Monday, December 28, 2015

Celebrating 19 Years of Marriage on the Feast of the Holy Innocents ~ AND ~ A "Purposeful" Year


So...us:
 nineteen years ago today!
And really, we're starting not to look like these people any more.......
No, really. The you-haven't-changed-a-bit?
Thanks, but there's  middle aged, different looking  staring back 
from the mirror's reflection. You're too kind though. Ha.

You can't hit the  nineteen year mark without lows amid the highs...
Yeah we've had those.
Plenty of 'em. 
And thank God that we took our vows as a sacrament, because, well, 
mercy, patience, partnership and never-giving-up.
This verse, read at our wedding mass, has
come to life for us countless times.
When choosing readings, I felt it a bit overdone, overused,
one of those everyone seems to have at their masses too...
especially as we tied the knot in the midst of a three year span of time where
seemingly all our friends were as well.
It was wedding mass after wedding mass and 1 Corinthians 13 seemed to get,
well, I hate to say it, but.....old.
Thankfully my husband, whose opinion I overruled with most wedding decisions,
either due to his indifference on "trivial" matters (his words)
or my insistence that hey-I've-been-planning-my-
wedding-since-I-was-eight-and-this-is-not-how-it-goes-hon....stuck to his guns
and vetoed my tossing aside St Paul's beloved epistle, saying,
You can't get better marriage advice than that...what more are you looking for?

Since then,  many of those couples whose weddings we attending in that span of time
 in a church-reception hall-baptism of first baby whirlwind have, sadly,
divorced... but I know it is due in large part to
the words spoken at our mass within the readings
and
the fact that we were married within our Catholic  faith
that has kept us, from not throwing in the towel.
That, and the fact, that we do actually still like each other.
The essence of being 
patient, kind, not envious, proud, or boastful, as 
St Paul explained the meaning of "love" allllll those years ago....?
Smart man, that St Paul.
My husband too.

Did I mention that I temporarily lost my sanity  during wedding planning
and insisted we elope to Vegas
to  be married by an Elvis impersonator?
Yeah, that didn't fly with my husband either and so we stuck with the
church wedding.

Thank God.

Sigh.

Now, I loathe to admit this.... that  day nineteen years ago,
when we planned e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, every last detail down to the 
shade of ribbon chosen for the pew bows and the youthful
snapshots of each of us growing up as an intro to our wedding video....?
 We overlooked  a very important detail.....
perhaps the most important one.......
that we chose to be married, three days after the birth of our Lord,
the day  that we in the Catholic faith
honor the defenseless babes mercilessly and cruelly slaughtered by decree of Herod.
We call this day the Feast of the Holy Innocents.
The best...THE absolute  best reflection on this day is written by my friend,
Sue of Out of My  Catholic Mind...you must must must 
click over and give it a read. Sue puts a   unique 
"spin" on the Holy Innocents that
I've never envisioned, in part, due 
to a reenactment at church in which her kids were involved.....

Oh, I casually recognized Herod's savagery in the Gospel readings;
I absolutely did.
But did I truly ever  feel the depth of compassion and remorse and,
well, anger...that I should have, that we all should have?
No.
These were words that I read or listened to.
These were actions of a small - minded, threatened ruler two thousand years ago.
 I'm ashamed to say...........
they were just words.
Not until three years later, when I lost my own baby...my first...through
the nightmare of miscarriage, did the horror of those sweet babies' mass killings 
 genuinely become clear to me...... along with another horror......: 
My own apathy. And  indifference.  And insensitivity.
Happens easily doesn't it?
We need to work at it...becoming less self involved, more resolute, don't we?
Well, I do.
How  easy to get caught up in the day to day and become focused on self.
Or the unimportant.
I like to think that in nineteen years, given the ups, downs, smiles, tears,
losses, triumphs and general maturity and of course forced selflessness 
that comes with motherhood
.....that I've gotten better at being more 
focused, more determined about the important.
More...purposeful.......
which is my "word" for the year.
not a resolution, but a word, which summarizes the direction I'd
most like to take...the way I'd most like to  think, act, live.
In so many arenas.
As the kids get older, recognizing that moments together are
 fleeting and while me-time is essential to a degree.......
there is a finite number of days that remain together.

.So while time spent blogging may seem attractive ( and emotionally beneficial!)
and running errands, cleaning,
or lesson planning are all necessary ( ! ) ,
purposeful minutes, hours, days spent.........
 in our homeschool,
or in joint endeavors as a family, 
or, even chauffeuring the boys to events,
playing board games, watching movies, raking leaves, washing windows....
anything together..... and purposeful.....
is time that is better.
Better spent. Better used. 
 Better time.

Every year, my friend Lisa,
of Home to 4 Kiddos, shares her word for the year.
I love reading her insight as well as that of the bloggers who join in.
This year, I'm finally linking up as well.
Please come on over and  visit Lisa at her One Word hop....
 be inspired and maybe share your word for 2016 as well!






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This post contains amazon affiliate links....
If you are shopping at  amazon this Christmas season,
would you consider clicking through my link


In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
a few pennies per dollar.
If YOU are an amazon affiliate, please send me
your link and I will do the same!
THANK YOU!


Until next time,

~Chris



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My Baby's a Teenager! A Birth Story & 13 Things About the Birthday Boy



So thirteen years ago today,  on a frigid, blizzard-y, relentlessly wintry moring,
 my sweet two and half year old and I began 
what I envisioned to be one of a handful of 
"just the two of us" days that remained before The New Baby joined the fam.
Oh he wasn't due for another eight days, Christmas Eve to be exact......
so crazy me, assuming since Baby #1, my then - toddler, now - fifteen year old,
 arrived on his due date, that all of 
my babies would comply just as willingly
Little did I know....they arrive when they wanna arrive!
We entered the kitchen to begin breakfast and organize the 
ingredients for the promised chocolate chip cookie baking adventure 
of the day, to find a note from my husband which read,
"Have a great day you two.
And don't go into labor today.......Blizzard.
Getting to the hospital's gonna be really inconvenient.
Plus, I'm working late."
Ha. Labor? 
Today will be filled with all things Christmas and wrapping and baking and
blanket snuggles and picture books and maybe even a walk in the smowfall.
A birthday's not on the schedule.
Well, we did all that and more because.....
Those crazy Braxton Hicks I'd been experiencing which were
pooh-poohed by the doctor weeks sand weeks ago.....?
well, they were back...all day and with a vengeance.
All day.
Not til I took my Mom seriously after her seventeenth...or so it seemed......
phone call  to ask......
"Do you still have those contractions?" and 
"Don't you think you should time them just 
in case this is real labor?" 
did I actually time them, bent over  cookie batter, in pain,  
Elmo's Christmas CD on repeat 
and realize that, indeed,  they were three minutes apart! 
After calling the doctor's office for guidance and hearing,  
GETTOTHEHOSPITALRIGHTNOWAREYOUKIDDING?
THISHASBEENGOINGONALLDAY? I decided I better get my suitcase
in the car and get moving.
Neighbor and friend, on call  to take my little sweetie, was blessedly
available right then when I calmly called her.
Hubby was beeped. Yes, beeped.
These were pre cell days, to us anyway, and I headed out  
by myself against hubby's, Mom's and friend's better judgement.
Hey I've been driving for maaaaaaany winters and in rush hour traffic to boot!
I can get myself down the highway ten miles to the hospital no prob.
ha.
It didn't take me long to find  that driving in a blizzard +  NY rush hour +  
traveling-with- the-  nine- days -before - Christmas - shopping -throng passing- the-mall
  + labor pains= Not  A Wise Decision.
Yeah, I realized this as I finally finally f-i-n-a-l-l-y turned into the hospital ER lot,
left my keys with the security guard in the little ticket booth and somehow
got myself through the doors where Thank You God, some angel was waiting
waiting
with a wheelchair and a comforting word and took me right up to L and D.
My doctor was there, on call, yippee and told me after a quick exam that
there was no way I was going home tonight.....
this baby's gonna have a December 16th birthday! 
Hubby, miles and miles and miles away at work, arrived soon after
with stories to distract me, non alcoholic white zin and a Big Mac.....
nice and healthy right? I hit the husband jackpot with him.
 I was dying for both those "refreshments" after my last delivery, 
but now, ew, the thought  turned my stomach.
My doctor was all "You don't need no stinkin' drugs," and 
insisted I do the hula with her, complete with background island music,
 as I denied her and stood firm for an epidural.
OK, I tried it her way, 
 but after an hour of the strains of Tiny Bubbles-esque tinklings  and
well meaning labor nurses trying to pull the wool over my eyes
with awkward and downright ridiculous comments like
 HOW MUCH IT FEELS LIKE HAWAII IN HERE, I won and got some pain meds.
Sorry, but I guess I'm not as strong as everyone wants me to be! LOL

In less than an hour and by 10:20 PM on December 16,
our newest miracle arrived!
No crying, no bawling...not right away anyway .....
and with eyes  that looked right through our souls and 
 the hugest, brownest, most ardent, earnest, endearing,
Wow-I-Love-Life-I-Can't-Wait-To-Get-Started-on-This-Journey.
And he still looks like that every morning as his days begin.

We're still trying to figure out what we did to deserve him.
Really.

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So, in absolutely no particular order, here are 13 things about my 
sweet little man~~~

 He's a badass on the soccer field
-



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He has a soft spot for babies and animals.


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He loves the outdoor life.



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He can paddle a canoe and kayak like he was born on the lake and 
swims even in 40 degree rain during our Adirondack week!
with his brother of course.





He loves his Catholic Faith.



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He's amazing in the kitchen.

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He's pretty darn creative with paint




and with a carving knife



and with a needle and thread.




and with balloons!



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He dreams up and carries out   crazy cool Halloween costumes.









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His onstage antics are killer, esp here as he breathes life into the Bard's
nutty Thisbe in Midsummer Night's Dream.






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He's the most perseverant person I know and insists on  conquering his
 dyslexia, most recently by reading the responsorial  psalm 
at our parish's National Night of Prayer. es, he's memorized
hundreds of lines of unabridged Shakespeare and performed in front of packed crowds  without a second thought. But reading? In public?
Not until recently could he make this happen!


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He has joined the pro life movement with a passion.

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His favorite thing, among many passions, is doing for his family and friends.
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He helps me plan and carry out imaginative and whimsical parties!



Panem et Circenses!!!


Whovians welcome!!



Thanks for joining me for a celebration of my little man!!
See you soon!


Here's our now SIXTEEN year old's first teen   birthday tree by the way~~
Time marches on, doesn't it?






 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!
And hey:

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

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You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....



This post contains amazon affiliate links....
If you are shopping at  amazon this Christmas season,
would you consider clicking through my link?


In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
a few pennies per dollar.
If YOU are an amazon affiliate, please send me
your link and I will do the same!
THANK YOU!


Until next time,

~Chris

Monday, December 14, 2015

Five Clever Gifts for the Book Lovers in Your Life!

Hey there friends.....
For those still completing Christmas and Hanukkah shopping ...
or birthday shopping as well...as it seems there are a lot
of December birthdays out there......one of my sons among them......
I'm stopping in to share some amazon bookish awesomeness!
I stumbled on a few of these, which led to more of a search for literary-ish  gifts,
which led to this short but perfect gathering of items any avid reader would love .
They're tons of fun and always a big hit....
So pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy some armchair shopping
from bookmarks to band aids!


I was going to save the best for last, but I just can't........
seriously.....
How great are these!?


 

And personally, I recommend giving season 1 of The Following with Poe.
Don't watch The Following?
Yikes..guys...go fix that!
Because...well, Poe is life.
And then there's  Kevin Bacon.


Trust me, he's not dancing in this one.
You. Need. To. Watch. This.






'Nuf said.
Who doesn't want these? 


Calling all Little Women junkies~~~
"She is too fond of booksstuff reminiscent of the great Louisa May Alcott









And for the book and coffee lovers among us, the mug




Keep Calm Bookmark 



Love the little beaded bauble, don't you? 

And here are lovely note cards




Eat Sleep Read  shirt just for fun!







Looking for a few more, creative ideas?
Go check it out....I think there's something for everyone there!!

I'm delighted to share this post at the 
Please click over and peruse some wonderfully creative and
inexpensive lifestyle and faith links!

 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!
And hey:

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:


                                                                            
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....



This post contains amazon affiliate links....
If you are shopping at  amazon this Christmas season,
would you consider clicking through my link?


In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
a few pennies per dollar.
If YOU are an amazon affiliate, please send me
your link and I will do the same!
THANK YOU!


Until next time,

~Chris