Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Right where I'm supposed to be....

Don't have time to blog today, but I thought I'd share this piece that I wrote for Catholic365.com a few weeks back. Their site has wonderful material on it if you're interested! Have a blessed day!
Right where I'm supposed to be!
Photo Credit: Flickr/Caden Crawford

Friday, December 12, 2014

Come with me!

Handsome and beautiful for the Christmas show! It looks like Cecilia has too much lipstick on, but in reality,
her lips are just very chapped!
Last night my husband and I were lounging on the couch after the kids were in bed. He said that he would like to go to Mass this morning for Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day. He was thinking of going to the 8:30 a.m. Mass at our parish, which happens to be the school Mass (so our older kids would be there).

I was instantly sad for two reasons. Number one, if you read this blog, you might remember that I have a very special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Her picture is in our hallway and I stop to talk to her often. I wanted to go to Mass too!

Number two, it meant that I would be left trying to get three kids (and me) ready and out the door for preschool by myself. This isn't a big deal, but it sure is nice to have an extra set of hands (usually my husband sticks around a little after the big kids get on the bus at 8 a.m. so I have a few minutes to get myself ready).

When I expressed the first reason to my husband (I kept the second reason to myself...this is my job as a stay-at-home mom...I'm sure that he has things that he doesn't like about his job too!), he simply said, "Come with me."

"Really!?!" I felt like asking him if he was nuts. We take all six children to Mass every Sunday, and it's less than fun (especially for me as I usually end up in the narthex with Lucy and Teresa). And this week, we went to Mass on Monday for the Immaculate Conception (with the three little kids as the big kids went to Mass at school)...the mishaps of that Mass were still fresh in my mind. Plus, it would be a rat race trying to get everyone out by 8:20 a.m.


I quickly decided that it would be good for me to go to Mass on such a special day. The benefits could greatly outweigh the hardships. Maybe the Eucharist would give me the grace and strength that I've been seeking this week (Teresa is kinda/sorta/not really weaning and it's making a mess of my hormones!). Plus, it felt nice to be invited somewhere. Even if it just was by my husband!

Mass was...as expected. I left very early with a screaming toddler who promptly took shaky steps right into the wall...and screamed even louder with a new goose egg. Lucy thought it was fabulous to go and out of the church door (it is much too crowded on Sunday's to play this fun game). I missed the Consecration so Lucy could spend some "I think I have to go" time on the potty.

But, I was there. And, the blessings, graces, and strength are coming (I just don't feel them yet...but that's faith, right!?!).

Wishing you a beautiful blessed Advent. I have very little time to write these days, but thanks for stopping by! Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us :).

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Shock...

I told Gianna to brush her hair and it turned into a sister's hair party...love it :)
I started this post on Monday! Lucy stopped napping again, so writing just isn't happening...

Anyway, there was no school on Monday because it was the first day of deer hunting (that's not a big deal where I grew up, but it is here in Pennsylvania!). Luckily, I had some place fun to go with the kids.

Every year, my good friend Anna hosts a Toys for Tots (collecting new toys so unprivileged children will have something to open on Christmas morning) party on this day. It has grown from a handful of kids in her playroom to quite an event! It was held in the big fellowship hall at our preschool, and there was Zumba, Hershey characters, crafts, picture-taking stands, and tons of Christmas snacks. Everyone had a blast...and for such a great cause!!!

Getting out the door to this party was complete chaos. I sadly watched my husband get dressed and leave for work. That left me with seven people to get together before we went anywhere. You'd think the older kids would get dressed (appropriately) when I asked them, right? Too much to ask? I guess so!

Cecilia (age 5) and Lucy (age 2) actually love to dress themselves. And, if I let them pick their clothes...it's a win-win :). So, at least two out of seven were ready to go!

The rest was a ridiculous struggle (because I had to feed them breakfast too...lol!). After asking Justin (age 4) nicely no less than five times to take off his pajamas and put on the clothes that I had laid out for him, I finally lost my cool.

And, I'd be lying if I said that I regained it (my cool) before we left :). Somehow, everything happened and I sent the kids out to the minivan.
The Zumba instructor is helping Lucy bust a move (with a Hershey bar looking on!!!)
I asked...not holding my breath, of course...that everyone get themselves strapped into their car seats (and/or help the little ones who needed help).

I took the baby upstairs with me to brush my teeth. I assumed that I was going to open the garage door and find children gleefully playing. I was picturing Lucy in the driver's seat (she loves it there!), a few kids wandering around the front yard, and Daddy's yard tools (hanging in the garage) strewn about.

Instead...to my complete and utter shock, I opened the door to the garage and found five children strapped into their car seats. And, no one was fighting. In fact, it was...silent.

I just stared...and then I broke into a silly, goofy grin. I could feel my blood pressure returning to normal and my crankies melting away. Alleluia...someone had heard something that I said! And, not only heard it, but followed through!

"Oh wow!" Joseph said. "We made Mom happy!"

I asked if it was hard to make me happy. Joseph said, "Um...no...just get strapped into our seats." I said, "Actually, you did it the first time that I asked and without complaining."

And, Mommy wanted to sing, hug each of them, say prayers of thanksgiving, and dance. :)

I hoped it would sink in that I'm really not a cranky, scream-y, high stress, ready to explode Mommy...but I just get that way when I'm ignored (repeatedly). Lesson learned?


But, I'll call on that moment of opening that garage door often...because it means there is HOPE!!!!!

Wishing you a beautiful and blessed Advent, friends! Thanks for reading!

My sweet boys at the holiday train display at a downtown museum!