Ginger Ale and Saltines

This photo is the opposite of how my Monday went.

Yesterday I was more sick than I have been in over ten years. It was the worst. The whole time, I just kept having flashbacks to when my appendix burst in 9th grade. Seriously, the worst. And then, I woke up this morning ...and felt fine.

It blew my mind when I woke up feeling normal. Now I look back on yesterday and I feel so sorry for sick me. If only I had known it would be over once I slept for the night. I was seriously a mess.

Here's a little peak into how my brain works when it's fighting food poisoning: When I was lying on the couch writhing in pain, wishing I could eat the donut Camaron had bought for me, I remember thinking to myself, "for our next baby, I am definitely getting an epidural." I'm not pregnant right now, but I was obviously in enough pain to have been thinking of childbirth.

During one of the many naps I took yesterday, I dreamt I was in a huge cave. There were a bunch of us in there and we were traveling through the cave system for fun, I think. Somehow, someone came up with the amazing idea to start a game of ultimate frisbee as we were climbing around the cave. My team was all of my girls from my first group of EFY girls from 4 years ago and me. Just to let you know, I was like really good. I was tossing that disc around stalagmites like you wouldn't believe.

I don't know how those 2 stories connect, maybe they don't. If you can think of a connection, let me know. Apparently my brain is still healing from yesterday's craziness. I'm pretty positive it was food poisoning since it only lasted a day, but I keep hearing that there is something going around, so be cautious. And if you need any saltines, you know who to call.

p.s. Camaron, you are the best. I know I tell you that all the time, but this post wouldn't be complete without a shoutout to you as well. Thank you for taking such good care of Fox yesterday, making store runs for me, not telling me how disgusting I looked, and making food for me even though you had a paper to write and a final to study for. Next time I get sick, I'll do my best not to time it around finals week:)

Family Matters + Boy Meets World + Step by Step + Hangin with Mr. Cooper...

Mine's looking crazy, but as long as I can squeeze a nap in there somewhere I'll survive.
Gonna have some fun, show you how it's done, TGIF.

p.s. I truly believe that crazy, underaged Friday night partying would significantly decrease if they brought back that sweet line-up. Sorry, I already have plans ...with Cory and Shawn


Call me, beep me...

By some unplanned miracle, my best friend, Alyssa, and I were pregnant at the same time last year. It was so much fun to be able to share that craziness with someone I'm so close to (And also to plan out our future children's marriage to each other). We did our best to help each other out when we could.  I remember Alyssa and I planned to ride bikes one time, just to get our pregnant selves out of the house. Well, we didn't have any bikes, so we decided to walk over to her sister's house to borrow hers. It was a nice spring day with just a little breeze, so I wore a sweater. We were having a grand ole time for about half an hour, until we realized Alyssa's sister live much further than we had anticipated. It wasn't too long until the breeze died and the sun bore down on our absent-minded pregnant heads. We didn't have any water with us, or our phones, or anything (we left it all at home for some reason). And why was I wearing a sweater?? So we trudged on with our sweaty faces held high and our feet swelling down below. Such fools. In the end we lived, we made it to her sister's, turns out they didn't have bikes, she gave us a pity ride home in her mini van. There is no real point to this story, it's just a fond memory that the two of us share.

Yesterday, Alyssa and Delilah came over to play with Fox and me. We ate cookies and watched embarrassing videos that Alyssa and I made in college (American Idol spoof anyone?). Fox and Delilah are both pretty mobile now, so it was fascinating to watch them interact with each other. Here's a little play-by-play of what's going on in the above photos:

Turns out they both love cell phones, so they quickly got each other's numbers and began texting up a storm. Then Delilah was just super cute. And then Fox told Delilah he likes her better with her hair down.

Yes, I now narrate baby photo montages. Deal with it.

Thank You

One of the greatest feelings I can imagine experiencing is that of feeling validated and loved the same time. That's how I've felt all week. 

When I published this post on Monday, I knew I was really leaving myself vulnerable to the wrath of the inter-webs and those who feel that hiding behind a screen makes it ok to put others down. Luckily, the only feedback I have received has been uplifting and comforting. Thank you for that. And thank you for the inspiring personal stories from those who have had similar experiences. Also, thank you for the many wonderful book recommendations. And thank you for bringing life to my words through reading and sharing them. You're all just great. Now go have a wonderful weekend in this gorgeous weather (sorry if you don't live where the weather is gorgeous right now. Have fun anyway. Make some cookies -and send me some).


Depression Does Not Define Me

Ok, here it is. The post I've written over and over, but somehow never finish. But I'm done with being vague and wishy-washy about it ...I have depression. Quite the attention-getter, right? Well, it's true. Depression is something I believe I've had probably almost all of my life. But it wasn't until just recently that I was diagnosed and began receiving the help I needed. This is a little bit heavier than most of my posts on here, but I needed to post this, not just write it out and leave it in my drafts folder (again). Sharing this is important, not just for me, but for anyone going through something similar. Every time I read about someone I know (or even don't know) sharing about a mental illness they have, I gain more understanding -about myself, them, and mental illness as a whole. And this even goes beyond mental illness. Adversity shouldn't be suffered alone, and the lessons we learn from it shouldn't be kept secret. I believe that part of the reason we suffer through trials is to help lift others when they are faced with their own. So, I'm hoping this post can do at least a little bit for you as what other's posts have done for me.

I remember standing outside my fourth grade classroom in tears, trying to convince my mom to take me home. I didn't know why I was crying, I could see my classmates staring at me, but I couldn't stop. And I couldn't go to class. I couldn't just go join my friends. I didn't know why. I just couldn't do it. My mom would ask me "what is wrong? What happened? What can I do?" And the only answer I could give was "I don't know." I ended up missing my first two days of high school for the same reason. I've missed work, I've missed parties, I've missed out on whole days. Most frustrating has been that I didn't want to miss out on these things. I didn't want to spend the day just laying on my bed crying. I didn't want others to think they had done something to make me feel this way. 

The hardest part of growing up with depression was not knowing I had it. I didn't know why I was feeling so sad all of the time. I had friends, I had a great family, I had talents, I had so many reasons to be happy. And the phrase Choose to be Happy seemed like such a duh solution. But I couldn't do it, so I ended up blaming myself. For some reason, I figured I was choosing to not be happy. I was choosing to be bratty and rude. I was choosing to be anti-social. Looking back now, I see that I never really had a choice. Mental illness is incredibly strong. It's not something you can just will away, or replace with happy thoughts. I've had friends compare it to if you had a physical illness or injury. You can't just tell yourself to be healed. You can't will your broken leg away. 

I was at my worst when Camaron and I moved to Utah in 2011. The stress of moving, lack of close friends and family, financial stuff, and trying to have a baby were just too much. I was having breakdowns left and right. Camaron and I knew there was more to this than just me being homesick. I figured I could take care of it myself though. I changed my diet and became vegan for a bit. I tried exercising more. I tried to incorporate art into my life more. But the rough days would still rear their ugly heads about once or twice a month. I finally decided it was time I should see a doctor. But that would require making a phone call, and one of the "quirks" of my mental situation has always been an avoidance of talking on the phone. So time passed and no appointments were scheduled. I didn't worry though, because I felt fine. Why stress out over calling some strange doctor when I was feeling fine? When I wasn't in my dark place, I basically blocked it out of my mind and figured I was over it. But it always came back.

And then I got pregnant. Let me tell you, as rough as pregnancy can be, I wouldn't mind being pregnant a lot more often, because my depression basically subsided during those nine months. Thank you, crazy pregnancy hormones. But I'm not pregnant anymore, and the depression has come back. 
So I finally went to a counselor (yes, Camaron had to call and schedule it for me). My first time going was this last December. I was a mess of emotions leading up to the appointment, but I was happier than I had been in a long time when I got home. It was an incredible feeling to have someone validate the feelings and thoughts I had been struggling with. It was amazing to finally know that there was a reason I was feeling the way I was. There was even a name for it. 

I continued counseling once a week for a few months. Sometimes I left loving this woman, and sometimes I left despising her. But, overall, I am so grateful for all that she taught me about myself. For what I learned about why I do the things I do. But the most important thing I learned from her was that this trial, my depression, doesn't have to always be a trial. It can also be a blessing -something I can be grateful for. I know that I have my depression to thank for my gift of being a good listener. And the deep empathy I have for others. And it has helped me accept the faults of others, because we really don't know what they're going through -and everyone is going through something. I know I still have a lot more to learn. I am still working on discovering other ways that my mental illness has and can bless my life. It's definitely not something I have overcome by any means. Overall though, I truly believe I am doing better.

For me, counseling was a great help. Talking with my counselor and my bishop at church made it possible for me to gain a broader perspective on myself and my mental illness. I have also tried medication, which was also helpful. Overall though, having a knowledge that I will never be faced with a trial I can't handle has been the greatest reassurance though this whole process. I know that each time I have one of my bad days, it is only temporary. And even further, I know that having bad days at all is only temporary. We all have adversities to face, but that is life. That is the part that helps us grow and develop. The part that makes us stronger. I love how my bishop once described it to me, I am not defined as a depressed person. I am a person who has depression.

If you have any questions for me, I'd be happy to answer them. Also, if you suffer from a mental illness or would simply like to learn more, the article Myths About Mental Illness is great:)


Easter, Weezer, and Tacos

Our first Easter with Fox was a great one. There were lots of snuggles, amazing musical numbers and messages at church*, plenty of pastels, time with family, and THE BEST FOOD EVER!!! Seriously, nothing tops living near parents who don't mess around when it comes to Easter dinner (Or Thanksgiving dinner, or Christmas dinner, or Sunday dinner...).

On Easter Eve, Camaron and I found out some of our friends were putting on a show doing covers of Weezer songs that night. Of course we were down. Does Easter Eve get any better than a Weezer cover band?! Well, they were also giving out free sodas, so apparently it does.
low lit iphone photos at night: spectacular.

Camaron was starving when we got to the show. We were a little early, so we figured we go gets some eats real quick before that magic started. As we were about to head over to a nearby delicious taco place, I received a text with this photo attached:

Yes, those are our friends, the Bradfords, with MY PARENTS at the taco place we were heading to. Why do Jenny and William keep trying to replace me and Cam as favorite children? And get your own taco place (or at least save me some horchata).

*It was an Easter miracle that we made it to 8am church only ten minutes late. Staying up until 1am the night before watching movies where Tom Cruise runs really fast may not have been the smartest decision for us.
Or was it?

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