April 2011

LAST night my husband proved himself
truly lovely! He made dinner, cleaned
up AND made cookies. I’m still
not feeling well, yesterday was particularly
bad. But, I’m glad I’ve got
HIM in my court. He’s fantastic!
(He even got a chick flick
and laughed loudly along with me!)

LAST  love, true love, great love
forever love, awesome love, funny love,
my best friend, my trusted confidante
my team mate, my movie buddy.
My husband is all these things
to me and more. Much more!

LASTLY I’d just like to say
to you, dear love,  thanks for
loving me, thanks for supporting me.
Thank you for just being you!

Why yes there are! There is a great community of writers out there. The ones I like to follow tend to be women and are often Mommy’s. But, that’s where the similarities end. These women have all kinds of lives and histories, beliefs and hopes. And, it is such a joy to follow them on my Google Reader! Thanks Phillip for sharing that little nugget of internet joy with me!!

Anyway, today I want to tell you about a blog called Storing Up Treasures. Courtney, who writes this blog is a mother of ELEVEN children! You know I only have one in and one out, and that will be enough for me! But, I admire her love and respect for her husband and her faith.

She has started a project of sorts to get other, newer blogs some recognition. It’s called

You’ll notice that button is in my sidebar too. Anyway, Courtney has a page with a whole huge list of other blogs, which are comprised of people who follow her, and are interestested in getting more traffic to there own blog. And, once a month she chooses one of these blogs and puts there button on her sidebar for the month. (Now you see one reason why I’m so excited about my new button!) Apparently I’m interested in more traffic too! Wow, what will I do with all those readers? Well, I hope I’ll entertain, inspire and commiserate with them.

Push the button above if this sounds interesting to you, and you too want to become a blog of note!

Oh, and I really do like Courtney’s blog. I wanted to share with you three of my favorite posts of hers that I’ve read so far. So here they are:

1. Legacy This is her honest look at what her life is like as opposed to what she sometimes thinks her life should be like. Can you imagine having eleven children and homeschooling? Well, if you’d like a peek into what it’s like take a look.

2. Why I’m Pro Life This is not a judgemental post. It is a personal testimony of her first born, and it is beautiful. The truth is life is full of choices, and everybody makes different ones. But, Christ died for all of us, so we should as a Christian community share love and not judgement. I hope that make sense. Hmm…just read her story. It’s lovely.

3. Regrets I’m not spoiling this story. You’ll have to read it to know what Courtney’s regrets are. But, just know it had me thinking for days!

Can’t you tell? Well, there has. There has been some work done on my site. And, I didn’t do it all myself. I don’t have the html skills. And, though I might have good ideas and have a good eye, and may one day have some mad design skills, I don’t have them now…so I needed help.

I got the idea from Mama Kat’s blog. That’s a place I visit daily, and also a place where I link up sometimes on Thursdays for her Writer’s Workshop. Anyway, she recently had her site Shatterboxxed. And I thought, wow that’s a cool idea. Maybe my blog needs some work. You know, to make it seem more professional. My readership is slowly going up. It’s something I feel really good about in my life. Why not invest a little bit into it.

So, I did some research. As knock down, crazy awesome as Shatterboxx Media is, they were simply beyond my price range. So I thought of another blog friend I have, Emily over at Mama Sick! I really love her blog layout. And, she is a great blogger. I enjoy following her, you should check her out. Anyway, so I e-mailed good old Emily and asked her where she got her beautiful blog from. AND! She willingly and lovingly told me. She used Margot over at Swank Web Style Design Studio. So I checked them out. I really liked their work. And, Emily, had highly recommended them.  I even started following some of the other blogs they designed. Good stuff!

So, then I put in for a quote. The changes I wanted were actually very minimal. And, though I had to wait a little while for it, and had almost given up. Meaning I had started asking friends for DIY advice. The day came! And, it showed up in my inbox, which I had been dutifully/crazily checking regularly.  A beautiful, shiny AFFORDABLE quote. I was sold!

But, then I had to talk to my husband. He thought his friend was going to help me. I wanted the best I could get, and as quickly. Finally he gave in. He actually wasn’t such a hard sale. He trusts me, since I am in charge of our finances. It takes the burden off of him, since he works SO much, and it keeps us OUT OF DEBT! Which is the grand part!!

Then the work began. She willingly and kindly fixed all the things I didn’t like as we went along. My favorite part is my new button. Check it out! Use it! Often!

Anyway, Margot and I are now done with our work, and I am pleased with the outcome of my swanked up style! Now, if I could just stay healthy enough to keep up with it. In all it’s beauty it deserves to be used – OFTEN! So, I will press on. I do get so much joy from blogging.

So, what do you think of the new look?

The depression monster has taken over my life. It is affecting everything! Such as; the kitchen, the laundry, my ability to refill my prescription, my blogging, my sleeping (which I could do almost all the time!) my ability to plan meals, my ability to leave the house.

Some things do still get done. But, they are of course EXTREMELY important, such as Easter Sunday, and the monologue I promised to perform. And, they take every ounce of energy I have.

Some of you may have read this article, which I wrote while I was riding an almost four week string of *GOOD DAYS*! I was soaring so high! And, it wasn’t mania!! It was just good old fashioned happiness and productivity. Why did the bottom have to fall out? And, on the very afternoon AFTER visiting my psychiatrist and telling her how well things were going. Now I don’t see her for a couple more weeks. And what can she really do anyway? Bipolar I disorder is really just a great mystery!! And, I am the guinea pig!! Anyway, that was the longest string of good days I’ve had in years….now I’ve completed two weeks of *VERY BAD DAYS* with no end in site. I’m so frustrated with my illness!

It started out as just simple exhaustion. Which could be considered very normal, being as how I’m pregnant and raising a toddler! But, for me, when I start feeling excessively tired, I start getting down on myself for not being as productive and then I somehow get *stuck* down in the dumps.  I cry a lot. I sleep. I find it very difficult to focus on anything. Bathing becomes almost impossible. Why do I get stuck here? Why can’t I break the pattern by shear will power?

I don’t know. But, what I really want is someone to comment on this blog and tell me they understand. I mean REALLY understand. Maybe you could refer someone you know to my blog, someone who would understand. I really want to set up a community of bloggers who understand that sometimes there is no blog for several days, because the depression monster has taken over. I really need some encouragement. And, I just want to know that I am not alone. I want to know that other people understand! So, do you? Understand?

*Make a top ten list of favorite things you haven’t done in over a year.*

1. Go to the beach!

My husband and I met in Wilmington, NC. We were both living there at the time, and we haven’t been back for a visit in over a year! I’m so excited to go spend a week on Carolina Beach in June. We are getting a condo for the whole family as part vacation part *Wedding trip.* My mom’s best friend’s daughter is getting married! I’m sure it will be a wonderful time! You’ll be sure to see plenty of pictures.

2. Movie Marathons!

Before marriage, children and the economic downturn I used to go buy two or three movie tickets at a time and spend the day at the movie theatre. I couldn’t deal with the guilt of trying to sneak into movies, so I would just buy all the tickets up front, along with some popcorn and a drink and have a wonderful relaxing day! I can’t remember the last time I did that!

3. Go on a trip alone with my husband!

A few years ago we went to Asheville to celebrate my birthday. We had a wonderful time! I think that was the last time we went on a trip together. I long for some time alone with him!

4. Go see a play!

Tragically, I can’t remember the last play I went to see. I’m trying to dig it up, but I just can’t. Being a theatre person, I used to do it all the time! I would love to go see something at Catawba or at the Belk Theatre in Charlotte!

5. Go to New York City!

I used to travel a lot for work, as I was an actor. And I would often make side trips into the city to visit friends, site see or see a show! It’s been a LOOOONG time since I’ve done this. Like maybe SIX YEARS! Arghh! I’m getting old!!

6. Go to the farm!

I worked for The Hampstead Stage Company on and off for many years. The place, in New Hampshire, where we held rehearsals was called the farm. Those people became a second family to me, and are very dear to my heart. I often still dream of being there.

7. Join a book club!

I’ve joined two for very brief periods of time, but I long to be a part of a book club. I often think of starting one myself. But, I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

8. Go swimming!

OK, so maybe I swam at the YMCA less than a year ago. I’m not sure. But, the fact is, I haven’t put on a bathing suit in quite some time, and I am very much looking forward to our new pool opening at the end of May! If you live nearby, come on over for a swim!!

9. Make a cheesecake!

I have a recipe for a pumpkin praline cheesecake that I made several years in a row for Thanksgiving, but I haven’t made it in a couple of years. Maybe I should make a cheesecake soon. I need a good excuse to make one.  A celebration or something.

10. Watch TV!

OK, I do watch TV at my Mom’s house, and sometimes I watch TV shows on my computer, but we haven’t had TV in our house in almost five years. Sometimes I miss it. Sometimes I would really like to just veg out. But, even though I’ve toyed with the idea of getting cable, it’s really not something to long for….Maybe it shouldn’t be on this list at all. But I was grasping at straws ya’ll!



(But, I won’t show you a picture for proof! I think that’s a little indecent, don’t you?)

Anyway, could you take a minute and say hi to Claire. That’s what Lizzy-Jane did this morning when I got home from the doctor. I almost cried while telling her the good news; she is going to have a sister! A Claire! She obediently said, “Hey Claire,” and “Love you Claire” to my belly. But, then later she referred to her as *Katie*. She has a doll named Claire and a doll named Katie. I had forgotten she had a doll named Claire. Her cousin, Sadie, suggested that name for the doll at her birthday party, when her Grandma gave it to her. I said, even then, that if Lizzy-Jane ever had a sister, her name would be Claire! And, low and behold – if you didn’t notice yet – it’s a girl!

Her full name will be Claire Whitaker Ross. Both Claire and Whitaker are family names. You can follow that link if you want to learn a little more about our family’s names.

I am just so excited to be having a girl. I think Lizzy-Jane is perfect, and I can’t imagine what I would do with a boy! They are so WILD, they jump on things, I would constantly be afraid of his head busting open. Not only that, but now we can share clothes! And, Lizzy-Jane will have a sister, how precious is that! AND, I was much more attached to our girl name. That’s how I knew Lizzy-Jane was a girl, too. I just got much more attached to her name.

Yay! It’s a Claire! Check her out:

































GG wanted to go shopping on Saturday, so she called us to meet her half way at Concord Mills. We had a great time perusing a few kitchen stores and a couple children’s stores. GG wanted to buy a drying rack for her new sink, and we were trying to find some potty training underwear, because I am potty training! More on that later. Anyway, before we left, Lizzy-Jane got to ride a carousel for the first time! She loved the horses, and told her Daddy all about it when we got home.









Lizzy-Jane also got to spend some time with GG on her scooter. Her favorite thing to do is push the button for the horn. She did that several times between each store. But, Lizzy-Jane really road around the mall in her stroller, as it is not SAFE for her to ride around on the scooter with GG. She was just sitting in her lap for a minute here after the great adventure of riding on the Carousel!





















Then came Sunday, of course. Lizzy-Jane woke up and was jumping up and down in her bed saying, “I want to get up, I want to go to church!” Her Daddy told me this, I didn’t hear it, but I *totally* believe it! So we had a leisurely morning. Her daddy got her dressed while I got ready. He did a really great job with her hair! Lizzy-Jane loves to go to church. In fact, much to my embarrassment, she fusses almost every time I come to pick her up from the nursery. She just doesn’t want to leave!

By the way, Lizzy-Jane has peed in the potty THREE times this morning! I think we are finally getting it! Thank you Lynette and Elizabeth for your GREAT advice on potty training!!! Praise the Lord, it is finally working. Now I believe she might actually be fully trained by the time we have the new baby! I told her, on Friday, when we bought the new pack of pull-ups, that this was the last pack I was buying. Hee hee, we’ll see how she does through the night. This morning I told her that she was getting potty trained TODAY, and she repeated it several times. Apparently she wants to DO IT today. Of course, the skittles are becoming a great motivator!!


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