Friday, January 29, 2010

Ready, Ready, READY!!!

I am proud to announce that it is ready!  Finally!  Check out my website!

I am so excited to finally have this up and running.  I hope that you will visit and order a thing or two!

Use the coupon code 'Welcome' to save 10%!



I love it, but I hate it.  Had a post all typed up and ready to post yesterday and my internet quit on me.  I didn't get too upset because I thought my post had saved... Not so.  It is gone... lost... floating somewhere in cyberspace.  Ugh!  I hate when that happens.

Anyway,  all I was saying is that I can't believe how fast the week has flown by.  I mean, seriously, it's Friday!  I feel like yesterday was Friday!  Time is just becoming a blur.

So, what have we been up to?  Let's see... Visiting family, photography class, coming home from visiting family, doctor appointments, trying to fix my internet, working on my website, laundry, house cleaning, and just catching up.  Whew, I am a tired just trying to recap it.

What? Photography class?  I haven't mentioned it?  Let me tell you about this!  It is a non-credit course offered by a local community college.  I have only had one class meeting, but so far, it is fabulous!  I really think that I may become even more obsessed with photography than I already am.  I truly feel like this instructor, Deanna Knight, knows her stuff, and not only that, knows how to teach it!  That's the big thing!  She is 'self-taught' and knows how to help us other 'self-taught' photographers.  I can't wait to go to class next Monday night.  It feels so good to do something for ME.  For a few hours every Monday night for the next few weeks, I have to let go of being wife and Mommy and just be Jessica, student, wanna-be photographer.  Not that I don't miss Chuck and Emma like crazy, because I do, but it is a nice change of pace.   I look forward to learning a lot about photography and making some new friends!

Now, what else?  oh, my website... The Aqua Owl... I am excited to say that it seems to be ready to go!  More details about that coming soon!  But for now, let me finish catching you up...

So, what's new with Emma... well, she took her first steps on December 12, 2009.  It was exciting and sad all at the same time.  My baby is growing up so fast!  Since then, she has walked when she wanted to, but not all that often.  In the last week, though, she has started walking everywhere!  I can hardly keep up!  It is so much fun to see the look on her face when she does it... she is so proud of herself.  And, of course, I am proud of her too!

She is also saying more words.  Most recently she has said 'dog' 'moon' 'bubbles' 'sock' 'shoe' 'cat' 'bird' and many, many more!  She babbles constantly and is so animated.  I wish I knew what she is talking about!

Teething... We are still in the midst of it.  I guess.  Emma doesn't have a single tooth yet!  So, I don't know if it really is teething.  But, she definitely has her moods!

Now, to Chuck... He hasn't been up to much, just working, hunting and being Daddy.  This past weekend, though, he did get to go to New Orleans to see the Saints and Vikings play for the NFC.  I have to admit, I was a little jealous that I didn't get to go.  But, I know that he had a great time and deserved a trip like that.  So, I did my best to put my jealousy aside and not give him a hard time.  He brought home some pretty cool souvenirs for Emma and me, which we love.  He's pretty sweet like that.

For now, though, I've got to run... I hear the dryer calling my name!

Happy Friday!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's Official...

I am NOT a Mommy for the second time... Sadly.

Chuck and I were really hoping that we would have some great news for everyone, but, it wasn't meant to be.  Three negative pregnancy tests later, it is finally sinking in.  And, I really would have sworn that I was.  I have been having weird 'symptoms' that I totally associated with being pregnant.

I know that God has a plan for us and our family, but Chuck and I both were really hoping that His plan was the same as ours.  I guess time will tell.

I have to admit that I really have handled it okay for the most part.  The worst was finding out that one of my friends is pregnant.  I didn't realize how badly I wanted to have another baby until I knew I wasn't having one and someone else is.  Is that wrong?  Not that I am not happy for her.  I am ecstatic for them!

I can't help but worry though, that something is wrong.  It was so easy to get pregnant with Emma.  Actually, it happened much, much sooner than either of us ever dreamed possible.  So, now, after a few months of trying and it not happening, I am a little worried.

I know I shouldn't be.  Other than not getting pregnant, I have no other reason to think something could be wrong.  I know that I am just letting my imagination go into overdrive... Not to mention that I have researched  all sorts of possibilities of things that could be going on.

Please pray for us and our family.  We are taking a break from trying to have a baby for a little while because we are trying to avoid having another Christmas baby.  We don't think it would be fair to the new baby or to Emma if they both had birthdays right at Christmas.  So, we'll give it a rest, regroup and try again later.

My heart aches for a new addition to our family.  I know that Emma would love to have a brother or sister.  She enjoys playing with kids and is fascinated with real babies and dolls alike.  Hopefully soon, it will happen. Until then, I will continue to thank God for blessing us with Emma and pray that he has another blessing or two, or three in store!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Where's Emma?

Where's Emma?

Where's Emma?


There She Is!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I got slapped in the face with it today.  I hate days like this.  Hate being brought to my knees by true reality.

I am at the hospital today.  I brought my Grandmother to see her sister, my Great Aunt.  She has been in the hospital for almost a month now.  I am sad to say that she isn't improving as much as we would like her to.  Her mind doesn't seem quite right.

She has told my Grandmother and me all sorts of things that just aren't right... She has slapped a doctor, she has been beaten, she has seen people that she couldn't have possibly have seen, and more.  It is such a sad realization that age has waged a war on her body and mind, and it is winning.

She has some moments of clarity, like just now.  She asked my Grandmother, "It doesn't seem like I'm getting any better does it?"  My Grandmother didn't answer, just changed the subject.

I hate seeing my Great Aunt like this.  I hate seeing anyone in this state.  It just seems so unfair.  But, also, I hate to see my Grandmother watch her sister going through this.  I think of how I might feel one day when my sister and I get older.  It kills my soul to see reality hit my Grandmother.  She had been hopeful that her sister would get well and be able to return home.  But spending the day with her, we both know that that won't happen.

My Grandmother has been strong.  She teared up a little when they took her sister from the room to go to rehab.  I pretended not to see it because I knew she didn't want me to.  My heart sank, though, and I fought back tears of my own.  I saw in her eyes the acceptance of the reality that she seemed to be facing.  She knows that she can't take care of herself and her sister, though that was what she had in mind.  She knows that her sister will never be able to live alone again.  She knows that, sadly, this may very well be the beginning of the end.

My Great Aunt has told us that she just wants to close her eyes to sleep and never wake up.  She has said "it doesn't matter" about so many little things.  She seems to be giving up and giving in to age.  It is heart breaking.

I think that this has brought to the surface realization of other things for my Grandmother too.  She began to talk about needing to get her things in order and hoping that when it came her time that she would go quickly.

This has also stirred up some very raw emotions in myself.  I know that my Grandmother is old.  I have known this.  What I haven't always known is that my Grandmother won't be here forever.  And, once I was old enough to know this, I still pretended to not.  I haven't been willing to accept that my Grandmother could be gone from my life.

This woman that has been such a huge part of my life, such a huge part of my heart, could be gone one day.  And, I know that it could happen to anyone of us at any time.  But, given the situation, it is my Grandmother who is on my mind.  It is a hard thought to swallow.  It is something that I have kept in the deep dark corners of my mind, never to let creep out.

I find myself asking, "Does she know how much I love her?  Does she know how much she means to me?  Does she know how much it means to me that she is a part of my daughter's life?  Does she know how much it means to me to have the things she has made?"  And these are just the ones I can type without completely breaking down and crying in front of her and my Great Aunt.

I hate days like this... Hate being brought to my knees by true reality...  

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Routinely Unroutine

I like to think that we have a routine around our house.  For Emma, at least... Supper at 5:30 followed by a bath, jammies, a cup of milk while we rock and then I put her to bed.  She then takes a few minutes to make her 'nest' and off to sleep she goes until 6:00 am.

I am starting to think, though, our routine is becoming our unroutine... Which isn't wasn't a word until now, because I needed a word to describe our, well, unroutine.

Our unroutine starts like our routine, but somewhere, somehow, it veers off course and leaves me wondering what happened?

Like tonight, we were cruising along, business as usual, I put Emma down for bed and left her room.  I went about cleaning up the kitchen and then headed back to my bedroom for something.  When I returned, I couldn't find Chuck, but I couldn't hear Emma crying, so I thought that she was still asleep and he stepped outside.  I was trying to sneak into her room and get her laundry when I found Chuck.  I opened the door and found Chuck trying to console her and get her back to bed.

Of course, Emma saw me and was not going down without a fight and another rocking session with me.  So, I took her and we rocked.  I sang to her and watch her eyes close and flutter back open, close and flutter back open continuously for about 15 minutes.  Finally, when I heard her breathing change and felt her body relax, I eased up out of the chair, careful not to use my upper body and therefore disturb Emma, and made my way to the crib.  I leaned over into it and was about to lay her down when her eyelids popped open and she looked at me with pleading eyes.  I knew it was coming, but I continued laying her down and covering her up.  I didn't even get my back turned before she was wailing again.

So, I thought, "Here we go... Another long night."  I picked Emma up, settled back into the rocking chair, and began rocking and singing again.  After a few unproductive minutes of that, I decided to take her into the "Red" room (A guest bedroom that is painted a beautiful shade of red, thus the name).  I laid her on the bed, laid down beside her, and within two minutes she was out.

We continued to lay there partly because I was afraid of waking her when I moved, but mostly because deep down I love nights like tonight when I lay down with her and she scoots up as close as she can to me.

I can't help but wonder, though, why some nights she goes along with her routine and goes right to sleep on her own but, then other nights, like tonight, she needs me to be right there with her.

I have noticed that on days that I am away from her, she is much more likely to have a night like this.  And, of course, when she isn't feeling well.  But over the past month, she has been having more and more nights like tonight and I can't pinpoint a reason.  It drives me insane when I rack my brain trying to connect the dots and solve our little mystery yet still come up short.

Did she have a bad dream?  Is she scared?  Does she miss me?  Is she just being demanding?  All of these questions swim in my head without answers.

Finally, though, after pondering question after unanswered question, I realized something...  The nights like these are going to end far sooner that I want.  The nights that she wants and needs me that close to her will soon be gone and will be replaced with nights that she can't get far enough away from me.  And, as much as I want to believe those nights aren't coming, I was a teen aged girl once. And, if the saying "Paying for your raising" is true, I'll be unwanted more nights than I can even bear to imagine.

So, tonight, with that thought in mind,  I gave up my search for answers and just lay there with her.  Held her.  Traced the curves of her precious face.  Smelled her sweet baby smell.  Listened to her breathe.  Watched her eyelids flutter in the moonlight.  And thanked God for the opportunity to have routinely unroutine nights.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Vanity... as defined by is:

1.    excessive pride in one's appearance, qualities, abilities,  
       achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain;
Failure to be elected was a great blow to his vanity.
an instance or display of this quality or feeling.
something about which one is vain.
lack of real value; hollowness; worthlessness: the vanity of a selfish life.
something worthless, trivial, or pointless.
vanity case.
dressing table.
a wide, counterlike shelf containing a wash basin, as in the bathroom of a hotel or residence, often equipped with shelves, drawers, etc., underneath.
a cabinet built below or around a bathroom sink, primarily to hide exposed pipes.

Today, I am a little overcome with it.  Why today?  I have no idea.  After spending the morning in my pajamas with Emma, I finally got a shower when she went down for her afternoon nap.  When I stepped out of the shower, it kicked me in the gut like Emma once did when she was growing in my belly.

I looked in the mirror and all I could see were 'flaws.'  My hair isn't the right color blonde, my skin is pasty and splotchy, I need to lose 20 pounds... My 'flaws' just kept screaming for me to look at them.  So, I did.  I stood in front of the mirror, straight out of the shower, and examined every single 'flaw' that I have.

I decided that I need to continue this three day diet that I am on, although it doesn't seem to be working, check into sunless tanning, and re-shampoo my hair with a shampoo that claims to brighten blonde hair and get rid of the golden tones.

Once I made up my mind to do all of these things, I began putting on my make-up and out of the blue just fell out laughing.  I started laughing because for years now I could have cared less about tanning.  Ask anyone that knows me... I have been pasty and splotchy for so long that I'm not even sure what I would look like with a tan!

Even after a fit of laughter, and reminding myself that these are probably just things that I notice, I still couldn't help but continue standing in front of the mirror.  As hard as I tried to find the positive, I struggled.  Why today must I feel this way?  Why did it have to kick me in the gut today?  I have other things to do, like play with Emma, clean my house and sew!

Oh, vanity, why must you creep in and try to take over my life?

Saturday, January 9, 2010


That's the way I'm feeling tonight. I'm not really sure why, but that's the thing with depression; it just hits you.

I have spent the day surrounded by family and friends, actually, I've spent the last few days surrounded by family and friends and yet I feel low. It's unexplainable; it's a feeling of despair, loneliness, and sadness. But there is so much more. So much that I can't quite give words to. It's an ache that has no root.

That's the hard part - not only for me, but the ones I love. There isn't an explaination for why I feel this way, there's nothing they can do to make it better.

And, strangely enough, though I feel lonely, I want nothing more than to be alone. I just want to curl up in a dark corner and just be.

Hopefully, I am just really tired and a good night's rest will help me feel better... I hope so. I have been on the way up since the beginning of November and want to keep heading in that direction.

Up or down, though, I am determined to keep fighting and continue to stay positive!

Say a prayer for a better day tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby!

Emma turned 1 year old on December 23, 2009.  Here are a few a lot of pictures from her party!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to Life, Back to Reality

This seems to be the song that so many people I know are singing today.  After Christmas vacations and time spent with friends and family, today is the day that most people are returning to work and their usual routine.

Being a Stay-at-Home Mom, I thought that I would be somewhat 'immune' to this.  Wrong!  After 2 weeks of being off work, Chuck had to return today.  I didn't realize how quiet our house is when he isn't around!  Even though I have a 1 year old and all of her toys singing and talking or whatever they do, it is still quiet.  And, he helped cook, clean and care for Emma while he was off work; so now, I am back to being in charge of all those things.  I didn't know that I would be singing the same tune...

I have so much I need to get done today, but I am finding myself a little lost in the silence.  I definitely didn't expect this.  How are you coping with returning to your reality???

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Resolve to be Better

It's a new year, and with that comes resolutions.  Have you made any?  I have, but haven't verbalized those to anyone, yet.  I usually don't make resolutions, because I never keep them, which leads to unnecessary guilt and so on and so on.  However, this year is different.

How is it different?  Really, I don't know.  But it feels different.  And I feel different.   I feel more hopeful and positive than I have in a while.  It feels so good to be back in a positive state of mind.  Although, I have had this feeling in the past, it has been a while since it has lasted this long.  

Most of this I chalk up to my appointments with Dr. A.  He really is wonderful and has helped me more than anyone else I have dealt with.  He not only listens, but he also makes suggestions and even calls me out when I need it.  He makes me see reality, even when I try to refuse.

Case in point... He required me to come up with a list of 25 things I liked about myself and 25 things I disliked about myself.  When her first assigned this 'homework,' I thought that it would be easy to come up with things I disliked.  

However, when it came down to it, I struggled with it.  It took me a month, and at the end, I was pulling random stuff out of thin air (driving to my appointment, the one it was due at)... stuff that I was more indifferent about than actually I disliked.  Now, don't get me wrong, the list of 25 things I like about myself was NOT a piece of cake.  But, it was easier.  

And, what I realized, before I even spoke with him, was that being me is not so bad.  While I realize that on most days, there are days that that particular fact is lost to me.  Which, I'm sure everyone has days like that, but in my case, days would turn into weeks and weeks into months.  That's the thing with depression, it grabs hold of any negative or weakness and feeds on that.  It's like a leech... it literally sucks the life out of you.  

And, once I spoke with Dr. A about the things I dislike about myself, he made me realize that those things don't matter.  They were all things that I would never consider when deciding if I liked another person.  

Granted, there are days where those things matter to me, but in the grand scheme of things, they truly are insignificant.  He encouraged me to focus on the positives I listed; and also to find the silver lining in all the negatives I listed.  So, I have been working on that.

The entire month of December, I tried to think less about what was 'wrong' with me and think more about what is 'right.'  I know that it sounds so simple, but often times, it isn't.  

You know the email forwards that you receive with photos and stories of people who have much harder circumstances?  I used to get those and seriously get myself all worked up.  I mean, I could look at it and know that my problems are nothing compared to others and I know I had no reason to be unhappy, but still, I was.  And I felt so guilty.  Which would just cause more turmoil, because 'Why was I so unhappy when I had so much to be happy about?'  

I couldn't, and still struggle with the fact that with depression, you can't just change your way of thinking.  There really is something going on in the brain that you can't control.  Therefore, you can't just decide to be happy, no matter how hard you try... and trust me, I tried very, very hard.

But, what I am learning is that with the right treatment, and a positive attitude, you can be happy.  For me, the right treatment is a little medicine and 'talk' therapy.  In the past, I had a doctor that wanted to do a lot of medicine and a little talk.  That always left me feeling like we were putting a band-aid on the problem but not actually healing it.  And, I actually started to believe that I would never feel any better, any happier than I did then.  Which was a terrible feeling, because I was far from happy.  

So, now, with a new year and a new attitude, I have decided to make a resolution for this year (well, actually, I am making several, but one major one).  I resolve to find the positive in all aspects of my life.  I can already hear the line "Mama told me there'd be days like this..." in my head, but I still want to challenge myself.  I think that with this, and my continued appointments with Dr. A, that I can reach a happiness that has long eluded me.  I know it is only day two of this new year, but I did start working on this in December of 09, and it's looking good.

Now it's your turn... What do you resolve to do this year?  Even if you didn't make your resolution on the 1st, it isn't too late... Actually, it's never too late to do something good for yourself.  If you haven't made a resolution yet, I challenge you to dig deep within yourself and resolve to make a change in your life that will make you a better you... because the only person you can control is yourself.  

Let me know what you resolve to do and we will hold each other accountable!  I know I will need all the support I can get.

Much love and Happy New Year!