18 September, 2009

"Hello? God? This is Amberly calling..."

God calls us to answer our baptismal call. For me, this is anything but easy.

How am I supposed to be mature, holy, concerned with the common good, sharing my gifts and an extension of God’s blessings all in the same day? I can barely remember to brush my teeth and grab the baby’s bottle before I leave the house in the morning!

And then it occurred to me…

- I maturely spoke kind words to the loan specialist about the loan coupon booklet that neverarrived and reversing the subsequent late fee.

- I shared holiness and patience with my son by singing along to his Bible songs CD during an unusually long traffic delay that postponed his suppertime bottle.

- I responded to the common good by taking the time to e-mail back a flustered friend withwords of affirmation and to follow up on a state health provision that could negativelyimpact thousands of marriages.

- I shared my gift for healthy cooking by making a balanced meal for my husband and sistereven though the last thing my stomach could tolerate was cooking beef.

- I was a conduit of God’s blessings as my exhausted husband sighed and opened our nightly devotional and I said quietly, “I’ll read tonight”.

Upon this reflection, I’ve deduced that the key to answering my baptismal call is being aware of my baptismal call in my everyday life. Specific and intentional responses to our baptismal call are important as well, but I believe that most importantly, God wants us to be thinking of our call within the context of how we live our everyday lives.

And the best way to awareness? A direct line with God by way of a practical, but regular prayer life.

For me, this means prayer time from daycare to work and devotional time with my husband before bed.

If you have trouble carving out time for prayer in your life, here is a method to consider. Presented in this form by author Trudelle Thomas, the Ignatian Examen is a daily practice of spiritual reflection that has been used by Christians for centuries. In essence, it consists of 2 questions.

- What am I most grateful for today?

- What am I least grateful for today?

Sometimes formal prayer can be daunting. These two questions can bring you a greater awareness of God’s presence in your day. These questions can take other forms if you prefer:

- When did I give and receive the most love today?

- When did I give and receive the least love today?

- When did I feel the most alive today?

- When did I feel the most life draining out of me today?

Just remember, however you get there, a direct line of communication with God is the key to answering your baptismal call.

Now, stop reading and go listen.

13 September, 2009

Life Maintenance...

I saw the phrase "life maintenance" on a friend's profile today and it got me to thinking, what maintenance do I need to do in my life. And then I got overwhelmed...

Maintenance in family life is constant. It is not something you relegate to one or two evenings. It is not something you ever complete. This realization was a hard one to accept. I am a recovering closet perfectionist who still cannot live life without a calendar and a list. I take GREAT pleasure in crossing things off my list when they are complete. After welcoming John Ross into our life I had to come to terms with the fact that just because I cross a task off my list doesn't mean that I won't have to do it again tomorrow or next week. At this point, I am less concerned with completion as I am with category of frequency such as daily, weekly, monthly, and my self-coined "when I can" category.

For my own stress relief, I will list them here. Just kidding...I know we all have our lists and no one needs to spend any extra time reading mine.

Here's the problem. When I wrote my lists, prayer didn't cross my mind until I got to "when I can". I'm not sure how I should feel about that. I mean, I'm the kind of gal who believes that prayer is key to a calm and collected life even when it gets crazy. I am also the kind of gal who believes that God meets me at the sink, the washing machine, or on the highway. That said, it seems that when I don't have prayer built into my daily "life maintenance" I have a hard time remembering to meet God at our designated oasises.

A friend of mine lovingly challenged me to look at my prayer life as one cause for my manic-ness this past week. In addition to a severe case of hormones, I had to admit to her that my prayer life sucks!!!

Okay friends, how do you build regular prayer time into your daily life maintenance? I'm looking for practical ideas that will work as built in reminders. When I was little, my mom always kept the family meds (we have some serious asthma issues in our family) in the drinking class cupboard. That way, anytime we went to the cupboard (especially at mealtimes like breakfast and bedtime snacks) we would see them and be reminded to take them.

Where do I put my regular prayer so that I am always reminded of it?

09 September, 2009

Women Unite!

Good morning all!

Again this morning I was affirmed in my call to serve women. So many women are looking for a safe and open place to find acceptance, understanding, and healing. So many women are looking for a place to explore relationships, sexuality, spirituality, and most importanly, how to get the laundry done.

Thank you to all the beautiful women in my life who have shared their lives, their needs and their support. I am so blessed to be able to serve with you as we live life.

I am preparing a list of speaking topics for upcoming events and inqueries and once again, I need your help. So, I have a question...what is it that you need TODAY?

10 July, 2009

A Window In...

I’ve written past posts about fertility awareness and natural family planning. I believe strongly in its importance to marriages and family life. Tonight, I want to offer a different kind of reflection.

Anyone squeamish about reading general reflections on our sex life should stop reading here. For those who choose to continue, I promise, no details.

John Ross was born on November 28th, 2009. I nursed until he was a little more than 3 months when I couldn’t continue to balance it with my work schedule. My menstrual cycle returned shortly after I stopped nursing.

A predictable 28 days later another cycle began.

As a couple we were back on track and again enjoying married life, albeit with the new parental limitations of exhaustion and early morning wake up calls.

Then came the first missed cycle…

Two pregnancy tests later we were pretty certain we were not pregnant.

I must have missed cycle due to stress and hormones that we still trying to regulate.

Today is day 60 since my last cycle began…

Count, that is two regular menstrual cycles and as far as I know, I am still not pregnant.

However, for those of you familiar with fertility awareness, even with sympto-thermal evidence, the lack of a period makes knowing your “safe zones” a bit trickier.

During the fertile times of our intimate life, we believe that in complete love for one another we cannot withhold any part of ourselves, especially our life giving fertility. We either offer ourselves completely, open to the possibility of new life, or not at all.

Our plan (insert God’s laugh here) is to wait until John Ross is at least year before we start trying again so as to allow my body to heal.

So, not knowing our “safe zones”, we abstain. As a couple we have spent a lot of time talking about what we are meant to learn. Perhaps God is taking this opportunity to remind us that we are a part of His plan, not our own. Perhaps it is an opportunity for us to remember that our faith says sex has two purposes; procreative and unitive. It is not just about “yes baby” or “no baby”. Sex can be about joy, comfort or celebration. Our abstinence has given us a wonderful chance to identify the motives behind our intimacy and to meet those needs in other ways like service and quality time.

It’s not easy. We both have cravings for intimacy. It is challenging to feel close without the physical aspect of our relationship. But as difficult as abstinence is, we know that we are treasuring and protecting the life-giving love that we have been given.

This post is dedicated to all the wonderful couples in our life and around the world who choose life-giving love. We may not be able to roll in hay anytime we like, but when we do, watch out, we’re going to burn the barn down!!!

16 June, 2009

Healthy Habits are an Act of Discipleship

Below are some headlines from a well-known news website.

"Is the Economy Making You Fat?"

"Blow Your Diet? Blame Your Brain."

"How the Recession Wrecked My Cholesterol"

"Too Little Sleep May Raise Blood-Pressure"

All of these headlines make an excuse for living an unhealthy life. That implies that an unhealthy life is not something natural, but instead something that is brought upon by other forces. It is time to recognize that perhaps the busier, more convenient, more "advanced" lifestyle our society proposes is not in fact the right way to live. If a life-style is compromising the very breath that gives us life, I think it is time to re-evaluate.

I've got a headline for you. "The Body is a Temple."

So, let's evaluate this metaphor.

Would you board up the doors of a temple or church like fat and plaque from poor eating habits dam up the arteries of your heart?

Would you keep all of the windows latched and never allow fresh air into a temple like keep fresh air from your lungs when you smoke or pollute the air?

What if your active temple or church hung a sign on the door that said, “No services today, we’re too busy and too tired.”? Why is it okay to hang out those excuses when you should be exercising your body?

No temple or church could withstand constant use without downtime for maintenance and care. Why do you expect your body to work well without sleep and leisure?

These items only have to do with our physical and mental health. What about our spiritual health?

I received an e-mail recently that told of a man who had decided to quit going to church. He said to a friend, “I’ve been going to church for years, but I don’t remember the topic of a single sermon.”

The friend replied, “I’ve been married 30 years now and my wife has made me supper every night. I don’t remember a single meal she made me, but I know if I hadn’t eaten them, I wouldn’t be alive today.”

So let’s take a stand! You are not called to live life as a consumer. You are called to live life as a disciple.

As a disciple we must have discipline.

Discipline: (n.) activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training

So, I’ve dug into my files and come up with a discipline from Fr. Al McBride for “Temple Maintenance”. Fr. McBride is a Norbertine at St. Norbert’s Abbey in De Pere, WI.

Everyday do 6 things:

1. Something Good for Others

2. Something Good for Yourself

3. Something that you don’t want to do, but needs to be done

4. Physical Exercise

5. Mental Exercise (ie: reading, writing)

6. An original prayer everyday by naming your blessings (lots will be constant, but everyday something will be new or original).

What maintenance have you done on your temple today?

27 May, 2009

The Joys of Being a Mom and My Re-Discovered Love of Reading

Well, I have fallen in love with an old friend. That old friend is also a time-honored past time. I have fallen in love with reading.

During high school and college my reading ability completely digressed. I taught myself to skim materials for the sake of completion and basic fact recollection versus reading for the depth and comprehension that I had spent my foundational years perfecting.

4 years later, I have taught myself to read again and am currently working on a FABULOUS book called, "Spirituality in the Mother Zone".

You don't realize it as you are adjusting to all of the practical aspects of motherhood, but your spirituality changes drastically as you come face to face with the realities of being a mom. Going to church becomes truly a sacrifice because you spend most of the time trying to keep your little one quiet without taking them out of church. The cry room is not an option because it is full of toys and snacks and only provides one participation via a tiny TV screen. Not my idea of full participation. Even if I do keep him quiet, I still get the old ladies who gripe afterwards because he was such a distraction. Look, I'm sorry, I realize that you didn't bring your kids to church at this age, but mine will come to church. You want me here as a young married mom and that means you are going to get my FAMILY. I am teaching my children to go to church and understand what church is all about...maybe if you had brought your children to church when they were young we wouldn't be facing an unprecendented drop in church attendence and involvement.

Christianity through history has painted a very strange picture of Christian moms. We are supposed to be wonder women; quiet, humble, demure, forgiving, nurturing, and all out perfect. We keep perfect homes, perfect bodies (be they at some points in history, curvy), perfect marriages and perfect children. Those dark times of motherhood are forgotten about, perhaps simply not talked about, and one is left feeling lonely and removed not only from one's faith community, but in many ways from one's God.

In "Spirituality in the Mother Zone," Trudelle Thomas paints an amazing picture of the changes to our minds, our hearts, our souls and yes, even our bodies. She suggests that the Old Testement view of God and Spirit as Wisdom and Sophia might be a more appropriate sense of God for many women in "the Mother Zone". I am not one who visions God as Mother, but I definitely have a new sense for the feminine qualities of the Spirit as I venture into my own motherhood.

I wish I could write the whole book right here for all of you to read because not a page goes by that I don't say to myself, "Wow, that is amazing." Here are a few snippets...

She talks about the experience of first-time mom's being "cracked," as with grains of wheat, in order for us to grow into our new identy as mother.

She talks of the new image of body that mothers gain. "This is my body, given for you," takes on a whole new meaning when a nursing mom leaks through her work clothes and laughing causes unexpected jiggling in areas that were at earlier times taut and firm.

She talks of composing versus juggling. How many of us view life as juggling, as though the events of life are something unintentional?
She talks of the Ignatian examen as a way of processing one's day in an effort to energize and inspire healthy habits and focus on one's passions.

She writes of the vibrant and powerful tiger (or in my case I like to envision a lioness) inside each woman that can drive a woman's rage to productive forms like cour-rage and out-rage. These forms can be used to effect change for our loved ones. Anger is just another expression of love.
And that is as far as my Mother Zone has let me read, but I can't wait to read the rest. Trudelle Thomas has an uncanny way of nailing the isolated, conflicted, confronted but intensely spiritual feelings of motherhood. She does it from a feminine, but not feminist perspective that upholds the dignity of both motherhood AND womanhood. The difference in Thomas' style compared to many "parenting" books, is that she doesn't bemoan and labor on the realities. She writes of the realities with concise, honest and moving words and then presents positive, spiritual and forward-moving methods of facing them.

I am energized and encouraged by the up and downs of this book and I cannot wait to finish it and read it again with my highlighter in hand. If you get a chance, even if you're not a mom, read this book. It is such a transformational piece of writing.

Next time Kevin asks me what I want for a gift for a special occassion, I am going to ask him to read it. The perspective it offers is unusually unique and universal at the same time!

So continues my re-acquaintance with a long-lost love...

01 May, 2009

Our Love Story

Seeing as our 2nd anniversary just passed, I felt this a perfect opportunity to reflect on our amazing journey so far.

Short version...3 1/4 years ago we met, 3 years ago we started dating, 4 months later we were engaged, 7 months after that we were married, and 18 months later we were parents!

Now, for those of you who tuned in to hear the real story...here goes.

Kevin and I met by strange diocesan coincidence.

When I moved to Green Bay there was no young adult group to speak of. Along with another friend, we requested a list of young adults in the diocese who might be interested. Kevin was on this list.

Back story: Kevin would never have been on this list if he hadn’t finally broken down and gone on diocesan retreat with his Dad after years of pestering. Strangely, the man who married us, Bishop Bob, directed his first retreat.

We gathered our first time in my apartment and Kevin offered his house as a regular gathering area because there was more room.

We gathered there, sometimes as 3 people, sometimes as more, for several months. We spent many Thursday nights reflecting on faith and life and enjoying an occasional glass of wine. Admittedly, during this time I had a few thoughts of “Hmmm...he’s sweet, but I could never date him because he likes camping.” However, in the meantime I started dating the guy who I was coordinating the small group with!

Toward the end of May, the guy I was dating called things off. Much to my dismay, it was the week before he was supposed to help me move into my new apartment! I was without any help to move! I called Kevin just hoping I might get some help. He agreed.

Memorial Day weekend Kevin offered his time, his truck and his thumb for the cause. While moving my fold-out couch, he punctured his thumb and to this day has a numb spot to show for it.

I was so moved by this man who barely knew me and who would give up part of his holiday weekend to help me move in 90+ degree heat. Never once did he complain. Never once did he ask when we were going to be done. After an day of witty banter my curiosity was piqued.

The weekend after, I went to Cincinnati for my sister’s high school graduation. I knew I wanted to get to know Kevin better, but I had come off of a nasty, long-term relationship and I didn’t even know where to start. I stopped in Indianapolis to have dinner with my best friend and she told me that I had to call him and invite him out for a cup of coffee sometime soon.

I made the call. He wasn’t home. I left a message. He called back. I was sitting by the pool. I missed the call. He left a message. Yes.

On my return home, as I inched through a traffic backup in Milwaukee, we made plans for a light dinner on Wednesday night. He’d pick me up.

Dinner was simple but wonderful. Leaving the restaurant, I knew I didn’t want the night to end. We walked by the Fox River a short ways and then headed back to his house for a bottle of wine and some Sinatra on the deck.

Kevin dropped me at home at almost 1:00 a.m. and I had to get up for a 5:00 radio show!!! I still had to finish my rundown for the morning and I barely got 3 hours of sleep, but I was walking on air!

That Sunday, I got my first taste of Door County, WI. Kevin and I went to Mass at Resurrection (not my church at the time, but the church where we were eventually married and where I now work). Then we headed up the Door County peninsula for pastries, parks, beaches, and ice cream, followed by a fabulous dinner on the water.

At one point during the afternoon, we were sitting in an outdoor amphitheater and I asked, “What are we doing here?”, referring to our interpersonal situation.

Without missing a beat, Kevin replied, “Well, we can keep going from here and maybe go to the beach or get some ice cream if you want to.” He kissed me on the forehead (yes, strange) and we walked on. I kind of let the thought process go until another opportunity presented itself.

As we were sitting on the beach later that day I asked again.

“What are we doing here?” gesturing the interpersonal nature with a back and forth motion of my hands.

“Well, I’m all in.” Kevin replied.

“Good. That’s my sentiment. Give it all we’ve got and see where God takes it.” I confirmed. And that was it. We talked about our dreams and our passions, but no more about the relationship.

We had dinner at a restaurant on Lake Michigan. As we delicately maneuvered the dinner dance of an early date, the moon rose full, first red then bright yellow through the large windows on either side of our little corner of the restaurant. We traded laughs, sipped wine, and gazed intently at one another. After dinner we walked along the path right outside the windows we had just been gazing from.

As we reached the end of the path I breathed, “The moon is so beautiful tonight.”

Kevin replied seamlessly, as though in a classic film, “The moon is the second most beautiful thing tonight,” and he turned me around and kissed me.

Yes, it happened that way.

Grinning bigger than the moon, we headed back to his car and drove along the lake toward home. Upon returning to my apartment we snuggled up on the couch.

Kevin said later, “If I’d have known our night would have ended like this, I would have brought you home sooner.”

The following months were filled with wonderful times like that first Sunday. We went to church together every weekend, we took drives, met families, went to dinner, drank wine, attended weddings, and enjoyed learning about one another.

At the end of September, four months later, Kevin had a trip to Vegas planned. The Friday night before he was going to leave he came home with a ring. I had nothing to do with picking out the ring, but I gave him two words. Simple and elegant. Oh yes, and yellow gold because the contrast makes the diamond sparkle more!

I was pretty sure he had the ring, but I was also pretty sure he was going to wait to ask me. I remember gently reminding him that it would mean a lot to my dad if he called and asked to marry me.

He grabbed the phone and went for the basement. Apparently the conversation was noted as a conversation that neither party had ever had before. My dad wished him luck waiting to ask me…Dad proposed on February 12th over canned Chinese food because he couldn’t wait.

Apparently, the Krogh women are hard to wait for. Kevin walked back up the stairs, walked into the living room, handed me the box and asked me if I’d marry him. In our living room with my cats plodding around and climbing the screens!!!

Kevin had planned to wait until Sunday and take me to dinner at a local Italian restaurant. We found out later that the restaurant isn’t open on Sundays. We didn’t really feel like a fancy dinner on a Friday night and instead we went out for wings, gyros, and beer at a local Chicago-style Italian restaurant.

Two weeks later I was laid off and I had a very emotional time relinquishing control and relying on his financial support.

Kevin said, “When I asked you to marry me is when our marriage started. We will get through this together.”

I spent the next 6 months collecting unemployment, looking for a job and trying to plan a wedding with limited funds.

After 4 jobless months, we decided that I would move upstairs in Kevin’s house to save rent. A very hard decision with two younger sisters watching and parents that I knew wouldn’t approve.

Strangely enough, the day we met with Bishop Bob to go over our wedding ceremony, was the day I found my job. Bishop Bob met me at St. Brendan’s Inn for lunch and Kevin was late because he had gotten stuck by a train on the way over. As we sat there, Bishop pulled out the draft of a job description and asked if I’d be interested. He pre-interviewed me until Kevin arrived and I submitted my resume that following Friday.

I was offered the job 2 weeks after we were married.

We were married on a typical spring Friday in Wisconsin. The morning started off cool and rainy. Kevin had taken the day off and spent the morning watching movies. My dad and I had breakfast that morning and then my mom, my maids and I went off to have our hair and nails done. We finished up the last minute details at the church and returned home to dress.

We had a very small wedding of only the closest family and friends. The whole group totaled less than 40. We had dinner before the ceremony so that our friends and family could reflect on and testify to our relationship before we committed our lives to one another.

I wore a cream cocktail dress for dinner and changed into my wedding dress at the church.

My sisters gave a joint toast of which Johanna had to give most of because Alida, my maid of honor, was crying and laughing so hard she couldn’t talk.

My dad gave a colorful toast which included a reflection on my level of maturity and knowing that I would have to marry a man with the same level of faith and life perspective, but never thinking it would be someone 11 years older than me!

Leaving cake for later, we all left for the church. I frantically changed into my dress, touched up my lipstick and carefully avoided being spotted by my soon-to-be hubby while having my pictures taken.

I took my dad’s arm, sent my soon-to-be niece down the aisle ahead of me, squared my shoulders and smiled calmly as I prepared to take my last steps as Amberly Krogh to the melody of Ave Maria.

I don’t remember much about the ceremony. I remember our readings and how my grandfather read for us. I remember how my Confirmation sponsor read our petitions and prayed for our deceased grandparents. I remember how my paternal grandparents distributed the Eucharist and how my sister read a carefully chosen devotional that Kevin and I had taken as our own. I remember holding Kevin’s hand and trying to capture every moment in my memory.

After the ceremony and pictures, it was cakes, drinks, and home to bed. We arrived home, changed into comfy clothes, opened our gifts, and then snuggled up in bed for our first night as a married couple. And there we slept some of the most peaceful sleep of our lives lying contentedly in each other’s arms happy to simply hear each other breathe.

We arose the next morning to see my extended family off. We invited my immediate family back to the house for brats and cheese curds. We spent the afternoon laughing and talking until they had to get on the road. Kevin and I finished our honeymoon packing and went to bed early.

We arose to catch our flight to Montreal, Canada were we spent two days before making our way to Quebec City, Mount Ste. Anne, and Iles de Orleans. It was a fabulous international trip for discovering the country and each other. Quebec will always have a special place in our hearts and our marriage.

The following year was full of wonderful trips, people, and experiences. We truly make the best of every moment we have with one another.

In March of 2008, the day after St. Patrick’s Day, we found out we were pregnant. After a few frightening moments in the beginning, we embarked on the amazing, emotional, and life-altering experience of pregnancy. To know one another as ministers of the sacrament of marriage as a couple is one thing. To know one another as ministers of the sacrament of marriage as co-creators is a totally different thing. What a powerful and completely holy experience.

John Ross Boerschinger, our gift from God arrived on November 28th, 2008 after 10 hours of labor and 41 weeks of love. Within hours, I compared my son’s wrinkled forehead to that of his sleeping fathers and softly chuckled at the way they were both soothing themselves by rubbing their feet together. Our son is truly the ultimate gift and culmination of our marriage covenant.

The days that followed remain a blur of fingers, toes, tears, and trust. We were each other’s rocks and each other’s respite. Watching one another embrace the role of mama and papa has deepened our love in ways that we could only have imagined.

2 years later, I can’t imagine my life without Kevin. It seems like we have known each other for so much longer and loved each other forever. In marriage we have found true love, true commitment, and true vocation. Vocation is about discipline, holiness, self-sacrifice, and the perfection of love. The vocation of marriage, like any other vocation, is not easy, but together we remind each other that it is our calling. It is the loving, gentle, all-powerful, and all-knowing call of our Father in heaven, the Giver of all good gifts.

I love you schweetie. I can’t wait for the next year and the next year and the next year and…

29 April, 2009

Thoughts for the Day

Daybook – April 29th, 2009
Thank you again to Holly (www.fallingupwardholly.blogspot.com) and Peggy (http://thesimplewoman.blogspot.com/) for hosting!

Outside My Window ...
Believe it or not, it's been months since I opened the blinds in my office. John Ross was here with me for awhile and he could nap in the light. I was also pumping breastmilk and figured that I wouldn't make the best impression with parishioners if I was exposed with the blinds open...as I open them today I see a beautiful white daffodil and a welcome blue sky!!!

I am listening to...
The buzzing sounds of my office. Staff, parishioners, and questions of maximum importance like, "Why is the copier making that clicking noise?". I'm also listening to my IPOD playing "River of Dreams" by Billy Joel. My dad is a big fan and it is a blessed reminder of the simpler days of my childhood. One night Mom and Dad woke us all up, cracked the stereo and danced around the house with us!

To be Fit and Happy….
I exercised on Monday night, but after a night of teething screams didn't have much energy for it last night. Perhaps a lovely walk in the sunshine this afternoon with my little man!

I am thankful for ...
2 unbelievable years of marriage. Praise God the Giver of all good gifts!

From the kitchen ...
Baby rice cereal...we're just exploring the experience of eating right now...no nutritional value so to speak...next up: fresh butternut squash! For mommy and daddy: Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies! Mmmm!

I am wearing ...
Some of my frumpier work clothes. But I went with an orange t-shirt under my cream cardigan and dressed it up with my silver love knot necklace from Kevin.

I am creating ...
Materials to recognize our long-standing members at a luncheon this weekend. What a beautiful parish and history these people have created for my family!

On my iPod...
My "upbeat" playlist to help me wade through my morning at the office!

Towards a real education ...
Kevin and I are using a new couples devotional book before bedtime. I don't have the best regular prayer discipline and this is helping me to learn as well as helping me to learn about my husband, my marriage and myself.

Bringing beauty to my home ...
Hmmm...this might need to be the subject of my afternoon. I have just been trying to keep the baby stuff out of the thoroughfare so as to protect adult toes and kitty tails.

I am reading ...
"Brave New Family"...a compiliation of GK Chesterton's reflections on marriage and family life. Awesome!

I am hoping and praying….
That the Lord leads us in His way and His time to decisions about our livelihood and our home. A 70-year-old house and the prospect of more little ones leaves a lot to be considered and prayed about.

Around the house ...
Swiffering our laminates...I just can't seem to get this regular task to happen regularly...it doesn't help that my hubby has trouble with coordinating the Swiffering motion...

One of my favorite things ...
My women's ministry mornings!!! I haven't hosted one since before John Ross' arrival, but I have 4 of them on the calendar for next year! I can't wait!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Finishing touches for the long-standing member luncheon...some time with the hubby...

Picture Thoughts

My mom...I love her dearly and can't wait until June when she is officially only 3 hours away! Not only is she a best friend, but she is a wellspring of hope and help!

16 February, 2009


Today's Question: How do you define chaos?

Chaos: Using Microsoft Word to process 2800 pages worth of stewardship commitment cards. (MS Word was NEVER designed to handle that kind of load...)

Chaos: Thinking I'd get said commitment cards printed before noon.

Chaos: Trying to convince 1,100 mass attendees to stay for an extra FIVE MINUTES to view a slideshow of the parish's annual stewardship report of activities and statuses for the past year.

Chaos: Our bedroom floor in light of said annual report.

Chaos: Getting oneself involved in stewardship month, Lent, and Confirmation...all which occur within 3 weeks of each other.

Chaos: Trying to pull off the annual parish stewardship renewal with an 11-week-old baby.

Chaos: Taking an 11-week-old out 6 out of 8 nights in a row (in light of in-laws, friends, and work).

Chaos: The lack of completed chores (laundry, dishes, vacuuming, meals, bills, etc.)and the lack of sleep that leads to a tearful break at 11 o'clock on a Sunday night.

Chaos: What happens to your brain when you try to be Super Wife, Super Mom, and Super Lay Minister all at the same time.

Order: Reminding oneself that God is ultimately in control and that trying to make everything happen on your schedule is a futile and often painful exercise that is much harder than just letting go and letting God.

04 January, 2009

Yes, It's All True

I usually hate these things, but this one seemed fun. I'm not going to tag anyone because that annoys me, but perhaps it will inspire you anyways!

Rules: Write a note with 16 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you.

1) I am a junk food addict. Strange, I know, since I am all about the healthy lifestyle, but if I had it my way it would be McDonalds and Cheetos all the time!

2) I really want to be a writer, but I can never seem to make the time to write. Admittedly, it is probably by choice, but with a baby nothing is really by choice! My goal is to have something written and published by the end of 2009.

3) I am definitely a moderate. I believe in all things progressive, but realize that the precedent of the past is an important guiding principle. Those who have gone before us have a significant advantage on us...they've actually done it...

4) I never believed in "falling in love"...until I met my husband...

5) I've never been to Vegas and I have no desire to go. However, my husband is a Vegas junkie...here's hoping for a hotel with a spa and a killer hot tub!

6) I am an introvert trained extrovert. Thanks Dad...I enjoy being with people and I am really good at it, both personally and professionally, but it takes a ton of energy away from me and I'd much prefer to be alone working on a project by myself.

7) I hate making phone calls. Consider it a symptom of my generation. I don't mind getting calls, but I hate actually initiating them. Somehow I feel out of place...

8) I never expected to live in Green Bay. Initially it was just a good starting point. And yet, today, I couldn't imagine living anywhere else and my goal in life would be to stay here and raise my family.

9) I can have 20 different balls in the air at the office and my desk stays organized, but if I have more than 3 things going on at home the house gets out of control...apparently that fits my Meyer-Briggs personality type...

10) I believe that a person can do the same job in athletic pants that they can in a suit. Isn't a dress code just another kind of discrimination? Essentially it's saying you can't do the job if you don't look the part.

11) I hate to exercise...but I love to feel healthy...my goal is to lose my baby weight by summer and I know I can because I lost the same amount right before I got pregnant.

12) I eventually want to stay home with my kiddos and I feel guilty that I am not making it possible to do so right now and yet, I firmly believe that we have discerned God's plan for the current moment.

13) I love to sew, scrapbook, decorate, cook and bake. Someday I'd like to start a business where I can do all of these things for money...anyone have any thoughts as to what that would be???

13) I married my mother...well, not really, but I've come to the conclusion that I am definitely my father's daughter and I have married a man with the interests of my dad, but the practical habits of my mother...it's really strange.

14) I now understand the purpose of the "coffee klatch"...I actually look forward to sitting with other moms and talking about our children's habits...

15) I have to sleep with the closet doors closed or I have panic attacks in the middle of the night.

16) I actually enjoy strategic planning...it's an illness I think...