Friday, March 31, 2017

7QT we made it through March edition

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
You guys!
We made it through March.  This month was SO BUSY, I've kind of been worried about it for awhile.  But, as with most things, the worry was silly because everything went fine.
Ministry was amazing.
2 School retreats
7 Confirmation Retreats
2 Lenten Evenings of Reflections
A very fruitful month where the Spirit of the Lord was so present. I feel thankful to be able to do what I do, and for the most part stay home with my kids.  But man, I am excited to have a weekend with just the crew...next weekend...
Confirmation Retreat for Dayzzzz
....because this weekend is the Michigan Young Adult Conference where yours truly has a keynote.  Let's pray it goes well and I don't
...make up facts about Jesus that aren't true (sometimes I do that on accident)
...or forget basic theology (sometimes I do that too)
... or begin quoting a document from the Church and forget the actual quote without having it written down (that's happened)

Controversial Catholic Cry Room Opinion Ahead.
Did you guys see Kendra at Catholic All Year's Post about cry rooms?
It was good. 
It basically said that cry rooms should be for adults who insist on total quiet in the sanctuary and the sanctuary should be for people who don't mind the noise of young Catholics (babies/toddlers). 
But some of the comments were annoying.  Two things in particular...
The 'Places of worship should not have cry rooms, babies belong in Church' argument.  I get the theory, I really do.  But the thing is, cry rooms are an absolute save for people like me, or people who were like I was.  After John Paul, I had three kids under the age of 3.  I needed cry rooms during a particular season in my life, especially if I had to go to Mass alone.  And when kids are melting down and screaming, cry rooms are a great place to go.  Cry rooms are sometimes necessary just for the sheer containment aspect.   We actually don't love worshiping in spaces without cry rooms, because one of us generally has to leave with a screaming kid and the other has to manage the rest.  I get the idealistic, 'Children belong in Church' but I like to take out my screaming kid.
Ugh, you guys with the self-righteousness. I would NEVER go to a cry room. I HATE cry rooms. CRY rooms are for parents who don't care about their kids and let them have SNACKS! And TOYS! and CRAYONS! and RUN AROUND.
Staaaaap with your self-righteous judging.
Here's the thing.
I've been evil eye'd in the cry room with by the woman sitting with her quiet baby on her lap.  It sucks.
I've had to manage my kids in the cry room when a parent is choosing to let their 7 year old play with cars and starwars action figures and it sucks.
But the "I would NEVER" or "we don't use the cry room because..." 
I roll my eyes at you.

I'm pretty sure I have a quick take that is word for word exactly what I am going to write, but I am going to write it nonetheless.
I cannot believe what I get accomplished in my home by 7:30 am.
The changing, the feeding breakfasts, the emptying/loading of the dishwasher, the bottles clean, the packing of backpacks and snacks and lunches, the getting all the kids in clothes, etc...
It's amazing.
And at 7:45 am, after the tornado of activity in our home, when I am left with just two kids... I take a long, deep breath.

We aren't going to Disney.
We aren't going to Grand Rapids.
We are going to Niagara Falls!!!!  With our whole crew.  In a SUUUUPER fancy hotel overlooking the falls.
And I am going to get a manicure and pedicure at the spa in the hotel while everyone takes a nap.
I'm also going to bring wine/cheese and crackers to munch on with my husband quietly while the children sleep at night.
There's a huge tub where I plan on soaking and reading a book each night.
I actually don't think we are going to leave the hotel.

Every Friday night we have pizza.
We call it pizza Friday. The kids eat the pizza and we watch a show together usually.
Every Friday morning I wake up thankful that I won't have to think about dinner.
Feeding kids is hard.
Harder than laundry.

 If you don't have one, get you a girlfriend you can meet at 10:00 am in Detroit to attend the Sacrament of Confession while you trade babysitting the kids.
So thankful for girlfriends of faith and receiving the shower of grace that comes from the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
If you haven't been this Lent, get on it.  It feels awesome.
SHOOT. I just remember I never did my penance.
These are the things that happen when you have many children and attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
I'll get on that right away :)

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

Friday, March 24, 2017

7QT state of affairs

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
I realized we have exactly seven members of our family, and there are Seven Quick Takes, and so, I will update you on each member of our family :)

The baby.
The baby is doing great.  She is big (shocking?!?! Not at all) and is staying active by beating the crud out of my insides with her huge limbs.  You know it's interesting when the ultrasound tech is like, 'whoa, that is one big femur'.  The last week has been much better in terms of being sick.  We are excited for her July arrival, and her siblings are already completely obsessed with her.

Malia Paul
She continues to rule the household.  She is saying more words, LOVES to dance (like, loves) and is our own little d-d-d-diva.  I've posted about this on facebook, but we've started washing her hair with just conditioner (WHO KNEW!?!?!).  It brings out the curls which is so adorable.

John Paul Francis.
Oh my gosh. He is a three year old. I never used to understand when people complained about their three year olds...
Now I do.
I have to be VERY careful with this one.  Because we tend to lump the oldest three together, it's VERY easy to discipline John Paul too hard because he isn't acting like the older two.  But, he's not the same age as his big brothers.  
His life is pretty much one revolving correction.  I think of my friend Mary's blog a lot with him (if you haven't read it, and you have a 2-5 year old, you're gonna wanna)... 
Lest you think he's all work, he's also so sweet. 
Er'time he gets in trouble he now says, "I'm so totally sorry mommy".  The 'so totally' reminds me of Zoolander, and melts my heart.

Joseph Michael.
Oh my Joey.  He gets sweeter by the minute.  For real, he does.
He has completely turned his behavior around at school.  He is our quietest kid, and by far our most sensitive.  His snuggles are still the very very best.
He LOVES to say his prayers and tell me stories about Jesus.
Joey is probably most excited about the baby. He knows she will be born right after his birthday, and is beyond excited about that.

Aaron Christopher II
"It goes by so fast"
Yup. We are definitely at the age where I've decided he can just stop growing up. I think from this point on, it's going to be the daily, painful reminder that it all flies by so much faster than we want it to.
Yesterday, the boys all went outside to play. The youngest two got cold and came inside.  Aaron stayed outside for 1/2 hour longer.  It's VERY unusual in my family to have kids play by themselves (how cool is that?), but he was just playing by himself.  I watched him out the window and couldn't believe how big he'd gotten.  He was doing lots of little boy stuff, kicking the soccer ball, shooting some baskets, playing with is cars... mundane things that absolutely took my breath away.
He saw me staring at one point, turned around and tried to show off for me.  Then he blew me a kiss.
Make the growing up stop.

Aaron Christopher I
my boo.
Aaron switched jobs, he was courted by another company and it was an offer we couldn't refuse.  He continues to work incredibly hard for our family, whilst being an awesome-ish husband and father :)
Yesterday, he came home from work and I was exhausted.  He told me to rest, he would take the kids out of the house for an hour or two.  I'm lucky to be married to a guy like him.
We are still in a standstill about our spring vacation.  He wants to go to Grand Rapids, I want to go to Disney. We will go somewhere in April, I think he's gonna win. I am bummed.

Life is good.
This month proved to be a bit more than I should have put on my plate in terms of ministry, but it's been such good ministry, that I can't say I regret it.  
Pregnancy is going well.  I look like I could deliver next week, and I have 3.5 months to go, so that's interesting.
I get tired a lot and out of breath more.  I lose my patience with the kids too often, but am trying to reign it in vs. giving into the temper.
I really want to travel the world.  Or at the very least go somewhere besides Grand Rapids... le sigh... one day soon.
I've got a great husband and five wonderful children.
Life is good.

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

Friday, March 17, 2017

7QT let's talk about some things

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
It's probably not nice to talk about behind people's backs in a blog.
Even if they are celebrities.
But can I just say, and you can draw your own conclusions... Emma Watson is becoming my new Anne Hathaway and that is NOT a compliment.

The last couple weeks have been rougher than usual with pregnancy (which is still way less rough than any pregnancy before). I am back to throwing up a couple times of day, which is a challenge, but the bigger challenge is in order to avoid throwing up I need to eat, and almost all food is pretty gross to me right now.
I hate that.
What do you eat when nothing sounds good?
Maybe you can give me some ideas.  Soup is working well, so is Ramen.  My gosh, what would I do as a pregnant woman without Ramen?

Speaking of getting sick.
This week at some point I was throwing up (I'm sorry, is this gross to you?) and I accidentally didn't  shut the door tight enough. 
Sweet John Paul came in and was rubbing my back, 'you sick mama?'.
Nothing like a sweet little boy to perk one up. 

I am itching to go on a vacation before the baby gets here.
Aaron is never excited about spending money.
We are at a stand still.
He's thinking stay-cation, I'm thinking 3 night disney cruise... we are on very different sides of the spectrum on this one.
Who will win?

No Wednesdays with the Wilkersons this week.  It was going to be on Thursday, but we watched 'This is Us' and then it was too late.  I did do Wednesdays with my boys, it was cute.  But what you didn't see (if you watched)  is I was hard core disciplining during it. I even sent one kid to his room in the middle of it.  If you were watching and didn't realize one kid was sent to his room and then apologized and came back... it pretty much means I am a rock star parent.
There was also some slight pinching going on to demand good behavior.
Basically, we won't be doing 'live with the Wilkerson children' again anytime soon.

O.M. freaking Lower case g.
We are watching the ESPN special/documentary on the OJ Simpson case.
It is captivating.
There are so many themes that are amazing me.
But, probably the most surprising at all... wait for it...
I can actually see how the Jury decided against conviction.
They were wrong, of course, but I finally understand why they reached the conclusions they did.
It's absolutely memorizing, if you're bored, you should watch it.

My girlfriend Erin had quite the scare yesterday morning with her son, Noah.
He had a Grand Mal Seizure and was taken by ambulance to the hospital.  
I can't imagine the fear.  She did an awesome job writing about it and how much a person can take, but more important, how much God can take.  Click this link to give it a read, you won't be disappointed. 

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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

5 Things I'm All About...

... and you should be too.

My friend Erin has started a blog, and would like to expand it into a type of speaking ministry.  Erin has two beautiful boys here on earth, but also had the most difficult task of trusting two other sons to heaven.  Miscarriage and Infant Loss affect us all, whether directly or indirectly.  I think we, as a church, don't always do an awesome job of walking with people who are healing, and living with such a hard cross.  Erin would like to be a voice of solidarity and a voice of hope for the hurting. If you are a Priest, DRE, Pastoral Minister, Pastor, even a Youth Minister, consider speaking to your leadership about having Erin offer an evening of reflection for those in your parish who might have some sort of dealings with this very painful topic.
Also, make sure to follow her blog, We Wait Until Heaven... the first post was pretty amazing. I am excited to see the insights the Lord has given her and apply those insights to everyday life.

Another friend is helping to organize a special night, 'Michigan Shines of Autism'.  In the last couple of years, Aaron and I have had the opportunity to attend different fundraising events. We've found that for the price of one fancy date night, we can date at events that really make a difference.  These events make a difference both by raising awareness, but also through raising funds.  You know I love me some fancy nights, if you are in the market for one, consider this.  I think I would be hard pressed to find an adult who is not currently touched by someone living with the reality of Autism. I continue to be amazed at the advancement of therapies and developments in this realm.  Wouldn't it be cool to know YOU were a part of it.  Sign up, go have a fancy night o' fanciness.  

I told you about this, but Aaron and I have started 'Wednesdays with Wilkersons'.  We just kind of turn on our 'facebook live' button and go.  As you know if you read this blog, I do think there is something valuable about discussing the reality of day to day, not glorifying the hard, but not hiding it either.  Aaron and I certainly do not have a perfect marriage, but we are madly in love with each other, we love to banter back and forth, and we have fun with our friends/family.  This is just an extension of that. 
So, if you are free on Wednesday Nights... join us. 
This week's "Wednesdays with the Wilkersons" will be moved to Thursday.  We've got plans tonight, including watching 'This is Us'- and we are in charge, so we've decided to put Wednesdays on a Thursday. 

"This is Us" is the best show on television.
I didn't watch last night's episode yet, but we will tonight. If you don't watch, and someone haven't heard the hype. Hear it now and get on it.  It's SO good.

This song is amazing.

I first heard it at a youth conference, it was so good it made me cry.
I love how it points out the lack of power this world/satan has over us.  
If only we solely relied on Christ, wouldn't our whole view of the world be so different?
I want to live the words of this song.

That is all. 
Check it all out. 
It's good stuff.

Friday, March 10, 2017

7 Quick Takes with some cute pics

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
Yesterday, a friend messaged me...
"Do you have power? I hope you have power with four kids and being pregnant"
I thought she meant it in a 'how do you do find the strength to do it?' way (conceited much?).
So I responded that it's not power, it's grace.
And she was like, 'Ha, but seriously, do you have power?'
And again, I went on to explain it was more like grace.
I even expanded up on it, and how it can be hard when Aaron comes home late, but it's do-able.

I woke up at 5:00 am this morning and realized. She was legit referring to electricity, and was totally confused as to why I wouldn't just directly answer the question.


\Aaron and I are doing Wednesdays with the Wilkersons on facebook live.
This Wednesday I was probably a bit too bitter to be talking about the subject of unappreciated women.
So I am sorry for the man bashing.
Is that better erik?!?!?!
(Erik felt it was too complain-y)

Up at 6:00 am for prayer daily. 
It has worked 5 of the last 7 days.
Pretty sure I am going to switch it up though.  It's hard to pray when I can't even open my eyes.  

John Paul with glasses (that are not his). 
I cannot

I spend my mornings with these two.
How lucky a I? Seriously.

I say lucky. But I have been really cranky this week.
I am hoping this weekend to really deep clean our three bedrooms in our house.
I feel like that will make me less cranky.
The messes in these rooms make me feel cranky every time I enter them.
I should not let them get as messy as they are.
It steals my happiness.
I am reading, 'Resisting Happiness'  Have you read it?  How good is it, for real? I am only on chapter 3, but I am really loving how it's opening up the idea of self-sabotage.

Can I tell you what I am getting REALLY excited about even though it's REALLY far away.
My three night hotel/hospital stay when I have this baby.
I love hospital vacations so much, that I seriously get excited.
I get excited about the lighting.
And the low beeping of machines.
The quiet of mama and baby time.
The 'pick up the phone and have food brought to me'.
I know so many women cannot relate, but man. I LOVE the hospital after birth. I would stay there a week if they'd let me. 

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

Friday, March 3, 2017

7 QT... Am I the worst mom ever?

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
So Aaron and I facebook'd live this week.
I got a new phone and it's really fun, so I am using the new features/clearer pictures, etc...
On Tuesday I called Aaron and was like, 'should we facebook live?' and he said, 'I was JUST thinking about that'.  So we did!  It was fun.
And people didn't hate it (except for the people who did, and I get it, I do find it a little self-serving).
I think it's good for a married couple to have fun, and this is a way we can have fun. We are pretty notorious for our squabbles, so we decided to let our friends/family weigh in.
Everyone took Aaron's side.
Other takeaways...

1.  I was sitting WAY too close to the screen
2.  I breathe incredibly heavy, which is a pet peeve of mine, so I will try to breathe less intensely today.
3.  "Five minutes" probably isn't practical, especially when we are interacting with others.
4.  Interacting with others on social media is awesome.
5. I like my best friend, who I happen to be married to.

Did you watch?  We are going to do another one tonight!  TGIF with the WILKERSONS
8:00 pm.
See ya then.

\Are five year olds not the absolute best?
Aaron started reading.  I KNOW!  It's so adorable watching him sound out the letters, and comprehend sentences.

Do you pray?
I have an ultrasound today and while I am confident everything is fine, I always get a little anxious for these.  This will be my fifth c-section, and the concern is always if the scar tissue is choosing to play nice.  Regardless I have a great group of doctors, but, as you can probably imagine, I'm excited to hear 'everything looks great'!  
So, if you pray, will you say one for the appointment today.

This is how my joey was sleeping the other night.
Not a care in the world for this dude.
I don't mind him one bit.

Yesterday was an amazing day of ministry. Absolutely amazing.  I was blessed to spend the day with 9th and 10th graders, and the evening with the Women of St. Regis.
The evening was just awesome.  You know when the spirit is so present, you can really feel it?  It was one of those nights.  The women we were so lovely and receptive and I truly felt sky-high from our reflecting in faith together.  God is good.

It's cold again.
I'm not complaining.  We had an AMAZING couple weeks of AMAZING February weather, so I shall suffer through a couple more weeks of cold to get us to Spring, glorious Spring.

Wanna weigh in on our level of terrible parenting?  Because I can't discern how terrible we are being.
Aaron and Joey both have class field trips, maybe 3-4 times a year. We have always attended.  But the up coming field trips, we think we are going to skip.  
One is to a local aquarium.  We have been there before and not only is it almost 1 hour away, but it's super lame and super expensive.  To get a sitter, travel so far, andhang out in kind of a lame aquarium... just doesn't seem worth it to us.  
The other is to the zoo.  Although it might be fun to go, we plan on going to the zoo as a family in a month or so, and I'm not sure the kid really needs to go twice in a month.

What I can't discern is how mean it is to keep them from their class trips.  Remember, we have already done the other trips, we will do the final trips... but these just seem like a lot of effort, for a little reward.  And it's hard to logistically plan because siblings aren't allowed, between naps, pick ups, etc... the effort just doesn't seem worth the reward.  However, I'm just a bit concerned this makes me the worst mom ever... thoughts?

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