>Happy Bday Dad!


Happy Birthday to my Dad!

He is 78 years old today!

I think it’s kind of special to have a birthday on New Year’s Eve.
And it has made the day special to me, forever…because it’s just my dad’s day.
I love my dad.

He is generous and loves fiercely but quietly.
He is my riding buddy, we rode all over the desert and discussed both the family and the world’s issues.
I think we solved them all…most of them at any rate.
He taught me about endurance…in running (he has completed many marathons and even multiple ultra-marathons) and life in general.
My dad is all about perseverance.
I got that from him.
Thank goodness!

He has my, or I have his, sugar tooth.
And the same diabetes, bummer.
We both love coffee, good strong coffee.
We both love mexican food and horses.
He is opinionated.
He is loyal, utterly.
His family is first, in everything.
He loves to read and to fall asleep early.
He is an early bird.
I would say I am much like him in all these traits…
But Dad is also meticulous, methodical, and all about order.
So, that is clearly where we diverge!

But I miss him today, well most days,
but I wish I could hug him in person, today,
and share a cup of coffee over the paper.
And yeah, I’m making tamales – his favorite – and the tradition for today.
I love you Dad!
Happy Happy Birthday!

>Happy Birthday Miss M!


Happy bday Miss M!
Today you are eleven!

I am so happy for you, I think you are ready for eleven.
Ten was good, but I suspect that eleven will be even better.
And yeah, I can’t believe you are eleven already!

As you have told me, more than once, you are not just the usual eleven year old girl!

You are so right: you are remarkable.
You have the biggest heart I’ve ever seen, and an old soul.
You have more compassion, built in, than most folks I’ve ever met.

You worry and fret like an old lady, but in a good way.
You carry the burdens of others, sometimes too much.

You might tend toward a little bit of moodiness, but it’s tempered by your love of a good joke.
I love it that I can almost always coax a smile out of your frown.
You are stronger than most, physically, but also in your character.
God has made you strong for big things ahead, I suspect.

You are a little mamacita, and you help me so much!
You love dolls though, still…and I love that you and your sister can play dolls for hours.
You still are crazy for mermaids!
You are a sophisticated eater, I love that.
You love coffee, almost as much as I do!
And that Latte Blast cake for your bday tonight?….YUM.
You are such a homeboday, and a great companion….
even as  you have already started traveling the world.

Eleven will be a good year, I know it.
You are becoming a great beauty, inside and out.
We are SO proud of you!
I hope all your  birthday wishes come true.
We love  you so very much.
Happy Happy Bday to my girl!

>Merry Christmas Birthday Baby Girl!


Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to my Sbird!!
Eleven years old already!
My best Christmas present, ever!

It is such a special thing to have a Christmas birthday…but I know it doesn’t always feel like it is. 
It feels like it can be forgotten in all the wrapping and busy and fun.
But it will never be forgotten.
It wouldn’t even feel like Christmas now, without your birthday streamers and princess cake!
You, my sweet bird, are so special to me. To us.  To our family.

You, and your Christmas birthday, makes our Christmas extra special.
You are a remarkable young girl.
You are so strong, and work so hard.
You have a sweet good heart.
You try your hardest, every day.
And even when you get so mad sometimes, you always come back and make up with me.

You have a loving caring spirit.
You love to take care of smaller kids and are so good with babies.
You hate to see anyone or anything get hurt.
You love to sew and to make things.
You have an imagination and creativity as big as the Milky Way.

You are now eleven.
You, my tiniest baby, are growing so big…real double digits.
You have some big adventures, right ahead!
But even so you give me the best “morning squeeze” when we are up early in the kitchen.
And you still love playing dolls with  your sister, for hours at a time. 
I love that about you girls.

We love you so very much, our Sbird.
I think you are wonder-full.
We wish you the happiest of birthdays.
We wish for your birthday wishes to come true.
Even if it means that pineapple farm in Hawaii!

Happy Happy Bday Sbird!
We love you and are so proud of you!

>Almost Wordless Wednesday


O Tannenbaum, part deux.
Decorating the tree (it turned out more, um, “petite” than expected, but still pretty)
with the traditional hot chocolate by the twinkling lights after.
Ah, tradition.

>O tannenbaum!


So, Sunday was the big Christmas tree expedition.  My husband, otherwise known as Coffeedoc, is a bit of a maniac about some things.  So he has decided that it is not properly Christmas without an “over the river and through the woods” sort of experience…to cut the tree.

See that snow? That’s because in order to CUT (not buy, he doesn’t want them precut in November because he is also a maniac about keeping that tree up until epiphany – or beyond) the tree that I like (Frasier Fir), he has to drive over three hours.  Now, before you go and think I am a completely outrageous diva for demanding this…let me clarify.  I NEVER ASKED him to schlep drive so far for a tree.  I am, always, just happy to have a tree, any tree (though preferably not pine….oops, a diva slippage)

Anyhow, it is becoming something of a new tradition and I kind of like it.  But then again, I get to stay home and wrap presents and hang out with Miss M and Gabey Baby.  A very lovely relaxing day for us.  And while there IS a certain level of grouchiness as they all set out on the expedition, ahem, it makes for a good snowball fight once they are there.

It was Marta’s first time with snow,  and snowballs.  It was cold, fun, exhausting…and they came home with a pretty tree.  So, now, it’s beginning to look a lot more like Christmas!

>Dark into Light


It’s the “shortest”day of the year.  The least amount of daylight, the longest night.

And it’s perfect timing I’d say.   No only because today has been metaphorically a darker day – a slamming day filled with tantrums, sulks, and intensive parenting…but because it’s when I begin to crave the light when the dark is too long.  We are made for it.  I need it, on so many levels.  From the purely physical level of dismay,”Gosh how can it  be dark already?” to the mildy fussy blue overtone of my mood for the day.  I am craving more light, both inside and out. 

That, that craving, is really what Advent is all about, it’s what it’s made for.  So too, we are made for the light to come…in a few days.  Christmas is almost here, Advent is waning.  The dark night is long, and these last few days it’s nice to have that anticipation built in – even to our world’s own nature, and ours.

Yes.  I’m ready for Christmas.  Not ready, yet, for the details of the day….soon, soon.  But for the main event? You betcha.  I’m ready.  Today, the shortest day of the year, we get one big step closer to it.  Each day, a tiny incremental bit brighter, longer.  And then, it’s Christmas day and that Light only continues to lengthen and grow.  One of my favorite Christmas, or more accurately, Advent hymns is “O Come Emmanuel,” and now, just yesterday, does our Church begin to sing it…in anticipation. 
I can’t wait.

>The turn-keys: Tears


So, here we are again.  Turn-keys.  Those things that I’m finding to be critical, yeah – Key – to our adjustment with this older child adoption. I’ve written about a couple already, here, and here.  And now, I want to write about another: Tears.

What? Tears?
How can those be so important?
Well, they are.
Yeah, it surprises me too.

I am learning that those tears are very important, critical, on different levels and in different ways.  Those tears are part of the adjusting, and I am not sure you can really adjust to all the new of an adoption without them.  And those tears are for everyone, of course.  Because each person in the family needs them….to process the intensity of the changes and the building of new relationships. Now I’ll spare  you the blathering about the tears of the rest of us: the jealous tears, the overwhelmed, the frazzled, the blue ones (yeah, it’s tough on moms too).  Those are fodder for a different post.

With a younger child, toddler or infant adoption, there are also many tears.  They are also critical to the adjustment process.  But they are easier to parse out, to understand.  They are typically more, not completely, but a bit more developmentally tracked and explained.  They are simpler because the child is still slightly simpler.  No less heartbreaking, but easier to console and repair.   The tears of the turn-key I’m talking about here are the tears of the older adopted child.  In this case, our daughter.

It’s hard to sort through all this coherently.  But I’ll give it a go.
It seems like it wouldn’t be complex, I mean, it’s crying, right?
Crying is a no brainer.
Kids cry all the time.
They cry, you console.
Except, not.

When an adjusting older child cries, honestly, at first you kind of brace yourself in dread.  You wonder, and fear a little bit, is this going to slip into something bad?  Is it going to blow in like a hurricane – tank the day? Because you don’t know this child so intimately yet. You haven’t always seen this before.  And you know the potential.  So, you brace for it…..whatever IT is.  And sometimes, it IS something very hard: rage, deep scarred grief, irrational fear.  Sometimes, it’s just overwhelmed or misconception or misunderstanding.  Sometimes, it’s just mundane, but ever so powerful, hormones.  Or lack of sleep.  Or an incoming virus.  It’s all over the map, crying.  Tears. 

Even so.  It’s all good.  Seems counter intuitive.  Our (ok, my) first reaction might, or is, naturally to wish it away, to sigh, to find the fastest way around it all.  But, that’s not necessarily the answer either.  Those tears are important.  If this child is grieving the life they left behind, no matter if that seems unlikely as that life might have been very very harsh, then that grieving must be done.  It’s valid; that life was what they knew, loved (some parts) and grew to themselves in. 

It’s all too easy to think of grief as a ‘hanging on’ to something.  It is and it isn’t.  When done right, it’s a ‘hanging on’ to the good, and letting go of the bad.  It’s ok to miss the ones or the place  you loved.  And that can totally jive with learning to love new ones or new places.  But, I don’t think it can be done without the tears of it.

Then there are the tears of rage and grief of the hurt – for both old and new hard things.  Those are kind of scary – for everyone.  And it’s so hard to know how to help.  And I”m not sure there is any way to really truly help – at least in the overt sense.  You can’t fix it.  I can’t fix it, or what has happened.  But you/I can BE there.  Just be there.  Hold on to them, sit next to them, let yourself get their tears dripped onto you.

That, that mess, is a fix.  It’s the only and best one.  Because you are there, they are not alone, and you’re not gonna run away from it.  And so, it gets less scary, for both of you.  But, oh, those tears…they hurt.  Both of you. 

Then there are the new tears.  These are the tears that can be both wonderful and frustrating.  The frustrating ones are the ones that you, and maybe she, doesn’t understand.  They just kind of spring up….from a misunderstanding, frazzled nerves, hormones.  From being a teen girl.  From sensory overload in a new country.   From language gap, culture gap….all sorts of gaps. Those too, mostly just need a little time, maybe a little space, maybe a time to hold or sit nearby.  They need to wash away….the weary effort, the bruised feelings.  And they do.  

Way back, oh 85 years or so ago, I learned in science class that water is the universal solvent.  Well, I would say that the water shed in tears, when you are talking about an older child adoption and adjusting, is one of the universal glues.  Can be.  Maybe not always (I’m talking about us, here, always, ever…that’s all I know), but oh so often they are.  These tears are bonding.  The happy over the top joyful tears…they are  just fun.  They pull you all in with a grin.  But the other kind….It’s hard not to care about a child who is sobbing next to you (even when you wish it weren’t so).  For the child to allow you to see them, hold them, at their most vulnerable….that is the beginning of trust.  For you to sit with them, hold them, get soaked by their tears…console them.  That is the beginning of family. 

A few days ago, a sibling moment occurred.  It was a pretty typical moment – if had happened between most of the kids.  However, it was the first between Marta and another.  And it was a a flash.  But, it cut to the quick for her.  It launched one of those tear spilling, walking away times.  It meant the evening would now be redirected.  And it was.  But, it was one of those turn-key times.  Because as I consoled Marta and talked to her about what happened, she slowly sat up in bed and hugged her pillow to her.  Then Bananas came in and flopped on her bed on the other side of the room they share.  And she saw Marta, still crying.  I said, “Has this happened to you?”  And Bananas laughed and said, “Oh yeah!  See, Marta, it’s like this…..” and she went on to act out the same interaction with the same sib.

And very soon, Marta was laughing with us as she snuffled up her tears, eyes red rimmed.  And I froze the moment in my mind.  These tears were healing.  These tears were bonding.  These tears were typical of any sibling scuffle.  And this image, two sisters laughing about a sib, both on their beds in pj’s, while one allowed us to see her snuffling and gulping a bit as she came to calm, the other trying  hard to make her laugh and move on…that’s a FAMILY.  That’s what happens in families.  So, yeah, these tears: they helped turn a bit closer to family.  And I am grateful for even this tough turn-key.  Another one made of gold.

>O, Christmas: O Antiphons


Last year I posted daily on the O Antiphons.  This year has been a bit too crazed for me to post daily on, um, anything!  However, my son, Buddybug, has.  So this is a shameless brag on my boy and a link to his site so you can get them there.  They really are beautiful.  Go, read, enjoy a little Christmas peace.  (And we’ll find out just how he had time to post these during finals, later.)

>Of Course I’m Interested: Now that’s the kind of news I’m talking about!


So, did ya hear the news?
Did ya hear that now “they” are saying that coffee can help stave off type 2 diabetes?
Yessirree…..you read that right!  That’s my ‘cup o joe!’ 
No kidding, it was a research study, totally legit, go here for the article and link.

Now, what this inquiring mind really wants to know is if that also applies to pushing back the progression of type 2 diabetes??  Now we’re getting personal.  Because I’ve got that.  And I still feel a tad betrayed by my body.  But…. you all know I’m all about the coffee.  So, this is a bit of news that makes my day.

And even if they don’t specify the benefits of pots of coffee on (already) insulin challenged folks per se…..I’m gonna run with it.  It’s only logical, right? 

Anything to further justify and support my caffiene habit connoisseurship, works for me.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I’m gonna go pour another cup.



Sandro Chia, 1981

So.  Feeling a bit like Sisyphus.  By which I mean, I feel like I’m pushing a big boulder uphill; but without the great physique.  Maybe I’ve got a teeny bit of the determination.  But, yeah, the boulder….it’s big…and sliding.

Had first meeting today.  No door was shut in my face.  Yet.  But it surely wasn’t opened either.  Already numerous objections and concerns brought forth, and of the intangible variety.  The problem of other parents and reactions and ‘integrity’ of school.  The problem of funding resources on an official level.  Bureaucracy.  You all know how much we love that around here.  So, a little down this afternoon….but not out.  Because it’s not a ‘no’ until it’s a NO. Until then we will knock on doors and make the calls and examine the angles.

The blues of this though, is that is shouldn’t be this way.  If it’s a legal thing, maybe. If it’s a money thing, maybe.  But if it’s a ‘we haven’t done that’ thing, or a “people won’t like it” thing….then it makes us/me dig in.  Push.  Slip. Push.  Wait.  Push. 

For today I will wait; I trust that my concerns will be looked into.  But I’m cynical enough to think that it won’t be the answer I want.  But for the moment, I will try to wait a few days.  And hold that boulder steady. 

>Gearing up


So this week I am gearing up.  No, not for Christmas, don’t be ridiculous! I don’t go into overdrive on that until four days before the big day.  We’ve got plenty of time!  Nope, I’m gearing up for a week of meetings with schools.  I’ve been brainstorming with a few good friends (Nora, you’re the best) and consulting with therapists and tutors.  And this week, I’ve got meetings for both Marta and Sbird regarding school and how to meet their needs.

When you have a kid, or two or three, who don’t fit the regulation mold or requirements for regular standard issue schools, you have to plot and plan on how to make things work.  You have to consult brainstorm and pray to figure out solutions that are positive and scenarios that will support your kid’s needs and how they can learn where they are at.  ADHD, school delays, language barriers…this is just a few of the hurdles.  And so, as a mom, you “put on your cape,” strap on your armor, and you set up meetings.  You go prepared to be charming, persuasive, as well as firm and clear headed.  You brace for battle and hope for miracles.

And so I am.  I will be praying through this week, hoping for great solutions and brave hearts and minds, willing to try something new and different.  If you have a mind to pray, I’d appreciate prayers for this as well (if you remember in the midst of the festive preparations).  And while I hate to beg again for prayers, we have so often, I will.  Because I have some research to sift through, others to present to those in charge.  Because I will go to the mat for my kid(s).  I will beat the bushes for tutors and helpers and beat on principal’s doors (nicely but firmly).  I will try to open some eyes to new possibilities, not only for my kids but to open a few doors that have been shut too long.

It would be a miracle but we need some new options after the new year.  And this week, I’m gonna see if we can’t make some  headway into making one, or a few, of those become real.  And that would be the best Christmas present of all.

>Feast of St. John of the Cross


It’s the Feast of St. John of the Cross.

St. John of the Cross is one of the Doctors of the Church, a renowned Mystic, and has some of the deepest thinking and most beautiful writing of the Church.  It is no easy read however and I have only barely dipped into some of  his writings.  His most famous work is, of course, “The Dark Night of the Soul.”  I learned about him first through my love of the writings of St. Teresa of Avila, a close friend of St. John.  Together they worked to reform the Carmelite Order which had strayed from it’s founding principles of poverty and prayer.  And so they did. 

St. John knows of that tough spot, desolation, difficulty in prayer, and yet, he knows it’s bounty as well and the beauty that can be found even in that.  He writes beautifully of the call to die to one’s self.  No small feat that, but in that, in bearing life’s crosses, we become more truly us and therefore closer to God.  He also wrote that “Silence is God’s first language.”  See, so much for me to learn! That’s one of the reasons I like him. 
Here is another, a quote:

“Where there is no love, put love — and you will find love.” 
Happy Feast day!
 Icon by Lynne Taggart
St. John of the Cross, pray for us.

>Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe!


It’s the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe!
Being from the southwest, growing up in Arizona specifically, I have a special fondness for Our Lady of Guadalupe. And you know, I just like most everything about this feast day and Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I love the Mexican culture, the food to celebrate, the miracles, the roses, the prayers, the colors, the music, the textiles.  What’s not to love?

The short version of Our Lady of Guadalupe is, of course, that she appeared to St. Juan Diego on his way to Mass.  She asked for a church to be built on the spot.  She asked him to ask the Bishop.  He agreed, the Bishop didn’t want to believe him.  So he kind of griped to Mary, saying that he couldn’t get the Bishop to listen and he wanted a sign..  She told Juan to gather flowers from Tepeyac Hill, (ones that weren’t indigenous and it was winter) and so he gathered the roses (that had miraculously bloomed in the winter snow) up in his cloak.  When he got to the Bishop, he spilled the roses out in the office and on his tilma (A type of cloak) was the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe!  Full wikipedia version here.

This is one of those times where once again, we see the universality of the Church.  Mary is not only our mother if you are of white european ancestry, but of course, she is mother to us all – the world over.  And in Mexico, today, you can see the festival celebrating her, complete with all the local cultural trimmings.

Coffeedoc and I went to Mexico City on his fortieth birthday, to go see the tilma for ourselves.  And you know, there was a time when part of me just kind of took the ‘folklore’ appreciation route with Our Lady of Guadalupe.  My folklore background would kick in and I’d get caught up in all the sensual aspects: the colors, textures, foods, fiestas…the layers and layers that are part of any long historical memorial.

 But, going to Mexico City, to the Basilica’s – the old and the new – well, it’s one of those things.  You go.  You see the pilgrims who have traveled there ON THEIR KNEES.  You see the thousands and thousands of milagros pinned up (Small metal tokens of thanksgiving left behind for answered prayers).  And you see the tilma.  You stand in front of the tilma, and scour it with your own eyes.  You pray. And it’s like C.S. Lewis says, to paraphrase: you either believe, or you think they are all lying (Or it’s a big scam), or that they are crazy. 

Well, I don’t think they are all lying and I don’t think that it’s a scam.  I think Our Lady of Guadalupe has made a huge difference in so many lives.  And I don’t think they are all crazy either.  Especially not after being there.  But I didn’t really ever ascribe to that one either.  I believe.  I believe Our Lady of Guadalupe is another manifestation of Our Blessed Mother.  And that like any mom, she will go to where her children are and where they need her.  And so she did. 

“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars”
Revelation 12:1 (Entrance Antiphon for Our Lady of Guadalupe)

  I recently helped Miss M, my 5th grader, learn this for a Spanish quiz at school, we prayed a spanish rosary.  So, in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe:

Ave María (Hail Mary)
Dios te salve, María. Llena eres de gracia: El Señor es contigo.
Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres. Y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre: Jesús.
Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores,
ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén.

>Happy Bday BooBoo!


Today is my son’s birthday!
My Booboo is 18!
Oh. My. Goodness.

I know, I know…this is when I (and many other moms) will blather on about how fast time flies and how we can’t believe it.  But, you know what? Wow, time flies and I can’t believe it!!!

My little goofy boy with the solemn face and big brown eyes is officially all grown up.  I could get all misty just typing this.  And yet…and yet….I so very much like the young man he has grown into.  Even without the motherly bias…he is a great young man.  I totally enjoy his company and he is good.  He is kind.  He has a good heart to go with his big brain and big sense of adventure and  humor.  He has very big adventure’s ahead, I know it.

My Booboo, you are heading off to many adventures: college, jobs, traveling the world, falling in love.
But you are and will always be, to me, first, my boy.
The one with the big brown eyes.
And duckling hair that wouldn’t stay down.
And solemn face, hiding the big grin and twinkling eyes.
You are funny, witty and clever and can make me laugh so hard that I cry.
You can also make me fume and have steam coming out of my ears.
And while you currently ‘know everything,’ that is all too soon to change.
I will miss that, a little bit.

Your quirks make me smile; you are an old soul.
You were an ‘old man’ the day  you were born.
You love cardigans, ‘old man’.
You love a hot tea and soft slippers, old man.
You love a long nap on the sofa, old man.
You carry problems,  yours and others, heavily, ‘old man.”
 You have helped to carry mine.
And you are one of my heroes.

Your world view is bigger than most.
Your judgement is usually good (except the occasional right hand turn, ahem) and your integrity is impeccable.
You even managed to find your girlfriend in one of your best friends, and are handling the relationship with respect and trust.
And even with this, you show us your sound judgement and good taste, both, as she is both beautiful and kind.

You are also still full of small boy mischief and crave adventure.
You want to jump out of airplane and dive into the sea.
You want to start record companies and jam late into the night.
You want to polar bear dive into the cold winter waters.
And snowboard down the fastest slopes.
{And live with the injuries that those sports and adventures bring.}

You love magic and practical jokes,
You love to laugh and make others laugh.
And you’re good at it.
You’re cool enough to happily be silly.

You love a bargain and are my frugal child, and yet still the mogul in the family.
You love babies, but not so much children.
You love music and are getting to be so talented.
I love your acoustic guitar playing, but not so much the loud techno.
You love turtles.
Maybe because you hide your big soft heart behind a turtle shell of stoic and tough.
But I know better.

Because Booboo, you are my boy, now a  young man.
And we have always been so close.
And I hope, we always will be.

We are so proud of you, every day.
We love you so much.
Happy Happy Birthday Booboo!

>Feast of the Immaculate Conception.


Saint Anne conceiving the Virgin Mary
Douai, Musée de la Chartreuse

Oh, it’s a big feast today!  It’s one of those feasts: an uber Catholic one.
It’s the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation.

One of the big Marian feasts, and one that often gives many folks some consternation (from a scratch on the head to fits).  For a good explanation of it all, go here (and scroll down for all those, “What’s up with that” “How can that be?” kind of responses).  I can’t give you a great theological treatise on it.  It took brilliant theologians from the east and west to determine this one over the centuries, but they did because we are human. And our inquiring minds want to know, and puzzle and ponder.  So those who have gone before us prayed and debated and concluded.  I can say that it only makes sense to my puny brain.

For a long time, I thought that the “immaculate conception” referred to Mary’s conception of Jesus, you know, with the descent of the Holy Spirit and Gabriel and all…clean, tidy, right?  But no, it’s actually about Mary and her being preserved from the stain of original sin.  Confusing, a little, huh?  Well, this is how it parses out in my old mom brain: God himself is all love and of course, without sin.  God came to us in his son, Christ, who was also without sin (being God and all).  Since all purity and all love cannot coexist with the stain of sin, how could Christ come to us as a man, without first having a pure ‘vessel’, if you will?  Well, he couldn’t, that would not correspond with the natural/divine order.  Growing in utero is, utterly, coexisting.  So, if God cannot coexist with sin, then a human mom to be would have to be found, sinless.  And thus, since God is beyond time, he prepared Mary, {from her conception of course}, to be without sin.  Because God knew, outside of time, that Mary would be the perfect (literally and figuratively) mom for Jesus.

Now, I think that’s cool!  It makes perfect sense to me and really is one of those ‘clap your hands, I get it” kind of moments.  Yeah, it’s uber Catholic.  But hey, I love being Catholic because (well, so many reasons) its cool and rich and takes my breath away.  And of course,  I love feasts….so it’s a good day!

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!

>Feast of St. Ambrose


And not only does he have a fun cool name, he was an outstanding teacher and Bishop of the Church in the early years; elected Bishop of Milan in 340.  A wealthy politician, he ended up giving away all his material goods to the poor. 

I like him because though many thought he’d be “a player,” politically speaking, as a Bishop, he wasn’t.  At least not in the sense that was perhaps hoped for by the players of the time.  He perhaps used his political savvy, but for good.  And that is just the sort of saint we need in this duplicitous day and age of politics and media….. 

So, happy feast day, and St. Ambrose, pray for us!

>Make way for ducklings: Reality Check


I might have mentioned once or twice that I have a large family –  a fair number of kidletts.  People will ask me, “How do you do it all?”  They see my brood and the hustle and bustle and are often incredulous, and maybe a little freaked out (And probably thinking, “Whew, not me!).  Sometimes I smile and say, “The big kids help, it’s not so much.”  And that’s true.  More often I might say, “I don’t! I have help. It’s one of the secrets to a big family: built in helpers.”  Even more often, I say, “Well, I fail.  Every day.”  And that’s probably the most accurate of all.

Reality Check:  Sometimes, you have tough weeks.  Not even extra-ordinary weeks with some disaster that defines the days.  But rather, you have ordinary days, a week filled with laundry and school and  homework and juggling schedules.  But for some reason, that week is tough.  Sometimes, thankfully not so often, but sometimes….despite the standard mundane moments, it seems like every single person needs just a bit, or quite a lot, MORE, somehow.

On those days, that usual sense of paddling as fast as you can, maybe dropping a few balls here and there….kind of shifts.  
And then, you realize that you feel, for the moment, (to borrow an old phrase) like you are being pecked to death by baby ducks.

So, for those of you who wonder how any of us “do it all,”  I’d like to honestly say that some days you (ok, me)  just feel a little overrun, and maybe you (ok, me) fantasize for a moment or two about flights to faraway tropical islands – one way. So, that’s part of the package.  Not all that rare I suspect.  But yeah, it’s been one of those weeks.