Monday, December 21, 2009

Hiatus

With the holidays, a first birthday party, and, well, life in general, I have been on a blogging hiatus... One in which I have begun rethinking my blog and its direction. 

I have blogged before about depression and anxiety in my life, and, since it really is a huge factor in my life I have decided to blog about it more.  Because 1 in 4 women in this country suffer from depression and because writing has always been an outlet for me, I want to delve deeper into my life with depression. 

Though it is hard, and quite frankly, scary, I really want to be open and honest about how depression and anxiety have affected all aspects my life and relationships.  I feel that there are so many people out there who are going through the same things.  I know how lonely it can be.  And, I hope that somehow, someway, I can use my experiences with it to help others.

I am by no means a medical expert on the topics of depression and anxiety, but I am an expert on my own personal experiences.  These experiences... the good, the bad, and the indifferent... have changed me, for better or for worse.  Hopefully, by sharing these with you, it will not only help you understand what you or a loved one is experiencing; but will also help me work through some of my own personal demons. 

So, as a new year approaches, I will begin this journey... a journey that is sure to be a rollercoaster.  Hop on and check back often if you're brave enough for what's sure to be a tumultuous ride!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tailgating Fun

I spent yesterday afternoon with Chuck and Emma on the beautiful campus of Mississippi State University.  As Alumni, Chuck and I are huge fans and supporters of MSU Athletics.  We try to make it to most every home football game and as many basketball and baseball games as possible.  Although, not living in Starkville, and having an almost 11 month old, sometimes makes that challenging. 

                                       
 
Yesterday was such a great outing.  We tailgated in our usual spot, just outside the Junction, with our usual crowd.  It was fun times and great food.  The atmosphere was electric and cowbells rang loud and clear all day long.  Even Emma was ringing her cowbell in support of the Dawgs!  It is such a fun atmosphere; it is one of hospitality mixed with some friendly ribbing, as it is not unusual to see a fan of the opposing team at a Bulldog tailgate. The air is always thick with smoke from grills, and there is the slush of a cooler as background music.



To make the day even more fun than usual, my brother, Justin, sister-in-law, Jennifer, and niece, Laila, joined us.  They came with a wagon and babydolls in tow.  The girls had the best time riding in the wagon.  They giggled and played with dolls and truly enjoyed the day.  They posed for the hundreds of pictures that were snapped... Emma ever took her sunglasses off for one!  They both know how to work a camera!

                            

They were definitely a hit on campus, as they feed off one another.  Everyone that passed us had to stop and talk to the girls, who alternately smiled and hid from the passersby.  They squealed with delight as they were pulled through the crowd and around to several different tents.  And, when one squealed, the other did too... only louder!  They played this little game with one another until they burst into fits of laughter...only to begin again when they stopped. 

One of the highlights, if not for the girls, for me, at least, was having Emma's picture taken with Bully.  Suprisingly, she didn't cry, but she truly considered it.  It was something Chuck and I have wanted to do at each game, but haven't had the opportunity.  So, when I spotted Bully in our vicinity, I hauled them over and took several, okay, hundreds of pictures.  Here's the best of Emma and Bully...



We also watched as the coaches and players came through, as well as the band.  Emma loved the band and danced to everything they played.  Even though she had only an hour nap, she was happy the entire day and into the night.  We were able to see a little bit of the game before she became too terribly tired and needed to leave.  Chuck and I loaded her into the car; and before I could back out, she was sound asleep.  It was a quiet ride home, with only Jack Crystil on the radio narrating the game.  Sadly, the Bulldogs didn't pull off the much wanted upset over the Crimson Tide, but overall, the day was a success!



Saturday, November 14, 2009

Testing out mobile blogging...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Are there...

Are there ever any words to truly describe how much you love your child? 



Can you ever express the depth of your love to your child?



Can you ever separate this little person from yourself?  And, if you can, why would you want to?



Can any day not be made better by looking at this sweet face, which is just full of puppy love?



Can any darkness not be lightened by a smile this bright?



Can anything not get lost in these eyes?



And, can anyone not be inspired by this determined little face?



I think not!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday for Wyatt

This is from a blog I follow... Letting go and Letting God



"So far, we are up to 1,443 signatures! Lets try to keep them steadily rolling in.

For those of you who are not familiar with my family and what we are trying to achieve, here’s a brief run down...

Our son Wyatt was diagnosed with a fatal condition at our 18 week ultrasound, but chose to carry him to term. We waited to meet our son with love, all the time praying we would get to see him alive.

On June 1, 2009, Wyatt made his way into the world by c-section. To our amazement he had a faint heartbeat and was breathing! He died two minutes later, but I’ve clung to the two minutes my son and I breathed the same air since his passing.

Upon calling to get a copy of Wyatt’s birth certificate, I found out he was listed as a stillborn. You would assume it was a mistake (like I did), but there was no mistake. According to the definition of live birth in Tennessee my son was not “alive enough” to be deemed a live born baby. His two minutes of life has gone unrecognized by my state, and I intend to change this piece of legislation so I can solidify the validity of my son’s short life.

Wednesdays for Wyatt was created to help spread awareness for a law that needs to be changed, as well as to generate more traffic to my petition. So if you’re reading this, thanks for taking the time to help our family!"


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I AM...

I am the face of depression...



But it is not the face of me...



I am the one in every four women in this country that has depression...



But I am not a woman that SUFFERS from this disease...




Depression is only one aspect of my life...




And, the whole story is not one of sadness, but one of triumph...




One of fulfillment, that should be shared...




Because, although I am the face of depression; it is not the face of me...




Friday, October 30, 2009

Busy, Busy

It's been quite the busy week here in my happily ever after...

Emma is crawling and pulling up everywhere and on everything!  And, she keeps me runing now that she has discovered the dog's bowls and that we have stairs.  Yes, I have a baby gate to keep her off of the stairs, but she is steadily trying to find a way around it... or over it.  She has discovered the dryer and likes to watch the clothes spin in it.  The laundry room is also where the dog bowls are, so she like to play in them while in there.  Luckily, she isn't interested in eating the dog food, but she is intruiged by what happens when she turns over the water bowl. 

A new favorite thing for Emma is to play under my new kitchen table and chairs.  She like to crawl over and under the rungs (or whatever they are called) on the bar stools.  This morning, though, while crawling through her very own maze, she got stuck.  A melt down ensued and I had to try to rescue her.  I wound up having to move the entire table out of the way so that I could lift the chair off of her.  She was screaming like I have never heard her before.  So loud that Chuck got out of bed to come check on her. 

Also this week, we went to get part 2 of her flu shot.  However, once we got there, waited an hour, finally got into a room, then AND ONLY THEN were we informed that they were out of the vaccine.  Talk about annoyed!  So, since we had already made the trip, and Emma had been extremely whiny all week, I had the doctor check her ears.  She has pulled on them constantly since August... She didn't have an infection, but there is still fluid on her right ear drum.  We have a follow up visit with our ENT on Tuesday, so we'll see what her has to say.  There is a chance that we could be doing tubes next week!  I was so gung-ho about it in August and the first part of September, but now, I don't know... I just don't want her tohave to be put to sleep.  She was hurting and miserable a few months ago, but since we were able to clear that up, she has been okay.  I guess I will just have to trust God to give our ENT the wisdom to make the right call for Emma.  So, please say a prayer for us and for our ENT.

To go along with my whiny baby, I also had a sick dog this week.  My little Yorkie, Meiko, was so sick to his stomach.  He vomited for two days.  I don't know if he ate something he shouldn't have or if it was just a case of the nerves.  I am glad, though, that he seems to be feeling better.  I had to bathe him every day, wash his blankets on disinfect his kennel.  It was awful!  Oh, and, one night, he hid under my bed before I could get him kenneled.  I decided to just let him sleep there instead of waking Chuck while trying to get Meiko out from under the bed.  BAD CALL!  I was fumbling around in the dark trying to get in bed and I stepped in a little surprise... Meiko had puked in the floor by my bed and it was still hot.  EEWWW!  Then, as I tried to get out of that mess, I stepped in another pile of puke that was cold... And, yes, I am gagging as I share this with you.  Yes, you're very welcome for the details!

I have also been busy sewing this week!  Well, technically, I have been appliqueing, but close enough.  I have been at it like a mad woman.  I will post pictures soon!  I am supposed to be making bibs for the Vardaman Sweet Potato Festival, which is next weekend, but I just can't focus on them.  I am way too wrapped up in making t-shirts for Emma.  And, I did make her a pair of pants to go with one of her tops.  So, actually, I did sew! 

But, I am so frustrated with this one font I have.  It's called Finlee, I think.  Anyway, it will not stich right.  It screws up not matter what I do.  Ugh!  And, it is an adorable font that I would really like to use.  So, if any of you have any suggestions for me, please send them my way!  I am at my witt's end with it.  It has ruined several things that I have been working on.  I know I should just stop using it, but I am stubborn, and determined that this font WILL submit to me!  Okay, so maybe I need to take a break from it. 

Anyway, I should be getting in bed.  i need to get up early to pack to go see Granna and Pop tomorrow.  I am taking Emma to a Halloween Carnival in their area.  I can't wait to put her costume on her again!  She is so cute in it!  I can't believe that it is my sweet baby's first halloween!  And that she is 10 months old!  Where does the time go? 

Well, I better get back at it so that I am not up all night!  Have a safe and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pay it Back or Pay it Forward?

That is my dilemma... Do I try (and more than likely come up short) to pay someone back for all they have done?  Or do I pay it forward?

Have someone like this in your life?  Someone that you would love to pay back, but you know there is no earthly way to do so?  If you don't, I hope that someday you will.  Why is that?  Well, because if you have a person, an angel, really, like this in your life, then you will never take a single breath not knowing that you are truly loved.

For me, this person is my Mama.  I can not imagine not having her in my life.  She is definitely my go-to person when it comes anything and everything.  The woman can cook, clean, organize, fix, comfort, solve, figure, create, be Mama, be a friend, be a daughter, be Granna... And do it all at the same time and do it effortlessly!

My Mama came for a helpful visit yesterday and stayed the night.  With her help, I was able to accomplish so much!  She helped me dig out my dining room from under the mounds of sewing stuff.  And then, she helped me set up my sewing area and get it organized!  I am so excited to use it; however, I am a little hesitant to mess it up.  But, bibies are calling my name and the Vardaman Sweet Potato Festival is quickly approaching.

So, anyway, back to my dilemma... Do I try to pay her back, which I could never fully do?  Or do I pay it forward to my daughter?  I can only hope to be as loving, supportive and helpful as my Mama is to me.  I honestly don't know what I would do without her.

Honestly, though, and I do mean honestly, I will spend the rest of my time doing both.  And, it will bring me great pleasure to not only try to pay my Mama back, but to also pay it forward to my daughter, Emma, and any other children I may have.

Hey Mama!  Here's to you!  I can't ever express just how much you mean to me and how much I appreciate every single thing you do... I love you!


P.S. Emma was really sad that you had to go home today and so was I!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Just us...

This weekend, Emma and I made a trip to Calhoun City to visit my family.  We had a wonderful time, as always.  But, something extra special happened on this trip...


My Daddy, Emma, and I went out to eat... Just us...It was something really nice that we don't do often enough.   As I sat across the table from him I began to think of all that he is...


My Daddy has always been my hero and someone that I look up to.  He is everything good and honest.  He is what I sought out when I was looking for a husband (which I found, or to be exact, he found me). 


My Daddy is the man who taught me to drive, who tossed me in the air and caught me as a little girl.  He is the man that I have always tried not to disappoint; he is the man who helped me with my math homework, the one who helped me sort through job options.  He is the man that took me fishing where we ate powdered doughnuts and drank orange juice for breakfast and ate Beanie Weanies for lunch. 


He is the man who taught me how to drive a motorcycle and didn't get angry with me when I wrecked it.   He is the man who didn't (doesn't) like cats, but always let me have at least one.  He is the man who let me 'fix' his hair by putting a hundred barrettes in it.  And, he is also the man who always told me that I looked pretty even though my outfits didn't match or make sense.  He is the man that sat through every dance recital, pageant, musical, and ball game that I cheered at, no matter how terrible the weather.  


He is the man that taught me hard lessons and made me cry, but secretly I was, and still am, glad he taught me. He is the man that has given up so much so that I could 'have it all.'  He is the man that let me 'help' him build his airplane by playing "The Birthday Song (Never Be One Again)" by Alabama over and over and over again on my Cabbage Patch Tape Player.  


He is the sound of an airplane early on a summer morning.  He is the smell of defoliant on a foggy autumn night.  He is the voice of reason in the midst of confusion.  He is the tickle of a mustache when he kisses my cheek.  He is a radiant glow when he sees me or Emma.  He is Pop.  


He is the person who knows how to fix anything and everything.  He is an e-bayer and a you-tuber.  He is the pusher of the swing.  He is the man that is up early every morning and goes to bed early at night.  He is the reason (well, actually, only a small part of the reason) I don't eat ketchup.  


He is an old, white, country church on the third Sunday of every May that reminds me of where I came from.  He is the teller of "Blue Beard" stories; and he is the man that jumped through an open window with a Halloween mask on and scared me to death!  


He is the man that taught me how to ride a horse and he is also the one who rescued my when my horse ran away with me.  He is the man I talked to on the phone for hours when he fell and got hurt.  He is a yellow air- tractor in the sky.  He is a human GPS. 


He is laughter over a dirty diaper incident and the planter of trees and gardens.  He is the man with a twinkle in his eye and skin like leather from working hard so many days in the sun.  He is the man who sang to me "Raindrops keep falling on my head... That doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning red..."  while we sat on the picnic table in our yard one summer day.  He is the man that taught me to love music from eras that were before my time.  


He is everything simple and unique.  He is everything crafty, yet perfected.  He is a million more memories that I never want to forget...


He is my Daddy... 






Friday, October 9, 2009

When I grow up...

When I was younger, around 12-13, I couldn't wait to grow up.  I just knew that life would be grand, and  I would have it ALL figured out... Wouldn't it be great if that really were the case... Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone had themselves, their lives, it ALL figured out?

I don't know if it would be better, worse, or about the same (as my eye doctor says), but what I do know is that 'having it all figured out' isn't case.  Not for me, at least.  Do you have it ALL figured out?  If so, please contact me and tell me how to receive the enlightening you have received!

Anyway, growing up, I had so many insecurities.  Insecurities that I just knew would be gone once I got out of high school and went to college.  But that wasn't quite the case.  Yes, most of those insecurities went away, but they were replaced with new insecurities.  Ones that seemed to be slightly darker and more evil.  Insecurities that I tried every way a smart college girl could think of to overcome.  And, as life would have it, I did overcome some of them.  Granted, I think that I shopped a lot of them away, drank a few more away, but exercised most of them away.  And, when the others crept to the surface and those 3 activities didn't help, well, I call my friends, put on a new attitude (and a new outfit), and went out to pretend that they didn't exist until I either truly believed that or I crashed.  And, let me tell you, crashing didn't always come first!

So, as I continued on through college and my 'friends' began to get married, I came to the conclusion that my insecurities would be gone once I got married.  Notice that friends is in quotes?  Well, that's because those 'friends' were some of the main ones feeding those insecurities.  Those 'friends' who kept feeding me full of the crap that their life was perfect (their words word not mine), and that I would understand someday... when I got married.  Oh, by the way, some of those 'friends' have anything BUT a perfect life now.  And, I am pretty sure that it wasn't perfect then either.  However, I couldn't be convinced of that at that time.

So, I trudged along, waiting to grow up and out-grow my insecurities, which I was sure would happen once I got married... Yeah, right.

Present day...

I am currently married and a stay-at-home mom of the most wonderfully perfect 9 month old baby girl.  Oh, and yes, I still have insecurities... Lots, and LOTS of them.  (Obviously, how amazing and perfect my child is, is not one of them!)

I thought that they were supposed to be gone by now and that I would have it all figured out and life would be perfect!  Call me a dreamer, because that is what I am.  (I prefer the term dreamer over the phrase dumb ass, I mean, stupid idiot.)  And though it could be listed under both the 'strengths' and 'weaknesses' categories of my personality profile, it is ultimately a characteristic that I would keep.  You see, even though it allows me to keep hoping for a perfect life, one where insecurities are not; it is one that does allow me to keep hoping.  So I guess that it isn't so bad, at least not when your hopes are well placed.  Which, I sometimes have trouble with that... like, when I was younger and I had the highest of hopes that I would get to go to a New Kids on the Block concert, get to go back stage and Joey, or was it Jordan, or maybe Jonathan... I can't remember... would fall madly in love with me.  Or, that the sausage balls I cooked burned would blend in with the ones that weren't.  You get my drift...

I guess what I am getting at is that now, I totally get that my hope for no insecurities is a stretch.  But is it a stretch to think hope that your insecurities won't be directly caused by the people you love the most.  And, if the people you love the most do cause those insecurities, can you ever get past them?

This is something that I am struggling with lately.  I have an insecurity that was cause by the people I love the most.  It is one that effects my life almost daily and I'm not really sure how to deal with it.  How is it that the people you love the most can be the very people that build you up the highest, but also the very people that bring you to your lowest?

I worry about how this insecurity effects my ability to be a good mother.  Although Emma can't truly understand the insecurity now; one day she will.  And, if I continue to live with it, how will I be able to teach her not to let people cause this same insecurity in her life.  But, if I deal with it in the only way I really can figure out, then how will I teach her to stick through the hard things in life and not take the 'easy' way out by running away.

If the people I love the most are the root of the insecurities, is it possible for them to love me as much as I love them?  Because, if they love me as much as I love them, then they wouldn't do what they have done, would they? ... I mean, I haven't... because I love them.  So, is it wrong, per say, to cut them out of your life?  And, how do you really know if/when it is time to cut your loses and move forward?

Part of the time my heart says I love them and can't imagine the rest of my life or my child's life without them there.  But there is also a part of my heart that is tired of living with the questions, the doubts, the feelings of inadequacy, the isolation I have taken on to protect myself and others, the shame, the humiliation, the feelings of it being my fault.

How can I possibly teach my child to be a strong woman when I don't feel like I am one myself.  I need to model the behavior, and I don't feel like I am doing a very good job. So what to do?

For me, at least, that is the burning question.  It is the one that haunts my dreams, intrudes on my quiet times, and interrupts my time with my precious child.  And, the longer I live with it, the more not okay I become.  And, though it has been only 28 short (usually) years, I have come to realize that being not okay in one area of life tends to overflow into other areas of your life.  Which, has ill-effects on those areas.  And, these are areas that I really have a problem with being negatively affected.  So, I ask again, what to do?

And, you know what the worst part of it is?  The worst part is that I have an infinite number of reason to not be insecure.  For the most part, I do have the world on a silver platter.  Or, at the very least, enough of the world to make many people scoff at my insecurities and tell me to get over it.  But, these few things have happened, they have shattered my shell and seeped into my skin, and slowly found their way to my heart where they are being pumped out with my blood through every inch of my being... Therefore, taking over.  And with every beat of my heart, they grow.  So much so, that they sometimes choke away the words I want to say, numb the touches I want to feel, and even deafen my ears to the words I want to hear.

Why is it that the 12 insecurities that you face get to to take over, yet the infinite number of reasons you have not to be insecure get lost?  Why is negativity so powerful?  Or is it only as powerful as we let it be?  And if it is a matter of what we allow, how do we change?  How do we overpower the negativity that comes from these insecurities?  And, if it is something that we learn how to deal with through age and experience, why does it seem that the older I get, the worse the I seem to deal with insecurities?

Know what else?  You know how the Golden Rule says, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"?  I really think that is a bunch of crap.  I have treated the people that have hurt me most the way I want to be treated.  I have loved, given, given up, considered them and their thoughts and feelings, and it hasn't gotten me very far.  Well, actually, let me re-phrase... it hasn't gotten me very far from heartache.  And that has always been a goal in my life... move away from the heartache.  You know the lady you hear just before you go on certain rides at amusement parks... "Please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times..."  Well, apparently there is one for life.  She says, "Please keep your heart inside your chest cavity at all times.  Hanging it out on your sleeve can result in injury and even death."

However, I am the kid who doesn't listen and thinks I am invincible.  I am the woman who thinks that I should sacrifice myself for the cause.  But, I have to wonder if I am not sacrificing the cause for myself sometimes.  My heart has been hanging out on my sleeve for so long now that it is tattered almost beyond the point of recognition.  What is left are pieces that I must somehow pick up and mend... stitch, nail, mold, bind, glue, weld... maybe even force... back into something recognizable,  something that looks like the shape I used to cut out of construction paper.  Because there is someone so sweet and innocent, that I can hear alternately laughing and crying as she dreams, that deserves for me to do just what Mommy's do, which is make it all better.

And, however realistically or not, I still am hoping for a life without insecurities... when I grow up.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Anxiety

What does this word mean to you?

To me, it means heart-racing, shallow-breathing, sleep-avoiding, health-ignoring, junk food-eating, cry-inducing, excercise exercise-forgetting, relationship-neglecting, mind-racing, non-focusing, chest-tightening, thoughts-spinning, skin-crawling, wild-eyed-looking, continuous fidgeting, non-producing hour upon hours of life.

What brings this on?  Usually, I can pin-point it, and deal with it, but tonight, I can't... which makes times like this even worse.  I am completely exhausted, and yet, I can't sleep.  I have orders for bibies to fill, yet can't focus enough to sew.  I need to work on my website, which was supposed to have been finished weeks ago, but can't commit myself to working on it.

I know that an episode like this has been lurking because I have been extremely disorganized and non-productive, but it has taken on a full attack of me tonight.  As for this post, well, let's just say that I am hours into it, have written, and re-written it a couple dozen times, and am still nowhere near putting it out there.

I have examined my life and all seems well... Emma is good.  She had her 9 month check-up today and got a great report.  My marriage is great; Chuck and I just got back from a wonderful weekend alone.  My family is well; I have checked in with them today.  My dogs are good, healthy and happy as ever; yet, I can't shake this feeling that something isn't right.

I can't figure out what has brought on this anxiety!  Chuck is at a friend's watching Monday Night Football, and I usually enjoy this alone time.  I can do things (like sewing, blogging, reading, SLEEPING) without feeling like I am neglecting him.  Not tonight, though.  But I don't want to call him to come home, becuase because that wouldn't help.  In moments like this I need distance from others.  I start feeling clausr claustra claustrophobic if anyone is even in the same room as me!

I haven't had an episode like this in years!  I can barely begin a thought before it is gone and a new one starts to form, only to be wisked whisked away by the next, and the next and the next.  Am I crazy?  I have to ask myself, but before I can come up with an answer I have already moved on from the question.

I keep typing in hopes of calming myself and easing myself out of this tail-spin.  I guess that it is worth a slot shot... it isn't something I have treid tried before, but at this point, I am not opposed to.  I almost feel as if I am bubbling over with thoughts, ideas, emotions, and words that need an escape.  However, I am not an efficient enough typre typer to keep up!  So, I struggle with words, with spelling, with the frustration of losing my train of thought befoer befoer  BEFORE I can get it out.  UGH!

i I have wiggled and shifted myself around so much on the couch thaa that ALL of the pillows and cushions are almost on the floor.  I know I need to sleep, but I can't.  Why?  i I don't know why.  If I did, I would have fixed it already and gone to bed.  So, becaus eof because of that, I continue to typre, uh, I mean type.  My ramblings are just that, ramblings.  I can't even begin to string together any type of link between thoughts.

If you're still reading at this point, you are either a.) really bored or b.) trying to decide how to have me committed.  Which, on nights like thiw this, I might volunteer... at least they would sedate me! That would be a welcome relief!

Okay, I quit.  I am really starting to seem crazy, which I am not... usually... just tonight.  Which is probably induced by exhaustion and pain... did I mention that I severed my thumb from it's nail with the lid of a can of asparagus???? Yep, I did.  It rolled open and probably needed stitches, except that I don't think anyone would have actually stitched it becasue because it is basically under my nail... or where my nail should be.  So, I have endure the throbbing for a full 24 hours now... a 24 hours that I have spent on the verge of barfing because my thumb hurts so bad!

But, I can at least say that my sweet husband took over night time duties for Emma tonight becasue becasue because I couldn't bear to try to undress, bathe, and pajama her with this thumb.  Do you know how often you use uo your thumb?  Wow!

Seriously, the rambling will cease now.




Monday, September 21, 2009

Do You Speak Touch?

Did you know that there are over 6,500 languages spoken in the world today? 

And, did you also know that you could be fluent in every one of those languages and still not be able to convey love to your partner?

How is that possible?  It is possible because love has a language all its own.  Or, to be exact, love has 5 different languages.  Don't believe me?  Well, keep reading!

These five different love languages are not something that I have come up with, but merely something that I have come across while attending Sunday School.  The class that Chuck and I are in is studying the five different languages of love.  This is a study created by Gary Chapman, and I must say that he is on target.

So, what are the five different love languages?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  They are
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Quality Time
3. Acts of Service
4. Gifts
5. Physical Touch

So how do you discover the love language you speak?  Go to http://www.fivelovelanguages.com/ and take a few seconds to discover your particular love language.

I, myself, haven't figured out what exactly my love language is, but have an in depth questionaire to help me figure it out.  I first thought it was acts of service, but the more I think about it, the more unsure I become.  Chuck, however, thinks mine is gifts or words of affirmation. 

I was totally against the idea of gifts being my love language because my first thought was of gifts being expensive things.  However, it doesn't necessarily mean that.  So, maybe Chuck is right.  I'll let you know when I finish the questionaire! 

We both decided that his is physical touch with words of affirmation coming in a close second. I've known this, and we have talked about it many times, but it has never hit home like it did when we began this lesson. 

I have often wondered how in the world do I glorify God in all that I do... like doing laundry, cleaning the house, etc.  And, other than being honest, faithful, and true 'til "death do we part," how do I glorify God in my marriage?  Hello!  I am not just supposed to show 'love' my husband however I want, I am supposed to show 'love' to my husband in the way that he wants.  And he is to do the same for me.  Because, if he feels love through physical touch and words of affirmation and I don't do that, he doesn't feel my love for him.  I may gift him thousands of gifts of do all sorts of acts of service for him and he still won't feel loved!

It is such a simple concept, but many times it gets lost and overlooked.  This leads to discontent and unhappiness in relationships.  How many times have you complained to your spouse about what they haven't been doing and how unloved you feel only to have them say, "Well, what about me doing..." and they list off a dozen things.  You can't really argue that they haven't done anything, can you?  But, you feel like the just don't get you.  For a lot of people, it leads to thoughts of "Did I make a mistake?" "Have we become two different people going in two different directions?"  "Do I not love him/her anymore?"  "Does he/she not love me anymore?"  How miserable is that!

And, the crazy thing is, is that both parties feel like they are right and the other is wrong which leads to more tension and discontent.  It is a vicious cycle that eats up many relationships and leads to their fall. 

Chuck and I have a wonderful marriage.  However, there have been some less than wonderful moments that could have been less heartbreaking, painful, etc. if only we knew how to understand the other's love language. 

Like I said before, it is such a simple concept.  But, do not confuse simple for easy.  For the person who isn't a physical touch kind of person, it is hard to show love by physically touching them.  It is awkward and uncomfortable.  Or, just think of the person whose love loanguage is gifts.  If they are in a relationship with someone whose love language isn't gifts, then the person on the receiving end may get mixed messages.  What if they have a fight and the person who loves through gifts brings one to his partner that doesn't love that way.  The partner may feel like he/she is being 'bought.'  The gift may be offensive to that person if the love language isn't understood.

See what I mean?  When you learn about love languages, you realize that, yes, it is a simple concept, but a very hard thing to put in motion. 

So, what if you don't know your partner's love language?  Try to get them to check out the website http://www.fivelovelanguages.com/ and find out.  If they won't do that, then pay attention to things they do for you.  Is he or she always bringing you gifts?  Saying words of affirmation?  Touching you?  Most of the time, we love others in the way that we want to be loved.  So,with that said, try loving your partner the way that he/she is loving you.  If that doesn't work, try another of the love languages.  The point, though, is to keep trying, to figure out how to show the one you love just how much you love them.  And, the best way to do that is to speak their language. 

Think of it like this... How would you explain cancer to a 5 year old?  A 10 year old?  A 20 year old?  You use different words, different ideas to explain this to a person depending on what they can comprehend.  Love languages are the same way.  To truly get someone to understand, you have to find their language.

So, my challenge to you, is to find out your love language and explain it to your partner.  Then find out what their love language is and do everything that you can to love them in their language.  It won't always be easy, comfortable, fun, or what you want to do, but that's what we do when we love someone...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bibies

Just a quick little note to let you know that the website for Bibies is coming along great!  Hopefully by the end of the week I will be able to unveil it!  I am so excited about getting this going!  Be sure to keep checking back here for more details and the web address!

 Here's a little sneak peak of what is to come!




Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Speak the Truth in Love

Speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15

How often do you speak the truth in love?  Me, well, let's just say that I don't do it often enough.  I find that when I speak the truth, I forget to do it in a loving way.  Or, when I am loving, I tend to not be completely truthful because I don't want to hurt the person.

This is such a hard thing to do, because even when speaking the truth with love, people get their feelings hurt.  It is hard to swallow the truth sometimes.  I will be the first to admit that I don't always like to hear the truth about myself.  However, as hard as it is to hear, hind site has always proven (to me, at least) that my relationships would have endured less hurt, frustration and disappointment if the truth had just been spoken to begin with.

However, I firmly believe, that in speaking the truth with love, you must speak the truth to that specific person.  Because, what good does it do to take up an issue that has to do with one person with others?   I do think that it is okay to talk to a trusted individual about the situation so that they can help you find a way to go about this.  But, I think that this has to be approached carefully and in the true spirit of wanting help.  Otherwise, it turns into gossip and backstabbing.

When Chuck and I have a disagreement, even though I want to complain about him to friends, the best thing to do is just be honest with him. I find, though, that even when I feel like I am being truthful in a loving way, he may not always feel like I am being loving.  And, when it comes to friendships, how do you know if your friendship can endure you being truthful?  Everyone likes to say that their friends can always be honest with them, but can they?  Can a person really hear the truth from a friend, spouse, parent, etc. and know that it is coming out of love?

Which is another complicating factor...the interpretation of the other person.  How do you get them to see that you are trying to be loving when the truth hurts them?

Like I (and many, many others before me) have said before, God never promised us that life would be easy, but He did promise to always be with us.  So, I feel like this is another step of faith that I am called to take.  I need to work on speaking the truth in love.  I have to admit that the thought of it makes me anxious, but it is what I am called to do.

So, from now on, I will work on speaking the truth in love in hopes that it will make all of my relationships better and stronger.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

If You Can't Say Anything Nice

... Don't say anything at all.

How many times have I heard this saying?  And, how many times have I said this myself? 

So, for once in my life, I have been taking my own advice. 

The past few days or so have been so discouraging and frustating.  Why?  Well, for a whole host of reasons.  Several, I won't go into, but part of it was exhaustion.

With Emma being sick, I have been stressed and worried about her, which has led to me not resting well.  And, now it seems I have let myself get worn down and overcome with allergies!  I usually stay on top of preventative care, but I missed the boat this time.  Ugh!

So, with all of that I have been in a less than cheerful spirit.  And it seems that everything looks bleak when you feel bad.  Am I the only one that feels this way?

Along with all this, I have also been trying very, very hard to focus on being a better Christian.  Why does it seem that the harder I try, the harder it becomes?  I am convinced that it is the devil at work trying to keep me from strengthening my faith.  I know that the Lord never promised that it would be an easy walk, but he did promise to always be with me.  It just seems that the devil keeps trying to use my own human nature against me.  Know what I mean?

I have been trying to set aside a time for my devotional.  And, I do really well for a while, then 'life' takes over.  Which, that doesn't make sense when you think about it... What is life without a Savior?  And, to really have life with a Savior, you must spend time with Him.

I recently read the book The Shack.  It is a fantastic book that really opened my eyes to the way I have always thought about God.  And, since then, I have really been trying to figure things out... Not like figure God out, because I know that isn't possible.  But just figure out what I believe, understand it, and be able to share it.

So, as I prepare for 'the road less traveled,' there may be more frequent periods of quite.  I just want to take time to be still and quite so that I can truly listen.


 




Tuesday, September 1, 2009

BUGGED by BUGS!!!

So, after a month of ear aches, we had our appointment with Dr. B, our Ears, Nose, and Throat specialist, today.

It was quite relieving even though it didn't go the way I had hoped.  Relieving, how?  Funny you should ask...

I have talked to so many people about ear infections, the causes, the treatments, the home remedies; you name it, I have researched it.

Last night, my dear sweet husband told me that his dad (Papa) had spoken with a Neonatologist friend about Emma's persistent ear aches.  This doctor asked Papa if we had a pet in the house, which we do.  He proceeded to say that a lot of children with pets in the house struggle with ear infections.

I questioned Chuck about the why and how of this, which he didn't know... He didn't get that information.  Then I turned to my next source, my sister-in-law.  I sent her a quick text and awaited her reply.  And, while I was waiting, I decided to see what I could find on the internet.

BIG MISTAKE!


Actually, it wasn't a BIG MISTAKE, it was a 


HUGE MISTAKE!!!!!


Have you ever plugged in "ear infections caused by pets" into google????  What was I thinking?  The first thing I found, didn't even mention pets.  However, as I continued to search, the information I found talked about ear mites.  

Yes, EAR MITES... Have you ever seen these...

http://www.ehow.com/how_4724037_identify-ear-mites-pet.html

These disgusting little creatures!?!?!  Did you know that it IS possible to get ear mites from your pets?

Granted, the likelihood of this happening is virtually never, but still, it IS possible!  I panicked.  Like, sick to my stomach, lost my child in a huge crowd, kind of panicked!  How was I going to tell Chuck?  How did I let this happen?  How have I not known this?  Why haven't the doctors that we have seen already considered this.

My husband doesn't love-LOVE Meiko (our dog) like I do.  If Emma has ear mites because of him, he would have to go.  There is no way I could argue with that either.

So, what did I do?  What any 'rational' person would do... I began cleaning the house, bathing the dog, trying to 'get rid' of the possibility of ear mites... Even though I knew the chances of Emma having ear mites was virtually none.

I know that Chuck had to think I was crazy.  I had been saying how tired I was, and then all of a sudden, I have all this energy to clean.  And, seriously, if she had had ear mites, what good was cleaning up the kitchen going to do?

When I finally gave up and went to bed, I tossed and turned as I dreamed of little disgusting critters crawling out of Emma's ear.  I kept trying to come up with what I was going to say when the doctor told us that she had mites because of our dog.  I had nothing, because somehow I just don't think "Sorry" would cut it.  "Oops," either.

So, as we got ready to leave for our appointment, Chuck still hadn't made it back from work.  I was kind of glad because, if he didn't go, then he wouldn't hear the doctor say those dreaded words..."Ear Mites."  But, he wound up going and I honestly thought I would throw up.

We made it to our appointment and the doctor came in.  Talk about sweating it.  The doctor looked at her ears, made a few comments and then said we'll talk more after Emma's hearing test.

I couldn't decided if I should relax or run.  Surely, he would have said if there WERE bugs in her ears, but what if he was waiting.  Waiting on what, I don't know.  But, maybe he was just waiting to drop the bomb.

I took Emma across the hall and we went through the hearing test.  She finished that and the lady told me that her hearing is in the range it should be for babies her age.  She started to say more, but says she'll wait and let the doctor tell us.

At that point, I knew it; I knew she had ear mites and they were trying to figure out whether it was my fault or not.  We went back into our room, where Chuck was waiting, and there we sat for what seemed like hours.  I'm sure that it wasn't quite that long, but when you are about to get news like this... It is ETERNITY!

Finally, Dr. B comes back in, he had to go to the hospital - which almost causes me to faint; he must have gone to set up surgery to get rid of the bugs, right?

He tells us that there is fluid on Emma's ears, but that it hasn't caused any damage to her hearing.  And, the infection is gone!

What?  No bugs?  No ear mites?  I don't have to try to find words to explain?  My mind was racing 100 miles an hour now.  I could hardly process the information he was giving us - Emma doesn't need tubes at this point and she sure doesn't need surgery to remove ear mites!  Are you kidding me?  I'm off the hook!

It took me a minute to recover.  I sat in stunned silence and then was finally able to process this news.  Emma does have fluid, but he wants to give her time for her body to rid itself of it.  We go back in 2 months (if not sooner) and if the fluid is still there, we do tubes then.  Or, if we continue with ear infections before the 2 month point, we do tubes.

Although I was completely delighted that 1) my baby doesn't have ear mites, and 2) she doesn't have to be put to sleep in the immediate future, I am a little cautious with my delight.  I know how miserable she has been the last month.  I know the pain she has been in and I don't want her to experience it again.

I just pray that God will heal her ears completely and keep them well.  I know that HE has a plan for us, but I selfishly don't want it to include any pain for my baby.  I would rather endure the pain myself.

So, relieved I am by the fact that she doesn't have ear mites, I am not looking forward to the possibility of more ear infections in our future.  I am hoping that there aren't any, but after this month long one, I can't say my hope are very high.

But, at least tonight, I can rest knowing that there are no bugs... And, that will make any paranoid Mommy happy!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Just Because You Can't See It...

Just because you can't see something, doesn't mean it isn't there...


This is Emma's latest discovery!  She is crawling everywhere, including into our glass door.  She hasn't yet figured out that there is a such thing as an obstacle that you can see through.  
It doesn't stop her from trying, though.  She continues to crawl over to the door, bang her hand against it and the proceed to bang her head against it.  She is determined to get through!
She can see all sorts of interesting things on the deck that she would like to check out.  She will watch the birds land on the deck and her eyes get huge.  She is amazed by them.  She also likes to watch the leaves on our banana plants sway in the breeze.  She definitely loves the outside!


I love to watch as she discovers new things.  The look on her face is priceless when she sees something new. It is truly a joy to be home with her every day.  She is growing so fast.

I picked up pictures today that I had taken when I was about 32 weeks pregnant, when Emma was 1 week old, 6 months old, and 7 months old.  Wow! How she has grown and changed.  It is so bittersweet.  I am so glad that she is healthy and growing like she should.  It is just happening so fast, too fast.



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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ear Aches and Heartbreaks

27 days, 3 different antibiotics, 2 different ear drops, 5 doctor appointments, 3 doctors later, a million tears and a broken heart later...

Emma has been battling an ear infection for almost a month now and my heart is breaking for her.  She has been miserable and there really isn't much I can do.  As a Mama, I want to make it better.  Her doctors have been trying everything they can to treat her, but nothing seems to be working.

Today, I decided to take her back to the doctor to see if the latest antibiotic has helped any.  Unfortunately, it hasn't and we had to take the next step.  Emma had to get a shot of Rocephin today (see her band aid) and will have to go back tomorrow and Saturday for shots each day.  Her sweet nurse came in apologizing for what she had to do to help her feel better.  She told me that Rocephin shots are pretty painful.

Of course, Emma screamed and cried and it just broke my heart.  She doesn't understand that I have to let them 'hurt' her to help her.  She cried most of the 45 minute drive home.  Hearing her crying and knowing that it is her "pain" cry just makes me sick to my stomach.  There was nothing I could do to make her feel better.  And, I have to endure it alone again tomorrow!  Chuck is out of town and will be back tomorrow, but not in time for our appointment.

I am so dreading it!  I know I have family that I can call, but honestly I don't want anyone other than myself or Chuck to touch her!  I go into SUPER OVERLY PROTECTIVE mode when it comes to my baby... especially if she doesn't feel good!

You have heard people talk about how protective a mama bear is... Let me just tell you, you would rather mess with a mama bear than with me when I get in this mode!

It's hard to keep myself from screaming at the doctors and nurses that are helping her.  I just want to protect her from ANY type of hurt.

So, say a prayer for us that these shots work.  We are also being referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor.  I don't want her to have to have tubes, but then again, I know how much they help.  And, I know it is a pretty 'routine' procedure.  It is just scary knowing that my baby may have to have surgery!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Cup Runneth Over

Figuratively... And so does Emma's literally! See...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Couldn't you just squeeze her!?!?  She and Chuck are truly "My Happily Ever After."  Even though it isn't always put together perfectly, it is what I love!
So, with that... Emma showed me two of her new tricks today.  First, she can drink out of a sippy cup with the 'no-spill' valve in it.  And, second, she knows how to drink out of a regular cup!  She is full of surprises!
While watching her play in the tub tonight (and yes, she did drink a little bath water... oops!), I just sat back - but not too far from her - and thought about how extremely blessed I am and how the analogy of a cup running over is so fitting.  
Let's see, what all have I been blessed with?  A wonderful husband, a beautiful, healthy baby, an amazing family, health, laughter, freedom, the ability to be a stay-at-home-mama, etc... I could go on all night!  
Most recently, like real recently, as in this week, I launched a new project... bibies!  In just a few days I have already had orders for 6 bibs!  Wow!  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to those who have purchased bibies!  Also, a huge thanks to all my fabulous friends who have given their endorsements and spread the word to the people in you circles!  I am forever grateful!
So, with the beginnings of bibies, I have decided to create an online store called The Aqua Owl.  It isn't quite up and running just yet, but it will be soon... And you know that you'll be hearing all about it!  
I am so excited about this new venture and look forward to the challenge it will give me.  I will be adding other items for monogramming/appliquéing.  These won't be handmade, but they will be just as adorable!  It will take a little bit of time to get it going, but these are just things for you to look forward to!  
So, I hope that you will join me as I venture through this.  It's sure to be a wild, but rewarding ride!!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

bibies

So I mentioned an outing the other day that I said I would elaborate on later...  Well, here goes.

Emma and I went on a little outing to Jackson the other day.  It was a pretty serious outing considering that it was POURING down rain and I took her anyway.  We made several stops and came home with LOTS of fabrics!  When I say LOTS, I mean,             
L-O-T-S, LOTS!

So what does that mean?  Why did Emma and I tromp through the POURING rain to get fabric... LOTS of fabric????

Well, what that means is... After thinking about this and trying to work out all of the details in my head, I have decided to finally do it!  Do what?  Do IT... I have decided to go into the bib making business!  All handmade and customizable for you!  And, let me tell you, I am so excited to do this.  And, did I mention the adorable name my dear, sweet husband came up with for me?  bibies.  So, precious, isn't it?  

I am working on getting a web site going, but for now, you can email me!  You can click here:  bibies to check out some samples and fabric swatches.  I will be adding more fabric swatches soon, so check back often!  And, if you don't see something you like, let me know what you're looking for and I'll see what I can do!


Hope to send bibies your way soon!