Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A journey

I have had a hard time of it these days. But I think it is finally time to share, so that others facing depression don't think they are all alone, or that there is something wrong with them.


This has been buried beneath the surface for a long time. But it all came bursting out over the summer, when I was deeply hurt over something very close to my heart.


I overheard a family member say that the name Millie "just felt right" for their upcoming baby girl. It is the very name I had talked about to them many times as what I would name a baby girl, if she ever came.

I had an extreme physical reaction. I felt betrayed, confused, hurt, angry, sad and bitter. I couldn't eat or sleep well. I lost weight. I would cry for long periods of time. My stomach would churn and my heart would race. The doctor told me those are anxiety attacks.


This went on for a long time. My older sister and doctor's office urged me to seek medical help and counseling, and I'm glad I did.


Therapy is helping me deal with the depression over the fact that I want a daughter so badly to join these brothers, but don't have one. I felt God had abandoned me, didn't love me, was punishing me: "Sorry, sucker, I even gave your name away. You are never getting a girl, but you'll have to see one named Millie at every Sunday dinner."


Through several months now I have been working on this. On forgiveness. On feeling better. Waiting upon the Lord. I am so grateful for those in my life who immediately respond to a text-cry-for-help. For my husband who tries to be a voice of reason to help me, but also finds ways to provide the empathy I need.


October has helped; the LDS General Conference sessions were full of messages that strengthened my faith again.  And I finally saw the baby. When my kind and observant father-in-law brought her from across the room to me, I realized two important things:

1) Her name is not actually Millie, it is Millicent, after an ancestor of theirs.
2) She has dark hair and looks like her brother. God did not give my baby to them.


It's a journey, and I keep trying to write the happy ending for myself while still in the middle of it. I'm not completely at peace yet, and I know many people carry heavy, heavy burdens -- this may not seem like a big deal to them at all. But I'm learning that this depression is not my fault. Chemistry and hormones sometimes get off, but help is there.  And I'm learning that God does love me yet.


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some resources that have helped me:
Anything and everything by Dr Brene Brown
"Waiting Upon the Lord" by Henry B. Eyring
"Choose to Believe" by Whitney L. Clayton
"The Lord Seeth Fit to Try His People's Faith" by Gene R. Cook



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Outtakes

Ben admitted to me as we were walking to another part of the park that "his cheeks hurt from smiling."

He kept it up, even when we were trying to get James to happy up and cooperate with standing next to Andrew.



James just wanted me to hold him.


We did different poses while we all looked at a different member of the family. I've seen this really look good with others. In the picture below, James is pinching my upper arms. It's his favorite activity lately.



So we tried the tossing again.


This was fun. Andrew showed off all his hopping skills, and James showcased his darting skills.





At the end of the morning, we had to pose with Papa, who had trekked all over the place with us for the pictures, and helped make the boys smile from behind Katherine.  More importantly, he is the one through working there who has made all of our visits to Lagoon possible all these years. Such memories! It truly is the slogan -- It's what fun is.


Individual boys

Here are some of our favorite pictures of our favorite boys from the Lagoon photo shoot.

Max. 10-years-old going on missionary.




Ben. 7 and sweet and stubborn and growing up.


Andrew. 4 and smiley and hopping.


James. 2 and....not smiling.  Stubborn.


There he is. Kissy and loveable.




Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Family pictures at Lagoon

We couldn't be more pleased with how our photo shoot on an August Saturday morning at Lagoon. Many thanks to Papa for getting us in early, and for Katherine for her patience and humor and good eye.


We started in front of the big roller coaster, and this wasn't how we were supposed to be posed, Katherine just snapped it, and it's one of my favorites.


"Look, James! It's Papa!"

(Papa hung out behind the photographer and helped try to make the kids smile)



We went to some of our favorite spots, like the carousel. In the picture below, notice James's hands and how JB smiles through the hair tugs.


This could be our new engagement picture. We are getting married....after 12 years of being married....



Max and Ben are so good to their little brothers. They tried their best to keep smiling, and keep the littles smiling.


I mean, all these blond handsome growing boys....I can't even.


We have lots more, which I hope to post soon, and we are still deciding which one will make the wall of our living room, and which one will make the Christmas card.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mom and Kids




A couple weeks ago was our ward's annual Dads and Kids campout. But JB was super sick. He just didn't think he could do it.  I felt badly for him, and also for the bummed-out boys.  So, the boys and I went to the store, picked out treats (miserly Mary splurged), and set up the tent in our backyard.

We had a Mom and Kids campout!

An extension cord allowed us to watch "Star Wars" on the laptop, and the bathroom was just steps away in the house. That didn't stop my boys from wanting to pee outside because they were "camping." It took some firm admonitions on my part to keep them from just unzipping the tent and letting it fly right there into the grass.

James went back inside to sleep in his crib, because, nope. Wrestling with a 2-year-old in a tent is no fun. In fact, JB wasn't really going to take him to the campout anyway. He's a special soul of a toddler.  It was chilly that night, so Andrew and I cuddled. Rather, I tried to cuddle, he kicked and squirmed.  I woke up with an aching back, Max and Ben woke up smiling and rested like they'd been reclining on goose-down all night.

I must have a short memory, or I'm a sucker, because we did it again last Friday night. But this time, sans snacks. Vacuuming out that tent was....cumbersome.  And I put my foot down, it was time for a change -- so we watched the new "Cinderella" all together in the tent, and the boys liked it! There is hope after all.