Cody attempted to distract me several weeks ago with a camping trip.

Camping with Frogs

A few things we had going for us:

cody and me

2006. Aww.

– We were both raised on camping, nothing about it intimidates us and it’s one of the things we miss most about living in Utah.

– We own all appropriate camping gear because we were raised in Utah and camping gear is just something you own when you’re from Utah.

– The weather around here as been simply lovely. Polar vortex in Winter = Want to Die. Polar Vortex in Summer = Hey! My skin isn’t melting off!

However, we had a few things working against us as well:

– Vivi is still working on perfecting potty training.

– Indiana, while pleasant this summer, isn’t exactly where we’re used to camping. Where are all the mountains? Nowhere? Oh.

– Vivi is also terrified of bugs and camping = bugs.

So we decided to do a trial run at camping, meaning we rented a little (LITTLE) cabin in Brown County where we were close to flushing potties, had bunk beds and (sorry) air-conditioning. It took a few hours for the girls to realize all they had to play with was nature (city kids) but once they figured out nature doesn’t (normally) bite, things went quite well. There was firefly catching, s’mores and lots of frogs. We rented a boat the next day, Addie hated it, Vivi joined team boat and never looked back.

Camping with Frogs

First time on a boat. Big fan.

We all became very stinky very fast and by the time we packed up to leave Vivi just looked smelly (not that she cared.)

Our trial run went well, and we’ll be going “real” camping several more times this year before the world ends winter comes.

Before we left Cody was stung by a wasp, then chased by the wasp, then held prisoner by the wasp.

The three of them stood outside our cabin as the wasp waited for Cody to come back so it could finish its job. Cody hollered at me when the wasp was still and I popped out with my flip flop and destroyed the nasty creature. As terrible as the wasp sting was for him, the visual of him trotting away, screaming and swinging a towel around his head as a wasp divebombed his face is one I won’t soon forget.

I guess that’s one of the hardest things about depression, you don’t enjoy anything — so you don’t really make any memories worth keeping. If you were to ask me about the last couple of weeks I could tell you about how Addie has simply stopped asking me to play with her because all I seem to do anymore is cry and yell. I know it has been sunny, and each day I follow the sun throughout my house as I wait for night to come so I can just sit and not have to say anything or have small hands touching me, screaming at me or demanding things from me. I’m making a conscious effort to enjoy my life, enjoy the little things, but right now it’s really hard work. The switch to my new medication has been successful so far — in regards to withdrawals from my previous medication and side-effects of the new one. Now it’s just wait-and-see.

I’ve always hated wait-and-see with new medications. I think most people do.

One thing Utah camping never had was frog catching. Addie and I spent a lot of time doing it, and I hope she always remembers the few days we spent catching tiny little frogs, and that memories like these overshadow the ones of me depressed.

Camping with Frogs
Camping with Frogs


  1. I love you.

    Addie has such beautiful, grown up hands.

    I love Addie’s face

  2. Those frogs are so tiny!!!
    And all you can do is keep trying. One day Addie will look back and understand that you gave the best you had. For her. And she will understand in part because you have left this legacy for her to read in your own words.
    Thank you for not giving up. You have given so much hope.

  3. I work so hard to create magic memories with my son. He’s nine years old, and since he was about two, I’ve gone out of my way to plan things that will allow him to remember fondly a mommy who played with him, took him places, had great experiences with him. And unless we did it last week, he has no memory of it. I’ll never forget them, but he will probably grow up to be one of those people who says, “my mom never played with me”.

    What I mean is that we moms put so much pressure on ourselves to “cherish every second” of motherhood. Sometimes though, it just blows and I’m fairly sure that these kids won’t remember any of it! Hang in there.

  4. Sheyenne says:

    I’m pulling for you and your family. Please keep trying. You’re wonderful, your mind just won’t let you see that right now. But it will, eventually.

  5. I hope that the light that shines in this post comes through to your life every day.

  6. Laura W. says:

    I’ve been there. After my husband left and I found out he’d been cheating I could not eat, sleep, do anything but shake and cry, even with a 2 year old and a 3 year old trying to get me to play, to cheer up. Things are much much better now and we’re a happy family of three, and happily their dad pitches in with them. But I’ll never forget what that felt like. I’d wake up in the morning and feel absolutely exhausted already. It felt like there was a giant cat sized bump of depression sitting on my chest, all day every day, weighing me down and telling me I’m not enough, I’ll never be enough, that I should just get it over with. There is nothing that hurts more than feeling that way, and I am so, so, so sorry you’re going through it. I hope the new meds kick in very soon and please know that you are very important and loved. Your girls are beautiful and obviously have great personalities 🙂

  7. Right there with you. I had a brief respite the other day while on a Jetski. As we were walking to the rental place, I said it was the final test of how insidious this depression was – after all, ‘no one is sad on a jet ski.’ And for about a half hour, I FELT excited and happy. When I came back to the beach, for about five minutes I saw what the world looked like without depression. Then I felt it sinking back around and into me, as physically tangible as the water I was just in.

    So anyway, maybe adrenaline boosting things might help give you pockets of non-depression.

  8. Mini frogs, cute but still give me the ickies. And depression sucks, so does having a shrink that has given up and blamed your personality for your problems.

  9. My husband just said the same thing to our girls: There aren’t any frogs to catch in Utah (where he was raised). We have a tiny pond in our back garden here in England and the froglet crop is bountiful this year, so we can just sit on the grass and watch baby frogs hop all over. Kids and frogs = love!