Sunday, April 30, 2017

grateful, thankful, blessed

This exhaustion is like post-birth exhaustion ( friend is welcoming a new wee one any day...please pray!) full of wonderful thoughts and feelings but still, well, exhaustion. So, here are some pictures. Perhaps I'll have time next week to recount the days.

Friday, April 21, 2017

In the buzz of the next week

as we continue the Easter celebration, rejoice in the Divine Mercy, give thanks for a decade of trials and triumphs with a certain boy we know and love...I think I'll keep this up on my screen. One of those random thoughts someone wrote before bed. Something well worth remembering.
we are blessed.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Saturday

If you saw me today, you would know it's my day off (or as much as I get, anyway). Today is a day for family, and feast...quiet, relaxed things to pass the time before the Glory that is so very close now. We did a wonderful job of filling the time with a favorite tradition and some of our favorite people.

Mr. G's birthday fell on Holy Thursday this year and with the sickness, it was pretty subdued. Always grateful for a godmother who shares a Lent/Easter birthday, she understands the need for delay during this time. This morning was the long-awaited birthday celebration with godparents (both! blessing!) who were kind enough to bring donuts to the festivities. That and some pretty cool gifts...Pez and Jr. Legos...perfect for a 5-year-old boy :0)

The youngest always has a lot of help
Hugs for godmama


After some much needed catching-up time, we said our goodbyes and got to work. Packing our baskets, that is. We are so blessed that the church within walking distance has basket blessing on Holy Saturday. It's so much fun to chat with people and see all the goodies they bring :0)
For us, it's the traditional Slovak fare but it has branched out waayy beyond the Eastern Europeans.
It was a beautiful day so we decided to walk

All ready to be blessed

#1 basket - cupcakes for the birthday boy

#2 - paska, cheese, eggs, candle and butter lamb (yes, I totally forgot the chren..oops)
Finally, we welcome back the pig, whom we haven't seen since Mardi Gras. You were missed :0)

Let us all pray for those who are coming into the Church at tonight's Vigil. May their faith always remain as steadfast as it is today, growing in knowledge and grace. For those who are in attendance, may they be reminded of the great gift of Our Father; sending His Son to die for our sins. May we all rejoice in the grace that comes from Jesus's sacrifice; dying out of love for our sins. We are unbelievably blessed.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

Yes, it's a paradox but if you're doing it right, so is most of your life. So it would seem anyway. I woke up at 5:15 teetering on the edge of a panic attack. I've succumbed to the cold (beginning anyway) and all I could think of was the feeling of not being able to breathe while you're coughing and all the strangulation-during-the-spinal-for-the-c-section popped into my mind. I am sort of amazed at myself (completely through the gift of God's grace) that I was able to get up, look at the cross and offer my struggle and fear to Him. It seemed a most fitting gift to start this day. I'm still miserable but somehow, being able to walk through that and know I wasn't alone was a big "hooray" to finish my Lent which, mostly, has been less-than-stellar.

I guess they missed going to Holy Thursday service because when I made it downstairs, Good Friday was in full swing.

I am grateful that we were all able to pull it together enough to actually go to services. It was the first time venerating for the little people and it was wonderful to experience as a family. #1 and #2 were serving so they were up at the Cross when we approached. What a blessing to have our whole family together for such a moving occasion.

Moving to some part anyway. I noticed today that digging deep into the Passion wasn't really as possible as the years before when I had only older kids with me. Tiny man was a distraction enough to keep me from my usual sobbing mess. Every year is different!

The services were wonderful then we visited my aunt and arrived home to find a nice burnt-crispy ham in the crockpot. Really? Oh well, my bad. Eggs and kielbasa it is ;0) At least the paska worked this time around. Having my sister, aunt and mom here to celebrate is really the most important thing. The food is secondary at best.

Everyone was winding down but dh and I were finishing up a 2-day fast so dinner was kind of necessary.

That passed, we moved on to a quick egg dyeing session and BED. If you read this, please send up some prayers for quick healing. Thank you so much.

Jesus, remember me, when You come into Your kingdom

Wishing you a most Holy Saturday and out-of-this-world joyful Sunday! I won't say the "A" word but you know what I mean. How wonderful is our God to walk with us on this path? How grateful we should be for His graces.

We are blessed.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Holy Thursday

Welcome to the Triduum! Tonight, in Catholic churches around the globe, The Mass of the Lord's Supper will be celebrated. This is a biggie because the establishment of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, celebrated in every Catholic Mass, is commemorated tonight. There is also a part of the Mass that reenacts Christ washing the disciple's feet. This commemorates the institution of the priesthood - the Apostles became the first priests - going out to serve others and bring Christ's good news.

Around 6:30 this morning I was reminded that there is a grace in offering for others, as Jesus did for the disciples. Having about 5 hours of good sleep, my door burst open and a tiny figure proclaimed, "wake up mom, I'm FIVE!". Remember what I said about God being kind enough to allow all these opportunities? Yep.

The tiny one was completely right, he is five today. It's a wonderful, fest-worthy, exciting day. So, sleep or not, I chatted with him about his birthday food wishes then got up, got dressed, and got to work.

He requested waffles for breakfast and pagach for lunch. I was already making paska for the basket on Saturday so, sure, I will stand in this kitchen and cook for the next 5 hours. It's a good thing and it's service to my family and the birthday boy.

This "for others" may be catching because, along with mimicking my short temper on occasion and other unsavory traits, all the sibs lined up with their "gifts" for little one. Score one for positive modeling!

This is our life. Birthdays that fall on some of the biggest days in the Church calendar. I'm sure God had that worked out but sometimes it leaves me wondering what is the right path. Then I remember that while it's good to go and celebrate, with other Catholics, the institution of our faith and walk with Christ in His passion, I also know that we are human and we are limited.

Like just now when it became clear that #2 has a very wicked headcold. #3 is closing in fast. We had Mass and church visits planned, but it's more likely that we will be at home trying to heal and rest for Good Friday and Easter. One of the sick also serves and there is an order to things. Visiting churches all night is meaningful but not snuffling all over the people who are venerating the Cross is also a plus ;0)

Life is a path that has overwhelming goodness and many, many moments of trial. God is present in all of them and when we stop to recognize His presence, the grace is there. Today, He will be present in our family and our precious baby, not in churches we visit. It's important to recognize when we make the plan and when God changes it. It's good to see Him in places other than the ones we had planned.

So, Happy Holy Thursday and Happy Birthday. We are so very blessed.

May God bless you on your birthday and always, little one.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Our soundtrack for Holy Week

We've fallen woefully short on the "religious video only" during Lent so, for Holy Week, I've implemented no-video-only-listening (outside of 4-5 PM on EWTN of course). It gives least some assurance that, outside of Mass and rosary, our thoughts are in the right direction...more or less.

If you were near me at Mass this morning, you may have heard me humming during the Gospel, "try not to get worried, try not to turn on to problems that upset you, oh." I can't help's just there whether I want it to be or not. Singing it on the way home was a great way to talk about Jesus's feelings of abandonment at this point and Mary's loving compassion toward Him (I also totally dig the voice of the guy that sings Judas...) I look forward to following along the week with song and the ensuing discussion.

Ok, wait a minute. You know that this is a week full of trial and sorrow for the most part so we do need a bit of lightness thrown in. If you listen and don't pay attention to the words, it's  lovely for meditation. If you do read the lyrics, it's pretty funny at times (I'm sooo identifying with the pigs right now, oresnay...) and you can get a good boost of Latin (pig and regular)...bonus!

If you haven't yet, get to Confession. Then, go to Mass, immerse yourself into the Triduum, meditate on the Passion of our Savior...what an amazing week.

We are blessed.

Friday, April 7, 2017


like snowy April mornings, it's quite lovely to live in a 100-year-old house :0)
Thank you God for Friday. We are blessed.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Offering it up...

as always, God has a nice habit of providing me with an endless supply of things which to offer up during this penitential season. I do appreciate His love for me in this and I do try...I do, to put my anxiety/annoyance on hold in hopes that someone else may my dear friend who is closing in on the end of another pregnancy; or someone totally unknown to me but with a new tiny one who was born very small and very ill; or the people dealing with storms and other difficult and deadly weather.

The latest round...
 - keeping the house tidy for the oboe teacher who comes to us each week  (this isn't even worth mentioning except that my need to throw every.single.thing. away is starting to kick's a struggle to maintain balance sometimes).
- planning a birthday for #5 and another for #2, during Holy Week and the week post-Easter. I have a feeling that #2 will go easy on me but the little dude? no way.
- planning a First Communion, complete with out of town/country guests. See #1 about throwing things away...then add making/purchasing food, figuring out where to sit 50 people, schedules, etc...
- fighting with stomach flu (I'm mostly over it, thanks) with five kids, only 2 of which have really had it yet...tick, tick, tick
- deciding, after having considered "doing it all" and going crazy in the process, that this year isn't the year of "extras" during the Lenten/Easter season. We will enter into the Triduum (my favorite), and rejoice greatly in the Resurrection but the rest...may or may not happen.

I do realize how "first-world" all of this is and, trust me, I am so grateful to God that I have the problems I do...evidence that my life is blessed with many people and things. There is always a good side, even when things are not looking all that great.
Spend your night throwing up? Perhaps dh will stay home the next day and take the teacher role while you try to recover on the couch.

Worried about some trivial annoyance? Look at your baby daughter who, overnight, has become a beautiful young woman. Realizing how swiftly time passes has given me a new perspective on passing troubles.
Ultimately, even on the worst days, we should be nothing but overwhelmed with gratitude to our Creator for His gifts - crosses and all. His opportunities for grace are unending and His mercy is unbounded. How blessed we are to live each day under the gaze of our Loving Father.