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.

 

 

So my daughter wants a Wonder Woman costume.

AWWoman

Now, if we could juuuust give you a Complete outfit that would be great.

 

KidWWoman

Something more like this. Yes, let’s try this. Modest, cute and still tough.

in fact, you know who’s costume I like?

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“WordGirl title card” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WordGirl_title_card.jpg#/media/File:WordGirl_title_card.jpg

 

Why are little girls dressing so immodestly? Well, my actual answer is the birth control pill and abortion, but that is another post.

I was with my kids at their dentist last month waiting next to the door, it was about 30 degrees outside at best. A little girl about 7years old, came in with her Mom and brother, the girl was dressed in sandals a t-shirt and a mini-skirt. I kid you not. We are in Colorado, mountainous Colorado. Not Florida or California. My heart just broke. I saw myself so long ago in this child and just wanted to tell her and her Mom that there is so so much more. That God has given us so very much more. And that we won’t get what we really desire by dressing and living this way; to be in union with God the Father but only help Satan in his quest for evil and hatred among us and within ourselves. All I could think was that this little girl is probably learning like many of us have, that you have to get by on looks. Period.

This Christmas, one of the  books my 5yo son got was a Batman book.  Cool, Batman is a good guy I thought. I Like Batman. He stands for good overcoming evil. Then somewhere around page 4 I see Wonder Woman’s boobs and butt as the Main focus of the page. My kids just don’t see women drawn like that , much less in movies or on Veggie Tales. Gah! What the HECK is a Mom supposed to do!?

Let’s get one thing straight. I’m not ashamed of women or of our bodies. I believe that God gave us beauty in many different forms, not the least of which being to catch the eye of men. God made men the visual beings they are and he made women, well, totally awesome.  But I am Sick, And Tired of Superhero women drawn like sluts. Yes, dressing like a prostitute or a scantily clad rock star is Not going to get us anywhere, nor will it help our little girls find self respect before ruining it. Nor will it help our boys find respect for girls.  Dressing ourselves and our little girls like Beyonce – or – like all we think men want is for us to strip-  is insipid, playing into the enemy’s hand, stupid , banal and just rude. I’m pretty sure superheroes don’t think “Wow, I’m gonna need less clothes so that I can fight. No Way can I do those crazy Trinity Matrix round-house-jump-off-the-wall kicks to the throat with these clothes- on my body! ”  Face. Palm.

So I told my kids while reading the Batman book that Wonder Woman needs more clothes. They agreed.

Today, my sweet little 3 year old who Loves Princess Leia and Hello Kitty told me that she wants to dress up like Wonder Woman. – I was prepared for this after losing a Lot of sleep Christmas night over slutty  female superhero stereotypes. But I’m none too happy that at 3 she needs to have the modesty discussion. We have always instilled that “your body is your body” with our kids. An important stepping stone in the self-respect arena.  And it truly is never too early to instill self respect and modesty as a virtue. So I told her that I would love to have her help me design a better Wonder Woman outfit. Maybe a pretty dress or something that would help Wonder Woman be more respectful And powerful at the same time. She agreed so tomorrow we’ll be at the drawing board. For now I picked up some simple ideas from the pinlandia you can look at here if you want your daughter in modest costuming too.

– Happy parenting and Merry Christmas Amigos!

 

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!   

7ishQT on Drink Contest, Dandelions and Mishaps

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Hey y’all!  We made it to Friday, not that that means anything around these parts, but we did, and somehow this week it actually feels like a Friday for once in a Blue Martini moon.  (I’m pregnant, all I can think about are the lovely blue cheese stuffed olive martinis I cannot have right now.)

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sotg-party

Speaking of drinks, are you partaking in the Jen’s fun #sotg  book release contests!?  I hope so, cuz I love me a good competition. And Eep!  tonight is the deadline, I totally thought I had until manana, pero, no.  Today is it folks.

Husband and I came up with a -to-be-taste-tested-by-non-preggos-later-hopefully delicious- and contest winning- #sotg drink.  Phew.  I sent my Top Secret Recipe to one hilarious and you all knew her before I did; Kelly of  This Ain’t The Lyceum for a video making!

That’s me gasping at that generous offer.

Anyway, to finish this post I gotta Giant list of crap to get done today and that lawn ain’t gonna mow itself.

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pisco

(image courtesy of www.undertheyewtree.com – and didn’t use this but you should also try the real deal Pisco Sour, it’s amazing)

El #SOTG North/South Pisco Drink Recipe you all have been waiting for!

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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.

[tried to insert hilarious drink making vlog here, possibly rivaling Kelly’s (good luck with that Victoria), it’s gonna have to wait.]

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This past weekend, I was able to get down to Colorado Springs with kids for some family fun.  Husband is training, placing 3rd in a state-wide shooting contest, doing cool AFR stuff; so we made the trek.  I made it longer by making a much needed pit stop at my Mom’s.  My husband was so sweet and did everything to make my day a lovely one.  Thank you babe!

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Mishap #1:  I simply Had to get those dandelions mowed down cuz there was probably a storm a comin’ and I didn’t know if our city would make good on their promise to charge us an arm and a leg to spray them themselves before husband got the chance to deal with them.  Our city, it’s my least favorite thing about living here so far.  I don’t like this term, but nanny state totally fits here.  And for some reason, I felt this was fitting:

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Mishap #2 Start the car after 1.5 hours of dragging the lawnmower around the lawn and truck decides not to start.  Luckily there were some nice farmer guys doing another neighbors lawn who jumped the battery.  Phew.

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Mishap #3:  It started to snow.  Hard.  Like sideways 1/4 mile visibility kinda snow.  On Mother’s Day.  And I forgot socks for me. Husband to the rescue again.  Phew.

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Did anyone ever tell you in your whole life that it is a TERRIBLE idea to take a toddler to a movie, at an actual movie theater?  That kid can sit and watch her some Daniel Tiger or Dora or some stupid movie, yes, I’m a terrible Mom, but a real paid-for flick.  UGH.  Just- don’t- do- it.  Unless you want this to be your life:

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dandelions

These guys.  Aren’t they pretty?  Well;

Ooooooooooh boy. I have to give a Major Mea Culpa to my neighbors whom I have been a hatin’ on for at least a week for this dandelion thing. I just talked to the city to get a “preggo extension” on the whole Nuisance Code mess. It turns out that the City of Sterling has been walking around our neighborhood, literally, to see who is in violation of this horrible dandelion EPIDEMIC. I mean, those dandelions, you Seriously have to watch them, they could kill a person.
So, to my unwitting neighbors, I am so sorry for all the glaring, talk behind your backs  and general mean thoughts in your direction, I apologize.  Not that you will ever see this crazy Catholic Mama blog, but still.  Plus, there’s confession. Phew.  Now I turn the death glares to you, dear stupid city.  Which is childish, I know, but give me a break.

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puffs

I think that’s actually 7, so that’s what Ima do this week.  Gotta change somebody’s little dipe then get all bedazzled for my #SOTG drink taste test Mom’s night In fun.

Happy Friday, can’t wait to read more over at the Fulwiler place!

And major congratulations to you Jen for writing and  getting this book out!  I am so very looking forward to some time to read it!