Wednesday, February 25, 2009


As I sat down with a few quiet moments to write, I thought to myself, "I'm sure there is something better I should be doing with my time... like figuring out my Lenten sacrifice." For the past several years I have had such a hard time choosing a sacrifice that empties me of my self and draws me deeper into union with God. You know, the whole point of these 40 days of fasting and penance? Rather I seem to gravitate toward activities and deprivations that are more about corporal self-improvement; while that is certainly not useless, and can in a lot of instances lead to great spiritual growth, I think I miss out. I inevitably find myself on Monday of Holy Week feeling... unfulfilled. I reflect on the weeks gone by with a realization that I did not follow through, that I have not grown deeper in my prayer life, and I am no more worthy to celebrate Christ's Passion than I was on Ash Wednesday.

I read a "What Does the Prayer Really Say" post today, interpreting the Latin prayers for Ash Wednesday Liturgy. I encourage you to check it out, too. The words of the traditional Roman Catholic Mass prayers are so incredibly powerful, and the priest's explanations are worthwhile. The opening prayer refers to the Lenten journey as "doing battle against spiritual negligence." Wow, how many of you are that serious about your lenten sacrifices? I'll just have to quote the whole Super Oblata, it's so good.

Praying to You, O Lord,
we solemnly raise up the Sacrifice of the beginning of Lent,
so that through the exertions of the charity of penitence
we may abstain from harmful pleasures,
and, cleansed from sins,
we may be worthy to be dedicated
to celebrating the Passion of Your Son.

Well, between reading that and some prayer time at Mass this evening I have an idea of the direction of my Lenten Sacrifice. I pray this is a fruitful Lent for all of you, prayerful and focused on Christ's ultimate Sacrifice of Love.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras!

Happy Mardi Gras!, admittedly one of my favorite holidays. Maybe it's because of my New Orleans heritage; maybe it's because I combined this with my husband's Trinidadian grandmother. Maybe it's because I simply cannot pass up a perfectly good excuse for a party!

There will be Hurricanes and Jamablaya in Mount Airy tonight!!! And gumbo, and shrimp creole, and bread pudding... see what happens when I talk my Mama and husband into a party New Orleans style!?! Surely goodness will follow!

So, my friends, go celebrate! Enjoy a yummy guilt-free meal, stay out late, and wear your Purple, Green, and Gold! Eat, Drink, and be Merry for tomorrow penance starts.

Laissez les Bons Temps Roulez!!!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Travel Planning

When planning for a 5 hour plane ride with a very active toddler:

1) Pick the flight time that best suits her schedule so that she will have gotten her afternoon nap and will not *need* to sleep until you arrive.
2) Hide some of her favorite toys and books for several days prior so that she will be very excited to see them when she's forced to sit on your lap for longer than the average person can go between bathroom breaks.
3) Plan your carry-ons carefully, making sure that every potentially necessary item can be at your fingertips at a moment's notice to minimize ugly stares of your fellow passengers when said toddler saves messy diaper for take-off.
4) Make sure to arrive at airport in plenty of time for toddler to run around before flight.
5) Discuss lap-child holding arrangement with spouse ahead of time to eliminate (or at least minimize) bitterness about being stuck with messy/screaming/squirmy child the entire way.

6) Disregard ALL plans when the security line causes you to MISS YOUR FLIGHT.

We arrived at the gate, along with about 8 other people AFTER they had secured the doors. Translation: We were stuck. in the airport. with said toddler and infant. for 4 hours until next flight. that was scheduled for 10 pm EST. which is past all of these travellers' bedtimes.
The downsides were many - overtired family, not arriving in California until 12:15am West coast time, which is 3:15am EST was at the top of the list.
Coping mechanism: let toddler run free entire time and buy a beer.
Major Positive outcomes: The customer service lady was incredible helpful, blocking out a whole row for us on that next non-stop flight so we had an extra seat between us, as well as giving us vouchers toward our next United flight!

In the end, of course, everything worked out just fine. We made it to LAX in the frickin middle of the night, but we had our family waiting for us, a little girl who was VERY excited to see her Gram and Papa-Joe, and the rental car place was still open. In a few weeks I might even be willing to face the planning of our next trip.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

California Dreamin'

As I stare out my window at the beautiful swirling snow dancing in the breeze, all I can think about is...


I sat down with Bella yesterday and went through some pictures of family that we would be seeing while we're there. She was thrilled to see her "Gram" and knew her instantly, seeing as she was here 2 months ago. She ran around for a while chanting "Papa-Joe, Papa-Joe"; I think she liked the way it sounded to her. She may not understand enough to anticipate this trip, but she can sense we're excited so she's following suit.

The 5 hour plane ride, however, is another story. Pray for us.