Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday Smiles, no. 17

Andrea del Verrocchio, c. 1475,
public domain
I am currently reading the Gospel of Luke. Each night I sit with it and read some part of it, whether that is one small passage or verse or a whole chapter. Depends on what strikes me. As I read this week this particular passage made me smile:

After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. (Luke 3, 21-22)

The image of Jesus being baptized and having the Holy Spirit descend upon Him is one that pretty much everyone is familiar with. I was particularly struck with the small phrase "and was praying." Jesus prayed a lot. For some reason I don't think about that fact much. Up into reading this more carefully there were maybe two places in Scripture that I could point to where Jesus was praying.

Goes to show how unfamiliar I am with Scripture.

I like the image of Jesus praying. It's a very important reminder to me that I need to be doing this more. A lot more! Jesus prayed a lot and He was God. Obviously I need to be praying much, much more myself.

Thank you, Jesus, for reminding me how I can better know You.

Friday, October 26, 2012

7 Quick Takes, vol. 49


When did my babies become toddlers? Seriously, they walk, they climb up stairs, they talk babble a lot, they are starting to use some sign language, they can tell you what sound a fish makes, and they can point to their noses, ears, mouths, heads, and bellies. I'm amazed at the little persons they are becoming. And I love it! As much as I loved them as babies, I really do like seeing the tiny bits of independence starting to develop in them. So cool!!

And I'm going to have to get a video of the fish sounds, there are just no words to describe it.


And speaking of the boys and their cuteness ... Ethan suddenly has a great love for dogs. He is fascinated with them! I'm not sure where it came from. We do not have a dog. But he will make some sort of sound when you ask him what a dog says. He loves, loves, LOVES a book we have (thanks, Nanny!) called Doggies. Hubby isn't too fond of this book because it has no plot. Plot is important to Hubby, not so much to the almost 17 month old. There is a reason why the subtitle is "a counting and barking book." Just saying.

There is also a toy dog at daycare that Ethan always has with him when I get there in the afternoon. And he always puts it away in the basket before we leave. This boy loves dogs!!

I've already told Hubby that he's handling the "no, we aren't getting a dog" line when this boy is older and desperately wants a dog of his own.


This past Saturday was our anniversary. We've been married 5 years now! I can't believe it's been that long and yet, I also can't believe that it's only been 5 years! We celebrated with dinner on the  KY Dinner Train. It was a lot of fun and the food was really good. My foodie husband even said the food was good and it was worth doing again. And let me tell you, that is not a compliment he gives out readily! If you ever find yourself in that part of KY and you're looking for something nice to do, we'd recommend it.


I have had a very busy week and thus did not do any blogging. I'm hoping to remedy this situation next week. I like blogging if for no other reason than it gives me a chance to write and think out ideas. That didn't happen this week. But that's life, sometimes we have to let some things go in order to do other things. That was my week this week.


I just realized too that I still haven't done part 3 of my series on why I am pro-life. Oops! It really has been one of those weeks. If you haven't been following, check out part 1 here and part 2 over here. I promise part 3 will get published before too long. Really.


Halloween is next week! Already. Where did the time go? I went out earlier this week to find a costume for one of the boys (we had something already for one, just needed the other) and I was amazed at how difficult it was to find costumes. Do people buy their costumes as soon as the calendar hits October? I guess I shouldn't be surprised, I did see a Christmas shopping commercial on TV last night and it's not even November yet.

By the way, I was looking for a dog costume. Couldn't find one and didn't want to order something online. But I found something just as cute and the boy is too young to understand ... or care. At this age it's all for the parents anyway. And I'm okay with that.


Finally, I'd like to wrap up this post with a request for your prayers. I have two friends that could really use some extra prayers right now and for as long as you're willing to pray for them. Both have recently lost their spouse. Both deaths were completely unexpected. Both were way too young and leave behind very young children. One of my friends is now without her husband raising her twin 6 year old children. The other is now without his wife, raising his four boys ages 1-10, and looking for a different job, one that will allow him to be home with his family more than his current job does. Your prayers are greatly appreciated!

Have a nice weekend and go visit Jen at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday Smiles, no. 16

This week I saw the love of Christ shining through someone in a way that I don't think I ever have before. I couldn't do anything but smile, he had such a contagious glow about him as he talked about Christ and the importance of Him in our lives. I was truly in awe of the deep love I could feel coming from this person as we talked.

To give you a little bit of context, I started spiritual direction this week with a priest that I have known for a couple years or so. Spiritual direction is something I have thought about doing on and off over the past several years. I would think about it, start asking around about it some, drop it, start thinking about it again, and so on. I finally decided to ask a priest I knew. I went to daily Mass one day, deciding that if he was there that day I would try and catch him after Mass just to see if it was a possibility.

But when I went to Mass that day a different priest was there, someone I also knew some. No big deal, there was always email or I'd see him another time. The during the homily I heard a small voice inside me tell me that this was the priest I needed to be seeking spiritual direction from, not the one I was planning on asking. So I did, and now a few months later we finally managed to set up a time to get started.

This was definitely the right choice for me. I can say that with certainty after just one session. To see this priest talk about Christ in such a loving way did so much for my heart. I felt like Christ Himself was shining through this man across the table from me. 

And all I could do was smile!

Now it's your turn: How did you witness Christ in your life this week? Comment below or link up your own blog post.

Image source morgueFile

Friday, October 19, 2012

Children and Faith

Today you can find me over at Catholic Sistas. I am sharing about my awe in the intuitive nature children have of God and the spiritual world. Here's a small snippet:
As we begin the Year of Faith, I thought this was a good time to remind ourselves of how that childlike acceptance of faith and the spiritual realm really looks. Only through the eyes of children can we do that. Some of my friends graciously agreed to share some of their stories with me.
Although the post is mine, the stories are what really make the post what it is. I can't take credit for any of that! Thank you to all my friends who shared the stories they had of the faith of their children.

Read more at What our Children can teach us about Faith.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why I am Pro-Life: Reason #2

This is part 2 of a series of as yet to be determined parts on why I am Pro-Life. I have not always been pro-life and I hope my witness can be of interest to others who are on the fence, do not have a strong opinion, or feel that there are some cases in which abortion should be allowed. I hope this series can be of help for anyone questioning the pro-choice agenda. You can read part 1 here.

March for Life 2012, Washington Post
In my last post of this series I said that my former pro-choice position was based on emotional arguments only. It was finally taking the time to actually listen to the pro-life side that started having an effect on how I viewed the issue intellectually. But that was only the very first step. To say that one side is too emotional and the other too intellectual creates a simplicity that does not exist. What I want to talk about here is the emotional aspect of the pro-life side.

Reason #2 why I am pro-life: I witnessed a passion for the issue that I had never seen before.

Demonstrations and rallies and letter campaigns and so much more were things of the past to me. They happened during a time period before I was born. I didn't know anyone who did these kinds of things. There didn't seem to be a reason for doing these things because the rights that had been fought for were now laws on the books. What was left?

I knew plenty of people who were pro-choice, who believed in a woman's right to choose, but none of them had to do anything about it. For my generation, those laws have always been there. I guess there really was no reason to have a passion for it.

But as I started meeting more pro-life people, talking to them, listening to them, asking questions of them, and witnessing their actions, I saw a passion that was infectious. I saw people who went to demonstrations and rallies and wrote letters to the editor. I saw people who spoke up in what they believed in and challenged others who (like me) didn't have a strong conviction. I saw people who could speak intelligently on the issue, make sense, and show a compassion for women that I had not witnessed among the pro-choice crowd.

That kind of passion speaks volumes. And it did for me.

Over 200 THOUSAND people attending a pro-life rally in Washington, D.C. every January on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade? How come I had never heard of that before? I was stunned!

Plus there was so much more. The pro-choice side focused on one thing: abortion. That wasn't true on the pro-life side. This side of the coin focuses on so much more and it all goes hand in hand: euthanasia, the death penalty, and much more. All those issues along with fighting for the rights of children to be born were like different pieces of a puzzle that all fit together to make a whole. It gave more meaning and depth to the pro-life movement.

What impressed me was that no one had to sit me down and try to convince me of their side. Just listening and witnessing the passion for this issue was all I needed to get my wheels spinning and start reconsidering my convictions. Actions really do speak louder than words. And then you find out more:

Norma McCorvey, aka Jane Roe, converted to Catholicism and now fights for the repeal of the law for which she is named.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of NARAL, became pro-life and spent the rest of his life fighting for the rights of the unborn.

These are just two examples of many, many more. I started wondering what convinced these people, people who had a profound impact on current law, to completely change their tunes and fight on with the pro-life movement.

And they had a passion for it. That was obvious. You have to have a passion for it to give up friends and family to fight for something you believe in. Plus, in all my reading of liberal, pro-women magazines and other literature I had never once ran across anyone who converted to the pro-choice side after being well-known, passionate pro-lifers. Why did it always seem to be one way and not the other?

At this point in my journey I was definitely on the road to conversion myself. I could no longer call myself pro-choice, but I was still hesitant to call myself pro-life. I appreciated the passion I saw for the rights of the unborn, but I wasn't ready to attend a rally myself yet. I needed more convincing.

Stay tuned for more in part three of my story.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday Ten: Jumping on Board

My stop watch is going and here I am. This is totally off the top of my head, no planning, no nothing. I had to do this in graduate school, although I don't know that I was quite as rigorous about it. In other words, I didn't use a stopwatch. But I really wanted to try this and so I'm finally doing it.

I also wanted to do it because I have two blog posts I have to write {this NOT being on of them} and I'm feeling blank. A frustrating place for someone who wants to call herself a writer and is facing two deadlines. But hey, writing for ten minutes like this means I'm writing something and maybe I'll have a few brainstorms in the process.

So let me tell you what I am trying to write. Why not, I have nothing better to do anyway. Hahaha!

First there is the series of posts I started last week which I know left some readers hanging. I don't want anyone to forget and so I really do need to write a second post in the series and get it up this week. So this is a self-imposed deadline. Still, I don't like to keep people hanging. I know what my topic is, I just have to sit down and do it.

But more importantly, I have a post due for Catholic Sistas. Due to publish on Friday morning, which means I technically have to have it set up and ready to go by Wednesday afternoon. I know my topic here as well and this is where I need a little brainstorming. I want to explore the spiritual world from the perspective of children. In 1200 words or less. So I'm not going to go very deep, but I want to present a few things.

I got this idea from a couple different places. First of all around the time of the Feast of the Guardian Angels friends were sharing stories about their guardian angels. If they had seen them, if they knew their name, ways in which they are aware of their guardian angels, etc. The most fascinating stories were those from their children or from when they were children. Then the Gospel reading from a few weeks back from the Gospel of Mark when Jesus tells the apostles to let the children come to him got me thinking too. I struck me in a different way than it usually does. Both of those things combined along with a few other stories friends of mine had shared with me put this idea in my head.

I guess what I'm really looking to do is present these ideas and stories and ask readers for their own experiences. Now I just have to get that written in a coherent way.

And with that it looks like I've used up my ten minutes. Great exercise!

This post is being done under the inspiration of Rachel Balducci at I will link up her Tuesday Ten post here once she has it up. But go visit her awesome blog anyway!
Post is up: Tuesday Ten at

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wave of Light 2012

It is once again time that time when we remember the babies we have lost too soon. I hope you will join me and families all over the world in remembering these babies today during the Wave of Light.

Whether a family lost a child to miscarriage, stillbirth or abortion, premature birth or SIDS, or some other situation that led to infant death, they dearly miss their child or children and it is good to take time to honor their memory. These families will never forget their children and remember them each and every day. But today is a good time for everyone to take an hour and remember these children.

How can you participate? It's easy, just read the graphic below and visit for more information.

Please join us in remembering our babies and help to make miscarriage, stillbirth, and early infant loss less of a verboten topic.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saturday Smiles, no. 15

Image source: morgueFile
How did you feel God's presence in your life this week? Or how did you feel closer to God in the last week? I was very busy this week and received some incredibly sad news about a friend and the thought of doing this post was not at all on my priority list.

But then, very early Thursday morning (see Take #2 and 4 on this post) I stepped outside and looked up and was caught by surprise. It was still very dark out; it had been a clear night. And the sky was covered in little bitty stars. It caught me off guard, I think, because I hadn't really looked up at the night sky in a very long time. Something I used to like to do a lot.

It made me smile and it made me think of the vastness of time and space, the indescribable creation God has placed before us, and just how small I am in it all. But despite my smallness I know God loves me. That made me smile even more.

I thanked God for putting me in a place where I could see something again that is always right there for me to see but that I hadn't taken the opportunity to see in a very long time. I definitely appreciated the quiet stillness of the early morning, the coldness in the air, and the beauty of the sky more than I had in the past. God's beauty was everywhere that morning. I'm so glad I got to experience it for a short time.

Now it's your turn! Comment below or link up your own blog post. I'm looking forward to reading your experiences with God this week.

Friday, October 12, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 48


I realized this week that I have to up date my vocabulary. Well, I don't have to, but I was watching my boys walk around their playroom and I sadly concluded that it was time. They are no longer babies. Time to start calling them toddlers.

But, of course, they will always be my babies. [Shhhh! Don't tell them that.]


4:45 AM is very early. Especially when you don't get to bed until midnight. And I tried, I really did! I tried so hard to get to bed earlier. Dang! 4:45 AM is E-A-R-L-Y.


And why did I get to bed so late? I think I have a problem. Here it is: I must do all laundry before packing for a trip. Any trip. Even one that is only 3 days short. Does anyone else do this? And it wasn't just making sure that I had everything I needed. I even did the boys' laundry and I didn't need to pack for them. Just me. I'm the only one on this trip. Anyone else have this need to do all the laundry before packing?


Thursday's early morning start was because of a plan to leave around 6 AM to drive to one of the suburbs on the west side of Chicago and get there in time for meetings at 1 PM ... central time, thankfully. We left slightly later than planned, but made good time. Even with two stops (breakfast and lunch), we got to the hotel and into our meetings just after 1:00. I was quite impressed with us.

We/us, by the way, would be myself and a colleague, we were traveling together.


Let me tell you one problem with traveling with a colleague, especially one that you like. You start talking and you forget to look at the gas gauge. Yep, that would be me. Luckily, we did not run out of gas. But there we were on I-80 when I looked down and saw the needle right at "E" and my little gas light on. I about panicked! Did it just come on? Has it been on for a while? I had no idea! And why is it there are gas stations everywhere except when you need one? We had just crossed into Illinois and I took the first exit I saw that looked promising (no gas/food/lodging signs anywhere). I think we were driving on fumes because I put 10.3 gallons in my little car. I think it has an 11 gallon tank. I am just so thankful we found a gas station when we did!

Correction: While talking to Hubby last night he informed me that the car does not have 11 gallons in it. It has 10.5. Definitely driving on fumes. Eeek!


After my afternoon meeting I had a break and ran into some professional colleagues in the hotel lobby. Right away I was asked for updated pictures of the boys. They got passed around and everyone started asking me the usual questions. Then someone asked me how I could be away from such cuties for this conference. I impressed myself with my response:

"It's hard, but I can leave them because I know my husband is great and does a great job with them."

And the best part is that it is all true. He is a great dad and takes great care of them when I have to be away. I'm a very lucky girl.


Thursday evening of this conference is always put on by the local group hosting us. This year they brought in a professor of the steelpan as well as a composer who is on faculty at one of the local universities. The presentation on the steelpan was amazing. And then to see snippets of the concerto the composing faculty member wrote was equally amazing. I thought it would be fun to close out this Quick Takes with a clip from you tube of Liam Teague and his amazing steelpan playing. The steelpan is a much more versatile instrument than even I knew. So here's Liam on steelpan playing a traditional western European piece arranged for steelpan:

For more Quick Takes, don't forget to go visit Jen at Conversion Diary.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why I Am Pro-Life: Reason #1

This is part 1 of a series of as yet to be determined parts on why I am Pro-Life. I have not always been pro-life and I hope my witness can be of interest to others who are on the fence, do not have a strong opinion, or feel that there are some cases in which abortion should be allowed. I hope this series can be of help for anyone questioning the pro-choice agenda.

As I contemplated how exactly to begin this series of posts, I couldn't decide how intentionally forceful I should make the very first post. In the end I decided that going for a big punch wasn't important. What was important was that I start and that I share from the heart. So I encourage you to read this post and to stick around for the others, especially if this one does not speak to you. There will be more.

Why am I Pro-Life? It's a good question because I have not always been a champion for the rights of the unborn. It saddens me to think of who I once was. But at the same time I have had several years of asking questions, studying, and listening to others, years I wouldn't trade for anything. I feel like now my position is much more a part of me than if this was something i had just always accepted without question.

And for those who might be like me ... which is stubborn, by the way ... I encourage you to simply listen.

Reason #1 why I am pro-life: I listened.

It's such a simple thing. And yet we (society in general) really don't know how to listen anymore. We hear lots of things ... but do we really listen?

I held an opinion because it made the most sense to me from an emotional perspective. I honestly didn't put a lot of thought into it. I just knew though that abortion had to be a choice that could not be taken away. The problem was that I had no real reason for believing that other than that it just made sense. Had I been challenged on an intellectual level, I don't know that I would have been able to make a solid case for legal abortion.

Then one day I began volunteering to play with a music group at my church. I was just embarking on my journey back to the Church and thought this would be a good way to do something in the church, meet other people, and learn some about the faith. The problem was that I still wasn't listening. Rehearsals mostly consisted of talk about the music and how the music fit into the liturgy (I learned a lot about the beauty of the Mass from that experience) but every now and again the talk would veer off into something else. You have to understand, this was a small group, about 6-8 of us at any given time. Off topic discussions happen frequently in small groups.

There was one person in the group, who also happened to be a doctor, who was very pro-life. If he got on the topic he could talk your ear off. For a long while I tended to zone out and not listen. I think I knew, probably subconsciously, that if I had really listened to him, he could have easily shattered my perspective.

Thankfully, God doesn't give up. Eventually, I did start to take notice. Certain points started making sense. I found myself listening just a very tiny bit more. I'd go home and search for sources to justify my own position and come up with either nothing substantial or websites to groups that didn't seem to have Church approval (and they didn't, I later discovered).

Listening to this person pushed me to start thinking about this issue on a more intellectual level. The emotional reasons for supporting abortion easily crumble when you have to start putting facts to it. But that is not to say that there is not an emotional side to the pro-life position.

On the contrary, I was surprised that there was much, much more to the pro-life position than I had originally thought. But I will save that for the next post: Reason #2.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Saturday Smiles, no. 14

God's love blesses me in so many ways. Despite a very busy week, lots on my plate, and feeling like I was always behind on something ... several things also came together for me.

I can feel God's love through the many friendships I have. I'm amazed that I can "hangout" with a group of women I've only ever known through the computer screen and have a great time! Even if we were talking business. But our Catholic faith brings us together, binds us in a way that I've never had a friendship bound before, and our common love for God and Jesus makes our mission and our friendship just work. What an amazing gift God has given me in these friendships with other faithful Catholic women, most of whom I may never meet in person. At least in this life.

And I do have some pretty awesome friends right here at home too. We too are bound by our common Catholic faith as well as the pain and grief of infertility and pregnancy loss. I got together on Friday evening with a few of these women to have a little mom prayer time together. We ended up mostly talking and not getting to the prayer time, but that's okay. We will the next time.

All of this just reminds me that I can often find God's love around me in the people He places in my life, no matter how busy life gets. Near and far, my friendships with other Catholic women consistently remind me of God's love for me.

Thank you God for the amazing friendships you bring into my life!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

On Air Once Again Discussing Football

Once again I am going to be on a local program on the local Catholic Radio station. And you can tune in and listen if you like! The topic this time will be sports. Yes, on a Catholic radio show. And yes, I will actually be talking sports.

It's definitely going to be different from the last show. To say the least.

The show will be at 5pm Eastern Time on Friday Oct. 5. You can listen in locally at 1380 AM or 94.9 FM. If you are not local, you can go to Real Life Radio and click on the "Listen Live" button to hear the show.

The original plan was to do this show last Friday, the day before my Alma Mater was going to be in town to play against the university here, who also just happens to be my employer. It would have been nice to do the show then, before the game happened, but some changes caused us to move the date to this Friday instead. So now we'll be talking about a game that already happened. Honestly, for me, this is better. I like football, I'm a big fan of my team, but I don't know stats, forget names, and can't remember details of past years. Even the years I attended games regularly as a member of the marching band. But I can easily talk about a game that I watched just one week prior.

Anyway, now that the game has happened, I feel like I have more to talk about. And I'm hoping that maybe we'll also talk about some other things, besides sports.

Tune in if you can. It should be a fun show!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Respect Life Month Plans

This October for Respect Life month I would like to do a few reflections on my conversion to becoming pro-life. I don't yet have a plan in mind, but I have some ideas swirling in my head. Before the month is out I hope to publish at least a couple posts on this topic.

I feel it is a perfect time for me to be discussing this. Respect Life Month will end just days before a very important election for our country. The Life issues are incredibly important in this election. Maybe during the next month there will be others who will have some conversion experiences as well.

I don't know what the individual Catholic Sistas ink slingers have planned for their posts over on that wonderful blog, but I am willing to bet there will be some appropriate posts over there for Respect Life Month. So don't forget to check them out too.

In the meantime, I leave you with this image that I saw on Facebook today. It's a lot to think about: