LET LOVE BE SINCERE

LET LOVE BE SINCERE

Friday, September 19, 2014

7 Quick Takes with entirely too many words







So, these past couple weeks have been the weeks of new stuff (thanks to signing bonuses and potentially imprudent decisions).  Aaron got the profuse TV we discussed on facebook.  Is it ridiculous?  Absolutely!  Would I have purchased it?  Absolutely not.  That being said, Aaron very rarely does things for himself, and he's wanted it for a few years, and so.... it is done.  In the meantime, I 'upgraded' my iphone to an Iphone 5s.  Thanks for all the help with that team facebook. I was very torn between the galaxy and the iphone.  But, the thing is, I like the iphone, so why fix what isn't broken?  I wanted to upgrade mostly for the camera.  Like many of you, our only family camera now is my phone, so I wanted it to be fancy. Lemme just tell you though, now that I have been introduced to siri, I think she is going to be my new best friend.  She is awesome. I mean, the bees freakin' knees.  Our whole family enjoys conversing with her.  Big Aaron often asks her questions like, "why is my wife Mary so mean?".  And listen, I know she was a 'thing' several years ago, but now, she is my thing.  Oh, and I got me a new computer too.  I wanted one for work stuff, so I am pumped.  Apparently I need to start using, 'visuals' to appease visual learners doing presentations (or so says my ministry partner, Mike).  #annoying. but he's probably right.  That is all from the land of new purchases.

That was a pretty boring take, hopefully they will get better from here.





Lil' A started 'school' once a week at Christ the King in Ann Arbor.  He loves it, and the class is adorable. I am so excited for him to be learning in a quiet environment. Because our house is a house of boy crazy, and we allow pagan things like screen time...sometimes, things are a little, um...loud.  Watching him learn silently in this class was AWESOME (it's Catechesis of the Good Shepherd).  Funny story though, once or twice I peaked in on him to see how he was doing (I had some concerns).  He looked at me both times, but didn't come to me.  After the class he said, "Why did you keep coming in my classroom?"  And I said, "because I wanted to see you learn."  He said, "Okay, could you please not do that anymore?"

Shot to the heart...and he's to blame.

And so it begins.






I'm having major blogger commenting issues.  Can someone tell me what I did to screw it up (I can't respond to anyone's comments)?  Also, how to fix it?  And while your at it, fancy bloggers, how do you do that thing where you respond to my comments directly in my email inbox?   It's fancy.  But I have no idea how to do it.  Thanks for any help you can give me in the comment box, if you can comment, which you probably can't.






So, this is for real...I had NO IDEA that people in the good US of A actually thought it was okay to beat children to the point of marks.  Lemme make this clear after a lot of thought and back and forth, Aaron and I are constantly discerning how to discipline.  So, I am not making any remarks on 'spanking' or 'swats' because, truth be told, I'm still a bit torn on the whole thing.  But, beating a kid with a branch seems to be a really bad idea right?  Apparently not to everyone. I was driving in my vehicle the other day, listening to some sports radio on the way to a fancy meeting with fancy people.  They were discussing the Adrian Peterson situation (for those of you not in the 'know' he was arrested for whopping his child with a switch and leaving devastating bruising all over his legs).  I find it black and white.  Child abuse.  No question.  BUT, a stunning amount of people called in, many from the African American Community, who were DEFENDING THAT FORM OF PUNISHMENT.   One guy even saying, 'it's suppose to hurt for a few days, otherwise it won't have an impact."  In listening to the national dialogue, many people are claiming it's a cultural thing, and is good for kids.  I.WAS.SHOCKED.  I was spanked as a kid, spanked real good.  I had fear of doing something wrong, because I feared the punishment. I don't think that's a terrible thing.  But, lemme make this clear, leaving bruises or welts on your kid is NEVER okay! I mean, RIGHT?!?!?!






So, I started MOPS this week.  And I can I tell you something I really appreciated?   Right at the first meeting, they went over rules.  And one of the rules is participants are not allowed to use MOPS to network their various products (home sale products). I love that.  They encouraged home businesses, and said they will compile a list of those selling, but this is not the place to network the products.  As someone who stays out of the home business reality for a bunch of reasons (both selling and buying) I REALLY appreciated it.  I don't mind the occasional facebook party request and the like, but I HATE being put on the spot to buy a product I don't really want or need.  I hate feeling like if I say 'no' or 'decline' that I am somehow being insulting.  I actually just don't like the entire structure.  (again, I am not talking about the occasional gentle invite- I am talking about the hard sell).  And I am super glad I don't have to deal with it on the regular through my MOPS involvement.





So I thought it was weird that Apple put U2's album in my music.  Even though I like U2.  And on 'the facebook', everyone was like, 'no it's not'. So then I thought, "it must be me".  I don't think that anymore. I like my illusion of privacy.  It felt weird to me to break that.  And lots of others, because Apple was pretty much like, 'our bad' and showed people how to remove it.






So I don't think I ever quick-take'd or blogged about our big fancy trip this summer.  You know, the one we had been planning for a year.  To the all inclusive.  For a weekend o' fun?  It was pretty much a disaster that began with a missed flight (because 'someone' didn't bring the passports, the 'someone' is still a hotly debated topic in our household).  Which led to freaking expensive one way ticket purchases.  For those of you who know us, the ol' husband was also unemployed, so the ticket purchases were probably the worst idea ever.  Then, because the ol' husband was unemployed, he was hustling to take interviews/research while we were there, so any chance of it being a refreshing bonding for the two of us was out the window.  THEN on the way home, our flight was rerouted, we were on the runway for hours, it just wasn't good.  My dad said, 'you are the only one who could make a trip to Cancun sound miserable." Touche father.

But another part was, I HATED leaving our kids. I HATED being away from them.  I even told lil A, I am not gonna do that ever again.  It was four nights, and just entirely too long to be away from the boys.  We do 'hotel nights' about twice a year, overnight in the Detroit area.  That's just fine, but usually that isn't even over 24 hours.  Leaving the boys for that long was heart-wrenching and honestly, on the flights I came nearer to a panic attack than I have ever been.  It was terrible.

All of that was to say the EDEL conference is in Charleston.  And I've always wanted to go.  And technically, Aaron and I could go together for a couple nights for a five year anniversary trip. I'd assume the city is very romantic, and Aaron could chill while I did the conference thing and then, we could hang out together for a bit as well.  That sounds so lovely to me.  But, honestly, I don't know if I could leave the kids again.  Especially on an airplane.  It was really difficult for me (and btw- I know everyone is different when it comes to that stuff and I do NOT think it makes me a better mom that I don't like leaving them, in fact, I wish I could do it with a bit less emotional baggage).  So anyway, that's what I'm gonna be discerning 'round these parts in the next couple weeks.



For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


Friday, September 12, 2014

7 REALLY Quick Takes







Not to be all like, 'my life is so busy' this Fall, but honestly, my life is pretty busy right now, I can't even believe I am writing the quick takes.  It's good stuff, but BUSY stuff.  CHECK OUT our calendar of events for the next couple months and it is constantly being updated.  See?  Good stuff, but man....





So, thanks to the inspiration of HAFSA and JENNA, and the help of facebook, Lil' Aaron starts Catechesis of the Good Shepherd on Monday.   You.guys. I am so so so excited.  It's his first taste of 'school' and I know he is going to love it. I also really believe in the method, so I am pumped. I also signed up to be trained as a catechist. I don't know how likely it is for this year, but I think it'd be a great training to have.






Didja see Bonnie's Video?  I watched it in bed before falling asleep and lil' Aaron was next to me.  After he said, 'thank you so much for letting me watch that video mama, I really loved that video on the 'puter'.  kid.you.not.






My kids are watching GI JOE right now as I type this...it makes me really happy.  I love being a boy mom more than I could even explain.






My mom's 60th birthday is next week.  How exciting right? Wanna know what else is exciting?  Fancy dinner at Fancy restaurant tonight.






My sweetheart turned 1 yesterday. Turns out, it is kind of weird to have a kid's birthday on 9-11.  Mix of emotions.  I never wrote his birth story...oops.  But he really is the coolest little baby.  And I have enjoyed almost all of his babyhood.  Not sure I am ready to see him be a toddler, for real.





I LOVE FALL.  LOVE IT. LOVE IT. LOVE IT.  The Walking Dead is coming back, Shark Tank, Michigan Football (just kidding, they suck, AGAIN, which is a huge let-down, I can't even), Cider Mills, so much to be happy about.   And, kick me in the face, I don't care, I am excited about winter.  I have recovered from the scarring of being trapped in the house for three months last winter, and I'm ready to do it again.



For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, September 8, 2014

What to do about Marian High School...

...I don't know.

So my social media has been blowing up with questions regarding the “situation at Marian High School”.  For those of you who aren’t in the know (maybe not local), an all girl’s high school in the AoD recently laid off an employee.  A gay chemistry teacher was let go.  She had recently undergone IVF and is now awaiting the birth of her child with her partner.  According to reports, the problem is once she became public with the pregnancy, she also became public regarding lifestyle choices in opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church.  She was given a couple choices (one of them was to keep her health insurance, another was to stay the year), but chose the lay-off option because of principles.  You know the drill, now she is going to as many new’s outlets who will listen to her story.  And, of course, it’s causing quite a stir. 

I was talking to a friend this morning and I remarked that the situation is quite complicated.  He simply stated, ‘nope, it’s not complicated, the school did the right thing’. 

I’m not saying the school did the wrong thing.

I’m not saying the school did an illegal thing (they didn’t).

But, I do think it’s quite complicated. For so many reasons...

Even if I think the chemistry teacher knew exactly where she worked, and exactly what the expectations were. Even if I think the chemistry teacher signed a contract, and contracts have meaning, and because of the meaning, she knew her lifestyle choices could affect her employment (I do). Even if that frustrates me.

It's still complicated...

You see, the last few decades have seen sweeping changes in our culture and, sometimes,  it's tough to navigate through.  Catholic sexual teaching, up until about fifty/sixty years ago, was just accepted as a norm in society.  Not necessarily because people understood WHAT and WHY the Church teaches as She does.  In fact, most don’t from what I can tell.  (HINT- if you see no problem with a couple using artificial birth control, but you DO have a problem with a homosexual couple because of Church teaching, it’s probably because you don’t understand either).  Anyway, our changing culture demands that we, as Catholics, be consistent in EVERYTHING we are saying.  Because, people are watching.  And being consistent is of the utmost importance, even when it’s tough.

And that’s why I think it’s complicated.

In my response to people asking my opinion, I've been quite scatter brained. I’m not sure where I fall with all of this.   

But, one thing I know for sure is I don’t want to see hurting people, hurt more.  I don’t want to see people feel unloved or rejected by a God who passionately loves them. And so I find this conflict heartbreaking.

I also tend to be really proud of Marian High School, for taking a stand, knowing the backlash they would get, knowing how people would react (because, surely, they knew).  I worked for a Catholic institution that was Catholic in name only (not my previous parish) and there are few things that frustrate me more.  I think it’s a dishonest way to function. 

ANYWAY.  Because I was all over the place, I went to someone smarter than me from spiritualfriendship.org ,  to ask his opinion and he linked me to a fabulous article.

I highly suggest those of you who are interested in thinking critically about our culture and our institutions when it comes to Catholic identity give this article a read.  Tell me what you think.  The article is linked below, this is perhaps one of my favorite parts…

“Pope Francis acknowledged in January in his remarks to leaders of religious orders of men, it is a challenge to “proclaim Christ to a generation that is changing” in its attitudes towards marriage.  He also cautioned that the church should be “careful not to administer a vaccine against faith” to those who live in nonconforming relationships or hold views that conflict with church teaching”

WOW.


Read more here…THE ETHICS OF EXIT   and give me your thoughts below or on 'thefacebook', but, you know the drill, do it respectfully or your comment will be deleted.  


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

On why you won’t see me apologizing to my second kid...

...Or rather, why I won’t apologize to him any more than I would apologize to my other kids. 

There’s a letter going around facebook entitled, An Apology to my Second Child’. It’s a cute letter about how, even though the second kid will never have some of the things his big brother did (scrap books, pictures, clothes that match), he will always be equally loved.  I got it, it was cute, but I won’t be apologizing to my second kid.  Well, I won’t be apologizing anymore than I will to my other kids.

MY FIRST KID 
my first, flicking us off
My first kid had the scrapbook, the new baby gear, the outfits chosen nicely everyday.  My first kid has the neatly written birth story and milestone charts, and all that good stuff.  We had a huge party for his first birthday, and only did ice-cream at a restaurant for my second kid’s birthday.  But, my first kid had it rough.  I apologize to my first kid for not knowing one HAD to strap the their child in the stroller, even if just for a walk. I found that out when my kid was three weeks and I didn't strap him in. 
I dropped him on his head.  
The skull fracture was a little traumatic for both of us.  
I apologize to my first kid for being so overwhelmed by his crying that I stood up in the middle of the night, when he was six weeks old and screamed at the top of my lungs…
"THE DAMN KID WON’T STOP CRYING".  
I poisoned my first kid. 
I did it on accident, but for the first two months of his life, I soaked his bottles in water with dish-soap.  I thought I rinsed them off well, but it was AHMAZING how he stopped violently throwing up at three months when we decided to just boil them.  
Turns out, dish soap isn't great for the newborn’s stomach. 

MY SECOND KID
My second kid’s scrapbook isn't as great.  His baptismal certificate still has the wrong name on it, and I still haven’t gone to the Church to have it changed.  My second kid doesn't have a kazillion solo pictures, and sometimes he looked a hot mess.  But I was a much better mom to him than I was my first son.  
I snuggled him longer, and learned crying usually indicated something…I was empowered to figure out what that was because I was his mom.  
My second kid taught me the importance of snuggles, so even though it took awhile to figure out, he is snuggled more than any of the others.  And, because of that, he is a sensitive/loving boy.  
Sure, it sucked going to the emergency room when he was six months old because he fell off a table I left him on to grab the baby food while taking care of his ‘not yet two’ brother… but, what a lovey he was when we were there! 
This weekend, everyone was remarking what a loving kid he is.  My second kid might not have gotten some of the benefits of the first, but because I was a more seasoned mom, I think I did it a bit better. 

MY THIRD KID
Then, there is my third kid.  He’s the first one I enjoyed during the newborn stage.  Instead of cursing getting up with him in those first few weeks, I enjoyed it.  I was aware how fleeting the newborn stage is, so I tried to freeze time and really live in it.  
With my third kid, I took the time to stroke his face, smell that newborn smell.  I delight in that baby, perhaps more than I delighted in any of my other babies.   
My third kid has worn maybe two ‘new’ outfits in his entire life, but he is the happiest/most content baby I have ever seen.  
About a month ago, he crawled up a couple stairs and confiscated a dirty diaper and PLAYED WITH IT.  I noticed when the ‘dirty’ was all over the carpet.  Yes, my friends, that means he played with it for a good few moments before this mom of 'three kids in three years' noticed.  Can you imagine?!?!   I apologize for that.  
But, although it’s not easy being the third,  his older brother protects him and plays with him so gently, sometimes I get sad my boys didn't each have a big brother to play with.  Sometimes I am bummed the only kid who will have the benefit of two older brothers is my third. 

I could totally apologize for not loving my boys the exact same at each stage in their life.  But, I’m not gonna.  Because loving them the exact same would have been a bummer.  Loving them differently, apologizing for mistakes, and trying to do better is what is making these three little freaks the coolest kids I have ever hung out with. 

I sometimes think people worry they might not be able to give a second (third, fourth, fifth…etc…) child the love they could with their first.  And they are right.  BUT, what’s so cool, is you’ll love them better, all of them, each child you add.
Mistakes and all.

And, for the record, so far my THIRD child is the only one I haven’t sent to the E.R.
:)
Have a great week!















Friday, August 29, 2014

7 quick takes road trip edition

Road trippin' to Kentucky and so I don't have the fancy 7 quick takes format, but thought I'd share some takes on the way!

(1)
At the end of the night, when I go to each boy's bed and put their blankets over them one last time... I always think to myself "I can't believe I have three boys". It's truly wild!  

(2)
We are not doing preschool. Around this time of the year, I feel like a bad parent for that decision.   I'll get over it.

(3)
I always try to tell people "The Walking Dead" is such a good show- so much more than zombies. But I finally figured it out.  I figured out why I think it's a really good moral show as well. In the Catholic faith- there is this understand that the end never justifies the means. So even if a "good" is the outcome, if you have to willingly participate in evil, it's not okay. In our time, that particular philosophy is becoming further away from the norm of thought. But! In the walking dead- they always show it. And the characters portray how very difficult it is to do the right thing in tough situations. Anyway, that's your nerd talk for the day.
 
(4)
The Emmys were awesome! And all the people I wanted to win, won!!! (Which never happens). And the dead people part was very touching, especially the song in the background in light of robin Williams. Well done Emmys.

(5)
Dr. Ben Carson... My new favorite. I think we'd be best friends. 

(6)
You.guys.
I have this dream, always and it's terrifying. I am at college (Franciscan university in Egan hall) and I realize I have not been to class all semester, and I don't even know what classes I was suppose to be attending. Then, I try to figure it out, but realize I am going to fail out. It's always so stressful. I had it three times last week, so this week I decided to look it up.
Side note- I don't really believe in dream interpretation, but sometimes it has value, like in the common dream I have when all my teeth fall out. Turns out, it's a very regular dream. 

N-E-WAYZZZ

TURNS OUT... this dream is super common too. 

It was so weird reading people give the same account of a dream I've had for years.

And, incase you are wondering, it indicates one is neglecting an important part of one's life- often time health.

Um, yup!

(7)
The movie, "jobs"
I liked it a lot more than I thought i would. It's on Netflix. You should watch it.

Have a great week and check out more quick takes at "conversiondiary.com"


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Talk to Me Tuesdays...remember these?

Hey 'member talk to me Tuesdays? I used to love these.  I am resurrecting them because this quote has been rollin' around in my mind/heart/conscience

"The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefiting the poor.   But what happened instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger-- nothing ever comes out for the poor"
- Pope Francis

Crazy right?  I think it's easy to look at this quote and shake our fists at Capitalism (which has it's problems) - and the American structure of 'bigger, better, greed, more, more, more'!  I think it's easy to take the Pope's words and frame them into our internal political battles here in the US of A- that's easy.

What's far more difficult is to consider how this quote can challenge us personally.  We have visited this topic before, but I am interested in your thoughts in light of this quote.  I know many of us are struggling to get out of debt and just get by (but are we REALLY?).  However, to those of us who are out of debt and making choices with excess money, it's difficult isn't it?

You see, when we moved into our little 'just over 1000 square foot' home, I thought we'd live here forever.  It used to drive me crazy to no end when people would call it our 'starter home'.  But now, after almost five years, we are considering moving (not anytime soon).  Why?  I want a dining room (right now, our kitchen would not be big enough to put a table in that would fit eight).  I would like a fireplace.  I want a bigger bathroom, because it is really challenging to bath the babies with my face smashed against the toilet (true story) and zero storage space.

But, our house has sufficient space.  I could give up the dream of the fireplace, we could put a dining table in the basement, and I can suck up my bathroom woes (as Aaron said, "My grandmother raised 9/10 children in one house with a bathroom much smaller than this").

The house is just an example though, it's more than that.  We live, in the United States, a life of excess.  Even our poverty line is skewed based on the rest of the world.

So...TALK TO ME
At what point is too much, too much?  How do you know when you are magically making your cup bigger, rather than allowing it to overflow?  People say it's only about percentage of personal wealth/giving, but do you think that squares away with the magic cup idea?  How do you make these decisions in your household?  SUPER curious to hear your thoughts...


Friday, August 22, 2014

7 Quick Takes- enter at your own risk







The ice bucket challenge, with an option to donate to the ALS fundraiser of your choice, is awesome. If you don't think it is, you are wrong.






The president shouldn't have been golfing this week. I get he deserves a vacation (probably more than most of us), but when you have certain jobs, and there is a crisis, you have to stop your personal world. I used to have to do it in ministry all the time- it's part of the reason I knew full time ministry had to go once I had children.  He shouldn't have been golfing.  If you disagree, you are wrong.






I'm going to the prayer service at Hart Plaza today for the persecuted people of Iraq.  You should join me.  Truth- I am kind of afraid, but feel we should be there.  






Social media has been a hard place to be the last couple of weeks. It makes me want to take a break.  I have been taking lots of breaks- but thinking about an extended one.  But then, I think, if we all take a break, only the crazies are left, and wouldn't that suck???? (I understand many of you probs think I am the crazy).






I was shocked by the amount of people who commented that the Duggars (I don't watch the show) are awful because one of them got married after 'courting' for eight months and announced their pregnancy two months later.  My husband and I got married after 12 months and announced our pregnancy 2 months later...now I know what you really think.  And you are not nice.  And, you are wrong.






It's time to bring back healthy living in our lives.  This summer was REALLY difficult with lots of out of town and I fell off the wagon.  Time to jump back on.  






Ugh.
I'm just kidding.  Wouldn't that be funny if that was my seven though?  
Just an 
'ugh'  
Truth- I am feeling a bit of 'ugh' lately but, BUT, there is this song, I am putting it below and it is a great reminder about who is in control.  When I start to get overwhelmed by the 'ugh' I keep remembering #ourGodisgreater.  It makes me feel better.  You should listen to it.




For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!