It’s Been a YEAR


This greeted us as we entered the Transplant wing at Jewish on Monday, January 6, 2014. Dad’s part of that growing statistic now.

This exact time last year, I was in a freezing cold hotel room across from Jewish Hospital where me, Sonny and his family, and my Aunt Lou were trying to get bedded down for a short sleep. After waiting a full day with no definitive answer, we had just gotten news about an hour prior that Dad’s liver transplant surgery would take place around 9am on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014. We were all in a sort of semi-shock that this was all really happening and sleep proved quite elusive, both from the nerves/anticipation and from the fact that thanks to the first Polar Vortex of the year, our hotel room never got above 68 degrees with a wind chill of -34. Payne talked in his sleep the whole night. I had to pee at least 4 times in the 5 short hours we were there. Needless to say, when you’re waiting on a miracle that’s nearly in your grasp, restful sleep is not at the top of the list.


Graycen snuggling with Granddaddy as we waiting to find out if surgery was actually going to take place or not.

But the next day came, and we trudged across to the hospital in literal sub-zero temps to wait through a 10-hour surgery that would prove to save Dad’s life in more ways than one. We will all never forget that as they wheeled him away to the operating room, he waved to us and said, “I’ll be fine. See you later!”


This moment was surreal.

We all witnessed a miracle that day. We heard doctors say words that we never thought we would hear. We saw not only his life, but our lives changed forever as we now count this as Dad’s “second birthday.”


The day he arrived home after only 8 days in the hospital!

We could not be more thankful for the gifts we’ve been given – the gift of more life with Dad, the reward of seeing true belief and faith come to full fruition (even when the days of waiting were hard and the doubt so easily crept in.)


Christmas 2013


Christmas 2015 THE DIFFERENCE A YEAR (with a new liver) MAKES!!!

So, Happy Second Birthday, Dad. You’re more than a miracle!

Off to a Good Start

We spent this weekend in Jackson and Germantown TN with mom’s side of the family and it was absolutely wonderful. We calculated how long it had been since we had been to visit there (Michael always has to work, weather and health are always major considerations) and it had been since Christmas of 2008 since I had been and Christmas of 2011 since the rest of the Flatts had been. So, basically far too long. Michael still had to work this year but Elly and I made the trek with everyone else. Everyone was an immense help to me considering Elly isn’t really the greatest traveler (she seriously will NOT sleep in the car), but Payne and Graycen were absolutely indispensable. They’re so good with her and she gets quite spoiled with them being pretty much at her beck and call. I should give her credit too though – she slept great in the hotel (after about 20 minutes of intermittent “mommy?” quizzes to make sure I was still in the room with her) she was out. She was great visiting people she hadn’t seen in a year or so or in some cases, ever, and did a pretty good job stealing hearts. Uncle Skip and Aunt Peggy were fabulous hosts as usual and made sure all the little ones were catered to. Elly had a blast playing with everyone and her face lit up when she saw her cousin Garner, who is just a month or so older than her, walked in. It was precious.





The best part was that all of “the cousins” and their offspring were there. That’s quite a feat considering there are 8 of us with 12 kids spread from IL to TN. It was such a blessing for everyone to be together. Times like this, especially with dad, are so treasured now. Hopefully we can look forward to many more trips like this!


The “original” Trevathan sons and daughters, plus spouses.


E’rebody, including “Uncle G,” my late grandmother Gallimore’s brother.


The cousins, oldest to youngest. I personally can’t remember the last time we were all together in our adulthood. So cool.


And the babies – the “cousins'” children. We’re well on our way to keeping the family name alive!

The Dark Side

I don’t like to talk about this subject.

It’s painful. It’s personal. It’s often lonely and ignored. But I feel like I’ve reached a point that it’s necessary.

I mentioned in the post announcing that we’re pregnant that the first trimester “almost took me under.”

And that it did. A depression unlike almost any I had ever experienced took me down.

It took me to a very, very dark place when I was supposed to be glowing with anticipation and excitement, even amidst the throes of morning sickness and insane fatigue.

I’ve battled depression for over 10 years – probably longer – but was first ‘diagnosed’ in my early 20’s. I was put on the same anti-depressant as everyone else by my primary care physician (who, it should be noted, was more of a psychologist than many in psychological professions I’ve seen since then.) Not much was said about it, and truthfully, I don’t know what it did or didn’t do for me because I didn’t really know the demon I was battling.

I stopped taking it after I felt “better” and spent the next several years on a roller coaster of other medications and “talk therapy” trying to treat a foreign ailment that sometimes seemed like something I just dreamed up or just an excuse for doctors to get me to stop complaining about whatever was bothering me. The only thing that kept me from being certain I was just making this up was that I knew there was a strong family history of depression, so perhaps I was just lucky enough to get some of those genes.

I managed pretty well when anxiety was finally recognized about 3 years ago as a big part of my problem in addition to the depression and I started being able to put pieces together of what caused my depression. Hormonal issues, my personality of perfectionism and need for control, and especially when I physically don’t feel well all can lead me into a dark fog. You may as well drag my emotional health down the river when I’m physically down because it’s a relatively lost cause.

As you can imagine, the first weeks of pregnancy are the perfect storm for me. Hormonal changes every SECOND, being completely out of control of what your body (and mind) is going through, and of course, physically feeling like death spread on a cracker. I was sunk. As the depression worsened, so did the anxiety. Suddenly, I was fretful over every little thing regarding the pregnancy: I would have a ‘good’ day where I didn’t feel sick and would convince myself that must mean the pregnancy wasn’t healthy or viable any longer. I calculated massive numbers in my head of how the odds of miscarriage in second pregnancies was so high that I may as well be prepared. Every pain, cramp, or twinge of change was certainly spelling impending doom. My mind was out of control.

I was hoping for some consolation and perhaps an increase in medication, something – ANYTHING – from my first appointment at 8 weeks but instead was met with none of the above. I saw a nurse practitioner I had no past with for that first visit, and unfortunately, my tears and pleading meant little to her. I completely understand there was probably nothing she could do at that point anyway, but a little compassion can go a long way sometimes. I was desperate. I didn’t want to feel this way, think these things – ESPECIALLY when I would much rather have been living in a place of thankfulness and peace. It was horrifying, knowing there was so little I could do while I waited and prayed for the first trimester to move quickly. Thankfully, I have a husband and family who are more than supportive and understanding and helped me walk through those dreary days.

When Robin Williams died though, it really bothered me as the outpouring of “concerned” bystanders started rolling in. Suddenly along with every news story about Williams, there was a PSA about how anyone facing depression needed to “seek help” or “reach out.”


The LAST thing a depressed person WANTS to do is reach out. It’s not selfish, it’s just part of the beast. Depression is so isolating anyway that by the time a person actually recognizes that they are depressed, they’re well past “reaching out.” AND, beyond that, chances are that person may have already reached out and been met with far less help than they needed. Like most ER visits, unless you’re crying ‘heart attack,’ you’re not an emergency. Same with depression – unless you’re talking suicide (and even sometimes when you are), it’s not an emergency.
Here’s what I’ve experienced – seeking help for depression usually goes something like this:

First visit, usually with a primary care doc lands you a recommendation for a counselor, which can’t see you for another 2 weeks. If you do walk out with a prescription, it’s for a mild, run-of-the-mill, just slightly better than a sugar pill drug that won’t begin to work for at least 4 weeks, if at all. And during that 4 weeks, you’re likely to have some “mild” side effects that make the whole process more fun. Meanwhile, word may get out that you’re seeking help for depression and your friends may say things like, “what do YOU have to be depressed about??” and your coworkers just think you’re a coward and your family may even go as far as to think you’re just being lazy. And if you’re a Christian, like me, it’s sad how many times you may be told that you’re just not praying enough. Oh my heavens, what a kick in the gut that is because truthfully, prayer is likely the only reason I was still willing to try to beat depression at all. These responses are ALL too common, from what I’ve learned. You diligently attend your “talk therapy” appointment, but your “counselor” may as well have gone to hairdresser school as far as you’re concerned because her half-witted attempts to explain what you’re feeling seem futile and her assertions of “you seem angry…” just infuriate you more. And an hour session every two weeks is not really doing much except draining your bank account. Really, what can you cover in an HOUR?! You battle with that go-around for six months to a year maybe, only to discover that you’re not any more “well” than before.

From this point, it’s a crap-shoot as to what happens. You may continue to seek traditional care, usually winding up at a psychiatrist who will promise not to turn you into a “zombie” when in fact they do just that with their high-powered meds and psychoanalysis. Or, you turn to unconventional methods with herbs or yoga or something you read about on Facebook, usually to no avail. And yet, all the while, you’re hearing that depressed people should “reach out.” A year or two after you REACHED OUT and you’re more desperate for care than you were before, but also more hopeless that you’ll actually find a suitable solution. It’s dark, people. VERY dark.

I wish I could say I found a key, a secret weapon or some way around all of the above so that others didn’t have to face it, but unfortunately I don’t have that. For me, it took getting to that place of desperation and expressing it to my husband in such a way that there was no denying my sincerity of how deep my despair was. Elly was one, and looking back, it’s evident now that I had late-onset post partum that easily overtook me based on my predisposition for severe depression and anxiety. I’m also an excellent actress and can mask my interior like no other. I still had to go through quite a bit of trial and error and more doctor ‘fails’ before finding a relatively simple but effective method of management for me. For now. Because the beast changes, a person with depression (and anxiety) has to stay on their toes – what works today may need to be changed in a year or two or even sooner.

Again, I wish I could say I had learned the trick or even an appropriate argument for all those well-wishers who say “seek help” because while they mean well, they obviously have no clue what a depressed person is really dealing with. I can only speak from my own experience and what that means for me. I know what my depression looks and feels like. I vividly remember what Elly’s first year was like and how I relish in her existence now, where as I couldn’t then. I know what most of my triggers are and try at best to avoid them when possible. I know I need special care from myself, especially while pregnant, to make sure I stay in a healthy place. And even then, there’s going to be some bad days. I know prayer and my faith is extremely important, as is the support from my family and friends, so I do what I can to keep those things in check.

I’ll step down off my soapbox for now, but please. Before you tell someone to reach out, try reaching in.


And Then God Laughed

So, way back in May, I made the comment that my days of just surviving may have passed.

God must read my blog because he seemed to look at that declaration as a challenge. Pretty soon after that, I was in and out of doctor appointments trying to get to the bottom of what turned out to be a thyroid issue. About a week after I finally started feeling better, I started feeling HORRIBLE. In response, I started preparing for more doctor appointments and a little voice told me maybe I should take a pregnancy test.

And lo and behold…


Well. Whattya know.

So, after being COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY at this revelation (yes, we know what causes pregnancy, so ha-ha to all you jokesters) we were overcome with gratitude that we get the opportunity to experience this again. We didn’t think it was possible for us to get pregnant ‘on our own’ and we certainly weren’t planning on such, but certainly view it as a gift and a profound blessing.

I had to grip very tightly to those feelings of “blessing” because the first trimester tried to take me under. I wasn’t Princess Kate sick, but I felt the irony of how growing new life sure makes you feel like death warmed over  every single day. Poor Elly. She had to endure her summer with a momma beached on the coach while she watched Frozen again and again. Thank goodness for Nana and Granddaddy and their willingness to play outside with her and let her enjoy being 2.

But thankfully, around week 14, I started to see the light. My stamina started returning and I could finally concentrate on more than literally just surviving the day. That was indeed a blessing too.

So now, here we are, almost halfway. (I’m 19 1/2 weeks). HALFWAY. It seems a little impossible. I know the next couple of months are going to fly by with the holidays and such, but I have a sneaking suspicion those long days of January are going to wear on my 8-month pregnant self. Hopefully, with the excitement of the approaching due date, I’ll be able to make the best of those days doing fun stuff to get ready for the new addition!

We did something a little different this time than we did with Elly. We had an early 4-D ultrasound done to determine the sex of the baby. Important shopping was going to take place in Gatlinburg and it just so happened I was 14 1/2 weeks right before we left and that’s when they can begin to predict gender. However, doctors will staunchly argue that this isn’t possible, but we did it anyway and early reports say BOY!!!


Again, totally shocked. Until the appointment, Michael and I were both 50/50 on whether we thought it was a girl or boy and equally what we “wanted.” But for whatever reason, we had evidently convinced ourselves that it was indeed a girl. When the tech asked if we were ready to know (which was surprisingly early into the appointment) I turned and said, “it’s another girl, isn’t it?” Caught a little off-guard, she said with complete conviction, “It’s a boy” and then proceeded to show us our proud boy in all his glory. I unexpectedly teared-up and Michael was pretty overcome himself. The part of me that always dreamed of the “nuclear” family couldn’t have been more thrilled and I just couldn’t get over this completely unexpected blessing of not only what appears to be a healthily-progressing pregnancy, but now a BROTHER for Elly and a SON for us. Unreal. We have the “big” ultrasound next Friday, so we’re hoping for NO surprises at that appointment!

Right, God? NO surprises! 🙂



My Love of Fall Trumps Your Love of Fall

I win.

If you could take a sampling of all the female bloggers who live in an area that experiences any remote semblance of four seasons and I guarantee most of their “About Me” sections will include something about their love of fall.


I’m here to tell all you fall-lover-wannabes, I WIN. I love fall more than you. I just do. I could literally dance and sing when the temps drop and the humidity disappears…it’s literally the most glorious time of year. End of story.

All kidding aside, there’s no question the autumn season is when I feel most alive. I should strongly consider making my “new year’s resolutions” in fall because I could totally last longer doing something in the fall than I ever could in the dreary days of January.2014-09-23 10.21.12I’m not entirely sure where my love of fall comes from. I’m an October baby, so I’m sure by some law of nature, I’m supposed to love fall (although I’ve known plenty of fellow fall babies who don’t love fall) so who knows.




My husband (and family) is baffled by my love and knowledge of football every year. Again, I DON’T KNOW. I just love it. Michael seems to think my history in band and cheerleading led to my affection for the boys in pads, and that’s absolutely possible, but whatever the reason, BRING ON THE PIGSKIN.

IMG_558485623768635But I tend to think my autumn affinity is deeper than that. It never ceases to amaze me that God completely transforms the Earth in preparation of the seasons to come – but first, he shows off, and literally paints a picture that’s humanly unmatched. How can you not love that?


There is one thing I dislike about fall – the illnesses that accompany seasonal allergies and other bugs that seem to come out of nowhere in the fall – but those are usually temporary and might just slow us down enough so we can look around and enjoy the trees and watch one more NFL game. Totally worth it.

So I’m going to enjoy my cider and yoga pants and focus on the fresh air.

And share my love with all the other fall fiends out there too. I’ll provide the flannel blanket for us all. 🙂

Fall is here

Silence is Golden

Sometimes I wonder why I write at all. It happens as often as once a week that I stumble upon an article, a blog post, or even a book that I literally could have penned myself. This used to really bother me and was a huge hang-up for writing at all, but when I have a dry spell and I just can’t bring myself to write, I’m thankful that someone has taken the time to write down the EXACT thoughts I’ve had. (Or at least similar enough ones that I can feel justified.)

Just such a thing happened this week when this blog post popped up on Facebook. Down to and including some of the dry humor, I could have spoken or written these very words myself. This post isn’t really anything extraordinary and there are probably 100’s of other similar ones that have received as much attention, but this one particularly got to me because it addressed infertility in a way that really hit home.

So, enjoy this post below. And thank you to those who take the time to write my thoughts.

Step it Up, Hallmark

So it’s Father’s Day Eve, and to be fair, here’s the obligatory post about my thoughts on Father’s Day.

That is, if I can even find words. Hallmark couldn’t, so I’m not even sure why I’m trying.

Here’s what I mean: I DARE you to find a card or gift or act or ANYTHING that can somehow portray your feelings about your father who survived a disease that’s mortality rate is something like 20% of those diagnosed; survived a 10-hour surgery that also brings something like a 15% chance of death along with it; has fought through several set-backs that brought us all to our knees and halted our worlds to pray he could dig for strength again to make it through; and most astonishingly of all, did all of the above with a smile, no mention of “giving up,” and a quiet but epic faith that I have personally never witnessed. Because I bet you can’t. I know my little gift certainly doesn’t do justice to what MY DAD deserves. No gift does. No card says how much I admire and love him, how glad I am he’s HERE with us to celebrate again. I would like to think I’ve shown him these things by doing the best I could for him, but even that falls far too short. He’s an amazing hero, a true living miracle, and I couldn’t more thankful that he’s MY DAD.

I gave him an embellished version of this poem several years ago for his birthday after he had survived 17 days in the ICU and then a subsequent brain bleed (and we thought the worst was over!) and even though it doesn’t do justice for who he is, it’s my feeble attempt. At least I tried, Hallmark.

My Hero is the quiet type,
No marching bands, no media hype,
But through my eyes it’s plain to see,
A hero, God has sent to me.

With gentle strength and quiet pride,
All self concern is set aside,
To reach out to our fellow man,
And be there with a helping hand.

Heroes are a rarity,
With all they give and all they do,
I’ll bet the thing you never knew,
My quiet hero has always been you




About Mother’s Day

I usually don’t like to write posts pertaining to specific holidays, special occasions, etc., because I know I’ll never be able to post them all and then I’ll develop a complex about the blog not being ‘complete’ and that will lead to posting for the sake of posting… It’s a vicious ridiculous cycle.

Anyway, I decided to throw caution to the wind and record some thoughts that need to be said while people are around to enjoy it. It’s really that simple.

I have a lot of mixed emotions about Mother’s Day, primarily because I have mixed memories of Mother’s Day past. Like the time we had a horrible dinner at KFC because Dad made a desperate attempt to make the day easy for mom by not having her cook, but instead we all ended up herding around disgusting buffet food with folks that may or may not have showered in a few days. Bless his heart, he tried. And to his credit, there aren’t that many restaurants in Glasgow to choose from. Then there were beautiful Mother’s Days when we visited Granny Rose (when she was still well) and ate at the lake and enjoyed each other’s company and gifts didn’t matter and I was still the baby of the family. Those times are precious to me.

Then there’s the Mother’s Days I’ve had as an adult that I avoided the day like the plague because I still was waiting to be a momma myself. I did my best to celebrate my momma, but I avoided church and my heart still longed and ached to be blessed by motherhood. Redemption came – briefly though. The Mother’s Day when I was pregnant was wonderful, but last year (my first real Mother’s Day I suppose) was not at all what I anticipated, largely because I was in the throes of a deep, hidden depression. All I remember was how unhappy I was with the outfit I chose, how fat I felt, and how irritated I was that Elly wouldn’t nap. Not the pleasant memory of my first Mother’s Day I had once longed for.

But that’s life. Sometimes it’s not what we make it in our minds, and goodness knows I’m eternally guilty of making THAT mistake time and time again. So either good or bad, by whatever standards you choose, Mother’s Day is what you make it. I agree with the principle of celebrating mothers and recognizing the selfless sacrifice mothers make every day, but it’s really in the little moments of motherhood by nature that make being a mother special.


I gained a whole new life perspective when I became a momma, but over the last year, that perspective was broadened greatly as I watched my momma take on a role for my dad that has amazed me. She’s had to step in as a nurse, a 24-hour caretaker, and life manager for my dad as he has gone through this transplant experience. It was around Mother’s Day last year that mom really started to show concern for dad’s “liver numbers,” but none of us had ANY idea what was to come. It didn’t matter, and without warning or training, she took on her new roles with relative ease. Sonny and I often talk (and pray) about mom and the amazing job she does taking care of dad because if the task was left up to us, we’d basically be clueless. I could go on and on, but I think the best thing I can say is that one of the most memorable examples of unconditional love will not only come from all she’s done for me as a momma, but what she continues to do every single day to hold our family together – to literally keep us alive. She deserves so much, but I honestly don’t know how to pay her any bigger compliment than to say that I will live trying to forever honor that example.



I have to share one last thing. A few months ago, a song written by Natalie Grant called “When I Leave the Room” circulated on Facebook and caused mass bawling among mothers everywhere. (Really, it’s beautiful.) This song touched me as well because when I leave Elly’s room at night, there is no going back to check on her or stepping in to watch her sleep – the child can sleep through a hellacious thunderstorm but if you so much as crack her door open, she’s wide awake, screaming to be picked up. So when I leave her, it’s usually for the night, so I of course could certainly relate. But the last verse is when I lost my marbles. I can’t share the video or sound on here, but here’s the lyrics.

“When I Leave The Room”
Good night
Looks like we made it through the day
The moon sighs
And I know that we’re okay

Sleep tight
I love to watch you drift away
I would come with you but on my knees I’ll stay

Good night
Five little fingers holding mine
Take flight
Into your dreams and lullabies

There’s nothing more that I can do
But just fall more in love with you
And ask the angel armies to stand by
When I leave the room

I’m gonna fail you
I already have
Ten thousand times
I will fall down flat

You’ll have a seat in the front row
Of everything I don’t know
And all I’m trying to be
You’ll see

Good night
There will be storms that we come through
In time
We will slay dragons me and you

I’ll always wanna hold you tight
Keep you safe with all my might
So I will leave Jesus next to you
When I leave the room

And you will run ahead
As if you know the way
And I will pray more
Then one should have to pray

There will be words we can’t take back
Silences too
And I’ll be on my knees
You’ll see

One night
When I am old and unsteady
You’ll want me to fight
But I’ll tell you that I’m ready

When there’s nothing left to do
I will still be loving you
Then you’ll fold your fingers into mine
And I will let Jesus hold you tight
When I leave the room

So Happy Mother’s Day to ALL mommas, mommas past, and mommas yet to be. You’re all in my heart.

May the Fourth be with You

I have no real affinity for Star Wars, but I love that this title has become a little meme of its own in the last few years. And to make it even better, Jimmy Fallon did this:


So it’s May. FINALLY, it’s MAY. I’m sad I didn’t post in April, but I think that just goes to show the busyness (and maybe some of the laziness) that April saw. The weather could not make up its mind in April, thus neither could my body’s perception of whether or not it was time to be productive, so I partially blame that. Nonetheless, April saw many good things including Kentucky making it to the championship round of the NCAA (which NO ONE honestly thought could happen), Easter festivities, and lots and lots of family time. Again, my remorse for not posting about each individual item is palpable, but so it goes. And now it’s May.

I first must update those pondering – DAD IS DOING FANTASTIC. Seriously. It baffles and humbles me to look at him, laugh with and talk to him, see him relish time with his baby granddaughter, and watch his marked recovery every single day. Yes, he still has good days and bad days and yes, there is ALWAYS the possibility for setbacks and surprises, but for now, and especially after the scare we had at the end of March, he is doing phenomenally well. When Elly was born I kept telling people I didn’t know how to be thankful enough to God for such a miracle and the same is true with Dad. It’s unbelievable. Come what may, this journey with him has developed a faith in all of us that we never knew could exist. We see God in small, seemingly menial things now and are more consistently thankful. I know everyone does not get to experience such miracles, and for them, my heart truly breaks. But if any consolation can come, let it be that we don’t take any moment for granted and we know without any doubt who is the Giver of all things good.

Speaking of good, “times” for us now have been so comparatively good that it almost makes me a little uncomfortable, if that even makes sense. I sent a text to Amy the other day that said that I needed to be more disciplined with the activities of my days, that now that we’re not living in constant survival mode now that I’m having to learn how to do things differently. She responded, “have you forgotten how to breathe?”

Yep. Pretty much. I’ve (we’ve) spent the better part of 5 years now surviving some pretty difficult circumstances and basically holding our breaths waiting for the next blow. I wish I could tell you that I don’t fear the next blows anymore because of a rock-solid faith, but sometimes I do still catch myself wanting to hold my breath because we actually have gone a little stint of time now without any significant ‘blows’ (KNOCK ON WOOD.) I have to remind myself that if anything, worse case scenario, God got us through before, he’ll get us through again. The strength to even say that is growth for me, but I still have a lot of learning to fully trust, wholly depend on, and actually develop that rock-solid faith I long for. I’m pretty sure that takes a lifetime though, so I’m ok that I’m just making steps toward that goal. Even if they’re baby steps.

So I’ll leave you this fabulous fourth day of May with some pictures from April (to prove the month actually existed!)


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