Sunday, July 22, 2012

We Bought A ZOOOOOO!!!

When we announced our move to Florida, people had mostly the same reaction.

"The humidity down there!"

"The bugs!"

So we came mentally prepared and have not really been surprised by either.  I would actually considerable the humidity a welcome change.  It rains everyday, which gives a reprieve from the worst of it.  And there are bugs, but our complex is sprayed for bugs frequently, and it seems to take care of most of the problem.

But I was not ready for the animals.

We live on a nature preserve, and there are animals everywhere.  If you recall anything about me, I am perhaps the least knowledgeable person about camping, humans under the age of 8, and animals, so I am consider my interaction with these animals my fair turn for the next 25 years.

A pic of our surroundings:

Here are some of the animals we have found around our place:

These little guys are everywhere.  They often crawl across my kitchen window as I do the dishes.  Nothing startling about that.

There are tons of pretty birds here.  This is in our backyard.

This poor guy was on our way to church this week.  I will spare you the pic with the vultures . . .

That huge rat behind our car is a possum.  Daniel called for me to come look, but I couldn't.  Though I am not an animal person, a lot of animals don't bother me.  But possums do.  Daniel said its tail was so huge that it would flap really hard against the concrete with every step.

Yep.  Armadillo.  Right outside our front door.  I thought they were desert animals?  See how much I know?  Maybe I am just thinking "Amarillo", but is that even a desert?  The world holds such mysteries for me.

This was . . . nowhere.  Great dog costume though, right?  This picture is just to represent the alligators all around.  Our bishop told us that when it is mating season (for the alligators), I cannot run along any water's edge because they will KILL ME.  Luckily I have a black belt in alligator combat.  I will just have to make sure I wear it while running.

This guy lives nearby.  Who wants to visit?

The rarest and finest of creatures . .  trying to figure out how to work my camera.

And lastly . . . our Junebug. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I know many of you have been nervous about the fact that I have not updated in awhile, especially following that last dramatic post about my incredibly difficult life.  Not to fear, I have not been eaten by the Anxiety Dragon.  I am just . . . boring.

Before I had a blog, I always thought of fun, witty things I could blog about if I had one.  Now I have one, and I feel like I am the most mundane person on the planet.  I feel like I could write a post of what I do every single day, post it, and then just change the date every week and re-post it.

I do love my boring life.  I'm grateful for some boredom because it means life has slowed down for me a bit.  Sharing a car with Daniel has caused me to say no to a lot of things, and I think that's been good for me.

Anyway, I managed to muster about some important events to write about.  (Now that I've gotten you excited . . . ha.)

First of all, June can lift her head.  (That's right--a "milestones" post.  That's where we are, folks.  Thrilling for all of you.)  But first, a thought about milestones.  I really don't like reading about milestones.  Experts say that we mothers should be aware of them to make sure our babies are progressing, but I would guess that the truth behind milestones is that they were made up by some super competitive mother somewhere to give the rest of us something to worry about.  Or maybe just some person who had never been around a baby before but who stayed up late one March 31st to play an April Fools joke on mothers everywhere and wrote a memo about ridiculous things babies should be doing by certain ages to give us all something else to have heartburn about.  I refuse to play into this trap!  I remember reading that by something like 6 weeks, June should be mimicking all of my faces.  BabyCenter said something like "Stick out your tongue, and your baby will do the same toward you.  Smile, and she will smile.  Quote Tennyson, and she will match you with some Wordsworth.  Give your child her first household chore."

I decided to try out this baby face matching idea with June.  I stuck my tongue at her.  She just looked insulted.

So, even though I try not to take milestones too too seriously, it has been neat to see some things happen that "they" said would.

Like lifting her head.

I make this same face when I exercise.

In other news, we are still moving into our apartment and getting projects done.  Nothing to bring a family together quite like a nice home improvement project, I always say.  We even had fancy equipment to use this time.  About a year ago, I attended an auction at church for our local scouting troop.  There were lots of great things to bid on, but being the bleeding heart I am, I couldn't help but just bid on things no one else wanted.  By the end of the night, I had succeeded in obtaining some precious gems, such as a cage for a pet we still have yet to own, a crazy looking doll that I gave to someone else before the night was over, and a laser level to use when hanging pictures and such.  Well we can now say that money spent that night was not in vain.  Not only did we send some grateful kid to scout camp, but we also had a LASER to help us hang out pictures in this new apartment of ours!

Hot dog.  Daniel is so nice.  I just directed where I wanted things, and he did it.  Though I did sometimes change my mind after the fact, which left me greeted with these faces.

And lastly, some more pictures of June.  She's just too cute not to.

Loving the bumbo chair.  

Following an at-length discussion we had one morning concerning the tax code.  Have you hit that milestone yet?

Definitely right-brained.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's just EMOTION taking me OVER. That's it. NBD.

I actually really like the song "Emotion", even the Destiny's Child version, although the music video is an atrocity.

I might know a thing or two about emotions taking over.

I struggle with anxiety.  It stinks, but it's definitely not the worst problem in the world.  I mean, some people have no food.  Some people have no homes.  And some people are Kardashians.

So in the grand scheme of things . . . anxiety is fine.  I have done different things to learn how to cope with it.  I have taken medications.  I have gone to counseling.  I have eaten several bags of mini Cadbury eggs.

My cycle seems to be like this . . . take something on, take something else on, add another thing or two, feel productive, feel great, feel powerful, have a deadline, feel stressed, feel overwhelmed, think about everything that could go wrong, google solutions to every problem known to mankind, self-destruct, and bawl eyes out while watching a Chase Bank commercial where, thanks to a Chase Bank loan, a business was able to hire 20 new people who have been out of work for a long time.

While a missionary, I went through an extremely difficult time with my anxiety.  I even had a visit with the mission doctor.  He was visiting Romania from Germany, so I could only meet with him for a day.  Talking to him, I felt like I was talking to an old friend.  He cried with me as we shared difficult experiences we had both gone through on our missions and in our lives.

He had to leave to go back to Germany that evening, but he emailed me a psychological test to take to evaluate my struggles.  I filled out the bubble sheet and sent it back to him.  He called me very quickly thereafter.  I had scored in the 98th percentile for anxiety.  98%!  An A+, my friends!

We talked about some different options, but in the end, I felt right about just finishing my mission and seeking treatment afterward (I only had two months left.)  My mission was a wonderful experience, and I didn't want to spend the last two months trying out different medications.

Since then, I have tried different things.  I didn't like medication and was on it for just a very short time.  I have had some great counseling experiences.

Anyway, I am just writing this to get it out.  I always am surprised to see how many people relate to this sort of thing and was wondering what other people do to cope with stress and anxiety.