Monday, February 22, 2016


I am not going to school tomorrow. I don't wanna.

I'm sitting up in my bed. It's 10 pm. I was reading my book and the most eerie feeling came over me.

The windows are open. It's a balmy 74 degrees out. I can hear the tree frogs. I am overwhelmingly aware of how grateful I am to be able to have my windows open. We live out in the country and things are a bit freer.

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my mother's death. She slept in this bed for the last time a year ago. That's uncomfortable.

I was in Hattiesburg Sunday and I needed something from the store and I ran in the Winn Dixie by where she used to live. I walked down the aisle with the health foods and had a flashback of shopping that aisle last year. When I was buying groceries for her apartment. Because she was going to survive and I was going to live in her apartment and take care of her.

Crazy how quickly things can change.

It's amazing to me how many flashbacks I am having these past couple of days. It's like my mind is placing me exactly where I was a year ago. I said I would turn my "On this day" memories off on Facebook but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I want to feel it - to remember. It's the only way to know it was all real.

I remember the smell of the ICU. Salty. I remember walking out of her room before they unhooked her from the ventilator and glancing at the clock. 4:16.

I was born at 4:16.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Creeping Back In

           I started taking an antidepressant a year ago after my mom passed away. It was not the first time in my life to ever take one. Antidepressants and I go way back. 15 years back. This particular time, they were the most helpful they had ever been. I had just lost my mother, and they kept me from drowning. I also deal with anxiety a lot, outside of these circumstances. This antidepressant helped tremendously with it.
          However, in the year since I began taking it, I have gained some weight. Not a few vanity pounds, but all of the weight I had lost I have gained, and I have not changed my diet at all. This is incredibly frustrating, and an anxiety source in itself. Aside from the weight gain, I finally feel like I am ready to try life without medication. Some time has come between myself and my grief. I still grieve, but not in that freshly wounded sort of way. It's manageable, even though it's the hardest awful thing in my life.

       But it's creeping back in. The anxiety, that is. I feel like I am holding my breath waiting for the wave to take me under while hoping and praying it will never come.

          I notice it when I am driving across the Pearl River Bridge. It's a narrow bridge and the guard rails are just outside of the lanes. There is no shoulder or room for error. If you veer out of your lane, you're donesies. The morbid thought of accidentally hitting the rails and going over engulfs me and I sometimes avoid the bridge and go around to get where I need to be. I know that it's not normal to think like that or being worried or even disrupt my route to avoid that anxiety. I also know that I didn't have this anxiety while taking medicine.

          I want to fight this on my own. I have overcome so much in the past year and I think I have learned healthy coping skills. I also feel myself coming back into myself, if you know what I mean. I don't feel that sort of numb and could care less about anything and have no personal interests thing. I can watch movies again. Read novels. Write things from my heart. These are things I have been so desperately trying to get back to.

          It feels good and this is me trying to get back to myself. Anxiety be damned.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Snack Attack

     Snack time in a house with 4 boys can be stressful. It also feels like it is ALWAYS snack time! These boys put away some food. My grocery bill is ever climbing and I still have to run to the store around Wednesday to replenish staples.

    For the past 2 weeks I have been trying something different and I am in love with it. Previously, snack time looked like rice cakes with peanut butter, halos (clementines), gogurt or cheese sticks. The supply of these would dwindle so fast because it would take 3-4 of each to fill a child up between lunch and dinner (have I mentioned my boys have ridiculous appetites?). I liked that they were eating healthier foods, but these are also more expensive.
    In my town we are blessed with a salvage grocery store. It carries foods that have damaged packaging or has been discontinued and sometimes just plain out of date. Most of the time I find great deals there and can get organic and gluten free snacks for less than half the retail price. I can get a box of granola bars for a dollar. They usually come with 5-6 bars in them. If you've ever paid $3-4 for a box of granola bars for 4 kids. You are familiar with the pain of watching them devour them in one sitting.

     So I spend about $12 a week on snacks. I don't pay over a dollar for any item. I get Mott's fruit roll ups, Quaker granola bars (not so healthy but what do you do), Cascadian Farms granola bars... and things like that. My children really like granola bars and they are a healthier choice than candy or chips. I buy a box of quart sized bags and divide them into snack bags. Each bag will have a variety and an even amount of snacks as the others. This way, when snack time comes I can have each boy pick a snack bag and I don't have to worry about "fixing" a snack for them. Also, there is much excitement surrounding snack time now!

    I am still technically a stay at home mom, but I am outside of my home 17 hours a week (it's odd that I counted isn't it?) at college. I didn't think that being gone a small amount of time would have such a big impact but OHMYGOODNESS it absolutely does! When I get home from school around 2:30 in the afternoons twice a week, I want to sit down and take a breath and not jump right in to mom mode. Having this one little thing already taken care of is such a relief. If I did not leave the house for any reason during the week, I would be delighted to whip up a batch of cookies or homemade granola bars but I am just so pressed for time now. We have to cut corners where we can.

   I put the snack bags up in the cabinet and I know exactly how many there are in case there are any "sneaky hands"!

   Yes, they absolutely can get to them. We are basically using the honor system. So far so good.