Sunday, January 26, 2014




[Verse 1:]
There's a sea of lonely,
Swimming sad,
Looking just for
An arm to grab.
I don't need to
I'm just lending you
The two that I have.

You might be drifting
And can't find the shore,
So Hopeless
And all alone.
The waves are crashing
All around you.
Just when you've lost the will to live
You see the sun.

[Verse 2:]
Can we make a searchlight
From all the bridges that we burn?
Do you see a rescue
Or a deeper kind of hurt?
Who could love you?
Who could hold you?
I'd swim across the sea.
You don't have to be alone
Where the shallow gets so deep.

You might be drifting
And can't find the shore,
So Hopeless
And all alone.
The waves are crashing
All around you.
Just when you've lost the will to live
You see the sun.

I am hurt and nearly drown.
Open up your eyes.
I cry for help. You turn around.
Open up your eyes.
Farther from the shore,
Or you'll be farther from the shore.
I am hurt and nearly drown.
You're not alone.
I cry for help. You turn around.
I'm not letting go.
Farther from the shore,
So you're not
Farther from the shore.

You might be drifting
And can't find the shore,
So Hopeless
And all alone.
The waves are crashing
All around you.
Just when you've lost the will to live
You see the sun.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Life is... hard.

No matter how much I feel that I've grown and changed, I can very easily slip right back into my "old ways."

Struggle is part of life; struggle is what grows us.  I know all these things.  But sometimes I wish that I could just live and enjoy life without weight on my chest.

And I think the most frustrating part of it all is that I can change life circumstances, but that doesn't change my anxiety.  As much as I want to blame it on something in my life, I can't.  It's just part of me.  Part of my brain chemistry.

I'm so jealous... yes, jealous... of people that don't struggle with this.  I would love to wake up each day without a knot in my stomach, weight on my chest, and my heart racing... You know that feeling that you have when you're super nervous about something big?  That's the feeling that I have on a regular basis... think "fight or flight."

I'm currently on two medications daily, and one of those was just increased.  I'm praying the increase will help.  I'm on a third as needed, and I've been needing it more often lately.

I HATE medication.  Hate it.  Yet, if I didn't take it, I would be even worse... unable to function at all.  This helps me function, at least.

And the hardest thing about anxiety/depression is that it is the most misunderstood illness on earth.  I think of it like any other illness... it is caused by messed up brain chemistry.  But many people just don't understand. No, I'm not trying to be dramatic... I would much rather not have this issue and live a "normal" life.

I'm working towards trying a few new things... including some essential oils.  I've heard good things about them.  I also need to start doing yoga more often because it definitely helps.  Running helps, too, but it's just so hard to fit everything in.  And I'm sure that if I didn't eat or drink certain things, it would help... but it's just so hard to make a lot of changes because I have very little ability to balance.

And yes, I pray about it.  Have been praying about it for years and years.  Not sure if it will ever be gone. I'm assuming God has a plan and a reason for it.  Just don't understand.

Robert and I are praying through options... something is gonna have to give.  I'm not sure if my current job makes it worse or not.  Praying through maybe going back to working part time next year if things don't get better.  But honestly, part of me really doesn't want to do that.  I LOVE my job.  But I don't love the amount of stress that it brings. We really can't afford for me to work just part time.   So... like I said... just praying right now.  I have a while till I have to make any decisions.

My doctor seems to think that my job makes it much worse.  She said that some people's personalities just don't mesh well with certain jobs.  She reminded me that the stress of the job will never change, and it's not the job per se, but how my body handles it.  Some people aren't wired to work in certain environments.  She suggests giving it some time... see if the increase of medication helps, see if my body adjusts, see if I get "used to it."  

The frustrating thing for me is that even though the stress of teaching full time might make it worse, my anxiety is always there...

A few things that I'm learning about myself (with the help of my doctor and counselor)... I'm pretty sure that I have some sensory issues.  Loud noises, messes, touch, etc really cause more anxiety.  At the end of the day (after teaching), my brain kind of shuts down.  It can't handle any more.  Some days I'm okay, but many days I struggle.  

This post was probably too honest... but it helps me so much to "verbalize" how I'm feeling inside.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"I AM Holding on to You"

Imagine being out in the ocean, enjoying the waves; suddenly, a wave comes and takes you under and you start to struggle for breath.  You come up out of the water just long enough to take a deep breath, then you sink back into the water.

The waves are crashing all around you; people try to help pull you out, but they are unsuccessful.  Those who love you want to help, but they just can't.  For some reason, the current is just pulling you back under every time.

Then, all of a sudden, you can stand on two feet.  The waves have slowed down and you can breath again.  The waves aren't crashing around you as much; though they are there, they don't knock you down.

But this is only temporary.  A huge wind comes again and knocks you back into the waves.  You're struggling to breath again and you're back to the same feeling of drowning that you experienced before.

This is how I feel right now.

My whole life (well, as long as I can remember), I have struggled with anxiety.  I have always struggled with allowing the waves around me to pull me into the water.  I have felt as though I was drowning more times than I can count.

I was doing pretty well for a long time, then the bottom fell out and I struggled deeply.  I've had ups and downs with it.  Last summer, my anxiety was extremely bad (I couldn't breathe normal for months).  I had just finally gotten somewhat settled with it when I found out I had a full time job.  I've pretty much struggled deeply off and on the whole school year so far.  I kind of feel like I hadn't "healed" or gotten "stable" before I picked up an enormous load.  I thought I was doing SO well, then the bottom fell out again and I can't seem to catch my breath.  It all started when school started back on January 6th.

Today, God worked it out so that I could leave work early, have a sub, and get into my psychiatrist's office all with-in a few hours (it's a miracle to get into a psyc office at the last minute as well as to find a sub at the last minute).

I'm so glad that I went in today because I feel that my doctor had so much to say to me that helped me understand myself better... which may help our family make more decisions that can help me long term.  We are in serious prayer about some things, and that in and of itself makes me feel a little better.  God has a plan.

He's in control, and I trust Him.

"I AM holding on to you.  I AM holding on to you.  In the middle of the storm, I AM holding on.  I AM!"

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

So... I find a few things funny.  I constantly think I need to do better.  Constantly.  So in my post yesterday about being "realistic," I found myself unrealistic (I deleted it, by the way...).  It doesn't matter how hard I try not to, I over-analyze everything, make it difficult, then go back to my old ways.  It's an issue of mine, and one that I may or may never stop having.  I mean, I am who I am.  We all have issues.

Yesterday in my post, I discussed what I think is important, then went into a breakdown of my grocery budget.  I mean, I knew it was all over-analyzy (I know, not a word) then, but I see even more today how much I was over-analyzing.

Yesterday I wrote this on Facebook:
Okay... looking at my budget and making the decision to buckle down financially. We can get quite a bit of debt paid off if we don't keep spending like we are. Means I need to buckle down on my grocery budget the most. I've been spending too much lately. Anyone who wants me to do something that costs money, sorry . It's going to be a while . Except for a few things that we have planned and budgeted for (like backpacking in March and July). Can't wait to see our debt disappear! Dave Ramsey peeps- I'm going to need your encouragement! I'm a spender!!

All of this came out of guilt- I was feeling guilty knowing that I make more and not paying off as much debt as I "should," and knowing that other people were paying off thousands of dollars of debt.  I mean, if they can, so can I, right?  It's the responsible, right way to do things?

This morning I wrote this on Facebook:
Robert and I have talked about that even though I LOVE Trader Joe's and it's super inexpensive (and the products are great), sometimes it's not worth it to drive 20+ minutes to get there (when we have other stores that are closer)... especially since I can't get everything there that I need. I can go to Market Street and get everything I need. Yes, there are some things that are more expensive, but there are some things that are cheaper (they have great sales on meats, and they are hormone/antibiotic free), and some things are the same price. So, it kind of evens out.

I've been so torn about this since we've lived here. I kind of just go by the amount of time I have at the moment and what mood I'm in . Do YOU think it's worth it to drive 15-20 minutes further to get better prices?

This post had over 30 comments, every one of them discussing what each person does for their family in regards to shopping.  You know what I figured out?  Everyone does what I do.  Do what works for their family.  Some shop at one place every time.  Some shop around.  Some buy groceries super close.  Some drive far away.  Some people focus on time, and some care more about how much they are spending.

It all comes down to the fact that I'll do what I do no matter what I plan, because I always do.  Some seasons/days I choose to shop closer.  Some seasons/days I don't mind driving.  Some seasons I enjoy buying from local co-ops.  Some seasons I don't have time.  Some seasons I enjoy buying natural products.  Some seasons I can't afford it or I just don't care as much.

I was trying to be perfect... I mean, I can pay off thousands of dollars in debt, eat really well, eat locally, shop at one or two stores AND buy all natural products at the same time, right?  And all in a very controlled way.  And I'll meal plan and follow it every time.  And I'll do this all while working about 50 hours a week.  Because that's what good moms do, right?

Instead of feeling more free (I should feel more free because I'm not eating a specific way anymore, right?), I felt more anxious because I keep adding expectation after expectation upon myself.  This is what I do.  It's my cycle.  I have to break this cycle!

Just a little bit ago, I read this: Why I Cannot Abide "Clean Eating" and Pseudoscientific Nutrition Claims.

Do you KNOW how freeing this is??  I mean, I don't have to eat a certain way to be healthy??? WHAT?!?!  All these claims that I must not eat gluten, I can't ever have sugar, I need to avoid potatoes, and dairy is unhealthy are all just claims made by a typical person?  I realize that this is just a blogger like me, but it was an "ah ha!" moment.  What they are saying is SO true.

It is all becoming clear.

Some of the healthiest people I know are super balanced, exercise because they love it, and don't sweat the small stuff.  They just live life.  They have stress, but their stress doesn't control them.

Health is about more than what I eat.  It's about more than being perfect in an exercise routine.  It's about more than not having chemicals in my products.

It's about living life.

Remember this post that I wrote not that long ago?  The one about how my word for the year is live?  Yeah, well, 1 1/2 weeks into January and I'm already not doing so hot.  And why?  Because I'm not allowing myself to enjoy this life.  I'm allowing STUPID things to come between me and my relationship with Jesus, my husband, my kids, my students, and my co-workers.  I'm allowing things that should be little in the scheme of things rule my mind and cause anxiety for me.  Just a few weeks ago I felt free!  I want that back.  I felt free because I didn't care so much about the little things... I just enjoyed living life... spending time with my family...
I spent some time looking back at pictures of the past few months and they made me so happy!  Such joy filled my heart to see how much my family has meant to me, and how little anxiety I felt during that time.

I'm at a point today in which it's a choice.  I have done what I can to be treated for my anxiety, now I have to live my life with the choice to live without it.

Robert and I spent some time discussing things today, and he said that it's okay if we don't pay off thousands of dollars of debt this year... we have chosen to not allow that to become and idol.  We can pay off debt and still live life.  He said that he doesn't care where I shop, he just knows where he'll shop when he does.  He just wants our family to enjoy life.  To give to others.  To enjoy the outdoors.  To play.  To laugh.  To live.

All the other "stuff" is just stuff.  It's not important in the scheme of things.  Yes, financial gurus and some people think that to live is to pay off debt.  Great!  Yes, some people think to live is to eat a certain way. Fine for them!  Yes, some people think that to live is to exercise all the time.  Totally okay for them!

It's just not for me and for our family.

Again, I'll probably come back to this in the future because I just naturally over-analyze.  I'm hoping this is "it," but it may not be.

In the meantime, I'm going to go for a run, then jump on the trampoline with my kids :-).

Friday, January 10, 2014

Don't Know What to Title This...

This has been a roller coaster of a week for me.  You may not care to read about it, and I'm okay with that... this blog is more for me than for you ;-).

It's pretty random, and I'll be honest... it's pretty negative.  It's just how I feel at the moment.

My week started out with me not getting ANY sleep Sunday night into Monday.  Literally none.  Well, maybe an hour or two... split up throughout the night.  Between a lot on my mind, anticipating the new semester, my almost 4 year old waking up with soaked sheets (even with a pull up on), etc, I just didn't sleep.

Monday (my first day back to work), I woke up late, left my purse at home (which meant I didn't have my badge), and felt completely a mess.  I felt as though I was a bad teacher, mom, wife... I came home and couldn't function.  Robert had to pick up the slack while I went and laid down at about 6:30.

The rest of the week tended to be up and down/back and forth.  Pretty much every other day was HORRIBLE, and every other day was great.  Not sure what that was about.  I've had a lot of doubts in myself as a mom, wife, and teacher.

Not only was I struggling with going back to work and all that comes from that, but I also have been trying to start this "new way of eating."  My original plan with this "new way of eating" was to be flexible and balanced... but that is not what ended up happening.  You see, I have a really hard time with any kind of eating plan.  I don't know how to balance.  I go to one extreme or the other.  So, after only a week and a half of this, I completely bombed the plan and gave up.  I just couldn't do it.  I went out to eat last night and ate tex-mex... then went to Chick Fil A today.  Yep.

Since today was another rough day, I don't have any answers today.  I don't have any "well, that's okay, I'll just do this..." because I don't know what to do.  I'm tired of trying to eat healthy and completely bombing.  I'm tired of feeling like I am going to "be successful this time" and completely screwing up.  Part of me just doesn't want to care anymore about what I eat, but that's not a good idea either.  My counselor tells me that restriction (from anything food wise) is not a good idea for me because it just adds to my anxiety, and to allow myself things that aren't necessarily healthy sometimes because that's balance; but, I feel like I either eat completely perfectly or completely awful.  I really struggle with balance.  And it is really hard a teacher.  As a teacher, I am pouring every ounce of my mental/emotional/physical self into my students all day, then I come home and continue pouring into my kids (or completely failing at both...).  I tend to be an emotional eater/drinker, so I find that it is an outlet for me to have the ability to go to Sonic happy hour and get a coke zero and some fries, go to Casa Rita's and get a margarita, or eat some ice cream at the end of the day.  It makes me feel better.

My counselor tells me that this struggle is a completely normal one, especially for women.  Many women want to eat healthy and struggle with balance.  Many women crave things out of emotion.

But... I want to know how to make this NOT a struggle anymore.

What's also so annoying about all of this is that I am NOT OVER-WEIGHT.  My husband loves the way I look and tells me ALL THE TIME that he doesn't want me to change.  I am a size 8/10 at 5'6".  I'm at the weight I was before I had Karis.  I'm not super skinny, but I'm not over-weight either.  And I honestly pretty much just stay at this weight (with-in a range of 3-4 pounds) no matter what I eat. There's no reason for me to care about my weight, but I do.  I know that I always say I don't care, but I do.  I want to be thinner.  For some odd reason.

So then I think, what would happen if I eat healthy most of the time, but just be okay with myself if I go out to eat and have horrible tex-mex and a margarita?  Is that the end of the world?  And what is eating healthy?  I used to think eating healthy was just eating non-processed foods most of  the time... then I started trying this gluten-free/Paleo way of eating and it's HARD y'all.  I mean hard.  Especially while working full time.  What is healthy?  I'm still trying to figure this out.

I think most importantly, I need to figure out what makes me feel my best.  Not what everyone else says makes them feel their best.

At this point, I'm not sure what that even is.

My husband tells me I'm too hard on myself and to just eat when I'm hungry... and to try to eat whole foods as best as I can.  He agrees that restrictive doesn't work for me because of my anxiety.  He tells me that he's glad he's not female because men don't think about these things like women do...

Sometimes I wish I hadn't learned as much as I did about food because it has caused me so much anxiety over the years.

On top of the food issues, I'm a perfectionist as a teacher and mom.  I don't ever think I'm "good enough" in either area no matter how hard I try.  And I'm reminded constantly how "not good enough" I am by the expectations and websites and blogs and books out there.  I just want to feel confident for once.  I want to not feel insecure for once.  I want to just live and enjoy life (like I wrote about just a week ago).

I realize and recognize that this week is hard for all teachers.  It's not a secret.  I just wish I didn't heap all of these other expectations on myself on top of having a tough week.

I don't even know how to end this post.  So.  The end.  For now.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Meal Plan: Week of January 13th-19th

I have taken some recipes from my post last week and moved them to this week in order to add in a few crockpot meals.  So anything that you saw last week that you liked, you will find on this week's plan.  Breakfasts/Lunches will pretty much stay the same... I make my changes by the types of salads and fruits/veggies that I throw in my lunch.

Breakfasts: (alternate the following)
Lunches: (alternate the following)
  • Boiled egg, raw cheddar, raw veggies and hummus (or guacamole)
  • Uncured ham, raw cheddar, paleo bread with raw honey, raw veggies and hummus
  • Salad: Spinach, kalamata olives, sliced bell pepper, sliced uncured turkey, and homemade balsamic vinaigrette (1 part olive oil and 1 part balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp fresh pepper)
  • Leftovers
Monday, January 13th
Crockpot Venison Stew

Tuesday, January 14th
Roasted whole chicken
  • Stuff chicken with 1 diced onion, 3 garlic cloves, herbs of your choice
  • Top with dried herbs, sea salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil
  • Cover with foil and put in oven on 350 degrees for about an hour
  • Uncover and cook for another 15 minutes or so (needs to be 180 degrees internally and top will be browned)
Steamed Green Beans with lemon pepper and sea salt

Wednesday, January 15th (church night)
Burrito Bowls
  • Cooked Pinto Beans
  • Brown rice
  • Leftover chicken (from Monday)
  • Avocado, tomato, and raw cheddar
Thursday, January 16th
Sweet Potato Pancakes, scrambled eggs, fruit

Friday-Saturday, January 17th-18th
Out of town (Junior High Ministry Retreat!)- Probably won't eat great :-P

Sunday, January 19th
Balsamic Drumsticks (this recipe is modifed a bit from Emeals)
  • Combine 3 tbsp. coconut oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp. raw honey, 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tsp. of each olive oil/pepper/coarse sea salt
  • Coat 2 lb of chicken thighs (I like to marinate for an hour or so on the counter)
  • Bake for 35 minutes in a roasting pan on 450 degrees
Sautéed green beans with tomato and onion
Fresh fruit

  • Raw veggies and fruits
  • Apple or banana and nut butter
  • Homemade Lara bars 
  • Boiled eggs with real salt
  • Raw cheddar cubes
  • Nuts and seeds with coconut chips and dried fruit