"To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.”"

Pope John Paul II

The Hazel Story

Posted by on Jul 28, 2014 in Faith, Family, Mommying | 4 comments

I’m going through pictures of The Hazel Story, finding birth photos and gassy smiles but I also have many of me pregnant with her. I remember each one rather painfully. I had a stroke (TIA) while in Texas for work at 11 weeks caused by a hole in my heart, which would need surgery to correct. Nine weeks later they told me she had Trisomy 18. I took thrice daily blood thinning shots into the stomach to keep me and her alive for the rest of my pregnancy. The anesthesiologist was kind when she said those shots were incompatible with an epidural. Au natural it is then.  Confusing Trisomy 18 with Down Syndrome, I worried not at all. I had way too many other things to worry about like my overly stressful job and my first two children.  The kind genetics counselor called me and explained what Trisomy 18 really was and I cried. And Darwin cried.

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You’re Driving Me Crazy

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Faith | 3 comments

117Take a moment to think about someone who drives you nuts. Not a little, but that person you’ve fantasized about snapping in half across your iron knee. Or stabbing them in the neck with a pencil. Oh come on. Don’t tell me it’s only me. Because I know it isn’t. It’s you too. Maybe your revenge of choice wasn’t quite so dramatic, but for some of us…I mean some ‘other’ people, it is. Maybe when you’re around this person you want to shrink down to nothing-size and hide under a leaf in the forest. Or perhaps you’re like me and you like to wear glasses when you know you’ll be facing this person, as you can drop them down your nose and be suddenly ‘blind’ which gives you a weird sense of safety. We all have irksome people in our lives. I actually do not have one right now, which is great, but it has certainly happened before.

Today, a friend was venting about just such a person in her life. Her complaints were so valid. Not communicating, listening, condescending behavior; the works. I happen to know said offender and don’t have the same experience or relationship with them but I was considering what kind of advice to offer. I didn’t have much really, but I reached really deep into my memory of the last time I was in this situation and what helped me. Here is a list to give you some perspective next time you cross Mr. PITA’s path. (Google that if you don’t know what it means. Or don’t. If you don’t know what it means, you’re innocent and shouldn’t.)

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It’s Time to Stop Judging and Start Loving

Posted by on Jan 12, 2014 in Faith, Family, Mommying | 1 comment

Family Photo

It’s time to sit down and talk about how we are treating people. I have a lot of things in mind, from the Facebook comments on how someone should kill themselves for being fat, to the anonymous rudeness to a call center representative. It’s time to give peace a chance. (And no, I’m not a hippie.)

This time I am specifically talking about attacking other people’s parenting styles. Blog after blog, post after post, mom after mom after bleary eyed mom likes to tell other parents that they’re doing it wrong. The worst comment in the history of Facebook: “I would NEVER…”

It starts with Dr. Sears: Don’t spank your children. Let your children sleep with you until your next child comes and then gently scoot them into their own bed to welcome the new addition. It goes on to Dr. Ferber: Let your child self sooth and learn to sleep on their own. To Dr. EveryoneElseWhoProbablyHasANanny saying to feed your kids organic this and clothe them in organic that. Safety gadgets, baby gadgets, feeding tools and gadgets all in an effort to provide the most pioneer type diet with the best chances of stimulation and Mozart created IQs.

STOP! God gave your child to you. He gave your other children to your child. He gave your house, your food accessibility, your income and your loathing for Mozart to you, your child, and your child’s siblings. Guess what? That’s how it was meant to be.

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Happy Holi-days!!

Posted by on Dec 17, 2011 in Faith | 3 comments

I used to think that saying Happy Holidays was a nice way of including all the holidays into one saying; for example, ‘Happy Thanksgiving,’ ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Happy Hanukkah’ & ‘Happy New Year.’ I was an adult before I ever realized that this was not an all inclusive phrase, but an exclusive one. One to exclude Christ from Christmas.

Recent, though, it occurred to me to look up the origin of the word ‘holiday.’ We go on holiday if you’re British, and we celebrate holidays throughout they year. Most holidays aren’t around Christmastime, actually. We celebrate President’s Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Fourth of July, etc. Really, the ‘holidays’ does refer to the largest grouping – late November through New Year’s.

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Follow your own advice

Posted by on Dec 2, 2011 in Faith | 0 comments

Today I had lunch with a couple of ladies from work. One lady, in particular, clearly had some things on her mind that she shared with us. She was pondering her situation in life mostly surrounding her boyfriend and what she should do since he doesn’t seem to be making steps towards marriage though he says he is. We chatted for over an hour (oops!) all about it and I had lots of great advice. I was feeling pretty good about my advice and thought later about what I had said.

I thought about the advice I had freely offered and how I was once in her shoes though at the time, I had no idea what to do about it either. Further thinking led me to other pieces of advice I had so kindly doled out. I like to give advice, you know, because I’m so wise. Kidding. But I do give advice a lot. Usually I like to recommend that people try seeing from someone else’s point of view. I kept thinking about other pieces of advice I had given from the hefty, “Leave him!” advice to the more lowly, “Don’t forget to lock your car.” A resonating theme kept coming back to me:

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Posted by on Nov 16, 2011 in Faith | 0 comments

If you have ever been to my Facebook page and perused through some statuses you’ll know I take public transportation. ‘The bus’ is a fascinating mode of getting to and from work or to and from home, however you see it. I see many things. Interesting things. Boring things. Alarming things. And people. Alarming people.

Today, though, as I was on the bus I looked over and saw a human being. Not just ‘a guy’ or a person over there, but a human being. For a moment, God allowed me to sense the presence of this human being’s spirit and as notable, this human being’s Guardian Angel. I didn’t see anything. No clouds parted or rays of sunshine protruded from anyone’s head, but for a brief moment I sensed the presence of this person’s magnificent Guardian.

A priest once told me a good way to keep close to God as I rush through my day is to greet the Guardian Angel of the people I pass by. Well, this morning I greeting this Guardian. To sense the Angelic was as frightening as it was powerful. I knew this being was there.

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Sanctified Suffering

Posted by on Oct 15, 2011 in Faith | 3 comments

Each of us has, each day, ample opportunities to ‘offer it up.’ That age old saying that our parents and grandparents echoed over and over throughout our childhood is probably some of the best advice you’ll ever get in life. God gives us enough opportunity for sanctification in this life that there is no need to suffer in any fire (eternal or temporary.) When something bad happens to us, what do we do? We get on our knees and pray, “God! Please take this away!” Not a bad prayer as no discussion with God is, but there may be a better way. First and foremost, thank God. I recently stubbed my toe. It hurt. It really really hurt. (Now I’m complaining. Did you see how quick that was?) Anyway, not only did it hurt but it hurt for several days. I may have smashed the nail but since it was a painted nail, I couldn’t tell and it hurt too much to touch to take the paint off to see what I had done. I couldn’t wear shoes for a few days because socks cut off the circulation causing it to throb and then, because I wasn’t wearing protective shoes, I bumped into everything or someone stepped on it at least a few times a day. My first thought was to pray my mom’s prayer, “My Jesus, pardon and mercy through the merits of your Sacred wounds. Eternal Father I offer thee the wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the wounds of our souls.” I said it,

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