Saturday, June 16, 2012

Settle Down. . . .

I have had a thought plaguing me for over seven months. It's a thought that makes me cry and go into an almost depression like state. If I were a doctor, I'd diagnose myself with a pre-midlife crisis syndrome. But since my doctorate is only from WebMD, I'll explain.

I have three beautiful daughters and for the past three years I have been counting down the days until my youngest was in school full time. Well, those days now equal less than three months and the knowledge that I won't have to worry about a sitter during the day any more is liberating and brings the sensation I'm sure Kate Winslet felt as she stood on the tip of the Titanic, arms spread wide, wind on her face and a handsome man breathing his warm breath down her neck, unadulterated attractive freedom! So when I remarried earlier this year, my mind reset into a past phase. My mind said, "Well Heidi, you're married now, time to have kids." Panic attacks set in quickly when I realized my body was "nesting" and my emotions were preparing for me to have another baby. This was something that my hubby and I discussed quite deeply before we were to wed because he is 13 years older than me and is to be a grandpa this year. We had decided that the option was on the table, but that it was not to be acted upon in the first year as to limit the amount of drastic adjustments we would in no doubt face while blending our families together. Unfortunately for me, my body and mind didn't read the memo.

When my youngest was born, my then-now ex-husband and I had decided we were done having kids. This was something that killed me inside. Our marriage was only a business transaction at that point and I felt it was one more thing that had died as a result. However, circumstances led me to needing a cesarean for delivery and when it came time to conveniently make an end to my fertile womb, something frightened me to a degree of silence and I only quietly wept as I was stitched up. I chose to not have the procedure. For years I thought it meant that I was not finished having kids and weighed that knowledge heavily against the men I dated as a deciding factor of if I would marry them. It was a bit of a challenge weighing it against my hubby because it seemed that the likelihood of us having kids was very slim. But I realized that regardless if we were to have kids, I wanted to be married to him, and so, here we are today.

This is what I am now stuck between:

~On one side of me lies the innate, "programed" way of life as a traditional wife and mother and the very strong desire to have a little one running around that looks like my hubby. A very good way of living.

~On the other lies my job and the ability of advancement, all my kids being independent, a full night's sleep, weekends where it's just my hubby and me, and the knowledge that I could possibly only share my life with him for another 30 or so years. Another very good way of living.

I am torn, not between the two, but at the realization I may be ready to leave the baby making phase behind, let my kids grow up and identify myself as someone more than a mom with young kids.

I'm only 33 and my mom was 36 when she had her youngest and my older sister is pregnant with her fifth the same time my baby sis is having her first. So it's not like the idea of having more kids at my age is far fetched. AND Bruce Willis just had his forth and he's 57ish so thinking that Handsome is too old to have kids at 46 is not really true, also considering his brother of 40ish and just had his first.
So this whole rant now leads me to this blog's question, When did you know it was alright to stop having kids?

I spoke about this to my sister(in-law) just the other night because like I said, it's been plaguing me. She at 30 decided four years prior she was done having kids and adamantly expressed how she did so with the reason being, "she wanted to enjoy her husband".  I feel the same way. I relish in the nights where it is just us two in a quiet home, free to run here or there or even naked around the house without the chance of a child interrupting our bliss or cutting the evening short by way of the babysitter's curfew. It is very probable that in ten years, Handsome and I could take off at will for any destination, just us two without the shadows of whining kids darkening our fun. (Not to say that family vacations aren't a bucket of fun!) Yet, I look at him and almost cry because I don't have a kid that looks like him.
Would it be all that terrible if I didn't have any more kids? Would it be all that hindering on my adult life to have another? I DO NOT KNOW!! What I do know is that the more time that goes by it leaves me feeling more and more reassured that my family is good enough the way it is and that I may be ready to switch from the diaper phase to the high school phase and not realize it, and this scares me. What are your thoughts on this? Did you just know you were done having kids or was it a struggle for you too? I feel very frightened at times when I contemplate this life altering decision (which doesn't need to be made today, it's just an imminent decision).

So I ask you, When did you know you were done having kids?
-or- When did you know you needed to have one more?

Thank You Very Much. . . .

I simply have to say how blown away I am with the responses given towards my last post Lost. . . . I was actually overwhelmed by all of the advice and responses. Some of you wrote that you were sorry or thought I might be offended at your opinions, but to that I say, Heavens NO! Life is such a learning process and I only took your opinions to heart for the better. Better for myself and better for the way I should write in explaining my thoughts. Writing for me is a way of releasing what can sometimes torment me. I was bothered by last Sunday so much that I couldn't sleep and needed to release my anger through words. I was only writing it for me and did not expect such passion to be released from all of you. And just like I have a right to my thoughts, you have a right to yours and I respect that. So thank you.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lost. . . .

I'd like to paint you a picture, if you will:

It's Sunday, and church is the norm. You get yourself respectfully dressed and walk the block to church on a beautifully cool summer day. You step into the chapel expecting to become edified and are taken back by the most beautiful improvisational piano prelude music. You have never experienced such music in church before. The melismas and melodic depth transforms the most simple hymn into a work of moving art. Tears were brought to your eyes until your ears become clouded. The grey, dark cloud of adult conversation billow over the pews and begin to drown you in gossip, cackles and unnecessary noise until the view of the colorful melody being performed from the stand disappear from sight. This was my Sunday.

A gentleman with exquisite talent was filling in for our regular organist and I do wish he would more often. It was simply beautiful! An experience rarely seen and from my point of view deeply appreciated. Unfortunately, it was literally drowned out by the noise a majority of the congregation was making. I wanted to go to the pulpit and ask them to be reverent and listen to the music being played, but the meeting started too soon for me to no doubt stand on my soap box and offend many. So instead, I will stand on my soap box here. I am ashamed of my ward.

I am ashamed of my ward to the point where I do not enjoy attending church. Ironically, as I was sitting there with tears in my eyes and my thoughts reeling with frustration for the noise that continued through the meeting and distracting many from the messages of the best talks I had heard in a while, one gentleman spoke about the importance of the church. (Again, I am LDS.) I loved what he said as a point to his talk. He said that he does not come to church to have friends, but that he comes to church to be edified, taught and strengthen his own testimony. His words prompted a thought in my own mind. Is church really that important anymore?

I look at the many people in my ward, and other wards, who only come to get their bills paid, or attend because their wives make them, or don't care if their kids run wild through the stand, or break out lunch as if it's okay to even eat in the chapel, or carry on a conversation so loud it's completely clear to everyone in attendance, etc. etc. and I think to myself, "Why are you even here?!" I understand that church is for everyone, and one of my favorite quotes is, "If your sacrament meeting doesn't smell like cigarette smoke, you're not doing your job." Which means, it's open to all walks of life and if it's not filled with that, you aren't doing your job as a member missionary. So I am not at all saying that you must be perfect to go to church. I'm also clearly admitting that I've had my days where I check my facebook during a meeting and have dozed off a time or few. What I'm getting at is the noise. My point is the noise. Better yet, my point is the lack of reverence or respect for something so sacred and wonderful as what goes on during a traditional meeting. So if we are loosing that genuine respect and adopting the idea that it's okay to talk, eat, and let your kids be as noisy as they want to be, is church really that important to us?

I think of a certain individual who used to be such a beacon of light at church for me. He was one that I admired so it was such a shock to me that he suddenly stopped going to church stating that he could feel the spirit better at home than at church. I never really understood his statement until today. I really feel that the spirit in my home is stronger than the spirit that was in that meeting. So what do I do about this? I don't want to not go to church and I have faith in my Lord's gospel, I just have found myself in a state where I have no desire to attend church. I still love visiting teaching, FHE, prayer, scriptures, etc. etc. I attend my activities and encourage my girls to go to theirs. My husband and I are planning to be sealed in the temple, I just don't want to go to church because I seem to always come away feeling frustrated. Do any of you feel this way?

I have no idea what to do. I am lost. I know the primary answer would be to understand that we are all human and that no one is perfect, but I'm not seeking perfection. Am I? Is the expectation of a reverent sacrament meeting too high? I'm sure I need to take a slice of humble pie and take a positive twist to all of this by diving in and serving so much that by example things may change, but I have no desire to do such things. I just want my desire to attend church to return.

Let me explain my thinking to you. For me, the gospel of Jesus Christ is my religion. I am LDS, but only believe the church to be a tool to guide me in the living of my Lord's gospel. The church is not what is true for me, the Gospel is. I do believe that being LDS is the true path for me to take, but I take it to be a part of the Gospel. Do you see the difference between the two? The Gospel is true. The church supports the Gospel. In my mind they are separate things that need each other to work. Because the Gospel is run by God and his Son Jesus Christ, it is constant and true and what I have for my foundation of faith. Because the church is run by humans and will always have an element of imperfection, my faith is not supported by it only guided by it with my own judgement. I hope you have a clear understanding of how I believe in my religion. (If not, ask away and I will do my best to explain.)

So has my faith in God dwindled? Not at all. Has my desire to bring forth the knowledge the LDS church has to others? Not at all. Do I still wish for others to come closer to God through the church? Yes I do. I just don't feel like attending anymore. It's like I have too much respect for what should go on during church to witness what really does. I really wish I had an answer to this question today. I have about 40 people reading my blog. Would you please give me some advice on this? I love my Lord, I love the LDS church, I just don't like how it's being treated. I hope I have not offended anyone, I am just being honest and sincerely ask for your help on this.

So I ask you, Is church really that important to you anymore?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Big Girl You Are Beautiful. . . .

So I find myself, like many other women today, on Pinterest. And for those who don't know about it, it's pronounced puh-interest or pin-terest. It's and pin board about things you are interested in. Just another fanatic craze much like facebook. In fact you can even link the two together. The idea is to create a virtual pin board of things you want to do, make, create, remember, admire, talk about, etc. It has been proven very useful for me. It's almost like it's own mini search engine for recipes, crafts, sayings, etc. and gives you their links to blogs, web pages and etsy shops. This is not a private site and anything you post can be seen by the public, including your profile. Now as another day goes by and I keep repinning idea after idea to my boards, I realize something, 90% (and this is my mathmatically limited brain's guesstimation) of the pins I see are either of desserts or rock hard female bodies. It's like the idiots guide to being an oxymoron. So then, I ran across this saying from Adele: "I love food and hate exercise. I don't have time to work out. . . . I don't want to be on the cover of Playboy or Vogue. I want to be on the cover of Rolling Stone or Q. I'm not a trend-setter. . . . I'm a singer. . . . I'd rather weigh a ton and make an amazing album than look like Nicole Richi and do a shit album. My aim in life is to never be skinny." *If you didn't notice, I did correct the grammar. I so loved this quote that I instantly repinned it and then immediately began this blog. So this is the question I ask you, Can you make your dessert and eat it too?

I am an emotional eater. There are many days when I go out on a date with the hubby that I realize I don't know what to do that doesn't involve eating. There's a movie (popcorn and a drink), bowling (cheese fries and a soda), mall (food court lemonade), etc. etc. When I think of going out, I think of dinner somewhere. Food literally runs my life. Whether it's the indulgence of such or the avoidance of it, it fills my day. Now a year ago I weighed in at about 210 lbs. I was training for a half marathon until I injured my foot and had to stop running all together. I still worked out pretty heavily at the gym and was on my way to changing myself for the better. But, like everyone's life, it got stressful. I packed on 20 lbs by Christmas and if you read my last blog, I have packed on another 20 lbs since Feb. So now I am back to my heaviest weight of 250 lbs. None of my clothes fit (because I gave away all of my larger sizes when I dropped the weight) and my self esteem is plummeting much like my belly as it hits the bed when I lay on my side. I remember around October saying to myself, "I'm sick of depriving myself of anything good. If I want a chocolate donut, I'm going to have a chocolate donut." And I did. Almost every day along side my Diet Coke. I'm not shocked that I gained all my weight back, I'm just sad I did.

So here I am, feeling fat, staring at recipes for cheesecake and asses that you could bounce a quarter off of and I can only blame myself for the size of my ass and let my tummy growl at the sight of strawberries and whipped cream and then cry at my wedding pictures where I clearly look pregnant even though I am not. This is not how I am suppose to be. I am suppose to be like Adele, gorgeous, sexy, a red head with the voice, curves and big boobs, and even that seductive British accent where I can get away with saying fink instead of think. But I'm not. I guess my answer is, this: Yes, you can make your dessert and eat it too, but you can't eat your dessert and have a killer ass.

I am like Adele in one manner, I don't want to be skinny. I want to be less jiggly, but not skinny. If I didn't have my boobs I'd probably cry, even if there are countless reasons why I'd be happy to not have them. I had come to the conclusion countless years ago that I would never be skinny. My bone structure and genetic hand-me-down attributes will forever prohibit me from being such. And I'm okay with that. I'm happy to be a curvy girl and be a size 16. My really happy size would be a 12, I don't imagine myself any smaller than that because I really don't want to be. I love that my ass looks like an upside down heart and that my boobs hang that way as well and rest in the crook of my neck. I love the s-curve my figure makes and know I would never be happy with my hips being as small as my waist. I do think that being a size 16 requires you to be healthy too, so don't think I'm advocating sitting on the couch. I am simply saying, no, you cannot make your dessert and eat it too if you want to be like the asses on pinterest. But if you want to be happy and eating your dessert makes you happy, and you're okay with what it does to you, then by all means eat it!

I believe we are all creatures of evolution. We always grow, change, revert back and even idle in stages of life. So what, I gained 40 lbs in a year. Did I feel good when I ate those donuts? Yes. Do I need to eat those donuts now? No. Am I gorgeous no matter what I eat? Yes. Am I capable of changing? Yes. Am I ever going to repin an ass from pinterest? No. Should I pin my own? Maybe.

I hope you walk away from this blog thinking. I hope you start thinking about the things in your life you love, you want, you have and begin "pinning" the best parts of you. I feel it to be a challenge to myself to each day, "pin" a new favorite part about me that will inspire others to "repin" it and inspire themselves. I will forever love the combination of Diet Coke and Dunford chocolate donuts in my mouth. I forever love the feeling of cool shower after a hard workout. I will forever love who I am regardless of what size I am.

If you would, please "pin" in my comment box, your favorite part about yourself, physical or otherwise and let's get the conversation going.

So I ask you, Have you inspired someone today?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Any Other World. . . .

First off, I apologize if any of this blog comes off as insensitive. That is not my intention.

Something happened this year that rocked the foundation of my three daughters. Their step-mom committed suicide. Their father thought it would be fitting to tell my then ten and twelve year olds the truth about her death. Their father is not one to keep in touch regularly so it left me responsible for the after math that occurred once she was laid to rest. This is what happened.

My oldest dropped off the face of the planet. She became distant, stopped smiling, wore dark colored clothing, only answered questions with either eye rolls or mumblings and most noticeably, completely stopped caring about school. My younger daughter cried for a bit, but didn't show any other forms of distress until a school counselor called me and had told me she was breaking down to her friends at school. This infuriated me to the highest degree I had ever been upset. It was so noticeable that their knowledge of their step-mom's suicide was deeply affecting them because it seemed the only daughter that was happy was my five year old who was only told she got sick and died. Now, I wasn't angry at my daughters for their reactions, but angry at my ex and his wife for causing them.

I skip back to a past portion of my life. My sister was rushed into an emergency delivery of her first baby boy only four months after my youngest was born. We knew something was wrong but never expected the outcome that came. His heart just stopped beating once they cut the umbilical chord and they were unable to get it started again. She has since delivered another healthy baby boy and is pregnant with another girl due this summer. However for her and every member of our family, we now carry the worry and concern that such things could happen again.

One more past moment of my life, I got a divorce. I never even thought about it, and if I did I quickly dismissed it until one day it came pounding on my door. My divorce still affects me today, even though it has been over four years and I am happily remarried. The understanding that it could happen again is real. The idea of an end is commonly logical and lurks in the back of my mind every day.

In the instance for my daughters, suicide is now real. Suicide is now a possibility, just like the death of an infant is for my sister and abandonment is for me. It is all real and affects everything in the future for us. Have you ever had something you never thought of become a possibility for you?

I know I could easily flip this question into a positive like when my 220 lbs body completed a 10k, something that I never imagined happening, but I'm not going to. I want to leave it on the hard side of the flip for a minute. I want to leave it there because I ask you another question, Is any of this even fair? I get asked that question a lot. Being a religious person, people ask me my opinion on life being fair or not. Was it fair of my ex to tell my girls about the suicide? Was it fair that she did it in the first place causing pain for everyone as well? Was it fair for my sister to lose her son? Was it fair for me to stand alone after ten years? The answer is almost joyously, No, it is most certainly not fair at all!

So what do we do now? Foundations have been shook, anger ensues, and it has been established that life is not fair. What do we do now? I'll tell you what I've learned to do. For me, just because it's possible, does not mean it's going to happen. When I was dating after my divorce, I found myself ending most of the relationships I had out of rooted fear they would end without my control. So when I was dating my now husband, those same fears surrounded me to the point of irrational. Thankfully my handsome man understood my fears and helped me through them so that I could turn that "possibility" into experience and knowledge, not a predestined occurrence.

For my two struggling daughters (and my third who will one day face the truth about her once step-mom) I can only turn that "possibility" into a tool for them, teach them it is not what will always happen, and show them there is no prevention for life. That we must carry with us all that we know and learn from what happens along the way - fair or not. I believe it helps, if not is the key, to support one another and share the love (which is my favorite saying). If I didn't have my family supporting me through my divorce, I would have turned out worse off than I am now. And if I didn't have my wonderful husband embrace me with love for my fears instead of running from them, I would still be struggling in this life single.

I once created a motto that I use to explain my blog, "Perception is the key to an idiosyncratic delivery." Meaning, It's how you look it that determines the outcomes that may surprise you.

So I ask you this, Do you have a possibility today?