Friday, October 24, 2014

Quick Takes: Edition 14

It's been a while since I joined the Friday Quick Take link-up, but it seems the best way to go today, given the number of random topics swirling around in my head and the amount of time I should(n't) devote to this (both girls are currently napping (!) and my self-declared stop time for Internet use was 9 minutes ago).


I feel guilty including this as just a "quick" note, but since I've written about this before, you deserve an update, and it has influenced the past few weeks significantly enough that it's becoming difficult to write about other things without mentioning: my Grandpa passed away two weeks ago, less than 72 hours before Julia was born.

Some of the stress and sadness I wrote about in my delivery story was certainly due to processing this news, to losing someone so dear, to feeling guilty about having not yet had the baby (so that my mom could go home and attend to more pressing matters than babysitting a toddler).

I had been putting off sharing this news in part because I wanted to write my memories and a post that does justice to this incredible man.  I still will, I think, when I have the time that writing it deserves.  Until then, please pray for his soul and for my Grammy.


I believe adamantly that all life is a gift from God, and that it is His to give and to take, and yet I have to admit that it can be so difficult to understand this and sometimes so confusing to understand our own thoughts about life and death, particularly when faced with news stories like Brittany Maynard, the young woman with terminal brain cancer who is planning her suicide and lobbying for others to be able to do the same in light of such a diagnosis.  A friend posted this article today on Facebook, and I was really touched by it and I thought it was an excellent reminder - from someone who truly understands - of how valuable our lives, no matter the suffering:


But that's enough for one day about death and dying.  

Julia will be Baptized this weekend!  I am so excited - I love the Church and Her Sacraments, and I am thankful for the gift and the graces to raise my girls in the faith.  It is my biggest prayer as a mother, that they will always know, love, and serve Him.

Pictures of Julie in the (way-too-big, I suspect) Baptism gown made from my wedding dress coming soon :)

Until then - an "eyes open" picture for those who have asked!


Things continue to go extremely well over here.  I have to admit to feeling a weird sense of guilt/embarrassment at how well, in fact.  I can take no credit for this (unless you count life-long  practice at being high-functioning while extremely sleep-deprived) but I'm very thankful for the easy-going temperaments of both girls (they didn't get it from me) and the constant stream of assistance that's coming direct from Heaven.  There have been so many moments (especially on the 11th or 12th hour of Justin being gone, when Anna's on her second hour of stalling bedtime) when I feel like I'm getting a direct shot of patience that is clearly beyond my own normal ability. 

I said after Anna's birth, and I will say emphatically again now: I would rather deliver 100 babies (and care for them as newborns) than go through pregnancy.  Call me weird, but that's just how my body works.  Not so great at being pregnant, but pretty awesome at birth and recovery.  I'm not sure if that means I have really hard pregnancies or really easy newborns (or maybe both).  It probably sounds dramatic and ridiculous (especially in light of the more serious early points of today's post) but I feel like I'm living again and not just barely surviving.  I honestly looked up at the (gorgeous!) fall foliage all around us and thought, "Oh, wow, did this just change while I was in the hospital?"  I was in such a physical and emotional funk that I hadn't even noticed that my favorite season was all around us in its fiery splendor.

Walking to the local park I just discovered in our neighborhood has been the highlight of our afternoons.  The weather has been glorious (as is the recent development of stamina to walk further than the mailbox!)!


I learned so much from having my mom here for two weeks.  I've always known that I should emulate her supermom skills, but actually seeing her use them here, in my house, with my routines (and my toddler!) was so helpful.  It's not just remembering that our childhood home was well-functioning, but seeing that this one can be too.  Between that and my new-found energy, I've suddenly found a lot of elusive habits (picking up before bedtime, for example) to be a lot more manageable.


I've happened upon several quotes and things recently that have further inspired me to strive for success, to passionately seek to be the best I can:

First, in reading Matthew Kelly's The Rhythm of Life.  His entire premise is that we have one life to live, and that we should actively seek to do so in the best it can be (and not in the worldly sense of fame or pleasure or success).  His book is definitely "self-helpy" but I still appreciate it because ultimately I whole-heartedly agree that we are called to be more than a frenetic being too "busy" to take the time for the things that really matter.

He quotes Egyptian monk Ahtanasius in saying "The glory of God is the perfection of the creature."  How poignant - God gave us each talents, our bodies, and 24 hours in a day, and to use any of these for less than they were designed is a real shame.

Second, in the first reading in today's Blessed is She devotion: 

First Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 

Urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.  Certainly we haven't been called to be anything less than the best we can be, the best for which we were designed.


So, sorry - you're not done with this self-improvement/"chasing supermom" theme, I (always) have some more to say on that.  BUT I also have lots of other posts (at least in my head, and many photographed) coming your way, too including finishing up the "Goodbye Tour" of the old house, finally showing pictures of our set-up here, tutorial on the "big dirl bed" sheets, a guest renovation post, and plenty of little girl pictures for good measure!  Please always feel free to let me know which things you like to read - as much as I like to hear myself type, it's more useful that someone besides me is interested ;)

1 comment:

  1. I'll never understand the women who love being pregnant - my body does NOT handle it gracefully, either. So done. And I don't even like the newborn stage either, but the end of pregnancy really makes me look forward to labor...

    Prayers for your grandparents! Hope you're doing okay :)