Goodbye Fairview

On this feast day of the Ascension of our Lord, I reflect on Christ’s time with his disciples.  He left them on earth on this day to ascend into heaven.  He wasn’t with them physically, but He was still with them.  He is still with us.  He is still with me.  He lets me know that He is with me every step of the way and that He will always love me.

I can’t help but think of God’s providence in having my last day at Fairview be on this feast of the Ascension.  I didn’t really think about it until I was at Mass this morning.  I have been working at Fairview for 5 years.  It has been my first ‘professional’ job as a speech-language pathologist.  It has been a place where I have grown and learned my profession, as well as in my confidence, humility, perseverance, and dependence on God.

I have been very blessed to work at Fairview.  I have worked with some wonderful students and families, and some amazing co-workers who I can now call friends.  I am truly humbled to work with some of these educators.  I have learned so much from them on how they treat others, how they deal with behaviors, how they share their love for teaching not only the curriculum but life lessons.


Today I am leaving Fairview.  This is the last of mine and Craig’s ‘life’ here in Omaha.  God is closing the door to our life in Omaha.  He is opening several other doors to our life in Lincoln.  I can only imagine how Jesus’ disciples felt when He ascended into heaven.  I feel as though they had to have been a little fearful or wondering what was next.  Maybe I am just trying to relate and think that they feel as though I feel.  Jesus gave this joy to his disciples when He ascended, though.  He gave them hope.  And then He gave them the Holy Spirit to truly strengthen them and fill them with gifts and fruits.  He promised them that He would be with them and that He loved them.  I know this is exactly what He is sharing with me today.  Jesus loves me.  Jesus will be with me every step I take.

Season Everything with Love

My Grandma Emanuel made the best cinnamon rolls.  I always looked forward to eating them whenever we went to visit her.  She also always made them on Easter.  Cinnamon rolls were one of her many staples.

My Grandma was always cooking.  She raised 10 kids on a farm so I imagine she spent quite a bit of her time doing this.  One Christmas, my Mom and Aunt Linda put together a cookbook of some of her recipes, as well as some family recipes, and gave a copy of the cookbook to all of my cousins.  It is a neat keepsake in remembrance of her that I use frequently.  I even find myself wondering, “I wonder if Grandma had a recipe for that.”  I will flip through the cookbook to see if one is in there.  I just made her banana bread the other week.

My Grandma’s cookbook was titled ‘Season Everything with Love’.  I know that is why all her food always tasted so delicious was because she put love into it.  I think if cooking for my husband, my children, and/or our guests is done with the intention of love, it truly is a gift to them and an act of service for not only them, but for God.  A [simple] daily task is elevated to the supernatural.

My Grandma passed along her cooking skills to my Mom.  I go to my Mom a lot for different recipes.  I think I am going to start posting some every once in awhile so that I will always have them.  I love family recipes and the story or memory associated with the recipes.

Jennifer and I have been trying to perfect my Grandma’s cinnamon rolls.  Her recipe is not exact so we have had to figure some things out.  Jennifer mostly figured it out, and she shared it with me.  Mine never turn out quite like my Grandma’s, but hopefully someday, they’ll be close.  I still love making them, nonetheless, and thinking of her when I do.


Our Lady of Fatima

We celebrated Our Lady of Fatima’s feast day on May 13th.  This was the 100 year anniversary of her apparition to Jacinta, Lucia, and Francisco.  Craig, Henry, and I went to mass that morning.  After mass we got doughnuts to celebrate.  When we got home, we put some flowers by Our Lady of Fatima’s statue that we have of her to honor her.

During mass, Father Hall was talking about Our Lady of Fatima and the prophecies she made to Jacinta, Lucia, and Francisco.  One of them was about World War II, the second was about the communism in Russia, and the third was about the attack of the family and children.

After mass, Craig and I were discussing what a great patron Our Lady of Fatima would be for our family.  A few years ago, my previous spiritual director, Fr. Courtney, gave me a 3 ft. tall state of Our Lady of Fatima.  I didn’t have a special devotion to her at the time.  He was just generous and gave it to me.  Even looking back at our time in Omaha, Henry’s pediatrician’s office had pictures and explanations about Our Lady of Fatima all over.  I used to show Henry the pictures and read about Our Lady to him as we waited for the nurses and the doctor.  Our Lady of Fatima has been reaching out to us for quite some time.

Craig and I were talking about how this was not a coincidence that Fr. Courtney gave the statue to me.  Looking at God’s calling for our family, I think this was a gift from God and from Mary to our family.  We pray that Our Lady of Fatima will watch over our family and our children to keep us near to Christ and united with Christ always.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Mother’s Day

Craig and Henry made my Mother’s Day very special.  It was such a fun day filled with many blessings.

We went to mass and had brunch with Craig’ family that morning.  It was nice spending time with them that morning.  After they left, Craig said he and Henry were going to take me on an adventure.  Our adventure was to decorate our front porch.  We hadn’t done anything to it since we moved in so it was fun to be able to do together.


We started off at Lowes and picked some flowers for our window boxes.  Then we went to Earl May to get some branches for a big pot by our front door.  Then we went to Target to get a pot, chairs, and doormat.  Then we headed home to start working on our porch.

While we planted the flowers and set everything up, Henry played with his water table that Craig put together that weekend.  He loved playing in the water.  I think he could’ve played in it all day.  It was so fun watching him play in it.  He did also help me plant some of the flowers.  He loved pouring the soil in the window boxes.  He loves to help.


I love how our front porch looks now.  I am so glad Craig had this idea to take the time to set up our front porch.  A lot of our neighbors have chairs on their front porch, and it always looks so welcoming.  I think our home looks more welcoming now.  We aren’t quite finished, but we made some good progress with it.


For supper, Craig made some steaks, and we made the white arugula lahvosh.  It was delicious and made for a very special meal.  After we ate, Craig surprised me with some cards from him and Henry, as well as a painting Henry made for me at daycare.

I am so blessed to have such a supportive husband who appreciates me being a Mom and who strives to help me be the best Mom I can be.  I am also so blessed to be a Mom — and not only to be a Mom, but to be Henry and Baby’s Mom.  I am so grateful that God has called me to bring life into the world with Craig, and that He has called me to love, nurture, protect, and form these little souls.

Lord, thank you for the gift of being a Mom.  Thank you for the gift of being a parent with Craig.  Thank you for the gift of Henry and Baby.  May I always remember that Henry and Baby are Your children first.  You have entrusted them to me and Craig to bring back to You.  Form my mind, heart, words, and actions to form Henry and Baby according to Your will for them.  May I always share your love and mercy with them so they may come to know You, Your love, and Your mercy.  Please bless me with your wisdom to share with them.  Please bless me with your guidance and strength to know when to step in and when to let go.  I pray that Henry and Baby will come to know you, personally, Jesus, and that they may come to love you and serve you.  Mary, my Mother, please teach me to be a mother.  You are the perfect Mother to Jesus.  Pray that I may grow in virtue so that I may strive to be like you.

Mother’s Day with my Mom

Jennifer had the brilliant idea to get my Mom a cooking class for Mother’s Day.  My Mom was out of town for Mother’s Day this year so it worked out well to have the cooking class a few days before Mother’s Day to celebrate her.

I had never taken a cooking class before, and I am so glad I did!  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was so fun to learn some new tips and get some new ideas on ways to prepare different foods.  We took the class at Art and Soul.  We made three different types of lahvosh: Thai Chicken, White Arugula, and Margarita.  We learned how to make the lahvosh crust, how to prepare the toppings, and how to assemble the lahvosh.  They were all SO delicious.  I’m already planning on making the White Arugula soon.  After we all made the food, then we sat down to eat.

Even more so than enjoying the cooking tips and the food, I loved spending time with my Mom and Jennifer.  It was so fun to experience together and to enjoy time with each of them.  Craig and I always talk about how fun it is so share and give “experiences” as gifts to others, and I am so glad that we did this as a gift for my Mom.  I always feel like any time with my Mom and Jennifer is so special.  They teach me so much about how to treat others and to view everything with love, peace, and joy.  I am so grateful for them and the time spent with them.


The Grad

After a year and a half of hard work, Craig graduated with his MBA from Wesleyan.  Yay!  I am so proud of him for setting this goal and accomplishing it.  He balanced our family life and school so well.  I know he not only did this for himself, but for our family.  He believed in himself and persevered through some challenges along the way.


Craig’s last day of class in grad school!


Prior to receiving his diploma and getting hooded.

A video of Craig getting hooded and receiving his diploma!


The graduate!


The graduate with the future graduate


Craig’s office bought him this delicious cake as a congratulations!


A couple weeks ago, on Holy Thursday, Bishop Conley wrote a pastoral letter on adoration of the Eucharist.  It was a beautiful letter and the perfect day to write it as we commemorated the Institution of the Eucharist.  Here is an excerpt from the letter that I especially loved:

“Fathers who pray with their children have children who grow up to pray. Children look to their fathers as models of discipleship, and are more likely to grow in loving relationship with God if they see their fathers as men of prayer. Fathers who take their children to adoration model humble discipleship to their families, and form them for lifelong discipleship.

Mothers who take time to visit the Blessed Sacrament in adoration are renewed for the daily challenge of their vocation. Motherhood requires patience, peace, and serenity which surpasses understanding. Christ, present in the Eucharist, is the source of love for mothers, who are asked to love ceaselessly, and without counting the cost.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament prepares families for mission. Parents have a responsibility to form their children to be merciful, charitable missionary disciples. All families have a sacred call to be a source of apostolic joy in the world, to witness to Christ, and to proclaim him together, with intentionality and enthusiasm. But God calls each family to a particular kind of work or apostolate, and each family must discern how they are uniquely called to bring the Gospel into the world. That discernment begins with families in prayer, in the presence of the Eucharist, asking the Lord to guide them in the mission of the Gospel, and asking him to equip them for mission.

Husbands and wives who kneel together in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, especially with their children, find their family love renewed by Christ’s love, so that they can pour their joy into the evangelization of the world, in the unique and important way God calls them.”

Last week, I was listening to the Go Forth Podcast.  During the episode I was listening to, the guests were discussing how they started 24 hour perpetual adoration at their parish.

On Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday, Msgr. Barr spoke after Mass inviting everyone to sign up for the holy hour.

After these 3 instances in a little more than a week, Craig and I felt like maybe God was inviting us to do sign up for a holy hour for our family at our parish.  We got the sign-up and are praying about which day and what time would work best for our family to do this.  Discerning this has made me reflect a lot on my Dad.

Ever since I was little, and probably since they registered to be parishioners at Cathedral, my Dad has had a holy hour on Thursday nights at 10:00.  He has remained faithful to it.  I remember even when Christmas Eve or Christmas was on a Thursday, we would maybe have to leave early so he could be home on time to go to his holy hour.  Everything was scheduled around it.  His holy hour was the priority.  I think at times this truly had to have been a sacrifice — the time being late at night after working all day, not always being able to do things, etc.  Reflecting on this the past couple years, though, especially as I think about how I want to do this for my family, I think this has produced so much fruit for our family.  I can see God’s faithfulness back to our family because of my Dad’s faithfulness to Him.

I hope and pray Craig and I can carry this beautiful gift and tradition into our family — to teach our children how to pray and to experience and encounter Christ present and alive in the Eucharist.


Happy Easter!

“Accept the risen Jesus into your life.  Even if you have been far away, take a small step toward him; he awaits you with open arms.” -Pope Francis

I love Easter.  It is so beautiful to celebrate our risen Lord.  The triduum is always so beautiful yet somber; and to wake up on Easter — to this joyous and beautiful day — is always such a gift.  I love reflecting on how through and after the suffering, there is always the resurrection.  It brings about so much hope and trust in Christ.

We celebrated Easter morning by going to Mass.  After Mass we had a wonderful dinner at Craig’s Grandma’s.  Then we headed back to Lincoln so we could celebrate at home, too.  When we got home, the Easter bunny had come to visit.  He left Henry a basket and eggs to find.  I wasn’t sure if Henry would understand the concept of looking for eggs and putting them in his basket, but he did!  It was so much fun.


Henry looking through his Easter basket.



And he is off hunting for eggs around the house!




Happy Easter from our family to yours!  May we all truly invite the risen Lord into our hearts, minds, and lives, and may we all share His joy and hope with others!

Naming Henry


As Craig and I have been talking a lot lately about what to name our second child, I thought I’d write about how we named Henry. 🙂

A few different things happened that confirmed our choice and liking in the name Henry.  First of all, we liked the name.  We liked the name Henry from the beginning.  We felt like we always kept going back to that name whenever we would throw out different names.  We’d say, “I still like the name Henry.”  It always made its way into our list of names we liked.

The name ‘Henry’ means “house leader”.  We felt like it was a strong name for a male.  We felt like whatever vocation Henry is called to, we pray he will be a leader for that ‘house’ — whether it is the House of God or his own home.

Craig and I were both strongly formed in Newman Centers in college.  Newman Centers are named after Blessed John Henry Newman.  We wanted Henry to be named after a ‘blessed’ or a ‘saint’.  Blessed John Henry Newman is certainly a great saint who touched our lives, and we pray Henry will be friends with Blessed John Henry Newman and look up to him as a role model in the way he lived his life on earth.

Craig and I also heard a story about St. Henry Heath that touched both of our hearts.  St. Henry Heath was a heroic martyr in England who prayed for the conversion of his country.  He stood up for God’s law in a country that wasn’t always following the church’s teachings.  We felt St. Henry Heath was a great saint to look up to in our culture we live in.  Here is the story we read:

After we were pretty sure Henry’s name would be Henry, we learned that Henry is a family name on both Craig’s said of the family and my own side of the family.  We liked that a lot about it.

We decided on Allan for his middle name because it is Craig’s middle name, Craig’s Dad’s middle name, and my Dad’s name.  We wanted to honor these influential men in our own lives and know that they will be some of the most influential men in Henry’s life as well.

After researching the name Allan, I learned that there is also a Blessed Alan.  When I learned that it brought me even more peace that that was going to be Henry’s middle name.  Saint Dominic established the rosary, but Blessed Alan restored it.  I pray Henry always has a strong devotion to Our Lady through the rosary.

Although Henry is not named after him, Henry was born on the feast day of St. Francis Xavier.  We love St. Francis Xavier and feel very humbled to have Henry born on his feast day.  Again, we feel like it is St. Francis Xavier inviting Henry to be his friend and letting him and us know that he will always be praying for him.  What a special and humbling gift to us and to Henry.


Holy Week

I was listening to the Go Forth Podcast yesterday on my drive home from work.  My good friend, Fr. Kaup, was talking about Holy Week.  He gave some great practical tips for families on things they can do to enter into Holy Week and to teach kids what is happening.  These are some traditions I hope my family can begin doing during Holy Week:

  • Place palm branches from Palm Sunday on our prayer table
  • Attend the Chrism Mass on Monday evening — discuss how priests renew their vows during this Mass and how oils used for sacraments throughout the year are blessed at this time
  • Give up something extra (aside from our Lenten sacrifices) as a family during Holy Week to keep it more somber
  • Fr. talked about ‘Spy Wednesday’ which I had never heard it called that before.  He gave an idea to talk about Judas that day and what he did leading up to Jesus’ death.  I think this would be a great evening to attend Confession together as a family.
  • Thank our parish priests and other priests in our lives for their ‘yes’ and their priesthood on Holy Thursday in some way — maybe by writing a letter, making them pictures, bringing them a meal…
  • Attend Holy Thursday Mass
  • After Mass, visit 7 altars of repose at different churches in Lincoln.  St. Philip Neri gave this pilgrimage the number of 7 altars to visit.  Each child could pick a different church to visit.  Afterward we could have pancakes or something before bed.
  • Visit the church on Good Friday aside from attending Stations and Good Friday Service.  Talk about how Jesus is not in the tabernacle.
  • Attend Stations of the Cross and Good Friday Service
  • Attend the Easter Vigil Mass
  • Celebrate Easter for 8 days — I’m not sure how yet but making sure to celebrate in some way each day