It's official, I'm totally pregnant. My body is right on track for putting a huge belly right out in front of me.  I've started to get the "you must be due any day" comments.  Third time around, I'm totally used to it and don't mind. I'm also starting to slow down.  I knew it would happen.  I wake up on top of the world, ready to do anything and everything and that lasts until about 4pm when I slowly start to shut down right before dinner (not helpful for our meals) and end up doing very little the rest of the night.

I'm still working out but it's getting a lot easier.  My weights are lighter and I don't have to do a lot of the hard things my workout mates do that include jumping or a really high heartrate. We also have a great time talking constantly about labor and previous pregnancies and weight gain, etc.  It's like a big slumber party while lifting weights.  I work out with 5 other women and one of them is due around the same time as me.  My elliptical has worked out great at home.  My trainer has me working out 6 days a week, three times weight training and three 50 minute cardio sessions.  I'm not sure it's helping with my weight gain much (I'm at 25 lbs) but it's really helped lift my moods and increase my energy and keep me strong.

When I went to my midwife yesterday she said that my due date had been moved to Feb. 19th after my ultrasound. I told her that I couldn't accept that and that I'm going to keep my original due date of Feb. 15th. I can't wrap my mind around those extra couple of days.  She's okay with that. I really like my midwife. She is so chilled out.  After everything I went though with Wyatt's birth, I just needed someone who is relaxed and an anchor to my tendencies to worry.

All and all things are great. The baby is growing fine and has a strong heartbeat and is wiggling all around.  Feb. still feels so far away.  We've been casually talking about names but nothing firm yet.  Hank is just tall enough to get hit by my belly a lot.  Poor dear. He's also had some minor head injuries from hitting my cameras that hang on the same level as his head.

This is quilt I started last election and thought I better finish it incase Romney won. I'm glad I have four more years to finish it. Sometimes it takes me a long time to finish a project.

Yes, I'm writing about politics.  I have to. It's on my mind and I organize thoughts by writing.  I feel like if I can get a few thoughts down I can send it off into the world wide web and I can move on.

This election has been better than others and harder than others for me.  First, not having cable TV has been a huge improvement.  I think I've mentioned this before, but TV news is the worst.  It's sensational. It's about making money. It's about keeping people emotional so they'll watch often. It's repetitive. It's negative.  Last election I declared that I was giving up politics. I didn't actually give up thinking about and learning about politics. I just stopped watching TV news and having political conversations with people who are overly emotional about politics. It's been a great four years.  I've had friends express concern about me cutting myself off from the world. I have no regrets. It's so worth it. I would never go back. I listen to NPR when I'm getting dressed or sometimes working in the kitchen.  A 15 minute update gets me the overview of the days news and Willie and I usually talk further about anything interesting that night. I sometimes check in on and scan for interesting headlines and if something really catches my attention, I read more about it on other news sites or blogs.

This election I've also looked to Nate Silver, my favorite non-emotional statistician, for predictions made from the polls. I love this guy. His nerdiness has paid off in a major way. He precisely predicted the outcome of last election and this one with his poll number crunching.

As far as politics is concerned, where I live and being a Mormon makes me a bit of an outsider.  Grand Junction is exceptionally conservative but in general I would say a lot of Mormons are too.  I solidified my political ideas at BYU. Yes, I became a liberal at the Lord's university. I was surrounded by friends and professors that were wonderful people that saw things like me. I even married one of those darn liberals. It just wasn't an issue.  Since then I've found myself being thought of as siding with the bad guys. It's such a strange feeling since my goal in life is to try and do good.

Here are a few examples.  My own father sat me down once to express his concern that I had strayed from the "right" way of being conservative and he was worried about my dedication to our church.  I received an email from an old mission friend (that I love) when she saw a clue on facebook that I was an Obama supporter. It was full of political rage and anger (directed at Obama, not me). I have been cornered by church members at book clubs (yes more than one), on runs, on hikes, at parties, and even in the church building to "talk" politics.  What they want to know is why and how I'm on the wrong side.  If I try to explain my views, all I get are talking points shot back at me. Most of these conversations are well intentioned, I'm sure, but there is always fear and anger riding just below the surface which makes it near impossible to have a level headed conversation. It's not how I want to be spending my recreational time.

I feel like I can understand and see where a conservative is coming from, if we are talking about actual issues, not made up fear tactics (like death panels or Obama being a muslim).  I even can acknowledge strong points in republican candidates. I can even relate with some of their issues and support them. I also totally understand being disappointed if you candidate doesn't win. The problem I find is that some people live in an alternate reality that is only based on binaries (black/white, us/them, republican/democrat, righteous/wicked, good/bad, save the constitution/it's the end of the world) and there is no way they can relate to what I'm saying.  There is no white on their black side of politics for me to fit in to.  Side note: binaries like good/evil are tools to understand the world and can be helpful when making decisions or evaluating the fruits of something, but they can be taken too far.

So this race made it even worse because Romney was a Mormon.  Now, Romney is a brother in the gospel to me.  I've had frustrations with him and been disappointed in him, but all is forgiven.  I know he must be heart broken after having worked so hard. I hope he can put his feet up and go on a mission or be a mission president and have some wonderful experiences. Still, I don't subscribe to the idea that he was saving the world from the utter destruction of evil Obama.  Romney and Obama are both amazing, non-evil, accomplished men.  But the binaries got even stronger with members of the church this election.  This wasn't just a normal election, this was the Lord's election.  Like Heavenly Father is all into trickle down economics and extending the Bush tax cuts. So here I fall on the side of the devil.   On election night I couldn't look at facebook and I'm not sure when it will be safe to go back.  Seeing comments from friends was making it hard not to have bad feelings.   I saw so much anger towards Obama and his supporters, cries that the end is near, true fear and worry for our country and blame for anything that's ever gone wrong being placed on Obama.

I don't think hate and anger is the Lord's way, ever.  Politics is not excluded from this.  We are all Gods children (even poor people that take advantage of the government, even illegal immigrants, even gay people, even Rush Limbah).  Negativity only damages.   We have greater things in common.  To quote my wise friend Abby, "I really don't think God is worried about our flawed, man-made political systems. I think He probably wants us to stop bickering and take care of each other already."

6 months pregnant

Things are going well. My belly is growing fast.  I have actually noticed a big change in size in the last week.  I had to do some shopping to get bigger everything.  I'm moving into phase 2 of maternity clothes, meaning less cute, more tent-ish.  I also had to buy a maternity sweatshirt and jacket yesterday. I'm totally short on warm maternity clothes since I was pregnant with Hank and Wyatt during summer.

My energy level has improved. I don't nap most days, but I do totally poop out after dinner and end up just lying in bed and going to bed early.  My mood changes from day to day.  Some days I feel pretty normal and motivated.  Other days I'm pretty blue and end up just taking it easy.

The weight is coming on pretty fast now. I met with my midwife a week or so ago.  The babies heartbeat was strong and everything looked great.  She is aware that I'm trying to gain less weight than last time so we looked through my gaining history with Hank.  Up to this point with Hank I had gained the same amount of weight, about 20lbs.  She said that in the four months after this point with Hank I gained 40lbs.  That's right. I put on 10lbs a month.  So I was kind of bummed that my healthy eating and daily exercise haven't given me any edge.  I haven't given up and we'll see what the next four months bring but I think I'm doing everything I can.

Running is officially over.  When I run now I get strange aches and it's uncomfortable.  Hiking is a great alternative but not that practical, so yesterday we bought a cheap used elliptical machine so I have an option of something to do close to home. It has become the favorite toy of Hank and Wyatt and I think they've lost 5lbs since yesterday since it's all they have been doing. 

On a non pregnancy related note, Willie made partner at his law firm.  We are so excited and relieved. It was supposed to happen last year and they put the vote off for a year which was scary.  We aren't totally sure how this will change things for us.  Willie will have to buy into the firm so there is a business loan in our future. We are hoping his pay will increase, though it will become variable since he will no longer be on a salary but taking profit splits from the firm.  They haven't given Willie the partner agreement yet, so once he does we'll know more. Oh, we'll also be able to join the firm medical and dental insurance.  Getting dental insurance and no having to pay deductibles and percentages of medical services will save us a lot of money. Mostly it's so important because Willie has finished paying his dues as an associate at the firm and is now an equal partner and valued by all the partners.  It the natural progression to his profession that we hopped would happen.  

I'm still keeping up at the gym and enjoying myself and those ladies behind me need to stop gabbing and get to work.

Hiking is my preferred way of exercise, but it doesn't always fit in my day and the kids hike a little slow for the kind of work out I want.

The new machine. I hope it can last 4 months.

We've had a busy past month, and I'm kind of behind on blogging and since my true desire is to make a blog book every year, there are some things I can't leave out.  Wyatt's baptism was such a great experience.

Wyatt was so excited to get baptized.  It meant so much to him to have my parents drive out for the event.  I was so glad they could come and support Wyatt. When I spoke at his baptism I told him some of the memories I had from my baptism.  I remembered that my Grandpa and Grandma were there and my grandma brought me a butterfinger.  In one of the pictures I had chocolate on my mouth which is a common theme in a lot of my pictures even today.  My Grandma also whispered to me that the ring she was wearing would be mine someday. I worse the ring to the baptism in her honor.

It was hard for me to speak at the baptism without crying.  I'm normally emotional, plus I'm pregnant, plus I was underslept form a work deadline.  I seriously felt like sobbing and had a hard time controlling my crying.  I just felt so happy and so much love for Wyatt.  He has such a tender heart and he is so kind and obedient and innocent.  He just came that way.  It's not something Willie and I can take any credit for.

What I told him in my talk is that I was  young when I got baptized and I don't remember a whole lot from it, but the benefits have affected me positively my whole life.  He is starting on a journey as a follower of Christ.  Baptism is the gate and the path is narrow and not everyone finds it.  The gift of the Holy Ghost will help keep him on that path and because of that he'll be happy.

We sure love Wyatt.

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