Lessons in Detachment

By | Posted March 14, 2016

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Marianna turned five in December.  Five.  Seriously, how did that happen?  First, I can’t believe I haven’t been pregnant since then.  I love babies.  Love, love, love them.  But even though I love them and would gladly accept more, Lance said he loved the babies we had.  And that unless God wanted us to have another, we wouldn’t be actively trying for more.  Now that didn’t mean we wouldn’t be a couple.  But considering that we don’t have problems getting pregnant, just staying pregnant, I kind of thought maybe, just maybe we’d have another baby.  Here’s where I say NFP works.  It really does.  It’s not always fun, and we certainly aren’t the poster couple for it, but it works.  And I’m happy that when we got married we decided to follow the church.

But back to my five year old.  And the fact that I don’t have any more babies.  That five year slept in a crib until last night.  I know, weird, right?  Even weirder, the sides were bolted in, so it’s not like I turned the crib into a daybed.  Now, this happened partly because I only had three rooms for the kids, Drake had one to himself, Snax had another and then the other three were stuffed in one room.  I had bunk beds and the crib.  Another bed wouldn’t have fit, and I didn’t want to buy her a toddler bed.  And she still fit in the crib.  And she didn’t mind the crib.

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But Drake moved out December 31st, and I finally moved the boys and their beds to their new room a few weeks ago.  It was time.  We picked up a mattress on Saturday at Texas Mattress Makers.  (We also had a small field trip while there because it is so cool to watch people make mattresses.  And yes, I’m dead serious.) My little girl found a bed fit for a princess that is due to arrive in a few weeks.  We set up the mattress and frame and moved in the singer sewing machine to use as a dressing table, showing Mari how room will come together.

Then I told Lance he had to take apart the crib.  I had each kid come say goodbye to it.  All except Mason because he slept in the yellow crib.  Why?  Because Alec was still sleeping in this one- because apparently, I never move my kids out of their cribs at normal times.  Lance argued that we should donate it, but I reminded him that places don’t take cribs anymore, so he put it outside for the trash.

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I was a little sad as I drove off this morning seeing it stacked up outside, it pulled at my heart.  My babies had slept in that wonderful crib.  Don’t people save those things??

Nope, I’m not a hoarder.  Say goodbye and move on.

I was happy I was able to get rid of the crib and even have plans to donate the yellow chair I have in their room, (having been convinced that recovering chairs is a waste.)

Simplicity and detachment.  Score for me.

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Then I went to swim and was sharing my story with a mom who said she can’t get rid of hers and is having it made into a bench.

For a second I wanted to scream.  Really, she needed to share the bench story with a picture to someone who just got rid of their crib??

But I’m fine.  Detachment.  Simplicity.  I got what I needed from that crib, and I’m happy and grateful and have the pictures to prove it!  I don’t need a bench.

And I don’t need a crib sitting in my garage until I find someone to build a bench for me.

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Lent

By | Posted February 20, 2016

Posted in Liturgical Year | No Comments »

Two Fridays into Lent and here I am sitting alone on the couch with unfinished Stations.  What the heck is going on?  How can our favorite family devotion be falling to the side?  Last week time just slipped away and the kids fell asleep and there went our family prayer time.  Then we didn’t pray on the way to Austin or the way back home.  I felt guilty all week long.  I knew we should have done it, I was ruining Lent by not starting off on the right foot.  BUT this week, it was going to be different.

It was different, just not in the way I thought it would be.  It ended with me sending the kids that were still awake to bed after losing my patience.

I’m still mad at them.  But the guilt has set in..the Stations I told them I’d just finish alone, those Stations are still not done.

We are less than two weeks into Lent, and I’m feeling like an utter failure.  I’ve complained daily about my sacrifice, that whole don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing?  Well, they know what they are doing, or rather not putting in my mouth and you can bet everyone else does too.  That’s not really my style.  Usually, I keep my Lenten sacrifice to myself, but this year, it was big and to avoid any confusion, I figured I would just tell people so I wouldn’t have to refuse alcohol, sweets, dairy, grains, legumes, soy and anything else resembling good food or drink.  I didn’t want to have to search food labels at someone’s house, kind of rude, I think.  So I let it be known that I was attempting a Whole30, but really more because of course Lent is 40 days, but even more because under the Whole30, you can’t cheat, so Sundays do indeed count.

Honestly, if I see you and talk to you, you know.  The people at Starbucks know, the swim coach knows, all my friends know, my parents know…why?  Because I can’t shut up about how much I hate it.  Which of course, I’m not supposed to do.

(By the way, over ten days in?  NO MORE ENERGY.  Or any other benefits.)

But back to my family.  What is it that is making this Lent so hard to embrace?  The things we enjoy the most aren’t happening.  We’ve read only four of our books.  Four!  Are they bored with them?  Too old?  While we definitely read our share of chapter books, picture books still hold a special place for all of the kids.  My children have made amazing sacrifices.  Goose gave up his beloved Snoopy for Lent.  This is literally the only thing that makes me shut up at times.  He misses his Snoopy so much, even at 11 years old.  But he wanted a good sacrifice because “Jesus died for me.”  Does Jesus really care if he gives up Snoopy?  No, not really.  But he’s learning discipline and doing something he doesn’t want to do as a sacrifice.  Marianna gave up television which isn’t hard during the week, but she’s committed at age 5 to make it through Saturday mornings without her usual television.  My most obstinate kid finally decided what he would give up two days after Lent started, finally realizing it was okay to give up something a little late.

I’m not sure what’s happening.  I finally sat and prayed about my own sacrifice.  I know Lent isn’t just giving up chocolate or wine or whatever, it’s more.  Jesus doesn’t really care if I have chocolate.  But I am called to make a sacrifice.  And pray and give alms.  All three.  I am praying more and attending more masses, and we give.  My kids give, that Snax is so sweet, always rolling down the window to share the money he has with others.  I’m not sure what the disconnect is with feeling like it’s Lent in my house.

I always pride my family with living the liturgical year well.  We’re not in Catholic school, but we celebrate Saint Feast Days and any important day in the church.  We’re always learning.  We take Advent seriously as well as the 12 days of Christmas.  Lent is no exception.  But this year has been hard.  Really hard.  I could blame it on Lance’s long hours, Goose’s ridiculous amount of work, my inability to make our calendar.  I don’t know what it is, and right now, it doesn’t really matter.  I’m just glad we have 40 days to think about this walk we’re called to take.  Its not an easy one.  I can say that Lent hasn’t been what I hoped it would be so far for my family.  But I’m letting go of the guilt and moving forward.  I’ll pray those Stations tonight.  Tomorrow is a new day.  To apologize for throwing a fit tonight.  To hit confession.  To try again.  The journey doesn’t end, not even with Lent.  I’m glad for the chance to start again.  To make this Lent one that changes our hearts.

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Daybook~joy

By | Posted February 3, 2016

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For today:: February 3, 2016…seriously, 2016?  How did this happen?  Time seemed to stand still when I was growing up.  Now that I’m a mom, it won’t slow down no matter how much I pray.

I’m wearing:: workout clothes.  Some things will never change.

I’m listening to:: my daughter.  This girl never stops talking.  Even when she’s sick.  Generally, I love it.  She’s a bit obsessed with death now.  Specifically, me dying and what happens if I do.  And Liz Phair.

I’m grateful for:: the time I have with Marianna.  I think back to the day she was born, five years.  Never could I have guessed it would be like this.  She’s pretty attached herself.  But she’s just fun to be around.  She is funny, sweet, has the biggest heart and is a beast.  I hope she always wants to be around me.

To be fit and happy:: major sigh….I ran the half and had a fairly decent time, 2:02.  But it wasn’t my goal.  I wanted to run the full and honestly, running for two hours isn’t that hard for me.  I should have never said that to anyone else because the week after the half, my hip started hurting like crazy again.  It’s miserable, and I don’t think I can run the Austin half in 11 days.  So damn frustrating to me.  I really enjoy running, have goals to raise money and have a spot in Chicago full next October.  Trying to figure out what I need to do about this hip.  (Posting my picture across the finish because I love how different it is from the full finish.  My feet actually leave the ground in this picture while I was barely moving last year.)  Meanwhile, what else can I do for exercise?  I’m kind of over the new spin instructor.  I’m fit, but in pain and not happy.

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I’m praying for:: my dad, he is having some tests run this week.

I’m reading:: Searching for and Maintaining Peace.  It’s a tiny, tiny book and it’s taking me forever to read.

My resolutions:: spend more time with Lance and the kids, completely redo my kids’ rooms with one finished by the end of the month, read some books from my list, learn Spanish, see my family, see my friends, lose those extra 8 pounds I carried all last year, go to confession, blog more than three times in a year, invite a priest for dinner and enjoy life at home and away.  This year, nobody is stealing my Joy.

Movies:: I’m so behind on movies.  It’s the same every year.  I have seen The Big Short and Spotlight, both amazing movies that really make you hate people who have control.  One of the things I love about these two movies is how well cast they are.  There is nobody who does a poor job.  Just so good.  I’ve also seen Brooklyn and Room.  Fabulous acting, but I really wish I could get Room out of my head.  I’m really interested in seeing Carol, The Danish Girl and The Revenant and then the documentaries.  I’m alone this year for the Oscars, damn Combine has Lance and then my friend Barry just moved to NYC.  I am super bummed about this.

On the menu::  I am so bored with food with right now.  I am scouring old recipes and looking for new ones to get a groove.  I’m cooking, but not liking what I’m making.  So this week, I’m hoping that changes- we had soup and Irish Soda Bread (for the feast St. Brigid), today we are having Chicken Fried Rice, tomorrow is homemade gyros then Shrimp tacos on Thursday and Salmon on Friday.  Hoping for something super yummy or just margaritas on Saturday.

I love these two:: they got up extremely early to be there for the start of the half.  I love the support I get from them!

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Living the liturgy:: ah, ordinary time, how I love thee.  It gets us back into a nice rhythm and focus.  But time is running out, Lent starts next week.  Need to order the book we are following for Lent today and make some other plans.  I think I know what I’m giving up this year.  February also gives us some favorite feast days.  St. Brigid was yesterday and we made our crosses, today is Candelmass and tomorrow is the feast of St. Blaise- we’ll be heading to mass for the blessing of the throats.  Gotta make sure my voice always works!

Planning:: well Arizona lost last week which put an end to a SF trip.  That’s fine, it would have been awesome to be with family for another Super Bowl, but it wasn’t in the cards this year.  Instead, we’re off to NYC to see Hamilton.  I can’t wait for this show.  We’re hoping to go before the draft or is that just wishful thinking.  I’ve got a wedding to attend in May, the daughter of a law school friend.  This will be the second wedding of a friend’s kid.  What the heck!  Random, both are law school friends.  I’m trying to actually plan our summer trip before school ends this year instead of waiting for the last minute.  Nobody seems really interested in helping me though.  Basically, I’m planning the rest of the year.  I can’t stop myself.  I literally can’t.

Around the house:: kids’ bedrooms.  I have an extra room now that Drake moved out and need to fill it with two kids.  Then I need to buy new beds for Snax and Marianna.  And then clean out some rooms, donate some toys and clothes and make some magic!  Goal for one room is two weeks which means I might want to finish the doors and clean the paint off the floors this week.

One of my favorite things:: planners.  It may seem silly in this day of smart phones, but I love using a planner.  I got rid of my EC and found a planner I really like.  It’s pretty fabulous with planning pages for Birthdays, Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving.  Each page also has things to check off daily, mine are prayer, abs, stretching and read aloud.  Want to know what I miss the most?!  My only quibble is that it’s a bit too small- I don’t write neatly, I use my planner to record all activities plus Marianna’s work so more room would be nice.  But I’m sticking with it for now.  My cousin also loves planners so we go back and forth about them.  I think she’s now convinced me to try a page a day planner next year.  We’ll see, I’m not good with change and not seeing a week at a time is hard for me, but maybe I need to use my monthly pages better…BUT…If I homeschool Marianna next year, then I definitely need a page per day.  Seriously??? I could talk planners all day long.

A few plans for the week:: swim lessons for the beast, nature class, story time and reading.  Lots of reading.  Fingers crossed, but we’re finally in a good groove again for reading.  And I like it.  Want to hit Galveston this weekend, but not sure it will happen.  I do know margaritas are happening.

A photo to share::

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A picture from the anniversary of our first date.  I commented on IG that our first date was incredible~ two Oscar nominated movies, overpriced dinner, cheesecake at Copelands and talking in the parking lot for an hour without even a kiss goodnight.  Best date ever.  This year we had overpriced food at the Texans game, saw an Oscar nominated movie and went to have a drink.  I got the kiss.

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NYC and Philly, September 2015

By | Posted February 2, 2016

Posted in Catholic, Family Life, travel | No Comments »

I have to say hands down, this trip was my favorite of 2015.  I feel horrible saying that because I had an amazing year with the kids and without them…NYC with Lance, Chicago, the road trip with the kids and mom that ended in DC with the entire family.  Plus, just the relaxing trips to Austin and NB.  It was a great year.  I was spoiled.  The kids were spoiled.

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But this trip was IT for me.  Sharing NYC with my kids and seeing the Pope with them?!  I’m not sure it gets better than that!  My mom accompanied us on this trip and again proved to be the best travel companion.

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When the Papal trip was first announced, my cousin who lives in Philadelphia said we were welcome to come stay with her.  I never forgot that offer.  So for over a year, I’ve been planning.  I got tickets to Newark months in advance, but had us departing too early the Sunday of the Papal Mass.

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School started for the year and I realized that the kids had a holiday the day before I planned to leave.  Our original plan had been to go to Philadelphia only.  But then this summer we discovered Something Rotten.  The kids loved the music as much as Lance and I loved it.  We talked about taking them to see it one day.  When I realized we had an extra day, I was on a mission.  Begging, pleading with Lance to let me take the kids to NYC for the day. We were already going to have to change the plane tickets home as it was, so we would be paying an extra $200 per ticket anyway…let’s make it count.  I’ll use my secret stash of money.  I won’t use my secret stash to pay for the change if you don’t let me go.

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After much pleading, Lance okayed the day in NYC.  And then he surprised me with tickets to Something Rotten.  When I travel I want to see as much as possible.  I’m not a “live like the locals” when I travel.  I wanted the perfect trip for the kids with sightseeing and time to relax since they aren’t me.  NYC is my favorite place, and I wanted to make sure my kids loved it as much as I do.  They did.

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We left on a 5 am flight and thankfully, the kids fell asleep right away.  For a little bit.  Due to timing, I couldn’t take any xanax, but did manage a strong drink by 5:30 am, a first for me.  It allowed me to settle down and fall asleep for a bit.  We landed early enough to have a full day in the city.

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We went to the American Museum of Natural History and did the Night at the Museum tour.  We walked Central Park and played for a few hours, we went to Rockefeller Center and the Lego store and then busted ass back to the hotel to get ready for the musical.

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We met Barry for a quick dinner and then I watched my kids watch the musical.  They know the entire thing by heart and know when to cover their ears.  They were so excited.  They behaved so well.  And then Barry got us a pass to go backstage.  We met Alec’s favorite guy in the musical immediately.  Took pictures, asked questions and just reveled in  being there.

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Afterwards we waited outside for the two stars of the show.  The kids and well mostly me told them about the reason for the trip, the pope, and how this was their surprise.  Brian D’Arcy James was so cool and sweet to us.

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The next day, we took the subway to the Staten Island Ferry so we could see the Statue of Liberty, came back and walked the Brooklyn Bridge, went to see the Little Chapel That Stood and the 9/11 Memorial.  We caught a glimpse of the Empire State Building and then it was time to leave.

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I have to say the kids loved NYC and are ready to go back.  Me too.

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We picked up our car and headed to Philadelphia, an easy drive.  We managed to get downtown in time to see Independence Hall and Liberty Bell.  We barely made it to Liberty Bell; we had five minutes to see it.  Then we went to my cousin’s place.

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My cousin has one daughter who was a month away from turning four at the time.  The kids played hard.  They had such a blast with her.  They live in a beautiful area and have wonderful property.

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I am pretty close to my cousins, and I love watching my kids play with my cousins’ kids.  They played all morning Friday and then we went apple picking.

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Mason and I have been dying to go apple picking since our magical pre-school year.  It was everything we hoped for except we couldn’t take as many apples as we wanted.  The night ended with my mom making us drinks.

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Saturday was full of waiting.  Once we got into the city, we scouted areas to sit and wait.  We waited and waited.  But this was where the fun happened.  We met so many people while there.  We exchanged pictures and numbers.  My mom met someone who has a street named after them in Barton Springs.  We talked to a high school teacher who listened to me talk about all my trips with the kids and told me I was doing it right!  I loved hearing that!  We met people who had driven across the country and were sleeping outside.  All to catch a glimpse of the Holy Father.  This holy man who brings so much excitement to Catholics and non Catholics, he brought all of us together.

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And then the Holy Father came by- and wow!  It was just so special.  Sure it was quick, but I will never forget seeing him drive by so close to us.

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Sunday it was just my mom and the kids.  Another day of waiting.  This time though we knew when the Holy Father would be driving by and the time of the mass.  Thank God we left early because we waited at security for over three hours.  And my kids amazed me.  They were so good.  They didn’t complain at all.  We had snacks, books, music and each other.  We made it inside and managed a quick lunch before heading to find a spot to catch the pope before the mass.

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I have to say the mass was so well done.  And listening to the Holy Father speak on family was beautiful.  He’s just so wise.  His words make me think.  I want to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and person.  I’m such a diehard for social justice so this pope really speaks to me.  The fact that he spoke with that nut job doesn’t phase me.  I want his words to touch everyone.  They aren’t just for people who agree with him.

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I’ve seen another pope twice before and I cherish those memories.  But this trip, sharing the Holy Father with my kids was completely different.  Something about being a parent just changes everything.  I am so grateful we had the chance to take this trip.  I really hope my kids remember that time mom took them out of school to see the Pope.  And Something Rotten.

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I told my FlL that the goal for the trip was not to lose any kids, I didn’t, and not to cuss too much.  Alas, Texas lost in the last minute, maybe 90 seconds of the game.  I had been following on the phone.  Texts came streaming in…and seconds before the Holy Father drove by, I lost it.

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Days of our Lives

By | Posted November 18, 2015

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It’s been one of those long days where I just want some space.  I’m not sure why I feel that way.  I had a hair appointment then went to physical therapy for my hip.  Maybe it’s the lack of answers on my hip that is leading me to the bedroom alone.

I just know the evening felt like it took forever and ever.  We even ate dinner early, a real meal with a protein, vegetables and even a starch.  We usually don’t do starches because my kids don’t eat rice or potatoes.  They would eat bread with butter every evening if I let them, but I won’t.  Tonight I roasted some potatoes because BH and Sunshine have taken a liking.  So a real meal.  Early.  And still I’m exhausted.

I’m mentally just tired.  Today I got an email from Goose’s technology teacher.  Seems he had a project to present today.  He didn’t present.  Why?  Oh, it’s good.  He told his teacher we wouldn’t let him work on his project.  In all honestly, he was told he couldn’t work on his technology homework until everything else was finished.  This was after we caught him playing video games while doing homework.  But just last week, he used that same line with me regarding homework for that class.  I reminded him that he could work on it after he was done with everything else.  I don’t know what he was thinking with this project.  A project!!!  This kid…he’s so smart, but does some really stupid things.  And I don’t do stupid well.

Speaking of stupid…Snax’s second grade class…all three classes have been on silent lunch with assigned seats and no recess for five days so far.  Tomorrow should be the last day.  During recess they walk/run the track.  Supposedly this has been done with the approval of the counselor and principals.  It’s beyond comprehension that they would think this is acceptable for 7 year old kids.  The reason is that the majority of the students aren’t behaving.  Snax has had all E’s in conduct since school started.  Amazing, but true.  I know of another child with the same conduct.  Another with a couple of S’s.  Yet they still have the same punishment.  For what?  Being in second grade?  Snax came home last week complaining about it, but the punishment sounded just so outrageous to me that I didn’t think it was true.  I asked another parent who confirmed with her non-complaining daughter.  The kicker?  The teachers didn’t think that this behavior needed to be brought to anyone’s attention until parents started asking questions.  They ended their letter asking that we all work together on this.  Fuck that.  I told Snax to keep doing what he’s been doing since thus far, he’s making E’s, but that if this ever happened again, he needed to tell me immediately.  That will be the day I bring all the kids donuts during lunch.

After the kids finally crashed, I figured I’d read some of my open tabs on the computer.  I have a really bad habit of opening articles and not reading them.  The one I settled on tonight?

50 memorable moments from Days of Our Lives.

Yes, 50 moments from a show I don’t watch.  Except I know all the characters because way back in college-over 20 years ago- I used to watch DOOL.  Bo and Hope!  The plantation!  Alice!  The Christmas Ornaments.  I was hooked watching these clips.  I was embarrassed to admit it, but guess what?  I could finally relax.

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A Summer Recap

By | Posted October 30, 2015

Posted in Family Life, pictures, Summer | No Comments »

It’s been a while.  A long while.  But it’s been good.

The last four months have been nonstop living and loving.  We’ve seen family and friends and it’s been better than I could have imagined. For my own records, I’ve attempted to jot it all down here.  This post is more than likely way too similar to being forced to look at someone’s European vacation.  Sorry for that.  But I want to remember it all.  We just had so much fun from traveling to swimming at the neighborhood pool to playing Legos to visiting family.  My absolute favorite night of the summer- the cousins’ night. IMG_7611
I had a girls’ weekend in Austin with Sarah.  First?  I don’t do girls’ weekends.  Like this is the first one ever in my marriage.  And I loved it!  We decided on Austin and went before it got too hot.  We had so much fun.  The kids wanted me to take her to Shady Grove which I did as soon as she arrived.  We ate our way through Austin, went on an electric bike tour, hung out at Deep Eddy, ran town lake, toured the University, purchased too many t-shirts and just had a blast.  It was so much fun.  We ended the trip with hopes of making this a yearly thing. IMG_5773IMG_5894

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Then there was NYC with Lance.  
We spent a lot of time away from each other the first five months of 2015.  That is so unlike us.  We’ve always spent an unusual amount of time together having what I call a college dating situation.  He would be done with his show early enough for us to spend the entire day together.  But with his gig for NFL Network, he was traveling quite a bit and he was just gone all day long.  He’d leave for his morning show and then come home after dinner.  It really stunk. IMG_6056
So he totally spoiled me.  We settled on NYC because we hadn’t been in 12 years.  12 years!!!  Random fun fact, I’ve never gone that long without going there.  I’m not sure how we let this happen. IMG_6129
This trip was awesome.  He found the best hotel bathtubs in the city for me.  We ran into friends from Chicago and spent an afternoon at the Whitney with them.  We went to Sleep No More which was so freaking cool.  We saw Something Rotten, which I loved so much I went back and saw again two weeks ago!  And honestly, had I not just returned home, I would have gone back to see it again while Lance went for the playoff game against the Yankees.  We went through the Moma, I ran Central Park a few times, had fabulous food and cocktails and just enjoyed the amazing city.  We left trying to figure just what we needed to do to move there.  Then we remembered we have five kids and my mother to move, so it looks like that isn’t happening.  Because you know, NYC real estate. FullSizeRender-4

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That time with Lance was needed.  It’s just hard to get any time alone.  Even when we go on dates it can be stressful because we’re rushed or dealing with the kids as we’re walking out the door.  Our trips are just so important to us.  Our trip budget is pretty big, and we miss out on other things, but its worth it.  We’re beyond blessed to be able to take them. FullSizeRender-5

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Once we were home from that trip we were able to settle in a bit and just swim.  We hung out, slept in and the kids played Legos and just enjoyed the break from school. IMG_7896
I took the kids to see Lance’s parents for a few days.  While there we toured the Texas White House.  It was a great tour, and the kids asked so many questions.  I loved it. FullSizeRender-12

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We celebrated my two July boys.  My birthday letters are almost done, maybe… the days were so special.  I love how excited the kids get on their special day.  I love how Lance decorates their cake according to their wishes.  And I love to see what meal they choose. FullSizeRender-7
I’ve already blogged about our summer trip.  But I have to repeat it again, it was amazing.  The entire trip was great.  But the road trip?  Just so awesome!  People asked how I could go with my mom.  She was fabulous.  We talked about everything and enjoyed each other’s company.  I don’t think either of us will forget that trip.  She was game to go anywhere I wanted to take the kids.  She only once requested a specific place once and that was Biltmore Estate.  The kids managed to snag an audio guide a piece which made the tour all the better.  Driving though North Carolina is so beautiful too. IMG_6871
During the trip, I was able to see my Goddaughter in Atlanta.  I can’t explain the joy I had spending time with her.  She is just such a great kid.  Actually, she’s a teenager and a freshman in high school.  I hadn’t seen her in several years and she has grown into such a lovely young lady.  I loved spending time with my friends and sitting around their tables drinking and catching up on life and hearing my mom ask questions and just being so at ease with people I love.  We had the same experience in Virgina seeing Sarah, Chris and Finnian.  It’s always a bit of a worry for me to bring my crew into someone’s house.  My kids are good.  But we are just a loud crew.  But these two friends totally opened their homes to us, and I’m forever grateful for their hospitality and the memories. IMG_6948

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We went to Austin for my granny’s birthday party in August.  Her party was a success, but the best part for me was the cousins’ night.  A couple of of cousins and myself have been throwing around the idea of a cousins’ reunion for a while.  We love family get togethers and hanging out, but there is just so much drama with the other generation that it’s hard for us.  We’re not ready to split on our own quite yet so a night out was the next best idea.  We left our kids with our parents and went to dinner.  It was a wonderful night.  By the time we got home, pictures from the evening had been circulated among our parents.  I think they were pretty proud of us.  I’m proud of us. IMG_7593

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Summer break ended with Goose rushing to finish his school packets.  Does anyone wonder what I think about summer packets?  Probably not.  On principal, I don’t even go over math facts.  I told this to one of the math teachers and she was glad.  She said she wanted the kids to enjoy their summers.  And we did.  We ended the summer like we always do- at the pool and eating pizza. IMG_7913

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School started and I have a sixth grader!  How the heck did that happen?  I can’t even believe it.  We’re trying not to micromanage, but also make sure his work gets done.  So far, so good.  (updated to add, I just discovered he has two zeros.)  It’s funny, when I went to open house, I had my own opinions about his teachers.  Turns out we have the same taste in teachers.  Having a middle schooler makes things easier for the other kids.  I don’t even think about what they are doing.  I sent the same text twice tonight asking if we had tests for second or third.  We don’t.  They are tomorrow and Friday.  Hopefully, I’ll remember that tomorrow and not send the same texts. FullSizeRender-8
Lance and I went to Chicago for Labor Day.  It was my first trip to Chicago without seeing Paul, and now Brian.  But we had a blast.  Great food, great friends and a sea of burnt orange throughout the city.  What’s not to like?  Hands down the best burger I’ve had is in Chicago.  It’s worth waiting in line.  Running Lake Shore was even better because I passed so many Longhorns out running as well.  Now it would have been much sweeter had we actually come to play against Notre Dame, but the limo ride was a blast.  And I would pay the money for the tickets again and again. IMG_8162
Finally at the end of September, I took the kids to see the Pope.  That trip gets a post of it’s own.  One day, someday.  But if I never post about it?  (Pictures posted on IG.) I will say it was amazing.  Honestly, the best trip of the summer.  That Pope Francis, he’s something special.  I truly believe the HS knew what he was doing during that conclave.  Add in a day in  NYC and it’s a no brainer why that trip rocked. And this is why it’s taken until this week for me to be settled into school and have a routine at home.  I’m still exhausted from our summer and most recent trip.  Since returning, we’ve been laying low, watching football and baseball.  Baseball in October?  The kids are pretty psyched.  Just like watching basketball the past two years with the kids, they have made watching baseball a blast.  Especially Snax.  That kid.  I wish I could bottle him.  They even had me listening to the playoff games on the radio. IMG_6047

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Random summer vacation fact: We toured five important houses this summer.  Graceland almost tops the list as the best house.  But really, I just can’t have Elvis’s house be my top pick.  Absolute worst: Mount Vernon.  The property is beautiful, but the guides were awful.  It was so bad, I wouldn’t go back again.  Monticello was such a contrast~we went there September 2014 and took the children’s tour for Sunshine.  It was fabulous, just so well done.  I was worried that taking a regular tour wouldn’t be as good with the rest of the kids.  I was wrong.  The guide catered to both kids and adults and answered all of the questions my kids asked and never got annoyed by them.  LBJ’s house, the Texas White House was really nice. The ranger guide was so knowledgable, and the house is really nice.  Biltmore Estate is such a massive estate, its kind of shameful.  But it’s beautiful and pretty interesting to see how the ridiculously wealthy lived.  Plus, the audio guide is really well done.  And you can’t beat the grounds.  Graceland isn’t tacky and it looks just like a regular house when you drive up to it.  Well, maybe one or two rooms are tacky, but overall?  It’s pretty cool.  They had a great iPad tour.  It was awesome when the kids pointed out how Elvis had three television sets like LJB did.  Mom’s favorite- Monticello, Goose- Biltmore Estate and Monticello, Baby Hulk- Graceland, Snax- The Texas White House but really Tristan and Briton’s house was the top, Sunshine-Monticello and me?  I think The Texas White House may be at the top, but maybe Monticello or Graceland… IMG_6947
This summer?  It was great.  We travelled way more than usual, though I’m not complaining.  I could travel year round which is why I’m already thinking ahead to next summer.  We saw fabulous sites, learned a lot, had some great food and enjoyed each other’s company.  And now, I’m cruising Pinterest for How to Lose the Pooch. IMG_5812

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Mob Mentaility

By | Posted August 17, 2015

Posted in Random | 2 Comments »

I’m not a FBer except in the stalking sense.  I sometimes like a picture, rarely comment and never post.  FB just isn’t for me.  Truthfully, I don’t care about most of the shit people post, I don’t want to see millions of their pictures and mainly I don’t care about people’s opinions.  Reading their rantings makes me realize how few people I really like on this earth.  It also makes me really sad for mankind.

I definitely have my own ideas about this president and certainly past presidents.  Some of my thoughts aren’t nice.  But never would I write them for the entire world to see.  (In fact, I don’t tell my kids the bad thoughts I have about certain presidents because it’s the office of the president, I want them to respect that and not be jaded.)  I don’t understand how so many people can say the shit they do about the president.  It’s just so disrespectful.  And it’s not that I expect people to line up and agree.  It’s about not being a hateful piece of shit on FB about the president.  Or really, anyone else.

This social media thing is amazing to me.  It makes people a lot more brazen than they would ever be in real life.  Maybe it makes them feel important.  I think it just makes them assholes.

Recently, the mob of FB had a new demon- the hunter who killed Cecil the Lion.  To be clear, I don’t like hunting of any form.  I don’t understand it at all and I certainly don’t understand hunting wildlife like lions, rhinos and elephants.  Seeing the images makes me sick.  Knowing how there are only a certain number of rhinos left is heartbreaking.  And hearing the details of this particular hunt were hard because this lion was lured out of the park for the kill.  Here’s my issue- the mob who thinks it okay to close down a business.  The mob who thinks its okay to give out a home address online and send death threats.  People, he killed a lion.  The government of the country where the lion was killed actually allows this to happen.  Yes, it sounds like this kill was illegal, but how the hell does that warrant this kind of response?  It’s not okay to create this type of frenzy and shut down a business and force people into hiding.

What this man did was awful to me.   Zimbabwe has laws and a justice system to deal with him.  We actually have laws as well in this country.  Why can’t we let the justice system actually deal with him instead of the mob?

This isn’t the first time it’s happened.  Somebody says something dumb and everybody wants vengeance.  Right. This. Second.

It makes me sad that people can line up and behave this way.  That they literally have no problem with this type of behavior.  It’s sad because one day they could be on the receiving end of the mob.  Then what?

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Daybook~ Summertime

By | Posted July 30, 2015

Posted in Daybook, pictures | 1 Comment »

For Today~ July 30, 2015

Outside my window~ the sun is shining.  It’s Houston.  It’s hot.  It’s humid.  And man, it sucks.

I’m listening to~ Something Rotten.  Lance and I saw this show while in NYC and LOVED it.  It’s better than Book of Mormon.  Better.  I know, how is that possible?  But here’s the thing, when BOM got boring at times in the second act, this one doesn’t.  The kids heard one of the songs which led to downloading the entire show.  They know all the songs by heart and I’ve decided that one of my children must be a Broadway star.  I’ll be sending them to Barry at HITS.

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I’m wearing~ workout clothes.  It’s been so hard getting up after vacation so I’ll be heading to spin this evening.

I’m praying for~ an end to Duchenne and the success of Sam’s new drug trial, my parents, patience and for time to stop.

Grace all around~it’s there.  My life is proof of that!  But the last two weeks was further proof.  Driving to DC with my kids and mom showed that.  Vacationing in weather as miserable as Houston wasn’t easy, but we had great time.  And God carried us the entire trip.

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Around the house~ I got a new washer and dryer.  Here’s the issue- the back is so ridiculously big on the dryer that it causes it to stick out. Like a lot. Like so much that it’s been months, and I still hate it. I can’t take how ranch my laundry room looks.  Lance wants a patio so it looks like we’re getting one soon.  I just want landscaping but we have that pesky little dog.  Pesky medium dog who bolts out the gate and always comes back.  I don’t understand it, I used to have three dogs at once.  I generally like my friends’ dogs, but Lola…I just can’t take her either.

Thankful for~ our vacation.  It might not have been completely relaxing, which isn’t a complaint for me, I don’t sit while on vacation, but it was fun.  We really had a great time.  And I can’t wait for our next trip.

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Next trip~ is to Philadelphia to see the Holy Father!  So excited about this, but this trip promises to be a bit of a logistical nightmare.  The trains in Philly are making things extremely difficult for Saturday and Sunday.  I’m spending a ton of money getting there and want to at least to catch a glimpse of the Holy Father, but I’d like to show the kids the city on Friday.  Not sure that will happen.  It seems like the city is pretty much shutting down.  This is getting really frustrating.

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Running the National Mall~ I’m trying to rest my ankles, but how could I pass up a chance to run the National Mall?  So I ran and it was so nice.  In fact, it was easy to keep running.  On my birthday, I ran 7.5 and then went to mass and received a blessing.  So happy for that time alone to reflect.

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Learning all the time~ the kids learned a lot about Civil Rights during our trip.  Our first stop was Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.  This was a great NHS.  The kids had tons of questions and don’t quite understand why people would ever want segregation.  We saw a couple of exhibits in DC with civil rights exhibits and then ended up in Memphis at the National Civl Rights Museum which is where MLK was assassinated.  Our last stop before heading home was Central High in Little Rock.  This entire trip has our family talking.  Especially Snax and Baby Hulk, they have lots of questions.  I have to say I was super excited to return home and remember I had purchased this book.  I had been saving it for the right time and Tuesday was perfect.  The kids learned that Mexicans weren’t allowed to attend white schools in California.  The learned about the fight against segregation there for Mexican children.  It was a case I had never learned about even during law school, and I’m proud of the parents and their kids and proud to be Mexican.

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What’s in a name~ random, but I wonder why people think it’s bad to call me Mexican.  Yes, I’m American, Catholic, Texan and a Longhorn.  But my race is Mexican.  It’s not Hispanic.  And I’m not sure why people think it’s a big deal to refer to me as such, why they persist in using Hispanic.  Being Mexican isn’t a bad thing.

One of my favorite things~ road trips!  Sure, I hate to fly, but I love the road.  And I love the sites we saw along the way.  We toured Atlanta- MLKNHS, World of Coca Cola, Aquarium, Asheville- Biltmore Estate, Virginia- Monticello, Memphis- Graceland (which is pronounced grace-lund which was a total surprise to me) and Nat’l Civil Rights Museum, and Little Rock- Clinton Library (so good!!) and Central High.  Lots of driving, little fussing, lots of snacking and lots of memories.

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Plans for the week~ well the week is almost over, but I’d like to detox a bit, have a date with my husband, Ive got a baby shower on Saturday along with four basketball games, a musical on Sunday and my MIL is brining my nieces over tomorrow.

Sad, sad, sad~ we have three weeks until school starts.  My stomach is already in knots.  Like the kind I get when I fly.  Not only does Alec have a ton of work to start, but I don’t want them back at school.  This summer has flown by so fast.  I’ve appreciated every second, the good and the bad.  We’ve gone swimming a lot, taken some good trips and relaxed.  We’ve got one more quick trip to Austin and then we’re done.  I almost want to skip that trip because the more time we’re gone the faster summer seems to fly.  Sigh, why can’t they just stay home?!

Best trip picture~

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I never want to forget

By | Posted April 26, 2015

Posted in Family Life, kids | 3 Comments »

This life?  It’s awesome.

Truth?  It’s not always great.  It has it’s moments when I’m madly texting a friend about something one of the kids did.  Or I’m apologizing to Lance for something I did.  Or I’m pouting because he pissed me off and I’m waiting for his apology.  Life, it’s not always fun.  But really it is great.  I’m blessed beyond words and hope to always be thankful.

This year has been another reminder of just how fast time goes by.  Those old women who remind you to enjoy every second, I don’t get annoyed with them at all.  It literally goes by so fast.  I am very aware of this fact.  I live it.

So in no certain order, these are some things that have happened lately that I never want to forget.

Mason teaching Marianna to write an R.  Mari turned 4 in December.  I’ve been a huge proponent of teaching writing at about 4 1/2 for the past two kids, with this one, I’m pushing things as far out as I can.  But one day, she came to me and showed me a few letters.  I decided I better try and teach the correct form if she was going to write.  Of course, she wants to write her name.  She always came to me to write her R’s.  One day she showed me her own R.   And then she went to the drawing board and wrote a ton of them.  She told me Mason taught her how to write them.  That Mason has a quick temper and is highly sensitive, but he may just be my sweetest, most giving and patient child.

The Friday before the Rockets’ season ended, they played the Spurs.  I took Mason to the game while Lance stayed home and watched with the rest of the family.  It was a tough loss.  At the end of the game, I got a call from a highly emotional Mari.  I could’t understand a word she said.  Turns out she was crying over Josh Smith and his play.  She cried for over 20 minutes and couldn’t be consoled.  My daughter, my four year old daughter, cried over sports!  I feel like a failure as a parent most of the time.  But this?  I feel like I won the lottery with this kid.

Speaking of Rockets and Mari, last week she was wearing her new playoffs shirt at swim club.  Some kid said he liked the Rockets.  He totally caught her attention until he tried to tell her something about her team.  What he said was factually incorrect, and she knew that.  And she couldn’t let it slide.  She basically got into an argument with this kid.  She didn’t back down one bit.  Which makes me happy too.

All of Easter.  I have a post in the works, which may or may not ever get published…so a note here about how amazing my kids were and how I hope the days of the Triduum remain etched in their memories like they will for me.  I didn’t grow up attending these masses, and how I wish we had.  They are beautiful, long masses.  Very long, but worth it.  A visual feast for kids.  And so much is answered in these masses, the priesthood, the Eucharist, etc.  It’s a reminder of what Easter is about and our faith.  And the kids are just so good, from Squirt and Goose serving during Holy Thursday mass and Good Friday to the other three just behaving.  The prayers at the Grotto, the pretzels and Squirt coming out of his room to have one with us.  I just love it.  Attending Holy Saturday mass with my mom, checking the score to the Final Four game during that long mass and finding out Kentucky lost.  My mom and I staying up until 4 am for who knows what reason except I guess to spend some time together.  Just sharing Easter with my family the next day.  It was a wonderful celebration after a tough, but ultimately rewarding Lent. And the floor…that dirty floor that showed we really celebrated.

Speaking of Easter, about the sweetest thing was Squirt asking me on Good Friday if he was getting a basket.  Such a random question, but in my mind it was kind of dumb.  Of course, he was getting basket.  In fact, I was pretty excited about his basket.  It’s not always easy getting him gifts and I am not fan of giving cash (neither are my parents so we’re always trying to come up with actual ideas for him), but I found some good stuff.  Plus, this child loves peeps and Reeces eggs.  And dark chocolate.  It was one I was excited about presenting.  On Sunday morning as we were leaving, he pointed out his basket to my mom, excited!  Still grateful at almost 20.

Marianna and the passion.  You could say my kids know Bible stories and saint stories pretty well.  There are kids who know more, but they can hold their own.  The week after Easter, Marianna was pretty obsessed with the Passion and resurrection.  She marched into the gym one day talking all about it.  She told her care giver just all about those soldiers and Judas taking the money, the heavy cross and the death.  But that we didn’t have to be sad because Jesus won.  We all won.  To here her little voice tell it, well, it makes a mom proud and if I cried, I might over this.

I did want to cry when Mason prayed for my friend Greg the other night at dinner.  Greg lost his partner Ray.  And while Mason doesn’t know who Ray was to Greg other than someone very important and his best friend, he knows enough to realize he is very unhappy.  And so at dinner he said he wanted to pray and prayed for Greg.  What followed was a heartfelt, meaningful prayer for a dear friend.  It reminded me of when the kids used to pray at dinner for Ray.  They faithfully prayed for Ray during some of his worst moments with cancer.  I am so humbled that he thought to pray for my friend, that he knew that prayer would help.

Snax is playing baseball. He’s in coach pitch and is a decent little hitter.  However, his first at bat of the season he struck out.  He was pissed, and when the umpire said three strikes, he yelled, “that wasn’t a strike, didn’t you see he hit me with the ball?!”  Oh that kid.  He is so fucking real.  There is just no other way to say it.

I am so shamed to admit that my kids have horrid taste in music.  Their choice of music- Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift.  Where did I go wrong?  I can admit that certain pop songs can be catchy, but seriously, their taste sucks.  I don’t have XM in the car so there is a lot of switching that goes on while I am driving.  I’ve starting going back to old rock.  Which is fine, I used to love Rock- 101 and 96.5..those used to be rock stations!  The other day I had turned on some random station and Scorpions were playing…Rock you like a hurricane.  And Alec asked “is this the kind of rock you used to like?”  It was, I love,  love, loved the Scorpions!  So now every time we drive and a rock song is on, he asks if I used to like it.  It’s sweet, and honestly, I love that he wants to know.

I am constantly going through closets and toys.  Trying to find clothes to donate, pass onto the next boy and basically minimize.  It’s never ending.  And just when I think I’m done with boy clothes, Snax says that one little phrase, “Mari can have them.”  How can I donate something when he just wants his sister to share?  This girl is a girly girl.  She is all about her clothes.  And she has a few people who love to spoil her with new clothes.  But she’s also tough and can hang with the boys.  Yesterday, BH had her dressed as bumblebee.  It used to be his costume, but fit her perfectly.  So when I went to have her put it away, she kept it in her room.  She lovingly wears Snax’s hand me downs.  I love that he thinks of her, and she isn’t too fussy to wear his old clothes.

Snax has always walked to his own beat.  With a nickname that my friends use as well as teachers who have yet to have him in class yet, this kid has a reputation.  When the entire family is out, listeners always want to meet Snax.  This is my kid with a twinkle in his eye.  A loving, sweet boy who loves his sister a lot.  They fight like an old married couple.  He has the best cheeks and when I say, “cheek”, he immediately runs over and nuzzles me.  Best thing ever.  He also constantly asks me who I think is better.  It used to be about football teams, now it’s about basketball players and teams.  He wakes up and first thing he asks is who won the game.  I constantly catch him on the computer.  Not playing games, but looking up scores.  It has taken me by surprise, but I love it.  We used to say Alec would be the GM of the family, but it may just be Snax.  This kid knows sports and is really good at math.

Squirt got a car last December.  This child loves cars.  It sucks for him because Lance and I have no interest in or knowledge of cars.  He tries to teach his little brothers and some info sinks in, but probably not as much as he wants.  Yesterday, I looked out the window and all five kids were outside cleaning Squirt’s car.  All helping and having a blast.  It makes me so happy seeing my kids play together.

My deepest desire is kids who are close one day.  My brother has been there for me countless times.  I can’t imagine not having him to talk to over the years.  I have friends with relationships like I have and others who never talk to their siblings.   They love their siblings, they just don’t talk.  I don’t get that.  As a parent, I wonder what I can do to make sure they are all close.  I’m not sure there is a magic solution.  But when I see them all together doing something, I think it will happen.  Or when Mari tells me she wants a family day and Drake and Daddy have to come, I realize they will also make it happen.  It’s usually just me and the four younger kids on excursions due to Lance and Drake’s schedules.  But after listening to Mari, I’ve decided to make sure and have weekends like the last two where even the almost 20 year old spends time with all of us.  It’s just making the plan and letting everyone know.  Because they all have a blast, from the oldest to the youngest.

It’s Sunday and the Rockets play tonight.  Every kid in this house is ready for the game.  You know, parenting is so hard most of the time.  If not for times like these, I might give up.

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Daybook~ Towards Joy

By | Posted March 9, 2015

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For today:: March 9, 2015

Outside my window:: it’s raining.  It’s been raining all day long.

I am wearing:: jeans, rain boots, black UT t-shirt with my L necklace!

I am praying for:: patience (and I’m hearing a response!), my friend who has been having some heart issues~ best friend, my age, WTF.  And my granny.  She’s been having some pain.  We also have extra prayers for Lent which I love.

Each night our family prays:: For everyone to appreciate that Jesus gave up his life for us, for all priests and especially the Holy Father, for all people to be healthy, for everyone to make good and moral choices even if hard, for end end to the death penalty, for all souls in purgatory to get into Heaven, and for everyone to love each other and stop racism and religious persecution.   We pray a specific prayer for each day of the week and we all came up with these prayers.  Mine is for an end to the death penalty.  I love them and plan to continue with these after Lent.

I am grateful for:: the grace that seems to be coming my way these days.  Things aren’t perfect, and honestly, quite hard a lot of the time, but grace, I feel it.  And then, BAM…reality comes spiraling in and hits you with something.  Seeking grace big time.

I am reading:: The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared.  It’s a memoir written by a young girl about a 9 year reading streak.  Every. Single. Night. For 9 years.  Can you imagine?  I read to the kids nightly.  But we miss a night once every ten days or so.  It’s a goal though.  But I have so many goals that I can’t start a streak now.  The book itself isn’t great.  She doesn’t have tons of insight into what this meant for her.  She doesn’t say what books touched her and so on.  But the idea and the fact that they went 9 years…Well, I’m inspired and in.  Her father read to her until she left for college.  I’m the reader in the family and the one thing this book did was make me wonder if my sons will read to their kids.  How I pray for this.  Reading aloud provides such a bond.  Trust me.  The kids have their favorites and so do I.  We have picture books, seasonal books, liturgical books  and chapter books.  Truly, it’s a gift.  My kids miss bedtime almost daily so we can read aloud.

We are reading:: well, I have three baskets going…we have our Lent basket out, and the kids have their favorites.  A couple of weeks ago we had a friend staying with us for the week.  He loved our reading time and our Lent books.  It was sweet to have another kid cuddle with me while I read.  He was a perfect kid while I read, shushing the others when they got loud.  We’re also finishing up our winter basket.  I love our winter books, and I hate to put them away, but soon, very soon, we’ll be changing seasons.  And because of that, I’m reading those books every night.  Alec and I are reading the newest Newbery Winner, Crossover.  And soon we’ll start his next and LAST AR project.

Interesting to note that as I’ve listed my triggers for losing my cool with my kids…reading aloud is a huge trigger.  It frustrates me so much that something that I believe in so much and that in general, brings so much pleasure brings me such stress.  But alas, it does.  Why?  The kids fight over who gets to sit next to me.  Seriously, that’s it.  They fight and one stomps off and there it goes.  We’re trying something new and hopefully that helps with this time that I feel is so very important.

Around the house::  seriously, there are so many things I want done around this house.  I need the foundation fixed, and then bathroom tile and painting done.  I wish our dog would stop digging in my yard so that I could have a nice backyard.  So many things that require lots of money.  And it will happen. It may stop a big family vacation this summer.  But this stuff needs to be done.

BUT…I heard this quote and while I still want the above finished…I truly love it.

A clean house is not the sign of good homemaker.  A good homemaker provides a loving, safe and nurturing environment for her children.  A place where her children can be creative and feel safe. 

Seriously??  I love this quote.  I mean, I still need a clean house.  I personally can’t function in a messy house.  I can’t deal with clutter, but that means it’s okay if I leave something until tomorrow or the weekend or next week so that my kid can live and be nurtured and grow.

Towards fitness and health:: still running and spinning.  I really enjoy running and have plans to run the Austin half to check out the full, Chicago full and …I just don’t know.  A gym friend just moved to Cincinnati and wants me to run their marathon.  I’d love to go, but how do you do that with five kids?  Just not sure.  But overall, I love running and my goal is to improve my time.  A lot.

On the menu:: Quinoa chili- a favorite of Mason’s, chicken thighs, pulled pork, spaghetti and some meatless meal on Friday.  I think everyone will be happy this week.

I never want to forget:: the week Marianna learned to whistle.  Last week, I hear whistling and its during the day.  As far as I know, Mari, Snax and I are the only ones who can’t whistle in this house.  Turns out it was her.  And now?  She just whistles.  All.  The.  Time.  And then she looks at me and says, “it’s me, mom.”  She is so darn cute.  She sure likes giving Snax a hard time because he can’t whistle.

I also can’t forget the day Alec grabbed my hand on the way the school.  That kid.  He knows how to make me melt.  He is insanely jealous of his siblings, and that makes me sad.  But that gesture, I can understand him.  I hope he never stops wanting to hold my hand.

One of my favorite things:: the chance to do better.  We all have it.  Each day is a new day.  I’m so not a pollyanna, but I am feeling refreshed.

A few plans for the week:: workout, Audubon with Mari, story time with Mari and get ready for Spring Break.

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