27 September, 2006


My sweetie has a fortune taped to this picture in a frame at his house that reads, "You crave your lover when the two of you are apart."

Well, he leaves for Las Vegas this morning. It will be the longest time we have been apart since July. I have a long slate of projects to work on to pass the time as well as some outstanding social engagements with friends.

It is strange how drastically your life changes when God brings a life companion into your path. Now, I don't believe in forsaking all other persons and priorities for them, but there is certainly a heightened level of commitment that removes you from your previous dedication to friends and family. There are still errands to run, dinners to attend, and work functions to tolerate. That said, it is key for my sweetheart and I to carve out small niches of time to spend with one another.

The other night we found ourselves in the living room with our feet propped up, just talking. He looked at me and said, "Wow, I miss this." I nodded in agreement. You don't realize how blessed those simple, ordinary, everyday moments and tasks are, until they are overcome. Last night it was packing. We enjoyed the first hour of his preparations, but then it became a task. A necessary task, but still a task at the expense of quality time spent together.

In hindsight, I should have worked harder to bless the task and make it holy. I could have pushed my energy just that much further instead of allowing the tyranny of the work day and the kitty recovery (our babies just had their "no more babies" surgery) to determine how I treated my fiance. Instead of making it a fun love-filled evening, it became a task-filled evening to launch the trip.

It is worth the reflection.

So, I am homesick. Not for my home or house or because I am physically away, but because I am distanced from the routine and love that has come to characterize my daily life.

Hopefully the sweet surprise I left in his suitcase will make up for the dull night and give him a reason to come home quick!!

26 September, 2006

"Our" Engagement Ring

So I have been having a difficult time adjusting to my engagement ring. I mean, it is unbelievable. It is far more beautiful than I ever could have imagined and I am a very blessed woman. My sweetheart picked it out himself. I had very little to do with it other than the expression of a few preferences. It is a true and complete gift of self. He knows me well enough and I trust him deep enough to ask him to choose that gift and symbol for me and for us.

Maybe that is why I am having a difficult time adjusting. It is not mine. It is ours. It symbolizes what we want to do with our life together. It symbolizes our assent to God's will for our life. Our free gifts of self to one another: his offer and my acceptance. I wear it as an outward sign of his great generosity and love and my acceptance and commitment to that love and the love my own heart.

Not only have I had to think about "mine" versus "ours", but I have had to think about how permanent it is. This ring will, for all general purposes, never leave my hand from this point forward. I've worn rings before. When I was 16, dating age in our house, my dad gave me a promise ring. I promised to protect my chastity and my purity and to pray for my future spouse. Everyday I wore that ring I was reminded of that promise. However, that promise was a promise that led to something else. It was a temporary promise, to be replaced by the ring and promise of my engagement and marriage. That day has come. This is permanent. And I am so blessed, but a bit overwhelmed by its permenancy.

I've always used Shakespeare's line, "forever and a day," as a trite and cute reference point, but in the last few weeks as my beloved and I have approached and entered this engagement, I truly understand the beauty of that statement.

25 September, 2006

I am Engaged! Now What?

So, my wonderful boyfriend proposed on Friday night just moments after asking my Dad's permission. He wanted to wait, but he just couldn't and so, sitting in the living room, on the new couch I had helped him pick out, with the kittens making mischief around us, he asked me to share his life with him.

When he handed me the ring box, I looked at him and asked him if he "was sure". He kind of looked at me puzzled...I started to open it and he got down on one knee in front of me, in our comfy clothes, and asked me if I would marry him. I only had one end of the box open and instead of finishing I threw my arms around him and said yes. It was 5 minutes before I opened the box.

Strange thing, I was engaged, but I didn't feel it. We called on the family and shared the news and sat and talked about it, but it didn't feel completely real. The first moment it felt real was actually on Saturday night when we were with his family. His sister kept referring to me as "aunt" and her daughter as my new "niece". That really struck me. Words like "wife" and "in-laws" really hit me. I can tell I am a wordsmith when it is the words that drive a concept home!

There were so many ways that Friday night could have gone and the proposal could have gone. That said, as we look at it a day or two later, neither he nor I can imagine it any other way. As always, God provided and it was more perfect than anything we could have planned ourselves.

I'm thrilled and I can't wait to be his wife! It is an amazing feeling to know that you are unquestionably with the man that God chose for you.

23 September, 2006

So You're Catholic Now...So Am I!

Okay, well first off, I should have listened to my friend Sheila much sooner. She is an award-winning journalist and has been encouraging me to write everyday...I have not. I have been too busy. But this little forum has been a nice exercise in daily thought. I appreciate all of you who read it and the few of you who respond.

So my thought for the day. I was sitting in Blessed Sacrament adoration (ask me if you are unfamiliar) yesterday afternoon listening to the spiritual mix on my IPOD when I got to thinking about some of my friends. Growing up in California I had a lot of friends who were non-denominational and some friends who were converts to Catholicism from that tradition. Often times they are very critical of the faith they left. Now, I understand this as a faith stage, but sometimes it frustrates me because they criticize some of the practices of their former faiths that I think the Catholic church (being a cradle Catholic) could stand to improve upon.

For example, praise and worship (hence why I got to thinking about it while listening to my IPOD). I understand that it is a simple devotion, sometimes lacking in liturgical substance and often not appropriate for the Mass, but I believe it still should play a role in Catholic spirituality. Why not? Give people another method of praise.

Or fellowship...come on people, donuts and coffee for 50 people following a 200 person Mass doesn't cut it...especially when we place the table stragetically next to the door so people can "grab and go". That is not fellowship. That is not community-building. Yes, I think the non-denoms can take it to the point where it overshadows the message of the service, but that doesn't mean we should lose it! Let's improve upon it.

Face it, if we truly believe that we have the fulness of the faith in the Eucharist, why is faithful incorporation of other traditions and practices scary?

The church has a tradition of blessing and making holy the practices of the cultures and societies into which they enter. We must consider that today's American society ought be treated like a foreign culture in the Church like any other. It is a culture into which the Church must enter. Let's embrace, bless, and make holy practices that can bring us closer to one another in the communion of saints as well as closer to our Heavenly Father and His kingdom in Heaven.

Gas Prices...

Okay, is anyone else irritated at the fact that they are dropping??? I know, you think me crazy...but seriously, the economy has not changed that much. Doesn't this just prove that they were jacking up prices last year even though they didn't need to??

That said, there are two good things about this:

#1 I can buy myself at least 3 more cups of coffee each month with the money I save on gas...

#2 It is going to take that much longer for prices to get back to their highs if it occurs again...well, let's be honest, when it occurs again...

Most of you are probably wondering how in heaven's name a picture of my wonderful family applies to this diatribe. Well, it is like this. My parents live in Cincinnati, my sister in Louisville, and me in Green Bay. It means either a lot of driving, a lot of flying, or a lot of loneliness. I opt out of loneliness so that just leaves a lot of gas guzzling miles between me and my family. Some might consider that a blessing, but not I...

Increased Productivity Without My Computer???

When my sweetie arrived home last night he discovered the living room completely refurnished and rearranged. We had agreed to buy a new coffee table, media shelf and end table...so I did...and I assembled them...they didn't look right in the configuration so I rearranged and now it looks awesome!!!

What he couldn't believe was that I had done it in 3 1/2 hours...how did I have that much energy and productivity?

Well, here is my theory. Ditch the computer! Most of us spend most of our day on the computer. Staring...blankly...at a bright screen...with little words...

For the last 16 months, my computer and I have been inseperable. Attached at the hip, hinge and other joints. I haven't taken a vacation without my computer. Two weeks ago, I took the plunge and left the computer home for Labor Day weekend while we were visiting my family. What a relief!!! No one could get me via e-mail!!! No one could tell me to check my account or forward me pressing issues!!! Shortly after, I decided not to take my laptop home with me at night. Gasp! I know...

What I have discovered is not only am I more productive at home following the work day, but I am actually more productive at work as well. I know that the 8 hours I am in the office is when I have access to my contacts, calendars and corporate communications...once I leave, that's it. No more. I have to get everything done for work at work. It has been a huge eye opener!!! And a huge stress reliever!

So I dare you, detach from your computer for one full weekend. Completely. It will dramatically shift your outlook.

Just like I am going to dramatically shift the nose of my kittens if they don't get out of the packing material...

Kamikazee Kittens

So, I swear my cats are trying to off themselves. But as my sweetheart says, "They're like practice kids, but if one of them accidently offs him/herself we won't get thrown in jail."

Last night it was the laundry. Gatsby would not stay out of my fresh laundry. He has a bit of a flatulance problem and that made the process all the much more interesting. He tried to climb my dresser. I later came to find Daisy in the dresser. Such was the moment for them to be shut in their room. For the next two hours, I heard them cracking their skulls and their little kitty butts against every hard surface in their room.

He is getting large and klutzy, but you wouldn't believe the amazing balance he manages on the back of a wooden rocking chair. They fight each other on the back of the chair. That is when they aren't hanging from my new window treatment...

So, as far as I am aware they have not discovered explosives, but if you happen to see a furry orange blur immediately before an explosion, you'll know he's taken it to the next level.

Only 17 more years...:)

Papal Comments Prove Their Point

Now, before y'all get up in arms, I like Pope Benedict and I like peaceful Muslims...

However, I am a little irked by the uproar over Pope Benedict's comments. He was quoting an ancient bishop...not only that but it was in the context of academic dialogue. Has he not gone out of his way to promote and engage in peaceful, ecumenical dialogue? I mean he has taken ecumenical dialogue to a higher level than even his predecessor, the beloved John Paul II.

And he has apologized for the reaction. He has no reason to apologize for the comment as it was properly contextualized and expunged upon, but he recognized the impact it had and apologized for the concern it caused. What more can we ask for?

And isn't the Muslim community just proving Benedict's point (agreed with or otherwise) by blowing the whole situation out of proportion? Dialogue...isn't that what they have been asking for all along?

Christians and Catholics get bashed all the time, but people lives aren't typically hanging in the balance.

And don't even get me started on the media's disgusting role in this situation. I am ashamed to call myself a journalist with the lack of integrity and contextual reporting this whole situation has created.

Pope Benedict has an exemplary record, as does the Catholic Church, in area of ecumenism. He is a loving, intelligent and tolerant individual. He refuses to let political, religious, or personal nonsense dictate his message. That is responsible journalism. That is responsible leadership. That is responsible existence.

Finding Out the Whole Story...

There is something to be said for finding out the whole story.

For example, this morning, I had breakfast at my sweetheart's. He is a fab ulous cook!!! Anyways, while I was downstairs using the newly redecorated bathroom, he discovered that the kitties had peed all over one of the chairs in their room. Now this is not their first offense.

I came up the stairs and got an earful...not to mention the earful I am sure the kitties got while I was downstairs. He assumed they were just being bad. What I discovered was that it was not in fact the kitties fault. I had not cleaned their litter box in a few days and it was too full for them to consider usable. They had instinctually sought out the next least permeable thing so as not to soil their safe space. So, if you think about it, they actually saved us some grief.

So, the moral of the story. Don't jump to conclusions...or maybe it is as simple as clean the litter box.

How Did You Get Your Job?

So I just got back from lunch with my sweetheart...and the topic of discussion was how people get their jobs despite complete incompetancy...and the one that disturbed me most was using their "skills" in other areas of their lives to work their way, "up the corporate ladder".

Please don't make me elaborate more...What I don't understand is how those thoughts even track through people's minds? Where do they come from? I mean, I understand the whole theory behind chemical imbalance in pyschopaths, but you CANNOT tell me that sleeping around and having affairs has to do with a chemical imbalance. Testosterone does not count even if guys have 400 times more than women...it is a little thing called respect and self-control.

If you put as much energy into your troubled marriage or rocky dating life as you do into sordid affairs, you might actually be able to sustain a lasting and meaningful relationship. And, although I do not speak from experience, if sex is what you are looking for, apparently happily married sex is the best kind. That is a topic for a whole other message.

But, as the love my life said, "It is easy to hate somebdoy. It is hard to love somebody."

Woman at the Inkwell

Hello everyone!

There are a few reasons I started this blog. Number one, I am an aspiring writer/journalist and I needed an outlet for daily journaling. Number two, I have moved around so much and have so many friends and family around the country, that I wanted somewhere that they could all keep up with me when and if they wanted to.

Why "Woman at the Inkwell"? Many of you might have caught the slight religious overtone from the story of the woman at the well. This blog will have some religious topics, overtones and values. I am "cradle Catholic" as we call them, someone who has been raised in the Catholic faith from birth. I work in Catholic ministry and try to live a Catholic life. That said, it won't be ALL religious, so the small twist of phrase seemed appropriate.

I am of the camp that writing is not just about the writer, nor is it just about the reader. It is about the dialogue and relationship between the written word and the read word. I encourage you to offer feedback and send me your thoughts.

I look forward to continuing this venture! As I told my mother the other day, "I need to be a part of the global community." Just like you, she laughed and told me to "go for it" (insert motherly smirk and condescension here...).