Friday, March 30, 2012

No Shame

I saw this on Facebook today
If you're familiar with Facebook stuff like this comes along for all kinds of different causes. Mental Health Awareness week is actually the first full week in October, but seeing it prompted me to go ahead and write.

My husband calls me "the sickest healthiest person" he's ever met. I didn't think I was a whiner, but apparently I complain to him constantly about neck and back pain. Chiropractics don't help for more than a day and then I'm hurting again. I live with heated up corn bags around my shoulders (thank you Michelle!) for relief.

A little over two weeks ago Jared insisted I visit the doctor. By insist, I mean he called and text me incessantly until I finally called for an appointment.

I didn't want to go. I felt foolish. What was I supposed to say to her, "I typically don't feel well, what do you think it is?"

Jared pressed because he had the next day off and thought I could go without the kids. I waited until 3:30 to call figuring there was no way they could get me in the next day. I was wrong, my appointment was for 9:30am.

I had serious anxiety going in. My allergies have been particularly rough so I figured I'd start with that. I had Jared text me a list of the things I complain about the most so I could share it with her.

Here's what he sent:
neck and back pain
tension headaches
weight gain (20lbs since last March)
sleeps 10+ hours at night still naps plus fatigue

I asked her to draw my labs for thyroid again. I've been in before with a similar complaint a few times over the last two years. I ask her to draw my labs and put me back on the thyroid meds, the labs come back normal, she refuses the meds and I go home frustrated.

She very gently, yet firmly, refuses to even draw my labs. She looked straight at me and said, "Shannon, you're depressed. It's not your thyroid."

I felt as if she slapped me. I started crying and said, "But I'm happy. I love my husband, I love my kids and we just moved into a beautiful house. Life is good!"

She asked, "Then why are you crying?" I knew she was right. I have been struggling and fighting off the depression feeling like it had no right to be there. She explained that the physical pains I had were from leaving the depression untreated for a prolonged period of time.

She asked me to go on a medication for two months. She said that if the physical issues don't subside, and I don't feel better, she'll draw all the labs I want.

I took the prescription, went to my car and cried. I felt like a failure, I felt shame. I'm strong, or so I thought. I've been on meds before for depression but it was always post-partum and I felt like it was beyond me due to the hormones. That made sense to me. This didn't, I was blindsided.

It took me a while to work through it all in my mind. I went ahead and started the medication thinking I would prove her wrong. Within a week the physical pain started to subside. After about 10 days my nights became much shorter and I no longer needed a nap. Now it's been over two weeks and I've lost 5lbs and feel better than I have in a long time.

 The fog has lifted, the pain is gone, and I am back.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


I have a confession to make.

The last few days I have been lost in the world of The Hunger Games.

It started out innocently enough. Everyone and their dog has been talking about it. I looked it up on Amazon and realized I could download it for a mere $5. The next thing I know it's 3 days later and I've read all three books and seen the movie.

Ridiculous. Honestly, I couldn't stop reading.

I started the Harry Potter series and didn't get very far before I gave up. I think book 3. I've never even cracked open a Twilight book.

I read all the Chronicles of Narnia books and the Lord of the Rings books. What's funny is the fact that I'm not a daily reader. Once in a while I go through a phase when I can't be satisfied and then I leave it alone for a few months.

Jared and I couldn't help but notice the similarity between the Hunger Games and Twilight in that both have a strong female character that is greatly desired by two leading men. I can't help but wonder if that isn't in part why the female population is so smitten. What woman doesn't want to be wanted, desired? These characters, Katniss (Hunger Games) and Bella (Twilight) have two men begging for their love.

As a writer, I really enjoyed the author's writing style. She's very descriptive and does a great job of helping you visualize this post-apocalyptic world. It's a classic battle of good vs evil. It also shows just what a world with a Dictatorship looks like. It seems far fetched in the book for us cozy Americans, but this type of cruelty and total lack of value for human life is a reality to a large percentage of the world's population.

I really didn't think the movie held a candle to the books. In fact, if you haven't read the book I'm not entirely sure the movie would make that much sense. They just can't possibly relate all the back story and details spelled out in the book.

In my opinion, I recommend the Hunger Games for a mature audience. There's no cussing, and no descriptive sexual content. It is a story about an uprising and war so, of course, there is a lot of fighting and death. It is an interesting and compelling love story, but I can't help but compare the "Capitol" to what we know of Ancient Rome. This fiction is reminiscent a very real time in our history.

Unfortunately, it's not that far fetched.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Whatcha Been Up To?

On the 11th we had the Altic clan over to celebrate March birthdays. We celebrated Kennedy, Anneliese, Kelby and Graham. It was a full house and so much fun!

We had a whole lot of decorative grass next to this big green box (I believe it holds the electric for the whole block).  I decided to cut it back since everything is greening up.  My blades were dull and I wouldn't be detoured so I pulled out the hose and a lighter and lit them.  They went up like I'd drenched them in gasoline.  The neighbors came running out looking a bit panicked.  I just grinned.  Jared told me, even though we did the same at Russell, he didn't plan to burn here.  He didn't want the neighbors to think we're hillbillies.  Well, they were bound to find out eventually :)
I'm obsessed with this dog.  It's a Pomeranian and Siberian Husky mix, or Pomsky.  I don't know the logistics of how this breed was created.  It does make you scratch your chin doesn't it?  Regardless, I have always loved the markings of a Husky but prefer small dogs.  This is a match made in Fluffer-Nutter heaven!  I want one like yesterday.  So precious!
The kids and I went to Topeka last Saturday for the St. Patrick's Day parade.  My little brother, Will, pulled a float with his John Deer.  Here's some pics of the festivities.  The kids really seemed to like the parade from the float perspective. 

Early Monday morning the kids and I headed up to Mission Lake Christian Camp.  They were having a work week.  The men had tons of projects they wanted to accomplish over the course of 4 days and asked me to cook for them.  It was trying with the kiddos because of all the rain and construction equipment, but this made it all better.  Chocolate chip cookie overload
Sunday we were blessed with a visitor.  Joy M's sister Jessica came to church with her two little ones.  We've been friends since we were kids and I always love to see her.  She was telling me about a friend who made her daughter a Rapunzel wig out of yarn.  Challenge Accepted!!!  So I searched the internet and found a tutorial.  It cost $2.75 for the yarn and about a hour of my time and she's absolutely giddy. 

So, that's what we've been up to :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

He Speaks To Me

The kids and I are up at camp. The men are having a work week and needed someone to cook.
We came up early yesterday. The kids have been trapped underfoot since its apparently monsoon season. There is dangerous construction debris everywhere.

The kids are handling it pretty well but have been a bit crazed from time to time due to excitement and pent up energy. It's been trying to manage them and my responsibilities. I want to keep them safe and out of the men's way.

I awoke at 5:30am and started on breakfast. I'm melancholy. In the quiet of the morning I start thinking about how I really need to do better with my eating. I think about how I really want/need to lose the 15lbs that found me over the winter. I think about how I need to work out consistently and how ashamed I am that I just haven't made it a priority.

That voice, that hateful internal voice was browbeating me at 5:30 this morning. She doesn't need much sleep apparently.

Then I walked down the stairs of the dorm, headed over to the other building and there it was:

There wasn't a resounding gong, or a bright shining light from heaven. He didn't shout at me or even speak in a still small voice. He gently and lovingly reminded me that He is not concerned with my diet or my exercise.

He's not ashamed of me. He loves me and wants my priorities to match His priorities.

Thank you Lord for speaking truth to me through your word.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Graham Ryker Turned 6!

Is this as hard for you to believe as it is for me???
My tiny premature little boy is 6!

Daddy's feet were always hilarious!

THE happiest baby of all time
First ear of corn
Loves his Daddy
Silly from day one
Always wants you to know you're loved
Tells Anneliese she's beautiful almost every day
How could you be mad at that face?!
Such a blessing to our family
My tiny boy is 6.  I just can't wrap my mind around that.  Thankfully he still loves to snuggle in my lap and kiss my face.  He never lets me forget how much he loves me.  So thankful for his precious little self.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Anneliese Keegan!

We had no idea who'd you'd be to us
So tiny, so new
You brought so much tenderness to our boys
So much laughter and silliness just like Graham
You filled a spot in my heart, a spot made just for you, My Daughter
We are blessed by your presence
amazed by your love and compassion at such a young age
Charmed by your beauty
And Smitten by your love for your Daddy
Happy Birthday to my precious 3 year old.  We love you more than words can describe.  You completed our family and filled our hearts.  You are loved so dearly by your boys and we praise God he granted us a family with 5 healthy loving children.

Friday, March 9, 2012


After spending a week in shorts and a swim suit a very cruel reality set it.

Summer is approaching and my clothes don't fit.  I can get them on but they don't look nice. 

So, here we go!  Time to get into a routine of fitness and move past the birthday excuse.  I had more than my fair share of desserts yesterday.  Sweet Dana showed up at my front door with homemade cream puffs.  It would have been flat rude to refuse, so I ate 3 :)  Then last night, Jared and I had a date nite with the Redways and Cecil called ahead to let them know it was for my birthday.  I had a huge chocolate chip Sunday waiting for me.  Nom Nom Nom.

I do believe all birthday celebrations are over for me so time to get serious.  Anyone else getting anxious for warmer weather? 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Better Pics

We are home and so glad to be!

It was a great trip filled with insane amounts of precious memories.  We fully understand the unique opportunity this trip was.  Each day the kids felt was better than the previous.  We packed the 7 days plum full but had lots of rest in between at a great little hotel.  I really need to blog about specific things in their own blog.  It's just too much to cram into one, two, or even three blogs :)

Gatorland Zoo

Anneliese and Belle

Come on this is great wit right here!  Get it?

Sorry about my index finger :)

Her first ride of Universal

Its a Bug's life


Tree of Life, Just beautiful

Eli, Tan, Bren at Clearwater

Beautiful Babes at Clearwater, too cold to swim

Monday, March 5, 2012

So Tired

Today was Animal Kingdom. The kids absolutely loved it. I'm too stinking exhausted to say much else at this point so here's some pics from today:

Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom

This of me and Eli was at the end of the night when we got stuck 16 floors up on a roller coaster. They came and got us and we had to walk down from the top!!!

Great day, great week, great family!

Gator Zoo in the am, a quick stroll at Clearwater beach and then fly home happy and spent (in more ways than one).

God is good!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

35 Seems Old

We just settled back into Orlando after spending 24 wonderful hours with the Bolin's.

We went to church this morning and then had an amazing lunch at Whiteys. They surprised me with a massive piece of chocolate cake.

I've cried more than once today. Just feeling so blessed and happy.

We are staying at The Destiny Palms. It's a small quaint hotel and we got an amazing rate of just $67 a night for two rooms ($67 total not per room). It sits back off the road and doesn't look like much but it's super clean and smells of fresh laundry. Tonight and tomorrow night we actually have two rooms with a door connecting them.

Tomorrow is Animal Kingdom and then Tuesday we fly home. I am so thankful that we can be on vacation and have a wonderful time all while missing home.

Is it weird that I miss my house? I miss my church, I miss my neighbors and my friends. This is a trip of a lifetime for sure, but our day to day at home is pretty awesome.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. It's been the best birthday of my life.

Here's a pic of Elijah. Apparently there's been a shortage of Eli pics and several of you have been wondering if he's still with us :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Universal Rocked!

Again there were little to no waits on any of the rides. We were really struggling with going to Universal over Hollywood. They're very similar and Hollywood is a Disney park therefor slightly less cost due to having already bought tickets to Disney parks.
After much debate we landed on Universal mainly due to Harry Potter. The older boys have read the books and it isn't likely we'll do another trip like this.
I'm so glad we did! It was amazing and had a great combination of older kid rides and little kid rides. The Harry Potter castle and main ride was amazing.

I am getting old and the ride made me seriously sick but it was incredible!
Here are some quick shots from my phone from today: