Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Home Stretch

I have some posts in mind, but haven't had much time to really sit down and put my thoughts together!  But, I wanted to do a quick update for my Advent Prayer Buddy.  When I signed up to be a prayer buddy, I committeed to blogging more and haven't been that great about it.  Since it is almost the end of Advent, I thought I better get something in!

This week has been busy.  We waited until Guadete Sunday to get our Christmas tree-in part because we didn't have time before that.  Now we are thinking about waiting until that weekend (the third weekend in Advent) and making that a family tradition!  We cut down our very own 9 foot 4 inch tree!  We, ok, my husband, finished putting the lights on yesterday.  We had been waiting for them to arrive in the mail.  For the past week and a half we have had a tree with lights on the bottom third.  We still turned them on, it just looked a little weird. :)  We hope to finish decorating with all of our ornaments tomorrow night!

I am busy wrapping, making and buying last minute presents.  I am really excited to share my homeade presents on the blog!  I hope to post pictures soon.... my first pictures on the blog!

I hope this post finds you all well rested and joy-filled in this last week of Advent.  Blessings!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011


So I lost my phone yesterday morning.  It is driving me crazy!!!  I know that I'm pretty attached to my phone, but didn't realize just how much until I didn't have it anymore.  Good thing I have the internet, otherwise I would feel so disconnected!  I just want to be able to call my husband or send a quick text or make a dentist appointment.

Seriously, what did people do before phones??? (Oh yeah-they walked over to their neighbor's house and actually talked face to face.  Imagine, that. :) )

I'm trying to figure out just what God is trying to teach me here.  I know that not every single thing that happens in your day happens because God is trying to teach you something, but I think that losing my phone IS definitely a teachable moment.  One question that has popped up in my mind-Am I as dependent on God as I am on my cell phone? Am I looking for Him in everything, everywhere?  What if I took more time out of my day to search for Him in my life?  Does it drive me crazy if I can't find Him?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Beauty is a newborn child held lovingly in his father's arms. Beauty is the first snowfall of the season, a fresh blanket of white covering the earth Beauty is the calloused, rough hands of a grandmother who has given her life to care for her children. It is a painting that takes our breath away and makes us long for something more. Beauty points us to the ultimate Creator of all things beautiful. It points us to something beyond ourselves in a truly remarkable and unique way.

Frederica Mathewes Green said, "If you want to have more beautiful eyes, pray more." Prayer leads us to a deeper relationship with Christ, encourages us to be more selfless and helps us to spread our love to others. By uniting ourselves to Christ in prayer, we become more like him and, naturally, become a more beautiful person inside and out.

As we continue our Advent journey, we see beauty in many places- in the liturgy, in the decorations, in the coming birth of our Savior. Yet, do you see beauty in yourself? Do you live a beautiful life?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Clutter drives me crazy. I have been on a "de-cluttering kick" lately. This is new for me and new for anyone who has known me since my childhood. I was THE BIGGEST SLOB as a kid. My childhood bedroom was almost uninhabitable at times. Clothes, books, toys and who knows what else covered every square foot of the floor. Recently I was talking on the phone to one of my best friends from high school. We were talking about how much I love to organize and am trying to get the clutter out of the house. She paused and said, "Um, so, what happened since high school? You were definitely not like this." I laughed and agreed and then had to think about my answer. I think there are a few things that happened- number one on the list has to be my wonderful, Type A, neatnik husband. Another reason has to do with owning a house. Now the things that I am organizing and cleaning are things that I have bought or been given. I feel a deeper sense of responsibility and care for my possessions. This has also been a trend since Baby Boy was born. Babies bring love, joy and lots and lots of stuff!! In order to not get taken over by all of his toys, clothes and little necessities, I have to be organized. Lastly, as I talked about in a previous post-there is so much "stuff" in life. I want to try to live a simple life, focused on family, friends, and God. I find this to be much easier without a lot of things around to occupy me otherwise.

Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been a total 180. I am still messy at times, I lose things constantly and can find myself drowning in clutter. It is a step by step process- I try to learn from others and use strategies that I know have worked for them. Any de-cluttering/organization/cleaning tips out there?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Advent!

I saw this quote on a friend's facebook status.
"For the greatest things are accomplished in silence--not in the clamor and display of superficial eventfulness, but in the deep clarity of inner vision; in the almost imperceptible start of decision, in quiet overcoming and hidden sacrifice." (Romano Guardini, The Lord)
Silence is something that has been at the forefront of my mind lately. As I've touched on before, there is so much noise around us. Radios, TVs, the Internet. So many gadgets to keep us "in touch" with people and things and news. This quote helped to remind me what Advent is about-waiting for and preparing our hearts, minds and souls for Christ. What better way to do this than to spend time in silence.

I am trying to keep our schedules as bare bones as possible this Advent. After one or two or all three of us being gone almost every weekend the last two months, I am really looking forward to no traveling during Advent! I am also trying to keep our social commitments and extra-curricular activities down. All in the hopes that we will spend more time together as a family, just being and praying and forming our own Advent traditions.

May your Advent season be filled with joy, hope, patience and... silence!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Little Help

A topic that has been on my mind lately is isolation. I recently read somewhere that "we are all isolated living in our suburban castles." How true this is. I really don't think we were meant to live this way. I think the individualistic, self-reliant culture has in fact hurt the individual. People are so lonely. We think that we have to do everything ourselves and get burnt out so easily. God gave us all different gifts and I think that it is so important to share these gifts with others and let others share their gifts with you. There is so much more I want to say on this topic, but I have to leave that for another post... it is way too late already!

What got me thinking about this topic is a short story that I will leave you with tonight. Today I was outside raking the front yard for about the tenth time-seriously. As I was finishing up, one of my neighbors came over and asked if he could help me haul the leaves. I thanked him but insisted he didn't have to do that. He insisted that I go get my tarp and let him help. As I was looking for the tarp, another neighbor came over with his ladder to change a light bulb that I needed his ladder to do. While I was helping the second neighbor with the light bulb, the first neighbor and his wife raked up the rest of my leaves and hauled them away for me! I was overwhelmed with their generosity and kindness.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I am a champion time waster. I used to pride myself in the fact that I don't watch alot of TV anymore, and then I realized I am spending way more time on the computer than I ever did watching TV. It is amazing how easy it is to get sucked into blogs, facebook, news articles, etc. It isn't all "time wasting." I really enjoy reading blogs. I find that I can really grow and learn from the experiences of others through their blog postings. Sometimes I just get so sucked into this link and that link and learning about this and then that... then its an hour later and I really haven't accomplished anything!! I mean, really, how many times can you click back to facebook and refresh to see if anything new pops up on your newsfeed. Yes, I just admitted to doing that, and yes, I am ashamed.

So, I figure if I'm going to be wasting time on the computer, I might as well be writing. And why not write about wasting time on the computer. :) Ok, maybe I can come up with something a little more fruitful than that. Technology is exciting. It is big, bold and full of endless possibilities. It has so much to offer, yet it offers many distractions. There are literally times when my husband and I are sitting in the same room, on two different computers, with the TV on. He thinks this is spending time together, I disagree. There is so much noise out there. In our society it is almost impossible to have "quiet time." Yet, it is something that is so important. How do you unplug? How do you find time to just be and to be quiet?

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Why is it that cleaning other people's houses is so much more fun than cleaning our own? Today I was over at some friends' house who are getting ready for a big move. I was really enjoying cleaning up the mess from lunch and straightening out some piles of random "stuff" for them. I really don't mind cleaning my own house, but sometimes finding the motivation can be hard, and the task itself can be daunting. Cleaning my friends kitchen, well I just couldn't wait to keep cleaning. It made me stop and think. What is so different? It's all mess. What makes this a more enticing mess? I think it's a few things. My friend's house was indeed a different mess. It was something new. Cleaning my own house can become so mundane. It isn't very challenging-I am just doing the same dishes over and over again, washing the same floor. When I lack the motivation to do this, I must remember that it is in the mundane tasks that I can grow closer to Jesus and Mary. Mary didn't have a housekeeper. She did the same tasks and chores I have to do. Only she didn't have a washing machine or a dishwasher or the millions of other gadgets that make my life easier.

Another difference is that when helping others clean you are doing something for them. There is satisfaction in knowing that I am helping someone else. What I must remember is that cleaning my own house is in fact helping others, too. It is helping my husband and son! It is helping our family to live in a clean, safe and orderly place. When our house is kept clean, we are more able to relax. I don't have to worry about Baby Boy getting into something that he shouldn't. We can do other projects that need to be done. We can have people come over on a whim and not have to worry about a huge mess!! Cleaning is a never ending process, but one that I must embrace daily in a loving way.

Well, I have a pile of dishes that are waiting for me. :) Happy Cleaning everyone!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Home Sweet Home

In the past six days, I have been in a car for over 30 hours, attended a wedding, a final vows ceremony, been in seven different states, laughed, cried, slept (a little), talked and spent time with so many special people. It has been quite a whirlwind this past week. While I had an absolute blast, it is so nice to be home and have some time to relax. It is also quite amazing to see how much Nick just LOVES being home. He was great all week, but was definitely a little crabbier than normal. I don't think he has stopped smiling since we arrived home. He has been sleeping so much better! 12 hours straight last night and a 3 hour nap. Home truly is where the heart is!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An Anniversary of Sorts

A year ago today is when it all started. It is when my Mom fell and hit her head and was sent to the emergency room. She was kept over night in the hospital for monitoring and didn't leave for another month. In some ways, it was the beginning of the end. While in the hospital, we found out she had Stage IV Colon Cancer. It would be only a few short months later that we would lose her. I still can't believe that it has already been a year since her fall. I miss her every single day and think about her so often.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Starting the Day off Right

My goal is to get up at 7:30 every morning, as long as BB hasn't woken me up earlier. My hope is that I will be able to grab a quick breakfast and shower before he wakes up. Great thought... putting that plan into action is not quite so easy. I have never been a morning person and never plan on being one. Each morning is a battle. I set my alarm for 7:34 AM and will myself to get up and get going. More often that not, I end up turning the alarm off, waiting for my natural alarm to go off-Baby Boy. One of the motivations for getting up earlier is that if I can get myself ready, and if Baby Boy wakes up in time, we can get out the door to daily Mass. This happens a lot less then it should, but every once in awhile it works out.

Today the stars aligned and we made it to church EARLY, truly an abnormality. I love going to daily Mass for so many reasons. One of the more prideful and completely unholy reasons is that I love seeing people who I know and I love how all of the older people enjoy seeing Baby Boy. He is quite a character at church. He loves it for the most part. He loves waving and smiling at anyone who will look at him. I also love going to Mass because it starts my day off right. Throughout today I felt like I was making the right choices. It reminded me of one of those commericals that advertise healthy food. Basically if you chose their product, the healthy product, you would continue to make healthy choices throughout the day. After going to church today (it ended up being a communion service because our priests are at a diocesean meeting-a little disappointing at first, but still good to receive the Body of Christ) I felt as though I was making more of the "right"choices throughout the day. I felt more energized this morning after I arrived home. I chose to listen to Relevant Radio rather than the pop music station. I gave some extra smiles to strangers I saw at the store. I was more peaceful and comfortable when meeting with a group of friends who I had not seen in awhile. I didn't make all the right choices today... I was still impatient, crabby and judgmental at times. But overall, I felt so much better! It's just like exercising, I know I always feel so much better after I've done it, but actually doing it is the problem.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Joy is Contagious

Watching my son bring smiles to even the grumpiest of strangers has been quite amusing over the last few months. Sometimes I think he is quite the distraction, especially at church, but most people seem to enjoy his smiles and waves. My husband and I enjoy taking Baby Boy for walks and will often go watch games at the soccer and baseball fields close to our house. The other day, I noticed a man watching the game who was completely absorbed in himself. He was listening to his Ipod and barely seemed to be paying attention to his daughter who came and sat by him during her break from the game. I couldn't help but think about how technology can make us so disconnected from those sitting right next to us... but that is for a different post. Anyway, BB was being his sweet, goofy self and was waving and smiling at some girls across the field. He also kept trying to wave at the man with the Ipod. Eventually, the man saw him. It made me a little uncomfortable because he did not look like a very welcoming person. Well, as soon as he saw BB, he broke into a huge grin and waved and smiled right back. The man couldn't help but smile! He had an adorable baby boy trying to spread joy to him and that he did! As the game went on, I noticed that the man's diposition had totally changed. He sat up straighter, smiled more and seemed so much more engaged in the game. It was quite a transformation to see-all from a simple smile from a joyful little boy.

Just today at Mass, I saw another example of joy being spread through pure innocence. At our parish, we have a woman with Downs Syndrome who is very involved in the parish. Today, she was taking up the collection. As she does it, she makes sure to thank every single person and say something kind or positive. It is a bit of an awkward situation-she can be heard quite loudly as she goes up and down the aisle, right during the middle of Mass. But it is so much more than an awkward situation, it is an experience of joy being passed on. I couldn't help but turn up my lips as she exclaimed, "Good Morning!" or "Beautiful weather today!" I looked over and saw each person she walked by with smiles from ear to ear.

A smile is something so simple. A mere turning up of the lips. Yet, it's benefits can reach beyond it's giver a hundred times over. Joy is contagious, spread it without reservation!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

What will this blog be?

Typical me, I took forever to actually start a blog. Finally set it up, waited a while to do a post, did a post, and now it has been a few weeks. :) Part of it is that life has been extremely busy the last few weeks, and part of it is that I am not exactly sure what I want this blog to be. I am not sure if I want to be an anonymous blog about life's happenings and lessons, a blog about life's happenings and lessons shared with family and friends or maybe a documentation of stories/events that happen in my young family's life. Either way, I thought I would get writing.

Who am I? I am a Midwestern girl. Born in raised in a small town, the youngest in a big family. I grew up Catholic and attended Catholic schools all the way through graduate school. I moved to the Twin Cities right out of college... in pursuit of a boy. I ended up marrying that boy a few years later. :) We have a 9 month old baby boy who is the joy of my life. I lost my beautiful mother a few months ago. I love playing sports-basketball, soccer, tennis... anything that gets me moving and is competitive. I am very competitive, but trying to temper it. It's hard not to be competitive when you have very athletic older siblings... four of them brothers.

Currently, I am learning how to be a mother, a wife, a homemaker... and I LOVE IT!! This past year, I worked part-time as a teacher. I am in the last few days of the school year. While I have really enjoyed it and while I really enjoy teaching, my heart is at home, taking care of my family. I have no idea what I'm doing, but I love learning. I stumbled on a few homeschooling blogs about 2 years ago and found the allure of blog reading. I still keep up with the original one that I found and have broadened my horizons. My new favorite blog is Our Mothers Daughters.

To be cont....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A First Mother's Day

Today was my first Mother's Day with my beautiful, first born son. It was also my first Mother's Day without my mom. It was a bittersweet day to say the least. Leading up to the day, I was both looking forward to it and hoping it would pass by unnoticed. While I wanted to celebrate with my husband and son, I didn't want to have the emotions that I knew would come when thinking about my mom. But the day came, and it had it all.... tears of sorrow, tears of joy, laughter, gifts, surprises and so much love. It was a beautiful day that will forever be in my memory.

A recap of the day.

I woke up about 8 and had some time to myself before the little one woke up. (very rare-I usually wait to get up until he gets up.) My husband was already up and greeted me with a hug and a kiss AND a French Vanilla cooler from Caribou-one of my favorites. We ate breakfast together and heard the noises of a baby boy waking up down the hall. When I opened his door, I saw a beautiful hanging plant in the middle of the room, two cards on the rocking chair, and best of all, a smiling baby boy waiting for me (the gifts). I sat down and opened the card addressed "Mommy" first. It was a sweet card with a beautiful drawing from my 8.5 month old... and his daddy :) Next, I opened up the card from my hubby. That's when the tears started flowing (the tears of sadness). He has a way with words that always touches me. I could only get through half the card before both he and I were sobbing and hugging and kissing. Let me share a few of the most meaningful, beautiful lines.
"I have been incredibly inspired by your desire to make your mom a part of our baby's life... because your mom has so much to give and teach and our baby will grow and benefit from the love, goofiness and wisdom she gave to you."
"I don't like "Hallmark" holidays, but I can't help but want to celebrate you and the mother who brought you up to be the woman I'm still falling for everyday!"
How could I not cry?! I'm crying all over again! :) Oh yeah, and he said that the plant was in honor of both my Mom and me. That meant so much to me-I will think of her often as I look out my window and see those beautiful, pink flowers.

After we pulled ourselves together :), we got ready for Church. We had decided to attend Mass at the church where we had been married. It is about a 30 minute drive from our house so we don't go there very often. It was a beautiful Mass and brought back so many wonderful memories. Baby Boy was a charmer as always and smiled his way into the hearts of the people sitting behind us. After Mass we decided to walk to a delicious little restaurant where we have gone a number of times. It also provided the pizza for our dress rehearsal. I was on cloud nine at this point-right out of Mass, with a happy baby and a doting husband. Going for a walk on a gorgeous day in a town that I really love. I didn't think the day could get any better... until... The restaurant has floor to ceiling windows in the dining room. As we were walking past the windows to the front door, I happened to look in and see a guy standing there... in my mind I thought, "That really looks like my.... ahh!!" Pushing the stroller, I jumped up, yelled excitedly, started crying (the tears of joy) and ran to the front door. My dad, sister and brother had come to surprise me! I must have been quite the scene, pushing the stroller in, crying, giving hugs... I still can't believe it!! What an amazing surprise!! I was so happy and filled with joy. We had an amazing day together-ate lunch, walked to the park where we had our rehearsal dinner, came back to our house where they showered me with gifts, and simply spent time together laughing and enjoying each other's company. I loved sharing this special day with my family who I miss so dearly. They drove 3.5 hours to spend the day with us.... such an amazing gift.

I enjoyed every minute of the day with my loved ones-my husband, my son, my dad, my brother and my sister. I am so blessed with such an amazing family. We were even able to skype with my mother-in-law!

I received so many texts and messages from friends and family.... I felt so much love on this beautiful day!

The only thing that would have made it better would have been if my mom would have been here to celebrate it with us. I know that she was watching over us all on this special day. She is remembered in so many of my thoughts and prayers, not just today, but everday. I love you, Mom. I know you had a hand in making this day so special.... thank you!!! My prayers go out to all mothers and all those who yearn to be mothers.