dealing with depression

At the age of 19 I experienced what was later diagnosed as a "major depressive episode". My depression was so bad that I was failing my classes at BYU and unable to do my job as a Resident Assistant. I ended up withdrawing from school and going back home to live with my parents for a year before enrolling at Utah State University. At the time, it felt like the ultimate failure.

Upon returning home it took me a few months before I began to come out of my depression and start to become functional again. For awhile the highlight of my day was getting up at 4pm (yes you read that right) to watch Reba on TV. On Friday nights I would go to Costco with my parents. That was usually my only outing for the week.

31 years of marriage

Today my parents celebrated 31 years of marriage. I'm very grateful to have grown up in a home where both of my parents loved each other and were as committed to each other as they were in raising me and my siblings. Both of those things were, and still are, great blessings in my life.

I understand marriage differently now that I'm also married. My parents aren't perfect. I learned that along time ago. I too am not perfect and neither is my husband. My parents' marriage isn't perfect. Neither is mine. Being perfect isn't what it's all about anyway.

searching for more wellness

At the end of July I had my first appointment with my new psychiatrist. When the nurse took my vitals I tipped the scales at my highest recorded weight (ever). That wasn't the most awesome feeling in the world. That wake-up call along with my desire to prepare my body for pregnancy, has prompted me to become focused on finding new ways to promote more emotional, mental, and physical wellness in my life.

Recently, I've also developed a big need to better manage my stress levels. In July I transitioned from working part-time to full-time. The nonprofit I work for is going through some major transitions right now and my job has become pretty stressful. Now more than ever I've realized how important it is that I make time to take care of myself, reduce my stress, and care for my emotional and physical health.

losing harper

This picture of Harper was taken over three years ago when we were still living in Chicago. I have so many pictures of Harper over the last six years (yes, I was a little bit of a crazy cat lady for awhile), but this one really captures the light she brought into my life. It was the first picture that popped up when I was searching for a photo to post to Instagram Monday night after we had to put her down.

It's strange that losing a cat feels like I've lost a part of myself. Harper's passing closes a significant chapter in my life. She was the last connection and surviving remnant of my life as a single lady. I'm not the same girl that I was when I adopted her over six years ago.

my next 30 years

In 10 days I will turn 30--the big 3-0. To be honest, I'm excited and not at all dismayed. My twenties were a period of immense growth and constant  change. I'm proud of what I achieved and the experiences I pursued. But I'm also happy to be leaving my twenties behind.

I spent most of my twenties focused on how I wanted my life to look and made my decisions based on that intangible dream. While that certainly wasn't necessarily a bad approach, over the past decade I've learned to embrace reality and live more in the present.

my first experience with natural beauty products

I'm by no means any type of beauty guru or aficionado (that position is filled by my main girl Tasha). However, thanks to some of my favorite lifestyle sites like Glitter Guide and The Mama Notes,  I've recently become more aware of the types of products I use and the ingredients in them.

A lot of my curiosity about natural beauty products has been fueled by my hope to get pregnant soon. Once I get pregnant I know I need to be more careful about what goes inside and on my body. So why not start to make healthy changes now?