Monday, November 16, 2009

Mr. Magorium's Wisdom

We have begun doing family movie night each Friday night as an event to look forward throughout the long isolated winters. This weekend we watched Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, which was one of the most enjoyable kids movies I have watched in awhile. My oldest picked it out but it quickly became a mommy and daddy movie as it was a little too old for them. Anyway, Mr. Magorium talks about death and how he will be leaving soon. This quote was so nice, and simple, but I really enjoyed it.

“When King Lear dies in Act V, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He’s written “He dies.” That’s all, nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is “He dies.” It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with “He dies.” And yet every time I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with dysphoria. And I know it’s only natural to be sad, but not because of the words “He dies.” but because of the life we saw prior to the words.

I’ve lived all five of my acts, Mahoney, and I am not asking you to be happy that I must go. I’m only asking that you turn the page, continue reading… and let the next story begin. And if anyone asks what became of me, you relate my life in all its wonder, and end it with a simple and modest “He died.” ”

~ Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium 2007

Just wanted to share today:)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ask And It Shall Be Given

God surely has a sense of what we need - and a good dose of humor with that as well.

I was challenged a few weeks ago at a talk to bring a notebook to mass, spend some time before or after praying and asking God what one thing He wanted you to focus on during the week. I can always think of a million I should focus on, but actually just picking one is difficult and easier all in one. It helps me truly focus on the one and not get distracted by the long lists of imperfections I know I have, but it can be difficult to pick one.

(Side note: My husband and I split masses right now so our youngest can stay home and not be exposed to all the germs that comes with being at mass and hopefully keep him healthier in the process).

Anyway, so I was praying while I was waiting for my hubby to come home so I could leave for mass on Saturday since my kiddos were sleeping. I asked God what He wanted me to work on, prayed a bit and then opened my notebook to write. I started to write patience, and then felt like God was shaking his head saying,"Not this week - that one is for later."

I crossed it out, prayed a bit more and then wrote "prudence of speech." That's another one of those I have been working on a lot more the past year. I'm not sure why I used that wording, since I can't remember EVER using the work "prudence" in my life, but whatever.

My husband got home, I headed to mass, took a seat and was marveling how amazing it was to have a mass by myself without little boys when the first reading began.

Reading 1
Wis 7:7-11

I prayed, and prudence was given me;

I seriously started to chuckle. I think that was a sign I wrote down the right thing to focus on this week:). What do you think?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My perfect night

Last weekend it was just me and my little boys all weekend. My mother-in-law and I had arranged a trip for my husband and father-in-law (for my hubby's birthday) so hubby was out of town most of the long weekend. Maybe it's just me, but any time he is out of town, seem especially long and tiring. It's not that I don't love being with my boys, but I have no idea how single moms do it. I am exhausted and waiting for that break on Saturday morning. When I don't get it, I feel like I am just especially exhausted.

So anyway, the weekend was fine and relatively uneventful. We stayed home a bit more because we are really trying to save some money so on Sunday I was aching to get out and do something ... ANYTHING. I just wanted a real conversation with someone older than three.

I promised the boys we would go to this fireworks display if they took good naps. They did so Sunday night we headed out with a blanket and some sweatshirts and waited for the "ka-booms" to begin. It was a bit crowded and I was just ready to head home so I could put them in bed, but figured they were really excited and I had promised them we could go.

They were so excited they were jumping out of their skin when we got there. We had to wait a little bit, but then the show started. Both of them cuddled up next to me. They are both so little we had one twin sized blanket we were sitting on that also fully covered us up. I looked down at them and their eyes were wide with wonder. You know the kind only seen in really young, innocent kids? The older one hugged me really close and said, "Thank you mommy for taking me to the special ka-booms." The younger one's eyes never left the sky.

A million thoughts ran through my head. I thought about how even though the weekend was tiring and long, it was kind of nice just me and my boys hanging out. I thought about how a year ago the same fireworks show would have sent both of them into hysterics and we would have had to leave early. I thought about how blessed I am to have two beautiful boys and how I don't know how I got so lucky, but am so glad they are part of my life.

I barely watched the show, but instead watched them wishing I could stop them from growing up so fast .... at least for a little while.

Thinking of my grandpa

I can't believe it's been six months since my grandpa died. I was just sitting here thinking how much I miss him and thinking what I wouldn't give for kiss on my cheek, a shoulder hug and a chuckle from him. Grandpa, we can't wait to see you again:)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Update on NFP - The Marquette Method

So it's been awhile since I wrote about the Marquette Method NFP we were trying out. I felt compelled to write about it because when we first heard of it, I could find NO information about how it worked for real people ... just the research.

Well, we have decided we are infinitely happier with this method than the sympto-thermal method. Our youngest has continued to have many medical needs, thus really pushing us more to wait to have any additional children and needing a method we had confidence in.

He is now 21 months and older than his brother when he was born, which has helped give us time to devote to both of them and their needs at the present time. We have made it to our initial goal of waiting another winter before we would have another baby. Our new goal is to get through one more winter without getting pregnant, knowing how much it takes out of me and my body and knowing the demands of our baby's medical needs (not to mention two little boys:). If we did we would welcome our baby with open arms, but we also turst in God's perfect timing for us.

I love not adding more "medicines" to my body and making my body believe it is constantly pregnant. After the initial struggle to learn it, my husband and I both agree it has also strengthened our marriage in ways we never could have imagined. We communicate a lot better with each other. Not perfectly, of course, but a lot better and we have a lot more respect for each other.

Plus we have gained confidence in a method that allows us to prayerfully discern if we are called to have more children at the time, while allowing God to make the ultimate decisions. Overall, it has just set our hearts at ease.

You can find my other posts on the Marquette Method here. I am by no means an expert, but am happy to help out others who are looking for information that seemed very challenging at best to find.

The Web site for tracking has also made it very easy for us to figure everything out and has been such a blessing. God bless and good luck!

Remembering David with Hope

We just got back earlier this week from home after my cousin passed away suddenly at 24-years-old. Despite of his and my grandpa's death, I have to say our family has been tremendously blessed. Until this past 12 months, no one of our grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins or siblings close to us had died except my one of my grandpas who died when I was 1 and unfortunately I was way too young to remember him.

I know I am not that old, but that means for 30 years of my life, I had not had to deal with the grief of losing someone who had been a big part of my life at all. My husband and I lost 3 babies due to miscarriage a few years ago and that was extremely, overwhelmingly painful, but it was still different. To go home and not see both my Grandpa and now my cousin, it seems like a weird dream - one I wish I could wake up from.

I think in my head it was almost like babies and the unborn were very venerable, but once they were born alright and brought home, they would not die ... even though all people do at some point. I guess some of that is that invincibility of youth. Regardless, losing my Grandpa and then losing David a few months later is a jerk back into reality.

David was a big part of my life growing up. I don't remember him ever not being there after he came into this world. Even when his family lived in Arizona for awhile, every time we saw them it was like no time had passed (which I pray is what happens for my kids should we be blessed to move home some day).

We used to live in the same neighborhood, go to the same church and same school and knew a lot of the same people. He was such a good, gentle boy who grew into a good gentle man. My son used to love to run up and play peek-a-boo with him and he had so much patience and a soft spot for little kids, he never turned them down.

All I kept thinking during his wake and funeral was, "It isn't fair. This isn't supposed to be this way." You know when you are little and your parents tell you life isn't fair - well I always assumed they just were referring to trivial matters like it wasn't fair my brother got a bigger cookie. But this is no trivial matter and we aren't talking about a smaller cookie.

Still, I think every person is put on this Earth for the amount of time God needs them to do His will. Some of them, like my niece Sydne and my babies only get a little bit of time, but touch and change hearts. Some may get years and some decades. I think although David's life ended at 24, his loving nature and good heart will continue to touch everyone who knew him and maybe even some who didn't and hopefully draw them closer to God. I pray maybe it makes some of those kids who weren't nice to him growing up stop and think twice before treating someone like they don't matter and I pray it helps all of us reevaluate where we are going and what we are doing or avoiding to be where we aim to be, living in God's presence.

I have this great vision of David sitting up there with both my grandpas and my Sammy, Annabella and Esperanza as well as Sydne and my Uncle David (who he was named after) just having a great big Mexican party waiting for us to arrive. That leaves me with a big smile on my face.

This song touched my heart as I lost my babies and it seems fitting for losing David too. The beauty is we have faith and hope we will be reunited again ... knowing that helps us carry on.

With Hope
Steven Curtis Chapman

This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you, but ...

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again

And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father's smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free, and ...

We have this hope as an anchor
'Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so ...

So we can cry with hope
And say goodbye with hope

We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Grandpa

When someone you love dies, there's not much to say. It hurts, you miss them more than you can ever express and you wish there was more time. My grandpa died suddenly last week, about 48 hours after going into the hospital. I have tried to write a few times, but am not able to express how much he meant to me. He had always been a very important part of my life and who I am and I am still not sure all of it has sunk in yet. I think my brothers said it best in their part of the eulogy on behalf of my siblings and cousins: "I guess I just miss my friend." He was everything a child wishes a grandpa to be. This poem was also a good reminder for me to focus on all he gave to us and keep his memory alive by living our lives and honoring him with what he taught us.

You can shed tears that he has gone,
Or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all he's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see him,
Or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he's gone,
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
Be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what he'd want;
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Imagine The Possibilities ....

Check out this ad put out by It makes you remember the possibilities of all life and how all life is precious.

Monday, January 26, 2009

What Scares Me

Entering the second straight year of doctors, testing, pretty regular sicknesses and no diagnosis with my son is starting to wear on me, my husband and son and everyone else more than I realize sometimes.

I keep myself so busy talking to his doctors, pushing for something productive to happen, trying to get all the doctors who keep telling me they don't know what to do with him to keep racking their brains in hopes that someone will be able to help him and at the most unexpected times it hits me hard.

I know intellectually none of this is in my hands. I know tons of people are praying for him and us, and for that I am grateful. I also know God create us with a brain to use and not sit ideally by while life happens to us.

Every visit with a doctor and every day he gets sick and no one can tell us what is happening is scary. It's scary to know if he gets one really bad respiratory illness, he may not have the resources to fight it off because his body is already fighting hard.

It is scary to weigh the effects of medicines that in a normal kid may have bad effects, but in a kid whose future health is so uncertain may be the only way he even has some future health.

It is scary to watch my boys play and imagine what happens if my baby goes to the hospital one day and doesn't come home.

It kills me to stick the tube down his nose into his stomach to make sure he is getting enough extra calories to maintain his status quo and hopefully put on a few ounces in the process.

You know your children aren't yours solely - they are on loan from God. The further we delve into the possibilities of health issues and the more time we invest in doctors and hospitals, the more I wonder if our time would be better spent not looking for the "answer."

I want to capture every moment with my boys ... I am a photojournalist, it is in my nature. I think situations like this just make that urge 100 times stronger. I don't want to miss one second I am given with them.

I think what scares me more than not finding an answer sometimes, is finding one and what that means for our future; for his future.

My husband and I have talked about many different scenarios and what we know is we love our boys and no matter what, we want them to have as normal childhood as they can regardless. So even though that may include tons of trips to the doctors and hospitals and lots of tubes and medicines and who knows what ... it also includes a lot of toys and reading and laughter and hugs and giggles, and I hope that is what they remember most when they are older.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Exercises You Are Better Off Without This Year

With the start of the new year, it seems like everyone is always giving you advice on how to better exercises so it caught my attention when I was listening to the radio, the broadcaster began speaking about exercises we are better off without this year. I couldn't remember them all (I was driving and trying to remember while paying attention), but wanted to share what I did.

Jumping to conclusions - maybe we should step back and re-assess before making any hasty conclusions that are oftentimes wrong.

Fishing for compliments - I know I do this sometimes without even knowing it, but I know I need to do the best I can and rejoice in who I am in God, instead of looking to other people to build me up.

Beating our own drum - same as above. I need to be secure in who I am as God made me and know my rewards and the only ones that truly matter await me in Heaven.

Dragging our heels - I know there are many things I need to do and I tend to try to put off the ones I don't want to complete. I read somewhere that doing one thing you are dreading most in the day first thing gets it out of the way and you enjoy your day more. I know I tend to think more about what I have to do than it takes me to actually just do it.

Anyway, this isn't the whole list, but I thought it was pretty creative:)

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.