Friday, July 30, 2010

Quick Takes (8)


I'm back living on the lake. This is the third of four weekends that I will be house hopping. Next weekend will be my last as the home owners will be back in China and I will be back to house sitting for the foreseeable future.


My husband was shown a promising opportunity at work that might involve some big changes. It is a long shot because he is still relatively new to the company but it would be quite exciting. I will give more details if we do get offered (and accept) the position.


Work is still going well. I'm enjoying working with the students but there are some big frustrations that go along with the job. For example, I find it very hard to not get upset when my students are sent to school without their communication device or with a dead battery. I know I wouldn't like it if someone prevented me from talking all day!


I have once again fallen into lazy summer habits - eating junk food and not working out as much. As I type, I am in my workout clothes trying to summon the motivation to workout. My general rule is that if I make it into workout clothes I must workout. I'm hoping my mother-in-law has on demand because I love exercise tv and I don't feel like running.


I'm out of my house and that means no camera. Sorry for those of you waiting to see a pic of my haircut (which would have been a good before and after comparing it to the picture in the paper). Maybe next week.... at least I sent a picture to my sister using the camera on my phone - not the greatest quality though. Hopefully a good picture will come soon.


This weekend is ladies' weekend on my MIL side of the family (and the guys go away for their own fun). It's really interesting because all the cousins are guys so the guy's weekend is huge. The girl's weekend includes four sisters, one daughter (age 9) and me. It's always a little interesting but fun. Who needs to hang out with people their own age anyway?


I'm a little surprised I made it to 7. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

NFP awareness week cont'd

Wow has this summer flown by fast! Work is keeping me busy and I will once again be temporarily leaving my house so I have more packing to do. I was sent this video and I'm torn...

I have an issue with the tone. I feel like if I didn't already believe this I would just get mad at the guy. I was sent the video as an idea of something to use for my NFP classes but I'm thinking no. What do you think?

Monday, July 26, 2010

NFP awareness week

It is NFP awareness week but I honestly don't know who organizes it. Is it the US Catholic Bishops? After all, NFP does seem to be a Catholic term for fertility awareness as a means of planning your family size.

If it is organized by the Church, I wonder why it is not talked about. Honestly, I need to criticize myself first for not really looking into it - I mean I work on awareness all the time right? I just find it a little sad that the church I went to yesterday while I was up north had no information and no announcement. How can we raise awareness like that, and who are we trying to educate? Maybe I should try to find the answers to that, or maybe I should work on building awareness that I have another class starting in September that I haven't let anyone know about - oops! Yep, I guess first on my list is building awareness for my class.

What have you seen that relates to this week?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quick Takes (7)


I can't believe this is my seventh week doing this...


My week at the in-laws was great. I gave up the house I was house-sitting to the owners so they could stay there. In the bargain, I got dinners cooked for me, evenings on the lake, and a real master suite (attached bathroom)! I really can't complain or pretend it was much of a sacrifice :-D


Over the weekend, besides getting photographed, I went to a wedding shower. It was fun to see family and nice to go on a road trip and not participate in driving. It was a little sad to stay with family and have everyone attend Mass the next morning except the happy couple. They were awake with plenty of time to spare but decided to write thank you notes instead - we already got them in the mail! I'm not trying to judge, it was just sad because I felt like something was missing at church and I really enjoyed the homily and think it would have promoted some good discussions.


School is going well. I'm enjoying being para and not feeling the responsibility of always keeping track of how all the kids are doing. With autism we have a lot of individual time because everyone is so different and it is hard to know 7 different plans at once.


Thursday we stayed at our house again! Only for one day though since we are heading up north today. We will get 4 more nights at home (while owners are in St Louis) and then it's back to the in-laws for a week. Although I love it and can't complain, I will say this is making a busy summer seem even busier - I'm a homebody that really thrives on being at home. A week away feels busy even if I don't do much. Now that I've had my mini-rant, I'll remind myself that all the benefits more than make up for it!


I finally got a new swimsuit. Some of you have really made me think about modesty and what that means at the beach. I found a long skirt bottom (seriously, it's longer than what many girls walk around in) and a fun teal printed tank for on top that is also quite long so there will be no little piece of stomach showing. I think I look really cute an my husband agrees :-) He doesn't think it makes me look old fashioned at all - I think the bright color and design helps with that. Now I have two skirt bottoms so I can mix and match with some other tops.


I cut off about 10 inches of my hair this week. I found out that Pantene partners with American Cancer Society to give wigs to women and they only ask for 8 inches. That made the decision that I would be able to stick it out and donate - I knew I wasn't going to make it to 12 inches!

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My 15 minutes are over

Well Monday was a lot of fun. I was in the paper and got to brag about how I made it to the front page. I felt almost famous and glad the paper came out. Then I saw there were over 300 comments on the article. Most were negative, and many were ignorant rants - no problem. I knew we would get that response because we are reaching the secular spheres! How amazing is that?

So what is my reaction now once the spotlight is gone? It's hard to put into words. I'm excited people heard about the effectiveness and the fact that 25 yr olds actually use it, but it is hard to convince someone of anything through one article as evidenced by comments. People read it because they wanted to see for themselves how outdated the system is
. One person even argued that we are stuck in the 50s and 60s even though the article made a clear distinction between rhythm and scientific modern methods. So how do you convince people?

I've talked a lot to my co-workers (none Catholic) in the past weeks since it was what was happening in my life - hey I got interviewed! I got photographed! It's on the front page. Lots of discussion have started about how I like the method, it's not that much abstinence, it's healthy and safe and less annoying than barriers. The response "I support you and your getting the word out, but I don't believe the same thing."

I have been solidly reminded that we live in an age of moral relativism. I'm glad you believe that and practice what you preach - that's what is right for you. That's not what is right for me. Maybe I'm making a leap to put those words in their mouths. Or maybe I'm not, because if they are supporting me that means they think I'm doing something right, but they don't want to practice it themselves? Either they are lazy or don't think that is the "right" thing for them - meaning there are different rules for different people.

So to conclude - I would rather have nasty comments than acceptance in word but not in action. There is nothing harder for me to take than someone that agrees this is important but doesn't evaluate how it could be important in his or her life. Think Athiest turned Catholic or Paul after he converted - those stories are amazing. Then think of lukewarm responses that don't get applied to life. Matthew 6:37: Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

300 comments didn't bother me, but just a couple co-workers did even though they were trying to be nice. I think this topic is pretty much closed for now, but anyone have ideas how to get the lukewarm out of their discussions and put some meaning back into them?

Monday, July 19, 2010

NFP article

The article actually made it to the press! I feel like have my 15 minutes of fame, but not everyone is very nice. Of course the article, written in a secular press, will get a lot of flack. If you're interested - here is the link.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Quick Takes (6)


I'm a day late because I was moving out of my house yesterday...


I moved out because I am house-sitting and the family is home for a couple of weeks. I took food, clothes, computer, pillows etc to my in-laws to stay for a while. We have a luxury sweet with an attached full bath, but right by the door. I definitely heard what time my brother-in-law came in last night. On the bright side, I currently live on the lake :-D

I got my picture taken this morning for the paper! Hubby and I will be in the free press discussing how awesome NFP really is. It was awkward getting our pictures taken though. He said act natural - but I never really succeed at that when there is a camera in my face. I wouldn't be very good at being famous I think...


We are about to go out of town for a wedding shower. I love the fun of seeing family and this one is a couples shower so no silly games, just catching up with people from out of town. Here's hoping the the sleeping arrangements in the basement don't prevent me from getting some rest - I don't do well when I hear snoring. Let's hope my husband never starts that...


This week was my first week at my summer job. I have been very busy! It is hard work, but I love the kids.


My aunt is also in from out of town. So this week has been crazy! It is good to see her and my cousin and we're going to a Tigers game on Monday - but I wish some of these things would spread out. Everything seemed to fall in this weekend and we couldn't say yes to everything.


Wow - I made it to seven before I was told we are leaving - I think this is the fastest that I've ever written a post - hope it made sense! Have a great weekend everyone

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

No guarantee

Last night I announced to the full pro-life group that I will be leaving my officer role in October. It was bittersweet since I don't want to see the group suffer another unexpected transition but confident that God is leaving me away. It was interesting to announce because I still don't know where he is leading me exactly. I'm following where faith is leading with no guarantee. It is a little scary, but quite freeing.

Something will come up - hopefully something that will utilize all the free time I will have after my summer job ends. Maybe that something even relates to NFP. I seem to be finding a number of opportunities relating to that.

Some shameless self-promotion for me: I'm going to be in the paper! I was interviewed last Saturday and will be photographed this Saturday for an article that will be published Sunday or Monday - I'm so excited to see how it turns out!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Prayer Request

I just found out that a friend of mine gave birth this weekend even though her due date was sometime in October. My heart goes out to the family who did not want to meet their child so soon - they wanted him to grow more first. He is under 2 lbs and needs lots of prayer and support as he continues to develop and grow outside the womb.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vocation v. job

This has been a battle for me lately, especially the last month. I do not want to work full time just to get a paycheck. I'm not in a situation that necessitates that and I don't want to just stay busy. However, I do not like having a month off to do "nothing" like I had the last couple weeks. Of course I found projects to stay busy but I didn't find all of them very meaningful.

I want to go where God is leading me - but I don't know where that is. Maybe he has his version of neon signs but I am not seeing them. I don't feel called to keep subbing and I don't know if I am really helping those kids. I felt called away from my pro-life group and toward a pregnancy center, but I'm not sure how I fit in there if at all. I'm left with NFP teaching and being a wife. I love those vocations and tasks, but they are not enough on their own to fill my days in a meaningful way.

I've gone so far as to offer my services as a nanny, but most of those jobs don't really fit and many (it seems) don't want someone who needs to get home in the evenings to her family. That leaves me with many half thought out dreams of being an organizer, stager or administrative assistant. Any time I ponder/pray about those jobs (which I have done in the past for each and some currently), I don't get the sense that I should dig deeper into those possibilities. So what is left? At the moment, I can't think of anything and I don't know where that leaves me in the job or the vocation area. I know my first vocation is that of wife, but what are some of my secondary vocations? I'm getting very scatter-brained lately with no direction other than that.

Maybe I need to perfect the wife vocation ("I agree," says my husband the chef) before adding another, and maybe I am just missing all the signs leading me in the right direction. Any helpful advice for how to discern something like this?

My husband has recommended that I read about St. Ignatius. I will let you know what I discover.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quick Takes (5)


July 3rd my husband and I got to watch a professional firework show on the lake where our parents live. It was also my brother-in-law's graduation (from college) party. It was a relaxing and fun evening and the weather was beautiful and quite warm!


For the fourth we went to a cook-out with fabulous newlywed friends. We all made chili and those who didn't got to judge since they were impartial. The judges were great and came up with wonderfully creative prizes. We won best buffet chili because they wanted to go back for more :-D


My husband had Monday and Tuesday off from work so we got to spend some time relaxing on the lake. We also watched part of the Holland v. Uruguay match.


Tuesday wasn't all that relaxing though - my husband had an allergic reaction and needed time and 2 benedryl to feel better. He is much better, but it was a little scary for both of us while going through it. My not as horrible day was busy with errands and skiing. Skiing is definitely not work, but my arms are a bit sore from it.


Wednesday I spent a number of hours personalizing conjugal love and nfp slides for a presentation I will be giving on Saturday. I even fit in some of my own wedding pictures. I also gave a vocab lesson on conjugal love and other terms as well as an explanation of why I don't use the word sex very often. The reason I don't use the word often is because I feel that word brings to mind the cheapened and superficial physical activity shown in the media. The more exciting part of this preparation is that there may be a reporter from a major area paper observing the class and interviewing me after - how cool would that be?


I continued my scrapbook Thursday. I am now through nearly half the cruise and have 15 pages complete. There will probably be about 7 more. My mom and I have made a great team on this project. I can't wait to see the finished product. Hopefully we will be a great team during the quilting project I want to start.


I asked my husband for one more thing - I sometimes have a hard time getting to seven. He thought I should post about how I got a fun accessory for the house. I finally got a vase to put in the corner of a very boring and empty dining room (think table and chairs...that's about all that's in there). It is a white vase with tall sticks put in it and gerber daisies around the opening. And that was all items given to me by other people. Why did it take me that long to put that together? No idea... it looks great!

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Since I have had a break from teaching, I have caught up on a lot of things - including my reading. Right now I am reading a finance book and a young adult novel titled Golden. It is a retelling of Rapunzel and very well written. One paragraph in the book made me think. Rapunzel's caretaker is talking about a mistake she made in the past when she say:
It might even have been better if I had been deliberately unkind. A will to be un
kind is like a sickness. It can be healed or driven out. But to be unkind because you are thoughtless is the worst kind of blindness: difficult to cure, because you cannot see the fault even as you commit it.

Does that sound familiar to anyone? I was reminded of the gospel story about having a log in your eye and trying to help someone with a speck of sawdust. Is it that we find the speck to be more visible than the more serious problem of the log? The speck could be the deliberate unkindness - we see it as deliberate and most people agree it is wrong - think robbery, arson, murder to name some big ones. In my mind, those wrongs are not as problematic because people can still see what is true and right. They don't get fooled into thinking that is a good way to live your life. It is the trickier logs or thoughtless moments that can really hurt. There are many types of which I am guilty of some:

How many times do I pass by someone without showing a hint of kindness? How many times do I forget to ask/think of a way I can make person A's life a little better today even when that person is my own husband?

Or moments I see as a pro-life NFP user: How many times have NFP users been told the joke about being parents? How many thoughtless, assumed courses of action have led to women going on the pill for symptoms that could be fixed other ways only to find out ten years later that they cannot conceive because they have PCOS and they have to start treating the cause, not just the symptoms? How many women think abortion is their only option or the only option that is compassionate about their needs?

Most of those questions seem to be answered with - that is life. That is just how things work. It is the society we live in and it can't change. I believe it can change if we stay focused and speak up about it. Isn't that our log - knowing what we know and saying nothing? I know that has been the case for me at times. Some might not believe that because I talk about it all the time, but some of the most crucial and "scary" times have slipped away because I didn't want to stir up a disagreement or confrontation. How do you think we can change the mindset of the community? nation? world?? I'm stuck on just my community...that seems like the first step to me.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday BlogPost

Elizabeth Esther hosts everyone's favorite blogposts from the previous month. Go here to find some new and exciting blogs. I posted my entry on fatherhood.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Quick Takes (4)


Yesterday I had a BBQ with my neighbors. I made pulled pork and we ate outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. What a great and relaxing evening, I love summer :-D


I started scrapbooking my Mediterranean vacation. With the help of my mom, we finished 7 pages and that doesn't even cover all of Rome - we haven't even gotten on the cruise ship yet. This is going to be a rather large book.


Both cats had vet visits this week. I got peed on three times while trying to get one ready. Then I found out it wasn't just because he was nervous, it was due to the fact he was so backed up his bowel was pressing against his bladder making it impossible for him to hold it while I picked him up - poor thing


Speaking of the poor thing, x-rays revealed arthritis and he is now on 3 medications. 2 for his bones and one for digestive health (aka Miralax). What a high maitenence but lovable kitty!


They say that weather doesn't actually cause headaches, I hear that and joint pain are just myths because of correlation (you remember a stormy day more than every other day you have pain for "no reason") but I really seemed to get a weather induced migraine this week. Monday it was really hot and Tuesday I was cold in long pants. I also had the worst migraine I've had in years - coincidence? Maybe - but I don't want to go through that again... I'm feeling much better now.


Yesterday I got a call from the NFP coordinator in my area. I'm teaching a class next week and a reporter asked to come and observe/interview us. I might be in the newspaper.


Happy Fourth of July! I will be seeing fireworks and spending lots of time with family and friends, more BBQs and time on the lake. I hope everyone enjoys the holiday weekend.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thinking Thursday

Summer is a weird time for me. I'm not really working and I have to think about how next year will go - continue subbing or do something else? I feel like I am lost in limbo with no direction and that is annoying if nothing else. While I'm in this limbo-ish time, I have been going to daily mass most days. Yesterday I managed to get there somewhat early and I had an ah ha! moment. My spiritual director talks a lot about finding the similarities of my life compared to Mary. What better reflection (for this summer or longer) is there than Mary's response to the Annunciation. And isn't it a bit amazing when I opened the book of readings, I opened exactly to that page even though the feast is in December.

She said some along the lines of I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to your Word. Shouldn't we all be saying that? What better act/response of obedience could there be. Yes Lord, I know I'm not doing exactly what I had hoped for but I want my life to happen according to Your will, not mine. Wow - that is giving up a lot of control. Maybe I won't succeed at completely giving up control (or at least the idea of control) but I can remind myself of the humble attitude Mary modeled when faced with a much harsher reality than I have ever known in my life. And maybe I will worry and think about uncontrollable variables less since I am trying to center my being on God's will - He is more than able to take care of everything I need to carry out that will. What a freeing thought!