mama musing // mental health

Through my life anxiety has always been a constant, it wasn’t until my 30s that I realized that it was something as big as it was. For the past 20 years I have let anxiety creep into, and affect my life.

Anxiety is no joke, depression and anger can get triggered when you start to think, “hey, what’s wrong with me?! Why can’t I just be normal?” I have always wanted to share this, almost as a disclaimer for anyone who has known me, but always hesitated at being that vulnerable. But after this week, I didn’t feel right not putting what has been so hard for me into words.

Really I want to start by saying I am sharing my story, not diagnosing, suggesting treatments, but just sharing how I finally feel. In my 30s I am figuring out my anxiety. I wanted to share it as a part of my journey, because with anxiety and depression, your head can be a terrifying place. I have found that writing out my thoughts and emotions helps me to understand them, and as my doctor suggests, recognize what triggers my anxiety, recognize what those emotions feel like so I can work through them, instead of being paralyzed by them.

My anxiety has ruled my life for so long, and it has not been until I had my daughter that I really was able to give my greatest demon a name. I also was diagnosed with a MTHFR gene mutation shortly before my pregnancy that, among one of its many talents, can cause a feeling of anxiety and depression.

My anxiety hindered my ability to enjoy social settings, but the worst of it was high school/college and after the birth of my daughter.

When I was in high school I had such a debilitating loneliness, and anxiety of fitting in that I almost hid from social settings. It lead to feelings of inadequacy about my appearance, which formed into a need to hyper-control food, that toed the line of a disorder. It’s the anxiety that ruled my first relationship that stretched the end of high school and through all my years of college. It lived in my friendships.

It was the anxiety that lead me to end that relationship because I was sure that the loneliness that came from my anxiety something I was lacking. I was also going through some health issues that heightened that anxiety. I was to the point that I would count the minutes at a restaurant, sweating, praying, that I made it to the end of a meal without being ill. I was scared to be anywhere but my house.

Even recounting these times, brings me flashbacks of how incredibly overwhelming those feeling were. Wondering if I could really go on. My mid-twenties were incredibly fun, but full of sadness. I blamed my anxiety on my long relationship, but I know now I was trying to blame it on something other than myself, I wasn’t ready to admit it was me. I was scared. I ran away to Philly, of course acting as though it was a big strong decision, I thought I could will my anxiety away.

Some good came of this, I got to see that I could survive out of my comfort zone. I developed a confidence I was missing, but once the new and shiny wore off, my anxiety was still there. Feeling lonely, anxious and self-doubt. In this time I got married and lead me to my most recent occasion where my anxiety nearly flattened me, the birth of my daughter.

I had a pretty easy pregnancy, with the exception of my 1st trimester which was incredibly emotional. I was taking a folic acid supplement, on recommendation from my doctor, and suffering wild fits of severe sadness and anxiety. Mix these feelings with a hard time at work and I was a mess. I soon found out folic acid was one of those MTHFR triggers of anxiety. I quickly stopped taking my supplement, and aside from the normal new mom jitters I felt good. It was the Postpartum Anxiety that I was not prepared for.

I thought my anxiety was something I had grown out of, but lack of sleep and losing the ownership of my body to a small human was crippling. I found myself scheduling mommy and me yogas and panicking outside the class refusing to go in. I would be so tired and sure that I was failing as a mother that I would look at my daughter and apologize for my weakness.

Through all these years, through all these experiences I said nothing. I wasn’t until the fog of the fourth trimester lifted, that I began to recognize what I was struggling and what had been there all along.

I finally opened up to my husband, explained the what I had been feeling. I am still not sure I have told anyone the worst of it, but I am still getting there. He has helped me see that what I am experiencing is not just a phase, or that I am just off, that there is something I can’t control that is affecting my life.

I have found that through seeing my daughter grow up, and seeing her intense love for me, that I want to be proactive about taking care of my mental health. I have found in motherhood, that time goes so fast and this little life I am helping shape is a sponge of emotions around her.

I am in a more open and honest relationship with my doctor, after a 4 hour anxiety attack I knew I needed professional help. I have also found that not being afraid to verbalize my anxiety and share with those around me has helped calm my mind during attacks. Seeing and hearing that I am not alone, has been amazing. Surprisingly social media has brought me to a world of women whose openness and honesty with their own struggles has helped me feel less alone.

I am learning to manage, I am lucky that through all of this I had people who loved and supported me. I am lucky that there was always someone there. I am sad to think that there are people who can’t find their way out, and it’s heartbreaking to hear suicide is their only means to end their pain.

I guess through all of this ramblingI want to say that if you feel this way your are not alone. I also do not want to hide that in these times there were great moments of happiness and love, that’s the scary part of anxiety.

I am feeling more prepared to move forward and find balance. If you are unable to find that, or still feel like there is too much darkness, please reach out to someone. The National Suicide Hotline is there 1-800-273-8255.

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New Years // New Intentions

Welcoming 2018, and looking back at 2017, with appreciation for all we accomplished while looking forward to all we hope to accomplish in 2018.

Since it’s been about a year, wowza, since our last post I thought I would introduce you, or re-reintroduce for those who know us, to Doe + Fawn Goods.

I know what you are thinking, umm who is this super photogenic family?! We are the team that makes up Doe + Fawn Goods. Mom heads up creative direction, babe handles final buying decisions, and Dad mans the fort whenever you see us slinging quality vintage Levis and yummy natural beauty products.

Founded in 2015 by a mom with an affinity for vintage denim, and a love of treasure hunting for her and her little babe. In those two years we have opened up shop, headed to Ohio, popped-up shop in both Cincinnati and Cleveland, and started carrying small batch apothecary.

The shop has grown and transformed over the last two years, and while we are still in our infancy, we have truly found our “voice” and are building up to a magical 2018. Continuing to bring a curated collection of the “the perfect pair” of vintage jeans for mom and babe, beautiful leather bags, magical accessories, and good-for-you apothecary goods, we are expanding into vintage fine jewelry and looking to make more in-person appearances because meeting you all has been the best part of 2017!

Thank you for all your support, and for you newbies…thanks for stopping by! Stay awhile, we love having you!!

XoXo

Doe + Fawn Goods

| doe & fawn // may lookbook |

I am extremely excited to be releasing Doe + Fawn’s FIRST EVER lookbook!! While I hope this is the start of something bigger and better to come, I am extremely proud to be sharing it with everyone. This little shop has become my passion, my therapy, really my hope to one day follow my dreams full-time. When I began this store almost a year ago, I was full of so much doubt, but also began to find my courage to do the thing I have always wanted. While I have big ideas in-store for this next year at Doe + Fawn I am excited about celebrating what we have accomplished, where we are going, and really the amazing feeling to be on the path we are on.

Be sure to check out the shop on May 1st for our May New Arrivals and a little sale to celebrate a husband and wife creative collaboration while toting around a bossy toddler.

 

Black Cropped Levi’s $40
silk blouse $40
Cotton Tank $35
Levi’s 550’s $45
Straw Purse $25
Cotton Tank $35
Sake Set $25
Wideleg Linen Pants $35
Striped Textured Blouse $30
Mid-Century Wood Tray $30
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Black Cropped Levi’s $40

 

Stripe Cotton Blouse $35
Leather Shoulder Bag $45
Silk Blouse $40
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White Linen Maxi $45
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Woven Basket $15

 

 

Striped Cotton Shirt $35

 

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White Linen Maxi $45
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Woven Crossbody Bag $25

 

| mama musings // summer sun |

It’s still January and the grey days have kicked in. There are a few ways I survive January; lots of bubble baths, countless cups of tea, hours of cuddles, and plotting out my warm weather wishlist. This year I have the shop so I  am also getting my inspiration swirling for a little Spring | Summer shopping. 

Old San Juan

We are visiting in May and this mama is just a touch excited…like I have already ordered the perfect beach dress from Cleobella and am packing in my head as we speak.

Cuddles

Time outside and time with bae.

All white, all attitude

Really been thinking about white jeans this summer, but with a rocker twist.

Me time

Really any element from here will do. I will take the bubble now…

Perfectly cropped

I think this might be my new favorite hem. 

Become a garden gnome 

I am looking forward to our own home in Spring and my own space to escape to. 

All day every day

The new uniform, and I just snagged the perfect Ulla Johnson top of my dreams. Wait it’s like I forgot I have a two year old who uses my shoulder as a hanky. Note to self; get good dry cleaner.

And slide, and slide

Really? Laces? Who has time. 

Salt Flats, Puerto Rico

I am excited can you tell? Also when somewhere boasts your eternal color palette you go. 

Siesta

The joys of sleeping in the shade are highly undervalued. 

The perfect blouse 

Doén is my summer vibes in Spring, Fall and even Winter.

To market 

Finally get out and explore those glorious Mid-West markets. 

Stop and smell the roses 

Above all enjoy it, savor it, cherish it. Out time is short here, why not make the most.

Follow along with us on Pinterest, or as we call it a mood board without the hassles of scissors, paper or pins!

| forty-six // fifty-two |


Because today we took the coldest walk on our favorite trail. With the weather zig and zagging all over the place we can’t seem to gauge how to leave the house, so we ended up bundling up our little bean shortly after we snap a few photos…to the point she complained of how worth it was! It has been the longest week, I feel like six months has passed since last Sunday so we made a point to take it very easy.

This holiday season is proving itself to be a tough season for our family so we have been trying to make the most of each day we have with each other. Saturday we had a rare, but much needed date night at one of my favorite restaurants that closing in a few weeks. It was so great to get to date my husband again, and remember why it was so important to focus on each day!


// newest obsession //

Book bags! Mine, hers, yours?! Really she just needed one. We picked her up a little pink pack to use for school, her snacks, and really just to keep her from stealing mine. Haha!

// wierdest phrase //

“Nice to meet you,” followed by an awkward handshake and Harper introducing herself as “snake,” which has Dan and I little confused. So far this weekend she has been Snake, Natalie, Harper James, Mommy’s Baby and Her. I really can’t with her sometimes… 

| forty-five // fifty-two |

Because she has become a ham that has an extreme bought of shyness when in front of others. Her opinion has become stronger, but she knows when to back down. She loves to makes us laugh and will repeat an action if she knows it’s gold. 

Today we couldn’t decide how to spend our day, but when we saw that the museum was free today we knew what we were doing. This weekend after Thanksgiving was all about Holiday hoopla and after a day spent raising the tree, singing carols and seeing the Zoo Wildlights we needed a normal day. 

Daddy taught Harper new names like Stella and Rauschenberg, and we marveled in her behavior while at the museum. We stayed mostly in the newly built contemporary wing, drooling over each piece. In Philadelphia the art museum had been my happy place, and o was excited to share this space with Harper. We also took a few minutes to walk my old college campus, feeling like a lifetime ago!

| forty-four // fifty-two |


Because she is getting so big and I am cherishing every cuddle this one allows…even if they are passed out walks from car to bedroom. I missed a post last week because well that is life. Last week I was fighting another bug, what many new daycare moms assure me will be another drop in an ocean. 

This week Harper has been obsessed with “helping” which is really just a way to make each task last a few moments longer. Currently her favorite is folding laundry, feeding the dog, picking up her room, and putting items into the trash. I am glad she is wanting to do what she can around the house, but some tasks must wait till after bed time. 

We went to a friend’s last night, seeing many people I hadn’t seen in years and who had never interacted with Harper. I was amazed by what a well behaved little toddler I seemed to have acquired!

// favorite toy //

Baby Elsa, there are two, who have recently been outfitted in some very 80’s colorful gear. Moving back to the Midwest and staying with the parents means seeing many of my toys making a comeback. There is even a Polly Pocket floating around!

// Mom’s new focus //

We are working on “please” and “thank you” when Harper gives us her demands. “Mommy stand over here,” which I reply “say please?” I know this will be a lifelong struggle but for now trying to avoid a little tyrant who is demanding her mom stand on a rug while she eats cheerios.

| forty-two // fifty-two |


We had a perfect Fall Saturday with nothing on our agenda, a rarity in these parts. We decided it was a great time to get some new shots for the Etsy shop, father enough leaves for a good jumping pile and then clean out all the beautiful earth from our hair and explore the local Gallery Hop.

Last week brought with it a tidal waves of hormones (seriously do they ever balance out?!) and emotions baring down from the move. The toughest part of marriage is having to realize you may not always see eye-to-eye and that there is not a quick solution. This move was a big one for my husband and while I am thrilled he finally broke the ties of his old city he is definitely a stranger to change. This weekend brought some hope and honesty about how this change was for our family unit and wasn’t going to be an easy one. We are moving forward which is great and focusing on our happy daughter so she can have that childhood we always talked about.

Being outside much much more has been the best part of our move. Having a yard to run in, paths through parks that lead to beautiful patios for long weekend lunches. Overall it was a great weekend with our family.

// newest obsession //

Princesses are all the rage. Today Princess Leia was requested when putting in the morning pigtails for our mullet daughter. She barely has any hair so there was a challenge but I was happy that if we are going to wear a Princess Anna cape we have some Star Wars in there as a balance!

// oh you time change…//

I always remembered time changes being great in the Fall, remember being excited then at would be opened another hour? Now with a child I curse this outdated tradition that takes my child long perfected schedule and hits it with a sledge hammer! 

Harper got up at 6 am after going down around 11:30pm, which left me up till 2pm. Today felt like a blur, and now at 9:20 I feel like it’s midnight and I can barely stand it. Finger crossed this week goes smoothly!

| forty-one // fifty-two |


Because a little girl asked to be a fox and I threw together a Frida Kahlo costume for the Zoo. Daddy was fighting a migraine and wasn’t up for the family costume (fingers crossed for tomorrow) but he insisted on escorting us to Boo at the Zoo so Ms. Harper could get some trick-or-treat training.

I always love Halloween as a kid, I was always the kid with a different costume for each event, but life has gotten in the way the last few years so I was excited to experience it through a toddler’s eyes. Harper has been getting obsessed with everything Halloween. It’s been “Halloween spider,” “Halloween pumpkin,” and all that jazz. We have been practicing our “trick-or-treat” delivery, and sharing every Halloween tradition we have with our little one. 

She is fully healed from last weekend and about two days away from completing her antibiotics. This week I have noticed how advanced her language has become. I have also heard her work through building sentences. I have quickly seen my baby depart and my advanced toddler shining through, that was until she let me wrap her in a towel after her bath and rock her while she rested her head on my shoulder. I could barely lift her but held on as long as she allowed. 

// heart-melting moment //

Harper was walking away while we watched Star Wars (per her request) and I said “I love you Harper, but be careful!” She responded “I love you too Mommy!” And que pride, waterworks and smiles!

// most frustrating toddler-ism //

“What’s this?” I think it’s her “why?” but I am not sure I can take it asked 35 times about things she already knows what they are! I mean, ugh! I love this kid but I have started just asked “I don’t know, what?” after each go around.

| thirty-nine & forty // fifty-two |

When you realize that you were a total mom brain and forgot to post the previous week’s portrait you post two weeks like “who cares

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This week we had grand plans, a full dance card really, yet Friday around 4pm we got a call from Harper’s daycare that she had a fever of 100.2. I picked her up and we got this little one cuddled for a night of movies and TLC. Sadly she woke up Saturday feeling like the surface of the sun and had to make a quick trip to urgent care. It was up to 102.5 despite the morning dose of baby Tylenol and she had strep throat, or toncilitis, the doctor felt Harper felt worse enough without shoving a swab down her throat!

I felt like we fought the good fight getting her fever to break, as I write this we just dipped below 100 but still too warm for comfort. We stayed locked up in the playroom watching Frozen and Star Wars over and over again. The family took a 3 hour nap and we are the better for it!

today we celebrated the break by putting on normal clothes, getting yummy smoothies and bouncing around the house. Hoping tomorrow brings a clean bill of health for my baby.

// newest obsession //

Star Wars. Sadly she is on the dark-side and walks around doing Darth Vader impressions while singing the song of the Empire.

// worst new habit //

Screaming, for no reason other than pure joy. It’s my favorite in the checkout line at Whole Foods or while driving home. Anyone know ways to break this terribly terrifying habit?!

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Two weekends ago we headed to the most beautiful nursery, hit up a local brewery that had a Fall petting zoo, and wandered around Italian Village which has quickly become on of our favorite ‘hoods.

The family costume wasn’t, and still isn’t really, ready for it debuet so we got Harper a Day of the Dead headband and called it a day! While out she made friends with an eager puppy, mommy bought some new plant babies and daddy got another dose of warm apple cider. It was one of those perfect Fall days.