Friday, August 28, 2015

Talking Pre-K, Voris, Dream Houses and Baby Girl

We had pre-k orientation for parents this week.  We had a small list of schools supplies to bring in, seven things to be exact. I forgot 2 after checking the list like, six  hundred times.  If this is indicative of how the year is gonna- nothing but trouble that's for sure.

For those of you who have been following my saga regarding picking up lil' Aaron from school everyday and having to walk in the building with three kids, including a newborn...guess what!?!?!  They changed the rules this year!  The teacher will be walking the kids directly out to cars where parents should be standing waiting...um, talk about do-able.
Jesus loves me. And proves it through easy pick-ups from Pre-K

Has anyone seen the movie "The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood"?  There's this scene, with a mom, right before she has a bit of a mental breakdown and has to be sent to a hospital.  The scene had to do with all her babies being sick, and the sick being all over her house and her inability to hang with what was happening (rightly so).  Watching it several years ago, way before kids, I was like, 'That would never happen'.
Lemme just tell you, the amount of human waste this pregnant mama dealt with in a 12-ish hour period due to a stomach bug in our house yesterday, is hard to put into words.  BUT, I asked for prayers for grace and grace was given.  Until 4:30 pm that is, when I text my husband at work and said, 'you have to come home RIGHT NOW'-  We survived though, and weirdly enough, I kind of felt like a rockstar, a life conqueror, and a kick a$$ mother, moving from kid to kid.  My how things have changed around here.

That shooting of those reporters? We hear horrible things everyday right?  But this one, man it got to me. I actually had to pull my car off the road and just sit for a minute in prayer.  As the days have developed I have had lots of thoughts on it... a lot of them divisive in nature.  I'm not gonna share those thoughts, but I am gonna share that I am thinking them.

My husband found me my dream house.  Like, my actual dream house (except for the creepy basement).  The problem is it is 450 k above our budget.  Does anyone wanna write us a check for $450,000 so we can afford it?  No?  Just checking...
I got some Catholic nerd talk coming straight at ya...it'll probably only make sense to Catholic nerds
Michael Voris is at it again, and thankful, Archbishop Chaput (one of my very favs) is like,'yea, just staaaaaaaaap it'.  

But here's the thing. I see people criticize him/Church Militant all the time, but then, the next day, post an article or blog they happen to agree with from Church Militant.
Friends- I don't think we should do that anymore.  It brings relevance to Voris' anti-Catholic ministry...and I think we should stop giving it the time of day.  Okay?  Thanks.

Three more weeks people- at this time, in three weeks (assuming we get there) I'll be greeting my baby girl for the first time. Can I tell you something I realized?  I think this time around, what I am most excited about (besides drinking bud light again, duh), is seeing Aaron meet his daughter. I cannot wait for that moment.  I really can't.

That's it for me.  Check out more Quick Takes at http://thisaintthelyceum.org/


Friday, August 21, 2015

Cleaning, Josh Duggar and Advice Needed...all the Quick Takes!

Cleaning the house...
We did it last weekend. For two straight days. My bedroom is probably cleaner than it's ever been.  The boys are all in one room (not gonna lie though, John Paul only lasted one night in the 'big boy bed' with his brothers).  Malia's Nursery is done except for the bassinet and glider which will be assembled this weekend.  The playroom/basement is cleansed and re-cleaned as of this a.m.  and the kitchen, family room and bathroom have all gotten a proper sprucing.  Here's the deal- I am discovering when my house is clean I am a better wife, mother, and human being in general.  The peace that comes from not living in chaos really does a number (in a good way) on my soul.
Malia Paul's Room
The boys room thanks to Papa and Big A
Speaking of cleaning house...
This week I got myself a babysitter and drove to the Solanus Casey Center (shout out) which has the Sacrament of Reconciliation pretty much every hour on the hour during the day. I got my soul cleansed, had some time for quiet prayer, and drove home.  Lemme just tell you somethin' my friends (Catholic and non- Catholics alike) if there's anything better than driving down the ol' highway, praise music blasting, knowing that if I crashed I might not go to heaven, but I am sure as heck not goin' to hell.... I just don't know what that is.

Speaking of clean house and clean soul...
I am starting to make peace with something.  I am ALWAYS going to be cleaning, organizing, washing, cleaning more, organizing, washing, cleaning, etc... for the next couple of years. I know as the boys get older, they will be helping more (they are already helping a bunch), and it will get easier.  But, I also think it's essential for my attitude on the regular, that I realize a huge part of my vocation is house-care and people-care.  It's not gonna change, so it is time to accept it.

So, I mean, you knew I was going to throw in my opinion of Joshua Duggar right?
I remember, years ago, sitting at Saint John Neumann, where I worked during Mass.  And Saint John Neumann has these huge modern screens (part of the reason my dad considers it penance to attend Mass there)---I was looking at those screens and wondered the level of scandal that would occur if some of my sins (the way I talked, the way I drank, the way I smoked, etc...) were to all of a sudden be displayed on those big screens. I remember thinking people at the Parish would be shocked by the amount of sinfulness I possessed in my heart.  I was horrified.  Then I prayed with why people's opinions of me would bother me more than God's knowledge of my sinfulness.  Because, to be honest, it would.

I'm not excusing anything he did.  I pray for his family.  What I'm thinking though is that life is really REALLY intense when one decides to make themselves a public witness for the faith (whether through ministry or through celebrity).  And we all need to be aware of what that means, even those of us in the blogging world.  We need to pray to avoid temptation whenever possible.  Because the devil delights in sin, but I think in a particular way, he delights in a public hypocrite.  That millstone around the necks of those who lead people astray is an intense image of just how damaging it can be.  That's all Imma say about that.

Lil A is starting school in three weeks!  I am so excited for him, he will LOVE it. I am so nervous for me, having to be somewhere twice a day is going to be insane in the fall with this house full of little ones.  Having to WALK INTO THE SCHOOL to pick him up with a 3 year old, 2 year old and newborn is going to be impossible (but I am problem solving that- fear not)...but I am SO excited for him.

Um so fall is around the corner for me.  That means a baby (what, what), The Walking Dead, Michigan Football (and season tickets because I'm fancy like that), cooler weather, sweaters, overalls, oh my!!! I love Fall so much... bring it.
Michigan Football Tickets

The ol' fourth c-section is four weeks away.  I know I have a few friends who do the multiple c-section thing.  I would really like recovery to go as easy as possible this time.  Though I think I have a better handle than I did four years ago- I'm into hearing your advice...What are something you do to make your recovery as smooth as baby's behind?

I read this article about handling postpartum like a boss, and I plan on following almost all of her advice... 

 But I am all ear for more advice, maybe even particularly from those of you who have had multiple c-sections (what have you learned that works well) OR that bring a newborn home to a house full of little people....
So, give me some.

That's it for me.  Check out more Quick Takes at http://thisaintthelyceum.org/


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

They always WANT something...

I've got so many things I want to blog about... and just can't seem to find the time to do it.  You know the drill...
So for today, I'm just gonna write about a quick reflection I had this morning.  Because I want to hold on to it.

Big A wakes up with the kids 99.9 % of the time, especially during pregnancy.  Sleep at night is difficult for me, and comes ridiculously easily to him (bitter?  nah...only, totally).  Anyway, by the time I wake up the boys have usually been with him in the family room quietly watching a show or playing for about a half hour.  The minute I open the door to my bedroom though, all hell-o breaks out.

They always scream MOOMMMMMMMMMMMMY and then they run up to give me individual hugs.   I usually stumble to the bathroom and shut the door with at least one of them crying outside of it to get in.  When I open the bathroom door again, there they are telling me how they slept, asking me how I slept, and beginning their litany of requests (so.many.requests).

No matter how hard I try to not let it bug me, it's a REALLY intense way to wake up every.single.day. with three little ones immediately on you, asking for things, demanding things, etc... although they are cute... whew, it's A LOT.

But this morning, before I opened the door to my room, I took a deep breath and I thought about something I read on "thefacebook" a few weeks ago about mothering young ones.

I don't remember the exact quote, but what I took from it is that at this point in my life, I will be loved with more expression than any other point in my life.

It's true. My boys love me big.  They always want to be near me, to show me things, to get my approval. I am told I am loved seven thousand times a day by them, and have enough sloppy kisses and clingy hugs to last me a lifetime.

But the thing is, this won't last a lifetime.

There will be some day when I desperately want to hold and cuddle one of these little boys, but they will be big boys, out the door.  There will be one day, probably soon, when I wake up after or before them (most likely before them) and I will have to remind them to say "good morning" and give me a hug because that won't be the first thing they are thinking about.

And so, with that knowledge, I am going to try to approach the morning of needs/wants and cuddles with a more patient, loving, heart.  With a grateful heart, aware of the tremendous blessing of having these three little men who think I am the bee's knees and can't wait until I wake up to hold and snuggle them.


Friday, July 31, 2015

7 Takes of Crank with a cherry on top

Listen.  The Planned Parenthood Videos are edited for practicality- the full, unedited videos are easily available on 'theyoutube'.  And youtube is not a secret place no one can access.  I understand we live in a society where people can't think critically, where truth doesn't matter, and where we can just claim things are/aren't and that's the way we 'feel' so that makes it so.  But, for the Love of God, the unedited tapes are fully available.  And, last night, I pretty much laid in bed, DISTRESSED about the fact that the LEADER OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is using the 'edited by extremists' excuse.  I can't. You guys. I really can't.
Which leads me to my next part... and if you don't like all the cranky, you probably shouldn't read.  This is the opposite of how I feel the majority of the time- but I'll tell you, more and more I'm just thinking it's time for the second coming.  I really do.  I don't know how we can bail ourselves out of this infection of relative truth/weirdness/cultural crisis.  Don't you just wanna sing "behold he comes, riding on a cloud, shining like the sun, at the trumpets call.." and really mean it?  Le sigh, but I know there is work to be done- and so I will try to continue to be a person of joy.

So the Lion thing... there's a lot that can be said and I get it.  But, it has got me thinking, I just can't see any reason, from a Catholic perspective, that Big Game Hunting, or hunting for 'fun' or 'sport' alone would ever be okay?  Population control? I totally get.  Eating the meat you get?  Perfect!  But just for fun, or just to decorate your house with the hide of a Lion... it seems really weird to me when it comes to Caring for God's creation.  Anyone want to weigh in...

So, you know when people make bad decisions constantly and then complain about how their bad decisions have affected their lives, but then they continue to make those bad decisions.  I think that's pretty much the most annoying thing ever.

We haven't had a really good cranky post full of crank in a long time, I hope you are enjoying.

Let's talk about my kids for a second eh?  That will make us smile.
Lil Aaron stuck a kernel of popcorn up his nose on Sunday night.  And it had been a really long weekend and I was BEYOND tired, so I really went a little over the top in my reaction. I was disproportionately upset about it.  It was not a shining moment in parenting.  I kept screaming at him, "Now we are going to have to go to the HOSPITAL!!!!"  to which he kept saying, "I'M SO SORRRRRRRRRY"

But later that night, after I was the freaking hero of the whole world and got it out... we snuggled in bed and I apologized for my reaction.
The good news?
I don't think that kid will EVER stick something up his nose again :)
(knock on a big ol' plank of wood)

John Paul, at least once a day, says, 'hi' to the baby and places his head on my tummy.  Then he just sits there.  It's ADORABLE. I love how much this little girl is loved already by her big brothers. So.much.

That's it for me.  Check out more Quick Takes at http://thisaintthelyceum.org/


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Let me Make you Aware of Something

Warning- sensitive topic ahead.  It could be at trigger for those dealing with infertility-

It’s Natural Family Planning Awareness week!  Who knew we’d need an awareness week for such a thing, but turns out we do.  And I am glad.  There are lots of reasons I am thankful for Natural Family Planning (and lots of reasons I hate it).  I thought I’d tell you about them.  Remember, this is one person’s experience with a system that allows a couple to naturally use the signs of fertility to be open to life, and at the same time avoiding conception when it makes sense (because, sometimes, not having all them babies just makes sense). 

There is one reason I am SO thankful for Natural Family Planning- because this reason is what taught me all about it.  This reason is how I really discovered the reasons for Natural Family Planning, the goods of natural family planning, the challenges of natural family planning and the importance of following the rules if you are trying to postpone a birth.  I've writtenabout this before… but, He, He is the reason I will forever be thankful for Natural Family Planning.

After my second c-section in less than 2 years, it made sense for us to ‘put off’ having a third child.  Having a third child was unsafe medically and because of having such tough pregnancies- it was time, after conceiving our first two relatively easily, to use Natural Family Planning.  

I loved Natural Family Planning as a person who never had to practice it (I am finding I ‘loved’ a lot of things prior to having experienced them, the older I get).  

I remember in college learning about it, being excited to share in such an intimate act of knowing my body, while at the same time, rejecting the culture’s understanding of fertility.  One of my friends (a dude)talked about how 'loving' it would be to ‘read signs together’ as a couple, how it would draw the couple closer- I ate that shtuff up like it was no body’s business.

But it turns out NFP for us was difficult.  The waiting period between having a baby and my cycle returning (because ain't nobody as fertile as me gonna use breastfeeding to space deez babies) was difficult.  Learning how to love each other without being able to express that love physically during certain periods of time was difficult.  Natural Family Planning, for me, was NOT proving to be the breeze I was promised by all the fancy fliers and talks I had attended.  NFP wasn't as intimate as was promised in the big thick binder of instruction given to me by my sister and a friend.  NFP kind of sucked. 

And so one night, as I wrote about in the past, we decided not to practice NFP for just a second.  We decided to ignore the ‘very low’ signs of fertility.  We decided it wouldn't happen this time, for a bunch of reasons that seem a little silly right now, but were highlighted by romance and the holidays…
And then… we got John Paul. 

I cried. A lot.

I felt like a failure, after telling all those skeptics about Catholics being forced to have babies that we would be waiting and it wouldn’t be a problem.  Did I mention, I cried?  A lot??????

You could call it a lack of faith in God’s plan, and you know what, I’ll even accept a little o’ that.  But I also get really sick in pregnancy.  My youngest was 5 months and my oldest not yet two- the thought of going through another pregnancy was so amazingly overwhelming, I couldn't even wrap my head around it.  I was so tired, and so sick through that pregnancy.  My husband never loved the name John Paul (he does now) but I always wanted it.  Seven months into pregnancy, I text him from yet another test at my doctor’s office and wrote something to the effect of, “Guess what? You don’t get a say, I need his name to be John Paul”- I think I needed that name to help me in those last two months, five appointments a week, more tired than I have been in my life.
But then this happen-
Look at all that booze I needed to celebrate!!!
And it all connected.

There’s a reason, we, as Catholics, are open to working with God regarding our fertility, and it comes in the form of a smile like this. 

I don’t say this lightly, having a third child in just over three years was impossibly difficult at times.  However, I enjoyed his ‘newborn’ phase more than any of the others. I loved the quiet nursing time and, true to God knowing what you can handle, his spirit was one of gentle calm.  John Paul, in my opinion, made Aaron the dad he is.  I have written about their special bond before, but often times, I was so tired, Aaron had to take over with him.  There were many a night the two of them would be up quietly in the wee hours of the morning.  Cheesy as it is to say, John Paul Francis changed my husband and made him more tender than I could have ever imagined.

My very favorite picture of Aaron and a child
 After having John Paul, our doctor told us she was comfortable with us having a fourth child, but she would prefer (um, that was putting it mildly) we wait at least a year.  So this time, we were strict about NFP.  

Sometimes putting our physical desires aside for the sake of the good of our family is tough, real tough.
I loved nursing John Paul (oh man- Breast feeding advocates are gonna freak out at this next part), but I only nursed him for 6 weeks- for me, and my level of comfort, having my ‘signs’ back and my cycle back are necessary to safely reading my cycle. 

There were plenty of times when Aaron and I had to remind ourselves of why we were spacing and how important it was to not ‘break the rules’ when signs were showing us to be fertile.  Sometimes it would be challenging, sometimes I felt frustrated, sometimes I felt jealous of my friends who take a pill once a day and can feel free to go about their, ahem, businaaaasssssssss. 

We were both relieved when the window of one year closed and we were able to start being open to trying again.  I’m getting older, so my fertility is getting less.  It took us four months to conceive Malia.  I found out I was expecting her two days after returning from the hospital to visit Paul for, what I didn't know, would be the last time.  Paul got to ‘meet’ her, that’s important to me.
Paul got to 'meet' Malia- who's middle name will be Paul
The thing about NFP is that it is a cross, it is a challenge, it’s so hard to do something so different than what the rest of the world is doing, but Natural Family Planning is an amazing way to open your tribe up to a whole different level of working with and through God to create something really, REALLY cool.

I’d imagine in about four months I’ll be cursing the system again, our expectation (which could be wrong) is that my doctor’s suggestion (which we will trust) will be avoiding future pregnancies… but I am glad we have the confidence of knowing we can space our children in a completely natural, organic way.  And, maybe I am just a little glad that if we did decide to 'cheat' again (no plans)- we'd end up with something as cool as John Paul Francis Wilkerson. 

For more information on NFP- check out this site….

For an awesome talk on why Artificial Contraception might not be all it’s cracked up to be… check out this one.

Monday, July 20, 2015

6 Months of Living Like Paul...


Two weeks ago I was in Frankenmuth, Michigan with family.  It was a great trip with several of my siblings and a whole crew of nieces/nephews. We had so much fun, but I couldn't help but remember the trip I took there several years ago with Paul, Ann, Uncle Mario, Aaron and our kids at the time.  As we stopped in several places to take pictures with family, I was reminded of smiling at the same places with my dear friends, one who is now with Jesus.  The day we left, I put the boys in their, ‘Uncle Paul’ shirts, you know the ones, the ones that have the date of his homecoming on the front, and a reminder to LIVE LIKE PAUL on the back.  When the boys are dressed alike, I’m just gonna be honest and say they are ADORABLE, a woman saw the front of their shirts and said, “Oh January 20th, what’s special about that date?”  She seemed embarrassed when I responded, “That’s the day their uncle went to heaven, but he was a really awesome guy, so we celebrate it.”  We went on our way with smiles but ran into her again, and this time she saw the back of the shirts… “LIVE LIKE PAUL, “ she said, “Wow, your uncle sounds like a really great guy”.

So, it’s been six months since Paul took his last breath here on earth and his first breath in the presence of Jesus.  That is SO.HARD. for me to believe.  And yet, in these six months, like so many of you,  I have been so blessed to see Paul making a lasting impact in the lives of others.  I have witnessed it in so many ways, as people have used the hashtag #livelikepaul

His wife, Ann, lives like him every.single.day.  Radiating a humble honesty as she reflects, often with joy about the tremendous impact of her husband.  She gives updates about the kids, and shares pictures of little Paul “Blaze” Coakley, born at home a few months after Paul’s passing.  Ann inspires me so much, in a particular way, to trust in the mysterious plan of God.

I've watched other people live like him too.  People going on adventures. Living more joyfully perhaps than they would have six months ago.  I followed on facebook as Ann’s cousins walked the Camino, all the while sporting their ‘Live Like Paul’ shirts. I watched his mom/sisters traveling to Alaska- enjoying their time together as pictures are displayed on social media.  Father Jon made a few of us a mixed cd, filled with songs to remember Paul by.   He also went out and got himself a truck, christened it the new “Josephine” and promised it would be full of adventures.  I have loved reading updates on the facebook page of people living like Paul, and reading personal testimonies about how this man Paul, sometimes a stranger, has profoundly changed the way people are living.

But I have to ask the question myself- how has ‘living like paul’ impacted me in the last six months? I gotta be honest, the answer doesn't come that easily.

I’d love to say I have been more adventurous, challenged myself to take risks and do crazy things.  But the truth is, I still kind of love indoors and fancy hotels more than I think I’ll ever like doing ‘outdoorsy’ or wild things.  However, there’s a certain sweetness that perhaps the part of my life, the really crazy adventurous part, is protected in a place of lived memories with my dear friend Paul.

I’d love to say I have been a better wife, using the example of Paul and Ann to push me to choose more patient words when dealing with my ‘opposites attract’ husband.  But, the truth is, in grief and in pregnancy I've probably been more short tempered with the ol’ husband than ever before.  However, every time I read an update from Ann about the love Paul and her shared, I challenge myself to be better. 

I’d love to say I have been a better mom, using Paul’s love for his children as an example to remember the most important thing I can give to my children is time and love.  But, the truth is, I have done a lot of couch parenting as I work through this pregnancy and some days it’s all I can do to not irrationally yell as I park them in front of the TV for another show while I face rounds of nausea.  However, I have often been able to tell them about their Uncle Paul, and, in their young lives, I have watched heaven become real as they talk about him with me. 

Living like Paul in these last six months hasn't been obvious in the Wilkerson house.  And, as I was reflecting on this blog, I was kind of feeling ashamed of that. Shouldn't my friend, my brother in so many senses of the word, have had a bigger impact in the way I am living from day to day?  But then, the other night, I had this realization.

During the Eulogy I was blessed to give, I reflected on how I often wondered why Paul would choose to be friends with a big ol’ pagan like me.  When I said that, several people in the Church laughed, (some more than others) leading me to believe perhaps other people had wondered the same thing;)  You see, as you know, Paul and I were very, very close friends.  As we moved through our early and mid-twenties, we lived so many memories together.  We learned how to go from living in our precious little bubble of Franciscan University, to discerning how to love well in this big scary world.  

But... he always did it better than me.  

However, he always loved me.  He loved me for exactly who I was and exactly where I was at, while inspiring me with the way he lived, to be better.

And so, as I go through this life with the knowledge that my dear friend is in heaven, I am continuing to strive to live like him. 

I feel his presence so deeply when I tell groups of people about him during presentations.  As I explain that living like Paul means living as God called you to be, and that call is NEVER boring.  I feel his very real intercession as teens and adults I am with ask for prayers from St. Paul.

I hear his laughter when I mutter under my breath, ‘mother effer’ at the bee flying around my head as I suffer through playing outside with my kids.

I hear his correction, “MARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!” when I mouth off to Big Aaron, hearing the shock he would sometimes express at how UN-Christian I could be….and that was all he needed to do.  No long lectures, but a firm reminder that I could do better.

I know he delights as I jam out and cry in my car to songs as cheesy as, “Life Goes On” by 2 PAC (edited version, of course); or as honest as, “Angels Calling” by the Tenors. And I know he sings along with me to “Devil Goes Down To Georgia”- and mimics the fiddle parts with me like we used to until my arms are sore, but his heavenly arms could keep going for eternity.

I guess the thing is, Paul always loved me, in a very real way, as I think Jesus does.  Where I am at, while gently pushing me to be better…and as I reflect on the awesome gift of that, I realize I AM living like Paul, I've been living like Paul as I let his legacy continue to affect the person I am today and the person I will be in the future.

***During the next month, we will be encouraging people to post on the facebook page   ways that they have been able to '#LIVELIKEPAUL',  or been challenged to #'LIVELIKEPAUL' in the days and months since his passing.  Please consider posting how Paul's death (but most importantly LIFE) has impacted you and the ones you love.  You can do this by picture, by words, by links to blogs (my favorite), but help us to carry on his legacy by putting it out there for others to read***  

Friday, July 17, 2015

A little Takes for you this Friday

Last Friday, Big Aaron said, 'I'm leaving at four, have the kids shoes on and let's go for a drive"- it was pretty much the best message ever.  I'm all about family adventures.  We went to an art fair and ate corn dogs and looked at pretty things like beer candles (who knew that was a thing?).  Spontaneous adventures are where it's at for me, I was just so darn happy I could have been walking on a cloud.
Corn Dogs make my boys VERY happy.
Speaking of adventures, I have been trying to convince Aaron to take one this weekend.  It's about the last weekend where we have zero necessary plans until the baby gets here, and honestly, despite what Big A thinks, there is a LOT to do before the baby gets here, so I'll be filling our weekends with house projects through the month of August.  Anyway, that's why I've been trying to convince Aaron to go on an adventure this weekend. I was thinking Chicago, but then, my good friend Erin was like, 'um, it's suppose to be 90' in Chicago' and ain't no 3rd trimester got time for that.  So... my newest angle is gonna be Niagra Falls- which I KNOW Big A is gonna reject, so feel free to post your approval on his facebook wall.  It's only four hours away.  We can be there by 9 or 10 tomorrow morning, do all the cheesy tourist stuff and be back by a reasonable time on Sunday.  The boys would love it, I would love it and Aaron (who doesn't LOVE adventures as much as me) could love the fact that we loved it so much.  WINNING!

Joey's third birthday was last Sunday and his party was Saturday.  By party it is meant that (little Baltimore catechism phrasing for my old school Catholic homies) I remembered a week before we hadn't put anything on the calender so we invited our parents and our cousin Judy and I made a cake.  I've talked to the ol' blog about my sensitive child Joey- life is just really hard for him sometimes in general... he's special that way.  But man, watching him light up with having the weekend be all about him was so cool.  He was in construction truck and super hero heaven.  I loved seeing the glow of his smile and him stretching his fingers to show he is three.  That boy is just the best, I am so glad God saw fit to give us him.
I'm pretty much a profesh cake decorator

One of Joey's gift was a 'Paw Patrol' board game.  The thing about me is I don't do a lot of games, or puzzles, or coloring, or pretty much anything that has pieces and can make my already cluttered house more cluttered.. BUT, they LOVE this game.  However, because we don't do games a lot around here, lil' A is having a hard time with the fact that he can't win every single time.  Yesterday he had a mini-breakdown when Joey 'won' for the third time.  Completely melting down because it was 'his turn' to win, but it's a chance game like 'candyland' so Joey was just lucky.  Anyway, all of this is to ask you a question.  How do you teach your growing children the value of being a good winner and a good loser?  What is some language you use that's helpful?  I mean, this kid was legit heartbroken that he wasn't winning. 

I'm working my way through the 3rd trimester and workin' is what it feels like.  The irons off again, gestational diabetes is our reality once again, the ol' back is feeling like 'whoa' occasionally (but nowhere NEAR what it was with John Paul) and I am blessed with nausea again... I wouldn't mind some prayers if you got some.  

So, the Edel Conference got me jealous and it got me thinking...
 I think married women's ministry/young moms ministry might be the most extremely lacking ministry in the Church, at least in the AoD. I've been thinking it for awhile.  There's this great married women's retreat, many of you may have heard of, put on by the Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist, in December and it sells out in like, three seconds.  Why?  Because, in my opinion, married women/women with children are desperate for a break with Jesus.  This retreat is the only one I know of in the area, and like I said, it can't serve as many people as would like to be served.  So, after praying about it quietly for a few months... I decided to just go ahead and with the help of some good friends/sisters and the direction of Holy Spirit.... plan an overnight one at a local parish. I am excited. It won't be till 2016, Aaron thinks I am CRAZY (our lives are not what one would call, calm, during this season), but you are invited and I think it will be great.

Cute huh?

That's it for me.  Check out more Quick Takes at http://thisaintthelyceum.org/