Monday, November 24, 2008

Coal And Diamonds

"Don't be afraid of pressure. Remember pressure is what turns a lump of coal into a diamond."

This has always been one of my favorite quotes and it's great encouragement for all kinds of situations, because who doesn't want to be a diamond instead of a lump of coal?!?!?:)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why We're Here

So my youngest son has been in the hospital since mid week and although we're not here because he is sick (although he is), we are still having our fifth visit this year.

When we were praying about where we felt God was leading us to in the country in terms of jobs, we wanted with all we had for God to tell us we should move back home and have Him make it all work out. I knew I wanted it so bad I decided to pray that if that wasn't where we supposed to be at the time, no possibilities would present themselves and all doors would be closed. Well, all I can say is be careful what you pray for because there were literally NO opportunities in my husband's field when we were looking hard-core near home. Not only none there, there were also no opportunities anywhere in the surrounding cities either. I'd say God was speaking pretty clearly.

When we had our options laid out in front of us, I felt God was telling me we needed to move to Pennsylvania and the reason really disturbed me. I felt for months over and over and over again we needed to move here because the children's hospital was the best in the country. I was freaked out. I tried to find other reasons to move other places. I was 5 months pregnant and kept thinking, well my older child is well so what is going to be so wrong with my baby that I would need that kind of care anyway? I was praying for God to show me a definite answer and every time I turned around, I would see an ad or an article or something about this hospital, which 6 months earlier I hadn't even heard of.

God was showing me and I didn't like the answer so I was playing dumb. I feel pretty confident when I feel God speaking to me about most things that I know when He is truly speaking to me or if I am trying to feel like God is speaking to fulfill a selfish desire of mine.

I didn't want this to be the answer. I didn't want to start over again. I didn't want to think about having a kid that needed specialized medical care, much less any medical care. I just wanted to go home. But I knew God was speaking to me and so I shared this with my husband and a month later we were living out East.

Most of all, I didn't want one of the main reasons I felt like we were here to be true either. It took me nearly six months to share that thought with my husband. But now, a year into my youngest's life I finally can look at it and admit that is the main reason I felt like God was calling us to live here for right now. It shook me so much and I thought if I ignored it, maybe it wouldn't become true. But it did, even while I tried to ignore it. God knew what we needed and made sure we would have it.

I have no doubt we can get good medical care in many places across the country, but one thing they are seriously concerned of with my son is currently mainly treated in one of three locations across the country, and we just happen to live in one of the cities people bring their kids for treatments. We don't know still if this is what is going on with our son, but if it is, then we already have an experienced medical staff. How blessed are we that we just drive less than an hour?

One thing I have learned (over and over again:), is that life turns out so much better when God is the driver - not a passenger. A lot of times I don't understand where he is leading me, but in hindsight, it was the best option. I pray I can always put aside my selfish desires and follow the Lord wherever He leads me. He provides us with what we need and for that I am so grateful.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Family... In my world that encompasses a LOT of people. Coming from a family of eight kids, now several of us married and having kids, plus all the grandparents, aunts, uncle, cousins and in-laws can make for a very large family. I LOVE having a large family! I can't imagine it any other way and because I love it so much, it can make living away from home more difficult.

My husband always laughs at me when I watch "Cheaper By The Dozen" because I tend to be an emotional person anyway, and at the end of the movie when they are looking for their brother who runs away it's sappy and I always cry because in a weird way it reminds me of my family.

I used to fight constantly with my siblings and they with me when we were growing up and we thought we hate each other at times. But as soon as anyone ever said anything bad about one of them, I found myself fighting for them and I know I saw it play out in reverse.

I remember getting in a huge fight with each of my best friends growing up (yes one that I am still best friends with today) because they made fun of one of my brothers and I refused to be their friend until they apologized. That's what gets me about that movie ... they may rag on each other a lot but when it comes down to it, it's obvious they would do anything for each other as well.

I'm glad I can't imagine my world any other way. I can't imagine not having all my siblings and all of the additions we've made along the way. They make life crazy and fun and I can't imagine trying to walk through life without them. I may have less people giving me a hard time, but I would have less people who truly care about me in the way only your family does. Like my mom always said, "You don't have to like each other, but you have to love each other." (Yeah for another quotable one mom;)

Whenever I get caught up in missing home, I look at my little boys and focus on creating a home and memories and family where they will experience the love and joy I have received through my family.

Free Photo Book Deadline Extended

Yeah! Since I had a crazy weekend, I was very excited to see the deadline for the free Snapfish Photo Book has been extended and I can still put one together. The Snapfish Web site said the deadline was extended until Saturday evening (November 22) at 11:59 pm PST.

If you have never created one of these you should! They're fun and usually nearly $30. I have several I still want to create and this is a great opportunity to do it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Free Snapfish Photo Book

Oprah has a two-day special where you can get a free Snapfish photo book if you go to this link. I use these types of books often for gifts and it's always sweet when you can get a free one since they're usually $29.99. If you're too late for this, you can always sign up for email offers from Kodak Gallery and Shutterfly who often send out deals, and once in awhile send out free book offers as well.

Sydne's Obituary

It's been nearly two weeks since Sydne has died and her obituary was printed today in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. The quote included is perfect for her short life and hopefully makes people think about the gift of all life, no matter how brief.
Lozano, Sydne Isabelle Baptized into the Church of Christ, Oct. 30th, 2008. Beloved daughter of Dominic and Liz Lozano; sister to Hannah Rose; granddaughter of Ralph and Pattie Canter and Bob and Carol Lozano; dear great-granddaughter, great-great-granddaughter, niece, and cousin to many. Services: Funeral Mass will be celebrated Nov. 15th at 10:00 a.m. at Incarnate Word Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Patrick Center, c/o Jan Rasmussen, Chief Development Officer, 800 North Tucker Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63101. 'Give us the grace- when the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, to stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life,' Pope John Paul II.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Special Needs Kids

I was watching Extreme Home Makeover last night and LOVED the quote made by the dad of the family they were helping. He has special needs kids and is a doctor and he said with special needs kids, people just need to look around and see the potential, not the problem.

What a refreshing statement to hear. Kids with special needs are more challenging. They are more work. They are also such a blessing!

Our baby's problems are so mild compared to what families deal with every day. They do affect our life, but not having those responsibilities would mean not having him and that's a terrible thought. There are definitely times I'm overwhelmed as a mom just looking into all the doctors and treatments they want for him, but ultimately he brings so much joy just by being and we would do double the work if he needed us to.

I had a "friend" suggest we should have looked into genetic problems while I was pregnant and could have had an abortion if there was anything wrong. It breaks my heart to hear that statement. Even if he has a genetic disorder, does that make it ok for my child to be denied the possibility of life?

Sadly in our society, we seem to only be happy with the "perfect" child and truly no one is perfect. God has a great plan for each of us and I know God has a great plan for our baby. It may just be his adorable smile and the way he still flirts with the nurses even after they have had to stick him all over, but he has a reason for being here. I pray more people will be able to see the possibilities in all human life, even those not starting out perfect.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What One Person Can Do ...

Pray without ceasing and get off the couch and do something to make the world better ... There are so many ways to help others, but we can't wait around for someone else to take the initiative.

You say to me, "I am only one person." This is true, but look at what other great men and women before you have done in the span of one lifetime: Francis of Assisi; Paul; Thomas Aquinas; Augustine; Teresa of Avila; Edmund Rice; Don Bosco; John Vianney; Dominic; Patrick; and of course, Jesus. Look also at what others are doing around us now: Mother Teresa; John Paul II.

They too could have used the excuse, "I am only one person." The difference is they didn't see themselves as one person, but rather as one part of one body. Then committed to the message of Jesus Christ they chose to serve, and to choose to serve is to choose to love.

When Jesus said, "The harvest is great, but the laborers are few,"(Mt.10) he wasn't making a statement, he was extending an invitation and that invitation was to you.

The harvest is great, the laborers are plentiful. If only you and I would recognize that we are the laborers, God's laborers, the laborers of God sent out into the field, the world, to do our part in gathering the harvest as best we can in our families, through our friendships, and in our workplace. - Matthew Kelly

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"I Saw God Today"

This is a poem my brother wrote about our niece's death.

"I Saw God Today"

by Gabe Lozano

My prayers are being said
There’s singing in my head
A distant voice
But it’s not mine
It’s a friend's cry to the Lord

I saw God today
A mother's gentle hand
Her daughter's right beside
His hand is well in control

I saw God today
The face of a child
Selfless intentions
A moment independent of time

It’s her hand I see
An image I know
But time ticks again
My heart knows she's no longer here

Tears stain my face
Body overwhelmed
This time it's my cry to the Lord

His voice I hear
"I gave them a Gift,
A moment of perfection"
These words from God are so clear
Now, peacefulness
A feeling I know

It's a moment of grace
A perfect Gift indeed
Because Sydne saw God today


Ok now please tell me you are taking your time to vote today. No excuses accepted. As Yoda said, "Do or do not. There is no try." To make the deal even sweeter there are some yummy incentives.

  • Ben and Jerry's is offering free ice cream between 4 and 7 today

  • Starbucks is offering a free tall coffee

  • Krisy Kreme is offering a free red, white and blue donut

So what are you waiting for:). I already did with my two kids, husband and sister-in-law in tow.

A Mother's Journey

My sister-in-law Liz who lost her baby last week is writing about her experience on her blog as well. She expresses herself wonderfully through her writing and it is worth it to go take a look.

My brother is making a guitar for Sydne. He is great with his hands and made a dresser for his oldest and he wanted to make Sydne something as well. He is a great musician and Liz is a great singer so whenever they pick it up, they will think of her. HE is keeping a blog of his progress on the guitar and may post the link later.

For all those asking how they are doing, you can see for yourself. They are a very faith-filled family and although it is obviously difficult, they know this is not the end.

You can visit Liz at and Dominic at

Glamour's 2008 Woman of Your Year

My sister-in-law was voted Glamour's 2008 Woman of Your Year! We are all so excited for her and want to thank everyone who voted to help put her in that position. Here is a brief note from her:

Thank you everyone for all your hard work and votes-it paid off! I am so grateful for each and every one of you!

Here's the page on the Glamour site:
You can learn more about Rachel on her blog

Look out for her in an upcoming issue of Glamour.

About Me

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I'm a mommy, wife and educated woman with an inquisitive mind. I am always looking in ways to challenge and grow in my faith. Many wise people I have known have reminded me if I am not growing, I am going in the wrong direction.