Sunday, December 27, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Why? Why do we do it to ourselves?
We’re all just moms.
Why do we think (even though we know better) that all the other moms have everything under control…all of the time? Why do we see messes in our own homes and feel badly because the other moms surely never have messes like the ones we have? Or at least not as often as we do? Why do we sometimes feel like a failure when our kids don’t obey…again?
Monday, December 14, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
St. Lorenzo Ruiz is quoted as saying "If I had one thousand lives, I would give them all to God." He said this to his executioner right before he was hung by his feet for two days until he died a martyr's death in the year 1637.
I read recently in Hallowed Be this House by Thomas Howard that "going to sleep is a small metaphor for death." I had never thought of it that way. This led me to meditate on how waking up in the morning is a "small metaphor" for being born. Which then led me to consider how each day can be regarded as a metaphor for one life.
Sometimes in my day-in and day-out routines, I get caught up in mediocrity. The days roll by and I seem to live as though each day does not matter. But now I feel challenged to treat each day as though I am living my life out in one day. From the time I wake up (birth) to the moment my head hits the pillow (death), I want to live for God. I want to give all my days to God in this way; which leads me to view the quote from St. Lorenzo Ruiz in a different light. When I first heard that quote, I thought "I hope I would have the courage to say that (and mean it) if I was about to be martyred." In reality, I know the answer, which lies in this question: How could I possibly have the strength to say that with sincerity if I don't even live every day of the one life that I do have for God? Don't get me wrong, I live some days for God, but not most.
Friday, December 4, 2009
1. I'm not sure why, but I haven't been feeling too inspired lately in regards to blogging. I'm sure you have noticed by my lack of posting! I have been busy - but no more busy than I have been in the past. Regardless of my inspirational drought, I will keep pressing on and do my quick takes this week. =)
2. We went up to Bellingham for Thanksgiving. It was very refreshing to be with Andrew's parents, Lou and Jenna, and friends. Mom St.Hilaire sure is a great cook! I was in charge of the mashed potatoes, which turned out well. Since I generally don't eat turkey, mashed potatoes are my main dish for Thanksgiving. Yum, yum, yum, I love potatoes! While we were in town, I was able to visit with some friends that I took care of when I worked for Catholic Community Services. I hadn't seen either of them since before our wedding, so it was great to catch up!
3. I've been busy baking Christmas cookies. I am trying to get a bunch done a head of time so I have less to do around Christmas. Hopefully they make it to the freezer before we eat them all now! Here are the recipes for the cookies I am making this year:
Chocolate Toffee Crunchies (SO good!)
Lemon Drop Cookies
Chocolate Crackle Cookies
Holly Christmas Cookies
4. Andrew got a beer brewing kit about a month ago. He just began brewing his first batch of beer last Sunday. If all goes well, it will be ready by Christmas!
5. We just saw the movie "UP" last week. I really enjoyed it - So much that I watched it again last night. See it. It's good!
6. Another recommendation: I just bought the book Super Baby Food. It is very informative and I am learning a lot. It has great recipes for making your own baby food. Under the guidance of this book, I made some brown rice for John. First I ground it in our coffee grinder. It turned to powder and then I boiled it in some water. I felt very accomplished - until John showed great disgust during his meal. Maybe I can doctor it up somehow...
7. John is SO CLOSE to crawling! I bet he will be crawling within a week or two - definitely before Christmas! Today he was holding himself up on his hands and then flexing his legs out so that he was holding himself up by his hands and toes (See pictures below). It looked like he was ready to do a push up! Overall, John is doing great! He is a healthy, happy, and joyful guy. I love spending my days with him!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
1. John loves, what we call, his "ocean chair." When he kicks and moves around, it sings songs and bubbles show up on the little aquarium screen. I put him in this chair whenever I need to get something done (usually cooking). Anyway, one morning this week I set him down so I could go get ready for the day. I noticed he got awfully quiet after a few minutes. I went in the kitchen to have a peak and this is what I found:
2. Most of the time, I wake up in the morning because John is ready to get up. One day last week I woke up before him and just couldn't help capturing a picture of my cutie pie! I wonder if his arm fell asleep...
3. Last Friday we went to an alumni get-together with folks we knew from the Catholic Newman Center at WWU. We were out pretty late. I brought John's pajamas so he could fall asleep in the car on the way home and we could just put him in bed when we got home. He was playing with the Rosary that I hung from his car seat for awhile and then feel asleep while holding it!! =) We think he fell asleep during the second decade:
4. Uncle Aaron must be really comfortable! John seems to like taking his naps right on his lap! The first picture is of John when he was about two months old. The second picture is from Andrew's birthday party!
5. I began writing this post yesterday while John was sleeping on my back in the Ergo carrier:
6. Don't you just want to cuddle with him? Wow, I'm feeling sleepy after looking at all these pictures! Sleep well tonight everyone!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Artichokes with hollandaise sauce
Breaded pesto chicken over a bed on linguine
French garlic bread
xnjvhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhd d h m,,,,,,mmmmmmdrfcv ,vv,, ,,,,,gggggggggggggggf gf,,,,,,,,,,,g,
I'm pretty sure that means "Happy Birthday Dad, I love you so much!!"
And here is a birthday message from me:
Andrew, happy birthday! You are such a wonderful husband and father. I am so happy that you were born on this day 23 years ago! May Our Lord continue to bless you during this next year of your life and always!
Love, Lindsey and ewuf (John typing his name)
Friday, November 6, 2009
1. John likes cereal: We started feeding John rice cereal this week. He seems to be enjoying it. I mix it with breast milk so that it tastes familiar. I have him eating cereal only once a day. Last Saturday, we experimented and gave him some cheesy grits. We were eating them and thought he might like them too... not so much!
2. New High Chair: A few weeks ago we bought a great high chair off of Craigslist. It was listed in North Seattle and that's where my brother lives. So I emailed him about it to see if he could pick it up for us. Later that day, I got a call from my dad. He said they were looking at a high chair and began describing it to me. It sounded exactly like the one I saw on Craigslist. "Where are you?" I asked my dad. "North Seattle," he replied. I was amazed... how did they know about that high chair?? Then my brother got on my dad's phone and explained that they were together and decided to go look at the chair. I had no clue my parents were going to see my brother. I was so confused. But it worked out well because my parents were able to get the chair and bring it home that night! So in just one day, we went from not having a high chair to having a beautiful one!
3. Mom and Dad St.Hilaire just got back from a trip to Italy with Lou, Jenna, and some friends. They have been gone for over a week now. Mom called Andrew today to announce their return. They will be coming down to visit next weekend. We are so excited to hear their stories and see lots of pictures (I hear they took over one-thousand!!).
4. Mother's Group: I am helping out with a mother's support group at Star of the Sea. We had an informational meeting on Thursday, but we won't begin meeting regularly until January. We had a good turn out at the meeting! I am so excited! We will be using the "Women of Grace" program. It looks great!
5. PYC: I also began helping with another group this week. I will be co-leading a group called Pro-life Youth Committee (PYC). I hope that a lot of my former students will get involved with it so I can see them more often! There is so much potential for this group. There are not many members at this point, so please keep this group in your prayers! We will be doing a kick-off party in December.
6. ACP: Andrew's has been tirelessly working with our friend, Tom, in their group called the Anti-Choice Project (ACP). This group began in February and has really sparked a lot of controversy and conversion in Bremerton. They have been covered in our local news paper several times since February. This Winter, Andrew and Tom will be focusing more on the organizational aspect of the group, so next year they can have an even greater presence in Kitsap County and other areas in Washington. I am proud of Andrew's dedication to defending the unborn in our society.
7. Milestone for John: During the last week, I have been hearing about how babies should be falling asleep on their own around the age of 6 months. I know there are different ways of parenting, and I try not worry if I'm not doing everything like everyone else. That being said, I felt that John was far from falling asleep on his own - when going down for a nap or to bed at night, I would typically nurse him until he was sound asleep. Then I would carefully get up and leave him on the bed. This has worked for us so far, but it was cumbersome at times because when I got up to leave he would often wake up. I felt like I was stuck in bed with him until he was in a deep sleep. This took a lot of time out of my days and nights. So last night we did our night routine and I nursed him, but instead of staying with him, I got up and left after he was done nursing. He cried. We decided that we would let him cry for about 10 minutes and then go in to comfort him. He cried for about 9 minutes and then it got awfully quite in the bedroom. Andrew went to go check on him and found our precious little boy sound asleep! We were both amazed! That seemed pretty easy! Today I have done the same thing for both of his naps. He did not cry at all today, he just went to sleep after I got up. Who knows, maybe he is just being good now and it will take a turn for the worse. I sure hope not!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Next mission: Our closet - aka - John's future bedroom. I know what your thinking and yes it is a big closet; he won't get claustrophobic! Just wait for the pictures! =)
Irena Sendler's story was our case study last night at encounter. Our resolution was to share her story. So please, watch this short but very inspirational video about Irena:
Monday, November 2, 2009
We decided to dress him up as Fr. Lappe! I modeled his costume after what Fr. Lappe wore for John's baptism:
We were going to go to Star for the Saints party... but we just didn't get out of the house in time. But we did get to go to Krystal and Mike's party. Krystal and I have been friends since we were teens. They just got married this last summer and they bought a house a couple blocks away from us. It's nice having them so close!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
In trying to capture this hairstyle, we acquired a wig and I gave it a hair cut. I'm not sure the resemblance is close enough. What do you think?
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
During my years growing up, I always had access to the computer, video games, and TV. Screen time has taken up a lot of my life. I would hate to know how much time I have wasted doing mindless things in front of a screen during my life. But it stops here!
I think having John has spurred my sudden disgust for screens - and when I say "screens" I mean anything on the TV, computer, phone...). Sometimes while I am on the computer I will look down and see my precious baby looking at me while I sit in staring at the screen. This made me wonder what kind of things he is already learning from me. I bet he is learning that the computer is very important (insert sarcasm!). Whenever the TV is on, John will stare at it - so I know he already has the inclination to watch screens. For example, my mom was holding John at Mass last Sunday. Fr. Lappe showed a video for the "Catholics Come Home" campaign. The second the video began, John twisted his head around to watch!
I want John to grow up wanting to play outside and go places. I want him to have real experiences instead of vicariously watching characters on a screen living fake lives. In a way, this really relates to being pro-life (in the general sense of the phrase) because I want him to be out in the world living, as opposed to sitting on a couch and wasting his time.
Lately, I have been craving real human contact - not the superficial contact that I get on the computer on by watching TV. While I was driving in the car the other day, I was looking at the people around me in their cars. There we were on the same road, feet away from each other, going in the same direction, and I will likely never speak to them. How sad it is that we live our lives in close proximity to other people but we are very far away in our minds and hearts.
In my generation, we feel the need to "veg" by doing something mindless. I am tired of vegging. I want to use my mind. I want to be productive. Most importantly, I want John to use his mind, be productive, and have an active and full life - lived for God.
Turing my disgust into action:
So what now? My life is very interwoven with my time on the computer. I plan my meals, get recipes, get emails, read, stay up to date with friends, blog, shop...
Last night, Andrew and I were talking about all of this. We know that the computer and internet can be used for very good things. But Satan can turn these good things into vices. So, I will still use the computer, but only in moderation. I think moderation is the key.
I will do this by only spending a half an hour each day on the computer (yes, I am actually going to time myself!). I will still do all the good things I have done on the computer, but just less frequently. In this way, I hope to be a good example for John and spend more time doing my motherly duties.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
"... to get in touch with the people as early as possible; to make sure of the concurrence of those families who enjoyed general respect; to make the good yet more perfect; to bring back the indifferent; to convert open and public evil-doers; above all, to persevere in prayer to God from whom all blessings flow; to sanctify himself so as to be able to sanctify others, and to offer expiation for the sins of those who refused to do penance for themselves."
In this year of the priests, let us be every thankful for our priests who live out similar goals. We are so blessed to have priests who embody their role as "Father" and tend to our spiritual needs.
Friday, October 16, 2009
1. Friends: We hosted our friends, the Hardwicks, from Monday through Thursday. They were here to put on the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) - WARNING: link contains graphic images - at the UW on Wednesday and Thursday. We had a lot of fun with them! Janet and Darius have five wonderful and beautiful kids. It was fun to watch John try to interact with them.
2. GAP: Andrew, John, and I were able to go to GAP yesterday. Andrew went for the whole day, while John and I went for the last two hours. The whole time I was there, I had a great conversation with a woman who was "on the fence" about the abortion issue. By the end of our discussion, she seemed to largely agree with the pro-life side. She still struggles with the issues of rape and when the mother's life is in danger (which is a small fraction of the abortions that occur). I am so glad I was able to get through to her.
3. Christmas: I have decided that I am going to try to make most of my Christmas presents this year. When I was younger, I would always make gifts for my loved ones. It is great for me to make presents because I put so much time and love into them. Come Christmas morning, I am always SO excited for everyone to open my gifts. I already have ideas about what I am going to make... I better start now!
4. Milestones: John is starting to sit on his own! He is still working on building his core muscles, so he flops over pretty easily. But he is able to support himself for a good chunk of time before falling over. We have been practicing on the bed, then it won't hurt when he falls to the side.
5. Fixing things up: Our bathroom underwent some fixing this week. The fan for the shower was not working well because some birds thought the vent would be a lovely place for their nest. So my parents had their contractor come and replace the fan. This involved taking the ceiling apart, replacing the moldy insulation, installing the new fan, and putting new sheet rock on the ceiling. My parents also had blinds installed in our living room and kitchen. I'll be showing before and after pictures soon!
6. Organizing: We finished organizing all of our junk in the garage. It is now neatly organized in my "Duggar boxes!" We feel pretty proud of ourselves! We also donated a lot more stuff that we didn't need anymore. It is so liberating to let go of unnecessary clutter!
7. Random: As I was eating dried fruit this week, I wondered - why are dried grapes called "raisins," while any other dried fruit is called "dried _______ (mango...)"?
Friday, October 9, 2009
1. Organizing: Last week I worked on organizing all of our junk in the garage. We tried to get it done by the time my parents came home from their week long trip to Oregon. We almost did it, but I have a little more to do.
2. Visit to Bellingham: We went up to Bellingham last weekend. It was jam-packed with good visiting. We had dinner with my Grandma on the way up, dinner on Saturday with Mom, Dad, Lou, Jenna, Cousin Erin, Bill, Sydney, Uncle Pat, and Francine (an honorary Grandma), we also visited with Fr. Qui-Thac, and we spent time with our good friends Katelyn, Jon, and Oliver Ralston! It was so great to see everyone!
3. Synonyms for weird: I realized that I say "weird" a lot. In fact, I think it has become a problem. Now that I recognize it, I notice myself almost saying it a lot. Most commonly, I relate thoughts by beginning with, "It's weird because..." So in order to help myself, here are some synonyms for "weird" that I might try using: strange, bizarre, peculiar, unusual. I know everyone has their words and phrases that they tend to say a lot. It's peculiar because the word I use all the time is "weird." Very strange, indeed!
4. John: Just a few days ago, John started getting up on his knees during tummy time. For a while he has been able to lift his chest off the ground. Now he just needs to learn to do these two things together! Then he will be a crawling machine!! It's bizarre being with him every day and not noticing all his little advancements - then when someone sees him who hasn't in a while, they tell me about how much he has changed!
5. The Front Lines: Yesterday I was at the 40 Days For Life vigil for two hours. I was nursing John while waiting for the next person to show up. The next person came and brought some graphic abortion signs. I am fine with these signs, though I typically shy away from holding them - not because I think they are inappropriate or wrong, but because my pride gets hurt when I am yelled at. Anyway, I was nursing John and these signs were right next to us. A woman drove by and yelled out her window, "You should be ashamed of yourself!!" I don't really get her logic. Why should I be ashamed of myself? Because of the pictures? I think the pictures are pretty shameful, but that has nothing to do with me. On a similar note, when John and I were protesting with Andrew, someone told us that they felt sorry for our child. Andrew responded, "At least he's alive." So true.
6. Moment of honesty: I am still working on thank you cards from the baby showers that were, um, *cough* six *cough* months ago. I feel terrible! I did a bunch this week, but I am no where near finished. If you gave us a gift and have not received a appreciative note yet, don't worry! This is going to be my priority over the next week.
7. And now for the cute pictures:
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Anyway, there are some ornaments they have that date back to their first years of marriage. They are all homemade because they could not afford to buy new ornaments. This year, I found myself thinking about how we have very few ornaments to decorate our tree. Instead of immediately thinking "I should make some!" My thoughts went directly to "Where should I buy them?" Even though we are likely in a similar financial state as Andrew's parents in the beginning of their marriage.
This brings me to my point: I have realized that it is so easy to buy things that we want, even if it would be better financially to live with less. Credit cards have really given people in the middle and lower social economic status' the opportunity to live like they are wealthy. But this comes back to haunt so many people who are now drowning in debt.
It did not use to be this way. Before credit, if you didn't have the money for something, you simply didn't buy it. Now life seems so much more complicated because it is so easy to get whatever we want. After realizing all of this, I have decided I don't want to live that way. I want to be simple. I want to only spend what we have.
Another story I've heard from Mom and Dad St.Hilaire is when their first daughter, Jenny, was born. They did not have a rocking chair and desperately needed one to sooth her. Instead of buying one, Dad carved two pieces of wood into curves and nailed a chair on top of them. He says that he did not have the right saw to make perfect curves, so when they rocked in it, it was uneven...but it worked. After John was born, we also did not have a rocking chair. We searched around for a used one, but didn't find one that we liked and could afford. Then, seeing our need, Mom and Dad St.Hilaire generously bought one for us. Needless to say, making a rocking chair did not cross our minds!
I am currently reading St. Jean Vianney's biography. Last night I read a part about after he was ordained and was assigned to the parish in Ecully under Fr. Balley. It describes the two of them taking a pilgrimage and they only owned one umbrella. So when it rained on their pilgrimage, they both huddled under one umbrella. If this were my situation, I would be tempted to pitch out a few dollars for another umbrella. But they did not have the money for another umbrella, and they were able to manage with just one - so even if they did have enough money, why waste it?
So now I am making a goal of living with less. I hope this will help my family to be better off financially, as I am the one who typically does the shopping. Part of this goal will involve bringing every purchase to prayer (which, I honestly have not been doing!). I also hope this will help teach John not to buy every little thing he wants.
"Lord, please help me to buy only what I need and spend only what I have. Amen."
Monday, October 5, 2009
Monday - Taco soup - we already ate it. Yum! We like to eat it with a dollop of sour cream and we scoop it up with tortilla chips.
Tuesday - Three Cheese Manicotti served with veggies and toasted sourdough garlic bread.
Wednesday - Breaded pesto chicken served over linguine with Rhodes dinner rolls.
Thursday - Chicken and rice casserole (we didn't eat it last week)
Check out other menus at orgjunkie!
We highly value me being a stay-at-home mom. We will make whatever sacrifice we need to live on one income so that I can stay home with John. We believe that having a parent at home full time is the best gift we can give to John and any future children.
Also, right now our priorities are to get out of debt and save money to buy a house. With the possibility of me teaching in the future being such a huge variable, we would rather put our money to things that we know we will need.
It is likely that I will be able to walk away with a bachelor's degree in Education because I have all of my course work done, which would be great! Either way, I do not regret all the hard work I put into teaching at Star of the Sea and my teaching program. The last two years have been a great experience and I know it has given me tools to be a better mother.
Now that we have made this decision, I feel a lot of peace in my heart. I chime in with Susan, a caller who recently proclaimed on the Rush Limbaugh show, "I was promoted by God to be a mother!" I can't find the words to express how much I love every minute of being John's mother (yes, even at 2am...)! I gladly accept this promotion! =)
The hardest part of this decision is thinking that people are going to be disappointed in me for not finishing. But as my friend, Caitlin, told me today, God won't be disappointing in me for choosing to be at home to raise John. In fact, I think He is pleased.
Disclaimer: I must note that by writing this, I do not mean to condemn mothers who choose to work. I know that everyone needs to do what is best for their family.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I thought I would let the blogging world know. Here is what Tom said last night on Facebook: