LET LOVE BE SINCERE

LET LOVE BE SINCERE

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?

(one)
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.
Guys.
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 :)

(two)
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.

(three)
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.

(four)
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!

(five)
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.
lol.
girls are awesome
and brothers are a LOT to handle.

(six)
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.

(seven)
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

7 QT BLOGGING AGAIN?!?!!?



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

(one)
HIYA
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...
SO. 
YAY
Here's some updates

(two)
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.
  
(three)
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.
BUT
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.

(four)
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.

(five)
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.

(six)
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? 

(seven)
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?
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?

(one)
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.

(two)
\
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.


(three)
I will never stop living for little kids in overalls.
Never.

(four)
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.

(five)
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'.
Can.you.even.believe.that??

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.

(six)
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.

(seven)
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!

Friday, June 9, 2017

7QT no sleep, hurt feelings and DISNEY edition



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

(one)
Being a parent is amazing. 
I still cannot believe what has happened to my sleep.
Two nights ago, I slept through the whole night, with the exception of getting up every 1.5 hours to use the restroom (#pregnancyproblems)

It felt like a dream
And I still got up 5 times during the night.

Let's just say the other days this week, in between getting up every 1.5 hours to use the restroom, I was also up pretty much every hour tending to one of my four children.

...I can't find my blanket
...I can't find my pillow
...I wanted to have a midnight party for 2 hours
...I need snuggles
...I had a bad dream, I don't want to talk about it, but I don't want to be in my room.

It has been A WEEK.

(two)
\
Ugh. Gestational Diabetes be workin' my nerves.
And my fingers hurt from all the pokes.  So.many.pokes.
For those of you in the know, I have the trigger on the lowest setting, but it's still kind of really hurting.
I already do it on the side of my fingers.
I even resorted to watching youtube videos to make it less painful.
It's all worth it... but man, four more weeks, four times a day?

(for the record, Jesus just mentally slapped me and reminded me people deal with this much longer than 4 weeks, some, for a life time and I should probably just ut-shay up-hay).

(three)
ahem.
I have a kid who likes to take off her pants and diaper... all the time.
This is becoming a real problem for a lot of reasons (I will leave it to the imagination).
I have already found her without her diaper twice today.

How shall I deal with this?
Seriously?
Besides buying onsies and having her wear one always?

(four)
I like to get personal occasionally up in here.

In the last year, I have really been trying to work on my emotional reactions to situations.
(I have a tendency to be WAY too reactive)

a) Locating the correct emotion (i.e. anger is easy, but often a distraction)
b) analyzing where the emotion came from
c) determining what, if anything, I can do about the situation causing the emotion
d) If I can't do anything, wrapping a boundary around the situation until I can properly respond emotionally.

That's what my process has looked like.

I've had my feelings hurt a couple times this week, pretty intensely.
I have worked my system.
It's been good.

That is all.

(five)
I had some plans this week.
I've had to cancel them.
Between doctor appointments, being a kick butt summer mom (because, I kind of have been) and exhaustion, I just don't have energy for anything but the daily grind.
I need to remember once I get near full term, the energy I've got is reserved for my kids and pretty much nothing more.  I hate canceling plans, so I need to not make them, or I end up canceling them.
From this point until August, no plans shall be made, as much as I might want to make all the plans.


(six)
Scenes of an awesome summer mom

Our favorite Detroit City park

A safety town we got to bring our bikes to!

Joey and Malia at the'fire station'

My adventure crew...we've decided to name our van 'the adventurer' in case you were wondering

(seven)
And, the best news from this week...
We booked Disney!
Disney at Christmas time, here we come.
Art of Animation.
Six Nights.
And I get to make dining reservations today!!!
Woot woot.


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

Friday, June 2, 2017

7QT- It's summer, ya'll



I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
(one)
Summer is here, summer is here! #PTL (that means Praise the Lord).
Seriously.
We are quickly approaching full term status in this pregnancy, and it's been more and more difficult to manage everything that comes with two kids in school at different times, along with two kids at home.  Not to mention wake ups, quick breakfasts, making lunches, remembering forms (So.many.forms), etc...
I am so excited about the freedom summer brings us.

(two)
\
We made a summer bucket list.  We kept it VERY realistic (ten items and one bonus item).
We would like to go to 3 splash pads.
one family picnic
family movie nights with pizza
sprinkler twice a week
Greenfield village/Henry Ford once every two weeks
And maybe, as a bonus, legoland.

A few other things round out our list, but I do so love how simple my kids wishes are!

My number one list item...
Have a baby.

(three)
We also are putting together a chore chart for the oldest two. Keeping it very realistic. My sister Theresa had the best idea.
If the kids do their chore every day without being asked, at the end of the week they get a certain number of American dollars for allowance.
If the kids need to be reminded, they get less.
If the kids complain, they get even less (in our case, if they complain, they won't get the 'sticker' for the chore, so they will get nada, and still have have to do the chore).
Isn't that a cool idea?

I am keeping the chores very realistic.

Little A will have to 'watch' his brothers/sister downstairs for fifteen minutes, twice a day.
#mombreak
Wipe down the table and sweep the floor at the end of the night
#gross job
and something else...

Joey will empty the bathroom garbage in the morning.
Clean the toys that creeped up into the family room at night
and something else

(four)
Gosh, Malia has been hard for me lately.
I love her so much.
But two things.
Not only is she clingy, but she is climby.  If you would have told me prior to having kids, how hard it would be to have a kid who needs to climb on you 24/7, I would have said you were CRAZY.
But it's very hard.
And it's very hard when they insist on climbing on your stomach.

Plus.
She is a sassy little character, and acts so naughty, or 'strong willed'.
Someone reminded me, she needs to be tough to handle all these boys... but omlowercase g, it might end me.

(five
)gushy take to follow
Today is the 8th anniversary of Aaron and I's first date. This day is really important to me because it changed the course of my life.  I sometimes still can't believe where I'm at in life and how God's hand in it all is crystal clear. 
I've told you this before, but I've really married the best.
(six)
Two of our nephews and one of our nieces are being Confirmed today.
Aaron and I get to be Confirmation Sponsors for these two fine young men.
And they really are fine young men.
A couple of weeks ago, we got to take them out to dinner.
Frankly, it's so hard to spend time with our older nieces/nephews because we are usually trying to manage our own crew.  It was so nice to spend time with them.
Please say some prayers for Ralph, Warren and Adeline receiving the fullness of the spirit tonight.
(seven)
It is 9:16 am and no one is dressed. All of my kids are in diapers or underwear. It's time for me to get a move on and bust out of this joint for a bit, so that at 3:16 pm, I don't want to hide in a corner and cry!
Have a great weekend.


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

Friday, May 12, 2017

7 QT Marriage Debate, Clean ups and kid sports...



I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
(one)
Marriage debate...
And I know you guys are going to be on my side.
This morning, I said to Aaron, 'they live in our neighborhood', I was talking about people from the school my son goes to.
He HOTLY debated me.
He says our neighborhood is only our street and MAYBE 1 or 2 streets away from us.

I say our neighborhood is all the houses in a 1 mile square.  So, east to west (1 mile) and north to south (1 mile).  If you're familiar with Redford, we are in one of those very square areas, all the houses are right next to each other, no land in between.  

Who is right?

(two)
\
This is my last week of work until the baby comes, and I am going out in style.
1 Confirmation Evening of Reflection tonight.
2 back to back school retreats next week.
1 Confirmation Retreat next Saturday...
And then... maternity leave.
The break will be nice, I have no talks/retreats or workshops scheduled until September 23rd. Plenty of time for cocooning leading up to the birth, and recovery after the birth :)
(three)
And so it begins... Sports.
I gotta tell you moms of older kids, I don't know how you do it. I am so nervous about the addition of sports in our lives.  Not this year (obviously) it's only once, maybe twice a week, for five weeks.  But we had a practice till 7:00 pm on a school night, and I had to bring all the kids because Aaron was at a meeting. And we didn't get home till 7:30 pm, then we needed showers, and everyone was muddy.

I had a moment of almost panic, realizing, if we are going to have our kids in school, this is going to be our lives.
YIKES!
BUT MAN.
Aaron was excited playing football.  Seeing him so happy, made us so completely happy.  He was 'nervous in my stomach' (his quote) happy.
LOVE. 

(four)
For mother's day, Aaron is cleaning out and organizing our laundry room.
You would be appalled at the shape it's in.
It's bad.
Real bad.
like, can't even really walk in it bad, cobwebs, spiders and gross stuff bad.
I will do a before and after, you will freak out.
Once the laundry room is done, we will only have one more room (the work room) in our basement to totally clean and our whole house will be whipped into shape.
So Excited.

(five)
Speaking of Mother's day.
I went to my first, 'mother's day breakfast' this morning with Little Aaron.
He was quite excited to take me.
They made muffins, sang songs, and made each mom a super thoughtful gift.
I cried because I am pregnant.
Aaron gets really concerned when I am crying.  It makes him cry too, which would be disastrous for this kindergarten young man.
So I quickly wiped my tears away and told him pregnancy does weird thing to you, like make you cry when you are happy..
And we moved on.
set to go to breakfast
love my little guy
The muffins he made and the coffee he promised me :)
(six)
Ugh.
All my boys are in big boy beds. John Paul made his official transition last night.
He loves his new bed.
It's crazy how quickly they are growing.
It's also crazy how much bigger a twin bed is than a toddler bed.
Let's just say the boys room is about filled to capacity.

(seven)
I started Iron Infusions this week.
And I only have one thing to say about that...
GOSH do I love hospital crushed ice.
Nothin' like it. Where can I buy it? Besides Sonic and the Hospital?


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

Friday, May 5, 2017

7 Quick Takes with all the outrage...

...just kidding outrage about dumb stuff is silly and I'm over it.

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
(one)
 Aaron's sixth birthday was great fun.
I once again went with the semi-homemade cake reality.  I bought a frosted cake and made it into a dinosaur landscape as per the kid's request.  The only problem was some people thought the boulders were dino droppings... what are you gonna do?

(two)
\
I've been thinking a LOT about how the culture of outrage is changing us as a society.
EVERYTHING has to be the BIGGEST DEAL
EVERYTHING must be a SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUE!!!!
I could give you nine million examples, but you are smart enough to know what I am talking about.
I am very much over the hysterics of headlines and people who play into them.  VERY.MUCH.OVER.IT.
Especially when real issues get ignored.
That is all.

(three)
Remember how I was all like, 'this pregnancy has been so awesome, zero problems'.
This pregnancy is awesome.
But I did find out I once again have Gestational Diabetes
and once again, I am severely anemic...
So, it's back to 2-5 appointments a week starting in next week.  This should be fun.
  Good thing we don't have three different school drop offs/pick ups daily to content with when arranging appointments/sitters/etc...

(four)
That said, my gosh, I am getting excited for the kid part.  We can't wait to welcome our fifth.
I find myself day dreaming about the quiet hospital stay.
Although it's a bummer to use most of my husband's vacation right out of the gate, I am so excited to have two weeks at home as a family adjusting to a life of seven people.
I can't wait for the bassinet to be right next to my bed, glancing over at a sleeping newborn in the middle of the night.
I find myself day dreaming about all of these things and more.
I'm nervous about going back to the work of a newborn, but gosh, I am excited for those first few weeks.

(five)
I've told you about the minimalism challenge right?  This week our family room and the boy's room got the 'deep clean'. I took EIGHT TRASH BAGS TO GOOD WILL.  Can you even imagine how much stuff we had that we don't need? 
While I was cleaning the boys room, deep in the corner of a closet, wrapped in a tube of cardboard I found this.
Our dear friend, and Aaron's godfather, gave us an Apostolic Blessing for our wedding day.  Right after we received the gift, in the chaos of getting married, we lost it.  It's bugged me since, because I want to frame it and hang it above the bed in our room.
YOU GUYS
I AM SO EXCITED I FOUND IT.
For our anniversary this year, I will get it framed and hang it up.  What a blessing this gift is.

(six)
If you follow me on any type of social media, you know we had our first kid's first sport's practice this week. Little Aaron is starting flag-football and the whole house is excited for it.
But, just as we were about to leave for the practice and jersey pick up, I realized Aaron took the wrong van, and left me the wrong keys, so I couldn't take his.
We were stranded at home and had to miss the practice and jersey pick up.
Is this the saddest picture ever?
That's the kids, looking out the front door, willing daddy to come back with the van so we could leave, complete with football in hand.

The good news is, we will get his jersey before his first game on Sunday...
... and the practice was canceled apparently
... and it's kindergarten flag football, so it's not like all his dreams are crushed.

(seven)
Yesterday, was Star Wars day at a local public library.
I thought it was at the Redford Library, because the internets said it was at the Redford Library.
So, being the kick a$$ mom that I am, I dragged all the kids out in the rain and we went to our library.
After running through the rain, soaking wet we entered the library, we realized there was no Star Wars happenings...
I pulled out my phone and realized the event was at a Detroit Public Library, Redford Branch (wth).
Discovering it wasn't that far, the kids and I ran through the rain and drove to the Detroit Public Library (which is VERY hard to find, so I circled around several times) Redford Branch.
Running through the rain to get into the second library, and soaking wet, it appeared this library also had nothing for Star Wars day.
Epic fail.
Right before we left, I thought to ask at the front desk.
She told me Star Wars Day was in a conference room.  Whew, there was something.
Turns out the something was two crafts my kids couldn't do (too complicated)
a bucket of broken crayons and coloring sheets
and a game of tic tac toe.

HOWEVER
the library workers (maybe librarians) were awesome and dressed up.
Even though I promised the kids snacks, books, games, and other surprises...
They were totally content with the storm trooper.

#winning

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