Monday, April 21, 2014

Answered prayers, God's timing and Lady Bugs

This past year has been hard on me. It's been hard on my entire family but since this is my blog, and I wish to respect the privacy of other family members, you get to hear all. about. me!

Anyway, after my niece was born, I prayed. I prayed for her to grow, develop and come home. We all wanted her to be one of those micropreemies who, yeah, maybe has some delays and yeah, maybe, comes home on oxygen but there was no reason why she shouldn't have survived... and thrived.

I did my part. I prayed. I asked other people to pray. I asked the intercession of St. Therese, the Little Flower, who is known for helping the smallest and meekest of us. I sacrificed. I offered up. And in the end... well, I can't type out what happened but most people have filled in the gaps. I was left numb, crushed and, as I told my mother, "God and I are not BFFs right now. I'm glad I believe in God because it is nice to have someone to blame for all this!" These are normal feelings but they are hard feelings to have. Nothing made me feel more rejected than thinking, feeling, that God wasn't listening to me. I told a friend, "I believe in miracles. I just don't think they will happen to me anymore."

I won't say I had a crisis of faith or that I rejected God. As I did some thinking and praying and loads of therapy sessions, I realized that this is part of my grief process. I was assured, as I knew, it is a-okay to be grumpy at God. He knows my true feelings and if I said, "Oh, no, God, I'm not mad at You!" He would know I was lying.

April 13th, my son and niece's birthdays, ended up being a happy day. A new baby came into the world. We celebrated Joe and I talked to my sister on the phone. I was anticipating a hard day but it ended up being really, really good.

On Monday the 14th, a phone call came. See, rumor has it that our parish wants to start the Catechesis of the Good Shepard program. (Read about it here and follow the link for more information.) I cornered both priests at the Fish Fry and said, "I heard you want this to happen. I'm a Level One catechist. What can I do?" I think Father Engineer nearly dropped his plate. I mean, who volunteers for "whatever you want me to do"? Father Youngin' just laughed.

I e-mailed the director and she called me. We spent a good hour talking on the phone. She told me her plans and they are sound. They have the materials, they just need people to teach. I explained to her about my children and their special needs and the weird school routine the kids are on. She was supportive and told me ways they could help out so I could teach. (Read: child care.) She mentioned I might be able to receive small pay for it in a year or so. (And just the week before I had made a comment about God not providing the means for all the help our kids need!) Then she said, "We've got to include more of the children with special needs in this program. Could you help?"

People, I like-a cried.

Okay, I didn't really cry. But I was close. After feeling rejected by our parish and facing criticism about our children, this woman wants kids like mine in the parish. Active. Learning. As part of the Body of Christ. She has experience with this and understands.

I got off the phone feeling really, really good about these changes. I had chores to do so I grabbed the vacuum cleaner and pulled it back to start vacuuming. Underneath it was... a lady bug.

Let's back up here a moment. For a variety of reasons, lady bugs are associated with my niece. We've found either ladybugs or perfect 2013 pennies on important dates related to Miss Who or when we just miss her. Finding a ladybug right after this phone call was a little reminder that she is there, praying for us. She is interceding for us. I knew all this, but to see it, to have a physical reminder of it... was powerful and humbling. God is indeed listening to me and hearing my cries.

I feel, very strongly, that this program will go through and that our children's physical and spiritual needs will be met. After all, I found a ladybug.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

He has risen!

Our own version of an Easter Miracle- all four kids and the dog looking nice for the camera and not poking each other!

April 20th also marks our 12th anniversary. This year, Adam got new shelves for the garage and fixed the fence. Yup, newlyweds, it won't always be roses and wine but hey, the outside of the house looks good!

Have a "hoppy" day!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Quick Takes Friday

1. Why is it that I can think of Quick Takes all week long but when Friday, or Thursday night, comes, I have a brain cramp?

2. Remember how I said that April 13th is a lucky day in our family? Well, ten minutes before I left for Mass on Sunday my sister called to tell me that her best friend had a baby girl... on April 13th. What are the odds? All the babies came on their own- no inductions or c/s. One was 15 weeks early and one was two weeks late. Joseph was even a smidgen early at 37 weeks but he was the only one due in April. Even the April 13th wedding wasn't planned- they eloped!

3. God seems to be in the process of answering a huge prayer. On Monday, I learned that the Catechsis of the Good Shepard program might be coming to our parish. I will blog more about it but I was blown away when I talked to the director. Blown. Away.

4. Sunday, our community was hit with a terrible tragedy. There was a shooting at our local Jewish Community Center. A teenager who attends the high school close to us was killed. In the days that have followed, I have been so impressed with our community- the schools, the staff, the young people. My kids are growing up surrounded by some wonderful people.

5. And, yes, those are spoilers for the next week!

6. I didn't make it to Holy Thursday Mass. Adam was gone and got home right as Mass was beginning. Even though my mom was here, I was exhausted and fell asleep early. I feel bad for Adam but his travel schedule is hard on me too!

7.  In super awesome news, Camille's reading is really picking up. I hope to have another reader on my hands this summer!

You know the drill- head over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Happy Tenth Birthday!

Happy, happy birthday to my loving, fun, handsome dude, Joseph! I can't believe it's been a whole decade since you made us parents, our parents grandparents and our grandparents GREAT grandparents. We love you!

(I give you a baby picture since someone is camera phobic these days!)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

All about me- link up

1. Where do you live? And why do you live there?
In a suburb in the midwest, smack in the middle of the country. My husband grew up here and went to school not far away from his hometown. I went to school a little farther south, but still in this state. He ended up getting a job here, so we stayed. 
2. What are you currently watching and/or reading?
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay- yes, all of them again.
Trying to finish Insurgent
The Pope who Quit- thanks to my father for the loan.

I'm watching The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Doctor Who and light stuff on HGTV. When I am in the mood, I watch "When Calls the Heart" on Demand on The Hallmark Channel.
3. What kind of Catholic are you: cradle, or convert? (Or considering?) Convert

4. Can you point to one moment or experience that made you a practicing Catholic? (Or want to be?)
My story is awesome but personal and can't be shared on the web. Sorry!

5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Um, ten? Maybe? Are we counting boots? I love boots.
6. Are you a good dancer?
I depends on who is leading.
7. Who usually drives, you or your husband?
My husband. It is better for our marriage that way.
8. What's your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate it?
Christmas and it varies a little each year but we go to see the train displays at a local station, watch "The Polar Express" one thousand times and eat lots!
9. Which is correct? Left or right?
I don't care as long as people put a fresh roll up when the old roll is gone!

10. Do you have any scars?
A burn from when I dumped boiling water down my front.
A scar from thryoid surgery.

11. What's the most famous thing you've ever done? 
I was on TV in Korea, as a teen, and been interviewed for our NICU work.

Hold Me

I had a doctor's appointment on Cole's birthday and I told him that if he was well behaved, I would get him a "blue water" (blue coconut slush) from Sonic. He was and so I did. Since I can't get just one kid something, I got everyone ma drink.

I couldn't remember Camille's favorite flavor so I got her a lemonade. Apparently, she does NOT like lemonade and wanted an orange drink. I apologized and offered to get her a different flavor when I was out at Sonic again. She was plenty mad and wanted me to get her a new one RIGHT THEN. I refused.

She stomped off to her room and then stomped back downstairs. She complained the birds were singing too loudly and too happily. I offered her a taste of Cole's birthday cake, since I had carved off part of the top to make hills. She accepted... and then proceeded to eat crushed oreo cookies with a spoon while reading the Justice catalog.

Within five minutes of this, she was her cheerful self and I had whiplash.

If this is what it is like at eight, I need to stock up on chocolate and wine now to prepare for the teenage years!

Monday, April 7, 2014


Six weeks old, Cole's baptism. They were so little... but now
 George can wear the outfit Joe was wearing!
I'm not sure when I happened but my baby Bear grew up.

When I bring up pictures for this blog, some of the first in the file are of newborn Cole, my sweet, hairy full term baby. I can still remember how he smelled at birth- just like the earth. He was warm and toasty, defining the term "freshly baked." When I called my mother, I said, "I can't believe how big he is!" My mom replied, "I can't believe he has hair!"

He's really the perfect addition to our family, the final piece of the puzzle, a wonderful gift. (Yes, just like all his siblings!)

This year, we will have a small party at home with just the family. I'm baking a "car boom" (monster truck) cake. He requested a "Red light saber" and Darth Vader costume. The costume is coming but we also got him two Star Wars figures to play with. I think he will be quite happy!

Happy birthday to my sweet Baby Bear... we love you so much!