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An Update and a Hint of Things to Come

An Update and a Hint of Things to Come

Hello!

I thought I would pop in for anyone still out there wondering what I’m up to and if I’m ever coming back to blogging land. If you have been following me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve probably seen a hint of some of these things.

Just in case you are still out there, I thought I’d give an update as to what is going on in my world. In December 2014, I made the decision to go on hiatus on my blog. I mean, I’d pretty much defacto already done that, but I made it official in December and gave myself permission to step away.

Fence Board Monogram Sign

While I mentioned it at the time, I was spiraling down into some pretty deep depression. It’s weird to me that I suffer from depression considering the fact that I really like to be happy. Even still, chronic depression is a fact of my life. Most of the times, I’ve been able to manage it very well, but this time was different.

I was living in denial for quite some time, but the signs were unmistakable. I felt like my give-a-dang was busted on all levels and life was a real challenge for me. Because I don’t like to bring others down, I just felt it was best to step back while I worked on getting to a healthier mental state.

At the time, I honestly thought that would take a few weeks. But a few weeks turned into a few months and by last Spring I knew professional help was necessary. I started seeing a great counselor who has really helped me overcome some of my challenges, see things outside the lens of depression, and build skills to move forward with my life.

Headboard Bencch and Cushion

I’m happy to report that a great deal of the darkness has lifted. Some of the challenges in my life that were adding to my depression have resolved themselves and I’m just in a much healthier mental place. I still have a ways to go, but I feel like I have a much better skill set to manage my mental health. While I’m not ready to jump up and down and yell, “I’m cured!,” I am cautiously optimistic that my future is brighter than it has been for some time now.

The entire past 15 months hasn’t been all depression. I’ve had some brief periods of productivity to get some projects done. Most of them I show off on Instagram and Facebook. Those who have paid attention may have noticed an uptick in Silhouette and knitting projects.

IMG_1593

There’s actually a really good reason for this. In October of 2014, I took a job with Silhouette America as a customer support rep. Originally, the job was to help offset our expenses while we waited for the Ohio house to sell. Then the house didn’t sell (for 526 days it didn’t sell) and then Hubs got laid off and, well, with one thing and another, I’m still working there.

I help people solve their software/hardware problems with their Silhouette Studio software or the machines. I handle some of the higher-level problems and it helps me focus on diagnosing and solving problems if I can keep my hands busy. Hence the knitting projects.

Hand-knit socks

I don’t always knit while I work, but if it’s a complicated problem or we are waiting for things to download, knitting helps pass the time and keep my mind focused on the problem.

Having helped thousands of customers, I know a thing or two about the main problems that users struggle with. In response, I’ve created some YouTube videos to help Silhouette users Successfully Print and Cut Every Time in Silhouette Studio, Understanding Silhouette Cut Settings, and How to Weld Text in Silhouette Studio. Let me be clear: I in no way speak for Silhouette America. I just thought I would share some things I’ve learned to help other users. Be sure to check them out or refer them to a friend who might be able to use the help.

Cubicle Mail Box

If you are long-time reader, you know that back in 2013-2014, during my son Noah’s senior year, Hubs’ job got eliminated which prompted our move to Utah. It was kind of ironic because we’d spent our older kids senior years living apart as a family due to job changes; one wanted, one not so much. This was our third kid having a senior year and the third time we were living across the state or country for it.

You should hardly be surprised to know we are yet living apart as a family due to the alignment of our youngest son’s senior year and yet another layoff. We actually tried to stay in Utah this time around, knowing that meant a change to a different profession. Mostly we wanted to stay because, Katie, Hub’s sister that lives with us, has all her programs here that she loves and we don’t feel it’s fair to her to keep moving. But also, we just have a ton of friends and family here and Utah feels like home for us in many ways.

Katie and Suesan

Despite our efforts, after five fruitless months of searching and more than 100 resumes sent out, we finally accepted the inevitable and widened our search. Sure enough, as soon as we did that, the offers started coming and Hubs accepted a post in Summerville, South Carolina.

I’ve been on my own with Katie and the boys since Thanksgiving. Our daughter, Ryley, who had moved out last Fall, moved home in January after a bad roommate experience. Noah and Ryley will move into their own places at the end of the month. Sam and I are wrapping up the school year, downsizing like mad, and preparing Katie to move to her other brother’s house until a spot in a local group home opens up. We found a home that we think will be a good fit for her and hope that she can make that transition. We may have her with us for a few months here and there, but for now, our main caregiving duties are coming to an end.

Barn Wood Mr and Mrs Sign

Sam will move to South Carolina with us and work until he goes on a mission for our church. His plan is to leave in the Fall. Hubs and I will then officially be empty nesters, which is super weird and exciting at the same time.

Which leaves us what’s to come on the blog. For quite a while, I felt like I was just done with the blog. Blogging has changed since I started and the comments that helped fuel my creativity just don’t happen as much any more. I don’t know if that is because I’ve lost a lot of followers in all my inconsistency, or if moving to WordPress made commenting harder. I don’t exactly what happened. But it changed and not knowing if anyone was reading my blog and/or interested in what I was sharing made it hard to feel like I should continue on. Part of that thinking was the depression talking.

Fence Board Junk Clock

But the truth is, I love sharing and writing and doing projects and that’s not going to end any time soon. I will try to capitalize on my Silhouette knowledge more once I move. I will look to do more training and videos and maybe even some retreats as I know there are people desperately looking to increase their skills. While it will never become the main focus of my blog, it will be an additional area of focus. I love the product and will continue to incorporate those projects into anything I do.

Because I’m downsizing so much, only that furniture that I truly love is making the cut on to the moving van. Which means furniture projects are in my future. We will be renting in Summerville and I will probably have some posts about personalizing a rental.

Fence Board Lighted Monogram Sign

Like me, you’ve probably seen more than a few bloggers who have come and gone. Some, like me, have even staged a bit of a comeback, only to not fully return. I hope that isn’t me because I know I have a lot more to share and more projects in my future. Your comments, questions, support and friendship have meant so much to me. I appreciate you all and your support. I hope you’ll stick with me on the next phase of my journey.

Suesan

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Comments

  1. Oddly, I think of you every now and then and wonder what is going on in your life. I’m sorry to hear about the depression, layoffs, moves, etc, etc. I’ll send you a big hug and continue to keep you in my thoughts.

    “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
    ― A.A. Milne

    Best regards,
    Stacey

    Stacey

  2. I think you are wonderfully creative and so capable. Best of luck in everything and welcome to the South from a friend in Georgia.

  3. I am so sorry to hear all of the trials you and your family have had to endure. My family has moved 25 times in our 32 years of marriage. I can not imagine going through that stress and dealing with depression. I pray that this new move goes smoothly for your family and that your momma’s heart will survive the beginnings of the empty nest.
    I have loved all of your projects…especially your kitchen renovation in the Ohio home.
    I look forward to seeing many more projects to come. Your blog was always an inspiration to me…keep writing and sharing!

  4. Jan Elizabeth :

    I was so happy to see your post in my inbox yesterday! I know what it’s like to live with depression. Like you, I thought I had things to where I could deal with them, but a massive depression snuck up on me about five years ago. It got pretty severe before I twigged and got some help again. So I understand where you’re coming from. It sounds like some positive life changes are happening for you guys. Perhaps it’s good your caregiving days for your SIL are winding down? That must be so challenging!! The empty nest can be difficult, too. I think keeping your counselor is a good idea. When you have a good one, you don’t want to lose them!
    I hope the blog becomes a creative outlet for you again. I’m so looking forward to seeing your new house and projects. 🙂

    • Thank you, Jan Elizabeth! It’s good to hear from you again. I would never wish depression on anyone. I’ve had it most of my adult life and most of the time (other than in my young mother stage of life) it was fairly manageable. It really surprised me that it got as bad as it did this time, but you are definitely right about having a good counselor. While I will miss Katie and my kids a lot, I’m looking forward to a new stage of life for all of us.

      I will be sure to show off the new house just as soon as it reveals itself to us. 😀 Life is never dull, but there is always joy to be found when you look for it.
      Frou Frugal recently posted…An Update and a Hint of Things to ComeMy Profile

  5. So glad you are dipping your toes back in to blogging. I love the inspiration you bring me on redoing my old home, and the creativity you have! Take care of yourself, and know that while we may be a bit quiet, we are here.

  6. I enjoy your posts and creativity! “Keep calm and carry on” Love that quote! It keeps me going !

  7. Well any one in your position would experience depression. That sems normal to me. You are a very talanted, creative spirit. Folks like you and me are sensitive and sensitive to change. I think considerin all that has happened in your life, your handling of it all, gives you a 2 thumbs up.

  8. Hello! I”m so glad to see you here again. Life seems to change at a rapid pace. I’m sorry for your battle with depression but so thankful we live in a day and age when help is readily available. I hope you find a wonderful counselor first thing when you move. — I love to see your DIY projects and look forward to your blog posts. I hope you choose to keep writing and creating. It sounds like your job for Silhouette will move with you. This electronic day and age is fun too! — I will look forward to your continued posting!! ~Dana

    • Thanks, Dana, for the comment. I will probably keep my current counselor and do phone consultations with him as needed. The electronic age is great for that, too. I will actually have to quit my job in May, as Silhouette does not hire virtual reps. I will probably do private training and help and most likely more videos.

      Thanks for following along. I hope I have some fun projects to do in the new house. I have a few I want to wrap up before the move, so we’ll see if I can get them done and get a post out of them!
      Frou Frugal recently posted…An Update and a Hint of Things to ComeMy Profile

  9. Karen K from Buffalo :

    Well, I’m still here with you!! I love your blog & have read your journeys. You have been here & there & everywhere (said Dr. Suess) I am so happy that you found a counselor that is helping you through your depression. I also have chronic depression, but mine hits me about February until a hint of warmer weather comes along, every. single. year. for the past 32 years. Even with medication, I have to watch myself. It is not fun & not to be taken lightly. Anyway, I am so glad to have you back & I will watch you grow in another chapter of your life. Creative & real. Keep on knitting & maybe I will be on the other end of the phone at Silhouette!!

    • Thanks for your sweet comments, Karen! I usually get the seasonal stuff, too, but I have found that increasing my vitamin D during those months helps significantly with it. But you are right, even with medication, it is not to be taken lightly. I am wrapping up a pair of socks for my youngest son in his school colors and then I may be done with knitting for the season. I usually only do fiber projects in the winter months, but we’ll see. I get twitchy at work if I don’t have something to do with my hands.
      Frou Frugal recently posted…An Update and a Hint of Things to ComeMy Profile