Category Archives: wednesday

What I’ve been reading Wednesday: December Blogs

OK I’ll admit it… much of my blogging time has turned into Pinterest time. It’s hard to find time to sit at the computer with the little darlings about and, as a dear friend of mine knows as we have been commiserating together, 4 year olds can be a beast on their own.

But with that said, I want to share some great blogs that I have been reading this past month:

 

Two Catholic Girls– two college girls writing about Catholicism. Makes me happy for the future.

Bad Catholic– I’ve been reading this one for a while. College guy writing about Catholicism. Again, makes me happy for the future.

The Nerdy Wife– She’s cute. She’s nerdy and she’s preggo!

Catholic NewlyWed– New mama and her DD has the SAME name as my DD2!!

 

There are more, so many more, but I want to same some for next month!

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Words to live by, a farewell to Mom

A few people have asked me if I said any words at my mother’s funeral. If you know me well, you know that I did. What I had to say was short, sweet and not without a point. I think I drew a laugh when I walked up there with my iPad, but it’s so much easier than dealing with papers!  Without further ado:

On behalf of my mom and the rest of our family, thank you all for coming here today. You were all affected in one way or another by my mother and I know that she is glad for your being here.

When I was in my mid-twenties, my mother and I had an interesting conversation. It was a conversation about what she would like to happen in the event of her death. Up to that point, our family was no stranger to tragic events and while that was a very somber topic, it had it’s merits.

(A little history: My mother’s youngest brother was found murdered in his home around Thanksgiving. Her younger sister died from surgical complications around the holidays. My brothers lost both of their grandparents… around the holidays, and their father OD’d… can you guess?? Yup. Around the holidays.)

While the details may have changed, there was one point that always remained the same… that she wanted a true celebration of life. No mournful music, no wailing, no gnashing of the teeth. A true party, where people would exchange happy memories, look at old pictures, laugh and have a fun time.

(We ended up having mournful/ happy music. Somehow, the organist made the music mournful. Oh, well.)

She always said she’s prefer cremation over burial because she dreamed of having her ashes sprinkled among the elephants on the African plains. I told her that I’d take her to the Zoo and sprinkle her there and we’d call it even.

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, St. Paul reminds us to:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus.

We are not called to be overjoyed with my mom’s death but we are called to be grateful for all the ways she left her mark on our lives.

My mother and I had a bit of a strained relationship at times, but I will attest that the last few years have been nothing but joy, with a little exasperation mixed in for good measure.

Maybe 5 years ago, my mother became very interested in family history. She wanted to find out where everyone came from and how we came to be. I remember how excited she would be when a new lead would pop up on her ancestry.com site and she would either call, FaceBook or, her latest joy, text message me. She really missed the closeness of family that she experienced growing up and she began working on bringing the family closer, starting with reigniting family reunions. But, I think you will have to agree that this might be a drastic way to bring the family closer together.

If nothing else, please do not let my mother’s death be in vain. Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans across all ethnicities and accounts for half of the deaths of American women. Heart Disease kills more women than breast cancer, but yet it’s danger is relatively unknown.

To often, we as women put ourselves 3rd, 4th, 7th, or just flat out last on the list but that helps no one. You were put on this Earth for a specific role- one that no one can fully fill. I am blessed to have loving aunts, a fantastic step-mother and a wonderful mother-n-law to lean on in tough times, but they will never fully fill the void my mom left behind. Visit your doctor for a yearly check up, know your numbers, be proactive and don’t become another statistic.

If you have been to a wedding in the last 2000 years or so, you know what St. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians:

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; than I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

My faith gives me the hope that I will see my mother again, united with He who is Love along with her little brother, little sister, parents and relations until the end of time.

So there you have it.

Little excitement heading my way… tomorrow I am quitting sugar COLD TURKEY. I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow and why I am doing it (basically, I am tired, grumpy and tired of looking 5 months pregnant.) I am preparing my family for the evil beast that could result of sugar withdrawal symptoms. Stay tuned!
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Whatever Wednesday! Turkey Hats!

In honor of Thanksgiving, here are our Turkey Hats.

Thanks to Nina for the inspiration!

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Safe Travels and Happy Thanksgiving!


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Not the makeup post I promised.

My pictures this morning for the make-up post didn’t turn out really that well. Bad lighting plus iPhone camera lead to not so detailed pictures.

So, since I am trying to post everyday I am going to use this platform to plug my business. Because I can. Neener-neener-neener.

OK, ready?

Now is a fantasic time to start your own Thirty-One Business! For only $99, less than a trip to Target for nothing in particular (and we all know that happens,) you will receive a huge pink box filled with everything to get your business off to a fantastic start!

Want even more of an incentive? How’s this one for you… starting Dec. 13, Thirty-One consultants have the chance to earn gift cards, cruises even a trip to Disney, just for doing what they love!

Shoot me an email or comment below if you have any questions, or head to www.mythirtyone.com/karianna to place an order* or join my team!!

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*to ensure Christmas delivery, orders must be placed by DECEMBER 12.


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Whatever Wednesday: A Heart of Gratitude Challenge

A few days ago Hallie, over at Betty Beguiles presented us with a challenge: 14-days of treating our husbands with a heart of gratitude. Now, reading through the list of tasks did give me a bit of a visceral reaction (really it was only to one task that I had a REALLY?! moment) but I don’t like to back down from a challenge so I am all in! (And the one that gave me pause was about giving him some free time on a weekend to do what he wants to do. My reaction was one along the lines of “WHEN DO I GET MY FREETIME??? I can’t even go to the bathroom or take a shower alone! But then I stopped and thought… well, while that may be true, it’s not very charitable and kindness does begat kindness, right? But at the same time, I have to mentally prepare myself for his not even noticing the kind acts. And that’s going to be my challenge because I struggle with the need to have praise heaped upon me. It’s a pride thing. And it’s my cross.)

You can start the challenge today, which considering it’s 940a on the West Coast, the day is mostly over for the rest of you so you might want to consider starting the challenge tomorrow, or even doubling up one of the days (i.e do Days 1 and 2 together.)

You can read about The Heart of Gratitude over at Betty Beguiles. Have fun loved ones!!

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Whatever Wednesday: Little Miss Austen

I met up with some soon-to-be “mama friends” at a LBS this morning (LBS= Local book shop, not to be confused with LYS= local yarn shop.) The group is a chapter of Mocha Moms, which sounds like it going to be great fun! But that’s not the point of this post…

So, after the story time hour for the kiddos, I had a chance to peruse this new haven of all things literary and I came across this little gem:

How fun!!

It’s a counting book, but while it’s geared to those of the counting set, it’s still great fun… especially if you are an Austen fan. My favorite page has to be this:

Although the page with Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy is cute as well.

Is this a kid version of Pride and Prejudice? Not quite as the plot is not revealed in the numbers 1-10, but I still like it. Hopefully the girls will as well!

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Whatever Wednesday: Roses and Thorns (Vol. 1)

I know a lot of families do a round of Roses and Thorns around the kitchen table during dinner to decompress from the day. My girls are a bit young for it, but there’s no reason why I can’t do it here! So here are my Roses and Thorns, thus far, from Pasadena:

Roses:

1. The weather and people are amazing
The weather the last 2 days has been sunny, sunny, sunny. And not too hot. The girls and I took a walkabout today and they were slightly obsessed with the Palm Trees. Of course, the San Gabriel Mountains are amazing to look at as well. The people are so friendly and kind as well. When we were living in Chicago, if you smiled or *gasp* said HI to an individual, they would look at you as if you had six heads! Here, people say Hi on the street and are just very happy. Our first night here, so that would be Monday night, we went out for dinner. The Brewers and Cards were playing and we wanted to find a place to watch the game. At the table next to us were a pair of midwestern transplants as well, and by the end of the night, contacts were exchanged. New friends score!

2. The finding of new coffeehouses
I’ll admit it. I do like Starbucks but I generally would prefer a local place over a chain. Being sans wheels, kind of limits were you can easily get with two littles. Well, this morning we found this cute little coffeehouse/bakery that I would have probably just buzzed past in the SW.

3.early to bed, early to rise
Since we don’t have a TV right now (all of our big stuff is still in transit) the family has been heading to bed based on body time rather than TV time. The pro is that we are getting mucho sleep, but we tend to wake up way before 6a (mostly because we are still on CST body-wise!)

Thorns

1. Car Accident
‘Nuff Said.

2. No furniture or anything except what was in our van
Our apartment has the spartan look of a recent college grad. We are sleeping on air mattresses and our clothing is in piles on the floor. We don’t have TV, but between DVDs and Netflix, the girls are remining occupied when I need them to be… We have no toys either.

3. Ants
Our complex is having an issue with ants. Everywhere. They are going to be spraying soon and I know that ants are *harmless* but still, would you want them marching over you at night? Didn’t think so.

All-in-all we are in good spirits and are not regretting a thing… Except maybe my decision to go to Costco yesterday 😉

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What I’m reading Wednesday Vol. 2

Hi everyone!! Here’s the round up of some interesting things that I have been reading:

If you have children under the age of 5, especially more than one, you will really appreciate this one. This blog post was forwarded to me by Missy and it’s so very true. When you hear, as a parent, that things will just get better and to cherish each moment, it’s hard to believe, especially when you are in the Tunnel, but things do get better… The Tunnel of Parenthood

If you are a loyal reader, you know how I feel about girls’ clothing. In short… the classic styles are really pricey and the budget-friendly styles are usually immodest, trampy, campy or just bad. Check out this Epic T-shirt fail by JCPenney.

If you have been reading blogs or just keeping up with internet news, you have known that children really are not longer the accessory du jour. In fact some places are out-and-out banning children from their premises. A mom at Jezebel.com wonders Where, Exactly, Is it Okay to take your Kid? The last two paragraphs are particularly giggle-worthy but spot on.

In Breastfeeding news… there’s trouble a brewin’. If you know the name Nancy Mohrbacher you know that she is an amazing peer counselor, author, educator and IBCLC. But it seems as if LLL is not in agreement with that. Read about how LLL of IL removed her as a leader due to an insurance clause that could have been changed.

Happy Reading!!

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What I’m Reading Wednesday: Parenting with Grace

Truth be told, I am usually reading 3-4 books at one time. I try to mix fiction and non-fiction and the reading is all over the place. I know that I have mentioned Parenting with Grace once before, but I am still reading the book, so it counts for today!

Parenting with Grace is written by Dr. Greg Popcak and his wife, Lisa. The basic point of the book is melding the teachings of the Catholic Church with parenting techniques with the goal of “raising (almost) perfect children.”

Right now I am in the section dealing with discipline. Now the funny thing is, at the beginning of this particular chapter, Dr. Greg addresses the readers who may have skipped all of the beginning chapters to get right to this particular chapter. Basically, he tells them that they need to go back to the beginning of the book and read it from the beginning because if the reader does not understand where the parenting techniques come from, with respect to Church teaching, the book is no good to them. But he does it much better than I just did.

Parenting with Grace embraces more of a gentle, family-centered approach to parenting, rather than a parenting style in which the parent has more of a totalitarian mindset. However, this does not mean that the parents are encouraged to sit back at let their kids walk all over them, rather, parents are taught that discipline or teaching their children is constant, not just when the kid does something wrong. Ideally, if you are constantly teaching your children, you should not have to “punish” them because there will not be a need for the punishment. The child will choose to make the right decision (right for the family, right for themselves) because of their love for you, not because they fear you.

I love the book. But I also loved Dr. Popcak’s other book Holy Sex! I have yet to read For better… FOREVER! his book on marriage but I knowing what I know about his writing style, I am sure I’d love that too!

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Same thing every year

I am such a sap and I can finally admit it. Every year, when the school supplies start to roll out and I start seeing the adverts for “Back-To-School,” I get nostalgic and choked up. I miss teaching. Don’t get me wrong. I love my daughters. I love staying home with them. I feel so blessed that we, as a family, can afford to have me stay home with the girls, but that doesn’t make the memories of teaching go away.

It’s said that “those who can’t do, teach,” but I find that statement to be so wrong. Teaching is such an admirable occupation that people just take for granted. So, you might be thinking, “Well, CCM, if you love teaching so much, why don’t you just homeschool your kids?” Here’s the thing… I was a HIGH SCHOOL teacher. That was my niche, that was where I shined. I loved interacting with my students. I taught at a school in Chicago that had a lot going against it: high levels of immigrants/ refugees, poor reading skills, even poorer math skills, rough home lives, etc, etc. The area as a whole wasn’t too bad as far as crime went, but that’s not to say that there wasn’t gang presence. (Actually, one very memorable student from my first year teaching was a ‘high-ranking’ gang leader… and one of the sweetest, hard-working boys that you would have ever met. I often think about him and pray for him.) For those kids, like it or not, their teachers were the role-models that their parents might not have been. Could you imagine being a first-year teacher having that on your plate?

I just wish that I had the chance to teach a bit longer. We found out about the transfer to STL not long after having The Bear in Chicago and it seems as if I left the occupation before I really got it going. And it’s really funny, because teaching is such a volatile profession right now… if you aren’t providing the scores or the proof that you are an effective teacher, you are out of there. School districts are cutting classes left and right. More parents are turning to homeschooling options because they are losing faith in what schools can provide right now. I’ll admit that this is the liberal, hippie side of me coming out a bit here, but I just wonder what our country could be if we spent as much on education as we do on National Defense? But I guess National Defense affects the whole country and education… doesn’t?

So why don’t I go back to teaching right now? Because I am needed at home. I teach my children every day. Sure, it’s not complex chemical equations or estimating the trajectories of blood spatter but I am still a teacher. I teach language, grammar, math, reading, science, etc. Sure, I don’t get AS dressed up, nor do I have chalk and marker on my hands, but I am still a teacher. Right?

Oh, well. So, if you see me and I seem a bit melancholic, it’s just because of the new school year. And how I am watching from the sidelines. Ask me how I feel in October!

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Pax Christi!

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