Sunday, February 19, 2012

Stop Procrastinating

I am back. I hope. I have not documented much of our lives this last year and I have been feeling regret that I haven't for my kids' sake. This is my only journaling I do so I better get back at it.
I won't try to catch all the way up, but maybe from the start of 2012. January was unseasonably warm and pleasant with hardly any snow. I will take that. Mick started basketball and it's fun to encourage him. I bought a house in December in Santaquin to remodel and resell and the work began on that in January. Kade started going to daycare a couple days a week so I could work on the project. He seems to love it and his vocabulary is beginning to emerge. He can say ball, Sissy (sister), Mick, Mama, Dada, Grampa, apple, banana, please, thank you, cheese, and his favorite.....MINE! In January, my mom also suffered a massive stroke and was life-flighted to SLC. One of the longest and hardest months of my life followed. All throught the rest of January and into mid February, me and my siblings stayed by her side almost round the clock. We were told she would never recover and she would die within a 7-10 days. She was put on hospice care and we all said our good-byes and kept watch. It was a time of no sleep and constant grieving and anxiety.
But God must have a plan for her still to be here, because she continued to make little improvements and after a week, the doctors took her off hospice and put her on the rehab floor of the hospital. A little more sleep for us but a stressful change in our minds took place as we realized we would not be saying good-bye but learning how to deal with long-term care for her. She faced having to learn how to feed herself, write, speak, see, and walk again. It's been a constant uphill struggle for her and I have been so proud of her for her determination and cheerful attitude through this. I don't know why God decided to let her stay, but I know I learned a lot through this trial. I am so much more thankful that my body is healthy and strong. I am appreciative that I can do so many things without even thinking about it. I learned to love my mom in a new way. It brought me closer to her when I got to serve her and help take care of her. I appreciated the times I got to be home with my children more and do simple things like brush their teeth and feed them a healthy dinner because I was gone so much that those times were rare. I found better relationships with my siblings and cherished the time I got to just be with them sitting at the hospital talking and laughing together through the tears. I was shown who loved me and my family by their service to us by bringing us dinners and childcare and just checking on me and letting me have meltdowns to them.
At this point, my mom is in a rehabilitation center in Vernal close to her home and I am not going to see her everyday anymore. She continues to get better and I pray if it's God's will she will be able to go home and take care of herself someday. But I am not hopeful of that and sometime in the next month, we'll have to face what challenges she faces next. Right now, though, she is taken care of and content and we are getting a little break. Just this morning, she called me (which is really hard for her to do due to her eyesight) and told me how she loved me and she was proud of me and how she knows I am trying hard. It's a conversation I won't forget and the hell we've been through this last month makes it worth it to have even that one little conversation.
For now, the work on my flip house is almost done and it will be listed to sell this week. I am excited and I really think I did a good job of finding a good deal, staying on budget and schedule, and think I will make good money with it. It's been a good outlet for me.
Kade is turning two in a couple weeks. I can't believe this. I love two year olds. They are so cute and I am excited to be his mom through it.
I look forward to running more outside and hopefully participating in races more this year.
I think that's it for today :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 15 is Special

Get comfortable folks. This is Adam and I am feeling chatty. I am going to tell you a story.

About 11 1/2 years ago my mom was working at a propane company and they needed to hire someone to drink Diet Pepsi. Their pop machine just had too much of the stuff. I think they also needed help with accounts receivable but I never was sure. They had several applicants and they decided on the most qualified. While looking over her resume the boss said to my mom "She seems like the best one but I have a feeling your son is going to come home from his mission, marry her and take her away" Mom said she felt the same way but they hired her anyway. This was my Julie. I had no intention of getting married right away. I even had a pair of shorts made with the number 26 on them because that was the age I was going to get married, or so I thought. She had no interest in getting married either, or so she thought.

About 2 or 3 years before she was hired to work at the propane shop I had thought about taking Julie out. I knew her a little since she lived near my Grandma Olsen. So. I called Grandma to get her phone number. Grandma made a call or two then called me back. She then told me I better find someone else to take out because Julie was already in a very steady relationship. So, I went on my way, found a different date that night (or more likely went dragging Main with 3 friends so we could "pick up chicks") and moved to St George to go Dixie College then onto the Philippines for my mission.

I had about 5 months left of my mission when I got a letter from my mom saying they had hired someone I might know. I wrote back and using all of the humbility I had learned on my mission told my mom to tell Julie she better have her guard up because when she saw how good looking I was she would fall in love. I don't remember writing any more about her or thinking too much about her the rest of my mission, I was still planning on the 26 thing. I remember Mom writing about Julie dating someone.

So, along comes July 8, 2000 and I get my first look at Utah in 2 years. We live in an amazing state. I remember riding on I-80 through Salt Lake and thinking how open and spacious everything was. It was so different from the packed cramped cities I saw in the Philippines. I remember talking about Julie on the ride home from the airport and Mom telling me she had a boyfriend. I was kind of hoping to see her but didn't think to much about it. I was speaking the next day in sacrament meeting and hoped she would be there. She on the other hand seemed to be fully aware of my facination with her and did what every girl should do when an RM seems to be zoning in on them. She hid. She didn't come to hear the speach I gave, she didn't come to the bbq after, she didn't call my mom to explain why she didn't come. They had become pretty good friends. I still wasn't too worried or thought too much about it.

A couple of days later I stopped in to see mom in the propane shop. I opened the door and this amazing, beautiful, smiling face popped up over the counter. Right then, I went from 'kind of interested' to full blown crushing on the girl. I couldn't beleive how much I liked to look at her. I think I managed to get a squeeky, bashful, "Hi Julie" out but probably not. I know I went over to try and talk to my mom but was busy staring at Julie and not listening to my mom. But I didn't have the guts to talk to her.

A few more days went by and I made excuses to go "see my mom" at work. On the 15th of July I finally had the courage worked up to ask Julie out. I was pretty lucky because that happened to be the week of the major social event of the year in Vernal: The Dinosaur Round-Up Rodeo. Everybody wanted to go to the rodeo, it was a must. I knew it was a sure fire "yes" if I asked her to the rodeo. I knew she had been rodeo queen and in my mind had to be very excited to go to the rodeo. One thing I wasn't sure about was how that pesky boyfriend would fit into the picture. He was the only reason I could see for her not wanting to go out with me. As I look back, I can come up with about 100 reasons why, but, at the time I couldn't.

I called her parent's house (so strange to think of way back when there weren't cell phones everywhere) from my parent's house. I need to do some quick geneology. There are 5 kids in my family, I'm the oldest, Jarod is 2 years younger, then Megan is 3 years younger than Jarod, then Rhett is 2 years younger than Megan, and Erin is 5 years younger than Rhett. If you do the math then you will see that Rhett is 7 years younger than I am. Which would make him 14 since I was 21.

Anyway, I called Julie's house and got her on the phone. I hadn't used a phone for 2 years and apparently forgot my phone etiquette. I didn't introduce myself, I promptly started running through my much rehearsed speach to ask her out. When I got done there was a little silence then she said "Is this Rhett?" Talk about crushed, let down, smashed, I was being confused for my baby brother. He was barely 14, couldn't drive, still was interested in chasing lizards (he still hasn't out grown that, a month ago I watched him chase one quite a ways before giving up), and wouldn't consider talking to a girl. He was such a cute kid.

After what seemed like forever, I was trying to get my bearings and translate what I wanted to say from Tagalog to English I explained that it was Adam, not Rhett, and I, Adam, not Rhett, would like to take her out. She was brutal, she asked "do you had something to drive?" She was so concerned with details. I had to get her to say yes before wasting any time on details like transportation or money to pay for anything. I was pretty sure my parents would let me borrow something so I told her "yes, I had something to drive." Then, "Do you even have a driver's license anymore?" After I told her I had renewed it before I left on my mission and that it was still good she finally agreed to go out with me. I took that to mean I was so awesome it was worth it to go out with me instead of her boyfriend.

Now for transportation. Mom had a suburban and Dad had a small Ford Ranger. After considering the options I asked Dad if I could borrow the Ranger. It wasn't as cool as the old pick up I had before my mission (plenty of rust, big tires, 4 wheel drive, CB antennaes (yep, 2 of'em), gun racks, spare tires (yep, 2 of them too) standing up in the bed) but it seemed better for a date than the suburban.

Dad let me borrow the ranger and I got all showered, and broke out my Wranglers I hadn't worn for 2 years and squeezed them on, my cowboy boots I hadn't worn for 2 years (but had everyday for 4 years before) and gave them a quick coat of polish, my straw cowboy hat (brim was messed up because of an altercation at a rodeo a few years earlier) and my Prefered Stock cologne. I remember wondering what she would look like when I got there to pick her up: hat or no hat, what color of hat, colored pants or not, boots or shoes, tall boots or short boots

I headed over to her house, I knew where it was since it was so close to my grandma's. I had never actually been to the house though. There are a bunch of trees between the house and the road. I knew it was back there behind the trees so I headed down the driveway. I got to the to the front of the house and had a problem right away. Which door to knock on? There was a front door and a side door. I was parked closer to the side door and from the looks of things it got more use, but the other door was obviously the front door. I sat in the truck for a minute trying to decide which door to go to and wondering why she couldn't just live in a normal house that only had a front door. Then she saved me the trouble. She came out the front door before I had a chance to get out of the truck.

She looked amazing. She was wearing denim bibs with a pink shirt under them. She had her hair done curly and she had on some brown shoes. I then started to scramble to get out of the truck and around the front to open her door for her. My feet hit the ground and forgot I was now wearing cowboy boots with slick soles. Going around the front of the truck I slipped and had to catch myself on the hood of the truck. I was so embarressed and really hoped this wasn't how the rest of the night was going to go. She had the class to not say anything about my clumsiness. We made it the rodeo without any major mishaps. I hadn't driven a standard in 2 years but don't remember killing it on the way there. She started talking to me right away and didn't appear at all nervous. I remember thinking how amazing it was that a girl so pretty was even talking to me, let alone going to the rodeo with me. I was on cloud 9.

We got parked and I once again tried to make a mad dash around the truck to open her door for her. She was already out by the time I got halfway around and told me I really didn't need to open her door. I guess I borrowed some money from my dad to pay for us getting into the rodeo. I don't remember much about the rodeo other than loving the fact it was packed, so Julie had to sit really close to me. I remember staring at her hands in her lap. She had a small ring and such pretty slender fingers. I sure wasn't going to try and hold one of those hands though.

When the rodeo was over we were walking around and I was having a great time getting to see so many of my old friends. A few asked if we wanted to go to JB's restaurant with them. It didn't even occur to me that, Julie may have had enough of me and really wasn't interested in listening to us get caught up on the last couple of years. She was smiley, agreed to go and seemed to have a good time. Since she knew most of the guys and had been in FFA with them we all had a good time. We went to JB's and they all ordered coffee. I was appalled being fresh from spending 2 years preaching the evils of coffee. But, we still had a great time, it was so much fun to listen to Ryan Kunkel, Cody Long, and Justin Harrison talk about what they had been doing for the last 2 years. We had been best friends before I left but writing letters was just too much work, we didn't hear from each other while I was gone. They were my dragging Main buddies.

After quite a while Julie made a comment about needing to get home so she could get to work in the morning. We left JB's and I was already making up excuses in my head to go "see my mom" at work the next day. We got back to her house and she headed to the side door. I got out and walked her to the door not quite sure what to do: shake hands, hug, kiss, suck my thumb, who knew. She was so laid back about it and didn't seem to be having the stress I was. She walked straight to her door then turned around before she went in and told me thanks and that we would have to do something again sometime. I was ready to do a triple backflip to hear her say that. I floated back to Dad's ranger and headed home with the phrase "we'll have to do something again" bouncing around and around in my head. It had been a success, she thought I was worth going out with again.

We dated a full 2.5 months and she got a ring then we were engaged for another 2.5 months and go married on December 16, 2000. She really wrecked my "not get married until I'm 26 plan" and I am so glad she did. We had 2 kids by the time I was 26. I am so glad she agreed to go out with me 11 years ago. She is the love of my life and I am so grateful to have been blessed with her. We have had some bumps and scrapes since that fateful night at the rodeo but I can't imagine my life without her. Thanks Babe I love you!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Five Years Ago Today.......

My, have they changed just a little?

Monday, June 6, 2011

What we are up to at the Hall house

What we are up to these days:

SCHOOL IS OUT! The kids have been busy playing in our muddy backyard, taking walks (even Kade is walking now), playing with friends, bugging Rhett and Natalie incessantly and building a fort in the "woods."
I GOT A JOB! The big kids started going to daycare 2 days a week while the babe goes to my sister's so that I can start working more for Adam. He needed to hire a secretary and since it would be cheaper to pay a little babysitting rather than an employee, I got the job! The pay is really really lousy though, like non-existent. Haha. But I am excited to keep up on my accounting skills and keep my brain fresh in case I ever need it one day. Lol. The daycare that the kids are going to does all day field trips on Tuesdays and Thursdays such as hiking to the Y, bowling, swimming, Jump On It, etc. so Mick and Vic get to have some fun adventures while they are away and Kade is loved and well taken care of and only a block away if he needs me. And I find my boss extremely attractive ;)
ADAM IS SUPER BUSY WITH WORK. He works an average of 14 hrs a day 5 days a week and a few on Saturday. It's a struggle sometimes but it beats the pants off having no work, that is for sure!
I hope to have more exciting news to report of super awesome things we did by the end of the month. Wish us luck!

Welcome Summertime!!

Lately, I have been running off an average of 4 hrs sleep every night, getting lots accomplished, feeling super happy, yada yada yada. Is it because of the warmth and longer days of sunshine? Maybe, but whatever brought it on, I'll take it!!

I have felt midly to severly depressed off and on for as long as I can remember but it really took a bad turn when my dad died and Tori was born in 2005. I tried everything to get better during that next year, but now looking back, I think it was just something that had to run its course and I couldn't change much about it. Finally mid 2006, I started taking anti-depressants. They were a godsend and finally turned my funk around. I won't go into any more dark details about that time in my life other than to say that I did feel better and able to function but never completely happy or optimistic. I really thought that maybe I would never know what it is like to feel happy.

Also at this time, I started running long distances. I have always been into excersising and being active, but never really considered myself a runner until Tori was about a year old. Running had a magical power to make it so I could cope with the rest of my day.

Fast forward 5 years- In February I noticed that I felt not sad or depressed but super irritated and angry all the time. Anything I couldn't change myself would just eat at me and bug me to no end. I felt short and rude to the kids. I hated my teeth, my weight, my color of hair. Some of my favorite people would bug me for no real reason. I couldn't sleep at night from nervousness. The list goes on.

I decided to dump the anti-depressants. Now, I am not saying they are bad or people shouldn't take them. I loved them when I needed them, but I think that once I didn't need them anymore my body started to notice the side effects of them. I went off cold turkey (which they say is not reccommended, oops.) A major side affect of the brand I was taking was anger and nervousness. Within a week, I was falling asleep immediately, I had so much more energy, the kids seemed so less hard to deal with, etc. I was loving this new me.

A few weeks after this I ended up not being able to run due to an injury in my back and glute. Adam says now that he kept waiting for me to have a complete breakdown cause he knows that running keeps me sane. I HATED that I couldn't run and I felt sad off and on, but I never did get super down about it.

Also at this time, I finally grasped the true importance of positive self-talk. Actually what got me started on it was a book about running. It tells us how at first its hard not to want to say negative things so until we learn not to say negative stuff, we should just end our sentence with, "but it doesn't matter." For example:

"I am so tired of the kids getting the house dirty, BUT IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER because they are happy and laughing."

This last mile of my run is so long, BUT IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER because I am almost fininshed anyway."

My legs are not as toned as they should be, BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER because I can lift weights & eat better from here on out."

I started doing that in my head and after a while, I got to where I didn't want to think or say those negative things anymore.

The next step was thinking and saying positive things to myself. Now I don't go around bragging about myself, but when my cookies come out of the oven tasting great I make sure to give myself a little pat on the back, or if my run doesn't feel as good as it should have I make sure to find something I enjoyed about it anyway and tell Adam when I get home. I tell myself over and over while I am running that I am freakin' awesome that I am even out doing it when most of the USA's population are not fit or healthy.

And it is AMAZING what this has done for me........ AMAZING. I am happy, truly happy. I didn't even know people could feel like this. It's an addicting feeling too. It keeps making me want to find more ways to see the positive in life, kinda like it's a game.

I have so much excitement for life now. I do need to add that I do still have bad days and a couple of negative thoughts a day, but I am able to move past them quickly and re-focus.

My friend, Kira, and I had a discussion about how we heard God hears what we say, sees how we act, and also knows what's going on in our hearts and minds, but Satan can only see how we act and hear what we say but he cannot read our minds. So if we act happy and say happy things, then Satan cannot use our negative thoughts against us to make us unhappy. Pretty cool thought, huh?

I know this was long, but I hope that someone reads it and gets something from it, and I really hope that my kids read it someday.

Positive thinking and self-talk really really do work. Please try it! That's all I have to say about that. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Baby Eagles Spread Their Wings

Victoria and her awesome teacher, Mrs. Barnett.

Victoria had her little Kindergarten Graduation Program today. I love to go to these. The songs are so cute and I am really proud of her and not only of the "book" smarts she has learned but because it seems to me that she is growing up to be a sweet nice young lady.

I feel bad now that we didn't get a picture of her with her Aunt Natalie. Natalie came and even brought her a little graduation present. It's so fun to have family close enough to do these things with us.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Our Super Awesome Weekend

Last Friday Adam being the great dad he is took all 3 kids down to St. George to help Rhett and Natalie move back here to our neighborhood in their new house. ( Super Awesome thing #1.)

While they were there, they made a trip to an awesome park that St. G has, it's a lot like our new playground here in Spanish Fork, but bigger. Adam does such a good job on photos even with our normal cheap $100 camera. I love these:

Adam said that this group of girls were in love with Kade and swarmed him the whole time. I have to say that they have excellent taste. Love those eyes :) This may be where he picked up the nasty stomach bug that he got on Monday though. I don't think putting your mouth on playground equipment is the best idea for health and wealth.While the cat was away, us girls sure know how to play! Robyn, who has been my friend for 20 years (yes, I am that old ) came out to spend the night and run a 5k in Provo with me. We hooked up with our other friends, Lily, and Jessica for dinner and shopping the night before the race.
Here is Robyn in her new running shorts from Sports Authority. No worries, she took the jeans off to run in them the next day. Haha. We had a pretty entertaining time in that store. Ask the guy with excellent hearing who loves Kneader's tarts and the poor lady who didn't lock her changing room door well enough. :)

Just getting ready to leave the next morning.

Here we are left to right: Jessica, Lily, me, and Rob.
So this was my first 5k and I had no idea what to expect. I knew you just ran fast, not holding back like you do in long races so I did. Ran a really fast first mile and burned myself out a little too fast, the next mile was up a steep hill and it was terrible, then felt better that last mile and picked it up again some. I was still disappointed with my time but I had been injured and off running for the last 6 weeks and hadn't trained for any hills so I was okay with it. Robyn and Jessica came in a minute behind me and they were a little disappointed with how hard it was also. We had breakfast, watched the winner of the half marathon come in, and left.
Later, Lily dropped by and tried to hand me her medal (She won 1st place!). I couldn't figure out why she was giving it to me but she explained that it was mine and that I had won 2nd right after her in our age group. Haha, I never expected that. I felt better about my race after that. LOL. Jessica won 3rd, and Robyn, by half a second, 4th place. So all four of us girls won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Are we totally in sync or what?

Here is a cheesy pic of me with my medal on. Pretty awesome feeling.........Then I got to top off the wondeful weekend with a perfect Mother's Day on Sunday. The kids made me the cutest books and Adam let me be lazy all day.

It really was the best weekend EVER!