I Have Extra Arms and Extra legs

For all the babywearing moms.

I strapped my tantruming 2-yo to my back, rolled up my sleeves, and dug into the dishes, hoping the closeness and the movement would help her calm down.

The cries eventually turned to whimpers.  The whimpers to sighs.  The sighs to silence.  She was asleep.

Time to lay her down for a nap.

But first I stepped into the bathroom to scoop up the dirty clothes for the laundry.  I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  My silhouette was augmented with extra appendages.  Little tiny fingers, toes, arms, and legs, were peeking out from the left and right.

I stopped.

And stared. Continue reading

When You Have Nothing Left to Give, Be the Gift

Give the gift of yourself like God does in the Incarnation, on the Cross, in the Eucharist.

It started with a gentle tug on my sheets and a soft whisper in my ear:

“Mom, my belly hurts.”

Those words had the power to throw me out of bed.  I quickly scooped my 3yo daughter into my arms and made a stumbling dash into the bathroom. Continue reading

How To Live the Dream the World Doesn’t Understand

What looking back at a sacrificed career can teach you about your vocation as a wife and mom.

Forget the perfect Pinterest project, by the time you change every diaper that needs changing, feed the starving animals you call your children, put the cushions back on the couch for the thousandth time, toss every LEGO block back in the bin, feed those children again, teach them their letters, feed them again, brush their teeth, tuck them in bed, tell them to get back in bed – you don’t have the energy left to stay awake until a reasonable adult bedtime, so you’re passed out in your spit-up-covered jeans on top of the bedspread at 7:59.

Well I give you credit, you almost made it to 8:00. Continue reading

Why (And How) to Bring Your Kids to Adoration

Jesus waits in the Tabernacle, saying, “Let the little children come to me.”  Bring your kids to Mass and Adoration!

I could almost feel the disapproving glares of the parishioners behind me burning holes in the back of my head, but I didn’t dare turn and look.

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The vocation of children

Back-to-school ruminations and prayers.

It’s time for back-to-school.

We’re overloading with preparation, scheduling, and planning.  We have goals and hopes for the academic year.  We made check-lists and to-do lists and standards lists miles long.

In all the flurry of change and anxiety and excitement, let’s remember the reason for it all.

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Discipline Like the Garden of Eden

Today I snapped. It was the last straw. My son defied me, disobeyed me, one time too many. I could hear my mind screaming, “What punishment can I think of that will make him so miserable he will never want to act like this again?” It’s times like this that I need to step back, take a break, and work hard to be gentle and loving in my parenting.

Continue reading