{SQT} So Much Awesome, So Little Time

{SQT} So Much Awesome, So Little Time

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Sometimes life is so busy you don’t even have time to catch your breath and tell anyone what’s going on. Thank God for the opportunity, a day late (natch), to exhale for a minute (brushed my teeth – promise!) and share some of the incredible stuff that’s been happening in my little corner of the world.

 1. 

Recording with these ladies was a tremendous blessing. We laughed waaaaay more than is likely legal in the contiguous United States and abroad, yet we still managed to complete everything on our production schedule (thank You, Holy Spirit!). I’m so incredibly grateful to them for their generous friendship and I’m especially excited to spill even more beans about The Visitation Project in late April.

 2.  

And that’s a wrap for our first round of recording – time to celebrate! Bottoms up!

 3.  

The last few weeks have been so great, but honestly, also pretty stressful for me. There’s a ton of stuff I feel called to do, but I don’t want my family to suffer, you know? Although I worked outside the home the majority of our marriage, I’ve been a SAHM the past two-plus years, and it appears I’d forgotten the specific struggles working-outside-the-home Mamas face. My hat is off to those valiant women who work outside the home and still manage to hold everything together en casa. Ladies, I salute you, and pray God blesses the work of your (seriously full) hands.

 4.  

Taken at a local Lenten prayer retreat … So beautiful, meaningful, and necessary during this penitential time of the year.

 5.  

The Rock and Worship Road Show with Mr. Matt “I speak Elvish” Maher and the glowing Shaina.

 6. 

 The Enforcer and I took turns attending a days-long Lenten Mission led by our dear brother in Christ, Richard Lane. We even took the whole kit and kaboodle to Adoration and Benediction the second-to-last-night, and against all odds, there were no casualties!

 7. 

    
After so much awesomeness and no real sign of the jam-packed “to-do” list letting up anytime soon, I was grateful to steal away for a little while to our beloved local retreat house not once but twice this week – yesterday with just my babies and our friend with her babies, and today with the whole family. I’ve always felt it to be a place of genuine refuge, and today’s visit, albeit super brief, didn’t disappoint because (of course!) God is faithful.

Bottom line? No doubt I’m an incredibly blessed child of God. I pray for the grace to wholeheartedly glorify Almighty God, the Giver of all good gifts, through all the various times and seasons of my life.

Until next time,

Peace.

heather

Linking up with the ultra-rad homeschooling, Whole30ing, mic-dropping Kelly Mantoan at This Ain’t the Lyceum. See what other amazing people are writing about right here.

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Just another manic … wait – what day is it again?

Just another manic … wait – what day is it again?

This past week without the Internet and a landline was crazy. Very unfamiliar, and quite enlightening in a way, but also crazy.

And today is seemingly no different. Yes, our Internet is back, but there’s always something. When will I admit that “crazy” is kind of our family’s default mode? The denial is strong up in here.

Denial is a river in Egypt, capeesh?

Anyway, poor husband’s back seems to be thisclose to going out completely, and has been since yesterday afternoon. But I did manage to concoct some yummy food for the rowdy crew.

Chicken cacciatore - it was really tasty once the chicken was actually cooked through. Minor detail.
Chicken cacciatore – it was really tasty once the chicken was actually cooked through. Minor detail.
Brunch is more my speed.
Brunch is more my speed.

The homeschooler awoke at 5:15 this morning puking her guts out, the boy baby keeps running into things and falling, and I missed the girl baby’s first day of preschool because of aforementioned puking homeschooler (sorry – I said “puking” twice in that last sentence). But she got there safe and sound. Here she is!

Mah (sniff) baby!
Mah (sniff) baby!

Annnd … wait for it … I have started to feel a bit icky myself. Perhaps it is the sheer power of suggestion, but I have a feeling it might just be my turn. The tummy bug kept our two away-from-home schoolers from schooling a while back, so it is possible.

Well, cheer up, gentle reader! We try to praise the Lord in all things around here, bad backs and puking kids and ill-tempered people (ahem) notwithstanding.

Yay. Praise His Name.

Also, also: there is still time to win a wonderful homeschooling book by my friend Rebecca Frech! Enter in the comments below, or here or here and I’ll announce a winner on Wednesday, the Feast of St. Monica. That seems as appropriate a day as any; I’m sure that, as the mother of the infamous (not always) Saint(ly) Augustine, Monica had her fill of craziness. She may have made him a saint, but I’m willing to consider it was possibly the other way around.

St. Monica with a crazy kid who turned out awesome - ora pro nobis!
St. Monica with a crazy kid who turned out awesome – ora pro nobis!

Be blessed, friends!

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7QT: LIFE (??) WITHOUT THE INTERNET

7QT: LIFE (??) WITHOUT THE INTERNET


When the ginormous thunder boomers hit town earlier this week, I thought the worst case scenario would be an endless parade of wakeful children piling into our bedroom in the middle of the night, resulting in Project Coffee IV Drip the next day.

That's what they tell me.
That’s what they tell me.

It was worse.

You guys. We lost our Internet connection and our landline. THE WORSTEST!

Ree ree ree ree!
And, to make things even more craptastic, I couldn’t find my phone. Granted, it’s not a smartphone, but still. Here are my seven quickish takes on LIFE WITHOUT THE INTERNET.

— 1 —

Here’s a pictorial representation of the metaphorical Zombie Apocalypse which, regardless what Calah says, is happening right now. I realized that, with an internet connection, I sometimes look a lot. like. this. Gross.

The Zombie Apocalypse, folks. I mean it.
The Zombie Apocalypse, folks. For realz.
 

— 2 —

Here’s the note I had to handwrite – with a pen no less – to our kids’ principal because I couldn’t just dash off a quick email last night or this morning:

It's only the first full week of school and I've contacted the principal twice. I rule.
It’s only the first full week of school and I’ve contacted the principal twice. I rule.

— 3 —

Here’s the great book I tried to give away here, then had to adjust expectations here because of aforementioned lack of connectivity. Lucky you – there’s still time to enter. 🙂

The wonderful book in question!
The wonderful book in question!

— 4 —

Here’s how I was able to see who signed up for the homeschool field trip I scheduled tomorrow, and how I was able to view homework and event updates via my kids’ school’s online system:

Oh, the humanity!!!!!!
Oh, the humanity!!!!!!

— 5 —

Here’s how I listened to Catholic radio, checked and sent e-mail, perused Facebook, Twitter, online prayer requests, event registration totals, and etc. ad nauseum, et al:

Nothing, I tell you!!

Annnnnnd …

— 6 —

Here’s the time I spent on fun math word stories (FIVE CHAPTERS’ WORTH) with my homeschooler, and here is dinner on time and all the dishes almost completely done and the kids bathed and me going outside and weeding the front flowerbed and then meeting the new neighbors and actually reading a really good book for fun.

Okay. I admit. It was pretty cool.
Okay. I admit. It was pretty cool.

— 7 —

Truth time. While I have never been officially diagnosed as addicted to anything, I can imagine my perma-jones for wifi recently (complete with eye twitches and tightening chest as I desperately whine at random passers-by: “Duuuude, I gotta log innnn!”) might be a sign of something, well, slightly problematic.

This involuntary radio silence that was like a big, dark, truthful mirror: I am attached, dependent upon, perhaps a teensy bit, um, reliant, and perhaps a smidgen, dare I say, addicted to the world wide web.

Duh. I like the Web.

So. There it is.

I promise to look at my online habits and try to dial it down a notch if you promise not to throw this post in my face every time I complain about not having enough time. Oh, and you also can’t tell my husband I think I have a problem. Deal?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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All because two people fell in love …

All because two people fell in love …

About a year ago, I was at my wit’s end with the clutter and the chaos in my house; I had probably stepped on a particularly pointy Lego piece for the 75th time that day and couldn’t find a particular kid’s particular toy that he or she justhadtohave before we had to be somewhere 10 minutes ago.

It was right around this time that I was in a local store and saw a decorative sign that read: “All because two people fell in love.” The sign now proudly hangs on the wall above the kids’ play area. I bought and hung it as a reminder that, no matter the dolls, blocks, trucks, etc., etc. (and I do mean etc.), these children and the omnipresent mess they perpetuate represent the physical manifestation of the love my husband and I have for each other and are also a constant reminder, in joys and sorrows, of the love God has for me. And His love, quite unlike my front room, is always perfect.

In other words, none of that wonderful, horrible, ever-present mess would even be there if my husband and I hadn’t fallen in love.  The sign reminds me that I am lucky and blessed in – and because of – my mess.

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Welcome to “The New Normal”

Welcome to “The New Normal”

Well, it’s 8:55 p.m. and my eyelids haven’t permanently attached themselves to my eyeballs yet, so that’s a good sign. Good thing, too, because I need my eyeballs for the new full-time job I started today.

Wow – it’s pretty crazy for me to even type that last sentence, let alone be living in the midst of this new reality. After working either part-time or on a per-project consulting basis for the past 8 years, I am a full-time employee outside the confines of my own home.

Despite our economic circumstances, I have been (nearly 100%) satisfied with being a volunteering, ministry-working, consulting-from-home Mom, working on projects for clients on a case-by-case basis, and supplementing our unemployment income while my husband seeks full-time employment and manages the ministry. With three small children, it didn’t seem like a good idea for me to seek employment outside the home, so I didn’t. God had other ideas. And He cannot be outdone in generosity. So, during this, the 9th month of my husband’s unemployment, when hubby’s job prospects still are in the dumps and the finances aren’t getting any better, God sent me a job that I hadn’t been looking for.

As of today, I work for the local community college as a Career Specialist. For the next three months (phew – it’s a short-term position), I will be helping people with significant barriers (think childcare issues, homelessness, drug/alcohol addiction, physical and mental instability, etc.) to find gainful employment. After today’s indoctrination, I know I’ll have my work cut out for me.

Please don’t get me wrong – I am thoroughly grateful for what I’m anticipating will be a sigh of relief come bill-paying time, when, for the first time in a long while, I won’t have to squeeze my eyes closed as I fervently pray that we’ll have enough to get by until the next month. We have been just barely scraping by, and not without the generous assistance of others. It has been very humbling to be receivers rather than givers.

But as we settled in for sleep the other night, after the job offer had been made, and we reasoned – it’s only for three months … we aren’t in a position to turn down employment – I started to panic. “What about the kids?” I said to my husband. “What if they need me? Or you need me? What if I miss something?” And, in fact, today, my husband told me that I missed our 20-month-old’s singing debut of “Holy, Holy, Holy” in the car. Anyway, my husband reassured me that he could bring the kids to meet me for lunch once a week, that he would keep looking for work, that he wished he was the one working full-time and not me, that he was proud of me. That was all good enough news that I was finally able to fall asleep.

Trying to help me look on the bright side, a girlfriend enthused, “Think of it as freedom. You’re building up your career! You’ll have a lunch break for the first time in who-knows-when!” But you know, after the novelty of such glamorous concepts as “lunch breaks” and the like wore off, I decided that I don’t want to be free from my kids or my husband. I belong with them, and they with me. They are my path to holiness. In this “new normal” of 8.5 to 9 hours per day away from my little family, how do I get to be the kind of wife and mother God has called me to be?

Don’t expect any answers from me on that last question just yet – I am still working it out with fear and trembling. And a rosary or nine. And some walks around the block. And maybe a Girl Scout cookie or two.

What I do know is this – while my husband does the “stay-at-home Dad” thing, St. Joseph, whose Feast is this Friday, will be getting some extra-special prayers from this newly-minted work-a-day gal: “Please, St. Joseph – ask Jesus and Mary to watch over my family while I’m gone. Let them know I love them and I miss them terribly and that I’ll be home – where I belong – in time for dinner.”

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