I have had a really busy few weeks, like so busy.  That's a post for another time. I'm taking a break right now and sitting with my feet up and posting some of these great pictures.  

My friend, Bri Lamkin, came to take some pictures of me and Lula.  I've been feeling some mourning about Lula being my last baby.  I really wanted some pictures taken of the two of us.  Time is going so fast.  I love how these turned out.  Bri did such a great job dealing with Lula being on the go the whole time.  She is a baby of action and she does not like to be still.  

Lula has brought so much happiness to our family.  I feel like a lot of my pregnancy/birth/post-pardum wounds have been healed this time around.  I'm really embracing the happiness and it feels wonderful.

This is what I said to Willie tonight and realized I had said the same thing almost every night for the last two weeks.  He said, "Maybe you are sick".  That changed everything. If I'm sick, this isn't bad at all. I have a bit of a sore throat, my lungs have been burning, and I'm really tired.  I think I'm probably suffering more from being under-slept (from Willie and I staying up recklessly late) than this bug, but since I'm "sick", I decided not to do anything right now but sit on the couch and enjoy myself.

Since I'm sick. I'm also not going to organize my writing very well.  Sorry.  This is going to be one of those update-ish type of posts.  I have to live up this sick thing since I'll probably start feeling better soon.


This baby can do no wrong.  We are all in baby heaven. She is the sweetest creature on earth and adorable.  There are pictures below to prove it.  She is getting around like crazy.  Every day she is getting somewhere new. She climbed up on the fireplace hearth and got a handful of ashes.  She is now very proud to climb over me when I'm lying on the floor. She is so curious and driven.  Her behavior, so far, is just like Hank and Wyatt. I can picture her dreaming about exploring when she's sleeping then waking up and being ready to go again.  Actually, after she wakes up, she'll sit on my lap for a few minutes then wiggle to get back on the floor.

She's resourceful.  My floors have never been cleaner since she wants to eat everything, but she spends all day looking for choking hazards to put in her mouth.  She has an obsession with legos and because of hank's droppings, I often have to take them away from her and she's devastated.  She lifts up mats looking for little things and reaches under the fridge.  The is a woman of action.

She's getting her first tooth and we all love it.  We squeal when we get a peak and we see more of it every day.  Wyatt, hank and I tried to get some gum pictures (below) but couldn't get her to smile much.  She was giving us more of a regal, collected look.  She has graduated from the baby section of the gym daycare to the toddler section where she can crawl around and play with toys.

She has a little cold right now, like her mom, and I can hear her heavy breathing through the baby monitor.

Tomorrow I'm going to take pictures for a soap post.  I have been meaning to get my soap in for a good shoot in the studio. I love soap making.  It needs it's own post.

I love these pictures of wyatt and Hank.  They were totally underexposed which is so me. I pick up a camera and don't remember what film is in it and just guess.  I guessed wrong on this one but look at those faces.  This is real life.  Wyatt is taunting Hank and they are laughing.  These two are so great. 

This year we had another Halloween fire and pot luck on 17th Street. I'm so glad we did.  We had it last year in front of the Noble's house and they decided to come back this year and we did it in front of our house.  We ate and talked and got warm by the fire. Then the kids went out trick or treating.  I manned our candy bowl and I could hear Jon Rizzo across the street by his fire, singing and playing the banjo by his candy bowl.  The boys made out really well and said it was their best Halloween yet.

I had to first google it and wikepedia said mid-life is somewhere between 40-60, so I'm getting there.  Crisis, well that's kind of dramatic.  I wouldn't say I'm in a crisis, and after some very quick Wikepedia study, I realize that I am not having a midlife crisis but a midlife stressor.  Only about 10% of the people in the United States report having a midlife crisis.

It is important to understand the difference between a midlife crisis and a midlife stressor. Midlife is a time from 40–60 where a person is often evaluating their own life. However, many midlife stressors are often labeled as a midlife crisis. David Almadia states that day to day stressors are likely to add up and be thought of as a crisis but in reality it is simply an "overload".

Researchers have found that midlife is often a time for reflection and reassessment, but this is not always accompanied by the psychological upheaval popularly associated with "midlife crisis."

So I guess a midlife crisis is a big deal and what I'm feeling is much more gentle. It's a yearning.  It's the feeling of life passing too fast.  It's trying to find a balance between absolutely loving the stage I'm in now but being willing to let it go as we all age.  It's wanting to be better, do better things with my time, love more, be outside more, make more soap, take more pictures for me, play more guitar, focus on what matters, etc.  Basically, I feel like being a hippy (in a Mormon kind of way). I don't want to love money.  I don't want to fill our lives with junk. I want to be spiritually fit. I want to be on our bed with Willie and the kids laughing and snuggling, with sunlight streaming through the windows (on a cool quilt,) as much as possible.

This is not about being unhappy. I'm so happy. Legitimately, happy. I just don't want to waste it running around being busy, rushing or on my phone or working too much.  This may sound strange.  I'm not sure what it all means. I'm not sure if it will pass and honestly, it could be depression knocking at my door.  I've had similar thoughts and feelings before, but this seems more constructive than what I've felt in the past.

So what should I do?  Starting soap making was one thing.  We actually ran around town collecting tools and ingredients so I could make my first batch the night before I turned 38. It was Willie's present to me.  It's something I've always wanted to do and it has really given me a creative charge.  More of that needs to come.  I can't be putting off things like this.

Photography for hire is going on hold or completely away.  I like it, but I like my bookkeeping job even more. It pays well, I'm good at it and it's so flexible. I can work in my pajamas. I can work with a kid on my lap. That is what I need.  I do not have room in my life for two jobs.  Photography for hire will have to go.

Facebook. I have a really like/ can be annoyed by relationship with facebook.  I love my facebook community.  I've reconnected with and made some great friends through facebook.  It fills a loneliness void.  I fear that it shallowly fills that void and prevents me from seeking more non-cyber friendships.  I want to stay up all night talking to a good friend.  I want to hug a friend and look at each other while we talk. Facebook has also become my mindless zone-out practice.  I check too often.  It gets too much of me.  I still need it, but i'm hoping it can become a once a day kind of thing.  Also, do I really need to link to and read every blog post posted on facebook?  Do I really need to know the 9 most hated Halloween candies?  No.  I'll be okay not knowing.  I'll end up eating even the most hated Halloween candy (tootsie rolls) if it's the only sugary thing left in our house.

I started reading a book.  This is big. I've been a less active English major for years.  Having kids has triggered some kind of working with my hands need, so when I have free time I do things. I make things. I love it, but I really miss reading. I also miss writing.  I've decided to start keeping a journal again. It's been so many years.

That's it.  I'm not having a midlife crisis.  I'm having a midlife stresssor and it could end up being a really good thing.

We decided to stay a night on the Mesa last night and I'm so glad we did.  We had some friends stay at these cabins so I called and reserved one for last night.  It was so fun.  The cabins are rustic but not as rustic as we've stayed in before.  They had heat and electricity and hot water.  Compared to a tent, that's luxury.  With it getting colder, I love the idea of a heated place for the kids.  

We went up Sunday afternoon and spent time hanging out by the lake and making dinner.  This morning, Willie and the boys took a row boat out on the lake and explored all around.  Lula and I did some hiking and she did some napping.  

Last night I went down to the dock on the lake and enjoyed the stars.  The lake reminded me so much of Lake Arrowhead where I grew up. It is smaller, and totally unpopulated but the tree-lined horizon and the sound of the lapping water really brought me back.  When I was a kid, I'd love to sit on the docks with my friends and look at the stars.

It was really nice having a few days in such a peaceful place. I had fun taking pictures.  I used a film camera when we were exploring the lake, but here are a few pictures I took with my digital camera.

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