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Depressed? Nah.

I’ve had some questions about how I’ve been feeling since Jessica arrived, and I thought it warranted a blog post.  The long story short is that I’ve suffered from bouts of major depression and anxiety since I was in high school, was diagnosed in college, and had a major episode during our stint overseas.  However, when we moved home from England last April and I found out I was pregnant, I quit my medication cold turkey (which, for the record, I don’t recommend…ever).

So here we are now, almost a year later.

I won’t lie and say it was always pretty.  Once I made it through the withdrawal, I suffered from a condition known as “first trimester.”  It wasn’t pretty.  But I don’t know if it was uglier for me than it was for any other women with two active children and a husband still overseas for seven more weeks.

Then, I suffered from a terrible bout of “it’s getting dark earlier.”  It did have me craving a Celexa, but I survived thanks to my fabulous husband and family.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I ran into “the end of pregnancy blues” that are often accompanied by a lack of sleep and severe exhaustion because you’re the size of a house.  But I actually think I managed to handle them pretty well.

Of course, after Jessica was born I was visited by “the baby blues.”  Been there, done that, wrote the book.

So that brings us to where we are today.  And I won’t lie and say that being a mother to three children (five and under) is easy.  There are days I starting counting down to bedtime (usually on my fingers, because my kids have sucked all the intelligence right out of me) shortly after we get up in the morning.  But overall, I’m feeling pretty good about life.

I’m loving every second of Jessica, and I know that’s helping.  The thought that she *might* be our last (my husband is feeling pretty “done” after three girls…I’m not convinced) gives me plenty of cause to cherish every second.  And I’m not sure if it’s because this is my third and Marcus and I have this parenting thing down, or if it’s because Jessica is such a good baby…but I feel pretty on top of things.

For the first time in a long time (ever?) I feel like I’ve got things under control.  I’m a good mom.  Not perfect, but good.  Some days I’m great.

So depressed?   Nah.

It hibernates.  Will it rear its ugly head again?  Perhaps.  Probably.  Maybe. One day.

And I’ll be ready.

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The Stories Writers Tell

Writers tell stories. Whether the pages are filled with hundreds or thousands of words, it’s likely that you’ll find some facts mixed with some fiction, some truth mixed with some lies, and some happiness mixed with some tears.

Sometimes the stories I tell are my own. Whether they’re my experiences or my inventions, they’re shared by me and made real when you read them.

And sometimes the stories aren’t mine to tell, either because someone else can tell them better, or because someone else should tell them first.

However you dice it, today, I’m an aunt.

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In Which I Lose My Blogging Mojo

I feel like I used to have these really insightful, witty even, things to say when I blogged.  I’m not sure what it is about having your third child that turns your brain to mush, but I know it has happened to me.  When I sit down to blog, I’m finding myself at a loss for an anecdote to recite or some deep thought to share.

It’s depressing, that’s what it is.

But it’s a challenge, and I like the idea of rising up to a challenge.  It isn’t that I crave thousands of readers or a following for Kelly Without a Net.  I don’t actually believe that most of my blog readers then go and read my AC articles or think that one day, some famous literary agent is going to read a blog post I’ve written and ask for a copy of Scattered. But what I do want is my blog to mean something–to me, and to the people that do read it.

We’ll see what the next blog brings then, shall we?

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The Forgotten Blog

Have you ever started writing something, and then had to put it away for some reason or another, only to find it weeks or months later?  Had you forgotten about it completely?

That was the case when I found this started blog post from April 22, 2009.  It was probably left incomplete when one of the girls needed my attention, and I simply didn’t know how to finish it.  Like my time in England, I just didn’t know how to finish it.

A glimpse at a forgotten blog post from almost ten months ago…before I found out I was pregnant, before we moved home to America and left our life in the UK behind, before it all…As I sit here tonight watching the snow fall and missing my best friend on her birthday, this post brings so much back to me.  I’m feeling a little homesick, sitting at home.

I have refrained from posting much lately, for once at a loss for words for all that I want to say.  For every bit of excitement and anticipation I feel about our move back to America, another part of me feels devastated and conflicted.  I am filled with emotional turmoil right now, and haven’t been able to put it into words–for you, or for myself.

I have avoided much reflection on what our time here as meant–not because I don’t see it all, but because it would make it too hard to leave.

One of the things that struck me the other day, though, was that it’s amazing to me the way things are connected, and the ways in which the smallest change, gesture, or decision can impact so much of what’s to come.

It started with a simple mention by Marcus that he could apply for jobs around the world.  My shrug and spontaneous reaction to apply for the job here in England.

If he’d never done it, there would be no Erica just yet, as we decided to have Erica because I wanted to have a second child before we moved abroad.

If there’d been no Erica when we’d arrived here, we might not have been sponsored by Curtis, April, and Gabby.  Without this incredible family, my first 6 months in England would have been unmanageable.

If we’d never met the Bly family, we might not have been so inspired to try to reach out to other families in the same way that we were touched and helped.

If we hadn’t been inspired to help, we might not have met Jake, Jess, Sophia, and Ian, and tried to help them in the way that we were helped and supported.

If we’d never met them, I’d never have heard about Ravelry.

If I’d never heard of Ravelry, I never would have met and helped found the Harrogate Knitting Group.

If I’d never met the Harrogate Knitting Group, I’d never have known some of my closest friends here in Harrogate….

How quickly time moves on…

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Falling into Autumn

Another compilation of some of the writing I’ve done over the past few years.  This time, since it’s officially autumn, I thought I’d pull all my autumn & Halloween writing and put it together for those of you that might be interested!

Halloween Content

How to Care for Your Halloween Costume

Where to Find Barbie Halloween Costumes for Little Girls

Where to Find Disney Princess Halloween Costumes Online

How to Celebrate Halloween with Children When Living Overseas

Homecoming

Cheap and Fashionable Homecoming Dresses for 2009

Fashion

Fall Fashion: Update Your Fall Look

Build Back to School Shopping Into the Budget

It isn’t a large compilation…but just wait for the Christmas articles!

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Travel in England

Another Tuesday, another compilation of some of my work for your viewing pleasure.  These pieces all relate to our time while living in England–some of the places we visited, where we lived, and things we learned and wanted to share about life in the UK.  It is by no means comprehensive–in fact, looking at how little it is reminds me of all the additional pieces I’d like to write!

Again, if you have questions, comments, feedback, or additional article suggestions, please fire away!

Food/Drink in the UK

Indian Food in Northern England: Akbar’s Takes the Prize

Organic Food Delivery in Yorkshire, England

Betty’s Cafe Tea Rooms: England’s Best Cup of Tea

Outings in the UK

A Day of History & Natural Beauty in Helmsley, England

Fountains Abbey:  England’s Must See Piece of History

Spofforth Castle:  Best Free Castle Ruin in North Yorkshire, England

Whitby, England:  Best Seaside Holiday in North Yorkshire, England

Bolton Abbey & Hesketh Farm Park: A Family Friendly Day in North Yorkshire, England

Tropical World in Leeds, England: Best Small and Inexpensive Aquarium Day Trip for Children

5 Reasons Not to Bother with Stonehenge

A Daytrip to South Wales:  Caerphilly Castle and Tintern Abbey

Day Trips in Yorkshire, England: Harrogate

Wacky Warehouse: Best Location and Value for a Child’s Birthday Party in England

Tips for Travel in the UK

Tips for Traveling Cheaply in Yorkshire with Young Children

A Guide to Saving Money While Exploring England

Tips for Driving in England

What You Should Know about Using Credit& ATM  Cards Overseas