Saturday, July 30, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: Revival

I am laying in bed next to my little guy who is having a restless night. The few times I've tried to get up to go shoot some zombies with my husband (don't worry, there isn't an outbreak just playing some left4dead2), Dominic senses that I am thinking about getting up and lays on my head, wraps his leg around my torso, and puts his hand on my mouth. Thus I am still laying here.

So I thought to myself, why not quick take? It only been a bajillion months since I have and I love Jen's, and everyone else's. So here it is, the I can't get out of bed with a kid wrapped around me revival edition.

Today was good day. Doc and I spent the morning and early afternoon at work. He loves nothing more than to bug my co-workers and try to ninja their cell phones when they aren't looking (sorry Irene). But I was able to get everything done I needed to so I declare win! My co-workers, well I hope they can say the same.

It was beautiful and sunny today. I was down at our garden (which is at my in-laws a few blocks away) when the tornado sirens started going off. I repeat, it was beautiful and sunny so I wasn't too worried. I quickly grabbed some stuff I needed for dinner from the garden and was on my way home in the car. My husband then called and said to quick look outside and see funnel. Wah!?! I look west down a side street as I was driving a sure enough, there it was. All the neighbors were standing outside taking pics so I went up to a neighbor with Doc in my arms and said, is it touching down? It wasn't , but then I thought I saw it start to really rotate and I said to myself that I wasn't going to be one of those ppl who doesn't take it seriously so we went into the basement. A few mins later my husband called again and said it was gone. Fffew. It was so weird because the radar was clear. Ah well, I again declare win because I got to see a funnel without any harm coming to anyone. The high schooler in me that wanted to be a storm chaser was jumping for joy.

Today was also my dear MILs birthday. I invited my husbands fam over for dinner and being that it is also the very important holiday of National Lasagna Day, I made lasagna. One with Italian sausage and the other meat-free with spinach (since I abstain from eat meat on Fridays). Both were loaded with tons of fresh parsley and basil from our garden. YUM! My MIL said it was better than the lasagna she got at some fancy restaurant so I'm sorry but I think I need to declare WIN again.

Just because I WIN doesn't mean you lose.

I think I might try and sneak out of bed to kill some zombies now. Have a great weekend! Made it just in time to still be Friday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Real Feminist Revolution

It's NFP (Natural Family Planning) Awareness Week
so how I could I resist talking about it just a little.
I've talked before about why we don't use birth control.
You know, the carcinogens.
NFP has liberated many women from the chains of the pill,
but there are many like me, who through no grace of my own,
thankfully never started.
I am so grateful to be Catholic and have a Church who in Her wisdom spoke about this topic way before it was ever a widespread issue.
Because the Church says so, is really why I used NFP to start.
It was the only reason I needed.
The cost and the safety, though no small thing, were just happy side effects.
One thing I really didn't anticipate though, was how aware of my body I became.
For a culture that is all about the women's body, we are so clueless.
When I started learning how to use NFP I couldn't believe that I hadn't heard all this stuff before.
I mean, I attended public high school where we spent a whole semester in health class.
Sex ed at it's best right?
Why hadn't I learned about the fertility cycle and its signs?
Seems pretty basic.
We certainly learned about artificial contraception.
My only conclusion is the teachers and/or the people who make the curriculum either simply don't know, or don't care and are trying to push their agenda.
But I fear the problem is worse than this.
People in the medical field don't even know this stuff.
I will never forget when I realized I was pregnant (the second time).
I called the  women's clinic I was going to, to schedule an appointment.
 The conversation with the nurse went something like this:
"Hi I would like to make an appointment. I am pregnant!"
Nurse: "Okay when did you take your pregnancy test?"
Me: "I haven't taken one."
Nurse: "Well then how do you know you are pregnant?"
Me: "Well we practice NFP and after my fertile time my temperature stayed elevated for two weeks which of course means I am pregnant and also I am never late, actually my cycles are always 28 days and..."
Nurse: "Um, perhaps you should go get a pregnancy test."
Me: "No thanks, I know my body and I know I'm pregnant."
Nurse: "Okay I guess we can just do a pregnancy test when you come in."
Have we really come so far in medicine and technology that the most basic human functions and instincts don't matter any more? It's the same with childbirth (stay on topic Dacia, that's a rant for another day).
The truth of the matter is, the women's body is AWESOME.
The way everything works, the fertility cycle, hormones, labor and childbirth, breastfeeding, etc simply make me marvel
at the magnificence of the Divine Creator.
So my question is, why don't know people know about NFP?
If our society's teachers and doctors don't know (or care)
how are people going to learn?
For me, it was a Church crying out in the wilderness.
For others, it is an effort to "go green"
and remove harmful chemicals from their lives.
But one thing I do know, is that those of us who NFP need to speak about it.
Yes it is personal, but it is literally a matter of life and death here.
If you haven't heard of NFP before, look it up.
It may seem daunting, but it really is quite easy if you are dedicated.
Trust me, there is even an app for it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

An Act of Will

At Fatima, our Blessed Mother asked that we make reparations for sinners,
for our own sins,
and for those who do not believe, hope, adore, and love God-
especially in the most Blessed Sacrament of the altar.
She taught the children saying,
 "When you make some sacrifice, say 'O Jesus, it is for your love, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'"

Fr. L. was recently speaking with our Jr. High kids and sighted this prayer.
He said that when you have to do a chore,
act of humility,
or just something your really do not want to do,
say this prayer.
"O Jesus it is for love of You and salvation of souls that I do this."
He said that just this simple little prayer
can be the grace a soul needs to get to Heaven.
It really struck me.
A soul might make it to Heaven because I did the dishes when I didn't want to.
Because I was awake with my son for the fourth time that night.
Because I cleaned my house today.
If I just offer up these everyday occurences to Heaven-
Oh what God can do with those offerings.

And a happy side effect, is it makes these chores not so bad.

So today, tomorrow, and the day after...
my dear Guardian Angel help me remember to pray
"O Jesus, it is for love of You, and salvation of souls that I do this."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Working Mom?

My whole life, the only "job" I ever wanted to do, was to be a stay at home mom. And to be honest, I still dream about it for when we have more children...but for now, I have to work and that is okay.

When I was pregnant with Dominic I felt called to take a class called "Catechetical Leadership" through our Diocese. Although I didn't really know why at the time. I worked full time at a Catholic Pilgrimage co. and Catholic Store for the past five years and I loved it, but after our baby was born this job was no longer going to work out. In the Catechetical Leadership class I learned about youth ministry and religious ed and got a lot out of it. A fellow classmate told me often that her Parish (where my class was offered) was in need of a part time Youth Director and she thought I would be good for the job. Even though I have been involved and helped out with youth programs for years, I had never run the show before and wasn't sure it was something I could do. But I felt God pulling me towards it, so after much prayer and discussion by my husband and I, I applied for the job. I went in for an interview at 8 months pregnant and gave what was probably the worst interview ever. I told Father that I didn't know if I even wanted the job or if I would be good at it, and that I didn't believe in daycare so that I would be bringing my child with me while my husband was at work. I felt I owed it to him to be completely honest. He was so nice and after we spent a considerable time talking about Liturgy, said "you keep praying about this job, I will keep praying, and together hopefully we will discern God's will." Dominic was only a week old when Father called and offered me the job. I was shocked, but grateful. I spent the next few weeks getting to know my newborn, trying to get him to eat, and loving every. single. second. of motherhood. When Dominic was just 7 weeks old, I went to the Church office for the first time, with no idea what I was doing.

Fourteen months into my job as Youth Director, I still feel lost at times. It has been hard to get things going, but I know I am where God wants me right now. Fr. keeps saying to me "don't get discouraged". It is actually pretty easy to stay positive because the few kids that are coming to things, are wonderful and so much fun. They make my "job", not even feel like a job. To be honest it feels weird even calling it my "job" because in addition to being so much fun, spiritually I have been getting so much out of it.

It is hard sometimes to balance being a mom and wife, which is my primary vocation, with my "job" as a Youth Director. My house isn't always clean and dinner isn't always on the table when my husband gets home. A good portion of my events are at nights and on weekends so Dominic and daddy have nice alone time. This was much harder when Doc was nursing all. the. time. but now that he is 16m (and is still nursing, but is okay without for quite a while) it has been a little easier. Lately he has been spending some time with Grandma Wells, but the rest of the time he just comes with me. I wouldn't lie though, I don't like leaving him. Ever. Even though I know he is in great hands and that I am doing what God is asking of me. What can I say, I like him. I don't want to miss a second. He is growing so fast and is so much fun!

So I guess technically, I am a working mom because I do work part time. I just hope I am giving my best to all these people who mean so much to me (my family and my Parish). I pray that I am always open to God's plan for me, whether it be continuing as Youth Director for many, many years, or joining the stay-at-home ranks. St Gianna Molla, pray for us!

An example of the cute things I don't want to miss. :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Most Funnest Ever

Our little guy LOOOOVES the water.
In the bath tub, sink, dog bowl, kiddy pool, puddle, toilet (gross!!)
really anywhere; he isn't a water purist.
So on the list of things to do for my husband's week off this week
was to go to the local pool.
It was so much fun.

 We swam in the big pool for a while
and he was having the time of his very short life.
Geoffrey and I tossed Dominic back a forth,
and played peek-a-boo hiding under the water.
The whole time he tried to get free to swim by himself.
We loved every second.
The joy on Dominic's sweet face was priceless and something I will never forget.
I can honestly say, that I think it was the most funnest day ever of Dominc's life.
And how special it was, for our little family unit.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Laundry Fail

Warning, details may be slightly exaggerated for dramatic effect.

I did two loads of laundry tonight.
A rare occasion; we usually just febreeze our clothes.
After about 3 months I decided it was time to wash.
I pulled the first load (whites) out of the dryer only to find somehow a black marker, which I have never seen before, had been in there and got black dots all over every. single. piece. of clothing. Great.
Then I went down to the dryer to check the black clothes and what do I find? My husband's mp3 player. The one time I forget to check the pockets!
Needless to say, I have learned my lesson. We better start buying febreeze in bulk and magic eraser pens cause I am never. doing.  laundry again.
Other than that, we had an amazing day. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Good Food, Good Company, Good...

The 4th of July is one of my favorite secular holidays.
Obviously for reasons of our Independence as a Nation,
but also for the gathering of family and friends.
We have been sick lately so I wasn't sure it was going to happen.
I mean, our celebration of it not the holiday itself.
On the mend now, I am sure glad we were able to have people over
to grill,
play bags,
and just enjoy company.

Introducing the world's greatest Bags player:
And of course, we went to our town's fireworks which despite not having any cool shaped fireworks like say, Abraham Lincoln's head (I swear it happened once...),
were pretty darn amesome!
We weren't sure how Dominic was going to handle them
but he loved it!
He was clapping, and oooing which was so fun.
I think I watched his reaction to the fireworks more than I actually watched the fireworks.

Praise God for a beautiful day!