Five for Friday~ At the end of summer

By | Posted August 22, 2014

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:: Another summer has come and gone.  It makes me so sad for summer to end and school to start again. We had a great summer.  Since Squirt worked a later shift, I was able to run at 6:30 and miss the blazing sun while I ran.  Was not able to outrun the humidity, but that’s Houston.  Managed to spin early, which l loved, and even got two classes in a row which was a goal for my year of 43.  I made that goal one day before I turned 44.  The kids played nonstop.  They are finally into Legos and can play all day long, building things and creating their own world.  We travelled.  We read, though not a ton.  We didn’t do any school unless you count Snax writing his name six times.  We lived.  And when I look back, I can say it was intentional.

We aren’t ready for school to start.  Even Goose who is usually excited about seeing his friends is over that.  But I’m trying to be positive and not go into my usual depression and fight about homeschooling.  I know I’m right, I should be teaching them, but I’m holding my tongue.  This month, at least.

I am so thankful to the friends that are already checking in on me.  It just lets me know that they know me and take me seriously.  I am really lucky I have such great friends.

:: When we were thinking of moving, my parents were less than thrilled.  To say the least.  My mom openly let me know what she thought, but she wasn’t rude about it.  She did remind me that she wouldn’t be available to babysit like she does now.  Like all the time.  Once we told her we were staying, I gave her a day to celebrate on her own and then requested a date night.  She moaned about missing margaritas with some friends, but was joking.  She was happy to watch her grandkids.  I say it all the time, she’s pretty awesome with how much she watches the kids.  She will be with them next week while Lance and I are in Virginia and again in October when we hit NOLA.

:: It seems like Squirt gets the raw end of blogging.  He’s isn’t young so he doesn’t stop and pose for pictures for me like the others do, he worked 6 days a week during the last school year at the YMCA.  After getting screwed by the Marines, did I ever blog about that??, he decided he wanted to be an EMT.  He has finished his class and clinicals and loved every minute of it.  I’m so proud of his work and desire to learn.  It hasn’t been easy, trying to figure out how to study for this course, but he managed.  He spent the last two weeks working alongside EMTs and loving every second.  He’s ready.  I am so proud of him.

You know, he didn’t go the typical route after school.  And lots of people wonder why.  It can be embarrassing when people ask “where are you going to school?”  But he has held his head up high and I’m proud of him.  The other day an older man gave him shit about his decision while he was working out.  It really pissed me off. This guy told him he should have gone to college.  Nevermind the fact that he just had no desire to go to school at that time.  Now I’m sure some people would say “don’t give him a choice”.  They probably don’t have five kids.  Honestly though, we wouldn’t throw away money if we had just one kid.  The days of just going to college to find yourself are over.  Most people know this.  Hasn’t this man who knows nothing about Squirt other than his age read the articles about staggering college debt, kids moving back home after college because they can’t find jobs???  I felt bad for him that someone would try and question his decisions and make him feel bad.  If Drake decides to go to college later, great.  If not, he has a lot of options that will open up for him with the path he’s on right now.  His life is just starting, and I’m proud of the man he’s becoming.

:: So this year I was looking forward to being room mom.  And I was shut out.  Me!  One of the moms who was up at school almost daily…Was on that damn teacher appreciation committee…Shut. Out.   And I could say, well they are just trying to get other people involved.  Nope, BH’s room mom?  She’s PTO co-president.  Snax’s room parent is in charge of t-shirt sales.  I mentioned it to my VP who assured me we would be working on something different this year.  BUT still, it kind of pisses me off.  In the end, I guess it doesn’t matter because I will be spending more time with Sunshine and don’t have to deal with finding chaperones for field trips.  That’s someone else’s problem now.  I hope they have fun planning the party and cleaning up afterwards.

I sometimes wish we were a suburb school.  Not really a suburb school, just run like one.  I was listening to my friend talk about their back to school activities this week for parents and it just made so much sense.  Our PTO is good, but the stuff my friend was saying was just solid.  They know how to run things.  Just another reason I have to find a new school.  There is just so much lacking here.  But that’s another post.

:: That said, it could be worse.  My Godson starts kindergarten next week and went to meet his teacher.  His name is Everett.  His mom introduced him to his teacher and the teacher said, “do you go by Zachary?”  My friend corrected her and said his name again.  Again, the teacher said “Hi Zachary.”  My friend said “his name is Everett.”  Teacher looks at her and says “does he have a nickname?”  I guess I need to thank God tonight that that lady isn’t my son’s teacher.

 

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Five for Friday

By | Posted August 15, 2014

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Last weekend, we went to Austin for my granny’s 93rd birthday.  The party was fabulous.  Most of her children, lots of friends, some nieces and nephews and all but three cousins were there.  It was just so much fun to hang out with my cousins and watch all of our children play together.  Lance has commented that things haven’t been as fun since two of my uncles passed away.  It’s a large family, ten siblings, and unfortunately there are lots of pissy fights among those siblings.  The cousins…we don’t let that affect us.  We’re family.  And like one said to me, we assume the best about each other, noting that we never have the full story about the other person.  And it’s true.  Really, those are words to live by family or not.  We spend so much time being offended by other people instead of just letting things go.  I’ve mentioned before how awesome my parents and brother are, but I’m really blessed with a large, fun family and with cousins I love.  We’re talking about doing a cousins’ reunion sometime next year.  Keep the drama of the older generation out and  just spend time together with our families.

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We saw my granny before we left town, and she wasn’t feeling well.  Despite feeling poorly and not remembering some things, she knew what  was going on and could tell when the boys were going through her stuff.  They were probably stressing her out a bit.  As we were leaving I took some pictures of her, and she told the kids to remember her when she was gone by looking at the pictures.  It made me sad to think of her gone, but you know we never forget people.   All of our family is a part of who we are, so in the end, my kids can’t forget.

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A listener made this after Lance announced her had signed a three year contract to stay in Houston.  He commented that we seriously considered another market.  It’s true, we did.  It was an extremely stressful decision thinking of moving our family across the country, being separated for awhile, disappointing parents and figuring out where Drake would go.  In the end, that job wasn’t what Lance needed.  I have to say a few people really stand out with their advice.  First, there was Marivi who only said to do what was best for Lance.  Honestly, she’s a great wife.  That whole stand by your man thing~ She’s got it down.  While she made it clear she wanted me to stay put, she always said to put Lance first.  Then there was my brother who let me know he didn’t want me to leave town, but that I needed to do what was best for my family and to only consider them when making a decision.  He let me know I didn’t have to feel guilty if I left town because my family comes first.  I have to say that I really appreciate how honest he was.  And last was Monsignor Rossi: he’s such a great priest.  He is available no matter what and gives amazing advice.  The fact that Lance went and spoke with a priest just makes me love him more.  He was feeling pressured and starting to get manic.  We both were, actually.  After speaking with him, he was at peace during the rest of the decision making process.

So we’re here to stay, at least for three more years, and probably more.  It’s fine, it’s home, the weather sucks as much as usual, but we’re here.  And you know, there are no regrets, not even when I think of how perfect that city is and their weather.  I have to say the best reaction I got to the news of a potential move was my friend Heather immediately tearing up.  Funny, I knew she would be upset if we moved despite the fact that she and Chris would be the first people to visit us.  In the end, I’m happy and so is Lance.

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School…it starts in one more week.  It’s been such a great summer.  We relaxed more than usual.   Sure, we went places, but overall we just hung out.  The boys built Legos nonstop, played board games, read and swam.  They weren’t interested in the library or museums much.  And I was fine.  Some moms may be happy their kids are going back to school.  Not this one.  I relished every second with my kids.

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Does every state require their students to learn state history?  I used to think it was just Texas because obviously nobody else had such an exciting history.  Not joking.  Goose completed a unit on Texas this year that covered all the battles leading up to it’s independence.  What a great study.  The kids and I stayed in Austin for one last mini vacation before school starts.  While there, we went to the Alamo, the Bob Bullock Museum and will hit San Jacinto this week.  At every location, Goose wanted me to take his picture and send it to his teacher.  I love that he liked her so much.  I felt bad for sending her pictures, but she was very gracious.  Anyway, Texas History makes an impression on all of us Texans, even my cousin who went to school in Colorado is a Texan at heart.  He knew the battle  cry at Gonzales.  Come and take it!

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Where I Am From

By | Posted July 22, 2014

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I am from a two story house in the suburbs.  From Texas where football reigns and even the nights are humid.

I am from Mary and Hector and an older brother.  From cousins that are as numerous as the stars in the sky.

I am from Saturday morning pancakes and sausage and Sunday night pot roast.   From Raggedy Ann and Andy.  I am from watching football with my brother and father, pacing during Wimbledon and watching Prom Night with my brother.

I am from family vacations, big holiday meals, crazy holiday meals that sometimes have arguments.

I am from ONE. HOLY. CATHOLIC. APOSTOLIC. CHURCH.

I am from what is fair, right and just.

I am from a two week trip from Houston to San Francisco in the car.  Carlsbad, The Grand Canyon, Circus Circus, The Hoover Dam, Disney and getting stuck on the Pinnochio ride.  I am from that crooked street in SF.

I am from canisters of peanut M&M’s, snickerdoodle cookies and the recipe from my mom’s worn out cookbook.  I am from “hell”, but always with a designated driver.

I am from a city where the sky lights up burnt orange, where the stadium is filled and men cry when national championships are won.

I am from adventure, trips for weeks on end by myself.  From meeting people on trains and finding rooms to share, from day trips, from backpacks, from the Plaza in Madrid with sangria and my favorite meal.  From pictures of Madonna and the Holy Child to grand Cathedrals.

I am from friendships that are lasting.  From new friends that show their loyalty.

I am from family.  With a lot of kids and a passionate spouse.  From weekend get aways to reading hours on end.  From mass at 9:30 on Christmas morning to opening presents afterwards.  From a Lent that is meaningful to birthdays with family.

I am from Snoopy, nativity scenes and children’s books.

I am from a family that loved with all it had even when it broke apart.  That family made me who I am.  And most days, I’m okay with who I am.

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Can you just stay FIVE?!!

By | Posted July 18, 2014

Posted in birthday, Snax | 1 Comment »

Oh my sweet little boy, Snax.  How can another year have passed?

My boy with the twinkle in his eye, the mischievous one who is all boy.  Where did five go?

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It passed too fast, and it kills me.  But kid, what a year.  Truly, it was a fantastic year for you.  I’ve been asking you all week if you would consider just staying five.  You told me you’d think about it.  WhenI asked today what the final answer was, you said it was a secret.

Either way, kid, things are going to be great this year.

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Last year had you leaving me to head off to school.  Oh how I worried.  I didn’t want my baby boy to leave.  And really, you were such a young five.  Such a young, young five.  And mischievous.  And that twinkle…would your teachers appreciate that twinkle?  I worried how you would behave in class.  But you were great.  Maybe a total of 8 notes the entire year.   And one of your teachers told me you were just so cool and funny.  She got you.  (Well, mostly.)  It wasn’t just your behavior that was great, it was how you picked up on things so fast.  Your math continues to amaze me.  You can add whatever we throw at you in your head.  You know you’re good, and I love to see that proud look in your eyes.

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You are right along with the boys listening to stories.  You fight over sitting next to me and still bring huge stacks of books for me to read to you.  You love Bible stories and know them after hearing them just once.

You love that damn dog of ours.  This year was so cold, Lola was allowed to come inside.  You had her walking all over the house, sleeping with you.  You play with her nonstop, get on top of her, feed her.  When you wrote about your family this year, you said there were 8 people because you included her in the mix.  I’m glad you love her despite how much she gets on my nerves.

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You are hilarious with Mari!  You love her, most of the time.  Oh how she cried when you went to school this year.  And you were so sweet to her, you always ran back to give her a kiss.  You asked about her day, you were curious.  I think you missed her too.  Sometimes I catch you and her reading together.  It makes my heart happy.  But when she makes you mad, there is no stopping you.  Nothing will calm you down.  I have to share this story, not to embarrass you, but so I remember later on…One day, you asked if you could marry your sister and when I said no, you asked if you could just live with her.  It was such a sweet request, you just love her and like being around her.

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You may be the youngest boy in the house, but you have no fear of anyone.  One of the boys pisses you off, you go off and punch them.  And it doesn’t matter if they hurt you, you won’t go down.

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All year long, I found you outside playing baseball.  Mostly, you made your biggest brother, Drake,  play with you.  You love it.  You’re a good hitter.  In the spring, you played baseball and soccer.  You are super aggressive and have no fear.  I would die before playing goalie, but the thought that you could get hurt doesn’t occur to you.  Right now, dad is coaching your basketball team.  You’ve had to sit out a few times for not minding dad, but you go to the side and wait.  But again, you’re aggressive on the court.  Dad and I like that about you.

But beneath the twinkle, the tough boy, there is a sweet little boy.  A boy who will come and tell me he loves me.  A sweet little boy who will ask if we can snuggle.  That may have been my favorite part of the day: after school when you just needed some time with me.  Because I missed you so much, and to have you ask for time with me, made my heart melt.

But you know what my favorite thing about you is?   It’s how slow you do things.  You refuse to be rushed.   It happens when you order food, when you are choosing a gift from the store, what shoes to buy…Sure, it frustrates me how long it takes for you to make a decision, but when I force myself to slow down with you, I see the joy in all of it.  Life shouldn’t be rushed.  I know that’s why God gave you to me.  That’s what he wants you to teach me.  To slow down and enjoy life.  I always talk about living intentionally, you force me to do just that.

DSC_3306 Snax, you are such an amazing little boy.  You are constantly making me laugh.  After leaving a party this year, you informed me how great the owner’s dog was.  When I asked why, you responded “you can punch him in the face.”  I couldn’t believe it!  I freaked out asking if you had punched the dog,  You assured me that you had not, you just knew that he wouldn’t have minded.  Truly, your mind is amazing.

The following morning, you woke up with blue gum in your hair.

Snax, my sweet boy, I love you so much.  You are the one who made our home loud from day one, bringing out the loud in everyone else.  My favorite thing is to wake up and see you snuggled next to me or hear you ask me to snuggle you.  How can my rambunctious little boy be such a little snuggle bug?  But you are, and the best thing I could ever do with you is to immediately say yes when you ask.  It’s good for me and good for you.  Happy Birthday, my son.  I love you and can’t wait to see what happens this year!

May God bless you always!  Mary, pray for my son!  St. Sebastian, pray for my son!

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What 10 looks like

By | Posted July 15, 2014

Posted in birthday, Goose | 3 Comments »

Goose~ how did it happen?  Ten years in the blink of an eye.

TEN YEARS!!

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I remember your birth like it was yesterday.  Eating out at Pappadeaux, coming home and playing BopIt with Squirt, then my water breaking.  I had a million thoughts racing through my mind at that point.  I didn’t rush, I think I moved furniture, loaded my Ipod, and then left once Mimi arrived.

It was a long night and finally, I was pushing, and there you were, after two and a half hours of pushing.  I can look down and still see you in my arms just looking up at me.  I have not wanted to let you go since that moment.

DSC_3166And honestly, I don’t think you like  being far away either.  You still ask to snuggle, you fight over sitting next to me while I read and you get mad when you think someone else is getting more attention than you.  You are a mama’s boy in the truest sense.

You’ve had a great year.  Probably your best in school so far.  You had amazing teachers this year.  Your math?  Well, half the time I have to really think before I can help.  You will be way past me soon enough, and I’ve no doubt that one day you will have a career where you can use your skills in math.  You loved science and even got an award in it this year.  Spelling continues to be a strong point for you, and I was so proud to see you on that stage during the spelling bee.  With a straight A average for the year, it sounds bad criticizing, but if there was one area where we can work together, it’s reading comprehension.  It’s probably my fault, we read too fast in the beginning.  Now you just want to rush, so if I can ask anything, it’s slow down.  You miss so much when you rush.  And not just in reading, but in life.  It’s good to slow down and take it all in.

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Your love of sports is pretty incredible.  Growing up with a brother, the first 7/9 birthday, who was an encyclopedia and then marrying your father, I’m used to sports addicts.  I don’t mind them at all.  In fact, I love how much you love sports.  While your dad was in NYC for the draft this year, you and I sat up and watched the coverage.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t know half the players, but you?  You knew them all, where they played, what position, where they should go and you fell asleep on the couch watching.  When you woke up the next morning, you had questions about where people were drafted.

Then there’s basketball.  It’s the sport you play.  And you’re not bad.  Once yoU get bigger, you’ll be amazing.  It’s another sport you love watching and we had fun at games this year.

As a mom one of my proudest moments was during baseball season.  I worried about you because you weren’t hitting the ball.  It was machine pitch, and the bats are just too heavy for you.  You went three games as well as all the practices without a hit.  But you didn’t let it get you down.  Nobody would have known just how frustrated you were.  No bad attitude at all.  And then finally, you connected and of course, it was during one of our trips, but you called me immediately.  You were SO happy and proud of yourself.  After that, there was no looking back, you hit and scored.  I love seeing that success and the happiness from hard work.

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This year, you started altar serving.  You’ve taken it so seriously, and you always want to sub when people are out of town.  The others love to see you processing down the aisle, and I love just watching you.  I keep an eye out, making sure you are paying attention.  And you are.  Afterwards, you always comment on the sermon and tell me something about what you were doing while serving.  When your brother was preparing for his First Communion, you were such a good supporter.  You went with us to confession and helped him along the way.  I’m so happy with the way you embrace our faith and how you like being Catholic.

You know, Goose, ten years seems like a long time.  But I know the truth, it passes in a blink.  Next year is fifth grade, then we’ll be figuring out middle schools and high school.  It flies by, and I hate wasting one single second.  I stress myself to no end thinking about how fast it all goes.  Yes, I enjoy the time, but in the back of my head, I’m always worrying about what comes next, about the time you’re off at school.

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I want to slow life down, but I can’t.  I can appreciate the child you are and the person you are becoming.  A boy that loves God, his parents, his siblings, sports, reading and Snoopy.  Yes, Snoopy is still around.  Sometimes he stays home to rest or take a test, but he isn’t close to being gone.  And for me, it’s a gift, it shows me that time isn’t going quite as fast as I think it is.  I just need to sit back and live intentionally.  Take those times to snuggle, walk alone, to sit and listen to your fears.  Being your mom is a privilege.  Not one I’ve earned or deserve, but it’s my honor.

I look forward to next year, heck I look forward to next week!  Happy Birthday, Goose.  I love you with all my heart!  May God Bless you always,  Mary, pray for my boy.  St. Michael, pray for my son.

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Daybook~ Birthday Week

By | Posted July 13, 2014

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For Today:: Saturday, July 12, 2014

Outside my window:: the weather has been crazy.  I run at 6:30 and honestly, it feels great, except really it’s not, more on that later.  Then it’s miserably hot.  Then it storms like the world is coming to an end.  Really, the best time of day for me is at 6:30 when I’m outside running and alone with my thoughts.  But for today…it’s cold, it’s glorious, I”m wearing a sweatshirt.  I love SF!

Giving thanks for:: a father who took my kids to the movies so I had the chance to go shopping for our trip and for birthdays, two amazing children that were born this week, good friends and time alone.

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I am praying for:: a cure for DMD, a family that lost their young son, my children, a special intention, my SIL  and for a wonderful vacation.

I am wearing:: shorts and a t-shirt.  This afternoon it will be chilly!  CANNOT wait!

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I am reading:: Devil in the White City.  Wow, what a great book.  History, architecture, a serial killer and completely true.  SO. WELL. WRITTEN.  It is taking me quite some time to finish, but it’s so good.

Towards fitness and health:: I think I’m running a marathon.  As of now, I’m only signed up for the Houston Half, but once a spot opens for the full, I’m in.  I think.  Running twelve right now isn’t hard.  And it’s in this ridiculous humidity.  How ridiculous?  You don’t even want to see how many scars I have from chafing.  Today I have a huge welt/blister from my run because I forgot to use Body Glide on one spot on my arm.  Nevermind the fact that I used it everywhere else on my body.  This stuff is great, as long as you use it.  If not, you are scarred all over like me.  I can’t wear my heart rate monitor because my skin has been raw for over a week from the last time I wore it.  It kind of sucks, and yet, it’s not deterring me from running.  I love it because I’m alone.  Completely in my thoughts without anyone telling me what to do or how hard to work.  And I’m working hard.  My pace isn’t bad for a beginner (9:15-45 in this miserable heat).  So we’ll see how things continue.  And if a spot opens up for the full.

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One of my favorite things:: birthdays and my boys.

Another favorite:: vacation.  And San Francisco.  I haven’t been there in 12 years.  Thinking back, I’ve been at least five times.  It’s such a great city, and I can’t wait to share it with my kids.

A few plans for the week:: it’s all about getting ready for the trip and birthdays.  So it’s taken me days to finish this post…maybe pictures will upload and I hit publish.

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Til Death Do Us Part

By | Posted June 29, 2014

Posted in anniversary, Lance | 2 Comments »

Many moons ago, on this date, Lance and I got married.  Was the best day ever.  Lance and I were talking this weekend, and we both decided we wouldn’t change a thing.  The ceremony itself was a full mass.  I’ve forgotten the details of the homily.  But I just remember being happy throughout it all despite my nervousness about all the people there.  The reception?  Amazing.  I’ve been to few weddings where I had as much fun as I did at my own.  I loved every second of it and all too soon it was over.

Then came real life.  And you know, it’s not always easy.  I like things a certain way, and I can’t say that anyone in the house seems to like things quite the way I do.  I’m loud, I get frustrated, I’m not emotional.  He’s loud, he is emotional, he doesn’t like me to cuss so much.  We have five kids.

Did you know that things in marriage tend to get better once the kids leave home?  That’s a statistic I heard at my mom’s group at church.  Living in the trenches of child rearing right now, I have to say I completely believe those numbers.

But we made a decision.  We chose to love each other.  Even when it is hard, when I’m in a bad mood for no good reason, when he is frustrated because of work, we remember that we’re not in it alone.

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On our way back from an overnight get away, (as usual, my mom watched the kids, thank you, MOM!!!) we stopped at our parish to see if we could find our priest.  He’s the same priest that married us.  He was there, we joked about our wedding being just yesterday  and then he gave us a great blessing.  It’s a reminder that God is with us.  Something I probably should remember more often.

I love my husband for many reasons, here are just a few that may seem silly, but make me smile or happy: he plays the music game with me when we drive, he searched for 25 minutes in the heat searching for a grave today, he is completely selfish about his time with me and loves to take trips with just me and when I ask him to pray with me, he does.  He’s handsome, funny and smarter than me.  He wrestles with the boys and plays music for Sunshine.  And he loves me.

Love is a decision every day.  Thank you for loving me, Lance!

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A Holy First Communion

By | Posted June 28, 2014

Posted in Baby Hulk, Catholic | 1 Comment »

On the Feast of Corpus Christi, a day celebrating the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, Mason received his First Communion.  His excitement leading up to the day was contagious.  And afterwards?  Once he received the Lord?  He couldn’t stop talking about it.  He was radiant.  Which is what is supposed to happen.

I’ve spent my parenthood teaching my kids about the Faith, I don’t leave it to others, it’s something we live.  We celebrate the saints’ lives with treats, crafts and books, we talk about the church and what things mean, they see me go to Confession, they go as well, we hit daily mass…it’s who we are.  Does that make me strict?  I’m not sure I’d agree with that sentiment.  I love being Catholic, but didn’t know “the why’s” until I was in law school.  I was an every Sunday kind of Catholic.  I didn’t want that for my kids.  I wanted them to know our faith, to know why we were at mass every Sunday and why we spend Holy Week the way we do.  My kids know more than a lot of adults, and because of that knowledge they love it too.  They’re kids so is there grumbling at mass or glares during mass for goofing around?  Yes.

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But there’s also this little boy, a child who tells his classmates he wants to be a priest.  A child who talks about Bible stories with his friends of other faiths and invited someone to come to church with him.  I’m not sure it means anything yet, but it’s enough to make my heart swell with pride.  This little boy listens in mass.  He sure does move around a lot, but he can tell you what the homily is about and always has questions afterwards.  So when it came time to prepare for Mason’s First Communion, I too became giddy.

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I have few go to books on Communion explaining the importance of the Eucharist and then we learned from the Baltimore Catechism  in addition to the workbook from the church.  He soaked up the knowledge and learned.  He asked a lot of why  questions, which were questions a teenager should ask.

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And so last week, we hit confession one last time before his First Communion.  He knows the importance of confession and doesn’t mind going, which makes me go more often as well.  We prepared the house for after the mass, we laid out the clothes for the following day and we arrived early for church.  And you couldn’t wipe the smile off his face during mass.  He was happy to see both sets of grandparents, my brother and his family, my best friend and her kids as well as his best friend’s family.  After mass our wonderful friends from Austin arrived, Aunt Stacy and Nikki  making the day even better.

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When he received his First Communion, he got a little shy, he was nervous, but once it was over, you could not shut him up.  The joy was bubbling over, with more questions and comments.  He was happy.  Pure happiness.  Afterwards, our favorite priest gave him a hug and told him how proud he was and to always listen to God’s call.  You know, Mason may not have a vocation to the priesthood, but maybe he does.  Too many boys have missed their calling due to parents who didn’t care or didn’t want that for their kids.  I don’t want that to happen.  If he has a calling, it won’t be missed and if he doesn’t, he still loves God.

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The other day someone I love who isn’t Catholic and doesn’t have much of a faith system made a comment about church goers.  I’m fine with it, I know her, she’s a great person, someone I would trust with my kids.  But as she made her comment I shot right back that I would be devastated if my kids left Catholicism.  It’s true, I would.  And you know why?  Mainly because of last Sunday.  Holy Communion.  The Eucharist.  It’s that important.  And guess what, Mason gets it.

Praise God.  Mason gets it.  And so I pray that he always keeps that joy in his heart that he had last Sunday.  The joy of receiving Our Lord for the first time.  It’s a gift.  An amazing gift.  A mystery we can’t fully understand, but it’s here for us.  To fill us and cure us.

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My sweet son, Mason, I love you with every fiber in me.  You were a gift I begged God for and he has rewarded me.  I cherish every second we spent preparing for your First Communion and you brought new light for me in appreciating this gift.  God bless you always, my sweet boy.  Never forget today, the day you received Jesus because the Eucharist is the source and summit of all we believe.

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.  St. Gerard, pray for my boy!  And those five little saints in heaven, pray for him too!  He misses you guys!

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My Family

By | Posted June 26, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

As I’m getting ready to celebrate another anniversary, I was thinking of my life before marriage.  I hit the jackpot.

I think back on my childhood, and it was great.  There were after school activities, vacations, I Love You’s all the time, hugs, baking time and favorite meals.  The only thing missing was that coveted family picture we never took.  Even with parents who got divorced once I hit high school, things were good.  Sure, tense for a while, but to see them now, or really the last 16 years, it’s pretty nice.  My brother and I know how lucky we are not to have to choose.

I had/have a father who is generous like a movie star to everyone, but especially me and my now immediate family.  He takes the kids to the movies by himself, football games and soon is taking all of us on vacation.  He listens, he gives opinions and loves my kids.

My mother has always been there for me.  It’s no different today.  I ask her to watch the kids, and she’s there.  For the evening, the weekend or longer.  And it’s not like she has nothing better to do.  She does have plans that she often sets aside for me.  And she gives good advice, when I’m venting she reminds me to let things go.

Which leaves me with my brother: he’s someone I admire quite a bit.  I can turn to him with any issues I am having and can depend on him for anything.  He shows up no matter what.  It doesn’t matter if it’s convenient or not, he’s there.  He’s the best brother, and I can only hope my kids are as close to each other one day as I am to him.

I’ve been so lucky to have this amazing family.  I hope that my kids feel the same way when they are my age.

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Artificial Holidays

By | Posted June 26, 2014

Posted in Random | 2 Comments »

A lot is made out of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and I’m not sure why.  Overall, in this specific household, both days suck.  Expectations are too high, never met and there is tons of bickering.  This year it didn’t help that Goose had a major test the day after Mother’s Day as well as a major project due two days later.  As for Father’s Day, well we spent 7 1/2 hours in the car with four of the kids.  The fifth was working and that was probably a blessing for him because that day with the exception of the 2 1/2 hours spent at my in-laws sucked more than usual.

Lance spent most of the day lamenting how nobody cares about Father’s Day the way we do about Mother’s Day.  Which may be true, but hey, we do carry the babies so there’s that.  Since I had made sure he had real gifts as well as handmade gifts, his fussing was slightly annoying.  To make matters more stressful, part of our car ride was spent going at about 20 MPH.  He also reminded me that I had gone out on Mother’s Day.

Yes, I sure did.  I did what all mothers want to do, spent time for myself.  Six full glorious hours at a bar with a friend.  We were smart and took a cab.  Best Mother’s Day ever once I left home.

Lance made a few comments about that on Father’s Day and you know what…I deserved my six hours.  If he wants to gamble next year, I say go for it.  Anything so I don’t have to listen to grumbling about which day is worse.  Because really in a contest, I will win this argument.  And the reality is that is does become an argument.

So next year, I’m not doing it.  Well, I am going out again, but the rest, I could care less about.  My kids tell me they love me all the time.  That’s enough.  I love my family, but I don’t need Hallmark telling me when to celebrate the gift of motherhood.

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