Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 31 ~ Writing my story

     Firstly thank you to the nester for sponsoring the 31 day challenge and the gypsy mom for her inspiration and guidance through the specific Write your story challenge.

   Secondly thank you to my readers who followed along and provided support and encouragement.

   Thirdly (and lastly)  a few thoughts.  I have really enjoyed taking part in this 31 day adventure and while I am looking forward to not having the pressure to post something everyday ( or guilt when I didn't), I truly believe this challenge was just the shot in the arm I and this blog needed.  I have been able to work through some fears and anxieties and found inspiration in the different perspectives offered by some blogs and writers I discovered in the past month.  I already have several ideas for posts in November and in general have re-found my energy and enthusiasm for blogging ~ and writing my story.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 30 ~ When the storms come, keep writing

    I woke to find that my bed was shared with two littles who had each in the night sought comfort and warmth when woken by the strong winds and rain, and able to read the clock I knew that we still had power.  Making my way down through the early morning light found my backyard littered with trees unable to stay standing against the forces of the storm but none of their falling branches breached the house.
  And so began the morning after, checking on friends and family, praying for those still in the storms path, and making breakfast for my fellow little storm survivors who are definitely are exhibiting the signs of cabin fever but are otherwise fine.  And setting down our little piece of the story of this storm,

  •  of embracing the power of yes and assenting to a request for spaghetti for breakfast
  • of making muffins in the hope that they would finish cooking before any power failure
  • of letting the TV/screen time rule slide for the day
  • of messages and tweets of concern and supports sent out and received
  • of missing Dr Daddy as he stood his post
  • of rediscovering once again the loving promise of Psalm 30:5
For his anger is but for a moment; His favor is for a life-time: Weeping may tarry for the night, But joy cometh in the morning.

And so I write it down as requested by the gypsy mom

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 29 ~ What words and girl power has in common!

May I offer a little challenge to pony up a cheer for a woman whose words have changed you? Go ahead, link to a blog in the comments that has blessed, transformed, loved, challenged, amazed you.

     Today as part of the 31 day challenge hosted by the gypsy mom Lisa Jo we are celebrating girl power  ~ that wonderful force that encourages and inspires us all when we celebrate each other.

Here are some of the wonderful women and their blogs that inspire me:

Modern Mrs Darcy for offering so much inspiration of how to find balance in the modern world with all its blessings and challenges.

Martin Family Moments for sharing with so much wisdom and humor the daily adventure of raising a family, being slightly ahead of me in the parenting journey acts as a guiding light of the path ahead.

Fumbling towards Grace for sharing of her experience and passion for social justice so thoughtfully and beautifully.

Now it's your turn...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Quick Takes #117

    1.Thank you for all the prayers and good thoughts for Liam's surgery this week.  It went really well with him being curious/concerned but cooperative during pre-op, fuzzy when they carried out to the OR,  and confused but cuddly in recovery.  He loathes having the ear drops put in but we are done with those tomorrow evening.
    2. Despite the tough start of having to drive the car for the first time in the pouring rain rushing to an emergency dentist appointment for Lisbeth.  We are coming to enjoy the new car over the past week and hoping it will be a good addition to the family for years to come.  We ended up choosing the Honda Odyssey ~ which my sister-in-law says is aptly named.  Let the journey begin!
    3. Now that we have the new car, we can focus on getting a new car seat (the infant seat we had for L1 and L2 is timing out) for it.  As I hit 30 weeks this week we still have time but given that the next ten weeks also include Halloween, Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas and two weeks on service for my husband, I also don't want to be too casual about it.
    4. My husband often begins his introduction at Pre-Cana with this quote from the Princess Bride. I read somewhere recently that the movie is celebrating its 25th anniversary ~ guess we are starting to date ourselves.  Don't care, great movie with so many key quotes for my generation.
    5. While I have missed a day or two recently am continuing and enjoying following along with the gypsy mom Lisa Jo's 31 day challenge ~ the latest installment here.
    6. Halloween costumes, Lisbeth has requested to be a Rocket and glory be I found one, and Liam was very happy with the Monkey costume shown him (Lisbeth's from last year) and so I thought I was set...until Lisbeth decided that he was an astronaut monkey.  Any suggestions how to augment a monkey costume a bit so to suggest space travel?
    7. Weekend Plans include pumpkin carving and an in-home date night of dinner and a movie with Doctor Dad making one of my favorite things he makes: Stuffed Squash!!
Please visit Conversion Diary and enjoy the rest of this week's Quick Takes.

5 minute friday ~ Voice


    I'm not sure when I started talking about the concept of her inside voice with my first but when her little brother came along it definitely became a concept often discussed.  Still a couple of years later a work in progress, she has discovered the great joy of finding herself outside and the freedom to let her voice fully demonstrate her energy and happiness of the moment and if there is an echo even better.
    And I'm learning along with her ~ when to let loose and shout, laugh and giggle so that the wind can pick it up and carry notes skyward like seeds to take root elsewhere.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 24 ~ Because stories are more interesting...

     So much of why I decided to take Lisa Jo's challenge and spend these 31 days learning to write my story is that this blog and my belief in it had started to slowly die, my belief that I had anything to say that was worth putting down, worth being read by others.  But that is not really for me to say ~ all I need to do is put down best I can what I know and what I feel about this life I live.

   This life of loving children still receiving more than they can yet give but giving in their own way and  as I teach them about compassion and empathy teaching me again and again the great good in giving of yourself expecting nothing in return but to serve and to the gifts and opportunities given you by God for his glory.

  This life where my professional vocation seems in flux and I'm so unsure of what to do next and when my responsibilities at home will allow more focus outward in a way that grows us as a family and community.

  Having gained so much from reading posts on ideas such as success and mentoring I seek to find again the confidence to put down what I know and believe in the hope that someone will be helped and fed at this blog table.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 20 ~ Jesus lives in the details

     Yesterday the gypsy mom teaches us that our stories are important because Jesus lives in the details ~ love that and I hope so ~ I hope that in the details and little moments I write about and share about my life Christ light shines thru illuminating some of darkness.  For I truly know that in the fatigue and struggling, in the busy craziness; God's grace is everywhere

~ in coming out of the shower to find both my kids snuggled in our bed with daddy
~ in Lisbeth looking up from her book this afternoon to listen to the consecration
~ in getting the giggles with my husband remembering some of the comments at
~ in watching Liam stand at his daddy's feet during the closing song
~ in driving on a lovely fall afternoon freed up to run an errand by myself


Friday, October 19, 2012

Quick Takes #116

  1. In addition to participating in the 31 day series sponsored by the gypsy mom, I've also been reading and enjoying the series hosted at Nesting Place and Bits and Pieces.
  2. Have of last night survived Daddy's last business trip, and in good form if I say so myself.  Lisbeth really enjoys FaceTime on the iPhone ~ Liam interested if a bit confused.
  3. It has been recommended to us that we consider placing Eustacian tubes in Liam's ears, he has never had an infection but frequent fluid might be contributing to his speech delay ~ so that is what is happening next Tuesday.  Prayers welcome, it is overall a low risk surgery but a tough reality is that you can't know how someone will react to anesthesia until they are given it for the first time.
  4. A recent sign the my little girl is growing and thriving in Pre-K is that she can write her name, all nine letters of it.  
  5. A new era begins today with us trading in the Prius, and getting a minivan! A good choice as we will soon have another car seat (and occupant) traveling with us, but still bittersweet as over the past 8 years I have really enjoyed my car. I promise more information about the new car as she becomes part of our lives, but taking a moment to say good-bye to Batty.
  6. A first batch of autumn shaped cookies have already come out of our kitchen with another batch planned for this week.  I think my baking assistant is going to really enjoy this new activity during her brother's naptime.
  7. Presenting at Pre-Cana this weekend, please pray for us and the engaged couples attending.

Please visit Conversion Diary to enjoy the rest of this week's Quick Takes!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

31 day catch-up

     Wanted to take a quick moment and catch-up on all of  31 day posts of the gypsy mom Lisa Jo that I have not yet included here ~ either I already had a post planned or I couldn't figure out how her post translated into a prompt.  However they have all been wonderful and don't want any of you following along from here to miss them.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 16 ~ How to write yourself out of the dark

Writing myself out of the dark:

     My darkness sometimes looks like loneliness; no family nearby, few friends with young children, a husband who works very long hours, and missing the interactions and activities of a full-time work life ~ I write to connect with other moms, to see if there is an answering call that comes back as I record the moments of sweetness, the moments of hilarity, the moments of stress when I sure I'm doing it all wrong ~ Me too!

     My darkness sometimes looks like overstimulation: too much noise, too much mess, too many demands for hugs, or chocolate milk, or Caillou, or whatever is the essential thing of the moment ~ I write in stolen moments to find again the quiet that centers this introvert and leads me back to myself, back to gratitude for the blessings amidst the craziness, to quiet my mind and find the rest that brings the strength to do it all again with fresh eyes and strong arms.

How do you write yourself out of dark?

Monday, October 15, 2012

500th post!

     So in January 2009 I had this crazy idea of starting a blog and amazingly this marks my 500th post!

Not all of them have been good, and perhaps too many have included pictures of my 'littles', but I'm still pluggin and hopefully as evident in my participation in the 31 day writing challenge interested in improving the quality and variety of posts found here.

Thank you so much for those who have offered inspiration and encouragement along the way!!

Hope you keep reading!

(Miss Lisbeth @ 15 months, June'09)

Prior reflections and milestone posts:
100th post
200th post
(my 300th post was in the middle of a series and does not have a milestone post)

400th post

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 13 ~ Encouragement to stay the course

    So the 'packed but doable day' of course morphs into the complicated by child up incredible early, work deadline, huge traffic jam and errands taking 3x as long to complete as you had guess day ~ and you are at that point in the challenge where the enthusiasm of starting out has passed and you're not yet at any big milestone of achievement (i.e halfway, or within view of the finish) and you are wondering why you started and if anyone would notice if you skipped a day or stopped all together.
   And then friends tell you they are reading and enjoying what you are writing and the host of the challenge post a favorite quote by a favorite author ~ and suddenly you can go on, will go on and want to keep writing your story, before you fall asleep at your keyboard.

Friday, October 12, 2012

(Day 12) 5 minute friday ~ Race


     Right now Lisbeth loves to race, across the house, anywhere but mostly down our block to a big oak tree about halfway down ~ and Liam loving being with his sister loves to race after her and since I don't think he yet understands the concept of winning a race it does not bother him that he never wins ~ as long as we cheer him across the finish line he is thrilled.
   And so I wonder will it always be like this my high energy child always racing ahead and my more laid back child happy to be included and part of the game ~ or at some point will winning become more important to him too.  And soon there will be a third one whose personality I will get to discover and wonder over ~ and now my mind is racing.

More 5 minute friday at the gypsymama hosted by Lisa Jo

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 11 ~ Even when you don't feel like it ~ do it

   An important reminder not only about writing but also praying, growing in our understanding and practice of faith.

And so may I wish all of those to whom it may concern:
A happy and blessed Year of Faith!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 10 ~ Describe the details

Write with all five senses.
Slow down and remember. Then write – like you’re serving a five course meal. So that we can savor every delicious word of your story.

Want to give it a try? Describing any memory you have from the beach.

     It was early evening and the sky had picked up a pink tinge which complimented perfectly the grayish tint of the ocean.  The breeze picking up a bit as we headed down to sea's edge, their initial hesitancy gave me the moment I needed to feel confident about having them both by myself so close to the water, and so as their enthusiasm built so did mine.
     The surprise the first time the cold water ran over their toes and then rushed away leaving squishy wet sand behind, the giggly anticipation for when it would happen again was contagious and soon I found myself laughing too but also taking in the peace of an ocean as the tide goes out, quietly cresting and rolling leaving behind scents picked up miles out beyond what our eyes can see. 
     The grip on my hand once so tight loosens and soon the balance checks of their footing after a wave recedes pulling sand with it no longer requires my hand or help ~ and while staying close I allow them a bit of freedom to on their own face the ocean and leap and laugh as the water rushes in.
    The failing light and falling temperature soon called us back across the sand to the boardwalk and towards the park lot and waiting car with many glances back to settle into memory this day's visit while already anticipating the next time we would find ourselves at the water's edge.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 9 ~ Other peoples stories

Today we are to speak of inspiration we have gathered from someone else's story.  For me there are so many, part of what I have enjoyed so much about blogging was learning other people stories.  Today I'm going to highlight two.

Mindy of Sweetness in the Small Stuff: An amazing mom I met during my first pregnancy and her third ~ she has since added two more children to her family.  She writes so beautifully about her faith and following where it leads her, be it towards homeschooling or changing how she cooks for her family to where she gets the food she prepares for them.

Paige of Sojourner: Another amazing mom I met thru a pregnancy website, and I have loved reading along as they have grown their family, also made decisions about schooling, she has written her first novel and become more involved in issues of protecting life.

Amazing women, both, and such inspiration to me ~ as a mom, woman, and blogger.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 8 ~ Because someone else needs your story

Today's prompt that I should be brave in writing about my thoughts and experiences because someone needs my story has always been an interesting idea to me.  I've spent much of my adult life sure that I had something to offer world around me but afraid of being rude, wrong or an imposition.  I also value highly the notion that we are all in this world called to serve and to use the gifts given us by God to be of help to one another.

So on this blog and in comment boxes I share of my experiences, what I've learned over these nearly forty years, and what I believe about life and love, faith and family ~ hoping that something I say will resonate with a reader and that someday when my littles read these recordings they enjoying reading about their early adventures and antics and how much sharing in them meant to me.

Mostly I keep writing and sharing despite my fears and doubts because this is my little corner of the world; my thoughts and writing are honestly offered with the kindest of intentions and the best of hopes.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 7 ~ Words have the power of life in them

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

I'm going to indulge in a bit of cheat today and send you over to read Lisa Jo post/prompt because I think she speaks perfectly of the power of life that our words carry. 

Though I will add that this is one of the unexpected responsibilities of motherhood, having a little, sponge of person listening and taking in everything I say ~ even when I don't think they are listening.
~ How do I talk to the homeless person on the corner?
~ How do I talk to/about their dad?
~ How do I convey disappointment in a choice they made while still communicating unconditional love and support?

Our words indeed can carry great power in them.

Friday, October 5, 2012

5 minute friday: Welcome

Five Minute Friday

    So there is food, fellowship and often a fire; but mostly there is welcome.  Welcome for the weary musician/singer, especially if this is the first time they are away for Easter, if this is the first time that they sang/played the Trid gauntlet.  Beginning with Holy Thursday and ending five Masses later on Easter Sunday.  We make welcome with food and warmth and hope that they eat well and listening to the stories of past Tridium and the recap of this one begin to truly feel part of this church family.
   And at the end of the evening while the faithful remnant help with unloading and reloading once again the dishwasher, we get to again marvel that the small feast shared among some graduate students has grown and endure to becoming Easter dinner for any and all who would like to come and join in.

For more 5 minute friday please head over to Lisa Jo Baker's

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 4 ~ Just write and don't worry if it's just right

If there’s one thing that will rob you of your writing voice before you even get started it’s your teacher voice.
Have you ever participated in Five Minute Friday? What’s your favorite part about it?

I haven't but will tomorrow, because I definitely know that voice.  For me the death nail for taking pride in writing was college.  Previously I had gotten enough reinforcement and decent enough grades to still take enjoyment in writing though no longer thinking that should be a career focus. However my freshman year English teacher was so critical, and 'concerned' about my ability to write at a college-level it made me doubt everything I had ever thought about my ability with the written word. Doubts that still follow me to this day.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 3 ~ you do have a story to tell

So go ahead, take a deep breath and tell me: what is the story that you have to tell?

      What story do I have to tell?

    A story of wanting to care for women and young families and staying flexible when job titles and approaches had to change.  Of discovering a love for teaching and a mission to teach nursing students to treat women with compassion and dignity, to believe in the inherent power in their bodies, their ability to birth well and nourish their babies from their bodies if they desire.  Of discerning that your call and vocation may be primarily at home for awhile.

    A story of a great love found young and cared for and cherished through years of separation and discernment, finding its way to a marriage almost a decade old now.  A story of waiting and wishing for littles and the great blessing and craziness of mothering, of stretching and growing and learning as they learn & grow, testing the ground and you.  Of learning how to remain true to yourself as you die to self, of A-framing as spouses as you learn to parent together.

   A story of grace and love, of prayers and praises, of God's strengthening and sustaining love.

That is the story I have to tell.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

31 days to write your story {day 2} If you didn’t grow up planning to be a writer

 {day 2} If you didn’t grow up planning to be a writer

How about you? Would you call yourself a writer? When did you know?
     I would not call myself a writer as I would say that writing (and maybe photography) is how I choose to tell my story, put down my history, and talk about issues that are important to me.  Plus major insecurities about how well I write ~ hence why I'm doing this series.
    I'm not very artistic, I don't feel I should paint, sculpt, or draw.  While I enjoy music and hope someday to learn to play the guitar, I don't sing well and am not drawn to composing.
      However I increasing believe that based on my experience as a nurse-midwife, teacher, wife, mother and Catholic Christian I have something to say and the written word is an important part of how I say it, how I reach out to others, share experiences and offer advice.

How about you?

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 day challenge ~ Writing my story

So when I opened my Google Reader yesterday this is what I found from Lisa Jo Baker;

Welcome to 31 days – the beautiful brainchild of the Nester who inspires us to spend the month of October writing every single day on a topic that might inspire a community.
Continue reading for my day 1 post. Or you can browse the other posts in my series as they pop up below each new day in October.

And I'm taking the challenge because part of my story is that I love reading and writing ~ as in as long as I can remember ~ but have never felt very confident about my writing abilities (feedback in school was always very mixed).  So I'm going to take the deep breath, follow Lisa Jo's prompts and see where the next 31 days takes me.