Saturday, October 18, 2008

Checkin' Out The Leaves

This afternoon we took a trip up to the mountain. We knew that we may have missed the peak of the colorful leaves, but we went anyway. I'm glad we did. There wasn't a spectacular amount of color. But we found a grove of scrub oak and pretended that it was the whole forest.

We had a great time exploring and collecting treasures. Leif and I got a kick out of all of the funny things Jakob said throughout the day. We were on our way up the mountain and I was talking to Leif about the possible summer trip we might make to California next year. I said "Let's head out there and camp on the beach for a while..." Suddenly we hear Jakob say, "Okay! Let's Dooo It!:)" Later on as we drove through the remnants of a forest fire we heard Jakob say to himself, "this is the creepiest forest I've ever seen!" Creepiest? Who taught him that! As we were on our way home we were talking about directions such as front, back, left, and right. That started a game of Hoki Poki (sitting down of course:) As we were playing, a yellow corvette with racing stripes came up behind us. When we told Jakob he started talking about how we couldn't race them on the road because we needed helmets.:) We then told him that we would also need a nice Race Car. To that he replied "Let's Buy One!" As if it were the same as buying a bike.:)

What a great little afternoon trip...

A Few Women Who Made The Difference

This morning I got an email from the Young Women President that I serve with. She was reporting to me about a visit that she had with some of the girls in our classes. As I read her experience and felt the love that she has for the girls, I was taken back to my life growing up. I had a hand full of women who worked along side my parents to raise me into the woman that I am today. A lot of the time these women were able to reach me when it was impossible for my parents to get through to me.

We moved to my home town when I was preschool age. The first teacher I remember was Patricia Potts. She was a family friend, but she was also one of my Joy School Moms. Patricia loved me as her own, and I always knew that. I remember singing with her as she played the guitar. I remember her teaching me the importance of cleaning up after myself, as she gathered every ones clutter into the "Gunny Man Bag." This was a bag she decorated as a silly looking man who ate up every one's clutter when it wasn't put away in the right place. As I grew older, I remember Patricia picking us up for school and seeing how many people she could pack into her van. She had ulterior motives however, she would have a quick spiritual devotional prepared every morning for those of us who dared to ride in her van:). Finally, Patricia instilled in me a love and understanding for the temple and it's importance in our lives. For years, she would take a group of us every Tuesday to the temple after school. We would do baptisms for the dead. I know this strengthened my spirit beyond words and helped me build a foundation upon my Savior. Thank you Patricia for your love and dedication, you will not be forgotten.

For many years, Karen Stolworthy was like a second mother to me. They lived in the house behind our home and we had a gate in the fence between our yards. Countless times, and for many years, I would run over to Karen and cry to her about how horrible my life was. She would just let me cry on her shoulder and love me through it. Karen worked hard to help me understand my worth and beauty, inside and out. Karen loved me as her own. I was a demanding child too.:) I'm sorry about that Karen! I know you had your own house full of your own kid's. Thank you for allowing me to adopt myself into your home and be nurtured by your love.

Shirley Turley was another woman who blessed my life. I have Shirley to thank for my understanding of the Internet. She helped me set up my first email account many years ago.:) I also have memories of sitting with Shirley on her front lawn and discussing checking and savings accounts. I started earning money at an early age and she took the time to give me some importance guidance in the matter. Shirley had a love for baking. I remember walking into her home and she often had homemade bread, cookies, or Cinnamon rolls laid out on her kitchen counter. Shirley also had a love of music and education. She instilled this into her children. I could not help but benefit from her teaching as well. Shirley and her husband also followed the counsel to hold Family Home Evenings. I remember watching their family participate in various activities such as relay races and games. I remember thinking to myself about how I would be sure to follow that example some day with my family. Thank you Shirley, for allowing me to grow up with your children and feel of your love!

All of these women had daughters who were my age. These girls were my best friend's. We grew up together. They are among the few girls that I am still in contact with from my youth. We were sisters. We loved each other, and at times, we hated each other.:) But we were always together. These girls, and their mothers played a defining role in my life. I thank them and the many many other leaders and teachers who took the time to add their touch to the painting of my life. Though I could not name you all in this post, I thank you!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Young Women's Progressive Dinner

I had a great day yesterday which led to a great evening! You'd think that having a dinner for 15 people to get ready for would be stressful. I guess it kind of was. But it gave me something out of the monotony of life's routine to look forward to. The event I had to look forward to was a Progressive Dinner with the Young Women in our ward. The main dinner was going to be at my home.

The morning started off with a new addition to our routine (I know this shouldn't be new!) I got Jakob's breakfast and then I asked him to be quiet so I could go have my morning prayer time. He looked at me and said, "so you can hear Heavenly Father?" EXACTLY! I said with a smile! So I went and had my morning prayers. I could list off a bunch of reason's why I haven't been doing this, but it's not necessary. My point is, that while I was praying Jakob sneaked a peak through the curtains that partition our room off, and saw me praying. I guess he thought that it was neat because a while later I heard him in there at my bed having his own morning prayers. What a Blessing! I believe in the power of prayer and it's healing power!

Throughout the day I calmly cleaned and organized and prepared for the evening dinner. The best part was that by the time Leif got home from work to help me with the final prep, I had everything done that I wanted to do! Leif was heaven sent and willingly jumped right in and helped with the rest that needed to be done. He even prepared the noodles for the dinner after I had left so they would be warm when the girls got to our home. Leif is amazing! Shortly after I left I got a phone call from him, Jakob had a messy accident in his pants and he just needed to vent his frustration. He took care of it and still greeted us with a smile when we came for dinner. AND THEN, he offered to clean up the plates for the girls. What an example of the kind of man these girls should look for! Thank you My Love!

The evening went well. The girls loved our little cottage. And the spirit was strong throughout the night as we talked about the Young Women's Values. I think they appreciated the work put into it and it helped them understand that we take the Personal Progress Program seriously. I did bring home three delicious chocolate brownies for Leif from our last location. He sure deserved it.

Good Day! Good Evening! Good Food! Good People!

Pretend that this was taken in the evening and all of those chairs are filled with smiling faces and they all have plates full of yummy spaghetti!:)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On A Brighter Note...

Have you ever felt like you just puked in front of an audience and they are just standing there stunned and gaping? Sorry for the gross analogy, but that about covers the status of my blog right now and those who read my last post.

So let's lighten things up a bit!:) How about some photos...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Melancholy and Mood Swings

Just after dinner this evening I got a phone call from my sister. We were in the middle of talking about the struggle I am having with mood swings and a melancholy state of mind. She had to get off the phone for another phone call and I decided to check my email. I got an email from my dad that was meant to be in good humor about us wallpapering our walls. However, I took it very personal and immediately sent him a ranting email about how rude he was and how I just wasn't in a state of mind that I could just brush off the rudeness... Case and Point!:)

I have always struggled with mood swings and anxiety. I have also been weighed down by depression at times throughout my life's journey. I have never met with a professional psychiatrist. Although, I have been prescribed antidepressants by a medical doctor. The doctor prescribed Paxil for me while I was in college. I used this until I found out that it could have adverse side effects during pregnancy. I then switched to Zoloft. I've switched back and forth between the two throughout the last four years.

After I gave birth to Caleb (6 months ago) I decided I wanted to apply all of the nutritional knowledge that I have gained to my life to find out if I could heal my emotional and mental struggles nutritionally. Well, it's been six months and I have progressed leaps and bounds. I have lost over 30 pounds, I have the pain that radiates throughout my body at a barely noticeable minimum, and physically I feel very good! BUT, I haven't conquered the melancholy. I call it melancholy because that is exactly how I feel. I tried to put how I feel down on paper the other day. This is what I came up with:

"A thoughtful or gentle sadness, the gloomy character of somebody, pensive sadness, thinking deeply about something, especially in a sad or serious manner." -Encarta Dictionary

I Can find cheer at times during the day. But I am in a state of melancholy most of the day. Sunshine and music alleviate it some… lack of ability to concentrate at times. Frequent deep thinking and reflecting… strange anxiety about relationships… Living in a fogged state of mind filled with dull or creative writing/self analytical thoughts, unless jogged out of it by conversation or demanding responsibilities -AND/OR- fatigued, feeling like a ticking time bomb ready to go off. When it does, I lash out at Jakob or Leif.

I share these thoughts and let people in to my world for a couple of reasons , 1. this blog is for my future posterity and things like this are important to know. 2. my experiences and feelings are not all that original. I hope that my experiences give others strength.

As for solving my struggles, I feel that I have a choice to make. Because I am able to function and am not in a state of deep depression, I could just choose to live my life the way it is and try to apply stress management techniques and continue to pray. OR, I could choose to use prescribed medication, apply stress management techniques, and continue to pray. Most likely, I will end up using a low dose mild antidepressant. I feel that I am capable of functioning and living in a happier more pleasant state of being. I need to find that place!

Wall Decor Decisions

I have been stewing over how and what colors I should paint our walls. What you need to know about our walls before you can understand my dilemma is that our walls are 1. made from OSB board, and 2. half of them are hinged doors that look like walls. So even when we paint, the room still looks semi makeshift.
So, I am not going to paint. We are going to wallpaper! I am really excited. I think it will turn out cute and smooth things out really nice. I have tried to bring the "country cottage" feel into our home decor. This wallpaper will definitely do the trick!!
Here is what we've come up with:

Center Border

Top half of the wall

Bottom half of the wall

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