Wednesday, November 28, 2012



i was waiting.

i knew something wasn't right. i knew i was not normal but of course i wasn't normal. i've been pregnant or nursing for the last 6 and 1/2 years, so there's that. i waited a while for "me" to return. but i've changed for good (or bad or neutral or whatever).

i love feeling like i could fly to the moon. sometimes i feel so much joy and enthusiasm that i hardly feel like my body can contain me, like i might jump and break through the roof. i've finally learned that it's not actually very good for me to be manic. i say, "sure, i'll watch your dogs. it's okay that they're not house trained. it's okay that they scratch up the doors and bite and growl at my kids. i can watch them, train them, love them. i can fly to the moon on my charitable feelings."

then comes the crash and i'm huddled in a ball on the kitchen floor sobbing, telling my children to go away and leave me alone.

the road to finding help was piecemeal. i read. i watched. i prayed.

on monday i called a doctor and made an appointment for something else. i wondered if i would be brave enough to mention "the real problem."

my dad was coming to watch the boys. they've been getting into so much trouble lately that i desperately needed to leave them in a state of calm. i laid Finn down and prayed as hard as i could..

"please, Father. please let him go to sleep. please, i ask, with everything i have. please... please... please..."  my dad would be there any second and Finn was wide awake. i opened my scriptures directly to the following verses.

Mark 11:22-24
"And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

i prayed again. "Father, i know that you can help me. i have faith that you will help him fall asleep. i know you will help me. please help me." and he fell asleep. it might as well have been a mountain moved. it was a miracle that any parent of a two-year old could fully appreciate. then i thought, "i know i have faith. so please, Father, will you take away my depression."

"go see your doctor," He answered.

the science of happiness has been of particular intrest to me lately, imagine that. we watched a documentary a while back and i was totally blown away by one point made. they asserted, through findings from a broad study of identical twins, that while 50% of happiness is genetic, and 10% relates to our circumstances, 40% of our happiness is up to us.

in the video the 40% was supposed to have all of the shock value- wow, we have some say in our happiness. well, that's not news to me. the philosophy at my very core revolves around this concept, that we foster an ability to be happy. no, the real shock for me was in the 50%. so even if i'm doing everything i can to find true happiness, and even if i have the best possible circumstances, scientifically speaking i could still be unhappy.

my mom told me, "you wouldn't tell a diabetic just to will their body to make insulin." so it is that some of us simply can't be happy on faith alone. my mom also told me that pretty much every branch of my family tree is plagued with a similar sadness. genetics.

i feel a little strange. my body is adjusting to new chemistry since i started with this medicine. yesterday i cried a lot. i cried when i took those dogs home to their sweet, little old lady owner and told her i just couldn't have them any longer. i cried when i told ossi's dance teacher that he wouldn't be coming anymore, not even performing in the nutcracker. i went over to my parents' house and cried in my mom's arms while we watched "white christmas" and missed my sister (who is away at college). i cried in the car with my other sister, the one who has just started middle school. and i cried when i told matt about all the times i'd cried.

but today i danced.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

"i'm sorry" gifts.

I've mentioned before that Matt and I met working together.

We'd argue sometimes, even then.

I remember walking through the mall looking for "I'm sorry" gifts on a number of occasions. And he'd bring me lunch as peace offerings.

That was when we were only friends, and dating other people.

Looking back, I know we had a special bond and a unique tie from our first interactions. We were never indifferent to one another. In our subtle, non-romantic way we always worked very hard to preserve our relationship.

Through the many trials of our marriage we've had to apologize for a slew of insensitive behavior. And we've not always been in a position to give tangible gifts to express our desire to make things right. So we give the most difficult gift. We offer up our pride. We do what we must to restore our kind feelings.

I do still love the little tokens of an argument end. Yesterday it was lunch for two (with sparkling cider) while the kids watched a movie. We agreed, like we always do, on one specific point; we are very good for each other.

here comes...

just feet.

the shuffle.

Another beautiful Thanksgiving day at Great-Grandpa's.

I love the anticipation of the meal together and the giant chair shuffle to fit everyone.

Sadly, we weren't as cramped as we would have liked since Tamsin was away.

She's in love. We skyped with her and her boyfriend who were in Arizona with his parents for the holiday. I miss her so much, but I love seeing her so happy.

Thank heavens she'll be here for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

our house lately.

my precious, little, couch potatoes.
we made dream catchers to help with the nightmares.
sweet success! he's asleep!
hard at work on our art studio. it's pretty well finished and i hope to post pictures soon.

my helper.

sorting boxes and boxes of craft supplies.

the big picture.

i wonder how many woman get to looking at blogs and forget that they're not actually getting the full picture. been there.

thankfully i've learned to look at a blog or an image on pinterest with a "grain of salt" if you will.

i'll teach you...

1. are there advertisements of any kind on the blog? if yes, than this blogger might be making some cash, so you're seeing their job, not their home life.

2. are there obvious indications that the person blogging is a photographer?  then they understand lighting and framing. they know how to make everything look hot and they have fancy equipment to make their vision possible. they might even know a thing or two about photoshop.

3. are they always happy? always the perfect mom? always crafting up a storm? always dressing ritzy? ask yourself- what do they do on days when they don't post? you only see a tiny sliver of their world. for every hundred photos taken on a given day they may only post one.

4. does their house always look clean? how do they do that with kids running around? again, you only see the public gallery. look at the top picture i posted... you might never have known the baby was in the eye of a storm.

i say these things not to discourage people from reading these types of blogs or to even accuse these bloggers of doing anything wrong. i tell you these things because i know how envy feels. i combat it pretty consistently, and knowing we're all in the same boat seems to help me avoid self-pity.

my darling girl.

i love that her favorite toys are a book and writing utensil... i hope she never grows out of that phase...

i do, however, hope that her taste in clothing develops a bit in the coming years.

Friday, November 16, 2012

make room for artists.

When Matt gets home, I think he'll have a shock.

I'm about to reshuffle our home to make room for an art studio.

For now, we are artists, here.

I've been drawing up a storm. And they're following, and loving it.

I can't help yelling (the best I can without actually talking out loud) I LOVE THIS LIFE.

good gifts.

If we were to line up their birthdays all in a row, we'd have 18 days to celebrate each child.

18 days to lay in the dry, July grass and "ooooo" at fireworks by their side. 18 Thanksgiving turkeys, 18 Christmas Eve snuggles.

I'm so glad these lovely days are spread out over years. But I never want to forget just how little time we have to make lasting memories and to build family traditions.

There's no time for begrudging life's tasks.

We have 18 giant leaf piles in our front-yard to rake together, and that's it. With our oldest, we're down 5 now. We have 13 falls left to teach him. To give him the memory of hard work and the joy of serving in this way.

Every day we give them a gift. A memory, a bit of a lesson, an experience in emotion.

Let's give good gifts.

Monday, November 12, 2012


some words are so pretty coming from a child's lips. ossi is the king of pretty words.

"mom, is that precious to you?"

"mom, i'm so precious to you, right?"

"we have harmony now, huh?"

"mom, i have passion."

unfortunately, he's also very adept in his use of ugly words."i hate you. you'll never be beautiful. you're an idiot. you're not my mom anymore. i don't love you."

i hesitate to share this, knowing that he is growing and changing each day, and hoping to fully forgive.

things are better since making huge changes to his diet, but he still needs much guidance.

plus, we have three other children with unique challenges and personalities.

at times it can be overwhelming to consider our responsibilities as parents.

as matthew and i kneel in prayer together and counsel with one another about the needs of our children we are blessed with peace. we know what to do. usually we feel a resounding, "stay the course." keep praying as a family. keep teaching them from the scriptures. don't lose hope.

so every night we gather our monkey-children around to read and pray. and then sometimes we wrestle.  matthew strikes a deal... if anyone can pin him they'll get to stay up all night and he'll go straight to bed. it looks like this...

i refuse to take a single day for granted.

every evening's bedtime routine has become precious to me. i don't ever want to forget.