Thursday, December 27, 2007


My wonderful husband got me an iPod for Christmas.
I'm officially 80 Gigabytes cooler than I was two days ago.


If I were told that it was dependent on my survival that for the rest of my life the only music I could listen to is Michael Jackson and Prince, I have to admit that I wouldn't be too disappointed.

That's just the kind of girl I am.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A People Person

I love family, I love friends, I love kids, and I love everyone together celebrating the feeling of togetherness. But surrounded by the crowds of celebration it can be all too easy to lose yourself.

I haven't always been like this, but I shrivel up and silence as soon as I'm put in a group. It doesn't matter if it's family or friends, but I can't seem to find a voice amidst craziness. It doesn't bother me, it's just a contrast to my usual one-on-one talkative self where there is always an abundance of topics for me to dive into. I sometimes worry about the way my quiet impression comes off. Do they think I'm a snob? Do they think I'm shy? Do they think I'm unhappy? I hope not, no, and yes, I'm very happy. But, for whatever reason a group setting suddenly compels me with absolutely nothing to share.

It's Christmas Eve, it's late, and I'm having some 'quiet time'. Nothing energizes me better than time to collect my thoughts and to enjoy silence or music. I'm the classic introvert.

When Mark and I got engaged, I was extremely happy and so full of excitement. Having a son was the greatest moment of life. During these, and other wonderful times, I have been shocked at my reactions; often quiet, a little pensive, and full of thought. I was initially disturbed by my outward lack of enthusiasm, but I've taken comfort in Mary, the Virgin Mother, that faced with the great birth of our Lord ahead of her, instead of jumping up and down and shrieking, she "treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart" (Luke 2:19)

This Christmas, although I may not be the life of the party, the humorous one, or the hostess with the mostess, I will have treasures dear to my heart, and that's enough for me.

Glory to the Newborn King

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Time Out

So it begins...

"My spirit rejoices in God, my Savior"

Tomorrow we'll all be traveling north to start our Christmas celebrating. I'll be working a little, Mark will continue studying for the first part of the BAR Exam, and the three of us will be attending Family-Christmas after Family-Christmas. We are excited and relieved that another semester will now be behind us.

We'll be busy with family and friends and I may not get an opportunity to post everyday. I'm sure I'll be loaded with blogging material once we sit down and sigh after the Christmas-craziness is over.

In case I don't get around to it, Merry Christmas! May you all have safe travels, wonderful celebrations, and keep the Lord near your heart during this holy time. My own heart is joyful that Mark and I have our third Christmas together as a married couple, and that our little boy is healthy, smart, and as dear to us as ever. As parents, we are more excited to see his excitement on Christmas morning then we've ever been ourselves. Love is amazing...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

From "The Office," Jim yelling at Pam about picking "Legally Blonde,"

"Do you understand, the game is Desert Island Movies, not Guilty Pleasure Movies. Desert Island Movies are the movies you’re going to watch for the rest of your life! Unforgivable."

My top five "Guilty Pleasures" movies, and, I'd probably want them on my Desert Island, too.

1. Zoolander
2. Anchorman
3. Waynes World I &II (they're epics, so they only count as one)
4. Legally Blonde
5. Airplane

Monday, December 17, 2007

'Till You Drop!

A Steal

Look what I got on an open-box special today at Target, for $12.49, I feel like Rachael Ray.

Oh yeah, it's originally $59.99

Whoo Hoo!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Sometimes there aren't words for anything so awful. It's so easy to say I'm pro-life. In day-to-day life they're just words when not facing the reality of what abortion is. I try so hard to put myself in the position abortion providers and advocates. I try to see what they see and understand the passion for what they do. I try to understand, I try to have compassion, and I try to put myself in their shoes. That means that I have to try to look past the person, the person in the womb, the person being dismembered and killed made legal only because it's done inside someone else. With all the understanding I can muster I can't put the personhood of the child behind me. Images of aborted people enrage me, sadden me, and make me loathe medical professionals that believe that what they are doing is healthcare.

The article below is difficult to read, and I stopped the video because it was so disturbing. I have to wonder if I'm too understanding. Different work experiences have drilled 'tolerance' into my head despite my beliefs. I frequently add disclaimers to statements regarding my controversial standings instead of stating them with the vigor and passion that the unborn deserve. I wish I could do more.


It's just after 9am and I'm pooped. I was out the door early catching the sales of not quite last-minute Christmas shopping. However, I'm in incredibly good spirits despite the fact that my eyes are burning from tiredness.

There have been many times in St. Paul when I've felt rebuffed by the brusqueness of people. In the middle of the city people keep to themselves. Walking on Summit with Luke it's rare that we get a hello, a smile, or even eye contact. I've fallen into the protocol on many occasions, but I try as often as I can to smile or say good morning to passersby. I don't believe it puts me in any more danger as a lowly girl, and maybe even has the opposite effect by conveying confidence in my surroundings.

Shopping this morning I felt none of that. It might have been that the store was filled primarily with retired age women, but people were genuinely friendly. Everyone was smiling, laughing, commenting on my amazing purchases, and pointing out other deals to me. Everyone loved that I carried around my skinny white mocha and wished they would have had the same idea. I heard "Excuse Me" "Thank You" and "Merry Christmas" continually. I felt at home and comfortable for a rare moment amidst the vastness of a city that I haven't yet called home.

The anonymity of city life can be a breath of fresh air after a lifetime in a small town, and every so often a glimpse of familiarity or a welcome come my way and I truly feel like I belong.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Indoor Fun

Luke loves balls. He's such a boy. He loves his father for putting the hoop so low. More indoor games!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Can you relate?

Do you have a child?
Is he active and always on the move?
Is it so cold outdoors that it's dangerous?
Are you out of games to play?
Have you jumped on the bed, made numerous block towers, watched Christmas movies, ran up and down the hallways, thrown balls inside against your better judgment?
Do you want to go to McDonald's to let you boy run around in the Playplace?
Do you dread going to the library out of fear that the energetic child cooped up all day will get kicked out after he runs through the shelves like they're a maze?
Are you wishing that you had a basement with padded walls and an all-purpose jungle-gym?
Do you wish you had another child or a daycare just so your child had someone to run around with?

It's going to be a looooonnnngggg winter...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Save the Earth

According to the likes of Al Gore, people are the parasites of the earth, feeding off of it and can only do wrong. Below is an article courtesy of LifeSite . It's related to a recent article I posted regarding women aborting and sterilizing for the sake of the planet, but this one is more frightening to me. It suggests that in Australia, country with negative population growth (under 2.1), families with more than two children should be required to pay the equivalent of $700/yearly to counteract the carbon emissions that those children would produce, thus discouraging having more than two children. I could go on and on, and on...but I can't, because then this blog would turn into a book. Again, I'm all for saving the earth, but are we here for the earth, or is the earth here for us?

"I don't know what we're yelling about...Loud Noises" (Anchorman)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Played My Best for Him

I love Christmas music, from Mariah Carey to Handel's Messiah. There's one contemporary Christmas song that I love among all others; The Little Drummer Boy. There is something about the lyrics of this song that can bring tears to my eyes. I can just picture a young boy, a child of seven or eight with an innocence that we as adults can only dream about.

The King has come, as a newborn baby. A child himself, the little drummer boy, eager to see the Infant, curious, antsy, and perfectly content with his state as a poor boy with nothing for his King, marches cheerfully to the manger where our baby Jesus lay. We as adults are fretting and concerned with petty matters, while the little drummer boy knows his talents along with his inadequacies, and does not attempt to hide them. Mary nods, giving the boy permission to entertain the baby Jesus. I can picture the ox and lamb trampling along keeping time with the pa-rum-pa-pa-pums of the drum.

"I have no gifts to bring that's fit to give to a King." Don't we all feel like that? Some of us are able to give greatly to God through lives in martyrdom, the priesthood, and religious life. Some of us use our gifts in matrimony, or the single life. Some of us have been blessed with more gifts or a higher call to holiness, but whether a rose in God's garden, or a violet, although one may be greater than the other, each one, when perfected is a delight to God, as "perfection consists in doing His will, in being that which He calls us to be," (St. Therese, Lisieux).

During this preparation season of Advent, I want to keep this image close to my heart of the eagerness to seek Jesus, let the world drift behind me, to know that the gifts I have, regardless of how small, are sufficient to do His Will, if we would only "Become As Little Children" (Matthew 18:3).

Peanut Butter & Jelly

...never looked so good!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

This is How Cool I Am

On weekends, if Mark and I aren't watching reruns of The Office on Netflix, I'm usually watching Evolution of Dance on YouTube.

If Evolution of Dance isn't motivational, I don't know what is. Other people might go dancing on Saturday night, not me though, I just watch it on YouTube and live life vicariously through Hammer Time.

Deal...or No Deal

On Saturday and open casting call for Deal or No Deal came to Inver Grove Heights, MN, less than a half hour from our place in St. Paul. We were in. All week we were scheming our strategies. Would we theme, have costumes? What would we say to be memorable? The whole experience would be an adventure, we thought. The night before I laid out our clothes to get an early start. To plan for the cold I had blankets ready to go and hot chocolate with a thermos.

Morning of we turn on the news to get coverage of the event. Five thousand people waiting outside hours before the casting even starts and below zero temperature. NO DEAL!!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Heaven Sent

It's snowing in Minnesota. Actually, it's been nothing but snowing for almost a week. It looks lovely, but it makes getting out difficult.

After suffering from Cabin Fever all week, snowing or not, our cupboards were officially bare and I had to go grocery shopping. With Mark in the middle of finals, Luke and I went out alone, and on the way back faced the chronic problem of bringing in grocery bags. Parked in front of our apartment I began my trek of grocery bags with baby in tow. This is always difficult to do as I have to climb up about twenty stairs, unlock a door, go up another five stairs, open a door, and then walk down the hallway and unlock another door to get into our apartment. It's even more tricky when your baby is wearing a slippery jacket, your bags are heavy, and you're walking on the street because the sidewalk is a complete snowbank.

Although I manage this task many times a week, I know that I looked especially pathetic trudging through the snow carrying one bag at a time to the base of the outdoor staircase; back to the car for milk, again for diet coke, yada yada, with Luke slipping a little further from my hip with every step. Thankfully, a young woman asked me for help, and although I resisted a little (no pressure, you know), I was relieved when she insisted. She helped me carry every last bag up to our apartment, and if our floors weren't covered in building blocks and small trucks I would have invited her in for hot chocolate. I was so thankful and let her know how much I appreciated her assistance.

These are the angels in my life. It's not everyday that I'm struck by the genuine kindness of people, but it happens frequently. I'm guilty of dwelling on the awfulness of the world. It's incredibly easy to worry about child predators, terrorists, war, injustice, all of this junk, and to forget that how much good there is left. In some ways we're left to wonder if there's anything that one person can do. I can hardly manage the grocery store yet alone change the world. But, people give me hope. Mother Teresa has a delightful little saying,"We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do small things with great love." I try to live this verse, if only by default.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Shower Power

In college I was a machine. Most mornings I was out of bed before 6am, on weekends I out and studying by 9:00. I was a slave to my routine and my schedule. The motivation paid off with good grades, never pulling all-nighters or having panic-attacks from unpreparedness. The thought of not showering or getting 'ready to go' by noon was deplorable. Contemplating motherhood and all the ways it would change me, this, I decided, I would not compromise.

I was wrong.

The first six months of Luke's life I never once used an alarm clock. Luke gladly provided me my wake up call. This meant that on most days I wouldn't have a moment to brush my teeth, shower or dress until he took his nap-usually 10:00. Now Luke doesn't nap until 12:00, so I'm determined to find a better way to get up and at 'em.

Let's be honest, it's not that once I'm dressed I'm a knockout anyway. Mark and I were shopping at Kohl's recently when he pointed to a cotton shirt with an attached white collar. He told me "You used to wear dressy stuff like this in college." I actually didn't, but I got the point. I'm not a 'frumpy mom'...not yet at least, but I definitely don't take time to find a jacket, jewelry, handbag, shoes, and belt to match every outfit. Now all I want to do is manage to put myself together in a way that's mildly presentable and I'll be satisfied.

One of my sister-in-laws has nailed it down. With five kids under seven she's up at 5am, exercises, showers, drinks coffee, and is 'ready to go' by 6:30. This sounds like something I can do, and is something I did do at one point. Maybe it's just too easy with one child. As a student I was busy, too busy. With 18-21 credits a semester, working, an RA, clubs, ministries, etc., I was forced to get it together. These flexible days with just one child don't mandate a rigorous schedule, so I don't make one. I know there will be a day when every hour is mapped out in advance and I'm required to stick to it for the sanity of my family, and in many ways I look forward to that day. But, as many will tell me, I need to ENJOY the days I have with one and to love this period, however brief, where Luke and I can literally blow where the wind takes us...dressed for the day or not.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Snowed In

The snow is snowing, the wind is blowing, but I will weather the storm.
What do I care how much it may storm?
I've got my love to keep me warm.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Can of Worms

I don't read the trib everyday, this column, however, I couldn't resist commenting on-another forwarded by Mark. The two counterpoints I want to make are that A: Compassion is not contingent on accepting any and all practices within a culture, and B: Why should the Catholic Church (or any non-governmental organization, i.e. Boy Scouts) be required to accept any and all practices. The full article is here.

Regarding point A, people often confuse compassion with the acknowledgement that there can be no wrong, i.e. people and their actions are not morally good or bad. In this case the Archbishop clarifies the Church teaching that homosexual acts are considered immoral--wrong, but that those living within the homosexual lifestyle are to be treated with compassion and love in the same way that those living in other immoral states would be, i.e. cohabitation, infidelity. Coleman jumps on the Church's teaching as incompassionate, and societal norms negotiating morality. It seems that his beef is simply that he doesn't want the Catholic Church to decide, for anyone, even believers, what is right or wrong. Nick Coleman doesn't have to agree with the Catholic Church, but why fight against it?

My second point is closely tied with the first. It can be downright difficult to live a Christian lifestyle, and to be carrying the cross of a homosexual person within a church that doesn't accept the lifestyle their drawn to I could imagine to be incredibly alienating. The Catholic Church has compassion for these people, but that does not equate acceptance of that lifestyle. The Catholic Church is a religious institution, it does not attempt to be scientific or political, so why is Nick Coleman pressuring the Church as if it needs votes to sustain itself? My point is, the Catholic Church doesn't teach in order to please the people, and many people, especially unbelievers, feel that it should.

I believe in right and wrong, based on natural law, and unapologetically from God. This is a moral code, not a rights issue. Therefore, compassion is not part of the discussion. It is assumed that all people should, by 'virtue' of us all being sinners, to be treated with compassion.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

My Ridiculous Christmas (wish) List

Okay, when I started this list I was thinking semi-seriously. Then, things got completely out of hand. Still, it was fun to play the "if I won the lottery" game. But let's be honest, lottery or not Kate Spade is staying on the list.

1. iPod Classic
2. Kate Spade
3. Honda
4. French Villa
5. Jimmy
7. Steinway

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Good Movies

My sister-in-law just emailed me this link for good movies. You search for your favorite movies, and when you order one you get a free copy of an edited version. You can decide if you want a "PG" or "PG-13" version. Mark and I own A LOT of movies as a result of the impulse-buy racks at Target, but there are plenty of movies that we don't buy because of one little scene that we find particularly offense or ruined the movie for us. This is perfect for me and the perfect time of year, because the movie "Love Actually" is one of my favorites, but there are a couple scenes that are so gratuitous and stupid that I've never wanted to buy it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Reading List

What I'm reading right now: A Severe Mercy

True, I've read this book no less than five times, and I realize that I am 'preaching to the choir' in my rave reviews, as it's listed as a favorite book of almost all my friends. It's been more than two years since I've last read A Severe Mercy, and I can't believe how much I gain every time I read it.

This memoir brings me to a place so rare. It makes me long for Oxford, to study as a profession, to sail the obscure keys, and to realize truths I'd never looked at. The love in this book is incomparable to any fiction I've read. The love story in the book is true. It's inspiring and challenging. The acknowledgement of the beautiful, and the search for answers is a personal challenge for me to do the same in my life. This book brings me to a time I wished I lived in. Class, etiquette, poetry, wine, and with the exception of a constant listening of classical records, totally devoid of media that lessens creativity and prevents so many experiences.

Another memoir I saw when I was in the Pittsburgh airport, flying alone back to Minnesota during a break for school. Stopping in print shop full of periodicals and bestsellers a certain book stood out to me. I had never heard of it, or the author, but my temptation to buy the overpriced airport book was strong. I resisted, and instead decided to research the author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A Pulitzer Prize winner. The library had two of his books Love in the Time of Cholera and A Hundred Years of Solitude. I decided on the first and fell in love. I had never read anything within the Hispanic Experience, and I was blown away. Everything about this book felt real to me. The author uses "magical realism" to the fullest extent, and nothing like the ghosts in Hamlet, these fantasies were as real as the characters and left no doubt of their truth. I enjoyed Solitude equally, the Pulitzer winner, although a challenge to read in that I had to concentrate on the characters and story line. It seems that all the male characters have the same name, as do the female characters, so I read the book with a genealogy chart in front of me the entire time. A person with more advanced comprehension wouldn't have to do that, but I needed to.

I see that Cholera is now a movie. I was first very excited. I even made a point to record the "making of" special on HBO. Movie Trailers are intended to make any movie look good, but at first glance this one doesn't. I may see it, but I'd hate for the beautiful story I have imagined in my head to be polluted with a poorly done film. We'll see.


"Women who won't have babies because they aren't Eco-friendly"

I don't have the time to read the quantity of material there is daily to keep up with politics. I keep up the best I can because I have an interest, but when I'm not sitting in front of the computer all day I can't refresh Drudge every ten minutes. My husband, however, rarely misses anything. He sent me this article a few days ago. I've read it, reread it, and continue to check up on new comments. It still haunts me. I don't have anything profound to say, it just makes me sad and angry.

I have to wonder at what point people weight the value of life against their carbon footprint? I respect the earth, I will teach my children to respect the earth, and we will live eco-friendly for our own health and that of future generations. That does not mean we will elevate the earth to some kind of diety to be worshipped at all costs; offering our firstborn as a sacrfice upon Mount Moriah.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


The only Thanksgivings that Mark and I have had as a married couple have been quiet ones. Our first Thanksgiving as a couple was quite memorable. I was newly pregnant, exhausted, and a little despondent about my new job. I wasn't looking forward to making a turkey, as I generally couldn't cook anything decently anyway. Mark was working on getting at least some friends to come and visit us far away in Michigan. I didn't want to be alone, but I was also nervous about the pressure to make Thanksgiving dinner, not to mention that I was nine weeks pregnant the smell of certain foods made me...well, you know.

The day before Thanksgiving Mark woke me up at 2am. We had a visitor. I was, exhausted, and in my pajamas. No one sees me in pajamas, especially Mark's friends. Mark insisted that I see who was there. I walk into the living room and there's Jenni. I was shocked, confused, and in slight disbelief belief that I might in fact be dreaming. What a surprise! No pressure, no worry, no being alone on Thanksgiving! I called into work the day before Thanksgiving and Jenni and I prepared all the food and hung around in our pajamas all day. The next day we made a great turkey and had a great time just the three of us--pigging out and watching football. Jenni and I learned that even if you don't check both ends of the turkey that it doesn't affect the taste!

Last Thanksgiving Mark and I weren't all alone, we had Luke at four months old. I made the turkey and we spent the day relaxing and playing with our little guy. Even though it was just us, I used our china dishes and lit candles, it was very nice.

We're back in Minnesota now, God-willing for good. We've spent many holidays and special times away from our families and now we're both so thankful that we can share happy memories near both our families. Luke being able to live near his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins is one of the best gifts we can give him. We are very thankful, and very blessed.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Next to watching Luke sleep, watching him 'read' is one of my favorite things to do. After studying the importance of language and reading while obtaining my reading endorsement in college, I'm such an advocate of constant language immersion. Of course, Luke at 16 months is years away from actual word reading, but looking at him flip through picture books on a cold day on a comfy chair warms my heart. If he was allowed to drink hot chocolate I think he'd have some in the picture, just to set the mood right.
Having spent many hours as an elementary reading tutor, it breaks my heart to see so many children struggle with language. A poor reader doesn't guarantee a poor student, nor does a good reader guarantee a good student. However, a good reader has the tools he or she needs to obtain the information they want and have a great advantage.
I love to read, and even though I carry a 25 lb baby and equally heavy diaper bag with me wherever I go, there's usually books to go along, both for Luke and me. Living vicariously through Luke, I want him to be a reader, in the same way that Mark wants him to be a Vikings fan. I think Luke has great potential to be both.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Next Sunday I'm going to plant myself on the couch from 11am-3pm. I'm only going to get up for more salsa and bathroom breaks. I will rebuff any requests, I will ignore any interruptions. Dirty diapers, lunch, story time, huge messes involving a burst, no, no. Nothing will stand in my way. My excuse: THE GAME'S ON!

Yeah right.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Blessing

Do not be afraid!
Open the doors to Christ
God works in the concrete and personal affairs
of each one of us
Don't let the time that the Lord gives you
run on as if everything were due to chance.
With this expression of my hope I send you all,
from the depths of my heart, my blessing.

Pope John Paul II

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What are men...

compared to rocks and mountains?

I'm crazy about Pride & Predjudice. I ties with Ocean's 11 for my favorite movie. It's a weekly necessity. This morning I woke up and thought instantly "this is Pride & Predjudice day."

Doctor Day

Luke had the five stitches in his forehead removed yesterday. Pretty painless and untraumatic. Here's what went along with that lovely visit.:
-FOUR immunizations
-Blood draw for lead-level check

Here is how Luke has behaved in the meantime:
-Cry, cry, cry
-Whine, whine, whine
-Hold me, rock me, pick me up, put me down, hold me, rock me, pick me up, put me down

My mother-in-law's advice on doctor day: Ice Cream...and motrin


I LOVE Target. Serisouly. It's my favorite. I love the clothes, the shoes, the accessories. In St. Paul we are near a Super Target. I think that I've discovered the highest quality, generic food of all time. My favorite so far is their Macaroni and Cheese. It's ridiculously cheap, but SO good. I'm terrible at making healthy lunches. Breakfast is healthy, dinner is supreme, but lunch is mainstream. I have to admit that my freezer is full of frozen pizza, french fries and chicken nuggets. The cupboard is guilty of SpaghettiO's and Mac-n-cheese. This Target brand is amazing though, and I'm in no position to stop making it now.

The real revelation of my week has been in regard to Luke eating with a fork. He enjoys using utensils, but he's lowsy at it. With my new favorite food, Target Mac-n-chesse (sports shapes), Luke has officially mastered the use of a fork! The little pasta shapes are super easy to pierce with a fork, and Luke gets so excited every time he fishes into the bowl and comes up with little shapes on his fork. Yes, I love Target. I go there pretty much everyday.

My Target top five:

5. Knock-off shoes
4. Cleanliness of the store
3. Short check-out lines
2. Isaac Mizrahi
1. It's NOT Wal-Mart!!!