Pieces of Heaven

Friday, December 23, 2011

I Will Wait Upon The Lord...

I'm learning slowly how to trust.
When God allows certain things to happen-
and you're not sure how it is going to work-
He always pulls through. I'm learning not
to take things for granted...
Thinking of the Blessed Mother and her
example. Remembering that she was frightened-
that her whole life, all the things she had
imagined for herself, disappeared with her
willingness to serve God.
However, with that willingness, God bestowed
upon her numerous gifts, and she became
what she was MEANT to be. She wanted what He
wanted, and it was right, and good- it was
beyond anything she could have ever imagined.
Please- help me to resign to Your will, O Lord.
I feel great joy within me, but great fear.
Great thankfulness-
But great want.
You bestowed upon us all the faith we will
ever need- please give me the grace to
unlock that faith, and to wait upon You.
Thank you for your gift to us.
Help us to trust.

Mary, Mother of God- pray for us!
Pray for me to be like you!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Things I Appreciate

MY HUSBAND. His patience and loving kindness toward me through everything is amazing. I love that even when I am scared or worried, he is calm, rational and wise.

HAPPY OLD MEN. At the end of the school day today, an old man- probably in his late seventies stopped me in the hallway and was telling me about his late wife and their thirteen children. He had told me, "I married an angel when I married my wife. She was so good with the children and so good to me." He then "oooed" and "awed" over David. So sweet.

DIRTY DIAPERS. After they are changed, regardless of the mess, David is happy.

OUR DUPLEX: Having our own space: priceless.

OUR "FIRST" CHRISTMAS TREE: We bought our "first" tree this year. Yes, it is a fake tree. (Having a real tree with Charlie would be a disaster.) It's nice to have in our living room, and Joseph loves looking at the "pity" (pretty) tree with "da star."

MY FAVORITE VOLUNTEER: Well, I suppose I shouldn't have favorites. But- I had the best and sweetest old lady working in my office making copies and filing things. Thursday was her last day because she is in the early stages of Alzheimers and wanted to leave before she started making mistakes. I LOVE that lady. God sent an angel to my office, and I'm not sure how everything will get done without her- and I loved her company. I learned so much!

SURPRISES: Well...I "sort of" appreciate surprises. I'll update this more later.

WASHERS AND DRYERS: This year, my husband and I are buying a washer and dryer for each other for Christmas...and I am SO excited. It is not easy to have two babies (two BOYS at that) and not have a washer and dryer around. Come January 5th- no more visiting Mom and Dad to use them for their washing machine- which I'm sure they will appreciate.

CHRISTMAS MUSIC: I've had a difficult time getting into the "Christmas Spirit" this past month. However, I appreciate Pandora and listening to Christmas music in my office. That really helped today. I especially love the song "O Holy Night." That is my most favorite Christmas song- it always brings tears to my eyes. Maranatha- come Lord Jesus!

QUIET TIME: The boys are all asleep. When I say the boys, I mean ALL the boys: husband, Joe-Joe, David and Charlie. It gives me time to think.

If I don't get online again before Christmas, I hope everyone has a most blessed and holy Christmas and Happy New Year.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me.

Tomorrow, my husband and I are putting a downpayment on the duplex!
I'm nervous...excited...nervous...but mostly EXCITED! It will be a small space, but it will be OUR space. I'm grateful.

AND- we just purchased a car- very, very excited.

I think things are beginning to turn around!

I'm also excited because my friend is going to help me with the preliminary stages of getting teaching licensure. Of course, I'm not really saying much at this time about it to anyone, but this past week has given me SO MUCH HOPE. And if this teaching thing goes through, I hope my husband will be able to look for a job that makes him happy. I want that for him SO MUCH. I haven't had much hope in a while- and I have been humbled by God's generosity. Even though I've been doubting, and scared and angry...He lavishes me with more than I deserve.

My husband had a three day weekend this past weekend, and we were able to go out and see a movie and spend time together. This Sunday is my birthday, and he has another three day weekend- and I am SO, so happy that I will be able to see my husband on my birthday! That is the best present I could ask for.

I'm also so grateful for my sons. For Joseph- his antics- how he calls me Mom-Mom instead of Mama, and how he calls my husband DaDaDa. His hugs and his smiles...for David- how he is beginning to coo, his gummy smiles, his snuggles, his chubby cheeks and how he stops crying when I go to hold him.

I'm also thankful that my sister and her boyfriend were able to come up from Ohio for Thanksgiving.

I am blessed. I don't deserve it...but I'm blessed- and I am grateful.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Changes and Toddler Talk

So...I think we are applying for an apartment.

We found an apartment (although I would consider it to be more of a duplex) that seems like it might be a good fit for our needs (for the time being...).
It is more than I would like to pay for housing that is temporary, but the apartments that are in the lower price range are in bad neighborhoods and definitely NOT places where I want to have my children.

I have mixed feelings with going forward with the application process. I WANT to leave my parents' house, but I wonder if it is a prudent thing to do financially. Still weighing the pros and cons. We also just found out that we need a new car because our transmission is "sliding." With DH's commute, we definitely need to do this, but we also need to take winter tires in consideration.

Work has been a struggle. My heart isn't in it anymore. I wish it were. It would certainly make other burdens at the workplace seem lighter. I feel apathetic about some things, broken about others. Nonetheless, I hope that God can use me- as broken as I am.

Onto happier things-- David was baptized! It was beautiful, and so was he. I call David my "smiley baby." Even last week, when he and Joseph both had horrible colds and were coughing and sneezing, he was still smiling! On my worst days, that smile makes it all worth it. I'm so thankful for both of my sons. Yesterday, Joseph made me smile, too:

When I was with Joseph and David in the car, I asked Joseph, "Is David your brother?"

He replied by saying, "BRUDDAR! DeeDee!" (Dee or DeeDee is what he calls David).

Then I asked him, "Joseph, where is your brother?"

He pointed again to David and said, "Right DARE!" So cute. Love it.

I'm so thankful for my husband, my kids, and my health. I'm so blessed that I have not been knocked out by this killer cold that is making its way through the house. My sister and I are the only ones who are still "healthy." And on that note, I'm going to brew a nice mug of tea before I go bid my sweet husband goodbye (he'll be waking up to go to work) and before I go to sleep.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An Update

I was so elated last night when my husband did NOT have to work a double shift and came home on time and gave me a bouquet of red roses. I think he has some sort of sixth sense and knows when I need to see him, and when I "need" to have flowers. Yesterday was rough, but seeing him made it all worth it! (And the roses were an added bonus!)

David had his two month shots today- poor little guy was SO upset! I always hate to see my little men get their shots and cry. It's heartbreaking that you can see that they don't understand why they're in pain. But, on a brighter note, David is thriving. It's hard to believe he was ever 5 lbs and suffering from jaundice. He's now about 14 lbs and 24 inches long. I can't believe how quickly he is growing!

Joseph is loving daycare- which makes me feel a little better. I found the sweetest lady who runs a home daycare and only has about six children besides him in it, AND they're all about the same age. If I can't be at home with him, I'm glad that she has him during the day...AND he's making friends, which makes me happy.

His vocabulary is also exploding. Right now, one of his favorite things to say is, "No, that's mine!" Hard to believe that he is now two years old and learning more everyday!

DH has gotten a "permanent" position, which is a blessing. Right now we're looking for a "cheap" apartment, and plan to move closer to his job at the end of the year...and then I may pursue the teaching license. I've met someone who I think will be a great help to me in this process, and if we're both working, we'll soon pay off what needs to be paid off and then I can stay at home with my boys.

Work for me has been...hard. I have the luxury of bringing David to work with me, which is a blessing. However, it also makes working difficult. I'm learning how to juggle and doing well so far. Other things at work get me down, but I figure that I am "working" for God, so God will glorify Himself through my weakness and through what I've been going through.

David's baptism had to be cancelled because he had the worst case of constipation and gas pain I'd ever seen in an infant! We've rescheduled for this Saturday. I'm pretty convinced he has the best godparents ever. :) The proxies are very good people as well. Pictures to follow.

That's all I have time to write for now- Confirmation Retreat is all day on Sunday for our 10th Graders and I'm tying up all the loose ends tomorrow...and then I have a full work week after that. However, I am blessed with so much- and I am quite convinced I have married the best man ever- and my boys are doing so well. Things are slowly turning around- and I am grateful for God's abundant blessings.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How silly we are. The Lord gives us so many good things. Our friends and family are important, yes, but the MOST important is that He gives us Himself. Why should we complain if He takes His gifts away for a time? So long as He doesn't take Himself from us, we have all that we need!

The above was a posting from a friend on Facebook- and something I desperately needed to hear.

Fiat...even though I don't know what comes next...fiat!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Brain Change

Maybe it's just me- but I'm convinced the way I interpret and think
about things has changed since I've become a wife and mama.

For example:

5:00 AM Before Children (BC):
"Time to work out!"

5:00 AM After Children (AC):
"Joseph is crying- isn't Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on yet?!"

BC: Poop? Gross!

AC: Poop? What color is it? How often has he gone? He HASN'T gone?!
(This also includes praying that baby poops and is not constipated.*)
*Anecdote to follow.

BC: Isn't Charlie (the cat) adorable? He meows in response when I talk to him!

AC: WHY WON'T CHARLIE BE QUIET?!?! The baby is sleeping!!!

BC: Cool equaled: Being able to read Crime and Punishment.

AC: Cool equals: Cuddling up with Goodnight Moon.

I'll have to continue this list later...believe me...it's long!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jeremiah 29:11..

David and Joe-Joe are finally both sleeping for a few precious minutes, so I thought I would sit down and type an update...and then perhaps take a nap. It is raining and I have my French Vanilla tea- and the combination is making me sleepy!

It has been very busy up this way- the boys have kept me very occupied. My DH has gotten a new job, which is wonderful! However, he does work very unpredictable overtime hours and his shifts are not yet regular- and so for the most part, it has been just me taking care of the babies.

We are still living with my parents, but I'm hoping that within the next month or so, we will be out of the house and into an apartment. Grant it, it's not what we had hoped for. We had hoped at this point to be able to put a down payment on a house, but it's something. We are going through state-subsidized housing, and our application is just about complete. We are currently working on getting letters of reference, and then we should know in about two weeks whether or not there are any openings.

I'm disappointed that we don't have a house lined up (especially with two little ones)- but VERY happy to be making the transition to being a separate family unit again. It will be a blessing to have our own space.

I have the sinking feeling that I will need to go back to work. I'm beginning to look at daycare options- and I've started to put out my "feelers" for other jobs that have benefits. We really need to get back on our feet. I'm wondering if there are any businesses I can work from home that are reliable and that I would be able to keep up with.

I've also been looking at going back to school to obtain a teaching license. I've been teaching ever since I graduated from college, but I taught at private Catholic institutions and a license was not required. Where I'm living now, even the Diocesan schools require teachers to be licensed. I think if I take this route, even though I LOVED teaching high schoolers, I would opt for an elementary classroom. It's still the same amount of work, but the work is different, and I think the work load for me would be more managable with two little ones if I taught elementary school. Going this route would probably help us the most- and a job like this, especially if I decided to teach in a public school, would help with benefits.

After being a DRE and working with public school kids, I do feel that I could do a lot of good in that type of environment.

I've also thought about nursing school- but I think that the schooling would take too much time away from my family.

I'm praying that God will open my eyes as to what He wants for our family. I've been so conflicted about returning to work. If we get the apartment, we would have to move 40 miles away from my current job. And, although I feel that the current job is important and needs a young DRE, at what point to I start "working for" my own domestic church and make sure we are financially secure? Decisions, decisions! Please pray for our discernment.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sacred Hours Revisited

In the past two weeks I've had plenty of time to reflect on my reasons for naming this blog "Sacred Hours."

David has been waking several times a night for feedings- and sometimes just to be held. As always, the first night back from the hospital was the most difficult. He was waking up every half hour, and my husband had to go to the academy early the next morning, so I was getting up with him on my own. I sent Fred to another room so he could get some sleep and eventually enlisted my mother's help, which seemed to work out well.

Now, David is only getting up three to four times a night- and I'm finding that (besides the sleep deprivation) it is such a joy to be up and feeding him- to be able to hold him close and make eye contact during the feedings- and to have silence. It's nice that no one else is awake- and then rubbing his back to lull him back to sleep is priceless.

Joseph is having a difficult time adjusting to being the big brother and is doing everything he can to get attention. This covers the spectrum of being sweet and good (helping me change David's diaper, bringing him a bottle and giving us kisses) to downright mischievous (climbing to the top of the sofa and catapulting himself down, chasing the dog and taking the keys off of his aunt's open computer.) I feel so bad for him because he's too young to understand what's going on- and I'm trying to give him as much "special time" as possible.

Charlie (the infamous cat) is driving me crazy. I could probably write a novel about all of his escapades for the past few weeks. I should start a blogging series just about him!

My husband's academy is just about over, for which I am very grateful! He graduates on Thursday and I am SO proud of him. He left this morning at 5:30 for the week, and I'm always sad when he has to go. I was happy to be up this morning to see him in uniform (what can I say...I'm a sucker for a handsome man- i.e. my husband- in uniform!) and to be able to give him a kiss goodbye.

With his absence, I've come to realize how much of a "pillar" a husband and father is to his family, and while I can "hold down the fort" and be the best mother that I can, there is no substitute for him- and it makes me miss and appreciate him even more.

I feel so blessed to have wonderful "men" in my life- my husband and my two boys- who make me feel like everything we're going through is worth it.

Tasks to do while my husband is away:

Research apartments and townhouses
Pray for special intentions
Open David's savings account
Take DH's extra uniforms to the seamstress
Get David to the doctor to have his weight monitored (my little guy is a peanut!)
Pay bills
NOT think about work
Secure a new baby carrier that will be small enough for the little guy
Secure a new stroller (my Dad ran over ours when he was trying to back the car up into the garage...yikes!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Two Under Two

We're very happy that my second son, David Matthias, was born on August 6th- the Feast of the Transfiguration! It seems like a lifetime of events has occurred in about a week,(my husband is at an academy for law enforcement, I'm transitioning into a stay at home mom of a toddler and newborn, jaundice, bilirubins, nurses, nursing...etc., etc....) and so I haven't had much time to rest- (or to write.) Hoping for some time soon.

Until then...

Jezu Ufam Tobie!

Please keep us in your prayers!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Thankfulness List and a Toddlerese Translation

I don't have too much time to blog right now, but I DID want to include a list of things I'm thankful for:

1. My husband got a job! YAY! I'm happy for him, and I feel like a weight has been lifted, especially since I am now on (unpaid) maternity leave.

2. Even though he is at the Academy, his instructors will let him be with me when I'm in labor.

3. I'm on maternity leave- I've found two people to act as my replacements during leave, and I found my entire Catechetical staff or the upcoming year, except for one teacher. I'm praying for this.

4. Even though I had a "false alarm" on Sunday morning which ended with the doctor hinting that I might want to consider induction (?!?) I am relieved to know that the hospital has such a nice staff. The English nurse that came in to tend to me was particularly gracious to me and to my husband.

5. Joseph has had a Verbal Explosion! All of the sudden, he has begun to try and talk. Some of his words are:

Gaga (for Grandma and Grandpa)
Joo (juice)
Mil (milk)
Botta (bottle)
Poo (self-explanatory)
Mow (rhymes with cow- this is for Mickey Mouse)
Yo-Ho (when he watches Jake and the Neverland Pirates)
Shew (shoe)
Ha (hat)
Hewo (hello)
Idunno (I don't know)
Wadidudo (What did you do?)
Ca (Car)
JeeJee (Jesus)
Peas (Please)
Gedow (Get down!)
Bebe (baby)
La (light)

It seems like he has just begun to chatter overnight! In regards to No- he began to say that about three weeks ago (and includes vigorous head shaking or whining while doing so). The first time he said it, I had asked him: "Joseph, where's the baby?" to we he began whimpering and said, "NO!" I hope this is not a foreshadowing of things to come! But in any case, deciphering "toddlerese" is very challenging- and he gets frustrated when he's not understood. Poor JoeJoe!

6. Finally, I'm SO thankful that with each of my pregnancies, I've had access to a swimming pool- it's a GLORIOUS feeling to feel weightless when you're nine months pregnant!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Letting Go of Martha

I'm a self proclaimed perfectionist. Up until this past year, I was the type who didn't want to work on a project unless I knew I could do it correctly. I wouldn't let Joseph wear mismatched socks. I would proofread and edit my e-mails at least three times...once for spelling, once for grammar, and once for content...and then again if I didn't feel that was sufficient.

Even the pajamas I went to sleep in had to match.

Well, I think that this phase of being a perfectionist is rapidly coming to an end. As I am slowly learning: Motherhood is NOT compatible with perfectionism. (Nor is being a wife, or a DRE for that matter.)

Of course, this does not mean that moms shouldn't try to perfect (as in modeling their virtues after Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother)...but it does mean not getting stressed out when things don't go as planned. It does mean taking a break from polishing that report and spending time with family instead. It does mean being able to go outside without hair that is perfectly coiffed or lipstick that is perfectly applied.

When I was first married, I had dreams of living in California, perhaps by the beach, and having a dream job teaching. I imagined a clean house, folded laundry, perfectly cooked and seasoned food, and four kids.

As DH and I rapidly approach our five year wedding anniversary, I've realized that dreams change.

I recently read a book that spoke at great length about perfectionism and what it DOES to people. To summarize, the author spoke about how trying to live up to others' ideas of what is perfect causes nothing but stress. (Imagine that!) There aren't any awards for who has the cleanest house or who can bake something that is absolutely delectable from scratch. There are no awards for who can dress the best or who goes to sleep with matching pajamas...(at least none that I've found!)

The book spoke about redefining perfectionism as completing a task to the point where it makes YOU happy. This advice is all well and good, but what if you are the one who is never happy and sets unachievable and unrealistic standards for yourself?

It's time to re-evaluate what should really bring happiness to your life. I came across a quote from Voltaire that states, "Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good." I wish that I had read that quote in context- but reading it by itself, I would imagine it to mean, "do not let perfectionism be the enemy of what is good." Meaning- that striving to be perfect for the sake of being perfect, is an enemy to what is good- striving for perfection in order to emulate the GREATEST good, God.

When Our Lord was visiting Martha and Mary, Martha was bustling around in the kitchen, trying to get everything ready for dinner. If Martha was anything like me, she probably had gone over what she wanted to feed her guest 50 times, had scoured over her kitchen for hours, and was praying for the food not to burn, all the while getting annoyed that her sister was just sitting around instead of helping her play the perfect hostess.

When Martha asks Jesus to send Mary to help her, he says:

"Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42


There's so much more I could write in this post, but it's been sitting in my drafts since July 4! I guess I'm also losing my habit of getting things done in one sitting and "on time." :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Priest Forever

This past feast of Corpus Christi was incredibly beautiful. An old high school friend of mine was ordained to the priesthood! Although I wasn't able to make it to the Mass of Ordination, (my husband was at an interview and I had Joseph) I was able to go to his First Mass of Thanksgiving yesterday. Wow.

Anyway, I came across the following prayer that I thought was appropriate for the occasion. Enjoy! Hoping to post more soon.

Prayer of St. Francis de Sales

Lord, I am yours, and I must belong to no one but you.
My soul is yours, and must live only by you.
My will is yours, and must love only for you.
I must love you as my first cause, since I am from you.
I must love you as my end and rest, since I am for you.
I must love you more than my own being, since my being subsists by you.
I must love you more than myself, since I am all yours and all in you.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"He must increase and I must decrease..."

One of my Facebook friends is also expecting a little one in the near future, and recently mused that "...he must increase and I must decrease..." was especially applicable to those who are expecting. I must admit, that with my added girth (er...baby weight...) that I find this to be true. As the baby continues to grow, I feel myself slowing down, easily fatigued, and drawing myself away from things that require a lot of energy. There's little that I want to do at this point in time besides eat, sleep, and cross stitch the baby's birth announcement- and some days, even that takes a lot of effort.
However, during this pregnancy inparticularly, I find a loss of control with so many things. For those who know me, it would most likely be said that I am a creature of structure and routine. I like to know what's going on and I don't get excited about surprises easily. As of right now, I'm still looking for someone to fill in for me during maternity leave (or longer!) and we're still living with my parents. In the past few days, however, my husband has received three opportunities for interviews, which is an answer to prayer. I'm hoping that something works out for our family soon, especially since maternity leave is unpaid.
Am I uneasy about all of this? Yes. However, I feel an underlying calm- one that even the sleepless nights due to stress and discomfort cannot touch. I don't know quite how to describe it- but I feel like in the eleventh hour, everything will be alright.
Don't get me wrong- I still have my moments. I have moments when I look at Joseph and wonder what will happen with him if I have to go back to work. I look around at our "humble abode" (my parents' basement) and wish that we could have our own place again- and wish we could do things our way. I look at my husband and worry for him, hoping that he does not get discouraged even though we've lived up north for a year and he has yet to find employment. I look down at my expanding belly, and wonder if this new baby will be happy and healthy.
And yet, through all of this, I still feel a quiet reassurance. For this I am truly grateful. God helps those who help themselves- and I feel like we are doing the best that we can given our situation. I'm still working at my parish, trying to get everything set up for the next school year, and my husband is being a great stay-at-home dad while doing his best to job hunt. He sacrifices his sleep to get up with Joseph at night so I can work the next day, and when I get home from work I try to relieve him so he can have a few moments to regroup.
We will continue to do what we can, and know that God is never changes, and is always faithful.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Few Precious Moments-

Well, I'm up early on Sunday and I'm trying to relish the few quiet moments I will have before the rest of the house wakes up. I wanted to take the time to eat my breakfast and write down a few things I was thankful for before the chaos begins.

1. I am thankful that we DID NOT, in fact, have a tornado. We ended up having a massive thunderstorm, complete with six inches of rain within six hours, a green sky, hail, and minor basement flooding. It could have been a lot worse. There were so many people up here who lost so much due to all the flooding- many businesses that will be out of commission for a while, and many cars that are buried beneath mountains of mud. Our city has an estimated 1 million dollars in damage, but our home was blessed enough not to be hit.

2. I'm thankful that I've made it to the third trimester of this pregnancy. The baby moves around more and more each day- and it's amazing.

3. Even though it's been difficult, I am thankful for my job- it's sustaining my family, and causing me to grow in ways I wouldn't have imagined.

4. I'm thankful for creemees! It was so excited to buy Joseph his first creemee of the season. We bought him a small twist (vanilla and chocolate) and had it put in a little cup for him- and he LOVED it. Needless to say, it ended up all over his face and new outfit, but he was so cute!

5. I'm thankful for my understanding husband. This third trimester has knocked me down as far as fatigue goes- and many days I feel like I've begun the first trimester all over again. It's nice to know I don't have to feel 'guilty' about
taking a nap, if needed.

6. I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to buy a book yesterday- "Three Cups of Tea," that I've been meaning to read for some time now. I'm also thankful that the next book on my list is "The Simalillion." (sp?) I've read it before, but it's been so long I honestly can't remember much about it.

7. I'm thankful that I ordered the CUTEST counted cross stitch birth announcement yesterday to work on before the baby arrives. I had wanted to make one for Joseph, and I never was able to do so- (one of my dear friends did, though- and it's very cute.) So, I really wanted to make this one. It has jungle animals on it and I think it will be fun.

Prayer Intentions:

1. For my husband's job search.
2. That I find a good replacement during my maternity leave- (the replacement I had lined up fell through...I was disappointed because this person would have been fabulous.)
3. A special intention.
4. My family and Fred's family.
6. That Joseph will begin sleeping through the night- (PLEASE!)
7. For friends- especially the newly engaged and newly expecting.
8. For my cousin, who just found out she can't have any more children.
9. That (hopefully) Fred and I will find our own place, soon.
10. For an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in this house.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Little Spotted Boy and Winding Down

Well, Joseph's ear infection saga lasted far longer than we had expected it to last.
After being on the amoxicillan for two or three days, we noticed red spots covering his bottom- some of which had split open and had begun to bleed, and he was walking around the house bow-legged because he was in so much pain. We called the doctor, who told us that it is typical that children react to the penicillin by getting yeast infections (?!?!) in their lower regions, and told us to apply Monistat and Desitin to his bottom for the next several days.
Three days after THAT incident, my husband called me at work, and told me to check my cell phone. He had sent me several pictures of Joseph, who was COVERED in red, blotchy welts, especially his face and his belly. This led to another trek to the ER.
After waiting for awhile, a nurse came into the room to gather more information for the doctor. "Awwww...are you a little spotted boy?" she cooed to my disgruntled son- who promptly buried his face in Daddy's shoulder. After questioning us about new detergents and exposure to new foods, she left- and we ended up waiting for another hour.
Finally, the doctor came in and within ten minutes, triumphantly announced that what Joseph had was NOT chicken pox, but an allergic reaction the penicillin that was prescribed for his ear infection. He told us to give him Children's Benadryl, and that his spots should disappear within five to seven days.
About three days later, his spots have finally begun to fade...leaving only faint tan colored blotches. I'm hoping the constant oatmeal baths, oatmeal lotion and Benadryl are making my little guy a little more comfortable!
I think what shocked me the most throughout this experience was that my hubby and I were the ones who were beside ourselves- worried sick about our little guy- and besides the constant scratching, Joseph didn't seem phased at all. It's amazing sometimes how kids handle things so much better than adults!
I'm also happy to report that our First Communion Mass was beautiful! It was so amazing to see all the little boys and girls in their suits and white fairy dresses-so eager to receive Christ for the first time. Despite all of the chaos, I'm glad that all went well and that the children and parents were both so pleased with the outcome. The ending of First Communion signals the wind-down of the Catechetical Year- I have only to deal with the Baccalaureate Mass and VBS and then I can (somewhat) relax.
Please continue to keep my husband in your prayers as he job hunts. The third trimester begins this week and now it really seems as if time is ticking fast. Hopefully, we'll have good news soon!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ear Infections and the Passing of Time...

I've sat down to type a few times this evening, only to stare at the blank screen and not know where to start. Too much noise- too many distractions- and not enough time to clear my mind have all contributed to this writer's block.
The past few days (well...nights) have been sleepless. Joseph came down with 103 fever which resulted in us taking him to the ER. He was so uncomfortable and flinched everytime he was touched with the stethoscope- and threw a tantrum everytime the doctor looked in his ears or came near him. It was so sad! The doctor concluded he had contracted some sort of virus and chalked it up to the fact that since he is cutting his canines, there are breaks in his skin (gums) which lead to a higher amount of viruses that can be contracted. He also mentioned his left ear was starting to get red.
Forward to the next day- he seems very lethargic and wants nothing more than to cuddle with Mommy and Daddy. After putting him down for the night, he awoke crying several times. Finally, at 3:00 AM he began yelling, and sounded so frightened! I ran over to his bed and picked him up, to find him clad in sweat soaked pajamas. My husband and I quickly stripped him down to his diaper and put a t-shirt on him to try to cool him- and gave him a bottle filled with Pedialyte, as well as some infant Advil. He never really went back to sleep, but he seemed to grow calmer.
We saw his pediatrician the next day who told us that the poor little guy had an ear infection, and prescribed an antibiotic. He seems to be doing MUCH better now- the fever has finally broken, and he seems to have regained his energy. I'm so thankful that he is on the mend. The night when he woke up screaming and drenched in sweat, I was so scared for him!
Between Joseph's ear infection and work, it seems like time marches steadily on. I can't believe that in about 15 weeks, I'll be holding our second son. I'm excited and scared- hoping God has something for us on the horizon. I trust that God would not leave us stranded with two children and unpaid maternity leave- but the waiting is causing me to grow quite anxious. I need to implore the prayers of the Blessed Mother much more fervently!
On a different note- I am quite sure I have married one of the godliest men God created- and his strength, patience and gentleness never cease to amaze me. I am truly blessed with a man who I believe is my own "St. Joseph." For this, I am truly grateful.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Five Thoughts

Upon hearing the news about the death of Osama Bin Laden- I had five thoughts:

1. May God have mercy on his soul.
2. Our US Military goes to great lengths to protect us.
3. Too many people are making light of this situation- not so much
being happy that justice is served, as happy that he's gone- I'm not
sure how else to explain it...
4. I'm sure this will make Obama's ratings skyrocket.
5. In the grand scheme of things, will the death of Bin Laden really affect the al Qaida's activity?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blessings and Updates

Wow- it's been awhile since I've posted! As it is a rare, sunshine filled day up here in New England and I'd like to get a healthy dose of Vitamin D, I will not have a very long post today. However, there are a few things I wanted to mention that I was thankful for, and a few brief anecdotes I wanted to share.

1. I am thankful that our Confirmation Mass was very successful. The candidates were so respectful and prayerful during the Mass- and our Bishop gave the most inspiring homily. There was also a boy there who I had found out would be joining us the day before the ceremony- a cancer survivor. At fifteen years old, he decided he wanted to become Catholic. Both of his parents live out of state, and he lives with his grandfather, who was his sponsor. He attended Confirmation at our parish because he had just undergone bladder reconstruction surgery and wasn't healthy enough to go to the Confirmation in his own parish. What a witness- what a BLESSING- to have him share Confirmation with our candidates!

2. John Paul II was beatified today- and today is Divine Mercy Sunday. Amazing? I think so.

3. My husband, Joseph and myself drove for an hour to get to a mall that sold maternity clothes today. I was SO happy about this. You see, after I had moved up north from Dallas, we had been separating all of our clothes so we could pack them away, and decide which things we should donate to the Salvation Army. My maternity clothes were taken by mistake. It's so nice to have some items that fit well.

4. I'm also thankful that Joseph behaved so well at the mall. We rented a little "bumper car" that he rode in and "steered" while we cruised around- and then we took him to the food court where he had his first Taco Bell experience. Very messy- but he was very happy, and very cute.

A few updates before I sign off for today-

1. Joseph is now in a toddler bed. This is both a blessing and a curse. We decided he was ready for the bed after I just barely caught him before he launched himself over the side of his crib and onto the hard basement floor. I'm so thankful that one of us was there to see what mischief he could get into- and thankful that he is now safe in his toddler bed, which is low to the ground. Since it is low to the ground, he can exit the bed any time he wishes, and does so promptly at 5:00 AM every morning. Once this happens, he climbs over to my side of the bed, climbs into our bed, and starts stroking my hair and calling me NOT Mama, but "Kitty." (I'm hoping its because of the long hair!)

2. I'm 24 weeks along in my pregnancy, and we have a name for the new baby boy. Very excited.

3. Please continue to keep my husband in your prayers- still job hunting. We're beginning to look out of state as the economy around here has been terrible. Please pray that we find something soon- with my unpaid maternity leave on the horizon, we are both beginning to get very anxious- and we are both very anxious to have our own place again.

Hoping to post more tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Special Intention

Please pray for our Confirmandi tonight and tomorrow- rehearsal tonight- and Confirmation tomorrow! And please pray for me, that I direct the rehearsal clearly and well and address all last minute concerns and questions to the satisfaction of the parents and candidates. I can't believe the Bishop is coming tomorrow!!!

I'm hoping to get back to a more regular blogging schedule after May 2nd...and then I'll be preparing for a First Eucharist celebration with our Second Graders.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday List

Today I'm thankful that I did not chop off my hair- I WILL grow it out! :) I went to the salon and had the ends trimmed- and was really happy that my stylist said the next time I go in for a trim (in about six weeks) all of the dyed hair will be gone. SO excited.

I'm thankful that I found a dress to wear to Confirmation and matching jewelry- and did not spend a fortune to do it.

I'm thankful that my hubby and I went to Big Lots and put together a fun Easter basket (well...bucket) for Joseph. A chocolate bunny, a book, a ball, sidewalk chalk and a few other little treasures. AND- we finally bought him a booster seat. I think this will make meal time a much happier time!

I'm thankful for my husband- (as always)...

And I'm thankful to feel Baby Q moving. Amazing.

Hopefully, I'll have more to time to write in the next few days.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Yesterday I was tutoring two third grade students who are preparing to make their First Holy Communion. Before our session officially began, I had enlisted Fr. E to give the kids a tour of the church. After all, in studying the Eucharist one must have a good knowledge of the Mass- (which he explained as he brought them around the church.)

Anyway, Fr.E was telling them how they could tell the difference between Catholic and Protestant churches, namely, that you would find a crucifix in a Catholic Church, and a cross in a Protestant church. He then went on to explain that one would always find the Stations of the Cross in a Catholic church, unless they did not have enough room for all of the stations, which meant the twelfth station (Jesus Dies on the Cross) would be the only one included.

At this point, one of the little boys turns to look at me and says, "So in other words, Fr. is saying that there are lots of cakes, but only one pie." (All the other stations are important, but the twelfth is the most important.) I don't think I had laughed so hard in a LONG time! I'm going to have to remember that saying!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Safety Net

I'm thankful that my husband and I don't "have to" talk- that a simple hug makes everything better.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thoughtful Words

Today I'm thankful for a surprise e-mail from one of my former high school students. This e-mail was sent because her college professor told her she should thank the teacher who taught her to write well- and apparently that is me! It was nice to hear from her- and something that really touched my heart after everything that we've been going through. I don't think students realize how much they they can also affect their teachers- and how much the students end up teaching them. Thank you Lord, for this blessing- and for giving me the gifts that were needed to help this student. May her skills forever glorify You!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


As I was sitting in the rectory this morning during Liturgy Committee meeting, and we were planning all of the events for Holy Week- my stomach began to rumble, and visions of golden fries and chocolate milkshakes danced through my head. And as the discussions and planning continued, all I could think about was steak.

I was so relieved at the conclusion of the meeting when I could come home and fix something to eat- which ended up to be fishsticks and tater tots. NOT healthy at all, but the meal satisfied my weird pregnancy craving!

As of late, it has been difficult for me to focus on much of anything...besides my increased appetite, and my work. I grow so frustrated at times because it is difficult for me (with this particular job) to just focus on prayer, or Mass. When I'm able, I go to Sunday Mass in a different town with my family just to avoid having work conversations. I feel like people don't understand that I have a family, or a life, outside of my job.

Spiritual life bleeds into work- work bleeds into family- and as much as I appreciate the volunteers, I would like to meet people that are our age so we could socialize and make friends for our babies. But when would we have the time, even if that were possible?

I wish it were possible to set up boundaries- to compartmentalize different areas of my life- just to have a feeling of space and relief- to be able to forget about just one of the components for a little while. I can't even go grocery shopping without someone recognizing me and asking me questions about CCD!

I pray that something will happen soon so that my husband will be employed. I am even willing to move again, out of state. I wish we could start fresh- get our own place again...that if I had to work, I wouldn't have to have the position that I'm in now. I miss teaching immensely- and I don't feel like being an administrator is my particular calling, even if I can do it well- and I would prefer not to be "known." It seems like everyone knows who I am and knows things about me, and yet, I don't even know who they are! I suppose that goes along with the job when you are in charge of a ministry...and perhaps that is part of the burden. But I miss the days when I could walk around anonymously- when I could just let go and relax.

I feel as if I haven't even had time to really enjoy my pregnancy because of all the issues that have been surrounding our family as of late. I crave simplicity. I crave silence- and I pray that with this Easter Season, that even if the Lord does not grant that my husband finds a job, that he will give us the strength to resign to his will. Truthfully, I don't feel like I have much strength left. Only God can suffice.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fr. Mike

One of the most amazing priests from my alma mater is about to retire in June. While I was shocked at the news, it made me reflect on how much he has helped me to grow closer to Christ, for which I am eternally grateful.

Fr. Mike was my spiritual director during my senior year- and I credit the success of my year to him. He encouraged me to pursue teaching (while I was trying to discern whether or not to go to graduate school and whether or not to be a missionary), prayed for and with me, and SHOWED me that God truly loved me as his daughter. I had never understood the fatherly love that God had for me until I met him. (And of course, I still don't fully understand- but my soul senses it!)

The last time I heard from Fr. Mike was three years ago- a personal phone call when my sister passed away. I was always touched that he did that- especially with such a demanding schedule- and especially since he ministered to so many students.

Thank you, Jesus for the gift of a priest who truly loves you and loves his vocation. I really do think that those who embrace what God wants for them become, "...a pencil in the hand of God, writing his love letter to the world..." -Mother Teresa.

I am also thankful that today is Friday-

That yesterday I had the chance to play with Joseph outside.

That my volunteers are so resilient- especially C.

That my husband wore a suit to the job fair- he was so handsome! :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Copying Machines As A Path Out Of Purgatory

1. I'm thankful for the copier in my office. It staples, makes double sided copies, scans and collates...(when it isn't jamming, running low on toner or creating some other sort of mischief-)but in all seriousness- this Lent it has acted up more than Joseph when he throws a temper tantrum. My assistant and I often say that this machine is our ticket out of Purgatory. But, I'm beginning to think this is true! (And I'm beginning to have a desire to watch Office Space.)

2. I'm thankful I purchased 400 unfilled Easter Eggs for $19.82. Thank you, Big Lots. I'm also thankful that I have four sweet volunteers who will fill those eggs.

3. I'm thankful that my boss is letting me be at home for two hours today so my husband can make it to a job fair.

4. I'm thankful for a long overdue phone call that I will have on Saturday! :)

5. I'm thankful for lotion. The Vermont winter has dried out my hands immensely, and they're just beginning to be restored to their former state.

6. I'm thankful for having time to play with Joseph after work yesterday, and that when I ask, "Joseph, where's the baby?" he says "Da baabaa???" and pats my belly.

7. I'm thankful my husband is understanding of my crazy pregnancy mood swings.

8. I'm thankful that Baby Q was kicking at work yesterday- it made me smile.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I was thankful that:

It was our LAST Religious Ed. Class for the year. I am breathing a huge sigh of relief!

That our monthly staff meeting is over.

That the most difficult parent I had to deal with all year has decided that he loves me- I NEVER thought that would happen!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday Somethings

Yesterday I was thankful for: (In no particular order-)

1. People adoring my son even though he was being so LOUD during Mass.
2. J.M.'s 80th birthday and birthday party- a classy and holy man!
3. Joseph eating a pretzel stick whilst wearing a bowl on his head and a striped shirt-he looked like he came right out of the Little Rascals.
4. Red rose lollipops made by the Carmelites.
5. The UpZing! (A comfy hairclip).
7. Watching a movie with my love.
8. My husband's arms- he always knows how to hold me so I feel safe.
9. "Rose" NOT pink, colored vestments.
10. Holy Eucharist.
11. Solanus Casey. LOVE HIM.
12. 45 degree weather.
13. My dad taking care of Joseph for a while at the party so I could eat my dinner!
14. "At least I made it to 60- you don't even know if you're going to make it yet!"
15. M. watching baby so we could run to Walmart.

This morning:

A purple and blush striped sky- a love note from God for me.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sacred Showers

Today's good things- (so far...)

1. Sleeping in until 7:45 AM.
2. Our fluffy, old family cat, Gabriel, who has taken to following me around everywhere and insists on being held. (I suppose at age 13, he has the right to feel that way- especially with Charlie and my son constantly chasing him!)
3. A long, hot shower that helped me to unwind.
4. My Nivea "Touch of Happiness" Body Wash.
5. Silence, except for running water.
6. Time to clear my head, and to be alone.
7. My husband watching Joseph so I could take the shower.

Today's missions: (In not particular order-)

1. Finding a pregnancy yoga DVD to help my muscles relax and to help ME relax.
2. Finding time to read my book.
3. Spending time with Joe-Joe outside.
4. Grocery Shopping.
5. Hopefully having a dinner date with my love.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Winter in my Heart

Outside my window, it is snowing again. The green patches that had previously began to grow and the tulips which had begun to sprout are now covered with a white film.
Often, the weather reflects my mood, and it does so again today.
I feel bleak, lifeless and dark.
Something happened this week (and I will spare you the details as I don't want to risk going into an adolescent rant) that really shattered the way I see things- and I really don't think there's anything that can be done about it, other than to pray, and unite it to Christ carrying His cross.
I suppose that it is appropriate that this happened during Lent. I feel lost, and for so long I feel like I've been searching for Him, but I cannot find Him...except in the gentleness of my husband, for which I am grateful.
Lord, increase my faith- make me to have eyes for You alone. Help me to be one after Your own Heart, just as the psalmist was.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


I've been the most disappointed in people that I've been in a very long time. And I'm very sad about it.

On the upside-

I am thankful for a true friend...someone who is watching out for me.

I am also thankful for my BEST friend- my loving husband.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fabulous 50

Well, I don't know how "fabulous" it will be, but I'm happy to celebrate finally writing 50 entries in this blog. When I had more time on my hands, I would write everyday in my old blog- and I kind of miss that. Its nice to see thoughts in writing. I'm hoping after next Tuesday (my last Religious Ed. class) to accomplish two things:

1. To focus on two writing pieces a month- not necessarily blogs (although I will post them here-) even though I know life will continue to get busy, I yearn to write- to have that outlet. I would like to work on a chapbook of poetry- even if its just for myself.

2. Get on the Tresdclimber three times a week- only for twenty minutes to a half hour a session. I really should be walking (no P90X while pregnant!) and I would like to spend more time walking outside once it warms up.

The challenge will be making time to do these things. I'm still going to have a lot of work to do, especially with Sacramental Prep and preparing for maternity leave- (though I'm hoping that I will be able to leave to stay home- we'll see what God wants)and family comes first.

In any case- here is a mini list of things I was thankful for yesterday:

1. Buying the correct number of ice cream cups for Religious Ed. elementary kids and teachers- and the fact that they didn't whine for MORE ice cream. They were all very gracious and loved their treats!

2. That a 10th grader I enlisted as an aide for an elementary school class wants to return to help second grade next year. This makes me SO happy. Many people told me this girl was "trouble" and to keep an eye on her. I'm so happy I listened to Jesus instead. She ended up in the Confirmation class (after not being in Religious Ed. for years) and did all the necessary work on her own to make up her 9th grade Confirmation Prep- and actively lectors when the 10th graders need to serve at a Mass. Thank you Jesus, for bringing H. into the Church again!

3. That my husband makes me laugh, even when I'm having a horrible night- and that he makes me laugh at the most ridiculous things.

4. For The Biggest Loser. That's the only show I've actually been watching now that LOST has come to an end. Not as many plot twists...:)...but fun to watch nonetheless.

5. For Joseph giving me a kiss when I came home without me asking for one! So cute.

6. That on Thursday, I will be halfway through my pregnancy.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Musing

1. I'm thankful I could work from home today so I could help my hubby- (he hurt his back and could not pick up Joseph).
2.I'm thankful that I MIGHT get six altar servers for Confirmation- which means I can have incense during the Mass!
3. I'm thankful I'm not a Jedi. (Long story- to be developed at a later time!)
4. I'm thankful that my Dad re-painted the dining room "Spring Meadow Green."
5. I'm thankful for "Goodnight Moon," and that I've read it so many times, I've memorized it- I and when I recite it to Joseph, he stops crying and is mesmerized.
6. For baby kisses.
7. For husband kisses.
8. I'm thankful that my cousin finally had her baby- little Emma Eileen.
9. I'm thankful Religious Ed. classes are almost over.
10. I'm thankful my parents and sister were gone tonight and our little family had time together alone- much needed.
11. I'm thankful that this Saturday I will actually have time for a long blog post. I've been meaning to post, but life keeps getting in the way.
12. That we made it to H & R Block the other day to get our taxes filed- and that we'll be getting more back than we expected! We'll be able to pay off a credit card adn reserve some money for medical needs. Praise God.
13. I'm thankful for Confession, and for the penance the priest gave me- because I'm struggling with it. The penance was, "Ask God for something outrageous in faith." I have trouble asking for grace to make it through the day! I've been asking many things, but I don't feel like my asking is "faith filled" enough. With God's grace- I hope that my faith may increase!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday's Good Things

1. Spending the morning with Joseph and going to work late- (I worked a late shift.) It was nice to watch The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and have english muffins with raspberry jam together- and then put him down for his morning nap.

2. Getting a new volunteer to help me in the office. She is THE sweetest lady. She stayed with me for four hours cutting out 2nd Grade projects for next year.

3. Riding home with M., who I'm truly convinced is a saint.

Thursday, March 24, 2011



1.I was thankful for a very good and beneficial conversation.

2.For my husband's insight and encouragement.

3.For my husband's patience with a teething toddler.

4.For my two office volunteers and my office assistant.

5.That I made it to an RCIA meeting, and was able to meet the catechumen. (Even though I was exhausted and initially didn't think I would make it.)

6. That I was able to put Joseph to sleep last night and cuddle with him while I felt his baby brother moving. :)

7. That my husband attempted (and succeeded!) in giving Joseph a haircut.

8. That I had the opportunity to wear a new maternity blouse that is a bright, coral color- it helped keep me cheerful. :)

9. That when I looked at the calendar, I saw on Saturday I have a day off. The first real day off in two weeks.

10. That my mom cooked dinner last night.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Open House

Today, the best thing that happened (aside from coming home from work) was the success of our Religious Ed. Open House, despite the fact that we went ahead with a volunteer down due to a back injury. Everything came together- and we (I) survived. Open House number two is on Sunday, and I hope it goes as smoothly. I'm hoping to have time to blog on Saturday.

Also- I'm very happy that I'm 18 weeks along today- I'm almost halfway through my pregnancy! I can't believe it!

This Lenten "positive" blogging/journaling thing has been difficult for me, but I do see the fruits of the exercise in my spiritual life. I'm so grateful that God opened my eyes to this process.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Its a...


Joseph will have a new baby brother on (or hopefully before!) August 23rd.

I don't have too much time to post right now as I'm getting ready for work- but to keep up my Lenten attempt- a few good things:

1. I'm very happy that we're having a little boy. Not only will Joseph have a buddy to play with, but I will have some idea of how to deal with a baby boy because I've already had one- AND I don't have to buy a ton of new things because they can share.

2. I only have one more week without a day off to get through.

3. My 9th graders did a fantastic job assisting at Mass, considering they had not done it since the Fall semester.

4. It was a great thing that Fr. E and the Principal were available last night during Religious Ed- especially since the boy's bathroom was overflowing with toilet water and leaking into a classroom! The mess was cleaned up with a wet-vac, but I don't know if the problem has been solved yet.

5. I can see green patches in the back yard. (I'm hoping Spring is REALLY on it's way!)

6. Hubby is sending in two applications today. Please pray for his job search.

Hopefully, I'll have time to post something more detailed soon.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Great Things

1. Getting out of work EARLY.
2. Finding out the gender of my baby- TBA. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Few Good Things


1. I didn't need to worry about dinner because my sister and her boyfriend cooked a pesto feast!

2. Because I worked late last night, I went in late to work yesterday and got to spend time with Joseph and put him down for his nap and cuddle with him.

3. All of my Second Grade Parents and their kids (except for two!) showed up to our First Eucharist meeting last night.

4. It was warmer than thirty degrees and I could walk around with an open coat! Could Spring FINALLY be arriving?!

5. The Fifth Grade student I'm tutoring remembered almost everything from our last tutoring session two weeks ago and has memorized two of her prayers.

Good things to come:

SONOGRAM on Wednesday- and my Mom volunteering to watch Joseph since it's an hour long- AND the fact that Alicia will be here for the results!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

Being pregnant, I'm not to abstain and fast from certain things during Lent, so I was trying to find something I could give up that would cause me to struggle and to grow- and I've found it.

I'm trying to give up complaining about my job and my living situation for Lent. And- let me tell you, after one week- ONE WEEK of Lent, I've had to start over this resolution on a daily basis.

It's been an eye opening experience- one that has not only revealed to me my cynicism, but also faithlessness, and ingratitude for what God has provided me with- a place to stay with people who are (trying) to look out for my well being, and a job in which I have an opportunity to provide for my husband and son, all while doing the work of a missionary.

In any case- now that I have realized my weaknesses- I want to do something to work on having an "attitude of gratitude". Whether it's in my personal journal or in this blog, I need to record down all of the good things that have happened to me during the day, and keep a log of them. I have a feeling that with this new practice, i will begin to change my attitude. Sometimes, when we can concretely see how God's hand is working in our lives, it makes it that much easier to be faithful, and to place a childlike trust in Him and in His providence

This Bible passage is one that I will reflect on during Lent:

25“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?g 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:26

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Today I went out with a friend after stopping by the salon for a trim. I hadn't seen this person in a while, and it was lovely to catch up. However, the entire time I was getting a manicure, and the entire time we had lunch, I had Joseph on my mind. I was wondering what he was doing- if he was behaving for my husband and my Dad- just missing him SO much!

I guess I don't understand (probably because I currently work full time) how to be away from my child, and feel "okay" about it. As it is, I know I won't be able to lift him in the near future as my pregnancy progresses- and I feel like each moment that I can still hold him, hug him and play with him is so precious. He's the joy of my day!

My favorite part of the day is when I come home from work and I can hear him calling for me as he hears the door open..and then he reaches out to me and gives me a kiss. I wish I could freeze moments like that.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I've started reading another book about Mother Teresa- and that woman just AMAZES me. This book has published much of her correspondance that she had wanted to have her superiors and spiritual advisors destroy, (they obviously didn't) and it's so eye opening to read the thoughts and musings of this saint.

Last night when I was reading, I came across a particular line (a Golden Line!) that struck me. The paraphrased version of this is that whenever Mother Teresa saw someone who was sad, that person must be keeping something from God.


The seoond thing that struck me was how she wrote about the virtue of cheerfulness. So often we hear about the virtues of faith, hope, charity, etc., etc...that at least for myself, I forget that cheerfulness is a virtue- and one that I need to work on!

So many of the saints were cheerful despite their interior trials because they LOVED God and would do anything to make Him happy. It's amazing to me how when one changes his focus from himself to God, his entire life changes.

I've seen few people who manifest this virtue, but I can say that my sister Amanda is one of those people. Out of everyone I've known, despite what she was going through, she was cheerful. She didn't deny that she had difficulties, but because of her childlike faith and humility, they did not weigh on her. She trusted that she would be taken care of.

And she was.

A little while back, a friend had posted as a Facebook status that "Everyone receives a cross, but the weight of it depends on the person..." or something to that effect. I think that's true. Everyone does have difficulties. But when handled with a childlike faith, when one TRUSTS in God and abandons himself to God's will, the cross is not only lighter, but a sweet offering of love to Our Lord. The burden is transformed into an "unwritten love note" to the Beloved.

Someday, I hope to get to that point! :)

On a completely unrelated note- I'm eagerly awaiting my sonogram. Baby #2 has been swimming and rolling on my right side- and I'm actually quite surprised I've been feeling him (or her!) so early. I'm going to be 16 weeks tomorrow. Where does the time go?!?

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Lights

Right now, it is QUIET.

My parents and sister have gone to a show, Joseph is asleep for the night, and my husband has retreated to his "man cave" (also known as the unfinished portion of the basement) and is working out. Even the animals are snoozing.

This never happens- and I am ecstatic! I've even turned off my cell phone!

I just wanted to take a little bit of time to reflect on the "goings-on" of the past few days- starting with today.

Today it was beautiful and bright, even though it was cold- (18 degrees). My husband and I brought Joseph outside to play in the snow. We bundled him up in his over sized blue coat, his Bud Lightyear snow boots and his navy hat (which bears a striking resemblance to the one Elmer Fudd dons when hunting) and let him loose into the great outdoors.

He didn't want to go past the driveway, so that's where he stayed the majority of the time, and watched Daddy shovel. Being the kind and "helpful" soul that he is, he didn't want Daddy to shovel all by himself, and ran on his tiptoes all the way up the driveway, and into the garage to find a shovel to "help."

Once he spotted the shovel, he tried in vain to move it (this shovel is taller than me) and when he found he couldn't, he stood facing the shovel, and yelled at it, hoping it would cooperate.

It didn't work.

With his attempt to help Daddy foiled, he began to explore the garage under the watchful eye of Mommy...who had to whisk him away and bring him inside when he found all of the pool chemicals and wanted to sample them. Yikes!

Aside from this, he did pretty well outside, and it was nice to get some fresh air and not be devastatingly cold. The past few days have been freezing, and yesterday morning we received about another ten inches of snow.

Anyway, the past week has flown by. I'm in the midst of Confirmation and First Eucharist preparations, as well as wrapping up the end of the Catechetical year and organizing Open Houses.

I'm also fifteen weeks along in my pregnancy, and I'm beginning to notice some physical changes. Some people still don't realize I'm pregnant, while others notice right away. I've begun to "pop" a little bit, and I can feel the baby moving, especially at night when I lay down on my side. What an amazing feeling!

I'm thinking that I may have to go purchase some "transitional" clothing soon. I'm not quite ready for maternity clothes, but the clothing that I currently own is becoming uncomfortably snug.

My next doctor's appointment takes place on March 16th, when I'll have a sonogram, and I'll be able to find out the gender of the baby. We already know that if it's a girl, we would like her middle name to be Philomena, after my husband's favorite saint.

It's amazing how the knowledge that this new life is within me has actually helped me the past week. We have had some very difficult days (worrying about finances,finding a place to live, whether or not I'll have to work next year, etc.) but even though this has been so difficult- and even though so often I feel like I'm in the "desert" the excitement and joy of this new life slices through, offering light in this darkness.

My other "light" sources- my husband who is most likely a saint, and Joseph, who is learning more and more everyday (and surprising me more and more everyday) have also helped- but when they are not there, when I'm alone in my office at work and hunched over the computer or leafing through calendars and files- and when I feel that gentle "flutter" in my belly, for a brief moment the dark world fades. I know God has entrusted us with this life, and I know that He is holding me.

I know that I am not alone.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Early Hours

What should you do when you're hit with a bout of pregnancy insomnia and you're up for the day WAY before 5AM?

Blog of course!

To follow up from the last entry- we had thought we were all in the clear in regards to the Stomach Virus of Doom. In fact, by the next day, Joseph seemed to be doing much better. Sunday, he was eating solid foods again and was clearly on the mend.

Forward to Sunday night.

At precisely 12:30 AM, my hubby is struck by the virus- which not only struck him with all of Joseph's symptoms, but the chills as well. And so, I did what any practical wife would do. I took care of him, and then moved him into my sister's vacant room upstairs (she's away at school) so I would be able to take care of the baby the next day without being sick. I covered him with blankets, gave him some medicine and a bottle of ginger ale, and we each had our cell phones (we live in the basement) so he could text me if he needed me.

Forward to 2:30 AM.

My other sister and I are struck down by the virus- and up ALLLLL night with it. To make a long (and gross) story short, my mother is the only one who didn't catch this bug.

When I called my OB's office the next day, I was told that even though I was feeling horrible, I needed to be eating ice pops in order to make sure Baby Q could get glucose. Ice pops, when I couldn't keep down water or ginger ale??? Nonetheless, I acqueisced and made it through two popsicles that day.

Two days later, my mother came down with the virus, and we ended up having to take Joseph to the pediatrician because he was STILL showing signs of the virus. We came to find out he was temporarily lactose intolerant- and he wasn't allowed to have any dairy for a week. Thank goodness my little guy is not a picky eater, and took to soy milk!

Anyway, now that the Stomach Virus of Doom has vacated, I have found that I've lost some weight,(probably about two pounds) and I'm trying to gain it back. I went to the OB's yesterday and was very happy to hear Baby Q's heartbeat. What an amazing blessing! And- the next appointment in March is supposed to be our sonogram. (My hubby and I are both very anxious to find out the gender of the baby.)

However, I'm thinking about looking for another practice in the area. You see, at this practice I'm required to see SIX different doctors (one of which is on Parish Council with me...awkward!) instead of having one primary doctor- and the two that I've seen have not impressed me. The first was actually a midwife, who does not seem to have the word "gentle" in her vocabulary- or in the way she treats her patients. The doctor I saw yesterday not only dismissed some important questions I had for her by telling just to go see my PCP, but also seemed to do everything in her power to get RID of us. I couldn't believe it!

The attitudes that were exhibited made me miss my former practitioner in Texas SO much!

On a much more positive note, the hubby and I are going to have a "belated" Valentine's Day. We've decided to have an overnight at a local inn, which I think will be nice. We haven't had any time to ourselves since before Joseph was born. I think it will be very nice to reconnect. I don't think I could bear going for more than one night though, I miss Joseph enough as it is when I'm at work.

Still praying for hubby to land a job. Please keep our family in your prayers!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Date Night, Sleepless Hours and Superman.

Wow- I can't believe that I have an opportunity to post! It has been quite crazy for the past few days.
Friday night, my husband and I embarked on a date night, which doesn't happen very often as of late due to work, the baby and other responsibilities. Needless to say, when my parents offered to babysit, we jumped at the opportunity.
The night was fresh and cold- and our breath curled in ribbons before fading into the air. We mittened and gloved our hands and I was happy to find a safe haven from the cold in our car.
We had dinner at a little restaurant called Positive Pie- (gourmet pizza and other Italian dishes) and then went to the independent movie theatre to see The King's Speech- and it was the best movie I've seen in a long time. I'm sure that much of that can be attributed to Colin Firth's acting. Anyway, glorious time, and wonderful conversation.
In fact, the night relaxed me so much that when I finally rested my head on my pillow, I didn't even think about work- and I melted into a deep sleep.
Until 2:30 AM.
You see, the baby's crib is right across from our bed in the basement. I heard a horrible gagging sound and bolted upright because I thought that Joseph was choking. I stumbled in my robe and flicked on the light, to find the little guy covered in vomit. His hair, face, pajamas and all of his bedding- and it wasn't over.
It sprayed in an arc as we picked him up. It was EVERYWHERE. And I'm not kidding when I say I found entire hot dog pennies in the mess.
My husband started stripping his crib while I trudged up the basement stairs with Joseph on my hip and brought him to the bathroom to run his water. And when the water was ready, he stood in the tub, trembling because he was so cold. His cheeks, which usually glow bright pink, were colorless.
When my husband had finished with the bedding, he came up to help me scrub Joseph, and while he brought him downstairs I marched in to my parents' room to ask what on earth they had fed him. The culprits? Hot dogs. Pepperoni. Applesauce and two bottles.
My husband (referred to after this as Superman) tried to lull Joseph back to sleep. And almost immediately after Joseph's eyes fluttered closed, they shot open again and he became sick...all over the Man of Steel.
So I told Superman (who is a model of patience and perseverance) to go clean himself off, and I took my turn with poor Joseph. We switched of like this until about 5AM.
Then, at 7:00 AM my hero woke up with Joseph again. We had figured that all of this was due to the atrocious combination of food he had eaten the night before- and so Superman thought Joseph had made it through, and was trying to let me sleep.
Until Joseph not only got sick, but forged a diaper so deadly that it almost crawled away on its own.
That's when I called the doctor, and we packed ourselves in the car. As always, Superman looked amazing, but Joseph and I looked like we hadn't slept in weeks, and my hair was messily clipped up and my face wasn't even washed. But at that point, i didn't care. We felt so badly for Joseph- and I had never seen him so sick.
After poking and prodding the little guy (who quite obviously did NOT feel like being poked and prodded) the doctor surmised that he had contracted a 24 hour stomach virus. A 24 hour EXTREMELY contagious stomach virus.
But, I think we're in the clear. Joseph started to get color back in his cheeks yesterday evening, and I think my husband and I will be fine (as well as the rest of the house.)
This past weekend, I was just amazed at my husband's charm and his virtues. From the lovely date night we had where we held hands and had great conversation, to the dark trenches later that night where he didn't even complain when he wiping vomit off of his own face. What an amazing, amazing man.
And, of course, I'm so relieved that my little cuddle bug is feeling better- there's nothing worse than watching your child be miserable and not being able to do anything for him other than hold him. I'm so glad that he's on the mend!
God is so good to us.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"A light shines in the darkness, and the darkness shall not overcome it..."

I have been yearning to write for weeks, but I didn't want to post anything until after I had been to see the doctor.

Our family is expecting Baby #2, to be born on August 18th!

As of right now, I am almost 11 weeks along, and (thankfully) almost through the first trimester. I suspected that I may be expecting shortly after Thanksgiving, as I was experiencing an absurd amount of heartburn coupled with nausea. I mentioned this to my husband- but it took three pregnancy tests to confirm my suspicions.

I find it a little strange that I've dealt with "morning sickness" almost everyday of the pregnancy thus far, when I never dealt with it when I was expecting Joseph. Perhaps this little one will be a girl. If it is- I think we have the perfect name picked out. If it's not, we are still trying to decide between a few boys' names.

Anyway, this definitely comes as a surprise to our family. A good surprise, but a surprise nonetheless. Before we moved to the great white North, we had hoped we would have another child after Joseph turned one so the two would be close enough in age to be good friends. For this, I am grateful.

However, I am also very worried as my dear husband is still searching for a job, and my job as a humble DRE makes it very difficult to support one person, let alone four. I am praying that Our Lady has pity on us and advocates for us to Our Lord so he will find employment soon. I am also hoping for this so I will be able to leave my job and stay home with the children. I think, especially when they are young, that having a mother at home is important.

Joseph has been growing by leaps and bounds. Right now, the "little" guy is cutting molars. In fact, the other night at dinner I nearly jumped out of my skin because I noticed a stream of blood trickling out of the corner of his mouth! I thought he had bitten his tongue- (he was crying)- but upon further investigation, my husband discovered that his gums were bleeding because his teeth are pushing through.

Joseph has also been learning how to kiss, and it is just too darn cute. He has been trying to talk as well, but has been less successful in that department. However, he tries to say "banana", nana, "kitty" itty?!, and baby- pronounced bebe. In addition to trying to speak, he also communicates by signing- and signs for "more" when he wants more food, or wants us to perform the same act again (i.e. turning on a musical toy, playing hide and seek with him, etc.) He's also been combing his hair and brushing his teeth, helping to pull his clothes on and off, dancing, and of course; terrorizing the cats and the dog by chasing them. Joseph is, without a doubt, all boy. And, grandma just bought him a training potty. This should be interesting.

Joseph has also entered the "terrible twos" early. Arching his back, crying out of frustration- crying over everything- it's been tantrum city. When I come home at the end of the day, and if I'm not in a state where I need to be scraped off of the floor due to first trimester exhaustion, I try to relieve my husband, who promptly retreats to the basement to take out his frustration my delving into his books or his PS3. I'm convinced that my husband has probably already earned his spot in heaven several times over.

Anyway, that is the update as of right now. We are joyful. May we be rid of anxiety and wait in "joyful hope" for the things Our Lord has planned for us.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The sun is shining, the snow is glistening...and Joseph is asleep.


At least for a little while.

I realized this morning during Mass that I haven't yet made any New Year's Resolutions. Since I was fifteen, I've always made any resolutions on Christmas Day. It allowed me time to think about what type of change I'd like to see in the upcoming year.

During Mass, I came to the realization that my New Year's Resolution would be:

To be more gentle to myself- and to allow God to take care of the things I am unable to do.

I have a feeling that this resolution will not only make ME happier, but make everyone around me happier as well- and I'll be allowing God to be God! It amazes me that sometimes we try to put limitations on God- try to do things ourselves- when all we really need to do is rely on Him.

There's a lot more I would like to write, but it will have to wait until another time- hopefully late next week.

For those who come across this blog- I hope that you have had a most blessed and holy Christmas, and a Happy New Year.