Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Newbolds

Last night Travis and I had some friends over for dinner - the Newbolds.... boy do we love them! They are SO much fun! We had a great time with them last night! Dinner was yummy, Dessert was yummy, Rock Band was super fun, and Parker.... I just LOVE Parker! His laugh was KILLING me! He is such a cute and happy little guy - and his laugh made my day! It kind of make me a little baby hungry too... Dianne and Kiley - Come over ANYTIME! We had a great time! Oh, and if you ever need a sitter for Parker - Lucy and I would LOVE to play with him!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I put on my big girl panties...

As most of you know, I graduated in August of 2009 with a Masters degree in Social Work. After graduating with an MSW - you have to take a National exam to become a Certified Social Worker. This exam costs $175.00, is 170 questions, and 4 hours long. Good times right?! Not so!

I have horrible text anxiety so of course I didn't want to take it! Can you blame me?! You have to get a 70 to pass - and statistically speaking - Nationwide only about 70% of people pass it on their first try. Those are pretty good odds - but I was convinced I would be one of the 30% that had to take it again. I know of several people from my Masters Program who I know are MUCH smarter than I am - that didn't pass their first time. But, I also know several people who are not as smart as I am (boy do I sound arrogant) that passed their first time. So, I really didn't know what to do.

Around November last year I started toying around with the idea of taking the test. I pulled out all of my study material - printed around 500 pages worth of study guides - and borrowed study guides from other people.... and didn't crack them open until January of this year. Around mid-January I decided I had to be serious and take the test. The only way I would do that is if I scheduled the test and had it already paid for and then I would be forced to take it! So, I registered for the test.... A few days later I got my registration letter in the mail telling me that I was approved to take the test and that I should schedule a day and time to take it. So, I put on my big girl panties and called and scheduled to take the test on February 16th thinking it was over a month away and I would have plenty of time to study!

As the weeks passed leading up to the test - I tried to study, really I did. I made some flash cards, I took several practice tests, I read an entire study guide/manual, I studied between meetings in my car, I studied at home, I studied at UVU while waiting for my classes to start, etc. I felt like I was studying as best as I could -and amazingly, February 16th snuck up on me and all of a sudden it was here! I felt horribly unprepared for this test - I kept getting 68%'s on my practice tests! If I failed I would have to wait 6 months and pay the $175 again to take the test. Needless to say I was having tons of anxiety!

I decided to put matters into the Lord's hands and asked my dad and brother for a priesthood blessing - I just needed to be able to sleep the night before and be able to concentrate long enough to take the blasted exam! My ADHD was going to seriously impair my ability to sit still for 4 hours in order to take the test! The blessing was beautiful and I was told that I would be able to relax, and concentrate, and that I would be guided in taking the test as long as I was prepared.

That evening I did a drive-by so I knew where to go for the test, had some sleepytime tea and went right to bed. I fell asleep after about 30 minutes (which is really long for me) and slept soundly until the alarm went off! I got out of bed not feeling nervous at all - after my shower that was another thing. I had some oatmeal for breakfast and some tension tamer tea as well, and off I went. I registered for my test at 8:15 and started by 8:30. About two hours later I answered the final question on the test. I had to take a lame survey (no doubt intended to make you freak a little longer) and then a page popped up - I expected to see in giant letters You Failed, or You Passed. Instead, I had to read down half of the page to see where it said "Congratulations, You have passed the ASWB Clinical Social Work exam" Woot woot! I about passed out! You can't imagine the relief I feel now! It's amazing! So, it's official - I am a CSW now... in 2 years I will become an LCSW!!!

Therapy anyone? I'm cheap! :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Eight days...

My little brother Spencer has been home for eight days now. He has started therapy already, and will see a psychiatrist for med management next week as well. He is such a good kid, and he is terrified. He is afraid that people are going to judge him because he is home. He tries to avoid people at all costs - he hates going to Harmons now, and doesn't want to go to his home ward. I know it's because of how awful the experience was when Brian came home early from his mission as well. People can be so mean. I know that some of the people in my parents ward have good intentions - but please - just stop! Let Spencer deal with the things he needs to deal with. Don't bug him about going back out - don't make assumptions - and don't pass judgment. It's interesting - in a church where we are taught to love people unconditionally and not to judge people - some of the members are prejudice, gossipy (is that even a word), and downright rude! Mind your own business people!

ANYWAY - other than that... things in my house are going... they aren't going well but they aren't going poorly either. They're just going. I'm still doing WW with my good friend Vicki - so that's good. She is definitely a great support. The Thursday night WW teacher is AWESOME and helps keep me from getting discouraged - and motivates me! It's nice! I'm still teaching at UVU. Tomorrow morning I have my first formal evaluation in the middle of the semester. It's a little scary - but it will be good I guess! This weekend is a nice long weekend - yay for Holidays! Travis and I will probably go out for dinner and to a movie for V-day. On Tuesday I have a big hairy exam to take. I don't feel prepared for it, but part of me thinks I'll never feel fully prepared for it. I asked Travis if he would be mad at me if I didn't pass the first time. (It's a $175.00 exam) He responded by saying "You're going to pass! And if for some strange reason you don't - it's just money." It made me feel a lot better - not great - I'm still nervous as heck. Boy has the anxiety been intense for the past 6 weeks! Also, I'm waiting to find out about a piece of legislation that will determine whether or not I can keep my job. It's been a long few days trying to figure out what will happen! I guess it could be worse right?!

Travis is doing well - our 1 year anniversary is coming up quickly! We don't have any plans yet - but any suggestions are welcome! I'd like to take a nice short vacation - especially since neither of us have had a vacation since our Honeymoon! I'd take a weekend anywhere right about now! We will see what happens! The dogs are doing well... There really isn't much more to update on! My life is pretty lame!

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Little Spencie

This is one of those posts where I'm not sure how to start... or what to write exactly... or anything really... But I feel like I need to get this out since it's been consuming my every thought for the 6 days...

I'm sure you remember my little brother Elder Spencer Doty - serving in the Belo Horizante Brazil mission?! Well, for the past few weeks he has been writing me every week and telling me how anxious and depressed he has been. I have been supportive and loving. I've prayed for him and I've sent words of encouragement. Last Wednesday, I didn't get an email from Spencie. I figured since it was Transfers week, I would hear something later in the week. That evening, my sister Melissa called me and asked if I had gotten an email from him and I told her no. She told me that nobody had, and that my parents had been called in to see the Stake President that evening. I knew it wasn't good and told her to call me as soon as she found out what was happening.

Late that evening my little sister Shayla called me and told me that Spencer's anxiety and depression had gotten worse and that the Mission President thought he needed to come home. My parents were going to talk with him in the morning and figure out what would happen. The next morning they called him and spoke with him and had determined that Spencer would come home as soon as possible. Unfortunately, as soon as possible isn't until Wednesday.

I can't tell you how many tears I have cried for Spencer. He will come home on Wednesday and will receive treatment for his anxiety and depression. He wants to be in Brazil so badly, but his anxiety and depression has made it nearly impossible for him to go on this way. He is planning on going back to Brazil once he has everything under control. We don't know how long it will take - but we know that he will get better. He is coming home for a good reason - and he wants to go back out. We will just see when that will be.

My heart aches for Spencer. I know he is scared to come home! Unfortunately, my family has experience with a returning missionary, when Brian came home from his mission after only 6 months. As much as we thought people would be supportive there were rumors spread about Brian and the reason he came home. They were all wrong - and eventually the bishop had to get up in Sacrament Meeting and tell everyone to stop gossiping and that Brian was home under the direction of a doctor. My parents spoke with their bishop and let him know that they wanted him to address the issue of Spencers return and stamp out any misconceptions before they start. I guess he talked to the ward on Sunday and let them know that Spencer will be home for treatment for depression. Unfortunately - some people hear what they want and have said inconsiderate things to my family. Spencer is a good kid and he is doing what is best for him right now. Why can't people just accept that?!

The past 6 days have been tormenting as I've prayed and cried and struggled to understand what I can do to help Spencer. The sad thing is, I don't know what to do. I don't know how to act. Should I be happy to see him? Should I be sad that he is here? I just want to be supportive because I love him! I'm hoping that when he comes home - he knows that we love him and care for him. I hope he understands that we will do whatever he needs to make sure he can get the help he needs and return to Brazil as soon as possible. He is such a wonderful kid! I hope others can see that and will be compassionate and loving and helpful and supportive.

I love you Spencie!