q and a

i got a question a little while ago in the comments that i wanted to address. it was something i had been wanting to talk about for a while and since the reader didn’t leave an email address i thought this would be the best time to talk about it in a post.
[Karen, this is for you! :)]

the question was about anti-depressants.

though i do believe medications help a lot of people, my therapist and i decided to NOT have me take them. for multiple reasons really.

but the main reason  is because we (the therapist and i) both felt like my depression wasn’t so much something that needed medication as it was learning new tools to incorporate into my life to use now and in the future to help me learn a new way to live.

a lot of my depression stems from harmful thought processes that have caused me to look at my life and the world with a very damaging perception of things. so for me, my journey has been a lot about finding new ways of thinking and dealing with trials for when life continues on {and gets harder}.  

for me, that is what we felt like would benefit me the most. although i do strongly believe that a lot of people greatly benefit from it, it just didn’t feel right for me in my circumstances.

[Karen] and everyone, i hope this has helped answer some questions! thank you so much for asking that question! :)

what do you think?

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i would love to answer any questions [about depression or anything else you’d like to know about me] that you may have! please feel free to contact me or leave a comment and i will answer your questions :)

i’ll get to it

i really want to post about our 2 week trip
BUT
Adam has a bunch of pictures on his phone  and i’m kind of anal and want to have all the pictures posted at once

so in the meantime i thought i’d show you what Eli has been up to lately

photo (71)

no good that’s what!

he figured out how to get into the movies and now our little apartment is in constant disarray

i was honestly fine with it until he figured out how to actually open the cases and get to the discs inside. now, i’m just waiting for a disc to crack. like our wedding video or wedding pictures…..
[which you can see is one of the cases on the right]

time for stronger childproofing!

oh yeah we did stuff!

if you have been reading my blog for awhile you know that i’m notorious for posting about holidays super super late!

well this post is no exception.

on May 1st was our 2nd wedding anniversary and Adam was in charge of our date
:)

so he surprised me with dinner at Chef’s Table
[the place i have been bugging him forever to take me to!]

cht_bldg_after_medium

from the first time i drove by the building i’ve been wanting to go in!
i kind of have this {weakness} for super fancy/romantic/beautiful buildings and shops and once i see one i obsess over them for a long time.

this place was no exception!

it is so gorgeous on the outside 
(and at night it is all lit up with white Christmas lights.. it’s a dream!)
and ev.er.y.time! we pass by it i would say,
Adam, i want to go there!!!” 

this happened for our whole dating/engagement/first year of marriage
in fact, i’m pretty sure he would purposely drive by it to make me think we were going to go there for dinner and then laugh when we never stopped…
{nice}


so finally, he took me!

Picture or Video 352

  Picture or Video 351  

we were VERY excited!

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[this is the part where i feel bad that i didn’t blog this earlier]
Adam had me keep note of all the different courses and things they did so that i could write it down and remember our wonderful time.

but i only remembered to write down 2 things….
-lemon sorbet
-asiago cheese bread
though i did take pictures
i just don’t remember the names for everything.

so now i feel bad that i’m really lame and didn’t write this post earlier since Adam kept saying over and over,
“you can talk about this on your blog!”
“you can show people the cool dishes!”
“you should tell them how they gave us lemon sorbet first!”
because he knew i was going to talk about it so he gave me lots of pointers.

and then i forgot.
oh well.

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so here’s what i do remember of the beautiful place.

as a beginning refreshment they brought up lemon sorbet
and it was wonderful!

then they brought out asiago cheese bread
which was delectable! 

we were so excited for everything that i’m pretty sure the waiters thought we were nuts!

then i got my beautiful salad!   
Picture or Video 354

it was too pretty to be a salad.
and it was very very good!

then on to our main courses:

chicken for me

Picture or Video 357 
[cool huh!?!]
those crazy waffle things were some kind of potato chips!
sticking out of the fancy mashed potatoes

i was totally PHASED!

and shrimp scampi for Adam

Picture or Video 358

and we shared glazed carrots
[or something like that]

it was a total success!!

and we totally kept it cheap which was a total {plus!}

i seriously want to go again
and looking at those pictures of the gorgeous dishes is making me want to go even more

and as you can tell by the excitement in this post
we don’t get out much
especially to fancy shmancy restaurants

so it was a huge highlight in my life to eat works of art-like dishes

perfect way to spend our 2nd anniversary
i was a happy girl
:)

a true dentist’s son

since adam is {hopefully} going to dental school, it’s only right that we start teaching eli the about the mouth and oral hygiene early

he took to it well

he’s already trained to do dental check ups

IMG_0100IMG_0101IMG_0102

 

and he knows how to properly clean his little teefies

Picture or Video 180 Picture or Video 181   

and he doesn’t bite your fingers!

that’s important, right?

Inspiration

animal lover: post-edit

photo (52)photo (53) photo (51)

the night before my friend Amy left on her mission, we went over to her {old} house to visit. the neighbors had this cat that kept coming over and Eli LOVED it!!

love isn’t even the right word
he was obsessed with it!

he would want to pet it
and chase it
and hold it
and run after it

the cat was pretty relaxed
but after a while it started running away from Elijah

but Eli was not phased
he just ran as fast as his fat little toddler legs to go
all over the front yard trying to get that cat

it was so cute
and so hilarious!

he’s a budding little animal lover!

{which is not good news for daddy since he kind of hates them}
but that’s why you have mommies
:)

:::p.s.: those pictures aren’t the best but i promise you his face was sheer joy when he saw the cat

 

POST-EDIT:
::
first, i didn’t realize i had some pretty bad grammar/misspellings in the first draft… sorry!
::second, E-man now says “kitty” after spending time at Grandma and Grandpa Robinson’s and looking for the cat every morning. it was one of the first things we did everyday. of course the cat ran away…. but he still loved it!! it’s pretty adorable!

GOTTA DANCE!

Eli is a dancing fiend!

no matter where he is or what he’s doing, if he hears music somewhere he has to just get up &
DANCE

he will scramble off the couch or in from the other room just to get closer to the music so he can break out his little dance moves.
{and they are very much his own little style}

he dances to everything and will dance everywhere:
TV/movie soundtracks
commercials
video games
{even the sound the Wii makes when it turns on}
in the store
in the car
ringtones 
singing nursery rhymes
church music
& to his own little beat

OBSERVE:

 

 

 

 

GO ELIJAH!
GO ELIJAH!

reading time

photo (34)

proof that he can sit still for 5 minutes by himself.

but mind you
it’s only 5 minutes!

new Stronger Marriage post(s)

i’ve kind of dropped the ball on updating about new Stronger Marriage Blog posts

so there are now TWO new posts that you should check out!

first: Is Waiting to Have Sex a Fairy-Tale? It’s about current research that shows maybe waiting until marriage to have sex might actually increase overall satisfaction in marriage! Never would have guessed it huh??? READ IT to learn more!

second: What Happened to Dating? More and more people aren’t going on dates anymore but instead have fallen prey to the “hanging out” trap. Even couples, dating & married, could use some help with date ideas! So check out this post to find out cheap and fun date ideas and this weekend take your partner out for some FUN!

and tell me your own thoughts/ideas/questions in the comments!

embracing my inner fashionista

photo (70)

it’s amazing how depression could permeate every aspect of my life.
it’s quite literally like a plague.

in therapy, we have talked a lot about finding things i LOVE doing and make time for them throughout the week. by doing something you LOVE or are good at or even enjoy learning about  can become a powerful tool to get over feelings of sadness & worthlessness and help you feel better about yourself.

my therapist helped me recognize how my depression has hindered my love and desire for things i once enjoyed.

for example:
i used to be really proud of my style. not that i thought i was the most fashionable person ever. but i felt like i really owned my style and i was really confident in myself.

my “style” became known around the school as being very colorful, crazy and really just eclectic.
i loved thrifting,
mix & matching patterns and colors,
and layers.
lots of layering.
throw on a beaded necklace and some bright, colorful earrings and you have a perfect representation of ME in my glory days.

once, i remember going to the senior party and i dressed up my friend in a bright colored {thrifted} shirt and lots of different colored jewelry. at first we were just messing around, purposely dressing crazy because it was our final high school bash.

then a good friend came up to us and said to my friend,
“wow! you look very Megan-like today!”

i took that as a compliment
{should i have?}
and decided that yes, this is me.
it may be kind of crazy, but this is me.
and i loved it.

at one point in high school, i really wanted to be writer for a fashion magazine and to talk to young women about fashion and gaining self-confidence, two things i had been really passionate about and would talk to anyone who would listen.

fast forward 5 years and i feel like i’m everything opposite of what i once thought of myself.

i have been afraid to try new things
to be less conservative in my clothes
to wear high heels more often
to wear anything other than jeans and a t-shirt
or even try and dress up jeans and t-shirt
& i’m definitely NOT self-confident

basically, i’ve been in a total rut. but then something shifted.

i had the opportunity recently to write a guest post for a blog about fashion.
it was pretty much an amazing answer to prayers because it helped pull me out from my
“woe is me… i’m a mom and can’t be pretty”
mentality and start my fashion creativity engines again.

it helped me reignite that desire to do something i LOVE & enjoy again that will help me feel better about myself.
{going right along with what my therapist had encouraged me to do}

so i decided THE HECK WITH IT to all my insecurities and to embrace the
big-dreaming, colorful, 17-year-old girl again
{but hopefully be more mature than that 17-year-old girl}
and dress up more & have fun with my style

i also decided that i want to share some of my favorite outfits every now and then
i did it once before and i had a lot of fun with it

this is NOT my declaration to turn this into a self-proclaimed fashion blog
{i am far from teaching other people anything about fashion}
but this is more of something that i realized i want to do for myself
as an outlet for me to use so i can have something to look forward to. 

i hope that doesn’t become annoying to anyone or it seems vain
this just something i have found has been helping me overcome

 

[and so as a start, the above picture is one of my favorite outfits. well maybe not a favorite… but i liked how it turned out :)]

I Dreamed a Dream

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big baby

photo (57)

me and adam laugh so hard when we see the E-bug hanging around the house with his pacifier

he just looks like such a big baby

i love it.
he’s so cubby.
doesn’t this picture make you want to squish him and kiss his cheeks!?
i know i do!

just a boy and a girl in a tippy canoe

edited 13

i heard a really good analogy in therapy about our feelings in relationships
{and in ourselves}

imagine two people in a canoe, each hanging over opposite sides.
they don’t want to stay where they are [because it’s uncomfortable]
but are afraid to move.

if one person decides to moves to the middle or go towards the other person, the boat will become too heavy on one side and tip. instead, they need a third-party to help them come to the middle in perfect synchronicity so the boat stays balanced. 

how this relates to relationships/individuals is this:

one person can be very emotional
while the other is much more rational.
both parts can be very good and very reasonable when a balance is met.
but when a balance isn’t met between the two sides, that is when there can be trouble.

the emotional person wants to be rational, but then giving up the emotional side will make the boat tip because the relationship is then void of emotions. and the rational person would like to show their own emotions and sensitivities, but then giving up the rational side would overwhelm the relationship with emotions and also capsize.

it’s a difficult thing to deal with.
me and adam have recently found this has been the struggle within me for months

while i am flooded with emotions
guilt
shame
insecurities
fear
anxiety
sadness
the rational side of my thinking is stuck on the other side of the boat and i can’t go to it

this metaphor seriously changed the way i have thought about everything.

it has helped me realize how unbalanced my life has been.
[due of my own shaky foundation]

i have since gotten the help i needed 
{the third-party aforementioned}
and i can honestly say that most days i feel a lot better.
and can safely go to the other, more rational side of my canoe

i’m so grateful for what i have learned about myself to help me take control of my life
to help me find balance
& to take my life back
{in all sense of the phrase}

just by understanding how these emotions inside of me have been working against me
and holding me back
and not letting me be more rational and enjoy life
has been a huge help for me!

we have all heard the phrase
knowledge is power
but i think knowledge about yourself is in a way the ultimate power because you can have the understanding, tools, and confidence to accomplish the most good.

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i also want to say that i am extremely grateful to my wonderful husband for his patience and love through this whole process. i honestly could not do it without him. he encouraged me from the beginning and never looked down on me during this struggle in my life. and i love him even more through it all!

Inspiration

because his sad faces are too good not to share

photo (46)photo (47) photo (45)

i’m going to be honest and tell you i was laughing during these pictures
{adding to my awesomeness as a mother}

but i also had no idea what he was crying about 
i think he wanted something that we wouldn’t let him have
{of course}
and he pulls these faces at us.

he’s getting reeeeaaaaalllll good at it!

new member of the family!

{nope! not pregnant!}

we recently were very blessed to be able to get a new/safer/more reliable car

it’s a nice volvo wagon that is so much more roomier
nicer
{and again} more reliable
than our old car.
[& the same color and style as adam’s parents first family car so we knew it would take us places]

i totally feel like a mom in it
[or old lady]
but i love it

here is Elijah showing you around
or having a hard time with change…. either one.

 

[he literally would not move when we put him in the back]
he has done this in our other car too whenever we would sit him down in the back seat

i don’t know why but the back is apparently terrifying
and it gives us a good laugh

part 2: getting help

honeymoon picture 
my journey to overcome depression is a long process.

my emotions are in continual waves between deep sorrow and ultimate happiness.

though the feelings from the previous post still rear it’s ugly head, i feel like i’m in a much much better place than when i originally wrote it

mainly because i feel like i have learned the tools to overcome my feelings rather than let them consume me

in May, i went down to BYU’s counseling center and set up an appointment to start meeting with a therapist. the day before i made my appointment i told adam:

“i know my life is good but i can’t feel it. i just can’t be happy. i don’t know how anymore. i feel completely at a loss. i don’t think i can do it on my own anymore. i think i need help to teach me how to be happy again.”

adam was completely supportive. he told me he had been thinking for some time that i should talk to someone else but didn’t know how to approach me since i was so sensitive to any kind of tips/help/advice.

i needed to figure it out on my own  even though i had to go through heck to do it.

but at the same time i don’t regret what i had to go through because i feel like i am on a very positive path to true happiness. and i’m learning tools that i can use throughout my life even when i leave Provo and move on to bigger, better, more stressful and harder things.

i have now been going to see a therapist for 3 months. though i’ve had to switch therapists, i found that each one was able to give a different and very helpful perspective to my struggles. 

on my very first day of counseling, i left feeling lifted from my huge burden of sorrow, grief and despair. it was an incredible feeling, one that i felt like i had missed out on for too long.  it’s not that i was completely “cured” after my first time going. i just felt the difference right away that therapy was a really helpful resource to help me deal with my depression

it felt amazing to talk to someone that truly understood what i felt and didn’t judge me for feeling sad, lonely, overwhelmed, guilty, & worthless.

but instead he listened. and i mean really listened as i poured out my heart of months and years worth of sadness.

adam is of course always there to listen to me and help me, but it’s different when you have someone there without being totally emotionally involved and able to listen and understand objectively.

and that is something i cannot stress enough about the blessing of therapy.

i used to be ashamed that i was “crazy enough to need a shrink.” but now i know the amazing tool it really is and i wish i had utilized it earlier.

i am so grateful i got the courage and support to make that first appointment. i am no longer ashamed but just full of gratitude that i was guided to understand that i needed help and to reach out to get it.

 

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as i start to compile my thoughts about what i have learned about depression and what i am doing to overcome it, i wanted to let you know that i’m always open to questions.
please let me know if there is anything you would like me to talk about.

i want to be very open about my experience because i know there are many people {especially women} who are going through the same things. and i would like to do whatever i can to help and answer any questions anyone might have.

part 1: the emotions

Picture or Video 220

a few months ago when i was feeling at my lowest, i wrote the following post. i have never posted it because it was very raw, very emotional, and i thought it would turn people away.

but now i decided to share it.

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there are many moments where i feel very blessed.

but that feeling doesn’t always last long. i sit there and count my blessings and tell myself that i have so much to be happy about.

then i criticize myself for not being happy when i should. i feel guilty for not being happy when i have every reason to be. this only helps me to feel worse because not only am i sad about something to begin with, i then tell myself its unacceptable to feel that way and add the feelings of guilt on top of my sadness.

it’s a mess. a big, confusing mess.

this cycle becomes like a huge whirlpool inside of me, sucking away all feelings of joy. i can’t get out of it most times. even with the help of someone throwing me a life-line, it gets too difficult to find my way back to safer ground.

this is where i was just a few weeks ago. and even now i’m still wading, trying to find my way back but getting very close to the solid shore.

sometimes i make great progress. the shore is within reach and i’m just about to pull myself out of the water. then the whirlpool sucks me back in and i’m fighting for breath. at times i want to give up. i feel like a failure for being so close and then letting myself be in this position again.

why am i so weak?
why can’t i just get over it?
why can’t i just be happy and move on?

but there are some feelings so deep within me, within all of us maybe, that can sometimes hinder our progression. feelings and ideas that were learned early on that are hard to change.

mine is the feeling that it is unacceptable to be sad. it is unacceptable to not be disappointed with your life and you must always think about what is good instead of what is bad.

so instead of letting my real, human feelings of sadness and pain show, i try hard to brush it off and put on a happy face. because if you are sad, then you are ungrateful. and if you are ungrateful then you are not a worthy daughter of God.

i have never addressed these issues before. i have only recently been made aware of how warped my perceptions of the world are. in the past, i would just continue the dangerous cycle of pain, sadness, frustration, guilt, fake happiness back to pain. this cycle would just push me deeper and deeper into the darkness.

until i finally hit rock bottom.
and rock bottom hurts.

and that brings me to today.
today was a good day.
today i was in view of the shoreline.
i felt genuinely happy.

i feel like i have you to thank for these honest feelings of joy. thank you for your support in my journey to be genuine and honest. thank you for showing your love for me and for seeing what i may not be able to see at times.

i know this is a very personal journey for me and i don’t mean for everyone to share such personal emotions on their social network of choice. {as maybe people thought i meant in this post}

but i feel like if just one person can open up a little bit about the very real emotional struggles that they are dealing with, many other people might be able to be lifted from their own emotional bondages as well. and even if i am the only person, i think that it can still help so many others.

as much as i try to be, i am not perfect. no one is. there is no shame in that statement even though i can feel the sting of it sometimes. i’m working through it. and i hope to share it with you.

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i hope i don’t offend anyone for my honesty.
i just feel like this will be the best for me.
and i only hope others will be able to benefit from writing about it too.

presh.

precious baby and daddy.

photo (49)

Inspiration

 

mustache fun

mustache Eli

remember the mustaches i got??

yeah.
i love them.

funniest afternoon ever.
{warning: lots of pictures}

IMG_0634  IMG_0637   IMG_0640 IMG_0641   IMG_0644 IMG_0645 IMG_0646  IMG_0648 IMG_0649 
IMG_0651IMG_0659       IMG_0662IMG_0666  
IMG_0670 IMG_0671  IMG_0669

and then we of course jumped in on the fun

 IMG_0682 IMG_0683

IMG_0684

best $2 i ever spent!

enjoy these moments

IMG_0356

we just got back from the store getting ready for our big road trip adventure to Arizona and California to see my brother-in-law & best friend get married.

while we were there, we got stopped by 3 different older ladies
who LOVED to talk!

{we also randomly ran into Adam’s aunt but she is not included in the 3 ladies aforementioned}

all three of them just loved little Elijah man
{who wouldn’t?}
and all three talked about how the moments with him will go by way too fast

one lady in particular came up to me while i was holding Elijah and reached out to hold him
Eli was grumpy and tired and was not wanting to be held by her
[and honestly, she looked so frail and fragile that i was afraid she would get crushed by him!]

she then told me in her thick German accent how precious children are
and how i should ENJOY him now before he grows up and the time is gone.

she then continued to tell me about her children and how much she loved each one
her daughter started walking and climbing at 9 months and would climb up on top of their piano
and pose!
{loved that!}

i commented,
“oh sounds like she was a lot of work since she was climbing so early!”

and she said,
“no! no! i loved it! i loved those moments with them!”

then she told me how she loved & kissed & hugged her son as much as she could while he was growing up even though her mother-in-law thought it would turn him into a “sissy”

she told me,
“loving him won’t turn him into a sissy! he will still grow up to be a man. but will know he was well loved!”

when we left, i was thinking how much those women maybe needed us to be kind and talk to them because maybe they were lonely. but after reflecting on what this one woman told me, i realized
i needed them!

i needed that encouragement
that kindness
that love
that reminder

i do love my son
but being a mom is hard and tiring
and some days i just can’t wait until he can actually talk and understand things better

but i think sometimes i forget to actually enjoy the moments i have with him
to smother him with kisses all day instead of being concerned about teaching him to clean up
or to sit there and take in his features that make him so unique
or even just to LAUGH more at his crazy antics instead of being frustrated with him sometimes

yep.
it was a very important lesson that i needed to learn today
{on the eve of our long, tiring, and sure to be frustrating car drive}

thank you for reminding me to enjoy these moments!

 

linking up here.

ariba, ariba!!

for my best friend/soon-to-be sister-in-law’s bridal shower we threw her a
FIESTA!

it was pretty awesome if i do say so myself.

we had a salsa bar
tres leche cake
Jarritos
a pinata
fake mustaches
and lots and lots of sexy things for the bride-to-be 

IMG_0619   IMG_0621IMG_0622   IMG_0623[decorations]

IMG_0628[the spread]

IMG_0615       [salsa bar: recipes on Robinson Family Cookbook]


IMG_0630
[the piƱata wish sexy surprises]

IMG_0625[fake mustaches: best $2 i  ever spent! from here] 

and here is the invitation
i was really proud of it

holli-invite blurred
[excuse the blurs. trying to protect :)]

all in all, i was very happy with the party
i feel like it was one of the best
probably cause i had tons of help
thanks Mack and Alison!