Friday, August 30, 2013

7 Quick Takes- No sass edition

Well, you are still reading my blog...so all the sass of the past few 7 Quick Takes clearly didn't turn you off too much.  Thanks for sticking around.  As a reward, I am going to be pleasant through all my Quick Takes today.  :)  I promise.
Baby Update, lots of braxton hicks and other things occurring!  This leads me to believe the baby could come early, which would be full of awesome.  I am 38 weeks on Tuesday, but you have to remember at 36 weeks, the baby was measuring 9.3 pounds.  I know, I know, those things can be REALLY off.  So, lets say the ultrasound tech REALLY screwed it up. I mean, by two pounds screwed it up.  That still puts me at 7 pounds, two weeks ago.  So, I am REALLY okay with going early (that was a lot of REALLYs).
Hey, I know there are at least a couple of you who read this and have had multiple c-sections.  I am so nervous about going into labor and not getting to the hospital in time. This might be more intense because traditionally (with both my other boys) I dilate really slowly (a centimeter a week) with a crud ton of braxton hicks.  So, I can already forsee it's gonna be tough to decide when to go to the hospital.  Any advice on when you knew it was time to go to the hospital with your 3rd c-section or were you just confident you'd make it to your scheduled date?  Any horror stories you want to share to make it worse?  Whatevs, lay it on me, I am ready for it.
Guys. I am so.excited to bring the third kid into our home.  As we get closer, that part gets more exciting. I can't wait to see John Paul interact with his big brothers. I can't wait to have the bassinet next to us.  Weirdly enough, I am even pumped for nighttime nursing.  It's so special, when it's so quiet in the house and it's just you and the baby.  That's so nice.  And, who would have thunk I would ever say this, but there is something really bizarrely special about those first few weeks, when I won't be sleeping and it's kind of all a newborn daze.  Weird that I am looking forward to it?  Maybe! Remind me I said all this in a few weeks.
Well that's a lot of baby news. I am trying to stay away from sass, it's not easy.  Maybe I will tell you right quick, that our little Aaron now randomly says, 'I love you' and gives quick kisses and hugs throughout the day.  I have been doing a lot of 'takin' it easy' because of pain, and sometimes the little dude will sneak up behind me and hug me from behind. His arms wrap around my shoulders.  I tell him it's my favorite hug and now sometimes I ask for it.  Can you just imagine when he is 6 foot somethin' tall and comes home from college and wraps his arms around me like that?  Be.still.my.heart.
Oh, lemme tell you about my sweetheart Joseph Michael.  He really is just the sweetest little thing.  Lately, I have been doing a lot more cuddling with him during the day. I think I am subconsciously aware, he will only be my youngest for less than two weeks more.  He always has been the best cuddle-er, and I am so thankful he still lets me hold him tight.  His waddle walk is just about the cutest thing ever.  I am a very blessed mom with that boy.
 The summer went fast, and the baby has consumed most of my thoughts, so I haven't had time to discuss perhaps one of the most important things happening in our lives tomorrow...MICHIGAN FOOTBALL COMES BACK!   Woot woot.  The first few games are a little bit on the lame-o side, but I am still psyched.  Aaron is letting me cook fun treats tomorrow for our little family's first 2013 game day. I got the jerseys ready for all three boys!  DUDE. I am so excited.  Probably one of the coolest things about having all three boys will be football Saturdays...Hail!
Last year's 'Game Day' photo

Okay, till next week, here's hopin' this kid gets here soon!!! :)
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Place that I have Come to Fear the Most

Caution- This one’s gonna talk about some tough stuff.  You might want to skip it.

My husband always asks why I read things that upset me, scare me, etc… I don’t know why I do it and I have gotten better about not.  But, today, I’d like to talk about some of those things.

Did ya hear?  I got a new van!   And it is shiney and white.  It has two side mirrors that work (my old car only had one) and it is way bigger than my Saturn Ion!  Today, while driving to my doctor’s appointment, I thought to myself, ‘I actually feel so much safer driving this than my old car, and that will make it easier to drive with the boys’.  You see, I get nervous sometimes driving with both kids in the car.  When I am switching lanes, I obsessively check to make sure there REALLY isn’t another car next to us.  Sometimes, my thoughts get dark and I think about what I would do if I was in an accident and one of them or both were hurt.  Driving in the car is such a game of roulette when you think about it.  And, occasionally, it makes me really nervous.

When I arrived at my doctor's office,  I was waiting and flipped through the news.  And I saw that a little boy who had been beaten by his mother’s boyfriend had passed away at the hospital.  He was two.  I read the story yesterday. It made me call lil’ Aaron over and hold him  REALLY tight.  The boy was shaken and thrown across the room.  It made me sick.  His injuries were too much for him to sustain.  He was TWO.

Sometimes I think about what I would do…

If someone harmed my child…
If my child was kidnapped...
If my child had an incurable disease…
If, God forbid, I had to make ‘Sophie’s choice’ (someone told me about this little gem a few years ago and it has haunted me since)..
If we were attacked, and at war, and my children were threatened...
If we had no food and I had to watch my child starve to death...
If our house was broken into and bad men tried to hurt the kids...

What would I do? How would I survive. 
I mean, I think about these things. And the fear is sometimes paralizing. 

Parenting is some crazy shiznatch isn’t it?  To love with such intensity you are one step away from a nervous breakdown at all times. 

I remember when lil A was born, it seemed like every news story was about child abuse or tragedy. I had posted, in a note on FB (before the ol'blog came along)that I found myself being full of rage at people who would harm children. A new rage I wasn't familiar with, and was trying to decide how to handle. Several more experienced mothers assured me it was normal. And suggested I take those feelings to prayer. They said obsessing over darkness in the world is not from The Lord and is a temptation that must be fought.

And so too, with my fears, I take them to prayer. I have to. A short St.Michael prayer. A quick request for Jesus to give me peace and take the fear away. You see, in my faith tradition, fear and anxiety are normal, but not welcomed. We have a God who loves, who has counted every hair on our heads. And, if by some awful twist of fate, something tragic is happens. We have a God who meets us with grace to pull us through. So, the fears that sometimes plague me, have no place in my life.  And that is why I, usually try to meet them with prayer.

How do you deal with the places you have come to fear the most? What are your favorite prayers when fear grasps you? Hook a sister up with some thoughts...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Growing up

We are buying and picking up a ‘new to us’ minivan today.  I can hardly wait!  No, seriously, I can hardly wait.  I feel like a little kid, counting down the hours till the ol’ husband gets home so we can go get it. I must have asked him a million times today if there is any way he can get off a bit early, so we can go early.  This, my friends, is the shiznatch…we are going to be straight ballin’ in a 2006 white Town and Country with 50,000 miles!  And, wait for it…automatic doors and rear hatch!  I know!  Stow and go seats, a cd player, in really beautiful shape and the best news? It’ll be big enough to comfortably hold three car seats, a double stroller and a mom and a dad!  My life rocks. 

Less than a year ago I was horrified at the idea of a minivan.  Like, horrified.  Some of you reading the above paragraph might be horrified on my behalf.  A mini-van, to me, only one short year ago, was a status symbol of a boring life.  They are ‘ugly’. They are way too ‘practical’.  Who would voluntarily get one?  I tried to convince my husband we should get an SUV, or a Ford Flex (I love that car) anything but a boring, old mini-van.  But then, my pregnant belly kept getting bigger.  And as my pregnant belly kept getting bigger, my two babies kept getting older. Riding in the car, especially on the few road trips we have taken this summer has REALLY sucked.  The boys might need something, but it was really hard to navigate to get to them.  I know, I know, #firstworldproblems.  The more difficult it was to travel, the more I began to fantasize about the Fall and how freaking awesome it was going to be to have my minivan.

I guess this is growing up.

You know, in my twenties, most people that knew me well, would describe (in a kind, gentle way) a girl with a little bit of a Peter Pan complex.  Growing up took a toll on me. I wasn’t ready for it. I think, in part, as a rebellion of it, I kind of lived in denial.  Student debt wasn’t taken care of, I wasn’t responsible with my health choices, and although in a lot of ways I was ‘grown up’ at work…my personal life reflected girl resisting moving out of her early twenties.  But adventures?  Man, I have had exciting adventures.  At the ripe ol’ age of 33, I can say I have been to five continents.  I have been on mission trips in the third world, created memories of travel to 17 different countries.  I traveled in the back of a pick-up truck to California for goodness sakes.  I have LIVED life.  And I have lived it well.  Not just travel either, I have good friends, I have drank really good beer (does bud light count???).  When I think of the things God has allowed me to do in my life… it is stunning.  And yet, at this point, buying a mini-van is, ‘livin’ the dream!’  It really and truly is.

The other day, when we had put the boys to bed (best hour of the day) I went to go take a really long shower.  On my way, I glanced out into my back yard.  The grass is always a bit too long.  We are by no means landscapers.  BUT, I saw several ‘little tykes’ cars, a plastic slide, and an awesome square climby thing that papa brought to the little boys.  And friends, I felt SO.CONTENT.  It’s the same peacefullness I feel when I almost step on a toy car.  Or when lil’ A gets up in the morning and calls, ‘mama’ from his bed.  The same peacefulness I feel when my incredible husband snuggles me for a few extra minutes in the morning before we get up to tend to our crying children.  I, sometimes, cannot BELIEVE this is our life. I cannot believe I have been chosen to be the mother of three awesome boys and that I get to call my exceptional husband my spouse.

It doesn’t mean it’s easy.  No, in fact, it is REALLY REALLY hard.  Much harder than anyone warned me about.  We joke all the time about how we never really knew how good we had it before marriage and kids.  We laugh at the ridiculousness of having a third kid, just as our second has finally begun to walk and our first is talking in sentences.  As you know, the quest to be selfless is not easy for me, the husband and I fight more than I care to admit and I say things to him sometimes that would shock you all (because, clearly, I would NEVER talk to my husband that way).  One of my sister and brother in law’s favorite things to do is read out loud, ‘angry Mary text messages’ with enough swear words to earn me a ‘rated R’.

And yet, yesterday, Aaron and I were talking about how excited we are about the minivan and our lives.   How ‘baller’ it is going to be and how ridiculous it is that we have three children well before our fourth year wedding anniversary.  I said to him as we talked, ‘do you think you are going to wake up one day and regret it?  Have some mid-life crisis about the fact that before you were thirty you had three kids, a mortgage and a minivan?’  Aaron responded that he lived really well before we were married.  He did a lot of things.  He traveled and dated some ladies ;)  And he said he wouldn’t go back.  He said he really and truly loves our life.

And I tend to agree…

Minivan and all :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes- Publishing it early edition

I always feel the need to warn you when a bit of sass will follow. Apparently, I was a bit 'cranky' while writing this...so read with caution and care :)
We have not started potty training ‘round these parts and frankly, I’m okay with that.  We have started talking about potentially potty training one of these days. I’m just not worried about it. I figured when Lil’ A figures a few more things out, he’s gonna be into it and we will be less stressed about trying to make it happen.  BUT, we have discovered that some people are whack-a-doodle about potty training and an intense need to get it done, often times when children are still infants. I don’t get it.  I think I am going to take my dear Aunt Loretta’s advice, ‘your kid won’t go to kindergarten in diapers, so don’t worry about it’.
Um, I have an iphone. And it is awesome. And it is way more awesome than I dreamed it would be. My friend patty  (check out her blog, it is ever so much fun) asked the question several people think, ‘how you be getting’ an iphone and workin’ Dave Ramsey?’ (that is not how she asked the question).  I thought I would answer in the ol’ blog.  First of all, our iphone was CRAZY expensive, because we don’t do contracts or any crazy sauce like that.  We use Virgin Mobile and pay $80 a month for the two of us, all expenses included.  So, the iphone is an insane amount of money (for a generation 4 no less).  Any hoots.  It was on sale last week at a whopping $230, plus the case, so like, $260.  That is VERY cheap for an out o’ pocket iphone, so we decided to get ‘er done.  Getting ‘er done on Dave Ramsey though means that you won’t be gettin’ something else did.  So, for the months of September and October, 25% of my miscellaneous budget will go this bad boy.  Plus, I have several talks that I have done this summer that will help pay for it.  It’s all about choices and let me tell you, when I got that black beauty in my hand, it is a choice I am proud of.
And I have wanted one for a REALLY REALLY long time.  
I’m real mad about something (surprise).  So these three kids were bored and decided to randomly go out and shoot some people. You know, because they were bored.  I think the story and several others like it (bored teens doing awful things) are horrific for a lot of reasons.  But lemme tell you, the media is ticking me off in the coverage.  For two reasons.
1.        Conservative coverage is trying to overly state the kids who were bored and decided to shoot were black and a white guy got shot.  Now, of course, because of media idiots, race needs to be discussed with every shooting that occurs.  So, Trayvon was CLEARLY killed because he was black, and these black guys CLEARLY killed this white dude because he was white (sarcasm).  I just don’t buy it. I don’t buy the irresponsible and loose conclusions people jump to.  And, I think they are dumb.  There is nothing about being black that makes one more likely to kill. Stop trying to go one for one with the Trayvon thing. The Trayvon coverage was ridiculous, don’t stoop to the level of ridiculous.

2.       Liberal or left leaning coverage (the first three articles I read) immediately started discussing gun control and our need for it.  Now, here’s the 411. I’m not really married to the gun control debate.  I think it’s dumb to blame pieces of metal for decisions of people…but, like I said, I am open to hearing the other side.  That being said, I think the OBVIOUS question that should be asked is, ‘WHY THE HELL ARE THREE TEENAGERS DECIDING THEY ARE BORED, SO THEY ARE GOING TO KILL SOME PEOPLE!?!?!’.  Maybe that should be discussed first captain obvious.  But, once again, that would be a discussion about personal responsibility…we don’t like these discussions ‘round these parts (the US of A)
Sometimes I am pretty sure I misuse the 7 Quick takes and get a little too sassy. But, they are honestly thoughts that get thunked all week by me, so I've got to share them!
Public Service Announcement
So it appears I am crabby.  And this one might sting. But, it’s got to be said. I LOVE reading blogs like GRACE'S and my sister THERESA's because these are people that get my soon to be reality (which, btw, I cannot wait for).  Having three kids, each 14 months a part has it’s own set of challenges and it’s own set of rewards (listening to the boys chase each other up and down our hallway is honestly one of the best sounds in the world).  What sometimes grinds my goat (and I am sorry, I am just saying it because it needs to be said) is when parents who have multiple children, but 2 or 3 years a part, try to pretend they get my reality.  Because…you don’t.  It’s fine that you don’t, I think you have a lot of wisdom, but I promise you do not understand what my reality is like. So saying things like, 'oh, I totally did that with my three children' (that were spaced freaking six years a part) is NOT helpful.  However the shining light in the tunnel is when I sometimes get annoyed at people who assume they understand my reality, I remember that I do that to a LOT of people as well.  AND, it should probably stop.  
I’m working on a post, coming out this week on how God intended c-sections and that birthing our children medically through the help of a lot of doctors and interventions is just what we were ‘meant to do’. I am excited, for it has been rolling around in my head for a long time.  Probs since the first time someone told me that c-sections are not how your body is ‘suppose’ to birth a child (from a theological point of view)…get ready.  And a shout out to Miss Jamie Jo for sharing in my comments the witness of 6 c-sections :)  God likes that hard work! 
Are you a parent?  Do you know parents?  Do you have the interwebs and are around children?  Please read this article.  AND THEN, please like, ‘bold ministries’ page on facebook.  We will be putting out a ‘best practices for parents’ blog in the next week or so describing some easy tips you can follow to keep your kids safe and engaged in the new digital world (it isn’t so new anymore is it?!?!).  And, as you may/may not know, we do social media presentations to students, students and parents, parents, parents and staffs, etc... to inform and educate!  This is SO essential.  Consider bringing it to your school, parish, or parent group!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

And forgive me for my sass.

Friday, August 16, 2013

7 Quick Takes- Hodge Podge edition

So, to be cost-efficient I am thinking about making the boys, 'big brother', 'middle brother', 'little brother' shirts with supplies from a craft store.  Now, lemme break this down for you...I am NOT a crafter. AT.ALL.  Any advice?  Or, how about this, do you know where I could buy them as cheap as I could make them ;)
The husband's birthday was this week and as many of you know, we braved the big crowds and went the Cheesecake Factory on opening day.  Aaron kept saying, 'best birthday ever' and, as you can tell from the picture below (taken with my super fancy cell phone camera) he was in H-E-A-V-E-N.

So, one thing I feel really strongly about is the importance of Catholic families who are open to life (even if that means God blesses you with hyper fertility) witnessing this in a good way.  So, like, if my marriage is terrible, my kids are miserable, and I am complaining all the time about how hard my life is...am I really giving the 'world' a good example?  This week, I have been struggling considerably with what type of witness I have given throughout this pregnancy.  As you know I HATE being pregnant, and 3 c-sections in 3.5 years have created some considerable obstacles that have made it quite a bit worse than usual.  Tuesday, I was 'warned' that a family member would like to talk to me about artificial birth control and how we must start using it.  It bummed me out, because I think I have been a pretty bad witness.  Here's the thing.  Although I have no problem saying I hate pregnancy, and I super hate pregnancy with 2 other babies, I am REALLY into having a third kid.  Like, REALLY.  And maybe I don't say that enough.  It's tricky to figure out balance, I suppose.  Between being truthful about what's going on (the doctor's appointments, complications, etc...) and making people think I am carrying this huge cross non-voluntarily.  Those are just some thoughts I am thinking.
So, good ol' Mike Chamberland and I finally rolled out BOLD MINISTRIES.  Check out our blog or 'like' us on facebook, if you are feeling crazy.  We have been offering retreats/giving presentations informally for years, but we decided to bite the bullet and do it on a more intentional basis.  I am excited and it seems like other people are quite excited as well.
Hey, it's my 200th blog post.  Fancy eh?
Some of you are going to think this is redonkulous, but I am okay with it.  After each child, Aaron generally buys me a gift (mostly because I make him)...we totally follow the 'push gift' trend and I got no shame in that game.  Any-hooter, this year I asked for something similar to a 'cash advance' on the gift.  So, tomorrow, I get to leave the house at 12:00 pm for some solo time without the children (this is all assuming I am not sick).  Then, we will be staying at a fancy hotel/going out to a fancy dinner and sleeping in without children!  Woot woot.  If you are a regular blog reader, you are probably like, 'dude, you guys do that all the time'.  It's not really ALL.THE.TIME but, we are fans of the occasional night away from the children.  I am very excited.
So, my husband is VERY funny.  After my sister in law posted about having to by 20 glue sticks and 7-24 packs of crayons (are you freaking kidding me?!?!?) for her kindergartner, Aaron wrote the following...
This is pretty obvious, you need to give small glue sticks to 17 other kids, a large glue stick to another kid and a 24-pk of crayons to 6 other kids. Since you guys are 1%-ers now you have to spread the wealth and be more generous, through school supplies . When Bill Gates and Warren Buffet's kids/grandkids get their school supply list it says, "30 laptops, 45 iPads, whiteboard, 500 pencils" #socialjustice #equalplayingfield #fairshare

I pretty much died laughing.

Have a great weekend.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, August 9, 2013

7 Quick Takes- Quick Edition

So… John Paul is the name, for sure, affirmed by the husband.  But, we need a middle name.  Right now, the only thing we think actually sounds good is, ‘John Paul Francis’.  BUT, as the husband says, ‘that’s a little heavy handed’.
We also have a Godfather.  Our dear friend Mario.  He desperately wants a shout out in the ol’ blog.  Now he’s got one.
Mario and not his godson

Iron infusions are done!  Now, we just need to pray that my levels have gotten high enough that I do not have to do them again.  They sucked. And were early in the morning.  
So, I think we are going to Chicago in December to take the boys to go see Yo Gabba Gabba!  Ha, first family trip in the new van, we are pretty psyched.  The amount of loser contained in the last two sentences overwhelms even me.

The husband and I keep saying we cannot believe we are going to have three kids in a month.  But, I gotta tell you, I am so psyched. I am just very very certain that having the three is going to be WAY easier than having two and expecting one.
O I have been really humbled by the amount of people who have offered to help us/babysit/etc…in these last few weeks (especially with the doctor’s appointments).  It’s pretty incredible to see how willing people are to help out.  Now, I just gotta get a bit better on taking people up on it.  
T he title of this book came up on my newsfeed yesterday, ‘Let Me Hold You Longer’ by Karen Kingsbury.  And I thought to myself, ‘well that sounds sweet and I would like to read it’.  I went to youtube and listened to it.  O M lowercase g, are you kidding me?  Have you read it?  Parents, go buy this book. It was good. I cried. A lot. I think I was better mom this morning because of it (I say, as my kids watch Yo Gabba Gabba and I write my Quick Takes!!!).

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Why facebook and I are still together...

...and I like it that way.

In defense of facebook and other social media outlets.

So, I have noticed a trend.  And before I start, lemme just say, it is a trend that I have respect for, if done the right way.  This trend I have noticed mostly takes place in the blogging world, but sometimes it takes place in conversation, other social media outlets, etc…  The trend, is ‘breaking up with facebook’.

You know, because you have witnessed it as well.  People who for whatever reason have decided they will not be using facebook and social media outlets like it.  I have noticed teens do it when they notice too much drama. I have noted adults who do it once they realize they are spending entirely too much time on this social media outlet, or worse yet, feel like they are being voyeuristic (that is a really big word, pretty sure I am using it right! Lol).  I have zero problem with people deciding that a social media site is not for them.  Jenny did a good job explaining why she won’t be using it anymore.  As did Colleen and my fantastic sister Katie (though she cheats).  When people decide not to use a social media site because they decide it is affecting their lives in a negative way, I say, ‘Good on ya!’.  However, I do take exception when people begin to blame a social media site for drama, wasting their time, etc…

Here’s the thing friends, facebook is NOTHING more than a computer program.  And a pretty fantastic computer program at that.  Facebook cannot cause drama.  Facebook cannot ruin marriages. Facebook cannot waste time that you don’t have.  YOU can choose to use the tool in a way that causes drama, ruins your marriage, or wastes your time…but this computer program simply does not have the ‘power’ to do those things to you.  I am constantly surprised by the amount of adults that claim different.  Now, I am not saying I am above using the tool wrong. I have said things in an uncharitable way, I have spent too much time filling my head with pointless status updates, and I have even, occasionally, used facebook and other social media sites to vent frustrations.  And when I do those things, instead of thinking, ‘oh the evils of this site’, generally I think, ‘Mary, that was a dumb a$$ move’. 

So, let me take a moment to tell you why I love facebook. 

I love the ability I have to communicate with people quickly and efficiently.  I love that I can ‘catch up’ with people quickly without having to quiet babies and make sure they are napping in order to make a phone call. I love that I can look at pictures of people I love, or even people I once knew.  I love that facebook (and social media sites like it) CONNECTS people in a deeper way.  Yes, you read that right, I use social media sites to CONNECT with people.  To increase my knowledge of them. I love the faith community facebook offers, through requests of prayers, ‘following’ Catholic groups, and passing knowledge of the newest/coolest things going down in my Church.  I LOVE ‘the facebook’.  And the best part, the Church continues to re-affirm the power and beauty of social media, to bring the Body of Christ CLOSER to understanding what it means to be a Christian in the Modern World.

Unfortunately,  we live in a world where personal accountability is almost unheard of.  It’s even gotten to the point where when we cannot use a computer program responsibly, some of us choose to blame the computer program rather than examine our actions.  As we all know, there is nothing intrinsically evil with social media, and as such, as long as we use it to build up the kingdom, it is an avenue of Holiness.

And one that I will not be breaking up with!

Have a great Monday!

Friday, August 2, 2013

7 Quick Takes

The host of this wonderful link up, Jen, said something very simple today that filled my heart, ‘Fall is right around the corner’.  Friends, I cannot wait for fall.  Newborn baby (no more pregnancy), Michigan football, Cider Mills, first stab at this SAHM thing…sigh, good things on the horizon.
Well, our travels have officially ended.  Although there were moments of awesomeness, for the most part, the travels were just hard.  In true Wilkerson/Buckley style there was laughter, but also a lot of drama.  Glad to be home and excited for things to slow down a bit in the month of August.  It’s time to take a breather for sure.
Slow down?  What?!?!  This week has started the lifestyle of doctor’s appointments.  If you have offered to help with the kiddos, just wait, we will be getting in contact with you soon, I promise!  Here’s the run down. 

Monday- Baby looks great and huge!  Surprise!  I think he is going to be a record breaker for me.  
Tuesday- Non Stress Tests in my opinion are the worst things ever, and I am not sure how I am going to do them twice a week.  Laying in one position, not moving is probably the worst thing ever for me right now. I am going to attempt some ‘offering it up’ in weeks to come.
Wednesday- First Iron appointment, felt VERY sorry for myself.  Took twice as long originally expected.  On my way, driving home, I started sobbing (By this point our lil’ A had developed a fever, which threw off babysitters, yada yada yada), feeling pretty overwhelmed.   As I was driving, I saw a mother bringing her balding toddler into the cancer center.  Perspective- I have been trying to grasp it.
Thursday- Second Iron infusion, IV on FIRE!!!  Followed by a diabetic lab for gestational diabetes.  Turns out, I am the person in the Gestational Diabetes class that starts shaking and crying in anticipation of having to poke myself!  And then I did it, and it is no big deal.  And I have done it several times since like a rock star. I know, I know, you didn’t realize how brave I truly am.
Friday- TODAY!  No appointments. 
My niece and nephew are here with us for the week.  My nephew is going to ‘nerd school’ in Ann Arbor.  He has a true talent for technology and together we found this camp that refines his nerd skills in role playing computer games.  He loves it.  My niece in the meantime has been with me.  She is SUCH a huge help with all these doctor’s appointments.  It’s been a fascinating week of scheduling (the camp is 40 minutes away, twice a day, it ends up being a lot of driving), but gives me good insight into having teenagers with activities.  Oh, and they surprised Aaron and I last night by giving us their own money and sending us to dinner while they put the boys down to sleep.  It was an awesome and a much needed date.  It’s so cool to watch them become such awesome people.
So, for those of you wondering about my sleep saga…I am sleeping again.  Sure, I might need the help of an incredibly powerful prescription, but I ain’t above that J Seriously, I told the ol’ doc I was completely losing my mind without my ability to sleep.  I think the breakdown that ensued might have helped, but she gave me a very limited prescription of a very powerful sleep aid.  Anyway, I didn’t like taking it because it was way powerful and she made it very clear it would be a limited supply.  So, although it was helping, it was only helping every four nights, and the others were complete hell. Until my VERY wise sister in law suggested I cut them in half.  And now, my friends, I sleep.  I am sleeping really well, every night.  That matters.  Thank you Jesus for modern medicine and good doctors.
We see my parents/Aaron’s parents once a week in general.  However, because of travel, we haven’t been able to see Aaron’s parents in almost two weeks.  My lil’ A is obsessed with both sides of grand parents, so yesterday when driving, he kept saying, ‘we go to Papa’s house?’ (Big A’s dad). I told him that we would, but later.  But, wait for it, when we got home he started sobbing, asking to go in the car and drive to papa’s house. I love, love, love that my kids love, love, love their grandparents so much.  The plan is to take them over tomorrow, if lil’ A can stand the wait.  Which, the jury is out on at this point.
I have come to a decision, totally not agreed upon by the ol’ husband.  This pregnancy has been really tough. It has been great because the baby is healthy, but it has been tough.  AND, while laying on the table during the stress test, I decided that since it has been so tough that I deserve to name this kid what I’d like.  And I like John Paul.  So, unless the ol’ husband is going to leave me, we shall name him John Paul.  Just don’t tell big A J John Paul _________ Wilkerson it shall be.  But, we still need a middle name!  Maybe I’ll let big A have a say in that.

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Why, after some thought, I don't really think the media got it wrong...

...Regarding Pope Francis and his quotes on homosexuality.

So, I know you were all dying to hear my thoughts on the top new's headline regarding Pope Francis and his impromptu press conference. First, you should know I am typing on the ipad, so, lots of mistakes will be made, but here goes.

Top headline, "Pope Francis says, 'who am I to judge' a gay person".

First thing I did was check context. He was referring to the 'gay lobby', a perceived movement within the Church/hierarchy of men who have ill will and whilst claiming a love of church, acting in corrupt ways. But, he really did a good job in that context speaking in love about our gay brothers and doing so while referencing long standing church teaching.

Next, I was a bit ticked off. Why the heck were people acting like Pope Francis said something revolutionary? Why was the media acting surprised at what the Church has always taught.

Then I was defensive...why are so many people acting like this is new information? Why is my newsfeed clogged with such ignorance? I am a naturally defensive person, I didn't like people acting like what the Pope said was any different than what's always been said.

BUT, then I read a few comments that caused me to pause. A read a few comments from gay friends of mine, and from total strangers, and they said, "my goodness, this is so good to hear" (paraphrase). "You might know it, but it's good that it is being said THIS WAY from the leader of the Church".  And then, some of my defensiveness went away. And I thought, "thank you Pope Francis for being messy and speaking simply".

You see, this time, for the most part, I didn't see the media twisting the Pope's words (that often happens). This time, I saw the media and others being genuinely surprised by what he said. People were surprised that the leader of the Catholic Church said we don't have the right to judge the personhood of others and to marginalize them because of that. And if people are surprised by that, maybe instead of being too defensive, we should take a pause.  Maybe, just maybe, we, as heralds of God's message of love, need to be doing a better job. And maybe that's the lesson we can learn from Pope Francis.

When we speak the Truth of sexuality do we do it with love? Do we do it with invitation? Do we speak truth in a way that engages relationship? Or... Do we do it in a way that alienates, judges and, worse yet, reeks of a righteousness only the Pharisees would love?

You know, I'm not always awesome at transmitting the faith in a way that is loving, but Pope Francis is gonna make me work harder at it....mostly because people shouldn't be surprised that as Catholics, we don't judge people.  This week has taught us that media conspiracy aside, people really are surprised that our Chruch Forbids us to judge others.  And I, for one don't care about the reasons why....rather, I'm gonna work to fix it.