The Trouble With Pain

One of the great things about physical pain is that when it gets bad enough... you can just pass out.

It isn't the same for emotional pain though.

So you start looking for the equivalent of emotionally passing out.

Maybe that means stuffing your face with Oreos dipped in cheesecake batter. (It's amazing) Basically eating until your body feels as miserable as your heart.

Maybe it means running away, applying for that job in Seattle or Nashville.

Maybe it means calling an old ex and "watching a movie together."

Maybe it means curling up on the couch and sobbing while your roommate strokes your forehead and says "Get yourself some ribs and some ice cream, because you have been dumped."

Maybe it means extreme dieting because you want to show him what he could've had.

Another great thing about physical pain is drugs. It is totally legal to take meds that take the pain away , or at least bring it to a manageable level until you are healed.

But it isn't the same with emotional pain. You don't get to numb it your better. In fact, for me anyway, you can't get better until you've felt the full breadth of the pain.

Unlike physical pain though, remember, you don't get to pass out when it reaches a point you can't handle anymore.

That's when you finally end up on your knees begging your Father in Heaven for emotional pain meds. "Can you just numb me for awhile? Can you please feel this for me?"

And he says be patient.

And THEN the 9:30 Cowboy calls you and says he's lonely and he misses you and you think "Well thanks Heavenly Father, I suppose having him back is one way to ease the pain. I'll take it."

But maybe that isn't what Heavenly Father meant at all when he told you to be patient. And maybe your wasting time with the stupid cowboy and just delaying the real thing.

And when you realize it you break up again, only this time you break up with him. That should be easier right? I mean you have confirmation and you know you deserve better. Nope still just as hard.

So get yourself some Oreos and some cheesecake batter, but eat just a couple of them. Then take your little broken heart in for a check up with your Father in Heaven and let him heal it. And really listen to his advice. Follow his prescription to the letter.

You don't want that horrible man... I mean infection to come back....


On Monday I cried at the car dealership. My car wouldn't pass inspection unless they cut a little piece of my window tint out around my break light. Guys I cried, not just a little bit, I really cried. That is the worst thing in my life right now. I mean my life is really hard… Call the pioneers I want to tell them how hard my life is! To be fair though, I might not have cried if I hadn't also been worried that the Lumberjack was dead. Turns out he is alive, he called me on his way back from the wild to reassure me he was in fact alive.
On this Good Friday I like to remember the reason that my window tint is the hardest thing in my life. Because we all know there have been much worse days. I have had more than one time in my life when my conversation with the Lord went something like this “umm… Heavenly Father, Maybe you forgot about me, Remember when you gave me this burden to hold for a minute? Well umm it’s getting kind of heavy and maybe you could take over?” Don’t we wish it went like that? To be honest it went more like “AHHHHHHHHH!”
“When Life is hard, Remember- We are not the first to ask, ‘is there no other way?” Oh Elder Holland you get me. But more importantly The Lord gets me. He gets me, He loves me, He’s got this.
Sometimes that is the only thing that gets me through. I just keep reminding myself “He’s got this, He’s got this, let go and let God.”
Sometimes it helps to know others have felt similarly. It helps to have someone say, “it’s totally fine to not be fine. It’s super ok to not be ok.” I take a lot of strength from the Sermon from Elder Wirthlin titled Sunday Will Come. I quote from it here:
“I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross. I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, that Friday was the darkest. But the doom of that day did not endure. The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.
And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.
Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.”
I count myself as one who has had their tears dried, who wants to shout wondrous praise for the Son of God. It’s true, he died so I can live forever. He suffered so I can LIVE, so my heart can be free.
One of my favorite parts about this talk though isn’t just his testimony of our Savior and the power of the Atonement, but his testimony that heart wrenching times come to all of us. Even the Lord’s apostles have broken hearts, even they have days when they cry out for relief from the pain. Even our savior asked “Is there no other way?”
How I wish from time to time that this life was just a little bit easier, or that I was more prepared to meet it’s challenges. But it wasn't meant to be easy it was meant to challenge us. I am sure I signed up for this life with nothing but pure excitement. Psshh! Easy, I probably thought. I am sure I passed the Dead Moms class with flying colors in the preexistense, I’ve totally got this. I probably sat in the back of the Over 30 and Single class and goofed off because seriously it can’t be that hard. And maybe I took the When Loved Ones No Longer Believe class as a second thought, because that wasn't really going to be a challenge. How hard can it be?
Then we get here and it is hard, so hard. And you have to lock yourself in the bathroom at work and cry it out. Wherever your Friday happens; the bathroom floor at work, the hammock in the backyard, kneeling at the foot of a grave (I'm guilty of all three)… We have been promised that as the Savior did in Gethsemane, angels are waiting to bear you up and comfort your through your darkest times.

And it’s totally ok if it happened in the bathroom. My mom is an angel and she’d have no problem snuggling you in the bathroom. Seriously. This is the woman who put a cow in the bathtub. Ask for help. The glory of the Atonement is that we don't have to suffer, it's already been done for us. 


For Charlie

I spent some time today shopping for a baby gift for a client. I was in and out of high end baby boutiques where everything is so soft, and small, and adorable. I was so completely caught up in how lovely everything was. For a moment or two it was fun and I was blissfully happy in that world. Then I got back to my office and packed it all up, so fresh and bright, and sent it off to our client who recently added one more baby girl to their family. Then I sat alone in my quiet office for awhile and I remembered that babies are not my world. Not even a little bit. I live a life that revolves around me and really no one else. I go to work and the gym, and I “do lunch.” I listen to podcasts about scientific discoveries, and social psychology to drown out the quiet at work. I send inappropriate texts to Zacula, mixed with ones that tell him my heart is breaking.

I kind of like being single. It is nice to have so much time for me and also I really like naps…. and nachos.  But what I realized today is that maybe I have been poisoning my own mind. You see I recognize that from the day I was organized I have been destined to be a mother. And every part of my soul longs for that. But as each year passes and I spend more of my days alone in an office, my self talk changes. You see it has to change in order to keep my heart from falling apart. Where my self talk used to be “I can’t wait for…” and “when…” it has changed flavors and become “Having babies feels hard and like I’ll be tired for the rest of my life“ or things like “maybe that’s not something I really want…” because if I believe that the longing hurts less. But worst of all were the echos in my head today of “maybe I can do more good elsewhere…” and don’t forget “But I really like napping.”

It feels important that I remind myself this afternoon, that I do have great potential for good. More I think than I am ready to admit. But there is no place I can have a greater influence than in my own home with my own babies.

I like to ask myself what have you done for Charlie this week? Have you gained knowledge? Grown closer to your savior? Been a little more patient? Met his Dad? Ha. But today the most important thing I do for Charlie might just be that I don’t give up on us. 


The Boss Knows Best

So he's back?!


Did he call?

No, I called him.


Greg told me to.

You know he is only the boss at work right? You don't have to do what he says in your personal life.

But he's a very wise man. And I thought he'd know better than me.

*My boss men, Phil and Greg, make my life better in all the ways.


It's a Constant Battle

This is me in 1st grade. There are so many things I would like to say to her. But lets make a quick list and move on to the heart of this post:

*Your parents are the greatest, seriously.
*Be nicer to your siblings. They are your whole world these days.
*Future Annie wishes you spent more time riding your horse.
*Stop worrying about fitting in. Someday you will love that you stand out.
*Never combine two ramen flavors in the same pot.
*You will get better at math, Seriously, you test out of it in college!
*There are worse things that having Volcano Cookies for the FHE treat every week.

Current me for reference

You didn't turn out so bad...

Ok and future me.  Just so we can picture it in our heads.

Future me will have knitted that sweater the cat is wearing... and the one she is wearing. Ha! You will want to be friends with future Annie, she will knit you all the things. You will just have to clean the cat hair off it. (I'm kidding, I better have a sexy cowboy husband and so many adorably fat babies that I am overwhelmed everyday in the VERY near future.) Please Bless.

Now to the point of the post.

Current Annie is constantly in a fight with Past Annie, because Current Annie frequently takes no thought for Future Annie. I don't mean things like savings and retirement plans. I've got that covered. I mean things like the following:

"Annie did you get that modified report sent off to the lender in Texas?"
"Nope they wired us the money so I figured I wouldn't worry about it unless they asked again."

Interpret that as Future Annie can deal with it, I don't wanna.

Sometimes current Annie has the notion that she might like to leave a message for Future Annie "Um don't get the large combo at Chick-Fil-A! A small is more than enough and leaves you wanting more. A large makes you hate your life... and your pants. Please remember this." Future Annie never remembers. She just thinks "CHICK-FIL-A!" She thinks similar things at Moochies, and Feldmen's Deli, and anywhere they are serving food from a cart.

I am working on this concept. Taking thought for future Annie. I am sure Future Annie has somethings she would like to discuss with us. Until then I have to work on the idea that all three Annie's mentioned are the same person. The same being making her way through time.

Current Annie needs to work on being kinder to Future Annie, I will concede this. But Current Annie also needs to work on being kinder to Past Annie. She really tried so hard to be good, and make wise decisions with the knowledge she had. Current Annie looks back and is embarrassed by the things Past Annie thought, and did, and fell in love with. But she is part of what you are today. Embrace her. She only ever wanted to be loved.


A Smile For The Day.

You know how I love bear bums so much I could die?
You. Are. Welcome.

Well Kayla loves manatees just as much as I love the squishy bottoms of bears.
 I found this the other day and I watch it daily, multiple times a day. It NEVER gets old.

As Kayla would say... "Oh my heart."


No Thanks

A few weeks ago at church a well meaning friend approached me:

"I just learned about this class for singles over 31. I thought you might be interested in checking it out."

"Thanks, But I am not that desperate yet."

"Well I just meant that maybe you would enjoy the class."

"That's kind of you, but I find those settings so depressing. The room is always filled with crazy people, people who argue with the teacher, and men who wear sweatpants into the chapel. You leave with one of two thoughts either 'I was the most attractive person in that room and I still didn't leave with a date.' or you leave thinking 'are those really my peers? This is what is left and I am one of them?' Either way it is very depressing."

"Well my husband and I sneak in from time to time because the lessons are so good. Give it a try if you have a Thursday evening free."

Cut to yesterday when my Thursday night plans for naughty fries at Rooster's were canceled because my hot date needed to attended all the Chinese New Year Events ever. Ha (Em and I rescheduled for Tuesday because... well.... naughty fries) Anyway, I thought geez, I guess I better go, I mean I can't pray to find my lover and then ignore opportunities to meet single men.

I roped Amanda into coming with me, because terror and awkward should be shared between besties. On the way we cranked up some inappropriate Jason Aldean. Not too inappropriate, it wasn't 'Burnin' It Down', which by the way we also love. Just a little 'Just Gettin' Started.' We changed the lyrics a little "Baby I don't know if we're even going to make it to *institute.*"

Amanda turned down the radio as we pulled into the chapel parking lot. She is a better person than me and didn't want people to know we listen to the radio too loud, you know we might be judged by all those girls walking in wearing denim skirts. "Amanda, I want to find the man who will listen to this with us, not be ashamed of it. Turn it back up." It stayed off. "Amanda, pull in next to that big truck, probably that's my future husbands ride."

The class was AWFUL. Worst institute class of my LIFE. So, so horrible. But my friend was right, there were some seriously attractive men there. We walked in and sat in the back row, I made eye contact with the hot dish sitting right in front of us and he smiled. The class was so horrible that we couldn't stay. It was really so bad. But I was torn, if we didn't sit through the misery how was I going to meet the love of my life sitting right in front of me? I mean my entire eternal future was sitting within arms reach. Amanda is a genius! "Pass him a note" So I wrote him a note with my number on the bottom. I wrote a few drafts because it had to be perfect, funny, and endearing. I almost passed him the paper with all the drafts on it. OOPS! We got up to leave and I passed him the note. He smiled the biggest smile of my life and I went weak in the knees. I met Amanda in the hallway where we giggled like teenage girls. " He was so cute right?" "So cute!"

"Amanda, that probably is his truck right there."
"Umm that's probably his Subaru."
"As long as that isn't his Prius we are in business. What do you think the name of my love is?"
"I think he looks like a Dan."
"Yeah, certainly not a Kevin."
"His name is probably Kyle."
"Ugh I can't handle ANOTHER Kyle. He probably IS Kyle, Kyle 3 that is what we'll call him."
"Third time is the charm."
"I bet his name is Blake."