Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Indeed

Last Christmas I was expecting, and what a joyful time it was. I felt such closeness to our Blessed Mother as I awaited the birth of my child. It gave Christmas a whole new meaning to me as I felt my baby move and wondered when it would come, what it would be, and how this would change my life.

This year was a whole new experience, and a wonderful one. On Christmas day when everyone was sitting down to eat a wonderful Christmas dinner, I was in the other room rocking my baby to sleep, putting him down for a nap. For a second I wished I was out eating dinner, and then I decided I was going to enjoy the quiet Christmas moment just me and my son. And what a blessed moment it was! I meditated again on Mary and her sweetly holding her newborn Son. Gazing at his beautiful face, and thanking God for such a blessing I was grateful for spending my Christmas taking care of my beloved son and again I felt such closeness to our Blessed Mother. What a gift.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Breakfast Time!

Today was one of those moments as a mother that I want to remember forever. I made Dominic pancakes for the first time! It may not seem like a big deal, but I see taking the time to make breakfast as a mark of a good mom. I was blessed to have a stay at home mom who is an excellent cook, a genetic gift I like to think she passed to me. :) Sure some mornings we had cereal, but quite often my mom made those yummy breakfast foods; waffles, french toast, cornmeal mush (my fav!), crepes, egg muffin, etc. Everything, no matter how big or little the effort was made with such love, also known as bacon. But today, making pancakes really hit me as a special moment. It was a little "I love you" to my precious growing son. We may have a busy day ahead of us, but let's take some time in the morning to sit and eat yumminess together. I hope one day it means as much to Dominic as my morning breakfast memories do to me. Thanks mom!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ode to a Crockpot

Oh crockpot so big and perfect
where have you been?
Packed away in a box.
I have missed you.
But today is a new day and you are back in my life.
Oh what joy!
I throw a bunch of food in, and you make it tasty.
We have many happy days ahead of us.

Ham and bean soup.  YUM!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

When Dominics Attack

It happens without warning...

One day you are just walking down the street...

Or eating dinner...

Or maybe even spending time with your family...

And then...


A Dominic attacks you!

This is a very serious problem in our day and age,
one that must be addressed. 
Yet no one is talking about it and I ask you why? 
I have a theory.
Perhaps no one is talking about it, because they are wishing and hoping that maybe one day, if they are lucky, nay blessed enough...

A Dominic will attack them.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol 3)

Happy belated Thanksgiving all!  I had a great one, and boy do I have a lot to be thankful for this year. My loving husband, my cute and precious son, my wonderful Parish and job, my family and friends, and the new roof over my head!  Mostly of course, I am thankful to God for loving me, and continuing to forgive me.

I was blessed to get two Thanksgiving feasts! The first was at my Aunt and Uncle's on my dad's side and the second is with Geoff's family. The food and company was great, and boy were we exhausted afterwards! Dominic ate lot's oh mashed potatoes and even tried sweet potatoes for the first time.  He loved them. He even got to suck on a turkey bone.  Yum! 

Continuing with the holiday fun, today was the 4th? annual Ginger Bread House Party! It is a tradition my dear sil, Robyn started a few years back and has become something I really look forward to every year. Last year I was sick so this year has been building up in anticipation for me and let me tell you it did not dissapoint. I was really impressed with everyone's creations. I didn't get to make my own this year, but it was fun to help Dominic make his! Geoffrey so loving described it by saying "it looked like the Statepuff Marshmellow man threwup." I was such a proud mama! ;)  Next year though, watch out all I am back and I'm going for the gold! I better get planning.

Tomorrow is "fake" Christmas.  (My grandma hates when I call it that so hopefully she doesn't read this.)Since my grandparents go to Arizona every year for the winter, they try to beat the ice and snow and leave at the beginning of Dec. So we always (for the past 5 yrs or so) celebrate Christmas the Sat after Thanksgiving.  It is always such a fun affair with my Uncle Ron and Aunt Tina and their beautiful 8 children, and of course my parents and silbings.  I will miss Corey and Nikki though who flew the coup and moved down south.

Which gets me to thinking, the past few years Geoff and I got upgraded to the fancy dining room that is only used twice a year, I have a feeling we will get demoted to the kid's table again, but it is well worth it! Bring on the taters and squash! Dominic will make a mess all over Grandma's floor...

Today of course was also Black Friday and I'm happy to say I did not go shopping, but sent the day relaxing with Dominic. It was awesome. I always feel like I am going here and there and think it is a little much for both of us. But today was great. :)

It has come to my attention that it is well after midnight and thus no longer Friday.  Oh well it was Friday when I started.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Our Sanctuary

Last night was our first night in our new home!  After two months of painting, flooring, cleaning, etc it was well worth the wait...oh to sleep in my own bed again. We still have some stuff to finish, but now that the house is blessed it finally feels like home.  This is the place where Dominic will grow, this is the place where we will God-willing give him many siblings.  This is the place where we will curl up together to pray the Rosary as a family, watch movies together, and listen to daddy tell stories.
Christ the King
On Saturday Fr. L. went from room to room praying the Memorare, sprinkling holy water with exorcized salt in every inch of our home. About half way through, my husband got an overwhelming smell of roses. Our Blessed Mother was here to help consecrate our home and make it a sacred space! It is perfect actually that last night was our first night here, as it was the Feast of Christ the King, Christ who is the King of our household. May he ever reign in our home and in our hearts. Amen!

Friday, November 19, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol 2)

This has been a very exciting week!  4 friends of mine had 4 baby boys!  All of them good Catholic families so I'm thinking we must need some priests in about 20 yrs! Congrats to the Higham, Sifuentes, Marchese, and Eurke families!!

We got our carpet put in on Tuesday.  This was the last major thing that needed to be done in our house before moving in (other than the blessing).  Thanks Chris for the great house-warming gift!  It is beautiful and oh so comfy!!  And of course, like anyone would, the first thing I did was take a nap on it, and followed that with a little detailing:


Now that the carpet is in, Fr. L. is coming to bless our house tomorrow!  I'm very excited.  After all the hard work, this is really the most important thing to do before moving in. 

Got a lot of other little projects done at the house today; lined two cabinets with contact paper and re-covered two more dining room chairs.  These are two little jobs that took way too much time.

Last night I woke up to a weird vertigo spell.  For about an hour, everything felt really weird and was spinning.  None of that was as bad as the dreams that followed though.  I dreamt that I had to have surgery to fix the problem.  I got to the hospital and looked at my belly to see a giant worm moving around inside of me!  Yuck!  Apparently I got the worm while going to a chocolate tasting (much like when people go to wine tastings).  Don't worry, they got it out and I was fine.  This morning when I woke up, I still felt kinda weird and "fuzzy" but now I feel fine.  All I can hear in my head is Arnold saying "It's not a tumor!"

Next week is Thanksgiving!!  I love this time of year.  I love spending time with family, and focusing on all the blessings I have in my life, but to be honest, mostly I love to eat!  So, roast the turkey and mash the taters, because I is hungry.

It is Harry Potter day and I am happy, because it is part one of the end.  The key being the end.  I will be happy when it is over and I never have to hear about it again.  I know everyone loves it, but it just isn't my thing.  All you who do love it, I hope you enjoy the movie. ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The night with daddy...

In pictures!
This toy just isn't cutting it for a night with daddy.

Now that's more like it!                                              Oh no it's godzilla!!
Poor Worf!
(if you sang that, I declare major nerd alert)

Okay this is fun, but I really prefer to watch them on TV...
All alone.

Thanks to my husband for chronicling the night for me!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bring me my weapon!!

I keep one in my purse.

One under my pillow.
One in my pocket.
One in my car.
Sometimes I have one around my wrist.

I love the Rosary.

Over the years, this once monotonous prayer has become for me, a life line, a saving grace. "Blessed be that monotony of Hail Mary's which purifies the monotony of your sins!" -St. Josemaria Escriva

It is my every occasion prayer.  When I am sad, it comforts me.  When I am scared, it makes me feel safe.  When I am happy, Heaven rejoices with me!  I actually like that the Rosary is repetitive, and that I can reflect on the life of Christ while saying it, but it is so much more than even that.  When I pray the Rosary, I feel as if all of Heaven is at my finger tips.  There is such power in this beautiful prayer. 

A Dominican professor in Rome said "Our Blessed Lady made known to St. Dominic a kind of preaching till then unknown; which she said would be one of the most powerful weapons against future errors and in future difficulties."  Our Lady of Fatima said the if we prayed the Rosary daily, then there would be peace, in our families and in our world.

The other day I said to Geoffrey, "We really need to make sure we pray the Rosary every day, for the sake of our family."  He replied, "I do say it every day at work."  How blessed I am to have such a wonderful husband!  It was a smack over the head though because I do not hold up my end of the bargain.  Daily Rosary is a must, I know this.  I love the prayer so it isn't hard, yet how often does my daily Rosary end before the first mystery because I fell asleep?  Too often.  "But when will I find the time??" my brain screams. Um, how about the 25 min. drive to work and back most days?  How about the at least 15 mins. I spend nursing Dominic every 2 hours?  Not to mention the time I spend holding and playing with Dominic.  You are never too young to start praying the Rosary right?  Oh, there is plenty of time, thus I declare war on "putting it off."

Sweet Lady of the Rosary, pray for me.  I hope to spend a lot more time with you...

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's just so fun!

Having a little one sure makes every day an adventure.  I have to say, I love it! Can you imagine if adults where like babies, doing something new and exciting every day that we couldn't do the day before?  I guess we experience new things often, they just aren't as exciting.  Although I do remember things like the first time I road the train-which was when I was in college, and how excited I was, but it is nothing like this. Tomorrow Dominic will be 8 months old, and almost every day for those 8 months he has done something new or experienced something for the very first time.  For instance, he had never eaten carrots before tonight. Two weeks ago, he couldn't crawl and then all of a sudden he could! Last week he had 4 teeth and now he has 7, soon to be 8!  Probably these things aren't so amazing to someone who isn't his parent but as my husband said this evening while Dominic was munching on a cooked carrot "It's just so fun!"

Friday, November 5, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol 1)

We have been working on our house for about two months.  No matter how hard we work it just seems to drag on and on.  Now we are so close to being done, I am so very excited but getting worn out.  Hopefully I can muster up enough energy to move and organize. Finishing touches are a must!

I have to admit today is a little sad, it is Friday and now that it is November and cold all the garage sales are gone!!  What am I to do?  Robyn, (my garage-saleing partner in crime), do you feel my pain?

Once our house is done I am very excited to do all the decorating.  I have been accumulating stuff from those garage sales and re-sale shops over the past few months (really for years) to put in our house.  I bought fabric to cover our dining room chairs and to make some curtains.  The "finishing touch" I am most excited about though is picking out what pictures to get printed and hang!  There are some many great ones of our family, I could cover a whole house.

Today is my best friend's (Amy's) due date with their first child.  It as me thinking about the anticipation of the birth of Dominic and my due date back on March 9th.  I remember going to bed on March 8th at 11:30pm wondering if tomorrow would be the day.  I woke up at midnight with the first of my labor pains!  Dominic was born at 6:14 am.  In hindsight, I probably should've gone to bed earlier on the eve of my due date, but I've never been able to get in bed early enough.  Even so, it was one of the best nights of my life. :)


Almost 8 months now, Dominic is officially mobile.  But it appears the only reason he is "crawling" is so he can get to something and pull himself up to standing.  The days of carefree leaving baby in the other room while I do something are over!  While I am a little scared, watching him grown and learn new things has been the coolest thing ever.

Last night Geoffrey, my loving husband, spent the night with our little guy while I was at youth group.  He always does such a good job taking care of his son when I am away (which isn't often).  I got home last night and our little guy was in bed!  I don't think that has ever happened before.  Kudos daddy!!

Speaking of last night, we had Jr. High Youth Group and it was lots o fun! (I am a Director of Youth Ministries for a wonderful Catholic Church.)  Our priest takes very seriously his call to be spiritual father to the Parish and as such does most of the teaching.  Last night he shared the Holy Father's message to youth from Oct 31, and it was amazing!  He spoke about how there is so much more to life than what we see here, and to not be afraid to step out from the mold to be something truly wonderful, a child of Heaven.  It was funny though, I realized that when Fr. L. teaches, I get so much out of it, maybe more than the kids.  I am grateful to have such a wonderful teacher and the kids are so blessed!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pray for Your Dead

The Tridentine (Latin) Mass today was a beautiful and solem requiem. The altar was draped in black, and so was Fr. 

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen." -Prayer of St Gertrude the Great

Today's feast is a reminder that our dearly departed need us.  So often when someone we love dies, we cannonize them, remembering just all the good things they did.  But it is arrogant to presume that anyone (other than the Holy Saints revealed to us) has made it to Heaven.  We hope that they are not in Hell, but rather that they are in Purgatory, waiting to join God in eternal life and complete unity.  Don't forget about them!

In Fr.'s homily he recommended that today is a good day to take out the old photo albums and share stories of our family members who have died.  And just because we didn't know a family member (perhaps a great great grandparent), doesn't mean we shouldn't pray for them.  Praying for all generations of my family today, those who have died, those now on Earth, and those to come.

       "Eternal rest, grant unto them O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Out in the Country

For the past 6 months I have been living out in the country on the farm where I grew up. Very soon we will be moving into our house and whereas I am so excited, I will miss being out here.  I simply love it.  It is so peaceful and tranquil.  Seeing the night sky in all its glory from horizon to horizon never gets old.  Nor does looking at all the beautiful trees that my grandpa and dad have planted over the years.  I remember when I was younger, I hated it.  I was so far from my friends and it took FOREVER to get to town.  In the summer, I would get to go to town once a week, for Church, and we would do everything in one trip so we didn't have to go back.  During the week my friends would be going to the pool and I would have to stay home and tend to the garden.  Of course now, I am so grateful for the blessing of growing up among such beauty.  Out here, it is so easy to see and speak to God.

Here are some pictures I took these past 6 months.

The sunset down our driveway.

This screams summer in the country to me.

I don't know why I love this one so much.

Old school machinery.
And of course my cute little Dominic. 
He is sitting in front of an old windmill that blew over in a violent storm when I was little.  It was beautiful when standing, still is, now overgrown with raspberries and weeds.

Someday, be it God's will, I hope to end up back out in the country.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

To Keep a Tidy Home

It has been 6 months, six long months since I've had a home of my own to tend to and take care of. Our house is almost ready, and I'm so excited to be moving in and have a place of our own again, but there is one thing that looms on the horizon...dun dun dun...housework! Cleaning, dishes, cooking, laundry, yard work, etc. I don't loathe doing all those things, like cooking! I love to cook and am anticipating the day soon when I once again fire up my crock pot (best invention ever! don't tell the shamwow I said that). Since I know how I have been in the past, I seem to let things get away from me. Now I have grandiose ideas of how I am going to keep with it all and stay organized. For instance I am going to have a chore calendar for myself- do certain chores on certain days every week. Like instead of tackling cleaning the whole house in one day (which is what I stupidly do), I hope to dedicate a room to each day of the week! Anyway, I say "grandiose" because it is going to take serious dedication for me to stick with it. BUT no matter what ideas I come up with, it is all for naught if I don't offer my day to Heaven. Our Lady of Schoenstatt has taught me to say, "Blessed mother, help me get done today what Heaven wills." I often forget this, perhaps I should write it on my kitchen wall. I also found this prayer recently which I love!

Lord Jesus,
You chose to come to earth and share our human condition,
and You lived as the Son of a simple humble carpenter.
You knew what it was like to work,
assisting Joseph in the carpenter shop
and helping Mary in the home.
Grant me, I beg You, the grace and humility,
perseverance and fidelity I need to fulfill my daily duties. 
Remind me, as often as necessary, that there are no small jobs,
But only small and mistaken attitudes,
and show me how everything I do can bring me closer to Your kingdom.
I offer You all the chores and duties,
labor and efforts,
And successes and failures of this day.
Please make them holy, that they may be a source of glory or You 
and a source of grace for me.  Amen.   

I would love your ideas and suggestions. How do you stay organized and keep a tidy home?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Remembering Ellen

Yesterday (Oct 19) was the 1 year anniversary of the due date for our first child. Though she was only with us for a few short months before the miscarriage, I think about her often. It was so exciting to be pregnant with our first, and of course we expected everything would go perfect. It was devastating when it didn't turn out that way.  One moment I was pregnant, and then I wasn't. I found myself still dreaming about what it would be like to hold her, and what she would have looked like every day. At first people were very supportive but then I guess they figured I moved on, but I hadn't. Even to this day whenever I mention her I can tell people don't know what to think. I am so blessed to have my husband Geoffrey, who mourned with me.  For months, we were sustained by praying the rosary together and going to frequent adoration. It drew us much closer to one another and to God, and for that I am so grateful to Ellen. Dominic will grow up to know about his big sister in Heaven. I know she is praying for us as we always ask for her intercession and because of her, we will receive such graces! Thank you God for her brief, but precious life. I can't wait to meet her one day, I'm sure she is beautiful!

In memory of Ellen Mary Wells (Also known as B-Dub).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

All Yours

I am Yours by St Gemma and Dacia Wells

I am Yours o Jesus.  I am Yours o Jesus.
But You have good reason to complain about me yes I have offended You.
And, undeserving as I am,
I should be obliged
to give back to the Altar
so many stolen Breads, and so much precious Blood.
But I promise You that I will make amends.
Open Your heart to me Open Your heart to me
I wish to place all my affections there
Jesus I love thee, Jesus I love thee
Open Your heart and I open mine to You.
By why do You act towards me with so much love?
While I offend You with countless ingratitudes?
This thought alone, if I could but comprehend
should be enough to turn me into a furnace of love.
Open Your heart to me Open Your heart to me
I wish to place all my affections there
Jesus I love thee, Jesus I love thee
Open Your heart and I open mine to You.
Is it not an irresistible love to love Him who is not angry with one who
always offends Him so? O Jesus, if I only considered attentively Your
immense love for me, how greatly I should excel in every virtue! Pardon me,
O Jesus, so much carelessness; pardon such great ignorance. My God!
Jesus my love, infinite Goodness!
What would have become of me if You had not drawn me to Thee?
Open Your Heart!

This was recorded about a year ago at Daniel's Den.  I wanted to put up a new vid but our good video camera is somewhere in a box, where I do not know. Doh! Anyway this is a song I put together of the beautiful word of St Gemma Galgani. She is my favorite Saint because of her immense love for Jesus, and someday I will share how she clawed her way into my life. St Gemma, Pray for us!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Here I go...

Well after years of wanting to start a blog, finally the time has arrived.  I'm not really sure what this will be, but I promise it will involve my music, a cute little baby boy, a wonderful husband, a little humor, and most of all, my faith. 

The name of my blog (Praying Twice) is derived from the famous St Augustine quote "He who sings prays twice." I love to sing! I do it all the time, in fact today whilst watching the Bears play (or attempting to play) my family and I turned the game into an Opera.  I assure you it was Tony worthy, well at least Youtube worthy. When I'm not singing Da Bears Opera, I sing old Church hymns or original songs that have flowed from the depths out of my Catholic heart. More than just loving to sing though. it is a prayer. It is a way God speaks to me and I to Him. And since the goal is to make my life a prayer, I guess I could say that my life is a song.  My life is full of joy and I hope to share a little of that with anyone who is willing to listen, err, read. Welcome to it.