Sunday, April 28, 2013

On the eve of my oldest child's 2nd Birthday

My little big boy munch chi chi-

Aaron, you are two.years.old!!!!  Can you even believe it?  This year has been busy and it has been awesome. I got to watch you be a big brother and you get to teach your little brother how to be a big brother.   Watching you grow has been awesome.  I say to you all the time (when you are not driving me crazy). ‘you’re the best!’.  And I do so because really, my son, you are the best.  So, let’s spend a second and talk about your second year of life shall we?

You continue to be a joy to everyone around you!  Your smile lights up rooms.  You are silly and you love to make people laugh.  When you get excited, you say, ‘wow’ really really loudly!  It took you awhile to start talking and, truth be told, you are still kind of getting used to expressing yourself that way.  BUT, you have full conversations with everyone, the only thing is, we have no idea what you are saying.  Sometimes, because mommy has been tired with taking care of you, Joey and the new baby, I really need your joy to remember how awesome everything is.  A few weeks ago, I was working on the computer and you were trying to get my attention.  Just like they tell you not to do, I was ignoring you.  You climbed right unto my lap, took my head between your hands and said, ‘num nums’ with this crazy smile J  It was awesome.

Oh, did I mention num nums? I guess that leads me to my next point.  Let’s talk about the things you like…Kid, if you could eat all the time you would.  No joke.  The first thing you do in the morning is request food and those requests continue from the wee hours of the morning until right before bedtime. I don’t think you are hungry, you just like to eat.  Now, if we could only get you to enjoy your vegetables, we’d really have something going on.  

Although nothing quite has your heart like num-nums, next in line is definitely cars.  Who knew how much of a car dude you would be.  You ask to play cars like, every twenty seconds.  You line them up and then move them and line them up again.  Just recently, you have started to make them fly.  Your obsession started at your Grammy and Papas house and both sets of grandparents have indulged your addiction.  

Sometimes, people say you shouldn’t let toddlers watch tv. Um, your daddy and I do not follow that rule.  Your favorite shows to watch are Yo Gabba Gabba (we went to see them live this year, you SOBBED when DJ lance left the stage) Barney (I will go straight to heaven for letting you watch that) and, Lazy Town (I don’t like this one as much for you, but alas, when I really need you distracted, it happens).  And of course, 'cars' of any type.  Then, would you believe your cousin Rocky introduced you to Monster Trucks??? Um, sweet son, I never thought I would have a kid that watches Monster Trucks, but, alas, I do. You watch like a fanatic.  People laugh when we give you the ipad and let you watch them because you sit so still, memorized.  

And then there are balls!  Balls of any kind.  Soccer balls, footballs, basketballs, etc…you are a boy through and through!  Your auntie taught you this awesome game!  She says ‘set’ and you drop down on three fingers, then she says, ‘HIKE’ and you run off.  Maybe a foreshadow of what’s to come.  Two words…ready?  GO BLUE!

I’d like to get serious for a moment buddy if you don’t mind…I might even cry a bit when I write this.  People have said, if you want to, and you are able, it is a really cool thing to give your child the gift of a sibling.  It took awhile, I think, for you to understand that Joseph was a person and not just a toy, but when you did, you fell in love with him like we did.  Son, you are an awesome big brother.  Now, don’t get me wrong, you sometimes forget to share (sometimes? um...maybe always!) and ‘no no joey’ is one of your favorite things to say.  But, MAN do you love your brother.  You always wake up a bit before him, but when you hear his first cry, you always say, ‘It’s JOEY!!!’ and run to his room.  You love to be the first person to wake him up.  You love to say, ‘up’ and I lift you in his crib and you boys jump together.  Sometimes I can tell you get annoyed with him (mostly when he touches your cars) and sometimes you get a little sassy when he is grabbing our attention, but for the most part you look out for him.  When he started crawling, you started to crawl again, so you two could play together.  You pet his hair often.  And, every time you get a little carried away in excitement and hit him (yes...it happens) you say ‘sowwy’ and show him ‘gentle’ by rubbing his face.  Aaron, Joseph is SO lucky to have you. 
 I can’t wait to watch you two grow up together, as playmates and as best friends.  He will look to you, buddy, to know how to act, and so far you are giving him SUCH a great example. I watch him, watching you, all the time.  To know that you will be there to protect him, sets my mommy heart as ease.  The best thing we ever did was have you and then, have another right away.  And now, my goodness, you get ANOTHER brother.  Do you know that you are already giving him kisses in my belly and praying for your newest little brother every night??? You get to practice holding a baby with Thomas and with the twins, and you are going to be awesome at it. God knew what he was doing when he gave us you, first, to lead your brothers through life.

Your daddy sometimes tries to be tough, but even he can’t hide how cool he thinks you are.  When you talk to him, it makes him smile.  He loves when you give him snuggles.  You like to watch him play video games and he likes to get up with you in the mornings (um, 'likes' might be a bit of an exaggeration!) so you can have ‘dude time’.  There is a lot that amazes me about you kid, but watching you turn my husband into a daddy has been so cool.  He is a good dad. And you are an awesome son.  I like how that works out.

A couple more things so I don’t forget.  My favorite thing to do with you?  I clap and sing, "Question????  Who, is, the best mom, eveeer?" and you answer, "MAMA!!!!"  We have gotten so good at it, usually I only have to say, ‘QUESTION’ and you scream it out.  But baby love sometimes I stink at being the best mom ever.

There have been a handful of times this year where I haven’t been a good mom.  When I have been tired and snapped at you.  I hate when I do that.  Especially when you don’t deserve it, and when I am just tired.  I have been really sick with your newest brother, so a lot of time you have to play on your own, and even sometimes help with Joey (you are the best wipe-getter and diaper thrower outer ever)! Sometimes, I have to just bum around on the couch until I can get the energy to take care of you guys, and you have been so awesome with that.  I love when you come up to me and sneak right next to me to sit down.  I love that you are patient with me. I love that you seem to understand how sacred it is when I have to say, ‘sorry’ to you and that you always look at me with a smile,  reassuring me that it is okay and you have forgiven me.  I am going to try to be a better mommy for you next year, and the year after. I want to keep working at it, so I can be the type of mom that you deserve.  It’s hard work.  But I am trying.  Thank you for understanding when I screw it up.  Hey, at least this year I didn't crack your skull!!!!

Can I tell you a secret?  The older you get, the more it hurts to love you.  I know that sounds crazy, but it is true. I never ever understood what loving someone so much it hurts meant, until I had you.  My heart sometimes actually feels like it will explode for love of you.  Thinking about what a cool kid you are makes my eyes well up. I worry about you more than I knew humanly possible.  The hurt isn't bad, but it is real.  I imagine it is probably a taste of how God feels for us.  I want everything good to come to you, I want you to know how special you are, I want you to be happy, and more than that, I want you to be good.  If I could kiss you and hold you forever, I would.

And, if I feel that way about you, I can’t imagine how God feels about you.  I can’t believe, actually can’t believe, that He has trusted your daddy and I to care for you and raise you to hopefully be a saint.  I love that you are starting to understand how cool God is.  How much Jesus loves you. When we go to Church, you always say, ‘HIII!!!!’ really loud to the cross and then you blow Jesus kisses.  You are learning to behave in Mass and you can finally bless yourself and say Amen.  50% of the time you sit nicely through prayers at nighttime!  Your daddy and I continue to pray that we can do a good job to show you how much Our God loves you.  We fail at it all the time, but we keep trying.

Baby boy, I have a love/hate relationship with this growing older thing.  On one hand, you become cooler each day, and I adore getting to know you, teach you, play with you, smile with you and laugh with you (we laugh so much) but darn it all, you are losing that ‘baby thing’. You are a now a toddler, you’ll soon be a little boy, and then a kid, then a teen (gasp) then married! But for now, we will be so thankful for your second year of life and we will ask God to bless your third.
I love you baby boy.  I am so blessed to be your mom!

April 28th 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

7 Quick Takes- kind o' crabby style

--- 1 ---
Quick takes are a day late!  Oops. I wasn't going to do them.  Instead, I was going to do a post entitled, '10 things that are ticking me off', because lots of stuff is ticking me off.  BUT, I will wait on that post and keep it classy in this one!  Well, kind of.  You might still get a bit o' sass, but isn't that what you have come to expect?
--- 2 ---
Rough week around these parts.  The roughest, actually.  Many of you know our good friends who lost their son at 32 weeks.  I have seen a lot of good things, I have seen a lot of bad things.  But, I perhaps have not witnessed anything so tragic as the loss of our friend's beautiful son.  It is so awesome to know he gets to dance in heaven, it is so unfair (can't think of a better word) that our friends didn't get time with him here on earth.  If you know the couple, please pray.  A lot.  This week they have shown a strength I have not seen before.
--- 3 ---
Black radio ticked me off this week.  I was listening to 1200 (a Detroit station) and they were discussing whether or not black men/women should 'cross over'.  Here's the 411, I get that some people aren't into interracial dating and marriage (however, you need only look at the beautiful babies to know Jesus approves), but it was the things they were saying upon calling in.  "My son had one of them over and I told them to 'get that trash out of my house'".  "Interracial dating is like a Jewish person being with a Nazi .  Etc... now, check it. I know there are ignorant people in the world, but with a touch of reverse-ness, this radio show would have been put on blast.  But, of course, it wasn't.  Then, I found out in Georgia, there are still segregated proms.  Are you joking me!?!?!?! I can't even.  A black prom and white prom.  People, it's a little much.
--- 4 ---
You know, these might just be full of sass.  Today, I got ticked (surprise) about people using their 'studies' to tell me how my kid is going to be screwed up.  As many of you know, Aaron and I don't read parenting books and don't follow most parenting fads, we raise our kids with our gut.  The thing is, I dig all of you that read books and follow "studies". You AP parents, who co-sleep and discipline with gentle redirection....Love ya! I swear.  But, I would love it if you'd stop quoting 'studies' saying if I don't, my kid is going to be screwed up.  I shouldn't care, but it is such a stupid thing to do.  I have more to say, about certain, 'doctors' that turn these things into spiritual issues...but alas, I shall refrain.
--- 5 ---
How about niceness?  Do I have it in me?  This morning, Big A let me sleep in (it was much needed, sleep was not a thing that came easy this week), and then woke me up saying, 'the boys said we should go to ikea for breakfast'.  I hate Ikea, it scared me, it is too big and they try to trap you in the store by making it a maze...but, they have cheap and delicious breakfast (hopefully, not with meat made from horses).  Anyway, it was awesome.  And then, in 10 minutes, we are going to swing by a carnival.
--- 6 ---
Oh, I should be cleaning my house and doing laundry today. I REALLY should.  My house is a mess, my room smells like there could be a dirty diaper hiding somewhere in it.  But, alas, I opted for a pajama day today. Bad choice?  Probably.  It's still happening.
--- 7 ---
1.5 months left until stay-at-home-momhood.  Um, excited much? I am.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, April 19, 2013

7 Quick Takes

Linking up with Grace, who is hosting 7 Quick Takes for Jen, who is hopefully enjoying her sweet baby boy.

--- 1 ---
This first take will only make sense to a select few of you.  My husband and I have a serious marital issue that has shown itself this week.  You see, it is very important, in conflict, not to sweep things under the rug, especially if things need to be talked out.  If you do that, usually, those conflicts will show their ugly head in future fights.  Well, my friends, my husband has been playing dirty all week.  Several times when I have gotten mad at him this week, he pulled out the BIG GUNS.  Big Guns, you say?  Yes.  Last night, I was mad at him.  And I turned my back in bed away from him.  Before I knew it, he jumped in the air and spun his body, singing, "AND TWIRL, TWIRL, TWIRL, TWIRL".  And then, today, when I was angry at him, he started singing, 'I'm gone with the wind fabulous...'.  Here's the thing, I'm not sure I can ever be mad at him again.  That sneaky dude.
--- 2 ---
Had an awesome day today listening to my good buddy Mike Patin share his wisdom.  He is a VERY funny man.  And the youth ministry world is blessed to have him.
--- 3 ---
On Monday, when I found out that an 8 year old was killed, I experienced a gut rage that I do not remember ever experiencing.  It was intense and very quick and then it passed.  It was an emotion I hadn't felt before.  Later, like many of you, I saw the picture of him holding that sign asking for peace.  I am glad he is in heaven.  Like, super glad.  But, I am praying for his family.
--- 4 ---
We had an unbelievable time visiting my brother/sister in law and five children in the DC Area.  We spent a lot of time laughing and enjoying each other.  We did an incredible amount of walking on our Monday, 'DC' Day.  How awesome is that freaking city?!?!  I would live there in a heartbeat. For realz yo.  Highlights?  The memorials, watching the cousins play together, getting to know my sister in law better, my newest goddaughter's Baptism and...the Cheesecake Factory!
--- 5 ---
On Tuesday, when we were heading back to the airport, we had some time.  We thought we were going to go to the Marine's Museum, but made a game-time decision to go to Arlington as a family. It, of course, was a super special experience.  At one point, because it was 'just us', I looked over at my husband pushing the stroller with a backpack on and our two kids enjoying the sites and realized, 'Dang, I have got myself a little family, and we do things like go on vacation together'.  I felt so blessed, and so grown up.  It is very common for me to have moments when I reflect on how much God has blessed me through my husband, this was definitely one of them.
--- 6 ---
Mom Brag Moment.  Several people, on this trip, stopped us and asked us if our boys were twins. I love that people think they look alike.  I love having babies so close.  Then, to make coolness even cooler, when we arrived back at Detroit-Metro a man pulled me aside.  He said, 'I have been around a lot of kids, and I just want you to know, I think your son is the happiest kid I have ever seen'.  Lil' A was a rock star on this trip.  A total.rockstar.
--- 7 ---
OH!!! You wanted to see pictures from the trip...your wish is my command.

newest goddaughter Ava Marie

Cousins and Besties

Taken about five minutes before they closed this street down

My boy.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Best Sound I've Ever Heard...

Aaron immediately after birth
 ...The best sound I've ever heard was the moment I heard my son Aaron cry after he was born. I knew having a child would be an incredible experience. I knew that I would be emotional. I knew the blessing I was receiving (in as much as you can know).  But I had NO idea what it would be like to hear his cry.  I was behind a sheet being operated on, so I could not see him (c-sections will do that to you) but when I heard him cry, I burst in to tears. I didn't expect it, I didn't expect the sound to immediately, and with no doubt,  change my entire life.  After that sound, they placed my sweet baby boy in my arms and I could.not.stop.looking at him.  Fourteen months later, I was scared as I was being operating on once again. I had no idea if my son was going to be okay, but doctors assured me that everything would work out.  After several tense moments, I heard it.  Joseph Michael was born and I heard that sweet sound again.  I let out a yell of joy as though I was at a sporting event.  Those of you that have had children/been present when children are born, you know the power of that sound.  The sound of a first cry.  It freezes everything. It changes everything. It is the most powerful sound in the world.

But today, today I cannot think about that sound without getting sick to my stomach.

I can't think about that sound because of the trial of Kermit Gosnell.  Those of you that are involved in Catholic circles, you know about him. I am betting that many of you reading this blog do not.  You don't know about the man who killed two women through his practice in Philadelphia.  He was awful to black women.  He ran his doctor's office in the worst conditions, spreading disease by using tools on multiple women, without sanitizing them.  And all of that is horrible, he will face time for the crimes he committed.  And, as horrific is all that is, what I cannot think about, what breaks my heart is this next part.

Joey immediately after birth
He killed hundreds of babies.  And he did it, many times, after hearing that sweet sound of their first cry.  He did it mostly by snapping their spines (I think, I have to skim past the actual method when I read the stories, or I honestly think it would be too much).  He took their sweet body parts after and put some of them in jars.  He did awful, awful things.  The type of things most of us can't even fathom.  And yet, we don't really seem to care.

Lots of people are blaming the media for not covering the story.  They are calling it a 'media black out'.  I think those people are right...but I think there is something far scarier going on. I think, honestly, we don't care.  We just don't care.  Media companies make money, they cover stories people care about.  And for some reason, a doctor killing hundreds of babies...that just doesn't happen to matter.  We don't care.

Tonight, so upset, I asked my husband, "Why don't people care?!?!".  He said, "They just don't".  I followed it up, "But honey, this would be front page if it was about puppies, the Michael Vick story was in headlines for months".

"I agree", he said, "But that was about dogs and puppies, people care about dogs and puppies".

"But dear, I like, actually need to have an answer, you need to tell me why people don't care"

And what he said is right.  What he said broke my heart.  "They don't care because the story is talking about abortion, and people in this country don't have a problem with abortion, so they won't pay attention to a story that has the word abortion in it".

Oh my God, how we have we failed!  How we failed the children in this country.  Pro-lifers, we have failed.  We have failed by making our voice sound like rhetoric, so people close their ears to our pleas to let children live.  Pro-choicers, you have failed.  You have failed by letting your ideals block your ability to be logical.  You have failed by not shouting out in protest to this horrific doctor who killed babies.  My God, please forgive us, we have failed.

And tonight, what I can't move past, what is sitting so deep in my heart is that sound.  The sound I heard when Aaron was born.  The sound I cried to when Joey was born after a scary few hours.  The most beautiful sound in the world.

A sound that was silenced time and time again by a madman.  A madman being put on trial to face his crimes.  A madman who's name no one will know because all major news networks have decided to ignore the story.  A madman who heard that sweet sound, and without skipping a beat ruthlessly murdered the most innocent of victims 

Please friends, tonight, join with me and remember that sound. Let's join together, asking those sweet souls who get to hang with Jesus in heaven to pray for us.  Pray that we might somehow stop failing innocent souls.  Pray that eyes are opened, hearts are moved, and as justice is brought to a killer, people understand that something.must.change.

7 Quick Takes- not a single rant!!!!

Alright, here's the 411, today, I am liking up with Camp Patton for 7 Quick Takes, because Jen at Conversion Diary had her baby. Shoot some prayers her way, the little guy is rockin' it out in the NICU and everyone could probably use some prayers.

--- 1 ---
Debated putting this one here or not, but decided to go for it!  Tell me what you know about, elevated alpha fetoprotein?  Who's had experience with it?  How'd it work out? 'The google' is helpful, you guys will be more helpful.
--- 2 ---
So, Aaron Christopher II now grabs my face when he gives me kisses.  Are you kidding me?  Plus, I had this really freaky experience where I was snuggling with him the other day and was like, 'I cannot believe he is two years old!'.  You see, I don't dig the baby phase, I have been waiting to get out of it.  We finally are with lil' A, it's so cool to be able to really play/talk/etc... with him.  But, it happened, just like all of you said it would.  I looked at him and thought, 'this is going by way too fast'.  Which is pretty amazing, because, no joke, I'm the mom that prays the baby phase speeds up!  
--- 3 ---
I am presenting this weekend at a Youth and Young Adult Gathering for the AOD.  Super excited, but am hoping to do a really good job.  If you wouldn't mind saying a prayer or two, I would really appreciate it.  
--- 4 ---
The Wilkerson clan is going to the DC area to see my brother...yikes!  We'll be lap-flying with both of the boys and then renting a car when we get there. I keep asking for prayers, but I shall ask for one more, pray for the intercession of the good ol' St. Christopher that travel goes smooth and the husband and I play nice :)
--- 5 ---
So, 'Husband of the Year' award.  This week has been really busy, but on top of the busy, the pregnancy sickness has reared it's ugly head in full force.  The wee hours of the morning have been the worst, which leaves me in a zombie like state at 6:00-6:30 am when the boys wake up.  Big A has been getting up with them, feeding them and letting me sleep in till 7:30-8:00 am.  It is making a significant difference.  He rocks.
--- 6 ---
Are we about to get through 7 Quick Takes without me ranting about a single thing?  It appears so!
--- 7 ---
So, Colleen at Martin Family Moments is always raving about Catholic Schools and how great they have been for her family.  I think some of it is starting to stick. I was driving the other day and passed a public school bus with kids getting off and thought to myself, 'man, I would really like to send our kids to Catholic Schools'. I called the husband and asked if we could 'put it on the table' (we still have three years before we even need to worry about this).  And he said, 'we can put it on the corner of the table' and I said, 'I appreciate that'.  But then, a few hours later, he contacted me and decided that in July, when we are finally out of debt, we are going to make a budget line for Catholic Schools. So, we will spend the next three years saving for them, which should guarantee lil' Aaron Kindergarten and First Grade, and Joey, Kindergarten.  Then, we will see how Big A's career progresses, what we are able to save, etc...and take it year by year.  I am psyched.  

For more Quick Takes, check out, 'Camp Patton' who is hosting for  Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Archbishop Vigneron is right...

...even if it is hard to hear.

So there has been a scuttle in the Archdiocese of Detroit these last few days.  From what I can tell (and it is actually incredibly hard to discern because anything reported in secular media regarding the Catholic Church is usually misleading at best and intentionally deceptive at worst), a professor at Sacred Heart Seminary wrote a blog in which he speculated that those that oppose Church teachings might want to consider not receiving the Eucharist.  Following the blog, Archbishop Vigneron defended and clarified the points made to secular media.  And then, the fire storm started.  Social Media blew up, proclaiming disbelief that our Archbishop could be so insensitive, so close-minded, etc... (you know the drill).  There have been conversations taking place about how hard it is to minister in a Church that is so insensitive to the 'culture' today.  Om lowercase g blog readers, I have HAD it.  So, let me clarify a few things and then offer a challenge.

First, clarifications on what was NOT said.
It was NOT suggested (by the Archbishop)that ministers should deny the Eucharist to those who oppose Church Teaching.
The reason I really dig this is (and get ready, because I am sure a handful of you will disagree), I actually don't understand how Bishops/Cardinals can advise ministers of the Eucharist to deny  Jesus to those who approach if they are known to hold views that oppose Church teaching.  And here's why.  We believe, as Catholics, that one can never judge the 'state' of one's soul.  That is a deeply personal thing between the individual and God. I think it is a REALLY dangerous thing to suggest a minister of the Eucharist can make that type of a judgment about a person's soul when approaching the Eucharist.  For all the minister knows, that person on his/her way up to communion might have just had a conversion of heart.  So I just think it is a dangerous game to play.  But thankfully, that wasn't what our Archbishop was suggesting.

It was not suggested that those who struggle to understanding Church teachings shouldn't receive the Eucharist.
Let's face it, in our culture a lot of us have questions about Church teaching.  A lot of us toil with how to live out our faith in a culture that does not support it.  A LOT of us have questions about how to best love people, when their views are so very different from ours, or from what our Church teaches.  Sincere questioning, seeking answers, with a trust in the Church, is fantastic and natural and necessary.  The Archbishop did not say that those that wrestle with the everyday realities of our faith should not receive the Eucharist.  It's just not what he said.

BUT, what he did say is those that are actively opposed to Church teachings, should consider not receiving the Eucharist.  

And, here is where I drop a little knowledge...

See, when we, as Catholics, approach the Body of Christ, when we say, 'AMEN' we are saying 'I BELIEVE'.  Most of us know that we are saying, "I believe I am receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord" But there are other things we are suppose to be saying...

"I believe there is a God who loves me and wants a relationship with me."
"I believe that God suffered, died on a cross and rose again in order to save me"
"I believe that Jesus instituted, through the Holy Spirit, the Roman Catholic Church"
"I believe that Jesus gave the Church the ability to express authority here on earth"
"I believe the Holy Spirit continues to guide ALL teachings of the Church to lead the faithful to eternal union with God"

There are lots of other things that we mean when we say, 'AMEN',when we say, 'I BELIEVE',  but those are a few of the things.  This is one of the reasons the Church says only Catholics should receive the Eucharist.  It isn't because we want to 'exclude' others, but rather, because we are kind of into respecting the freedom to choose faith and we don't want people to agree to something they don't mean.  It is a mutual respect.

And that is what Archbishop Vigneron was getting at.  It is a matter of intergrity.  It is a matter of having your actions match your words.  To be Catholic isn't just a fancy title you wear because you are used to saying it.  To be Catholic doesn't mean you just identify with being 'kind' to others, and taking care of the poor.  To be Catholic means that you are baptized into a CREED.  Into a set of beliefs, and, if you do not hold the beliefs, you should rethink whether or not you should approach the Holy Eucharist saying, 'AMEN', saying, 'I BELIEVE' especially if you have already decided you don't.

And that my friends, is just reality.  This is a good thing.  This is about personal integrity.  This is about having your actions match your words.  I ADORE that Archbishop Vigneron used perjury as an example of why it is wrong to hold firmly to beliefs that are against the Church, while at the same time receiving the Body of Christ and saying, 'AMEN' to all that Body contains.
What the shepherd did a few days ago, was take a second to teach his flock.  He took a second to remind us all about our personal responsibility in the faith.  AND, if isn't sitting well with you, instead of whining about how awful your Church is...maybe it's time for you to brush up on what your church ACTUALLY believes.  And that, my friends, is a bit of sass to end!

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Beatitude Attitude LINK UP

...linking up with Rakhi at The Pitter Patter Diaries for her Tuesday Beatitude Attitude, where, in her words, "So Beatitude Attitude Tuesday is born, where I share seven blessings from our life and invite you to do the same. Perhaps together we can bring a little light into our own worlds so we can brighten the world around us... (Yes, I'm in Michigan and yes, it is a dreary morning. What?) So here we go:"

1)  Blessed am I that I have a husband who works till 1:30 am in the morning, and wakes up at 7:00 am with a smile on his face and kisses, just to work again!

2)  Blessed am I to have an exceptional obgyn.

3)  Blessed am I to have a 2 year old (almost) who fake laughs to get others to laugh with him (think Pee Wee Herman)

4)  Blessed am I to have a sweet baby Joey, who is content to watch his brother play and smile when called upon.

5)  Blessed am I to be able to travel to the DC area this weekend, with both of our children, to spend time with a brother  I have missed.

6)  Blessed am I that God continues to offer his forgiveness to me, as I continue to promise to do better and fail.

7)  Blessed am I for having a Confirmation Retreat being hosted in our Parish for another parish.  Blessed when they order pizza and I can eat it when I have forgotten my lunch!

I REALLY needed to focus on blessings today, because so many things are done tickin' me off at a National and Church level (people in the Church,  not the Church itself, I love me some Roman Catholic Church).  Thanks Rakhi for hosting!

Get your butt over to The Pitter Patter Diaries and add your blessings!!!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

7 Quick Takes

--- 1 ---
So...today's the day!  Following the fantastic plan of Mr. Dave Ramsey, forgoing Starbucks Caramel Macchiatos and living on a strict budget has finally paid off. We have paid off my student loans from Franciscan University of Steubenville!!!!  OH MY GOSH!!!  I have a lot to say on the subject, I will be saying it in the future.  And, the husband has even promised a guest post (we'll see, he has been makin' those promises for months now).  But for now, 'Damn, it feels good to be debt free' (to the tune of, 'Damn it feels good to be a gangsta').  I just swore, which is not cool, but when I tried to change it to 'darn' it didn't have the same effect, and I am student loan free, so I am lettin' it fly.

--- 2 ---
Ladies and Gents, my kid (lil' A) plays with cars and trucks like it's nobody's business. I am not kidding when I tell you it is one of the cutest things in the world.  The kid spends HOURS!!! Just saying, 'vroom vroom' and then moving them from location to location.  Oh, and mr. 'slow to talk' also has put together his first real combination word.  Curious as to what it is?!?!!?  'MONSTER TRUCK' of course.
One Track Mind boy went straight for the 'Cars' toy.
--- 3 ---

I am feeling very appreciative for good, long-lasting friendships this week.  On Easter Sunday, we hosted a brunch here, and had both family and some friends over.  It was lovely to see how family/friendship blends together.  Then, to make awesome circumstances even awesom-er, some of our best friends asked me to be the Godmother to their son this week.  1/2 of the couple is a dear friend from highschool/college named Jay and I will be sharing God-parenting duty with one of my other best friends from college, Mike.  It's so cool to see the strength of good friendship that are founded on faith.  God rocks!

--- 4 ---
So, yesterday, we had the brilliant idea to go to the zoo.  Note to self: During the first nice day of Public School's Spring break, everyone in the Detroit Metro Area will think the zoo is a good idea.  The people we were going with couldn't even get in because there was zero parking, so they had to turn around and go home.  My thoughts on the zoo with an almost 2 year old and 9 month old?  I called it an 'epic fail'.  Lil' A's favorite part was the ducks.  Go figure!

--- 5 ---
Begin Rant:  Note to everyone and their mom...Same Sex Marriage and Interracial Marriage is NOT the same thing.  'Gay Rights' and the 'Civil Right Movement' are NOT the same thing.  Stop saying they are.  End Rant.

--- 6 ---

--- 7 ---
Um, OH MY GOSH!  As I was writing my Quick Takes, the husband just walked in with a VENTI CARAMEL MACCHIOTO and told me he will be working from home today to celebrate the Student Loan Pay off.  I was a HUGE brat this morning, complaining that he didn't do anything to make the day special, when it was a super special day.  He told me to stop being a brat, packed his lunch and left for 'work'.  THEN, about three minutes ago, walked back in the house with the fancy drink and a huge smile on his face.  OH MY GOSH. I am entirely too blessed!
Gratuitous picture of the husband and son

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My near perfect morning...

This morning was a good one. So I want to remember it.  Nothing special happened, but it was pretty much perfect (save for a little sass aimed at the ol' husband... gotta work on that).  Even though I should be writing my follow up NFP post, or the post floating around in my head about my 'starter house', or the post I'm working on about our debt pay off tips...I'm just gonna write about this morning.

Lil' Aaron got up at about 6:30, I snuck into his room, and turned on 'Cars' on the ipad (bad parenting, I'm okay with!) in order to buy myself another 1/2 hour sleep!

BUT, by the time I was back in bed, Joseph Michael woke up.  Instead of crying though, he was just throwing himself a 'party in the USA' in his bed.  So, Big A and I laid in bed for about 1/2 hour debating who was going to get up with the kids.  At about 7:00 it was decided I would take first shift. I went and popped into lil' A's room and turned on the light.  He smiled big, he was ready to get out.  Then, I went to Joey's room and brought him (smiling and happy) into his big brother's room.  'ITS JOEY!!!!' is what Aaron has taken to saying every morning.

We did breakfast with smiles and at 7:30, I got to go lay back in bed.  But, the boys were playing so nice, the husband and I got to just chill in bed for a bit.  By 8:10, the whole house was up.  I gave the boys a bath.  They play together in the bath now, and the Easter bunny brought them real bath toys (as opposed to our 'red plastic cups').  They laughed in the bath, and both started splashing like crazy.  I ended up soaked!  But we laughed.  Joey got out first and I changed him and put him in Lil' A's bed to eat his morning bottle.   Aaron got out of the bath and thought it was the funniest thing to see his brother laying in his bed.  After we got him changed (but first, of course Aaron needed to pee all over the floor- not awesome) I let them play together in Aaron's crib.  They are really starting to play together now.  It is awesome.  Giggles, laughter, jumping, etc... I thought of JPII reminding us that the best gift you can give your child is a sibling to play with.  I said a prayer of thanks that God saw fit to give us three kids so close in age, to be playmates and buds forever (except when they don't like each other).

And now, lil' Aaron is laying on his stomach, watching 'Barney' like a teenager (not the Barney part, but the laying on his tummy part), Joey is crawling around grabbing things, perfecting his experience of getting older and making a mess.  It's pretty much perfect.

I think it is pretty easy to miss God in the simple.  While looking for 'big signs' and praying for 'miracles' we miss the blessings of every.single.day.  I am not missing the blessings this morning, in fact, I am feeling overwhelmed by them.  Talk about living the reality of Easter!  Thanks Jesus, you Rock!  A lot.