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On Victory, OCD, and Birdsong: An Anniversary

Free indeed. That was my Facebook status five years ago today.
I am pretty open about many of my struggles, my acronyms; my writing here bears witness to that. I have written about the mortification that accompanies having ADHD, especially as an adult. I've written about the crippling rounds against chronic depression where rising from bed seemed a Herculean task I couldn't face. I've written about much, hoping perhaps to be better understood and to make others feel less alone in these alienating wars.
I've spilled much ink on OCD as well. I call that the oldest voice in my head. It began as far back as I can remember. It remains with me still. Of all the enemies, it is perhaps the most complicated, the most misunderstood by others. Having battled it all my life, I find it is perhaps the most insidious, affecting me in far greater ways than I sometimes realize. On my best day, it is there. On my worst day, it nearly incapacitates me. I am out of the game.
I am one of t…
Recent posts

The Sky is Falling

I didn't think I'd write anything about this because I don't have the energy or knowledge to explain everything that's going on, and also because it's embarrassing. But I write about so much of my life, and I've been focused tonight on what's going right, so I decided to go ahead and let you see our mess, mess, mess, as Jack calls it!

     This hasn't been the most stellar week. Our house is literally falling down around our ears, and a lot of that is because of an accident with a sink that was my fault. That sink is now in the garage with the rest of my kitchen. And every six hours, someone from a cleanup company comes in to tell me some new astronomically expensive thing that is wrong with the house (a lot of which has nothing to do with the original accident). 4" of standing water in the crawl space? Great. Everything associated with said space was installed incorrectly which could end up costing you $30,000 down the line? Perfect. Chump ch…

Mr. Independent < Why I'll Always Love the 4th of July >

Three years ago today I found out I was a mama. I loved this boy fiercely when he was the size of a poppy seed. I love him fiercely now that he is over 26 wiggly pounds.
 This holiday will always mean the world to me because it brings all those memories straight back like a punch. I feel it in my chest, the disbelief and the joy, like my heart would actually burst. The gratitude as I fell to my knees by the sink and cried and whispered fervent thank yous to the Lord before I woke my husband up to tell him he was going to be a father. The words I'd waited and waited and waited to speak. The entire day spent smiling so hard my cheeks were surely sore. Breakfast out, and in a sundress. One newborn outfit purchased from the Carter's store, where I cried immediately upon entering. Not buying clothes because we needed money, and my body was about to be a lot different, and what kind of seafood exactly could I not eat at lunch? And guess what? I can't take - any- of the medicine …

Willow Trees and Ramparts

Today my dad helped Jack climb a tree for the first time in our backyard.

     When Matt decided he was set on this house being OUR house, I remember looking out at this yard and loving these weeping willows. Maybe it was my inner 90's girl calling to me with a scene from Pocahontas. I don't know. It took me a little longer, but I fell for the house, too. One day on my lunch break, I drove here, slipped through the unlocked gate, and knelt under this very tree to pray. I prayed that if this was the home we were meant to have, that our offer would be enough (it was, even after we decided to hold steady when someone came in with a counter offer), and that God would give us this home and children to fill it with. I pictured a couple of kids running around that yard, though at the time, we were still trying and failing to conceive, for no physical reason, which was breaking my heart. I also prayed His will above ours, knowing we would trust no matter what the outcome was.

Post-Baby Wisdom: A Public Retraction

Okay, Timehop. Enough with the reminders from nine years ago.  I said dumb things before I was a parent. Everybody hear that? I want to publicly stand (sit, actually) before you all and say (well, write) OOPS SORRY. Some thoughts:
1. Almost nothing about parenting is as black and white as I thought it was.
2. I didn't truly know tired. Going significant amounts of time without sleep is tantamount to completely losing your sanity. You will do virtually anything to get it back. See Point 3.
3. Some of the things I said I'd never do are the very things I turned around and did to survive. I flipped quicker than a politician after an election.
4. A Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Ed. will prepare you to teach well and school you in child development, but you'll still feel like you know nothing about your own baby sometimes.
5. I was probably least receptive to the advice that ended up being the most helpful in the trenches. "Stop researching." "Prepare t…

On Motherhood and Grace and Doughnuts for Dinner

It's been a banner week for me as a mom. I've probably made 15,485 mistakes, conservatively.  I was doing pretty well today until the sun went down (you know, around noon, because I live in Evansville). I had a headache from the seventh circle of Hell, and I was driving up Green River Road with a screaming banshee in the back seat. Because I have a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education, I employed the tried-and-true technique of yelling, "STOP SCREAMING!" at my sweet baby. Powerful stuff. Very effective. I was fairly flustered by the time I got to Schnucks. I wanted to get a couple things for dinner tomorrow but mostly needed ice for my raging Coke Zero habit.  Matt is out of town till tomorrow evening, so I knew he couldn't bail me out. After embarrassing myself a little in the parking lot - how was I to know all three cars around me were occupied? -  I carried Jack in with no car seat and no cart cover. I grabbed a cart wipe, but I decided I …

Empty Arms on Mother's Day--A Letter

To the woman walking through infertility:

     I see you. You are not forgotten on this day. I know what today can bring. I know what it feels like to look at the flowers for the mothers at church and do your best to hide the tears in your eyes, knowing there isn't one for you. I know your heart aches. I know your pride hurts. I know that what you go through every 28 days is a real and powerful grief. I know you mourn what could have been. I know you should probably buy stock in pregnancy tests. I know you're angry. I know you might secretly want to punch women in the baby section at Target. I know EVERYBODY is pregnant in your city, and the women who aren't pregnant already have perfect, bouncing babies. They probably have five. Probably quintuplets. I know you've been asked if you and your husband want kids. I know someone you've revealed your struggle to has told you how to fix the problem by relaxing and taking your temperature and trying harder and not trying …