Sunday, March 24, 2013

Celebrating Patrick

This week I started my new job with the Cardiologist. I LOVE it... but I will love it even more when I am not in orientation anymore. I'm not good at watching other people do the work. I would much rather do it myself. I'm also not good at just sitting so any time I get the chance to grab something from the printer or fill up my cup of coffee... I practically JUMP out of my seat. But it will get better. More on that later :)

Also this week we had yet another snow storm. I may have mentioned this already but I am just not used to this weather... being from Texas and all. BUT I am starting to like it. Snow is just so pretty! Yeah its a pain to get out in but it is just so beautiful!

30 minutes in and it's already beautiful.

Our church this morning on Palm Sunday
Now for the good stuff...
Happy Birthday, Patrick cookie cake 
German Chocolate Cake... thanks for the recipe, Mom!
Today is my dear sweet husband's birthday. Patrick is 26 years old today which it really young in the grand scheme of things but it's closer to 30 than 20... therefore he is "old" in my book. Last night we were laughing about how time flies. It seems like last week we were hanging out at the Newman Center on campus and two-stepping at Twister's on the weekends. And now we are here: married almost two years, I'm on my second job, he is graduating with his doctorate and we are thinking about buying a house.... time does fly!

Patrick is the most amazing man I have ever met. When I dreamed of my future husband when I was younger I had an image in my mind. Patrick is all of those things and then more. God had better plans than I could have ever dreamed up by myself. Patrick is honest and dependable. He is selfless and giving. He cares more about fulfilling God's plan than fitting in with the rest of the world. He is tall and handsome and his eyes make me melt (yeah it's cheesy but its true). He loves his family. He treats everyone with the respect they deserve. He is helpful. He is encouraging. He is faithful. And he is the best friend a girl could ever ask for.

Today I am so happy that God created such a wonderful man and that he was raised but such loving parents that taught him well. I am so thankful for my place in His plan.
I love this man!
On Patrick's 26th Birthday we braved winter weather to get to Palm Sunday Mass, watched a little March Madness (GO KU!) with our two closest friends, Katie and Steven and chowed down on cake and pizza... I wonder what we will be doing 50 years form now when he turns 76? 

I love this journey.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Brother, the Pope and an ache in my heart

I heard the news the Pope Benedict XVI was resigning literally as I was walking out the door for my shift at the hospital and my heart hurt. There were so many questions. I had stayed up way past my "work bedtime" reading the book my George Ratzinger, My Brother, The Pope and for the first time in his eight years I felt like I knew my Pope. And now...

I put the book down for while, not because I was done or didn't want to read it, but because I simply had some other things going on. The other night I decided that I needed to finish before we had a new pope and I have learned so much about the man, Joseph Ratzinger, and what it means to be Pope.

It was not about power or honor for our pope emeritus. He was so humble and reserved and never saw himself in the seat of Peter. But the man is loving and true and hearing his brother, George, tell us from his perspective made me feel so close to this man that I have never met. And now he is no longer our pope. The torch will be passed to some other man who will carry the burden. It will not be about power or honor for the new pope either.

My heart is heavy. It aches a little but I can't explain how I feel... not really. I literally just watched black smoke billow out of the papal smokestack. I know they cardinals will come to a conclusion in God's time but I am a little impatient. You see, the news is talking about this election and their being two sides and how the church has all this scandal blah, blah, blah. It is driving me insane...

PEOPLE! The Pope has already been chosen! We just don't know who it is yet. God made a man for this job and the cardinals of the world are simply... figuring it out. They are not "picking" someone. There is not a "front runner" and this is not a popularity contest. It is so much deeper than that. Stop predicting.

I have fallen more in love with the Catholic Church in the past month. I have a newfound respect for our history and the whole process that is unchanging. It is really amazing. I love my faith and I love knowing where it came from. I cannot wait to find out who the next Pope will be.

So until we know more... my eyes will be on that smokestack waiting for the white smoke and ringing of the bells!

Pray without ceasing.

Friday, March 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes #7

1. Like I mentioned here, it has been kinda of a crazy week at work. Not because of the actual work but because of everyone talking about me leaving. It's kinda nice to feel wanted from both sides but it is also way more attention than I like.

2. Today is Patrick's last day of is most favorite clinical. I think it surprised him how much he loved it and I know he is really going to miss the people. He only has one more nine week clinical rotation to go before graduation! Yay! I hope he likes the next one. Maybe it will surprise him, too :)

3. I can see the grass!!!!! After weeks of several inches of snow it is finally warming up enough to melt it! Yesterday was the first day that I could see significant amounts of grass in a long time. Come on over, Spring!

4. I wanna be in Roma right now. If you haven't heard, it's kinda the place to be right now. All the cardinals are there. According to a blog post by Cardinal Dolan of the US, they are all talking about the "big issues" and says the new pontiff will bring about radical change... namely the change of the human heart. One of my other favorites, Cardinal DiNardo said they are all asking themselves "who will be the next Peter?" The whole process is pretty fantastic and I wrote about it here. I'm honestly without words when I think about how amazing this is and how blessed I am to be a part of the Catholic Church.
Cardinal DiNardo praying the Rosary
Other Cardinals in prayer. So beautiful.
5. Can we please talk about how fast time is flying by? I am still getting used to writing 2013 instead of 2012 and here we are in the middle of March. A few months ago I probably would have welcomed the swiftness of time passing by but now I feel like I need to put on the breaks. There is just a lot going on (new job, Boards and graduation for Patrick, our lease is coming up etc) and I don't want to miss anything!

6. I have mentioned before that the hubby and I are trying to eat healthy. We allow ourselves one day a week (usually on the weekend) to cheat a little. Well this passed weekend we cheated... a lot. It is amazing how sluggish and awful we both felt. And to think that we used to eat that may on a semi-regular basis! I would choose a healthy lifestyle over feeling like that any day!

7. My goal for today (other than tackling the laundry and a little bit of cleaning) is to learn the song Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show on my guitar. I haven't taught myself a song in a while and I heard that one on the radio and it didn't sound too hard. I was going to post a video but I watch the music video for the first time and it was... weird... and mildly disturbing. Anyways... it was probably not blog-appropriate haha.


For way more interesting quick takes from way cooler blogger go over to Jen's blog!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Not knowing is terrifying me a little.

Since this is basically my online journal sometimes I just have to write out how I feel to sort things out and ultimately come to a conclusion. There... I warned you :)

I put in my 2 weeks notice on Monday for the job that I have been in love (and borderline obsessed with) for going on two years. This is my first day off this week and I feel like I was kind of the hot topic at work the past few days. There have been many comments thrown around to the Cardiology group that they are "stealing me away" and whatnot. It has been truly flattering to see people on both sides that want me. I wanted the people I care about most to hear it from me and most of them did but news travels fast. Now that it is official I have so many emotions.

I have been certain that this new job is the right thing for weeks but knowing that I will be saying good-bye to a great job and great people leaves me with an overwhelming sense of loss. We (particularly my weekend crew) know each other so well and truly are friends in and outside of work. I am close with my manager who is like a little mother hen. There are just so many wonderful things about my current job. It's like a family.

And then I think about this NEW job... other than all the excited feelings of newness I am unbelievably excited about how much I will learn. I knew when I graduated from nursing school that I was not done learning. I have continued to educate myself by attending seminars and classes and I LOVE it. I really think I took my education for granted a little bit. I am also looking forward to working closely with the doctors... again from an educational stand point. I am looking forward to meeting new people and building new relationships. I am excited about the schedule and more reasonable hours and the fact that this job is probably more conducive to family life. And the pay isn't too bad either :)  (I realize that is probably in poor taste to mention publicly but that has been everyone's question so now you don't have to ask ha)

Yesterday, my current boss (who has been so understanding and has given me many congratulations on this accomplishment) told me "the grass isn't always greener on the other side." I smiled politely and told her "I know" but the more I think about it... I have no idea. And that terrifies me a little. I am afraid that I am leaving something wonderful that I love for something that I know nothing about.

But how will I know if I don't try.

The decision has been made and even though my current boss says that it's not too late to change my mind and stay with the current job that I am comfortable in... I know I can't really turn back. And honestly, I don't want to. I have so many questions and fears but I have just as many (if not more) things to be happy and excited about.

"Whatever you are, be a good one." -Abraham Lincoln

Thanks for letting me get that out.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

"Under Lock and Key" to "Fill the Empty Seat"

I have been Catholic for a few years now... OK close to a quarter of a century but that is nothing compared to how long the Catholic Church has been around. I am continually amazed at how beautiful the Faith is but I obviously still have so much more to learn.

This is only the second conclave of my lifetime and I was in high school for the first one. I think because Pope John Paul II was Pope for all of my life leading up to that point it had never really occurred to me how a person BECOMES a pope. I had no idea there was so much that I didn't know.

Now here I am in my twenties and the Church is about to elect a new Pope. And I am STILL amazed at how much I don't know. I witnessed (on TV) a historical moment in the Church when Pope Benedict XVI left Saint Peter's in Rome and when the Swiss guards walked away from him for the last time. I will probably always get goosebumps thinking about that moment.

Sede Vacante
Now what...

Soon all the Cardinals of the world will gather in the ancient city of Rome and they will be locked and guarded in the Sistine Chapel until they reach a decision. This is quite possibly the greatest decision they will ever make. For some it is not the first time they have been to the conclave (which literally means "under lock and key") but for others this may be the first and last.

This week I learned a lot about this whole process though I am sure there is so much more to it. I learned that the Pope's  ring known as "the Fisherman's Ring" will be smashed and destroyed along with all the principal seals of office. This is so that they cannot be used during the period of "sede vacante" which means "vacant seat." I don't know why but the phrase makes me sad. I want that seat to be filled.

Also, I learned that if you are a Cardinal over the age of 80 then they don't let you vote! In the Apostolic Constitution (which I didn't know existed) it says that the max number of voters should be 120 and if you exclude the cardinals currently over the age of 80 and a few others not attending due to health we will have 115 Cardinals casting their ballots... that's cutting it pretty close! I am thinking there must be some Divine Intervention that helps them keep that rule but who knows.

I read in a great article here about all the traditions that occur on the morning before the conclave. They have a special mass for the election of the new pope and they chant a Latin hymn, "Veni Creator Spiritus" and then they head to the Sistine Chapel where they swear an oath of secrecy and the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations (how would you like to have that title!?) shouts, "Extra omnes!" Everyone else, out!


And all the billion other Catholics wait for the white smoke.

Dark smoke indicates they have voted but not come to a conclusion as they must reach a two-thirds majority for the vote to be conclusive. The smoke comes from burning the ballots. If they don't have a clear selection after 3 days they basically take a day off. Can you imagine how exhausting it would be to be in that Chapel for three days without a conclusion? After the "day off" they resume... and we wait.

Fun fact: The next Pope doesn't HAVE TO be a Cardinal. Yeah... it blew my mind too. It is highly unlikely that they would choose someone that is NOT a Cardinal, I guess. But this is the Holy Spirit we are talking about! Things happen.

Also, when they DO reach a decision. The man selected is asked if he accepts (which he can decline) and if he does they ask him right then and there what name he will go by and he is immediately the Pope. There isn't a grace period like in the USA with the time between election day and the inauguration. He is Pope just like that. That would stress me out... which is why they are holy people and I am over here hoping for a fraction of their holiness. THEN, they go put on the white Papal vestments and the Cardinals sing a joyful hymn and....

"Habemus Papam" "We have a Pope!" 

I obviously know very little seeing as I will never be a part of it but I think our generation has an advantage. I believe these men in red are holy but they need our prayers and this is a situation where I feel like the media can be used to our advantage. This is our opportunity to learn and to grow and to be ONE. This is not a time to be divisive.

Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga is among some of the popular names mentioned in ramblings by the media as a possible successor. The Cardinal told Catholic New Service that he will be looking for "a person of faith, a person of love with a big heart to understand, especially, the human sufferings of today and to understand we are only servants, not kings."

Cardinal DiNardo and myself a few years ago.
I personally am kind of a fan of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Galveston-Houston Diocese which is where I grew up. I know the man personally and have found him to be a faith-filled and joyful man. He loves to educate people on the Faith and he preaches of love and sacrifice. An article in the NCRegister quoted him saying, “[People] are looking for someone who is Peter. They’re looking for a shepherd, someone who can feed the sheep, give them good teaching and also encouragement." While I know this humble man was not thinking of himself when he said this I can't help but think he would do just that... be Peter.


This is so exciting and can hardly contain myself! Seriously... I realize I'm kind of a nerdy Catholic but this is AMAZING! Doesn't it make you proud to be a part of it?! I just can't believe the strength of these Cardinals to be a part of such a thing. My prayers will be going out to them! Let's all do that :)

PS- Who wants to have a Conclave Watch Party? Cuz I do.

Friday, March 1, 2013

7 Quick Takes #6

For more Quick Takes go to Conversion Diary!

1. Well... Secret is out. I got a new job! Sorry if that is not as exciting as the pregnancy announcement you were all expecting but I am pretty much ecstatic! I will be working for a group of Cardiologists that I already know well from working at the hospital. They are a great group and I had imagined working for them since early in my career but I didn't figure that would come for several years. I wasn't really looking for a job but one of the doctors actually approached me about it a few weeks ago and I have been in the interview process ever since. This is huge. I'll keep you posted on all that!

2. I have a very good relationship with my current boss and I am not looking forward to talking to her about this new job. It's not because I think she will be mad... I'm afraid she will be sad. I will be telling her Monday so keep it on the DL.

3. This week has been exhausting not only because of Snowmagedon Part 2 which I wrote about here, but also because of the following:

4. The Pope officially resigned. I know this is historic and wonderful but watching the Swiss guards walk away and close the doors of Castel Gandolfo brought tears to my eyes. There were just too many emotions. This man was so humble my mind cannot clearly fathom. I was sad about the end of his papacy. I was nervous about the conclave (not that I am in any way involved other than praying for the Cardinal I adopted). And I was hopeful about the future. Too much for one girl to handle in a matter of minutes.

5. I finally joined the rest of the world and got a phone with a data plan. And since I never do anything half way... I got the iphone5. My mind is blown. How did I live without this!?!

6. It is still snowing and while I would be happy to never have to actually drive on slick roads again... I'm kinda starting to like snow. It is so pretty.

7. I got really tired of eating fish every Friday (of Lent) so I decided to mix it up and make Tostadas. Patrick fried some low carb tortillas in a skillet, I put a layer of refried beans, sour cream, shredded cheese and jalapenos and tossed them in the oven until the cheese was all melty. It was fantastic! So If you are looking for an easy meal that is meatless... I recommend it :)

Happy Friday Y'all! Have a lovely weekend!