Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Motherhood is a slow burn

I've been feeling kind of worn down lately. The last two or three weeks have been unexpectedly hard for me. I know it's partially cumulative sleep deprivation but it's also more than that. I was reading in the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi chapter 14:4 which is Isaiah talking about the cleansing daughters of Zion by a spirit of burning. I read a note that I had recorded at some point earlier and it says "When the Lord comes with the spirit of burning, will I be consumed because of my imperfections? Or will I stand firm having already been tested in a fiery furnace?" It got me thinking about times that I have been in a fiery furnace and there have been some very hot furnaces in my life but they were mercifully short (ish) in duration. Motherhood is not a short, crazy hot furnace; it's a long, slow burn. True it will have flare ups of greater intensity but for the most part it's slowly and steadily burning my imperfections away. I don't really know how to cope with this yet. I mostly prefer sprints to distance races so enduring the slow burn is a new lesson for me, a hard lesson for me. It takes a more trust in a way to endure this life long spirit of burning because there is no end. Ever. Motherhood is an eternal calling and I just have to trust that Heavenly Father knows what he is doing and if this furnace breaks me, like past ones have, that the mended Elena will be stronger with a larger capacity to endure.  Thank you to all who help me along the way, your words are often answers to prayers. Especially my sisters, who know what to say to comfort me so often. So I end with the false bravado that has long served the Castillo sisters:

"Psh, I got this."

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The past month ... ish

This post is pretty much a bunch of photos of stuff we did over the last month.

We bought a house! Aaron has bunch more pictures so I might write a post with his pictures soon but here are some from me cleaning the last few weeks.

Those are bees/wasps on the INSIDE of the window sill. I try really hard not to imagine how they got there.

Aaron scraping all the popcorn off the ceilings. So cool with his mask thing

There is something extra gross about cleaning someone else's built up skin grime, just saying.

I tried to peel that white contact paper off but gave up and just covered with new stuff.

Also we did the cooking class that my sisters bought for my birthday.

Aaron is pretty much a master chef. The class was actually a little bit of a let down since we pretty much chopped or stirred together what the chef teacher told us to. We liked it enough to try another one just at a different place. Maybe French next time? Mmm butter.

We also got most of the baby stuff. Here is her little room:

 And the only picture I have from my baby shower. I'll try to get more.
How cute are these?!?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

To my unborn little girl

I've been trying to think of how I'm going to explain my depression and anxiety to you. There will be days when I am sad for no reason and I know that being a child you'll likely think that it's because of something you've done, or not done. And it's highly possible that you'll receive a genetic tendency towards these issues too so I want to explain something that it has taken me my entire life to figure out.

Hopefully by now we've talked about all of the wonderful strengths and talents that Heavenly Father has given us. Everyone that has been born has them. We talk a lot about them at church. For example, God has given me a great strength in interacting with children and taking care of people. He has given Daddy the talent of problem solving and a great strength in organizing and planning. I'm not sure what your strengths are but we'll discover them together.

What we don't often mention when we talk about God-given strengths are the God-given weaknesses that go with them. I have clinical depression and anxiety. That means that sometimes I just get sad for no reason. I've had it since childhood but didn't recognize it/ it became noticeable in high school. I felt broken somehow. Why when my life is so great and wonderful am I so sad? Something must be terribly wrong with me. I  prayed so hard and so often for help in coping with this overwhelming sadness that I created a strong relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus loved me even though I was broken. Here is the big lesson I've finally learned, I am not broken. I am exactly the way that Heavenly Father created me to be. I have been given this particular weakness on purpose. It is not a personal failing. It is not caused by anything I have done. It is just a part of me, like my freckles and blue eyes. It is a gift from God to me, an opportunity to learn and grow the way that I need to. So please, my sweet girl, just give me hug when I'm sad. Sing me song, remind me that my weakness is gift from the Divine and therefore will always merit divine help.

If someday you feel sad for no reason, or experience something else that feels out of your control, remember that God gives us both strengths AND weaknesses. So when you are feeling weak, remember that you are supposed to feel that way sometimes but also remember that you are strong. Remember that with Heavenly Father and Jesus beside you, you are strong enough to conquer anything.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My most superb birthday week

27 isn't a particularly special birthday but I had a great one. It started off at work where I received my first present from my favorite 2 year old student. I briefly mentioned the week before that the next class would be my birthday and he remembered!

The milk chocolate was delicious but the dark wasn't as good to me so Aaron will probably get most of it.

We went to look at some houses in Issaquah that afternoon which was pretty fun.

Then there was a steak dinner I requested at a delightful little restaurant in Capital Hill. Since it was the Monday after Thanksgiving we were the only people there for most of our dinner. It felt like Aaron rented the place out.

Those french fries may be the best I've ever had. Seriously.

Aaron got me a little cart for carrying things (especially groceries) and a computer game that I've wanted for months. Perfect presents.

On Friday of my birthday we went to the Nutcracker. It was my first ever ballet and I loved it!

There was a super cool art piece hanging from the ceiling at the theater.

I made this peanut butter pie for my last birthday treat. It is soooooooo yummy.

I love my birthday!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Halloween and Thanksgiving

There aren't many pictures from these events but here is what I have :)

I was Wyld Style from the Lego Movie

Aaron was Ron Swamson from Parks and Rec

I actually totally forgot to take pictures on actual Thanksgiving but here are some pictures of the delicious leftover turkey Aaron made. It was incredible. Mmm leftover turkey...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Geneva's visit!

So it's been forever since I posted anything but here are some fun pictures for my sister's visit!

Aaaaaaand there were only 4 pictures. How did that happen? Anyways we also went shopping a bunch and ate lots of delicious things. It was a fun and relaxing trip. Yay for sisters!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More weekend fun

So this past weekend we did two cool things. On Friday evening we went to the EMP again.

 We saw a really cool exhibit on music videos
This is Milky, he is featured in a weird/cool music video. This is a picture of the actual music video

Aaron got to meet him in real life!

Unfortunately Aaron is now missing

This was from a way cool music video that they were playing in the big room. I don't remember the band name.

Creepy 80's music video done in a comic style. I think it's David Bowie

In one they had everything made of yarn, including this mock sound board. It was crazy!

A band made of anonymous members who wear eyeball masks. Oh the 70's and 80's. 
 We also stumbled upon A Bite of Seattle on Saturday when I wanted to go for a walk and we went to Seattle Center. Sadly there are no pictures but there were A TON of food booths and people. Double sadness we went after we had eaten lunch and way before we were ready for dinner. I also had some broth I needed to use before it went bad so we made dinner at home. On the menu was: butternut squash soup with panag curry paste, roaster mushrooms, grilled corn on the cob (Aaron impulse bought them the day before) and fresh bread. It was delicious!