I’ve had my share of snarky comments here in Sluiter Nation.

Usually someone who disagrees is pretty good about being respectful, but every now and then I get people (trolls?) who are just mean.

My policy is to delete them if they are being vulgarly disrespectful, or to ignore them if they simply have a differing opinion and have been sort of rude about stating it.

I guess as a teacher I see my share of grumpy attitudes and bad days.  I know there is usually a reason behind it and I have learned not to take things too personally.

This past week, though, I got a nasty comment that I couldn’t ignore:

I am fairly new to your blog. I’ve been reading and following you on Twitter for a couple weeks now but in that time I have noticed that your husband is kind of a saint. There seems to be a trend that you fall apart about anything and he is the one who is always taking care of your kid. You seem to lose your mind when, heaven forbid, you must deal with him. There are always tweets about Court doing this and that with Eddie and not many about you doing things with him. What exactly do you do? This past week there were tweets about you practically losing it with your kid and you just wanted your husband to “come and deal with him”? What in the world are you going to do with two kids?

At first Cort and I giggled about this comment.  He wanted so badly to leave his own snarky reply, “FINALLY, someone sees what I go through!”

And oh my goodness did my readers come out with their honey badger teeth showing!

I did end up responding (you can go back to the post if you want to see the whole thread. I don’t want to use this space to requote all the comments).

One of my lovely readers pointed out to this commenter that I suffer from PPD/A.  But the commenter seemed to know that already:

New doesn’t mean I don’t know much. Usually when I find a new blog I will go back and read to the beginning. Yes, I know about her anxiety. I’ve dealt with PPD and PPA, I’ve just never seen someone use it as a reason to push parenting off on their spouse. Its funny when you don’t leave positive comments you automatically don’t read the blog “at all” Quite opposite, I’ve read the blog and that’s why I said what I said.

This is when things worried me.

Not for me, but for any of my other readers who suffer from depression or anxiety.

Now, I can’t imagine anyone who has read my whole blog from start to finish (um, I’ve been doing this for five years) would honestly think I “push parenting” on Cortney.  In fact, I am confident that is not how this blog reads at all.

And I am confident that is not how our life is.  Because I live my life.  But I don’t share it ALL here.

Cort and I are an excellent team.  When he has suffered in the past, I was there to keep Sluiter Nation together and running.  And he does the same for me.  And we rejoice in our blessings together.

So this comment didn’t send me into a dizzying spell of “oh my God!  How WILL I care for two children???”

Because I know how I will do it.  With the help of my husband and family and friends.

What worries me is that this woman, who says she has “dealt with PPD and PPA” would come to my blog and ask “What in the world are you going to do with two kids?”

That she would question the fact that I have support.  Am I supposed to be doing this all on my own?  Hell no, I’m not.

I work full time, am 9 months pregnant, have had fierce antenatal depression with this pregnancy, and I have a two-year old.

Am I not allowed to “lose it” sometimes and want help?

Yes. I am allowed.

YOU are allowed too.

Do not ever EVER let anyone question your need to reach out.

Is Cort never supposed to parent?  Is it all supposed to be me?

No.  NO.  It is not.  We are a team.

Long before becoming parents when we went through his dad’s cancer diagnosis, treatment, and death I assured him we were a team.  When I suffered through the miscarriages and couldn’t bring myself to get off the couch, he rubbed my back and bought me ibuprofen and giant pads and told me would get through it together.

Maybe this commenter doesn’t have the support system I have.

Maybe she is still suffering.

That is the only explanation I can think of for a comment to a fellow Warrior Mom like this.

source: newagejourney.com

I hope she gets the help and support she needs.  We are all here.  We have been through it (and are still going through it).

It’s ok to ask for help.  It’s ok to not be able to do “it all”.

If anything, this comment (that I read after a weekend of severe anxiety) pulled me out and reminded me that this time? This time I am ready.  PPD/A might show up again, but I have the support this time.


Speaking of mental illness, I have a poem published today on Every Day Poets called “Sticks and Stones.”  I would love it if you would jump over and let me know what you think.  It’s my first time being published anywhere for my creative writing.

All Done

Jumping Jehoshaphat!  It’s Wednesday again!  Look at that!  Time for another Sluiter Nation Recruit!

This week’s Recruit is Jo from Minnesota Joy.

I met Jo via twitter when I was going through some bad stuff with PPD. Jo has been a constant stream of support and love ever since we got to chatting.

She can be absent from twitter for days and if I post that I am struggling it’s like her spidey senses go off and I get a direct message or tweet from her to hold on and that I am doing a good job.

She has four beautiful children, a great husband, and a big heart.

While she has helped me celebrate the joy of this new pregnancy, she is “all done.”

I love her and so will you.


I’m watching Harper play on the hard wood floor. She bangs two blocks together and laughs. She dances to the music from Sunday Night Football, her little behind so cute bouncing around in her pink footie pajamas. Then she reaches for me with her little chubby hands, saying “Mamamamamama” and looking at me intently, daring me to resist her sweetness. (I can’t.) She took three independent steps today so it is only a matter of time until her tentative movements become more confident and she is running all over the place. I love this age, still a baby and needing me so much but also brave and trying new things every day. We are still breastfeeding with no signs of stopping (yet). I love looking at her soft little cheeks and tickling her gently to make her giggle while she’s nursing. Sometimes she lets go just to smile at me, but mostly she smiles with her eyes but still continues on eating. Right now she’s sleeping on my lap and soon will be carried up to my bed, where she will snuggle into my side all night long.

I love this girl.

Jamie is in bed now. He was sick the last few days. I hate when he’s sick and that spark is missing from his eyes. I get lots of snuggles (which is nice) and his cheeks turn pink as if he’s been out in the cold. He finally started feeling better this evening so he was bouncing off the walls, pretty much using up every ounce of patience I have and then some. I looked at his hair when he was preparing for bed and mentioned that he needed a hair cut. His blond curls are so long but I can’t really bear to cut them off yet. As soon as he heard me say haircut, he announced that we needed to go right now so that he could get a BLUE sucker. He was very insistent that it be blue. He will be three at the end of the month and is now completely day time potty trained. He makes my heart happy.

I love that boy.

Katy is next to me on the couch, eating a bowl of spaghetti and pretending not to watch me type. She wants to talk to me, I can tell. Katy is my impatient one and would not have a thing to say if I were not busy. She’s the one that has to talk to me whenever I am on the phone and the one that would follow me into the bathroom if I let her. We are working on this. As much as I get frustrated by how much she still needs me at twelve years old, I secretly love it too. For such a long time she was my baby and it’s hard for both of us to let that feeling go. Classic middle child, that’s my Katy. So helpful and so emotional and so very kind-hearted. She would literally do anything to make you happy and her smile lights up a room.

I love this girl.

Laura is with her dad now and I miss her already. She’s the piece of my heart that is away from me all week long. I live for Fridays when I know she’s coming home again and dread Sundays when I know she’ll be leaving. She’s so smart and so beautiful and so very funny. She loves her friends but comes to my house willingly, even though it means missing sleepovers and seeing Breaking Dawn with her friends. She always chooses family first and rarely complains. I live for summer when she’s here for a week at a time and I can pretend she never has to leave. She’s sixteen and will have her license soon and I just cannot believe that so much time has passed already. I still see her with skinned knees and a dimpled grin.

I love that girl.

I was 23 when I had my first baby. I will be about 57 years old before my last child has left for college. That means I will have ‘actively’ been a mother for 34 years by the time my last child turns 18.

During this Thanksgiving season, I am reminded again of how truly blessed I am. I have four absolutely amazing children and a husband that ‘gets me’ most of the time. I could never have imagined this life but I wouldn’t trade it for anything…well, except for the exact same life with a bit more money. *grin*

People ask us if we are “all done” having kids. My answer is always an emphatic YES…with exclamation points, all caps and bold font if necessary. (Funny though, people still don’t believe me.) I love my babies with all of my heart but I figure that 34 years of having kids in the house is plenty. I am a miserable pregnant woman with excessive not-just-morning-but-all-day sickness. Pregnancy is hard on my body and my mind. I spent more than three years of my life being pregnant and nearly all of that feeling down right wretched. I love babies and I love birth but I do NOT love being pregnant.

I see people announcing pregnancies online almost every day and I am absolutely thrilled for them. But me? I am all done.

Oh, and here is some pink footie pajama dancing for your enjoyment. 😉


Jo is a wife and mama of four from southeastern Minnesota. She’s slightly addicted to Twitter and is passionate about educating people about mood-disorders, especially PPD and anxiety. She thinks that stigma sucks and refuses allow it to be a part of her existence. Some might think she’s a tree-hugger, but she doesn’t hug ’em all – just the ones that make sense to her. She is a breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping mama who works outside of the home but also thinks you should do what is best for your family. You can find her on Twitter at  or on her blog.

i won’t be like her

Dear Eddie and Charlie,

When I was little I had a friend whose house I went to quite a few times.  I remember I loved spending the night at her house because she had a cool older sister and brother and she had all the Gem dolls.  Her parents let us watch PG movies which was AWESOME (except that time we watched Jaws.  I may have called your Grandpa in the night claiming to be sick so that  he would come pick me up because really I was too scared to stay).

And maybe the movie Splash gave me bad dreams too.  That mermaid tail was way too creepy for my 8 year old mind.

Whatever.  I felt cool for watching those movies.

Anyway, her dad was really nice.  He was always the one to pick me up or bring me home.  He brought us places like her older brother’s wrestling matches.  And he was funny.

But her mom?  I didn’t see much of her.

No matter what time I got there, her mom was in her room with the lights dimmed and a humidifier on.

We were not allowed to play in the kitchen area near her parents’ room.

We were not allowed to go in the bedroom and ask questions.

If we needed anything, we went through my friend’s dad.  He even made all our meals.

In fact, I can’t even tell you what her mom looked like.

It always made me feel a little scared.

I didn’t know if her mom was sick or what.  I remember someone at sometime talking about her not being sick, but alluding to the fact that she was not well in the head.

No one ever talked about it…but after all these years I know that my friend’s mom was depressed (at the least).

Boys, your mom suffers with depression too.

I know what it’s like to not be able to deal with anyone.

To want to lock myself in a room and sleep my life away.

I understand feeling like the world is too much.

I have been told I am loved and prayed for and felt none of it.

I have been completely numb and hollow.

But I didn’t stay in a locked room.

I didn’t turn out the light and turn off my life.

I don’t know what happened to my friend’s mom.  I hope she got help.

I did.

Today, as I write this, I do not feel the cold grip of depression.

But I know from experience that it still hangs around.  Waiting for a vulnerability when it can reach in and grasp me by the heart.


But I know this evil.

I have stared it down and won…many times.

And I will always win.

Do you know why?

Because I never want you to be afraid to play around me.

I never EVER want you to feel like you have tip toe around me in order to be a kid.  to have fun. to enjoy your life.

I want you to have a momma who sings and dances and bakes and makes memories with you.

I want to have family nights with you guys and your dad.  game nights and movie nights.

I want jokes only our family gets and chatty family dinners and silliness.

I want to be part of your lives.

Because you are my whole life.

But depression will be there from time to time.

But it won’t be a secret.

We will talk about what momma is feeling and we will fight it together.

Because the more we fight?  The smaller this depression feels and looser it’s hold on me is.

And when it passes?

We will celebrate.

Every time.

Until depression goes away for good.

Because it has to.

It’s not welcome to our family game nights.

I love you both,

giving grief words

“give sorrow words; the grief that doesn’t speak whispers o’er the fraught heart and bids it break”

~Shakespeare (MacBeth, 4.3)



I am a planner. A list-maker.

I like order and directions and a roadmap.

I like to chart out all the possibilities and know what is in store.

And then I like to do it right.

I don’t like to let people down.

Disappointment is my biggest fear.

I am a people-pleaser.

I am a “good” girl.  I always did what I was told out of fear of disappointing someone.

These are all things that came out in my therapy session on Thursday.  All things that were stated after I blurted out that I just HATE my stupid medication.

She looked at me and pointed out what I should have known after seeing her for almost a year.

I feel the need to do things “right”.

I DO do things right.

Except having babies.

I don’t do that “right”.

At least not the traditional idea of “right”.

And I have to let myself grieve this.

I hate that my body doesn’t naturally produce the  progesterone that will help me sustain a pregnancy.

I hate that no matter how many babies I give birth to, when asked how many pregnancies, I will always have to add 2 to the number of children I have.

I hate that my body isn’t shaped correctly to birth a baby vaginally.

I hate that my son and I are results of “the miracle of modern medicine.”

I hate that my mind betrayed me.

I hate that I may be on depression and/or anxiety meds for the rest of my child-bearing years…or longer.

I have been telling others that it is ok.  That they are not alone.  That they WILL get through PPD/A, and in the midst of that I have been fighting my own battle.  With grief.

I don’t want this to be me.

I don’t want things to always be hard.

I don’t want to be special or a statistic.

I want to be NORMAL.

I have been quietly struggling with this new reality of mine.

Getting off my meds did not work.  At all.  Even though I so badly wanted it to, and I so furtively believed I could do it.

I was going to be a success story.  Getting off my meds and getting pregnant again was going to be the pretty bow on this ugly story of PPD.

And then I could say, “see?  you just need meds, therapy, and time and then you will be ALL BETTER.”

But I am not “all better.”

Instead, I am back on  my meds.

And I might be for a very, very long time.

I know that nobody is disappointed…except me.

But I count.  That much I have learned in this battle.

What I feel about everything matters.

I have to be able to accept that this is my story.  It’s part of what makes me Katie. It’s not all of me, but it is part of me.

Before I can accept that and be ok with it?  I have to grieve that this plan didn’t work out.

My body refused to do this “right”.

And it will continue to not do it “right” because it has a different way…a chemically altered, surgery-aided way to bring babies into this world.

Once I have given myself appropriate time to mourn my loss?  Only then can I begin to accept that just because I didn’t do this “right”?  I also didn’t do it “wrong”.

Until then, I must give my grief words or it will continue to break my heart.

I will continue to have broken insides. over and over.

And broken insides are not conducive to a happy home for a new baby.


May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  Help spread the word and break down the stigma.

a rough start to our journey

It’s been two weeks since I announced publicly that Sluiter Nation is looking to add a new member.

I wish I could say things have been all happy and butterflies since this announcement.  But not so much.

I quit my birth control a few months ago because it was giving me horrible cycles.  And now I have acne like a 13-year old.

But that is manageable.

I got a pretty bad cold a couple weeks ago, but I recovered, and that has nothing to do with this.

Or does it?

I still have the cough.

But it’s not a reasonable cough that is all congested and then I hack it up.

No.  It is a rattle that I can hear and feel, Cort can hear, others can hear, but pretends that it doesn’t exist when I cough.  It just stays put and makes me look like a big cough-faker.

What does this have to do with making a baby?

I’m getting to that.

So I have this cough.

And zits.

And now?  I am starting a new cycle and my OB would like to see me try this pregnancy with no anti-depressants (I am currently on Celexa, for all you note-takers).

We talked about this in August at my last appointment, and I talked about it with my General Practitioner, and I talked about it with my Therapist.

Fear not, it has been discussed.

I know how to wean off the meds safely.

I also know that both my GP and my Therapist are standing at the ready because they would both like to see me on something.

“A healthy mom comes first.  Then a healthy baby can follow.”

But we all understand where the OB is coming from.  Why take meds if you can get by without?  And they all agree that pregnancy hormones could very well “even me out” to where I won’t need them until postpartum again.

And thus began The Wean.

Halved my dose until I was ready to do a half dose every other day.

I am on every other day right now.

People?  This is hard.

So hard.

At first I only had physical side effects that were annoying at best.  I had sort of a fuzzy feeling in my head, headaches, a tightness in my back, and an occasional “buzzing” sound/feeling in my brain.

I still had this cough the whole time.

I continued to taper.

My back got worse and worse.  It’s a pain in my upper back, most the left side, behind my shoulder blade that feels like someone has a knife in my muscle and is twisting.  And while they twist, the muscle rips and simultaneously wraps itself around the knife.

It sucks.

And it’s there constantly.  No medication makes it feel better.

There is also exhaustion.  Sheer exhaustion.

But I continue to taper my antidepressant.

Wednesday was my first day with NO dose.  I was surprised at how Ok my brain felt.

Today?  Everything crashed.

My pain in my back and neck is worse.

I could fall asleep on a dime, I am so damn tired.

My cough is less productive, but the rattling is still present.

And my mind?

Today I had to put my head down on my desk more than twice to control the Raging Bitch Monster that was welling in me.  The very same Monster that took over my brain when I had undiagnosed PPD.

Tears welled in my eyes as I felt an urge to lash out at everyone.

Just like before.  But this time I saw the Monster coming.

Everything today sucked because of this dumb Monster.

And just because I knew what it was, didn’t make it less terrible.  In fact, knowing it was coming and who it was and that just by NOT taking my meds as usual, I had opened a door to let this Beast in?  Pissed me off.

So I am emotional and ragey because of detoxing and I am emotional and ragey because I can see it’s NOT going to be Ok.

Today was hard.

And my back still hurts.

And my cough is still there.

And now my wrist hurts.

I have an appointment with the Nurse Practitioner on Monday.   Things need to be sorted out.

Because this is not a happy way to start our journey toward Sluiter Baby #2.


Tomorrow I will post the first in my three-part series on how I built Sluiter Nation: The Blog including Tips for Blogger, Switching to WP, and all things Social Media in Between.

I Got You

This one goes out to you, Kim.

By the time you read this post, you will probably have read Lauren‘s and Miranda‘s.  And by this time, there might be others too.

You know we are telling you that we love you.

You know we wish we could help.

But here is the thing.

I’m not going to be we for a second.

I’m just going to be Katie.

You are my friend.

No, we have never met “in real life.”

No, I don’t know what your voice sounds like.

No, I have never watched you go from serious to a huge smile.



I have read your words.

I have seen pictures of you.

And you are my friend.

I don’t have a ton of close friends.  (Shut up, I don’t).

But those who are my close friends?  Know I can’t sleep or eat or function well when they are hurting.

They know I will do anything in my power to help.  Even if the only help I can bring is an inappropriate giggle.

Last night I tossed and turned thinking about where you were.  How you were.

I would dream of looking for you.

I checked my phone each time I woke up.

No Kim.

I cried silently when I thought of what “could” be.

I asked Cort if I was crazy since I didn’t technically know you.

He said, “of course not.  She is your friend.”

Yes.  You are.

My friend.

Why yes, you ARE on the wall-o-friends

And as my friend you have taught me to laugh at the bad in life.  Not because it’s funny, but because it’s our defense against it.  Bad hates laughter.  And we can bring the laughs.

As my friend you have shown me it’s ok to not be perfect…because that is more fun.

As my friend you have cheered my sorry ass on when I thought PPD and just life would win.  You made me realize there is too much going for me to stay in my hole.

You have showed me what a fighter is.

Right now?  You are finding it hard to fight.

You trained me.  Let me fight for you.

Or?  Let this guy fight for you.

hey pretty lady...let me take care of that for you.

and?  since I love you so much.  I had this made for you.  I will mail it soon, but here is a preview.

to be worn as a protective sheild against the evil world

Kim?  You are my friend.

I love you.

I am here for you, girl.  I got you.

And so does the rest of the bloggy world.

dear me…

Dear Self…

It’s been a year, my friend.

A year since you felt that you were caving in to what you thought was a weakness…an embarrassing flaw.

A year since you read Emily‘s blog post about not feeling right after having a baby and tried to brush away the fact that all the commenters suggesting she seek help?  Were talking to you too.

A year since Cort read the post and thought it rung true for you too.

A year since you sat and had yet another horrible ugly cry meltdown in your brown chair, and since Cortney sat across from you and suggested you call the doctor.

A year since the call.

A year since the visit.

A year since the first little pill.

It would be two more months yet before I could admit this to the world, but at least I had admitted it to myself.  And to Cort.

It would be even longer before you would decide you also needed AND wanted to talk to a therapist, but by then you had discovered that you were not, in fact, blogging in isolation…there was an entire world…blogasphere, if you will…out there.

You made very close friends because of your postpartum depression.  Not only did people in your life come forward in emails and private asides about their struggles, but you met Casey (through Emily) who let you know you aren’t alone.

And from there you met Katherine and Lauren and Miranda and Grace and Kimberly and Amy–women who have become so very important to your daily life.  They are you…us.  They have shown you that they are us and are successful, and have downfalls and bad days, but they bounce back.  And so can we.

In this past year you…

…have learned to communicate better with Cort.

…found patience you didn’t know you had.

…been able to work through Eddie’s meltdowns instead of having one of your own.

…stopped bottling your feelings because you were afraid of them.

…accepted that you have something chemically different in your brain now than you did before.

…realized you can’t “do it all”…at least not alone.

…have tried to become a voice for all those who feel the way you do…who have traveled your path…but are silent.

…have started to accept yourself.

You have come so far.  I am proud of you in so many ways.  And so are others.  Cortney, you families, your friends…they love to see YOU.

It’s not over, though.

You didn’t hit the year mark and get a nice release form to turn in stamped “DONE”.

This is not over.

Your anxiety is back and you may be dealing with depression for the rest of your life.  Right now you are struggling with this.  You need to accept that this is what it is.  Life is different now, but those things don’t define you.

You have the tools to get through the rough parts now.

Cortney has a new job.  The transition is much harder for you than you would like to admit to people.

He has always been home to make your world less chaotic.  Of the 21 months that you have had a child together?  He has been home for 17 of them.

You feel completely thrown into whirlwind of utter confusion.  You feel lonely and abandoned.

This is the anxiety talking.

You can do this.  You just need to adjust.  And it’s TOTALLY OK to need an adjustment period.  DO NOT feel bad about that.

You also need to forgive yourself.

Yes, your undiagnosed PPD made you all crazy and mean and awful to be around.

But you got help.

Everyone has forgiven you.

Even those you were the worst to.  Yes, even Cort and your mom have forgiven you.

You need to let go of how terrible you were.  You need to let it go so you can go forward.

They have let it go.  They never EVER hold it against you.  You need to stop holding it against yourself.

Friend, you are not “fixed”.  Some things can’t be “fixed”.

But you are better.  You have survived.

You are a survivor.

And you will, in the immortal words of Beyonce, keep on survivin’.

Love,  Me

a packaged deal

I have had enough.

I am ready to purge.  To get rid of that which I do not need.

I am at my wit’s end with this and I am going to dump it.

I’m going to put it out there away from me, and hopefully someone stops by and picks it up.  Not for themselves, but to take away from me.

I mean, I guess if you are a masochist you could keep these things.  I suppose. And there will be a few of you I suppose.

But I am done with this stuff.


In fact, I don’t remember ever wanting these things.  They just showed up.  And now I can’t GIVE them away.

But I am still trying.

So, that being said, the first item I am listing here is the a like-new Case of Guilt (made just for me by PPD, but is easily transferable to your particular needs).

The adhesive on this Case of Guilt is like new.  Seriously.  I realize it has been stuck to me for about twenty months now, but it hasn’t lost any of its cling. I am fairly sure–although I have long since lost the original paperwork–that it was was made with molasses combined with a super spray adhesive for extra powerful binding ability.

Or perhaps there is cement in there.  Like I said, I don’t have the original paperwork…only that which I could find on Google.

Either way?  It still sticks.

Also this particular brand of Case of Guilt is extremely emphatic.  It comes with a special built-in amplifying system to avoid ignored missed messages from the guilt.  So even if you are sitting in a loud movie without your kids?  You will definitely hear the Guilt booming right over the loudest theatrical gun battles telling you that you should be home being a more involved parent to your children.

PPD brand Case of Guilt also comes with a self-charging battery so it will never die on you when you want it to need it. In fact, in the almost two years that I have owned it?  It has never ever needed its batteries replaced.  It came with a lifetime guarantee to ALWAYS be there (the guarantee is transferable, by the way, so we can take care of that upon exchange).

It has unfortunately never failed me.  Even when I have been at work making money to feed my family?  It is there reminding me that I am not with my son.  It is never-ending and persistent. You can count on that.

I am throwing in two other items with this Case of Guilt:

Unreasonable Self-Doubt and Uncontrollable Paranoia

Both are also PPD brand and 100% compatible with the Case of Guilt.  In fact, the Self-Doubt and Paranoia were originally marketed as accessories to the Mom Guilt, but I am offering them all as a package deal.

Both are being offered as-is, although they have very little wear that is noticeable.

The Unreasonable Self-Doubt is scheduled to coincide when the Case of Guilt clicks on letting you know you are not living up to what people want.  Immediately the Self-Doubt will begin breaking down your confidence leaving you with virtually nothing to grasp onto that seems worthwhile.

The Uncontrollable Paranoia is meant to trigger the Case of Guilt.  It’s like a fail-safe for the Guilt.  The Guilt has never failed, but in the case that it shows signs of not igniting?  The Paranoia will guarantee it.

The entire package is being offered for FREE.

I do not want anything PPD Brand in my life anymore.

If interested, it will be on the curb.  Because that is where it has been kicked to.

uncomplicated love

The big brown chair.

When it was purchased there was no emotional expectation.  No one foresaw any moments to be had in the chair except lazy ones that matched the couch.

But the lack of expectations was a mistake.

That brown chair has become ours.  Mine and Eddie’s.

We melt into each other in that chair just minutes before bedtime.

He has his little yellow and green pipy and his well-worn lamby.

I am squished to one side in my fleece bathrobe while he is in a little ball on a pillow next to me.

My head rests ever so close to his soft, blond curls.

He is busy watching Wheel of Fortune and rubbing one of lamby’s ears across his nose.

He suddenly stops and turns to look at me.

Our faces are so close his little button nose is almost touching mine.

I can smell the lilac night time lotion on his skin.

A smile spreads suddenly under his pipey, and he quickly grabs the pacifier out of his mouth and leans in, mouth open.

His small, warm mouth covers mine quickly.

He giggles and whispers, “pssfff psssfff psssfff.”

His hand touches my check and he giggles again.

And just like that he pops the pipey back in his mouth and snuggles down under my chin.

But for me it is not over.  I sit their smiling and glowing from within.

My baby boy loves me.

Most people would stop here and say, “of course he does.”

But it hasn’t always been so evident to me.  That is the curse of PPD.

Those few minutes in the chair are ones that I will pack away in my heart and keep for always.

I wish Eddie could somehow also keep those moments in his heart.

Someday when he is a grumpy, angsty teen.

Someday when everything I do is wrong.

Someday when I am not there.

I wish he could see us like this.

Because it pains me to think he would forget these fleeting moments.

That he would forget the love between the two of us.

Completely unconditional with no complications.

love wins

In an email from my mom not so long ago she praised my writing and mentioned that she didn’t know how I did it.

Besides making me smile all day (I like praise from my parents…it makes me uncomfortable, but I like it), it made me think.

I really don’t think I always had this talent.  Or at least it was just waiting around because my life was way too boring write about.

Until recently.

As in the past six years.

I’ve been blogging for almost four years and until I decided to talk about my depression, all my readers were friends and family whom I begged and harassed to read my blog (I am sure most of them do NOT miss the mass emails of PLEASE READ MY BLOG).

And then I started sharing about our other hardships:  Cort’s job loss, my over-commitment to jobs, Cort’s dad’s death, his grandpa’s death, our miscarriages…

There are my stories to tell now. And I love to tell them because not only have I found some much-needed support, but I have been able to honestly talk about things other people can’t.  I have been a voice for the silent.

But those stories are sad.  And it is draining to put myself out there with them.

And sometimes those sad stories get the best of me.

And they take over my brain and make me feel useless and overwhelmed and hurting.

They open a door for depression to creep out of its locked cage and seep into everything I do, whispering about my inadequacies, poking at my doubts, pouring salt into my already bleeding weaknesses.

When this happens? I fall into a big, dark pit and I can’t get out…

…until something happy happens.

And I don’t mean happy like me winning a Mod Tots giveaway (which I did…and yes, I am happy.  In fact I was sweating and shaking I was so excited).

Or happy like getting paid for my writing…writing that means so much to me.

Or happy like getting asked to contribute to someone’s blog or finding that someone is recognizing you on their blog.

All of those things are awesome.  They are huge.  I am blessed beyond words.

But somehow?  That big deep hole in my heart?  Needs something more.  Something bigger than me.

I have to do something to get out of the hole.  Nobody can pull me out.

Today I did that thing.

I am the senior class adviser at my school which means I am in charge of making sure seniors who wish to participate in the graduation ceremony order their caps and gowns.

Even without all the “extra” stuff, the basic package is still almost $50 with shipping and tax.

Did I mention I teach in a Title 1 school?  Not many of our kids have $50 lying around.

For the most part, the company that we go through works with them to get a payment plan together.

Today, though, another teacher and I were helping a senior get his stuff together.  A senior who has been through more in his 18 years than I can ever think to go through in my whole life.

I don’t want to go into specifics, but he has to work and go to school and support himself–completely.  As in living accommodations, bills, groceries, transportation–everything we as adults do.  Plus he NEEDS to finish high school.

He is a GOOD kid.

He doesn’t need to be saved or bailed out.

He needs to be loved.

Today another teacher and I bought his cap and gown.  He doesn’t know one of the contributors was me.  He doesn’t need to know.

I looked him in the eye and told him it was taken care of by someone who loves him and wants to see him step across that stage.

He asked me to tell the person thank you…and that he wouldn’t let him/her down.

Even if he doesn’t graduate and my money goes to an empty cap and gown?  that is not the point to me.

The point is that he felt love today.  because I know some days he goes without feeling any.

And doing that?  Giving my heart to a boy who just needs the love of a mom?

That pulled me out of my funk.

I’m back.


speaking of my writing, I am really excited about this big announcement at the Red Dress Club.

We are starting a memoir writing prompt each Friday (with a link up on Tuesdays).  Since the majority of the writing I do is memoir-style, I hope you will all enjoy my contributions to this.

And for those of you with a blog?  I hope that you would join in.  I would love to read your {true} stories!

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