Anxiety, I hate you.

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Anxiety, I hate you so much. I hate the way you choke the life out of me. I despise the way you steal my sleep, and the way you sit on my chest like an elephant. I hate you. I hate the way you stand in the doorway, blocking me from leaving my house when all I want to do is spend an evening out with friends. I hate you. I hate you for making me the mom that worries constantly. I loathe all the times you’ve blurred my vision, made my head spin, and played drums inside my ears. I hate you. I hate it when you wrap your arms around me, disguised as a hug, but instead of feeling the comfort of familiar arms, I feel as though my bones will break, and my insides will turn to mush. I feel you physically in my back and my shoulders. I feel you running around inside my mind, making me imagine worst case scenarios. What if I get in a wreck and the airbag deploys and kills my baby? What if my daughter suffocates in her sleep? What if my husband never makes it home from work? Stupid Anxiety. Leave me alone. You’re an uninvited neighbor that overstays their welcome. I hate you. I hate you for making it impossible to enjoy my pregnancy. I hate it when you take my hand as though you care, but instead you grip me with fear. For years, I’ve begged you to go. Leave me alone. I never asked for you to visit. I never asked for you to stay. I hate you. Anxiety. You make me so tired, yet you steal my sleep. Sometimes I wish that you weren’t invisible so people could see you, hanging from my body like a ball and chain. Then maybe they would understand. Understand what? Why I overanalyze every conversation? Why I replay words over and over and over in my head? Why I fear every person in the room is picking me apart in their head? Why I’ve never felt good enough? Why I’m paranoid about my body? Why I’m only good at being a long distance friend? If they could see you, I wouldn’t be tasked with trying so hard to pretend. I hate you. Anxiety, I hate you.

Yes, I AM Tired

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I’ve had no less than five people tell me that I look tired this morning. It’ true – I AM tired. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. I’m tired. Exhausted actually. I had bit of a – what should I call it – breakdown last weekend. More like a “freak out, call your husband horrible names, say terrible things” kind of situation. I’m embarrassed about it. Part of me wants to blame these raging  pregnancy hormones surging through my body, but I also know that I have to own my actions and words and say I’m sorry then move on. That’s hard to do, though. Especially for someone like me who internalizes everything. I overthink. I overanalyze. I lose sleep over things that I said or did months ago. That is probably part of the reason why I’m so dang tired. Add to that the fact that my two year old, who has been a wonderful sleeper since day one, has not been sleeping well at all for a couple months. That’s part of this parenting gig, though, so I learned a long time ago that complaining about it really doesn’t make the situation better.

If I’m being completely honest, I feel like I’m half-assing everything in my life. Not by choice. That’s just about all I have to offer right now. I’m barely keeping my head above water. Aren’t we all, though? I don’t know. I want to give 100% in every area of my life, but I’m being pulled in so many directions that I can’t really afford to give 100%. Planning lessons, setting up IEP meetings, preparing for IEP meetings, having IEP meetings, updating IEPs, progress monitoring – the list goes on and on – leaves me very little time to be an effective teacher. If all I did was paperwork, I’d be awesome at paperwork. If all I did was plan my lessons and teach them, I’d be a way more effective teacher. If I wasn’t so mentally drained at the end of the day, I would feel more like interacting with my daughter. If I had just a little more time and energy, my house could stay clean and the laundry would be put away instead of the five baskets full of clothes on my bedroom floor. Maybe if I wasn’t constantly trying to figure out how to squeeze in one more thing to do, I wouldn’t dread making dinner for my family at night. Maybe I would actually walk three miles every evening like I did before I was married and had kids. Maybe I would be a better friend and not cringe when I’m asked to hang out with people on the weekends. Maybe I would be a little more excited to have baby #2 in four months. That sounds awful, doesn’t it? I’m excited, but the last five months I’ve been too busy to even remember that I’m pregnant some days.

So, yes. I AM tired. But I have to keep on keepin’ on. What other options do I have, really?

 

Raising a Confident Daughter

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My little girl wakes every morning like a shot from a pistol. She wears a shirt sometimes that says NEVER SLOW DOWN and it’s so true. She is full of life and spunk. She’s independent, smart, and fast! She talks nonstop. She wears me out at times. Oh, but I love her so much. I love to watch her play. Lately she’s been saying “I’m okay…..I’m okay,” when she falls down or gets hurt in some way. She’s tough. She isn’t afraid of anything. She loves to collect bugs and dead worms. She will ride our horse all day long if we let her. BY HERSELF. It scares me half to death to watch her in the saddle by herself, but her daddy is teaching her to sit and hold the reins and how to tell the horse to go and stop. It’s terrifying and exciting all at once. I hope she is always ready to take on a challenge.

I am absolutely terrified of raising a little girl. Don’t get me wrong – she is my pride and joy, the best thing that has ever happened to me. But how do I raise a confident, self-loving daughter when I have zero self-confidence or love towards myself? I’m a teacher. I teach what I know. I learn new things to teach my students. I’m constantly looking for ways to help my students be successful after high school. But how – how on earth- do I teach my daughter to love herself when I don’t know what it’s like to love me? I find myself looking in the mirror and saying nasty things out loud about myself while Morgan is standing in the room with me and I instantly feel bad because I don’t want her to hear those things. I don’t want her to soak those words up and think them about herself. What a sad thought that is. I’m almost always over analyzing every situation. When I’m in a crowd, my anxiety is through the roof because I can’t stop thinking about what everyone else is thinking about me. Are they looking at my jiggly arms? My belly? My thighs? The gaps in my teeth? What are they thinking about me? It’s a disgusting obsession that I have, honestly. I have been so depressed and discouraged lately because I’ve gained weight. I realize I’m pregnant but every time I look down and see my belly has gotten bigger, I feel disgusting. I feel so gross.

So how……………..how do I raise Morgan to be better? I don’t want her to be like me. I don’t want her to hate what she sees in the mirror. She’s so beautiful….her eyes, her smile, her perfect skin, and her curly hair. But it isn’t just her outer beauty. She’s funny, she’s so happy, she’s smart, she loves her friends and her cousins. I never want her to miss out on an opportunity because she isn’t confident in who she is. I never want her to turn down a job because she feels inadequate. I never want her to turn down an invitation because she doesn’t feel pretty enough to hang out in a crowd.

So what do I do from here?

 

One Thousand Eight Hundred Twenty-Six

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It’s extremely difficult to use past tense words when writing about someone you love. It’s not easy to say “she was…….” or “he used to……….” because, in reality, you wish that they were still alive and you could say that “she is” or “he does.”

I’ve struggled with feeling like my aunt’s death was not fair. I’ve selfishly thought to myself that I wished it was someone else, someone not nearly as kind and loving as my aunt. A horrible thought, but I’ve had it nonetheless.

When my aunt died, I was dating Tony. My mom called me minutes after her sister died and while I was trying to wrap my mind around my mother’s words, I felt like I would throw up because my mind was spinning in one thousand directions. My mom had to be lying to me. That’s all I could tell myself. I couldn’t stand to be at my house, left alone with my thoughts, so I drove in the middle of the night to Tony’s house, crawled in bed next to him, and cried. I cried the entire night. I didn’t go to work the next day. I was numb. I was angry actually. Part of me thought that my aunt must feel so much better since her body was no longer suffering, but mostly I was mad that she couldn’t have been cured on this side of eternity. Tony played a huge role in helping me navigate those lonely days after Roxanne died. He was patient and loved me tenderly through a sad, confusing time. I’ll always be grateful for him in those moments.

So here we are, 1,826 days since my aunt slipped into Heaven. Five years. I can honestly say that I’ve missed her every single one of those days. I’ve missed her on good days and bad. I’ve missed her when I had exciting news and when I needed advice. In fact, last month I picked up my phone, and without thinking, I started to type her name in my phone so I could send her a text message. When I realized what I was doing, tears came to my eyes and I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted on Facebook about missing her mom who passed away several  years ago. She wrote that “still being sad is so special. How sad it would be for today to just be another day.” This is true for me as another year passes without my aunt. How sad it would be for me to no longer miss her. That would mean that she hadn’t left a legacy in my heart, one that I want to continue on with my nieces and nephews.

Aunt Roxanne, I love you and I miss you. See you in my dreams.

Day Twenty-Two

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Day Twenty-Two: put your music on shuffle and post the first ten songs.

  1. 19 You+Me by Dan + Shay
  2. Neon by Chris Young
  3. In the City by The Eagles
  4. It’s Me by Out of Eden
  5. Let it Go by Pentatonix (Christmas Album)
  6. Angel of the Night by the SteelDrivers
  7. Outskirts of Heaven by Craig Campbell
  8. When We Were Young by Adele
  9. How He Loves by David Crowder Band
  10. The Only Night  by James Morrison