Thursday, May 31, 2012

Depression and Anxiety Update

I recently came across this post by The Bloggess.  She's an uber famous blogger, perhaps the funniest person ever and also very real.  She doesn't fake it.  When things are bad, they're bad. 

I'm not like that.  I fake it.  I try very hard to pretend or to find ways to cope, which aren't always healthy or sane or popular amongst people around me. 

I wrote this post a few years back "coming out" about my issues and received a plethora of support from friends and family.  It overwhelmed me and made me feel like I honestly am not alone in this extremely hard to understand battle of emotions.  If you don't have it.......I'm thrilled for you.  But, I also have a hard time explaining exactly what it feels like. 

I recall reading Dooce's blog eons ago and have always been struck with one single sentence that she wrote.....something about.....sitting on the edge of her bed, wringing her hands, wondering how she would make it through the next 5 minutes. 

I totally get that.  I have felt like that many times.  It started in my teen years and happens to me randomly, even on medication.  I guess this is just part of the condition.
Disease?  Illness?  Whatever the proper term may be. 

The complicated part comes in when I think about all that I have been blessed with and wrapping my head around the reality that I still suffer, despite that.  I feel like a spoiled brat.  It creates a cycle of self-hate because on paper, my life looks pretty good.  So, why can't I just "be happy"?

One of my dearest friends and I often talk about "choosing happiness".  I used to be a lot better about that than I am today.  I would wake and visit with her in the morning and tell her that I was going to have a good day, regardless of what my internal struggles were.......despite what my crazy head was spinning through. 

I have good days, but at 37 years old, still feel like I'm learning how to cope with the bad.  My medication helps (Zoloft, if you're curious).  Staying busy does, too.  My husband is remarkably patient with me, often at my worst......and my 3 wonderful children are hopefully still simply under the assumption that 'mom likes to nap a lot'. 

My reason for writing this today?  Nothing in particular.  Perhaps I just wanted to remind you all that behind this pretty picture that I draw a few days each week on the internet lies an intense struggle of depression and anxiety.  And, if you ever think you may be feeling something similar, don't hesitate to get help. 

My Stick Family from

Monday, May 28, 2012


Spring is out and Summer is in. 

Just a week or so left of school.......then Lainey's big dance recital (Pray for her.)......and then we're done with schedules!

Did some outdoor decorating.......banners are becoming a constant change up on the patio.

New lanterns over the seating area.

Filled the bottom with sand from the beach to keep the candles in place.

I can't resist anything nautical these days.

Sunday took us to the beach.  Carter got 2 new wet suits.  Love this one.

So sweet when they're not trying to kill each other.

Meow Meow joined us.  She has a swim suit on.

Nap time.  Love those piggies.

Silly Laine kept Lamby in view while she rested.

Happy Memorial Day to you all! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Happy Anniversary, Blake.


For real?  Time is flying.

You can read my 10 year post here.  I'm just too damn tired to do another for 12.

Just add us moving to California and doing about 4,314 other things to that list and we'll be up to date. 

I thank God every day that he chose me to be your wife. 

And, I thank him, too, for these little punks we have the pleasure of spending our days with. 

So far, I think we have not totally screwed it all up. 

Time will tell.

Love you, babe.

~Mrs. Starnes

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Where In The World Is The Starnes Family?

We have been busy.  Teacher appreciation week, Pa's visit, I was sick, etc, etc.  It's a crazy time of year!

As always, we loved seeing Pa.  Here he is painting Lainey's nails.  He was so intimidated by it............would have preferred to send her to a salon.......but he figured it out.

I missed most of Pa's visit due to being ill.  (Tonsilitis.........totally awful........5 days of fever and the back of my throat looked like some moldy science project).

While I was in bed almost dying (felt close, people), Blake and Pa took the kids to Belmont Park at Mission Bay.

The boys climbed some sort of structure that would have given me a heart attack.  Thank goodness I wasn't there.

See why?  That's my barely 6 year old up there.  Yes, he had a very secure harness on, but STILL.  I would have been a wreck witnessing this.

Carter had no fear.

Little Laine opted out.  Thank goodness.

Little ones LOVE this ride.  They loved it the last time we were there.

Pa left town and life resumed to normal.

We had friends over for dinner on Friday.......lovely weather and good company. Can't beat it.

This is Sierra, Kate's daughter.

We busted out the bounce house.  Yall, we have had this for nearly 10 years.  Have brought it out for countless parties, crawfish boils, etc, etc.  

Such an awesome thing for kids.

Mike topped his hot dog with a cream cheese based dip and baked beans.  Awesome.

Kate and family joined us.  Love smiley David.

No idea what's going on here.

Love this picture.

These two have been friends since Ainsley was a newborn.  Lots of fun ahead!

Totally random, but I found another use for an over-the-door shoe rack.  Swim suits!  And, sunscreen at the top.  Totally convenient.

Blake has turned the garage into his own private office.  Carter has joined him and coined it the "man cave."

I'm not allowed in there except to do laundry and clean the litter box.


Saturday night took us to the Davidge house.  We hired a sitter (actually 2) and took off.

Roller Derby!

Like the movie, Whip It.  

It was a ton of fun.  Afterwards, we browsed at some grocery store that was completely foreign to me. I did learn that chicken hands are quite inexpensive.  Might add them to my rotation.

After shopping for Asian delicacies, we had a few drinks at the Roller Derby after party.

Been busy, folks.

School is winding down and with that comes a lot of work.  

Headed to Disneyland with the Davidge family next week for a little 2 day getaway.

Summer is right around the corner.  I'm so ready!  No homework, no lunches to pack, no huge projects.  Just lazy days.  It can't come quick enough.

I think that's about it for now.

Oh, Blake got the new Iphone S or whatever it's called.  Carter now spends most of his free time asking it questions.  Totally annoying.  

Plans for the week:

*ballet/tap practice...........twice.........Lord help Lainey learn the routine before the recital!

*work with Jack on tying his shoes

*movie night - What to Expect When You're Expecting

*Blake and I celebrate 12 years of marriage!

Finally, I created a website of tips for Disneyland/California Adventure.  I'll be updating it often, so check back if you're going anytime soon and need the assistance.

Click HERE for the site.

Travel planning is one of my favorite things to do.  If you have a summer vacation ahead and want to get the most out of it, I'm available to help!   Average costs are around $30, depending on how much time I put into your adventure.

Hope yall are doing well.  Looking forward to making the rounds to visit with everyone.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day, End of the Year School Gifts and Plans for the Summer List

What to do on Mother's Day?

We almost always celebrate with a picnic.  Started this on my first Mother's Day 12 years ago and don't think we've missed one since.  Our favorites were with the Griffin family......dear friends from the neighborhood where we built our first house.  We'd always meet up at the Fort Worth Botanical beautiful.....the men could play ball and the girls would visit.  And, I don't think we ever stopped smiling.
Not sure what tomorrow brings.  I'm super sick and have been in bed for several days.  I've missed much of Pa's visit, which makes me sad, of course.  Right now, the crew is out at Belmont Park, enjoying the rides with an ocean and bay view. 
It has been great to have him here.  He automatically takes the kids and spoils them rotten.  When Jack had his bike stolen on his birthday, he asked Blake for his phone so he could call Pa.  And, as expected.......Jack was promised a bike when he came in town.  Lainey got one, too.  (We covered most of the cost for Lainey's, but still.)
Carter asked for books.  I love that kid. 
I got up and out of bed for a few hours today to enjoy the patio with Pa and Blake and the occasional rotating kid.  We talked and talked about family and kids and life and how short it is.  I love Pa.


Next up.......End of the School Year Gifts for friends.

I created a Pinterest board with ideas for a client HERE.

I don't always do these gifts, but do love the idea.

Many of them require labels.  Lots of ideas for those:

I'm a big you can see on the Cover Photo of my Mom's Little Secrets page. I love all things personalized and custom made. I found those labels on Etsy. Link here:
She has printables and will also make custom stickers. For Lainey's "fairy dust", I had her do stickers. She was super fast with turn-around, too.
Recently, for Jack's Bigfoot Party, I bought a ready-made package with the artwork created and then made the pieces into my own stickers. Link here:
I bought an inexpensive kit at Walmart to make the circles (usually used for cupcake toppers) into labels for the Bigfoot Hunter water bottles. They weren't perfect and as neat as the stickers, but they worked!
The labels will coordinate with many of the ideas on my Pinterest board. You can certainly make your own....I've done that, too......but do love a printed label. Most sellers (there are so many more than the two I listed above) will do custom just have to contact them to ask!


Finally, the Summer List.  It's almost time, peeps!
I have come up with an idea to make your life easier.
Let me do it for you!
Here is ours:

I will do the same for you......send me your list and I'll create a pretty image with all your content, custom designed to your specific taste. 

Cost?  $15

Buy a $3-4 frame at Target, print the 8x10 at home and voila!

Summer List is done.  No markers, no poster board, no messy fingers.

I posted the offer on Mom's Little Secret's Facebook page.  Check it out here.

Off to read.....almost done with my book. 

Happy Mother's Day to all my peeps!  And, to all the special "mothers" in my life.  I'm so grateful for each one of you.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Stuff I Am Learning While Sick

I watched 12 hours of Bravo yesterday.

My brain started melting, so I switched over to the DVR.

I also read half a book.

See?  Being sick isn't even relaxing for me.

And, with that, I will share my recent discoveries:

1.  Kathy's new show is OK.  Not great and a little too intended to shock people.  But, I did laugh a few times.

2.  I love Andy Cohen.  Yes, I'm jumping on the band wagon.  It seems like he just appeared out of nowhere, but I think I've been watching him for a long time. 

3.  I might have hallucinated due to my fever last night.  Blake dragged the laundry basket into the living room (swoon, ladies) to fold some clothes before bed and I called him shortly after to see if there was a snake on the ground.  Thought the sound of the basket crossing the floor was a snake who slithered in our wall length window we keep open for air.  It wasn't a snake.

4.  Caught up on Suburgatory.  Love that show.  And, they added Alicia Silverstone?  Excellent.

5.  Watched the Disneyland version of Modern Family.  Pretty good, although, the teens got Corn Dogs in Fantasy Land in a matter of minutes.  First, everyone knows the only Corn Dog station is at the front of Main Street.  And, second, the line is always 20 people long.  Worth the wait, yes.  But, they couldn't have accomplished such purchase in that amount of time.  Pretty much ruined the whole show for me.  I did love that that the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique was mentioned twice and shown, too.  Best value on site.

6.  I can't wait to see the new Sacha Baron Cohen movie.  So wrong.

7.  Bachelorette starts Monday!  Yay, Emily!

"I'd rather be alone than wishin' I was alone."

7.  Pa is in town and he was going to take the kids so Blake and I could go to a party WITHOUT CHILDREN on Coronado Island tonight.  Sad we can't go now. 

8.  I love the movie, Moneyball.

9.  I think I watched Don't be Tardy for the Wedding in and out of sleep for about 4 hours last night.  This was pre-antibiotics, so fear not.  My head is straight on again.

10.  Love this.  I didn't do that, but I am Mom Enough.

11.  Love this, too.  Conservative friends, let me have it.

12.  Finally, if you are just now reading the Fifty Shades of Grey series and do not read on a normal basis, you are a total perv.  Everyone knows the pretense of them.  We ritualistic readers get a pass and are not considered pervs because of this.  It was just another series to us.  That I read in 5 days.

Oh, you want to know my vote for who to play Christian in the upcoming movie series?

No, not that vampire dude.

It's Simon Baker.

Who should play Ana?  Who cares?

13.  Overboard just came on.  My day just got better.