Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What Teaching Confirmation is Teaching Me

This fall, thanks in no small part to Clare's Miraculous Medal ("Mawee Mehdal") that she wore to the new parishioner brunch at our parish (true story--thanks, Grandma!), we got recruited to help teach confirmation this winter.

For three fast and furious months, we host a group of high school sophomores in our home each Sunday evening, hashing out the faith, drinking cocoa, and eating baked goods. More and more, thankfully, we are laughing and having fun along the way. Hopefully, they are opening their hearts to the workings of the Holy Spirit in the process. Definitely, they are seeing a glimpse of family life, with Clare dancing through the living room and Peter showing off his chill and happy baby skills.

Clare looooooves the "Confirmation girls" and likes showing off for them.

You know that adage about learning things by teaching them? Yep, that is definitely happening. I've learned so much about the Sacrament, about the book of Acts, about our faith. Most importantly, though, it is teaching me about how awesome the Holy Spirit it. More than ever, I find myself open to the workings of the Holy Spirit.

Teaching these kids has reinvigorated my faith.
Since Clare was born, I have often found myself missing the days when I served the Church in more obvious ways. I especially miss serving as a Mass coordinator and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion at the parish where Charles and I met. I was so close to the liturgy, and a lively faith was the direct result of that. Serving the church through diapers and PBJ is just not the same. Motherhood, is, of course, a terribly important vocation. And marriage is a really, really important Vocation. But I've inadvertently found my faith muscles growing flabby.

Now, for 10 weeks at least, I'm reading -- and since I have to teach what I'm reading, I'm reading it that much more closely -- and thinking and lesson planning.

I feel intellectually invigorated. A lively faith is bubbling back up from under the surface. 

The last two weeks, we've read and discussed excerpts from Pope Francis' encyclical "Joy of the Gospel," which I had never gotten around to when it was released, and was doubly renewed.

At the end of the day, maybe I'm helping teach our "Confirmation Kids" a little something, but really, it's the Holy Spirit working in and through me that's making all the difference. For me, and, I can only pray, for them.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

January . . . an Update

I'm here. I'm alive.

Things have been one part crazy; one part a cold that will.not.go.away; one part my computer is beginning the sloooooooow death march, and sometimes I just don't want to deal with it.

But my little break left my typing fingers itching and reinvigorated me and allowed me to set some clearer personal blogging goals, which will hopefully mean more posts for the grandparents. *wink* Anyway, for today, a little update.


I never posted either an 8 month or 9 month update on Mr. Peter, because they have felt so repetitive the last couple of months. Sorry, Second Born. He is Mr. Guy Smiley. He's on the move -- now pulling up and cruising like a pro. He's starting to think about letting go and I'd not be surprised to see him try a few steps in the coming weeks.

He's popped four teeth -- the two lower, middle teeth, and two snaggle teeth (top laterals) -- still no front teeth (top middle), which is just too cute!

Coffee Spiller, Cup Stealer, Sign says it all

In the last couple of weeks, he's really gotten his night-sleep together and is consistently only waking once and sleeping 12+ hours. Probably not coincidentally, he's also turned into Mr. Big Eater, more or less glomming down everything on his tray. He's also still nursing 5-6 times per day. It takes a`lot of calories to make mischief the other 12 hours a day. ;-)


Half-birthday baby feeding

Clare's big news is that she's pretty much potty trained! Yay! She's totally got it, but we're still having issues away from home. She'll get there. In the mean time, we're very proud of her. I'm now quite firmly in the "potty train when your kids are very ready" camp. In case you care.

Gone fishin', Passed out at 4:15, 60* never looked so good, Makes me laugh every day

Otherwise, she's her usual, crazy, book-loving, ballerina princess self. Her new thing is "costumes." Yesterday, that meant black tights, her sparkly ballet flats, and her bathing suit from last summer (orange with a tutu). She used it to "ice skate" while we were watching figure skating yesterday afternoon.

Charles and Me

Charles survived his first OB rotation and his first Call Back weekend (big recruiting event for his residency program) as a resident. I survived as well. ;-)

His current rotation is an "off-service" number, so it's significantly lighter. He was even able to take a couple of days off, which we used to get rid of the much (MUCH!) hated green wall in our kitchen. I've seriously hated it since the very first time we saw the house, but also knew it was just paint. And now, it is nothing but a memory!! It's amazing how much difference that paint makes. We also painted the rest of the kitchen, going from a dingy grey-blue to an airy ice blue. *insert heart-eyed emoji* Like I told Charles, it will never be a dream space, but at least it's a space that feels like, "mine."

The colors read terribly in these, but you can (kinda) see the transformation.

We're also teaching Confirmation for our parish, and that has been a great experience, but that's another post for another day . . . probably Wednesday.

So that's that. Nothing major. Just life. Crazy beautiful life.

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Friday, January 2, 2015

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 75 -- Christmas Round-Up

Joining Kelly to get some Christmas stuff posted while it is still Christmas!

1. Since Charles worked all day on Christmas Day, we ended up just doing some celebration shifting and did all the the "main event" Christmas celebrating on Christmas Eve morning. The kids wore matching jammies. Santa came a day early. We opened presents in a couple of waves with a big breakfast in the middle. There were a lot of treats and toys and merriment. We went to Mass that evening, and Clare passed out on the 3-minute drive home. Charles and I ate Mexican food and enjoyed the last of our day together.

2. The sunrise that greeted me as I prepped cinnamon rolls (actual) Christmas morning left the Canticle of Zechariah ringing in my ears all day. The photo doesn't nearly do it justice, but it's the best I could capture. I felt the joy of Christmas, even if it was going to be a different kind of holiday for me.

O Radiant Dawn, indeed!

3. I, um . . . maybe made the kids wear their second set of matching jammies Christmas Eve night, so they ate cinnamon rolls and yogurt in festive duds.

4. The rest of the day was a blur of food and movies and singing and dancing . . . and a lot of emotion. FaceTime chats with family in Arizona, combined with a long day for Charles, combined with what went down at the hospital made sure the emotions ran high. But again, we managed to end the day with food and each other, so I guess it turned out okay.

Jammies, Peter, Tiny Dancer, Getting my mom-blog on

5. Our week between Christmas and the new year was full of visits and a virus. Peter had a little something early last week that he seems to have passed to Clare. She spent New Year's Eve vomiting, so we spent our night dealing with it. Makes our actual plans of "play a game and go to bed early" sound downright wonderful! Here's hoping that we don't spend the new year how we spent its eve!!

6. This year, I used Jennifer Fulwiler's Saint Name Generator twice: once to choose a 2015 patron for myself (St. Genevieve) and once to choose one for our family (St. John Bosco). All you holy men and women, pray for us.

7. I'm hoping for a lot of things in 2015, but since I'm not really a "resolution" girl, I'll just leave it at that for me. But I will share the kids' resolutions. Peter resolves to get better sleep, especially at night. Clare resolves to ditch the diapers and start using the big girl potty. We'll see how they do. ;-)

Blurry, filtered, and too cute not to share.

Have a lovely weekend, and a happy, blessed 2015!

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