{pretty, happy, funny, real} Co-Sleeping Blankie!!, bellies and prayerfully pondering Homeschooling.

{pretty}

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I did it!  I finally finished my co-sleeping blanket for our newest addition.  Phew.  That only took over a year and a half.  This fabric has been waiting patiently in my closet along with my sweet sewing machine since forever.  I got enough contractions the other day to realize that I better get on the cutting, sewing, finishing ball before baby actually gets here and I no longer have use of all my faculties for a while, including both hands.

I’m a huge fan of the co-sleep situation when baby arrives, and always always fight with my blankets, and thought, hey, I should make one that it cut out just for baby and me.  Voila.  It’s not at all perfect 1st trial, but I want to make more and practice practice and make some for Anyone who wants one!  Give me a shout if you are interested.  Next one I think will be the soft muslin layered version for cooler days in the Anais + Aden style.

My silly models modeling blankie for me.

My silly models modeling blankie for me.

{happy}

We were able to get some pre-baby fun pics in.  Despite my embarrassment of showing belly, I’m mustering the courage to put these here.

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Even tho this is posed, they do this all the time so I didn’t feel bad asking them to come kiss baby #3rd belly. They love little brother already.

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It’s a miracle! We remembered to take a photo of our whole family! Go us.

{funny}

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Where did my feet go!?! Sigh.

{real} in 3 Parts.

Part 1:A couple of things:  Baby prep ain’t no joke.  Going thru boy stuff from 4 years ago, washing, organizing, figuring out where to put all things baby is just taking up all my brian space, and sleep.  Wowzah.

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Bum wash and re-usable cloths for said bum! what an awesome, free, chemical wonder of the parenthood world. Thanks to Team Whitaker for this gem of an idea.

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The closet clean-out. Yikes! But it’s done. Phew.

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Got all boy/girl clothes organized to sell/use, whatever. Done.

Part 2:  Now on a serious and sad really {real} note:  Our son’s St. Anthony’s Catholic School is closing at the end of this school year.

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The cat’s outta the bag so I’m free to talk about it here.  We had a parent meeting this week with our pastor Fr. Robert Wedow who had the great misfortune to announce that he must close the school.  This school is in a very rural area that has been struggling for a long time and even raised over 1 million dollars to keep it open just over 2 years ago- in this community- that was nothing short of a miracle.  We may very well not be here next year, but St. Anthony’s is a beacon of education and will be sorely missed in this small community.  I guess there are a lot of people who are very angry.  Personally, I just feel loss and sadness that this amazing place in the middle of the plains of Colorado will be closing it’s doors after almost 100 years of growing kids in faith and education.  Father Wedow is open to options, but in all seriousness, the budgetary needs far far exceed what is at all reasonable to keep the school open after this school year.

We’re so happy that our son has been able to benefit from the great pre-school here last year and this one.  He loves his school and we do too.  St. Anthony, Pray for us!

This brings me to Part 3 of {real} this week:

Prayerful contemplation of homeschooling.  

Where do I even start?- was my first thought when we heard the news that there was a parent meeting.  Luckily, that very night, as the Holy Spirit would have it, a lovely friend Dianna of The Kennedy Adventures – an Amazing family- homeschooling- Catholic resource blog- posted this wonderful article from Catholic Sistas on homeschooling: 

10 STEPS TO START {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOLING

“”If God leads you to it, He will lead you through it. I had MANY of those same doubts. I read lots of homeschool and Catholic homeschool books looking for those who had conquered the obstacles I perceived and that combined with prayer fortified me. Am I perfect at it? No, no one is…no education is perfect. Let God work on your fears, it sounds like He IS working on your heart.”

Needless to say, this quote spoke right to my heart, my place, my worry, my doubt, my hope that our children will have the very best education for their individuality and ability to be life-long learners.

There are so many things to think about and now I can begin the prayer, reading and research that I thought I was done with in regard to homeschooling.

So my husband and I embark on the very real notion that we could have a homeschooling home come next fall.  If you have any moment, please pray for us.  We need all the help we can get.

~~~That’s it from casa Falls this week.  That’s quite enough I think. I pray you all are well.

Muchas gracias to Like Mother Like Daughter for hosting this linkup!  Hope to see you all there. And I would love to hear from you on these things friends!

The Light of the World.

Divine-Mercy

Yesterday in and among our vigil mass and kiddo wrangling, I actually heard some of the homily that our Deacon gave. This is a rare occasion. He’s just the sweetest man and for some reason very very hard for me to listen to, or not have to get up and go to the restroom in the middle of or some other distraction. Anyway, he pointed to the painting of the Divine Mercy and asked us all to pay attention to it.  I did.  

He asked us to look and notice that it is just Jesus and the text.  He is coming out of the darkness. There is nothing besides our Lord in the picture. No background. No trees or mountains or context of any kind. Just darkness. Because He is the Light of the World. Him and only Him. In this time of cultural darkness, I will hold fast to this.

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ,in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

 

Happy Sunday. Peace be with you friends.

 

Much to celebrate.

It’s birthday month for our beautiful little miracle Clare. She’s turning 2 and I just cannot say how much her life has added to our family. I remember crying during prayer with my son before she was born thinking he won’t be our only little guy anymore. The heart has so much more capacity for love than we give it credit.

Happy Birthday Month Bear Bear!

Happy Birthday Month Bear Bear!

Happy International Breastfeeding Week!  In celebration I’m hosting a Big Latch On in my town for the 2nd year in a row tomorrow!  I’m proud to support breastfeeding, meet other Moms and keep the message to normalize breastfeeding going.  Plus, this year, we have some seriously amazing sponsors and gifts for Moms and babies!!!  

Happy Breastfeeding Week!

Happy Breastfeeding Week!

It’s with a sad heart that we say goodbye today to a beautiful mother, wife, Sister in Christ Sarah Harkins and her unborn baby Cecelia.  Please join me in a powerful birthday prayer for Sarah. I have been heartbroken over the past days after finding out about her accident and loss. I feel today a better person for knowing her and her legacy, getting to know her family in this tragic time.  She makes me want to be a better mother, wife, sister and follower of Christ.  Thanks be to God for our enormous Catholic family lifting them up, lifting up our own pain at the loss of someone many of us do not even know.  In celebration of her life and her birthday tomorrow we join in prayer and thanksgiving for her family, her husband Eric and beautiful children.  A special thanks to Ginny at Small Things for all of her generous updates and words of love and encouragement.

This month our son starts back to Catholic pre-school. I’m not all, Yay! he’s going to be out of the house. This is a celebration because he loves it so very much and I am so glad to say that we have finally made a choice to keep him in school instead of homeschooling (possible blog series awaits). This summer I have tried to devote prayer and thought to this.  As long as our government will not intervene in Catholic school education and as far as any diocese we move to in the future will uphold Catholic teaching and reject Common Core I am very happy for our children to be able to embark on this path. I am also so very grateful that we live in an area that we can afford to put our son into a Catholic pre-school right now.  It truly is about 1/3rd the cost of a city Catholic school.  This won’t always be the case and there are already sacrifices, but it’s worth it to us. I am so very grateful too, in no small part that God has given my husband a steady job that allows us the freedom to have our son learn and grow in such a faithful and lovely environment that is his school room. I want our children to have freedom of faith and freedom to practice our Catholic faith in every single part of their lives.  School will be the second biggest after family soon and my prayer is that they come to know and love the Lord in a way I never had as a child.  That they know the Catholic Church is their true home on Earth and that Jesus is our true home in and beyond life. 

Divine-Mercy

Baby #3rd is 31 weeks now!  We’re getting close and I’m so very grateful that our plan to stay here and have the baby in Denver is intact.  This is a really big deal.  With Clare we left for Texas at 36 weeks and I was stuck finding a new location/ob everything who would accept a vbac for “advanced Maternal age” with pretty much zero notice.  Found a great one luckily .  This baby, I’m like, good, you’ll deliver my baby, 2 hours away?  No problem, just give me -the possibility- of what I want- no drugs, access to a tub, people who can deliver a baby and we’re good.  Okey doke?  Great.  I don’t even care if you try to talk to me about birth control, that’s just a conversation starter as far as this Catholic Creighton practicing mama is concerned.  

The best part is I’m finally getting excited to meet our little guy.  Our son comes up to tell me “Mom, I like your baby belly.”  Clare is always coming up singing Doc McStuffins Check-up song and checking for his little baby heartbeat.  I’m going to miss these moments.  But look forward to them being big brother and big sister to a tiny little one now.  And- we’re going to have 3 children!  Wow.  What a terrifying blessing the Lord has bestowed upon my husband and I.  I’m so happy to share parenthood with my husband.  It’s been quite a journey and I’m sure will prove to be.  Holy Spirit, Mother Mary, please be with us!

Happy 31 Weeks Baby Falls!

Happy 31 Weeks Baby Falls!

That’s all for today.  Thank you for stopping by.  Must go prepare for all the fun at the Big Latch On tomorrow!   

Thoughts from a post-abortive/ post-miscarriage Mother.

What I really wanted to talk about was this thing that always happens to me as a post-abortive/ post-miscarriage Mom.

The fact of pregnancy and the hormones that accompany always take me into at least one tailspin of our lost children.  I dwell all night about my first child, the circumstances, the things I wish I would have done, known, who I wish I could have been.  How much I miss that baby that was lost to the tragedy of abortion that January so long ago.  Each time a new doc or nurse or tech or anybody has to delve into my past, there my baby is, waiting to be spoken about.  Waiting to be loved.  And now, all I have for him is love and longing to be reunited with him in Heaven.  I know that he is safe and loved more than I could know in the arms of Jesus, as are our other two darling children.  I don’t carry shame anymore, God in His grace has granted me forgiveness. Really, it’s more an inability to express how much those children mean to me. I have two living beautiful children and 3 wonderful souls in heaven.  I pray for them and know that they pray for me in whatever capacity they have.  I am their Mother today and always and I cherish this.

I’m so grateful for the work of pro-life people like Abby Johnson, who will talk about these things, about forgiveness after abortion.  The light that is shed on darkness through Jesus Christ is life giving and freeing.  I remember when I was confessing my sins for the very first time just 5 years ago this Lent and just how amazing it was to truly ask the Lord to forgive me for killing my baby.  It was one of the biggest moments of my life.  Before that I felt so dirty and ashamed and unable to own what I had done.  I didn’t have Jesus before that year and you can’t Give yourself true forgiveness, it  only truly comes from God.

As a Buddhist I had always assumed that role for myself and it brought me only heartache and deep depression.  I couldn’t admit anything.  I hid many many things from myself to forget pain and pretend that I was strong enough.  I used every form of denial; alcohol was my favorite go-to, but relationship hopping and sex were never out of the question to fill the void. I learned the very very tough way that I’m not the one in charge, but He is.  I’m not saying it wasn’t important or even essential to try to forgive myself, to forgive oneself for aborting a baby.  It is.  But there still was that place in my heart -and it turned out to be my whole heart- that needed true food, true love.

So here I am, with an amazing husband who loves me and who helped me come to know Jesus and ask Him for forgiveness and come to the Catholic Church.  With whom I have two amazing and perfect living children and one growing inside of me now.  This pregnancy is hard.  Harder it seems than the last, and seeing and hearing her perfect little heartbeat made all the yucky nausea and pain just worth it.  I’m a mother to a new soul, a soul that has been co- created with God himself.  I am eternally grateful to know that and have love for the little fragile life inside me.  She’s my baby now and forever and I already love her in her teeny tiny phase and the rest of it.

Thank you for reading and I hope this heartens people to know that change is possible and that if a person like I was can change anyone can.  I really believe that because Jesus healed my heart and brought me back to life.

If you are reading this thinking I’m crazy, but How would a person become Catholic?  Just hop over to your local Catholic Church and ask about RCIA – Rite of Christian Innitiation for Adults.  Even universities like CU Boulder where my husband and I converted have campus parishes and amazing people to connect with.

And if you are reading this, pregnant and don’t know what to do I recommend these amazing places/organizations for some of the best care and help an expectant Mother can ask for:

Gabriel House nearest you for the best pre-natal and infant/Mama support I’ve ever known. This one is for Denver but it’s a nationwide project to help mothers and babies.

Abby Johnson’s site has wonderful resources.

Embrace Grace is out of Texas and here’s an amazing video they produced.

I thought I would end here.  Peace be with you.

On Marriage and Friendships: A guest post!

I am grateful to my husband, Jeff Falls for writing here and thinking with me about this important question.  I will further delve into the subject, but would like to let his post lay the groundwork for who we are and where we come from.Peace be with you!

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De Amicitias
by Jeffery Falls

My underlying assumptions:
1. I am not Cicero
2. Sanctification is our Earthly goal and all endeavors hereon should have that purpose in mind.
3. All friendships should be Christ-centered. No exceptions. See 2, above.
4. There are two categories of women with whom I should develop intimate friendships:
a. My wife
b. The Saints
5. The Enemy hates our guts.
All are free to reject these assumptions at the outset, in which case no further reading is necessary. One does so, however, only at great risk to his eternal soul.
I married my best friend. I don’t mean that in the 21st century cliché way. I married a beautiful woman, for whom I had great affection. When we met I had a few “best friends” already. I had served in the Marines and taught personal protection for a number of years and had developed several very close friendships in those contexts. Since then, I have carefully cultivated a friendship with my wife based upon mutual trust, with the goal of getting her into Heaven. She has become my best friend. I married my one-time fiancé, who transformed into my best friend on Earth.
I don’t have other close female friends. My tone with other women, whether connected to them socially or professionally, is friendly but, admittedly, aloof. I don’t share secrets with them. I don’t invest myself in their private lives. My wife can be confident that if another woman knows something about me, that she, as my wife, knew it first. There is no cause for me to establish intimacy with any female who is not my spouse. Our inner lives are the specific purview of our spouses. When we allow someone else of the opposite sex access to those lives, especially to the exclusion of our wives and husbands, we are denying our marriages the fuel that they need to thrive. The preservation of our marriages requires constant, intentional focus. We must assign our marriages to the most sacred of places in our heart and vigorously guard them from outside influences that would exploit chinks in their armor. We must eliminate those weak spots.
I can hear the rebuttals now.
To those voicing them let me say that one need not be a lust-indulging eye wanderer or jealousy-stricken henpecker for this principle to apply. It is in the very nature of Fallen Man to be susceptible to the slow erosion of moral uprightness by laziness and inattention. In a prelapsarian universe the above notion may not be true. That’s not our world. Sin in insidious. Sin is just fine with moving slowly. If we are not careful, that slow movement becomes, but for the grace of reconciliation, inexorable. If marriage is our vocation, and our relationship with our spouse the most valuable we will ever have with another human, then we must do all that we can to prevent the Enemy from establishing a toe-hold in our matrimonial lives.
We must not allow the world, which has convinced most that equality means sameness, to dictate the conditions of our relationships. As a man, I need close friendships with other men; “iron sharpens iron,” and all that. My wife does not. As a woman, my wife needs female confidantes. But I don’t. When I say that we need friends of the same gender, I’m not talking about outlets to complain about our marriages or spouses. That’s why we have spouses. I’m talking about relationships that have Christ at the center, with the purpose of building up and holding accountable one another in the Faith. I’m talking about purposeful connections where an unambiguous conversation has taken place regarding whys and wherefores. I’m advocating for living more intentionally Christian lives.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church mentions the word “friendship” only seventeen times. They’re all worth a read.
Thank you to the readers of the Spicy Catholic blog and to all of Victoria’s friends who follow her @spicycatholic in the twitterverse. You’re a constant help to her.

For more of me and my (infrequent) musings you can read my blog here and follow me @sergeantfalls.

 

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.

My letter to Pope Benedict XVI;

Dearest Papa Bene-
It’s with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to you as our Pontiff.  I was so blessed to watch your final papal mass on Ash Wednesday.  How lovely a gesture that people stood and cheered for you.  As something we don’t do, it spoke volumes to my heart and I hope to you, for they were clapping and cheering for us all.

I want you to know that my fondness for you has grown immensly.  And when I say that it’s with no small amount of love or pride for my faith that this is true. You see, I used to be an anti-Catholic leftist who bought the media’s garbage that you were a Nazi and power hungry prying your way to St. Peter’s seat in Rome.  I used to think that the Catholic Church was only a place for the depraved and of the oppressed.  Especially women.  I thought that God would never deign to love me enough to want me as a part of His church on Earth.  My spirit, as you can tell, had been crushed and dismantled through years of not knowing God, of denying Jesus Christ and so denying any pontiff and his message.

When I met my to-be husband, he was going to enter the Catholic Church and I just thought he was crazy.  I was a professed Buddhist, having completely scrubbed Chrisianity(a four letter word to me then) from my life.  I had coworkers who were Christians and decidedly didn’t like them, I even told them how offensive their “God Bless you” was to me.  But, my boyfriend was a kind person and was going through RCIA.  He kept inviting me to go and I would drop him off for a few weeks thinking there’s no way I am going into a room with a bunch of Catholics who will hate me and whom I will surely hate and disagree with.  I finally decided that if I was going to really invest in this guy I had to find out what on earth he was doing entering the Church.  So I went to an RCIA thinking I was the cool buddhist in the room.  One of the cathecists was telling her story after we saw Dr. Hahn’s conversion disscussion video.  It was that night that I really decided that I could try to open my heart.  When I finally capitulated to the terrifying Candlelight Mass invitation from my husband, we walked into St. Thomas and it was just so beautiful, so mystifying.

Christ’s beauty encompassed me, us.  And “Where have I been that I wasn’t Here all this time?”, was all I could think and feel.  I wept on my knees what seemed for a lifetime.  It all fell out, all the sorrow, all the sin, all the fear, just left in His presence.

The things I did not know about you were inumerable.  I did not know your love and capacity to love.  Your incredible love of our Mother Mary has taught me so much.  How to humble oneself before God.

Papa Bene- thank you for teaching me, for leading the way for me and for Christ’s Church on Earth how to love God and our Mother Church.

Victoria.