Tag Archives: Family

behind the scenes

Behind the Scenes of My Depression and Anxiety

Luckily, I’m one of those people who has no problem giving others a behind the scenes look at my life with depression and anxiety. In fact, I get a kick out of revealing how it all started. There’s no doubt that I had it in my genes long before, but this one life-changing event triggered it. My grandmother, father, and all three of my brothers live/lived with it as well. We all handled it differently. Some with unconventional means and some with the proper channels of therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Either way, we’ve all survived. Grandma lived a long, happy life and we have fond memories of her sense of humor, generosity, love, and yummy midnight snacks.

For me, it started in the fall of 1986. I was just starting my second year of college at age 19. Sure, I considered myself an adult, but I was soon to find out that I was still just a teenager with a strong connection to my parents. I was in the “cool” dorm bunking with two friends. Over the summer, I had started dating a Marine, in a long-distance relationship. (Bad idea.) I was ready for an amazing year.

My parents called with the bombshell.

They were moving from my childhood home in Virginia (90 miles from college) to Newport Beach, California (about 3000 miles). And here’s the kicker…they assumed I would just move with them. In hindsight, maybe I should have. But, no. I was a mature young adult. I was in college. I had friends. I was deciding on my major. I was having a great time. And, of course, I had a boyfriend. After many arguments, they let me stay. And they bought me a car.

And that’s when the proverbial shit hit the fan.

Almost immediately, the depression and anxiety set in. I found myself crying all the time and a lot of mornings, unable to get out of bed. And guess who I called. My parents. Rightfully so, they had one answer…move to California. I still wouldn’t do it. I was determined to ride this out on my own. So, I did that. With lots of drinking and partying. Somehow I managed to get to class and dance rehearsals. Don’t really know how. I’m sure my dance program was a good outlet for the way I was feeling.

And what the heck was I feeling? Sad? Angry? Abandoned? Caught off guard? Treated unfairly? To this day, I really don’t know that I can give a label to what I was feeling. It was a physical and emotional attack that came without warning. I believe it was living inside me and had a damn good reason to surface.

The story continues with moves, transfers, break-ups, tons of phone calls, a couple visits to California, psychiatrists, moving in with my sister, more drinking, more partying, more bad relationships, a failed marriage, etc, etc, etc, until the day I had a full-blown panic attack and finally, finally, took this thing seriously and started to turn my life around.

That was in 2001. Fourteen years. I suffered. Just because I was stubborn.

The one saving grace that surely helped me through all of this was the communication with my parents. Yes, we disagreed. Yes, I made decisions that made them cringe. Yes, they wanted grab me up and take me under their care. But they let me find my own way without judgment and with an open line of communication.


An article from Palmer Lake Recovery, Parents Guide: How To Help Your Teen Cope With Mental Health Issues, is an excellent resource. It discusses statistics, warning signs, causes, how to help, and useful resources.

Some ideas from the article that my parents handled well:

“A good starting point for you as a parent is to have a conversation with your teen in a constructive way that is non-confrontational and is focused on offering them the love and support that they may well need more than ever.”

“Your teen needs the sort of parental support that lets them know they are not facing their struggles alone and that you are there to support them through this difficult time. It is equally important that parents also have a support network they can call upon.”

behind the scenes

 

 

Three Precious Children’s Music Collections for Your Family

As a mother and music lover, I am happy to share three precious children’s music collections and all the background news that comes from Sugar Mountain PR. These are now all part of our collection whether we want to relax before bed or have a dance party.

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From Sugar Mountain PR:

Berkeley, CA, March 27, 2018 Sara Lovell, an award-winning songwriter and producer known for “imaginative lyrics, sparkling harmonies, intriguing musical layers” and “a voice rich in both purity and nuanced detail,” will release her second all-ages music album Wild Is Everywhere, on April 20(Unbreakable Chord Music/ distributed by Burnside Distribution).

Sara and special guests will celebrate the album release with a concert at East Bay Community Space in Oakland on April 28.

With a wide range of topics and musical styles, these 14 original songs journey through a landscape populated with flying children, misplaced animals of a certain size, and insects or flowers that turn up in the most unexpected places.

From the Sgt. Pepper’s inspired first track, “Get Up,” where listeners are invited to “grab onto the tail of someone’s kite,” the excitement and mystery builds and expands song by song. Wordplay and a vivid fantasy life are apparent with the funky “Rhinoceros under the Bed” and “Raspberry Pickleberry Wormnut Pie.” Blues, disco and funk inflect “Bounce,” “Stand Together” and “Where You Hiding All Day Long?” Every child will recognize the unfairness when “All the Grownups Get To Stay Up Late” and the impatience of “I Want It Now,” showing that Lovell understands the big feelings that live in all of us.

At a time when it can be a challenge to find good news, Lovell reminds us in the songs of Wild Is Everywhere, that joy and imagination are no small offerings. “When we allow curiosity to take hold, it widens our perceptions letting us envision the world we want to see.” As she says in the playfully creepy song, “The Dark Side of My Room,” it’s important to acknowledge: “Oh, I know, I can be a hero in my dreams / Oh, I know, I will see the light in every scene.”


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From Sugar Mountain PR:

La Luna by 123 Andrés ~ Latin GRAMMY winner Andrés and his wife Christina spend most of their time in the United States, but Andrés’ ties to South America carry them across the continent. La luna was produced in Argentina and Mexico, and the list of top-tier guests hail from several countries. The special surprise that closes the album is an appearance by Little Miss Ann (a noted Chicago based kindie artist) with a tender song in English and Spanish called “Fly, Shine, Soar. Due out on April 13th.


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From Sugar Mountain PR:

GRAMMY-winning singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin released her Amazon Originals album, The Starlighter, an album of songs adapted from the children’s music book “Lullabies and Night Songs.” The Starlighter is available exclusively for purchase and stream on Amazon Music.

Two other music videos – of the title track, The Starlighter,” and “Minnie and Winnie” – have been released so far. These videos are based on Victorian paper theatres and the illustration style of children’s books from the same era, and were created by the Manchester, UK/Los Angeles-based motion design studio We Fail. Each scene contains over one hundred layered illustrations, and every element in the video was drawn using a digital tablet before being animated by hand.

Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR for our complimentary CD’s in exchange for sharing the news about this music!

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Package from Santa Made my Daughter’s Day!

You would have thought Santa was in the room when Emma opened her Package from Santa. She was beside herself! She couldn’t believe the things that Santa knew about her and mentioned in the personal letter. She was once again so pleased with being on the Nice List and getting a certificate for it. She found that out for the first time in our personalized video. The poster with baby Rudolph is absolutely adorable! He was so tiny he fit in Santa’s hand.

This video says it all…

Order this holiday must-have for your child at Package from Santa and save 25% OFF your order when you use FAMS17 at checkout.

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From their website:

The experience and memories of a good Santa Letter can last a lifetime, for both the children and the parents.

Now there is a foolproof package that Santa Claus himself has put together. It’s a very special package containing the personalized Santa letter that is sent to only the very best boys and girls. It’s a treasure chest of authentic, custom Santa Claus goodies, sent right to your child!

The package of proof is waiting with YOUR CHILD’S NAME ON IT! Each package contains the genuine personalized letter from Santa. Order Now!

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Package From Santa Starts a New Tradition for Your Family

Package From Santa Starts a New Tradition for Your Family

package Start a new and memorable tradition this Christmas with PackageFromSanta.com, the ONLY Santa memory service that does it ALL! Personalized LETTERS, PACKAGES, CALLS and VIDEOS from SANTA!

Do you want to see your children’s face light up in amazement when they get a personalized letter from Santa Claus? Of course you do! This not just a letter from Santa. It’s an amazing experience – it’s joy, memories, wonder and happiness in a box! You can choose a specific letter theme and then customize it yourself to include details that only Santa would know!

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Every package also comes with a FREE personalized CALL and VIDEO FROM SANTA that can be scheduled any time. This techy part of the PackageFromSanta.com was unreal! So surprisingly well done and high-end and my kids LOVED it!

It’s such a joy to see my children continue to BELIEVE and PackageFromSanta.com really helped make the magic happen in my household this year! So grateful!

PFS has an A+ Rating with the BBB due to their unmatched high-touch customer service so you can be confident that you are making a wise purchase. They have real people on the phone ready to help answer questions. That’s unheard of these days! Such a nice touch.

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The Silver Package ($24.95) comes in a red box & includes:

Personalized Letter from Santa
BONUS! Personalized Video from Santa (retail $9.99)
BONUS! Personalized Phone Call from Santa to a cell phone OR land line! (retail $9.99)
Personalized Nice List Certificate
Autographed Santa Claus Photo
Autographed Rudolph Photo
Genuine North Pole Stamp
…and so much more!

It also comes with a 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee. Wow! They are THAT confident your child will LOVE it!

There are 3 different packages offered, so you can choose a price point that works with your budget. I will be reviewing the Silver package ($29.95).

Click here to see a video to learn more about this very special Santa memory service that will be part of my family for years to come

Order this holiday must-have for your child here and save 25% OFF your order when you use FAMS17 at checkout.

 

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Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins and Friends

Camp songs and the memories that come with them are the things that make this world go ’round. Ella Jenkins’ CD, released today, comes at the perfect time when kids are off at camp and counselors are working hard to keep those kids happy.

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This CD, which includes a book of lyrics, will do the trick. It’s got wonderful standards like Kumbaya, This Land is Your Land, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and This Little Light of Mine. The rest of the songs and sweet little reflections of camp memories from Ella make this collection a must have. And we know she’s got some good stories. After all, she turns 93 in August!

We were happy to donate this CD to St. Francis in the Field‘s “Happy Campers” camp for  ages 3-6 this week. I hope the music helped them imagine and explore the beautiful outdoors!

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Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR for our complimentary copy in exchange for this review.

Starting today, June 23, the entire album will be available for sale via the Folkways site, Amazon, and iTunes.
Here is more from Sugar Mountain PR:
“Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Releases
‘Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins and Friends’ on June 23

Washington, DC – Ella Jenkins, The First Lady of Children’s Music, celebrates 60 years as a Smithsonian Folkways artist with the release of Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins and Friends,” out June 23. Jenkins has wanted to record camp songs for more than 15 years and assembled a group of children, parents, and teachers from the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, along with Tony and Kate Seeger from Camp Killooleet, to sing these rounds, nonsense songs and campfire sing-alongs. The 25-track collection includes familiar camp songs “Michael Row the Boat Ashore,” “Kumbaya” and “This Land Is Your Land.”  

Many of the tunes on “Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins and Friends” have been sung by generations of campers, including many of the 14 million children and adults who attend camp every year in the United States. The album has its roots in the songs Jenkins’ brother brought home with him from Boy Scout camp when she was a child, and begins with a chorus of children singing the familiar round “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” But these selections come from a variety of traditions, among them African-American spirituals, European folk songs, and Jewish summer camps where Jenkins has performed. “Everybody Loves Saturday Night” has lines in a dozen languages, including Mandarin, Hindi, Serbian and Nigerian. The album’s final five numbers, which include “Sloop John B.” and “Goodnight Irene,” are sequenced to resemble a campfire sing-along.

“Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins and Friends” was produced by Tony Seeger, nephew of folk-music icon Pete Seeger. Tony Seeger also wrote the included liner notes and lyric annotations for all the songs in the 36-page booklet that accompanies the album. Throughout the album, Jenkins sings and plays harmonica, often offering reminiscences and spoken-word introductions to the songs.

Though Jenkins takes the lead on “Sipping Cider Through a Straw,” she is almost everywhere on this recording — singing, harmonica playing, teaching, reflecting about camp, engaging with children and their parents, and of course in the selection of the songs. Jenkins is joined in her performances by 13 children and a group of adults that includes Erin Flynn; Bucky Halker; Judy, Kate, and Tony Seeger; Barbara Silverman; and Chris Walz. At its core, this is a collection of music by and with children.

Jenkins, who turns 93 in August, has devoted her life to instilling a love of music in children. She released her first album for Folkways in 1957, and her 1966 album “You’ll Sing a Song and I’ll Sing a Song” remains one of the best-selling titles in the history of Smithsonian Folkways. She received a Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award from The Recording Academy in 2004.  The Old Town School of Folk Music is organizing a tribute concert at the Square Roots Festival in Chicago on July 8. For more information about Ella Jenkins, visit www.ellajenkins.com.”