When letting go broke my heart wide open.

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I didn’t expect this major life lesson this week.

I thought we had the week covered: we had a weekend to ourselves and spending it together: our most valued commodity: time as a family. Homeschooling. Work week would commence shortly.

And then I got a call from my husband as he was taking care of some business from his Air Force desk with our eldest in tow. {I only presume he actually has an Air Force desk btw, I mean, stripes Must allow for an actual desk, right?}  The phone call was not- “hey- can you look up so and so dates for me? like I expected. It was a, “Hey! There’s a guy here who needs to sell his dog! Guess what? It’s the dog- puppy- you want, honey! Do we get him?!?!?!” phone call.

Gulp. Questions question questions from wife.

This is me thinking to the Jeapardy! tune…. Think hard Falls, think hard.

So we got said adorable German Shepherd ball of cute and ball of energy pup delivered to our door. Little did we know that waiting inside was a very frightened – unbeknownst to even herself- 3 year old. She really – thought- she wanted a puppy and had turned the “I’m afraid of doggies” corner. No. She had not. And then our little guy took cues from big sis and it was kinda mayhem in our house.  We made All of the classic mistakes introducing this pup to our kiddos. All of them. In hindsight- 24 hours later, had we known they would be so afraid we would not have gotten this dog. But- I learned a very very valuable lesson out of having this sweet guy in our life for a day. That no matter what, even if it is the dog of my dreams that I never ever thought was within the realm of reality for us, that our kids come first. They need to know that. The one caveat – that they do not come before our marriage.

So I woke up in the middle of the night and found some amazing puppy training resources for him and thought and thought until I was 4 am hungry and could finally rest after reading enough and downing a yogurt. Phew. Back to sleep so that I could poooosibly deal with the morning that was sure to arrive all too soon.

This morning arrived with husband waking to get pup out and us fighting over logistics and daughter and little guy seriously screaming at the top of their lungs from atop the kitchen table because pup was looking in their general direction. Le sigh. Poor pup. He seemed so eager to please and there was just no having it from the two littles. None. And a broken hearted mama and dada. So daddy had to make the hard call and try to get the previous owners to take him back. Uhhhh- no go. They were like- peace out suckahs. And did I ever feel suckered- even tho we weren’t. And did I ever feel like a jerk. Even tho we really wanted to keep him. It turns out you can’t force a child to change his fear into non fear because of your desire for it. It also turns out that we – Jeff and I had to put on the parent role and take care of our kids. Suffer for them. Love them thru our suffering. Lift up our suffering to the cross and ask Jesus to take it for us. And to carry our own crosses. I mine and Jeff his. I had to be nicer and stop snapping at him. This was not his fault. I had to lift up my sadness and ask Jesus to take it for His holy purposes and especially for our daughter that she might come thru this with love and patience and a desire to do God’s will in her life.

It turns out that lifting up your children is the hardest thing. Abraham did it, didn’t he? But wow, me? I often hide them under the bushel. I can lift up anything, I find- except for them. I am too afraid to let God into that place where I think I have it all covered and under control. How can He help, I think underneath it all? Why would God actually care to carry MY children when I’m supposed to be doing it? — It turns out that I don’t. I don’t have it all- not by a long shot. But also- and more importantly – that I am better when I realize that I don’t need to have it all covered or controlled. Our priest asked recently what it is that we keep to ourselves and don’t let God into our lives with. This is mine. My kids. I think I do. I tell myself I do. But I don’t. I’m selfish and want to do it all myself. I think I’m supposed to -and that if I don’t do it all I’m an abject failure.

I am not a failure. You- if you are reading this- somewhere relating- are Not a failure. But I have to let God into those places that I keep to myself. Those moments I deem too precious for anyone but me. I would do well to let my husband into those moments, too. And not play the martyr SAHM when he comes home from work. I succeed sometimes, but I could definitely do better.

So I found that we could get the pup re-homed to a good home and the seller is giving us and incredibly generous “credit” for when we are ready and have the right breed in mind for us all- and approved by kiddos.

I also found Christ in this little animal. In his eyes and his pawing at me and in my kids’ pleas to get him away and in my yearning for him to stay with us and in my husband’s easy smile with him and in letting him go to a new home. I cried some serious tears like I haven’t cried in a while for the loss of something or someone. I cried for wanting to be a better Christian and better wife and better mother and better me and for letting it be in God’s hands for once.  Last night before the dog came as I was preparing the house a little, I prayed that this dog would teach me about love and about kindness to grow spiritually. Our son named him Patrick because it was St. Paddy’s day yesterday. Sometimes God answers your prayers in such unexpected ways, doesn’t He? Unexpected indeed.

This song played as we were driving home tonight and helped me remember that it’s okay to feel. God gave us feelings. And to trust in the Lord.

 

St. Patrick, pray for us.

 

 

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Armed Forces Day & ‘Mom’s Night In’ Recap w. pix!

It’s Armed Forces Day!

First I just want to say a heartfelt Thank You to all those who have, do and will serve our American Armed Forces.  It is because of your work, dedication and sacrifice that we can call ourselves Americans today. This may seem cliche, but I believe this to be true and your work is usually the last to get noticed or thanked.  And a special Thank You to my husband; once and always a United States Marine and current Air Force Reserves Tech. Sergeant.  What you do means so much to me and I am so proud to call you my husband.  May God Bless our Armed Forces.

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Tech. Sgt. Falls in a totally rad Humvee exercise

classicalchristianity.com

classicalchristianity.com

St. Martin of Tours, patron of soldiers,  pray for us!

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 I decided that I needed to put a proper cap on the #sotg drink tasting since it was such a blast for moms and kids alike.

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Snuggled in Thomas bed.

So, I owe a giant thank you to you lovely ladies who braved liquors that you don’t even like PLUS raw egg whites to help me compete in this totally fun contest for Jen Fulwiler’s book release. I hope that you all go out and get a copy too. This had to be the best excuse to have some ladies over and just have a fun night and let our kids just play like wild things that they are.

Some proof that this so-called SOTG drink was made and enjoyed:

Vim and vigor shake complete with grimace and messy counter.

Vim and vigor shake complete with grimace and messy counter.

I got to be bartender, cuz I can’t do the concoction tasting because  Baby 3rd is 20 weeks!, but I did sip one and verdict is Yum!

The #SOTG North/South Pisco

The #SOTG North/South Pisco

and the recipe again for ‘ya:

El #SOTG North/South Pisco

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1 oz. bourbon

1 oz. tequila

4-6 oz. sour mix (I used the frozen Bacardi Marg. mix)

Egg white from 1 egg

lime wedge

Pour all over ice in a shaker.  (I used this as an excuse to finally buy those large mason jars I’ve been eyeing)

Shake with all the vim and vigor you got to let the egg do it’s frothy, foamy thang

strain into a (chilled) rocks/ champagne/ mason jar/ whatever you like

garnish with that pretty lime and

OLE Y’all!  Happy drinking.

Miss Arron enjoying crazy concoction.

Miss Arron enjoying crazy concoction.

I was so jealous here.  Ima have one of these come October.

And then this little girl stole my kids’ hearts. They were literally fighting over who she belonged to after she left.

Little Miss Sweetie Pie herself.

Little Miss Sweetie Pie herself.

So that was a super fun and easy Mom’s Night In.  Can’t wait to do it again.

I’d love to hear from anyone else who joined the contest fun, or tried this crazy drink, or just for whatever reason.

Ciao!

Prodigal Son and Reflections in pregnancy.

Gratitude.

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Tonight I witnessed my son growing up. We were saying our nightly prayers and it was the way he was using language and internalizing his words that caught my attention.
He’s growing up before my very eyes and I’m so very proud and happy. His life has given mine meaning in a way my words will always fail to express.

My gratitude to the Lord Jesus Christ for changing me, for lifting up my broken and dying person, my withering soul, is something I only pray I can share and spread for others. I am starting by trying to share Him with my beautiful children and the man I married, with whom I am one.

Reflections on 20 yr. old Victoria.

Recently I have been reflecting on just how I really feel like my life has done a 180 degree turn from whom I was.  Prompting this was a desire to get in touch with an incredibly generous family I stayed with in Nicaragua over 20,yes, 20 years ago.  Hard to believe the kid I was back then.  I had gone on a secular mission type trip to be a helping hand in a library opening in this little town on the border of Honduras.  I realize now how eye opening that experience was, and also how much I missed by maintaining my selfishness while I was there.  I guess what I really want is a make-up chance.  A chance to really give back to that family, and mostly to bring Jesus with me.  As a Catholic convert I can really see the ways my selfishness has strayed my heart, frayed it into tiny fragments that would never be whole without Him.

This song is lovely, it reflects more sadness and anger that I let go of a long time ago, but I still really love it. Miss Michelle Shocked.

http://grooveshark.com/s/Prodigal+Daughter+Cotton+Eyed+Joe/3ET9km?src=5

Part-time Military.

Today I’m a mother and a wife and we are a part-time military family.  Which is sometimes so awkward.  My husband goes away for short stints and I fall into single mom, hold down the fort mode.  And he comes back and I just don’t know where I stand or how to deal with his presence in our family again.  Even  after 3 days.  I miss him so much while he’s away and look forward to his being home.  And the reality of his being home proves harder than the imagined one where he is husband and father and sole breadwinner.  I find myself ill equipt to deal with his presence again and every little thing seems to set me off; his disciplining our kids, our schedule, money, pretty much anything.  I try to maintain that -Happy he’s home version of Victoria-; it just always seems too short-lived.

So, why is reality so darned Hard?  Why do I have to take the kids to mass by myself?  Why do things just not go according to my oh so perfect plans?  Maybe God is trying to teach me something.  Honestly, I don’t know what it is right now.  But, I have an idea that it may have something to do with letting go of that selfish Vic, something like dying to self.  UUUUUUuuuugh.  I really Dislike dying to Self!  It hurts, it’s uncomfortable, it means I need to go to confession and to love without expecting to get anything in return.  It means I need to actively Try to bring Christ out from under the bushes and shine His light even when it’s really hard.  Like right now.  Like at the gas station, like here at home and doing the dishes, like when I talk to my husband, like when I am making breakfast for the kids at 630am.

Baby anxiety.

I’m going to go get to nesting.  It helps me feel a tad more equipped to welcome a new person into our home.  And- I can be so very thankful that we have a place to call home this year.  We will probably be staying here for arrival of little one, so that is really something for us.  To be able to nest and plant stuff and and and.

7 QT: On Slow Rise and making Sourdough when life gives you lemons.

Welcome to my Freezing Friday -cooped up with cabin feverish kiddos- 7QT!

a. First, a big thank you to Jen for dragging yourself out from beneath covers to be our gracious and -hopefully better hostess!

1. I’ve discovered that my “maker” includes “baker”.  Phew.  Glad I got that out. My art grad school self is trying hard not to be disgusted with my newfound love of BREAD self.  It’s seriously all the cool stuff my sculptor self loves: art, science, experimentation, whimsy, love and even theology.  More and more and more bread to come your way, maybe even to some doorsteps soon. to be continued…

so, here’s this item of deliciousness that my dear husband helped me knead for days it seemed to get even Some bubbles: Behold, Extra Sour Sourdough Bread from the oven of SpicyCatholic! Who needs culinary school anyway?

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2. Then, my sweet friend Amanda sent me this awesome Ted Talks vid, and it’s awesome, if you love BREAD and theology, it’s worth the 15 minutes. 

I only heard of this guy, he’s a big deal in the bread maker world – Peter Reinhart- and I haven’t done much research on him, but me thinks he’s a Catholic, and at least a Communion receiving Christian.

3.   Superbowl!!! It’s Denver and Seattle, and I am so very excited, so much in our win over the Patriots that I’m sharing silly Broncos cupcake cutie maxin’ in the glow of victory with a blue mouth.

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       I wanted to plan a big feast and stuff, but sadly it falls on husband’s AF Reserves UTA, so, yeah, not feasting, more like praying/ mitigating survival of sanity.  The show must go on.

4.  I feel down and out when I’m not making, baking, writing or doing something that makes my heart happy, and weird as it may be, I have fallen for bread.  Glad I got the chance to check in today with all y’all linkup amigos.

5.  Congratulations to all y’all awesome bloggers nominated for Sheenazing Awards.  You all deserve awards and martinis!  Really really good martinis.  Headed over to vote myself very very soon.

6.  Can I just get an AMEN for Child Lock on the Tablet!?  We do the kindle version and boy were we paying for stuff before they put That baby in there.

7. A big big hair change is coming up.  Dun dun dun!  I really hope it goes well, or else next week’s 7QT may be a little tears in my martini kinda post.

7.a. Downton: that’s another post I haven’t gotten to

7.b.  Sherlock: ditto, but don’t fret, I’ll get on it soon.

Hope you all have a dandy weekend and are out of the cold wherever you are.

5 things, or Cinco Cosas;

This kinda post is right up my alley:  short and sweet and baby girl doesn’t have to get too too mad at me for keyboarding. Even tho it still took me a week!

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1.  I love, love, love being a Stay at Home Mommy.  It ‘s just such an amazing blessing to watch and help my little ones be formed in life.  Our son is the sweetest thing and so shy and funny.  Our daughter is absolutly in love with him.

 
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2. Habemus Papam!  I am so very happy that we have a new Papa.  I realized that being Catholic feels a little different today than it did about a week ago.  One of the great mysteries of God’s Grace.

3.  I LOVE licorice.  Luscious, dark, molassesy licorice.  Just devine.

 
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4. Just 3 weeks until This.

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5. Chile. Baby Vicuna besos. Can’t wait to return.

Many thanks to my friend Suzette for the fun tag.

Happy 5th Sunday of Lent!
Love, Vic.

Holy Guacamole! I think we found Our Parish!

We walked into St. James in Denver this morning after a pretty rough toddler morning and Immediately felt at home.  Has that ever happened to you???  I really liked this place and my husband did too.  We’re now, as in right now, looking for places to live nearby.  The priest is Awesome, and I guess we got the mild version of awesome today.

I feel like I can breathe.  It’s gonna be okay.  God has a plan for our time apart.  Jeff is leaving for 3 months in January, so I gotta really prepare emotionally and spiritually.  Uh, well, I have to let God prepare for me; a great reminder from Fr. Felix today.

That’s it for now.  Go Broncos!  I’ll leave you with this stunning shot of this cool B-52 in our town. http://www.wingsmuseum.org/ Peace.