Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
At an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party (Yes, Keith is wearing a women's sweater)

Ephraim with Saint Nick

Ben with St. Nick, as close as he would get.  He's currently not allowing Santa or St. Nick to come to our house because he's afraid of his Ho, Ho, Hos. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Some peace finally

I've been getting bogged down with things not being as they are supposed to be, or at least what I want or what the picture of the ideal is in my head.  It's been a rough month and a half and finally yesterday, a priest helped me get out of it. Sometimes, confession isn't all sparkles and leaving with a new perspective and that is okay.  It's still necessary to do so, so that we keep on keeping on in this Christian walk of ours, however, when you do have that woah, God is awesome feeling, it just makes you so glad that you have the act in itself and that feeling Jesus really does care about us.

I can't go into too much detail because that would be airing a bunch of dirty laundry that I should not do, because what goes on the internet goes all over the internet.  But basically, I think that I was really struggling with wanting to change people so that my life would be so much better, at least in my head again.  I think I thought, if these people just did this instead of this, I would be so much happier.  But I was completely missing the point.

First, God loves us imperfect and all.  So he loves me and he loves you and he loves the guy down the street who just stole someone's purse.  I think for a while, I could never understand the mentality of folks that just came and went and didn't want to devote their whole lives to Jesus.  The people that may be registered at the rectory but never really come to mass except when convenient.  Those people bug me, but really that means all people bug me, because we are all a mess.  But it doesn't have to be that way.  My awesome husband, challenged me to think about the parable of the 10 lepers that were healed by Jesus.  Only one came back, but he still healed all 10.  And this is where I need to change my thinking because I want to follow Jesus, and if he still loved the people who didn't really want to say thank-you, I love you. I need to as well.

In something that I had heard many times, the priest told me the verse, "For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."Matthew 7:14.  But he explained it the reason that the gate is narrow is that so few chose to accept their cross.  And yes, this was me, I am failing to accept my cross.  I want to have what I see others having.  I was being prideful and selfish.  I wasn't accepting that maybe I was given this to be able to grow.  And I need to be at peace with that.  Because the peace will never come, I will keep feeling like the victim and I will keep feeling like all is against me, which is exactly in my mind what I was trying so hard to avoid. 

So my prayer this advent and probably this whole liturgical year is to really try to accept my cross, because then and only then will I find peace and courage and faith and strength.  Then and only then will I learn to love. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Breath of Heaven

"Breath of Heaven, hold me together
Be forever near me, Breath of Heaven
Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness for You are holy
Breath of Heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place?
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of Your plan
Help me be strong, help me be, help me" -
Amy Grant

After a year off, I went to a spiritual direction session.  It was good because, well, it made me get outside the chaos. It helped me to get perspective and see that I still really am trying to work on the same issues I have been. I don't need to be perfect and nor will I ever be.  I'm a work in progress and will be for the rest of my life.  But it was different because I am in a different place than I was last time I did this.  

The above song "Breath of Heaven" totally slipped through my radar for the past 20+ years its been around.  It wasn't until this past weekend when a choir performed it at mass, and there I was 27 weeks pregnant with two crazy boys overwhelmed with life till this song sunk in.  And now I'm crying every time I hear it.  But its a good cry.

I think for a long time I was taught that emotions had to be held in, that I had to be okay with everything and just be happy.  But the thing is this hasn't been good for me.  Instead of growing, it made me stuck, it made the anxieties too heavy.  I feel like I am just starting to grow knowing that a good cry is really a good thing.  God gets it and he understands.  He doesn't need me to be put together 100% of the time, or even 90% of the time.  He needs me to be me and be the best me I can be so I can love and bring God to the world.  So Breath of Heaven, do hold me together because well, I'm definitely not in control even if I so badly want to be. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, 2nd Sunday in Advent

Happy 2nd Sunday of Advent, or the Feast of the Immaculate Conception!  It was a crazy weekend, and we ended up at Saturday evening mass, so this is really WIWSaturday evening.  We had breakfast with St. Nick this morning and my oldest had Atrium, so we figured to try to minimize break downs we would try mass on Saturday. So here is the outfit. 

Sweater: Old Navy
Turtle Neck: Target
Pants: maternity hand me downs from my sister
Necklace: Target
Belly: 27 weeks

Check out more Sunday wear at Fine Linen and Purple!

And now for an out take...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Birthing from within take 1

So I'm finally reading the book the midwife gave me, Birthing from Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz. It's bringing up lots of things and I'm only 80 pages into it. If you are a boy reader and you don't like talking about birth, then skip this post. 

One major thing I like about the book is that it is helping me to see how this whole birth and healing process can really come together. Instead of being passive, I do get to have a role in all this. I mean I'm birthing at home after all. But the thing is even though I've said that since I've made this decision, I couldn't visualize it. I'm finally beginning to put some pieces together. I can actually name some places I would like to birth and others I would hate. For some reason my bed is one of them of the hate places now. Birthing on some kind of bed is usually the way I see birth in a hospital, and for some reason it was so not what my body wanted to do last time nor really for most of my first time. I'm an active birther and beds make me feel passive.

Next, a lot of this pregnancy I've find myself frustrated and stuck. I feel like I'm not able to do what I want to do physically, and it's not cutting it. Granted most times I'm in real pain but I think I can still change some things up and feel better about where I am at. I am going to at least walk every other day and take it from there. Stretching would be good to since this one seems to like to screw with the sciatic nerve.

There are definite fears this time around. Because, well even though this is the third go of it, it's a whole new experience in a new environment. And last time didn't go well. A lot of times I feel like I'm going to do something that isn't going to let a home birth be possible. But the thing is there are things I can do to check that things are going well. I can do the GD test. I can work on anxiety and thus lower BP issues around birthing. I can be honest with people about what we are doing in a positive way with home birth and I can actually have a before hand game plan of what to do with my children.

I feel like this time around a lot of unsettled issues have emerged again and well, I'm finally working on them. I feel like it's maybe because with number 3 my mom card is really gonna show and I don't want to be carrying any baggage with me into it. Also, I was a third baby and I don't want my third baby to have a scared mom but one who trusts in God. But pray for me in this because a lot of hurt and healing need to happen for this to really be full throttle.

So this is not the usual happy pregnancy post you see on the net, because frankly, I'm not there yet. But I needed this all to be out in words and maybe someone will see it's okay to not be as everyone else wants you to be.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hi again.

I actually did post another time this week, and have been keeping up the blog for the kids.  I removed myself from Facebook because for me people IRL are way better than what they present themselves on FB to be.  At least this is what I've learned in the few months since being off of it. I still do Twitter, because well for some reason it tends to be less of an issue and people are more real and less promoting of the unreal on there.

Anyway, on to the actual basis of this post, another WIWS!  I enjoy these and am glad that I finally am back into the swing of posting again.  I love the community and positivity that it creates amongst us women.  It's a cold hard world, but its nice to have something every Sunday were people encourage you and care (besides mass that is). Speaking of mass, we actually were able to meet another family in the parish through a small world connection.  The mom used to be a college roommate of one of my grad school roommates before I married Keith.  It was great to talk with her and she used the same home birth midwife for her fifth that I am going with currently.   It was good to hear such positive things because its definitely been a worry that it just won't go well since it didn't last time.

So here is the outfit, friends have made the comment that for some reason this week, I seemed to have  finally popped, what do you think? I'm only at 24.5 weeks, but I guess they might have meant that I actually look pregnant finally to them?

Undershirt: American Apparel
Shirt: Motherhood Maternity
Skirt: from my mom
Tights: Running tights inside out and repurposed
Shoes: Target, from last year on clearance

I hope you all are having an excellent Sunday or Monday or Tuesday depending on when you read this. Check out more WIWS over at Fine Linen and Purple! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Theme Thursday: Cold

Linking up for Theme Thursday with @celticmama6 today.
We got our first lasting snow this week, it was a bit early as a decent amount of trees in the area still have leaves.  But the littles thoroughly enjoyed romping in the snow and not caring one bit that it was "cold".

Sunday, November 10, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, November 10th edition

Linking up with the girls over at Fine Linen and Purple today. 

I sometimes have blog ruts and link-ups are one of the only things that keep me going.  But honestly, I think that is okay.  So for WIWS here goes:

Undershirt: American Apparel
Sweater: Borrowed from a neighbor. 
 (Please tell me I'm not the only one who borrows maternity clothes from friends?  I like doing this because then I get to have new to me wardrobe with every pregnancy without spending a thing.  I also make sure to return the favor to other pregnant friends.)
Skirt: From my mom from her old teaching days collection (she had some style as at teacher didn't she?)
Boots: From a clothing swap. (Honestly these boots are super high heeled for me, and for those of you who rock heels, more power to you, my ankles ached after 2 hours.)
Belly: 23 weeks and 3 days

And so there you have it!  This weekend I was also running a booth to try to recruit ladies to help out with our Elizabeth Ministry.  Yesterday's mass was trying, but today so far I was able to get 3 volunteers.  I have one more mass to go, so I'm hoping for a few more. On a side note, I realized how quickly folks leave mass once they are done.  It makes it hard to build community, and honestly easily building community is something that I miss from my Protestant days. But I guess I just need to persevere and get there slowly.  Three more people to help is 3 more than I had yesterday!

Check out some more Sunday outfits at Fine Linen and Purple!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

7 quick Takes

Linking up with Jen over at Conversion Diary for a lazy Saturday edition

1. Halloween came and went, we had a lot of rain and so we really didn't get any good pictures, and our costumes fell slightly apart by the end of it.  Lets just say that Elmer's glue is no longer sticky when it comes in contact with water. However, we did get to hang out with friends but unlike our normal adventures in our neighborhood, the wind and rain deterred a lot of houses from setting up so we didn't get to trick-or-treat to so many houses as we would as well. 

2. We made it through a 7pm mass last night with the kiddos.  They were a mess because it was late for them to be doing something that requires some discipline of themselves to sit stillish. Ben was just kind of limp when told to do anything and smuggled in a rubber band that he decided to make as a crane hook with all the mass books.  Ephraim tried to escape many times, and at one time managed to drop the kneeler in the pew behind us on himself.  I think we had to walk to the back at least 5 times with him and still dealt with a screaming E in the communion line.

3. I signed up the boys for a parent and child art class.  We enjoyed it yesterday a lot.  They introduced them to art appreciation and how to act in a museum and even had them distinguish composition to see if a bicycle could go in this or that painting.  To end it all, they got to paint with cars and trucks and tractors.  The boys loved it, and I was happy that it wasn't above Ephraim's capabilities as he is officially supposed to be 2.5 and he is just 2 now. They didn't let us take home our wet paintings, but we get them next week, and hopefully I will remember to take a picture or two of them.

4. When it came to Catholic book club this week, well, I didn't even try to put the boys in the childcare side.  They both hate it.  I don't know why completely, I can just rationalize that its an attachment thing and they aren't usually put into situations where they don't know the babysitters or the environment well so when they are, they revolt. It honestly makes perfect sense, but it sure is a struggle to fight the want to have them be like the other kids that seem to have no problem being separated from their mamas.

5. Lately when Ephraim ends a book that he is "reading" himself, she says "Amen" instead of the End.  It cracks me up every time.

6. I'm not sure if I ever said this, but Ephraim is no longer in our bed at night.  Sometimes he wanders over at 2 or 3 in the morning, but more days than not he will stay in his own bed in his shared room with his brother and its wonderful.  I feel like for us and him this was definitely the right time for him to be transitioned, any earlier and it would have been painful for me and him and we would have just been miserable. 

7. We started implementing more so the less snacks or no snacks a few hours before a meal time to try to get Ben and actually now Ephraim to eat more at meals.  It seems to be working, and the picky eater actually has to try to be less picky so he will eat.  We also are telling them that they don't get dessert until they have finished their plate, at least to the proportions that a toddler, pre-schooler should eat. It doesn't mean that I am awesome at doing this 100%, because I myself am a snacker.  But it is having me try to choose more healthy snack options since then I know if the kids do get a snack it is something that has nourishing components. 

Well, sorry there wasn't any pictures, but there you go. Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 28, 2013


1. I have figured out that somedays, I must slow down.  This pregnancy on many levels has kicked my butt, and one of them is sciatic nerve pain, which means slowing down and not pulling 70+lbs of children through the neighborhood or sometimes just not sitting on the floor.

2. We had a get away without children to Amish Country in Ohio last week. A rarity that probably won't happen for another 3 years or so, since I tend to do extended nursing and such.  It was super fun, just to be out of the city and in a small town where I don't know anyone. It didn't hurt that the cabin was fabulous with a great view.

3. I just read Simcha Fisher's NFP book.  It was a great read, because honestly I feel like even though we aren't in a rough spot in marriage, there is so much for us to learn about each other still and so much we can grow in our relationship.

4. We did Trunk-or-Treat yesterday at church and Keith actually won the best costume for an adult.  The kids got so much candy that I almost just want to give away their stash that doesn't get eaten before Halloween back out to the gazillion trick or treaters that come by on Halloween.

5. I went to a Jane Austen event yesterday with a friend and it was kind of fun.  I am honestly a terrible fan of her.  Yes, I've read the books, seen the movies, but I don't know the ins and outs of everything like some fans.  I think honestly in most things I am a terrible fan.  I love soccer, but barely follow the US National team.  I guess I just never am able to really devote the time to do so. However, I came out with a personal silhouette and a tiny posy bouquet which were fun take-aways.  I enjoyed watching the dancers, but I'm too much of a wimp to actually take part in it.

Anyway, I wish I had more to say, but this is all my brain can handle.  Take care until next time.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, The same thing as last time but different edition

I actually got it together for another WIWS.  Unfortunately, I own like 2 cold weather maternity dresses, so you get the same dress done differently here. Below is silly me.

We went to mass at another local parish.  We live in an area where you can pretty much choose a parish within 5 miles for whenever you need to go to mass. It's nice to have that convenience but at the same time you have to make sure you don't parish hop too much. Today we needed a 10am mass, which meant we couldn't go to our actual local parish, we ended up at St. Thomas More in Brooklyn, OH. The kids were pretty good, though for some reason the acoustics of the sanctuary where those that you could hear a pin drop, so we had to work really hard to make sure no one pretended to be a train during mass.  Somehow it worked okay. 

Outfit details:
Cardigan: Present from my mama
Dress: Motherhood Maternity
Leggings: Present from my MIL, my favorite thing to where while pregnant, I really want a pair or two more of these right now.
Shoes: My old and faithful Danskos

Check out more Sunday outfits for WIWS at Fine Linen and Purple! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Trying to get through it (Part 3)

I have struggled so much with this whole thing because well I felt like I should have been happy with a healthy baby and a healthy me.  I mean, physically we were great. And in those first few weeks, while I was mad at what happened, I didn't really have time to process it, and it went into the back of my mind while I powered through my husband being in school and taking care of 2 kids.

I went into my 6 week checkup with complaints and questions, but nothing got answered.  The only answer I obtained when I asked how this could be prevented again was that it was now on my chart. That didn't cut it, but what could I do when no one would give me answers as to why this happened?

At about 9 weeks post partum, I had a full fledge panic attack in the middle of the night. Oddly my husband had been up late doing school work and I just remember crying to him saying I think there is something wrong with me.  I think I tried to label it in my own head, that maybe I had PPD.  But now I know that wasn't it, I never wanted to harm me or my baby.  It was more like PTSD, but I didn't know that at the time. This didn't happen every night at the time, but gradually increased to not being able to fall asleep, I was terrified to fall asleep. 

This went on for a while, somedays I would sleep, others I wouldn't.  I went in sometime in April to see my doctor, I got the nurse practioner and they suggested that I take melatonin.  I did.  It became almost a crutch for me for a while, but I did sleep more.

When the time came that fertility returned and there was a possibilty of another baby I was a mess.  I couldn't fathom it at that time, I just couldn't.  I didn't know why, but I guess I just tried to put it behind me.  It wasn't until close to a year later that I could imagine a baby again.  But there were still a lot of questions in my mind.

I think at this point I knew I had to do something different, a home birth.  I was going against the establishment in my decision.  I told people it was because it was due to me sucking at getting to the hospital on time and me, liking to labor at home anyway. These may be true, but there was something more.  Simply what happened last time...could...not...happen...again.

I was scared to make this choice though because it meant I had to trust someone new again, but hopefully someone who wasn't going to let me down.  But knowing what I knew about homebirth midwifery, she was going to know that I was human.  I wasn't going to be able to hide behind my facade that I am so good at putting up for people.

It took me to the second appointment to completely fall apart.  But it was good.  She now knows where I am coming from, why this means so much and instead of not having faith in me.  She suggested some ways to get closure, not to force is but to try for it. She said some powerful words to me that have stuck with me, "You need to know that you don't need anyone to do this(give birth), you don't need me and you don't need them, you can do this all on your own.  This doesn't mean that I am not going to try my best to be there, but you can do this."

And I'm still processing that, because I've never thought of it in that way.  But I think it is helping, because God did design us to be able to do this, and while there are times where intervention is necessary, many times its not.  Many times, we just need someone to catch that baby and clean us up, at least that has been my case. And I know there are people on all sides of the spectrum when it comes to birth, and I think as long as you are informed and happy with your choice that its good.  I am just glad there is way to get through this all for me.

Go back and Read Part 2 or Part 1

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Trying to get through it (Part 2)

Ephraim was a good 8 days late. I was struggling this for many factors, basically I had a 5 day early baby last time and even to make it to full term was different. I think though besides just feeling the weight of the unknown, there was also the question of how was this going to end.

So as I said, I went into labor post taking a nap.  Probably a nap that I so much needed because well, I wasn't sleeping well prior to that. I woke up feeling sick.  I called my friend G and asked her she had felt this with the start of her labor.  I hadn't had this last time around, but as I found out every labor and every baby is different. This quickly progressed to cramping like contractions and full out labor.  I called my midwife's office, she said I could have come in at that point, but I said I had to wait till my husband came home to do that.  So I labored at home, giving my husband a heads up first, like I did last time with the inconvenience of a toddler jumping on me this time.

The labor was quick and hard so by 7pm I called the midwife on call again, Sarah, telling her we would be in shortly.  We quickly rearranged that Ben would go to the neighbors house because my in laws were in a concert for my BIL out of cell phone range.  And then headed to the hospital/birthing center.

We got there at little after 8pm. It was about a 30 minute drive to the hospital/birthing center for us. We checked into the ER which is where they take labor and delivery patients at that particular place. And we waited for someone to come down and get us.  It was definitely a good 30 minute wait down in the ER waiting room until someone came to get us.  The ER folks paged the L&D folks a few times because they couldn't understand why no one was coming to get us. When the nurse came, I believe she told us that she was waiting for the midwife to show up, and she hadn't yet.  She asked if I wanted a wheelchair.  I said no, that I could walk, because well my water hadn't broken, I was still lucid and talking normally, and maybe this didn't clue her in to how far along I was in my labor.

So we walked across the hospital, contractions along the way. We pass a statue of St. Gerard on the way, its a Catholic hospital btw. We get to the birthing center room, at this point, I'm pretty uncomfortable, but I manage to lie down on my side so she can check my progress. As soon as she checks I see the look on her face, total shock and kind of scared because the midwife still isn't there.  She goes to page someone to get the on-call doctor in here now.  I get up to use the bathroom, water breaks over the toilet.  The nurse yells at me because she says I should have stayed in bed.  Um birthing center, right?  I signed on for freedom of movement during it all.  Apparently, I wasn't going to get that.

The on call doctor comes in and immediately tells me to get onto the bed. She says I have to deliver on my back, the worst feeling position in the world at that moment.  Birth plan, thrown out the window from here on out.  All I can say, was that it was a good thing it was a second baby and I only had to push maybe 3 times to get him out.  If it was any longer I probably would have punched someone, because on top of all the mess, my husband wasn't allowed to hold my hand.  The on-call doctor told him he couldn't. My husband had been my rock last time, and well he wasn't allowed to do or say anything.

Post birth, I was bullied into a shot of pitocin, which, I was told later if the midwife was there it wouldn't have happened.  And while I know part wasn't on call doctor's fault, she was doing things the way an OB would do it in a birthing situation.  I just really didn't sign on board for all the non-control consents I felt like I was forced into then. And after that I was left alone pretty much.  They did let me feed my baby right away, they didn't weigh him right away like most hospitals would do.  So maybe that helped a little.  But my midwife never did show up during all of this.

It wasn't until 10pm that she, Sarah, did make an appearance to ask if everything was okay and then quickly made an exit.  So either at this point, because Dr. On Call had delivered my baby and she could no longer do anything, or she knew she had let me down. She was supposed to be there and she wasn't.

Now, part of it may have been how the hospital worked with the midwifes and never had them on call on site like they do a doctor, but there was plenty of time for her to get there and she didn't.

The next day, Cara showed up to greet us.  She told us of other stories about 2 of her patients not even getting to the hospital and having to deliver their babies on their own.  This might have been to make us  feel so fortunate that we had at least gotten there and were cared for by someone. But really it felt like I was again insignificant in the scheme of things.  Even though I had done my part, they had failed to do their part, and to try to play it off we tell slightly outrageous stories so that you can't say you were let down.

Read Part 1 here.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Trying to get through it (Part 1)

It's taken me a while to be okay with the pregnancy. Not that I didn't want it, or not that I would have ever considered ending it.  It's just that the last go of it was rough on me.  And while there wasn't anything wrong with me physically or with my baby.  My head wasn't and really still isn't.  My current midwife encouraged me to write it all down. I may have written bits and pieces of it. I may have tried to be okay with what happened, but the thing is I'm not.  It effected me enough that I had anxiety off and on the last two years and I have come to hate fall.  I have been a mess the last two falls, and well that isn't right.

You see last time, around things didn't go right. I was annoyed to say the least, but I didn't understand how much it effected me until I found myself pregnant with a third baby.  I mean I knew I had anxiety from Ephraim, but really his non-sleeping bit just probably was the tip on the iceberg. He otherwise was a rather fine baby. It was this time around that I found myself in a frenzy.  I could and probably still can work myself up so much that my heart races at ridiculous amounts that it shouldn't while being pregnant.  I am even awesome at raising my own blood pressure, not enough to be scary, but enough to know that something isn't right.

So what did happen?  Well I guess it came down to the fact that I was let down and made to feel like I didn't matter.  I had a great experience in my first birth with Ben that I had come to think that could happen again.  I had heard great things about this so-called birthing center. I wanted part of it, because I wanted as little intervention as possible again and well this was the place that was supposed to do it. This was the place with the midwife that was supposed to be amazing. To actually get the midwife that you saw with your pre-natal care.  A novelty to me, I had before hand been seen by a group that couldn't tell me who would actually be at my baby's birth.  Little did I know, the same thing was happening at the "birthing center" as well.

When I started going for pre-natal care, it was just one midwife, who we will call Cara, what I was signing on for I thought. Then after two more visits another midwife, let's call her Sarah, was added into the mix.  I was still okay with this. I figured okay, one out of two, I at least will have seen both of them by the time this baby was born. But apparently by the end of the pregnancy, the office had combined with another office and well, it was the same thing as the first go of it. And while I know this is the norm amongst medical practice now.  It shouldn't be.  Because honestly, for someone to get the best care, the doctor, or midwife should really know their patient. This rotation of caregivers to the patient doesn't allow that.  Instead they become a chart, a number mostly.

Near the end of the pregnancy, I still saw either Cara or Sarah.  Cara and Sarah couldn't agree on me.  One thought I was measuring very far off, and the other thought everything was fine.  Sarah, the one who thought I was measuring off by 5 weeks, sent me in for a late 3rd trimester ultrasound.  And well it came back that Cara was right, but honestly, this is the problem with group midwifery, not everyone has the same philosophy or style.  I ran into this a bit in my first full term pregnancy too, but it wasn't as extreme.  It just was more or less a personality difference than a non-agreement. So I got this ultrasound, which was completely ineffective for what she wanted it to be, but the ultrasound tech said my dates were approximately right.

Another odd, but important fact, was at one appointment at around 7 months in, Cara snapped at my toddler during an office visit. She yelled at him for playing with the bottom of a scale, not because it was breakable, it wasn't, the sound just annoyed her.  This made me so upset, probably more so than my toddler, but I held it in until I was in the car. I later called the office and talked to the office manager, Lisa,  about this incident, who had had her children with Cara attending. Lisa assured me that Cara must have been having a rough day and that she would not be like this at my baby's birth.  This however, did make me switch to just seeing Sarah for a while.

So I went over my due date, and lo and behold I had to sit through a non-stress test for the baby.  To make sure everything was okay.  I went with a toddler in tow, so you best believe that exam room was destroyed by the end as I had to sit tight for an hour. Because yes, the midwife, Sarah, the one who was so worried about me measuring off, forgot about me. Maybe this should have been a warning sign.

Eight days past my due date, I go into labor post taking a nap. (to be continued)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

What I Wore Sunday...It's been a while

It has been forever since I have done one of these.  A lot has changed.  A baby on the way and fall has come.  Today's readings were interesting to me, I feel like the parables seem to apply more now as an adult then they did in younger years.  I guess to summarize the message the priest gave today would be to try to put at least as much effort into our eternal goal of Heaven that we do on our temporal needs.  Considering I just was saying this to myself yesterday, it was okay God, I get it more time with you.

But here is the outfit, and maybe a sick kiddo or two.  The boys have hand, foot and mouth, so mass was a solo thing for me today. I enjoyed it except that I was a bit woozy at times which means I either didn't eat enough this morning, or my iron is low, which is probably very likely as it was borderline when it was checked.

Outfit details:
Necklace: Target
Tunic: Motherhood Maternity
Pants: Borrowed from my sister
Shoes: Sanita
Crazy Not Feeling Well Boys: Ephraim and Ben

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A maybe longish update

This blogging thing I do, really isn't a get people on my team thing, but an ongoing snapshot of what is going on in my life and those around me.  Like back in the day when we kept journals, well this is my journal. I would someday be able to give this to my daughter (God-willing I'll have at least one) or daughter-in-law so she can see how early motherhood was in my eyes, and maybe we can understand one another a little bit more. Anyway, here is an update, because well I haven't given one of those I feel in forever.

1. I ended up nursing Ephraim till he was 22.5 months old.  We quit for reals about 2 weeks ago, because really he was done and honestly I was done too.  I guess the motivator came when I started taking an allergy med that I wasn't allowed to take when still nursing.  If you would have told me that I would have nursed a child that long when I was starting out in this motherhood gig, I might have laughed at you.  Its odd how it all worked out.  I think in time it definitely got easier and well he needed it and it helped me to not resent him with his non-sleeping personality that we will get into later.  I think this experience overall made me realize I had more stamina than I thought, and that I started to care less of what people thought of me. With Ben, public nursing rarely happened, with E, it happened all the time, and well it just had to in order to keep going.

2. Ephraim is on a no nap strike and while it is hard, I think that it means he may be done.  I think its just that at the most when he naps right now its 45 minutes tops, and if he does that he is awful to put down at night.  I much rather prefer Ephraim easily asleep by 7pm rather than Ephraim awake till 9:30-10pm. It's just odd to say that because well he's not quite 2. He is little, but he is so different from his brother and well, in most of his life he hasn't wanted to sleep the same as him ever.  I do know he is getting enough sleep by his disposition and how he manages to sleep for at least 12 maybe 13 hours at night straight through.  Btw, this was the child who didn't sleep through the night till 20-21 months old. Yep, and we are having another.  Craziness I know.

3. I'm considering trying to get the boys and I involved in some volunteer opportunity that they can perhaps do with me.  I was thinking St. Vincent De Paul, since it is right down the street, but not sure if it is kid friendly.  Any thoughts?

4. I am going to try out homebirth for this third baby of mine.  Because well, I suck at getting to the hospital in time, I like laboring at home, and like to do natural childbirth.  So why not take the plunge?  I hope I can do it, I sometimes struggle with the idea I get in my head that I am not going to be able to do it for some reason, but I realize that negative thinking and so well, I figure I should spin it around to, "With God, I can do this!"  But if you could send some prayers up that I continue to be positive about that would be great. Btw, totally have a midwife and everything, just still a new experience for me, which apparently seems to be the way things go with me.  I can't do the same thing twice unless satisfied completely, this apparently includes childbirth.

5. I am currently a little over 16 weeks pregnant.  Still too early for me to feel kicks, I know some women do this early, I haven't yet, so still awaiting that.  I guess it was called quickening back in the day, correct me if I am totally wrong, as I am sure to be.  This pregnancy has had its ups and downs, the awful hit quick and hard, but since then has been much, much better.   If only I could tell my sinuses to calm down, we would be all okay.  I keep imagining a little girl with red curls this time around, but I could be totally wrong.  Any bet takers?

6. October is gearing up to be a busy month with a plane trip to Nashville to visit a friend, a trip to Pittsburgh to hang out with the grandparents, Ephraim's 2nd birthday, and an overnight in Ohio Amish country to end it all.  I have no idea how we got so busy so fast.

7. I signed up once again for a bible/religious book study where the boys come with me but play in another room.  I have really enjoyed these studies full of women really trying to live out their faith that are full of inspiration for me.  I hope this is another good book.  It is called The Ear of the Heart and its about an actress who decided to then become a nun.  I haven't cracked it open but I think it will be an interesting read.

8. Fall is always an interesting time, as everyone gets on a schedule again and with my kids being little, I sometimes feel left out of the loop.  That and we aren't doing 3 year old pre-school, at least nothing formally.  I have checked out Elizabeth Foss's storybook alphabet books, and have added a bunch to the list that we get every week or so at the library.  I think we are still on letter A, but does it matter anyway.

9. The kids have gotten into Starfall.com.  I randomly saw a tweet by Cari Donaldson about it, and I thought I would check it out.  The kids love it, so already we kind of have to limit the time they spend on it, but even Ephraim seems to be enjoying and learning from it.  All I have to say is Thank God for touch screens in this instance, we first tried it on the computer and they kept wanting to touch it on my screen, totally doesn't work on a laptop. But despite me being a luddite when it comes to kids and learning, I think that it is something that we can use as a tool for good and well it really can't be avoided completely in this life we live.

10. The boys have hand, foot, and mouth disease currently.  Ephraim has it worse.  Ben has had a mild enough case that I simply thought he had a clothing rash from detergent.  Not so, definitely was a virus.  Now I totally feel awful that he was hanging out with other kids that really could have caught it and well might be down for the count like Ephraim is for the next 5 days.

So that is all.  Hope you all are having an excellent weekend!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

And then there were more...

(title credit, Jeanine Spano's old blog. :) )

New arrival due in early March.  I'm not wanting to do a pregnancy post yet, so I will leave it at that.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

So I retired my Facebook.

I read the boys the story of the good Samaritan tonight at bedtime. Well I read it to Ben, Ephraim decided that pointing out all the Thomas trains in another book was better.  I didn't make the connection at the time, but it seems God was telling me something even in the chaos of a bedtime Bible story.

I went on to read a post about young girls not being able to give consent to rape by an older man by Simcha Fisher found here at Patheos. I was struck by how she called us all out.  Because well, she's right.  It is so much easier to blame the girl who is dressed all sexy at 12 or 10 trying to look 25 than it is to love her, to see the hurt or the want of love behind her actions.  It made me think about how good intentioned people like myself, may not have the best reaction to a teenager who just wants to fit in and dresses like society tells her with her short shorts and her low cut shirt. I may want just be annoyed with  her and her fashion sense, but she's probably just trying to fit in and definitely not trying to be raped by an older man. I was once that teenager after all, the one just trying to fit in, even if it was a decade and a half ago. Even so, it is much easier to judge than love.

So last week, I gave up facebook.  I didn't like who I was becoming, someone full of negativity.  I read yet another post this time by Calah Alexander found here again at Patheos. In it she explained that she didn't know she could be so mean in real life.  I feel like this is who I am/was being.  I am constantly finding myself judging and being annoyed with people instead of loving them.  This paragraph stuck out particularly:

I can’t help but wonder if this virtual, gnostic reality is creating a generation of people who are deficient in the practical reality of love. We may be great at talking about love and mercy, we may be great at recognizing where it is or isn’t in these words on this page, but are we great at walking next door to watch our neighbor’s kid so she can run to the store unencumbered? Are we great at taking dinner to the elderly man down the street and staying to help him clean the toilet that he can’t bend down to scrub anymore? Are we even just great at closing Firefox so our son can climb in our lap?"

I can talk all I want, and maybe I do okay with my own kids (at least my husband tells me so), but I am  failing at loving when it comes to the people in my life that are difficult or just don't think just like me.  It is so easy to be annoyed to judge them instead of understand and love them.  I think that I have at least finally recognized this more.  It's not to say that I have figured out how to turn the off switch on the annoyance at someone not getting it.  I mean I screamed at someone very dear to me today because he couldn't understand why I wouldn't want to do something that the rest of the world would find completely normal to do.  That wasn't loving at all, he didn't mean any harm and I shouldn't have come at him like I did.

So among other reasons to give up Facebook, the time suck, the distraction from whats important, the vanity I feel like I get from posting things on it, I really gave it up because I want to love better or more, both really.  I want to be able to see someone who is hurting or isn't all together and just be able to be Jesus to them, not see them as a problem or even just be okay with different lifestyle choices that are not for me but work for them.  I feel like I am almost at ground zero for this in somethings though because I've created a cycle for myself to pick apart the wrong instead of seeing the searching and yearning and wanting for love...the good in people.  

So that good Samaritan, well I hope to be him someday.  I hope to really love my neighbor and not just see them for their faults. Pray for me in this and if there is anything I can pray for you too, I am more than willing to do so for you. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Who are you?

As I'm sitting here in bed, I'm the first to admit that today started out rough. I just wasn't hacking it the way I usually can. I don't know the culprit, selfishness, woken too early, or just hormones. But everything felt like the end of the world and I didn't want to try to fix it either. My husband, whom God spoile me with dearly, told me to simply do what I needed to do to feel better and go from there.

Well I loaded the kids into the bike trailer and biked to the local bakery for a chocolate muffin. Exercise and chocolate really do a lot for me and so it worked well. I was even able to entertain some neighbors for an hour when they stopped by, so the day definitely improved.

Lately conversations with a lot of moms have been school or with oriented. Two things that I don't really intend to partake in the normal way so I just listen. And the thing is, I think that is okay, its good and humbling for me to just listen. And honestly I've taken this role for a while, decades almost, I just don't think I've ever put it together that it could be something useful before. And granted I've had my own problems and decisions to discuss, I like being the listening ear.

And it's odd because a lot of times I wonder why I'm not the person itching to get back to work in my trained field. Why I don't feel the need to have a side income of my own. And granted I'm again very blessed to be able to not have to work, that is a different story, to have to do something versus choosing to do it. But I am immediately drawn to listening and helping others in the simple. Because sometimes, I think the simple gets overlooked in our society, its nothing to get excited over at least to most.  

I think, in all of this introspection, this is why things like the Elizabeth ministry appeal to me. I fulfill a basic need that is sometimes super hard to get done with life changes, but also I just get to sit and listen to how things are going in their lives if they should want it so. I feel like our neighborhood has a bit of unofficial ministry going on and for that I'm glad. Because I think no matter where you are at you need support maybe, just maybe God means for me to be a leg in his support chain. And that is perhaps a part of who I am and I'm okay with that.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sometimes old memories resurface

I saw this post the other day on a group I am part of that was from the Birth Without Fear blog.  I guess it was just posted to the FB page, but it brought up what happened to me with Ben.  What I lived through.

The woman had been told to terminate her pregnancy or stop her master's program.  Let's just say this didn't surprise me one bit.  As a graduate student you are expected to put your research first and everything else is to become a far second or a third I guess.  When someone does something that changes this, it is frowned upon. Being pregnant is one of these things.

And while I can't actually publish what went on with my situation. It wasn't pretty.  And I won't accuse anyone of telling me to have an abortion, they didn't.  But I definitely didn't have it easy.  I hid the last month or so that I was researching because I couldn't take the abuse at 7-8 months pregnant. I was thankful that I was able to get outside of the situation, higher up help who did care. However, the memories still are there.  I still have a really hard time setting foot anywhere close to my graduate school's campus without being tense.

I think oddly however, this is why motherhood the first time around came so easy and was so welcomed.  It was something that was so pure and good compared to what I was coming from that I just felt capable.  I know that isn't the usual reaction to motherhood the first time around, but for me I needed this.  I needed this so much because so much wrong had happened before my son's birth. God was looking out for me, and I was extremely blessed with this welcomed transition.

Anyway, I'm not sure where I am really going with this, but I just had to get that out of my head.  It's been plaguing me a bit the past few days.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

6 years revisited

Do you ever feel like when you are going thru something, while you know you are making the best decision for you, you aren't very good at explaining it to anyone else who asks?

I think this is me when it comes to Catholicism.  I love being Catholic.  I have never felt more at home in the Catholic church but I am also thankful for my protestant upbringing as my parents taught me foundational Christian values that have stuck with me even in my conversion.

I think now as I look back, is how I have battled a long time with who I was as a person, what my worth is. My dignity, in my mind, was taken away from me at a young age and I struggled to see myself as good. I fought against the good and just let the bad happen.  And you wouldn't have seen this from the outside except that I was always fighting something.  And the thing is even though I am redeemed and it has taken me a long way to see that all come together.  I still do question my worth to an extent. I still struggle with what others think of me in my choices, I know that ultimately God is my judge not man, but I feel like the culture around us eats at us and makes us think differently.

In Catholicism,  I think that for myself, I was able to find this in the theology of the body in the veneration of Mary, in the ability to be fully me and fully understood and to be challenged in things like confession to move forward in my Christian walk.  Yes, I got a lot of other answers.  Yes, a lot of things made a lot more sense, especially the communion of saints.  But I think through Jesus in the Eucharist and the relationship of Christ and his Church, this all came to fruition.

I was made in an image of greatness, I was designed to be fully woman and not what society sees as such.  I do have a place of great influence even if its not recognized and I have to take it with humility.  But I learn through the redemptive suffering.  I learn through not having it my way and I only have seen this since my journey into Catholicism.

I do thank my parents for teaching me to be generous and loving.  For teaching me to always look towards Jesus in all that I do.  I thank them for pushing me hard and not letting me have the easy way out.  I think I would not have arrived to be who I am today if it wasn't for them, and that is a good thing.

So, Catholic I am.  Follower of Christ I am. I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Three year old logic

Ben: "I'm bigger than Ephraim.
          Mama, you are bigger than me.
          And Daddy is so big, but not as big as God."

And now to prove that 3 year old logic doesn't really function on the same level as an adults.  Ben is always trying to fit himself into this pound puppy dog house.  Obviously he doesn't fit.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cara Box Reveal - June

Hi all.

Since the family is headed to the beach on the lake tomorrow and then we have a busy Sunday, I figured I should put my Cara box reveal post together today. The theme this month was "The Circus"or a Summer Fair.

I was paired up with the lovely Rebecca from XOXO Rebecca Mae and Elise from Books, Bottles and Bags. I sent a box to Elise, I'm hoping it got there, I lost the tracking number with a mama brain moment, and I recieved a super fun box from Rebecca.

Elise is seriously rocking it in her life right now with nannying and going to school all at once.  I love how passionate she is about natural parenting as much as she can be as a nanny.  Baby carriers and cloth diapering are two of my favorite things.

Rebecca is such a sweetheart and was going through some major life changes this past month moving 17 hours away from her husband to finish up some schooling.  You can read all about it on her blog.  I loved getting to know her and I pray that she does well with the long distance and awesome with her schooling.

So here is the box from Rebecca.
Cotton Candy- Yum
A Water ball Game - A prize you would win for playing a fair game
A sweet note from Rebecca with lots of encouragement
A magnet - A close up seen below
A princess crown - So I could finally be a Fair Queen
And a Clown Game for the boys to play someday on a rainy day

Rebecca was encouraging to me so much this month even though she herself was going through a ton of stuff. The magnet was great because I am always worried that I won't be able to hack it as a teacher, but this definitely helps. 

So if you are interested go check out more about the Cara box at Wifessionals.  It's open to blogger and non-bloggers. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If there is one thing you watch today

Let it be this


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

To this guy:

And this guy: 

And to all the other fathers out there.  Your presence in your children's life is appreciated.

And if you want to read an excellent post on the reflection of who a father is check out Calah Alexander's piece here

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Differing Opinions

Since posting the homeschooling bit yesterday, I've been thinking about differing opinions because I know there are so many when it comes to schooling your children and in many other things too. Sometimes its easier especially in this day and age where you can find commonality at the click of your finger tips to just seek that out.  And also to have the opinion that unless everyone does see things like you, well then they are morally wrong.  I know I do this even if I don't want to do it.  But history tells us that this doesn't work well. While there are moral absolutes, a lot of things that people discuss and deal with are not even if we make them out to be.

But the thing is God created us as unique individuals, all of us mostly with completely different DNA and experiences to go with it. To say that all of your friends have to think like you on this or this subject  just doesn't make sense and frankly would be boring.  And maybe I am writing this for myself more than anyone as a reminder of this simple fact, but I'm putting it out there anyway.

By having different opinions on life choices or even the small things we can learn from each other.  God may just be teaching us a lesson through that differing person that will make us stronger in our choice or realize that maybe another way could be better. But to totally not take the time to listen, to think you know it all, and I am so guilty of this (my husband knows it), doesn't sit well for building the kingdom for Christ.

So I thank-you people from different backgrounds that care about different things that choose different choices than me.  I'm learning from you! I'm growing because of you! And you are an awesome thinking individual that I am privileged to encounter in my life. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The why of it

I had an awkward conversation about homeschooling with a friend yesterday, but basically it was because I was so terrible at spitting my information out and just not really making any real sense. Instead of saying the good things about the conference I had been to, I was just rattling off the big conspiracy theory that the one presenter had talked about.  Maybe its because it was still on my mind,  but like when a on fire Protestant catches you off guard about why you became Catholic (At least this happens to me a lot, even if I know why, I just don't verbalize it well in person.) I failed at telling someone not in a my way is the best, but the best for me way to homeschool. But I had forgotten all the good reasons that I actually started looking into homeschooling when I had this conversation, and just felt kind of like an idiot to be honest.  She however made really good points, first to focus on what's good about what I want to do, and second, know why I want to do it, not because I want to avoid the craziness but why I think it is best for my little family to embark on this adventure.

First, before I come off sounding like I know more than I do, I don't.  My oldest just turned 3 in March, so I don't have all the logistics of it figured out and I know overall I have to be flexible. But there is still a pull there to educate in a homeschooling way, and I want to clearly state why finally.

So here goes... My own schooling adventure consisted of public school, then lab school, then public secondary school, then private college and private grad school. In the early years of public school, I went into it knowing a ton having been taught informally by my sister who is 5 years older than me. She taught me reading, writing, and math before I even stepped foot inside a formal school. I'm not sure its a thing anymore due to computers, but I also could write in cursive before kindergarten.  She continued to teach me and I continued to learn.  When I was in school, well, I was bored.  I had already done this stuff.  I remember distinctly getting in trouble by teachers because I was going ahead in my workbooks and this wasn't something I was allowed to do according to them.  I had one good teacher in the public school in third grade that engaged me, and the one art teacher saw I had a passion with art so I got to go to art camp through the school. Other than that, school wasn't challenging or engaging, and by the end of fourth grade I was getting in trouble.  My parents decided to send my younger brother and me to a lab school, and I'm not sure their reasoning lined up with my experience, but they did it and I had a great experience.  In this school there was only one class per grade.  Each grade interacted with the lower grades and had specific reading partners and did projects like time capsules.  We even had a night where the entire 5th grade class stayed over night at the school to carry out the book Be a Perfect Person.  During this time I tested into a Directive Studies program that allowed us to learn more than the average student and when entering back into the public Junior High put us in charge of the Junior High school paper.  The same program allowed me to take Spanish a year early starting in eighth grade and then college classes in my senior year that the school paid for since I was considered "gifted."

All the while until my sister went to college she taught me still.  I learned speeches like the Gettysburg address and parts of Julius Caesar way before I was supposed to, because I ate up learning.  I think the only class I actually struggled with in high school was typing of all things.  I mean I type in the QWERTY manner all the time now that it's kind of hilarious to think that I sucked at typing and had to have my younger brother who was in my class teach me a trick or two with it.  I eventually really learned how to type using chat clients like AIM instead of in typing class in high school.

I went to college on a cross country scholarship of all things, and majored in chemistry.  I think the first chemistry subject that I struggled with was organic.  I mean I know thats a given for most to struggle with organic, but I hated that class and actually got a C in it. When I got to the upper level subjects in my major, I actually did get challenged, (yay!).  And honestly, one of my eye openers for the fact that I was being challenged was that I acted like a baby when I knew I had performed badly on a test in physical chemistry.  I had prepared for the exam well in my mind, but when it came to the test I barely got a C.  I gave a fit about this to the teacher in a childish way I wasn't proud of, but I learned finally.  I learned that even if I didn't get my desired A that I was so used to, I was learning. A's aren't everything right?

Maybe this was how I made it through grad school.  I definitely would have called myself a B student in grad school, but that was okay, I needed that.  I knew finally I was being challenged and I was learning.  But the thing is that I felt like I could have been prepared better earlier by the schools.  I mean most of my learning was done through my sister, and my mom.  I forgot about her, sorry.  She gave us the love of science always bringing things home for us to play with from the classroom and always taking us outside in nature to explore things. She also dragged us all over the country to historic sites by taking us on Volksmarches aka 10K walks where you are out in nature learning biology from her or learning history with questions about the places you were visiting.  These two women are the reason I think I was able to even succeed in college and grad school, not the public school so much.  The public school did allow me to do one or two things that challenged me like foreign language and art and some chemistry with the science olympiad(but really with that I was on my own to learn it, my advisor didn't interact with me at all), but overall it wasn't as engaging as it could have been.

Now, we will just state for my husband's side of it all, that he learned by taking the book home and reading it to himself and he was in public school K-12 too. Probably why he is so dang smart compared to me, he can totally just go and learn something all by himself.  Sometimes I wish I was someone who could learn by reading books, but I'm an experience learner, but that's another story.

So after all that, why homeschool?  Because I think instead of jumping through hoops to get to be able to do this or that that I had to do I want to tailor my child's education towards him or her.  I want him to be able to learn outside the box.  I want him to be able to tell me the why behind it all, not just the what.  I want him to know that there are moral absolutes, and I want him to know that mama isn't going to give up on them when maybe a different teacher would (Not saying that all do this, there are excellent teachers out there and their job is hard and their passion is greater to succeed to get through to some kids). Instead of having them in a classroom where everyone is supposed to learn relatively the same, I want him to be able to learn in the way that helps him best succeed and go even further with it.  I want him to learn history by going to the sites of historic battles, and science by playing and exploring the everyday and literature by me reading to him countless stories.  I want them to learn math in a practical manner and most of all I want them to become little cathedrals for heaven by learning compassion of those smaller than them and bigger than them in their siblings and parents and by homeschooling they get more time to do this.

These children of mine are borrowed from God and I want to be able to say that I have done the best with them that I could do when my life is done on this Earth. So for me, I think this is by homeschooling. For you it may be Christian/Catholic school or charter school or public school, everyone must make the best choice for their family.  But that is the great thing about being unique individuals with many different little ways to carry out our vocations. We are all necessary in God's master plan.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, June 9

Happy Sunday!

It was a beautiful day, so I pulled out an old dress and enjoyed the good weather and since I don't think I have worn this before on the blog I figured why not do a WIWS post. The boys were finally okay at mass.  I only had to go to the back once with Ephraim! I think though my favorite part of today's church experience besides filling up with Jesus, was the fellowship afterward.  Anytime we have something at church that isn't insane to do with small children we try to do it.  This week it was as simple as a reception for the graduates of the church.  I figure that we should try to get to know the people of our parish more, so why not try to do so.  And there were a good many kiddos there so the boys loved running around with everyone else.  
Anyway, here is what I wore: 

Dress: I'm going to go with TJ Maxx or Marshall's, but I've had it a long time, and I don't really remember the actual place, but we will say its from there. It's not a nurseable dress, but since that really isn't an issue right now, it was fun to bring out of the closet. (I used this as my rehearsal dress for my wedding almost 6 years ago and I bought it with that intention, but I'm glad I still get to use it every now and then.)
Shoes: flats from Target
Necklace (seen below): repurposed bridesmaid jewelry. 

Hope you all are having a brilliant Sunday. Check out more WIWS outfits at Fine Linen and Purple!

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Tale of a Wedding...Perspective changes everything

A good friend got married this past weekend.  It was a beautiful wedding of two people completely in love with Jesus and each other.  They meshed two families and two cultures together and did it brilliantly.

My husband and older son were both in this wedding.  My husband as a groomsmen and my son as a ring bearer. So leading up to this wedding, I honestly was not looking forward to it.  I was happy for the couple to start their lives together, but the me being in charge of two littles on a weekend day from sun up to sun down where they are probably not going to nap but need to be on their best behavior, this I was not looking forward to it.

But guess what? ... We survived.  We did really.  Not sure how, but we did.  Well probably because I do have some great people in my life that did try to help me out and well God was there and he knew it was going to be hard so he opened some doors and he made some bits not be as terrible as I thought they were to be.

So, here are my memories of the wedding.  During the rehearsal Friday, Ephraim continuously jumped off of the steps that lead up to the altar.  Ben got concerned about his pillow and I fed the children lots of peanut butter crackers.  Somewhere in there the wedding party rehearsed but this is what I remember.

To change this moment of dude kid you are not respecting Jesus with your jumping, into Ephraim you and your pure joy for the simple make me smile, was definitely brought about by my husband.

During the actual wedding, Ben did make it down the isle, with the most ridiculous expression on his face and after chucking the ring bearer pillow at me and his brother.  So I count that one as a win, even if he wasn't the cute "awe" that everyone likes to get out of kids.

At the receiving line, both my boys loved the bubbles.  Ephraim chased them and Ben hoarded all the extra containers of them.  I think I had 25+ containers of bubbles by the end of it all. We put a decent amount of them back but I still feel like we ended up with at least 10.  But what is better than bubbles right?

In between the wedding mass and the reception we had like 2.5 hours to kill.  So what do you do with un-napped children that won't nap but need to be doing something so you don't go crazy.  Well we stopped for ice cream, somehow shared one cone between all three of us.  Luckily Ben had thrown a fit about being in tux so he wasn't in it if things got messy, and for once in life, I was prepared with an extra shirt for E.

We got to the reception sight, close to 2 hours early. Nothing to do except play in the car, or terrorize the reception hall. I went for playing in the car as long as I could handle it.  Half hour later, we went inside.  I wandered, and I must have looked weary enough for someone to take pity on me, so a guy at the reception desk on the other side of the facility gave us a guest pass for the hour and let the kids climb on this crazy tree house. Ephraim not being with it from not napping didn't want anything to do with it, but it definitely occupied Ben.  I was thankful for that, immensely thankful.  Ephraim however, did seem to enjoy looking out at the pool and the people swimming so people watching was what we did for the next hour or so.

When the reception actually started, the kids weren't really any better, but they weren't any worse.  Ben managed to be redressed by Keith and enjoyed hiding under tables and chairs for a good while.  It wasn't until the meal prayer that he decided to be a train and run up and down the dance floor in his words, chugging.  How, he managed to stay quiet while doing this was beyond me, but this apparently made all the groomsmens' day with his antics.

And since it was a bringing together of two cultures, there was a Chinese tea ceremony at the reception.  Ephraim took this as his cue to test out the salt water taffy on the tables that was our wedding favor.  He of course tried the licorice flavored one, and the proceeded with a 5 minute long "I don't like this" reaction during this super quiet tea ceremony.  This made my entire table burst out in the most contained laughter that can be possible when one is supposed to be respectfully quiet.

When the bride and groom made their rounds to the guests, Ben decided to tag along, and since Ben was tagging along, this means Ephraim did too.  And honestly, because Mr. Tony is Ben's favorite person besides his daddy in the world, I hope he didn't mind that he was doing so.

Though, I have to say I knew it was time to go when the children had then moved camp to the other side of the reception hall to a bench anchored to the wall and were jumping off of it for entertainment.  While the folks at the table didn't seem to even notice, I figured the kids would probably get even more crazy as it got later.

And that was the wedding, from my perspective.  I struggled a lot that day, because I had expectations in my mind.  And if there is one thing I should know by now, expectations lead to disappointment.  If I took last Saturday from a neutral perspective, I would have to say it went just fine.  I got to talk to folks I hadn't seen in a while, none of the crazy kiddos got hurt, and two awesome people got to kickstart their lives together.

Remind me to just relax next time there is a big event like this, because ultimately even my little in the background part is in God's hands and not my own. Perspective really does change everything.

On a side note, there was this one point in the chaos that definitely made me smile. Before the bride and groom made it to the receiving line, both Keith and I were crouched down, dealing with the bubble fascinated children. We crossed lines of sight and I automatically thought how much I love my husband.  I know its only been 6 years since we said I do, but I definitely love this guy more than ever.  Maybe that's why I like weddings, despite the insanity of taking children to them, it reminds those of us who are married to really treasure that person God has given us to get us to heaven.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Theme Thursday: Self Portrait

This definitely captures my not really being happy with the news of the day, but still trying to be presentable. 

For more self-portraits from Theme Thursday, check out Clan Donaldson.