Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Big Regret in My Marriage and How I Got Over It

I had a lot to learn about relationships and married life during the early years of my marriage. A few months ago, I wrote a little about my struggles and the book that helped me be a better wife to my husband. 

One of the things that kept me from feeling close to Chris was the regret I carried around for several years. It stayed with me, followed me around like my shadow, always darkening my way through my marriage. 

October 1997

Chris and I married young. We already had a young baby when we finally made our relationship official. We both worked, and had little debt and a nice size savings account. Chris worked in the restaurant business and was good at it. So it is not surprising that the opportunity for Chris to open his own restaurant presented itself within the first few years of our marriage. He asked me for my advice, and I gave it to him. 

I told him not to do it. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Reading Update {two}

My original list is here. My first update is here

The Review Key

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Passing the Time and Answer Me This

It is Sunday, and I am finally updating this space. I last time I blogged was Monday when I wrote about how I was inspired by Brene Brown to change the comment policy. I meant to write more this week, but then I didn't. Oh well, I am sure my regular readers will forgive me! ;) 

I have been very busy enjoying the summer with my family. 

So what have I been doing lately? I have been working on my cross stitch. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Own it! {New Commenting Policy}

I am almost finished reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. It is about vulnerability and how to transform ourselves by overcoming our fears to live a more wholehearted, connected life. 

This year is my year to let go of fear and to gain confidence, so this book is the perfect companion for my journey. 

In chapter 4, which is sixty pages long, Brene Brown writes about the different shields people use to protect themselves and ways to put the armor away, change the game, and build a supportive and engaging community. When discussing how to put down the shield of cynicism, criticism, cool, and cruelty, Brene Brown writes on page 170, 

"The fear of being vulnerable can unleash cruelty, criticism, and cynicism in all of us. Making sure we take responsibility for what we say is one way that we can check our intentions. Dare greatly and put your name on your posted comments online. If you don't feel comfortable owning it, then don't say it. And if you're reading this and you have control over online sites that allow comments, then you should dare greatly and make users sign in and use real names, and hold the community responsible for creating a respectful environment." 

After thinking about her suggestion, I have decided no longer to allow anonymous comments. Thankfully, I haven't had to deal with any cruel comments, but there have been many comments that I felt were inappropriate or not supportive of the atmosphere that I want here.  

It is not difficult to create a profile. In a few minutes, you can make a profile here

As always, I appreciate your comments and look forward to hearing from you. You don't have to agree with me. All I ask is that you are kind and honestly you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

For the Love of God, Be Friendly to Your Neighbor!

I pray a prayer after my Morning Offering. It is called An Act of Love. I found it one day when I was flipping through my Catholic Book of Prayers. First I came across An Act of Faith and then An Act of Hope. They are both good prayers, but when I read An Act of Love, I knew it was the one that I needed to pray regularly

I pray it because it is true

I pray it because I need a daily reminder to act with love

To be loving towards my family is easy for me. 

But what about my neighbor and the stranger at the grocery store? Do I love them?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Reading Update {one}

I wrote about my summer reading list way back in May. I have made some progress, but not as much as I would have thought that I would make. 

I knew that I would not have much time to read until after the school year ended. What I did not expect was that I would not be very motivated to read. 

Truth be told, picking up a book is the last thing I do these days. Recently, I have preferred spending my free time knitting while watching a show on Netflix. Add in the 30 to 60 minutes of exercise that I am trying to fit in a day, and that leaves very little time for reading. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Friend St. Gerard Majella

In May, Sarah at Cherishing Everyday Beauty contacted me about contributing to her Saints series, Our Friends, the Saints. Of course, I told her that I would love to write about St. Gerard. You can read my full story at Sarah's blog

*Update* It looks like Sarah's blog is no longer available, so I have updated this post with the entire story. 

My friendship with St. Gerard started after I left the Catholic Church and while I was a member of a non-denominational church. I found myself pregnant after years of trying to conceive and a devastating miscarriage at twelve weeks along. 

Around eight weeks pregnant with my son Thomas, I started spotting. Finding bright red blood was like a dagger being shoved into my gut. My husband was working late, and I felt sure that I was miscarrying again. I called my husband and my mother-in-law to ask for prayers. Then I went to bed with a heavy heart. The next morning I called my doctor, and she had me come in for a quick ultrasound. She said that everything looked all right, but we would need to wait and see. 

My mother-in-law went to work that morning and told her co-worker about my bleeding. Her co-worker gave her a medal of St. Gerard that had been worn by all the female members of her family while they were pregnant. She was the last one to wear it, and as no one currently was in need of it in her family, she suggested my mother-in-law give it to me to wear during my pregnancy. 

I accepted it from her, but I did not start wearing it right away. I kept it tucked away in the zipper portion of my wallet for several days. I had a desire to wear it, but I felt a little silly about it since I was no longer Catholic. 

My spotting continued, so I decided to take the medal out, put it on a chain, offer up a half-hearted request to St. Gerard and place it around my neck. By the next week, my spotting had lightened up considerably, and another ultrasound showed a growing baby. 

I continued to wear the medal for the rest of my pregnancy. 

After Tom's birth, I gave the medal back to my mother-in-law's friend. I missed wearing it, but I had a new colicky baby and some serious postpartum depression to keep me busy for the next six months. During that time, there was a big split at our church, and Chris made the suggestion that we return to the Catholic Church. I was hesitant, and I spent some time studying the history and traditions of the Church. I found the saints and their stories and came to know St. Gerard better through a little book that my sister-in-law gave me called St. Gerard Majella The Mothers' Saint

When Tom was ten months old, Chris and I came back into full communion with the Catholic Church. I know many people were praying for us, and I know that St. Gerard played a role in our re-conversion, as well. When Tom was two years old, I went on a Catholic women's retreat. While I was there, I purchased a beautiful gold St. Gerard medal and had it blessed by the priest that was running the retreat center. 

In the years following Tom's birth, I experienced several more miscarriages. I had prayed many novenas to St. Gerard for more children, but I felt that my prayers weren't being heard. Finally in the fall after Tom's fourth birthday, I prayed another novena to St. Gerard but I offered it for my husband's intention for our family. Six weeks later I found myself pregnant. I experienced more spotting during my pregnancy with Ralph, but I did not experience the worry in quite the same way. I felt comfort and knew in my heart that St. Gerard was praying for me and my baby. My pregnancy and the postpartum period with Ralph was the easiest and most joyful of all my experiences. 

I am thankful that my mother-in-law's friend introduced me to St. Gerard twelve years ago. I never thought about calling St. Gerard my friend, but now that I look back through the years I can see that he is my friend. And as he has helped me through some very hard times in my life, I can see that he has been one of the best friends that I have had. 

In addition to being the patron saint of mothers, St. Gerard's intercession is also sought for children, making a good confession, and for people who have been falsely accused. One of St. Gerard's favorite sayings was, "God will provide." St. Gerard's life is an example of complete trust in God and his provision. 

If you haven't gotten to know St. Gerard, I encourage you to take a little time to get to know him. He is definitely a friend to have in your life!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Yarn Along {twelve}

Knitting: Easy Lace Scarf

I completed quite a bit of knitting over the last week and a half. The pattern is very easy to knit while watching a show, and that is exactly what I have been doing in my free time. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Happy Birthday Ralph! 
We love you! 
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