When I have an anxiety spike, I buy tea.

cup of tea

The calendar doesn’t lie: Summer is almost over.

I am simultaneously relieved and disappointed.

I love sleeping in during the summer. Now that the kids are old enough to help each other get some cereal and find an appropriate tv channel, it was rare to see me out of bed before 8:30.

Days without structure and routine really appeal to the laid back, okay, lazy mom that I am. Being able to pile into the car at a moment’s notice to head to the river, meet friends for lunch, or even take a road trip is definitely my style, too.

But the Cabin Kids are all up in my business, all the time:

Which doesn’t suit the changes I am trying to make…

Captain and I have decided that I need a job. Though it’s less of a job decision and more of a housing decision. We’re finally buying property to build our forever home on and if we want to maintain our lifestyle, an extra income is mandatory. We’re keeping it modest, but the mortgage is still going to be a substantial increase from our relatively low rent.

Working from home with kids who are used to you being at their beck and call is a serious pain in the ass. Kudos, seriously, to those of you who have juggled that particular type of chaos, because I am failing at it. Miserably.

Once school starts, two of the Cabin Kids will be in school full time, one half time, and the only one left at home will be The Kraken, who still, blissfully, naps every afternoon. I plan on using those two hours of naptime in the afternoons to get some work done, then finish up what I need to in the few hours between when Captain gets home and we put the kids to bed.

As awesome as the plan sounds, I am feeling super anxious about the change. What if I fail? What if I just can’t juggle being a fully functioning work at home parent with my health and mental wellness goals? I am already counting on squeezy applesauce packets and GoGurts to make mealtimes for the kids easier. What if, for as many unnecessary things that I cast aside until I get my bearings, our life is total and utter chaos until our home is built and we’re settled in enough space with school bus service for the kids? Will I have the energy and desire to put the extra effort into my relationship with Captain that I need to?

Needless to say, my anxiety is spiking again.

And for some reason, when I find myself struggling to breathe without pressure in my chest, when there is a headache constantly lingering behind my ears, when the slightest thing makes me crumple into tears or explode in ridiculous rage, I go looking for a cup of tea.

But it can’t be any cup of tea. It has to be a new tea.

Suffice it to say, I’ve anxiety shopped for tea a few times in the past year…

cupboard of tea

I buy the tea thinking that it will be the catalyst for a new routine: Have a cup of tea while I blog in the morning. Finish a chore then curl up with a book and a cup of tea. You know, the romantic, cushy version of life that usually involves a hot, steaming beverage.

For a few days, it does help me stay grounded in my new goals…

cup of tea

For the most part though, it just takes up space in my cupboard.

This feeling is grief

My stomach is in knots. My chest aches. I have a nearly uncontrollable urge to cry. I let go a little and tears stream silently down my cheeks. Soon the tears are unstoppable and I cannot help the sobs ripping from my throat.

This is too much to feel. The physical discomfort feels familiar. I have experienced this sensation, like my soul is twisting away from my body, trying to get away, to get a break from the emotional torment my brain is going through.

Then I remember where I have felt this pain before. It is the same way I felt when I learned of my Uncle’s death by suicide. How I felt when I thought I was going to lose Captain when I fessed up to a stupid mistake. The agony of learning about each of my 3 miscarriages.

This feeling is grief.

It feels like my dream has died. Is dying. Right here in front of my eyes, pieces of my dream are being snipped away. It no longer has the beauty of hope and promise. The allure of potential and possibility.

My dream is now a shell. A mish-mash of the few pieces I have refused to let go of. It is barebones and compromise. It is changes and restrictions. It is tiny whispering chances for YES in The Chamber of Echoing NOs we are struggling to escape from.

Tomorrow might be better.

But today, in grief, in despair, I am letting go of hope.

Resolutions, of course.

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It’s the beginning of a New Year, so of course we’re thinking of changes and new beginnings.

I’ve tried to really take the time to think about exactly how I want 2015 to be different, and I think I’ve come up with things that are not only impactful, but achievable.

-I resolve to be more patient.  Not just as a mother, but as a human.  I’ve never been good at waiting.  That doesn’t mean I can’t become better at it.  Maybe a few less ‘hurry ups’ every day, maybe stepping back and letting my kids do something on their own, maybe just a few extra breaths when I start to feel the ‘just do it’ rise in my throat.  I can do that.

-I resolve to be a better friend.  Much of 2014 was a struggle to find new friends.  I am happy to say that I feel like I’ve found a few who could be truly good ones.  Now I just need to nurture those friendships, and give a bit more attention to the friendships I’ve had for years that, sadly, have taken a back seat the past year and a half.

-It may sound contradictory to my first resolution, but 2015 will not be a year of waiting, like 2014 was.  I will take action on the things that I can… my writing, publishing my children’s book, finding communities I can flourish in, and giving back to the ones I found solace in last year.

I won’t say getting healthy is a 2015 resolution, because it is a life-long resolution.  Also, whenever I make a declaration about my body, I fail horribly.  My “lose 20 pounds by Christmas” goal last year?  Gained 10.  Because that’s apparently just how I work.  My family and I will continue to make healthy choices as often as possible and not feel guilty about treats and splurges when we do have them.  What’s life without a few treats, anyway?

What are your resolutions for 2015?

New Year, New Gear! DP’s First Giveaway!!

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As my followers know by now, I am surrounded by incredibly talented and generous people.  I like to think that it’s because I am cut from the same cloth, but it could be more of the ‘opposites attract’ law, too.

I have been waiting for the chance to host a giveaway since I made the switch to a self-hosted site and now, the time is finally here!!

Just in time for the New Year, I have these wonderful, handmade goodies to offer one of YOU!

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First, the deets.  Gain entries through the Rafflecopter box at the end of this post.  Easy, peasy stuff such as liking Facebook pages, subscribing to see new posts, and sharing your favorite past post of mine.  Giveaway starts NOW, and goes til the ball drops on New Year’s, when the winner will be announced on my Facebook page.

Now, on to the goodies!!!

I am so excited to be giving away some soaps from my friend Samantha at Pip and Lola’s Everything Homemade.  Through the wonders of the internets I was able to watch her go from making her first batch of soap to an amazing small-business owner.  She has generously gifted us a bar of her Classic Chamomile and a bar of Peppermint Mocha ‘Barely Scented’ soaps.  As always, she threw in a sample, and this sliver of Blushing Rosemary smells DIVINE!

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DaMora of My Tangled Thread is the momma of Cabin Girl’s first school love.  A busy mom of 3 gorgeous kiddos, she finds time to make these beautiful crocheted pieces, ranging from boot cuffs to little hair clips.  I was so excited to open the package she sent to discover this fabulous head band!

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I met Leigh through my Tacoma bestie, and after an initial, semi-awkward “Uhm, hey, you’re friends with my friend, want to be friends?” phase on Facebook, we’ve found we have a lot of things in common.  One of those things is cutting toxins out of our lives.  Leigh has done this by making her own Whipped Tallow Balm!  Her Etsy shop is Tallow Fed, which sounds delightfully rustic and homey, and makes me think of my Great Grandmother’s old farm house.

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Erica, of Meticulous Creations, and I go way back.  Like, sitting together on the school bus in 2nd grade way back.  Through the wonders of the world-wide-web we reconnected and now she is creating freaking adorable accessories while taking care of her precious baby girl.  I was so excited when she said YES to my request for giveaway goodies, and was not disappointed when I received these delightful earrings, hair clips, and a bonus pack of Greek seasoning to give to you!

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I. AM. IN. LOVE with this hat from Odette.  She always shares the most beautiful photos of little babies in her knitted accessories on her Facebook page, and is one of the sweetest people I have ever met.  With 3 little boys, I am just in awe of her.

ohatmodel Model not included.

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Last, but definitely not least, are some more luscious soaps, this time from the multi-talented DeCristoforo sisters, who I met in my Renn Faire days.  These organic and rustic Pumpkin and Coffee soaps smell so good I could eat them (which I won’t, but I want to, but I won’t).  If you don’t do anything else today, go check out their gorgeous Civil War Era dresses in their Etsy shop!

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There you have it!  You can get up to 25 initial entries, and 3 each day until the giveaway ends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

November Wrap-Up!

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Last month I participated in National Blog Posting Month with BlogHer.  It was crazy.  Kind of stressful.  And a definite challenge to come up with unique content every day.

BUT, it was exactly what I needed to get back into the ‘swing’ of things, now that we’ve moved and are settling in to life as a family of 6 in a new city.

Here are my favorite and most popular posts of the month!

The One Who Cares was a HUGE hit, and was featured as a BlogHer editor’s pick!

someecards.com - No one cares what you think no one cares about.The Urge to Purge was a tough admission to write, but the positive response I received was so appreciated.

stavingoffbulimiaI shared our family’s new, religion free grace to say at mealtime.

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Apologized for my daughter being THAT KID

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Shed light on why it’s so hard to beat depression:

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Admitted that my kids aren’t my most important people.

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And painted a picture of what breastfeeding is really like!

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Stay tuned this month, when I tackle a body image post that’s been in the works for a while, share our family’s holiday adventures, host my first giveaway, guest post for some awesome ladies, and bring back the Unicorns Fart Glitter Blog Hop!

Month of May- Monday Wrap-Up

Holy crap, it’s June already!

Apparently, I need to stop blinking, because that’s how fast the time goes.

Aside from celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary and hitting over 150 Facebook fans, this is what happened around the Pirate house and blog in May:

This month, I posted a tutorial on how to bleach your own design onto a t-shirt: Kraken Maternity Tee

I wrote about why I won’t be hiding the aspects of my person that some people may not like anymore:  Just Be- About Me, the Color Purple, and Why I Won’t Tone it Down Anymore

Penned a letter to my friend dealing with infertility: Letter to My Best Friend

And shared pictures and details about my awesome Mother’s Day gift, a whole day and night out with my local bestie: Mud Runs and Mom Proms.

 

I also made a frame out of sticks we collected on a field trip for Cabin Boy’s preschool teacher, knitted a bunch of baby gifts for my due date buddy’s secret exchange present, jumped on the Baby Mugging bandwagon started by Mommy Shorts, updated the boys’ mohawks, and took Cabin Girl rollerskating for the first time.

 

If you’re looking for something to do aside from chores this week, take the time to check these posts out!

 

My Summer in Numbers from TheShitastrophy
 An honest look at what to expect over summer vacation.  I hope we have enough snacks.
You want a Snickers?  That’ll be a 5k, please.
Parenting without religion, Part 1- Prayer from Slow Down: People Breathing
On how you don’t need religion to raise good, considerate kids.
Summer fun activity!
The War for Peace from Stantose
“Good job Mommy.  You’re OK.”
A Reason to Sing from Sloppy Copy Mommy
“Tonight, I decided that this is what it’s all about. We hold them close, we love them, rock them, sing to them, and suddenly one day they’re singing the songs themselves. Rocking their sisters in little rocking chairs, holding doll babies close. They’re copying the way we love, the way we live. “
Providing excerpts, and hilarious insight, from The Total Woman on how to “make your marriage come alive”… 70s style.
Kids Food Rules from Science of Parenthood
The sad and hilariously true reality of why your kids may not be eating what’s on their plate.
10 Confessions of a Regular Mom from It’s Not Like a Cat
The first 5 of 10 confessions.  How many can you relate to?
Excellent advice for newbies to streamline their blog.
Here’s looking forward to a busy June!
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