Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Time Is Flying

People, it is April already.  APRIL.  Can you believe that??  I mean, I just moved here to South Carolina in November, which was yesterday to me.  And now it's April.  Holy cow.


Lemme update you on a few things.


I have about 2+ more weeks on orientation, then I'm ON MY OWN. (singing in best operatic musical voice...Phantom of the Opera maybe??  You know the song I'm talking about...)  Sunday and Monday I worked my first two night shifts.  It's Wednesday and I'm still groggy, but overall it went well.  I think the first time I worked nights (and hated it) was in 2008.  No kids.  Newly married.  In general, I slept a whole lot more than I do now.  When I worked nights, I missed my sleep forreal.  Don't get me wrong, I will still miss my sleep.  A lawt.  But there's just less of it these days to miss.  Hopefully that will make it a little more tolerable.

I really like the pace of night shift.  It's just more relaxed.  That works for me.

I'm slowly but surely getting the hang of this new hospital.  Gaining tee-tiny bits of confidence as I get my feet under me a little better each shift I work.  Tons more to learn, but I'm getting there.  I've gotten to see colostomy closure surgery, an upper GI study, an exchange transfusion, administered blood, and helped perform post-mortem care (yes, that is always sad).  I'm learning and learning and learning!


James and Reese are all busy all the time.  James is enjoying playing in the cul-de-sac with two other little boys around his age. Reese tries to keep up and mostly narrowly misses getting run over by them on a regular basis.

Because one pair won't do.

Sometimes you just have to lean against the wall and suck your thumb.

James would always prefer to spend his time driving something.

Scott is still loving his job.  He recently passed the next actuary test (his third test in this series, all of which he's passed on the first attempt).  YOU GO HONEY!!  You is kiiiiiiind, you is SMAAAAAAHT, You is important!  He joined a golf league through work and is getting to play once a week.  We bought a lawnmower last weekend.  He mowed the grass of our very own home for the first time last Saturday.  Both the buying of the mower and the utilization of the mower felt like new home owner milestones to me.  Yay for us!

In March we had company for three consecutive weekends.  To me, that is ideal.  People people people and more people.  I love it.  Scott may or may not have been totally worn out by all the people-ing.   First Aunt Nikki came to see us from Boone.  Sister time is VERY IMPORTANT. :)  We had a brief, good visit which apparently I did not photographically document in any way.  Awesome.

Next into town was Scott's parents.  It is always so great to see them and watch them interact with James and Reese.  Grandkids and grandparents have such special relationships.  I am so, so, so grateful for how awesome my kids' grandparents are!  I don't believe I took any pictures of the Davidsons while they were here. I'm so fired.

Brandi was the final round of weekend company.  I met her my freshman year at NC State.  We were roommates for a couple of years in college.  She is one of my longest-standing friendships and I love being around her.  She's one of the few people on the planet that can handle ALL THE WORDS that I can produce.  I have a never-ending supply of words, in case you didn't know.  Brandi knows.  And she's still alive.  God bless her.  And look, we took some pictures while she was here!

Reese really loved to smell Brandi's coffee.

Friends for a really long time. :)

Birthday dinner for Scott!

That's enough of an update for now!

Friday, March 7, 2014

I Almost Died

Today I spent some time in Charlotte with my dear friend Amy and her family.  It was such a great visit!

And then, on the way home, an 18 wheeler blew a tire.  The traffic around the tractor trailer swerved to avoid debris.  "Scattering traffic" is a really bad idea at 70 mph.  I careened into the median (wet mushy grass, no guard rails) to avoid hitting cars in front of me.

I was fish-tailing, turning into the skid each time like I was playing some kind of crazy driving video game.  There was an SUV in front of me pulling a trailer that was doing the same. How that small trailer didn't jack-knife during the skidding, I'll never know.

Here's what I know:

-My kids were in the car with me.
-I was positive we were going to hit another car or someone was going to hit us.  It was just a matter of who and how fast.
-I held my breath during the intensity of this.
-I hyperventilated afterwards, fogging up my windshield.
-I also teared up and prayed out loud thanking God for our safety.
-I didn't see anyone hit anyone during this event.  That was miraculous considering how it all went down.
-I didn't get a flat tire, or to my knowledge, any car damage even after barreling through (at a high rate of speed initially) the mushy median grass containing all kinds of road side garbage.

After I merged back into the left lane of traffic, knuckles white on the steering wheel, James piped up from his car seat, squealing with excitement, "Ohhhh drivin'!!"  I said shakily, "Yeah, buddy, momma's drivin."

And then I cried.

To quote some former coworkers, "That tore my nerves UP!" When I pried my fingers off of the steering wheel and held up my hand, it was visibly shaking.

I'm so thankful to be home safe and sound!  May your travels be safe and uneventful!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Quitting Zoloft

Last July, I wrote here about feeling blah and starting the medication Zoloft.  Then I wrote about how it helped me out.

Well, now I'm writing about how I quit.

I quit taking Zoloft a few weeks ago.

I had been warned to taper off of it slowly.  Apparently quitting cold turkey can make one feel horrible.  So taper I did.  I was routinely taking 25 mg (half a pill) every day.  For about two weeks I took 25 mg every other day.  For another two weeks, I took 25 mg twice a week.  And then I kept forgetting to take it, so I quit.

Originally I wanted to taper off in November, after Reese turned one.  But then we moved that month and I didn't think moving to a new state was the best time to rock the boat with altering my medication.  I waited until mid-January to start weaning down my dose.

So far so good!  I feel...good.  Like myself.  I'm trying to be ridiculously self-aware these days to make sure I'm not slipping off the edge of a depression cliff.  If you know me in real life, feel free to provide me feedback with your observations!!  Wow...that's a dangerous statement.  Don't all ten of you that know me and read this blog provide feedback at once.  Might be overwhelming... ;)

A wise, helpful family member pointed me in the direction of this self-assessment tool.  My plan is to take this quiz every few weeks to see how I'm doing.  So far, according to that quiz, I'm a HAPPINESS FREAKIN ROCK STAR.  That feels encouraging.  Obviously every day isn't like that, but that's okay.  My "average" is a lot higher than it used to be, for which I am grateful.

I'm interested in other people again.  I have a lot more energy day to day.  I don't dread time with my kids.  (I think) I'm handling this job transition more healthily than I would have six months ago.  Some days, even when I don't work, I STILL shower.  Wow.  If that's not a positive indication, I don't know what is.

So there ya have it.  I felt sad.  I feel better.

How about you?  Have you ever taken antidepressants?  Or anti-anxiety meds?  For how long?  How did it go if/when you tried to stop taking them?

Thanks for reading and helping an extrovert like myself to not feel alone!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Adventurers Wanted!

Please consider joining up with Jon Acuff in pursuing your dream!

Read more here--

It's just a group of people helping encourage one another.  Each person's hustle is a little different.  Some people are working on weight loss.  Some are paying down debt.  Some are going back to school.  My January hustle was to finish unpacking all the boxes in my house.  Your hustle is whatever you decide it to be.  More than likely, it will evolve.

Sign up and see what you think!!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Shelly Moore

Sometimes when what's deep inside my heart comes bubbling up and spills over, I realize it smells suspiciously like methane gas and not quite the "pumpkin spice" scent for which I had hoped.  I don't love learning more about me when what I learn is ICKY.

Today I was presented with one such learning moment.  Driving along, radio on, I heard a song I really, really enjoyed.  After it was over, the radio announcer dj person said "And that was 'Unraveling' by Shelly Moore."

Shelly Moore.

Shelly Moore, the girl I sang with in an acapella group in college.

THAT Shelly Moore.  She has a freakin song on the radio!!

There I was in workout-type clothes that I most definitely did NOT work out in, but washed my car and was driving to Krispy Kreme all grungy with my kids in the know... living the dream and all...and somebody familiar has a song come on the radio.  I'm embarrassed to tell you what my gut reaction was.

"UN-FREAKIN-BELIEVABLE."  That's what I thought.  I assumed several things about her in an instant.  Here are a few of those things:

1)  She must be successful, she's on the radio!
2)  Successful people make bazillions of dollars.  In every case.  Every time.
3)  Bazillionaires are always happy.  Always.
4)  There is a limited amount of happy/content in the world.  If she has lots, that's less for ME.  Wah.

I did not squeal with joy for her success.  I didn't say OH EM GEE I KNOW HER!!  HOW EXCITING!  In a word, what I felt was jealousy.  Sprinkled nicely with a little bitterness, humph, discontent, feeling threatened and some 'well-i-can-sing-too'.  How bizarre that moments before I was not unhappy or lamenting my life or anything remotely close to those feelings.  But then... I was.

Sugar and spice and everything nice...that's what girls are supposed to be made of, according to my interweb search just now.  Not this girl.  In the blink of an eye, I got to see some fantastically ugly junk spew out of my heart.  Awesome.

To Shelly:  I owe you an apology.  I'm sorry for thinking mean girl thoughts towards you.  I think it is crazy cool that you have a song on the radio.  I hope that song blows up and is the gateway to wonderful things for you.  I do.

To me:  Girl, you need JESUS.  You need his peace, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and a changed heart towards people that only God himself can orchestrate.

Here's the song she wrote.  I really do like it.  Maybe we should all buy it on iTunes!

"Unraveling" by Shelly Moore

Monday, February 17, 2014

Columbia Life: A Day at the Park

And by "day" at the park, I mean "hour", just to be clear.

We headed downtown to check out Finlay Park here in Columbia, SC.  It was chilly out (40's--that's chilly to us, balmy to some of you), but definitely tolerable.

Reese is still working on the whole walking-thing.  She requires, shall we say, "assistive devices."  During our time there, she walked at least a half of a mile.  She's napping now.  She may sleep until tomorrow morning after all that exercise.

Wow that's a lotta purple she's wearing.  Who dressed that child?? (cough cough me)

Memaw and Pawpaw appear to be Reese's security detail here.  The Colonel is ever vigilant.  Thankfully the Colonel is not too proud to push a stroller with a hot pink blanket in it.

James enjoyed three different sized slides.  A small, medium and large one.  He would go down one, stand up and say "Again?!"

There were some shady, shady characters (pictured above) at the park.  Thus the need for the security detail.

Do you ever feel like you're just watching life pass you by?  Reese does.

When you find yourself in that situation, be sure and invite others to join you as you watch life pass by...

Come on down for a visit!  We'll take you to some of our new favorite places!

Adoption: How Do I Answer The Question About How Many Kids I Have?

I'm in a new job which means getting to know new people.  Very common questions I ask and get asked:

"Do you have any kids?"

"How many?"

"How old are they?"

Maybe this is a ridiculously easy question for you to answer.  Maybe it isn't.  Maybe you had a miscarriage and you don't know how to answer.  For me, this question isn't particularly hard to respond to, it just usually involves me giving the asker more information than they thought they would get.

Whenever someone asks me how many children I have, I answer this way, usually all in one breath so there is no room for questions until I'm done:

"I have three kids.  My first child I placed for adoption when she was born, so I'm not raising her.  She is 9.5.  Then I have a 2.5 year old son and a 1 year old daughter."

People respond in all kinds of ways to that information.  I give a lot of grace here because I know they were not necessarily prepared to hear what I just told them.  I don't know how other birthmothers respond to this inquiry.  I just know for me, in my circumstances and how I feel about it, it feels wrong not to acknowledge Chloe in my "kid count".  To me, it feels like a way to honor her.  If I only said I have two kids, that would be dishonoring her.

My first day in the NICU, my preceptor (Courtney) and I had this very conversation.  She asked me how many kids I have.  I answered how I usually do.  I had my hands in a baby's isolette (incubator) at the time.  As I answered, though, tears started welling up in my eyes.  I was mid-sentence about how since I moved here, this is the first time in her life that we haven't been in the same city (generally speaking) as each other.

Side note:  since I'm a verbal processor type person, a lot of times I don't know how I'm feeling about something until I start talking about it.  The words come out of my mouth and it is only after the fact that I have a new revelation about the inner workings of my heart.

This was one of those times.  I didn't realize it was weighing on my heart until I said it out loud and had TEARS in my eyes.  I talk about adoption, Chloe, the whole scenario, all the time without crying my way through it.  And then in this instance, out of the blue, TEARS.  I blame unpredictable momma hormones.  I apologized profusely to Courtney.  Bless her heart.  She's going to be afraid to ever bring up the subject of children again!

I think part of what upset me was that I miss Chloe.  Although we didn't see each other frequently, we both knew we were there, available.  Also, it breaks my heart for her to think that I left her.  Does she feel this way??  Aw geez.  More tears.  I hope and pray she doesn't.

Her parents are so awesome.  I'm grateful every day for them.  I know they will help Chloe through this transition, as they have helped her through every phase of her 9.5 years thus far.  I pray that God would grant us all wisdom and discernment about how to care for one another during this stage.

I will continue to let inquiring minds know that I have three precious children.

Well, until I have four! No, I'm not pregnant.  Just sayin...