Monday, March 30, 2009

Baby Update

We went to our birthing class on Saturday. It was pretty informative, but it made me rather anxious about the birth of Baby St.Hilaire. I have been feeling called to do the birth naturally with no meds. Most of my friends have done so, and they have been very encouraging for me. However, sometimes I come across people who think I am crazy. Maybe I am. I just believe that I am a woman and my body was made to do this, no matter how painful it may be.

This last Sunday I was praying at Mass and offering up my fear of pain. I have been planning on bringing a picture of Jesus on the crucifix as a focal point for the birth. During the consecration at Mass, the words struck me: "This is my Body, given for you." I decided that I want to have that written above the crucifix in my delivery room. Our highest calling is to give our bodies for the life of others--just as Christ did. It makes me cry to think of having the honor of suffering for my child. I will offer any ounce of pain for his holiness.

I am afraid, and my fear grows with each day that passes. But I am trying to transform that fear into humble surrender. With this painful experience quickly approaching, "taking up your cross" has a whole new meaning for me.

On another note, I am really enjoying this last trimester of pregnancy. I can feel basically every movement of the baby. It is so reassuring to feel him rolling around in there. I pray he will be healthy and holy!

"This is my Body, given for you!"

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Holy Housewifery ~ Chapter 7

Chapter 7 ~ "When Thorns Regard Their Roses with Alarm"

  • This chapter is about when difficulties arise in marriage.  We all want to get along with our spouses, but let us not merely get along if it means compromising our vocation of getting each other to Heaven.
  • 18th Century Madame de Maintenon was a widow hired as a tutor for the children of King Louis XIV.  He later married her after his wife died.  After she became King Lous' wife, Madame de Maintenon wrote a prayer called "Guidance in a High Estate:"
    "...Open the King's heart, that I may instill into it the good thou desirest; and grant that I may please him, comfort him, strengthen him and even afflict him, when it shall be for Thy glory.  Grant that I may never hide from him what he ought to know through me, and which others may not have the courage to tell him. Grant that I may be saved with him, that I may love him in Thee... and that he may love me in the same way."
  • "She (wives) must afflict when there is a real lack in her beloved that may harm, spiritually and/or physically, himself or his family."
  • "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, thou shalt love thy neighbor; and in each case to love is to will the good of the other.  That is why love is something hard; you want the good of the other so much that you are prepared to see him suffer if necessary, however much it hurts him, and you."
  • Also noted in this chapter was the importance of being constructive in your criticism of your spouse and not simply "nit-picky."
I think this is one of the most challenging chapters for me to embrace.  It sounds good and necessary to hold our spouses accountable, but how I do dislike confrontation!  But I know that if I really love my husband, I will want the greater Good for him.  I absolutely love the prayer from Madame de Maintenon!  It really hits home the idea that the central focus of married life is to be honest before God and your spouse.  If we are not honest with our spouses, especially when they are doing something (or not doing something) that causes harm, then we are not loving them and living out our vocation in helping them in their call to imitate Christ.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I'M DONE!!!!!!

Ahem, may I have your attention please for an important announcement: 

I am officially done taking night classes!!!  

It is such a relief to have this commitment over with.  Last Thursday night was my last class.  It was my science class and we had a science fair.  We also had a pot luck dinner and we were allowed to invite our family members, so Andrew came to support me.  It was a nice conclusion to this two-year "marathon" (as I call it!).  

On our way home, I was reflecting aloud to Andrew that I really feel Our Lord has been present with me throughout this whole program.  I knew I was taking on a lot last year when I decided to teach and go to school full-time.  Then last February, Andrew proposed and so I was teaching, going to school, and planning a wedding.  Then, after our wedding we found out that I was pregnant.  So now, I have been teaching, going to school, and nurturing Baby St.Hilaire.  Needless to say, I have had my plate full for a long time now.  I can hardly imagine what my life will be like, now that I can focus more on being a wife and mother.  But as I said, God has supported me and blessed me abundantly in the last two years.  There is no way I could have done everything that I did without God's guiding Hand.  

Now I have three more weeks left of teaching.  I will be truly sad to go, as I have really grown a deep love for teaching and my students.  I often refer to them as "my kids" and I feel that they are in a way.  I will truly miss each of them.

However, my heart is in a different place now.  I look to the near future with curiosity, excitement and nervousness. Please keep me and my family in your prayers during this time of transition!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Holy Housewifery ~ Chapter 6

Chapter 6 ~ The Romance of Thrift

(I'll come back to Chapter 5 later!)

  • In reference to an essay GK Chesterton wrote, Chesterton "poopoos the idea of extravagance having a sort of chivalrous and poetical air about it, 'thrift,' he says, 'is the really romantic thing.
  • When we are thrifty we are more creative in the way we do things.  This creativity is poetic because of the thought and effort put into it, thus it is romantic.
  • Instead of filling your home with material items and brand names, work on filling your home with love.  "The more [a wife] spreads love around, the more prolifically it re-seeds itself, springing up in the least likely of places."
  • "The important thing, in romancing thrift, is that we create rather than imitate, save rather than waste out talents, our time, and our particular opportunities to grow perfect."
I read this chapter a few weeks ago, and I think it did influence me.  For example, tonight I made some matzo ball soup.  By the end of the meal, we had eaten all the matzo balls but there was still a fair amount of broth left over.  I saved the broth with the idea of using it as stock for a soup later on during this next week.  This kind of thrift was mentioned in this chapter.  

In striving to be a "holy housewife," I should always try to save and use the little things in life.  I italicize the word "use" because I struggle with actually using what I save, sometimes things I save sit unused in the fridge for so long that I end up throwing it out.  It is only good to save something if you are really going to use it; otherwise it will just add to the clutter.  The last thing I need is more clutter! =)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Editing Genius

Having experience with both music and video editing, I have to say, whoever put the following video together is an editing genius and master.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Holy Housewifery ~ Chapter 4

Chapter 4 ~ What the Old Man Does is Always Right

  • "A wife's faith in her husband begets faith in himself--if she believes in him and lets him know it, how can a man fail? Perhaps he will make wrong decisions and in the eye of the world be a flop financially or socially and never, never be invited to join the country club, but if he knows that this matters not a bit to his wife (who loves him for what he is, her sacramental lifeline), why, this is enough to make a Man out of a man!"
  • "A wife's obedience to her husband is not a blind subservience but a loving loyalty."
  • With the recent passing of my grandfather, this chapter gave me thoughts about the beauty of the Sacrament of marriage. My job as a wife is to build up my husband and believe in him. I need to help him grow closer to God by showing him my unconditional love for him. My grandparents were married almost 51 years. In a eulogy my Aunt Leslie gave, she mentioned that her dad built his home around her mom. The way my aunt described him was that he centered his life around serving my grandma. She said that her dad showed her what it meant to be a man through his example as a husband and father.
  • This chapter also reminded me of Ephesians 5 and how often it is misinterpreted. Women are to submit to their husbands. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. How did Christ love the Church? - He gave his life for her! What woman would not want to submit to that kind of love?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ants (part 2)

About a month ago, our uninvited guests started trickling in again. We'd spot one or two little rascals scavenging the floor for something to nibble on. It was manageable, so long as the number of them was fewer than or equal to the number of fingers we had to squish them with.

Minutes before Lindsey and I were about to leave for a weekend in Oregon, I happened to discover something awry in the sugar bowl:

I could only imagine the ecstasy these ants were in. The feeling was not reciprocated. That is, not until we left them to drown in the sink.... muhahahah!

We've since noticed these ants have a distinct odor to them. At least when you squish them. It's a potent, toxic-like smell. This from Wikipedia:
"the sugar ant (depending on species) can defend itself by spraying acid from their abdomens to deter predators."
Well, it may be repulsive, but it's not enough to deter us "predators."

We've since started using bait again. They seem to like it, although to recall our experience from the summer, they ate from the bait in droves for two solid weeks, and it never seemed to have any effect. It seemed we were merely treating the enemy to a tasty meal. Overall, their numbers seem far less than back in the summer. The bait for now has them controlled to one spot in the house, so we'll just have to wait and see if it will have any effect.

I must say, I marvel at their resilience. They are determined little buggers.

See Ants (part 1)