Saturday, November 24, 2012


There are two things you see when you walk into our house, a table with four chairs, and a big grey empty wall. It's not cozy and it's not very welcoming. If anything it is stark and cold. We have lived at Small House Love for almost a year and a half. Since we moved in, I have had several ideas for this space, and all of them have failed for one reason or another. I know that we could use some extra seating down here, and I know that some art work is probably in order. Maybe some shelving?? I don't know what to do. I would like some input from those of you who take the time to read this little blog. What should we do with this space?? Please keep in mind that on the joining wall behind the table will be a beautiful b&w photograph of  The Grand Tetons. Help!


Big grey empty wall. Sad and lonely looking for some inspiration.

Photo to be placed on joining wall behind the table. Gorgeous right?? If i could live in that house till my end days I would be one happy girl. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Not so dirty laundy

Hello, my name is Sarah, and I have Bipolar II disorder.

A little more than a year ago, I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder. After my diagnosis, I was in complete denial. I was embarrassed, I felt ashamed, and I didn't know how I was supposed to act. For a while it sent me into a deeper depression than I was already in. The really hard part was figuring out how to accept this diagnosis.

Mental illness is still a taboo topic in our country. It is something that is not discussed frequently. There is lack of knowledge about mental illness by the public, and I feel, that there is a definite air of insecurity around the topic. I think that some people still believe that mental illness is not a real thing, and that it can be turned on and off. I found that some people don't know how to act around you. Many people that I told questioned my diagnosis immediately. I frequently got asked, "Are you sure?" "You should seek a second opinion." "Those doctors don't know what they are talking about." My favorite response was "You don't seem bipolar." The responses only reinforced my feelings of embarrassment. I struggled immensely in my therapy sessions working on coming to terms with this disorder. I frequently questioned the diagnosis looking for a loophole or way out.

Finally, I had a breakthrough. In one of my sessions, my therapist asked me if I had a different disease, like diabetes, would I be ashamed about it? I quietly answered no, and then something clicked. I asked myself  "Why should I be ashamed?" This is a disease. This is not something I am choosing. This is like diabetes. It is something that I have to learn to live with and treat. Bipolar disorder is nothing to be ashamed of.

As part of my acceptance, I am sharing with you all. I do not want special treatment from you. I want you to treat me as the same Sarah you knew before you read this because I am still her.

Living with Bipolar II is something I deal with on a daily basis. I know that there will be times when I will suffer from almost crippling depression. I know that there will be times where I might lose control of my situation. I know that this is a disease I can pass on to my children, and I know that their lives will be harder because of it. I also know that it does not define who I am. I refuse to let this disease take over my life. I refuse to let my life be any more affected than it is. I'm not going to say that I will conquer this disease, but I will say I am up to the challenge.

I have become pretty passionate about mental illness awareness. Anytime a conversation, which is not frequent, turns to mental illness, I try to advocate. We need to start bringing awareness to these disorders. They need to stop being pushed under the rug.

Please be aware of those around you, and make sure that you support them in all they are struggling with. You may not understand the disease they are suffering from, but you can help by accepting them as they are.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The root of all evil...

I find myself frequently getting bogged down about money. It's not something that I have a lot of, and to be perfectly honest, getting more isn't going to improve anytime soon. I have an insane amount of student loan debt. In fact, my student loan debt almost matches what Joe and I took out for our house! I have come to terms with the enormous monthly payments, but what I have not come to terms with is the fact that every time I think we are getting settled or ahead, those blood sucking bastards raise my bill!!

Recently my bill went up about an extra $70 a month. We don't really have an extra $70 lying around. Even as I am writing this, I am almost breaking out in hives from the stress of it! Deep breaths. In and out. There we go....

It's mostly frustrating because the reason I have this debt is so I could "get ahead" in life and yet it's holding me back. There are many days when I think "What the hell was I thinking! Be a teacher???  You damn fool!"

Then I walk into my classroom the next day and have one of my students who is practically a mute come up and start a conversation with me about how they had a mouse in their house and how exciting it was to try and catch it. Or another who is reading at a level so low there are no more than two words on a page, and they figure out an unknown word on their own. Seriously my heart soars on those days. In reality, I really am making a difference in their little lives. I don't mean like "hey you're a teacher you make a difference." I mean, I created a bond with that little boy who is too afraid or shy to talk, and I taught that little boy strategies to read that word. I know that I am not alone in this job, and there are endless people to thank, but on those days I know that no matter how little money I have in my pockets, I am doing something that really is truly amazing.

As my previous post stated, I am suffering from baby fever, and as it also stated, I am scared as hell we'll have no money to provide for the little life. As I look back on every month, I need to take into account that:
1. I am still here, and those few extra lbs are proof I am not starving.
2. We do have money that does get our bills paid and a teeny, tiny, little bit left over for some fun things.
3. Screw it, life always seems to work out how it is supposed to.

As my husband pointed out, after talking me off the ledge for the umpteenth time, "We'll go through this together and come out just fine =0)"