Grati-Tuesday and Getting Back Into Routine!

It has been a long time since I’ve written a Grati-Tuesday post so I thought I would do that today.

I have been struggling for so long that I have forgotten to be grateful.  In fact, at one time I wrote “Gratefuls” to my sponsor every day and I haven’t been doing it much at all lately.  I need to get back into the habit of gratitude.

My wonderful hubby.

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My beautiful kiddos.

 

Our view and rainbow (second one recently).

Girl time with Karis eating homemade pizza and watching Gilmore Girls.  This will happen more often now that it’ll just be the two of us during the day.  She’s excited!

Having summer staff (and one full time staff) over for a big breakfast a few days ago :-).

Date night in of steak dinner with Robert thanks to my mom buying the steaks.

We played games and watched a movie :-).

My Happy Planner and seasonal stickers, my household notebook, pumpkin spice candle in a fun mason jar, and coffee with pumpkin spice creamer in it (NO, it’s not too early… see header picture! haha).

The kids played store for HOURS this morning.  I love that they spent so much time without electronics by choice!

Then they played with friends.  I love that they have great friends that are like family here.  I also love that Robert and I have great friends that are like family here.  We are so blessed to be here.  This is the only picture I took.

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Tonight Karis has her two good friends coming over and the boys are going to our neighbors’ house.  We will be making dessert and watching a movie.

 

My anxiety breathing issue has been so much better since Sunday.  I don’t want to get my hopes up, though, because it could come back.

On a similar note, I don’t feel 100% because I still have a cough.  I called Teladoc and the doc told me that I have a viral cough and they just last a long time.  There’s not much that can be done for it… She gave me 3 days’ worth of cough medicine (they can only treat for a few days and if it lasts longer they tell you to see your doctor), and she told me to drink honey and lemon in warm water and use a humidifier (which I don’t have, but I might get one Friday if I decide not to go to my doctor).

Anyway…

Robert and I spent all afternoon/evening Sunday cleaning the kids’ rooms, cleaning the house, doing laundry, and prepping food for the week.  We took the boys separate beds and put them back into a bunk bed (their request) and deep cleaned their room.  It took hours.  It was so bad.  The goal is to make them clean after they play now.

Before:

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After:

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I made Italian coffee cake, peanut butter pies, peanut butter chocolate protein steel cut oats (recipe to come!), cut veggies for snacks and meals, boiled eggs, made chicken salad, and cut summer sausage and cheese.  Robert helped with a few things.

Fall is coming soon which means ROUTINE!  In 2 weeks (from tomorrow!) the boys will be going back to school and Karis will start homeschool.  Friday we are buying school supplies.  The boys are super excited!  Levi will be taking his lunch and Ethan wants to eat lunch there most days (they get free lunch… everyone at that school does).

I meant to do some school planning today but it just didn’t happen.  I have time, and I don’t have much to do :-).  I pretty much just need to update the schedule/checklist that I made for Karis.

Karis will be staying home alone (with neighbor’s on call for emergencies) on some Mondays or Wednesdays that I go to town for AA and/or counseling.  I plan to go once a week either of those days.  Robert will be off 2 out of 3 Mondays pretty soon so it’ll most likely happen on a Monday.  We’ll see how it goes.  I’m going to give her a chance :-).  The beauty of living here at camp is that there are people everywhere to help out!  And this is a safe place.

Things are looking up :-).

An Update and Grati-Tuesday

This past week was lllooonnnggg.  I had bad anxiety and I could barely see past it.  I was pretty selfish through it and have had to repair a few things.  I’m grateful for the grace of people in my life … Continue reading

Happy Monday and Grati-Tuesday

I realize it’s Tuesday, but I didn’t have a chance to blog yesterday so I’m going to share some things today.

Yesterday was a long, exhausting day, but it was great in a lot of ways.  I have made some decisions to possibly help with anxiety and my own digestive issues.

After Karis’ doctor told us to eliminate wheat, reduce dairy, take probiotics, and increase water and fiber for anxiety and her digestive issues, I talked to my counselor about it and she asked why I wouldn’t try it as well.  She read me some studies that point to lowered anxiety and depression with eliminating gluten.  And dairy makes my stomach hurt.  My counselor has been doing this for 30 years so I trust that when she says it works, it works.  Then I talked with a friend here that is gluten free and she said it decreased anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.  So we’ll see!

I talked with my dietitian about it and she said we can try it for a month (well, she said 3 weeks but I think a month is better) and see how I feel.  I can then add them in one at a time and see if it affects me.

So that’s what I’m going to do.  I’m eliminating dairy and gluten, adding in fiber and probiotics (also encouraged by my dietitian), and drinking lots of water (mainly because I’m taking lithium now and you have to drink lots of water with it).

Yesterday I ordered some good probiotics and fiber (Garden of Life brand) as well as probiotics for Karis (just Vitacost brand).  I also take fish oil and a whole foods multi vitamin.

Now the question that I asked myself and my dietitian has been very adamant about is that I don’t view this as a weight loss diet, but as a way to feel better.  I don’t think I’ll lose weight… I’ll still eat intuitively (eat when I’m hungry until I’m comfortably full).  I won’t focus on eating “good foods” vs. “bad foods,” but just foods that make me feel good.  I’m not planning to lose weight at all.  My goal is health.  Lower weight does not always mean good health (lots of studies show this!).

And now that Karis is home I will be better about hiking.  It was hard to convince myself to go alone.

I also did EMDR and wow it brought out a lot of things that I can work on and process.  I have decided to not go into details about these sessions because it’s very personal.  Just know that I think this will also help my anxiety and increase emotional connection with my family and friends.

I’m trying to be the best me that I can be.  Closer to Jesus, positive body image, healthy, feeling good, lower anxiety and depression, better mom and wife, etc.  And I’ve gotten back to my daily routine which helps so much.

I’m soooooo grateful for spring!

I’m grateful that Karis has been so excited about school.

I’m grateful for a way for Karis to study God’s word at her level.

I’m grateful that she got up on her own this morning, got dressed, made her bed, brushed her hair and teeth, and filled out her planner for the week using my lesson plans!

(Yes her handwriting and spelling aren’t great…)

I’m grateful for coffee (even when it’s decaf with almond milk), water, spring scented candles, and my new Happy Planner!

I’m so grateful for the Bible study that I’m doing.  It is more in-depth than any study I’ve ever done, as you can see by my marked-up Bible.

I’m grateful that she’s enjoying school (mostly… she hates writing and it brought her to tears today).

I’m soooooo grateful for a neighbor that is loaning us so much!  We are using her math DVD’s, fraction overlays, and blocks (Math U See); history (Story of the World); and now writing (Writing with Ease).  She is saving us so much money.

Along those lines, I’m learning to do this homeschool thing much cheaper this time!     Instead of spending the $400 that I originally told my hubby I would need to spend (to get all of the stuff I wanted), I have only spent about $125 (Math U See Delta student books, Apologia Astronomy notebooking journal, Easy Grammar and Daily Grams, and some Teachers Pay Teachers stuff).

I’m currently creating a Geography unit based solely on free stuff that I found on Pinterest!  This is fun!

Grati-Tuesday and Update About Meds

Today has been a very long day.  We all got up before the sun in order to get out the door to meet my mom at my grandma’s house.  They had to watch my kids so I could drive to San Antonio to see my psychiatrist.  I had so much anxiety over my appointment, and that didn’t help my exhaustion this morning.

I drove the hour and 40 minutes to my grandma’s house, spent a little time chatting with her, then got back in the car to drive another 25 minutes to San Antonio.

I got to my appointment early, and surprisingly, they got me back pretty quickly.  My doctor knew that I was coming in because the pharmaceutical company had denied my application for patient assistance (for my Latuda), and I can’t afford my medication anymore at $850 with insurance.

She was so sweet and encouraging.  She told me that there are always options, so never feel hopeless around medication changes.

We decided that I will go back on the Geodon to replace the Latuda.  They are in the same class and Geodon is $60 a month with my insurance vs $850.  I’ve taken it before and I had rapid ups and downs… but… I wasn’t on Lamictal yet and I was drinking heavily.  So I have no idea how it will work now.

Another thing we talked about is my recent bad depression.  She was pretty concerned about that and feels that we need to address that.  She decided to put me on a low dose of Lithium.  I have been scared of it for a long time because I know my brother took it… and he ended up committing suicide.  So anything he took, I’m leery.  But I know he is different than me.  I need to give it a chance.

I was overall very pleased with my appointment and just her care and concern for my well being.  I’m thankful that I had to change doctors!

After my appointment, I drove back to my Grandma’s house and had lunch.  My mom made a homemade lasagna, garlic toast, and salad.  We also had corn.  It was all so great!  I’m so thankful my mom cooked so we didn’t have to spend money on lunch.

Then we drove to Kerrville to get prescriptions.  2 hours later (long story), we left for home.  I did about 4 1/2 hours of driving today.  I’m worn out!

Now… Grati-Tuesday.

I’m grateful that we celebrated this girl with my mom and grandma today.  Her birthday is tomorrow.  She turns 11!

I’m grateful for the beautiful weather today!  The temp was perfect and the sun was shining.

My Grandma gave us all of this food from her pantry!  She was happy to give some away because she was out of space.

I’m grateful for these 7 medications (6 for mental health and 1 for cholesterol).  Without them I would probably not be here.  Even though I am sometimes depressed and anxious, it’s not near what it used to be.  I hate depression, though.  I remembered recently just how hard depression is to live with.  I’m so glad to be working with a doctor that is fighting this with me.  And most importantly, family and friends that are fighting this with me.

I’m also so grateful for my dietitian.  She is helping me so much in my intuitive eating and body love journey.  I have a llllooonnnggg way to go, but I’m on my way.  One day at a time!

I’m grateful that I have been too busy to even think about alcohol.  Having my kids home actually helps this.

Now to have dinner!  Robert is making ravioli with olive oil and parmesan and shrimp and pasta with homemade alfredo sauce!  Yummmmm.

Talk to you soon!

Grati-Tuesday, March 7th

Like I’ve mentioned… I have been struggling with anxiety and depression lately.  I’m not sure if I’m in a bipolar low or if something triggered it, but it’s been rough.  Even last night it was really bad.  I went to bed really early because I couldn’t function (actually, I slept on the couch because I just couldn’t get comfortable on my bed).

But… this morning… this morning I woke up feeling good.  And that’s all I can ask for.  One moment at a time!  Even as I type this I am sitting on my back porch, listening to the birds singing, with a beautiful view of the hills.  It’s foggy and sunny at the same time.  So pretty!  The temperature is perfect.  I’m in short sleeves.  It’s in the 60s, but warm with the sun on me.

The smell of the dew makes me happy… all of these things bring back good memories of last spring when I started homeschooling the boys.  While I had a lot of anxiety about homeschooling them, I have good memories as well!  I’m thankful for the time I had, and I might eventually be able to homeschool them again one day.  We’ll just see what happens!

I’m thankful for Jesus’ unconditional love.

I’m thankful for bedtime reading and silly pictures with my kids.  I’m thankful for the time I have with each kiddo in their bed at night (cuddling, talking, praying).  I don’t do it every night, but enough.  It’s my favorite time of day.

I’m thankful for the time I have to take good care of myself.  This is what keeps me afloat most days.

I’m grateful for 145 days sober!  I’m so close to 5 months!  I can hardly believe it.  It has gone fast.  While I still have days in which I want alcohol, it’s usually fleeting.  I hope one day I won’t even want it anymore!  One day at a time!

I’m thankful for AA and learning so much through the Big Book.  I’ll be writing about what I’m learning in a new post coming up!

I’m grateful for my LuLaRoe leggings that help me to be comfortable.  I’m thankful that I’m learning to feel more comfortable in my own skin, despite a 35 pound weight gain these past few years (10-12 of those just in a few months).  This is also a one day at a time thing, though.  Even last night I was struggling with body image.  But most days I’m feeling better about my body.

What are you grateful for on this Grati-Tuesday?

Grati-Tuesday, February 28th

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Last Tuesday I was struggling a lot, so I had a hard time coming up with things I was grateful for.  That’s sad because even on my roughest days, I have so much to be thankful for.

I met with my counselor yesterday (details will be in another post), and one of the things that she said will help me produce more dopamine is to constantly think about what I’m grateful for.

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My amazing husband and amazing marriage.  I am beyond blessed to have him in my life.  He takes care of me, allows me what I need to take care of myself, supports me in anything that I need, loves the kids, is a spiritual leader.  I could go on and on.  He is everything I need in a husband.

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All three of my kids made the A/B honor roll, and they are all 2 grades above on their reading levels (1st grader-3rd grade level, 2nd grader-4th grade level… and he came in at first grade level! And 5th grader-7/8 grade level).

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I enjoyed a day with the kids this past Saturday.  Lunch with Granny at Chili’s, Lego Batman movie, and groceries (which was pretty stressful, but over all the day was great!).

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I’m excited about the summer activities that we will have.  Reading logs, Summer Bridge Activity books, and labs from our curriculum that we were doing (they are very excited about that).

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Karis and I are starting a study together, and the family started a devotional.  It’s going well so far!

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These are the books (plus Intuitive Eating that I already had) that I bought to read while working with the dietitian.  I’m excited about them.

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I love my time with my kids (most) every evening.

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Today I felt the desire and energy to plan my day again.  It’s been a while. I had such a bad week last week that it threw me for a loop.

I’m also grateful for:

  • My amazing counselor!  She has been a counselor for 30 years and definitely knows what she’s doing.  She is fantastic.
  • The little things in life… the birds singing, warm days, the sun rise over the hills
  • Working with an amazing dietitian.  I really think she’s going to help me change the way I look at food and my body!  This will revolutionize my life!
  • So much more!

What are you grateful for today?

Grati-Tuesday, February 21st

I woke up at 5:15 this morning feeling such peace.  This is a new thing (the past few months).  I love getting up early, making my bed, getting dressed, tidying the house, making coffee, lighting a candle, then waking the … Continue reading

Grati-Tuesday, February 14th

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I’m struggling today.  I have many things to be grateful for, but I’m still struggling.  I will write a post on that in a bit.  But for now I will try to focus on the good!

I’m so thankful for this man.  He has been there supporting me through hospitalizations for mental illness, treatment for alcoholism, and through leaving countless jobs because of all of this.  He loves me more than I could imagine a man loving a woman.  He’s amazing.

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My babies.

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Our camp family (and my parents, Meemaw, and Grandma)

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I spent time yesterday teaching Karis how to bake my sugar cookies on her own (she had to bake cookies for school).

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These cookies were made and decorated by a friend here at camp.  She’s talented!

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I got the kids a little something for Valentines this year.  I don’t normally do this.  I let them eat their cookies before school today!  That made their day.

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I spent today working on my blog and drinking coffee.  Great for a cold day like today!

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I’m 125 days sober today!  It gets easier every day!

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Also thankful for:

  • God’s word (and She Reads Truth Bible studies)
  • The fact that God worked out all the details to make it so I can go to town on Mondays instead of Wednesdays… which means the kids can do the community choir :-).
  • The kids being able to be involved in extra curricular activities
  • Restful days at home
  • A clean home
  • Laundry caught up every day
  • Self care

I could go on and on apparently.  This brightened my day!  Enjoy your Valentine’s Day!

Grati-Tuesday, February 7th

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I’m so grateful for my wonderful hubby.  I couldn’t do this life without him.  I love this picture of us!

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My Levi can read a chapter book in an hour now.  He’s in 1st grade!

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Ethan is starting to love reading!  He picked these books out and paid for them himself.

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He is now able to read and understand Wayside School books.  He read it aloud to me Sunday night and was laughing about it and telling me why it is funny.  This is a 3-5th grade book.  He started at Rocksprings Elementary on an end of first grade level.  Saxon phonics and just lots of reading has helped him so much.  I’m so grateful for his teacher.  She is fantastic.

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Sunday night we told the kids that they had to read or write, and Ethan and Levi chose to do Mad Libs.  It was great because they are starting to understand and apply parts of speech (nouns, plural nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc).  I’m so thankful for how far they have come since they started school!

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Karis and I have started to write each other back and forth on a Google Document.  I’m so grateful for this opportunity to see into her heart more.  She surprises me with the maturity that is deep inside that she doesn’t often show in person.  I’m excited to see how this helps our relationship (she has been through a lot because of me).

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Afternoon reading time is fantastic!  I’m grateful that they can read on their own now!

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I’m grateful that my boys love playing games (Karis does sometimes as well).

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I’m grateful that the kids’ school celebrates things and has fun.

These are the boys’ classes.

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I’m grateful for movie nights (and our view… do you see that?!).

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I’m grateful for my favorite coffee and the ability to buy it!  It’s so yummy!

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I’m grateful for kids that love doing science activities!

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I’m grateful to have found some pictures and emails that my brother and I exchanged.  Here he is holding Karis.  I wish he had smiled more.

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This is a Simpsons picture that he made.  It’s Robert and me, my parents, and Karis.

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I love this Anne Lamott quote.  It reminds me of the important things.

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What are you grateful for on this Grati-Tuesday?

Grati-Tuesday, January 31st

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This past week was really good in a lot of ways; though, there were some hard moments here and there.

Overall, my anxiety has been much better and I feel like I’m leveling out with my bipolar (after coming off of birth control… apparently that was affecting the effectiveness of my Lamictal).

I only had a few moments in which I thought about alcohol… not the constant that was happening there for a little while.  I really feel, now, that I can do this!  And I want to do this.

We even had stuff going on every night between Tuesday and Friday.  Usually this sends me into a tailspin of anxiety and makes me want to drink, but it didn’t this time (for the first time in years).

We had so much fun.  We spent time with old friends, people in our community, and our gap year students.  Taco Tuesday, chili, Phase 10, pizza and Girl Scout cookies, Wii Mario Cart, and Episode 4 of Star Wars.

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I wrote about Saturday in my self care Saturday post.

Sunday we went to church, then we came home and I took a 3 hour nap!  It was fantastic and just what I needed.  Since I prepped on Friday, I didn’t have much to worry about!

I talked about the hard stuff in the post that I wrote on Sunday.

Yesterday we met with Karis’ new counselor.

We decided it was time for her to see a counselor when she had a breakdown at school.  Her teacher called me and we had about a 20 minute conversation about it.  She has been struggling with the massive amount of change that has taken place in her life, my illnesses, and now my alcoholism.  They have all been through a lot, but I think it has really affected her the most.  She struggles to make friends, cries a lot, and shows a lot of anxiety.  She also told her teacher that I don’t have time for her… and have since made a point to spend extra time with her (I spent time with her before, but I don’t think it was intentional enough).

The counselor was amazing.  He was very professional and thorough.  You could tell that he really cared and wanted to take action.  He is also a pastor in Junction :-).  We talked camp for a little bit.  He met with her as well and they created an action plan.  He told us that if we want to meet with him every week we can (he actually encourages it).

After meeting with him, Robert and I had a nice, calm day at home!  I usually go to AA on Mondays but I didn’t go this week because we had to go to Rocksprings.  That’s a lot of driving in a day!

Other things I’m grateful for:

I’m grateful for coffee and God’s word.

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I’m grateful for this land that we live on.

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I’m grateful for my computer and cell phone.  Without them, I wouldn’t have daily contact with some people.

I’m grateful that I’m beginning to see the beauty that my husband sees.  It has taken a long time to see it, but I see it.  God made me in His image.

I’m also grateful for my shorter hair.  So much easier to take care of!  I can dry it in 5 minutes!

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Life is hard, but it is good.  God is good!