Monday, November 26, 2012

Live Like That

Last week I got a text on my phone telling me of the passing of a dear lady from our parish.  Her name was Terry.  It was sudden and I was shocked.

Did you ever notice when we hear news of someone dying our immediate reaction is to tell people about our last encounter with them?  I must not be the only one who does this.  At her funeral this morning the priest spoke about all the different people who told him how they had just spoken to or had been with Terry this past week.  According to him she seemed to be everywhere in one week's time.

I met Terry back in 2008 on our parish retreat.  Since then we would run into each other from time to time.  She was very involved in the parish.  I didn't know her well but every time we spoke she made me feel like a life long friend.  She'd greet everyone with a hug and a smile and say something that would make you feel good about yourself.  In fact, the last time I saw her was two weeks ago at a Parish Coffee that my mother's group was hosting.  When it was over I was beating myself up for forgetting to put out the half-n-half.  She sent me an email later that week, saying we did a great job hosting....even without the cream.  She also remembered that it was my birthday and sent me good wishes.

I want to be a person like that.  One that can touch your life so deeply in quick, everyday encounters. 

She was amazing.  Her family was amazing standing there in that receiving line at the funeral home. We all know how awkward it is to go to a viewing.  Yet, I felt such a peace coming from them.  They put me at ease and made me feel better.  A gift they no doubt got from their Mom.

Since my children were off from school today I decided to take them to her funeral mass.  It was a learning experience for them.  This was their first funeral.  They had lots of questions about the casket and being buried; we talked about the songs that were sung and why people cry if they weren't close to the one who died. (and can we get doughnuts since we were so good?)

I am grateful to Terry for the example she was for me; a fine and graceful woman living out her Christian calling and bringing warmth and joy to everyone around her.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

NYC and Thanksgiving Weekend

For weeks Bill had an idea in his head.  He wanted all of us to go to New York to watch the Macy's Parade balloon inflation the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  He said he heard that it was a lot of fun and read reviews that recommended going.  The kids and I had no desire agreed that it was a good idea and went.

We waited in traffic near the Lincoln Tunnel for one hour.

We waited forty minutes for the subway with gazillions of people all waiting to head to the balloon inflation.

We arrived after the balloons were already inflated, face down, and covered with nets.  It took forty five minutes to walk one city block.

We were like a can of sardines every step of the way.  Bill was disappointed and I was completely amazed that people came from all over to watch this.  I tried to get some pictures but they don't do it justice as to how crowded it really was there.

Matthew in the Lincoln Tunnel

Papa Smurf

I have no idea who that is.
Major crowds

Ann was eye level with rear-ends the whole time, the poor thing.  But none of them complained.  And everything can be made better with pizza in the subway.

 It was an interesting experience for sure. (Don't go)

We had no plans to travel for Thanksgiving this year.  We spent a quiet day at home.  The girls helped me set the table.  Mary Kate designed the centerpiece and name cards. Bill cooked the turkey.

 After dinner we worked on our Thankful Tree.

Saturday we went to a memorial mass that Bill's family celebrates annually.  Here are my five with their great-grandmother, Mom-Mom.

We visited my Dad and then headed to a 4:30 mass. (the kids LOVED going to two masses in one day.) That was sarcasm.

After mass we went to dinner at my sister Mary Grace's house.  She and her husband Mike, and my two nieces, Amanda and Julia, gave us a great time, delicious dinner, and a special birthday dessert (for me).  Loved it and love them! 

Bill heads back to work tomorrow but the kids are off from school....First day of hunting season, you know.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Out Of The Mouth Of....


Today at a red light Matt kept saying, "No peas allowed."  I had no idea why he was saying that, but then I saw this.

No P's allowed.

I love four year olds!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Scenes From A Birthday


 Homemade cards:

Phone calls:

A gift in my mailbox from Cathy, one of my besties!

Text messages and emails:

My gift :)


*Special thanks to Mary for not only taking pictures of me acting silly, but totally encouraging me.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It Begins With Me

This past week I listened to and read about people's reaction to the presidential election.

I am trying to grasp (the results), fix (people who don't think like I do), and learn (how to love everyone).

It is hard.

I have had some mean thoughts, and I have done some soul searching.  It's been a bit of a roller coaster inside my head.

I sat in disbelief with the people who felt as strongly about their candidate as I did mine. I have laid blame on people who didn't stand strong in what they believe. I have also struggled with what my reaction as a Catholic is supposed to be.

Should I be more outspoken?  I have asked myself this question a lot this week.  I have a hard time putting my feelings into words so getting into a dispute over something I feel strongly about will probably just leave me with a pounding heart, teary eyes, and sounding like a bumbling fool.

I thought of my Mom a lot this week in regard to that question above.  She was, and continues to be, the biggest influence on my life.  How did she do it?  She taught me by her actions, not by her words.  She wasn't in your face about what she thought on this and that.  She was just a strong presence of what is right with the world.

I often make a generality of those with opposite views than mine. In reality though, I am friends with them, I am acquaintances with them; heck, I am even in the same family as some of them.  It doesn't effect my day to day interactions with them, nor my love for them. That doesn't change and it never will.

This doesn't mean to say I won't give up totally on my values and hopefully I won't fall into the slow fade of immorality that I believe is happening in society.  But actions really do speak louder than words and hearts can be changed by a simple smile, a touch, or a prayer.

Not to sound too cliche', but "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."


Monday, November 5, 2012

First Step To Peace

"Any country that accepts abortion, is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants." Blessed Mother Teresa



Friday, November 2, 2012

Laundry, Glorious Laundry!

We survived Hurricane Sandy.  We lost power Monday night and decided it was smart to sleep in the basement and family room. (a couple of the kids didn't think even the family room was safe.)  I woke up in the middle of the night startled by a loud sound.  I later realized it was one of our trees that had fallen down.

 Most of the neighborhood lost more than one tree.  Our next door neighbor lost about five big blue spruce trees and our neighbor across the street lost their beautiful weeping willow.  Even though it is sad, we were extremely lucky the trees fell away from our homes.  I can't imagine how people who lost their homes are feeling right now.

On Tuesday we drove to Bill's parent's house so we could borrow their generator. (Thanks Mom and Dad.)  This made the next three days without power (and school) bearable.  We were able to plug in the pellet stove, fridge, a lamp, the TV (no channels, but Xbox) and the computer.  Life was good, even if we had to take 15 second, somewhat cool showers.  Plus, Bill's Mom sent us home with a bunch of these.

What's that Billy? You don't want yours? Let me help you with that.

You could say this was the closest I've been to camping.

Yes, we could have cooked the hot dogs on the grill, but where is the fun in that?

On Wednesday Bill left for work, only to return 10 minutes later with this.

Whatta guy!
 And can you see his contraption in the background.  Generators can't get wet, so this is what Bill designed once we got the generator home.

 FYI, in case you're short on flashlights, lightsabers can do the trick.

Laundry, unloading the dishwasher, and vacuuming on my to-do list never sounded so good when I woke up this morning.  As I listen to the sounds of chain saws in the distance, I will remember just how good I have it sitting here safe and warm with the family I love.