Friday, March 25, 2011

Living with depression.

  I've started and restarted this blog post so many times.  I think I'm having a hard time with the words and how I want to share this.  I understand this is hard for people to share, that's why they keep it to themselves, but I feel as if I've created a little support group for my PDD and I'd like to blog about how living with it is affecting me and the family.

  Now that I'm more aware of why I tend to feel certain ways at certain times, I'm learning how to "cope" or address these feelings.  This past week has been the hardest week since finding out about the depression.  I literally did not want to get out of bed and when I did I would lay on the couch instead of doing the normal chores for the day.  I tried to vent to friends, but the advice I got but didn't ask for was simply to be positive and life isn't so bad. That just made me feel worse and isolated. I know life isn't this bad and I am trying with all my might to NOT feel this way. Its just not as easy as it sounds.  I have to thank Leif for being so understanding and supportive.  He'll never fully understand but he tries and makes the effort.  I haven't been able to see my therapist so Im hoping when I finally get to see her I'll be encouraged.  I didn't even attempt to do the things that normally help with the depression.  I honestly felt helpless, and it was frustrating.  I don't feel like this is fair in a way... I don't know why I need to struggle with this daily.  That's selfish of me to think but I hate the idea of it affecting my husband and kids in a negative way.

  The rain didn't help this week. Usually I'm happy to have it, but I wanted to go out with my camera and shoot. I couldn't.  That's one of my coping methods. Making art is something that helps me deal with the depression and keeps it at bay.  I feel so guilty for not being happy when I know I have so many things to be grateful for and happy about.

 I think what's the hardest thing is I'm a naturally happy, positive person and this is so unlike me.  I don't feel like myself.  But as they say in my favorite movie: "How am I not myself" :)

  Some days are easier, and other days are like battles that I feel like I'm losing.  Today is definitely a day I feel like I'm winning though! The sun helps, I cleaned a little, got to use my camera, and I cooked.  All things that help me cope. And tonight I'm shooting an event. I think things are looking up. This past week was hard but I did make it through!
(I need to blog about my new adventures in raw eating and do an update on my kidney)

Monday, March 14, 2011

A New Season

     A new season is beginning.  I feel it.  Do you ever just feel that way? That change is coming? That everything you've known for the last few months will no longer be? I suddenly feel as if the trials I experienced have prepared me for whats next.  Today I felt God put on my heart: "You are prepared. You weren't ready before but now you are".  I feel at peace in a way I hadn't before and I feel as if the last few months, the hardships, the pain, the tears, the work, it was worth it just to hear that I'm ready.

  I wish I knew what I was ready for :) But I'm definitely celebrating this new season that will be coming.  A new leaf has been turned over it seems.  How fitting that spring is coming... Winter is ending, things are becoming new again.  New meaning has been given to my life and breathing fresh air never felt so wonderful. God is always so faithful and His timing so perfect. I know this, yet I fight and I question.  I am so grateful for His patience :)!

    I wish I could describe this breakthrough in my life.  I can say though, as soon as I gave up trying to make things go my way, the minute I allowed God to take control things began to change.  When I mean change I don't mean this physical change, but more of an emotional & spiritual change that has in turn over flowed into my marriage, my parenting, my home, my relationships, my health, my business... Its the whole working on your heart, and how you are on the inside so that it then shows on the outside.  BASICALLY: I can't do any of this on my own. I need to lean on God always.  He's my strength.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Grown up Beck.

(ugh the quality is so bad :( )

      Today Beck officially started walking.  And when I say officially I mean he's actually walking everywhere. He's still doing some crawling but preferring to walk.  I cried. Which is not like me.  I've cried so many times with Beck.  To me he's stayed a baby longer than Riley did, and he's never been in a rush to grow up like my daughter. He's patiently sat on my lap while I work and cuddled with me every night.  I still remember when he said his first word "uh oh" a few months back and has now added "Thank you" and "more" to the list.  He's in no hurry to be bigger yet it feels like he's grown so fast.  I know that I've coddled him and tried to keep him little for as long as possible, but I can't help it. I wish you could see the way he loves and appreciates me.  That sounds weird but its the truth.  Our relationship is so special.  Its the relationship that Leif and Riley have, the one I envied. That's not to say Riley and I don't have our own relationship, but with Beck its different.  I'm his best friend and was his favorite playmate, haha. Riley has definitely taken on that role now that he's older.

  While I'm sad that kids grow up so fast, I love all the memories we've shared and will continue to share.  Thank you Beck for completing our family.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gratitude Thursday

    There are a few things I'm grateful for today but something I really wanted to share was how thankful I am for the followers on my blog and the blogging friends I've made.  I've met some of the most caring and loving friends through my blog and I feel really blessed to know you guys! I love that I get emails from so many of you and I love that our relationships don't just stop at comments. I know I don't always do the best job responding, or commenting back so I appreciate you guys sticking with me and constantly checking in! It means the world to me!

  Another thing I've been thinking about today is the community that we've been surrounded with here in Monterey. I have been given some really great friends who are always more than welcome to help Leif and I out when we need it. Today is no exception. One of my best friends watched my kids for me while I got a CT, and she watches them often for me when I have an appointment, meeting or even a session. I appreciate how my friends are more than happy to help out and pitch in where needed. Its funny because I remember blogging about being so lonely and without a support system. Here we are now and I'm beyond thankful for each and every person who has been in my life here in Monterey and is. I truly believe that every person I've been friends with has changed my life one way or another. Thank you!

  Today I was also reminded why Leif is my husband. And I'm thankful thankful thankful for him!  I had my CT today and while I wasn't nervous I definitely was anxious to have some answers finally. Leif told me he'd be praying and that I should bring a bible and read James.  I didn't get to read all of it but I did read the part I think which was more important for this season in my life, and his.  I haven't blogged too much about what's been going on in our lives but we do feel as if we're in a season where if its not one thing its another. This verse is never one I tire of reading:

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" James 1:2-3

  I could keep going but that's the bulk of what stood out to me today while I was in the waiting room.  I had the biggest sense of relief rush over me and I just wanted Leif to be there at that moment so I could thank him (and hug him!) for being the godly husband I and my parents prayed for and for being such a wonderful source of encouragement during this time.  It blows my mind that I'm married to Leif and that I get to go through not just the good times with him, but also the bad, with him always holding my hand.

 I am SO thankful today.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thanks to Monterey

   It hit me the other day that I just might like living in Monterey. I surprised myself when I thought this. For the last almost two years we've been praying that God will make moving possible. To be close to family again. But the last few months I've felt like I should just take advantage of living here while I can because there will be a time when we'll move. Who knows when that'll be, but it'll happen and I know that I'll regret not getting to know Monterey.

  Lately I've been feeling overwhelmingly blessed to have the opportunity to live here and to know the people we know.  While connecting with people was slower in some ways, God definitely brought people early on that helped the transition.  I've been kind of freaking out at the idea of moving again. This has become home, and this is where I've grown up.  That sounds odd, but it hit me the other day: Living in Monterey is the first time I've really been on my own.  I don't know if people know this but when I was in school, my parents paid for everything. I had a part time job but that was just extra spending money. Then I got married and went from having my parents provide for me to having Leif take on that role. After Riley was born I still heavily relied on Leif and my parents. I drove out to be with my mom a few times a week and would have her come over to help with Riley. Now it seems silly of course but I was a first time mom & newlywed:) When we had to move to Monterey it took a little time for it to sink in that I was for the most part on my own.  When it finally hit me I had a hard time. While I struggled, I also began to grow. There were many frustrating conversations with God, and I was jealous of everyone who lived near family. Why didn't I get the luxury to lean on my parents and close friends while I began parenthood.

  Its all much clearer now.  Most the friends I have who do live near family, had a period in their lives where they were on their own.  This is my period + being a wife & raising kids.  I remember thinking that when I got married and when we had Riley, I grew up. And I did, in some ways. But not completely. I'm still doing a lot of growing, but thanks to Monterey, I'm learning to be an adult. Today I can honestly thank God for bringing us here. I know for Leif its different, but for me personally I've changed.  Coming here has helped me in so many ways... one of those being I believe in myself now. I am in awe at how far God has brought me and what He continues to do.  I didn't have answers before but they're becoming more clear everyday, and the timing is as always, perfect.  I have a better grasp on who Margaret is and where I want to go...  :)

 I have a new confidence in myself, but even more so, I have confidence in my Father & His blessings in my life.  I am thankful for where we are.

I do have a prayer request (or if you're into good vibes and thoughts please send me some of those!):

The past few months I've been having weird pains where my kidney & ovary are and finally went to the doctor for them. They found a cyst on my ovary (no big deal) and one on my kidney (kind of a big deal). I go in tomorrow for a CT on the kidney cyst. Just pray that although the size isn't normal, it will still be easy for them to go in and just remove it. I am SO happy they figured out what the pain was, and I'm looking forward to finding a solution!  Thanks :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Gratitude Thursday

  Right now I'm cleaning the house & packing for our monthly trip down to L.A. I like to pray while I do things because it helps me keep my focus on whats important and I like to constantly be in God's presence. While praying I started to list of things I was thankful for and remembered it was Thursday :)

  • I am grateful for our home. The place where my favorite people reside. Its not a fancy house but its our home, where my heart is. 
  • I am grateful for the opportunity to visit my family as often as we do. It means so much to me that my kids get to visit with their grandparents. 
  • I am grateful for the sun that comes after the rain (or snow, since we saw a little this past week). 
  • I am grateful that San Francisco is just a two hour drive away, so mini vacays are possible. Sometimes you just need a break from the everyday. 
  • I am grateful for a husband who doesn't mind having Greys Anatomy marathons with me :)!
  • I am grateful for this valley we're walking through right now. There are days with many tears and complaints but there are days with rejoicing and thanks. Thanks for what God has in store and what He's already done. 
  • I am grateful for Riley and Beck's personalities. I love that the older they get the more they become themselves. I hope that they continue to embrace it, because I do. 
 I'm thinking I want to do a blog lift. Maybe this Summer when I have more time to design it and when two of the blog designers I'd like to go to have time!

 I'm also going to be doing a giveaway for a cute little company: SUI*generis Cute right?! I love when designers recycle everything :)!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Keep going?

  I've been tossing around the idea of starting a new blog. I've been having the hardest time coming to this one and writing. I like the idea of something new and some change. I don't know. Maybe I just need to give this blog a facelift? At the same time, I don't want to let go of this blog because I documented a good part of our lives on here when Riley was born, and while I was pregnant with Beck. I feel a little bad that I didn't write as much about him as Riley, but its no use beating myself up about it :) Part of the reason I've stayed away from blogging was I compared my blog too many times to other blogs or felt pressured to keep up with everyone. I didn't want to push myself to write something if I didn't mean it. My kids and I are far from perfect and theres something really vulnerable about being that honest on a blog. Although I should be...

  We just celebrated Beck's 1st birthday, which came surprisingly fast, but then again they always do. I'm going to be setting up an appointment to visit a preschool for Riley. We through away all of the bottles in the house and baby toys.  We're thinking of moving Riley to a loft bed that will have a bed below for Beck, for when he's ready. Riley no longer uses her paci (not as difficult as I thought!) and we've finally moved her into panties full time. Beck has started repeating words after me and has taken up to 4 steps at a time. Riley's been asking about ballet classes and school and I'm excited for Fall to roll around so she gets to experience both!  Beck has been preferring Riley over me lately. He'd rather play with her or have her comfort him than me. I could probably go on and on about the changes in our kids but I won't. The whole point is, they're getting older, so fast. Which means while we remain a family of 4, we continue to change.
   Leif and I are constantly adapting to the different phases the kids are going through.  I'm convinced that as soon as we get it down they do a little changing just to keep us on our toes.

  We wouldn't be here today, without God and His blessings.  I am in awe that He has given me a family of my own. A husband that I can call best friend and spend the rest of my life with. Children that are both Leif and I, yet ALL of God's work.  Someone told me today that my family was beautiful and I was just like "I KNOW! God is amazing!" I wish and hope all my friends get to experience the joy of marriage and raising a family with their closest friend. Nothing compares to this.

  Writing out this post has made me want to stick with blogging. I can do it. And I want to.