Dear Good Morning America……

**As Suicide Awareness Month draws to a close, this is a reminder to head on over to The Leaf Pile to help raise money for To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit organization that is โ€œdedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide.โ€ The owner of The Leaf Pile is doing a 30 day art challenge and will be posting artwork every 5 days in her store for purchase during this month, with every $5 going directly towards TWLOHA***

Today’s blog entry is in response to this article in The Mighty.

Dear Good Morning America:

I am tired. SO tired.

In the past two years my husband and I have lost 4 friends to suicide.

We’ve stood in line to comfort grieving widows and friends of friends who for all intents and purposes were happy-go-lucky people.

One was a pastor.

One thing suicide does not do is discriminate.

I am tired. Of having suicide on the brain. But you know what I’m more tired of? National platforms, like your show, that shut down the conversation on suicide prevention because talking about suicide is awkward. It’s messy. It’s freakin’ hard to talk about.

But we HAVE to. Talking about suicide, bringing it out in the open, SAVES LIVES. Helping those contemplating suicide to realize they are not alone in the world helps to KEEP THEM HERE.

So Good Morning America, as Suicide Awareness Month draws to a close, you still have an opportunity to make this right. To put suicide awareness on the national stage.

Because for some of us, suicide awareness lasts longer than a month.

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The One Where Lulabelle Writes a Letter To Jesus……

Dear Jesus: I am tired. Tonight I attempted, for the millionth time, to give our oldest cat her medicine for an inflamed trachea. I thought for sure this time it’d work because I mixed it into wet food and she seemed to enjoy it this morning.

Although I did put it in the microwave for a bit too long so I had to let it cool. It also maybe exploded just a bit during the heating process and now I have to eventually clean the inside of our microwave from wet exploded bits of cat food.

My bad.๐Ÿ˜›

So far we’ve tried hiding the pill in a treat, hiding the pill in wet food and even rolling her favorite treat in the wet residue of the crushed up pill.

Nada.

If she was a tiny human now would be the point where I just break down and bribe her with a shopping trip to Claire’s or something if she would just freakin’ take her medicine!!

Jesus, it’s be a long couple days and I’m tired. I’ve been praying for her healing, but now I have another request.

Dear Jesus, can you do me a solid and just heal her “old school” style?ย  Like how you healed people in the Bible. You know, instantly with no fuss?

Thanks!

PS: Oh, and please forgive our vet’s office for what I’m 99% sure was a lie when I asked them if her medicine was available in liquid form and they said no.

Amen!

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Refuses to take her medicine. Prefers to eat Parmesan cheese from the trash. #CatLogic

And The Truth Shall Set You Free…..

So after my blog went live the other night, I happened to read a comment from a new reader. And it stung a little bit. This person had made a judgement about me based solely on reading a tiny snapshot of my life.

And for a moment I considered its truth. And believed the truth as this person saw it, that I was lazy and unproductive.

Ouch!

The thing with having anxiety is that often times when I’m criticized, no matter who it is, I have a moment when I consider its truth. And often I decide there is a morsel of truth in the offending statement.

Last night I realized the flaw in this reasoning.

The flaw is this random person doesn’t know me. They don’t know my life (unless they’ve read my blog for the last two years, but even then that’s just a bunch of snapshots). They don’t realize that the way I have to be in the world is different than others because of the way my brain functions. That seemingly small tasks like taking a cat to the vet stress me out to the point that I need some down time after getting back home.

They clearly also don’t realize the risk and preparations needed to give a cat a pill!๐Ÿ˜€ Or that you’ll often remain unsuccessful on the first try.

Or 50th.๐Ÿ˜‰

This also reminded me of something I read a few years ago right after President Obama entered the White House for his first term. The Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara, had written a letter to Sasha and Malia Obama about what to expect as the First Kids. One thought from the letter has always stuck with me. They told the young girls to always remember who their dad actually is. No matter who said what about him. That at the end of the day, the leader of the free world, was still their dad. Still the same person.

They reminded the girls to remember their truth.

And so in light of this troll, I remember my truth. That I am a housewife that picks up the slack so we have clean dishes, vacuumed carpets, clean bed sheets and well fed fur babies. That I feed my passion of helping to encourage and inspire others through my blog.

This truth has set me free.๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers!

**I don’t have a picture to post with today’s entry, but here is a relaxing song to get you through this busy Thursday. One of my favorites played by one of my favorites; my cousin, Ted Yoder. Please note that I am unable to post the actual video as WordPress has recently changed their settings, but if you click the link below, it’ll take you right there.๐Ÿ™‚

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om3OAVh34nk

Son Of a Monkey’s Uncle’s Mother’s Sister’s Hairstylist!

I am eating chocolate for dinner. I have no regrets. It’s been a long day. Specifically, this is the Mondayest Tuesday that has ever been.

Now I’m pretty sure I’ve used the term “Mondayest Tuesday” before, but I’m sure as shootin’ that the last time I used it wasn’t all that bad in the hindsight of today’s events.

Here is how the day has gone. I get up at 9 to feed the kids, find that Phoebe’s bowl is empty still because Riley ate it all. Phoebe has a raspy cough, so I call vet to schedule an appointment for this afternoon. Go back to sleep. Wake up at 2, Phoebe is still raspy but has eaten half her food. I get ready to go, go to sit down on the toilet and almost sit on Riley who is currently attempting to DRINK FROM the toilet. I get him off, sit down and he tries again to jump up and drink WHILE I’M ON IT. Then Chad gets home and while I’m getting my shoes on, he’s trying to corral Phoebe into the carrier without success. He turns around, Riley is IN the carrier just as pleased as punch. Chad picks it up, tells him to get out please, Riley fakes deafness and ignores him, so Chad picks up the carrier and tips it door forward (I do apologize we did not photograph this, but your imagination could probably paint a pretty accurate portrait of how this all looked)……Riley, still not wanting to get out of the carrier is holding on to whatever he can. He finally jumps out (Gosh, I haven’t gotten to the most stressful part yet. You better strap on a helmet or something.๐Ÿ˜€ )

Chad gets Phoebe into the carrier and she’s not happy about it and is crying something awful, because her voice is still raspy AND she’s also scared.

I grab my crutches, think “I don’t need my purse. I can’t carry it with me,” so I leave it on the ground. Chad opens the door for me, I get outside, Chad follows me and shuts the door behind him, leaving Phoebe inside. The moment the door closes he asks me if I have my keys.

N…O…..P……E!

Thankfully our penchant for procrastination finally paid off as we haven’t yet gotten the window lock fixed, so Chad climbs through the window to rescue Phoebe and comes back out the front door that has been locked again. We get in the car, Chad says, “Oh **GOLLY GEE I forgot the keys!” So when we got back he has to do the window dance again.

By the way, Phoebe is fine. Took an X-Ray. They think it’s just an inflamed trachea and gave us medicine.

Which I had to attempt to trick her into taking a few hours later. They suggested stuffing into a soft treat or wet food. We have a can of wet food, but I wanted to try stuffing it in a pill before we had to go that route. So attempt #1 was a fail as I squished it whole into the back of the treat and gave it to her treat side up. She ate the treat and dropped the pill on the floor.

Dang it!!

So my next attempt involved crushing the pill with a paper plate and the back of a spoon.

No dice.

I added water to it and tried mashing it with a fork.

Here I was a humble Mennonite woman crushing up a BLUE pill with the back of a spoon for my cat and hiding it in her food. I felt like I was on an episode of Breaking Bad, minus the actual crystal meth.

So my last attempt was mashing up the pill with water into another soft treat. That worked like a charm. Oh, not that she ate it, but I was able to successfully mash it up into the treat.

Go me!๐Ÿ˜›

So as I sit here writing this we are in a sort of holding pattern. She’s still not taken her pill and baby boy kitty continues to steal her food, to the point that I finally had to put it on the counter and hand feed her.

So I’m eating chocolate for supper. After which I plan to veg out on my current favorite video game; Best Fiends.

And wonder what tomorrow will bring.

**Blogger adjusts her crash helmet and makes sure her seat belt is fastened**

**Yeah, Chad didn’t actually say, “Golly Gee!” But our parents read this blog so…..๐Ÿ˜‰

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I may be eating chocolate for dinner, but don’t worry guys, it’s snack size! #GirlMath

Lulabelle Reviews: Pumpkin Spice Oreos (Allergy Edition)

Are these cookies worth a very mild, totally controllable allergic reaction to Golden Oreos?

Stay tuned.๐Ÿ˜›

(Sidenote: Of course I do not advocate anyone eating a food that they are knowingly allergic to. However my reaction is so mild and non anaphylactic, that I decided to just indulge this once. I really hope they don’t suck.ย  ;-)ย  )

So Chad had a work thing to do this evening and afterwards picked up a few groceries. He came back with the items on the list PLUS a package of Oreos.

Now the moment he stepped out the door I thought to myself, “Man, I could really go for an Oreo right about now!” So the fact that he came back with them unprompted reassures me that I made the right call in agreeing to marry him 7 years ago.

Before I can get into my review I have to open them and I have to be honest: This is the most annoying part of limited edition Oreos. The fact that they do not come in the easy open, resealable package. I guess it’s good to work off some calories opening the package because then it’s like you’ve had a little work out and, “Hey, I’m gonna reward myself with Oreos!”

This is basically half of what you do as an adult. Coming up with little rewards for accomplishing menial tasks.

Smell: Whoa! Ok, remember that candle that I talked about a couple months ago? The one that we purchased at a random gas station based on it’s name alone? Yeah, these smell exactly like that. But I suppose the name, “Smell My Nuts” Oreos probably wouldn’t be a big seller.

The smell is very fragrant, like a pumpkin pie, but a fake pumpkin pie candle scent. Not something that you smell and immediately think, “Yes I think I will eat that!”๐Ÿ˜›

Appearance: They appear to be the Golden Oreos with a browny orange cream filling. This gives me a little bit of hope that they won’t taste so artificial. I was concerned that the cream would be bright dayglo orange.

Taste: Lord have mercy, here we go…….

HOLY MOTHER, It’s a MIRACLE!!! It’s a graham cracker Oreo that looks very similar to the golden one. So the first flavors that I taste are graham, nutmeg and lots of cinnamon. Not really sure I taste pumpkin.

I need to eat another one….hang on….

Just ate some of the filling by itself and I guess I kinda taste pumpkin. Just a smidge though. The pumpkin is lost in the aromatic flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg. The cookie on it’s own definitely tastes exactly like Teddy Grahams, so that’s a bonus.

Overall I LOVED these and they have been bumped up to my second favorite of the Oreo flavors, the favorite of which is original.

Bon-Appetit’ Y’all!

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A package of Pumpkin Spice Oreos beside our pumpkin spice kitty. Who runs so fast when a photograph opportunity presents itself, you take it, even if he’s mid run and the resulting photo is blurry.

FTC DISCLAIMER: Nabisco did NOT pay me to give them a favorable review. All products purchased with my own hard earned cash.

LAFF: Accidental Science Experiments….

**This week is National Suicide Prevention Week, a cause that is the reason why I started this blog last February. All this week, I will be collaborating with the Etsy store, The Leaf Pile to help raise money for To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit organization that is โ€œdedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide.โ€ The owner of The Leaf Pile is doing a 30 day art challenge and will be posting artwork every 5 days in her store for purchase during this month, with every $5 going directly towards TWLOHA***

**This week only she is also donating 25% of all sales on her ENTIRE site to TWLOHA

***ALSO September 10 (tomorrow) is WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY and The Leaf Pile will be offering a large piece 9ร—12 for $30 ($15 of which will go directly to TWLOHA)


The last two months of our lives have been a blur. Adopting Riley, my foot accident, and Chad starting a new job at a new company have turned out lives upside down.

Just how busy have we been?

I present to you Exhibit A:

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I see you are confused. Let me walk you through this.

Yes, this is a picture of a bowl of carrots in a dirty microwave. (Pay no attention to the dirty microwave๐Ÿ˜› ). Why is this the symbol of too much busyness in our lives? Because this is what awaited Chad as he attempted to heat up frozen baked chicken last week. It’s not every day you open the microwave and are greeted with cooked food. It would have been somewhat of a miracle if not for the fact that the carrots had been in there for three days.

Yeah. I told you, we were busy. Let me explain:

Chad called me a few nights ago to say that he’d be home for dinner and could I start by nuking some carrots in the microwave? Of course I could and did. After they were done cooking, I left them in there to stay warm because Chad hadn’t come home yet.

Can you see where this is going?

Yep, Chad was actually unable to make it to dinner and we both COMPLETELY FORGOT about the carrots until we were making dinner 3 days later and discovered them, sad, soggy and a little bit moldy.

We learned two things from this experience:

1. We may never be able to enjoy cooked carrots again without feeling tinges of guilt

and

2. We may desperately need a vacation!

Throwback Thursday: To the Time We Got Kicked Out of a Weird Al Concert…..

**This week is National Suicide Prevention Week, a cause that is the reason why I started this blog last February. All this week, I will be collaborating with the Etsy store, The Leaf Pile to help raise money for To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit organization that is โ€œdedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide.โ€ The owner of The Leaf Pile is doing a 30 day art challenge and will be posting artwork every 5 days in her store for purchase during this month, with every $5 going directly towards TWLOHA***

**This week only she is also donating 25% of all sales on her ENTIRE site to TWLOHA

***ALSO September 10 is WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY and The Leaf Pile will be offering a large piece 9×12 for $30 ($15 of which will go directly to TWLOHA)


Ok, so maybe “kicked out” is a tad melodramatic. Technically we didn’t get kicked out of the theater till the concert was over and the meet and greet for Weird Al was about to start. The meet and greet was only for a select few that paid for VIP badges.

And we had no stinkin’ badges.๐Ÿ˜›

So at the end of the concert where we were in the very back row, I decided I wanted to try going down to the front of the theater and looking up into the balcony.

As I’ve mentioned before I live with agoraphobia that makes it nearly impossible to enjoy theaters and stadiums without tremendous bouts of anxiety. Through the years things have gotten a tiny bit better and I’ve even been able to enjoy concerts and go to the theater without anxiety. This day was no exception.

I had no anxiety throughout the entire concert. So afterwards, I decided I’d be really brave and see if I could go down to the front to the stage and look up at the balcony.

This was something that in the past if I’d been able to tolerate the venue, I’ve NEVER been brave enough to go down front and look up.

And guess what? I did it. I went down to the front, turned around and looked up. It was a glorious anxiety free moment I never thought I’d have in my lifetime.

Then the voice of doom spoke out behind me: “Ok, we are about to start the meet and greet, so that means if you don’t have a VIP badge, that mean you gots to go!” In between wanting to correct his grammar, giving him my blog promo cards in an attempt to let us stay and explaining to him how big this moment was in my life, we decided to forgo all of those options and just head back to our hotel.

For the entire drive back to our hotel, I was basking in the glow of my victory. When I was a kid I never believed that I’d one day be able to go into an auditorium/theater without a lick of anxiety and at the end of the show go down front and look up.

So how did I get to this point of success? I have to say it took TIME and it wasn’t always pleasant.๐Ÿ˜‰

1. I think one of the biggest things that I did was starting to go to a very large church in a large auditorium when I moved back to the Midwest about 5 years ago. I do have to be honest and admit the first two or so times Chad and I went I was pretty anxious and I had to sit in the back near the door and I clung to Chad’s arm the whole time, but the more I went, the more comfortable I became.

2. After I became used to our church, I was able to gauge how big a space was and if I’d be able to handle it based on if it was roughly the same size. Sometimes when I’m in the middle of a panic, this can be hard to keep in mind, so I was glad when I had friends around me to remind me of this. It was because of this reminder that I was able to go to The Grand Old Opry and see Loretta Lynn perform.

Highlight of my life!

3. I married a concert junkie!๐Ÿ˜› Seriously, Chad LOVES concerts and music. And because he also enjoys spending time with me, I’ve gone along to many a concert in our almost decade long relationship. This has helped to desensitize me to venues and situations that would have caused anxiety for me in the past. It should be noted that for some of these concerts I DID have anxiety, but the more I went, the less I had.

I hope that if you live with agoraphobia like I have, you’ll find hope in this post. Also please be aware that although this has been my experience, this may not work for you. Remember you are NOT alone!

Cheers!

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ย I got all fanicified for the concert๐Ÿ˜‰