Thursday, December 27, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
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
"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
"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.
3. Waynes World I &II (they're epics, so they only count as one)
4. Legally Blonde
Monday, December 17, 2007
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.
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
Thursday, December 13, 2007
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
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
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.
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
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
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
Sunday, December 2, 2007
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
1. iPod Classic
2. Kate Spade
4. French Villa
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
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.
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 day before Thanksgiving Mark woke me up at 2am. We had a visitor. I was tired...no, 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
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
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
-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
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!!!