Recipes to Remember: Cherry Kuchen Bars

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This one is long over due! These cherry kuchen bars — otherwise known as “cherry cake” by Izzy — are so easy and delicious they instantly became a family hit.

Originally I saw this recipe linked at the bottom of her recipe for fried rice, which I’ve talked about before, and thought dang, that looks wonderful but I bet it’s a pain to make! Well when I clicked on the directions it seemed pretty simple so I gave it a shot and I’m so glad I did.

I brought this to several events over the holidays and it was praised by everyone who tried it. Izzy perhaps gave me the best praise by walking around to everyone announcing “MY mommy made this!” 😊 Definitely knows how to make me feel good. Even the extremely picky Korey enjoyed it! So if you’re looking for a good, easy dessert, especially for a party because it can make so much, I totally recommend this.

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Also, it’s delicious with vanilla ice cream, so you know it can’t be wrong in my book. 😉

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Finally – a playroom!

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I posted about half a million years ago about having a big room I wanted to turn into a playroom but not having the time or ability to finish it. Well, the first weekend I felt really really good after starting antidepressants, I changed that.

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Historically Korey hasn’t always been on board with my remodel and furnishing ideas. Although I have a really good idea of what I want, he isn’t good with change and has a difficult time envisioning what I describe. But that’s why it’s my job and not his. 😉 However when he finally got on board with this project his support really helped make my vision a reality. Now he says it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.

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I got my Lego table in there as well as the Ikea shelves that I wanted — which, by the way, are AMAZING. I takes me easily ten minutes or less to clean up this room now, even when it’s in a full state of toddler disaster. 😊 And although I didn’t get the couch I originally envisioned, Korey took me to Ashley and we got some awesome couches anyway that are super comfy and with enough space for everyone.

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Best of all, of course, is that the kids love it! And it makes me feel like I could finally entertain at my house (if I had anyone to entertain — ha! 😉) I also feel super motivated to finish up other projects around the house as my vision for this place finally starts coming together after five years…!

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Izzy Finishes Swim Lessons

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Well she did it! Yesterday was Izzy’s last day of the most basic swim classes at the Y. I had some serious reservations about putting Izzy in swim classes — namely due to her fear of getting her face wet — but she really rocked it out and I couldn’t be more proud.

Even though there were a few traumatic water-up-the-nose incidents she really got better at learning how to avoid that. And she often volunteered to do what was asked and worked really well with the instructors. Parents weren’t allowed in the pool area so I could only watch through the window but honestly that’s given me a lot more confidence about her going to pre-k in the fall. I know she listens to the instructors when I’m not around, is respectful, and can communicate with them too.

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Overall they recommended she repeat the beginner course again because she still has some anxiety about the water (namely getting her face wet still which, as I suffer from the same fear, she will have to learn to deal with all her life 😉) and I think that was probably the right call. She told me today that she wants to do swim classes again and that makes me super pleased because there were a few times she said she didn’t want to go to swim ever again “not ever!!” 😂 I definitely think this is one thing where repeat exposure over time will buoy her confidence so we’re going to see about signing her up for another round.

So — yay Izzy! It’s so cool to watch your kids grow and get excited about new things. Absolutely my favorite part of being a parent.

Full Disclosure

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It’s been a while since I’ve written in this blog. My intention when I started this was to have a place to write about our daily activities so that I could look back and remember things I’m sure I’d otherwise forget as well as to share a more detailed account of our lives with family that lived far away. And in the interest of being honest with myself, although it’s not something I particularly love talking about, my inability to focus on writing here (or anywhere for that matter) has been due to depression.

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The thing about depression is that unless you’ve experienced it, it’s difficult to understand. From the outside, I have an enviable life. I have three wonderful, well behaved, hilarious kids. I have a loving husband who comes home every night. I can go to the grocery store and not have to worry about money. My family is supportive and there for me when I need it. Depression has nothing to do with being ungrateful — in fact, it only makes you feel worse to know you can’t fully appreciate what you have.

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Chronic depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain and I have suffered with it on and off for most of my life now. Although I was medicated in high school, I never really thought it truly helped. So even though I knew things were worse for me than they had been in a long time, I wasn’t particularly motivated to get help. I have always pulled myself out of it before, I said. I can do this. I can feel better.

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But the truth is that I couldn’t. People love to post articles about how you just need to exercise or you just need to eat better, that will fix your endorphins. And maybe it’s true — I actually believe it helps. But when you literally can’t move yourself from the couch, when nothing seems to matter and you drag yourself through every day merely because your children need you, making time to exercise seems impossible. Cooking anything more than mac n cheese seems like climbing Mount Everest. And it sounds stupid when it’s written out like this, but it’s just like any other illness — your body isn’t functioning properly. You can’t help feeling that way and you can’t just “motivation” yourself out of it. Not when it gets that bad.

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So after several months I finally made an appointment and got myself on an SSRI. And the world of difference it’s made to my life… It’s like night and day. I can get the kids dressed and leave the house again. I can try new recipes. I can clean and schedule appointments and work on house projects. I can laugh with my babies again. I don’t feel disconnected from my husband and everyone around me. As most people say who have been in my position, I only regret I didn’t get help sooner.

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But that means I hope to be more active here. To talk about house projects that I actually have the motivation to work on. To post about my wonderful babies. To show off things that I’ve cooked. To be able to remember happy things again and not just how terrible I feel. It’s nice to feel like I’ve rejoined the land of the living. 😉