Saturday, December 31, 2011

How do you measure a year?

This year, I did not go down weight wise to a size five.
This year, I did not open my bible everyday.
This year, I did not say a rosary everyday.
This year, I was not the perfect wife, mother, or friend.

This year, I learned that I have arthritis in my knees.
This year, I opened the bible a few times when I had questions or sought out the answers from other sources.
This year, I said three novenas.

This year, my heart broke at the loss of my beloved Lizzie the wonderdog.
This year, I cried millions of tears for my Mema whose been gone 17 months now.
This year my heart broke and I cried at changes in friendships.
This year, I became closer than I thought even possible to the friends I already have.
This year, tears burned my eyes as I remember George's mom often.
This year I have faced many obstacles and hurdles.  Knowing that God would get me through them while at the same time worrying how that was even possible.

This year, I still gossiped at work.  Not as much as before, but still, you work with the conotworker and try not too.
This year, I prayed for more people than I ever thought  would.
This year, I prayed for people I don't even know.

This year, I missed my brother more than usual.
This year, my favorite uncle/God father whom I haven't talked to in years called me Christmas day.
This year, I fought more with my son than I ever thought I would.
This year, my daughters truly began aserting their independence.
This year, I clung more to my relationship with my dad (in-law).

This year, I didn't go to adoration, daily mass, or confession as much as I wanted too.  Put in whatever excuse you'd like.  The truth is I was just lazy.

I was not the perfect wife, mother, or friend, because no such person exists.  Why then, do I hold myself to my impossible standards?

I got arthritis in my knees most likely because I'm lazy and overweight.

I mourned the loss of close friendships because they were season friends and our season was up, not because of something I did.  (Although, some days, I'm not so convinced).

I missed my brother terribly this year because as children we were best friends and in our adult relationships, no matter how much I pray, it's always going to remain toxic.  I wish the boy he was, not the man he has become.

I became closer to my husband because he is my rock.

I became closer to the friends I do have because God is awesome and even had some from the past come back into my life.

I fought with my son because he is in such a hurry to grow up and he knows best.  No matter how many times I tell him this is not my first rodeo.

Sure, I didn't open the bible everyday, or pray the way I think I should have.  But, I did pray the only way I could think of at the time.

And, sure my gossiping at/about work is cementing my reservations in hell.  But everyday, my soul takes me off the reservation list little by little.

And, we got Ignatius Francis.  Our Shi Tzu/Chihuaha mix.  Not to replace Lizzie the wonderdog, but to help with the healing.

It's been quite a year, 365 days and I did not live each and everyone to their fullest.  However, I did love each day to it's fullest.  And in the end, it's all about love.

Until next time,
Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Prayers, soulmates, and dinosaurs

Not sure if you remember, but I've been saying more novenas.  So far, since I started, I'm on number three.  Check out  You get daily emails which makes it much easier for me to say the novenas than just trying to remember on my own.  You can post your prayer intentions for the novena as well as read the intentions of others.  During the last two novenas, I didn't post my intentions.  But, I did pray for all the other intentions.  Then, something happened with this novena.  Not only did I post my intentions, but I clicked the little button that emails me every new intention that has been added.  You would not believe how many people are praying this novena!

Here's what I've learned.  We are all the same.  Every last one of us.  We are not alone.  We are all praying for the exact same things.  Health, prosperity, needs, conversions of family members, employment, even prayers of Thanksgiving.   People are praying for their parents.  They're praying for vacations for their parents who work so hard.  They are praying for the family, for an end to abortion.  There is no request too silly and none to great.  To read these prayer requests is quite humbling.  I've read probably a hundred prayer requests since yesterday morning.  And two stood out to me (probably more).  One, I knew right away was from a soul mate of mine.  Their name wasn't listed, just their first initial.  But, I didn't even notice.  I read the request (no names given) and I knew right away it was my soul mate.  How special is that to know that someone you love is praying the same prayer as you at the exact same time?  It made me feel closer to my soul mate more than I ever could have imagined.  The other one that struck me was this woman that asked for a few things and one of them wanting to be free from her anger.  How cool is that?  I know that I get angry and it can affect all those around me.  But never in a million years would I have thought to pray to be free from anger.  And, trust me, in my job, it is so easy, so very easy to get angry and feel awful.  It's so easy to complain how our rights are being trampled upon while the conotworker gets away with murder.  It's so easy to just ignore the conotworker and go about my day.  It's so easy to get pulled into complaining about the conotworker and now the managerinnameonly.  But, instead, most of the time (and I really mean most of the time.  I do honestly succumb to complaining about the aforementioned) it's so easy to have fun.  To make jokes with my coworkers.  To make hot pads into dinosaurs, to talk on banana phones, to sing and just be happy.  We had a sub yesterday who said to me that I must be the life of the party.  I told her 'honey, I'm the WHOLE party!'   Like Trump says, if you don't toot your own horn, who will? lol  But I digress, this person praying for their anger to dissipate really stuck with me.

What I've learned so far only two days into the novena is that we are all the same.  Sure, we may look different, but on the inside we are all the same.  We are all filled with the love of Christ and want nothing more than to be closer to Him.

Until next time,
What's your prayer request?


Thursday, December 15, 2011

No I'm not Pregnant lol

With all the range of emotions during this time of year, you would think I'm either pregnant, bi polar, or have multiple personalities.  Well, okay, not just during this time of year but all year long actually. lol  I can medically confirm I am none of those.   Lately though, this week, I just can't stop bursting into tears.  Here is why.

This Sunday is the four year anniversary of Mom's death.  Yes, she's George's mom.  But she is mine too and I love her deeply.  The second, it's the second Christmas without Mema.  No, no I didn't see her every year for Christmas, at least the later ones.  But Mema and I, we are soul mates.  We are cut from the same cloth.  I even have her smile.  We talked all the time.  She made everyday feel special.  And, finally, I miss my very own Mommy.  Every Christmas since I moved away from home (home being wherever my Momma and Mema are) I cry every time I hear 'I'll be home for Christmas'.  Add in missing my Dad (George's) who was just here and will be here in May.  Then, as if all this wasn't enough.  This is my son's last Christmas at home as a high schooler.  I know that he'll be home from college for the holiday's.  But then, it will be different.  The dynamics will have changed.  And, as much as I love change (moving the furniture, painting, etc) I hate change.  Quite the conundrum wouldn't you say? 

So, here I sit.  Tears streaming down my face just missing those I love so very dear who are either in heaven or not here in Texas with me.  But it's all good.  It means that I am alive and that I am still me.  And, when all is said and done and all the 'if you could be anyone in the whole world who would you be's, I always choose me because I love being me.  It took me years of St. Jude Therapy aka chrp sisters to be comfortable with who I am and now that I am, why would I want to be anyone else?  It's what makes me uniquely me :D

So, I can miss everyone I want too.  My heart feels everything deeply, joy, pain, sorrow laughter (as for laughter just ask my friends at work). And that means when I die and go to heaven (what can I say, I'm an optimist) I will have used every ounce of what I was given.  Especially, my heart.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
Until next time,
Pray for all those who are alone during the holidays.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nativity Update

Four years ago, I wrote about our Nativity and the hard times that it has seen (  This year has not been much different.

Last year my son superglued Jesus' head back on AND the wise man's hand!  Yes!  Jesus will get three gifts this year!!!!  Fast forward to the other day as I was unwrapping the Nativity set.  The wise man's hand was off again.  Yes, it was the same wise man.  And, I said "well, no myrrh for Jesus this year" as I laughed to myself.  As I was unwrapping baby Jesus, His head was still intact!  YES!  However, his right arm was not! lol  I thought, jeez, this is the special ed Nativity!  What is a girl to do?  Well, I put the Nativity out.  Put the wise man not too far away.  Put baby Jesus with the wise man and put his broken arm in a drawer.  What.  Where would you put it?!  Then, when my son comes home, he super gluing stuff and I was all..."JESUS' ARM AND THE WISE MAN'S HAND!" lol.  Well, Jesus is no longer an amputee, which is good.  The wise man however....a small part was missing so unfortunately, no myrrh for Jesus this year or any other.  After all that my 'perfect' Nativity has been through, unwrapping it and seeing what comes out has become a highlight for me.

Bob (aka the Holy Spirit) likes to remind me that I am not so different from my Nativity.  First, there is no such thing as normal.  We are all a little special ed in our own way.  Second, I'm just like the Nativity.  Sometimes I'm strong like the pieces that have never broken.  Others, I am like the hand of the wise man and Jesus who always seem to break no matter how well I wrap them.  I am a mother like Mary.  Her son had to leave her, and my son is getting ready to leave me (no I'm not comparing Jesus' death to my son leaving for college! But a sword is piercing my heart nonetheless).  I am a worker like Joseph.  I can be an ass like the ass.  I can be strong like the ox.  I look at wonder at my God and Jesus like the Sheppard boy.  My soul and it's love for Jesus is like the Angel watching over Jesus.  Sometimes, I am wise like the wise men.  Even the one with the broken hand.  We are all like the Nativity in our own way.  Sure, yours may never break and that's awesome.  But, I bet you dollars to donuts that if you look at your Nativity, you can see yourself represented in each piece.  And no.  I didn't forget Baby Jesus.  All of you, all of you are Jesus to me.

Until next time,
Happy Advent!!!!!  Pray for all those who are alone during this Christmas season.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You can't circumvent God

A few years ago, I use to pray for patience.  I like to say God gave me many gifts, coordination and patience are not one of them.  So, I would pray for patience.  Then, I heard a few people say that if you wish for patience that God would give you things to test/work your patience.  So, I got wise and stopped asking for patience.  Yea, didn't really work.

I notice that I am kind of in a loop  (look kids, big Ben, parliament!) and I'm pretty sure I'm destined to stay on this loop for a while.  I give stuff up to God and then the next thing you know I'm back trying to control the situation.  Yesterday morning, I started a new novena.  Look to the right on the blog and you can pray it with me!  I decided to get wise.  Last time in the novena experiment my prayers for others came through, nothing for me.  So, I decided that I would only pray for my family this novena.  Yea, here's what you don't know, my family extends to my gurus and certain friends too.  A son of one of my gurus has been battling and infection in his hand and of course, I added that to my novena yesterday, fully aware that that was the one prayer request in my novena that will be answered and although it's not for me, I'm okay with it b/c I love my guru deeply,for good.  She is one of my soul mates I will always pray for whatever she needs. 

Today is day two of the novena.  And, in an email that the prayer comes in, I was asked to pray for the intentions of those thousands of people who are praying the novena with me.   Normally, this would not be a problem, and truth be told, it wasn't today either.  I was again betrayed by my soul.  I read that and my soul automatically prayed for their intentions.  And, my human side was all "awww, man!  Now my requests are NEVER gonna get answered!"  Then, I added an intention, for my son.  He's applying to college's this week.  What was his first choice in school is now down to his second choice.  I really want it to be his first choice and have him get in and go there.  So I prayed that God would put him in the college that He thinks is best for him.  As my soul is praying this, my human side had a power surge (i.e. the light bulb went off) and I realized, yet again, I am not in control no matter how desperately I try to be.  Yesterday, my son came home with graduation information on caps and gowns and invitations.  Talk about an arrow to my heart.  This year is going so slow and so very fast at the same time.   It makes it hard to breath sometimes.

Selfishness really isn't one of my best qualities.  I want what I want and I want it NOW.  I want my son in this particular school.  I want my kids grades to come up.  I want my husband to get a better job.  I want, I want, I want.  Then, I get an email this morning that smacked the BeJesus out of me.  This email was from an acquaintance.  It was a prayer request.  While the request was for her, the request was also for a tenant of hers who has had a string of bad luck for the last few years that, are you ready for this, SHE HAS BEEN PRAYING FOR!!!   How cool is that?  Prayer is a marvelous thing.  And, it's not about me.  My soul is the coolest thing about me, I think.  We'll that and my heart.  Sure, I like to be selfish and pray for my stuff, but like with this novena, sure, I'm praying for thousands of people I don't know.  But, you know what?  Those thousands of people are praying for me too!  And, it doesn't matter anyway.  While I'd like everything to go my way and have all my wishes granted.  Prayer isn't about wishing, it's about helping my friends, my family (including my guru's), and those I don't even know.

So yes, Virginia, I am not in control, and neither are you.  And, we can't circumvent God.

Until next time,
Please pray for my friends son.  They started a new round of medicine for his infection.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Barry Manilow, Mandy, and The Byrds

Three years ago, I was pretty much hating my life.  Well, my work life.  I was working in restaurants nights and weekends and never really seeing my family.  It takes it toll.  Sure, I have made work friends.  Friends I am still close with to this day (Sarah K, Sarah C, my David and Rachel just to name a few).  I rejoiced when they bought their house or graduated (finally!) from college.  These friends are never more than a text or a facebook away.  But generally, I was unhappy.  My family needed health insurance, I never saw my family, what's a girl to do?  I talked to one of my very favorite guru's, my Julie.  Julie, in a move she credits to the Holy Spirit, told me to apply at our school district to be a lunch lady.  Her good friend is a lunch lady and she loves it.  So, when Julie and the Holy Spirit talk, I listen!    I applied and before I started work three years ago Julie's conversation with me went something like this..."when you start, make sure you find said friend and introduce yourself.  She's awesome and you'll love her!"

So, day one of my job three years ago, I walked up to this woman and said "are you so and so?  I'm Gina, Julie's friend!"  Not knowing anyone or what I was walking into knowing this person had my guru's seal of approval, I knew everything was going to be okay.  Fast forward three (school years) later.  Julie's friend is my friend too.  We have had countless conversations about work, our kids, football and our families.  We have made each other laugh, we have supported each other.  And, most of all these conversations happened at work!  I assure you, work did get done too! lol   She has become someone very dear to me.  She's the one at work that everyone just loves.  You can't help it.  You just love her.

Well, in the crap storm that is life, next week is my friends last week at work.  Her husband got a promotion (YEA) and they'll be moving at the end of the school year (boo).  We have been praying for their house to sell (yea!) which it did (boo) and now, she has to deal with the packing and moving into a rental and everything that entails.  I am bummed.  And, that's putting it mildly.  Everyone at work, minus the conotworker, is majorly bummed.  Not am I loosing a good coworker, I am losing a very good friend.  And while good friends are hard to find, I know we will still text and keep in contact, but it bums me out nonetheless.  I won't admit to tears being shed in the privacy of my bedroom in front of my husband at the loss of my friend.  See, I know the whole 'some people are friends for a season' thing.  Have I told you how much I hate that saying?  I hate it just about as much as the 'God has a plan' saying and that's saying a lot!  So, Bob (aka the Holy Spirit) has been trying to comfort me and told me this is just a season.  I told him I want her to be summer in Texas, do you know how long that lasts?  like F O R E V E R!  But alas, it's not the world according to Gina.  I don't rule the world (be thankful, really!) So, I've been concentrating on what I have learned from my friend.  I've learned countless inside jokes.  I've learned to pick up others slack.  I've learned more about high school football than I ever thought possible.  I've even learned some of the kids names!  I've became friends with football moms.  I've learned things I forgot too, like not to take life and my job, too seriously.  I've learned that no matter where some friends go, we will always be friends.

So, I can't quote Barry Manilow here because the song really doesn't apply and that would just be majorly ooky.  I love her, I don't LOVE her lol!  But, like the Byrds sang "there's a time for every purpose under heaven".  And, this is the time for her to go and for our friendship to stretch (have I mentioned how very much I hate change?  That is unless I change into a size 3 overnight!) and grow and change.  And, I feel comfortable speaking for most of us at work when I say, Mandy, you will be greatly missed.  {()} Ahhh ha ha ha! 

Until next time,
Call your friend you haven't had time too and let them know you love them still :D


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Elton John and the Allen Eagles

For those of you who don't live in Allen, Texas, who have no family, no grandchildren, nieces or nephews in Allen, Texas you will not be aware that last night was a most important night for Allen.  Last night was the semi finals in high school football.  You can joke all you want how football, like everything else, is big in Texas.  You can joke about Friday night lights.  But unless you live in a small town like Allen, with an amazing football team like the Eagles, you just wont get it.  Last night, our undefeated team played our rivals, also an undefeated team.  Sadly, we lost.  Young men who put their pads on and headed to cowboy stadium had no idea that it would be, for the seniors, the last time they would put on those pads.

No, I don't have a football player.  I am a band mom.  I have gone to football games to see my daughter play.  Going to a football game is not like going to a professional game where you kind of watch the game and mainly hang out with your friends.  No, with the Allen Eagles you actually watch the game.  You cheer, you boo, you hiss.  You learn players names.  You sing with the band.   You are a part of something much bigger than yourself.  It brings people together.  No, I am not a football mom, but I have a few very close friends who are.  When they were dancing at the senior pep rally a few weeks ago, I was there to support them.  Not my son who is a senior in the orchestra.  Yes, it was his last pep rally, but I was there to support my friends.    Allen Eagle football is an institution.  It is a beautiful thing to be a part of and experience.

So, in the words of Elton John, "What do you say when it's all over?  Sorry seems to be the hardest word."  For those seniors, it is not the ending that they (or any of the players) wanted.  I could spout platitudes of how it's a great life lesson and how years from now they'll forget the feeling of loss and remember all the good times, but really, that's not going to help them this morning in the cold light of day.  No, what they'll remember is the senior football parents meeting them at the athletic facility after the game.  They'll remember going to one of the players homes and reliving a most awesome season.  They'll remember the city itself.  How you can't look on a facebook posting from anyone in Allen without seeing a comment of how proud this town is of it's boys in blue.  You can watch any sports film you want, Friday Night Lights, Rudy.  But they have nothing on our town of Allen.  Nothing.   The  town is a huge supporter of our team. 

So, thank you.  Thank you, Kyle and Chris and all the other senior players for a great season.  I can comfortably speak for the entire town of Allen, Texas when I say we are proud of you and we love you.

Until next time,
What are you thankful for?


Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Novena Experiment, Part 2

When last we spoke, I had two days left to go.  In asking for certain knots to be untied, I listed 11.  What can I say?  I was told I could do a whole bunch so I did!  lol  Out of the 11, four were for friends, three were for the kids and four were for George and I.

I was slightly irked after the novena was over.  Well, more than a little irked.  None had seem to have been answered.  Great.  There He goes again with His "big flippin 'no'" of an answer.  Really, Dad?  Really?  Out of eleven you couldn't throw me a bone?   Then today, I get the word that one of my eleven were answered.  I will share it with you.  I had been praying for a peaceful death for my friend Liz's Dad, Larry.  I met Larry years ago when Mom passed away.  He and I were in grief support at our church together.  His wife had passed.  Liz and I have been friends for years.  We are chrp sisters.  In fact, she was one of my dearest friends who comforted me after Mom died.  She is awesome.   Larry passed away yesterday, peacefully.  Exactly what I had been asking for.  Okay, now it should not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me well that my second reaction (my first being of concern for Liz and her family) was "Seriously, Dad!  Seriously!  Out of eleven you chose one that wouldn't benefit my family?" Which was almost immediately replied to with two things a:  "then don't put it on your list" and b:  "you wouldn't want it any other way".  My stupid soul sold me out again.  Yes, yes, I would  much rather help someone else than myself, most of the time.  However, there are those fleeting moments when I choose to be selfish and stomp my feet and go "Gimme! Gimme!  Gimme!"   Even if I ask nice "pretty please with sugar on top?"  I've bargained "I'll say a rosary everyday for a MONTH!".  Apparently, and, you think I would've learned this by now, you cannot bargain with God.

So, now I am gearing up for another novena, the Immaculate Conception Novena to be exact.  For those of you who don't know the huge misconception even among some of us Catholics is the the Immaculate Conception is when the Virgin Mary was pregnant with Jesus.  However, what it really is is when St. Ann, Mary's mom, conceived Mary and was pregnant with her.  Look it up, it's actually very cool.  You can go on my blog and look to the right and you can sign up for the novena and get them in your inbox.  Way cool!

So, what else has been going on?  How's that peace been working for me?  Meh, not so good.  The last two days I have been on edge.  I have no clue why.  Arguments have ensued.  Now.  Now is my favorite time.  I am sitting on my back porch, under a blanket, watching the last rays of the sun disappear over the house tops with my pinion wood wafting from the chiminea (thanks, Alyssa) which is almost out.  Thanking God for answering my prayers the way He sees fit and not the way that I always want them.

Until next time,
Pray for the repose of the soul of Liz' dad, Larry.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Novena Experiment

For those of you non Catholics reading, or for you Catholics who don't know, a novena is a specific prayer prayed for nine consecutive days.  Just google novena's and you'll get a veritable cornucopia of novenas.  Currently, I am doing a novena to Mary the undoer of knots...  I've heard this prayer to be very powerful.  So, I asked, 'do I ask for just one thing or can I list a bunch?' I was told I could list a bunch and so I have.  Today was day seven.  Here's what I've got so far:

The first day, I said the novena in the evening before bed.  This was rather difficult as I was in bed and very tired, but I prevailed!  Day two was said in the morning.  Lately, I find that I am going to bed earlier resulting in my awaking earlier.  So, I used that time to get up and dressed for work, then go downstairs and say the novena.  This has worked well so far.  I noticed about day three how I have been feeling very peaceful.  Which, is not something I am use to feeling.  It's not the 'I don't care' feeling that I sometimes get.  It's actually a very peaceful feeling.  Quite foreign to me actually.  Day six resulted in an argument with child #3.  I was quite angry with her and let it be known, rather loudly.  When George came home in the evening, I replayed the event with child #3 and was just as loud.  Other things happened during the night that left me in a bad mood.  In trying to explain them to my loving husband because he 'just wasn't getting it' I spoke louder and I'm pretty sure slower too.  Kind of like when you find out someone is deaf, you talk louder and slower thinking that's all they need.  After my outburst, I apologized to my husband.  I explained how frustrated I was over child #3 and the events of the evening.  And, I was yelling at him not about him.  He, being the loving husband he is, totally understood that I wasn't mad at him, just at yet another situation out of my control.  One of my thoughts as I was drifting off to sleep last night was 'where was the peace that I had been feeling?'  How could my emotions go so out of wack?  Well, that's easy.  Mother nature!  Women will understand.  Men will duck and cover. lol

So, today is day seven.  It's a new day.  Two more days to go.  None of my knots have been unknotted.  They're still there.  Maybe I'm going at it all wrong?  Is it like it's a wish list and I give my wish list over and hope all of them will be granted but be happy if it's only one or two?  Or, is it more of my faith in play here?  That I make my requests known to God through the novenas and I know He'll take care of them?  What happens if I get my whole list back and nothing is crossed off?  Well, in as much as I hate to say it, so much so that I can almost feel the bile rising, God has a plan.  And, no matter how many prayers I pray, no matter how many novenas I say or candles I light, if the answer is not now or no flippin way, that's the way it is.  Dad understands me better than anyone.  He understands that when my will doesn't match His will that I get upset.  I want this, I want that.  And, contrary to what some people might think, it's not always about material things.  It's for peoples health, for peaceful deaths, for comfort of friends, for better jobs for others.  For a good college for our children.  Not just to wake up one morning a size 5 or for someone to come knocking on my door wanting to buy my house.  I don't have an ivy league education.  Heck, I haven't even finished college yet, and at 42 I can honestly say, I'm not gonna.  What I can tell you is that while I get upset that I don't always get my way and His will prevails, I am smart enough to know that His will is what's best for me.  Left to my own devices I'd probably be wheeled in for liposuction while eating a large strawberry cheesquake from Dairy Queen.  (Seriously, have you tried those!).

So, here I sit with two days left to go in my novena experiment.  And I've got some peace happening.  I'm getting some rosary time, and I get to spend it with Mary, my Mom.  What can be better than that?  (seriously, Dad, if you're listening, just a couple things off the list, you pick!) lol

Until next time,
Pray for comfort for my friend who lost his Dad this week.  



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bears, roller skates, and referees

Being a parent is like wearing a kevlar vest with holes in it while holding a crystal ball that turns out to actually be a snow globe.

There's a certain time during the day when the kids come home from school and you don't know what what to expect.  You don't know whose going to walk through the door.  Sure, they look like your children, but there are way to many variables.  How did their day go?  What homework did they forget to turn in?  Who did they argue with today?  What drama unfolded to and from school, let alone while they were there?  This gets exasperated when you add more than one child to the drama.  More often than not, it goes something like this...

3:00 child #1 comes home.  Says there's no mail when it's actually in his hand and he's trying to be funny.  I ask how his day was and I get "fine."  Child one plops on the couch and stays there.  All the knowledge that he has received during the day has traveled to his bottom and he can no longer stand and is pulled by gravity onto the couch and getting up to do his chores or whatever homework he has is just physically impossible.  And, no matter how much motherly prompting I give, it cannot compete with the gravitational pull.

4:00 child #2 arrives.  With child #2 there is usually some sort of drama.  The minute she walks in the door, child #1 starts with her.   Child #1 likes to poke the proverbial bear.  Whatever child #2 says when talking to me, child #1 has to interject.  Child #2 then starts to talk rather loudly at child #1 about minding his own business.  This banter between them goes on for quite some time.

4:10 child #3 arrives.  Child three has drama sometimes, but generally creates her own, I think, just for fun.  Child three tries to talk to me about her day and then child #2 and eventually, child #1 start talking at the same time.  It should be noted that children 1&2 have quieted down and really have nothing to say to me until child #3 arrives.  Then there's a barrage of "oh, I forgot to tell you..." at the same time child #3 is trying to tell me about her day.  This leads to frustration on everyone's part.

There is no way to ascertain what moods they are going to walk in the door with.  There is no way to protect yourself from the blasts that you will incur.  Henceforth, the holes in the kevlar jacket.  Then after about an hour, everyone is all yelled out and quietness ascends on my home like a peaceful friend.  A peaceful friend who only stays for two whole seconds.  Life happens.  There's arguments over who gets on the computer, who did or didn't do their chores, etc.  Then, at some point before my husband gets home, one by one the children remember that I am here.  They remember that I am their mom and not a referee (as I like to tell them my uniform is in the wash and my whistle is broke) and they come to me and ask how my day was.  They ask "how was work?"  They are warm and compassionate and wonderful.  And, then that moment passes and the stepford child in them flees and they are back to themselves. 

One of the hardest things about being a parent, for me anyway, is balance.  Not the 'how do I balance work and family and church and best friend time?'  No, the balance I'm talking about is my children.  I want the respectful child I raised.  The one who out in public acts appropriately and kindly.  Not the one who flies off the handle at the littlest thing.  The child who after homecoming buys dinner not only for him and his date, but his sister and her friend as well.  The child who finds her sisters bandanna for boo bowl that was lost knowing how much she needed it.  And, the one who helps the other one for no reason.  And, in all the trying to balance, here's what I've come up with.  You ready?  There is none.  You try wearing roller skates, while on a skateboard, on a high wire.  Now, find your balance, that's parenting!  My theory (and there are many and they change...a lot) is that my kids ARE respectful and warm and loving.  They will give their friends the shirts of their backs.  They'll help you with your schoolwork at the detriment of their own grades.  When they come home, they are exhausted.  There's teachers who 'don't like me'; who 'don't understand me'; who 'didn't see so and so cheating off of me and I don't want to be a tattle but I hate it' drama.  Then, add in all the high school drama.  They come home.  Home to me.  Home to where they can let down their guard and blow off steam.  After all, home is where you are loved, unconditionally, no matter who you are.  So, yes, finding balance is important, I guess.  To me though, it's about my home being a safe haven for my children to totally be who they are, warts and all.  Just some days I wish it were more yoga and less MMA ring.  Now, where did I put my roller skates?

Until next time,
Pray for two of my dear, dear friends who's father's are in the last stages of their lives.



Friday, October 28, 2011

Soul Asylum

Today was not the best day.  It was alright, nothing special.  Lots to do, yada, yada.

There came a point in my afternoon when I lost it.  I lamented to my husband how awful things are.  I told him how I'm tired of God always saying 'No'.  I feel like I'm being smote.  I pray for x, nope.  pray for q, nope.  Y and z?  Nope.  Smite, smite, smite, that's what I felt like.  After I hung up with George, God asked me if I really felt that way.  While I wanted to say 'yes', my soul said 'no'.  My soul betrayed me.  Here I am angry at Him.  Well, more like really irritated.  My soul knew however, that it belongs to Him.  Even though I wanted to say 'yes, I'm tired of not getting anything I'm asking for!' (stomp feet like little child here)  "Why talk to Mary and the Saints and ask them to intercede for me if all you're gonna say is 'NO'?"  Whine more here. 

Then, immediately, God said "Here, I'll take care of this little thing for you".  No, it's not one of the big things on my list I've been praying for (and it's not even a huge list!) It was something small, but nice nonetheless.

I hate when I answer my own question.  Why do I pray to Mary and the Saints for their intercessions if God is going to do what He wants anyway?  Because.  Because Mary is my mother and I can lament to her about anything.  I can rest in her mantle and find comfort there.  I pray to the Saints because they have been where I am.  They know exactly what I'm going through.  They have struggled, just like I have.  I can pray to them and ask them to intercede.  And, should God's will align with my will, that's fabulous.  But, at the end of the day, it's not about me.  Yes, you heard me right.  It's not about my wants.  My Christmas list of things I'd like.  No, it's about loving God.  And, that I do.  No matter how irked I get, how angry, how sad.  I love Him and he loves me.  No matter how many sins I commit, no matter how bad I am.  No matter if I'm irritated at Him or not.  That is unconditional love.

So while my human side complains, my soul knows where home is.  My soul is my safe haven.  My place to draw into.  My asylum. 

Until next time,
Enjoy the lovely cool weather!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

God is not Santa Clause

Did you ever feel so lost, that you feel you can't be found?  Or rather yet, that you didn't know how you would ever be found?

Years and years ago, say about five.  It was right after I went through a Christ Renews His Parish weekend at St. Jude's.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it is 33 hours with just you and God and 30 or so of your closest women friends (men for the men's group)  My light didn't just come on, it exploded.  Yes, I'm a cradle Catholic.  Yes, I said my prayers.  But I really never knew much about my faith.  The how's and the whys and the how comes.  After this weekend, I started digging and learning more about different Saints and the Pope, Mary, and the Trinity.  During this time, and long after, I wanted nothing more in life, than another child.  I begged God.  I pleaded with God.  I prayed to Mary, to Jesus, to God.  To St. Jude, St. Therese, and St. Gerard and I think even St. Monica.  All for naught.  I used to say "God can open up every womb in the bible but he won't go woogy woogy with his hand over mine!"  I had my friends praying.  I wanted so desperately to have another child.  My friends were getting pregnant and having kids.  Not me.  We even looked into foster adopt but when my husbands job became unstable, it became a moo (yes, I know it's moot, it's in reference to a Friends tv episode) point.  Then, one of my gurus, Julie said to me something along the lines of "God knows what's best for you.  He's telling everyone whose praying for you (the aforementioned) that if "She asks for it again, just tell her not right now".  So, the aforementioned were interceding for me, just sometimes the answer is not right now, and some times it's a big fat flippin "NO"!

You guys already know, that I didn't get another child.  I begged God a couple years ago that if he wasn't gonna pony up with a kid for me, to take away the desire.  And, two years ago, He did.  There is something very freeing in that.

The other day, I was talking to you about my project.  It is truly, most certainly, a lost cause, like I feel most days.  But, I've been doing the novena to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes.   So far, nothing.  But, I've started talking to St. Jude.  Really, it's a one way conversation.  It mostly goes like this "Hello, St. Jude.  I don't know how you'll do this.  Not that I don't think you can, but it would truly be a miracle.  There's no other way for it to happen other than Divine intervention.  And, I kind of feel like that's a crap shoot.  Let me explain that.  Yes, I wish it could be as easy as 50/50, but I don't think it is.  No matter how much I whine and cry and stomp my feet; no matter how much I beg and pray to every saint; no matter how many novena's are said, if the answer is 'no', it's going to be 'no'.  I just really don't like the 'no's or the 'not right now's'.  But, prayer really isn't about a wish list, and God is not Santa Clause.  I don't have to behave or make the nice list to get what I want.  Oh, how sometimes I wish it was that easy!  Prayer is about coming to God and sharing with Him my day.  Sharing with Him my joys and sorrows.  God gives me what He knows I need, when I need it.  Like my husband, for example.  Now, with all my kids almost out of high school, I can't imagine having to take care of a baby.  My puppy is tiring enough! lol  So, He does truly know what He's doing.  And, I guess that should give me some consolation.  And, truth be told, most of the time, it does.  It's just sometimes, when you want something so bad, so very bad that you ache for it (and inasmuch as I really, really, really want the project to work, I'm not aching for it, like I did a baby) and the desire for it almost consumes you, you really want the answer to be 'yes'.

And, in all the wishing and working and trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, I get a little lost.  But don't worry, I don't need bread crumbs to find my way back, just Hail Mary, two, Hail Mary...

Until next time,
Pray for JJ Pounds a 14 year old boy with two inoperable tumors in his head that are causing almost total blindness.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fraud Protection

So, the past few weeks I've been working on a project.  It doesn't matter what it is.  Only a few of you know.  That's enough for now.  So, this project, I've been praying on really hard.  And to all the naysayers I have been saying "It'll work, and if it doesn't then it wasn't meant to be.  God has a plan."  Remember a few zillion posts ago when I said how much I hate that saying?  I still do.  I am a fraud.   Even though I was saying God had a plan (which He does) with enthusiasm, what I meant when I said it was "God is going to see how much I want this project to work and therefore, it will work!"  See, I'm a fraud.

My husband, awesome as he is, let's me run with my little projects on my hamster wheel to churn and turn and expend my energy.  He knows I won't stop till my project is done (and my current project, though detoured, is not done).  We were talking today and I told him how depressed I was that said project isn't working out like I planned.  I finally told him how I had seen my plan going.  His response, said with compassion and love, "you really are a dreamer".

I do not expect things to always go my way.  I do not expect to get everything I ask for.  I should figured something was wrong when I asked for a sign and the song on the radio became "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by the Rolling Stones, lol.  However, I passed that off as a coincidence.  See, again I'm a fraud.  When I ask for a sign and it's in my favor, I think it's a sign.  When it goes against what I want, I think it's a coincidence.  And, the sad thing is I don't think I'll ever learn.  There has to be some sort of fraud protection, right?  I go to church every Sunday.  I say my prayers.  I brush my teeth, I wash behind my ears.  Why can't I get this right?

The funny thing in all of this is that while I'm a little discouraged, and realllllly tired of the "God has a plan, this wasn't the right thing for you", even though it's true,  I want someone to hug me and say "Yes, God has a plan.  Yes, it would have been awesome if it worked out your way, but I still love you, and we'll get through this."

It occurs to me, that this is a valley time for me.  That's okay.  I love valley times.  Sure, I'm a little down.  Sure, I feel irked, irritated, sad, that my project got a detour and didn't go as smooth as I would have liked.  And, I'm sure it will get a couple more detours along the way.  That's okay because God truly does have a plan.  And, technically, I'm not a fraud, just human.

Until next time,
Pray for amazing test results for all of those who took the ACT today, my son included.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Loaded Dice

So, a year and a half ago, I started a bunco group (for those of you who don't know, bunco is a dice game.  Very easy, very fun.  Google it)  I got tired of being a substitute for other groups and I got tired waiting for people to move, get kicked out, or die, to become a permanent fixture in a group.  Laugh, go ahead, but us bunco gals, we take our games seriously.  It's a monthly time to come together, roll the dice and talk.  We talk about husbands, kids, work, everything under the sun.  Nothing is off limits really.  We laugh so much, so hard, that today, my abs were sore.  That's my kind of exercise!!! lol

Yesterday wasn't the best day, by a long shot.  A project I've been working on for about three weeks didn't work out like I hoped it would.  At work, conotworker seriously got on my nerves.  My youngest decided this week that she's not gonna eat beef anymore (as I am making a big ol pot of chilli).  Something about how cows are raised blah blah blah.  I tell her you eat what I make or wait till breakfast.  She had cheese and chips which were technically part of dinner.  All week, she's been talking about wanting to eat a chicken salad with breaded chicken.  So last night I buy the salad stuff, buy Tyson 100% all natural chicken fingers all white meat breaded.  She'll be so excited, she's wanted it all week.  Yea, WRONG!  I got yelled at..."YOU BOUGHT THE WRONG CHICKEN!  THEY FEED THOSE CHICKEN CORN!!!  DON'T YOU WATCH WHAT AMERICA EATS?!" or whatever the show is called.  OH MY GOSH shoot me now!  SERIOUSLY!  She's been yammerin on all flippin week and I try to be nice and get yelled at!  Why did I want to have three kids again? lol

This brings me back to bunco last night.  I tell my friends about the situation which  brings us to the topic of organic food.  How it's good for you, and we'd do it if it wasn't so expensive to which I replied "Not me!  Give me all the preservatives and additives.  I wanna be here for a while, start the embalming process early!"  To which my friends just busted out laughing.  I wasn't gonna go.  I was tired, exhausted, emotionally drained.  But I knew that in the end, if I went I'd have fun, so I did, and I did.

See, when you have kids you pretty much have zero time for yourself.  Then as they age, you find a few minutes here and there.  My three are all teenagers in high school.  My bunco time is sacred.  We have been known to move the bunco day (usually a stand alone day every month) b/c of things that are happening with our families.  I make it a point never to miss a bunco.  That's my time.  I need it to keep me sane.  Well, relatively speaking.

My bunco friends, they're what make it special.  The subtle nuances that no one else would understand.  The code words we use for different things.   These ladies are awesome.  We celebrate birthdays and babies, and death.  We pray for each other, we genuinely love each other.  It is the most beautiful thing to see.  Then, one of my favorite parts of life, not just bunco is when I get home.  Usually, I carpool.  Sometimes it's with my favorite neighbor Cat, sometimes with my best friend Carol.  But whenever I carpool, we end up sitting outside my house and talking.  Sometimes for five minutes, sometimes for forty, it doesn't matter.  I think the best conversations, the real, honest conversations, happens in the car in front of my house.  What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but there are no video's made in bunco or my car for that matter.  It's almost sacred.

The women are amazing.  They're  teachers, and brainiacs, and goofballs.  Stay at home mom's, working mom's, and women who don't have kids.  There are those that are married or dating, or single.  They will give you the shirt of their respective backs.  They, my group of crazy bunco friends, they are the loaded dice.  They are the ones that once a month, no matter what's going on in my life, no matter how good or how bad my day has been, no matter how punch drunk I am, they are the ones that make me laugh and smile and feel loved.  They are loaded with love, compassion, and patience.  When God plays' bunco, they're all at the head table :D

Until next time,
Pray for a friend of mine who is struggling.


Monday, October 17, 2011

This past week my loving husband and I celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary.  To me, this is a huge feat.  For one, he hasn't run for the hills screaming. lol.  It's no surprise to those who know me well, that I am an acquired taste like brussel sprouts or broccoli and that's putting it mildly.  I rarely color inside the lines.  I'm a bit of a control freak.  I champion the underdog, I can't stand the cowboys and I eat weird combinations of food (potato chips and cool whip YUM!)  If you asked me what I'd expect in a marriage eleven years ago, I'd say I'd expect to stay together forever and that it was going to be constantly romantic like the movies.  That we'd be exactly alike and like the same foods and same things.  After eleven years I've learned that that marriage would have been very, very boring.

George and I have been through a lot in the last eleven years.  More than some, less that others.  And, through it all we've grown together and not apart.   Due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to move away from friends and family and all that we know.  We only had each other to lean on.  Each other, and God that is.   This happened almost right after we were married.   We learned that we are stronger than we thought, that's for sure.  I credit that growing time and our time here at St. Jude's in strengthening our marriage (not that it was bad before, because it wasn't).  Thank God we don't think alike, or like all the same things.  That would be so boring.  I will sit through movies I think I'll hate and actually love (Inception), I will sit through movies I'm not a huge fan of (Star Wars).  He will sit through Funny Girl and watch Rhinestone and They Call Me Bruce.  The later two are two very bad b movies that just crack me up.

I've always said that our marriage works because when need be I bring him up in the clouds with me, and/or he'll pull me down and plant my feet firmly on the ground.  After eleven years, my husband still makes me homemade oatmeal every weekend, still surprises me with little things like cards or flowers, or pretzel m&m's from the store.  My husband knows me so well.  He knows that when I set my mind to something, I don't let go until after all options have been exhausted.  He knows when things are important to me.  He knows sometimes I have to chase parked cars, and he lets me.  I am free to be myself.  He deals with my anxiety and panic with love and support.   In turn, I know my husband.  I know how he likes to get on the computer before bed.  I know how he loves his draft day with his baseball guys that he's been in for over 20 years (HI ADAM!!!! Miss you!).   I know how he likes to wind down after a long week.  We love to tease each other and joke around.  We are big, big joke people.  We love to laugh all the time.  We say silly things, gross things, it doesn't matter.

Our children have witnessed it all.  They've seen us argue (sometimes) they've seen  laugh (all the time), they've seen us sad when family members pass.  They have inherited our goofy sense of humor.  And, they've inherited our love of God and St. Jude's.  But mostly, I am happy that they have seen our marriage as an example.  My husband is the best husband and father that I could have every imagine.  As I've said from day one, he is my guardian angel.  God sent him to me when I needed him most and I didn't know I needed him.  No, no, contrary to popular belief, he is not perfect.  I mean come on, the man eats tuna and likes mayo (EWWWW!) but in my eyes he is.  He knows what I need before I do (most of the time).  He is my rock.  He is my champion.  He is my husband.

So a mere eleven years have passed.  We have seen marriages, births, and deaths.  We have made great friends, and lost others.  We have celebrated and we have mourned.  We have lived and we have loved.  We have been us.  For better or for worse.  For richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death us do part.

Until next time,
Please pray for those couples going through retro vie


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fear, Bruce Willis, and Angels

Things I have learned in the past week...facing your fears doesn't mean you've conquered them.  Angels really do exist, and God really does listen.  The last two I was never in doubt of.  The first one, I just figured would sort of take care of itself.  Let's begin, shall we?

Cue the Scooby Do flashback lines....

Last Saturday morning, George was leaving on a trip to Philly to spend time with Dad who just turned 70.  Those of you who live in Philly whom we love dearly that he did not see while he was there, please do not take offense.  This was purely a trip for him to spend time with Dad.  It was a quick trip that's all.  Hopefully, he and I will be able to make it up soon and see everyone.  But, I digress.  I have yet to drive to the airport.  We've lived in Dallas going on 8 years.  I've driven as far as Medical City, but never to the airport.  The ride scares me.  Why?  I have no idea.  It just does.  So, George and I leave at 4:30 am to get him to the airport.  Now, it must be said that my son was going to go with us so that he could drive back with me for company and/or moral support.  Said child complained in his best whiny voice as to why he had to go.  He was so tiiiiired.  I told him go back upstairs and not to worry.  He then said "you can't do this".  Challenge accepted there, buddy!  I told him yes I could and to go back to bed.  Funny how same kid can get up at five in the morning when he has to be to work at six, but when a parent asks him he's too tired.

 Let's fast forward to the airport.  I drop my loving husband off.  There are some things you need to know, if you don't already.  George's Dad is my dad too.  No, we're not inbred.  His Dad has been the most amazing father to me and I could not love him any more if he were my own flesh and blood.  I so wanted to go up to Philly.  But, it was homecoming weekend here, and with three teenagers....I got to do the mom thing, which I was excited and happy about, but was bummed I couldn't go, nonetheless.

So, I drop George off at the airport.  No lingering goodbyes.  I have a cell phone fully charged.  Almost a full tank of gas, I am prepared (mostly) to drive home.  Did I mention how I'm not a fan of driving from the airport?  And, away I go.  No time for tears, I'm too full of anxiety.  This next bit is the conversation I had in the car with myself and with God.

I have to merge out of the airport to the North exit.  "Dear God, where did all these cars come from at 5:30 in the morning?!"  There's a two lane merge.  I'm going to go when this van next to me goes.  Pleasedon'thitmepleasedon'thitme!  Ahhh, it didn't hit me!  "Thanks, God!" 

Next is finding the toll tag exit...ahhh there it is!  And I go thru.  How do I get to 635?  What do you mean there's no lines on the road!  I have to go diagonal!  Who built this road?  This is insane!  Dear God, don't let any cars come behind me (no one is there at this point) till I make it over to 635!  Ahhh, thanks again, God!  Okay on 635.  Speed limit is 60.  WHY IS EVERYONE GOING 70!!!!  Go ahead and pass me please!!!!  FINE!  I'll speed up.  Dear God, it's axe murderer dark!  Where is 75!!!!  How am I suppose to get all the way over there?!  Is the guy in front of me drunk or just trying to get in the next lane?  Please put a car in front of me....ahhh thanks!!!  Ahhh the mecca!  75!!!!  I know where I am!!!!!  Although, I've never driven this far down, I know where I am!  Man, my hands are hurting.  Didn't realize I was gripping the wheel so hard!  And, I make it home at 6:10.  Take that didn't think I could do it, son! HA!

Then, I spend part of my morning volunteering at the St. Jude carnival and then the afternoon getting all three kids ready for homecoming.  I marvel at the fact I faced a fear today.  Still a little wired though.  I can tell you this...come Monday evening, when I have to pick up my husband from the airport, I'm leaving early while it's still dark out.   No more night driving for me!

Do you know what a big sense of humor God has?  Fast forward to Monday evening.  George's flight was DELAYED until 11:30 AT NIGHT!!!!  UGGGH!  One of my very best friends and one coworker tell me to take 121.  "Straight shot!  No problem!"  I left the house at 9:30 PM.  I arrive at the airport at 11:30 PM!!!!!  I get almost to the airport and then I hit night construction!!!  It was awful.  There was a detour and I got lost for a minute or two.  I had the grand idea to follow the truck in front of me that had a police sticker on and a Marine one too.  I figure since he was in the airport lane, he knew where he was going and if something happened, he'd help out.  Never mind that he was in front of me. lol

Somehow, in all the construction we lost the Marine (we being Sarah and I)  we stopped at a McDonald's for directions.  The clerk said "never take 121! lol"  The whole time I weaving my way in construction all I can think of is the scene from Die Hard where Bruce Willis says "Come out to the coast...have a few laughs" lol  When we came out, there was a woman in a minivan, Becky getting directions from 2 construction workers.  I asked if she was going to the airport and was lost too.  Sure enough she was!  We decided to join forces and get lost together!  Fifteen minutes later, we were at the airport.  Sarah and I parked and made it in to get George with zero time to spare!  I still can't believe it took two hours to get there! lol

This was on Monday.  It's now Wednesday.  I finally let go of all the anxiety today.  I likened it to when your kid gets hurt.  You do what you need to do, deal with the situation and then, in the aftermath have your breakdown and go "Do you know how bad that could have been?"  or "My poor child!"  I was so on edge all weekend with the drive on Saturday and knowing that I had to drive on Monday that it just stored up.  Sure, George was now home, but it took a while to come down from all the anxiety.  And, to my Carol and Tina and of course my loving husband, who told me how proud of me they were, thank you.  That means the world to me.

So, finally today, all that anxiety finally broke.  I broke down to my husband.  Did I tell you how amazing he is?  He comforts me and makes me feel so loved.  Then, he brings me some chocolate cake!  Told you he was awesome!

So, now that I drove to and from the airport will I do it again?  I don't know, but I'll tell you I'm not in a hurry that's for sure.  But I will tell you that God is awesome.  He sent me angels a Marine and Becky to help me face my fear.  Keep in mind I said face, not conquer.

Until next time,
Remember, you are loved!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Tales from the confessional

Being that I hadn't been to confession since April and something was weighing on me, I did what any good catholic would do.  I called up one of my guru's Patti!  Guru's are a special lot.  While they're your friends and you are close with them, don't ask them to tell you what you want to hear.  They always shoot it to you straight.  Sometimes with tact, and sometimes without. lol  First off, advice is what you ask for when you already know the answer, but don't like it.  I wanted to know if something that was bothering me needed to be confessed.  I was just about positive it was, but I was still kinda hoping for an out.  Then, my guru says "what was your intent when this situation happened?"  That was easy, I was in a bad mood and I just wanted this situation to go away.  She said in true guru fashion "well, you need to figure out what your true intent was and think about it."  Which translated from guru to Gina means, 'you know you have to go, but I can't tell you to go, so you have to come to the decision on your own, but I'll wait on the phone till I see the flash of lighting above your house.'  And, I decided to go to confession.  The great thing about gurus (there's so many!) is that they don't judge, they love you, and they know when confession is on any given day. 

I had to take Jaime to work yesterday and I figured, I know it's an hour before, but I'd swing by and see if Fr. Eugene was there early and hopefully I could have a confession in his office and we could chat.  I'd like to introduce myself to him (as he's new to the parish) before I sit down and list my faults and offenses.  Nope, he wasn't there.  So, I ran an errand and then came back at 5:45, confession is from 6-6:15 on Thursday's if you're wondering.  As I walked in, I saw it was Adoration...SCORE!!!!  So, I sat down in front of Jesus and talked with Him.  All the while marveling that 'how cool is this!  It's first Friday and I get to go to adoration before confession!!!!  I thought first Friday's ended at noon!  I don't care the reason, this is awesome!"  So, adoration ended and Fr. Eugene goes into the confessional room (we have rooms now, not boxes).  And the line of sinners form to enter.

So, I'm in line, about four people back waiting for my turn.  Dear God, how's he gonna get to me in 15 minutes not to mention the people behind me.  Is anyone even in the room?  Did anyone go in?  It's been like forever!  He's gonna come out and see the line o people and wander why no one went in!  Good Lord, is anyone gonna peek and see if someone is in there?  Then the line moved, yup, someone was in there.  The next two people moved in and out quickly.  Then the person in front of me went.  Seriously?  It's been forever since this person is in there!  Don't they know that I have sins to confess?  Dude, I'm so not staying for Mass, I have to go home and throw the dumplings in the crock pot and then head of to bunco!  Ohhh, I have an idea!  Rumor is (well, if it comes from a guru, it's not a rumor but for this blog sake, we'll say it was) that Fr. Eugene give Rosary's as a penance.  Can I do a preemptive Rosary while I'm waiting?  Yea, God shot that down pretty quick.  I think His words were along the lines of "no, and you know better" lol  But he said it in a jovial way, not like He was mad.  He was laughing at me being me.  The person in front is still going on.  But I really want to go to confession!  Well, you know, that person in there really may be burdened.  They probably need it more than I do.  Well, no, I need it too.  But my burdens aren't any less important than theirs.  Fr. Eugene isn't going to have time for me today I fear.  Yes, I love the feeling that comes with being absolved of my sins.  But I don't do it for the feeling....mostly.  I do it to be forgiven.  And, I can come back tomorrow too.  Even if it's not during confession time, I'm sure I can make an appointment with Fr. Euguene.

And, that's when the person in front of me came out.  Fr. Eugene only had time for one more.  That was me!  Now, when I sat down, he didn't rush me.  I rushed because I knew he had to get ready for Mass.  But he seemed content to sit there and listen to whatever it was I had to say.  It's funny, sometimes, usually, I do an examination of conscience.  That means from the time of my last confession to the present, I think of all the ways I've sinned.  Yea, how much time do you have?  Then, sometimes when I go in to confess, there's not a lot of time and so I rattle of my list, making sure I get the most important ones out.  By the way, my penance was a Rosary, the glorious mysteries AND, YES THERE'S AN read Paul's letter to the Corinthians's Chapter 3.  I can do that!  Sure, there are times when I forgot to confess something I thought of in line, but a priest at Montserrat had said to me once, that the intent was there, it's okay.  So, I think of what I want to confess.  I think it's God's way of showing me what I've done wrong.  Then, when I get in the confessional, the things that are bothering me most come out.  God also has this way of putting me in my place, but in a good way.  Like standing in the confessional line.  I went from "why can't this person hurry up I want to confess my sins I'm in a hurry". To, "you know, they are just as important to God as I am.  I can come back tomorrow".  And then viola, God says just like Mema did "Now you're cookin with gas" lol

My bunco group, as you know is full of my nearest and dearest friends.  The aforementioned guru is part of the group as well.  We sat there for a while before bunco started, when everyone is catching up, to share our confession tales.  Please note, while it is against the rules for a priest to tell anyone what he heard in the confessional, the person doing the confessing can.  There's nothing greater than sharing who you truly are, warts and all with your friends...especially a guru.  And, I told her how excited I was to have first Friday adoration.  Then, this whole reasoning happened in the span of about three seconds..."How could it have been first Friday if today was Thursday?  It's Thursday!  I got to go to Adoration!"  God knows exactly what I needed!  Patti and I had a great laugh! I know this is going to come as a shock to you.  I know you're sitting there thinking "But Gina, you're so awesome, you don't need to go to confession and you don't have warts!"  And, I thank you for thinking that, but friends, I am as human as they come.  I fail every single day.  Sometimes, many times a day.  But I keep getting back up.  Then, at the end of the day, I fall into bed tired and bruised and I end my day with God.  Last night before bed, I read Corinthians's chapter three.  Funny thing is, I had part of it highlighted already.  Then, I reached for my Rosary.  Not just any Rosary mind you.  Mom's Rosary.  It's kept by my bedside always.  Both Mema and my Grandpa's Rosary's hang from my headboard.  In the drawer by my bed I have my siblings and my Rosary from when we were children.  But, when I pray the Rosary in my room, it's always Mom's Rosary I use.  Let's just say it's been a while since I've said a Rosary in my room.

I pick up Mom's Rosary and tears begin to fall.  Not a lot, not a big boo hoo fest, but they come just the same.  I miss Mom.  It will be four years this December that she's been gone.  And, while praying the Rosary, I felt her with me.  It was a beautiful feeling. 

Here's something weird.  We had a priest before Fr. Eugene came.  I went to confession with him once and he gave me a Rosary plus 12 Hail Mary's as my penance.  I went around telling people "I DIDN'T MURDER ANYONE AND I GOT A ROSARY PLUS 12 HAIL MARY'S!!!"  This time though, I don't know if it's because I knew I was getting a Rosary ahead of time or if it's because the first time I heard Fr. Eugene do a mass I knew he and I were going to be friends, but I didn't mind saying a Rosary and doing the reading.  And, in doing the reading, I can see why he chose it for me.  Very cool.

So, that's the story from my confession yesterday.  Whoever said "confession is good for the soul" new what they were talking about. 
Until next time,
It's Friday, give someone a hug today!

PS.  Mom, they're not always funny :D

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The elastic in my underwear is shot and other observations...

I started my day around 630am.  I had to pack up the traveling pilgrim Virgin Mary that I've had for two weeks and send her off to the next person.  This always makes me a little sad.  I like having her in my house.  It just brings me comfort.

I continued my day getting something out of my wallet which I put back in my purse (I could have swore I did!).  I then head of to rock the hair net, aka work.  Turns out, one of my coworkers wasn't in today.  No worries.  I rocked the line I was on as usual.  As I was doing my work this morning, before lunch, I noticed my underwear kept sliding down in the back.  The elastic was shot.  Darn me for pulling that string! lol  So, I was doing some sort of hoochie coochie dance trying to get them back up without a) looking like I was trying to relieve myself or b)giving myself a wedgie.  Finally, it got to the point that I just said frack it.  If they fall down, I've got pants on.  And, I didn't worry about them the rest of the day! 

Then, it wouldn't be a day at my job if someone wasn't complaining about the conotworker.  So, finally I said "if she left, after the cheering, party and parade, who would we talk about? "  My coworker said 'each other probably'.  Thing is, the rest of us, we can laugh at ourselves.  Trust me, I was laughing about my undies falling down and shared it with one of my coworkers.  If I can make people laugh, awesome!

Then, I go to Kroger.  Yea, I found a recipe for chicken and dumplings in the crock pot.  All I needed was cream of chicken soup and biscuits from the dairy isle.  No prob.  I go to pay, go to get out my wallet, annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd it's not in there.  So, I head home, minus my two ingredients.  I was all excited b/c George is staying late at work today, dinner would cook all afternoon and be ready when he got home.  So, I get home, look for my wallet.  Nowhere to be found.  Go back to the minivan, nope it's not there.  Look on the couch, nope it's not there.  I'm a little freaked at this point.  What's a girl to do?  I pray to St. Anthony.  "Please, dude, help me find my wallet".   I fruitlessly look a little more, then I sit on the floor to play with Iggy.  Just then, out of the corner of my eye, I see my wallet.  On the couch.  Where I just looked.  So of course I send up thank you's to God, St. Anthony, Mema "and anyone who found it and put it on the couch".

This has already been a grace filled week, and it's only Wednesday.  I say grace filled, minus the underwear situation.  We drove out to Texas A&M on Monday for a tour.  It was beautiful.  And, I was having moments of panic and uncertainty.  My good friend and neighbor, Cat, happened to text me during the trip and she was awesome at making me not fly off the handle and be rational.  She's awesome.  Then, I come home and explain the trip to my Carol.  She's amazing.  She too is the voice of reason that I usually lack.  My son is a wonderful young man.  He's going to be just fine.  My Patti says "surrender all your children to God".  So, that's what I'm doing.  Really hard for a control freak like me! lol

Yesterday was my niece, Elizabeth's birthday!  She's officially NINE!  I get to make the cake!  They're coming over on Sunday for dinner and cake.  I love my niece and nephews so much.  Anything I can do to make them happy, makes me happy.

Then, I had some conversations with my Tina.  We have conversations that if they were ever recorded would make Hugh Heffner blush! lol  We have so much fun and laugh so hard.  Sure, we're serious sometimes, but usually, not so much! lol  Her birthday is 9/11.  She'll be FORTY this year!  I told her forty is awesome.  The best gift is turning forty.  With it comes the 'I don't give a crap attitude'.  It's awesome!

Then, today, one of my favorite grace filled moments happened.  My Jenni called today just to chat.  And, as we're talking, we're trying to plan a time where we can go to lunch.  Just the two of us.  And, she says how she wants to spend special time, just her and I together.  How awesome is that?  God and my friends make me feel so loved :D

My ultimate favorite moment, grace filled and otherwise, was driving down to Texas A&M with George.  Yes, Jaime was with us.  But four hours each way of just me and George time, that was awesome!  We laughed, we talked, we didn't talk.  We don't have too.  We love the silent moments just as much as other times.  It was just lovely.  One of my favorite blessings of the week.

So, I have some prayer requests for you guys:
My friend Cat had to put her beloved dog to rest last Friday.  Please pray for healing for their family.
My other friend, her dog had surgery today for a ruptured spleen.  Please say prayers of healing for their family.  And, a happy birthday to their senior!
Prayers of thanksgiving for my Elizabeth on her birthday.
Prayers of discernment for Jaime as he chooses a college.

Until next time,
Look for the grace moments during your day :D

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

True calling, the dentist and rocket science

I am a smart alec.  Big time.  For those of you who don't know me well, trust me.  And, one of these days, my mouth is going to get me into trouble and possibly get me fired.  So, you say "just keep your mouth shut".  Clearly, you don't know me then.  I talk all the time, and, I promise, it's not just to hear myself talk.  I missed my first calling as a back up singer, which I was totally born to do, and then I missed my true calling as a comedienne!  I love the sound of laughter.  I love, LOVE to make my friends laugh, even if it's at my own expense. I talk to friends about what's bugging them, I talk about my faith, and I talk about injustices.

I happen to like my job.  It's not rocket science (thank God for that! lol  All that math!  Makes me shudder!).  It's four hours a day, and it keeps me off the streets and mostly out of trouble.  However, there's a huge injustice going on there.  It's been going on for even longer than the three years I've been there.  Everyone knows about it, including the managers.  The manager can't do anything because the main hiring/firing person won't do anything about it.  This injustice happens because this coworker (can you call them a coworker if they don't work?) kept because of the color of their skin.  They do not work.  They do whatever they wish, when they wish.  This week, our psuedo assistant mgr told the mgr that the other workers are getting fed up with the situation and having to do our work plus the other persons and it's only week TWO!  She was told by Mr. Manager that if said person doesn't do what they're suppose to that the rest of us "will have to pick up said persons slack".  That did not go over well.

So, yesterday, my mouth was in full gear.  Truth be told, it was awesome! lol  We were doing the dishes and Mr. Manager comes over to help and I looked at him and said "don't worry, we got it, we're picking up the slack."  Not said meanly, but more comically.  He just waved me off.   I don't care what color you are, you could be any color under the sun or a combination of all the colors like the fruit stripped zebra, but if you can't do your job, you shouldn't be there.   What makes it worse is that we know that nothing can be or better yet, will be done to change the situation.  And, as I said, it's only week two!

I know I'm not suppose to judge.  All of us at work try daily not to complain about the situation.  Honestly, we do, but then something happens and BAM....We're right there with "did you just see that?"  What makes it worse is that we KNOW that if we acted the way this conotworker did, we would be written up then fired.  And, the others wouldn't have to pick up our slack.   So, we try our best not to complain and not to judge.  And, as I was stewing about the situation last night it occurred to me, what would we do if the employee was ever removed?  I mean, after the raging party where we all laughed cheered and had a party in the streets.  Who would we talk about?  What would we complain about?  Is it possible that it would be no one?  Now, I must stress to you that none of us at work are perfect.  Nope, not a one.  And, you put more than two women together, things can get a bit feisty.  Which I'd be okay with.  I'm thinkin though, that the torch and pitchforks we carry around we wouldn't need anymore.  Oh, wouldn't that be wonderful!

So, Jesus is all "love your neighbor as yourself".  Am I the only one out there who has trouble with this one?  First off, it took me years, eons, even to like myself.  Really like my quirkiness and embrace who I am let alone love myself.  How am I suppose to love my neighbor?  I don't even know who my neighbors are, well except for Cat and Patrick and I  just love them :D  Shout out to the Underwoods!!!!  I mean I see the neighbors to occasionally say hello too, but how am I suppose to love them, if I don't know them?  I mean, I don't wish ill will on them.  I don't wish anything bad to befall them.  So, here's my dilema.  I go to work everyday, knowing full well that at some point I'm gonna be irked, no matter how hard I work the 'don't fret' mantra.  I don't want to have to work with the injustice everyday, but I have too.  What's the alternative?  How would I feel if I were this conotworker that as a person is okay but as a conotworker no one can stand?  I cannot put myself in their shoes because I'm a worker.  I do what is needed to get the job done.  So, sometimes I take my own advice and pray for said conotworker.  It's easy to pray for the people you like, try doing it for the people you don't.  Maybe that's why conotworker is there.  To teach me patience and tolerance (isn't that why I have teenagers? lol) and not to judge.

Every dentist I've ever been to says "you have such a small mouth!"  And, I just chuckle.  I use my mouth to praise God and my family and friends.  I use my mouth to feed me (sometimes more than I should, but seriously, have you tried the pizza from Joe's Italian Bistro!?) and I use my mouth to judge and hurt others.  I know that's not what I'm suppose to do.  But, I am human, and I have some major failings.  Judging being one of them.  I called up my bff the other day and said "Hey, I read this on judging and it reminded me of us!" lol  "We need to work on our judging"  And, then I went to work and judged the conotworker.   There's a reason we are taught to *become* like Jesus.  That's because we are *not* Jesus.  I don't like being judge for how I look, my quirkiness, my weight, my hair color or my big mouth.  No one likes to be judge, that is of course, unless you're the winner!   Ever play Monopoly?  Whenever one of us got the card that said "you won second prize in a beauty contest" inevitably one of us siblings who didn't get the card would say "Yea, you were the only one that showed up!"  Funny, right?  Point is no one likes to be judged.  So, I will continue to show up everyday and work and try not to judge.  And, try and keep my mouth shut and not be fired.  After all, I really like the people I work with, sans, the conotworker.  We laugh and we have fun and get the job done.  And, after all, it's not rocket science (shuddering at the amount of math they have to know)

Until next time,
Pray for baby Lily who is getting baptized on Saturday

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's the little things

Like when I'm at work and my friend mops my area or my friend finishes filling out a log for me because I had ketchup all over my gloves.

Like when I'm having a get together and my friend gives me her box of wine that she wasn't using and won't take any money for it.

Like when I can hear my mom smile over the phone.

When my daughter is so thankful that I picked her up from school so she didn't have to carry both pairs of her band shoes and all her school stuff.

When my son brings me bbq home from his work (Rudy's) just because.

When my husband meets me at the grocery store to switch cars because his has air and the air in the minivan is going wacky.

When my best friend calls and says "YOU'RE ALIVE!""""  It's been days since we've talked!

Or when my other best friend calls first thing in the morning to share her day with me.

It's when my friends stops by with extra coupons that they're not using.

It's when my girls wash the dog just because.  Or my son puts gas in the minivan as thanks for taking him too and from work. 

It's an email from my dad, George telling me all about his trip and what an awesome time he had. 

It's my new motto at work "don't fret".  It's not my line, it doesn't concern me, so I won't fret over it.  This week has been full of blessings, as is every week, I just actually paid attention this week! lol

It's cool when I actually pay attention how much I notice God and His blessings.  What's that scripture line about being good with little things and He'll give you big things?  I can't remember.  But, you get my point.

God is awesome.  I just have to pay attention more.  And, if I'm diligent with the small stuff, then I won't miss the big stuff :D

What are you missing by not paying attention?

Until next time,
Pray for members of our parish who lost their 11 month old son.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Funerals, Friends, and Audrey Hepburn

I have a love hate relationship with funerals. 

I sing at funerals.  As often as my schedule lets me.  And, at every funeral I sing, I cry, whether I know the person or not.  Today, I sang at a funeral.  While I knew who the gentleman was, my dear friends, dad, I didn't know him well.

I often wonder what goes through peoples minds during a funeral.  Not the family of the deceased, but the people who came to support their friend or family member.  Me?  I tend to think of lots of things.  I think about my own funeral.  If the reading that was done during this funeral I would like for mine.  I think of who I want to do what.  Yes, I know, I have control issues.  I do not want "May the Angels Lead You into Paradise" sung at my funeral!  While it's a pretty song, it's WAY overdone, in my honest opinion.  I would prefer Pie Jesus.  Such an amazing song! 

Then, after I think about my own funeral, I think about the last person close to me who passed away.  In this case it was my Mema a year ago.  When I see the family walk up at the beginning of the Mass, I remember walking behind Mom's (George's) coffin.  I tend to look at the family.  I know that Fr. Tim is talking to them, will they be able to hear and remember what he's saying?  Will they remember what was said at the Eulogy (fyi, my favorite part of funerals!).  Then, I remember back to Mom's funeral.  I remember Father said the Mom 'lived the beatitudes'.  I don't remember much from the eulogy done by a family friend, but I remember smiling and that he described Mom very well.  So, I think that my friend and her family absorbed what they need to help them cope through the coming trials of life without their loved one.

As I said above, I like to watch the family.  I saw grief, sure, but I saw pure love.  Pure amazing love.  From a Dad consoling his son at the loss of his grandfather.  I saw pure love as the grandchildren walked back to get the gifts to present at the altar and one of the older grandchildren put his arm around a grandchild just a little younger than him.  I watched how one of the grandchildren altar served.  I marveled at just how hard that had to be for him, yet how beautiful that he was able to serve and be a part of something so very special.  I saw husbands consoling wives.  I saw a son consoling his mother and sister while grieving himself.  I saw a beautiful, strong, family bond.  I saw Jesus.

You're probably scratching your head wondering why the eulogy is my favorite part of a funeral mass, and I'll tell you.  The eulogy is the part of the mass where someone gets up to talk about the deceased.  Sometimes, more than one person.  And, it's all good stuff.  I mean, have you guys ever been to a funeral where the person gets up and says "Man, that Mike, what a schmuck, huh!?  He was an alcoholic who couldn't even walk straight when he was sober!"  No, people say nice things.  Deacon Ron gave a most beautiful eulogy of my friends dad today.  Her dad passed along messages through Deacon Ron.  How cool is that!  And, to see Deacon Ron so stoic as he talked so lovingly about his friend that he just lost was amazing.  I love the eulogy because it's a chance to share with everyone how great the deceased was.  Even if they had problems, they were loved.  There's always something nice to say about everyone, even if you have to dig a little deeper sometimes.  And, the eulogy reminds us that are left that a) we are human, as we all like to forget sometimes, b) that life is fleeting, c) that we have work to do, and d) that we are loved.  I take something away from each funeral I attend with the intentions of working on that myself, from living the beatitudes, to saying a rosary everyday, to being a better person.  And, as usual, I constantly fall short.  And, you know what?  That's okay.  I'm human.

Now, why I hate funerals.

Well, first is the obvious, someone died.  That means someone is grieving.  Someone lost someone so dear to them.  As I've said before, one of my favorite things about me is my least favorite thing about me, my heart.  It feels *everything*, including empathy.  For those of you who don't know what that is, empathy is your pain, I feel, in my heart.  Secondly, I dislike funerals b/c I know how my family works.  I have come from a big family with aunts and uncles and cousins all of which we're not close to for one reason or another.  So, when someone passes, there won't be the closeness and the Jesus of it all and with that, I feel sad.  Now, on George's side, I am exceptionally close to his dad.  He is the dad that I've always wanted.  He loves me, warts and all.  True, unconditional, love.  When he goes, I'll be a basket case.  Ditto when my mom goes.  Funny thing...I've always said that when Mema passed away I'd have to be put in the nut house because I'll go crazy.  And, after she did, it took a long time for me to feel semi normal.  Funerals and the grief and my heart, take me right back to Mema's death and I struggle for just a little bit.

Why then, do I continue to sing at funerals if I cry and get a little depressed all over again?  Because whether it's the deceased, a family member or friend, or someone singing in the choir, everyone needs to feel loved.  And, like Audry Hepburn says ""I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it."

Until next time,
Pray for the repose of the soul of my friends Dad and for all those grieving.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

God, Mary Boyle, and Dionne Warwick

Good morning!

Everyone have your cup o joe? tea? red bull?  Sit back, relax.  I have some things to share.

This has been an amazing week.  Are you guys aware it's only Wednesday!?!  Like Ferris Bueller says "Life moves at the speed of light.  If you don't stop and look around, you might miss something".  So, this is me, stopping and looking around.

Monday, I stopped by my Carol's to drop some stuff off.  (No, not the kids, they were dropped off the night before. lol) And, in the process she wanted to give George and I a little thank you for helping her and Brian out.  Now, for those of you who don't know, I have a hard time receiving.  I'm what you call a giver.  It makes me blissfully happy to, hugs, gifts (bad advice! lol) it doesn't matter.  George taught me how to receive but that's easy when it comes from him.  Although I'm still waiting on my cottage in Ireland! lol.  But, from, others.  It's difficult to receive.  So, here we are and she wants to give me something, even though it is totally unnecessary, which she knows.  I say "you know how hard it is for me to receive".  And in true best friend only style she says "I know, just say "thank you".  So, me, close to tears, says 'thank you'.  That was a grace filled moment.

Then, yesterday, Tuesday, I went to Mass.  Have I told you how much I love Fr. Eugene!?  I haven't even officially met him yet, but he just has this air about him.  Like a Fr. Antony air.  Not that he is or can replace my Fr. Antony.  Which reminds me, Fr. Antony, if you're reading this, don't forget I sent you an email :D.  But, I digress.  Fr. Eugene has some really great homilies.  Then, after Mass, I got to see my Russ for a few minutes!  He's on his way to Boston for orientation so, please say some prayers for him. 

 Then, I stopped in to see my Mary.  Anytime I spend with Mary is good time.  Even if it's for a few minutes.  I can check in on her.  See how I can help make her life a little easier.  She is amazing and yet another one of my favorite gifts from my chrp weekend.  Yesterday, we had time for some beautiful conversation.  And, in the course she says "look how far you've come in seven years!"  She's so smart.  Yup, Mary, God is good.  If seven years ago you told me I'd have two best friends instead of none, I'd tell you you were crazy.  If you told me that my faith would grow in leaps and bounds, I'd say you were nuts.  If you told me, I'd not only read the bible, but that I would have favorite scriptures and stories, I'd say you were a bible thumper and to please leave me alone.  Seven years later, I have two best friends, multiple spiritual gurus, 2 amazing podmates, favorite scripture, favorite psalms, favorite stories and parables from the bible.  I've got my funeral planned (minus the songs, they keep changing, but I have my favorite readings listed and my Teresa is doing my eulogy.  No, as far as I know I'm not going anytime soon, you know me, I have to have control! lol) I now want to be cremated and permanently reside at 1515 Greenville ave (for those of you who don't know, it's my church).  After all, it is my home :D  In seven years, I have been blessed so much, that if the blessings cease, I have enough to last me a lifetime.  In seven years, I have been blessed with  3 spiritual retreats, many amazing silent retreats, and a marriage retreat.  I have gained so many wonderful friends.  I've learned how to have friends and to be a friend.  I've learned how not to guard my heart so close.  I've learned that friendships come and go, but love stays forever.  I've learned that God gives me what I need even though I don't know I need it.  The biggest being my husband.  I've learned what adoration is and how it's a part of me.  I'm learning, albeit slowly, that God is patient with me and I need to be patient with myself.  And, also slowly, that life is a marathon, not a sprint.  I don't have to have everything RIGHT NOW! lol

Last night, my husband and I sat at a band meeting for freshman parents.  I couldn't help but feel bittersweet.  It's Sarah's first year in the Allen Band.  It's Jaime's SENIOR YEAR.  My son is going to go off to college and leave me.  He's going to grow into the man that God created him to be.  This sucks.  Not really.  I know it's a good thing.  I've been focusing a lot on next fall when he goes off to college.  If I keep that up, I will miss all the good stuff that's about to happen.  So, I am trying to focus on the present.  However, that doesn't stop me from getting teary eyed.  So, in the words of one of my favorite singers Dionne Warwick "if you see me walking down the street, and I start to cry, each time we meet...walk on by".  I promise you, nothings wrong.  No one died.  Life isn't over.  It's just my heart coming out through my eyes.

So, that's where we are today.  Wednesday.  Totally filled, with love, grace, and coffee.

Until next time,
Pray for the freshman who are marching in the heat.