Sunday, May 30, 2010

Uncontrolled Emotions

My soul hurts.

I don't know how else to describe it.

For two weeks now I have been anxious, emotional, worry-prone, tired, weepy and unhappy. It came on so suddenly and so noticeably that I've been wondering if I'm having some sort of weird reaction to the new brand of birth-control pills I've been taking, or if (I would die) they didn't do their job this month and I'm ... I won't even say the word. Whatever the reason, it's been painfully clear to me and those around me that I'm not quite myself.

I have a lot of stresses in my life right now that would give credit to a little anxiety. Most of them have to do with money, thanks to our 15-year-old air conditioner that decided it has cooled it's last summer...and our basement that loves the rain so much that it's decided to let it come on inside the house. Other stresses have to do with Brian's heavy work schedule right now and fighting children and busy nights and not enough sleep. Yet, even considering all these things, my emotional state is still much worse than it should be.

What's wrong with me?
I've been praying for the past 2 nights. Why am I reacting like this? Please help me understand.


I walked into church today with three kids bumping along my skirts and two of them complaining about how fast I was walking. I paused at the table sitting outside the chapel to grab a bulletin and an extra flier I saw sitting there before I hurried the kids into the pew and got them quietly coloring just in time for the meeting to start. I glanced at the bulletin, noted the speakers and then glanced at the extra flier:

Primary Talent Show!
Friday, June 11.

A rush of adrenalin surged through me so forcefully I felt it sting in my toes, and my face winced in response. Adrenalin - the hormone released when a person senses danger; the 'fight or flight' hormone. My body had reacted physically to an emotional desire to run. To run as fast and as far as I could from that date staring up at me from the page. It comes every year, and I still haven't figured out how to best handle it.

Five years ago that date became meaningful to me when I delivered my second baby, a boy, premature and stillborn. A good friend once said that she believes that our spirits can start mourning the anniversary of a loved one's passing before we consciously realize it. As if our spirit, unconstrained by the stresses and worries of temporal circumstances, remembers how much it misses the other. Given my past experience with this date and the weeks leading up to it, I believe it, too.

It explains my raw emotions over the last two weeks. And, since whenever I sense things are out of my control I turn with vengeance on the things I can control, it explains all those rash impulses I've followed the past few days. I can't control how much I miss my baby; so I control how clean the front of my cupboards are by scrubbing them. I can't control time and make it so June 11th will never come; so I control the bushes I hate in front of my house by ripping them all down. I can't control how much pain I feel; so I control my childrens' wardrobe by getting new pajamas so they won't be sleeping in mismatched, too small uglies anymore. But see, here's the frustration in it all - - - no matter how clean my house is, or how far away from me those ugly bushes are, or how cute my kids are when they go to sleep, the pain will still come.
And it will come forcefully.

I spent the rest of church fighting back tears, and once church was over, I herded my children into the car as fast as I could without saying more than 'hi' to a soul. I knew it wouldn't take much to summon the tears. And, before I could back out of my parking space, the tears had already started to fall.

I don't know how to embrace this.
I don't know how to ignore this.
I don't know how to prepare for this.
I don't know how to heal from this.

I only know how to feel it,
and cry about it,
and remember it.

How do I be a good mom to my other kids through it? How can I stop them from seeing my tears? And the most pressing question that always comes, how am I going to do this every year for the rest of my life?

I promise there are good things that have come from this, and I apologize that you're only getting one side of it now - - - I guess I'm hurting today, and sometimes I think it's important to let your heart feel just one thing at a time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Boycotting Bees

Carson is boycotting all bees at the moment because he got stung yesterday and felt that the bee was highly unjustified.

"I was *sob* just twying to howld the bee. I wasn't even *sob sob* twying to kiwll it. And *sob* it still stinged me."

His finger was double it's normal size by the time it stopped swelling.

Oh, Buddy. Too bad bees can't understand the difference between being lovingly squeezed to death, and maliciously squeezed to death...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

To Friends - Everywhere

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive..."
- Anais Nin

All through my Utah-life, I was blessed with exceptional friends. The kind of friends who taught me to love my life; who found joy in small things; who sometimes cared more about me than I cared for myself; who stuck by me when they were frustrated at my weaknesses; who coached me into wise decisions; who weren't afraid to give me hard advice; some catered to my adventurous side; others to my emotional side; through them, I learned how to be a good listener; one taught me how to analyze my own feelings; another taught me about strength in difficult situations; one gave me life; one was my sister; one laughed at my jokes; one called me wife.

It seemed impossible to leave all of that behind (except the one who called me wife, of course), and move across the country to a city I'd never heard of. And I won't admit that I couldn't have picked North Carolina out on an unlabeled map. Of course, there is often a palpable excitement that accompanies new adventures, and I was not immune to that. But there was a strong undercurrent of worry whenever I thought of the friends I would leave behind, and the potential lack of friends that may be on the other side. I soon found, however, that good people are everywhere - - - and North Carolina seemed to have an unfair share. I fit here. I love it here. Because my good fortune with friends has continued here.

This beach trip had been in the works ever since three of the five families moved away last summer, and it was fun to see how much had changed in just a year. Someone should tell these kids that they are growing way to quickly.

You know you and your kids have found great friends when you feel comfortable sharing one beach house and one fridge (one fridge!) with those 10 adults and 16 children.

You know you and your kids have found great friends if...

...they'll bury you in the sand even though it's Sunday and you're still in your church clothes.

...they don't tease you if you look like this while you're picking up seashells. believe her when she says she saw a dead turtle a half a mile away from the beach house, so you trek the whole clan out there to see it, and still love her when it all turn out bogus.

...they watch your awesome ninja skills and praise you for them.

...they teach you how to boogie-board and kayak. explanation necessary.

...they challenge you to an arm wrestle, don't let you win, and then laugh when you make a poo-strain-face.

...they sit in the hot-tub on 'kids day' and don't complain about the murky water or pee smell.

...they agree with you when you say your Spiderman kite is 'pwetty awesome'.

So, here's a shout out to all of my friends - wherever you are - thanks for making my life so wonderful! :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Relax and Rejuvinate...

It's a hard pill to swallow when you cross the threshold of your home after spending a week at the beach.  It's not that I don't love my's just...I mean... the beach!  I'm dying to take you on a journey through my reflections and pictures of the beach, and I will.  Just not now while the mess from the end-of-vacation bomb still threatens to swallow my children.  But here are a few pictures to make you jealous of my life. :)

We stayed in this lovely beach house,

Saw these beautiful sunsets,

Found awesome seashells,

And played with the sea-life...some alive...some dead.


You know, that nasty old puffer fish kind of has the same face I do as I sit here thinking about my laundry...

Monday, May 3, 2010

You would think...

...that having an extra adult in the house over the weekend would help keep it clean.


...that's never the case.

And believe me -

- you're only seeing a portion of it.

Welcome to my Monday mornings.