Saturday, April 30, 2016

Baby Brinley

Newborn sessions.

My baby fever comes on real quick and I just wanna snuggle that precious babe all day!!! And smell their head. Can they bottle that smell?!

ugh.

Baby Brinley was NO exception! She is just one day shy of 2 weeks old, which is longer than I like to wait to do newborn sessions. However, Brinley just broke out of the NICU, like, yesterday. 
So its alright. :)

I absolutely loved our session. She was wide awake at first and we got fun pictures with her big sister. Then, after her tummy was filled, she went right on to sleep and snoozed through the rest of the session. 

What a doll!!











Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Right now.

Oh boy.

I'm not the most eloquent person. I'm not a professional writer. This blog doesn't make money. I write here for 2 reasons: as a part of therapy, a way to get my emotions out; and as a way to journal my life. I have hand written journals, but the computer is a much faster way for me to say what I want to say. I dont only document happy moments...because life isn't made up of just happy moments. I want anyone who reads this to understand something...my life is hard right now. I'm well aware of that. But I do try to find multiple moments of happiness daily. My life is hard, but its my life. And my life is a gift from God and I'm going to do my best to be appreciative of that gift.

Since learning of Jace's addiction a year ago (this week)...my life completely changed. I dont know how to explain it properly, especially to people who haven't experienced this kind of betrayal trauma or to people who dont understand how utterly devastating a pornography addiction is.

You would be surprised to know that most people think that us wives of pornography addicts (WOPAs) are crazy, emotional, unstable, stupid, ridiculous, etc. etc. etc. The world has normalized porn. Its a joke to people, that people would be upset by it. People don't think that its an actual addiction. Anyone who thinks this way is so beyond wrong. Study after study is showing how harmful a pornography addiction is now...TIME magazine just did a whole spread on it. It got brought up on the view recently, and in the news with Utah's governor signing a new resolution: " Utah Gov. Gary Herbert will sign a resolution declaring pornography a "public health crisis" at the Utah state capitol today.The resolution was introduced by Republican state Senator Todd Weiler in January 2015, to battle the “pornography epidemic harming” the state and the country."--that was from USA today.

I'm not going to get into jace's addiction...maybe one day if he's comfortable I'll have him write a post. But I'm going to re-itterate that the addiction started WAY before me. However, with the discovery of the addiction...it completely changes...everything. I mean, our entire marriage, our entire relationship was built on lies, upon lies, upon lies. Jace was cheating on me with images and videos and what have you. Hearing that...realizing what was going on in your own home behind your back... it makes you feel stupid. Dirty. Angry. Worthless.

My married life up to this point was a lie...and now my future is unclear. Where there once was a general outline (nothing too stable, because life has a way of not working how you thought ie:infertility) now there was NOTHING. My husband was a stranger to me. The foundation I thought we had built upon was condemned and torn down. We started rebuilding and then he relapsed and that foundation crumbled again. Its been 2 months now. And last week Jace told me that he acted out, very purposefully, and had been lying to me (lie of omission) for 3 weeks. 

I am in a state of shock. My life is in a state of flux. Jace has to make a very important decision: its the addiction or your family. You fight for us. You fight even if it kills you, to keep us. Or you let us go. Both are hard and scary pills to swallow. 

My life was not supposed to be this way. I was supposed to find a man who actually REALLY loved me...who would treat me as his queen. I would be faithful, loyal, and loving. I was to become a mother and raise my children to be God-fearing, serviceable people. I was to be happy.

Right now...all of that feels unobtainable. My mother told me the other day that there is a time and a season for everyone. My time, right now, is to go through this horrific trial. My bishop called it a trial of faith. I'm working really hard to find the good that is floating in the junk...but its a daily struggle. 

Right now...i'm surviving. That's literally all I can say. I take care of Nash all day (who is so energetic and tiring, but also sweet and cute and my miracle in all of this), and I take care of my business and our finances. However, my anxiety comes rearing most days and I feel stuck. I stare at my messy house...all the toys that Nash gets out and we play with, the cups of water he spills everywhere because he has to be independent, the dishes that are piled nice and high in my sink because standing at the sink doing them while my child is making a mess unsupervised churns my stomach (last time i did that he drew all over my kitchen floor with a crayon)...I cant find the motivation to do anything. At night, i struggle to sleep...my husband and I are still separated and I'm alone...then I'm plagued with thoughts and horrible dreams in relation to his addiction. If i'm lucky, my son will sleep, but lately he's been sick so i'm up multiple times a night with him and then up early for the day. 

Its hard to see my future right now. The 'right now' is a hard place to be in...because my 'right now' is not necessarily happy. But I hope and pray with all my might that my 'right now' will run its course and I get to move past it into my future. Oh my, how I pray for that day.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Snow-balling

I hate when you have some really frustrating things going on in your life that others seem to follow right behind it and snowball.

The past year, i have felt that my life has been one big snowball. 

The house buying, the moving, the sickness, the addiction reveal, the lonely nights, the heartbroken days, the starting a new business, the sickness for months on end, the toddler who still wont sleep, the relapse, more heartbroken and lonely nights, stressed so much my blood pressure started to spike...etc.

We did our taxes with our long time CPA March 8th. Turns out we were getting a fair chunk of money back. And to be honest, it has been NEEDED. The roof in our house needs to be replaced, we need a new hot water heater, and it would be nice to put a chunk down on debt. 

That was the ONE piece of news that felt like the snowball was melting.

And that was a month ago. A FREAKING MONTH. 

I had been trying to get ahold of my CPA in the last week to ask what the heck was going on and they were so swamped that I didnt hear back from them. My frustration rose, my stress rose, and I called that office like 15 times in 3 days. FINALLY found out what happened. 

There was a check that came in for Jace from a lawsuit that PapaJohns went through. Since Jace had worked for them at the time, he got a $100 check from them. It also had a tax form to take in with you. So i included that in our taxes, and apparently it was for 2016's taxes since the check came in 2016. So the IRS denied our whole refund because of a stupid paper. 




Its being handled...now. But that was like the last thing I needed. I'm also retraining Nash on how to sleep, but now I'm having a hard time falling asleep. But man. This tax thing. I had a nightmare about it last night...that our water heater finally went poof! and we didnt have the return to pay for it. The things that become nightmares as you get older...

Monday, April 4, 2016

Miss Maisie

Maisie turned 5 months old and her mom wanted some pictures to document!!

This little red-head was so cute. She kept giving me a stink-face because she just wanted mommy to hold her. Getting her to smile was a trick, but oh man. When she did the photo captured turned into magic.

She is past the newborn stage of sleepy and pose-able, but not quite to the bigger baby stage of sitting up on her own. So there was LOTS AND LOTS of rolling around and movement in pictures. I love the realness that shines threw though. Its my favorite part of pictures. Yes, the posed pictures are great too, but I love the ones with silly faces and things you weren't expecting.













Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Shattered Sight

**WARNING. THIS POST IS VERY REAL. IT CONTAINS VERY FRAGILE FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS. IT MIGHT "TRIGGER" SOME OF YOU, AND IF THAT IS THE CASE, PLEASE STOP READING.**


There was a once upon a time episode that had a spell called "shattered sight". The spell was to bring out the worst in you so you destroyed one another; even (or especially) the people you loved. Sounds silly to bring up, but there is a reason I did. 

This is a hard post for me to write. Much harder than writing the post about the antidepressants i was on, or my infertility posts. Since this is the internet, i'm never sure how much to share or not. I use this as my journal so I feel the need to write. Maybe its because i'm meant to help someone else...or maybe this will be a step for healing for me. I hope that I eventually end up posting this. Maybe I'll chicken out. In case I do post this, this was written February 16th 2016.

My name is Andrea and my husband is a porn addict.

**sidenote for anyone reading that may be getting "up in my grill" about posting this...I asked my husband and he gave me permission. If you dont want to read it, then stop now and please dont leave me angry comments. Thank you.**

I found out last April, right after we moved into our new home. I've alluded to the fact that I was going through tough things, that my husband had an addiction. Well, there it is. A porn addiction.

My world was shattered. I never in a million years would have guessed that Jace was living a double life. I would never have guessed that Satan had taken hold of Jace and that Jace was lying to me and bringing vile things into our home. However, the longer we were married, the more distant or angry Jace would become. He told me a few times that it was my fault that he was angry and that I was smothering him. Now I know that he felt extreme guilt over what he had been doing and I was a reminder of that--so he resented me for it. Isnt that ironic? I do want to include that Jace was not promiscuous with other women in person (there was no physical cheating).

I found out on a Sunday afternoon while we were watching a stupid TV show. They mentioned porn and I, confidently, said that I didn't have to worry about that. Jace was quiet. I pressed. and pressed and pressed and then got very upset with his evasiveness. Finally, he admitted that he had had a pornography addiction since he was a young teenager. He struggled with masturbation as well. He continued it after the mission, after our temple marriage, through my fertility struggle, and still after Nash was born and we moved into our new home. :(

So much finally made sense. Why he would act a certain way, or a respond a certain way in the past and present. Why he was so isolated and angry. Why he did this or that. Pieces to the puzzle fell into place. And I was crushed. Those first 3 months were HARD. And by hard, i mean truly awful and painful. My heart was literally shattered. Jace spent 2 months on the couch. He started the church's 90 day recovery program, weekly SA meetings, and weekly meetings with his sponsor. He and I both went to see a therapist. It was good in the sense that Jace finally, after more than half of his life, opened up about things and how this addiction started. The program was wonderful because it made him evaluate himself on a daily basis. HE WAS TRYING. And that made a huge difference for me. Seeing him try made me feel like we could get through this together.

It had taken 8 months, but I finally felt my trust in him restoring. I had stopped worrying about what he was looking at on his phone, I wasn't pestering him about writing in his journal or making him talk to his sponsor. I had stopped crying myself to sleep MONTHS ago. We finally were at a place that we started talking about having another baby.

And then today happened. 

I had a good day. I got up early, took care of Nash, got dressed, did my hair and makeup and went visiting teaching. I came home and Jace was needlessly angry when I asked him why he did something they way he did it. (Granted, i approached it from an agitated stance than necessary). He yelled at me, I got angry and frustrated and so I decided to load Nash up and run some errands to give him space and BONUS, get things accomplished. I came home and Jace was doing yard work, so I took care of the groceries and Nash, and then started cleaning the house. Then Jace pulled me outside to talk.

He relapsed while Nash and I left the house today.

........WHAT?

I'm going through so many up and down emotions. 

I'm sorry for him. I'm sorry he has let Satan get a hold on him. I'm sorry that he threw away almost a YEAR of sobriety. I'm sorry for Nash.

 I'm sorry Nash has to have this as part of his life at so young of an age. I'm sorry Nash sees us yelling at one another, and I'm sorry Nash sees me cry so much. He doesn't understand it, and comes up to me crying while I'm crying and asks if I'm okay. Which makes me feel awful.

I feel worthless. I feel like Jace is choosing THAT life, a FAKE life, a life of pain and seclusion over me. I feel not good enough. I feel dirty. I feel a little lost. I feel angry. I feel lonely, empty, and discouraged. I feel sad and heartbroken the most though.

This relapse hurts more than the initial disclosure did. I thought long and hard about it and I figured out why. Last April when I first found out, I knew that he had had the problem LONG before he met me. Once I found out, I was devastated, understandably, but we made a promise to work on it together. And we did. We jumped through the hoops, crawled through the muck, and were on the same path--a good path. When he made the conscious decision to relapse, he broke my heart wide open. To me that said that my help wasnt enough, my support wasnt enough....I WASNT ENOUGH. He promised me things, and then broke those. For instant gratification that produced immense pain, guilt, anger, and shame. 

I don't know where we are going from here. I do know of 3 things. I absolutely, without question, HATE this vile, evil thing that has been brought into my life and home; I am fed up with the world and how commonplace and acceptable they have made pornography and masturbation. I dont have patience for inappropriate jokes and innuendos anymore. I hate the video game industry for the slutty graphic images and vulgar language; and I will do EVERYTHING in my power to provide knowledge and safety for Nash when it comes to pornography.

I will get through this.
I will protect myself and my family.
I will not let Satan win.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Pre-Easter Easter Shenanigans

MMK...picture overload!! Saturday was both families Easter hunts!! We started off with the Hunt's hunt at Josh and Jamie's. Nash was totally confused, but that's okay! The family also did "Easter Egg Roulette" that Jamie saw on Jimmy Fallon. Some eggs were hard boiled, some soft boiled, and some raw and you had to choose one and smash it on your head. I took like 12 minutes of video while also snapping pictures. It was pretty funny.


























After Nash's nap, we headed over to my parents house. Grama and Papa got the kids some Easter baskets full of goodies and a clue to go outside and get their eggs!! Each kid had 6 eggs full of fun surprises!! Nash was super cranky the whole time we were out there. He wanted to just run around the yard instead of looking for his eggs. It was super frustrating for me!! lol. After we found the eggs, Jace and I took the kiddos out to let them run around the grass while we blew bubbles in the beautiful weather. It was a FULL day of fun and family! We went home that night and the Easter bunny made his way to our house!!