snow day – house – birthdays

Thursday after school we headed to Lincoln to visit David, Annie, and baby Grant.  We are so happy for David and Annie and so so grateful for Grant.

While we were in Lincoln that night, I got the call that I had a snow day on Friday.  Snow days are seriously the best.  Henry and I went over to Jennifer and Matt’s house to watch their kids all day since Jennifer was having surgery.  It worked out perfectly!

While I was over there, Craig called to say we got an offer on our house!  This was such great and relieving news.  We accepted their offer and thought we should go look for houses Saturday morning since we no longer have a home.  We looked at two houses plus we decided to look at the house we originally put an offer on.  We put our offer back on the table on that house, and they accepted it on Sunday!  We are so excited about living there.  We are hopeful everything will work out this time around but are also trying to remain detached – just in case.

Saturday night my parents took Jeff and I out for our birthdays.  We went to La Paz for dinner.  My parents have always made our birthdays so special, and one of the ways they did that was by taking us out to dinner… just my parents and the birthday kid.  It was always special one on one time with them.  They continue to carry on the tradition, which I look forward to every year.  It was a fun night enjoying each others’ company.

Sunday morning Henry came down with a low-grade fever.  He wasn’t sleeping well Saturday night – which usually tells us something is wrong.  His fever broke by noon, though, and he was happily playing the rest of the day.

Jeff came over for dinner Sunday night so we could celebrate his birthday again. 🙂  It was fun having him over and spending time with him.

 

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16 weeks with Baby #2

I was at my 16 week appointment Tuesday afternoon.   I was sitting in the patient room waiting for Dr. Steinauer to come in.  As I was sitting there, I could see the steeple to St. Cecilia’s Cathedral.

“There is Jesus.”  I thought to myself.  And I immediately began to reflect and pray for Baby P.

I feel so grateful for this Baby.  It makes me almost tear up whenever I think about what a gift the Baby is to me, to Craig, to Henry, to our family.  Craig and I prayed for another baby.  All in His perfect time, He answered ours prayers.  I am so grateful that God has called me to be a mom.

I haven’t felt the baby move yet.  Dr. said I could feel him/her any day.  The baby’s heartbeat was between 155-160 at the appointment.  At first I thought the baby was a girl, but now I think it’s a boy.  We will find out the baby’s gender next month.

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Plan of Life

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“Try to commit yourself to a plan of life and to keep to it: a few minutes of mental prayer, Holy Mass — daily, if you can manage it — and frequent Communion; regular recourse to the Holy Sacrament of Forgiveness — even though your conscience does not accuse you of mortal sin; visiting Jesus in the Tabernacle; praying and contemplating the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, and so many other marvellous devotions you know or can learn.

You should not let them become rigid rules, or water‑tight compartments. They should be flexible, to help you on your journey you who live in the middle of the world, with a life of hard professional work and social ties and obligations which you should not neglect, because in them your conversation with God still continues. Your plan of life ought to be like a rubber glove which fits the hand perfectly.

Please don’t forget that the important thing does not lie in doing many things; limit yourself, generously, to those you can fulfill each day, whether or not you happen to feel like doing them. These pious practices will lead you, almost without your realizing it, to contemplative prayer. Your soul will pour forth more acts of love, aspirations, acts of thanksgiving, acts of atonement, spiritual communions. And this will happen while you go about your ordinary duties, when you answer the telephone, get on to a bus, open or close a door, pass in front of a church, when you begin a new task, during it and when you have finished it: you will find yourself referring everything you do to your Father God. (Friends of God, 149)”  Taken from — http://opusdei.us/en-us/dailytext/try-to-commit-yourself-to-a-plan-of-life/

I was first introduced to this idea of having a plan of life when I was encouraged to get the St. Josemaria Escriva app from my previous spiritual director.  When Craig and I started dating, he told me that he used the app, as well.  We are always kind of working at our plan of life.

I love having a plan of life specifically for what it says in that third paragraph.  Having a plan of life has allowed me to invite God into my day throughout the day.  It helps me to keep my spiritual light on throughout the day and to remember that I am doing everything for God, with God, and through God.  It has helped me talk to God even more in my day and to always make it a priority, as well as being intentional about it.  It makes my day surrounded by Him rather than just trying to fit him in — at least that is my goal — some days are more difficult than others.

Craig and I have been talking about working on our plan of life more and more lately and ways we want to improve it.  On the app, it gives the ideas of:

  1. Morning offering
  2. Morning prayer
  3. Holy Mass
  4. Visit to the Blessed Sacrament
  5. Reading of the New Testament
  6. Angelus
  7. Holy Rosary (devotion to Mary)
  8. Afternoon prayer
  9. Examination of Conscience
  10. Three purity Hail Maries
  11. Holy Water
  12. Spiritual Reading
  13. Memorare
  14. The Way of the Cross

As I was reading about the plan of life, I also read about these ideas:

  1. Frequent confession
  2. Throughout the day
    1. Presence of God
    2. Consideration of our divine filiation
    3. Work — to work well with intensity and supernatural awareness
    4. Cheerfulness

Right now I feel like my plan of life consists of morning prayer (praying with the Psalms and New Testament), the rosary on my way to work, the Angelus during lunch, the Divine Mercy chaplet on my way home from work, Night Prayer with Craig before we go to bed, and spiritual reading.  I have been thinking about adding at least one of the above ideas for Lent — possibly visiting the Blessed Sacrament with Henry after I pick him up from daycare.  I am not sure yet, though.  I hope this plan of life will be a way of life for my family.

At My Parents’ for the Weekend

I had a three day weekend this past weekend, which was such a gift!  Plus the weather was absolutely beautiful.  Bonus gift!

Henry and I went to Lincoln with Craig Friday morning.  Henry and I spent the day at my parents’ house playing with cousins while Craig worked.  All the cousins were off school that day so it worked out well!

Henry loves playing on the stairs at my parents’ house.  Bailey quickly turned his playing on the stairs into a peek-a-boo game.  Once Parker saw how much Bailey was making Henry laugh, he quickly joined in.

Henry isn’t laughing as much in this video that I caught of him, but he was loving it.  I think Bailey and Parker were, too. 🙂

We went to John’s house in the afternoon for a little while so the kids could jump on their new trampoline.  I let Henry jump on it – which means that I held his hands, and he went up and down.  He just smiled.  I think he enjoyed his first time on it.  That night we got pizza for John’s birthday.  Then we all played cards.  Craig won one of the hands when Seth was on his team.

Saturday morning Jennifer and I got to go on a run.  It was so lovely.  I love running on the bike trails in Lincoln.  It was fun to be able to run with her, too.  We were talking about suffering and the suffering that people go through in their lives.  Looking back it was kind of an intense conversation for being on a run!  But it was a good one.  I love that we share running and our faith in common.

Saturday afternoon was beautiful.  Henry and Emma played outside on the Little Tikes playground.  They were sitting on the little chairs and crawling all over the picnic table.  It is such a joy to watch them play together.

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On Sunday, after Mass, Craig, Henry, and I went to visit Annie.  After that, Craig headed back to Omaha for our open house.  Henry and I stayed and played some more outside with his cousins.  It was a nice weekend spent with family.

 

 

 

Giving the Benefit of the Doubt

“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.  For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.  Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye?  You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5

Judging others was the passage I read while I was praying yesterday morning.  This passage always makes me stop and think about how I may be judging others.  I try so so hard not to judge others.  But at times I do struggle with this.  I have realized at times that when I am talking about something that somebody did, I am judging them.  It isn’t my intention to judge them, but it is a judgement.  I seriously hate that I do this.  Ugh.  There is always room to grow…

Anyway, while I was reading this it reminded me of a homily Fr. Cook gave a few Sundays ago.  He was talking about St. Joseph and how he reacted when he found out that Mary was pregnant.  Mary had been away caring for St. Elizabeth for a few months.  When she came back she had to have been showing that she was pregnant.  The angel had not appeared to St. Joseph yet.  St. Joseph must have been concerned for what had happened to Mary.  Mary was a woman of caliber and virtue.  He knew she wouldn’t have been the cheating type.  He must have believed she was innocent.  He still didn’t understand the fact fully, though.  And still, he was going to divorce her quietly.  He still wanted to honor her and not shame her.  St. Joseph gave Mary the gift of the benefit of the doubt.

The benefit of the doubt.  What a true gift that is to give to someone.  When someone is talking negatively about someone or something.  Rather than judging them for that give them the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe they are having a stressful day.  Maybe someone is treating them poorly.  I have no room to judge.  I can only love that person.

When I give someone the benefit of the doubt, I am seeing the good in their intentions and motives.  I am acting with mercy and righteousness as St. Joseph did.  I have plenty of room to grow in my own heart.  I have no room to judge anybody for anything.

Lord, thank you for your gift of love.  Help me to not judge others, but to always respond with giving others the benefit of the doubt.  May I always choose love to share with others.  May I never share judgment.  Lord, transform my heart, my thoughts, and my words to be full of love.

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Budget meetings

Craig and I [try to] have monthly budget “meetings”.  Basically we pull up our budget spreadsheet before the beginning of the new month to talk about what expenses we have that month that are different than other months and what areas we need to work on spending less.  We have been thinking, though, with all the big life changes in the next few months we should start planning for the next few months.

The other night we had a budget meeting and talked through what we needed to save up in the next few months… selling our house, buying a new house, expenses for the new house, repairs/new purchases for the new house, having a baby, my maternity leave, Jeff’s wedding.  Whew.  I know we will make changes as each month comes up.  But it helps to know what is coming and what we need to plan for.

Our weekend

Our weekend started out a bit unplanned.  We found out that the offer on our house in Omaha fell through.  That was a big bummer because we will most likely have to pull out of our offer in Lincoln, as well.  We also have some things to take care of with our home in Omaha before we put it back on the market.  I am so thankful for Craig who has been doing so much to get everything taken care of with our house this weekend.  I know it is a lot – especially with him working in Lincoln.  I thought it was funny, and non-coincidental, how I had posted about trust a few days ago.  I can really see how much God is inviting me to trust Him right now with everything going on with our transition to Lincoln.  When I was praying this morning, my bible passage was ‘Dependence on God’ (Matthew 6:25-34).  He is speaking to me and making Himself very present through the uncertainty.

Saturday morning, Craig’s Aunt Alice and Uncle Jeff invited us over for brunch.  Craig’s cousin, Andrew, and his girlfriend, Meghan, were in town.  It was fun spending time with them and meeting Meghan.

Henry fell asleep on the way home, and I got to go on a run outside!  It felt so good to run.  I only ran about 2 miles.  It was tough.  I can tell I haven’t been running consistently throughout the winter.  But it felt so good to run, challenge myself, and tell myself to keep going.  I am so grateful to have been able to go.

When Henry woke up, Craig, Henry, and I went to the park.  Last summer and fall, Henry loved swinging at the park.  I was excited to take him again to see if he would like them just as much and to see what else he would like.  This time, he did enjoy swinging, but he loved the slides.  He would say, ‘g’ ‘g’, after he finished, which we told ourselves meant ‘again’.  He smiled and laughed going down it.

When we got home, we brought his Little Tikes car outside.  We went up and down the sidewalks in it.  He loves his car.  He honked the horn sometimes and just enjoyed the ride.

On Sunday, Henry and I headed to Lincoln for my cousin Jaime’s bridal shower.  It was fun to see her and her excitement for her wedding and marriage.  It was nice to see my family and catch up with them.

–I forgot to take pictures this weekend, but I am going to try to get better at that so I can post them with my blog posts.

Walking and Dancing

Henry started taking his first steps a little bit before Christmas.  He is getting more and more courageous with walking on his own.  About a week ago, he really started to take off without me and Craig prompting him to try to walk.  I got a short clip of him a couple days after he started walking more on his own.

Henry walking

Henry loves to dance.  Almost every day when we get home, he grabs the remote so I can turn Pandora – Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on.  Once it is on, he starts smiling.  Sometimes he starts stomping his feet.  Sometimes he claps.  Sometimes he bounces his whole body up and down.  His latest dance move is kneeling down and spinning around in a circle.  Here he is in action.

Henry dancing

Gifts

“Every good and perfect gift is from above.” James 1:17

The other night I was listening to Go Forth with Heather and Becky.  It was an interview with a Mom whose baby survived pregnancy and delivery after given very slim chances to live by the doctors due to the baby being diagnosed with Trisomy 13.  During the interview, she talked about her perspective of viewing her daughter as a gift from God.  She said whenever her daughter throws her peaches on the floor, she takes a moment to praise God and thank Him for her because she is a gift.

I’m also reading this book about Chiara Corbella Petrillo.  After her and her husband got married, they found out they were pregnant with a baby who had anencephaly.  Their baby died shortly after birth.  Soon they found out they were pregnant again.  As their pregnancy went on, they found out their child was going to die shortly after birth, as well.  When she became pregnant with their third child, Chiara found out that she had cancer.  She died months after her son was born.  In the book, the author makes it very apparent that Chiara viewed her children and her husband as gifts from God.  Although short, she was grateful to God for the time she did have with them.

I hope and pray to develop and keep this perspective, especially in the difficult moments.  I know that Craig, Henry, Baby P, my family, my friends – everyone – are gifts from God to me.  I know this.  But I want to intentionally live it.  I pray it’ll help me to be more grateful, patient, trusting, and loving to each person I encounter.  I also pray it’ll help me to see God more in each person.  Gifts are to be cherished, cared for, and appreciated.  I hope and pray I make people feel this way in the way that I treat them.

 

Trust, dear child

Trust.

I can hear God telling me this over and over again.  Why can it be so hard for me to trust Him?  I know He will take care of me.  When has He not?  I remember reading in the diary of St. Faustina a few years ago when Jesus asked her if His death on the cross was not enough for her to trust Him.  That got me.

Jesus, I trust in you.

Anytime a big decision comes up or I have this unanswered desire, I can hear God telling me to trust Him.  Right now is one of those times.  Craig and I are trying to find a house in Lincoln.  We had one we thought we were going to buy, but now we are rethinking our budget on our house.  Ultimately, we both want for me to be able to stay home with our kids.  One area where we can choose to sacrifice right now is the amount we spend on a home.  I feel so selfish, spoiled, and child-like saying I want both a nice house and to be able to stay home — it doesn’t have to be so nice, but just a house we can make a home.  Having both just isn’t a reality right now in this present moment.  I know God has placed this desire to stay home on my heart.  It is a good and holy desire.  But for some reason He isn’t calling me to that right now.  If He is, He will make it happen.

I was looking up more about what Jesus had said to St. Faustina on trust, and I found this on the Divine Mercy website (http://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/spirituality/trust.php):

In the Diary of St. Faustina, we hear Our Lord reminding us that we can depend upon His love … that He alone is worthy of our trust: I never reject a contrite heart (1485). Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy not embrace a trusting soul (1777).

But there is more to trust than just believing that God is trustworthy. We have to act upon that belief. Trust involves a turning back to God, a real conversion of our whole lives to God, repenting of our sins and forgiving others. Trust is a living faith.

Whenever I come to these moments where I feel like God is inviting me to trust Him in a deeper way, I know He is teaching me to trust Him more.  He is inviting me to act upon the belief of trusting Him — to turn to Him, to have a deeper conversion of my life to Him, to repent and to forgive.  In the waiting, I can give more of my life — my desires, my hopes — to Him.  He can transform my selfish and proud heart to a more child-like, humble, and grateful heart.

Lord, I do trust in you.  Thank you for being so trustworthy.  Help me where I am failing to trust you.  I give you my desires and my hopes.  I know you know what is best for me and my family and that you want what is best for us more than I do.  I pray that you may transform my heart, Lord.  Transform my heart into a selfless, trusting, and grateful heart that is fixed on You.