Monday, August 18, 2014


My two oldest children have taken up scrapbooking this summer. I let them have free range on the old prints sitting in a box. Unfortunately for them I haven't printed pictures in three years, so their scrapbooking has hit a snag. Also unfortunately I haven't made photo books either for the last four years, so....

Anyway, my husband and I were laughing at some photos of my daughter.
Apparently my little boys looks like their sister.
Here we have Mr. A, rocking the pink and ruffles.
Next we have Ikey in a dress. (My offspring is the youngest, the other two are nieces or cousins depending on the relation.)
Lastly, I have no idea where Nat and Ike get their angry eyebrows from.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Thanks to facebook, I read this blog post titled, "10 Things Girls Who Aren't Serving Missions Want You To Know". I loved it!

I'll be honest when they lowered the lds full-time mission age for girls I was annoyed. I grew up wanting to serve a mission, but it just wasn't the path that the Lord planned for me. I knew in high school it was not going to be in my future, but I didn't actually want to trust the Spirit. There were times the Spirit told me very directly I would not be serving a mission at 21, it annoyed me and I ignored it. I planned my future around going on an LDS mission, I told people this was my plan. As a freshman in college I told my future husband I had plans on serving a mission in two years. Well months later we started dating, and over a year later we got married. I didn't serve a mission when I turned 21, instead I became a mom. By the time I started my sophomore year in college, I had finally accepted the Lord's plan for my missionary work, but that didn't mean I was always happy about it. I was happy to have my husband and children in my life, but from time to time I was upset I didn't get the opportunity to serve.

In October 2013 when they lowered the age. I wasn't too trilled, because I was jealous, but it made me realize a lot of things so it was good for me, and I'm happy for all the sisters who do get to serve. I enjoy them in my ward. I have lived in a few wards (congregations) where teachers would say, "by a show of hands who all served missions, can you tell us...." That drove me crazy! I am not a bad person, because I didn't serve a mission, and I felt like all those teachers were telling me I was. I listen to the spirit, the Lord didn't want me to serve at 21. He had a different plan for me. I understand I can't share a story of my full time serve since I don't have any, but there is a different way to approach the subject if you want a full time mission story. I know in some instances those stories are what a teacher is looking for, but you don't need to draw a line in the sand.

 A few years ago I had a friend who served a mission, and she told me something to the effect of, "nah, I think you girls who didn't are stronger, I needed my mission to help me see how I needed to raise my kids. But my sisters who didn't serve, they have been tested in different ways and they are such strong mothers." Now, I don't really think one set is better or stronger than the other, but I appreciated her support.  I have often felt like a second class citizen for being a young mom who didn't serve a mission, but what I realized when they lowered the age was, the Lord has never thought of me as a second class citizen. The church is made up of imperfect people who do the wrong thing all the time, that is why we have the atonement. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ I believe in, not the imperfect people that the Lord has to work with (see quote below). I also realized my path in life was to get married to Brent and to be Josh's mom. Even if the mission age was 19 when I was 19, I don't think I would have gone. It just wasn't what I needed to do.

So be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we. And when you see imperfection, remember that the limitation is not in the divinity of the work. As one gifted writer has suggested, when the infinite fulness is poured forth, it is not the oil’s fault if there is some loss because finite vessels can’t quite contain it all.10 Those finite vessels include you and me, so be patient and kind and forgiving.Elder Holland, April 2013, "Lord, I Believe"

Friday, August 15, 2014


A miracle happened today. I woke up happy. Seems like my treatments might be working!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Not enjoying

If you spend any amount of time on social media I'm sure you have come across one of the multiple posts about how to talk to people with depression.  It gives examples of what to say and what not to say. 

At least in my life, the worst thing you could ever say to a woman with postpartum depression is, "oh enjoy every minute, they grow up so fast".  I'm pretty sure the five thousand women that say that to me weekly have no idea I have postpartum depression, and sure five thousand is a bit of an exaggeration, but still every time I hear that I want to literally scream! Now I know most people use literally incorrectly, but you can ask my family, this depression makes me angry.  I literally want to scream at the top of my lungs, much like a small child does. Instead I give them an awkward grimace. At which point people don't know how to react so look uncomfortable until they can finish the conversation and walk away.
I don't really enjoy the first year of a baby's life when I'm not suffering from mental illness, I definitely don't enjoy it currently. I go to bed at night wondering how in the world I'll survive another day. So I'm not enjoying every minute, there are some days I'm not even enjoying 5 minutes. 

Sometimes people with mental illness will feel guilty that they aren't enjoying life. In a past lifetime I would feel guilty, this time, I accept life for what it is. Before I started some alternative health depression therapy I was too out of it to feel guilty, now I think my meds are just enough to that I realize this won't last forever, and to just accept life for what it is. I'm not enjoying things, but I know in the back of my mind it will go away. I no longer think I hate my family so that is good. I try to find some time to enjoy each person each week.  

When I started to taking my different supplements I thought, I'm going to be better next week. Life hasn't worked out that way. Which I think is probably normal.

I'm getting pretty bored with these postpartum depression posts. I would like to move on to something else, we will see. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

No Flow

Sometimes I get down right overwhelmed with the lack of flow in my life. (Wikipedia, tells us, Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does.)

Today while getting ready for swim lessons I thought I'm not sure how many more days I can do this. (School starts in exactly a week.) Then I had a thought: if the roles were reversed my husband would struggle just as much at my job, if not more. My husband has to keep up with the other 5 of us once maybe twice a week.  I can tell the demanding amount of work required for everyone has a tendency to overwhelm him. Honestly I can't blame him. If he had to do it every day, without me around to dress and clean everyone, he is would as bonkers at as me.  This little thought was enough to carry me through the next two hours of madness. Even if my oldest missed half of his swim lesson because I forgot he had one.

We won't talk about the exact opposite of flow that happened at lunch time three hours later when my two middlies were both so demanding that they refused to allow me to eat lunch.

I'm not sure the last time I experienced flow in my life, it has been at least two months, at least.  Which I'm sure is normal since I'm depressed. But you know what I just thought, I may not have flow but I at least have endurance.

Saturday, August 9, 2014


As all of you know my third child is a redhead. Is there anything more adorable?! 
 My three oldest children all have different color hair. People love this, almost as much as they love seeing them hike up mountains.
Ok, my husband's side of the family likes to claim Mr. A isn't a redhead because he is strawberry blond. But come on look at that first picture.
For six months people have asked what color hair my fourth has. I think its red, but lots of people don't. I kind of wonder about their opinions anyway, because any almost bald baby with peach fuzz can have any color depending on the lighting. I think his peach fuzz has a red tint.
 Doesn't their hair look like the same color? (Ignore my stained carpet, you have no idea how much shame it brings into my life.)
 More red peach fuzz.


Two weeks ago I wrote a big long post on me having postpartum depression. I would love to post it, but I need to reread it first and edit and such, and its much to overwhelming to accomplish.

The main point of the post is the first time I had postpartum depression was after my second child. I went comatose. I just sat in my recliner staring at the wall or at my children. It was a slow process, but eventually I realized I did nothing all day. (My husband was working full time and doing an MBA and he didn't notice.) I also got it after baby number 3. I almost forgot I had it, until I found journal I kept for a month after someone's urging. The last entry went on for pages and it listed out everything I hated. The depression mostly disappeared when I got pregnant again. I did have a few days in the middle of the end my last pregnancy where I worried I was getting prenatal depression like with my first, but they were fleeting. Mostly I think they were just there to remind me that I am not immune.

 Lately, on my bad days, which according to my texts to my husband is every day. I keep thinking, "I hate..." I didn't realize this until today, but hello, that isn't me, when I am not depressed I can't think of a time I "hate" anything. When I am sane I feel like hate is too passionate of an emotion to give to things I don't like.
I realized when I am depressed and I don't have time to go comatose I end up angry at everything and hating everything. In the long run its actually better, because I notice my anger faster than my checked out self.
Most days the depression clouds my brain with toxic thoughts, but over the last month every so often there is a voice in the back of my head that tells me to do something. Something I don't want to do for all of the world, but this isn't my first rodeo so I know if I act on the promptings life will slowly get better.
Some of the things are,

  • Tell your husband (this was really hard, I put it off for a few days, finally I thought for mine and my children's well being, I needed to tell someone. At first I thought a therapist because I wanted anonymity. Then I realized I really couldn't hid that from him. After talking to him together I feel I'm slowly getting on top of it.)
  • Start drinking the postpartum herbal tea sitting in your freezer 
  • Walk away from your children
  • Pray
  • Read the Book of Mormon
  • Remember his hand is stretched out still
  • Remember a time when you knew you knew
  • Send your children to play in the backyard
  • No matter what you've told yourself feeding your children a healthy dinner is not the most important thing of the day. Turns out we all survive if they eat cold cereal.
  • Read your patriarchal blessing (Holy Smokes, apparently things were getting bad, I didn't even recognize the girl written in those pages.)
  • Send your children to play in the basement
  • Tell your mom (I really really didn't want to do that.)
  • Tell L, L, and L (If you think I didn't want to tell my mom, this one was much much harder! It took me days to listen.)
  • Listen to Conference (thank goodness I listen to conference a regular basis, otherwise how would various talks pop into my head, when things are bad.)
  • Look up Elder Holland's talk on Depression
  • Look up Elder Holland's talk on Doubt
  • Don't be too hard on yourself, remember Elder Bednar's talk on Prayer in 2008
I am now drinking a postpartum tea, taking a hormonal supplement, using some aromatherapy, and taking vitamin D. Some days I feel like myself again, its wonderful. Other days I'm very angry, and then I meet my husband at REI after work, and he takes my children home while I wander wander wander in as many stores as I can find. Ok, I only did that once. But it worked I didn't yell at anyone the next day.
Overall the worst part of it, is knowing you are yelling for no reasons and not being able to stop because everything is driving you up the wall crazy.

I'm honestly not sure why I posted this.

I've started blogging over the last few weeks/months if you didn't notice. I think it was because of the depression. I'm not sure if I needed a creative outlet, or if I just like the computer screen firing neurons in my brain. (Last time I crafted as an anti-depressive, but with two under two there is no time to craft.)

Years ago when I finally told people I had postpartum depression after my second baby, people who didn't even know us then. It was so liberating. That's probably why I'm posting this.

My postpartum depression does not start when they are 6 weeks old, this is actually the earliest I've ever gotten it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Awesome Baby

My Husband took these awesome pictures of my baby a few weeks ago.
I love that scraggly peach fuzz and angry eye brows.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mt. Herman

We summited our local mountain on Saturday. 9,000 ft, ignore the fact that I live at 7,000, and the trail head probably starts at 8,000 so we only hiked less than 3 miles total. 
First time for Ike to be that high without the help of a car, we've only passed the continental divide three times in his short 6 months. 
I'm super proud of her, its the first time she has hiked with her dad without him carrying her for at least a few minutes. Also she teaches all of us, you are never too fabulous to be a mountaineer.
 When I look out vistas like this, I realized how insignificant I am. Which is a good thing.
 Someone made a shelter and left it.
 Hooray we actually took a good couple selfie.
 We are trying to teach them to carry weight so we can go backpacking again. We need their help, there is too many of them. There were a couple of times she wanted to quit carrying her backpack, but each time we would take something out and tell her she could do it.
 My lungs didn't burn this time! Hooray, I'm so out of shape, little by little my flabby body is going away.
 This little one, hiked the whole way up himself.
We didn't give him the option of hiking down. I think my husband is amazing to carry both of these guys. Thankfully he does,  I'm not in shape enough to carry the little one yet. But soon I'll have to be for backpacking! eek! Thank goodness we have two different carriers so Brent can double up.
Ikey doesn't really like the baby bjorn. But let's be honest, in comparison to the ergo baby who likes the baby bjorn. Let's also be honest, Mr. A doesn't like being carried during our hikes.

Good enough

Sometimes I think about our society obsession with "good enough". How no one ever measures up to good enough. I'm not good enough for ____ fill in the blank. We all walk around assuming we should be perfect and everyone around us should be perfect. So when a friend or relative does something we don't like, it devastatingly disappoint us. They probably didn't mean to offend us, but yet we assume they did because shouldn't they be perfect. But no, you see we are all flawed, none of us are perfect and all of us will screw up. Life goes on, we pick ourselves us, fix the mess and move on. Yet sometimes we don't fix the mess or they don't fix the mess, and we wonder why were they weren't a good enough friend, or brother or parent to fix the mess. Who knows maybe they were purposefully mean. That happens too because they are human and humans are inextricably flawed. Sometimes people who love us, do hurt us. Why? there are million reasons, because they were hurt, maybe they weren't.  The real question is why do we set such a high standard for someone we love. We know that no one is perfect so we do we set up those we love for failure?
When we expect so much out of those we love, we set ourselves up for failure. If we set up standards that high for others, we've probably set up standards for ourselves even higher.  Guess what? I will never be good enough to be perfect. I will never be a perfect mother, or a perfect daughter, or a perfect wife, or a perfect friend. Because that would mean I would have to be 100% mother, 100% daughter, 100% wife, 100% friend, and I don't have 700% to give (100%x4 kids). Lets be honest, on most days I'm sure I'm not even producing 100%. I'm probably running on 70%, on good days 89% total.  Lately maybe only 50%. That's alright. Actually when I take my religious convictions into view, I'm not sure I'm ever even getting up to 89%. I will never get to 100% without the atonement of Jesus Christ making up the difference.
But back to the 700%, sure we think we should be good enough to be perfect in all aspects of our lives, but that is a load of crap. We were never meant to be 100% in everything, that is part of life, figuring out how juggle. Figuring out how to serve others, figuring out how to take care of ourselves, fulfill our duties, and everything all together. Which means 10% goes here, 6% there, 29% right there, 15% back there, don't forget the 12% over there.

Since I'm in the trenches of motherhood, I hear it all the time. Oh you sound like you have easy pregnancies, you should have lots of babies. Not me, I'm ornery so I shouldn't. She? is having another baby? she barely handles the ones she has. Oh look at so-and-so she is such a nice mom, she should have more. Oh you are so thin, why don't you have more babies. If the Lord was waiting for perfect parents then no babies would ever be born. We are all flawed we all fail from time to time, but guess what that is life. Some days we will be a crappy spouse, other days we might yell at the kids, other days we don't give our employer a very good day of labor. Other days a friend forget important event. Such is life, we move on and keep going. I often think of the old Toyota motto that was in Meet the Robinsons, "Keep Moving Forward". I also often think of Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast, If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it" My interpretation of that with what I've been talking about is, Life moves pretty fast. If you dwell on being good enough you could miss it. Life moves pretty fast if you stay obsessed with so-and-so hurting your feeling you will miss it.
But here is the real thing, I will never be a perfect mom, because what children view as a perfect mom would be a horrible mom. I can be a perfect wife, but mostly because I married a good man who ignores probably 70% of what I do and he focuses on the 15% I try to give him. I will never be perfect in general, because I need to take care of my own needs, but one of the best ways to take care of yourself is by serving others. Now all this just sounds confusing. So I'm signing off. Good night and good luck.