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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Potty Training Escapades {cut to} Part IV;and a birthday wish

So, we’re trying to potty train the middle child. And oh my goodness is she living up to her #spicyprincess name!

Part1: pottying on the floor. In brother’s room. Kinda pretty much on purpose.

I was mad, and this was just after I had cleaned all the barf off of said carpet. Oh well. The adventures. Thank goodness my husband reminded me that it’s all just part of it.

Part 2: poopies on the upstairs carpet. That wasn’t much fun. Kinda funny at 9am, but you know, GET IT CLEAN! Because baby.

Part 3: This one is the best. We were coming home from a looooong drive to meet up with a friend passing thru Colorado at Mother Cabrini Shrine {none other than Mrs. Jiza Zito!!!}And I wish I had a picture of my face: “Is this really happening!?, Did that just happen, to us, from her, HERE!?”   Middle child dropped a giant poo out of her shorts onto the floor at Chipotle.  ONTO THE FLOOR AT CHIPOTLE. It was busy, but I honestly don’t think anyone but maaaaybe another mom saw it and me get the poo up with copious napkins and children into the bathroom.  Thank almighty God the bathroom was open at the time. There was a lady sitting like 1.5 feet from it and didn’t turn around AT ALL.  So, do I get some kind of award for that? I hope it took major major points off of purgatory for me and Every parent who had that happen.  Wow. I’m kinda still reeling from that after almost a week.

Part 4 happened last night and I gotta make it quick cuz we’re off for a birthday lunch for this cute 5 year old Blaise with Daddy.:  Middle child pooped in the bathtub, with her brother in there with her.  Oh Lord have mercy on our parenting souls.  We just reminded her that she can tell us any ol time that she needs to go, even if it’s during bathtime.

So, escapades continue.  Wish us luck friends.

And a very very very happy 5th birthday to our beloved and amazing boy Blaise!

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Yours, Victoria.

tl;dr: Sick and pregnant ain’t cool. And dental hygiene. And fabric.

Finally finally linking it up with the lovely Jenna!!! …

So this is like day 5 of Sick baby Mama.  So so uncool.  And today I got some lovely antibiotics from mr. dentist man because I’m having too many tooth pains.  I’ve never had this.  But- I am a notorious -eat ice cream late at night and be too tired/lazy to brush and floss before I hit the hay- kinda girl.  Not a good combo.  I blame pregnancy.

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– I’m DESPERATELY trying to get a co-sleeping/ nursing blankie made for me and little bebe #3rd.  Do you think I can wrap my brain around what fabrics to choose!?!  No.  #$W$%’s no.  Of course not.  I blame pregnancy.

-Nesting like a beast. {probably how I got sick in the first place}.

– Do you all get serious spiritual attacks when you’re pregnant?  I do.  This last one was a doozy and thank goodness I have my husband to love me and listen and talk thru things.  Some stuff is spiritual attack, some just needs sorting. On a particularly bad day the other day I was perusing Pinterest and found this gem of a gem on marriage:  3 Ways to Not Hate Your Husband.  I hope you read it.  It changed some things for me.

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– Here is a little profile of 37  week little man!  Heartbeat is good.  Head down.  #LetsDoThis!

-Peace and Love y’all from my desk to yours.

-Also, trying to come up with a new, more descriptive tagline for my blog.  Not the easiest task.  Waiting on a little divine inspiration.

Off to pin a blankie I think.

Thank you Jenna for the fun linky links.

 

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.

I really am still here.

Well, I’ve just been spinning, kind of literally and trying to maintain some sort of order for our little family as this cute little growing gummy baby gets bigger and better.  

I promise with all the promises to post tomorrow, I’m even gonna try a fancy shmancy link-up… I know, I’m getting crazy.  

Suffice it to say, I still love bread, specifically sourdough and cannot wait to have the energy to wholeheartedly attack another starter recipe- yes- 1st starter is dead and gone.  

I still love you all and miss you terribly.

It’s still Lent.  So, there’s that.  Husband loves it. Me, I am trying to offer up my suffering for this little babe to grow and meet her in October. 

It’s Wednesday and I am waiting on pins and needles to find out what Cari’s Theme Thursday will be.  Am I completely and unnecessarily stressing about this?  Why yes, thank you pregnancy sleeplessness at 3am. 

At least I can eat cookies again.  Major major points for life there.  

Hope to see you back here manana.  

Until then, ciao amigos.

An American Antidote for Belgium Euthanizing Children by Dr. Nadal

Nothing to be said, but Thank you for sharing this story and perspective Dr. Nadal.

Coming Home

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News today that Belgium has approved euthanasia for any age. From BBC:

Parliament in Belgium has passed a bill allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children without any age limit, by 86 votes to 44, with 12 abstentions.

When, as expected, the bill is signed by the king, Belgium will become the first country in the world to remove any age limit on the practice.

It may be requested by terminally ill children who are in great pain and also have parental consent.

Opponents argue children cannot make such a difficult decision.

It is 12 years since Belgium legalised euthanasia for adults.

In the Netherlands, Belgium’s northern neighbour, euthanasia is legal for children over the age of 12, if there is parental consent.

Under the Dutch conditions, a patient’s request for euthanasia can be fulfilled by a doctor if the request is “voluntary and well-considered” and the patient is suffering…

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Devotional dilemma.

I have to just come out with it and say I am not a devotional type of person.

I know this has everything to do with my previous Buddhist and non-Christian life where random “devotionals” were pretty much all I had.

In the Godless world that I was in, I would hop from New Age to Mystic sections of book stores All the time. I purchased countless of these things in hopes that they would brighten my day, enlighten, bring me to some new level of happiness.  And no. They just didn’t. I was so busy being angry at God for all that had happened in my life and other’s lives I never thought to just ask Him for help. Or, sometimes I did.

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I would have the rare moment of deep introspection and actually get the courage to walk into the Denver Cathedral. It was really my true spiritual home. The place where I would go- not during a mass of course- when I was in need the most; in the most pain; in the most trouble; in need of forgiveness.  I had no idea the depth of love before me, but probably the inkling is what would inspire me to go and light a candle and sit in the calming pews as long as I needed. Even if I felt like a bit of an interloper, I would always feel at home in this cathedral. This image is one of the gorgeous and prayer-inspiring stained glass windows.

I never looked beyond the cathedral doors closing behind me as I left.  I never thought, “Maybe I should read about Catholicism.” or sought anyone out who knew anything about being Catholic or even about Jesus for that matter.  It was like my quiet inner secret that I kept even from my conscious self.

So, I guess I connect devotionals with the idea of Godlessness, or even Protestantism, where I’m free to pick and choose my own idea of the Gospel or Jesus or God or the Catholic faith.  I know this isn’t the case with the amazing, orthodox and devoted Catholic authors who I would like to read otherwise. I even have one or two already.  I just can’t seem to want to stay up on it.  Would it help my daily prayer life? Quite possibly.

So, I’m inviting thoughts and your own experiences and input.  I would love to hear from you one way or the other about your thoughts on devotionals.