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Happy Birthday Redux

Happy Birthday to my middle one!  She turns 20 today and is such a cool kid.  She’s smart, driven, and moving and shaking the world she travels in.  I haven’t talked to her today because she has finals throughout the day but will call tonight and wish her a happy birthday.  She’s already gotten her birthday presents from us when she came down Easter so that was fun.

Again, it’s been a wild ride being her mom as well.  SHe trips and falls and is klutzy in a mild way–her first injury was rolling off our bed one night and breaking her leg when she was eight months old.  You haven’t lived until you’ve gone around with a baby in a big pink cast. 🙂  People stared and whispered until we just stopped going out.  But she’s made it pretty good since then with only minor injuries here and there.

We couldn’t be prouder of her and what she’s accomplished in school and in life and we look forward to whatever’s coming.  See you in a few days, Little Bit.  We love you!

 

Happy Birthday!

My oldest turned 23 today at Disney World–she worked early shift and has the rest of the day to enjoy her birthday.  I am so blessed to her mom.  She is feisty, funny, and honest and almost always gives us sparks of joy whenever we talk to her.  We just wished her a happy birthday so we did get to talk to her on her birthday.  I was thinking this morning how she was actually born on a Sunday, right after church was getting out, and we started calling our friends to let them know and everyone was still out to lunch 🙂

It’s not always been easy being a mom–I second-guessed myself a lot as a mother in some decisions we made–for me to continue working, for us to send her to public school, to not lean on her about her grades like we were done, etc.  And I continue to pray every day that bipolar disorder will not attack her and her sisters like it did me.

But in the end, we always came back to the fact that we knew her and our other two  better than anyone else did and we would know what was best for our own kids as long as we prayed about it and thought hard and long about why we made the decisions we made.

I know how blessed she is to be able to live her dream out right now in this time of her life, and I pray that she continues strong on whatever path God has set her on.  Happy Birthday again from Mom and Dad .

(And day after tomorrow I’ll wish happy birthday to my middle one–stay tuned!)

 

Vlog Entry Two

Check out my new vlog entry at the YouTube channel “Julie Whitehead”.  I explain the basics of bipolar disorder and what a mood disorder is like for me.  I’ll see you all next Saturday when we get back.

 

Vlog Entry

Check out for your weekend viewing pleasure my new You Tube channel, “Julie Whitehead’s Day by Day”. An introductory video is up–I’m just learning how all this cool stuff works on my computer so be patient as I figure it all out!  Thanks for reading and now viewing available once a week.

 

I’m Ready

I’m finally ready to talk about my new project, 46ReasonsWhy.  It started out as just an essay to myself, maybe to use as part of my thesis.  I made a list a reasons, one for each year of my life, to not commit suicide.  I thought if I made the list while I was in a good place, I would make it sound convincing.  Each point is a little micro essay discussing that point and why it’s important to me.

I was at first thinking about sending it out, but I’ve decided to do more with it.  I’m going to make a website out of it and post one reason from the list per day.  And I’m talking to other people I know with mental health issues to see if they will be willing to make lists as well.  I can post reasons from them as well as they come in.  So I’m going to launch this website on June 1, along with a facelift of this site.  I’m really excited about it and what it could become.

 

Feeling Proud Today

So not only is it my birthday, we got my middle daughter’s newest ACT score today–she made a 35 (perfect is 36). She fell down a little bit in math on this one but we will take the composite and run with it into the college applications process. Not only did she do well on this test, all her scores in her classes are 100 or better so far (she is taking so many college classes that it barely matters how she does in the regular ones).  She has worked so hard in everything she does–from school to band to dance to church work.  We are so proud of you, Little Bit.

 

This Gets A LIttle Confusing . . .

But hang with me because it comes out well in the end.  Saturday I was checking my email when I got a noti ce in my box from a literary contest I had entered once I started school at the urging of my professor,  They said I was a finalist in the contest but they did not have the name of my story.  SO I sent the name and told two people–Bob and my professor,

My next email I get says, sorry, I’m only a semi-finalist although the judging was very close.  So I kind of forget about it.

TOday I get an email titled “For Finalists and Semi-finalists” telling me they want to publish the finalists and some semifinalists in their December issue along with the winners and attached a contract tot he email  I look and my story is not on the list.  SO why did I get the email?  I decide to fill it out anyway in hopes they decide to publish me in the future.  SO I send it back.

A hour later I get an email thanking me for the contract and telling me that I WAS actually a finalist and will be published in the December issue with the winners.  So that is exciting news and I look forward to seeing my story there!

Updated Good News

Two bits for this morning–

My middle daughter is now officially a driver because we bought her car yesterday afternoon.  Just in time for her to drive herself to volunteer for Vacation Bible School next week.  She’s helping out with the kids snacks.  She bought a 2015 Honda CR-V.  Electric blue so she can find it in the parking lot, she says.  So she was very excited about that.

THe oldest has found a job for the summer!  It’s not restaurant work, but she’s working in a great environment at a Christian daycare–the one that brought her up.  THe current director was the assistant director when our kids were there and remembers our family really well.  We’ve stayed somewhat involved with it–donating items to it occasionally when we find out there’s a need.  So they know us and we know them, which could be a good thing while she’s there.

SO we’re being flooded with blessings right now and feel really good about what all is going to be happening this summer and fall.   Thanks for all the prayers through this transition time and keep watching this space for more as the summer goes on.  Blessings to all of you!

In Other News

I’ve also been invited to guest blog over at a blog called “Defying Shadows” (www.defyingshadows.wordpress.com)  It’s about breaking the stigma attached to mental health issues and reaching out to those who suffer from mental illness.  I’m in conversation with the admins about what exactly my role will be.  IT has a much larger following that my little blog, so I am definitely interested in reaching out to more people.

I wrote one blog post for them during May for Mental Health Awareness Month on bipolar disorder, so since that went well, I’m hoping doing more with them will work out as well.  I’m trying not to overcommit because I know spring always comes around.  But I’m really looking forward to all the opportunities that are coming my way.  Hope everyone has a good rest of the week!