Saturday, May 31, 2008

Behold This Heart

"Behold This Heart which has Loved men SO Much!" ~Jesus in a vision to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Yesterday was the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (remember, I am "old news" central!) There is no greater sign of Christ's unconditional Love (Agape) for us than the image of His Most Sacred Heart. I have always been fascinated by that image (starting in grade school), and in college immersed myself in the devotion.
(One of the original Images from St. Margaret Mary Alacoque's visions.)

Think about it in VERY simplistic terms (since that's how I could finally wrap my mind around it.) The ultimate gift of love is one's self, symbolized by our hearts. To give your heart to someone is to make yourself vulnerable to them - to open your very being to giving and receiving love.

The ultimate sign of Christ's Love is His Passion and Death, where He paid the price for all our sins, so that we may enjoy eternity with Him - His desire in creating us in the first place! "My Divine Heart wishes to spread Its love everywhere on earth." ~Jesus to St. Margaret Mary

Christ's desire is to share intimate, unconditional Love with each of us. Therefore, He offers us His Heart, bearing the very signs of His Agape!!! Where else can we find fountains of Mercy, Grace, and LOVE other than the very source - God Himself! That pretty much sums up why I love the devotion to the Sacred Heart. I will spend my whole life begging for mercy and grace, and all I have to do is look to His Heart to see The Font of both, given to me in His Unconditional Love.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What a Weekend!

Blogging, my friends, seems to keep falling further and further down the list these days, and for that I apologize. Well, I apologize to anyone who has actually been missing it. I either have time OR energy, never both; today, however, lends itself to happiness and optimism, so here I am!

There's a place where incredibly busy meets incredibly fun, and that is where this weekend existed. Whew! Friday started with my brother Eric and his 2 kids (Danny 10, Ashley 6) showing up for him to get started on our retaining wall for our new backyard! YAY! It finally stopped raining long enough for him to excavate our useless patch of land and to build the wall. I think I will add pics to a separate post series when I get a chance. It was a very fun day that was capped off by the arrival of our friend Alexis (already excited from her success!) in time for weekly Pizza Night.

Saturday some friends from college got hitched right here in Frederick County, on a beautiful sunny day! The real bonus was seeing my best friend and roommate from college Robin, her husband/our friend John, and their TWIN BOYS! At 22 months they are just adorable and lots of fun. Busy would not even begin to describe their lives right now! (It was Robin's brother who got married. I guess that was the only way to finally get them out here for a visit after-all. ;-p ) We spent the majority of the reception outside, where there was nice of open grassy area and a fountain. Water+Toddlers="oops! catch him! grab her! there he goes again! No!" It was so funny, and of course the kids just loved it.

On Sunday John and Robin, Michael and Nicholas, came over to our house for several hours, which was great. It was definitely more relaxed; there was no fountain threatening our sanity! I think Bella thought she was seeing double - she LOVED watching them and following them, but kept giving them funny looks. Michael was especially attentive to Bella, at least once he got his nap. I really enjoyed the chance to see the boys and hang out with John and Robin - we miss them so much! Nothing is better than sitting around eating watermelon while laughing and joking with good friends. Hm, a few interesting stories from college history did manage to surface... What a blast!

Monday felt strangely quiet - Alexis and I sat and talked and played with Bella, Pat got some work done in the basement... Then suddenly we looked at the clock to discover that Alexis had to hurry to make it to the airport! It will be great to have them close to us in just 2 months! Yay!

After Isabella woke up from her nap we headed over for a BBQ at my folks' house, which was fun. My favorite part, I have to say, was the RIDE! Yup, I finally got back on my bike! It was perfect weather, and after the hectic weekend it was a wonderful opportunity to unwind and drink in the serenity and exhilaration of a good ride.

Well, there ya have it - my crazy weekend. I have been falling behind in the picture department again, too, and I will work on posting more of those. Hope everyone is having a good day and enjoying spring!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Eliza Doolitle Day

Today, my friends, is a very special day in my family. It is Eliza Doolittle Day! Oh, and my mom's birthday :) This date was forever immortalized in the play (and movie) My Fair Lady , and thus every year we wish my mother a "Happy Eliza Doolittle Day" for her birthday. In fact, for a bonus piece of useless trivia for the day, when my dad was trying to win her interest all those many years ago and he asked her birthday she simply referred to that. Can you believe he actually looked it up? Now that's a true pursuit.

Anyways, I had a wonderful day with my mom; she is such an amazing lady. I drove to her house in the morning (with great plans for Bella taking her nap in the car, but no such luck.) We visited my grandmother, and then enjoyed a nice Chinese lunch. Yum! We stopped to get dessert from a great restaurant, you know the kind where the desserts look so good but you are always too full to order?, and then back to her house. We spent the whole day just talking and laughing and watching my crazy non-sleeping little girl be oh so adorable. What a special day.

My mom is such a blessing to me. She is strong-minded and independent, and her family falls second only to God Himself. She truly has such a joi de vie, and sees beauty in the simple things around her. She loves and gives of herself selflessly in every opportunity. I love debating with her, because although we are mostly in agreement, we always seem to being different angles to the table, making for lively discussion. We challenge each other to think, and I continue to learn so much from her. I cherish the time I get to spend with her, and am so thankful that God has blessed me so abundantly with the gift of her.

I love you, Mama!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sing a Song of Spring

Ah, the joys of Spring - the singing birds that start their song at 5:30am, the longer days, where those last rays of sunlight get later and later, allowing for just that much more fun in a day. My favorite, though, is the changing weather; yes, there is something special about the guessing game that happens each morning as I get Bella and myself dressed (long sleeves? jeans for me, dress for her?) and the constant rain/sun/rain/sun that conjures up such amazing feelings... AAAAACCCCHHHOOOOOOOO! oh wait, it's just allergies.

Anyone who's been pregnant or been married to anyone pregnant knows that there is a very short list of medicines you are allowed to take. Anyone who has breastfed has encountered the same challenge; there are few medicines that are considered safe for nursing. Here's the real challenge, though - the two lists are DIFFERENT. Let me sum it up for you: I can't take a damn thing, except for Tylenol, Gas-X, and Tums! That Sudafed that helped me cope with allergies last year while pregnant? May interfere with milk production. That ibuprofen I had been enjoying for a headache? No good for Unborn Baby. AUGH!

Allow me to share with you the helpful, holistic solution to my conundrum. "For allergies, drink lots of water." This does not actually help a pregnant woman who already has to empty her bladder every 45 minutes. What this does, physically, is help loosen up all that mucous that is taking up residence in your sinuses. That's great for the congestion to a certain degree, but it does not do squat for the histamine response that is causing the congestion in the first place. Headache? I highly recommend Tylenol taken with a coke or coffee. The caffeine has a synergistic effect, which means that it chemically makes the acetaminophen work better. Anything else? Pick your favorite non-pharmacological method, like a cool shower, hot packs, prayer/meditation, closing all your windows and living like a hermit until growing season passes, and good luck!

I for one, am walking around with pockets-full of tissues and making Isabella laugh with all that funny sneezing.

P.S. If the above sounds in any way whiny or pathetic, go back, sprinkle generously with cynical humor, and it will make a lot more sense.

Friday, May 16, 2008


I cannot think of a better way to mark my 100th post than to introduce Baby Tramma #2!!!

We are, of course, so excited. I told Patrick after my OB visit that I can get excited now that I know for sure I'm pregnant and we saw our little baby. It's as if I was doubting before, despite the extreme fatigue, morning sickness, disinterest in chocolate, and positive home test. Just call me Thomas. But now we have seen him/her, the little peanut, precious Baby! Praise God!

I was recalling my first sonogram with Isabella, about 11 weeks gestation. Although I could not feel anything, of course, the ultrasound showed a BUSY little Baby, kicking her legs furiously the entire time! Now I realize of course that she was just getting an early start, and she hasn't slowed down since! Baby #2 stretched his/her little hand and rolled over peacefully. Hhmmm, maybe God is indeed merciful... :) Or maybe we were interrupting a nap.

So three thoughts to share with you today:
1) There is only ONE baby in there.
2) Some of our friends have really cute nicknames for their unborn babies. "The Newest Trauma" just doesn't seem very sweet.
3) Can you believe that I have written 100 blog entries? Who knew that so much mindless drivel could exist, and that I would continue to post despite it all?

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

Mothers are HEROES. Plain and Simple. This is not an attempt to pat myself on the back, as I do fit into this category, but rather the desire to shout from the rooftops the love and respect that mothers deserve.

Isn't it funny the different opinions we have of our mothers as we grow up? Even in the best of mother-child relationships we go through stages where our outlook towards Mom changes. Think about it - at some point, to some degree, we all start questioning our mother's sanity. "Things were so different when she grew up, and while this may have worked back then in the 1800's... life is just different now." Some may go as far as to think Mom is just a clueless lunatic (always affectionately, right?). Then we start to grow up, and Mom is not as clueless as she used to be. As we have more and more life experiences, Mom becomes downright smart. Hopefully, with God's Grace, with age comes wisdom and perspective, and we begin to realize that, more than just "pretty smart," Mom is Superwoman.

Last year was my first Mothers' Day, as I was 7 months pregnant. I was already in love with my child and with being a mother. I knew this was God's awesome plan and that His choice for my life was perfect. This year, however, is my first mother's day seeing and holding a child in my arms. (and chasing her around the floor as she crawls up the stairs squealing with joy...) I have had a lot of time in the past 10 months to reflect on the joys and trials of motherhood (that I have known thus far), and not always self-centered! I have spent a lot of time thinking about how my Mom paced around the floor singing every lullaby ever written while we screamed at the top of our lungs. I have pictured the tender smile on her face as she nursed us, tracing her finger along our cheeks as I do with my own daughter. As my heart swells with joy at each new antic and game, I know that I share that feeling with my own mother - that although her experience was several years ago, she shares in the excitement of watching your first child grow and change.

Moms are always Moms - motherhood is permanent. When we found out we were expecting Isabella, I told Patrick "our lives will never be the same. No matter what happens, ever, we will always be parents." It is overwhelming to look into your child's eyes and realize that God has entrusted you with the care of His precious little one. Every day I pray that I don't screw it up, and I know that He gives me the grace not to. Each night I thank God for the gifts we received that day just through having a child.

So back to my original point: Mothers, Moms, Mommies, Mamas - are HEROES. They are not just sweet ladies who have kids. They are the ones who watch their Hearts exist on the outside of their bodies. Only a Mom can understand the reality of Motherhood, and No One ever lets it go. See that old grandma grinning at the little kids? She remembers her child's first smile, and her Heart is still not her own.

Go Hug your Mom and your Mother-In-Law. And to all you Moms, Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

These Days

These Days:

- After one bite to try, I have not touched the delicious home-made boysenberry Creme Pie in the fridge, but I eat clementines and pears all day.

- I get great inspirations as I lay in bed at night, but by the morning I don't even remember to what they were related.

- Isabella is sleeping for 5-6 hour stretches at night and I still have to take a nap during the day.

- I, Kate, the Caffeine Addict, gets indigestion at the mere thought of coffee. Even with good creamer. *sad*

- When following a simple, 6 ingredient dinner that I have made a hundred times, I had to consult the recipe at least 15 times. I still forgot the parsley.

- I am currently re-washing a load of laundry because I forgot to transfer it last night. Again.

- I cried watching CSI.

- I could die for some Italian Spicy Pepper-Shooters.

- The package of yummy soft-baked cookies I got on sale (+ coupon!) are sitting, un-opened, on the top of the fridge. In plain site. For 5 days.

- I have not gained an ounce but none of my clothes fit quite the same.

- We have been doing a lot of walking, thoroughly enjoying the great weather, which makes both Bella and Mama very happy!

- My husband is my absolute HERO for working overtime around the house.

- I was downright gleeful upon waking up after 7 hours of straight sleep. Exuberant also comes to mind.

- My appreciation for my helpful, loving, spiritual mother-in-law almost made me cry with joy when she started stocking our freezer with ready-made meals.

- Have you ever noticed that when people have kids close together you mentally do the math to figure out just how far apart in age they are?

- I have drank so much peppermint tea lately I've been daydreaming about Christmas trees.

- It has taken me 4 days to write this post.

- I am re-washing that laundry AGAIN.

- I find myself starting at Isabella in utter amazement thinking, "again?"

.... In other words, I'm PREGNANT.