Friday, October 13, 2017

7 Quick Takes. Sick kids, cute pic, and sad football stories...

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

Oh gosh.
This week has been a hard week of sick.
It's included fevers, an ER trip, and very little sleep for this mama.
Last night I had two kids puking pretty much every hour on the hour.
Isn't that sad?
But wait.
It's gets better. But really better, not like, 'it gets better' said ironically because it gets worse.
Julia is an amazing sleeper.  She sleeps through the night, usually between 9:00 pm- 7:30 am (I KNOW RIGHT!?!?!)/
And when the kids started puking, I brought them into our bed, with lights on, etc... 
There was crying.
There was projectile vomiting.
There was whining.
And sweet baby girl in her bassinet slept through everything.

Those smiles though.

I've done some facebook live-ing about the things I talk about when I do speaking.
I think I am going to start doing more of those.
Because they are fun.
I am going to need to stop being so 'wordy' so says my sister.

In my facebook live video, I said I was 38.
I said this because I thought I was 38.
Turns out, I am 37.
I asked my sister, she said she sometimes forgets how old she is. So at least I am not alone.
At least I thought I was older than I am.

Before the puke-pocolyse of 2017... I was feeling sick.
so I went to bed at 7:30 pm last night.
And that's kind of awesome.
Also, a lifesaver, seeing as though I have been up since midnight thirty.

With so much sickness in our house, my kids have been living on screens.
I'm really not sure what to do with them besides screens when they are this sick.
Currently, in my family room, I have the tv going, along with 2 ipads.
I can feel the twitching from some of you.
Don't worry.
I am twitching as well.
But not enough to change the situation.

Michigan lost last weekend.
To gross Michigan State.
It's 6 days later, and I am still not over it.
It was also a terrible game, low scoring, super boring.
Sometimes being a football fan is hard.

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, October 6, 2017

7 Quick Takes and a BONUS ONE!

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
You ready? Here we go... (the 'here we go' said in the voice of slick rick)

Do not post controversial stuff on SOCIAL media if you are not prepared to maturely handle opposing views.
It's called SOCIAL media.
Er'time you people write, 'I don't want to hear your views on it'
I judge.
I did it once too, but then I deleted the post.
Because I realized if I didn't want to hear opposing views, I shouldn't be posting something I take so personally on the internets.
Get it together people.
That is all.

You know how you get those moments, when you can't believe the life you are living is the life you get to lead?  In the best possible way?
Last Saturday I looked out the window and saw this...
It was one of those moments.
And tears stung my eyes.
My window might need to be clean (does need to be clean).
But looking at the window at my big boys is amazing.

speaking of..
I now feel comfortable letting my two big boys cross the street to go to the park, if I am sitting on the front porch. 
Er'body is growing up in this house.
We tried this summer to let all three boys go to the park across the street.
But our van was partially blocking my view.
And the littlest boy tried to cross the street to come home without his brothers before I noticed.
A car almost hit him.
Then slowed down and the man in the car said, "Do you know who's kids these are?"
And I got REAL sassy and said, "They are MINE and I am SITTING RIGHT HERE LOOKING AT THEM"
(because I didn't know John Paul was in the middle of the street due to my obstructive view)
The man in the car rolled his eyes and drove off. And then out popped John Paul.
It was not a good moment in parenting.

BUT, alas, John Paul wasn't home, so I let the big two go by themselves, because they know not to run into the street.

It's freaking me out..knowing that JuJu might be our last baby.
She sleeps through the night (I KNOW!), so we are thinking it might be time to switch her into Malia's room. 
But then she wouldn't be in ours.
And we might not have a baby in our room ever again?
And that's just too much right now.
So she will stay with us.

Sometimes I take the kids shopping
All of them.
And I am impressed with myself... so I take a picture.

Dude.  When John Paul isn't stepping on his baby sister's stomach, or smooching her head, or making her cry...
He's an AWESOME brother.

It's the Michigan/Michigan State Game tomorrow.
Have I told you guys how much I love college football?
Because it is SO much.
And I really want to watch the game and drink some bud lights.
But I ate 20 animal crackers, 3 cookies, and 2 marshmallows yesterday...
So that might have to count as my cheat day.
Water and Football it is!
(unless I change my mind)

My husband, Aaron sometimes makes the eggs in the morning instead of me...
They are scrambled.
And they are not good.
Don't tell him, but he makes REALLY bad scrambled eggs.
There is a science to this sh@#  and he just simply is not successful.
You guys.
He scrambles them IN THE PAN.

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, September 29, 2017

7 Quick Takes- Advice NEEDED!!!!

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

This week at school, Aaron was made fun for complimenting someone's Moana backpack...
he asked me if he was weird for liking girl things.

Then, Aaron made fun of another kid's parent... but it was truly accidental.
Some other kids heard it and joined in.

A couple kids started talking about their pretend birthday parties, and said Aaron wasn't invited.

It was a week of things like that.  

And I was working to navigate Aaron through them, but feeling kind of bummed out about everything.

A girlfriend reminded me, he is learning lessons.  Through very normal and developmentally appropriate 'issues' we are teaching our son what it means to be kind, good, holy, and how to deal with difficult people with confidence etc...

It doesn't necessarily make it easier, BUT, when I was able to frame it as moments of learning...
I felt better about it.

Speaking of.
You guys know I don't read parenting books.
I look to my friends, family, acquaintances to give me advice that works.
So, I need advice.

I've worked with thousands of teenagers.
And I can always tell the difference between kids who have confidence, and kids who already had confidence stolen from them.

The advice.

How do you help little people take the hits of  the unkind actions of their peers, family members, etc...
still have a sense of confidence?

And  I mean really practically.

What words have you used that work?
What things have you said when your kid is crying because someone hurt their feelings?
How do you teach them to deal with the kids at school who aren't kind?
Tell me exactly what you do. I'm ready to receive it :)

Question- How fun is fall?
Answer- SO.MUCH.FUN.

I like how my parents raised me.
There are two lessons I heard repeatedly growing up I hope to pass on to my children.

1.  Life is not fair.
2.  Some people aren't nice, but we still love them.

I really think if most people were told as often as I was 'Life's not Fair' we'd be in a much better position in these United States.

This is my weight loss map for the first part of my weight loss journey.
I get to color in three more squares today.  Woot woot.  Imma have that bangin' body before you know it :)
Also, weight loss maps are fun.

Thanks for the prayers, the retreats last weekend went really well.  We introduced a new Confirmation Retreat, and it will need some tweaking, but overall I think it's pretty solid. 
This weekend I'll be giving a workshop on the Church's teaching on homosexuality.
And later in the week, a presentation on praying within the family.
Both presentations I am excited for.
One I always get a little nervous about.
I'll let you figure out which one ;)

On tap today is the Cider Mill with one of our favorite cousins...
Followed by an all grade play date at an indoor jungle gym...
AND, if I can rally (which I highly doubt I can) adult drinks with cousins...
I guess you can say it's gonna be a pretty busy day. 
But all good things.
So no complaints.

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

7 Quick Takes Thursday Night/Early Friday edition

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

I am writing these on Thursday, because I have an all day retreat Friday.
I feel like a kid the first day before school.
After taking off a solid 4 months, it's back to Speaking Ministry I go.
Say some prayers for...
...the 7th and 8th graders of The Academy of the Sacred Heart.
...the Confirmation Candidates from the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basillica.
...and high school students at St. Thomas More.

It should be a good weekend!

So, I said this on insta-stories... but in case you haven't heard, we don't do intentional tummy time.
I know.
But basically my parenting style is to not include anything that has become really popular in the last 30 years (the results of recent parenting haven't been that great imo).
For better or worse, that's our style.
We had our well checks this week and my pediatrician was all like
"Wow, her head strength is amazing, good job mom on the tummy time"
So there's that.

I sent my kindergartner and first grader to school twice this week without brushing their teeth.
And I forgot my kindergartner's 'quiet bag' on Monday.
And I forgot to return a book for my first grader this week.

So I guess you can say I am rocking at lyfe this week.

p.s. I just realized 'keepin' it real' on the ol' blog could be a challenge now that I have friends from my kid's school who might read this blog.  So basically, try not to judge :)

We are booking plane tickets for our Disney trip in December in a couple of weeks.
I am SO excited for that trip.
But I am also very nervous one or more of our kids will end up being sick for it.  You know how December is with illness in big families right?
So let's all start praying everyone is healthy.
Because man, six nights at such a magical place with our only job being to love each other is going to be ah-mazing.

Speaking of travel.
Malia is crazy into Moana lately. Which means the whole family is, because we have one tv and I love screen time.
I never really 'watch' kid movies of my kids.  When they are on, I sit in the room and do something else (read, phone, computer, etc...).
But, I decided to pay attention to the song. You know the song, "How Far I'll Go"
It really touched a deep part of my soul, as cheesy as that sounds.
I am a traveler by nature, I have a terrible case of Wanderlust, and I have from a very young age.
That deep feeling in my soul that I NEED to explore the world has always been in my heart.
I responded to it first by attending WYD in Paris, and since then, it hasn't gone away.
It's led me to a dozen and a half countries...
five continents...
on so many adventures, I could make this blog JUST about that.

So, when I was listening to the song, it made me a little sad.
I remember right after I had little Aaron, one night, feeling a deep sense of panic realizing it would probably be years, perhaps decades, before I ever traveled internationally again.
After listening to Moana sing this song... I started thinking about it again.


I thought about why I love travel.
And it's about the experiences of new things, the adventure, the unpredictability of it all- I just SOAK it all up.
 I realized my life now is experience of new things, an adventure and completely unpredictable.
So I'm gonna go ahead and remember that next time I feel that old tug in my soul to travel to far off places...

I'm gonna put this right here. It's a blog called,
I didn't post it on my facebook wall because it's a tough thing to talk about, it's a tough thing to discuss and because 99.9% of people I know use contraception, so it can come off as a little judgy.

But it's not meant to be.

I thought it was a good article and made some really great points, maybe consider if God might be pulling on your heart a bit to read it? It's definitely written for a Catholic audience, as the Catholic understanding of sexuality is so drastically different than every other faith tradition...I love it though (obvi)

Aaron and I use Natural Family Planning.  It hasn't always been easy, and it took awhile to get the hang of it, but I have been reflecting a LOT lately on what a gift it is to our marriage.  I've been reflecting on how God is so good and His plan is so good.  Within my faith tradition, there is a built in system of understanding sexuality that helps us to avoid the temptation to use each other.  I like it. 

To end this week, I leave you with my juju grace.
Gosh I don't mind her one bit.

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, September 15, 2017

7 Quick two weeks in a row... cause I'm fancy

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

I am always looking for new netflix/hulu/amazon prime suggestions, so when Bonnie at A Knotted Life  threw out there that she watches, 'TURN' we decided to give it a shot.
So good.
I am bummed it only has four seasons.
Think Revolutionary War, meets spy thriller, throw in some relationship drama, and you got yourself this show. It's really good. 
But it's also really smart.
I need Aaron's help to figure out what's happening. 
I highly suggest watching
Aaron is not pleased that I have picked yet another series winner... when he has yet to pick one we like :)

If you are a facebook friend or follow me on 'theinstagram' you know we are doing the Whole30. I love it so much, I really do. It feels good to eat good.  BUT, I will say, I am NOT liking black coffee this time around.
I am basically choking it down because I am not a nice mom until I've had coffee.
But it is not enjoyable.
I bought the fancy stuff to see if it would help.
It doesn't.
Black coffee will not be something that sticks around.

I started MOPS yesterday.
A few years ago I attended, but then, after I had Malia and we had the midday pick up from school, it just wasn't worth it. Way too much stress involved with getting there.
But now the two big guys are in school all day, so I thought it would make sense to start again.
The first meeting did not disappoint.
If you have little people, I REALLY suggest it. The community is great, the breakfast is delicious, and it's a solid 2 hour break from the children I love.
YAY breaks.

Ministry starts next week.
I was VERY intentional about taking time for maternity leave again with Julia Grace. It makes such a difference in the postpartum to not have to think about work at all.  It was hard to turn down some really cool opportunities (including Canada, eh!) but necessary.
Alas, now it is time to think about working in the Kingdom.
I will be starting with a bang.  Three days of all day retreats.
On Friday, I will be leading a retreat for 7th and 8th grade students.
On Saturday, I will be working with my ministry partner to facilitate a Confirmation Retreat.
On Sunday, I will be giving a high school retreat.
I am super excited about the ministry year. Lots of new stuff, lots of good stuff.
Starting next weekend, I will pretty much be working every weekend until December.
What a blessing!
If you read this and you are local-ish, or even far away-ish... We/I do have December pretty wide open. We love to speak at Advent Reflections/Advent Teas/Advents by candlelight, etc...
hmu if your parish could use a night like that!

I always feel bad about Malia being in a room by herself, while her three brothers get to share a room.  There has been many nights she cries, arms outstretched towards her brother's room, from her crib.  It's heartbreaking.
So last night, I finally caved.  The boys usually like to share beds anyway, so there was a free bed in their room. When Malia started crying for the boys, I picked her up, grabbed her blanket and carried her into their room, tucked her into the spare bed, and left the room.
Ten minutes later, she came out and asked to go back into her bed.
girls are awesome
and brothers are a LOT to handle.

There's no way to write about what I want to write about next without really upsetting people who might read this blog.
So, I will just just say this.
I watched a couple television shows this week that really disturbed me.
And I am really glad that I belong to a Church who holds to the truth that children have intrinsic rights.  Babies have rights.  They have rights and shouldn't be treated as 'things'.  
I don't think until recently I understood the full impact of that particular teaching.
With each baby we've had, the mystery of these little people becomes more and more defined for me.  And gosh, when you see the rights of the most vulnerable in our society slowly stripped away, even in subtle ways... it's insanely upsetting.  
And that my friends is what we call vague-blogging.

And finally, I know you guys know this but...
FOOTBALL is back.
I love football so much.
I love everything about it, but man, having these sons who watch with us, though annoying at times, is AWESOME.
Go blue!
They wanted to pose like they were doing push ups...

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, September 8, 2017


I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

It's been a hot minute. 
Three months, ish? 
Life is finally getting back to order. I got past those rough four last weeks of pregnancy, had a beautiful baby and moved through a REALLY slow recovery.  This is been my first really great week in a really long time. And I slept 7 hours in a row last night, which hasn't happened since last year at this time...
Here's some updates

Julia Grace

 She ain't nothing but amazing.
Her birth was wonderful, so much better than I thought it would be.
She isn't the most low-maintenance baby, but she's getting easier.
I am trying to soak up every last bit of this newborn phase because I am aware it IS going to fly by.
I'd like to write her full birth story one day.  But I'd also like to write Malia's birth story and order Malia's first year babybook, and order our year six picture book (marriage wise) and start a baby book for Julia.
Chances are about 1/2 of that will never happen.
I'm just being honest.
Joey and Aaron started school.
I love our school, so much... but I hate sending my kids to school.
It's bothering me more than ever this year.
No matter what questions I ask to try to see what their days are like...
they only explain so much.
And I just had 2.5 months of knowing what every moment of every day looked like for them.
It is SUCH an act of trust to send one's kids to a school for 8 hours a day.  SUCH an act of trust.
they love school
and we love their teachers
and their school
and a homeschooler I am not.
So I get used to missing them and wondering about them all day long.

Malia and John Paul.

Oh man. These two.
My days are now spent with them and Julia.
I'm trying to be really intentional with our morning time, then 1/2 hour of screen time, books and nap.
I love nap time.
All three are asleep right now.
 I am about to eat some roasted broccoli and salami.

Roasted broccoli and salami you say?
If you follow me on facebook, you know we are doing the Whole 30 again.
I'm so glad we are.  We are five days in and I can already tell a difference.
Plus, it's really fun to do with Aaron.
The plan is to eat Whole 30, then join the gym, and then, after that, use the Weight Watchers App to track food.
Time to get the ol' Bangin' body back.
Ideally, I would like to lose 85 lbs.
EIGHTY FIVE LBS?!?!?! You say.
Well, that's ideally. And I know it might take a really long time.  Like 2-3 years long. But, alas, I am going to work for it slowly.

I pretty much stopped commenting about the world/society/disasters on social media.
I just can't.
There are too many awful things.
I've decided instead to focus on the wonderful things I see every.single.day.
Not in a 'bury my head in the sand' kind of way.
But more in a, 'change the things you can, let go of the things you can't', kind of way.
But so many prayers.  And lots of IRL conversations about our world.  It's hard huh? 

It's hard to find time to blog, but I do miss it. I'm gonna try to do the Quick Takes every week.  Deal?

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, June 16, 2017

7 QT Fancy galas, adorable kids, and the weirdness of postpartum bodies

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

Aaron and I celebrated 7 years on Monday.  
and I still like him a whole heck of a lot. 
Every day I feel blessed to have him, and my resolution and prayer is to be a better wife. 
Tonight, we are going to a fancy Gala the Archdiocese of Detroit hosts as a fundraiser for seminarians.
Then we are spending the night at my favorite local hotel while my parents watch the kids.
It's an anniversary celebration/babymoon/I REALLY need a good night of sleep adventure.
I am excited.

I got my hair did.
I get my hair did about once a year at the same salon.
It's embarrassingly pricey, but such a lovely experience.  It takes 3 hours!  WHAT?!?!?  But that includes a hair wash/scalp massage experience that I live for.
It's the best.
I took off five inches and lightened it.  Enough change to make me feel a bit refreshed, not too much that I get scared of maintaining it.

I will never stop living for little kids in overalls.

This picture kind of freaked me out.
Because he's going to be a teenager before I know it.
Like, a young man.
And then a man.
He's so proud of his muscles.

Wanna know what happened to us on Monday?
We went grocery shopping as a family around lunch time. The kids were kind of well behaved.
We go to this cute little market.
As we were leaving, a woman walked up to our family and gave my husband $20.  She said, 'please take your adorable family to lunch, on me'.

You guys. people say nice things to us and about us all the time.
I've thought about this all week, because a few weeks ago, a relative stranger, in an environment of faith, told me (not asked me) that I should get my tubes tied.
It was a horribly awkward conversation.  Probably the most awkward I've had. And it's rolled around in my head and enraged me ever since.

But comments like that come like MAYBE once or twice a year.

People are saying nice things about my family, complimenting my boys, trying to get my girl with RCF (resting cranky face) to smile, etc...ALL THE TIME.

People are really really awesome in real life aren't they?
I'm learning to let the sting of rare
mean comments fly away, in favor of cherishing the constant comments of affirmation from strangers/family and friends.

Oh gosh.  
Personal Take Warning
I shared this video on facebook. If you didn't watch it, or missed it, you should watch it right now.
(it says bull sh@#$)

When I was telling Aaron about it, I started crying.
The changes to my body after having four c-sections and five pregnancies in such a short time have been really hard for me.
The issues she describes in this video are my exact issues.
The concept of how crazy it is to try to achieve a pre-baby body after one has had babies, was really powerful for me. 
Aaron constantly affirms how attractive he finds me, both in word and action... but I'm finding it challenging to believe it for the first time. 
which is kind of craziness. 
This video has helped me frame some of my feelings about my body lately... and I am grateful for it.

Happy Father's Day to all you good daddies out there (even to the okay-ish ones).
We will be doing some celebrating this weekend.
Aaron's gonna go on a man-date with the three boys to see Cars 3.
I have a couple surprises planned (or at least will by Sunday).
It should be a fantastic weekend!

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!