my history with anti-depressants & where I'm at now 11 years later

I started taking anti-depressants at the age of 19. It took over six months (maybe more) and several different drugs before my psychiatrist and I found a drug and dosage that worked for my brain chemistry and body. Medication combined with therapy is what's helped me manage my depression since my diagnosis.

Until about a year ago I had been on that same anti-depressant and same dosage for close to 11 years. Somewhere in the first few years we tried adding a second drug to help boost my mood during a low period but it never seemed to help. Eventually I stopped taking the second drug all together.

feeling left out of the mom club

Even though I became a stepmom over a year ago, I still feel left out of the mom club. I'm a parent... but I'm not. I'm a mom...but I'm not. I've said to my husband more than once that being a stepmom is a cruel joke. What I really mean by that statement is that it's hard to be a stepmom because I don't get to be a mom all the time. And some people don't view or think of me as a mother at all.

In a Huffington Post article about stepmoms the writer put it this way: "A stepmom is a parent, yet not the parent. A caregiver but not always a care-getter. She donates considerable time, space, attention, resources, and family income to people from another life."

writing more of my truth in 2018

The start of a new year brings the hope of new possibilities and opportunities for growth. Lately I've felt something inside of me begging to come out. It's as if my soul is pleading with me to write more. That there is this voice inside of me that needs to be heard, even if only by myself.

These words from the Sara Bareilles song "Let the Rain" have been playing over and over in my head:

simply having a wonderful christmas time

I can't believe it's already December. Where has this year gone?! I love this time of year but as an adult, especially now as a wife and stepmom, I've found it's easy to get stressed out and overwhelmed. Between work, church, and my own family, I'm extra busy this holiday season.

Leading up to Thanksgiving I was feeling pretty stressed out and rather bah humbug. It also hasn't helped that for the last 8 weeks or so I've been really struggling with my depression. When you're depressed everything feels bigger than it really is and you have no motivation to do even the normal everyday tasks living requires.

reflections on our first year of marriage

Earlier this month Dale and I celebrated our one year anniversary. On November 11, 2016 we were sealed for time and all eternity in the Albuquerque LDS temple. Our wedding day was the happiest day of my life to this point. I know that's cliche but it's true. 

I will never forget how I felt kneeling across the altar from Dale as we made sacred covenants and promises that united us together as husband and wife. It was a long, a times very difficult path to reach that altar. Our journey wasn't without mistakes, bumps, and challenges, but together we made the commitment and sacrifices necessary to be married in the temple. 

why I'm glad we had our wedding reception in the LDS cultural hall

I always swore I would NEVER--under any circumstances--ever have my wedding reception in an LDS cultural hall (aka the church gym). Well, never say never. Turns out weddings are expensive and the cultural hall is free.

At one point in the wedding planning process, we seriously thought we were going to have our reception at the Sandia Resort & Casino Reception Center. I'm so glad we didn't go that route. Not only would it have been a huge added expense, more importantly it just wouldn't have felt like us.