Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Everyone needs a Red Plate

A couple of weeks ago I went to a Blessings Unlimited party. While the items in the catalogs are desirable, the prices....not so much. Shortly after the party began I realized I couldn't really afford anything. I decided that after the consultant had finished her demo, while the others were getting up for refreshments, I would politely, without drawing attention, slip out the door. Before I could execute my escape, a red plate caught my eye.  I had once heard a story about a lady who purchased a red plate to only be used in her house at dinner for special occasions. If it was your birthday you get the red plate, if you made the swim team you get the red plate. It was also used for occasions when someone needed a pick me up-- you had a terrible day at school, you could really use the red plate. Her children are now grown and she still uses her red plate when they come home to visit. Not only does she still use it, but her children still get excited to be the one to get the red plate.

I am a sucker for traditions, and who doesn't love special occasions?? Here in this catalog was the perfect red plate. After going back and forth on whether to buy it, I caved. Even though it cost more than I would normally pay for a plate, it was worth it. My family loves it. Maddie is always trying to think of a reason why she should get to use the red plate. I feel like this is a tradition that will stick for years to come. It was totally worth the extra dough, even if I did have to take out a loan to purchase it...just teasing..sorta. ;)
Every family should own a red plate.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Back to the ER

Wednesday I ended up back in the ER. I woke up Wednesday morning feeling lethargic. I took a nap and woke up at 9:30 am, with severe stomach pains. I waited until Rodney got home to go to the ER. I didn't want to try and drive myself, plus I really needed his comfort and support. We got to the ER around 5-6pm where they started the same standard battery of tests as always. I was running a fever and in a lot of pain. They gave me something for pain and something to help my nausea. Unfortunately after hours of tests, they couldn't pin point the cause of my pain.  My lipase number (pancreatic enzyme) was high, but it wasn't high enough to cause severe pain. I may have had a small UTI, but it wasn't bad. So, as always I stumped the doctors. They sent me home with antibiotics, nausea meds, and pain meds. As of today I am still running a fever and still feel pretty under the weather. But, I do feel better this evening than I did yesterday evening. So hopefully whatever it is, I am healing from it. It is just frustrating when the doctors leave you with more questions and really no answers. I am thinking about cutting gluten out and seeing if that helps any. At this point I am willing to try anything to get my health back.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

{Pretty, Happy, Funny. Real}

round button chicken

~ Capturing the context of everyday life ~


We had our marriage convalidated on March 31st. Afterward we enjoyed a nice little reception.
Next week, we our having an image of the Scared Heart Enthroned in our home, we plan on putting it right above our fireplace mantle.


Our family on Easter, and Rodney and I toasting at our wedding reception.


Rodney takes takes the kids fishing beside a Llama farm. The kids normally play with the Llama's more than they fish. A silly snapshot Chandler took of himself.

The Boy Scouts are helping a fellow scout build a Rosary Garden for his Eagle Scout project. They are doing a great job and working really hard. On this particular Saturday I was also at the church helping make hot cross buns. Chandler was so tired after they finished he pulled two chairs together and passed out.
Maddie enjoying a lazy day of fishing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

For better or *worse*......

Last month, after twelve years of marriage, my husband and I finally had our marriage blessed by the Catholic Church. Which unless you are Catholic (or have been in the past), you probably do not understand how important this was for us. The truth of the matter, I really didn't understand it until recently.

I grew up in a period where the American Catholic church was trying to "fit in" to the culture. In most of my faith formation training, I was taught about God and Christianity, but not really about the Catholic church itself. I grew up thinking that the church was just one of many paths to heaven and there wasn't really a huge difference between what I believed and what other christian denominations believed.

When I met Rodney I was twenty. At the time I was a very lukewarm Catholic and he was a Methodist by culture only. He was recently separated from a women he had been married to for just a couple of years. I was young, and predominately lead by my emotions, so I didn't let it bother me that he was still technically married. I justified it by telling myself "well, she left him, so it's not like I am standing in the way of them reuniting". After dating only a few short months we were already talking about marriage, so, we were thrilled when his wife contacted him to inform him that she was wanting to marry another man so they needed to rush their divorce. Once their marriage was over, we were itching to start ours. I briefly thought about talking to a priest, but was turned off by the fact that I would have to get married in a church. *I* wanted to get married on the beach! Then there was the whole marriage preparation, who has time for that, we want to be married, like, YESTERDAY! I look back and cringe on how little I really understood about the Sacrament of Marriage. So, instead of contacting a priest, I contacted a non-denominational preacher that advertised beach weddings on his website. I justified it by telling myself, it didn't matter who married us as long as we meant the vows we took. Roughly two weeks later we drove to the beach and got hitched. It was a cute little ceremony, we were both very content with it.

As I began to mature, and we started our family, we started attending Mass more regularly. I also, started feeling a little guilty about being married outside the church, but still didn't really understand the big deal. I did feel enough guilt that I felt the need to confess it. The priest didn't act like it was a huge deal, he basically told me to start the process of having Rodney's marriage annulled to his ex, and then to have ours blessed by the church. He absolved me of my sin and I was on my merry way. A few days later I did see a priest and start the process of having Rodney's marriage annulled. We didn't make it very far in the process before we let it fall to the wayside.

It wasn't until a few years later that it was brought back to the forefront of my mind. We had moved away from the parish we had been attending and started attending the church that I was raised in. It had been quite some time since I went to confession (I was still very lukewarm at this point, although I seen myself a good Catholic), so I figured it was time. I went in to the confessional and began spewing out all my sins. When started to confess that I was living in sin with husband since we were not married in the eyes of the church, the priest stopped me. He told me that he could not hear the rest of my confession. I was taken a back. I tried to explain to him that we were legally married, but just not in the church. He then explained to me, that Rodney was still married to his ex in the eyes of God. Basically all we had was a legal arrangement, not a true marriage.

I left the confessional not absolved of my sins. I was hurt, and devastated. When I look back now, I realize that it was my pride that was really hurt. Who was *he* to tell me that my marriage wasn't valid?? If the church was not willing to except my marriage, then I was willing to accept the church!! Over the next few weeks, I did a lot of research, desperate to find a loophole and prove that priest wrong. Instead, the more I learned, the more I realized I was the one in the wrong. It finally became very clear to me, that my husband was indeed still married to his first wife and that our "marriage" was no more really than a civil union.

The next couple of years were filled with ups and downs. The annulment process if very thorough. Before we started the process, I assumed that because Rodney's wife left him, he would automatically get an annulment. At the time I thought an annulment was synonymous with divorce. I found out that an annulment is much different. An annulment is granted when you can prove that the marriage was never valid to began with. So even if your spouse is unfaithful, and leaves you, if you entered into the marriage with full consent and knowledge about what the sacrament of marriage truly is, than no judge or jury has the power to dissolve that marriage.

When we finally received the annulment papers, my first response was relief, but then a strange thing happened, I started to feel fear, and doubt. Now let me start this by saying, I love my husband, he is my soul mate, and the man I plan on being with for the rest of my life. My fear came from "what ifs". What if ten years down the road he doesn't feel the same way about me? Before we began the process of getting married in the church, I had a slightly different view on marriage. I always felt that for better or worse, till death due you part, did not count if your spouse was unfaithful, or if they left you. I always thought, "well, if Rodney leaves me, I will be devastated, but I could possibly move on, and maybe one day fall in love again and get remarried." But, if I truly believed what I have learned, than no matter what happens I will always be married to Rodney. If one day he decides he doesn't love me and leaves me, even if he moves on and get remarried (by the eyes of the state), our marriage still exists, therefore I could never remarry, or even have another relationship. This reality was very scary. This meant I had to fully trust him to love me until death. The concept was not easy for me to swallow. I can be a very cynical person. We had been married for twelve years and I now found myself paralyzed by fear. I was very honest with him about my fears. He was patient with me, although, I know it hurt him some. After lots of prayers and discernment, I came to realize that I had to let go of my constant need to control everything and learn to trust him, and I mean really trust him. Before I trusted him, but there were strings attached. There was always an emergency escape door if I ever needed to use it.

We were married on March 31st 2012. It was better than I could have ever imagined. For the first time in our marriage, I truly feel Gods blessings. Even though, I do regret not getting married in the church to begin with, I wonder if at the age of twenty-one, I would have fully realized what marriage is.
Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Mark 10:9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. Do we really take these words as literally as we should, really?? We will become "one flesh". These are very powerful words. What a gift the Catholic church has given me, thanks to the church, I look at my marriage in a whole new light. It is truly a blessing from God.

Friday, April 13, 2012

We are in a war

These are scary times we are living in. Right now our president has declared war on the Catholic church. He is pretending to listen to us, and wants to work out a compromise, but it is all smoke and mirrors.

Please make sure you are educated on the HHS Mandate, it is a very scary ruling which has no regard to the amendments! It completely ignores our religious freedoms and certainly doesn't keep their "state" separated from our "church". Some Quotes on the subject:

Bishop James Conley of Denver

A death knell for religious liberty in the United States.

Roger Cardinal Mahoney – Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles

I cannot imagine a more direct and frontal attack on freedom of conscience than this ruling today. This decision must be fought against with all the energies the Catholic Community can muster.

Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York

To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable.

You can also join the online movement here at Face Book Stand with the US Bishops Against the HHS

Please Join us!!