Friday, August 2, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Week 2

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

My darling son decided 3 am was a great time to get up and play this morning. And didn’t go down until 5:30, which is when his brother decided to get up. Not to mention the fact that our 17 lb cat made me his pillow last night. All night. So we’ll see if I make any sense during these quick takes. Please excuse me if I devolve into gibberish.

Life is full of little disappointments. I learned that this week after having a talk with my advisor. I’ve been trying to get in touch with someone at the school for two months now to make sure I was okay to intern this fall, and just got a response yesterday. Apparently things have changed since last summer and I have two more Praxis exams I have to take. So I will be interning in the spring instead. As I was feeling all down about it, I remembered how the day before I was feeling down about not being with my boys this fall and winter for a lot of their ‘firsts’. So maybe it’s not such a disappointment after all.

On a related note, prayers would be appreciated as I start on a few new endeavors. To help bring in money right now, I’ve decided to take on a few students to tutor, as well as selling homemade cakes. For the long term problem of staying at home with my children and homeschooling them, I’ve given up all hope of doing a work at home gig. Everything I’ve found I would either hate doing and so not do it well, or it would take too much time away from my kids, which is the whole point of me staying at home. So I’ve decided to do something I’ve always wanted to do, but been kinda afraid to say out loud. I’m going to write a book. I don’t know that it’ll do any good, but I’m going to try it and we’ll see if I can do anything with it.

My baby sat up by himself for the first time this week! I’ve been able to get him to sit up if I position him first, but he actually got up on his own a few days ago. And my other baby figured out the balancing thing well enough to sit up for a few minutes on his own after I arranged him. They’re growing up so fast!

I’ve heard from a reputable source that the weather in the far north of our country is already fall weather. I would like to point out this HUGE injustice and demand that the southeast follow suit immediately. All this heat is for the birds.

We had a wicked storm this past week. Our cat (yes, the 17 lb one) was frantically looking for somewhere to hide, the thunder was shaking the house, and I could actually hear the lightening pop. All this while I was home alone with two babies. And a few months ago there was a tornado that everyone kept trying to tell me was not a tornado while it was happening. While I was home alone with two babies and scared to death it was going to hit our house and they would get hurt. I think I’m over my joy in a good old fashioned thunderstorm.

I have recently fallen in love with almonds. I didn’t like to eat plain almonds not too long ago, but now I’m all about them. A small handful is the perfect snack and it keeps me full for a couple of hours. And I’m not exactly a tiny girl. And they’re good for you, too. Go try some!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, July 19, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Week 1

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!
I realize I haven’t been very good about posting recently, but since I’m up at 4 in the morning I figured I’d do something productive. Or more productive than working on my Pintrest boards, anyway. Why am I up at 4, you ask? Let’s just say I can’t sleep because of an apparent attempted break-in at my father-in-law’s house about 30 minutes ago. He lives next door to us. And there was a trail in the yard leading from his house to ours. Yeah. So if anyone wants to drop by, depending on who you are and your intentions, I’ve got a shotgun or a cup of coffee waiting on you.
I came up with the most DELICIOUS snack this past week. I was dying for something sweet, but I didn’t want to go too crazy because I’m trying to lose baby weight from Thing 1 and Thing 2. So as I’m rummaging through my pantry I see a box of graham crackers and it was like a light from heaven shone down around me. Here’s what I came up with:
Get two graham crackers and put a thin layer of cream cheese on each (I used whipped). Grab a small amount of chocolate chips and drizzle them over one of the crackers. Put the two crackers together and eat like a sandwich. Yummy! Taste kinda like tuxedo cheesecake. You know, if you squint your eyes a little and tilt your head to the left.
I’ve decided to go ahead and finish school this next semester. I’ve only got my student teaching left, but I hate the idea of basically having a full time job and not being able to be at home with my babies. In the long run it’ll help that I have a degree, but for now I’m sick over the idea of not being with them every moment. Pray for us if you think of it, that this time will pass quickly and as painlessly as possible.
Here at our household, we’re getting a little tight on space. We have a three bedroom two bath home that my super smart and awesome hubby had paid off before we ever met. But with two wee ones getting bigger and more mobile, we’ve realized we’re going to outgrow this house fairly quickly, especially as more kiddos come along. So I’ve been looking for ways to cut back on our expenses as much as possible so we can pay as much cash for a house as possible, and I think I’ve come up with a few. I’ll be posting more on that over the next few weeks.
I’ve gone a little crazy this past week pinning things that are specifically for holidays. Decorations, crafts, gift ideas, activities, etc. I’m so ready for fall to be here I’m practically salivating over it. My littles will be experiencing it all for the first time, and I’m ready to get the ball rolling. So if I also start posting random things about Thanksgiving/Christmas/Halloween/fall/winter and it’s still summer, just excuse me. I have a problem.
Reading more on the saints has been on my to-do list for forever, and I’ve decided to start with Faustina. I love the Divine Mercy chaplet. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve come across in the Church, and I’d love to learn more about the woman Jesus charged with sharing it. Maybe if I put it here that I’m planning on doing this I’ll be more likely to actually do it.
I must say, I’m rather impressed with myself. One of the babes woke up about take three, but fell right back asleep as soon as I sat down on the couch with him. So for the most part I’ve typed this entire post with one hand and unable to see the majority of the keyboard. This momma’s got talent! Haha! (And there’s the sleepy delirium. Wondered when it’d show up).

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Road Rage and a Rosary.

I’ve had to learn through the years to keep my gut reactions in check. Mainly because of who or what I represent. I’m a technician at a local pharmacy, I’m the daughter of some well known people in town, and, most importantly, I’m a Catholic. I represent my employers, coworkers, family, church, and Jesus Christ when I’m out and about. This hasn’t always been a thought that I kept at the forefront of my mind. Especially when driving. See, I have this slumbering monster that lurks deep within my heart, and it is only awoken by other drivers. I can’t stand it when people cut in front of me, slam on their brakes with no warning for no reason, turn without using a blinker, etc. But lately I’ve been trying to remind myself of who I represent here on Earth, or more accurately Who, and act accordingly.
Today has not been the best day. I was up tossing and turning all night because I felt sick to my stomach, I got up still feeling sick, I had to wrestle two steadily heavier babies (around 15 lbs each)  and a ridiculously heavy cat (17 lbs) to the vets office this morning, and then  God sent a test my way. I’d like to say I resisted the urge to roll down my window and alert him to his inadequate intelligence for saintly and pious reasons, but alas, I’m not either of those things. See, this guy in an itty bitty teeny weeny Smart Car decided he couldn’t wait two seconds for me to drive past him before he drove across the street to McDonald’s.  And he very nearly hit me in the process.
As any mother might agree, it’s one thing to almost hit me when I’m in a car by myself. Almost hit me when my babies are in said car with me, and I go Hulk-raving mad. It’s not a smart move.  I considered hitting the gas instead of the brake for a sliver of a moment, but that would have put my boys in harm’s way, too, so I resisted and screeched to a stop and laid on the horn. And how does he thank me for graciously sparing his life? An over the top, sarcastic wave and grin. He would have been a speed bump if I hadn’t stopped. And before I could react more thoroughly, he was gone. Driving like the crazed loon he was.
I was fuming over my missed opportunity to alert him to his error of thinking I would be amused by his gesture when I noticed my rosary hanging from my rearview mirror. It occurred to me that he could have seen it from where he was, as well as other drivers around us. And I was suddenly thankful that he had been driving so fast and got away so quickly. You see, I had some choice words for him that were not filled with any form of love, peace, or charity, and if I had been given the opportunity to say them, I would have. And I would not have been being the example I’m called to be.
We are all called, even the youngest among us, to be an example to the world around us. So many times I forget that every decision I make, every action I take, is noticed by someone somewhere. And I want them to notice things that bring them closer to God, not make them think of how I claim to be a Christian, that I go to mass every Sunday, and yet this is how I act. I want them to see God’s love shining through me, not just after I’ve left church and have that Sunday morning glow, but when I’ve been pushed to my limit and I still hold the door for someone who was gripping about my children fussing, or when I smile at the cashier and ask how they are doing when it’s obvious they are in a bad mood, or when I leave the harried waitress who has dark circles under her eyes and a tired face a tip even though she never came to my table past getting my drink order.  
I’ve heard it said by a few women I know that they think it is disrespectful to wear a crucifix or a cross as a piece of jewelry. I think it’s the opposite. Like my rosary that was hanging from my mirror, a crucifix or medal on a chain around my neck reminds me that I represent more than just myself. It forces me to acknowledge that there is more to me than me, that I belong to One who is so much higher above me. I get irritated, frustrated, or stressed and the temptation to snap or ignore someone grows stronger and stronger. But a movement causes the rosary to sway, or the metal to brush my skin, and I’m reminded of Who it is that loved me enough, and that He also loves them enough. And I fervently hope I am always reminded, and so spread His love and word more.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Consistency is as consistency does.

I’m terrible with consistency. And if you notice what the date for my last post was, and what date for this post is, you’ll agree with me. However, I’ve decided that consistency is something I should work on. For example, I’m now heavier than I’ve ever been in my life, including the day my twin sons were born. So I’ve started keeping track of what I eat, made sure to have things on hand to create healthy meals at home, and as of this morning, getting on the elliptical for at least 30 minutes a day. Tomorrow I intend to add Pilates to my workout routine three times a week, but we’ll see. And the key to all of this? Consistency. But I’ve realized something by forcing my lazy self who would only spontaneously give into bouts of good habits. Consistency isn’t just for exercise.
 I’ve abandoned my prayer life for the most part, starting almost two years ago. I felt it wasn’t coming to anything, if I’m honest with myself, because I was praying for a very specific request and had been for months without seeing any results. So I gave up and found something else to occupy my time before bed. And looking back now, it was only a month at most before I had that prayer answered after I stopped praying. I’m not condoning not praying as a way to get your answer, not by any means, but I find it interesting that I had given up without really thinking about what God might be working on. The answer I needed/wanted wasn’t just dependent on me, there were others involved and I realize now that He was nudging them into the right place just as much as He was me. And perhaps I was dragging my feet a bit about obeying Him, and doing a very good impersonation of a stubborn child who wanted it done their way. But that’s another story entirely.
 My point is this. Consistency in our prayer lives is vital to our spiritual lives. When I’m exercising every day and eating right and drinking enough water, I feel great. I have more energy, I feel more able to focus, I’m in a better mood overall. Which leads me to want to exercise more. And if I decide I’m too tired one day, or I don’t have the time to actually cook supper, or the boys have been fussy all day and I deserve a night off so I get Shannon to pick something up on his way home, it leads me to give into the urge to not do as good the next day.
The same could be said for a more active prayer life. I feel closer to God, which gives me more motivation to remain true to my faith, which makes me less inclined to consciously sin, which makes me feel closer to God, which makes me want to pray more. And if that little, high pitched, whiney, nasal voice whispers in my ear ‘oh, it’ll be okay. God knows how rough today has been, he’ll understand if you zone out in front of the television for a little while instead of praying’, then the next time it’ll be a little easier to come up with an excuse not to. So I’m going to be working on this consistency thing that has so far evaded me. I miss my prayer life worse than I miss being able to fit in my pre-pregnancy jeans, and if I’m willing to work this hard to get back to them, then shouldn’t I be willing to work that much more to get back to having a good prayer life?

Monday, April 29, 2013


Is it weird that I’m as excited as I am about having a new blog to play around with? I started one last year, Never Ending Journey, but the name and theme never really fit me (theme being the overarching idea of the blog, not the design). I am, however, extremely happy with my new idea for this blog, and the theme of it. I hope to write, and possibly discuss, things related specifically to home life and the Catholic faith on my own minuscule corner of this vast technological wasteland we dub the Internet, but in a way that showcases the fact that the home we live in and our home in the Catholic Church are not separate. Our lives as Catholics should be reflected in every aspect of our lives, not just which buildings pews we find ourselves in every Sunday morning.  
As a convert from the good ol’ Southern Baptist faction to the millennia’s old Catholic Church, I find myself with an overwhelming amount of information to not only read about and think briefly on, but to truly learn. And, as any education major will heartily agree, there is a vast difference between “learning” and learning. One you gain information for one specific event, such as a test that you cram for and pass but then promptly forget everything you just “learned”, and the other you gain information for life.
And it’s not just about what our beliefs are, but what they are, why they are, how they are, where they came from, who was the first to teach each one, how do we know it’s an infallible teaching, where are the sources for this or that, ect. Not only that, but I want to teach it to my children, and help them learn it so they can live their lives to the fullest. And I’ve read once or twice that it is incredibly hard to do such when the extent of my faith is a ‘Hail Mary’ every now and then and an odd possessiveness to a certain stretch of a padded bench in the back of my local parish that I occupy once a week (hey, some habits die hard).
Maybe it’s not weird that I’m as excited as I am. There’s a lot of possibility for what could happen here, and more than enough motivation to get it done. Maybe if I’m articulate enough I’ll help you on your journey to do the same, and maybe, if we’re both willing to work at it, we’ll do good enough with the tools we’ve been given to move our personal mountains, and we’ll be known by ‘saint’ one day. Now wouldn’t that be something?