Wednesday, March 30, 2016

At the NCRegister Blog: Letting Go of Our Children with Our Lady

This recent New York Times article about how some babies are easier than others rang true for me this week, but I did not need an article to tell me that. When we had our first baby seven years ago, her different needs changed a lot of my presuppositions about parenting. For example, we never wanted to use a pacifier, but she was so oral we ended up giving her one. Our second baby had different needs, and we did things differently with her. Our third baby could fall asleep unassisted from the time she was a newborn.

Our fourth baby took all my nighttime parenting confidence and threw it out the window. With him I had to give up on all my human efforts to help/make him sleep, and prayed a novena to St. Jude, the patron saint of impossible causes...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Seven Quick Takes for March

It has been a long crazy last couple of weeks here. A lot of things have happened, and I have had no time for blogging here! I thought I would sum it up in a few late quick takes, and join last Friday’s link up

1. First up: my dad. People ask me on occasion how my dad is doing since his emergency surgery after anaortic dissection two years ago. Since I only see him every couple of months it is easy for me to notice his steady improvement. It has been a long recovery, and there are some things that he will never recover from. His aorta did not heal as fully as the doctor hoped, and because of that he is not supposed to let his heart rate get to high. So my runner father is not allowed to run ever again. As you can imagine, this was very difficult for him. 

The most recent news on Dad is that one of his arteries (to which the dissection extended) did not fully heal and it is becoming enlarged. If it becomes too large and bursts, it will be fatal for him. In your charity please pray for my father’s artery to heal and for wisdom for the doctor on how to proceed to help prevent this from occurring. We have been praying to Jesus with a devotion to his right shoulder wound (the one he received while carrying the cross) for dad’s healing. So this Friday when we are remembering Christ's Passion please say a prayer for Dad’s complete healing. 

2. Second: my fall. It has been five weeks since my tumble down the stairs, and I was pretty out of commission for about three weeks. I would do the bare minimum (home school, baby needs, and feeding people) and then lay down for ten minute stretches to rest my head. It became more and more evident throughout those weeks that I must have suffered from at least a moderate concussion. Even now (almost five weeks after the incident) I have a few lingering symptoms. I have an appointment with a concussion specialist tomorrow, so please pray for me and my complete healing. 

3. On to happier things! We had two birthdays in March in our home, and for M it was a particularly important one. With the help of awesome friends who did most of the food prep, I managed to throw him a surprise party in our house. He had no inkling of the fact until 90 minutes before party time when I asked him to do the taxes in his basement study. And he did not really know until he heard a whole lot of people hanging around upstairs. The party was a hit, and even the weather cooperated with a high in the 60s. We had cake and ice cream OUTSIDE in early MARCH in MINNESOTA. I am so glad to not have to sneak around planning a major event in our home without M to discuss it with. Though he claims that he is just going to let me do all the party planning from now on without him since it was a stress free planning for him. 
4. G had her 7th birthday, and I really cannot believe that I am the mother of a 7 year old. She is growing up way too fast. She is doing splendidly in first grade, is a loving big sister to the baby, and is really becoming independent. Her growing up really has taken me by surprise.

5. My parents came for a visit during the March birthday week, and they were able to help out with the craziness that has been this "spring" semester. I was able to leave the littlest kids at home for the dance classes, piano lessons, and our Little Flowers meeting. The girls had a great time with their grandparents around.  
6. The baby and I road tripped with my parents back to St. Louis so that I could help with my sister's bridal shower. It was really weird being in St. Louis without the rest of my family, and I think the professor and the girls missed us a lot as well. Baby T was a good baby as usual, and made sure to revert to some of his bad sleep habits once we got there. He really likes his own bed and room! I had some good visiting with my parents and siblings, and helped my mom dress shop to be the mother-of-the-bride for her last time. My brother and I bonded over putting peanut butter on ice cream (he really has great taste). My sister (the one who is getting married) shared a room with the baby and I, and I am not sure how much she liked being woken up by him... But the shower was a success, and T and I flew home together without incident on an airplane full of businessmen. I amused myself thinking about how all of them were little active 9 month old babies once. 
7. We are all set to have a quiet Holy Week, with just our little family, making it to the liturgies that work best for us. After enjoying the spring flowers in St. Louis, we are having a slow, steady snow fall in Minnesota. I guess the warm weather we had in early March was too good to be true.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a blessed Triduum.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

At the NCRegister Blog: The Church, Not the CDC, Has Empowered me as a Young Woman

I am honored, humbled, and pleased to share that I will be blogging a few times a month over at the National Catholic Register.

Click through to read the whole of my first article for the Blogs:


The CDC recently released new guidelines for women of childbearing ages: if you are going to be drinking, you better be using contraception. Their concern is with fetal alcohol syndrome, which is a legitimate concern, but their solution to preventing it does not respect women at all. They seem to think that young women are ignorant, helpless creatures who cannot make good decisions without the government to help them along.

They go on to recommend that health providers tell women to stop drinking if they are not using some form of contraception to prevent pregnancy. Women are going to have to face even more pressure to use contraception. And further those who follow Church teaching and do not use contraception are going to be pressured to not drink alcohol at all, ever.

This new recommendation by the CDC has a glaring truth to it that the Church has always embraced: a new human life is one of the ends of the sexual act.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

At the NCRegister: Living Mercifully

My latest at the National Catholic Register:


I was in the confessional, feeling particularly bad about my list of the usual sins, when a priest gave me one simple prayer for a penance. I wanted to say, “But wait, I have been doing the same things over and over and over again. Didn’t you just hear all the things for which I deserve a just punishment?

And then it struck me: This was mercy.
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