Monday, February 13, 2012

Our Winter Goings On

We've had a fairly eventful Winter.  By eventful, for me, I mean stressful.  The kids have had a great time.  While I've been rushing around trying to get all the paper work in to finalize the adoption process and begin the long wait, I've also been rushing the kids to and from everywhere you could possibly imagine (including Maple Valley and I hate Maple Valley, sorry to all my MV friends).  Older kids=mom changes from caregiver to chauffeur...not a fan, NOT a fan.  Martin has also been busier at work (if possible) than I've ever seen him.  He's really trying to climb that managerial ladder!

Alex finished Drivers Ed. right before Christmas break which is a huge blessing because that was getting severely old.  He's a good driver, cautious, courteous, watchful..... FAST.   He is his Dad's son.  He aced his written test and now we just have to wait until a little past his birthday until he can go get legal.  Can I just tell you how nice it will be to have someone else drive to the store or drop off his siblings somewhere?

We had an ice storm which rendered the city and surrounding areas without power for anywhere from 2 to 10 days.  It reminds me of the week we were out of power in 2007, but I digress.  We've never had ice like this.  The roads were seriously scary, not just, "Ha-ha, Seattle drivers are so weird about driving in the snow," (although there is always an element of that), but more like, "Holy  #@*%  Babe, you seriously can't drive down the hill this fast!"  But we had our trusty all-wheel drive and were able to go to McDonald's in Eastgate to have a break and power up our electronic devices.  Our kids liked being out of power after the initial shock wore off.  Alex made some sort of mention that he would rather die than live without his iPod, tablet, Xbox, TV and computer.  He denies it now, but anyone who knows Alex knows I'm not kidding.

Side note:  I never do this, but the day before the blackout I cooked for 4 hours straight making 7 meals for the fam because I've been teaching so much I haven't had a minute to make dinners and I was getting nervous about all the McDonald's being consumed.  Yeah, well, then the power went out and I was afraid my food was all going to waste in the freezer, so Alex made me a freezer out in the snow!

Frozen grass growing out of our retaining wall

A little tree with each branch encased in ice

The morning after the ice snow I trekked outside to make sure we didn't have any loose branches attempting to fall on the house.  I was hearing all kinds of cracking and falling items in the woods in front of our house.  There are some pretty big evergreens out there.  I couldn't believe that there was a thick layer of snow (thick for Seattle that is),  a 1 inch slab of ice and then a skiff of snow on top.  Whenever I walked, it would crunch down and break into large pieces of ice.

Crystal reading Harrry Potter to Isaac in our dark house
Alex and Adam making me a freezer
We layed low for the next day, had the missionaries over because they were cold and starving and hung out.  Our great friends, the Zurligen's invited us to escape with them to Lake Chelan, where their parents had a time share with power.  How could we turn that down?  We decided to wait until the snow had pretty much stopped to head up the pass, and were pleasantly surprised to see the going was pretty easy.

Lake Chelan was beautiful (first timer here) and we loved spending time with our dear friends and just hanging out.  We got to swim, sled, snowmobile and watch movies and talk.  It was so fun, and something the kids will remember for a long time.  Something I will remember is renting snowmobiles and going for a short ride.  It reminded me of growing up.  However, two of our machines got stuck and these were 800 pound machines, so they were not easy to get "un-stuck."  It took everyone hefting and Adam's know-how in getting them out.  Then we lost Martin who incidentally had my baby on back of his snowmobile.  Me and Alex, and Crystal and Adam didn't know what to do because our time was up and we needed to get back or be charged an exorbitant late fee.  So we decided Alex and I would go back to the beginning, let the renter dude know what was going on and Crystal and Adam would see if they could find Martin.  Long story short, Martin had taken a wrong turn and got stuck and had to move his machine 180 degrees (with Isaac's help) to head back in the other direction.  In these huge snowmobiles there is no "off-trailing."  So, in the end we paid for an extra hour but we had a good story to tell and my boys were safe.

My bestie

My other bestie

Isaac gearing up
After we got home and things settled down we have been still as busy as ever.  Martin is working late a lot and I'm teaching a lot, trying to get hours in to practice for my AEA (Aquatic Exercise Association) certification exam.  I'm really stressed but I'm reading and learning a lot and feel in two weeks that test will be a breeze (fingers crossed).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I somehow came across this song the other day.  It was odd that I found it at the time I did because it meshed exactly with what's been going through my mind lately.  "Oh, jeez, Heather, does this have to do with mental health again?" you ask.  Why, yes.  Yes, it does!  Not because I'm taking my blog to this whole new "mental disorder sphere," but, rather, because it helps me keep track of my emotions and I blog instead of journal.  Plus, a lot of people appreciated my last blog post and could relate to what I had been through.  This is for you.

Anyway, the song is by an up-and-coming artist from Seattle (yay!!) named Jen Woods (bing her, she's amazing) and the words sunk in so deep that it almost stopped my heart when the meaning hit me.  Wow, not too many songs or artists or lyricists (whatever) write about this subject.  So needless to say it affected me.  Here it is and the lyrics are below.

Today I threw away my pills
against my family doctor's will.
They said they would make me smile
but instead I feel nothing,
nothing at all.

I see that look on your face
wondering if I'm okay.
Mother need not to fear.
I promise to stay near.

You won't be there forever.
You won't be there forever.
You won't be there forever.

I can learn to trust.
I can learn to scream.
I can learn to say yes
if that's what you need from me.

You can learn to trust.
You can learn to scream.
I can learn to say yes
if that's what you need from me.

You won't be there forever.

The first time I listened to this song I was intrigued that someone would write about throwing away their antidepressants.  I've been there--done that.  Without my meds I'm a raving, sobbing lunatic running around creating hell for anyone in my way.  But I got to thinking about the fact that I've been on my "pills" for so long that I don't remember what it feels like to be me.  My drugs even me out...which is a good thing, and a bad thing.  I don't remember the last time I got really excited or super happy about something.  I don't, or at least I'm not supposed to feel the super lows either.  This is what the pills do generally speaking. 

I then realized that this "person" I am now can't emotionally live my whole life, just a portioned part of it.  Don't get me wrong, I'd rather feel like this than the alternative.  But a certain sense of mourning comes with the help.  Here's where the guilt comes in that she talks about in the song.  Like her, my Mom doesn't receive the entire Heather, and if that's true, then neither do my kids, or my husband or anyone in my life.  The guilt is, at times, overwhelming.  And further, I don't feel like I have ever been able to truly mourn my Sister's death, or my Dad's stroke, etc., etc., etc. because those feeling simply don't exist in my world.  It sucks, but it's the reality. 

So, I can learn to trust, I can learn to scream and I can learn to say yes...I have to let people see that part of me that is suffering or needs help or just needs to scream sometimes.  I would expect and hope that you would show those things to me.

My youngest has a hard time with over-feeling things.  He is the most sensitive, sweet, courageous person I know and at age 8 he is having to learn these things way too early.  I pray every day that the road is easier for him.  I hope that he has learned something from watching me struggle and I hope that modern medicine can someday perfect the "pills."