Becoming Neurotic Again.

Today is such a beautiful day that I wandered off in the garden before I could sit and write.

I wrote all morning, in fact. I then went to check my article up on SITS, and then I checked in about a mental health anthology that’s coming out soon. It features an important story that I wrote. When all of that seemed well and inspiring, I sent Des out to lunch with his grandmother and I went for a walk in our garden. I got the first strawberry of the season, baby.

ask away friday

Of course I had to save it for Scarlet. So I plucked the second strawberry of the season and ate it. It was still warm and sun-ripened and oh so sweet. And now it’s Ask Away Friday time and these questions? They are not shabby. I threw caution to the wind and didn’t try to get a partner until yesterday. As luck would have it, Tia of BecominNeurotic answered my call.

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Tia is a friend, a writer, a survivor, and my Oregon travel guide. Check her out.

What is #AskAwayFriday? Well…

#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County and Amber from Bold Fit Mom, as a way to connect with other bloggers with a great Q & A session of 10 questions and 10 answers, between two bloggers! This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know others while allowing others to get to know you and of course there is also the added bonus of making great friends along the way which is one of the best parts of this online world! Ask me if you want to swap!

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Now welcoming our wonderful #AskAwayFriday hosts…

Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
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Echo from The Mad Mommy

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Don’t forget to read Tia’s answers to my questions HERE. And here are my answers to her questions:

1. Winter was a rough one for your house. How have things smoothed out through Spring, and now into Summer?

Yeah, I’m almost afraid to talk about it! For one, a lot of the rampant viruses have left. We’ve all been getting allergies and/or small colds, but everything else seems ok. Knock on wood! And there’s still bug bites and poison ivy, galore! All of the snow finally melted in mid-April. We haven’t used our pellet stove or our heat since and we haven’t even needed the air-conditioning much. The garden is blooming, Athena’s skunk smell is fading, and we’re looking forward to the end of school!

ask away friday

2. Because of a lot of the hype around “miracle cures,” I’m a bit skeptical of essential oils. Since I know and trust you to not BS me, what would you say to sway me to try them?

I don’t know that I’d want to sway you because I’m definitely no salesperson! I will say it the way my doctor said it to me, “It can help but it has its limits, like everything.” My husband and I definitely use and enjoy essential oils daily but there’s no miracle cure for sure. It’s just combinations of things and positivity and health and drinking lots of water and luck and.. and.. genetics? I use the mental health ones myself. We also diffused a lot of good-smelling ones when Athena got skunked!

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3. I saw that you’ve finally admitted to loving Dinah. What are your favorite things about your fairy kittens?

haha.. I do. I love her so! So I do have to admit that we only kept Dinah. After a way-too-long trial basis with Bella, she was never meant to be a pet for us, sadly. She was very feral and was only happy outside, killing mice and moles. She kept getting sick with worms from infested animals, even after treatment. She lived her life in fear inside and we lived our lives in fear of bobcats or coyotes if she stayed outside. So we explained it to Scarlet as best as we could – with the truth. Bella will or has gotten a better home by now. And Dinah has been so much more affectionate since. I love that she’s becoming part of the family, to be honest! The kids take part in grooming and feeding her and she’s gotten much more friendly. I love that she sleeps on my legs and spoons me and walks all over my keyboard and makes Ewok noises. She certainly has personality!

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4. I’ve been in a writing slump lately, hampered by an increase in anxiety. Do you have any tips for getting back on track?

Usually anxiety steers me in the opposite direction – I can’t stop writing about it! It’s tough, though. I get it because anxiety paralyzes me from the simplest things. Getting back on track requires connections and support. And if you can, I find that a walk outdoors with a clear mind and without my phone does wonders for jogging my brain into writing. Prompts and linkups are good to ease back in. Like doing this with me! That was smart! You can dip your toes in, one by one. You’ve got this.

5. On Facebook I’ve been seeing mentions of dates with Des, and I have to say, I’m in love. Will you keep having one on one dates once Scarlet is out of school for summer? What is a date you’d love to do, but haven’t managed yet?

Good question! I think it will be more dates with the two of them, although I do love and crave the one-on-one time with all family members. I think with six grandparents, the potential for a regular babysitter, summer camp and Cassidy around, I’ll be able to steal in dates with all three of them. As for a date we haven’t managed yet, there’s this incredible burger place in our town that cooks heavily with local and organic food, whenever possible. They’re downtown and it’s tough to park and often crowded. They just opened up a food truck in another nearby town and it’s a pleasant drive through the woods to get there. No hot downtown parking. No crowds. I will take Des there for a lunchdate next! He loves french fries, naturally.

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6. You’re very close with your family, especially your sister Lindsay. What is a favorite funny memory you have with her?

I’d be hard-pressed NOT to find one, but one that sticks out in my mind right now happened around this time of year. One of my friends invited me to an 80’s costume party and we got decked out. We showed up at the party to find that NO ONE was dressed up. In fact, they were all staring at us oddly. So either my “friend” punked us, or got the details wrong. Either way, we owned it. I would ALWAYS rather be overdressed then underdressed. Work it. Ya know? I wasn’t even embarrassed.

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7. We’ve gotten to hear from all parts of your family, including Athena! Any plans to have your mom guest?

Good idea! Does anyone’s mom want to do Ask Away Friday with my mom, about how it is to be the mother of a writer?? Speak now! And if you want to read a tear jerker, she did sort of guest post for me once.. link HERE.

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8. Cassidy travels a bit for work. While keeping it PG, how do you guys keep it special with long absences? How do you make it work and keep the love alive?

The longest trip was actually not for work – it was for fun! I was happy he was having fun. He was out of cellphone reception so we couldn’t talk AT ALL for five days. Not even one text or email. Just radio silence. That was tough. Generally we check in. How do we make it work? Well.. it’s a work-in-progress, emphasis on work. And on progress. Distance can definitely heat up feelings, and so can reunions, but we have to stay connected through our daily lives – and that’s challenging. It requires check-ins, dates, weekends without kids. Not that we have all of that figured out yet, but we do know to work on it.

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9. My wedding is in 2 months!! Eek! Any tips for handling the stress and staying cool as we get down to the wire?

I wish I could give better advice but I was the world’s worst bride. Not a Bridezilla, but a nervous wreck. So I’d say to read the book, “The Conscious Bride.” It’s all about the scattered feelings and thoughts. It nailed it for me. And of course, deep breathing, enjoying the ride, talking and planning together. Don’t be like me! I still need a do-over someday.

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10. You have a day alone. You’re not sick, but maybe you’re confined to bed or the couch. What TV shows or movies are you binge watching? What’s your favorite snack to cheer you up? (In this scenario, reading is not an option. I need some new TV ideas lol!)

It’s tough because it’s summer! I am watching TV shows I stock-piled on the DVR for such an occasion: Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Secrets & Lies, Jane the Virgin, New Girl, Modern Family, Nashville, Hallmark movies.. I’m either eating fresh, homemade popcorn with lots of butter, OR I’m mixing three or four favorite ice creams into one bowl with rainbow sprinkles.

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Comments

Becoming Neurotic Again. — 124 Comments

    • That would be a dream! I hereby invite you over anytime you need to get away, to watch DVR with me. I’ll even send Cassidy out to Cape Cod or in the last – to play cards. (that usually keeps him out past ten)

  1. This is a great swap! Especially since I adore you and Tia so much! I’m glad that you are loving Dinah now and that Scarlet understood about Bella needing a new home. Fresh, sun-ripened strawberries are so dang delicious! I think I need to join you on the couch for popcorn and ice cream!

    • Funny, she hasn’t even asked about Bella since! Since Bella was never really around.. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised!
      Ah the strawberries and the popcorn and the ice cream! Tis the season.

    • Jane the Virgin is totally weird and wonderful. I can’t stop watching. It reminds me a little of Ugly Betty (or a lot) but only the old Ugly Betty, and not how the who ended. (weakly)

  2. Fun questions! how sad is it that I haven’t heard of half of those TV shows?!?! I’m not a big TV & movie watcher – I’d probably have my computer in my lap all day! πŸ™‚

    • I actually chose photos I didn’t think I’d used before! It’s nice to shake it up.
      And can you believe I still have two episodes of Revenge on the DVR? I’m really elongating my shows because I haven’t seen ANY finales yet.

  3. YAY! I just love all your answers. I very much appreciate your tips, and may have to look into the oils for mental health…aroma has helped me in the past, is it a bit like that? I like your docs answer, too. I wish more people approached it like that, it’s such a turn off to me when the want to sell the idea so badly they convince you it’s the cure all. Which is exactly why I asked you, I knew you wouldn’t do that!

    That memory with Lindsay is awesome and I just realized I’ve been misspelling her name all day. Sorry!!! You’re mentioned in my answers as well, so stop on by! I’m offering cupcakes, BTW.

    I kinda really want a lunch date with you and Des at this burger place. I also like french fries. And burgers.

    Thanks again, my dear! Here’s to many more sun-kissed strawberries and plenty of sunny days.

  4. Tamara, I just read your dear Mom’s two entries that you shared with us. Through teary eyes it took me several minutes to get through each one of them. Then I started to remember my lost loved ones. My generation is the oldest in our family now with my brother being the oldest at 66, and me the youngest at 58. Every time our family grows each new birth of a third cousin and second niece and nephew makes us a younger family. That’s a very nice photo of your Mom and you and Lindsay as little girls with your new family. You and Lindsay really rock the 80’s look! I Love That Photo! I hope you will be blessed with plenty of time this summer for many one on one dates with Cassidy and Scarlet and Des.

    • Thank you for reading my mom’s post!
      I feel that way too – about the new babies and the good news and the family growing younger. I guess it pushes me up there, but not too far up just yet.
      Lindsay and I need to find a new 80’s party to attend, I think!

  5. Such a fun interview!!! I love that you take your walks out to the garden… I could just picture you doing that in one of your sundresses… I rubbed those oils all over my foot and ankle… nada,nothing… matter of fact, I’m going to to do it again tonight, because somehow my foot is KILLING me today… and I’m desperate!! Ugh.

    Anyway.. Love that little Des, and that pic of Cassidy is just precious. But I especially LOVE that pic and memory with Lindsey!! You two are so damn cute. πŸ™‚

    • I definitely take my walks in sundresses! It makes me stroll, rather. And I like when the breeze makes the dress swirl around my ankles!!
      Speaking of ankles, I’m sorry that the oils didn’t help. I hate when people tote them as a cure-all because they’re not. They’re good for some things but they won’t heal everything fast.

  6. Such great questions and answers! Well done on the strawberry. Hoping I can do the same this summer! Heading over to check out your SITS post now!

  7. Mmm ice cream + sprinkles = WIN! That photo is epic – it is SO 80’s πŸ™‚ Aww so sad Bella had to go but it’s good you were able to recognize that you two weren’t a good fit for one another. Waffle is still here. Being a dick. He’s so dumb — Just a stubborn mule like his “father” – that jerk. Haha poor cat it’s not easy living with me but he doesn’t understand that my counters are OFF limits – poopy paws and kitchen prep area DON’T mix. Does Dinah get on your counters? My son turns 8 on Sunday. I’m not ready. Baking him a 2-tier vanilla cake with strawberry tomorrow.. It will be delicious.. It may not look it but it will taste good. Lol. πŸ™‚ They grow too fast.. I’m not ready. I feel old.. Have a great weekend Tam Tam! -Iva

    • Dinah doesn’t get on the counters – not sure I could handle that! She’s pretty nice as far as cats go. No biting, hissing, scratching or poopy paws on the counter! Sad about Bella but ultimately – relieved too.
      Can I have some of your cake?? I need a photo!

  8. It’s was like the scene from Bridget Jones Diary! How awesome that you owned it though! I think the 80’s are always a perfect outfit ensemble for any party, so…..

    I wish we could grow strawberries here. I have tried and they burn up and die in the sun! I can grow wicked huge tomatoes and watermelons though!

  9. Your bridal photo is so beautiful. I would never guess you were nervous. You look so calm, with that beautiful red sash and perfect backdrop. Wow. Also, the kitten was adorable! Too bad it didn’t work out. We haven’t been able to make cats work here either, but I do love them so.

    • Thank you! I probably was calm right then because I was alone with my kind of people (photographers) and that gorgeous backdrop!
      Thanks about our kitten! Her sister was really cute too, but not for us.

    • In this day and age of social media, five days felt like forever! He’s been far away before – to Iceland and Holland – but could still at least check in once a day, if not talk.

  10. Essential oils are great, but, you are right, like most things they have their limits. I used to use them a lot, these days not so much.
    Love your 80s outfits – LOL – different times πŸ˜€

    • I go through periods of time in which I use them a lot, and then others without. Winter was a good time to use them more frequently! Although the heat just kicked on so maybe it’s winter in June?

  11. Such an amazing swap, of course! Ooh…sun ripened strawberries! Yummy! I would love to take the kids to a berry farm this year and pick some, of course lil man won’t touch them! The seeds give him the heebie jeebies, for some reason! I love essential oils, and not because I think they are miracle cures, but I hate going to doctors or hospitals! I need to do a dinner date with my lil man, as I have had them with lil miss & D-man! Maybe I will try to plan something special like that for his birthday. Spending the quality time with the kids is always amazing! Have a great weekend, my friend!

    • That’s funny about the heebie jeebies from strawberry seeds! I just wish the season was longer. There’s nothing like fresh picked strawberries. Nothing!
      I get it about the oils. If it prevents a doctor visit and expensive co-pay, I’m all for it! And sometimes it really can!

  12. I must watch Jane the Virgin – maybe I’ll binge watch this summer. I can handle catching up on just one season.

    The mom question sway sounds so fun – I would do that with you! Keep that in the back of your head for a later date, maybe. Oh, and when I saw this post in my feet, the title had me worried…false alarm. Whew.

    • YupΒ just one season! 21 episodes or so. It’s wild. It’s hard to explain it but it won awards so it’s doing something right!
      I’ll keep that in the back of my mind for sure about Ask Away Friday!

  13. Ohhh the strawberry! Happiness!!!
    I didn’t realize that Bella is no longer with you or that you kept Dinah. But I’m sure you’ve thought about it hard.
    I love that wedding photo of yours!
    Cheers to more lunch dates or dinner dates! πŸ˜‰

    • I didn’t come out and talk about it too much until now. I think I wrote it on a Facebook photo recently. Scarlet hasn’t even asked for her. She was never here and never happy! Dinah is much cuddlier now. So strange.
      Cheers!

  14. Nice ask away! Nothing like fresh strawberries out of your own garden πŸ™‚ Lately I’ve been watching The Middle, Modern Family, The good Wife, and I can’t think of all the names right now. I’m having a brain freeze. It must be the thought of the sprinkles and ice cream!

    • Yes, those thoughts usually take precedence! We’re getting terrible rain here but with tomorrow’s sun, maybe our strawberries will be ready to pluck.

    • I’d wear a ballgown to Walmart, I Swear!
      Well we’ve had dreadful weather this week so if the sun comes out after all that rain, I’m thinking the strawberries will be really ready!

      • HECK YES! I just got a pass to Universal, so we would totally go there πŸ™‚ And maybe even shell out for DISNEY too… And then the beach, and a drive up to Malibu… Maybe even a FLIGHT to Santa Barbara… And then of course feed you like crazy!!

        Have a I sold you yet?

        • Oh, ages ago. We’ve done Disney and Universal over here but really need to try west coast versions. I’ve never been to Santa Barbara, and it’s a fantasy.
          The problem is that Scarlet is a picky eater! But you’re talented..

  15. I just started binge watching Parenthood. I binge watched the first season of Once Upon a Time but I just couldn’t get into the second season and gave us. Is it worth continuing?
    I’m so happy that summer is finally around the corner, especially now that our AC is fixed (it was a bit unpleasant in our house this past week with the increased temperatures).
    One year we’ll grow strawberries. we finally have a raised bed garden set up which I’m so excited to have. We have eggplant, leeks, onions, kale, a melon and some herbs growing, as well as our pots filled with tomatoes.

    • Parenthood would be a good binge watch. It’s not so hefty that it would take months to get through. It’s a tear-jerker, though! So glad your AC is fixed. I can’t really handle going without it. I’m so wimpy.
      Today, it’s heat, though!

  16. We used to have a cat named Freckles that was a wild cat but then was our pet. When we moved she disappeared and we never got a cat after her πŸ™ My husband travels for work a lot too…but I agree the day to day can be harder!

    • Oh, sad about Freckles! Such a cute name, though!
      The day to day can be tough with no end in sight. That’s where babysitters and grandparents will hopefully come in over the summer.

  17. I’ve been meaning to try out essential oils, but haven’t gotten around to it. I know there are so many great uses for them that I don’t know what I’m waiting on. I remember back in the day, my mom using them quite often and she liked them. I need to give them a go soon!

    • It’s a lot of info – with essential oils. It’s tough to choose the right brands and oils for your body. I struggled with it!
      My mom used them too but she had this rose one and I was borrowing her shirt and it was the strongest smell for a whole day! And I was stuck at school for six hours! I’ll never forget that.

  18. My mom keeps leaving that Bio Oil stuff here. it seems to do okay on dry skin, but I am not convinced that it is some miracle stretch mark or scar cure just yet.
    I’m so pathetic, but all I can think of right now is what 3 flavours of ice cream you’d be eating. It must be summer season approaching. πŸ™‚

    • I remember seeing that stuff for Scarlet’s scar on her face. It was too harsh for that, though. And I never got stretch marks. So who knows?
      As for ice cream, it’s usually local burnt sugar cookie dough and then salted caramel maybe, and definitely The Tonight Dough by Ben & Jerry. (my buds)

  19. I am a fan of essential oils…the outfits are totally awesome and it is always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed….one on one dates are always fun and Des is right french fries are the best πŸ˜‰

  20. I’ve been on a writing slump lately too and I have to admit I’ve been blaming it on everything I can blame on. I’m just being a lazy ass over here. I would love to try essential oils! Heard so much about it and I just learned that there’s an organic shop over here that sells some. Must check!

    • haha! Well blaming things is fun too.
      We have a vitamin shop with some good oils too and you can test them right then and there! ‘Cause some of them smell.. scary. There, I said it.

  21. That strawberry looks so delicious. Strawberry season is winding down here, and it’s so sad. I’m so sorry to hear that Bella just didn’t work out for your family. But I completely understand. You really have to do what is best for your family as a whole. Hopefully Scarlet took the news well. And the fact that Dinah is warming up to you more is an awesome bonus! I say enjoy multiple scoops of ice cream with sprinkles whether or not you’re in bed!

    • It’s so weird that our seasons are so different! Ours is just starting and the kids are in school for another month nearly!
      Dinah is doing well! She’s definitely not as skittish as Bella was but she does tend to run when Des comes tearing around a corner at her.
      I don’t blame her!

  22. We missed strawberry season here. πŸ™ With Ken’s work schedule and my arm on top of all the other events we had, it just didn’t happen! We’ll just have to settle with grocery store ones this year!

    • That’s what Leslie was just saying! That the season is ending. Ours hasn’t even started! Ah, New England, where school is in session until late June.
      The grocery store ones aren’t the same but they do the trick!

    • This is the third comment saying that! We are on strange schedules in New England. Very long winters and wet springs and then abundance galore.

  23. OMG those punk outfits! Too funny! I have not been able to write because I had a jam-packed weekend with a conference, visiting my mom and well, just relaxing. Sorry to hear Bella did not work out but you did the right thing, it has to be fair for all.

    • That’s so awesome about the conference – I can’t wait to read up on it.
      And thanks about Bella. It wasn’t working for any of us, and now it is! I hope for the best for her, of course.

    • haha, me too. We’re about to go picking in our backyard because we had heavy rains, but we have to wait for my husband to come home and we’re all antsy!

  24. I’d eat those TV watching snacks! I’m dangerous with the popcorn — I think I’m just munching a healthy snack, and then “poof,” I realize I’ve inhaled the whole bowl. Sometimes, when it is just the girls and I, and if we’ve had a big lunch, we just do popcorn and ice cream for dinner. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that…

    • I’m horrible with popcorn! I’ve even given myself stomachaches for eating it too fast and not digesting the kernels very well. True story. It’s the only food I’m like that with!

  25. I love using essential oils because they have really helped me but I know that everything will not work for everyone. Your wedding dress is lovely.

    • Yeah, I love that way you said that. They help me for a lot of things, but not everything. I think body chemistry and usage has to factor in.
      Thanks about the dress!

  26. I hope you dont mind I skipped over to your Sits article and honestly that was exactly how I was feeling. Thank you for sharing that blogging isnt dead! All my old favorites have gone dark and it makes me so sad to not follow along with their personal stories. I really try to keep my blog personal even though it is necessary to monetize some stuff

    • I don’t mind at all! It makes me very happy that you read it. In fact, the FB groups that led us all together are what really helped me see how alive blogging is.
      My blog is personal but more recently monetized about 25% of the time, but it’s fun to make the sponsored stuff more personal!

    • We got two days of rain so I just went out expecting lots, but I guess they need sunshine after the rain. I ate another one and it was so sweet!

  27. Love reading these questions and answers. And I’m now craving strawberries thanks to that gorgeous photo!

    • So true! And then when they’re fully grown, you have to pick them fast or the critters get them. I’m way too neurotic for gardening. My husband and daughter have to do it.

    • Oh wow! Good luck! I’ve had foster kittens but this was my first experience. It can be tough because I’m so used to dogs and their personalities. It works well with Dinah, though. She’s very cuddly.

  28. I so hope you get to go on all the dates you want this summer! I would also recommend that she take everything in on her wedding day! It zips by so fast!!! If I was sick new girl, mindy project big bang theory and modern family would be on my list!

    • I hope so too!
      And great advice for the lovely bride! I totally agree.
      I’ve never seen The Mindy Project but I have a feeling I would love it.

  29. Love the variety of answers to these questions. I also find a walk accomplishes two goals – it gets me out of my writing slump and relieves anxiety that maybe rising at an unhealthy rate.

    • I need to do that more often. I always get put off by the cold or heat or bugs or rain. It’s always something. If I stuck to a plan, I think it would really benefit me.

  30. This is an indepth interview …I like how real all the answers. I’m just getting into essential oils and while they are great i would not say they are miraculous

    • Exactly! I think they really help many things and take the edge off for other things, but not as a miracle cure. Sadly there seem to be no miracle cures for many ailments.

  31. i am glad you can get out there and enjoy the weather. it is still cold here in san francisco. “the coldest summer i ever spent was a summer in san francisco.” that is so true right now. gardens, strawberries, great weather….i am jealous!

  32. What great questions and answers. I love all the pics (the wedding dress with the scarlet sash is my fav!!) and I am so glad summer is here.

  33. I too have been loving your dates with Des and I’m thinking I have to come your way and pick some strawberries one day. This is one of the first post I’ve read on your blog without Madison over my shoulder. She loves your photos of Scarlet and Des and if she saw your kitty she would be in heaven. Sorry about Bella but I hope she’s in a good home now.

  34. That strawberry instantly reminded me of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – perfect and pretty but not creepy. As for the costume I’d rather be overdressed too but in a costume I think I would have left.

  35. Haha – even your strawberries are photogenic! That’s the most perfect strawberry I’ve ever seen. My anxiety has been in a lull lately, but even that makes me anxious because I’m waiting for it to come back. I still love having one on one dates with my boys.

  36. I love one-on-one dates with each family member. I owe my son one, because I had one with my husband this passed weekend, which my son was not too happy about. πŸ˜€ My hubs will take the girls on a date too.
    Wishing you a beautiful week.
    XOXO

  37. I’ve heard Jane the Virgin is a great show, but I haven’t watched it. Oddly, one thing that I need to do is watch more television. It’s relaxing when I’m not trying to multitask (like surfing the internet or blogging) while doing it. I can’t wait for the new season of Orange is the New Black to come on Netflix later this month.
    I hope you have lots of fun dates this summer. I want to try to schedule some one one one dates with my kids, husand, and my mom this summer.

  38. I saw that anthology about mental health and it sounds good. I have thought about talking about anxiety but honestly I am still coming to terms with understanding it all and have guilt because I see similarities in Hayden’s behavior that sometimes send me reeling with guilt. Is anxiety genetic? Could I have “taught” him to be anxious? Basically, I hope to read your story and I am mentally working through mine πŸ™‚ Do you find that your experience is a cycle or sorts? I know it greatly affected by hormones and every situation is different. Even though I have long been on meds….I see a definite pattern in relation to my “cycle” as to when to anticipate the worst.

  39. You mean you don’t dress like that normally? πŸ™‚
    I love the idea of one-on-one dates with the kids. I’m still trying to work that out with the older ones. Sigh,

  40. 1. Cats are so strange. Sometimes it’s just not a fit, you know? Somewhere is the perfect spot for Bella, where the range is wide and the moles are clean.

    2. I love how close you and your sister are. I have that hope for my girls, with each other. I hope they’ll always have each other to lean on.

    3. My dad called that little room he waited with me in as my best man as the “bull pen.” We had a good talk that day. He’d just gotten his cast off a broken leg, and was determined to stand in as my best man. He still is.

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