Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sacrifice. Spiritual. Service.

Lent begins tomorrow. 40 days and nights of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. A time to look at ourselves, our lives, and our habits and figure out whether we're honoring God or honoring ourselves in the things that make up our lives.

Every year around this time we all start scratching our heads and trying to figure out what we're going to give up. Sweets? Coffee? Facebook? Candy? Beer? TV? What's it going to be?

I have read some great blogs that sparked my thoughts on what I could do. This one gave 66 ideas, of varying degrees of difficulty, that we could offer up as our Lenten penance. It also got me thinking of the selfishness of some of our penances. Take sweets or desserts: Are you giving it up because you really want to offer up the sacrifice of something you enjoy? Or would you really like to lose a few pounds and by giving up something you enjoy (like sweets) you're able to lose that weight? Why not give up dessert and focus on weight loss AFTER lent?

Those very thoughts got me thinking and talking with the family about what we were going to do this year. In years past we've mainly focused on the self deprivation and spiritual growth as opposed to focusing on all three areas. This year we made a list as a family for each family member's Lenten focus.

Sacrifice. Spiritual. Service.

This is some of what we've come up with:

C2: Sacrifice: No cereal snack during mass time. Spiritual: Trying to sit quiet in mass. Service: Waving to people we see in public. (She's 18 months old so it's basic.)
T: Sacrifice: No candy. Spiritual: Saying a St. Michael Prayer everyday. Service: Emptying the trash cans daily from the bathrooms.
C1: Sacrifice: No candy. Spiritual:Waking up an extra 5 minutes early to offer up his day to God. Service: Taking the trashcan down to the street and back up and helping put away the groceries every time we go to the store

I took some ideas from the aforementioned blog and am going to give up taking the closest parking spot. I'm also implementing a "Only one light on in the house at a time" with bathrooms being the exception. As for service, I'm going to be doing 40 Bags for 40 Days and cleaning out, organizing, donating and purging the equivalent of 40 Bags of "stuff" to better bless our house and others. Spiritually I'm going back to reading the Daily Readings every day, before leaving the house in the morning. Additionally I'm doing a Marian Consecration and some other spiritual reading and committing to at least 10 additional minutes of spiritual reading.

As I write this, I'm watching Mother Angelica's Classics on EWTN and it's a re-run of a talk she gave in March of 2000 talking about Lent and Ash Wednesday and she's brought to mind two things I've never thought of before.

1. Lent is a time to say, "There's a lot of me that hasn't changed a bit." And to start working on changing what you should have changed.
2. Every day we have 1,000 different things we can offer up as our lenten penance.

Her examples of number two ranged  from things like not getting aggravated with another driver on the road. Giving a server, taxi driver, service worker an extra high tip. Giving up your temper. Praying for the person who made you mad. Eating the less than delicious meal you were cooked without complaining. Smiling at strangers. And every time you do it, you can say "This is my lenten penance."

I liked LOVED that idea. So this year I'm focusing on having a new lenten penance each and every day. And carrying it all on beyond Lent. Let the 40 Days build the habit and next year there will be a few less ways in which we haven't changed a bit.

What is everyone else doing this Lent to grow closer to Christ?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Little Olympian

The Olympics have started. In this house they're on pretty much all day long. I love watching them. I love hearing the back stories. I love the camaraderie between the athletes, the teams, their moms. The moms... Don't even get me started on the "Thanks Mom" commercials P&G has put out!

As we started watching the competitions starting on Thursday night the kids were glued to the slopestyle competition. Instantly the boys were telling me that they wanted to learn how to snowboard. Thankfully we live in an area where a few flurries in the air send kids to the tv screen wondering if school will be cancelled.

As we watched athlete after athlete attempt the course most of them did so successfully. There were a couple who came through with a rough landing which incited an "Oh! That had to hurt!" shout from the boys. Then there was one that had a major wipeout. The Olympian was obviously injured and it was sad for me as an adult to watch as her Olympic dream ended before it really began.

While my oldest said, "MMOOOMMM! Did you see THAT?!" it was my middle little who said, "Oh My Gosh! I'm going to pray for her." My heart skipped a beat with pride. Then and there my four year old stopped and said a "Hail Mary" for her. We pray for people when we see an Ambulance fly by us on the street with lights and sirens blazing. Usually I initiate it, but not this time. This time it was all him.

On the drive to school on Friday we were praying and his intentions were for "Pope Francis and his family, Deacon Pete, that I can have a great day and for the person who skied and fell and got hurt." Then when we finished he asked if we could say another "Hail Mary" just for the person who got hurt.

Again last night we saw some boarders fall and get injured. My sweet guy stopped every time and offered up a "Hail Mary" for them. When I asked why he chose to pray a Hail Mary specifically over something like "God watch over that person that was hurt" he said, "Mary is Jesus's mom and mom's help people when they're hurt."

Oh sweet boy! How you help your mom when her faith starts to slump or hurt! I get so bogged down with the failures of life. I was stewing an hour before hand over his loud whispering during mass and his sister's crying. I felt exhausted and all I wanted to do was receive Christ and spend an hour as a family praising Him. Instead I felt like I had run a marathon and competed in a cross-fit competition. I keep trying to sow the seeds, but most days I feel like they're being blown way off the mountain. Then there's moments like that one. Moments where they get it. Moments where I feel like I suck a little bit less as a mom.

Thank you Lord for the moments like that. The reminders that I'm doing 'okay'. Thank you Holy Spirit for guiding their paths, for working in them when I don't see it all the time. Thank you for letting them see people who fall and get back up. And those that fall, stay there a while, then muster a smile or wave as they're being helped up. Thank you for filling their hearts with the fire of your love.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Ten Years

Ten years ago at this moment my hair was done, my makeup on and my friends were circled around helping me step into my crinoline and slide in to my a-line wedding dress.

I was twenty years old. Bright eyed, toned, happy, optimistic, full of love, joy, confidence. I couldn't wait to hear the music start and begin the walk down the stairs of the old antebellum mansion we chose for our wedding ceremony. It wasn't the Catholic wedding ceremony I had envisioned, but given the pending deployment for my then fiancee and a 6 month adjustment to the wedding time frame, it was perfect.

I remember shaking as I waited alone at the top of the stairs. I made my way down the staircase where my dad and step-dads stood waiting to escort me down the aisle. As we reached the end of the aisle and I looked at the man before me there was no hesitation in mind. My hands stopped shaking the moment his hand held mine. I listened to the readings. They were ones I had chosen, but I heard nothing. I just looked at him, falling more in love by the second.

When the time came to exchange vows, I remember being elated when I said the words "I take you to be my husband". My husband! I loved it. I couldn't believe it. This man was mine to share my life with. In good times, in bad times. Happiness and sorrow. Sickness and Health. All of those things. We were going to do them all, conquer the world.

In the last ten years, the world has done it's best to conquer us. As babies came, loved ones died, we moved houses, cities, jobs.... We've seen our fair share of good times. We've seen our fair share of bad times too. The last 18 months being the peak of them. And while this anniversary was bittersweet, it hit me, "As rough as things have been, we're still married. I'm still here."

Now ten years the wiser, here's what I'd say to my 20 year old self on my wedding day, or to anyone on their wedding day:

You and your spouse are taking the very first steps of an ultra marathon today. Today is the pre-race warm up. You look great. You look prepared. You're nervous and scared. You're excited and confident. You can't wait for the party at the end, for the pictures, for the food. You're ready. When you cross the start/finish line, you're taking part in a race along a course that is known, but unfamiliar.

There will be peaks, valleys and plateaus. You are going to have bursts of life and energy during this marathon. You will feel unstoppable. When you say "in good times..." You have NO idea how great those good times can be. There will be times that are so good that you can't stop smiling and laughing. Like there's a great secret that only the two of you know. You will feel joy like you've never ever felt in this lifetime. Joy that surpasses the kiss at the end of today's ceremony. You will experience elation in things you never imagined to a level you never dreamed of- the ultimate runner's high.

Likewise, when you say the words "and in bad times" you cannot yet imagine how bad the bad times may be. You will also experience sadness and grief and sorrow. Unlike anything you've ever imagined. As you grow older, you lose loved ones along the way: friends, coworkers, parents, maybe even children. It rips your heart and soul out and leaves you unable to breathe. You watch your finances get stretched thinner and thinner until there's nothing left but your tear stained budget. You will want to quit. You will want to give up. You will be left feeling as though you can't take another step in the ultra-marathon you're running. You'll hit "the wall".

If you're blessed with children, you'll experience love like you've never known. And frustration you can't imagine. You will hold your newborn child for the first time and for the first time you'll know what it is like to love as God loves you. Things you may once have shied away from will captivate your conversations: breastfeeding, poop, potty training, tantrums. You'll be full of love and excitement while being completely exhausted with nothing left to give. Then you'll see your spouse and somehow, somewhere you will need to find just a little bit more to give.

Your marriage is a fortress that will constantly be under attack from anyone and everyone. Your married friends going through a 'peak' will push and pry and won't understand when you're going through a 'valley'. Your single friends will rib you and ride you about the ball and chain and how whipped you are. Your coworkers will encourage you to go out for girl's night instead of rushing home. Your former classmates will question how you gave up a career for changing diapers and raising children as a stay at home parent.

As time marches on, it will march across your face, your body and your marriage. Time can divide. Time can wound. Time can heal. Time can comfort.

Ten years from now, you'll only be a short distance in to the marathon. You may still be going strong on a runner's high. Or you may be hitting a plateau where things aren't bad or good but more or less things just "are". You might find yourself in the middle of a long, seemingly unending uphill climb. Or you may be praying you'll get to a point where you're starting that climb because you're currently in the middle of a downhill spiral. You don't know where you'll be, neither do I, but ask yourself this:

Are you prepared to answer the question 'Where will we be in ten years?" with the answer: "We're still married, in spite of it all."

If you're entering in to marriage with the hopes of finding happiness, you won't. If you're entering in to marriage with the hopes of finding completion, you won't. 
If you're entering in to marriage with the hopes of changing your spouse, you won't.
If you're entering in to marriage with the hopes of escaping your past, you won't.
If you're entering in to marriage with the hopes of living a fairy tale, you won't.

Marriage isn't about finding happiness or completion or changing someone or escaping or being a character in a movie. Marriage, true Catholic Christian marriage is about holiness. Doing everything you can to help one another in your efforts to achieve a life of holiness.

You will BOTH have days where you're not happy. You will BOTH have days when you're incomplete or indifferent or lost. You will BOTH have days where you want to change every little irritating thing about your spouse. You will BOTH have days where you not only want to escape your past, but your present, and your future. You will BOTH have days where you feel like you're starring in The Notebook and BOTH have days where you feel like you're starring in Kramer vs. Kramer.

Today you'll stand before God and everyone and say "I take you to be my husband/wife in good times and in bad. In sickness and in health. In happiness and in sorrow. For richer for poorer. For better or worse. To love, honor and cherish all the days of our lives until death do us part."

You may say what's above, but what you're really saying is this: "When you're going through a pregnancy or a miscarriage or depression or alcoholism or cancer, I will be there. When you've lost your job, we are broke and the job market sucks, I will be there. When you've lost 15lbs and worked your ass off at the gym I will be there. When you're covered in baby spit-up and the house is a disaster, I will be there. When your parents are sick and dying, as scared as it makes me about losing my own parents, I will be there. When the kids, the dog, the phone and every other thing have pulled you in a million pieces, I will be there. I will be praying. I will be loving. I will be forgiving. I will be kind. I will be patient. I may not like you all the time. I will not like you all the time, but I will be there and will love you. When you are least likeable, least loveable even, I will still be there. I will be there praying. I will be there waiting. I will love you. And I will still be there."

Marriage is hard. It's hard when everything is going right. It's work- it's work when everything is going right. It's even harder and even more work when it seems like everything is going wrong. That's when those vows come in to play. That's when the path to holiness outweighs the path to happiness. If you want happiness, you won't find it. You'll join the other half of married couples who ten years later aren't still there. If you choose the path to holiness, you'll find the road traveled is a difficult path at times, but you're up for the challenge, because you know you're going to get over "The Wall". Just keep trying. Just keep carrying that cross. You'll struggle and suffer and might even die a little (or a lot) inside, but on the path to holiness all things come out resurrected in to something far greater than eye has seen!

As you prepare to run the marriage marathon, remember
in good times and in bad, sickness and health, happiness and sorrow. For richer for poorer. For better or worse. God is there. He will always be there. He lives in you. He lives in your spouse. It will take all three of you for your marriage to last. It will take all three of you to stay married. With your eyes set on achieving holiness instead of happiness within your marriage, whether it be ten years or forty years, you will still be there. Knowing what I know now, living what I'm living now,  I can say, "I'm still here." It's hard. It's hard every day. Currently the happy, the good, the better all seem overshadowed by the sorrow, the bad and the worse, but we're still here. We're still married. We still celebrated ten years of marriage. Ten years of going through the suck. Ten years of diapers and crying babies. Ten years of laughter. Ten years of tears. Ten years of hurt, anger and fear. Ten years of love, life and joy. Ten years of falling and failing. Ten years of getting back up and trying again. We're still here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Time with My Bestie

Wednesdays have become my favorite day of the week. It's a day where I get a mostly uninterrupted date with my BFF.

I started visiting my friend in Adoration at our church a few years sporadically. If I got to the school REALLY early for pick-up. If our women's group had absolutely no-one else who could fill our obligation. It was quiet. Too quiet. I could hear myself think, and every other pin drop sound in that chapel. I was restless and felt uncomfortable and awkward. I'd try to pray and find my mind wandering to all sorts of less than holy places. I'd get my rosary beads out and find that it'd take me 20 minutes to pray a decade.

Over time I began attending less sporadically and out of obligation, and more for a desire for the quiet. It was no longer unnerving, as I had realized that the quiet of that little chapel didn't mean I'd discover something naughty my children had been doing. It wasn't "home" yet, and was only something I could give myself to for a 20 minute maximum before I started to feel like I needed to escape to the comfortable noise of my house.

As months passed my time spent in adoration went from a 20 minute visit once or twice a month to a 40 minute visit three times a month. Now, it's my home for at least an hour virtually every Wednesday, barring a sick child. My "me time". Just me and Jesus. Of course there are others there. Others that come and go. Some stay a brief 20 minutes like I once did. Others are there when I arrive, and remain after I leave, but I don't sense their presence. My best friend never makes me feel like He's sharing His time with anyone. It's just He and I.

What started out as stiff and awkward on my part has become the most endearing of all friendships I have. Some days we pray together. Some days He listens as my heart talks. I've cried with Him. I've laughed with Him. Some days we sit in silence together. Sometimes my mind wanders to places unrelated to my time with Him, and He never cares. He meets me right where I am, loves me for who I am, and is the most loyal and loving friend I've ever had. After years of not fitting in, and trying to have a BFF, I found one. He is always available for me to talk to, day or night. And the best part of it is that He looks forward to our dates as much as I do.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Best?

Unless you live under some sort of rock you've undoubtedly seen or at least heard about Richard Sherman's post game interview. Sadly after the game was over not one person on my social media feed said "That was one hell of a pick!" EVERYONE was talking about Sherman's post game rant.

From calling him a thug, to calling him classless, a bad sport, egotistical, a poor role model... you name it, it was out there. On Sunday night everyone had their own version of how out of line Sherman was for not only what he said, but how he said it. He was boastful, belligerent and unapologetic. As we watched I shook my head. As I read the comments, I shook my head.

In the days since, people have posted their own variations as to why he had the right to do what he did and as to why he doesn't deserve the comments and labels thrown out at him. I've heard how he graduated high school second in his class. I've heard how he has a degree from Stanford in Communications. I've heard how the other guy started it. I've heard how it's not athletes jobs to be role models, it's parent's jobs to be role models for their children. I've heard it. I've read it. And I've shaken my head.

I've shaken my head for several reasons: 1. We live in America. We live in a country that has given us the right to say what we want to say, when we want to say it, how we want to say it. 2. We live in a world that is lawsuit happy and blame happy and contradictorily we don't hold anyone accountable for what they say or the effect it has due to fact  #1.

And the head shaking continued.

Football is a team sport. In fact it's a large team sport. There isn't a single play in the NFL that doesn't require 11 men from one team to be on the field at the same time. That means 11 men are working together and everyone has their role on the field. While Sherman's deflection on the field was incredible, it's his teammate who caught the deflected ball for the interception who won the game. If he had merely batted the ball away, the 49ers would have life left in them and would have attempted it again. Yet in the interviews given, no credit was given to his linebacker who caught the deflection. There was no credit or acknowledgment of the other 30+ players that took part in some portion of Sunday's game. Not his QB. Not the receivers. Not the team. Me, me, me. I, I, I.

With arrogance and hostility in both body language and tone Sherman unloaded, putting down his rival teammate and talking about what a "sorry" and "mediocre" receiver Crabtree is. If he's "sorry" and "mediocre", you are not Daniel against the Lion, you were the Lion against Daniel. If you perform better than someone that you call "mediocre" while in the same breath calling yourself "the best" then all you have done is meet the standard. You haven't proven anything. Someone who is ranked number one SHOULD beat someone who isn't in the top 20. It's the same thing I tell my children after mass on Sunday. I will compliment my one year old and four year old on their behavior, but for the nine year old, it is expected of him to behave and be reverent in church.

As I watched and listened, shaking my head with my kids sitting on the couch, their mouths agape. I prepared myself for damage control. Kid #1 said "Oh my Gosh! That was just horrible." Kid #2 said "He was really mean." Kid #3 ate some stale cheerios she found under the couch cushion.

What to say? What to do? First I threw away the remaining stale cheerios. Second, the kids and I talked about being a gracious winner and a good sport. I tell my kids at their sporting events and activities, "Act like you've been there before. Act like you've won before.... even if you haven't." We're not sore losers. We're not sore winners. I'm glad they understood the error of Sherman's ways. I'm thankful they don't watch sports figures and depend on them as role models, but the fact is that they watch sports figures and dream.

I remember watching the USA women's softball team in the Olympics in 1996 and dreaming of being there. I remember seeing the US Women's Soccer team win the world cup and dreaming. There's an empowerment and freedom felt as a child watches someone achieve greatness. Kids look at the President and think "That could be me." Kids were watching Sherman make an incredible play thinking "That could be me." Then they watched this moment of greatness be followed up by a moment of sheer selfishness. My hope is that the kids watching the interview watched it and said "That will NEVER be me."

While Sherman has spoken out saying "To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field -- don't judge a person's character by what they do between the lines, judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family." The judgement passed wasn't for what you did between the lines. If it was, everyone would be talking about the incredible deflection. What you did for a community, however, was leave it scratching and shaking their heads.

You are an intelligent man. You knew exactly what you were doing and who you were reaching with your antics and words.  It doesn't matter who started it, what matters is who finished it. And you finished it by taking what should have been a moment celebrating a team's accomplishments over a whole season, and turned it in to a one man show celebrating you and belittling someone else. That doesn't make you the best. Not in this playbook

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Polar Vortex

It's been roughly two weeks since Christmas Vacation was coming to a close for for school children, and parents were laying out school clothes and prepping back packs for the spring semester of classes. The weekend that winter break was drawing close, a "Polar Vortex"  swept in and wreaked havoc on communities nationwide.

Here in my window of the world, temperatures dropped over 50 degrees in a span of roughly 10 hours. We played outside in T-shirts on Sunday afternoon and by Monday morning my van was iced over and much to my delight (as well as my son's) school was canceled. I shared my joy over another day at home with all three kids on social media and found my elation met with mixed reviews. Some parents shared they were also happy that school was out while others
shared their irritation and dismay.

The roads were clear and disappointingly classes resumed here Tuesday morning. Friends to the North and East of us had different luck. While I was looking out the window on our -8 windchill day missing my oldest, many friends were on social media sharing their woes over the number of days school was out. It appeared that the combination of Christmas Vacation paired with snow days was too much! Here are some snippits of the posts I read:

"School is canceled again tomorrow. I think I'm going to lose my mind."
"I think ___ schools are trying to see how long it will take me to jump off of a bridge."
"No school tomorrow. Again. These kids are making me crazy."
"The kids have pushed me over the edge. How many more days before school is back in session? I need a break."

I've been that mom. I've had moments during summer vacation or even long weekends where I've been counting the milliseconds until school was back in session. I've had the thoughts during a lengthy car trip that it was possible that I wouldn't survive the rest of the trip with all of us making it to our destination alive. I have counted the minutes and seconds until school will start back up, but in the past year I've had a voice whispering to me, making me think:

In no time a similar vortex of polar winds will shift through our household. The warmth, comfort and joy we share in now will be replaced with a chill of frigid adolescent indifference. The newsfeed will read something like this:

"School is canceled again tomorrow. I think I'm going to lose my mind being stuck here with mom."
"I think ____ schools are trying to see how long it will take me to jump off of a bridge. Homebound with mom AGAIN."
"No school tomorrow. Again. My parents are making me crazy."
"My parents have pushed me over the edge. How many more days before school is back in session? I need a break."

While we are busy wishing our children's fighting, tantrums & tattling away our kids are growing up, gaining independence and beginning to want freedom.The cooler they get, the more lame we get. The endless barrage of questions we get from them will fade in to an endless barrage of questions from us. Today they are begging us for answers. Tomorrow we will be begging them for answers. While we bark out one word answers to the questions now, we need to start preparing ourselves to hear a lot of "Fines". We will go from wishing that winter break would end and school would start back, to counting the days until they come home for break from college.

Somedays I barely hear the voice whisper this reminder to me over the sound of my two sons fighting in the playroom and my daughter emerging with blue marker all over her hands and mouth. While writing this my thoughts have been interrupted three different times for one to tattle on the other. Then the whisper booms louder just as quickly as my sanity dwindles away... One day they won't fight over who had which action figure first. They won't care which hero has the best attributes. They will draw silent. They will pull away. They will wish their mom was much less involved in their lives.

As it stands now, school is back in session and my time with them is limited. Next year my middle little will be heading off to Kindergarten. He'll be gone along with his brother from 7:30-3:15 more than half of the year. It will be me and littles left, that's it.

The winds of change will blow their frigid air through this house soon enough. If there's a snow day, I'm going to embrace it. I'm going to soak up the extra time at home. I'm going to make room for a scared kid whose had a nightmare and wants to sleep with me. I'm going to read the same story for the umpteenth time using the silly voices to make them smile. I'll rewatch Star Wars for time 987,631 with my oldest and race to google to find the answers to the questions posed by my oldest Jedi. I'm going to enjoy the warmth and comfort of my family before the Winds of Change carry a polar vortex through our walls.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Blocks, Baby Dolls and The Eucharist

If I had to choose three words that would sum up my life they would be: Blocks, Dolls, Eucharist.

I'm a 30 year old, stay-at-home mother of three: Two block building, game loving, sports playing boys and one pink dress wearing, baby doll playing, twirl around in my new shoes little girl. I am a practicing Catholic (and we're not talking about Nancy Pelosi Catholicism here folks).

I've loved to write my entire life. I enjoy the freedom. I enjoy giving my mind and soul to a blank sheet of paper. A paper that won't judge what's written on it or condemn the author for thinking or feeling one way or another. This passion for writing, and the love affair I have with a non-judgmental blank sheet of paper is what has kept me toying with the idea of creating a blog for some time. On one hand I'd be writing for the world to see, on the other hand, I'd be writing for the world to see. Judgement and cyber bullying would have their free shot at me. And I'd be signing up to let it all happen.

I have struggled for a long time wanting to say so much and filtering it because every time I say how I really feel about something it seems someone gets offended. Someone has to immediately argue why their point of view is better than mine. Someone gets their damn panties in a wad over something I share or state my opinion on. For years I kept a family blog sharing the joys of raising my little family, and even then I'd have this innate ability to hurt someone's feelings if I shared too much or too little. Or the times I'd post something political or spiritual that someone had a differing opinion from. I've filtered too much, and it's time that I live in the Real World  "where I stop being polite and start getting real". (To quote that once ground breaking reality show I watched in my teens on MTV.)

This morning I read a blog that said so much of what I had thought, had been thinking, and been feeling. I read it and thought, "I could have written that." Then it hit me, 'Why didn't I write that?!" So I decided to stop toying with the idea of blogging and just do it. Do it boldly, whole heartedly, and un-apologetically.

Mind made up to start writing again, I sat down and pulled my laptop out. About the time I powered it on I heard a crash of legos being dumped out of their bin and onto the playroom floor by my preschooler. As I turned to get out of my chair and assess the damage I saw my daughter sucking her thumb, dragging her baby doll and blanket through the living room to come sit by me. I sat back down at the desk that held my laptop, a crumpled up tissue, my Catholic Bible and an Advent devotional that was still out laying open- nevermind that the Epiphany was several days ago.

That brings me to those three words from above. You see, in that moment this blog had a name. I was taking in three things so unrelated and yet so defining in who and where I am in this world. Not only do they define where I am in this world, they define where I WANT to be in this world. They are the joys of my life. Anything that fills my children with joy is an extension of my joy. My Catholic Bible, devotionals, rosary, the Eucharist. They are the joys of my present and the joys of what is to come.

This blog is a somewhat new adventure for me. One that is sure to be full of so much that is unknown, and so much that is: Blocks. Babies. The Eucharist.