Welcome to the Hickstionary, a landing spot for all things H family.
I'm Heidi. He's Rusty. And together we have our beautiful babe, Beckett and a furry menace, Dakota.
I mostly use this space to brag about how awesome the kid is, whine about how naughty the dog is & share an occasional deep thought.
Thanks for hanging out with us as we figure out this [blessed] life!

If you are looking for my photography blog (where words don't tend to fall out of my mouth nearly as freely), visit {captured by} heidi.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Beckett's Fourth Birthday

B and I were looking at chapbooks of birthdays past tonight and he started talking about his circus party.... I realized I hadn't posted anything from it anywhere... And really couldnt even remember what we did for his party!

So this is slightly overdue....

A Fourth Birthday CIRCUS Party!

Prep: B loved the circus with grandma and Hattie and knew exactly what to have at a circus party after going. He planned the menu (hot dogs, sno cones, popcorn) and decorated the cake (mostly by himself with a lot of direction...). :) The prints are engineer prints from Staples (one of my fave/cheapest ways to make a big pop).

The weather was awesome and the kids got to play outside (huge thanks to Little Tikes and Oakland Avenue for the awesome jump house!). I'm not sure we got a single family picture (I need to dig a little further) and we missed the cousin pic this year.

Afterwards we loaded up and headed to the Water Park of America (and the Mall of America)- per B's birthday wish. It was a jam packed, super fun weekend. Our little guy got to do some of his favorite things- party, snuggle grandma, stay at a hotel, and go to a water park. The perfect weekend!

I still can't believe he's FOUR! (Another reason this post may have taken me so long...)

But four looks good on you, buddy!

Monday, December 7, 2015

mental health week?

This week, I keep seeing posts about mental health week (I could totally use one of those!) and have even clicked on a couple posts to skim through...

I've seen posts for depression, anxiety, bipolar, the list goes on…

but nothing on postpartum depression.

To be fair, I don't really know much about PPD, and while I guess I'm not even sure it belongs in the category of mental illnesses, I've been surprised to see it missing from the mental health week posts.

It seems like a taboo topic and until recently, it always made me think of Susan Smith, but today, I'll let you in on how that's changed for me.

After my first awesomely perfect baby was born, life was good. Sure, I had a moment of 'I might throw this screaming baby out the window' but it was fleeting and I really was living in bliss; sweet sleep deprived bliss. Adjusting to a new normal and figuring out my new self was hard but mostly I was so thankful for my new role and life was so, so good.

After my second baby, for obvious reasons, I was down. I had the blues but didn't identify them as postpartum blues. I didn't make the connection that you could have postpartum issues when you didn't have a baby to care for. After losing a baby at 16 weeks, it didn't dawn on me that postpartum care should have been part of my self care and it wasn't until I landed in the ER that I realized it was needed (physically and mentally).

Not long after rebounding from that, we were ecstatic to be expecting sweet baby Arley. We knew right away she was a girl and the hormones were there to prove it. By this point, I wasn't really sure what 'normal' hormones were anymore and mine were all over the place.

When our sweet girl arrived, of course we were thrilled (truly, I can't imagine a moment more perfect than the first time I saw her face), but those hormones raged on.

I've been told, and from my own experience agree, girl hormones are so much harder than boy baby hormones. I've been told pregnancies soon following another are also high/hard on the hormones. So I had a lot going against me. I knew this in my mind but I'm not sure my heart and mind were working together in the months following her birth.

It wasn't until very recently that I was able to tell my husband I felt like the fog had lifted. If you've had PPD, you know that the new baby fog and 'THE fog' are so different. I'm not sure how to explain it, but let me say this- it was hard.

It was so hard. Hard and lonely.

Let me start with some symptoms. You'll find a whole list of symptoms here, but mine didn't start out as the most obvious ones. In fact, when I mentioned at my 6 week post baby check I thought I might have some PPD, they all but ignored me. Mainly, for me, it started out as not being able to sleep. I didn't feel anxious or worried, I just wasn't sleeping. Ever. Arley was sleeping five, six, then seven hour stretches and I would still get maybe 1-2 hours. Later, I felt overwhelmed. It made sense- I started back to work when she was just a couple weeks old and it was hard. I was working full-time and taking care of two babies full-time with no daycare for our newborn and very little daycare for our 3yo. It was overwhelming but for obvious reasons. That lead to anger/irritability.  Time was not something I felt like I had a lot of and my husband couldn't help out fast enough and my 3yo couldn't listen well enough. My expectations were unrealistically high and when they didn't get met, I was unreasonable in my response. (Maybe a post for another day but we won't even mention my new fondness for the 'f word' during this stage. I really didn't recognize myself at this point.) From there I spiraled into the other symptoms and really felt alone in my sorrow. It took a few months for the cycle to work it's way through so I think that was another reason I didn't recognize it as PPD at first.

Once I (finally) recognized it, I would casually mention it in conversation. (I should maybe back up here and mention I was rarely seeing people during this time. My new normal was crazy and with a crazy schedule and a mean disposition, my social life wasn't exactly 'hopping.')  So when I would casually mention it I would get one of two responses.

1.) "Ohmygosh, me too. I totally get it. I….. yada yada yada…. fill in the blank with typical baby blues responses." …...They didn't really get it. They got baby blues. They got the new mom thing. But they didn't get the PPD. They didn't understand the depths of it and by brushing it off made me feel unheard.


2.) ……. awkward silence…. weird stares….. bumpy transition into any topic more pleasant, say... diaper blowouts or hemorrhoids.

The second group of people I assumed were about to call the cops on me and warn them of a possible Susan Smith situation.

Conversation about hemorrhoids it is.

So. All that to say. I don't really have any insight for you. I wish I could tell you I got help and was able to come out of it. I wish I could tell you how to do that for yourself. But I can't. I wasn't brave enough to ask. (Well after the awkward stare from the medical professional at my 6 week check, I wasn't brave enough to ask…) I waited. For 7ish long months, I waited. Eventually my hormones leveled out and the fog lifted. And I have been able to speak candidly about it with sweet mamas since. I've since found two soul sisters that know exactly what I'm talking about and with their sweet encouragement, I'm going to beg of you this….

If you have a mama friend reaching out for help- be there. Listen to them. Ask them how they are doing. Check in with them. If you have a mama friend with a new baby and she's not reaching out for help, do all that same stuff. She may need you. And she may not even know it.

And if you are the mama friend needing help- ask for it. Tell someone. Tell your husband. Tell your friend. Tell your doctor. Tell a counselor. If they ignore you, tell someone else. Don't ignore your gut feelings and wait it out. Don't regret missing sweet moments of your baby's first months. Get what you need and get on with your beautiful life.

Because you can do it. And your sweet baby needs you to.

Friday, October 16, 2015

mario and princess peach

B picked out this year's costumes. He is SO excited to have sis 'match' him and can't wait to teach her how to beg for candy. :)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

i didn't want to be brave.

"I was really brave, mommy. I didn't want to be brave but I was!" -B

Before I tell this story let me preface it by saying yes, we vaccinate our kiddos. I have read and researched and prayed and even cried over it and this is the decision we have landed on. I respect your choice for your kids and believe we're all doing the best we can by our babies.

Now that that's out of the way…

Sis had six month shots scheduled for today. We were at a friend's house this morning and they were talking flu shots which made me realize B might have to get a shot today today. I talked to him about it and said it might happen. He informed me he hates shots. A lot.

When we arrived the nurse checked and sure enough, he was going to get a shot today. He informed her he hates shots. A lot.

Nurse: I have a surprise for you.
B: I don't even want your sucker.
Nurse: I can give you a sticker too. Do you want it in your arm or your leg?
B: I want it NOWHERE!!! (As he runs to hide behind the table and starts rocking in the fetal position.)

At this point I was sure it was going to end badly. I was hating myself for not scheduling it when Rusty could come and I was wondering if there was room behind the table for me to also curl up in the fetal position.

Meanwhile sis is happily waiting her turn. (She had no idea what was coming.)

Somehow I managed to beg God Almighty to please not let this end badly say a quick prayer and while I was trying not to freak out myself, B slowly got up and looked at the sticker before climbing to his spot. He nervously told the nurse she could do the shot in his leg.

Truly I have no idea how that just happened.

But he did it and she gave him a shot. He cried out for about 5 seconds then looked at me and said, "I'm glad I did it mommy. I want to do that again sometime!"


(Shortly after, sis had her shots and screamed bloody murder right after giving me the 'how could you do this to me' look. #breakmyheart She did manage to calm down much faster this time than in times past so we're calling it a win.)

Being so thankful we survived mostly unscathed, I scooped up my baby and B grabbed my hand and walked out proudly carrying his hard earned sticker. When we got to the car he says, "I was really brave, mommy. I didn't want to be brave but I was!" 


Most days my babies teach me more about life than I do them. Today was one of those days.

I don't want to be brave. I don't want to do the hard thing. I don't want to deal with the mess.

I. don't. want. to.


[to be continued.]

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

home again home again

We're back! (Did you even notice we were gone?) ;)

After ten days of life on the road, we made it home and can say the kids were (mostly) awesome little travelers. Arley is up to 5/50 states now (8 if you count last summer's trips). (B didn't add any new states this time around so he's still at 12/50.)

I did a horrible job of taking pictures. Mostly because our adventures weren't really conducive to packing around a big camera (plus a baby while chasing a three year old).

We attempted a group shot (but even failed at that as not everyone was ever ready for a shot at the same time). So here's most of the crew. (My sister got that sweet cabin. We're trying to talk mom into buying a similar one on a lake somewhere… You can rent this one here: vrbo)

The quick overview of the trip:
Leon. We had to head down early for a funeral so we stayed in town for the Fourth of July where B took in his first Leon Rodeo. We also watched the parade and then later headed to great-grandma's for the fireworks (her driveway may be the best seat in town for them). B loved the sparklers but may have been a little too excited about setting them on fire…
Table Rock lake. It rained most of the time we were there but the one day it was (mostly) nice my mom rented a boat and it was maybe the highlight of the trip for us. B chose not to tube and was worried about my safety when I was. ;) After witnessing his cousin take a turn (and finding her way underwater), it might be awhile before he hops on one. Related to the rain- the kids didn't get a chance to do s'mores in the fire pit so we found a campfire on youtube and they sat around the iPad campfire while eating microwave s'mores and telling stories with the flashlight. It's definitely an activity worth adding to your summer bucket list. :)
Branson. See above on the rain. We attempted some fun stuff but had a hard time finding things for B in the rain. (We had planned on bumper boats, mini golf and go karts so those all got crossed off the list pretty quick.) We did take a nice little walk down the boardwalk by the landing which was great until we walked straight into a cold front and couldn't see through the fog. We also did the fish hatchery (in the rain). And our best meal in town was Steak N Shake. Ripley's was a bust but B loved riding the Ducks (and even got to drive once the duck hit the water).
Arkansas. We literally drove across the state line to sit on the square of Blue Eye and feed the kids just so we could cross Arkansas off Arley's list. (Hey, it's one of 50 and at least now she won't have to go back and my brother in law pointed out she's too young to remember so double bonus. No offense to anyone from Arkansas...) ;) It felt a lot like being in Lineville. I'm sure there are nicer places in Arkansas to visit. Maybe someday…
Tulsa. We took a little detour on the way home to visit the Oklahoma cousins. It was a last minute, unplanned leg of the trip but was a fun one! We met up with them at the children's museum where B went down the packing tape slide no less than 1,452,872 times (or so). We had the best meal of the week with Hideaway Pizza and B had the highlight of his week at the Kiddie Park (a mini amusement park of sorts). The weather was iffy so we basically had the park to ourselves and it was a blast. The kids ran from ride to ride and B LOVED it. He talks about this more than anything else from vacation (even Legoland). I did manage to take the camera along this night.
Kansas City. Our plan was to head into town for Legoland and then spend the night and do some watermark time or shopping the next day. B loved Legoland but was ready to go to grandma's by the end so we passed on the $400/night water park room and drove to grandma's for the night before heading home.

Both kids had a pretty good week... though B really wanted to stay at a hotel with an elevator. :)

(A few kiddie park pics… Like I said.. B LOVED it. He was literally the last kid off the last ride of the night. These kiddos shut the place down! One of his favorite rides was the tiny cars and he always picked the cop car. When we had to leave the next day his cousin gave him The Sheriff (from Cars) for him to take home. He didn't let go of it the whole way to KC and really wanted to take it inside with him but we talked him out of it. His favorite (okay and only) souvenir from the trip.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

arley | three months old

Holy Moly the last three months have flown by!!

The Arley update: She prefers sitting(!) to tummy time, has discovered (and loves) her toes, is big into blowing bubbles, has started drooling (B started around this time too but was still a ways off from that first tooth), is a total twinsie to her big brother (like, identical!), loves chewing on her hands these days, sleeps 9-11 hours at night, wears 3-6 tops 0-3 bottoms & size 1 diapers,  babbles and coos and laughs (mostly at big bro), nurses 6-9 times a day, sleeps in her crib, loves laying on the changing pad, and is the sweetest little girl I ever did know.

Big brother is doing much better these days and we've really gotten into a good groove with the two kid thing. :) (He even asked me tonight if we could have another baby at our house- a baby brother this time!) He loves, loves, loves his sister and when they first see each other in the morning is my most favorite time of day. She eagerly watches the monitor for signs of movement, waves her arms and coos when she sees him waking up, he snuggles and smooches and reminds her of how cute she is when she comes to get him out of bed. They are about the cutest pair ever. Not that I'm biased or anything.

And mom and dad are still surviving. Going back to work (way too early) was maybe the hardest part of the adjustment for me and our house has taken a hit from it for sure (honestly I have no idea the last time I cleaned or our laundry was all caught up). I built myself in a little 'catch my breath break' so I'll be off work the next two weeks and am SO looking forward to that! I plan on getting in some one on one time with each of my loves and I'm not going back to work until it happens. :)

And speaking of work… I actually shot, edited and blogged a certain little someone's three month pics (just a few days late). You can go check more of her (and big bro) out over on the cbh blog! I'm biased but I think they're super sweet. :)


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

party of five

The transition to a family of four (um… five counting Dakota), has been a ride to say the least…..

First impressions of the family of four bit were awesome. The honeymoon period was great. A was seriously (and still is) such an awesome baby. Great at nursing, great at sleeping, just awesome (until she gets a burp stuck but thankfully that's not too often).

B was awesome. He was (and still is) smitten with his sister and super loved getting presents and attention from all the visitors we had.

And then the presents stopped coming in and visitors stopped coming over and he realized mom was spending a lot of time feeding sis and dad was spending a lot of time doing everything else. He was crazing some mom time and attention and needed some outside of the house action. Things got hairy for awhile… And by hairy I mean we were in all out survival mode for a few weeks. He started struggling with sleep and behavior and pretty much everything else. It. was. rough.

And if I'm being completely honest. I was struggling too. The visitors stopped. (And the meals, ha.) The check ins stopped (because who wants to keep checking in on you if you're too crazy trying to survive to even reply?). I was feeling lonely and the hormones were crazy (as in a million times worse than after B). Not helping those hormones… I had to start back at work when A was just four weeks old.

And we were left in our little bubble to figure things out.

Did I mention it got rough? :|

Turning the corner took a combination of things but there were a couple key points that made the biggest difference….

 -When B and I snuck out of the house for a mommy/B date. We went for a haircut (his), a dinner stop, and a pirate show at our church. He soaked up the mommy time and couldn't stop telling me how much fun he was having and how much he loved me. In the few short weeks since A had been born, I really had forgotten how much fun he is. Also, while we were there, I ran into a friend I hadn't talked to for awhile. I cried with her about all the things running wild in my head and she prayed over me. She helped me figure out a couple little (HUGE) things that have made a big difference. (Did I mention she has six kids?)

-When my mom came to stay. I had a super busy week at work and really just needed help keeping my sanity more than anything. We didn't have a super productive week but we felt supported and that was huge.

-When I started running again. I realized there would never be a good time to do it so on Mother's Day I decided that was all I wanted and I hit the pavement. And of course once you start, you don't stop. I hate running but it's so good for me because 1. It keeps me in touch with one of my besties. and 2. It gives me uninterrupted time to think/pray/admire God's beauty/or sing at the top of my lungs to the headphones if I want to (on the country roads only of course). The other night I was out running and starting the downward spiral of thoughts again when I saw an interesting chalk drawing….

By the time I realized it was there and slowed down enough to read it, I realized it said "Devil is not awesome." It appeared to be the drawing of a youngish kid and it really struck me as profound… that this kid artist (whomever it was) could blame the devil for the 'not awesome' but my downward spiraling thoughts were blaming everyone and everyone else for the 'not awesome.'

Tonight as I was running by, I purposefully slowed down enough to take a pic. I did get the 'devil is not awesome' part…

But what I had stepped over before realizing what it said (and snapping a pic) might have been even better……

"God is."

Kid, whomever you are- you're killin' it. Thanks for the inspo.

(Yep. Randomly ending this unedited post right here. Cause that's how I roll these days.) ;)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

my people

I'm so used to saying 'my boys' when talking about B and R I catch myself saying 'my…' then switch it up to people instead.

These are my people.


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