Sunday, February 24, 2013

WIWS, 2nd Sunday of Lent

I am linking up today at the WIWS link-up hosted by Fine Linen and Purple.  Today is a busy day for us, but I wanted to stop and do a quick post.  In a lenten reflection mode, I've been learning a lot about the concept of love this lent.  And last night, I learned a little more about love.  I think its easier to love certain people in your circles, whether it be family or friends or co-workers, than others, and this is especially hard for me because I tend to want to help fix everyone's problems and sometimes (most of the time usually), yo, you can't do that.  Because people are people and have to figure it out for themselves, they can't be forced.  The problem is that sometimes I get really down seeing the person as the problem, because to me its so blatantly obvious.  But really, thats the plank in the eye parable, right? Anyway, I'm trying to work on loving these folks better, because otherwise I feel like I'm a downer, seeing these folks as problems instead of people. What are you learning this lent?

And now for the church attire:

Pondering the homily, hah! My children were super unruly today, so, I think maybe I heard 15% of it.

Clothing Details:
Dress: Old Navy ( I always wanted a maxi dress, and now I have one!)
Shirt: Halftees!  Fine Linen and Purple did a post on these guys a while back and they are everything they say they are!
Belt: Amazon, as to actual retailer, I forget, it was a Christmas present. :)
Shoes: Target (My new staple boot!)
Necklace: from childhood, close up seen here

And now I try to yank out my stair railing.

And this pose is just because my husband continued to take pictures.

Check out some more outfits and maybe some Lenten reflections at the Fine Linen and Purple link-up

Friday, February 22, 2013

Little boys, trains they may be

Ben is constantly pretending that he is a train or a backhoe these days.  I asked him what his hands are when he is a train and he told me that one is for pulling cars, the other for pushing him.  I then tried to introduce him to the push-me-pull-you from Dr. Dolittle, but he didn't go for it and just went back to being "Thomas." I'll take my little "Thomas" for now.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saint Story Guest Post: St. Gerard

Today I am guest posting over at Jenna's blog It's Just called Spicy, about my experience with St. Gerard.  It was actually a really liberating post to write because for a long time I felt very negatively about my 2nd son's birth, as things didn't go as planned.  However, as I look back at it all now, God was there and St. Gerard was interceding for me too!

Anyway, Jenna is doing a series on saints for the 40 days of Lent.  Be sure to check some of the other posts out.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Caught Day 2

I want to say more, but I'm not sure where to go with it.  So, I will just say the one thing that has stuck out to me today.  And that is about childlike trust in God.  I feel like I am always struggling with this.  But today the simplest example stuck out to me.  We worry as mamas about our kids doing silly things that cause them to get in harms way. One of those things is how at the top of any stairs, if I am a bit lower than Ephraim, he expects to be caught.  True childlike trust is here.  And the thing is that I am human, sometimes I can't catch him as my hands are full, and sometimes I'm not looking.  But with God, he never turns his back and he will always catch me.  And so today I am caught, by grace, by love, by God.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lent Day 1

I am not sure that I will keep up with this each day.  I just feel inspired today with it being the first day of Lent.

So how has it started off.  Well, we didn't get to mass due to fever baby.  But I did get to carry out my Lenten sacrifices.  I think I was able not to complain today, at least I didn't do so knowingly and to add to it, a dear friend said she would help me to keep myself accountable.  Woohoo for good friendships!

I actually am feeling a little bit more blessed today and come to think of it happy.  It's odd because sometimes I feel like Lent kind of gets a bad name with doom and gloom in its sacrificial nature. However, today with what I was focusing on, I felt loved.

You know how you can read a million books or verses of the Bible that explain how little things are done in love.  And then you get into the mode of like ugh, again, I have to do this again.  Well I guess that has been me.  I think I was feeling like I was missing something bceause I am no longer PhD student Kiera.  I didn't feel purposeful.  But there is purpose in the little things, because they are done in love.  And really wants more important than that?

The other thing I did today, or maybe it was yesterday, I lack sense of time, was make a hair cut appointment for myself.  This may sound silly to ya'll but I'm just bad at taking care of myself sometimes. And this is something that needs to be done since its been 5 months since my last haircut.  So, I think I am going to find little ways that I can take care of myself better, because these I think will help me feel better about me and thus help me to feel happy as well.

Happy Ash Wednesday to ya'll.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Honestly internet, I probably shouldn't pour my heart out to you like I do, since there is something to be said about privacy in these things.  But really I don't care what you know about me because I would rather be honest on my life's journey with God than be silent and be a mess inside. This is because for me, writing is therapeutic.  I need it to clear my head.  I may not be a great writer, I know this from my graduate school experience, but I love to write nonetheless.  I need it and you, vast internet, are my audience.

Though my feelings may change in the next week or so, I'm just going to say what's going on in life anyway.  First, I have thought about my emotional state of being, and really I'm not where I should be.  I have a great life, one full of choices that I made out of ability to make them instead of falling into them. Choices that have been good for me. Good for me in that I have learned a lot about myself and my relationship with God and others.  I know that one of my New Year's resolutions was to own the choices that I make/made.  I am trying to do that in this.

There was an article that was published I think by Fox news a few days back in which a woman suggests that we need to go back to the days of chivalry where women where treated like princesses.  I don't think this is true, the princess thing.  While it would be nice if it were so, but probably only the elite few experienced this really.  I followed a long facebook discussion that Simcha Fisher had on her page regarding the said article.  It was fascinating and encouraging.  They helped me to see that my choices though, sometimes thought of as odd in the realm of academia from which I came, are valid choices.

These choices I refer to are the desire to be a SAHM, and to want a large family, and maybe to want to homeschool them when the time comes. I am thankful that I am able to do these things, as in my last post, I am privileged in the fact that I do have a wonderful husband who is fully supportive of all these things.  I prayed for him for years, and I am thankful that God answered this prayer above and beyond what I could have imagined.  That may sound ridiculous since I got married when I was 23, but it is true.  I would be fooling myself if I said otherwise.

So I made these choices and I want to say that they are the best choices for me, I will say that too, at least to the best of my experience and knowledge they are.  However, certain environmental things or maybe just the devil get inside my head and make me think else wise.  I wrote last time that I care too much about what folks think about my choices. I know I shouldn't but yet I do.  It is a constant struggle to try to not care, to care only what God thinks.

I came across a passage again written by Simcha Fisher in the Style, Sex and Substance book.  In it she states,
    " A receptive woman is the most powerful creature in the world, in her deliberate openness: without         her 'yes', nothing more can happen. Life comes to an end.
     Here's the tricky part: 'Yes' can come in many different forms. Sometimes we say, joyfully or in tears, 'Yes, I will accept another baby.' But sometimes the fitting answer is, 'Yes, I accept the need to put off a pregnancy right now.' Or even, 'Yes, I see that God will not give me a living child.' Sometimes we stand there, open and accepting, and God comes to fill our cup with suffering.  And still we must say, 'yes.'"

And for the longest time I think I was upset with myself that I was saying no to God.  That I can't handle this right now.  I think somehow I was playing games with myself, because I wanted to please others. And here is the confusing part, I also wanted to say yes, to the wrong thing for the wrong reason because I wanted to please someone else instead of God.  I think honestly this is a big part of why I am not in the right mental state currently.

My husband said to me, use Lent to prayerfully discern how you can be happy.  I guess ladies and gents that since he is the one that sees me the most, I am not appearing to be happy.  And from the fact that I beat myself up over a night of lost sleep, over and over, this probably is true.  I get so frustrated with stupid things that it sours my whole mood.  And honestly I wouldn't say I'm depressed, though you may have come to the conclusion that I am.  I would just say that really need to begin living more for God and less for this world and be okay with my pride being destroyed in the process.

So this is a main reason why I will spend Lent not complaining, because I need to die to self and really live for God.  I need to find my happiness in him and not in others opinions.  So ladies and gents, pray for me on my journey this lent and I will try to do my best and pray for you all too.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, Vigil on Saturday edition

It's that time of week again.  Today we actually headed to the aquarium, but last night we were at church for mass. So here is the What I Wore Sunday,Vigil on Saturday edition. 

First of all when you see this outfit, I just have to say that I feel like I am wearing what folks stereotype as the evangelical homeschooling mom. If I've offended anyone by saying that sorry.  Honestly, it was comfy and I would totally wear it again.

So here are the deets on the outfit: 

Necklace: gift from my mama
Undershirt: American Apparel (I think this is a common underpiece in my wardrobe)
Sweater: Old Navy
Skirt: Old Navy but I got it through a clothing swap
Leggings: hidden under the skirt, Macy's
Shoes: Target, You can't see them here but will be able to below.

And now for a funky pose with a better view of my shoes.

And now for a random occurrence, well not that random, but random that we won.  As it was World Marriage week? day?, our parish gave flowers to the couples married the shortest amount of time and to those married the longest amount of time.  We oddly won the shortest amount of time at just under 6 years.  There was however a three way tie for the longest amount of time at 58 years.  Can you tell we went to the vigil mass full of older folks?  Maybe vigil masses aren't like this everywhere but in our area they tend to be so.  We went Saturday though because family plans that are work schedule dependent made us have to do something Sunday am.  Though I'm glad to have the option to go to mass on the vigil, the former protestant in me thinks its odd to not go on Sunday.  Anyway, enough about mass schedules.  Go check out some more excellent mass attire at the linkup with Fine Linen and Purple!
Peace ya'll!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lent 2013

Sometimes its hard to think of things to do for Lent and sometimes its hard to think of a focus at least for me it is, this year it just came to me (Holy Spirit FTW!). Normally, on top of the normal Catholic fasting and abstinence, I try to follow the Pray, Fast, Give mantra.  I think Busted Halo suggested it to me and since then I've tried to think of Lent in that way.  I'm sure there are other ways to go about Lent, but this works for me.  So here is what I am up to this Lent:

Pray- I am going to do the Love Dare Devotion and pray for my husband.  It's not that I feel like I am a bad wife, I just know I could be better and appreciate and love my husband way better than I do, and I am hoping this time of lent will help me do that.

Fast- From negativity/complaining.  I tend to do this a lot, especially around certain people.  I just hope I can really do it.  If not the charity for #3 will get more of my money. I also want to fast from evening TV, just because I feel like I should do something else better with my time.

Give - Everytime I do complain, I will give a dollar to a marriage building charity (to be named if you have suggestions for this let me know).  And half of my monthly personal money will go to this at the end of Lent.  I also want to give away some more clothing, maybe do a clothing swap again and then donate the end means.

So what are your Lenten plans?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What I Wore Sunday, Cabin Fever edition

Today was the first time I had gotten out of the house since Thursday and really in 7 days I had been out of the house a whole 2 of them.  It's crazy, either we were struck down with the Norwalk virus, aka the winter stomach bug or it was snowing like crazy and just not good conditions to venture out in.  So this Sunday, while 2 of the four of us stayed home, because for some reason Ben is spiking another fever, Ephraim and I did make it to mass.  And while he was a tired baby for most of it making him a fussy baby/toddler.  He did allow for lots of extra cuddles during mass too, and I never get tired of baby cuddles.

So here is the outfit:

Necklace: Target
Sweater: I don't remember since its been in my wardrobe forever.
Shirt: (the blue green one you can barely see)it's Faded Glory, so is that Kmart?
Undershirt: (the grey one that seems to be longer than the actual shirt) Undercover Mama
Skinny Jeans: JC Penney
Boots: Target

And this is me wondering if my husband is actually taking a picture or not, he's kind of a silent photographer which makes adds to my craziness. 

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

Friday, February 1, 2013

At the source, it just may be pride...

I feel like lately I'm running into roadblocks with choices our family is making or is thinking about making for the future.  I guess when you talk to folks you think about how you are similar to them because then you can band together.  But at the same time you are thankful that they aren't you and aren't the same because really how dull of a life would that be?

I was reading a study yesterday taken in 2011 about Catholic women and their views on contraception and whether or not the church had influence on them and what not.  From it the one thing that sticks in my mind from it is the factor on what influences when deciding to have a baby.  When I looked at it, for me the first few things that were most important were simply givens to me, because honestly I guess I am privileged to have that stability of marriage, finance and relationship.  Further down the list were mental health, something I definitely struggle with my anxiety, and what family or friends thought.

Sadly, I think sometimes I do care too much about what family or friends thing about my decisions because I want to be well liked.  I know honestly that I am a prideful person.  Really, its one of my hugest downfalls.  I hate being wrong, and I hate when someone tells me that I am wrong.  It's a struggle this pride of mine.  I pray for humility a lot.

The confessor that my husband and I both share, once told him that at the source of all sin is pride.  I see this more and more in my life as I am growing as a Catholic christian.  Because really why do we choose the wrong over the right, we don't want to look bad.  We want to be the best of the best. We want to think that that we are in control of it all. Hah!  And really one would think that over the past almost 30 years I would know this.  That I am not in control.  Repeat.  I am not in control.  And yet it is a struggle.  Somehow the sinful, prideful part of me wants to say "Yes, I am in control!" But I'm not.  And its a good thing that I am not, because if I had the role of God, well you know what? The Earth would not be here anymore is what I am saying.  We would have world wars 3, 4, and 5 within like 2 months and everyone would be left speaking the gibberish of Kiera speak if there were any people left.

So, what am I getting at? Honestly, I'm not entirely sure. But one thing I do know is that I definitely have to work on how I let my pride get in the way of making choices or justifying choices.  Both are so linked in my life its ridiculous.  However, I am going to try.  Because the church on Earth and Heaven are not full of little Kiera's mimicking each other, but instead are diverse and beautiful because of of their differences.  While we all belong to the same God, we are allowed the free will and have been given various gifts and talents and use them so differently.

I can't control how another person is going to react to my different choice. I can't live in fear of someone yelling at me for my crazy life family choices either. I won't be myself if I don't make that choice and own who I am, instead I would just get swept up into something I am not and be unhappy through it all.

So, did I make a point?

"I wanna be a big star, a king and rule my own life
And God, I know that it's wrong
So please just make my heart right inside and destroy my pride...

Please just tell me something good you got it
And why am I so misunderstood
'Cause I wanna know this
Come on baby and race me
And maybe we'll just find ourselves" -The Rocket Summer