Joseph Miles Pytleski

We are so glad he is here!

After 6 days past my due date, Dr. Wurtz scheduled for me to have an induction when I went to see him on Monday.  We scheduled it for Tuesday morning at 6:30.  Craig and I brought Henry to Nana and Papa’s Monday evening after mass and had a low key evening at home that night.

Tuesday morning we headed in to St. Elizabeth’s.  We got there a little before 6:30.  We couldn’t check in right away because there were a few other deliveries that came up.  Around 7:15 the nurse came and brought us to one of the rooms.  We were in a great corner room with a nice view.  Craig prayed for a nice view on the way to the hospital, and his prayer was answered.  Since they were so busy that morning, they weren’t able to start my induction until around 9:40.  I was only about 2 cm dilated at this point.  Dr. Wurtz said he would come back around lunch time to break my water since I wasn’t dilated very much.  He wanted my contractions to get started and hopefully get me dilated more.  My contractions quickly became more regular and started to pick up in intensity.  Around 11:40 the nurse, Julie, checked me.  I was about 4 cm dilated.  Julie called for me to get an epidural at that time.  Shortly after my epidural close to 12:30, Dr. Wurtz broke my water.  Dr. Wurtz said he had nothing going on that night, and the clinic closed at 3 so it wouldn’t be a problem for him to get back to the hospital.  Craig asked Julie what time she guessed I’d have the baby based on how I was progressing.  She guessed around 5:30.  Craig and I were able to rest a little bit figuring we’d have some time before I’d have to start pushing.  Around 2:40, Julie came back in to check me.  She said I was fully dilated.  She said she’d go call Dr. Wurtz to come in.  She quickly got everything ready.  I couldn’t believe how fast I dilated.  I don’t think she could either.  Dr. Wurtz and a team of nurses quickly arrived in the room, and I was ready to begin pushing.  I pushed for about 30 minutes.  And then Joseph was born.

Joseph was born at 3:24, during the hour of Divine Mercy on the feast of the Assumption.  He weighed 7 lb 12.4 oz. and was 20 3/4 in. long.  He has a head full of brown hair and dark blue eyes.

Immediately they placed him on me.  I was so so grateful for how smoothly everything went and for a healthy little baby.  Craig’s parents and my Mom were able to come in to the delivery room following Joseph’s birth to meet him.  We  are so in love and grateful for the gift of Joseph to us.

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Charisms

As a part of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit in the Family apostolate Craig and I joined, we are currently discerning our charisms.  Charisms are spiritual gifts given to Christians by the Holy Spirit.  We receive them from the Holy Spirit at Baptism and Confirmation.  They are meant to be shared with others to be channels of God’s love and presence in the world.

During the prayer portion of the retreat we were on last weekend, the prayer team focused on helping us to pray for our charisms and to discern the ones we have been gifted.  I think knowing my charisms will help me to be more intentional about sharing them within my own family to bring them closer to Christ and to be intentional about sharing them with others.

Craig and I took a Spiritual Gifts Inventory through the St. Catherine of Siena Institute to help guide us as we discern what charisms we have been given.  I am really enjoying learning more about the charisms and how I can be more open to sharing these gifts God gave me with others so that He can work through me to bring others closer to Him.

When I took the inventory, my top 5 possible charisms are:

Faith — empowers a Christian to be an effective agent of God’s purposes through an unusual trust in the love, power, and provision of God and a remarkable freedom to act on this trust

Helps — empowers a Christian to be a channel of God’s goodness by using his or her talents and charisms to enable other individuals to serve God and people more effectively

Encouragement — empowers a Christian to be an effective channel of God’s love – nurturing others through his or her presence and words of comfort, encouragement, and counsel

Hospitality — empowers a Christian to be a generous channel of God’s love by warmly welcoming and caring for those in need of food, shelter, and friendship

Intercessory Prayer — empowers the intense prayer of a Christian for others to be the means by which God’s love and deliverance reaches those in need

I am also asking God for the charism of wisdom so that I may be able to share His wisdom with my family and with others.

I love that God is so generous and shares His gifts with us.  He doesn’t need us to do any of these things.  He can do it all by Himself.  But He allows us through His love and mercy to be His channels of His grace, love, and mercy so others may experience and encounter Him.  It reminds me of the boy in John 6:9 in the multiplication of the loaves —

“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves.”

Jesus did not need the loaves from the boy.  He could have got the loaves Himself.  He is God.  But He allowed and invited the boy to be on mission with Him.  The same is true of me.

Come Holy Spirit.  Help me to discern the charisms you have given to me.  Develop the charisms in me.  May I always use your charisms to bring others to Christ.

The Ultimate Goal of Fatherhood

This weekend, Craig and I attended a retreat for the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit in the Family apostolate we recently joined after moving to Lincoln.  The retreat was designed to help us discern our charisms to share with our families.  Friday night was spent learning about the role and mission of the family.  Saturday morning we went to mass, had brunch together as a group, and prayed the rosaries individually as families in the evening.  Sunday afternoon was spent in Adoration with a prayer team present.

Logan Burda helped lead our retreat.  He spoke Friday night and was on the prayer team Sunday afternoon.  One takeaway I had from the retreat was from some of his research and education regarding fatherhood with us.  He had a paragraph that he shared with us regarding the family and fathers that was very thought provoking:

“In the Church’s Magisterial Documents, the family is called: the domestic church, the church in miniature, the church of the home, and the believing and evangelizing community.  St. John Paul II said that “the future of humanity passes by way of the family”.  Pope Benedict XVI further stated that “the New Evangelization depends largely on the domestic church”.  Dads cannot neglect their role as the priest of their own family. By virtue of their baptismal priesthood, fathers are called to lead their family in modeling, instructing, and forming their children in the faith. When dads neglect being the spiritual leader of the family, studies consistently show nosedives in the percentages of children who retain the faith in adulthood.  Jesus’ mission for every Catholic is to make disciples who understand God’s plan from the beginning to be fruitful and multiply His image in the world.  For a father, this means his ultimate goal is not only to get his children to  heaven but to form them in such a way that they are equipped to get their children to heaven as well as their children to heaven, etc.”

I always knew the importance of fathers and have had a great respect and appreciation for them.  I know their importance over their children’s lives.  This weekend, God made it even more evident in my heart their role and mission.  As parents our goal is to get our children to heaven.  But even more so, our goal is make disciples of our children.  I know it is my role as his wife and the mother of our children to  help support and pray for Craig to carry out this mission.

Logan was talking about how at parishes, a lot of women will pray for their priest/s.  This made me think about how I can do this for Craig, specifically for his fatherhood for our family.  I pray for Craig as a dad daily, but I am going to begin praying for his fatherhood for our family more intentionally.

Lord, thank you for the gift of Craig.  Thank you for calling me to be his wife and to be the father of our children.  I beg you to reveal to Him your love for him as your son and that he may always find his identify as a son of God.  I ask you to teach him what it means to be a dad.  Help him to model, instruct, and form Henry and our baby in the faith so they may come to know you personally and may come to know your unconditional love and mercy for them.  Help Craig to lead and guide our family to You.  Open his heart to receive your gifts and charisms to help him be the dad and the man you are calling him to be. Form and mold Craig’s heart to be like our Heavenly Father’s heart.  May Craig be a prayerful, virtuous, merciful, faithful, and loving father who strives to imitate our Heavenly Father.  May be lead and disciple our children so they may disciple their children for generations to come.  Amen.

Summer fun

Whew! Where did the summer go?!  It has been a full, fun, and blessed summer for us at the Pytleski home.  It was busy still transitioning to being in a new home and in a new city.  Craig spent lots of evenings and weekends painting, organizing the garage, and cleaning up the yard.  We spent some time getting ready for Baby P’s arrival.  We got to spend some time with friends and building community here in Lincoln.  It has all been so wonderful.  Since I didn’t update the blog regularly this summer, here are some fun summer things we did that were caught in photo.

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Henry ate his first ice cream cone this summer.  Here is his first one, followed by several more — usually from Runza.  He loves ice cream.

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Henry had lots of fun with his toys this summer.  Henry got a sit-and-spin from one of my coworkers.  He is starting to spin himself on it.

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We were able to go to the Children’s Museum a few times this summer.  We had to get a picture with the Union Bank pretend play area since Dad works there.

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More fun at the museum with Pops, Grammy, and Aunt Ellie.

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Here we are at the Sunken Gardens.

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Craig and Henry on Father’s Day.

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Henry liked going to the zoo this summer.  He loved seeing all the animals.

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I love these pictures of Craig and Henry.  We got Henry a t-ball set this summer.  He loves playing with it.  This was the first night we played with it.  Craig loved teaching Henry how to play.  He said this is what dads dream of doing with their sons.  It was so sweet.  Now Henry is hitting the ball all by himself.  We also got him a golf set, which he mostly plays with in the basement.  He says “Yay!” every time he hits the ball.  I think Craig feels the same way about teaching Henry to golf as he does baseball.

Dear Baby P

We are anxiously anticipating your arrival.  Your due date is in 4 days.  Daddy thought you were going to come today.  I said I think you’ll come on Monday.  If you follow your big brother’s footsteps, you’ll come a few days after your due date.  As we wait excitedly to meet you, we are praying for you, I am feeling and loving your every move, kick, and hiccup, and we are loving you.

Henry has started to say ‘baby’.  He points to you in my tummy and to all our baby stuff in the house and says ‘baby’.  He kisses and hugs you in my tummy.  You are going to love your big brother.  He is excited to meet you.  Dad asks Henry to try to same the names we are thinking of for you.  Henry always tries to say them back to us.

I have been praying for you every day.  Dad and I prayed for you before you were in my womb.  We have prayed for you every day since we knew we were pregnant with you.  You are a gift to us from God.  I thank Him every day for your life.  I pray for a safe and healthy delivery.  I pray for your heart, mind, soul, and body.  I pray for your vocation.  I pray you may come to know Jesus, to love Him, and to serve Him.  I pray you will be a man of God, a man who strives to imitate Him, and a man who strives to be in relationship with Him.  I pray you will be a man of character and of virtue.

I will always try my best to be the very best mom I can be to you and for you.  My heart is already full of so much love for you, and I know it’ll only grow each and every day.  You are so loved already.  I love you, and I will see you soon.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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