Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year readers!

I will begin this blog with few things that happened over the past couple of months that really made me feel like a mom. I am a rookie at only 1.5 years into this role, but am learning! So here's my list of "how you know you're a mom:"
1) When you have to clean a streak of amoxicillan off the kitchen floor after your child wails the medicine out of your hand in protest ( I definitely don't blame her for this - it was her first ear infection and the medicine smelled like gross bubble gum).

2) Surviving the first ear infection your child ever has.I know this doesn't seem like a huge accomplishment but I definitely felt like I had a "I am a mom" moment at the end.
3) When you destroy a load of wash after failing to remove a crayon from your pocket. 
4) When you are ok with wearing things with blotches of blue dye all over them because of event described in #3.

5) When you weep the first time your child goes tinkle on the potty. It's a combination of: happiness because the end of diapers for this child may be in sight, sadness because somehow time is flying and you already think your baby is growing up too fast, and finally slight annoyance because it marks the beginning of knowing where all public restrooms are and having the arsenal to de-germ everything that could/will be touched by your toddler (my guess is that this will fade with more children).

I'm sure there will be more but these were the most notable recent mommy moments. I wouldn't trade them for anything!

At this time of year, I'm sure many people are in a reflective mode - one of looking back at the past year and what you did or did not accomplish/improve - and one of looking forward to the next year. My mind keeps wandering back to Fr. Leon's (our pastor) column a week or so ago which talked about setting attainable goals instead of general ones. This of course makes perfect sense, but probably never occurred to me in the past because of the lofty expectations that I was accustomed to setting for myself. Let's be real - I have a child now, another on the way, a new house and have a slightly different focus these days than in the past. So, ok, I thought, I will definitely take our pastor's advice and add little things back to my life that are good and try to rid myself of some of the negative things. Seems simple enough. 

Well my friends, then my beloved Pope Francis dropped this (see article in grey below...I just copied and pasted the article right from Catholic News Service in case the link somewhere down the line went down) in my lap. Contrary to the title, I know this wasn't meant to be New Year's Resolutions - this is a list of serious life resolutions - the things that all of us need to take a step back and really take a look at in our lives to see if we are even close to "accomplishing." I can't even begin to describe how happy I was to see these, and have no favorite - they are all my favorite in some way shape or form.  But - rest assured - I will be reflecting on these throughout 2015 and probably the rest of my life. Well done Holy Father! 

Pope Francis’ suggested New Year’s resolutions

(CNS/Paul Haring)
(CNS/Paul Haring)
VATICAN CITY — When Pope Francis met before Christmas with Vatican employees, mostly lay people with families, he asked them to do 10 things. The list sounded remarkably like suggestions for New Year’s resolutions:
– “Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.”
– “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.”
– “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.”
– “Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity and worldly decadence.”
– “Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others.”
– “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.”
– “Be careful of envy, lust, hatred and negative feelings that devour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.”
– “Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for pointing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation.”
– “Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker … the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless and strangers, because we will be judged on this.”
***On a side note - I spent the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014 trying to figure out how we could get to the Vatican so I could have Pope Francis give my sweet baby girl a kiss (i.e. in these photos). This trip did not happen, however, after pondering 2014 and all the wisdom that has come from our Pope this year, I feel like our whole family has been "kissed" by that wisdom and life advice. That to me is impressive but also feels like a huge blessing!***
Matt and I were privileged to speak a few weeks ago at Blessed Sacrament Parish about our Mission work. Prior to speaking, we attended Mass and Fr. Bill's homily was about radiating the joy of Christ. I think all of us could take this as a simple resolution for the New Year. Joy and happiness are contagious - radiate the joys in your life to others.

Things I am grateful for this day:
1) Change and its ability to make things better. I won't go into this too much but there has been a lot of change in various aspects of my life this year that at first I was reluctant to accept but now realize its greater purpose its positive impact.

2) My family - immediate, extended, in-laws and the like. Sometimes the holidays can be overwhelming but in the end, I am so very grateful for them all and the energy they bring to our lives

3) The year ahead - the opportunity to bring a new life to the world, and to bring about positive change in little ways.