It has been almost two years since I last posted anything, and life certainly is different for us.

As I’m writing this on my phone, I’m sitting on the floor next to my youngest waiting on her to come to after her most recent seizure.  It’s her sixth one since last April.  The neurologist doesn’t have any answers as to why she has them. She’s had an EEG, EKG, MRI, as well lots of blood work. All of those test have come back perfect. The only answers we have are: her brain looks normal and she doesn’t have epilepsy. They believe the seizures are from her brain misfiring during development and hopefully she’ll outgrow them in two to three years by the time she’s fifteen.  Every time I meet with the neurologist the timeline keeps getting pushed back. For now she’s on seizure meds, I have the pleasure of recording every seizure on my phone so the doctor’s can watch them later, and all we can do is stay attentive and pray she “outgrows” them soon.

My middle kid started out in Kindergarten this past September; a month later and he was back in Pre-K. 
We’ve always known he had an aversion to loud sounds, and had some emotional control issues.  In December he was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).  Learning about SPD has been eye opening and helped us understand how and why he behaves the way he does.  We are in the early days of figuring out how to help him manage the world around him without having multiple meltdowns a day. There’s so much more to learn, and I’ll have to get back to you on how it goes.

A part of me wishes I had a magic wand and could make my children “normal.” While it may make life a lot easier, it would take away those things that make my children who they are.  Instead I will offer up my frustration, anxieties, and fears.  And hopefully, I’ll become a better person in the end.

Now that all of the children are tucked into bed, I think I’m going to have a stiff drink and call it a night.

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And Baby Makes Five

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After an emotionally and physically rough pregnancy, my husband and I welcomed our third child on May 21st. It has been a very joyous, sleep deprived four weeks.

I’m very thankful for my loving husband who continuously takes great care of his family, my two older children who adore their little sister and have been great helpers, for my dad for coming out here to help with my other two while I was in the hospital and they still had school, and for my mother for allowing my father to come out here to help and for her help when she was able to come out as well. I’m also thankful for all of my family and friends who have prayed for and with me during all of the difficulties I faced. I am forever grateful to you all.

Pregnancy and Testing of Faith

This pregnancy has not been the easiest and it has tested my faith in many ways.  I’m not going to go into the details because that doesn’t matter.  Everyone has their faith tested at some point in their life, and if you’re lucky it will happen multiple times.

 

Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  – James 1:2-4

 

My faith is stronger thanks to all the trials/tests that I have faced these past eight months.  I can breathe easier these days and I am at peace with many things that were troubling me.  My prayer life has come back stronger than ever and I no longer feel as if I am fighting a storm.  There have been several changes within my life during this time, and I am thankful for the emotional pain that went with many of these changes. I’ve learned who I can trust and depend on and who I cannot.  I’ve learned just how strong I am and that no matter how bad things get and it seems as if everyone flees from your side, those that love you most will always be there for you.

 

 In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of [your] faith, the salvation of your souls.  – 1 Peter 1:6-9

 

I am now in the last days of this pregnancy and we are looking forward to the arrival of our new child.  My husband has been so very amazing throughout this tumultuous time and I am eternal grateful for his love, support, and compassion.  He is my rock and I am truly blessed to be his wife.

 

I’m Still Here

I never meant to go on this long of a hiatus from writing, and I really haven’t. Instead of posting my thoughts and whatnot on this little blog, I’ve been journaling. In the next few days I hope to be back on here posting at least twice a week. *fingers crossed*

The main reason I have been away is because I’m pregnant, and during these past several months I’ve experienced some incredibly strong nausea.  Thankfully, I seem to have turned the corner and am having more good days than bad. Baby number three is due in late May, and my other two children are very excited about having a new baby in the house. We greatly welcome all of your prayers for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

  

7 Quick Takes (Vol 2)

— 1 —

Knee rehab update:  The range of motion in my knee is almost back to normal; the pt said that they consider “normal” to be around 140°-145°.  While moving my leg on my own I’m at 118°.  Now I just have to work on getting my strength back up so I can start going to Zumba again.

— 2 —

So this happened:

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My camera doesn’t pick up purple very well so imagine the colour is a vibrant purple.  It took a few days to get used to it, but I have been enjoying it.  It’s fun to add a bit of colour now and then.

— 3 —

Last week I said that I was going to read  Lumen Fidei this past week.  So I have a bit of a confession.  I haven’t finished reading it, but I am in the process of reading it.  Granted I would be a lot further if I had printed it off before this morning.  So far I’ve read the first chapter and it is definitely something everyone should read.  I’ll share a few of my favourite quotes from it after I’ve digested what I’ve read.

— 4 —

With Mike back at work and my Mother-in-law back in Florida, this past week has been my first week back to full-time mom status.  And boy was it a tough week.  My knee isn’t back to 100% or even 75%, but my kids don’t get that.  They are your typical rambunctious 3 and 5 year olds who have enough energy to play from sun up to sun down without taking a break.  Yet, I am not able to chase after them. So unless we go to the tiny park at our Church that is fenced in, they are stuck indoors. It’s times like these I wish we had a fenced in back yard.  Also, this has been “let’s test mom” week.  This has to be my least favourite game to play, and they aren’t fans either.  One day they will learn that Mom always wins this game.

— 5 —

The munchkins don’t know this yet, but they are going to get to see Thomas the Tank Engine tomorrow.  My husband set this up months ago and we know that our kids will be excited, well at least the boy will be.

— 6 —

I never thought coming up with seven little snippets a week would be such hard work.  The only little thing I have is this:  I wish I were able to be at San Diego Comic Con!!!   But alas, I am not.  One of these years we will be brave and take the munchkins to Dragon*Con in Hotlanta and introduce them to the awesomeness!  In the meantime I will be over here dreaming up a costume to wear.  **Insert maniacal laugh**

— 7 —

It’s late and I’ve got nothing.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes (vol 1)

— 1 —

Welcome to my first ever Quick Takes Friday!!   I’ve decided to start this to help me write more often here, and to improve my writing style.

— 2 —

Yesterday was one month post op.  What a difference a month has made.  I went from feeling as if the surgery was the worst decision ever because of all the pain and lack of motion that I had (not to mention feeling as if I had to re-learn to walk), to feeling really positive about the outcome.  I am in very little pain now; my knee only hurts when I step on it wrong or I’ve been on it too long and it’s tired.  My range of motion is returning and everything is getting easier.  I need to add that I am very thankful for my Mother-in-law spending the past three weeks out here to help me around the house and with the kiddos.

— 3 —

While I am thankful and happy that Grandma came out to visit and help, I’m also happy that she is going back home tomorrow.  It’s always nice when family can come to visit, and while it can be sad to see them leave – it’s also so very nice to have your house back to yourself.  These past three weeks has been extra hard on my daughter because she has had to share her bed with Grandma and because she hasn’t been allowed to watch her two favourite shows — The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and The Aquabats Super Show.  And yes, I let my children watch shows like these.  They are fun and my husband and I enjoy watching shows we actually like with or children.

— 4 —

I have several books lying around that I want to read (many of them I’ve started but put down for one reason or another), and one that I am currently reading. I have enough books to last me for at least the summer, and yet there are so many more out there that I want to purchase and read. This is the curse of being a lover of books.  I’m constantly having to stop myself from heading over to Amazon to purchase another book; I’m constantly saying to myself, “Self, you need to read those other five or so books you have before you purchase another one.”  Having two small children at home really puts a damper on my reading – not to mention blogging.  These two little monsters that I have are my favourite distractions and I’m not upset or disappointed that they are my main distractions.

— 5 —

Unrelated to any other topic here:  I have tried once again to get into the cult sci-fi tv show Firefly once more.  This has been attempt number 5-ish.  All of my fellow nerdy friends are astonished that I have never enjoyed this show, and so every few years I give it another go. So, how did this last attempt go?  Well… I made it through the first two episodes. That’s two more episodes than I have ever finished before (minus the movie; I have watched all of Serenity.).  So now I have a decision.  Push on and potentially be bored through the rest of the series, or push on and watch the rest of the 14 episodes so I can say I did it and maybe, just maybe I’ll decide that it’s okay and not dreadful.

— 6 —

Last Friday (July 5th), Pope Francis published his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei.  Pope Benedict XVI started writing it and Francis finished it.  For those of us who don’t know Latin, Lumen Fidei translates as The Light of Faith.  No, I haven’t read the encyclical, but it is on my very short to read list.  And from all the awesomeness I’ve heard about it you should read it too.  You know what, I’m going to make it my goal to read through it this week.

— 7 —

I’m seriously disappointed in the USCCB and what they are doing to bloggers and others who are trying to spread the Good News, especially during this Year of Faith.  If you haven’t heard I highly recommend you take a time to read Brandon Vogt’s encounter with them.  Granted I do believe he should have asked them first before he converted and offered Lumen Fidei in all the formats he did, but the USCCB should also have seen the value in it.  And it isn’t just Vogt that they have hindered in spreading the Gospel and an understanding of Catholic doctrine.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

I am Switzerland

Dear family, friends, and strangers on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate,

I am formally declaring my position of neutrality on this matter.

Yes, I am Catholic. Yes, I believe and hold firm to all of the teachings of the Church. And yes, I believe in sacramental marriage which is between a man a woman and God.

However, we do not live in a society that accepts nor understands God’s laws. Our job as Christians is to educate people of God’s laws, and we are to do so with un-judgemental love, charity, and by example. We cannot force someone to believe what we believe, but we are to educate them about the whats and whys of them.

Our government is not a theocracy and it does not cater to any one religious or nonreligious viewpoint. And at the same time it should not force people of any religious affiliation to go against its moral views. For example – the government should not require people to pay for another’s abortion, abortifacient, or contraception if they find such things morally offensive.

From my viewpoint there are two types of marriage: a civil marriage and a sacramental marriage. A civil marriage is a contract recognized and issued by the government that grants a couple certain legal rights and it can be broken via divorce. A sacramental marriage is also recognized by the state with the same legal rights, but it is also a covenant between a man a woman and God that can never be broken.

Am I okay with the state issuing civil marriages? Yes. Am I okay if the state decides that same-sex couples should be granted a civil marriage? Yes. Should the state force religious institutions to perform or recognize civil marriages? No.

What frustrates me the most about this topic is the lack of love and respect from both camps.

Many of the people who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman say hateful things about people who are attracted to members of the same gender. I’ve seen and heard many hateful, unloving things from this group. It makes me feel as if they have forgotten that we are called to “love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mark 12:31  That doesn’t mean you have to agree with nor accept everything that others think or do, but you must love them. And last time I checked loving someone does not include name calling or violence.

Now those who are in support of same-sex marriages are equally guilty of saying and doing unloving things towards those who disagree with them. I often hear from this group that they want tolerance and acceptance, but the actions from some in this group say differently. Several months ago, the owner of Chick-fil-A stated that he was against same-sex marriages, and instead of accepting that this is one man stating his own personal opinion (which he is entitled to even if you disagree with him) many of this group went off and boycotted, staged sit ins at the restaurants and said vile things about this one man.  If you want others to tolerate and accept your choices in life than you too must accept and tolerate those who disagree with you.

I’ve known people who have ended long-standing friendships over this and witnessed strained family relations as well. This is sad.

There are so many terrible things wrong in this world and the simplest way we can make life in this imperfect world a bit more bearable is to show each other love. We all have our crosses to bear, and they are equally difficult to each of us.

I’m not saying that we should always get along, and I’m not saying that we have to like everything that our fellow-man says or does. What I am saying is that we are all equals and we should treat each other with the love and respect that we want shown to us.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you”  –Matthew 7:12