The wheels on the bus…

Go round and round, round and round.  And every year that B picks up speed!!!  How is it nearing the end of May already?  For.  The.  Love.

Today in Mass we celebrated the graduates and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  A good friend just finished her DOCTORATE along with those high schoolers and college kids, so it was fun.  Our own graduate plans to forgo the ceremony here for a long weekend to North Carolina on his bike with friends.  Considering the kid has been finished with school since December and working full-time since then I can understand his reluctance to participate.  However………….mama has extracted a solid promise to get some time in with him for some grad pics in his cap and gown and maybe his announcements will only be a month late!  Either way, there is no denying we are heading into a whole new season of life in our little casa.

We shall endure the end of year band concert, 8th grade graduation, last project of 7th grade, celebrate Memorial day and summer planning to round out May and early June.  All as we prep for a two week vacation in New Hampshire this July.  Minus one kid.  Plus one dog.  Should be interesting.

I am hoping to squeeze in a weekend trip to our old city to visit with friends before July and somehow just made a sushi date with a girlfriend this week amongst the mayhem of May.

But it’s all good.  This season of watching so many of our “babies” graduate high school and college, get married, get engaged and go off on a host of adventures.  That’s what life is all about, right?  Raise ’em up.  And send them off.

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

Advertisements

When Easter looks different

Well I totally blew Lent.  Sort of.  No real giving up of anything, but I can tell you that my prayer life truly ramped up.  Surrounding myself with podcasts that were edifying to my faith.  Meditation on my commute.  Increased conversations with various Saints who intercede for us regularly.  Not the way I planned it, however, there was a noticeable internal change.

And while I’ve had many Lenten seasons and Easters that were more intentional I don’t know that I’ve ever had Easter Mass take root in my soul quite like it did today.  Maybe because my Lent fell so short (in my eyes), but there was a distinctive period of time during Mass that I physically felt in my heart the promise of hope.  An experience of that hope spilling over from my heart into every fiber of my body.  A complete trusting in that hope that regardless of what trials await us in this life, that He is there.  We are not alone.  And our hope lies in Him.

Because He was obedient from Gethsemane to Calvary.  Because He loved us.  Because He died. Because He rose again.  We have hope.

Hope that the prodigal son returns heart and soul back to his family.

Hope that His plan is so much better than our wildest dream.

Hope that middle schoolers who struggle with LIFE and growing up will find their hope.

Hope that we can all be as graceful when life is ending differently than we’d hope.

Hope that babies born too soon will be home with families who are eagerly awaiting.

Hope that those who went before us will joyfully greet us at the gates of Heaven.

Hope that when we second guess our decisions that He will encourage us.

Hope that when we can’t see the forest through the trees, He will guide us.

Hope that even in the darkest night, the sun will rise again.

Without Christ’s sacrifice for US, we could never have hope in HIM.

Praying that whatever your cross looks like, that you can find your hope at the Cross with the One who death could not hold, the One who can walk you through anything to the blessing that awaits on the other side.

Ginger-peek in 7 Quick Takes

This life with gingers….being one, having 4….it’s a good life and with my blog change to GINGERLOCITY, I thought I’d throw in some thoughts on that as I join in with Kelly and crew (who by the way have EVERYthing to do with the slow resurrection of blogging on my end!).  Which, is her topic this week and while I will admit to blogging as my journal and meeting some super people as a result, (Hi, Pat, Maria, Kelly, Haley, Christy, Mary, Micaela, Rachel, Lisa and Marianne—and too early to remember other names right now…I’m blogging for time here—but you are welcome for all the linky love!) I don’t blog regularly enough and seriously enough to work on the other aspects, but I am a believer.

  1. Our family of gingers is growing up and family dinners are few and far between these days.  We’ve always had family dinner, however, with work, school, extracurriculars, it’s just tough to get ’em all here at the same time/day.  As a rule–but flexible if need be, we look to Sunday nights as family dinner and sometimes (yesterday, I’m looking at you) it happens mid-week and spontaneously with pizza and banter and life…..life is good.
  2. 18 is hard.  Our kids are good, but man…..18.  Spreading those forming wings and under-formed frontal lobes of reason and LAWDYYYYYYY…..we are pulling in the intercession of all the saints.  and friends.  It’s good.  Don’t get me wrong.  But standing back and letting natural consequences take over.  Phew.  Pope Francis picked a good year for Mercy.  Truth.
  3. 16 is fun.  And frustrating as the multi-tasking skills are honed.  Getting there, but when one is enjoying all that high school life has to offer (as one does and should) it gets a little tricky to juggle.  Work in progress.  Life skillz, yo.
  4. 14 is beautiful.  Heartwrenching and amazing.  Middle school and the verge of high school brings drama of it’s own, but add in a little dose of depression and it’s interesting.  Counseling is a gift, people.  A.  Gift.  14 is watching the butterfly break from her cocoon and wanting to protect her from the pain of stretching those beautiful new wings and to encourage her to spread them wide and strong and find the joy in the change.  Oh the places you will go!
  5. 12 (almost-13) is a bittersweet as one still enjoys the “baby-dom” but is no longer a baby.  Contact lenses, fashion, silliness, learning to control anger responses.  Again.  Counseling is a gift.  A gift worth every precious penny.  Every.  Single.  One.  12 is finding her way and preparing to make different choices than every other sibling and to own those choices in the head-strong and beautiful way that one does.  Rock on, sister….you will own the world one day!!
  6. Gingers come with tempers.  We are all working on those.  Tones.  Body language.  Communication.   Life skillz.  Not reserved for gingers alone.
  7. Gingers come with interupptions.  Such as throwing in a couple of quick stitches in a sleeve RIIIIIIIIIGHT before one’s ride for school arrives. While your mom is trying to blog.   Working on timing here.  And planning ahead.  If you guessed 16, you are right.  But again.  Not reserved for just ginger families.  Or 16 year olds.

Blessings to you all this week and weekend ahead!!

My political rant

Whiskey. Tango.  Foxtrot, America?  For real.  Help me understand.

I am not a political person.  I hated civics and American government.  It’s slightly embarrasing now, but really, just not my thing.  But I do pay attention now and can make informed decisions when it is time to vote, but debates, caucuses all that just bore me to tears.  I’ll tell you why.  In my gut, I feel very few and far between do we ever really hear the truth, but more what “we” want to hear.  It’s a show.  It’s a song and dance.  And it is disgusting.  I won’t debate with you on points; I will lose.  These are my opinions.  I’m allowed to have them.

When I see a country that has bent over backwards this last decade to be politically correct in every way with some good and some ridiculous as a result, I am positively aghast that Trump has gained so much support.  He is freaking winning.  So, really….who was driving the whole politically correct stuff anyway?  I mean if we have a majority of people in multiple states supporting the guy who is anti-politically correct in his actions and speech, has lowered the moral bar to the mud, openly ridicules and humiliates for ratings and arrogantly promises vague plans to make our country great again…..well, I just don’t even know what that means.  But there they are, waving flags, posters, etc…. young, old, veterans, hipsters.

The best I can understand is that we live in a country that is A-ok with:

  • womanizing and multiple marriages
    • with the US divorce rate actually declining, it’s still a trend that doesn’t raise the eyebrow it used to
  • denouncing a war hero because his definition of war hero is different
    • we all rationalize our beliefs so this is someone who gives us further approval on letting us all rationalize, berate and name-call based on our beliefs, if we are ok with it, it’s ok
  • arrogance is good and bullying—meh, not so bad
    • he did come back from $900 million in the red in the 90’s to currently in-the-black billions.  Does it really matter if all of his workers were documented?

I’m not a researcher.  I do see that people are fed up with the lies.  Lies we are continually fed by politicians:  local, state national and the liberal media that feeds us the hysteria.  People see a man so crass and ridiculous that he clearly is speaking a “truth” the people so desperately want to hear.  I just say beware.  As of right now, if the trend continues, I think that for the first time since I was 18 and able to vote, I will abstain; any vote right now is a vote thrown away.  In my opinion.

The flu: part deux

As my last Friday’s Quick Take rundown, you might be aware that we had the flu run through our house, taking down 1/2 the family.  There is NEVER a good time to be sick.  EVER. But then.  The glorious weekend came and brought with it sunshine, a good scrub for the house, people dressed and up and showered and all was well and joyful.

Then came Sunday.  Our sweet younger priest who is still working on his homily skills—as in, wrapping that puppy up in less than 20 minutes–performed Mass.

I could have lived with that but then we also have an RCIA program that is terribly drawn out and I truly want to be joyful in the whole experience but it is a process that is repeated several times throughout the year during our Mass.  Sunday was that day.  Again.

For the icing, my nose started to run and I could tell I started a fever.  I did not shake hands at the sign of the peace, nor did I take the precious blood and I hightailed it to the car as fast as I could after Mass.  Right home to bed.  Until 5.  And then back at 7.

Tested positive for the flu (despite the flu shot) on Monday afternoon at our urgent care and have been quietly convalescing and watching Netflix for 3 days.The house didn’t fall down.  People ate.  People showered.  People slept.  Went to school.  Work.    Life.

Today I wiped down the bathrooms.  Washed the sheets again.  Dusted.  Walked the dog.

Lord, have mercy for these 3 days of rest.  It felt great. Now, just praying fervently the last two don’t get hit.

12747718_969928146388629_1636426727_n

Don’t feel too bad for me, this dude kept me company

The Flu in 7 Quick Takes

Joining in with Kelly and the crew and to challenge myself to see if I can blog it real quick in 10 minutes…….before starting my day…..3,2,1, GO!

  1. 12747606_1661070540822925_27145622_n

    The calm before the flu…….

    One week ago today, our oldest became a recipient of the flu.  Full-blown, high fever, cough, the whole 9 and Hubs took him to the urgent care since I was at work until 10.  This was a big deal because: a) we haven’t had a full on flu in the house since…..years.  b)Hubs defers to me for matters of medical.  So thankful for a spouse and partner who will do whatever needs to be done, even if it is out of his comfort zone.

  2. 2 days of Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Tamiflu, Gatorade, Lysol and hand washing galore.  And then the Hubs went down.  So thankful for modern medicine and the ability to purchase it.
  3. And then the oldest daughter went down.  So thankful she was with Dad who was able to muster enough sense to write down the day’s meds and doses for reference during the flu fogginess.
  4. All week, our counter resembled a personalized pharmacy. So thankful for our a nearby grocery store for quick runs to refill whatever is low.
  5. On Sunday, I was able to visualize where this was potentially going.  The flu is SERIOUSLY contagious and I am the only one with the flu shot on board (due to work).  I cooked up 4 huge meals for the week.  With 2 overtime shifts ahead of me and with potential for more to fall, I figured that would be hugely helpful.  So thankful for listening to the Holy Spirit who definitely guided that effort because cooking for 2 hours was not on MY agenda.
  6. It was.  I am absolutely getting back into that habit.  What a treat to come home to dinner already made and limited dishes to wash while checking fevers and med intakes.  One less HUGE stressor.  Thankful for modern refrigeration, my stove and pre-cooked meals at the end of a long day.
  7. Today, gloriously……the oldest is back to work for 2 days now–he even jumped in as taxi-driver when our youngest daughter had a eye appointment and our youngest son had a track meet. On the same night.  At the same time.  While I was at work and Hubs was still incoherent.
  8. (and extra…..)  Yesterday:  The Hubs and our daughter were vertical AND ran errands.  Our youngest son and daughter #fingerscrossed seem somewhat safe—-Lord, don’t let  me have jinxed myself.  I am nursing a sore throat…….but since there is a TON of pollen in the air, I am hoping it is an allergy brewing due to our jacked up winter.  So thankful.  Even in the midst of the flu.

Happy Friday.  Fingers crossed the healing trend continues and we will be at our church’s fish dinner tonight and stations of the cross.  For the rest of you……wash your hands!!!!  And go visit Kelly, get your shamrock and see what everyone else is up to!

Blessings!!

 

Lent. Thus far..

Here we are.  Speeding through Lent.  How are we two weeks in already?  HOW?!?

I want to tell you what amazing growth I’m having so far, but I’m afraid it will be in hindsight.  Right now I feel some weeks I’m barely keeping my head above water. Work, family, now a little bout of the flu working it’s way through the house.  It takes some serious effort to focus on Lent.

Here’s what little I’ve managed so far:

  • I’ve removed Facebook and messenger from my iPhone as my fasting (but not from my laptop) and have installed Relevant radio instead.
  • My podcasts are definitely feeding me on my commute.
  • Myfitnesspal is helping me to be mindful of what I am eating and my Fitbit is keeping me moving.

In some odd little way, it’s working for me.  Helping me to find some balance.  Some peace.  Tidbit by tidbit.

One day at a time, but there is something about being mindful and present.  Simple.  Important.  Working.

685214

image credit

Sunday Play Day

12747606_1661070540822925_27145622_n

After a very busy couple of weeks killing it in overtime (baaaaaaaad mistake on my part….won’t be signing up for that much again if I can help it!) and a busy day of chores, shopping with my girl and tag-teaming a flu-kid with the Hubs it was WAY too nice to stay in the house today.

Flu-kid was well enough to hang alone and 2 were occupied with friends so the Hubs and I took our oldest girl and the pup to the dog beach.  He hates the water so far.  But to be fair, the day was beautiful but oh heck-to-the-no is the water ready to be dipping toes in.  So I don’t blame him on that one.  But Hubs took out the paddleboard and my girl and I enjoyed some sand in the toes with the pup.  Good stuff.

Hoping this awesomeness carries us through the week!

Sunday giggles

 

Post Eucharist and I was fighting a serious hysterical case of the giggles. On the verge of what I generally experience during stressful times and funerals.  Not pretty but blessedly, I was able to bring it under control quickly.  It was a mixture of joy and the humor that God must find in me on the daily but through my daughter.  Sunday Mass attendance is rarely smooth going, of course anytime we attempt ANYTHING to glorify God there is one who will use EVERY possible avenue to stop, destruct or sap the joy out of whatever we are doing.  Believe it.  I can’t make you, but all you have to do is look back and see that it is true.

The humor I found after the Eucharist was of the defeat of the one who tried to destroy our morning through a double whammy of hormones, the blessing of 6 new catechumenates entering the church followed by Mass with our sweet, but long-winded homilist who also chose the long Eucharistic prayer.  The defeat came in the form of our 14 year old who was about to lose her mind not only sitting in Mass when she’d rather be sleeping, but sitting through a much extended Mass and she refused to leave to get donuts/bagels (hangry girl didn’t eat before Mass), but she REFUSED to leave until after the final blessing.  Even though this girl is waging her own faith battle she KNOWS to her fiber that there is grace in the Eucharist and that final blessing is the send-off into the world.  Until the next Mass.  So.  There is one who used allllllll the tricks yesterday morning to destroy our peace, and for a little bit almost succeeded, but that seed……it’s planted deep.  Just when I was offering it up to Jesus, He gave me a glimpse of the defeat and I laughed for joy and for glory.  And He laughed with me.

The war still wages, but that battle was a win.

My counter culture dissected in 7 Quick Takes

Bonnie, at A Knotted Life grammed a fun little ditty called #onmycounterculture this week and it’s been a fun follow to sneak a peak into other people’s lives.  Our “mess” really does speak volumes about our life.  With that, I am taking my counter pic to the blog for Kelly’s 7 Quick takes (where she shares Groupon’s nose sharing clip…..seriously?).  Because, well, these are the things I do when procrastinating on grocery shopping and laundry and bills on a chilly Saturday morning.

counter

  1. I’ve really set up this counter as a coffee station because errrrrrr day starts with coffee and my daily Readings in my comfy chair and inevitably the dog curled up in my lap.  It’s a good start to the day.  But THIS coffee maker has a stainless steel pot which won’t break like my glass one did on Christmas Eve.
  2. Once upon a time this was a much loved Pier One set of 6 vibrant and different colored stacking mugs.  I loved the size for coffee (I DO love my coffee), but also great for ice cream, trail mix, soup, cereal. Fun for the whole family.  Until they started breaking.  One by sad-face one.  Now there are two.  Joined by 4 brown Aldi mugs.  Also a great size, just not as pretty.  C’est la vie.  Just mugs right?
  3. I used Haley’s code for an ePantry trial on cleaning products.  Received a caddy full of Method cleaning products and tissues (cuz ’tis the season for colds).  In all honesty, it was a fantastic deal, really.  But, they delayed shipment (and gave me a $6 credit) and then FedEx(?) delivered my box to somewhere in MD (so they gave me a $10 credit).  So.  Rocky start, and I don’t know if I need a monthly delivery, but I have a credit and I do like their products so we shall see………………
  4. Youth group calendar “to-do” on the dry erase calendar, because FEBRUARY.  WHAT HAPPENED TO JANUARY?!?!?!?
  5. Our Christmas card from last year since we didn’t do one this year.  I love our family card all year long, so I swap it out each year!  This one gets a 2-year run.
  6. Gifts from my sister:  A sister candle and a monkey that collects loose change and a thumb rosary for quick prayers!  I love her!!
  7. Essential oils sampler from my BFF because (see 3) ’tis the season for colds and I want to breathe.  Time to move these to my bathroom!!!

Aiight people, it’s time to get moving.  Happy Weekending, 7 Quick Taking, and Resting!!