Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Three Things...

...but first, for those of you that have been praying or worrying.  Everyday had been substancially better with the three little dudes!  I think recovering from the c-section has made the biggest difference.  Still hard, but we are getting in a grove and yesterday, my husband didn't get one text message with swear words!
Now, Three Things

Four years ago today, I quit smoking.  I had totally forgot about it, until this morning, when the husband woke me up and said, ‘Hey!  Congratulations, it’s been four years since you had a cigarette!’ Most of you did not know me as a smoker, but I promise, there was a time in my life when I was rarely seen without a stick in my mouth.  I loved smoking.  And I hated that I was smoker.  I hated when teens would occasionally find out. I hated that I couldn't quit.  I loved smoking.  SO MUCH.  I have talked about this before, but Aaron totally tricked me.  The first time we hung out and I was crushin’ on him I said to my friends, ‘and he doesn't even mind that I am a smoker’.  All that changed when we started dating. It became a deal breaker for him.  BUT, I really couldn't imagine my life without smoking.  My good friend described it best when he said, ‘I feel like the day I have my last cigarette will be the last day I have enjoyment in life’.  Sad, but true.  It’s how I felt.  Then there was the time I was supposed to quit in August, I went out of town and ended up smoking. I called Aaron and told him about it.  He felt so betrayed, believe it or not, it is the closet we ever came to actually breaking up.  Then, Aaron and I chose a quit date...October 1st and this time it stuck.  Wanna know how?  I’ll tell you.  Aaron was the most supportive person in the world.  Instead of being frustrated when I told him how hard it was to quit, he met my frustration and told me he knew it was hard.  He let me bury my face in his shirt when we were out with our smoking friends and I wanted one so bad. He let me squeeze his hand till it hurt when I was tempted.  Every.single.day he sent me a text or called (he was working in Boston at the time), ‘Hey it’s been one day since you quit smoking, and I am proud of you!’.
‘Hey it’s been one week since you quit smoking, and I am so very proud of you’.  
He also got me treats. Lots and lots of treats.  At a week, he sent me flowers I believe.  After 100 days, he planned a SUPER fancy date for us.  At a year, we had a major celebration.  Treats and affirmation…that’s what worked for me.  It’s probably one of the coolest things he has ever done for me.  The moral of the story is the following...
1)       Never start smoking. I tell teens this all the time.  Quitting after 10 years is the hardest thing I have done in terms of self discipline
2.)  Treats and affirmation- that’s the way to go for me!

People are ticking me off lately (shocking)!  So I thought I’d clear something up.  Ready?  Okay.  When Pope Francis said that sometimes we focus too much on certain teachings, he meant something very specific.  Lemme break it down (at this point I would like to break it down using a specific theologian’s name- who is rather known and ‘gettin’ it twisted’  but I won’t).  No, priests do not constantly preach about abortion, artificial birth control and gay marriage.  In fact, it is rare to hear a priest preach about those things.  HOWEVER, the Holy Father’s point, if I may, was that people KNOW the teaching.  They know it.  If you talk to 90% of people (non-Catholics included), they know they Catholic Church is opposed to artificial birth control, gay marriage and abortion.  However, they don’t know why.  And they certainly don’t know the CONTEXT or the FOUNDATIONS of those teachings.  THAT is what we suck at.  That is what we have to get better at.  Language soaked in love, understanding, sensitivity and compassion, language that SPEAKS to our culture.  Am I always good at this?  NOPE.  BUT, is the Holy Father challenging me to get better at it?  YUP.  More on that in future blogs…

Yesterday, lil’ Aaron was falling off the couch.  The way he was falling was horrific and slow, but his head was bending in a way that was certain to be a major freak story.  Thankfully, I caught him and pulled him up, but I was basically shaking. It was so horrifying to see him bent in the way he was bent and I can’t even tell you what it felt like to flash forward and think about the consequences of what the fall would have meant. I held him so close, he was crying a bit, and I told him he scared me and he can’t scare me like that again.  I told him he had to be careful.  He could tell I was really worried and said, ‘okay mommy’.  And we snuggled some more.  It once again reminded me just how real this parenting thing is.  Just how scary it is to love someone so much that it almost feels unsafe.  Parenting is not for the faint of heart eh?  Thank God for the grace to do it!

Happy Tuesday, carry on!


  1. So glad you are feeling better and the road is a bit easier for you. You amaze me and inspire me and you are constantly in my prayers!

    CONGRATULATIONS! I KNOW how had quitting is: 20 years for my this past April (actually, April 28th at 4:00pm to be exact was the last one) And I still want one! well: somedays - somedays it is no biggie. But you are totally right in celebrating today - YOU.GO.GIRL!!!

    Thank you for #2 - we were just discussing this very thing in bible study last night. Hard teaching to put into practice, that is for sure.

    #3 - you are right: parenting can be scary - so glad you have ninja reflexes and got Lil A before he did damage.

    blessings for you and yours!

  2. Good for you on FOUR years!! That is definitely something to be proud of!

  3. Oh yeah, you totally smoked your way through Europe! Phil is like Aaron, smoking is a complete deal breaker. He once had a dream I smoked and got emotional telling me about it...needless to say any social smoking I did up until that point was off the agenda. Now if he felt that way about drinking, I would never have married him ;)

  4. Wow! Congratulations on quitting smoking, I'm sure that was really hard but so glad you had a supportive hubby.