Small Success Thursday: I’m Baaaaaaaaack. I think.

Wow, I have missed blogging!

I am linking up today with CatholicMom.com for Small Success Thursday. Counting my blessings, not just for a week, but for the past several weeks, to play catch up!

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I feel extremely blessed to be 32 weeks pregnant. The baby kicks and squirms constantly! Besides buying birth supplies for my home birth, I am completely ready for the baby to come. What does being “ready” for baby #10 mean? It means washing the newborn cloth diaper stash, having a few gender neutral onesies and swaddle blankets on hand, and just waiting. I know by now that babies really don’t need that much!

Life has been all over the place. We have been enjoying the crazy busyness of Spring!

We celebrated our second child’s Confirmation this past Sunday. What a blessing, praying the Rosary together and witnessing all those young people rejecting satan and following Christ!

The morning of Kelsey’s Confirmation, we learned that my grandma had passed away sometime during the night. She had been sick for some time, and I had been praying that she would die peacefully and without pain. As we are packing up to leave for the wake and funeral, many thoughts and memories are swirling around in my mind.

My grandma taught me to never give up on others, even when they continue to make poor choices. Love them and never give up! She was a living example of how to love like Christ does, unselfishly and without holding back.

I will never forget holidays at her house, sharing banana splits, the stinky home permanents she gave me, and our love of the Little House on the Prairie books. So many wonderful memories!

My grandma told me once that all she ever wanted was to have a family. Every baby I have (even #10 growing in my belly!), Grandma made sure to sew or buy a soft blanket for. Sometimes I feel like she was one of the few people to understand my large family! I picture her in Heaven, sitting on a porch swing with Grandpa and rocking my two babies that wait for me.

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Hug your family tight! Have a blessed week, enjoying every second you have in this crazy thing called life!

Dear tiny baby growing in my belly,

Your mama is writing this to replace pregnancy journals and baby books. I won’t attempt to buy either because they will remain empty.

This doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It just means life is quite busy chasing after your nine big brothers and sisters. You’ll see!

Two weeks ago, your daddy and I got to see your sweet little fingers and toes at our ultrasound. I have something crazy to share with you:  It always makes me a little sad to share you with everyone else.

Up until that ultrasound, I was the only one who knew you, really knew you, except for God. Only I knew how nauseous and hormonal it feels to grow you from two tiny cells. Only I felt your little flutters and squirms. Only I knew how you kick like crazy when music plays loudly or my seat belt squishes you.

I have loved you ever since I had an inkling that you were growing inside me. Actually, I prayed for you months ago. You were not exactly planned as the rest of the world expects babies to be. However, your daddy and I were open to the possibility of you, and God willed you to exist at this exact time and place. God has a very special life in store for you.

Someday we will read scripture, go to mass, and pray the rosary together. I hope to share with you Luke 2:22-35, where the prophet Simeon holds baby Jesus, rejoicing that he recognizes the Messiah. He tells Mother Mary that a sword will pierce her own soul, too.

I have come to understand this scripture as it applies to my life. Now, in no way do I think my life compares to Jesus and the Holy Family’s, but all mommies know it’s just plain hard to live out our vocation. All mommies struggle, even our Blessed Mother. Sometimes this pain feels just like a sword piercing our soul.

My silly little suffering as I share ultrasound pictures with the world is just the beginning! I will blink my eyes and you will be walking away from me, not wanting to snuggle anymore. You will start kindergarten, and in a blur, college. Every moment I care for you will be spent preparing you to be independent of me!

So I share your ultrasound picture, knowing it is the first of many times I will have to share you with the world.

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For now, I am content to treasure every time you kick and squirm in my belly. I daydream about what your daddy and I will name you and if you are a boy or girl. Who will you look like? Who will you act like?

I am thankful the ultrasound deemed you “perfect,” although I would love you with purple hair and fourteen toes and whatever imperfections life may bring.

As overwhelming as my love seems for you, my love is not perfect. There will come a day that you will roll your eyes at me and I will be angry. We will both be hurt.

Always remember that only God’s love is perfect. In fact, God made me a mother to teach me about His perfect love. Nothing compares to how much God loves us both. I will spend the rest of my life trying to love you like God does.

Sweet, sweet little baby, your entire family—as big and loud and crazy as we are—cannot wait to hold you and meet you. And yes, I will share you with them, too!

Love forever and always,

Mommy

 

#SmallSuccess Thursday: My Brain is Scrambled Eggs

A friend sent me this a couple of weeks ago:

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So funny! What is my brain like then?

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I have so much to be thankful for this week!

1. In keeping with the scrambled eggs theme, I can’t get enough of them! Thank goodness all the eggs fit in just fine with Lent. I might starve without them.

2. I took a few pics of the kids getting ready for school. Speaking of eggs, my Drake cracks me up. He eats 3 fried eggs every morning, and he saves the yolks (his favorite) for last. What a goofball!

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I can’t leave out the rest of the kiddos! Kelsey (eating an egg sandwich) is truly thrilled I took her picture so early in the morning….

Erica wouldn’t even let me take her picture….Buh Bye!

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I’m about to eat an early lunch (scrambled eggs—big shocker!) and feed the little ones. We go through 8-9 dozen eggs a week around here, in case you wondered!

Count your blessings and read about other mom’s small successes over at CatholicMom! God bless.

Wordless Wednesday: Maren Mania

Maren drew this picture of our new baby when it comes out. The baby is surrounded by his/her brothers and sisters!

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It’s nice that she drew everyone holding hands and not fighting. 🙂 Although, the guy on the bottom left with his mouth wide open is her brother Drake. He’s yelling, at least according to Maren.

She also asked me how to spell “interesting” and made this delightful sign for all to read as they enter the kitchen:

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It’s always, always about poop at our house.

 

Next, she decided to style and cut her hair all by herself.

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And here she is after we tried to fix it.

 

Just another crazy week with Maren!

Last Night, I Rocked Baby Jesus

For the life of me, I have no idea why my 17-month-old couldn’t sleep last night. Finally at 2:00 a.m., I brought him downstairs so my husband could get some sleep.

We rocked. I got him a cup of almond milk. We rocked some more. I turned on cartoons. I sang to him. I got him a snack, which he gobbled up. I gave him some water, and we rocked a million times more.

Was he still feeling sick? No, his ears and tummy seemed fine. Teething? Maybe. All I knew was he was fussy and just wouldn’t go back to sleep.

I started to half-ignore him, my patience wearing thin. I dutifully rocked him, sleepily browsing Facebook on my phone and trying not to snap. Nothing was helping him anyway!

Out of the blue, the Holy Spirit made me think of this scripture:

…for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”  Matthew 25:35-36 NRSV

I began picturing Mother Mary rocking baby Jesus. Surely he was fussy or sick at times and she felt the same exhaustion!

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My entire attitude changed. Peacefully, I held my baby tight to my chest, snuggling cheek to cheek. I softly whispered prayers in his ear. I’m doing this for you, Jesus. I’m doing this for You. He settled down about an hour later, sound asleep in my arms.

At 5:00 a.m. my big kids woke up to start getting ready for school. The peaceful feeling that had washed over me remained. Miraculously, I packed six school lunches and got breakfast for everyone without biting their heads off. I was tired, but kind to everyone!

I think I have been a stay-at-home mom for so long (16 years!) that I forget that I serve Jesus every day. At this season of my life, I can’t start an orphanage or leave my responsibilities to care for the poor. Right here, right now, what I am doing for my family is how Jesus wants me to serve Him. Am I treating my family how I would treat Jesus?

Many of you reading this may not be in the midst of raising babies and toddlers. Maybe you are

  • tolerating a not-so-nice coworker.
  • primary caregiver for a sick parent.
  • in the middle of health problems yourself, fighting to stay optimistic and kind to others.
  • in a quarrel with your spouse, refusing to say you are sorry.
  • having a super hard time being kind to your rebellious teen.

Maybe my Holy Spirit moment will help you deal with whatever challenges you face today. Imagine the challenging situation or person is Jesus giving you the opportunity to serve Him. Jesus will not fail to pour plenty of grace, mercy, and peace upon you!