hard questions

Laura sent this photo to me yesterday. It was taken the day after we graduated from JBU in May of 1999. Seeing this photo brought back interesting feelings for me. First I felt warmth because of the friendship portrayed. Our relaxed body language and easy smiles say a lot about us. Next, I recalled how bad I felt that day. I was struggling with being sad, mean and angry. I had PMS that day. I tried to be happy, but it was a huge battle.

Often when I look at photos, I think, "Ugh, I remember that day. I had PMS and I felt horrible (emotionally)." Which led to more thoughts... Am I depressed too much of the time? What is normal for a woman? Do I just tell myself I'm happy? Does it count, if 9 years later I look at a photo and remember the angst that I felt? All these questions lead to the big one that pops into my head every few weeks. Should I be on an antidepressant? I took an AD for one year, after Melody was born. The postpartum depression I experienced after Melody's birth was deeper than the PMS mood swings. I took Wellbutrin and it worked really well. I stopped taking when I got pregnant with Leah.

I doubt I'll take an AD unless things get worse. I tend to error on the side of no action when it comes medication. But yesterday, seeing that photo made me second guess myself. About 1/3 of my photos carry memories of feeling bad on the inside like that day.


fathers day

Father's Day this year was low key and fun. We started the day by skipping church. This might become a Mother's Day/Father's Day tradition for our family. (We did the same thing on Mothers Day.) We started the day early, with Leah waking up at 6:15. I brought her back to our bed and she nestled under the covers with us until 7:00, dozing and waking repeatedly.

For breakfast I made a blueberry coffee cake. The recipe came from Krsitin, who always wows me with her kitchen skills. (She was a food science major!) Chad likes sweet things for breakfast, and we're getting tired of canned jumbo cinnamon rolls (after 5 years). The coffee cake hit the spot. It has lots of brown sugar and butter in it.

For a gift, I wrapped a glass hummingbird feeder with Melody's artwork. I do this often. Sometimes I wrap packages that are to be mailed to friends. I think it would be fun to receive a bright, juvenile, wacky package like one of these. Who knew easel paper could be so much fun.

The rest of the day has been delightfully slow and relaxed. Happy Father's Day, Chad! You are wonderful.



new dishes!

My friend Hannah is getting rid of a bunch of stuff. She had accumulated 16 sets of Fiesta Ware in various colors. She decided to keep the blues and greens and get rid of the brighter ones. She mentioned it to me and I flipped out. I've always loved Fiesta Ware. When Chad and I were engaged we thought we would live overseas doing mission work. Because of this we did not register for very much stuff. In the past seven years I've used a variety of plates from Target and flea markets, none of which matched. I didn't let it bother me, but once this Fiesta Ware became available, I got excited.

Here are some of the pieces Hannah gave me.

This is my favorite piece for a few reasons. 1) I love serving coffee and this piece will make that task all the more fun. 2) It's kinda of splurge piece that I would never actually purchase. Plates, mugs, bowls are essential... this piece is extra. 3). The slate blue/grey color is my favorite of all the pieces I received.

Hannah, I've said it about 77 times, but I have to say it again, THANK YOU!!!



Coloring is an activity we do a lot in our house. As a child coloring was my absolute favorite activity. I used to beg my parents to color with me. Now I am 31 years old and I still enjoy coloring. I've found an easy way to color with the girls that works well for us. I use the following: crayons (all types), easel paper (mine is Melissa & Doug brand), tape and scissors. I unroll and large piece of easel paper and tape it to the table. Melody sits on her knees and Leah uses a booster seat. Next I draw an assortment of easy shapes and objects on the paper, usually with a dark crayon or a black marker. I like to draw kites, hearts, rainbows, trees, flowers, triangles, circles, balloons, stars, letters, words, houses, etc. Usually Melody ends up ordering me, "Make a big triangle! Now make a little heart. Now make a M for Melody!!!! And a L for Leah!!!"

Leah just began to color with Melody. It has been fun to include her in the art times. I laugh because half of the time she isn't looking at what she's doing with the crayon. Instead she's looking me, smiling, while her little arm moves back and forth with the lightest pressure. I give her a dark color in order for anything to show up on the paper. Otherwise she fusses because it's not working.

Melody will color for 30 minutes to a hour when she is in the groove. She has started attempting to stay in the lines with no prompting from me. It does not matter to me if she stays in the lines. Occasionally she stays outside of the lines, making a cool negative image of the object drawn. The table she sits at is right in the kitchen, so often I'm able to cook or clean while she works. Playing music helps her stay in the mode I think. Lately we enjoy listening to Waterdeep and The Cranberries. There is nothing sweeter than humming to the music as we're together and in our own right brained worlds. This last picture is some of Melody's recent work.


why did I do that?

Today while the girls napped I ate ice cream and watched 30 Rock on DVD. I ate a whole pint of Ben & Jerry's. I just kept going. (Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. MMM.) Then I calculated the calories and fat grams.

Grand total: 1120 calories & 61 grams of fat.

I've felt defeated, gross, mad, guilty, frustrated, trapped, weak, shameful, angry, and fat for six hours.


stages of life

Before the girls woke up this morning I skimmed my blog archives from 2003 & 2004. I read of feelings and events about which I had forgotten. For instance, what it was like to work full time. These posts lamented and glorified my job as a graphic designer. One of the most frequent subjects of the writings was the desire I had for a baby. When coworkers would have a baby, I'd cry with joy and sadness. Joy for the new life; sadness that it wasn't my own baby.

By midmorning today I was hot, sticky, tired, and frazzled with Melody and Leah. I began longing for the work days again. I stopped myself from sinking into a greener grass daydream. I held onto the memory of wanting babies when I didn't have them. It was a tug of war day.

Stage Of Life is a topic often discussed among moms. We sometimes feel stuck in the hard places of motherhood. I recall three years ago... My friend Britni had a baby who would cry at the top of his lungs the whole time they were in the car. She said with despair, "I will never be able to drive (30 minutes) to Fayetteville again." A more seasoned mom gently replied, "For now, for now, Britni. Eventually you will go to Fayetteville again." She was right. Now Britni's son is a three and a half year old. He is pretty chilled out most of the time.

It's so important to have people in our lives who remind us to stop and enjoy the stage of life we're in. For me, each stage of my adult life has been difficult, challenging, fun, rewarding, and fairly temporary. The difficulties and challenges are what make me a better person. And the fun and rewarding aspects are what get me through the hard days. Perhaps the most important thing is that each life stage is temporary.



Monday morning. I was sorting dry black beans in an attempt to be thrifty...