telling my dad stories. (sponsored by Story by Disney)

This post is sponsored by Disney Story. To find out more about this brand-new story-creation app – and how it puts the power of storytelling in your hands – click here.

My dad doesn’t do twitter.

He doesn’t do Instagram.

He’s not on Facebook.

He doesn’t read my blog (my step-mom does, hi Gramma Flower! He says I talk about my uterus too much.)

Needless to say my dad misses out on a lot, I sometimes forget he’s completely unaware of almost everything I’m doing because unless I call or text him, he’s in the technological dark. There was an entire month where every text I sent him was from a different state, sometimes even country. He jokingly texted me on a random Thursday afternoon “Where’s Waldo?” Of course I texted back that I was on my way to the airport. Because I was. Again.

(I told my sister to set up a Facebook and Instagram account for him so he can follow just the two of us. Seems totally smart right?)

Until then, I’ll keep sending him stories I make with the new Story App from Disney.

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MoTab in Indy. {a lovely sounding local giveaway}

We now interrupt this wompy, sad and depressed blog momentarily for a giveaway which is near and dear to my wompy, sad and depressed heart.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is coming to Indianapolis THIS FRIDAY (June 14th) for the first time in ONE HUNDRED YEARS.

This is very big news.

If you’ve never heard the MoTab live, well.

It will basically change your life. I kid you not.

(No, really, I’m not just saying that because I’m a Mormon. My agnostic mother once got mad at me because I didn’t take her to more Tabernacle performances.)

I have two tickets to give away.

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waffles and waiting.

Depression smells like waffles, because that’s what Cody makes for everyone when I’m too sad to function.

Tonight was supposed to smell like barbeque, fresh peas and watermelon.

But sad won.

I haven’t lost it completely, I haven’t broken down into that terrible ugly cry that requires a dozen tissues and causes your eyes to hurt for the next 24 hours. But I did just catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and it doesn’t look good.

This hurts really bad, and when I’m out of it I can appreciate that this is my trial. That I am strong enough to make it through each episode in one piece and use my experiences to help others.

When I’m out of it for a long time I can always brush it off as “not that bad.”

“It could always be worse.”

But shit, when I’m in it.

I forgot how bad this hurts.

Words can still make it out of my fingers, but when they try to come out of my mouth they get trapped, confusing and tear stained.

There’s no easy way out. There’s no pill. There’s no nap long enough. There’s no shot. There’s nothing in the world that can fix this but time.

The thought of being one on one with both little girls all day tomorrow terrifies me. Addie hasn’t really seen me like this since I was pregnant with Vivi.

I talk with her often about my brain, and how hard I work to keep it working well.

Tomorrow I’m going to have to try to explain that my brain won this round.

Or I’m going to have to fake it and lie.

It’s so hard knowing people are going to need me tomorrow when I can barely function myself.

I don’t know how Cody loves this. How he continues to fight so hard for me when I can’t fight for myself.

When I’m like this I see nothing worth fighting for. Who’s to say the real me is coming back?

The biggest difference between me now and me eight years ago is I know there’s something, somewhere inside me worth fighting for.

Even if I can’t see it.

It’s what keeps me floating above self harm. I know it’s down there, but I know it won’t make things better.

So I sit here sad, knowing this isn’t my fault, and working to get better.

(And when I say “working to get better” it means not resorting to drinking heavily and letting my kids wander around the neighborhood alone. Go me.)

I don’t want to be friends with myself right now.

So hopefully you’ll understand why I don’t answer my phone or my door.

I’ll be okay, probably not today. Or tomorrow. But eventually.

There’s something to be learned in all this pain.

And I know it’s worth sticking around long enough to find out what it is.

Totally unrelated:

These thighs.

sisterhood and disney nerdery.

If this looks at all familiar, there’s a very good chance you grew up on Disney movies. Click through for more to test your own childhood.

This one covers Addie and Vivi’s sisterhood from birth to walking. My, how time flies.

This one covers their sisterhood from walking to last week. (It’s probably my favorite.)

what my religion is for me.

Sometimes I think about all the ways life would be easier if I weren’t a Mormon.

Mormon with a beer at 10 am. I like my chicken drunk.
Not in a serious way, but in a “Is this really the way I live my life?” kind of way. Which sound serious, but I promise it’s not. (Also easier does not equal better. At all.)

Depending on your experience, being Mormon may look hard. There’s an awful lot of church things I do on a regular basis, there’s about a thousand church related things I *could* be doing, a lot more I probably *should* be doing and a whole lot of stereotypical things you will never find me doing. (I swear it’s not in the handbook that Mormons have to be crafty because hi, me.)

Chances are you fall into one of the following categories:

A) Mormon. If so, hi!

B) Mormons don’t drink coffee or alcohol which NO THANK YOU, LEAVE NOW, AMEN.

C) I’m very happy with my own religion, thank you very much.

D) I’m very happy without any religion, thank you very much.

Mormons are big on missionary work, hence the nicely dressed young men and women that have probably come knocking at your door during naptime (sorry about that.) You see, you never know who’s going to be looking for religion or where they might be, so those missionaries have to knock on a lot of doors to find the people who need or want what they have to offer. They’re always going to be painfully optimistic if you open your door because YOU MAY BE THE ONE (even if you’re not) and since talking about church is basically their job for two years they’re terribly enthusiastic about it.

It’s a very green eggs and ham type situation, but hopefully no Mormons in your life are as pushy as Sam I Am. The missionaries and other Mormons will keep on offering it up, and occasionally someone will give it a try and likes it.

Growing up in Utah, Mormonism was offered to me on an almost weekly basis in various ways. It wasn’t until I met Cody that I decided to give it a try, and what do you know, I liked it.

I also know a lot of people who have tried it, hated it, and have wanted noting to do with it ever again Sam I Am.

Missionary work in the traditional sense makes me terribly uncomfortable. For the longest time I had this idea that missionary work was like saying “I know better than you, I live better than you and I’m going to give you the opportunity to live as well as I do.”

Icky right?

Some people I know are amazing at walking up to someone and starting a conversation about religion, I am not one of them.

On the other hand I am more than happy to sit behind my computer screen and show several thousand strangers what being a Mormon is like for me. It’s sometimes very hard, it’s sometimes very frustrating, it’s usually very rewarding, it’s generally very easy, it’s very rarely crafty and it is so much a part of who I am that I can easily give credit to God for every good thing in my life.

Even my agnostic best friend who claims foreveralone. Yep, God gave you to me. Not sure who gave me to you, but you know my end of the story so go with it.

At times I’ve thought that I should leave church to the people who really know what they’re doing. The people who do everything they’re supposed to be doing and live their lives according to all the handbooks (yes, there are handbooks.)

In my younger years I was a dancer. To this day every part of me wants to dance and even more parts of me miss dancing more than I miss certain parts of my youth.

the tutu moosh
I was never the right body type for what I really wanted to do, which was classical ballet — but I did it anyway.

I watched as the tall thin girls who were all legs and no boobs went off to college with dance scholarships then on to promising contracts with various ballet companies.

Does the fact that I don’t perform to audiences every night lessen my love of dance? Absolutely not.

I am not on the front lines of Mormonism. I couldn’t throw down in a heated gospel debate nor could I teach you everything there is to know about scriptures, church history or doctrine. There are still parts of it that confuse me, confound me and sometimes make me a little angry.

But I love it. It is very much a part of who I am and I could never just walk away from it, just like I can’t step-ball-change away from my love of dance or walk away from the man who confuses me, confounds me and sometimes makes me a little angry.

From a worldly perspective it would certainly be easier to quit this whole church thing. Sundays free, less guilt, beer with pizza, sundresses, 10% more money each week and fancy coffee drinks.

But I would lose who I am. Because I am so much more than my love of beer and pizza, cute sundresses and sleeping in on Sunday.

Consider my missionary work this: finding so much joy in something you are a part of that it becomes you and you could never walk away from it.

That’s what my religion is for me.

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Of course, if you want to know more there’s some eager youngn’s that would love to speak with you.)

on learning from others and being family. (sponsored)

Thanks to ABC Family’s new series The Fosters for sponsoring this post. Click here to see more of the discussion. Also, watch the series premiere of The Fosters on Monday, June 3 at 9/8c only on ABC Family.

I wish I could explain to you how wonderful the Internet has been for me. If you’ve lived any part of your own life online I’m sure you’re probably familiar with how many wonderful people are out there, teaching others about acceptance through their own examples of wholehearted living. One of the kindest emails I received after Vivi was born was from Kim in Texas. I had lost touch with her in 2009, the year that seemed to be terrible for everyone. We had somehow found each other on Flickr in late 2008, and have followed each other on and off through little snapshots of our daily lives. She congratulated me and offered me the most simple blessing in regards to raising these two little girls of mine. Kim has three children of her own, the oldest is now 23, and her daughter takes the on the role of big sistering as seriously as Addie does.

Our family dynamic, as doodled by  Addie, on a napkin.
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