Pay It Forward

Last week was a tough one for me. I battled with my old enemy, depression and struggled to pull myself out of its grasp. The holidays do that to some people, no? The downward spiral of feeling blue, self-hate and helplessness is tough to escape. More than anything, it’s frustrating as hell to get caught up in it and have no real defense except to ride it out and pray for that Zoloft to kick in to overdrive.

In the middle of Blues Fest, I locked myself in the master bedroom and read blogs. All. Day. Long. I escaped in the words and photography of others and caught up on my blog’s e-mail. I discovered some incredible new blogs…well, new to me. Dare I say, perhaps my bout with the blues was meant to happen? It forced me to sit down and pay some serious attention to my writing and “the blog”. Admittedly, my attention was elsewhere throughout December, so it was game on.

In the midst of my self-imposed bedroom seclusion, I was thrilled to find that a new friend, who happens to write a fantastic blog, had bestowed the Stylish Blogger Award upon me! It may seem small to you, but in the depths of my battle last week, my spirits were lifted. Thank you, Melody-Mae for your kind gift. I apologize for taking so long to pay it forward.

In order to accept my award, I am bound by the following rules…

  • Thank and link back to the person who awarded you.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
  • Contact these bloggers and let them know you awarded them. 

Here are my 7:

  1. I’m a yeller. Shameful, but true…I yell. A lot. I’m hoping this is the side-effect of parenting three small children. I pray that my decibel level will return to a socially acceptable volume as the children grow older.
  2. I can’t relax in my house unless the room I’m in is neat and free of clutter. This may or may not be a side-effect of my brain’s faulty serotonin absorption, but who cares. At least my house is (mostly) clean.
  3. When I go shopping, I pick up items, carry them around and pretend I’m going to buy the whole pile. Then I drop them off at various points around the store and leave. Sorry retail workers…but I have three kids and can’t afford the pile anymore.
  4. I’m jealous of my husband’s ability to run, like 30 miles a week. Where does he get the drive?
  5. I sometimes miss the days when my husband and I ran together…before three children.
  6. I love. Absolutely LOVE to cook. I wanted to go to the Culinary Institute.
  7. I’m famous for planning elaborate, detail-oriented functions…then not going. I’m a wallflower and slightly anxious in social situations, but my attention to detail is legendary.

Now, for the 15 nominated bloggers.

  1. Of Woods and Words. She’s a fantastic writer. I check in almost every day to see what is happening in the wilds of Wisconsin.
  2. Another Cookie, Please! A friend and amazing writer who writes about life while caring for her mother, who was stricken by Alzheimer’s disease.
  3. Mumsyhood. What can I say? Kitten takes the most incredible photographs of her beautiful daughter and shares the joys of new-Mumsyhood. She takes me back and helps me remember the wonder of my new babies. She always visits and leaves a comment for my blog. She’s been a HUGE source of encouragement. Thanks, Kitten!
  4. Freckles and Fudge. Vic’s photography is incredible and makes me long for the sun. She leaves thoughtful comments on No. 7. Her blog makes me smile and provides me with my fix for a beach day…even in the dead of winter in Maine. I can smell, hear and taste the beach when I log onto her blog. (Except for today when I logged on and saw stunning pictures of french fries and fish and chips. I’ve battled food cravings all day!)
  5. Inspire. Create. Bake. Need I say more? I salivate from the moment I log on and log off craving all of her recipes. Not to mention the stellar photography.
  6. For the Love of Blogs. A no brainer. This incredible community of bloggers is supportive and responsive. Through them, I have met so many wonderful new and talented people.
  7. Write Now, Write Later. Donna inspires me with her words and she’s a great source of information for fellow writers. She’s one talented and hard working lady. Plus, she asked me to guest post on her blog! Look for my post on Friday.
  8. Scenic Glory. Every single image is incredible. In fact, her blog is a visual feast. The graphics, the fonts…I love it so. Her posts are pretty awesome too! You should go check out her “What Would” Project.
  9. Crazy Days with IzzyB. Because she’s my friend. She makes me laugh. She bakes the most INCREDIBLE cookies. EVER. And I adore her Izzy who is possibly one of the sweetest little girls I have ever met. 
  10. The Coexist Cafe. She visits No. 7 often and always leaves the best comments. I lurk at The Coexist Cafe and steal the delicious vegetarian recipes. I read her very engaging posts and I am reminded of Dave and I before the three kiddos hopped on board. Her description of herself is as follows: “I am a writer, paralegal, eclectic Pagan, and vegetarian foodie and connoisseur.” Hmmm..sounds very familiar. 😉
And that, my friends is about all I’ve got in me today. These are the 10 that I visit and love. I suppose that stopping at 10 means I am breaking the rules of the award, but so be it. I just like that I get to share some of my favorites with you.

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  1. Missy (& various in Transplant blog) says:

    I have had to battle PPD and Clinical Depression. I still have bouts of depression from time to time. It sucks! Some days, I honestly don't know if I'm really functioning or just on auto-pilot. So know that you aren't alone in the fight.

    Also congrats on the award!

  2. melody-mae says:

    I love that you payed in forward! Thanks for the sweet mention of me too.
    I have some experience with seasonal depression, not myself but my daughter. We started noticing it around her Junior year in highschool…it is something she does struggle with and so I understand your thoughts and relate. I am so excited thought that in the midst of your self imposed 'lock-up' in your bedroom that you came across my award. I love your blog and am so very thankful I found ya.

    your new friend,

  3. Inspire. Create. Bake. says:

    You are a doll. Thank you for listing me in your top ten. I'm glad Ifound your blog. I look forward to reading more!! Also, I'm your newest follower. 🙂

  4. The Coexist Cafe says:

    Aww, Kelli… you are the greatest! What a sweet comment, thank you so much! 🙂

    I'll be sure to pay this forward tomorrow, and I definitely want to know how my description sounds familiar!

    I also hear you on #2. On occasion, I go through some crazy OCD attack and have to have every inch of the house spotless right this very second, and I will spend the wee hours of the morning being sure that the grout is shining and the wall accents are free of dust. So… yeah, irritating, but when DH comes home at the end of it all, he doesn't mind. ;P

  5. hello friend ♥ thank you so much for this award…you are so sweet! i'm so happy that we have had the opportunity to meet through FTLOB!

    I miss running with my husband as well. he and i trained for a few half marathons and for some reason my heart is just not into it anymore. i don't have the kids excuse 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful day and hope tomorrow is just as magical.


  6. IzzyBsMama says:

    Your blog is amazing…funny and emotional and silly and all-around FABULOUS…just like YOU!!! Thank you for including me – I'm so thrilled to have met you and to consider you my friend 🙂

    "And I adore her Izzy who is possibly one of the sweetest little girls I have ever met." You made me get all teary eyed – what a sap I am! – thank you!

    Now I just have to figure out, when I'm paying it forward, how to narrow it down to 15 blogs…can I have the 5 you didn't use??? 😉

  7. I love this blog – and the honesty you share about your depression. I suffer from depression too and yeah, the stress and pressure of the holidays – all of the big hopes and many disappointments totally suck. This is also a hard time of year for my family – my brother died on Jan 3 and my sister's baby died at about the same time a couple years before. So yeah. It's hard.
    I love escaping for a while into the calmer, friendlier world of blogging! 🙂

  8. Awww, thanks so much for including me in your top 10! I'm so touched by your kind comments. I will be paying it forward tomorrow. You totally made my day!

    I'm so glad you had some quiet time in the blogosphere to help pull you out of the funk. The holidays are definitely a stressful, draining time. Hope you're feeling better now!

  9. Awww, thanks Kelli. Those are such sweet words. xoxo

  10. Thank you beautiful! I think it is this time of year….i am going through changes as well and some serious weight gaining due to lack of energy, etc…i think the yelling will past…i do it without even realizing ( i know, sad ) but have been able to slowly grow and catch myself because everything i do reflects my children. ahhh….i wish i could run…my vein in my leg is horrible and worsens by the day…even walking hurts….hahaha…i do the same thing in stores…..i have no idea why i put a $2 shirt back…redick! Thanks again babe….i will find a moment to get everyone a post out who has given me such lovely awards because yes…when your feeling shitty, the littlest things can boost us up! awesome!:) xoxo

  11. You are all very welcome! Thank you for sharing your creativity and talents. Feeling much better but I am really looking forward to springtime 😉

  12. Slidecutter says:

    I'm honored, not just for being included in your list, for being your long-distance friend as well.
    Once again, allow me to tell everyone how you have inspired me and opened my writing world to discover so many other wonderful bloggers. The talent behind all that I read is incredible….especially what you share, Kelli!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Much love!

  13. What a fantastic way to be welcomed back! Thank you so much sweetie, for the award and for your kind words, and especially for your guest post on my blog, I loved it so much! You almost made me cry! I hope your days have been better, one day I might post a funny story about my latest doctor visit when we talked about depression, it'll definitely get a smile out of you! Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us all!

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