Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Quiet Book

A common thing you will see at church is a "Quiet Book." Parents keep these books stashed in their diaper bags to pull out when children are starting to lose interest in sitting quietly and listening. There are a variety of different types of quiet books. Many include pictures of Jesus, scripture stories, letters, numbers, etc. The goal of the quiet book is to help a child stay reverent by keeping them appropriately entertained.

I recently started to make myself a quiet book. My quiet book has a slightly different goal, though. My quiet book is made to help me in those moments when I find myself losing hope. It is for those moments when the fog of anxiety and depression becomes so thick that I start to forget how good life is.

In my quiet book, there are a variety of scriptures, quotes, song lyrics, etc. that each have a special place in my heart. I enjoy typing up these words and try to make them look beautiful with pictures and colors. When I read and add to my quiet book, I feel God's love for me and I am reminded that my anxiety and depression are not in control.

One of the pages in my quiet book.
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Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

I want to say...I'm sorry! I have been neglecting you. I promise I haven't forgotten about you. I still visit so very often, I just haven't posted for a while. I have been a little bit overwhelmed by work and such the last few months. I know that if I start feeling anxious that I need to post, that it is a bit counter productive, and you don't want that. This is why I haven't posted for a little while. I am still here and there will be many more posts very soon.

Your friend,

PS- Have you met my sister's blog? I have a feeling you guys will be very good friends.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

I Know There's Hope

“Things Are Gonna Get Better”
David Archuleta

Everybody’s got a time in their life
When everything hurts and nothing’s right.
But you gotta walk on, yeah you gotta walk on.

Everybody’s got a piece of their heart
That’s been stepped on and torn apart.
But you gotta be strong, yeah you gotta walk on.

‘Cause I know, it’s hard to have the strength and,
Sometimes all you feel is pain, but,
Things keep floating by on that river in the night.

But I know things are gonna get better,
And I know things are gonna be fine.
And I know Life is gonna get better,
Life is gonna get better, yeah we’re gonna be fine.

Everybody’s got that one regret, no matter how they try, they can’t forget.
But you gotta move on, yeah you gotta move on.
And everybody’s got someone they lost,
And they can’t believe they’re really gone.
But you gotta live on, yeah you gotta live on.

‘Cause I know, it’s hard to have the strength and,
Sometimes, all you feel is pain, but,

Things keep floating by on that river in the night.

But I know things are gonna get better,
And I know things are gonna be fine.
And I know Life is gonna get better,
Life is gonna get better, yeah we’re gonna be fine.

And I know there’s hope.
I see it in your eyes.
So take me, touch me.
‘Cause with a little bit of love we can see the light.
With a little bit of love it’ll be alright.

I know things are gonna get better.
And I know things are gonna be fine.

And I know Life is gonna get better,
Life is gonna get better, yeah we’re gonna be fine.

               I remember when I was first starting College. One of my best friends, Erin, and I would carpool to school together. I was going through some difficult things with my anxiety and depression, and she was going through a whirlwind of trials. She was telling me about some of the things she was struggling with and without realizing it, I started humming this song. She then said, “Why are you humming THAT song!?” We shared a good laugh. I remember thinking about Erin’s trials and sincerely hoping things would get better for her. Even though life isn’t perfect (and it is REALLY hard sometimes), it certainly has “gotten better” for both Erin and I since that time. 

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PS- Check out my sister's brand new blog about her journey with depression here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Life is Still Very Good

THE BAD NEWS: To be honest, my anxiety has kicked up big time lately. When it has been mild for a while and then comes back in full swing, it is scary. It reminds me how powerful anxiety can be. I know it is getting difficult when I start to feel "outside of myself." I get so wrapped up in my mind, that I forget to live in the present.

THE GOOD NEWS: I know it is temporary. I know God and my family love me. I know that even though sometimes it feel like the world is collapsing around me, it isn't.

If you find yourself feeling very anxious or depressed, don't try to figure it out yourself. Talk to someone you trust: a church leader, family member, friend, doctor, etc. Someone who can help you and remind you that life is still very good.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Half Marathon to Boot

I've been struggling about how to write this post. I've known that I wanted to write a post about my half marathon experience, but I wasn't quite sure how to go about it. So, I decided to be honest and a bit raw. Here we go...

So, I ran a Half Marathon. YES! Jordan snapped this classy pic right after I crossed the finish line. I just got finished saying, "I am NEVER doing that again."

WHY I said that:
My knees started hurting at about mile 6...and I got a head ache. I contemplated crying mile 12, and I never hit that "runner's high" everyone always talks about.  

WHY I'm still glad I did it:
When I first started running this Spring, a half marathon seemed completely impossible. Crossing that finish line was a major victory that my anxiety could have kept me from accomplishing. I know I am experiencing a lot of anxiety when I start saying I can't do something. Running was one of the first things my anxious mind would like to cross off. (I can't run tomorrow!!) Even though I experience anxiety daily, I trained for and ran a half marathon!!

It was also fun to train and run with Jordan. He finished a while before me, but I still knew he was there. While I was running, I would think of how he had run by that same place just a little while before me. It was fun for us to work towards a common goal. (My awesome aunt and uncle also ran with us!)

WHY I haven't run since:

Guess who got a stress fracture from her half marathon? I have to wear a boot for 4 weeks. You guessed it. Running helped me. It helped me with my anxiety. It also gave me confidence. Obviously, this half marathon caused me to give myself a bit of an injury. That isn't good. I don't know if running is my personal fitness path, but I really enjoy being active. I hope to find some other things (maybe running will be included, just not the main source) to help me stay active. I am a firm believer that being active and exercising can help with anxiety and depression! (Any suggestions on how to live a healthy, active lifestyle? I would love to hear it!)

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Anxiety & Depression: Girls Camp Challenge Course

I recently returned from Girls Camp. (Girls Camp is where LDS girls ages 12-18 go with their church leaders camping. There are fun things, spiritual experiences, etc. This was my first time going to Girl's Camp as a leader.)

One of the activities we did at Girls Camp was a Challenge Course. It consisted of climbing a rope ladder about 30-40 feet up, walking across a rickety bridge, and then zip lining to the ground again. While doing this, you are wearing a harness and helmet. There were couple missionaries who helped the girls through the entire course. It was 100% safe. If a girl were to lose her balance and fall, she would fall about 1 inch before she was caught. When girls would get nervous or scared, we would reassure them. "You aren't going to get hurt." "They have you." "If you fall, they will catch you." "You are in no danger."

Even though we reassured the girls, there were still some who struggled. When I did the course myself, I had to continue to tell myself that I could not fall. They had me. I was completely secure...Even though I KNEW this, it was still so scary! It took a lot of faith and trust to get through that course! I "randomly" found this quote a few hours after doing the challenge course. Right when I read it, it reminded me of the course I had completed and watched others complete just a few hours earlier.  

"The Savior said, 'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you...Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid' (John 14:27). I submit to you, that may be one of the Savior's commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord's merciful heart. I can tell you this as a parent: as concerned as I would be if somewhere in their lives one of my children were seriously troubled or unhappy or disobedient, nevertheless I would be infinitely more devastated if I felt that at such a time that child could not trust me to help or thought his or her interest was unimportant to me or unsafe in my care. In that same spirit, I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds the loving heart of the Savior of the world when He finds that His people do not feel confident in His care of secure in His hands or trust in His commandments" -Jeffrey R. Holland ("Come Unto Me," Ensign, Apr. 1998, 19).

The missionaries running the course reassured us several times that the course was completely safe. When I was on the route, I had to decide if I was going to trust them, the others I had seen safely (and securely) cross the course, and others assuring me OR if I was going to believe the pounding fear in my mind. I had to choose faith over fear.

There was one point when I was on the course when I felt like I wasn't very secure. It was when I was crossing the rickety bridge high off the ground. I started to walk across, and it felt like I could easily fall. I had to remind myself that the missionaries were at the bottom holding that rope that was attached to me. Even though I couldn't feel the tension at that moment, they were watching me and would catch me instantly if I fell.

The missionaries go to a great extent to ensure the safety of all those using the course. I would assume that when people (like myself) are choosing to listen to their fears, the missionaries may feel a little frustrated. Their top priority is safety, and at times we choose to believe that we are going to get hurt on the course.

Like the quote above says, we are told in the scriptures over and over again not to fear. God is watching over us. Sometimes we might think He isn't there or that He doesn't care about us. But, just like the missionaries helping me through the course, God is always there even thought I may not always feel or think He is.

Sometimes, I allow my anxiety and depression to overcome my faith. Similar to when I couldn't feel the tension in the rope, I allow myself to think that God isn't there or that He doesn't care. This couldn't be further from the truth. He is always there, He is holding the rope to keep me (and you!) from falling.

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Anxiety & Depression: It's Okay to Have a Bad Day

Call me a slow learner, but I had a realization the other day. I was struggling a little bit the other day and, of course, I was feeling guilty that I was feeling a bit down. Then, I thought to myself, "It's okay to be sad sometimes." This isn't an excuse to look at the glass half-empty, or to be a grump, but it is okay if you have a day you don't feel exactly like yourself. Everyone has days when they are excited to go to bed so they can forget about today and start with a fresh tomorrow. When you are feeling down, try to not feel guilty about it, and look forward to the many good days to come.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Anxiety & Depression: "This Might Be Possible"

A few thoughts I've had lately:

Thought 1: Recently, I've been running. My husband and I are signed up to run a half marathon in July. (Disclaimer: I would NEVER have considered myself a "runner." Don't think I'm totally awesome, if you don't run, I was where you were just a few short months ago.) I've had a lot of ups and downs as I have been training for this half marathon.

Thought 2: Changing gears a little (but I'll tie it back...). Have you seen Disney's movie, "National Treasure"? It is a family favorite of ours. Near the beginning of the movie, Ben Gates decides that in order to do his property duty to his country, America, he needs to steal the Declaration of Independence. (It sounds a little fishy here, but it all makes sense in the movie). His friend Riley spends a lot of time listing off to Ben why this is impossible. He talks about the extensive security when the document is on and off of display, guards, etc. Ben points out that there can be a million reasons why it won't work, but you only need one way to make it work. He knows that one way to make it work. When he explains his plan, Riley says, "This might be possible." Ben responds, "It might."

Back to Thought 1: When I started running, I'll try not to be too dramatic here, I wanted to die (not too dramatic...right?). I would go one mile, have a side ache, only be thinking of quitting the whole time, and wish I was at home eating ice cream (I often wish that). I would almost want to laugh (or cry) at myself for thinking that I could actually train for a half marathon. "I can barely go one mile, how am I going to go 13.1!?"

Combining thoughts 1 & 2: For some reason, I kept running. After a while, it got a little easier. (Easier, not easy.) One day, I ran 5 miles! Then 6! About a week and a half ago, Jordan and I ran EIGHT miles. Eight! I had never run that far in my life. I remember at one point thinking, "This half marathon might be possible." (Emphasis on the might). I'm still not quite there, but something that once seemed absolutely impossible, now seems like it might be possible.

Thought 3: I've had similar moments with my anxiety. Sometimes, anxiety and depression make me feel like life is terrible. Every task, even as small as brushing my teeth, seems monumental. But, during these times, there are glimpses of hope. The moments when I think, "I can probably get through this. It might be possible." Even though it may sound like a small amount of hope, when you have been deep in the holds of depression and anxiety, this small amount of hope is incredible.

You could think of MILLIONS of reason why life stinks and why you should just live in your pit of depression and anxiety. I could list off reasons why we should just throw in the towel and bury our heads in the sand. BUT, I could also list MILLIONS of more reasons why life is wonderful. The truth is, even though there are millions of things to be depressed and anxious about, you only need one reason to believe that getting through your anxious and depressing moments might be possible. (Spoiler: It is possible!)

Thought 4: One more movie quote, from "Love Comes Softly." A young girl in the movie asks her father if the woman he recently married is okay. (She had recently been widowed and basically married him because it made sense to both of them. He needed a mother for his daughter, and she needed a provider.) When she asks, he responds, "No, but she's going to be."

Sometimes you need to admit that right at this moment, you aren't okay. But, you are going to be. I guess that is how faith works. Even if life is hard right now, remember and have faith that even if you aren't okay right now, you're going to be. You only need one reason to keep trying and to live life to its fullest.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Anxiety and Depression: A Note to Loved Ones...

If you have anxiety and/or depression and you are reading this blog, I hope you feel like you can connect, in some way, to my experiences and the experiences of others shared here. If you are reading and you haven't experienced the feelings and thoughts that anxiety and depression might be a little confused, skeptical, worried, afraid etc. That is okay. Until I experienced it for myself, I was extremely confused. I didn't understand why my loved ones were struggling. Why couldn't they just "get over it?"

Here are just a few thoughts for those who may not experience anxiety and depression, but have loved ones who do.

This is a start, but I would love to write more posts on this subject.

If you have anxiety/depression, what support do you need from a loved one? Or, what do you hope they will try to understand?

If you are a loved one to someone with anxiety/depression, how do you make an effort to love them?

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Anxiety & Depression: Stephanie's Story: Part 1

There are so many people who deal with anxiety and depression. Below is the story of a friend of mine, in her own words. (Names have been changed). After this friend of mine read some of this blog, she sent me her story. I was amazed. I had NO idea she had been through these experiences. Below you will find just part of her story. Watch for more!

"My depression/Anxiety began to affect me in Jr. high – and would continue untreated and unexplained into High School. At the times my sufferings/symptoms included uncontrollable emotionless feelings – which led to me having “tantrums” (Which was explained later to me that I was trying to feel some sort of emotion, ANY emotion would be fine – and it’s easiest to create angry, hostile emotions than it is to create happy ones.) When I say tantrums I mean sobbing that isn’t able to be stopped, or I wouldn’t eat, or I would sleep for hours or I would tense up so badly that my fists would go white and I’d pierce the palms of my hands with my finger tips without realizing the pain. (Later called: Emotional black outs). At the time, my family didn’t understand what was happening, my dad thought I was an emotional teenager, my mom said I just needed to not take things so seriously.  I began doing research after I had read a segment on depression in a health book. I began begging my mom to take me to a therapist, I told her something was wrong with me and I needed help. She refused time and time again. Finally- One day (Around 16 years old) I came home (in the middle of an emotional blackout) unable to stable myself – I was sobbing and numb and I then stopped breathing… My mom held me to her and stroked my hair and repeatedly whispered in my ear – “feel me breathe, copy my breath, feel me breathe, copy my breath.” I was able to steady myself, focusing on her breathe allow my mind to remember to breath. I told her to help me – and she agreed.

Finding a therapist wasn’t easy – we went to several offices trying to find the right one. One lady was way too pushy, and another one seemed to not really care what I was saying – one therapist even asked my mom more questions than she was asking me. A few appointments later I met my therapist who saved me – his name is Spencer. Through many, many therapy sessions we dug and dug into my mind and started to find some underlying problems to what was causing my anxiety – which then in turn became depression. One of the biggest things was that I was a perfectionist. If things didn’t go exactly prefect or if I didn’t do 100% amazing on something it destroyed me inside, but because I didn’t know how to talk about it or let it out it became a huge black spot inside of me that just grew and grew until it actually ate me whole and I couldn’t do anything. It took away my ability to feel emotion – which is by far worse than feeling an emotion. When someone asks you “what is wrong”, you answer, “I don’t know” – then they ask “well what do you feel?” and you answer, “I honestly don’t know that either.” Those people asking the questions are often offended that you won’t open up to them, but you can’t truly understand that until you feel what being emotionless feels like. Spencer taught me to understand that I wasn’t an angry and hostile person that was just the only way I could cry for help from beneath the black shadow. He told me that I was stronger than the blackness and that now that my mom and family knew what the problem was it would be a lot easier to fight him. Simply knowing that this “black shadow” had a label I could then begin to make tangible goals for moving towards the future.

Things started to become better – I could talk myself through things, and I was able to go through the days breathing and not having the need to break down. I began feeling emotions again. I had forgotten how good it felt to be excited for something, or feel like something was worth doing. When I was younger I used to sing all the time to every song on the radio – as I began to come out of my shell and out from behind the darkness I heard myself singing and realized that it was an unfamiliar sound – And I vowed to myself that I would never stop singing again." 

Thanks to my dear friend, "Stephanie." Watch for more parts to her story.

Are you interested in sharing your story? Email me here:

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Our BRIGHT Blue Wall...Continued: Yes, that is a Princess Castle in my Interior Decorating

When Jordan asked me what I wanted for my graduation present, I showed him this: 

Doesn't that look magical!? I love toys. Seriously. I thought I would grow out of Toys R Us and the Disney store around age...I don't know...10? 14? 16? Well, I still haven't grown out of it folks.

Well, Jordan has gotten used to my silly wishes, and he got it for me. After I had SO much fun building it, I didn't want to just stick it in a closet or something. So, it has been incorporated into our decor. Yes. In the front room against the bright blue wall. It's totally awesome.

It is on a small shelf that we keep our Blu-ray player and such on. It used to be black, but I painted it white. (I know, it was a little scary). On the other side of the shelf top is this:

Yes, that is a jar of sprinkles. Why? I love sprinkles. They are colorful and happy.

I got the America "My Home Sweet Home" sign from Hobby Lobby. I loved it right when I saw it.

The temple is special for many reasons. This particular statue of the temple was right on top of our wedding cake. I loved finding a special place to keep it in our house.

**Random side note about our wedding cake that applies to my celiac disease: About six months after our wedding, something happened to our freezer. This caused the top of our cake which we had saved to be gross and it needed to be thrown away. I was a little sad about it. People would tell me, "It's okay, you just take a bite, it tastes like the freezer and then you throw it away." I would think, "I know! But, I want to have that experience!" ;) Well, anyway, it was a few months before our 1st anniversary that I found out I had celiac disease. So, I wouldn't have been able to eat the cake anyway. Turns out it was a blessing in disguise that we had to throw it away earlier!**

Sometimes I wonder what people think when they see our front room. Are those sprinkles in a jar? Yes. Yes, those are sprinkles in a jar and yes, that is a Lego Princess castle.

Again, what does this have to do with my anxiety/depression blog? I am striving to fill my home with things that make me smile. I am striving to make my home a happy place for myself, Jordan, and others.

Again thanks to this blog for inspiring me to be fearless in decorating.

To read more about our blue wall, click here.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Good Friend

Let me introduce you to my friend, Carson.

I have known Carson since Junior High School. He is one of those people that everyone knows and likes. You can't be around him very long without having a huge smile on your face. Seriously, he is one of the kindest people I have ever met. He also has an amazing family. You might be able to tell from this picture that we are in a hospital room. Carson was in a trampoline accident in December, and is currently paralyzed from about the chest down.

My mom and I went to visit him a couple of months after his accident. I have always heard stories about a person going to visit a friend in hopes to encourage them, but then the visitor ends up being the one uplifted. That is exactly what happened here. Carson lifted my spirits during our short visit. His faith, honesty, and humor were inspiring. There were also several members of his family there. Carson's family is amazing. They are the definition of love and support. You can read Carson's blog about his journey, in his own words, here.

Carson is home now. There is an event scheduled for May 31, 2014 through the Anything for a Friend foundation to help Carson and his family with medical and other expenses.

If you are in the Davis County, Utah area on May 31, you should definitely head out to Carson's event. My husband and I are signed up for the 5k! There is also a dinner, auction items, balloon launch, etc. There are so many wonderful people coming together to help Carson and his family. 

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

If You Aren't Happy with Something, Change it: And, My Plastic Tub Obsession

One of the things that frequently gives me anxiety is the cleanliness of my home. Maybe it sounds silly, but I just want people to feel comfortable in my home. This doesn't mean it has to be perfectly clean all the time, or sterile like a hospital (because heaven knows my home is far from being perfectly clean) I just want it to be tidy. That's a good word for it. Tidy. That is my goal.

Jordan is totally awesome around the house. He is a HUGE help with cleaning and straightening up. Of course though, our house gets messy pretty easily. This is something I struggle with. I don't want to be so worried about my house being tidy that I miss quality time doing other things (Insert the Bible story of Mary and Martha). But, I also don't want to not focus on cleaning because it can be difficult to enjoy your home when it is a huge mess.

I have been reading a lot of inspiration things lately that encourage you to DO something about things you don't like. Don't just sit and complain, DO something. (Pretty good advice!) So, I decided to tackle one job that has been driving me crazy, our spare bedroom closet. Our spare bedroom closet is the home of many toys. We love having our nieces and nephews over, and it is even better when we have toys for them to play with, thus, they know that closet is for them. As you can imagine, the closet had gotten pretty messy. In fact, it was difficult to open and close the doors because there were so many toys laying around everywhere. It kind of looked like Toys R Us had exploded in the room (Okay, maybe not that bad). It made that bedroom a place I avoided. I didn't like going in there because it would cause me anxiety and stress. I would also imagine that it wasn't as fun for our nieces and nephews, because they couldn't find things very easily.

It was driving me crazy and causing me stress, so I decided to do something about it. I went to Target and purchased some clear plastic bins (with snap on lids...that is a must). Then, on my day off, I brought all the toys from the closet into my family room. As I watched TV, I sorted through the goods. Farm toys here, Nerf guns there, and stuffed animals in the bucket. I was also able to pick out toys that were broken and throw them away. I had the perfect number of bins for the toys, and put them back into the closet. I can't even tell you what a relief this is. Now, instead of avoiding that room, I have actually stopped in there a few times, just to look in the newly cleaned closet. I also tried to set it up in a way that facilitates easy clean up for the kiddos that come over.

This is a very simple lesson, and maybe you learned it long before I did...if you aren't happy with something, change it. Not every anxiety can be taken away, but doing something about this has definitely been so helpful.    

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PS-this project started a bit of an obsession. Yesterday, I went to Wal-Mart and bought a few more plastic bins. Our medicine cabinet now looks phenomenal (it used to be a bit scary, you could've been hit by a Tylenol bottle when opening the door) and I have a place for all of my chargers. It is almost like a fun game...what can I organize next??

Sunday, April 27, 2014

April Came!!

Remember this post? Well, guess what...APRIL CAME!! April 25th to be exact. On Friday, I graduated from College! It is still a little surreal, and it was a beautiful day. As Jordan and I were driving to campus to head to commencement, I started thinking about the hundreds of times I drove to the University. My mind wandered to my Freshman year. I didn't have much of a clue about what was going on. I remember a counselor asking me, "Do you want to take just 12 credit hours? That is pretty common for those just starting out." I said yes, but didn't have a clue what "12 credit hours" meant. My awesome brother-in-law took me up to the school a few weeks before class started and helped me get my textbooks and student ID card. My sister's friend escorted me to my first class, US History.

I used to carpool with some of my best friends from High School, and because of me, we were usually running a few minutes late. The semester I had a 7:30 class was a bit rough (I'm not always what you would call a morning person). I remember buying books, turning in assignments, waiting for grades to come back, and hoping that reading the first page of the chapter would be enough to pass the quiz (I love reading, I hate reading textbooks). I walked on ice, searched for parking spots, ran to not be late, wrote a letter to parking services about an undeserved ticket, and cringed when paying tuition.

I remember the hardest semester of my life, it was during my sophomore year. I was being overcome by my anxiety and depression. There were times when I would lay my head down on my desk and cry quietly, hoping no one would see or hear me. I felt like my life was going to go absolutely no where. I felt literally damned, like I was up against a brick wall and the water was rising. Did it make sense? No. Did it seem real? Absolutely.

On the flip side, I made some incredible friends through college. There were many I met before I entered the Special Education program, and others I spent time with the two years in the program. These are people I want to keep in contact with for a long, long time. We shared frustrations, teaching ideas, funny stories, and advice. I attended religious classes at the LDS Institute, and gladly welcomed the treats they had there.

Thinking back, I realize how hard it was at times. I can't lie, College caused me some tears, but it was worth it. I guess I always knew it would be, sometimes it was just very hard to see it. At graduation, I thought about the times I had joked (semi-seriously) that I was going to give up and drop out. I am SO grateful I didn't. I seriously learned so much, and I am now working in a position that I really enjoy.

I know I didn't achieve this goal alone. I had the support of my family, friends, husband, and God.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Anxiety & Depression: What Do You Have to Say?


Lately, it has been a little bit crazy. GRADUATION IS NEXT WEEK! I can barely believe it! The last few days have consisted of working on my last 3 major assignments that are due. It has been a bit stressful, but not too bad! When I think back on my College career, I get a little bit tired. But, I wouldn't change it at all. I can't wait to not have homework or worry about an exam that is coming up. I can almost taste the freedom...I'm so excited!!

On a slightly different note, I've had a thought for the last little while. Anxiety and depression is a crazy thing. Different people experience it in different ways. If you have a story or advice you would like to share, I would love to give you the opportunity. If not for anything else, for yourself. Writing about your struggles can give you insights you never knew before. It can help you feel strong. If you feel it is appropriate, email me your thoughts, stories, experiences, etc. with anxiety and depression. I would love to have some posts on my blog that are written by other people! You can absolutely choose to remain annonymous if you would like. Just think about it. If you feel the desire, I would love to hear your words.

Just think about it.

Email me here:

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Friday, April 4, 2014

General Conference April 2014

Photo courtesy of

Every 6 months, the LDS church has a conference. The conference is held in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, but it is broadcast all throughout the world and translated into several different languages. When I was a kid, I really like the conference because my mom and dad made it fun. They had us cut out pictures of what the speakers were talking about. If they talked about love, we would cut out a heart, if they talked about the scriptures, we would cut out a picture of a book, etc. As I got older, my notes contained less and less pictures, and more and more words. Conference weekend has turned into a special time for me and many members of the LDS church. It is a time to spend with family and learn together.

Six months ago, Elder Holland gave his talk about anxiety and depression. That talk has been a life line for me in my struggle with anxiety and depression. I remember listening to that talk and being glued to the TV. I am excited to hear what the Prophets and Apostles have to tell us this conference. Whether the talks apply to me generally or specifically, it is always a wonderful weekend.

Whether you watch Conference every 6 months, have watched it a few times, or have never watched, I would invite you to tune in and see what is said that applies to you.

To learn more about General Conference, click here.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Anxiety: I am Flawed

I had a realization the other day...I am flawed. There are some things I don't do very well. My bathroom is a mess most the time (bobby pins, contact cases, q-tips, toothpaste, you name it!), I don't sweep my kitchen floor as often as I should, and my husband finds my colorful-looks-like-a-six-year-old-should-be-wearing-them socks...everywhere. Sometimes I am a good cook, but it is often that I have to turn on the fan above the oven because something boiled over. I procrastinate a lot. I am slow to respond to text messages (ask my family, friends, and visiting teaching companion). Sometimes I look at my phone when people are talking to me (I'm working on it!) and I am often a few minutes late to functions. I am very forgetful sometimes.

My flaws are things that I think about often. "I didn't put that dish in the dishwasher," "I haven't vacuumed for a while," "We have had tacos for dinner three times in the last two weeks."

Anxiety/Depression gives me some flaws. Sometimes I need a few minutes to relax before I feel like I can handle life again. Sometimes I get really down on myself. Sometimes I don't think about others as much as I should.

As a teacher, you are constantly picking out things you aren't doing as well as you think you should. "I should've taught this better," "I should've made sure Sammy was understanding that concept," "I forgot to put those grades in the computer!" (This happens to me more often than I would like to admit).

Then, I had another realization. My flaws and imperfections make me who I am.

My bathroom is a mess because I usually go to bed late (because I want to hang out with Jordan, read, blog, etc.) so I sleep in until the last possible second in the mornings. This causes a rushed morning. This means, when I get ready, there is only time to get ready. There is no time to clean up the mess that getting ready makes!

Sometimes the food I make boils over or burns, but I am learning!

I can laugh with my friends and family about my forgetfulness.

I am not a perfect teacher, but hey, my students are learning things! And, more importantly, they know I care about them.

My house isn't always ready to be on display in the "Museum of Cleanliness," but it is a beautiful home, that I strive to keep tidy, where I hope people feel comfortable.

Having an imperfect life helps me laugh and relate to others.

So, the next time your anxiety or depression is reminding you of all your flaws, remember, they are what make you, you!

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Our BRIGHT Blue Wall

Remember my goal to decorate my family room? Well, the process is going pretty well! After looking at this DIY blog, I was encouraged to be fearless in my decorating. So, my wall really speaks who I am.
First, we painted the wall BRIGHT blue. It's awesome. Next, I decided to add some things that make me happy...

  • I got the cute umbrella printable on this blog. It says the classic quote, "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." I LOVE rain. And, I love the quote. Win-win! 
  • I got the cute "Love You" printable from this blog. (What would I do without pinterest!?)
  • The America printable came from this blog (are you tired of links yet? I hope not! I just want to give credit where credit is due!) When I was thinking of things to hang up, I really wanted something that expressed my love for America. I feel so blessed to live in this country and I pray God will bless it. (and I know He does!)
  • Elsa and "Let it Go." I know some people are sick of this movie/song, but I don't think I ever will be. I found so much in the movie that I love and wanted it displayed somehow in my home. "Let it Go" for me is sort of like a personal anthem. (Read about it here.)
  • The little bird on the bottom left is actually a thank you card from Trader Joe's. I thought it was darling (and I have some other birds in my decorating...some people mock me...but I like them!) .
  • The cute Minnie and Mickey cartoon says, "You make me happy." It is a really sweet drawing, and it makes me think of Jordan.
  • Last, but not least...what is that big square in the middle? It is a map of Disneyland, with our tickets on the side. I love Disneyland! When we went there with my family, we had a blast. I thought this was one way to help me remember what a fun time we had as a family. 

Now you might be thinking, "This is an anxiety/depression blog, not an interior design blog! What does this have to do with anything?" Well, I want my room to be filled with things that make me happy. These are some of the simple things that bring a smile to my face and help me feel less anxious about life. They remind me to be happy and to not take life too seriously. So, I guess I would just encourage you to surround yourself with things that bring a smile to your face, even if they are a bit out of the ordinary.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Music and Anxiety: "I Can't Listen to that Song!"

Whenever I hear Phil Collins, I am six years old again, dancing to my dad's favorite song. I remember the song that was on the radio the first time a dumb boy made me cry.  I can still sing every word to the Backstreet Boys "Millenium" CD that was so very cool in the 90s. I rememebr the first time I heard my favorite song and how it made me feel. I remember the songs I listened to that made me think of Jordan when I was falling in love with him.

I am amazed by how our minds and memories respond to music. We can listen to a song we haven't heard for years and still have every song, harmony, verse, and bridge memorized. A certain song can take you back to High School, childhood, or Christmas morning. It can bring back thoughts and feelings you had forgotten. It can bring up intense feelings of happiness or spirituality.

So many songs bring happy memories, but there are also songs that may do the opposite. There are a few songs that I will change when they come on the radio or up on my iPod. These are songs that I listened to when I was very depressed. The songs themselves aren't necessarily depressing, but they were songs I listened to frequently when I was struggling so much. Right when I hear these songs, I start to have feelings of anxiety, because that is how I felt when I used to listen to them.

I remember when one of my sisters was going through a hard time, and we were listening to a CD together. She had me skip almost every song because of things she associated with them. I didn't understand it then, I thought she was so silly. Why couldn't we listen to these songs? Now, I totally get it.

The other day, a song I have a hard time listening to came on the radio. I have skipped over it countless times before, simply choosing to avoid it. The song has nothing to do with being sad or depressed, it is actually a love song, but, since I listened to it so much when I was feeling so low, that is what my mind associates it with. When it came on the other day, I went to switch it, like I have so many times before, but then I thought, "No, I can listen to this song. It's a good one." As I drove, I listened. It was hard at first, but as I continued listening, I remembered why I liked the song so much. It is a really touching piece of music.

It may sound silly, but I felt a little victorious as the song came to an end. I listened! I listened to it all the way through, for the first time in a long time.

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