Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday Daybook


In the great outdoors...
...though the date says it's almost mid-October, the weather is still in Indian Summer. We're having highs in the low 80s and the lows aren't even cool enough to turn off the air. Josh, Taylor and the baby are in the master bedroom, which is over the garage, which makes it the warmest room in the summer, so the air keeps cranking. 
Our electric bill -- ugh!
Autumn, please come!


I'm thinking about...
...31 days of blogging just isn't going to happen! Sorry Ana Maria -- I guess going from not blogging at all, to blogging for 31 days straight is just more than I can manage.

I'm freshly astonished at how much work a new baby is. Add to that a 15yo teenage girl (truly a handful all by herself), a husband who works from home, and three adult children under the roof. It sounds like there should be plenty of people to manage one baby, but there is some peace-keeping thrown in there, lots of hushing, a washer and drier that never stop, meals to cook, and hassling about homework and cell phone policing. Just this morning either Doug or Faith let the dog out when they left for school and didn't tell me. The poor dog was on the porch for 30 minutes before I realized she wasn't in the house. 

I frequently say that my family is not the family I imagined. Not that I imagined a perfect family (whatever that is), but I never imagined the spread in age that we have, I never imagined these grown kids, and I never imagined a grown married couple and a baby living with us again. Not that it's not all good, because it is, and I love it, but I just never imagined back when I was planning my life -- hahaha!


I am wearing...
...a denim skirt, a pink t-shirt and sandals -- summer weather clothes! 


I am reading....
...nothing at the moment. I am waiting on a book I reserved at the library -- We Are the Lucky Ones


I am creating...
...I have just the finishing touches (weaving ends) and blocking to do on the Baptismal blanket I made for Max. I started it back when Taylor was pregnant and worked on it off and on when I was at work (when I had nothing to do but wait for the phone to ring), but, of course, it came down to the week of the Baptism for me to finish it. I'll be sure to take a photo of Max with the blanket on Sunday

In the kitchen...
...tonight chicken tacos are on the menu, but I have started preparing some of the food for the Baptismal party Sunday. 


Around the house...
...lots of baby stuff -- baby stuff in every room. How can such a little person make such a huge change in a house? I have a high chair in my kitchen again (it's nice -- it tilts back so it acts like a baby seat on tall legs), a swing and play mat in my family room, a changing pad on my dining room table, and a cradle that holds not a baby, but his bathtub, cloth diapers, towels and a Boppy! Even my echo dot almost always plays lullaby music.


Plans for the rest of the week...
...Today and tomorrow I'll be cleaning and doing laundry and making what food I can make ahead (mostly just cupcakes). I'm debating about making cookies, but I don't have a shell cookie cutter. I could do Madeleines but they always seem so bland to me -- just thinking out loud. On Friday I'm going for a flu shot -- something I have avoided for years, but I really don't want to get the flu while I'm caring for a baby.


A few of my favorite things...
...Max is definitely one of my favorite things. He is such a happy baby, and so smart. At 12 weeks he is talking up a storm and rolling from tummy to back as soon as you put him down. His parents are very fortunate that he started sleeping through the night two weeks ago. Yesterday he slept almost 12 hours straight! 
...making rosaries -- hopefully soon I will have a little more time to work on some  creative work. Right now I'm just keeping up with orders.
...autumn -- if it would just get here
...This Is Us (do you watch?)


Prayers sent heavenward...
...for my husband and children, to do God's will every day
...for contracts for my husband's business

...for my sweet little Max, and a smooth transition for Taylor back to work full-time and for Max and I to have a smooth transition in his care
...for all priests and religious
...all babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion, for a change of heart
...for friends who have asked for prayers


Photo of the day...
Uncle Noah is getting pretty good with a camera. He did a wedding this past weekend and did a really good job. He also did a shoot with Max and got some cute shots. Maggie kept photo bombing, so we let her in one shot -- she licked Max's ear when she had to opportunity.








Friday, October 06, 2017

No News But Cute Pics


Yesterday I was feeling a little under the weather (anxiety reared its head) and today I'm busy with my little man. I forgot how much work babies are! There's not a spare moment in the day while he's still taking cat naps and needing lots of love during the day.

But we took some photos today while he was happy and alert, and looking pretty cute in his little yllow and gray outfit.

So, for today, that's all I have. Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow.






Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Busy in Love


Today was crazy busy, partly with Max, and meeting my former co-workers for a birthday lunch downtown, picking Faith up from school, and making dinner. Mixed in was going on a walk with Max and Taylor, doing laundry, and washing diapers.

It was the boring kind of busy, mostly, but busy, and I don't have a coherent thought for you here.

But, I do have a favor to ask any of my friends who are experts at cloth diapering. I purchased 10 EcoAble diapers, which I really love, but I wanted to check with the experts about washing. I usually run the messy ones through a warm rinse cycle, followed by a warm wash and extra rinse (if poopy diapers are mixed in, I use detergent for the first and second wash -- Tide Free), followed by a hot wash/cold rinse and extra rinse, also with detergent. I want to make sure I'm not over washing, but I want to make sure they are really clean. I usually wash them every day.

In exchange for your advice, I'm sharing a photo of my little dumpling with his Godfather, my youngest son, Noah. (If you're on FB, you've already seen this probably, but I love it so.)


Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Setting the Table


Today's writing prompt for 31 Days is "your favorite family tradition." This 31-day exercise may seriously challenge my memory in other ways, but I know my favorite family tradition. It's exclusively mine, and I can't say that about much in my house. No one participates in this tradition until it's time to sit down to a holiday meal, because my favorite tradition is setting the table.

I don't have any problem with people who choose to use paper plates and napkins to make holiday meals easier (the dishwashers at my house might just prefer I did). But the joy in serving meals to others, for me, is 40% good food and 60% beautiful tables.








Ever since my mother moved to a condo, all of the family meals take place at my house. At some holidays, Thanksgiving for example, we have at least 18 people, depending on who brings a girlfriend or boyfriend, which can make table-setting a challenge. But we have three large tables, and lots of chairs, and no one cares if the plates are mixed colors and the flatware doesn't match if there are lit candles and flowers and cloth napkins, and then good food.







As the holiday approaches I start polishing silver, choosing serving dishes, ironing tablecloths that have been in storage for months, dusting the plates, and washing the crystal. I plan the centerpieces and even place cards. All the good stuff gets used and some of the everyday stuff -- which I have had to buy more of just to accommodate a large crowd. I plan the centerpieces and even place cards. We have no "kids' table" at our house any more, or at least not yet, so everyone just mixes and sometimes the young adults end up together and sometimes the teens and the elders end up together. To me, seeing my family enjoying a meal at a table that has been set with love, in the best family tradition.




"All great change in America
 begins at the dinner table." 

Ronald Reagan

Monday, October 02, 2017

Little Me


Today's writing prompt is "What you were like as a child." This is another tough prompt for me because, again, bad memory.

Also, does anyone really know what he or she was like as a child? I have memories of what I think I was like, and I have stories that have been told about me, but I don't know that I was "like" anything.

I remember being very shy. I am the oldest child in my family -- the only girl with three younger brothers. We were two sets of Irish twins, however, with only 15 months between each set, so I wasn't much older than they were. I played with my brothers almost exclusively when I was under about age seven. In our neighborhood I had two girlfriends, one with whom I went to school, and the another who went to the public school.




As I became a little older I was a book worm. I liked school, but I wasn't terribly bright. I liked to read, but I wasn't very good in math, and I didn't have a memory for science or social studies. I could spell very well, and English came pretty easy. I should have taken note of these facts when I later failed at getting through college with a degree in zoology so that I could go to veterinarian school. My degree in journalism was clearly more suited to my skill set.

I was very close with my brothers and we didn't have a lot of money, so mostly we just played outdoors together until I was a teen. Even then I think I spent most of my time doing gymnastics outdoors because we lived in Florida then (though I was born in Cincinnati) and we played outdoors all year long. We lived simply, and we were innocent. I thank God that I was raised at a time when we didn't even have much to watch on television.

I had a happy childhood, and that, I think, is one of the greatest gifts a person can have. As an adult, I now know all the things that could have made my childhood miserable, even scarring. But, I didn't have a care in the world, and for that I am very grateful.


"If you've had a happy childhood, nobody can take that away from you." Agatha Christie





Sunday, October 01, 2017

A New Start


Ebb and flow, ebb and flow. Those two words have been on my heart for weeks now. I thought this blog was finished. My life was too full to talk about it, at least too full to sit down and have a complete thought, to write a coherent sentence.

A few weeks ago, however, I learned I would not be continuing my job part time. When I started working in the spring, our plans were that I would watch baby part time and work part time, but as things turned out, part time was not enough -- baby needs all of me.

But, I guess I should back up because the last time I posted here, a baby had not yet been born, and that is the subject of today's post.

A dear friend nudged me back into writing. She challenged me to Write for 31 Days. Each day has a prompt that I can use or not, as I so desire. Today's prompt is "Your Most Memorable Moment." Well, my memory is garbage -- I don't have very vivid memories of a lot of my life, just flashes like a slideshow on fast forward. Of course, I remember my wedding, the birth of each child, and some other events, some of which are very sad. But my most recent "Most Memorable Moment" was the day my very first grandchild was born, on July 21.

When the time for the baby to be born came close we decided not to wait at the hospital while our daughter-in-law labored, rather wait until they were settled and had caught their collective breath. We knew, however, that our daughter-in-law was in labor when we went to bed on July 20. Early in the morning on July 21 we got a phone call from my son saying, "I can see his head! Come now!"

We woke Faith, dressed and drove to the hospital, getting a phone call (I think we were on the road) saying he had been born, our sweet Maximilian Paul (named after St. Maximilian Kolbe). We arrived at the waiting room and after our daughter-in-law's mother saw her daughter and baby Max, my son came to bring me to the room -- only one person at a time in labor and delivery. When I entered the room the nurse was getting my daughter-in-law ready to move to her post-partum room, but my son lifted his son from his mother's arms and placed him in mine and I experienced the most magnificent love one can experience on this earth.

I had been told by other grandparents, for at least the nine months of the pregnancy, how wonderful it would be to be a grandmother, and I believed it, but I was completely unprepared for the overpowering love I felt for that baby the moment he was placed in my arms. Here in my arms was my son's son, my first grandchild -- something my own father never lived long enough to experience. I was overwhelmed by the tremendously deep and immediate love I felt for him. What a joy! What a gift from God!

There is a Welsh saying, "Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild."

That saying is so true. 

I have always loved my children with unconditional love, but this love, this love is so different. It is deep and wide and I often feel as if my heart could truly just burst for love of this darling boy. I know I will love all of my grandchildren the same, but the memory of the birth of this first will never fade, because it began with love.





Maximilian Paul
Born July 21, 2017







Thursday, April 20, 2017

Blessings


Every day for the past two weeks I have been filled with gratitude to God for finally revealing His plan to me, or at least my part in it. I have a wonderfully kind boss, and friendly, fun co-workers. My job is not taxing, but I see I can growth in it. I am so thankful for all of God's many blessings.

Today my boss was standing in front of my desk and we were talking about blessings (I have no idea how we got to the topic, but we did) and she asked if I had noticed something she was pointing to on the inside of the door. I got up to see what she was pointing at (the glare made it hard to make out) and was shocked to see the same Epiphany Blessing I have over the door of my own house. I can't think of many attorney's offices with that blessing over the door, but I'm glad I found one that does.







Thursday, April 13, 2017

At Long Last Daybook







In the great outdoors...
...tulips! The sun came out in February, the crocuses came up, and then it snowed. Then the sun came out  in March, and the daffodils came up, and then it snowed. I had hope for the tulips and in April we have tulips! These are my favorite -- purple tulips just in time for the end of Lent. 




I'm thinking about...
...at long last -- at long, long last -- I feel our period of adversity, is possibly ending (knock wood), or at least easing to a point at which we can breathe. And the timing is not lost on me as we started Lent last year in this state and we end our Lent this year in a new state.




The last time I blogged I was starting a new job in retail. Life was crazy, my friends, working retail, at all hours of the day and night, and my home life suffered. The manager was scheduling me to close 3-4 days a week (that's 5 to 9:30 or 10 p.m.) and that was hard being away from my family, leaving dinner for them to eat without me, Faith needing help with homework, but me not able to receive most texts in the mall, much lest help with homework remotely (not to mention getting up at six and working that late, and being on my feet for an entire shift).


I had just decided to quit, and then second-guessed myself and decided to stay, but not as a lead sales associate, just one day every other week, in case I needed to ask for more hours. Within a week, a paralegal who works in the office across the hall from where my mom works popped her head in the door to say they were looking for an administrative assistant and to ask if my mom knew anyone "just like her." She told them my situation, they called, I interviewed last Tuesday, and I started Monday (which, considering today's news -- again, thank the Lord!). I work four days a week from 8:30 to 3, so I leave after Faith leaves and I'm home before she comes home. I get off in time to pick her up if I need to, and when our grandbaby comes, I will go down to three days a week so I can keep baby two days a week as we already planned. There are two attorneys and a paralegal, all women, all incredibly kind and very flexible. I feel so grateful to have landed in a soft place, after a very bumpy ride.

Doug has another client now -- another church doing a campaign restoration -- and he is busy every day. And so, though life is nothing like it was before last February, it's looking up incredibly. 

I am amazed at the changes we've made in a year. We went from comfortably homeschooling one child, one at home in college, one married, one doing well on his own, to being unemployed, unsure of anything, and fearing the future. I can see God's hand in what we've gone through, but, of course, will never know why until the veil is lifted. Doug started going to weekly adoration and became a daily Communicant. I responded to a request to be a regular lector at our parish. Would our lives have taken the same path had we not made the choices we did to rely on him completely? I doubt it. Only God knows. And now a grandson on the way and our two children moving in with us so we can enjoy him so much more.


I am reading....


I am creating...
...a baby blanket, what else?




In the kitchen...

...we had Balsamic Browned Butter Tortellini and Asparagus Spears for dinner. The tortellini for the crown of thorns, the vinegar for the vinegar-soaked sponge given in Our Lord's response to "I thirst," and the asparagus spears for the spear that pierced His side after death. A simple, but potentially symbolic meal.




Around the house...
...playing catch-up to get ready for Easter. Low expectations this year!


Plans for the rest of the week...
...Good Friday service, the Easter Vigil (pray for me -- I have two readings), and Easter morning Mass.


A few of my favorite things...
...Holy Week
...my view from my new desk -- no windows but a fish tank with Dori and Nemo.






Prayers sent heavenward...

...for my husband and children, to do God's will every day

...for my prayer warriors -- you know who you are and I am so grateful for you. You helped bring us through this past year and I will never forget the gift of your prayers!

...for my new job and wonderful trusting (and Catholic) employers

...for that sweet little grand baby

...for all priests and religious
...all babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion, for a change of heart
...for friends who have asked for prayers



Thursday, February 09, 2017

Thursday Daybook




In the great outdoors...
...winter is back and it's cold! We got an inch of snow -- not much, but the wind is howling and it's really cold.


I'm thinking about...
...whether life is going to get more hectic or less -- I don't know! 

I'm giving up cooking the freezer meals because I have been hired for a part-time job working at Gymboree at the mall. If you know me well you are probably laughing so hard your sides ache. I have a great dislike for "the mall." In fact, in Faith's 14 years she has probably been to the mall no more than a dozen times, probably half with my mother and half with my mother-in-law. I am not a shopper. But, I LOVE Gymboree. I didn't go looking for a job at the mall, or in retail at all, but I went to the Gymboree website and applied, and they hired me because I'm a mom. Imagine that? I know how to dress a child! There are no other moms working at this particular store -- they are all millennials who have no clue that you need to have leggings to go with the dress, and a headband, and maybe socks, too. I certainly know the merchandise and I like the company. And it's like working in a candy store  -- especially for a grandma-to-be. Must not spend the paycheck!


I am wearing...
...gray leggings, gray v-neck, gray sweater and denim skirt -- with boots, and my toes are freezing! Later I have to get dressed up because we are helping to fill a table at a charitable event, and all I want to do it sit by the fire with my knitting!

I am reading....
...You Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg.

I am creating...
...A baby blanket for my shop -- pretty blues, purples, grays, with white stripes in between and all random-sized stripes. It's kind of fun and a stash buster.

In the kitchen...
...just have to figure out something for the kids tonight.

Around the house...
...mostly dirty laundry, and the kitchen floor needs to be scrubbed, but I might as well wait until after I cook next week.

Plans for the rest of the week...
...laundry job tomorrow and then I'm not sure what. It's been a long time since I've been subject to another person's schedule, so hopefully I'll be able to plan what days I'll work and fit in everything else around it. I start my job on the 21st.


A few of my favorite things...
...my kids, and I have a little bit of other news in that department (without revealing anything that's not public knowledge):
Noah is working full time at The Toy Barn -- an exotic luxury car dealership. He is photographing the cars, editing the photos and loading them to the website. He loves it! And I say life is too short to not do what you love. He gets to "play" with gorgeous automobiles, something that has been his passion for several years. There is not money for college right now -- his last quarter ended with Doug's severance, but maybe he'll go back some day when he wants it more.

Isn't he cute?

photo credit: Toy Barn


And in other big news about the kids -- Josh and Taylor are going to move in with us just before the baby comes. They really didn't want to stay in the apartment they were in, and they can't save for a house while they are paying student loans, so they might as well live with us! There will always be someone who can keep an eye on baby if they need to put laundry in or take a shower and I think it will be such a blessing for us. I know very well that you never know how much time you have left on this earth, so treat every day like it's your last -- what better way than to get grand baby hugs and kisses every day?

I say if you're going to be pro-life, you have to go all the way. I'm glad we can provide a roof over their heads while they save for their own house some day.

Prayers sent heavenward...
...for my husband and children, to do God's will every day
...for contracts for my husband's business

...for my new job and adjustments
...for that sweet little grand baby
...for all priests and religious
...all babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion, for a change of heart
...for friends who have asked for prayers