Sunday, May 31, 2015

Joy and Struggle

Well, friends, this has been one interesting weekend. When I sit down and look back at the last two days I just think, "now that was not according to the plan... and it's OK." 

The wedding I mentioned in the last post was actually a wedding at our parish; the first at which #1 would assist as an altar server. She was very nervous and we did our best to reassure her but, in the end, there is no way to just do your best.

I happened to be there in case she had any difficulty and, well, I like weddings. Two people joining together in the sacrament of marriage is one of those milestones that is hard to pass up. It's kind of fun to sit with the guests and ride the wave of anticipation for this new couple about to embark on a life together.

Except, well, this was no ordinary wedding. It turns out that the bride was really, really, extra-nervous and after Father's excellent homily (the four "C"s that should hold up your marriage are "commitment", "communication", "comedy" and "Christ"), the bride (and the rest of the people on the altar) had to head into the sacristy for 15 minutes because she was unable to continue. It seems she felt dizzy and sick. They eventually came out and the bride and groom conferred the sacrament to one another but  I'm sure it was nothing like they had planned. Sometimes it just works out that way. If their ultimate goal was to be joined together in a Catholic marriage, they achieved matter what else went on.

Today was a little like Groundhog Day (remember that movie?). We sent #1 back up to the altar to serve the 9 AM Mass and all was well. Until sometime right after Communion (I am embarrassed that I was busy reprimanding a rather naughty 4-year-old) when I looked up and noticed that she wasn't on the altar. After a few minutes passed and I still didn't see her, I sent DH back to check. They came out after Mass had ended, walking slowly, her looking very white and teary. She said she felt dizzy and left the altar to rest in the sacristy. We got her home and fed and she seems to be better.

So, this was our weekend. Joyful occasions with a good dose of trial in between. It was worrisome at the time and yet, as in everything, we know that God is there. I have been praying for the bride and groom today. Perhaps this trial at the beginning of their marriage will bond them together and allow them to realize that much of life will not go according to plan but that, in joy and struggle, God will walk beside them. 

Have a blessed week.

Friday, May 29, 2015


So, I thought "Summer" was supposed to be easier? I guess we haven't reached Summer yet, since we are jammed full of activity each day. It's been another full, blessed, exhausting week. Some of the highlights...


This was Memorial Day and, as I mentioned, the parade was awesome. We had so much fun standing with our little crew of neighbors, whom I love dearly. It was a very special day. The day started with 9 AM Mass which was, as always, a good way to start the day and work week (even though no one was working). We are blessed to have the ability to worship freely every day of the week. 


Well, that was quick. Grateful that the peonies and wisteria remain constant even if everything else changes at an unbelievable pace!


Tuesday morning we were off with friends to see Three Billy Goats Gruff at the mother-ship library in town. It is an impressive library and the show was good but I forgot for a minute about my bubble. First, walking in with my five, the librarian says "Are you checking in? What is the name of your school?" Lol. 

 I don't know...kind of a small school I think.

Then, while we were waiting for the show, I sat down with Alpha and Omega to read a few books from the "Father's Day" theme table. I picked up a board book for G titled, "Me, Daddy and Papa". Yes, I am that naive. I suppose the bad grammar threw me off. (oh, and the fact that it's a BOARD BOOK). Not ranting...Alpha chose one that was entitled "Sam has two dads" and we had a short but direct discussion, most of which she seemed hesitant to believe (I was grateful we weren't asked to leave at this point). Pushing further, we did find a book about a father who had a wife and six (!) kids (that's practically a school!). So, kudos to the library for presenting all sides.

Tuesday night was, by far, the best part of the day. We were blessed to attend the Ordination to the Diaconate of a Brother from our local Oratory. Never having been to an Ordination, it was quite a thing in which to take part. When this part came

we were all welling up. What a fantastic opportunity for all the little ones (the older little ones I guess) to see this beautiful ceremony. Wow. For our newest Communicant, of course, the highlight was receiving the Holy Eucharist from the Bishop and the Precious Blood from the brand-new Deacon. 

The older two have started the "Deacon love society" through which they identify and pray for members of the diaconate. I suppose it can't hurt.


I know, after an almost two-hour ordination, the best possible place to go is noon Mass! Seriously, though, it was on our way (we were heading to the ballgame) and our (now beloved) Fr. Joe was preaching. He had a really lovely homily on how we seem to seek out everyone's gaze but Christ and He is the one always looking to meet our gaze. It is such an excellent reminder for me at this point in my life, to not worry about what anyone else thinks and to keep my eyes focused heavenward.
Spiritually filled we headed back on the trolley and under the river. We had a few miscues (as is common when traveling with 5 little kids) but it was a glorious day and we thoroughly enjoyed our time at the stadium. We even cheered along as we were walking to the trolley when they rallied to win the game (#2 had altar server know, priorities). Let's Go Bucs!

 It seems there is now a "Bacon" pierogi...???

I love this shot. My first and last babies :0)


By now the kids are exhausted so it seemed like the perfect time to join a friend and her kids and head to school Mass at our parish (hee, hee). It is always a good homily, as the priests gear it to school-aged kids, and it was a delight to spend 30+ minutes in a pew with 9 kids and 2 adults, all of whom were reasonably well-behaved the entire time. Let us say the grace was flowing.
After Mass we took #1 to cello lessons and were on our way to pick up some much needed groceries in my new-to-me Honda Pilot. Then it occurred to me that both a cello and groceries would not fit into said vehicle (well, not with the six passengers anyway- who designs these cars?). So, we just hung out, grateful for the break.


Fresh off his altar training this week, #2 wanted to head to 8 AM Mass this morning. He was filled with enthusiasm and I should have made it happen. Still, I just couldn't do it. I could not drag my old self out of bed this morning. It was the wrong decision, based on the later fallout, but that's just one of those live-and-learn things. We will all work through the issues and try again tomorrow. Forgiveness is such a necessary part of life. Almost as important as being able to see the situation from the other person's point-of view.
Today was the perfect day to hang in the back yard and blow/pop some bubbles.

I am pleased to say that we are once again stocked up with groceries and I am so grateful that we have reached the weekend. It doesn't promise any time for rest (soccer, wedding, dance show) but at least we will again be together and I will be reunited with my very best friend...the one who helps me pull this train. Except, having pulled the train all week, I think I'll probably sleep in the caboose for a while ;0) I am a lucky girl to have such an amazing husband. I just bought a shirt that says that exact thing!

Wishing you a happy, safe weekend. We are blessed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

If you're tired of listening to me...

give Fr. Freedy a listen. He has the most amazing homilies. This is particularly excellent.

St. Philip Neri, Pray for Us!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Five+ on Monday...the "other" edition

Yes, it's Monday. I'm dragging. Sorry.

1. Worship Aids

Lately we've had a lot of opportunities to practice putting "other" before ourselves. Personally, I love this and take any chance possible to teach the little people how important it is to sacrifice one's time to help someone else; to put others' needs first. One of the most fun recently is the worship aids at church. They are printed and every other week we have to count them out and put them on the chairs/pews. We've only done it twice but I can already see that it will become routine. What an easy way to help our great music director check one more thing off his schedule.

 The music elves

2. Anonymous Ministry

We were blessed this weekend to be able to help a friend with her usual ministry of taking flowers for the women at a post-abortive retreat. The little ones helped me "spot" some wildflowers (they were supposed to be non-professional bouquets) and put them together to be tied in a bunch. They turned out really well and I wasn't even arrested for cutting wild daisies off the property at Shop n This was one of the most God-touched encounters I've had in a while. I drove out to deliver them, put them where they belonged and walked to my car, completely without sight of or interaction with another human. I did spend some time in my car praying the the Blessed Mother would wrap these women, so fragile yet so brave to seek her Son's healing, in her mantle and help them find the grace to forgive themselves and move on. What an amazing lift to my day.

3. Helping Mama

My "baby" (who, as you know, is no a baby but a boy!) calls me "mama". I love that so much. I love it even more that the others have taken to calling me that on occasion as well. I do belong in the South.

While I was making my flower delivery, the little garden elves were preparing the soil, pulling weeds, and doing all the necessary things to prepare the garden for planting. When I arrived they were all most helpful in placing the plants and watering after they were planted. I love this time of gardening...great expectations!

 This year we tried Brussels sprouts and lots of herbs.

We also had to expand the plot area to meet demand (they love tomatoes)

4. Serving the Church

Happy Birthday to the Catholic Church! Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday, the day the Holy Spirit descended from Heaven. Praise to God for that gift of His continued presence among us.
I love the fire hats ;0)
Yesterday, during Mass, the new pastoral council was installed. It's exciting around here because both DH and my good friend ("godmama" to #4) discerned onto the council this time. It was nice to see some familiar faces in the group in addition to those two. I think the Holy Spirit did some good work. I pray the council can help the pastor do what is necessary to further strengthen our parish. I can only imagine the challenges society will present over the next six years.

It's exciting but it comes with the understanding that helping the pastor takes time and energy. There will be missed dinners and late nights. Still, we are all called to help in whatever way we are able and, at this time in our lives, this is a call that we as a family can accept. I am happy to know that DH will be serving the parish and I can take up the slack. Like a marriage, it only works when everyone does their part. 

5. Remembering our Loved Ones

One of my favorite things to do is go to the cemetery with DH and all the kids, say some prayers, explore some stones and, most of all, remember our family members who have gone before us. It is so important to me that our kids have a foundation. I want them to know from where they came so they can feel solid when moving forward. Part of that is remembering and honoring our dead.

We headed out Sunday afternoon...perfect day. We took the watering can but realized the other grave tenders had not yet planted any flowers (oops) so there was ample time to pray for and discuss all the grave flags and medals on our grave and all through the cemetery. It's good the little ones know about war and about the sacrifice men and women made long before their parents were keep the nation they loved free. Wow. Sometimes I wonder how many of this generation would be willing to do the same (then DH pipes up with "that's why they're called 'the Greatest Generation'") Indeed.
One day I will post the pictures of my sibs and I running down the same hill

This day was a bit different; in a good way. On our way back to the car one of the kids asked if they could go see the babies. The rest chimed in with robust agreement. G was asleep in the car so DH walked them up and I moved the car down to that section. 

I forget sometimes how uncluttered the mind of the little person can be. I know the warm weather brings to mind the memory of their sister and that memory brings to mind their brother and they really want to make that connection with the little ones who went on to heaven too soon for their liking. We spent time looking, praying, talking. It is heartbreaking to me to see how many little ones are there and yet many of them also have loved ones who are here, tending their graves and remembering. 
This says "Twin Sons" 1975. As always when we get bogged down in our own sadness, the Holy Spirit gently reminds us that we are so blessed and there are many others whose burden is greater. They never complain about praying when we are at the cemetery - for their relatives, "fresh" graves, or babies. I am pleased that they have learned this lesson young and I pray that they will keep it in their heart to remember often.

6. The Ultimate Gift to "Other" (worth an extra number)

We have been doing a lot of reading and talking about Memorial Day this past week. The older two are much more able to understand this year and even DH and I had some great talks. I remember being in Paris as a high school graduate and being taken to the underground tunnel where the Jews were loaded on boats during WW II. There was a long hallway that had one light for each person deported. I can't remember the exact number but it was a lot and I remember it almost thirty years later. (I just found it HERE . So powerful.) So many people affected during that and the other major wars. So much we have to give thanks all those who made sure our nation has remained free.
I suggested the kids get their markers and posters out and make some signs. It is essential that our gratitude be spoken, especially as we say goodbye to the few remaining soldiers from those great wars. We are grateful to all the men and women who have and who are or will serve in our Armed Forces. On this Memorial Day, our prayers and thanks are with those families who gave a loved one in the ultimate sacrifice. The debt can never be repaid. May God's blessings be upon you.

The response from the signs was sad and touching. Many of the parade marchers, even the firemen and police, told the kids "good job" or "thank you" and one Vietnam vet gave #2 a high five after he found out he had made the sign. It was sad because they seemed so surprised by the gesture. We need to do a better job of thanking our servicemen, active or retired, every time we see them. What an incredible gift they have given.

We are blessed.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Good thoughts for your Friday

"See, my children, we must reflect that we have a soul to save, and an eternity that awaits us. The world, its riches, pleasures, and honors will pass away; heaven and hell will never pass away. Let us take care, then. The saints did not all begin well; but they all ended well. We have begun badly; let us end well, and we shall go one day and meet them in heaven."
— St. John Vianney

Enjoy your weekend - Happy Pentecost!

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

We are blessed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

And...we're done

We had the portfolio review this morning and I just sent off the certified letter. The 2014-2015 school year is officially in the books.

I had to laugh when I said "congratulations" to my oldest and she wasn't dancing around. I think she is grateful for the break but she is likely one of those "odd" people who just loves to read and learn and, as such, would like to go year-round. She's also not the dancing around type. She has my temperament and, honestly, it's so much easier with which to deal than my overly-excitable child. You are comfortable with what you know, I suppose.

As with most things, I headed to church to give thanks for another successful year. I went to the tabernacle, even though there may or may not have been Adoration in the chapel. I just feel most at home upstairs. Not only is Jesus in the tabernacle but there are the Saints, God, and the Blessed Mother to keep you company. My favorites, of course, Sts. Joachim and Anne, parents of Our Lady, who are my constant support through this whole parenting journey.

I've been thinking a lot about the Blessed Mother during May (although probably not more than usual, just more deeply I guess). I've also been thinking about children, parenting, and temperaments. I am looking for ways to celebrate each personality while recognizing that society will likely not do the same. Let's face it, the "happy-clappy" always wins out over the "eeyore" . I kind of resent the latter to be totally truthful. As someone with a quiet, pensive personality, it can be annoying when people paint you as angry or sad all the time. Especially those who only see you some of the time.

So, while I was sitting quietly and praying whatever came to my brain, I heard myself say,

To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears!

Yes, it could just be my negative outlook but, then again, I didn't write the prayer. "Sighing, mourning and weeping" doesn't exactly sound like happy-clappy to me. Perhaps that's why it is one of my favorite prayers. It at least acknowledges that this is not cloud-cuckoo land but life after the Fall. No matter how much you want it to be the former it is, in fact, the latter.

No, we shouldn't go around mopey all the time. We should, however, spend some time praying deeply about what is happening around us. We shouldn't just go through the motions and we shouldn't, above all, just blindly follow popular opinion.

I know I read non-standard books but maybe, just once, try one out. No, they're not on the "best sellers list" but if you want to know about the Catholic faith; if you want to live through the time when things were really oppressive, give this a go then email me so we can chat (no, I haven't forgotten St. Bernard, he's just tough to get through when you can't concentrate so I had to put him down for a few weeks).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we should absolutely recognize that there are differences among us. I am amazed at how different people can be when they come from the same parents! However, it's also important to recognize, no matter who you are, there is a "right" and "wrong" and it's not "whatever makes you happy". If you follow the "right", however, I can pretty much guarantee that the happy times will outnumber the trial. That's just the way He made it and as in all of His works, it is so very good.

We are blessed.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Currently writing a portfolio...

but here is the new Communicant. The day was blessed with trial and joy and perfect in every way.

We are blessed.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Necco wafers

preparing First Communicants (and their sibs) since forever ;0)

Say a prayer for him please. Very excited around here!

We are blessed.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Knee-deep in party prep...

so you'll have to "settle" for a few excellent words from a Saint.

"We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone."
— St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Happy Birthday, My Love

I am younger so I get to tease ;0)

This card was perfect...the inside reads "may your birthday be free from complaints". Just our kind of religious birthday humor. LOL

In all seriousness, though, how grateful I am for the blessing of my spouse. He leads our family and our marriage in a way that shows us, daily, the selflessness of true love. The fact that he shares this day with our Mr. G's entrance into the Catholic faith and the feast of Our Lady of Fatima? Sounds pretty perfect to me. May Our Lady wrap you in her mantle and lead you always to her Son.

We are blessed.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Photo Dump

Instead of cleaning or thinking about what I need to do over the next 72 hours, I thought I would spend the last 10 minutes of babysitting downloading my photos. Here is some of what I found.

 I think, height- and weight-wise, they are now officially twins.

 There is no greater place to go on a bright Spring morning...

 Visiting the Strip is one of the happiest parts of party planning for me :0)

 OK, so it's more like Summer these days...I just saw this. We even have the air on. I'm bracing for some serious whining in June.

Just another Eagles Nest bonus (that and the fact that I have a sweet little girl who would rather make crafts than play video games).

OK. Back to work. Keep my beloved in your prayers tomorrow as he closes out the decade that was his 40's. I think that was one pretty jam-packed decade (#1 was born two months after his 40th birthday!). 

Also, remember that Thursday is a holy day. Jesus Ascends into Heaven. The Holy Spirit will be here before you know it ;0)

Have a wonderful day, give thanks in all things. We are blessed.

Monday, May 11, 2015

I have the best friends...

So, I'm sitting in the car with all the kids waiting for DH to finish up with his confession. The storm is imminent, kids are cranky, things are as bleak as they can be post-confession (which, granted, is not much...just mildly irritating).

Then, I remember a suggestion a friend made earlier and pull it up on my phone.

Perfect. I think they've been hanging around my life lately. I actually know the person after whom Princess Unikitty was modeled. LOL

Enjoy the storm. We are blessed.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Queen of Heaven, Pray for Us

I don't know if I ever found out why May is Mary's month but if it's because it also contains Mother's Day, that would be the very best of reasons. As a Christian mother, Our Lady is my constant companion and confidant. She is always there, always read to listen, always faithful (and she never passes on your concerns except to her Son!)

From today's bulletin
On this Mothers' Day we honor our mothers, grandmothers, and all who have taken on this role in our lives, who by their care and sacrifices have showed us the love of God in so many ways. For most of us it was our mothers who first taught us to pray and who raised us in our Catholic faith. I firmly believe that the truest way that we can honor our mothers is to cherish our faith, to practice it well, and to pass on this faith to our children.

It was wonderful to sit in our parish, surrounded by many of the women who help me to mother our children. It does take a village...not so the mother can abandon her children for her own fulfillment but because, when done properly, it takes more grace and energy than is contained in one human being. These women are friends, also walking with small children, creating a community that strives to help our children reach heaven. These women are grandmothers and those without children, who weekly support our efforts to bring our children to Mass and school them in the faith. There are even a few who aren't women (#3 said "Happy Mothers Day!" to the deacon and priest as they drew near after Mass) and yet they support me, as a mother, in the duties that I have been given by God. How very blessed I am!

So on this Mothers Day I will still be working, a lot, to prepare for the two big days this week. I don't mind. I treasure the gift that is my motherhood. I love to cook and provide clean clothes for my children. I love spending time with them, even when we are disagreeing, because I truly value the unmerited gift that they are to me. To have this fleeting moment in time in which I get to help God raise and form a soul on earth? Well, that's pretty much the best gift ever.

As always, we flocked to the Blessed Mother to wish her, the greatest of all mothers, a happy day and to give thanks for our blessings.

 I am immensely blessed.
Because, without him, I am not a mother. Double bonus :0)

Friday, May 8, 2015

We are blessed

I say that all the time and you may wonder why. I wondered myself until I remembered a few days ago. So, if you're interested, here's the skinny (that used to mean "the explanation" in the '90s. If it means something else now, forgive me).

A while ago (I'm not sure when. Most of the things I just threw out of my pantry expired in 2010...where did we lose 5 years?) our pastor had a really amazing homily (and many in between then and now). I don't know what reading it referenced or what the situation was but he reminded us that, even in trials, we are blessed. What a simple, yet important thing to remember! So, from then until now, I have taken it into my verbiage (thanks, Father!).

I think, when you look at things through that lens, you do see a lot more of the connections that the Holy Spirit makes. The other day, my sweet friend had an incident and wrote to me, "how may I use my mortification to help you today?". Just now, I found out that a dear man we visit every month had a surprise visit from us on his television last week. The woman who brought us together through a ministry she heads has been more and more on my mind and in my prayers. Our doctor, who we "chose out of a book" has become, with their entire family, some of our dearest, most faithful friends.

We are all a community, closely resembling a family. God permits all of these little connections to one another and if you watch and listen hard enough, things will begin to make sense. I've found that this is especially true in my faith life. Those who are walking along with me are some people I may not have ever met if it weren't for blindly saying "yes" more than a few times.

The greatest part of this family? We are all here, now, on this planet so we have to coexist. That being said, it's a big family. There are lots of paths to heaven. Being family, you may find that some of those closest to you don't fit your path....or don't fit your path yet...or don't fit your path anymore. That's probably part of the plan. God made us all different so that we can help one another along the way when our paths cross and the time is right.

For those who are not heading your direction? Bear them patiently (or bear them while you are making your exit). Who knows when a word, gesture, or just living your life gently and deliberately will bring balm to someone who is struggling?

and some come in as both ;0)

Today, after a beautiful morning spent with friends at a May crowning, it is clear how much God loves us. Make sure you spend at least some of your weekend letting Him know how much you appreciate that love. Love Him back. He's waiting.

For all the mothers reading, may you be blessed on Sunday and always. Thank you for nurturing the next generation. Thank you for saying yes to life. Thank you for your many, many sacrifices.

Blessed Mother, Pray for Us

We are blessed.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

All Glory to God

and thanksgiving to Our Lady! Without their grace and guidance we would never be able to say...

The 2014-2015 School Year is Officially OVER!

I have to say it seemed easier this year. Perhaps it was extra grace or perhaps everyone has finally gotten adjusted to our way of life. Whatever the reason, even on the most trying days, I am so grateful that we are able to home school. Each day brings another example of how even the most well-meaning institutions can go wrong because of today's "you're good, I'm good, we're all good" mindset. Standards, especially moral standards, seem to have vanished for the most part. I'm not saying it's forever but I can't imagine putting these precious little ones out in the mainstream right now. The innocence, once lost, cannot be regained. Our call to protect and educate is clear. How blessed we are to have the opportunity.

After attending 8 AM Mass as a family to celebrate, we headed to our Blessed Mother to give her so many thanks for guiding us always and helping us, above all, to learn about her Son.

We are blessed.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Have you ever

gone on a really long, convoluted trip and realized, in retrospect, it was all for one or two small things that happened along the way? I feel that way about my former life a lot of the time but that's a story for another time...let's stick to today.

This morning was the last Pittsburgh Symphony Tiny Tots concert. If you live in Pittsburgh and have little people (or check out the school time concerts up to middle school!) you really should make it to a performance. It's free (except for parking and/or trolley fare) and you get to see a world-famous orchestra in a family-friendly setting.

Today's performance was at 9:30 so that's too early to reserve parking and I didn't feel like driving around looking for a space. We were blessed today that the rain has passed and it was a really, beautiful Spring day. We are always blessed that the trolley is a 5 minute walk from where we live. So, off we went.

I'm kind of pleased with myself that these days the fear of motherhood has pretty much passed. Five little ones on the train? Yep. Taking them at rush hour? Yep. No stroller? Yep. Exact change for the fare down and a $20 bill for the return trip? Yep. DH always shakes his head when I say "God will provide" but that is slowly seeping into my heart and mind. The trust is there...even if I lose my temper on the way home because we are all beyond exhausted. Here's the story.

8:45, board the inbound trolley. We were blessed to find seats (not all together) so that we didn't have the added fun of a 3-year-old trying to anticipate stops and not fall down. I took this picture when we got on. By the time we got to town, it was standing room only and it did become a bit nerve-wracking to be far away from the two older boys (the white arrows are our kids...Blondie is sitting in the window seat). Still, I had asked Our Mother to watch over us and I felt at peace that we would be protected. So we were.

Out and up the street just in time for a potty break and then settle into our nice seats. I love sitting up high with the kids. You can see everything. Today they played "slow" and "fast" pieces to accompany a race between the tortoise and the hare. So cute.
On the way out we saw some former teachers of #1 & #2 so that was special as well. So...done with that, and only 95 minutes to burn before heading to Mass! I am always grateful when I think about things the day before. We headed to Market Square to enjoy a snack I had tossed into the backpack and spend some more time people watching. Then we headed over to PPG to see what was happening.

 Our continuing love affair with the Pittsburgh dinosaurs ;0)
 Resting, planning, chatting

 This is what I love...a building with a sunroof!

Ahh, next stop. Grace.

Unfortunately, we still had about 30 minutes before Mass so we headed up the street to Point Park, turned up to the Boulevard and "ahhhh" cue the heavenly hosts singing. A waterfall! Perfect place to spend our final few minutes.
Finally! Off we headed to St. Mary's. What a beautiful little church. A woman we know from our home parish invited us down to Wednesday Mass sometime because she thought we would enjoy the homily. Let's just say "enjoy" isn't quite enough. Let's say "inspiring". Or, let's let the 9-year-old say it, "Can Father just continue on with that homily? I would really like to hear more. I could really understand what he was talking about. It was amazing." Indeed.

The most interesting part was before Mass began. The cabinet that stored the chalice and paten was locked so Father announced that this wouldn't be a Mass, only a celebration of the Liturgy of the Word. A few minutes later, after Father had begun, another priest came in with the chalice and paten and we proceeded to have Mass. At the end, the presiding priest said, "See how much God loves you? He doesn't want you go to even a day without giving Himself to you."

This story had been long and convoluted...I agree! (I lived it, remember?) Here's the thing. We could have headed home after Tiny Tots. We could have gone to daily Mass before going to Tiny Tots. Feeling led to do what we did gave us the grace we would have obtained and perhaps, a bit more. We needed to be here, at this church, to hear the homily that moved us so. We needed to spend time walking around the city before we could see our friend and visit the most amazing little chapel and be accompanied by a very busy, very important man who took time out to pray with us. Wow. Just wow. 

Our friend said, "you made my day" but I can only think that her suggestion which we followed, with the trust that God would provide, allowed those involved to have a day that was bursting with the workings of the Holy Spirit through every day people. I love that our kids were witness to this! I love it when we are blessed just by taking a little detour in our day. Wow. Is our God good or what?

We are blessed.