Monday, December 31, 2012


Well, I can't say I spent 2012 blogging, but so very much happened this year. So many blessings. If you have known me for any amount of time whatsoever, you know that I LOVE the holidays. They make me all mushy and in love with life. My inner teacher comes screaming out and I end up with projects and fun things for everyone to do. Beginning with the feast of St. Nicholas and straight on through New Years I tend to find love everywhere I look.

I don't know what it is about Christmastime that I love so much. Mass makes me weepy, the thought of Mary welcoming her newborn Son, knowing somewhere in her heart that He is not meant just for her, but for all, and that it will not be easy. Every song sung makes me cry. I have gotten used to it, but my kids still shoot me weird looks when I cry through a Mass. I'm a weirdo, what can I say? The gravity, and levity and enormity of it all settles on my heart during Mass and makes me cry.

2012 brought with it an enormous amount of healing in the arrival of my Sweet Priscilla Grace. I know how this will sound to any of my children reading this, but she is special. She was sent to heal my heart. She is a promise from the Lord. I could see her so clearly before she was even conceived. I am so very, very grateful for her. I hope that my children who may read this understand it as I mean it. I love every single one of them. I love them all so very much and each one, individually, has been the absolute best thing to ever happen to me. I have had the time of my life with these kids. Gosh, all I ever wanted was to live in a little house with a wonderful husband and revel in the joy of lots and lots of babies. How blessed I have been to have been given exactly what I have always wanted.

2012 also brought with it some changes in work schedules and duties and while that is still just changing and really getting under way, I am so thrilled to be working in a position that I truly think will give the company the best I have to offer, and that I have work to do for which I truly think I am suited. What a blessing, to feel as though you have something to offer! A new schedule means that I am now in the office 2 days a week, which has been a challenge. But, working in the office so much has also meant that I have not had to try and stay up until 2am trying to get things done. That has been such a blessing with a newborn!

This year has also brought changes for our older girls. Megan graduated from her cosmetology program and got a job three hours away. She moved out and left me here. I miss her so much, but she has been able to come home a good bit. I am so proud of her for making her own way in the world, and hope she really makes wonderful friends and has a wonderful time in her youth, before she becomes a wife and a mother someday.

Elizabeth graduated with a degree in education and will be doing her student teaching this spring. From there, we don't know yet where the future will take her, but  I am proud of her for getting through school  - something not everyone manages, and I know she will be a great teacher someday!

My little Luke, like me, is so glad that Christmas isn't really over yet. We celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th, and will continue to make merry until then, when the children will open their stockings (again) and find three small gifts, and we will take everything down and put it away until next year. For now though, we will gather with family and friends, and make the most of what the season has to offer. It's not over yet! Merry Christmas and Happy, Blessed New Year to you all!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Priscilla Grace at 6 Weeks...

 This little baby is just so special. I am overwhelmed with love for her, which is not too surprising, as I really love little babies, especially my little babies. But she feels special. She was born after a devastating loss, and I think I treasure her so much more because of that. Her pregnancy was perfect, even though I was "elderly multi-gravida" - old lady who has had lots of babies, and even though I was at risk for gestational diabetes. I never developed it, thankfully.
 Priscilla Grace has been blessed by everyone. We have been given so many gifts for her, and as a 10th child - that never ceases to amaze me. She has been welcomed by our church and family, but even strangers, upon hearing that she is number 10, declare her a blessing. I think our world is changing, just a little. I honestly think that people are starting to soften their hearts where babies and children are concerned. In the early years of my motherhood, when I would run around town with just 5 or 6 little ones in tow, I would get dirty looks and even nasty comments. These days, dirty looks and nasty comments seem to be far, far outweighed by delighted surprise and amazement, with a good dose of oohing and aahhing over her obvious beauty and lovely demeanor. Okay, I might be a little biased, but I do get plenty of ooohs and aahhs over her!

These photos were taken when she was 6 weeks old. She is now 12 weeks old, and I have been having the time of my life with her. Her brothers love her, her sisters absolutely adore her, and I dare say her big sister Megan wishes she could take her home. A tenth child is the opposite of a burden. She is pure love, pure blessing. I am so very thankful God saw fit to send this precious little girl to us.

Need vs. Want...

This one has been keeping my brain busy for a while now. We have 10 kids running around this house. Granted, one has flown the coop, but she comes home pretty regularly. We live in an 1800 square foot house. One bathroom is down for the count until we find the funds to get it fixed. Frustrating for sure, BUT. We have a house. It has indoor plumbing. All of our children are warm and clothed and fed. They need nothing, really.

So, my dilemma. Our house does not function for us well. It is crowded and people can't get into the restroom when they need to. There is no where we can all sit down together. Like, at all. We just don't fit. Do I have the right to want something more, when we have so much and many others have nothing? I whine about the plumbing and the lack of space. But do we really NEED more space or do I just WANT more space? Is it greedy to want more when we have what we have? Or is it perfectly acceptable to wish for enough space that my family can all watch a movie together?

I'm an American, but I am Catholic first. So which side of me is being served by staying in a home that is too small for our family by American standards, but is more than adequate and downright luxurious by other standards? Even in America we have more than many, maybe even more than most. I just can't figure out what I should be wishing and praying about in regards to this house. That I can figure out how to make it work? That we find the nearly unimaginable means to buy a bigger home? Or that I find enough grace to quit whining and appreciate what I do have?

I don't know what the right thing is. My kids get annoyed that there is pretty much zero privacy here, as we all shower in the basement. But then my mind flashes to pictures of starving children and homeless people, and I know we are blessed to have that shower in the basement and the bread in the cupboard.

If I pray for a way to buy a bigger home, will God be angry at my greed? My lack of appreciation for what He has already given? Or will He understand that right here, in this time and place, far from work and family, in a too small house, spending nearly $800 a month on gasoline, that a bigger house, closer to work is a need, as much as a want? Because I am here, in America. I do need to work, as does my husband. We do have 10 children, by the grace of His will. Is it okay to pray that we find a way to buy a home that better suites our needs, or is it just plain greedy?