I love the holidays.  Hanging with my fam, great food, movies I only feel like I can justifiably watch a few weeks out of the year… I’m all about it.  However, as a parent, there’s a little extra burden.  How do you adequately explain all that this season is to kids?  I’m stumbling through, as Nora just turned four (FOUR!!!!!!!) and has more questions than I have answers in a fashion she can comprehend.  I want her to have all the answers, all the cultural information, all the things, all at once.  Ben and I have different belief systems and neither of us want her to just default into one or the other.  We’d like her to make her own choices, become her own person, but how do you aid in that process for a four year old??  I’ll take any tips, please!

Also, one little shameless self-plug… My jewelry shop is part of Storenvy’s Biggest Small Business Sale and everything in the shop is currently 30% off.  Check out Norabear’s Lair 🙂


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kid Furniture

I’m not talking about those cute little chairs with names embroidered on them, I’m talking about me.

I was pouting this morning about the fact that a good chunk of the time, my kids see me as a jungle gym or a couch.  Emeline likes to smush a nest into my tummy and curl up in it, then grab my arm and make my hand pat her until I get the cue and start patting on my own.  Nora does very similar things.  I was sitting there this morning, being a nest, thinking, “I am a grown woman with thoughts, ideals, goals! I’m interesting!  I’m worth something more than a piece of kid furniture!!”  Then Emeline smiled up at me, kissed my arm, and got up and toddled off… At which point I immediately, desperately wanted to be a nest again.

Being a parent is so hard and so easy all at once.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sleep… I Wish!

I posted this initially on facebook, but felt like posting it here as well with a little expansion.

2:31 a.m., Ben and I both wake up all frantic and confused. Realize it’s an amber alert, realize it’s in Enid, freak out a bit, realize there’s nothing we can do, go back to sleep. Approximately 10 seconds after falling asleep, enter: Nora. Apparently, “everything is messed up.” Potty, tuck in, turn on Beach Boys, discuss possibilities of her moving to a bedroom upstairs, away from us (slim to none, sorry, kid), go back to my bed, try to sleep, nearly succeed, enter: Nora. “Everything is weird and I still love you!” Awesome. Tuck her in bed with me, try to convince her not to tap the headboard or pull on my nose, steal Ben’s pillow, ask a million loud questions, etc, etc, ad infinitum, until 5:08 when she finally goes back to sleep. Enter: cat (sound cue only). Commence countdown of minutes til alarm.

Who’s been sleeping peacefully and breathing deeply enough for me to hear it clearly across the room to allay any fear of SIDS or the million other mom worries? Emeline. This may be the longest she’s ever slept straight. Well played, children.

Emeline does not know what the big deal is. She slept til 6:30!

Cannot seem to accurately capture the burst blood vessel in my eye.

Also, the child in the Amber Alert was located a couple hours after it was issued.

Gooooooooo parenthood!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

And now… Depression.


“How are you?” is always a loaded question.

Several years ago, a dear friend, one of the dearest people in my life, told me that what kept her alive was the thought that someone would find her body and she couldn’t wish that on even her worst enemy.  I am so glad she shared that with me, painful as I am sure it was, because it has been my mantra from time to time. 

I have a full life.  I love my husband, I adore my children, I revel in the volunteer work I do in the community, I thrive in my creative times, I am honored to be able to have the kind of relationship with my parents that I have, as well as my in-laws.  I have a wonderful life and I would not trade my life for that of anyone else in the world.  However, some days I cannot get out of bed.  Some days it is impossible to will myself to show up where I need to be and to do the things I’ve committed to do and to just be present in this world.  Anxiety and depression are real, they are ever-present, they are exacerbated by chronic pain and disease, and they are me.

I am one of the lucky ones who has been able to figure out what works for me and lead a normal life, day to day. I tried antidepressants and was not a fan, personally, though I understand the right pill for the right person in the right dose can be life changing. More days than not I can get out of bed and go to work and function, because there are bills to pay and obligations to fulfill, and I can keep everyone from the knowledge of what I struggle with day in and day out, but, you know what?  I’m not ashamed of who I am.  I’m not ashamed of my struggles, my shortfalls, my every day. 

It shouldn’t take a celebrity death to start the conversation and keep the conversation going on mental health.  It is a real issue and it is stealing people from our midst every single day, whether through suicide, accidental overdose from self-medicating, liver or other organ failure due to addiction from self-medicating… On and on. If you’ve been following my blog or we know each other outside of the blogosphere, you’ll know that I lost my brother a year ago this week.  He was a sufferer of mental illness and he was an addict and he was fighting both with all he had for once in his life and he couldn’t overcome it.  He was so smart, so hilarious, so wonderful, and in so much pain.  I have so convinced myself that if he could’ve ridden through this one more time… But I have no way of knowing.  I miss him, I love him, there’s a hole in my heart that will never heal, and I don’t want it to heal.  My broken heart is forever, and that’s okay, because the alternative is unbearable.

Having gone through what I’ve been through, the thought of taking that way out doesn’t even enter my mind anymore, not even close.  I could never cause my family that kind of pain.  My whole life’s goal is to not screw up my daughters, and I’m pretty sure that is guaranteed horror, losing a mother before her time (though I hope against hope that they will lose me before I lose them- as all parents do- but in due time when I’m ancient and frail). 

We’re told to smile, told there’s a lot of good in life, told to focus on the positive, told it’s not so bad, could definitely be much worse… I don’t know what the magic solution is, but I am pretty sure that’s not it. 

Empathy is the only answer I have.  If we can see the struggles each person we encounter faces, if we can acknowledge that pain without attempting to fix it, maybe we’ll be a step closer to where we should be.

If there was a magic internet button that said, “Share only with those who want to support, only those who need to hear this to know they aren’t alone or those who need to hear the perspective of someone who struggles to better understand those around them, but definitely those who hold a prejudice against depression and mental illnesses or who may be looking for a sign of my weakness (not that that’s hard to find!).” I’d push it. I fully acknowledge that, firstly, that would be a big button, and, secondly, whatever I put on the internet could be there forever. I think it’s worth the risk.

Posting before I lose my nerve, in 5, 4, 3, 2…

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Just a Little Story

When I was really little, the sun came down from the sky like a ball that I could really hold, and I held it in my hand! It was really cool, but it burneded my hand, so I had to have stitches to sew it up and then bandaids. It hurt really badly. Then, those bandaids weren’t enough, so the doctor gave me special bandaids and they healeded it all up and it was the best hand. Then it was bedtime, so my mom and my dad, called Stephanie and Ben, my mom and dad, took me to my crib and kissed my boo boo that wasn’t a boo boo anymore and said goodnight! Eee Thend.

Your bedtime story, by Nora Mae Ezzell (who prefers to give her full name).


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

8 Years Wedded Bliss

I got married two weeks before I turned twenty to the guy I started dating when I was seventeen. I get some wide eyes on this count, and understandably so, as that would be an awful decision for a lot of people. I often hear in reference to young people getting married, “Wow, what a mess I would be in if I’d married the person I was dating in high school.” However, it’s working for us. We’re fans.


I cried through the ceremony, cried so hard I could barely speak when my turn came. I’m a crier, so this is no huge shock, but goodness, I loved him so much that day, but I had no idea what that love meant, how it would grow and change.


Eight years today. It feels like yesterday and feels like forever, like so many important moments in life.


We’ve been through a lot of wonderful and a lot of horrible. The highs would shorter and the lows unbearable without him, I am absolutely sure. Here’s to eighty more. Happy anniversary to my love.


And yes, this is also a public reminder that my birthday is in exactly two weeks. 😉

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

My Kids Are Cute

Here are a bunch of pictures in no particular order with no explanation that show my kids being cute together. Their bond is the best thing ever ever ever.




















Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Weaning (Pt 1)

image image imageThe way a parent feeds a child and how a mother makes her own health choices are intensely personal choices and I am passing zero judgment on anyone’s journey.  I am merely sharing my own current struggle.

On this, the first day of World Breastfeeding Week, I’m weaning my tiny girl.  It’s bumming me out.  I can’t get past it.

I have rheumatoid arthritis.  It sucks in general, but was somewhat in remission during my pregnancies, as well as for a little over a year after Nora was born and a few months after Emeline was born.  It is not even close these days.  That means I have to start taking a scary medicines that is immunosuppressive.  I get to inject myself once a week (or maybe Ben gets to inject me, that lucky guy…) with a biologic that will hopefully keep my body from wearing my joint tissue down to nothing.

People my age aren’t supposed to get these kind of diseases.  I know this because there are questions on the questionnaire at the rheumatologist’s office that ask about your ability to play with your grandkids and how often you walk the mall.  I know this because when I name my disease to others, I get responses that are pretty much verbatim, “But that’s an old person disease.”  Yeah, I know.  I was diagnosed at 22, I believe?  It sucks.  It colors every decision I make every day of my life.  It was a determining factor in when we decided to try to start our family and when we decided to try to expand our family.  It’s in everything.  If you know me, you know I talk about it too much, but that’s because it’s everything… But I digress.  Because my disease is not that of a young person, typically, there is not much known about the effects on women of childbearing age.  Being on these medications prior to or during pregnancy could cause birth defects.  Being that these medications are at most about 14 years old and anyone taking them has probably used a host of other medications, there’s just no way to know.  When we were trying to get pregnant and between the girls, Ben and I decided that it was absolutely not worth the risk.  I could tough it out, tough out the horrific pain, because it would probably subside to some degree during pregnancy.  The doctor told me at the time that they think that the biggest risk is hindering ear and eye development in fetuses.  If that happened to one of my babies, I don’t know if I could live with myself.  I’ve had this in mind every minute of every day since he said those words, and it helped get me through some incredibly painful times.  “Yes, this hurts, but imagine giving birth and seeing that the baby has no eyelids and it’s all your fault.” I know that’s extreme and I know it is highly unlikely, but… That’s where my mind goes.  Now we’re done having babies, but that lactation gets in the way of things.  I nursed Nora until she was 25 months old and I would have loved to have gone as long with Emeline.  This is breaking my heart to write, but I had to get it out.  When I was at the rheumatologist on Monday, we were discussing options:

  1. Keep doing what I’m doing and be in horrible pain all the time,
  2. Steroids, which will probably cause me to gain enormous amounts of weight and give me moon face (if you don’t know what that is, imagine your face getting large and round and the skin so tight it looks like you might pop), because while it doesn’t happen to everyone, you can usually guess it will happen to you if someone you’re closely related to had those reactions, which makes it pretty damn likely for me, or
  3. Biologics, once a week or once every two weeks by self-injection, or once every 4-6 weeks by infusion at their office in Edmond.

So I asked what the risks are to taking these immunosuppressive medications while breastfeeding.  “We don’t know.”  Yeah, yeah, I know you don’t know for sure what will happen, but what potential risks are out there?  You know, like the eye and ear problems during pregnancy?  The answer, and I’m paraphrasing, is “We don’t know.  It’s so new and there’s such a small pool that we have no idea what the risks may be.  We do know that some of the medicine was present in the milk of lactating women.  Do you really want to have your daughter have an issue and then find out it was a risk?”



So, here we are.  I have about a month to finish up my breastfeeding journey and I really hoped for another year.

Not looking for anything, just sharing my heart.


Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Independence Day Weekend

Our weekend in pictures, in no apparent order because I am feeling technologically challenged!  Love my little family. 











Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment


I don’t feel like titling. I mostly just feel like sleeping, honestly.

My baby will be one this month and it’s bumming me out in a big bad way. She’s such a perfect little person and I adore her so entirely… And she’s growing too fast. I’m missing it all. Being a mom who works outside the home is tough. You think you understand, especially the second time around, just how tough it will be, but each day is another trial. She’s my last baby. I am okay with this, most days, but some days… This morning I had to explain stay-at-home moms to Nora. I thought she got it because many of her friends’ moms stay at home, but apparently the concept is more difficult to grasp when you don’t live in a world where mom stays home.

Who’s going to be her babysitter?  Who’s going to watch her baby for her during the day?  Yeah, I know she is home with her older kids during the day, but when the baby is born, who is going to watch the baby?  Just the mommy?  Oh.  But you don’t watch Eme all day. 

Parenting is hard.  It doesn’t seem that there is ever a clear right choice.  Some options are more right at the time in the situation, but for once I would like a clear “this feels all the way right.”  Maybe that’s just too much to ask.

At my last rheumatologist appointment, the doctor asked if I’d had my tubes tied after Emeline was born.  I told him that I hadn’t.  He paused for awhile, probably not as long as I remember it, but definitely paused, and said, “Well, I guess that’s okay.”

Life is complicated.  If I didn’t have my disease, we probably would’ve waited a little longer to have children and I probably would’ve stayed home with them for awhile.  If we’d waited to have children, they wouldn’t be my sweet Nora and Emeline.  If I didn’t have my disease, we probably would’ve waited longer to decide if we even wanted to try for a second child.  I’m sure these other imaginary children would be wonderful, but I cannot imagine life without my girls.

No real conclusion, just that I am tired and love my husband and children.  I enjoy my job for the most part, I definitely enjoy being a two income family, but I wonder if there will ever be a time when I don’t have that nagging “what if” in the back of my mind.  Probably not.  I guess that’s just the human condition.



Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments