Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for. . .

Prayer buddies – If you haven’t yet, there is still time to sign up.  Check This Cross I Embrace for all the details.

JBTC – I was lucky enough to win M’s give-away yesterday.  I will be praying St. Andrew’s chaplet on these lovely beads.

November – Many of you participated in a daily posting of what you are thankful for.  I enjoyed reading these and, along the way, was reminded of all my blessings.

Long weekends -  An added bonus of the new job I started a few months ago is the company’s holiday schedule.  Not only did we get Thanksgiving off, we also had the day after as well, AND they let us leave early on Wednesday.  What a wonderful and relaxing weekend it was!  It was a good combination of rest, visiting family, good food, and a little adventure and entertainment.  I even managed to knock a few things off of my To Do list.  A perfect weekend!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Did you know. . .

. . . that you can get Poison Ivy even when the vine has no leaves?  I didn’t, but I do now!

A week or so before Thanksgiving I did some end-of-year yard cleanup and decided to pull out a vine that was climbing up the siding.  Big mistake!  I soon had a lovely rash on my wrist and on my leg. 

Beware of the vines with hairy roots on them – bad!

This has been a public service announcement.  J

Now back to your regularly scheduled reading!


Monday, November 26, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas???

I have to admit I don’t get the whole Black Friday shopping event.  Yes, the prices are good if you can get the items.  But, it seems to me the stores only stock so many and if you really want that thing you are going to have to commit a bit of time and discomfort standing in line waiting to get into the store at some ungodly hour.   That’s time that could be spent with family and friends or sleeping in my warm and comfortable bed.  There isn’t any “thing” I want that badly.

When I saw the headlines on Drudge over the last few days I really have to wonder what Christmas gift giving has become.  I find these all truely frightening.

A few days before Thanksgiving, after a number of discussions, our family decided to forgo gift giving this year with two exceptions – stocking stuffers and presents for baby Sara.  It seems to add a lot of unneeded stress trying to figure out the perfect gift for the person who has everything they want or need.

When I looked at the calendar a little over a week ago I panicked mildly that it was only 40 days until Christmas.  It felt like I had so much to do with all the shopping and cooking and cleaning that needs to be done before the big day.  Taking present shopping off the “To do” list has been extremely liberating.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Now that was a first!

In honor of Small Business Saturday, Himself and I went to the local town square to browse the shops and do a bit of shopping.  There’s one I’ve been wanting to go into for quite a while, a yarn and knitting shop, that we wandered into. 

I was talking to the owner asking about classes when I noticed some samples up on the wall.  One was the most adorable knit jumper for a baby girl.  I pointed it out to Himself and we both thought it would be perfect for baby Sara.

The owner, hearing this, asked us Is that your granddaughter?

Now I know we're no spring chickens, but grandparents???


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

And they called it Puppy Love

Last weekend we went to the wedding of Himself’s eighty-two year old aunt.  I have to admit, it was a curiosity to me.  After all, what is a wedding for an older couple like?

In a word – beautiful!

Not having a particularly good home life, his aunt spent a lot of time with a friend’s family.  There she got to know one of the brothers well and Irene and Dan soon became grade and junior high school sweethearts.  Discouraged by some adults that it was just puppy love, they eventually lost touch with each other.  Both went on to marry others, have children and long, happy marriages.    Both lost their spouses quite a number of years ago.

This summer, when Aunt Irene was in town for her granddaughter’s high school graduation, she and Dan caught up with each other.   Sixty-nine years later, there was no doubt that what they had was more than puppy love, it was the real thing.  That was very apparent when they took their vows.  You just had to look at their eyes. 


Thursday, November 15, 2012

40 days

Have you looked at the calendar lately?  Thanksgiving is next week, Advent follows right behind it, and Christmas sneaks in right around the corner.  Uggh!  Christmas is only forty, yes, count them, four – oh, days away.

I started putting one of my infamous lists/plans together to get my head wrapped around what needs to be done before the big day.  I need to make baby Sara her stocking.  There’s gifts and cards to buy and lots of cleaning to do. 

Only 40 days!

I need to plan the menu and figure out my fashion statement for the day.  And decorations; we need those too.

40 days?

But what about spiritual preparation?  That wasn’t on the list and it should be.

Christ spent 40 days in the dessert preparing for his death.  How will I spend the next forty preparing for his birth?

What are you doing to prepare for Christmas?


Monday, November 12, 2012

IF: When to ‘quit’

Read part three here.

So, you’ve been actively been trying to conceive for how long?  Two years?  Five? Ten?  Just when is it time to throw in the towel?

You have been charting.  You’ve had the month long visits to Vampira, mistress of blood draws.  Perhaps a surgery or two is in your medical records as well as any number of prescriptions.  You figure POAS is a waste of both time and money. 

How do you draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough?

Well, ladies, the answer is difficult and it is not.

You quit when trying takes something more from you than it should – your sanity, your faith, true intimacy with your husband, your ability to see anything good in life other than conceiving.

It does not mean you are not open to life.  Hardly.  Things in the bedroom can go back to being fun and spontaneous, not calculated and planned. 

It does not mean you are selfish.  Nope.

It does not mean you must not have wanted it badly enough.  Never. 

It does not mean you are lazy.  Uh huh.

It does not mean you would have been a bad mother.  No way.  No child would have been wanted more.

It just means that living as two is okay; that you will be fine as you are.  Life can be not just tolerable, but true and good and beautiful. 


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Guest Post: Be Not Afraid

Wednesday morning I woke up to the news on my clock radio.  I learned that the birthday present I wished for the day before wasn't to be.  We would not be getting the hoped for new president.  I was severely disappointed and down.  Himself gave me some perspective before I set off for work. 

He later forwarded to me correspondence he had with a good friend of ours.  What great words of wisdom!  I asked if I could share it with you and he graciously agreed.

Dear K-,
    It is great to hear from you.  You have just the right attitude.  I, too, am sad for those who haven't been given the grace to see that a new coat of paint won't remove the termites in the foundation.  This is particularly true of fiscal conservatives and libertarians.  The liberal elite termites give us every opportunity to take the easy way out and leave them to their destruction.  We are quick to join in the ridicule of those who challenge our county’s cultural decay, so we can justify, or ignore, our own contributions to that decay.

     “Be not afraid” is, of course, exactly the right motto for today.  It's alright to grieve and pout for a day or two.  It's not alright to head for the catacombs or even Costa Rica for that matter!  The blessing in disguise which we received four years ago continues.  We are better informed and much more aware than we would have been otherwise.  The Tea-Party, the Manhattan Declaration, the conservative blogosphere, an active Cardinal Dolan and Magisterium, are all fruits of that opportunity.

     Though, the margin of defeat closed this election from 8% to 2%, we have over a century of cultural decline to overcome before we can expect to move a national election in our favor.  Culture precedes politics and economics.  The latter two are a reflection on the first.  Fortunately, we can, and should, attempt to serve our immediate sphere of influence.  This will be much easier and effective than trying to solve micro-level problems on a macro-level playing field.

     The credibility of the republican establishment was destroyed in this election.  This is a necessary step before the party can be realigned and effectively vie for the hearts and minds of the American voters.  This is different than the personal outreach we as individuals must continue to pursue in our relationships. 

     Here's an example of a success which will be seen as a failure by the hard-hearted and hard-headed in the republican party.  Richard Mourdock defeated Dick Luger in the Rep. primary.  Luger was slightly less liberal than Charlie Crist whom Rubio defeated in Florida in 2010.  Yes, Mourdock lost a close election to Donnelly.  However, the bitter Luger did not support Mourdock, as Mourdock would have been expected to support Luger.  The establishment in Indiana pouted just enough to lose the seat for Mourdock.  But, guess what?  Donnelly is Pro-Life, Pro-2nd Amendment, and Pro-Traditional Marriage.  So, don't let any of the establishment apologists get away with saying social conservatives lost the seat.  Social conservatives won the seat either way.  Resentful fiscal conservative Luger supporters lost it for the republicans.

     Even Akin in Mo. could have overcome his inelegant rhetoric if the establishment didn't starve his campaign of funds.  But, put Akin and Mourdock aside.  What were the social issue "gaffes" that lost the election for the establishment candidates in Florida, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia, Ohio, etc.???  No, the election was won by candidates who had the courage of conviction.  Sherrod Brown, who won in Ohio, is the country's most liberal senator.  Barack Obama did not run as a moderate this time, as some explained away his victory in 2008.  They ran on their convictions, as misguided as they may be, and won. 

     In closing, republicans must be made to understand that love-of-money is not conservatism; and libertarians must be made to understand that socialism can't be defeated by social Darwinism.                         

My, this is a windy manifesto!!  I'll leave you with some real wisdom: 

"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well…" - Julian of Norwich
“It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.”-G.K. Chesterton Cleveland Press 3/1/21


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

IF: Surviving 2

Read part 2 here

Learn your body.  I assumed that since my cycle was regular, every twenty-eight days like clockwork, everything was good.  Having had severe PMS, since almost the onset of menses as a teen, seemed normal to me.  So did TEBB.  My regular OB saw no problems with those.  Only later did I find out that those are symptoms of hormonal issues.  Creighton opened my eyes to how my cycle actually works.

Find a doctor with whom you are comfortable.  The first time I met with my Creighton trained ObGyn, he spoke to me as if I knew what I was talking about.  He explained things if I didn’t understand, but he didn’t talk down to me.  The was a great gift and blessing.  He is a two hour drive away and I still go to see him as my regular ObGyn. 

Advocate for yourself.  I cannot stress this one enough.  And it is not just for fertility related issues.  You need to be your biggest advocate for all your health concerns.  If you feel something is not right follow up, push, and question until you get answers.  If your doctor does not take you seriously, find another doctor!  It is your body. 

Diet and exercise are simple actions that can sometimes have a big effect on fertility.  Taking vitamins and/or supplements sometimes helps as well.  Learn what you can do and what is out of your hands.

IF can be very isolating.  It seems like we're surrounded by growing families everywhere we look.   When I found the Yahoo Catholic infertility group, it was as if someone threw me a lifeline.  Other people, other women, understood.  They were a sholder to cry on and someone to encourage the next step and provide the kick in the pants when needed.  They were there to rejoice in the BFP and offer condolences and prayers for the BFN. 

The Yahoo group led me to one blog, then another and another.  They have become a virtual support group.   It helps to be tied in and connected to people who have a clue.  And that help is two-fold.  The first is all of the above emotional and prayer support.  The other is that in helping someone else, whether by prayer, words of encouragement, recommendations, etc., we forget a little of our own troubles.  We become less the center of our own little universe and part of the bigger community around us.

Next time: Knowing when to 'quit'


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thru the lens of my BlackBerry

We had sunshine today after almost two weeks of gloomy, wet weather.  These were a few things that caught my eye today.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Everything old . . .

. . . is still old.  I love antique shops.  They are like museums where you can touch and hold things, and, for the right price, even take something home.  On Friday we ventured out of the house with baby Sara.  Other than some fun pictures I didn't get anything but Himself found a great first edition Charles Dickens.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for . . .

* Joy Beyond the Cross - She did an excellent month-long series on the saints in October.  I really enjoyed reading about some of my favorites and learning more about ones I knew little of

* Martha moments - Although we came through the storm unscathed, my sister and her husband aren't quite so lucky.  They have been without power since Monday night.  So they and baby Sara have been staying with us this week.  I have really enjoyed it.  Since I have tomorrow off we will be watching Sara instead of her going to daycare.  Here's hoping it goes better than it did several weeks ago!

* The people with whom I work - We had a Halloween potluck lunch yesterday and several people went above and beyond with the decorations.  We had a "who done it" to figure out.  I work with some really great people.