Wednesday, September 16, 2015


What I want to share today is a little more  personal than what I normally talk about.  My life is an open "Facebook" as long as you don't try and read between the lines. I"ll be the first to admit  that sharing stuff about Laura the mom and Laura the wife is way easier for me than sharing stuff about just Laura.  Don't get me wrong those are the two favorites parts of me.  I love being a mom, I never really wanted anything else, and God has blessed me with 3 boys who I get to be mom to.  The second part, being a wife, I love that too. John was seriously a gift to me....he saved me and I can not wait to spend the rest of my life loving him.

For those who know me well, who I trust enough to let all the way in, you may have seen the other parts of me.  I am a loyal friend, I  have a very soft spot in my heart for tiny humans and rescue dogs, I love to bake, I am creative, I like to document  our little family's history through pictures, and I suffer with anxiety and depression.

Six years ago my life fell apart, all the way apart.  I had done such a good job of making it appear that all was well , no one, not even I saw it coming. It started gradually and then all of the sudden I didn't even recognize myself. Depression consumed me.  I was lost.  I grasped at the pieces of what only days before had looked normal, had felt normal and tried to press them back together. What started as a nagging in the back of my head now consumed my every moment.  I couldn't think.  Getting out of bed was a challenge.  Leaving the house was overwhelming.

Depression is a horrible, dark and lonely disease.  No one wants to talk about it.  Well meaning people who don't really understand it will suggest a diet change, exercise and more sleep, they will tell you to look on the bright side....the problem is, there is NO bright side.  Depression is a disease just like diabetes or any other chronic illness.  Some days you feel good other days you feel awful and then there are days that you feel nothing, those are the hardest days.  You are uncomfortable in your own skin, you want to relax but can not.  Everything hurts, a physical pain. You are dizzy, a constant state of fog and you are exhausted to the point of confusion. It sucks! You want to be happy, you try to climb out from under the weight of the darkness that is filling your head, but you can't.  Believe me when I say we try.  We try really hard and if you are lucky enough to have a support person who is patient and understanding you try harder.

Because I am one of the lucky ones and I have John and my family to support me, I always find my way back when I slip into the darkness. It has been a gradual process.  Some days I have to work so hard just to do normal things that I don't have the space in my head or the energy to enjoy my hobbies. Depression stole my concentration, my creativity.  I used to be a scrapbooker.  I loved the creative process, the completed projects, the fact that I had created something beautiful.  One day it was there and the next it was gone.  I would stare at my paper and pictures and have no idea how to put them together so I would just give up.  Eventually I stopped trying at all.  When we moved to Texas I didn't even unpack my supplies.  When we moved to Taiwan I just left them in storage in the U.S.  I decided that was just a part of me I wasn't getting back.  In January I signed up for a monthly kit club at my hometown scrapbook store.  Every month they were coming and most months I wasn't even opening them.  I am not usually a kit person but I thought maybe it would get me back in the mood.

A few weeks ago the Tiny American got really interested in coloring and creating with his stickers and I felt a familiar twinge to pull out my paper and pictures.  I looked up some sketches and made a layout that I loved, and then another....they are simpler than some I have made in the past, my "stash" is small right now, but I did it!

I know there will still be days that my creativity will be clouded, that I won't have the energy, but right now I'm just so happy to know that it isn't gone.  If you are reading this and you suffer from depression, anxiety or mental illness and feel like you have lost parts of yourself; I pray that this gives you hope that in time you will find them again.

My Hometown Scrapbook Store has an online magazine that they publish every other month, I submitted my 2 new layouts to them for use in their September issue, I am happy to say they are using both!  You can see them HERE in the readers gallery. And if you are near Springfield, Missouri and you love any kind of paper crafting check them out, Scrapbook Generation, or you can shop their online store.

This is one of the last Layouts I made....I will be happy when I fill up my stash again with accessories for my pages!
This is one of the Layouts in the new issue of Create magazine.

This was one of the very last layouts I remember being really happy with.  It was in a very difficult moment of my life.  I love it and love that I have it to look back on and see how far I have come.

See this Layout in Create Magazine



  1. have blown me away with your creative writing. Thank you so much for sharing your heart...all of it. You are amazing!

  2. Thanks for sharing your story Laura, I'm positive it will really help others out there. So glad you've started on the scrap booking road again. Cheers to you! Nicole