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I’ve always been the “funny one”, the one that makes a fool of herself to get a laugh. I don’t know why I feel the need to make people laugh so much, maybe it’s because when there is no laughter I get drug down into somewhat of a scary place…a place that is filled with a certain darkness and self doubt. I’m going to be completely honest with you,…. I struggle with depression. “What?!” say. “You have so much! You have the best husband in the world, three adorable kids, a great job, and most of all a God that laid down his life so that you could spend eternity with Him in Heaven!! Yes, yes, I’m aware of all of my blessings and I’m very thankful, so VERY thankful, but yet sometimes I can’t rise above the heaviness that pulls me down. I feel like a failure so many times because I DO have so MUCH to live for, so much to make me happy, yet I find myself wanting to curl up in a ball and cry….I think to myself, why can’t I shake this? What’s wrong with me?..the answer is…nothing. Nothing is wrong with me, I have a chemical imbalance and it’s ok. It’s ok. God loves me and His mercies are new every morning….EVERY morning. I hope you don’t think I’m a “crazy”, because I’m not. (or at least I don’t think I am, lol…) It’s not like I walk around in a constant state of depression, I have more of a seasonal depression. So, if you see me walking with a big, bright light around my neck in the winter, you’ll know why! Also, depression can manifest itself in many different ways. Some people start harmful habits (which, I did…but that’s for another blog post for another day), and some people are just down right angry.
So, why did I share my hidden secret that only my close family and friends know about?? I don’t really know why, but maybe you do….maybe you’ve found yourself feeling down and lonely. Maybe you’ve reached the end of your rope and you think you can’t make it another day….But, you can rest assured that there is Hope. There is hope in Jesus Christ… (and Prozac!). See…there I go trying to be funny again….
I’ve never taken a self portrait before….in fact, I didn’t even know how to take one until I looked it up in my camera’s manual tonight. I thought I’d try and convey what I sometimes feel…

Even though I sometimes feel this way….it’s not how I feel the majority of the time, I usually am truly joyful. But when the darkness does start to pull me under….I pray. I pray for God to protect me from my emotions…from the lies that fill my head. If this is you, please seek help, because you’re not alone. Talk with a friend, your pastor, me…talk to someone.
I apologize for being so depressing (great choice of words, I know!), I promise next time I’ll talk of puppy dogs and rainbows…but for now I’ll leave you with a song that speaks to my heart…and hopefully it will speak to yours.
(please pause the blog music player on the side of the page before you push play..)

It’s hard to believe six years ago yesterday I gave birth to my first of three boys…Lane Parker. I was always told by older moms that time goes by so fast..and now I know….it does. He immediately comes home from Kindergarten, puts his “soft pants” on (anything fleece) and wants to play his Nintendo DS. He no longer needs me to care for him 24/7, watch him like a hawk, feed, and bathe him. He’s growing into his own little self, his own little man. I pray everyday that God will direct his path as he grows………….and grows.
Here he is yesterday with the crown he wore at school.

of course, Cole had to jump in for a few….
by this time, Reece (my one year old) was putting a ball in the toilet……I love my boys!!

I like metaphors…and I’m not sure if it’s because I like making something small and insignificant into something more meaningful, or if it’s really God trying to tell me something through the everyday motions (I’m going with the latter!). So, here it goes….

I was helping Lane brush his teeth the other day when I noticed he had a permanent tooth growing in behind his baby tooth. What in the world, I didn’t know that could happen! I felt his baby teeth and they were a bit lose, but not wiggly enough to even think about coming out. So, me in my worried state, called the dentist..they said it happens sometimes, but that they would take a look at him. As I was driving to the dentist, I thought, great, they will take care of it, they’ll pull out some of his baby teeth and make room for the permanent tooth. When we got there, the dentist said he didn’t really like to pull baby teeth out, and that even though they weren’t ready to come out, they would eventually be forced to do so because of the permanent tooth growing in behind. (of course, I’m thinking he’ll just have ugly teeth the rest of his life because they’ll never fall out!).
So what does a baby tooth have to do with anything?? Well, I guess the thought that was impressed on my heart was that sometimes in life we’re not ready to do things, maybe it’s finding a new job, telling someone about the love of God, or simply smiling at a stranger in the grocery store…but whether we’re ready or not, sometimes we are forced to make changes or decisions because if we don’t we’ll have ugly teeth forever! I don’t know what’s going on in your life, maybe you are having to make some tough choices, maybe you feel like the world is falling down on you, but you can hold fast to the truth that no matter what’s pushing on you, God will be there when your baby teeth fall out!

How can it be that another one of my boys is growing up?! Today, Cole had his first day of preschool! What kind of mother would I be if I wrote a blog entry about Lane going to Kindergarten, and not write one about Cole’s first big day?, so….here is his story…Cole is definitely a momma’s boy, so I knew this day was going to be a bit difficult for him. Here he is acting tough with his big kid backpack…

and as I look more closely at him, I see some things that I never want to forget…

He wasn’t too excited about letting me take pictures of him….and YES, he was getting ready to throw a rock at me. So, I’m yelling at him from behind my camera…”Don’t you Dare!!”
ok, that didn’t last long!

I ended up taking him to school today, because I don’t know if he’s quite ready to ride the bus with his bigger brother (ok, maybe I’m not ready for him to ride the bus!). Either way, here he is in front of the school checking out the big kids…

here are some of the fun things in his classroom! I don’t remember having such a cool room when I was in preschool. He didn’t want me to leave his side, but I had no choice. Luckily, one of his friends came in and he started talking, so that was my chance to scoot on out. I can’t wait to hear about his day!!

I can’t believe the day has finally arrived for my first born son to go to Kindergarten!! It seems like I was just holding him in my arms and wiping up his slobber. Oh how the the time really does fly by….Here he is excited about getting on the bus….

On closer examination, I notice several things that I never want to forget. No, he wasn’t wearing the preppy little boy clothes that I wanted him to wear, his shirt was tucked in his shorts like an old man, and his socks were pulled up…but that’s my boy! On an even closer look, this is what I see…

At first I was going to take away all of his marks and make him “just right” for the picture, but that’s not how he really is. We live in a photoshop till perfect world, taking out marks and things that make us who we are, that tell a story. Well, this is his story on his first day of kindergarten, and one day I’ll look back on these pictures and it will no doubt bring a smile to my face!! I love this little boy and I pray that God protects his little ears and eyes as he grows!!

and there he went, just like that….oh now I will be counting down the time until he gets back!!