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New LDS Music Store + Giveaway!

19 December 2012
Hey guys, have you heard about YourLDSMusicStore.com? It's basically awesome and here's why:

They have a free MP3 available to download every week. I don't know about you, but I'm all about the free stuff. Especially free music! Sparrow is such a music freak - he devours songs like they're cookies. Then he sings it all week long, and then I want to claw my ears out. Luckily, I can download a new song each week so that I don't go too crazy. Oh wait - too late.

They have all sorts of stuff available for LDS Music lovers. CDs, songbooks, downloads, sheet music, newsletters featuring new/upcoming and established artists... There's tons of stuff on there. I was eyeing the EFY CDs earlier today. I love those EFY CDs and still remember lots of the songs from my long-gone youth days. I'd love to get a couple of the CDs I remember and play them for Sparrow.

They also have lots of stuff by William Joseph. I got to meet him back in March and I am still starstruck and awed by him. His piano playing skillz are intense. If you haven't heard his stuff, you can preview his "Beyond" CD here William Joseph also has a hymns CD out, but I love his Beyond album because it translates to any audience.

I'm also really into sheet music, especially since I am working on becoming decent at the piano again, and I love that Your LDS Music Store has sheet music available. Sometimes it's tricky to find what you are looking for, but Your LDS Music Store has a really good search engine - you can search by artist, song title, all the normal ways, but also by song genre. I think that's a really great idea.

To celebrate YourLDSMusicStore.com, I am having a giveaway! Comment on this post and you will be entered to win Elder Teddy!

Isn't he ridiculously adorable? I wish I could win him. Elder Teddy has his own website, music, and even a about his travels and experiences. Your child can be his new companion. Awwww.

So to recap:

  • Your LDS Music Store is awesome.
  • Comment on this post to win an Elder Teddy
  • If you want a second entry, link to this post on Facebook and come back here and tell me you did.
  • Giveaway will end on Saturday, Dec 22 at 10 p.m. MST
  • Yay music!

This post is sponsored by YourLDSMusicStore.com. They are providing an Elder Teddy for me to give away. Because they are awesome, that's why.

On Anxiety and Perfectionism

16 December 2012
I've written before about my struggles with Social Anxiety Disorder and Depression. It is not awesome. It is not the trial I particularly want to deal with in this life. But it is what it is, and I have to learn how to function even on the days I don't want to do anything but die.

I've been on medication for almost 5 years now, and I've been on medication that actually works for 3 years. Given a choice, I would not have to take any medications at all. No medicines for me! But when faced with the question of being medicated and a good mother, wife, and being alive or being un-medicated and not functional and/or dead, I pick medicated.

But here's the problem: It's never going to get any better. I've had Social Anxiety for 26 years and it's not getting better. Not with therapy, not with ignoring it. The medicine does help somewhat. But. I can't keep taking higher and higher doses and hoping my problem will go away. I can't keep avoiding things that are hard for me - calling people, going to the store, going to school - because if I keep this up, I'm never going to be able to leave the house. It's too hard.

When I think about it, I want to go eat all the pills in my medicine cabinet and hide under the covers in a dark, locked bedroom. Life scares me. I'm going to school in less than a month and I am abso-freakin' terrified. Logically, I know nothing is going to happen. What's the worst someone's going to do? Scowl at me? Call me a fat bitch in the Costco parking lot (happened a few weeks ago)? Throw a snowball at my head? But in my head I can't escape the "what if they think I'm an idiot. Maybe I am an idiot. I'm an idiot. I can't believe I said that. Why can't I just shut up? Everyone is looking at me. They all think I'm fat and ugly. I am fat and ugly. Why am I even alive? I can't do anything right. I can't do this. Why am I here? I want to go home. I want to die. I don't want to do this anymore. I want to die I want to die I want to die dying is so much easier than living and doing this all the time I can't handle this people are everywhere why are there so many people I bet they all hate me I wish I wasn't too scared to die I wish I could just drop dead right here."

You get the picture.

Anyway, I realize I will probably need to be on medication for the rest of my life. I actually can handle life much better when I'm drugged. It's still hell, but it's manageable hell. I just can't keep relying on the medicine, taking more and more, and waiting for myself to get better. I have to work and I have to do things that scare me. I've told Hawk this. And I think going to school is a good first step. Maybe in a year I will work on calling people. I hate phones so much.

The other thing I have realized about myself is that I am a perfectionist. This is not something I would have ever thought of before, but I read an article that described me perfectly.

Perfectionism:

  • Mistakes bring feelings of self-hatred. You don’t want to do anything because you are afraid of failure.
  • You feel tremendous pressure to earn others’ approval. You must be the best or “perfect” in your tasks.
  • Your need to do things perfectly leads to procrastination until you have time to do it “perfectly,” and you feel driven by fear or duty instead of love.

If I can't do something perfectly, I don't bother doing it. I can't play the piano perfectly, so I don't want to do it at all. I can't clean my entire house to be spotless in a day, so what's the point? I can't be the best mother ever, so why try being a good mom at all? It's too much bother if I can't do it right.

This is crap. I realize this is crap. But this is the way my brain thinks. And it has to stop. I know that I will never be perfect. But I have to stop giving up when I can't do something 100%. I stopped playing the violin back in March because I had played for 6 months and I wasn't a virtuoso yet. I mean, come on. I need to fix my expectations of myself and of my family. We are not perfect and we never will be. It's still okay to try and it's still okay to make efforts and it's okay to fail.

I wish I had realized this about myself years ago. It would have explained so much. I hate math and I now wonder if the reason I hated it and did so badly at it was because when I first started having a hard time with it, I decided that I would never be good so why bother trying? It's enough to make me wonder if I should take a math class sometime. (Ew.) I used to love to write and I came up with some amazing poems, essays and even a novel that was quite good. But I wasn't perfect or publishable on the first draft, so I haven't revised or tried to write poetry in years.

Absolutely ridiculous. But these are the days of my life. This is what I am working through right now. I am going back to school and I am going to fail at least a little bit. And I need to be okay with that - I need to try my very, absolute hardest and be okay with the effort. The growth is in the effort, not in the result.

I think that's going to be my motto for 2013.

Twas the Night Before Christmas as told by a 4 year old

08 December 2012
Three days ago I was shopping for some pajamas in K-Mart when Sparrow said "Mom, I'm going to do the Night Before Christmas." "Uh-huh," I said distractedly.

Then he started reciting it.

The entire thing.

I almost fainted in the socks aisle. I have never read this poem to him. Hawk has read it a few times but never THAT much.

Sparrow's memory is insane and continues to terrify + amaze me. Remember, he's only 4 and he is on the autism spectrum, so this stuff he can do, well it's kind of a big deal.

Tell me this doesn't impress the pants off you. Whew! This is totally unrehearsed, unpracticed and un-anythinged. I did have a copy of the poem next to me to see if he was doing it right, but it didn't have any pictures or anything so Sparrow didn't 'read' it or see it at all. (I say this in the interest of full disclosure, as you can hear the page rustling a few times.)

We Believe in Santa

02 December 2012
Sparrow's at a fun age for Santa. We're trying not to make a huge deal out of it, and we're doing a daily devotional to try and keep Christ in the center of Christmas, but it's been fun. We had our pictures taken at Fotofly Santa on Friday and they turned out really cute!

Oh, and we survived November. It was not a fun month. But now it's December, yay!

2012-0755-5

2012-0767-11That's Hawk in the Santa suit, by the way.

2012-0767-8 This is my favorite. Classic Sparrow.

2012-0767-1 He's getting so grown up!

2012-0755-8

Hawk wants "something awesome" for Christmas. This is what I have to work with every year, people. It drives me nuts. Sparrow wants a Wreck-It Ralph toy and a My Little Pony RC car. He's getting an Imaginext Castle because that's all he plays with at his school and that's what I bought before he changed his mind to the other stuff.

Me? I want a hedgehog. No, I REALLY want a hedgehog. My whole life I've wanted a hedgehog and some recent cute pictures of hedgies circling the Internets have brought the desire back full-force. I'm also in the market for school supplies, clothes, and gift cards so we can afford our upcoming Disneyland trip!

P.S. Perhaps you were one of the 42 people who viewed my post "On Faith and Learning Lessons" last week and are now wondering where the post went. I got a ton of hits in a very short time on that post. But after posting it, I felt uncomfortable about sharing it on the Internet. Maybe after some time has passed I will post it again, but for now it's too sacred an experience for me to publish randomly. I'm happy to share via email if you're curious mostly because I hate it when bloggers post stuff and then take it down, but yeah. It's not going back on the blog for at least 6 months.