Wednesday, September 26, 2012

mug swap

i've never participated in a swap among bloggers until i saw a mug swap over at acuppakim.
some blogger ladies that i read participate, so i had to get in on the hoopla, too. what better way to make new blogger friends and get super fun mail in the process.

the lovely that sent me some goodies was jenna. 
she's super cool and has an amazing etsy site.
i should know, because she sent me a set of her beautiful thank you cards. 
you definitely need to check it out. 
i loved everything. the sweetness even sent me cookie mix because she knows how much i like cookies. wish we could share them in real life.

oh, you know...just enjoying some tea in my new mug.

the lovely that i had the privilege of shopping for was nikki. she's pretty darn awesome, too. 
i love this owl mug. i guess owls are in because they were everywhere when i went on the hunt for the perfect mug. 

decorating the package was part of the fun.

thanks cuppakim for hosting. 
i will definitely be participating next year. 
i can't wait.

Friday, September 21, 2012

a big thank you and some randomness

after my last post, i received an overwhelming amount of messages, texts, and comments, saying thank you for sharing my struggles...and in those thank you's were stories from other women who've struggled with ppd...and other forms of depression too.
and so, i wanted to thank you for sharing with me. 
i felt a huge weight lifted by sharing, and i was so encouraged by your stories.
it's wonderful to know we do not have to struggle alone, and that God doesn't do things by chance. we don't meet people by accident or read people's stories by chance. it all has a purpose. 
thank you, Jesus.

now for my randomness:
i went to a consignment sale last week, called charleston repeats. it's fun and overwhelming. i like to consign my kids old clothes so i can go shop for new ones. i found little miss' halloween costume (we actually don't do halloween...we go to a fall festival at our church) there for only $5.00. 
it's a.dor.a.ble.
she's seriously the sweetest piggy i've ever see.

found this one for jude for $7.00. 
he was excited about mcqueen, but insists that he wants to be a giraffe. thank goodness his little bff, who happens to be a year older and size bigger, was one last year. 
yay for borrowed costumes and for cute giraffes.

she apparently thinks mcqueen is super fun.

he's so darn cute and innocent looking. 

so, both my kiddos are attached to their we can't enter another room or leave the house without them.

one of my favorite (and easiest) fall dishes is this one...
pasta with a butternut squash sauce and sage.
i had some requests for the recipe, so here it is...
unfortunately, i can't take all the credit.

rotini with butternut squash and sage
(adapted from farfalle with butternut squash & sage)

12 oz whole wheat rotini noodles (we like these best)
1 cup milk
3 1/2 cups 1/2 inch pieces peeled butternut squash 
(or one package of archer farms frozen microwavable butternut squash...
what i did this time...super fast and easy)
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
5.2 oz package of boursin garlic and herb

cook pasta as directed by the package.
(if using frozen butternut, follow the package directions and then add it to the step below.)
while pasta is cooking, heat milk, squash and sage in a medium saucepan until simmering.
reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until squash is tender enough to smash.
remove from heat.
mash contents together with a potato masher...or whatever you have.
stir in boursin cheese until blended. 
drain pasta and return it to the pot. 
add sauce to the pasta and toss to coat.
serve immediately...who likes cold pasta?

despite the look on his face, he really likes it and eats a lot of it.

happy weekend, lovelies!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

me and ppd {postpartum depression}

i've tried to sit and write this about a dozen times. i was sort of embarrassed to share this, because it basically tells the whole world i don't have it together, i'm not a perfect mom. who wants to tell everyone that. but, i feel like i should share my story because (1) it's my story and (2) i hope it helps someone else.

after baby girl was born, i went in for my 6 week check-up and was feeling great.
my baby blues had come and gone. life was perfect.

then she got sick at about 7 weeks, and we spent a week at the hospital.
my husband started a new company and was working a ton...i mean a ton.
i was bummed i couldn't breastfeed again.
jude started throwing major screaming tantrums (those terrible two's).
we weren't going to church because every time we'd go, one of the kids would get endless germ cycle.

life was moving quickly, and between 3 and 4 months postpartum my hormones and emotions got the best of me.

i started to feel overwhelmed by life.
at home, i would cry for no reason, fly off the handle for no reason. i was angry and sad...and took it out on my husband. i couldn't control any emotion i felt. i felt like i should be enjoying this sweet, beautiful, happy baby girl, but couldn't because of an overwhelming sadness and anxiousness. i couldn't control my thoughts. i kept having troubling thoughts about my kids getting hurt and me being the cause of it. they started giving me panic attacks. i started to think my family would be better off without me. i wanted to leave...maybe they'd be better off with someone else because i was a terrible wife and mother.

on the outside everything was fine. i didn't want to let anyone know how i felt.
i'd see friends and family and tell them everything was great, after all, people have been raising children for years, while deep in my core i yearned for a spark of life.

how could i feel this way?
how could i feel so empty and joyless when i have the hope of Christ in my life?
i'd read my bible in hopes to feel better, but didn't.
i'd pray to my Father in heaven for help, but continued in my downward spiral.

i started to read articles online about postpartum depression, and i knew that's what i had and needed help, but i was embarrassed because i felt like i should be able to get through it with prayer and scripture. i should have the joy of the Lord...hope in my salvation and what is yet to come...that should get me through this.
but, my friend, i'm here to tell you that i was foolish. i needed more. is Christ enough? yes, He is, but He also gives us doctors and pastors and friends and family to help us in our time of need.

at four months postpartum, i called the doctor, and thankfully, they take this very seriously. i felt so silly calling the doctor's office...especially because i couldn't even make the appointment without sobbing uncontrollably. they wanted me to come in right away...they worry about women with postpartum depression because of the safety for the baby and the mother.
i couldn't go that day because i didn't want to ask someone to watch my children...i didn't want anyone knowing i was going in for depression. i still wanted the illusion that everything was perfect.

i went in the next day, and my doctor was wonderful. between sobs, i told her how i felt like i should leave them, but i love them so much, how could i feel that way.
i told her that i was embarrassed because i was christian and should have joy, but felt empty and joyless (i love that my doctor is a believer!). she reassured me that i was going to be ok, and that everything i was feeling wasn't 'normal' and that my suspicions had been right...i was struggling with ppd.  did you know that a mother can develop ppd anytime in the first year after childbirth? it's crazy and amazing what our bodies go through during pregnancy and after. my doctor really believed it to be a hormonal change. we talked and i cried for a while, and (i can't believe i'm telling you this) we decided i would benefit from medication. and so, yes, i'm a saved by grace, Christ-follower, and now take medicine to help cope with my feelings of overwhelming anxiety and depression...and it's ok.

dear friend, i write all of this to's ok.
if you've been reading this and thinking you feel the same way, you aren't alone.
you aren't a failure. you aren't a bad mother. you won't feel this way forever.
it's nothing to be ashamed of.
the thing about ppd is, you can't choose to have it or not have it.
but, you can choose to get help.

my baby girl is almost 11 months now.
i've been taking medicine for about 7 months, and am thankful i went to my doctor when i did. i was able to enjoy my children during this time, and i really believe i wouldn't have been able to cope if i hadn't.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

nora {ten months}

this update is almost a month week you'll be 11 months!
at 10 months, you have taken a few steps on your own. 
you aren't still for long. you are always on the go.
even when i put you in your crib, you have to roll around, 
sit up, jump up and down, all before you go to sleep.
you are a terrible napper. you should be taking 2 naps, but we're lucky if you get one good one. i guess you are just too busy to many things to see.
(notice the messy written ten months. it wasn't messy before i tried to take these pictures. i guess standing on the chalkboard is more fun than holding it.)

you've graduated from baby food. you started spitting it out when i'd feed you, so you eat what we eat now...only in really tiny pieces. i'm happy to say you love vegetables and fruit!
i love snuggling with you. you are such a sweet baby. 
you love giving kisses...even your big brother loves getting kisses from you.

you've brought us so much joy. 
we love you, baby girl.