Sunday, September 3, 2017

Thirty. Nerdy. And thriving.

I just turned thirty. That demands some serious self reflection. My twenties were wonderful and awful and everything in between. I went to college. I dropped out of college. I worked at more jobs then I would care to admit. I lived with over 30 roommates- some I am fine with never seeing again, and some I know I will see for the rest of my life. I've had friends come in the best ways, and friends go in the worst ways. I got married. I bought a house. I had two beautiful babies. I've lost family members to old age, cancer, and suicide. Most importantly though, I discovered who I was and who I want to be. It was my time to grow into adulthood.

I wanted to do something epic for my thirtieth birthday. I decided to give myself something I've wanted for over ten years, but fear held me back. I got a tattoo. Would you like to know the only reason of why I didn't get it sooner? Because I was too damn scared of what other people would think of me. Ridiculous right? But you see- I'm the goody good, "Molly Mormon", never put a toe over the line kind of person. I don't take risks. I play it safe. I don't do anything remotely out of the ordinary. I live a simple, pure, clean life. Heck, I've never even seen a R-rated movie!! So this is SO UNLIKE ME!! But I wanted this. I wanted it so badly. I've come to realize that living a life full of fear of what others will think about me is not really living. Also, it doesn't matter what you do- you're bound to piss someone off by doing it! One of the wisest men I know, Dr. Seuss, said it best- "Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter." Amen Dr. Seuss, Amen!




Story behind my tattoo for anyone interested: If you have had any sort of interaction with me whatsoever you know that I am ridiculously obsessed with Harry Potter. I am part of the Harry Potter generation. I read the first book as a pre-teen, and went to the last movie in my mid-twenties. I grew up right alongside Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I can go on and on and ON about my obsession, but I will spare you all the nerdy details. (spoiler alert) In the very last book Dumbeldore is talking to Snape and is surprised to learn that Snape still loves Lilly (Harry's deceased mother). Dumbledore asks Snape, "After all this time?" and Snape replies, "Always".  The word is made even more special by the late Alan Rickman, who played Severus Snape. He said, "When I am in my eighties I'll be sitting in my rocking chair reading Harry Potter. My grandchildren will ask me, "After all this time?" To which I will reply, "Always." Always is how I feel about this series. I will always love it. I will always cherish it. I will always be grateful for it. I want to always be brave like Harry. Always be loyal like Ron. Always be smart like Hermione. Always be kind like Luna. Always be determined like Neville. Always be hopeful like Ginny. Always.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Girl Talk

When I got pregnant I really really really did NOT want a girl. And if you ever tell Isilee that I will deny deny deny! Growing up I had terrible experiences with girls. I don't know why I always seemed to attract the "mean girls" as friends- but I never really had good experiences with my so called friends. They were the type of girls to cancel plans last minute if a boy came knocking, to gossip and spread rumors about you behind your back, to be besties with you when things were going well for you, but then drop you like a ton of bricks when you actually needed them. I even had one friend date the guy that I was crazy in love with just to prove that she could get him and I couldn't, true story. I always got along much better with my guy friends. I am not a big fan of girls. I don't like drama queens. I don't do the whole girly-girl thing. And I definitely can not stand divas. So I just didn't want to raise a girl to become those things, or even for her to have to deal with those things the way that I did.

I was hoping and praying for a boy. Boys are easy. Boys are nice. My boy is awesome, incredible, wonderful, loving, kind, hilarious, etc. I wanted another one.

However. God had a different idea for me. The weeks leading up to when we found out the gender I knew God was working on me. I am the Activity Days Leader in our ward (8-11 year olds) and I love my girls. They are sweet and kind to one another. They are polite and helpful. They are funny and adorable. The more I spent time with them the more I realized that I wouldn't mind raising a girl to be like one of them. Then that Halloween I worked my usual Pumpkin Palooza booth in Kaysville and my heart practically exploded at all the princesses, cowgirls, fairies, mermaids, etc. I realized what I would be missing out on if I didn't have a girl. Boy costumes are so boring. There were many other occasions where I knew that God was working on me, so that by the time that our big gender reveal appointment came, I not only knew it was a girl, but I wanted it to be a girl. And of course, it was. And I was excited.

The second I laid eyes on Isilee I was in love. I literally felt my heart jerk out of place when I saw her for the first time. She is perfect. I am so glad she is mine. The boys went out for a father-son date and I said "It's just us girls" to Isilee- it may seem ridiculous, but in that moment I knew that I was raising my best friend. I got really excited for that possibility. Just us girls. Isilee made the genders even in our home and I like that a lot. I am excited to paint her nails, dress her up, buy barbies and dolls and ponies and trolls- oh the shopping! Thank heavens for little girl toys and make up and dress-ups! I know the teenage years will be hard, but hopefully I can raise a kind, caring, confident girl who doesn't put up with bullies and stands up for those that are being bullied. I am excited for the future I have with my daughter and I am thankful that Heavenly Father knows what I need and doesn't listen to what I think I want.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Why Be Anti Anything?

When something is bothering me and I can't get it off my mind I know I need to write it out. It's the only way I know of to get things out of my head. This particular "bug" has to do with anti-mormons.

More then a few years ago I had someone very near and dear to me leave the church that I am a member of. He walked away from the LDS church and I held no judgements towards him for doing so. I believe that we all need to choose the path, religious or not, that is best for us. I was still friends with him and all was well. Until it wasn't. He began to let bitterness enter his heart. He started posting anti-mormon articles. He joined the protesters at General Conference. He started saying horrible, destable things about everyone and anything to do with the church. It got so bad I knew it was time to cut ties with him. Because here's the thing- you don't have to believe it anymore, but I still do. And if he had an ounce of respect for any of his friends or family that still were members, he would have never spread such hatred. This was a man who served a mission. Someone who taught the most inspirational lessons. Gave the most spiritual talks. Helped others through times of doubt. And now? Now he has turned bitter and resentful. 

If you want to leave the church, that's your business, do what is best for you. But what I don't understand is why people can't just walk away and be done with it? Why attack something you once cherished? Especially when loved ones still cherish it? Why be anti anything? I know there are people out there who have been hurt by Mormon members. Like any other church on the planet, we are made up of imperfect people. People who have agency to choose evil and hurt others. But why let it destroy who you are? Why put hate into your life like that? Again- why be anti anything? What good does that do anyone, really? There is so much negativity, hatred, bigotry, racism, etc.  in the world today, why would you want to fuel those fires?? 

Let me just be blunt for a minute. A lot of LDS people are known for being oposed to gay rights/marriage. It's a hot topic with a lot of people. I have friends who are gay. Do I love them less? No. Do I think they are bad people? Nope. Do I think they are going to hell? Of course not! Does every Mormon have the same feelings as I do and treat their gay brothers and sisters with love and respect? Unfortunately, no. Imperfect people remember. It is definitely a two way street. It goes both ways. Bullying in church is actually kind of a sore spot for me. It infuriates me that so many members of the church I participate in feel justified in treating their fellow men so badly. I'm definitely not condoning that kind of behavior. But what I don't understand, is how people can turn around and become bullies themselves? It is quite baffling to me. 

Instead of being anti-mormon, anti-gay, anti-whatever... can't we be pro-something? pro-love? pro-acceptance? Pro-kindness to everyone. Seriously. Stop being anti anything. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Endings and New Beginnings

There is a tornado of emotions swirling within me right now. I am approaching my last two weeks of being pregnant and struggling with all of the feelings that accompany that. There is a very good chance that this is the last time in my life that I will ever be pregnant again, so there's that. Although I do not like being pregnant, I understand and am eternally grateful for how lucky I am to have the ability to be pregnant so easily without any complications or years and years of waiting for it to happen. I can definitely appreciate the miracle that growing and carrying a baby inside of you is. This baby girl of mine is a wiggle worm and I know in my heart that I am going to miss that feeling. To be able to feel something so precious is something too sacred to put into words. So yes, I am going to miss this. But there is also a feeling of excitement and anticipation to meet her. An anxiousness to finally have her in my arms and a real, tangible part of our family.

There is also this overwhelming feeling of guilt I feel for my first born. Being a second child myself, I am a little confused by this feeling, but it is there all the same. Will Leland be okay? I find myself asking this question at least a million times a day. Its been him and I for so long now, almost four years. We are best buddies. How will a second child change the dynamic between us? How much jealousy will he feel towards his baby sister when mom is having to give her so much of her time and energy? Will he digress? Will my relationship with my son change for the worse? Everyone tells me that it somehow just works. That your love as a mother is not divided, but multiplied. I pray they are right. I pray that Leland is strong enough to handle all of this change that is headed his way. It seems like a lot to ask of a three year old. I find myself lately craving to be near Leland, to soak up these last few precious moments I have alone with him. For some reason I am finding it very difficult to say goodbye to this time of our lives, but that only makes me feel guilty towards my second child. This mom guilt thing is a terrible feeling, like neither of my children can both win.

And there is that dreaded feeling of fear. A fear that is so overpowering it threatens to wash me away completely. The beast is coming. I know it is. I may have better tools to fight it this time, but it is coming nonetheless.  It is unavoidable, that beastly monster of depression that comes after birth. Postpartum depression is a foul, loathsome, demon that haunts me even before it has arrived. It nearly tore my marriage apart last time. What horrors will it have in store for me this time? There is nothing but dread in the pit of my stomach when I think about this. Can my family afford to have this creature of darkness enter our home? Are we strong enough?

Some how we will all make it through the next few months in one piece. There will be a day in the future when I come back to read this blog and laugh at myself for being such a worry wart and for not having more faith. At least, I have hope for that day anyway. I am nervous to have a newborn again. I am anxious thinking about the long nights with no sleep. I worry about my son. I am scared for postpartum depression. I am excited to meet this baby girl. I am slightly concerned about the medical bills headed our way. I am a million different emotions in one very tired and very pregnant body. So I sit at my computer in the middle of the night, too stressed out to sleep, and I type it all out. And somehow, I feel better.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Ramblings of a Prego Lady

The decision to have another child was not an easy one for me. Okay, let me re-phrase that, the decision to get pregnant again was not an easy one for me. In my naive teenage years I always thought I would have four or five kids. And then the first one came and though he is mostly an angel, the entire experience was absolutely awful. He isn't awful. I was awful! When I was pregnant with Leland I lost over 60 pounds. I threw up every single day I was pregnant and every hour I was in labor. They told me that morning sickness would only last my first trimester- HA! First trimester my ass! Add the sickness to the raw emotions and mood swings and quite frankly, I was a beastly mess. After he came along the nausea and throwing up thankfully went away, but the mood swings did not. For the next year or two I was plagued with some of the darkest depression I have ever experienced. Those days marks the worst fights that Justin and I have ever had. I ruined friendships. Tested my family. I basically felt like I was drowning and I was taking everyone around me down with me.

However, I never wanted my son to be an only child. How boring would that be for him? Deciding to go through my living hell again, after finally feeling like I could breathe again, was hard. People kept asking me when I was going to give Leland a sibling, and time was ticking ever-onward, but I knew what was right for me. I didn't want my children to be farther apart in ages, I needed them to be. I needed time to let my body and mind heal. I needed to finally enjoy motherhood for a while before I entered the living hell again. And I knew that throwing up every day with a 3 year old would be much, much easier then with an 18 month old. I am so glad that I waited. Leland is much more independent these days and can be left alone for short periods of time. He isn't as needy and although I feel bad for letting his shows babysit him, it is wonderful that he can sit quietly for a while while mommy is on the bathroom floor.

This time around has definitely not been easy. But I feel like being more open about my struggles has helped a lot. I have more support. My mom and mother in law have been wonderful for taking Leland for a while and giving him a break from the barfing. I have friends and neighbors who offer to watch him on my really bad days. 12 weeks in and I am already down 20 pounds. I feel like I have entered that scary world of barely living on survival mode. I haven't been a good wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, grand-daughter, etc. I hate that feeling of only doing what's absolutely necessary and not being able to do a whit more then that. I am frustrated. I am on two different prescriptions from my doctor, wearing sea-bands every day, and doing another number of home remedies for nausea, and still, nothing works. Being this sick for this long is both physically and emotionally draining.

I am also grateful. I feel so grateful for being able to feel Heavenly Father's awareness of me and my suffering. An example of this happened this week. On Monday I was not able to get a single piece of food down my throat without gagging. I was worried about what going so long without food or drink would do to my baby because it wasn't getting the nutrition it needed. That night I jumped on Facebook and asked my friends for advice. Not only did they offer advice, but they gave me consoling words and some of them even offered to pray for me. I was still discouraged, and hungry, but their kindness touched me deeply. The next morning I woke up and I knew instantly something had changed. I didn't feel sick. I didn't have the immediate urge to run to the toilet. I haven't had a morning like that since I got pregnant. That day I was not only able to get a meal down, but to keep it down. And for the first time, in a long time, I felt thirsty. It was a miracle. Maybe a small and simple miracle, but a miracle nonetheless. That day I could literally feel the prayers of others benefiting me and lifting me up. I have heard people say that they can feel other people's prayers for them, but I have never experienced it first hand. After such a long, hard few weeks, I really needed that win. All I really wanted was just one day, one good day to not feel sick, and I got it after one of my worst days. I think Heavenly Father knew I needed a break and He gave it to me. I feel nothing but gratitude.

I have had many small instances that buoy me up and give me the strength to carry on one more day through this misery. Watching Leland sleep. A good belly-laugh with my friend. A date with my husband. Being inspired by General Conference. They are all such small things but each one gives me the strength to go on.  One of the biggest miracles was when I had my first ultra sound. I was able to witness my small jelly bean jumping and dancing and wiggling and I don't think anything is more miraculous then that. I have life inside of me and that is amazing. I know this suffering will be a blink in time and in April I will be holding one of God's most miraculous little miracles in my arms and I'll think, "Well, that wasn't really so bad was it?" And who knows, maybe in a few years I will be stupid enough to sign up for this all over again. All I can say is, thank heavens these precious angels are worth it!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Twenty-nine

This month I have been celebrating me. Is that narcissistic? I don't think it really counts if its your birthday month. I have had a few people ask me how I feel about entering my last year of my twenties. It has made me reflect on my twenties, and honestly, I am not sad to see them go. While thirty does seem a tad too far on the adult side for my taste, I am perfectly fine with being twenty-nine. I used to hate birthdays, and I still do hate parts of birthdays, but for the most part, I enjoy them. I think birthdays are far better when you feel like you are settled in life, do you know what I mean? Like, I suppose I would feel completely different if I was 29 years old and living in my parent's basement playing video games all day, having accomplished nothing in my life. But I haven't wasted my twenties. I went to a few years of college. I made some amazing, lifelong friends. I got married. I had a kid. We bought a house. I work. Life is grand, really. And I am excited to see what the next chapter of my life looks like.

This year I think I celebrated my birthday for two weeks long. In fact, I am not even done celebrating as we haven't gotten the chance to have a Palmer family dinner yet. My wonderful, amazing mother took me and Leland for a three day excursion to Mesquite. My grandparents live just ten minutes away so they were kind enough to watch the kiddo so my mom and I could go to two productions at the Tuacahn, the most amazing outdoor theater in the world. This year we saw Peter Pan and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. They were both amazing, completely different, but absolutely spectacular. We also got to have a much needed pool day where my brave son went down the water slide all by himself and even swam in the pool without me holding him up- he just had on his wings. I love seeing him get braver and braver in the water, he is such a little fish! Anyway, it was a fast, but fun little get-away and much needed mommy and me time (and I am not talking about me and Leland haha.) A girl always needs her mom am I right?

For my birthday weekend Justin and I invited two families from our neighborhood to go to my parent's cabin in Bear Lake. We had never done anything with other families before, I felt like it was a big stepping stone into adulthood for us. We had so much fun playing games, watching movies, going to the beach, and riding four-wheelers. It was especially fun because each family has a son around Leland's age and the boys got along fantastically. My mom always told me that my friends would be my kid's friends parents- she was right- like always. I am glad that we found them and that we all get along so well. Hopefully we can do more with them in the future.

Remember that part that I hate on my birthdays? Well, that part is Facebook. I hate Facebook on my birthday. Hopefully I am not alone in feeling this way. I feel kind of selfish for even saying anything, but honestly, its the worst! The worst I tell you! For one day of the year I have friends and family coming out of the wood works to wish me a happy birthday. And all I can think about is where in the hell are all of you the other 364 days of the year??? Does anyone else feel like this? I definitely have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love that I can keep up with my far away family who lives in Florida, Oregon, Michigan, etc. But I also hate the flat relationships that social media can create. Actions speak louder then words after all, so all of the empty words that fill my news feed once a year leave me feeling empty inside. If you want me to know that you love me, show me. Call me. Go to lunch with me. Anything but write on my news feed once a year. I seriously hate that. I hate social media fake friendships. However, they definitely make me grateful for my REAL friends. The ones who show up and speak up. I am very lucky to have those friends in my life! Okay, enough of that whining. For the most part Facebook can be a good thing.... just not on September 2 haha.

To all of you that made my birthday wonderul this year, thank you. I love you all. I even love the ones who I only hear from once a year, but let's change that this year, shall we? :) As for pictures, I am far too lazy for that... go look at Facebook. ;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

THREE!

This blog post is a little late, but.... THREE! My baby boy is THREE!! How did this happen? Time really does go so quickly when you have kids. You blink and all of a sudden they are little people walking and talking with their own personalities. And boy, does my kiddo have quite the personality! Be prepared for a super long post because when it comes to Leland, I can talk and talk all day long!

Leland Justin Palmer at age three:
-Like most boys his age, he loves anything with wheels, and makes noises to match every vehicle in his extensive collection of toys. He once told me to make the sound of his motorcycle, then looked at me exasperated, explaining that that was the noise of a monster truck, and not a motorcycle. Geez, Mom!

-Leland loves books. We read books twice a day, before his nap time and before bedtime. I always have to cut him off and he always asks for more. I am curious to see how many books he would let me read to him before getting bored though.. I may need to test this theory. My hypothesis is that he would eventually just fall asleep instead of getting bored.

-My son is O.C.D. Really. I have come across his toys on several occasions lined up perfectly, and sometimes even according to their size. When he lines up his monster trucks the wheels are exactly matching. I moved one back just a hair to see if he would notice once, and he did. He also has to have "B" (his blanket) a certain way on his pillow. B has to be covering his pillow and the animals have to be facing a certain direction- if I do it wrong he will fix it.

-Leland's favorite foods are the normal things, but his obsessions are cherry tomatoes out of the garden, Grandma Palmer's mini banana muffins, raspberries, and pickles.

-He has a very extensive vocabulary. Add that to his height, and no one can guess his age correctly. In fact, I have noticed other mothers at the park judging me for having my "four year old" in diapers still... and this was back when he was two. Someone in our ward came up to us a few weeks ago and asked if he was starting kindergarten this year.

-Leland is smart. Not only does he use big words, but he knows his colors, shapes (including shapes like pentagon and octagon), numbers, counting, alphabet, and has dozens upon dozens of songs memorized and can sing them perfectly. Maybe I am biased on that one though. I don't know what is normal for three year olds seeing as he is my first one haha.

- He is one of the most polite kids I know. He says, please, thank you, and excuse me frequently. I have been complimented on this on several occasions and am thrilled that I am raising such a kind and polite boy. He will even say excuse me when he farts or burps.. which is often!

-He is not potty-trained. I tried going diaper-less and it was the worst three days of both of our lives. He was emotional, ornery, and irritable and I knew that was his signal to me that he was not ready. I will not force him in this.

-Leland likes to be methodical. He thinks things through before acting. He studies out situations.

-He is thoughtful and emotional. Leland gets really sad when other people cry and will always try and comfort them. He has seen me cry on a handful of occasions and always gives me a big hug and tells me its going to be okay. He is kind and has a tender heart. He has very big emotions for such a little body and doesn't always know how to process them. He makes friends easily and loves his friends fiercely.

-His favorite places include both grandparent's homes, Jessica and Joeys apartment, Bear Lake and the cabin (obviously), parks, and the Bounce and Slide in Logan.

-His favorite shows right now are Bob the Builder, Daniel Tiger, Peppa Pig, Thomas, Diego, Winnie the Pooh, Paw Patrol, Little Einsteins, and of course, Blaze and the Monster Machines. (We don't have cable in our house so he has a basket full of DVD's that he can watch, and also, thank you Netflix!)

-And lastly, whenever you ask him what he wants to eat, his answer is almost always chocolate cake!








Thirty. Nerdy. And thriving.

I just turned thirty. That demands some serious self reflection. My twenties were wonderful and awful and everything in between. I went to c...