July 2017 - Life as Mrs. Wilson

31 July, 2017

Life As Mrs. Wilson: July

July 31, 2017 0
Life As Mrs. Wilson: July
July 2017

Things I'm grateful for:
1. Freedom & a safe place to live. Despite the growing turmoil in the world and in our country, I feel so blessed and am so thankful to live in such a safe place where I get to enjoy the freedom that I do. 
2. Kind words & perfect timing. It seems that every time I am feeling like giving up on blogging, or attending church services, or honestly just life in general, someone reaches out to me and lifts me back up. This month I struggled a lot with feeling inadequate and every time I felt low, sure enough, someone sent me a message or a text just letting me know that something I said or did was of value to them and it always came at the perfect time for me. I can't even express how thankful I am for that renewal of strength that has come from the kind words of others.

Lessons Learned:
1. Do what brings you joy every single day. If there is any one thing I've learned lately, it's the importance of finding what brings you joy and doing it often. Even the simple joys like listening to podcasts or lighting a candle - it's all important to our well being. 
2. Busy doesn't necessarily mean productive. I've tried to keep myself busy for as long as I can remember; playing sports year round while doing extracurriculars every day, then going to college full time while working 3 jobs. I just assumed that if I was busy, that was a good thing. When I graduated and suddenly life wasn't so go-go-go all the time, I started to feel like I was useless and that since I was "just" a mom now I wasn't being productive anymore. I'm still working through those feelings but I am really starting to learn that I don't have to constantly be doing 50 projects to feel productive (and besides, being a mom honestly feels MORE busy than anything I've ever done, combined).  

Current Favorites:
1. Doterra immortelle blend. Okay here's the thing. I love essential oils so much, but there are a few of them that I just can't get myself to buy because of the high price. The immortelle blend was one of those oils that I had heard so many amazing things about but didn't dare buy it until I either 1) knew it would work for me or 2) could get it free. With doterra, you can build up points to earn free product and I finally saved up enough to get this oil for free this month. You guys. LIFE CHANGING. Seriously. I have seen such a difference in my skin already and am starting to see my face balance out more with the (lovely) half wrinkles I got from Bell's Palsy. This stuff is the real deal and I would totally pay full price for it now that I've used it. So GOOD!
2. The goal digger podcast. I'm sure you guys are aware of my love for podcasts by now, and this one is a keeper. I love Jenna's sincere passion for what she does and the goodness she exudes. Whether you are into business tips or not, she has a lot of great insights on business and life alike. I would totally recommend listening to this podcast if you get a chance! 

1. Conrad's first Fourth. This year we spent Independence Day with my parents and watched the fireworks across the valley from the deck. It was so relaxing and Conrad really seemed to enjoy it too!

2. A trip to the cabin with Greg & Kara. Jake's brother, Greg, and his wife, Kara, drove down from Logan to come spend a night at my family's cabin. We brought Conrad up and he had so much fun playing with his cousin Isaac and loving on little Laura too. I always love getting to spend one on one time with my in laws and had such a great time just talking and spending time with Greg, Kara, and the kids.

This month was filled with tears, triumphs, and lots of trips to the cabin. It's been a struggle to adjust to life after college as well as the ever changing adjustment to parenthood. I had a lot of happy days and even made it to sunday school (most sundays I spend chasing Conrad down the church hallways or just give up and head home after the first meeting. Sorry, just doin my best over here). But despite this hectic chapter of life, I still feel pretty darn blessed and am looking forward to more progression and hopefully some more balance in my life. All will be well, and life is still good - no matter what comes our way. 

27 July, 2017

Navigating the Fog

July 27, 2017 0
Navigating the Fog

A few nights ago, I read an article that resonated so deeply that it hurt. It talked all about Post Partum Anxiety and how it manifests in new moms. I always assumed that what I was feeling was just what all new moms experience. Of course all moms are afraid of losing their child, of course all moms wake up in the night to check on their babies. But here I am, nearly 10 months later, and I'm still checking on my son every 10 minutes when he sleeps. I still have nightmares that are so vivid of him dying. I hinder myself. I can't even hold him near the edge of the stairs or a deck because I fear I'm going to somehow lose my grip and he will be lost. I panic when I can't hear him breathe. I panic when I get in the car with him. I am restless throughout the night. What if the monitor doesn't go off? What if I'm too late? What if it's my fault? Even when I do get alone time to rest, I am restless. I worry something will go wrong. His tachycardia will flare up. He'll fall. He'll suddenly stop breathing. I can't relax. I can't breathe. I can't live.

I genuinely believed that the extent of those thoughts and feelings were normal. I thought that this is why being a mom is so exhausting. But it's not the norm. And it doesn't need to be something I have to tolerate without help. Because shoving down feelings (or attempting to) and acting like this is a normal way of existing, is wrong. I've felt like I've been in such a fog since my son was born. The depression has become nearly impossible to live with, and the anxiety even worse.

I've always felt this need to tough it out or to suck it up and deal with it. I felt that I was strong enough to deal with everything by myself and that I didn't need help. But I do. And learning that the extent of my anxiety is NOT something I have to deal with alone, it's groundbreaking.

I thought that maybe parenthood meant surviving and existing and just trying to make it through until the kids moved out. That is, frankly, how I felt since my son was born. How did people explore with their kids and enjoy it - and seem to have so much energy? How do these parents seem so happy, and so sane? How do they go out with their kids and not have a nervous breakdown - or even more, how do they go out WITHOUT their kids and not have a nervous breakdown?

"Maybe I'm just not cut out for this. Maybe I'm just too weak to be a parent."

Those thoughts and feelings flooded my soul. And I tried so hard to just stay afloat. I clung to the good days, and even the good weeks. But as soon as I could gasp for air, I'd be dragged under again.

I thought this was normal. I thought I just wasn't as strong as all the other moms. That something in me needed refinement, that something in me was wrong, that I just wasn't meant to be a mom even though it was everything I've ever wanted in my life.

Knowing that I can get help, and that I do need help, has already been a relief for me. But it's hard not to feel shame for needing help. It's hard not to feel unworthy of help. But I know I need it, and I am ready to receive it.

I don't tend to keep my struggles a secret, and honestly, navigating this new chapter of my life has been immensely challenging. I suppose I feel compelled to be open about it because I know so many are afraid to do the same. Because there is no way that I, one person out of billions, am the only person who has ever or will ever feel this way. Because sometimes, we just need to know that we aren't crazy and alone and like something is wrong with us - like I felt until I read that article.

Because there's nothing wrong with me, there's just something wrong with how the chemicals and hormones are trying to balance in my body.

And I look forward to finding solutions and taking charge of my life again. Being a mom doesn't have to mean always surviving and yearning for happiness in some distant future. How did I not realize this sooner? I guess a lot of it is because no one really talks about the ugly stuff. No one, even me, wants to admit that being a parent is freaking hard a lot of the time and no one - even me - wants to admit that they need help. But because no one ever admitted feeling this way to me I felt so alone for SO LONG. And I just don't want anyone else to feel alone like I did.

Navigating this whole parenthood thing is crazy, and hard, and also amazing. I love my son with all I have, and because of that love, I know I need to get help for the anxiety and the depression. When I take care of myself, I know I can better take care of my family. My love for my son has never wavered, but now I know that there is a way to go through life without such intense emotion and fear.

So here's to facing challenges head on, shame free, and knowing that it doesn't have to be done alone.

"We're all just walking each other home."

22 July, 2017

Why I Write

July 22, 2017 1
Why I Write

A few things have been weighing heavy on my heart lately, one of which: writing. Since I started blogging a little over a year ago, I've had a lot of support (and I'm so thankful for that) but the longer I write, the more I get questioned why - and not necessarily in the nicest way. The more resistance there has become, the more I've just wanted to give up, delete it all, and hide. But after taking a little bit of time to think about why I'm actually writing and blogging and sharing on social media, the more I am reminded of why I started this in the first place, and why I feel compelled to continue.

About a year into my marriage, I fell into some of the deepest depression I've experienced. It became so intense and overwhelming that I had to quit my job and took the summer off of school. There were days at a time when I physically couldn't get out of bed, and I could hardly function at all. A few months passed, and I knew I needed to pull myself together, for lack of a better way to put it. So I tried as hard as I could to think of something that brought me joy. Anything.

My heart has always gone to writing. I write my emotions and thoughts - it's how I've always organized my feelings and processed everything. I had blogged in the past and remembered how happy it made me. And so I started a new blog, and I wrote. And I started to feel again. I started to feel joy!

As time went on, I used writing as a form of self care and to preserve memories in a way I enjoyed. It's been a very healing thing for me. Now that I'm graduated from college, I have a lot more time in my day that I choose to fill with writing about my life and the things I love. I love documenting my days and sharing my thoughts - if for anyone, my future self.

Sometimes I feel dumb or too vulnerable for sharing so much about my life on an open page for anyone to read. But I write to process, and I write to heal, and I write to remember. I write because it is the best way I know how to preserve my own family history, and I write because I absolutely love it. And if anyone out there can benefit from what I write, or maybe just enjoy hearing about my life from time to time, then that'll always feel worthwhile to me.

And now, as I am again facing that all encompassing darkness that depression brings, I know that the best way for me to face it is to continue to write, and continue to do what brings me joy - without fear of negativity or judgment.

I am so thankful for those of you who have supported me in this and choose to share kind words with me rather than hurtful ones. I know blogging isn't for everyone, but it is for me, and I love doing it.

Thank you for following along so far and thank you for all the support you've shown for this little space that I choose to share my life in. I appreciate it more than you know.

20 July, 2017

Let's Talk Motherhood - Summertime with Littles

July 20, 2017 0
Let's Talk Motherhood - Summertime with Littles
This is the second month of the Let's Talk Motherhood series, and we're talking all about summertime with young kids. I've teamed up with some amazing moms to share in a conversation on this particular topic from each of our perspectives. They have answered the following questions on their own websites, and all of their perspectives are linked at the end of this post. I created this interview collaboration series to connect, encourage, share, and relate with other moms. No matter how different our perspectives may be, we're all in this amazing and challenging journey of motherhood together.

On Summertime with Littles:
1. What are your favorite summertime activities with your little ones?
Because the only problems Conrad has had with his tachycardia have occurred when he's been overheated, we've felt a little limited in what we're choosing to do this summer until we know he is cleared of any issues. So, our favorite thing to do this year has been playing in his little pool out on the deck! It's been so fun watching him play in the water and how content he is doing so. We also love spending time up at my family's cabin where it is a bit cooler outside.
2. With young children, how have you helped keep them cool when it's hot outside?
Having Conrad play in the pool has been a great way to keep him cool, but living in 100+ degree weather has been tricky with a baby under a year old. We try to keep him in the shade when we do go outside, and always always bring the car seat inside when we get home so it isn't too hot for him to sit in the next time we go out. Keeping him hydrated is super important as well. 
3. How do you handle having less time in the summer, since your kids are out of school?Conrad won't be in school for another few years, and since I just finished up my own schooling a few months ago, I've felt like I have more time this summer than ever before! Of course it can be tricky to keep a curious baby occupied all day, but we've just continued on with our same daily routine. 
4. At what age were your kids when you started taking family summer vacations with them?
Since my husband still has a few more years of schooling ahead of him, I'm not sure how much traveling we'll be doing for a while. We've already taken a few little trips with Conrad since he's been born, but I think we'll just play it by ear and if an opportunity to travel comes up, we'll be sure to take it regardless of age!
5. What tips would you suggest for new moms traveling with their little ones for the first time?
Don't expect traveling to be the same as it was before kids. I think if you set your expectations differently, you will have a more enjoyable time. It may take longer to get to your destination and there will definitely be more meltdowns than before, but it's a new adventure worth embracing. Be patient and if you are with your spouse, work together as a team. Traveling with kids can be intimidating, but exposing your little ones to new experiences and new cultures is so important and so worth it!

Be sure to check out the rest of the perspectives linked below and feel free to share your thoughts on raising confident children in the comments as well!

Aurora (@auroramccausland) | Jenn (@whatyou_make_it) | Care (@with_care) | Hannah (@_hannahsilver_)

16 July, 2017

When My Heart is Overwhelmed, I Go to Him

July 16, 2017 0
When My Heart is Overwhelmed, I Go to Him
Down. Stuck in a rut. In the midst of a trial. Overwhelmed. Struggling.

So many words have run through my mind lately, and yet I've found myself hitting the delete key more and more. Anxious to process my emotion through writing, but left staring at a blank screen for hours.

Depression isn't an easy thing to explain to people, especially when the honest answer to "What's wrong?" is "I don't know." I just don't know why I'm feeling so much sorrow lately. But I am, and I'm tired of being ashamed for feeling sad for seemingly no reason at all.

Lately, I've just felt so overwhelmed with life. I look around and see how blessed I am, and yet I can't seem to feel the joy I seek. There are days and moments of happiness - and I cling to them so dearly - but on days like today, I weep.

I've isolated myself and allowed those thoughts of inadequacy to slowly creep in, and now they surround me. I don't really know what good writing these scattered thoughts down will do. Maybe one day I'll look back in gratitude that I made it through these dark feelings, or maybe not. But all I know is that despite all of this, I am beyond thankful that I know where I can turn.

When my heart is overwhelmed, I go to Him. I pray, diligently. I listen, earnestly. I turn to Him and let Him calm my troubled heart.

I simply cannot fathom a life without the companionship of Christ. He understands the "I don't knows" and the "I can't do this anymore." He understands the sorrows and the sadness. He guides us through the depths of our pain, and I can't think of anything more beautiful than that. To know that we don't have to face our trials alone is everything.

My heart is overwhelmed and I feel so worn thin, but I feel hopeful again. And for now, I'll hold on to that with everything I have.

11 July, 2017

9 Months of Conrad James

July 11, 2017 0
9 Months of Conrad James

Conrad James is 9 months old today! He is adventurous, loving, curious, and absolutely adorable (I'm only a little biased;). So much has changed over these last 9 months, and it's been amazing to watch Conrad grow.
9 months pregnant with baby C
1 month old
2 months old

3 months old

4 months old
5 months old
6 months old
7 months old
8 months old
9 months old!
It's an amazing thing, becoming a parent. You are forced to let go of selfishness and doubt. You are refined, and have to learn to accept and grow confident in the new person you have become. You grow as they grow, and I think that is one of the most incredible parts of being a parent. I feel so blessed to be Conrad's mom, and can't wait to watch him grow even more.

Happy 9 months baby boy, you are so so loved.

07 July, 2017

A Quick Thought on Comparison

July 07, 2017 0
 A Quick Thought on Comparison
Comparison kicks my butt sometimes.

 I see these moms with their seemingly perfect lives that have it all together while half the time I'm just trying to make it through the next hour. I sometimes wonder how differently we would each feel regarding comparison if we could see the whole picture. The other side. To understand and feel the pains of others, to hear their stories, to see that none of us truly "have it together." 

Too often we allow those nagging feelings of not measuring up to cloud our minds. Too often we lose sight of the truth that our journey is our own - and that different doesn't mean less.

Comparison can destroy our self worth if we let it. 

Choose to fight self doubt. Choose to seek joy. And know that you ARE good enough, right as you are in this moment.

05 July, 2017

An Evening on the Farm + A Summer Playlist

July 05, 2017 0
An Evening on the Farm + A Summer Playlist

A few weeks ago, we spent an evening at my in-law's home. They live on a gorgeous farm that still takes my breath away just like it did the first time I saw it nearly 7 years ago. We had such a great time at the Wilson's surrounded by lots of love and laughter.


Playlist No. 1: Summer Nights

1. Simple Song - The Shins
2. Are We Strangers to Ourselves - Mike Wilson Tunes
3. Lost - Jack and White
4. Some Say Life - Lottie 
5. In My Life - The Beatles
6. Seaside - Haux
7. Old Pine - Ben Howard
8. Cecilia and the Satellite - Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
9. Anyone Else But You - The Moldy Peaches
10. I Got You - Jack Johnson

Just a few songs that have been on repeat this summer. Hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I do!