Wednesday, April 13, 2011

At the Bottom of the Hill on the Roller Coaster I Call "My Life"

The days are so redundant lately. Thank goodness we have our routines, I feel like I'm on auto-pilot. My friend Leslie that I grew up with in Vegas called me and left me a message telling me that it was ok that I don't answer my phone...and that she loved me. I'm so lucky to have good friends.

Mike has the flu, Harper feels terrible, Lola wears squeaky shoes now and runs around singing songs, the other kids are on spring break and I haven't even seen 3 of them. Kenzie's with friends all the time, Jonah's out with his buddies riding bikes and Casey's with his bestie, looking at everything they can see with the new telescope he got for his birthday.

I haven't talked to my sister Eliza in a month. Ashley keeps in touch with me through twitter because she knows I can handle 140 characters at a time and my brother is handling some of my legal issues in Vegas, so he gets to hear from me when I call to get updates.

When it pours. I'm in love with the last conference we just had. It keeps me going. I can barely walk, this sweet baby boy is just about to come out and I'll tell you what, it gives me an excuse to why I don't get out of bed.  Thank goodness for books. A few of my friends have sent me passages of inspiration, some scripture, some quotes from famous people...and they keep me going. I have a little notebook that has one of the monsters from Where the Wild Things Are on the front and it's full of thoughts and messages that I've written down that will help me to be better when I'm feeling the weight of life right now.

7 kids, I'm so grateful for. Legal stuff that's more annoying than worrisome but just dealing with it makes me anxious. I wish I could expound but you know...I try to keep it here in our home so our words don't get twisted like they sometimes are. Let's just say we're not worried because we are the very people who've been taking care of our kids 100%, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT, of the time. 1 car down, a car with 5 seats is all we've got. Mike works 110 miles roundtrip from our home and it costs us about $350 per month just for gasoline in this economy. Sickening. Do we move?  Do we find me a job that is 9-5 after the baby comes?  Should Mike get a second job?  Mike's mom's heart is failing. She's only got his sister with her down in California and she works so much it's really hard for her to balance work and their mom. She's so fantastic, I hope she gets better soon. 

There, I had to get some of it out. The rest, well that's just stuff we don't need to talk about. Let's just say having teenagers and a big family is hard work. Mike and I are working our tails off to keep our home balanced and safe and free from outside attackers. Being REAL parents takes 24/7 work. I'm lucky to have this man of mine next to me. And I'm so glad this pregnancy is almost over. It's made a mess of my head.  Hopefully this babe will be as cute as I think he is. How can he not be? He's ours...and I think my babies are the cutest kids in the world.  That's what moms do right?

How'd  you like that post?  Let's see if Wednesday brings me something good. Like a Coke slurpee. Cross your fingers...the sun's almost up. Is it too early to drink? (a slurpee, that is. Pshh, I'm not that terrible)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pirates and Big Ol' Bellies

I have to tell you, there's been a little bit of everything going on over in the Easley house. First off, my mother in law and sister in law came all last weekend and stayed til Tuesday. I think I already told you that but it was so exciting so...I had to tell you again!  Anyway...

Then, on Monday, I found out how dilated I was and then Dr. Menendez said "so you'll be having this baby before next week!  But let's just make another appointment for next Monday just in case you don't..."  Well...I didn't.

I won't.

My body is holding onto this baby for dear life. I swear he's about to fall out, gross I know, but still that's how it feels!  And I'm contracting like...constantly. In 7-11 the other day I had to do that stupid thing you see women on TV do when they're in labor. I've never experienced this pain outside of the hospital, but I had to stop where I was and grab onto the nearest sturdy structure, which happened to be a huge display of baseball cards with gum, gummi peach rings and Granny B's pink frosted cookies. I stood there holding onto the rack with one hand and my other hand was on my lower stomach as I leaned forward and said "oohhhhhhhhh my gosh, ohhhh holy night..." over and over. Hey, it's better than the F word I figure.

Anyway, came home, been home for days, no baby.

I did however get some amazing maternity pictures done with the fantastic gals at Pure Photography and Design. (click!) They're really good friends of mine and just as sweet as they are talented.  I love them.

Never have I ever had pictures done of me while pregnant, and never have I loved a photo of myself like I do some of these.

This is our last baby, for sure, and I just wanted to get some shots of me when I was juuuuuust about due, and this is what happened. Typically, I shoot maternity shots for women when they're about 32 weeks along so they don't feel too big and gross, but really, I wanted to capture the true size and look of me with this last sweet baby we're being blessed with.

We laughed our way through the shoot and halfway through we saw this couple who was so bizarre. He had a fedora on and was about 100 lbs and 5'11" and she was about 5' tall and as round as she was tall. Oh and she was older than his 25'ish years old. I figure she was about 40 but either way, they walked around with a point and shoot, following us, and following everyone else at the amphitheater. We saw them leave around 7:30 pm and about 8ish we wrapped up our shoot because it was getting dark.

We stood at the trunk of my car chatting for about 20 minutes til an older gentlemen came up to us and asked us if we'd been broken into. Our cars, you know?  And I checked my car...nope.  Crystal checked her truck...nope. Rachel checked her minivan...YEP!  She'd had her purse stolen and all of her id's and credit cards and some checks. The poor guy was a scout leader leading his boys on a clean up the park activity, and while they were cleaning up the area, they broke into his minivan too and stole his wife's purse that he'd accidentally brought with him!

So sad and scary, so we called the police and of course he thought we were nuts when we told him that we thought a pirate lady with a patch and a young skinny man with a fedora had been seen in the area right when the stuff was stolen. Reports were filled out and we all left and went home. The cop said they'd had reports all over American Fork that night and that the purses and wallets were being stolen and then the cards were being used in as little as 15 minutes. Can you believe some people?

Anyway, I seem to attract the weirdos in the world and I'm so glad I do. I live a pretty darn fun life. I'm not complainin'!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Good, Solid Weekend

My mother in law and sister in law came to visit us last weekend. They arrived on Saturday night and left early before the sun came up on Tuesday. Driving that 10 hour trek from Utah to Southern California is never me...I did it no less than 10 times last year.

The kids had the best time with them; shopping, watching movies, going to movies, eating birthday cake, playing "Just Dance 2" know..."fun aunt Amy" and "Awesome Grandma Easley" kind of stuff. The trip was short and we wish we could have kept them here for the next month, but Amy has to be back to work and Grandma has doctor's appointments.

Speaking of, I'm dilated to a 3-4 and 80-90% effaced. Now, the baby isn't supposed to be here til the end of April but we'll see. My body is just done I think. Having 7 kids, 2 of which will only be 13 months apart is good stuff and all but I don't think 37 year old bodies like doing it so much.

The weather is weird as is normal here in Utah. Last Saturday we had 78° weather and the next morning woke to snow. Then Monday it was warm again and yesterday it blew freezing wind and rain all over us!  I love it but we all seem to get sick when it does this!

Lola's got a new habit of waking up in the middle of the night; just screaming and crying and even if we rock her or put her in bed with us, she's inconsolable!  I remember Harper doing this just before Lola was born. I truly think there's some science whether it's physical or Godly to it. Like, are they doing this to prepare me for a new baby who'll wake every couple hours with a sweet cry?  Either way, Sesame Street is her only solace. I swear, that girl cracks me up.


Lola turned 1 last month, Tiff turned 19 last month, Casey turned 12 two months ago and Jonah turns 14 in three days. We waited to have the candle ceremony til the California family came to visit.

Lola was impressed with the fire. Who wouldn't be? 1 candle For The Win!!!

Tiff, Casey and Jonah decided they still wanted to blow out candles but really didn't want photographic proof. Tough crap kids. Your mom takes pictures. Get over it.

And of course, we can't leave the 4 year old even though his birthday isn't til July. That kid likes to party, what can I say?


General Conference was also last weekend. If you didn't watch, you should have. What an inspirational weekend. I got tons of quotes out of it because if you know me, you know I loves me some quotes.

Here are a couple of my faves:

Success in marriage is not so much marrying the right person, but being the right person - Pres. Thomas S. Monson

Choose the one you love and love the one you choose

The gospel is built to "comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable"

Tomorrow the text from conference is available on the conference site and I can't tell you how excited I am!  There were 2 specific talks from the Saturday morning session that I can't seem to get out of my head. They both had everything to do with mothers and fathers, and wives and husbands. You know when you hear a speaker or a teacher or a quote and you think "that was spoken just for me"? Well, that happens often with General Conference for many, but these particular talks spoke directly to my sore and inquisitive soul. So many things are happening in our life and we're trudging through with our heads high while we secretly want to sit right down on the floor and cry. I know everyone's going through these kinds of things right now but last weekend couldn't have come at a better time.

I'm so grateful for words of comfort, whether they be from church or friends who stop by with sweet and simple gifts or a tweet in my general direction asking me how I'm feeling today. Now if I can just get my sorry butt to put on some pants today we'll be heading toward a really really good day.  Oh and thanks for reading guys. It's nice to know we're all in this together! (now I hope you sing this all day because I said that:)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Don't Give Up, Don't You Quit

I'm one of those girls who loves the rain. When it rains I burn candles that smell like apple or pumpkin, I bake, I open all my windows and blinds. My kids know that when it rains they're in for treats because rain just makes me feel...I dunno...alive?  Yes.

But today the sun is out and it's a fantastic 70°. Lola's napping after a morning of running around in her new little shoes on the grass in the back yard and Harper's begging to go to the park. If only I could walk down there right now, I sure would.

This weekend my mother in law and sister in law are coming to stay with us. With me being in this state where I'm not doing much cleaning or working at all, I hope they can stand the mess of my house. You know, having 6 kids and a very pregnant lady doesn't make for a very good homemaker.

This weekend is also General Conference. For those of you who aren't Mormon, this is when the leaders of our church speak to the entire congregation of people who believe in our faith and also to whomever decides to listen in. It happens twice a year and it goes for 2 hour sessions, 2 on Saturday for everyone and a meeting on Saturday night for the men, and then on Sunday for 2 sessions that last 2 hours each.

Typically, there are stories told, memories shared and it's to say the least...INSPIRING. You can tune in online or on tv if it's offered where you are. Some people even go to church buildings to hear the messages broadcast and in other countries of the world, this is how they tune in.  It's for every one!  You don't have to be LDS to watch or listen. (go here to tune in online!)

You may remember me posting a video a month or so ago by one of our leaders called Come What May and Love It.  Today I opened up my Facebook to see that my sweet brother had sent me a link to another talk that has to be one of my most favorites. It's by a man we respect and love called Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. It's called "...Good Things to Come" and honestly, it's what I needed to hear today. My brother sent it to me last Friday and I just got it today and it's a good thing because in spite of all the sunshine outside, the last few days  have really taken me to some of the lowest places you can be. I needed to get this message late because I needed it NOW.

Lately, my spirit has felt broken. I feel like I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel right now. Financially, we're struggling, emotionally we're struggling and even though I'm surrounded by my kids and Mike, I often feel so alone. Last night I kept myself awake reading and tidying up my house because I didn't want to go to bed because I knew that when I would go to bed, the morning would inevitably be here in the blink of an eye. Waking up seems so sad because it's just another day where I'm searching for creative ways to take care of my family.

This little video is amazing. Watch it. Just do it. It's 5 minutes out of your life and even if you don't have the same beliefs as I do you'll know that we just need to tell ourselves the same thing.

“Don’t give up. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it—30 years of it now, and still counting. You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”

Welcoming Spring is lifting my spirits!  Hearing the words of men who understand life and it's trials, men who've seen more than I have who've gone down roads that I've yet to travel, these things bring me happiness today. I'm searching for ways to keep light and happiness in my home and I hope you all can do the same!  Let's all go plant some flowers...whadd'ya say?