10 years

How do you look back over the past ten years and realize all the changes that have happened? For those of you not familiar with my story let me give you a short recap. For more detail just go back and read my other posts.

10 years ago almost to the day Zoe attempted to take her own life. I was on a trip to my Mom’s and the day I was due to come home she called me and told me that she had taken some pills, but she “was ok now”. I can still hear the tone of her voice from the day she called me, I still remember talking to my Mom about it wondering what in the hell had I missed? What was I supposed to do now? All I knew then was I needed to get home from California and try to figure out what to do next.

What to do next? That in it’s self was a joke. No one had an immediate answer when you call up your doctor’s office and tell them that your child tried to take their own life. 4 to 6 weeks to see a specialist? Seriously? Sure that’s fine I will just not sleep for the next month and a half while you find time to see my child. Outpatient treatment? Inpatient treatment? Resources at least? Nope. Pretty much nothing until she is evaluated we just wait. And for me, I am not a sit back and wait kind of person. I see a problem and I want to fix it. Not 4 to 6 weeks from now, but now. What I did not know then was this was not something we were just going to “fix”.

One of the only things I knew how to do was to spend time with her. Some of that was out of fear and some of it was just truly not knowing what to do. So we went on a drive in to my old neighborhood, where I grew up, where I went to elementary, junior high and high school. Today that drive is known as “The bullshit tour of Kirkland” Not because it was bullshit but because it was just a way to look back at that day and realize how much bullshit there was at that time that we needed to work through.

Let me also tell you that this was in April of Zoe’s Senior year of high school. We had already adjusted her schooling over the years to help with her anxiety and other issues in school. She was a part of the HomeLink school program in Lake Stevens school district and I honestly don’t know if she would have graduated without it. The program allowed her to finish her schooling at her own pace and without all the drama that high school involves. It also allowed her to graduate with 12 other people in a small amazing graduation ceremony.

After graduation there is quite a gap for me in her treatment. I don’t think we really even established what exactly it was that she needed until 4 or 5 years later. There were many times I remember yelling and crying just trying to understand how to deal with her inability to have a constructive conversation with us as a family or even just me one on one. And remember when I said I was someone that just wanted to fix things? This was way out of my circle of control and was very difficult for me to realize how to support her without pushing her even farther away.

One thing I know for sure is that there is absolutely no way we would have come out of this on the other side without a few things and definitely a few people.

  • Amazing health care – I know the health care system is not perfect, I also know that I pay a shit ton of money each month for the healthcare plan that we have. However, Zoe’s doctors and treatment are all a part of this plan. I will expand a bit more on this when I talk about her specific treatment plans and continued care.
  • Our close family and friends. My husband Matthew is my rock and I while he does not always understand what is going on he always found a way to make things work. My Mom is truly the only person other than my husband that has any idea of what each and every step of the way the things that have happened over the past ten years. My other two kids Lexi and Logan, talk about an amazing brother and sister. There were times when my life solely revolved around Zoe and they were champs. I am sure they have no real idea how spread thin I was during all of what was going on. My best friend Katie, as she was raising her own kids with struggles of her own she still found time for me whenever I needed it.
  • Best Buy – This may seem like an odd thing to mention but when you go on vacation and then come back and say I need to take more time off to figure out my daughters care and without hesitation my boss and team showed up to cover me. Over the past ten years I have been in the same store with most of the same leaders, some of them know more than others about Zoe’s struggles but honestly they have all allowed me to take the time that I needed when it came to her care.

Five years ago Zoe did some research on ECT treatment. I was very apprehensive when originally presented with this plan. Here is the short summary of what ECT is. “Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure, done under general anesthesia, in which small electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure. ECT seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental health conditions.” (Mayo Clinic) So when you read that what is the first thing that comes to mind? Depending on your age it might be One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, or other films that portray ECT as a terrible form of treatment. My immediate concern was, “you are going to give my child a seizure multiple times a week?” Zoe did not originally let me in the first consultation appointment, I drove her there and then patiently waited in the waiting room until she was done. After that I went to all of her appointments. Talk about an amazing team. This treatment is highly under utilized and if there was a way that I could tell people to do their research and get over their fears and look in to this treatment I would.

ECT was a long hard process. There are a few things that even with research and pre treatment visits that you really just don’t live until you are already in the program. First things first, Zoe could not drive during treatment, she was going under anesthesia three times a week, her brain given a baby seizure and then coming back out of anesthesia. The first treatment was rough, she was scared when she woke up so it took a bit longer in recovery, and then she threw up the entire way home from the anesthesia, thank goodness for the Trader Joe’s reusable shopping bag in the back of my car. Once we were home she would pretty much sleep the rest of the day and then two days later do it all over again, minus the throwing up on the way home. Three days a week for 6 weeks, did I mention this was in North Seattle and we live North of Everett? Again thank goodness for the carpool lane especially when treatments were in the early morning. By the end of about 10 weeks we were finally starting to see some progress. Remember when I mentioned amazing healthcare? There was one month that the billing cycle and insurance pay did not line up and so Zoe got a bill for ECT, she was the patient and as an adult even though she was on our insurance the bill still went to her…She opened it not realizing what it was and saw a bill for over $15,000, one month, the amount of a decent used car. She had a small (actually not small at all) panic attack until we explained to her that is was truly not a bill just a statement that passed in the mail. Matthew was sure to collect all the Swedish Hospital statements from then on out.

One other thing that I failed to mention is that one major side effect of ECT is memory loss, so the more you do it the longer the recovery is to gain that memory back. Mainly short term memory is what is effected, so it’s a little crazy. Zoe can tell you what she wore to school the first day of kindergarten but she can’t remember what she got for Christmas last year.

ECT part 2 – Zoe had made so much progress and things in her personal life were changing as well. Her doctors were incredible and they had found a good blend of drugs to go along side her treatment. I think that is something else that people just don’t realize, while I tell people that ECT is a life changing form of treatment, it is not end all be all. There is still a cocktail of medications, there is still therapy, there is still a support system needed to maintain her progress. Based on a number of different factors Zoe decided to start another round of ECT in January of 2021. She had met her now finance in July of 2020 and he was quickly becoming a part of her support system. This round of ECT something different started to click, maybe it was due to all of the hard work she had put in, maybe it was her brain responding to the combination of ECT, medication and a strong support system, the brain is a mysterious thing and we may never know.

As I was writing this I was really starting to wonder if I needed to go in to as much detail about ECT. I think my thought process was probably just to set the tone of how much hard work it takes when someone is battling depression. There are so many moving pieces and to see it all work together is what really matters. I think that often times people do not have any idea what it is like to deal with Mental Health issues. The stigma around what to do, how to do it, when to talk about it, when not to talk about it, what medication is ok, what medication is not. There are so many moving pieces.

When I originally started this post I was wanting to talk about the way that her journey has effected me. Not to show how hard it was or to make myself out to be this strong mother who has it all together, but to be real with you about what this life is actually like. Over the years the journey for me has been ever changing as well. The days of texting her throughout the day just to check on her are practically over. The thought of wondering if she will wake up the next morning doesn’t even cross my mind. Her ability to communicate with me and share with me how she is feeling in the moment has changed all of those scared feelings. When you hear your child tell you that they just don’t feel safe and they don’t know what to do it takes a long time to get over that fear. I think one of the things that has made my part of the journey better is telling our story. Zoe will tell you that she could not have got through the past ten years without me, and I can tell you that while that may be true for her, the amount of hard work she has done is just as an important part of the journey.

I know that not everyone is as lucky as me to be on the other side of a suicide attempt. I have no idea what I would be like today if that day had turned out differently but I truly believe that God has a plan for her and as one of my favorite songs says, “You are more than able. Who am I do deny what the Lord can do?” (Elevation Worship) While my faith is different than Zoe’s I know that all that she as accomplished in these past years has been set out before her. There are many days and nights that I would have never made it through without my faith and those that stand firm with me in what He can do. “Anything is possible, who am I do deny what the Lord can do, anything is possible, who am I deny what the Lord can do”

I will continue to share our story, I will continue to be an open book for those that want to know the details. All of this has been part of the journey and all with Zoe’s permission to share with all of you. I know that there are so many other things I could have shared and may at one time share some of those most intimate details. Until then I just want those of you to know that have been there for either of us or our family over the years, prayed for us, text us, call us, changed schedules or plans because of us that there is no possible way that we would be where we are today without all of you.

What is my purpose?

For the past three and a half years I have had something that has given me true purpose. Zoe started treatment for the first time, I started my degree and Logan started high school. Now all of that is over. Zoe is done with treatment and while she still has her struggles they are much more manageable and she has a stronger support system than she ever has. I am still a part of that but she doesn’t need me constantly like she did in the beginning. Logan has graduated, been accepted to DigiPen and is now living at campus housing and only comes home on the weekends. Not that he ever really needed me but his friends would be over for football or the occasional guy hang out. They are a great group of boys and I really enjoy having them in our house hanging out. My degree is done. I have officially finished, my grades posted, official transcript requested and just today my official diploma.

I have done all of this while working, managing our household, and someone managing to basically keep everyone happy in the balance. I am by no means perfect at all of this. I have had my own hiccups realizing that I needed to remember who had supported me through all of this my husband and not take for granite the amazing man he is. Circling back around to spend time with him and remind myself how we have made it through the past 28 years of marriage.

So now what? What is my purpose now? I never thought I would find myself in a place that I don’t feel that I have something pushing me. My boss tells me I should apply that drive to what I do at work. However it isn’t that easy. In the things I have done these past years they were on my terms and under my complete control. In business that is not the case. I have a team to consider. The drive that pushed me to finish my degree at the level I did was my commitment, mine and mine alone. My family knew that I would get up early or stay up late if that is what was needed. When it came time to take Zoe to treatment that was all planned out aligned with my schedule. So how then do I take what I have done so well in my personal life and move it in to a very complicated business space with more moving pieces than on some days I can barely keep track of?

It may seem easy to some, to compartmentalize your day in to every moving piece. With a family you know the end result that will come and you all have a part to play to make it happen. In the end of my degree for example we all knew the commitment I made would allow me more opportunities to grow in the career I desired and hopefully allow me more time with my family outside of a retail crazy schedule. For Zoe’s treatment we all knew that the road would be hard and the adjustments in medication may cause side effects, but we knew that she would come out on the other side with a bright future ahead of her and be forever grateful for our support through the process.

How do you take a daily process and turn it in to a purpose? Right now I’m not really sure but slowly but surely I am going to try and figure it out. Writing again for me will part of that process. Putting my feelings on to paper to share them with others that may be having similar struggles. After the past few years I have plenty to say and would love to share it all with you. May be that is my purpose for now, sharing what I have learned in hopes that it will help someone else.

Be Proud

I have so many feelings right now based on a simple phone call. A phone call that really wasn’t a big deal and yet I am reading so much in to it. I wonder as I always have if it was something I did or something I am not doing. And then I stop myself and the first feeling that comes to mind is PROUD.

PROUD – I am proud of myself. I am proud of my husband. I am proud of my kids. I am proud of my associates at work. I have people that are proud of me. More people than I probably even realize.

When was the last time that you told someone you were proud of them? Maybe just for a small thing they did or accomplished? What may look small to you could be a huge thing for them. The fact that you take time to stop and think about it and then recognize them could change the entire outlook for one day or even longer.

I am proud of myself for so many things. I don’t think we take enough time to stop and think about what we ourselves, have accomplished. I am 12 classes away from finishing my Bachelors degree, when I finish this time next year I will have done it in just over 3 years. Back when I started in March of 2019 I thought I didn’t care how long it took but I was going to do it. And I was going to do it while working 50 plus hours a week and while raising a family….and we won’t talk about how old I am. Over the past few years important people in my life have told me they are proud of me for doing just that. And honestly it means the world to me.

I am proud of my amazing husband of almost 27 years for everything he does for our family. He never stops to think about himself and always puts others first. He has never once not provided for our family. Working a full day and then doing work after work or on the weekends. There have been tough times but there is always food on the table and the kids have never gone without what they needed. I am proud of my kids, Zoe for all she has done to make herself and her mental health her number one priority, Lexi for realizing that not everything is as it seems and she has also worked so much on her own personal growth. Even though things are tough she looks at things through a different lens now, Logan for finishing last school year in the pandemic and then completing this year with tough classes along with Video Game Design and finishing as a Purple Scholar which is 3.75 – 3.99 GPA.

My associates at work that have navigated all the challenges of this past year, taken it like champs and always show up to do their best everyday. Some of them struggle just to get through a work day and yet they show up, do their best and leave their issues at the door. There are too many to list and anyone reading I hope knows how proud of them I am.


I’m so proud of you. I’m proud that you keep showing up, every, single, day. I’m proud of all the tough decisions you had to make and that even though it was hard, you stood your ground. I’m proud that you never gave up on yourself and kept fighting for everything you love. I’m proud that despite everything you’ve been through, you still wake up and find ways to smile everyday. I’m proud that even though you’ve seen so much darkness, you always continue to search for the light. I’m proud of you and how far you’ve come, and I’m even more excited for everything that is still to come

– Nikki Banas

What do you say?

Recently we had a major loss to our family. Matthew’s oldest brother Michael suffered a major heart attack and was unable to be revived. Something we didn’t think would happen to us just did. You see it in movies, or on TV, you hear about people dying suddenly and you can’t relate. Until then one day you can. We didn’t have a plan to take care of Mom after. We always had a plan to take care of Michael when or if anything ever happened to Mom.

The amount of shock and immediate grief is like nothing I have ever experienced before. Loosing a loved one in the middle of the night completely unprepared. Waking your children up in the middle of the night to tell them one of their favorite uncles was gone. Sitting next to your husband as he tries to put it all together at 3am.

The next few days were a blur. Trying to be there for everyone and yet deal with my own feelings. Reaching out to those close to me for comfort and support. Telling family and friends that were the closest to us and Michael before we shared anything on social media. Social media was not the priority but Michael touched so many people that we wanted to be sure we could share our loss with everyone.

We all got together last weekend with our Pastor to cover the details of the service. More importantly it gave us all a chance to share stories about growing up with Michael. Stories that made us cry and then lead us directly in to stories that made us laugh, sometimes, full on belly laugh.

I am an only child so really all of Matthew’s brothers and sisters are my brothers and sisters. I never refer to them as in-law, just always my brothers and sisters. Being married as long as we have been there are so many things I could share about Michael. Even as I sit here and write this I think, sure, tomorrow, at the service, I could totally get up and talk about what a blessing he was to my family…..but for now I will put my favorite thoughts here and if I am able to tomorrow I will.

I think one of the things that I loved most about Michael was how I was always his favorite…..There were strategic ways to go about this. Cook for him…make his favorite dessert. Which honestly was just about anything. All you had to do was let him know you made it and instantly you were the favorite. Another easy way to be his favorite was to ask your question in very specific way. “Michael, Do you want to sit by Zoe, Logan or Andrea?”, “Andrea” would be the immediate response. Whoever you listed last was always his choice. You just had to be strategic about it. All in love of course.

Michael never forgot a single birthday or anniversary. Even last month when Matthew and I celebrated our 26th anniversary, he reminded Mom that morning that it was our day. His birthday was most important and he already had plans I am sure for what he wanted this year.

There are so many more things I could say about Michael but right now I want the most important thing that I take away from his passing is his childlike attitude. Nothing bothered him. Nothing. If you didn’t like him, not sure why you wouldn’t but, he didn’t care. He just moved on to the next person that he liked. If the weather was bad he would just ask God to give us sun the next day. He would move on to other things that made him happy, Seahawks, the Diva’s, Mariners, or a movie or TV show he had probably seen 100 times. He chose JOY in every situation whether he told you or not he was content where he was at.

There’s nothing I want more than to see him again, laugh with him or find out the latest stats on the Seahawks. But for now I am resting in the comfort that he is in Heaven, playing cards with Grandma Hutch and Jeff, looking over each and every one of us as our Guardian Angel.


For the past week I have been wanting to talk about this feeling of being overwhelmed. And every time I think I am ready to write I see a post from a friend, talk with an associate, talk with one of the kids, or even my best friend and suddenly that feeling of being overwhelmed seem so little compared to what they are going through. I know I shouldn’t compare my feelings with others but all of those above mentioned read my blog and or posts and I genuinely don’t want them to feel that I don’t see or hear their needs. I guess that is part of what I have a hard time balancing is that I want to be there for everyone and sometimes forget that they don’t need me to solve for them they might just need a nice thought or ear to listen.

We all have a lot on our plate right now. Whether you are a parent or not you are feeling the effects of those of us that have kids at home “distance learning”. I am super lucky in this area that I have Logan who is 99% self sufficient when it comes to “distance learning”. I know when he needs to be online and what his schedule is. I still haven’t quite figured out how to check on his work, but we are only one week in so he can’t be that far behind. Those with younger kids I don’t honestly know how you are doing it. In case no one has told you today, YOU ARE AMAZING! Those of you that don’t have kids in this season check on your friends that do, they need a quick smile, a coffee, or maybe a bottle of wine!

My feeling of overwhelming-ness (I think I just made up a new word) comes from balancing so many things at once. I am just about half way through my Bachelors degree with a GPA of 3.76. Taking two heavy work load classes so I can get them out of the way before the holidays is taking up a lot of my spare time. Time that I would rather be spending baking, writing, hanging out with my family. But I committed to doing this and that’s what I am going to do. At the end of the day I know that I am doing this for me and no one else….other than the fact that it will hopefully allow me to have a better job outside of retail and spend more time with my family.

Working during COVID…don’t even get me started. I am so lucky to work for a company that has gone above and beyond to take care of it’s associates throughout this pandemic. What is overwhelming is the amount of commitment from some, and the lack of commitment from others. Each day I find myself trying to find a way to reach some of them on a more personal level to help them understand the world that we work in is different now, and unfortunately they either need to get on the train or get off. But that’s not my style so that adds to my passion to treat people fairly and not loose my job in the process. The team that has been with me since the day we had to “close our doors” and move to a curbside model only and then also open back up to customers has been amazing! They know who they are and they know that I do all that I do in love to take care of them.

Family life is overwhelming too but in a weird way. I always talk about how lucky I am that I have Matthew to help balance out the crazy that comes with being married to me, 3 kids, 2 cats and a dog. I can’t say enough how much he does to keep our family in check. Recently we had a situation come up as a family and there were things that I had not shared with him prior to that happening. I did it not to keep things from him but there are so many things that the girls often share with me that I don’t tell him because, well, talk about overwhelming…So I am working on that. How to balance the “Mom” stuff in hopes that we can solve future issues together. Sure there are still going to be things that are “Mom” things but together I know we can do better at solving issues for our family.

To those of you that are going through things right now, big, small, good or bad please know that I am here for you. I may not have the answers but if it is one thing I have learned over the years that’s OK. Just being there for someone makes a difference. I only hope that to those that are also feeling overwhelmed that I might be able to make a difference and that it is OK to talk about how you are feeling.


be·lov·ed adjective – dearly loved.  

I follow an amazing Mom who posted about this last night. We are all called beloved. When we think we can’t do anymore, help anymore, cry anymore tears, we are truly beloved. Whether you believe in Jesus and that He calls us all beloved, even those who others shunned. He calls them beloved. YOU, yes, you reading this are beloved. Often times as women I think we don’t take time to remember that. No matter where we are in our path of life. Young, old, single, married. We all have someone who truly thinks of us as Beloved. Take a minute, think about that. Who absolutely loves you, dearly loves you no matter what? Most of us will probably think of our Mom’s, some of us our spouse, maybe some a sister or best friend.

Know tonight that you are dearly loved.  In times where we have no where else to turn most likely that person you thought of is that person you go to. They are the ones that let you vent, let you cry, hold not a single grudge, will always be there no matter what. Even if you think they won’t, they will. They will never share your concerns or sorrows with anyone. They will never make you feel like they don’t have time, even if it’s at the end of their own long day, even if they’ve just warmed up their dinner. You are truly beloved by them.

I have a few women in my life that I am treasured to call Beloved. They are the rock that holds me together in moments that I sometimes think I can’t handle anymore. Those women are there for me time and time again. I think they know how much I value and treasure them. It is often the small things that we do for each other that remind me time and time again that I can always count on them.

And this is the marvel of marvels,

that he called me Beloved

  • C.S. Lewis

Real Talk in a Crazy Time

So it’s been a while since I’ve written anything but papers for school. I’ve debated writing this post for some time because there are so many variables in the World right now that no matter what I say it’s going to be judged by someone. So then I thought why do I care who judges me for something I want to say? Two things, 1. Zoe has often told me that what people think of me shouldn’t matter and she’s right, it’s just hard for me to remember that sometimes. 2. A really good friend of mine recently made a post on Facebook that got all kinds of backlash and she’s an amazing person so if she can why can’t I? I’m not going to get political or judgmental, just really want to express some of how I am feeling about this COVID-19 virus that has crippled us in so many ways.

Let me start by saying all of my family is healthy and has not been effected in health due to COVID-19. All of my closest friends are also healthy. As I stretch my circle of friends wider then yes, I do know of people who have been positive and thankfully are recovering. I am also blessed to work for an amazing company that has continued to pay me on reduced hours and reduced job duties, although the life of a manager sometimes feels to never stop, but that’s another topic. My husband has continued to get paid and is just in recent weeks finally back to working 3 days a week. Time at home with all of us has been a little stressful only because we all have our “normal” rhythms that we have when the others are or aren’t home. Logan of course is home from school and I am doing my best to ensure he stays up on his school work remotely.

Here’s where the talk gets real……The things I am thankful for, and the things I am really pissed about.

Everyone knows I am a Sales Manager and my nights at home are far and few between. Generally I work 10 to 8. Once our store went to curbside pick up only and is not open to the public I am off by 5 or 6 each day. I am home for dinner each night. The dinner table conversations whether they are COVID related or school related or any other random topic are my favorite part of my day. I really think that is what I will miss most. The time with my family that I really didn’t realize how much I was missing. How am I going to replace that time? Maybe I won’t need to. Maybe there is another plan in place to make this continue to happen. And I’m OK with that.

I am thankful that I finally once again got to have all of my family at the dinner table after we had all been quarantined for an amount of time that we could all be as “safe” as possible. We will soon again be able to add more people to our table as this virus does its course.

Now why I’m pissed. It seems really selfish actually. Zoe and I were supposed to leave next Wednesday to spend 5 days with my Mom and I was going to be able to spend Mother’s day with her for the first time in over 10 years. Yes, I talk to my Mom all the time but I am sure as others have experienced during this time it’s just not the same. So today I officially cancelled our flight. Thankful for the refund but honestly upset that what I was so excited for is not going to happen. I know some people reading this will say that at least I have my Mom to talk to and you are right, but I have every right to be upset.

I also miss the days of going to a local small coffee shop, meeting an amazing friend, sharing our thoughts and how are families are doing and then staying and working on school as I sip on my coffee. That too will come back and even though I haven’t seem some of these amazing ladies in person over the past weeks I have reached out to a few of them.

One thing I am working on through this whole COVID mess is not to be upset about what I CAN NOT control. I can’t control that some of the most amazing members of my team were furloughed a few weeks back, I can’t control that some of them along with Lexi are caught up in the craziness of the overwhelming amount of unemployment claims, I can’t control that I can’t take a few extra days off to see locally my Dad and Step Mom, I can’t control the old man who doesn’t understand why my store isn’t open and tells me to F off.

What I can control is me. How am I effecting people on a daily basis. The lady at Alaska that helped me cancel my flight with no issue? I made sure to tell her that I appreciated her help. We had Chinese take out yesterday and I tipped more than I would have normally to the one lady who was working and also made sure to tell her thank you for being open. I am filling my heart and mind with positivity each and every day as best as  I can. I am not saying I am perfect every day. Nope, definitely not true. I am just saying that I am trying because in the big picture of it all I am pretty damn lucky.

It’s OK to not be OK

Often times I think that I have to keep it all together all of the time.

At work I’m the “work Mom”. You name it and I have heard it.  I love that associates can come to me and feel like they have a personal voice and can share with me issues that are happening outside of work. I love that for some of them they either don’t have a good parental figure at home or they are far away and they can talk to me to fill that gap. I love that some of my closest friends have come from working at Best Buy. Here’s the problem, what about when I don’t agree with what they are asking about? Very rarely does that happen but sometimes it’s hard to give advice or support for something you don’t agree with. What about the people I have listened to and supported who then think that when I approach them about a work related issue I am being a “bitch”? What about the people that I really want nothing more than to go out and have a drink and NOT talk about work?

I think the balance of work and friends can be tough. Someone I would consider one of my closest friends is from work. It’s so hard to be a good friend and work side by side with someone. I think that is why so many people hang out with people they work with. You spend more time with some of those people than your family. I guess all I am trying to say about work friendships is that they are valuable. For me I think I forget sometimes how important some of these friendships are. I need to make time to bring back the balance of friendship and work. I really miss it.

At home it’s different. Life has become more balanced. With Zoe finishing her ECT treatment gone are the weeks of planning my schedule around multiple trips to Swedish in Ballard. Gone are the days of driving her everywhere, since she was unable to drive the weeks of multiple treatments. Most days I spend less time worrying about her and her being at home alone while everyone is at work and school. Back are the days of grocery shopping, meal planning and being able to sleep in on my days off.

So why then when things seem to be on the right track do I have a panic attack or stress headache (still not sure) that requires paramedics being at my house at 2am? Why with an amazing husband by my side telling me I am ok and to relax as we are both up watching old episodes of The Golden Girls can I not get out of my own head? After being assured by the medics (two of which were very attractive…or maybe it was because I was so worked up) that everything was ok was I still wide awake for another hour or so? Laying in bed holding my husbands hand to help me relax seems silly. I am over the age where I should need to hold someones hand to calm me down. I am over the age that I should need to call my Mom to help me understand what happened.

But guess what? All of those things are OK! We all need support no matter who it comes from. Calling 911 at 2am doesn’t make me crazy or weak. I did the right thing. The pain I was having was nothing that I had had before. My husband loves me, he would hold my hand all night if I wanted him to. He would also stay up all night with me if that’s what it took. My Mom would have answered her phone at 2am if I called her. I waited until the next day but my point is she is always there for me no matter what. She’s part of my support. We have a funny saying, “I know I can say this because you are my Mom”, all it means is I can say anything to her and no matter how crazy or silly it sounds I don’t always need an answer I just need her to listen. No different than Matthew holding my hand at 2 o’clock in the morning.

So in that moment that you are trying to find balance, or you are upset because things aren’t going all the right way or even if they are and you are still upset? It’s ok! It’s ok to not be ok and you don’t always have to have a smile on your face. Use the support system you have and lean on them. If you need one just ask. Maybe part of your support system is right in front of you and you don’t even realize it.


It is Well

As I sit and think about what to write about since it’s been a while, I find my self singing along with the song playing right now. It is well, with my soul. Although things are in no way perfect I find that I am coming to be well with most things.

Work life balance isn’t easy. So much of my last year has been consumed by so many things. A new role at work, starting school back in the Spring and continuing to support Zoe with her winning battle against depression. There are days that I sit back and really don’t know how it even all happened. Weeks were I think I could have not possibly added one more thing to my plate and sure enough I did. It may not have been pretty but I made it happen.

I think one of the things I have come to know is that it is ok to not do every single thing. There are just going to have to be things I say no to. There just may be phone calls I forget to make, there just may be bills I forget to pay. But it’s ok. Yes the bills will get paid and those that really love you understand that there’s just not enough time in the day for that 10 minute phone call. Prioritizing what actually needs to get done can be tough. That’s what planners and white boards are for, that’s why we have a family calendar, that’s why even if I forget Matthew and I talk about the next day before we go to sleep each night.

October is a great month. October of 2019 is going to be an amazing month. And little by little all the things that need to happen will. And as I finish this another amazing song of grace is filling my downstairs….

I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet


Time for Vacation

It’s that time of year. Time for vacation. Just 3 days from now we will be on a major family vacation that has been in the planning for the last year.

3 days and so much to do! And I am already planning my vacation from my vacation. I know you know what I am talking about. You get home from a week away where you are going from sun up until sun down and you get home and really don’t want to go to work the next day. You want another vacation!

Just short of a year of planning. Our 25th anniversary trip to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida. Yes, Florida in August. This isn’t our first time. Matthew and I went to Disneyworld on our honeymoon and then again for our 10 year anniversary. This trip is special for so many reasons. First and foremost all 5 of us are going. Logan was not even a year old at our 10 year so he stayed home. We went again when he was 6, but now at 15 he’s excited to go and clearly big enough for all of the rides. Both girls are going and excited to have this trip together. Even this time last year I don’t think they were at a point of wanting to spend dinner together, let alone a week in Orlando and wearing matching shirts! I am so thankful for the change in their relationship and can’t wait to see what fun they have together.

Matthew and I have some time set aside for us. A special dinner planned to celebrate 25 years of marriage. Just the two of us. The kids will be out with their aunts and uncles having a fun night of their own. I think it’s important that we get this little time alone. So rarely at home do we get time alone that is un-interrupted and not out grocery shopping or folding laundry. I can’t wait to see where the next 25 years takes us.

So over the next 3 days ever moment has a task assigned to it. School work to be done, one last day of work, nails to get done, shuttle to arrange, dogs nails that need to be clipped, and online grocery orders to place. While the list seems small at the moment I know it will be a little crazy, but that’s when the amazing things happen in your life, when it’s crazy.