A few weeks ago, I took my kids to my great-grandmother's apple trees. They were LOADED this year, and as I picked apples and the kids picked apples I couldn't help but think of my great-grandmother. She would be so happy to know that we were there, picking her apples. I decided then and there that as soon as I'm settled in some land of my own, I'm planting some apple trees so my great-great grandkids can come and pick and eat and enjoy. The idea of spoiling grandchildren after you're gone? Genius!
I was referred to an article a few months ago -it detailed how a woman reacts to her husband having a porn addiction. I tucked it in my File of Goodness (the pack of stuff I take with me to my ARP meetings). A few weeks ago, I actually READ it.
I don't have it on hand right now -I hope you'll forgive me. The author relates a woman discovering her husband's porn addiction to carting apples around.
A woman can be pushing a cart of apples... she's doing great, she's doing fine... and then her cart tips, her apples scatter. Instead of heading down her course, she's suddenly a frantic mess. She drops her cart and runs after apples. She runs right, left, north, south, up, down...
Everything sort of falls apart around her.
And so it was (and sometimes still is) with me.
"What is wrong with me?" we all ask ourselves, time and time again. Of course we think of the women our husband looks at -their sexiness, their appeal, their cellulite-less-ness... but I found myself applying this question outside the bedroom.
I would look at women around me with their heads on straight. Their houses were organized for the most part. They had hobbies and interests and accomplished things.
I, um, watched a lot of BBC and ate a lot of cookie dough.
Oh, and I policed the CRAP out of my husband.
Checked his phone, checked his email, called him, texted him, hung up helpful quotes, read helpful books, BOUGHT helpful books for him...
I traded myself for a rotten cart of spilled apples.
What was wrong with me? Why couldn't I seem to simply LIVE like these other women?
The more I thought about it, the more cookie dough I ate.
A few months ago, I was watching old home videos from when my older kids were still in diapers. The video was adorable.
My house? Holy mother of messiness -it was BAD. And my house right now is dirty. Really dirty. But it's still cleaner than it was when that video was taken, and that's REALLY saying something. I'm 34 weeks pregnant and I can't mop, for crying out loud. But it's okay.
My kitchen counter -though it needs a thorough scrubbing -isn't covered in piles of fabric and paper and a dusty sewing machine.
My living room -though obviously LIVED in -is easily recognizable as a living room and NOT a hoarder's haven.
I didn't even really realize it until I pulled those old home movies out, BUT MY APPLE CART IS HEADED DOWN THE HIGHWAY AGAIN! It's not a speed wagon by any means, but I've got my wobbly cart going at a slow and steady pace. I can see now in hindsight what was wrong with me. I'd lost my apples, people. Lost 'em.
This -readers -will be the FIRST baby I've had where I've had it together enough to bake and freeze meals, organize under the bathroom sinks, and have baby clothes washed and ready to go.
With my first baby, my sister-in-law took pity on me and took care of ALL of that while I was in the hospital giving birth.
I came home from the hospital with my second child and found that my mother and aunt had completely washed and sanitized my house. And I know it was NO SMALL FEAT. That house was an atrocity.
It seems as though the more I applied the Atonement and CLEANED MY BRAIN OUT, the cleaner my house became. It wasn't something I did conscientiously... it was just a natural consequence of it all. I wasn't even aware of it.
This time, everything feels brand new to me. I'm a nervous wreck. I'm stressed. My nose keeps bleeding and I keep getting headaches.
I don't know what my deal is... I've DONE this twice before. The first time, I was alone the first four months and I DID IT.
This time, I'll have help. My husband will be here.
"Are you nervous?" I asked him late last night while we put our house through a major overhaul, moving furniture and making room for baby.
"Not at all," he said, "I'm nervous to watch you go through labor and I worry about complications... but I'm not nervous at all about bringing her home."
And I retreated to the kitchen to ask myself that lingering question.
"What is WRONG with me?"
Except this time, I know. I know nothing is wrong with me -nothing out of the ordinary, anyway. I'm having a baby. Of course I'm nervous and scared and stressed and flying between fits of tears and giggles of glee.
With my first two pregnancies and new babies, I was picking up scattered apples... and when my apples scattered, they FLEW.
Today, I'm more okay... my rickety cart is full, and I'm moving slowly on -with trepidation galore.
How blessed we all are to have the Atonement. When I wasn't applying it in my life, I wasn't living. I'm not utilizing the Atonement to it's full potential today. I don't understand it fully -do you? does anyone?
But I'm learning. I'm taking baby steps, falling down, getting up, and taking more baby steps...
And I'm scared out of my mind.
At least the top of the fridge is clean. ish.