Friday, February 19, 2016

7 Quick Takes of deep reflection (I mean, kind of)

Sunday was St. Valentine's Day.
The husband Aaron didn't do anything for it. I mean he didn't do anything. No card, no flowers, nothing.
He offered to get me starbucks in the morning, but I'm on the 'weight watchers' so I declined.
And all day it made me madder and madder.  I thought of all the reasons I, as the mother of his FOUR CHILDREN (I always throw that in) deserved to celebrated on St. Valentine's day.  I got angry that he couldn't take two seconds, run to the store, buy a card and sign his name. I stewed. I prayed with it, but mostly I stewed.

On Tuesday, Aaron got up at 4:30 in the morning. He went to the gym to work out at 5:00 am.  He understands taking care of his health is important, but also understands we have four young children, so the luxury of working out isn't something we have time for.  Because of this understanding, he gets up at 4:30 am to go to the gym, in order to be home by 6:30 am, so he can help with the kids and I can sleep a little more.

After going to the gym, he got home and took care of work emails. Aaron's job is intense, but he is matching it with a work ethic difficult to describe.  While answering work emails, he ate a meal of rice and beans.  He is doing rice and beans this Lent- and ordering it towards the suffering of the world. He isn't taking Sunday's off. Not because he thinks we shouldn't, but because it is an exercise in solidarity.

After eating and answering work emails, he cooked the boneless skinless chicken breast he was marinating in the fridge for me to add to my lunch/dinner this week.  It helps me eat healthy and stay on track.

He kissed me before he left for work, and at 10:30 am sent an email declaring he had continued to figure out a couple of our trips this year. All with my preferences, because 'what baby wants, baby gets'.

He worked all day, came home at 5:45 pm and helped with the boys until bedtime.

When I stopped to think about all he does, I was overwhelmed.
My point is, I guess the thing is choosing what we want to focus on.

I think I'm gonna stop complaining about days like St. Valentine's Day.  I got me a winner every day of the year, and that ain't a bad deal.

My sister Theresa is wise beyond her years.
She shared this in our Lent group on facebook, but if you aren't part of it, I'm gonna tell you what she is doing.
She called last night and told me every time she is annoyed with people for their annoying qualities, she is going to say a prayer that God allows her to live one of the annoying person's good qualities.

That's fine.
But there's more.
She said she is going to do that because she's sometimes a big old sinner.  But she believes Christ loves her, and focuses on her good qualities instead of her bad.

And if Christ loves us like that, shouldn't we at least attempt to love other's the same?

My sister Theresa is very wise.

I'm going to get a pedicure today with my friend Terri.
Because I am fancy.
And I am SO excited. To see Terri and to get a pedicure.
And talk ministry, because ministry is what we do.

Can you pray for me?
Next week I am going to speak at a school in Peoria on Digital Media and Discipleship.
I am excited.  I will be presenting to grade clusters during the day and parents at night.
But it's hard to leave town when you've got four kids.
I'm a wee bit stressed.

My Malia gives me smiles I cannot handle.
I seriously can't handle them.

Did you see this meme on facebook?
I am STILL praying about it's awesomeness.
I get scared about my kids growing up.  I get scared about what I can provide for them, and what I can't.  I wonder what it will be like when they make their own decisions and my job is to love, but no longer be in charge.

This meme helped me.

Plans for the weekend?
Confession (needed), party for our friend's kid (excited), sleeping (always) and catching up on laundry (ugh).
Oh, and outlines after outlines for new presentations I'll be doing in the next couple months.
Come Lord Jesus, Come ;)

Linking up with http://thisaintthelyceum.org/  for the quick takes.  Go check it out!  And have a great week.

Friday, February 12, 2016

7 Quick Takes in which I tell you a bit about lent and how I lie.

Can we get the takes done during nap time?  That is the the question and the first take.

Lent. Began.
Prayers happening. Sacrificing beginning.  Devil tryna work me.. it's all there :)
We started a facebook group for those doing 'The Best Lent Ever'.  It's been really awesome so far.  Lemme know if you want to join okay?  Men and Women welcome.  Married and non married. Kids and no kids...everybody is welcome!  It's about sharing together in faith.  I like it.

I tried to get a babysitter for St. Valentine's Day.  It's a very difficult thing to do. One of our favs said she was available after 7:00 pm. I ran it by Aaron.  He said, 'Um, the Walking Dead comes back on Sunday, I don't think we should go out."

You know Daryl (Norman Reedus) from The Walking Dead?  I have a soft spot for the character and a soft spot for the actor.  He was interviewed on that show, 'Inside the Actor's Studio" alongside other actors.  One of the last questions asked is "If you make it to heaven, what do you want God to say to you"
His answer, "Whoa, surprised to see you here....here are seven Rhianna's for you"
I'm sure he was kidding, but it made me sad for him. I am going to pray for him and his conversion.

Do you ever tell people you are praying for them, or you are going to pray for them, but you totally forget to? I do it all the time.  Sometimes, I say,
"And for all I forgot to pray for"
at the end of prayer to remember er'body.
I am really worried when I die, everyone is going to see what a liar I am because I say I will pray and then I don't.
And all these people in purgatory/heaven will be like, 'Whoa, you totally didn't pray for  me'... and they will shake their heads.

I get worried about that.

Anyway, Mary at Better Than Eden, wrote this AWESOME post about traditional prayers... and in it, she said that she prayers for people a lot with traditional prayers right away when they request prayers.  I have been doing this all week.
I REALLY like it.
It makes me less of a liar.
You should do it to.  The Hail Mary is my go-to.

I bought Aaron some gifts as a surprise for Sunday.  We usually don't buy gifts for Valentine's day.  BUT, I felt inspired. So I dragged all four children to a bike shop (just picture the potential for disaster), and I bought him some gifts. I was so excited to surprise him.

But then, he got home from work and lil' Aaron said,
'Dad, we got you surprises from the bike shop!!!'
I was flamin' mad
(not really, but good expression eh?).
Anyway. I am mad he ruined the surprise, but perhaps more mad that Big Aaron's response has been, "CRUD... does this mean I have to get you something?"

I did it. I completed the takes during nap. So I'll finish with this one.
My ministry partner Mike and I have a presentation tomorrow... "Mythbusters, Homosexuality".
I knew it was far away.  But Mike told me today it is 1 hour and forty minutes away.
That is REALLY far away.
In case you were wondering.

(a kid just woke up, so perfect timing)

Linking up with http://thisaintthelyceum.org/  for the quick takes.  Go check it out!  And have a great week.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Seven REALLY Quick Takes...

Bringin' back the ol' Quick Takes in an attempt to blog a bit more.  I have fifteen minutes...let's see what I can do.

Next Friday, I am taking all three boys on a special date to a 'Super Hero' dance.  Aaron got us tickets for Christmas. I am way more than way excited.

Someone..,maybe Jenny? suggested reading the bible (daily readings) on your phone before checking any other sites in the morning. I've been doing this and it's really great. It's wonderful to root my day in Scripture.  I haven't read the daily readings faithful in a loooooooooooong time.  It's good for the soul.  Also, I'm not a fan of King David. I'm not sure if I am allowed to write that, but it's true.  When we meet (if we meet in heaven) I'm gonna be like, 'dude! you were something else'- he will probably agree, and we will move on.

So, AnneMarie on her Blog mentioned book of letters between St. Theresa of the Little Flower's parents, now declared saints.  Saints that were married and raised a saint?  And their letters?  I am in.  The plan is to buy the book and use it through Lent with Aaron. We will read a letter thoughout the day and then discuss at night.  I've been looking for something cool to do during Lent and I think this will be it.

Malia is asleep in her swing. The swing that hasn't worked since we brought her home from the hospital so it's just kind of a seat.  Malia is awesome.

Um, so if I ever tell you I am going to an 'Open House' at my pre-k kid's school and bringing his brothers/sister... you have my permission to punch me in the face. Trying to keep the little boys from destroying lil' A's lovely classroom, while little A tried to excitedly show us all the neat things he does, was exasperating to say the least.  I left a sweaty, yelling mess.  And I kept talking about the boys 'atrocious' behavior at school.  It was NOT.GOOD.

Confirmation Retreat at one of my favorite places (the Solanus Casey Center) on tap tomorrow!  Super Bowl party on Sunday.  Pizza Friday tonight... life is looking good.

It took me seven minutes to write these.  In case you were wondering.  Now, I have to add links, link up and share on facebook. FIFTEEN MINUTES?!?!?  We good. (I wonder how many grammatical errors there are).

Linking up with http://thisaintthelyceum.org/  for the quick takes.  Go check it out!  And have a great week.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Today, I am linking up with my SIL Jen's blog to share with you a little bit about my life... as it's happening :)

Things have been quiet around this blog for lots of reasons, some of which I'll tell you about below.  But then my good friend Mary posted on 'thefacebook' a comment about my Alma Mater, Franciscan University's alumni Magazine, 'Franciscan Way'  doing a feature on blogs and this little ol' blog was mentioned in the sidebar (that there was an INSANE sentence).  As you know, I like anything that makes me pretty much famous, and so I decided to dust this blog off and give er'body a five point update.

Life is good. Really, really good. I wrote my Stay At Home Mom Lifehacks a few months ago. I have been sticking to them, and I feel more sane as a mother than ever before.  Life is still challenging with four people under the age of five, but I feel like it's manageable.  Part of keeping things really good is being realistic about what I can and can't do.  I took almost three full months off of speaking, which was actually awesome.  After John Paul, I really crammed my schedule, it made me resent the ministry, which is a recipe for disaster.  Having really good postpartum time with Malia was awesome.  It means I have cut back on a crud ton of stuff, almost all commitments, etc... but it's allowed us to really be at a good place as a family.  Learning my limits has been really good.

After taking almost three months off of speaking, I am back in full force.  My calendar is jam packed (for a stay at home mom) with cool opportunities to evangelize.  My ministry partner and I revamped our Confirmation Retreat and we are  loving how young people are connecting with it and Christ.  I continue to expand the speaking ministry when it comes to young adults and women.  I'm excited to be presenting in the upcoming months to a group of priests of Polish descent (I know right?!?!) on Homosexuality;  Emceeing the Michigan Catholic Young Adult Conference; and offering several different reflections on the year of Mercy.  Perhaps the coolest thing, and the one that took the most discernment, is I will be traveling a bit in the upcoming months.  One thing locked down for sure is a presentation at St. Jude school in Peoria.  I get to fly on an areo-plane for that one!  Last year, I presented at Spiritus Sanctus run by the Oprah Nuns (they have a technical name, The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist).  One Oprah nun told another Oprah nun, who's the principal of the school- and the rest is history.  

I'm excited about the ministry opportunities being put in my path, but I would be lying if I told you there isn't a battle.  The vocation to my little home, and the call to ministry is sometimes confusing for me- but I am just praying about each request as it comes along.  If you wanted to pray for me as I discern those things, I wouldn't mind.

The year of travel. Travel feeds my soul you guys, more than you can even imagine.  And, by some insane twist of fate, 2016 is shaping up to be an incredible year of travel.  Are you ready? Hold on to your hats and I'll break it down for you.

Last month, I went to Nashville with my girlfriends to see Paul's wife and visit our dear friend's resting place. It was awesome, and beautiful, and sad, and healing. I had no idea how desperately I needed to grieve my friend with my college friends.  It was incredible.

On the horizon is Kentucky to visit my sisters in March, Disney in April (I KNOW!?!!?  I drank the koolaid and I can't stop #sorry #notsorry)), Minnesota in May/June, Myrtle Beach in July (family reunion), and then... wait for it...

I wrote about on thefacebook. Long story short, the husband came home with a flier and said, 'I think you and your mom should do this pilgrimage to Poland'. I cried and told him it was impractical.  I went to the information meeting, ran out in tears because (#firstworldproblems) it is apparent God is calling me on this trip, but I know that means leaving my children.  Going on a 10 day pilgrimage makes absolutely no sense in my current season of life.  But with the encouragement of my good friend Erin, it's obvious to me that God wants it- so I am going.
We decided to knock off a bucket list item and hit up NYC at Christmas time. We have been talking/planning for years. We even planned to do it a few times and then canceled.  But this time?  It's happening!  We are booking tickets in a few days.  Dude. tickets are cheap right now- just fyi.

My soul's need to travel will be fed this year, and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

I'm trying to be less controversial on the interwebs when it comes to faith and politics.  I am constantly asking myself what my motivation is for writing/posting... if it is not to calmly and rationally point out my 'view' in order to bring about greater understanding, for the most part, I'm staying away from it.  It's hard. I delete a lot of things.  People unfriended me because of my sassy posts, and although all the sass is sometimes necessary, being unfriended weirdly REALLY hurts my feelings (when it comes to family especially).  I used to be like, 'ha! screw them, they can't HANDLE the truth'- Now, I'm trying to be like, 'mercy and stuff'.  #workinprogress

Lil' A's open house is tonight! We are so happy with how his school is going, I am so happy someone else is taking care of early learning (SOOOOOOOOOOO not my gift).  Next year, we've decided to keep him in the school for Kindergarten and add Joey for 1/2 day pre-k.  Just today lil' A told me he is 'going to miss me' when he goes to kindergarten.  UGH. If that doesn't just crush a mom's heart.  But it's the right thing for our family next year, we think.  HA! Who knows, we've got some time for God to change our minds on that, but that's the story I am sticking to.

And those are five things.
Five things telling you about my life as it's happening!  

Hope things are well, I've missed you and I am ready to begin virtual dialogue through this forum once again!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

That time I was kind of proud of my kid...

... for doing something he shouldn't have.

Today the boys and Malia were all playing downstairs. Mia was next to me, and Joey (our middle son) was goofing with her.  All of a sudden, she started screaming, Joey obviously hurt her. In a stern, and perhaps too loud voice I said, "JOEY  WHAT DID YOU DO???"  He said he, "Scratched Mia's arm".

As I was yelling (ahem, calmly disciplining) the other two boys ran up to see why their baby sister was crying.

"JOEY GET IN TIME OUT RIGHT NOW"- I said in the perfect whisper discipline voice (we can change things around to look prettier on blogs right?).

Joey was crying and began to walk to time out.

John Paul (our youngest) said, "Joey hurt Mia!" and before I could stop him he took OFF. I mean like a battering ram.  He completely leveled Joey to the ground. "YOU HURT MIA" he hollered.  Aaron was RIGHT behind him, "What did you do to my little sister!?!!?"

Meanwhile, I was holding Malia, trying to calm her cries.

"John Paul, Come here RIGHT NOW, JOEY GET IN TIME OUT"

After about a minute, everyone was in their respective corners and Malia's cries had settled.

Taking a deep breath I called John Paul forward for discipline.

But you guys. I'm not gonna lie. That's EXACTLY how I want my boys to react if someone hurts their little sister.  The immediate, almost animal like need to protect their sweet baby girl was awe-inspiring.  Is that wrong? I mean, I was legit proud of John Paul for immediately going after the person he thought hurt his sister.

I asked John Paul to sit for a minute, because I seriously had no idea how to discipline a situation like this.  You should have seen how hard he pushed him to the ground!

I next called Joey forward to explain to me why he scratched his sister.  "I was playing with her," he whimpered, "she was laughing at me, and then started crying".  I asked him to show me EXACTLY what he did.  He ended up showing me that he bent her finger back, which very easily could happen in play.  Joey said he was so sorry for hurting his sister.  He looked at Malia, apologizing in the cutest little boy voice you can imagine, breaking my heart with his cuteness as he ended with, "will you forgive me????"- (SHUT THE FREAKING FRONT DOOR).

Back to John Paul, my gentle giant. My 10 pound 11 ounce baby, who wears size 3T clothing and is just a brick house all around.  Could I really fault him for laying someone out who he thought hurt his sister?!?!?!  What would Jesus do people, what the heck would Jesus do?!?!?!

I ended up telling John Paul that I was proud of him for defending his sister.  I affirmed that no one should make his sister cry without hearing from her brothers about it.  I told him he shouldn't push his brother though, brothers don't hurt each other.

And that my friends is the day I was kind of proud of my kid (John Paul) for doing something he shouldn't have done (ramming his brother to the ground).