Drawn to Light | Charmed Collections Booth

Did you know that I am a silversmith at Charmed Collections (formerly The R House Couture)?

Last weekend we were part of a really cool show in Salt Lake called Craft Lake City.

The show started in the afternoon and stretched out until 10 o’clock at night.

Since the appeal of our booth is that we customize hand-stamped Sterling silver and gold jewelry on the spot, we knew we needed a lot of light so we could keep creating even after the sun went down.

Charmed Collections, Hand-stamped jewelry, Craft Lake City

^^^ Sliiiiiight mishap on the centering of “collections.”

 

Our booth was packed just about every minute of the 19 hours it was open. Especially at night. We love you, Salt Lake City. Thank you for your support!

People loved our booth. Honestly, people are nice. They were so complimentary and kind and mentioned how much the loved the lighting. “The light totally drew us in!” We must have heard that at least 20 times. It got me thinking, …how interesting that people are drawn to light! They chose to be with us in our glowing booth. (And we loved having them.)

Chose Light Quote | therhouse.com

As I walked through a handful of the booths en route to the restroom, I noticed how dimly lit most of the other booths were. Ours really was vibrant. It stood out. To be honest with you, I was concerned that our booth had so much light that we were going to burn our retinas. I’m relieved that wasn’t the case. If all the booths were as bright as ours was, maybe ours wouldn’t have stood out as much.

Charmed Collections, Stamped Jewelry, Craft Lake City

Sometimes I guess it takes darkness to appreciate the light.

There’s a much deeper meaning in there, I think.

Darkness and Light, Joy and Sadness | therhouse.com

Man, it was a good weekend.

Thank you, Craft Lake City!

 

My best friend suffers from depression.

When I read the news of Robin Williams passing away, a surge of panic fluttered through me.

I don’t suffer from the lying disease of depression but it does affect my life. You see, my best friend Kim suffers from sometimes debilitating depression. Some weeks are better than others, but I’ve learned to recognize the signs of when she is in a dark place. She knows what they are too. She gets short-tempered and withdraws from everyone. She even tries to withdraw from me. She doesn’t blog, use social media, or text me as frequently as she normally does.

I hate depression. I hate what it does to my friend. I miss her when the sadness birds take hold of her heart.

After reading about Robin, I immediately sent her a love note on Facebook.

I just want you to know that I KNOW that you battle depression and I PRAY for your every single day. I just read that Robin Williams passed away probably due to suicide from severe depression and I IMPLORE you to always tell me when you are feeling down (like you did last week.) So that I can check on you and be your family. PLEASE know that you are loved NO MATTER WHAT. I need you!! xoxox

Everyone needs to feel needed and loved. Everyone needs to be told as much.

And then, I started thinking that you probably love someone with depression too. I told Kim about this post that just kind of materialized and asked her to share some advice with people like you and me who love someone who is battling this disease. The following ideas are hers with my 2 cents (okay, more like at least 5 cents) sprinkled in. We are not certified experts on the disease, but we can offer you some real life, tried and true advice.

 

Loving Someone with Depression

 

Discuss the suffering openly.

Check in with your loved one regularly but especially when you know they are having a bad day. Let them know that you’re concerned about them and thinking of them. Silence does not mean things are okay. Sometimes messaging and phone calls are not enough. Sometimes you have to show up and knock on the door. If they are on medication, don’t be afraid to ask if they are taking it.

 

Offer to listen. Maybe even rescue. (Even if it’s only 30 minutes.)

Last week Kim mentioned to me that she was napping in the middle of the day and that’s why she didn’t respond to one of my texts. I jokingly told her that I hate her happing because I need access to her at all hours of the day and night. (If you know Kim personally, you know what I mean by this. She’s the best.) She responded seriously letting me know that she had been having two severe depression days in a row.

I immediately invited her to get out of her house and just come sit in the car with me while I made an airport run. And then I offered to braid her hair because I knew it would make her laugh. (I have no sisters, no daughters, and my mother has shorter hair than my dad. I have zero braiding skills and no one knows this better than Kim.) Sadly, it turns our she couldn’t escape with me due to schedules.

And then I didn’t hear from her for a few hours. I texted to check on her. I texted again to invite her to go to Target. I texted again that I was on her doorstep and no one was answering. A few minutes later she thanked me for checking on her and told me she was at a family party. I breathed a sigh of relief and told her, “When you say you’re in a dark place, I gotta come find you.” She responded by confirming that it was very dark and nothing was helping. We kept the conversation going that evening and then hung out for the better part of the next two days.

This is what it’s like to love someone with depression. Kim doesn’t look sad, but her heart sometimes get too heavy.

Depression doesn't look sad.

Remind them that they are not alone. 

According to the CDC, 1 in 10 adults reports depression. This disease is real. It’s not made up, although the disease is lying to your loved one. Kim says we need to encourage our loved ones to get help. She also says that, at least for her, the disease is hard because it’s not easily fixable. It usually takes time and medication.

 

Ask how you can better support your loved one. 

I regularly do a little emotional inventory with my husband and ask him what I could be doing to make his life better or help him through a difficult time. I usually say, “Is there something that I can do better or something that needs to change?”

I’ve never done this with a friendship, but man, it sure does seem like a good idea. This is a new one, but I like it. Last night as I picked Kim’s brain for this post, I asked her what I could do to better support her in her battle. Her response was perfect, I think just being aware and acknowledging the dark times is so helpful.”

 

Here’s to being more aware and to being a better friend to those that are suffering.

Remember, all great things take time. And you are more than great! You are far more precious than rubies. You are a work in progress. Be gentle with yourself. Have hope.

 

xoxo,

Lindsey and Kim

 

What Jean ValJean taught my husband about being an adoptive father.

A couple of months ago, I took my husband to see Les Miserables at a theater in-the-round.

I’ve seen it on Broadway and was even been in a production while in college, but this was a whole different ballgame. There’s something incredible about an in-the-round experience. It’s so personal.

My husband despises musicals with the very core of his soul, but in a grand gesture of his love for me he agreed to go …and he even went with a happy(ish) attitude. This story runs through my veins and is deeply personal for me. I know he knows that and that’s why I think he makes the effort.

Les Miserables and Adoption

As the music began and the lights started to dim, the Beatles Mania that had been brewing all evening just about boiled over into tween-like screaming and selfie taking. This story is a spiritual experience for me every single time. My husband (who had never seen a live production of it), was in for a treat.

By the ending scene, he was wiping his eyes and I knew the magic had touched him too. Mission accomplished! The next day, an unsolicited email with the following post popped up in my inbox along with a little note that said, “I sent a similar message to the boys’ birth moms too.” That man is so full of heart. I am a lucky lady.

 

What Jean ValJean reminded me about being an adoptive father.

So, Lindsey “gave me the opportunity” to go to Les Miserables at a local theater last night. I’m actually pretty bad at going to things that I know I won’t like (never seen a Nicholas Sparks movie–but I did get close once) but when it comes to Les Mis, I try to suck it up for a night every once in a while. I’m pretty sure I only made like 3 negative comments about it all night.

Musicals just aren’t my style. I find the stories rushed and I think you should only sing when it’s a REALLY good song and not just because you feel like a song is needed. Luckily Les Mis doesn’t have any dancing. Seeing cowboys doing pirouettes in Annie Get Your Gun a few years ago crossed a line with me that I can never cross back over.

Anyway, there was a scene in Les Mis that got my eyes a little wet. It was a moment that reminded me of my own position as a father of children that were not mine initially.

As ValJean is dying, he hands Cosette his confession and says (well…sings), “It’s the story of those who always loved you. Your mother gave her life for you, then gave you to my keeping.”

Now, our kids’ birth mothers are very much alive but they DID give a part of their life for their boys and they gave them to me to be their father. In that moment in that theater, I recalled the joy and the weight of that fact. I try to remember it every day–that 3 incredible women decided that I should be the one to protect and provide for their boys, to be the one that made sure they knew safety, happiness, and love. It’s an awesome responsibility. One that I don’t know I would have understood as well had I had children biologically, one that I don’t take lightly. I’m not a perfect father but I know that I’m just a little bit better because I understand what sacrifices where made to get my children in my care and that I will answer to God and their birth parents for how I guarded that gift.

The R House, Open Adoption

With Jackson’s birth mother and birth family at one of Josh’s football games.

 

So, I gained 2 things last night:

  1. Brownie points with Lindsey (lots of them)
  2. A reminder of how great my life is and how great my responsibilities are.

Now, if we can just find ways to do that without having to sing EVERYTHING.