Thursday, April 30, 2009

We had a wonderful appointment this week at Children’s Hospital. Obviously, the big news for the day is that, for now, things are good and we can move forward with getting Anna’s ear fixed. Also, our specialist and his assistant suggested genetic testing and once we gave them the go ahead, they were out of the gate running! By the time we left we had been given a signed letter to our insurance company telling them exactly what needed to be tested and what medical tests our kids would have to have, yearly, if they did not approve the genetic. We were also given instructions to call as soon as we got approval and they would set up the whole thing for us. It was really helpful and I feel so blessed to have such amazing medical care for my family.

We are saving for a town home. This is something that is a far off dream, but a dream non the less. Now that we have this plan of action, I know we will be staying put where we are currently living for some time. This makes me want to redecorate! The whole things is really funny because I don’t want to dig out some old stuff from the closet and change around some wall hangings—I want to SHOP, SHOP, SHOP, for furniture and rugs and so on. Of course, I won’t go on a spending spree, but I make myself laugh.

. I’m praying for motivation. I have some writing contests I really want to enter. I have 10 personal essays half started. But, between the kids, work, and my newfound love for everything blog—I haven’t been writing much outside of blogs and articles for work.

Ok, I have another confession to make; on Thursday Anna was fussing all day and I was so very tired. In a moment of weakness, I called my husband at work to complain about how I can’t take her constant crying and never sleeping anymore. I told him I needed him to get home right after work. Well, our connection was kind of bad and I sounded so upset, he thought I asked him to come home, as in right now. I was so surprised when he showed up an hour early from work. Opps! I felt really badly. Thankfully, I have been blessed with a wonderful man who doesn’t get angry with me for being an over-emotional mess every so often. We chalked it up to a miscommunication and moved on with life… hour early.

The events of Thursday have me thinking I need to plan a little more time for myself. Maybe I will plan some mommy writing time into our week and kill two birds with one stone!
Tessa sang a song today for the first time. She couldn’t remember the words, but I knew exactly what song she was singing because she was actually singing a melody, and dancing to the correct beat! It was amazing and I will treasure it forever. On a selfish note, I was making a lasagna in the kitchen when she came up to me, pulled on my leg, and sang me her little song. This is a selfish note because, from now on, this story will guest star mommy as the wonderful housewife and mommy who makes lasagnas! Thanks goodness it wasn’t pizza night, because we have those too….and somewhat often. SHHHHH!

Some beautiful women, some I know and some I do not, have posted or e-mailed me some lovely comments on my blog and my writing. To these women, I humbly tip my hat. You have no idea how much this has made me smile, and how it has put a little bit of hope into my heart. Being a mother is the number one job in the world, hands down. In addition to that, I feel blessed and burdened with another call. This blog is part of that discernment for me.

For more Quick Takes, check out Jennifer at Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Mobile

There is this mobile. It dances down from its ceiling perch; casting the moon, setting the sun, shooting a star. It isn’t that special of a mobile. Its paint has dulled, its body the result of a cookie cutter cut-out. Individual, it is not. The same mobile hangs in every room here, its present constant, what happens beneath it - is not. Its valiant effort of cheer is a feeble, but an esteemed, attempt.

Beneath many versions of this same mobile - I have cried and rejoiced. On this day, it floats above us, so peacefully in unison with the lullaby singing my baby to sleep. As she drifts in one arm, my hand rests safely in the grasp of my husband’s. We quietly rock, and our breaths fall into sink with one another. I’m thankful for the chain of comfort we’ve created here, between the three of us. Like the mobile, we are separates parts; thriving on the thread that links us, moving together as one.

For the mothers whose eyes have looked upon this mobile through tears, and for the babies who’ve cried as it cast its shadows over the walls… tonight, I offer my prayerful heart.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Daybook- week of April 27th 2009

Daybook – April 27th, 2009
Thank you again to Peggy ( for hosting!

Outside My Window ...
Our patio is covered in junk and now has washed up wood chips covering it from this weekend’s rains. As it sits right outside our living room, I really need to spruce it up so it may help us welcome spring.

I am listening to...
Tessa crying in time out and Anna coughing. Oh boy.
To Live the Liturgy…
I think I will best celebrate this Easter season by taking some prayer time outside. I am blessed to live in a location where the seasons fit nicly with the liturgical year.

To be Fit and Happy….

I’m really not doing well with my vow to sleep when all other family members have drifted off. Uggg….unless it is spent in prayer, those hours in the middle of the night are wasted away by selfish want for time alone to watch TV, play online and in general, do nothing. If I were alert and a happy awake person in the morning, this may be ok, but I am sooo not.

I am thankful for ...
Sharing Mass with my family. Experiencing the Mass through the eyes and heart of Tessa has really been such a renewal for my personal spiritual life. Yes, she talks back to the priest, does the sign of the cross and screams amen with excitement at random times and my personal favorite—dances to the organ. Sometimes I am a bit embarrassed—but really, maybe we should all be so excited to sing the Gloria!

From the kitchen ...
We have hit our budget number for food for the month and I am really looking forward to the first on the month. Things have gotten a bit too creative in there for my liking. It’s not like we can’t just go buy food—we can—it is the principal of sticking to a budget and learning to simplify life. We did go over by 2.09 this weekend because I’m not going to deprive Tessa of milk. But, we are down 200 dollars from last month!

I am wearing ...
Such an old and grimy outfit, I am too ashamed to even write it down! The image on my t-shirt is almost unrecognizable.

I am creating ...
A more ordered home. I feel if I get everything in order, I will feel better about entertaining my creative bursts of energy. I so have 3 sewing projects going right now and would love to finish one—as these are my first sewing projects ever!

On my iPod...
Still musicals! I want to go to Mary Poppins in Chicago sooo badly, but it is not part of our budget, so I will live through my i-pod!
Towards a real education ...
I am working on teaching Tessa about Mary. She’s doing really well with family prayer and seems to understand Jesus as best as a 17 month old can. She says “neigh neigh” to Jesus and blows him a kiss (she has a cross above the door and window in her room) before she goes to sleep and when she wakes up, she greets him and waves! So, now we are working on talking about Jesus’ mama.

Bringing beauty to my home ...
Laughing little girls, dance parties and musical books have been how we are spending our days. I can’t help but beam with pride when I watch Tessa and Anna interacting together and really loving each other—I had no idea this would happen so early. Tessa loves to be the mamma and she is even trying to get Anna to make the sign of the cross and say amen. How much more beautiful can a home get?

I am reading ...
Myself! I’ve been going back and looking over a lot of my writing as I prepare to send some stuff off for anthologies and contests. Exciting.

I am hoping and praying….
For our appointments tomorrow at Children’s Hospital. I’m dreading and looking forward to these appointments. I’m hoping I’ll feel better when they are just over. If you have a minute, please hold us in prayer tonight.

Around the house ...
I’ve had a few decorating ideas I haven’t gotten around too. I think I’ll tackle them this week.
One of my favorite things ...
Alone time with my husband! Now that Anna is semi-sleeping at night, Joseph and I are able to sit, relax and watch TV or a movie by ourselves. It is so nice to have an adult conversation without one of us holding a screaming baby. We pray to be blessed with more babies someday, but for now, it really is refreshing!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
A very long night tonight(Anna can’t eat before her appointments in the morning) and then Children’s Hospital all day tomorrow. After that, I’m thinking of taking a mommy night out alone sometime this week. A night out to the budget theatre, or maybe a night out writing at Panera!

Picture Thoughts
Joseph and I have been talking about how we are so happy right now. I am a morbid person and so, with happiness come fear. I’m waiting for “the other shoe to drop” this reminds me of our wedding (our second wedding.) In this picture, we are so happy, little did we know I would fall and break my leg in two places on the dance floor that night. So very Rutchik—I’m waiting for the next one………

Sunday, April 26, 2009

After the Rain....

It was a rainy weekend here in Wisconsin. Social pleasantries exchanged between strangers have for the most part, started to share the common theme of...I'm so sick of this.......where is spring......why do we live here.....???

I actually love the rain. When asked about my favorite season, "thunderstorm" is often my reply. My husband attended a conference for work on Saturday and in fulfillment of the promise I made myself, I decided to plant our kitchen herb garden! There was something so beautifully therapeutic about planting new seeds as the rain pelted outside our window. I felt like I was participating in more than one cycle of the seasons at the same time; as if I was being just a bit naughty, cheating mother nature! Of course, I don’t actually believe in “mother nature”….or mother anything, outside the one true mother, Mary. But still, the whole thing was exhilarating.

For the most part, I have a black thumb. Growing plants and flowers is one of those talents I long for. But, I do continue to try, every year, and have not given up hope that this will be the year everything I plant takes off, shooting to the ski likes Jack’s beanstalk. So, who best to share hope and dirt with than my two beautiful little weeds; Tessa and Anna.
Par for the course, Anna Clare was amused to be part of the action and cooed and barfed through the whole process.

And then there is my first born. I have come to understand that all little ones go through a phase of putting everything in their months. I understand this, it’s like another exploring tool for them. But Teresa really likes to take things to the next level. She continues to put everything in her month at 17 months and, she seems to enjoy the taste of everything. This leads me to believe one of two things must be true about my little gal.
1. Her taste buds are not functioning and she is tasting nothing, or
2. She has a highly developed palette and is going to be a Top Chef!

Seeing as she loves cookies sooooo very much, and we watch a lot of Food Network around here, I going to go with the latter and move on with life.

In her defense, there is something so organic about digging into a pile of dirt. It’s cool and soothing as it runs through your hands - and yet there’s thousands of tiny different textures to tickle every place on my body it ends up covering, and the inside of my nose. That being said, THIS is a bit much:

In the end we have a fun memory of rainy days spent together, giggling as girls, and the hope of new growth on the seasonal teacart in the living room! Not too bad for a rainy day.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring Wind

Spring wind; is there really anything like it? It may be the hint of hope for growth in its smell, or maybe just its noticeably long winter absence, but I feel like it makes the curtains “dance” a bit more than the winds of any other season. I’m currently “watching” the wind wined away the night hours as I keep one eye on the clock, who is ticking away the minutes of my lost sleep.

Tonight’s is not a stormy wind, my favorite, but it’s a wind of the changing season. I’m ready for this wind and welcome it, along with everything it brings, and everything it leaves behind.

I’m thankful to share this wind with Anna tonight, as she breathes along with it. They compose together an un-sing-able song.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Seven Quick Takes Friday (2)

Today is a “working” day for me. Our deadline is the 25th of every month and so, of course, people like to send me things at 2 in the afternoon on the 24th. So, off to the races I go. I actually am not stressed out about it at all this month, and that is a blessing. As a major bonus, my husband if off today (he has to work a conference this weekend) so he has been playing with the girls and generally, just being an awesome help. I am feeling so blessed to have a husband who never complains about feeding babies and changing poopy diapers.

My house is a mess. I’m trying really diligently to keep up with it all, but alas, clutter always wins out. We currently have 3 “baby contraptions” in the living room, so even when it’s clean, it is still all a clutter. I really don’t like clutter and to be honest—I really don’t like baby things and toys in the living room. I like pretty, decorated living spaces. Comfy and functional of course, but toys on the floor are not part of my color scheme. Now, I know I could be one of those mothers who doesn’t allow toys in the common space, but that is just not me. So, my decorating style and my mama style battle it out, and the mama always wins. But I am longing for the day when my home will look like the cover of Tuscan Country decorating.

-Three -
I think something is eating away at my computer and since I can’t afford a new one, have decided not to deal with it. Something tells me this is not a good plan…..

My husband, Joseph, does wedding videos. Because he is away at work all day, I do most of the e-mailing and contacting. I am getting REALLY annoyed with this. People contact me and then I spend all this time getting back to them and then…nothing. Now, I understand you shop around for stuff when you are getting married—but really. Firstly, we really do have the best prices in the area and secondly, I don’t even think most of these people are really even sure they want a video. I know this is how business goes—but AHHHHHH! Just thought I would share.

I have a secret……I have NOTHING planned for dinner tonight. Opps! I’m really busy today and so, it will have to end up being something along the lines of sandwiches and soup. I can’t even think about it right now.

I’m really loving the bloging world! I’ve already been so very blessed through my limited time on-line (well, on-line for “fun” time)

When it comes to work, bills or other timely tasks, I like to set goals and once I achieve the goal, give myself a timeout break with a little reward. Since today is a busy working day for me, I am looking forward to break which will be planting the kitchen herb garden I picked up for one dollar! OH how I love to watch things grow!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies --When You Have 2 Kids Under 18 Months

Step 1: Before taking on any project, the baby must be happy. Especially Anna Clare, who's favorite pass time is screaming!

Step 2: Get out my Martha Stewart-Cooking School book.

Step 3: Take a time out. I've already made a slight fumble. Tessa thought, "should we make cookies?" meant she was going to eat a cookie--as in right now. Oppies. Get Tessa a snack to make her stop screaming.

Step 4: Make sure the "creaming" process results in very fluffy dough. Martha promises this is where most cookies fail. I am a good cook, and I love to bake and decorate cakes, but I have yet to master the we have been making a lot of cookies. I think (my husband tells me) I am getting close.

Step 5: Give miss Tessa a taste. You can't make cookies with your daughter and not let her taste! This, to me, is a simple thing that makes me so thankful for the ability to stay home with my girls.

Step 6: Chill that dough. Martha says if you melt your butter a bit too much, you must chill the dough so the cookies don't fall flat in the oven. But, I don't get the dough in the fridge fast enough for Tessa...who sneaks in and becomes friendly with a pepper before I can get the door closed.

Step 7: Take a time out to change diapers and feed the baby. I try to sneak in a few minutes of work e-mail during this break.

Step 8: Ohh, in my attempt to sneak some work in, I don't notice Tessa "over-loving" the baby.

Step 9: Make Tessa tell the baby (and Jesus) she is sorry and instruct her to give kissies and hugs.

Step 10: Decide the only way to proceed is to wait until Tessa is sleeping. The concept of "making" is too much for her, she can only focus on the "cookies" part of the project.

Step 11: Get cookies into balls, on the sheet and into the oven as fast as possible--both girls are sleeping at the same time!

Step 12: Let Tessa be the taste-tester with her very own cookie!
Project start time: 12:45 pm
End time: 5:35 pm
Total time: Just under 5 hours. Not too bad!

Easter Week in Pictures

One of my favorite "family nights" is when we go to the mall to eat in the food court and walk around. It is funny I love this family outing so much, as my husband starts to twitch at the thought of anything involving shopping. But, this was a must do--as the Bunny was in the mall.

My mom and I made Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday. It was a really nice day. My mom and I haven't really done any baking together since I was little, so it was fun--and they turned out so well.

Playing outside at Grandpa's with the dogs.

Uncle Nick playing piano with Tessa. She LOVES the piano. As a "music person" myself, I don't want to get my hopes up too high...but she does have her daddy's long fingers, and my love for music.....

Off to fly a kite! This was a family event. We always flew kites on Easter Sunday when I was young. This is Uncle Scott walking with Tessa.

The Bunny came while we were out!!

Tessa really wants to eat EVERYTHING. The best part was, she wanted to eat the dye/vinigar mix like soup--and thought it tasted just fine. Wow!


I know, I'm a dork.

Tessa's first walk in the woods. It was so beautiful to witness her exploring things for the first time. We are happy to report, she loved being out in nature.

Daddy's girl!
NOTE: We love Anna just as much as Tessa--she just doesn't get herself into as much trouble--yet. We are sure she will be captured in photo just as much as her big sister.
I know these are late--but it was a glorious Easter week for us and I wanted to share.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Can't Do It All

The family I'm called to love, serve, pray for and with. Why do I seem to forget I am in there too?
Well, I was blessed today to have:
had a lovely time of fellowship at playgroup this morning.
gone to lunch and shopping (well, diapers) with a friend.
had a dance party in the living room with Tessa.
shared a silent half hour in prayer as Anna slept in my arms.
been blessed with two wonderful friends who I also get to work with.
shared a really nice meal with my family--a meal where Tessa fed herself the entire time!
Loaded the dishwasher--and remember to run it!
gotten the bills paid.
gotten some work done.
Spent time with the most amazing man in the world.

However, I am feeling discouraged because I WANTED to do more. I tell myself I NEEDED to do more--but this balance is one I am beginning to understand as the dance of the mama--one that will never be mastered. I should feel good tonight right? But, I still stay up until all hours of the night, as if I, Holly, can control time and make it create more of itself. Wow! How self-centered am I?

As I head off to bed tonight, I pray for my children, my family and friends, and for strength. I like to start and end all prayer with prayers of thanksgiving, they keep me grounded and prevent me from only turning to God when I am in need. But, tonight I may just pray a little extra for myself. I pray for my eyes and ears to be a little more open to God; His will and His timing. I pray for the ability to shut off my mind and the self-deprecating parts of me. I pray for the ability to turn my shameful face not inward, but upward.

God's blessings on this joyful night.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Heart’s At Home Daybook – April 20th, 2009
Outside My Window ...
There are birds! Oh thank goodness the birds are back and they have been snowed on three times. Here in Wisconsin that means spring. Unfortunately, our little patio slab is not ready to greet the spring. I have yet to get the potted plants out from storage and the people who live above me have throw some old cigarette butts onto my patio. Maybe a welcome back spring patio spruce up this weekend?
I am listening to...
My little buddle of winter joy who still screams the better portion of the day. I was hoping she was turning a corner with the liturgical year over Easter, but a little flu bug is making her even more agitated than normal.
To Live the Liturgy…
Anna and her colic self is still weighing on us as a family, but we continue to not let ourselves get spiritually lazy due to our tiredness. I am learning to offer up our difficult days and remind myself of all those beautiful women out there longing for a baby. We also have reached that point where we need to start going to an earlier Mass. Our usual time is too late and running into lunch and nap times. We think Tessa may learn better if she is not hungry and tired.
To be Fit and Happy….
I require alone time to be happy. There, I’ve said it. Whew. It has taken me since the moment I became a mommy to say it out loud. It makes me feel like a “bad” mama because I can’t have someone on me 24/7 I just don’t enjoy that. But, I have come to understand, through prayer, that in order to be a good mama, I have to be a good, happy and healthy Holly first.

The "Easter Bunny," my dad and grandma, got us this very girly double stroller for Easter this year!

I am thankful for ...
So many things this week! I continue to be amazed at how much I love my family, and how much they love each other. Tessa has taken to trying to make Anna stop crying and it just melts my heart! She tries burping her, hugging her and mommy’s personal favorite, trying to change her diaper. Walking in on a 17 month old trying to change a 4 months olds diaper is very funny, and messy.

I am also thankful for our livelihood this week. My husband has a wonderful job working for The Apostleship of Prayer ( and I have been blessed with a work at home job I am enjoying.

From the kitchen ...
I have been learning to play the sales and coupons game and have done well with cutting our grocery budget by $200 dollars this last month! I can’t believe it and it feels so great. It has kind of become a game for me. Last night I found some meat on sale so this week we will be having hamburgers, tacos and a special treat for my husband, a roast.

I am wearing ...
Blue short (that may or may not be maternity ...opsie) and a tie-dyed T-shirt. I am not wearing any socks and my feet are dirty. Ahh, spring is here!

I am creating ...
Memories with my family. I have decided I need to cut back on some projects and decide what I really want to do and give up the rest. This is an attempt to actually finish an art project. I can’t bring myself to give up scrapbook completely, so I am thinking of making a book for each one of my children. I have been writing a lot more this week and this makes me feel so good.

On my iPod
I’ve been listening to more musicals lately and it makes me long for the days that is all I would listen to. The past few years have brought about many wonderful changes and blessings for me, but listening to musicals makes me feel like I’m meeting myself again!

Towards a real education ...
For Tessa’s learning time we have been working on learning about Mary, (GG’s Maammmwhaa as she would say) shapes and counting to 3. I am thinking about moving into colors but would like for her to recognize and be able to say the names of her aunts and uncles, grandma and grandpa. So, we will see where the week take us.

Bringing beauty to my home ...
Elizabeth at In The Heart of My Home, has been posting the below in her Daybook. I couldn’t have said it better, thank you Elizabeth. If you haven’t checked out her blog, please do so! It has brought such encouragement to me as I start on my “mommy” journey.

“Ever notice how beautiful a house becomes when Mama smiles? I have and I'm endeavoring to make my house so beautiful much, much more often.”

I am reading ...
oh goodness! I am picked up so many things this week, but never actually started one. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is next on my life of “fun” reads.

I am hoping and praying….
For good news at the Marfan’s appointment Anna has a week from today, and for good news at Joseph’s Marfan’s appointment later this summer.

Around the house ...
I am hoping to get a handle on the master bedroom, it seems to lose its “living space” availability too easily. I would also like to get new pictures in frames and redo the wall I spend my days looking at. I have never been happy with it and it is really starting to bother me. I love decorating, so this should be a fun project. ***One of my favorite things ...Tessa’s hair. As it grows out and her beautiful natural curls come in, the back is taking off while the front and sides lag behind a bit. Therefore, she is ROCKING A MULLET!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
My husband and I both have a lot of “work” to get done this week, so things will be busy. Daddy has a conference on Saturday so trying to keep up with the cleaning and cooking is key in order for Sunday to truly be a day of prayer and relaxation and not catch up.

I fear Tessa may need to be taken into the doctor as well. Ohhh, how easy it will be when my children will be able to tell me when something hurts….

Picture Thoughts
My picture thoughts will have to wait. I can't figure out how to add a picture anywhere but at the top of the page and after being very creative to get the one picture in on this post, I am deciding that taking the screaming baby out of my hubby's hand is a better use of my time right now:) She'll be five months next week! Can't last forever.....right? Really, I'm asking!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

When Can One Call Themselves a Writer?

This is me--in my true vocation-- with my daughter Anna on her birth day this winter.

When you’re one of those people who dips their fingers into many pots, you often feel as though you don’t have a “thing.” I’ve always been one of those people. Slightly talented at many things, but not amazingly gifted at anything. This is my personal assessment and of course, as any great husband would, mine disagrees.

When a student struggles with a major or a career path in college (as I did, changing majors 5 times) they are told to go back to what they were good at and loved as a child, and there will lie the answer. I always found this to be horrible advice and quite frankly, a cop out answer one tells the kid who is going nowhere.

I have recently changed my mind—I’ve done so as I’ve come to understand God. God really does love each and every one of us unconditionally. Imago Dei-in the image and likeness of God. I’ve often had a difficult time thinking of God in this way. Yes, I’ve been able to grasp the concept that He loves me (and all those I struggle to find the face of Christ in daily) but, He created me for a very specific reason and only I can fulfill His purpose for me. Wow! That is like no other type of love. So how does God do this? He gives us gifts that will aid us in loving and serving him in the way He created us to. Therefore, a wasted or unused gift may even be a sin.

It is through becoming a wife and mother I’ve come to better understand this aspect of our God. Tricky how that works huh? It’s when we come into our vocation, His plan for us, we are drawn closer to Christ. Now, I would never, ever, image using the phrase “just a mother,” it is by far the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever, or will ever, undertake. However, I do still think about that little me, sitting in the elementary class room, rushing though my assignments, doing a poor job of it and not caring. I just wanted to get them done so I could take out my book and read or my journal and write. I find it amusing my greatest gift is with words, and I am dyslexic. What a blessing to have a humbling quality build right into my gift! Words have been a part of me since I can remember and after prayer and discernment, I believe God has given me a gift with words for a reason.

I’m on a mission to find this reason! I started bloging so I would have documentation of my days as a young mommy. But what truly sets my heart on fire are the things I find to write about in the wee hours of the night/morning. At times, I feel God guides me through my written reflection and projects. Because it brings me closer to Him, I know He is pleased I’m taking personal time for it. I’ve never been really good at goals or self-discipline, but I figure if it involves something pleasing to God, I may just indeed have the follow through. A year and a half ago, when I turned 27, I vowed to be published by the time I turn thirty. It hasn’t happened yet. I know I have a year and a half to go, but I am becoming discouraged. I would be speaking falsely if I said I had been trying really hard to make this happen. However, I feel I’ve kept the goal and the discipline to achieve it—I just don’t know how to go about making it happen. Because I have the true intentions of using my gift only for the glory and service of God, I humbly ask for advice and help.

May God bless you as you live out your vocation and search for new and better ways to serve and give glory to Him. I too, will pray for you!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ok, so I have been what I call “blog stalking” for some time now. It took me two years of reading blogs everyday to finally get the courage to start my own. That being said, I’m not sure what I am doing and ask forgiveness if I am stepping on anyone’s toes. I have decided to join in on this Friday event our in the bloging world. The image is one I highjacked from another blog. I’m not even sure if that is allowed, so if it is not, I apologize and if you contact me about it, I will be happy to remove it. Ok, so now that all my apologies are out in the air—I am ready for my first seven quick takes!!

Our home is clean!
Ok, so maybe clean is a bit of an overstatement. The master bedroom has become a graveyard for the clutter I can no longer handle being in the communal living space and I still need to organize the back bedroom. But, the dishes are done and the floor is vacuumed! I’m sad to say, it has been a looooong timeJ

I’m on the market.
After two years, two babies, lots of praying, crying, and long talks, I am once again on the job market. This is a mixed one for me. The decision to go back to work is always a painful one. For me, the biggest challenge was having to die to myself about not being what I think defines a “good, Catholic, mom.” I couldn’t breastfeed, I don’t feel called to home schooling and now I am going to work! But, I still feel like a good mama—and I am really proud of that. Please keep us in your prayers. We came to this decision in prayer and we are now praying for the blessing and the opportunity to present itself.

Anna giggles!
I can’t believe Anna is now smiling and giggling. She is still screaming, a lot, but the fact that she can smile and be happy makes me feel like we are doing a good job and reminds us of what a blessing she is.

I have an amazing husband.
This week I have really been appreciative of the wonderful man God has placed in my life. He is an attentive and patient husband and a wonderful daddy for daughters.

I’m bloging.
I often shy away from things that seem “too hard.” For me, figuring out the bloging business was one of them. It is funny how I get more done when I am really busy. Now that I have 2 kids under 18 months, I find I’m being blessed with the confidence to try new things and have the patience to figure out the things I really want.

I want a town home so badly I can taste it. I’ve been thinking a lot about town homes. This is not a good thing, as I am now on The Total Money Makeover. Oh greed, why do you set up camp in my heart?

I’m excited about the potential community online. I never thought I would be, and a few years back I found the whole thing odd. But, here I am! I would reach out to all your beautiful women I have been following for two years, but I don’t know how to tell you I am a follower or ask you to become one of mine—so please say hi if you can! God bless and happy Friday one and all!

Modern-Day Slaves

We are modern-day slaves. I guess I shouldn’t be speaking for you---but we, the Rutchik clan, are modern-day slaves. Who is our master? What a great question, thanks for asking! We are slaves to the American culture, what Pope John Paul II, and many other Catholics, refer to as the culture of death.

This is my daughter Tessa flashing her "don't boss me" look!
As I have grown into my faith over the past few years, I feel I’ve made tiny baby steps in waging war on this culture. My husband and I vote pro-life, cart our kids to Mass each week and our 17 month old knows she can’t even think about picking up that fork until we’ve prayed together as a family. I truly believe this idea of creating your own moral code and having unlimited options or “freedoms” is oppression in its UN-finest form. But, that is another post. My point is that in our little, mediocre ways, we as a family have waged war on the moral culture we live in…or have we?

It wasn’t until recently that we realized we were rolling over and playing dead in one of the most important battles in this war---the financial fight. I came across the book, “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramey and I love it! Due to my six years of private collage, a medical condition and a lot of poor small choices, we are drowning in debt. The belief that living like this is “normal,” or “the American way” is pure brainwashing! Who is their right mind would believe that? I did! I believed it. The culture of death does not just attack our ideals, its attacking our wallets and waging war on the future security of our families. What happens when the well being of my family is left only in the hands of the government—a government that does not have a good track record on protecting human life and dignity? I don’t want to find out! The feeling of entitlement we have as Americans is ridiculous. I’m a good person, I work hard, so I DESERVE ----fill in the blank---. I know I have justified lifestyle choices by telling myself this in the past. The truth is, it is really hard to come to terms with the fact that we deserve nothing. Everything we have has been a gift from God, a gift given only out of love. It’s hard to accept such unconditional love! My family has vowed to make a better attempt at accepting this vow of unconditional love from God. And, in an effort to give our unconditional love to our children, we have made a commitment to their financial security and are now on The Total Money Makeover! It’s really hard. I don’t much care for pancakes and fruit for dinner. However, it’s a darn cheep meal while still be nutritious for our bodies. I’ m sad I have to work and have now put myself back on the job market. But, I have an education to pay off and as of now, the education of two little ones to pay for. So, I will work.
As any mama bear will tell you; no one, and I mean no one, wages war on my family and gets away with it! I am a slave to NO man!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Thumps & Bumps in the Middle of the Night

Thumps & Bumps in the Middle of the Night.

Anna, our four-month-old, seems adamantly apposed to sleeping, or being quite, at night—ok, EVER! Like her mama, she’s a night owl. The crying has been more than my husband and I can handle at times. It’s by God’s grace we haven’t hit these moments of frustration and despair at the same time. I guess this is the purpose of a marriage, to lead each other in holiness—even if that means once and a while one spouse must pull the other along, kicking and screaming.

Tessa, on the other had, has been a sleeper from day one. I fondly recall the day after she was born. At one point during that day, I had eleven visitors in my hospital room. They stayed for five hours. She was passed from person to person. As we all tried our hand at waking her to eat, one person after another told us there was no way “this will last.” Well, it did last, she was sleeping through the night at six weeks and we’ve never looked back—until this week.

Sometimes, when one is well behaved, they get overlooked. Currently this is a problem in our home. Now, something tells me with the sass Miss Tessa has—this may be the one and only time she is on this end of a story-but here we are non the less! We moved our wonderful sleeper to a big girl bed last month. We had high hopes Anna would soon be moving to the crib. We made a family trip out of it and came home with a bed rail, purple sheets and a Dora bedspread. We kept Tessa up until midnight and put her in her new bed, too dog-tired to care where she was. From that night on, she has slept in her bed, naps and all- until last night.

It was 1am and I was still awake. It would make me a better mom if I was up with Anna, or I was praying or paying the bills. But, I was up, watching shows on the DVR and enjoying some much needed alone time, at the cost of some much needed sleep. I heard the thump, the scream, and then the crying. I don’t remember getting up and running into her bedroom. I will never forget finding her there, on the floor, half under the bed.

Now, I know children fall and bumps and bruises are to be expected. I assure you I’m not one of those mothers who is a nervous Nelly and who flips out every time a little one takes a tumble. No, that’s not the type of mommy I am. I don’t even have that option, as we are a clumsy bunch over here. That being said, I will never forget the look on my daughter’s face that night. She was so scared and confused. When she heard me running into her room, she looked up at me with her gigantic eyes and I swear those eyes were blaming me for their tears. It was, by far, one of my worst moments as a mother.

I always seem to learn my lessons in the middle of the night. This mostly because I can’t sleep until I have analyzed and reflected on every waking moment of my life. But, this night I learned a late night lesson from my darling daughter. She’s too little for a big girl bed. Just because she’s a big sister, doesn’t mean she’s a big girl. I was so sad when I took her out of her crib and put her into her big girl bed. I was so sad about ME not being ready- I didn’t realized SHE wasn’t ready. I put her back into her crib( after Joseph was assured she did not have a brain bleedJ He worries) as I set her down I thanked God for her guardian angel-and for the gift of a just a few more fleeting moments with my “little girl,” who will stay in the crib a while longer. She's a bit too little for growing pains, and that makes me smile!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Must One Wander Alone?

“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”

William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

These words have sang to my melancholic heart since I was a child! I’ve always felt myself a wanderer; sometimes by chance, but mostly by choice, I’ve been perpetually unsatisfied. I have, and always will be, searching for that deeper meaning in my surroundings and in myself. As a Catholic, I believe that ultimately we find this in Christ. He fills that hole in our hearts, those cracks in our hands.

We’re all searching for something. We all feel unfulfilled, misunderstood and alone at some points throughout our lives. J.R.R. Tolkien says, “Not all those who wander are lost.” Being lost is not always so bad. I’m known to get lost in a book, in the laziness of an afternoon and my personal favorite, lost in love. To wander is to know there is something more, to have hope in finding something we feel we’re missing. To wander is to be in the pursuit of faith.

For now I wander, twisted with worry. I feel as if I’m living my life in the “margin” of so many things. However, I do believe I will witness the dance of the daffodils. So, I will wonder and pray. Won’t you pray with me? Are you lost? Do you know you’re not alone?