Ask Away Friday Vol. 13

It’s Friday again and time for a dose of Ask Away Friday!

This week I got to swap with the lovely Jenessa from Mothering {in Real Life}

(I don’t have a spiffy graphic this week cuz I started feeling puny while finishing this post up, and needed to just let it go. Sorry Jenessa, you deserve better.)

Jenessa is a married mom of three who blogs about life, her battles with depression, and her family. She has an honest voice that cuts through the fluff and tells it like it is. She’s not putting any fake flowers on it, this is mothering- in real life. Be sure to pop on over and tell her hi and check out her answers to my questions.

Here’s what Jenessa asked me-

1. I’m glad you have started therapy to learn some coping tools for your depression. What do you find works best for you? What else have you learned from therapy?

Journalling has been a new coping tool that I find helpful. I used to think my journals had to make sense, like my blog or writing. Learning that my journals could be messy, that they were more for freeing my mind, was HUGE. Now I scribble, write, doodle, and make thought bubbles in my journal. Whatever it takes to get the swirling thoughts out of my head and onto paper.

2. I love your recent post “Just one… but so much more“. What else would you add to your list of “I am…”?

Thank you! I wrote that post as part of Invisible Illness Awareness Week, and was really happy with the response I received. I don’t know if there is anything I would add, I think it came out well the first time.

3. What advice would you give to someone living with chronic pain, depression or other “invisible” illnesses?

Be gentle with yourself.

We all have these images of who we should be, and certain expectations of ourselves. When your life gets derailed by illness, it’s hard to reconcile our images of ourselves with what is actually possible. So we berate ourselves for not living up to this picture of perfection, when in reality, we’re doing the best we can within our new perimeters. So be gentle with yourself, be kind. Recognize that you’re doing your best, even if it’s not up to the same standards you used to have.

4. Tell an embarrassing childhood story – it could be about you, your son, or your fiancé.

Oh goodness. I won’t embarrass Scotty by sharing the stories his dad has told me. When Jojo was about three, we had just moved back to my hometown and were living with my parents while we got on our feet. We were all sitting in the living room talking one night, me, my (then) husband, and my parents. Jojo was in the middle of the floor playing with blocks when suddenly the tower he was building came crashing down. Without missing a beat, he uttered “Damnit!” with the same tone of voice as I do. And of course, everyone turned to look at me.

Jojo and I had a nice talk that night about how we don’t repeat the things Mama says.

5. You were a young mother, same as I was. How has starting motherhood young changed your life? (Or motherhood in general?)

I had to grow up. I know that sounds cliche, but it’s the truth. Suddenly there was this tiny little human who relied on me for EVERYTHING. So I worked dead-end minimum wage jobs and went to the parenting classes offered by WIC and learned via trial and error. I won’t say I did everything right, but I have loved that little man since the moment I knew he existed, and I wouldn’t change a single thing.

6. Share your favorite pumpkin or apple recipe for fall.

Here’s a little secret. I don’t like pumpkin. *gasp* Scotty does though, so I make him pumpkin cookies every fall. Maybe this year I’ll try pumpkin bread instead…

7. I love that your blog is so open and honest. Is there anything you don’t feel comfortable with sharing on your blog?

I try to keep respect for Scotty’s privacy. I don’t share about our personal lives here, no bedroom talk. I also don’t go into too much detail about his life, his work. I choose to blog, he doesn’t, so it’s not fair for me to decide what he shares.

8. I personally loved planning our wedding. What do you love about wedding planning? What do you hate? Does your fiancée help with the planning?

I love all the ideas! And Pinterest is both my best friend and my worst enemy. I can easily get overwhelmed there. Scotty is a GREAT help. I run all my ideas past him and make sure he gets a say. It’s his day too, after all 🙂

9. Tell us 5 random facts about yourself that you haven’t shared here on your blog before.

* I saw the Newsboys live before they were cool…well, this time around anyway.

* I was once stuck on the side of a mountain road with Nubs overnight. It’s a great story that I’ll have to share one of these days…

* I used to smoke. I quit five years ago for the last time.

* I love panda bears. Big puffy heart love them.

* I used to have my tongue pierced.

10. Fast Ten
Favorite Color: Teal.Turquoise.Aqua. That lovely place between green and blue.
Lucky Number: 3
Time You Usually Wake Up: 7:30ish, but I don’t usually start getting up until 8:30ish
Time You Usually Go To Bed: Anytime between 10:00pm and midnight.
Favorite Season: Fall
Favorite Sport: Football!
Favorite Flower: Daisies
Favorite Song: Linkin Park’s “A Place For My Head”
Favorite Movie: It’s a tie between Top Gun and Dirty Dancing
Best Memory With Your Kid: The first time he said “Love you Mama”

Many thanks to Jenessa for the great swap. Like I said above, I started feeling yucky, so Ima lay low this weekend and hope this flare blows by. Y’all have a good one!

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10 thoughts on “Ask Away Friday Vol. 13

  1. I am so sorry you aren’t feeling good! I hope you can take it easy and rest up this weekend. Thank you for the swap! you sent over some great questions! I love your answers above. I agree with the feelings you had as a young mom – no matter how old you are, the love for your child is incredible! I felt the same way when we found out we were pregnant with Dakota. I love that you are relaxed with your journal. That’s what holds me back from journalling, trying to keep it in order and written perfectly. I wish I could relax and let go of that feeling, I think journalling would be a great coping tool. I also love your answer about your husband’s privacy. My husband gets upset about some things I blog about. I admire your respect for everyone’s privacy. Oh – and I love Dirty Dancing!!

    1. Jenessa- We figured out I had an adverse reaction to an insecticide spraying our property managers did outside our apartment yesterday :/ So I’m on the mend. It was hard for me to let go of the “perfect” journal ideal (Hello OCD!), but the calming effect it has on me really helps. Maybe start by making lists in your journal? Lists soothe my need for control when anxiety is high.
      I look forward to getting to each other more, I think we have lots in common and a lot we could learn from each other 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend!

  2. Definitely need to hear that mountain road stranded story.
    And if Jojo ONLY said “damnit”, you’re lucky. My daughter said the “D” word (rhymes with Rick) at a salon once. She had no idea what she was saying, luckily.

  3. I watched my mom, who had MS, get so mad at herself all of the time. She could not do this or that anymore and it frustrated her beyond belief! I am not a fan of Pumpkin stuff either! LOL! I really love the color teal, too! Plus it is one of the colors for the Miami Dolphins! LOL! Have a great week, Tia!

    1. It’s really hard, that loss of independence. I want so badly to be the strong 32 yo I know I “should” be, so when I have to break down and ask for help, it pisses me off. I’m getting better about being kinder to myself, but it’s a work in progress, for sure.

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