Nothing Better

There is nothing better, in this world, than being a mother. I love tending to the needs of a tiny human, and exposing her to the joy and magic of the world around her. Creating castles out of blankets, Seeing animals in the clouds, and dancing without music!

There is beauty in the world that can only be seen through the eyes of a child, and she has reopened my eyes. She has given me a fresh energy and curiosity to see everything there is to see! I love my daughter. I love being her mom.

Since she has come into my life, she has helped me fight my anxiety. Whenever I feel my anxiety creeping up on me, she is right there (as if she knows) with a hug and kiss. When I am able to focus on her, I am able to pull myself out. It’s a beautiful thing.

here we made a reading nook out of the shower since my husband took off the door to replace it. Obviously, it was time to play while Daddy worked!

Dealing with the Everyday

My first week of back to work (aka school!) is under my belt, and I already feel like I have been teaching these kids all year. They are just great! I have a fantastic group of 8th graders this year, and they seem to really click with my style. It is the honeymoon stage, but I’m really looking forward to seeing where this year takes us.

This week, I have struggled with my anxiety again. I am not sure what triggered it, but it was high for a majority of the week. I knew I couldn’t let it take over because I wanted to be present for my students, as well as my daughter. I have limited time with her now that I am back in school, and I want to use every moment to the fullest.

To combat my anxiety, I just pushed through. I tried my best to keep a positive attitude, and when I felt like I was falling apart, I opened up and shared with a friend. I think if is important to have someone you can talk to when you have high anxiety.

I just feel it is imperative that when we feel our anxiety at its worst, we don’t give up. Living with this disease for so long has shown me that the dark days pass. They really do. As long as you fight back. Don’t give up. Don’t let it win. You can experience peace, even if you think you can’t. I never thought I would EVER feel anxiety-free, but I do! Sure I still struggle, but I know it will pass.

It will for you too.

Doing It, Even If I Don’t Feel Like It.

Today, my anxiety was through the roof, I was exhausted, and my body ached all over. I didn’t want to doing anything, and least of all, spend the day running around the house after my daughter.

I woke up thinking I would put on the tv and lay on the couch binging on Netflix and Hulu, while she played around the living room with her toys. I could recuperate, and she could learn to entertain herself. Everybody wins.

However, that is not how the day turned out! Luckily for me, my daughter is an angel, and the mere sight of her fills me with such joy that I can hardly contain it! So, of course I couldn’t resist her when she wanted to play!

We ended up spending nearly two hours in our little pool, reading books, eating yummy snacks, and lots and lots of cuddling! It was such an amazing day! I feel like we took our relationship to a new level, and it felt wonderful.

Since becoming a parent, I have been learning that when I push myself beyond my comfort zone, I experiencing incredible rewards. Had I decided to stay on the couch and watch tv instead, my daughter would have been fine, however, we would have missed out on our one on one time.

I am going to put this principal into action in my everyday life and look for opportunities this week to go beyond my comfort zone! I challenge you to do the same!

Attention Writers and Dreams! I have a question

One of the biggest dreams in life is to write a novel. I always have so many ideas, but they seem to be equally partnered with just as many excuses. I start writing, and then I get writer’s block, and eventually give up on the idea out of pure frustration.

I feel frustrated with myself because if I had kept going through the struggle, I could have a decent manuscript by now. That thought alone is infuriating and it keeps me up at night.

Now that I have a child, it seems even more difficult to work on my writing. I hardly have time to myself, let alone time to dedicate to writing.

Have any of you had a similar problem? And if you have, how have you been able to handle it?

Hit Hard

Last night something triggered my anxiety (not sure what) but it was raging out of control. I felt like I was no longer in control of my thoughts, and they were leading down a dark path. I have always found it difficult to combat anxiety at night, because nighttime means quiet. There is nothing to distract me when I feel the strong grip of anxiety start to take hold, and that’s exactly what happened last night. I lost control.

My husband woke up in the middle of the night and I told him about my struggle, and he was able to comfort me, but not free me from it. I was finally able to fall asleep, but anxiety followed me into the morning.

I spent a lot of the morning in prayer as I went about my daily routine. I felt weak mentally, so I knew the only way I could win was through funneling my thoughts towards God. Things finally began to turn around when I heard a song on the radio talking about in our dark times, we need God. In that moment, I was reminded that I am not the only one in this battle. I am not the only person who has dark moments. I felt myself begin to take back control, and slowly, peace replaced anxiety.

I felt I learned that when I am hit hardest with anxiety, I tend to isolate myself. I feel like I’m the only person who has dark moments. But I am not! If you ever feel this way, know that I am there with you! We are all in this together! I believe that Satan wants us to feel isolated, because alone we are weak. But together we are strong!

Anxiety is a difficult beast to understand, but bringing it into the light, helps lessen its grip! Bring yours into the light. You can win, just as I did today!

No Complaining!

Today I am going to focus on all the wonderful things I have in my life. Nothing bad. Nothing negative. My focus is on the good. I want to instill this mindset on my students! I hear so many of them talking poorly about themselves and their lives. Yes there are students who have horrible lives and they have a right to complain, but I want to teach them to find the good in the world!

1 Year Anniversary of Diagnosis

Today marks the one year anniversary of when I was care-flighted to Phoenix, Arizona (4 hours away from home) due to severe preeclampsia. It was a terrifying day. I went into the hospital early in the morning on December 19, 2016 with a mild contractions. Since it was my first pregnancy, I hadn’t experienced contractions, so naturally I was scared. My husband and I left work early and we went into the ER, and once we got there we were sent to the OB triage.

I was immediately hooked up to an IV, and all kinds of monitors to keep an eye on my daughter. They told us that I was just dehydrated and I just needed to rest. They said I should be back to work by lunch. I remember thinking I was disappointed that I would have to go back to work! I had a cold so I wanted to go home and go back to sleep. Having a cold, and being pregnant at the same time is not the greatest feeling.

As time went on, I started to notice the blood pressure cuff was still on my arm and they were continually. I hadn’t thought much of it, but the nurse started asking questions about my blood pressure history. I have never had any issues, and I was starting to get the feeling that something was wrong. However, no one said anything yet, other than just to relax, which, suddenly, was difficult to do.

After nearly an hour of monitoring, the doctor comes in and says he is not happy with the numbers of my blood pressure (204/100something) and he had been on the phone with a doctor in Phoenix, and I was going to be flown out in 15 minutes!! My husband and I were in complete shock! I will always remember my husband, who is normally so brave and composed, crying in the corner of the room as the nursing staff came in and prepped me to be taken to the helicopter. I saw it land right outside the window, and I just felt cold fear. I had no idea what was going on.

I remember telling my husband to grab my journal before he left town so I could write about what was going on with the pregnancy. Even though I didn’t know what was going on, I knew it was all going to be apart of my daughter’s story, and I wanted to remember it.

The next thing I know, I am being stuffed into an incredibly tight helicopter and in the care of two technicians I had never seen before. They were very kind and helped me feel more comfortable. It took an hour and a half to fly to Phoenix, and it felt much longer. I couldn’t see very well out of the windows because the gurney I was on was far below the window. I just remember seeing blue sky, and the revolving shadow of the helicopter blades, which made me nauseous.

I spent the entire flight in prayer. I prayed for safety for my daughter. I prayed for calm nerves. I prayed for peace. I prayed for everything. I didn’t know how long I would be away from home, or even when I would see my husband. The only thing I knew was the God was with me, and He was in control – even though I felt completely out of control. I decided in that moment that I was going to trust Him to take care of me. And, I can happily say, He did.

My preeclampsia was too severe and they were unable to lower my blood pressure to a safe level, and my My daughter was born 4 days after I arrived in Phoenix at 30 weeks. She weighed 2 pounds 14 ounces and was absolutely perfect. I didn’t return back home until February 12, 2017! We spent 54 days in Phoenix in the hospital! It was along journey, but it made my family so much stronger. I thank God everyday for how wonderful my daughter is, and for keeping me safe. I know it could have been so much worse.

Worrying doesn’t help much…

Through this verse, I am reminded that being anxious isn’t going to help anything. I can ruminate about the same thing all day long, but it won’t change anything.

Redirecting my thoughts to God, has allowed me to reduce anxiety, and start to live my life with more joy! Remember this verse today!

Anti-Anxiety

Here is to Day Two of bible quotes to read when experiencing anxiety. Today’s verse is actually difficult for me. It says “Don’t worry about anything .” Anything?! Sometimes that doesn’t even seem possible.

Now, I want to be clear. Anxiety disorders (which I have) are completely different than regular worrying and stress. Those of us who suffer from the disorder have limited control over when or how the anxiety will manifest. It is not possible to ever go without anxiety. HOWEVER! It IS possible to control our response to anxiety. We can choose to live through it. To push forward, even when it seems hopeless. And it’s ok to have days when you feel like you’re losing. In fact, you will have those days. Just remember that on the other side of pain, is peace. God will bring you through.

Cling tighter to him in those dark moments. He knows the pain. He knows everything about your anxiety.

So, for those of us with disorders, who experience frequent anxiety, the way we live out “don’t worry about anything” is by running to God and redirecting our thoughts to Him in combat. Remember you won’t always feel this way. It will get better.