Sunday, December 23, 2012

What I Wore Sunday #4

What I Wore Sunday linkup
  
 Happy 4th Sunday of Advent, ya'll!

I have had an amazing several days off and I am so glad that Patrick is currently out of school. Life get's so busy and it has been wonderful to just kick back, neglect the dishes and relax :)

We are about to head to his parents house for Christmas. Unfortunately, I have to work at the hospital on Christmas day so I will go to Christmas Eve Mass with the fam and then drive back to KC that night. I'm not exactly excited about it but I think I am finally at peace with it. Christmas in my family has always been full of traditions and I have been feeling like I will be missing out. I know that I am needed at the hospital though and part of me is really happy that I will be there to tell my patients Merry Christmas.

Now for What I Wore Sunday:



The Deets:
Plaid top: Target last year
Tank: Gap a million years ago
Skirt: Ann Taylor LOFT thrifted
Tights: Walmart
Boots: Macy's 2 years ago
Necklace: Walmart
Earrings: Francesca's a million years ago (can't see them very well)

*Check out that Liturgically Correct nail polish! Purple, baby!

Rosalyn wanted her picture taken by the tree, too!
For more awesome Sunday outfits check out Fine Purple and Linen!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, YA'LL!!!!!!!

  

Friday, December 21, 2012

7 Quick Takes #1

My very first linkup with the Conversion Diary! Here goes nothin':


1. I have been so lazy. I have a week off of work and I don't know what to do with myself. I made Christmas cookies, cleaned a little, still neglecting laundry though. I would be so bored but I am really happy to share some down time with Patrick since he is not in school until January!

2. Last night I watched A Christmas Carol. It's the Disney one with Jim Carey. I knew the story and everything obviously but I have to say that was pretty scary for a Disney movie. I kinda that they would change it up and make it a little more kid friendly. I have to admit... I jumped a few times.

3. We had our first snow fall yesterday! I have mixed feelings about snow. My initial thoughts are always that of a child and then my grown up in me realizes that I may actually have to get out of my house and drive in that mess! Snow is just so pretty though... how can you not love it at least a little bit!

4. I love Christmas lights. That is all.

5. I have been pretty bummed recently about having to work at the hospital on Christmas Day but while I'm still not pumped about it... I'm content. I think this is a sign that I'm getting older. Working on Christmas isn't the end of the world for me anymore.

6. 6 days until I get to see my family in TX!

My big brother, Nathan, and me!
7. I go the best surprise ever last night. My mom called me and we talked for a minute and then she said  that someone wanted to say hi. I hear a guys voice say, "Aloha!" And I was so confused. I was trying to think of college kids that were probably home for break but the voice didn't sound like any of the ones that would be hanging out at my mom's house. It sounded like my brother but that didn't make sense since he lived a million miles away in Hawaii.... but he did say Aloha. I said, "Who is this???" "Nathan!" My heart is so happy. The entire family will be home once Patrick and I get there in a few days!

Happy Friday, ya'll!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Little Music Throwback for Ya...

So, I only have one Christmas CD and I can't seem to find a radio station that consistently plays Christmas music. And I'm sorry, Karen, but I can't listen to you all day back to back. But I really do love the Carpenters... go ahead, judge me!


I started looking through my plethora of CDs. Yeah.... not through my ipod/iphone.... my CD case. And I came across this song which blew my mind in high school and guess what... it still does. 


Chills... every. time.

"And what was said to the rose to make it unfold was said to me here in my chest so be quiet now and rest."

Whoa.

Anybody else feeling the same way? I have pondered on this specific line of the song many times. I can envision my heart opening up, or unfolding, blossoming at the name of Jesus. I have felt that. When your heart skips a beat and the realization that God is here. I can't say I feel Him here all the time, even though I believe He is. But when I feel Him here... my heart flutters a little. 

Beautiful.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

What I Wore Sunday #3



This weekend was super busy. Patrick had Board Prep all weekend but we still managed to have a nice dinner party with our two closest friends, Katie and Steven, go to the Gorman Family Christmas Party, and relax just a little.

As I mentioned last week... Pink Candle Sunday is my fav! So I dressed along with the pink theme:





The Deets:
Dress: Brand unknown (thrifted)
Belt: Brand unknown (also thrifted)
Tights: Target
Boots: Shoe Carnival (clearance) 
Earrings: Target... hidden behind my hair which is SIX INCHES SHORTER!!!!!!!! 

To see what everyone else wore to Mass, head on over to Fine Linen and Purple!





And here are a few more pics from the relaxing part of my weekend :)

Rosalyn with her candy cane dog treat

She wouldn't let me take it out of her mouth for the photo ha

Love this little pup :)

Lots of love ya'll!

-Hil




Friday, December 14, 2012

Little Souls

My heart is broken. How could anyone intentionally hurt a child?

My mind isn't even able to fathom what has happened today. I just have flashes of thoughts that may or may not be coherent as I try to type it out. So bare with me...

Children are amazing. Without them the human race would die out. The bond of love between mother and children, father and child, or really anyone and child is unique. They are the imagine of love. Children love and believe and wonder without having to mull over in their heads about the ways of the world. They should never have to worry. They should just be kids. They should run around, make believe, make friends and enjoy the simplicity of life as they know it.

So how can a young man walk into an Elementary school and shoot 20 kids along with several adults? How could someone be so sick? I can't even wrap my head around this. My initial thought was, "Why would anyone want to bring children into such a cruel world?" Seriously. Why? But having children is what life is all about. And by that I mean, family is what life is all about. How could I NOT bring a child into this world? I'm confused by this. Can you tell?

I think as a young woman in her twenties this is especially disheartening. I think it's normal to hope and wonder if you will be a good mother one day but with the horrendous things you see on TV we are confronted with even more fears. Can we shield them from the negative images on television? Can we protect them from growing up and loosing their innocence too quickly? Are they safe in their schools? On their playgrounds?

It is terrifying.

I think that one day when I have a child (or an army of them!) that my job as a mother will become clear. I will love them more than a person as ever loved another. I will look to Mother Mary who was so perfect in her love for her Son. I will teach them about God and spend time with them knowing that every moment is precious. I will teach them about love and how to see the good in people even if they are hurting.

I have so much to learn. Today just really got me thinking.

Today, like everyone else in the nation, I am praying for the families of the victims of the shooting in Connecticut. I pray for the children that will remember this horrifying day for the rest of their lives. I pray for the community. And I pray for the shooter's family, that others will not judge them for the sins their son/brother committed.

And in the words of Megyn Kelly of FOX News, "Pray for the little souls, the little angels."





Sunday, December 9, 2012

What I Wore Sunday #2

I kinda wish I had a picture of what I wore to the Feast of the Immaculate Conception... but it completely slipped my mind! So here is is!

I need to quit taking pics with my phone... they never turn out well.

I felt like the shoes deserved their own photo :)

Details:
Pink top: Ann Taylor LOFT (like 5 years ago)
Cardigan: Express (probably about 4 years ago)
Skirt: Ann Taylor LOFT (thrifted)
Tights: Target
Fabulous shoes: Target (Clearance!)

Looking back I kinda wish I would have saved this outfit for NEXT week which when I was little I called "Pink Candle Sunday." I was one of four kids so we each got to light an advent candle and I always lit the pink one! I'll have to come up with something pink for next week I guess haha.

For more awesome outfits by people with much more style than me, head on over to Fine Linen and Purple!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Immaculate Conception

Tonight, Patrick and I headed over to Holy Trinity Catholic Church to celebrate the the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Yeah, it's a holy day of obligation (or holy day of opportunity, as some call it), and some people think it's a hassle... blah, blah blah. But it happens to be a favorite of mine. And only partly because I get to sing all the "Mary songs."

I literally got goose bumps as the lector read the readings and I followed along in the book. The first readings was the story of how Adam and Eve failed. That story has always felt so eerie to me. I think of  how it would feel to be them. They were the only two humans ever created and God was basically their only family. There was no one else. They didn't just disappoint their father when they disobeyed and ate the apple... They disappointed THE Father. Their mistake changed EVERYTHING. That's pretty heavy stuff when you think about it. And then it made me take a quick look at myself. Shoot! I mess up all the time and its usually more serious than eating something I shouldn't!

Then came the Gospel. It was the story of the Angel Gabriel. Now, but yourself in Mary's sandals. You are roughly 14 years old, betrothed, a virgin... and an angel shows up and tells you you're gonna be preggers with God's kid. The angel even helps you out a names God's son for you. The story is mind blowing even if you DON'T put yourself in her sandals. Can you imagine? Here I am in my twenties, married without kids and I would still be like... yeah, that can't be right.

Mary was made perfect though (hence her nickname, The Immaculate Conception). God planned for her to carry Jesus before she was even born. SHE WAS CONCEIVED WITHOUT ORIGINAL SIN! That alone just blows my mind! She was the most perfect person that has ever lived. She was conceived inside the womb of a saint (Saint Anne (which kinda makes me wonder who Saint Anne's parents were... does anybody know?))... and she miraculously conceives Jesus through the Holy spirit....

And the angel said to her in reply,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God...

for nothing will be impossible for God."

*Goosebumps*

And her simple, obedient, perfect and holy response...

Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.


*Goosebumps again*

It almost brings tears to my eyes. This is what it is all about. I'm not gonna sit here and say we should fire Santa and Rudolph and the elves and toss out our Christmas Trees, but I do think it is time for me to refocus. Honestly, Jesus (and Mary and Joseph) IS the reason for the season... as cliche as it may sound to some :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Decorations!!!!

I love days off. I especially love days off in December because I am getting so into the Christmas Spirit.

I admit it... I'm kind of a Christmas nut. Try not to be too jealous of my plethora of Christmas decor :)

My mini Christmas Village and awesome Christmas frame of the hubby and on the shelf below.
Adorable angels from Mom :)
Nativity Statue with my Yankee Balsam and Cedar candle
Merry Christmas sign and my Poinsettia plant from Katie and her husband Steven
Ugly Apartment blinds adorned with garland wrapped in lights
Im obsessed with this reindeer! Patricks grandma got them at a garage sale or something. Love 'em!
Yep.. that's a bagpipin' Nutcracker. 
My Christmas puzzle that I can't figure out how to rotate.
Patrick's Christmas puzzle that I also can't rotate.
(Mine is better!)
Willow Tree Nativity. Simple and Beautiful. Thanks, Mom!

End table number 1
End table number 2
Above the Kitchen sink... ignore the dirty dishes :)
Above the window that is above the kitchen sink...

I wouldn't let Patrick have a real Leg Lamp but he settled for the Leg Night Light lol
                                              AND.... DRUM ROLL, PLEASE!!!!!


Our Lovely Christmas Tree!
That's a lot of Christmas in a few hundred square feet, folks! Because I'm crazy... And I love Christmas! For more awesome Christmas decor visit Katie at NFPandME and check out her Christmas Decor Link Up!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What I Wore Sunday... as promised

Like I shared earlier this week, I have finally jumped on the WIWS bandwagon!  Today I worked a 12.5 hour shift and it was probably one of the best shifts I have worked in a long time. AND I got to receive Communion! Thank the Lord for Eucharistic Ministers of Holy Communion that come with extra hosts!

Check out my sweet get-up:

Sorry I suck at taking mirror pictures!
Red Cherokee top and black Cherokee pants which can be found at your local scrub store, And a lovely White Stag Brand black long sleeved shirt I picked up at Walmart. A Littman stethoscope....And you can't see them but I'm rockin' Asics tennis shoes.

Other than receiving Communion, the best part of my day was helping my co-workers. That may sound lame to some people but I have been blessed with some pretty amazing people in my life. My job is stressful. And when things dont' go well for me, I have a unit full of other nurses that will drop whatever they are doing to help me. I am one of the newer nurses on the floor even though I have been there for a year and a half so they are always looking out for me. I was happy that today I was able to return the favor!

Next Sunday... I get to go to MASS!

For more What I Wore Sunday posts from other bloggers check out Fine Linen and Purple.

Much love ya'll!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Love actually is all around"

Recently, I was thinking about my blog. Lame. I know. But it was thinking about how some people have themes for their blogs. Some people have fantastic designs and an unreal amount of comments left by followers that clearly find what they have to say interesting. And then there is this blog. My theme is love... how cliche. I write about my life which is less than extravagant. BUT I do think that people can relate to it. The reason is well put in the quote below.

"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion... love actually is all around. "

Yep, you guessed it. Love, Actually.

If you look too closely our world can be a scary place. I often find myself getting frustrated with people. People are hungry. People are hurting. BUT look at the love! I am continually amazed by the power love has to alter lives. The great thing about love is you get just as much fulfillment out of GIVING love as you do GETTING love. It is most certainly the best gift you can give anyone.

So spread the love, ya'll!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I've been stubborn... I admit it!

Advent is coming up and I have been thinking about what I will do to prepare myself for Christmas. Every year I promise myself I will pray for often, do Morning/Evening/Night prayer and I usually have moderate success with it. This year I felt like I should do something a little different but was having trouble making a decision on what exactly that would be.

A little background on me... I'm pretty hard headed. I would love to say that I am so agreeable and everything is happy-go-lucky all the time but that would be a major lie and I would have to run my little  butt to the confessional. The past several weeks there has been a rather popular link up called What I Wore Sunday. All my blogging friends are doing so why am I not doing it?

Well, my reasons aren't very good but bottom line is this: I don't go to church every Sunday. Before you X out of my blog and decide I am a poor Catholic though let me explain. I am a nurse. Hospitals never close. While people are enjoying there weekends with the rest of their families who also have the weekend off, there are nurses working their rears off to care for sick and elderly people. If we don't do it then who will? My job requires me to work every third weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) so it is impossible to get to mass. trust me I have tried everything. I have dispensation for the weekends I miss and while I have yet to miss a Holy Day of Obligation my dispensation includes those days, too.

The reason I have failed to jump on the What I Wore Sunday bandwagon is because I have been afraid of what people would think about me not going to Mass every third weekend. Unfortunately, I have come in contact with some Catholics that can be somewhat judgmental and I didn't want that. But after reading this article I felt somewhat empowered to get with the program and participate. What will I do the Sundays that I work, you ask? Well, since the so-called "theme" of my blog is love I will share with you some aspect of my Sunday caring for people. It may be about my love for my patients or it could be the love I witness between family members.... we will have to wait and see!

So, while I was very resistant to "conform" before THIS fiery redhead is gonna show ya just how good scrubs can look haha

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday spirit

 I am so not ready to do back to work tomorrow. That's the problem with good weekends... they have to end.

Friday I worked. When I got home Patrick was working on dinner. I showered, we ate and watched a few episodes of Duck Dynasty. If you haven't seen that show then you haven't lived. It is my kinda show... very quotable. Patrick and I are borderline obsessed (as in we are asking for Duck Dynasty merch for Christmas) and try to throw Si (the crazy bearded uncle) quotes into conversation as often as possible!

SEE WHAT I MEAN???? Hilarious.

Saturday, I cleaned the apartment to get ready to decorate for Christmas while Patrick went up to Holy Trinity for a day retreat. Our close friend, Dan, was Confirmed into the Catholic Church Saturday night and received his First Holy Communion. Patrick was honored to be his sponsor and the retreat was a sort of preparation for the actual celebration of the Sacraments. 

Converts to Catholicism are very special people. Not that the rest of us aren't but these converts experience things differently from us. They have a yearning to be a part of the communion of the Catholic Church. The have a desire to receive the Eucharist. They long to learn the teachings and be part of the Church that was started by Jesus Christ. It's not that the cradle Catholics like myself don't have these desires, but unfortunately if that is all we know we have a tendency to take it for granted. I confess... I have taken it for granted often. 

I have heard people say that these Confirmations and First Communions whether for children or adults should be done at separate Masses. I however, think that witnessing them enter into the Catholic Church helps remind us what it's all about. It helps us refocus and see the beauty in the unity. 

After Mass we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant with Dan and his family and his fiance's family. I ate my body weight in quesadillas... I'm not proud of it.

Sunday was the first day that Patrick and I BOTH could sleep in in God only knows how long! I got about 10.5 hours of sleep! Heck yes! We had coffee, ate breakfast and went for a walk. Then, I finished decorating for Christmas! I freaking love Christmas.


My feelings about Christmas in a nut shell

More on that later :)

PS- I am really trying to get better about this how blogging thing. I'm a total amateur. What in the heck is this 7 Quick Takes business that everyone is doing? What's a link up? I seriously don't know how to do any of this stuff. So much still to learn!


Stationery card

Christmas card :)
Merry Polka Dots Christmas Card
Make unique Christmas cards this year at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Blending Families

As you may know, I have been married for almost a year and a half now. Last year was the first time I really had to deal with spending holidays away from my family. As happy as I was to finally be spending these special days with my new husband, I couldn't help but feel sad. My family has a ton of traditions. Some of them are silly and I really don't know how we started them but it was that familiarity, the consistency. I just loved it. Last year we spent Thanksgiving with my family in Texas and did Christmas with Patrick's family here in Kansas. It was good but it wasn't the same.

This year, unfortunately because of my work schedule, I will not get to spend Thanksgiving OR Christmas with my family. Initially I was pretty down about it but here we are Thanksgiving Day and I have to tell you my feelings have changed. We just got back home from the in-laws and if I didn't have to work in the morning I would have stayed all weekend. The food may not have been the same as what my mom made back in Texas today and the company was a little different but it was darn near perfect in my opinion for other reasons.

We drove down Wednesday afternoon after I spent most of the morning baking at home. My mother-in-law, Julie was in the kitchen when we got there and was doing some of the prep for the 'big meal' before my father-in-law, Philip, got home. She and I worked in the kitchen, I peeled and cut potatoes, worked on dinner for that night and we both talked. I realized then that I have a very special relationship with my mother-in-law that many young women don't have. She never had a daughter, just Patrick and his little brother, but she treats me like her daughter. She is so sweet and genuine and I absolutely love her.

We started talking about our families. She asked about my grandparents. One grandma was recently in the hospital and the other we had to put in a nursing home a few months back which has been hard on my grandpa. She asked about my sister who had just been accepted to college where I went. She asked about my crazy brother in Hawaii and my little brother in college in Texas. She asked about my parents, too. How many in-laws know that much about the extended families of their children's spouses? How many people would visit their child's in-laws without the child? Mine have but based on how I hear some of my friends talk about their in-laws, my guess is not many. And for that I am truly thankful.

I missed my parents and brothers and sister dearly today. I thought back to previous Thanksgivings and had to smile to myself for all the beautiful memories I have growing up in Texas with my family. And now as the Christmas season approaches, though I will certainly at times wish I could be in Texas, I no longer feel a sense of loss for not being with them. My family has grown. I have Julie, Philip and Brian (my brother-in-law) now. They love me and treat me as if I have ALWAYS been part of their family. Traditions may not be the same but one day when we have children of our own we will form our own traditions.

The process of blending our two families (especially since mine is so far away) as not always been easy. I will always be homesick from time to time. But I feel blessed to have so many loving people to call my family. After all, family really is what it's all about.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thankful

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. My favorite month of the year has passed and we are moving on to the true "holiday season." How time flies.

While October is my favorite month, I have to say that November and December bring something truly special. People are thankful. People are thoughtful. People are thinking of the less fortunate. It is really  a special time of year and I can't quite put my finger on it but it seems to bring out the best in people. Every time I open facebook I see status updates stating what people are thankful for. And ya know what, 9 and a half times out of 10 people are thankful for people, not things. How beautiful is that?! It's refreshing, especially when you think abut the society that we live in.

I have a lot to be thankful for and to be completely honest I fail to thank my God for the blessings in my life. I am so blessed to have a loving and faithful husband that supports me in all I do. He loves me and challenges me everyday to be the best woman I can be. He lifts me up when I fall. He encourages me in my doubt. He is my greatest blessing. I have also been blessed with an amazing family. My mom, dad and siblings are my best freinds. We have history and they know everything about me. My in-laws are the best. They feel more like family than I ever could imagine and they are people I depend on often. I know that many young women don't have that kind of relationship with their in-laws and that makes it that much sweeter.

I don't always feel like the best child of the King. I fail often. But my God has been unwavering in love for me. In my darkest days God has reached an ever loving hand out to me and pulled me close. Almost two years ago now I was in a terrible car accident that resulted in the death of a person I never met. I experienced emotional pain and felt unworthy of the life I was living in the months that followed. But God touched my life and pulled me out of the darkness that lingered around me. I learned that God has bigger plans for me. I learned that my life was worth something and that I as a nurse could change the lives of my patients. As painful as my time after the wreck was, I am thankful for the connection it has given me to my patients. It has given me a new outlook on the little things in life.

My life has changed a lot in the past year or so since my marriage to Patrick. I never in my life thought I would be able to say this but I am so thankful for the life I have with Patrick here in Kansas City. I moved here with the intention of leaving as soon as he graduated but now I can't imagine us being anywhere else. This has really become our home. Home. What a powerful feeling, to feel at home. Our apartment is only temporary but we love looking at homes online and talking about raising a family in the Kansas City area. We have so much to look forward to.

This ended up being a much deeper post than I really planned but once I start on a topic I find it hard to get off. My point is this: We all have trials and tribulations in this life but if we look at the positive things, the blessing, we tend to be much happier. In all the imperfections of my world I feel joyfully at peace.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Weekend with Rachel

I haven't written in a while but not because nothing is going on... quite the opposite. Since the last time I have written I suffered through the disappointment of election night, worked a lot (and I do mean a LOT!), spent a weekend with my little sister in Pittsburg, and went to an awesome country music concert.

Having my sister around was so nice. It is very difficult for me sometimes to be be so far away from my family but I know that this is where I am called to be. I have felt at times that I missed out on things like graduations, football games, and dance concerts when my little siblings were in high school. I have missed family days and holidays. I feel torn sometimes because as much as I miss my family in Texas I honestly love living in Kansas with my husband. Being away from so many people I love makes being reunited so much sweeter though!

I almost cried I was so excited when I picked Rachel up from the airport. She is the craziest, funniest girl I know! From the moment I saw her to the moment I said goodbye it was nonstop laughter. We talked about everything from boys to high school drama to the intense things I experience at work. She picked my brain about what life was like for me in college. We talked about faith and love and growing up. It was so special. I loved walking her through my old college campus and telling her stories that my dad told me when they brought me on my first college visit to Pittsburg State. We went to the football game and cheered on the Gorillas even though they lost. More than anything I loved seeing her so excited about her future! It reminded me of when I was her age.

My sister and I have ALWAYS been argumentative. We shared a room from the time she was born until I was a freshman in high school and for several years we even shared a bed. Being six years apart we have always had our differences but during this trip I saw a completely different side of my sister. She is really growing up into a beautiful strong young woman. I am so proud. She will still always be the crazy little sister that says "when birds fly" instead of "when pigs fly" but I love seeing her grow up and be so happy!

On a completely different note... I am pretty stoked about the holidays coming up. Im trying to contain my excitement and hold off on decorating the apartment until AFTER Thanksgiving. Wish me luck :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

War on Women or Whatever

I just mentioned this last week in another post but I decided to expand on it. Someone fill me in. What the hell is this War on Women? I'm seriously not getting it.

According to Wikipedia (not exactly a reliable source but they dumbed it down for me so don't judge! lol) it's the big bad Republican party trying to restrict women's rights especially reproductive rights. It also has liberals fighting for equal pay for women and stopping workplace discrimination. Call me ignorant but hasn't it been illegal to discriminate against women in the workplace for a while now? Like since the Equal Pay Act of 1963. So... what is it they are wanting? I think that men and women are pretty equal and I think any business would look at the individual's qualifications when it comes time to give a raise... not the fact of whether they are a man or a woman. It's like people think we are living in the 1950s. Maybe my confusion is rooted in the fact that BOTH my parents were successful in the business world. I know in my profession of nursing their is obviously a higher ratio of women to men but the male nurses do not get any kind of special treatment. This entire mindset is completely bizarre to me.

Now this whole reproductive rights thing is what really boils my blood. Correct me if I'm wrong. Women want birth control which currently costs roughly $9 a month from Walmart to be paid for by tax payers whether they are male, female, pro-life or pro-choice. Women also do not want any restrictions on abortions. They don't believe that abortion is murder even though basic science tells us that life begins at conception. They don't want mandatory ultrasounds that would show that there is life inside. They don't want to be told "you can't have an abortion because you are this far along."

I can argue against every one of these cases but I have found that if these women do not believe the same fundamental things as me then they will not listen. I feel like it all gets to the morality issues that some people disagree with. I believe that sex outside of marriage is wrong. I believe that sex in marriage is good and that babies are awesome. If you are not ready for a baby then don't get married yet. If you do not ever want a baby then don't get married. It's all pretty simple if you hold these basic moral principles. I also believe that IF one makes a mistake and does get pregnant when they don't intend to that.... this may come as a shock to you... but that baby is still good. It does not deserve to die. That baby is innocent. Children are good.

I feel like I should clarify that I have incredible sympathy for women that are victims of rape or incest. What a terrible and terrifying experience to have to go through. And if a woman becomes pregnant because of this terrible act I can only imagine the stress and fear that would add to the already traumatizing situation. However, that does not child the innocence of that child. That child should not have to suffer death because the father was a bad and/or misguided person. I know their are so many people that don't want to agree with me but these are the facts.

Where did we go wrong? How did we get to this place where it becomes acceptable to kill the most innocent of human beings. I don't see the War on Women but I most certainly see that there is a War on Children. Why doesn't everyone else see this?

Hey, all you women! Look what I found on Feminist for Life:

"Guilty? Yes. No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; But oh, thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime!"
- Susan B. Anthony, Revolution

"Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women."
-Alice Paul

Stanton wrote, regarding prostitution and the "murder of children, either before or after birth": "For a quarter of a century sober, thinking women have warned this nation of these thick coming dangers, and pointed to the only remedy, the education and enfranchisement of woman... We believe the cause of all these abuses lies in the degradation of woman."
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Revolution

So it seems that the ultimate feminists, the original feminists would agree with me that the only war on women today is society making them believe that abortion is a solution to a problem.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rambling about nothing...

So here we are... over half way through the best month of the year! Yeah, it's my birthday month but that is not what makes this month the best. It's just kind of like the icing on top of the cake.

October is the month of the Rosary.

October is the month of Mary.

October is when we as Catholics celebrate the feasts of some of my favorite saints:
Saint Michael the Archangel... potentially the most baller of all angels.
St. Terese,

St. Francis of Assisi,

St. Teresa of Avila,

Blessed Pope John Paul II,

St. Luke,

Guardian Angels,

Our Lady of the Rosary, and

Sts. Simon and Jude.

Whoa.

October is when the leaves change.

October is full of football.

October is part of the 40 Days for Life.

I am pretty much in a good mood all month for these reasons! It just in the air!

On a completely different note I would like to say that today was awesome. Prayed a rosary outside Planned Parenthood with a good friend, did a little window shopping, went to Panera for lunch, let Rosalyn run and play with Jack..... and call me crazy but I was pretty stoked to drink a little Cabernet Sauvignon while iron some dress shirts for the hubby. I'm not even being sarcastic. Ironing (as long as it's more than just one thing) is something I find somewhat therapeutic.

Not even kidding. Lol.






Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sacrifice


Women are awesome. Women know it. Men know it. There is clearly no arguing that women are freaking amazing.

Now I get that there is this so called "war on women" but it is actually a load of bull and I am not here to talk about it. We are not oppressed. We do not go unnoticed. We are equal but not the same. Like I said... we are awesome and everybody knows it.

I think it is interesting how much our role in the family has shifted though. My grandmother was a telephone operator until she married my grandfather and after their marriage she became the home maker and raised all 4 of the children. She managed the home, cooked all the meals (which is still amazing to this day btw!) and to my knowledge never "worked" again. She was already working 24/7 at home. It is the job that never ends and maybe one of the most exhausting. But from what I hear it is the most rewarding.

My mom went to college and became a business woman. She continued to work after marrying my dad until I was about 2 years old. She managed to balance a demanding job, raising 4 kids, chauffeuring, keeping up a well kept home and still cooking dinner every night. She even went back to work not as a business woman but for the Church and did not let a single aspect of our near perfect lives falter. She has always kept things together. She does everything and it will never cease to amaze me.

HOW DOES SHE DO IT?

I may never truly know the answer to that but I hope that someday I find it in myself to be just half of that woman she is. I do think that one of the key ingredients that so many incredible women possess is selflessness. To be a good woman (like my mother) you have to be selfless. You have to put the needs of your family above your own. You have to give more than you get without a word to protest it because it brings joy to the heart to see happiness in others. This is not oppression. This is love. This is the love that the Father shows us and it is the love that we see in Mary. 

True love is a sacrifice. No one ever said it would be easy but what would life be like without it. 


 

My two role models lived in different times and one has a perfect child while the other has four imperfect children but they still have a lot in common :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sharper than any two-edged sword

Just watched the Space Jump and now watching the Chiefs lose but I just had to write a quick little snippet. 

'Cuz the Second Reading blew my mind this morning:

Brothers and sisters:
Indeed the word of God is living and effective,
sharper than any two-edged sword,
penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow,
and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
No creature is concealed from him,
but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him
to whom we must render an account.


BOOM!

While I often am lacking in ability to interpret scripture and meditate on it and ya know... all the things I am supposed to do with it... this was THE most living and effective piece of scripture that has caught my attention in a long time!

"No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him." That is so beautiful and frightening! Oh my. God truly knows us. He sees into the very depths of our souls. He sees the good and the ugly and His love is still more infinite than any love we will know on earth... which is crazy.

Like I said.... Mind. Blown.

Happy Sunday, ya'll!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

"Talk about things you can't see."

I have always been Catholic. Growing up my dad was in charge of the Altar Server Ministry and my mom was the Sacramental Preparation and now Confirmation Coordinator. My church was my second home. I got involved in every thing I could. I feel like talking about my faith was an every day occurrence and I was always surrounded by Catholics so there was really never a time when I couldn't talk about it.

Now I am all grown up. I work. I go out occassionally. I have responsibilities. Blah. blah, blah. I feel like even though I go to church every Sunday and participate in the Sacraments, it just isn't quite the same. I feel like so many things in my life are so temporary. Patrick is still in school working on that doctorate. We live in an apartment and really don't know where we will end up. I love my job and I don't plan on leaving but who knows if we will end up moving after Patrick graduates. So I just haven't made an effort to get involved. I don't feel like I can make a commitment if I don't know where we will be in 7-8 months.

Last night, I got a taste of what it was like to be surrounded by good Catholics again. My friend and I met up with two other amazing Catholic women in the Kansas City area for dinner. I can even explain how great I felt afterwards. I feel like that fellowship with good Catholic women is something I have been missing in my life recently. It's not even like we were talking about Catholicism the entire 4 hours of our dinner date but we just had an instant connection, something in common.

One of my favorite phrases regarding relationships is a quote I once heard Curtis Martin say. "Talk about things you can't see." I don't know if he got it from someone else or what but it has always stuck with me. Following our 4 hour dinner date I met up with some other people at a bar nearby. To be clear, I love this group of people. They are really my only consistent group of friends since I have moved here and I am thankful for their friendships. However, after the previous hours of conversing with those wonderful, strong women it just felt odd. It's not that the people are superficial but I think our friendship is a little superficial. When have we ever talked about things we can't see? And I have been friends with them for a few years. And here I just met these two Catholic women and we already have a deeper relationship than people I have known for a long time.

My conclusion is this... Catholics are family. I have always known this but last night I was really feeling it. It doesn't matter where I go in my life because I will always have a home in the Church. How beautiful is that! So today as I sit on my couch still in my pajamas sipping on coffee and listening to the thunderstorm, I am thankful for the inspiring Catholics that God has put in my life!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Reason and Science... and Catholicism

Last night I watched the Vice Presidential debates. Overall, I have to say I was unimpressed. I really wanted to hear the fresh ideas of Paul Ryan but I couldn't quit looking at Joe Biden's veneers... If you watched you know what I'm talking about!

I will say that in addition to being unimpressed I was also disappointed in the response to the question regarding their Catholic faith and how that has shaped their personal views on abortions.

Paul Ryan quite eloquently stated that the Catholic Church informs us in everything we do and that he does not see how a person can separate their public life from their private life and their faith. He spoke on seeing his first born as the size of a bean on the ultrasound and how he believes that life begins at conception. Ryan said that he is Pro-Life not just because of his Catholic faith but also because of "reason and science." I am so thrilled that he said that! First of all, I feel like the moderator was trying to put both of them in a bad place. They were given a choice in front of millions of people to either stand by the Church or risk not getting elected. But besides that, IT IS TRUE! Life begins at conception. You can say it is not truly life because it can't survive outside the mother or whatever... that's fine if that's how you want to personally define life but as far as science goes it is still life. I think that was an excellent way to speak to those Americans that are not Catholic about where he stood personally in regards to abortion. However, he did state that under Romney abortions would be opposed with the exceptions of rape, incest and the health of the mother. It may be a step in the right direction but it is not exactly a satisfying answer for this Catholic!

Joe Biden.... oh, crazy Joe....

His religion defines who he is. He has been a practicing Catholic his whole life. He believes life begins at conception but that is not something he wants to impose on others... Ok, I get that not every one is going to believe in Catholic teaching BUT if we all agree that it is a fundamental fact that life begins at conception then what is the problem??? That has nothing to do with religion. It's science! Joe even said that the Catholic church taught him to care for those that cannot help themselves. Does that not include a child in the womb? If I am not mistaken he has completely contradicted himself. Basically he said that the Catholic Church plays NO role in regards to the abortion issue.

Now I'm not saying one is a better Catholic than the other. I honestly know very little about both Biden and Ryan since I payed little attention to politics until about a year ago. But I think both of them were there trying to win an election. The Catholic Church in the United States is thirsting for someone in Washington D.C. to stand up for us. We need someone to be bold and not lukewarm. We need ALL Catholics in the United States to vote and elect those individuals that will stand by us. There is no excuse for not voting. It is our obligation to chose the lesser of the two evils. We need to be people of action. Because if we don't we are by default allowing the other to win.

So for talking about politics but this just really got me fired up!



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Little things

It's been an exhausting week. I have worked an ungodly amount and my To Do List at home has just been growing. Some times it's just hard to keep up.

However, yesterday was my birthday. It wasn't a milestone birthday. Just another twenty-something but it was probably the best birthday I have had in a few years... Thanks to Patrick. He had to go to school in the earlier part of the day so I relaxed at home, walked Rosalyn, received a nice phone call from my mom etc. I didn't do laundry or dishes or go to the store. Patrick told me not to because it was my birthday. I would have felt obligated but him saying that made me feel like I was off the hook and household chore could wait for another day. I just relaxed yesterday which is such a blessing some days. Luckily, Patrick got out of class early so I got to spend even more time with him than I anticipated! We hung out at home for a little bit and then headed to downtown to Country Club Plaza. We ate at Brio... which I highly recommend. The food is to die for! And then we went for a walk in the chilly Fall weather. It dropped 27 degrees yesterday! I saw THE Kansas City fountain which I wasn't aware was such a big deal but he assured me it was! haha

What is so funny is that to most people my wonderful birthday probably doesn't sound all that grand. And that's ok if they think that. My birthday was not about the gifts I got (though they were wonderful and generous) or how much money was spent on dinner or anything like that. I got to relax all day and then spend time doing something a little different with Patrick. Honestly, he is the reason I had a good day. It might sound cheesy but I just love the little things about our life.


"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."
- Mother Teresa




PS-Please note the quality of this photo. You are looking at a photo from THE ORIGINAL IPHONE! That's right. My phone is an antique. Be jealous. Or as my 17 year old little sister would say... be jelly :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Everything matters"

One of the things I told myself I would start doing after graduation form nursing school is read books. Well it's been well over a year since I graduated and while I have read a few I have to admit that I'm slacking big time!

I did however just finish Conceived Without Sin by Bud MacFarlane last night. He is a Catholic author and the first book of his that I read, Pierced by a Sword, was phenomenal! Couldn't put it down. It's one of those things where I still think about the characters in the book... is that weird? ha They just reminded me of some people I know in real life! Conceived Without Sin, however, was kinda hard for me to get into. He spent so much time building up the characters that I feel like I didn't really get to the plot until about page 400. And then I stayed up passed my bed time to finish it! ha ha

While I do wish the book would have grabbed me from the beginning there are a few things that really struck me and because of those few things I absolutely loved the book. The first: "Everything matters." It is something that Buzz, Donna and Ellie said in the book. Think about it... everything matters. Nothing is coincidence. I could drive myself crazy thinking about it. Everything that I do, everything that I say, everything time I smile at a stranger... that matters. Our lives are not meant to be lived for ourselves. We are all intertwined into the Divine Plan of our Creator. There are days that I feel so far from God but He is right here. I'm a living part of the Plan everyday in all that I do whether I make a conscious effort or not. Pretty amazing if you ask me. Epiphany!

The second thing: "Love is a decision." Boom. Mind blown. It's kind of one those things that is so simple but so true and even though it is something I am infinitely aware of... it still blows my mind. Love is more than a feeling... thank you Boston! Love is a choice that you make everyday. I chose to love my patients at the hospital even when they are cantankerous and sleep deprived. I chose to love my family members when I disagree with them. I chose to love my husband when those little quirks I once fell in love with are driving me insane! You can either decide to love or you can walk away.

It got me thinking about the divorce rate is the US... it is freaking ridiculous! I understand that some people really do get mixed up with people they should never have been with and there are some cases where separation or annulment are appropriate. BUT SERIOUSLY! I don't think that half the marriages should be ending. That is unreal. I think that our society has become such a culture of "me" and of "instant gratification" that we don't want to work for it. We don't want to make the choice. We would rather just not deal with it. This seriously saddens me. I have been married for just over a year and while things aren't rainbows and sunshine every single day of our married lives I cannot imagine my life without my spouse! No one ever said it was easy. Love is sacrifice!
Add caption

So, since I have been kinda on a saint kick...

Check out
Patron Saints of Difficult Marriages

Patron Saints of Second Marriages

St. Joseph, Patron Saint of Married Couples

Saint Monica, Patron Saint of Married Women

St. Monica prayed unceasingly for the conversion of her son, St. Augustine. What an amazing wife and mother!

"Nothing is far from God."- Saint Monica

Next book: House of Gold by Bud MacFarlane!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Irrational Fear of Confession

Why would anyone want to sit behind a screen in a poorly lit room and tell some guy with a collar all their sins? I've heard this question before. Shoot... who am I kidding?! I have asked myself this question!!!

I will not pretend that I am holier than thou or that I've got my ducks in a row or whatever... my ducks are scattered and I'm pretty sure a few of them got lost. Going to confession is not usually something I look forward to. Actually, I have been going to confession for 15 years and it still terrifies me. Even though my wonderful Catholic husband goes regularly and I could easily catch a ride with him I'm usually just like, "Nah, I'm good." I'm totally not selling this whole confession thing, am I?

Well, I just think it's crazy how God has this way of bringing us back to him whether it be through a sacrament or scripture reading or an epiphany that we have. This weekend, for whatever reason, I decided to go with my husband to confession. I found this Examination of Conscience online and I went through each line and evaluated myself which was probably more thorough than I have EVER been. I wrote down each thing I wanted to confess 'cause even though I am afraid to tell my sins I also am afraid I will forget one (makes perfect sense, right? ha). And then I went.

I wish I could remember this particular sacramental experience for the rest of my life. I have never felt like I was in conversation with God quite like that. It was really a supernatural experience. I wasn't just kneeling there spouting off my sins and waiting for the words of absolution. I was having a legit conversation about my life and living my faith. I was consoled and felt a sense of peace. It was both strange and awesome.

I didn't walk out of the confessional feeling like a saint. I honestly never have. I just felt... good. It's like if you crash your dad's car and you are terrified to tell them and you are anticipating the wrath... and then dad is like, "I know you didn't mean to hurt the car. It's gonna be alright. Are you ok?" And then your mind is blown! That's a really crappy analogy, i know. But it's the best I got, ok! My tiny human brain was not made to understand all the glory that is God... but I like to try!

Moral of the story: Confession is awesome!

Not convinced? Well maybe this guy will help convince you. If St. John Vianney spent 16-18 hours a day hearing confessions, he must have believed it was good for something!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Fall Love Story

I seriously love Fall weather. I love packing up the swimsuits and shorts and bringing out the sweaters and boots and scarfs. I love watching football. I love the way the trees change. But there is another reason I love fall that most people don't know about.

I love Fall because it reminds me of the time in my life when I fell in love with my husband. Cheesy? You bet. But it's true. Patrick and I met through some mutual friends at the Newman Center at Pittsburg State University where we both went to school at that time. I remember the first time I saw him. I went to an apologetics class that the Chaplain of the Newman Center held every Monday night. I was a freshman from Texas that had just moved to Kansas and didn't know a soul. I can't tell you what we were talking about at Apologetics but I remember where he was sitting and that I thought he was cute even though he had a bull cut (which he continues to deny even though there are pictures from that year to prove it).

We didn't even talk that night and he doesn't remember it at all. We didn't even become friends until the very end of that school year when our little group formed. Katie, Josh, Steven, Patrick and I all became friends and the 5 of us started spending a lot of time together. Patrick and I went on a date and for about a week we spent just about every day after our college classes together. I had to go back to Texas for the summer so even though we liked each other I pretty much decided to put all that on hold. We were such good friends... why mess that up?

So what did I do? I ignored him. ALL. SUMMER. LONG.

And then Fall came....
Patrick and I are the two on the right

I remember so many details of that Fall... like being really nervous to sit next to him in the photo above.  It was actually on this night that I told my friend Katie that I liked him and she basically told me to chill out and take it slow ha ha. Pretty good advice since I was a big jerk and ignored him the past few months. Looking back, I really wish I hadn't been so ridiculous but hindsight is 20/20, right!?! Also, we had just planned for Katie and her boyfriend Steven (now her husband!) and Patrick and I (who were supposed to just be friends) to go back to my home in Texas for Fall Break which was a month after that. I didn't want that to be awkward.

Patrick and I in the front, Steven and Katie in the back -in Texas
Well... I decided to not chill out and so we started dating. I just FYI I really hate the term "dating." But courting sounds too formal. Anyways, I was certain at that time that I had never in my life been that happy. Patrick was the most incredible guy I had ever met and it wasn't long before I was starting to imagine a future with him. I was impressed with how easy it was for me to talk to him. He made me laugh A LOT! We went to church together, prayed together, danced, went on walks... it was perfect.

My best friend and I fell in love. I love him more now than I ever have. We have been through some difficult things in the past 4 years and have seen each others' true colors. We know each others' little quirks and what to do to absolutely annoy the living hell out of each other. I cannot imagine my life without him. I love Fall because those feeling of first falling in love come back. So this Fall just like every other one for the past few years, I will remember how our love story started and thank God for bringing Patrick into my life!

Happy Fall Ya'll!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Faith and Works

I am a Catholic, born and bred. Also known as a "Cradle Catholic." I am in love with my Church. Seriously. Unfortunately, just like with any kind of love, I can take it for granted from time to time.

Today, the hubs and I went to mass just like any other Sunday morning. I was hungry and in my head wishing I could have grabbed a granola bar on my way out the door. I know fasting isn't supposed to be fun but today I was particularly not a fan of it. I sat in the pew, knelt down for a few mediocre prayers (the ones I always say before mass), and then sat back down ready to get the show on the road. I realize this sounds incredibly disrespectful. I am not perfect and will never claim to be. This morning is was in a particularly sour mood.

Then... I heard the Second Reading.

How beautiful! We are called to be a people of action! What good am I doing if I am not doing good WORKS for others? How many times do I say I will pray for someone and fall short? How often am I serving the people of God?

So after my initial feelings of failure I decided I am going to take action. I don't have any clue what kind of action I am going to take and I will certainly take suggestions but if it's true that faith is dead without works then I better get my act together!


Just FYI the United States Council of Catholic Bishops site is a great reference if you ever need one!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

American Heroes

Tuesday was the 11th anniversary of the day America was attacked by terrorists. If you were old enough to remember that day at all chances are you were reflecting on where you were when you found out, how you felt, who you lost. I did.

Firefighters raise the American Flag at ground zero.
But I'm not that 7th grade little girl anymore. Now I almost feel a sense of pride. Of course I still tear up when I see the images of the towers falling and hear the stories of how a little girl grew up not knowing her dad. But that event didn't break us. We are still the United States of America.

I will not go into politics because I hate talking about it anyway, but look at where we are. Unfortunately there were also some riots in the middle east at American Embassies. While I still don't believe these riots came out JUST because of a video on youtube it makes you think. I was watching on Fox News and I honestly can't remember who was talking but they were talking about how to the Muslims that were rioting blamed the US government for the video. Looking at things from their angle, I in a weird twisted way see their point... hang on cuz I really do have a point here. All they know is a government that dictates aspects of their lives that we don't experience here. We have free speech. That is something they don't fully understand. They expect out government to jump in and do something about the video. We, on the other hand, and these wonderful liberties that were set in stone many moons ago. We love our freedom, we expect to keep our freedoms. We do not expect the government to jump in and intervene.

Essentially what we have here is a misunderstanding of our freedoms. Do I think it was ok for whoever made this video to make it? Well, I most certainly wouldn't do it but he has free speech. Do I think it was ok for them to riot in the streets and kill innocent Americans? Absolutely not. My heart goes out to all the families and friends of those that lost their lives serving our county this week. My heart also goes out to all the military men and women that fight tirelessly for my freedoms everyday. They are our heroes. Do you have a hero?


Soldiers from the US Army 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan have a moment of silence in honor of the 9/11 victims on the 5th anniversary of the event. Photo by Flickr user Morgan-Family, via CC.