Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cheering for God

Praying with our children is a priority for my husband and I. Since the boys were born they have watched us pray before every meal. As they have gotten older we have been more deliberate in making sure they see us put our hands together, make the sign of the cross, and so on.

A few months back we also started saying a prayer before their bedtime each night. We've kept it simple for now with just the sign of the cross and the Guardian Angel prayer.

It was incredibly adorable when one day one of the boys put their hands together when we started praying. I don't even remember any longer if it was at dinner or before bed. But just so cute!! Eventually both boys started doing it. Never for very long, but they knew when we said "It's time to pray" to put their hands together.

Around the same time, their doctor had asked if they knew how to clap. They did not. So we started trying to teach them to clap. Didn't take too long for them to pick that up.

Can you guess where this is going?

Oh yeah, prayer time now means clapping. We put our hands together to pray and the boys light up and start clapping!

At fourteen months old, I think it's totally adorable!

It also brought to mind for me how we should sometimes approach prayer. We pray for many reasons and one of those reasons is to thank God for the blessings we have in our life. I love the enthusiasm they both have for clapping their hands together. It's a great reminder to me that our prayers can be full of enthusiastic thankfulness for everything God has given us. It always brings a smile to my face.

I think my boys have this prayer thing down pretty well.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Expanding to Facebook

Come join me on Facebook! I've created a Facebook page for this blog. So if you're on Facebook, I'd love for you to come over and become a fan. Eventually I'm going to get some social media buttons up in this space so it'll be easy to click over and join. But until then, I'll just have to share the link here. 

Become a fan of Journal of a Nobody on Facebook! I'd love to connect with my readers there!!

At the moment I am only posting links to my posts here. I'm sort of in an experimentation phase with this. I know there is a lot out there and no one wants to be bombarded with more stuff on their Facebook newsfeed. So I'm going to be careful about what I post. So for now, I'm sharing the posts here and the daily prayers for the 40 Days of Prayers for our Shepherds, which ends August 9.

Anything else I share through the new Facebook fan page will be few and far between. But I'm open to suggestions. Thanks in advance for becoming a fan on the Facebook page!

In addition, you may notice a few changes to the look of the blog. I've been debating these changes for a while and finally decide to start making some. I removed several of the saint pictures and moved some other things around. I still want some pictures of saints on the blog, so some of them may return and some new ones may come in as well. Still praying on that one.

Change is always exciting! Don't you think?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Smiles, no. 4

Lonely Tree
Photo from  http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/
For some reason I have felt a little heavy around my heart this week. Nothing has specifically happened, I think it is just more a fact of lots of little things weighing on my mind and also on my heart. I don't know that you would guess by looking at me that I have felt this way at all this week. I'm generally a cheery person and try to put forward a positive attitude. Part of my Irish heritage, I guess. 

Even with a lot on my mind and a heavy heart, I can still see God working in my life. Sometimes in very unexpected ways. I was approached this week by a friend who is only a few months out from her first miscarriage. She was hit by a flood of emotions this week when another friend of hers had a baby. She wasn't expecting it and is, of course, happy for her friend. But it is distressing to get hit with those emotions and that sense of loss so expectantly. I knew exactly how she felt. And I'm glad she reached out to me. 

At the time, the conversation made me sad, and still does. I know how she feels and I hate that she has to go through that. I also hate that it recalls those same emotions in myself as well. Those feelings that never really go away, but get somewhat easier to deal with over time. When she then expressed her gratitude to me in being able to find someone who understands what she is going through, I was hit with the realization that this is part of God's plan for me.

God has given me the chance to help others through my own experiences. If nothing else, I am that person who can listen and just understand. I don't even have to say anything. Sometimes a listening ear from someone who has "been there" is all that is needed. I'd gladly give back my experiences with pregnancy loss, but I can't. And if I can't I'm glad that my experiences can be the thing that helps someone else feel not so all alone.

This may seem like an odd thing to post as a "Saturday Smiles" post. But I smile at this because I know that is using our hurts, both mine and my friend's, toward a positive. I still wish that neither of us had to go through the pain of miscarriage, but through it I can see God's love for us as He uses our hurts to help support each other.

And that makes me happy to be a child of God. I know that God grieves with us. And I know He can bring good even out of pain and sadness.

What made you smile this week? How were you aware of God's presence in your life? Share in the comments below or write your own blog post and link it up here using the inLinkz form below. Please also include a link in your post back to this one.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Living Counter-Culturally

From iusenfp.com
I am well aware that my husband and I live counter-culturally. I am not surprised by this when I do pop my head out of the Catholic bubble that I can often get caught up in and view the world around me. We do not live according to the norms accepted by our society today.

And it saddens me that what is considered "normal" is to pump a woman's body up with artificial hormones so that the normal, God-given way her body is supposed to work is suppressed.

And it is this reason that I write this post. The thing is, I am probably writing to people who are also in that same Catholic bubble that I am in. It can be easy to forget that not everyone understands the true freedom that is available when a woman learns how her body works, understands her cycles, and can stop the artificial hormones. So I feel like I'm preaching to the choir. However, on the off-chance that someone does read this who is on the fence or for whom this is new information, I do want to share a little about NFP.

I had serious doubts about Natural Family Planning (NFP) when I first started hearing about it. I was at a point in my life where I was trying to learn more about the Catholic Church to gain a better understanding of many of the teachings with which I did not agree. NFP was one of the hardest to find information about. But the amount of information out there today is amazing! Anyone who is looking for greater understanding today and just going to the internet as I was many years ago will have greater success than I did.

For that I am extremely grateful!

The best thing about NFP, from my perspective, is that I always know where in my cycle I am. And I have some messed up, wacky cycles at times. Believe me, if I can learn NFP and understand my cycles, anyone can! We have used NFP to conceive each and every time we have conceived. And we have used it to avoid during those times, particularly those months immediately following a miscarriage, when I was not physically or emotionally ready to conceive again. I can tell you with certainty that I have conceived on four different occasions and possibly a fifth.

Yes, a fifth. I don't know for certain whether we did or not and I may never know. It could potentially have been an unusually long luteal phase or it could have been a very early miscarriage. If you are unfamiliar with NFP terminology let me explain:

A luteal phase is the period of time between when a woman ovulates and when her next period begins. Regardless of the length of your cycle (which we all know can vary for a variety of purposes, like stress or weight gain/loss, etc.) your luteal phase is consistent within a day or two. Every. Single. Time. If a woman is also taking her basal body temperature (first temp of the morning) this is also the time when the temp rises due to an increase in progesterone and a decrease in estrogen. I have cycles that are occasionally 150 days long, more likely 45-60 or so days long, and sometimes 35-40 days long. No matter how long my cycle is from time of ovulation to my next period is 13-14 days, sometimes 15.

The cycle prior to the cycle in which I conceived our daughter Brigit. I had an 18 day luteal phase. I took a pregnancy test on day 17 that came back negative. [I have never been one for taking tests early.] I was sure I was pregnant, but then I got my period. Was I? Possibly. Possibly not. But because of the knowledge NFP has given me it does make me wonder sometimes.

This is just one example of the knowledge NFP can give someone about their body. There is so much more out there. If the idea of taking artificial hormones into your body bothers you, I urge you to consider something else, particularly NFP. And if you are still determined to remain on the other side of the fence, consider this:
From iusenfp.com
As I mentioned earlier, there are many great places to find information on NFP. I've noticed an increase in the number of these sites just recently. So I want to share them here:

iusenfp.com is a newer site with information on various NFP Methods, a blog, personal stories, lots of cool graphics, and more. They also have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. I love their graphics!!

www.1flesh.org is also a newer site and one I have only heard about but not looked into until I started writing this post. They also have a blog, informative articles, cool graphics, and more. Looks like they plan on selling gear some day too!

www.livingthesacrament.com is a Catholic NFP Community. I have been following them on Facebook but had not visited their website until today. Looks like they have lots of good information as well as forums, a blog, and lots of great resources. Even if you're not Catholic there could be lots of good info here if you're researching NFP. NFP is not just for Catholics, I hope you know.

There are many different ways to practice NFP and each is based on learning different patterns of your body's natural processes. I use a method called sympto-thermal, as taught be the Couple to Couple League. Other popular methods I am aware of include the Creighton Model and the Marquette Model. There are other methods as well. The groups I linked above all include links to these three methods as well as many others.

And let me just simply add: this is not your grandmother's rhythm method. Don't try to tell me it is.

Finally, this is NFP Awareness Week. The USCCB website has a page set up with all sorts of resources for this week. It is another great place to go for information.

If you're not yet at a place where you are willing to step out and start living counter-culturally that is okay. I encourage you to continue reading, researching, and asking questions. Check out the methods I listed, visit the websites, and maybe even take a class. You're not committing to it just by taking the class, but maybe, just maybe, you might hear something that will make sense and give you the courage to take that next step.

Isn't the health of your body (or your wife's body) worth it? Don't you think God gave us, as women, our bodies to work a certain way? Why should we mess with what He created? Did He not know what He was doing? Do we not trust God in what He gave us as women?

Good questions to ponder. I hope you will.
From iusenfp.org

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday Smiles no. 3

In my effort to be more aware of God's presence in my life, I have begun this series of Saturday Smiles posts. I look forward to you joining in as well. God can be present to us in so many ways: through the people around us, through our participation in the Mass, through prayer and sacrifice, through nature's beauty, and much, much more. What made you recognize God's presence in your life this week? Or, what made you suddenly feel close to God in some way this week? I hope you'll share in the comments below or on your own blog (and please share the link here). Let's all relish in each other's smiles from God together.


Have you ever had a special intention that seemed to be the prayer that would never get answered? Well, this week I saw one of those answered. While this intention wasn't mine specifically, I have prayed for this intention as well on behalf of the friends whose intention it was. And many, many other people have been praying for them as well.

To be a witness to a prayer many years in the making finally get answered in an amazing and beautiful way was extraordinary. The day I heard the good news I got chills and I couldn't stop smiling all day. It's a lesson too. You can pray and pray and pray for an intention, but it all happens in God's timing. It can get frustrating, cause us to be bitter or fall into depression, or make us doubt God's love for us. But if we persist and persevere and rely on God even when we feel like he has abandoned us, He can answer those prayers in amazing ways.

What made you smile this week? How were you aware of God's presence in your life? Add a comment to share or write your own blog post and link it up here in the comments. Please also include a link in your post back to this one. [I'm actually considering adding the Mr. Linky Widget here to make sharing easier, but haven't had the time this week to delve into something new. Stay tuned, I hope to add that soon.]

Friday, July 20, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 44


Can I just say how cute little boys in little sneakers are!?! Oh my goodness. The cuteness factor just went up by a billion! I'll have to post a picture later, it's on my camera and I just don't have time tonight to download it (and I don't have the patience to deal with Hubby's very slow computer). Their little feet look so much bigger in their sneakers. Thursday was the first time we put them on them. So cute!! 


It's been pretty dry here this summer until just recently. We have thankfully gotten a lot more rain these past two weeks. Lawns are starting to look somewhat green again and the ban on fireworks was lifted. All those fireworks everyone had bought for the 4th were sitting around until just this past weekend. Saturday night there were pops and booms going on all over the place. I'm hoping it is over now until New Years Eve.

Yeah, yeah, I'm a stick in the mud. But I'm okay with that.


We had the torrential downpours last week which I mentioned in my Quick Takes last Friday. The rain continued over the weekend with a few strong storms and some lighter rain showers. Sunday evening while I was feeding the boys their dinner I was looking out the glass doors on the back of the house and noticing that the rain looked a bit strange. We have a large covered porch off the back with sliding glass doors. I could see rain coming down along the edge of the porch but not much beyond it. I stepped outside and looked down toward the driveway and this is what I saw:

Notice the left side of the driveway is wet and the right side is dry. The edge of the rain shower was right there. I was standing at the top of the stairs, it was raining lightly directly over me, but I only had to reach my arm out to my right and I couldn't feel any rain. Very strange!


I also took this picture:

This is the sky right above where I was standing in the picture in #2. The sun was shining down and if you look carefully there are some rain drops visible in the picture. Not far beyond that there is no rain. You really can't get a sense of the rain shower in this picture, but I thought it was pretty anyway and wanted to share.


For the first time I am seeing a breakthrough with the boys. At almost 14 months old I am getting very tired of feeding them bottles and having to hold them. I can't do anything while I sit between them holding both their bottles for them. But just the other day Ethan actually drank out of a sippy cup. Amazing! It was the fifth one we have tried. Unfortunately he wanted nothing to do with it the next day. In the meantime, Peter has miraculously started holding his own bottle. We knew he could do it, he's been capable for a long time, he just utterly refused. Wednesday evening they BOTH used a sippy cup. I feel like I'm witnessing a miracle! And I'm not exaggerating. If this has been so hard I can't even begin to imagine potty training.

Can I wait until they are 5 for that? Yeah ... didn't think so.


Because of Pinterest, which I reluctantly joined [because I needed something else to eat up my time like I need a hole in my head], I have been discovering articles and blog posts about blogging. It's been nice to get tips for improving how to write, how to blog, and how to put it all together. Wednesday I stumbled onto this article by Devin Rose which I found very interesting and so "pinned" it to my "Blogging Tips" Pinterest Board. I have been wondering lately about this blog and whether it needs more of a focus. I do tend to have a few main topics I focus on from time to time but this is mostly a multi-topic-blog, albeit with a Catholic spin a majority of the time. Devin's article was encouraging to those of us who write about whatever we feel like at the time. He had some interesting insights, so go check it out. And the comments he got were also insightful, so don't forget to read those too.


My husband bought a cloud this week. There's a sentence I never would have thought I'd ever say. So anyone know what I'm talking about? Any guesses?

For more Quick Takes, head on over to Conversion Diary.

Cloud image source: morgueFile

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Peter's first school art project

Ethan's first school art project

The benches are in memory of someone's twin brother.
(UK Newman Center)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Love Mondays!

Okay, I know. I'm crazy. But really, Mondays are much better days for me than Tuesdays. And I'm already guaranteeing that this Tuesday is going to get off to a less than desirable start because I'm up late writing this post. But what can you do!

This Monday was a superb day and let me tell you why:

First, I decided that lugging two babies into daycare in their infant carriers was just too much work. So I carried one in the carrier and took one in my arms and into the building we went. I think I saved a few minutes of time too!

Score one for me!

Second, I got some incredibly awesome, make-me-smile-all-day, happiest news ever shortly after I got into work this morning. Seriously it made my day and it was just past 9am.

Can't score that one, I didn't do anything. Just good news!

Third, I think I need long breaks from work on a more regular basis. I don't dread the "problem" piles on my desk as much, the problems get fixed and don't seem nearly as scary as they did when I had a lot more on my mind. I'm also more creative in some of my decision making and suggestions for future projects. So I think this means I need to get pregnant again!

Score two for me! [And no, I'm not pregnant.]

Fourth, we had a child actually use a sippy cup tonight! Did Hades freeze over? Are pigs actually flying in Cincinnati? Did the university actually put together a winning football team? [My apologies to the UK fans, but you know I'm right.] Finally the fifth type of sippy cup we bought clicked for one of them. Hallelujah! So Ethan may be able to handle a sippy cup or at least he knows what is in it. Peter on the other hand is at least starting to hold a bottle although only if he sits in your lap tilted back, lazy-boy style as Hubby calls it.

I'm taking two on this one. Score four for me!

How was your Monday?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday Smiles, no. 2

In my effort to be more aware of God's presence in my life, I have begun this series of Saturday Smiles posts. I look forward to you joining in as well. God can be present to us in so many ways: through the people around us, through our participation in the Mass, through prayer and sacrifice, through nature's beauty, and much, much more. What made you recognize God's presence in your life this week? Or, what made you suddenly feel close to God in some way this week? I hope you'll share in the comments below or on your own blog (and please share the link here). Let's all relish in each other's smiles from God together.


This week I got a big smile when I went to pick up my boys from daycare. Usually they are both playing fine when I get there, but then they see me and immediately start crawling toward me and start whining and crying. The crying gets worse for whomever I don't pick up since I can usually only pick up one at a time in order to use my other hand to sign them out. But twice this week, Ethan smiled real big when he saw me and ran to me with a bit more excitement. It warmed my heart.

Peter still starts whining and crying. Oh well, we're making progress.

Regardless, I love seeing Ethan so excited! It reminded me of how much God wants us to be excited to see Him and wants us to run to Him in excitement too. I need to remember that on Sunday when I come forward to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. God so loves us that He gives Himself to us, body, blood, soul, and divinity, in the Eucharist. What a gift!

How about you?

P.S. Sorry for the late post on this Saturday. I actually got the post set up on Thursday but hadn't finished writing it out yet, planned to do that on Friday, and then got side-tracked. :) Hopefully I'll get next week's up earlier in the day. Thanks!

Friday, July 13, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 43


I just realized, as I sat down to write this Quick Takes, that it has been over a month since I did one of these. That's quite a long time! Did anyone notice? ::big grin::


Although I haven't posted a QT in this space, I'm not completely out of practice on Quick Takes posts. I have posted three QTs during this time period over at Catholic Sistas. Have you seen them? They are more thematic posts but all geared at getting to know the various ink slingers over at CS. I conducted a survey about our favorite prayers and did two "interviews" with individual ink slingers: Martina, our founder, and Misty, one of our more prolific writers. If you haven't checked those QTs out yet, I highly recommend you do. They are fun posts!


Massive downpour + two baby carriers = one very wet mom! It went like this:
  • Daycare pickup in the afternoon during massive downpour.
  • Two babies strapped into their infant carriers, one half flight of stairs, and one mama who CANNOT carry both carriers up and down stairs at the same time anymore.
  • Did I mention the rain?
  • Get both babies through doorway and onto landing; carry one down the stairs and leave him by the door; go back up the stairs; carry second baby down the stairs and put him down.
  • Still raining ... hard.
  • Pick up one baby, make a slow dash to the car, get him in, quickly dash back to the door, type in the code and get back inside.
  • (There is, thankfully, a very tiny overhang above the door.)
  • Pick up second baby and do the same, then jump in drivers side.
  • Mom is completely soaked through and laughing.
Yep, laughing. I just couldn't help it and couldn't stop. I had to sit in the parking lot for a moment to collect myself. I was out of breath, a little stressed, and laughing my head off.


It's not even NFP Awareness Week yet and I'm suddenly seeing lots of NFP-related stuff all over Facebook and Twitter. It's like all of us who advocate for the NFP lifestyle just can't wait. It's a gear up period; and it doesn't hurt that there are at least two new websites on NFP that are starting to advertise themselves wherever they can. We are so excited to spread the news and to help our friends or family members to reconsider their use of the pill or other contraceptive methods that we start early. I even posted something myself without even thinking about it in relation to NFP Awareness Week. It was totally coincidental.


Speaking of NFP, can I just say how amazing I find the human body? What an extraordinary creator God is! I see my chart, which astoundingly has been looking semi-normal lately, and I am awestruck that cycle after cycle it works just like the book says it does. We've been using NFP to both conceive and avoid for over four years and it still impresses me. God truly does know what He is doing. Why do people try to mess with that?


Do you watch the Food Network? I do. I watch very little TV, especially since we moved into our new house. But on Sunday night, I watch Food Network. If I watch nothing else all week, I want that one night to watch whatever food-related, reality show Food Network is airing. Cupcake Wars is okay, but I especially like the Next Food Network Star, Worst Cooks, and the special Chopped series they do (all-stars, champions, etc.). The Next Food Network Star this season is coming to a close quickly and I have really enjoyed the new format they did this time. I have two favorites right now, one who was sort of a favorite of mine from the beginning and another that just became another favorite for me this past week. I can't wait to see how it all turns out!!


Did you see the Saturday Smiles post last Saturday? That was just the beginning. Check in tomorrow for another one. And I hope you'll share in the comments, too. Or post a Saturday Smiles on your own blog and come share the link on my post. I'm looking forward to making this is a weekly tradition!

For more fun Quick Takes posts, head on over to Conversion Diary and say hi to Jen.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Natural Family Planning: Evangelizing to My Doctor

One year and 6 weeks ago
One year ago today I had my 6-week check-up with my doctor following the birth of my two precious babies. Believe it or not, I still remember that appointment.

Just to clarify, I like my doctor a lot, she's super nice and compassionate but also gets down to business. We do chat a little, but not a lot. I feel like she gives me the time I need but she also gets to the point. She's busy, it's a busy practice, but I never feel rushed. Because she also had a baby last year and was on maternity leave and because of the high risk status of my pregnancy I actually did not have her as my doctor for the last three months of my pregnancy and someone else did the delivery. But my doctor did my follow-up appointments.

At that last follow-up I had with her we talked a bit about when I would see her again. "Don't need to come back for another year," was the consensus. But then she added, "unless you get pregnant before then."

She and I have gone round and round on the whole NFP thing. I have issues, I can see it in my chart; someone I know who is a former OB/GYN can also see it in my chart. But my doctor, as much as I like her, has no clue. She obviously puts no stock in using NFP as a way to avoid pregnancy for a period of time.

I know she respects my decision (mine and my husband's) but she doesn't trust it. Which is fine, I'm not asking her to use it and I appreciate that she does respect my choice. I also appreciate that she no longer asks me about birth control. In a city that has very few choices for NFP-friendly doctors and no NFP-only doctors (OB/GYNs, anyway), that's all I want. Respect and no one asking me repeatedly about something I have clearly stated I morally object to, more than once.

I know her final statement was made in light of her distrust of anything NFP. It doesn't bother me (I know it would bother some), it actually kind of makes me laugh. My husband and I have talked about adding to our family, but we have discerned that we need more time; not just because we have twins and that by itself is a lot of work, but also for my health.

Funnily enough, I do need to call and make an appointment since it has been a year now. I have the desire to point out to her that it has been a year and we have successfully avoided conception for now. But I most likely won't do that, probably not polite to do so.

I prefer for her to put the pieces together herself and recognize that maybe, just maybe, there is something to this whole NFP thing. I prefer evangelizing through my actions rather than my words; plant the seeds and let them take root where they may. In this case especially, I can witness to my doctor what using NFP is really like and maybe she'd be more open to it when the next NFP patient comes along.

I can dream!

P.S. Speaking of NFP, NFP Awareness Week is coming up July 22-28. I'm sure many bloggers will be posting NFP-themed posts and I'll probably add my voice to the mix as well. Something to look forward to!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just a Cataloger

My first week back at work went really well.

I had only one meeting that ended up being only about 20 minutes, probably because it was a meeting I was in charge of and I had nothing to to talk about. Two people in my unit were also out last week so there were only three of us in the meeting.

I also made a couple decisions on some big projects and got quick agreement from others involved. I think the decisions came from a fresh perspective after being away for 6 months. I didn't have any of the every day stuff weighing on my mind and could more clearly see the problem and how to best tackle it. It felt good too. I need to do that more often with big decisions.

I also just did a lot of cataloging and not much else. My job is divided up into several components: x% for this, y% for that, z% for this other thing and so on. My percentages include things like professional development, research, administration, and primary assignment. [That's four, there should be five, but I can't think of the fifth right now.] My primary assignment is as a cataloger and my percentage is somewhere around 60% of my time. It's pretty high, but in reality I probably spend less than that on actual cataloging tasks. That percentage is more of an ideal than a reality. Sadly.

So yeah ... why do we have a backlog? Um, yeah.

Anyway, I spent the majority of my time during my first week back just cataloging. It felt good to be just a cataloger. That is the work I like. No meetings, no timesheets, no statistics, no reports to write, and no training, teaching, or reviewing other's work; just cataloging.

It was the best way to get back into the swing of things. Already on Monday of week two I spent my entire morning in a meeting, gathering timesheets, and tracking down statistics sheets. I only spent my last hour and a half, maybe two hours, doing any cataloging.

But I'm glad my first week was the way it was. And it is a good reminder of why I really do like my job. Even if I spend a lot of time doing other things. I like those times when I am just a cataloger.

Image source morgueFile

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Saturday Smiles

Last Saturday I posted about how I intend to be more aware of God's presence in my life and asked readers to join me in this. I hope this will be the first of many posts in which we can share those things that made us smile because we knew God had a hand in it. As I said in last week's post:
What makes you smile? What touches your heart? What takes you by surprise this week? A beautiful sunset splashing lots of colors across the sky can remind us of God's love for the world just as much as changing that horribly stinky diaper can remind us of how much God loves His children (i.e. us) and would do anything for us.
 I hope you'll join me and share your moment when you recognized God around you in some way. Tell us in the comments or share on your own blog and share the link in the comments below. Let's give everyone visiting here many reasons to smile on this Saturday.


On Wednesday, July 4th, I attended Mass at our parish, also the Cathedral parish in our diocese. If I had to guess, there were about 600 people there, a dozen priests on the altar with the Bishop, several seminarians serving at the mass, and two deacons on the altar and I recognized many, many more throughout the congregation. I saw lots of familiar faces. This was a Mass to end the Fortnight for Freedom in our diocese. I attend Mass at the cathedral every week and the energy that was present throughout the congregation on this day was much more vibrant than I am used to.

It was a very reverent Mass. I saw so many people there I knew from several different parishes. I felt surrounded by people of strong, unyielding faith as we joined together to celebrate our religious freedom as Catholics and as Americans. Despite the fact that I had a squirmy baby in my arms and had to move around the side aisles and back of the church during the Mass, I still felt the vibe of this community coming together. During Mass I remember praying that our religious freedom would not be compromised in the years to come and that my children would have the same freedoms to not just practice their faith within the walls of our churches but also live their lives as people of faith.

At the end of Mass as we started singing America and the crowd of servers, deacons, priests, and the Bishop began the recessional I was overcome with emotion. I truly felt the hand of God among His people at that moment. I felt proud to be a Catholic. I felt proud of my ancestors who remained true to the faith and passed it on to their children all the way down to me. I felt proud of my great-grandparents and the sacrifices they made to come to this country in search of a better life. And I felt proud to be an American.

It did my heart good to know that there is still a strong Catholic faith in this country. I felt honored to be at that Mass. And it made me smile to know that there are so many of us that are willing to stand up and fight for our religious freedom in this country. We are all Americans, but we are Catholics first.


What made you smile this week? Where did you most feel God's presence in your every day?
Leave a comment below to share your moment so we can all smile with you. Or if you have a blog, write up your own "Saturday Smiles" post and share the link in the comments below.
Thanks for participating!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Rarely do we get them both to smile for a picture!


Birthday trip to Toys 'R' Us thanks to Uncle Paul,
soon-to-be Aunt Christine, Aunt Caitlin, and soon-to-be Uncle Chris

Monday, July 02, 2012

Random Fun Facts

We moved from using high chairs to using booster seats attached to kitchen chairs some time ago. Takes up much less space in our kitchen! However, the high chairs are now sitting in the dining room, taking up space there.

Why is this picture upside down?
I have no idea!
So tonight Hubby mentioned that we should probably find a new place to put them. I mentioned the attic and then with a sudden thought suggested we put ONE in the attic and sell the second.

We also recently sent off our double infant stroller to friends that are expecting twins in a few months.

I saw the wheels turning in Hubby's head. Then he laughed and said, "Muphy's Law, right?"

Um, yeah ... funny? Not so much.

Love my twin boys, but ... it is a lot of work. I would love to know what it is like to have only one baby.

That leaves one question. What are the odds of having a second set of twins? I know our chances really aren't any higher than they were before because our boys are identical twins. Even so, with one set of identical twins, how common is it to have another set of identical twins or any set of twins for that matter.

With a quick internet search I found a very interesting page with all sorts of twin facts. So cool!! I thought the most interesting fact was that the children of identical twins although legally cousins are genetically half-siblings. It makes sense, I just never thought about it before. Check out more fun twin facts at this Twin Statistics site.

And to answer our question, our chances of having a second set of identical twins is 1 in 70,000 or less. Chances of having one set of identicals and one set of fraternals is 1 in 10,000.

Anything can happen, God is in control, but seeing those statistics is refreshing.

Image source morgueFile