hutch is 5!

One whole hand.
I can't believe it.

His personality is best described as...strong.
Strong feelings.
From one emotion to the next.

(The red hair attitude is NOT a myth.)

Like I've said a million times before, he's our sour patch kid.
First, he's sour.
"I'm mad at you forever. For reals."
Then, he's sweet.
"Mommy, will you marry me?"

He will do anything for a laugh.
We're in full blown booty shaking/poop jokes mode over here.
He's all boy, but still loves his mama.

I want to remember how he grabs my hand to fall asleep as we nap.
How he immediately takes his pants off when he comes home.
How he loves his sister SO much, it annoys her.
How he steals my phone and leaves hilarious selfies and videos.
How he can't help but dance when any song starts playing.
How preciously imperfect these last 5 years have been.

No more baby.
No more toddler.
He's my big kid now.

(But always my baby.)

Happy Birthday, sweet boy!


friday joys


Cutie girl decked out for the UCA game last weekend.

why Friday joys {here}

chiropractic cracks. green fireplaces. black Christmas trees. white pumpkins. being proposed to daily by your four year old (of course I say, "yes") dream talks. audiobook narration (need some voice over work? Let's talk!) "Oh! YOU'RE Hutch's mom?" (sometimes a joy. sometimes makes me anxious.) Mexican street corn. oversized eyeglasses. 


when I started medication...

 when it started (here)  when it was time for help (here)  when we came here (here)  

when we started therapy (here)  when my "if" changed to "and" (here)

Why I fight. These three right here.


While things still feel upside down in my little corner of the world, I thought I'd get back on here and continue my journey through depression and anxiety.

This is the post I've been waiting for.

The test that changed my life.

Here, in Arkansas, I have been blessed with the best group of doctors.

They work together and constantly remind me that my health is just as important to them as it is to me.

When I consulted my PCP (primary care physician) about my depression, he wisely admitted that he only knew so much about that field and would only prescribe what he felt comfortable. If things didn't change, he'd immediately refer me to a psychiatrist. (BIG change from my doctor in Kentucky, who threw three medications at me just to see what stuck.)

After six months or so, with no real change, we knew we'd need to take that next step.

I had already been seeing a therapist and making progress with her, but she agreed that a psychiatrist could be super helpful.

I believe it was Kerry (my therapist) that introduced me to the Gene Sight test.

I feel like I owe her my life. 

The results of that test gave me (and my doctors) answers.

Answers I'd been searching for for years.

I remember crying as I read the results.

Not only did this test provide lists of medications that my body would accept, it also provided a list of medications to stay away from, according to my DNA.

(Oddly enough, I had been taking one medication from the "red list" for almost one year!)



The most amazing gift that test gave me was the reasoning behind why my mind was broken.

There, in black and white, (with the help of Google for all the "science-y" words,) I read that I had a serotonin issue as well as the MTHFR mutation. Both of which cause depression, anxiety, and every.single.symptom I've dealt with for years.

Finally, after feeling like a crazy person, a stranger in my own body, I had hard evidence that proved otherwise.

With these results, my psychiatrist has been able to clearly guide and direct my journey towards healing.

Unfortunately, it's still a trial and error. 

Most medications stop working after months of use, so we have to start all over every so often.

It's frustrating, the starting over.

It comes with withdrawal symptoms and weeks of anticipation, seeing if the new medication will work.

But we at least have a map.

And I still have a God who heals.


six years ago today...

 we stepped into the hot, hot, ( I mean, offensively hot) Arkansas sun...

and we never looked back.

The God who delivered us then,
is still delivering me now.


silence in the darkness


This makes me nervous.

If you know me well, you know that silence from me isn't a good sign.

It's the sound of withdrawal, bricks being laid, and eyes shutting closed.

I can be transparent when what's inside makes a bit of sense, 

but when it's completely dark, upside down, twisted...

I feel fake.

Not like "lying" fake, more like "I don't even know who Lauren is anymore... so kbye." 

This is the messy blog and I can't only write after the mess has been cleaned up.

But when my prayers go unanswered, my healing hasn't come, and my heart feels defeated,

my instinct is to clam up.

Hide the mess.

Pull up the covers.

And close my eyes.

"You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield
Though troubles linger still
Whom shall I fear?
I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side"


though my heart is torn

I was sure by now God, You would have reached down and wiped my tears away, stepped in and saved the day.

And once again, I say, "Amen" and it's still raining.
But as the thunder rolls, I barely hear Your whisper through the rain, "I'm with you."
And as Your mercy falls, I'll raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away.
I'll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands, for You are who You are, no matter where I am.
And every tear I've cried, You hold in Your hand.
You never left my side.
And though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm.
I remember when I stumbled in the wind.
You heard my cry. 
You raised me up again.
But my strength is almost gone.
How can I carry on if I can't find You?
I lift my eyes unto the hills, where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
I'll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands, for You are who You are, no matter where I am.
And every tear I've cried, You hold in Your hand.
You never left my side.
And though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm.


friday joys (on a thursday)

 {why "friday joys" here}

It's been so long and I have so much to say, but it's all a mess up in there, so I'll start with something I know. 

matching family christmas pajamas (Yes, we took these in January. Yes, I'm posting them in February. and...) bullet journals. sudoku puzzles (Even though I am notoriously bad at them. Like, can never finish a single one. I'm still obsessed.) definitely NOT having the flu on valentine's. (The romantic in me was crushed this week.) when your babies start asking salvation questions. a fully cleaned house. (oh man, what does that feel like? It's been so long and I've been so sick...) just good ol' laughing. baby-sitters. date night. (*hint*hint*) red nails.


emmerson turned 7! (only a few weeks late...)

Not quite sure how I'm old enough to have a 7 year old.
Also, not sure why she looks (and acts 17.)
Thank goodness for those missing teeth, keeping her young.

We love you, sweet girl.


tuesday letters


Dear Emmerson, 
This weekend, you turn 7. Last weekend, I cut some layers into your hair. Thank goodness for that missing tooth or you'd look even older than you already act.

Go. Away. You messed with my Christmas plans and you make everyone nervous. No one likes you.

Dear Audiobooks,
I need to apologize. I used to believe it wasn't "real reading" unless you were holding a book in your hands. But, I have seen the error in my ways. I can "read" now and hold all the things in my hands! I'm sorry.

Dear Yarn,
Why you so expensive? Is there a black market for yarn? Can someone help a sista out?

Dear 2022,
Come on in. Make yourself comfy. No one will bother you as long as you don't bother us...k?