Monday, November 24, 2014

Fall in Florida

Autumn has always been my favorite season very simply because 1. My birthday is in October, and 2. I love the colors! However, as I grew older, the Fall time seemed to become shorter and shorter, and the winter began arriving sooner and sooner. There is beauty in the winter, but with age, my tolerance for the cold has diminished; and it's really not a good season for people with depression because of the lack of sunshine and being stranded indoors so often! I think I'll feel better this winter in Florida...I know it gets cold here, but I've heard that the winters are shorter in comparison to several other states. So I'm hopeful that it will be brief and that I will barely be affected! When I found out we were moving here, I was excited for warmer temperatures but anxious about my favorite season. I had heard that the leaves don't change colors here as dramatically as they do in places I'm use to, and this really kind of bummed me out! The leaves are definitely not as intense here as other places I've lived, but, luckily, there are plenty of spots of gorgeous color to enjoy! Plus there's also the added benefit of the much more pleasant temperatures! I took a little stroll around our condominium complex and took a few shots of those lovely little spots...I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt just so y'all know how nice the weather is haha! Anyway! I couldn't pick between some of the shots because of differences in composition and exposure and such, so you'll see some repeats! I hope you enjoy the sights on my walk!

Happy Fall and hugs and love, my lovelies!

(Images shot with Canon T3i and 18-55mm kit lens. Manual setting, ISO 800, white balance Sunshine. Some are SOTC straight out of the camera, and some have been post edited such as brightness, contrast, levels, and cropping.)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Prayer Warriors and Loving Thoughts

I've called my grandma a few times these last few weeks, and every time causes me to miss her more! When we talked a few days ago, she sounded so defeated it broke my heart. However, along with that defeated tone, there was an undertone of anger, which was encouraging knowing that her spirit is still of the fighting sort! This morning, she was her usual upbeat self, always answering my calls with, "Hi, sweetie!" She wants me to come home right now, and I definitely wish I could be there with her. Finances and a variety of this and that really complicate the desire to visit family more often. I'm praying that she stays strong and determined for as long as possible so that when I am able to come home, she and I can have some more time together...good time. There it is...what everyone wants...just a little more time! One thing I do know and have witnessed is the power of prayer, and I'm so grateful for all the prayer warriors raising her up to God. And I'm grateful for the people who don't pray but instead send out positive and loving vibes and thoughts for her as well!

I want to write about other things, but I will share them in another entry. This one needs to just be for grandma! Thank you again for the prayers and positive and loving vibes and thoughts! I know they give her strength!

Hugs and love, my lovelies!

photo from 2012

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My Grandma's Stories

My grandma is dying. Worst sentence I've ever typed, worst thought, worst feeling, worst everything. I'm having trouble writing this; I don't know what exactly to say...I feel so...numb. But I can still sense the overwhelming sadness and well of tears just waiting behind the numbness...the weight of it is pushing against my current somewhat dazed state of mind, and I'm voluntarily fighting it back. I'm not ready for the flood that is waiting to spring. I'm not ready for my life to be without my grandma...

Right now I need to be grateful that she is still here; no grieving yet. I want to remember the abundance of wonderful memories I have with her. I've been typing and backspacing for the last five minutes or so...everything I want to say is sounding like a tribute. She deserves that, of course, but writing it out right now feels too final for me...and too hard in my frozen thoughts. So! Time to walk away from this topic for now; I'm clearly not ready for it! But I do want to share the videos I'm so fortunate to have from my last visit home.

These videos were recorded in April 2014 shortly after a stay in the hospital due to breathing problems. She was not doing well at this time (not as badly as she is now), but I was upset with worry! So I told work I had to go whether they liked it or not (they were understanding), and I was in the car and on my way in just a couple of days! I spent almost a month with her doing little things like getting her coffee pot ready for the next morning to helping her bathe. Before I left, I cried to my mama and sister and told them that she needs constant care and asked if they could please promise me that they would take over what I had been doing. They hugged me and assured me they would, and I'm so grateful to my sister for taking over that role. It's the most emotionally awful feeling in the world being 1,400 miles away from my grandma. I'm eager to be home and near her again, but at the same time, I know it may be my last moments with her. But again, for right now, she is still here, and I can still talk to her! And I have these videos...I hope y'all enjoy! I included the video I shared before for those who may want to watch it again.

Cherish your loved ones, dearies! Hugs and love, my lovelies!

A loving granddaughter,

Friday, November 7, 2014

Stressing Stressful Stresses

My stomach has been hurting on and off again for days heartburn pain but sometimes radiating in pulses from low in my belly to high in my chest...Tums and Alka-Seltzer provide little and very temporary relief. I think it's an ulcer...created by stress...oh the stress is overwhelming! It feels like a bundle of frayed and glitchy wires sparking and burning at random if I start to feel too comfortable for too long,'s a round of spasms of pain to remind you that things are not at all comfortable right now! I can't really share any details, dear ones, so I'm sorry for that, but I appreciate y'all being there for me to just vent a little bit! I do have a plan, though, that I started today...hunting for a job. I was waiting until after my husband deploys so that we could have as much time together as possible, but it doesn't seem like as much of a concern for him as his concern for me working. I've faced the reality, so I've spent hours today trolling the internet. Fingers crossed, positive vibes, and prayers would be great, lovelies! I found a professional printing company right on the street I live on...their site didn't list any career opportunities, but I emailed them anyway! Other than that, everything else just doesn't appeal to me. Working for years and then not working for a couple of years really screws you up! Well I think so anyway. Companies are greedier than ever; they expect more work from an individual in a little amount of time. So after re-entering the job world I found myself easily irritated and frustrated...too much stupid in too little time. Sigh. Anyway...

Financial stress is always the worst. It makes other stresses even more's the stress that contributes to other stresses. I'm sure there are many more ways to say it, haha, but I think I've made my point. I'll share more of my plan as it unfolds...hopefully I can report bits of success along the way!

Well, Tom's ship is home and we've got a lot of Sailors over here, so I should probably be a good hostess now! Thanks again for letting me vent a bit! Now let me see what picture might be relevant to this post...

This was from earlier today...a little fenced in space I let the dogs run around in. Great thinking spot! So now y'all can see the very place where my thoughts for this post were...ummm...thought of. Hahaha...good times good times!

All right, y'all! Have a great weekend and hugs and love, my lovelies!

The always pensive,
Ro Fo Sho

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lost and Grasping

Hello, dear ones! I've been outta town for a couple of weeks and just haven't found the time to write. I'm also still struggling with my depression, but I'm doing my best...getting up every day and pushing through. Some challenges have come to light that will be demanding my attention, and some sadness has been shared that will be pressing on my heart. Right now I feel lost...just lost. Every little and big matter is up in the air simply hovering out of reach...I'm grasping for answers, solutions, hope, and clarity. If I could be summed up in one word right now, it would probably be discombobulated! Sigh. Anyway. This trip has had some great moments, and I've cherished the time with my friends...I will miss them terribly as always!

Halloween was a blast as usual, so I managed a few cell phone pics. First I'm going to share some from an early Halloween party Tom and I hosted earlier in the month since we were going to be apart on the day of...

As you can see...ahem...I like to get in to the spirit! Haha! We had a blast and I met some new and great people! Here in Virginia I tried for the same scary kind of look...I freaked the trick or treaters out!

Good times I tell ya...good times! Haha! It's definitely Autumn here in Virginia...I left a very green and warm Florida and arrived in a crisp and colorful fall! I just have a cell pic, but I intend on shooting tomorrow before I head home on Tuesday...

Oh yeah! Here's my pumpkin I carved...

Classy right? Right. Oh I amuse myself :)

Okay. Well. That's all I want to write about now. I received some very upsetting news about my grandma, and I'm not ready to talk about it yet. I would appreciate the prayers though! I will be back soon, y'all! Hugs and love, my lovelies!

Ro Fo Sho

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Oh Jeez...Am I A Desperate Housewife?!

My Birthday was filled with happy wishes and kind words, and it really was a lovely day. It was so different from birthdays before, and I ended up feeling very emotional about it. In the past, I would have friends and family to celebrate with...if not the day of, the weekend following. And even though I was lucky to have my husband here (instead of gone doing Navy things), I felt very lonely. Tom was very sweet giving me a silly card and beautiful flowers, but all in all birthdays are really not a big deal to him, so he didn't make a fuss. Like I said before, I know that I'm pretty much alone in the fact that I love celebrating birthdays. And again, I don't want to seem self centered!  It's not that I think I deserve a fuss and the attention, and I don't want to sound ungrateful for the birthday wishes and Tom's gesture. They made my day! They made me smile and feel loved, and they made me laugh and reminisce. I'm so thankful for the friends and family and people in my life...I feel blessed to know and love so many! And, I love my husband passionately and (usually) understand his ways haha! But I realized where my lonely feeling came from...getting older means time has passed and life has changed. My family and Okie friends are half of our country away; I left some of my very best friends in Virginia; and my friends here in Florida have their own lives and obligations. My new friendships here have not yet evolved past casual acquaintances and social networking. Tom has been wrapped up with the card game Magic, and he's now completely obsessed with Destiny like all the other gamers in the world. And finally, my interests are either solo or require (preferably) other people to go and do things with like bars or dinner and such. I guess, to try and summarize it all, I don't get as much face to face time with my friends or my husband as I would prefer, and I'm a big baby about it (whining and pouting and stomping feet)! Eventually I will have a job and hopefully several projects with The Ro Fo Sho A & P (art and photography) going on to keep me occupied...but an active social life has always been a big part of my life...and I don't have that anymore. Ugh. I sound like a desperate housewife! I'm 32, married, have no children and no job. My husband is wonderful and a great provider, but he deals with a lot of bull shit at work, and I feel guilty asking for more of his time away from his games. A neighborhood of friends and family close by would fix the situation. Since I don't have those conveniences, what do I do? I know: grow new friendships, stay busy, be creative, and get a job (eventually). (note: waiting till after my husband deploys to job hunt)

Thanks for listening y'all. I've created an email exclusively for this blog. If any of y'all would like to discuss any of my posts, make suggestions for content, or have any questions concerning the topics I discuss, please feel free to email me at Call me Amy, Amy Ro Fo Sho, Ro Fo Sho, or The Ro Fo Sho...or "hey you" etc. if you prefer haha!

I'll leave y'all with the gorgeous flowers and silly card from my husband :) And again, I appreciate all the people in my life and having this little corner of the Internet world to ramble about in and share with you all. Hugs and love, my lovelies!

Desperate Housewife? ugh.
The Ro Fo Sho

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Keep on Ro Fo Sho-ing...

It's afternoon time, but I had breakfast late, and now I'm sitting here sipping tea, so I'm going to just go ahead and say good morning! Aren't you glad I explained my salutation first? Not many people will do that for you! Anywho! Pumpkin Spice Brulee tea from Teavana for anyone wondering...wonderfully delicious! Shout out to my readers from France! My page views indicate I have a good number of people in France stopping by...I'm not sure if y'all are lingering long enough to read a bit or just passing by, but either way, it makes me happy having you take a peek! Thank you!

The number of my page views is steadily climbing, but I'm not getting any more followers and no one is adding me to their Google+ circles. This bothers me, and I feel like it shouldn't; I feel like I'm asking for attention in a vain kind of way, and I don't mean to! I would just like some feedback, you know? Am I helping anyone at all with my discussions on depression and mental illness? Does anyone care about my art and photography? A yes and yes would make me happy, but if it's a no and no, well that's okay too. It helps me to discuss my depression and I'm proud to share my art and photography even if it doesn't appeal to the masses! So I'm just gonna keep on Ro Fo Sho-ing it :)

Well, I guess that's all there is to say about that right now. That's the first time I've used "Ro Fo Sho-ing" in my writing...first time in my life actually. I officially feel a boost to my coolness level...and's perfectly cool to have a coolness level! Okay I'm really rambling now! Readers, please feel free to incorporate "ro fo sho-ing" into your vocabulary, but please do give me the credit if you don't mind! Ro fo sho-ing is the act of keeping on doing what you're doing with the self awareness of one's own awesomeness!

This new little derivative of my "stage name" may be some extra help these days. Still trying to feel balanced and stable again, and still struggling with fatigue. My husband comes home from work and asks me how my day has been...lately my response is, "I'm struggling today." He wraps his arms around me and rubs my back and kisses me and holds me and says, "I'm sorry, baby." I'm so lucky to have him. When he's away, it's hard to feel motivated...I could easily sleep off and on all day. When I know he'll be coming home after a work day, I make myself get up and be productive. He works so hard and provides so much for us, so I feel badly when I get behind on housework and such. Oh but I'm rambling again!

Mmmk time to wrap up or this is going to be the ramble of all rambles! First, thanks again for stopping by people of France! Ireland, Canada, Denmark, and Poland, I see a couple of you have stopped by...hope you'll stay! Hope everyone has a great week and keeps on ro fo sho-ing it!

Ooops one more thing! My last post was my 100th entry!!! Yay!!! I imagine someday I will have give aways and such for milestone numbers as far as posts, years writing, and maybe even followers if that number ever changes haha!

Thanks for letting me ramble! Hugs and love, my lovelies!

Ro Fo Sho-ing,

p.s. Random pic of the day! Cheers!

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Few More Comfortable Years in My 30's

In 3 days I will be celebrating my 32nd year of existence on this lovely little planet. I haven't minded this decade thus far, and aging hasn't really ever been a bother to me either. Time is a big deal though...I don't want to run out of time. If I start talking about time, this will turn into a really long, in depth, emotional exposure of my I'll hold off on that! Moving on! I sometimes have a title for a blog post before I've written the content, and that was the case today. I knew I wanted to write about my upcoming birthday, but there isn't anything significant about turning 32...except of course the gift of life.

So what do I think about moving up towards the next decade of life? My answer is to enjoy these years because they will be the comfortable years in my 30's. 32, 33, and 34 will be less likely to freak me out. And again, it's not a problem with getting older...time my friends...time.

I've spent the last 10 years talking about my photography and art. Just talking with very little not even mention worthy action. Depression, fatigue, and the struggles and obstacles of life have caused me to give excuse after excuse. Now, I know some of those excuses are completely valid, and I will not put myself down for those periods in my life. But for the rest of it, I don't have enough time. I know, I know, I have the rest of my life, but here's the deal. There are things I want to accomplish and I want to do them quickly so I can enjoy the fruits of my labor with more focus on creating and interacting rather than planning and initiating and other practical things. I hope that makes a bit of sense! It does to me anyway, and that's what important haha!

Birthdays are happy times in my world! I love the celebration and focus on the person turning another year older! And I don't mean just for me, y'all, I'm not that crazy self centered I don't think! I love celebrating my husband's birthday even though he doesn't think it's ever any big deal. I love celebrating my friends' birthdays even though most of them are indeed not fans of aging. I love celebrating my family members' birthdays even though they're over 1000 miles away. I guess you can say that I'm just happy about life in general...every year matters to me...every bit of time that one can have matters to me. Oh man someday, I'm going to have to tell y'all more about my feelings and ideas and hopes and fears concerning is a topic I get really in to!

Although I'm an adult, not gonna lie, I looooove presents! Does that make me sound materialistic? Do I simply sound like a child? Well I do love things and I just can't help it. I love the simplicity and beauty of nature and the things that cannot be owned like lakes, oceans, mountains, and forests...but when I'm indoors, I like the things I can enjoy in my home, on trips, with company, and so on and so on. It's just another level of fun! And I love giving gifts just as much if not a whole lot's a constant occurrence that I see something and think of it for an individual. If I had endless money, my friends and family would be showered with presents at every occasion. Just so much fun I tell ya! My grandma knows what I'm talking about; she loves shopping and we would always have a grand ol' time together...we would always treat each other with something. I would usually treat grandma with food lol! If I ever wanted my grandma to go somewhere with me, I just have to say I'm buying breakfast, lunch, or dinner...aww good times. Anyway!

I have a very long wish lists of things I'd like to have, but what I'm mostly looking forward to is that my husband is going to actually be here for my birthday; I'll have friends to spend time with; and I have a trip to Virginia coming up to see even more excited for that! Would I like a big meal of sushi, a new hair do, and a new tattoo? Yes absolutely! But I know I can have those little experiences later, and I'll appreciate them just as much.

Happy Birthday to all the other October babies out there! It's the best month in my humble opinion haha! Thanks for reading about my enthusiasm for birthdays...I know most people don't share my feelings, but that's ok! Good night, dear ones.

Hugs and love, my lovelies!

p.s. Sorry for the lack of photos! I'm working on uploading new stuff!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Art & Photography of The Ro Fo Sho

Good day, dear ones! I've been doing a little bit of tweaking, creating, thinking, and planning the last few days. As I mentioned before, getting The Ro Fo Sho Art & Photography out into the public is one of my goals I wish to complete in under a year. This blog is the most important part of it because my stories and my struggles from my life and from my depression are what inspire all the crazy thoughts and ideas in my head! Those crazy bits floating around in there are lacking structure most of the time. It's also a challenging task to draw, write, capture, and share them in a tangible or even comprehensible way! This blog helps me the most. Here I can free write, ramble, talk it out, and be as nonsensical about it all as I wish...and y'all stick with me and my run on sentences and disjointed thoughts...which I very much appreciate! Thank you thank you!

So here's what I've been doing!

* Created a Facebook page to promote The Ro Fo Sho Art & here. It looks like rubbish right now, and I'm honestly quite embarrassed to share it with anyone right now. I figure I might as well do it and hope that it motivates me to fix it up ASAP so I look a bit more professional!

* Simplified the layout of this blog. I don't know how to do any kind of customizing! I need an "about" section, "photography" section, "art" section, and probably some other stuff...I have no idea how to do any of that. So I just did what I could. I will definitely be looking in to classes or books or tutorials or something to become more knowledgeable in this digital age.

* Took some photos for the U.S.S. Iwo Jima's Family Readiness Group (FRG) for a a project we're working on for Sailors, Marines, and their families in preparation for deployment. It was a totally casual set up and most definitely did not illustrate my professional skills at all...but it was a bit of inspiration to start shooting again. And, although I hate all the post production that is involved in photography these days, I understand that I need to learn a little of it if I want to have any success in the field. But I'll still whine and complain...I miss working in a dark room!!! But anyway! Shout out to our FRG President, Ariel, for asking me to take pictures and encouraging me to get back in to my profession again!

It's a small start, but at least it's a start. It's been 10 years since I graduated from The Oklahoma School of Photography. My business name was "Immortality" with the catch phrase "Creating Everlasting Memories." Then my sister started calling me "The Ro Fo Sho" at karaoke, so it became a stage name you could say...and since it fit my personality so much, I knew it would be perfect for my creative side. Thus began The Ro Fo Sho Art & Photography by yours truly, Amy Ro Fo Sho! This was fun sharing this with y'all...I hope it was enjoyable for you guys and gals too! Any advice, recommendations, and such will be happily received and appreciated!

Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend! Hugs and love, my lovelies!

Love and Peace,
Amy Ro Fo Sho

p.s. I haven't prepared any new photos to share, so here's a look at the creation process of a drawing I did a couple of years ago. I'm not sure where the photo of the completed version is, but I'll get one and eventually share it.

Medicines, Therapy, and Baby Steps!

I saw my new doctor for the first time on Wednesday, y'all, and he seems like he's going to be a good one! He's just my primary care (PCM in military language), but I feel confident in his abilities to manage my medicine for depression. I'm not sure if I've ever told y'all, but I've tried quite a few different anti-depressants: Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, Welbutrin, Zoloft, and Pristiq are the ones I can remember! Now I'm on Prozac...I was worried it would affect my libido and cause me to gain weight, but I've been taking it for a little over a year now I think, and I haven't had any problems with it. I told the new doc that it was a tailspin out of control managing my depression after a series of changes and challenges. My suggestion was to increase my dose, and that's just what he did! So, for the curious, I take 60mg of Prozac in the morning and 50mg of Trazadone before I go to bed. The Trazadone helps me sleep with the addition of 5mg of Melatonin. 60mg of my anti-depressants is probably the lowest dose that's ever worked for me...previous amounts were in the 100mg range. Well anyway! I just wanted to share the medicine part of my story for anyone curious. It's also a good story to illustrate how it often takes a few tries to get the right medicine that will help the most! Don't give up if you're struggling finding the one that works!

My fatigue has not improved, and so I will be doing a sleep study soon! My once abnormally low Vitamin D levels are back to normal, so that possible cause has been eliminated. I don't want them to find something wrong with me in the sleep study, but at the same time I don't want to come away from it with still no answers! Please tell me I'm not going to be tired for the rest of my life! Ugh. Reminder: My problems with fatigue started in the spring of 2003 when I was diagnosed with Epstein Barr Virus...that's a long time to feel tired. Fingers crossed we figure something out!

And finally from my doctor's visit, I told him that I would be interested in therapy. I didn't really give it a try before in Virginia, but with deployment coming up, I believe it will be a good form of treatment to add to the list! I'll get that set up on Monday probably.

There it is, y'all! I'm just taking the steps to get back on track again and off the bad roller coaster ride! It's not as easy as it appears in writing...believe me. Getting up and taking action takes some time, and it takes some falls and stumbles. I wish I could tell you all that you just need the determination, but we've talked before about how words of advice tend to take some time to be realized. Just know that when I was in the worst place, there have been times when I couldn't take action, and it was a long process to feel balanced again. You know what it really takes? Baby steps, my friends. Baby steps. And eventually those steps will evolve in to leaps and's a process for sure!

I really want this place to be somewhere people feel comfortable talking about their struggles. Just a reminder that y'all can comment anonymously if you'd like. Eventually, hopefully soon, I'll have a private place for readers to message me with questions or suggestions on topics to discuss. I'll definitely keep y'all posted! One more thing. Being able to come to my blog and discuss my depression openly has been a huge factor in my treatment. I just want to  say a simple thank you to all of my readers for taking the time to share this journey with me! Y'all are wonderful souls!

Hugs and love, my lovelies!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Deployment and Depression

The time has come for me to talk about living with depression and being the wife to my handsome husband, my Sailor. We've been through several under ways and one deployment since our marriage. The second deployment is approaching. Depression during these absences is one of the hardest battles. I wasn't prepared last time...

I had my friends in Virginia who had been through deployments and knew and understood exactly what I was going through. However, I made the mistake of going home to Oklahoma during deployment instead of staying in Virginia. Now don't get me wrong, my family and friends in Oklahoma were mostly supportive and compassionate, and I was so grateful for them. However, a few friends were not as understanding about what all I had been through since moving away and the crippling effects my depression had on me. I didn't stay in touch well enough or I missed too many calls...I basically failed in their eyes. And I cried with the memories of loneliness and pain I was experiencing in my own life during the time I wasn't being involved enough in their lives. So the very first challenge during deployment was the guilt I felt for the consequences of my depression. The guilt continued all through the months apart. I couldn't function because of my depression and so I felt like I was failing everyone around me including my husband. It was one of the loneliest times in my life.

Military spouses encourage and support each other! Most of us have been through deployments and have shared the same problems, fears, loneliness, and so on...nobody outside the military community understands it like we do on the inside. However! It is a different story being a military spouse and living with clinical depression and other mental illnesses. The same words of comfort apply to all of us; "Stay strong! You'll get through this! Time will pass before you know it! I'm here for you! You're not alone! I understand what you're going through! You can talk to me!" I appreciate those words and I appreciate the support of women who are always there even if they don't know me at all. They make me feel better and they are comforting. But the dark presence of depression fights it.

Warning: strong language coming up!

I know there are people and resources available to me when my husband is away. I know what I need to do to keep depression from taking over. None of that means that I'm going to engage in what I "should" be doing. During my husband's last deployment, my depression beat me down...way way down. And when I would share my struggle via social networking, I received all the very true and compassionate messages one would expect, but they didn't help. I felt like a failure...the weakest wife of a Sailor...I thought, "My husband must be so disappointed in me." The wives were making it sound so easy, and it simply wasn't for me...I wanted to scream at them and shout, "Go ahead and keep telling me what I can do to fix this, but it's not going to help! I'm fucking depressed...I'm in the belly of the beast. If I could just get up and do the things being suggested, don't you think I fucking would!?" If any of you know what I'm talking about, then you know how hopeless you feel when you've reached that point...

There were moments of happiness, but my mental illness was winning more battles than I could handle. I saw my doctor and tried different medicines. I did as much as I could. But I did not recover. I suffered depression right up and even pass my husband's homecoming. Of course I was thrilled and elated when he was finally in my arms again! It was definitely the best feeling after almost nine months apart! But, I still had a long road of recovery ahead of depression had hurt me badly.

The darkness I lived through is looming again...deployment is approaching...and I'm terrified of exaggeration what so ever. The ship and ombudsman are providing checklists and resources to prepare us, but if you live with clinical depression or other mental illnesses, I strongly suggest preparing yourselves for how your illnesses may affect you during this time because it's a different kind of experience and requires additional planning. I'll be ready this time.

I'm preparing for war this go around. All I can share is what I plan on doing to avoid so much suffering this time; but each of you will have your own plans. Here's mine: See my doctor and share my fears. Make sure my medicine is the right dose and that I feel stable. Have an exercise and healthy diet in place. Stay involved with the ship's Family Readiness Group. Those are my starting points; my solid foundation. After the holidays I will then look for a job and/or start taking some classes to support my own business venture, The Ro Fo Sho Art & Photography. These actions will keep me busy. I want to visit friends, host gatherings, go out to eat, and be social. These will provide fun and happiness, but they will also be the most challenging if my depression takes too strong of a hold. If that happens, I will be honest with my friends and hope that they can help me. I will put together the most awesome care packages for my husband and send as many as I I feel constantly connected...this will be my strength. My goals will be to lose weight, blog/write more, and get The Ro Fo Sho out in to the public.

Depression During Deployment Battle Plan
*Have a foundation in place.
*Work and school to keep busy.
*Fun and happiness.
*Connection and strength for my husband.

It all looks good in writing, doesn't it? I've gotta start somewhere though, right? I've gotten stronger since that first deployment...I've been through trial and error...I've been knocked down a few times and gotten back up. Y'all have probably come to realize that my fight with depression has been a tough time these last couple of months, but don't worry. I'm getting better and my feet are planted...I am aware that I need to be the strongest I can be before deployment gets here. I will be. That's the only thing I need to say...I will be...

Hugs and love, my lovelies!

Photo from Homecoming 2012 - Melinda Larson Photography

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bright Pink Lip Gloss Can Make Everything Better

The mood swings are driving me bonkers on the bad ride this time. Stupid depression. Normally I have days in a row that stay up or days in a row that stay down. This time it's up and down and up and down...I think I'm getting whiplash! I believe there are several reasons for these highs and lows, but I think the biggest factor is the lack of consistency in my life right now. Well, sure I feed the dogs twice a day, eat, and sleep, and all that...but that's just life. I know I need to get a job, but I'm not doing that until my husband deploys...time is precious right now. What I should be doing is writing, photography, and working on my art. Writers block and lack of inspiration I guess. Anyway! The fatigue has been awful as well, and today I absolutely did not want to get off the couch. I napped and watched TV for hours. I got up once to eat some lunch and then I wanted to go back to sleep. So I stretched out and settled down into our ridiculously comfy couch and thought, "Tomorrow will be better." But then, I got angry! I have slept so much of my life away, and today, it just pissed me off! I went upstairs, straightened my hair, applied mascara and eyeliner, and as an after thought, put on some bright pink lip gloss. Y'all know the saying that goes something like "if you're having a bad day put on some lipstick and deal?" I tell ya what...that bright pink shiny color on my lips was a legit mood enhancer! I'm so serious, y'all! It was a simple little action that made a big difference. And I love it when simple things can turn a day around! So I say put on some lipstick or walk around in heels or have a t-shirt and undies, fashion, comfort, and silliness can all bring a bit of gloss to a gloomy day and make it shiny again!

Hugs and love, my lovelies!
Ro Fo Sho

Lol, I look a bit weird here, but it's weird trying to take a kissy face selfie!
Had to show off my mood enhancing lips lol!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dress Whites In The Bright Light

Aagh! Writer's block! Not cool! I just want to share a few photos of my husband and other sailors and his ship, but I can't think of a creative way of writing about just keeps sounding like an informative newspaper article! Nothing wrong with informative newspaper articles by the way. They're very necessary...but not the style I wanna use right now. I know! I'll just ramble about my emotions and observations...I do enjoy a good ramble every now and then! Before I babble on and on, I would like to bring attention to my use of the exclamation punctuation!!! See? Like that back there yonder. I just want y'all to know that I'm genuinely expressing more excitement in those sentences, so I recommend you read them with enthusiasm! Don't let me make you do anything you don't want to do though...feel free to read in monotone if you're more comfortable with judgement. Hahahaha I make myself chuckle sometimes. Anywho! Sailors, ships, water, and such...

 I call this his pretty face haha!
 Don't we look good together?

 Our friends, Zac and Elizabeth.
 The most popular photo I took this day. It was hilarious trying to make this work!

 Tom and his case you missed that.
 Sooo...I totally wore the wrong shirt...I hate how I look!
 She's like a little sister to me; love her!
 Mr. Attitude! You'd think he'd be used to being married to a photographer!
 Our friend, and roommate, Bri...she likes weird faces in photos too!

The U.S.S. Iwo Jima changed home ports from Norfolk to Mayport, and my husband, and the other sailors you see, drove down before the ship. It was definitely more fun hanging out with them as the ship docked, rather than waiting for them if they had already been on the ship. Whoa I just wrote ship excessively...well it's a shippy post so we'll have to deal! But dang I felt bad for them! It was so uncomfortably hot! Seriously hot hot hot!!! Those uniforms are not light and breezy...not that I've ever worn one, but to the touch they are thick and irritating feeling. When you hear some of the stories they share, I imagine that the discomfort in those uniforms is way down on the list of complaints.

I hear quite a bit of "stuff" that happens on their ship, and it makes me very angry and frustrated for the Sailors. In all honesty there are several things about the military and the treatment of service members that bug me! However, I won't get on that soap box! Despite the negative feelings I have, I can't help but feel a kind of pride with the whole experience of being part of the military community. Seeing my husband in uniform, knowing and being friends with other Sailors, being in the presence of an enormous and powerful ship, watching children run to their daddies or mommies, and even listening to the great and not so great speeches from the higher ups, all bring a sense of joy to the air around me and even a joy inside me! It's a unique experience, and I'm grateful for that.

Back to the uniforms! My husband doesn't like his dress whites or blues, and none of his and our friends have ever expressed anything positive about them. It's a simple uniform, but I still think Tom looks good...real real good if ya know what I mean wink wink! :) Haha anyway, he's always my sexy husband, but moving on. Everyone knows that the Marines have the best looking dress uniforms...why can't Navy have nicer ones? That's just my opinion anyway. Okay so I'm running out of rambling material so I'll wrap this up! I'll leave you with a few more photos of my crush! Also, let me give you a heads up! Next I will be writing about living with depression and being a military spouse...lots to say there so stay tuned ;)

Enjoy Hump Day and hugs and love, my lovelies!

Peace Out!