Friday, February 28, 2020

7QT: Time Wasters, High Jumpers, and Essay Winners

Linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes...


I have some decluttering I want to do in the house, and I figured Lent would be a good a time as any (maybe even better) to get it done.  Usually I attack a project in one big swoop, but I drag my feet and complain about it for a long time first.  "Oh I have to clean out my whole closet and I hate doing that chore and it takes so long and maybe I'll just wait until we have a snow day."  But so far, that snow day hasn't come, and my closet still isn't cleaned and picked through.  So for Lent, my aim is to just DO SMALL ACTIONS ALL THE TIME towards my goal and not postpone until I have the time to do it all at once.  It's not the job that is my Lenten sacrifice, it's working on my attitude, obedience and not procrastinating that is my Lenten goal.  I am just working on small portions of my closet each day, and then I hope to inventory and clean out the freezers and fridge and pantries.  Then move on to the next task.  It's a weird feeling for me to stop cleaning the closet without it being finished, but it's way better than not to start at all, ya know?

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Party Hearty or is it Hardy? Either Way, We Partied Hard!

On Tuesday, we celebrated not only Mardi Gras, but also the aniversaries of the birth of myself and John-Paul.

Most people call them bithdays.

I am not most people.

I turned 41 and JP turned 17and Phil placed the candles (on the beautiful and delicious cake he made!) oh so strategically :)

Friday, February 21, 2020

7QT: Lent Prepping, College Searching, and Rosary Praying

TGIF and all that jazz...


Lent is coming next week!  I am going to read this book throughout lent, do you want to join me?

This book is broken up into short daily readings, with a weekly theme, that will be so easy to pick up and read.  I need easy!  Right at the beginning of his book, Fr. Looney says not to worry if you miss a day here and there, which immediatley put me at ease.  I always miss a day during my Leneten deeds, and then feel like I can't go back and catch up, and I just stop all together.  He's giving us permission to be human!  I'm excited to discover how to make my examinations of conscience more fruitful; learn powerful new methods of prayer; and gain an unwavering trust in Our Lord’s love and mercy.
From the Sophia Institute website, this book promises to teach:

The keys to praying silently so you can hear God’s voice
The three ways Mary works to convert sinners
How specifically to pray for the healing of a broken heart
Why and how you should pray the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary
How a Marian apparition is judged to be worthy of belief
What Mary teaches us about praying for the dead
And, finally, Our Lady’s wise and consoling words for persons with debilitating diseases, for families struggling to conceive, and for couples struggling to heal their marriages.

I'm excited to dive in!

Friday, February 14, 2020

A Trip Down Memory Lane: 7 Dating Stories on This Valentine's Day


The One Where I Trick Him Into Asking Me to the Dance

Me, Anne and Buddy - hatching a plan!

When Phil and I first met, in Austria in January 2000, I was dating a boy from home.  I told Phil about him pretty quickly, and didn't think much of it, as Phil and I were friends but I didn't think there were any romantic feelings involved.  A few days later, I heard myself telling my roommate that I wanted to marry a guy like Phil.  It shocked me, as the guy I was dating was very unlike Phil.  I realized that I had to break up with him, because if he was not marriage material, then what was I doing?  So I did, by phone, because I was in Austria and he was in college in Maine (one of my biggest regrets in life was ending a 3 year relationship over the phone - mea culpa).  I definitely hoped deep down that something would develop with Phil, and I made sure he knew that I was now single.  Phil's a shy guy, and there was a Valentine's dance coming up, so my roommate and I hatched a plan to get Phil to ask me.  We would have another guy friend ask her in front of Phil and I, and she would say "Well, I don't want to go if Colleen doesn't go" and then Phil would have the opportunity to jump in and ask me.  It worked like a charm!  (Ummm, after typing this out I'm not sure if Phil even knows he was tricked into asking me to the dance?  Sorry Phil!)  He did bring me a dozen red roses before the dance (he didn't know that red roses = love but all the girls did!) so I'm pretty sure he wanted to go with me ;)

Our first Valentine's Day together - twenty years ago!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Being a Mom: From Pimples to Pampers and Everything In Between

While I will always and forever tell young mothers, busy juggling babies and toddlers, that "It gets easier", I am realizing that what gets easier is the physical part of parenting.  The emotional part of parenting never gets easier, and in my humble opinion, only gets harder.

But that's not what an exhausted, hungry, struggling mom wants to hear.  She wants to hear that these days that she is finding so hard to get through, the nights of broken sleep that feel torturous, the hours spent changing diapers and wiping drool, will indeed get better.  She wants to know that she will sleep through the night again, her kids will become potty trained and physically independent, and her days will be much smoother.  

So that's why I say "It gets easier!  You're in the trenches right now!  What you are doing is hard work and sacrifice, and it will pay off!  You're doing great!"

That's what young moms NEED to hear.  They need to feel understood and not like they're unfit for the job thrust upon them.  

Time marches on, and those busy toddlers turn into busier teens, who now have us worrying about their choices in life, their safety on the road, the friends with whom they keep company.  We watch them succeed and fail, get heartbroken and break hearts, be smart and be stupid.  And we feel it all too.  As much as you empathize with your baby's cry when they skin their knee for the first time, you literally ache for your grown children's pains. Their hearts are still united to yours.

I think older moms NEED to hear that they are not alone, that as the physical dependency lessens as kids grow...the worry and emotional stress grows as well.  It's normal.  It's not you, it's them. Somebody give me a hug and tell me this, please ;)

Monday, February 3, 2020

The Struggle of a Nosy Oversharer

I want to write about every detail in my life.  Ever since I was a little girl, I loved writing in a diary, keeping a memory book, or making photo albums.  I love to record memories.  

I'm a oversharer, most likely.  

I need to write or talk in order to process.  Sometimes I wish I could just be a thinker and stay in my own head, but the written/spoken word is a necessity to help me move on from anything.

And I need to know everything from you, as well.  

In real life, if you told me you went on a date, had a baby, just came back from vacation, saw an old frenemy...I would say "Tell me EVERYTHING!"  My husband likes to imitate this line of mine with a dramatic hand flair for effect.  I like to ask a lot of questions and get a lot of answers.  Some may consider that nosy.  I tend to think I'm just an empathetic soul.

I want my kids to share all of their thoughts, feelings, hardships and joys with me.  I am lucky so far that they seem to communicate well with me.  Maybe because I ask so many questions?  Maybe because they know they can't get away with just a "fine" answer.

And then when they do share with me...I want to talk about it.  I want to write about what's going on in their lives, what we're all learning as they grow up.  I want to understand them better by collecting my thoughts on paper.

But the older they get, the less right I have to share their tales.  I don't want to embarrass them on a deep level.  I don't want them to not trust me.  I don't want them to think they are just fuel for my fodder.

So I keep it inside, ponder it in my heart and head, and talk to my husband only.

Because of this, you'll mostly hear cute and funny stories about my little guys and approved highlight reels about my oldest ones.  I want to write more!  I want to read about it more!  I want the wisdom from moms who have dealt with teenager issues.  

I've just realized that I can't find that here.  Those relationships happen face to face, not over social media, in comments, on blog posts.  

My relationship cup that used to fill up with every story shared, or photo needs a more intentional growing of friendships.  The introvert in me who was happy to stay at home and communicate via screens, now longs for deeper relationships that require me to leave the house.  

I'm trying to figure all of this out, while realizing that the blogs I used to follow for mothering advice, got increasingly quiet as the kids aged up.  I get it now.  I do.  As much as I would love to hear from them on raising teens and young adults, those stories aren't necessarily theirs to share anymore.  

But gosh, I'd love to go grab a cup of coffee with one of them and chit chat for hours.  Maybe I am just nosy after all.

Hopefully one day, after these babies of mine are grown and having babies of their own, they will welcome my stories and enjoy reminiscing with me.  I don't want to chance ruining that future relationship by oversharing in the present.  I love them too much.