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July 28, 2013

A Seventh Day Post

It's Sunday and I rarely post anything on Sundays. But, I'm linked up with Jennifer completing the challenge of writing seven posts in seven days. So here I am.

Today was a relaxing sort of day. Since we went to the Vigil Mass last evening, we weren't required to get up this morning for that. The whole house slept in until about 8:00 a.m., then we started moving around a bit as the time inched toward 8:30. I got up and went for a 6+ mile run. The weather this weekend has been phenomenal. This morning was no exception; 68 degrees, sunny, a light breeze that hit my face as I came to the crest of a hill -- it was beautiful.

Yesterday was Gregory's due date and Craig and I took time off work this weekend to just hang out together and with the kids. Once everyone was fed and clothed for the day, we loaded up the van and took a trip out to the cemetery. Craig and I haven't made the headstone purchase yet (they are pretty pricey and every time I pull out the paperwork, I end up just putting it back...) so it was a bit tricky. We finally settled on where we decided Gregory's body must lay and I resolved to get my butt in gear with getting a marker ordered.

It was strange to be at the cemetery. The last time we were there was when he was buried after the funeral. I'm comforted to know where I could go to be close to his physical body. I spend so much time asking him to pray for me and thinking about him that I didn't really feel all that much closer to him there than I do anywhere else.

Rebecca wrote a lovely post yesterday. When I saw the title of it, my breath caught. I guess I should have known she would have saved something for Gregory's due date. After all, when I sent her a text thanking her for the beautiful Rosary she had sent, she replied saying that she had hoped it would have arrived on Gregory's due date. In the end, I'm glad I got these wonderful symbols of love and friendship in doses, because I am pretty sure my heart might not have been able to handle it all at once. I am so touched by what Rebecca wrote, because I feel the same. So many times over the past almost five months, I have read her words describing her pain in her infertility struggle and understood for the first time what she was talking about. No...losing a child and suffering with inability to conceive a child are not the same things. But the pain that she spoke of, the loss of innocence around childbearing and fertility...it was a small glimpse, emotionally, into what she goes through.

After we went to the cemetery, we went to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art for a couple of hours. The kids behaved pretty well, I thought. Craig took some good pictures of the kiddos...

There's my big boy...

Playing around...

Dominic and Vincent

Trying to do what Daddy says....

Craig and the kids

Why does she have to grow up so fast?

My sweetie-baby girl

Love getting pics of all 5...


 Well, it's been fun posting every day, but don't expect it again for awhile!! :)

July 27, 2013

Discerning Family Size Gets Tricky at 40

Discernment of family size is such a tricky thing. Over the years I think I've often erred on the side of openness (to another baby) because I have thought God's answer about another soul would always be yes.  I am not sure what led me to believe that. Is it because I'm a woman and I'm biologically wired to have babies and love and nurture them? If I think about it honestly, if money were no object, I'd have probably been open to welcoming children closer together (and of course, if I stayed home since I wouldn't have to pay daycare).

Lately I have wondered though how I would feel if God's answer to the question of no more babies...ever...was to be "no." I would be sad, no question. My brain functions normally and I realize I am approaching 40...let's face it, the answer to more babies IS, in fact, going to be "no" at some point in the not-so-distant future.

So how do I work with God's plan, if that plan is "no"? I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried about obeying God's Will if it means years of being "closed to more children" (using the most conservative interpretations of our NFP method to avoid pregnancy). There are plenty of people I know who can provide examples and anecdotes of how special and blessed a family was by being open to one more child later in life. I can read it online in forums and on blog posts -- if I look for it, there is plenty of information to encourage me to be open just one more time.

Photo Credit
The difficulty comes in our discernment of God's will for our lives. Do we say, "We'll be open...and if God doesn't bless us, then we have our answer." Or do we determine, "Be open until such time (say...age 41) and if no blessings arrive, then we will avoid pregnancy for the remaining years until menopause." I worry that I seem ungrateful for the children I have, but then realize that is silly and seeking another sibling for my children is not an indication of ungratefulness -- they'd most likely be thrilled at the development.

In the end, the prayer I have tried to make constantly is to be open and accepting of God's will, whatever that may be. I've learned the humbling reality that even if we achieve pregnancy, it doesn't always translate to a baby I will care for on Earth. I find that my fertile self finds it hard to believe that God would not bless us with another baby -- but should that be the case, it would require some growth on my part to find the acceptance necessary to move on. As far as my husband's side of this discussion, he often swings to the opposite side of where I am with it. In the past, I have always been ready to be open to another baby long before he has. It's not that he never wanted the babies we've had, it's just that he's more willing to discern that God is ready to end that part of our lives. Is it because he is older than I am? Perhaps. I don't think it's because he trusts any less because, ultimately, the babies we do have didn't get here solely on my account. 

I think that discerning expansion of our family at this point in our lives is probably the most difficult discernment I have experienced thus far. I think it's more difficult because we are older. I think it's more difficult because the children we have require certain things of us and our schedules demand more running around than they did when we just had younger children ages 8 and below. It was complicated working my current youngest child into the fabric of our family because my oldest began having more activities, doing more in school and taking on more responsibilities for which she needed guidance. At some point, I have to determine whether I can juggle the middle of the night feedings with full-time work schedule and still have the energy for the club volleyball practices/tournaments, guitar and ballet lessons and introducing the younger kids to activities they are just approaching. 

I'm not going to lie...I have daydreamed of my youngest child being 4 or 5 years old, stroller- and diaper-free. I've looked at my family as it currently stands and realized I'm not that far away from it. I can see a budget free from daycare and preschool tuition. I can almost taste a life where my husband can take a pay-cut in order to work a daytime job during the same hours I do so we can have our evenings, weekends and holidays together as a family.

But it still makes me sad. It's been so long since we've had no baby in the house and I can't imagine that life as completely happy. I think there will be a mourning period I will endure as I hit the time of my life where my fertility drops to where it's not even possible to get pregnant and for sure, carrying to term will be questionable. 

The fact is that the time will come when there will no longer be a baby in the house -- and I will no longer have much say in that occurrence. 

God will close the womb in His time, just as He opened it. 

I am linking to Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary and posting every day this week! Click HERE to see who else took the challenge!


July 26, 2013

7 Quick Takes - 57

Thanks to Jennifer Fulwiler for hosting!
--- 1 ---

Who knew it would be so challenging to complete 7 posts in 7 days? To be honest, I think it's been easier during the week than it will be to get a post up here on Saturday and Sunday. But I'm planning to try it. In case you're not sure what I am referring to, I took Jen's challenge to post every day from Monday through Sunday. Here is a link where you can see all the bloggers who took her challenge.
--- 2 ---

It has been NFP Awareness week all week. I didn't really write much with regard to NFP this week because I haven't been feeling it. Sometimes you get in a groove with that sort of thing and sometimes you don't. (Sometimes you feel like a nut <doh-duh> sometimes you don't!) Anyway, there have been some good posts out there this week. Let me refer you to a few...

NFP Sucks

--- 3 ---

So...I had a thought that I typed up into a draft but it never made it to the Posted status. I think I'm gonna use this take here to post what I wrote and complete the thought because if I wrote a whole post on it, it would probably come off as whiny. 

Life is not fair. I know that's a newsflash, right?

Throughout my life, I can point to times when I just had to buck up and admit that life is not fair. Sit down. Shut up. Smile.

Lately, I've gotten another dose of it. But you know, I've decided that I don't want life to be fair, if I ever wanted it at all. For most of my life, I've lived by "When life throws you lemons, make lemonade" kind of outlook.  

So, the post that didn't make it to published status was all about how my life hasn't been fair and that I've learned to live with it. But honestly, I decided I don't want my legacy to be that I've just learned to live with it. I want my legacy to be that I've made tons and tons of lemonade.

--- 4 ---

Well, that felt good to go back to my list and just delete that ol' thing. :)

--- 5 ---

I do have one more post in my Drafts. It's about a third of the way finished. And it's on family-size discernment. Not going to lie y'all...it is not easy, this process of deciding to be open or not open. To say, "Hey God...we're okay if you send us #7...even though #6 didn't turn out so great (for us anyway)..." It's hard to take a leap of faith and decide that we think we're done and we think that's what God is telling us, too. It's an emotional and scary and exciting and scary and loving and scary thing to contemplate. 

And I mean it's scary to think of being done.

And I mean it's scary to think of not being done.

And I mean it's scary to think we could even figure out exactly what God wants from us.

So yeah. 

There's that.

--- 6 ---

As much as I love Crossfit. You all know I really do. We simply can't afford the membership. I ran the numbers for when we go back to paying preschool fees for September through May and we just can't do it. The good news is, we can probably go back to the community center and I've found that we can find workouts online so it's just a matter of having the motivation to do them on our own. Besides, going back to the community center means access to the pool for swim workouts, too. 

Maybe someday we can afford something like Crossfit. Methinks it will be sometime in the far future with no preschool tuition or daycare bills.

--- 7 ---
We are three weeks out from Helen's pageant. I sent in this photo for the book they put together of all the kids in the pageant...

We put on her First Communion Dress to make sure it fits well and decided that will be her "formal" dress for the pageant. Yay for no shopping and buying another dress!! :) 

Of course, she'll have her hair done...
Love this dress. Sarah definitely picked a winner when she picked this 5 years ago

Be sure to go check out Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes Posts!


July 25, 2013


The Estimated Due Date (EDD) for Gregory was July 26 or July 27. Somewhere around there. Rarely have my children arrived on their due dates, though, so we'll never know when Gregory, had he been healthy, would have graced us with his presence.

I took a couple days off work, Craig took a couple days off work. We really didn't have anything planned, but didn't really want to be at work. I have a feeling that over the years, March 1 will have more significance for me as that is the days we truly said goodbye.

I have realized how many babies I will watch grow up that would be Gregory's age. My sister's baby boy, who was born in April, would have been best buddies with Gregory, I am almost certain. But I guess he and I will just be best buddies. The Royal Baby was born this week...I suppose there will be enough coverage of him over the years that I'll realize Gregory would be that size or something when I see him on TV or in the magazines. Of course, we're not royalty, so there's that. A woman at our parish had her baby last night. She also has a son in Helen's class, so surely as I watch her little girl over the next several years, I will have reminders of my baby boy and what new adventures we would have experienced.

Surprisingly, I am coming to a point where I am okay with this. I remember early on that I didn't want to hear about babies being born or see pictures. There's a friend on FB who is almost exactly where I would be pregnancy-wise with Gregory and I did have to hide the bump updates for a bit. But lately, I have been able to handle it again and I'm glad...it means that I'm healing.

Healing is good, right? I don't cry all the time. Stuff doesn't always hit me so hard that I break down. When I hear of women having trouble with pregnancy or losing their babies, however, my chest tightens and I sometimes lose my breath. Yes, that still happens. Part of me wonders if it will always happen. But I am happy again at the news of a new baby entering the world. I find joy in my other children and in the children I see running around at church or at the park. I don't spend so much time thinking about what I'm missing and instead try so much harder to live in the moment and enjoy what is happening in the here and now.

Something Craig said to me recently resonated. He said that losing Gregory helped him to see how truly fleeting the time is that we have with our children. And I agree. Sarah is already twelve. In 6 years, she will have graduated high school and will embark on an adult life. And it will be a snowball really because shortly thereafter, Dani and then Helen and basically all of our children will join her. When a new baby comes into our family and into our lives -- it feels like we have forever. But Craig and I are reaching a point where we see that it's not forever and raising our children is the most joyful and enriching blessing of all and we don't want to miss a day of it. I think we could have figured that out without losing a child -- but, I guess it was just time for God to make sure we understood it right then.

The last few days I have prayed and asked my baby boy's intercession, along with our Blessed Mother. I asked for a sign of sorts and I asked for acceptance of God's will in all things. I'm so grateful for all the prayers we have received for our friends and family here on Earth and the ones I feel certain we've had from our son and from others in Heaven that care about us and are in the presence of God. 

Today, in the mail, arrived a beautiful Rosary that Rebecca ordered to be made (by trendy Traditions) and sent to us.

Rebecca and her husband are Gregory's godparents. We communicated a bit earlier than we normally do with regard to selecting godparents and I am really glad we did. I'm not glad that Rebecca and her husband had to have some grief along with us necessarily, but Rebecca has been such a strong and present friend during this time and I appreciate it more than I could ever express. And we might not have had this opportunity to grow together if not through this experience and if we hadn't asked them about being godparents earlier in pregnancy.  

So, I guess I am glad the due date is finally here and is passing. No more looking in my planner at work and seeing the weeks tick by that I had written ahead of time. No more thinking about what stage of pregnancy I would be in, or that I would have been waddling. I have grateful thoughts -- grateful for friends and family and prayers. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to get running again and set some goals and achieve them. I feel grateful that the door hasn't closed on my childbearing years yet, though it feels like the door is closing with the passing of each day. I'm grateful for my children here on Earth who hug me the minute I walk through the door, give me kisses, tell me how much they love me and assure me that I am the best mommy in the whole world.

Life can provide Joy to equal the Sorrows.

I am linking to Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary and posting every day this week! Click HERE to see who else took the challenge!

July 24, 2013

14 Years And Counting

Fourteen years ago, Craig and I said, "I do," and began this life together. We had big dreams -- of financial security, trips to take, fall Sundays filled with football and friends and family, KU basketball games. I remember our first year together...we spent a lot of time watching T.V. in the evenings while I did cross-stitch. Craig still worked the weekends at the comedy club doing improv, sometimes I still waited tables while he did. We could sleep in on Saturdays and go have dinner and beers on Monday nights while we played trivia.

That's the thing about young married love -- it's limitless in all the good you can imagine.

A couple of weeks ago, Father spoke in his homily about what it's like starting out as a priest (he was celebrating 20 years as a priest that weekend) and all the good things to look forward to -- marriages, baptisms, daily Mass -- but he mentioned that he has grown the most through being there for people through their suffering -- death, grief, heavy crosses to bear. He likened the fact that he could never have imagined what it would be like to walk through the hard parts of life with people when he was a newly ordained priest because he hadn't been there before. Then he likened it also to what it must be like for newly married couples who set their sights on the "better" and the "in health" and the "richer" and don't realize just what they signed on for with the "or worse" and the "in sickness" and the "poorer" until some more sorrowful things happen during their marriage.

I'll be honest. Before this last year, my marriage to Craig seemed to be mostly "for better" and "in health." Marriage was, for us, pretty much what we looked forward to on that day fourteen years ago. Yes, during marriage prep, we heard all the counseling and advice that marriage can be hard work. But like many young couples, we just didn't know how that could be. We loved each other and knew we would support each other through anything, not really understanding what kind of difficulties could lie ahead of us. And for most of our marriage, we haven't suffered what we'd consider any stifling negatives.

Experiencing the loss of a child is indescribable. And it's the only thing that Craig and I have experienced together that no one else can completely understand. Fourteen years ago, as I married Craig, I never dreamed we would bury a child. 

It's not been lost on me that a loss like that could put some serious strain on our marriage. But, the flip side of that is that it could make our marriage even stronger than it was before. Especially if we take the opportunities presented to support each other, to hold each other, to continue on in this life together and grieve our son together. 

I wouldn't have wanted to go through the loss of a child ever in a million years. But if I had to experience such a profound loss, I'm glad I had Craig there to carry me through it. I believe that he has been the strength that has moved the healing to the point where we have gotten. He held me and cried with me for days after we lost Gregory. He deflects things and people that could upset me. He listens. He's been supportive of my need and action for grief counseling. He's put up with my lack of attentiveness to the house. He's supported me as I have gotten active and begun running again. He lets me cry, even though it's been over four months since we said goodbye to Gregory.

So, this year, I toast you, my Love. While I wouldn't want to relive some parts of this year, I couldn't imagine going through it all with anyone but you.

Craig and me on Father's Day 2013

I am linking to Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary and posting every day this week! Click HERE to see who else took the challenge!

UPDATE: How could I not share the link love with my NFP and Me buddy? It is Katie’s Anniversary today, too. We are Anniversary buddies! Go say hi and tell her Happy Anniversary, too!

July 23, 2013

Faith, Morals, Sex-Ed, oh my! A post about sharing information with my Preteen

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my thoughts on Sharing Fertility Awareness with my Preteen.  I stuck to just the physical aspects of Fertility Awareness and what it means. Of course, I realize that the changes that happen to my daughter now as she is growing into an adult physically are accompanied by emotional and intellectual development that will continue over the next 10-13 years.

Over the past couple of years, my daughter and I have had discussions about sex – what it is logistically and theologically, and how it fits into God’s plan for our lives. She’s discovered that she can hear a lot of information outside of our home that is not in line with our Catholic faith. She’s a smart kid so she knows that everyone does not believe or think about these things the way we do. I want my children to be able to express themselves. They should feel comfortable enough to ask questions and get clarification on this stuff, whether it’s with me or with someone else they trust. I hope my daughter wants to get this information from me, but I’m realistic enough to know she might seek counsel elsewhere at some point.

After I posted a couple weeks ago, I thought it might be helpful to some people to write about how I share our Catholic Faith and the Church’s teaching on Marriage and Sexuality with my Preteen, too. I doubt this is groundbreaking or complete. I’m sure our conversations will mature as she continues to grow up. But I am of the opinion that if she’s ready to ask the questions, then she’s ready to hear the answers and I pray I have the right words.

Following are some things I have tried to remember as we began sharing information on sexuality in the context of our faith and morals with our Preteen:

·         Use proper names for body parts. This is something we started when my now-Preteen was 2 or 3 years old. With our children, we have always used the words “vagina” and “penis” and “ovaries” and “scrotum” and any other words to describe anything related to body parts much like we use “hand” and “arm” and “foot.”

Early on my rationale for this was that if my child were to ever be abused, there would be no question about what body part had been touched inappropriately if my child were to confidently state exactly, using anatomically correct language, where s/he was touched. Now that I have a Preteen, with whom I have had discussions about sex, I find the added bonus that there’s no confusion and there’s less embarrassment. She’s always known the names of girl and boy “parts” and so the discussion had a very “matter-of-fact” flavor to it.

·         Explain exactly how intercourse happens. I remember being so confused growing up about the actual sexual act itself. I was almost relieved when my daughter had the exact same questions I did and that she felt comfortable asking me. I used frames of reference for her. We were blessed that we’d had a son by the time this conversation took place so she had seen diaper changes for both boys and girls and it made the discussion run a little smoother.

·         Understand that the child will be uncomfortable about the idea of you and your spouse engaging in sexual intercourse. I remember when the light went off for my daughter that what we were discussing was something that had actually occurred between her parents. My daughter was very cute as she said, “Wow, you mean you did that FOUR times?!?” (We had four children at the time.) And then, when we told the kids Vincent was on the way, she pulled me aside and said, “Mom, you guys did THAT…AGAIN?!?!” I will cherish that memory because it was so darn cute!

Take that opportunity to explain to your child that getting pregnant is not a given just because a couple has sex. The world will provide plenty of misinformation for your child, so we, as parents, have to counter it early and often. Initially, it was uncomfortable helping my daughter understand that her mom and dad have sex and that it does not always result in a baby. But that led to the Fertility Awareness / NFP discussions.  

·         Explain that sex is a gift from God to married men and women. The pleasure that comes from sex is a gift. The babies that come from sex are gifts. Explain that engaging in sex outside of marriage goes against God’s plan for marriage and sex. It’s okay to use the word “sin.” I tried not to go overboard, since I don’t think a lot comes from the pre-emptive use of hellfire and brimstone to make a point. Kids want to do good naturally. They want to please their parents and, it’s been my experience, they want to please God. I try to reiterate that sin is a turning away from God, meaning we are not following God’s Plan.

When discussing the act of intercourse, my daughter mentioned “gross” and “disgusting.” This led naturally into a discussion about how it could seem that way when intercourse is taken out of the context of a marriage. Of course, I let her know that some time in the not-so-distant future, her opinions of intercourse will probably change. I hope she will remember our discussions, though, and they will remind her to consider what God’s plan for her life is so she will act accordingly.

·         Remember that your Preteen probably already knows more than you think they do. The whole reason we have discussed this at all is because my daughter asked questions. The fact that she had the questions to ask helps me understand just how far she had gotten on her own.

·         Be honest. I remember when we heard a news blurb on the radio one day that mentioned sexually active eleven year olds. My daughter’s eyes about popped out of her head and she looked at me and said, “But, I’m eleven…” This led to me asking questions of her about how she felt about learning that children her age would be having sex or whether she knew how those opportunities arose. Without getting too personal, suffice it to say, it was eye opening for her to know there were circumstances in the world that led to children her age becoming parents. But I didn’t shy away from it.

Throughout these discussions, I have had an opportunity to reiterate to my Preteen daughter:
·         That God loves her and us and that our Church has taught on these subjects in such a way to protect us and draw us closer to Him in all things
·         That her parents love each other very much and that we love her and her siblings
·         That we try our best to be honest with her and will do the same with her siblings
·         That boundaries are something set out of love for her guidance and protection

I hope my Preteen will continue to ask questions and communicate with us as she grows older. I know the questions have only just begun. There will be many more opportunities for growth in the coming years.

I am linking to Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary and posting every day this week! Click HERE to see who else took the challenge!

July 22, 2013

Happy NFP Awareness Week!

I don't have a lot planned for this week. 

Last week, I got a post up most days of the week about NFP. See here:

My NFP Posts page has a few more posts with reflections how NFP has impacted my life.

This week...I got nuthin'. 

But our priest delivered the most amazing homily yesterday at Mass and gave permission to share on social media so, I will share it here for today's entry (Please share -- tweet --etc). We need more priests to step up and preach on this issue in our times. 

In support of the Church on the 45th Anniversary of Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae 

Homily by Father Vince Rogers 
St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church 
Gladstone, Mo. 64118 
July 21, 2013 

The Church has a lot to say about the human person and the choices we make. And the Church has been teaching about these matters since the Lord first breathed life into Her on Pentecost. 

Frankly, we should listen to the Church more. She’s wiser than any of us individually, because She comprises the collective wisdom of the ages. 

She’s fought battles that most of us have never even heard of. I only know about them because I had to study them. Montanism, Sabellianism, Arianism, Pelagianism, Nestorianism, Iconoclasm, Jansenism...just to name a very few. These are footnotes in history which I don’t expect you to know. What I do want you to know, however, is that your Church was fighting against false teachings way before you were around. 

These teachings were widespread. Some of them taught that there was no sin--others, that everything was a sin! Some claimed that Jesus was not divine. Others, that the human body was evil and you could do no good, or, the opposite, that you could do anything you want with your body. Still others claimed that the Eucharist is just bread. Some said that making statues and images was sinful. I could literally wear you out with all the heresies your Church has had to correct over the last 20 centuries! 

So, why do I tell you this? Well, because, here we find ourselves in these modern times thinking that our issues are so unique and completely different from anything the Church has had to deal with. But they’re not! Homosexuality, polygamy, infanticide, abortion, euthanasia, contraception... were around through all of human history before Christ. The Church has been teaching about these things in every age since. 

This week marks the 45th anniversary of a letter from the pope that is hardly ever spoken about, but which affects almost everyone in society. In this letter, entitled Humanae Vitae, the Holy Father reiterated what the Church had always taught about the sacredness of marriage, about responsible parenthood, and about contraception and sterilization. 

Many people misrepresent and oversimplify this teaching by saying that the Church is anti-science. Does that make sense to you in light of the fact that our own Church runs some of the finest medical schools in the world and in our country? Boston, Creighton, Fordham, Notre Dame, Georgetown...We heard the same argument when we were in the middle of the embryonic stem cell debate. Our Church is pro-science. Science is part of the reason why we have concluded that human embryos are human beings, and they shouldn’t be destroyed in order to harvest their cells--anymore than someone shouldn’t kill you for your kidneys. 

So contraception is wrong because it violates the meaning of marriage, which is for love and procreation. Furthermore, contraception and sterilization involves an anti-life mentality. God cares about what is in our minds and in our hearts. He wants to be Lord of our life, not just in church, or work, or in the kitchen, but also in the bedroom. Some say, “Keep the Church out of our bedroom!” I suppose you could do that, but you shouldn’t keep God out, and the Church is the voice of God in the world today. 

Interestingly, when the pope wrote this letter in 1968, he outlined a number of things that would happen if contraception became widespread (many laughed at him then). He said that it would lead to marital infidelity, divorce, and a general lowering of morality. He also said that men would lose respect for women, considering them as mere instruments of sexual pleasure, and not as respected and beloved companions. Moreover, he warned that widespread contraception would lead to manipulating our fertility, treating it, not as a blessing from God, but as a disease or an infection to be attacked. It’s a very short leap to having the same view about unborn life. 

They laughed at the pope in the late 60’s during the sexual revolution. Who’s laughing now? Other than Satan, I can’t think of anyone. 

This is not an easy subject for me to discuss, but I do it because a feel compelled to speak about the truth of the fullness and beauty of our faith. Having said that, I feel less sorry for me and more sorry for the women who have to live in this society which glorifies ultra-skinny over normal, living together over marriage, careerism over family, and contraception over motherhood. 

The priest with whom I’m closest in my life shared something with me. He said that, “I learned something about my mother that maybe was a little too late because she has already died.” “My mother,” he continued, “was always right. The reason she was always right was because she was continuously looking out for me. She was never seeking her own good, but was always seeking what was good for me.” The same could be said for the Church. The Church, in Her motherhood and in her wisdom, is looking out for the needs of her children. And while it may be difficult for us as children to listen to the advice of our Mother, we should remember that She is our Mother and She is right. 

We come to church, among other things, to pray for the grace and the strength to do what is right. May God give us the strength to do what is right, even when it is difficult. 

Father Vince Rogers

I am linking to Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary and posting every day this week! Click HERE to see who else took the challenge!


July 19, 2013

7 Quick Takes - 56

Thanks to Jennifer Fulwiler for hosting!
--- 1 ---

It's hot out! I'm not complaining because honestly, I prefer hot and humid to snow and freezing anytime. But when I go to Crossfit or run outside (which is all week) -- no matter what time it is, it is hot out. Good thing I like to sweat!

--- 2 ---

We have had my niece Julie here for the week. That means we've had the complete set of 2006 girl Poliquin babies in the Kansas City area all week. What that really means is...trouble. :) Nah, they are the sweetest girls. I love how they seem to be on the same wavelength, even though they are from three separate households. I think they've had a blast seeing each other:

--- 3 ---

We swapped Dani for Julie (both rising 4th graders and part of the 2003-04 "wave" of Poliquin girls, so Dani has spent the week in South Carolina with her cousin Jenna. The beginning was rough as Dani got eaten by mosquitoes while playing outside. But sounds like the bites healed after a couple days and she's used the bug spray since. It's so cool we have this opportunity to give our kids some time with their cousins!

Dani before leaving for SC
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Helen and Julie have gotten along swimmingly...

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It's birthday season on my side of the family, too. My nephew and his godmother-Aunt share a birthday on the 13th, Sarah had her birthday on the 16th and we have a few more summer birthdays (Vincents and a couple cousins are in June, Dani's and another cousin's are in August). So we spend a bit more time hanging out in the summers. :)

Beatrice and Elanor (with Sarah peeking around)

Man, we really do girls SO WELL!! :)

My handsome baby boy

This is a rare "good" picture of me (at least one I am happy with)

Julie enjoyed playing with Vincent
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We have one more birthday "present" of sorts for Sarah. She is having a friend come over to spend the night and hang out. I must say, I'm glad to be past the age of needing to put together birthday parties for her. And even Dani has really only requested that she get to have a friend over for her birthday this year. I'm not one that has birthday parties for my kids every year anyway, but it's nice to have the pressure off from the kids.
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Speaking of running. Oh? I wasn't? Well, okay, let's talk about running. I really need some new shoes. I plan to try and go over 8 miles tomorrow...probably close to 10 if I can. I am 5 weeks away from the half-marathon I am running with Rebecca and I figure if I can maintain my weekly long run at 10-11 miles the next 3-4 weeks, I'll be good for 13.1 come August 17. I guess I'm glad I'm running in all this heat, because the middle of Illinois in the middle of August is probably going to be hot and humid!!

Have a terrific weekend and be sure to go check out Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes Posts!


July 17, 2013

The Story of Us and How We Met

Grace at Camp Patton did a two posts a couple weeks ago on how she met her husband and how they ended up getting married. Then she put up a linky-thingy so the rest of us can share our story, too. So, I realized I never told this story on my blog before.

The night I met Craig was about a year after I ended a 4-year-long relationship. I had not had anything serious going on during that year. It was the year I kind of got to know me a little bit and stopped worrying about finding the right guy to impress others and thought about the type of guy that would make a good husband. I'm not saying I didn't party it up or anything over that year, but it seemed that I knew the men I went on dates with were not marriage material -- at least not the type of guys I was figuring out I wanted to marry.

I lived in Topeka, KS at the time. I was working in Lawrence as a telephone company relay operator. I drove to Kansas City with my friend, Bridget. On the way to KC, Bridget relayed a conversation she'd had with her mother in which she told her where we were going that night (we were going to Comedy Sportz -- think improv sports -- kind of like that show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"). Her mother relayed to Bridget that her (Bridget's) cousin, Craig, worked there. So Bridget was letting me know we might see him.

I had no idea what "worked there" really meant. I mean, I probably had ideas of bartender, waiter, that kind of thing. hahahaha

The show began and this format of improv sports has a Referee who is kind of like the emcee of the whole thing. And I immediately told Bridget that the Referee who came on stage MUST be her cousin. She looked up and said, "Oh, yeah...that's Craig." You see...Craig is the spitting image of his Uncle, who is Bridget's dad.

There is a "halftime" of the show and while out in the courtyard smoking cigarettes (don't judge my young, stupid self :) ) Bridget called Craig over and we said hi and she introduced all of us to him. He let us know that after the show, they were planning to go hang out at The Quaff, (which is a really cool bar downtown that Craig and I still like to go to if we ever get time out without the kids). So, Bridget told us girls that we'd head over there.

And, so we did. Craig was there with his Comedy Sportz friends (couple guys and a girl) and we played darts and drank some beer. Then plans were made to go to one of the girls' houses (I think her name was Brenda) for the after-the-bar-closes party. The whole time we were at the bar, I was talking to one of Craig's friends and he ended up driving me to Brenda's house.

When we got there, we played a game of "I Never" (if you've never played that...then, I'm sorry) and through that Craig kept talking to me even though I was kind of being rude to him. But then he said the words that changed everything... "There were five of us in my family growing up..."

Ding-Ding! Because then I said, "There were FIVE of US in MY family growing up!"

And then he said something about going to Catholic school.

And then I said something about going to Catholic school! But then I clarified, I only went through 8th grade.

So....I didn't give him my number yet. And actually, Bridget had to have her graduating-from-law-school party and invite him before that happened. 

But, yes, she invited him to come to her graduation party, he called out of the shows that night and showed up all by himself not knowing anyone but Bridget, really, but knowing that I was going to be there. We spent all night at that party talking and I gave him my phone number and he called me the next night.

The rest is history.

The end.

The front page of our ancient Wedding Album

 PS: We got married about 6 months before it was mainstream for wedding photographers to do digital! So I have the negatives from all my wedding photos and am just now shopping around to have someone put them in digital format! So, I took a couple pictures of my pictures, LOL

Yay, we got married!!

July 16, 2013

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

I'm not sure I could say much more than I've said before about my first-born. She turned 10 and I about cried writing about that. Then she turned 11 and we were no worse for the wear.

Now she turns 12. One lone, last year before the 'teens. Yikes! How did we get here so fast?

What I will say is...she has grown up so much in the last year.

Physically -- just take a look at the outdated pictures in my header (which were taken about a year ago) and then look at these...

She is getting taller!


Birthday Card from Gammer and Grandad!

 Lately, I have been balancing a new kind of relationship with Sarah. I'm still the parent, of course, but we talk more and she helps more without me asking her to do so. We get an extra hour or so each night after the other kids are in bed and we read or we watch movies or we just talk. She loves to tell me about funny parts of books or movies...or the latest "Dance Moms" episode she's watched.

Happy Birthday, Sarah! I love you more than you could ever know!