Monday, June 28, 2010

Making it right in my heart

This weekend was a very joyful time. On Friday evening, my choir sang at the Ordination Mass for two exceptional young men who we are now blessed to call Father.

I love ordination!! It's a wedding, really--a man taking the vows of obedience and fidelity to Holy Mother Church. I am humbled when I witness the anointing, the vesting, the laying on of hands by the bishop and each of the priests present--and my favorite part: the first blessings given by each of the new priests are to his mother and father, and then to the bishop. I am an absolute wreck at that point, just the same as when a daddy walks his little girl down the aisle to give her hand to her see these men bless their parents and then the bishop is a very intimate moment of tenderness and love. Thanks be to God!!

On Saturday, My Darling and I attended the wedding of one of his many cousins. This dear young woman was like a sister to My Darling when they were young, because she stayed with his family for a summer. What a pleasure it was to see her, so elegant and confident in her white dress--trimmed with red, no less!--taking her place as a married woman!

On Sunday, I cantored at Mass. It's been a go so far--no blood pressure issues just yet, though that blasted Nausea Bug continues his plodding march. Looking out into the congregation, I spied a dear friend walking in with her family, and she looked a bit--well, smaller than she had the last time I saw her. Bringing up the rear, I spotted her husband, carrying a baby seat! Ahh....the blessing of seeing new (again) parents holding their tiny baby for the first time at Mass!! He was to be baptized afterward as well, so the joy of it really was overwhelming.

When I went to speak with them after Mass, another friend, Mary, was there as well. She and I hadn't seen each other since My Darling and I discovered our New Life, so she gave me a hug of congratulations. She looked me in the eye and said, "This one will be better, don't you think?"

I knew exactly what she meant.

It's something I've really been thinking a lot about, but I've been working hard to convince myself that when the Cuppie was born, the circumstances filling the following week were so incredibly extraordinary that they are just not likely to ever, ever happen again. Ever.

I hope.

There are those friends--like Mary--who understand the fear and anxiety so well that for them to voice it feels absolutely natural. I am so glad that she did, because I almost instantly felt better, like the lancing of a swollen wound. To know that my thoughts were not just some random obsession or some unfounded fear was incredibly comforting.

So now, I truly am completely joyful in this pregnancy, despite the marching of the Bug.


Prayer intentions: For Fathers David and Gregory, for their ordination--Thanks Be to God! For AJ and Sarah, as they approach the due date for their little Pip, and for AJ's birthday today--Thanks Be to God! For the "changing of the guard" in an important ministry office in our parish, as one lovely lady leaves the office to care for her babies at home full time, and another lovely lady comes to continue the good work of that office--Thanks Be to God! For our Dear Bishop who continues to teach us the Truth in love, unfailingly in line with the teachings of Holy Mother Church--Thanks Be to God!

And for all those who continue to search, to listen carefully, to desire the Will of God the Father in their lives, Thanks Be to God.

Any other prayer intentions today?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Well, it's out there now!

My belly, that is..........I have achieved the Poof of Proof of #6!!

We are joyfully expecting our next blessing to arrive in February, God willing.

The Nausea Bug began his march today.


I chart very carefully. We. We chart very carefully. So we knew precisely what was what, when, and apparently were very blessed at that particular moment.

I could not help myself. I know in my brain that before around 8 days post ovulation, a home pregnancy test will not give anything but, what is known in the world of charting women as a "BFN"--Big Fat Negative, for those of you playing at home. But way back then, I had tested late in the evening of that 8th day, only to see a faint line taking shape before my very eyes.

This time was no different....except that I did, I confess, actually begin testing on the 7th day. Ah, that Seventh Day! The Day of Rest! Of Regeneration! Of Renewal! Of BFNs!!! Rats!!!! But I can't say I wasn't expecting it. (Get it? "Expecting"? Hahaheh.........I know. Groan away.)

But on the 8th day--well, on the 8th day, there was that little line that I had been hoping to see, once again. (And in that girl world of all things pointing toward conception, we call that a BFP--a Big Fat Positive.) Just to be certain, I called My Darling and asked him to pick up another box containing two plastic cartridges which would soon be soaked....and not with that I could make absolutely certain that this was not the same as the evil false positive we had seen two months prior.

He made the purchase, and I tore into the first package, and immediately used the plastic thing the way it's meant to be used, for Pete's sake, and My Darling and I both watched as a line, a little darker than the last time, appeared next to the control line. It looked like this:
Better try once more, just to be certain. It's a bit faint.

And the next morning, I tried once more.

And there was that second line, again. This time, a bit darker:
And so I write to you in the very wee hours of the morning, exhausted, but nauseous, fending off that dastardly thug, the Nausea Bug. Now, I will admit to being encouraged. Though my first four pregnancies were completely defeated by this formidable adversary, the last was not too bad, all things considered. The reason I find hope in this is that so much of my last pregnancy had to do with prayer and visualization. I firmly believe that the reason I had such an incredibly calm and comfortable labor and delivery (save for that particular 20-ish minutes, which really packed in every bit of pain possible!) was because I prayed for it to be that way, and because I had spent many moments leading up to then visualizing the kind of labor and birth that I wanted to have. So here's the thing: I am visualizing very little nausea. Teeny, tiny bugs. Like, smaller than chiggers, which must be reeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaallllllllllly small because you Can't. See. Them. At. All. Little bugs which can be swatted into oblivion by the mere movement of my eyelashes as I blink.

It's terribly handy, because My Darling has forbidden me to be sick, so Major Pukey had just better keep his bags packed wherever he is.......

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Joys!

I needed to make another, completely separate post. That one, just down there...well, that was a necessary re-introduction. My mind is bubbling with the events of the past weeks--a graduation, a Confirmation (!!), a Grand Decision, and just general life, which, really, adds up to quite a bit.

My Little Frog was confirmed a couple of weeks ago, on Pentecost Sunday! What a joyous day--gorgeous outside, an amazing Mass, and the beautiful hearts of her classmates confirmed with her. Two days prior, she graduated from 8th grade. Again, it was a wonderful event, with Mass and a shared meal with friends. We are so blessed to be among so many families who share our faith and our lives! It really helps to make these important and sacramental milestones more joyous, more deeply meaningful, and more memorable.
Our beloved Bishop prepares to confirm the candidates--LOVE the Fiddleback and lace!!

Back in early April, we received an e-mail about a local private school needing players for their soccer team. When a school is so small that their graduating class includes all of 6 students, it's difficult to put together a team big enough to have people on the field and on the bench. By opening up the roster to local home schoolers, they were able to make it happen. I replied to the e-mail by saying, "I think the Frog would like to participate."

Well, except that she didn't want to participate. But I'm a mean Mama, and I made her go to the first practice.

She loved it!

We had been given shoes, and the socks, shorts and shin guards were relatively inexpensive, and all of a sudden--I became a soccer Mom! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! But no--not one of those soccer moms. I was the Mom who grabbed the big orange drink coolers and hauled them to the practices and games. I was also the Mom who came to the tiny school to help transport the kiddos from school to the practice field. I was further the Mom who decided that kids who are playing soccer should also have something delicious to eat every now and then, and that cupcakes (filled with cream cheese, of course) were definitely on the menu.

No, wait--I guess that does make me one of those soccer moms.

So be it.

In the mean time, here's what happened: We came to know the kids from some of the families of our parish with whom we don't get to spend a lot of time, because they're not homeschooling the kids who are my older kids' ages, and they don't have little ones crying through Mass in the narthex (like Cuppie does). We also met and came to know some other amazing kids from families in other parishes--families we'd heard about, but we'd never had the blessing of meeting. Most of the kids were familiar to the Frog because of a diocesan-wide retreat she attended in February. Some of them were in her confirmation class.

This tiny little school, with the itty-bitty classes, is made up largely of families who were homeschooling and wanted to pool their resources into an intense, classical curriculum, and in turn allow their kids to absolutely flourish academically in an authentically Catholic atmosphere. The kids wear beautiful uniforms, attend Mass 3 days a week (easily done, because the facility they use adjoins a church!), and they have Eucharistic Adoration and silent reflection time the other two days. Their days begin and end with prayers, their class periods begin and end with prayers, and the teachers are all wonderful, dedicated professionals, who also happen to be practicing Catholics--some of them are parents of students. God is Good!

And now......this tiny little school will have a new student in the fall. My little Frog is going back to Building School!

The very best part about it is that we have absolute, complete peace about this decision. We can't even come close to affording it, but there are financial aid and fund raising and volunteer opportunities. And sometimes, the Holy Spirit makes things so very plain that it is easy to know that He will take care of the financial side--and so we're trusting Him to do just that!

There really is so much more in my heart......but I'll be back--soon and very soon, I'll be back.

Rediscovering Me

I've been gone a long time. I've been thinking about coming back to post, but have just not been in the right place in my head--or my heart.

What's changed?

So much. So very much.

I stopped taking my medication. I stopped for lots of reasons, but mainly because so much of my heart has healed that I just wanted to see if I remembered who I was before it all began.

So much ground was covered, so many new rooms built in my soul, and all of them have finally found a way to fit together comfortably, like old jeans or a favorite sweater. It feels good.

I have learned that I am stronger than I thought I was, and that sometimes to get stronger, you have to feel the hurt and truly grow from it. I haven't felt the true pain of my depression in so long, I almost forgot it existed. There was a dull ache for months, and a fog of near-contentment that was just a little off, the way you can't quite get comfortable on a hot summer night. Now that I'm not taking my medication, I've had to face some things head-on: anxiety, having opinions, noticing that I can pray through my day successfully, and remembering that no matter how small my tasks, My Lord is with me.

I have learned that it's ok to go through something which shocks the soul so greatly and come out alive, joyful, radiant, and peaceful.

I have learned that when there is a blessing amid the hideous darkness, that it is important to hang on to that blessing and celebrate that blessing with every breath, until the light begins to glimmer again.

I have learned that when the windows of the soul are left open, fresh life comes in, and the Holy Spirit makes things new. I have learned that new is good.

I am grateful for my time in the valley. I am grateful for the wisdom I've found there, for the lessons learned, and for the beauty I have come to see in suffering.

Thanks be to God, it seems the climb is on!