Friday, September 21, 2012

The Prayer Service

I attended the Taize Prayer service last night and really enjoyed it. The church was lit only by candles, which added to the quietness of the service. It was a lovely service, repeating simple mantras such as "Be still and know that I am God." The minister read  a few readings. It was so interesting to me that not all of the readings were Scripture. The minister shared a passage written by famed Kentucky author Wendell Berry. I thought several times during the service that the more conservative folks from my history in church would not have liked this at all! In the service, there is 10 minutes of complete silence where you sit quietly and meditate or prayer or whatever you choose to do. Wouldn't you know that about 30 seconds into the silence, someone's cell phone rang. I was slightly annoyed and had to remind myself that it just as easily could have been me (thankfully, I turned off both of my cell phones before leaving my car). 

I really enjoyed the service and the time to just feel centered and reflect. It's probably the first 10 minutes of silence I've had in a very long time. My favorite reading that was shared was the closing blessing. It really spoke to my heart.

Blessed be the longing that brought you here and quickens your soul with wonder. 

May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire that disturbs you when you have settled for something safe. 

May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease to discover the new direction your longing wants you to take. 

May the forms of your belonging - in love, creativity and friendship - be equal to the grandeur and call of your spirit. 

May your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire. 

May a secret Providence guide your though and nurture your feeling. 

May your mind inhabit your life with the sureness with which your body inhabits the world. 

May your heart never by haunted by ghost structures of old damage. 

May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency. 

May you know the urgency which with the world longs for you and awaits your gift. 

- Excerpt from "To Bless the Space Between Us", Doubleday, Copyright 2008, John O'Donohue

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More on becoming Catholic

I met with the lady from St. Albert last night. Interestingly enough, she called late yesterday morning and we were able to find a time yesterday that worked for both of us to meet. Our meeting was informative and she was able to show me exactly where the nursery is. Whew! I will start attending RCIA classes on Thursday evenings. I'm excited that I'm able to join a group that just recently formed and will hopefully be confirmed and receive my First Communion at the Easter Vigil. I've put a lot of thought into this process and am finally ready to take the next steps. 

This week, the RCIA group is attending a service at a different church - Church of the Advent. Apparently, they have spend several weeks discussing prayer in its many forms and have decided to take a field trip. The group is attending the Church of the Advent where they have a Taize prayer ceremony. I found this article, which has solidified my desire to go. In the craziness of my life, I'm searching for some stillness. Some time to just be quiet before God. I'm really excited to attend this and learn more about this form of prayer, which started in a small French community. 


Monday, September 17, 2012

Thoughts on Motherhood.

Sophie is in a place where going out in public is just no fun. 

She throws tantrums. 

She acts like a pig. 

She squeals loudly. 

We get dirty looks and more and more, I'm feeling ostracized. 

I sat outside during church yesterday, in tears because I couldn't even listen to the sermon. I took her to the grocery store last night and she threw a tantrum. I didn't get all the groceries, toilet paper or paper towels. Instead, I pulled into the driveway and immediately burst into tears, proclaiming loudly "I'M DONE!" Danny probably thought I was nuts, but I was at the end of my rope and just couldn't do it anymore. 

I'm looking for a solution here. I've thought that the only solution is just to stop going out in public, but I don't think that's true. I mean, being a mom is lonely enough as it is. I don't want to just sit at home and do NOTHING because Sophie can't sit still during dinner. 

It seems as though the invitations to dinner and other fun things are dwindling. I have great friends, but times are changing. Gone are the late nights of sipping margaritas and talking about nothing. We have so few friends with kids that having play dates is difficult. The ones that do have kids...well, we have a hard time connecting. Between naps, meals and bedtime, it's hard to squeeze it all in. 

So, I'm looking for inspiration. Something that tells me that it's all going to be okay. I found this blog today, and though I haven't fully delved into it, a few of her comments have made me chuckle today. 

I know it will be okay. I just have to remember that when Sophie is throwing a fit and Danny is working (which happens about 5 out of 7 nights a week), that millions of mommies have done this before and their children grew up to be productive members of society.

My journey to becoming Catholic...

I've made a big decision recently and thought I'd document how this all goes. I have decided to convert to Catholicism...something I said I would "never" do. My parents didn't really take us to Church as kids, but they faithfully put us on the little church van that came through our neighborhood. I attended a small Nazarene Church close to our home. The Church gave me a second family, and taught me about the life and teachings of Christ. I loved my little church and the opportunities for spiritual development. I had a really wonderful pastor who connected me with a larger Nazarene Church in Oldham County where I attended youth group. The relationships that I made in that church were life-changing. I was able to attend church camp and was introduced to Trevecca Nazarene University. As a teenager, I sought a place where I would have more structure (weird for a teenager, huh) and desperately wanted to be surrounded by people who shared my beliefs and values. I loved my experience at TNU and graduated with my degree in social work in 2004. Danny and I started dating in 2002 and even though we had different religious backgrounds, we just knew that our love for each other was so great that we would figure the rest out. 

We were married in the Catholic Church in 2008. I developed a deep respect for the traditions and values taught in the Church. I still questioned at that time whether I would ever be "Catholic," but it was definitely on my mind. Then, dad died. I became pretty angry and bitter towards God for "taking" my dad from us at such a young age. The heartbreak and questions are still there, but I know that there is a reason for everything that happens in our lives and Dad's death is no different. I'm still searching for the meaning in his death. I may never fully understand why he left us so soon, but I know that he watches over us and Sophie knows that her Gramps is her guardian angel who keeps her safe every day. 

We baptized Sophie in the same church where we were married. At that time, I made a commitment to raise our daughter in the Church and I have decided that if I am going to raise our daughter as Catholic, I should share those same beliefs. We have decided to join St. Albert the Great Church. It's close to our home and has a great school that Sophie can attend when the time comes. I have made contact with the Director of Lifelong Formation to get more information on the RCIA process. We've had some trouble connecting, but hope to hear back from her this week. We went to mass yesterday and Sophie was NOT well-behaved. I couldn't find the nursery and the one person I asked for help was less than helpful. Sophie could not sit still. She fussed in the cry room (much to the annoyance of others - and to the one gentleman who glared at me while my daughter was fussing, may God bless you because it was highly rude of you to be such a jerk in the CRY room!!!!). I missed a great deal of mass while dealing with my stubborn little girl. Next time, I'll be sure to get there much earlier so I can find the nursery. I'll say that it wasn't the best first experience at a church, but we will forge ahead and keep trying. 

I am excited for this new adventure. It will be a time of learning and reflection, that's for sure!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In other news...

I'm going to be an aunt again! My little sister, Ashley, is expecting her first child in April 2013. Sophie and her new cousin will be 2 years apart. We are excited for this new adventure!

18 Months

Our baby girl is growing up! Here she is this morning.

She had her 18 month check up yesterday afternoon. She is now 26 lbs, 2 oz (75th percentile) and is 33.5 inches tall (90th percentile). She had her first major boo-boo yesterday. She fell while with my mom yesterday and the screen door hit her on the top of her head. She has about 1/2 inch cut on the top of her head. The doctor wasn't overly concerned about it. He said that it definitely didn't need stitches, but he went ahead and used the dermabond to glue my little humpty dumpty back together. She was a champ. As of this morning, she was running around in circles, acting like a peacock while watching "Monkey See, Monkey Do."

She is truly such a joy. Every day is filled with laughter (and tears at times). Sophie is such a ham and loves to make her mommy and daddy laugh. She remembers EVERYTHING. We found a turtle in our backyard about a week ago and she is constantly asking to go see her turtle. Everything is "mine." "My mommy," "my daddy," "my house," "my cheese," and the list could go on for days. She loves to snort like a pig. She'll ask "I be a pig?" And I'll say, "Ok" and she'll continue to snort and act like a pig. When she goes to sleep at night, I'll ask her if she wants to sing a song. She'll say "ABC!" or "Uppa" (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) or "Shiny!" (You are My Sunshine). We also go through all of our family every night before she goes to sleep. She can name all of her family, including her grandparents (even her angel, "Gramps"), aunts, uncles and cousins. She can tell you the names and sounds of many animals: donkey, birds, cat, dog, horse, cow, sheep, snake, bunny (hop hop!), owl, rooster, etc. She eats really well and will ask for "fries" and "cookies" when she's hungry. Her smile and laugh are infectious. She's also recognizing places that we go. If we go to my sister's house, she knows we are there to see "Cuzzy, T, Missa and Buddy." If we drive past Grandma and Grandpa's house, she will wave and say "Ello Grandpa Grandma!" She even has worked on her manners, saying "peas," "thank you," and "bless you" when someone sneezes. She loves Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Elmo (of course).

She is hands down the most wonderful gift I have ever been given.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My "new" mirror!

We had a "yard sale" a few weeks ago at work. At the sale, I was able to purchase two super cool mirrors for next to nothing. Here's my first re-make!

This has been hanging in our living room since we moved in. It's a nice print. It was actually given to us when we were married nearly 4 years ago. It's pretty, but's it's not really our style and doesn't match the other decor in the living room.

Here's the mirror I bought at the yard sale.  A lovely gold color...

Here it is about halfway through the spray painting process. I removed the back and the mirror before I started painting it.

And here it is - all put back together and hanging in my living room. I love it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My newest obsession is...

exploring my family history! Several months ago, my Mamaw gave me some documents that outline our family history. I have enjoyed reading over the family history and learning about my ancestors. Last weekend, I went to visit Mamaw and we went to Ebenezer Cemetery where several of our family members are buried. 

The sign leading to the was a beautiful day

Sophie ran up to this headstone and grabbed a seat. Achsa J. Boyd would be Sophie's great-great-grandmother...

Sophie and her Mamaw...I just love this woman.

Danny and I decided to take the plunge and joined It's our new time waster, but so interesting! We're having a lot of fun so far!


I turned the big 3-0 on August 27th! We had a lovely party at my sister, Melissa's, house the Saturday before. Most of my closest friends/family were there and we really had a great time!!

Ready to blow out my candles

Loving my new kitchen art! 


Never too old for a whoopie cushion!

My sisters

My sisters and my mama

My "oldest" friends...all the way back to the 6th grade

Me and the hubs

Love this!

Nick finally got in front of the camera!

These ladies make my life better

Dance party! :)

On my 27th birthday, I posted here about some of the hopes I had for the future. Looking back over the list is interesting, and definitely reminds me of how much has changed over the past three years. In reflection, I will say that at this point in my life, things are good. There could always be more (money, children, free time) and less (bills, tempter tantrums, paperwork), but I have to say that I am happy with where I am in life. I am happy with my career. I love my job and am treated well by my supervisor and appreciated by my co-workers. We have a beautiful 18 month old, rambunctious, entertaining and pretty much perfect daughter. We have a home that is ours. While I still miss my dad more than I can say, I see him in the little things and that brings me comfort. I am surrounded by the most awesome group of friends I could ever ask for and my family is pretty great, too. If I made an actual list on my 27th birthday, I'd be able to check off more things than not. I've earned my CSW and am well on my way to my LCSW. I've been to visit my dad's grave several times and have also taken Sophie to see her gramps. I can truly say that I have become more assertive in my communications with others - saying what I need to say, when I need to say it instead of bottling things up. One thing on my list that I'm a few steps closer to reaching is learning how to sew. I have a sewing machine, but I've never turned it on. You can't do it all, right!?

What we've been up to...

As usual, I've gotten very behind in keeping the blog updated. We've had a busy summer, that's for sure!! We took Sophie to the fair for the first time. She shared her fries with her daddy...

And was able to pet a bunny...

We celebrated my 30th birthday (more to come on that)....

We rode the carousel at Gattiland...

And we went to a Bats game!