Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The man, the myth, the legend.

Today is my Billy's 37th birthday. That's crazy, y'all. Not only does it mean he's in his late 30s now (I'm 9 months younger so I get to stay in my mid-thirties a bit longer), it also means I've been celebrating this kid's birthday for a very full and awesome 20 years.

trying to pin on the boutonniere before some dance...

In honor of his birthday, I think I'll post a super old post (from June!) I never finished...

Recently my cousin Alexa and her roommate Celine came to Nashville for a visit. I won't bore you with the details (i.e. it was fabulous!) but wanted to give a quick shout out to my main man who upon getting to know the girls was like, "Dude, they don't know ANYTHING about me! Why don't I get more love on your blog?"

I'm sure he's regretting that statement at the moment.

I told him I purposely don't write about him that much because he's a professional with a career and I'm sure he doesn't want people he works with knowing all his stories. I am trying to respect his privacy. He was like, "Oh, yeah. Good point." But I could tell he still felt a little left out.


As I was looking back through some photos of our visit, I stumbled upon a series from our night out at Robert's Western World that totally crack me up and I thought might give you a better idea of the man I call my own without full on exploitation (I hope).

We were hanging out at Robert's, enjoying Brazilbilly, when I suggested we try "reverse photo bombing." This is something our friends came up with (or, at least, they're who I picked it up from) while traveling in Europe this summer. It goes a little something like this: instead of getting in someone else's picture (aka, a photo bomb), you try to get someone else in yours.

(You know I love a photo challenge.)

Simple enough, right? You would think. But Bill just COULD NOT make it happen.

All of the above photos were...cute. But did you notice how no one was actually in the picture but him? We pointed this out and he tried to fix it, but...

Dude! Those are all people we know. So not the point of a reverse photo bomb... At least he still got credit for making us laugh hysterically.

Happy birthday to my #1 guy. You're so many things to so many people but to me your just my B (wherein B = everything). I love you, birthday man!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Eight is great.

Today is Liam's eighth birthday. Eight! Whew. I told him this morning that on the one hand, I can't believe he's eight years old already but on the other hand, I can't remember a time I didn't know him.

I actually wrote that in a card and gave it to him along with his gifts. I never gave him a real card before but I realized last night that he's big enough to read paragraphs full of cursive and ready, I think, to have something black and white and sentimental to hold onto.

His smile as he read it to himself told me I was probably right.

I remember sitting next to a kid on an airplane a few years ago who was maybe 9 or 10. He was traveling alone and when he first got on the plane he pulled a letter from his mom out of his backpack and as he read it to himself, I couldn't help but read along. It was sweet and mature and I couldn't imagine having a kid like that who could travel by himself and read long letters and not freak out when the lap baby next to him projectile vomited (that would be my Finny).

Now? It doesn't seem weird at all.

Not that I'm sticking Liam on a plane by himself anytime soon. But I could. I would. And I know I wouldn't have to worry one bit.

We had a very small birthday party on Saturday. Liam's choice. The guest list was carefully chosen, each friend vetted for age, sex, and previous play date compatibility. The last thing Liam wanted was for anyone to feel left out. Even though there were other kids he (and I...) wanted to invite, he thought it would be better to be safe than sorry.

I don't know why I ever doubt him. He's usually right.

When he opened a few presents after the party, he automatically found a way to share them with Finn. I told him that was incredibly nice but he certainly didn't have to do it. "I know," he shrugged. "But he's my brother." And then this morning? He did it again.

He seems to understand at a base level that when there is peace and harmony, everyone wins.

He's a wise old sage, this one.

Dearest Liam,

Thank you for being my son and our teacher and Finn's brother and your own best friend. I love watching you grow and learn and embrace who you are meant to be. You amaze me. I love you so much and hope you had a very happy birthday. I love you, buddy. 

Love, Mama

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hook, line and sinker.

You know how I'm super impressionable? Well, I've been reading a book called Mind Over Medicine the last few days so now I'm more convinced than ever that I hold the power to everything in my life.

{Insert evil laugh here.}

In this book, Dr. Lissa Rankin does a pretty solid job (with evidence and studies and data and stuff) making the case that while modern medicine is great for some maladies (severed limbs, for example), the healing powers of our own bodies (often via our thoughts) far surpasses what most medical professionals ever considered possible.

I like this kind of stuff a lot. I swear, I get hippier and hippier every day.

The arrival of this book at my house (thanks to a PBS donation Bill made a while back) coincided with a couple of other things that made the Twilight Zone song take up permanent residence in my head.
1. We watched the documentary Food Matters that, among other things, made the case that our bodies are meant to be healthy and if we get out of their way and just give them what they need, they will be total rock stars. 
2. I stumbled across a handful of websites that more or less all said the same thing - some foods are "super" (like spirulina), while other foods, like sugar, are toxic (duh).
3. I got "over served" at a backyard party (damn) and as a result cut way back on my alcohol consumption (always a good idea after the alcoholidays). As a result of that, I realized I feel a lot better when I'm not drinking as much.
4. I decided that taking prescription medication EVERY SINGLE DAY while not really knowing if I need it is just not my jam. 
5. I finally crossed "Find an integrative health practitioner and make an appointment" off my to-do list. 
This all happened in the span of a few days so it felt sort of kismet (except for the over serving incident - that happened several weeks ago). It was like an "if not now, when?" sort of thing. I mean, you can only watch your parents' health decline for so long before you want to do everything you can to avoid the same fate. I want to enjoy my life now of course but I also want to make sure I'm not setting myself up for utter disaster later on. Pretty reasonable, right?

My new doc sure thought so. I had my first appointment yesterday and it felt more like hanging out with someone who had been reading the same books as I had than it did a doctor's appointment. There was no waiting, no paper gown and no new prescriptions. In fact, he agreed that stopping my cholesterol lowering statin was an okay thing to try and got me on a step-down plan to get off my anti-depressant.

Surprised? Well. I don't really know why I've never mentioned being on Zoloft before. I don't think I was embarrassed or afraid of being judged (it's certainly not a secret) but I was also very aware of the fact that a lot of the mommy bloggers I have read at one time or another have dealt with depression. I didn't want to join the ranks of moms (or writers) who pop pills every day to get by (even though I had joined the ranks) {cue Mother's Little Helper...} I guess it was the label I was uncomfortable with. (To be fair, I don't like any labels. I don't go out of my way to call myself a vegetarian, I just don't eat meat...) I didn't want to feel recategorized or like a total cliche, you know?

I started taking 50 mg of Zoloft when Finn was six months old. I was sleep deprived and overwhelmed with my colicky baby and needed something - anything! - to help me feel more connected to my life (I felt super flat lined and like I was watching my life on TV). Even though I didn't fit the "depression profile", the drugs helped (immediately!) and I was beyond grateful to have them.

I felt SO much better that I started wondering if I should have been taking them all my life. I certainly didn't want to have to stop taking them. If it ain't broke, you know? In fact, when I cried in my doctor's office last year (I had just seen my mom and she didn't know who I was), and she suggested we kick it up a notch, I was totally on board. Who wants to feel bad if they don't have to?

But now I'm not so sure. It could be all the books and movies I've watched lately but I have started to wonder how much sense it makes to take pills every day if I don't need to. I mean, I honestly don't even know if I have a chemical imbalance or not. Although, according to my new doctor, even if I didn't before, I do now (since I've introduced synthetic serotonin into my system my body has been hitting the snooze button on making it itself). I didn't even know this was happening! Good thing I didn't just stop taking it willy nilly like I did my Simvastatin. Instead I'm tapering off slowly so I don't crash and looking forward to seeing what life is like unmedicated. If it sucks, I'll get right back on (and would encourage anyone else who is struggling to give it a try). But if it doesn't, wouldn't that be nice to know?

Yesterday Bill texted me from San Diego to tell me about a book he was listening to called Clean. It's  about detoxification for self healing and optimum health and I could tell from his text tone, he was totally buying in. I, of course, immediately borrowed the audio version from the library and started listening to it last night while I cleaned up and folded laundry. It totally resonated with me (shocking, I know) and taught me something new. Serotonin is not just made in the brain but also in the gut. So good nutrition (and detoxification) can help restore the body's natural production. Pretty good timing, don't you think?