Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Story

I have been wanting to share something for a long time. I thought about it quite a bit a couple of years ago and let it slide. But after listening to Elder Holland's talk in General Conference last week I came back to feeling like I wanted to talk about it.

I am not very private about this, I think quite a few people know because I'm not ashamed of it at all. At the same time I don't find many opportunities to work it into my daily conversations. The 'it' that I am referring to is that I have depression, or as the people who know stuff about stuff (doctors) like to call it Major Depressive Disorder. 

I want you to know why I am sharing this. I think we all have an image that comes to mind when we think of depression or someone who is depressed. I also think that image for a lot of people is highly negative. I understand why that is. Going through it is not a great experience. But I want people to understand that someone with depression is not at fault for the way they feel. It is a disease.

"I am not speaking of bad hair days, tax deadlines, or other discouraging moments we all have. I am speaking of something more serious, of an affliction so severe that it significantly restricts a person’s ability to function fully." Jeffrey R Holland

Just a week ago at the LDS church's General Conference an Apostle of the Lord addressed this subject. I beg anyone who may be reading to read this talk even if you've already read it before. I hope you'll read it whether or not you have any interest in the subject. It helps define what depression really is so that people can have a better understanding of the disease that truly afflicts many people. I can't say anything better than Elder Holland said it. Him giving this talk in General Conference told me again what I already know: The Lord loves His children so much. He does not want them to suffer alone. He wants them to know that He knows what they are going through. And He does. 

So I'll just tell you MY story of how I came to find out I had depression. 

I started dating Todd in 2006 and I LOVED being with him. I loved his attitude and I loved his outlook on life. I remember him telling me a story once about something really crappy that happened to him and he said, "It was so terrible that all I could do was laugh". I loved that he was like that. Even though I was dating an awesome guy and I finally felt like life was going the way I wanted it to I still had too many times that I felt 'blah'. 'Blah', for me, was a feeling made up of a lot of other feelings. The feeling that there is nothing to look forward to in life, the feeling that you have every reason to be happy but you aren't, the feeling that you know there is good in the world but you can't see it in your life. There were days when I just didn't want to get out of bed in the morning, and not in a "I hope I die because I don't want to live life anymore" kind of way. But just a "I don't look forward to going through this day" kinda way. 

About 4 months into our relationship Todd noticed that I wasn't as happy as I could be. We talked about my feelings a lot and I basically told him that as far as I know this is my 'normal'. Todd had just taken a psychology class so he busted out his textbook and we looked at some symptoms. He told me that he learned that if an emotional condition gets in the way of normal life it's probably something serious. 

The story of what happened in the next 6 months is long and complicated, but basically I didn't take Todd very seriously and I became so confused by all my feelings that I broke up with Todd to try to get everything figured out. After I had my priorities sorted out and I knew what I wanted, Todd and I started dating again, and shortly after that we got engaged.

It wasn't until a few weeks before our wedding that I went to a therapist to figure out if there really was something going on with me. After a long talk she came to the conclusion that I had Major Depressive Disorder. She also determined since I hadn't had any traumatic experience that triggered the depression, that it was a genetic chemical imbalance I would live with my entire life. 

I struggled a lot with the fact that I had depression. I had absolutely NO reason to feel unhappy or incomplete. I loved life, I loved my Fiance, I loved my family. On paper I had the absolutely perfect life. I wanted to be able to will myself to be happy. I wanted to have the strength to say I SHOULD be happy therefore I AM HAPPY. 

I like the way my therapist worded it. She said, "You're just missing some chemicals in your brain, that's all." Those words were unbelievably comforting to me! I had been beating myself up over how I had been feeling. This helped me understand that I was no more at fault for my feelings than I was for the freckles on my face. This was a medical condition. 

"These afflictions are some of the realities of mortal life, and there should be no more shame in acknowledging them than in acknowledging a battle with high blood pressure or the sudden appearance of a malignant tumor." Jeffrey R Holland

It wasn't until about 6 months into our marriage that I got treatment for my depression, which for me is in the form of medicine. I still remember the moment when, after taking the medicine for a few days I realized that I was happy. I realized that I hadn't cried for a few days. I felt that weight lifted off of me. I suffered for so long with feelings of hopelessness and I couldn't believe that my treatment was actually working. That there actually was a cure for how I'd been feeling.

"If things continue to be debilitating, seek the advice of reputable people with certified training, professional skills, and good values. Be honest with them about your history and your struggles. Prayerfully and responsibly consider the counsel they give and the solutions they prescribe." Jeffrey R. Holland

 I look back on this time in my life and I see so clearly the hand of the Lord helping me to get to where I am today. He put several people in my life who led me to consider the possibility of depression. He gave me circumstances and opportunities to realize that it was something that needed to be treated medically. I know the Lord loves us and wants to help us through our trials. There were a lot of times before I was treated when I wondered if He cared whether I go through life happy or not. Now I know that He did care and He made it possible with hundreds of little miracles, for me to get the help I needed. 

"So how do you best respond when mental or emotional challenges confront you or those you love? Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend." Jeffrey R. Holland

My hope in sharing this is to spread awareness both to people who might be struggling with depression or people who might be on the outside looking in. No one should have to feel hopeless and alone. I'm blessed to have had so many people to support me through my time of need. I want to be able to help make those miracles happen for others who are where I once was. If you have any questions I'd love to talk. Life is meant to be enjoyed! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

She Only Has a Butt!

This story was too funny not to share, but I didn't feel like it would be appropriate to share with all of Facebook. I thought my three-ish sweet, dedicated blog followers would be worthy to hear the story.

While in the midst of a diaper change the other day I got up to get some diaper cream which resulted in Lucy getting up to run naked around the house.

Luke, upon seeing his naked baby sister started giggling and laughing, and then declared, "Look, she only has a butt!"       

It took me a while to figure out what he was saying, but then I realized this was my 4 year old's interpretation of the difference between the male and female anatomy. Apparently he thought, 'Hey I have stuff going on on my front AND backsides but my sister only has a butt '.

I laughed so so so hard and for such a long time. Luke then started asking a bunch of questions about how girls pee etc. and after answering a couple of the questions I was relieved that it was bed time and the clock had put an end to our extremely early-in-life sex(ish) talk.

Having kids is the best, most entertaining thing EVER!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Star Wars Birthday Party

After posting about Lucy's birthday I felt mom-guilt for never having written about Luke's.

Luke's 4th birthday party was pretty sweet! It was a Nerd Mom dream come true, and I didn't even have to convince him to pick this theme. Star Wars was his choice!!! So proud!

I think I put a lot more effort into this party than I otherwise would have because I'm so obsessed with Star Wars. In the weeks leading up to the party we watched and re-watched the Star Wars trilogy. (I won't specify which trilogy. If you have to ask you are dead to me anyway.) Those movies are so good. They hold up so well after all these years and the message is amazing! I found myself getting choked up at the end of Return of the Jedi, and not just because I'm a nerd. Because I am a human being--with feelings!!! Anyway, that was some really unnecessary back story to explain why I have an emotional attachment to this party.

The invite:

The Pinata (It's the Death Star. The crater is on the other side, this is the only pic I got of it, darn it!)

The Goody Bags:

The Party Favors:

The Cupcakes:

I also got some sweet printables from Pinterest for the napkins and the cups:

You can find these printables here. Photo Credit here.

            Having your kids grow up can be a bittersweet thing. On the one hand I am bummed that every year that goes by means my snuggle buddy gets a little less snuggly. But I have to say, it's awesome that my little spawn is becoming interested in the same stuff I am. So fun!

I LOVE my little guy so dang much!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Catching up...Lucy's First

I am horrible, but I think I am going to get better. See, normally in my free time I am feverishly cleaning  the mess that my two spazzy children leave behind. Lately I have been trying to get some more exercise so I have been jogging at night. In a nutshell that means that from the time I finish my jog to the time I go to bed I don't move. So I should have plenty of time to blog.

Lucy turned one year old a little bit ago! What the heck? That went by CRAZY fast! But she just gets more fun and more adorable every day so I am kinda okay with it.

Here are some pictures from her first birthday!

How did this little girl grow up so fast?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Little miss Lucy

I have been debating whether to pick back up with my blog because, hey, I haven't written in A YEAR and also I have maybe two readers. I decided to start again because this is how I remember things.

I have missed out on NINE months of documenting but I'm going to try to make it up starting now:

Our little miss Lucy was born almost nine months ago.

 My water broke at 5am. It was a weird feeling. Like peeing yourself totally involuntarily. I have had several friends whose water broke and they had the baby within the hour. So when it happened, I woke up out of a dead sleep, sat up, and said "Oh Crap!". Todd sleepily inquired, and all I could muster was one more "Oh Crap!" I was sure I was in for a butt-load of pain (eew, gross labor pun in there somewhere).

By the time I was admitted I wasn't contracting very badly so I wasn't worried that the baby was just going to fall out of me anymore. I began to concentrate my efforts on making sure that every single medical personnel that I came in contact with knew that I wanted an epidural.
 Seriously ladies, if you want to feel absolutely NOTHING when you have a baby just make sure you tell the nurses at least every couple minutes that you still want an epidural. The anesthesiologist had two Csections but you better believe during the time in between she was pumping me full of wonderful drugs! With Luke the epidural wore off after 30 minutes and after that I felt everything. I also made sure to tell them about that and they gave me a little extra.

I now know that it is possible to feel absolutely nothing when you give birth and it is so awesome! If you get an epidural and you feel anything, ask for more. Because soon that 'anything' is going to turn into 'holy crap my body is going to rip in half'.

The whole experience was lighthearted and happy, not scary, which I couldn't say about labor with Luke.

I was so happy to finally meet our beautiful little girl. 

Welp, the past several months have just flown by. Our little Lucy is so sweet. She is really easy to make happy and really high maintenance at the same time. I don't know how to explain her. She's definitely a girl!

So happy to have this little girl in our family!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I know my blog is long overdue for an update! Luckily I got rid of my miserable nausea and have been feeling pretty good for a couple of months. So here's all the stuff I know you want to know about us right now:

1. Gender of the baby: NO CLUE! I'm so impatient. We were supposed to find out 4 weeks ago and the Dr. said another month! Ugh! The wait is almost over. We go on Friday! Yay!

2. Weight gain: Because you care. Okay, seriously. Listen to this. I gained 8 pounds in my first trimester. My doctor was mortified. Most people gain 0-4 pounds. So at my appointment last month they said I had lost 3 pounds. Not good, got another lecture. At our appointment a couple weeks ago I had gained TEN pounds in the past 4 weeks. Another lecture. WTH? I have not changed my eating patterns AT all since I got pregnant. I laid off food a little once I got over my nausea because I no longer needed to be snacking constantly (although still almost constantly). I am so interested to see how the pattern continues, especially since I am not, nor have I been doing anything different this whole time.

3. Early babies: Luke came 3 weeks early, and that was with me getting shots and taking medicine to stop the contractions. He would have been a couple weeks earlier if the doctor hadn't stopped my labor in time. Now I'm majorly paranoid about preterm labor with this baby. Especially because with Luke I didn't even know I was having contractions. I spent a Saturday night in Labor and Delivery (because that's how I party). I was having contractions and not knowing if they were braxton hicks or the real thing. Gah! Lets hope this little one stays in for a few more months!

4. Misc.: I am feeling the baby move...a lot. It's awesome. I always love getting to this point in the pregnancy! It becomes so much more fun and real when you have a constant physical reminder of what is happening inside of you!

Luke is potty trained! Woo hoo! We get a 4 month break from changing poopy diapers! Good enough for me!

I am so grateful for the blessings our family has to look forward to.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bun in the Perkins Oven!

Aye aye aye! These past couple months have been insane! In November we found out we are expecting another Perkins! It's very exciting, but MAN I forgot how much pregnancy hates the crap out of me! Anyway, now that I am starting to kinda feel a teensy bit better I'm going to try to be better about keeping everyone updated on our lives.

We went to the doctor today and in the first couple months there is no fun news to share (I guess, other than the fact that there is a person living inside of me!). Anyway, so here's the update from the doctor : You've gained 8 lbs since you got pregnant. Well that's great! Considering the baby weighs an ounce and a half right now, I'd say I'm right on track.... to weigh 300 pounds when I give birth!

I don't have a 'bump' picture yet, but you can totally see it here, so enjoy! Yum!
I don't care that much, but what I do care about is that this pregnancy has ruined food for me. I have to eat so much so often to keep from getting sick that I am sick of every food on the planet. When you eat two of every meal every day there's not much left that you haven't eaten.

My majorly notable craving in the beginning was pastrami sandwiches. Mmmmmm....I could still go for a reeaaally good pastrami sandwich. Since the only quick and cheapish place we have around here as far as pastrami goes is Wienerschnitzel, I was cured of that craving pretty quick. (No offense Wienerschnitzel, but you don't understand pastrami)

Now my favorite thing ever that I could drink a million times a day is Naked Juice, specifically the Green Machine flavor. Mmmmm. Why do my cravings have to be so inaccessible/expensive?

Anyway, moral of the story, we're having a baby in July and we are really happy about it! Stay tuned!