Some Kind Of Deep (And Some Not So Much)

I have come to the conclusion that I must finally invent a back tickling machine.

I would call my great invention the "Tickle-O-Matic." It would have three settings and rechargeable batteries and would make rain sounds with the touch of a button. It would not complain about how often it was used and for how long, and it would NOT pretend to fall asleep. I am pretty sure I could make a million bucks.

But I was not thinking about back tickles tonight when The Holbs showed up all dandy in his missionary duds for a Young Mens Mission Prep activity. I was thinking about gratitude journals, now that you mention it, and then there was The Holbs, all cute wearing a suit and his old beat up name tags.

Hello, Sister Holbrook! he said with his missionary grin. Have you heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? His handshake was extra firm and it was so weird seeing my husband as a nineteen-year-old missionary that my mind immediately went to its dirty place.

I haven't, Elder, I said, eyelashes cocked and loaded. Maybe you could come over some time and tell me about it. Eyebrows wagging.

Uhh he said, not following.

Keep that nametag handy for later tonight! I winked.

INAPPROPRIATE, SISTER HOLBROOK! The Holbs shouted on his way to his car.

(We don't drive to mutual together in the same car. Are you kidding me? How would I make my quick escape then? On Mutual nights after 8:15 the treats arrive and I turn into a pumpkin, and that's the cold hard truth.)

Later that night with a freshly washed face I started thinking about what it would be like to be pregnant and get fat. I was even thinking it sounded a little scary! The heart burn, the nausea. Yuck. And then I decided right then and there, sitting in my studio, that I was going to be different. I mean, not that I'd be different. I'd be miserable, to be sure, but I'd made the decision now, and once I decide on something, look out! I decided I'd love it on purpose.

And then in the middle of that I stopped and went, Hey Wait A Minute. Why haven't I done this by now anyway? I am not infertile, clinically I am "impatient," but I hate it. Some days I think about the trials in my life and I am certain that it is the rudest trick anyone has ever played on anybody. I am a mother with nothing to mother but a couple a dogs. And sometimes I just get so down on it all. Why me, blah blah blah, woe and tragedy and stuff. Can't somebody just buy me a flapping baby already? Follow me here people, I am coming to something big. I sat there at my desk staring off into space, letting the ridiculousness of it sink in. This whining is just not the me I want me to be.

So I've decided: I will love this. From here on out I will love this time in my life. I will love it because I want to!

Here, hang on, I have to shout it:

What else am I gonna do here? Be miserable?

There. That's more like it.


  1. Love the heck out of it! :)
    And you really never will take pregnancy for granted.

  2. i love your blogs. :D
    todays read was good. c:
    i had a question, however;
    how did you get the 'nat the fat rat' banner
    up the top of your page? i'd like to but one
    there as well, but each try has failed me; on
    the 'edit template' thingiee; cant seem to find
    where you have to put it! (: -fi x

  3. Awesome post! Your determination inspires does your writing.
    After being drilled on appropriate writing whist stuck in Provo for the past 4 1/2 years, I only wish I could write like you. But taking your advice, I will see this as a reason to practice--not to grumble (too much anyways). I also fully understand the concept of sticking it out in a place until you love it (see the above mentioned length of my life in Provo).

  4. "I will love this time in my life"...
    I really needed this pep talk, thanks nat.
    and yes, having children splits your life into b.c. and a.c. (after children), no matter how much you want to try and stop it (or deny it).
    But children bring so much to your life...My pregnancies were unplanned (but wanted), the first one when I was only 21...we were a young couple, and unprepared. Take the time to really discover who you are before the kids arrive, because it's easy for you (woman) to get lost in there for a few years, I know from experience.
    Great post, as usual!

  5. YES!! I love that. I kind of did that for myself this year, only the things in my life I was so unsatisfied with seem so insignificant now...You seem to have quite the knack for it though! Kudos!

    PS - The smart women really DO shop at Target!

  6. I love your optimism and determination ! That's the only way to go ! And don't ever look back, or feel sorry for yourself. Allow yourself that, sometimes. But always come back to this : your determination to be happy, no matter what :)

  7. Man, y'all must not have found the most awesome Walmart evah in Highland Village (our Target totally sucks armpits compared to that Wally World).

    Love your perspective.

  8. Target WOULD be the best place to sell your Tickle O Matic. I love that store, and I'll be watching for it...

    Still laughing over your "dirty place" and the flirting you did with your "missionary" husband. HA!

    You know, I've been talking myself into Loving Right Now as well. I'm 27 and single. And a Mormon girl. What the WHAT? Not where I expected to be. BUT, I'm sure I'll love marriage more when the time comes, because I'm being forced to wait for it. I'm certain. :)

  9. Yes, love it, love all of it because it's a long 9 months! You're gonna have to love your body changing, your mood swings, boobs if you dont already have any, food cravings or aversions, nausea, tums, ALL OF IT! You'll have no choice but to love it because at the end you get the greatest gift of all!!! ;-)

  10. I tell my sister this all the time, so I will tell you too. You have to quit obsessing about getting pregnant and trust it will happen in His time, in His way.

    Just put it in His hands and stop thinking about it. I know that is easier said than done, but you just have to!

  11. I agree with Tammy. There is definitely a b.c. and a.c. I love the idea of loving it right now no matter what, because someone always wishes they had what you have, even if you are seeing their grass as greener.

  12. Lady, I love you and I am here to tell you to think about it as much as you want to because it's your prerogative. And also, I can tell you from experience sake that all of this, whatever it is, will help you to love it more than you know. It will be life changing, and that's exactly how it should be.


  13. Love it! Love it! love it!

    Love it so much that the first day of vomit makes you smile till your cheeks hurt. Love it so much that the six weeks of bleeding makes you want more.

    I wish I could remember to do that.

    Bravo to you. That is how we are truly blessed, by remembering to love what we are in.

    My husband and I have this constant discussion going on... I say if I was ever a slave I would die trying to leave and if I couldn't leave I would kill myself. He says he only has one at this life and he's going to take it however it comes. If it means slavery he'll be a slave because once it's over it's over. (I totally disagree with him, I'd rather go 'home')

    You need to be like my husband. Enjoy this because it is your only chance to have it. When your time comes you will be so prepared to enjoy your children that they will never feel unloved and that is the best thing you can give them.

  14. It is so important to be able to love every time in our life. Or else, we would regret everything, and let's face it, that would suck!

  15. Pregnancy kicks ass. Totally. And who knows? You may be lucky when you are, and Not get heartburn, and Not get sick...etc. It could happen. But how great of you to put such an awesome spin on this tough time. You are wonderful. Totally.

  16. Hello, this message is for the Holbsanator. Hello sir, when this pregnancy comes to be, you need to convince yourself to love all of the changes that will come with it. You need to pretend that there is nothing more in the world that you would rather be doing than going to any market you can find that is open at 2AM that has Almond Rocha. "And don't come home without it!" You need to pretend that puking is beautiful and that Nat does not look fat (She will ask these questions). You will need to pretend that the irrational is rational. But, most importantly, you will need to keep in the back of your mind that once that baby arrives, the Rat that seemed to have disappeared will return and life as a new family can begin. Good luck and God Speed. Again, you make me chuckle Nat. Thanks!

  17. The getting fat part is not so bad because it is for such a HAPPY! reason. It also makes you realize how darn beautiful you were before you got fat and gave into gravity. And after you've given birth, you are much more willing to love your amazing body that is capable of such miraculous things.

  18. I admire your determination and honesty. and i would totally buy a Tickel-O-Matic at Target.

  19. Awe... Missionaries... They are every Young Womens real life version of the Strapping Warriors. Tall, dark, handsome, infused with the word of God, clean cut, stands up for the truth, and a mamas boy.
    Oh, to be a Laurel again! The drooling, giggling, and following around (no, not stalking... but close enough).
    Goodness, now they look like babies! I just want to take them under my wing and protect them! What are they doing this far from home???? Come hither my little missionary and I'll show you... *SLAP!* Oh, dear... It's a complextion that is ingrained in your mind since birth- love the missionaries, support the missionaries, marry a RETURNED missionary.
    I now should go repent for my naughty, naughty thoughts and I wanted to say that your writing brightens my day! I should take your advise and do the opposite! I love too easily and therefore, get my heart broken too much! I can attest that you cannot die from a broken heart... It just stinks like a old, rotten sewer.
    Best of luck to you!

  20. I love what you said about not taking pregnancy for granted. I know people who got pregnant right away, and you know what? They DO take it for granted, they ARE a little smug about it. Probably not intentionally, but they ARE. Thanks be to you for noticing this. I think that you are learning, and are going to continue to learn, great things from this time.

  21. I would buy a 'Tickle-O-Matic' :)

  22. Attitude is everything for sure. I like the additional of all the pink rats on your blog. Congrats on making Blog of Note.

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  24. Nat, I first saw your blog a couple of days ago when I decided to take the plunge and start my own. Kudos on getting listed on "Blogs of Note", by the way. : )

    I love your writing, I love your style, I love your attitude. Your openness makes me feel like you've been a long time friend. Keep up the great writing!

    My own little embryo of a blog is only two days old but you're welcome to check it out, if you'd like. : )

  25. You know I do think that because it took us so long to get pregnant it did make the "miserably sick months" more bareable. I never once wished that I wasn't pregnant, even when I was leaning over the toilet puking up what I just ate minutes before, I was so grateful for the reason that I was puking and it made me love the unborn baby even more :) I think what we went through will make the hard parenting times easier to bare!

  26. Way to look at the positives!
    and please invent the back tickling machine :)
    and your missionary story HILLARIOUS!

  27. i love your blog, damn it! and i love a good "damn it" once in a while.
    *infertility makes me use naughty language, better than drugs, right?. {damn it}
    althought it can be hard to be positive, it's definately more enjoyable than being negative. besides, i get too many negatives. damn those preg tests!

  28. There isn't anything to hate worse in Provo, or the entire Utah Valley for that matter, than the drivers!!! Keep up the positive-ness!

  29. You sound like you needed to let that out, you and The Holbs are so good together. i loved reading this =)

  30. What a great post, love your attitude girly :-) It'inspiring xo.

  31. Natalie, I'll have you know, that I have another beautiful Mormon friend in Boise, who has had two gorgeous daughters, and I swear to you she did not gain a single pound in those two pregnanies. She had the basketball-belly, and retained her amazingly thin face, arms, and legs through both. So, not to worry my dear-I highly doubt you will get fat. You will simply be GLOWING and your belly will be shouting "I'm creating a miracle!" while your legs still shout "yeah, I'm totally hot - eat your heart out".

  32. 1. Sign me up for a tickle-o-matic....mine reckons he works to hard to have to come home and pamper me.
    2. LOL x infinty at your inappropriate Missionary Mauling. Our missionaries (we called them ours because no one else in the ward fed them but us)suffered greatly at the hands of YW, poor guys spent more time beet red and looking at their shoes than any other thing I reckon.
    3. Exactly the right approach to the waiting....I'm pregnant with number two and can only dream about having my own time to ponder, potter and sleep those things up while you can and you won't mind when it dissapears for any number of years. As for being fat, well suddenly you realise why whales live in the ocean and hippos spend a lot of time in water too!

  33. Wow, I LOVE this post. It captures exactly the idea that has been on my mind lately, albeit about a slightly different topic. I just ended a 3yr relationship, knowing that we weren’t right for each other, and part of me is impatient for that right guy to arrive (because like you I can’t wait to have a family, and most importantly be a mother!). But lately I’ve been thinking about how much happier I would be if I chose to love this waiting time, to embrace all the good things of being single. Not a novel idea I know, but novel for an impatient girl like me! I particularly like the idea of not taking for granted the things that do come easily to me, like good jobs and awesome friends.

    So thank you Nat, thank you so much for this. I’m going to make a decisive list of what I love about now on my blog this weekend – may as well get started while you’ve inspired me!

  34. Hi Nat :)

    New reader here (thank you blogs of note!) and I am LOVING it. Your writing brings a calmness to me, and I find myself wanting to put on warm socks and curl up with my favorite throw and hot tea as I read. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the world. I definitely needed to read this today as I find myself getting quite impatient with all the I wants that I haven't gotten yet. God already wrote the next chapter of this story so I just need to shush and enjoy the chapter I'm in now.

    Anyway, thank you again! :)

  35. Congrats, Nat, on your first thousand followers! I woke up this morning and noticed you did it! I think that makes your celebrity-ness official! :D

  36. Truly inspirational! Your positive spirit is contagious - thank you!

  37. I do adore this post! And the photo is so cute. : )

    Thanks for the Cutting Edge shout-out!!! DB Sweeney is still a cutie after all these years.

  38. Hi there!
    Being that it took me 9 years and 3 adoptions before becoming pregnant I decided to love it too.

    The physical stuff was sometimes a drag, but the whole experience was awesome. Not awesome in the 1992 Jr. High hallway "That's sooo awesome", but more awe inspiring. Out of this world. Godly.

    And also fat with heart burn.

    Keep on trying, my impatient sista. It will be awesome.

  39. Hello, twin sister! Holy carp, as you say! Could we be anymore alike? (was living in Winnipeg, Canada (cold as Antarctica 8 months of the year)involuntarily because of my student husband, all I had is one fluffy small dog, poorer than poor, impatiently subfertile...) I'm SO glad I found your blog!

  40. Just wanted to let you know that I am you in the future. No I'm nothing like you, but I am the having a hard time getting pregnant, having all the same thoughts, future you. I am the one who just had the baby that we waited FOREVER for. And I can tell you that these positive thoughts absolutely come true. I LOVED my pregnancy, ever last puking bit of it! I actually found myself laughing after throwing up, now who can say that? I was the happiest pregnant person you ever saw. And I loved the fact that I was that person! And now.... now I'm the happiest mom that you ever knew. The one who doesn't take things for granted. The one who lets her house become a disaster and is (for the most part) okay with it because I'd rather be playing with my sweet, super special, super loved little boy! You better believe that what you're writing here is the truth and makes everything, when the time comes, that much more amazing!!

  41. And P.S... I promise you will be thankful and look back fondly on the time that you and your husband get to spend alone as a family.

  42. i so so so so needed this. i will pretend to love idaho falls til i really truly love it. fake it til you make it. xo.


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