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Feb 14, 2017

Navigating My Way

Wow, it's been a few years since I've been on my small space of the world wide web.
I hope all is well with you!
So much has happened and so much to talk about
but for now I'll take some baby steps to get back to writing on a more consistent basis.
The biggest news I have for you is I just had baby number four.
He's beautiful and amazing.
A whopping 9 lbs, 10 oz & 22 1/2 inches long.
I'll post his birth story a little later
but there was one thing I really needed to get off of my chest.

It has been 27 days since I had little Lewis.
I absolutely love and adore him but I'm also experiencing a bit of the baby blues.
I have absolutely no ill feelings of wanting
to hurt him, my other kids or myself but I find myself constantly crying over nothing.
In a room full of people I feel so lonely.
I become ridiculously anxious thinking about going places.
I'm sad most of the time yet I put on a fake smile
and continue life as usual because that's what moms are supposed to do right?
I often feel embarrassed for having such feelings
and it seems hard to fully express myself verbally to
others because I feel shameful and because this is supposed
to be the most amazing time of soaking up the new baby and all their loveliness.
I sit here and wonder when and why has mental illness
been such a hush, hush topic?
Why do people like me feel shameful for feeling depressed?
Just because you can't physically see scars or the pain
doesn't mean that people aren't fighting their own demons
within themselves and doesn't make it wrong in any way.
Some would say that other people have
real problems so get over yourself and be happy.
But that's not how depression works.

I stare at my baby in amazement yet I never want to leave the room.
I am beyond joyful he has joined our family
yet I want to sleep all day because my body physically
hurts from emotional pain and anxiety.
We've been so blessed with another beautiful baby boy
yet in the same breath, I can't seem to find myself
or even get into a rhythm that feels familiar which in turn makes me feel selfish.
The day we came home, I felt so lost.
Like I should be somewhere else.
Like I should be doing something.
Everything seemed to be happening but it
felt more like an outer body experience.
My mind knew what I was supposed to be doing
but it took every ounce of me to actually do it.
I'm still trying to navigate my feelings and
obviously I can't quite explain them.
One minute I'm fine and the next
I'm crying over my spilled breast milk.
I'm helping with homework and then I lose it
over something so small as shoes in the wrong place or backpacks on the floor.
I get irritated and overwhelmed because I feel like
I need to declutter and reorganize yet my body is still
recovering from labor so I end up putting myself in more pain.
I'm feeling so many emotions or nothing at all.
You think that postpartum depression comes
in one size that fits all but it absolutely doesn't.
At baby's two week checkup, while in the waiting room,
I was given this chart I was supposed to mark to answer questions about baby and mom.
One of the questions said something like
How often do you feel like hurting yourself or your baby: always, sometimes or never.
In my mind I wondered where the other questions
and phrases were that I can mark because I'm in between.
No I don't feel anger towards my loved ones and kids
but I know I don't feel like my normal self.
Where are the boxes for anxiety when in public, sadness for no reason,
sleeping to escape or the extreme opposite nights of insomnia?
I tried to figure out if I had the baby blues with Khayleb
and I don't think so yet that time was such a blur.
I was so young and bounced back so quickly.
With Jack, I don't necessarily think it was postpartum
depression but more so due to the custody battle I was facing at the time.
With Kendric, I can only remember a handful of times
where I felt alone and sad but it was
so short lived and within the first couple days of his birth.
Now with baby Lewie, I'm baffled that after baby number four,
here I am and it's hitting me full force.
I often feel like I'm going backwards.
Last night I decided I needed to start writing
because that's usually how I navigate and process things.
Then a dear friend reached out to me on Facebook today
and asked how I was doing.
I expressed to her what I was feeling and
she told me I needed to talk to someone,
read books about PPD or join a mom group.
She even said to blog about it and that it might be therapeutic for me.
So here I am, trying to figure out this monster I'm faced with.

I know I'll come out fine.
I know eventually I'll find myself and
even end up creating a new me with bits and pieces
of the old me in tact and I know this will be another
trial to help strengthen me but while
I am in the thick of it, I will make sure to talk about it
regardless of how awkward it feels.
Regardless of whether I feel like people are judging
me even though that may just be all in my head.
I'll keep talking and working and navigating through
 this unknown path and I hope that if you are going through
 something similar you'll talk about it too no matter
how scary or weird it may seem.
I hope if you've been through this,
you share your experience so I know I'm not alone
because truly it feels like that sometimes.
I'll keep writing and hope you come back to read and share.
Until next time, I hope you stay well
and take care of YOU
because you matter!

May 1, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Today is Thursday which means one more work day and then we play!!
Here's some old photos I came across and so fitting since it's throwback Thursday!

Hope you all have an amazing day!

Apr 15, 2014

Getting older

There's been a lot of talk through social media and between friends about getting old and as I get closer towards the big 3-0, I'm wondering why people are always dreading the fact of getting old.
Trying to reduce the wrinkles, changing the inevitable grey hair and the hopes of reconstructing their body to make things look as they did years ago.
When I was 10, I used to think 21 was old, heck I used to think 18 was old.
In July I'll be 29.
I definitely don't feel old and sometimes I forget I'm not 18 anymore.
I still feel young even though the numbers are not decreasing.
As a child, time almost seems to stand still.
I remember going out to play and hours would pass by.
I wouldn't have a clue or a care in the world about what time it was.
My curfew was when the sun went down.
I remember many times very vividly, laying on our freshly mowed lawn on bright summer days, staring up at the sky.
I would watch the clouds go by and wonder how they could move so swiftly and smoothly across that clear blue sky.
I always used to think that those who had passed away lived in the sky and whenever I saw clouds moving, I thought that the angels were taking their daily stroll in Heaven.
I often wondered where they were going and if my Great Grandma and Aunt liked taking walks in the clouds too.
I laid there for what seemed like an eternity.
Time was never an issue, there was not a care in the world.
As I got older, there were schedules, time limits, deadlines, due dates which in turn caused stress.
Everything and everyone always seemed to be racing against time.
I often yearn for my younger, carefree days but in getting older I take pride and feel as though getting older is a privilege.
Those wrinkles are well deserved.
The knowledge I have and will continue to attain only come with time and age.
I embrace it.
I hope to be able to see my kids grow up and watch our family grow and prosper.
To be able to teach our children all we can and hope that they learn from the knowledge I've acquired.
I can't wait for the day that my children accomplish great milestones.
I savor each and every moment with them because I know these stages of their lives won't last forever.
The great thing I take comfort in is that although these stages won't last forever, our family will.
The eternal perspective for me and my posterity is so great and the desire to rear my children in all things good, wholesome and  Christ-like is my biggest and greatest goal. 
Getting old isn't a bad thing.
It's a wonderful thing.
It is an honor and a privilege we should embrace rather than despise or fear.
I love the thought of growing old with my Lovey.
How do you feel about getting older?
What are your biggest fears and goals you wish to accomplish in life?
Have a great day everyone!

{Photo taken by: Sodapop Photography}

Apr 14, 2014

Telling your story...

I was reading an article at lunch the other day and it sparked my interest.
The article talked about what you remember as a child and how
much of an impact you, as a parent, can have at creating vivid memories that your 
children retain.
I have VERY vivid memories from up until I was 4 years old but that goes hand in hand with my crazy imagination and I can also attribute it a lot to my father who helped us create great memories as children.
Although I cannot say the same for my adolescent years, my childhood memories were the best.
He encouraged make believe and usually would build us houses out of boxes, igloos during snow days, make race tracks out of cardboard for our cars and let us enjoy our childhood.
It talked a lot about children having the ability to recall and make sense of memories from daily life.
It also talked about how parents played a big role in helping determine not just how many
early memories children can remember but how children interpret and learn from the events of their earliest experiences.
I loved it, I loved that it basically said to step away from social media and after a family event, activity or trip
to ask your children open ended questions to build a conversation 
and to see how much they retained when asked about something they did.
This also helps build relationships and conversation.
My kids have very wild imaginations and remind me a lot of
when I was growing up.
The great thing about being a parent is you can tweak whatever happened in your own childhood
and help create opportunities for your children to learn, build and grow far more than
you were able to.
Experience is everything.
Experience helps mold you.
Memories are something I hold dear.
Especially when they're memories of someone that is no longer here physically.
My question I pose to you is, how do you view your story?
How do you tell your stories to others?
How many memories have you been able to retain as well as small details about them?
Have you been able to create great stories or are you stuck in the mundane routine of life?
Have you become so desensitized to living life that you're forgetting to stop and smell the roses or taking in the warm sky and the sunshine on your face?
I hope you are painting vivid, wild and beautiful stories.
After all everyone has a story to tell and it really is up to us on how we choose to tell it.
I hope you all have a wonderful Monday.

Apr 8, 2014

Blended families and Romance...

My boys are so funny and goofy. 
They love to say things and if they get reactions from others then they will keep doing it.
My little ones have picked up some habits that I'm not too fond of but it doesn't help because there are so many people around them, all the time, that if someone laughs, they'll say or do it over and over again.
Kendric says,  "stupid." and Jack says, "shut it!"
I don't like when they say it but being around their grandparents 24/7, they tend to get away with a lot more than they should.
When they know they're in trouble, they'll run to Nana and Papa's room because they know I won't go in there.
Terds, I tell you.
The thing I miss most about North Carolina, was I had the final say.
There were no if's, and's or but's.
They listened.
Living with your in-laws has its ups and downs, let's be honest.
I'm truly grateful for all that they have done for us and are a tremendous help but
the family dynamics can be a bit different when living in a household of eleven people.
My husband and I joked the other night because he talked about families living in one room huts in Samoa and they were just fine.
I looked at him as I chuckled and said, "Yes, and look how romantic Samoans are!"
We laughed and realized it's time to leave the nest!
Just for the record I love my culture but I'm being real when I say they don't exactly know the meaning of romance.
Or maybe it's just a little different because they're constantly in survival mode.
I don't remember my parents ever going on date nights or having a couple's getaway.
Well maybe that's because one: they may not have liked each other seeing as they are divorced and two: we were broke as a joke which is probably what led to them not liking each other.
I can look back on my adolescent years and laugh now because
I've learned so much.
I wasn't lying when I said that my life is full of "what not to do".
I learned from my parents of what I didn't want and what I wouldn't compromise.
So anyway, what kind of family are you a part of?
Have you ever had to live with your parents or in-laws while married at one point?
I'd love to hear stories because I'm sure we can all relate on one level or another!
Have a great day everyone and boy have I missed writing.
I promise little bloggy blog, I won't neglect you any more!

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