A Little Update

18 years

By Gabrielle.

Oh. You. You wonderful people. Your good, kind words have been so soothing for me to read. I can’t tell you how much the support means to me. Thank you a dozen times over for taking the time to leave a comment or send an email or say a prayer on my behalf. I feel it.

A little update: I’ve taken it as easy as possible over the last few days. And I do feel like I’m seeing some improvement, but I’ve decided to see a doctor anyway — it just seems better to have a plan in place in case my mental state takes a turn for the worse. And since I can see that my mind is going to be fragile for many weeks (if not months), I’m hoping a doctor can help me stay stable through the worst of it.

I’ve been thinking about what it means for me to take it easy — while still parenting my kids, keeping appointments, getting ready for school, celebrating birthdays, etc. — and it’s less straightforward than I would have guessed. In my head, I was picturing “taking it easy” as sitting still for as much of the day as possible, but it hasn’t looked like that. I’m still running the essential errands, and though my amazing contributors have tons of great content lined up, I’ve actually craved writing blog posts (maybe it’s a small sort of therapy for me?), so you’ll be seeing me around here as well.

But I’m saying no thank you to most non-essential invitations/events, I’m consciously trying to set energy aside for dealing with life’s daily hiccups before they derail me, and I’m just generally trying to keep it simple. As an example, yesterday was our wedding anniversary and our celebration consisted of lingering in bed in the morning to reminisce about our wedding day, snapping the blurry photo above, and catching a late movie last night. Just the right speed for me at the moment!

Thank you again for being such a supportive, uplifting community. I’ve felt nothing but love and acceptance from you. It means the world.

101 thoughts on “A Little Update”

  1. Times like you’re going through right now are so hard, I’m sorry. Maybe your soul is doing a little house cleaning and anything that’s suppose to be there will stick around and the rest will just wash away. You have been a bright spot in my day for years, thank you.

  2. Hope you feel better soon! And just out of curiosity–how do you decide when you need help? What makes you realize your emotional well-being is at stake? (It’s easy for me to know when I’m sick physically, but I think I pay less attention to being overwhelmed…)

    1. I think when you are saying to yourself, if I feel like this tomorrow, I’ll see the doc…then just make the appointment straight away. Any good doctor will congratulate you on keeping a good eye on your mental health, although I know we all hate to be seen to “make a fuss.” Its amazing how someone just saying “feeling like that is totally understandable!” can make you feel better.

  3. Good on you to seek medical advice. You are right – taking it easy with (6!) kids is not… easy! Am thinking of you – don’t post if you don’t feel up to it – your writing is a constant source of joy for me (and has been over the last few years).

  4. Susan Galbraith

    Long time reader – rarely comment. Always feel like everyone else has already said whatever I’m thinking of saying (and done a better job!) – but there is something weird about knowing a lot about a blogger and wanting to reach out when they’re going through something hard. So, I’m going out of my comfort zone and letting you know I appreciate you sharing about your current struggles and have great hope you soon will be feeling much better.

    Honestly? It would be sorta unbelievable if – after what you’ve recently been through – you didn’t need some down time! Yikes – I got physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted just reading about it!

    God’s peace, comfort, rest and love to you, Gabrielle!

    Oh, and happy anniversary!

  5. You are so brave to be honest about how your are feeling with all of us and know that your honesty will help other mothers know that there is nothing wrong with reaching out for help. Your site has brought so much joy to me and wishing you a your family a restful end of summer.

  6. Congratulations and thank you for being so open with your challenges of late. I very deeply believe in successful women (and men) sharing openly about the mixed bag that is “having it all” – I’m coming off a longer-than-expected self-imposed hiatus from work and I want all of my fellow mothers to know that sometimes the only way to give all we can to our families and ourselves is to give very little to anything else… and that’s just fine.

    Happiness, healing, and opportunities to redefine “success” to you, Gabrielle.

  7. So glad to hear that you are being mindful of your health and taking care of yourself! I just saw your other post and wanted to comment on how impressed I am that you’ve managed to handle the upheaval of all the moving and re-settling ON TOP of taking care of your family and running your business. Stay well, best wishes on getting through this tough period, and happy anniversary!

  8. Sandra Gonzales

    First of all, you guys make such a cute couple. Happy anniversary!!
    I’m a loyal reader (so much so that I consider you a friend) and I hope and pray the very best for you and your sweet family. Cyber hugs headed your way from a gal in Texas that values you beyond words.

  9. I have loved your family since seeing you on House Hunters International. You are such a sweet and loving person. I will def. keep you in my prayers for healing thru this tough time for you. You are def. a strong person to go through all that you and your family has these past months as well as being such a strong and great mom. May God’s Grace get you better.
    With Love

  10. Take courage! You’re doing the right things. You are in my prayers. Sometimes writing things down helps to give some distance from the struggle. You are amazing.

  11. Thanks for sharing! I can imagine this is a hard topic to cover, and I so appreciate your honesty. I wish you and your family the very best. Take care of yourself. I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  12. Yesterday was my anniversary too! I think seeing a doctor is an excellent plan, and has always been essential to my feeling better when I have been in the same place. I so admire your honesty–the more we are all straightforward about these issues, the less taboo they become. Hooray for you!

  13. How do you know when you’ve had enough and need extra support? For example, when do you let Ben Blair know? I am doing well myself but recognize times I have just been past it, but I don’t always know when to articulate it to my husband or others. Praying for you and glad you’re sharing.

  14. So glad to see an update- I’ve been thinking about you since reading your last post. Best wishes as you settle into a gentler routine and take some time for yourself!

  15. i love that you match in the picture, did you plan that? happy anniversary and i will continue to pray for your healing.

  16. You give so much of yourself to your family, your readers and your many projects. I am always incredulous when you share your schedule on the blog. You give an entirely new meaning to pondering I-don’t-know-how-she-does-it, my friend. We are praying for you, cheering for you and encouraging you to take a much needed break and rest. (We miss you already!)

  17. Thank you for sharing this. It’s so refreshing for another woman to speak openly about feeling down and getting help for it. This is so common, but so many people do not speak about it or hide their feelings. There’s absolutely nothing to hide or be ashamed of, so why do we leave these feelings in the dark? Thank you for your honesty, I think you have likely helped so many others feel more “normal” about their emotional status. Hope you are feeling better soon.

  18. Thank you for being so authentic and honest with us. I truly admire that and how you are sharing that you struggle at times. It does a world of good for the negative stigma of mental health to have someone so public-and beloved- admit that they suffer too. I don’t know what else to say except I needed to come across this post right now. It means so much. Will have you in my prayers. Happy Anniversary:)

  19. thanks for being so honest about how your move affected you. so many of us have challenges — me included — and it takes such courage to admit them. you do deserve a much-needed break after such a big move. here’s what i might do if i were in your situation {but take from this anything you think would work for you}: read in bed, get take out food for dinner, have a little chocolate, take a long bath or shower, and know, beyond any doubt, that you have blog friends cheering you on, sending good thoughts & prayers, and hoping you take good care.

  20. Just wanted to say I’m another reader who has been thinking about you a lot since you mentioned you were having a hard time. I also wanted to say “thank you” for being willing to share that. So many times I wonder how on earth your family does so much and you never appear stressed about it, at least not to us – I struggle to keep it together with just one kid!! So knowing that even you have your down times – its just meaningful to a mom who needs to be reminded she’s not the only one once in a while.

  21. Gabrielle! You are the light of many lives and you are so generous to share not only your triumphs, but your struggles. I know I get in the rut of “just put my head down and power through”, which usually leaves me in a very unhappy, mentally tenuous place when I finally come up for air. After all you’ve done in the past six months, plus all of the “stuff” around the corner, it’s incredibly you have been managing so gracefully. All of my thoughts of light and happiness will be headed your way. Hope today, tomorrow and each day after are just a tiny bit brighter. xo

  22. I read once that moving is one of the top stressors in life, aside from death and divorce. (Makes sense to me.) What you are feeling is incredibly real and I appreciate that you are sharing with us, and happy you are seeing a doctor. Writing can be therapeutic, but please don’t feel compelled to write anything for us, your readers. It is just a blog, after all (not really, but you know what I mean). Your health comes first, and we’ll be here. Best wishes to you and your family.

  23. yay for slow. & yay for listening to yourself & giving yourself what you need :). sounds like you’re being a kind & gentle mother to yourself. i kept thinking of your gentle, honest post all weekend. bless you for sharing.
    many good thoughts coming your way, sweet (e)friend.

  24. Before my last overseas move I asked for help as well, it was just too exhausting and I knew I couldn’t do it without help. Thinking about you, and thank you for being honest. I just know it will help someone reading this. We got your back…as much as we can :-)

  25. We also just did a big move (2000 miles, 3 kids ages 3 to 9, been in the new place two weeks.) It is utterly overwhelming to be the mom in this – all the little details to figure out (exterminator for ants! piano teacher! finding a preschool!) plus all the emotions of missing friends and starting over. My husband moved 3 months before us, so we are getting used to being a family again as well. I admire your honesty to your readers as well as your courage in getting the help you need.

    As Russell Ballard (I think) once said, “water can not come from an empty well,” referring to the need for women to take care of themselves and fill their well, so as to have something left to care for their family. May you find the help you need to refill your own well.

  26. Oh goodness Gabby. I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. This happened to me too, last year, after a move. And it was weird because I was great right after the move, for a month even, and then collapsed (mentally, physically, etc). Taking it easy was key for me, but better yet was working with a health practitioner (a chiropractor to be exact). Turns out my adrenals were shot. I needed concentrated nutrient therapy to get back on track. All that to say, getting help from a professional really does help! And I do hope you find that help that you need. I know how desperate and sad it can all feel in the darkest moments. But there is great hope!

  27. my family of six also just moved across the atlantic ocean and my mom is going through a similar phase. i think you are doing everything right, you, ben and your kids should be proud of you:)

  28. Absolutely love your honesty. I find myself on the verge of tears, most days. Alzheimer’s took everything from my father but the love off his family. He passed early summer. My mother, who was at my father’s side for the past 10 years of his journey is now in congestive heart failure. It is just too much. It’s such a taboo topic but meds have helped me through this darkest period of my life. Thank you for peeling away a layer of the stigma.

  29. Ever since I read your post about how fragile you were feeling you have been on my mind. I too know what that is like, and want you to realize how brave you are to recognize it and how smart you are to pull back on activities. Don’t hesitate to get help, it truly is a gift of this age to be able to have help. I have loved your posts and followed your family’s adventures with great interest and wonder. You are an amazing woman and mother. Just believe that and take care of yourself dear girl. You are in my prayers.

  30. You have brightened so many of our days. I hope these comments can do the same for you. Please take good care of yourself. Protect and nourish your soul and things will surely get brighter.

  31. Much love and rest to you Gabby! As someone who suffers from post-partum depression I know it’s hard to feel this out-of-body, why-can’t-I-control-this? feeling that comes with unexpected mental and emotional struggles. Thanks for opening up–as you lift so many through your blog, this lets us lift you a little with our love and well wishes. I always think that being vulnerable with others, so they have a chance to serve you (even in a small way) is a beautiful gift. And I’m so glad to hear you’re taking action to get the help you need. God bless.

  32. Love you so much, Gabby. Loved your anniversary simple celebration. You guys are the best, and that includes YOU!

  33. Saying a prayer for you. Honestly, I have to say, that if I had 6 kids or had recently completed an international move or ran a successful blog, I would be a complete wreck. Since you’ve done all of them, I think it’s only normal that you’re having difficulty. So glad you’re getting help. You’re such an inspiration. I hope to meet you someday, especially since you’re now in my neck of the woods. ((Hugs)) from the South Bay.

  34. You’ve been so giving of yourself and your family. A huge change such as this is a lot like a postpartum recovery. Let everyone else take care of the details, focus on what you feel okay to do each day and let everything else fall away (“No, I’m not able to do this right now” is a good phrase at this time), and let your brain empty and rest. Like you say, that doesn’t mean lying in bed, but walks in the forest with the children, or on the beach with your husband, or reading or even blogging…active, unpressured, and slowwwww…will be so healing. Blessings to you and all your family.

  35. i so admire your willingness to talk about needing help or a break and about seeing a doctor. prayers and good thoughts being sent your way!

  36. Samantha Stinson

    I COMPLETELY relate to how you are feeling and feel like you are a kindred spirit. Be tender with yourself.

  37. Was thinking of you today, when I was dealing with some problems at home with my son. I can only imagine what must be on your plate, so just remember to ask for help, and you will get through this time of chaos and change. I have 2 children and a full time job and was ready to quit today (not sure what I was going to quit, but was looking for something) and you have a much larger family than I do.

    Thank you for sharing your struggles, it lets us all stop and relate and breathe and remember that maybe none of us know what the heck we are doing sometimes.

  38. Happy Anniversary and Congrats on all of the transitions. The story of the house is amazing! Thank you for being so open about your struggle, and gracious in your life. It is helpful and grounding to remember that everyone, even someone as dynamic, gorgeous, productive and overall amazing as you sometimes needs some self-care time to make it all work. Sending best wishes.

  39. As a mom who has struggled with depression and the feelings that go along with admitting it, I really appreciate your frankness. It helps me so much to see someone who I would consider successful personally and professionally recognize it in yourself and share it publicly. My husband holds a job where he can be sometimes judged by the way his family is presenting themselves and it has been a struggle for me to know how real to be with people when I know it will unfairly reflect sometimes poorly on him. I have found it so helpful to have close friends share their struggles with depression so we can help encourage each other to either take some time to ourselves, seek professional help from a counselor or MD or be diligent about eating healthy and exercising (my biggest trigger for compromised mental state is lack of exercise and consistent, good nutrition- such a struggle sometimes for me!). Anyway, I appreciate you and am praying you are able to continue to find ways to “take it easy” even when that looks so different as a busy mom and that you are able to find a doctor you feel comfortable with and helped by.

  40. This may sound goofy, but I want to thank YOU for being open about having a difficult time and about how you plan to “take it easy.” It’s something I struggle with — sometimes feeling overwhelmed and sometimes not-so-happy, especially navigating motherhood with a young daughter and another on the way (I see a fabulous counselor, which helps me so much) — but one of the things that my counselor and I have talked about often is that our society doesn’t offer many examples of how to need help, how to be vulnerable, how to take care of ourselves and/or ask for help. I think it’s so important for people to recognize/acknowledge that sometimes, we all need a little recuperation time, and sometimes we need a little more TLC from our families and friends and even our employers. I’m so glad you are taking care of yourself and so glad you have such a wonderful support system! And I am truly grateful that you are sharing this part of your journey as well. Thank you!

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